Monday, April 11, 2016

Season under way

What a good day we had!

Over 300 athletes registered for the Sprints and Hurdles meeting and it certainly seemed that many as they came through the starts for their races. Twenty-nine (count them - 29) heats for the 100m and there would have been twenty-seven for the 200m if Graham hadn't taken pity on us and came over to get us to amalgamate races towards the end as the rain needled into us from over the clubhouse.

Athletes are such resilient creatures. Rain, hail and tempest never seem to put them off. Not that the whole afternoon was like that. There was even a bit of sunshine at one point. The wind, though, was a constant factor.

So - what of the results?

The best 100m time of the day was Daniel Trueman of Stroud in 11.04, closely followed by Luke Lorenzi in 11.18. In all three Yate athletes ran under twelve seconds. The 200m times hardly signify, given the weather. But for the record, Luke finished in 22.84 against a best time of 22.50 - not at all bad in those conditions. Also on show was Yvette Westwood, recording decent times of 12.48 in the 100m and 26.68 in the 200m. In the 400m four Yate athletes ran under 56 seconds, with Josh Evans (how good to see him running at Yate again) posting 50.64.

The other good thing on show here were a trio of wheelchair races. Jo Binman and Lewis Munday raced over 400m, 100m and 200m. The club - and Mark Lodge in particular - have made a priority of disability athletics so it was good to see wheelchair users in action. Jo's hair certainly showed up in the gloom that was starting to gather by the time we got to 200m.

The wheelchairs were just the more visible sign of the interest in athletes with disabilities. Elsewhere, a number of athletes with cerebral palsy took part alongside able-bodied friends.

If you had to design the perfect end to a day like that you could do a very great deal worse than to have a large group of friends sitting round a big table in the meeting room tucking in to sausage and chips. Having spent all day in the kitchen we owe a big debt of gratitude to Mark for laying that on.

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