Dates for Your Diary – April 2011

19 Jan

At last Friday’s Club Committee Meeting the following dates were agreed:

Friday 1st April 2011 – Club Annual General Meeting

Friday 15th April 2011 – Club Winter Awards Evening

Further details concerning time and venue will be published as soon as they are confirmed.

Track & Field Bulletin – 18th January 2011

18 Jan

The Indoor (& Outdoor) circuit moved to Birmingham HPC and Lee Valley this past weekend with only a few local competitors but some good signs of success.

At Birmingham the mix was indoor and out (for the throws).  Christina JONES who has been working away in solitude at Whitchurch through the Winter came out trumps in the Hammer with a PB winning throw of 50.32m.  This exceeds her pevious PB by 2cm from last Summer so the coming season is already looking good for CJ.  Hayley PITMAN jumped 1.65m in the High Jump for 5th place.  Hayley now trains at our new Whitehall track for one of her weekly sessions under Joy BRAY so this should be an incentive to other jumpers to come and join us at this fine new facility.

At the Southern Indoor Champs at Lee Valley, Debbie NICCOL had an excellent run for third place in the 1,500m in 4:43.58.  Debbie’s outdoor best is 4:34.15 so even now in the depths of Winter she is close to her PB.  Debbie was followed in fifth place by Steeplechaser Dianna KENNEDY (another Whitehall athlete) in 5:16.95.

This coming weekend will see Welsh Championship events at Cardiff and in a couple of weeks it will be the Birmingham Games at the NIA.  An entry for this event has been submitted for the 60m & 200m from our Finnish International Gus KLINGSTEDT who now lives in York.  We wish Gus well at these short distance events?    

Also Steve Mitchell is doing some serious training at altitude in Kenya with a view to making a real impact at 1,500 metres on this year’s UK indoor circuit. 


Mike Strange


Young Club Stars Shine Brightest at Cardiff McCain Cross Challenge

16 Jan

Sunday 16th January 2011 – Cardiff.

The club’s senior male athletes helped the South-West Regional Men’s Team to a resounding team victory with solid runs from Tom Russell (7th in 34.10) and Robbie Bugden (11th in 34.26) in the Inter-Region Race and Phil Parry was a convincing winner of the Men’s Masters Race.

However, it was the club’s young stars who caught the eye. In particular Hobie Martin who followed up last week’s South-West Championship win with a clear victory in the under-17 boys race in 19.54 as he changed up a gear to go 4 seconds clear of Richard Charles of Shaftesbury Barnet (19.58) in the last few hundred yards. Hobie was followed by a strong sixth place by Luke Jacobs in 20.29 (both athletes are in the bottom year of this age group). There were 71 finishers in this age group.

Olivia Sadler (fifth in 19.01) and Victoria (Tor) Kenney (seventh in 19.56) ran well in the girls under-17 race to both finish in the top eight as the Worcester duo of Alice Wright (17.57) and Jennifer Nesbitt (18.27) took individual honours. There were 70 finishers.

In the under-15 boys race Oscar Holdsworth again made the long journey up from Cornwall and finished fifteenth out of 101 in 15.27.

In the under-15 girls race Annasley Park finished eleventh in 14.50 and Miranda Sadler nineteenth in 15.11 in a field of 93 runners.

In the women’s under-20 race Annabel Gummow (16.31) continued her fine form when finishing a clear second but had to give way by seven seconds to Louise Small of Aldershot, Farnham and District (16.24) – the latter is eighteen months her senior despite being in the same age group.

In the Men’s under-20 race Matt Deacon finished twenty-seventh in 26.07 in a race won by Jonny Hay of Aldershot, Farnham & District in 22.39. There were 45 finishers.

Also running well were new member Viv McConnell and club regulars Ali Hurford and Sian Davies in the Ladies Masters Race – all three placing in the top ten. These three athletes had the misfortune to compete in the fourteenth race of the day after 2 hours of heavy rain when the course was clearly at its heaviest and slipperiest.

Full results can be found at

Four Good Runs in Gloucestershire County Champs

11 Jan

Tom Russell returned to racing after a lay off to due to injury to take the Gloucestershire Senior Men’s Title at Tewkesbury on Saturday 8th January 2011 in 34.20 but found himself beaten by club team mate Phil Wylie – also returning after injury – who took the race in 34.03.

