Reading AC Women Perform Solidly at the SEAA Road Relays

Reading AC’s ladies joined the men’s team at Milton Keynes for the SEAA Road Relay Championships on Sunday 24 March.  The ladies’ race is a 6-stage relay, comprising four ‘short’ stages of 5.05 km (stages 1, 3, 5 and 6), and two long stages of 7.66 km (stages 2 and 4).  Each stage started and finished on the athletics track, taking a surprisingly undulating route via tarmac paths around the edge of woods and housing estates.

Conditions were good for racing; dry and sunny with a light breeze.  The team was ably led off on the first short stage by Hayleigh Wood, who paced herself well to clock 21:01, handing over in 24th place to Sophie Crumly for stage 2.  Sophie put in a very solid performance on this long stage, recording a time of 29:16 and gaining 3 places to hand over in 21st place to Sue Francis for stage 3.  Sue had three runners to chase, and had a pleasing run, gaining two places and clocking 20:48 as she handed over in 19th place to Sarah Urwin-Mann for stage 4.  Sarah gave a strong and determined effort on this long stage, recording 30:57 as she passed over in 20th place to Lucy Daniells for the penultimate short stage.  Lucy had one of her best runs of the winter season, chasing hard and putting in her trademark sprint finish to clock 21:22 and maintain the team’s 20th position.  Claire Mills, taking part in this event for the first time, had the honour of running the final stage.  Working hard and holding her form well on this short stage, Claire recorded 22:52 and kept the team in 20th place as she crossed the finish line in a total team time of 2:26:16, a very pleasing team effort.

Report by Sue Francis

Photos by Malcolm Francis

Reading AC Athletes Retain Green Park Challenge

Mattie Raynor retains Green Park Challenge title in Reading 1-2-3.

Reading's young athletes were again well to the fore in the Green Park Challenge on Sunday morning, filling the first three places, with U17 runner Mattie Raynor winning for the second year in succession in racing to a convincing victory ahead of Laurie Baker and Aryan Gupta.

On a cold morning Mattie set a scorching pace from the start, as he opened a significant gap on the chasing group, and had gained a 30 metre lead within the first kilometre. Up the hill and into the stadium he increased his advantage further to win decisively in a time of 9.25 for the 2.8km course. Laurie and Aryan both ran strongly before Laurie eventually moved ahead in the final stages to finish second in 9.34, with Aryan third in 9.39. Olly Moor was also in contention for the medals for much of the race, but unfortunately was forced to retire with a recurrence of the hip problem which has prevented him racing since before Christmas. The fourth Reading AC athlete to finish was U15 Oli Snoxall in an excellent seventh place, recording 9.55, and not far behind were Edward Lewis (11th in 10.15), Ben McCabe (12th in 10.21) and Aidan Marshall (15th in 10.28).

Next to finish, in 19th place, was Luke Ashby (10.44), although he was just beaten on chip time by young Josh Smith who finished in a fine 23rd position (10.43) after being made to start with in the second wave of runners together with our other 10-year-olds. Then came Nick Haldane in 22nd with 10.54, Jacob Sheikh in 28th with 11.15 (11.11 chip time), Laurence Hahn 34th in 11.24 (11.07), Tommy Elson 37th in 11.24 (11.08), Elio Babb 43rd in 11.34, Billy Newman 49th in 11.43 (11.26), and Louie Bellanti 57th in 11.55.

This impressive set of results gives good encouragement for the coming track season, when there may well be some fierce competition for places in the representative teams.

Report by Keith Whyte

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National Silver for Reading AC Athlete at English Schools' Cross Country

Well done to Georgia Hayes, second in the English Schools Cross-Country Senior Girls race representing Berkshire - just four seconds behind the winner in a close fought race at Temple Newsham, Leeds.

Tough conditions out there today. Well done to all our athletes!

Hopefully the weather calms down a bit for tomorrow's Reading Half Marathon and Green Park Challenge! Good luck to all our competing athletes! Whatever the weather, go out and do yourself proud! 

