Category Archives: Road_Reports

Berlin Marathon, Parkruns and Hoburne 5

Billy McGreevy and Peter Thompson celebrate achieving their targets in the Berlin Marathon
Billy McGreevy and Peter Thompson celebrate achieving their targets in the Berlin Marathon

On the day when the Marathon record was broken in the Berlin Marathon (Dennis Kimetto, 2.02.57) two BAC athletes ran very impressively in the same race on Sunday 28 September to achieve their own personal targets. Peter Thompson was aiming to run under 2.30, and clearly ran an intelligent, paced run to finish in 2.29.33, an astonishing 60th of 22,209 finishers. Billy McGreevy‘s training had been with a view to a sub 3 hour marathon, achieved comfortably in 650th place with a time of 2.53.56.  A look at Peter‘s and Billy‘s previous marathon PBs shows how much progress has been made in a short time – Peter: 2010 3.29.30; 2011 2.49.05; 2012 2.44.31; 2013 2.31.47 and 2014 2.29.33 – Billy: 2011 3.50.11; 2012 3.28.51; 2013 3.08.52 and 2014 2.53.56.  Well done to both!  It’s also worth mentioning another PB, achieved by Nigel Rogerson, who, although a member of Poole AC, has benefitted from BAC training, and finished in 2.43.49, a PB by 8 minutes!

Graeme Miller receives his awards won in the Hoburne 5
Graeme Miller receives his awards won in the Hoburne 5

On the same day, over a shorter distance and more low-key, but just as important to its participants, was the Hoburne 5 (mile).  The results aren’t yet available on their website, nor on Power of 10 (no criticism – early days!), but we know that, following a fine run,  Graeme Miller was 2nd overall, and winning veteran, and the photo shows Graeme receiving his awards from Peter Wallis, of Christchurch Runners, who took over the organisation of the race this year.  When the results are available, this posting will be updated if there were any other BAC competitors.

Running legends Ron Hill and Steve Way with some of their fans (the Brogan family) at the Heaton Parkrun
Running legends Ron Hill and Steve Way with some of their fans (the Brogan family) at the Heaton Parkrun

The day before, Saturday 27 September, there were winners in the Poole and Bournemouth Parkruns, and also further afield in Heaton Park, Manchester Jacek Cieluszecki was the outright winner of 518 winners in Poole Park, with Simon Way 10th.  In Kings Park, Bournemouth, the first BAC athlete to finish was Ross Smith, 6th, followed very shortly afterwards by Nikki Sandell, who was the 1st lady.  Also running were Joe Price, Duncan Wells (and dog – thought to be Duncan‘s dog’s PB!), Sebastian Hearn (5th in his age group), Paul Hill (for some reason a long way down the field for a winner of this event!), Janet Dickinson, Paula and Jud Kirk.  The Bournemouth Parkrun now routinely attracts over 200 competitors, but nearly 300 (to be exact 291) ran on 27 September.  Meanwhile, in Heaton ParkManchester, none other than Steve Way was the winner of the Heaton Parkrun, the first of 424 runners, amongst whom were ex-BAC members John Broom (4th – first Parkrun) and Dawn Broom (3rd lady).  Also spotted in the results was one Ron Hill Steve achieved yet another landmark, in that this was his 50th Parkrun – congratulations!

Parkruns, Beauty and the Beast and news from Switzerland and Spain

 

Manol Dimitrov races  in spectacular scenery in Switzerland
Manol Dimitrov races in spectacular scenery in Switzerland

There were two BAC wins in the local Parkruns on 20 September, namely Paul Hill, making a welcome return from injury, at the Bournemouth run, and Peter Thompson at PoolePeter was followed in third place by Steve Way, in fourth by Billy McGreevy and Tim Hughes a little way further down the field.  Rumour has it that the Poole Parkrun also doubled somehow as a wedding for a competing couple!  Following Paul at Bournemouth were Jud Kirk, 11th, Steve Cox, 20th and Joe Price, 22nd.  245 finished at Bournemouth and 557 at Poole.

The next day, Richard Nelson did well to finish 13th in the Helly Hansen Beauty and the Beast Marathon, described as a 6 lap ‘Chiltern Classic’ with 1500m ascent, in 3.48.  Eighty-nine competitors completed the race, and just how tough the course was is illustrated by the fact that there numerous DNFs!

