Archive for December, 2010

Bishop crowns super victory at Clevedon

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

DAVE Bishop celebrated his return home for Christmas with a sparkling victory in Clevedon’s Boxing Day road race.
The Bristol & West AC runner has been showing fine form on the US Collegiate cross-country circuit this autumn and was too sharp for clubmate Michael Johnson as he sprinted to victory in the closing stages of the popular event that attracted a fantastic 648 finishers.
Looking more streamlined than ever,Bishop puts his recent progress and improved endurance down to regular training in New Mexico with international cross-country specialist Keith Gerrard, who is now a student colleague.
His winning time of 18:11, impressive in the freezing conditions, did not however better Ian Gillespie’s now legendary course record of 18:28 for the four miles course as the icy condition of the normal finish area forced the organisers to start and finish the race at the race HQ - the Little Harp pub. This effectively cut out the usual finishing stretch from the pub to the inlet road on the Salthouse car park, but even so it would surely have been a sub 19 minute time on the normal course.
“Dave’s run indicates what an asset he is going to be to the men’s team when he finally completes his studies and returns to the UK in June,” said Bristol & West AC team manager Mike Down.
Further down in the men’s race teenager Luke Jacobs had an excellent run to finish ninth, a fine achievement considering he has been unable to do any specific training of late due to a combination of chronic asthma and other growth-related problems.

British international Emma Pallant, a bronze medal winner at the recent European Cross Country Championships, was an impressive winner of the women’s race reclaiming the title she had first won in 2008.
Pallant was far too strong for her training partner Laura Parker, though the Minehead runner should be happy with second spot in only her second race of the winter following injury.
Annabel Granger wasted no time in proving that her recent comeback run behind Rebekah Randell in Weston’s Christmas Cracker 10K was no flash in the pan by finishing third only 14 seconds behind Parker, who won the recent Tri-Counties cross-country championships.

Men: 1 David Bishop (B&W) 18:11; 2 Michael Johnson (B&W) 18:17; 3 Ben Noad (Highgate) 18:36; 4 James Thie (Card) 18:38; 5 Jon James (Wells, M40) 19:11; 6 Matt Ellis (unatt) 19:18; 7 Richard Phillips (Serpentine) 19:31; 8 Harry Webb (B&W) 19:34; 9 Luke Jacobs (B&W) 19:36; 10 Jack Bancroft (Wells) 19:38; 11 James Rodgers (Clev) 19:41; 12 Dave Coales (TBAC, M40) 19:43; 13 Mick O’Doherty (B&W, M50) 20:01; 14 Nathan Young (B&W) 20:02; 15 Julian Emery (Clev, M40) 20:13; 16 Dan Studley (WH) 20:21; 17 Emma Pallant (AFD) 20;37; 18 Jonathan Deane (Highgate) 20;49; 19 Kieran Young (B&W) 21:07; 20 Bradley Flower (unatt) 21:08.
Women: 1 Pallant; 2 Laura Parker (Wells) 21;27; 3 Annabel Granger (unatt) 21:41; 4 Nicola Brookland (B&W) 22:00; 5 Debbie Niccol (B&W) 22:112; 6 Becky Glover (Sole Sisters) 22:21; 7 Jo Meek (Tavi) 22;22; 8 Robyn Golding (WH) 22:25; 9 Sophie Voller (WH) 22:26; 10 Camilla Briggs (B&W) 22:44.
W40: Debbie Powell (Clev) 23:33. W50: Sian Davies (B&W) 23:51.
648 finishers.

Bristol Downs Handicap reminder

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

A REMINDER that the Downs Fitness Christmas handicap, postponed on December 19, will be held this Sunday, January 2.
“I shall assume that all those who had originally wanted to run will do so unless they let me know beforehand,” said organiser Mike Down.
“Anyone else is welcome. All you need to do is let me know your approx time for 5K at the moment, assuming perfect conditions. There are no entry fees, but all we ask is that everyone brings a small prize.”
The start time is from 11am and the distance is approximately three miles around the Downs. It is a figure of eight course starting and finishing adjacent to the last football pitch at the top of Ladies Mile.
Anyone wanting to register should contact Mike Down either by phone on 0117 9733403 or email him at:>

Mowat toughs it out on the track

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

KEVIN Mowat of Bitton Road Runners finished 11th in the Bournemouth Luckyfox Track Marathon in a time 3hrs 42mins 32secs.
“The downside was only 20 people turned up out of 61 because of the weather and the track was covered in snow and ice, so no great time but at least I got the miles in,” said Mowat.

Boxing Day event gets the all-clear

Friday, December 24th, 2010

LATEST: Following an inspection of the course yesterday the organisers of the Clevedon 4 miles road race on Boxing Day have confirmed that the finish of the race will have to be altered as the Salthouse car park is like a skating rink. This will mean that the course will be shorter than in previous years. The young athletes’ 3k race will also take place but over a revised route.

