SAL Match 4 – Carshalton July 13th 2019

The David Weir stadium in Carshalton was the scene for match 4 of Southern Athletics League division 3 South East, as the LCAC track and field squad took on Swale, Sutton & District and Cambridge Harriers. With a match that was just about within sight of a tube station, LCAC took a strong squad including some new recruits – could we hold our own in a match against two clubs that finished in the top 8 in 2018?

First up were the women’s throws.  Rachael Collins, Lisa Geary and Dee Strang were in action again for LCAC, with all three producing valuable points in the different events.  Rachael, still carrying an injury preventing her from full running duties continued her excellent form, taking first place in the ‘A’ shot putt with a 8.84m throw, good for first place by nearly 80cm; Lisa grabbed 2nd place in the ‘B’ with a powerful throw of 5.39m.  Dee produced an impressive 13.36m throw in the hammer, securing 3rd place.  

With the track events starting, Nick Androulidakis was up first in the 400m hurdles as LCAC’s sole representative, and with the usual excellent technique over the jumps put in a season’s best of 77.41 and third place in the A competition.   Next up was the 800m, wth Stewart Muir and Olly Bellamy in the same race for LCAC. At the bell both were at the back of a tight pack – in the end Olly put in a strong kick in the last 200m to finish 3rd in the A race with a PB of 2:10, with Stew not far behind, also improving from match 3 with a PB of 2:11 and 3rd in the B.  

LCAC fielded their strongest men’s sprint team of the season for this match – stalwart sprinter Mike Harwood returned from injury, taking his place in the blocks alongside Chris Kiely, and exciting young prospects Iyobosa Igbineweka and Oscar Tsan.  The four all showed impressive speed, and the value of a full team, with some excellent performances – in the 100m, Iyobosa stormed to 2nd place in the A race in 11.97, and followed this up with victory in the 200m A race in a blistering 24.06. Chris stormed to first place in the B 100m in 11.86, and Mike showed he was back to form with a rapid 12.73 in the 100m and 25.74 in the 200m. U17 athlete Oscar showed he was more than ready for senior competition with an electric 25.87 in the 200m. For the women, Kirsty Benham has been a force in the sprints all season, and she continued her excellent form with a 14.49 100m and 30.09 dash in the 200m.  In the 400m, we again turned in some strong showings; Chris added a 53.36 performance, under 0.2s away from first place, with Nick completing the 400m double with a speedy 65.52 in the B. Mat Barber also represented well as non-scorer, turning in a new PB of 68.85. In the women’s, Kirsty once again showed her versatility in the longer sprint, powering to a new PB of 66.75 and 3rd place in the A race. LCAC were hanging in against their rivals here, with points coming in from nearly all events.

In the discus and javelin, LCAC again represented strongly – Rachael found herself in a tight competition for first place in the A, launching a 24.58m throw to take second place, with Lisa Geary capping another excellent all-round throws performance with a 10.67m throw for 4th in the B. Raul Montoliu has proved to be a great asset to the squad this season, and was also throwing multiple objects for LCAC – he bolstered the points total further with a 16.28m javelin throw, a 21.28m hurl of the discus and 3rd place in the shot with a 6.42m effort. 

Nick was back in action, transferring his hurdling skills to the triple jump, with an excellent 8.61 effort, he took second place in the A and Oscar dialled up an impressive 4.90m leap in the long jump for 4th place in the A. 

The middle and long distance events are always the ones that LCAC can represent strongly in; Mat Speed made his first SAL appearance of the season, and what an appearance – a season’s best of 4:19 gave us second place in the A race, with his brother Chris also turning in an impressive 4:57 for 2nd in the B.  In the women’s 5000m, Marie Duignan was leading with a few laps to go, but sadly had to drop out of the race as injury took its toll towards the end – an unfortunate ending but only a minor blip on an otherwise storming season for her. Maria Butylina came home for LCAC in a speedy 23:09, an impressive time with the temperature picking up at this stage of the day.  Maria has racked up the events this season, and also went in the 1500m – turning in an impressive 6:30 performance for 3rd place in the A race. In the men’s 3000m, we were again among the podium finishes in the A and B races; Olly and Joe Jenkinson worked together well over the 7 and a half laps, grinding out PBs in gutsy times of 10:03 and 10:10 respectively, with Joe Dalton (11:10, PB) and Fergal Dunne (12:25) putting in sterling efforts as non-scorers. 