Although not so much news now as history, it’s worth mentioning Manol Dimitrov’s recent success in the Matterhorn Ultratraks Trail in Switzerland, a 46k race which is part of the Skyrunning Series, and involves 3600m of ascent and descent.  Manol was 13th of a total of 59 in his age category, in a time of 6.23.11, the winners time being 5.08.50.  To put this into perspective, the last of Manol‘s age category finished in 11.08.59, and although there may have been just 59 in this category, the total number of competitors went into the hundreds.  It’s great to see the BAC vest in these magnificent surroundings!

Antonio Ruiz completes the Ciudad Real Half marathon
Antonio Ruiz completes the Ciudad Real Half marathon

Also doing the BAC vest proud abroad is Antonio Ruiz, who continues to compete in Spain in BAC colours.  Recently Antonio ran in the Ciudad Real Half Marathon, and was 45th of a total of 550, in a time of 1.21.  Antonio keeps in touch with his news, and it is remarkable that he still runs so well (off BAC training of course!) considering that most of his training is on his own, although Antonio does have contact with a running group, and can no doubt show them a thing or two about ‘proper’ training!  Well done, Antonio!

On a more sombre note, for the first time in, perhaps, living memory, it appears that no BAC team competed at the Southern Road Race Relays at Aldershot on 20/21 September.

Purbeck Marathon and Bournemouth Parkrun

Steve Way (No 1, of course!) at the start of the Purbeck Marathon
Steve Way (No 1, of course!) at the start of the Purbeck Marathon

Two BAC athletes competed in the off-road (and described probably correctly as the most scenic in the country) Purbeck Marathon on Sunday 14 September, namely Steve Way, who was 2nd in 3.01.40, and Jon Sharkey, 5th in 3.16.24. Steve has won this race twice in previous years, in times faster than the winning time this year (3.00.49 by Matthew Bennett of Southampton AC), and, no doubt, was running this year’s Purbeck Marathon at a pre-determined pace as part of his training for the 100k World Championships later this year. “Scenic” very often also means “hilly”, which is certainly true in the case of the Purbeck Marathon, so Steve and Jon can be congratulated on two excellent performances.
On the previous day, of the three local Parkruns, BAC was represented only at Bournemouth. The Bournemouth Parkrun, every Saturday in Kings Park, now regularly attracts over 200 participants, and, of the 270 who ran on 13 September, Simon Way, competing in this event for the first time, was 3rd. In 11th place was Jud Kirk and in 18th was Steve Cox, followed further down the field by Mike Farrell, Ian Graham, Duncan Wells (and dog!), Dave Parsons and Will Price Paul Hill, a regular competitor and from time to time winner, was seen to be one of the helpers, scanning the finishing tokens.  Without volunteers such as Paul to carry out the various tasks each week there would be no Parkruns.

Littledown 5, Great North Run and Parkruns

Jacek Cieluszecki and Josh Cole 1st and 2nd Littledown 5
Jacek Cieluszecki and Josh Cole 1st and 2nd Littledown 5

A convincing win in the Littledown 5 (mile) race on Sunday 7 September means that BAC’s mens’ team have now won 5 of the 9 Dorset Road Race League fixtures for 2014 which have so far taken place, and with three left, a League win for the year is BAC‘s to lose. The final result is calculated by taking each team’s 7 best results, so another 2 wins would ensure the championship for this year and, although it would be possible to achieve this without securing the forthcoming races, it would be safer not to rest on our laurels! BAC‘s ladies’ team also continues to perform well, having won 4 League races so far, and finished 2nd in all the others before Sunday, which means that, at the moment, they are top of Division1.  Subject to confirmation, BAC ladies were the third ladies team at Littledown, so the pressure will have to be maintained, but, considering the team earned promotion to Division 1 just this year, our ladies are to be congratulated on their phenomenal performance so far.  Altogether, 19 BAC athletes competed in the Littledown 5, with some excellent runs, including PBs, PBs being equalled, and PBs being missed by as little as 5 seconds.  The outright winner of the race was Jacek Cieluszecki, followed in second place by Josh Cole.  Both Jacek and Josh ran PBs, running measured, intelligent races, considering that half way round the course they were some way behind Ian Hardy, of Morpeth Harriers, who eventually finished third.  Fourth and fifth positions were occupied by Jon Sharkey and Simon Munro, running 5 seconds over his PB, and the Road Race League team was completed by Graeme Miller, 13th (of a total of 274), only 6 seconds over his PB.  Of the BAC men, PBs were run by Damian Boyle and Chris O’Brien, with Paul Consani equalling his PB.  Also equalling a previous PB was Emma Dews, who led the BAC Ladies as the winner of the ladies’ race (and, of course, first lady veteran), with Nikki Sandell, also with a PB, second BAC lady, with the team completed by Caroline Rowley.  So, a successful day for BAC, which hopefully can be repeated at the remaining League races, and the dates for your diaries are – 12 October, Gold Hill 10k; 2 November, Gilly Hilly 7.5 (websites for both www.gillinghamtrotters.talktalk.net); 16 November, Wimborne 10 (www.wimborne10.co.uk).

