North Korea or Jurassic World?
The MABAC event held yesterday was impacted because the area is currently being used as a film set. RPAC athletes reported seeing a number of North Korean army vehicles in the forest and hearing some gunshots, but we think these were props for the film rather than any reason for panic. We are unsure what is being filmed, but I do know that scenes for Jurassic World: Dominion was being filmed in the same area very recently. Perhaps some dinosaurs roaming the forest would have produced some interesting results.
The main impacts of the filming were the closure of two of the closer car parks to the start (parking is always a challenge at Winterfold anyway) meaning a bit of a hike to the start, and some last minute changes to the route. The good news about the revised route was that it avoided the "killer hill" which you normally have to ascend twice; the bad news was that the marshals weren't as familiar with the route, and the signage wasn't as good as usual...more of this anon.
This was an "extra" event in a MABAC season compromised by Covid - we will be running at Winterfold again in April - and was arranged in difficult circumstances.
Once again RPAC managed to field a good strong team. Graeme Hunter, Sarah Pemberton and Victoria Stammars made their MABAC debuts (apologies if I have missed anyone, or got this wrong).
Andrew Reeves was first home overall in 31:57, more than 20 seconds ahead on his nearest rival. He was followed by a pack of fast RPAC runners. Times and positions for this group of runners are at best an approximation as several of them went the wrong way as a consequence of indistinct signage and the marshals unfamiliarity with some sections of the course. Bethany Higgins was the first RPAC lady home and fourth lady overall. I believe that she was also impacted by the "diversion".
I am advised that the full course should have been 8.17 km, but athletes recorded distances of anything from 7.2km upwards. Although this impacted individual runners, it probably didn't make too much difference to the overall result. RPAC scored second highest for the second time this season and finish in third place overall in the League.
I'd like to thank everyone who has taken part in a MABAC race this season. I hope you'll agree that they are great fun - and offer competition for runners of all abilities. A couple of seasons ago we were struggling to field more than half a dozen runners for each race, it has been hugely gratifying to see such a strong RPAC presence at each of the races this year.
The next MABAC race is in Windsor Great Park on 16th January 2022. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
STOP PRESS: We have been advised that a runner from another club who ran yesterday has tested positive for Covid. You may consider taking a lateral flow test as a precaution.
A Day For Getting Lost and Losing Things
A team of 23 RPAC runners travelled to the wilds of Surrey for the MABAC event held on Farley Heath on Sunday morning. There were nearly 3 early MIAs as Andrew Bamford had a "senior moment" and headed for the Winterfold Forest venue instead, taking Jo Hennesy and Kate Knight with him. In fairness the Winterfold Forest venue isn't too far away (as the crow flies) and the mistake was rectified after a couple of U-turns and a frantic phone call to Ian Edmonds. Having safely arrived at the venue taken the roll call and issued numbers we set off for the race start.
The race starts on a sandy downhill which soon deteriorates into mud and then climbs through a deep gulley which can only really be traversed in single file. The rest of the course is a mixture of climbing, narrow paths through woodland and sand, lots of sand! The finish is hard as it is about half a mile of climb in at times fairly deep sand.
Paul (not Paula as he is listed in the results) Walters was running in the one lap race and was out in front when he was given duff information by the marshals and sent the wrong way. Fortunately he realised the mistake before too long and didn't get too lost. It probably cost him a place though as he finished in second spot. Fortunately this didn't make any difference to the scoring as all finishers in the one lap race get two points.
In the two lap race we took four out of the first fifteen places with Andrew Reeves finishing in third place, Neil Fenwick in sixth, Frank O'Regan in eleventh and Ian Stammars in fifteenth. Our first lady home was Alice Smith in 40th place followed closely by Bethany Higgins in 42nd place (3rd and 4th ladies overall). We had two runners making a MABAC debut (and I think a debut in RPAC vests) - these were Jeremy Greenwood and Jo Hennessy, who finished in 28th and 87th place respectively. Both were scoring athletes. (If you ever are feeling bored and have a spare hour you can find out about the arcane MABAC scoring system here) We also "lost" an athlete as Gavin Lawrence does not (at the time of writing) appear in the results - by a process of elimination we have worked out the he is really the second of the two Ravi Patels listed in the results. Toby Kent pulled a calf muscle and sadly had to pull out after one lap. He added to a day of losses by leaving his gloves behind, although fortunately Jo Hennessy spotted them and picked them up.
