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  • Jon Whitehouse

All set for summer

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

We're looking forward to the longer days and lighter evenings. Loughton AC has launched our summer fixtures list, which sets out the main competitions and events open to members.



Runners in vests and shorts set off at the start of their race
Midsummer relays start, 2022


It's a full calendar, so here's a quick guide to the summer season, divided into the following sections:

  1. Summer training

  2. Club-hosted races at Roding Valley Recreation Ground

  3. Track and field competitions – like the Olympics but local!

  4. Externally organised road and trail events

  5. Race walking

  6. Social

Our summer season starts this year with the St Clare’s 10k at Hastingwood, which a team of LAC members are running in memory of our former membership secretary and dedicated club member, Michaela Davis. Enter here and sponsor the team at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/loughtonac.


SUMMER TRAINING


Every Tuesday at 7pm – 8pm

Adults meet at the clubhouse for interval or hill training on the fields or in the forest. Different groups depending on pace. Juniors meet at the grass track for track training.


Every Thursday at 7pm – 8.15pm

Adults and self-motivated young athletes over 12 meet at the grass track for track training


Every Sunday at 9am

Meet at Stubbles car park (junction of Connaught Avenue and Nursery Road) for a social run of about an hour exploring the trails in Epping Forest.



CLUB HOSTED RACES


CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

Once a month at the grass track, Roding Valley Recreation Ground

Open to all members and every age-group. Free entry, though a quid in the bucket is appreciated. Once a month we take a break from training sessions to test ourselves over some of the classic track distances in a fun and supportive environment and find out who the club champion will be. Previous winners at www.loughtonac.org.uk/club-championships


UNTO THE FIELDS

Tuesday 16 May at Roding Valley Recreation Ground

We invite our friends and rivals from other local clubs to race over our classic 5m cross-county course. Young athletes race a shorter distance. Free entry to Loughton AC members. £3 contribution requested from non-members. Every member is encouraged to run for the team or participate otherwise – we need marshals and course-layers as well as runners. Great fun with tea and cake afterwards!


MIDSUMMER RELAYS (4 x 2 miles)

Tuesday 20 June at Roding Valley Recreation Ground

Mark (almost) the longest day of the year by joining with clubmates to run relays round the recreation ground against teams from other clubs. Categories for young athletes, vet teams and seniors. Mixed teams welcome. Four athletes in each team. Free entry for members.


STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM RELAYS

Saturday 16 July at Roding Valley Recreation Ground

End of term social event for club members and their families. Fun all-age relays round a short course on the recreation ground. We create teams of three people of roughly equal standard. Each team then runs six laps and it’s up to you how you divide the laps. So everyone may run two laps each, or your strongest runner might run three, your youngest runner might run one, and the other runner might run two. Bring a picnic to have afterwards.


TRACK AND FIELD COMPETITIONS


Saturday 1 April at Walthamstow track, E17 5AA

A fun ‘come and try’ event to introduce people to track and field. Open to all ages from Year 3 upwards. Entry £7 in advance or £10 on the day. Register at 11am

  • Years 3 – 6 events: 60m, 400m OR 600m, standing long jump, Vortex Hurler

  • U13, U15, U17, U20, senior events: 200m, 800m, long jump, high jump, shot putt

Medals for all Year 3 – Year 6 participants. Trophies for top three in each age group


Wednesday 10 May, Wednesday 7 June, Wednesday 5 July, Wednesday 2 August

Open to members over 35 on the day of competition – men and women. To participate in the league you must also join the Eastern Masters Athletic Club as a second claim member (current fee is £10).


Loughton AC competes in a joint team with Thurrock AC. The women's team qualified for the grand final in 2022! Wednesday evening matches feature most field events and track events up to 3000m (not steeplechase).


Saturday 20 May, Sunday 18 June, Sunday 9 July, Saturday 19 August

Open to all members in the U17 age-group and over for competition across the full range of field events and track distances up to 5000m. Members must be England Athletics affiliated to take part (£17 to add affiliation to your membership).


We compete in Division 3 North in a combined team with our friends at Orion Harriers. There can be a high standard of competition at the front of the field but competitors also gain points for participation. Each match runs to a standard timetable between 12 noon and 4.30pm – come with a picnic for the whole afternoon or just for a single event. A great way of dipping your toe into track and field.