Jon Sharkey approaches the finish (4th)
Jon Sharkey approaches the finish (4th)
Emma Dews approaches the finish (1st lady)
Emma Dews approaches the finish (1st lady)

Results (BAC): 1. Jacek Cieluszecki 26.01;  2. Josh Cole 26.04;  4. Jon Sharkey 26.44;  5. Simon Munro 27.19;  13. Graeme Miller 29.08;  25. Damian Boyle 30.19;  30. Andy Jennings 30.31;  31. Emma Dews 30.37;  38. Paul Hill 31.16;  42. Paul Consani 31.38;  48. Chris O’Brien  31.57;  54. Nikki Sandell 32.17;  61. Simon Hearn 33.01;  86. Joe Price 35.23;  100. Andy Gillespie 36.12;  104. Caroline Rowley 36.43;  118. Helen Ambrosen 37.28;  124. Dave Parsons 37.44;  181. Will Price 42.29.

Simon Munro - mile 2
Simon Munro – mile 2
Graeme Miller - mile 1
Graeme Miller – mile 1
Andy Jennings
Andy Jennings

Meanwhile, joining Mo Farrah in the Great North Run, alongside the River Tyne from Newcastle, were BAC supervets (both 70+ category) Tom Cochrane and Peter GazePeter finished 18262nd position in 2.11.04, and Tom 18379th in 2.11.14.  And yet, as far as we know, neither knew the other was competing!

Nikki Sandell approaches the finish
Nikki Sandell approaches the finish
Paul Consani
Paul Consani

Back home, fewer BAC athletes competed in the local Parkruns on Saturday 6 September than usual – not surprising in view of the Littledown 5 the next day.  Jud Kirk, Steve Cox and Will Price ran in Kings Park, Bournemouth, as did Damian Boyle and Paul Hill, although Damian and Paul were clearly ‘jogging’ the course in preparation for their races the following day.  211 finished at Bournemouth, and of the 543 who finished in Poole Park, the only BAC athlete was Simon Way, who was 6th in the Poole Parkrun.   Returning to the North of England, Ian White was 18th of 292 finishers in the Leeds Parkrun, 1st V40.

 

Chris O'Brien
Chris O’Brien

 

Simon Hearn
Simon Hearn

 

Joe Price - mile 1
Joe Price – mile 1
Helen Ambrosen with Dave Parsons not far behind
Helen Ambrosen with Dave Parsons not far behind

 

News from USA, France, Fulham & Putney and Parkruns

Simon and Sebastian Hearn display their medals won in the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon
Simon and Sebastian Hearn display their medals won in the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon

BAC vests were proudly worn at the beginning of August in Colorado, USA, by Simon and Sebastian Hearn, who were competing in the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon.  Whereas this might conjure up an image of a race across mountains, it is, in face, a road race, albeit at altitudes above 7,500 ft in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  It is not the easiest half marathon , though, with a climb from 5 to 9 miles which is described in the course information as “gradual and consistent” and by Simon as “hard going at altitude”.  This was Sebastian‘s first half marathon, which he ran non-stop, quite an  achievement at such an altitude, and did very well to finish 372nd of 644, and, more significantly, was 2nd in his age category, winning himself a silver medal Simon also had an excellent run, finishing 39th in 1.44.29, and he also won a medal, a bronze for 4th in his age category (bronze medals were awarded for 3rd, 4th and 5th).  Simon comments “it was such a beautiful race.   The weather was perfect, apart from a 6 am start!  We were like celebs, we were interviewed for local radio.  It was such an experience”.  Well done to both!

