Category Archives: Road_Reports

Purbeck 10k, Puddletown Plod and Parkruns

The BAC squad ready for the Purbeck 10k
The BAC squad ready for the Purbeck 10k

BAC‘s Dorset Road Race League campaign was back on track after a win for the men, and a second place for the ladies, in the Purbeck 10k in the evening of Friday 19 June. Having won the Puddletown Plod almost a week earlier, Steve Way was again the winner on Friday, almost a minute ahead of second placed Peter Thompson. Simon Munro, in fourth place, completed the BAC Open winning team, and the DRRL team was completed by Paul Hill and Billy McGreevy. Heidi Tregenza was a welcome sight back in action, and led the BAC ladies’ team, finishing as the second lady overall, and the first senior lady. The ladies’ team, completed by Nikki Sandell and Gemma Bragg, was pushed into second place by a very strong Poole AC, but this was still a strong performance by a team which achieved promotion to the DRRL 1st division only last year.  BAC’s results in the Purbeck 10k were:  1. Steve Way 32.37;  2. Peter Thompson 33.34;  4. Simon Munro 35.05;  8. Paul Hill 36.20;  9. Billy McGreevy 36.36;  30. Sanjai Sharma 39.08;  44. Heidi Tregenza 40.01;  65. Nikki Sandell 41.50;  77. Steve Cox 42.26;  88. Gemma Bragg 42.56;  99. Joe Price 37.30 (PB);  141. Caroline Rowley 45.48;  387. Will Price 63.08.  There were 428 finishers.

Gemma Gragg points out that Steve Way is, indeed, number 1
Gemma Gragg points out that Steve Way is, indeed, number 1

As already mentioned, Steve Way was the winner of the 20k Puddletown Plod on 14 June, completing the course in 1.09.03. This race is run on an ‘undulating’ (in other words, hilly) course, and Steve appears not to have been under particular pressure, as he was the clear winner.  Steve was first of 132 finishers.

There were some excellent BAC performances in the Parkruns on Saturday 20 June, the Bournemouth Parkrun being dominated by our youngsters.  Of a total of 370 finishers, Brandon Meredith was 6th, and Seb Hearn was 9th, both running PBs.  Abigail Richardson, JW11-14, ran the Parkrun for the first time, and Freya Waddington, JW10, ran a PB.  Over at Poole, of 623 who finished the Poole Parkrun, Graeme Miller was 65th.  Meanwhile, at Weymouth, Simon Munro, after his impressive run in the Purbeck 10k the previous evening, won the Weymouth Parkrun, leading 227 finishers across the line.  The first ever Parkrun in Salisbury took place a week or two ago, and Andy Gillespie was there, running his first Parkrun.  The Salisbury Parkrun has quickly become established, with 185 finishers on 20 June.

Jez Bragg achieves a further record, Endure 24, Swansea HM and BAC night out


Just how tough is Ramsay's Round? Jez Bragg finds out
Just how tough is Ramsay’s Round? Jez Bragg finds out

Many congratulations to Jez Bragg on achieving a new record of 18 hours 12 minutes for Ramsay’s Round, a 24 hour hill running challenge based around Glen Nevis and the Lochaber Mountains in the Scottish Highlands. The established route for the challenge starts and finishes in Fort William, and takes in various peaks, including Ben Nevis, Great Britain’s highest mountain. It involves a total distance of 58 miles and 25,399 feet elevation.  Although many have tried, only 80 people have succeeded over the years in completing the Round in under 24 hours, so Jez joins a distinguished group, with the added distinction of breaking a record which has stood for 26 years.  Jez is one of the country’s leading Ultra Distance runners, and recently finished second The Fellsman, a fell race taking in each of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.  The Ramsay’s Round isn’t the only record held by Jez.  In December 2012, Jez commenced the Te Araroa, a trail extending from the northern tip of North Island, New Zealand, to the southern tip of South Island, over terrain which varies from reasonably passable to practically impossible (including a kayak crossing from North Island to South Island), a distance of 3,000km,which Jez completed in 53 days, 9 hours and 1 minute, a record which still stands.

