Category Archives: Road_Reports

Poole 10k 1 June – a good day for BAC

Chris O'Brien, Simon Hearn and Jud Kirk
Chris O’Brien, Simon Hearn and Jud Kirk

It was part of Steve Way‘s preparation for the Commonwealth Games, for which Steve has been selected to run for England in the Marathon, to run the Poole 10k on Sunday June 1 “flat out”, and so it proved to be, with Steve leading BAC‘s Mens’ Team to Open and Road Race League wins. Our Ladies also did exceptionally well, the Team finishing second in both the Open and League competitions.
But more of that later. To start with, a warm welcome to Damian Boyle and Chris O’Brien, who were wearing the BAC vest in competition, not quite for the first time, but almost so, with Damian running a PB for the distance. BAC was also represented in the Minithons and 5k which took place before the 10k race. Sebastian Hearn ran incredibly well in his age category race (Sebastian is U17) and he was observed finishing well up in the field (5th?). The results haven’t yet been published so no further detail is available, but well done to Sebastian on an amazing effort. In the 5k, also finishing near the front, was Brandon Meredith, who was 12th of 206 finishers in a time of 19.50, so Brandon also deserves our congratulations.
So to the main event of the day, the 10k. This was won by last year’s winner, Boniface Kongin (of Run-Fast!) but in 2nd place was Steve Way followed by Jacek Cieluszecki in 3rd. Jacek and Steve often train together and surely having Jacek on his heels has helped Steve to his recent phenomenal achievements. The third BAC athlete was County Marathon Champion Toby Chapman, and, not far behind, completing the winning Open race team, was Manol Dimitrov. Simon Munro is clearly managing to keep some training going, as he finished a matter of seconds behind Manol, to complete the winning Road Race League team. Despite declaring some disappointment with her run, nevertheless Nikki Sandell was BAC’s leading lady, with Gemma Bragg and Cherry Sheffrin making up the League team (which, subject to confirmation, is second after Poole Runners). The Open race required four team members, and Helen Ambrosen ensured that our ladies were second Open award winners. It is such a pleasure to see the BAC ladies running and competing so well these days.
All the races which form part of the Poole Festival of Running were run on a very hot day, and the result can be seen on the expressions on some of the faces accompanying this report. Many found the second lap of the 10k very hard work. The whole event is huge and complex, and Poole Runners are to be congratulated on their superb organisation. A lot of people obviously worked very hard to make it a success.
Many thanks to Graeme Miller, Jez Bragg and Sam Munro for the photographs.
Results (BAC):
2. Steve Way 31.33; 3. Jacek Cieluszecki 32.21; 10. Toby Chapman 34.49; 13. Manol Dimitrov 35.15; 17. Simon Munro 35.42; 34. Billy McGreevy 37.33; 39. Damian Boyle 38.08; 51. Sanjai Sharman 39.23; 71. Jud Kirk 40.30; 80. Simon Hearn 41.04; 98. Chris O’Brien 41.47; 107. Nikki Sandell 42.04; 108. Mike Cowham 42.04; 130. Gemma Bragg 43.01; 134. Steve Cox 43.14; 143. Alastair Carter 43.24; 144. Cherry Sheffrin 43.27; 219. Ian Graham 46.50; 226. Helen Ambrosen 46.56; 234. Andy Gillespie 47.14; 311. Caroline Rowley 49.47; 618. Will Price 1.00.41. There were 833 finishers.

