Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Ickenham 5 Miles Road Race (June 2014)

The second Ickenham Road race was a success, despite the sudden change in temperature

RICHARD GOODMAN, who last raced when winning the Inter-Counties cross country, as a first year senior in March, was a clear winner of the second Ickenham 5 miles road race in 24:50.
Richard Goodman, like Mike Gratton, the 1983 London Marathon winner and the Commonwealth Games medallist in 1982, who went round the Ickenham course in a modest 36:06, also suffered with hay fever on the day in the hot conditions.
Goodman remarked "I turned my ankle over in Richmond Park on a run two weeks after the Inter-Counties, doing high quality work outs, with the Commonwealth Games and things in mind. I could not run for two weeks, as I knew it was bad so even though I had a good background of training it was still starting again and it is hard to come back from that." He added "I had a good run to-day and I enjoyed it but it was tough. I was on my own from the beginning. I went a little bit too hard with a 4.40 for the first mile and struggled from there. I did feel I was cruising for the first few miles but I was breathing quite heavily, which happens when you have had time out. I had not had that sort of effort in a race since the Inter-Counties in March."
"I like racing. I do shy away from it when I am not 100% fit but races like to-day, if I run 5 minute miles I should be on my own. I'll be doing more races like that."
Will he race on the track or wait till his forte cross country?
  "I am going to run the track. I really need to prove my cross-country fitness this year, just a little bit towards the end of June and the whole of July."
Mick Woods that excellent coach, is an adviser for Richard Goodman
      "I think what Mick does well with me is, for me to let me get on with it on my own. We turn up to work outs and he has got it planned. I plan the rest of my training and the rest of my life and I don't need to be spoon fed by him or anything like that. We like that relationship as well. Otherwise I would become mentally too weak and let him do everything. I want to take a lot of the responsibility for the stuff I do. I don't like pointing fingers at other people but point a finger at myself and say  Right 'This is what you are doing wrong' and learn from that".
If he had not slipped over near the finish of the National he might have won and been rated No 1 cross country runner possibly.
 "Run Britain rankings - Osagie No 1; Andy Vernon was 2, Mo was 3 and I was 4 so, it just shows the quality of the events we were doing. It's good though. I am still only 21.
"I do a lot of hard work and very strict with myself and winning is part and parcel. Living like that, it is not fun getting up first thing in the morning and doing a hill session or a speed session but I do enjoy running, I am just glad I am not injured."

In second place, running on his own all the way was Tom Beedell, (26:23) He ran 2:35 in the Boston marathon.

TOM BEEDELL. How did the race go for him
"The race went alright but I was a bit on my own. I struggled in the heat a bit. I was not quite as fast as I wanted."
The season for him?

"Been a bit mixed over the Winter. I had a few problems then in March time got healthy again. The Boston Marathon then went quite well. I did 2:35.22 which was Okay given how the winter had been".
He joined Woodford Green "Three years ago. I love it is a great. A lot of good guys."
From my club (Highgate) Ryan McKinley runs the steeplechase for you as a higher claim runner
"He runs the steeplechase for us. I was running with him last year behind him as the 'B' runner behind him. He was at Gateshead running the 'A' yesterday but I could not get up there so, this was the alternative. The Ickenham 5 was well run and a nice course on the residential roads."
"I am a Maths Teacher at Brentwood School. We have an athletics team and they compete on Saturday's so I don't make many of the league races unfortunately. I will do a few more road stuff then try and do a marathon in the autumn. My best fot that is 2:34 which I did in Liverpool - the two marathons I did were pretty similar, both pretty hilly. My 2:34 I was happy with as it was my debut. I would like to go under 2:30. I think I can do that it was just that the winter was awful"
"I enjoy cross-country the best. I don't mind the road and I enjoy the steeplechase on the track, which is good fun (9:22.37 his best done in 2013)"

SAMANTHA AMEND (Belgrave Harriers) ran to a women's course record of 30.00, as well as obtaining the Over 35 prize

"Last week I hosted a race - We had 250 runners so we chipped the race. That is a tough job what they do here because I do 'Park Run' runs as well. It was not a quick time for me to-day.
It was tough today as I don't normally sweat plus there was a lot of overtaking and getting out of the way of cars going down the drive ways. I don't know how the race went as I never look behind me so I have no idea where the second lady was."
"I have run for about 8 to 9 years. I am a Department Director and work in IT, looking after all the investment banks. I have two Kids and I am a single parent. I am a Park Run Director and Race Director as well."
Which race would she choose as her most satisfying over the years?
"Probably my first sub-3 hour marathon in 2009 - I have gone down to 2:42.11 in 2010. I was injured last year and had surgery and ran the Manchester Marathon and ran 2:44. My PB for 5 miles is 28:55 but there was no way I could do it in the heat to-day, it-was baking. We had not had enough good weather before that so, that was tough."

      The Woman who won the 'Over 45' (48 in a months time) Prize was Italian CLAUDIO REMERA (40:44) in 118th place overall. She had been in the UK for 20 years and runs for Ealing, Southall & Middlesex AC
"I have been running about 15 years or so. Probably one of my best runs was running a 5 miles race a while ago when I managed 33 or so and doing long distance. I have always been running doing a bit for other things. I used to do rowing when I was young, despite my size. The race to-day was not one of my best times ever but it was fine. I have achilles trouble at the moment. It is a good course, quite fast. It was quite well attended with club runners."

