MIKE DOWN’S SOUTH WEST CROSS REVIEW

MIKE DOWN’S SOUTH WEST CROSS REVIEW
07 Jan

CHAMPS AGAIN IT’S SMASH ‘N GRAB ON ALDON HILL!

One can only say well done guys (and gals) for once again doing the club proud in the South West cross country championships at Aldon Hill, Yeovil. However you look at the results – four in the first six, including the individual silver and bronze medals for FELIX MCGRATH and KURT TAYLOR, our five counters all in the top ten, and the score of our second five finishers bettered only by the overall silver medallists Cornwall AC – this was as good a smash ‘n grab raid as we have made on these championships in recent years.

Felix McGrath and Kurt Taylor, 2nd and 3rd in the SW XC behind Jake Smith

When one considers too that arguably our four top cross country runners PETE LE GRICE, JACK MILLAR, WILL CHRISTOFI and ANDY CHAMBERS were not in our line-up, the results here was another outstanding display of the team’s growing strength in depth as we launch another assault on the country’s major winter cross and road championships.

Call it the taming of Aldon Hill if you like, though a pound to a penny more than a few runners’ sore limbs on Monday morning would agree to a score draw! Not Felix however, for when it comes to horses for courses our good doctor knows how to pick ’em. He gave us a first glimpse of how to speed up and down slopes when winning the Tri-Counties title at Bath University last month, but the leg-sapping ramp and fast downhill stretch though the Aldon Hill valley that had to be encountered four times in less than half an hour provided an altogether stronger dose of his fell running expertise.  The inscrutable expression on his face each time he appeared to breeze up the brutal climb while others’ legs were clearly screaming for mercy suggests that he has vaccinated himself against such moments of fleeting torture!

In the circumstances it was predictable that it was Felix who led the chase of the fierce early pace set by experienced Wiltshire hardman ED KNUDSEN, who himself was soon joined by the pre-race favourite Cardiff’s international road runner JAKE SMITH on the preliminary hilly loop before the main lap was re-joined that had to be covered four times. At this point Kurt, BEN WESTHENRY and ANDY WATT were grouped together no more than 10m down on Felix., with HARRY ALLEN duly making sure we already had our scoring quintet well to the fore.

Knudsen, apparently unaware of Smith’s pedigree, perhaps unwisely tried to keep forcing the pace on the second lap, but by the third time round Smith had duly made his class tell forging ahead on his own, while Felix with Kurt still in his slipstream, began to close the gap on Knudsen, with Andy and Ben now well clear of the rest in 5th and 6th positions respectively.

Not much actually changed from there to the finish, other than that Knudsen, having looked as if he was weakening third time up the hill with Felix and Kurt by then in relatively close attendance, seemed to find an extra gear on the last long run along the valley in a final effort to drop our pair before the final decisive climb. But though he managed to open a small gap on his two rivals, Felix soon reeled him in up the long drag with Kurt struggling desperately to limit the damage before the long run down to the finish. Off the crest of the climb Felix, as unperturbed as ever by the ascent, wasted no time in stealing the initiative on the Wiltshire man and went headfirst for home to secure the silver medal. Kurt meanwhile, having agonisingly limited his loss on the two of them to no more than 20 metres at the top of the ramp, used his superior natural speed on the final 500m run-in to overhaul Knudsen within sight of the line and finish just two seconds down on his clubmate and take the bronze medal in what was undoubtedly the best cross country race of his career to date.

1st club team at the South West XC champs!

Behind our leading pair Andy and Ben were never in danger of losing their top six positions, with Andy once again underlining the remarkable progress he has made during the past six months and Ben proving indisputably that he is on the way back after more than two years in the wilderness created by his chronic shin problem. Harry meanwhile, despite his well advertised dislike not only of cross country but even more so of hills, did all that was necessary to close our score in 10th place not that far ahead of team captain OWAIN JONES and JED BARTLETT, who had progressively worked their way through the chasing pack to provide ideal back up in 11th and 13th positions respectively. Owain, who was actually defending the title he won last year, was happy enough to have got round as well as he did after missing so much training last year due to a niggling knee injury, while Jed again demonstrated the continued improvement he has made over the last 12 months. Further back DAVE EAGON in 30th, PETE BAINS 45th and ROB FARLEY 68th completed our second five with a score that would have been good enough for the bronze medals.