Jez Bragg celebrates finishing the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc
Jez Bragg celebrates finishing the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

Another BAC family was also competing abroad recently, this time Jez and Gemma Bragg, running in the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, which is a race across mountains.  Last year Jez was 10th in a time of 23.50.01, and had hoped to repeat this achievement this year, but he says he suffered from unusually painful quads, possibly due to dehydration as the conditions were deceptively warm and humid throughout.  Despite the fact that he lost his “flow”, Jez still finished in the top 20, which is remarkable.  Gemma also had a remarkable run, considering this was her first 100 miler.  Gemma finished as 24th female in 40.46.30.  Just think about that!  Just to compete in a race of this nature, night and day over the toughest of terrain, let alone to finish so far up amongst the competitors, really does require someone special, which both Jez and Gemma surely are!

Gemma Bragg(371) prepares for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc
Gemma Bragg(371) prepares for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

So we move nearer to home and the Fulham & Putney Half Marathon.  Congratulations to Peter Thompson, 2nd having broken 71 minutes for the first time, and to Billy McGreevy, 3rd in 79.25, also a PB.  Not much information is available about this race, but the course is believed to be along the Thames Path, and there is also a ‘there and back’ marathon, but the results don’t appear on Power of 10.  Well done all the same to Peter and Billy.

 

Peter Thompson (2nd) and Billy McGreevy (3rd) on the Fulham & Putney Half Marathon podium
Peter Thompson (2nd) and Billy McGreevy (3rd) on the Fulham & Putney Half Marathon podium

Coming even nearer to home, Paul Hill was again 2nd in the Bournemouth Parkrun on 30 August.  He was joined by Parkrun regulars Ian White, Jud Kirk, Steve Cox and Will PriceHelen Ambrosen was a welcome addition to the BAC squad, although Helen has run the Bournemouth Parkrun on previous occasions.  227 competitors finished.  Meanwhile, over in Poole Park, of the 561 finishers in the Poole Parkrun, BAC were 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the form of Jacek CieluszeckiJo Arundel (with a PB for the course) and Simon Munro.

Ultravasan 90k, Dorset Doddle and Parkruns

Steve Way appreciates and responds to the welcome on finishing the Ultravasan 90k
Steve Way appreciates and responds to the welcome on finishing the Ultravasan 90k

Some updating to do – apologies, computer problems and holiday to blame!
Some real BAC successes to report at home and abroad. Steve Way again features following another amazing Ultrarun, and wins and PBs in the Dorset Doddle and Bournemouth and Poole Parkruns.
Having previously accepted an invitation to compete as one of the elite runners in the inaugural Ultravasan 90k in Sweden on 23 August, Steve Way decided he had no alternative other than to show up, despite having, in recent months,  won an International 100k, and led the England team home in a PB at the Commonwealth Games Marathon and, if he was going to show up, he would have to continue training to give the race his best shot. This was a 90k trail race, the first race of this type Steve had attempted, and, as he himself admitted, not the best preparation for the 100k World Championships later this year, when ideally he would be resting after his recent exploits.  So, would this latest venture prove a setback?  Not a bit of it!  Steve‘s main competitor was one Jonas Buud, a local to the race, and whereas at 13k Steve was “comfortable”, by 35k he was not feeling as fresh as he should and was wondering if this was “a race too far”.  Nevertheless Steve won himself a bonus by leading at halfway, earning a sprint prize, but then things started to go slightly wrong, with delays for a pitstop in the woods, and for a repair to his number which was falling off, which meant Steve slipped from the lead to third.  Nevertheless, Steve pulled back to second, finishing in 6.12.28, behind Jonas‘ winning time of 6.23.38, a remarkable achievement in view of everything Steve has already accomplished this year.  And who knows what the result would have been had it not been for the unfortunate enforced stops?

