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Fast and furious! New Bristol & West event is a hit, says club chief

BRISTOL & West AC chairman Roger Brocklesby has proclaimed the inaugural Fast 5000m a big success.

Inspired by the British Milers Club format and the Highgate Night of 10,000m races the club opted to put on the first meeting dedicated to 5,000 races offering several graded races to provide the opportunity for runners of all abilities to get a personal best.

“We are really pleased with how it event and there was a strong turn-out,” said Brocklesby.


Men’s 5000m winner Tom Merson, pictured above right after the Bristol half marathon last year

“Obviously there were a few teething problems and we’ll be tweaking things for next year but overall it was a success.”

Club Development Officer Keith Brackstone reported that there were nine races with 116 finishers including 75 personal bests and 17 season’s bests.

“The crowds stayed around until the end and the event was very well supported,” said Brackstone.

“We have already had lots of positive feedback about the first event of its kind we have run.  We have lots to take on board but we will be back next year, bigger, better and with music and a BBQ.”

Top man was Tom Merson – the day before he won the Exeter 10K – in a time of 14mins 40.08secs while the next three also broke 15 minutes including Wells City Harriers’ junior international cross country runner Luke Prior (14:51.97) and Bristol & West’s Jack Millar (14:53.77).

The women’s elite race was poorly supported as many of the women preferred to run in the men’s mixed races and after initial pacemaking help from Charlotte Green clubmate Kate Maltby (pictured right) ran out a soo winner in 16:06.84.

Other notable performances came from Cornwall AC’s former international marathon runner Emma Stepto (pictured left), who clocked 17:04.80 in the D race. That is the second fastest time by a veteran over 40 runner this year in the UK..

Also the fastest female time of the night came from Welsh international Charlotte Arter in the B race.

Charlotte was hoping to run the Commonwealth Games qualifying time of 15 minutes 25 seconds but ultimately had to settle for 15:56.0.



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New Trowbridge 10k race is taking entries

THE inaugural Trowbridge 10k road race will be held on Sunday August 20th 9 (10am) and entries are being taken at:

The Trowbridge 10K is a road race & fun run with the start and finish right in the centre of our county town. The run is over a certified course and reveals some hidden gems along its route which starts from Fore Street and finishes in Trowbridge Park.

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Merson hot-foots it to victory in Exeter 10k

GOOD to see Tom Merson back racing again after his successful operation on a troublesome big toe that had threatened to end his career.

Yesterday the Bristol & West AC runner won the Exeter 10k in a time of  31mins 14secs to finish 15 seconds clear of former team-mate and international duathlete Phil Wylie (31:29) with new Bristol & West member Berihu Tesfay Hadera third in 32:27.

Top woman was Tiverton over 40 veteran Serane Stone (37:17) with Westbury Harriers’ Katie Synge just behind (37:36). Placing eighth in the women’s race was Team Bath’s Miriam Barber as she clocked a PB of 41:56.There were 378 finishers.


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Gale soars to new heights with medal at European Junior Championships

BRISTOL & West AC Higher Qualification athlete Tom Gale is today celebrating a brilliant performance at the European Under 20 Championships in Italy.

The 18-year-old from Trowbridge, who represents the club in the British League, won a bronze medal in the high jump after smashing his personal best by 5cms with a clearance of 2.28m.

Gale only silver to Dmytro Nikitin of the Ukraine by virtue of countback with the gold going to Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus with a championship record height of 2.33m.

“That is a tremendous achievement and we are very proud of Tom,” said Bristol & West AC chairman Roger Brocklesby.

Gale’s clearance of 2.28m puts him second on the UK U20 All Time List and is a qualifying standard for the 218 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.

The medal success comes just a week after clubmate Lucy Bryan won bronze in the pole vault at the European Under 23 Championships in Poland with Chris Stone adding a silver in the 4x100m sprint relay.

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Lucy’s delight at pole vault bronze in European Under 23 Championships

CONGRATULATIONS are due to Lucy Bryan after her brilliant medal in the European Under 23 Championships in Poland.

The 22-year-old Bristol & West AC international pole vaulter, who is now studying at Akron University in America, equalled her personal best of 4.40m to win the bronze medal on countback from Kamila Przybla.

“I am thrilled to get a medal here and to do it with an equal PB just makes it even better,” said Lucy, who is a former winner of the Easy Runner/Bristol Post athlete of the month competition.

“It was a long comp but I had some good clearances in there. Beforehand, I thought I would be about seventh but Alan (Richardson) my coach told me the worst I would get would be fourth.â€

Lucy with one of her coaches, Bath’s James Hiller, after collecting her medal in Poland on Saturday evening.

It was Bryan’s second international medal after she won a bronze at the World Youth Championships in 2011. Victory went to Angelica Moser of Switzerland with 4.55m with Maryna Kylypjo of the Ukraine second on 4.45m.

As Bryan celebrated, there was agony for Gloucester AC’s Alex George as he was barged over 50m from the bell in the 5000m final.

Bristol & West AC’s Chris Stone was in the GB sprint relay squad but didn’t make the team for the final as they won the silver medals behind Germany in a photo finish.


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Hat-trick of silvers for Avon athletes at school’ showdown

AVON’S athletes won three medals at the English Schools’ Track & Field Championships in Birmingham.

Great Britain junior international Ada’Ora Chigo (below right) finally got her hands on a medal as she finished runner-up in the senior girls’ high jump.

The Bristol Grammar School student missed the last two championships due to international commitments and her previous best was fourth in 2014.

