Ilford AC impress at Essex Cross Country League race

Ilford Athletics Club at The Essex Cross Country League in Hockley

Ilford Athletics Club at the Essex Cross Country League in Hockley - Credit: Ilford AC

Ilford Athletic Club were well represented as the Essex Cross Country League made an early start for winter last Saturday at Hockley.  

The ladies' race was over two laps and 6km and the Ilford team were led home by Carlie Qirem, who is in good form ahead of the Manchester Marathon in two weeks, in 19th.

Gaye Young, who will be at the London Marathon next weekend, was next home in 27th and third in the F50 category.  

Ilford AC ladies finished first place in The Essex Cross Country League in Hockley

Ilford AC ladies finished first place in the Essex Cross Country League in Hockley - Credit: Ilford AC

Alison Sale came home 32nd and placed second in the F55 grouping. Hannah Sheikh in 35th and Frieda Keane in 66th completed the ladies team.  

Combined, their performance was the third-best on the day, with the team topping the division two table. 


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The senior men raced over 8.5km with two laps and a loop which missed out the hills, and Gary Coombes led the way for the Ilford side in fifth spot and second in the M45 age group.  

The ever-reliable Malcolm Muir was next over the line in 30th, with Seb Parris 44th and Danny Holeyman 48th.   

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Terry Knightley put in a good performance to lead the M60 category in 65th. Steve Crane completed the scorers for the club placing 87th.  

The team started the season in fifth place in the first division. 

Supporting the scoring six with good performances were Dennis Briggs (90th), Adam Coals (91st), Steve Cheal (134th), and Rob Sargent (140th). 

Ilford also had several junior athletes in action. In the boy's under-15 race of 4.5km, Samuel Crane placed 20th while in the boy's under-17 6km event, Ryan Holeyman came home 15th and Ronan Edwards was 16th. 

The concluding race of the 2021 Elvis series (East London fiVe Interclub Series) was held on a flat fast course in Ilford’s Valentines park.   

Malcolm Muir (17:47) was in action again with a gutsy run placing fifth and taking the M40 category trophy, with Steve Philcox (17:58) one place behind, which won him the M50 category trophy.  

Terry Knightley, Steve Philcox and Malcolm Muir after winning categories at Valentine's Park.

Terry Knightley, Steve Philcox and Malcolm Muir after winning categories at Valentines Park. - Credit: Ilford AC

Next home in 12th spot and completing a trio of category winners was Terry Knightley (19:14) with a M60 victory, which completed a clean sweep of winning the M60 title in all seven ELVIS races this season. 

Dennis Briggs (20:42), another who was racing twice in two days, was 33rd and Tony Young (22:12) finished 51st with Phil Davies (22:16) finishing 56th as the men’s team placed third. 

Sameena Ahmed (19:52) led the Ilford ladies in third place as Jordan Hinds (20:05) recorded a personal best in fifth and Anna Crawley (21:16) was the third member of the team in the top 10 in ninth place.  

Bree Nordin (22:37) came home 14th of the ladies with Alison Sale (24:36) 23rd. 

Closing the team was Carol Muir (27:41) as the 41st woman. In this match, the ladies were second but won the season-long league.

Ilford Athletics Club at the Elvis series race at Valentine's Park

Ilford Athletics Club at the Elvis series race at Valentines Park - Credit: Ilford AC

Other Ilford runners in action were Bradley Brown (91, 24.55), Pathrose Louis (118, 26.24), Frieda Keane (147, 28.18), Julie Gillender (179, 33.20), Raj Katechia (172, 31.45) and Kim Baxter (189, 37.00). 

Competing in her last track race of the season, Jordan Hinds produced a fantastic PB over 800m at the Bromley Open Meeting. 

Along the back straight she moved into the lead and pushed for home. 

A fast-finishing Blackheath athlete just pipped her on the line, but her reward was a time of 2.17.58, a PB by nearly three seconds. 

Ilford also had three runners competing in half marathons at the weekend, all putting in very good performances. 

Zuzana Sinalova travelled back from Slovakia, where she is now living after many years as an Ilford runner, to run 1:42:28 in the Hackney Half Marathon.  

Also running at Hackney was Mandy Reid who ran a PB for the distance in 2:16:21, whilst at the Lee Valley VeloPark Josnara Uddin ran the Half Marathon in a time of 2:27:55 

Also at Hackney, as part of the running festival, a 5k race was held. Amin Koikai of Ilford ran a very impressive 16:14 to place in third position. 

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