The final events of the day were the gruelling steeplechase, and the relays.  Olly and Nick dug deep to both run PBs in the 3000 version, in 11:54 and 14:00.  Maria decided to seize the day just before the start of the women’s 1500m steeplechase race and powered round in 7:34 to take 2nd place.  Time for the relays, and LCAC were determined to go out with a bang; in the 4x100m, the men’s quartet of Mike, Joe Dalton, Oscar and Iyobosa put in a brilliant performance, getting the baton round in 48.8, just 0.8 off the lead and the fastest time of the season for LCAC.  The women’s team of Kirsty, Marie, Lisa and Dee also battled hard and brought home 3rd place in 69.3. The final event of the day was the mixed relay, and Olly, Dee, Kirsty and Iyobosa rounded the day out nicely with another 3rd place in 4:39.

LCAC just missed out on 3rd place on the day with an overall haul of 128 points, with Swale slightly ahead on 134 – but this was again a solid total to keep us on course for an improved finish over last year.  Consistency has been the key this season in the throws, shout outs here to Dee, Lisa, Rachael and Raul for continuing to rack up PBs and impressive throws across all the disciplines. On the track, Olly put in a serious day’s work with four events, and Nick three, and the welcome sight of a full men’s sprint team, with some rising stars in Iyobosa and Oscar, strongly boosted the points total.  Again a solid turnout, but what could we do with a full team, plus the promise of a short tube journey and the bright lights of the enticing alehouses of Tooting as the reward for completing the last fixture?

Stay tuned…..

Full results can be found here

SAL Carshalton – Match 4

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SAL Match 3 – Guildford June 15th 2019

The LCAC track and field squad made the journey into Surrey for match 3, taking on Herne Hill, Worthing and hosts Guildford and Godalming for match 3 of the Division 3 SE Southern Athletics League. LCAC missed a few regulars through injuries, but without a direct clash with the road league this time, the squad was boosted with some new recruits, including a few fairly crazy people who decided that multiple track events would be the perfect warm-up to the road fixture the next day.

In the women’s throws, Rachael Collins, Dee Strang and Lisa Geary again formed a formidable trio, of note was Rachel’s 24.86 season’s best in the javelin and PB of 18.80 in the hammer. Lisa also turned in PBs in the discus (16.62) and javelin (13.37) and Dee was also at the PB party, launching a 17.54 hammer throw, and hitting a season’s best in the discus (13.72). Tim Campion was back for the men’s team and he and Raul Montoliu kept the points coming in. Tim’s discus throw of 34.4 was less than a metre away from first place in the A competition, whilst Raul put in PBs in the discus (2nd in the B with 18.67), shot and javelin, as well as some multitasking in the high jump for a 4th PB.

The track races had started in earnest – first up for LCAC was the 800m with Alice Aniello and Mai Kakehi representing for the women. In a strong field, both put in gutsy bell-laps to take PBs of 2:31 and 2:43 respectively. In the men’s race Dante Hall and Stewart Muir went in race 1 – in a tight pack Dante was in contention, but got boxed in and had to settle for second, but in an impressive 2:07 (PB). Stew came home in 2:12 for a PB, and Fergal Dunne made it 3 PBs out of 3, clocking 2:54 in race 2.

In the sprints LCAC were again a little short-staffed but Kirsty Benham and Fernanda Susanna put in the hours for the women across the 100m, 200m and 400m. Kirsty continued her storming form with a new PB of 67.2 in the 400m and Fernanda ran a lightning 12.9 for 2nd in the A in the 100m and a PB.

Dante and Stew mixed it up and stepped in for the 100m, even both electing to avoid the standing start and masquerade as proper sprinters – Dante turned in a solid 12.6 with Stew finishing in13.8. Simon Brown and Phil Kynaston represented in the 400m, showing their kick from the longer events with solid times of 69.1 and 61.9 respectively.

Into the 3000m and Marie was putting in double time, running a strong 11:03 for a season’s best. Simon Brown ran an impressive 17:19 in the men’s 5000m A race follow his 400m escapades, with Joe Jenkinson running a solid 18:20 in the B and Phil Kynaston continuing his ultra-preparation with an 18:30 finish.

The 1500m saw Mai and Marie Duignan tag-team it, working together in the pack for some more strong times and points – Mai ran a 5:10 PB and Marie a 5:17 season’s best. The men’s 1500m was a veritable LCAC-fest – Adam Millbery (4:25, PB), Tommy Rushton (4:41,SB), George Ashdown (4:48), Phil (5:06, PB) and Fergal (6:00, PB) all duked it out like a Tuesday night at Southwark park across two races for some exciting intra-club competition. With no reason not too (apart from, perhaps, tiredness maybe) Tommy jumped straight into the 2000 steeplechase and straight over some barriers. Stew was making his SC debut as well and the two added some more points for LCAC with times of 7:46 and 7:27 respectively.

