Chris is no Slow Coach
Posted: 27th Sep 2015 by Andrea Bennett
Ashford Athletics Club’s race walking coach put on his racing shoes to take part in the World Masters Athletics Championships in Lyon. Chris Hobbs, an ever youthful 60 year old member of Ashford AC, competed in Lyon, France during their summer heat wave.
Chris was entered for the 5000m Track Race Walk but when he saw that the forecast temperature was to be 38 degrees he resolved to keep his cool. “I wondered, if the shade temperature was going to be that hot, what would it be like on the track with no shade?” he said later. Staying in a cold bath for an hour that morning was not much fun but gave him a slight advantage. He planned to start off at about 95% normal race pace and hope for the best. As the leaders started very fast he found himself in 14th position and a long way behind the French and Spanish leaders. It was so hot that officials used a hose pipe to spray cold water over 50 competitors to help avoid overheating. After the blistering early pace Chris gradually overtook his rivals and grew in confidence. “Boy, it was so hot but when I overtook the top Mexican and Russian walkers I saw that they were suffering in the heat more than I was.” A final big effort saw Chris squeeze past former Commonwealth Games Champion Mike Parker of New Zealand into 4th place and, although he missed out on a spot on the podium, he was happy to find a place in the shade.
Four days later, with the temperature down but humidity up, he came 5th in the 10km road race in the quickest time for nearly 15 years, helping Great Britain gain 4th Team just behind a mighty Russian Team. Then, finally, the next week it was time for the 20km race. A tired Chris wasn’t looking forward to this but the team were hoping for a medal. Another hot day and dominated by a strong French team Chris suffered in the heat but was relieved to finish 11th and help Great Britain win a well-deserved Bronze Medal. In forty years of competing it was his first time on a rostrum in an international race and while he stood still during the playing of Marseillaise all he wanted to do was get back into the cold bath.
Essex 10k Championships (Track + Walk)
Posted: 30th Jun 2015 by Andrea Bennett
Essex County are holding their 10k championships and 10k walk at Southend on 29th August 2015. The county is trying to improve the competition this year and is allowing open entries for both competitions. Click on the link below if you are interested in entering.