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Turner praises Avon’s silver ladies after historic success

LONG-SERVING and popular team manager Dave Turner has praised the Avon athletes who won the county’s first senior girls’ team medal at the English Schools’ Combined Events Championships.

Inspired by 17-year-old Stroud and South Gloucestershire College Filton student Jenna Blundell, who made the podium with an individual bronze, the Avon trio won the silver medals after a great contest against west country rivals Somerset.

Avon team managers with the senior girls squad (L to R); Sue Turner, Rebecca Ousby,  Ken Holmes, Jenna Blundell, Julie Alexander, Renee Jelf and Dave Turner


“The girls were actually in the gold medal position going into the seventh and final event, the 800m, but Somerset had a really strong runner and that just made the difference as they beat us by just 40 points, which equates to just a few seconds,” said Turner.

“So there is a slight tinge of disappointment but not much of one because that is the first time Avon’s senior girls have won a team medal so it was an historic moment for the county and an outstanding achievement.

“The girls performed brilliantly and it was a special weekend.”

Senior girls heptathlon: 1 Natasha Smith (Glos) 5123pts; 2 Emily Race (Notts) 5055; 3 Jenna Blundell (Avon) 5014 (100H: 14.27; HJ: 1.68; Shot: 8.83; 200m: 26.52; LJ: 5.89; Jav: 26.29; 800: 2:26.58).

14 Rebecca Ousby 3565pts (18.18secs; 1.50m; 8.95m; 26.89secs; 4.70m; 10.75m; 2:30.00); 25 Renee Jelf (Avon) 2882pts (19.89secs; 1.56m; 6.31m; 29.20secs; 4.45m; 11.07m; 2:45.55).

Teams: 1 Somerset 11,501pts; 2 Avon 11,461

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Catie sharpens up for Midland road relays witrh third in Worcester half

CATIE O’Donogue has started her autumn racing campaign at quite a strong pace.

Last week she finished fourth in the Swindon half marathon recording a personal best time of 1hr 26mins 49secs and then just seven days she was lining up for another half in Worcester.

Catie O’Donogue (centre)


This time she made the podium in third place with a time of 1hr 28mins 00secs, the second quickest time of her career.                                                                                                  .

“That was my best time for the course and I was pleased with that as it was a lot hillier than I remembered it,” said O’Donogue.

The Bristol & West AC runner will be taking it easier this week as she is in the squad for the Midland Counties Road Relays in Birmingham on Saturday.

“The relays are my favourite event and I am really looking forward to them,” she added.

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Connors notches up a personal best in Swansea Bay 10k

WESTBURY Harriers’ Joe Connors made the trip down the M4 for the Admiral Swansea Bay 10k today and was rewarded with 12th place overall and second junior.

Connors (pictured above, courtesy of Neil Miller) ran a time of 33mins 58secs which left him 37 seconds adrift of top junior Chris Richards of Salford Harriers. It was also Connors’ first sub 34 minutes time eclipsing his previous best of 34;10 set in the Trafford 10k last year.

Earlier this year Connors finished top junior in both the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k (34:11) and the Calne Clock Challenge 10k (34:42).

Also from the West Country Stroud’s Aaron Phelps finished fifth in 31:58 while top woman was international road runner Ruth Barnes (pictured left) of Avon Valley Runners.

Barnes, who works as a doctor, placed 20th overall in a time of 34:45 just ahead of Stroud’s Rachel Felton (35:02).

Leading Bristol & West AC runner was Andrew Hunt in 41st (36:25) from a huge field of 3,401 finishers.

Overall winner was Cardiff’s Matt Clowes in a swift 29:47.


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Sarah shines in the Spanish heat and it is a bronze for Anne

SARAH Everitt can take immense satisfaction at placing seventh in the World Masters Tracy & Field Championships in Spain this week.

 The Bristol & West AC runner (pictured above), who is the reigning British Masters champion, clocked a season’s best time of 2mins 26.84secs to finish seventh.

 In the men’s over 50s 5000m clubmate Tony Roper, who is also coached by Dave Taylor, ran an age group personal best of 17mins 07.67secs to finish 12th.

 “It was brutal out there and the humidity was intense,” said Roper, who boasts a lifetime best of 14:47.8 dating back to 1996.

