Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and


At Mile End Stadium on the 13th of July, 2014

Out of 8 Counties Essex were the winners with 751.6; 2nd Middlesex 690.5; 3rd Kent 652.5

21 year old, MATT LASIS (Born 12/2/93) has thrown the HAMMER (7.26kg) over 60 metres three times.  His last two were 20th of June 2014, 60.25 (PB) and 60.07 on the 21st of June.
At the Southern Inter-Counties he won the hammer with 57.11 and was 3rd for Sussex in the shot and discus.

"57 was a bit below my best. It was terrible. I fouled my first throw, which would have been quite a nice distance, just out the sector. I would have done in the mid 50's which would have been a nice opener. Then I had a minor crisis and did a 45m throw in the third round and just about made the cut. Then did a reasonable one 57"
"I did 60.25 a couple of weeks ago at Kingston. I had the SAL on the Saturday (For Crawley AC) and had the Under 23 Championships on the Sunday. I kind of used the SAL as a warm up. I still threw 60.07. I threw 60.01 last season but not by much. I need to improve it".
Something special to him "Under 17 England schools International which I won in 2009"
   "I started field events when I was 13 and did the shot put and was a 200m man. Then I started the hammer as an Under 15."
He loves athletics "Athletics is a passion. You don't do athletics for money. The money in athletics is only to keep you in the sport, especially when you get to the top level, it is more about the love of the sport and the love of the competition."

19 year old vaulter (Born 8/7/95) AMY De BEAUX , won the Women's vault for Surrey with 3.60 "My PB is 3.70. (She was 2nd in the CAU Inter-counties at Bedford and 2nd in the English Schools). I did it once this year. I am happy with my attempts at 3.70 which is my PB."
First started "It is my fourth year of competition. I am at UNI so I have done the BUCS for Cardiff Met. Last year I was 2nd in the Under 20's. My vault is much better technically than last year. I think next year it will be better."
Things going well at Mile End "Yes. The things I have been working on my take-off which was better to-day."

DOMINIC KING (Born 3/5/83), a Colchester athlete, has a brother Daniel who is also a race walker and came 5th in the Commonwealth walk in 2006.  Dominic walked to his fastest 50k time in Dudince SV 50k on the 24/3/12 in 4:6:34. After being 51st in the Olympics 50k in 2012, only a month later walked 100 miles in 18hrs 13 minutes and 9 seconds. In the Southern Inter-Counties at Mile End he won the 3000 Walk in 12:28.96 which was a 'Great' performance for Essex with Fancisco Reis 2nd for Middlesex in 14:00.94
"The last time I competed internationally was in the Europe Cup last year and the Olympics the year before. They were positive experiences. The thing I have been trying to work on is my technique. Obviously it is a technical sport and you can be super fit but if you don't finish it, it is not worth it. Since the Olympics I have taken a step back and in terms of the speed and I have focused on the technique and my core conditioning in the gym a lot more, rather than on the road because I think that is better. It is really important especially for 50k. Ollie Flynn I have done some work with. George Nibre I have been working with and he is a really good mentor. Obviously we have had some fantastic walkers in the past 'Olympic, European and Commonwealth Champions over the years, although the event has moved on significantly both in technique and speed of it. It is really important to appreciate the point of view of how race walkers coped in the past. Although I am one of the best in the country I am not funded. I work full time at the University of Essex, as Sport Development Manager. I still manage to do 90% of the training that the full-time athletes are doing. The 10% I am missing is the rest period, I just have to be mindful of that when doing big mileage. If I am working, others would be resting. Instead of being able to do 40k I take it back a bit to 35k. A lot of it, as I say is technique and confidence. To-day I went a bit too quick but I would rather go too quick and pull on my reserves and finish races, rather than not be knackered. It has been my problem in the past that I felt I have not got 100% out of myself, possibly may be worrying about my technique. Focusing on my technique I am more confident that I can go faster so, in may respects. It is two step backwards and three steps forward."
31 is a good age for a walker "There are some guys Jesus Garcia from Spain who is 45 and managing to be up there with the best in the World. I think age is really a number. There are some athletes in the World who retire just because they are 30, because they have trained too much. There is a certain amount of mileage in the bank by being cautious about it and allow me to progress further down the line. I have got no worries about my endurance. I walked 100 miles two years ago and did that. The speed would be the bit I am lacking and I was puffing at the end today."
"I started race walking when I was about 11 with a coach called Jerry Everett. I got into race walking through my running club Colchester".

    There is no Commonwealth Games Walk as it was taken out of the programme, particularly as so many medals have gone to UK athletes in the past.
"It is a real shame because the Commonwealth Games is a stepping stone to the World, European and Olympics. I completely disagree with the organisers saying it is too late to put on a walk when you can close the whole of Glasgow for a marathon race. Walkers would have been happy with doing a 5k on the track.
If you take an event which is part of athletics out of the programme is unheard of to be honest. Athletics is a primary sport. Race walking is part of athletics. The positive is, it is in for 2018. Race walking in the Commonwealth you only have to look at the World Cup results from this year in China and we had three Canadians, two Australians, the English guys doing well, and a South African walker. They were from all over. Even the Indians so, it is a shame it has been taken out as results elsewhere in the World have shown race walking in the Commonwealth is on the up."

