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Maidenhead Athletic Club members grasp chance to compete in 'real' races

Elisa Harris

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Maidenhead Athletic Club (MAC) members have been relishing the opportunity – while they can – to take part in real, COVID-19 secure races this month. These include the Woodley 10k, the South Downs Way 50 and the Water of Life 10k.

Jon Oliver was one of the 16 MAC members who gathered – in a socially distant way of course – for the Woodley 10k in Woodford Park on Sunday.

Runners went off in waves to comply with COVID-19 regulations and for many at the club this was their first ‘real’ event since before lockdown.

The sky was blue for the start of the race but clouded over by the end, however, a little rain hardly dampened spirit. There were also some big personal bests, with Sam Warren taking more than two minutes off his previous best for the 10k. Peter Oldham knocked nearly a minute and a half off his best time and secured fourth place in the MV60 category. Elise Lombardo sliced 30 seconds off her best time and, eager to impress, most MAC members put in a good performance.

Reflecting on the event Jon Oliver said: “In a week where several larger events planned for this year and next were cancelled, it’s good to know that there may be some options for those wanting to race in the coming months.”

Age group winners included Pauline Siddons, first in the FV70, Chris Lewington, first in the MV60, with placings for Jeannette Sanderson, third in the FV60 and Dave Waterman, third in the MV70 category.

There was also a virtual event on offer which Mark Jacobs (1.10.59) and Derek Philip-Xu (walked in 1.44.44) completed.

Results: Jon Oliver 41.27; Colin Broadbent 45.24; Anthony Hornby 46.12; Chris Lewington 46.34; Sam Warren 46.38; Elise Lombardo 46.53; Caroline Shrimpton 48.16; Peter Oldham 50.56; Annie Sutton 54.48; Jeannette Sanderson 55.44; Pauline Siddons 56.14; Dave Waterman 57.56; Linda Szulc 58.48; Alison Attard 58.43; Steve Overbury 59.59; Julie Whitaker 1.02.55.

Elisa Harris took on the Centurion SDW 50, a 50-mile foot race along the South Downs Way National Trial on Sunday. The trail event, which took place on Sunday, started in Worthing and finished in Eastbourne. She completed the course, which covered slippery chalk pathways and included 6,012ft of elevation, in 10.54.17 and was absolutely delighted to finish as the 32nd woman. She never expected a sub 11-hour finish and managed to take two hours off her previous personal best.

Two MAC members completed Purple Patch’s Water of Life 10k which started and finished at Bisham Abbey near Marlow. Annie Sutton finished in 55.33 and Mike Sutherland in 55.55.

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