Debra Booker & Graham French report, with contributions also from Bridie Lebdiri and Martin Daoud:
ESM’s young athletes were out in numbers at the Early Autumn Mile & 3K, organised by Harrow AC at the Bannister Stadium on 1st October. Conditions were near perfect: dry, mild and barely a breath of wind.
Every one of our athletes got a PB. For some it was their first race of the season, for others it was their first race ever. Everyone showed the results of their hard work and training over such a difficult summer.
In the first mile race of the evening we had six athletes in a field of 10. U15 Rosie Hewitt set the early pace and soon found herself ahead of the pack. Leading from the front most of the way she found it hard to pace the race but finished strongly in 6:09.42. She was 40-50 metres ahead of U13 Elliott Edgar, who ran a good tactical race, making up ground as he went, and came home in 6:20.06. Next in was U13 Junias Lee running his first ever race in an excellent 6:22.05. U13s Isabela Dussaillant and Adela Davison both knocked off more than a minute from their Summer League times and the latter crossed the line with fellow U13 Lucila Dussaillant who stepped right out of her comfort zone as a sprinter to complete her first multi lap event.
U13 Mika Stripp found himself in race 3. Undeterred by being the smallest and youngest in the field of U15 and U17s, he got into the mix and stuck with the pace, finishing strongly in 6:03.49.
Race 4 saw three more ESM athletes. U15 Alec Edgar won the battle of the boys, narrowly beating U13 Isaac Mezey by just over half a second. Alec had the early advantage, and despite Isaac powering through the last lap he couldn’t quite catch his team mate who finished in 5:32.11. U20 Katie Hay showed the fruits of hard summer training, finishing in 5:34.44.
Our final miler was U17 Lucy Henson who ran a typically strong and aggressive race clocking a time of 5:31.08. “I’ll take that” she said, once she got her breath back!
U15 Nicola Hewitt and U17 Anna Dussaillant opted for the 3K. Both had run 3K on the track at the beginning of September for the virtual Middlesex Road Relays, and were looking to improve on their previous performances. A blistering pace was set on the first lap, which none of the athletes could maintain, but they eventually settled into their own rhythms. With ESM veteran Martin Daoud leading the way, Nicola was well in the mix in the middle of the pack, slowed a little on the penultimate lap, but finished strongly in an excellent 11:58.31 (knocking 29 seconds off her previous best). Anna maintained a more consistent pace, stayed strong all the way, and with an impressive sprint finish down the home straight came home in 13:31.62 – a full 33 seconds quicker than her previous best.
V55 Martin Daoud was also happy with his race: “It went better than planned, although I was slightly unnerved when I saw I was racing in Heat 1 against fast looking youngsters! I ran the first 200m tentatively then decided to push on at my 5k pace then quicker. ESM support was great and helped tremendously. The conditions were perfect for me and I was very pleased to knock 21 seconds off my previous time. It was nice to see the ESM youth team racing, great camaraderie”.
The final ESM young athlete to compete was U17 Thomas Edgar who ran his first officially-timed 3K in 10:16.16 – 26 seconds faster than his September time submitted for the virtual Middlesex Road Relays.
Nicola and Rosie were characteristically self critical after their races. “I did my best but my pacing was awful and I died at the end” (Nicola); “I know I can go faster next time but at least I came first!” (Rosie). Nonetheless they and all our athletes were buzzing after their races and looking forward to the next, whenever that may be.
Bridie Lebdiri added that her highlight of the evening was the speed of Isaac (Mezey) on the final 300m of his mile, given it was his first ever track race. “Everyone ran their hearts out with some decent performances”, she said.
ESM results summary:
U20: Katie Hay 5:34.44, U17: Lucy Henson 5:31.08
U15: Alec Edgar 5:32.11, Rosie Hewitt 6:09.42
U13: Isaac Mezey 5:32.77, Mika Stripp 6:04.49, Elliot Edgar 6:20.06, Junias Lee 6:22.05, Isabela Dussaillant 6:43.52, Adela Davison 7:19.89, Lucila Dussaillant 7:19.90
V55: Martin Daoud 11:02.41
U17: Thomas Edgar 10:16.16, Anna Dussaillant 13:31.62
U15: Nicola Hewitt 11:58.31