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!
An experimental event put on by Bristol and West AC to help get field event athletes competing again unfolded into a fantastic weekend of athletics for throwers and jumpers from Bristol & West AC and other club athletes including Stratford, NS, Yate and Swindon for the meeting on Saturday. This was followed by a very similar event hosted by Yate on Sunday. Given the successful format, sprint and middle-distance
meetings are now in the planning stage with the Sprints scheduled for the 12th September including showcase 100 and 200 metre races featuring Olympic and World Championship medalist Emily Diamond!
The event saw some great discus throwing from Josh Schrijver and Alice Grosjean in particular. Josh hit a fabulous second round throw of 44.04m exceeding his target for the year by quite a few metres. Josh now goes into 4th position in the UK rankings u17 with that big PB in only his first year in that age category. Alice put a very good set of consistent throws together for a best of 37.44. Young thrower Owen Garrett continues his improvement in the discus and javelin and has gone straight to the top of the UK rankings in both events. Libby Parker demonstrated her power with a 4th round 28.08 discus throw and it is clear from her speed of release that once the discus comes out flat and not face first, she is going to clear 38- 40 metres with no trouble. New girl Freya Holt, felt the pressure after getting held up on the motorway and not having warm up throws so threw below her best. However, she made up for it at Yate with a big PB of 27.43 which took her to 2nd spot in the UK rankings u15. Josh threw the shot 13.07 at Yate with the heavier 5kg implement which is very impressive. Maria Townsend continued her careful return to throwing after a serious operation to reset the kneecap on her plant leg and is throwing better than expected.
Recent recruit, multi-eventer Jordanna Morrish, travelled from her home in London to compete for the first time in her new club colours, but she admitted she was disappointed with her results given the high standard of training she has been doing lately. Jordanna has some impressive personal bests over various disciplines and we are looking forward to seeing her progress as part of Bristol & West.
The club also saw some brilliant results in the long jump competitions including Tim Leong who set a new personal best of 5m80.
U15 Bristol and West Athlete Ella Bowell added 6cm to her previous personal best jump from 2019 and an exciting competition between U13 BWAC athletes Sophia Bowell and Ruby Woodman saw the pair separated by a mere 2cm by the end of the event. Ruby finished the competition with a jump of 3m82, slightly off her personal best but a classy performance nonetheless given the difficult conditions on the day, while teammate Sophia added a promising 26cm to her previous best to finish with 3m80
The club and in particular the officials and organisers of this event received some amazing feedback from those (and parents of those) who took part:
“I just wanted to say thank you for excellent hosting yesterday. It was the first time my son had competed since lockdown and he was naturally a bit anxious about what to expect. When he arrived he was immediately put at ease by the friendly assistants and he went on to jump 2 pbs.”
“Thank you for allowing me to join your javelin competition on Sat, it was a great event and really well organised for Covid secure set up. Please pass on my thanks to all the officials, organisers and yourself for putting this event on and standing out in the rain during javelin”
A big thank you must go out to all the officials and volunteers who helped out on the day including organiser Dean Garrett, Mike Strange, Hilary Nash, Jim Kyle, Eugene H, Nicki Bowell, Matt Spicer Paula Casling, Gert Schrijver, Steve Grant and Nick Harris.