London Marathon PBs, European Silver for Ross Smith and YDL (Lower) at Portsmouth

Toby Chapman looking strong
Toby Chapman looking strong

Was that really Helen? Yes, it really was Helen Ambrosen before our very eyes on BBC’s build-up to the London Marathon! Helen was running as part of the Children In Need team and one of 13 BAC athletes who completed the marathon on Sunday 24 April. Of those, six ran PBs, some very substantial, and although not counting amongst those, hopefully Helen is satisfied with her run, the first of a number she is running this year.  The BAC squad (early indications are of a 3rd mens’ team place – to be confirmed) was led home by Steve Way, who put up his marker from the start, finishing in 2.20.50, after some very consistent running, taking him to half-way in 1.09.02.  Well done to Steve after a difficult couple of years.  Steve was 5th in the ‘club’ category, and 1st V40, and was 2nd V40 overall, the only V40 in front of him being Serhiy Lebid, Ukraine.  Jacek Cieluszecki, Toby Chapman and Anthony Clark all ran closely throughout the race, all passing half-way within 50 seconds of each other, with Jacek finishing in 2.28.17, Toby in 2.31.38, knocking all but 9 minutes off his PB, and Anthony in 2.32.25, a remarkable result considering how recently Anthony was running 100k in the Anglo-Celtic Plate.  Next to finish was Paul Dixon-Box in 2.40.54, almost 8 minutes inside his previous PB.  Yet more PBs from the next two BAC finishers!  Sanjai Sharma‘s time of 2.44.42 was an astonishing 11 minutes, almost, inside his PB, and Tom Paskins sliced almost 2 minutes off his PB with his time of 2.53.28.  Next to finish were four of our ladies, led by Nikki Sandell in 3.01.06, a new PB by some 36 seconds, then Emma Dews, running only her second marathon (the first some years ago), in 3.02.38, followed by Gemma Bragg, whose time of 3.23.10 was a PB by almost 4 minutes, and then Caroline Rowley for whom, like Helen, this isn’t the last marathon of the year, in 3.26.39.  We’ve seen Duncan Wells only from time to time recently, but there he is in the results, with a time of 3.33.40, well over his PB, perhaps reflecting a lack of training.  Helen‘s motivation this year is the money being raised for charity, rather than breaking records or winning her age category, which she has done in the past, so her time of 3.45.31, well outside her PB, is surely satisfactory, particularly as Helen must keep something in reserve for more marathon running later in the year!  Well done to everyone – another great London Marathon for BAC!

Steve Way leads the BAC squad
Steve Way leads the BAC squad

(See below for some marathon photos – more photos on Twitter)

Ross Smith on the podium at the European Duathlon Championships
Ross Smith on the podium at the European Duathlon Championships

Meanwhile, over the same weekend, Ross Smith was competing in the European Cross Duathlon Championships in Rumania.  Our expectations of Ross in Duathlon competitions are very high, and he certainly didn’t disappoint, winning a silver medal in his age category, 35-39, and finishing 5th overall – don’t forget, this is a European Championship!  The event took place on the ‘Plateau Cornesti’ (which probably means at high altitude), and involved a 8.25k run, three laps of a course involving 81m elevation, a 28k bike ride, one lap with a 198m elevation, and a final one lap 2.75k run.  Ross‘s times were 40.39, 1.16.25 and 16.31, giving a total time (including transition) of 2.15.04, against a winning time in the age category of 2.10.31, and way ahead of the third time of 2.23.45.  Well done Ross – an amazing achievement.

