Unique National Titles Double by Bristol

12 May
First may I congratulate our men’s and women’s teams for clinching the England Athletics 10K road team titles held in conjunction with the Bristol 10K last weekend. It’s the first time the club has ever landed such a prestigious double and I question whether any club has done it before. The gold medallists were Jon Wills, Tom Russell, Haggai Chepkwony, and Robbie Bugden for the men and Claire Hallissey, Imogen Ainsworth and Nicola Brookland for the women.
1= JON WILLS & TOM RUSSELL – I am reluctant to split these two as they finished only a second apart in 10th and 11th positions after running a fair bit of the way together in what was a top class international field to ensure they both set new personal bests of 29:46 and 29:47 respectively. Both too admitted they probably ran the first half too quickly as they went out to halfway on the heels of the leading group in 14:30 and inevitably paid for it on the way back. At the same time they felt that had they not gone with the pace of the leading group, they could have ended up running in something of a vacuum as the nexrt group was some way adrift.
Both now have aspirations of bidding for places in the Commonwealth Games 10,000m, Jon for Wales and Tom for Scotland.
2 ROBBIE BUGDEN – Robbie shrugged off the effects of the sprained ankle he suffered a couple of days before the race to close out our team score in 26th position in 30:40. This was still within half a minute of his pb, and we would not have won without his brave effort.
3 DAVE GREEN – Dave admits that he only really plays at it and had run only once since his second place in the last Bridge Inn 5K, so to clock yet another pb of 32:48  – more than a minute and a half faster than his previous best – underlines just how good he could become. Over to you Dave!
PS Well done also to recent newcomers James Bird (36:06), Matt Varley (37:10) and Giles Dwanay (37:29) who all set personal bests and are soon going to push their peers for places in our teams. 
1 CLAIRE HALLISSEY – How does she do it? Claire had only been back training for a week after being laid up for two weeks with the achilles tendon problem that she has been managing for some months now, yet you would hardly have realised it as she tore round the Bristol 10K  in her now familiar almost robotic style to finish within seconds of her personal best in 33:13 and take third place overall as well as the silver medal in the England Athletics championship just ten seconds behind international Faye Fullerton.
2 IMOGEN AINSWORTH – Though now concentrating on her track training programme,  Imo was still able to translate her fine cross-country form to the road and slashed her previous best by some two minutes to surprise herself with 6th place overall in the Bristol 10K in 35:27.
3 GRACE CRANE – Grace, who only joined us recently, continued her progress by breaking the 40 minute barrier to finish in the top 30 women with an impressive time for a relative novice of 39:10. No doubt her orienteering is going to benefit from the improvement she is making in her running.
1 MATT DEACON – Young Matt, who has only just turned 17, proved that longer distances could be his forte as he clocked an impressive 35:21 to finish comfortably inside the top 100 of the huge 8000 plus field in the Bristol 10K.
2 NATHAN YOUNG – Nathan took the U20 award in the Glastonbury 10K though with an admittedly modest time for him of 35:45.
3 KIERAN YOUNG – Kieran, who is showing increasing signs of following in older brother Nathan’s footsteps, was a convincing winner of the accompanying Glastonbury Tor 5K race in 17:31.
1 HAGGAI CHEPKWONY – Haggai hardly looks like a veteran and certainly doesn’t run like one! He followed up his remarkable and totally unexpected win at the Glastonbury 10K over the hot favourite international Ben Tickner in a record-breaking time of 31:23 by  helping our team to victory in the Bristol 10K. There he improved to 30:35, albeit on a easier course, to set one of the fastest vets times of the year, though even he had to give second best to mountain running international Martin Cox who took the V40 title in the year’s best of 30:10.
2 MICK O’DOHERTY – Mick, who recently turned 50, is taking the new age group by storm and followed up victory and 8th place overall in the Glastonbury 10K in 34:15, by carving more than a minute off that time with victory again in the Bristol 10K in 33:12.
3 PHIL PARRY – Phil actually finished only just ahead of Mick in the Bristol 10K in 32:57, though he was not expecting anything much faster as he has not been able to put in any of the harder sessions he knows he needs due to various “niggles” and work commitments.
1 NICOLA BROOKLAND – Like Haggai Nicky was instrumental in us winning the Engalnd Athletics team championship held in conjunction with the Bristol 10K. She followed up her second place in the Glastonbury Tor 10K behind Debbie Marsden in 37:20 by running nearly a minute faster to avenge that defeat and finish a fine 12th overall in the Bristol 10K in 36:33, which is her best time for a couple of years.
2 CAMILLA BRIGGS – Recently returned from an extended stay in Australia and the birth of her first baby, Camilla surprised herself – and all of us – by making a spectacular comeback in the Bristol 10K to finish in the top 20 with a new personal best for the distance of 37:43. Clearly there is much more to come once she gets back to full training.
3 SIAN DAVIES – Like Camilla Sian returned to action after a long period on the sidelines and was happy to finish only just over 40 minutes in 40:15 at the Bristol 10K, which was good enough for second place in her V45 age group.
MIKE DOWN (11-05-10)