Steve Way success at Commonwealth Games Marathon

 

Steve Way in the lead, Commonwealth Games Marathon, Glasgow
Steve Way in the lead, Commonwealth Games Marathon, Glasgow

It has already been extensively reported all over the media, but Steve Way‘s phenomenal achievement in the Commonwealth Games Marathon in Glasgow on Sunday 27 July is well worth repeating. Steve finished in 2.15.16, thus accomplishing his three targets – a top ten finish (Steve was tenth), a PB, and a new British Veteran Marathon record, a record held until Sunday by none other than Ron Hill for decades. To throw in the mix is the fact that Steve was the first Englishman to cross the line, absolutely justifying his selection for the team. Steve had, before Sunday, clearly caught the eye of the media, and it wasn’t therefore surprising that during the marathon coverage there was considerable focus on him, starting with Paula Radcliffe mentioning Steve within moments the commencement of transmission. Steve was then interviewed by Jonathan Edwards at the finish line, and it was a great pleasure to see Steve appear on BBC 1 later in the evening, alongside Ian Thorpe and Sir Chris Hoy, in discussion with Gary Lineker, reputedly the BBC’s highest paid presenter. Then, an hour or so later, there he was again, this time with Clare Balding, and that programme included a very nice touch when Sarah, Steve‘s wife, was interviewed by Clare (with Steve looking on wide-eyed!), and Sarah‘s unstinting support for Steve was acknowledged and applauded by the live audience. Sarah mentioned that they have been together for 17 years, so she knew Steve as a 16+ stone smoker and drinker, and has seen the change over the last seven years to the dedicated athlete we all see now. It wasn’t just BBC TV – Steve‘s exploits were featured on radio and in the national and local press, including one spot on Radio 4’s ‘Today’, their prestigious early morning news and comment programme, when Professor Somebody-or-Other, talking about sport and ‘older’ people (this wasn’t the specific ‘sports’ item) said “As Steven Way has said……………………” !! So not only has Steve proved to be a consummate interviewee, he has caught the eye of academia! What Steve has done is just amazing, and we are so proud and privileged to count him amongst our number. Of course, it isn’t all over yet, by any means, and we wish Steve every success in his next endeavours, the 100k World Championships in Qatar later this year, and the Comrades’ Marathon in South Africa next year.

Gary Lineker, Ian Thorpe and Sir Chris Hoy with august company on BBC TV
Gary Lineker, Ian Thorpe and Sir Chris Hoy with august company on BBC TV

There is some other news to report, but stay with us for some more photos of Steve later on. BAC had a winner in the form of Paul Hill in the Bournemouth Parkrun on Saturday 26 July, and in 10th place, with a PB, was Brandon Meredith, followed in 10th by Jud Kirk. Duncan Wells was also a welcome sight in the race, working his way back to fitness, and also running were Ian Graham and Will Price. Meanwhile, in Poole Park, Joe Arundel was second in the Poole Parkrun, followed in third place by Simon Munro. 205 competed at Bournemouth and 441 at Poole. The next day Paul was 6th in 37.54 (of 252) at the Durberville Dash, a 10k multi-terrain race, which was won by Karl Welch in 36.10.
And so back to Steve………………………………

Steve Way leads the England team in the Commonwealth Games Marathon
Steve Way leads the England team in the Commonwealth Games Marathon
Steve Way at 40k
Steve Way at 40k
Steve Way with Sir Chris Hoy
Steve Way with Sir Chris Hoy

Good Luck to Steve Way plus English Schools Gold and Bronze, NF 10 and Parkrun wins and news from abroad

Steve Way breaks the British Record for 100k
Steve Way breaks the British Record for 100k