The first fixture of the YDL (Lower) took place at Portsmouth on Saturday 23 April.  BAC are in the Division West 2 of the Southern Region of the League as part of a composite team made up of BAC and New Forest Juniors, and the League provides competition for U13 and U15 boys and girls.  The team competed against five other teams at Portsmouth, and the final points were: Horsham 536, Chichester 485, Woking 480, BAC/NF 454, Havant 270 and Reigate 131.  The League table following the various League fixtures the same day has not yet been published.  There is the opportunity to do well in this League – the biggest step forward would be for more of our young athletes to compete, so that all the empty slots could be filled; if every slot were filled we’d probably win! These are the individual results (including NF athletes): Boys U15 100m A String 2. George Galpin 13.4; 200m A 4. George Galpin 28.1; 200m B 1. Samuel Caplen 26.1; 300m A 3. Tom Farwell 47.8; 300m B 1. Mario Youssef 42.3; 1500m A 3. Tom Farwell 5.08.3; Discus A 3. Fraser Spall 20.99; Hammer A 2. Fraser Spall 22.43; Javelin A 1. Mathew Forster 36.47; Javelin B 1. Fraser Spall 26.71; Shot A 5. Mathew Forster 7.76; Long Jump A 1. Samuel Caplen 4.76; High Jump A 4. Samuel Caplen 1.45: Boys U13 100m A 2. Tom Hockley 14.0; 100m B 2. Jay Turner 15.2; 200m A 2. Tom Hockley 28.6; 200m B 2. Robert Jones 29.4; 800m A 1. Robert Jones 2.31.1; 800m B 1. Thomas Forster 2.35.3; 75mH A 2. Oliver Hassan 15.6; 75mH B 2. Daniel Williams 16.5; Javelin A 1. Rhys Allen 34.64; Javelin B 2. Thomas Forster 14.22; Shot A 1. Rhys Allen 8.46; Shot B 4. Daniel Williams 4.42; Long Jump A 3. Robert Jones 4.11; Long Jump B Jay Turner 3.72; High Jump A 2. Jay Turner 1.25; High Jump B 2. Daniel Williams: Girls U15 100m A 1. Yasmin Bridet 14.0; 100m B 2. Elle Ward 13.8; 200m A 4. Rebecca Hannibal 28.8; 200m B 2. Elle Ward 28.0; 300m A 4. Lauren Sheerin 49.6; 300m B 1. Lily Roberts 46.7; 800m A 5. Martha Pestridge 2.45.8; 75mH A 3. Yasmin Bridet 13.1; 75mH B 2. Juliet Smallbridge 14.0; Discus A 5. Jessica Gordon 13.81; Discus B 3. Lily Roberts 13.66; Javelin A 4. Elle Ward 13.96; Javelin B 4. Rebecca Hannibal 13.83; Shot A 3. Yasmin Bridet 7.71; Shot B 3. Juliet Smallbridge 5.78; Long Jump A 2. Millie Lynk 4.50; Long Jump B 4. Katie Buller 3.78; High Jump A 3. Jessica Gordon 1.40; High Jump B 4. Juliet Smallbridge 1.25: U13 Girls 75m A 3. Tamika Douch 11.2; 75m B 2. Elsa Smith 11.3; 150m A 4. Tamika Douch 22.5; 150m B 5. Jasmine Gordon 25.1; 800m A 2. Rebecca Mitchell 2.47.9; 800m B 4. Amelia Gordon 3.13.7; 1200m A 4. Natalya Smith 15.8; 1200m B 3. Emily Wheeler 5.08.5; 70mH A 3. Natalya Smith 15.8; 70mH B 2. Elsa Smith 14.9; Javelin A 2. Natalya Smith 12.84; Javelin B 2. Jasmine Gordon 9.68; Shot A 4. Amelia Gordon 3.65; Long Jump A 2. Tamika Douch 4.23; Long Jump B 2. Elsa Smith; High Jump A 3. Rebecca Mitchell 1.15: Relays U15 Boys 4x300m 3. BAC/NF (Tom Farwell, Mathew Forster, Mario Youssef, George Galpin); U15 Boys 4x100m 4. BAC/NF (Samuel Caplen, Fraser Spall, Mario Youssef, George Galpin); U13 Boys 4x100m 2. BAC/NF (Tom Hockley, Jay Turner, Owen Williams, Oliver Hassan); U15 Girls 4x300m 2. BAC/NF (Juliet Smallbridge, Lily Roberts, Jessica Gordon, Lauren Sheerin); U15 Girls 4x100m 3. BAC/NF (Elle Ward, Lauren Sheerin, Rebecca Hannibal, Yasmin Bridet); U13 Boys 4x100m 4. BAC/NF (Elsa Smith, Jasmine Gordon, Natalya Smith, Tamika Douch).  For full results, including non-scoring races, see www.ukydl.org.uk.

