Performances Of The Week

11 Feb

Due to the high number of results coming in I have decided to continue with separate men’s and women’s performances for senior athletes.


TOM RUSSELL – Disappointed with his Midland championship run the previous week, Tom more than made up for it with a storming run in the popular Alsager 5M that always attracts a top class field. This year was certainly no exception, with the line-up headed by internationals Chris Davies and Nick McCormick, who arguably are Britain’s next best behind Mo Farah. Undeterred and buoyed by the terra firma of the road after the muddy ruts of Stafford Common, Tom sensibly layed off the suicidal early pace typically set by Chris with Nick in tow, and husbanding his effort perfectly eventually closed up on them both as the fatigue of their early pace began to take its toll. He admits he was never quite close enough to dispute line honours, but finished only nine seconds down on Nick, who won in 23:33, with Chris four seconds back and only five further clear of Tom, who smashed his personal best by a street’s length with an impressive time
of 23:42.

2=TOM MERSON and PHIL WYLIE – I have bracketed these two together this week as though Phil clocked a faster time for the 5M distance that they both raced, Tom’s effort was a huge improvement on his previous week’s run in the Midland championships, his half minute victory in the Exmouth 5M in 25:11 proving he is at last shaking off the effects of the swineflu virus that has wrecked him over the past few weeks. As for Phil he was nearly half a minute quicker than Tom at Alsager, but might have expected to finish higher than 20th, not that his time of 24:44 was anything to sniff at!

3 STEVE MITCHELL – Steve took time off from his indoor track preparations to lead the Bristol University team in the BUCS cross-country championships at Stirling and was rewarded with easily his best performance in the race, finishing well satisfied with his 27th position in the huge field.


1 CLAIRE HALLISSEY – Claire continued her relentless rise up the UK rankings by repeating her medal-winning championship form in the previous week’s Midland cross-country at the BUCS championships. It was bronze rather than silver this time, but the opposition was of a significantly higher standard, and in what was surely her best ever cross-country performance she finished just 18 seconds behind the winner rising star Steph Twell, who at present is ranked at worst number two in the country behind European champion Hayley Yelling. In addition she was only pipped on the run -in by another of Britain’s most promising young cross-country runners Stevie Stockton after making an exhaustive effort to drop her in the last kilometre.

2 IMOGEN AINSWORTH – Imo proved that her breakthrough as a championship performer in the Midland championship last week, where she had only just missed a medal in 4th place, was no flash in the pan by making the top ten for the first time in the BUCS championship. Her 8th place was another real revelation and with Georgie Bruinvels just behind her in 9th, the Bristol
team came away with the silver medals behind Loughborough and notably ahead of the former UK Centre for Endurance at St Mary’s as well as the other pre-race favourites Birmingham. Naturally no one could have been more pleased than Keith, who reportedly lost his voice in willing them home.

3 JENNY JAGGER – Jenny quietly continued her recent progress by winning the Longleat 10K in a creditable time over the tough undulating course of 39:30. All good capital in the bank for her half marathon preparations.


1 HANNA ALDERSON – Hanna followed up her recent decision to join us by finishing a more than respectable third behind two other of the South West’s top juniors Amber Watson and Steph Lane in the latest Gloucestershire League cross-country race. Hanna has only just resumed training after a series of injury problems and illness and is clearly going to make a valuable contribution to the ever growing strength of our women’s squad. We look forward to working with her.

2 NAOMI SPEAKE – Though only a bottom year U17 Naomi proved that she is gradually getting back to full race fitness with an overwhelming victory by more than a minute in the Devon Schools senior girls cross-country championship.

3 NATHAN YOUNG – Nathan shrugged off the effects of a busy week in which his training had been severely compromised by coursework deadlines at College by finishing a comfortable second behind Taunton’s outstanding junior Charlie Maclean in the Somerset Schools senior boys cross-country championship.


1 PHIL PARRY – Phil retained the club’s V45 bragging rights by finishing runner-up in the Longleat 10K in a fair time for the rugged course of 34:10, In addition he avenged his recent defeat in the latest Bridge Inn 5K by Bath triathlete Allister Sheffield, who had to be satisfied with third place.

2 MICK O’DOHERTY – Mick had to play second fiddle to Phil at Longleat, but finished a reasonably close 4th in a time just inside 35 minutes, and of course could legitimately argue that he is giving his young whipper snapper colleague a few years start as he approaches his 50th anniversary on Friday week. Look out all V50’s that weekend! Mick will also be pleased to learn that another fellow vet, who is also approaching his 50th, former British road 10K record-holder Mark Scrutton, has just joined us and will be available for the National Masters road relay champs in May.Could we yet do the impossible double?

3 HEATH BAMPTON – Heath, another recent recruit, consolidated his standing in the Oxfordshire League cross-country series by finishing a creditable 13th and again second vet behind his old rival Simon Male. Keep persevering you will get the better of him sooner or later!

Mike Down