Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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The Vets Athletic Club's Championship (August 2011)

Great old internationals over 80 years of age are still performing well in 2011. That was in the Oldest Vets Club - The Veterans Athletic Club that strated in 1931.

The Veterans AC Champs was held at Millennium Stadium Battersea on the  28th of August 2011
STEVE CHARLTON, at 84, the British 'Over 80' 10,000 record holder, who ran for Thames Valley Harriers as a young man, was undoubtedly the 'Star' performer in the Vets AC Championships at the Millennium Stadium reports Alastair Aitken. He took a huge chunk off the M80 Championship Best Performance of 33:30 in the 5000 with a time of 23:56. Only Charlton has run faster in the UK with his British M80 record of 22:48 back in 2007.
  Five weeks short of being 85 he said "I have done no speed work and went too fast in the first two laps"
   It was interesting to note amazing feats of  three 'Old' International athletes taking part. Eric Shirley, 1956 Olympic steeplechase finalist who won the most important domestic Championships-The AAA's in 1956,'58 &'60, ran 3:41:7 for 800 at that age of 82; Charlie Williams, once a 9.3 sec.100 yard runner, who firstly came from Trinidad but then ran for GB and later, held many veteran sprint records, now 80 years of age, won the 100m in 15.57 then went on to win the 200 and Shaun Lightman (68) who was 16th in the Mexico Olympics 50k walk in 1968 did 17:11.71 in the 3000 walk. Lightman remarked about why he continues to perform long after his international days " I enjoy being fit and beating younger men than me. It's the camaraderie and you meet people you don't see at all at other times."
   I noticed, an old friend of mine I used to race with Allan Sowden, who was the Highgate Harriers 880y/One mile Champion back in the late 1960's. Al is now 71' and won his M70 age group 100/200. An interesting newer name was Mike Vassiliou,  who only started running in 2006, after taking his children down to join the local running club. He won the 'Over 50' 100 in 12.43 and the 200 in 24.73 but often tends to run the 400, which he won a European Masters silver medal for in the Over 45's. In the field Chris Melluish, who had been a Kent County Champion thrower on many occasions. He won the Over 65 hammer with 35.34.
   In the Women's events three Championship Best's were achieved by Teresa Eades (52) in the W50 category. 8.78 for the triple jump; 2.30 in the pole vault and 1.30 in the high jump.

Alastair Aitken

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