Two of the club’s young female athletes also performed well with Vanessa Brann winning the county under-20 title when finishing seventh overall in the Senior Women’s Race in 33.11. While in the under-15 girls race guesting Annasley Park couldn’t take the county title but took a convincing win in 18.59.

Senior Men’s 1-2 at Clevedon Boxing Day Road Races

28 Dec

David Bishop – back in the UK on a Christmas Holiday from his American University – finally shook off Michael Johnson to give the club a 1-2 in the Senior Men’s Race as the Clevedon Boxing Day Road Race took place albeit over a course approximately 400 metres shorter than normal to allow for underfoot conditions. Other performances of note were ninth overall by Luke Jacobs making a welcome return to racing after a period of illness and injury and a third place in the Women’s Race by Annabel Granger. Annabel was running unattached but was quickly reminded of her lapsed Bristol & West membership and we hope to see her out in club colours very quickly. The first and second in the Senior Women’s Race were Emma Pallant of Aldershot, Farnham & District and Laura Parker of Wells.

Down the age groups Mick O’Docherty in thirteenth place was first V50 and Sian Davies and Ali Hurford took a 1-2 in the Womens 50 category.

Club finishing positions were as follows:

1. Dave Bishop  18.11

2. Michael Johnson  18.17

8 Harry Webb  19.34

9 Luke Jacobs 19.36

13 Mick O’Docherty 20.01 – 1st V50

14 Nathan Young 20.02

19 Kieran Young 21.07

29 Annabel Granger 21.41 3rd Senior Woman

31 Rob Witham 21.50

32 Dan Noad 21.52

36 Nicki Brookland 22.00 4th Lady – 1st V35

43 Debbie Niccol 22.12

45 George Hurford 22.21

59 Zac Marsh 22.36

62 Camilla Briggs 22.44 (Tenth Lady)

83 Sian Davies 23.51 1st Female V50

133 Ali Hurford 25.28 2nd Female V50

176 Jon Bonner 26.41

185 Rosemary Hurford 26.55

441 Emma Taylor 33.50

442 David Taylor 33.51

There were 648 finishers and full results are available here.

Track & Field Bulletin – 13th to 20th December 2010

21 Dec

This report is a little overdue but is not insignificant as it records the start of the Indoor season last weekend.

Meetings were held on Saturday 11th December 2010 at UWIC (Cardiff) and Bath University. 

Athletes were torn between the two excellent venues and Personal Best Performances were recorded at both venues.

At Cardiff we saw an interesting range of performances by newly signed (1st Claim) Under 20, James Taylor.  James is a multi-event athlete who if he has a speciality it is the Pole Vault.  At Cardiff James chose to compete in the 60m, Long Jump and Shot.  Excellent performances of 7.83, 5.35 & 10.60 (pb) were recorded proving that we have a valuable asset in James for the future.  Welcome to Bristol & West AC.

Into the U23 ranks moves the outstanding James Preston.  Once again James consolidated his improvement with a 13.73 senior pb throw against international opposition.

Mike Willsmore (normally seen as a 1:51 800m runner) travelled from Plymouth to try his hand at 3km where he met an extremely strong field in the ‘A’ race.  8:38.26 was an outstanding time but the field was so strong it sadly only earned Mike 6th place?  Nevertheless it was great foray into distance running and would have ranked Mike 4th for B&W outdoors in 2010.  With all our distance talent that is superb achievement.

At Bath pride of place as usual goes to the Pole Vaulters.  Lucy Bryan is still an Under 17 and cleared the 4m mark for the first time (4.02).  For her age Lucy is incredible (only the second ever 16 year old to clear 4m from the UK) and as Martin Davies wrote after the event “sit up Isinbayeva” Lucy is after you.  Luke Bailey (U20) inched his pb up by 2cm to 4.32 and even though sometimes seeming to be overshadowed by working with an outstanding group of athletes Luke really is breaking into the elite in the UK.  Another outstanding UK-ranked athlete is Bella Hatch.  Isobel moved up to the U17 age group and won the low starting height group? with a great leap of 3.02m.  We are also pleased to record the PV group has yet another emerging star, they now have young Georgie Pearce (U17) who recorded an outstanding initial vault of 2.82m to take a great 2nd place behind Isobel.

Nicola Breaks proved a major asset to our Team in 2010 being capable in almost all jumps and throws but on Saturday Nicola concentrated on her speciality Triple Jump to win with another excellent jump of 11.02m.

