Saturday 10 September 2011 saw the club stage the Bristol Road Miles and Street Sprints sponsored again by Bristol City Council. Despite a big effort to publicise the event more widely this year including emails to coaches and county associations across the South-West the entries were again disappointingly low. However that did not stop the event producing some great racing. Closest mile race of the day was the under-17 men’s race where Zak Tobias hit the front from the gun and pushed on shadowed all the way by Cameron Coetzee of North Somerset. The pair stayed locked together throughout the five plus laps and at the end Zac prevailed by the narrowest of margins as both were credited with 4:43.
The other club winner was Miranda Sadler who ran in the Senior Women’s race and took an early lead in front of Bristol-based Diana Chklar (Kennedy) of Woodford Green and Essex Ladies. Michelle Kerfoot of Bitton Road Runners was the only other competitor in a race that was run in conjunction with the men – but developed into the ladies’ own private battle. Miranda won in 5:35 as Diana (5:38) just held off a fast-finishing Michelle (5:39).
The senior men’s race was won by Ieuan Thomas from James Thie’s training group in Cardiff – just back from an end of track season training break – Ieuan was content to start steadily before opening up over the last two laps. Evergreen vet Phil Parry was a surprise second in 4:52 showing some good speed in an event which is very much under-distance for him. Likewise V35 John Terry of Westbury Harriers showed good speed for third place in 5:07.
Down the age groups Katie Grinyer of North Somerset hit the front from the hooter in the under-15/under-17 girls race and went away to win by 13 seconds in 5:38. Hannah-Mai Flynn of South London Harriers made the long trip worthwhile as she came home a clear second in 5:51 with Cecilie Anderson of North Somerset third in 5:54. Joanna Taylor of Bristol & West finished fourth in 5:59. All four were quicker than Rosie Parsons of North Somerset who won the under-17 race (held in conjunction with the under-15s) in 6:01 with Kelly Leat of Westbury a close second in 6:03.
There was a disappointing field of only 3 in the under-15 boys where winner Byron Marriott of North Somerset ran 5:31 to win by 20 seconds.
Both the under-13 and under-11 races had better fields and produced good races.
The under-13 girls saw determined front running from Ellie Wallace of North Somerset AC who ran 5:54 to finish 15 seconds clear of Ellie Leather of Westbury in 6:09. Behind these two Jasmin Emery finished third in 6:14 and Hannah Dyer ran solidly throughout to record fourth for Bristol & West in 6:27.
The under-13 boys produced a great race with Bath twins John and Robert Howorth opening a clear lead as a conservative start saw Hugh Sadler initially in fourth place. Hugh worked his way through into third before a spirited last lap saw him edge past Robert Howorth and only just fail to catch winner John Howorth. The times of 5:29 for the winner and 5:30 for second and third show just how close a race it was – many spectators from the club were left wondering what might have happened had Hugh taken closer order earlier. Behind Hugh, Anton Mills and Billy Cochrane had their own private battle that produced a fifth place for Anton and sixth for Billy both recording 5:53. Behind them Charlie Bagg recorded 6:22 in ninth place leaving coach Alison Hurford relishing the prospect of getting this quarter and others from her group out on the country and the road-relays this coming winter.
Prior to the under-13 boys race Team Bath’s Rory Howorth had given his elder brothers a lead when he came home a clear winner in 5:39 to take 2 seconds off the existing course record in the under-11 boys race: no mean achievement on a dry but blustery afternoon. Ethan Preddy started slowly but gradually worked his way through the largest field of the day (14) before a spirited last lap lifted him into fifth place – much to the delight of his on-looking family.
The under-11 girls saw a one-two for North Somerset AC as Harriet Emery (6:30) led home Sophie Parker (6:55) as proud Dad and local vet runner Julian looked on. Another athlete with a running parent as a spectator was Katie Jones of Bristol & West Athletic Club who finished third in 7:08 with Mum Sue looking on despite the efforts of coach Keith Brackstone to get Sue to become more actively involved in the afternoon’s proceedings.
The final races of the day were the under-11 street sprint finals. These were preceded by heats earlier in the afternoon and all of these races were closely contested. In the boys ‘A’ final Joseph Freake of Sandford Primary narrowly beat Dante Edmondson and Ethan Preddy as Dante and Ethan showed the benefits of membership of the Bristol & West Athletic Club Junior Academy. In the girls race there was an equally tight finish with the judges giving the verdict to Bristol & West AC’s Tia Jackson with another Bristol Junior Academy athlete – Hannah Stone – in fifth place.
As ever the races were greatly enjoyed by the young athletes and the watching families and it is disappointing that they aren’t better supported. It was however nice to see Blackhorse Primary School from Emersons Green contest the under-11 boys and girls races.
Full results are available at Downloads – Race Results and Rankings – Road Miles and Street Sprints.
Action shots at Photos – Road are courtesy of Dave Taylor and Steve Burley.