Portsmouth Coastal Marathon, DRRL Awards and County Medals, ParkRuns and Christmas Party! Plus a look back to the Sainsbury’s School Games

A Happy Christmas to everyone and best wishes for successful and injury-free athletics in 2016.
First of all, many thanks to Gemma Bragg for organising a highly successful roadrunners’ Christmas meal on Friday evening 18 December. Something like 30 of us went to Aruba, by Bournemouth Pier, where we experienced good food, drink and company in a very lively (and increasingly noisy!) atmosphere. It was a very enjoyable evening, and we are all very grateful to Gemma, who worked very hard beforehand, collecting menus, money, etc., etc.  A perfect start to Christmas!
Apparently, Steve Way is taking time out to recuperate and regenerate after some exceptional achievements, so how come Steve was running the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon on 20 December? Not only did Steve run in the marathon – he won it! Steve was first of 897 finishers in a time of 2.47.20. Although the marathon course is almost totally flat, it is hardly a PB course – it is described as a “unique multi-terrain marathon”, and the video of the course reveals gravel, stony beach and very narrow and at times virtually non-existent paths. Let’s hope Steve is on his way back to full fitness.
As the end of the year approaches, it’s worth reviewing some of the medals and awards which have been won by our athletes.
The awards for the Dorset Road Race League for 2015 will be presented following the Broadstone Quarter Marathon at the Junction Leisure Centre on New Year’s Day. Apart from the awards to BAC‘s Mens’ and Ladies’ teams, who both came top of their respective Divisions 1, individual awards go to Heidi Tregenza, first individual lady, and Nikki Sandell, second individual lady. In the age category awards, Heidi is the first lady 21-24, Gemma Bragg first lady 30-34 and Nikki first lady 35-39. The ladies’ club award goes to Heidi, and the mens’ club award to Steve Cox. In addition, Nikki wins the Fidelity Award for running in all 12 DRRL races. Why not come along, compete in the Broadstone Quarter, which is the first race of the DRRL for 2016, and cheer our winners as they receive their awards?
A number of BAC athletes have won County Championship medals throughout the year. Jacek Cieluszecki is the County Champion and gold medallist over 10 miles, achieved at the Lytchett 10 on 15 February, where Toby Chapman won the silver medal. Nikki Sandell won two gold medals at the North Dorset Village Marathon on 3 May, as both County Senior Lady and Veteran Lady Champion. Graeme Miller was a gold and bronze medallist at the Sturminster Half Marathon on 2 August – gold as County Veteran Man Champion, and bronze as third Senior Man. And finally, for the road, Peter Thompson is the County 10k Champion and gold medallist following his win at the Boscombe 10k on 22 November. The County Cross Country Championship was held at Canford School on 13 December, at which Nikki Sandell won another gold medal as the County Veteran Lady Champion, in which category Joy Wright won bronze. Nikki was the overall winner of the ladies’ race, and both Nikki and Joy finished before the first Senior (ie non-vet)Lady.  Another bronze medal went to Brandon Meredith as third U17 Man.
ParkRun activity was rather limited for BAC on 19 December. Amongst the 270 finishers at the Bournemouth ParkRun were Jud Kirk, Paul Consani, Steve Cox, Joe Price, who sprinted over the line to overtake Ian Graham (has he no respect for his elders?!) and Will Price. The only BAC competitor at the Poole ParkRun was Paul Dixon-Box, who was 8th of a total of 576, and at the Moors Valley ParkRun, Chris O’Brien was 17th of 186.

And now, as the shortest day has passed and the days are getting longer, and we can begin to anticipate the summer, a look back to last summer’s Sainsbury’s UK School Games….courtesy of Madeleine Smith………………………..

“Competing at the Sainsbury’s UK School Games was a fantastic opportunity and an amazing experience due to the variety of sports represented.

We were all given tracksuits according to the country we represented. England was split into five regions, including the South West, whose vests were bright yellow, and included athletes from Cornwall, Devon, the Channel Islands, Dorset, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire and Berkshire. The other teams competing were Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the ‘Rest of the World’, comprising of Brazil, the Anguilla Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands.

“We took the train up to Manchester and stayed at university halls of residence. After arriving we attended the opening ceremony, hosted in the Manchester Arena. The highlight of the evening was probably the opening of the games and interviews with Dina Asher Smith, Adam Peaty and Ellie Simmonds, although the fireworks and confetti were impressive.

“The next day was the day of the athletics competition, held at the warm up track for the Commonwealth Games, by Manchester City’s football ground. Several local primary schools came to watch the events and they really helped to boost the atmosphere (even though they were probably more excited by the prospect of a day off school!).

