Report on YDL Upper Match @ Walton 5/5/2019

We left Kings Park on a very busy mini bus filling almost every seat! Which for me was a much welcome change from previous years! We picked up along the way at both Picket Post and Cadnam. We arrived at Walton all ready to welcome athletes, officials and parents from Salisbury into our newly formed composite team. I was overjoyed when completing my team declaration that I had a pool of 20 plus athletes all keen and ready to compete !!!I must say unheard of!

My first thank you must go out to the officials. Tim and Tina Wilding from New Forest, Juliet Dobson from Bournemouth and new to us Andy Webb, Alan Munro and Andy Angell from Salisbury. It was fantastic to have such a great team of helpers behind us not to mention the additional points the team received from having an almost full quota of officials! Thank you so much.

I also cannot thank the parents who sat in the freezing cold enough! Also thank you to all the coaches that prepared athletes ready for the event and helped me with the team. Thank you to Tim and Dennis for helping the girls on the day particularly with the relay teams.

I now must move on to some of the day’s highlights. What can I say 2nd place overall above teams like Southampton and Team Dorset! Amazing, Amazing, Amazing! Well done everyone what a fantastic start!

Now over to the real stars of the day.

The girls put in some strong performances across the board in both age categories on both the track and the field. The biggest highlight was U17 100 m relay team breaking the club record with a time of 49.2. Well done Brooke Ironside, Amelia Verney, Lana Blake and Yasmin Bridet. Yasmin had said to me that the team would do well and you definitely did!!

We scored double points in Long Jump Lana Blake and Issy Franklin U17 both first and first with 2nd place going to Amelia Dobson in U20.Again in the High Jump Jaz Cooke jumped a season best gaining 2nd position in U20 and Amelia Lewis who jumped in u17 also came 2nd place. Lana Blake secured first place in Triple Jump. In shot our 3 athletes were Alice Miell and Issy Shepherd at U20 both gaining first place and Georgia Clarke scored well in U17 age group. In Javelin Alice Miell and Amelia Dobson both first in U20 scored double points along with Lucy Wilkinson came first in U17.Issy Shepherd threw a season best in hammer and took first place, Lucy Wilkinson stepped in and threw the hammer in U17. Georgia Clarke stepped into Discus thank you for doing so alongside Issy and Lucy.
Over to the track. Brooke Ironside ran up in U20 in 100m gaining first place position. Rebecca Hannibal also ran a great race. Amelia Verney, Issy Franklin and Sarah Brett ran great races in 100m and 200m. Alice Miell ran a really impressive 100m hurdles all on her own with me cheering for Sarah! I did say I was sorry!! Thank you for getting us top points. Yasmin Bridet gained first place position in 80M Hurdles. Melody Creber ran her first ever 3000M it’s a long way but you did it! well done! The other 100m relay team included Issy Franklin, Jaz Cooke, Sarah Brett and Rebecca Hannibal you had never ran as a team before but came second with a time of 52.4 well done girls. As the day went on the team spirit grew and amazingly a group of girls actually wanted to run the 400m relay. Thank you to Brooke, Jaz, Sarah and Becks.
Be proud of yourselves!

The boys also performed like real troopers. Showing fantastic results across both track and field. We had some new boys who had never competed before and they bravely rose to the challenge. I do really hope you enjoyed it!In 100m Joshua Dyer and Daniel Owen both ran fantastic races both in a time of 12.1 and Sam Cook ran his first ever 100m putting in a strong performance. Aidan Dure -Smith showed us how to compete at distance running and then showed his versatility by running the 100m relay. His team consisted of Joshua, Daniel and Morgan sorry boys for all the faffing about with the vests !!!Danny Sinclair did amazingly well in High Jump coming second. I hope that you survived the hurdles and that your knee is ok now? Morgan competed in Long jump coming 2nd place well done a great result.

Looking at the U20 Boys. Fraser Spall competed in a maximum number of events including being the only athlete in the steeple chase, I think we might have some more takers next time!!!Sam Cook threw the hammer for the first time ever in a competition. He wasn’t even put off by another competitor saying he could throw 60M plus! Adam Petty only agreed to come on Saturday evening he is primarily a runner but he entered into the spirit and tried a whole host of events. Thank you and well done! Jacob Northcliffe did some great running including the relay.

