|On this weekend’s warm summer Saturday afternoon 24 competitors faced the starter at Tilgate Park Crawley for 7 laps of the lake with some attempting shorter distances. The annual Jack Fitgerald 10.325km incorporated the Surrey Walking “7” which was postponed from last November due to fixture congestion. Although the overall participation was healthy and improved only two SWC did the main distance. Some of the field, less prepared, found the heat exhausting and slowed drastically during the latter stages. Two leaders soon emerged - Trevor Jones and Jim Ball (both Steyning AC) They were together for the first 5 of 7 laps when Jones eventually drew away from Ball to beat him by half a minute and record an improved time. The ladies race was won by Emily Ghose (Tonbridge) by a couple of seconds from Penny Cummins. Emily had had a considerable lead over Cummins in the middle of the race. However the latter made a sterling effort over the last two laps but just failed to catch Ghosh, who also made a great last push to finish ahead. Melanie Peddle finished third. Surrey Walking Club interest centered on Dan Maskell who built up a commanding lead over David Kemp only for Kemp to claw back Maskell’s advantage by the end of lap 7. However Maskell out-sprinted Kemp in the last 400m. Further down the field, race organiser David Hoben, SWC’s only other competitor at the full distance, had a solitary race to finish 12th overall in a improved 75 min 43 sec. The poor SWC turnout would have made their handicap and Championship presentation an embarrassment but for the record Dan Maskell was first home whilst Hoben performance gave him a narrow win in the handicap.
Completing the shorter distance of 4 laps Peter Hannell and Peter Selby both Surrey walked together at a steady pace due to lack of fitness and dead-heated in 48m 02s. Finally Nolan Simmons, who started with the Peters, but was troubled by hip injury completed 3 laps in 37m 06s.
1. T.Jones (Steyn M60) 59 min 52 sec; 2. J.Ball (Steyn M55) 1 hr 0 min 33 sec; 3. M.Culshaw (Ilf M50) 1 hr 5 min 58 sec; 4. D.Maskell (Sy WC M70) 1 hr 9 min 47 sec; 8. D.Hoben (Sy WC M65) 1 hr 15 min 43 sec.
1. E.Ghose (Ton U23W) 1 hr 1 min 26 sec; 2. P.Cummings (AFD W40) 1 hr 1 min 28 sec; 3. M.Peddle (Loughton W50) 1 hr 3 min 27 sec.
Mixed 5.9 km
1. A.Ingram (Lewes W55) 38 min 36 sec; 2. J.Carder (B&H W60) 42 min 7 sec; 3eq. P.Selby (Sy WC M75) 48 min 2 sec; 3eq. P.Hannell (Sy WC M75) 48 min 2 sec.
1. N.Simmons (Sy WC M75) 37 min 6 sec.
1. O.Hopkins (Lewes U20 M) 8 min 18 sec; 2. C.Perry (Lewes U11B) 8 min 18 sec; 3. L.Burr (Ton U13B) 9 min 39 sec.