Havering women earn virtual runners-up spot in Essex Relay event

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 July 2020

Havering's Lydia Hallam and Ginte Bailey with manager Jane Hallam (pic Lydia Hallam)

Havering's Lydia Hallam and Ginte Bailey with manager Jane Hallam (pic Lydia Hallam)


Havering’s women had to settle for the runners-up spot in the virtual Essex 6 & 12 Stage Relay over the weekend.

Ginte Bailey posted their fastest 5k leg of 19.07, fifth fastest overall, as Kate O’Neil (19.26) finished seventh fastest.

Robyn Matson (20.16) and Sophie Rand (20.29) also covered short legs, with Morgan Campbell running five miles in 29.58 for third fastest and Lydia Hallam clocking 31.11 for fifth fastest as Havering pushed Billericay all the way.

The B team finished 12th as Jade Edwards (22.27), Debbie Appleton (22.30), Clare Davies (22.49) and Tracy O’Neill (26.12) ran 5k legs and Bella Woods (36.21) and Jo Sullivan (41.28) covered five miles each.

The senior men’s 12-strong squad placed sixth, with James Connor posting an event best 24.18 for five miles on Friday.

Ben Davis (26.59), Rob Warner (27.15), Gavin Watts (27.48), Barry Smith (28.13) and James Stewart (29.45) were the other fastest club athletes on the long leg, while Sam Atkins (16.50) clocked the 11th best 5k time and Jason Lendon (17.20) also made the top 20.

Gavin Maley (17.14) was not far behind, with Rob Trevor (17.34), John Whitehead (17.48) and Martin Chester (18.36) completing the scoring six.

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The B team, mainly comprising veterans, were 11th thanks to long legs posted by John Barker (30.56), Steve Walker (31.46), Trevor Keys (32.43), Graham Hogan (32.49), Rob Dickenson (33.11) and Darren Priestley (34.11).

The 5k legs were run by Matt Bland (18.50), Paul Berrett (19.27), Gary Atkins (20.19), Roy James (21.01), Richard Rowe (21.23) and Jon Hart (25:25).

*Havering AC have taken further steps back to full training as they welcomed athletes from the younger under-13 and under-15 age groups at Hornchurch Stadium this week.

The first phase of training started on June 22 when athletes in the under-17 and above age groups returned and, after a successful review, the club’s proposal to expand numbers were given the go ahead by landlords Havering Council.

Group sizes are still restricted to six – one coach to five athletes – in line with government and England Athletics guidance, which mean athlete numbers fall far short of the usual capacity.

Coaches are managing sessions carefully to give as many athletes as possible the chance to return to training, with all competition still suspended and planned events cancelled, as the club waits for updates on what may go ahead.

Club chairman Tony Benton said: “This is an important step for our coaches and athletes and they have responded fantastically to adapting to the social distancing requirements that we have to work to.

“A knock-on effect, however, is that we have had to close our waiting list as we can’t consider taking in new members when we’re still unable to accommodate the usual number of club members at our club nights.”

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