Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
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TIM HARTLEY (June 2015)

TIM HARTLEY, 47 in June 2015 is impressive, as one of the best Master/Veterans over the country, road and track. His 31:33.9 for 10k on the track in 2014, as an M45, was his fastest of his athletics career.
Having said that, one might be surprised to realise his love is for cross-country running, more than any other athletic discipline. Tim Hartley was sure about that “It has always been cross country. You go to different places. Tracks are the same everywhere. Cross country courses, they are all different. So, you hate some and some you love.”

    His success in mixing veteran competition with high level club competition is unquestioned.

At Parliament Hill Fields track, in May 2015 he ran 32:47.0 for 10k, the month before he turned 47. That was in Race 3 of 6. It was in Ben Pochee’s promotion, which was the 3rd ‘Ever’ Night of Personal Bests, which was combined with the British & UK Championships.
Looking at that event before his race when I spoke to him, he said “What they have done here is brilliant. It is difficult to find a 10k on the track anywhere in the UK”.
        Now for other achievements. He took his club NOTTS AC into the lead on the 2nd stage in the 12 Stage Midland road relay in 2015. A position they never relinquished for the rest of the race.
He moved Notts from 3rd to 2nd on the second stage, in the National 12 stage road relay at Sutton Park this year.
As a 46 year old, earlier this year, he came 128th in the National cross country Championships at Parliament Hill Fields but was one of those who ran for the winning Notts AC team.
At Leeds, in 2010 he came 29th in the National Cross Country Championships. A high position for a veteran athlete M40.
       In 2013 in the British & Irish Masters cross country Championships at Cardiff he won the prestigious Masters event for the third time outright. Before that at Birmingham in 2009, as an M40, he was first.
In 2008 in the British & Irish race, also running as an M40, he beat all the ‘35-49 year olds’ The event was at Swansea (On the 15th of November). Following him home in that were Ex-Olympian, Justin Chaston (M40); and David Morwood (M35 winner).
        It was in his 30’s he turned to athletics seriously. “I gave up football in my 30’s but I think I was always a runner at heart anyway,’
‘My brother bought me a vest and membership of Shepshed running club, on my birthday. From then on I did more running than football.’
‘It was when I started running well I joined Notts AC’ (After also belonging to North Cork till 2006. He then joined Notts and 2nd claim Barrow Runners).
‘I had the best of both World’s, joining Notts for the racing and, the local club more for the social side. It was when I started doing the National competition, six stage road relays and reading the magazines, I then realised I was only about 10 seconds or so away from some of the good runners. I thought ‘Great’ I am not so rubbish at this after all’
           Tim Hartley, is a cabinet maker by trade and self-employed. He found it difficult to train in the evenings in the countryside for quite a while because, it is so dark with little lighting. ‘You could not see where you were going but now in recent times I have been living in Loughborough. I can run better, with all the good street lighting and local facilities. That makes a massive difference’ He added. ‘I try to run 40 to 50 miles a week.’
About his club NOTTS AC he said “It is good to have a lot of people running well in the club. There are guys coming through now. Hopefully they will carry on when they have gone to university.”
 
Alastair Aitken

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