Back to the London Marathon…………………………….

Helen Ambrosen (24253) on TV
Helen Ambrosen (24253) on TV
Jacek Cieluszecki in control
Jacek Cieluszecki in control
Anthony Clark - smiling?
Anthony Clark – smiling?
Nikki Sandell and Emma Dews
Nikki Sandell and Emma Dews
Gemma Bragg on her way to a PB
Gemma Bragg on her way to a PB
Steve Way celebrates finishing with Kojo Kyereme
Steve Way celebrates finishing with Kojo Kyereme
Deserved relaxation - well done Caroline, Gemma and Nikki - and Lesley of course!
Deserved relaxation – well done Caroline, Gemma and Nikki – and Lesley of course!
Toby Chapman looking strong
Toby Chapman looking strong

 

Pat Robbins International selection, Brighton Marathon, SAL Ashdown, WYAL Winchester and Parkruns

Izzy Wedderburn and Jemma Bates competing in SAL fixture at Ashdown
Izzy Wedderburn and Jemma Bates competing in SAL fixture at Ashdown

Many congratulations to Pat Robbins, who has been selected to form part of the GB mens’ team for the IAU European Championships in Albi, France on 22-23 October 2016. This will be the second year running Pat has represented his country, having competed in the World 24 Hour Championships (when Pat carried the Union Flag at the opening ceremony) in Italy last year, part of a GB team which won both European and World gold medals. We wish Pat every success in the training for and at the Championships.

Well done to Gary Woolnough, 195th of 6923 finishers in the Brighton Marathon on 17 April in 3.06.43.

Dave Long has some competition in the 5000m at Ashdown (SAL)
Dave Long has some competition in the 5000m at Ashdown (SAL)