“The South West team won the athletics, and for the first time ever became UK champions. We were presented the trophy by Jason Gardner, a former SW athlete and an Olympic gold medallist.

“After finishing all the athletics competitions on the Friday, we were free to watch some of the other sports going on where we were staying, including the judo, rugby 7’s, hockey and, on the Sunday, cycling at the National Cycling Centre. We were given seminars on anti-doping and athlete mentoring. The latter was led by Daniel Caines, a former world indoor 400m champion, and Sam Ruddock, a Paralympian who competed in 2012, who gave insights to their experiences of competing at major championships.

“Mum and Dad also had a parent’s seminar to attend!! Jason Gardner and Miriam Battan-Luke (both Olympic medallists) presented the seminar and recognised the major role their parents played in their sporting success and strongly advised that the athletes need to ensure that they keep up with their education.”

Many thanks, Madeleine.

Christmas 10k, Wessex XC (Dorset Championship) and Parkruns

 

Santa Claus is coming to town! Some of the BAC Christmas 10k squad
Santa Claus is coming to town! Some of the BAC Christmas 10k squad

Congratulations to AFC Bournemouth on their 2-1 win over Manchester United on Sunday 13 December, and congratulations, too, for a superb BAC performance at the Christmas 10k, Christchurch, earlier the same day! 20 BAC athletes, including Father Christmas, pounded the course in ideal conditions, resulting in team and individual wins, and PBs galore. David Long was the clear winner, and second and third placings by Peter Thompson (in a PB time) and Rob McTaggart ensured that the team prize went to BAC. There were two very encouraging runs by Jacek Cieluszecki and Anthony Clark, both competing for the first time after considerable lay-offs through injury, and they were split by Graeme Miller who ran a PB. PBs were also run by Ross Smith, Gary Woolnough, Tony Hunt and Steve Cox, and BAC totally dominated the prize-giving, as can be seen from the photos below.  So, it has been an excellent two weeks for BAC, following the move out of the Division 1 relegation zone at the Hampshire Cross Country League fixture in Kings Park last week, so let’s hope the momentum can be maintained to ensure we are not relegated, and we fight off what will undoubtedly be stiff challenges from Poole AC and Littledown Harriers in next year’s Dorset Road Race League Christmas 10k results (BAC): 1 David Long 32.02;  2. Peter Thompson 32.15;  3. Rob McTaggart 32.28;  6. Jacek Cieluszecki 33.39;  15. Graeme Miller 35.17;  18. Anthony Clark 36.13;  21. Ross Smith 36.23;  35. Sanjai Sharma 37.42;  41. Gary Woolnough 37.58;  61. Simon Hearn 39.45;  64. Jud Kirk 39.58;  75. Paul Consani 41.00;  76. Tony Hunt 41.00;  79. Steve Cox 41.10;  84. Simon Hunt 41.43;  87. Alison Humphrey 42.04;  91. Santa Claus (aka Richard Nelson) 42.16;  115. Ian Graham 43.54;  182. Helen Ambrosen 49.12;  205. Joe Price 50.36.  There were 461 finishers.

The mass start
The mass start

More photos (courtesy of Graeme and Carol Miller and Richard Nelson) below…………………………………………….

Brandon Meredith with coach Tom Cochrane. Brandon wrote on Facebook "Cheers Tom for all the help getting me where I am"
Brandon Meredith with coach Tom Cochrane. Brandon wrote on Facebook “Cheers Tom for all the help getting me where I am”

Unfortunately, the Christmas 10k clashed with the Wessex Cross Country League fixture at Canford School, but nevertheless there was an encouraging level of participation by BAC‘s youngsters, and a win by Nikki Sandell in the Senior Ladies’ race, in which Joy Wright finished second 40-44 lady.  It was necessary to enter separately to qualify in the Dorset County Cross Country Championship, which was included in this fixture, but as the results haven’t been published it isn’t known which of the BAC participants are County medallists, with the exception of Brandon Meredith, bronze medallist, U17 Men – well done Brandon BAC Wessex League results are as follows: U11 Boys 27. Sam Farwell 6.06;  30. Isaac Sandell 6.27: U13 Girls 20. Ruby Bowden 14.43;  25. Anya Sandell 15.40: U13 Boys 9. Tom Farwell 12.43: U15 Girls 13. Kate Flynn 17.08: U15 Boys 13. Tarquin O’Sullivan: U17 Girls Poppaea Bramwell-Reeks 18.16: U17 Men 3. Brandon Meredith 16.00: Senior Women 1. Nikki Sandell 16.00: Senior Women (40-44) 2. Joy Wright 19.16.

