Surrey Road League 2017

The Surrey Road League is over for 2017! The League is a made up of seven road races hosted by six clubs throughout the summer months. It was London City AC’s fourth year competing in the league and our best so far! Our Men’s team finished 3rd and our Women’s team finished 6th out of over 30 clubs. This is an extraordinary achievement in only our fourth year since our club formed and our first after moving into our new home at Southwark Athletics Centre. By comparison, the winners this year, Ranelagh Harriers were formed in 1881! Many teams including Ranelagh Harriers were taking the league very seriously this year and some extraordinary performances were witnessed – including the course record at the Wimbledon 5k being broken by the first two finishers.

Congratulations to our top individual performers this year. Jo Tillman who finished 3rd in her category and Calvin Mullings who finished 6th in his. Special congratulations and thanks goes to our long standing club General Secretary, Denise Watson, who was not only the sole representative for the women’s team at the Wimbledon 5k, but she raced being 7 months pregnant and still finishing in a stellar time. The final league tables can be viewed here.

Whilst there is an elite end, these races are comfortable for all levels of running which make them great social occasions for our club. With an entry start on Sunday mornings and the races out of the way by mid morning, the rest of the summers day can be enjoyed in a pub garden. But now we look forward to winter and the Metropolitan League Cross Country starting in October.

Congratulations, Coach Melrose!

Andy Melrose, our club committee Chairperson, has recently qualified as an Athletics Coach through England Athletics.

Andy had already completed the Coaching Assistant award. After a few months of assisting Neil and Jim at the track nights he decided to take the next step and go for the full UK Athletics Coach level. He passed with flying colours at his final formal assessment day on Sunday 16th July 2017. So we will see him leading sessions from now on as part of the London City AC coaching team. We’re so proud of you, Coach Melrose!

Lessons from London Marathon 2017

If you learn anything from marathon running, it is to learn to manage your inner voice. Running for so many miles, both in preparation for the event and the actual event itself, you are forced into a process of introspection which you cannot escape. My inner voice in particular is of the pointedly unkind and pervasive sort. It reminds me constantly of my failings and that everyone is always fitter, faster, and runs with more finesse than I do.

My inner voice is also singly exceptional in finding me reasons to stop. There’s a park bench generously situated on the edge canal (I can picture it clearly in my mind’s eye as I write. It is that clearly imprinted in my memory). I calculate that the elevation of the hill would be much better for you if you walked. Oh, look at the little ducklings. We love ducking don’t we? The sun’s out – surely you’ll need your sunglass now, but alas, they are at home next to the couch.

What is even more perplexing about the process is that you are doing it to yourself – willingly. The cross you bare is your own – no one has forced you into this undertaking and you can, if you so chose, stop at any stage.

If you think you are resilient enough to complete the training without any of these troubles you are wrong. Embarking on any marathon training thinking it will be easy is like running fool’s errand.

Yet, we do. And this, our biggest weakness, that we are amateurish, becomes our biggest strength. We foolishly fumble our way through training plans developed for other people, run at paces across distances our bodies are neither prepared or built for. We eat a hodge-podge of food, increasing elements that make no real difference (low-glycemic or not), and wash it all down with array of booze (up to the penultimate week of training because I’m tapering in the last week, of course).

But it is in all of this that we have an opportunity to find a sense of ourselves that isn’t always
available to us. We push our bodies across the 16 weeks of training to a point where, in my case anyway, it learnt to hide away the niggles and pains I would feel for days after a normal run. It would always find that little something extra when I realised I had missed the turn to start the return journey and I would have to cover another 5 miles. When I can think of nothing worse than running 8 miles on a Wednesday, after a long day at work, in near freezing conditions and the blisters from the weekend run have only started to stop hurting…it pushed me through. But better than all this it helps you contain your inner voice. Not completely, but enough to give you some space to start enjoying your running again. Even if it was just a slow recovery run.

On marathon day, when everyone else is running passed you, your inner voice is there with you too. It hasn’t abandoned you. True, it’s laughing at you, calling you names and willing you to stop. It finds its voice about mile 15, by 20 miles it is bellowing in your ears and by 23 miles it is having an orgy of self-gratifying humiliation at your expense. But it’s there. This is no Gethsemane. Of course, after 16 weeks of training you’ve trained your legs, your core, your lungs and all those little systems that work amazingly in support of you covering the 26.2 miles but you’ve also trained your mind to ignore your inner voice, to block out it’s message and instead channel its focus into helping you through those last 6 miles.

And it’s at that point that you start to notice things.

