Steve Way and Jemma Bates elected to Life Membership, Jurassic Coast Challenge, Yeovil HM and Parkruns

Jemma Bates was one of the National Officials helping to ensure the success of the London 2012 Olympics
Jemma Bates was one of the National Officials helping to ensure the success of the London 2012 Olympics

At the Annual General Meeting of BAC at Kings Park on 19 March, Steve Way and Jemma Bates were proposed for Life Membership, a proposal which was approved unanimously.
Although Steve has been a member of the club for just a few years, in that time he has done much to raise BAC‘s focus. His rise from a 15 stone smoking jogger to one of the country’s leading athletes has been well documented. Steve first came to national notice in the 2014 London Marathon, approaching the line in 15th position, and having all the commentators scrambling around their notes to find out who this was! Then, of course, later that year, Steve led the England team home in the Commonwealth Games Marathon in Glasgow, breaking the previous V40 British marathon record, which had stood for many, many years, later to be interviewed live on BBC television by no less than Gary Lineker and Clare Balding. Steve‘s achievements at Ultra Distance have been even more remarkable, achieving World Champion status over 50k in 2012, and, in 2013, becoming the fastest man on the planet over 100k in a race in Sweden, in a time which has yet to be bettered. Steve represented England once more in 2014 in the Anglo-Celtic Plate 100k, a race which he won. However, despite all this national recognition, Steve has remained firmly with BAC, encouraging, supporting and inspiring its members in their training and competition and his Life Membership is well deserved.

Steve Way, fastest man on the planet over 100k!
Steve Way, fastest man on the planet over 100k!

Jemma Bates is another BAC member who has achieved national recognition, and is a highly qualified official, who is invited to the top fixtures all over the country, including, no less, the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium a year later. Not only is Jemma a qualified official, she has also gained qualification as a full Athletics Coach, which is put to good use, not least week after week at the Junior Development Evenings each Wednesday. If justification were needed for the notification of Jemma‘s Life Membership on the ‘Road/XC’ page of the website, it is that, in earlier days of her membership, Jemma was a regular competitor, not only on the track, but could often be seen as the sole BAC lady running in the Hampshire Cross Country League fixtures. Jemma, like Steve, has done a great deal to raise the profile of BAC and her Life Membership is also very well deserved.
Meanwhile, competition goes on! Over the weekend 20/21/22 Andy Gillespie took part in the Jurassic Coastal Challenge, 3 full (or longer) marathons over three days over the rolling ‘mountains’ of Dorset, along gravel beaches, through mud, etc. Luckily, the weather was good, and Andy finished 40th of the 135 who completed the three days. 90 seconds less and he would have been three places higher! As Andy says: “On to the flat course in London now”!
On 29th March, Rob McTaggart won the Yeovil Half Marathon in 1.14.13. Although pleased with his win, Rob isn’t so sure about his time, but it was a very windy day. Luckily, there was no team competition at stake, as Rob had apparently forgotten to take his BAC vest!  There were over 1,000 finishers.
The day before, BAC had another winner, namely Paul Hill in the Bournemouth Parkrun, for the second week running. Is Paul exchanging his continuous second places for continuous wins?! Also amongst the 294 finishers at Bournemouth were Tony Hunt, Steve Cox and Jud Kirk. Over at Poole, of the 616 finishers in the Poole Parkrun, Billy McGreevy was 5th, and George Way 26th. Also competing was Helen Ambrosen, getting back now into more regular running, but as Helen‘s time was 2 minutes or so over her PB, perhaps not yet back to full fitness.

Membership Reminder


I would just like to remind members that their membership became due for renewal on 1st January!  I would like to thank all those who have completed a form and renewed their membership. Can I please remind all the others who have not yet renewed that it is important that they complete a membership renewal form and pay their membership and EA fee as soon as possible.

Early in April, I will be paying the EA fees to England Athletics for all our paid up members. I will not be able to make the payment for anyone who has not yet renewed and they will, therefore not be eligible to compete for the Club until such payment has been made.

