Category Archives: Road_Reports

Big turnout at Littledown for BAC

Team BAC were out in force for the Littledown 5

The Dorset Road Race League was back in full on Sunday 17th September with the shortest race of the season, the Littledown 5, on the agenda.

After a tricky last few fixtures where team captain Rich Nelson had struggled to scrape a team together, it was good to see a large contingent of members signing up for the race. Of course, the fact that it was being held at Littledown Park, right on our doorstep, may have had something to do with it. Nevertheless, a good team spirit and a healthy representation was certainly a step forward.

The day did start with a negative though, after news emerged that Steve Way would be unable to take part.  Steve had been suffering from a glute injury and had been unable to run all week following a treadmill marathon he’d undertaken the previous weekend. After giving it a test run in the morning he decided he’d have to pull out.

Although they were one down, there were still enough BAC men ready to step up to the plate and hopefully get five fairly decent scorers on the board.

Alex Goulding sets off on a fast and ferocious five miler

At the front of the field, Toby Chapman was locked into a four way battle for supremacy. In fact all four athletes finished within 17 seconds of each other. In the end it was Craig Palmer who prevailed, giving Littledown Harriers a great home win. David Broadley of Poole AC came in 2nd place, with Toby taking 3rd in a super quick time of 27:04. Dominic Wilmore of Poole Runners was the other member of that lead group, taking 4th.

Toby Chapman was battling right at the front end of the field, taking a magnificent 3rd place in 27:04, just 14 seconds behind the race winner

Another strong performance on the day came from Graeme Miller, who crossed the line in 22nd place with a time of 29:04. After struggling with injury throughout the earlier part of the year and most of the previous year, Graeme is now getting back to something close to his best form which is great to see. Graeme was 3rd in the M45 category.

Graeme Miller shows he’s back in good form with a 29:04 finish putting him in 22nd place

Just four seconds behind Graeme was Alex Goulding, taking 23rd place in the standings. Alex wasn’t quite so pleased with his performance as it was 9 seconds slower than the time he did in this race last year when he came 4th. It’s not really a huge difference in time though and Alex did well to finish where he did in a much higher standard field than the previous year, when it was not a DRRL fixture.

Alex powers down the finishing straight to take 23rd place in 29:08

Another who was slightly down on his time of last year was Tom Paskins. Tom finished in 30th place with a time of 30:10. By most peoples’ standards this would have been a great run but for Tom it wasn’t quite what he was hoping for.

This was understandable though, given the amount of racing that Tom has done recently. The previous weekend he ran his second fastest ever half marathon at the New Forest. Three weeks prior to that he’d run four half marathons in four days at the Extreme North Quadrathon. It may be the case that the Littledown 5 was simply one race too far for Tom. He’s still had a great run of form of late though and has been progressing very well.

Tom Paskins approaches the line in 30th place, finishing in a time of 30:10

Finishing as fifth scorer for the mens’ team, Richard Brawn ran his fastest 5 mile race to date, to finish in a time of 31:21. This put him in  43rd place. Richard had been targeting a sub 32 minute finish so was pleased to be able to exceed that target. He was also using the race to gage the progress he’s been making in his half marathon training and was pleased to see that he his 3 week vacation hadn’t adversely effected his fitness or speed.

Richard Brawn speeds toward the finish to record his fastest 5 mile time to date in 31:21

After the first few miles, Richard was slightly off the pace he needed to be at for a sub 32 minute finish but he had been going at a comfortable pace, conserving energy for the latter stages. He managed to pull a significant amount of time back on the last mile and was glad to finish the race strongly.

Nikki Sandell was 3rd placed lady in a time of 31:31

Taking 3rd place in the women’s race, Nikki Sandell raced to a 31:31 finish which put her 45th overall. Nikki was doing the last long run of her marathon schedule that day which meant that after completing the 5 mile race, she then had to continue on for another 17 miles. She certainly earned the Wispa and pork scratchings that she had for her post-run refuel.

Nikki approaches the line conscious of the 17 mile warm down run she’ll be undertaking afterwards

Also in the midst of a marathon training routine, Chris O’Brien was planning to run the 5 miles at roughly his intended marathon pace of 6:45 m/m. As it panned out though, he ended up running with Simon Hearn, offering Simon some helpful encouragement in the latter stages of the race.

The pair crossed the together in a time of 32:25, putting them in 56th and 57th place. This was Simon’s second fastest time over the distance and he was looking to use it as a barometer to see where he’s at with the view to the Bournemouth 10k in a three weeks time. Chris and Simon were 8th and 9th in the M45 category.