The League Track and Field season commenced this weekend, firstly with the Southern Athletics League meeting at Ashdown on Saturday 16 April.  BAC is in Division 3SW in this League, and competed on Saturday against Reading AC, Team Dorset and Poole Runners.  It’s perhaps ironic that by far the strongest team at this fixture wasn’t any of the local teams, with Reading AC comfortably winning  with 190 points, followed by Team Dorset (164), BAC (128) and Poole Runners (77).  After the first fixture, BAC are 12th of 16 teams, with Team Dorset some way ahead in 7th position.  Well done to all the BAC athletes who competed, but there were many B string points going begging with only one BAC athlete in many events and, particularly in the mens’ competition, many events with no BAC athlete – some of those who will be competing later in the BAL were present, but, with no restrictions now applying, where were the rest of the BAL squad at what would surely have been an ideal ‘warm-up’ work-out for them?  Indeed, some were present as spectators!  Well done to Danielle Broom, who had a particularly successful afternoon, with three wins, including a Discus Throw which elevated her to Number 1 Ranking U17 in the UK, and a Hammer Throw which created a new club recordDanielle deservedly won the ‘Woman of the Match’ title.  Well done also to BAC‘s other winners, Patrick Sylla, Alex Paul-Ajuwape, Andrew Sheerin for the men, and Izzy Wedderburn, Sarah Kearsey, Angel Kerin, Madeleine Smith and Amelia Dobson for the ladies, but that is not to take away from each and every athlete who competed, earning valuable points.  However, specific  mention should be made of Mark Annis, years ago one of BAC‘s most talented athletes before illness struck, and, forget his times, Mark‘s performances were probably the most determined and courageous of the whole afternoon.  Mark last competed in what was the Southern Mens League 25 years ago, and has a 800m PB of 1.57.51.  Results (BAC): Men 100m A String 2. Patrick Sylla 11.9;  100m B 3. Ryan Markham 12.6;  200m A 1. Patrick Sylla 22.5;  200m B 4. Mark Annis 50.4;  400m A 2. Alex Paul-Ajuwape 59.3;  800m A 4. Mark Annis 4.24.8;  5000m A 2. David Long 15.24.0;  High Jump A 3. Jamie Williamson 1.75;  High Jump B 1. Alex Paul-Ajuwape 1.65;  Long Jump A 1. Patrick Sylla 7.09;  Triple Jump A 3. Alex Paul-Ajuwape 11.39;  4 x 100m 4. BAC 49.8.  Women 100m A 3. Izzy Wedderburn 14.1;  100m B 3. Charlotte Sidaway 14.2;  200m A 1. Izzy Wedderburn 26.7;  200m B 4. Jemma Bates 32.3;  400m A 2. Sarah Kearsey 62.1;  800m A 2. Joy Wright 2.40.0;  1500m A 3. Joy Wright 5.34.6;  400mH A 1. Sarah Kearsey 67.7;  High Jump A 3. Madeleine Smith 1.35;  High Jump B 3. Amelia Dobson 1.25;  Long Jump A 1. Angel Kerin 5.07;  Long Jump B 1. Izzy Wedderburn 5.07;  Triple Jump A 1. Madeleine Smith 10.38;  Triple Jump B 1. Amelia Dobson 10.21;  Shot Putt A 1. Danielle Broom 10.23;  Shot Putt B 3. Paolo King 4.97;  Discus A 1. Danielle Broom 42.54;  Discus B 3. Paolo King 14.71;  Hammer A 1. Danielle Broom 47.08;  Hammer B 3. Paolo King 15.17;  Javelin A 4. Sarah Kearsey 16.00;  Javelin B 3. Madeleine Smith 4.45;  4 x 100m 2. BAC 52.6;  4×400 3. BAC 4.41.6.

Joy Wright earning SAL points in the 800m at Ashdown
Joy Wright earning SAL points in the 800m at Ashdown
BAC at Ashdown track for SAL fixture
BAC at Ashdown track for SAL fixture