Steve Way will be competing for his Country in the Commonwealth Games Marathon, starting at 9 am Sunday 27 July and, although Steve‘s training and form stand him in good stead, we all know there’s always an element of luck in any race, and we wish him all the luck there is. More of Steve in a moment, but first congratulations to our medal winners at the English Schools Championships on 11 July. BAC‘s young athletes came home with no fewer than three gold medals and one bronze. Gold medals were won by Hannah Molyneux in the Shot, Danielle Broom in the Discus (with a throw almost 1 metre ahead of second) and Patrick Sylla in the Long Jump. In the Shot, Tom Peters won Bronze. Three Golds and one Bronze for BAC – can any other club claim this? It seems that Patrick‘s performance may have earned him a Schools International vest for England in the Four Nations – anyone have more detail?
Speaking of International vests brings us back to Steve. An excellent article in The Times (24 July), headed “Games find Way to run rings round any Olympic comparison”, describes the spirit of the Commonwealth Games. The article may have been overtaken by events, in that rumour has it that Usain Bolt will not be running in Glasgow at all, but it’s still worth quoting from the article which commences; “Take two runners. One is the fastest man in the world and a gilt-edged demigod. The other is a former binge-drinking chain smoker with a T-shirt that reads ‘Don’t be s***t’. Usain Bolt v Steve Way. One is an icon. The other might be the totem for the Commonwealth Games”. The article goes on to suggest (which we merely repeat here without expressing any view) that if Usain Bolt were lining up for the 100 metres at the Rio Olympics we might not be hearing the official line that he has been injured. It goes on to say; “He (Bolt) is mere icing on a cake baked by Way. Where the Olympics dulls people with evangelical talk of legacies and inspiration, it is far easier to see a link between Glasgow and real people. The way of Steve, as his T-shirt says, is something not beyond the ambitions of the more average man”. Steve‘s progress from his 40-inch waist and more than 16 stone weight is then described by Steve himself, who goes on to say; “They (ie the locals in Poole Park) see me as an everyday bloke, rather than Mo Farah. He’s a different species, a professional athlete, but I’m just an everyday Joe”. The article finishes; “Regard the Commonwealth as an anachronism if you want, but its Games may well be more representative of the modern world than the Olympic behemoth. They will surely subscribe to the mantra on Way‘s T-shirt”. Well, Steve is right in a way, but no-one can fail to be inspired by Steve‘s story, which demonstrates a determination and degree of commitment to which most of us can only aspire, but at the same time he is the ‘everyday Joe’ he describes, even if a rather exceptional one. Those of us who aren’t actually in Glasgow will no doubt be glued to the TV on Sunday morning, and we all wish Steve all the luck he undoubtedly deserves.

Chris O'Brien, Steve Way (course record holder), Steve Way and Jacek Cieluszecki celebrate their team win at New Forest 10
Chris O’Brien, Steve Way (course record holder), Steve Way and Jacek Cieluszecki celebrate their team win at New Forest 10

Turning to other events we don’t quite move away from Steve who, on 13 July, won the New Forest 10 in a course record time of 50.43, and led BAC to a team win. Completing the team were Jacek Cieluszecki, second in 53.41, Simon Way, 13th in 1.03.31 and Chris O’Brien, 39th in 1.07.42. There was also a BAC win in the Ladies’ race, the first lady home being Emma Dews, who was 16th overall in 1.03.45. The BAC squad was completed by Joe Price, 182nd (of a total of 802 finishers) in 1.17.42.

Joe Price and Chris O'Brien start the NF 10
Joe Price and Chris O’Brien start the NF 10

Jacek was also a winner (again!) in the Poole Parkrun on 19 July, followed soon after by Joe Arundel (3rd), Simon Way (15th) and Chris O’Brien (33rd). Peter Thompson also featured in this race, but clearly something was wrong, as he finished 7 minutes down on his PB, and it isn’t that long ago that Peter was part of BAC‘s superb team effort at the Portland 10. The week before in Poole Park, Simon Munro was second, with Steve Way‘s paced run bringing him in third. Meanwhile, in Kings Park, Paul Hill was second in the Bournemouth Parkrun on both 19 and 12 July. Paul was joined on 19 July by Emma Dews, 6th and 1st Lady, Ian White, 11th, Brandon Meredith, 13th and 2nd in his age category and a PB for the course, Nikki Sandell, 16th and 2nd Lady, Jud Kirk, 17th, Joe Price, Sam Laws and Will Price. The week before at Bournemouth, following Paul was Damian Boyle, 3rd, Ian White, 5th, and Jud Kirk completed the BAC contingent. 193 finished the Bournemouth Parkrun on 12 July and 200 on 19 July. In Poole the figures were 548 and 513 respectively.

