After tying up the First Division title in the Dorset Road Race League for the 2018 season with an emphatic victory at the Wimborne 10, the Boscombe 10k was really just a procession for the Bournemouth AC men’s team.
That didn’t mean of course that those who were out there weren’t going to give their all and strive for team success for the race itself. There were of course individual honours up for grabs and the chance for the runners to raise their rankings in the individual standings for the Dorset Road Race League.
After Littledown Harriers sealed the runners up spot in the Ladies’ First Division by taking 2nd place at the Wimborne 10 behind Poole Runners who were convincing winners of the league title, the Bournemouth AC ladies would have to settle for 3rd place this year.
Given the trials and tribulations they had just getting a team out over the summer months though, the season had ended strongly for the BAC ladies and boosted by the return of Emma Caplan (Dews) they had climbed the table well over the latter part of the season.
The Boscombe 10k race is organised by the Bournemouth Joggers and the race HQ is Bournemouth AC’s very own club training ground of Kings Park, which makes feel almost like a home fixture for BAC but without having to worry about any of the organisation.
They planned to enjoy the race and then get together in the club office for coffee and cakes afterwards, so with the pressure off, it was to be a joyous occasion for all BAC members involved.
The line up for the race was still quite strong, with Iain Trickett looking to seal the individual Dorset Road Race League title. Despite having won the last five fixtures in a row though, that wasn’t done and dusted yet as he’d only done six races. He still needed to finish reasonably high to wrap that up, since it is the best seven races for each athlete that count.
Iain’s main rival for the title, Chris Alborough, was also in the race, taking part in his 7th fixture of the season. He knew that in order to win the title he’d have to most likely win the race and hope that Iain slipped up in a big way so it wasn’t likely, but was still mathematically possible.
After an excellent run at the Wimborne 10, Rob McTaggart was also in the mix, carrying Bournemouth AC’s best hopes of vying for the race win. Andy Leggott of Lonely Goat RC was also in the line up, along with some of Bournemouth AC’s other top level contenders in Stuart Nicholas, László Tóth and Ross Smith.
There was also a rare appearance in league action for one of BAC’s resident ultra-marathon supremos in the shape of Dr Ollie Stoten. The race started with three quarters of a lap around the track before heading through Kings Park and out into the wilderness.
After coming out of Kings Park, the route takes its participants down Harewood Avenue and over towards Littledown, then it’s through the subway under the Wessex Way and around Queens Park Golf Course from there.
The course incorporates the dreaded Queens Park South Drive, which has played host to many a hill session for Bournemouth members on a cold, crisp Thursday evening.
They’re normally used to sprinting from lamp-post to lamp-post though, as opposed to running up the whole hill on the fourth mile of a 10k race. It always going to be a testing section. From there it was just case of making your way back to Kings Park for the grandstand finish along the track.
As the race got underway, an initial lead group was formed containing Rob McTaggart, along with Iain Trickett, Chris Alborough and Andy Leggott. László Tóth and Stu Nicholas were also in the mix at the early stages.
That lead group was soon whittled down to four people, with Tag, Iain and Chris still present. They were joined by Robert Spencer of St Albans Striders.
It turned out to be a bit of a ‘cat and mouse’ exercise though, with no one willing to take the race on and make a break for it. That meant that the group of four remained in tact all the way until they arrived back at Kings Park.
As they got onto the track it turned out to be BAC’s resident 5,000m specialist Tag and serial winner Iain Trickett who were the strongest. As they approached the finishing straight, it became apparent that it would be a straight shootout between the two to take top honours.
Iain was coming off the back of a dramatic finish at the Wimborne 10 the previous weekend where he managed to outdo Tag, as well as Craig Palmer and Chris Alborough.
He looked confident again, just sitting on Tag’s shoulder as they arrived onto the finishing straight, waiting to pounce. Once again, his acceleration proved too much for Tag and Iain went on to claim victory number six in a row.
Crossing the line in a time of 34:08, Iain had also claimed the crown for the Dorset Road Race League individual champion of 2018. That meant Tag would have to settle for 2nd place with his time of 34:10.
Robert Spencer, the St Albans strider took 3rd place in a time of 34:12 with Iain’s main DRRL rival Chris Alborough taking 4th place in 34:14. Andy Leggott of Lonely Goat RC wasn’t too far behind, taking 5th place in a time of 34:53.
Crashing in with an incredible new PB of 35:19, László Tóth took a superb 7th place, capping off a scintillating run of form that has seen him set new PB’s in 800m, 1500m and 1 mile races on the track, plus parkrun and 5 mile bests as well.
Having been in the front group at the start of the race, Stu Nicholas didn’t have much in the legs and his pace dropped somewhat from that point on.
Although he felt like he was going backwards though, he didn’t get overtaken by anyone and still recorded a top-ten finish, crossing the line in a time of 35:44.
