Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

WOMENS NATIONAL CCC - Part 2 (February 2015)

LILLIAN PARTRIDGE, who is training to be a teacher, equalled her Mother, RUTH SMEETHS’ NATIONAL PERFORMANCE OF 1980, when winning the National at Parliament Hill Fields.

865 completed the course and the first half dozen were 1 Lillian Partridge (Aldershot Farnham & District AC) 30:37; 2 Louise Small (Aldershot Farnham & District) 30:55; 3 Sarah Astin (Manx Harriers) 31:14; 4 Georgie Bruinvels (Aldershot Farnham & District) 31:20; 5 Juliet Potter (Charnwood AC) 31:21; 6 Nicola Sykes (Bournville Harriers) 31:23. First three teams:- 93 club teams were counted in on the day 1 Aldershot Farnham & District AC 38 (1,2,4,31); 2 Bristol & West AC 53; 3 Rotherham Harriers & AC 189.

Since I spoke to Lillian Partridge, after she won the Inter-Counties and final cross-challenge last season, had things gone well for her?
‘Things have gone really well. I have got better since then. I came 4th in the Spanish International Cross (International Juan Muguerza de Elgoiba, on the 25th of January). She won the Cardiff British Athletics Cross Challenge on the 10th of January and last year had been 11th in the European Cross Country.
At Parliament Hill Fields in the National this year, with a lap to go, she was running in the front of the field and looked very happy the way things were going?

“I love running at Parliament Hill but I have never run a race that was so muddy in my life.’      
Being third last year must have given her more determination to try and win
“The two who were ahead of me last year were not here but, I felt I was running well enough to have won still. I was happy with the result.”
Regarding running in the World cross country Championships!
“I have declined selection for the World Cross, because I want to concentrate on 10,000m on the track. I ran 32:51.61 but it was my first ever one. Hoping I can run a lot faster this year.’ (She ran that time in Lisbon on 29th of March last year and then 33:23.49, in the drizzle, in the Highgate Harriers Night of Athletics on the 10th of May.
Up to now her fastest 5k of 16:11.81, as an ‘Under 23’. It was on the 1st of June 2013 at Sports City in the BMC Grand Prix. Lillian, also ran a PB 1500 of 4.23.50 in the BMC Gold Standard races at Watford on the 13th of August 2013)

Second place was LOUISE SMALL. She was very pleased with her run “To come second to Lillian. For me right now, is like a dream come true. I have been training well in a group with Lillian, Emilia and Steph, and, I knew Lillian was going to be a tough competitor. It was, I thought, going to be a top 10 or a top 6 for me. To come back here and be second in the senior competition shows I am improving, as I am still coming back from a bit of an injury but I don’t see that as an excuse.’
‘I have had injuries and been out the sport a little bit” (Louise Small’s personal best 5000 was 16:10.57 in the BMC Grand Prix of 31st of May 2014 and her best 1500 was at the BMC Grand Prix at Sports City on 30th of May 2009).

Third place went to SARAH ASTIN (21). “In todays race I started off really well then, with about 2k to go I was almost walking up the hills. I just dug in. It was probably the hardest race I have done.”
However she did think that the race was her best cross-country performance along with the BUCS cross country Championship (The latter on the 31st of January at Brighton. 1 Emilio Gorecka of Royal Holloway U, 23.06; 2 Sarah Astin, St Mary, 23 24; 3 Amy Griffiths, St Mary 23:42). She is coached by MICK WOODS at St Mary's and is in her final year.
First started running “About 10 years ago. In the under 13’s I came in the top 10. I had injuries and managed to get back into it. It was probably last Summer I started to run well again.’
‘My little sister KATIE ASTIN (Manx Harriers) ran to-day and came 9th in the Under 17’s (Of 235). “I give her some sessions I do but she is at the Isle of Man still where as I am at university.”

Alastair Aitken

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