Interestingly the team results produced the unusual stat that our club team, thanks to Ben who was representing Dorset, ended up with a lower score than the winner of the accompanying inter county championship Avon, of which we provided all six counters. Finally though we failed to produce the individual winner, we did have a champion on the day in JON GOODLAND, who took the V60 gold, while stalwart trouper TONY ROPER added the bronze in the V50 category.

Jon Goodland takes the M60 title.

So begins the countdown to next month’s National cross country championships, the first stepstone for which looks to be Chepstow’s Speedway 10K on Sunday week that on the face of it promises to be the club’s unofficial club championship! The Midland cross championships follow two weeks later, for which anyone wanting to run who hasn’t already told us  –  and that includes the National as well – should let Chris know urgently as the entries close midweek.

PS News of a fine run by ANDY CHAMBERS, who must surely must be the fittest unfit man in the club. Having declined to enter the South west champs on the grounds that he was not fit enough to do himself justice, Andy proved what he might achieve when fully fit by pushing former clubmate TOM MERSON (24:22) all the way in Exeter’s inaugural CityRuns New Year 5 mile road race to smash his previous best by more than half a minute with a time of 24:33 that takes him to the top of the club rankings for the distance.

Mike Down.

Bristol and West South West XC results

Ladies

5 635 Isabelle Talbot Price Bristol & West AC Avon SW 22.04
6 582 Natalie Griffiths Bristol & West AC Avon SW 22.12
7 580 Annabel Granger Bristol & West AC Avon F45 22.19
18 614 Catie O’Donoghue Bristol & West AC Avon SW 23.10
22 578 Elaina Gard Bristol & West AC Avon SW 23.30
31 570 Sarah Everitt Bristol & West AC Avon F45 24.20
50 558 Emma Clarke Bristol & West AC Avon SW 26.09
56 594 Georgina Holt Bristol & West AC Avon SW 27.38

 

Men

2 774 Felix McGrath Bristol & West AC Avon SM 27.30
3 819 Kurt Taylor Bristol & West AC Avon SM 27.32
5 828 Andy Watt Bristol & West AC Avon SM 27.54
6 831 Benedict Westhenry Bristol & West AC Dorset SM 28.01
10 685 Harry Allen Bristol & West AC Avon SM 28.41
11 763 Owain Jones Bristol & West AC Avon SM 28.47
13 693 Jed Bartlett Bristol & West AC Avon SM 28.51
30 729 David Eagon Bristol & West AC Avon SM 29.37
45 691 Peter Bains Bristol & West AC Avon SM 30.32
68 734 Robert Farley Bristol & West AC Gloucestershire SM 31.55
74 686 Aled Anderson Bristol & West AC Not SW SM 32.11
76 697 Samuel Bentley Bristol & West AC Avon SM 32.17
88 805 Anthony Roper Bristol & West AC Somerset M50 33.25
122 738 Jonathan Goodland Bristol & West AC Avon M60 36.05
124 768 Nathan Lomax Cooke Bristol & West AC Avon SM 36.31

 

Juniors

4 266 Megan Hornung Bristol & West AC Avon U15G 14.38
15 279 Amy Nicholls Bristol & West AC Avon U15G 15.59
23 262 Fleur Hayden Bristol & West AC Avon U15G 16.35
42 353 Jay Hunt Bristol & West AC Avon U15B 18.29
50 351 Joseph Hull Bristol & West AC Avon U15B 19.17

 

Under 13 & under 11 lads make the most of festive break

05 Jan

Although coaching, training & racing can be tricky during the Christmas holidays it failed to deter this keen squad of endurance runners who certainly did not let the grass grow under their feet throughout the festive season.

Making the most of some fun training during the day light hours plus a well supported tinsel run on Christmas eve kept many lads plus their parents, dogs & siblings busy & enjoying all that Ashton Court has to offer especially the café at the end of training.

There were numerous Parkrun PBs as listed below.

What better way to start Christmas day so well done Ronnie Wilmott who took part at Windmill Hill 2k running 7mins 25sec PB

Boxing day was the turn of u11 Eddie Bent who raced really well over 3k in the junior race at Clevedon. He was supported by Barney Thomas & Alfie England.

Another Parkrun PB on 29th Dec was always on the cards & again Eddie Bent gave it his all  finishing first in 8min exactly. So sub 8 is the aim for 2020.

Several boys plus parents held back on the New Eve Year celebrations & as the photo suggests were all smiles at the Eastville Parkrun & both Felix Pearson (22.53) & Alfie England (26.06) kicked of the New Year in style recording PBs.

Eastville Parkrun on New Year’s Day

We are all looking forward to a busy January with school races shortly plus the Midland champs which on paper suggests we have a competitive team. Everyone just has to stay well & in one piece, which with such a lively bunch is quite a challenge for their coach.

Ali Hurford.

Gwent League #3: u11 and u13 boys take full advantage of festive home fixture

Gwent League #3: u11 and u13 boys take full advantage of festive home fixture
11 Dec

 The ploy of a festive tent,  Christmas lucky dip plus the usual abundance of cake seemed to work its seasonal magic as all 18 lads turned out for their respective team.

The overall improvement from the u11s resulted in  a move up from 7th position in to the bronze position, but only just. We will need to keep our finger on the pulse at the remaining 2 fixtures.

As a result of great team spirit the u13s finished second on the day & have further consolidated the bronze position moving away from Cardiff but we still need to keep it together for the rest of the season.

 

U11s results.

Leading in the team was Oisin O Halloran (9) who was the Avon bronze medalist at last weeks tri counties. Gradually moving through the field was Tom White (24) who had given his all in a school race the previous day. Having his best race to date Eddie Bent (28) managed to stay on his feet & keep his laces tied up so third time lucky. Rufus Hull (46) was clearly on a mission & is  starting to make a big impact on the team result. Providing useful back up Alfie England (72) continues to combine running with his swimming training & he is looking more confident at every race.

U13s results.

The scoring team consisted of Ronnie Wilmott(9) clearly still on a high after his victory at the Avon xc champs a week ago. This set things up well for Zac Cox (10) who thankfully has recovered from falling off his bike quite badly a couple of weeks ago. Fantastic team packing from Alex Auton Green(11) who has shown real consistency all season meant we needed just one more Bristol vest to show up soon.  So it was down to new recruit  Harry Harvey (28) who  was a real star & listened well to my pre race advice & it certainly paid dividends

The B team packed really well starting with Joey Taylor (34) just holding off a fast finishing Vijay Bakrania (35) who also played his role well as team captain on the day. Never far behind & giving his all was Daniel Jarrold (44) followed very closely by Barney Thomas (47) who has made real progress since Pembrey .

Leading the c team in was Max Finning (48) looking an awful lot happier than his race at Bath last week. His finish is something to behold. Felix Pearson (51) continues to improve & clearly enjoys being part of this lively group. It was good to have Oliver Draper back in the team after a break from competing & finally Ben Pocock (57) now looking much more comfortable after thinking about music terminology whilst running ( legato) springs to mind.

Our final finisher was Walter Davies(66) who has very recently become part of Alis Army so full marks for turning out & giving it a go.

Our next big race is the Midland xc champs at the end of Jan. So we have plenty of time to enjoy some festive running over the next couple of weeks before we starting getting back in the zone for the remaining fixtures next year.

If any one wishes to have a social run on Christmas eve we will be at Ashton Court 10am. Please bring a mince pie & some mistletoe!

Merry Christmas.

Ali

Gwent League #3 – u15 boys and u17 men in buoyant form at Blaise

11 Dec

Travelling in the daylight can only mean one thing, a local match. 20 u15 boys and u17 men made the journey to Blaise Castle, the home of Westbury Harriers.  With two almost full squads the mood was buoyant.  With club tent set up, warm ups commenced.

Eoin O Halloran led the u15 boys out, maintaining a good position throughout the race, 15th (15.07), Ishmael Bradley showed great strength and determination in 24th position, (15.31), Ishmaels regular training is certainly starting to pay off, improving with each race.  Misha Evans and Amos Kingston battled out the next two positions, coming across the line with only 6 seconds between them, Misha (15.49) 30th and Amos 31st (15.55.) completed our first team home.  Misha feeling that this had been his best race so far this season.  Jay Hunt lead the second team home in style, 39th place (16.21).  The ever reliable Joseph Hull took 45th position, (16.39) cheered on by Dad, Bill and brother, Rufus.  Behind him relative new comer, Ollie Robertson Kurd who despite being nervous at the start, showed no nerves on the course, 48th (17.08).  Jacob Franklin, who is easy to spot in the crowd with his fluorescent shorts and socks, only 10 seconds behind Ollie in 50th place (17.18) completing the second team.  Alex Robertson, whose last visit to Blaise had resulted in a broken ankle, did not let this deter him, finishing strongly in 56th place, (18.58) and in 62nd place, Joe Mcnamara who continues to improve with every competition (19.54) completed our teams.  The u15 team held their 7th position in the table. Second team 12th and third team 28th.  

