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Great South Run Report

Posted: 23rd Oct 2018 by Lewis Smith

Smith’s running success continues. 

The Great South Run took place on Sunday, 21st October 2018 in Portsmouth for the twenty-ninth year. The 10-mile race, broadcasted on live television, is renowned as one of the best 10-mile races in the world, with over 20,000 runners taking part.

Youngster, Marshall Smith (18), from Ashford Athletic Club, took on the annual race with high hopes. This is the second year Marshall has competed in the Great South Run, having ran well last year. Marshall has had an impressive recent three weeks of competition, having won both the Ashford Givaudan 10km Run and the Folkestone Half Marathon in the previous weekends.

The Great South Run started and finished along the coastline of Portsmouth. The run featured landmarks including HMS Warrior, HMS Victory and the Emirates Spinnaker Tower. The city was packed with cheering supporters, who were enjoying the warm weather conditions just as much as the runners were. 

Marshall ran a strong race to finish the 10-miles in a time of 53m17s, coming 26th out of over 20,000 runners, which included the elite men and women. Marshall was the first junior home for the second year in a row, with his time ranking him number one in the UK this year for under 20-year olds, by a huge 41 seconds. Marshall’s performance also beat the long-standing 23-year-old Ashford AC Club Record by 38 seconds.

Ashford AC also had four other athletes at the Great South Run. Harry Miles and Liam Woodham competed in the Junior Run, finishing an excellent 2nd and 29th in very respectable times of 7m41s and 9m29s. Nicola and Daniel Hughes competed in the 10-mile race, finishing 12,217th and 12,221st respectively, in times of 1hr54m41s and 1hr54m42s.

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Ashford AC Givaudan 10km Race Report

Posted: 8th Oct 2018 by Lewis Smith

With blue skies and streets that were awash with colour, over one-thousand runners took part in the annual 2018 Ashford AC Givaudan 10km Race. 

With 1180 entries for the annual Ashford AC Givaudan 10km Race, runners followed in the footsteps of tradition for the 32nd year. The young training partners, Marshall Smith (18) and Oliver Prior (17), from Ashford Athletic Club, ran a competitive race to take 1st and 2nd place. Youngster, Imogen Amos (16), from Invicta East Kent AC, took home the women’s trophy.

The race started and finished at the magnificent home track of Ashford Athletic Club, the Julie Rose Stadium, with a town-centre route that was lined with cheering supporters. An atmosphere that all runners praised. 

Marshall, having won the Folkestone Half Marathon the previous weekend, finished strongly to take the win in a time of 33m18s, with Oliver just behind in a time of 33m31s. Nick Shasha, from Orion Harriers, took 3rd place respectively in a time of 34m05s.

Imogen ran well in her first ever 10km race, to take the ladies title in a time of 41m12s. Imogen was followed by Nikki Goodwin, from Folkestone Running Club, in a time of 41m25s to take 2nd place. Melissa Neal, from March AC, took 3rd place respectively in a time of 42m00s.

The trio of youngsters – Marshall Smith, Oliver Prior, and Adam Wood (6th place) – took home the men’s team trophy. The good friends and training partners, aged between 16 and 18, have barely touched their athletic careers, and will be a force to be reckoned with in years to come. Canterbury Harriers took home the women’s team trophy.

Ashford AC had a strong team this year, with 21 athletes competing in the race. Congratulations go to Marshall Smith (1st), Oliver Prior (2nd), Adam Wood (6th), Nick Collins (7th), Harrison Tremain (12th), William Knight (21st), Matthew Flay (44th), Sahil Sood (56th), Kristian Samwell-Nash (87th), Daniel Fitch (88th), Briony Walsh (98th / 4th lady home), Benjamin Smith (146th), Philip Heathfield (212th), Jenny Wilton (321st / 47th lady home), Ciara Mackey (371st/ 63rd lady home), Gabi Stannard (392nd / 71st lady home), Andrew Huxley (412th), Heather Hayes (450th / 93rd lady home), Gordon Steadwood (585th), Chris Hobbs (726th), and Nikki Buckman (940th / 383rd lady home).

122 children also took part in the Ashford AC Givaudan Kids Fun Run. The children ran around the Julie Rose Stadium running track, with hundreds of supporters lined around the track to cheer them on to the finish where they received their medals. 

Ashford Athletic Club took full hold of the reins this year, having co-hosted the race with independent race organisers in the past. A team of volunteers worked tirelessly to organise the event this year. Race Director, Daniel Hughes, received an abundance of fantastic feedback, celebrating the success of this year’s event. 

Ashford Athletic Club would like to thank each and every one of the marshals and volunteers that came out to help run this year’s 10km race. Without these volunteers kindly giving up their own time, the event would not be able to take place, and the Club is very grateful for the support of those that did so. Ashford AC would also like to thank their main sponsor, Givaudan, for their continued support in running this event; as well as Ashford Leisure Trust for working alongside the Club to host the event at the Julie Rose Stadium, and Fiat Lipscomb for their support.

The 10km event is a major fundraiser for the Club, with all money made being invested back into the Club. This helps fund transport for athletes to take part in Club competitions around the UK, pay for new training equipment, and involve people of all ages and abilities to take part in athletics. 

Congratulations to all those that competed in the 2018 Ashford AC Givaudan 10km Race! The Club looks forward to seeing everyone next year to continue the annual tradition.

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