Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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The SOUTHERN CHAMPIONSHIPS on 25th January 2014 (Part One)

RICHARD GOODMAN won an intriguing battle in the senior event, over a muddy Hampstead Heath course.
   Goodman and Frank Tickner, a previous 'National' and Southern winner over the Parliament Hill course, were the first to reach the top of Parliament Hill, before sweeping down the other side to climb again. They were joined by John Gilbert, about to achieve his first major Championships medal.
   Those three disputed the lead right up to the last of the 3 laps, over the 9 mile course with Antonio Silva, the Portuguese international, who won the Middlesex title, running on his own next before a large phalanx of runners came from the 968 that finished the gruelling event.
   Goodman found his two rivals falling away on the long hills, going into the last lap and ran home clear for his winning Shaftesbury & Barnet team. Tickner was rejuvenated to hold off Gilbert in the final stages. Goodman's last impressive win was in the first Metropolitan League at Claybury in October, when he beat Nick Torry to win. Torry went on, shortly afterwards, to run the UK's fastest marathon of 2013 in Frankfurt.

Richard Goodman "I have just had six weeks in Kenya but I had a disasterous year last year so, I was nervous before the start not to have the same thing happen again.
Frank Tickners' brother once said to me Frank owns Parliament Hill but not this time! Perhaps if he had run a big race he could have been a hard person to beat?
  "I think so but, in any case, I was not running hard. I did not feel I was working at all. Frank took it up and we got the 5k out of the way. I could have taken it out much earlier than I did.'
  "After the last lap the other guys dropped back a bit. Gilbert dropped back and I thought this is my chance. I felt I had another few gears left, even from the second lap. I ran hard for the last 5k."
I have often noticed many 'Great' runners of the past have gone to the top of Parliament Hill in the lead straight away?
  "I just thought I will go and get it out of the way. To be fair running in Kenya takes you to the next level. I was nervous coming into today's race just hoping and thinking I had not overdone it while I was in Kenya. I had a lot of miles in my legs but had a rest yesterday and got lots of food in and again this morning. Every thing fell into place today I am glad. I could have had a harder race for myself but there was no need really. In the last lap I got my head down for a couple of 100 metres and enjoyed the last lap."

Frank Tickner "Goodman did run fantastically well. I did not feel I ran particularly well not that I could have done any better on the day. I did pick it up on the last third of the last lap but that is about it."

John Gilbert "I felt amazing for two laps. Coming to the top of the hill on the last lap my legs went for some reason and I never felt so tired but I have never had a major medal before".

Paul Martelletti who was sixth "I was in a group behind the first 4 Tickner, Goodman, Gilbert and Antonia Silva. Too much hills and mud for my pace. The mud really got your rhythm".

First 10:-
1 Richard Goodman (Shaftesbury Barnet) 49:47;
2 Frank Tickner (Wells City Harriers) 50:11;
3 John Gilbert (Kent AC) 50:23;
4 Antonia Silva (Queens Park Harriers) 51:36;
5 Tomas Stasionis (Eton Manor AC) 51:38;
6 Paul Martelletti (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) 51:41;
7 Chris Smith (TVH) 51:44;
8 Nicholas Torry (Serpentine RC) 51:48;
9 Steve Naylor (Bedford & County ) 51:53;
10 John Eves (Bedford & County) 52.11.

The second and third teams were Bedford & County and Serpentine RC.

Alastair Aitken

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