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Ashford AC Givaudan 10K

Posted: 8th Oct 2017 by Lewis Smith

Year-on-year, the fantastic Ashford AC Givaudan 10K event does not disappoint. We received positive feedback from everyone and we cannot wait to continue the Club’s tradition next year. With 1250 entries, today was our biggest number of entries for 31 years; with many more athletes competing in the Children’s Fun Run. Congratulations to all athletes that competed in the 10K race, and to all the youngsters who competed in the Fun Run.

Firstly, we would like to say thank you to all of the marshals and volunteers that came out to help us organise and run this year’s 10K race, the 31st year of the Club’s annual tradition. This wouldn’t of been possible without the help of those that kindly gave up their own time, we are very grateful. We would also like to thank our race management team, Sporting Events UK; our sponsor, Givaudan, for the continued support in running this event; and Ashford Leisure Trust for working alongside us to host the event at the Julie Rose Stadium.

This event is a major fundraiser for the Club as it allows us to get our athletes to matches, fund equipment for training, and involve as many people as possible to take part in athletics. Everyone’s time in getting this event organised and run today is greatly appreciated.

Congratulations goes to the 10 athletes from AAC that completed the 10K run, with 8 of these athletes achieving a PB.

A huge congratulations goes to the young trio of Oliver Prior (16), Marshall Smith (17), and Adam Wood (15), with each of these three athletes knocking at least a minute off their previous PB’s. They took home the Silver Medal for the Senior Men’s Kent 10K Team Championships; only just coming second to Canterbury Harriers, an older and more experienced team. Oliver’s time has ranked him 2nd in the UK for the Under 17 Men age group, whilst smashing the Club Record in the process; Marshall was very unsure on whether he was going to race due to recovering from an injury for the past 3 weeks, but did very well to come fifth with a new personal best; and Adam Wood, very new to the scene, was one of the youngest in the race but did fantastic to beat his PB by 1m21s and finish comfortably in the top 10. This is an upcoming trio that everyone should keep their eyes on, each having huge potential for the future!

Photos will be published soon.

A huge thank-you from everyone on the Executive Committee.


AAC Results:

2nd – Oliver Prior (U17M) – 33:07 (PB) U17M Club Record

5th – Marshall Smith (U20M) – 34:29 (PB)

9th – Adam Wood (U17M) – 35:52 (PB)

34th – Gerard O’Sullivan (V50M) – 38:11

61st – Harrison Tremain (U17M) – 39:42 (PB)

136th – Phillip Heathfield (V35M) – 43:15

279th – Philip Bridges (V45M) – 48:44 (PB)

346th – Gabi Stannard (U17W) – 50:50 (PB)

384th – Heather Hayes (V50W) – 51:54 (PB)

710th – Gordon Steadwood (V50M) – 1:02:26 (PB)

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.

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