A new record for Ramsay's Round is established.  Will it take another 26 years for it to be broken?
A new record for Ramsay’s Round is established. Will it take another 26 years for it to be broken?
Jez is congratulated by Gemma on a new record for Ramsay's Round
Jez is congratulated by Gemma on a new record for Ramsay’s Round

jez rr (1)

jez rr(2)

jez rr(3)

Ultra running is becoming quite familiar to BAC!  Three BAC athletes took part in Endure 24, a 24 hour relay race over a 5 mile loop of forest trails at Aldermaston, Near Reading, over the weekend 12 – 14 June.  Anthony Clark competed as part of the Profeet team, which finished 4th in the mixed category, 6-8 athletes, completing 41 laps.  Anthony ran his six laps in 30.16,30.17, 30.49, 32.18(night), 31.18 and 30.55.  Chris O’Brien‘s team, Bugface, was in the 3-5 athletes, mixed, category and was 24th of 79 having completed 31 laps.  Chris‘ seven laps were 34.29, 36.04, 36.23, 40.30. 43.06 (both in the dark), 39.20 and 40.37. Paul Hill also competed, but at the time of writing details of Paul‘s team and individual results aren’t to hand.

Chris O'Brien (centre) and team still smiling after the Endure 24
Chris O’Brien (centre) and team still smiling after the Endure 24
Paul Hill (529) and his Endure 24 team 'before the fun starts'
Paul Hill (529) and his Endure 24 team ‘before the fun starts’
Chris O'Brien on Endure 24 course
Chris O’Brien on Endure 24 course
The finish line always comes! Chris O'Brien and the Bugface team conquer Endure 24
The finish line always comes! Chris O’Brien and the Bugface team conquer Endure 24

Meanwhile, Simon Hearn took part in a more ‘normal’ event on 14 June, namely the Swansea Half Marathon.  Simon‘s sense of achievement in running a PB of 1.30.29 was only slightly marred by the fact that he didn’t break 1.30 – but it’s only a matter of time!  Simon was 141st of 3396 finishers.

Approximately 30 of BAC‘s road and cross country runners, and their friends and families, descended on Casa Brazil, Old Christchurch Road, on 10 June for a very enjoyable evening and excellent food.  Word is that the next ‘social’, a beach barbeque, is already being discussed.  Many thanks to Gemma Bragg for organising it all.

BAC road runners' night out, organised by Gemma Bragg
BAC road runners’ night out, organised by Gemma Bragg


Poole Festival of Running, Toby Chapman winner of Dartmoor Discovery, Upton Summer Series and Parkruns

Jacek Cieluszecki takes third place in the Poole 10k
Jacek Cieluszecki takes third place in the Poole 10k

The Poole Festival of Running, a massive event featuring 5k and 10k races, and various childrens’ races, organised by Poole Runners, took place on a very hot Sunday 7 June 2015. The day saw some excellent BAC results, and a brace of PBs in the 10k. Jacek Cieluszecki proved his return to form by finishing 3rd (of a total of 779 finishers) in 32.29, followed closely by Simon Munro, 11th in 34.44 and Paul Hill, 14th in 35.32, a PB. PBs were also achieved by BAC‘s next two finishers, Paul Consani, who was 27th in 36.48, and Chris O’Brien, 76th in 39.20. Dave Parsons was third V60 to cross the line (despite the fact that Dave is now what we used to call an OAP!) in a time of 45.04, 189th position. To complete the BAC squad were Joe Price, 283rd in 47.58, with Joe‘s dad, Will, finishing 672nd in 61.49. There were two excellent results by our youngsters in the 5k race. Of a total field of 207, Brandon Meredith was an excellent 5th in 19.04, with Sebastian Hearn an equally creditable 12th in 20.35.

