Athletics round-up: Another win for Rutherford

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Marshall Milton Keynes Athletic Club member Greg Rutherford grabbed another fine win in the long jump, leaping 7.92m in to a stiff headwind at the Great City Games in Newcastle.

Also still on top form Lara Bromilow was the first woman home taking 9th place overall in 37m 36s at the Regent’s Park 10k.

While at the UK School Games in Manchester, Laura Zialor was 2ndin the triple jump clearing 11.67m with Jonathan Pownall 3rd in the javelin with personal best of 63.60m, Ebony Carr was 5th in the 100m taking 12.21s and Naomi Greener was 6th in the Long Jump 5.22m.

At the Lee Valley Centre, Scott Herbert (M35) improved his Club Veteran 100m and 200m Records lowering them to 11.46s and 23.03s respectively with Chris Clarke running 20.59s for the 200m.

At the other end of the spectrum at the World Mountain Running Championships in the Stubai Valley, Austria F60 Ursula Ghaleb finished 16th in 73m 41s with M70 Brian Graves 41st in 82m 46s.

Seventy five runners started Day 1 of the “Brian Graves Tour of Milton Keynes” now named to honour the founder of the annual event 32 years ago. As usual the “Tour” consists of six races in six days encompassing road, cross country and track events over a total distance roughly equalling a full Marathon (26 miles).

Day 1 was at the now familiar Tattenhoe 11k starting by the “Bottle Dump” roundabout for a two lap run on redways and country paths with a good turnout of 75 runners at the start.

In a close race it was Daniel Webber who just had the advantage over Mark Palser as the pair finished in 37m 45s and 37m 54s and in 3rd was Elliot Hind of Leighton Buzzard AC finishing in 39m 41s.

Leading the Women home in 26th was Julie Jones (F45) in 46m 54s well clear of 34th Sarah Lambert (F40) from David Lloyd Redway Runners taking 48m 54s with 35th Maria Calleia (F40) taking 3rd spot in 49m 21s.

On Day 2 the Tour moved north to Potterspury for a 5 mile Cross Country with a single lap circuit even those who know the venue can never be sure what obstacle will lay round the next bend.

In the early battle for the top there was reverse of fortunes as Mark beat Daniel by 12s to steal the lead recording times of 29m 06s and 29m 18s with 3rdbeing taking by Tour stalwart Andy Inchley (Leighton Buzzard AC) 29m 48s.

The women however had no changes as 36th Julie 37m 06s led home 38thSarah 37m 49s and 40th Maria 38m 15s to consolidate their overall standings.

Day 3 and the runners moved to the Club’s track at Stantonbury for a series of graded 1 Mile Races with the “Tourers” racing in groups according to their current overall placings.

The opportunity to run the classic mile attracts many non-tourers and while the time differences have little impact to the overall positions the races are taken very seriously.

The fastest time was recorded by Graham Jones in 4m 45.5s with 2nd Jordan Clay (M20) of Leighton Buzzard AC 4m 47.6s and 3rd Mark 4m 48.9s to extend his lead. The women’s winner was once again Julie in 6m 01.97s with 2nd Diane Baldwin (F55) 6m 16.9s and 3rd Sarah 6m 21.7s.

Day 4 the notorious Hill Race, a short roughly 2.5 mile cross country race around Bow Brickhill woods but as the name implies the race contains two very steep demanding hills. This clearly suited Mark who won again in 12m 50s with 2nd Daniel 13m 01s and 3rd Jordan 13m 17s. For the first time there was change of lead in the women’s event as 38th Sarah took the honours in 17m 15s with 39th Maria 17m 21s next and 40th Rachel Edwards (F50) David Lloyd Redway Runners 17m 21s.

Moving to the centre on Day 5 for the two lap Campbell Park 5 (mile) race from the belvedere down to the canal and back up a long drag making tired legs ache just a little more. The previous night’s result was repeated as Mark finished in 23m 59s with Daniel still giving chase 15s behind and just holding off youngster Jordan by a further second who moved up two places to 3rd.

Similarly it was back to normal service for the women with 34th Julie leading the way in 29m 55s followed by 41stSarah and 42nd Maria both with a time of 30m 57s. The final day of the Tour as normal was the Willen 6 (mile) race from Woughton on the Green up to Willen Lake and back, a run just long enough that fatigue can cause significant changes to the final results.

However it was not to be at the top of the field as all six leaders finished in the now established order with 1stMark 36m 15s, 2nd Daniel 36m 35s and 3rd Jordan 37m 22s. While for the women it was 34th Julie 45m 28s, 39th Sarah 46m 12s and 41st Maria 46m 44s.

In all 71 of the original 75 finished all six races, a much larger percentage than normal and taking the age category titles were 5th Gary Blaber M40, 13th Malcolm Down M50, 25th John Skelton M60 and 40th Diane Baldwin F55.