Page 31 - BBHAC Winter 2015-16 Gazette
P. 31

Feature                          29

Sarah Belaon – a first lady’s progress

Sarah Belaon’s triumph in winning     Also she admitted that           in mind at the beginning of
the Bennett Cup follows on from       she hadn’t realised that a       the season. If the significance
Wilf Slack’s heartening success       woman had never won it,          of the cup had not yet been
of last year, particularly as an      although the cup had been        explained to her she has
opportunity taken to break new        around so long (since 1930)      no doubt picked up what it
ground and was the first time that    and since lady members           means and how it can benefit
it had been won by a lady runner      had been admitted into the       the form and technique of
since its inauguration in 1930.       club. Sarah’s involvement        runners of all shapes and
There have been lady runners up in    in the club has been but a       sizes.
recent years such as Kate Pratten     short time, as she had only
and Angela Cook, but this year        competed in the Bennett Cup      Did it encourage her running
new ground was broken at last.        for the last 5 or 6 years. Her   generally she was asked. As
How did she feel about being the      first race back then was in      she was definitely interested
one who had this honour? Well “it     the autumn of 2010, and she      in improving her technique
was pretty amazing” she said and      had run impressively in the      she saw running in and
not quite expected until towards the  club 10 mile championships       competing in the races as
end of the season. “I didn’t realise  then. At first she ran in most   means of improvement. She
that I was in with a chance until I   if not all the races. This year  had done all of the Bennetts,
was told that I had been in the top   was the first time that she had  some Kent League, and
ten all season and could go for it”.  completed all nine, a desirable  the Nationals and saw the
                                      requirement in order to win      benefit of racing where
                                      the Bennett Cup.                 you can measure yourself
                                                                       against other runners
                                      It was however only recently     and be stimulated by the
                                      that she had come to realise     competition, as opposed to
                                      that these matches made          the hard slog of training, and
                                      up a series which was a          more training.
                                      competitive championship,
                                      and also the importance of       The Bennett Cup she
                                      completing all of them if        observed was not just a means
                                      she or anyone could have a       to an end. Previous winners
                                      realistic chance of winning      of the cup have suggested
                                      the Bennett Cup. Aiming          that they often used the races
                                      to complete all nine events      to accumulate fitness and
                                      formed the basis of whatever     put miles in the bank for the
                                      game plan she may have had       London Marathon but Sarah
                                      to win the cup, but since she    had done this and found that
                                      was not yet fully aware of the   for her it didn’t necessarily
                                      mechanics of the competition     work. Concentrating on
                                      and how the handicap system      the marathon might be
                                      worked (and quite frankly        detrimental to progress in
                                      very few people are) then she    the Bennett Cup. Tired legs
                                      did not have anything specific   from marathon training had
                                                                       held her back in the cup races
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