Next up, the u17 men.  With almost a full squad, 9 boys set off at 2.05pm running their longest race distance yet of 5500m.  Leading the boys out, Ollie Harper, Rufus Thomas and Fred Hawker packed together tightly,  keeping a good pace for the first medium lap.  Ollie, with the lure of a Gwent League T Shirt in his mind, finished in the top 10%, 5th overall (18.54), just 4 seconds behind, Rufus Thomas secured 7th place, (18.58).  Next in with a solid performance, Fred Hawker, 12th place (19.35) and completing the first team, Jay Akbar who looked relaxed in what where good conditions for Jay, no wind, no rain in 26th place, (20.55).  First home for the second team, Cole Edmonds in 32nd place (21.38), closely followed by Otto Kingston, just 10 seconds separating them, in 34th place (21.48).  James Casling, with his signature 100m sprint into the finish, 46th (23.05) and Jacob Roe, only 4 seconds behind him, 47th (23.09), completing the second team.  Lewis Adamson, who ran through gritted teeth having twisted his ankle early on, was determined to start and finish, in 49th position (24.11).  The u17 boys move up to 2nd place in the table, second team 11th place and third team 27th.

All watched on by Steve Grant, there to get tips for the next Gwent League in Chepstow, which will be hosted by Bristol and West on Saturday 8th February.  

Blaise Gwent League XC – Senior teams

10 Dec

Chris Elson reports

Report Blaise 7.12.19

There was a 15 strong contingent at the Telford 10K, which included the Master’s selection race for the home international. A goodly number of PB’s were posted with Harry Allan 30.17, Felix McGrath 31.07, Joe Connors 31.58, Jed Bartlett 32.40, Andy Cooke (40) 33.04, Ben Maliphant 33.07, Phil Parry (4th M55) 35.48, Brad Pontin 37.47, Natalie Griffiths 37.33, Clare Jolliffe (2nd W50) 39.32, Sarah Everitt (5th W50) 40.45, Sian Davies 43.10 (7th W55), Fliss Russell (6th W60) 47.13, Christine Rose (12th W60) 52.32, Anne Dockery (2nd W70) 53.17. In addition, David Eagon, Alex Whittaker and Annabelle Grainger were 1st, 4th, & 1st women respectively at Christmas Cracker 10K. So how would B&W AC fare at Blaise? Rather well as it turned out, with a few unanticipated reinforcements and some handy debutantes. In fact the weekend’s events must rank as one the best performance by the B&W AC endurance section in terms of strength in depth in living memory!

This time the women did set a record namely A team 1st & B team 2nd! The C, D, E & F teams were all 1st in their category, out of the 76 teams finishing with the C team 9th, D team 15th, E team 25th,  and F team 54th. The W35 & W45 teams were 1st and W55 team 2nd. I think Keith is going to be pleased with these results! Individually, Kate Maltby led the field home and it was lovely to see Kate in full flow gliding away from her pursuers. Kate even said she enjoyed it! Next up was a rejuvenated Nicky Brookland who produced a cracking run in 6th and was first W45 by the proverbial mile. That left a trio of Rosie Hattersley (10th), Catie O’Donaghoe (14th), and making her club debut, Annie Carroll (15th), all running strongly to complete the A team . The B team was led home by Anna Duran-Mingo, back after injury, in 19th, followed by another debutante Hannah Steeds (23), Katerina Entwhistle (24th), Elaina Gard fighting off a cold (26th) & Naomi Aylwin (31st). That was some performance by the B team! Lucy Wallace, not at her best, was first home for the C team in 40th position, with Tanya Chowdhudry having an excellent run (43rd & 8th W40), Thea Payne making an impressive debut (46th), Emma Clarke (56th) & Nicky Hodges,  (71st & 8th W45) completing the team. Alice Doggrell, warming up for the race with a nippy Clevedon park run (somebody needs to talk to her about this), was first finisher for the D team in 73rd, with W40 Harriet Williams running well in 77th, Ruth Tredgett (90th), a notable performance from Antonia Gooder (106th & 6th W50) and an excellent one from Maggie Salter (120th & 4th W55) & no, I didn’t miss the 26 min park run. Another debutante, Kate Hoffen with a run to be proud of led the all masters E team home in 134th position (11th W50), with Rosey Mushens (139th & 7thW55), Ali Hurford, cheered on by the army, (157th & 11th W55), W45 Julie Ilogu (169th), and W45 Emma-Jane Orchard (174th). Finally the F team was composed of Harriet Middlebrough (184th), Danielle Suttle (213rd) & W45 Katie Ronald (215th) out of the 292 finishers.