MONTELL DOUGLAS, British Record Holder 100m with 11.05. Done at Loughborough in 2008. The Blackheath & Bromley Ladies AC athlete was born on the 24/1/86. At Mile End, after a cloudburst and in hot sunshine she hurtled down the track to win the 100m in 11.49 from Kim Baptiste of Sussex who ran 12.23. Baptiste went on to win the 200 in 24.47 and Douglas anchored Kent to victory in the sprint relay.
Montell's favourite races "Usually it is the London Grand Prix. It is like a home fixture. I was raised in South London and Crystal Palace is for me."  
Having interviewed Donna Fraser at the Southern and, realising she was from South London "I train with her from 9 years probably. From 16 to when she retired in 2008."
Montell's favourite international? "It has got to be the Olympics in 2008. I did not run one of my best races but it was OK. I enjoyed the experience. I just missed out on the Semi-Final. I had a really tough quarter final so, that was quite hard to take, especially at the Olympics" (2nd Heat 11.36 and 4th in Quarter Final in 11.38).
Montell Douglas start in athletics "I was doing high jump when I was 13 then I had a back problem and had to stop. At 16 I started running properly."
Her Breakthrough "I was National Champion at 16 in the 100/200. When I was 21, I got a silver at the European Under 23's that was when I wanted to run properly."

22 year old, KYLE ENNIS. (Born 9/8/91) Fastest 100 was on the 6th of July when he did 10.5 and he has run 21.7 for 200. Ennis won the Southern Counties 100/200 for Oxfordshire in 10.64/21.43. He runs for Banbury.
"I have been competing for 3 years. I reached the Final in 200 and semi-final in the 100 in the Trials so I can't really complain. I was doing rugby before for a local team. I dropped out for a few years before I started athletics. I like sprinting but the training is hard. It is all worth it. I had lane One in the 100 to-day with an empty lane next to me but the rest of the track was filled up, I think. I still won and got 10.6 or so. I can't complain with that."

DAN STEPNEY (Born 23/5/88) from Brighton, had run his best 800 time at Eltham in August of 2013.That was in a BMC Regional race. His time then was 1:49.98. Dan Stepney was running for Sussex, at Mile End and was in a very tactical race where the first five ran inside 1:56. The first two were Stepney in 1;52.46 and second was Nathan Wake of Hertfordshire in 1:52.78.
"I had been ill at the beginning of the season but slowly building things up so, hopefully, and going a bit longer in the season now to the end of August."
Running the 800 for how long? "5 or 6 years I came 7th in the Olympic Trials back in 2012 but it has been up and down since then but just enjoying racing really."

PAUL MARTELLETTI, (Born 1/8/79) who initially came from New Zealand but runs for the UK now. His fastest Half marathon was 50:13 and in 2011 he ran his fastest marathon 2:16.49 and he has also run 50K in 2:50.11.
At Mile End the Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets AC runner, with that white cap trademark on, won the 5000 'A' in 14:47.99 from the first 'B' runner Rob Thompson of Middlesex who ran 14:54.97. Martteletti also won the 'B' in the 1500 in 4:4.88.

A very versatile runner "Last weekend I did 800, 1500, and 5k inside two hours. I did a PB for 800 which was all that I was wanting 1:59.57. I had never broken two minutes in all my youth. The next day I went for little jog with Steve Way who is off to the Commonwealth next week and we did 35 miles at the Purbecks, it is safe to say it was bloody hard work, especially running with Steve who is an absolute machine at the moment."
"I had an easier week this week because I was battered and bruised from it. Steve Way often does longer runs now."
Paul did an Ultra race recently "It was a kind of funny concept 'Red Bull Wings for Life' It was a funny format where you had a head start on a car and, after half an hour that car sets off at a set speed and chases you down. After 2 hours it goes from 15 kilometres an hour to sixteen, to seventeen till 20k an hour, which is a big jump, that is 30minute 10k pace! It is very hard to out run it and I ended up running 43 miles before I got caught and I was fifth in the World. It is pretty descent on a very hilly terrain."
"I am getting into the longer stuff a bit more. I quite like the idea because I do a lot of running anyway. 100/120 miles most weeks so with the longer races, it is nothing too taxing generally unless I had not prepared well, like doing three track races the day before but it is good fun."
He might turn to Ultra Distance running! "I will eventually. Steve is very similar to me. We have both the same marathon PB's. We both do similar high mileage. He has been doing 100k's . He is really showing what is possible for a half descent runner like the top UK marathon men can do. He has the British record for 100k* We hear about these guys doing 100 mile runs and you think to yourself. How hard is that like! The pace seems awfully slow on average, refuelling and stopping that you don't get in the shorter distances. It is more or less how your body is going to cope with it. The length of it and the nutrition. If you can get it right."
I told him I was reporting on the 100 mile race (It was in 'Athletics Weekly'). They had at Crystal Palace, round the track on the 15th of October 1977 when Don Ritchie's record of 11hours 30mn and 51seconds was broken by two Russians. The race was promoted by the Road Runners Club and the very final stages were fascinating to watch.
Things in recent times meant that Paul had not run as well as he would have liked to over the marathon to make the 'Big' Championships?
Paul came off his bike and injured himself?
"The week before the Frankfurt Marathon, I broke my arm and had surgery. It happened on a Friday and I had surgery on the Monday under a local anaesthetic. I tried to run Frankfurt but I felt awful and it was the first race ever I have pulled out of. I have got some unfinished business there regarding the marathon. It would be quite awful to say 'I have had enough' I am going to move on now. I know there is a good PB there to nail. Looking at the guys running the 2:15's and 2:16's  I am right there."