A week earlier, 17 August, a number of BAC athletes ran in the Dorset Doddle, a 32 mile distance event along the challenging Dorset coast.  The race was won comfortably by Jez Bragg and Jon Sharkey both in a time of 4.47.  In 12th position was Richard Nelson, 6.05, and 28th was Caroline Rowley, 6.49, with Andy Gillespie finishing 42nd in 7.22.  To put these runs into perspective, 187 finished this race, and a not inconsiderable number retiring!

The Parkruns continue to throw up some excellent performances.  At the Bournemouth Parkrun, 23 August was the ‘birthday’ run, it being exactly one year since the first.  Fancy dress was the order of the day, and Paul Hill entered in to the spirit of it all, finishing third in his outfit as a Zulu (or something) Warrior.  Emma Dews was the first lady, and with her PB time set a new course record for the ladies.  Incidentally, the mens’ course record, previously held by Dave Long and then Rob McTaggart, also fell.  Who is going to take up the challenge so that we have BAC man and lady record holders?  Also competing were Nikki Sandell, Jud Kirk, Joe Price, Elsa Charlwood (good to see our youngsters having a go), Dave Parsons (with a PB!) and Will Price.  The complete field of 324 was a record attendance by a long way.  The week before, 16 August, Paul was again third of a field of 265, and also running were Paul Consani, Ian White, Jud, Nikki (1st lady), Joe, Ian Graham, Will and Paula Kirk, running with daughter Katie.  Meanwhile, at Poole on 23 August, Billy McGreevy and Peter Thompson were 3rd and 4th respectively, of 551, and on 16 August the winner was Dave Long, with Sanjai Sharman 29th, of a total of 591.

As mentioned, the 23 August marked one year exactly since the first Bournemouth Parkrun, which meant that the first League table was closed.  Individuals earn points for the League table by turning up and running, and also for helping, which a number of BAC athletes have done over the year, so the table reflects commitment to the Parkrun, rather than fast performances.  Top of the table for the first year was Jud Kirk, with Paul Hill second and Steve Cox fourth.  Also fairly high up in the table were Billy McGreevy, 14th, Joe Price, 33rd, Damian Boyle, 41st and Will Price, 45th.  Congratulations to all of those for their contributions to making the Bournemouth Parkrun the success it has become.

BAC wins in Parkruns and Salisbury 54321

BAC athletes were the winners at both Bournemouth and Poole Parkruns on Saturday 9 August with Paul Hill (again!) leading the field of 216 to the finish in Kings Park and, at Poole, Simon Munro was the first of 547 competitors. In 8th place behind Simon was Steve Way, who was ‘pacing’ 18 minutes to guide anyone wishing to run the course in that time, and helped they were, as Steve‘s time was just 4 seconds adrift, 17.56! This was the start of a busy weekend for Steve, who later the same day ran a 3000m at Kings Park Athletic Track, helping BAC to earn promotion in the British League (see separate article), and the next day won the Salisbury 50k (see below), and all this after achieving a PB, breaking the long-standing marathon V40 record, and finishing 10th, and first Englishman, only two weeks ago in the Commonwealth Games Marathon! Also running at Poole was Graeme Miller, in a time, also, of 17.56 – teamwork?! Following Paul at Bournemouth were Ian White, 5th with a PB, Brandon Meredith, Jud Kirk, Mike Farrell, improving on his first Parkrun the week before, Joe Price, Ian Graham and Samantha Laws.
The next day was the Salisbury 5,4,3,2,1, a combination of off-road races over 50k, 40k, 30k, 20k and 10k, hence the name. The 50k race was won by Steve Way in 3.23.01, in a manner described by Andy Gillespie, also competing, as “at a canter”.  Andy, with one eye on the Dorset Doddle only a week away, was 67th (of 199 finishers) in 5.16.17. The 30k race was a BAC 1, 2, in the form of Peter Thompson as the winner, in 2.15.20, with Jon Sharkey who, like Steve, had helped BAC‘s promotion in the British League the day before (by winning the B string 3000m steeplechase) second in 2.16.00. There were 168 finishers.