The next day the first Wessex Young Athletes League fixture took place at WinchesterBAC finished the day 5th of 6 teams.   Congratulations to those athletes who competed – there were some excellent performances, and many instances of our youngsters taking part in the maximum permitted number of events.  The result was highly creditable considering BAC fielded only 4 U13 girls, 5 U15 girls, 7 U17 women, 3 U13 boys, 4 U15 boys and one solitary U17 man.  Simply filling in the gaps would push the team way up the table, so hopefully we will be able to put out stronger teams at subsequent fixtures.  Results (BAC): Girls/Women U13: 100m A String 3. Tamika Douch 14.70; 200m A 3. Tamika Douch 30.80; 200m B 3. Ruby Bowden 32.80; 800m A Ruby Bowden 2.55.70; 70mH A Hannah Saunders 15.90; 4x100m relay 3. BAC (Ruby Bowden, Hannah Saunders, Tamika Douch, Isabelle Franklin) 60.70; Long Jump A Tamika Douch 4.09; Long Jump B Isabelle Franklin 3.80; Shot Putt A 1. Hannah Saunders 6.43; Shot Putt B Isabelle Franklin 5.22; Discus Throw A 4. Hannah Saunders 14.56; Javelin Throw A Isabelle Franklin 11.12: U15: 100m A 3. Rebecca Hannibal 14.00; 100m B 3. Lauren Sheerin; 200m A 3. Rebecca Hannibal 28.90; 200m B 2. Katie Fry 29.80; 75mH A 3. Polly Yule 13.40; 4x100m 2. BAC (Rebecca Hannibal, Millie Lynk, Lauren Sheerin, Polly Yule) 57.00; Long Jump A 1. Millie Lynk 4.70; Long Jump B 3. Lauren Sheerin 3.87; High Jump A 3. Polly Yule 1.45; High Jump B 3. Millie Lynk 1.25; Shot Putt A 2. Polly Yule 7.52; Shot Putt B 2. Rebecca Hannibal 5.69; Javelin Throw A 2. Katie Fry 16.55; U17: 100m B? 1.Charlie Sidaway 13.40; 200m A 3. Charlie Sidaway; 200m B Holly Lowther 29.80; 80mH A Iona Sheerin 12.30; 80mH B Charlie Sidaway 12.50; High Jump A Gemma Kennard 1.50; Javelin Throw A 3. Iona Sheerin 17.71: Boys/Men U13: 100m A 4. Oliver Hassan 14.70; 100m B 4. Samuel Rappoport 14.70; 200m A 5. Samuel Rappoport 32.00; 75mH 2. Chandler Rees 15.90; Long Jump A 4. Chandler Rees 3.38; Long Jump B 2. Samuel Rappoport 3.23; U15: 100m A 1. George Galpin 13.20; 800mH A 4. Jim Dence 16.40; Long Jump A 1. Joe Haywood 4.87; Long Jump B 1. Jim Dence 4.01; High Jump A 4. Jim Dence 1.40; Shot Putt A 2. Fraser Spall 7.60; Discus Throw A 2. Fraser Spall 19.53; Javelin Throw A 4. Fraser Spall 28.47; U17: 100m A 4. Adam Hassan 13.20.  The results of the QuadKids competition have not yet been published.

There were unusually large turn-outs at some of the local Parkruns on Saturday 16 April – a response to a certain (not local) Council’s proposal to charge Parkrunners??!  A record 761 ran at Poole, which was won by Steve Way, and 434 (possibly a record?) ran at Bournemouth, where four BAC athletes featured in the top 20, Alex Goulding, a useful new signing (3rd), Rob McTaggart (7th), Ross Blakemore (13th) and Tom Farwell (18th).  Jez Bragg was second of the 142 runners who competed at Blandford.

Izzy Wedderburn and Jemma Bates competing in SAL fixture at Ashdown
Izzy Wedderburn and Jemma Bates competing in SAL fixture at Ashdown

BAC wins at Taunton Marathon and Bay Half Marathon plus Guernsey Easter Festival, Paris Marathon and Bay 10k

Toby Chapman and Jez Bragg, 1st and 2nd in the Taunton Marathon
Toby Chapman and Jez Bragg, 1st and 2nd in the Taunton Marathon

Congratulations to Toby Chapman and Jez Bragg, first and second in the Taunton Marathon and Josh Cole, marking a welcome return to competition by winning the Bournemouth Bay Run Half MarathonBAC was also represented at the weekend in the Paris Marathon and in the 10k element of the Bay Run, plus Dave Parsons contributes a full account of the Easter Running Festival in Guernsey.

Toby was the first of 182 finishers in the Taunton Marathon on Sunday 3 April in a time of 2.46.03, followed a few seconds later by Jez (2.46.31).  Meanwhile, Jacek Cieluszecki was 177th of a total of 41,708 in the Paris Marathon in 2.44.59.

The annual Bournemouth Bay Run took place in ideal conditions, also on 3 April, with approaching 3,000 runners participating in 1k, 5k, 10k and Half Marathon races, the 1k and 5k races being untimed ‘fun’ runs.  The event produced a tremendous atmosphere and activity, particularly around the Bournemouth pier area, and all the races went according to plan, with the results of the 10k and HM appearing very quickly.  Well done to Josh Cole, who has been suffering from injury, on winning the Half Marathon in a time of 1.14.53.  Of the 982 finishers, Ross Blakemore was 46th in 1.29.39, and second lady overall was Gemma Bragg, 53rd in 1.30.43.  Amongst  the 1,000+ who completed the 10k race, four were BAC athletes, Chris O’Brien, 18th in 40.10, Simon Hearn, 21st in 40.28, Yvonne Tibble, 41st in 43.48 and 1st V55, and Louise Price, 107th in 48.22.  Unfortunately, the results don’t mention the clubs of most of the competitors, so apologies if there are any omissions.

