Six Dacorum and Tring Athletes took part in their first outdoor competition of the year, four made the trip to Enfield and two to Nuneaton. The Lee Valley Athletic Centre hosted the London Inter Club Challenge (LICC) which was its first outdoor competition this year. The Pingles Stadium in Northampton (showing off their brand new track and top of the range electronics for timing, measuring and communicating results) held an Open meeting that is part of the England Athletics Pilot Scheme for returning to competition. Such events usually start in March but lockdown restrictions enforced the national suspension of competition along with the closure of athletics tracks.
Jarman Park athletics track, home to Dacorum and Tring Athletic Club, was only able to open again (with socially distanced training groups) last month. Throughout Lockdown the various event coaches continued to support their athletes by setting sessions enabling them to continue training in gardens or local parks as well as organising ‘zoom’ sessions for the younger athletes. Following the recent England Athletics confirmation that competition may resume in a Covid-19 secure venues, the LICC meeting was swiftly organised with a handful of Club athletes deciding to compete.
The weekend started with Under 17 athletes competing on Saturday. First off was Mia McIntosh who had a blistering 11.28 second run achieving the fastest 80m Hurdles time of the day which broke the Dacorum and Tring club record – a massive achievement particularly when you consider that this was Mia’s first race as an U17 athlete and the result has now put her firmly ranked at UK number one. For the last three years Mia (coach Deb Kenleyside) has been unbeaten in all hurdle races. Last year her notable achievements were winning gold at the English Schools’ Championships in Birmingham (July), setting a new British record, and then being crowned Champion at the English Athletics Championships in Bedford (August) subsequently ending the season ranked UK number one in U15 Hurdles.
Tom Gaunce also moved up to the Under 17 category and ran a massive personal best time of 51.24 almost two seconds faster than his previous time he ran when he won the Tri Counties Championships in March. Jacob Haynes ran 11.3 in the 100m which was just outside his personal best time of 11.2 (when he took Gold at the Hertfordshire Championships last year).
Sunday saw Under 20 Thomas Fisher running in his first 110m Hurdles race securing a personal best time of 16.51. Father and son duo, Peter (V55) and Marcus Stansbury (U20) both took part in the Triple Jump and 800m. Marcus, moving up to the Under 20 category, achieved a personal best of 2:20.39 easily winning his heat in the new format of four athletes running the whole distance in lanes.
Congratulations to all athletes who competed over the weekend.