The sound of someone calling your name. The London City AC banner standing out against the noise and multitudinous array of similar ones. Cheering club members emerge in a sea of unfamiliar faces (thanks Denise and Stefan), friends positioned where the crowds have thinned and the skyline bleak; like Poplar, to cheer you on and tell you are beating Gordon Ramsey (thanks Alison and Matt) and friends and loved ones planning their London Marathon support strategy in more detail than your entire 16 weeks training (thanks Zoe and Amy).

These are moments your inner voice cannot touch. No one can. They too are the moments, now after running two marathons, that I remember most vividly. They are the moments you should think about signing up for, and ultimately, they are things that make marathon running worthwhile. Not your time, not you pace or the medal at the end (both of which are already at the bottom an unremembered draw). These things don’t really matter. What matters is taking control of the voice inside you that challenges your self esteem and self worth and learning putting it back in its place. Your Vo2 max will fade, but your new strength of character will not.

Will I run another? Well, I’m not sure. I know of a bench, on a hill, with little duckies wading in the water that I wish sit and watch in the sun. I’ll have to get back to you. Adrian Donovan

London Marathon 2017


Matthew Allen 03:47:17
Audinga Andruskeviciute 03:07:19
Whitney Ball 04:01:03
Jamie Barber 03:48:07
Adrian Donovan 03:35:32
Marie Duignan 03:23:37
Derek Griffin 02:43:59
Kaleigh Jones 03:40:45
Caroline Kelly 03:12:01
James Lobo 03:20:25
Grant Schmidlechner 02:36:59
Andrew Shreeve 02:53::44
Angharad Smith 03:10:30
Nick Sutcliffe 04:40:50
Sarah Wharton 03:25:43

Jo Pavey and David Weir visit Southwark Athletics Centre

During their preparations for the Virgin London Marathon 2017 Jo Pavey and David Weir visited our newly refurbished Southwark Athletics Centre. The athletes met runners from London City Athletics Club and King’s College London Athletics Club also running this years marathon and mini marathon.

Read more on the Virgin London Marathon website.


Marie Duignan meets Prince Harry at the London Marathon Expo!

As part of preparations for the London Marathon 2017 we sent our runner Marie Duignan to meet Prince Harry at the opening of the London Marathon Expo opening.

Paris Marathon 2017

Félicitations to all our London City AC runners in Paris last weekend for the Paris Marathon. A massive 43,754 athletes competed in the world-famous City of Light. Even under sweltering skies, London City AC smashed it with Personal Bests aplenty.

London City AC win first ever trophy at Met League Cross Country!

The fifth and final race of the Met League Cross Country 2016/17 season was at Alexandra Palace Park on 11th February 2017. Going into the race our women’s team were top of Division 2 by just 62 points. This is equivalent to one high scoring runner. Both women’s and men’s teams turned up in high numbers to race and to support the women’s race.

In the end our women’s team absolutely smashed it and finished the season 172 points ahead, thus securing top spot, promotion to division 1 and winning our club’s first ever trophy comprehensively. We enjoyed plenty of cake, mud, war paint and in the end a shiny trophy to shamelessly show off to anyone who will listen. All our runners took points all over the place and the men’s team will be inspired by the women’s team come the next Met League season and hopefully for this summers Surrey Road League.

Rather than harp on anymore about how great we are and how amazing our runners are, here is a film by our members Nigel Shardlow and Andy Melrose so you can see what a Cross Country event is like!


Welcome to London City AC track training in Southwark Park!

Tuesday 4 October 2016 was a momentous day for London City AC as we took to the newly refurbished athletics track in Southwark Park for our inaugural track training session.

Over 100 athletes participated in coached sessions in endurance running, sprints and throws. It was a truly exciting evening after over two years of waiting. The first night on the track did not disappoint. The opening was covered by Southwark News.

London City AC are working in collaboration with King’s College London AC to offer track training, which is exclusive to club members, every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6pm until 8:30pm. The sessions are open to all London City AC members and suitable for runners and athletes of ALL abilities.

We look forward to seeing you at the track!

London City AC launches with Southwark Park 10K

London City Athletics Club celebrated its official launch by hosting a 10K race in Southwark Park. A sunny Mother’s Day morning set the scene for almost 200 runners to tackle three laps of the park to mark the creation of London’s newest athletics club.

The race was started by Simon Hughes, former MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark, who in a pre-race speech provided runners with an historical picture of the park.

Andy Greenleaf of Winchester & District Athletics Club was first across the line in 32:13 and over 20 seconds clear of his neaest challenger. Jess Fawcett of London City AC breached the 40 minute mark to take first place in Senior Womens category with 39:50.

The London City AC launch race was a UK Athletics licensed event. The race which also featured a Junior 3K race was organised in a partnership between London City AC and the RUN! Southwark’s Athletics Activator. London City AC will now be looking to compete regularly in regional road running, cross country and track field competitions at senior and junior level. Results can be found here.