In the M65 race run with the ladies Dave Bedwell was 1st & Tom Burgess 10th & they held on to their 2nd place overall.

Could the men emulate their female counterparts? They did give it a good shot! The A team were first and now have a handy cushion of 149 points over our nearest rivals, Aberdare AAC.  The B team were 4th and head the B Division by over 500 points! Notably, the C, D, E & F teams occupied the first four places in the Reserve Division with the G team in 14th out of 31 teams in the division. The M35 team were 2nd on the day and M45 5th. I’m indebted to Mike Down for his report on the A team. The Blaise race was particularly significant for the long awaited comeback of the club’s former junior international Ben Westhenry and the return from injury of Andy Chambers. These two were joined among others by Andy Watt, whose progress has been a revelation this autumn but who himself was returning from an inactive fortnight’s holiday in South America. So there were question marks all round, but the way Ben attacked the three undulating three lap course from the start you could have thought he had never been away! He took the bull by the horns, opening up a lead of as much as 30-40 metres on the first two laps, but a combination of an ankle roll suffered midrace and a predictable reaction to such an aggressive approach in his first race for two years saw him run out of gas on the last lap and have to settle for 7th place at the end. Nonetheless it was a remarkable resumption to what had been a promising junior career before an overuse shin injury suffered during a short athletics scholarship stay in the U.S. left him so exasperated that he made an early return to the UK. Now happily based back with his alma mater in Bristol studying for a Ph.D. and hopefully finally clear of his chronic shin problem, it should not be long before he underlines his outstanding natural talent. While one’s attention was inevitably focussed on Ben’s comeback effort, behind him Andy Chambers, was also returning to action after before being sidelined for the past month due to an ankle sprain together with a recurrence of the back problem that grounded him for the first half of the year. Unlike Ben he purposely started cautiously, and although never in contact with the leaders soon worked his way through to a position in the top six and gradually closed the gap to finish in 4th place in a race that he thought he could have won if his training had not been interrupted. Andy and Ben’s efforts sandwiched those of Andy Watt and Jonny Suttle, who both took their time to work their way through a number of the early pacesetters to finish 5th and 6th respectively just ahead of Ben. Andy Watt, clearly acted as a spur to Johnny, who underlined his ongoing progress by producing what was arguably his best ever performance on the country. (Chris again). The A team was completed by Maciej Bialogonski who finished 15th despite his race warm up over the Seven Bridge at the parkrun earlier in the day. The B team was led home by Graham Breen (19th & 1st M40) who took the scalp of international James Thie, followed by a good run from Olly Sheppard (20th), Rob Farley (21st) who seems to be getting better every race, Pete Bains (39th) and  Lee Gawler (51st) with perhaps his best performance since joining the club. When you have a C team led home by someone of the calibre of Andy Drake (54th 11th M35) you know you have a good team. Henry Sly (68th & 8th M40) was next followed by the ever improving Sam Bentley 75th,  Darren Garmen (76th & 4th M45), who must has kept something in reserve for his exploits at the Cracker the following day and Joe Lyne (94th) another person ascending the league rankings. Under 23 Tom Blake (119th) making his league debut led the D team home, with Matt Burdon some 30 places higher than at Pembrey park (123rd), Neil Turney (125th) a recent addition to the sleep deprivation society but now getting enough to return to the fray, Jon Bennett (130th) a graduate from the said society, and debutante & another parkrun warm up victim, Simon Brice (131st) completed the team. The E team comprised Cameron Grayling (132nd), Steve Swan (148th), M45 Paul Jefferson (154 & 15th M45), Pete Gandon (158th), and M40 Tim White (180th) & F team M40 Peter Wang (188th),  Tom Moriaty (189th), Tariq Kurd with a breakthrough run (194th & 28th M45), Mark Taylor (195th & 29th M45), & Dan Titheradge returning after a long break (214th). After Nathan Lomax-Cooke (234th),  the next three members of the G team were all running their first cross-country race with M40 Ben Holding (295th) in the van, followed by Nicko Brooke (299th), Andrew Young (348th), & super coach Nick Crewe (362th & 36th M55) out of 481 finishers. Next Race the SW Championships enter online before 23rd December.