Always a consistent performer Chigbo had the gold medal in her sights in the senior girls’ high jump and while she finished locked on 1.72m with rival Lillie Franks of Sussex frustratingly the title went to the latter on countback having suffered fewer failures at lower heights.

The second silver went to 15-year-old Brimsham Green School student Toby Conibear from Yate.

After a slow start Conibear, who is coached by former schools’ champion Matt Spicer, popped out a mighty 49.88 on the fifth round to secure second place.

Toby showed a lot of character as he was under so much pressure,” said Spicer (who is pictured with Conibear at Birmingham).

The third silver medal was won by Norton Hill School sprinter Cameron Sprague in the inter boys’ 200m .

There were also impressive top eight finishes for Joshua Snook (400m), Adam Brooks (high jump), Kurt Cameron (pole vaulter), Hannah Hobbs (1500m), Esther Leong (pole vault) and Caroline Walder (pole vault) which on the national stage is to be highly commended.

English Schools’ Track & Field Championships, Birmingham

AVON (selected results) – senior boys 400: 8 Joshua Snook  49.73; HJ: 7 Adam Brooks 1.97; 15 Jack Moore 1.86; LJ: 8 Kurt Cameron 6.56.

Inter boys – 200: 2 Cameron Sprague 22.32; 3000: 19 Max Davis 9:05.08; LJ: 16 Christian Pestell 6.12; DT: 11 Robert Jedrzejczak 37.26.

Junior boys – Hammer: 2 Toby Conibear 49.88.

Senior girls – 1500: 6 Hannah Hobbs 4:32.84; 11 Ellie Wallace 4:36.04; HJ: 1 Lillie Franks (Sussex) 1.72; 2 Ada’ora Chigbo 1.72; TJ: 11 Samantha Barrett 11.09; PV: 6 Esther Leong 3.60.

Inter girls – HJ: 11 Renee Jelf 1.65; LJ: 11 Tia Jackson 5.26; PV: 7 Caroline Walder 3.20; SP: 8 Emma Bakare 12.06; Hammer: 10 Anna Loughlin 49.67.

Junior girls – HJ: 11= Charlotte Martin 1.57; Hammer: 11 Thelma Hendricks 30.83.






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Rebecca helps GB to team victory in European Mountain Championships

REBECCA Hilland said she was delighted with her performance at the European Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia as Great Britain celebrated team gold last weekend.

The Team Bath AC runner (pictured extreme right), who has been hampered with a hamstring problem this year, again showed she can produce on the big occasion by finishing 112th and third scorer in the sour-strong team.

“I was very pleased to finish 12th and we were delighted to win team gold,” said Hilland, who backed up silver medallist Sarah Tunstall and Victoria Wilkinson (5th) with Katie Walshaw completed the scoring in 28th.

 “The course was beautiful, a long climb opening into a plateau for the last 1km and then a very steep climb for the last 500 meters – the sort where your legs and lungs just burn!”



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This race is a Cracker so enter now – or risk missing out

IT my seem ridiculous to be mentioning Christmas races at the height of the summer but if recent history is anything to go by then runners need to enter now for the 30th Easy Runner Christmas Cracker 10k in Weston-super-Mare.

The race is scheduled for Sunday 17th December 2017 (11am) and to make sure you make the start line enter now at:

There were almost 2,000 finishers in 2016 with victories going to Bideford’s Ronnie Richmond and Bristol & West AC’s Annabel Granger (pictured).


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Anniversary Games will be like an Olympic final, says Emily

WEST Olympians Emily Diamond and Danny Talbot get a chance to savour the atmosphere at the London Olympic Stadium when they line up in the Muller Anniversary Games tomorrow.

The IAAF Diamond League meeting is effectively a dress rehearsal for the World Championships at the same venue next month and has attracted a world class line-up.

Bristol & West AC’s Diamond, who lives in Frome, has an extra incentive to do well after being denied the British title last weekend by four one-hundredths of a second to Zoey Clark.

“Sunday is an incredible field which looks like an Olympic final,” said Diamond (pictured above).

“There is (World champion) Alison Felix and (former World champion) Novelene Williams-Mills plus Natasha Hastings. The last I heard there were three Americans, three Jamaicans, myself and Fria Guei of France.

“I can go into that race under no pressure at all as no-one will be expecting too much from me but I will be looking for a decent time.

“After that I have a race in Madrid on July 14th and then it will be onto Paris with the GB team for a spell at the holding camp before coming back to London for the World Championships.”

Trowbridge Tornado Talbot was also a silver medal winner at the trials as he was just beaten by current UK No 1 Nethaneel Mitchel-Blake but like Diamond it was good enough to secure his place in the team for the World Championships.

Tomorrow Talbot (pictured right) will renew his battle with Mitchel-Blake but the field also boasts top American champions in Ameer Webb and 400m star Fred Kerley, plus leading Europeans Christophe Lemaitre and Churandy Martina.

Talbot clocked a legal lifetime best of 20.20secs last weekend and he will be looking for another solid run and time in the run-up to the Worlds.


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Rebecca facing a mountain to climb in Slovenia

TEAM Bath AC international Rebecca Hilland wins her third senior Great Britain vest today when she competes at the European Mountain Championships in Slovenia.

Hilland, who now lives in the Norwegian city of Bergen where she works as a doctor, is understandably delighted to win her third senior vest on top of her junior vest she won as a teenager when she was a student at Bath High School living in the city.

Her form over Spring was affected by a hamstring problem, which forced her to miss the London Marathon, but she has been training well recently and the fact that the Europeans this year is just an uphill race was a big help.

“Just racing uphill is obviously much better for my hamstring but it is a lot better anyway,” said Hilland.