Although he wasn’t entirely happy with his performance, that’s still a pretty good time for a tricky, undulating 10k course. Stu found the twists and turns a bit annoying, especially the sharp bends when going under the subway.
Not too far behind Stu came Bournemouth AC’s fourth scorer Ross Smith, who secured himself a new PB with his time of 36:04 to take 13th place on the day. That narrowly bettered his time at the Glastonbury Round the Tor last year by four seconds.
The next BAC member over the line was Dr Ollie Stoten, who became the fifth scorer for the team, completing the race in a time of 37:33. Ollie is more of a long distance/ultra man in truth so this was actually only his second ever 10k race.
His other one was Round the Lakes on Boxing Day, which he finished in 38:07, so his that meant his time at the Boscombe 10k was in fact a new PB.
Over the second half of the race Ollie had overtaken two of his fellow Bournemouth AC teammates in Rich Brawn and Tom Paskins. He caught Rich on the straight after they’d gone up Queens Park South Drive.
They then ran together for a bit until they reached a sharp downhill section on Queens Park Golf Course. Ollie accelerated away at that point, leaving Rich for dust. He then went on to catch Tom Paskins as well who was about 30 seconds up ahead.
After struggling a bit in a couple of his races in the aftermath of his stellar effort at the Chicago Marathon, it was good to see Tom back running well again.
The marathon had taken so much out of him that it’s taken a while for Tom to get back into his stride. In truth he didn’t really mind that though as he’d geared his training toward making sure he’s at his peak for his big target race. It’s very difficult, if not impossible to stay on that level the whole time. Crossing the line in 25th place, Tom recorded a time of 37:44.
Also hoping for a sub-38-minute time, Rich Brawn was next over the line, but he struggled to reach his full potential. After going through 10k in under 38 minutes in both his previous two 10 mile races, the Wimborne 10 and the Great South Run, Rich had good reason to be optimistic.
It just didn’t quite come together for him on the day and he went over the line in 38:09 to take 32nd place. The only silver lining for Rich was that he did manage to finish ahead of Paul Consani, which he hadn’t really done in a proper race before.
For much of the race Paul was right behind Rich but a gap was formed when Rich accelerated after reaching the top of the hill at Queens Park South Drive.
Paul wasn’t far behind though, reaching the finish 11 seconds later to take 36th place on the day. That put him 4th in the M40n category.
In his first race for over a year, it was great to see Alex Goulding back in competitive action again. An ongoing ankle injury had kept Alex out of action for a long time and left him at one stage thinking his running days were behind him.
It had only been three weeks since he’d started running again, having just a few parkruns under his belt by that point. He felt he needed a goal to aim for though so up for giving it a go.
After such a long time out, Alex had forgotten how arduous a 10k can be but it was a great feeling when he finished and he was able to pick off a few people in the last mile which was pleasing.
He’d seen that Emma Caplan had started off strongly and he managed to tag onto her pace which helped him round. Near the end of the race he found that he still had a bit left in the tank so edged in front of her.
Arriving at the line in a time of 38:48, Alex took 40th place and 5th in the M40 category. The race served as a reminder to him that getting fitter and faster is a slow process and there are no overnight fixes. Whilst he’s already seen improvements in his speed, his endurance still needs a lot of work.
The most enjoyable thing at the moment for Alex though is getting back to Tuesday training which he’s missed greatly over the course of the year. There’s nothing like feeling the wind on you hair, or head in Alex’s case, as you sail along the promenade in the BAC interval sessions.
Crossing the line shortly after Alex, Emma Caplan was 1st female on the day, clocking a time of 39:07. Although she added another women’s race win to her over-growing collection, Emma still wasn’t completely happy with her run.
She still knows she has a little way to go before she’s back running at her absolute best but she has to remember, she too has only been back running for a short time after giving birth. It’s just really a case of being patient and keeping on that improvement curve.
The next lady over the line arrived over two minutes later and that was Diana Leggott of Lonely Goat RC who came in 75th overall in a time of 41:12.
After successfully negotiating the Wimborne 10 the previous week, Adrian Townsend managed to complete his second consecutive race at the Boscombe 10k.
That was a massive plus for Adrian after injury problems prevented him from even making it to the start line at Gold Hill in the previous DRRL fixture.
He’d also suffered a couple of retirements in both the Sturminster Netwon Half Marathon and the London Marathon due to stomach issues.
It looks like he may have laid those ghosts to rest now though and Adrian ran well at the Boscombe 10k though, crossing the line in 39:36 to take 55th place. That gave him 1st place in the M55 category which capped the morning off nicely for Adrian.
Shortly after the next Bournemouth AC member arrived in the shape of Simon Hearn, who had run extremely well to take 62nd place in a time of 40:10.
Although he was hoping for a sub-40 deep down, it was still a decent result for Simon considering he had a slight cold and didn’t feel like he was firing on all cylinders. Simon was 5th in the M50 category.
Having already sealed the win in the Dorset Road Race League 60-64 category for the 2018 season, Jud Kirk could have been forgiven for resting on his laurels a bit at the Boscombe 10k.
He did nothing of the sort though and crossed the line in an excellent time of 41:17, which meant he ended the season in style with an M60 category victory to add to the collection. Jud’s nearest rival in the DRRL, Nigel Haywood of Purbeck Runners was 2nd M60 on the day, registering a time of 43:13.
A disappointing race for Pawel Surowiec saw him get to the line in 43:09, taking 95th position overall. Pawel has been travelling around a lot recently in his work so that has effected his ability to train with any real regularity which might explain the slight dip in form that he’d seen.
Nine seconds later, a very tired Steve Parsons arrived at the line, just scraping into the top 100, taking 99th place in a time of 43:18. It was clear to see that Steve had given absolutely everything out there and he’d kept up an amazing record that had seen him secure a new PB on all three of his previous outings at the Boscombe 10k.
It was probably his most raced distance and thus his best PB, so he knew it would tough to better his time of 43:31 from last year. He knew his form was decent though after number of recent course PB’s and a 10 mile best at Wimborne the previous weekend so it was certainly worth a shot.
Since it was a shorter race than many that he’s done recently, Steve felt like he was going quite quickly the whole way round, as opposed to trying to manage his pace like he normally does. That was good though as it helped him push himself, although equally, it made it very hard work.
After the first couple of kilometres a couple of people went past him but he then settled into a good pace and started to pick them back off. After around the 3k point he wasn’t overtaken by anyone that he didn’t then go back past later on in the race.
Gaining a fair few places whilst going through the golf course, it was then onto Queens Park South Drive, which Steve was very familiar with from the BAC hill sessions.
Having done so many reps on that hill before, Steve was able to tell himself that it was only one rep and once it was done there were only a few small inclines left.
Whilst he had to work hard going up Littledown Drive, he knew that coming down Littledown Avenue he’d have the chance to recover a bit whilst still running quickly and preparing for the final kilometre.
Coming into Kings Park he knew a PB was on but he was really feeling it so had to grit his teeth and push through the pain. His Mum, Dad and kids were at the entrance to the track and he got huge cheer from them which was exactly what he needed at that point to help him finish strongly.
He thought he was going to collapse at the end and had a few wobbly steps when making his way through the finish tunnel and back round to the clubhouse. He didn’t really care though as he’d got the PB he wanted.
Steve’s wife Rozanne also managed a terrific new PB, taking three minutes off her previous best to come in just under the hour mark in a time of 58:58. She was well pleased with that and couldn’t wait to toast it with a glass of Prosecco later.
Another success story of the day was Ian White, who was gunning for a sub-45-minute finish. Arriving at the line in a time of 44:18, he actually ended up quite comfortably under his target time, which was another big step forward in his progression. Taking 125th place in the overall leaderboard, Ian was also 13th in the M45 category.
The second Bournemouth AC lady to complete the race was Julia Austin who registered a time of 44:49, putting her 132nd overall. That made her 9th female on the day and 2nd F50.
She had been hoping for a quicker time and was on the sub-44-minute time but the Queens Park hill proved to be tougher than she’d expected and she lost about a minute on that.
Joining Julia in the scoring team for BAC was Jo Dilling who arrived at the finish 19 seconds later to take 136th place overall and 10th placed female. With a time of 45:08, Jo was 4th in the F45 category.
The hill at Queens Park also cost Jo as well as that infringed her chances of a sub-45 finish. She was still pleased with her time though and very much enjoyed the track finish where she was able to overtake a few competitors who had passed her earlier in the race.
That meant that the trio of Emma, Julia and Jo were victorious in the team competition with the 2018 runners up Littledown Harriers taking 2nd place the 2018 champions Poole Runners taking 3rd.
Arriving at the finish in 159th and 160th place, Tamzin Petersen and Phil Cherrett ran together with Tamzin securing her quickest time yet on the Boscombe 10k course. She went over the line in 45:53 to take 20th placed female and 6th in the Senior Female category.
Phil had a couple of niggles so he knew a PB wasn’t on the cards. He really wanted to do the race though as it was his 7th race of the Dorset Road Race League season so he knew he’d get in the final rankings if he did it.
Fortunately he was able to turn to Tamzin to keep him focused and distract him from any pain whilst on his way round. The race didn’t start off as planned but they made constant progress throughout the duration, chasing down and overtaking those ahead.
Next two other Bournemouth AC runners arrived on the finishing straight together, although that situation wasn’t quite as contrived. They were Mike White and Ian Graham.