Clevedon race is wide open

Friday, December 24th, 2010

BARRING any last minute problems the Clevedon 4 miles road race on Boxing Day is going ahead – and this year promises to be wide open.
The north Somerset event is the biggest in the West Country over the festive period attracting over 500 runners with a fair sprinkling of the region’s top talent.
But for Sunday’s race both the men’s and women’s champions of 2009 have ruled themselves out with Exmouth-based Tom Merson having only just recovered from flu and Weston-super-Mare based Rebekah Randall on the comeback trail after a calf injury.
“Sadly I won’t be able to run this year as my new coach (former Olympian Nick Rose) doesn’t want me to aggravate a calf injury I suffered when winning the Christmas Cracker 10k,” said Randell.
“I want to make sure I’m fit and healthy for the big races in the new year starting with the Cardiff Cross Challenge in January.”
With Merson absent in the men’s race and local favourite James Thie also not entered Clevedon AC’s Julian Emery might fancy his chances although with entries accepted on the day there could yet be a surprise face at the front.
In the women’s race Westbury Harriers’ Robyn Golding will start favourite with Laura Croker hoping for a top three spot and if Bristol & West AC’s Hannah Alderson runs then she ought to be a top three contender.
The organisers of the event will be inspecting the course again on Christmas Eve and have promised to post any late information on the club website at:
“We are assessing the start / finish areas on Friday morning with a view to making an update then regarding weather etc and will place an updated message on the website on Christmas Eve, with a final decision being taken on Christmas Day ,” said race director Andy Heyes.
“But at the moment the likelihood is at least the main race will go ahead as normal but the young athletes’ 3k race is looking doubtful.”

Heyes: Clevedon Boxing Day race is still on

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

PLANS are still going ahead to stage the Clevedon 4 miles road race on Boxing Day.
Race director Andy Heyes told me last night that barring any further disruption from the bad weather then the race should go ahead although there are doubts over the young athletes’ 3k.
“We will meet on Christmas Eve to have a look at the course and in particular the start and finish areas,” said Heyes.
“But at the moment the roads are fine and the only problem would be the 3k race which is held on footpaths and at present they are covered in snow.
“Our fingers are crossed that the race will go ahead as it has never been cancelled in its 34 years. We have been very fortunate to enjoy superb conditions most years.”
Heyes added that 450 pre-entries had already been received and more will be taken on the day underlining its popularity among local athletes.
If the club does decide to postpone the race the news will be posted on the website – - on Christmas Day and an alternative date will be confirmed.

Team Bath Christmas Hash invite

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

TEAM Bath’s Christmas Hash will take place on Tuesday December 28th (10:00am) from The Old Crown in Weston village and will comprise a seven miles route mostly off-road. Anyone interested should contact Nigel Vuagniaux (tel: 07541961333).

Debbie’s nightmare trip to Brussels

Monday, December 20th, 2010

THERE can be no argument who deserves the accolade of the performance of the weekend – Debbie Marsden.
Finishing 35th on her international debut at the Lotto Euro Cross meeting in Brussels was no mean achievement but for just getting to Belgium to compete deserves a medal.
The Westbury Harrier survived a harrowing trip from Bristol, departing at 11am on Saturday and spending the next eight hours on the coach asa it fought its way through snow, ice and multiple accidents to reach Dover.
That was a good effort by the driver but if Marsden and here Midland Counties team-mates thought the worst was over they were in for a big surprise when they reached France.
“We got off the ferry and the police stopped us and said we are not allowed to travel any further,” said Marsden.
“No coaches were being allowed to travel at night due to so many accidents because of the weather. The conditions in France were just as hideous.”
By this time Marsden was feeling tired, sick and dehydrated so how she managed to even run is a tribute to her determination. Now she is fighting her way back home!

Down sets new date for handicap race

Monday, December 20th, 2010

JUST to confirm that the Bristol Downs handicap, which was postponed yesterday, will now be held on Sunday January 2nd. Anyone interested must either call Down on 0117 9733407 or email him at:

Brackstone is backing new tri-county format

Monday, December 20th, 2010

KEITH Brackstone believes that the new tri-county cross country championships comprising the Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire is the future of the event.
The new-look competition at Bath University attracted a decent levels of entries approaching 500 runners although the turn-out on the day was slightly disappointing.
That, though, is a trend familiar throughout the country for county championships and Brackstone, who was the meeting organiser, argues that to revert back to a single county event would be a retrograde step.
“Obviously it is up to the three counties if they wish to continue with this format but if you looked at each county individually then I don’t think there would have been many decent races due to the lack of numbers,” said Brackstone.
“Also financially it makes sense since the costs of hiring the land from the National Trust and providing medical cover can be split three ways and still ensure the counties make a bit of money and entry fees for athletes can be kept reasonable.
“I think it is a good concept and as more runners become aware of it and support it then the races will only get better.”
A total of 330 athletes turned for the new championship format and Brackstone noted some obvious gaps which he hopes to address next year.
“The Westbury seniors couldn’t run as they had a clash with the Gloucestershire League the previous day so we would hope to avoid that next year,” added Brackstone.

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