 Also from the Taylor stable Clare Jolliffe finished 14th on the over 50s 5000m with a time of 20:36.22 but as Roper commented the conditions were extremely tough for the distance runners.

 In the over 70 women’s 800m new B&W member Anne Dockery (pictured right) won a superb bronze medal.

 Also in Malaga Pete Mountain reached the semi finals of the over 60s 800m, clocking a season’s best of 2:24.36.

Westbury Harriers’ international runner and coach Pat Gallagher (pictured left with athlete Hannah Hobbs) has won more international medals in masters championships than any other west country athlete during a fantastic career.

But Pat. who spends more time coaching these days, couldn’t quite add to that fantastic collection this week as she finished sixth in the over 70s 800m in 3:23.04.


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Team Avon managers salute athletes after National Finals displa

TEAM Avon athletes have been handsomely praised for their contribution towards arguably the most successful season that the composite squad has enjoyed in the Youth Development League National Finals.

The squad, comprising under 20 and 17 athletes from Yate and District AC, Bristol & West AC, North Somerset AC, Mendip AC and Team Bath, finished a highly creditable fourth in the end-of-season finale at Bedford on Sunday.

Left: Team Avon hammer ace Toby Conibear, who is a member of Yate & District AC

“It was a brilliant result due to a great team effort from everyone,” said a statement issued by joint manager Sandra Woodman and Jim Strudwick.

“We achieved this because you all battled so hard for every point. You can feel very proud of yourselves as you are a great credit to your clubs and your families.

“Well done to those of you who were awarded individual medals and/or achieved personal bests. A big thank you to our lovely band of officials who support us so faithfully and earn us extra points.

Right: Top of the podium for Abdi Hasan

“We hope being in the national final inspires you all to continue with your athletics and train hard this winter for another great season for Team Avon next year.”


Overall teams: 1 Blackheath & Bromley 842pts; 2 Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers 687; 3 Team Edinburgh 656.5; 4 Team Avon 563.5; 5 Rugby & Northampton AC 509; 6 Team Glasgow 410.

Under 20 men – 100 (+0.9w): 1 Daniel Brooks 10.88; B: 6 Delano Stewart 11.91; 200 (+1.3w) 2 Brooks 22.44; B (+1.5w): 2 Tim Pike 23.49; 400: 4 Hayden Bailey 50.95; B: 1 Joshua Snook 50.55; 800: 3 John Howorth 2:00.90; B: 1 Hayden Bailey 1:59.91; 1500: 3 Howorth 4:06.79; B: 2 Robert Howorth 4:11.75; 3000: 2 Will Stockley 9:06.86; B: 5 Otto Copping 9:38.56; 110H (+0.8w): 6 Jack Moore 17:37; 400H: 6 Joel Mattacks 64.99; B: 3 Sam Roberts 59.18; 2000 S/C: 5 Will Stockley 6:43.51; B: 4 Aidan Noble 7:17.37; LJ: 4 Jake Burkey 6.55; B: 1 Marcin Olech 6.25; HJ: 2 Adam Brooks 2.00; B: 1 Jack Moore 1.85; TJ: 2 Brooks 12.76; B: Olech 12.35; SP: 6 Toby Conibear 9.47; Discus: 6 Jacob Dibble 15.77; Jav: 4 Burkey 44.14; 4x100m relay: 5 Team Avon 45.56 (Joseph Keane, Delano Stewart, Jake Burkey, Daniel Brooks); 4x400m: 2= Team Avon3:23.47 (R Howorth, J Howorth, Hayden Bailey, Joshua Snook).


