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Ashford AC Race Walkers Dominate 5 Mile Race

Posted: 13th Jan 2019 by Lewis Smith

In the first race of the Enfield Race Walking League, three young athletes set impressive performances in the senior race in North London.

Sixth-former, Jacqueline Benson, smashed her own personal best by nearly six minutes, with 46m45s for third lady overall. Not far behind, in fourth place, was Grace Whittingham in her longest race so far. Grace just missed out on the Under 17 Women's Club Record set ten years ago, with 47m20s. Training partner to them both, Millie Morris, who started steadily, before overtaking both in the last mile finished second place overall with 46m28s.

Determined veteran, Lesley Hall, showed that she is regaining her fitness with 55m20s.

Coach, Chris Hobbs, finished in 47m21s and was very happy with his younger athletes. “The three girls started so fast that I thought of chasing after them to tell them to slow down," he commented. “But to everyone’s astonishment, they just kept going.”

Race organiser, Ron Walkwork, who is a former Commonwealth Champion and World Record holder, was very impressed with the three young stars, and could see a bright future for them.

The Ashford Athletic Club’s race walkers are set for an exciting 2019!


Jonathan Hobbs - UK National 50km Race Walking Champion for the Second Time

Posted: 12th Sep 2018 by Kate Dickinson

The End in sight!!Mid RaceAshford Athletic Club’s long-distance race walker Jonathan Hobbs concluded his most successful season by becoming UK National 50km Race Walking Champion for the second time.

With a 4th place in the Portuguese championships and 3rd in the French, Hobbs travelled to the Isle of Man for this year’s race.

After a good preparation, including 3-hour treadmill sessions in the Stour Centre Gym to avoid the hot Summer, he was ready to impress.

He took the lead from the gun on a tough 1km circuit of their National Sports Centre on a drizzly Sunday morning.  By 10 kilometres he was already 5 minutes ahead of the next athlete. By halfway he was on course for a new personal best and club record, but cramp, fatigue and lack of opposition meant he slowed a little but achieved his second-best time of 4 hours 43 minutes 35 seconds.

“It was not everything I had hoped for as I was aiming for a faster time. However, the main goal was to win, and I did that convincingly. The 50k is always mentally exhausting but the more I work on it the better I am at staying focused and keeping positive. Usually I have some sort of existential crisis during the race but this time I was happy to just keep pushing myself. That was the most satisfying aspect of last Sunday.” He reflected later.  

Glad to see the finish he realised he was no less than 5 miles ahead of the second-place walker.  The super fit Ashford Leisure Trust Personal Trainer is now having a well-earned rest while planning an even better season next year.

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