Simon Munro features at the start of the Poole 10k
Simon Munro features at the start of the Poole 10k

The day before, Saturday 6 June, Toby Chapman competed in his first Ultra Distance race – and won!  The race in question was the Dartmoor Discovery, of which competitors are warned: “You’ll experience everything Dartmoor has to offer…………including unpredictable weather and those infamous hills”. The course is 32 miles long, involving 1363m of climbing, and Toby‘s winning time was 3 hr 51min 41s.  Of the race, Toby says: “It was tougher than planned with no food taken on board, but good fun!”  BAC seems to be developing a strong Ultra Distance squad – in addition to Toby, Steve Way, Jon Sharkey and Pat Robbins have produced some excellent Ultra results.  Well done, Toby, on this amazing performance!

Toby Chapman's well deserved award as winner of the Dartmoor Discovery
Toby Chapman’s well deserved award as winner of the Dartmoor Discovery

One series of races so far overlooked has been the Poole Runners Summer Series, at Upton Park.  The first race, on Wednesday 13 May, was won by Peter Thompson, and on 27 May, the second race, Ross Smith was 12th.  The change of day to Wednesday appears to have been a success, with 150 finishing on 13 May, and 190 on 27 May, on which date, of the 53 finishing the Junior race, BAC‘s Josh Monks was 53rd.

Of course, there are the Parkruns!  On 6 June, BAC athletes competed only in the Bournemouth Parkrun, with Paul Hill finishing his customary 2nd, joined by Nikki Sandell (1st Lady), Steve Cox, Jud Kirk, Damian Boyle (perhaps returning from injury? – Damian‘s time was 8 minutes over his PB) and Will Price.  396 runners completed the event.

Edinburgh Marathon, BUPA London 10k and Parkruns


Manol Dimitrov seems to be on his own in the Edinburgh Marathon
Manol Dimitrov seems to be on his own in the Edinburgh Marathon

Steve Way was joined by Manol Dimitrov in the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday 31 May, Steve finishing 5th in 2.29.29, and Manol 218th (of a total of 7151) in 3.07.47.  As we know, Steve has only recently been recovering from injury and, with a limited build-up, thought he might be in 2.20 shape, and all seemed to be well as he passed half-way in 70  minutes.  However, as Steve says: “I knew my legs weren’t happy, and, with just a head wind as company, I had a lonely, painful last 8 miles.”  With all this, Steve still ran a sub 2.30 marathon!  Conditions obviously weren’t ideal for marathon running, so hats off, too, to Manol on a time of not far over 3 hours.

Steve Way at 11 miles in the Edinburgh Marathon.................
Steve Way at 11 miles in the Edinburgh Marathon……………..
................and finishing
…………….and finishing

The week before, on Bank Holiday Monday 25 May, Jacek Cieluszecki ran in the BUPA London 10k, finishing 50th in 32.11, a very even run considering his 5k time was 16.18.  Also running was Jacek‘s wife, Ela, who was very pleased with her PB time of 48.24. Late addition………………Rob McTaggart also competed, finishing 61st in 32.29.

Jacek and Ela Cieluszecki sightseeing after the BUPA London 10k
Jacek and Ela Cieluszecki sightseeing after the BUPA London 10k

Less than a week later, on Saturday 30 May, Jacek was the winner of the Poole Parkrun, in which Simon Munro was 7th of an astonishing field of 731.  At the Bournemouth Parkrun, 15th was Paul Consani, 22nd was Ian White (who competed the next day at the SAL fixture at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth).  Also running were Jud Kirk and Steve Cox, whose finishing positions were much lower than usual for them, so, no doubt, they were supporting other runners.

