Mighty Martin takes the title

Ilford runner scores Boxing Day victory

ILFORD AC’s Martin Clarke prevailed in their annual Boxing Day handicap cross country race.

In the 5.2 kilometre event over the treacherous course at Hainault Forest, the snow and ice failed to prevent Clarke winning the race in a time of 32 minutes and 35 seconds to come home ahead of Frank McGowan by just three seconds.

Neil Crisp wasn’t much further behind finishing 13 seconds back in 32.51.

But the conditions also played havoc with the handicapper’s system, which had been based on runners best 5km times of the year, many of which had been set in the summer and on very different terrain.

Consequently, some of the runners going off towards the front were probably not given enough start and were caught too early, as they struggled with their footing.

Kevin Newell finished with a time of 33.38 with Jenni and Dianne Crisp next home after stopping the clock at 34.33 and 35.20 respectively.

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Natalie Crisp was next home before Meridith Floate and Les Hislop after recording 35.40 and 36.59.

While 38.31 was the time Les Hislop finished in with Jo-Anne Bushell a further five seconds back, while Carol Muir clocked a time of 41.10.

The club now looks forward to its 10-mile cross country open race this Sunday, which will go ahead whatever the weather over three laps of the same course.

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