Henry Bramwell-Reeks racing at Popham before hos life saving skills were called into action

Henry Bramwell-Reeks racing at Popham before his life saving skills were called into action

As I was just starting the last lap of the Hampshire Cross Country League fixture at Popham on Saturday 11 November, I was met by someone who appeared to be suggesting I cut off a corner. I thought at the time that this was an invitation, perhaps kindly meant, to an elderly athlete at the tail end of the field to save a bit of time and energy which would not in any way affect the race result. Naturally, I was having nothing of this, and continued along the proper course. However, very soon I realised what the point of all this had been. On the course an athlete was lying on the ground, with medics in attendance, and someone (who I discovered later was BAC‘s own Henry Bramwell-Reeks) applying compressions, so clearly this was a very, very serious incident. I kept out of the way, so I couldn’t at the time identify any of the individuals involved, and continued to finish the race. Just how serious the incident was became clear when not only an ambulance appeared, but also a helicopter, which eventually took off, we assumed taking the casualty to hospital. Later I heard a rumour that Henry, who had earlier lapped me and was running well, had become involved in the incident so I started digging to see what had happened. It appears that following the collapse of the athlete, who later identified himself on the League FaceBook page as Piers Puntan, of Overton Harriers, a runner had started compressions, from whom Henry took over, having voluntarily attended the scene of the incident, and Henry continued the compressions till handing over to the air ambulance. In his post on the League website Piers wrote “I was in no position to know who came to my aid but thank you as you almost certainly saved my life”. Henry is a qualified Lifeguard and knew, not only exactly what to do, but also that he might have been able to assist and so took the initiative to go to the scene. So well done, Henry, your quick thinking and actions on that day really did make a difference. Later I was able to put Piers in touch with Henry, and Piers has emailed Henry to thank him for his intervention and explained that Henry‘s intervention not only ensured that he survived but also that he has minimal heart damage and no oxygen starvation brain damage. Piers also said “apparently only 7% of cardiac arrest patients survive where it occurs outside of a hospital”. Thanks to Henry, Piers was amongst those 7% of survivors.

As far as the race is concerned, Henry was among a number of star BAC performers that day, finishing the senior mens’ race an astonishing 15th in 33.55. There were also incredible runs from Henry’s twin sister, Poppaea, 11th in the senior womens’ race in 24.29, Hugo Richardson, 5th U17 man in 18.25, Isabel Cherrett, 2nd U15 girl in 15.26 and Connor Grocott, 3rd U13 boy in 11.25. The only complete BAC teams at Popham were the senior and veteran men and also the U15 boys. The senior mens’ team was completed by Rob McTaggart (31st in 34.430), Ben Collins (79th in 38.34), Ryan Pegoraro (74th in 38.26), and Rich Brawn (97th in 39.38). The senior mens’ team were 7th of 10 division 1 teams on the day and are also 7th 0f 10 aggregate for the season so far, so remain out of the relegation zone. The veteran mens’ team of Rich, Patrick Kingston (156th in 42.50) and Jud Kirk (242nd in 48.24) were 14th team on the day and lie 16th of 21 teams aggregate. I (Ian Graham) was the rock holding up the mens’ teams, finishing 282nd in 62.46. Joining Poppaea in the senior womens’ race was Nikki McTaggart (106th in 32.36) and joining Hugo in the U17 mens’ race was Nathan Mearns (29th in 20.39). As mentioned, BAC‘s U15 boys fielded a team of Jack Webb (19th in 15.26), William Moss (20th in 15.32) and Steven Kiff (33rd in 16.24) the team finishing 5th of 7 teams on the day. BAC was represented in the U17 womens’ race by Matilde Blagden who was 11th in 24.02. Joining Isabel in the U15 girls’ race was Elizabeth Davie (38th in 19.06). Connor‘s sister, Skye, ran in the U13 girls race and was 42nd in 19.06 and joining Connor in the U13 boys’ race was Aiden Blagden, finishing 34th in 13.49.

Whilst reporting, I may as well bring the cross country scene up to date. The season opened on 1 October with the Wessex Cross Country fixture at Learoyd Road (see earlier report dated 26 October). Next came a very busy weekend, with the Hampshire Cross Country fixture at Aldershot on 28 October, and the Wessex fixture the next day at Bryanston School. There were wins at Bryanston by Rob McTaggart, Oliver Canavan and Ellie Taylor, and 2nd placings by Hugo Richardson, Finley Hurst Atkins, Mabel Jundi and (at Aldershot) Connor Grocott, but the greatest praise must be reserved for Oliver Hill, who, alone amongst BAC athletes, competed both at Aldershot and Bryanston.

The BAC results from Aldershot (Hampshire) on 28 October were as follows: Senior Men: 31. Henry Bramwell-Reeks 34.48, 70. Ben Collins 37.25, 74. Ryan Pegoraro 37.33, 142. Patrick Kingston 41.40, 150. Grzegorz Kazaniecki 42.12, 225. Jud Kirk 47.22; Senior Women: 10. Poppaea Bramwell-Reeks 23.32; U17 Men: 24. Oliver Hill 22.47; U15 Girls: 6. Isabel Cherrett 15.18; U13 Boys: 2. Connor Grocott 10.49, 5. Riley Austin 11.09.

The BAC results from Bryanston (Wessex) on 29 October were as follows: Senior Men: 1. Rob McTaggart 31.21, 3. Rich Brawn 33.39, 11. Seb Crowe 35.27 (Seb was 2nd U20 Man), 17. Chris O’Brien 37.26, 26. Leon Atkins 40.43, 31. Jud Kirk 42.18, 44. Ian Graham 56.09; Senior Women: 11. Nikki McTaggart 35.02, 13. Daisy Musk 36.31; U17 Men: 2. Hugo Richardson 14.28, 7. Sam Brewer 16.02, 8. Oliver Hill 16.09, 9. Nathan Mearns 16.23; U17 Women: 6. Matilde Blagden 19.22, 7. Emily Coltman, 12. Mariah Marshall; U15 Boys: 1. Oliver Canavan 13.26, 5. Jack Webb 14.11, 6. William Moss 14.14, 9. William Hayward 14.48, 10. Steven Kiff 15.05; U15 Girls: 3. Constance King 14.40, 4. Albha O’Brien 14.42, 5. Clodagh O’Brien 14.50, 9. Esmee Hurst Atkins 16.31, 13. Amy Betts 17.56, 14. Elizabeth Davie 18.45; U13 Boys: 2. Finley Hurst Atkins 11.35, 7. Aiden Blagden 12.20, 11. Edward Ryan 12.30, 15. Edward King 12.49, 17. Sebastian Wallis 12.52, 18. Solly Abu-Ghaba 13.02, 21. Callum Pearson 14.03; U13 Girls: 1. Ellie Taylor 12.11, 3. Jessica Long 12.31, 9. Ava Richmond 13.27, 15. Isabella Crawford 14.19; U11 Boys: 3. Edward Davies 7.15, 7. Jake Ryan 7.18; U11 Girls: 2. Mabel Jundi 7.25, 12. Erin Ryan 8.12.