Full results are available here: http://gwent-league.org.uk/2019/res193.htm

Gwent League #3 – junior girls battle it out at Blaise!

Gwent League #3 – junior girls battle it out at Blaise!
09 Dec

under 11s – Simon Jones reports…

It was a perfect winter’s day for round 3 of the Gwent League at Blaise Castle. Our team of 5 walked the course and warmed up together before taking their positions on the start line with around 90 other under 11 girls. Gabi was first home in 9th, equalling her best placing, and edging into the top 10 of the league overall! Phoebe was second home in 11th, a brilliant run, improving on her 14 place at Cardiff. Holly came home in 19th despite still struggling from a foot injury the previous week. Amira finished in 35th, a fantastic debut and Anisa in 62nd; again improving dramatically on her previous placing, continuing her progress across the season. Most impressively, all of these individual performances meant that the team finished in 2nd overall, just 2 points behind league leaders Swansea! With two meets to go, if they keep this going there is a slim chance of a team medal position!

under 13s – Paul Owen reports…

On Bristol soil and a dry but windy day Holly Sanigar continued her fine development and form establishing herself early on in the top 15-20, steadily progressed and held for a strong and credible finish of 11th in her younger year in this age group. Definitely feel a top 10 finish is on the cards this season. Katie Beech making her first appearance of the season DNF due to being sick part way through. She will be back though and with some consistent training I see her as a top 20 finisher this season.

under 15s – Paul Owen reports…

A strong line up in windy conditions with the girls in team bronze position not far off silver. As ever after a blistering start Megan ‘Duracell’ Hornung soon glided her way to lead position where she kept her foot on the gas and as the race progressed further increased her lead to take 1st position. Amy Nichols looking strong at the finish was next in with 9th, Fleur Hayden also looking good at the finish and continuing her return to fitness and form with 13th, Sophie Hayes not far behind was 14th after putting in a really good effort completed what must be 1st place team on the day. Molly Thomas although a little disappointed with her own performance of 21st worked hard all through the race and will continue to improve this season. Carmen Chance was our final team member in with 37th having ran a consistently paced race. Well done all, looking forward to seeing how much we have closed the gap at the top by…
Current team standings = 2nd place with two races to go. Megan Hornung ranked 1st girls individually. Amy Nichols 2 pts outside top ten.

 

Gwent League #2: Pembrey Park – u11 and u13 boys

26 Nov

Due to coach Ali being on a mission in London last week this race report is now old news & somewhat brief for a change! However it is extremely pleasing to report that the u11boys remain in 7th position but are rapidly creeping up towards 6th place. This is partly due to all 5 lads remaining on their feet throughout the race plus some very competitive running from the gun. Oisin headed the challenge resulting in a top 10% position so qualifying for a T shirt. The others dually followed & as long as Eddie does not have a shoe lace problem in the next race I feel we could see fireworks between several of the lads all fighting for pole position in the group.

The u13 lads were slightly below par due to illness  but this failed to deter a true team performance enabling us to remain in 3rd position as well as pulling away from Cardiff by a few more points.

Zac & Alex showed total commitment at the start of the race positioning well before the sharp rise up the sand dune early on in the course.

Towards the end of the race Barney Thomas who was clearly missing some of his training pals kept going right to the finish although it was quite tempting to call it a day after the first lap.

As the photos here suggest the u11team look very in the zone pre race but find time to relax afterwards.

Next year if the fixture is repeated a minibus full of lads may be the way to travel due to the distance involved for all. I give full marks to our local Club North Somerset who had the initiative to travel en mass by coach leaving Clevedon at 8am & so avoiding the travel disruption on the motorway.

In comparison our next couple of fixtures in Bath & Blaise will be a walk in the park.

