National pride for the Ilford athletes as they hold their own at Parliament Hill Field

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 March 2018

Ilford athletes Larna, Neil and Sheila at the Nationals

Ilford athletes Larna, Neil and Sheila at the Nationals


The National Cross-Country Championships is the pinnacle of the winter season and Ilford athletes showed what they can do.

The senior women faced a tough 8km course at Parliament Hill Fields and Ilford’s Lorna Broadley and Sheila Sinclair were in action.

It was the culmination of an excellent winter’s training as Broadley finished in 57mins 50secs and Sinclair clocked 61.06 in a huge field of 1,113 finishers.

The men had to run 12.5k and after a very congested start among the 2328 finishers, the reliable Malcolm Muir came through as the first Ilford runner.

He was 734th in 51.22, backed up by Neil Crisp in 1189th (55.50) and Bradley Brown (72.02) in 2175th.

Earlier in the day, three of the successful Ilford junior squad were in action and all equipped themselves very well.

In fields of over 500 runners, Jak Wright battled well in the under-15 boys, for 170th in 17.43, followed by Bradley Deacon, who clocked 18.13 for 224th.

Jordan Hinds continues to improve and was pleased with her 235th place in the under-17 girls’ race, clocking 24.59.

Meanwhile, on a bitterly cold Sunday morning, over 400 athletes lined up for the 35th Roding Valley half marathon.

Four intrepid Ilford athletes braved the elements, three of them tackling the distance for the first time.

First home was debutant Adnan Karim who clocked a creditable 1:49.16 for the 13.1-mile distance to place him 177th.

Two female runners were also first-timers with Frieda Keane finishing 327th and sixth in the F50 category in 2:09.20.

Natasha Mansouri clocked 2:17.32 for 369th.

The Ilford quartet was completed by the experienced Peter Spelman who crossed the line in 2:13.24 to claim 11th in the M60 age group.

Meanwhile, Carlie Qirem was down by the seaside for the Brighton half-marathon where 13,000 runners took to the streets.

A bracing wind, hilly course and large field means the race is not suited to PBs, but despite that she was delighted with her time of 1:48.30, which placed her 2,047th as she continues her preparation for the London Marathon.

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