STRATFORD Athletic Club’s Senior Athlete of the Year Josh Newman returned to the scene of one of his best performances of last year – the Hillingdon 10k which starts and finishes in the modern surroundings of Brunel University – and recorded an impressive fifth-placed finish in a field of 269.
Newman missed some training due to illness in January and has been restricted to a couple of parkruns and a cross country race recently but was still able to run the race in 35.03 – just 26 seconds slower than his PB time last year.
TWO of Stratford AC’s international masters athletes were competing at the weekend when they represented the Midland Masters Athletic Club at Lee Valley Stadium in the England Masters Indoor Inter-Area Challenge.
For Paula Williams it was a chance for her to test herself on the national stage, having recently been diagnosed as carrying a plantar plate tear, an injury she sustained from a fall in October.
Williams had two events scheduled at 11am – the shot put and 60m hurdles. She warmed up for the hurdles and then went over to get one shot put throw in before her race.
She felt really relaxed despite not having competed in the shot for six months and threw 11.06m, which was a PB, winning the competition with just the one throw. It also places her top of this year’s UK rankings in her age category.
Williams then dashed over to the start of the hurdles and quickly got changed into her spikes. She says she got dragged along behind the winner, getting a season’s best time of 9.52s, finishing behind the 9.38s of the winner and current UK number one.
This time puts her at number two in the current UK rankings and she was more than happy with that.
Five hours later she ran the first leg of the women’s V35 4×200 relay team.
For Phil Brennan, this was his third successive weekend competing at the Lee Valley Stadium as he ramps up his training in readiness for this month’s World Masters Indoor Championships in Poland.
It was an extremely busy day for him as he was entered in the M70 1,500m, 800m and 200m relay.
In the 1,500m he was in a fight for second place but slipped back late on in the race. As there was a comfortable gap behind him and the next runner, he eased up to save energy, finishing third in season’s-best time of in 6:12. This was 11 seconds quicker than his time in Cardiff in January.
Two hours later he finished second in 800m in what he considered to be a surprisingly fast time of 3:05, especially given it was the second race of the day. This was only two seconds off his season’s-best, achieved earlier in the month at the same venue.
Two hours after that, as Midland Masters Athletic Club had four specialist M70 sprinters, he was sacrificed, for the sake of points, to make up an M60 team and they finished fourth.