Guernsey Easter Runs 2016

Ian Graham and Dave Parsons made their annual ‘pilgrimage’ to Guernsey for the Guernsey Athletic Club’s 35th Annual Easter Running Festival. This was Dave’s 18th successive year and Ian has now been for the last 10 years which makes them very much ‘stalwarts’ of the festival. However, this year the format had been changed and there was a new ‘slimmer’ look to the event which started with a 5k road race (previously 10k) and finished with a 10k road race instead of the usual Half Marathon. The only event which was unchanged was the Saturday ‘Full Course’ Cross-Country which is held over the traditional course and doubles as the Keith Falla Memorial Race. The cross-country relay was due to be held over a shorter course on the neighbouring island of Herm, subject to weather conditions but more of that later.

Good Friday dawned with what was to prove to be the best weather of the weekend and Ian and Dave arrived at the Athletics Stadium at Footes Lane in beautiful sunny conditions and even the wind was lighter than usual for Guernsey. It proved to be an excellent venue for this new 5k event. Everyone was able to watch the children’s races which started and finished on the track. The main race started just behind the main stand and was on a fairly flat course with much of it on quiet country lanes. The runners then returned to enter the stadium and run the last 300 metres on the track finishing in front of the main stand, making it an excellent spectator event.

Dave, Geoff Scott (Poole Runners) and Ian relaxing in the sun prior to the 5k
Dave, Geoff Scott (Poole Runners) and Ian relaxing in the sun prior to the 5k

Ian had a good solid run finishing in 80th place (187 finishers) in 21:54 just ahead of a fast finishing V60 from Saint Edmund Pacers although he was unaware that he was being closed down. Dave was on the track at the same time and finished 88th in 22:37, being overtaken on the line by a ‘local’ V60 runner again being unaware that he was being caught! The age categories in the series are in 10 year groups and they initially thought they were 1st and 4th V60 but when the results were published, were surprised to find 3 other V60s in front of them (2 of them under 20 minutes!!).

Ian powering home in the 5k
Ian powering home in the 5k
Dave getting caught on the line at the finish
Dave getting caught on the line at the finish

Next came Easter Saturday and the Keith Falla Memorial Cross Country event on L’Ancresse Common and the winds had returned as Storm Katie was approaching. Whilst warming up it was apparent that although the underfoot conditions were good, possibly the best we had ever encountered, the wind really was extremely strong and would be against us on the long run in. Ian set off with some determination and although briefly overtaken on the ‘way out’, by the St Edmund runner, soon went back past him and gradually pulled away from him. In so doing he caught and overtook the V60 winner of the 5k and came home 50th (110 finishers) in a highly respectable 36:16 exactly one minute behind the first V60. Dave had a reasonable run despite the tough finishing conditions and was 61st in 38:16 and had moved up to 5th V60 for this race.

Ian finishing 2nd V60 at L'Ancresse
Ian finishing 2nd V60 at L’Ancresse
Dave 'blowing in the wind' at the finish
Dave ‘blowing in the wind’ at the finish

Probably the best news of the day was hearing that due to the adverse weather conditions forecast for the Sunday, the Cross Country Relay could not be held on Herm so instead of having to be in St Peter Port to catch the 8.30am ferry, the relay would be held on part of the Stonecrusher Course about 2 miles from our hotel at 11.00. Bearing in mind the clocks were going forward on the Saturday night, this really was welcome news.

