Coombes leads the way for Ilford as new ELVIS season gets underway in Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 June 2019
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Ilford AC members travelled to Eastbrookend Country Park in Dagenham last week to take part in the first East London Five Interclub Series (ELVIS) event of the season.
A large Ilford squad of 28 runners was entered in the event, with Gary Coombes leading the team home in 12th overall and second in the VM40 category in 30 minutes and 39 seconds.
Coombes was followed very closely by Stephen Philcox in 13th place in 30.55, which saw him win the VM50 category, and Seb Parris, who came 16th place after clocking 31.17.
Fourth scorer for Ilford on the night was John Crawley, who finished in 26th place in 32.23 with Terry Knightly 43rd as fifth scorer.
Completing the scoring for the men's squad was new member Adam Coals, who ran an impressive 35:57 for 49th place.
Just outside the scorers, but finishing third in the VM60 category was Alan Pearl, whose time of 36.03 was enough to come 62nd overall.
Carlie Qirem led the women's scorers home in 36.54 for 75th place, while just three places back was Jenni Sheehan in 37.04, followed by Anna Crawley who was 104th following a new distance best of 38.58.
Nicola Hopkinson ran well for 110th place in 39.30, which placed her third in the VF50 category.
Natalie Crisp was next home in 40.50 in 131st, though was not in the scoring squad with three vets runners required in the team of six.
Gaye Young was Ilford's next scorer in 41.25 for 137th, with Alison Sale completing the squad in 43.07 to come 149th.
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Finishing outside the scoring squad, but securing an impressive fourth in the VF60 category was Sharon Honey who finished in 45.57 to come 181st overall.
All squad members put in a fantastic effort on the night and the scoring teams were complemented by Dennis Briggs (37.15), Andy Catton (37.26), Eain Begg (38.06), Rhoan Gabbidon (39.57), Bradley Brown (40.02), Tony Young (43.02), Frieda Keane (50.31), Launa Broadley (53.02), Carol Muir (53.47), Kim Baxter (54.09), Sheila Sinclair (55.20), Julie Gillender (55.47) and Brennie Gabbidon (57.25).
Elsewhere, a small, but confident team of five Ilford endurance athletes took in the Dorking 10-mile road race which doubled as the BMAF 10 Mile Championships.
Malcolm Muir led the charge, beating the hour for 59.16 and 19th place, while hot on his heels was Paul Holloway in 27th spot for 60.24.
Sam Rahman performed well to come 43rd 62.07, with Parris completing the squad after clocking 65.30 to come 81st, while Anthony Young completed the course in 90.07.
As for the BMAF Championship medals, there was a bronze for Rahman at V35; a silver for Muir at V40; and a bronze for Holloway at V50 in addition to a team gold for Ilford at V35 to cap a great day in Surrey.
Ilford AC's Steve Uttley continued his comeback from a long injury lay-off with an impressive showing at the Moulton Open Five Miles.
The event was held on a testing out-and-back rural course in the Suffolk countryside near Newmarket, starting and finishing at the village hall.
Uttley had been feeling his way back into competition in recent weeks after returning from injury and placed 12th in 48 minutes and 41 seconds.
Walking team manager Stuart Bennett finished in a time of 50.10 as the next Ilford man home and was followed by Simon Morgan (52.49), Dave Kates (54.45) and former club president Brian Armstrong (56.13).
All suffered much on a Saturday afternoon of high heat, which wasn't conducive to all-out athletics.
Things were not made any easier by the field having to hang around in such heat for a half-hour delay waiting for a road to be cleared, as a wedding in the village blocked the narrow opening stretch of the course.