Steve Way
Steve Way
Jacek Cieluszecki
Jacek Cieluszecki
Toby Chapman
Toby Chapman
Manol Dimitrov
Manol Dimitrov
Simon Munro
Simon Munro
Billy McGreevy
Billy McGreevy
Sanjai Sharman
Sanjai Sharman
Jud Kirk
Jud Kirk
Nikki Sandell
Nikki Sandell
Gemma Bragg and Mike Cowham
Gemma Bragg and Mike Cowham
Steve Cox
Steve Cox
Cherry Sheffrin
Cherry Sheffrin
Ian Graham and Andy Gillespie
Ian Graham and Andy Gillespie
Helen Ambrosen
Helen Ambrosen
Caroline Rowley
Caroline Rowley
Steve Way
Steve Way
Jacek Cieluszecki
Jacek Cieluszecki
Toby Chapman
Toby Chapman
Manol Dimitrov
Manol Dimitrov
Simon Munro
Simon Munro
Billy McGreevy
Billy McGreevy
Jud Kirk
Jud Kirk
Simon Hearn
Simon Hearn
Nikki Sandell
Nikki Sandell
Mike Cowham and Nikki Sandell
Mike Cowham and Nikki Sandell
Gemma Bragg
Gemma Bragg
Ian Graham
Ian Graham
Helen Ambrosen
Helen Ambrosen
Andy Gillespie
Andy Gillespie

 

 

London 10k and Parkruns and Update

Damian Boyle competes in the Yorkshire Three Peaks fell race
Damian Boyle competes in the Yorkshire Three Peaks fell race

After the amazing weekend of Steve Way‘s new 100k British Record (and subsequent selection for the England Marathon Team in the Commonwealth Games) and Steve‘s and Jon Sharkey‘s part in the England win in the 100k Anglo-Celtic Plate, followed the next day by BAC medals and team wins in the North Dorset Village Marathon, led by Toby Chapman and Jez Bragg as gold and silver medallists respectively, the next two weekends have been relatively quiet, but Club Captain Billy McGreevy ran well on Sunday 25 May in the BUPA London 10,000 (10k), finishing 250th (of literally thousands) in 36.23.  Although this is 2 seconds slower than Billy‘s Christchurch 10k time, because he is now one year older, his age-grading for the Championship Table is actually increased .05% to 73.98%! The previous week saw a battle between outgoing and incoming club captains in the Poole Parkrun on Saturday 17 May, with Simon Munro finishing 3rd in 17.13 and Billy 4th in 17.17! Only slightly further down the field (which totalled 625) there was another BAC battle, with Sanjai Sharman and Billy Nixon finishing 12th and 13th respectively, separated by 2 seconds! On the same day in the Bournemouth Parkrun, three BAC athletes achieved PBs for the course, with Paul Consani 4th (of 208) in 18.46, Jud Kirk 7th in 19.50 and Steve Cox 11th in 20.17. Jud was one of 120 brave souls who turned out to run the Bournemouth Parkrun the following week, Saturday 24 May, in torrential rain, and was joined by Damian Boyle, who was 3rd in 18.41, and also by Parkrun regular Joe Price.

UPDATE

It turns out that Billy McGreevy wasn’t the only BAC athlete competing in the BUPA London 10,000 (10k).  Also running, and running well, was Rob McTaggart who finished 53rd in 32.24, 2 seconds outside his PB and his best time since 2012, and not far behind was Karl Welch, 217th in 36.46.  That was 25 May.  One week earlier, on Sunday 18 May, Mark Hargreaves and Roy Long were running in the Netley 10k, Southampton, with Mark finishing (in a field 500) 16th, and 1st M50, in 36.24, followed in 20th position by Roy, 36.49.  Going further back, 17 years in fact, in 1997 three BAC vests were on display in the Yorkshire Three Peaks race, worn by Ian Graham, Nick Kenchington and Neil Schofield, on the occasion of Ian‘s 50th birthday, which fell on the day of the race.  In 2014, the BAC vest could again be seen in this race, occupied by Damian Boyle, who completed the course in 4.22.59 and was 305th of 704.  This is a fell race taking in the three Yorkshire peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough and is marathon distance.  Damian‘s time was ranked ‘second class’ of the classifications ‘elite’ (there were very few ‘elite’ runners), ‘first class’, ‘second class’ and ‘standard’ so Damian‘s run was highly creditable on a tough course very different from our normal competitions.  As it happens, the Yorkshire Three Peaks race was during the same weekend and in the same area as the 100k Fell Race, in which Jez and Gemma Bragg competed (see earlier report), so BAC vets could be seen all over that part of Yorkshire!  There is also another race involving BAC athletes, which Peter Thompson won and in which Billy McGreevy came 5th (despite getting lost!) and Billy will be sending in details………………………..