I really hope I have not left anyone out! You really were all amazing. Thank you for enduring the cold, meeting and making new friends. Together we will build on this success please come again and invite your friends to take part.

Please contact me ASAP to let me know your availability for the next events.

Thank you so much and a huge well done!!!

Suzi Shepherd

Egg-cellent win for JC as temperatures reach boiling point at Easter Quarter

Start line of the Rotary East Cliff Easter Quarter Marathon
A strong Bournemouth AC presence was notable on the start line of the Rotary East Cliff Easter Quarter Marathon

In the midst of a spectacular and sun-kissed Easter Bank Holiday weekend that had people flocking from far and wide down to Bournemouth, the Rotary East Cliff Easter Quarter Marathon provided another reason to get down to the south coast.

Although it wasn’t a Dorset Road Race League race this year so the numbers were slightly down on what they were in 2018, the race still attracted some of the county’s big names and boasted a highly competitive field that would provide plenty of intrigue.

Amongst the main contenders were some of Bournemouth AC’s finest in Jacek Cieluszecki, Steve Way and Anthony Clark. They were all competing as part of a longer training run, with other more important race goals to consider further down the line.

Strong Bournemouth AC presence on start line of Easter Quarter Marathon
It was another long training run for Ant Clark and Steve Way with the Easter Quarter sandwiched in the middle

Other BAC members taking part included Stu Nicholas, Alex Goulding, Stu Glenister and Julia Austin. There was also another familiar face in the starting line up in the shape of Graham Robinson, a man who has represented Bournemouth AC on many occasions in the past.

Of course, there were other strong contenders taking to the start line as well including Gavin Pritchard of Lonely Goat RC and Bill Day of Poole Runners.

The Rotary East Cliff Easter Quarter Marathon gets underway
Amongst the leading contenders were Jacek Cieluszecki (white), Steve Way (yellow) and Alex Goulding (red cap)

JC, Steve and Ant were all planning to run at least 20 miles that morning so they weren’t expecting to go as quickly as they would in a target race. The likelihood was though that with the ability they have, they would still be up there vying for the top positions.

In fact, they had all run 8 miles before the Easter Quarter Marathon got underway. Even so though, the pace they started off at was too quick for the majority of the competitors. They were running at around 5:40 pace for the first few miles.

The Rotary East Cliff Easter Quarter Marathon race begins
And their off!! The runners and riders are out of the traps and on their way along the promenade

Ant and Steve were planning on hitting marathon pace for the race effort. Steve wasn’t feeling too great though and had to drop the pace down after the first couple miles to ensure he would be able to complete the rest of his long run.

Ant managed to persevere and continue at exactly the pace he was supposed to be running at. On the fourth mile though, JC moved into another gear and took the race by the scruff of the neck.

Jacek Cieluszecki races to victory in the Easter Quarter Marathon
Around four miles into the race JC began to flex his muscles and open up a lead

A blistering 5:24 mile saw him open up a gap over Ant who was in second and from that point on the result was a formality. A strong last couple of miles at 5:35 and 5:33 pace saw Jacek arrive at the finish line to take a convincing win in a time of 36:33.

He then went on to run another 8 miles giving him a total of just over 22.5 miles for the day. Next up for Jacek it was off to Miami for the Wings for Life World Run, where he would look to win his location race for the third consecutive year.

Jacek Cieluszecki collects his prize for winning the Easter Quarter Marathon
JC receives his bottle of champagne after an impressive win

Reaching the line in a good solid second place, Ant completed the course in a time of 37:11, so again, a very strong and very disciplined run from him. He subsequently completed the remaining 6 miles of his planned training run.

Third place went to Graham Robinson who had an excellent run to cross the line in 37:36. Graham has been suffering from a dodgy calf since before Christmas but on this occasion it felt fine and he was able to get a good run out.