Chris O'Brien finishes the NF 10
Chris O’Brien finishes the NF 10

And so we move to Canada, where Steve Cox was 5th (of 237) in the Moose was Loose 10k in Edmonton, a race which is run along scenic trails in Edmonton River valley. Steve‘s time of 44.45 would have made him the winner of his age category if the race hadn’t employed this new-fangled method of awarding categories 25+,35+, etc! The same applied to Steve’s Mum who, under the ‘old’ age categories, would have won the 70+ prize. Still a highly creditable performance!

NF 10 winning team Chris O'Brien, Steve Way (course record holder), Simon Way and Jacek Cieluszecki
NF 10 winning team Chris O’Brien, Steve Way (course record holder), Simon Way and Jacek Cieluszecki

Watch English Schools Live from Birmingham

If you are keen athletics spectator, and want to watch our talented young athletes in action at the ESAA Championships then you can because Vincosport will be broadcasting it live.

Please visit http://www.vincosport.com/ in order to stream the event live.

To use the service, you will need to create an account using your e-mail address. This is completely free, and will also allow you to access other information offered by Vincosport.

Once again, good luck to all BAC athletes going!

BAC success at Portland 10 plus general update

 

BAC's winning DRRL Team Simon Munro, Peter Thompson, Jon Sharkey, Jacek Cieluszecki and Toby Chapman
BAC’s winning DRRL Team Simon Munro, Peter Thompson, Jon Sharkey, Jacek Cieluszecki and Toby Chapman

What a great moment for the BAC ‘tailenders’ in the Portland 10 (mile) race on Sunday 6 July, on the way down to Portland Bill, to see coming in the opposite direction the leaders of the race 1,2,3,4 and 5, all wearing the BAC vest, with a considerable gap before number 6. Then to spot our three BAC ladies all running well and working out (despite the brain going to complete mush at that stage of the race) that probably our Ladies’ team was going to win as well. The full results aren’t available at the time of writing, but we don’t need those to report that Jacek Cieluszecki was the overall winner, and by a considerable margin if the situation at 6 1/2 mile is anything to go by. The second, third, fourth and fifth positions were occupied by Peter Thompson, Jon Sharkey, Simon Munro and Toby Chapman respectively, which was how things were at 6 1/2 miles, except that, at that point, Toby was just in front of Simon (who ran his fastest Portland 10 ever), so it looks as if there was a ding-dong battle going on there. Jacek and Jon had both competed in the BAL fixture in Cornwall the day before, another successful day, of which more later. In the Ladies‘ competition, we don’t need the results to know that it was won by Nikki Sandell, with Gemma Bragg second, with Caroline Rowley‘s competent run ensuring that the Ladies’ team were the competition winners. BAC‘s sixth finisher was Paul Hill, who showed his class on his first race at this distance by his time of approximately 62 minutes on this hilly course and, of course, would have been a very useful back-up had anything gone wrong in front. Simon Way was the next BAC athlete to cross the line, with the BAC contingent completed by Andy Gillespie, who supported Caroline for much of the course, and Ian Graham (now showing his age!). So it was an excellent day for BAC with both the Mens‘ and the Ladies‘ teams winning the Open races, together with very useful Dorset Road Race League wins, and congratulations to everyone who took part for making this such a successful and enjoyable day. Here are some pictures, but please scroll through these and read on for more news of some of BAC‘s athletes activities.

