Club places for London Marathon 2020

Club places for London Marathon 2020
07 Nov

The club has been allocated 4 places for the London Marathon 2020.  If any club members would like to bid for one of these places please email Owain Jones:

When allocating places preference will be given to athletes who have applied for and missed out in the event ballot and those who have supported the club regularly as a volunteer or as an athlete over the past year.  The deadline for applications is 30-NOV-2019, please include a copy of your ballot rejection notification and any other reasons why you think you should be allocated one of the places.

Please note that EA only permit these places to be allocated to current competing club members.


05 Nov

Finishing in the top ten clubs in the country can’t be bad, can it? Yet despite all our team matching their current form at the English cross country relay championships, it was still a somewhat disappointing result when viewed against our outstanding record in the race for the past seven years in which we have never finished lower than 6th.

It was disappointing in particular because our main rivals among the country’s leading distance running teams Leeds and Aldershot managed to get virtually all their top runners out on the day as proved by the remarkable results achieved by their second teams. It’s true of course that our recent success in the bigger team championships have been due to the strength in depth of our squad rather than the brilliance of a few individuals, and with only four runners per team in this event even one such star performer can make a significant difference.

Another mitigating excuse for our overall result is that had we not accepted WILL CHRISTOFI’S always frank assessment of his current fitness and relied for selection on his fine previous record in the event, we would have actually ended up two positions higher at 8th in the club rankings. While that justifiably may be considered a team manager’s mistake, Will admitted after running that maybe the sodden underfoot conditions played more to his natural strength than he had anticipated in assessing how he was likely to run. That’s certainly so in comparison with his replacement JOSH MOODY, who is much happier on a running track than the waterlogged course that produced the worst conditions in the more than 30 years the championships have been staged at Mansfield’s Berry Hill Park.

While Josh would obviously have preferred it firmer underfoot, they were conditions relished by our talisman on the day JACK MILLAR who gave us a storming start, attaching himself to the leading group from the gun and only losing ground on the second of the undulating two lap 5K distance to finish just 20 seconds off the medals in 8th place of the huge field of 190 teams that started – his time of 16:18 right up there with those recorded by many of his elite rivals. While It should be borne in mind that the opening stage is slightly shorter than the other three and worth an estimated advantage of around 10 seconds, Jack showed that in this sort of form he could be heading for his best ever winter season.

His run was just the start we had hoped for, and ANDY WATT, who has been in the form of his life recently, duly kept the flag flying, and though dropping one place he lost little or no ground on the front of the race with another creditable time of 17:15 before handing over to FELIX MCGRATH, who then showed just what a valuable recruit to the club he is going to be. While a top six position now looked out of reach, he matched Andy’s fine effort and kept our position in the top ten with another encouraging time of 17:17, which was actually the tenth fastest overall on his leg.

It was always going to be a formidable task for JOSH MOODY to hold our position on the anchor leg, for not only had he suffered a pelvic strain after a midweek training session that had left his participation in doubt, but after more than a thousand runners had left parts of the course a muddy morass conditions could also hardly have been less in his favour. Even so he coped surprisingly well and, though passed by one of the Leeds teams, as well as top Southern clubs Newham and Tonbridge, he managed to hold off a late challenge from our Midland and National 6 Stage conquerors Birchfield, whose scalp was one of the day’s consolations, to finish 12th overall in a time only 20 seconds slower than Will’s of 17:55.

As for the B team ADAM WILSON, who was promoted from the originally planned third quartet, took the first leg and did well to finish inside the top half of the 190 teams that started in 78th position with a fair time for a track specialist in the prevailing conditions of 18:52. While WILL CHRISTOFI may not have been as fit as he would like to have been for the race, faced with a pack of runners to chase he certainly made the most of it, passing all but 30 of them to lift the team into the top 50 at halfway in a better time than he had expected of 17:35.

Adam Wilson on the first leg for the B team

JED BARTLETT maintaind the progress on the third stage, albeit not quite so spectacularly, to gain another seven places with a more than respectable time of 18:09 and leave JACK BANCROFT to finish it off in the sort of conditions that he has never happily come to terms with. Undaunted he still managed to pass another five teams , his time of 18:55 leaving us to end up 37th of the 161 teams that survived.

As an incentive for next year hopefully it is no coincidence that our three bronze medal positions were recorded at four year intervals in 2008, 2012 and 2016, so to keep the sequence going next year’s event must be the target, but if this year is anything to go by it will need a fully committed squad. Please keep the first Saturday in November clear!

Meanwhile the next important championship for the club is the South West cross country at Haldon Hill, Yeovil at the beginning of the New Year, where we will once again be defending a title we have never lost as Bristol and West. Hopefully it will prove a dress rehearsal for a major assault on the Midland and English championships later in the winter. Before then I know the Telford 10K is on most of our top runners’ agenda, while Chris will be hoping to see as many of you as available for the forthcoming Gwent League races, the first of which is this coming weekend.