Fernanda was back in action in the high jump, with a 1.55 leap giving her second place in the A, but she had enough left in the tank for a jaunt in the 4x100m relay; alongside Kirsty, Rachael and Marie, for a super quick 57.3 (SB). Mai jumped in for Marie in the 4x400m team and the quartet showed some impressive speed for the end of the day, turning in a new team relay PB of 4:23! The men’s team of Simon, Stew, Tommy and Phil fared slightly less well, but survived minor collisions on baton changeover, and even running slightly out of lane, to successfully finish both races! Reports of an official suggesting that we may have been disqualified if we’d been a bit closer to the other runners are unconfirmed, but Phil and Tommy were on around their 4th straight race, so we won’t worry too much about this one. Great job relay team!

Despite missing quite a few regulars through injuries, we showed some heroics in this one to represent in almost all the running and jumping events, and the throwers were in strong contention all day. LCAC came third behind Guildford and Herne Hill and ahead of Worthing. On the track, several athletes went outside the comfort zone to go in a non-specialised race, and the points all added up. Shout-outs to Kirsty and Fernanda for keeping us up there in everything requiring a sprint, and Tommy for putting in a gruelling streak of races in the second half, plus the long jump, also coming to the pub, and then running road league the next day!

3 down, 2 to go…….

Full results can be found here

SAL Guildford – Match 3

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Love Trails Festival 2019

“Running in a nice place is much better than other sorts of running”. London City AC members review the Love Trails Festival on the Gower Peninsula, Wales.

Compiled from reports by Jamie Barber, Andrew Farrell, Heather Haggis, Jane Maciver and Nick Sutcliffe.

If you can imagine a small friendly festival, in a great location, with great eats and running. Yes running!  So people go to festival and run, right?  Well not until a few year ago.

As Andrew Farrell explains, Theo Larn-Jones and George Restall created Love Trails when they took a small group of friends to Snowdon in 2016.  Folk like to run trails and combining it with music, talks and other inspirational and creative stuff just makes sense.

As the name suggests, Love Trails is trail dominated and the attendees range from novice trail runners through to seasoned mountain champions and this year London City AC were lucky enough to attend as running leaders.

So what do you do at a trail running festival? The slightly puzzled response Nick Sutcliffe received when people heard of his weekend plans. Well you run of course, you can run as much or as little as you want; from 3k to 55k, up and down hills, scrambling over cliffs or on the moors with the wild horses. Run to surf, run to wild swim, run to coasteering and run to paragliding. Run to the pub, run to wine tasting and run to banquet. Who would have though running would pair so well with so many things?

Jane Maciver didn’t know what to expect when she signed up to Love Trails, but was not disappointed. Still injured and slightly apprehensive about running, Jane managed up to 7k and took part in a 5k ‘Guided Trail Run’ delighted to find out only the day before that London City AC’s Heather and Nick were the guides! “They were expertly enthusiastic, guiding our rather slow group over the toughest (yet beautiful) 5k terrain I’ve ever run.“

All that exertion making you thirsty? There’s beer, wine and gin; coffee, juices and plenty of water too. And music – lots of it.

The music was impressive, the collection of bands and DJ’s made for an epic night of dancing and raving in the Welsh National Park, partying to the backdrop of the magnificent Woebley Castle, keeping warm by the campfires and listening to comedy under the canopy of the stars.

There are talks too; from the man who swam around Britain, to the researcher studying the effects of micro-dosing LSD on running performance. Who knew?

Around Britain swimmer, Ross Edgley, – ‘naive enough to start, stubborn enough to finish’ – clearly struck a chord with Jamie Barber. Although as positive as this very positive man was, his account of bits of his tongue falling off and repeated jelly fish stings did make Jamie think that perhaps stubbornness should be put aside from time to time although he admits that his personal experience of breaking up a 10 mile run with a bit of wild swimming and cliff jumping makes him think perhaps there is a place for being in the water after all.

Talk takeaways for Heather Haggis included improved running techniques from James Holt and new-found confidence in her ability to complete a multi-stage event, thanks to Matt Buck’s inspiring talk on multi-stage ultras.

There’s so much going on but it’s the people, the atmosphere and beautiful location that make Love Trails one of the running highlights of the year.It is the festival to go with your mates or alone because everyone is so friendly. The whole weekend has a great feel good vibe and it’ll leave you on a high, and with great memories for weeks.

Early bird tickets are out for next year. GO!

