Surrey League Reigate Oct 14th 2017



Pre  race there was a slight air of pessimism about our prospects in the opening Surrey League fixture. The anxiety had been caused by the fact that we were going into the fixture with only one of the previous week’s six stage ‘A’ team lining up, and our stand out second claimer we’d learnt was also going to be missing through injury. However, it turned out the pessimism was somewhat misplaced. We should have had more faith in the guys that stepped up. Prior to the race some of us were fearing a defeat by a margin that might be hard to make up. Yet due to some incredibly strong performances from what skipper Beany likes to call the engine room, we were only a few points adrift of first and second.

The one person we did have from the previous week’s six stage team was our talisman John Gilbert. It undoubtedly gives supporters and fellow runners a boost when John’s in the line- up. He’s had to endure a difficult few months battling with injury. But when John’s on the start line you know he’s always going to give it his all. In Saturday’s race, despite not being race sharp, it was great to see John adopting his familiar tactics of pushing the pace and testing everybody right from the off. At the bottom of the hill near the end of the first lap John was leading but he had the company of an impressive group of runners. They included Surrey League legend, Paskar Owor, and fellow Belgrave international Nick Goolab. Despite a nasty fall, Goolab  showed his class and went on to the win the race. Although race rusty, John held things together well and finished a very creditable fourth. Our next runner home, Dame Dibaba, was making his Surrey League debut – and what a debut it was! Dame was not far outside the top ten, coming in (13th). He’s is a familiar figure at the Hillyfields Parkrun where I think it likely he’s clocked up more wins than anybody. He’s also perhaps become well known for his boldness in mixing it with the top guys at the beginning of races. In previous races where we’ve seen these tactics employed he’s sometimes slipped back a fair way down the field. However, in this race this wasn’t the case. I had him around tenth near the end of the first lap and although he lost a little ground, it was only around three places. Dame was closely followed in by Gareth Anderson who was to finish (15th). Gareth is another who has had a challenging time with injuries over the last 18 months. However, I noted that Gareth has been in good form on the roads lately, and he clearly carried that form into this race. Our fourth scorer, Pete Lighting(25th), is also someone who’s been in excellent form on the roads lately. Next in was our man of the series last season, Neil Phillips. Neil, (33rd) has been a bit below par lately, but this Surrey League race perhaps indicates he’s back on track. Neil was closely followed by Rob Laing (37th) who ran a very impressive Berlin Marathon a couple of weeks back. Making up the scoring ten were Adrian Lowther (40th), Phil Sanders (46th) Dan Pettitt (48th) and Daniel Ansell (57th).  It was really encouraging that Dan Pettitt who is new to the club was inside fifty in his first Surrey League race. Dan’s not long finished university and so is considerably younger than the majority of our scorers. While they are running incredibly well, I hope the guys won’t mind me saying they’re not in the first flush of youth. An injection of young blood has got to be welcome. And hopefully for the rest of the season Dan will be joined by the even younger, Noah Armitage -Hookes. Finally, it was good to see Lee Haze back in our colours. Lee’s been a member for quite a while. He was with us on the journey through the divisions, but for a period he’d disappeared. Anyway, he made a very respectable return and it was good to see him back.

1.Thames H&H 309, 2. Hercules W 316 3. Kent AC 318



Unusually, this first fixture in the Surrey League had the women’s team running at the same venue as the men’s –  Reigate Priory, Surrey. This rarely happens so it was a shame that the lengthy gap between races meant little opportunity for the teams to get together.

As the men arrived, one straggler from the women’s team had remained – it was Annabelle Hadlow – actually fast asleep in the club tent! We weren’t sure if she was going in for the new fashion for power napping or whether a hard week and the tough course had taken its toll.

Anyway, the race that may have done for Annabelle was really a story of excellent packing from Kent AC’s point of view. The five to score team finished in 20th, 24th, 26th, 37th and 43rd. Teresa Murphy, who’s been running so well of late, put in another strong performance – 20th in this high calibre field is good going.

Katie Rowland and Isabel Bradley also ran really well to come home in 24th and 26th respectively. Then well inside 50 were Penelope Tech-Shi and Alexa Parker. Just outside the scoring five with an impressive run was Catherine Jepchirchir-Kandie, home in 46th. With the team having five inside 50, our ‘A’ team were sixth in the match – a match in which nearly 30 teams closed in. There was even more cheer for the club in that our next five runners home meant our ‘B’ team finished in 18th position.

A glance at the full results will tell the tale of a host of fine runs from our women – including some making their Surrey League debut. And it seems that the women may have a handicap competition like their male counterparts. By the looks of it, Susie Fairbrass may have stolen a march on the rest with a run that saw her finish just outside the top hundred.

All in all, a very positive start to the new season. Sixth was good positive start, but with runners to come in, including Amy, there’s no reason to think we can’t finish higher in the remaining fixtures.

1 THH 75, 2 SLH 93, 3 CLAP C 118   6 KENT AC 150



Surrey League Reigate

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                                             at Reigate Priory on Sat 14th Oct 2017

1st   Nick Goolab             BEL    26  56                                          Teams:  10 to score

4th   John Gilbert                       27  17                                      1st Thames Hare& H          309

13th Dame Dibaba                    28  41                                      2nd Hercules Wimbledon    316

15th Gareth Anderson             28  53                                       3rd KENT AC                       318

25th Peter Lighting                   29  19                                       4th Herne Hill H                  334

33rd Neil Phillips                       29  43                                       5th Belgrave H                   414

37th Robert Laing                     29  59                                       6th South London H           510

40th Adrian Lowther                30  03                                       7th Clapham C                     554

46th Phil Sanders                      30  19                                       8th Ranelagh H                    587

48th Dan Pettit                          30  25                                       9th Reigate P                       753

57th Dan Ansell                         30  49

63rd Jonathan Beatty              31  06                                     B team – 10 to score

70th Tim Lawrence                  31  23                                           1st  KENT AC       123

74th Calum Fraser                    31  35                                           2nd Clapham C     309

77th Chris Minns                      31  37                                          3rd Herne Hill H   372.5

84th Lee Haze                           32  12                                          4th Ranelagh H    411

90th Stuart Beaney                  32  19                                            5th Hercules W    433

91st Ben Cook                          32  22                                           6th S. London H   492

92nd Ian Ellwood                     32  24                                           7th Thames H&H 515

112th Jules Gevers                  33  10                                             8th Reigate P        680

123rd Tom Muddiman           34  09                                              9th Belgrave H     759.5

124th Matt Moroney             34  10                     182nd Bernie Hutchinson   39   11

142nd Luke Armitage             35 23                    187th Neil Gordon-Orr        40  10                                          197 finishers

145th Adam Garcia                 35  36                   191st Alan Curtis                  43  10

160th Adrian Dracup              36  15                   192nd Ian Wood                   45  23

178th Paul Crompton            38  21                    196th Ted Hadlow               52  07