Merson runs out of steam in Great Bristol 10k

May 17th, 2016

TOM Merson had victory in his sights in the inaugural Great Bristol 10k road race on Sunday when he hit the ‘wall’ on a red-hot day.
The Bristol & West AC runner was running alongside eventual winner Toby Spencer of Coventry and Welshman Rob Samuel as the trio had broken well clear of the huge field and were steeling themselves for the finish.
“The three of us were together and as we reached 8k I was feeling absolutely fine,” said Merson.
“Then within a few strides I was in bits and it was all over as the other two went clear. I just had nothing left in my legs.
“It was a shame because Rob has never beaten me and while Toby Spencer is running well I think I would have had a chance of beating him as well.”
It wasn’t the heat that proved to be Merson’s undoing but rather his recent work schedule at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital where he works as a department practitioner.
“I worked a 19-hour shift over Friday night not finishing until Saturday morning and that took its toll,” added Merson.
“Working night shifts is very hard and to be honest it has got on top of me. So bearing that in mind I cannot grumble too much about Sunday.
“I got onto the podium and ran a solid time and also enjoyed the last 200 metres as there were a lot of people cheering me on. I enjoyed that!”
Merson’s time of 31mins 18secs was actually his slowest of the year behind his 30:10 to win the First Chance race in Exeter at the start of the year – and which has put hi top of the 2016 South West Rankings - and then his 31:12 for victory in the Age UK Exeter event in March.
His sub 30 minutes time of 29:59, the second fastest of his career, in the Trafford 10k has since been found to be on a short course.
Great Bristol 10k road race - Men: 1 Toby Spencer (Coventry Godiva) 30:47; 2 Rob Samuel (Eryri Harriers) 30:54; 3 Tom Merson (B&W) 31:18.

Bristol & West snatch victory in Midlands Relay drama

April 3rd, 2016

IN dramatic finale Bristol & West AC’s senior men cinched victory in the Midland Counties 12-Stage Road Relay Championships yesterday,
In the most exciting race for several years Bristol & West only took the lead on the 12th and final stage around Sutton Park, Birmingham, as Adam Speake over-hauled Cheltenham’s Dave Roper.
Roper had set off on that final leg with a slim lead of three seconds but it didn’t take long for Speake to run him down as he uncorked a time of 16mins 18secs to turn that deficit into an advantage of 12 seconds by the finish.
Cheltenham’s disappointment was all too clear to see as they have never won the title before and had led the race since stage four, which this year was the fourth and final successive long stage as the organisers changed the format.
Eight short stages then followed and Cheltenham kept their nose in front, even stretching their lead to 1min 46secs at the half-way point.
The ninth stage was pivotal as Will Christofi zipped around the course in 15mins 54secs, which was the second fastest time of the day for the short circuit, to slash Cheltenham’s lead to just 24 seconds.
Harry Lane cut another 12 seconds off that n stage 10, but ironically that stage saw Bristol slip to third as Notts AC moved second as Doug Musson clocked the fastest time overall.
On the penultimate stage Notts dropped back as Miles Chandler hunted down Cheltenham leader Andrew Van Kints as the gap was reduced to just three seconds – setting up Speake for that sensational finish. Brilliant stuff.

1 Bristol & West AC [A] 4:01:48 (1 Luke Evans (4) 27:51, 2 Benedict Westhenry (2) 27:41, 3 Owain Jones (3) 27:28, 4 Tom Merson (2) 27:08, 5 Robert Stewart (2) 16:47, 6 Mark Edwards (2) 16:34, 7 Ben Robinson (2) 16:11, 8 Jack Millar (2) 16:49, 9 William Christof (2) 15:54, 10 Harry Lane (3) 16:41, 11 Miles Chandler (2) 16:26, 12 Adam Speake (1) 16:18).

2 Cheltenham & County Harriers 4:02:00; 3 Notts AC 4:02.19.
12 Bristol & West AC B 4:30.55; 27 Team Bath AC 4:43.44.

Fastest – shot: 1 Doug Musson (Notts 15:15; 2 Will Christofi (B&W) 15:54; 3 Mike Aspinall (Tipton) 15:58; 4 Chris Davies (Telford) 16:05; 5 Ben Robinson (B&W) 16:11; 10 Adam Speake (B&W) 16:18.

Long: 1 Graham Rush (Chelt) 26:32; 2 Phil Wylie (Chelt) 26:38; 3 Aaron Scott (Notts) 26:44; 4 Tom Merson (B&W) 27:08; 7 Owain Jones (&W) 27:38; 9 Ben Westhenry (B&W) 27:41; 12= Luke Evans 27:51.

