Breaking the speed barrier

Well what a week for Charlotte Green.

From the joy of running the fastest short stage time at the Midland Counties Relays Charlotte then suffered the misery of being involved in a car crash in Bristol a few days after.

“A lorry went straight into the back of my car and gave me whiplash,” said Charlotte.

The car was a write-off but luckily Charlotte was okay and even went ahead with her plan to open her track season in a specially arranged 1500m steeplechase in Doncaster on Saturday.

“I decided to still try and run and I ran 4min 50.10secs so I was really happy,” added Charlotte.

“I could have gone quicker if my back and hips weren’t so stiff from the accident so I ran with caution.”

It proved to be an easy victory and a big personal best by 30 seconds for Charlotte and she wound up the day with a 59.75secs 400m straight afterwards.



ENTRIES are now coming in steadily for the 4th annual Team Bath and Stroud FieldFest meeting to be held on Sunday April 17th at the University of Bath.

“As usual, there is a large contingent coming from Wales, especially for the throws,” said event co-organiser Di Viles.

“Among other entries, we have the British No 1 under 17 women’s high jumper, Natasha Smith from Stroud and last year’s No 2 under 17 javelin thrower, Laurie Dawkins from Taunton.


“The A competitions provide a top class competition in all field events, whilst the B competitions give the younger and less experienced athletes a chance to get in early season performance without the pressure of scoring points or fighting for medals.”

The closing date for pre entries is Wednesday April 13th. Entries can be made on the day but the cost is double (£6 per event). For further details contact Di Viles by email at:



T MTom Merson

TOM Merson has been praised as ‘Mr Indestructible’ after playing a key role in a dramatic victory in the Midland Counties 12-Stage Road Relay Championships in Birmingham.

The Exmouth-based runner has long been recognised as one of the toughest runners in the West Country and he enhanced that reputation with his selfless exploits at the weekend.

After completing a 10-hour overnight shift on Friday at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital Merson just had enough time to go back home before heading up the M5 for the 170 miles trip Sutton Park on the north-east side of Birmingham.

“I finished work at 8am then went back to Exmouth to walk my dog, have a coffee and get my running gear,” said Merson.

“I think I dozed off for a while which made me a little late getting away but the worst thing was that I got caught up in traffic, first on the M5 and then on the M6 getting in the Birmingham.

“In the meantime I was getting frantic calls from the team managers asking where I was!”

Originally Merson was scheduled to run the third of the twelve stages around Sutton Park. His delay meant team manager Mike Down put him back to the fourth and crucially final long stage in the new format. The remaining eight stages were all short distances which would have minimised Merson’s impact for the team.

“I managed to park my car on the course and did my warm-up run to the port-a-loo while a team-mate handed me my number,” added Merson.

“I then just made the start/finish line in time to take over from the third stage runner. I literally made it with seconds to spare.”

Merson had no right to go on and run the fourth fastest overall time of the day as he caught one place for his club Bristol & West AC and limited the loss to Cheltenham international Graham Rush. Ultimately that proved vital as his clubmates only secured victory in the final half mile of the race that took four hours but sadly Merson wasn’t there to witness the exciting climax.

“Immediately after I finished the race my warm down was to jog back to the car because I had to be back in Exeter for a Saturday night shift in the hospital,” explained Merson.

“I only found out we had won later and I am very proud to be part of the winning team – but have to admit I feel shattered now!”

Merson’s efforts were certainly appreciated by his colleagues and team boss Mike Down.

“Tom is amazing, he is Mr Indestructible,” said Down.

“He is also an incredible team man and to do what he did is beyond the call of duty. To run the fastest long stage for the club after spending all that time sitting in his car after working all night is incredible.

“Tom is a living legend!”