THE performances of local runners Mike Chipping and Ewan Paton represent two great stories from the British Masters 10k Championships in Gravesend on Sunday.
It was a truly golden day for Bristol & West AC member Chipping as he won the over 70s title recording an excellent time of 44mins 10secs.
The victory extends an amazing spell of form for Chipping this year. Only last month he ran a lifetime best of 43:25 at the Newport Wales 10k while earlier this month he ran a PB of 34:44 in the Guy Fawkes 5 miler at Tewkesbury.
By any standard that is fantastic form and now Chipping can boast his first British title.
As any athlete will know notching up personal bests when you get into your fifties is not an easy task so hats off to Paton for his excellent effort in Kent.
In his first year in the M50 age group Paton shaved 11 seconds off his three-year-old best of 37:51 set in the Great Bristol 10k, which itself represented another big PB.
But such is the high standard in masters running these days that the time was only good enough to give Paton eighth in the M50 class, which was won by Swindon’s Gary O’Brien in 34:26.
So, Paton has come a long way since – according to his UK Athletics Power of 10 biography – clocking 45:24 on his 10k debut in the Bristol event on May 31st 2015.
That spells a real triumph for him personally and a great advert for masters athletics – it is never too late to take up the sport, or return to it after a spell away.
Overall: 1 Ben Kruze (Stratford, M35) 31:57; 2 Anthony Webb (Medway & Maidstone, M45) 32:27 (PB); 3 Richard Price (Reading, M40) 32:34 (PB).
M50: 1 Gary O’Brien (Swindon) 34:26; 8 Ewan Paton (WH) 37:40 (PB).
M65: 4 Tom Hutchison (Team Bath) 41:29.
M70: 1 Mike Chipping (B&W) 44:10.