 

Results u11s   Oisin O Halloran (7)  Tom White(12)   Eddie Bent (39) Rufus Hull (65) Alifie England (89)

           U13s  Zac Cox (8)  Alex Auton Green (9)  Ronnie Wilmott (21)  Joey Taylor (38)  Vijay Bakrania (41) Felix Pearson (65) Barney Thomas (86)

 

Gwent League #2: Pembrey Park – u11 girls

Gwent League #2: Pembrey Park – u11 girls
21 Nov

After a very wet and long journey to Pembrey Country Park, the under 11 girls team of 3 arrived in relative sunshine to a lovely back drop for a Cross Country run.  Having walked the course the girls lined up on the start line together, and looked happy as they got ready to set off.  All of the runners were delighted with their performances with the highest placings for all of them!  Holly finished in 8th place with Gabi just behind in 9th; the 2 girls running side by side for much of the race.  Anisa came in in 75th, a brilliant 24 places higher than in Cardiff, having overtaken a lot of others throughout the course!  We were all super proud of the individual performances, but much more than that, the team spirit that the girls showed throughout.  We are now really looking forward to the next round at Blaise Castle!

Gwent League #2: Pembrey Park – u15 and u17 boys

16 Nov

Emma Withers reports…

The journey to Pembrey Country Park on Saturday felt like a repeat performance of last weeks trip to Mansfield with torrential rain making challenging driving conditions.  Fortunately when we arrived the sun came out and stayed (mostly) dry for the races.

10 u15 boys set off on the 3.6k route around the park, including sand dune!  Leading us home, becoming a reliable fixture in this team, Eoin O Halloran in 14th place (12.46).  It was so pleasing to see Amos Kingston enjoying the undulating terrain and knocking a whole minute off last years performance, in 27th place (13.14).  Ishmael Bradley, who got caught in a traffic jam on the way, arrived just in time for a quick warm up and was 3rd Bristol and West boy home in 33rd position (13.31).  Next up, Fred Cummins, who had a much more positive race this time following advice from his physio, in 37th place, (13.42), completing the A team.  Leading the B team in, Joseph Hull, having had an extra early start in order for younger brother, Rufus to compete in the u13 race came in at 48th place, (14.02) with Jacob Franklin hot on his heels in 49th position, (14.05) even having time for a thumbs up for his photo.  52nd place, saw Misha Evans, wrestling with a stitch half way round 14.12 and Tomek Czerepinski running steadily into 66th place 14.58, completed the Bristol and West B team.  Alex Robertson in 72nd place, looked more at home this week not slipping and sliding in the mud (15.25) and Joe McNamara working hard in 77th place,16.30 completed our C team.  The u15 boys remain in 7th position overall.

The u17 boys had a long wait to race at 14.10 and used their time productively cheering on their u15 team mates.  With both coaches, Dave Bedwell and Dave Hart racing with the Senior Ladies, the boys led their own comprehensive warm up.  Oliver Harper, first home in 7th place 16.02, putting on an exciting sprint finish with team mate, Rufus Thomas in the last 200m and pipping Rufus to the line by 1 second, Rufus in 8th place, 16.03.  Jay Akbar glided into 26th place, 17.46  and completing the team, James Casling 32nd place 18.23,  just 7 seconds in front of team mate, Otto Kingston in 34th place, 18.30.  James showing us an impressive fast finish in the home straight.

The u17 boys have moved into 3rd position overall.


We are hoping to have all our boys out on the start line at Blaise Castle in 4 weeks time so we can improve/retain those positions.  We would also like to take the time to remember the Junior Boys team mate Jack Bannister, who we sadly lost in a road traffic accident in May 2018 and who would have been 17 on the 10th November.  Our thoughts as always go out to his family.

Gwent League #2: Pembrey Park – Senior report

Gwent League #2: Pembrey Park – Senior report
12 Nov

Pembrey Park 9/11/2019 – Chris Elson reports

Inclement weather greeted the intrepid bands of Bristol & West AC runners heading west
for the distant Gwent League cross-country fixture at Pembrey Park, many people’s
favourite venue for the races. By Swansea however, things were looking up and just before
the senior women’s race the sun shone from a cloudless sky. Looking at those running I did
wonder if the current ladies were capable of achieving a feat, beyond those of any of our
great teams of the past, namely filling the first two team positions. Read on!

