Southern Athletics League: Fixture 3 at Tooting (23/6/18)

by londoncityac

It was hot. Even at 11am as the first of the women’s hammer throwers were limbering over to the throwing area. LCAC weren’t represented but as the sun beat down over those first competitors, Rachel Collins and Dee Strang were already warmed up, stretched, poised and ready to go in the women’s long jump. A monster 4.65m jump from Rachel providing a 1st place finish in the A category and an impressive 2.05m jump from Dee providing a 2nd place finish in the B category put the first LCAC points on the board.

They didn’t have time to rest or even collect their bags as they rushed over to the women’s shot put. Not that this seemed to matter to Rachel who proceeded to win that as well with a 9.07m throw. Dee put in another strong performance to throw 4.77 meters to finish 3rd in the B category.

Meanwhile in the men’s hammer, Richard Jones was able to throw 17.68m to finish 3rd, falling just short of Courtney Green of Kent Athletic Club who threw 19.62m.

Much to the amusement of Tuesday evening Southwark Park track users, Bryan Maillardet has recently been seen finishing his sessions by repeatedly throwing himself over the high jump bar. It was no surprise then to see him arrive in a pair of oversized reflective aviator sunglasses ready to take flight in the men’s high jump. George Hudson who in the preceding week had decided to sign up to everything SAL had to offer was by his side. Despite being flabbergasted by competitors in the high jump wearing spikes, Bryan was able to clear 1.45 meters to finish 3rd in the B category. George who undoubtable had one eye on start line for the upcoming 800m managed to beat the next height of 1.5m to finish 3rd in the A category.

The 400m hurdles gave him enough respite to warm up the legs and get himself over to the start line for the first of the LCAC represented running events. Matt Speed ran a hard fought two laps (even if I do say so myself ;)) to finish in 2nd place in the A category with a time of 2.08. George was close behind with a time of 2.19 to come 2nd in the B category.

In the women’s 100m, Rachel Collins was extremely close to maintaining her 100% winning streak. Her rapid 13.7 seconds was beaten by a hair and a freckle by Kimberley Garcia, a talented U17 sprinter from Paddock Wood and Folkestone Running Club.

Onto the men’s long jump. George Hudson who was seemingly unaffected by his earlier exploits in the high jump and on the track was now launching himself into the sandpit. He managed to jump 4.85m to finish 3rd in the B category while Tommy Rushton finished his first event of the day with a 4.32m jump to come 4th in the A category.

With the event now well behind schedule and the sun scorching the track for arguably the most difficult event of the day; Heather Haggis was able to fly round the women’s 400m to finish 3rd with a time of 76.1 seconds.

Up next was Sandra Marie in the women’s 3000m. Not put off by an apparently “chatty Southwark parkrun”, Sandra went off like a rocket and managed to hold on for 3rd place in the A category with a time of 12:13.

Chris Raveney’s winning throw in the men’s javelin was Herculean. A 34.47m best by James Nichols of Cambridge Harriers made him look to be cruising. Chris was completely unperturbed by this and produced a 40.26m throw to win the event by a country mile.

With Koen Stockbroekx not available for the men’s 5000m, Calvin Mullings seized the opportunity to turn some recent impressive 5km times into track success. It worked and he finished comfortably in 2nd place in the A category with a time of 16.21. Tommy Rushton finished 3rd in the B category with a time of 18.05. Non scoring competitors Matt Speed and Fergal Dunne finished with times of 16.52 and 22.51 respectively. Despite also running at Parkrun earlier that morning Andrew Shreeve seemed anxious about a diminished weekly mileage after an afternoon of watching athletics in the sun. He decided to run the 5000m and cruise round with a time of 18.29.

Back to the sprint events. Rachel Collins continued her dominant form and came 2nd in the A category of the women’s 200m with a time of 27.8 seconds.

The men’s 200m was keenly anticipated as 15 year old Alpha Bangura was due to make his debut. Unaffected by the step up from some recent incredible performances at junior level, his warm up starts were met with impressed murmurs from those watching and unease by those lingering by the start marshal. He was quick. Really quick. Alpha finished 3rd in the A category with a time of 24.9 seconds, an impressive first race from a talented young sprinter with a promising future. It was encouraging to see the investment in LCAC’s young athletes paying dividends in senior competition.