SAL match 2 – Wimbledon May 19th 2019

After last month’s long trip to historic Hastings, LCAC went into battle a bit closer to home for SAL Match 2, in leafy Wimbledon.

A short distance away, Venus Williams, John McEnroe and Lleyton Hewitt were serving up an exhibition match to celebrate Court Number 1’s new retractable roof. (And rest assured this intrepid reporter won’t ‘let’ the opportunity to shoe-horn in some tennis references slip by). However, the main event was at Wimbledon Park Athletics Track, as the LCAC team ran, jumped and threw their way to another very successful meet. One team member (*cough* Mike Harwood) even managed all three simultaneously…but more of that later.

Women’s hammer team of Rachael Collins and Dee Strang

First, hammer time. In the women’s competition, after some close line calls and deliberations worthy of Hawk-Eye, Dee Strang’s strong hammer debut of 11.48m saw her claim 3rd place in the B group, while Rachael Collins’ outstanding throw of 18.63m (breaking her own LCAC club record) took 3rd place in the A group. Ally Stanleywho had decided to limit himself to just the 10 events in Wimbledon due to an injury got his programme underway in the men’s event with a powerful throw of 26.18m for 3rd place in the A.

Next up, women’s shot put, and Court 1’s new roof might have come in handy as the heavens opened just as competition got underway. However, athletes are made of stronger stuff than tennis players (or perhaps just have a lower tolerance for Cliff Richard’s singing) and rain didn’t stop play. Rachael Collins threw an excellent 8.13m with her first throw before deciding to retire from the competition. Reports that Rachael took coaching tips from Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ (“You only get one shot, do not miss your chance”) are, as yet, unconfirmed. Either way, her one shot was good enough for 2nd place in the A and Lisa Geary’s solid throw of 5.96m took 3rd in the B.

In the men’s high jump, Ally Stanley was reaping the rewards of his comparatively leisurely schedule and soared over 1.73m to take 2nd place in the A. He then sped off for the 400m hurdles, winning the A race comfortably in a very quick 57.7 – more than 9 seconds ahead of his closest rival.  Long-term LCAC supporters will know that Nick Androulidakis has ‘previous’ in claiming some dubiously quick times on the track. And Nick (*coincidentally* former club record holder over the 400m hurdles!) was up to his old tricks in Wimbledon, managing to get himself announced as winner of the event on the day. While rightful order was restored in the official results, much credit goes to the Wimbledon stadium announcer for his faultless Greek pronunciation!

There was much less controversy in the next track event – the men’s 800m – where the rain poured down for the second time. LCAC was represented by Olly Bellamy and Simon Brown, each competing in multiple track events.  Both men performed strongly and finished very well in the wet conditions, with Olly taking 2nd in the A in 2:14 and Simon 2nd in the B in 2:23, to keep the points rolling in for LCAC.

A slightly damp start to the 800m for Simon and Olly
Olly ensuring his 800m effort will be on Strava later

Next up was the first of the sprint events – the women’s and men’s 100m. And LCAC’s sprinters showed that their storming season-opener in Hastings wasn’t a one-off.  In the women’s competition, Lisi Freeman-Alarconput in an impressive runtaking 4th place in the A in a time of 14.8, while Kirsty Benhamclocked a speedy 14.5 to take 4th place in the BIn the men’s competition, LCAC’s sole representative Mike Harwood powered home in a time of 12.4 to take 4th in the A. Mike then teamed up with Ally Stanley (by now up to his 4th event on the day) for the men’s shot put. In a quality field, both bettered their throws from Hastings and contributed valuable points to LCAC’s total, Ally picking up 3rd place in the A with a throw of 10.15m and Mike taking 3rd in the B with 9.80m.

Lisi Freeman-Alarcon in action in the 100m

Over in the women’s javelin, Rachael Collins continued an impressive all-round throws performance, winning the A competition with a throw of 23.44m. LCAC’s Dee Strang who was officiating the javelin competition may ask for danger money next time, as she came perilously close to being speared by some of Rachael’s long looping throws! Lisa Geary on her javelin debut didn’t cause the same level of worry for Dee, but did manage 3rd place in the B with a throw of 12.34m. Meanwhile, in the long jump competition, LCAC’s sole representative in the sand pit, Nick Androulidakis, showed that his technique is coming on in leaps and bounds with a jump of 4.32m for 4th place in the A.  

Olly questioning his choices on the 400m start line

Back to the track for the 400m. In the women’s event Kirsty Benham continued to shine, taking 2nd place in the B with a powerful run of 66.0. In the men’s, Olly Bellamy was back for the A event but, based on the photo below, was possibly regretting his decision to sign up after a few pints earlier in the week! Nevertheless, he dug deep to take 4th place with a quick time of 59.0. Nick Androulidakis was (unsurprisingly) unable to maintain “his” blistering speed from the 400m hurdles earlier in the day, but still powered home in 64.1 for 4th in the B.

