PICTURE: Ben Alcock, Matt Bergin, and Harry Brodie after the Friday Night Under the Lights 5 Miles race on Friday 17th December.
Bedford and County athletes performed brilliantly at the 5 mile race at Battersea Park on Friday, 17th December, writes Peter Webster.
Irish international Matt Bergin finished 3rd in 23:42, Ben Alcock maintained some excellent recent form to come sixth in 23:45, Harry Brodie came eleventh in 23:55, and Sam Knee Robinson came fortieth in 25:38. As well as finishing eleventh in the main race, Harry was the second under 20 home, and his time should move him up to 6th place in the UK Under 20 all time rankings.
Bedford and County athletes also had two winners at the Bedford Sports and Physical Activity Awards for 2021. Etienne Maughan won the Junior Personality of the Year Award, whilst Varun Bandi won the Junior Disability Sport Personality of the Year Award. Gracie Wall was also received a special commendation in the Junior Personality of the Year Award. The athletes were recognised for their outstanding achievements during 2021. Etienne finished the season ranked 2nd in the UK in the under 17 80m hurdles and 4th over 100m, won the schools international, and set multiple club records. Despite some injury problems, Gracie got on the podium in both the English Schools Championships and won at the South of England Championships. Varun finished 3rd in the London mini marathon boys wheelchair race, and was also 3rd in the National Junior Disability Athletics Championships 200m wheelchair race.
Finally, the year was rounded off in style with the 41st Annual Bedford and County AC Christmas Handicap, which took place on Sunday 19th December. Ten year old Izzy Danobrega took the Pete Dancer Memorial Trophy following in the footsteps of her big sister Lyla who took the title at the same age in 2017. Izzy recorded an excellent 21:47 for the 3 mile course, only 12 secs slower than Lyla's 2017 time. The fastest lap was recorded by Ben Davies with a fine 14:16 whilst Rebecca Murray was the fastest lady with 16:12. It's interesting to note that Lyla now 14, was only 75 secs slower than Rebecca! The race raised over £400 for Pancreatic Cancer UK.