Round The Lakes, Parkruns and Clevedon 4 Miles

Paul Hill (in the Christmas jersey) on his way to winning the Poole Parkrun on Christmas Day
Paul Hill (in the Christmas jersey) on his way to winning the Poole Parkrun on Christmas Day

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.

Jez and Gemma Bragg amongst competitors trying to keep warm at the Round the Lakes 10k, Boxing Day
Jez and Gemma Bragg amongst competitors trying to keep warm at the Round the Lakes 10k, Boxing Day
Gemma Bragg on her way to a PB in the Round the Lakes 10k, Boxing Day
Gemma Bragg on her way to a PB in the Round the Lakes 10k, Boxing Day

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.

 

Boscombe Pier 5k, Portsmouth Coastal Marathon, Parkruns, Wellington Monument Race and Christmas Meal

Gemma Bragg - first lady Portsmouth Coastal Marathon
Gemma Bragg – first lady Portsmouth Coastal Marathon

Apologies to all those – especially to Josh King – who ran in the Boscombe Pier 5k, part of a series organised by Poole Runners, on Friday 12 December, which was overlooked in the last report. Fresh from his fantastic run at Popham in the Hampshire Cross Country League the week before, Josh ran an amzing 16.36 to win the 5k race outright. Also running well were Jez and Gemma Bragg, with Jez finishing 5th in 17.18, and Gemma 24th (3rd lady) in 19.18. Jud Kirk wasn’t that far behind, 37th in19.52, and 1st 75-79 was Tom Cochrane in 24.38. Yes, Tom really is over 75 years of age, hard to believe! Finishing 101st of the total of 117 was Will Price in 26.50.

Just over a week later, Gemma was running a marathon PB! On 21st December, Gemma competed in the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon and was 1st lady in a time of 3.09.42. This course probably isn’t particularly fast, although flat, but much of it along footpaths with variable surfaces, so well done to Gemma on this achievement!

Did I say 'variable surfaces'?
Did I say ‘variable surfaces’?

Finishing just outside the medals on 21 December was Toby Chapman, 4th (medals to the first three, of course!) in the Wellington Monument race, organised by Taunton Athletic Club, near to Toby‘s present home.  The race is 6.27 miles long, and, like the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon, appears to run over ‘variable surfaces’ with over 1000 metres along bridle paths.

Another BAC ‘multi-achiever’ is Ross Smith who, having finished 2nd in an off-road duathlon a week earlier, ran a time of 17.30 in the Poole Parkrun on Saturday 20 December, to finish 13th of a total of 509. Meanwhile, in the Bournemouth Parkrun, Sebastian Hearn was 10th of the 225 finishers, in 20.09, Jud Kirk was 11th in 20.15, Steve Cox 16th in 20.45, Paul Consani (rapidly returning to form) 34th in 22.53 and Louise Price 83rd in 24.53.  Missing from his traditional 2nd position was Paul Hill, taking a short rest after all his races!

Further congratulations are due to Gemma Bragg, for organising a very enjoyable Christmas meal attended at Prezzo, Bournemouth, by more than 20 of BAC‘s road/xc runners and friends.  To say that the evening was a success is an understatement, and it will surely go a long way to cementing the club spirit which is needed to ensure that 2015 will be as successful for BAC as 2014.

Nikki Sandell and Gemma Bragg with their County Medals, with Caroline Rowley, an essential part of BAC's successful Ladies' Team at BAC's road/xc Christmas meal
Nikki Sandell and Gemma Bragg with their County Medals, with Caroline Rowley, an essential part of BAC’s successful Ladies’ Team at BAC’s road/xc Christmas meal
Jon Sharkey with his County Medals enjoys the Christmas meal with Lauretta.  Steve Way, BAC's other International athlete, behind.
Jon Sharkey with his County Medals enjoys the Christmas meal with Lauretta. Steve Way, BAC’s other International athlete, behind.

Finally – MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOOD RUNNING IN 2015!