 

Steve Way selected for England at Commonwealth Games

Steve Way - an inspiration to all
Steve Way – an inspiration to all

Many congratulations to Steve Way who has been selected to run for England in the Marathon at the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow. Steve has worked extremely hard to achieve this and it is nothing less than he deserves. Steve is an inspiration to so many people and we are very, very lucky to have him in our midst. We wish you luck, Steve, with the training and on the day when we will be amongst the army of your followers tracking your progress!

Parkruns, 1st Upton TT, Lymington 10k and Southbourne F & F

The first of the summer time trials at Upton House,organised by Poole Runners, took place on Friday evening and was won by Peter Thompson who covered the off-road course of 5k plus in 18.32, and was followed in 5th place by Captain-Designate Billy McGreevy whose time was 20.18.  Subsequent time trials will take place on 6 June, 4 July, 18 July, 1 August and 22 August.
Some up-dating needed on the Parkruns! Jo Arundel, having won the Bournemouth Parkrun on 3 May, on his first run in the Kings Park event, went on to finish 2nd on 10 May at the Poole Parkrun, to be followed in 13th position by Steve Way, steadily recovering after his remarkable marathon and 100k runs. On 3rd May Jo was joined at Bournemouth by Jud Kirk, Steve Cox and Ian Graham, who ran a PB for the course and finished 1st V65 (although there isn’t that much competition!). Jud and Steve (Cox) also ran at Bournemouth on 10 May, as did Paula Kirk. At Poole on 3 May, the first BAC athlete was new-signing Damian Boyle, whose 6th position and time of 17.53 show that he will be a valuable addition to the club. About 30 seconds after Damian was Paul Consani, with Michael Cowham and Cherry Sheffrin completing the BAC contingent. Going further back to 26 April there were BAC winners at both Bournemouth and Poole. In Bournemouth Rob McTaggart was first in 16.30, taking the course record away from David Long – but for how long? Billy McGreevy was 5th in the same race. Meanwhile, in Poole Park, Jacek Cieluszecki was once again the winner, followed in 2nd place by Steve Way. Steve Cox and Joe Price also ran in Bournemouth that day. The Parkrun movement continues to prosper, with 200, 225 and 167 finishers at Bournemouth, and 546, 629 and 518 at Poole on 26 April, 3 and 10 May respectively.
Congratulations to Janie Chapman, who must be pleased with her last-minute decision to compete in the Lymington Lifeboat 10k on 11 May, as Janie finished first in her age category on this multi-terrain course.
Last, but by no means least, apologies to Michael Halpenny for missing his run at the Southbourne Flat & Fast 10k on 27 April. The published results don’t specify clubs which means this can happen. Michael finished in a time of 45.38.

