1 PHIL WYLIE – Phil has produced his best ever performance in the European Duathlon championships held in Limerick, finishing second Briton just 15 seconds behind newly crowned UK champion Mark Buckingham in 10th place overall. This followed his fine third stage effort in the National 12-stage road relay when he pulled us back into contention after our relatively disappointing start by moving up from 18th to 12th with our second fastest long stage (27:00).
2= TOM RUSSELL, ANGUS MACLEAN, STEVE McGUIGAN & OLLIE MOTT – Tom clocked our fastest long leg (26:53) on the key 7th stage in the National road relay, as he had done in the Midland event, to lift the team up into 7th place and back within striking distance of the medals. Angus in his first serious race for more than three years underlined his outstanding talent by running a time within a quarter of a minute of Tom and Phil’s on the 5th stage (27:07), which lifted us inside the top ten for the first time on the day. Steve (28:12) and Ollie (28:19) earn their place in the honours list for virtually repeating the fine times they had recorded in the Midland 12-stage for the B team, which contributed significantly for our 9th place that day, as very few of our A team runners could match their Midland times in the hot breezy conditions.
3= STEVE MITCHELL, STEVE FRANCIS & SIMON THORNTON – While both Steves ran slightly slower times than they had recorded on their respective short stages in the Midland 12-stage (14:39/14:53) in the National, they both had no one in their sights to chase when they set off and admitted that this had affected their performance. As for Simon, apart from making a creditable debut for the B team on one of the short stages in the National road relay, he was the most successful of our few London Marathon competitors, clocking a new personal best of just 8 seconds over 2:50. Unfortunately our two main hopes Shaun Antell (2:48:21) and Tom Kingsnorth (2:52:09) both ran into problems and were obviously dissatisfied with their results.
1 CHARLIE MACLEAN – Charlie made a fine debut for the club in the National 12-stage, clocking our third fastest short stage (15:01) to underline what an asset he is going to be to the senior team in the next few years.
2 NATHAN YOUNG – Nathan continued his steady return to something nearer the outstanding form of his early teenage years by scoring an exciting victory in the opening race of the Yeovil Town 5K summer series, dominating the race from the start before holding off the strong challenge of masters international Jon James to win in a sprint finish in 15:37.
Behind him there were also two encouraging efforts from U17 pair Adam Speake (16:19) and Nathan’s younger brother Kieran (16:25).
3 HOBIE MARTIN – Hobie capped his long and successful season by clocking an impressive time of 15:08 to lead home the South West team in 20th place in the London mini-marathon that attracted nearly virtually all our top U17 juniors.
1 STEVE GOSS – Steve was disappointed not to run faster in the National 12-stage than he had in the Midland event, but more than made amends by clocking 15:50 to finish a close 4th in the Yeovilton 5K won by young clubmate Nathan Young, a time that is only just outside the top three V40 performances over the distance so far this year.
2 PHIL PARRY – Like B team colleagues Steve and Ollie, Phil also virtually repeated his Midland long stage time in the National 12-stage road relay (29:28) despite his training still being resticted by the ankle problem that has affected him all winter.
3 HEATH BAMPTON – Heath did well to finish a close third ahead of top Gloucestershire vet Dennis Walmsley in the Highworth 5M road race, his time a respectable 27:40.against a winning time of 25:55 by Cirencester’s Craig Illman.
1= REBEKAH RANDELL & IMOGEN AINSWORTH – It would be invidious to split our three leading runners in the National road relay, all three recorded times within eight seconds of each other, with Imo (16:42) and Becky (16:34) on the final two legs faced with the daunting task of chasing Aldershot’s international pair Louise Small and National champion Charlie Purdue, the latter clocking easily the fastest time of the day despite going on the next day to win the Great Ireland Run. Even so our girls made sure that we were the second best team in the country on the day, computers and unreasonable race referees notwithstanding!!
2 CHARLIE WILLS – Charlie shrugged off a hip problem that had left her participation in doubt till race day to give us the start we needed, finishing 12th on the opening stage (17:13) just five seconds behind the eventual winners Aldershot before rushing off for an appointment with a local osteopath. If that isn’t team spirit for you, I don’t know what is.
3 DEBBIE NICCOL – Deb continued her flirtation with longer distances as she builds up for the new track season by taking a creditable 4th place in the Newham Classic 10K in a new personal best time of 38:14.
1 NAOMI SPEAKE – Naomi scored a surprise victory in the latest Yeovilton 5K (18:17) . It followed her comeback appearance in the Inter-Counties cross-country, and with her injury problems now hopefully behind her, she did well to get close to 18 mins in her first formal attempt at the distance.
2 HANNAH ALDERSON – Like Charlie, from whom she took over on the second leg of the National 6-stage, Hannah was not really fit enough to run having had to take more than a fortnight off training, and in the circumstances did well to lose only two places on her stage in the National relay.
3 ROSEMARY HURFORD – Rosemary volunteered to fill in for her mum Alison on the B team in the National road relay, and did her proud by finishing in under 21mins (20:48) and keep our B team only seconds outside the top half of the field.
1 AMY CHALK – Amy ran a typically gutsy leg to lose less than ten seconds to Aldershot international Louise Partridge, whom she chased all the way on the 4th stage of the National road relay as the pair of them moved into the gold and silver medal positions. Her time of 16:35 was equal 10th fastest overall just one second slower than Rebekah’s anchor leg, which was 9th fastest and the best vets time on the day by some distance.
2 ANNABEL GRANGER – Annabel made a spectacular return to the team she has so often graced in the past by gaining no less than eleven places on the third stage of the National relay to lift us from 14th into the bronze medal position. She prefers longer distances these days, but considering it is the best part of four years and two babies since she last ran for the team her time was a more than respectable 17:22!
3 SIAN DAVIES – Sian is gradually finding her true form again and after taking over from Vicky Tester for our B team in 35th place on the second stage of the National relay gained five places with a time only four seconds over 19 mins, which would have been good enough for a first team place in all bar the top six clubs. Vicky’s time (18:32) incidentally would have been good enough for every other team except Aldershot and of course our own first string.
MIKE DOWN – 23 April 2011
Now that the main races of the winter season are over, the POW feature will now apper on a fortnightly basis until taking a break from the end of May until September.