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Ciaran seals fabulous Frampton Cotterell 10 hat-trick

ON the local 10k scene Bristol & West runner Ciaran McQuade raced to victory in the Watermore 10K in Frampton Cottrell clocking a time of 35mins 26secs.

Victory completed a hat-trick of wins for Ciaran as he also took top spot in 2015 (34:10) and 2016 (34:21).

Runner-up was Dave Phillips (35:38) with Martin Bartlett third (36:39).

Leading woman in 19th place overall was Jennifer McMaster in 42:36. There were 259 finishers.

Meanwhile in the Cirencester 10k B&W clubmate Neil Kennedy took fourth place with a PB of 36.01.

Lynette Porter of Bitton Road Runners finished runner-up ad first veteran (39:58) in the Melksham 10k jus behind Team Bath’ s Katrine Svane (39:32).

Calne’s Simon Nott broke his own course record by six seconds to win the men’s race for a third time in 31:24, his fastest time for three years.

 

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ANNABEL Granger raced to her highest finish in the Simplyhealth Great Run Bristol half marathon yesterday.

The 44-year-old Bristol & West AC runner had previously boasted a best of eight place which she achieved on three successive occasions between 2013-2015.

Annabel missed last year’s race which was won by her clubmate Jenny Spink, who is now based in Spain so didn’t defend her title and came into the race with little form having not raced since June.

Podium girls (L to R): Annabel Granger, Emma Stepto and Charlotte Firth

 

But Annabel is nothing but consistent and as is her normal racing style shot straight into the lead ahead of pre-race favourite and 2011 champion Emma Stepto of Cornwall AC.

At halfway along the Portway Annabel was still in the lead but Emma was closing and at eight miles swept into the lead to take the lead which she stretched to almost a minute by the finish.

“I have never run as fast as Emma anyway so I was expecting her to come by me,” said Annabel.

“But it was also my fastest half marathon for three years so I cannot have any complaints at all.”

It is worth noting that Emma’s winning time of 77mins 42seccs was 4mins 02secs slower than her 2011 mark and while that is no reflection on her – she is after all in the veterans’ over 45 age group and is coming back from long-term injury – it is one of the slowest winning times.

Still that is not her problem and it is great to see the popular west runner getting back to some form and wining again.

Likewise men’s winner Ronnie Richmond of Bideford AC will take great delight in arguably his best ever victory on the roads though again the winning time is one of the slowest in recent history

Always prominent Richmond proved the strongest as his rivals dropped away one by one and by the finish he was comfortably clear of Lloyd Biddell from Mercia Fell Runners and Steven Tuttle of Milton Keynes.

To further underline Ronnie’s fine effort his time equalled his personal best of 68mins 07secs which he set in Manchester last year so you can’t ask any more than that though I suspect he would have liked to have run eight seconds quicker.

Taunton AC’s Phil Burden, who was sixth M35 in the European Masters Championships, last month, was fourth in 69:56 while North Somerset’s James Rodgers was eighth and Bristol & West’s Jack Bancroft, who came third last year, was ninth.

From other locals clubs Team Bath’s George Frost and Weston AC’s Kieron Summers both made the top 20 while Oli Beale was Westbury Harriers’ leading man in 26th .

Simon Cadnell, John Cox and Robert Farley were the leading representatives of Southville Running Club, Great Western Runners and Bitton Road Runners respectively.

Simplyhealth Great Run Bristol half marathon, men: 1 Ronnie Richmond (Bide) 68:07; 2 Lloyd Biddell (Mercia FR) 69:3; 3 Steven Tuttle (Milton Keynes) 69:49; 4 Phil Burden (Taunton) 69:56.

LOCAL 8 James Rodgers (NSAC) 71:21; 9 Jack Bancroft (B&W) 71:27; 14 George Frost (TB) 73:59; 19 Kieron Summers (Weston) 74:18; 20 Gary Dunstone (TB) 74:24; 22 Peter Grist (Wellls) 74:31; 26 Oli Beale (Westbury) 75:38; 29 Mike Dooley (TB, M50) 76:15; 30 James Atkinson (TB) 76:19; 34 Justin Thomas (CAC) 76:49; 35 Simn Gilbert (Devizes RC) 76:51; 38 Simon Cadnell (Southville RC) 77:02; 41 John Cox (GWR )77:15; 44 Robert Farley (Bitt RR) 77:28; 47 Chris Roxburgh (AVR) 77:30.

 

Women: 1 Emma Stepto (CAC W40) 77:42; 2 Annabel Ganger (B&W, W40) 78:38; 3 Charlotte Firth (WSE&H) 78:56; 4 Lara Bromilow (Milton Keynes) 80:00;

 

 

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Top honour for local men in South West Volunteer Awards

TWO members of Yate & District AC have been recognised in the 2017 South West Volunteer Awards.

