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Olivia on the winning trail again in Gloucestershire League

OliviaBurtonOLIVIA Burton made it two wins out of two in the Gloucestershire Cross County League season.

The North Somerset AC runner (pictured centre) won the under 15 girls’ race on Malvern Common  after a good contest with Gloucester’s Niamh Powell and also led her club t team victory with support from Rosie Whitehead (fifth) and Nelly Bridger Morales (ninth).

There was further NSAC success in the under 11 boys’ age group with Guy Owen racing to victory while Callum Smith completed a hat-trick of wins for the club in the under 15 boys’ event.

But David Warnes, who was a winner last month at the Cotswold Farm Park, had to settle for second this time.

Further local success came in the under 11 girls’ age group with victory going to Nynka Rucker of Team Bath AC while her clubmate Justin Davies won the under 13 boys’ race.


Gloucestershire Cross County League, Malvern Common

BRR=Bourton Road Runners; C=Cheltenham & County Harriers; Ci=Cirencester AC; FoD=Forest of Dean AC; G=Gloucester AC; NSAC=North Somerset AC; S=Stroud & District AC; TBAC=Team Bath AC; TMS=Tockington Manor School; W=Worcester AC

Under 17 men: 1 Joseph Crutchley (Maldwyn) 16:59; 2 David Warnes (NSAC) 17:10; 3 Harry Wells (G) 17:12; 4 James Chantler-Mayne (C ) 17:46; 5 Joe Gentry (NSAC) 18:04; 6 John Hamilton (FoD) 18:26.

Teams: 1 North Somerset AC 20; 2 Cheltenham & County Harriers 26; 3 Gloucester AC 33.

Under 15 boys: 1 Callum Smith (NSAC) 18:20; 2 Luke Davies (Brecon) 18:36; 3 Noah Lambert (S) 18:38; 4 George Hawthorne (C ) 18:46; 5 Jack Wilkinson (NSAC) 18:56; 6 Jake Warner (S) 19:32.

Teams: 1 Stroud & District AC 19; 2 Cheltenham Harriers 21; 3 North Somerset AC 22.

Under 13 boys: 1 Justin Davies (TBAC) 13:52; 2 Alex Grocott (TMS) 14:07; 3 Sam Morgan (W) 14:12.

Teams: 1 Worcester AC 18; 2 Tockington Manor School 47; 3 Forest of Dean AC 48.

Under 11 boys: 1 Guy Owen (NSAC) 6:55; 2 Otis Walker (TMS) 7:04; 3 Charlie Worsfold (S) 7:06.

Teams: 1 Tockington Manor School 18; 2 North Somerset AC 28; 3 Cheltenham Harriers 31.


Under 17 women: 1 Sophie Tothill (W) 19:28; 2 Megan Brinley (C ) 20:44; 3 Bethan Moor (G) 20:55.

Teams: 1 Cheltenham Harriers 17.

Under 15 girls: 1 Olivia Burton (NSAC) 20:27; 2 Niamh Powell (G) 20:31; 3 Lauren Izon (Ci) 21:02.

Teams: 1 North Somerset AC 16; 2 Gloucester AC 27; 3 Cheltenham Harriers 44.

Under 13 girls: 1 Poppy Clark (C ) 14:49; 2 Bethan Powell (G) 15:26; 3 Dalis Jones (TMS) 15:41.

Teams: 1 Cheltenham Harriers 24; 2 Gloucester AC 40; 3 Stroud & District AC 43.

Under 11 girls: 1 Nynka Rucker (TBAC) 7:20; 2 Hermione Brewster (C ) 7:21; 3 Sophie Izon (Ci) 7:22.

Teams 1 Cheltenham Harriers 19; 2 Forest of Dean 42; 3 Cheltenham B 44.



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Bristol & West agony at English Cross Country Relays

BRISTOL & West AC’SteveMitchell2013s senior teams travelled in hope but ultimately the medals eluded them again at the English Cross Country Relays on Saturday.

Both the men and women were fourth twelve months ago but this time had to settle for sixth and 14th respectively.

The men’s result was particularly tough for the men’s team manager Mike Down and leading athlete Steve Mitchell (pictured).

Mitchell was handed a 13-seconds lead when he took over on the fourth and final stage after a terrific start by Dan Studley, Owain Jones and Will Christofi.

Normally there would be no safer man to take on the responsibility of a pressure situation like that than Mitchell but Down revealed that the athlete was feeling far from his best and could have been forgiven for not even travelling.

“When Steve arrived one side f his face was all swollen up,” said Down. “He had had dental treatment the previous Monday but something had gone wrong and on Friday he was in a lot of pain.