Moors Valley and Bognor Regis 10Ks, Ox Marathon, 3 Mountains and Parkruns

Chris O'Brien celebrates his win in the DYMB Moors Valley 10k
Chris O’Brien celebrates his win in the DYMB Moors Valley 10k

A bit of catching up and some wins to report………………..
Congratulations to our Web Adminstrator, Chris O’Brien, on his win in the DYMB (Dorset Youth Marching Band) Moors Valley 10k on Sunday 17th May. Chris was 1st of 57 competitors in an off-road race in a time of 39.07. Meanwhile, Ross Smith and Simon Hearn were amongst the 1500 or so runners in the Bognor Regis 10k, with Ross finishing 13th in 37.18, and Simon 56th in 41.15. The race was run on a nice day, over a good course, the only problem being the wind as the competitors reached the seafront towards the finish.
A week later, and another BAC win – this time in the Ox Ultra Marathon, won by Anthony Clark in a time of 4.39.22. This was an impressive performance by Anthony over a course of 35 or so miles described as taking place “in the beautiful rolling hills (that’s big hills) of Wiltshire”. 158 competitors completed the entire distance. The Ox Half Marathon was won by another name we know, Stuart Fox, at the moment unattached, but hopefully only temporarily so!
Many of you will have read Andy Gillespie‘s account of the ‘3 Mountain’ stage of his ‘4 Marathons and 3 Mountains’ challenge. Unfortunately, bad weather defeated Andy‘s attempt to conquer all of the three mountains, Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis. After a successful ascent of Snowdon, pouring rain and poor visibility meant that the marshalls required Andy and all the others to turn back some 300 metres from the summit – it seems part of the problem was that some of the participants were not deemed sufficiently fit to continue, which meant everyone had to abort. The weather again intervened on Ben Nevis, this time snow and ice, with the result that without full climbing gear it wasn’t possible to reach the summit sufficiently safely. Undeterred, Andy has already signed up for the same challenge next year!
In the Bournemouth Parkrun on 16 May, BAC had yet another winner, namely Nikki Sandell, 1st lady, and 15th overall of the 393 competitors. Also running were regulars Steve Cox, Jud Kirk, Paul Consani, Ian White and Joe Price, who were joined by Dave Parsons, getting back to form with a PB. Meanwhile, in Poole Park, Simon Munro and Robin Copestick were 4th and 5th respectively of the 618 finishers. The following week, 23 May, Paul Dixon-Box ran a PB to finish 2nd in the Bournemouth Parkrun, with Jud Kirk, Ian White, Joe Price and Paul Consani also competing amongst the total of 395. Steve Way added to the list of BAC winners by finishing 1st (of 686) in the Poole Parkrun on 23 May, joined by Sanjai Sharma in 20th position.

NDV Marathon update, Parkruns and Lymington 10k

First of all, apologies to Pat Robbins, whose contribution to the North Dorset Village Marathon was omitted from our report of 9 May. The event also includes a relay race (teams of four), and Pat was one of the SVM Relay Team. SVM won the ‘Mixed Team’ (ie 2 males, 2 females) race, and was third overall of the 28 teams who competed. Their aggregate time was 2.51.52.
Simon Munro seems to be recovering from his cracked ribs, caused in a cycle accident, as he was third in the Bournemouth Parkrun on Saturday 9 May, in which Paul Hill was fifth. Also amongst the 419 finishers were Jud Kirk, Steve Cox, Ian White, Eddie Suthers and Ian Graham (pacing 32 minutes). Of the 638 who completed the Poole Parkrun on the same day, Ross Smith was seventh, and 19th was Chris O’Brien, running a PB of 18.49.
Rumour has it that Paul Hill, and Joe and Will Price ran in the Lymington Lifeboat 10k on Sunday 10 May but, at the time of writing, no results have been published.