Meanwhile, Maria Butylina was following one of the lesser-known tapering plans for her impending marathon and had signed up for long, middle and sprint distance events on the track. First up was the women’s 5000m where a very well-timed run by Maria in 23:50 took 2nd in the A competition and some very valuable points for the team.

Ally opening up LCAC pole vault section

The next field event – and a first for the club – was the men’s pole vault. And what a debut for LCAC! While a new LCAC club record was already guaranteed, Ally Stanley soared over the bar at 3.00m to win the A competition, a full 40cm ahead of 2nd place. Ally also brought a Diamond League feel to the event by urging the crowd (the competitors in the nearby women’s discus!) to join in an encouraging slow clap which built to a crescendo as he cleared the bar.

Back in the women’s discus (once the pole vault excitement had died down) the club continued its excellent throws performance. Rachael Collins capped a fine individual display with another LCAC club record in the A event – a storming throw of 20.43m taking 2nd in the A competition, while Lisa Geary’s throw of 15.40m topped the B group. In the men’s javelin, Ally sprinted round the track from the pole vault competition to grab 2nd place in the A with a formidable throw of 43.61m. And Raúl Montoliu on his LCAC debut showed the club’s strength in depth, taking 4th place in the B with a throw of 14.27m.   

Women’s discus team of Lisa Geary and Rachael Collins
Triumphant 10kers Andy,
Marie and Tommy

On to the middle distance events, with Tim Sherman and Simon Brown lining up for LCAC in the 3000m. Round these parts, it’s traditional for tall, well-mannered men called Tim to have physical structures named after them. Henman had his Hill, so what does Sherman get? A stand, perhaps? Sherman Stand…nah, that’ll never catch on! Nevertheless, Tim put in an excellent performance in the A, taking 2nd in a pleasingly round number of 10:00.00 with Simon closely behind in 10:08 for 2nd place in the B. Meanwhile, back in Sherman Stand, the raucous LCAC support was bolstered by the arrival of Marie Duignan, Andy Melrose and Tommy Rushton, fresh from some cracking PBs in the nearby Sutton 10k.

 View from Wimbledon’s new ‘Sherman Stand’

Ally took a short break from his field heroics for the 110m hurdles – and powered home to another first place finish in a rapid 17.0. The 200m races also saw some noteworthy performances from the LCAC sprint squad, with Kirsty Benham clocking 29.7 and Mike Harwood 25.6 to take 4th in their respective A races.

Mike Harwood in action in the 200m

Next up was the middle distance part of Maria Butylina’s madcap marathon taper plan – aka the 1500m – and Maria put in an excellent run of 6:45 for 4th in the A race. George Ashdown took 2nd place in the men’s A event with a quick time of 4:43 while Olly Bellamy notched up his third quality performance of the day, with 2nd in the B in 4:51.

  Men’s 1500m team of George Ashdown and Olly Bellamy

And then it was time for the relays. The well-drilled men’s 4 x 100m quartet of Nick, Ally, Olly and Mike saw the baton safely round in a very quick 50.2 to take 3rd place. And after his lead-off leg, Nick continued to sprint round the track to the sandpit to register a triple jump of 7.66m, taking 4th in the A competition.

The 4 x 400m relay was the final track event of the day. For the first time in SAL history it was a mixed event and LCAC had assembled a crack squad of Kirsty, Maria, Mike and Ally. Kirsty started quickly on lap 1 and Maria maintained position strongly on lap 2 – ticking off the last part of that marathon taper plan. On lap 3 veteran Mike didn’t quite manage to run the full lap due to a dramatic calf injury in the last few metres of the home straight, but a hobble, a triple jump and a javelin throw of the baton to Ally kept the LCAC show on the road. As Mike crawled away from the action in a manner last seen in a Vietnam war movie, Ally set off on a blisteringly quick final lap, seeing the team home in 4:23 and 4th in the A race.

The final event of the day was the men’s discus. Ally completed his SAL decathlon with a fine throw of 33.73m to take 3rd in the A group and Raúl took 3rd in the B group with a strong 19.43m effort. By now, Mike was back on his feet (through a combination of ice pack, Haribo and not wanting to listen to any more age-related ‘banter’ from Olly) and was able to hobble to the pub with the rest of the LCAC crew to celebrate another great day out.