Steve Way and Jon Sharkey success in 100k International

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

Steve Way (1st) and Jon Sharkey (6th) made up 40% of the England winning team at the Anglo-Celtic Plate 100k International at Gravesend on Saturday 3 May, but there is, of course, much more to say about both Steve and Jon.
Concerning Steve, just to report that his winning time of 6.19.20 is nothing less than a NEW ALL-TIME BRITISH RECORD for the 100k distance on the road. Furthermore, it places Steve amongst the top ten 100k roadrunners in the world EVER! We asked after Steve‘s tremendous run in the London Marathon, where he was the third Briton to cross the line, “are there sufficient superlatives to describe Steve‘s achievement?” – well the answer increasingly seems to be “no”! Steve‘s finishing time was over 45 minutes ahead of the second -placed athlete (also running for England), who must have been lapped several times on the 1.5k loop course, and firmly put aside any lingering doubt that the 2.16 marathon, only three weeks earlier, would affect his performance. The race incorporated the British Athletics National 100k Championships with the result that Steve is a Gold Medal winner, and a British National Champion. No doubt it will be recalled that Steve was the fastest 100k runner in the world last year after his race in Sweden (unfortunately the 100k World Championships were cancelled) and that in 2012 he was the World Champion over 50k. We’ve said it before, and we say it again, we are very,very lucky to have such a talented and affable athlete in our midst.
Jon finished 6th in the race, a very impressive result considering this was his first attempt at this distance. Jon‘s rise to the top echelons of Ultra Running has been astonishingly rapid. It was only last year, after resting following his Ironman Triathlon, that Jon was persuaded by Steve to take up the challenge of 100k running. So to try to qualify for selection for the England team in Saturday’s race, Jon competed in a 50k race in Newcastle in December, with virtually no specific preparatory training, and ran a highly disciplined, evenly-paced and intelligent race to finish, as planned, within a few minutes of the qualifying time. And so Jon was selected, and as a result helped his country to victory on Saturday. His 6th position demonstrates that describing Jon as in the “top echelons” of Ultra Running is no exaggeration.
Many congratulations to both Steve and Jon, with our best wishes for a rapid recovery and a return to competition.

Jon Sharkey on his way to 6th position in his debut 100k race
Jon Sharkey on his way to 6th position in his debut 100k race
Steve Way with winner's trophy having led the England team to victory in a record-breaking time
Steve Way with winner’s trophy having led the England team to victory in a record-breaking time

North Dorset Village Marathon – wins particularly Toby Chapman and medals!

Toby Chapman - winner and County Champion
Toby Chapman – winner and County Champion

Well done to BAC’s Mens‘ team for their race win and to our Ladies’ Team for their race and League win , but first of all many congratulations to Toby Chapman who, running only his second marathon, is the Dorset County Champion and Gold Medallist as a result of his win at the North Dorset Village Marathon in a time of 2.40.29, knocking about 15 minutes off his PB. Congratulations also to Jez Bragg, second in the race (2.46.29) and County Silver Medallist. Jez‘s run is all the more remarkable as it comes only a week after competing in the Fellsman 100k in the Yorkshire Dales – see separate article. The mens’ team was completed by Richard Nelson, 30th, who declared himself “moderately satisfied” with his time of 3.13.14, and Duncan Wells, 46th in 3.23.37. Earlier in the race Duncan was much further up the field, even as late as 15 miles, but he than found he was struggling with those twinges we all know about, and even injury, and it is testament to Duncan‘s determination that he continued to the finish when others would have pulled out.  Toby, Jez and Richard won the open team event, but, as there was no fifth BAC man, we were probably 4th Dorset Road Running League team, as three other League clubs fielded five or more athletes.
Many congratulations also to our Ladies’ Team of Gemma Bragg, Caroline Rowley and Nikki Sandell who continued their success in the Dorset Road Running League with another League win.    First home was Gemma 2nd lady and 60th overall in 3.28.51, an astonishing run considering that, like Jez, she had competed in the Fellsman 100k only a week earlier. Gemma started the race very steadily, and was the last of our ladies at 2 and 11 miles, but in the latter stages worked her way through the field, and still had sufficient left for an astonishing sprint to the finish line! Gemma, as 2nd lady, certainly qualifies for the Silver County Marathon medal, and may even be the County Champion depending on whether the first lady to finish meets the qualification criteria.  Caroline was 76th overall in 3.33.56, with Nikki 95th in 3.42.10.  Nikki, like Duncan, developed something of an injury during the race, which meant she dropped back in the letter stages and it is very much to her credit that Nikki continued to the finish.  Although Nikki won the award for 1st 030F, we are sure she would be the first to acknowledge that there were some veteran ladies, including Caroline, who finished before her.  We should spare a thought for Caroline, who left without anything although, as noted, she was entitled to a team award.

So, on the whole, a successful day for BAC!

