Arne Dumez reports:
The awful weather conditions on Saturday afternoon did not deter Jodie Albrow and Leanne Bettis, who collected an admirable bit of hardware for the claret and gold. Experienced multi-eventer Jodie bagged a first spot in the javelin with a 30.65m throw while teammate Leanne closed the podium with a 25.82m effort. Not quite done with the throws, Leanne’s 30.26m discus throw earned her another bronze behind Walton’s finest while Jodie claimed a third place in the shotput.
Our hopes for a medal in the senior women’s jump events also rested on Jodie shoulders – and we were right not to worry! A 4.72m long jump and a 1.45m mark in the high jump saw her take home two more bronze medals.
Staying with the women, there is still more to say about Jodie. Apparently not quite enough to call it a day, her bountiful harvest of the field was topped off by a shiny gold in the 100m hurdles where a 16.31m saw her best St Mary’s Richmond’s Caroline Parmenter. Chyna Russell – representing Belgrave in the u20 category – flew through her 400m heat in 59.94s which established her as one of the pre-race favourites for the final. Despite improving her PB by almost a second with a 57.61 lap, she could not quite outrun Guildford’s Eleanor Grove’s 56.84 for the win. There are worst things than having to settle for a county silver and a shiny new PB though!
Completing the Belles’ campaign and starting a phenomenal streak for Charlie’s endurance group was Saron Haileselase. The senior women’s 1500m saw Saron sit on Herne Hill’s Fiona de Mauny until the final 250m when she kicked for home and floated to the finish in a convincing win. While disappointed with a slow winning time of 4:46, Saron saw herself top the podium with a gold medal around her neck and a county title to her name. Andy Fyfe also liked the ring of ‘Surrey Champion’ and toed the line for his own 1500m. A 69s first lap did nothing to hurt the Scot who progressively started grinding the resistance out of his opposition, gradually disintegrating the field. With only 300m to go, Guildford’s George Dollner tried his absolute best to get past Andy on the outside but had to watch him pull away – or what the commentator called ‘productively sneaking away’. And there you had it, another gold for Charlie’s group – and Andy’s first sub-4min clocking!
Also notable was Neville Harris who donned the claret and gold for the 800m heats, where he easily qualified for the final in 2:01 second only to Walton’s Hugo Fleming. A quicker run of 1:58.53 was enough to bag himself a spot on the third step and the bronze medal that comes with it. Fancying a proper crack at some speed work, Neville also had a go at the 400m final where he landed just outside of the top three in 52.83.
Single lap expert Sam Shore threw himself in the mix for the 400m hurdles final and clearly emerged on top with a 56.01 well head of Woking’s Dave Awde and Holland Sports’ Mark Andrews. Another gold for the counter!
Over the longer distance, spectators would have seen Terry O’Neill tackle the 5000m. While he was a little ways off James Hoad’s winning time of 15:13, Terry still successfully ducked under 20mins for a 19:57 which ranks him number 1 V65 in the country on the track! All the more impressive considering his 11:51 3000m in Tooting on Monday and his 11:43 in Battersea on Wednesday evening over the same distance!
We would be remiss not to shout Nick Goolab’s name from the rooftops after his triumph in Ipswich. The Twilight 5k inaugurated its new course this year promising athletes much less elevation and fewer tight turns – in other words, fast times galore! Nobody was left disappointed as good ol’ Nick led 4 men under 14mins and 12 under 15! A new course record of 13:50 saw him claim gold ahead of Aldershot’s Richard Allen and Adam Clarke, and national XC champion Adam Hickey.
Finally, a big kudos to Ross Finlay who braved the TransVulcania half marathon in Mallorca. Over 2000m/7000ft of elevation gain across 24km/15Mi translated into a 02:49 effort and a 14th spot – well ahead of the women’s elite field and even clear of a number of male elites! While disappointed to miss out on the prize money a top 10 finish would have earned him, Ross is already making plans for next year:
“I might do the full ultra next year. It’s only 45Mi”, he says, completely unaware of how insane he sounds.