Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
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Surrey Masters CCC (November 2016)

SURREY MASTERS CCC
Richmond Park
Saturday, October the 22nd

MATT ATKINS (41, Kingston & Poly) won a well contested race over a dry course in 34:42.
For the first two miles Atkins, Kristian Lennard (M45, SLH)) and the 2014 winner Keith Macintosh, (a 2:36 marathon man in this year’s London), were running together. At the half way point Atkins and Lennard moved ahead together. It was after the final pathway, through the woods, on the top part of the course that Atkins got away from Lennard with Macintosh coming in third but, helping Wimbledon Windmilers to win the team medals convincingly.
   Atkins said “At 14 I ran for England in the Home International and came third, after coming fifth in the English Schools. When I was 3rd in the Home International Mark Steinle was 2nd and he went on to run 2:09 in the London. After University I stopped running and did a career and brought up a family early and, worked as a chemical engineer. The Kids started running last year. They are 12 & 10 so, I joined in. I had not raced for 20 years. I took it up again and loving it He did Park runs last year and club running this year and, did 36:34 in the Cabbage Patch 10k. I had done a half marathon in 1:15.44 the week before that I was quite pleased with. ‘Regarding his 10 miles he said ‘I felt, I had run faster today. I am jogging round the marathon with a mate at work in two weeks time but I am not doing enough miles. 'Nowhere near enough miles. I am only doing 35-40 miles a week.”
‘I still work for BP. I am in procurement at the moment. I work for Castrol, (The car lubricants). I look after all the purchasing in Europe & Africa.”

Andy Fay (60, Epsom & Ewell, in 24:23)) was a clear winner of the ‘Over 60 race’ leading all the way, except for the first 150m when, John Quaitnance of SLH was ahead. Fay said “My favourite event is the triathlon, even though I did a couple of New York marathons. He then said what he thought his best memory was ‘It as. about 6 or 7 years ago, in my first Zurich Ironman. It was a beautiful country. My sister lives there. It was my first big triathlon, the atmosphere was fantastic. The last one I did was the Oxford Iron man last year. I did not do very well because two weeks later I was in hospital. I suffered. Kidney failure in hospital and, they told me I nearly died but, I recovered from that and that is why I am training to get back into running again now and get quicker and quicker’ He added ’I love triathlons .”

Peter Giles (Hercules Wimbledon), who is a musician and a very intelligent thinking man, has been a prolific winner in the ‘Over 70’s group and he was last year’s victor. He ran 26:35 and second again was Graham Taylor, AAA’s marathon Champion of 1966,  in 27.41. Taylor was 2nd last year too but memories of the AAA’s marathon where he out-gunned European Champion Jim Hogan are lasting parts of athletics history.

The oldest man in the race was Ken Shepherd of South London Harriers, who was 80 in September. He went round in 45.30
It was interesting to hear how Ken Shepherd, ran as a young man
“I started with Surrey Beagles when I was 18. In my 20’s I was second in an East Surrey League race when I was about 28. I ran 1:56 for 880 yards and 9:50 for 2 miles.”

In the women’s Masters race, Mary James (SLH) and Sandra White (Stragglers), both W40, went into the lead together after a couple of miles and, going through half way together. James then decided to go ahead, on the narrow pathway, up through the woods and increased the pace for the last flatter part, moving clear as they came round the wood to the finishing straight with White a good second. Samantha Pickford (W35, from Wimbledon Windmilers) came in  third in 24:30.
Anna Garnier ran impressively to be the first W60 in 26:54 and Jane Davies was the first W65 in 27:06.

Alastair Aitken

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