Easter Day arrived and the weather was sunny but deceptively cold with a bitter wind sweeping across the start and finish area for the Relays. This year the decision had been taken that the Relay result would not form part of the overall competition which was great news for Dave who has always found this event to be about 10 miles too short. In 2015, Geoff hadn’t gone to Guernsey as he was too busy walking the whole of the South West Coast Path (any excuse!) and our team was (wittily?) named ‘Scott Free’. With Geoff now back in the team we came up with the highly clever title of ‘No longer Scott Free’ and we enlisted as our 4th team member, Angela Jones (4th in last year’s World Masters Mountain Running Championships). Our race order was decided with Angela on 1st leg followed by Ian, Geoff and Dave. We walked around the course beforehand which was effectively the first half of the previous course used and so was even shorter than usual and had been ‘estimated’ at 1.25 miles so no time for warming into the run then!

Ian, Angela, Dave and Geoff - AKA - No Longer Scott Free after the race
Ian, Angela, Dave and Geoff – AKA – No Longer Scott Free after the race

Putting Angela first was a good move in that she ran a ‘stormer’ to finish with 7:47. Unfortunately, that put us in 12th place out of the 28 teams and there was really only one way to go after that. Ian, (was he saving something for the final race?) was next to go and lost just one place with a 9:12 clocking. Geoff’s battling run of 10:21 dropped us to 17th leaving Dave with the ‘glory’ leg. He decided to give it a go and shot off determined not to get caught by local V60 JP Mace who always seems to be on the same leg as Dave and invariably goes by him at some point. This time it would be different, Dave thought and coming to the final short climb just before the finish, all was going well. Then suddenly there was JP, powering past him just before the drop down to the finish. The effort was worth it though as despite dropping two places for the team to finish 19th, Dave clocked 9:01. When the individual times were posted Dave & Ian had finished 73rd and 75th out of 112 and 4th and 5th V60 respectively.

Ian 'flying' past the Stonecrusher
Ian ‘flying’ past the Stonecrusher
Now it's Dave 'flying' past the Stonecrusher
Now it’s Dave ‘flying’ past the Stonecrusher

And so the final race on Easter Monday – the 10k road race. The start and finish were on the seafront at St Peter Port as per the Half Marathon in previous years and ‘basically’ followed the old Half Marathon route out to St Sampsons and then off onto a short private road, around a bollard and back. The remnants of Storm Katie were still evident, so yet again, the runners would be faced with a fierce headwind on the return to St Peter Port.

Ian set off in determined fashion and although confessing afterwards that he was surprised to see Dave so close behind him at the turn, he made a much better job of the return into the wind. He tucked in with a group until just before the finish and came home in 52nd place (146 finishers) in 45:32 and was very frustrated to find that just one place and 7 seconds in front of him was the first V60! Dave hung on to finish in 48:20 in 66th place and 4th V60.

Ian, Dave and Geoff relaxing (exhausted?) after the race
Ian, Dave and Geoff relaxing (exhausted?) after the race

All in all another terrific weekend and, for us, the new format seemed to be a success. It was good to meet up with old friends again and we look forward to returning to Guernsey again in 2017. Anyone else fancy the challenge?

Toby Chapman and Jez Bragg, 1st and 2nd in the Taunton Marathon
Toby Chapman and Jez Bragg, 1st and 2nd in the Taunton Marathon

International success for Anthony Clark, BAC Spring Open, Guernsey Easter Races, Rotary Quarter and Cardiff HM

Anthony Clark celebrates a successful run in the Anglo-Celtic 100k Plate
Anthony Clark celebrates a successful run in the Anglo-Celtic 100k Plate

The Easter weekend was very busy for BAC, and apologies for the delay in reporting, particularly on what will surely be one of the BAC achievements of the year – Anthony Clark’s amazing debut 100k race, in which he was part of a winning England team.

