James was a shoo-in for success after walking home in his socks! Andd aa ‘Master-ful’ display from the entire Peterborough Nene Valley team

Peterborough & Nene Valley Athletic Club veterans put in a ‘Master-ful’ performance at the Embankment track, one which could not have been bettered had team captain Claire Smith sprinkled the elixir of eternal youth into her ageing athletes’ drink bottles.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 9:00 am
James McDonald (right).
James McDonald (right).

The team won both the men’s and ladies competitions in the second of four Eastern Master’s Track and Field League fixtures, and look well placed to qualify for the finals in September.

James McDonald was a shoo-in for athlete of the day, winning the 1,500m walk in his socks having left his race shoes at home. His work boots weren’t deemed suitable footwear for a track race, but the 39 year-old still crossed the line first after the walking equivalent of a sprint finish involving McDonald and a Ryston Runners athlete who’d pulled a hamstring during the race!

On top of McDonald’s success PANVAC won both the B mens and the B ladies walking races thanks to Peter Brantom and Gemma Skells.

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Peterborough Nene Valley Masters ladies, from left, Alison Dunphy, Kay Gibson, Claire Smith, Gemma Skells, Elisabeth Sennit-Clough, Sally Pusey.

The men were totally dominant on the night and won most of their events.

Dave Brown won the over 35s 200m in 24.0 while Julian Smith comfortably secured maximum points in the over 50s race with a 25.7 clocking.

Simon Fell took the 3000m honours in a time of 9:49.3 with Sean Beard and Barry Warne finishing first in the older age groups. The men’s 3,000m had a huge field with seven PANVAC athletes running as non-scorers.

Between them the formidable foursome of Simon Achurch, Karl Eve, Tim Needham and Kevin Bates all but picked up maximum points in the hammer and the shot. The only dropped point was in the over 60s shot where Bates was narrowly beaten into second place. The versatile Karl Eve also collected maximum points in the over 50s high jump and pole vault

Claire Smith led the ladies by example with an emphatic over 35s 200m win in a time of 28.0.

Alison Dunphy won both the over 50s 200m and 3,000m, while Elisabeth Sennit-Clough gained maximum points in the over 35s 3,000m.

The ladies equalled the men’s throwing successes with Andrea Jenkins, Sally Pudsey and Judith Jagger only dropping one point between them, while Kay Gibson won the over 50s high jump and Gemma Skells the over 35s pole vault.