Veterans’ team captain Charlie Arnold led the way for BAC on a stunning evening in the sunshine at Milton Keynes. The 61-year-old put in a scintillating performance to win the 300m hurdles. After starting off steadily, he blazed around the bend and cantered through to victory in 61.5sec, fully four seconds clear of his nearest opposition. Charlie then shared first place in the V60 pole vault, clearing 1.70m, alongside an athlete from Cambridge & Coleridge AC.
EMAC debutant Jon “Fedge” Fediw got his veterans’ career off to a sterling start with third place in the V35 hammer in 15.21, while David Brown – balancing officiating and competing duties – took a fine third of his own with third in the V50 400m hurdles.
In the women’s competition, Kathryn Juty took second place in the V35 pole vault with 1.30m, third place in the 200m in 34.8sec and fourth in the long jump in 3.19m.
Throws specialist Sandra Ingham took third in the V50 shot in 7.03m, and fifth in the hammer, and helped another EMAC first-timer, Hannah Broom, have a ball after coaching her to third in the V35 hammer (11.20m). Hannah also took fifth in both the 800m and the shot, and was later beaming at her first experience of veterans’ competition.
Zoe Luscombe also put in a serious shift, taking third place in the 400m in a fine 96.7sec, and going straight from the finish of that event to start the 1 mile walk – still wearing spikes, which adds an extra layer of difficulty to an event where one foot must always be in contact with the track. Tripping and tearing up the track behind her, she took an entertaining fourth place in the B string, treating the Buckinghamshire crowd to some extremely colourful language as she went. In the A string of that race, Helen Kapur finished a fine fifth.
Marcus Davey took fourth in the 800m (2:19.5), fifth in the 200m (28.9sec), and finished his night with a stunning final leg in the 4x400m, timed at 62.3sec.
On a fruitful night in the long jump, Robin Wynde broke the V55 club record twice in quick succession. Having complained that he all-too-often struggled to judge his run-up and hit the take-off board following his first effort, he proceeded to judge it perfectly with his second, and repeated the feat with his third leap of 3.27m, which added 24cm to John Haines’ mark that had stood since 2012. In the V35 category, Stuart Goodwin earned a personal best of his own with 4.18m to take fifth place in a competition where just 55cm separated first and last place. Helen Kapur, competing in the V50 competition, earlier leaped 2.19m to take both fifth place and a PB.
Robin and Stuart earlier took part in the 1mile walk, each taking fourth places in the A and B string with 10:06.05 and 12:02 respectively. Robin’s busy night also took in the 800m, where he earned fifth place, and the shot put, where he took sixth.
Colin Harries, age 70, was fifth in the V60 shot and sixth in the V50 200m standings. Clark Skerratt took fourth in the V60 800m and fifth in the hammer, while Simon Strong’s 5.98m in the V35 shot earned him fifth place.
Top scoring honours of the night went to Helen Kapur, whose brilliant individual tally of 19 points, accrued in a herculean effort that took in five scoring events, showed what the team competition is all about.
It all ended with the 4x400m relays, and first up the men’s V35s were sent off by an apprehensive Fedge, whose steady leg marked his first foray into one-lap territory since joining the club last month. Upon handing over to Simon Strong, he departed trackside to dry-heave while his unsupportive partner, Hannah Broom, failed to contain her mirth. Simon, eternally recovering from injury, thankfully emerged unscathed and handed off to Stuart Goodwin, who presided over the team being lapped by a very high-quality Bedford & County AC quartet. Goodwin then left the baton with Marcus Davey, whose outstanding final 400m was all the better for having been run almost solo.
The men’s V50+ relay followed, and BAC stormed to third in a club-record time, thanks in no small part to a 65.8sec third leg by David Brown. Captain Arnold, Clark Skerratt and Robin Wynde also played their part.
It was left to the V35 ladies’ squad to close out a busy night of track and field action, and a team of Hannah Broom, Sandra Ingham, Kathryn Juty and Zoe Luscombe took fourth place.
Both teams emerged with superb fourth places out of seven strong teams on the night, with the women extremely unlucky to miss out on third by just four points.