Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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National Four Stage Women's Road Relay (October 2011)

2010 Champions, Aldershot Farnham & District AC repeated their win of last year in the National 4 stage ERRA road relay championships with an emphatic victory at Sutton Park, on the 15th of October, even without their celebrated International of last year, Steph Twell. Their time was 57:17 with Charnwood AC second in 58:20 and Bristol & West AC third in 58:50. reports Alastair Aitken
   Leg 1. Out of 79 clubs that started the first to arrive back was Stockport's, Jessica Coulson in 13:51
   "I felt relaxed. It was quite tight at the start. When we got to the top of the hill I ran off with Rosie Smith and Donna Jones for a bit. I just carried on. When it was really quite downhill I went for it."
   Her favourite surface "I like cross-country and 3k on the track but have had numerous problems. Mick Woods coaches me now which helps a lot." However she trains on her own at home ' I don't mind doing that as it works out good'
   Her favourite result so far was in 2007 when she was 26th in the World cross-country. " That was a lot of fun" Jessica remarked.
   Aldershot's first team runner Lily Partridge who was 8th home in 14:43 and not out the picture and in 10th place came Becky Penty, Highgate's best runner who fell near the start off the race, cutting both her legs. She said modestly it made no difference to her overall place but I would find that difficult to believe, as she had to go to hospital aferwards to have some stitches put in for one of her cuts.
  Leg 2. Emma Pallant took Aldershot from 8th to 1st in 14:16 and was pleased to see her coach Mick Woods watching at the half way distance.
      "I wanted to put Aldershot in a good position because, you then can always feel confident Charlie will do well on the last leg." As Emma has had injuries that have effected her form this year she was pleased that she had no trouble in the relay and the legs responded well.
   Leg 3. Emilia Gorecka (14:30) She maintained the lead for Aldershot. Although she found it hard running on her own and because of all the hard work she was doing in training for the European Trials at Liverpool, she knew what to do to get home well and passed over to Charlotte Purdue. However she looked back on her successful result of coming second in the European 'Under 20' 5k this year " I always hoped for Gold but I ran the best I could so I was happy"
    Leg 4 Charlotte Purdue brought the team home in 13:48. The third fastest woman's time in the history of the event at Sutton Coldfield. She broke the club 10,000 track record this year with a time of 32:36.75.
   She said two weeks ago she did a 10k and felt as though she was jogging but when she did the 4k it was different and she needed to get that fast finish in at the end. ' I like to do that for the club' she pointed out.
  What gave her most satisfaction in the year " The World cross definitely! (She was 14th in the Under 20 race)
About the strengths of her coach Mike Woods she remarked that with him he thinks every individual has a plan and listens to what his athlete has to say..

Alastair Aitken

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