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Why Callum Rea was named clubman of the year

CALLUM Rea has been named Bristol & West AC’s clubman of the year for his consistent performances in the British Athletics Men’s League campaign.

Men’s captain Alex Daley explained that Rea had turned out for all four Division Three matches contributing vital points in the campaign that led to the club being crowned champions and securing a quick return to Division Two.

“Callum was present at every match, competing in 100m, 200m, javelin, shot, high jump, 4x100m and 4x400m,” said Daley.

“Callum joined Bristol & West as a higher claim this year and has proved an incredible asset to the team. We will sign Callum as a first claim member this winter and look forward to many a season with him.”

Further awards were made to Dajon Wright and Mike Wilsmore (pictured left).

Newcomer Wright was honoured for the best performances of the league season as he took almost four tenths of a second off his 110m hurdles PB to win his debut race back in June.

“His first sub 16secs clocking aided to a huge team win that day,” added Daley.

Wilsmore was named National Athlete of the year after finishing fourth in the 1500m at the British Championships.

“He completed the tough 1500m and 3000m double for us in the crucial match three to help secure our second win of the season,” said Daley.




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My best result ever, says West ultra ace Hall

THE best race of my career was Damian Hall’s unequivocal verdict on his top ten finish in the 2018 Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc race.

Hall’s fifth place in the Blue Riband event, which comprises 171k and 9,789m of climbing  the peaks and valleys around the intersection of France, Italy, and Switzerland, was the best by a British runner since Jez Bragg won it in 2010.

“I am just over-whelmed, it is amazing,” said Hall, who is a member of Team Bath AC and Corsham Running Club.

“I know it sounds like one of those clichés that footballers get criticised for when they say they are over the moon, but that is how I feel.

“Fifth place exceeded all my expectations.”

Hall, who works as a freelance journalist in Bath and lives in Box just outside the city, made his debut in the UTMB in 2015 when he valiantly came home in 33rd place more than five hours behind the winner.

On Sunday he finished in 22hrs 35mins 13secs with Frenchman Xavier Thevenard notching up win number three in 20hrs 44mins 16secs.

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Elsie runs through the pain barrier to win national 10k silver medal

ELSIE Davis is this week celebrating a silver medal in the England Athletics 10k Road Championships.

The national event was incorporated into the Trafford 10k on Sunday and the Bristol & West AC runner clocked a time of 33mins 56secs to finish runner-up behind Jess Piasecki (32:51).

Davis’ time was just 16 seconds outside her personal best set in Cardiff in March and is her third fastest ever at the distance.

“It was a tough last mile and legs were screaming to stop,” said Elsie afterwards.

“This medal was worth every step of struggle (and now) time for a short break.”

Davis, who is coached by former international Helen Clitheroe, is currently 16th in the UK Rankings and second in the South West behind Jo Pavey (33:12).

In the men’s race former B&W runner Tom Merson, who is now back with his home town club of Exmouth harriers, finished ninth in 30:37.






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Now rising star Taylor is edging closer to 32 minutes barrier

KURT Taylor underlined his progress over the past 12 months with another excellent performance in the Cardiff 10k on Sunday.

For the second time this year Taylor, who is a member of Bristol & West AC, smashed his personal best as he clocked a time of 32mins 07secs to finish 18th in a high-class event around the streets of the Wales capital.

That time carved 29 seconds off his previous PB recorded in the Great Bristol 10k in the Spring which in its turn was a major breakthrough shattering his 2016 best mark of 35:01.

In Sunday’s race Devon student Jake Smith, who is at the Cardiff Metropolitan University, made a major breakthrough clocking 29:30 in third while former B&W runner Shaun Antell was sixth in 30:39 with Calne Running Club’s Wiltshire champion Simon Nott 16th in 31:56).

In the women’s race Stroud-based former international Rachel Felton came second (34:51) to international Lily Partridge (33:27).






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My coach is just ‘magic’, says hammer ace Owen

YATE & District AC hammer thrower Owen Merrett has paid tribute to his coach Matt Spicer after completing the best season of his young career.

The 14-year-old not only won a silver medal at the recent England Athletics Championships in Bedford to eclipse his bronze at the English Schools Championships but also improved his personal best from 48.83m to 49.11m to put him third in the UK Rankings for under 15 boys.

“That was definitely my best performance of the season and I was so happy to finish second and throw a personal best,” said Merrett.

