Club Athletes a Rare Sight At Bristol McCain Challenge

Local journalist (and club member) Kevin Fahey commented in his piece in the Evening Post on the low turn-out from club members in the McCain Bristol Challenge – a series of races promoted by the club in support of Run Bristol – the running event arm of Bristol City Council. In all there were 11 races on the Sunday including the Senior Men’s ‘Mike Sully’ race and the Senior Women’s ‘Gemma Butler Bowl’ and only nine club athletes took part in club colours. A few under-11s were competing for their area schools team though. The club performance of the day came in the second race where young Katie Jones had an absolute stormer to finish second behind Elena Sidman of Wells Cathedral School. Katie clocking 7.36 to Elena’s 7.24. Molly Jones running in the colours of South Gloucestershire Area Schools finished thirteenth in 8.15. There were 89 finishers in the race with the last runner clocking 12.28 for the tough one mile course.

We then had a long wait until the under-20 Men’s race for the next club athlete to appear. Kieran Young finished twenty-second in 26.05 as Jack Gray of BRAT ran out a clear winner in 23.22.

In the senior races there were 3 club runners in each – which is hardly representative of the talent we have available in the club. In the ladies race Hannah Alderson was well to the fore early on but faded to finish twelfth in 27.54. Rebekah Randell coming back after a prolonged break over the summer started steadily and worked through to ninth position by the end clocking 27.25. Diana Kennedy found the pace of the small but high quality field challenging but stuck to the task finishing twenty-first in 32.31. In form Caryly Jones of Swansea won in 25.58.

In the senior men’s race Steve Mitchell gave us all something to shout about briefly taking the lead on the long downhill stretch on the second of the four laps in his race. His third lap showed that the previous lap had been a bit impetuous but he dug in on the fourth and final lap to hold off a determined bid from Phil Wylie to secure club bragging rights. Steve finished seventh in 30.33 with Phil just behind, eighth, in 30.42. Phil Parry finished twenty-seventh in 34.41. Steve and Phil’s performances were very encouraging in another small field of high quality. Dewi Griffiths of Swansea was a clear winner – completing a Swansea double – in 29.44 as last year’s winner, Frank Tickner, finished third.

Video clips of the action can be seen by following the link to:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL983CEC4E39041EB9&feature=plcp .

The club needs to have a long hard look at this event before 2013 – the senior races offer trophies in memory of two club athletes who died tragically young and it would be great if the efforts of those in the club who work hard to offer outstanding competition (and good prizes) in the city was acknowledged by greater involvement from the club’s athletes.