Boscombe Pier 5k, Portsmouth Coastal Marathon, Parkruns, Wellington Monument Race and Christmas Meal

Gemma Bragg - first lady Portsmouth Coastal Marathon
Gemma Bragg – first lady Portsmouth Coastal Marathon

Apologies to all those – especially to Josh King – who ran in the Boscombe Pier 5k, part of a series organised by Poole Runners, on Friday 12 December, which was overlooked in the last report. Fresh from his fantastic run at Popham in the Hampshire Cross Country League the week before, Josh ran an amzing 16.36 to win the 5k race outright. Also running well were Jez and Gemma Bragg, with Jez finishing 5th in 17.18, and Gemma 24th (3rd lady) in 19.18. Jud Kirk wasn’t that far behind, 37th in19.52, and 1st 75-79 was Tom Cochrane in 24.38. Yes, Tom really is over 75 years of age, hard to believe! Finishing 101st of the total of 117 was Will Price in 26.50.

Just over a week later, Gemma was running a marathon PB! On 21st December, Gemma competed in the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon and was 1st lady in a time of 3.09.42. This course probably isn’t particularly fast, although flat, but much of it along footpaths with variable surfaces, so well done to Gemma on this achievement!

Did I say 'variable surfaces'?
Did I say ‘variable surfaces’?

Finishing just outside the medals on 21 December was Toby Chapman, 4th (medals to the first three, of course!) in the Wellington Monument race, organised by Taunton Athletic Club, near to Toby‘s present home.  The race is 6.27 miles long, and, like the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon, appears to run over ‘variable surfaces’ with over 1000 metres along bridle paths.

Another BAC ‘multi-achiever’ is Ross Smith who, having finished 2nd in an off-road duathlon a week earlier, ran a time of 17.30 in the Poole Parkrun on Saturday 20 December, to finish 13th of a total of 509. Meanwhile, in the Bournemouth Parkrun, Sebastian Hearn was 10th of the 225 finishers, in 20.09, Jud Kirk was 11th in 20.15, Steve Cox 16th in 20.45, Paul Consani (rapidly returning to form) 34th in 22.53 and Louise Price 83rd in 24.53.  Missing from his traditional 2nd position was Paul Hill, taking a short rest after all his races!

Further congratulations are due to Gemma Bragg, for organising a very enjoyable Christmas meal attended at Prezzo, Bournemouth, by more than 20 of BAC‘s road/xc runners and friends.  To say that the evening was a success is an understatement, and it will surely go a long way to cementing the club spirit which is needed to ensure that 2015 will be as successful for BAC as 2014.

Nikki Sandell and Gemma Bragg with their County Medals, with Caroline Rowley, an essential part of BAC's successful Ladies' Team at BAC's road/xc Christmas meal
Nikki Sandell and Gemma Bragg with their County Medals, with Caroline Rowley, an essential part of BAC’s successful Ladies’ Team at BAC’s road/xc Christmas meal
Jon Sharkey with his County Medals enjoys the Christmas meal with Lauretta.  Steve Way, BAC's other International athlete, behind.
Jon Sharkey with his County Medals enjoys the Christmas meal with Lauretta. Steve Way, BAC’s other International athlete, behind.

Finally – MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOOD RUNNING IN 2015!