Six athletes from Bristol & West Athletic Club competed in the British Milers Club Grand Prix meeting at Watford on Saturday 9th June 2012. The weather was remarkably kind – given recent gales – and the conditions were as close to perfect for middle distance racing as you are likely to get in this country. Three of those competing recorded personal bests and two of those came from athletes recording wins in their races. Debbie Niccol sat in behind the pacemaker in her race and then held off all comers, but only just, to record 4:28.30 in the ‘C’ 1,500 metres as she won by seven hundredths of a second. Andrew Woods also won and despite not having the best of races tactically he had the speed and strength to come through and win in 1:50.39 taking over a second off his recent 800 metre PB and dipping under the qualifying time for the UK Olympic trials.
The third athlete to record a PB was Charlie Maclean who finished eighth in the ‘A’ 3,000 metres steeplechase in 8:56.01 in a race that saw him take some notable scalps including Glen Watts and Frank Tickner and finish just behind British Universities Champion Ben Nagy.
Dan Studley’s third lap probably cost him a PB but he finished strongly to take third place in the ‘E’ 1,500 metres in 3:53.75 and it is surely a matter of time before he reduces his PB of 3:52.20.
Another athlete whose PB eluded him was Steve Mitchell in the 1,500 ‘B’ race. A lack of in-depth training in March and April means that Steve is still short of the background to hold a really fast pace for long enough to crack 3:40. After going through in 58, 1:58.5 and 2.58.6 and being well placed to make a move Steve faded to ninth in the last 300 metres running 3:45.68.
Annabel Gummow pulled out of the Women’s 5,000 metres with a calf problem we hope it is a temporary set back and we look forward to seeing her racing again soon.
All of these races can all be seen on: