Essex Cross-country League
Saturday October 28
The first match of this winter’s Essex Cross-Country League was held on a cold morning last Saturday at Horseheath, just over the border in Cambridgeshire.
The senior squads of Ilford AC turned in good numbers, 21 in total with 9 representing the club in a cross-country race for the first time. This was the best turnout for several years and returned excellent results.
The ladies ran over the grassland course which was firm throughout in a 6km race.
Nicola Hopkinson continued her fine form, just ahead of her run in the New York City marathon on Sunday, to lead in the team in 49th spot in 30 mins 46 secs and was the first finisher in the F55 category.
Next home was Carlie Qirem in her first cross-country race for the team in 58th with 31 mins 18 secs, with another first timer on the country Gaye Van Der Vyver in 66th in 32 mins 26 secs.
Dianne Crisp closed out the scorers for Ilford in 75th with 33 mins 04 secs and she was 2nd finished in the F55 age grouping.
Anna Crawley made her club debut in any competition recording 35mins 21 secs for 95th.
Also in action for the ladies were Launa Broadley (119th 42.00) Pam Jones (121st 44.11) and Sheila Sinclair (122nd 44.25)
The ladies team won the division two match in their quest for promotion back to division 1 and were 12th overall in the masters table.
The men turned out 13 competitors in their 8km race.
Tom Gardner looked in good form for 11th in 28m 53 secs, while the ever reliable Malcolm Muir coming back from injury to finish in 31 mins 12 secs in 44th.
Another back in action following injury was Paul Holloway in 62nd with 32 mins 15 secs.
Seb Parris was next home in 80th in 33mins 21secs with Neil Crisp one second and one place behind.
John Crawley completed the scoring six in 103rd with 34 mins 26 secs.
Tony Nixon came in 140th in 36 mins 51 secs for 2nd in the M60 age group and Andy Catton was 3rd in that category in 37 mins 41 secs for 151st.
First timers for the club in cross-country league action were Tony Young (185th 41.32) Bill Green (187th 41.51) and Satha Alaga (197th 43.07). also in action for Ilford were Dennis Briggs (144th 37.00) and Steve Cheal (198th 43.07)
Ilford also had 2 runners in club vests running ‘second claim for the mens team on the day, Diarmuid MacDonnell 35:12 113th and Edward Skinner 42:15 188th
The Ilford men compete in division 1 and finished 7th and are in the same position in the overall masters table.
Ilford Juniors had 4 athletes competing on the day in 4 different events, each putting in fine performances.
First up was Aaron Hick who finished 8th in the U11’s race over 1.8k, despite only being 9 years old.
In the U13B category Mathew Hick came 14th in a time of 12:10 for 3k.
After this performance Matthew was confirmed as first reserve for the Essex team to compete in the Inter counties, a great honour for the boy and the club.
Bradley Deacon was 31st in the U15B category in a time of 16:21 over 4k and Jordan Hinds was 16th U17W in the U1720W race with a time of 22:40 for 4.5k
Two Ilford Ac runners were in marathon action at the weekend.
Sunday October 29
Julia Galea ran the Dublin Marathon finishing in 4 hours 36 minutes 23 secs and was 13th in the F60 category.
Sunday October 29
Ilford Kiwi Blair McWhirter has returned to his native New Zealand and ran in the Auckland Marathon.
Blair come home an excellent 3rd in 2 hours 25 mins 59 secs. He is ranked 5th for the year in this event among New Zealand athletes.