Wins for BAC at Stur Half and Parkruns (including Tollcross)

 

BAC with some of their prizes at Stur Half - Rob McTaggart, Jon Sharkey, PeterThompson, Josh Cole, Tom Paskins, Manol Dimitrov, Simon Munro, Emma Dews, Caroline Rowley, Nikki Sandell
BAC with some of their prizes at Stur Half – Rob McTaggart, Jon Sharkey, PeterThompson, Josh Cole, Tom Paskins, Manol Dimitrov, Simon Munro, Emma Dews, Caroline Rowley, Nikki Sandell

Following the BAC 1,2,3,4,5 at the last Dorset Road Race League event (Portland 10), BAC‘s Mens’ and Ladies’ teams turned on the style again to achieve excellent results at the Sturminster Half Marathon (the 8th – of 12 – League race superbly organised by Dorset Doddlers) on Sunday 3 August with wins and PBs. This time it was Peter Thompson‘s turn to win the race outright, followed in 2nd place by Josh Cole, running his first Half Marathon, and in 3rd by Jon Sharkey to complete the winning Open team race. The winning League team was completed by Simon Munro, 4th overall and seemingly thriving on running limited to lunchtimes at work, and Rob McTaggart who was 6th. Just squeezed out of the League team, by a few seconds, was Toby Chapman whom we were very pleased to see at the race after his move away from Bournemouth. Paul Hill ran a first Half Marathon of which many would be envious, and not far behind Paul were Damian Boyle and Tom Paskins, both running PBs. Also in the mix was Manol Dimitrov, perhaps still not completely recovered from his recent racing exploits in the Alps. In the ladies’ race, Emma Dews was second Lady overall, and first Veteran, with Nikki Sandell 4th Lady overall, and second Veteran. Completing the ladies’ team, both Open and League, was Caroline Rowley, whose run ensured an important second placing for the BAC Ladies, which means that, with four League races to go, both BAC Men and Ladies have made valuable progress following the Stur Half in this year’s Road Race League.

Results (BAC): 1. Peter Thompson 72.37;  2. Josh Cole 74.14;  3. Jon Sharkey 74.35;  4. Simon Munro 74.53;  6. Rob McTaggart 77.23;  7. Toby Chapman 77.48;  13. Paul Hill 82.12;  20. Damian Boyle 84.27;  21. Manol Dimitrov 84.38;  27. Emma Dews 85.50;  39. Tom Paskins 87.56;  59. Nikki Sandell 91.57;  132. Steve Cox 1.42.00;  160. Andy Gillespie 1.45.17;  212. Caroline Rowley 1.50.17;  247. Ian Graham 1.54.13.  There were 422 finishers.

BAC's winning Ladies' team at Stur Half - Nikki Sandell, Emma Dews and Caroline Rowley
BAC’s winning Ladies’ team at Stur Half – Nikki Sandell, Emma Dews and Caroline Rowley

The day before, Joe Arundel was again the winner of the Poole Parkrun, the first of 437 runners. Well done, Joe! At the Bournemouth Parkrun, Paul Hill was second (Paul often wins this when Andrew Ridley doesn’t turn up!), and 9th was Jud Kirk. Also running were Duncan Wells (improving on the week before, so hopefully returning to fitness), Mike Farrell, running in his first Parkrun, Dave Parsons, Ian Graham and Will Price. Meanwhile, in Glasgow, the organisers of the Tollcross Parkrun were astonished and honoured to find that Steve Way, now something of a celebrity, had turned up to run in their “wee Parkrun” (as they described it on Facebook!). Steve was second in 16.45, which would have been a course record had one Gregan Clarkson not also turned up and won the race in 16.40!). Steve was obviously welcomed, and rightly so, at the Parkrun, with plenty of complimentary comments on Facebook, and a group photo with Steve in the centre, and the others clearly very proud that Steve had chosen to take part in their run.

Steve Way success at Commonwealth Games Marathon

 

Steve Way in the lead, Commonwealth Games Marathon, Glasgow
Steve Way in the lead, Commonwealth Games Marathon, Glasgow