Thank you

Dave Parsons

Membership Secretary

Eastleigh 10k, Vitality Reading Half and Parkruns

David Long can justifiably be pleased with his run in the Eastleigh 10k
David Long can justifiably be pleased with his run in the Eastleigh 10k

David Long continued to demonstrate the benefits of Kenyan training by running a PB of 31.12 in the Eastleigh 10k on 22 March, finishing 7th of a field of 2171. The remaining four BAC athletes competing in the race also ran well, with Jacek Cieluszecki 14th, and 1st V 35-39, in 31.54 (taking him to the top of the 10k Championship Table), Josh King 26th in 32.57, Jamie Grose 36th in 33.20 and Anthony Clark 38th in 33.35.  The quality of this event is clear from the fact that, despite all these impressive performances, BAC was the 4th Mens’ team!

Also on 22 March, Toby Chapman and Manol Dimitrov were taking part in the Vitality Reading Half Marathon, a massive fixture with, this year, 13338 finishers.  Toby ran a PB of 1.13.41 to finish 113th, with Manol not far behind, 162nd in 1.15.55.

The day before, the Parkruns took place as usual, but an unusual feature was that Paul Hill won at the Bournemouth Parkrun in Kings Park, instead of his traditional second position.  Paul‘s time was a PB, the previous PB having been set the week before.  Thankfully, the second position was occupied by a BAC athlete, namely Phil Mosley, making a welcome recovery from injury.  Also amongst the 326 finishers at Bournemouth were Jud Kirk, Steve Cox and Will Price.  Meanwhile, over at Poole Park, two BAC athletes, Graeme Miller and Helen Ambrosen, finished amongst the 622 who completed he Poole Parkrun, with  Graeme Miller running a PB to finish 5th.

Brian Johnson hands over the President’s Chain of Office to Ian Graham

Ian Graham receives the President's Chain of Office from Brian Johnson
Ian Graham receives the President’s Chain of Office from Brian Johnson

(Ian Graham writes………………….)
“I was honoured to receive the Chain of Office of President of Bournemouth Athletic Club from Brian Johnson at the club’s AGM on Thursday 19 March 2015. I will do my best to serve the club, of which I am very proud, having been a member for 29 years, as its President. Brian has been a member for much, much longer, competing very effectively in earlier years as a hurdler, following which he obtained high level Coaching and Officials qualifications which have been put to good use for the club’s benefit for many years now, and Brian is to be congratulated on combining his Presidential duties with regular coaching, and acting as an official (usually Chief Time-Keeper) at numerous Track, and also Cross Country, fixtures. Brian leaves the club in sound condition, both from the athletic point of view, and financially, and he will be a hard act to follow.

“The Executive Committee, which manages the club, was also elected at the AGM. Why not have a look on this website (‘Club Information’ – ‘About The Club’) at who is looking after the affairs of the club, and the roles they undertake? There is likely to be one further co-opted member of the committee, to represent the Junior Development Group, who run the Wednesday Development Evenings, which are attracting 80/100 youngsters to the track every week, even in the depths of winter!  Perhaps the most significant change to the committee is that Robin James takes over from David Rees as Chairman. David came to the club from a non-athletic background when his sons, Dylan and Gil, joined, and bravely volunteered to take the chair when the vacancy arose. David‘s chairmanship brought a refreshing ‘outside’ view to the management of the club, from which it has benefited greatly, and we are grateful to him for taking on this task. Fortunately, David and Mandy, David‘s wife, intend to continue their involvement with the club, for instance assisting at fixtures we organise, as they have so willingly done in the past, and their sons are continuing as active members of the club. We remain in very safe hands with Robin, who has long been actively involved with the management of the club, such as on the Executive Committee, carrying out a number of roles, including preparing us for our Club Mark accreditation, and also away from the club, as a fully qualified Field Official, and as Chair of Dorset AA, so Robin brings unrivalled experience to the committee’s chairmanship.  An unusual situation occurred at the AGM, in that there were two candidates for one post, namely Marketing Manager.  Fortunately, an election wasn’t necessary, as both candidates propose to work together.  Lisa Shepherd is James Lelliott‘s mother, so has had a close involvement with athletics for many years, and Lisa‘s work background provides ideal experience to carry out this role.  Zak Kerin is well known to us, as an athlete and a coach, and is well placed to understand the marketing needs of the club.  I wish Robin, Lisa and Zak, and all other members of the Executive Committee, every good fortune in continuing with the club’s successful management.

“We are now approaching the Track & Field Season, and the Quadkids, starting with the club’s Spring Open Meeting at Kings Park on Sunday April 12.  I look forward to reporting on team and individual successes, both in these and on the Road, where both our Mens’ and our Ladies’ teams won the Dorset Road Race League last year, at the club’s Presentation Evening in November.

