Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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Southern Counties Veterans Track & Field League Finals (September 2014)

Sunday 7th of September at Julie Rose Stadium at Ashford
CAMBRIDGE HARRIERS and EPSOM & EWELL HARRIERS won possibly the most exciting Veterans contest in the UK.

The reason for that was due to the good organisation by Arthur Kimber, the Chairman of the Southern Counties Veterans AC and British Masters Athletics Federation.
In fine weather it was purely about points and little to do with individual performance.
It was a contest that contained the leading teams from all the Areas in the South, who qualified for the Final at Ashford.
Most of the top veterans were spreading themselves thinly, as they did event after event.

Epsom & Ewell had Liz Sissons, who achieved W65 and W70 British javelin records this year but pressing Epsom & Ewell, who incidentally had won the event for several years, were Cambridge Harriers as the points showed after 10 of 17 events completed for when, Epsom were on 164 to Cambridge's 158 points.
Cambridge were helped by Clare Elms, a W50 (who ran the fastest mile ever by an Over 50 this year and coached by Steve Smythe). Elms, ran the quickest time of all the age groups over 1500m at Ashford but it was a bit of a surprise to see Glynis Penny obtaining 3 points in the W60 shot and hammer, as she was 3rd in the London Marathon in 1983 in 2:36.21 and won the Venice Marathon in 1988 in 2:36.49.

Blackheath & Bromley's, Helen Godsell (W60), who achieved several gold medals in the recent European Veterans Games in Turkey, was impressive, as was Barnet & District's Dave Wilcock, running as an Over 60. He ran away from the field in the 800m. Wilcock had won many World Veteran titles since he was in his early 40's. Simon Coombes (M40) of Herne Hill Harriers, who ran in Ben Pochee's Night of PBs at Parliament Hill fields in May, led all the way to win the 1500/5000 Age group race for 35-50 in 4:15.45/9:06.78 respectively.

Cambridge men won all the 100 sprints and three of the 200's, out of four. (Impressive was the ex-footballer, Anthony Noel (M50) who won the World Masters 100m in Spain in his 40's) and their field event athletes were sufficiently strong to help win the day for them. (It was good to see ex-International, Chris Melluish, now 70, win the over 60's discus as, he was many times Kent Champion as a young man).

Alastair Aitken

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