Bristol & West snatch victory as Midland Relays end in drama

April 3rd, 2016

IN dramatic finale Bristol & West AC’s senior men cinched victory in the Midland Counties 12-Stage Road Relay Championships yesterday,
In the most exciting race for several years Bristol & West only took the lead on the 12th and final stage around Sutton Park, Birmingham, as Adam Speake over-hauled Cheltenham’s Dave Roper.
Roper had set off on that final leg with a slim lead of three seconds but it didn’t take long for Speake to run him down as he uncorked a time of 16mins 18secs to turn that deficit into an advantage of 12 seconds by the finish.
Cheltenham’s disappointment was all too clear to see as they have never won the title before and had led the race since stage four, which this year was the fourth and final successive long stage as the organisers changed the format.
Eight short stages then followed and Cheltenham kept their nose in front, even stretching their lead to 1min 46secs at the half-way point.
The ninth stage was pivotal as Will Christofi zipped around the course in 15mins 54secs, which was the second fastest time of the day for the short circuit, to slash Cheltenham’s lead to just 24 seconds.
Harry Lane cut another 12 seconds off that n stage 10, but ironically that stage saw Bristol slip to third as Notts AC moved second as Doug Musson clocked the fastest time overall.
On the penultimate stage Notts dropped back as Miles Chandler hunted down Cheltenham leader Andrew Van Kints as the gap was reduced to just three seconds – setting up Speake for that sensational finish. Brilliant stuff.

1 Bristol & West AC [A] 4:01:48 (1 Luke Evans (4) 27:51, 2 Benedict Westhenry (2) 27:41, 3 Owain Jones (3) 27:28, 4 Tom Merson (2) 27:08, 5 Robert Stewart (2) 16:47, 6 Mark Edwards (2) 16:34, 7 Ben Robinson (2) 16:11, 8 Jack Millar (2) 16:49, 9 William Christof (2) 15:54, 10 Harry Lane (3) 16:41, 11 Miles Chandler (2) 16:26, 12 Adam Speake (1) 16:18).

2 Cheltenham & County Harriers 4:02:00; 3 Notts AC 4:02.19.
12 Bristol & West AC B 4:30.55; 27 Team Bath AC 4:43.44.

Fastest – shot: 1 Doug Musson (Notts 15:15; 2 Will Christofi (B&W) 15:54; 3 Mike Aspinall (Tipton) 15:58; 4 Chris Davies (Telford) 16:05; 5 Ben Robinson (B&W) 16:11; 10 Adam Speake (B&W) 16:18.

Long: 1 Graham Rush (Chelt) 26:32; 2 Phil Wylie (Chelt) 26:38; 3 Aaron Scott (Notts) 26:44; 4 Tom Merson (B&W) 27:08; 7 Owain Jones (&W) 27:38; 9 Ben Westhenry (B&W) 27:41; 12= Luke Evans 27:51.

Sad end to Jenny’s GB debut at World Champs

March 30th, 2016

JENNY Spink’s debut for Great Britain at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff ended in bitter disappointment at the weekend.
The Bristol & West AC runner was forced to drop out after 15k due to a calf pull so was unable to compete the race.
Fellow west runner Rachel Felton of Stroud AC also had a tough day on her senior GB debut as she finished 63rd in 1:16.36.
Leading British runner on the day was Aly Dixon in 27th recording a time of 1:12.57. The Sunderland Stroller was 19th at the last edition of the event in Copenhagen and had mixed emotions with her performance in a wet and windy Cardiff.
“Training has been going really well, so I’m not going to get worked up,” said Dixon.
“I’ve just got to forget about it and focus on London and turn it up there. It’s always good to have a championship on home turf - there was plenty of support out there.”
Charlotte Purdue was the second counter for the British team in 33rd with a season’s best time of 1:13.20, which completed a strong second half to the race.
Purdue commented: “It was great to put on a British vest again, my first time since 2013 and under a new coach. I am racing in London in four weeks’ time so today the plan was just to have a strong run and feel good at the end. I feel as though I am ready to take on the full marathon now.”
Tina Muir was the third counter on her international debut, finishing 49th in 1:15.12 helping the team finish 11th overall.

Sad end to Jenny’s GB debut at World Champs

March 30th, 2016

JENNY Spink’s debut for Great Britain at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff ended in bitter disappointment at the weekend.
The Bristol & West AC runner was forced to drop out after 15k due to a calf pull so was unable to compete the race.
Fellow west runner Rachel Felton of Stroud AC also had a tough day on her senior GB debut as she finished 63rd in 1:16.36.
Leading British runner on the day was Aly Dixon in 27th recording a time of 1:12.57. The Sunderland Stroller was 19th at the last edition of the event in Copenhagen and had mixed emotions with her performance in a wet and windy Cardiff.
“Training has been going really well, so I’m not going to get worked up,” said Dixon.
“I’ve just got to forget about it and focus on London and turn it up there. It’s always good to have a championship on home turf - there was plenty of support out there.”
Charlotte Purdue was the second counter for the British team in 33rd with a season’s best time of 1:13.20, which completed a strong second half to the race.
Purdue commented: “It was great to put on a British vest again, my first time since 2013 and under a new coach. I am racing in London in four weeks’ time so today the plan was just to have a strong run and feel good at the end. I feel as though I am ready to take on the full marathon now.”
Tina Muir was the third counter on her international debut, finishing 49th in 1:15.12 helping the team finish 11th overall.