“Finally, not quite athletics, Brian‘s first task after his election as President was to write to Eddie Howe congratulating him on AFC Bournemouth‘s promotion to the Championship League.  The way things are going on the other side of the park, who knows………………, I won’t say any more – we don’t want to tempt providence!!”

English Schools Cross Country Championships

The Cross Country season drew to a close on Saturday 14 March with one of its most prestigious events, the English Schools Championships at Witton Park in Blackburn.  The Dorset squad travelled up to Lancashire as a team by coach for the first time in recent memory, with its strongest squad in many years.  Witton Park is a beautiful setting in the Lancashire hills just outside Blackburn.  There was a tremendous sense of anticipation as the six races of 340+ athletes in each got under way.

BAC was represented by Bridget Dence, competing at her fourth Championship in a row.  Bridget put in a solid performance, coming in 41st from 339.  She was part of a strong Dorset team, who, as a designated small county, came a remarkable 11th from 44 overall.

There are trophies for the boys’ and girls’ team aggregates for the so called smaller counties, and the girls finished in 2nd place, behind a Millfield dominated Somerset.  The boys also put in a strong showing in 3rd place.

The team headed back south, arriving at Kings Park tired but contented, in recognition of a job well done by Dorset‘s junior cross country runners.


Boscombe Pier 5k, Silverstone Half Marathon and Parkruns

The final Boscombe Pier 5k of the winter, organised by Poole Runners, took place on Friday evening 13 March 2015. It certainly wasn’t bad luck for the three BAC athletes taking part, all of whom were winners. The overall winner was David Long, who completed the course in 16.13, and the winner of the ladies’ race (8th overall) was Heidi Tregenza, 18.12. In 26th place, and 1st 50-54, was Simon Hunt, 20.24. The only BAC award for the entire series was Paul Hill, who was 2nd in the M 20-39 category.

The next day, Saturday 14 March, there were so many PBs in Kings Park that questions were raised as to the shortness of the course! (Only joking – it was the same course as always!)  However, what was perfectly normal was that Paul Hill was 2nd in the Bournemouth Parkrun (in a PB, naturally ), behind Ian Harding, of Morpeth Harriers, who just managed to scrape in in under 16 minutes – 15.59 to be precise.  Other BAC athletes competing were Steve Cox, Alison Humphrey, Ian Graham (PB), Billy McGreevy (accompanying his brother, so definitely not a PB!) and Will Price.  A total of 358 finished.  In the Poole Parkrun, BAC‘s only representative was George Way, 16th of 539 finishers.

The following day, Andy Gillespie wore the only BAC vest to be seen in the Silverstone Half Marathon, which Andy completed in 1.39.04, 842nd of 6656 finishers.  Andy says of the race “my time was about right for my aims at VLM of as close to 3.30 as possible, or better!  My pace was up on the Lytchett so I am happy with progress.  It was a very cold windy race!”

Jon Sharkey selected for England, Salisbury 10, Boscombe Pier 5k and Parkruns


Jon Sharkey is selected again for his country
Jon Sharkey is selected again for his country

Many congratulations to Jon Sharkey, who has again been selected to be part of the Anglo-Celtic Plate 100k Home International, which will take place at Redwick, near Newport, South Wales on 21st May 2015. Following a transition to Ultra Running in 2013, and running a qualifying 50k race in Newcastle with little specific training, Jon was selected to run for his country in this event last year, in which Jon and Steve Way made up 40% of the entire England team (of 5), England were the winners (wouldn’t it be nice if our international cricketers could say that?!), and Steve the overall winner of the race. So Jon undoubtedly deserves his selection, and we wish him the best of luck with the training and in the event itself.

Jon Sharkey enjoys a rest from athletics - but is this the best way to prepare for the Anglo-Celtic Plate?!
Jon Sharkey enjoys a rest from athletics – but is this the best way to prepare for the Anglo-Celtic Plate?!