“My coach Matt Spicer did his magic again! He has been incredible for me as this time last year I was only throwing 36 metres. If someone had told me that I would improve to 49 metres twelve months later I would not have believed them.

“But over the winter there was a hard push in training and commitment. I was doing three sessions a week  training at Bath University, Whitehall track in Bristol and at Yate, where Matt is based.

“My mum and dad have driven me all over the place for training and competitions this summer but I think it has been worth it.”

With four open competitions still remaining, including the Mark Cawte Memorial in Swindon, there is still a chance of Merrett breaking the landmark 50m metres barrier for the first time.

“That would be the icing on the cake but even if it doesn’t happen, this has been my best summer so far,” added Merrett.

“Soon I will be back starting the winter training programme which is where all the hard work is done but I am looking forward to it after this season.”



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Last chance for advance entries for Cribbs race

ADVANCE entries for the Cribbs 5.5 miles road race next Tuesday September 4th (6:45pm) close today so if you will want to register email Jon Goodland at:

However, entries may still be taken on the day for the 41st running of this popular inter-company event, which previously went by the name of the Sun Life 5 then the AXA 5 and is organised jointly by Great Western Runners and North Bristol Running Group.

Full details and entry forms can be found on

Again this year funds are being raised for Cancer Research UK.










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Places on offer for South West Network Conference

ENGLAND Athletics regional rep Mark Brace has asked me to remind runners and coaches that places are still available for the South West Endurance Network Conference: The use of technology in Endurance Coaching as an aid to performance gains.

The weekend seminar is scheduled for October 27th at the Devon Hotel, Old Matford Lane, in Exeter and will focus on what technology can do for the endurance athlete.

“This conference aims to explore available technology in; health, nutrition, physical preparation, biomechanics, injury, planning, and performance prediction,” said Brace (pictured).

“The conference will consist of workshops, lunch, three networking sessions, and a Q&A panel at the end of the day.

“Sideline activities will include; books, papers, services, PhD research students, and trade stands to view and engage with during the day. The event is open to all and not restricted to coaches.”

For further information contact Brace, the Regional Coaching Lead for Endurance South West either by phone on 07540 703511 or email him at:

For details of the full programme see the web page at:




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Why not try an Excellent race in Somerset?

ADAM Hawkins reminds me that the popular Ash races in Somerset are once again fast approaching.

Sunday 9th September (11am) will see the Ash Excellent Eight and the Fearsome 5 miles multi-terrain races take centre stage with a junior 3km and fun run in support at Ash Primary School, near Martock.

Entries through Fullonsport or on the day.



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James The First strikes gold at Midlands – and Emily’s a winner too!

YATE & District AC throwers James Viner and Toby Conibear made their presence felt at the Midland Championships in Nuneaton over the weekend.

Viner, who is one of a very talented group of west throwers, recorded a throw of 43.87m to lift the under 15 boys’ title – a huge improvement on his fourth place twelve months ago when throwing 30.29m underlining the improvement he has made under leading hammer west coach Matt Spicer.

Viner’s best throw of the season remains 44.63m, which he recorded to finish fifth in the English Schools’ Championships final and puts him eighth in the UK Under 15 Boys’ Rankings.

Conibear finished third in the under 17 men’s hammer with a best throw of 53.02m.

There was further success for Yate with Emily Whitaker winning the under 17 women’s 1500m steeplechase in a time of 5mins 44.49secs.

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Elsie soars up UK 5000m Rankings with big personal best

ELSIE Davis smashed her personal best for 5000m at the British Milers Club Gold Standard meeting yesterday.

The Bristol & West AC runner carved over six seconds off her previous best set in early May with a time of 16mins 15.14secs to finish fourth in the all-women’s race and lift her to 25th in the UK Rankings.

The race was convincingly won by British international Jessica Judd in 15:37.23 from Emily Thornhill (15:58.31) and Emelia Gorecka (16:06.30).

Davis, who is now being coached by former British international Helen Clitheroe, can take great encouragement from her performance claiming some decent scalps in the 21-strong field.

It is also worth recalling that while Davis didn’t run the event last season she has slashed 35 seconds from her previous best time of 16:50.9 set in 2016 when she was still a member of Newquay Road Runners.

In the same race Westbury Harriers’ Floren Scrafton finished 19th in a season’s best time of 17:29.04.

In the men’s race Wells City Harriers junior international Oliver Fox clocked a PB of 14:11.20 to finish runner-up behind fellow junior Jack Crabtree (14:07.74).

Cheltenham’s Graham Rush was third (14:13.85).