Unfortunately, given the recent second lock-down announcement from the government, Whitehall Track will be closed from Wednesday 4th November at 9pm until further notice.
Firstly, many thanks to the noble band of officials for their help, namely, Mike Strange, Anna Ford, Stu Waring, Nicko Brooke, Roger Brocklesby, Steve Grant, Julie Ilogu, Clair Meraz, Richard Kershaw. Joe Lyne Jess Graham & Nick Crew.
It was to say the least blustery with some serious gusts of wind, which made some of the times achieved even more creditable.
Race 1 It’s always invidious to single out performances but Henry Cochrane’s PB achievement hanging on to Jack Bancroft who started 10 seconds behind was the stand out performance in the first “race” with improving Rob Farley third fastest.
Jack Bancroft 15.19.2, Henry Cochrane 15.26.1, Rob Farley 16.04.2, Johnny Suttle 16.24.2, Ben Maliphant 16.30.5, Will Cheek 16.34.2, Anthony Glover M45 16.43.4, James Harrod 16.45.3, Simeon Howson 16.50.
Race 2 Ellie Wallace showed what a class act she is with the fastest time in the second “race” with Aled Anderson posting a PB and another notable run by M55 Phil Parry.
Aled Anderson 16.46.3, Ellie Wallace 16.52.2, , Nick Tuftnell M40 17.07.2, Josh Habgoode-Coote 17.11.6, Phil Parry M55 17.41, Dan Schofield 17.45.7, Tariq Kurd 17.51.9, Sam Bentley 18.05.9, Will Purcell 18.25.9.
Race 3 Rosie Hamilton-James was the star in the ladies race, but there were a host of PB’s & good runs from young and old alike.
Rosie Hamilton James 17.57.0, Natalie Griffiths 18.19.0, Katrina Entwhistle 18.39.6, Catie O’Donogue 19.02.8, Claire Jolliffe W55 1918.0, Rachel Stowell W40 19.20.0, Rhiannon Paton 19.20.1, Liz Sanigar W40 19.35.0, Sarah Everitt W55 19.47.4, Vicky Tester W40 19.48.2, Sian Davies W60 21.00.5, Lucy Ellis V35 21.32.5
Race 4 Gareth Hughes, currently a member of the sleep deprivation society, posted the fastest time followed by Matt Brydon who went safely under 18 mins. But perhaps the best performance was by newcomer James Hodge posting a PB after starting running again only a few months ago during the lockdown.
Gareth Hughes 17.24.5, Matt Brydon 17.49.3, James Hodge M45 17.51.7, Simon Brice 18.01.1, Jonathon Lines 18.20.7, Minkee Kim 18.27.2, Alex Wood 18.43.4, Ewan Paton M45 18.46.4, Jerry Dobson 18.46.9, Arwel Roberts M50 19.02.6.
Race 5 Fast improving Tom Foxon, a very recent B&W AC signing, clocked a PB and there were good runs from a number of masters.
Tom Foxon 18.09.8, Nicholas Dobson 19.27.2, Rupert Cross M35 19.27.5, Daniel Thornton M55 19.44.0, Dylan Peters 19.46.4, James Marshall M55 20.24.3, Rory Bateman 20.32.1, Chris Palmer M55 20.20.1, Kate Hoffen W50 23.01.1, Emma-Jane Orchard 24.34.2.
Competitive opportunities are inevitably few and far between at present , reports Mike Down, so it`s essential that you seize the moment when they arise, and FELIX MCGRATH and JACK BANCROFT both did just that by smashing their previous personal bests in the Cheshire 10K.
There were serious doubts during the week that the event would go ahead due to the West Cheshire region being placed in temporary lockdown, and only an alteration in the course to keep it in East Cheshire saved the race.
Perhaps not surprisingly plans for starting the runners in small groups at ten second intervals were somewhat compromised, and in the event the groups having been lined up in rows across the start actually set off at little more than two or three second intervals.
With the fastest runners on Power of Ten rankings starting at the front, Felix and Jack started close together, but well outside the top 20 of what was a first class field headed by Midland cross country champion Ethiopian OMAR AHMED. It was an ideal set up for our guys as they always had runners in front of them to chase.
It was an out and back course with the outward journey arguably slightly faster than the return, with Felix and Jack close together at the halfway turn in close to 15mins flat. The fact that the return journey was marginally tougher meant that to match the club runners` holy grail and dip under the 30 minute barrier was probably never on the cards especially as they had both been operating at a pace well inside their best for the distance.
