McDonald's tasty showing

ILFORD Athletic Club s Iain MacDonald produced yet another excellent performance in the Oakley 20-mile road race on a tough, undulating course near Bedford on Sunday morning. In his first outing over the distance, MacDonald placed 18th after running a mea

ILFORD Athletic Club's Iain MacDonald produced yet another excellent performance in the Oakley 20-mile road race on a tough, undulating course near Bedford on Sunday morning.

In his first outing over the distance, MacDonald placed 18th after running a measured race at a pace of just over 6.5 minutes per mile.

Going through the first 12-mile loop in 30th place, MacDonald worked with a large group including the lead woman, Beth Eburne of Hinkley AC, before picking up the pace in the latter stages as others fell away.

The young Ilford star's time of two hours 12 minutes and 57 seconds, worth an extra two minutes on a flatter course, compared well to the winner's time of 2:03.00 posted by Stephen Pettit of Ely Runners.


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Another Ilford runner was Sally Gillam, who was happy with her time of 2:51.45, which bettered her recent Essex championship effort and was good enough to place her well within the top half of the field of 793 finishers.

Elsewhere, a small group headed to north Essex for the inaugural Braintree five-mile race, held over a course containing a multitude of surfaces.

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The Ilford contingent acquitted themselves very well. In the ladies' event, Natalie Crisp was first home in 37.24, which was good enough for 19th overall.

She was followed closely by her sister Jenni in 38.16 in 23rd. Just behind was their mother Dianne in 38.22 for 24th.

Pam Jones closed the team in an excellent time of 45.24 for 57th place, which was also good enough for the first veteran over-65 prize.

In the men's event, the team was led home by Neil Crisp in 29.58 (16th overall), followed closely by Terry Knightley in 30.18 (20th). Knightley's performance was hindered by a fall at the beginning when a slower runner obstructed his flying start.

At Hillingdon, Kevin Newell ran 2:17.56 for 63rd position on the four-lap Finchley 20 where Woodford Green's Bertie Powell headed a field of nearly 500, taking the Middlesex Championships in 1:51.44.

Closer to home, Nikki McNelis competed in an incident-packed Waltham Forest half-marathon, where she eventually finished in 1:55.00, having been part of a group which were misdirected by one of the marshals.

Three club runners were also part of a top-class field chasing some very substantial prize money at Saturday's Victoria Park 5 in Tower Hamlets, where Bree Nordin produced the best woman's 0ver-50 run of the day, clocking 34.17.

She was accompanied by Gary and Meredith Floate, with the former just missing out on a top 100 position with 32.17 and Meredith managing 51.12.

Newham's Moumin Geele scooped the top prize with a fast time of 23.01.

Ilford now look forward to their Club Road Championships which will take place on Saturday morning in Valentines Park at 10am.

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