With all this activity this weekend, BAC participation in the Parkruns was limited to the Bournemouth Parkrun, in which, of 224 finishers, Rob McTaggart, warming up for the Christmas 10k, was 12th, Peter Briant 97th in a PB time, 102nd was Jud Kirk, having a leisurely run before the 10k the next day, and accompanying his wife, Katie, and 168th was Will Price.

Back to the Christmas 10k……………………………….

David Long, Rob McTaggart, Peter Thompson and Jacek Cieluszecki make their intentions clear
David Long, Rob McTaggart, Peter Thompson and Jacek Cieluszecki make their intentions clear
David Long
David Long
Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
Rob McTaggart
Rob McTaggart
Jacek Cieluszecki
Jacek Cieluszecki
Sanjai Sharma
Sanjai Sharma
Simon Hearn
Simon Hearn
Paul Consani and Tony Hunt
Paul Consani and Tony Hunt
Steve Cox
Steve Cox
Simon Hunt
Simon Hunt

and the prizegiving……………………………………

David Long
David Long
Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
Rob McTaggart
Rob McTaggart
Sanjai Sharma
Sanjai Sharma
Jud Kirk
Jud Kirk
Simon Hunt
Simon Hunt
Ian Graham
Ian Graham
Helen Ambrosen
Helen Ambrosen
Santa Claus is coming to town! Some of the BAC Christmas 10k squad
Santa Claus is coming to town! Some of the BAC Christmas 10k squad

Hampshire and Wessex XC, Endurance Life Trail Runs, Ice Man Duathlon and Parkruns

Graham Robinson battles it out in Kings Park
Graham Robinson battles it out in Kings Park

At last, this season, we can report a successful Hampshire Cross Country League result for the Senior Men, who finished third, pulling us out of the relegation zone. But first, a big thank you to everyone who turned out to marshal, officiate and generally help at the fixture, which BAC hosted in Kings Park on Saturday 5 December. Although the weather could have been worse, nevertheless it was a cold business standing around for several hours. Everything went according to plan, and it is thanks to the volunteers that the fixture went ahead at all, let alone successfully. Turning to the results, our Senior Mens’ team of David Long, fresh from training in Kenya, Rob McTaggart, Graham Robinson, a very valuable new signing, Phil Mosley and Pat Robins were third of ten Senior Mens’ teams competing in Division 1. Previously, BAC was staring relegation in the face, but now stand 8th of the ten teams, out of the relegation zone – two teams are relegated.  Well done, too, to Tom Paskins, not far behind Pat, and a useful reserve if anything had gone wrong.  David is at present 8th Senior Man in the League, which at this stage are aggregated from two races.  We also had a good result in the Veteran Mens’ competition.  Unfortunately, neither Phil nor Pat were resulted as Vets (not the fault of the League), but the results will be corrected, and, subject to confirmation, BAC‘s Vets team of Phil, Pat and Simon Hearn will be shown as 2nd in Division 2, not bad when our aim this season is simply to field a Vets’ team at every fixture.  BAC Vets also had a useful reserve, namely Simon Hunt, in case of need.  For the Ladies, their successful campaign in this League continues.  The Senior Ladies’ team of Emma Dews, Heidi Tregenza and Nikki Sandell were the 4th team overall on the day, and lie 5th (of 13 complete teams) in the table for the season so far.  Emma and Nikki were joined by Joy Wright, another very useful new signing, to make up the Veteran Ladies’ team, which was 2nd on the day, and remain 2nd overall (also of 13 complete teams), remarkable progress in such a short time.  Caroline Rowley, Elissa Clark and Helen Ambrosen were also there, just in case.  Emma is 10th Senior Lady in the individual aggregate list for the season so far, and is 3rd Veteran Lady, of which Nikki is 5th.  BAC was also represented by Brandon Meredith in the U17 Men, Tom Farwell, U13 Boys, and Anya Sandell, U13 Girls.  There were also U11 races, not part of League, in which Lara Broderick and Olivia Abel competed.  Let’s hope we can keep this up for the next fixture at Reading on16 January, and it is now looking as if there will be a 5th fixture, at Dibden Enclosure, in the New Forest, on 13 February.  Results (BAC): Sen/Vet Men 5. David Long 31.04;  11. Rob McTaggart 32.17;  20. Graham Robinson 33.05;  35. Phil Mosley 34.13;  38. Pat Robins 34.38;  71. Tom Paskins 36.09;  126. Simon Hearn 38.57;  157. Simon Hunt 41.39.  Sen/Vet Women 6. Emma Dews 22.42;  11. Heidi Tregenza 23.15;  25. Nikki Sandell 24.11;  54. Joy Wright 26.14;  59. Caroline Rowley 26.43;  103. Elissa Clark 30.45;  104. Helen Ambrosen 30.45. U17 Men 21. Brandon Meredith 22.07. U13 Boys 30. Tom Farwell 12.28. U13 Girls 52. Anya Sandell 15.33.