National Gold and UK All Time Record for Reading AC Athlete

Reading ACs Sammy Ball won the national U15 boys indoor pentathlon at Sheffield on Sunday 10 March 2019 and set a new UK all-time record of 3,176 points, surpassing the previous record by 44 points. In a field of twenty-four, including the Scottish champion and leading Welsh pentathlete, Sammy, coached by Reading ACs Mike Dyer and Kevin Cramner, achieved three personal bests in the competition with 1.80m in the high jump, 12.26m in the shot put and 2:11.39 mins in the final event, 800m. Sammy also managed 8.96 secs in the 60m hurdles opening event (0.1 secs off his personal best) and 6.02m in the long jump (5 cms off his personal best.).

This fantastic achievement comes exactly two weeks after Sammy achieved a gold, a silver and a bronze medal in the national indoor individual long jump, high jump and shot put championships respectively.

Click image above to play video

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Reading AC U13 Girls Help Berkshire to National Sportshall Final

Following a successful indoor sportshall season for Reading AC athletes, 12 were chosen to represent Berkshire in a very competitive inter counties match at Burgess Hill, Sussex yesterday.

The U11 Girls team including Katelyn Broadley, Mia Corbin and Rose Daser placed 5th while our U11 Boys Jacob Bangs and Kitan Alabi helped their team to a superb joint 1st place with Kent.

In the U13 competition the Berkshire Boys, including Hal Rust-D’Eye and Aaron Lamb, finished a very creditable 2nd. However the team of 12 Girls, with 5 from Reading AC, were worthy winners and go forward to represent the South East in the National Final in Manchester on 13th April. Very well done Kaya Slater, Annie Jonkers, Charlotte Ashby, Charlotte Bigmore, Tomi Adejuwon and the rest of the county team!

National Gold, Silver and Bronze Weekend for Reading AC

National gold, silver and bronze medals were won by Reading AC athletes last weekend.

At the National Indoor Championships in Sheffield, U15 boy Sammy Ball won gold in the long jump with a 5.99m jump in the last round, a silver in the high jump with 1.75m and a bronze with a single throw, due to a timetable clash, in the shot put achieving 11.47m. Several other Reading AC athletes also attended the indoor meeting with Hagen Mzee reaching the final of the U15 boys 60m sprint finishing fifth.

In another part of Yorkshire, at Harewood House, Leeds, athletes gathered for the National Cross-Country finals with Reading ACs U20 men following up their recent victory at the Southern championships s with a team bronze at Nationals.

Well done to everyone who participated. See photos at bottom of page.

Reading Athletes Race at Müller Indoor Games

The Reading AC U13 and U15 relay teams were in action in the Club Connect 4x 200m relays at the Indoor Grand Prix at Birmingham yesterday.

The relays took place just before the international athletes took to the arena to compete in a great afternoon of athletics that included an indoor world record in the men's 1,500m and an indoor British record in the mile for Laura Muir.

A number of Rading ACs athletes had never before run on an indoor track Indoor track and so were starting their indoor careers in style. £250 was awarded to each race winner so there was an added incentive to do well.

It's fair to say that the there were some exciting moments in all the races. We were pipped into 2nd place in the U13 girls race despite being awarded the same time as the winners. The U13 boys and U15 boys also placed 2nd in their races, whilst the U15 girls unfortunately dropped the baton but continued to finish the race in 6th.

A few photos appear below and also here is a link to even more. Thank you to Rupert Ashby for taking and making these photos available:

Game Changers 2019

If you are aged 14-24 and interested in becoming a Game Changer, come along to a brief meeting after training on Tuesday 8 Jan in the club house to find out more.

Game changers are young volunteers who can learn how to become coaches, officials or take on other roles in the club, and earn free gifts such as water bottles and backpacks for hours spent volunteering. It’s also rewarding, enjoyable and a way to give back to the sport.

If you can’t make next Tuesday then let me or Charlotte Webb know that you are interested at training or via email.

Julie Rayfield

Medal Hanger Seasonal Gift Idea

Ideal Christmas presents for your favourite athletes!

Each hanger can hold up to 40 medals – simply screw the hanger to the wall and slide your medal ribbons onto the arms of the hanger.  Adjust the length of the ribbons to make maximum use of the space.  Alternative wording to ‘Athletics’ can be specified.

The hangers can be bought by cash or cheque (made payable to Reading AC) from Bob Allden in the Club Office at the top of the stands behind the announcer’s box on any Tuesday or Thursday evening during training sessions.

Price: £20 (25% goes to Reading Athletic Club)

For any queries or multiple orders contact Sarah Ball on

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