It has already been extensively reported all over the media, but Steve Way‘s phenomenal achievement in the Commonwealth Games Marathon in Glasgow on Sunday 27 July is well worth repeating. Steve finished in 2.15.16, thus accomplishing his three targets – a top ten finish (Steve was tenth), a PB, and a new British Veteran Marathon record, a record held until Sunday by none other than Ron Hill for decades. To throw in the mix is the fact that Steve was the first Englishman to cross the line, absolutely justifying his selection for the team. Steve had, before Sunday, clearly caught the eye of the media, and it wasn’t therefore surprising that during the marathon coverage there was considerable focus on him, starting with Paula Radcliffe mentioning Steve within moments the commencement of transmission. Steve was then interviewed by Jonathan Edwards at the finish line, and it was a great pleasure to see Steve appear on BBC 1 later in the evening, alongside Ian Thorpe and Sir Chris Hoy, in discussion with Gary Lineker, reputedly the BBC’s highest paid presenter. Then, an hour or so later, there he was again, this time with Clare Balding, and that programme included a very nice touch when Sarah, Steve‘s wife, was interviewed by Clare (with Steve looking on wide-eyed!), and Sarah‘s unstinting support for Steve was acknowledged and applauded by the live audience. Sarah mentioned that they have been together for 17 years, so she knew Steve as a 16+ stone smoker and drinker, and has seen the change over the last seven years to the dedicated athlete we all see now. It wasn’t just BBC TV – Steve‘s exploits were featured on radio and in the national and local press, including one spot on Radio 4’s ‘Today’, their prestigious early morning news and comment programme, when Professor Somebody-or-Other, talking about sport and ‘older’ people (this wasn’t the specific ‘sports’ item) said “As Steven Way has said……………………” !! So not only has Steve proved to be a consummate interviewee, he has caught the eye of academia! What Steve has done is just amazing, and we are so proud and privileged to count him amongst our number. Of course, it isn’t all over yet, by any means, and we wish Steve every success in his next endeavours, the 100k World Championships in Qatar later this year, and the Comrades’ Marathon in South Africa next year.

Gary Lineker, Ian Thorpe and Sir Chris Hoy with august company on BBC TV
Gary Lineker, Ian Thorpe and Sir Chris Hoy with august company on BBC TV

There is some other news to report, but stay with us for some more photos of Steve later on. BAC had a winner in the form of Paul Hill in the Bournemouth Parkrun on Saturday 26 July, and in 10th place, with a PB, was Brandon Meredith, followed in 10th by Jud Kirk. Duncan Wells was also a welcome sight in the race, working his way back to fitness, and also running were Ian Graham and Will Price. Meanwhile, in Poole Park, Joe Arundel was second in the Poole Parkrun, followed in third place by Simon Munro. 205 competed at Bournemouth and 441 at Poole. The next day Paul was 6th in 37.54 (of 252) at the Durberville Dash, a 10k multi-terrain race, which was won by Karl Welch in 36.10.
And so back to Steve………………………………

Steve Way leads the England team in the Commonwealth Games Marathon
Steve Way leads the England team in the Commonwealth Games Marathon
Steve Way at 40k
Steve Way at 40k
Steve Way with Sir Chris Hoy
Steve Way with Sir Chris Hoy

Good Luck to Steve Way plus English Schools Gold and Bronze, NF 10 and Parkrun wins and news from abroad

Steve Way breaks the British Record for 100k
Steve Way breaks the British Record for 100k

