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Hobbs' 50km Success Continues

Posted: 23rd Mar 2018 by Lewis Smith

Two months after setting a new 50km race walk personal best and Ashford Athletic Club record at the Portuguese Championships, Jonathan Hobbs competed in the French Championships in the same event on Sunday 18th March and improved his mark again. In a competitive race, he finished 3rd, also an improvement on the race in Portugal where he finished 4th.

Conditions were fair but changeable in Mérignac, a suburb of Bordeaux, and 15 Frenchmen and one Spanish athlete started the race with Jonathan. Two years ago, when he competed in the race before, Jonathan had lined up against the world record holder and current world champion, Yohann Diniz, but this time Diniz opted for the 20km race.

Starting at a conservative pace, Jonathan was in the middle of the field at around 20km but increased the pressure and moved up the field. An early leader had lapped Jonathan twice – stretching to over 12 minute ahead – but after halfway Jonathan started to close him down quickly and finished the race less than 40 seconds behind.

Jonathan’s time for 50km was 4 hours, 37 minutes and 42 seconds; an improvement of over 7 minutes on his previous best. Finishing third, he was presented with a bottle of Bordeaux wine by the Mayor of Mérignac in front of the town hall.

After a short break, Jonathan will race in the British 20km championships in June before tackling his third 50km race of the year in the autumn.

Jonathan works at the Stour Centre in Ashford as a gym instructor and personal trainer, and is also a qualified athletics coach. If you would like to find out more then please visit his website via the following link:


(Photograph Credit: Pascal Chaintron)


(Photograph Credit: DD Cassale)

Link to photograph album:

Benson At Her Best in Enfield

Posted: 9th Feb 2018 by Lewis Smith

The Southern Race Walking Championships were held in bitterly cold conditions, at Enfield Park, on Sunday, 4th February.

The first race saw Grace Whittingham come a fine fourth in the 3km walk, in a time of 18m14s, despite serious traffic delays on the way which curtailed any chance of a good warm-up.

In the women's 5km walk, Jacqueline Benson proceduced her second personal best of the year, with a time of 31m29s, which allowed her to take the Silver medal in the under-20 age category. This time was over a minute quicker than her previous personal best.

Lesley Hall bravely battled the bitter cold to finish 8th in the Senior Women's 5km walk, with a time of 33m04s.

In the Senior Men's 10km walk, Jonathan Hobbs showed that he had recovered from his 4th place in the Portugese 50km Championships, held in January, with a Silver medal in a time of 49m54s.

Ashford Athletic Club finished a close 4th for the overall team scores on the day.

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