Dorset County XC Championships, Wessex XC League, Rempstone Roast Duathlon

The Dorset County Cross Country Championships were combined with the final Wessex Cross Country League fixture at Canford School on Sunday 14 December, and both produced medals and wins for BAC. The full results for the League race aren’t yet available, but the Championship results show no fewer than 6 medals for BAC athletes. Rob McTaggart, who completed the course in 26.54, won Gold, to become no less than the County Cross Country Champion for 2014, and the Bronze medal was won by Simon Munro, finishing in 27.32. A Gold medal was also won by Nikki Sandell, the winner of the Veteran Women competition, and a Silver medal in the U20M competition went to Jamie Grose, with Joe Arundel winning the Bronze. Jamie‘s and Joe‘s times were 26.54 and 27.39 respectively. Bridget Dence continues to impress in her new age category, winning the U17W Bronze medal, finishing in 16.57 in her race. Congratulations to all our medal winners, but let’s not forget our athletes who didn’t collect medals, but were nevertheless there to compete! Louise Price wasn’t far from the VW medals with her time of 21.58, although it has to be said that Ian Graham‘s time of 36.41 left him some way away from the medals! Much nearer were Sebastian Hearn, completing the U17M race in 17.24, and, in the U13B race, and Jim Dence and Tom Farwell both achieving times of 12.31. Tom is only just in this age category, and is showing considerable talent – one to watch for the future! Although the full League results haven’t yet been posted, it does appear that BAC were the first Senior Mens’ team.
Despite this clutch of medals and wins, the fact is that BAC‘s Cross Country season is staggering a bit at the moment. There’s still time to recover this, particularly at the next Hampshire Cross Country fixtures at Reading on 10 January and Bournemouth on 7 February.  Also, don’t forget the SW Cross Country Championships at Bicton, 4 January 2015 www.sw-athletics-academy.co.uk (entries online still open, but hurry!), and the Southern Championships at Brighton on 24 January 2015, and the National Championships at Parliament Hill, London (a race EVERYONE should do at least once!) on 21 February 2015.  If you want to enter these (it’s believed the club will pay the entry fees), you need to contact Billy McGreevy NOW!

One other event, not strictly cross country, which merits mention is the Rempstone Roast Duathlon, as Ross Smith again displayed his ability on off-road duathlons.  Over a course consisting of 2.5 mile run, 10 mile bike and 2.5 mile run, Ross finished second with a  time of 1.08.17, the winning time being 1.07.56.  Ross‘ split times were 14.13 and 16.29 for the runs and 37.35 for the bike.  The following week Ross went on the run a spectacular Poole Parkrun!

Parkruns and Daimiel 10k, Spain

Antonio Ruiz is happy with his run in the Daimiel 10k
Antonio Ruiz is happy with his run in the Daimiel 10k

Some of the top spots in the Parkruns were taken by BAC athletes on Saturday 13 December. In Poole Park, Jon Sharkey was the outright winner of the Poole Parkrun, with Simon Way 5th of the 430 finishers. Simon is going to have to watch his heels, as not far behind was his Son, George, 14th overall, and first in his age category JM 15-17. In Kings Park, Billy McGreevy was third of a field of 208 in the Bournemouth Parkrun, and also running were Jud Kirk, Steve Cox, Dave Parsons, Paul Consani (good to see Paul returning from a long-term injury) and Will Price.

In Spain, Antonio Ruiz, who spent some time recently competing for BAC, and helping with coaching, before returning to his native country, continues to show BAC colours.  Recently, Antonio was 57th (of about 1500), in 37 minutes, in the Daimiel 10k, part of his training for the Seville Marathon next year.

