Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
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Mahamed Mahamed & Adam Hickey (March 2018)

Mahmed Mahamed was the overall Cross-Challenge winner and Inter-Counties cross country Champion, who two weeks before won a comfortable first place for Southampton AC in the National Junior Championship at Parliament  Hill Fields.
He had also run well, with a personal best over 3000 indoors, when winning the BUCS Championship at Sheffield in 8:18.93. in February 2018.
Now for the ‘unusually  thick muddy course, at Loughborough, on the 10th of March over 12k’s. He had previously really enjoyed his Junior National race, which he won easily at Parliament Hill but, so which races did he consider were his most outstanding?
“Under 20 Europeans (In Italy he was 3rd on 11th of December 2016) and obviously this one.”

What really made him take up athletics as his main sport?
“I enjoyed my running, when my PE teacher and my coaches took an interest. That was where it came from.”

His coach Peter Haynes comes in, while Mohamed went up for his overall Cross Challenge prize so, what did think of his charge?
“He is a lovely lad. He is ambitious. He is doing it the right way.; he is not doing masses of miles. He is building himself up and he is improving all the time. Hopefully, he has got a future in athletics. To-day I was hoping for a top three for him. His times are not that good at the moment because of various reasons. Last year we lost 4 months for various reasons. The way he has performed in the last six months and, the guys he has beaten today, there is no reason why he could not improve and get near their times.”

The First six in the final cross challenge and CAU Inter-Counties race
1 Mahamed Mahamed (Hants) 42:23; 2 Sam Stabler (Leicester & Rutland) 43:12 3 Adam Hickey (Essex) 43:20; 4 Andy Vernon (Last year’s winner but, after injuries & short of consistent training this year. He will be back in form for the European Championships in the Summer of 2018) 5 Carl Avery (North East) 43:57; 6 James Hunt (South Wales) 43:59.
The winning county was Middlesex (According to the official programme they had never won it before since the lists began in 1954) 2nd Lancashire 185 and 3rd Surrey 263.

NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPION ADAM HICKEY 2018
                                                       
Parliament Hill Fields, Hampstead Heath
First three: - 1 Adam Hickey (Southend on Sea) 39:35; 2 Andy Maud (Highgate Harriers) 39:44; 3 John Gilbert (Kent AC) 40:01. 1st team Tonbridge AC 31 points.
Adam comes in “Great to get my name on the trophy. I just had a good feeling that day.
I remember turning up and my previous coach, Ron Dawson of Southend AC, said “Yes, it is about time you won this!”
‘I won it as a junior when he was coaching me. (His current coach is Eamonn Martin, a previous National winner (in 1988) and in 2011 Mel Batty took a strong interest in coaching him - Mel won the National twice 64-65). Adam continues “ I thought, I feel really good to-day. That was even from the start, going up the hill with Andy Maud & John Gilbert. We worked together, leading bits that was just the way it worked out. At the end of the second lap I felt myself at the front with Andy. Next we were weaving in and out of the lapped runners. I pulled away. I'm not quite sure what happened, a bit of a blur. I had a lead coming down the hill then I turned round to have a look and, coming down the last bend I ran alongside my wife Katy. She was screaming me in. It just felt like a dream.
It is the one you want to win isn’t it”

Alastair Aitken

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