Tony Jefferies (pictured far right in the yellow top) who not only helps with club duties but still competes, was given an Award for Services to Athletics and Nigel Grist was Official of the Year.

Across the city at Bristol & West AC long-serving Hilary Nash won the Volunteer of the Year Award for his work at the club.

Nash is involved in coaching, officiating, admin and helping manage Team Avon in the Youth Development League (Upper Age Group).

He is also treasure for the Avon Athletic Association and involved in Avon Sportshall Teams.

“This level of commitment has been ongoing for more years than most people can remember and everyone in the club sends Hilary congratulations on this well deserved award that recognises years of commitment across many aspects of the sport,” said B&W Development Officer Keith Brackstone.

All three men illustrate the spirit of club athletics without whom the structure wouldn’t exist and the truth is that there are any more selfless volunteers behind them. A big cheer to them all.

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Hall finishes first Brit in massive Mt Blanc challenge

WEST international runner Damian Hall is already looking to the future after almost completing the perfect race in one of the most prestigious events on the ultra trail world tour in France.

Hall, who is a member of Corsham Running Club, admitted that he ticked off four of his five goals in the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc Hall as he completed the single-stage 166k race, incorporating almost 10,000m of climbing – higher than climbing Mt Everest – in a time of 22hours 32seconds.

Hall is joined by his daughters to cross the finish line in Chamonix

 

“I finished first Brit, first veteran over 40, effectively improved my time by two hours and finished in my highest ever position of 12th overall,” said Hall.

“But coming 12th has left me frustrated because my other ultimate goal was to make the top ten. In fact I was 10th about three-quarters into the race but I just ran out of steam, whether because I didn’t get in enough calories or I had just run a bit too hard I am not sure.

“But you know I achieved four out of my goals so I am still very, very happy with the way I ran and before the race I would have taken 12th definitely.

“To be honest the conditions suited me better than the hot weather of recent years because they are exactly what I have been running in while training in the Brecon Beacons.

“I was also an outsider this year as I was only ranked 84th and being the underdog suits me. Of course it will be different next year if I decide to run it again.

“It is nagging me that I didn’t quite have the perfect race by not finishing in the top ten but maybe that perfect race just isn’t possible and may never happen so we’ll have to see about 2018.”

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Chalmers gets the call-up for the Commonwealth Games

WEST sprinter Cameron Chalmers has become the first athlete to be given his ticket for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The Bath University Sports Performance student, supported by a Thompson Education Trust Scholarship, will represent his native Guernsey in the 400m at the Games, taking place from April 4-15 on the Gold Coast.

“It’s been a goal of mine ever since starting athletics to go to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games for Guernsey and I’m so excited to be selected,” he said.

“I will try my best to make the final, although it’s a tough ask with most of the best 400m athletes in the world likely to be competing there.”

The call-up continues an excellent year for Chalmers, coached by James Hillier at the Sports Training Village, who anchored Great Britain to 4x400m relay gold at the European U23 Championships and was selected for the London 2017 IAAF World Championships.

He also smashed a 17-year-old national record as he won a fourth successive BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) 400m titles, two indoor, two outdoor for the University of Bath.

Chalmers is grateful for the University’s support, saying: “The Scholarship helped me last season towards paying for two warm-weather training in Tenerife before the indoor and outdoor seasons.

“I went on to win both the BUCS indoor and outdoor competitions in championship-record times, so they were the perfect preparation.”

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Dan’s deight as he clocks personal best to win Chippenham half marathon

DAN Jones smashed his five-year-old personal best with a super victory in the Chippenham half marathon yesterday.

The Team Bath AC runner (pictured left in the lead) ran away from the 1,000 strong field in the closing stages to win comfortably in a time of 1hr 12mins 52secs to shave 30 seconds off his previous best set in the Wokingham half in 2012.

“The race went really well and I felt strong and controlled the whole way,” said Jones.

Jones hasn’t raced much of late and this was his first competitive outing since the Welsh Castles Relay at the start of June.

“I am aiming to run the Snowdonia marathon again in seven weeks’  time and hoping to go better than my second place last year,” he added.

Bitton Road Runners’ Robert Farley made the top 20 in 13th .

There was also a PB for Team Bath’s Eilidh Bell as she shaved 16 seconds off her previous best set at the start of the year with a time of 84mins 33secs to finish third woman.

The Bitton RR pair of Lynette Porter and Liz Sanigar both made the top 10 in eighth and ninth respectively with Bristol & West AC’s Alice Doggrell 11th.

Chippenham half marathon – men: 1 Dan Jones (TB) 72:52; 2 Philip Cooper (Sheffield) 74:45; 3 Keith Russell (Reading, M40) 75:37.

