Havering AC return to training as Pitkin and Hughes enjoy success in Raleigh

Tom Pitkin and Zoe Hughes at Raleigh Relays

Tom Pitkin and Zoe Hughes at Raleigh Relays - Credit: Tom Pitkin

As Havering AC returned to training this week, two of their Stateside athletes competed in style at the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina as the outdoor season started in the US.

Tom Pitkin opened his outdoor account on Friday with his third fastest ever 400m run of 47.61s, breaking the Butler University record which had stood since 1927.

He returned the next day to run his first 400m hurdles for four years and smashed his PB to 53.51 for fourth on the club all-time list.   

Continued improvements could see Mark Bishop’s long-standing club records at both events come under threat. 

Heptathlete Zoe Hughes, competing for Duke University at the same event, posted a good 100m hurdles season opener on Thursday with 14.04 (her fastest since 2017) and on Saturday added a 25.36 clocking for 200m, her fastest for three years.  

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These results came after her recent club long jump record during the indoor season, and one of her longest ever shot results, suggesting a good heptathlon score could be on the cards. 

Club training has resumed after three long months away, with athletes having done their best to stay fit, training individually or in pairs, topped up by Zoom group fitness sessions.

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Club secretary Tony Benton said: “It’s been much more difficult for the athletes this lockdown compared to the first time from last March to June due to the winter conditions and all credit to those who have kept their motivation going through these difficult times.

“Athletes will face a reshaped track and field league and championship season which starts at the end of May, much later than usual.

“All leagues have opted for one-off revised arrangements which abandon usual league fixtures with promotion and relegation in favour of local club groupings to minimise travelling for 2021 fixtures.”

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