COUNTY AND AREA CHAMPIONSHIP RACES

Various dates including Saturday 13 / Sunday 14 May (Essex Track and Field Championships), Saturday 24 June (Essex 1 mile Championship @ Chelmsford), Sunday 25 June (Eastern Area Championships @ Cambridge), Friday 28 July (Essex 10,000m championships @ Braintree).


For event specialists to test themselves against some of the best in the county. England Athletics Registration often required. Contact team managers for full details.


ROAD AND TRAIL RACES


The summer season is packed full of road and trail races, ranging from ultra-marathons to 5Ks. Many events in Essex are listed at essexroadrunning.org.uk. Here are some details of some local races which are often popular with Loughton AC members


ELVIS 5km and 5 mile races

Wednesday 24 May, Tuesday 6th June, Tuesday 27th June, Wednesday 5th July. Wednesday 26th July 7.30pm, Saturday 5th August, Monday 28th August, Sunday 24th September

A series of races promoted by local clubs on a variety of surfaces in and around East London which are popular with some of our members (especially the Olympic Park 5k on Tuesday 27 June) and feature many of the same faces you will see at the Chingford League in the winter. Each race sets its own fee and entry arrangements.


Essex Grand Prix and Essex Road Championships

Sunday 5 March (Essex 20), Sunday 13 May (Halstead Marathon), Friday 23 June (Pleshey 5 miles), Friday 11 August (Colchester 5km), Saturday 10 September (Pleshey HM), Sunday 1 October (Southend 10k), Saturday 8 October (Tiptree 10)

Well organised races open to everyone which incorporate the Essex Road Championships. Each race has its own entry arrangements and fees. If you finish in the top three overall or at your (five-year) age group, you receive an Essex medal.


Collectively the races form the Essex Grand Prix series, whereby the top 25 runners in each category are awarded points. These points are totted up over the races and the top three in each age group are awarded Essex medals. When entering an Essex Road Championships race, make sure you tick the Essex qualified box.


Forest 5

Saturdays 3 June, 1 July, 5 August

Three five-mile trail races organised by Orion Harriers in Epping Forest on the first Saturday of June, July and August. LAC members will often meet in Loughton and jog to the start as part of their warm-up. Same course each race so you can measure your progress. Entry fee payable in advance.


John Clarke Fell Race

Friday 16 June @ Pole Hill, Epping Forest

The only official fell race within the M25. Only 5km long but full of elevation. A unique race with a great atmosphere organised by Orion Harriers.


5k on the rides

Wednesdays 9, 16 and 23 August

Three 5km races organised by Orion Harriers along forest trails on consecutive Wednesday evenings in August. Entry fee payable in advance.


VAC Summer series Tuesdays 4 April 5km), 9 May (5 miles), 6 June (5km), 1 August @ Battersea Park

(5km)

5 km and 5 miles running races for age 35 and above. Walking races over the same distance for all ages. Enter via www.vetsac.org.uk/Fixtures.html.


RACE WALKING


Loughton AC has a successful race-walking section with members who compete regularly on the track and roads. Summer is an excellent time to dip your toe into race walking as the track events are generally over shorter distances.


Some of the EMAC matches feature a race walk, and we dedicate one of our club championships to race-walking so everyone has an opportunity to try out the event. Advice and a demonstration are provided. Loughton AC race walkers also take part in the VAC Summer Series.


SOCIAL EVENTS


Every run with LAC is a social occasion, but here are a couple of special events for your diary


STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM RELAYS

Saturday 15 July at Roding Valley Recreation Ground

End of term social event for club members and their families. Fun all-age relays round a short course on the recreation ground. We create teams of three people of roughly equal standard. Each team then runs six laps and it’s up to you how you divide the laps. So everyone may run two laps each, or your strongest runner might run three, your youngest runner might run one, and the other runner might run two.


After the race we give out awards and enjoy our strawberries and cream together. Bring a picnic!


DIAMOND LEAGUE

Sunday 23 July, 1pm – 4.30pm @ Stratford

Save the date for a club trip to see some of the best athletes in the world compete in the Diamond League at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Events on the programme include (for men) 200m, high jump, 400m, shot put, 1500m or mile, discus, 110m hurdles, 4 x 100m relay and (for women): 100m, 400m hurdles, 800m, pole vault, 5000m, long jump, 3000m steeplechase, 4 x 100m relay.


Look out for full details. Tickets likely to be £5 for under 16s, £13 or £35 for students and V65+, £23 or £35 for other adults.


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