WITH much of the domestic fixture list cancelled because of the foot-and-mouth crisis, athletes from Blackheath Harriers Bromley have had to venture overseas for competition.
Mark Steinle was a runaway winner of the Mercia Half-Marathon in Portugal. This was his first race since he represented Great Britain in the Olympic Marathon and he showed he is preparing well for next month's London Marathon by winning the race by more than three minutes.
Steinle will be one of many Harriers who will toe the line at Greenwich and many members will be running for the club's nominated charity, the MacMillan Cancer Relief Fund.
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If anyone is interested in sponsoring a Blackheath athlete, call 020 8462 3115.
Also on the international scene at Bordeaux in France, four of the club's older members were in action in the European Veterans' Indoor Championships.
Pride of place went to Bob Minting who struck gold, silver and bronze in the over 50s age group. In the 800 metres he timed his race to perfection to win in 2min 8.7secs and he won a silver in the 400 metres, timing 54.65sec.
He rounded off the weekend with a bronze in the GB 4x200-metre relay team.
Ken Daniel was the favourite for gold in the 1,500m after having the fastest time in the heats but he crashed to the floor with four laps to go after he was baulked by a German athlete and then clipped from behind by the chasing pack.
Picking himself up he found himself in 10th and despite a valiant effort to salvage a medal he finished in fourth place.
It was also fourth for Jim Day in the over 65s' pole-vault and sprint hurdles, while Dennis Wallington was fifth in the over 50s' 60 metres in 8.08sec to add to his 5.41-metre 11th place in the long jump.
There was more success for the club's youngsters at the last round of the Kent Sportshall Athletics meeting at Ashford.
Dwayne Bovell excelled in the under-15 boys' group, breaking the meeting record with more than 800 points, while Daniel Taylor came second in the under-13s.
In the team competition in the younger age groups, a squad that included Serita Solomon, Ben Wallace, Louis Stewart, Connor Pickman, Stacey Williams and Sebastian Frost came sixth in the A competition with the B-team also well-placed.
Some of the club's athletes were in action at the Havering Maysbrook Open Meeting when Levi Edwards won the long jump with a leap of 6.77m and had useful runs over 300 and 150 metres.
Alloy Wilson was second in the 300m in 35.0sec, while Fabian Collymore won both the under-17s' 300 and 150-metre races in 36.0 and 16.0sec respectively.
Another Blackheath track athlete was in action of a different kind as he took the stage with the Prince Of Wales as he demonstrated his DJ scratching skills at a centre for young homeless.
Darren Watson, a junior sprinter and long-jumper, helped the Prince mark the 25th anniversary of the Prince's Trust charity at Centrepoint's homeless shelter in Kennington.
The club welcomes new members of all ages and abilities. For further information please, call Dave Liston on 01322 663504.