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Double Success in Guernsey

Posted: 18th Sep 2017 by Lewis Smith

On Sunday 27th August, Ashford AC athlete and 50km race walk specialist, Jonathan Hobbs, finished 3rd in the Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management Guernsey Marathon. On a warm summer’s day, on a course around the island, Jonathan ran his début marathon in a time of 2h 53m07s. A week later on the same island but in heavy rain and high winds, Jonathan won the Church to Church Walk, taking his third title.

The marathon saw 123 finishers in addition to almost 50 relay teams but Jonathan was among the top 5 from the start. Local man Steve Bienvenu almost immediately built a stable lead but the other podium positions changed hands frequently with changes of pace over the undulating course. At 20 miles, Jonathan felt comfortable and briefly went into 2nd place. However, the distance took its toll and he was overtaken by Kent AC athlete Tim Alexander from Medway. At the finish, Hobbs was 39 seconds behind Alexander and 2 minutes 18 seconds behind the winner.

“I’ve walked a few 50km races so I had an idea what to expect and I wasn’t too afraid of the distance. In fact I might have been a little bit too confident, considering I had never run further than 20 miles before, and I paid for that at the end. It’s no easier than race walking and it’s certainly not harder, but it’s a very different challenge.

“However, I wanted to prove to myself that I’m a talented runner and not just a race walker, and I’m satisfied. In a couple of years I might train a bit more seriously and find a faster course and really go for it.”

The following Sunday, Jonathan was just about recovered to compete in the Guernsey Church to Church Walk – a 19.4-mile race which sees walkers passing all ten of the island’s parish churches. Jonathan has won the race on his two previous attempts in 2013 and 2014 but this time his main challenges came from 68-year-old Ian Richards, who competed in the 1980 Olympics. The race lead alternated between Hobbs and Richards for the first 8 miles, with the former strong on the hills and the latter working hard to make up ground on the flat. However, having experience of the course, Jonathan paced it well and got into the lead by halfway and extended it all the way to finish 11 minutes ahead. However, this was no easy finale as the rain was relentless and the final 2 mile walk into Guernsey’s capital, St Peter Port, was into a constant headwind of up to 40km/h. In the end, a relieved Jonathan finished in 2h 57m36s, beating his previous best time by 4 minutes.

“I didn’t know if I could recover in time after the marathon but on the morning of the walk I felt quite good. I raced it according to plan and was confident in the victory, even when Ian was building a bit of a lead. However, I can’t remember a race with worse conditions than this; it was dreadful.”

Chris Hobbs, Jonathan’s father, finished 4th, having had to battle the conditions for almost an extra 40 minutes.

Jonathan is now turning his focus back to the 50km walk and has targeted qualification to the European Championships next year.

UKYDL U17/U20 Season Report

Posted: 13th Sep 2017 by Lewis Smith

The final UKYDL upper age group meeting, for the composite ATIP team, took place at the Parliament Hill Track in North London on Sunday, 23rd July. The team is composed of U17 and U20 male and female athletes from Ashford AC, Thanet AC, Invicta East Kent AC, and Paddock Wood AC.

The match result would determine whether the team remained in the Southern Division 1D League or win promotion to the Premier Division 2B League. The call for support was answered by 37 athletes, with each putting in exceptional performances resulting in the team finishing as League winners. Team ATIP scored a League total of 2709.3 points, which was a huge 223.5 event points in front of second place Basildon Beagles with 2485.8 points, gaining Team ATIP promotion to the Premier League.

This was achieved by an incredible team effort and many individual performances, as well as the support of the officials and parents. The outcome also resulted in a total of 32 personal best performances and 5 season best performances, with some athletes possibly considering taking up new events.

Next season will be even more challenging as the Premier 2B League will include teams from Tonbridge AC and Croydon AC, both recognised as strong clubs. Team Manager, Tina Tappenden, will expect the same resolve from the athletes to take on this challenge and maintain the excellent team effort. Tina, a very happy team manager, would like to congratulate the team for all their hard work and dedication this season.


Under 20 Men:

Marshall Smith, Korede Awe, Connor Owen, Marshall Smith, Harry Young, Tyler Adams, Alexander Hardy, and Kian Crawford.


Under 20 Women:

Lily Ebsworth, Alexandra Prickett, Grace Sullivan, Nikoleta Ivaylova, and Hannah Owen.


Under 17 Men:

Leon Depreli, Matthew Elliott, Daniel James, Harry Pitman, Ted Peachey, Konrad Farrall, Luke Hughes, Jack Seery, Barnaby Dougal, Harrison Tremain, Joseph Griffiths, Adam Wood, Alfie Gilby, Kiran Gregory, and James O'Gorman.


Under 17 Women:

Hannah Scrivens, Yetunde Mongo, Samantha Hockey, Jasmine Etheridge, Louise Evans, Faith Cox, Ciara Mackey, Lauren Macey, Ashley Ward, and Jacqueline Benson.

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