Julian Oxborough wings it at Heron Half Marathon

Julian Oxborough in action at the Heron Half Marathon
Julian Oxborough was in action at the Heron Half Marathon in Yeovilton, looking for a sub-three-hour time

For the second year in a row, Julian Oxborough headed over to Yeovilton for the Heron Half Marathon. The race is held on the same day and is part of the same event as the Yeovil Marathon, organised by Yeovil Town Road Running Club.

Last year Julian completed the course in 3 hours 4 minutes and 38 seconds so that gave him a good benchmark to aim for. If he could improve on that, that would be a result. If he could get under three hours, even better.

He was coming off the back of a great time at Glastonbury so was feeling pretty high. Not the music festival though… The “Round the Tor 10k” race at the Glastonbury Road Run event.

Before that he’d had to withdraw from a few races due to ill health so it was a positive step for Julian to be back out there again and he did well to finish in 1:14:44.

Of course, he knew a half marathon was going to be tougher than a 10k but he felt prepared and ready to give it his best shot.

The route was on a fairly flat road surface round the villages surrounding the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, which is home to over 100 Royal Navy aircraft operated by front line and training squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm and Commando Helicopter Force.

The weather was fairly warm on the day so Julian decided to set off fairly conservatively. For the first few miles he was going at between 12 and 13 minutes per mile. Up to the ninth mile, he remained at under 14 minutes per mile.

Julian Oxborough going well in the Heron Half Marathon
Julian set off at a comfortable pace which left him feeling pretty good throughout the race

On the ninth mile he caught up with some runners whom he recognized from the start line. In fact, they were the very same runners who had ridiculed him at the start of the race, telling him to take it easy as he’ll have no one else around him to worry about.

He waved at them and said “Have a nice day!” as he went past. They perhaps won’t be making that same mistake again.

For the next four miles Julian was keeping to just over 14 miles before going back down to sub 13 minute miling for the last mile and cranking it up a notch for the final 0.2 of a mile.

Julian arrives on his final lap to complete the course
Julian arrives for his final lap knowing his mission is very nearly complete

Since he was finishing so strongly, it was clear to see that Julian was feeling good on the day and had paced the race fairly well. In fact, his finishing time was 2:56:38, giving him an improvement of 8 minutes on his time from last year.

He was over the moon with that result and although he found it mentally tough, he’d managed to find the resolve to keep pushing on as the miles went by.

His finishing position was 230th and he was 33rd in the M50-59 category. It was his third fastest half marathon since coming back into running. The other two were the Salisbury Half Marathons of 2016 and 2017.

Julian Oxborough after the Heron Half Marathon
A good run from Julian had seen him shave 8 minutes off his time from last year

Funnily enough, the next race Julian has got lined up is the Salisbury Half Marathon in September. He’s hoping for a time of around 2:30, which would be a huge improvement.

There’s a lot of hard work ahead if he’s going to achieve that goal but one thing is for sure and that is that Julian will give it his best and will make sure he acquits himself well for it.

The Heron Half Marathon finisher's medal
The medal Julian took home with him after completing the Heron Half Marathon

JC wins as BAC boys give it some welly at Puddletown Plod

JC, Tom, Rich & Matt line up for BAC in the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon
Jacek Cieluszecki, Tom Paskins, Rich Brawn and Matt du Cros were amongst the small team of Bournemouth AC men who made it to the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon

With race entries capped at 300 for the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon it was always going to prove tricky for Bournemouth AC team captain Rich Nelson to get a competitive team together for the sixth fixture of the Dorset Road Race League season.

After a fair bit of toing and froing and some neat juggling though, Rich did manage to assemble a reasonable team as the club continued their challenge for men’s Dorset Road Race League First Division title.

Jacek Cieluszecki and Josh Cole had been drafted into the line-up to add some much needed steel to squad which also included Rich Brawn, Tom Paskins and Matt Du Cros. After Ian Graham pulled out, Wayne Walford Jelks had also taken a last minute entry to complete the team for BAC.

Jacek Cieluszecki & Rich Brawn at the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon
Travelling: BAC’s MVP, JC (left), arrived on court with Rich Brawn (right)

Unfortunately on this occasion there was no Bournemouth AC ladies present so this was going to go down as a throw-away fixture for them. That’s not a total disaster though as the Dorset Road Race League is decided on the best 7 of 12 races, so there is room for a few nil pointers in the season.

The start of the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon
The field lines up in the field ready to get the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon underway

When the race got underway, a lead group of three was established, consisting of JC, Josh Cole and Lee Dempster of Lytchett Manor Striders. Behind them were a few Egdon Heath Harriers, along with Chris Wood of Wimborne. Then slightly further back there was Rich Brawn and Joseph Sherwood of Littledown.

Jacek Cieluszecki gets his race underway
Jacek was one of the main contenders to get the win

Due to work commitments, Josh Cole has been forced to do the bulk of his training over two sessions per week so it was always going to be difficult for him to be at his best over a hilly half marathon route.

As consequence, he was dropped from the lead group, leaving just JC and Lee Dempster out front. They were together for the first four miles, then on the fifth mile, Jacek began to flex his muscles a bit and accelerate away from Lee. From that point on, it was all academic really, as once JC takes the lead in a race, he invariably doesn’t give it up.

Having not really trained much for a half marathon race, Rich Brawn was hoping that he’d be able to tap into the fitness gains he’d made whilst training for the London Marathon. He’d done a couple of long runs the week before but wasn’t sure if it would be enough to see him out for the full 13.1 miles.

High on confidence though after a recent parkrun PB and a 5-mile best in the last Dorset Road Race League fixture, the May 5, Rich started off quickly but knew there was a good chance he’d struggle to maintain the pace in the latter stages.

Rich Brawn gets his race underway
Rich Brawn wasn’t sure what to expect from the race but he set off quickly nonetheless

The course for the Puddletown Plod features some good downhill stretches over the first few miles. The kicker is though, you then have to go back the hills over the last few miles, which making it a very testing out-and-back course.

About 6 miles in, Rich was joined by Neil Sexton and John Towner of Poole Runners who had caught him up. Rich has had some good tussles with Neil in recent races so he wasn’t surprised to see him arrive.

The three of them ran together for the next couple of miles but Rich was starting to struggle a touch. The heat was starting to get to him and the relentless hills were quite energy sapping. He could tell from the way Neil and John were running that they were feeling strong.

After about 8 miles, Rich knew he wouldn’t be able to continue at that pace for another 5 miles so decided he’d have to let Neil and John go. As they began to edge away from him, Rich cracked. It was like a cyclist in a grand tour when they suddenly crack in the mountains and get left behind by the group. He felt like he had no fight left in him.

JC is the first man to come down the road
JC was the first man to come down the road as he neared the end of the race

Meanwhile at the front of the race, JC had ran superbly over the first 9 miles at around 5:35 pace, extending his advantage over Lee as the race went on. The real climbing started on the 10th mile and continued up to the end of the 12th mile.

Jacek Cieluszecki comes past in the Puddletown Plod
Jacek was well out front and looking strong in the latter stages

For JC though, the hills were meat and drink and he powered up them well, leaving him with a 1-mile burst to the line. Finishing in a time of 1:13:19, Jacek sealed a strong and convincing victory. Lee came over the line 1 minute and 22 seconds later to take 2nd place in 1:14:41.

Jacek Cieluszecki comes down the road in the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon
It was a good job it was a national speed limit road given the pace Jacek was going at

Josh Cole had ran well to hold on to 3rd place, finishing in 1:17:46. Unfortunately he had picked up an injury during the race though which left him limping over the line. It felt like a bad one as well and may potentially keep him out of action for quite some time.

Josh Cole goes past in the Puddeltown Plod Half Marathon
Josh Cole races through for a good 3rd place finish

Paul Bullimore of Egdon Heath Harriers picked up 4th place, finishing in 1:18:12, with Chris Wood taking 5th in 1:20:17 and Joseph Sherwood of Littledown in 6th in 1:20:37.

Josh Cole powers down the road in the Puddeltown Plod
Unfortunately the run came at a cost for Josh as he picked up an injury that could keep him out for some time

Edgon also got another couple of scorers in the top ten, with Bruce Campbell taking 7th in 1:21:09 and Graham Sherwin in 10th 1:21:42. Lytchett Manor Striders pair Tom Andrews and Edward Crawley took 8th and 9th in 1:21:25 and 1:21:37 respectively.

Rich Brawn in the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon
Rich Brawn found the hills toward the end of the race tough going

Neil Sexton had had cracking run to take 11th place, recording a good PB of 1:21:50. His Poole Runners teammate John Towner crossed the line in 12th, exactly a minute later.

Rich Brawn comes down the road
Rich nears the end of a very challenging race

Rich Brawn had found the hills over the last section of the race tough to contend with, particularly the long stretch up from miles 11 to 12.

Rich Brawn at the Puddletown Plod
Rich presses on toward the finish in a race that would, in the end, bring him a decent new PB

He mustered up a bit of strength for the last mile though and managed to hold onto 13th place, securing himself a decent new PB of exactly 1 hour 23 minutes. That beat his previous best from the Berkhamsted Half Marathon by 40 seconds.

Rich Brawn shows off his medal
It was a good run from which that saw him take 13th place and finish as 3rd scorer for the team

Tom Paskins had been suffering from a bit of a hamstring injury which had prevented him from going as quickly as he might have liked during the race. He’d also been struggling with hay-fever, which was causing him some breathing difficulties and the Puddletown Plod course is generally quite unforgiving for an infliction of that sort.

As a result Tom was well below what he would usually be capable of in a half marathon, crossing the line in exactly 1 hour 27 minutes, putting him in 28th place. Unfortunately, three more Egdon Heath Harriers had come in in the three minutes between 1:24 and 1:27, as well as four Littledown Harriers.

Tom Paskins in the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon
It was a race that didn’t go exactly to plan for Tom as he was suffering from a hamstring injury and a bout of hay-fever

That saw Bournemouth AC pushed down to 3rd in the Dorset Road Race League, with Egdon taking out the win and Littledown sneaking in for a surprise 2nd place. It certainly not the result the BAC team had been expecting.

Having not run a great deal since his North Dorset Village Marathon, the Puddletown Plod wasn’t exactly a race that Matt du Cros was relishing. He’s aiming to complete all 12 of the Dorset Road Race League fixtures this season though so, having completed the marathon, he wasn’t about to let that record slip.

Matt du Cros gets his race underway
An ever-present in the Dorset Road Race League thus far, Matt du Cros (080) had a record to keep up

As a result, his aim was simple and that was just get round unscathed. Starting the race off very conservatively, he began to grow in strength as the race continued. Over the latter stages, he found he had a lot more energy left, finishing with a strong last few miles that propelled him up the leader-board.

Matt du Cros in the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon
Matt was feeling strong toward the end of the race

Reaching the line in 1:35:13, Matt ended the day as 5th scorer for Bournemouth AC, taking 49th place overall. After the race he couldn’t help feeling that he should have gone off harder in the early part of the race. Since he’d had so much left at the end, he knows he could have done better if he’d got the strategy right.

Matt du Cros comes down the road
Matt had so much energy left at the end of the race he felt that he should perhaps have gone faster at the start

In the women’s race, it was Isobel Rea of West 4 Harriers who took out the win, crossing the line in 1:27:38. That put her in 30th place overall. Alexandra Door of Egdon Heath Harriers found an opening to take 2nd place in a time of 1:32:50, putting her in 43rd place overall.

Her Egdon teammate Sophie Elford went on to finish as 3rd placed lady, completing the course in 1:36:56. Crossing the line as 9th placed female, Sarah Hyde completed the winning team for Egdon Heath Harriers, with Lytchett Manor Striders taking 2nd place and Littledown Harriers getting 3rd.

That meant current league leaders Poole Runners found themselves languishing in 4th position for that particular fixture. They still of course had a commanding lead over the season thus far, with Egdon Heath remaining in 2nd and Bournemouth AC staying in 3rd, just above Littledown.

Wayne Walford Jelks arrives at the school field
Wayne Walford Jelks arrives for his final lap round the field before completing the course

Although he found it a struggle with minimal training behind him, Wayne Walford Jelks still managed to make it round, crossing the line in 2:08:05 to put him in 215th place overall. It may not have been one of his fastest races but it will serve as a good starting point for Wayne in his bid to recover his fitness.

It was a tough race for Wayne but he got through it, giving himself a good base to build from for future races

In the league standings for the Men’s First Division, that win had brought Egdon Heath Harriers level with Bournemouth AC at the top of the table. It is looking increasingly like they will provide a strong challenge to BAC throughout the season so it should be an enthralling battle between the two for the coveted Dorset Road Race League title.

That also meant it would be all to play for in the next league fixture, the Pubeck 10k, with each race potentially proving vital in deciding the who will emerge as this year’s champions.

Four members of Team BAC at the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon
It wasn’t the result they’d hoped for but the BAC men’s team finished up in 3rd place in the DRRL standings for the Puddletown Plod

BAC members get stuck in at Poole Festival of Running

Bournemouth AC team at Poole Festival of Running
There were still at least some yellow and blue vests on show at Poole Festival of Running despite the Twemlow Anchors takeover

For many years now, the Poole Festival of Running has been an event well supported in numbers from a Bournemouth AC perspective, as well as the other local clubs around the area. This year’s edition saw an interesting twist to the proceedings when the Twemlow training group containing many of Dorset’s finest club runners made the controversial decision to ditch their club vests in favour of a freshly printed Twemlow Anchors attire. That was a move that certainly ruffled some feathers on the Dorset club scene.

The weekend proceedings began with Saturday evening’s 5k ‘Run for Cancer’. In that race Jacek Cieluszecki was looking to defend his crown from last year, when he came out on top in both the 5k and the half marathon race the following day.

Others vying for top honours in this year’s 5k included JC’s Bournemouth AC teammate Rob McTaggart and Chris Alborough of Poole AC. The Dorset Runners’ equilibrium was about to take its first denting of the weekend when Steve Gallienne from Bideford AAC swooped in to steal the spoils.

Jacek Cieluszecki in the Poole Festival of Running 5k
Jacek Cieluszecki was looking for a win in the ‘Run for Cancer’ 5k for the second year in a row but he faced some unexpected competition from Steve Gallienne of Bideford

Posting a spectacular time of 15:30, Steve had prevailed over Jacek with a winning margin of 7 seconds. Just as he had at Wings for Life in Florida and in the Maraton Juranda in Poland the previous weekend, JC had to settle for 2nd place.

That said though, he was pleased with his time of 15:37, which was pretty decent, especially just one week after a 2:35 marathon. Rob McTaggart also had a good run to take 3rd place, crossing the line in 15:45, with Chris Alborough taking 4th in 15:57. There were 383 finishers in total.

Rob McTaggart in the Poole Festival of Running 5k
Rob McTaggart gave the Twemlow Anchors vest its first airing in the 5k race where he took 3rd place in 15:45

Both JC and Tag were in action again the following morning as they lined up in a star-studded field for the 10k race, also featuring Steve Way, Ant Clark, Dave Long, as well as Chris Alborough and Chris Wood of Wimborne AC.

With prize money at stake as well, you could guarantee that all the big names would be giving it their all which made for an exciting spectacle. The Twemlow Anchors did not seem to be weighed down by the new vest tops and dominated the proceedings, occupying the majority of the top ten places.

Start of Poole Festival of Running 10k
A star studded line-up had gathered for the 10k race on Sunday morning

However, it was Steve Gallienne who again showed up to upset the applecart and romp home for the win, scooping the lion’s share of the lute on offer. Crossing the line in another extremely impressive time of 31:13, Steve completed a smash and grab raid that no one was expecting.

Dave Long in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Dave Long was one of those in the hunt for the prize money

Even the super speedy Dave Long couldn’t quite contend with the Bideford man. Disco ran well though and at the end of a high mileage week, delivered a pleasing performance to reach the line in 31:47.

Dave Long in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Disco had to be content with 2nd place in the end after Steve Gallienne completed a 5k and 10k double

In third place, it was last year’s winner of the 10k race, Steve Way. Since returning from some high altitude training in the Alps as part of his preparation for the Comrades Marathon, Steve was looking in much better shape and had found some good form just at the right time.

Steve Way in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Steve Way arrived back from his training in the Alps looking in great shape

Finishing in 32:12, it was an encouraging run for Steve and helped give him further confidence for Comrades the following weekend.

Steve Way in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Steve took a solid 3rd place in a time of 32:12

The next man to come in, taking 4th place in exactly 33 minutes, was Jacek. Resisting the temptation of the Twemlow tank top in favour of the traditional yellow and blue of BAC, JC completed very good double-header and he was pleased with his efforts.

Jacek Cieluszecki in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Despite pressure from the Twemlow Anchor boys, JC remained faithful to the yellow and blue of BAC

Next over the line was David Broadley of Poole AC, sealing a 5th place finish in a time of 33:27. He came in just ahead of Tag, who managed 6th place to go along with his 3rd place in the 5k the previous day.

Steve Way, Tag and JC in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Steve, Tag and JC were running together for some of the race

Registering a time of 33:36, that was good enough to see Tag take 3rd prize for the 5 and 10k double behind Steve Gallienne and JC. He ended the weekend £50 richer as a result but he certainly felt like he’d earned it.

Rob McTaggart in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Tag storms down the Quay on his way to a 6th place finish

Ant Clark followed in shortly after to take 7th place in a time of 33:57 arriving with Twemlow Anchors training buddy Mark Smith who was 8th in 33:58. Ant had also been with Steve on his training excursion to the Alps and was now feeling ready to go for Comrades after this last little taper effort.

Anthony Clark in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Ant Clark was enjoying the flatter landscape of Poole after his training spell in the Alps

Andy Leggott of Lonely Goat RC and Chris Alborough completed the top ten, finishing in times of 34:08 and 34:43 respectively, Chris being the next man to complete his 5 and 10k double.

The first female over the line was Louise Damon of Winchester & District who came in in 14th place, clocking a time of 35:58. She was followed by Lucy Marland who was 16th in a time of 36:07.

Former Bournemouth AC member Heidi Tregenza, now representing Cornwall AC, took the prize for 3rd female, finishing 18th overall in a time of 36:11.

Emma Caplan in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Emma Caplan comes round the corner on her way to a good 38 minute finish

Emma Caplan was 4th woman to get to the line, finishing in a time of 38:01. That put her in 27th place overall and first in the F40-49 category.

Emma Caplan in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Emma took 4th place in the women’s race
Ian White and Tamzin Petersen in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Ian White and Tamzin Petersen running alongside each other

Weighing in with his first sub 7-minutes-per-mile average pace 10k for quite some time, Ian White showed his form is progressing well. He finished in a time of 43:38 to take 95th place overall.

Ian White in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Ian looks in good form as he comes along the Quay
Ian White in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
The sausage man did not hit the wall and kept to a very consistent 7-minute-mile pace

Sneaking in with a nice new 10k PB, Tamzin Petersen continued her cracking form of late to cross the line in 44:45. That bettered her time at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival last October by 14 seconds and put her 5th in the Senior Female category and 120th overall.

Tamzin Petersen turns the corner in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Tamzin turns the corner on the Twemlow section of the course

Following up her recent 5 mile PB at the May 5 in Canford Heath and a 3rd placed female finish at the Ramsbury 5 mile race before that, it’s been a good couple of months for Tamzin.

Tamzin Petersen in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Tamzin heads toward a brilliant PB of 44:45

Unfortunately it wasn’t such a successful outing for Phil Cherrett. He was violently sick after the first 5k and then a couple more times before getting to 8k. By then he’d already lost a lot of time but somehow managed to muster up a decent finish to get over the line in 47:48.

Phil Cherrett in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Phil Cherrett was going okay for the first 5k but was then struck down by a sickness bug

That put him in 171st place overall. It was a miracle he even finished at all though after suffering in the way that he did.

Phil Cherrett in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Despite making several stops between 5 and 8k, Phil persevered and completed the course

The next Bournemouth AC member over the line was Katrina White, who completed the course in a time of 48:52. That saw her to 16th place in the Senior Female category and 193rd place overall. It was over a minute quicker than the time she posted at the Bournemouth Bay Run in April so a pleasing run for Katrina.

Katrina White in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Katrina White makes her way down the Quay
Katrina White in the Poole Festival of Running 10k
Katrina nears the end of a good sub-49 minute run

After being out of action for a while due to a calf injury, Simon Hunt took it slow and steady, managing to make it through the race okay. Crossing the line in a time of 48;50, Simon was 6th in the M60-69 category and 199th overall. His wife Marilyn who runs for City of Salisbury also ran, completing the course in 1:06:33, which put her 17th in the F60-69 category. A total of 850 runners completed the 10k race.

In the team competition for the 10k, it was a clean sweep for Bournemouth AC, with Dave Long, Steve Way and JC taking 1st in the men’s and Emma, Tamzin and Katrina taking 1st place in the women’s.

The Half Marathon race started off at the same time as the 10k but only featured one Bournemouth AC representative and that was Pawel Surowiec. Pawel had only landed back from a trip to Washington on Friday night and was still feeling jet lagged when he took to the start line.

Pawel Surowiec starting the Poole Festival of Running Half Marathon
Despite only recently flying back from Washington, Pawel Surowiec lined up for the Half Marathon race

As a consequence he wasn’t really feeling mentally ready for the challenge that a half marathon would present and that made it difficult for him. Nonetheless though, he pressed on and completed the course, crossing the line in a time of 1:36:23. That put him in 49th place out of 403 finishers.

Pawel Surowiec in the Poole Festival of Running Half Marathon
A relieved Pawel heads toward the finish line to take 49th place in the Half Marathon in 1:36:23

Lee Dempster was flying the flag for the Twemlow Anchors in the Half Marathon and he picked up the victory, crossing the line in an excellent time of 1:15:13. That gave him a winning margin of almost two-and-a-half minutes over his Lytchett Manor Striders clubmate Scott Parfitt, who finished 2nd in 1:17:41.

BAC athletes perform well at SEAA 2019 Championships

BAC athletes turned in some excellent performances at Bedford last weekend on 1st & 2nd of June. Bedford was again the stage this year for the South of England Athletic Association’s Senior & Under 20 Championships.

Winning a Gold Medal, Sophie Merritt came first in Senior Women’s Shot with a putt of 14.13 meters.

Phoebe Dowson continued her trend for 2019 by winning a silver medal by coming second in Senior Women’s Discus with a throw of 50.14 meters. Phoebe continues to be ranked second in the UK for Women’s Discus. Sophie Merritt came 4th in the same event with a throw of 42.16 meters.

A Silver medal was also won in the Senior Men’s 3000 m Steeplechase by Jamie Grose in a time of 9 min 30.17 seconds.

A surprise Bronze Medal was won by Jasmin Cooke in U 20 Women’s High Jump with a height of 1.63 meters. It was Jasmin’s second taste of competition at this sort of level with all it’s added pressure.  She also competed at Lee valley EESA in U17’s last year and received a bronze medal

Jack Messenger came 6th in the Sunday morning’s Final of the Senior Men’s 400 m Hurdles in a time of 55.45 seconds. Jack had battled through in the 10 AM Saturday morning’s heats with a qualifying time of 54.75 seconds to reach the final.

The Senior Men’s 5000 m was thankfully for all competitors a straight Final. Former local Craig Palmer returned to Bedford and along with Josh King were up near the front in the first half of the race. The fast pace eventually told on Josh who couldn’t hang onto the leaders and finished 11th in a credible time of 15 min 39.58 seconds. Craig paced his race exceedingly well, finishing 7th in a PB of 15 min 21.41 seconds.

Rob Woolgar on the Saturday finished 6th in Senior Men’s Long Jump with a jump of 6.77 m. Rob unfortunately didn’t finish the Senior Men’s 110 m Hurdles Heats held the next day. Despite Rob’s height, elevating one’s self successfully over the high hurdles is not an easy task.

Chloe Burrows ran the Heats of Senior Women’s 100 m in 12.30 seconds, in the Semi Final she came 7th in 12.51 seconds.

Joel Harvey and Kevin Richardson ran in the Senior Men’s 400 m Heats. Joel qualified for the Semi Finals in a time of 50.77 seconds, Kelvin did likewise in a time of 50.97 seconds. They both ran in the same Semi Final, Kevin coming 5th in 50.05 seconds and Joel 6th in 50.08 seconds.

Madeleine Smith was disappointied coming 10th in Senior Women’s Triple Jump with 11.46 m due to registering a number of no jumps. She struggled with the warm still conditions, normally contending with cold windy conditions.

Although not a Higher Claim BAC member, David Clarke is a BAC uni student member. David ran in the Senior Men’s 1500 m under High Wycombe club colours . David regularly trains at KP and is always cheerful. He was just even more cheerful on Saturday as it was a straight Final, coming 12th in a time of 4 min 11.22 secs.

Hopefully I have not overlooked any BAC competitors. Special mention must be made of Hazel and Jemma Bates who went all the way to Bedford to officiate on Sunday and to Mike Phillips who did likewise on Saturday. Without such sacrifices competitions at any level would not take place. I overheard the officials being told at 9 AM on Sunday they would be granted £4 for food and drink instead of a packed lunch for their toils lasting till gone 5 PM.

Report by William Kearsey

Triumph at Hampshire Vets Match, Basingstoke

Three BAC athletes were in action for Southampton in the Hampshire Vets League on Monday night in Basingstoke

Joy legging it home to win the 400m A.

Southampton Ladies Masters team won the Hants Vets League Match and the men were second.

Andrew Sheerin won M35 Hammer and was 3rd in Shot. He impressed all with some big warm up throws in the Hammer and was on top form as usual. We are looking forward to seeing some more PBs soon from the muscular, throwing man.

Janet Dickinson competed mainly in the younger W35 age group.  She won the Hammer, 100m and came a close second in Javelin.  It was another first place for Janet in W50 High Jump.  Only taking limited attempts at all these events as they followed each other in close succession.  In fact the High Jump and Hammer took place at the same time so Janet had to switch between throwing and jumping.  Fortunately they were next to each other to facilitate this.

Janet Dickinson W50 throwing the Javelin after just winning the 100m. She went on the win Hammer and w50 High Jump before running the 400m leg in the relay. 

Joy Wright had an excellent evening, winning the W35 400m by a significant margin. She won the High Jump and came a near second in W35A 100m into a stiff breeze. Again the High Jump was cutting it fine due to a late start and Joy just managed to secure a winning jump before running almost 200m to the relay start. She was delighted to be back from long term injuries and illness.

Joy’s winning high jump with ample clearance.

The match concluded with the usual relay and this time it was a Medley, comprising 2x 200m, 400m & 800m. It was the perfect way to end the day with a win. Janet ran 400m and Joy 800m as part of the winning team.

Winning Medley relay team pictured.  Becky Mulley,  Tracey Bezanze along with our Joy and Janet after the final race.  All did many individual events as well.

Congratulations to Southampton ladies winning the match by 6 points, ahead of Winchester. There were fantastic performances all round.  Well done to the men’s team on an excellent second place.

A win puts the ladies team in the driving seat for the league. A victory at Aldershot on the 8 July will mean an automatic place in the finals in Kent on 1 September.

It was a fantastic evening throughout.  Well done to everyone that competed, officiated, managed the teams and provided tea and cakes!

Stu Nicholas in great shape at the Cornish Imerys Trail Marathon

Stu Nicholas in the Cornish Imerys Trail Marathon
It was a very different sort of a race for Stu Nicholas as he took to china clay country for the Cornish Imerys Trail Marathon

Returning to his natural home of Cornwall to compete for this second claim club of St Austell isn’t abnormal for Stu Nicholas. It’s something he likes to do every so often. In fact he completed his 50th marathon there last November making for a very memorable occasion that day.

His  latest race over in that part of the world was a very different prospect though. The Cornish Imerys Trail Marathon offers a very unique running experience. It is staged on land belonging to Cornwall’s China Clay industry, giving it a type of terrain very rarely encountered by a runner.

Stu Nicholas on the china clay of the Imerys Trail Marathon
Stu had his work cut out to keep a good pace going on the lumpy china clay surfaces of the Imerys Trail Marathon

It was very lumpy and bumpy underfoot making it extremely tough going, even for an experienced marathon maestro like Stu. He negotiated the difficult surroundings like a true pro though and was soon up the front, on his own, leaving everyone else trailing in his wake.

Stu Nicholas goes past in the Cornish Imerys Trail Marathon
Once he put his foot down and took control of the race, there was no stopping Stu

He made light work of the china clay mining surfaces and moulded a superb performance with a fine finish. And what’s more, although it was such tough ground to run on, Stu still completed the course in under three hours, which was extremely impressive.

Stu Nicholas goes through in the Cornish Imerys Trail Marathon
Although the terrain was tough going, Stu made it look easy

His time of 2:59:12 was 21 minutes and 27 seconds quicker than his nearest rival on the day, who was Wendy Chapman of Truro Running Club.

Stu Nicholas makes his way in the Cornish Imerys Trail Marathon
Stu was ahead of his nearest rival by quite some margin

It was another strong win for Stu after he recently came out on top in the Dark Ox Quarter Marathon. He also secured a new PB of 2:43:10 at the Brighton Marathon in April.

And at the Imerys Trail Marathon, despite the fact that it was such a surreal environment, Stu had delivered another marathon masterclass. In fact, he described it as almost lunar. One thing was for sure though and that was that he was over the moon with his emphatic and dominant display.

Stu Nicholas winning the Cornish Imerys Trail Marathon
Sweeping home for the win in a time of 2:59:12, it was a mightily impressive performance from Stu


Recent Individual Performances by BAC Athletes

Phoebe Dowson came second in Women’s Discus at the BIGish Jumps & Throws Fest at Bedford On Monday 27th of May, with a throw of 54.79 meters.

At the same meeting, James Lelliott was 4th in the Long Jump with a jump of 7.39 meters. James was unfortunate in that 2nd, 3rd & 4th places jumps were within less than 2 inches of each other. A slightly longer jump would have been rewarded by second place. James is currently ranked 7th in Men’s Long Jump in the UK.

Rob Woolgar was also at Bedford participating in the Long Jump. Rob came 7th with a leap of 6.94 meters in a strong field.

The title “BIGish” derives it’s name from a Bedford International Games held some years ago, it is now mostly a national competition, attracting the best throwers and jumpers from around the UK.

Phoebe Dowson was also competing in the Women’s Discus at the Loughborough International meeting the previous weekend. She finished second with a throw of 55.20 meters. At the moment Phoebe is content with her throwing and is ranked nationally SECOND IN THE WHOLE OF THE UK.

Most of the top ten ranked Women Discus throwers in the UK achieved their best throws of 2019 in exotic venues in the USA & Southern Europe. Phoebe’s best throw of 56.05 meters was achieved in the luxurious surroundings of King’s Park outside throwing area at BAC’s Open Meeting at the end of March.

By William Kearsey

Jazmin Cooke came 3rd in the U20’s W high jump at the south of England championships in Bedford on the 1st June 2019

Yazmin Cooke High Jump
Yazmin Cooke Podium


YDL Upper Report Winchester 26 May 2019

Firstly, can I say a huge CONGRATULATIONS and WELL DONE to all involved in the event. This applies to Parents, Athletes, Officials and Coaches who all assisted in making the day a success. To come second again is truly amazing and demonstrates excellent team spirit. We scored a massive 501 points!

We had a team of 28 athletes including some new faces from last time and we welcome you all into the team.

I am going to try and mention everyone because everyone had some special moments.

U17 Boys

Joshua Dyer, Daniel Owen, Robert Jones, Jasper Todd.

The boys were a little depleted in numbers due to school exams and holidays but that didn’t stop them!

Joshua and Daniel dominated the 100m and 200m races both in A and B stream. Robert performed excellently in 800M as well as Jasper.

U17 Girls

Amelia Verney, Brooke Ironside, Milly Siderfin , Mel Creber, Yasmin Bridet, Molly Hole, Lana Blake, Lucy Wilkinson, Nia Jones and Anya Sandell and Gwyneth Ikoli

Amelia, Brooke, Yasmin, Lana and Gwyneth scored massive points in the sprints. Mel, Milly and Anya took on the longer distance runs bringing us home more points. The combined resources for the relays produced some inspirational results. Molly, Lana, Mel and Anya took on the jumps. Anya bravely took on the pole vault. Whilst Lucy, Molly, Nia and Yasmin performed excellently in the throws.

Thanks girls you were all amazing.

U20 Boys

Joseph Haywood, Daniel Kirby, Sam Cook, Sam Cooper, Adam Petty, Karlo Weeks Fraser Spall, Adam Phillips, Matthew Forster.

The sprints scored us great points by Joe, Sam And Daniel. Longer distance runs were Adam, Karlo Fraser and Sam Cooper. The boys throws were inspirational and the stars were Adam, Matthew, Sam and Fraser. We even managed to turn out a 4x100m and 4x400m relay team. All the boys truly took on the team ethics and tried events they don’t usually do. This assisted us greatly in gaining second place.

U20 Women

Rebecca Hannibal, Jazmin Cooke, Amelia Dobson
Issy Shepherd.

Again, a little depleted in numbers but you scored wonderful points for the team all of you rising to the challenge and trying events you usually don’t know normally partake in. Amelia and Jazmin dominated the Jumps. Becks dominated the running both in the sprints and the steeple chase and Issy showed them all how to throw. Thank you girls for doing the relays, even when I knew you didn’t really want to!

The next event is 30 JUNE at KINGS PARK

My vision is to fill in all the gaps we had on our team sheet. With the aim of winning on home turf! I think we could do it! But I will need your help. We were 120 points behind the winning team. We will need a few more athletes. We need to find some hurdlers and middle distance runners, especially boys.

Let me know as soon as possible if you can compete and like before consider doing events you don’t usually do. But please make sure your coaches are happy for you to do so. U17 can do 3 events plus a relay and U20 can do 4 plus a relay.

Thank you and well done all.

Suzi Shepherd, Team manager.

Georgia Wood carves out new club record at Edinburgh Half Marathon

Georgia Wood in the Edinburgh Half Marathon
You can see from the passers by in the ponchos that it was a very wet and windy affair for Georgia Wood at the Edinburgh Half Marathon but she was determined not to let the conditions spoil her race

It would probably be fair to say that the conditions weren’t exactly awe inspiring when Georgia Wood arrived north of the border for the Edinburgh Half Marathon but she wasn’t about to let that stand in her way.

Georgia trains for events like a proper athlete and does benefit from having a fiancé in Tom Craggs who is an England Athletics coach. At the end of the day though, she still has to go out and do the training herself and work hard to get herself into the best possible shape she can for her target races.

With her mothering duties to baby Chloe keeping her occupied for much of the time though, it’s always a tricky juggling act for Georgia. In fact it’s difficult for both her and Tom as they both want to devote time to running as well as running their businesses and whatever else they’ve got going on at the time.

Georgia quite often tends to get bad luck as well in the lead up to races. For instance, Chloe seems to get ill quite often at that time, which consequently has effect on Georgia. Even if she doesn’t catch the bug, there’s still the knock-on effect of the sleepless nights that she has to cope with.

She was also experiencing a problem with her eye as race day drew ever closer and that had caused her vision to be impaired on occasions when she went over to the track for a training session. She sometimes gets a sty forming which can in turn cause her eye to become swollen.

Nevertheless though, Georgia is pretty good at coping with whatever comes her way and she took it all in her stride. When she arrived at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, she was focused and ready for action.

The Edinburgh Half Marathon has been touted to be one of the fastest courses in the UK so she did at least have that on her side. The route starts off on a downhill curve, then flattens out for the rest of the race, meaning little or no inclines to contend with.

Making a very fast start, it was clear from an early stage what Georgia’s intentions were. Hitting the 10k point in a super-quick time of 37:34, if she was able to sustain that pace, she was on for an epic time.

As she reached the 11 mile point, she began to think that a sub-1:20 time might be possible. If she could push hard over those last couple of miles, it was within her grasp.

Then she turned round the corner and was greeted by a massive headwind. It was gutting as just as she’d got her hopes up that she was going to produce something extra special, they then got dashed.

She did her best to push on through it but inevitably did lose some time in the end. Crossing the line in a still very impressive time of 1:20:46, Georgia was 4th placed female on the day and 1st in the Over 35 category.

What’s more, she’d come in 80th out of the entire field, which consisted of 10,965, or at least that’s how many finished the race. It was an extremely impressive result for Georgia.

It was also a Bournemouth AC club record as well, meaning no female BAC athlete has ever run a faster half marathon. That’s quite an achievement really when you think that Bournemouth AC has always been quite an elite club in terms of the standard of its members.

The previous best half marathon time recorded before that was clocked by Charlotte Penfold at the Waford Half Marathon back in 2010. She ran it in 1:21:13 and must have thought at the time that there was in danger of that being beaten in the near future.

Amazingly though, despite all that, Georgia still wasn’t happy with the run. She had been targeting a sub-1:20 time and was disappointed not to get it. Of course, had the headwind not have been so prevalent in that last couple of miles she may well have got there.

That does of course happen in running sometimes. You don’t always get the conditions you would choose. That’s partly what makes it so challenging. You have to take whatever comes  your way and do the best you can.

Ultimately though, it was still a tremendous run for Georgia though and no doubt she’ll look back on it with a lot of pride once the dust settles. There will be other opportunities in the future for her to seek that illusive sub-1:20.

Georgia Wood in the Edinburgh Half Marathon
As a reward for her amazing run, Georgia claimed a place on the list of all-time Bournemouth AC bests, with a new club record for a female in a half marathon


Simon Hearn sets new PB at Royal Berkshire 10k

Simon Hearn in the Royal Berkshire 10k
Simon Hearn went over to Green Park in Reading for the Royal Berkshire 10k – a fast, flat route that was made to measure for his preferences

Choosing the Royal Berkshire 10k as a feeler race to find out where he’s at with his fitness, Simon Hearn was hoping for a confidence boosting run ahead of his main target race which is a half marathon in Normandy next weekend.

With a brand new training plan, Simon has been training really hard over the past eight weeks to get into the best shape possible for his half marathon and he’s well and truly rediscovered his running mojo in the process.

Simon loves to mix it up with his training, constantly looking for interesting new training plans once he’s set himself a target race to aim for. He finds the variety of varying the sessions up and doing a different plan helps him get motivated and push on to the next level.

He did have a bit of senior moment in the build up to the race when he entered the May 5 race in Canford Heath which, it turned out, was on the same day as the Royal Berkshire 10k.

Fortunately the May 5 was a league race though so it was quite easy for find someone for Bournemouth AC who could take his place for that one, leaving Simon to concentrate on the 10k he’d originally set out to do.

The Royal Berkshire 10k was held at Green Park in Reading and was a flat, fast and friendly race with a single lap route. It was a nice sunny day as well and with his fitness looking good, everything was in place for Simon to go well. Could he deliver on the day though, that was the question.

Setting his virtual pacer to a speed that would see him complete the race in just under 40 minutes, Simon started off much quicker than that. In fact, for the early part of the race he was going at 6:15 pace.

It felt good though and even though it was faster than he’d planned, he felt really comfortable to that pace so decided to stick with it. As the race progressed, he found he was able to stay at that pace and that surprised him somewhat.

For the majority of the race he’d been running with a group, but because he was feeling so strong, he was able to pull away from them in the last mile. Arriving at finish in a tremendous new PB time of 39:04, it was a performance that shocked even Simon himself.

His previous best time was 39:29 which he did at Bournemouth Bay in 2017. He’d now just eclipsed that by 25 seconds. It was a fairly significant margin.

Finishing in 42nd place out of 1,462, Simon was third over the line in the M50 category out of 142, which was a cracking result for him.

Although he was really satisfied with the run, there was a part of Simon that was now thinking, if only he’d pushed a little harder he could have got a sub-39 time. That is one that will surely be on his mind next time he does a 10k though.

It was probably good in a way that he didn’t realise he’d be getting so close to 39 minutes though as he’s most likely kept something back for his half marathon next weekend and that is the most important thing for him right now.

His aims for the race in Normandy will simply be to get a sub-1:30, which is something he always targets in half marathons. In the form he’s in now though who knows? Perhaps he could be in line for another PB.

Simon Hearn finishing the Royal Berkshire 10k
Simon Hearn speeds down the home straight to hammer out a terrific new PB of 39:04, bettering his previous best by 25 seconds