The dry spell gave way to showers on Tuesday 29th March 2011 but the intermittent rain was not enough to impact on a great night for running and numerous athletes took advantage to record PBs at the last race of the popular Bridge Inn Winter series sponsored by Easy Runner.
Steve Francis (Bristol & West/Bristol University coached by Keith Brackstone) finished a tremendous winter when he achieved his sub-15 target winning in 14.56. Steve is something of a Bridge Inn officionado running every race and producing a stunning series of improvements as he ran 16.30, 15.55, 15.30, 15.08 before slicing a further 12 seconds off last night to record an impressive 14.56. This from an athlete who until 2 years ago was happier knocking a tennis ball around. We are really pleased he found out what he was missing and look forward to seeing what he can run in the National Road Relays on a short stage.
Not far behind, and again running a PB, was club newcomer Charlie Maclean (Bristol & West coached by Tom Watson) in 15.07. The fierce pace really stretched the leaders and third was Chris Dodd (Bristol & West/Bristol University coached by Keith Brackstone) also in a PB of 15.26. Dan Studley (Westbury Harriers and another Tom Watson coached athlete) finished fourth in 15.36. Interestingly the first four (and fifth place Steve McGuigan (Bristol & West/coach Mike Down)) often train together and it is clear the benefits this brings.
In the under-17 Men the Dave Bedwell coached pair of Luke Jacobs and Sam Bedwell (Bristol & West) finished eighth and tenth for an age group 1-2 in 16.13 and 16.27 respectively. First V40 was Jacob Hayes of Bitton Road Runners in 16.57. Stuart Penny (Chepstow) won the V45 in 17.40 and Martin Bailey (Bristol Water) the V50 in 17.58. Arthur Daley (Gloucester AC) ran a sprightly 18.41 for a V60.
Also among the PBs was Stuart Price (Bristol & West/V40) with an 18.27. Stuart is one of the club new-comers who is finding the Monday recreational runner sessions at Whitehall are helping him enormously.
In the Ladies race first home was Imogen Ainsworth (Bristol & West/Bristol University coached by Keith Brackstone) in 17.01 shaving 2 seconds off her PB with a return to form after 3 frustrating months of injury. Second was Emma D’Alton (Westbury Harriers/Coach Keith Brackstone) who took 18 seconds off her PB to show that some faster sessions are showing benefits even though she is in a high mileage pohase leading up to the London Marathon. Third senior lady was Jenny Jagger (Bristol & West) in 17.54 who broke the 18 minute barrier for the first time. As in the men’s race the first three ladies train in the same group and it is great to see athletes working across club boundaries to find training partners who will help them, develop as individuals.
Amongst the more mature ladies Sian Davies (Bristol & West/L45) was first home in 19.18, Ali Hurford (Bristol/L45) ran 19.45 to go under 20 minutes; whilst Aileen Brown (GWR/L45) was tantalisingly close to that barrier with a 20.03 clocking.
There were 117 finishers.
Full results for the 2010/2011 are already available in draft and will be posted on the web-site as soon as they have been checked.
Don’t forget the Bridge Inn 5k Summer Series begins on Tuesday 26th April 2011 – race start at 7.30 pm and entries on the night £5 (£7 unattached) as usual.