A group of 3 women pulled away over the first lap with Natalie Griffiths slightly detached running
strongly in 4th , a position she maintained until the finish for another excellent run. Izzy
Talbot-Price ran her now trademark canny race gradually pulling through the field for 5 th
place. The finish was a heartening sight for the B&W AC supporters club with a lot of club
vests in view, albeit in a crowded home straight. Hannah Pollak and Amy Partridge had latched
on to a group of six or seven runners and were gradually moving to the fore all the way to
the finish, where Hannah used her superior track speed to finish 7th with Amy 8th. These
were another two runs to be proud of. Not to be outshone, Elaina Gard finished a
creditable 13th to complete the A team.

The rapidly improving Katrina Entwhistle led the B team home in 16th position, followed by Catie O’Donoghue, who did a hard session the day before not knowing that she would be available to run, in 22 nd place. Next up came Ellen Harrison gradually putting the weeks of injury behind her in 25 th, W50 superstar Clare Jolliffe (28th ; 1 st W50); Naomi Aylwin 36th. Another W50 superstar led the C team home in 37th position (2nd W50), namely Sarah Everitt happily restored to us after her skirmish with the
surgeons. She was followed by Alice Doggrell who ran the New York marathon the previous
weekend despite an unwanted fast induced by a gut infection. Given that background Alice
looked amazingly well and ran strongly moving through the field for 48th position. Emma
Clarke (74th ), W45 Nicky Hodges (82nd; 14th W45); Rosie Mushens (136th& 11th W50) now rapidly recovering from a prolonged injury, completed the C team. This left W55 Ali Hurford (151th & 7th W55), W60 Fliss Russell now established as one of the leading W60’s in the league (175th & 2nd W60.) and W45 Emma-Jane Orchard (179th) to fill the D team. 329 women finished.

So, what of the team results? B&W AC A 1st, Swansea 2nd of course it’s a home fixture for them(!), B&W AC B 3rd overall and 1st B team. The C team was 11th overall &  1st C team, and D team 46th overall and first D team out of 84 teams competing.
The M65 team of Dave Bedwell (2nd ), Tom Burgess (12th ) & Dave Hart (22nd and 5th M70) made up the D team, which was 2nd on the day and retained its overall 2 nd place.


The list of those unavailable for the men was scarily long, with at least one, Jack Millar,
running the Milton Keynes Cross-challenge and in doing so unleashed another star
performance in 6 th place. Consequently, it was with some anxiety, fortunately misplaced,
that I watched the men’s race unfold. It seemed that almost everyone employed the right
tactics of not setting off too fast and working their way through the field. Jed Bartlett led the A
team home with another solid performance in 12 th place with Maciej Bialogonski hanging in after a tiring week and only a fortnight after his 3 rd place in a mountain marathon in Poland, to take 20th . Pete Bains had a sterling run to take 26th place, Graham Breen recovering well from his 2.35 marathon in Manchester a fortnight earlier 30th (2nd M40), leaving Rob Farley (37th ) who had a storming run working his way through the field to make up the A team. This was good enough for B&W AC to retain top spot overall and come 2 nd on the day,  13 points behind Cardiff AAC and 8 in front of Aberdare.

Darren Garmen (62 and 4th M45)had another good run and led the B team home, followed by rapidly improving Lee Gawler (72), Matt Bond (80) back after injury, Sam Bentley (90) also improving and newcomer Liam Glenn who made a very impressive debut for the club in 94th. The B team finished 13th overall and you won’t be surprised 1st in the B division.

Jack Longstaff (115th) led the C team home and in so doing set a tall order for the next race. Having finished 100 places higher than Cardiff, can he improve that much again at Blaise Estate? Aled Anderson (142) Cameron Grayley (143), Bill Hull (146; 24th M45); Matt Burdon (157) completed the C team which finished 24th overall out of the 105 teams competing and was again first in the reserve division. Brad
Clarke (160) led the D team home with Peter Wang (181), Mark Taylor (183; 35 th M45); Tariq Kurd (241; 63rd M45) making up the team, which was 2nd D team on the day but retained the overall D team top spot. 429 men finished.

So, overall another rather good day for B&W AC with lots of people achieving or exceeding
expectations. Can we do a repeat performance in the 3rd fixture,which is at Blaise Estate on
Saturday 7th December? Please get the date in your diaries and let me know if you want to
run!