National Walking Championships
The National 20km & YAG Championships combined with the Southern Championships on Saturday 18th April, 2015 saw a good set of results with 2 PBs in blustery, warm conditions. AFD for the first time in many years fielded an athlete in every age group. First out was Nick Hart in the u13 2km where he demonstrated a solid performance having learnt from the previous outing, rewarded him with a big improvement on the same course earlier in the season finishing in 6th position in 13.51. Next out was Emma Ratcliffe in the u13 girls 2km, walking an isolated race finished strongly and consistently in 3rd place in 14.04. Katie Elliott represented the squad in the u15 3km, she started very strongly keeping in the pack, this age group had a large field but Katie kept working hard and was rewarded with a big personal best in 9th position with 19.22. As the distances increased the blustery weather conditions started to impact performances. In the 5km Abigail Jennings started strongly but slowed due to injury however bravely finished to be rewarded with an U17 ladies England athletics bronze medal. Chris Snook in the U17 men's 5km joined Katie in the second of AFD athletes to smash his PB with a strategically strong performance winning the title in PB 24.16. Chris was also awarded the prestigious "style award" from the judges. Onto the U20 10km event, Tim following his debut England international the previous week and second 10km in week, walked a more even paced race. Being isolated, he slowed slightly after 5km but held to his second fastest 10km in 52.09 being awarded 3rd place for his efforts. The finale was the senior 20km where our solo representative in her first time over this gruelling distance was Penel Cummings. Penel set her early pace keeping well within a pack but soon found herself isolated after half way. Penel slowed slightly but held a strong paced second half to finish in a respectable 2hrs 3 mins 58 sec and rewarded with an England Athletics bronze medal and Southern Championships Gold.