Anthony Clark in the Easter Quarter Marathon
Anthony Clark comes in to take a superb second place

Gavin Pritchard of Lonely Goat was the only other man to get inside 38 minutes. He finished in 37:56 to take fourth place. Having not quite had the race that he was hoping for, Steve arrived at the line in fifth place, registering a time of 38:32.

He was disappointed that he’d failed to match the average pace he’d managed in the Manchester Marathon a couple of weeks prior. Steve has been finding his body to be rather unpredictable these days though and he never quite knows what he’s going to get. He did go on to complete the rest of his 20 mile run afterwards though.

Sixth place went to Bill Day of Poole Runners who crossed the line in 39:03, before Alex Goulding arrived at the finish to take seventh place in a time of 39:35.

When Alex entered the race he never dreamt he’d have to be contending with such intense heat in April! His only real concern before realising it was going to be so hot was having to run over all the sand that seems to have taken up permanent residence along the prom.

As the race started Alex watched the front runners zoom off as he made a concerted effort to not get carried away trying to keep up with them. His plans for a negative split went out the window though when the fatigue set in from the heat.

With the race being an 11am start on such a glorious Saturday, the prom was really busy which made it more of a challenge to navigate through all the walkers, dogs and cyclists, as well as the council van that for a short time blocked the path.

At the halfway stage Alex was still feeling strong having been encouraged by moving up a couple of places. As he began the ascent along the cliff top he struggled to maintain a decent pace though as the heat began to take its toll.

Using all his mental energy to keep focused on the race and not to keep thinking of excuses to give if he dropped out, he was disappointed to look at his Garmin and just see his pace dropping as the race went on.

The last couple of miles were pure drudgery for him and he found it to be one of the most mentally tough races he’d ever done. That confirmed for him that more work is needed in order to get back to his previous form.

In the latter stages it also felt a bit solitary for Alex as the front runners were way in the distance and he could only see glimpses of the runners behind him. It was a huge relief for him to get to the finish though and receive his chocolate Easter egg.

It had only been a week since Stu Nicholas had run a splendid new PB of 2:43:10 at Brighton but he couldn’t resist the lure of a chocolate Easter egg.

Struggling out there in the heat though and with the marathon effort still in his legs, as well as the 17 minute parkrun he did that very same morning before the race, Stu didn’t have the best of runs. He still managed a top ten finish though, crossing the line in a time of 40:43.

Taking 22nd place in the overall standings, Stu Glenister was revelling in a cracking little battle that he was having with Joe Godden and Neil Sexton of Poole Runners.

The Poole Runners pair just managed to get the better of Stu in the end but he was pleased to complete the course in a stellar time of 43:41. Next up for Stu he was off to Shropshire for back-to-back half marathons.

Putting together a decent performance to take 55th place overall, Julia Austin won the Female 50+ category posting a time of 49:27. That made her 6th woman over the line.

The first placed lady on the day was Laura Pettitt who finished in a time of 45:54 which put her in 30th place overall. She was followed by Sarah King of Redway Runners who was 33rd in a time of 47:03. Sarah Ellis of Westbourne AC was third lady, crossing the line in 47:38 which put her in 40th place overall.

Jacek Cieluszecki is this year's winner of the Easter Quarter Marathon
The victory would serve as a good confidence booster to Jacek going into the Red Bull Wings for Life World Run in Florida




All Brighton breezy for Stu Nicholas in his latest marathon marvel

Stu Nicholas races along in the Brighton Marathon
Out for a fast time, Stu Nicholas was taking no prisoners in the 2019 Brighton Marathon

In all of the 14 marathons Stu Nicholas completed last year to elevate his tally to 50, not many of them were, what you would term as fast road marathons. They were often either on tough off-road courses or multiple laps round the lake and included some treacherous treks along river banks and undulating, country road canters in scorching conditions.

Sometimes they were even back-to-back marathons in the same week, or in some cases, on the same weekend! He didn’t really do any of the so called ‘big marathons’ where he’d have the chance to go for an excessively fast time and have the benefit of a roaring crowd cheering him on at every turn.

That’s not to say he didn’t go fast in them though. Despite the tricky nature of the races, he still managed some terrific sub-three hour displays and went home with the winning time in many of them. But they weren’t really scenarios where he would have expected to be challenging for a PB or anything like that.

