The men’s BAL Team set another all time high position as they finished second in the final BAL match of the season at Lee Valley, London. This places the club third in the Division 2 table, yet again achieving a highest ever finishing position. In achieving this the club also narrowly missed out on promotion having gone to the match ready to fight against relegation. This now places BAC well above some well established BAL teams and with a strong aspiration for promotion next season.
Stunning double wins in the field events from Patrick Sylla and James Lelliott in the Long Jump, Alex Cox and Cameron Hale in the High Jump plus Dan Brunsden and James Lelliott in the Discus. Other field wins were for Patrick Sylla (Triple Jump B), with Lelliott just missing out on winning the A string, and also a win for Andrew Brown (Javelin B). High scoring too were the pairing of Dan Brunsden and Andrew Sheerin, both finishing 3rd in their Hammer A and B events.
On the track, the athletes battled hard in some very competitive races. Notable performances from David Long and Rob McTaggart finishing 2nd and 3rd in their 5000m races. Lelliott finished 2nd in a fast 100m B race. A welcome return to the track for Yiu Man Wong and Josh Nevin who both gained valuable points for BAC in the 400m Hurdles. Nevin then later joined Roy Long in the Steeplechase. An extremely tight 800m A race saw Lewis Sainval lunge for the line and narrowly miss out on a new PB. Jamie Grose and Rob McTaggart, both doubling up, scored well in the 1500m, McTaggart 3rd in the B race. Kev Hodgson and Muiris Egan went out hard in their 400m races which proved very tough. Ryan Markam made a BAL debut in the 200m and 4×100 relay, the latter joined by Egan, Hale and Sylla.
A strong quartet of Egan, Hodgson, Lelliott and Sainval hit out a hard 4x400m at the end of the afternoon, finishing a decent 4th and in a time of 3:24.56, the fastest by BAC for some years.
Team Manager Tim Hughes was once again delighted with the team’s performance. “We had a good motivational warm-up on the coach just before we went into the arena. Every athlete knew that they had to do their utmost to get every point they could in what started off to be an anti-relegation battle. I have never seen such enthusiasm both by our athletes competing and also the remainder of the team cheering them on. This is what makes our team rather unique in the BAL – we certainly have an enthusiastic presence at these events with lots of camaraderie! The guys have been fantastic this year and were a joy to manage”.
Looking forward to next season Hughes commented “We narrowly missed out on promotion this year, in fact pretty much by only one league point in the end. Coming so close, and seeing some tight matches in rounds 2 and 3 where we just missed out on higher placed finishes, we have to believe that we can gain promotion next year. We can see the events we need to improve in and I shall be on a recruitment drive in the coming weeks to give our team a boost for next season. I wish the lads well for any end of season competitions and in their winter preparation for next BAL season”.
The task ahead was a daunting one for Tom Paskins, but it also represented the prospect of an exciting challenge and effectively, a step into the unknown. Tom had made the brave decision to head over to Ireland for the Extreme North Quadrathon.
The Extreme North Quadrathlon is an event in which participants set out to complete four marathons or half marathons in four days, so one each day starting from Thursday 17th August running through to Sunday 20th. This would already be a tough task in itself as marathons and half marathons usually require a fairly extensive training routine just for a one off race. It is made all the more difficult by the rugged landscapes and hilly terrain of the Inishowen 100 where it is set, better known as the Wild Atlantic Way. With each of the first three races containing climbs of 500 to 900ft it was never going to be smooth sailing.
This kind of profile would be enough to put many people off but that was not the case for Tom. Tom seems to relish a good hilly route and was coming off the back of some strong runs in the last couple of Dorset Road Race League races on the undulating roads of Portland. But the prospect of running four half marathons in four days was something entirely knew for Tom and he had no idea how he would cope. There was only one way to find out though.
The route on the first day went past Kinnego Bay, of Spanish Armada fame, before leading onto a tough 1km climb. After that it was 11 miles of scenic coastal roads finishing in the tourist village of Malin.
Tom got off to a fantastic start, winning the race in a superb time of 1:28:36, although he was pushed all the way by Phillip Callaghan, a local runner from Inishowen AC, who finished just 8 seconds behind. The time gaps could prove crucial as the Quadrathon winner would be determined by accumulated time over the four stages.
