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One hundred Maidenhead Athletic Club members limber up for virtual Thames Valley Cross Country 5k

One hundred Maidenhead Athletic Club members jumped at the chance to compete in a virtual 5km this week against runners from 13 other clubs.

The Thames Valley Cross Country 5k saw runners record their fastest 5km time over a flattish course to see how they fared in a virtual competition with other runners. The event might have been staged to lighten the mood during lockdown, but MAC’s members took it seriously, with 13 of them recording their best ever time over the distance.

Marc Dellasega, Mel Tudor, Emily-Clare Howe, Kirsty Matthews, Caroline Shrimpton, Caroline Mellett, Colin Broadbent, Tom Easten, Paul Sharp, Jen Francis, Clare Nash, Anthony Hall and Fran Sille all clocked personal bests for the distance, while Mandy Sutton equalled her best time. Leila Oliver also ran her fastest 5k since returning from knee and hip operations, missing out on a new pb by just three seconds.

In the club competition MAC also exceeded expectations, with its combined men’s and women’s teams coming second overall. MAC were second in the women’s event, sixth in the men’s event, first in the V40s women’s race, fourth in the V40s men’s race, seventh in the V50s women’s event, third in the V50s men’s race and third in the V60s women’s event. In addition Becky Atkinson was the fastest women in the whole competition, closely followed by Abbie Jones in second place. Pauline Siddons was the fastest women in the V70s category by more than three minutes.

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Other MAC members completed events to mark the date of the postponed London Marathon.

The Fitzgerald family decided to tackle the full marathon distance as a family. Resembling what one passer by said was ‘the red arrows’ they ran up and down Altwood Road to complete the 26.2miles. Niamh and Sinead each completed 5k in 29 minutes. , while mum Donna ran 6.5miles.

Jon Oliver completed a half marathon on Sunday, taking in the Easter 10k course loop, while Leila and the boys set off around half an hour later on their bikes, chasing down the lead runner. In total the family covered 52.4miles. Visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JonOliver7

Mark Smith completed a 600 lap course in Winter Hill and was joined for the final 5k by his wife, ‘blaring out the London Marathon theme tune’. He completed the course in 5 hours 21 minutes. At the last count he has raised more than £400 for the Sue Ryder Hospice charity.

Kat Eves donned a Snow White costume and ran five miles around Cox Green. She saw plenty of supporters en route, having advertised her run on the Cox Green Facebook page. Her run raised more than £400 for the Children With Cancer charity.

Tom Easten completed his marathon route in 2.50.36, completing the first half in 1.22. The route took him on three loops around Cookham.

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