Middle-Distance Athletes Compete in Sport City BMC Grand-Prix

Four Club athletes competed in the Second British Milers Club Grand Prix Meeting held at Sport City Manchester on Saturday 1st June. First up was 16-year old Molly LONG. Molly started the year with a PB of 2:09.44 so Coach John Knowles would have been pleased with her season’s opener of 2:10.47 at Millfield at the beginning of the month. Molly followed that up with a great display at Solihull where she ran 2:08.62 to not only set a new PB but also to win the B race in the first BMC Grand Prix. Her reward was a run in the A race last night. She ran a sensible race and finished really strongly to take fourth place and record a very quick 2:06.30 for another PB. Hopefully performances like this will see her competing in the World Youth Games later in the season.

Second on the track was Steve MITCHELL in the A 1,500 metres. Such was Steve’s performance at Solihull where he was one of a whole field who just didn’t follow the pacemaker that he had written to the BMC to say that he felt he had let down the principles of the BMC and wouldn’t do it again. True to his word he stuck to pacemaker Michael Rimmer like glue and when Michael kept going to the 1k point it did look as though Steve’s holy grail of a sub-3:40 clocking might be on the cards. Hitting the bell at 2:41 a 58 last lap would have seen his target achieved but the going really got tough on the last lap until eventually Steve jogged in second last in 3:52.47. Steve now has 4 weeks to prepare another attempt at the Watford BMC but nine athletes who ran PBs at Sport City have a lot to thank Michael Rimmer and Steve for.

Dan STUDLEY found himself in the C race but such are BMC meetings that sometimes the differences between races are marginal and so it proved at Sport City. Another good pace-making job and a field that went with the pace-maker set up a really good race. Dan spent most of the race in fourth or fifth spot and the last lap was pretty quick. Around the final bend Dan seemed to falter in the first 50 metres of the final 200 but then seemed to find reserves of energy with 150 metres to go. A strong final straight saw him almost take the race as he clocked a fine PB (3:45.76) behind Alex Tovey’s winning 3:45.70 and coach Tom WATSON will have been pleased with both the time and the way Dan ran the race.

Olivia SADLER ran in the Women’s B 1,500 metres and was overlooked by the commentator on Athleticos who were showing live streaming of the races (the commentator referring to her as a Spanish athlete). I must admit I was slightly thrown as she wasn’t racing in club colours. Olivia moved into the lead on the last lap to come home a clear winner in 4:27.70 and unusually it was neither a personal best nor a season’s best as there were, as usual for a BMC meeting, a high incidence of both at the event. Sill it was only .61 off her season’s best and I am sure that her PB of 4:23.38 will be up for revision before too long.