Jon Sharkey competes for his country over 100k, North Dorset Village Marathon, Parkruns and the BAC vest in Spain


Jon Sharkey competes for England in the Anglo-Celtic 100k Plate
Jon Sharkey competes for England in the Anglo-Celtic 100k Plate

For the second year running, Jon Sharkey was a member of the winning England team competing in the Anglo-Celtic 100k Plate competition which, this year, took place at Redwick, Wales on Saturday 2 May. Jon has quickly established himself as one of the country’s leading athletes at this distance, a journey which started with a 50k run in late 2013 to gain a qualifying time for consideration for last year’s Anglo-Celtic Plate, which he succeeded in doing despite minimum training, and, of course, selection for the England team for 2014 followed. Jon’s time last year ensured his selection for the competition this year on 2 May, when he finished an excellent fourth, in a time of 7.15.35, a ‘B’ standard for GB’s World Championship Team, and knocking some 8 minutes off last year’s time.  Jon is one of BAC‘s band of international athletes, the others being Steve Way and Pat Robbins, and we are very proud of Jon and all that he is achieving.

Nikki Sandell on her way to a win in the NDVM
Nikki Sandell on her way to a win in the NDVM

The next day, Sunday 3 May, the North Dorset Village Marathon took place, and congratulations to the two BAC ladies who competed, namely Nikki Sandell and Caroline Rowley.  Both Nikki and Caroline had run a week earlier in the London Marathon, and Caroline less than a week before that in Boston, thus completing three marathons in less than two weeks!  This means that Nikki‘s achievement in winning the ladies’ (all the ladies – not just the Vets!) race is all the more remarkable, Nikki‘s time being 3.16.04 in 18th overall position (Nikki‘s PB in London was just over three hours).  Caroline, having run just over 3.30 in both Boston and London, was surely pleased with her 90th position (of a total of 275) and time of 3.50.58.  BAC‘s men, also, put in good performances with two PBs.  Ben Walliman was the first of our men to cross the line, 22nd in 3.20.28, and in 46th was Tony Hunt in 3.36.45 and 96th was Steve Cox in 3.53.46.  Both Steve and Tony ran PBs.

Ben Walliman in the countryside in the NDVM
Ben Walliman in the countryside in the NDVM
Tony Hunt approaches a PB in the NDVM
Tony Hunt approaches a PB in the NDVM
Caroline Rowley still smiles during her third marathon in two weeks
Caroline Rowley still smiles during her third marathon in two weeks
Steve Cox on his way to a PB in the NDVM
Steve Cox on his way to a PB in the NDVM

Back to 2 May, and Billy McGreevy, recovering from his London Marathon run, was second in the Bournemouth Parkrun, in which Jud Kirk, Joe Price and Eddie Suthers (one of our youngsters) also ran.  Anthony Clark also appears to be recovering from his excellent London Marathon run, finishing 6th in the Poole Parkrun, with Ross Smith 8th and Paul Consani 9th.  Parkrun numbers are huge these days, with 390 finishing in Bournemouth and 634 in Poole.

Antonio Ruiz runs in a 'carrera urbana' in Ciudad Real
Antonio Ruiz runs in a ‘carrera urbana’ in Ciudad Real

Meanwhile, Antonio Ruiz, who ran for BAC a year or to ago, and helped with the Junior Development Group Wednesday evening training, continues to display his BAC vest in Spain.  Recently, proudly wearing the vest, Antonio ran 36.44 in a 10k race in Ciudad Real.

Jez Bragg conquers The Fellsman, Southbourne Flat & Fast, Fordingbridge 10k and Parkruns

Congratulations to Jez Bragg on his 2nd place in The Fellsman, which took place in the Yorkshire Dales on Saturday 25 April. This is a fell race at its toughest, consisting of a high level traverse covering more than 60 miles involving climbs totalling 11,000 feet. Much of the course isn’t along well defined footpaths, so it’s a test of the competitor’s navigational skills with map and compass as well as physical fitness. To make matters worse, on the day there was a full-on blizzard, with wind, rain and sleet. Jez‘s time of 10.44 was minutes behind the winner (10.23), and he led a very strong team (named ‘Haggis, Neaps and Tatties’!), as his remaining team members finished 3rd and 4th. To illustrate just how tough was this event, 374 started. but the drop-out along the way was such that 279 finished. Well done to Jez on such a fantastic achievement!