New family race at the Bristol 10k

March 30th, 2016

THE Great Bristol 10k has announced the addition of a new family mile to the popular city centre running event on Sunday 15 May.
The event - for runners aged three and up - is designed to help families enjoy getting active together. The course will be based around the main event village at the Harbourside, so lots of supporters and spectators are guaranteed.
The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, has been nominated as the official local charity of the event and participants will be encouraged to fundraise for this important local cause.
Tom Westman, event manager of the Great Bristol 10K said: “The event will start and finish at the main event finish line, hopefully we’ll inspire some young runners of the future to take on the 10k in years to come.”
For more information see the website at: greatrun.org/bristol10k.

Get set kick off for the Exeter City FC 10k

March 30th, 2016

ENTRIES are being taken for the Exeter City 10K on Sunday April 3rd (11am) over a two-lap course at Duckes Meadow Park & Riverside Valley Park. Entries will also be taken on the day between 10 and 10.45am. For further details see the website at: www.mccpromotions.com.

Sad end to Jenny’s GB debut at World Half

March 30th, 2016

JENNY Spink’s debut for Great Britain at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff ended in bitter disappointment at the weekend.
The Bristol & West AC runner was forced to drop out after 15k due to a calf pull so was unable to compete the race.
Fellow west runner Rachel Felton of Stroud AC also had a tough day on her senior GB debut as she finished 63rd in 1:16.36.
Leading British runner on the day was Aly Dixon in 27th recording a time of 1:12.57. The Sunderland Stroller was 19th at the last edition of the event in Copenhagen and had mixed emotions with her performance in a wet and windy Cardiff.
“Training has been going really well, so I’m not going to get worked up,” said Dixon.
“I’ve just got to forget about it and focus on London and turn it up there. It’s always good to have a championship on home turf - there was plenty of support out there.”
Charlotte Purdue was the second counter for the British team in 33rd with a season’s best time of 1:13.20, which completed a strong second half to the race.
Purdue commented: “It was great to put on a British vest again, my first time since 2013 and under a new coach. I am racing in London in four weeks’ time so today the plan was just to have a strong run and feel good at the end. I feel as though I am ready to take on the full marathon now.”
Tina Muir was the third counter on her international debut, finishing 49th in 1:15.12 helping the team finish 11th overall.

Sad end to Jenny’s GB debut in World Half Championships

March 27th, 2016

JENNY Spink’s debut for Great Britain at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff ended in bitter disappointment yesterday.
The Bristol & West AC runner was forced to drop out after 15k due to a calf pull so was unable to compete the race.
Fellow west runner Rachel Felton of Stroud AC also had a tough day on her senior GB debut as she finished 63rd in 1:16.36.
Leading British runner on the day was Aly Dixon in 27th recording a time of 1:12.57. The Sunderland Stroller was 19th at the last edition of the event in Copenhagen and had mixed emotions with her performance in a wet and windy Cardiff.
“Training has been going really well, so I’m not going to get worked up,” said Dixon.
“I’ve just got to forget about it and focus on London and turn it up there. It’s always good to have a championship on home turf - there was plenty of support out there.”
Charlotte Purdue was the second counter for the British team in 33rd with a season’s best time of 1:13.20, which completed a strong second half to the race.
Purdue commented: “It was great to put on a British vest again, my first time since 2013 and under a new coach. I am racing in London in four weeks’ time so today the plan was just to have a strong run and feel good at the end. I feel as though I am ready to take on the full marathon now.”
Tina Muir was the third counter on her international debut, finishing 49th in 1:15.12 helping the team finish 11th overall.

Hannah is Avon’s star as she wins England vest

March 8th, 2016

AVON runner Hannah Hobbs produced a superb performance to finish sixth in the inter girls’ race at the English Schools’ Cross Country Championships in Nottingham on Saturday .
The 16-year-old Castle School Thornbury student committed herself from the star and stuck with the leaders until the closing stages of the race to improve massively on her 25th place just twelve months ago.
ut more importantly earned her one of the coveted eight places in the England team for the British Schools’ Cross Country Championships in Scotland a week on Saturday (MARCH 19TH).
“I was shocked and really pleased to finish sixth,” said Hobbs.
Her first England vest will provide a fitting finale to an outstanding season for Hobbs, who is coached by Pat Gallagher at Westbury Harriers.
In the boys’ race the best result came from 16-year-old Bristol Grammar School student Hugh Sadler, who battled hard to finish a fine 12th in a high quality inter boys’ race.
North Somerset’s Sam Gentry showed a massive improvement from 124th in Blackburn last year to finish 16th in the junior boys’ race.
Ellie Hobbs, younger sister of Hannah, didn’t feel at her best on the day but still worked hard to finish 21st and top Avon scorer in the junior girls’ race with Enya Maylor 31st.
In the senior girls’ race Redland High’s Ellie Wallace led the way in 45th with Redland Green’s Ellie Leather 70th while another top 50 finisher was Imogen Marony in the inter girls’ with 41st.


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