BAC winning team
BAC winning team
BAC Ladies' winning team
BAC Ladies’ winning team
Toby Chapman winner
Toby Chapman winner
Gemma Bragg 2nd lady
Gemma Bragg 2nd lady
Nikki Sandell 1st 030F
Nikki Sandell 1st 030F
Toby Chapman pursues a relay runner at 2 miles
Toby Chapman pursues a relay runner at 2 miles
Toby Chapman with some competition at 11 miles
Toby Chapman with some competition at 11 miles
Toby Chapman 16 miles
Toby Chapman 16 miles
23 miles Toby Chapman about to overtake Manol Dimitrov - no mean runner himself - who was running the last relay leg for JPMorgan finishing one minute after Toby
23 miles Toby Chapman about to overtake Manol Dimitrov – no mean runner himself – who was running the last relay leg for JPMorgan finishing one minute after Toby
Jez Bragg 2 miles
Jez Bragg 2 miles
Jez Bragg 16 miles
Jez Bragg 16 miles
Jez Bragg finishing 2nd
Jez Bragg finishing 2nd
Nikki Sandell and Richard Nelson 2 miles
Nikki Sandell and Richard Nelson 2 miles
Richard Nelson 11 miles
Richard Nelson 11 miles
Richard Nelson approaches the finish
Richard Nelson approaches the finish
Duncan Wells 2 miles
Duncan Wells 2 miles
Duncan Wells 11 miles
Duncan Wells 11 miles
Gemma Bragg at 2 miles
Gemma Bragg at 2 miles
Gemma Bragg sprinting for the line too fast for the camera!
Gemma Bragg sprinting for the line too fast for the camera!
Caroline Rowley 2 miles
Caroline Rowley 2 miles
Caroline Rowley 11 miles
Caroline Rowley 11 miles
Caroline Rowley celebrates finishing
Caroline Rowley celebrates finishing
Nikki Sandell 11 miles
Nikki Sandell 11 miles

Parkruns and Southbourne ‘Flat and Fast’

Rob McTaggart ran a PB for the course to win the Bournemouth Parkrun in Kings Park on Saturday 26 April, followed in 5th place by Billy McGreevy, no doubt holding back for his 10k the following day. Also amongst the 200 finishers were Steve Cox, 14th, Joe Price, 27th and Tim Dence, 45th. Meanwhile, in Poole Park, Jacek Cieluszecki was the winner of the Poole Parkrun and in second place (of a total of 546) was Steve Way, some way behind, but pacing himself in preparation for the 100k race rapidly approaching. We wish Steve, and Jon Sharkey, the very best of luck in the forthcoming 100k Anglo-Celtic plate, in which they comprise 40% of the England team in this international competition.
The next day Billy McGreevy was again in action, finishing 5th of a total of about 320 in the Southbourne 10k ‘Flat & Fast’ in 37.47. BAC was also represented by Duncan Wells, 20th in 39.41, and Jud Kirk, 34th in 41.19.

Guernsey Easter Races, Easter Quarter Marathon and Parkruns

Dave Parsons completing the Guernsey Half Marathon with Ian Graham 'hiding' behind the sea wall a short distance behind
Dave Parsons completing the Guernsey Half Marathon with Ian Graham ‘hiding’ behind the sea wall a short distance behind

Congratulations to Jon Sharkey on his win in the annual Easter Quarter Marathon on Saturday 19 April, starting and finishing at Boscombe Pier. Jon was first of the 290 competitors in a time of 36.55, and in 40th position was Mike Cowham, completing the course in 44.57. In the ladies’ competition both Cherry Sheffrin and Helen Ambrosen ran well to achieve ‘podium’ positions, with Cherry as 3rd lady overall, 59th in 46.28, and Helen 2nd FV50, 84th in 48.32. In 10th position (40.19) was John Broom, an old friend of BAC, now a member of Barnsley AC.
Earlier the same day record numbers ran the local Parkruns, 643 in Poole and 250 in Bournemouth. In Poole Park Karl Welch was 3rd and it was pleasing to see Billy Nixon, a welcome returnee to BAC, representing the club. Also running at Poole was Adam Eason, who ran 7 minutes slower than his PB – maybe we should be seeing more of him at training! In Kings Park, Graeme Miller was 6th and Bridget Dence was once again the first lady. Joining Graeme and Bridget were Richard Felton, Paul Consani, Steve Cox and Bridget‘s brother Jim. Proudly displayed against Steve‘s name in the results is the ‘100’ logo, Steve having run his 100th Parkrun (24 in Bournemouth) the week before, when he was selected as ‘Parkrunner of the Week’ and was featured in the News section of the Parkrun website. Steve was asked which celebrity he would like to run with, and his answer was Steve Way, and who could argue with that?!