Nearer to home, more usual races were taking place (apart, of course, from the London Marathon, already reported on), including the Southbourne Flat & Fast 5k and 10k on Sunday 26 April. It appears there were no BAC athletes competing in the 10k, but thanks to Tony Hunt, running in the 5k, the BAC flag flew at the event. Tony was 3rd of 71 finishers in 19.34. On the same day the Fordingbridge Fire Station 10k took place, in which, of a total of 117, Simon Hunt was 8th in 41.15, Joe Price was 23rd in 43.49 and Will Price 103rd in 61.01.  Apologies if anyone has been missed, but the results don’t mention clubs, nor full names.

With so much going on during the weekend, it’s hardly surprising that there was limited BAC representation in the Parkruns on Saturday 25 April.  In the Bournemouth Parkrun, this consisted of Ian White, Steve Cox and Ian Graham (1st V65), and in the Poole Parkrun Simon Munro had an excellent run to finish 7th.  314 finished at Bournemouth, and 549 at Poole.

BAC at London Marathon, 26 April 2015


Steve Way overtakes Paula Radcliffe in the London Marathon
Steve Way overtakes Paula Radcliffe in the London Marathon

The story of BAC in the London Marathon this year is one, generally, of PBs, and targets achieved, as 14 of our athletes competed in almost perfect conditions, without the forecast rain, or the hot sun which all of us have enjoyed for the last few days, which would not have been welcome on Sunday.  The BAC squad was led to the finish by Anthony Clark who ran a superb, intelligent race to a PB by some 4 minutes of 2.30.06.  Something like 38,000 finished this year’s marathon, which emphasises the quality of Anthony’s run, considering that he was 53rd of his 18-39 category. His pacing was spot on passing half way, as he did, at 1.14.53.  Anthony finished hand-in-hand with Spiderman, aka Paul Martelletti, winner of the recent Manchester Marathon, and currently ranked number 2 of GB‘s marathon runners.  Then came Steve Way, who had kept very quiet that he was running at all!  Steve was testing out his recovery from injury, and swopped his elite start for the championship start, planning to run 6 minute miles, which he did, with a time of 2.35.38, 18th in the 40-44 category.  Steve‘s target is now the Edinburgh Marathon, later this year, and, at long last, things are looking up for him.  Then came Graeme Miller, demolishing his PB by over 4 minutes, to finish in 2.38.52, 45th 40-44.  This was nothing less than Graeme deserved, after very focussed training, including leading the Tuesday night marathon sessions.  Toby Chapman was next, in 2.42.22.  Toby confessed, the previous day, that his training hadn’t really been up to the mark, with something like five weeks with hardly any running at all – so a time anyone would be proud of,  and way beyond the capacity of many of us, is surely something of an achievement!  5th BAC was Simon Way, who more than reached his target of a PB – by almost 4 minutes!  Simon, who was 35th 45-49, ran a strong and superbly paced race, finishing in 2.43.23, having passed half-way at 1.21.26.  The next over the line was Manol Dimitrov, in 2.45.39.  Manol‘s PB is considerably faster than this, and it may be the London Marathon wasn’t a specific target race for him.  But Billy McGreevy clearly was targetting this race, as his time of 2.52.50 was yet another of the BAC PBs of the day, again a well-paced run, with a half-way point time of 1.25.29. Paul Chapman, after some excellent training throughout the winter, was unlucky enough to sustain an injury only two days before the marathon, sufficiently severe to cause doubt about starting even the day before.  Paul decided, however, that he would start, and see how things went, pulling out if continuing would aggravate the injury.  So, it says a great deal for Paul‘s stamina that, no only did he finish, but he did so in 2.53.52, knocking 4 minutes off his PB in the process! Yet another PB was achieved by Sanjai Sharma, finishing in 2.55.22. There must be something about BAC training, as Sanjai, like so many others, ran a perfectly paced marathon, going through half-way, as he did, in 1.28.13 – quality marathon running!  And yet another PB to report is that of Nikki Sandell, and what a PB – Nikki‘s time of 3.01.42 knocked over 12 minutes off her previous marathon best, and this despite a knee injury which has been causing trouble and threatened throughout!  Such strength of character is an example to us all.  Richard Nelson seems to run just about every marathon going, and there he was pounding the streets of London.  Richard finished in 3.08.12, just some 3 minutes or so off his PB, so Richard‘s satisfaction with his run is surely justified.  Caroline Rowley was BAC‘s second lady to cross the line in this, the middle of three marathons Caroline is running in the space of two weeks.  Less than a week earlier, Caroline ran 3.33.27 in the Boston Marathon, so her time of 3.32.33 must have been very pleasing for her, and shows how sensibly she is approaching this amazing challenge (for charity). Caroline has one marathon to go, the North Dorset Village Marathon this Sunday, so we wish her every success in that. Something must have gone wrong with Andy Gillespie‘s run.  Andy is very familiar with distance running – in fact a relatively flat road race at marathon distance might appear easy (though we know it isn’t!) against the type of challenge Andy regularly takes on, such as three coastal marathons (up-and-down!) in three days, so Andy‘s time of 3.49.13 indicates there may have been a problem, particularly as his splits show he slowed fairly dramatically in the later stages of the race. Hopefully, if there is a problem, it’ll sort itself out before Andy‘s next challenge, which no doubt isn’t far away!  Last, but certainly not least, was Peter Gaze, well over 70 years of age, and still running a number of marathons each year. Surely any of us would be happy to be running marathons in 5.49.13 (indeed be running them at all!) at Peter‘s age.