“He had taken pain killers on the way up and said he would run but he was clearly not right. He held it together well for the first lap and still had a lead of around 10 seconds and for a moment it looked like all our dreams were finally going to come true and we would win the event.

“But half way around the final lap the lights went out. He lost three places and the bronze medal in the finishing straight. Steve did all he could and t was wicked for him.”

ECCA Relays – men: 1 Morpeth 61:38; 2 Highgate 61:39; 3 Tonbridge 62:07.

6 Bristol & West AC 62:17 (Dan Studley 15:19 7th, Owain Jones 15:26 3rd, Will Christofi 15:29 1st, Steve Mitchell 16:01).

Women: 1 Leeds 29:37. 14 Bristol & West AC 31:54 (Charlotte Green 10:16 21st, Kate Hulls 9:52 7th, Clare Jolliffe 11:46 14th).


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Phelps races to surprise victory in Aztec West 5k

AARON Phelps and Zoe Wassell clinched a superb Gloucestershire double in the Aztec West Fast 5k road race in Bristol this week.

The Stroud & District AC pair emerged victorious over the quick three-lap course with 22-year-old Phelps smashing his personal best by over a minute with a time of 14mins 56secs and 16-year-old Wassell (pictured) just missing her best by one second with 17mins 40secs.

“That was a great run by Aaron and he is going really well at the moment,” said coach Chris Frapwell.

“He is finally getting the training done because he wants to go to America next year to study for a Masters degree!”

Nonetheless, Phelps’ win was a surprise especially as his more celebrated Stroud team-mate Will Paulson was also in the field.

Paulson may still not be at his best after his long injury and health problems but he was expected to be contesting the lead from a strong field in Tuesday evening’s event.

“Will should have been able to sit in on Aaron and then out-kick him with his better speed but he had stomach problems on the night and had to take it easy,” explained Frapwell.

So Phelps was left to battle it out with Owain Jones of Bristol & West AC as both dipped under 15 minutes with Phelps edging it by two seconds.

Paulson had to settle for third in 15:14 with Brett Halliwell seventh (15:28) as Stroud finished four in the top eight to underline their strength.

Further down the field teenager Wassell, who lives in Tetbury, led from start to finish in the women’s race winning in 17:40.




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Marathon man Holland pays tribute to new Bristol to Bath event

AdamHollandTHERE is not much that former Tavistock runner Adam Holland doesn’t know about marathons so it was somehow appropriate that he should win the inaugural Bristol to Bath race on Sunday.

“This was my two hundred and fortieth marathon, and the second fastest time I have ever completed the distance, which I’m really pleased with,” said Holland, who finished in 2hrs 31mins 29secs.

“The hilly section at mile twenty was tough, but they worked out to my advantage as I was able to take the lead here, which I wasn’t expecting at all.

“I will definitely be back again next year.”






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Veteran Henderson also praises new marathon

StuartHendersonTEAM Bath runner Stuart Henderson has also praised the new Bristol to Bath marathon.

The 41-year-old Wiltshire half marathon champion placed eighth overall and second veteran over 40 of the 4128 runners in a time of 2hrs 49mins 18secs.

Remarkably that was only five minutes outside Henderson’s personal best which he set two years ago on the fast London Marathon course and as he was only using the event as a hard training run he was delighted with his effort.

“I enjoyed the Bristol to Bath marathon running a comfortable pace throughout the race,” said Henderson.

“The hills were not as hard as I expected but it was still a challenging course. The organisation of the marathon went well for a first time event and I experienced no issues.”



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Wells ace Clare smashes PB to win first Bristol to Bath marathon

ClareProsserEXPERIENCED Wells City Harrier Clare Prosser (pictured right) gave the inaugural Bristol to Bath marathon a west gloss as she finished the clear winner of the women’s race.

Remarkably Prosser, 43, smashed her personal best over a course that was thought to be not to be particularly helpful for fast times with some big climbs in the second half.

Prosser’s previous PB of 2:55.58 was set last year in Jersey but her win yesterday continues her excellent form this year which had already seen ner notch up eight wins from events as diverse as the Wells 10k to the Roseland Trail 32 miles challenge in Cornwall.

It is also worth noting that the previous Sunday Prosser won the Exmoor Stagger 15.1 miles multi terrain race so the lady clearly has fantastic powers of recovery!

Ultra specialist Adam Holland, who at the start of the month ran a persona best of 2:28.29 in the Chester Marathon, won a competitive men’s race finishing just 46 seconds ahead of Salford Harriers’ Elly Tauras.

It was Holland’s eighth marathon of the year, the slowest of which was the Good Friday multi terrain event in Stratford-upon-Avon in April.

To underline what was a decent quality of the field the leading 41 runners all broke three hours. Top local club runner was John Rooney of Nailsea Running Club in a personal best time of 2:45.13, carving over five minutes off his previous best set in London last year.

