MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN GO OUT IN THE MIDDAY SUN
A trio of Ilford AC walkers, FRANCISCO REIS, STEVE UTTLEY and PETE RYAN were the pick of the Club’s contingent at Allianz Park on a blisteringly hot Saturday as they occupied 3 of the top 5 positions in a London Inter-Club Challenge 5,000 metres walk. The race started at 12 noon, and despite large stands each side of the track which encircles Saracens rugby union pitch, there was no shade to be had anywhere. From the “off” a 3-strong group formed the van with Hillingdon AC’s Polish representative walker Fabian Deuter in the van closely tracked by Ilford’s Francisco Reis and Bexley-based teenage prospect LUC LEGON.Midway through the 3rd lap the youngster fell back leaving Deuter and Reis to battle it out and not till the closing stages did Deuter find something extra to claim victory in 24.23 with Reis a close 2nd in 24.27. Legon filled the frame in 25.52 with Ilford’s Captain Uttley filling 4th position clocking 26.52 after a steady race as he’d come under starter’s orders carrying a slight injury. In 5th spot with 27.41 on the stopwatch came Ryan who’d intentionally walked a tactical race, covering the opening lap in a slower time than usual for an athlete of his calibre. Ryan’s tactics paid off handsomely as the latter stages saw him move forward purposefully as rivals wilted! Much needed copious amounts of cool water was trackside for drinking and sponging, but Ryan was the only finisher not to avail himself. Now Essex-based Ryan’s a tough Northerner who said he didn’t need such assistance!
Issued by Ilford AC Walking Section (01708-37382)