A dog-eat-dog sprint finish ensued between the two of them, with Mike pipping Ian to post and taking 174th place in a time of 46:34. Knowing it wasn’t going to a PB for him, Mike just treated the race as a fast training run. He’s back training hard again now though and is confident he can push on in 2019.
Followed in immediately after Mike, Ian took 175th place with an official time of 46:38. Ian Graham finished 2nd in the M70 category on the day, with Ian Barnes of Poole Runners getting the category win in 43:46.
Off the back of a disappointing run at the Wimborne 10 the previous weekend, Louise Price was hoping to redeem herself at the Boscombe 10k. On this occasion she had a much better run, finishing in a time of 51:10, which put her in 276th place overall and 58th female out of 230.
In the F50 category, Louise was placed 10th out of 38 which was a pretty good result. Appreciating the support she had whilst going round the course, Louise thoroughly enjoyed the race.
Next home for the yellow and blue army was Helen Ambrosen who came in 293rd in a time of 52:12. That made her 64th female and put her 2nd in the F60 category, beaten only by Jane Neal of Poole AC who finished in 48:51. After a tough week of training that had left her feeling a touch of fatigue, Helen was happy with the end result.
Recording a fantastic new PB of 54:27, Samantha Laws was the final Bournemouth AC member to arrive at the finish, taking 337th place out of a total of 537 who completed the race.
That put her 83rd in the women’s race and 17th in the F45 category. Sam’s previous best of 55:44 was set at the Boscombe 10k in 2016, so she bettered that by 1 minute and 17 seconds.
The results from the top five scorers – Tag, László, Stu, Ross and Ollie were enough to secure victory for Bournemouth AC in the men’s team competition.
The scenario mirrored the overall results of the 2018 season, with Poole AC taking a valiant 2nd place with their top five of Chris Alborough, David Jones, James McCafferey, Gary Tissington and Harry Lauste.
So in terms of the final standings for the Dorset Road Race League, Bournemouth AC won the Men’s First Division with a perfect record of 7 wins from their best 7 races giving them a score of 7 in a ‘lowest score wins’ format. Poole AC were 2nd on 11 points with Poole Runners 3rd on 22 and Littledown Harriers 4th on 23.
In the Ladies’ First Division, Poole Runners were the victors, also managing a perfect record of 7 wins from their best 7 races to give them a score of 7. Littledown Harriers took 2nd on 14 points with Bournemouth AC in 3rd on 16.
In the Men’s individual league table, Iain Trickett topped the tree with 8 points from his best 7 races, so that was 6 wins and one 2nd place. Chris Alborough was 2nd on 25 points, with Brian Underwood of Poole AC in 3rd on 34 and Chris Wood of Wimborne 34th on 46.
Bournemouth AC’s highest scorer was Stu Nicholas, who finished 5th with 49 points. Together with running 14 marathons, that equated to a very fine season for Stu, who has been able to excel in both his own personal venture whilst also helping the team out at every given opportunity.
Another BAC member who had a great season was Sean Edwards, who was 6th overall with 60 points. Sean was of course affiliated to Lytchett Manor Striders for the first part of the season and had scored for them in a few races which meant when he transferred to BAC his results weren’t counted in the team competition.
In the individual though he continued to produce good results and his performances were enough to see him victorious in the 21-24 category.
Other BAC members placing well in the final standings were Rich Brawn who was 14th with 169 points and Tom Paskins who was 15th with 172 points.
In the individual competition for the ladies it was Clare Martin who claimed the title with 19 points from her best 7 races. Jessica Marshall of Weymouth was 2nd with 26 points with Paula Barker of Poole Runners in 3rd on 36.
The highest placed Bournemouth AC women was Tamzin Petersen who finished 8th with 102 points. Louise Price was 18th with 216 points.
Then there was of course a win for Jud Kirk in the 60-64 category as he finished the season with 335 points. That put him 33rd overall. His nearest rival, Nigel Haywood of Purbeck Runners finished on 395 points which put him 38th overall.
There was also a win for Ian Graham in the 70-74 category, with his total of 684 points putting him in 53rd place overall. That was enough to see him finish comfortably clear of Pete Clarke of Weymouth who was 2nd on 796 and Geoff Parrott who was 3rd on 800.
After the Boscombe 10k race many of the BAC members gathered in the office for coffee and cakes and to celebrate what had turned out to be cracking season, all things considered.
Team captain Rich Nelson has to take a lot of plaudits for battling against adversity to assemble a team of five men and three ladies for each fixture that would be able to challenge for the top positions.
That was no easy task but he put everything he had into it to help put the club in a position to reclaim the crown that Poole AC took off them in the Men’s First Division last season.
Hopefully next season the BAC ladies team will also be able to mount a serious challenge for the top spot and it will be all hands on deck to ensure the yellow and blue army give a good account of themselves again in 2019 season.