Andrew Harrison of Great Western Runners was sixth and top veteran over 50 in 2:47.10.

The final finisher in 4,128 place was M50 veteran George Ross in a time of 7:05.188.

Sanlan Bristol to Bath marathon – men: 1 Adam Holland (Notfast) 2:31.29; 2 Elly Taurus (Salford) 2:32.15; 3 Charles Houston (Imperial College) 2:42.04; 4 John Rooney (Nailsea RC) 2:45.13; 5 Matthew Clark (M40) 2:46.25; 6 Andrew Harrison (GWR, M50) 2:47.10.

LOCAL: 9 Stuart Henderson (TBAC, M40 2nd) 2:49.18; 13Scott Watkins (B&W) 2:50.54; 17 Jacob Hayes (Bitt RR, M40 3rd) 2:53.48; 18 Seb Cotton (Bad Tri) 2:54.35; 24 Brian Robb (Bitt RR) 2:55.25; 41 Alexander Whittaker (B&W) 2:59.45;

Women: 1 Clare Prosser (Wells, W40) 2:52.50 2 Elinor Phillips (Lliswerry) 2:55.11; 3 Bex Gwynne-Jones 3:00.57.




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Annabel completes west half marathon hat-trick

AnnabelGrangerANNABEL Granger made it three west half marathon wins in a row in Stroud yesterday.

The Bristol & West AC athlete (pictured) had already won in Cheltenham (September 27th, 81:10) and Exeter (October 18th, 81:16) and she completed her local hat-trick with a swift time of 79:43.

Indeed, Granger’s time was her second fastest of the year only eclipsed by the 79:25 she recorded when finishing 20th woman and third veteran over 40 in Reading, which boasted a high quality field, in March.


Men: 1 Rob Keal (Notts, M40) 69:19; 2 Anthony Bailey (Chelt, M40) 72:58; 3 Dean Parker (Bournville, M40) 73:11; 4 Jordan Frapwell (Stroud) 73:22.

LOCAL: 9 Robert Farley (Bitt RR) 78:06; 10 Mike Blackmore (TBAC, M40 5th) 78:20;

Women: 1 Annabel Ganger (B&W W40) 79:43; Kate Jacobs (Swin) 82:43; 3 Shina Crombie-Hicks (Bourton RR, W40) 83:13.


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Jenny goes ninth on West Country All-Time marathon list

JennySpink2014ClaireHallissseyJENNY Spink’s personal best of 2hrs 35mins 57secs has lifted her to ninth in the All-Time South West Rankings.

The 34-year-old (pictured top left) also goes second in the Bristol & West AC rankings behind Claire Hallissey (top right), who ran a lifetime best of 2:27.44 at London in 2012 to win her place in the GB team for the Olympics later that year.

That remains the fastest time ever run by a west club runner putting Hallissey ahead of four-times Olympic legend Jo Pavey (2:28.24) and Cornwall’s Marian Sutton (1:28.42).


2:27.44 Claire Hallissey London 2012

2:28.24 Jo Pavey London 2011

2:28.42 Marian Sutton Chicago 1999

2:31.33 Susan Wightman Seoul Olympics 1988

2:31.33 Andrea Wallace London 1992

2:32.40 Emma Stepto Frankfurt 2014

2:33.16 Karen MacLeod Victoria 1994

2:34.19 Jill Harrison London 1989

2:35:57 Jenny Spink Toronto 2015

2:36.26 Lucy MacAlister Austin 2008




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Bristol & West aces Emily and Caroline make AW awards short-list

EmilyWright2June2015BRISTOL & West athletes Emily Wright and Caroline Powell have both been short-listed for the Athletics Weekly (AW) Readers’ Choice Awards.

Wright (pictured) has been included on the list for the British Junior Female Category following her metre 21centimetre long jump PB to finish fourth in the World Youth Championships. Wright also broke the Welsh junior indoor long jump record.

Powell is included in the British Veteran category after setting a W60 world 400m record of 64.31secs in her heat of the World Masters and won gold as well as taking the 200m and 400m titles at the European Masters Indoors.

To vote log onto: http://www/ before 29th November.




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Wylie makes top ten in World Duathlon Down Under

PhilWylieFORMER Bristol & West runner Phil Wylie finished seventh at the World Duathlon Championships in Adelaide, Australia, over the weekend – but admits it was an opportunity lost to win another international medal.

Wylie’s gamble in making the trip Down Under following a recent Achilles tendon injury was a gamble and while he performed solidly he was clearly not at his best and was simply not sharp enough to contest the medals.

“I think I got the best out of my fitness and certainly didn’t embarrass myself but ultimately I was disappointed that I was not in the race for the medals,” said Wylie.