BMAF Vice- Chairman leads British Walkers to Victory
Spain dominate the Men’s 10k Road Run
On the first day of the 3-day European Masters Athletics Non Stadia Championships in sunny Alicante, three times Olympian Ian Richards got himself back on the podium again with an eight minute victory in the M70 10km Road Walk over Ludwig Niestelberger, Austria. Supported by Roger Michell, 3rd and John Borgas 6th, the British trio’s cumulative time of 3h06.05sec got them the team gold award well clear of Italy 3.33.48sec. Ian was 2nd overall in the M55+ race.
Helen Middleton, Fiona Bishop and Carolyn Derbyshire took W40 team bronze in a closer contest behind Italy and the host country. MMAC member, Ann Wheeler led the W60 team of Cath Duhig and Linda Farrow to silver medals. Without a third Age Group member, Malcolm Martin 7th and Hardeep Minhas 11th missed out on possible team medals in the M60 race. M75 Mick Barker got a European bronze with evergreen Edmund Shillabeer 4th. 41 finished, 3 unfortunately were DQ-d in the M35-54 race; 50 finished in the M55+and a total of 65 crossed the finish line in the Women race.
With huge support from the host nation, 250-plus runners aged M35-59 set off at a pace in a separate race that was to be dominated by Spanish runners and won by their M35 Sergio Salinero in 30.47sec from M40 Javier Martinez, 31.19sec. The host nation took all the individual and team titles from the M35-M45 before the Portuguese Joaquim Figueiredo crossed the line first M50. Gary Gregory was first of our entries in 40thoverall and 19th in his M35 race in 34.11sec. His time was good enough to lead the team, Tony Macdowall 73rdoverall, and Tony Golabek, to M35 silver medals.
M50 Philip Leybourne had a great run to come in 47th overall and second Briton home in 34.38sec; teaming up with David Smith (36.10), Roger Alsop (37.43) for team bronze. The M55 trio of Grant Matheson, Paul Fletcher and Trevor Rayner also got on the podium.
The Women, running with the M60+, had better fortune led home by Jo Coates 3rd W40 in 37.02sec. Record breaking W55 Scottish runner, Fiona Matheson won her category in 38.15sec after getting a good test from the Italian Nadia Dandolo who came in 38.24sec. Angela Copson [of course!] easily won the W70 race 47.18sec with the bronze medal deservingly going to Worthing runner Pauline Rich. A stalwart of these Championships, Pam Jones from Ilford, ran out an easy winner of the W80 race. There were more medals when the W35 team of Nicola Gauld, Catherine Charlton and Ruth Jones were 2nd, W40 – Jo Coates, Sarah Metz and Carol Lowes got bronze medals, bronze also for the W50 trio of Karen Rushton, Jane Pidgeon and Tracey Gibson. VAC’s Secretary, Ros Tabor, Barbara Ockendon and Sue James ran themselves into 2nd W65 team home. With Angela Copson’s clear ten minutes victory, Pauline Rich and June Johnson supporting, they finished up taking the W70 title by a huge margin from Germany and Italy.
In top form at the European Indoor in March, M65 John Skelton and M75 Phil Brennan just missed out on individual medals here in 4th but John spearheaded the M65 team of Terry Eakin and Desmond Michael to silver medals behind Spain. After being presented with his individual 3rd place M70 medal, Mick Casey went on to see his time 42.53, the 45.21 by Norman Baillie and the experience David Beattie 47.02sec cumulative times win them the European M70 team title.
Also enjoying the Spanish sunshine were hardworking Officials Fred Pidgeon finished 148th in 47.29sec and well outclassed by his wife Jane, she was home and dry in 45.16! Coming in 29th in the M65 race was the 1974 Commonwealth and Olympian marathon representative, Ian Thompson, running with his wife Margaret.