Another strong turnout meant that we retain our third place spot in the League behind Dorking and Mole Valley AC and Wimbledon Windmilers.
Some of the RPAC team at the start including Alastair Swanepoel in foreground, Lisa Payn with her back to the camera
Andrew Reeves (left) was first home for RPAC in third place and Neil Fenwick was sixth
Frank O'Regan was eleventh and Ian Stammars was fifteenth (is that Paul Sapsard in the background?)
Full results will be available the results section soon
The next MABAC event is on AT 10:00 ON Sunday 5th December at Winterfold Forest.
This article was written by Linda Rodriguez for The Surrey Mirror
It’s that time of year again – the leaves are turning, the air is chillier, and athletes in vest tops take to the muddy fields and boggy trails to compete in the Surrey Cross Country League.
This Saturday saw the start of the cross country season: Reigate Priory Athletic Club women ran in the first Division 2 match of the season in Richmond Park, while the men’s team raced in their Division 2 match at Epsom Downs.
It was an emotional start to the season for the ladies; teammate Fiona Clark, 41, passed away less than two weeks before the race. Clark, 41, had been a part of the Reigate Priory team for 16 seasons, through 55 races, and had previously won the Surrey League four times. She was a brilliant runner, a great supporter of the league, and had gained the respect and admiration of those who had the privilege to run with her. Clark’s teammates and members of other clubs wore green ribbons for the race to raise awareness of mental health, and the race began after a round of applause for Clark, who will be deeply missed.
Though it was a bit wet underfoot, the sun was blazing as the women set off on their two-lap course through Richmond Park. First back for the team was Natalie Wilson, taking 22nd place overall, with Jamilla Ncayiyana not far behind in 30th position. Ruth Willis ran a great race, becoming the third RPAC woman over the line, followed by Sharon Brennan and Kate Pain completing the scoring team. Linda Rodriguez led the B team home and was supported by Leanne McKeogh, Annette Morris, Sharon Miller, and Kate Knight. The team finished 7th out of 24 teams.
Over at Epsom Downs, the men’s team stands in third place out of nine teams after a great race: Max Smithson was the first RPAC man over the line, taking 8th position, followed by George Roux in 10th; Freddie Roux, Stephen Bass, and Ewan McKay took 24th, 25th, and 26th respectively. Adam Evans, Alex Green, Neil Fenwick, Ben Stanton and Charl Jordaan rounded out the men’s scorers.
Men's Division 2 Epsom Downs
Left to Right: Ian Thomas, Chris Daniels, Rick Coles, Jon Payn, Gavin Lawrence, Alister Moses, Alex Green, Ewan McKay, Steve Bass, Adam Evans, Paul Chandler (kneeling), George Roux, Freddie Roux, Andy Patrick, Steve Cheesman, Ben Stanton, Max Smithson, Felix Smithson, Charl Jordan. Missing from the photo is Neil Freeman-Jones.
Ladies' Division 2 Richmond Park
Back row Left to Right: Catherine Sharpe (Fiona Clark's friend), Nat Wilson, Stewart McIntyre, Kate Pain, Jamilla Ncayiyana, Leanne Mc Keogh, Annette Morris
Front row Left to Right: Former RPAC Member Ali Rustige, Linda Rodriguez, Sharon Brennan, Sharon Miller. Missing from the photo is Kate Knight.
At the start
Nat leading the charge.
Jamilla, Sharon Brennan, Sharon Brennan and Kate
Linda, Leanne and Annette (x2)
A strong turnout from RPAC at the Nonsuch Park MABAC event saw us rise to third position in the league behind Dorking and Wimbledon Windmilers. This is the highest position we have held in the league since we joined in, I think, 2017.
A team of 25 seniors and 1 junior travelled to Nonsuch to run what was in places a very boggy course.
Left to right: Juliette Stern, Debbie Robinson, Melanie Fulton-Bell, Ruth Willis, Euan Willis (hiding behind his Mum), Gillian O'Regan, Toby Kent, Adrian Grant, Alice Tritton-Smith, John Masterson with Peter Luxton hidden behind him, Ian Edmonds, Andrew Patrick, Philippa Drysdale, Lisa Ashley (in yellow shirt), Sharon Miller, Lisa Payn, Frank O'Regan, Paul Sapsard, Ben Stanton, Malcolm Woodman (half hidden), Victoria Stammars hidden by Jake Boud although you can see her leggings and Ian Stammars. Missing from the photo are Mike Pocock and Elaine Reddyhoff.