The second stage took the runners onto Banba’a Crown, the Ireland’s most northerly point. The main climb of the day was Knockamenny Bends, with an elevation gain of 600ft over a 2 mile stretch. Although the climb wasn’t as steep as those on day one, it was actually the one that Tom found toughest of all the stages since it was such a lengthy period of uphill.
That said though, Tom got the job done again claiming his second victory with a time of 1:29:14. Again Phillip Callaghan pushed him all the way, crossing the line with only a 17 second deficit. This put Tom’s advantage after day 2 at 25 seconds and stage was set for an intriguing battle over the next couple of days.
Day three featured the biggest climb of the entire Quadrathon, Mamore Gap. It was a gruelling 800ft climb over 1.2 miles including sharp rises over the first and last increments. Very few runners had previously every managed anything close to resembling running in this sector. Tom had to really dig deep on this one but amazingly he found the resolve to run up it all way.
It was on this stage that Tom managed to open up a small gap over Phillip Callaghan and crossed the line first once again, in a time of 1:32:55. Phillip came in 1 minute 15 seconds later. Going into the final day, Tom now had an advantage of 1 minute 40 seconds but he knew it was all to play for on that last race.
Thankfully for most of the runners after the previous three day’s exploits, the final stage was a flat route, going from Grainne’s Gap to Redcastle. With such a slender margin between them, Tom knew he couldn’t afford to give Phillip an inch. The pair were slugging it out all the way along the main road from Muff to Redcastle.
Once again, Tom had to dig deep into the reserves but he was not prepared to surrender his time gap on the final day, after all the toil of the previous three stages. It was clear that they both wanted it badly and the spectators enjoyed watching the pair battling it out over the final sector of the race.
In the end, they approached the finish together and a sprint finish ensued. Although Phillip was actually first to the line, Tom actually won the stage by three seconds on chip timing to record his fourth win out of four in a time of 1:25:24 and seal a monumental overall victory.
Tom’s total accumulated time over the four stages was an incredibly impressive 5:56:09. He finished up with a winning margin of just over 2 minutes after a valiant effort from runner up Phillip Callaghan. They were the only two to post a total time of under 6 hours.
Naturally, Tom was overjoyed with the result. It had been a completely new challenge for him and he had no idea what to expect going into it. After winning the first race, he had no idea whether he would manage to hold onto his lead throughout the remainder of the event or completely fade. It was a great learning experience for Tom and proved he has the desire and the commitment to really earn his stripes and the endurance and talent to achieve great things.
A friend of Tom’s, Jo Peasland, completed the Quadrathon Warrior Challenge, so four marathons in four days. Jo is also a Dorset runner, hailing from Poole and she is on a quest to become a member of the 100 marathon club. The four marathons of the Extreme North event took her up to 76 marathons in total and she is on course to hit her 100 milestone in London next April. Jo received an even more impressive medal for conquering the Warrior Quadrathon than Tom’s, which was still at the larger end of the scale.
Tom’s prize for winning the half marathon version was a trophy in the shape of the Inishowen Penninsula and a 125 Euro voucher for another Extreme North event. Needless to say the Guiness went down well after for Tom as he celebrated a tough but ultimately rewarding four days and more importantly, a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
The 54321 Salisbury is an event with six different races of varying distances, ranging from 5k all the way up to 50k. Participants can choose to either run or walk the distance, so it’s an occasion where there truly is something for everyone.
Two Bournemouth AC members, Damian Boyle and Andy Gillespie opted to go for longest race, the 50k ultra marathon, which equates to 31 miles. Adrian Townsend went for the 33k race, so a slightly lesser distance but still a very tough 20 miles of running to get through.
Damien has done mountain ultras before but with those there has always been a fair amount of walking involved as well due to the steep inclines. This was his first go at an ultra where he actually felt compelled to run the whole way.
Incredibly, or rather ‘stupidly’ as he puts it, Damien took on the mammoth task of a nightshift, meaning he’d had no sleep or rest. As if it wasn’t hard enough, this would certainly make it an even bigger challenge and an even greater accomplishment.
Despite that, Damian ‘thinks’ he really enjoyed the race and appreciated the beautiful scenery that the countryside of Salisbury has to offer. He was also able to successfully navigate his way around the course, which is something not everyone seemed to manage.
When he hit the 22k checkpoint, Damian was in 19th place, with a time of just under 1 hour 53 minutes. He arrived at the 31k checkpoint in just over 2 hours 42 minutes, putting him in 17th place. From there it was all the way to the finish, which Damian reached in very strong time of 4:32:52. This gave him a final position of 18th out of a field of 290 and 2nd place in the M45 category. His average pace for the race was 8:47 per mile.