Teams: 1 Team Bath AC (Jones, 6 Josh Taylor 77:01; 16 Simon Brace (M40 4th) 79:34; 17 Ian Dunning 80:53).

13 Robert Farley (Bitton RR) 78:53.

Women: 1 Hannah Claydon (Swin) 83:27; 2 Hilary Mott (Chelt) 84:18; 3 Eilidh Bell (TB) 84:33.

8 Lynette Porter (Bitt RR, W45 2nd) 87:41; 9 Liz Sanigar (Bitt RR, W353rd) 89:12; 11 Alice Doggrell (B&W, W35) 90:45.

1198 finishers.

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Woods delight at his first World Championships medal

ALEC Woods produced one of the best performances of his career to win his first international medal at the World Masters Mountain  Running Championships in Slovakia.

In a thrilling race the 53-year-old Bristol & West AC runner finished runner-up in the over 50s 10k race that included 600 metres of climbing, only losing his grip on the title in the closing stages of the race in Pruske.

“I have finished fourth and ninth in this event in the past so I cannot complain at all,” said Woods.

“I knew I was fit when I came here so my attitude was to really go for it. It was literally boom or bust and if I went too hard and blew up spectacularly then so be it.

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Now Le Grice is set to tackle super-fast Berlin marathon

PETER Le Grice showed that his preparations for the Berlin Marathon next month are going along nicely with a resounding victory in the recent Indian Queen’s half marathon.

The Bristol & West AC runner (pictured) took time off from a busy summer schedule as a hotelier in his home town of Newlyn, Cornwall, to retain the title in a time of 71mins 50secs, 1min 31secs quicker than last year but almost a minute outside his record set five years ago.

“I really like the Indian Queens race so decided to give it a go and managed to come away with a win,” aid Le Grice.

“I have run quicker on that course but it is not a bad time for an event that is held half on road and half off. Also it was my first race since March.”

Indeed, Le Grice has not raced all summer since that victory in a Westward Cross Country League fixture after a knee injury forced him to drop out of the London Marathon at the half-way stage.

That was a crushing blow following a successful spell of training at altitude in Kenya, a month-long trip that had been financed by a crowd-funding appeal which was given prominence in this newspaper.

Le Grice returned from that training camp in outstanding shape but now concedes he may have over-cooked things in the build-up to London.

“I probably raced a bit too much and didn’t look after myself properly which led to the problem with my knee,” added Le Grice.

“I have sorted that out now and while I haven’t done the miles or speed work that I would have liked leading up to another marathon I will give it a go and I am really looking forward to Berlin.

“I may not be in the best marathon shape but Berlin is a super fast course and it will be interesting to see what I can do on September 24th.”

 

 

 

 

 

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BMC meetings at Exeter go from strength to strength

THE British Milers Club South West Regional Series came to a close on Tuesday with the fourth and final meeting of the summer at the Exeter Arena attracting another healthy turn-out of 131 runners.

That took the four meetings up to 531 runners participating in 56 races with a total of 272 personal bests – around a 51 per cent success rate which should delight meeting organiser John Knowles.

Highlight of the final meeting was a PB by North Devon AC’s England steeplechase international Phil Norman as he clocked 1mins 53.22secs to win the 800m, shaving 0.02secs off his 2016 best.

There was also a PB of 2:15.68 for women’s A race winner Lilly Hawkins of Yeovil.

In the 1500m Bristol & West athlete Charlotte Taylor-Green (pictured) ended her long and successful season with a win over teenage star Khahisa Mhlanga clocking a time of 4:18.86, which was less than a second outside her PB of 4:17.62.

That race also featured a PB of 4:52.55 for Westbury Harriers’ Katie Synge.

In the men’s 800B race North Somerset AC’s Joe Gentry clocked a PB of 2:00.46 for second place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Popular Aztec West 5k road series is under threat

THERE is disappointing news from Bristol & West AC that their popular Aztec West Fast 5k road series may have to be cancelled for 2017/18.

The new series was due to get underway on Tuesday September 26th but an unforeseen issue over insurance for the event has suddenly cropped up and race director Roger Brocklesby has had no alternative but to stop taking entries.

“We know how popular the race has been over the last three years since we moved from Pomphrey Hill and it is our intention to find another suitable location where we can continue to host a 5k road race series,” said Brocklesby.

International 1500m runner Richard Peters is a previous winner of the Aztec West 5k

 

“We are still in contact with our landlord at the Aztec West site and hope that this decision can be reversed.

“We are shutting down the Entry Central system and are not taking any further on-line entries.”

Since it was launched the series has become one of the most popular in the west country with runners travelling long distances to take advantage of the fast course and strong competition. The course records stand at 14mins 41secs (men) and 16:38 (women).