Congratulations to all our runners at this year’s club trip! This year’s destination was the beautiful city of Vilnius in Lithuania. The event was host to races of various distances from Marathon to the unusual distance of 4.2k. Our runners went mostly for the Half Marathon, and two smashed the full Marathon. However, it wasn’t all about the running, as we enjoyed some excellent tourism which included a visit to the Vilnius Museum of Illusions!
Thank you to Audinga Andruskeviciute, one of our members who is from Vilnius and was an excellent tour guide for our team. Also thanks to Tony Wilson, who took many pictures and made a fantastic film of our trip (below).
Special congratulations to Laura Chesham who achieved a fantastic half marathon personal best. She achieved this despite suffering some nasty injuries after a fall during the race.
Shakir Khan 04:28:29
Hannu Simola 03:23:18
Maria Butylina 01:55:38
Laura Chesham 01:45:10
Sarah Deeny 01:57:19
Andrew Firth 01:53:04
Heather Haggis 01:47:48
Joe Jenkinson 01:40:09
Adam Millbery 01:26:44
Nick Sutcliffe 01:55:17
Jo Tillman 01:47:48
Alan Venning 01:45:07
Rachel Wilson 02:06:34
We’re excited to announce that London City Athletics Club has joined the Southern Athletics League! This will be a fantastic addition to our summer fixture list in addition to the Surrey Road League.
The Southern Athletics League is the Track and Field league for clubs in the SEAA region. London City AC will be joining 16 other clubs in Division Three South-East (although this may change if a ‘Central’ league is formed). The league runs from April to August with five fixtures, one in each month.
In our brief club history our members have only participated competitively in road and cross country running. As we approach the 1st anniversary of moving into our refurbished home, we are moving the club forward towards training and competing in all disciplines of athletics.
So, if you want to test your skills, speed and agility and take part in some track and field events next year, this is the place to be! You may be inspired by the recent World Championships that took place in London, you may be re-living your school days, or indeed you may be giving it a go for the first time. Either way, the Southern Athletics League will provide our members of allabilities the opportunity to compete in, and enjoy, athletics.
We are very excited to announce that London City Athletics Club has been awarded 50 community entries for the next big race to hit our streets – The Big Half, taking place on March 4th, 2018.
“Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported, The Big Half is a new one day festival centred around the half marathon distance, which aims to be truly global and uniquely local in a celebration of the wonderful cultural diversity of the great city of London.”
As some of you may know, general entries have already sold out. But the organisers ring-fenced a number of entries specifically for local community groups in the four London boroughs on the route – Southwark, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich. We have 50 of those entries to offer to our members and they only cost £10 each!
Question – Who can enter?
Answer – Any current senior member of London City AC!
You may be….
a seasoned half marathoner and looking for a PB
in marathon training (perfect timing for Spring marathons!) and need a build-up race
someone who has never run a half marathon before but always wanted to give it a go
someone who has never run a half marathon before and didn’t want to give it a go, but this chance to race on your doorstep and for a bargain price of £10, so it’s too good to turn down
Details on how to apply have been posted to the member’s Facebook group and sent via email. Please refer to those for further information. All other club fixtures can be found on our upcoming fixtures pages.
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.
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!
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.
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
Alan Venning 03:42:39
Sarah Wharton 03:25:43
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.
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.