Ilford AC members take part in a test event as mass events return

Dennis Briggs and Gaye Young at Kempton Park

Dennis Briggs and Gaye Young at Kempton Park - Credit: Ilford AC

Three Ilford AC runners took part in the Reunion 5K race at Kempton Park which was part of the Government's Events Research Programme aimed at kick starting the return of mass participation events.  

All runners and spectators had to take a lateral flow test two days before the event, as well as a PCR test on the morning of the event and another the day after. 

First past the post for the trio was Dennis Briggs who galloped home in a time of 20:37 for a personal best. 

Gaye Young also had a good run finishing just three seconds outside her PB with a time of 22:52 while Nicola Chester had a very stable run finishing in 26:31, which was her fastest 5k for 10 years. 

Five other club members took part in the PB5k, a brand new event series featuring a seeded race format, run across the flat and spacious Ardingly Showground. 

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First home was Paul Grange in a time of 15:25, which also placed him first in the V40 category. 

Next home and 11th senior male on the day was Alex Richards in 15:39, while third in the V35 category was Tom Gardner in 15:52. 

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Jak Wright placed eighth in the Under-20 race in a time of 16:20, and completing the line-up was Joseph Grange in a time of 16:28 to place second in the Under-15 category. 

Tom Gardner, Joseph Grange, Alex Richards, Paul Grange and Jak Wright

Tom Gardner, Joseph Grange, Alex Richards, Paul Grange and Jak Wright - Credit: Ilford AC

In Sunday's windy and rainy conditions, sole Ilford AC runner Terry Knightley travelled south of the water to compete in the Betteshanger Country Park 10 Miles Road Race at Deal in Kent. 

The race consisted of five two-mile laps on an enclosed cycle path that unfortunately was over distance by almost a quarter of a mile - which was a real shame as it was a fast traffic-free course and this obviously affected finish times. 

Knightley took this minor setback in his stride and ran hard to finish 13th out of 133 runners – winning the first male veteran over-60 trophy in 66 minutes and 34 seconds.

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