Street 5km (Somerset)
Gloucester AC's Gemma Turtle and Rose-Anne Galligan upset all the male runners at the Street 5km in Somerset last week, as they stormed to first and second place overall respectively. Both athletes are coached by David Farrow and it was England international Turtle who took the victory after a race long battle in a superb time of 16 minutes 32 seconds. Irish international Galligan, who was using the race as a final preparation for the European cross-country Championships being held in Dublin this weekend, was close behind in 16 minutes 38 seconds.
Midland Ladies XC League
For the second time this season, Gloucester AC ladies completed a team in the Midland Ladies XC League. Competing at Perry Bar in Birmingham, Maxine Gray led the team home in a very respectable 51st place. In only her second ever cross country race, Grey literally found her feet, as she took full advantage of much longer spikes in her shoes! Mellissa Whitlock was next home in 103rd place, another relative newcomer, but really enjoying her run over the 4 mile course. Completing the team was ladies XC Captain, Michelle Stark in 137th place. Stark had started slowly due to illness, but worked her way up through the field in the second half of the race. As club captain, Stark was very pleased with the ladies performance, and thoroughly enjoyed the relatively flat fast course. Stark said “With more of the clubs ladies showing an interest in cross country running, we hope that this is just the start of better things to come. Our aim is to get more runners competing at the final two fixtures, and really build for next year”.
Birmingham & District Invitational Cross Country League Div 2 - Blackbridge, Gloucester
After another superb performance last Saturday, Gloucester AC are flying high in Division 2 of the Birmingham & District Cross Country League. Despite a few notable runners being unavailable due to illness and injury, the team took full advantage of the home fixture at Blackbridge by finishing 2nd team on the day.
The team, and in fact the entire field, were led home by Stephen Millward who finished clear in 1st place overall. Millward looked comfortable in a small group of four athletes for the first two laps of the three lap course. Millward said “I have planned to make my move on the final lap, but found myself with a gap on the others with just under two to go, and feeling good, decided to push on”. This is the second cross country win for Millward this season, and proves that the steeplechase specialist is just as good in the mud, as he is on the track over hurdles.
Next home for the club was Luke Herbert in 14th place, closely followed by Andy Renfrew in 18th place. Both athletes repeating the good performances they put in at the first fixture. Nico Constanti was 4th finisher for the ‘A’ team. Constanti, who is an accomplished track athlete, has really found his feet this season on the country and has started to put in some excellent performances. Club Captain, Dave Gresswell, said “Nico is one of our under 20 athletes, who under that guidance of coach Paul DeCamps, is certainly one to watch in the future”. Indeed it was Paul’s son, Andrew DeCamps, who was the 5th team scorer, with a much improved performance. Completing the ‘A’ team finishers was Vet40 athlete, Lee Smith. Smith had another good run only a week after placing high in a 20 mile multi-terrain night race in Wales.
The first of the ‘B’ team runners, Jeremy Mower, was not far behind in 67th place. Mower, the clubs ultra distance specialist, always a force to be reckoned with. Mark Ingram finished 77th, and again seems to be getting better with every race. Club vice-captain, Ian Summers, finished next in 93rd place, a good run after several weeks out through illness. Alistair Wakefield finished 121st, looking a little tired on the final lap, but understandable as he had been suffering with a cold. Completing the ‘B’ team finishers were Dave Edwards and Dave Jannetta in 161st and 173rd. Chasing Jannetta home and finishing in 189th place was Paul Loveridge. With 215 athletes in the race, excellent performances all round. In fact after two races, the ‘B’ team also currently sit 2nd in the second string competition.
Club Captain, Dave Gresswell, said “This really now sets the club up for promotion to 1st Division next season, as we still have other strong athletes to add to the team at the next event. Our coaches here at Gloucester should take pride in what our athletes are doing, as all the hard work is starting to pay off”.
Evans scorches around Cotswold 10km
Under 17 athlete Jack Evans produced a strong run at the Cotswold 10km on Sunday, finishing 6th overall and first junior male from a record entry of 138 runners with a time of 41.16 minutes. Evans has been improving steadily on the roads in recent weeks as this run followed on the heels of a good run at the Guy Fawkes 5 in Tewkesbury.
Galligan revels in muddy conditions in Liverpool
Gloucester AC's Irish international Rose-Anne Galligan produced a superb run at the UK Cross Challenge event held in Sefton Park, Liverpool on Saturday. Enjoying the muddy conditions and competing against the best female distance runners in the UK, Galligan finished 18th overall and 5th under 23 to confirm her fitness after a recent warm weather training trip to South Africa. The European Cross Country Champs are being held in Dublin in two weeks time so Galligan is hopeful of selection for the Irish team to compete on home soil.
Also competing in Liverpool was track specialist Adam Thrall, who finished in an excellent 20th place in the under 15 boys race. Thrall has been regaining fitness after missing several months through illness and was pleased to produce a solid run in such a high standard competition.
Gloucestershire Cross Country League
Luke Herbert was the leading Gloucester AC athlete at the second round of the Glos XC League held at Blackbridge in Gloucester on Saturday. Held in poor weather on a course that got progressively worse as the day wore on, Herbert produced an excellent run in 9th place for the host club, to lead them to a solid third place in the team stakes despite missing several key athletes. Herbert was supported by Andy Renfree in 16th position, making his debut on the country in Gloucester colours and track specialist Nico Constanti who took 19th place with a measured run. Tom Meheran had another strong run for 31st place overall and 1st veteran over 50 to cement his place at the top of his age category overall for the season. Dave Gresswell was his usual consistent self with 34th position, being followed home by Jeremy Mower in 43rd spot and a welcome return to form by Mark Ingram in 44th position.