Jo Tillman ran a well-judged and well-paced 1500m, negatively splitting to finish with a time of 6.08 and a 3rd place finish.

With Cian Cunningham unable to compete due to illness, Adam Millbery, who had already agreed to leave his Strava control centre for the day, was promoted into the A category. Bryan Maillardet meanwhile removed the aviators and agreed to fill in the now vacant B spot. Joe Jenkinson was running his first competitive race since coming back from a frustrating injury while James Screen completed a strong LCAC field.  Adam spent the majority of the race with Bryan breathing over his shoulder. Bryan resisted his usual tactic and urge to shout threateningly at those ahead of him and Adam held him off to finish 3rd in the A category with a time of 4.33. Bryan was 2nd in the B category in 4.37. Joe’s return to racing undoubtedly provided him with a confidence boost as he hammered home in 4.49. James Screen completed an impressive set of LCAC 1500 times by finishing with a tidy 4.53.

Tim Campion represented LCAC in the final field event of the day, the men’s discuss, where he finished 3rd in the A category with a throw of 34.36m.

The LCAC camp moved over to the finish line for the women’s 4 x 400m relay making the support disproportionate to the apparent small number of competitors and spectators. Rachel Collins kicked things off and flew out of the blocks. Who would have thought that she had won the second event of the day six hours earlier?! Jo Tillman was handed the baton and proceeded to run an impressive 1.21 lap. All the more impressive considering that she had only finished the 1500m an hour and a half earlier. Lynda Cameron was due to do an aquathlon the next day but this did not put her off turning up specifically to hammer out a competitive 1.18 third leg. Heather Haggis was handed the baton and ran a 1.17 lap to bring home third place for the ladies and a time of 5.02.

The men’s 400m relay was the running equivalent of the farmer, chicken, fox and bag of grain challenge. Bryan Maillardet did not feel confident having the baton handed to him so he had to run first. Matt Speed could not be handed the baton by Bryan because he would laugh meaning he couldn’t run second. Fortunately Tommy Rushton and James Screen were dynamic enough to fill in the gaps. Bryan’s first lap took a minute. Tommy and James ran 1.04 apiece and Matt Speed finished with a one minute lap. The boys finished 2nd with a time of 4.09.

LCAC finished with 77 points, not far behind Paddock Wood and Folkestone Running Club’s 79. Cambridge Harries ended up with 183 while Kent Athletics Club finished with 227. Nevertheless, some outstanding individual performances, promising signs of LCAC’s age group athletics feeding into the senior squad and by far the best support made for a top day at SAL for LCAC.

Matt Speed


Crystal Palace Dino Dash Relays

by Alan Venning

Crystal Palace Fun Runners for hosted their awesome Dino Dash Relays again this week. We fielded 5 teams: Tyrunosaurus Rex, Di-not-see-us-coming-saurs, Londonladysaurus, Triassic 3 and London City Raptors. Each team was made up of three runners who ran an undulating 3k each. Full results and gallery can be found here.

No runners were eaten by Dinosaurs during this year’s event. Pity.

London City AC takeover at I Move London Relay

by londoncityac

London City AC will take part in a Guinness World Record attempt at the I Move London Relay. From 29th June until 29th July, 2,500 runners will complete 4,000 miles carrying 1 Baton in loops of 10k and 5k around the river Thames starting and ending in Potters Field.

Runners will be raising money in aid of three charities – The Running Charity, Sported and Laureus.

We will be taking over on Monday 23rd July with Road Running & Cross Country Secretary Alan Venning starting his 10k at midnight, and ending with Chairperson Andy Melrose running his 10k at 23:25.

Get involved, sign up here and join us on the 23rd July!


London Marathon 2018

by Alan Venning

Congratulations to all our runners at this year’s London Marathon!