Finally we must congratulate our spartan ladies trio of ISSY TALBOT-PRYCE, NATALIE GRIFFITHS and the one and only KATE MALTBY, who put the club’s disappointing performance in the National 6 stage championship well and truly behind them by upstaging our guys and only missing a place in the top six in the women’s championship by a fraction of a second. Muddy marvellous girls!

Hammer cage update!!

29 Oct

Upgrade and repair work to the Whitehall hammer cage began yesterday on the 28th of October and should be finished today.  Once the work is complete we expect there will be a testing and signoff process before the new cage will become available for use.  We will provide further updates and pictures as soon as we have them.

Membership, Officials and Volunteers

01 Sep
The club is pleased to announce that Betti Farkas has agreed to take on the dual roles of membership secretary and officials + volunteers coordinator. Betti brings a wealth of experience to these roles and we are all excited to have her onboard.
Bev Barrett will be handing over the officials secretary role after many years in this vitally important position and on behalf of the club I would like to thank her for all her great work.
Contact information can be found on the club website here.
Owain Jones,
Club Secretary.

David Taylor’s Middle Distance Training Group

26 Aug

[From Dave Taylor]

Can all Athletes be made aware that due to an unexpected influx of Athletes, David Taylor has no more capacity in his Middle Distance training group?

If you are interested in training for 800/1500m then please speak to your current Coach, Chris Elson or Paul Filer the coach coordinator for alternative Coaching solutions.


Coaching update

22 Jun

Coaching Coordinator:
A new voluntary position of Coaching Coordinator has been created and Paul Filer has agreed to take on this role.  In his new role, Paul will work closely with the Youth Development Advisers to ensure a cohesive approach to developing all coaches and athletes at the club, supported by the committee.

Paul said:  “I am pleased to be taking up this important role and am particularly keen to improve communication across the board. I hope to create an environment of excellence that nurtures and encourages athletes of all ages to be the very best they can be. It will be a collaborative effort and your help both by way of advice, feedback and letting me know what help you would like will be extremely welcome and more importantly will be acted upon.

On behalf of the club I would like to welcome Paul to his new role and look forward to working with him to further improve the talent within our club.

Whitehall Facilities:

Following a couple of complaints, a reminder to all to please leave the facilities at Whitehall as you would expect to find them.
Leader in Running Fitness courses:
There are still two places left on the Leader in Running Fitness course at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre on Sunday June 30th. On-line application vie EA website as usual. The next courses close to our area are at Gloucester on Sunday 29th September and Chippenham on Sunday 6th October.  The club will support members wishing to go on such courses for the purposes of leading activities within the club, interested members should contact the club secretary for more information.
Owain Jones – Club Secretary.

Successful 2nd Pomphrey 5k & Mob Match Announcement – 25th of June

31 May

The 2nd running of the resurrected club road race at Pomphrey was again well supported with a field of 128 when the Vitality10k, Hogweed Trot and GWR Towpath 10k are also on offer.  The race is attracting runners from far and wide as well as good representation from the Bristol and nearby running community.  Full results are available on Run Britain and a list of category winners, both of which show Bristol & West to the fore.

Our own David Awde was first home with Felix Rusby of Wells City Harriers and Themis Bower of Team Bath following him in. Richard Bowles (M50) and Jon Goodland (M60) were age category winners keeping the Bristol & West theme going.

Vicky Tester of Westbury Harriers and Catie O’Donoghue were close throughout with Vicky taking the honours of first women home.  Catie was followed in by Julie Faram of Southville RC and Chloe Wheeler from Forest of Dean AC.

Emma-Jane Orchard (W45) recorded another age category win for the club’s runners.

Thanks to all the volunteers who make this race happen.

The next race is on Tuesday the 25th of June and incorporates a Club MOB MATCH so the more we get out the better.  On-line entries (preferred and cheaper) are open and an on the night entry from is available here.

A winter race series will start up in September.

Steve Grant.

Midland Athletic League Division 1 – 2019 Match 1

26 May

Report for Combined Bristol & West/Yate & District team – Oxford, 19th May 2019

An excellent win in the opening match, setting us up well for the season.

The combined Bristol & West/Yate & District team achieved a convincing win in the first match of the 4 match summer series, to set up the season well, and hopefully drive towards regaining the league title that was won in 2017 and narrowly missed out on in 2018.

A pleasant temperature and calm conditions awaited the team at Horspath Stadium, Oxford, where league newcomers Abingdon AC were hosting the match as their own stadium is currently under refurbishment.

The team looked good on paper, with only a couple of unfilled positions, and the athletes performed fantastically, taking victories in a good number of events and picking up good points across the board. As the match scores were updated through the afternoon, it quickly became a 2 horse race between us and Notts, at the end we pulled well clear to win convincingly.

There were quite a few new names this year, with some first year U17s stepping up to the league, alongside longer serving contributors across all age groups.

The Men’s short sprints were a highlight, with Daniel Brooks picking up victories in the 100m and 200m, going <11sec once again in the 100m, and gaining a PB in the 200m. Ben Wells complemented this with a <22sec clocking for the 200m A string victory, to underline the rich vein of form he has been showing recently.

