Ilford AC runners enjoy success at open meeting in Dagenham

Paul Grange leading Dylan Harrod

Paul Grange leading Dylan Harrod - Credit: Ilford AC

Five intrepid middle distance runners from Ilford AC competed at a local open meeting at Jim Peters Stadium in Mayesbrook Park Dagenham over various distances.

Joseph Grange (13) ran in the 1500m against numerous local rivals, where he finished sixth after achieving a new personal best time of 4:33.90.

Joseph Grange during 1,500m race

Joseph Grange during 1,500m race - Credit: Ilford AC

Dad Paul Grange won the 600m race, setting an M40 British best time for 2021 of 1:23:88 which will be a hard benchmark to beat, even though conditions on the day were very windy and cold.

However, these conditions did not stop Dylon Harrod from running a very fast U20s time of 1:31:26 placing third in the same race.

Next up was clubmates, friends and training partners Jak Wright - elder brother to Joseph Grange - and Bradley Deacon, running their hearts out in awfully blustery conditions to beat the two-minute barrier for 800m while having an even bigger battle against each other.


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Wright led from the gun and commanded the first of the two nailbiting laps, before Deacon took the lead during the back straight of the second lap.

Jak Wright and Bradley Deacon battling it out in the 800m race

Jak Wright and Bradley Deacon battling it out in the 800m race - Credit: Ilford AC

Wright tried to keep up, but Deacon poured on the pressure and created distance between them before an attack on the finishing straight. 

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Hopes of winning the race looked slim for Wright, but somehow while running neck and neck along the whole of the 100m finishing straight he managed to edge himself into the lead and just out lean Deacon on the line.

The battle was over and both had clocked personal bests but narrowly missed out on their target of breaking two minutes with times of 2:00:65 and 2:00:73 respectively.

The Chingford League season which has been shortened by the Covid pandemic concluded with the 4 x 2 mile cross-country relay in Central Park and Eastbrook End Country Park Dagenham. It was an excellent initial season in the competition for Ilford AC with both the mens and ladies teams gaining promotion to division one as champions of the second tier.

Ilford entered 4 men's and 3 ladies teams into the race and all 4 men's teams finished second in their category to a strong Trent Park Runners line up.

The Ilford A, which was made up of 4 runners in the junior men (under-20 age category, was set off by Aaron Samuel in 10 mins 45 secs in second with Rhys Edwards dropped to 3rd on the second leg with 11 mins 09 sec.

Bradley Deacon regained 2nd on his leg in 10 mins 54 secs with Jak Wright anchoring the team home in 10 mins 41 secs to finish 2nd in the overall race, but easily won the division 2 title for the season..

The B team was led off by Paul Grange in 10 mins 30 secs, the second fastest time of the day, with the team completed by Dan Holeyman (12.15) John Crawley (12.34) and Steve Philcox (12.17) to finish second B team on the day.

In the C team were Wayne Hick (13.49) Dennis Briggs (14.24)  Adam Coals (13.26) and Diarmuid Mac Donnell (13.08) who were the second placed C team.

The D team also finished second in their category were made up of Trevor Robinson (18.21)  Tony Young (14.35) Ed Skinner (17.18) and Rob Sargent (17.29)

Anna Crawley was on the first leg in 14 mins 30 secs coming home 6th. Jordan Hinds moved the team up to 5th on the next leg in 14 mins 14 secs. Bree Nordin was up next recording 14 mins 50 secs for 6th at the change over.

Amy-Loise Bird had a storming run on the anchor finishing in 13 mins 40 secs moving the team upto 4th in the event and they finished top in the division 2 match for the season.

The B team of Gaye Young )15.48_ Mandy Reid (17.53) Mel Jones (15.43) and Pauline Tester (16.39) for 4th in their category. while the team of Sharon Honey (20.08) Frieda Keane (18.37) Nicola Hopkinson (17.42) and Pramila Munro (18.21) placed 1st C team on the day.

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