Guernsey Easter Races 2014 (Dave Parsons reports)

BAC were again represented at the Easter Races in Guernsey with Ian Graham and Dave Parsons (O60 vets) tackling the challenge of four races in four days.  This was Dave‘s 16th successive year at the event with Ian a mere ‘novice’ as this was only his 8th year in a row!  Accompanying then was Geoff Scott from Poole Runners with his 21st appearance at the Festival although, as Dave was quick to point out, he had missed a few years on the way!

The first race was the 10k road race on Good Friday and, for once, the weather was kind with plenty of sunshine and, although there was a strong breeze, it was less than on some previous occasions.  On arrival at the HQ for the race there was the usual ritual of looking around to see which other O60s were there and the main challengers were identified.  After his serious illness last summer, Ian was mainly aiming to complete all four races without any mishaps.  Dave felt that his training had gone better this year and was hoping for better performances than 2013.   He set off with some purpose and, after the initial rush, settled into a good pace and was very pleased to come home in 88th place (out of 220 finishers) in 44.49, his fastest 10k for four years.  He was delighted (really? – Ed) to see Ian finishing strongly just three places behind him in 45.19.  They then watched their expected O60 rivals coming in over the next few minutes and for some time felt that they had probably finished 1st and 2nd in their age category.  It was only several hours later that they discovered that old rival, Terry Bates, now of Isle of Man Veterans, had not only run but had finished 72nd in 42.24!  Unless Terry was not going to compete in all of the races or got injured, it was clear that winning the overall O60 category wasn’t going to be a realistic option for our two runners.

Dave Parsons approaching the finish at the 10k
Dave Parsons approaching the finish at the 10k
Ian Graham approaching the finish at the 10k - must do something about those shorts!
Ian Graham approaching the finish at the 10k – must do something about those shorts!

On the Saturday, the second race was the traditional ‘Long Course’ Cross Country event on L’Ancresse Common.  Following the storms earlier in the year, there was a small detour necessary at the far end of the course.  Dave set off hard but, this time, Ian kept him well within his sights and caught and passed him after about halfway.  They stayed fairly close together for the rest of the race with Ian finishing in a very satisfactory 58th place (118 finishers) in 36.12 and Dave just two places further back in 36.22.

Ian Graham - those shorts again! - at the finish of the Cross Country with Dave Parsons in the background
Ian Graham – those shorts again! – at the finish of the Cross Country with Dave Parsons in the background

Easter Sunday saw the Cross Country Relay being held on the ‘Stonecrusher’ course at L’Ancresse CommonDave and Ian were joined by Angela Brown and Geoff Scott (Poole Runners) and agreed that in honour of his great race at the London Marathon, their team name should be ‘The Steve Way Fan Club’.  Unlike the two previous days, the weather was truly awful, especially immediately leading up to the start.  Strong winds and heavy rain were very much the order of the day although, thankfully, it did improve for the later runners.  Dave led the team off but really didn’t enjoy the conditions with plenty of standing water around.  His time of 16.28 proved to be 117th out of 194 and 6th O60.  Angela ran the second leg and then Ian took over for the penultimate leg and put in a strong performance finishing in 15.55 (4th O60).  Geoff ran the glory leg and as he entered the home straight, the commentator gave him and the Team a fine mention which included a glowing tribute to Steve Way‘s performance in London!  The team finished 33rd out of 48 complete teams in an aggregate time of 67.32.