The race in question was the Anglo-Celtic 100k Plate, held in Perth, Scotland on 27 March, in which Anthony was competing as part of an England team of four, thus continuing what has become a BAC tradition of representation in this event, Steve Way and Jon Sharkey (twice) having previously run for England.  This was Anthony‘s first race (or even run) at this distance, but nevertheless he had a firm race plan (helped by advice from Steve and Jon, and also Jez Bragg), targeting a 7.15.00 finishing time, but would be content with a 7.25.00 finish in the top 10.  In the event,  Anthony missed out on a bronze medal by a mere 32 seconds, finishing fourth in 7.17.43.  England were the clear winners, with Anthony‘s team mates Paul Navesey winning the race, and Chris Singleton and Nathan Montague finishing 6th and 7th respectively.  A look at Anthony‘s lap times (the course consisted of 42 laps) reveals that he is cut out for Ultra running.  These are described in the England Athletics report of the race as “outstandingly consistent”, and considering that each and every lap, bar one, was run in 10  minutes, plus only slightly differing seconds, that is hardly an exaggeration.  The one lap outside this schedule, run at 11.19, is perhaps explained in Anthony‘s blog, in which he mentions ‘stomach issues’ which resulted in an ‘unplanned stop’ which fortunately had the desired effect.  The last six laps are counted down by race officials, which seemed to make the laps fall away, and during which Anthony was able to move from 6th to 4th, and, into the last lap, with the 3rd placed athlete over a minute ahead, keeping 4th place seemed to be the most important objective.  However, with hat and gloves discarded, Anthony was able to “put the hammer down” and by the midway point of the lap the distance to third place was down to 150 metres, only 30 seconds or so in front at the line.  Anthony says of this moment “the feeling, the buzz and emotion of running for your country, having a great race and finishing as the chaser and not the chased only added to what is one of the proudest moments of my life and definitely my proudest sporting achievement”Anthony pays tribute to his support team, essential in a race of this distance, and particularly to his “amazing wife” Nicki, who, for seven hours, stood in the cold for lap after lap handing him his fuel and “just being there”, and also his parents, who not only cheered Anthony and the whole England team on, but also looked after the children, Jasper and Florence, “whilst Daddy was running in circles and Mummy was looking after him”.  Congratulations also to England‘s ladies’ team,  who won the ladies’ Anglo-Celtic 100k Plate competition, consisting of Melissa Venables, who won the ladies’ race, Edwina Sutton, who was second, and Katie Samuelson, 4th.  Well done to everybody, but particularly to our own Anthony Clark, of whom we are very proud!

The BAC Spring Open was held at Kings Park on Sunday 27 March, despite the track being covered in water early in the day following the passage overhead of storm Katie.  Well done to everyone who worked very hard to clear things up to enable the meeting to go ahead.  There is a link to the full results on the Home Page of this website.

Dave Parsons and Ian Graham travelled to Guernsey over the Easter weekend for the annual Guernsey Easter Running Festival, which consists of four races in four days, this year with a revised format involving shorter distances.  One of the races is a four-person relay, for which Dave and Ian teamed up with Angela Jones, a Welsh Ultra Champion, and Geoff Scott, of Poole RunnersGeoff was absent from Guernsey in 2015, which explains the name of the relay team.  A full report of the Easter weekend in Guernsey will follow.

On Easter Saturday, 26 March, the only BAC athlete competing in the annual Rotary Quarter Marathon, starting and finishing at Boscombe Pier, was Graham Robinson, who won the race in a time of 36.56.  Graham was very much a part of the remarkable recovery of the Senior Mens’ team from near certain relegation to Division 1 safety in the recently finished Hampshire Cross Country League season.

Meanwhile, on the same day, Billy McGreevy was 299th in the Cardiff Half Marathon in a time of 1.21.18.

Finally, a reminder that the club has now paid the competition licence fees to England Athletics of those members who have renewed their subscriptions and paid the licence fee.  If you haven’t renewed and also paid the licence fee you may find yourself ineligible to compete.

Anthony Clark celebrates a successful run in the Anglo-Celtic 100k Plate
Anthony Clark celebrates a successful run in the Anglo-Celtic 100k Plate