Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

The SOUTHERN CHAMPIONSHIPS on 25th January 2014 (Part Two)

JESS ANDREWS of Aldershot Farnham & District took up the pace quite early on in the Southern Women's Championships at Parliament Hill Fields. On the first lap she was followed by clubmate George Bruinvels, before Miranda Heathcote went by her. On the last lap Tish Jones had moved up to the shoulder of Heathcote and they worked together with Heathcote coming away at the finish. Rachel Felton who had been back in fifth place early on, moved up to fourth in the last kilometre. The First Ten out of the 465 finishers were 1 Jess Andrews (Aldershot Farnham & District) 30:39; 2 Miranda Heathcote (Newquay & Par AC) 30:54; 3 Tish Jones (Belgrave) 30:58; 4 Rachel Felton (Shaftesbury Barnet) 31:01; 5 Georgie Bruinvels (Aldershot Farnham & District) 31:04; 6 Emily Hosker Thornhill (Aldershot Farnham & District) 31:21; 7 Fiona Thompson (Thames Valley Harriers) 31:55; 8 Olivia Walwyn-Bush 32:06; 9 Holly Page (Cambridge University Hare & Hounds) 33:00; 10 Kath Bailey (Winchester & District AC) 33:03. Teams 1 Aldershot Farnham & District, 2 Belgrave Harriers, 3 Thames Valley Harriers.

Jess Andrews, coached by Mick Woods, on her best races:- "I felt I ran really well at Edinburgh coming 17th (Great Edinburgh cross country January 11th) and also in the European in Belgrade when I was 16th last year.'
When did she start running "When I was 15"

Miranda Heathcote (41) "I won the British & Irish Masters International in Cardiff in November and did a personal best of 4:38.92 for 1500 last year"
She added "I have children who are 4 & 6 so, when they are at nursery I train and, I can do that in the evening when they have gone to bed. My husband is looking after them to-day!

Southern Under 17 Men

JORDAN ROWE:- "I felt it was really good to-day. I was with Mahamed Mahamed the whole way round the course. I just tried to stretch it out of him but he is such a strong runner. You can't just do that and push off. It was with 900 to go I kicked and that was where I lost him"
Had he been running a long time
"I did the Nottingham, English schools in year 9 when I was at Tendring College in Frinton"
I pointed out that a friend of mine David Hemery (Olympic 400 hurdles Champion in 1968) used to hurdle the breakwaters at Frinton and that gave him is first thoughts of hurdling as a boy.
Jordan continues:- "I used to be a swimmer then, as I did quite well in the English Schools my PE Teacher told  me to join a club. It has gone from there really"
Which race did he consider his breakthrough?
"The last Southern Inter-Counties which I won was the turning point of my season."
His coach:- " David Smith is my coach. I am the youngest in the group he trains. They are mostly track runners as well so, it will build my speed up. I hope to move to 5 and 10k but at the moment I am planning to do just 1500 and 3k's to get the speed up."
   Jordan is lucky because the one person who encourages him with his running, even though he is not a runner, is his Father Ricky.
Southern:- (209 finished) First 6 1 Jordan Rowe (Colchester Harriers) 20:29; 2 Mahamed Mahamed (Southampton AC) 20:32; 3 Jack Crabtree (Aldershot Farnham & District) 20:55; 4 Oliver Fox (Wells City Harriers) 20:58; 5 Gus Cockle (Aldershot Farnham & District AC) 21:06; 6 William Fuller (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers) 21:22.  

EMELIA GORECKA "I have run eight Southern cross countries since I was young. Of the last three this one was the muddiest.'
Emelia has had so many good races in the last year
"Edinburgh was the one that stands out recently"
Did she feel running against seniors was a good thing to bring her on
"Definitely. I think it a bit of a challenge and races are completely different to what I am used to."
Edinburgh on January the 11th this year 1 Gemma Steel (GB) 20:35; 2 Fiona Briton (EUR) 20:44; 3 Emelia Gorecka (GB, U20) 20:51 Next were Duarte (EUR); Purdue (GBR) and Johnson (USA).

ALEX CLAY was 2nd in the Southern. Were you happy with second to Emelia?
"When Emelia is on the course you are in second place battling it out. Edinburgh was a really good one for me. I had a lot of the family up there watching".
(Under 20 including Under 17 Inter-District)-1 Boby Clay (GBR, U17) 13:59; 2 Alex Clay (GBR) 14:03; 3 Lydia Turner (GBR. U17) 14:10).
Alex Clay used to do the Modern pentathlon!
"At the moment I will stick with athletics as it very hard to juggle. It is easier to concentrate on running. I did do some triathlons last year but my season was cut short because I fell off my bicycle.!"
Southern:- (78 completed) 1 Emelia Gorecka (Aldershot Farnham & District) 22:34; 2 Alex Clay (Invicta East Kent) AC 23:01; 3 Amy Griffiths (Aldershot Farnham & District) 23:26; 4 Maryse Haynes (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) 24:03; 5 Grace Baker (Aldershot Farnham & District) 24:25; 6 Ruth Haynes (Aldershot Farnham & District AC) 24:25.


BOBBY CLAY:- "I tried to make my mark on the first hill so I went hard from the start. Last year was a harder run because I had Alex running whereas today, I was a bit more relaxed but it was good practice and I like to hit it hard all the time, all the way."
"I did run in the Under 13's Southern and then won the Under 15's at 14"
"I have had a good season but a dodgy beginning because I had a back injury. Now I am in good shape and there is more to come"
"It is brilliant to have someone like Alex to train with. We always have to push each other on."
GEORGIA FEAR was 6th and she is only 15. She had been doing a session in her other favourite sport of ice skating in the morning and also said "My spikes were broken and bent before I started but it was 'Pretty Cool' but I died as I went a bit too hard at the start" said the Canadian Girl from West Hampstead School.
SOUTHERN RESULT:- (151 completed) - 1 Bobby Clay (Invicta East Kent AC) 18:53; 2 Phoebe Law (Kingston AC & Polytechnic Harriers) 19:40; 3 Isobel Glaisher (Wells City Harriers) 19:47; 4 Gemma Holloway (Thurrock Harriers) 19:51; 5 Daisy Dsantos (Aldershot Farnham & District) 19:52; 6 Georgia Fear (Highgate Harriers) 20:17.


JONATHAN DAVIES was leading all the way and got a gap at the beginning of the second lap.
Was it like the time he won the Southern in the same age group last year
"Quite similar in lots of ways"
Rob McKim is his coach. What were his strengths? "He knows from experience exactly what to do and puts in 110% all the time. I can ring him any time."
Mileage "I am on 50 miles a week but I will gradually get it up to 60 in the next few weeks"
Which surface does Jonathan prefer "I quite like both and can  transfer between the two"
His personal best of 14:09 was achieved in the Summer. "I think I should get a big jump this year. The barrier is 14 minutes but I hope to do sub-13.50. If I can do that I will be a happy guy."
Southern First Six (105 completed) 1 Jonathan Davies (Reading AC) 26:40; 2 Matt Leach (Bedford & County AC) 27:20; 3 Ed Shepherd (Woodford Green AC with Essex Ladies) 27:43; 4 Max Nicholls (Tonbridge AC) 27:51; 5 Jack Rowe (Aldershot Farnham & District AC) 27:57; 6 Adam Wright (S Factor) 28:01.

Alastair Aitken

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