Performances of the Week – 31st January to 7th February 2011

12 Feb
1 MICHAEL JOHNSON – On the face of it Mike’s time of 30:17 for 4th place in the Chichester 10K might have been regarded as disappointing as he has regularly run sub 30 for the distance in past races, but he had acknowleged beforehand that he was not sure whether he would have recovered sufficiently from his tough race for Wales in the previous weekend’s Barcelona half marathon, and his worst fears were realised. He soon knew his legs had not fully recovered, so to finish only 12 seconds behind UK cross-country international Ben Noad and only lose second place in the final sprint was no mean effort.
2 PHIL WYLIE – Phil too may have been disappointed with his time of 24:42 for 10th place in the prestigious Alsager 5 mile road race. Ironically it exactly matched the time he had recorded in the same race last year, while like Mike he too was probably still feeling the effects of his fine 8th place finish in the previous wekend’s leg-sapping Midland cross-country championship.
3= JON WILLS and MIKE WILSMORE – While not producing mud-shattering performances in the BUCS cross-country championship, neither Jon (36th) nor Mike (51st) had probably anticipated much more on the testing hilly Senneleys Park course which with virtually no flat running hardly favours runners best at home on fast roads and track. Mike in fact did well to finish just in front of clubmate Steve Francis (53rd). who has improved so much this winter and was Bristol University’s first man home.
1 CHARLIE MACLEAN – New signing Charlie underlined what an asset he is going to be to the men’s team by finishing a close second – just 13 seconds down – to experienced mountain running international Martin Cox in the latest Gloucestershire League senior race at Plock Court. Charlie is the current English Schools steeplechase champion and will also have been pleased to show a clean pair of heels to Cheltenham’s budding 1,500m star Jeremy Bradley, who was nearly 20 seconds behind him in 4th place.
2 MATT PETERS – Still nursing a tight calf muscle Matt had to be satisfied with 13th place in the same Gloucestershire League race, though his lack of any harder sessions recently in consequence of his injury has left him the best part of a minute down on his pre-Christmas form.
3 ANDY WOODS – If Andy had an unfortunate baptism over a distance and on ground he had not encountered before in the Midlands U20 championship, the BUCS championship over the even tougher and more testing Senneleys Park course must have relly rubbed it in, yet to his credit he survived the ordeal to finish 126th, which was well within the top half of the field. No doubt for the Bristol freshman it’s roll on the track season and a mere three and three-quarters laps of the track!
1 ALEC WOODS – Alec followed up his second place behind Tom Fisher in the gruelling Slaughterford multi-terrain 9 mile race by taking a creditable 8th place in the Gloucestershire league race, finishing only six seconds adrift of Clevedon’s V40 star Julian Emery.
2 STEVE GOSS – Steve proved his fitness with an encouraging return to competition in the Great West 5M at Exmouth. Finishing less than a minute behind the winner Wells City’s Jack Bancroft in 27:04, he duly took the vets prize in 4th place overall.
3 HEATH BAMPTON – Like his fellow vets Heath continued his preparations for next month’s British Masters championships by finishing 11th and third V40 in the latest Oxford Mail League race at Cirencester.He ended up only just over a minute down on Oxford’s veteran international ace Simon Male, who was 5th overall.
1 IMOGEN AINSWORTH – Imo’s training has been compromised of late by a niggling knee problem and coming off second best in an argument with a car door, so while she had obviously been targeting a top 10 place at least in the BUCS championship on her early season form, her eventual 23rd position in what was admittedly an unusually high standard student field was realistically as good as she could have expected in the circumstances.
2 DEBBIE NICCOL – Debbie, who is now supply teaching in London, surprised herself by winning the Regents Park 10K in a more than respectable time for a 1,500m track runner of 38:45. 
3 LUCY FERGUSON – In her first major cross-country championship at this level Lucy, whose main interest is Modern Pentathlon – she is a member of the national squad – was Bath University’s second finisher in the BUCS championship,  just managing to make the top hundred in 97th place over a distance that is around twice what she normally has to cover in her specialist sport.
1 HANNAH ALDERSON – Hannah yet again emphasised her class by finishing only seven seconds down on Imo in 25th position on her debut as a student for UWE in the BUCS championship, this too despite dislodging a shoe in the starting melee, which forced her to stop and secure it again at the rear of the field.
2 ROSEMARY HURFORD – In her first ever attempt at a race of this class Rosemary, who was running for Oxford University, stuck doggedly to the task and did well to finish in the top half of the BUCS championship field in 116th place.
1 AMY CHALK – Amy, quite justifiably I might add, will castigate me for including her in the Masters section, but her victory in the Longleat 10K was the only performace I could find that qualified! She is slowly regaining her race fitness and quite apart from any vets prize for which she was eligible, she won the women’s race overall in 37:37, a time which is put in clearer perspective by the winning men’s mark of only 34:26 by Bath runner Allister Sheffield.
MIKE DOWN (11-02-11)