|The annual Cecil Gittins Races were as usual promoted by VAC at the Gravesend Cyclopark with the most popular 10km supplemented by a 15km option and shorter options in multiples of the 2.5km lap. In all over 30 turned out on a very windy Saturday on this hilly but interesting course. The favourable aspect was the direction of the breeze as it was behind the walkers for the long ascent to complete each lap. While some were deterred by the conditions and were a few percent below par others took on the challenge and there were several personal best and thus a wide range of performances. Surrey Walking Club were represented by two in the 10km and another two going on for the 15km including comfortable race winner Francisco Reis. The 10km was won by promising Enfield youngster George Wilkinson with a 9 minute gap to second place. SWC’s Mick Harran and David Hoben were not far apart down the order although in times not too far from normal. The 15km was not a popular distance in the wind but SWC provided two out of the four with Chris Flint accompanying Francisco, if 20 minutes behind. In fact Chris’ time was a little below his best for the distance but compared well with other recent races. The 5km included two of Shaun Lightman’s Blackheath coaching group with Isabelle Bridge winning the race by a minute and Abi Smith 3rd in a personal best. A well-attended presentation, considering the range of race times and distances, was a pleasant event with all competitors and officials glad to be out of the cold after up to two hours.|
1. I.Bridge (B&B U20W) 29 min 4 sec; 2. G.Whittingham (Ashf U17G) 30 min 9 sec; 3. A.Smith (B&B U15G) 30 min 15 sec.
1. G.Wilkinson (E&H U20 M) 50 min 58 sec; 2. T.Jones (Steyn M60) 59 min 51 sec; 3. S.Zennaro (Belg M45) 1 hr 0 min 48 sec; 8. M.Harran (Sy WC M80) 1 hr 15 min 24 sec; 9. D.Hoben (Sy WC M65) 1 hr 15 min 37 sec.
1. J.Benson (Ashf U20W) 1 hr 0 min 7 sec; 2. M.Noel (Belg W55) 1 hr 6 min 43 sec; 3. L.Hall (Ashf W60) 1 hr 8 min 24 sec.
1. F.Reis (Sy WC M55) 1 hr 24 min 31 sec; 2. S.Bennett (Ilf M60) 1 hr 37 min 33 sec; 3. C.Flint (Sy WC M70) 1 hr 48 min 24 sec.
1. C.Duhig (Ryst W60) 1 hr 45 min 0 sec.