GOLD MEDAL FOR PETE RYAN
Congratulations to Battersea Park regular Pete Ryan on his M60 gold medal in the Veterans AC 5 Miles’ Road Championship, held on a on a pleasant Tuesday evening. In a 22-strong field (boosted by an appeal for more walkers to showcase our event on BBC Breakfast Time Television) Pete was 8th overall in 52.27 after a good battle with Brighton-based in-form man Dan Maskell.
Stuart Bennett & Steve Allen both appeared in guest capacity. Stuart looked good in his first appearance after injury being 3rd man home in 50.19 – 4th overall as talented Penelope Cummings of Aldershot was in front (clocking 48.15). Overall this race was “won-by-a-mile” as Ian Richards stormed around the Park in 41.05 with Belgrave Harrier Mark Culshaw 2nd in 48.14.
Steve Allen came to support our attempts at showcasing this event for television, and dead-heated with recent double-National 10K Championship medallist Sean Pender in 58.27 so securing them them 19th spot. Steve was made most welcome on his return, and in keeping with his kind reputation, gave free lifts home to fellow athletes. (His other recent paid “fares” include Fiona Bruce & Sue Johnson). Michael Croft & Dave Ainsworth officiated.
BBC presenter Mike Bushell didn’t race this time, but attempted to interview participants around the back of the course by running alongside as they raced. With a leader so far ahead it didn’t make compelling television; and a 22-strong all-veterans’ field (better than at most recent Battersea races) was soon strung out. In our Battersea Park TV race 8 years’ ago we had a number of younger walkers racing as guests, among a 49 strong total (+ 3 missing the start). For the promotion of our sport we’d have benefited from more on the road. 8 years’ ago TV coverage was screened a month afterwards. Enthusiastic organiser Dave Hoben is in contact with the BBC and will advise when this is to be seen “on the box”.
All 3 Ilford men are thanked for their support and congratulated on their efforts. Better is yet to come as active walkers are now coming back into our ranks.
This Sunday sees the BMAF 5K Road Championships at Horwich (10.35am) for which we wish the best for any who’ve entered (entries now closed).
Bookings are still being taken by Tony Maxwell for the Essex Athletes’ Reunited function at “The Cow” (Stratford Westfield Shopping Centre) on Friday 1st July from 12 noon-to-4pm.