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Kent League - Vets (Match 2)   -   Canterbury Monday 23 May 2011

  • Our Men - 2nd on the day & 2nd in the League

  • Our Women are 4th in the League

  • Men's 4x200 relay 2 seconds short of IEK vet record

How would anyone have guessed that this was a home fixture for our club? IEK athletes queuing up to compete!  The ”sign-up” sheet over-subscribed!!

Team manager John Gilbert going round with a puzzled look on his face trying to remember what is involved in SELECTING people for over-subscribed events!!! (just let the athletes decide among themselves-they know each other best).

It was so pleasing to see crowds of competitors from all over the county (some from west Kent had never made it this far east before!!) and to be proud of how well we hosted them. Thanks to all our officials and helpers and the staff of Body and Mind.

And how did our guys and girls do?

Excellent!! The pattern for the evening was established in the 100m 35+ where Terry Hawkins won the “A” race in 12.9 and Mark Dawson the “B” race in 13.2. Yes........double first!! Terry then also won the 35+ LJ-4-79 but saved his best effort for the 4x200m (but more of that later). We now also have another Dawson in the team, newcomer Adrian Dawson, who placed 2nd in the 35+ 800m “B” race-2:25.5 while Martin Kelk achieved the same position in the “A” event-2:17.6.

As the team’s only 50+ competitor Richard Hudson was as busy as ever - but he likes it that way!!. Richard  placed 4th in his age groups 100m, 14.8 and the 800m, 3:19.6 and collected extra points in the discus – 5th 13.27m before running in the 4x200m relay (I said – more of that later – you’ll have to wait!!)

David Glendower gained 4th place in 35+ Discus 19.99m. John Gilbert won the 60+ discus 30.15m and

managed 4th in both the same age group 100m 17.6 and 50+ LJ 2.83m.


Ah yes......the very last event the 4x200m relay!


Well... a number of our athletes very graciously declined a place in the squad in favour of other team mates i.e. Michael Gallyer-Barnett, Adrian Dawson, Dave Weston .....John Gilbert!! Richard Hudson would have been excused if he had also stepped down, given how many events he had already competed in, but he was determined to make 1 final contribution to the team's efforts and took off on the 1st leg like the proverbial “bat out of hell”.

There are IEK athletes who saw Richard’s run and know him well and they are convinced they have never seen him run so fast before!

Richard handed over to Martin Kelk who moved us into 3rd position among the 6 teams before passing on to Terry Hawkins. Terry was probably 25m behind the 2 men in front of him when he took over but he set off like he was determined to run the race of his life and to the amazement of all watching he had caught and then overtaken them by the time he moved the baton onto Mark Dawson!

Mark still had to maintain his narrow lead over the other teams final leg runners but he also ran magnificently and was not closed down at all.

It was as exciting a race as you could ever hope to see and will long live in the memory. It ranks up there with another famous IEK vets team victory some 10 years

ago? at Dartford when Mike Gratton on the final 800m leg of a medley relay took over in last position some 150m behind the leading runner and won the race in the final 5m! It may be true that we don’t often win relays but when we do they are certainly spectacular.

This secured 2nd place in the match, only 3 pts behind Bexley and just 3 pts ahead of Medway & Maidstone.

We are still in 2nd place overall in the league.

In the womens match we were represented by our team stalwart, Sue Cooper, who in the 50+ category won both 100m, 17.1 and 800m 3:05.1 and placed 2nd in the discus 12.97m and 3rd in the LJ 2.64m. There’s versatility and determination for you! A special mention must also be made of Lucy Clarke who at short notice and with possibly a fair amount of “fear and trepidation” made her debut for the womens team and must have surprised herself by placing 3rd in the 35+ A 800m, 3:19.5. Well done Lucy. Hope you can make future matches. Your willingness to “give it a go” is an inspiration. The womens team are in 4th place in their division.


Congratulations to all those that competed and all those who were prepared to do so. It’s so nice to have a full squad and to be competitive even though taking part and enjoying yourself will always, for me, be the priority and the reason why I still love to be involved in athletics.


Next match is Match 4, Friday 10th June, Norman Park, Bromley.

No photographs of this event are available