CLARE ELMS, the wonderful multi-world age record holder and now in her 50's was 2nd in the 3000m for Kent in 10:14.17 behind Fiona Clark of Sussex who recorded 9:57.52.
To think, if you cast your mind back to 29th of May 1954, the first time ever any woman of any age ran Under 5 minutes for a mile was that day. Diane Leather of England ran the One mile in 4:59.6 that day!
"I was really pleased with second" Considering that it is Sunday and she did something special on the Friday just two days before! "I did a really hard mile on Friday and did a 4:58 which was a WORLD RECORD for Over 50's On the Dulwich track."

LAURA WAKE, 23, (Born 3/5/81), ran for Hertfordshire. Her club is Windsor Slough & Eton. She won the 400 in 53.53 from Lane One by a wide margin.
"I am actually a bit ill. I have got a bit of a cold. I have run 52.9 this year in Loughborough (20/4/14) at an Open meet up there. That is OK for to-day as it was pretty windy."
Had she been doing the 400 for a long time?
"Quite a  few years now. I graduated from Loughborough Uni and now I work up there and I am actually a coach as well. Pretty busy!"

LIAM YARWOOD (Born 10/9/94) who competed for Essex and Chelmsford AC. He is the Southern Champion pole vaulter, at Crystal Place this year. He won the event for Essex at Mile End with 4.60 from Daniel Gardner of Hertfordshire, who did the same height. (Daniel Gardner vaulted 5.20 last year and done a 5.10, so he was the favourite for the event.) "I was not that pleased with 4.60 as 4.80 is my best. It was difficult to-day and the wind picked up. Dan struggled with that, as the wind picked up quite badly. He landed on the side of the mat." (Quite painful for him but no bones broken).

FARREN MORGAN, 20, (Born 29/10/93) Competed for Kent but his club is Enfield & Haringey.
Was he pleased with winning in 48.38. He felt it was not really a good time for him as he pointed out :-
"I did 47.11 last week (5/7 Hendon) and 47.26 the week before (Birmingham) which were my two best times. I think it is a bit more pressure."
Started athletics "When I was 14, six years ago. My school, my family and my uncle (Who used to be a coach). Doing loads of sport for years and years I found a passion for it. I have run the English Schools, for my Kent team and for Surrey as I went to school in Surrey".
"I ran 47.9 last year. I have only just run low 47's in the last few weeks."

ANDY BLOW, (Born 24/9/85) The Basingstoke and Mid Hants club hurdler, has run 50.56 for 400 hurdles and 14.28 last year in the high hurdles, as a PB and also won this event at the Southern last year at Watford.
He won the 110 hurldes at Mile End in 14.38 with Peter Moreno of Sussex 2nd with 14.58 and Ashley Wilson of Middlesex 3rd with 14.75
"I had an Achilles injury in March/April time. I was running and racing but missed a lot of training. I was racing at 60 to 70% fitness so, it was a bad kind of year so far.
I ran a PB in 60m hurdles in January/February time so I set myself up for a really good outdoor season but on a positive note I caught up some of that training and ran a bit quicker to do my 14.38 to-day. It puts me back in the top 20, which is always nice. My PB is 14.28. In a few weeks I can start to attack that. Hopefully revise that. I am getting married in August so that will cut my season short. At the end of July I have to stop racing and focus on that, bit of a shame but obviously positive at the same time."

RYAN McKINLAY (Born 10/9/86) won the 3000 steeplechase for Middlesex in 9:35.70 with Essex runner Rob Warner 2nd in 9:45.27. However, in a way, Ryan was unlucky not to make the team for Scotland for the Commonwealth Games, as his time has come down radically this year to a personal best perforamance of 8:55 but you have to be able to do 8:40 to be selected for Scotland. He is the Scottish National Champion. The day before the meeting at Mile End he did, no less than 8 events for Highgate Harriers at Luton in the Southern League, which was a help as they were second on the day.

Alastair Aitken

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