Overall,a fantastic showing by the LCAC squad: strong debuts, impressive multi-event performances, three new club records, and the club soaring to new heights in its first ever pole vault competition. Special mention to Ally and Rachaelfor being ranked amongst the top 10 ‘Athletes of the Day’ for their performances in the 400m hurdles and javelin respectively.

A big thank you to Hercules Wimbledon AC for a very enjoyable and well-organised meet.  We finished in 4th place, running East Grinstead close for 3rd and remain well ahead of the club’s points total at this stage last year.

Next up: Match 3 in Guildford on 15 June. See you there!

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SAL match 1 – Hastings April 13th 2019

After a promising rookie season in the Southern Athletics League, LCAC are back for another crack in 2019.  The first fixture of the season drew us in Hastings – could this be the start of an LCAC conquest in SAL Division 3 South East?  Will there be a breakaway section of the club that embarks on an elaborate sewing project, to construct a Bayeux-style tapestry of the LCAC 2019 season for our future clubhouse?

A strong squad made the hour and a half train trip to the South coast, with willing alternates jumping in to cover for some late injuries.   The dedicated LCAC team coach, aka the 26A bus, arrived on schedule to ferry our squad door-to-door to the picturesque Hastings track.  LCAC had some of our best representation in the sprints and throws so far, which would add valuable points to the tally.

The day began in the sun with the women’s hammer – Rachael Collins started off a fine all-round performance representing in the throws, launching a 16.82m effort to take 4th place in the A category.  Maria Butylina was also putting in extended duty with a mix of track and field events, and was up next in the long jump – duly taking 3rd place in the A category with a 3.13m leap.

Recent signing Ally Stanley was making his LCAC debut, starting the day with an elaborate, break-dancing style foam rolling routine performed on the floor of bus stand 1.  The men’s hammer was the first in a formidable 12 event day for Ally, teaming up with Joe Dalton and showing the impressive LCAC strength in depth with Richard Jones sadly out due to a late injury and Tim Campion unavailable.  The dynamic duo made their assault on the leader board; Ally came second in the A group with a 27.07m throw, with Joe putting in a 13.88m heave to take second in the B – the points were starting to roll in early.

Then, it decided to hail.  The women’s shot putt was just getting underway.  The officials asked if some kind of postponement was needed – but Rachael Collins and Lisa Geary are not the sort to be slowed down by an ice blizzard.  Launching the silver sphere through the monsoon, Rachael stormed to 1st place in the A group with an 8.05m catapult and Lisa added further points in the B with an impressive 5.55m throw for 3rd place.  No postponement required!

Women’s shot putt team of Lisa Geary and Rachael Collins

As the hail lashed down, Ally Stanley moved into intense multi-tasking mode as the men’s high jump got underway.  Unperturbed, and having lived through much worse weather on most days of his Scottish upbringing, Ally dialled up a 1.75m leap to take 1st place in the A, beating his closest rival by 15cm.   Deciding that the gaps between jumps were essentially time wasted, Ally got in the blocks for the 400m hurdles, powering through in 57.1 to take the A group top spot and an LCAC club record.  Then back to the high jump.

Left: Distributing the team lunch kindly provided by Hastings AC in the LCAC tent.  Right: controversy in the high jump. 

The next event was the men’s 800m, with Stewart Muir and James Screen on the track for LCAC.  James had his family down in support, inspiring the next LCAC generation.  Chasing a pack of Hastings AC runners, Stew, apparently now having decided that even 1500m was ‘a bit far’, came 2nd in the A group with a 2:15 run and James turned in a speedy 2:22 to take 2nd in the B.

Next up was the women’s and men’s 100m and LCAC was bolstered by a strong sprinter team in attendance.  Lisi Freeman-Alarcon, India Falconer and Kirsty Benham put in the first of impressive set of sprint performances with Lisi storming home in 14.8 to take 4th place in the A group and India powering through in 15.8 for 2nd in the B.  Kirsty, running as non-scorer produced an impressive 14.3 burst.  The rest of the season certainly looks bright for the LCAC women’s sprinters, with Rachael also hopefully back soon on the track from injury.

Women’s sprint team of India Falconer, Kirsty Benham and Lisi Freeman-Alarcon

Over to the men’s and Ally and Mike Harwood were in action – in a strong field both produced explosive runs with Ally’s 12.1 run getting 3rd place in the A and Mike clocking a 12.4 for 2nd in the B.  With no time to waste, Ally and Mike jogged round ¾ of the track straight into the shot competition and continued the LCAC points-fest – Ally picked up another 1st place in the A with a 9.89 throw and Mike’s throw of 9.75 comfortably won the B and would have been 2nd in the A – essentially a nice 1-2 for LCAC.  At the same time, Rachael was continuing her points tally in the women’s javelin – and came away with her second 1st place of the day with a 22.58m throw, over 7m ahead of 2nd place.  Maria Butylina also chipped in with valuable points in the B competition, throwing a strong 8.14m for 3rd place.

