Gwent League – More News including Confirmation of Senior Team Wins

Unusually the men’s race was early in the programme and the question was could the team hold on to their slender 23 point lead? I think it is safe to say they did. Owain Jones had another brilliant run to win the race by a large margin and was ably supported by Ben Robinson, who had arguably his best race of the season in 5th place. Jarlath McKenna (16th), Will Russell (22nd) and Kit Grierson (24th) completed the A team. Robin Stewart produced his best performance for the club leading the B team home with M40 Andy Malloy (41st) Danny Randall (43rd), Maciej Bialogonski, making his club debut after winning the Little Stoke parkrun earlier in the morning (his coach had words about this!) and Paul Jefferson buoyed by his third place in last week’s Ironwood Challenge, 61st). That score should see the B team in 2nd place in their division. Another cluster of Peter Gandon, Tom Watkins and Trystan Daniels (72, 73 and 74) led the C team home with Mark Potton (80) and Colin Traer (101) providing the back up. The D team was Jon Bennet (118), Daryl Beggs (140), Jack Loveday (146), Neil Kennedy (173) and H-P Kiekuth. My betting is that will take the teams to third and sixth in the reserve division.

The question for the women, was did they have enough firepower, given the contingent running the Bath Half, to hold on to their lead. It was worrying for their team manager seeing several members of the team running when they were tired from previous races or not fully recovered from illness but nobly supporting the team (it’s the team manager/coach conflict – very stressful). Kate Goodhead had another excellent run winning by a huge margin. She was followed by Grace France (5th), Anna Burton, after her magnificent 32nd place in the National, (7th), Clare Jolliffe (1st W45?) and a gutsy run from Ellen Harrison (27th). My calculation is that the team was second on the day and first overall by a healthy 70 point margin. Tessa Loftus making her club debut, had a very solid run and led the B team home in 37th place, followed by Sarah Everitt, not fully recovered from bronchitis, in 40th place, with Becci James (41st), Marie Berrryman making her come back after a broken collar bone (51st), and Caitlin Lloyd, who was suffering from the after effects of a gut infection, 59th. The B team should hold on to second place in the B division. Ali Hurford, squeezed in an excellent run, between directing her army in 66th place followed by Becci Colquhoun (70th) Henrietta Anstey (72nd), Hayley Bennett (80th), Emma Withers (86th) – a sterling run perhaps spurred on by son Otto cheering, and Christine Burren (100th) – that should be OK for the over 45’s team. To put these performances in perspective, the field was over 260 strong, which means that our entire team finished only just outside the top third of the field!!

Two and a half years ago, I sat in the middle of a muddy field at Bridgend, the men’s team of 5 was sixteenth, and the women’s team of 5 was thirteenth. We’ve come someway from then!

Chris Elson reports

I can add that some results are now up on the Gwent league web-site at

http://www.gwent-league.org.uk/2013/res135.htm .

The Senior Men were winners on the day by just 7 points from Cardiff Athletic Club and Les Croupiers and took the league title from Les Croupiers by 75 points overall. The B team were seventh and the C team tenth overall on the day – well done to everyone who made up those teams. Even our D team was twenty-ninth of sixty-seven teams. Men’s Team results are at:

http://www.gwent-league.org.uk/2013/sm135t.htm

In the Senior Women’s Team event as expected Westbury Harriers won on the day but only by 12 points meaning that the club retained its Senior Women’s title by 75 points over Westbury Harriers (the same winning margin as the Men). Surprisingly both the B and C teams beat their Westbury equivalents on the day.

Women’s Team results are at:

http://www.gwent-league.org.uk/2013/sl135t.htm

I know Chris would wish me to thank everyone who has supported the club over five often challenging events this winter. It was a truly remarkable team effort and well done to everyone who contributed to a red letter day in the club’s history. None of us can remember the club ever taking both senior team titles in the same season before.

Details of the junior athlete’s performances will be added as soon as they appear on the Gwent League web-site.

Keith Brackstone reports