|The second edition of the Gravesend races held in remembrance of Cecil Gittins – a long and devoted race walker, judge and wise counsellor to the sport and VAC in particular. The races are held over a hilly 2.5 km lap of Gravesend Cyclopark – an excellent facility for these events. The day was well supported overall but Surrey Walking Club was a little under-represented due to various factors. The most well supported event was the 10km where event organiser David Hoben just broke the 72 minute mark encouraged by plenty of competition as all races started together. Three of the SWC contingent went on to complete the arduous 15km with Dan Maskell and Chris Flint both achieving good times with the former leaving behind the group that he made his steady start with. Chris had a race-long battle with Anne Jones from Steyning and built a small gap only for Anne to come past in the last lap or so. Further back in a lonely and soul-destroying last place Dave Delaney battled on to a time not far from his recent form and applause by the large group of officials, friends and fellow competitors as he finished his race and rounded off a very successful meeting.
In the shorter distances Shaun Lightman saw his Blackheath and Bromley coaching charges perform with great enthusiasm and personal bests. Abi Smith in the Under 13 Girls 2.5km was second her race by three seconds behind the winner and 50 seconds from previous rival Katie Stringer from Medway. Isabelle Bridge was the winner in the Under 17 Girls 5km with a 20 second improvement. Newcomer Chris Edwards was also in the 5km achieving a 25 second p.b. and promise of greater advances.
Girls Under 13 2.5km
1. D.Nova (Ashf U13G) 15 min 21 sec; 2. A.Smith (B&B U13G) 15 min 24 sec; 3. K.Stringer (M&M U13G) 16 min 14 sec.
1. G.Wilkinson (E&H U17B) 28 min 50 sec; 2. T.Wilkinson (Enfield) 34 min 13 sec; 3. C.Edwards (SyWC) 36 min 13 sec.
1. I.Bridge (B&B U17G) 29 min 22 sec; 2. A.Ingram (Lewes W55) 32 min 26 sec; 3. J.Benson (Ashf U17G) 33 min 24 sec;
1. J.Hobbs (Ashf M) 50 min 25 sec; 2. M.Smith (Ashf U20 M) 51 min 45 sec; 3. C.Hobbs (Ashf M60) 58 min 20 sec; 9. D.Hoben (Sy WC M60) 1 hr 11 min 59 sec.
1. L.Legon (Camb H U23 M) 1 hr 15 min 10 sec; 2. S.Parris (Ilf M) 1 hr 29 min 11 sec; 3. G.Chapman (Head M60) 1 hr 29 min 37 sec; 9. D.Maskell (Sy WC M65) 1 hr 42 min 38 sec; 10. C.Flint (Sy WC M70) 1 hr 43 min 47 sec; 11. D.Delaney (Sy WC M70) 1 hr 57 min 43 sec;