Gardner’s world of pain is worth it as he battles to county 10,000m crown

PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 September 2014

Ilford's Tom Gardner (far left) was the star of the show

Ilford's Tom Gardner (far left) was the star of the show


Ilford AC’s Tom is the star of the show

Ilford AC runner Tom Gardner was the star of the show in Chelmsford on Saturday as he was crowned Essex champion over 10,000 metres.

The 31-year-old was part of the Ilford Endurance Squad who took part in the event, but it was Gardner who showed his stamina as he he took the lead at the end of the first lap.

Gardner gradually pulled away from the field in the 25-lap race to take the gold medal by almost two minutes, clocking 32 minutes 57.1 seconds.

Kevin Newell just missed out on a medal as he finished fourth in a new personal best of 35.43.4, while Sam Rahman’s 36.09.1 in his first ever track 10,000m saw him finish in fifth.

Ilford also had three athletes competing in the recent South of England Championships at Crystal Palace, with Usamah Patel and Ahmed Abdulle both putting in excellent runs in the 3,000m.

With the eventual winner well clear of the field, it proved to be a battle for second place and Patel just led his team-mate at the bell.

However, they were both pipped on the line by a Herne Hill athlete and Patel had to settle for a bronze medal in 9.16.28, with Abdulle just out of the medals in 9.17.12, a new personal best.

There were mixed fortunes in the 800m for Jack Maher as after winning his heat in fine style, he could only haul himself into seventh place in the final.

The recent Woodford Green Open saw two young Ilford athletes in action.

Arun Manget and Bradley Deacon, who are both 10, ran personal bests in the 1,500m, recording 5.22.12 and 5.43.61 respectively.

The Last Friday of the Month 5k always attracts a large field, with 203 taking to the start line last week, including three runners from Ilford.

Over the fast course, Steve Philcox led the way for the Ilford boys as he came home ninth in 17.22, placing him second in the M45 category.

Further down the field there were good runs from Carol Muir, who clocked 26.11 to be 161st, while Pam Jones managed her best road time of the year with a battling 29.23 to finish in 185th.

The intrepid Terry Knightley and club photographer Kim Baxter continued their foray into the world of triathlon by completing the Chelmsford Super Sprint race on Saturday.

The event consists of a 160m pool swim, followed by 9.8 kilometres on the bike and finally a three kilometre multi-terrain run.

On a gruelling day, Knightley finished the event in 44th from 106 finishers, third in the super-veteran age category with a total time of 42 minutes 45 seconds.

Baxter finally finished in 100th place in a total time of 57 minutes 29 seconds.

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