Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Hercules Wimbledon 5k Festival Night (August 2017)

Torry, of Serpentine RC, moves to 6th over 40 track, all time, Brtisih list for 5k and ranked 1st in the UK over 40 in 2017

The third Annual Festival of 5k’s, managed by Ben Noad and, the officials of Hercules & Wimbledon AC, had the addition of an extra race this year, because of the demand being so high.
119 finishers over 7 races and 78 PB’s.
15 runners went sub 15 minutes.

In the top race ‘7’ Pascar Owor, paced the first 6½ laps, before Paul Martelletti closely followed by Nick Torry, took over the pace at the front and, the two of them quickly opened up a gap to the rest. The battle between those two was quite intense till Torry, went clear in the last half lap. His time of 14:23.70 was only 0.15 adrift of Shaun Dixon’s meeting record of 14:23.55. Last year’s winner, Pete Chambers, came through, in the last couple of laps to record 14:41.24 and finish 4th of 19 finishers in the ‘A’ standard race.  

Nick Torry remarked “I was finding it tough but my legs did not feel too bad. It was more hard to push yourself in the dark, as you were not quite sure where your were”
Torry, now 40, works in the City as a Project Manager in accounting, which was after a year out and a sinus operation in March. He was recently back to running well again and, hopes to run the Frankfurt Marathon. The next veteran/Master was Chris Greenwood, 44 on September 29th. He ran round in 14:52.0. Looking back, he felt, his best results were coming 10th in the Southern (2016) and wining the Home veteran International three times on the trot.

From the two earlier races ‘2 & 3’ two women had impressive runs.
St Georges Hospital, bio-chemist, Katy Hedgethorne, was 3rd in the mixed race 2, out of 14 in a PB of 17:15.85. Besides her good relay legs for Cambridge & Coleridge AC, she was twice 2nd for Cambridge University in the Varsity 5000, races in 2015/2016. She was in the Blues cross country team for two years. ‘I run for Cambridge & Coleridge AC and we had good results in the National road relay.”

In race 4 Lucy Reid ran a PB of 16:29.59 and took 10 seconds off the meeting record by Steph McCall from last year, who did 16:39.30. ‘I had not run a 5000 on the track before.’
Regarding races she enjoyed doing “I really liked the Highgate Harriers 10,000m (35.44) but it was not my best race, as I had exams the week before. I came back in the middle of the Winter. Today I wanted to get under 16:25. Next time!”

”Additional comment on Race 7 won by Nick Torry from Paul Martelletti, with Jonathan Escalante, coached by Mark Vile 3rd in a PB of 14:35.46.
Paul Martelletti “It was a good race I really enjoyed it. We both ran on Sunday and Nick did 14:25.71 at Lee Valley Div 2 in 1st place; and I ran 14:37.94 in 3rd place in the British league Div 1 (Premier) in 3rd. I knew he was in good shape. It was just a case of trying to hang on to him and go through a bit of pain to take me through’
‘Back in March and April I was injured for about 9 weeks so I only started running back in May and I have progressed quickly enough luckily and, nearly back in my 5k PB shape, only 7 seconds off a PB so just got back so, I am pleased.
I said he seemed to be able to do so many distances so, what is his favourite one?
“I do like 5k’s, like Park Runs but I think the half marathon is probably my strongest.
It is race you can do every week. Mentally it is tough to do them and a couple of year’s back I did about 8 in 9 weeks and won 4 or 5 of them in silly times. That was when I was younger and sillier (38 now) now, I am more sensible I might only do one every two weeks!‘
Looking back Nick & I came through in 2009, we were just starting to come through and, we both went under 70 minutes at Wokingham and, we both have progressed really well with low 64’s for a half marathon and 14.20 odd for 5k. It’s been good.”

Race 6 1. Norman Shreeve Cambridge University Hare & Hounds won in PB of 15:08.38; 2 Tom Higgs SLH 15:09.62; 3 Andrew Booker of London Heathside 15:13.96. Both PB’s.

Race 5 1 Andy Hamilton (SLH) V35, won in a PB of 15:26.42; 2nd was Peter Hawkings (Highgate Harriers) 15:39.52      
Andy Hamilton “I first started running at 30. I took up Triathlon but, running only in the last 18 months. I did do the triathlon but, had a baby boy so, to do all the training for the triathlon was just too much. I decided to focus on the running. This is one of my best races for sure. I have been improving little by little, when doing the triathlon then, a bigger improvement when I do the running. Before that my best triathlon race was coming 2nd in the National middle distance for amateurs, that was in 2015.”

Race 3 1. Ewan Cameron V35, for Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets won in 16:18.53 from Mark Snaith of Ranelagh 17:15.74.
“You went for it on the last bit?
Yes I did.’ He added “I ran at school but then a 15 year hiatus. I did the 800/1500 and cross country at school. I was a Kent runner at Kings Canterbury. I was a Kent Champion in 1999 at cross-country, as an Under 19’
His good runs? ‘This is one and the San Sebastian marathon when I did 2:58 and the first time under 3 hours and I am trying to do Berlin next months. Unfortunately I did not run this when I was young so I claim these PB’s later on. I am now enjoying it and kicking myself for not doing it all those years.”

Alastair Aitken

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