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  • marykateknapman

National and county success for LAC!

It may have been a chilly Chelmsford morning but Loughton AC were on fire at the Essex Vets Cross-Country Championships on Sat 2 December.

The V40 ladies were defending their 2022 title - always a tricky position to be in. But they came through with flying colours, the team of Zoe Oldfield, Mary Knapman, Vicky Thompson and Georgina Taylor comfortably beating closest rivals Tiptree and Grange Farm & Dunmow. Zoe also retained the V45 title in the process, returning home a double gold medallist for the second year running.

Loughton AC hadn't fielded a team in the V50 women's category for a number of years but the squad has grown and we hoped to sneak a medal going into the 2023 edition. The ladies had a stormer - Ali Trauttmansdorff, Lorna Gaffney, Sharon Palmer and Amanda Overy securing a gutsy silver behind Essex mainstays Colchester Harriers. Lorna took the V55 title in the process, with Ali picking up a hard-fought silver in the V50 competition.

Particular congratulations to Vicky and Amanda on their first ever county medals.

Loughton's men performed with credit - a few of the team have been struggling with injury this season but left it all out there and did the vest proud.

Most veterans would be happy to take a well-earned rest the day after a championship race, but when you're in as rich a vein of form as Zoe Oldfield, you get straight back out there! And so she did, lining up at the British Masters 5k Championships at Battersea Park.

Zoe, number 187, centre, gets her usual fast start

In a tight finish, Zoe just held off her rivals in a sprint finish to take the V45 British 5k title in a new PB of 18:04. Zoe said: 'It was a stressful finish - national 800m/1500m champion Zoe Doyle was hot on my tail in the final kilometre, and as she's a brilliant middle distance runner I thought I was toast! But I managed to just hold on.'

It's been a fabulous season so far for Zoe: she adds this British title to the England vest she won last month, and has recently learned that she has qualified for the England 10k in Birmingham in May.

The weekend also saw the final race of the Enfield Race Walking League, and Melanie Peddle duly cemented her position at the top of the standings. Melanie, who was also a medallist at the European Masters Track & Field Championships in the autumn, won the 5000m in 28:12.0. John Borgars of Loughton AC won the B race.

We cater for athletes of all abilities and aspiration at Loughton AC, so if you're thinking about joining us, what are you waiting for?!

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