For those of us watching the London Marathon, it was great to see so many BAC vests passing by, and giving whatever encouragement we could, so congratulations and well done to all our athletes taking part in this unique event.

Reports on The Fellsman (Yorkshire Dales), Southbourne Flat & Fast, Fordingbridge Fire Station 10k and Parkruns to follow………..

Four contented marathon finishers - Nikki Sandell, Caroline Rowley, Billy McGreevy and Richard Nelson
Four contented marathon finishers – Nikki Sandell, Caroline Rowley, Billy McGreevy and Richard Nelson
Nikki Sandell concentrates
Nikki Sandell concentrates
Paul Chapman in the finishing straight
Paul Chapman in the finishing straight
Anthony Clark at 11 miles......
Anthony Clark at 11 miles……
........and going well.............
……..and going well………….
.........and finishing with Spiderman (Paul Martelletti)
………and finishing with Spiderman (Paul Martelletti)
Steve Way and Toby Chapman running together............
Steve Way and Toby Chapman running together…………
.........still together at 11 miles............
………still together at 11 miles…………
.......and Steve at 20 miles........
…….and Steve at 20 miles……..
.......and Toby at 20 miles
…….and Toby at 20 miles
Steve Way seems to be on his own
Steve Way seems to be on his own
Graeme Miller at 11 miles........
Graeme Miller at 11 miles……..
........and at 20 miles.......
……..and at 20 miles…….
........and at 23 miles
……..and at 23 miles
Manol Dimitrov at 11 miles........
Manol Dimitrov at 11 miles……..
...........and at 20 miles
………..and at 20 miles
Simon Way at 11 miles.........
Simon Way at 11 miles………
...............and celebrating his PB
……………and celebrating his PB

24 hr World Championships Turin (Pat Robbins World Champion), Bordeaux and Boston Marathons and Parkruns

Pat Robbins carries the GB flag at the 24 hr World Championships (with Paul Consani recording the event on video)
Pat Robbins carries the GB flag at the 24 hr World Championships (with Paul Consani recording the event on video)