In the Ladies 400m, both of our athletes, Jess and Katie, smashed their pb’s and scored excellent points. They later combined, along with Grace and Eliza to bring the relay team home to a fantastic second place.

The Men’s 800m B string race was one to behold, with Abdi (guesting) setting off from the gun and dragging the whole field through to fast times, including our own Greg Hayward who smashed his PB by 5 seconds!

Danni Sinclair, an U17 new to the team, was in fine form winning both her 800m A string and 1500m B string, and another new U17, Dalis Jones, completed the Women’s middle distance by comfortably winning her 1500m A string, the only athlete of the day going under 5min.

There was a double victory in the Men’s 5000m, with Kurt Taylor and Andrew Watt picking up top honours, Kurt having just missed out on the victory in the A string 1500m earlier on.

The women’s 400m H is usually a tough event to find athletes for, but we had 4 for this match, and picked up great points, with 2 PBs being set. Alexia Bennett-Cordy also competed in the 100m and LJ as a guest.

In the field the highlight from our perspective was Toby Conibear in the Men’s Hammer, still an U17, adding 6m to his pb with the Senior weight to pick up second place in the A string. He was admirably supported by newcomer Reece Straker, who picked up first place in the B string.

The ladies Long Jump saw a double victory with Tia Jackson and Andrea Jesudason and with 2 guest jumpers also performing very well bodes well for the season.

Another event with strength in depth was the Ladies Javelin, with Jodie Dale coming second in the A string, and Anyha Kerr winning the B string, and Jo and Maria supporting them as guests.

Overall it was a combination of some exceptional performances, alongside good coverage through all events that helped us to a great victory, and we now look forward to the next match at Alexander Stadium, which will be our last outing there before the stadium is remodelled for the Commonwealth Games.

Results on power of 10

There were numerous SB’s across the board, and several PB’s achieved, as listed below:
Women’s PBs: Alexia Bennett-Cordy (100m & 400mH), Jess Frazer (400m), Katie Robbins (400m), Samantha Barrett (400mH), Niamh Boulton (SP), Maria Townsend (DT)
Men’s PBs: Daniel Brooks (200m), Greg Hayward (800m), Alberto Beltran (1500m), Andrew Watt (5000m), David Eagon (5000m), Nathan Marchant (5000m), James Casling (400mH), Timothy White (2000m s/c), Liam Hillier (LJ), Lewis Wall (LJ & TJ), Toby Conibear (HT)

Steve Grant, Pete Mountain and Matt Muggeridge

Avon County Track & Field Championships and Open Meetings

26 May

To accomodate the Yate track renewal, most of the Avon County T&F Championships and the Avon/Bristol & West/Yate & District Open meetings have been combined and will take place over three seperate evenings through the Summer.

Entry to the Avon Championships events is on-line only.  Open meeting events can be entered on line by preference but also on the night.

Athletes can compete in Avon Champsionships and/or Open events on any given evening.  On-line entries are available for the different evenings via the links below:

17th of July –

14th of August –

4th of September –

Gwent League AGM

26 May

The Gwent League AGM was held on Friday 24-MAY.  Owain Jones and Chris Elson attended on behalf of the club. Minutes from the AGM are likely to be available in April 2020, in the meantime interested club members can find Owain’s notes from the AGM here.  A summary of some of the main highlights that might interest B&W members is given below.


Provisional fixtures for 2019-2020:

  • 12-OCT Cardiff, with Cardiff Cross Challenge
  • 9/10-NOV Pembrey Park
  • 7-DEC Blaise Castle
  • 8/9-FEB Chepstow Race Course, hosted by Bristol and West
  • 29-FEB/1-MAR Singleton Park

The proposed change to the Junior and U20 scoring system was agreed, the final plus best 3 of the first 4 races will be used to determine individual medals.  Team scoring is still across all races.

Bristol and West won the new John H Collins trophy for the club with the best points total across all categories.

Gender Equality

Prior to the AGM, GWR raised a motion for equalising the distances run by male and female athletes, the League asked member clubs for feedback. Following a survey of it’s membership B&W provided the following feedback based on the 8 email responses recieved and the discussion on the Club’s Facebook group:

I’ve copied the full, anonymised, responses from all members who participated below.  In short it seems there is a full spectrum of views expressed here:

  • Some female track runners think the existing races are quite far enough
  • Other females prefer equality and longer races, the longer the better
  • Travelling from Brisol to Pembrey to only run 6km is seen as poor value
  • Alternative suggestions:
    • A long and a short race, both open to both genders.
    • Equalise genders based on expected winning time rather than distance.
  • Timetabling concerns, more races means longer programme.
  • 8k is very short compared to most of the Senior Mens championship races

My view is that it will not be possible to please everyone with any change so the league needs to put together a mission statement, assuming there isn’t one already and make any changes based on this, eg.
  – If the league is about maximising participation, do whatever gets the most people in.
  – If the league is about preparing athletes for higher level competition, be more closely aligned with those competitions.
  – etc.

The AGM agreed to further consultation with members on this but since participation is currently high and rising significant change seems unlikely at this point.