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Norman Fowler Tonbridge Open 01-04-2013


On a cold bank holiday - no scrub that! On a very cold bank holiday we showed up in good numbers and produced some outstanding results…..


Bradley Wake Smith and Corrine Wake Smith kept themselves very busy with 3 events, Bradley getting a second in the 150m in a spritely 18.12 the 110m hurdles in 16.09 and finally the discus (with little or no practice this year) a 20.63m throw!


Corrine 150m a fine 2nd in (22.73) another 2nd in the 75m hurdle (14.81) and finally a shot putt of 6.76m, I’m sure a fine season will follow these encouraging results for the Wake-Smiths.


Also multi eventing were Holly Fielder (of course) Constance and Lulu Willet who all train under the guidance of Stuart Earl. Holly really showing her all round ability with a fine 600m (in very windy conditions) in 1.48.84 a short sharp 2nd in the 150m 20.71 and finally a 4.62 long jump, we all look forward to what this young lady can achieve this season.


New to me Lulu & Constance clearly starting their pentathlon season in good style, Lulu with a fine 70m hurdle and 2nd place in 16.03, followed by a pretty good opening season throw of 4.81m in the shot. Her sister Constance also hurdled but this time 75m with a good performance of 16.18 and a throw also in the shot of 4.91, looks like we have another sibling rivalry in the club!


Back on the track up early was the 1 mile event, four laps in near freezing conditions is no easy task but we did well. Lilly Coward looked on fire with a fantastic and strong finish in to 2nd with a time of 5.31.28 followed by, Emily McKane a very consistent runner is Emily and I hope this may be her breakthrough season after what was an inspiring cross country season, finished 5th with an excellent sub 6 minute mile 5.59.


Not far behind but clearly fighting with her form was Anna Weston, way of what we know she is capable of, came in 7th and a time of 6.05, we have seen many athlete go through this tough time and I know if Anna believes and keeps training hard she may well pull this season together, and look back and say “well that’s the price you pay for success…”


3 male athletes also ran the mile first up was Oliver Weston….now running in a group where I’m certain he was the youngest by far and with no fear and lots of spirit Oliver came in 6th in 6.13.49….wow, again watch this space as the Weston talent certainly flows through his veins!


Next up was Barry Hopkins taking some time off working for the club to actually run for us too. Barry came with a plan to run 80 second laps and was on schedule up to the end of the second but the wind and conditions worked against him in lap 3, but with Ovett like sprint speed from 150m out he came in 5.34.95, in these conditions! Barry will undoubtedly get many pb’s this season and I look forward to watching this spirited athlete!


Last up in the mile was Jack Goss you have to look at Jack and think ultimate athlete, very professional in his warm up and warm down in his training and most importantly in his racing, Jack took this race to his competitors and destroyed all before him in a very convincing winning time of 4.32.18, a mighty 11 sec of his pb! Another WOW I think!


Next up was the 600m, an excellent way for middle distance athlete to start the season. First up in her brand spanking new IEK club shirt and her first track race for us was the very determined Jessie Carley, a great new athlete for us with much talent and a fantastic season ahead finishing 3rd with a new pb of 1.51.64.


Another new athlete for us and Jessie’s training partner Emily Bond, I feel another wow coming up! WOW… what a start, a very well-run tactical race sheltering herself from the wind behind other athletes over the first 400m, only to kick 200m out with a Seb Coe like finish to lead the race and take 1st place in 1.42.18 and put herself number 1 in the UK rankings this season could be spectacular!


On the male 600m side we had Dylan Rigby and Bobby Harrop racing both in the same heat. Having just watch Emily wins her race Dylan must have decided he would copy her tactics… WOW … and did he some. Equally well run and a fantastic finish in 1st again in an excellent 1.31.41, Dylans second track season is going to see him very accomplished, of that I’m certain. Not far behind in his first track race for us, Bobby got stuck a bit in no man’s land and fought the wind very strongly coming home in 1.41.54, much more to come from this aspiring 800m runner I’m sure.


In the 3000m Tim Corby, Peter Merrit and Amy Old put on fine performances. The wind now distinctly stronger I thought, what was supposed to be a joint race with the 5000m changed to a singular 3000m.


Tim got into his running very quickly and I wished there had been more competitors running with him as it soon became a run against wind and clock. He looks in great shape finishing sub 9.30 in those conditions, a good result,  9.29.70 to be precise, excellent prospects for the season ahead.


Another new track runner was Peter Merrit getting some miles in those u17 legs. Peter started a little quicker than I think he had planned suffered a little more in the middle than I think he would have liked and finished with a very strong last lap in 10.58.08. Given better conditions and the experience of this race I think Peter has lots of great performances ahead of him.


Amy Old starting her track season here after a fantastic winter programme, seemed to pace this race really well, she seems to get stronger and stronger the more the race goes on, at one point right on Peters shoulder, with more sprint work in her legs I felt it would have been a very close call and I suspect national schools beckons for this talented young lady and a finishing time of 11.08.01 bodes well for this track year!


So with the weather brightening up but not getting any warmer or more importantly less windy, Tom Purnell and James Pitcher lined up for the 5000m. Tom in his laid back style competed and shared the lead first lap one then the other against a Cambridge Harrier who I must say I thought was broken in lap 8, but back he came to push Tom very hard and broke away about 4k in. Tom rallied in the latter part of the race but couldn’t quite get there - finishing a creditable 2nd in 16.56.86. With that out the way I feel Tom is looking in good shape to pb in his 1500m this season as I know he does prefer the shorter faster stuff.


James Pitcher is one consistent and determined athlete, he looks like he’s found his mojo to me, cracking along in what looked like very, very consistent laps at one point getting very close to catching Tom and coming in 3rd in a 17.13.46 time. I have no doubt James will for fill some ambitions this season and I look forward to viewing them.


In a much frustrating delayed start because they ran the 5k & 3k separately

Josh Taylor and Joey Davies lined up for the 300m. Josh competing against able bodied athletes went off hard, hard, hard into the wind and the first 150m and let his body and that wind now carry him to an excellent new pb of 47.15. A very well and intelligently run 300m - an excellent start from our 2012 male athlete of the year.


Our last athlete and I apologise Joey Davies, I didn’t see you run but I look forward to seeing him, having read that a 3rd place and 45.9 second time I will surely see him in the front of many races this season.


Thanks to you all I left there very proud an excellent start I think!


A very cold Ralph Noel xx