Olly and Ally take on the hail and the 400m field

Over in the long jump pit Nick Androulidakis was in making his first appearance of the day ably assisted by Joe DaltonJoe sprung to an impressive 4.71, falling forward and then fearlessly left out of the pit onto the concrete to unselfishly maintain the distance and take 3rd place in the A.  Nick came through with an excellent 4.10 leap to add 2nd in the B and keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Back at Hastings station, a seagull appeared hell-bent on keeping Dante Hall from competing in the 400m – no-one will ever know exactly what happened following the stare down that ensued, but Dante eventually gave his assailant the slip to take his place in the 400m alongside Ally and Olly BellamyAlly and Olly went in heat 1 – both getting fast starts, the pack was tight on the first bend with both in contention.  Ally managed to hang on for 2nd place in the A with a speedy 54.9Olly produced an impressive 57.0 to win the B category.  Dante, running as non-scorer and still looking over his shoulder for the seagull found an extra gear to come first in the second heat in a very strong time of 56.0.  Will a Matt Speed-style ‘project 400’ be on the cards?  Lisa Geary added the 400m to her impressive collection of events on the day, with a third place finish in the A group in 97.3.

It was time for the distance events – in the 3000m Florie Lhullier made her first appearance of the day to claim 3rd place in the A category with an excellent 12:49 effort – Maria was putting in the hours with the field events, but had plenty in the tank for a gutsy 13:11 for second in the B.

Florie in the 3000m

Ally was up to his 7th event by now and was racking up some serious points for the team – with a 44.02 throw he took another 1st place for LCAC.

Unconfirmed reports of a seagull on the officials table at the start of the men’s 5000m left LCAC with the sole representation of Koen Stockbroekx – but what representation – a storming run of 16:26 put him in 2nd place in the A category.

 Koen Stockbroekx in the 5000m

Over in the discus circle, Rachael Collins and Lisa Geary both finished 3rd in the A and B, producing impressive throws of 15.67 and 12.78 respectively.

Ally refuelled himself with Haribo and got in the blocks for the 110m hurdles – with only one other athlete competing, a gripping one-on-one contest ensued.  The race stayed tight until the last 20m when Ally pulled away – another first place was in the book.  The 200m featured some more strong performances – Kirsty put in a blinding 29.7 effort to claim 3rd in the A category.  This was followed by Ally adding a 27.5 in the men’s A and Mike a storming 25.9 in the B, running in the ‘200m Mike’, due to all the competitors in his heat also appearing to be named Mike.

The day was entering its final stages.  Stew, Olly and Maria took their intense rivalry into the 1500m, which on the way home would extend into a challenge of who could make the better Thai curry – results for that are TBC (mine has turnips in it, just saying).  Olly found an extra gear on lap 3 to pull away and chase down a couple of extra places in the last 200m, finishing in a speedy 4:40 for 2nd in the A and Stew not far behind with 4:43 for 2nd in the B. Nick continued his good form in the sandpit, triple jumping a springy 8.13 for 3rd place in the A group. Ally hadn’t done an event of any kind for at least five minutes, so decided to embark on the 2000m steeplechase.  A nearby official declared to the observing LCAC crowd that he may possibly be a little mad – no one from LCAC disagreed. Ally powered home in 7:18 for a second place finish – taking him up to 10 events on the day.

Relay time – and after a baton passing tutorial making use of some fallen tree branches, the changeovers were slick – the women’s quartet of Kirsty, India, Rachael and Lisi stormed home in 59.3 for a well-earned second place.  Mike, Stew, Olly and Ally were up for the men and sneaked 2nd place too in 49.6.

Rachael had one more event in her locker – the small matter of the 2000m steeplechase – storming home in 2nd place in 9:57 to add to the points haul.

The 4 x 400m was the final track event – Kirsty was flying on lap 1, putting the women’s team in strong contention – Maria and Florie hung on to second place, allowing Lisi to finish the job on the anchor leg to maintain position in 5:15.  For the men, James had expertly combined his racing day with a nice family beach trip, and fuelled by the sea air he returned to pull out a storming first lap, with Nick, Joe and Mike getting the baton round for a 4:12 finish and 3rd place.

