Ickenham 5 – Swakeleys Park – Sun 07 Jul 2019

It was one of those mornings where you roll up the blind to find the day has greeted you with the slightly unexpected when we set off for the Ickenham 5 on Sunday morning. The third of our newly formed ‘run of the month’ saw 24 ESM runners grace Swakeleys Park in Ickenham on a rather cold and rainy day. To be honest there were a fair few who found the weather a welcome relief, having endured the last two summer league races in quite hot conditions.

We arrived at the park to set up camp under a tree to protect us from the downpour (with Patricia winning the prize for looking the least impressed with the weather) and to take the obligatory team photos – Lynn and I both muttering how we had forgotten a flag/banner. The gathered ESM crowd saw a wonderful mix of our more established ESM athletes (note, I did not use the term ‘older’) and some of our newer members.

The Ickenham 5 is a two-lap course starting and finishing with 600m in the park, with the remainder out on the surrounding roads.

Mark Kencroft continued his excellent form, being very happy with his run and leading the ESM herd across the line in just over 30 minutes. As Mark put it, by the time the race started the weather conditions turned out to be just perfect: a light drizzle to dampen the air – ideal for running. Having competed in the last two summer league races, as well as taking in Urban’s club run session, he felt well prepared for this race. Mark started the race with the leading group, with the front two quickly breaking away but he was able to stay with the pack, swapping positions many times before settling into line. Mark subsequently had an impressive run, achieving first place in the M50 age category.

Not far behind Mark, was Stephen Plummer, narrowly missing out on third place in his age category. Adam Goodman made it in to the top three ESM finishers, setting a new 5 mile PB in the process. Next was a bit of jostling around the 33 minute mark between Martin D, Richard and Malcolm, Richard being pleased to have got sub-34 minutes for the first time.

I was first across the finish line for the ESM ladies, coming in as third senior lady. I have to admit that despite having very high hopes for this race, around the 3km mark I settled into the fact that it was one of those races where little felt right and I found nothing to draw on in the legs. I was very glad to just get over the finish line! We’ve all had those runs! Patricia was next home for the ladies in 37 minutes, taking second place in her age category. Lynn was the third ESM lady over the line, comfortably under 38 minutes, and winning the W60 category.

Lynn and Liam were level pegging at one stage but the quickening of pace on the final stretch over the grass proved too much with Liam suffering that dreaded ‘ thump’ in the calf and finding himself limping over the line with a calf strain (still in a respectable sub 38 minutes I hasten to add). Louise Prince enjoyed her last race as a W45 with her 50th birthday set for the following day. If the past few years are anything to go by, I am sure Louise is set to cover many running miles in her fifth decade. Gurmeet Lally, who like Louise is also clocking up the racing miles of late, also had a great run, setting a new PB. Louise’s other half, Philip, who is should we say, more selective of his races also set a PB; with Wilton Grey and Claire King also adding their names to the list of PB setters. Mahala and Sally were also both pleased with their runs having recently returned from injury.  I think most felt the run had gone well and enjoyed it!

In terms of the organisation of the race, there were issues they could improve on next year with the baggage area turning into a bit of a free-for-all in the back of a small van, and marshals leaving posts at the end, causing some runners to come into the finish line from the wrong end, just to be told they should complete the rest of the loop around the park. However, they gave out excellent t-shirts and vests, having taken the time to find out your size beforehand and lay out individualised goody bags.

All in all, the Ickenham 5 proved to be a wonderful local race with some great achievements by all. More importantly, it served as a great opportunity to come together as a club and enjoy in some running on what started off to be a bit of a drab Sunday morning.

ESM results summary:

Men: 6 Mark Kencroft (M50) 30:19; 12 Stephen Plummer (M55) 31:16; 16 Adam Goodman 31:49; 26 Martin Daoud (M55) 33:08; 31 Malcolm Woolsey (M40) 33:34; 40 Wilton Grey (M60) 34:14; 49 Michael Charles (M45) 35:03; 48 Tom Yates 35:09; 74 Liam Kencroft 37:57; 143 Martin Wilson (M65) 43:07; 151 Nick Vanson (M60) 43:15; 162 Philip Prince (M60) 44:24

Women: 39 Sarah Gerrie (W35) 34:13; 67 Patricia Thomas (W50) 37:00; 70 Lynn Wilson (W60) 37:44; 90 Louise Prince (W45) 39:48; 144 Gurmeet Lally (W55) 43:07; 153 Sophie Pesticcio (W45) 43:21; 167 Lindsay Donoghue (W50) 44:21; 161 Kylie Goodman (W35) 44:23; 187 Catherine Gunnewicht (W50) 45:53; 191 Claire King (W40) 46:03; 195 Sally Murnaghan (W50) 46:13; 311 Mahala Richards 58:01

Full results on runbritain