Nevertheless clearly boosted by the fact they always had runners in front of them to overhaul and were both always catching runners rather than being passed, they ended up much closer to the front than they had started, with Felix, who pulled away from Jack in the latter stages to finish as high as 8th overall, only just behind internationals NIGEL MARTIN (30:03) and this year`s National cross bronze medallist LINTON TAYLOR (30:06), with Jack less than ten seconds slower in 11th. The net result was that Felix ended up slashing 42 seconds off his best in a time just nine seconds outside that magic 30min barrier of 30:09, with Jack trimming 25 off his in a time of 30:17. AHMED was the individual winner in 29:24.
“ There were doubts all week whether the event would get cancelled by the authorities concerned, but with the weather conditions so good we just knew we had to make the most of the opportunity,” said Felix.
“Having run the race before I feel the original course is flatter and faster, so I am sure we can both get under 30 mins before long especially as we know now that the pace is well within our reach.”
If successful they stand to join PETELE GRICE and DAN STUDLEY, who at present are our only two runners who have run under 30 mins for the distance.
Whitehall Track will be closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week due to maintenance work being carried out at the track
FELIX MCGRATH and JACK BANCROFT finally got the opportunity to underline the recent form and progress they have shown in training during the lockdown in Sunday`s Rogue Runs promoted Shepperdine 5M road race, reports Mike Down.
Despite the odds being stacked against them, they defied relentless rain and that curse of all runners fierce winds besides a hardly favourable early 8am start time to smash their previous personal bests for the distance.
In accordance with the sport`s current guidelines for distances of 5K and above the runners were set off at 10 second intervals, and as the fastest two in the field they started first, with Felix 10 seconds after Jack.
Jack could have waited for Felix, but made him work to close the gap over the first mile or so after which they duly shared the pace together till the closing stages when Jack, who had clearly saved something in the locker for when Felix caught him, pulled away from his clubmate in the closing stages to steal line honours in an impressive time for the conditions of 24:52, with Felix in his wake only losing 4 seconds of the 10 he had gained in closing the original gap to record an even faster 24:46.
It improved Felix` previous best for the distance by over a quarter of a minute, while Jack was some three seconds faster than his best done in far better conditions at Sutton Benger.
“I can`t honestly recall running in worse conditions, but we both decided to give it a go whatever ,” commented Felix. “At least the course was pan flat and we had each other to keep the pace going.” Boosted by their fine performances they are both now looking forward to tackle their 10K pb`s in the Cheshire 10K in a fortnight`s time.
With ANDY DRAKE following them home third in 27:29, which was only 20 secs off his best despite having to run the whole way on his own, Bristol and West runners dominated the team event with four others in the top eight fastest times recorded.
DAN CANNON also dipped under 28mins with 27:52 for 4th place, while LEE GAWLER 6th in 28:15, NICK TUFTNELL 7th and first vet in 28:17, and STEVE HONIGHT 8TH 28:37 were all well inside 29mins.
Just like waiting for a bus then 2 come along at once so it was the case last week with competitive races, when on Wednesday several endurance coaches organized some middle distance races on the track. Then Alis Army used Eastville park as a substitute for the traditional Sutton Park annual relays on Saturday.
Both events were very well attended & despite the appalling weather for the track races 40 young athletes turned up. There were some very competitive races ranging from 400m-800m & the consensus of opinion suggests possibly some 1500m time trails later in the Autumn is a possibility. This event was well supported by parents assisting with time keeping, track judging & despite the rain I did have a full set of results to hand thanks to the aga which dried them out nicely.
Everyone went home happy after consuming plenty of cake.
The weather could not of been more perfect for the relays & in total 4 full teams competed around the I mile lap in Eastville park. The teams consisted of new lads & old timers who have been with the group for several years .Despite the recent lack of competitive racing every one gave it their best shot & there were some surprisingly fast times especially form the younger contingent. The winning team were rewarded with chocolate medals & as the enclosed photos show except for the 2 sets of siblings social distancing did not stop the fun.
The excitement did not stop here as we finished off with a parents race. The winning time was 6.18 by Phil White.
The park lent itself very well for these informal relays & the general public appeared to be well impressed by the commitment from the lads who all gave a good account of themselves.
The highlight for me was the new toilet block recently built & open! What a relief.