'The Steve Way Fan Club' team (Dave Parsons, Geoff Scott, Ian Graham) minus Angela Brown who had very sensibly headed back to the hotel to dry out!
‘The Steve Way Fan Club’ team (Dave Parsons, Geoff Scott, Ian Graham) minus Angela Brown who had very sensibly headed back to the hotel to dry out!

The final race of the weekend was the Half Marathon on Easter Monday which started and finished in St Peter PortDave always looks forward to this race as it is more his distance.  Again he set off strongly and was joined by Ian after a few miles.  The two leading O60 athletes were in a group a little way ahead, however, Dave and Ian knew there was no point in trying to keep up with them and ran together till some time after halfway when Dave began to open up a small gap which he managed to keep to the finish, coming home in 1.39.25 in 67th place (159 finishers).  This was again his fastest time for over four years so the increased training this year had paid off.  Hardly had he finished, than Ian came racing in just two places behind in 1.39.37.  He may not be back to his best of the last couple of years, but this completed a remarkable series in view of his illness in 2013!

In the overall classification for the four races, Ian finished 31st with a total of 320 points and Dave just one place down in 32nd and 332 points and they were 2nd and 3rd O60s respectively.  Remarkably their aggregate times were 3.17.03 and 3.17.04!

Once again it was a superb weekend of racing and was a great chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones.  It really is a wonderful event and one to be highly recommended to all.

London Marathon success for Steve Way and BAC results

Steve Way on his way to a PB in the London Marathon 2014
Steve Way on his way to a PB in the London Marathon 2014

Are there sufficient superlatives to describe Steve Way’s achievement in the London Marathon on Sunday 13 April 2014?  His PB of 2.16.27 resulted in a finish in 15th position overall (1st of the ‘non-elite’ runners), 3rd Briton (after Mo Farah and Chris Thompson) and a qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this year.  Steve will be running for England in an International 100k in three weeks time and has his eye on the 100k World Championships, and was originally planning to run a paced 2.30 London Marathon.  But he felt he was in the form of his life and posed an ‘Ask the Audience’ question on Facebook – in these circumstances, should he ‘go for it?’  The overwhelming majority of the more than 100 responses was that he should – which really confirmed what Steve was going to do anyway!  The outcome showed that this was exactly the right decision, particularly as, as Steve said, he has never felt stronger after a marathon than he did following Sunday’s race.  Steve was picked up by the BBC as he approached the finish with the commentators quickly looking up his statistics and reporting on his previous PB and also mentioning his clubThe Times, in one of their reports on Monday 14 April, talked, of course, about Mo Farah, and then said “it was a good day for the other Britons in the elite mens’ field”.  They then mentioned Chris Thompson (2.11.19), and Ben Livesey and Scott Overall, to both of whom Steve had shown a clean pair of heels, their times being 2.17.44 and 2.19.55 respectively.  So Steve is now officially the third fastest marathon runner in the country, and is ranked No 1 V35 at the marathon distance.  There is no doubt we have a National Treasure in our midst and we are very, very proud. 

