Boxing Day Round the Lakes Poole 10k (Dave Parsons reports)
Boxing Day turned out to be a cold, frosty morning but with virtually no wind, conditions were near perfect for the annual 10k race around the lakes in Poole Park, organised by Poole AC.
There were 330 finishers this year with no less than 17 of these from BAC. Clearly, there had not been too much indulgence of food and drink on Christmas Day as some 9 of the BAC athletes achieved PBs which augurs well for the coming year. There was also a string of category podium places from the team.
First BAC man home was Rob Mctaggart in 3rd place in 33.42, followed closely by Josh Cole who was 5th in 33.54 (PB). Completing the team was Jez Bragg, 10th in 34.23 (PB) ensuring that BAC won the Mens Team Competition with 18 points.
First BAC lady home was Gemma Bragg finishing in a time of 39.16 (PB) and she was 3rd lady overall (1st Senior).
In addition to the above, a further 6 BAC athletes achieved PBs as follows:- Graeme Miller 14th in 35.35 (1st V40 – 2nd O40 prizewinner); Paul Hill 15th in 35.36; Ross Smith 28th in 37.14; Brandon Meredith 60th in 39.50 (2nd U17); Steve Cox 87th in 41.56; Seb Hearn 110th in 43.52 (3rd U17).
The remaining BAC finishers were:- Simon Way 23rd in 36.40 (3rd V45); Simon Hearn 63rd in 39.58 (this made a total of 11 of our runners breaking the 40 minute barrier); Jud Kirk 72nd in 40.40 (1st V55); George Way 79th in 41.17; Dave Parsons 178th in 48.42 (2nd V65); Will Price 276th in 57.54; Mark Annis 330th in 1.42.24.
There must be special mention of Mark‘s performance as this was the 41st consecutive year that he has competed at the Boxing Day races. For many years, Mark was a very talented runner for BAC until he was diagnosed with a serious illness which prevented him from competing at the level he previously achieved. He has continued to make this race his annual ‘challenge’ and all of us who have known him for so many years commend him. We are rightly proud of him.
Meanwhile, Toby Chapman was competing in a 4 mile Boxing Day race in his home town, organised by Clevedon AC. This is a very popular annual race, attracting 1,000 or so entries, and, of the 879 who finished this year, Toby was 9th in 20.47.
An amazing total of 419 finished the Poole Parkrun in Poole Park on Christmas Day, and the first of these was our very own Paul Hill, running in this event for the first time. Also competing were Sanjai Sharman, finishing 10th, and Ross Smith. Ross‘ 170th position in 25.06 belies his true ability, considering his PB at Poole is 17.30 and his recent superb Duathlon performances. Ross was clearly saving himself for the next day when, as noted above, he achieved a 10k PB. The Parkruns (as with most races) could not take place without the volunteers who turn out week after week, and particular thanks are due to the large number who turned out on Christmas Day to enable the Poole Parkrun to go ahead. Having also achieved a 10k PB (and his ambition to go under 40 minutes) on Boxing Day, Paul went on to win (yes, win, not 2nd place this time!) the Bournemouth Parkrun on 27 December, in which, of a total of 201, Paul was joined by Jud Kirk, Steve Cox, Helen Ambrosen, and one of our youngsters, Amelie Scott. At the same time, of the 415 running in Poole Park, Graeme Miller was 8th, and George Way 25th in the Poole Parkrun.