Steve Way will be competing for his Country in the Commonwealth Games Marathon, starting at 9 am Sunday 27 July and, although Steve‘s training and form stand him in good stead, we all know there’s always an element of luck in any race, and we wish him all the luck there is. More of Steve in a moment, but first congratulations to our medal winners at the English Schools Championships on 11 July. BAC‘s young athletes came home with no fewer than three gold medals and one bronze. Gold medals were won by Hannah Molyneux in the Shot, Danielle Broom in the Discus (with a throw almost 1 metre ahead of second) and Patrick Sylla in the Long Jump. In the Shot, Tom Peters won Bronze. Three Golds and one Bronze for BAC – can any other club claim this? It seems that Patrick‘s performance may have earned him a Schools International vest for England in the Four Nations – anyone have more detail?
Speaking of International vests brings us back to Steve. An excellent article in The Times (24 July), headed “Games find Way to run rings round any Olympic comparison”, describes the spirit of the Commonwealth Games. The article may have been overtaken by events, in that rumour has it that Usain Bolt will not be running in Glasgow at all, but it’s still worth quoting from the article which commences; “Take two runners. One is the fastest man in the world and a gilt-edged demigod. The other is a former binge-drinking chain smoker with a T-shirt that reads ‘Don’t be s***t’. Usain Bolt v Steve Way. One is an icon. The other might be the totem for the Commonwealth Games”. The article goes on to suggest (which we merely repeat here without expressing any view) that if Usain Bolt were lining up for the 100 metres at the Rio Olympics we might not be hearing the official line that he has been injured. It goes on to say; “He (Bolt) is mere icing on a cake baked by Way. Where the Olympics dulls people with evangelical talk of legacies and inspiration, it is far easier to see a link between Glasgow and real people. The way of Steve, as his T-shirt says, is something not beyond the ambitions of the more average man”. Steve‘s progress from his 40-inch waist and more than 16 stone weight is then described by Steve himself, who goes on to say; “They (ie the locals in Poole Park) see me as an everyday bloke, rather than Mo Farah. He’s a different species, a professional athlete, but I’m just an everyday Joe”. The article finishes; “Regard the Commonwealth as an anachronism if you want, but its Games may well be more representative of the modern world than the Olympic behemoth. They will surely subscribe to the mantra on Way‘s T-shirt”. Well, Steve is right in a way, but no-one can fail to be inspired by Steve‘s story, which demonstrates a determination and degree of commitment to which most of us can only aspire, but at the same time he is the ‘everyday Joe’ he describes, even if a rather exceptional one. Those of us who aren’t actually in Glasgow will no doubt be glued to the TV on Sunday morning, and we all wish Steve all the luck he undoubtedly deserves.

Chris O'Brien, Steve Way (course record holder), Steve Way and Jacek Cieluszecki celebrate their team win at New Forest 10
Chris O’Brien, Steve Way (course record holder), Steve Way and Jacek Cieluszecki celebrate their team win at New Forest 10

Turning to other events we don’t quite move away from Steve who, on 13 July, won the New Forest 10 in a course record time of 50.43, and led BAC to a team win. Completing the team were Jacek Cieluszecki, second in 53.41, Simon Way, 13th in 1.03.31 and Chris O’Brien, 39th in 1.07.42. There was also a BAC win in the Ladies’ race, the first lady home being Emma Dews, who was 16th overall in 1.03.45. The BAC squad was completed by Joe Price, 182nd (of a total of 802 finishers) in 1.17.42.

Joe Price and Chris O'Brien start the NF 10
Joe Price and Chris O’Brien start the NF 10

Jacek was also a winner (again!) in the Poole Parkrun on 19 July, followed soon after by Joe Arundel (3rd), Simon Way (15th) and Chris O’Brien (33rd). Peter Thompson also featured in this race, but clearly something was wrong, as he finished 7 minutes down on his PB, and it isn’t that long ago that Peter was part of BAC‘s superb team effort at the Portland 10. The week before in Poole Park, Simon Munro was second, with Steve Way‘s paced run bringing him in third. Meanwhile, in Kings Park, Paul Hill was second in the Bournemouth Parkrun on both 19 and 12 July. Paul was joined on 19 July by Emma Dews, 6th and 1st Lady, Ian White, 11th, Brandon Meredith, 13th and 2nd in his age category and a PB for the course, Nikki Sandell, 16th and 2nd Lady, Jud Kirk, 17th, Joe Price, Sam Laws and Will Price. The week before at Bournemouth, following Paul was Damian Boyle, 3rd, Ian White, 5th, and Jud Kirk completed the BAC contingent. 193 finished the Bournemouth Parkrun on 12 July and 200 on 19 July. In Poole the figures were 548 and 513 respectively.

Chris O'Brien finishes the NF 10
Chris O’Brien finishes the NF 10

And so we move to Canada, where Steve Cox was 5th (of 237) in the Moose was Loose 10k in Edmonton, a race which is run along scenic trails in Edmonton River valley. Steve‘s time of 44.45 would have made him the winner of his age category if the race hadn’t employed this new-fangled method of awarding categories 25+,35+, etc! The same applied to Steve’s Mum who, under the ‘old’ age categories, would have won the 70+ prize. Still a highly creditable performance!

NF 10 winning team Chris O'Brien, Steve Way (course record holder), Simon Way and Jacek Cieluszecki
NF 10 winning team Chris O’Brien, Steve Way (course record holder), Simon Way and Jacek Cieluszecki