Performances of the Week – 21st to 28th February 2011

03 Mar
1 ROBBIE BUGDEN – Robbie successfully defended his Inter-Services cross-country title at Plymouth last Friday. He was always in command and eventually won by some 200m and to complete his successful day led the RAF to a convincing victory in the team race.
2 STEVE FRANCIS – Steve surprised everyone, including himself, by not simply winning the latest race in the Bridge Inn 5K series for the first time and with something to spare, but also clocking a new PB for the distance of 15:08, which slashed a remarkable 22 seconds off his previous best.
3 ANDY CHAMBERS – Andy, who followed up his impressive run in the National by winning a 10M multi-terrrain race less than 24 hours after his gruelling effort at Alton Towers – they certainly breed ’em tough in  the South West as Tom Merson has already proved  –  maintained his progress last weekend with a runaway victory in the Ironbridge 10K, clocking a new pb of 33:07 over a very windy course in Exeter..
1= LUKE JACOBS and ZAK TOBIAS – I am again choosing not to separate them here as Luke maintained his recent narrow superiority over his training partner in the Bridge Inn 5K, but both were rewarded with new personal best times of 16:05 and 16:12 respectively. What a pity however that they chose to race here rather than the National cross-country championship a couple of days earlier where the reproduction of their current form could well have earned them team medals.
2 LUKE GRENFELL-SHAW – Luke is clearly going to add even more depth to our talented U17 team if his time of 16:50 behind his two clubmates in the Bridge Inn race is anything to go by.
3 NATHAN YOUNG – Nathan chose the Hestercombe Humdinger 9.5M race instead of a Sunday morning training run and found the tough route lived up to its name, finishing first junior and 4th overall in exactly 56mins – just over three minutes behind the winner new Somerset cross-country champion Luke Scott.
1 HEATH BAMPTON – Although not fully fit due to a recent injury problem Heath still managed a more than respectable time of 35:04 to finish second vet in the Bourton 10K just over a minute behind the winner Andrew Hussey from Cheltenham.
2 MIKE JACOBS – Mike, who has been suffering with a chronic groin strain for some time now,  has however been training sporadically with Dave Bedwell and Chris Elson’s group and underlined what an asset he could be to the V45 team in May’s National Masters road relay when he clocked a more than respectable 16:52 to take the vets award at the Bridge Inn 5K.
3= JON GOODLAND and DAVE BEDWELL – Jon showed signs that he is beginning to rediscover his true form by ducking under 18 mins again at the Bridge Inn 5K, his time of 17:58 being a season’s best and earning him the V50 award, while just over half a minute behind him Dave was the fastest V55 in an equally creditable time of 18:30.
1 VICKY TESTER – Vicky, better known as a track runner, made a real breakthough after switching her attention to longer distances this winter when she won the Bramley 10M at Basingstoke in an encouraging time of 62:45. To complete a memorable day she led her clubmates Julia Belyavin and Lisa Newing to the team title.
2 KATE GOODHEAD – Kate continued her recent globetrotting when she clocked a fast time of 9:33 to finish a close third in the Armagh international 3K road race in Ireland.
3 GRACE CRANE – Grace was a surprise winner of the women’s prize in the latest Bridge Inn 5K, and though the field was not as strong as it has been in this season’s monthly series, she still did well to finish just inside the 20 minute barrier in 19:55.
1= ANNABEL GRANGER and NIKKI BROOKLAND – Annabel and Nikki had hardly been anticipating a battle royal in last Sunday’s tough Long Ashton Ironwood Challenge 7M multi-terrain race, but with next weekend’s British Masters cross-country championship in mind they used each other to make it much more than a pleasant Sunday morning spin over a gruelling course that certainly lived up to its name. They swopped the lead on several occasions before Nikki got ahead on the last hill, only for Annabel to fight back and catch her on the final run-in to win by just three seconds in 48:07. Such was their duel that they finished 4th and 5th overall in the race only two minutes behind the outright winner Westbury Harrier Anthony Glover.
2 AMY CHALK – Amy chose a similar challenge to her two clubmates by tackling the Pontypridd Reverse 10M multi-terrain event in South Wales. Challenge it certainly proved to be as Amy ended up running an extra mile – not in reverse I might add – but still took the women’s prize in 65:58. 
3 ALISON HURFORD – Ali very nearly won the latest Bridge Inn 5K, pushing Grace all the way to finish only just outside the elusive 20min barrier in  a new personal best of 20:05, which gave her second place overall as well as the vets prize.
Mike Down – 2nd March 2011