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.
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.