BAC's winning Ladies' Team Caroline Rowley, Nikki Sandell and Gemma Bragg with their trophies
BAC’s winning Ladies’ Team Caroline Rowley, Nikki Sandell and Gemma Bragg with their trophies
BAC Men show their intention at the start of Portland 10
BAC Men show their intention at the start of Portland 10
Jacek Cieluszecki, Peter Thompson, Jon Sharkey and Simon Munro with 1st Team trophies
Jacek Cieluszecki, Peter Thompson, Jon Sharkey and Simon Munro with 1st Team trophies
4-5ths BAC Mens' Team Portland 10 Toby Chapman, Peter Thompson, Jon Sharkey and Simon Munro
4-5ths BAC Mens’ Team Portland 10 Toby Chapman, Peter Thompson, Jon Sharkey and Simon Munro
Jacek Cieluszecki wins the Portland 10
Jacek Cieluszecki wins the Portland 10
Peter Thompson finishes Portland 10 in 2nd place
Peter Thompson finishes Portland 10 in 2nd place
Jon Sharkey finishes Portland 10 in 3rd place
Jon Sharkey finishes Portland 10 in 3rd place
Simon Munro finishes Portland 10 in 4th position
Simon Munro finishes Portland 10 in 4th position

As the Portland 10 was under way, so was the Sway 5, in which Chris O’Brien showed he is a useful recent signing by finishing 16th (of 179) in 33.07. Not far behind was Simon Hearn, 20th in 33.58, and also competing were Joe Price, 41st in 36.43 and Joe’s Dad, Will, 112th in 48.31.

As already mentioned, on 5 July there was a BAL fixture at Par, Cornwall, in which BAC finished 2nd and, with one match to go (at Kings Park), we are definitely in a promotion position. Our road runners made their usual significant contribution to this success, including Jacek Cieluszecki and Jon Sharkey, who went on to be such an important part of the following great day at Portland, and must be commended for this after such a long day competing in Cornwall.   Jacek was 4th in the 5000 A string race in 15.23.12 (which Power of 10 says is a PB) and Jon was 2nd in the 3000 s/c B in 10.29.46. Rob McTaggart scored some useful points by winning the 5000 B in 16.21.15 and also winning the 1500 B in 4.11.77. In the 1500 A David Long was 3rd in 4.08.59, and mention should also be made of Karl Welch and Josh King, who occasionally compete on the road/cross country, who won the 800 A and B races respectively.

Steve Way continues his preparation for the Commonwealth GamesMarathon by competing, this time in the Torbay HalfMarathon on 29 June, in which he was 3rd (of 1730) in 1.07.49. A week later, Steve celebrated his 40th birthday, and his official donning of the Veteran mantel, by running 35 miles over the Purbecks!

Just some more races of which there are only sketchy details – on 29June,  Nick Kenchington was 3rd of the runners (the event is also open to walkers) in the 25 mile Purbeck Plod. The day before JonSharkey won the 10k element of the Giant’s Head Marathon (apparently the course is nearer 11k), and the day before that ManolDimitrov seems to have had a stunning run in the Skyrunning WorldChampionships in Chamonix, France, which he completed in 4 hr 8 min (distance unknown but obviously substantial), 106th, 4th Brit and 1st Bulgarian, a race of 2500 metres ascent/descent, with snow and zero visibility above 2000m. Perhaps the Portland 10 wasn’t so difficult after all!

Turning to the Parkruns of 5 July, in Kings Park, Paul Hill was 2nd in the Bournemouth Parkrun (Paul competed in the Portland 10 the next day), and joining him were Ian White, now regularly running under 20 minutes, Jud Kirk, Alison Humphrey (Ali Barnes as was!), Simon Hunt, slowly returning to fitness and Will Price, who went on to run in the Sway 5 the following day.  There were 220 finishers.  In Poole Park, the only BAC representative of the 498 running the Poole Parkrun was Simon Way, 9th, perfect preparation for the Portland 10!