BAC has another World (and European) Champion! The club seems to be gaining something of a reputation in Ultra Distance running, as, this time, the event was the World and European 24 Hour Championships in Turin, Italy, on 11 April, in which Pat Robbins helped the GB team to an overall win, securing both World and European Gold Medals. Of a total of 179 male competitors, Pat was an astonishing 7th overall, running 128 laps ( we’re not quite sure of what!), with a running time of 23.54.22, so presumably Pat just didn’t have quite enough time to complete a 129th lap. The others making up the GB team were Robbie Button, 3rd overall, and Steve Holyoak, 11th overall. BAC‘s Ultra Distance pedigree must now be amongst the best in the country, with Steve Way as 50k World Champion, plus his achievements at 100k, and Jon Sharkey forming part of a winning England team at the Anglo-Celtic 100k Plate, in which Jon will again be competing for England again next month.  The GB ladies’ team also had a highly successful campaign at the World Championships, with Debbie Martin-Consani (perhaps not a BAC member, but a name we recognise!) completing 111 laps and finishing 11th overall of a total of 282 ladies, and, with Isobel Wykes (8th overall) and Sharon Law (11th overall), Debbie secured the European Bronze Medal.  Debbie‘s time was 23.59.43, so it looks as if, after nearly 24 hours of running, Debbie may have had to sprint to complete a lap within 24 hours!  Paul Consani was present in Turin to give invaluable encouragement to the teams, and hearty congratulations are due to Pat, and everyone else involved.

Some time later, on 19 April, Jacek Cieluszecki proved that he has shaken off his injury by winning the Bordeaux Marathon in 2.32.10. Jacek says that whereas the time may not be too impressive (really?) he decided that, in view of the fact that the course consisted of many twists and turns, and has cross-country sections, he would go for position rather than time.  Jacek‘s pacing to achieve this was immaculate, moving to first place, as he did, at 42k, and finishing 33 seconds before the second-placed athlete.  So well done to Jacek, and everyone is very pleased to see such a convincing return to form.

Caroline Rowley proudly displays her Boston Marathon medal
Caroline Rowley proudly displays her Boston Marathon medal

The next day, Caroline Rowley was starting the first of three marathons in almost the same number of weeks at the Boston Marathon on 20 April.  Conditions were far from ideal, with a bitterly cold headwind, leaving everyone very cold and wet at the finish.  The course is end-to-end, from the small town of Hopkinton to Boston, so the headwind would have been with the competitors all the way, and is also far from flat, with the notorious ‘Heartbreak Hill‘ at about 20 miles, just when you don’t need it.  So Caroline was justifiably pleased with her time of 3.33.27.  The next challenges for Caroline are the London Marathon and the North Dorset Village Marathon, as the main purpose in accepting these challenges is to raise money for charity, we congratulate Caroline and wish her every success in her next two marathons.

Of course, away from these events, life continues as normal, and another athlete returning from injury is Steve Way, who showed his progress by finishing 2nd in the Poole Parkrun on 18 April.  If this had been a competitive event, BAC would have taken all the honours, as Anthony Clark was 4th, Billy McGreevy was 6th (in a sub 17 minute PB time), Robin Copestick 11th and Sanjai Sharma 16th!  At the Bournemouth Parkrun the same day, Paul Hill reverted to his usual 2nd (to an ‘unknown’ winner – now who could that have been?), Paul Dixon-Box was 4th, Jud Kirk 18th, Steve Cox 25th and Ian White 31st.  Also competing at Bournemouth was Eddie Suthers, category JM 11-14, and this was particularly pleasing, as Eddie is a recruit to the club from the Wednesday Junior Development Evenings.  Will Price also kept up his record of running in just about all the Bournemouth Parkruns.  The Parkrun movement goes from strength to strength, with 703 running at Poole, and 400 at Bournemouth.