The IWCA Athletics Club fielded thirteen runners in this year’s OX5 Run today at Blenheim Palace.
Three runners in the top 45 in a field of 853 and very respectable times for the other seven runners, ensured that our team took second place in the club competition.
Kasper Abdillalui was the first of our runners to cross the finish line. This was the first time that Kasper had donned the black and white stripes, and he had confessed to his team mates prior to the race that he was far from fit, but fitness, like everything else, is relative so what may have been a slightly disappointing time for our young Kenyan born athlete was an impressive effort any day by our standards.
Not far behind Kasper came the ever smiling, ever reliable, Paul Brackett who had been having a bit of fun playing cat and mouse with team mate, Stuart Craft, since mile one.
Stuart beat his time from the previous year by 11 seconds and still just about had Paul in his sights on the home straight so he was happy enough.
David Troth ran his own race and did very well from it. David has been plagued by knee problems over the past year so his training has been off and on, but he has been able to supplement his running training with cycle work when necessary to keep a decent level of fitness. This was his first race for some time so a great effort.
Paul’s son, David Brackett, also did very well considering it was his first attempt at such a race having only previously trained at this distance on the treadmill at the gym. David shows great promise and with today's enjoyable experience under his belt the future belongs to him.
Terry (the Triathlete) Brackett was justifiably pleased with his time of 40 minutes. With Terry’s big frame he is strongest in the pool and on the bike, nonetheless he has been working really hard to improve his long distance running and today’s time shows that this has very much paid off.
David Craft, another of our big strong athletes knocked 0:1:25 off his previous year’s time and should be proud of himself. If he manages to fit enough training in between his busy work schedule this could really be David's year.
Kevin Brackett also did well. Kevin usually attends these events as a photographer but has been making made steady progress in recent months since deciding to get himself fit. What started with long walks and cycling has recently developed into short runs until here he is today acheiving a very decent five mile race time of 47:34.
Graça Craft put in great effort today, showing true character running through nausea and a bad stitch for the last two and a half miles. If Grace actually trained for these events for a change I’ve a strong feeling we’d start to see the runner she often threatens to be.
Frank Brackett is in his sixties and hasn’t trained for a couple of years, so we really have to take our hats off to him for achieving a time of 54:27.
Chloe Troth only took up running around a month ago and set her sights on simply completing the course today. She did so in well under an hour which is a more than respectable start to her running career.
Lee Sharkey managed to shave nearly 3 minutes off his 2010 time – his only previous attempt at the course - and he ended with a spirited sprint finish, so fair play to him.
Alan Thomas ran the race at his own pace and enjoyed himself as ever. As well as taking on a number of long distance runs throughout the year, Alan still plays and referees local Sunday league football – no mean feat for a 62 years old, so full respect to him.