Ilford’s Sunday best lands golden double

ILFORD AC capped a great weekend of running action when taking both the men’s and women’s team gold medals in the Essex Half-marathon Championships at Roding Valley on Sunday.

The men’s scoring trio was Malcolm Muir, who finished fifth overall in a time of 74 minutes and 15 seconds, closely followed by Iain James Knight, eighth in a personal best of 77.24 and Terry Knightley 29th in 81.25.

Knightley also claimed individual Gold in the men’s over-50 category.

Kevin Newell was unlucky to miss out on a scoring spot, chasing Knightley home in 81.28 which placed him 33rd.

The women were once again led home by Bree Nordin with a time of 1:34.49 to become the individual womens over-45 county champion.

On a difficult and undulating course, she was ably supported by excellent runs from both Nicola Hopkinson 1:41.29, and Sally Gillam 1:48.15.

Pam Jones belied her 74 years to clock 2:07.08 to take gold in the women’s over-55 category and Carol Muir completed the course in 2:21.26.

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Other Ilford runners included Neil Crisp (1:25.00), Steve Allen (1:37.00), Martin Clarke (1:41.44), Tony Partridge (1:45.40), Declan Cullen (1:49.19), Graham Williams (1:50.55), and Rohan Alexander (2:19.25).

? MEANWHILE the excellent weekend had started well for the club with a good performance by two Ilford runners at the Serpentine 5 kilometre on Friday.

Malcolm Muir placed eighth of the 201 runners, and first over-35, in 16:09.

Though 10 seconds faster than the time that won him the race in August last year, he was outclassed by winner James Shane’s 14:44, which was close to the course record.

John Batchelor, though feeling tired and a little disappointed, took another 10 seconds from his V70 course record set last month with 20:16 in 67th place overall.

Saturday morning witnessed an Ilford one-two in the Valentines Park run where Darren Bottrill just pipped Frank McGowan with a time of 19.14. Bottrill had recovered from losing about 100 metres when going off course while leading the race. Sally Gillam was the first lady home in 23.56 with Carol Muir 28.12 just getting the better of Meredith Floate who ran a personal best of 28.27.

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