Middle Distance Open Evening Lee Valley
Middle Distance Open Evening – 19th Feb 2020.
What a difference a year can make! That was definitely the case this week when a trio of Northampton athletes competed in the Lee Valley Middle Distance Open Evening just as they had done last year…just as our club was in its infancy and forming.
Matt Blomley (U20) set the standard for an excellent evening of performances by winning the first 800m race of the evening with a truly powerful and dominant display of front running. Last year, Matt competed in the same event and finished in 2.09.19. This year, after committing himself to an intensive winter training programme, he showed that hard work really does pay off by breaking through the psychological 2 minute barrier for the first time and setting a fantastic new personal best of 1.59.38.
Oliver Munns was Northampton’s second athlete to take to the track. Last year he ran the 800m at this event in 2.08.43. This year, despite just recovering from a calf injury, he battled strongly and showed he is another that’s benefitted from a good winter by finishing in 2.07.69, only 1.5 seconds off his personal best.
The biggest improvement compared to last year was from Eden Bates who has shown total commitment, dedication and enthusiasm over the last 12 months. Running strongly throughout the race, she matched her new personal best set only a couple of weeks ago of 2.34 which represented a huge 17 seconds improvement over her 2019 time of 2 mins 51.
The 3 returning 800m athletes were also supported by a strong performance by Keiran Ashman. Despite having been away skiing for the week before and then experiencing significant traffic problems en-route to the event me which prevented any warm up, Keiran ran strongly and led for the first 500m of his race. Unfortunately the events of the evening eventually took their toll and he struggled in the closing stages of the race but still finished in a respectable 2 mins 22.
The second part of the evening was a series of very competitive 1500m races. Stirling Green, running his first ever competitive track race acquitted himself well, getting stronger as the race progressed and finished 3rd in his heat in 4 mins 47.42.
All Northampton athletes raced exceptionally on the evening, but a special mention must go to Andy Green, (Stirling’s dad) who provided the stand out performances of the whole evening. Andy currently represents Team East Haddon and last ran a 1500m race almost 40 years ago. Despite the ‘passing of the years’, and not running in spikes, Andy all but matched his time from his last race 40 years ago, coming home in 4 mins 53. Truly outstanding and hopefully he may not leave it another 40 years before racing on the track again.