    Enrico Benedetti 3:32:53
Maria Borg 4:32:43
Shannon Dempsey 4:56:47
Marie Duignan 3:47:29
Ciaran Faherty 2:32:58
Andrew Firth 5:07:06
Tara Gale 3:48:25
Natalie Greenstreet 5:04:08
Andy Grey 3:16:45
Coren Hanley 3:46:22
Helena Hayes 3:16:54
Yasmeen Hussain 3:44:19
Victor Hugo Limachi 3:27:53
Carolina Lanza 3:35:40
Bryan Maillardet 2:48:57
Calvin Mullings 2:50:48
Elizabeth Ottewell 4:50:14
Christina Pennock 3:22:13
Laura Piscitelli 4:08:28
Milena Radoycheva 3:51:51
Ollie Short 3:26:01
Angharad Smith 3:19:18
Mathew Speed 2:54:22
Gen Suzuki 4:15:59
Robert Thomas 3:50:43
Alan Venning 3:46:12
Leah Ward-Bower 3:18:34
Tabitha Warley 4:43:18
Stefan Watson 4:26:02
Penny Williams 3:19:06

Met League Cross Country Distances Ballot

by Alan Venning

In light of the recent and on-going debate on whether or not Cross Country race distances should be the same distance for both genders, London City AC conducted a member survey to establish their views. Our club competes in the Metropolitan Cross Country League in which the distances are 8K for Senior Men and 6K for Senior Women. Members were given a week to respond to an online survey and 50 members responded. Debate on the subject was encouraged and facilitated on our private social media channels.

The Results:

Q1: Do you believe that the Metropolitan Cross Country League race distances for Senior Male and Female competitors should be ‘equalised’ in light of the debate of gender equality in sport?

Yes: 90%

No: 10%

This is a huge vote in favour of equalising the distances. It should be noted that the 10% who voted ‘No’ were all female runners.

Q2: If ‘Yes’ what distances should they run? Rank in order of preference (1 = 1st choice). 

Members were given four choices taken from our online debates on the subject and asked to rank them. These options were:

  • 6K for both races.
  • 7K for both races.
  • 8K for both races.
  • 8K and 6K ‘alternating’ gender per race (so in first race of the season Senior Men would run 8K and Senior Women 6K, then in the second Women would run the 8K and the Men would run 6K).

These options assume that the Senior Male and Senior Female races will remain separate in order to manage the increasing numbers participating in the league.


Our first clear conclusion is that 6K is by far the least popular option with an average score of 1.81. It was picked as the least favoured option most, and the most favoured option least.

Members mostly picked a first choice of either ‘8K’ or ‘Alternating’, and then 7K as second choice. This happened so often that 7K won the vote with a score of 3.00. 7K was rarely anyone’s favourite option, and was never picked as the least favourite. 7K is seen as the least controversial option and probably the best option for the Met League if distances are equalised.

8K was the favourite option more times than any other, but it’s score came down as it was picked 3rd and 4th choice often enough (Average score was 2.88).

The ‘Alternating’ option was divisive. Members really loved the idea picking it as their first choice, but almost as many picked it as their last choice (Average score was 2.58). Based on these results ‘Alternating’ would be too controversial an idea to put forward to the Met League.

The conclusion is that our members believe distances should be equalised, but have varying opinions on what that should look like in the Met League.

Moving forward we will share these results with the League organisers and the teams in the league to see what their thoughts are. If 10 clubs express support for the least controversial and divisive option of 7K for both senior races, then we will be happy to propose a rule change to the League for a vote at this year’s AGM in April. Also, if clubs back 8K for both, our club will support this as it was picked 1st choice most often. A majority of the 24 clubs in the League would need to vote in favour of any change.

Congratulations, Coach McLachlan!

by Marie Duignan
Congratulations to Vikki McLachlan, our Junior Club Secretary, who recently qualified as an Athletics Coach through England Athletics.

Vikki McLachlan

Vikki has followed in the footsteps of Andy Melrose, who qualified in July. So we now have two fully qualified coaches on our club committee! Vikki has been working with the Juniors since she joined the committee this year. Her tireless efforts have resulted in a significant increase in junior membership and participation at the track training sessions and competitions. You will also find her at the sprints session on the track nights, where she has been both assistant coaching and training, week in week out.

Vikki passed her final formal assessment on Sunday 1st October, 2017. We are so proud to welcome her as the newest member of London City AC’s coaching team. Well done, Coach McLachlan!


Vilnius Marathon 2017

by Alan Venning

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

Half Marathoners

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


London City AC join the Southern Athletics League!

by Alan Venning

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 all abilities the opportunity to compete in, and enjoy, athletics.

For more information check out the Southern Athletics League website and our club fixture list.

The BIG Announcement!!

by Marie Duignan

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.