Written by MM/NA
The great conflagration - and a mere Vets League match!
Men finished 4th,both on the night and overall.Our A winners were - Draco Mkpa M35 200,David Bell M35 2000Walk,Chris Richards M50 TJ,Gareth Cook M35 DT and Geoff van Klaveren M50 DT.JT.
Women done good,finishing 2nd on the night and 2nd overall.Our A winners were - Susanne Dietrich W35 2000Walk,Jo Regan W35 200& TJ,Nicki Murphy W50 TJ,Odette McHenry W35 DT and Debbie Singelton W50 DT.
Full results on this site via Main Menu. Both reports follow
This report was written before the results were available, as I am flying to Hungary tomorrow, and I also want to do this before I forget half of what happened.
At about 5.10 pm I was approaching Kingsmeadow over the Gloucester Road rail bridge when I saw a fire engine ahead of me, and as I turned left into Porchester Road I started smelling acrid smoke, and wondered where the fire was. When I got to Kingsmeadow, you could see one of the tower blocks of the Cambridge Road housing estate belching smoke off to the right as seen from the stadium. David Barrington, who was organising the match for us was already there, and Gareth Cook, who was making his Veterans League debut for Kingston in the discus, arrived just after me. People were arriving gradually for the meeting, but very few from K&P ( Epsom and Ewell Harriers were also affected as many of their members lived near enough to not plan on arriving early, and were caught out by the closure of Cambridge Road) , and about quarter of an hour before the meeting things looked very doubtful.
A police helicopter landed on our infield, and the wind seemed to be directing the increasingly thick smoke over the stadium, and Graham Huntley and I watched flames erupt from the top of the block. Fortunately the helicopter was only dropping off an officer, and it then left hovering over our shot put circle and appearing to distribute the dust from the landing area over half the stadium, and by the time the discus started with Gareth and Geoff van Klaveren (who set a pb in that event) competing for us, the wind had changed. Mark Butler from Epsom arrived and told me he had had to abandon his car and then run about a mile out of his way, because the roads were closed to pedestrians as well as cars. Draco Mkpa and Chris Richards were similarly affected, and I think Stefan Skwara must have been similarly affected as he arrived too late for the 800m, which he had been hoping to do. This was unfortunate for K&P as I had lost my M35 and M40 800m first choices to injury and a sudden work crisis. David Bell (M45), who had only just finished walking the 2000m walk for us, with Cashel Riordan, kindly stepped in to get some points in the M35 race, but I had hoped to put Stefan in the M40 slot. Jack Rutherford did the M50 race.
I think we lost Robin Shaw who was going to do the M40 high jump, on the mens’ side and Joan Trimble on the womens’ side altogether to the road closures. Fortunately Stefan was able to run the 5000m with Andy Arbour and David Greenfield, and we had a full field in the 200m of Draco (M35), myself (M40), Chris Richards (M50) and Cashel (M60). In the Javelin we had Geoff van Klaveren throwing as an M50 for the first time in this league, and Chris Richards stepped down an age group to do the M40 string in that event. In the High Jump Graham Huntley did the M50 string, and he and Jack Rutherford did non-scoring Discus. As half the 200m runners were bound for the European Veterans Champs later this week, I’d already planned that they would not run in the relay, but with the absences from the 800m, I could not find any replacements, and, as it was evident we could not change our fortunes by doing it, had to let the race go without a K&P mens’ team.
The fire on the Cambridge Estate only prevented Joan Trimble from accessing Kingsmeadow,who was in two minds whether she would compete or not regarding her commitment with racing in Hungary, wearing a GB vest.
On the track the 2000m Walk was the first event of the evening and Susanne Dietrich was the first women cross the finishing line in 11.35.1 while Gill Broderick returned to the track as an non-scorer and finished in 13.40.8; hopefully we will see more of Gill next year. Dina Francis decided to run the 800m, over 50, at the last minute,ignoring advice from her physician,and fortunately finished the race unscathed. Jo Regan (30.5secs) and Susanne Dietrich (32.2secs) both ran the 200m, with Susanne winning by 0.4 seconds from Dorking and Mole Valley’s Louise Ionascu.
The dreaded 5000m, which is actually the team managers event, saw an excellent run from Rachel Disley,while your team manager completed the race in a mediocre time, having previously ran the 800m and recently run several half marathons.
It was decided that we would have a relay, although it wasn’t actually decided who would compete until almost the end of the competition. Nicki Murphy,who had been at a meeting,arrived at Kingsmeadow during the 5000m, having previously been briefed that there was going to be a relay. As Joan had decided not to compete,I decided at the very last moment to run. The relay team comprised of Jo Regan to Nicki Murphy to Nicky Atkins to Susanne Dietrich. I took the baton and ran as fast as I could,which wasn’t very fast after just finishing the 5000m, with my eyes bulging as Anne Nelson passed me after 150m. I passed the baton onto Susanne who hastily made up ground finishing 2nd,8.1seconds behind Epsom & Ewell.
Out in the field we were missing Camilla who being injured was unable to compete,but still supported the team and club by officiating. Jo Regan and Debbie Singleton both from Walton AC competed in the high jump, with Debbie scoring an equal 2nd place with Linda Harrison from Croydon Harriers. Jo Regan also competed in the Triple jump wining the event, whilst Nicki Murphy jumped one jump (O 50) ad hoc, (also against the advice from her physician) and won the over 50 event. In the absence of Camilla, Odette McHenry continued her return back from long term injury by throwing the shot and the discus,winning the latter in 20.84 meters. Meanwhile Debbie Singleton (O 50) came 2nd in the shot 8.64 meters and won the discus throw in 23.46 meters.
K&P women came 2nd in this match and 2nd overall 415 total points (28 match points) to Epsom and Ewell’s 632 total points (32 match points). K&P top women scorer was Jo Regan. Well done.
(And well done,both TMs - Ed)
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