Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
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MENS NATIONAL CCC - Part 3 (February 2015)

2005 finishers were in a massive and spectacular charge up the first hill on Hampstead Heath but it was never in doubt that Charlie Hulson of Sale Manchester would be one of those who would draw clear of the rest. He did that after the first of the two laps. The  person who was also prominent, for over half the race Dan Garbutt of Durham City, the early leader eventually he finished fourth.
Notts AC, who often had won the Midland by a large margin but never the National, were successful at Parliament Hill. They packed well to win the team event. In the race four other clubs looked like serious challengers. They were the next four to finish a six man team behind Notts. Bedford & County, Leeds City, Highgate Harriers and Morpeth Harriers.


First 12 to finish the race:- 1 Charlie Hulson (Sale Harriers Manchester) 39:12; 2 Andrew Heyes (Hallamshire Harriers) 39:31; 3 Nicholas Swinburn (Morpeth Harriers) 39:39; 4 Daniel Garbutt (Durham City AC) 39:46; 5 Ben Tickner (Brighton Phoenix - Twice consecutively the Southern Champion in 2014/15) 59:51; 6 Antonio Silva (Queens Park Harriers, The Portuguese international) 39:54 ; 7 Adam Hickey (The recent cross Challenge winner, Southend on Sea) 40:07;  8 Daniel Hallam (Owls AC) 40:09; 9 Andrew Maud (Clapham Chasers) 40:14; 10 Audun Nortdveit (Norwegian International and overall ATW Metropolitan League Champion) Highgate Harriers 40:16; 11 Phil Wylie (International Triathlete from Cheltenham & County Harriers) 40:21 and 12 Neilson Hall (Previous National bronze medallist and two years ago Metropolitan League Champion who won all his league races in that) 40:25.

First 3 complete teams from 145 clubs:- 1 Notts AC (23,24,32,39, 41,54) 213; 2 Bedford & County AC 265; 3 Leeds City AC 355.

2 Lap course this year; CHARLIE HULSON (21) “I went into the lead at the start of the second lap.”
A huge group going through the first lap. “There was Yes!. There was a strong group and I just thought I would just have to get away from it. The course was horrible (The mud)
Big cross countries this year “I did Edinburgh and I was fifth. I first started running it when I was 13. PAUL RODEN COACHES ME. (Paul Roden won the Junior title in 1983 and was 3rd in the Senior championships in 1993).
Would he put it down as one of his best results?
‘Definitely’
Did he prefer cross country to track. His answer:- “I like cross country but I am going to focus on the track this year. My times are nothing compared to what I could do. I have had injuries at the start of the track seasons.’
When did he start doing good mileage “I Give it about 70 to 80 which is sensible really. I train in Manchester with other people.‘ (His Personal Bests last year 2014 were 3:48.18 for 1500 in the BMC Grand Prix at Sports City on the 31/5/14 and 14:24.20 for 5000 in the BMC Grand Prix at Solihull on the 16/8).

Second ANDREW HEYES ‘It was a very large group till we got into really good running on the far side. Dan Garbutt started to push the pace. I had an idea there who were going to be the top five in the group. It was evident that was going to be the one’s to break away. It was not till we got to the top of the hill when Charlie moved away.’
Running a long time? ‘I finished third in the National last year. So it is a bronze, silver and hopefully gold next year!’
When did he first feel he wanted to run than do other sports “I only started when I was 13 so, it was when I was 14/15. I played a lot of football then. I won the Home Countries last year. Fastest in the cross-country relays.
Coach KEITH WIGHTMAN - University of Sheffield (It is interesting to note that three personal bests were ‘quick’ last year in 2014 and all in BMC races 800/1500/Mile-1:51.21/3:43.02/4.02.70).
Hallamshire is a good club so, you must be happy there “I have been with them my whole life. The hope was I was going to be the first Hallamshire Harrier to win the National since 1970 when Trevor Wright won it. When you look back at the history of Hallamshire you have got people like Seb Coe and Karl Thackery but in terms of cross-country it is Trevor Wright. There was a year he won the Yorkshire, Northern and National and that. He ran a 2:12 marathon and if one could emulate that it would put you top of the rankings!
Regarding the track “I have tried to convince myself for a long time I am a 1500m runner but now I feel I should step up to 5k. I want to get that barrier of beating 4 minutes for a mile do the 5k this year because I don’t have the flat speed over 800.”

NICHOLAS SWINBURN (26) “I did go well on the first lap. I was feeling good then. Charlie Hulson took off at the end of the first lap. I just could not get anywhere near him after that. I managed to get into second for most of that lap. In the last ‘K’ Andy came flying past me. I was pleased with it but it was just a tough race to catch anybody up in the mud.’
What do you consider was your last good race?
“I was 4th last year.’
Your club Morpeth is a very inspiring club
“JIMMY ALDER is always about. He adds inspiration and humour. I train with LINDSAY DUNN’S group. Most of the Morpeth athletes are in that.
‘I played football mainly then at 16 I started running or maybe a little earlier 14/15. I moved to the countryside and they had some Fell races.
It was fell running that started me off to cross-country.
People like Steve Vernon were missing this year from the National. Maybe some runners want to do the Inter-Counties, rather than double up?
“People get injured and stuff. JOHNNY TAYLOR from our club would have been up there but he is injured.”

JONATHAN THEWLIS, the first runner of the Notts AC winning team in 23rd place
What did he think made Notts so good?

“Team spirit and NICK ROBINSON is always motivating us. Getting in touch and getting behind the team and making sure we are all organised for every race every year, for many years.
Although they have not won the National before they have had several men in the first few to win the Midlands cross-country Championships
“In the last couple of years we have had the first three in the Midlands .
Special achievements for you?
“I have represented GB in the Under 23’s on the track and World cross country as a junior. Top 10 in the Inter-Counties last year. Runing as an international is amazing. I think the Midland championships were pretty special. It was my first major senior title (It was in the Ben Pochee Personal Bests 10k’s at Parliament Hill last year that Jonathan ran his PB for 10,000 of 29:48.2. It was in 2011 in two BMC races he ran two of his PB’s 3:50.46/13:54.16 for 1500/5000m)

Alastair Aitken

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