Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Southern Cross Country Champs - Part Three (February 2013)

UNDER 20 MEN (82 Finishers)
Ian Bailey the winner from Aldershot, looked good at the head of a group going up the hill at the half way stage. He recalls when he started to make his move " It was over the hill and back down again. By the top field I got a gap"
What race stands out for him:-
   "Maybe the European Trials that I won --This is the second major win.' He pointed out that his Aldershot coach Mick Woods was good for him.
    How did it all begin :-
   "I won on my Sports Days at my junior school. My PE teacher at school had done every single London marathon and then my parents suggested I join Aldershot. Running was something I really loved. I think my strength is definitely cross-country. I love these conditions. In the race when I suddenly realised I had a big gap, I pushed the pace. Mick told me to wind it up. He had told me to sit in and make a move on the second lap.I was hoping I had not gone off too fast because Jon Davies is good who was behind me "
 (Michael Calllegari made a late effort and moved through for third after slipping around in the mud).
Jon Davies who won the last year in Brighton:- " I was always up there but never actually in the lead and he got away."
   How about his track season in 2012
  "I ran alright.I had a good track season 14:15.99 for a 5000 PB. I had PB's in everything I did (800-1:58.33/1500-3:50.39). I  don't have a preference for the track or cross-country to be honest."
First  3:-1 Ian Bailey (AFD) 25:24; 2 Jonathan Davies (25:55); 3 Michael Callegari (Shaftesbury Barnet) 26:08.
              Teams 1 Aldershot Farnham & DAC 36; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers 72 and 3 Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow 93,


Emilia Gorecka won well, as expected.She was following up a win in the BUCS and at Edinburgh and was winning here again and, using the race as valuable training, not pushing too hard. That makes it 4 in a row without defeat this year! "
 "My brother is in Portland  having got a scholarship from a Masters degree and he is really enjoying that.  
'I got my A Level 'A' Star-A/B so I was able to go to my university of choice Royal Holloway University."
   Which races have stood out for her in the last  year " Probably the World Junior Championships in Barcelona
(Bronze medal) was my highlight of 2012."
   "I  used to like cross-country best but after my track season it is track as well now. I enjoyed my session on Tuesday."
   Aims " The European Juniors and possibly the World's qualifying time."

Rebecca Weston, who lives in Canterbury, was second:- My aim was to tuck in behind Emelia. I raced her in Edinburgh (this year) I got a bronze so, from that experience I thought I would tuck in behind her."
   "I started running when I was 13. My main focus was hockey which took over. Only this season I have started
running again. A bit of a shock really but doing quite well."
     Iona Lake, " I was fourth to start with then third.'
   'I started running when I was about 13/14. I am in my second year at Birmingham University"
Regarding which surface she likes "It depends how well I do to what I like best. I am going to do  the steeplechase in the Summer."
First 3 1. Emelia Gorecka (AFD) 21:11; 2 Rebecca  Weston (Invicta East Kent) 21:35; 3 Iona Lake (City of Norwich) 22:25.
Teams Aldershot Farnham & District 18 and  'B' team 91 points (53 runners two full teams)

 Remarkably Bobby Clay followed up winning the Under 15 girls Southern race last year to winning the Under 17 Girls this year beating her sister Alex Clay who won last year.
   Bobby Clay
"It was good for me and Alex working together.In the mud. I f found I slipped around so, I thought, every time I get to the mud I would run faster so I don't have to be in it so long!"
   'Alex and I have the same coach now.'
  'You are coming on so quickly now'
   "I only hope it transfers into the track as well"
     Alex Clay
'Your ran well to-day'
    "It was alright but. I found it quite hard in the mud."
   " You have been doing the  Modern pentathlon as well"
 "Now I just run and swim and I still ride my horse but you have to specialise'
     "It must be good for you and your sister to run so well!"
      "Yes, Now it is really good as we train together. We did not used to do that. For me it is a lot more intense and we are still quite competitive in training, which is nice and there are other athletes and we train with them."
  19th in the European cross was good that must have pleased you."
"Yes, I was pleased with 19th but when I was running I felt it was really cold. I thought I was doing really good then I came to a point when my legs felt really cold and my head wanted to push on but my legs were so cold. I did not expect to come 19th. I thought beforehand to come in the first 50 would be good but when I was running it was a bit frustrating."
First 3 1 Bobby Clay (Invicta East Kent) 17:29; 2 Alex Clay (Invicta East Kent) 18:01; 3 Grace Baker (AFD) 18:51
First 3 teams:- 1Invicta East Kent 47; 2 Aldershot Farnham & DAC 51; 3 Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow 141.

Alastair Aitken

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