Under 20 women – 100 (+1.6w): 3 Becci Ousby 13.15; B (+1.2w): 6 Jaz Rees 14.17; 200 (+1.8w): 2 Jenna Blundell 25.81; B: 3 Sarah Long 26.61; 400: 3 Long 60.50; B: 5 Jessica Mead 70.69; 800: 5 Lucy Conibear 2:59.72; 1500: 6 Conibear 6:24.77; 3000: 2 Hannah Hobbs 10:17.40; 100H (+1.1w): 2 Blundell 14.37; B  (+2.5w): 2 Caroline Walder 17.40; 400H: 5 Jessica Mead 78.24; B: 2 Enya Maylor 69.67; LJ: 6 Becci Ousby NJ; B: 2 Robyn Ellison NJ; HJ: 2 Renee Jelf 1.55; B: 1 Ousby 1.45; TJ: 3 Ellison 10.34; B: 2 Lucy Durham 10.28; PV: 2 Walder 3.05; SP: 4 Gabriella Holt 9.65; B: 1 Anna Loughlin 8.86; Discus: 5 Holt 19.74; Hammer: 4 Loughlin 44.49; B: 1 Holt 40.40; Jav: 4 Jessica Mead 21.16; 4x100m relay: 6 Team Avon DQ; 4x400m: 5 Team Avon 4:33.01 (Sarah Long, Jessica Mead, Lucy Conibear, Enya Maylor).


Under 17 men – 100 (+2.2w): 4 Ethan Hall 11.11; B (+1.9w): 6 Luca Williams 11.59; 200 (+1.5w): 4 Hall 22.83; B (+2.0w): 1 Femi Akinbobola 22.79; 400: 4 Nathanael Mitchell 52.17; B: 1 Isaac Cory 54.50; 800: 1 Abdi Hasan 1:57.82; B: 3 Ellery Cole 2:05.40; 1500: 4 Rory Howorth 4:14.61; B: 2 Justin Davies 4:15.20; 3000: 6 Alex Parsons 9:29.87; 100H (+1.9w): 5 William Scammell 14.44; B (+3.2w): 4 Akinbobola 14.66; 400H: 3 Harry Meredith 58.10; B: 1 Cole 59.82; 1500S/C: 3 Alex Parsons 4:56.01; B: 4 James Casling 5:21.32; LJ: 5 Ben Game 5.41 (+2.1w); HJ: 6 Liam Hillier 1.55; TJ: 4 Keane 11.75 (+2.1w); PV: 4 Hillier 3.05; B: 3 Ben Latham 3.05; SP: 3 Howorth 12.39; B: 2 Jonathan Evans 12.21; Discus: 4 Evans 30.35; B: 2 Conibear 26.73; Hammer: 1 Conibear 55.01; B: 2 Jacob Dibble 22.60; Jav: 3 Dibble 41.40; B: 2 Keelan Tucker 40.63; 4x100m relay: 5 Team Avon 45.48 (Lucca Williams, Isaac Cory, Femi Akinbobola, Ethan Hall); 4x400m relay: 1 Team Avon 3:29.93 (Nathanael Mitchell, Abdi Hasan, Harry Meredith, Rory Howorth).



Under 17 women – 100 (+1.1w): 3 Abu Peake 12.56; B (+1.5w): 5 Mia Breeze 13.13; 200 (+0.1w); 3 Tia Jackson 24.44; B (+1.6w): 1 Peake 25.70; 300: 4 Jessica Frazer 41.97; B: 5 India Ibbotson 46.25; 800: 5 Eleanor Webster 2:24.26; B: 5 Ibbotson 2:29.69; 1500: 4 Claudia Spice 4:59.27; B: 4 Rhiannon Paton 5:17.60; 3000: 4 Rosie Hamilton-James 11:00.38; B: 5 Paton 11:54.74; 80H (+0.9w); 5 Sophie Martin 13.31; B (+2.3w): 5 Daisy Harvey 14.67; 300H: 3 Webster 49.84; B: 3 Harvey 54.15; 1500S/C: 2 Enya Maylor 5:18.00; B: 3 Emily Whitaker 5:48.24; LJ: 2 Jackson 5.40 (+0.6w);  HJ: 5 Martin 1.40; TJ: 4 Crew 9.95; PV: 5 Hannah Lewis 2.30; B: 3 Megan Williams 2.30; SP: 6 Niamh Boulton 8.09; Discus: 5 Boulton 24.56; B: 3 Jodie Dale 18.99; Hammer: 4 Boulton 35.58; Jav: 6 Dale 33.60; 4×300 relay: 5 Team Avon 3:02.45 (Jessica Frazer, India Ibbotson, Daisy Harvey, Eleanor Webster).


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Annabel takes charge in the Chippenham half marathon

ANNABEL Granger ran out a comfortable winner of the 10th Chippenham half marathon on Sunday.