Chris O’Brien and Simon Hearn hit the finish together to cross the line in 32:25

Usually specialising as a track runner, Harriet Slade took a rare foray into road running and she was very glad she did, setting herself a magnificent new PB time of 32:55. This made her 5th lady over the line and 1st in the SW category. She then went onto to finish off the tree house she’d been building for her sons, proving she’s got DIY skills as well as running talent. Harriet was 62nd overall.

Harriet Slade secured a superb new 5 mile PB of 32:56

The next BAC member to finish was Jud Kirk, who came in 74th in a time of 33:42. Again it was slightly down on his time last year when he did 32:24. Unfortunately he found that he just didn’t have enough in the legs on the day. Jud has been focusing a bit more on triathlons recently so that may have been a factor. He did still place 5th in the M55 category though.

Jud Kirk carries the grimace of a man who will be very glad to get this over and done with

In another race of a much shorter distance than she is usually used to Linn Erixon Sahlström put in a very solid display taking 86th position and 9th placed lady. Linn was 4th in the F35 category.

Linn Erixon Sahlstrom looks controlled as she heads down in finishing straight of a much shorter race than she’s normally used to

Finishing as the 11th woman over the line, Joy Wright clocked a stellar time of 35:09, putting her 91st overall. Joy is now reaching the end of her track season and will soon begin to refocus her efforts on road running. She was 2nd in the F45 category.

Joy Wright was 2nd in the F45 category with her time of 35:09

Next to cross the line for BAC was Steve Parsons, who finished in a time of 35:57, putting him in 105th place and 32nd in the M35 category. After a little bit of time out Steve is now getting back to running more regularly and appears to be progressing well.

Steve Parsons just nipped under the 36 minute marker

Despite having completed a 22 mile training run the day before in preparation for the forthcoming Bournemouth Marathon, Tamzin Petersen still managed to do her bit for team, clocking as time of 37:01. This put her in 121st place overall and 25th woman. This also meant she was 6th in the SW category.

Tamzin Petersen digs in to complete a 6th placed finish in the SW category in 37:01

One man who was certainly out of his comfort zone doing a shorter, faster race was Andy Gillespie. Andy is currently in training for the Atlantic Coast Challenge, which involves completing three marathons in three days, with undulating routes and some sandy sections adding to the difficulty of the task.

Only five miles done and can already see the finish line! That’s somethings of a rarity for Andy Gillespie

This gives a good indication of the kind of races Andy is more akin to but he gave the Littledown 5 a good shot anyway, finishing in 37:31 which put him in 129th place and 14th in the M55 category. This was around the sort of time he was expecting.

Joy, Simon and Chris make their way down the path

Next to arrive at the finish was Kirsty Drewett, who took 143rd place on the list and 32nd lady in a time of 38:10. This put her 11th in the F35 category.

Kirsty Dewitt battling with some Poole Runners in her quest to get to finish

Rounding things off from the BAC perspective was Estelle Slatford, who crossed the line in a time of 39:13. This gave her 160th place overall and 39th placed woman. She was 15th in the F35 category. There were 280 finishers in total.

Estelle Slatford is glad to see the finish line in sight as she heads for a time of 39:13

In truth it wasn’t the best day ever for Bournemouth AC in terms of having many members high up in the standings. It would appear the Poole AC would have won the day boasting four men in the top ten positions. Putting that aside though, it was good to see a good number of BAC members getting involved in a DRRL fixture and hopefully that will set a good premise for the forthcoming events.

Kirsty, Andy and Tamzin battle the twisty five mile course



















BAC four perform at New Forest Marathon

Chris O’Brien had to negotiate some muddy and slippery surfaces in the New Forest 5k

The New Forest Marathon event comprises of four different races; a marathon, a half marathon, a 10k and a 5k. Bournemouth AC had representation in three out of the four races, with Billy McGreevy entering the marathon, Peter Thompson and Tom Paskins in the half-marathon and Chris O’Brien in the 5k.

A fair bit of rainfall in the two days prior meant that the ground had softened significantly, making it into a proper off-road environment for the participants to contend with. Billy McGreevy went into the marathon with the aim of keeping to a 6:45 average pace throughout.

Billy McGreevy lines up for the New Forest Marathon

Despite a few hills on the course and some boggy sections, Billy was able to keep to his intended pace and finished the race in a stellar time of 2:56:35. This put him in 8th place out of a field of 738. The achievement of posting a sub-three-hour time on this kind of terrain should not be underestimated.

Billy looks up to the heavens and gives the weather the thumbs up before embarking on the marathon race

The half marathon race saw the return to competitive action of Peter Thompson. Understandably, Peter has had to have a long period of recuperation after his 44 marathons in 44 days challenge so it was really good to see him back out there racing again.

He also showed that he’s still got the speed to be up there with the best, completing the race in a super quick time of 1:19:34 which put him in 10th place out of 1,905 finishers. Again, it was an extraordinarily quick time given the difficulty of the course.

Peter Thompson was back in racing action as he sped to a 10th place finish in the New Forest half marathon

Coming in just two places after Peter, Tom Paskins recorded his second fastest half marathon time to date, crossing the line in 1:21:17. This was a fantastic result for Tom considering the off-road and undulating characteristics of the race.

It was only three weeks since Tom completed a fantastic victory in Extreme North Quadrathon, which entailed running four half marathons in four consecutive days. Tom won all four of the races, taking home the title in true style. Fortunately the after effects of such a tough and exasporating challenge don’t seem to have slowed him down.

Tom Paskins accrued a more regular sized medal this time after completing the New Forest half marathon

In the 5k race, Chris O’Brien put in a strong display, finishing in 2nd place with a time of 21:46. The course was very slow due the extensive mud, making it very slippery in places and practically turning it into a cross-country race.

In fact Chris was only 22 seconds behind the race winner but he didn’t want to tempt fate and push too hard on the muddy bits when it is so close to the Bournemouth Marathon, which is currently his primary focus.

Chris was coming off the back off a half marathon PB that he claimed the previous weekend at Maidenhead so the signs for his marathon training progress are looking very good at the present time. He did, however, feel a degree of sympathy for the guy who would have come first if he hadn’t taken a wrong turn just before the finish.

Chris holds his arms aloft as he approaches the line to claim a magnificent 2nd place in the 5k race


Chris and Yvonne make headway at Maidenhead Half

Chris O’Brien took part in the Maidenhead Half Marathon as a way of benchmarking his marathon training progress

As far as flat and fast half marathons go, Maidenhead is up there with the best of them and is renowned as being good potential PB territory.

Chris O’Brien made there journey up to Berkshire with the goal of getting under 1 hour 25 minutes for the first time. He was also using the race as a benchmark to assess his progress in the run up to the Abingdon Marathon which, on the day of the race was seven weeks away.

The signs look good for Chris, as he felt strong for the vast majority of the race, only really beginning to struggle in the last three miles. That said though, he managed to battle the fatigue and fight back to end with a 100 metre sprint finish when he gained a place before crossing the line in a magnificent time of 1:24:49.

Chris is in full swing as he goes in search of a new half marathon PB

This not only meant that he’d got under his benchmark but he’d also secured a new PB by 21 seconds. Plus he’d gone 24 seconds quicker than his time from this same race last year.

He finished in 92nd place overall out of 1,350 finishers and was 28th in the MV40 category. This all points towards good progress for Chris as he continues with his marathon training regime.

Yvonne Tibble was also in action for BAC as well, taking 4th place in the WV50 category with a time of 1:38:19. Impressively, she was the 50th woman over the line out of 493 and came 335th overall.

Chis powers toward the finish to record an exceptional new PB time of 1:24:49

BAC athletes Adrian and Toby in contrasting off road races

Adrian (1401) and Chris pleased to finish Man v Mountain

On Saturday 2 September Adrian Townsend tackled the 22 mile obstacle course which is the Man v Mountain race starting at Caernarfon Castle in Wales, and four days later Toby Chapman successfully defended his title in the Sourton Tors Fell Race on Dartmoor.

Of Man v Mountain, Adrian writes:  “Last Saturday I ran Man v Mountain with my mate Chris. The route starts from Caernarfon Castle and weaves its way up to the summit of Snowdon and down the other side into Dinorwic Quarry then back up the Vertical Kilometre and finally back down to the quarry where there’s an array of water based challenges. 22 miles with 5295 ft of ascent. Chris had suffered a number of bad injuries in training so the plan was to run together at a steady pace, have crack at the vertical kilometre and enjoy the day. The weather was great and we got some amazing views as we headed up to and over the summit. At 25% gradient the vertical kilometre at 3 miles from the finish was tough and I paid for my efforts with bad cramp in both legs. The final challenges included a quarry jump with a lake swim, abseil and water slides with more lake swimming and a river crossing. All good fun with crampy legs! We finished together in just over 5 hours in 135th place out of 1197 and I was 2nd super vet for the vertical kilometre.”   It really does sound like fun!

Toby Chapman on his way to defending his title in the Sourton Tors Fell Race

Toby‘s race was rather shorter, at 2.6 miles, but nevertheless demanding, climbing, as it does, the 300m to Sourton Tor.  It is an evening race, which Toby won last year, so he had a title to defend, which he successfully did, winning yet again.  Toby says:  “always fun to go fast”.  Those were the days!

Jacek and Manol conquer the Alps at the OCC Mont-Blanc

Jacek Cieluszecki competed in the OCC race at Mont-Blanc, pitting his wits against some of the world’s top mountain ultra racers

The OCC is one of five different events that come under the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) banner and Bournemouth AC had two representatives taking on some of the world’s leading mountain ultra runners in the 56km Orsières – Champex – Chamonix race. They were Jacek Cieluszecki and Manol Dimitrov.

The Alpine route incorporates an elevation gain of 3,500 metres and travels through three countries, starting off in Italy before moving along the Swiss and French borders. For Manol, it was going back to Chamonix, where he first gained his enthusiasm for mountain running. Since then he’d done a lot of running in the Alps so it was familiar ground for him.

Jacek is no stranger to the unscrupulous slopes of the Alps either, having previously raced the Eigar 51 – another high profile mountain ultra. His experience of the Eigar 51 was an extremely positive one, finishing in an incredible 5th place overall in a field littered with top talent.

Given their previous experiences, Manol and Jacek knew it wouldn’t be the terrain that posed them a problem in the OCC race. What they couldn’t account for though was the weather. The day before the race it was sunny and the athletes must have been looking forward to running in such great conditions. That all changed on race day though, when the heavens opened and the rain just kept on coming. This inclement weather at high altitude added a very different dimension to the proceedings, making for a rather more unpleasant experience for Manol and Jacek than it otherwise would have been.

The day before the OCC race, the conditions were bright and sunny but that all changed on race day when the dark clouds loomed and the heavens opened over Mont-Blanc

Jacek wasn’t about to let the torrential downpour get the better of him though and he battled though it, reaching the first checkpoint of Champex Lac in 28th place. This was only just over 9.5km in and an elevation gain of of 776m had already been reached.

The next phase of the race incorporated an even steeper climb, heading up towards La Geite which took the elevation up to 1625m. Jacek got to the checkpoint, which was just shy of 21km in, in 2 hours and 9 minutes. This put him in 31st.

It was then a downhill stretch to Trient, at which point Jacek was down to 35th place, arriving at the 25.73km mark in exactly 2 hours 34 minutes.

After this there was another sharp incline that would eventually lead the runners up to the highest point of the race, to the top of Les Tseppes, which stands at over 2,100m. By the time they reached the checkpoint which was near the top, the total elevation gain had risen to 2354m and a distance of almost 29km had been covered. Jacek was now in 33rd place in a time of 3:10:13.

Once the top of the mountain had been reached, it was then a descent down to Vallorcine at 36.3km. Jacek arrived there in 32nd place in 3:49:42.

Next it was onto Argentière, just over 44km into the race. By this point, Jacek had climbed up to 29th place, arriving in just under 4 hours 36 minutes.

The final climb led up to the last checkpoint at Flégère. Upon reaching the top, the total elevation gain had risen to 3400m. This was now a massive 49.23km completed and the end was finally in sight. Well, not literally in sight as there was still another 12.5km remaining but at least once they reached this, they knew it was one final push to the finish. Jacek was now up to 27th place with a time of 5:20:42.

The finish was at Chamonix Arrivée. Jacek continued his strong form in the latter stages of the race, gaining a further four places to finish in a remarkable 23rd place overall, out of 1,565 starters. His official finishing time was a 5 hours 54 minutes and 56 seconds, putting him only just over 25 minutes behind the race winner. Given the extraordinarily high calibre field, this was a great result for Jacek. He also finished up as 3rd placed vet, capping off another superb chapter in his increasingly impressive running career.

Manol reached the first checkpoint at Champex Lac in 68th place in a time of 1 hour and 1 minute. He then tackled the climb up to La Giète, reaching the checkpoint in 2:21:27, which put him in 69th. It was then down to Trient at the 25.73km mark, which Manol arrived at in 2:47:33. He was now in 70th position.

Manol Dimitrov was no stranger to running in the Alps and had to use all his expertise to tackle the difficult conditions

Next he made his way up the highest peak of the race, passing the checkpoint at Les Tseppe in 3:33:16, putting him in 76th. It was then down to Vallorcine at the 36.3k point in the race. Manol hit this in 4:17:34, putting him in 77th place.

He reached the 44.19km point in the race at Argentière in 5:13:42 and in 78th position. On the final climb up to Flégère, Manol started to really kick on, finding the strength to overtake 12 people to propel him to 66th place.

He followed that up by gaining a further three places before reaching the finish at Chamonix, where he clocked a final time of 6 hours 40 minutes and 40 seconds. This put him 63rd in the standings. It was again, a very impressive result given the high standard of the field and meant he was in the top 5% of those who finished the race.

Both Manol and Jacek deserve huge plaudits for their performances and it was great to see BAC athletes doing so well in such a challenging race and flourishing when up against the very best that mountain ultra running has to offer.

Despite extremely adverse conditions, Jacek proved he has well and truly mastered the Alps, completing the 56km course in 5:54:56, putting him in 23rd place overall and 3rd placed vet



Four Half Marathons, Four Days, Four Wins for a Triumphant Tom Paskins

Tom Paskins took on his biggest challenge yet in the Extreme North Quadrathon, with the task of completing four half marathons in four days

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.

Tom and his friend, Jo Peasland, show off their new bling after completing the first stage in their Quadrathon journeys

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.

Another great win for Tom on day two as he reaches the half way point of the challenge in tremendous shape

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.

Another one down and this time Tom has opened up a slightly bigger lead on his nearest rival Phil Callaghan

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.

Tom is flying as he claims his third win in three days

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.

After the fourth a final race, Tom and Jo show off their extremely well earned and heavy duty treasure

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.

Tom picks up his prize for a superb and extremely hard fought Quadrathon victory

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.

It couldn’t really have gone much better for Tom as he secured a clean sweep, winning each of the four consecutive half marathons to cap off a very memorable four days














Damian, Andy and Adrian go in 54321 Salisbury

Andy Gillespie adds the 54321 Salisbury to his long list of marathon and ultra conquests

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.

Andy put aside his hip troubles to post a time that was almost 20 minutes quicker than his Dorset Invader effort two weeks prior

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.

Adrian Townsend was using the 33k route at the 54321 Salisbury event as a training run in preparation for his forthcoming Man vs Mountain race


Huge wins for Jacek and Nikki as Team BAC rock Portland

Team BAC line up for the Round the Rock 10k in Portland

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.

The BAC Ladies team gather before a very successful DRRL race

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 wins the Round the Rock 10k to complete a Portland double after his triumph in the 10 mile race last month

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.

Jacek leads the way as he goes on search of a second win at Portland

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.

Jacek picks up his trophy for a another brilliant race win

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 Goulding ran well to finish in 7th place in a time of 36:36

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.

Tom Paskins is has been flourishing in hilly races of late, posting a very quick time of 37:43 to take 12th place

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.

Nikki Sandell on her way toward a superb win in the ladies’ race

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.

Nikki picks up her prize for finishing as the leading lady

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.

Richard Brawn finished strongly to record an impressive time of 41:29

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.

Joy Wright takes to the road as she embarks on a journey that took her to 4th placed lady

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.

Yvonne Tibble kicks off a race that would eventually lead to another category win to add to her collection

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.

From left to right: Joy Wright, Nikki Sandell, Tom Paskins, Tamzin Petersen, Richard Brawn and Jacek Cieluszecki parade the treasure from the day’s proceedings



Tamzin Crowns New PB at Indian Queens Half Marathon

Tamzin Petersen was in Cornwall at the weekend for the Indian Queens Half Marathon

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.

Tamzin was reunited with former BAC member Heidi Treganza, who proved she’s still got that electric pace some of you may remember from her old BAC days

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.

Tamzin’s majestic performance at Indian Queens earned her a shiny new half marathon PB







Jon Sharkey and Tamzin Petersen tackle Dorset Invader Half Marathon

Jon Sharkey was back in action at the Dorset Invader Half Marathon

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.

Jon leaps over the imaginary hurdle as he makes his way down the tricky trail path

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.

Tamzin appears to have perked up after her vodka stop and forgotten all about her ‘shoe stuck in the mud’ fiasco