Sprinters are always anxious to try out their speed and training progress over 60m and they did so at Bath.  Horizontal jumps specialist Theo Campbell led the field with excellent 7.30 & 7.29 clockings to achieve 2nd in the Senior Final; whilst young Jack Dyer (U15) murdered his previous pb of 8.23 with 7.84 for 3rd in his final after 7.91 in his heat.  Credit here to Hilary & Anne for your Coaching.  Tomas Goodman and Ross Shipway recorded 8.47 & 8.69 in their respective races and Ross also cleared 1.30 in the High Jump.    

The next round of Indoor competition is in the new year on 8th January at Bath & 9th January at Cardiff with the Midlands Open Meeting at Alexander Stadium on both days.  I trust we will get an outstanding turn out for these Meetings.

Mike Strange


Session Fees at Whitehall Athletics Arena

17 Dec

All athletes and coaches are asked to note that the club session fee for use of Whitehall Athletics Arena is £2 per session which will be collected on the night by one of the Club Coaches or a member of the Club Committee. Regular users might find it financially advantageous to purchase a season ticket from Mike Strange for the sum of £35 from date of purchase until 31 March 2011 and thereafter £50 for the period 1 April to 30 September 2011.   

Performances of the Week – 6 to 13 December 2010

17 Dec
1= STEVE MITCHELL and PHIL WYLIE – It would be invidious to try and discriminate between Steve’s Tri-Counties triumph and Phil’s winning comeback in the latest Gloucestershire League race. Both were impressive performances, Steve outclassing the opposition to win his first Avon cross-country title over the testing Bath University course with something to spare and Phil doing likewise at Gloucester to finish nearly 200m ahead of runner-up Cheltenham’s star man Dave Roper. Steve’s success underlines the progress he is making now that he has graduated and is focussing full-time on his running. With this background work in the bank expect him to surprise some of his middle distance rivals when he turns his attention to the indoor season. Phil too must have been pleased with his comeback after suffering an horrendous crash on his bike at the end of the summer duathlon season that left him with multiple fractures.
2 DAN WOOLFORD – Dan shrugged off a repeat of the stitch that left him doubled up in pain in the previous week’s Gwent League race to take the Wiltshire senior title for the first time by finishing 4th overall behind Steve, the new Somerset champion Luke Scott  and Ben Morley in the Tri-Counties championship at Bath. Fortunately the pain he had to endure was not as intense as he had suffered at Blaise Castle the previous week and he was able to live with it though it obviously cost him 3rd place to Morley and any chance of challenging Scott in the closing stages.
3= STEVE FRANCIS and ANDY CHAMBERS – These two are bracketed together for similar reasons to Steve and Phil, Steve proving his huge improvement in last week’s Gwent League was no flash in the pan as he finished 5th overall to take the Avon bronze medal, and Andy continuing his comeback from three years in the injury wilderness to finish a very creditable 7th and 4th of the Avon runners. The two of them actually ran together for much of the race before Andy’s lack of training eventually took its toll in the last mile when he was also caught by the Somerset silver medallist Elliot Haimes.
1 IMOGEN AINSWORTH – Imo made a fine start to her international career when she helped the Great Britain team to a convincing victory in the U23 race at the European cross-country championships. She had not been expected to make the scoring four in the six-strong team, but still played her part by finishing just inside the top half of the select field.
She did not get the best of starts as she was at the back of the GB pen being the sixth ranked member of the team, while very few of the other countries had full line-ups which consequently left her well in the rear.on the opening lap of the super fast Almond Blossom course. However, undaunted, she improved 25 places from 54th at that point to finish a very creditable 29th.
2 NIKKI BROOKLAND – Nikki made a stunning return to competition to take the Avon gold medal in the Tri-Counties championship, while finishing a relatively close third overall behind internationals Laura Parker and Holly Rush, who as expected took the Somerset and Wiltshire titles respectively. In this sort of form and with a little more racing behind her she could play a vital role in the B&W team’s performances in the major cross-country championships after Christmas.
3 ALICE HECTOR – After switching her allegiance from Somerset, where she was the former champion, to her new Avon base, Alice proved that like Nikki she too could be a valuable member of our team for the coming championship races by chasing her clubmate all the way to finish 5th overall and take the Avon bronze medal.