There was also the fatigue factor. When having to do so many marathons in quick succession, he often hadn’t had the chance to fully recover from  a marathon before he found himself out there doing his next one, so in that sense, he wasn’t really exercising his true potential. That was all part of the challenge though.

The 2019 Brighton Marathon represented a very different proposition for Stu. He’d had a bit of time to recover and recuperate since completing four marathons in four days at the Enigma Quadzilla back in February, where he won two and was second in the other two to finish as joint overall winner.

A couple of weeks later he ran a very strong 10 mile PB at the Bournemouth 10, so he knew he was in good shape. Now it was time to put the pedal to the metal and hit the streets of Brighton with gusto.

When the day of the race came along he was feeling fresh when the day of the race came along and the temperature was cool which presented a good opportunity for a fast time.

Race preparation is also a key factor of course and Stu had booked an Air B&B very close to the start line so all he had to do was roll out of bed and there he was.

The starting procedure included a Good For Age zone which enabled Stu to get away with no fuss and get into his stride relatively quickly. He began the race with a 5:46 mile, signalling his intent for the rest of the race.

Stu Nicholas presses on in the Brighton Marathon
Stu wasn’t hanging round to look in the shops and made a very quick start to the proceedings

The first few miles were around the town centre, with Stu arriving at the 5k point in 18:03. After that it was a long out-and-back stretch towards Ovingdean which was into a headwind and with a slight incline.

Reaching the 10k stage in 36:38, it was certainly an impressive first part of the race for Stu. He only had one other runner to help put the work in over that sector though so it was tough going. The blessing was that on the way back it would be a tailwind and a decline.

It was then back into the centre for the half way point, which Stu arrived at in a terrific time of 1:17:38. The guy he was running with began to pull away after that but Stu remained disciplined, looking to keep his pace consistent.

Helen and Anna supporting Stu at Brighton Marathon
Stu’s partner Anna (right) and her sister Helen provided a vital support network for Stu whilst he was out there

The miles from 13 to 18 were a dog leg to make up the distance. Stu ran this section on his own, just trying to push on as much as he could.

The section of the course that lay in wait between miles 18 to 22 was known as ‘the road to hell’ because it was simply a road that led to an industrial estate and back. It was right on the coast though so the a headwind wreaking havoc along the way.

The last four miles or so were on the over-cliff which meant loads of crowd support over the final stretch and encountering the masses heading in the other direction. They were about half way into their race at this point. The headwind once again came into play though and put paid to Stu’s chances for any further progress.

Stu Nicholas gets some seaside air in the Brighton Marathon
A stiff headwind made things difficult for Stu over the latter stages of the race

It was frustrating for Stu as he was on form for a sub 2:40 but he lost about a minute on each of the last four miles as a result of the hellacious headwind.

A big effort over the last 400 metres saw Stu overtake his aforementioned companion and he arrived at the finish line in a staggering time of 2:43:10. That put him in 24th place overall, which was a remarkable achievement in a field of 16,651 people.

Stu Nicholas rehydrating after Brighton Marathon
A brilliant run from Stu saw him record a 34 second PB and take 24th place in the overall standings

That was an improvement of 34 seconds on his previous best marathon time, which he did at London in 2017. His average pace for the run was an incredible 6:13 per mile.

Although he would have loved to have gone sub-2:40, given the testing headwind he’d had to face for much of the run, it was a fantastic performance from Stu and certainly showed signs of progression which is always pleasing.

The race was won by Peter Le Grice who, despite the windy conditions, charged to a 2:16:23 finish. That gave him a winning margin of almost two minutes on his nearest rival Paul Navesey who was second in 2:18:17. Ian Leitch took third place in a time of 2:18:34.

The classic 'Go Stuart' flag was out at the Brighton Marathon
The famous ‘Go Stuart’ flag got another airing as he gave the fans what they came to see

Helen Davies ran extremely well to finish as 1st female and take 15th place overall with her time of 2:34:08. The next woman to arrive at the line was Jill Collett who finished in 2:48:16 putting her 37th overall. Johanna O’Regan was third lady and 42nd overall with her time of 2:49:41.