This is probably the flattest of the races in the league and generally produces some fast times. RPAC athletes took 3 of the top 10 spots with Andrew Reeves finishing in third place, Frank O'Regan in seventh and Ben Stanton in eighth. Bethany Higgins was the first RPAC lady home in 31st place. In the junior race (1 lap of the course) Euan Willis won by a country mile finishing some 4½ minutes ahead of the next placed runner; in fact Euan also beat the first placed senior 1 lap runner by a similar time. We scored the second highest number of points on the day after Dorking.
Here are some action shots - apologies to those of you who I missed - some of you were moving so quickly that my photos are very blurred!
Frank O'Regan, John Masterson in the RPAC vest for the first time and Bethany Higgins
Ruth Willis, Mike Pocock and Jake Boud
Alice Tritton-Smith leading Andrew Patrick, Steve Watkins, Annette with Paul Sapsard following
Paul Sapsard, Peter Luxton and Gillian O'Regan
Malcolm Woodman, Juliette Stern leading Mel Fulton-Bell and Lisa Payn
Ian Edmonds, Debbie Robinson and Adrian Grant
Elain Reddyhoff and Victoria Stammars
London Marathon Sunday 3rd October 2021
RPAC were strongly represented at the London Marathon yesterday with a team of 13 runners and 29 volunteers taking part (hopefully I have got the numbers correct).
The volunteers had an early start, assembling on Blackheath at 06:15. Donna gave us a quick briefing before we divided into three teams lead by Paddy, Stav and Roger and headed over to the red start. With the staggered wave starts this year there was a constant stream of runners heading for the start and the final person didn't cross the finish line until around 11:00. It was very well organised with each wave being walked up to the gates of Greenwich Park by a line of marshals.
Despite the changes the questions were still the same as in previous years: "Are there any toilets near here?", "Am I going the right way to the red/blue/green start?", "Where is a good place to watch the runners?", "Can I run with my friend (who is in a different start)?" (No!), "I couldn't get to the Excel to pick up my race pack because of the fuel situation, where can I pick it up from?" (You can't, you can't run!). There was a moment of excitement when we had to call the Police to investigate a bag that had been abandoned on a bench - it turned out to be full of old clothes discarded, I imagine, by one of the runners.
For the first of the RPAC runners the race started soon after 09:30 with Tom Almond and Lee Savage getting away pretty quickly. Kate Knight by comparison did not start until 10:53.
Full results will be available in the Senior Results section shortly but here are some of the highlights. Please let me know if I have not picked up your result..
Tom set a new club record in the senior men's category, finishing in 2:28:30 (thereby beating his previous club record by some 8 minutes) and finishing in 59th place overall. He did this despite not being able to keep down water or gels from mile 14 and having horrendous cramp from mile 20. A really gutsy performance Tom (no pun intended) - well done to you sir! Mike Pocock also set an new club in the men's V65 category, finishing in 3:21:28, beating the previous record (held by Mike!) by 7 minutes and finishing 6th in his age group. You are a phenomenon Mike! Rick Coles and Lee Savage both set new PBs and finished comfortably under 3 hours - well done guys! It was a first marathon for Laura Ebbs who finished in an amazing time of 3:08:42 - wow!
In addition to those running in London we had a couple of Virtual London Marathon runners too. This was a first marathon distance for Mike Wylie who clocked 3:04:05 around Dorking and feels that with some specific marathon training he has a lot more to give. Liz Bourns ran a 4:32:09 whilst on holiday in Greece...probably pretty warm and hilly I imagine.
Here are some photos from the day.
Tom Almond powering his way to the finish.
Lee Savage and Rick Coles at the finish. Lee, Tom and Rick on Horse Guards Parade - Rick said that Tom was so far ahead that he'd managed to change before they got there.
Ian Burks looking very pleased to have raised £4192 for the YMCA. If you'd like to add to his fundraising total you can do so here.
Ian Stammars in Birdcage Walk - just 1km to go! Ian with his support crew at the finish. Ian says that he's never going to run another marathon - until next year!
Karima Graham and family at the finish - a new PB for Karima. Well done Karima!
Thea MacDonald at Tower Bridge - Thea said that she was overly optimistic for how the second half of the race would go... I think I'm right in saying that it was a first marathon for Thea. Well done Thea!
It was definitely not a first marathon for Kate Knight - number 85 to be precise - well done Kate!