Eddie 6.19 Felix 6.41 Joey 6.18 total 19.mins 18sec
Tom 6.05 Yasin 8.04 Oliver 6.10 20.mins 19sec
Max 6.30 Ravi 7.05 Ben 7.04 20.mins 39sec
Sean 6.03 Dudley 9.50 Vijay 5.44 21. Mins 37 sec.
Caleb 7.35 ( first reserve, in case someone failed to show on the day)
Whitehall track will be closed between the 28th-30th September.
Due to lines being repainted on a section of Whitehall track and needing 48h to fully cure, the track will be closed between the 28th – 30th September and will reopen on the 1st October. Your coach will let you know in advance if they plan to put alternative training sessions on during this time, or if the sessions will be cancelled/rescheduled.
A lot of happy people left Whitehall on Saturday with big smiles on their faces and many asking if we could do another one’? Athlete Owen Miller from Yeovil remarked: “This is a very well organised and relaxed event – well done to all”.
Jeff Staples, coach and parent of one of the great sprinters who travelled from Newport had this to say:
“I thoroughly enjoyed it and from a logistics standpoint it was really smooth, a great team you’ve got there! I would suggest you hold these events more frequently as it’s a good opportunity for an informal run, I’m sure with that you could get more competitors too”.
The sunshine helped the mood with different groups of spectators given their own space between two hurdles defining their area. Over 50 athletes came from far and wide to take advantage of this rare opportunity for a run out. The standard of competition was very high with the u17’s men semi and final being a real test with Zak Wall of Cardiff just pipping our two great u17 sprinters Ed Wilson and Josh Maggs with all three finishing in 11.2, 11.3 and 11.4 respectively.
The Masters races were of a particularly high standard with the pick of them being Juliet Sidney from Newport Harriers (M50) running the 100m in 14.1.
Great to see long jumper Ella Bowell and pole vaulter Nyree Perry chasing 100m sprints specialist Sophie Reid Thomas who ran PB against the wind in the final. Ryan Brady also demonstrating he is definitely one to watch as he made it look easy with speed and strength to spare.
Smile of the day has to go to sprints coach Tristan Jamieson who not only got his wish to run against Olympian Emily Diamond in the 200m, he also recorded a PB – trying to catch her. Great race. Thanks must go to Emily for making the day that bit more special.
Hilary Nash, who watched the most anticipated event of the day from the central infield said “It was a real pleasure to watch Emily’s smooth flowing action and the guys were struggling a little to keep with her. It became clear that it was going to be a close finish and the guys managed to find a last effort to give the track judges a difficult task to sort out a blanket finish. The timekeepers could not separate the first three Emmanuel Shutsha (SM), Josh Maggs U17 and Emily all on 24.1 with Tristan Jamieson just behind but delighted with a new PB 24.5. I’m sure the guys will all remember the day they competed with Emily.”
Tristan later remarked that, from a coaches perspective, the whole day was an extremely positive vibe. Smiles everywhere and a lot of conversation between people who had never met. I’m sure the weather helped to set the tone of the day. The U17 boys 100m was an especially fun set of events – heat 1 was very close all the way to the finish, heat 2 was a nail-biter and the final had a lot of drama with the gun miss-firing and then a blanket finish with the times being split by 0.1s
Another great day for the club and local athletes!
After some initial scepticism as to weather the event would go ahead, the weekend saw some classy performances by Bristol and West athletes in the British Championships.
Jody Smith got off to a good start in the 100m heats where he ran just three hundredths off his personal best of 10.59 to go through to the next round, finishing 8th in a tough semi-final.
Simran Kaur (coached by Nick Harris) finished second in the 100m T46 category with a time of 13,35.
Alex Daley and Mark Cottam went head to head in the men’s 400m heats, separated by just 0.03 seconds, finishing in 48.59 and 48.62 respectively, both just half a second outside their personal bests.
Mike Wilsmore ran a well thought out and tactical 1500m heat, crossing the line just behind eventual bronze medallist, Josh Lay, in a time of 3.46.57. Mike was initially given a DQ and not allowed to progress through to the final, but this decision was later rightfully overturned after judges reviewed the video footage. The final, as they so often do in championship middle distance races, went off at a pedestrian pace, leaving it down to the sprinters in the field come the final 400m. Wilsmore crossed the line in 7th place with a time of 3.53.43
Jenna Blundell was Bristol and West AC’s highest finisher of the competition, finishing 6th in final of women’s 100mH in a time of 13.91
Congratulations to all those who competed at the British Championships!