1 MATT PETERS – Matty eschewed a certain medal in the U20 junior championship to give himself a tougher test in the longer senior event and improved on his previous week’s solid Gwent league performance by finishing 8th overall to take 5th place in the Avon standings. With a flourish at the end he finished not that far behind Andy Chambers and just ahead of Avon Valley’s prolific road race winner Tom Fisher.
2= RHYS PARK and ZAK TOBIAS – More fence-sitting here, but both Rhys and Zak produced specacular efforts in their respective races, Rhys in winning the latest Glolucestershire League U17 race and Zak in taking the Tri-Counties U17 title at Bath. Rhys was challenged all the way by highly rated Severn athlete Kieran Hale, but just got home to take another valuable scalp, while although Zak could hardly be expected to match strides with U20 champion Greg Halliwell, he finished closer to him than he had in the previous week’s Gwent League event as well as avenging his defeat by Taunton’s Somerset champion Blair Brown in the Blaise Castle race.
3= NATHAN YOUNG and MATT DEACON – Nathan is gradually working his way back to fitness, and though by his own admission lacking pace did more than enough to take the Somerset U20 gold medal, while Matt stuck it out well to win the Avon U20 silver behind convincing winner Greg Halliwell.
1 ANNABEL GUMMOW – Annabel stepped up a gear from the trial race at Liverpool to make the top ten in the European U20 cross-country championship. It was a brilliant effort considering she is still only 16 and her 10th place earned her 4th scoring position in the triumphant gold medal-winning GB team. She now only needs to maintain this sort of form to make the World championship team again next year and even perhaps gain a place in the coveted top 20.
2 OLIVIA SADLER – As expected Olivia had no trouble in taking the Avon U17 gold medal, but was perhaps a little surprised not to match Bath’s impressive overall race winner Imogen Wolsey, who took the corresponding Wiltshire title.
3= BILLIE WILLIAMS and VANESSA BRANN – Billie’s wait for recognition was deservedly rewarded when she finished 7th overall and took the bronze medal in the Avon U17 championship, while Vanessa came back from a long lay off to finish top U20 junior in the latest Gloucestershire League race.
1 ALEC WOODS – Alec felt he had not reproduced his true form in the Tri-Counties championship, but he still did enough to hold off the challenge of Bath rival Dave Coales for the Avon V40 title, while finishing a more than respectable 14th overall and 7th in the Avon championship.
2 JON GOODLAND – Little did Jon realise before the start that he was to play a vital role in the Avon team championship, for though we had five athletes in the top 8 of the overall race, Dan Woolford could not count as he was entered in the Wiltshire event, and with only Alec as back-up, we feared the worst until Jon thankfully hove into sight to make sure we didn’t go home with egg on our faces. Nor was it the first time he has saved our bacon since he joined us first claim as he has come to the rescue of our V40 team before in the Masters National road relay championships. At least he was again rewarded here for his efforts with an unexpected Avon team gold.
1 SIAN DAVIES – Sian maintained her recent return to something like her true form by backing up Nikki and Alice in 11th place overall  – and 8th Avon runner – to ensure we retained the county team title as well as finishing much closer than she had anticipated to Bath’s former international Jo Thompson, who pipped her for the V45 gold medal.
2 ALISON HURFORD – Like Sian Ali too more than held her own with many of the younger runners finishing as high as 17th overall as well as ranking third of all the V45 competitors across the three counties behind Jo and Sian.
3 CLARE JOLLIFFE – Clare made what was a rare appearance this winter, and though clearly in need of the race stuck it out well to end up 24th overall, which was just inside the top half of the 50 finishers.              
MIKE DOWN (16-12-10)

Claire Hallissey wins Jingle All the Way 10k

15 Dec

Dressed in festive red and white and supporting a pair of antlers, Claire Hallissey was first woman home in the ‘Jingle All the Way’ 10k in Washington DC in 35.16 as she returned to competitive racing after her New York Marathon debut. Claire is now on her way back to the UK where she plans to run this weekend’s Telford 10k (weather permitting) during her Christmas/New Year visit home.

Christmas/New Year Track Closures

15 Dec

Club members are asked to note that the new tracks at Stoke Gifford (WISE Campus Filton) and Whitehall (Packers) will both be closed for the period Wednesday 22 December 2010 to Monday 3 January 2011 inclusive for the Christmas/New Year period. Any coaches or athletes who feel it is vital to have access to a track over this period should contact Cy Knibb, Keith Brackstone, Mike Strange or Hilary Nash to discuss the availability of keys to give them access to Whitehall Track.