Stu was eternally grateful to his partner Anna and her sister Helen for their exemplary support during the race. Anna covered almost 12 miles, darting from place to place to cheer him on wherever she could.

After the race, Stu enjoyed the best rehydration technique known to man in the form of a couple of pints down the pub and there was certainly no disputing the fact that he’d earned them on this occasion.

Stu Nicholas refuelling after Brighton Marathon
Post race refuelling is a part of the race day strategy that Stu takes very seriously








Sumptuous sub-three for Emma Caplan in Peterborough Marathon

Emma Caplan finishes the Peterborough Marathon
Emma Caplan was going for her first ever sub-three-hour time at the inaugural Peterborough Marathon

This time last year Emma Caplan was pregnant with her second baby girl. Nine months after giving birth, she found herself taking to the start line for the Peterborough marathon. That tells you all you need to know about Emma’s drive and determination – and above all, her love for running.

Far from being content to do just do the marathon though, Emma had set her sights on a sub-three-hour finish and had been through a focused and rigorous training programme to get her into the best physical shape for the challenge ahead.

Her original plan was to run the Boston Marathon in Lincolnshire, but just six weeks before the day of the race they announced that the inaugural Peterborough Marathon would be taking place on the same day. The location was ideal for Emma is it was just five minutes from her Dad’s house, so she decided to enter that instead.

The aim was still she same though for Emma an she showed tremendous dedication to the cause in training, putting in some high mileage and executing some disciplined and well-paced training runs and races.

With entries only up to 200 the race was conducted on a fairly small scale, with the idea that this would be the soft launch for a bigger event in a year’s time.

The route was predominantly flat, taking in the spectacular sights of the River Nene, the Green Wheel network of cycle routes and the beautiful Ferry Meadows within the grounds of Nene Park.

Although the full distance was on tarmac, 95% of it was off the road, so traffic free, with some narrow, twisty pathways to negotiate and at least 10 bridges. That made it perhaps not quite as fast as as a regular road marathon might be.

There was a three-hour pacer there and Emma was one of six people who decided to use the tactic of staying with the pacer as they went round.

Emma Caplan in the Peterborough Marathon
Emma opted to go with the 3 hour pacer which proved to be a good tactic as the race thinned out significantly as it progressed

Feeling okay going along at the pace that was being set by the pacer, once she got to the 20th mile, Emma began to really believe she might achieve the sub-three she’d trained for. That gave her a huge boost.

Each  other five runners who had attempted to go with the pacer had fallen away one by one meaning Emma was the only one left. Holding up very well in the latter stages, Emma pushed on through to finish as 1st lady and 4th place overall with a time of 2:57:36.

Emma Caplan reaching the line in the Peterborough Marathon
Emma hoists an arm triumphantly as she crosses the line

That put her over 15 minutes ahead of the 2nd placed female, Nancy Connolly, who was 10th overall, completing the course in a time of 3:13:03. It was a truly magnificent performance from Emma and she was over the moon that it had all come together nicely on the day.

Emma Caplan gave it all she's got at the Peterborough Marathon
Emma had given absolutely everything she’s got

It had been a tough road in the 12 weeks leading up to it and she’d had some difficult times trying to juggle the training with motherhood, as well as working as well.

Emma Caplan looks exhausted as she goes over the line
It was an excellent run from Emma and she’d crossed the line as first lady

She hit a few curveballs on the way too, including the unenviable occurrence of both her girls catching chicken pox during her biggest training week.

Emma couldn't believe she'd achieved her sub-three
Emma could scarcely believe that she’d done it and her sub-three dreams had come true

Thankfully her husband Sam was very supportive in looking after the girls whilst Emma was out running. She also had a coach who gave her a great plan with just the right amount of training for a busy working mum.

Emma is all smiles after the race
Emma is all smiles after a race that was executed to perfection

All the pain and sacrifice was worthwhile in the end though for Emma as she had achieved what she had set out to do and through sheer hard work and determination, her dreams of becoming a sub-three marathon runner had been realised.

Emma celebrates a fantastic performance
Emma celebrates a fantastic performance that she thoroughly deserved