England debut for Cathy Ansell & solid league starts, while some HHH athletes test Olympic Stadium

Cathy Ansell made her international debut representing England on Saturday, 5th May and placed 3rd in the Lillebælt Half Marathon in Denmark. The team contest with Denmark and Scotland was 3 men and 3 women with 2 of each to count on cumulative times. Cathy was 2nd English woman in a time of 77 minutes 8 seconds on a course that was hilly (the England team manager estimated it to be worth up to a minute) and the weather was also very cool and windy. Cathy felt the wind slowed her more than the hills, so although just outside her PB this was a very fine run and Cathy felt stronger in this race than when she set her PB winning at Wilmslow at the end of March. Clearly there is much more to come from her at this distance after some shorter distance racing in the coming months.

In league athletics, both our Southern Men’s League and National Young Athletes League teams made good starts to our seasons. Now in the top division of the SML, our men placed a close 2nd at Gillingham behind host club Medway & Maidstone and sit 5th of the 16 teams in the early season league table. Our young athletes aquitted themselves very well against strong opposition at Lee Valley and although 4th of the 6th teams, we were much closer to highly ranked Shaftesbury Barnet and Harrow than in the past and will hope to challenge them in the remaining NYAL fixtures this summer.

Also over the bank holiday weekend a small number of HHH athletes were part of the test event at a rather cold Olympic Stadium, as they competed in the British Students (BUCS) champs. However the best HHH performance at the meeting was by an athlete competing in one of the UK Athletics invitation races, as Aisha Naibe-Wey smashed her PB for 400m hurdles, running 60.33 when coming 5th in a high quality race. In the BUCS champs both Dele Onifade (men’s 100m) and Hannah Edwards (women’s 800m) reached the semi finals, but not finals of events which produced some of the best marks in the UK so far this season despite the less than kind weather conditions.

Geoff Jerwood.