September 29th, 2016

McTighe wins again at Lake Geneva

AGNES McTighe continued a magnificent 2015 with another sensational victory at Lake Geneva.

Following her spectacular track season, the Stratford Athletic Club teenager has had a break from racing and is now getting into a regular training routine.

As a break from this training, on Saturday she ran a 4,940m road race at the Novidurun, Nyon on Lac LĂ©man, Lake Geneva.

The course was a three-lap mixture of tarmac and cobbles, with a slope down to the lake shore and then back up on each lap.

Although McTighe is aged 14, she was in an under 18 race for both boys and girls and she ran with two 17-year-old boys in the early part of the race but then moved away from them and was the overall winner in a time of 16 minutes, 11.3 seconds.

This was 20 seconds ahead of the first boy and over three minutes ahead of the next girl in her category and, to put this time into perspective, Emily Pidgeon’s age 14 world best time for the 5,000m is 16:24.28.

Unsurprisingly, McTighe was delighted at the end of the race and said she felt really strong.

TWO of Stratford AC’s stalwart and crazy runners took part in a marathon with a difference in the shape of Chris Seeney’s Crispin Crispian marathon.

For those of you not in the know, Chris Seeney is a loveable SAC character who delivers some slightly off the wall and unusual events in the running calendar and this year was no different.

The local Crispin Crispian marathon was enjoyed by Becky Loftus and Lil Earley.

A finishing time was not the important factor here but getting around 26.2 miles (or so) of some very unusual terrain and having a good time was everything.

FOR JAMES Cusack – Stratford AC’s sole contender in the Dublin Marathon – it was more about a brief trip home to see the family with the small interruption of a ‘little’ run – albeit 26.2 miles.

However, his creditable run of 3:28:50 was a great result, putting him 459th in his age group. Considering there were more than 13,000 runners, it really was a good trip home for James and great to see him flying the SAC vest in Dublin.

BILLED as ‘the world’s leading ten-mile road race’, Portsmouth’s Great South Run is not modest about its status.

Thousands of runners took part and Kate Wright, Stratford AC’s leading road runner, rose to the occasion magnificently.

Her 1:01:29 finish time was a personal best and put her 152nd overall, 21st female and first in the FV50 category. She currently ranks second FV50 in the UK.

Just behind her in the race at 1:02:19 was Rob Ford in 176th place, only seconds away from his own personal best, and finally for the club Megan Johnston came home in 1:47:53.

KATE Sergent from Stratford took part in the Shepton Mallet 10k in Somerset, which began at Mallet Leisure Centre and left the town past the famous Shepton Mallet prison before weaving through the streets and escaping on to scenic country lanes, with a mean hill on the way.

She was rewarded for her efforts with 118th position, fourth FV60, in an excellent time for the course of 57:56.

WHY on earth would you want to spend a morning racing up Lark Stoke, the steepest hill in the area, then down the other side towards the finish (not forgetting the nasty bit before the end they do not tell you about) and, not only that, but do it once a month throughout the winter?

The answer was on the faces of the finishers who had taken on this challenge in the Tempo Winter Series 10k race one in Ilmington and had the satisfaction of doing better than they hoped, done as well as they could, or simply survived with their dignity intact.

That, and the finishers’ prize of Barry the Butcher’s sausages, made for cheerful scenes at the end on another stunning October morning.

This is a popular challenge, growing in status as evidenced by the largest field to date, with the start slightly delayed to accommodate the rush of last-minute entrants.

Stratford was well represented, as ever, and Oscar Barbour continued to develop his potential with an excellent third place overall.

Sam Nicholson and Anthony Howell sported big grins, having improved their times significantly.

Emma Vickers was one of the team who had not run the race before and did not know what to expect.

“I went off too fast and faded after 7K,” she said, which is unsurprising, but she still finished in an impressive time.

Anna Watson set her sights on Phil Brennan, chasing him down and passing him in the last kilometre to be just outside the 50-minute mark.

Rebecca Pridham was another one new to the challenge, but she threw herself into it with her usual commitment.

“By the end of the series, I want to be able to run all the way up the hill and not have to walk the steepest bits,” she said.

Having still managed a highly respectable 57:36, few would doubt she will.

Maureen Birch brought home the bacon for Stratford as FV65 category winner.

Full SAC finishers list: 38:49 – Oscar Barbour; 42:31 – Tim Tandy; 43:20 – Sam Weaving; 44:46 – Sam Nicholson; 45:23 – Anthony Howell; 47:26 – Hannah Spriggs; 47:38 – Luke Watkins; 49:07 – Emma Vickers; 51:04 – Anna Watson; 51:27 – Phil Brennan; 53:54 – Maureen Birch; 54:44 – Nadezhda Svetlakova-Doyle; 56:29 – Allan Coldicott; 56:36 – Alan Wright; 57:36 -Rebecca Pridham; 58:27 – Richard Shephard; 1:01:08 – Anna Schofield; 1:03:42 – Neil Robertson; 1:05:07 – Martyn Sergent; 1:06:59 – Oliver Spicer; 1:09:24 – Natasha Watkins; 1:14:48 – Karen Jackson.

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