Double triumph for Charlotte and Jaden, as Charlotte smashes the course record, and silver for Eva

London Mini Marathon, 23 April 2017

The Club’s athletes enjoyed their most successful ever day at the Mini Marathon. The six age categories, U17, U15 and U13, boys and girls, race over the final three miles of the London Marathon course. This is one of the great days out for our young athletes who represent their boroughs and regions, but never have we witnessed so much success as a Club, with individual wins in two of the six races and a second place for Eva Holland.

Charlotte Alexander produced an extraordinary display of endurance running in the U15G category. All the principals were present, including Lily Jane Evans Haggerty and Olivia Mason. Both girls had been ranked above Charlotte in the Athletics Weekly 2016/17 Cross Country Rankings; neither would have anticipated such a storming performance from Charlotte. With one mile to go she had opened up a lead of 15 metres, but the race already looked over as Charlotte had hit her full stride and was clearly moving away from her competitors. Her winning time of 16.23 took five seconds off the course record, a time that would have placed her third in the U17G race, and an 18 second winning margin. To put this into context for our senior athletes, 16.23 equates to 16.59 5km pace, pretty amazing for an U15 in her first year as a club athlete.

Jaden Kennedy matched Charlotte’s winning performance as he scorched away in the final 800m to win by 8 seconds, to cap a perfect winter. Building on his National and Inter Counties victories and first international vest, Jaden looked the class of the field as the race unfolded. We were aware from the National Road Relays in Birmingham that Jaden is an outstanding road runner, when he set a course record on that testing circuit. Supporting him that day in securing an overall team gold and team course record, were Jacob and Benjamin Harrison, who also excel on the road surface. They both produced their best performances since Birmingham to finish 8th and 9th respectively, both running 16.26.

Eva Holland produced a performance which, on most other days, would have been the Club run of the day. Having secured a 10 second PB and English Schools’ Qualifying Standard the previous day in the YDL, 4.47 for 1500m, Eva rediscovered the form that she demonstrated earlier on in the winter season. Her 17.19 for second place was an outstanding performance for an U13 girl, sub 18 5km pace, and she was brilliantly backed up by another Club member, Poppy Craig Mcfeely who finished 11th, 17.48.

In the U17G race, Olivia Stillman produced her best run to date, finishing 10th in 16.49. Olivia committed and looked strong throughout. Bottom of age, she was in the mix with girls she had not been near before, but this did not unnerve her as Olivia produced an excellent second half to this three mile race, to secure a coveted top ten finish and overall London Champion.

Special congratulations to all athletes who competed in this year’s event, and to their coaches James McDonald (Jaden, Jacob, Benjamin, Eva, Poppy) and Wayne Vinton (Charlotte and Olivia).

Keith Newton 23 April 2017