Report by Dave Parsons – 2nd January 2017
The racing year began on the morning of 1st January with the 32nd running of the Broadstone Quarter-Marathon. Always a popular event, particularly as it is the first event of the Dorset Road Race League, the race was full several days prior to the event. Many of those who had entered might have looked at the weather forecast the day before and wondered why they had done so and, those who over-indulged with the New Year celebrations could perhaps be forgiven if they decided to stay tucked up in bed!
As it turned out, the heavy early morning rain disappeared and although the clouds didn’t go away, the conditions were near perfect with virtually no wind. The course remains a testing one, however, with the long drag up Gravel Hill to be negotiated on both of the large laps.
BAC athletes performed well on the day with good solid performances by both the Men and Ladies teams with the Men’s team of Steve Way, Anthony Clark and Alexander Goulding winning the Open Team Race and the Ladies scoring team of Gemma Bragg, Linn Erickson Sahlstrom and Yvonne Tibble finishing in a highly respectable 2nd place behind a strong Poole Runners team.
Right from the start, the Men’s Race was dominated by Phil Gale (who appears from Power of 10 to be a member of the Club Alta Valtellina?!) who quickly established a large lead. At the end of the first of the two large laps, he was well clear with a small group of chasing athletes including BAC’s Steve Way. Whilst the group was unable to catch the eventual winner (35:50), they did make up some distance with Steve clinching a podium position in 3rd in 36:07. The battle for Dorset League honours 5 to score) was turning into a head to head between BAC and Poole Runners. Anthony Clark (8th in 37:35) and Alexander Goulding (11th in 38:19) ensured both teams were level after 3 runners each. Stuart Nicholas (in his debut for BAC following his change of Club) was close behind in 13th with 39:06 and Jez Bragg completed the scoring team in 19th (39:43). Although still unconfirmed, when the points were all added up, it seems we were pipped by Poole Runners by just two points. This was still a terrific performance as we are usually much stronger over the longer distance events to come in the League.
The ladies race was dominated by Serena O’Connor of Poole Runners who finished in 21st place overall, more than a minute ahead of the second lady. For BAC, Gemma Bragg ran an excellent race, and after a conservative start, she worked her way strongly through the field finishing as 6th lady in 44:44. Linn and Yvonne stayed close together throughout the race to complete the scoring team as 8th and 9th ladies in 46:40 and 46:46 respectively. As with the Open Race, this left BAC in 2nd place in the Dorset League race behind the very strong host club.
Overall, therefore, with a number of our top runners missing, a good solid start to the defence of the Men’s and Ladies Dorset League titles and plenty of time left. It does show that it is imperative to try to get out our strongest teams for all the events as the opposition is strong.
The scoring teams were well backed up by other BAC runners with the full BAC results as follows:-
Steve Way 3rd 36:07; Anthony Clark 8th 37:35; Alexander Goulding 11th 38:19; Stuart Nicholas 13th 39:06; Jez Bragg 19th 39:43; Jud Kirk 65th 44:02; Steve Cox 73rd 44:37; Gemma Bragg 75th 44:44;
Rich Nelson 80th 45:51; Linn Erickson Sahlstrom 92nd 46:40; Yvonne Tibble 94th (1st V50) 46:46;
Louise Price 154th 51:52; Ian Graham 175th 53:08; Helen Ambrosen 187th 53:48 and Steve Parsons 198th 54:16. There were 371 finishers.