Of course, Steve was joined in the marathon by numerous club-mates, and there were particularly solid runs by Jacek Cieluszecki (24th 2.27.45) and Peter Thompson (76th 2.34.16).  For some reason it takes ages for the club positions to be announced, but a look at the results seems to indicate that Kent AC may have won, but, thanks to Steve, Jacek and Peter, BAC is vying with Serpentine for silver and bronze.  Next to finish was Graeme Miller, with a massive PB and achieving his objective of sub 2.45 comfortably with 2.43.44.  Sanjai Sharman was wearing his BAC vest for the first time, and it clearly suits him and his running, with a very respectable 2.56.20.  Sanjai is a welcome addition to the club.  We don’t see much of Paul Chapman in training, but training he obviously is, with a time of 3.04.03.  Simon Way was unfortunate enough to sustain an injury in the first few miles, which meant some walking and 30 minutes for the first 5k!  Simon kept going however and there are many who would have been very pleased with his time of 3.09.43.  Duncan Wells’ time of 3.11.54 was a PB but Duncan wasn’t too happy with that and probably it won’t remain his PB for too long.  Richard Nelson felt before the race that he wasn’t really in top form and had decided that he was going to run well within himself from the start, and was content with finishing in 3.15.04.  We all know Paul Consani is capable of better than his time of 3.24.24, this wasn’t really Paul’s day.  Similarly, Caroline Rowley declared herself not entirely content with 3.42.33, but nevertheless Caroline looked very relaxed at the Red Lion pub, where everyone met after the race!  Andy Gillespie was very disappointed with 4.11.54 after much hard work and good training, but well done to Andy for finishing at all, considering he pulled a calf muscle at 5k, making the rest of the course painful and uncomfortable.  Don’t forget Andy was raising money for the National Autistic Society and donations can still be made to www.virginmoneygiving.com/AndrewGillespieTim Dence, having watched his daughter’s successful run earlier (see below) went on to run his first marathon in 4.32.15 – will there be another?   Peter Gaze, at 70+, continues to astonish.  He ran London in 4.46.18, and this certainly won’t have been his first marathon of the year!

Earlier in the day, Bridget Dence ran in the U15W 3 mile race of the Virgin London Mini-Marathon.  These races are by selection, so you have to be talented just to be selected.  Not only was Bridget selected, but she was 33rd of 282 in her race which she ran in 18 minutes exactly.  Well done, Bridget!

Steve Way - is that a smile?
Steve Way – is that a smile?
Jacek Cieluszecki
Jacek Cieluszecki
Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
Graeme Miller - running too fast for the camera!
Graeme Miller – running too fast for the camera!
Paul Chapman
Paul Chapman
Sanjai Sharma
Sanjai Sharma
Simon Way
Simon Way
Richard Nelson
Richard Nelson
Duncan Wells
Duncan Wells
Paul Consani
Paul Consani

Parkruns and Manchester Marathon – PBs and a win

Jez and Gemma Bragg celebrate solid runs in the Greater Manchester Marathon
Jez and Gemma Bragg celebrate solid runs in the Greater Manchester Marathon

Jacek Cieluszecki was (again!) the winner (and first of a record field of 627) of the Poole Parkrun on Saturday 5 April, with Peter Thompson second and Rob McTaggart third.  Both Jacek and Peter ran PBs for this course.  Also running in Poole Park were Steve Way, 9th (not a PB for Steve, whose running at the moment is planned and controlled in preparation for his rapidly approaching 100k), and Joe Arundel, 11th.  Meanwhile, in Kings Park, of the 177 competitors, Duncan Wells was 4th, Ian White 5th and Jud Kirk 7th.  Congratulations to Bridget Dence, the first lady to finish, and it was good to see Ryan Birchell, category JM 11-14, competing in the Bournemouth Parkrun for the first time.

The next day, 6 April, saw Gemma and Jez Bragg take on the Greater Manchester Marathon.  The forecast for the day was consistent rain and strong winds…………….but thankfully the rain held off and although there was an annoying wind it didn’t stop the 8030 runners to the start line, hoping to get that PB!  The course itself was fairly flat with a few small climbs and ran around the ouskirts of Manchester city, not particularly scenic but the crowds and support were fantastic.  Both Jez and Gemma had solid runs, with Jez finishing in a time of 2.43.09, placing 33rd overall, missing out on his PB by just 6 seconds.  Gemma finished in a time of 3.18.26, placing 35th female and 676th overall, making it a PB by nearly 9 minutes, and both Jez and Gemma ran negative splits!  It was a long drive home from Manchester after the marathon, especially on tired legs, and they were both happy to get home and shower before celebrating with a glass of vino!

Gemma Bragg in action in the Greater Manchester Marathon
Gemma Bragg in action in the Greater Manchester Marathon