On Sunday 8 March, two BAC athletes competed in the Salisbury 10 mile race.  Simon Hunt finished 129th in a time of 1.08.04, a performance which placed him as 2nd V60 in the race, and 2nd in the 10 mile Club Championship table.  Not far behind Simon was Janie Chapman, 170th in 1.10.40, and 3rd F45.  There was a total of 697 finishers

Belatedly, we report on the last Boscombe Pier 5k Time Trial, organised by Poole Runners, held on Friday 20 February.  Josh Cole, who was to go on to win the revived Bournemouth 10 mile race on 1 March, won this event in 16.24.  Other BAC results were 4th Simon Munro, 17.02, 6th Paul Hill, 17.51, 15th Ben Walliman, 18.34 and 92nd Laura Niblett, 26.22.

Of course, there are Parkruns every week.  Paul Hill continues with his 2nd placing which occurred at Bournemouth on 28 February and 7 March.  Does he do this on purpose?  At least Paul ran a PB on 7 March.  Heidi Tregenza was the first lady at Bournemouth on both these dates, also running a PB on 7 March.  Paul and Heidi were joined on 28 February by Jud Kirk and Will Price, and on 7 March by Jud, Steve Cox, Paul Consani, Joe Price, Dave Parsons (equalling his PB), Ian White and Will.  Meanwhile, at Poole, Peter Thompson was the winner on 28 February, and George Way ran on both 28 February and 7 March, running within 4/5 seconds of his PB on both occasions.  The winner at the Blandford Parkrun on 28 February was David Long, running there for the first time, and on 7 March at Blandford, another of their first-timers, Anthony Clark, was second, with Jez Bragg third.

Inter Counties XC and Human Race Duathlon

Bridget and Jim Dence, Tom Farwell and Nikki Sandell enjoy the sunshine at the Inter Counties XC
Bridget and Jim Dence, Tom Farwell and Nikki Sandell enjoy the sunshine at the Inter Counties XC

Congratulations to all the athletes who made the journey to Crofton Park, Birmingham on Saturday 7 March, to compete for Dorset which, despite being a minnow amongst Counties, fielded a full team in most of the categories.  The day was sunny and breezy, and dry underfoot, a welcome change after Parliament Hill.  BAC athletes played their part in this, including the Senior Men.  Of a total of 283, Rob McTaggart was 176th in 40.07, Jamie Grose 184th (40.22) and Simon Munro 237th (41.58).  The Dorset team of 5 finished 28th of 31 teams, achieving a win over Wiltshire which seemed to have been the main aim!  Nikki Sandell, 154th of 275 in 30.15, and Louise Price (271/35.59) ran in the Senior Womens‘ race, in which, unfortunately there weren’t enough Dorset athletes to complete a team.  Perhaps the most noteworthy BAC performance of the day  came from Bridget Dence, 71st of 273 in the U17 Womens‘ race, in a time of 22.50, and Bridget was part of a team which finished a remarkable 5th of 40 teams.  In the U13 Boys‘ race,Tom Farwell was 248th in 14.07, with Jim Dence 295th in 15.15.  Apologies if anyone has been missed, particularly any U20 Men, the results of which are not yet available.

Simon Munro (4252), Jamie Grose (4249) and Rob McTaggart (4251) are part of the Dorset SM team at the Inter Counties XC
Simon Munro (4252), Jamie Grose (4249) and Rob McTaggart (4251) are part of the Dorset SM team at the Inter Counties XC
Nikki Sandell (970) and Louise Price (969) in their Dorset vests at the Inter Counties XC
Nikki Sandell (970) and Louise Price (969) in their Dorset vests at the Inter Counties XC
Senior Women mass start at the Inter Counties XC - recognise anyone?
Senior Women mass start at the Inter Counties XC – recognise anyone?

Elsewhere, Ross Smith continued his amazing run of successful duathlons, competing in the 7.5k run, 1.5k bike and 7.5k run of the Human Race Duathlon, also on 7th March.  Although 6th on the day (no mean feat!) Ross earned himself a podium position by finishing in 2nd place overall.