The Bristol & West AC runner clocked a time of 1hr 22mins 33secs for 11th place overall putting her almost three minutes clear of Ashley Sanderson (1:25.18) with Swindon Harriers Hannah Clayton third (1:26.59).

Rob Farley of Bitton Road Runners was the leading runner from Bristol in fifth (1:19.04), which is his fastest half on the road this year with overall victory going to Team Bath’s Josh Taylor, whose previous best in the race was sixth last year.

“That was unexpected and a very pleasant surprise,” said Taylor, who also led Team Bath to first pace in the team event..

Another Bitton Road Runners member, over 50s veteran Mike Gibbs, was 37th in 1:31.09.


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Woods boys in the medals at World Masters Championships

THE Woods brothers of Bath have made their mark at the World Masters Championships in Spain over the weekend.

Competing in the 8k cross country event in Torremolinos older brother Guy (pictured above on the right) finished fifth in the over 55s age group to lead the three-strong Great Britain squad to the team silvers behind a dominant Spanish contingent.

“It was a brutal cross country race,” said Woods.

“It was a tough, four-lap course including roots, stones and hard, bumpy ground that took a real toll of the legs and the class of the field was amazing. Anyone who was anyone in masters’ running was there so I was pretty happy with that although an individual medal would have been nice.”

Woods reckoned he could have contended for a top three place in the 10k road event but his legs were so battered after the cross country that he was forced to withdraw.

“In hindsight and looking at the results of the 10k on Sunday I may have had a better chance of getting bronze in that event but it was a long way to go just to run one event and that’s how it goes,” added Woods.

“My legs were shot after the cross country.”

Younger brother Alec also made the podium leading the GB over 50s squad to third place in the team event as he placed seventh in is age group. Alec recovered well enough to line up for the 10k and just crept inside the top 20.



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Taylor and Blackmore are new Avon 10 miles road champions

KURT Taylor and Fiona Blackmore were today crowned the new Avon 10 miles road champions.

The county event was once again incorporated into the popular Oldbury Power 10 which is promoted by Thornbury Running Club and boasts a flat, fast course along the banks of the River Severn.

Course records of 50mins 19secs (Michael Johnson in 2010) and 57:09 (Kim Fawke, 2008), testify to that and today were in never any danger, particularly in the men’s race as Taylor dominated with some ease.

The Bristol & West AC runner eventually came home 2mins 41secs clear of the West AC pair of Kieron Summers and Ben Haines with Westbury Harriers’ Alex Hamblin fourth.

The time – his first at the distance according to the UKA Power of 10 statistics – continues Taylor’s good form this year following his PB of 15mins 15secs in the AVR Westbury 5k last month and the 32:36 in the Great Bristol 10k in May.

Blackmore didn’t quite dominate the women’s race to the same extent but the Bitton Road Runners’ veteran still enjoyed a 39 seconds advantage over Westbury Harriers’ Sophie Voller with another Harrier, Robyn Ellis, a distant third.


Men: 1 Kurt Taylor (B&W) 54:35; 2 Kieron Summers (Weston, M40) 57:16; 3 Ben Haines (WAC, M40) 57:48; 4 Alex Hamblin (WH) 58:27; 5 Anthony Glover (WH, M40) 60:15; 6 Bryan Walsh (B&W) 60:48.

Women: 1 Fiona Blackmore (Bitt RR, W40) 67:37; 2 Sophie Voller (WH, W40) 68:16; 3 Robyn Ellis (WH, W40) 70:25; 4 Lynette Porter (Bitt RR, W50) 70:33.

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Still time to enter the 2019 Grizzly

A REMINDER that anyone interested in running the legendary Grizzly event around east Devon in 2019 the ballot for entries is now open.

Runners who want to go in the ballot for one of the 2,000 places then have until 8pm on Friday September 21st to register their interest and will then be notified on Friday October 5th.

The date for the 2019 Grizzly will be Sunday March 10th – the week before the Bath half marathon.

Earlier this year the Grizzly, which starts and finishes in the seaside town of Seaton, was officially ‘cancelled’ due to the heavy snow and whiteout conditions on the day although several hundred runners, many of whom were in East Devon for the weekend, opted to run the course at their own discretion and liability.

The same bad weather spell also forced the organisers of the Bath half to cancel the event for the first time.

For further details of the Grizzly see the website at: