Archive for February, 2014

No way back for the Tough Ten in 2014

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

IT has finally been confirmed that the Two Bays Tough Ten will NOT be held this year.
The race, which is sponsored by Easy Runner, had to be called off due to the bad weather and the dangers not just to the runners but also the countless volunteers who give up their time to make sure it runs smoothly.
Race director Mike Buckland has spent hours trying to find a way to re-schedule the race for later in the year but such is the enormous task in co-ordinating such a huge event that he has finally had to concede defeat.
This the statement that Mike has just issued.
‘Naturally we are still really disappointed at having had to cancel this year’s brand new Two Bays Tough Ten
on 9th February. However, as promised, over the past couple of weeks we have been in discussions with
our chip timing supplier and the local council to see if we could find a suitable date to re-schedule.

Sadly, with the limited dates that the chip timers are available for the remainder of the year, mixed with
the seasonal restrictions that the local authority will understandably put on the closure of roads & use of
the sea front and finally the tidal constraints for use of the beach we have reluctantly had to accept that
it is not realistic to put the event on again in 2014.

So what happens now?
As we said before race day when we had to cancel, despite our entry terms and conditions stating that
entry fees would not be refunded if we had to cancel at short notice due to severe weather etc, we didn’t
want to fully enforce that clause. Clearly it is not possible to fully refund everyone from this charity race
due to the huge admin task that would entail and the significant funds already having been spent. Having
said that, we have been very lucky that some of our regular suppliers (Full On Sport, Weston College,
North Somerset District Council, Co-Channel Radios etc) have waived some or all of their fees. For that we
say an enormous thank you! This has helped us to be in a position to offer all of this year’s entrants a
reduced fee of 40-50% for next year’s event, which we hope will go someway to reduce the disappointment
of this year.

How will it work?
To administer this process, in early September, we will send all this year’s entrants a unique, one time use,
access code and a link to a reduced price online entry system. The allocated codes will ensure that only this
year’s entrants can benefit from the significant discount we aim to offer and anyone else wanting to enter
the 2015 race will have to use the usual online system and pay full price. This reduced price offer will only
be available online (not by post) and will close at the end of November. From December onwards all entrants
will have to pay the full price entry fees.

Of course, if you would rather pay the full fee in 2015 we will ensure that any spare monies from your fee
in 2014 are given to charity!’

Check out the new Severn Bridge half marathon

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

AN intriguing new event has been launched in the west country this autumn – the Severn Bridge half marathon.
Starting on the Chepstow side of the old Severn Bridge runner will run over the Bristol Channel towards Thornbury and then tackle a loop taking in the villages of Elberton, Littleton upon Severn ad Kington before heading back across the bridge for the finish.
To my knowledge this is the first ever race to incorporate crossing the Severn Bridge so has a unique USP as well as taking in some nice countryside lanes in south Gloucestershire and is sure to be popular.
The race is scheduled for Sunday August 24th (9am) and for further details see the website at:

* ANOTHER new race in the West Country, which takes place two weeks today (Sunday March 16th), is the Big Cheese 15 miles Trail event. Organised by Cheddar Running Club ( the race incorporates 2000 feet of climbing and is rated as a category B fell race.

Ultra star Lizzie wins national award

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS to Team Bath AC runner Lizzie Wraith for receiving the Performance of the Year prize in the 2013 UK Ultra Runners annual awards. Wraith won her ward for setting a new course record of 24hr 15mins in the Lakeland 100.

Athlete of the month short list looking strong

Monday, February 24th, 2014

THE new year ushered in the championship season in cross country and the incessant rain ensured that conditions were extremely tough – with mud, mud and more mud!
That suited many of four runners as they showed their stuff at the South West and Midland Counties’ Championships respectively while others preferred the dry and warmth of the indoor arena.
What it adds up to is another highly competitive short list for the popular athlete of the month for January which is sponsored by Easy Runner, Bristol’s leading athletics retailer on St Michael’s Hill.

ELLIE HOBBS: The Castle School rookie won the minor girls’ prize at the Avon Schools’ Cross Country Championships at Blaise Castle. Hobbs opened the month with victory over 1500m indoors Cardiff to win the South West under 13 girls’ title and the day after her county schools’ success was a creditable fifth in the Cardiff Cross Challenge. Hobbs ended a busy month with seventh place in the Midland Counties Cross Country Championships.

GEORGE MARSHALL: The prize to the biggest improvement over the year in the Avon Schools’ Cross Country Championships should probably go to Redland Green School student Marshall. Twelve months ago Marshall was ninth in the junior boys’ race’ but in 2014 he soared to top spot in the inter boys’ age group finishing well clear of Clifton’s Harry Leeming.

EMMA JONES: The 15-year-old ran strongly to finish sixth in the inter girls’ race at the 2014 Avon Schools’ Cross Country Championships and book her place in the county team for the South West Championships. Then followed that up with a creditable 26th in the Under 17s race in the Midland Counties Championships at Leamington.

SAM GENTRY: The talented Backwell School youngster just edged out Ashton Park’s Stan Harding by two seconds in what was the closest finish of the day to win the minor boys’ race at the 2014 Avon Schools’ Cross Country Championships. Opened the month with a creditable sixth place in the under 13 boys’ race at the South West Cross Country Championships.

EMMA JOURNEAUX: Underling her improved form the 20-year-old Westbury Harrier won her first regional medal with a bronze in the under 20 women’s race at the Midland Counties Cross Country Championships. Journeaux was also 11th overall in the South West Championships and 20th in the Cardiff Cross Challenge.

ROSIE ALLEN: The 13-year-old South Gloucestershire youngster battled superbly to claim the silver medal in the junior girls’ race at the 2014 Avon Schools’ Cross Country Championships. Allen, who competes for Yate & District AC and Westbury Harriers, was also runner-up in the 1500m at the South West Indoor Championships and finally seventh in the under 13 girls’ race at the Midland Counties Cross Country Championships.

MILES CHANDLER: The 17-year-old Bristol & West AC runner on his first Avon Schools’ cross country title at Blaise Castle with success in the senior boys’ race having opened his year with a hard-earned 10th place in the under 20s age group at the South West Championships.

YVETTE WESTWOOD: The 15-year-old Yate athlete clocked a personal best of 8.01secs in the U17 women’s 60m at the Midland Counties Indoor meeting, Birmingham.

ADAM BROOKS: The 14-year-old Yate high jumper set a new indoor best and equalled his outdoor best of 1.75m in the Midland Counties Indoor Championships.

CHARLOTTE GREEN: The Bristol & West AC club captain smashed her personal best at the Cardiff Indoor meeting. Green, who had previously never broken five minutes, launched a storming last lap to outsprint clubmate Miranda Sadler to the line and slash 15 seconds off her PB with a time of 4:48.29 - and the time briefly put Green top of the South West Rankings though she has now slipped to fifth. Green showed her all-round talent by also finishing 13th in the Cardiff Cross Challenge, which is her best performance in the event.

Jessie makes her mark on championship debut

Monday, February 24th, 2014

JESSIE Sanzo must take pride of place with the best local performance in the Saucony English National Cross Country Championships.
On her debut in the event the Bristol & West AC mum finished a superb 16th in Wollaton Park, Nottingham, the first local runner and second west country runner behind super vet Miranda Heathcote of Newquay.
“Jessie – in only her fourth cross-country race ever - deployed the tactics she had used so well in the Midlands and stayed just slightly off the pace early on and finished strongly only 14 seconds off a top ten finish,” said coach Keith Brackstone.
“This after a hard session on Wednesday as she was targeting the Bath half marathon more than the National Cross-Country.”
Nothing of note to report in the senior men’s race but in the junior men’s age group Will Christofi performed strongly to finish 23rd.
Saucony English National Cross Country Championships, Wollaton Park, Nottingham - Senior men – west: 20 Josh Lilly (Tip) 37:40; 24 Graham Rush (Chelt) 37:50; 37 Frank Baddick (NEB) 38:09.
U20 en – 15 Alex George (Glos) 32:33; 19 Matt Dickinson (Wells) 32:58; 23 Will Christofi (B&W) 33:09; 54 Kieran Young (Wells) 34:04; 79 Ben Westhenry (B&W) 35:05; 81 Harry Lane (Wells) 35:11; 85 Harry Bishop (Sev) 35:19; 118 Felix McGrath (WH) 36:40; 126 Miles Chandler(B&W) 36:51.
Teams: 8 Wells City Harriers 289 (19.54. 81, 135 Phil Bridge 37:21).
U17 men – 20 Oliver Fox (Wells) 20:24; 89 Jack Turner (Stroud) 21:58.
U15 boys: 111 Anton Mills (B&W) 15:50;
Teams: 1 Bedford 55; 2 Tonbridge 67; 3 Team Bath AC 194 (24 William Stockley 14:55, 42 Cameron Perkins 15:08, 44 John Howorth 15:09, 84 Robert Howorth 15:34) 182 Jonathan Wilson 16:31; 218 Themis Bower 16:57.
U13 boys: 1 Joshua Cowperthwaite (Middlesbro) 10:58; 2 Jamie Harper (SB) 11:09; 3 Turkay Kormaz (HHH) 11:10; 4 Finn Birnie (N&P) 11:12; 33 James Greenwood (N&P) 11:49; 109 Jonah Veakins (TBAC) 12:27.

Senior women: 6 Miranda Heathcote (N&P) 28:29; 16 Jessie Sanzo (B&W) 29:17; 27 Kate Goodhead (&W) 30:36; 32 Anna Burton (B&W) 30:51; 55 Catherine Lee (WH) 31:54; 68 Katie Hughes (WH) 32:18; 83 Rebecca Pierce (TBAC) 32:36; 106 Lucy Richens (WH) 33:00; 142 Julia Belyavin (B&W) 33:59; 154 Zoe Dixon (WH( 34:20; 156 Kate Elliot (WH) 34:23.
Teams: 1 AFD 21; 2 Charnwood 102; 3 Rotherham 127; 4 Belgrave 162; 5 Bristol & West 217;9 Westbury Harriers 383.
U20 women: 10 Katherine Turner (TBAC) 22:54; 24 Emma Journeaux (WH) 23:50; 26 Emily Smith (Wells) 24:03; 45 Floren Scrafton (WH) 24:47; 111 Maria Jones (B&W) 28:29.
U17 women: 5 Isobel Glaisher (Wells) 18:18; 28 Gemma Shepherd 19:32; 35 Holly Brown (Taun) 19:39; 72 Kirsty Stanley (TBAC) 20:51; 99 Charlotte Baker (Wells) 21:32.
U15 girls: 30 Yoyo Barnsley (CAC) 16:26; 45 Mollie D’Arcy-Rice (Stroud) 16:53; 49 Rosie Allen (WH) 16:57; 62 Ellie Leather (WH) 17:11; 73 Holly Bankes (Stroud) 17:21; 76 Caitlin Wosika (TBAC) 17:22; 122 Sophie Reed (WH) 17:56.
U13 girls: 1 Grace Copeland (Wimborne) 11:42; 8 Laura McNab (TBAC) 11:59; 26 Ellie Hobbs (WH) 12:36; 92 Hester Miles (Stroud) 13:17; 111 Katie Jones (B&W) 13:26; 115 Annie Testar (Stroud) 13:27; 177 Sarah Wilson (TBAC) 13:55;

Westbury women clinch top ten finish

Monday, February 24th, 2014

THE Westbury Harriers’ senior women’s team can take great satisfaction in finishing ninth. They were led home by Catherine Lee in 55th with support from Katie Hughes in 68th, Zoe Dixon 154th and finally Kate Elliot in 156th from a record total of 708 finishers.
Ellie Hobbs in 26th (out of a record 431 finishers) in the U13 girls race was the club’s highest placed finisher, while the U15 girls packed well to finish 14th, led home by Rosie Allen in 49th and Ellie Leather in 62nd.

Collier shows the way in the ‘National’

Monday, February 24th, 2014

SPECTATORS at the course and those watching later on the internet would have been forgiven for thinking who was the Westbury Harrier leading the 1,600 strong field in the opening half a mile?
I would venture that not since the Chris Buckley era has the Westbury vest featured so prominently in this great race but sadly John Collier’s moment of fame didn’t last too long as he eventually slipped back to finish 230th.
But Collier certainly made his mark eve if it was a painful way to run the race!

Bristol & West women miss out on medal prize

Monday, February 24th, 2014

AN opportunity missed – that has to be the verdict of the failure of the Bristol & West women to make the podium for the team contest at Nottingham.
With their first three finishing inside the top 32 - Jessie Sanzo 16th, Kate Goodhead 27th and Anna Burton 32nd - a solid fourth scorer would have secured at worst a bronze if not silver.
I will let team manager Keith Brackstone take up the story.
“Despite having a cold during the week Kate has always been a strong supporter of the club in this event and she dug in to finish twenty-seventh,” said Brackstone.
“Anna Burton was the revelation of the day – up in 23rd place after the first mile she also dug in to finish 32nd– a great result for someone in her second season in the sport.
“Finally, but by no means least, Julia Belyavin is another club hero who turns out as back up in all sorts of races and stepped into the breach when it was clear that the club would only start four (despite entering 14) in the senior ladies.
“Julia finished 142nd and like Jessie she had at least one eye on the Bath Half but her performance meant the club ladies finished in a creditable fifth place with a score of 217 (which in some years would have been enough to sneak a bronze medal).
“After two years without a team medal in this event the club needs to start planning now to achieve a top three finish in 2015 given our supposed strength in depth in women’s endurance events!”
Teams: 1 AFD 21; 2 Charnwood 102; 3 Rotherham 127; 4 Belgrave 162; 5 Bristol & West 217;9 Westbury Harriers 383.

Emma’s winter of great content

Monday, February 24th, 2014

EMMA Journeaux continued her fine winter with an excellent 24th place in the under 20 women’s race in Nottingham.
The 20-year-old Westbury Harrier is enjoying her best ever cross country season with a bronze at the Midlands, 11th at the South West and 20th in the Cardiff Cross Challenge.
It was also great to see Floren Scrafton in action finishing 45th. Top local runner was Team Bath’s Katherine Turner in 10th.
U20 women: 10 Katherine Turner (TBAC) 22:54; 24 Emma Journeaux (WH) 23:50; 26 Emily Smith (Wells) 24:03; 45 Floren Scrafton (WH) 24:47; 111 Maria Jones (B&W) 28:29.

Mott hits the gold standard with Bourton 10k win

Monday, February 24th, 2014

OLI Mott was delighted with his victory in the Bourton 10k yesterday. Not because it was fast – the times were average due to fierce winds battering the runners – but because of the unique prize offered by the organisers thanks to sponsorship from High Bridge Jewellers.
“Just looked up the price of gold after winning a gold sovereign,” reported Mott on his Facebook page.
“At over £25 per gram I’m quids in with my eight gram coin. Might be useful if I find myself in financial difficulty!”
That certainly helped make up for Mott’s time of 32mins 21secs, which was the slowest winning time in the history of the race.
The 29-year-old international duathlete boasts a PB of 30:52 which he set in the Bupa London 10,000m last summer.

Men: 1 Oliver Mott (B&W) 32:21; 2 Chris Illman (Ciren) 32:41; 3 David Bell (Ciren) 32:43; 4 Brett Halliwell (Stroud) 32:50.
Women: 1 Rachel Felton (Stroud) 34:40; 2 Kate Wright (Stratford, W50) 37:34; 3 Wendy Nicholls (Ciren, W40) 37:47.

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