A Crisp finish from Ilford AC’s Dianne on her return from injury

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 March 2013

Ilfords Rob Sargent is flanked by Nicola Hopkinson ( left) and Dianne Crisp at the British Masters Cross Country Championships in Sunderland

Ilfords Rob Sargent is flanked by Nicola Hopkinson ( left) and Dianne Crisp at the British Masters Cross Country Championships in Sunderland


Ilford AC sent a small, but talented squad up to Sunderland to compete in the British Masters Cross Country Championships at the weekend.

First up was the their two ladies who competed in the F50 category over a testing course.

Dianne Crisp, in her first race since November after a foot injury, came home in an excellent ninth place in 31 minutes and four seconds, while Nicola Hopkinson put in a gritty performance and finished just six seconds and two places behind.

The men’s team were weakened by injuries to Neil Crisp and Kevin Newell, but the pair still travelled north to support the rest of the squad.

The two remaining Ilford runners both found the going tough with Steve Parker finishing 128th in the four-lap M35-64 men’s race in 40.23 and 25th in the M55 category.

Rob Sargent came home in 43.10 for 138th overall and 31st in the M55 age group.

Closer to home, Ilford had two men’s and one ladies’ team taking part in the Essex County Road Relay Championships in Chelmsford at the weekend.

For the men’s A team, Tom Gardner led them off as he clocked 19.40m for his 3.7 mile lap, followed by Steve Philcox with 21.26 and Sam Rahman with 21.41.

It was left to team captain Malcolm Muir to lead the team home on the anchor leg as he moved Ilford up from eighth to sixth with his lap of 19.40.

The B team consisted of Tony Nixon (24.11), Tom King (22.50), Peter Clinch (20.45) and Andy Catton (24.02) as they finished 16th, while Steve Cheal also completed a leg for the C team.

Mel Jones led off for the club in the ladies’ three-leg event and passed on to Jenni Sheehan in 16th place after her run of 27.27.

Sheehan moved the team up to 13th with a leg of 27. 07, before Breege Nordin ran the anchor in 26.12 to place the team 10th overall.

Meanwhile, Harlow was the venue for the St Clare Hospice 10k road race on a wet and windy Sunday morning, where Terry Knightley was the only Ilford representative.

Battling for position over the undulating country lanes with David Johnson of Thurrock Harriers, he finally finished in fifth position out of a field of over 300 to claim the first veteran over 50 trophy in a time of 37.09 – also beating the first over 40 by almost two minutes.

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