Ilford AC back out in force at a number of racing events

Danny Holeyman, Julia Galea, and Terry Knightley at The Annual St Clare Hospice 10K Road Race

Danny Holeyman, Julia Galea, and Terry Knightley at The Annual St Clare Hospice 10K Road Race - Credit: Ilford AC

Ilford Athletics Club's veteran team organised a 5km masters B-road race in and on the roads around Wimbledon Park which included a steep incline after a mile.

Tony Young and Rob Sargent entered the event and Tony produced a good performance finishing 49th in 21 minutes 39 seconds beating his previous personal best by 39 seconds.

Rob placed 78th and fourth in the M65 age category to finish in 26 minutes 17 seconds. 

Elsewhere, three Ilford athletes represented the club at the Blackheath & Bromley Open meeting on Sunday.  

First up was veteran Paul Grange in the 800m as he took a commanding lead from the start and continued pulling away from the rest of the field to win by three seconds to second place, and five seconds to third place and local rival Jack Exley as he finished in 1:58.31.

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Second up was Jak Wright in the 1,500m against a competitive field as he started perfectly with a 64-second first lap, before tucking into the chasing group and running the next lap in a slower 68 seconds. 

With 500m to go Jak broke away from the chasing pack and started to claw back the 50-metre lead from Southend's Sam Wheatley in pole position before unleashing a monstrous kick down the home straight to close down the gap, throwing himself over the line to finish second by only 0.03 seconds in 4:07.39.

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Up last was the youngest of the family trio, Joseph Grange, in the 3,000m, out to challenge his club president and coach's 40-year-old under-15 club record of 9.31.

Passing the bell Joseph strung the group out, which included Holly Dixon who recently ran a sub-16 minute 5k in a world record-breaking podium 5k race. 

The 13-year-old then shifted into top gear to run a swift 36-second last 200m; narrowly missing out on the club record with a time of 9.32.  

A trio of Ilford AC athletes travelled to Hastingwood in Harlow on a cold and windy Sunday morning to contest the annual St Clare Hospice 10k Road Race. 

Over a one-lap countryside hilly road course against a field of 349 other runners with a socially distanced ‘Rolling Start’ the first finisher for Ilford AC was Danny Holeyman in 13th place with a new personal best of 38 minutes exactly and third in the over-40 category.

Club stalwart Terry Knightley followed him home in 24th in 40.14 to win the over-60 trophy.

Julia Galea ran a great race to finish in 206th Place in 57.45 for 23rd in the over-55 category.

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