David Long leads the BAC Mens' Team in Kings Park
David Long leads the BAC Mens’ Team in Kings Park
Emma Dews leads the BAC Ladies' Team in Kings Park
Emma Dews leads the BAC Ladies’ Team in Kings Park

More photos from Kings Park below……………………………….

There was a fixture of the Wessex Cross Country League at Yeovil on 29 November.  Unfortunately, this clashed with the Boscombe 10k, but BAC athletes still took part.  Although in the U17 category, Brandon Meredith took on the challenge of the Senior Mens’ race, finishing 21st in 33.55.  In the Girls’ U15 race, Maeve Bailey was 6th in 15.23, and in the U13 Girls’ race, Ruby Bowden was 16th in 13.57 and Anya Sandell was 17th in 14.52.  Anya‘s brother Isaac Sandell competed in the U11 Boys’ race, finishing 21st in 10.43.

Manol Dimitrov, left, 5th in the Endurance Life HM and Toby Chapman, 3rd in the Marathon
Manol Dimitrov, left, 5th in the Endurance Life HM and Toby Chapman, 3rd in the Marathon

There were also BAC athletes taking part in the Endurance Life Coastal Trail event on 5 December, namely Damian Boyle (Ultra), Toby Chapman (Marathon) and Manol Dimitrov (Half Marathon).  Damian, who was competing in his first Ultra, describes the race as “right into the teeth of Storm Desmond, getting quite literally knocked off my feet a couple of times by 60 knot winds”.  The course, in West Dorset, takes in chunks of the South West Coastal Path, which is, as Damian says, “fairly lumpy”.  Damian finished the Ultra course, 33.7 miles in 6.44.52, 20th of a total of 106 – not a bad effort for a first Ultra!  Toby is now accustomed to races of this nature, but nevertheless impressively achieved a podium position, finishing the Marathon 3rd in a field of 161, in 3.53.50.  Manol also ran impressively to finish the Half Marathon in 5th position, of a total of 416, in a time of 2.23.11.

Ross Smith, on the left, winner of the Iceman XC Cycle 2015
Ross Smith, on the left, winner of the Iceman XC Cycle 2015

On the same day, Ross Smith was competing in – and winning! – the Ice Man 2015 Duathlon, a 10k run, 18k bike, 5k run off-road on Army Training Ground at Frimley, Surrey, apparently “perfect for getting into the great unknown, particularly if you like mud, dirt and hills”!  Ross‘ bike split of 47.06 was the fastest of all the competitors, which really helped towards his win, but run splits of 41.56 and 22.19 weren’t too bad either, giving an overall time, including transitions, of 1.52.31.  All this was not long after Ross had finished 4th, of a total of 96, cycling eight laps in a 2 hour Cross Country Mountain Bike race at Avon Tyrrell in the New Forest, the aim being to complete as many laps as possible in 2 hours.

To catch up on the Parkruns, on 5 December at the Bournemouth Parkrun, which, of course, was followed by the Hampshire Cross Country League fixture, the only BAC athletes of the 238 finishers were Jud Kirk and Will Price.  Things were more normal at Bournemouth the week before, 28 November, when Alison Humphrey was the first lady, and Brandon Meredith ran a PB to finish 3rd overall.  Of the total of 250, 7th was Duncan Wells, returning after a break, who was joined by Ian White, Jud Kirk, Steve Cox, Stephen Bunce and Sam Laws.  Returning to 5 December, the Poole Parkrun was won by Karl Welch, who must have had some reason for choosing this race over the Hampshire Cross Country League fixture at Kings Park.  The only other BAC presence was BAC legend and life member, John Boyes, returning for visit to his native country from his home in France.  On 28 November the Poole Parkrun was won, again, by Karl Welch, with Jon Sharkey 4th and Peter Thompson 23rd of a total of 677.  The only other BAC Parkrun athlete to mention is Phil Mosley, who was 3rd of a field of 116 at the Brockenhurst Parkrun on 28 November.

Returning to the Hampshire Cross Country League in Kings Park…………..

Rob McTaggart
Rob McTaggart
Phil Mosley
Phil Mosley
Pat Robins
Pat Robins
Pat Robins - cross country running is hard work!
Pat Robins – cross country running is hard work!
Simon Hearn
Simon Hearn
Caroline Rowley
Caroline Rowley
Simon Hunt
Simon Hunt
Graham Robinson battles it out in Kings Park
Graham Robinson battles it out in Kings Park