African flavour for Open Five race

PUBLISHED: 15:13 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:09 05 October 2010

AFRICAN athletes dominated the Victoria Park Open Five race around the roads of Hackney and Tower Hamlets on Saturday. Race organisers Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club expected a strong international contingent in the field of more than 300

AFRICAN athletes dominated the Victoria Park Open Five race around the roads of Hackney and Tower Hamlets on Saturday.

Race organisers Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club expected a strong international contingent in the field of more than 300 runners, and both the men's and women's races were duly won by African runners.

The unattached Ayele Mergressa won the men's race in a time of 24mins 26secs, just one second ahead of Moumin Geele, of Newham & Essex Beagles. Another unattached runner, Raymond Tonui, came third, the trio completing the course in a blanket finish with just three seconds separating them.

The host club's highest-placed athlete was Mark Ryall, who came home in a highly creditable eighth for Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets in a time of 26mins 15secs.

Noted road runner Tony Lashmer was second man in for the Victoria Park club. He was down in 28th place, finishing in 27mins 52secs.

Some good packing by the club's top four - Ryall, Lashmer, Tim Grose, 39th in 29mins 8secs, and Simeon Bennett, 61st in 31mins 12secs, lifted the hosts to fifth place in the overall team positions.

The event won by cross-borough neighbours Newham & Essex Beagles, who finished ahead of Kent Athletics Club in second position with another East London based outfit - Woodford Green and Essex Ladies, from Redbridge - in third place.

In direct contrast to the men's race, the women's race was a triumph for African runner Roman Gessesse, who finished over two minutes ahead of her nearest rival, Dianna Kennedy, of Woodford Green and Essex Ladies.

Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets runner Lara Bromilow finished in a fine fourth place, recording 31mins 8secs, though on this occasion she was competing for her other club Marshall Milton Keynes.

First to finish of the women club members was Francine Rump, who came 26th in a time of 37mins 46secs, just one place higher than club-mate Naomi Bourne, who came home in 38mins 18secs.


Mens Race: 1 A Mergressa, 24:26, 2 M Geele, 24:27, 3 R Tonui, 24:30, 4 S Plummer 25:27, 5 R Clarke, 25:52, 6 S Farah, 25:55, 7 J Connor, 26:03, M Ryall (VP &TH) 26:15, 9 T Elsey, 26:28, 10 S Whelan, 26:30, 11 C Miles 26:32, 12 A Dunwoody, 26:33,13 C Beecham, 26:40, 14 C Berg, 27:01, 15 W Lincoln 27:05, 16 K White, 27:10, 17 D Dickinson, 27:15, 18 S Major, 27:19, 19 A Drent, 27:20, 20 C Lassonde, 27:22.

21 J Mohamed, 27:25, 22 J Fairbourn, 27:32, 23 M Rahim, 27:35, 24 D Hamblin, 27:40, 25 S Fawcett, 27L45, 26 P Downie 27:46, 27 E Phillips, 27:48, 28 T Lashmer (VP &TH), 27:52, 29 T Chidgey, 27:56, 30 C Martin 28:05, 31 P Sanders 28:07, 32 M Van Der Hoeven, 28:10, 33 R Mann, 28:14, 34 CJ Shepherd 28:16, 35 D Cox, 28:17, 36 28:21, 37 M Molloy 38 D Spring, 28:30, 39 T Grose (VP&TH) 29:08, 40 A Welshman, 29:09.

41 S Edward, 29:11, 42 B Ward, 29:21, 43 R Dzikowski, 29:28, 44 D Philip, 29:30, 45 L Mangleshot, 29:36, 45 M Lyons, 29:36, G Garner, 29:40, 48 S Westlake, 29:44, 49 J Lowe, 29:48, 50 J Ridger, 29:50.

Womens Race: 1 R Gessesse, 28:28, 2 D Kennedy, 30:36, 3 E Meadows, 30:47, 4 L Bromilow, 31:08, 5 J Lundgrun, 31:49, 6 G Dawson, 31:56, 7 P Major, 32:26, 8 B Ochman, 33:43, 9 A Davidson, 34:01, 10 G Jubb, 34:03, 11 B Fernandez, 34:23, 12 F Eagle, 35:00, 13 O Muminova, 35:24, 14 J Mills, 35:32, 15 K Hancock, 35:42, 16 C Joyce, 35:50, 17 V Mitchell, 35:58, 18 E Vynnycky, 36:12, 19 S Bint, 36:24, 20 G Kazmierska, 36:31.

21 M Powell, 36:59, 22 D Thomas, 37:07, 23 S Knox, 37:11, 24 K McBride, 37:22, 25 J Bolla, 37:39, 26 F Rump (VP&TH), 37:46, 27 N Bourne (VP&TH), 38:18, 28 J Luxton, 38:24, 29 A Hitchins, 38:26, 30 S Cooper, 38:57, 31 D Crisp, 39:12, 32 P Cockman (VP&TH), 39:42, 33 B Thomas, 39:45, 34 L Full, 40:11, 35 B Peuch (VP&TH), 40:14, 36 J Crisp, 40:23, 37 A Rixon, 41:02, 38 S Hollyer, 42:00, 39= K Wenaden, 42:16, 39= M St Hilare, 42:16, 40.

41= K Smith, 42:39, 41= D Beverley, 42:39, 43 H Pearce, 43:51, 44 K Hawken, 44:00, 45 J Hopkins, 44:06, 46 N Maggs, 44:09, 47 S Eng, 44:33, 48 S South, 44:37, 49 A Fake (VP &TH), 44:47, 50 H Larsen, 45:06.

Team positions: (Top 10): 1 Newham & Essex Beagles, 2 Kent AC, 3 Woodford Green & Essex Ladies, 4 London Frontrunners, 5 Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets AC (M Ryall, T Lashmer, T Grose, S Bennett), 6 Serpentine, 7 London Heathside, 8 Legal & Genera M team, 9 HSBC, 10 Legal & General F team.

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