Four members of Rugby and Northampton athletics club braved the rigours of ice and snow on the M1 to contest The National Masters’ Championships in Sheffield last weekend.
The two Rugby ladies were nearly ruled out before the start as their journey took over an hour longer than usual resulting in some bargaining to be allowed to compete as they had arrived 10mins after the scheduled signing in time, even if still 50 minutes before the first event.
n Sally Hine was first to take to the track in the 60m hurdles, defending her W60 age group title. To give more competition she ran with the men which spurred her on to a personal best of 11.98s. Her other four events were just below her performances last year, reflecting the problems training outdoors in the recent weather conditions. Her final score of 2674 gained her the British title for the 3rd time.
The other three R&N athletes were novices at combined events and several of the events they would be attempting for the first time in competition.
n Lisa Melvin, who had only recommenced track and field athletics in November after a 17 year break, was nervous about the initial hurdles but gained confidence with second place in a PB 12.28s.
Clearing 1.30m in the High jump produced her best score of the day, but then tiredness started to set in. Holding second spot through the Shot and long jump only the 800m remained.
In spite of happily running 4-5 miles in training, the final two laps of the 200m track felt never ending, especially when glancing over her shoulder she thought another athlete was right behind.
Her final effort maintained second place and when she turned to see who was behind her realised she had been competing against her own shadow as the next person was 100m behind! Silver in Lisa’s first British Championship was an excellent first outing as a Veteran athlete, especially as the winner broke the British O35 age group record. The male Northampton contingent had a later start time but were no less nervous; first championships and starting with Hurdles for which they had only had three weeks training.
n M35 Kamal Kheldouni attacked the first three hurdles managing the recommended three strides between but then landing off balance, resorted to more strides for the final few but still a PB, faster than in training, 10.98s and 5th place. The long jump of 5.19m was a PB indoors, as was the shot, 8.36m. High jump was a disappointment but the final 1000m cemented his position of 5th and 14th on the all time records. He hopes to improve his position next year.
n In the M45 age group David Ronchetti was even more nervous. Three weeks before he was only tackling the women’s height hurdles and only managed the full size and distance the week before the competition. He hurdled well, 11.85s PB, in a close race where 0.2s separated four athletes and one second faster would have moved him from 9th to 3rd.
Spurred to a new confidence he continued to PB in every event. Long jump was better than cleared outdoors in the summer, shot was slightly down on what he hoped for but the high jump proved a revelation; 1.48m, 8cm higher than in training and the fourth highest in the competition.
All that remained was the final 1000m which again he was very competitive gaining his highest score for any event and moving up two places into 6th. An excellent start to National championships and three new events!
Results in order are for: 60mH; Long jump; Shot; High Jump; 800/1000m and score.
Hines 1st W60: 11.98s; 2.90m; 6.38m; 1.06m; 3:39.36s; 2674.
Melvin 2nd W35: 12.28; 3.56m; 6.96m; 1.30m; 2:55.26; 1890.
Kheldouni 5th M35: 10.98; 5.19; 8.36; 1.50; 3:12.80; 2223.
Ronchetti 6th M45: 11.85; 4.50; 6.70; 1.48; 3:23.97; 2280.