Ross Smith (21) on the podium
Ross Smith (21) on the podium

Bournemouth 10 and Bath Half Marathon


Paul Hill about to finish fifth, and to complete BAC's winning mens' team in the revived Bournemouth 10
Paul Hill about to finish fifth, and to complete BAC’s winning mens’ team in the revived Bournemouth 10

Well, we did it!! It’s been a long time since BAC organised a road race, and, if we were going to do so again, the obvious choice would be to bring back the Bournemouth 10 mile road race which was organised for almost 20 years by the late (but certainly not forgotten) Brian James. It was going to be a challenge to meet the standards set in those days for this race, and standards set today by the clubs who organise really excellent road races in this area (and, no doubt, elsewhere!). We did our best, it seemed to work, and the feedback we have received has been positive. So, congratulations to Ian White and Dave Parsons, as Race Directors, and the members of the organising committee, Sam Laws, Richard Nelson, Steve Cox and Ian Graham. Many thanks to all the people who turned out to marshal, and to act as officials, without whom none of it would have happened, and many thanks also, to the Dorset ACF, who came along with a squad of nearly 30 Army Cadets, and their supporting adults, and efficiently manned the water stations, and helped with the marshalling, and with their enthusiasm added a great deal to the day. Thanks, too, to SweatShop and Lush for their support.  And, of course, not forgetting to thank the runners themselves for supporting BAC‘s new venture. We also had some runners ourselves in the race! In fact, BAC took the winning and second positions with Josh Cole and Jacek Cieluszecki respectively who, along with Paul Hill, won the Mens‘ team prize. In addition, Jon Sharkey acted as a 70 minute pacer, a feature which we would like to develop in future years.  The likelihood is that the race will be back next year, when hopefully there won’t be any works going on (as happened this year at Bournemouth Pier) making it impossible to follow exactly the original course, and perhaps without the strong wind which made the second half of the race such a battle!

Results (BAC): 1. Josh Cole 57.35;  2. Jacek Cieluszecki 57.57;  5. Paul Hill 1.00.37;  6. Manol Dimitrov 1.01.10;  13. Ben Walliman 1.05.24;  15. Paul Consani 1.06.06;  32. Tony Hunt 1.09.33;  38. Pat Robbins 1.15.56.  There were 220 finishers (full results available elsewhere on this website).

The same day, three BAC athletes were part of the astonishing total of 11,589 who completed the Bath Half Marathon.  Anthony Clark led home the BAC squad in an excellent 43rd position, in 1.14.08.  Anthony was followed shortly by Simon Way, 93rd in 1.17.54, and Sanjai Sharma was 381st in 1.26.44.

National XC Championships, Heartbreaker Marathon and Avon Tyrrell 10k XC

Bridget Dence is entitled to smile after an excellent run at Parliament Hill
Bridget Dence is entitled to smile after an excellent run at Parliament Hill

We seem to be getting a bit behind with our reports……………
The National Cross Country Championships were held at Parliament Hill, London (an iconic course which everyone should run, at least once) on Saturday 21 February. BAC‘s only representative in the Senior Mens‘ race was Rob McTaggart, a creditable 267th of 2005 finishers in 46.16. David Long ran in the Junior Mens‘ race, finishing 45th of 190 in 36.50 – to most people this would have been very satisfactory, but David sets himself high standards and might have been a little disappointed (without good reason!) after his stunning run shortly before in the Hampshire Cross Country League. Well done, though, to Bridget Dence, an astonishing 38th of 395 in the U17 Womens‘ race in 21.21. Four other youngsters ran in the BAC vest, and well done to them, too, for their hard work and commitment. Seb Hearn and Brandon Meredith were 205th (25.31) and 276th (31.13) respectively in the U17 Mens‘ race, and Tom Farwell and Jim Dence were 230th (14.42) and 310th (15.26) respectively in the U13 Boys’ race.

The next day was the Heartbreaker Marathon, an off-road half and full marathon in the New Forest.  Jez Bragg (having won the Blandford Parkrun the day before!) won the Half Marathon in 1.20.27, and Steve Way, still recovering from injury, was third in the Marathon in 2.47.03.  There were 272 Half Marathon finishers and 176 in the Marathon.

The following week, 28 February, BAC‘s ladies continued to show their strength, winning the ladies’ team prize at the Avon Tyrrell 10k Cross Country.  Emma Dews, who hasn’t competed for some time, won the individual ladies’ race in a time of 46.09, with Caroline Rowley (4th in 53.38) and Louise Price (5th in 54.00) completing the winning ladies’ team.  In the mens’ race, Jud Kirk was 5th of 32 finishers in 46.44.

Caroline Rowley, Emma Dews and Louise Price - a winning team!
Caroline Rowley, Emma Dews and Louise Price – a winning team!
Jud Kirk on his way to fifth at the Avon Tyrrell XC
Jud Kirk on his way to fifth at the Avon Tyrrell XC