Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
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London Cross Country Championships (15/11/2014)

Parliament Hill Fields - 15/11/2014

DEAN LACY, who won the London Championships back in 2011 and was second four times, went clear of the 327 finishers at the top of the second hill and never looked back.
Lacy on 70 miles a week and having run the fastest time in the Reigate relays was in a confident mood.
For the first lap New Zealander, Glenn Hughes, who finished 19 seconds (7th) behind the winner in the previous Saturday in the Met League at Stevenage, Alex Bruce Littlewood, and Chris Smith were in a group behind that but Hughes went well away from the others for the last lap and Chris Smith took third place, showing he was coming back from six months of injury problems.

First 4:- 1 Dean Lacy (Cambridge Harriers) 32:18; 2 Glenn Hughes (Serpentine RC) 32:27; 3 Chris Smith (Thames Valley Harriers) 33:01; 4 Alex Bruce-Littlewood (Blackheath & Bromley Ladies) 33:10;  Teams:- 27 closed in and the First 3 were Highgate Harriers 61; Herne Hill Harriers 86 and Serpentine Running Club 89.

DEAN LACY “You were pleased with your run to-day.”
‘Really pleased. I went into the lead. Just after we got to the top of the hill, (after the first uphill), just before you go to turn off for the short lap. I then found the rhythm and stuck to it. I have managed to get a bit of consistent training together, fairly descent mileage, 70 a week for five or six weeks.’
You did have a problem trying to do marathons because you had not put the miles in with your job!
‘I changed jobs to an electrical cable distribution company at Erith. We take all the big drums and containers and have to unload them and everything. Quite manual work. I also help with returns and complaints and things like that so, I do a bit of everything and office work. It has really helped because I get to run into work and run home from work and that is an easy way to get the mileage up. I decided to do only one marathon this year and it did not go too well. I did 2:46.09 (His fastest is 2:25). I decided that I was just going to go back to basics and have a bit of a track season. I ran under 15 minutes for 5k (14:52.9) for the first time in five years. It was not too bad. (He will be 30 in December).”  
“For this week I have not really been able to train much at all. Wednesday onwards, because I had a bit of a cold in the middle of the week. Things are going in the right direction.”

GLENN HUGHES “You have been running well?”
"I came 7th in the Met League at Stevenage —19 seconds off the win,"
Memories of the London CC  
"We had a bit of a group on the first lap. Then on start of the second lap I moved into second and I got a bit isolated then. A bit of a gap in front of me and a bit of a gap behind me."
He came over from New Zealand October of last year. He works as a geologist for an engineering company.
"When I first joined Serpentine, this time last year, they were a good club but just in the last year they have a really good group and a good environment as well."
He was in the New Zealand Mountain team. “The main thing was mountain running I did the World Championships this year. 38th out of 160. I did do the British Trials and got third.”

CHRIS SMITH (He won the London CCC in 2010 and 2012) “I have been out with the biggest injury I ever had in 20 years of running.’ A hip Flexor’ after the Mountain running I injured it. I have been out for six months but I am coming back. To-day I was fourth early on then third. I did not feel very good to-day on the hills. I may need some more sessions before the ‘Nationals’. Something all athletes appreciate as they gradually get older “It doesn’t get any easier does it!”                                        

In the Women’s race, Phoebe Law, an Under 20 runner, moved ahead in the final large lap but it was last year’s London winner Lara Bromilow who led for the first lap, before confusion rained, as the runners were sent the wrong way and past the finish, rather than completing the small lap. Still it is unlikely the result would have been very different. Hannah Viner was overtaken by a couple of runners in the closing stages but rallied and came in third.
Out of the 187 finishers three veterans were highly placed, 5th Claire Grima (38); 6th Jo Kent (V50); and 10th Clare Elms (V50)
Highgate Harriers finished all their four scorers within 22 places to win the team award.

First 3 1 Phoebe Law (U20) 24:07(Kingston & Poly Harriers AC); 2 Lara Bormilow  (Marshall Milton Keynes AC) 24:46; 3 Hannah Viner (U20) 24:47 (Highgate Harriers)
Teams:-Highgate 38; London Heathside; 90 Dulwich 126


PHOEBE LAW “I caught Lara coming down the hill, and then we jogged. I waited till we were at the top of the hill and we were level and I went again’
‘In the first lap I was 3rd then I was 4th. I was in the lead for pretty much the whole of the last lap.’
‘I felt really good on the first lap and came through and that was how I race. At the very beginning I never thought I would win but, when we were running I felt really strong and probably could win.”
Recent racing she did the Surrey League when she came 2nd ‘that was my debut as a senior woman as I am an under 20.’ I am running roughly 50 miles a week at the moment’
Running is her favourite sport.

LARA BROMILOW, last years winner took the lead up the first big hill and then she was in the lead for the first lap till the confusions set in. “Then the marshal sent us the wrong way. I stopped here at the finish and then they decided for us to carry on for a lap.”
"You were still quite happy with your run?"
‘I think I ran quite well”  However, Lara was quite annoyed with the confusion and fell back to 6th then up to second again for the last lap. The winner came through from 4th to first for the whole of the last lap and was really strong throughout that lap She said she runs it that way coming through strongly and therefore was a likely winner and Lara Bromilow the likely second placer on the day.”

BEV GARDNER came in 4th for Shaftesbury Barnet in 24:53.
Have you had a good season. “It is my third race. I did quite well in the Met League last week. I came 5th and I was third senior.”

HANNAH VINER of Highgate was 3rd overall but 2nd Under 20
Her memories of the race are good “I was really confused when they sent us the wrong way. It was coming round for the second lap across the top of the hill and they sent us all the way down to where the finish was. We had to run right through the finish funnel and run round again. I was in about fifth when it settled down then I just worked my way on the up hills and relaxed on the down hills. I was sitting in second with 800 to go and then I got overtaken by two and I caught up one.

CLAIRE GRIMA, 37 was the first veteran in 5th place for Hercules & Wimbledon AC in 25:12.
It still became a race despite the confusion “It definatly did. I slowed down as we came to the finish, the first time we came down to the finishing funnels but it was definatly a good race.’
In the Surrey League “I normally come in the top 10. It depends who is racing. I was 6th in the Surrey County. In this race I was 4th last year so it is much the same for me.
‘I took up running in my middle to late 20’s. This year I have actually got PB’s in all my distances and had two kids in the interim so, I have kept going. A few more years hopefully.”

Alastair Aitken

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