Andy G was looking to complete his 77th marathon, incredibly with not one single DNF on his record. And he wasn’t about to put a blot on that copybook at the 54321, despite having some hip issues of late.
It was only two weeks since Andy did the Dorset Invader Marathon and he’d been doing a bit of swimming since then to rest the hip a bit. This tactic seemed to work well. He set off very steadily, hoping to get as far as he could before the anticipated pain kicked in. But fortunately that didn’t seem to happen and Andy was able to go the distance without the hip really troubling him at all.
He reached the first checkpoint at 22k in just under 2 hours 19 minutes, putting him in 129th place. At the 31k mark he was in 133rd having taken just under 3 hours 26 minutes.
The stamina and endurance Andy has developed through his many previous marathon exertions served him well in the latter stages of the race as he made up several places before crossing the line in a final time of 5:41:52. This put him in 117th place overall and 4th in the M55 category.
He was half an hour down on his average for this race but given the condition he was in he would have gladly accepted that before the race began. It was actually nearly 20 minutes quicker than his Dorset Invader time despite the course being over two miles further. This result has led Andy to conclude that the trick to getting over a hip injury must be to run 50k!!
Adrian Townsend ran the entire 33k race with his friend Chris Duley, who had a minor injury. Rather than racing it, they were using it more as a training run in preparation for Man vs Mountain that takes place in early September.
The conditions were great for running and Adrian felt strong coming off the back of some decent hill runs on his recent vacation to Italy. He did have one hairy moment though where he tripped up on some tree roots after 3 miles and had a nice soft landing in a bunch of stingy nettles.
He picked himself up though and continued on to reach the first checkpoint at 15k in just over 1 hour 21 minutes, putting him in 27th place. The pair then made it to the next checkpoint, which was at 22k, in just over 2 hours 5 minutes, leaving them in 29th and 30th position.
Adrian had memories of running this same race three years ago and taking a wrong turn which resulted in him doing two extra miles. This time though he managed to find his way successfully, although he did still end up doing a couple of extra miles in loops whilst out on course. This was by choice though, as he wanted to test himself a little but also wanted to stay with Chris till the finish.
After completing the last 11k, the pair crossed the line together in a final time of 3:09:19, putting them in 27th and 28th place in a field of 146. It was a very pleasing training run for Adrian and Chris, who also finished in 3rd and 4th place in the M50 category. Adrian thoroughly enjoyed the event and might even be tempted to do the marathon distance next year.
For the next Dorset Road Race League fixture in the season, it was a return to Portland for Team BAC as they took on the Round the Rock 10k. Many of the Bournemouth AC team were familiar with parts of the route from their previous outing in the Portland 10 mile race last month.
With a strong ladies team out and a semi-strong mens team, captain Rich Nelson had reason to be optimistic that the race would go well. And as it turned out, they couldn’t really have gone much better.
One man who was pleased to be back in Portland was Jacek Cieluszecki. After coasting to very comfortable victory in the Portland 10, Jacek knew there was a high chance he would repeat his heroics again in the Round the Rock 10k. And sure enough, he did not disappoint.
Once again, Jacek was first over the line, completing the undulating 10k route in a blistering time of 32 minutes and 59 seconds. The first half of the race was mostly either on the flat or downhill.
Jacek set off quickly, just as he did in the Portland 10 but this time Daniel Mulryan of Poole Runners went with him. The pair were still neck-and-neck up to the 5k point of the race but once they hit the hills, Jacek began to pull away.
There are few who can match Jacek’s pace on an incline as his recent exploits in the Eigar 51 mountain trail ultra showed. The second half of the race featured a fair few inclines, which is the kind of profile the Jacek revels in and he was able to accelerate up the slopes and seal another superb win. By the end Jacek had opened up a lead of over a minute on Daniel, who finished in 2nd place.
Alex Goulding also had a good run, finishing in 7th place with a time of 36:36, which put him second in the V40 category. It was a good return to form for Alex who had had a couple of races recently where he hadn’t been entirely happy with the outcome, including the Portland 10.
Alex managed the race well, resisting the temptation to go off too quickly from the start and was able to maintain his pace as the race went on, saving enough energy to power up the inclines of the second 5k.
Tom Paskins continued his great form of late, finishing in 12th place in a time of 37:43. Tom had set himself the target of under 38 minutes prior to the race so he was satisfied with the end result.
Another BAC member who was happy with the end result was Nikki Sandell. Nikki was leading the women’s race from the outset and despite a challenge from Vicki Ingham of Poole Runners, she was able to maintain her advantage throughout to seal a magnificent win.
Vicki had been close behind Nikki at around the 5k point in the race, but Nikki demonstrated great strength and will on the uphill sectors resulting in her pulling away to seize another trophy for BAC. Nikki’s finishing time was 40:57.
Richard Brawn had been watching this battle for supremecy evolve in front of him, as he made his way along the course. Richard had been up with Nikki toward the beginning of the race and was considering trying to hang onto her coattails but he didn’t want to risk putting himself into the red. Instead he settled into a more comfortable pace for the remainder of the first 5k and conserved his energy for the more challenging second half of the race.
This tactic seemed to work as Richard felt strong going up the hills and was able to reel in a few of those who were ahead of him soon after the inclines started. As he got to the top of the final climb Richard still felt he had more left in the tank and went past a couple of others, including Vicki Ingham.
There was a long also a long downhill stretch toward the beginning of the race which Richard enjoyed powering down, taking another couple of places before seeing out the final few turns and crossing the line in 35th place. He was fairly pleased with his time of 41:29.
Taking up a late entry into the race, Joy Wright turned her attention to the road, having been mostly concentrating on the track this season. Joy had a pretty strong run finishing as 4th placed woman and 62nd overall in a time of 45:02. Since Nikki had collected the trophy for the overall winner, that meant that Joy was able to claim the prize for first V40.
Another BAC member to scoop a category prize was Yvonne Tibble who took the accolade for first female V55. Yvonne was the 7th lady over the line and came 74th overall in a time of 46:25.
BAC team captain Rich Nelson was close to Yvonne throughout the whole race and did overtake her on one of the hills but in the end Yvonne came back to finish one place ahead of Rich who was 75th in a time of 46:42.
After only arriving back from a break in France late the previous evening night, Rich had been hoping one of the speedier men of the BAC group would come forward and take up his entry. Despite all his efforts to make that happen though, no one seemed to be available and Rich was forced to run the race as the 5th team scorer.
There was a further development that added Rich’s frustrations when, shortly after arriving at the race location, he discovered there was a nail and his tyre and the air was seeping out fast. Rich contacted the breakdown company and had no option but to take his mobile with him as he went out on the run so they could contact him when they arrived in order to replace the tyre.
This meant Rich had to stop at one point to take the call which was less than ideal. Soon after the race the breakdown recovery vehicle arrived and sorted the tyre so Rich and the BAC crew that had travelled with him were able to get home okay.
The final scorer for the ladies team was Tamzin Petersen who finished 11th placed woman and 86th overall with a time of 47:59. Tamzin hadn’t featured in the Portland 10 race so wasn’t fully aware of how tough the Portland hills can be. She set of quite quickly, making light work of the first 5k, but began to suffer a bit in the second half of the race, finding it difficult to maintain the pace once the inclines kicked in. It was still a good training run for Tamzin though as she completed her third race in consecutive weeks.
In terms of the team competition, BAC ladies would have got the league points for winning the women’s race, as they usually tend to. As for the men’s team points, it would appear that Poole AC may have claimed that. This was frustrating for Rich and the rest of the BAC team as if they’d had one more of the faster men they probably would have been victorious. That would have been a huge help in the DRRL standings but sadly it was not be. It was still a very strong performance from all those who did manage to make it and they can be proud of their efforts.
In her second half marathon race in consecutive weeks, Tamzin Petersen made the journey over to Cornwall for the Indian Queens Half Marathon.
The event was organised by Newquay Road Runners and was set in village of Indian Queens, two miles southwest of Newquay. The route was undulating and predominantly rural, with five miles of the course being run on trails.
Tamzin is currently training quite intensively for the Bournemouth Marathon in October so has been putting in a lot of mileage as of late. Last week she tackled the exceedingly tough Dorset Invader Half Marathon and before that she had done a couple of longer runs including one 17 miler.
She could’ve been forgiven for not hitting top form at the Indian Queens after all the running she’s been doing lately but that wasn’t what happened. On the contrary, Tamzin put in an extremely strong performance and brought home a new half marathon PB of 1 hour 46 minutes and 54 seconds.
This was a magnificent result for Tamzin and showed that she’s on the right track with her marathon training and is progressing well. Her average pace of 8:09 minutes per mile was significantly faster that she’ll need to be running when she goes for her sub 4 hour marathon target.
Tamzin finished 192nd out of a field of 555 and was 9th in the female under 35 category. She found some of the trail sectors hard going as they were fairly energy sapping but overall she was pleased with the performance she put in.
Since she in Cornwall, it was also an opportunity for Tamzin to meet up Heidi Treganza, who used to run for Bournemouth AC before moving to the west country.
Heidi is a very accomplished runner, achieving many accolades in her time at BAC, including winning the road-race league in 2015. Now running for Cornwall AC, Heidi was also I’m action at Indian Queens.
Her time of 1:25:31 showed that she hasn’t lost any of that super speed she had when representing BAC. Heidi was 3rd placed lady on the day and finished in 34th position overall.
Tamzin has since returned to Bournemouth and was back in training Tuesday night, with her busy regime allowing for very little respite at the moment. This coming weekend she’ll take on her third race in consecutive weeks as she goes in the Round the Rock 10k.
The day after the Dorset Invader Marathon, it was the turn of the Dorset Invader Half Marathon, which also featured two Bournemouth AC members.
Seizing the opportunity when the late entry became available, Jon Sharkey finished in fourth place with a very strong time of 1 hour 43 minutes and 14 seconds.
This was a great result for Jon considering it was an impromptu race and given that the conditions were pretty horrendous. In truth, the race organisers, White Star Running did pretty well to get the course together in such challenging circumstances.
Despite losing her shoe numerous times in the thick mud on route, Tamzin Petersen finished in 2nd place in the senior female category, crossing the line in a commendable time of 2:25:58. This put her in 105th place overall in a field of 476. In fact, Tamzin was only just over a minute behind the first placed senior female.
As well as the muddy and hilly nature of the course, it was also 14.4 miles long, so slightly further than your regular half marathon. Although Tamzin had got a little frustrated about losing her shoe in the mud, she was able to overcome it when she was given some vodka the aid station.
Tamzin is currently in the midst of her training for the Bournemouth Marathon which takes place in October so she is doing some half marathon races in preparation for that, along with other high mileage runs. Let’s hope she doesn’t expect a shot of a vodka at the drinks station in all her subsequent races or she may end up disappointed.
It would be a fair assessment to say that the Dorset Invader Marathon is not a race to be taken lightly. The course is 95% trail and undulating and measuring at a distance of 28.7 miles, it’s enough to give even Dorset’s finest a real challenge. And that’s before you add into the equation the lengthy spells of rain we’d had in the days leading up to the race, which contributed to making the conditions that much tougher for those brave enough to take it on.
Despite all that though, Anthony Clark made light work of it, coasting to a remarkable win, leaving all the other competitors trailing in his wake. In fact, Anthony’s time of 3 hours 26 minutes and 49 seconds put him over 7 and a half minutes ahead of his nearest rival.
Well, I say his nearest rival, but it was in fact a woman who took 2nd place overall, with Mary Menon of Ifracombe finishing in an astonishing time of 3:34:24.
The win was a great way to round off a 100 mile week for Anthony, as he looks to get the mileage back up in preparation for Autumn racing.
Anthony wasn’t the only athlete with BAC connections in the field though. Nick Kenchington was also in action, taking 8th place on the roster in an impressive time of 3:56:11.
Nick is no stranger to tough off-road routes, undertaking a substantial amount of his training on the hilly terrain of the Purbeck. He was also winner of the M50-59 category on the day, finishing just over 3 minutes ahead of his nearest rival who came 9th.
Andy Gilespie also conquered the tricky course, crossing the line in a time of 5:59:22. Andy isn’t currently at the peak of his powers, having had a lot of family commitments of late. He had also hurt his hip a couple of weeks before the race whilst digging up a tree root in the garden. He noticed the impact right from the off and it didn’t seem to improve as the race went on.
Although Andy wasn’t over the moon with his time, the Dorset Invader Marathon is the kind of race where it’s really just an achievement to get across the finish line. His time put him in 163rd position out of a field of 290 and he was 31st in the M50-59 category. Some people took over 9 hours to complete the course, which gives some indication of how tough it was.
Although it was hard work, it should prove valuable to Andy in his preparation for the forthcoming 50k race he has at the 54321 Salisbury on August 13th.