Dorset Men’s Team at the South West Regional Championships: Doug Wilmore, Dave Long, Alex Goulding, Tom Paskins, Ross Smith and Tom East

On Sunday 30th April a select group from BAC ventured over to Glastonbury. But what could possibly be luring them there? Was it the Dragon’s Celebrations May Fayre that was taking place in town, with all its costumes and processions? Actually no. It was of course, the Glastonbury 10k road race that was hosting the South West Inter-County Road Race Challenge event. Rich Nelson had bravely taken on the challenge of organising a team to represent Dorset as previously it has not had a presence at these events.

The men’s team consisted of Dave Long, Alex Goulding, Ross Smith and Tom Paskins from Bournemouth AC. They were joined by Dom Wilmore and Tom East of Poole Runners. The ladies team was made up of Yvonne Tibble and Joy Wright of BAC and Lita Short and Gemma Oliver of Poole Runners.

Three of the Dorset ladies team: Joy Wright, Lita Short and Yvonne Tibble

One major positive of the race was that the roads were closed to all traffic. This was a great benefit to runners, helping them to enjoy the beautiful scenery, views of the Tor and the great many orchards surrounding the town.

The course was fairly undulating and despite being a circular route, there always seemed to be a headwind. That didn’t seem to slow down Dave Long, who was the first finisher in a stunning time of 32 minutes 37 seconds.

Dom Wilmore finished in 6th place and 1st in the U17M category with a time of 34:13. He was 5th finisher in South West Regional scoring a further 38 points for Team Dorset.

Next to score for Dorset was Alex Goulding, who crossed the line in a time of 35 minutes 52 seconds. This put him in 16th place overall, scoring 28 points in the championship.

Alex Gould powers along to a sub-36 finish

The fourth scorer for Dorset was Ross Smith, who secured a superb new PB of 36:10, putting him in 19th place. This earned team Dorset a further 25 points and Ross felt it also earned him his Glastonbury post race pasty, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Ross Smith on his way to magnificent PB

Tom East was 3rd in the U20M category and 29th overall with a time of 37:49. Despite still feeling a little heavy legged after his Boston Marathon exploits a couple of weeks ago, Tom Paskins still turned in a solid time of 39:17 which put him in 42nd place out of a total of 614 finishers.

Tom Paskins giving chase on his way to a sub-40 time

With the first four to score, Team Dorset racked up a total of 143 points. This put them in 2nd place in the Regional Championship behind Wiltshire, who scored 147.

In the ladies competition, Yvonne Tibble was 15th finisher, earning 28 points for the team. Yvonne was also 2nd in the W55 category with a time of 44:14.

Yvonne Tibble looking strong in Dorset green

Joy Wright wasn’t far behind her, finishing in 16th place and earning 27 points with her time of 44:59. This put her 4th in the W40 category. Joy wasn’t feeling great and felt she didn’t perform at her very best but she and her teammates did what they had to to get the job done.

Lisa Short was the first U17W over the line with her time of 45:52 putting her in 17th place and giving Dorset an additional 26 points. She followed closely by Gemma Oliver in 18th place, earning 25 points with her time of 47:28.

The ladies team came 4th in the final standings with a total of 106 points. Cornwall were the winners on 154.

On a slightly negative note, there were some issues with the organisation of the race. Unfortunately, some of the race numbers were missing, which caused a lot of confusion prior start of the race and a delay as the affected runners had to be allocated new numbers.

Dave Long and the rest of the Dorset team looking focused on the start-line at the Glastonbury 10k

The missing numbers then impacted the award ceremony for the 10k race, which ended up being aborted after a long delay and several false starts. One had to feel sorry for the Race Director as he desperately tried to prepare a set of reliable results but, due to the confusion over the replacement numbers, it became an impossible task on the day. This was very disappointing for the great many people that stayed on for it but preferable to the farcical situation that was seeing the wrong people being given awards.

In spite of all that, there was no disputing that Dave Long was the winner of the race.  As it turns out, the Dorset men’s team should have been awarded silver as opposed to the bronze that they were given on the day.

The Dorset Men’s Team did Richard Nelson proud and represented the county extremely well