Maria Butylina waiting to receive the baton from Kirsty Benham 

The final event of an action-packed day was the discus – Ally’s 12th event with Joe also jumping in straight after the relay.  The pair added the final points of the day with a 36.23 throw winning another A group for Ally and a 15.98 throw putting Joe top of the B group.

A great day out by the sea for the LCAC track and field squad, followed by a well-earned pint in a pub where we found out that no-one ever actually leaves Hastings.  If you do, you are destined to always come back – unless – you find a stone with a hole in it on the beach.  No-one did, so we’ll see you next time Hastings AC, thanks for a brilliant and well-organised meet.  We finished in second place on the day with our highest points total so far in the league – big shout out to the multi-eventers, with Ally, Rachael and Maria putting in some serious energy.  See you all in Wimbledon for match 2!

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London Marathon Volunteering

The alarm went off before 6am. An ungodly hour to be getting up, especially on a Sunday. But this wasn’t just any Sunday. It was 28 April, the day of the London Marathon and a small group of LCAC’ers weren’t running (a fact that seemed to make rolling out of bed that little bit easier), we were volunteering. First stop, London Bridge Station for a quick safety briefing and then out into the hall to direct traffic. “Blue start… track x, red start … track y, toilets … back up the tunnel, Gatwick Airport … no idea, you’ll need to check the board, no this is not Euston station”. A steady stream of runners and supporters made their way through the station for over three hours, some cutting it mighty fine arriving just after 9am as the LCAC volunteering team was making its way to Tooley Street for part 2 of the day. After a short briefing and with our high vis Marshall bibs on we were sent out to patrol a stretch from near the Coop all the way to Bermondsey station. For just over seven hours, we chased balloons, tennis balls and stragglers (pedestrians, that is, not runners) off the course, cheered runners and generally kept an eye out for anything odd. All in all a great day out. Such a brilliant way to get a completely different perspective on the event and to give a bit back to the fantastic community of runners participating on the day.

Kasia Sienko



Christmas Party & Awards Night

London City AC held its annual Christmas Party at SAMA Bankside this year in a hugely successful and enjoyable event. A huge thank you to Heather Haggis, who organised this year’s party. This year included our first ever awards ceremony. The awards were to celebrate the achievements of our members and to thank those hardworking volunteers who make everything happen.

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Awards

  1. Volunteer of the Year: Vikki McLachlan
  2. Cross Country Awards (For most points scored for 2017/18 Season): Jess Fawcett & Bryan Maillardet
  3. Southern Athletics League Awards (For most points scored for 2018 Season): Rachel Collins & Tim Campion
  4. Mooiman Award (For positive contribution to our Cross Country Men’s Team): Josh Slingsby & Adam Millbery (shared).
  5. Watson Award (For positive contribution to our Cross Country Women’s Team): Marie Duignan
  6. Spirit of Track Award: Sarah Buckley
  7. International Representative (For most events abroad): Hannu Simola
  8. London Marathon 2018 Awards (First finishers for the club): Bryan Maillardet & Helena Hayes
  9. Big Half 2018 Awards (First finishers for the club): Leah Ward-Bower & Calvin Mullings
  10. Funniest Moment: Edwin Mooiman
  11. 5 Year Service Awards (For 5 years on the London City AC Committee): Edwin Mooiman & Stefan Watson
  12. Life Membership Award (For outstanding contribution to the club): Denise Watson
  13. Draw for Club London Marathon 2019 places: Nick Androulidakis & Andrew Maillardet

Club Trip: Lanzarote 2018 Gallery

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London Marathon 2019 Club Ballot

London City Athletics Club have two places to ballot off to our members for the London Marathon 2019.

Members will receive confirmation of the number of places in early November when you will be invited to apply to enter our club ballot. The number we are awarded is based on the number of First Claim members we have, as explained here. The draw will take place at the Christmas Party & Awards Night on Saturday 15th December.

The London City AC committee have agreed the following criteria for entering this year’s ballot:

  • You must have entered, and been rejected for, the London Marathon 2019 public ballot and be able to evidence this with your rejection email or letter – KEEP YOUR REJECTION EMAILS AND LETTERS!
  • You must be an EA Affiliated First Claim London City AC member.
  • You must have raced or volunteered 3 times during 2018 for the club. Races only include all Met League, Southern Athletics League and Surrey Road League Races, plus the Helsinki and Lanzarote club trips. Volunteering does NOT include taking track registration (members receive a free track session per registration).
  • You cannot enter the ballot if you have received a place from the club in the previous 5 years.

Members – Keep your rejection emails and letters. If you haven’t raced for the club this year we have three Cross Country events remaining in 2018 starting with Claybury on 13th October.