Spectators applaud the BAC vest in Spain
Spectators applaud the BAC vest in Spain
The watch shows 37 minutes
The watch shows 37 minutes

Hampshire XC League, Endurancelife CTS

Josh King heads towards 21st position and 1st U20 at Popham
Josh King heads towards 21st position and 1st U20 at Popham

Well done to those five BAC athletes who made sure there was a complete Senior Mens’ team at the third fixture of the Hampshire Cross Country League season at Popham Airfield on Saturday 6 December, but the result means that a challenge for a top place in Division 1 is lost, replaced by a fight to avoid relegation to Division 2. There were, however, two remarkable performances on the day, namely from Josh King and Bridget Dence. Although Josh has competed in previous years in this League in younger age categories, this was the first time he had run in the Senior Mens‘ race, and this was Josh‘s first race at this distance over any surface.  So it is no exaggeration to say that Josh‘s finish in 21st position was quite outstanding, particularly as he was the first in the U20 race.  Equally outstanding was Bridget‘s 2nd place in the U17 Womens’ race, a position Bridget has achieved in each of this season’s fixtures, so, of course, that is her aggregate position for the season so far.  Simon Munro also ran well to finish 40th senior man, especially considering that as the starting gun went, Simon was still cleaning Goodwood‘s mud off his spikes!  Without stronger support, BAC‘s senior mens’ team was 10th out of 10 on the day, and now lie 7th aggregate of 10.  Looking at the points, there is not much difference between BAC‘s points and those of Winchester & District, who are 6th, and Stubbington Green, who are 9th, a relegation position, so we are really going to have to push the boat out at the next fixtures at Reading on 10 January and Bournemouth on 7 February to avoid relegation.  And BAC could win this League………………………………..

Results (BAC): Sen/Vet/U20 Men: 21. Josh King (1st U20M) 33.34;  40. Simon Munro 34.48;  133. Paul Hill 39.59;  195. Steve Cox 44.01;  226. Ian Graham 47.38.  U17 Men: 30. Sebastian Hearn 19.35;  31. Brandon Meredith 19.53.  U13 Boys: 23. Tom Farwell 11.30.  U17 Women: 2. Bridget Dence 19.44.

Simon (I missed the start) Munro battles through the field to finish 40th
Simon (I missed the start) Munro battles through the field to finish 40th
Paul Hill ensures that a full team competes at Popham
Paul Hill ensures that a full team competes at Popham
Josh King and Simon Munro relax after their work at Popham
Josh King and Simon Munro relax after their work at Popham

Rumour has it that several BAC athletes took part in the Endurance Coastal Trail Series event on the same day, Saturday 6 December, which takes place along the Dorset Jurassic Coast at distances of 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon and Ultra.  Results now available at www.endurancelife.com – congratulations to Toby Chapman on finishing 4th of 187 in the Marathon, but commiserations to Manol Dimitrov who was forced to retire from the Marathon, whilst well-placed, with an injury.  In the 10k Jacek Cieluszecki accompanied Ela, his wife along the course, finishing 111th and 112th respectively.

Downton Half Marathon and Parkruns

BAC was represented at the Downton Half Marathon on 30 November by Sanjai Sharma and Janie Chapman, in a race which Sanjai described as an “eye-opener”, over a course which an organiser would say is “undulating”, but nevertheless scenic and very well organised.  Sanjai was 21st, of 363 finishers, and Janie was 43rd, and 3rd FV.

Paul Hill reverted to his traditional 2nd place of the 188 finishers in the Bournemouth Parkrun on 5 December, and was joined in the race by BAC legend, John Boyes, visiting from his home in France.  John, who is a life member of BAC, has a marathon PB of 2.13, and still holds the Kings Park 10000m track record.  Also running was Cherry Sheffrin, and congratulations to Cherry as she was the 1st lady to cross the line.  Other BAC runners were Jud Kirk, a Bournemouth Parkrun regular, Will Price, and a welcome sight was BAC youngster Louis Baldry, competing for the first time.  Meanwhile, all three BAC athletes who took part in the Poole Parkrun ran PBs for that course.  An ever-improving George Way was 17th (and 2nd in his JM 15-17 category) of the 501 finishers, and not far behind were Nikki Sandell (1st FV), Chris O’Brien and Alison Humphrey (known to many as Ali Barnes).