       ALEXANDER MILLER (33 )  Datchet Dashers, who came third in 26:40 said he did not have a good run as he does not like running in the heat but did say he had a good run in the Bristol 10k doing 32:25 and he ran the Reading half marathon in 71.10.
About doing 26.40 he said "Not a good day at the office."

       LARRY MANGELSHOT (Ware Joggers) was first Over 50 in 17th place in 29:56. Some years ago, as a student he ran on the Birmingham University team.

       TONY HAMILTON of Barnet & District) now 74, the same age as me and we were rivals over the country and the road in the 60's 70's, 80's and 90's!
Tony was 116th of the 248 finishers in 44:23 How did it go for him as the first man over 70?
"Not very good. I had a cold to-day and should have run a couple of minutes faster."

At 74 he is still enjoying racing?
"Oh Yes! I did the Kings Langley 10k last week. That was last Sunday. I did the Mid week race (Orion), now to-days race. I have got another midweek race on Thursday. 4 races in 12 days!"
"To-day was not that good for me but in the last year I have picked up an awful lot of prizes for the 'Over 70' category. Herts County prizes, trophies, all sorts of things."
"My wife says to me 'Oh Not another One!'"
"I have been running/racing since 1959. That is 55 years non-stop running and all the faculties have held up. I have run 25 London Marathons, ran again this year. I will continue."
"I run five times a week sometimes six. Some really hard interval running and some gentle running. I was surprised that in the Kings Langley 10k last Sunday I was a third from the front. It was an excellent run.
"This was a beautiful course at Ickenham, hardly any hills. The only thing is coming up the last bit of grass is a bit hard after doing 4½  miles."

       MIKE GRATTON THE LONDON MARATHON CHAMPION OF 1983 (2:09.43). He was 70th out of the whole field in 36:06, at 59 years of age (Born 28/11/54)

How did the race go for Mike Gratton of Invicta East Kent AC "I found it very hard. I suffer from hay fever and in this time of year it just kills me. That was the reason why I never ran really well on the track as I just had trouble breathing this time of the year."
He still enjoys racing "I race as often as I can outside the business (2:09 Travel). I had a weekend off and tried to find a race somewhere and join in. The guys here borrowed our arch so, we got a couple of free entries."
Tony Hamilton said he could go in a road raced at 74 and finish the first third. It would not have happened when we were competing seriously at younger age. Having said that I realise you really love running still!
"It is in the blood! There was a nice little piece in a magazine from Charlie Spedding (London Marathon Champion 1984 with 2:9.57 and 3rd Olympics in LA)- Running is a little bit about counting the numbers but it is also an art 'You have got to really enjoy doing it otherwise, you won't keep it going' I really enjoy doing it. Except for injuries I would never stop running. The BIG problem is doing the training. The motivation there to race as hard as I can."
His marathon training in the old days involved a lot of track work too! I think that is why runners who were really top class when they were young find it hard to carry on doing it?
"I think so. What ever you achieve is not going to live up to the aims and objectives that you had as a senior. People came through like Charlie Spedding and myself, winning English Schools titles and then on to winning the London Marathon and get medals and thing like that. When you get to your veteran age group. All respect to people who do those things. You can not expect to do those things and have the status of winning the London Marathon.
Although veteran races are quite nice to win, not enough to drive you forward with the training. I did win the Southern Vets and Kent Vet and enjoyed doing that, as it was a good achievement BUT it did not make me aspire to the next one. I did not go away and train a little bit harder to make sure I improved for the next one, if as a younger person you are going through that so many times BUT if I had a bad marathon then, when I was young, I would go away and train that bit harder to make sure I improved. You need that motivation, of say a London Marathon or the Commonwealth Games to keep up your training. When you get to veteran age groups targeting the next Southern Vets is not enough of a motivation to drive the training on so, what happens training starts to be just going out for a run which actually is what I do now."
Which is enjoyable?
"I am around runners all the time and if you are, I might run twice a day so, it is kind of in the blood and so you just go out run and really enjoy it."

         JOHN BUTCHER (Ware Joggers) 82 YEARS OLD
The oldest person in the race was John Butcher who will be 83 on the 4th of August and went round in 51.26, ahead of 31 younger runners in the field of 248. I have run a 5 miles race this year and ran two minutes quicker than that. He said "I found bike racing was too dangerous to continue doing it. So I took up running in my Mid 50's. I don't do track but cross-country I don't mind. I do Park Runs on a Saturday"

     "I think one of the most exciting things is that it is growing in popularity. We had 200 running last year and this year 300. If you get the winner of the London Marathon coming back to race it again, you must be doing something right. Obviously as he has raced all over the World so, you must be putting on a good event if the wants to come back and run it again. It was exciting to see Richard Goodman wanting to see how fast he could run over the course. I think we were very lucky with the weather, if you think that yesterday was a lot of rain. The only problem we had was with set up. When we came down this morning to set up the race, a large tree had actually fallen and gone straight in the path of where the runners would run. There was a van that turned up to deliver the toilets. They were trying to tow the tree out of the way. We were cutting branches off. It took about 'Six Man Power to try and move the thing.
We were Lucky as we managed to do it."

Alastair Aitken

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