Alistair Wakefield was home in 99th position, ahead of Dave Edwards in 115th place. Dave Spackman celebrated his recent county road race series title in the veteran over 60 category, by taking 1st spot in the same age category and 118th overall. Jason Gresswell made his comeback from fitness with a solid run for 124th position, with Mark Thrall in 144th and Paul Loveridge completing the scoring with 162nd spot.
After a see-saw battle throughout the womens 6.4km race, Lorraine Ryan just managed to take the club honours from Kim Drinkwater, finishing in 17th and 19th positions respectively from a field of 120 runners. Maxine Gray completed the scoring for the first team in 34th position, helping the team to 5th place on the day. Melissa Whitlock continued her rapid improvement with an excellent run for 47th position, just ahead of womens team captain Michelle Stark who finished in 53rd place. Chris Campbell was home in 62nd position, followed close behind by Anne-Marie Edwards in 67th place on her return from injury. Helen Davies was pleased with 92nd place, despite taking a tumble during the race on the tricky terrain and Rachael Hancocks just managed to sneak inside the top 100 on her cross country debut with 98th place. Finishing off an encouraging team performance was Gill Gresswell in 107th position.
In the age group races, pride of place went to Henry Adams in the U11 boys race with 8th position, supported by team-mate Joshua Friday in 30th place. In the under 11 girls, Bryony Goddard-Jones was 12th, with Hannah Meheran finishing just behind in 14th place. Verity Butler was 17th, Kezia Smith celebrated her upcoming birthday with 18th place and Eire Rowlands Evans finished the scoring off with 30th place. In the under 13 girls, Elin Caine was 26th and Becky Summers claimed 10th place in the under 17 girls race. Jack Evans continued his good recent results with 11th position in the under 17 boys race
Gloucestershire County Race Series 2009
Gloucester AC senior mens and womens teams have created history by winning both team titles at the county road race series for 2009, which will be presented at the Civic Offices in Gloucester Docks this evening (Thursday 19th November). Comprising of 12 races over a range of distances and organised by the various clubs in the county, Gloucester AC had too much strength in depth and were convincing winners in both categories.
Leading the way was senior mens individual winner Steve Millward, who won six of the seven races he competed in to wrap up the series title at the final race in Tewkesbury two weeks ago. Luke Herbert produced a strong finish to the season to snatch 3rd place overall at the final race. Dave Gresswell dominated the veteran over 40 category, taking several age group wins to claim his first county series title. Gresswell was backed up by mens road team captain Jeremy Mower who was a clear second in the same age group. These four athletes were supported by Dom Malsom, Lee Smith, Alistair Wakefield and Andy Renfree to make up the victorious team.
Gloucester AC's womens team claimed their maiden county series team title, producing consistently strong performances from a core of talented and upcoming athletes. Gemma Collier claimed second place overall, behind convincing winner Stephanie Lane from Bourton Road Runners, before looking to attempt the steeplechase on the track next summer. Lorraine Ryan took third place overall in the series despite struggling with niggling injuries in the second half of the year. Michelle Stark was the delighted winner of the over 35 category with several maximum 10-point performances and was well supported by Chris Campbell who was third overall in the same category. Completing the team success was Kim Drinkwater, Jane Leckebusch, Maxine Gray and 15 year old Becky Summers.
Guy Fawkes 5 (Tewkesbury)
Gloucester AC's Gemma Turtle was the star performer at the Guy Fawkes 5 mile road race held in Tewkesbury on Sunday, the final race in the county road race series. From a field of almost 400 runners, Turtle finished in a magnificent 8th place overall with a time of 27.36 minutes, just 1 second outside the ladies course record. Steve Millward was satisfied with 2nd place overall despite suffering from a cold, which was enough to wrap up the senior mens county title, the first time a Gloucester athlete has won the title in more than a decade.
Luke Herbert had a superb run to finish 4th overall in a new personal best time of 26.47 minutes, running a sensible pace throughout. Dom Malsom was 13th overall in a time of 28.27 minutes, followed in by veteran over 40 Dave Gresswell who finished 17th overall in 29.34 minutes to confirm his victory in the county series in his age group.
Jeremy Mower claimed 25th spot with a time of 30.11 minutes, with under 17 athlete Jack Evans finishing next for the club in 42nd place overall with 31.18 minutes. Alistair Wakefield claimed a top 50 place with 46th overall in 31.45 minutes, just 6 days after his superb performance at the Dublin Marathon.
Arthur Daley sneaked home in 50th position overall and first male veteran over 60 with a time of 32.06 minutes, as he revels in his new age group category. Nick Cousins was 67th in 32.54 minutes after also performing well at Dublin Marathon the week before. Dave Spackman took 84th spot with a time of 33.42 minutes and was followed in by Gemma Collier who finished 114th with 35.17 minutes to take 2nd senior lady in the year-long county series. Michelle Stark continues her return to form with 143rd place and 36.50 minutes, which confirmed her win in the lady over 35 category in the county series.
Robert James made a rare appearance in a Gloucester vest to finish in 194th position with a time of 39.28 minutes, just beating Helen Davies who dipped under the 40 minute mark with 39.52 minutes for 201st place.
Alistair Wakefield and Nick Cousins were the Gloucester AC representatives at the Dublin Marathon held on Monday, both producing excellent performances. Wakefield was making his debut over the marathon distance but ran very even splits to finish in a time of 3hrs 2m 18 s for 133rd place from an entry of more than 12000 runners. Cousins ran a superb time of 3hrs 8m 29s, despite suffering an injury-interrupted buildup to the race which curtailed his training.
Stroud Half Marathon
Jeremy Mower was the leading Gloucester AC runner at the Stroud Half Marathon on Sunday, claiming 48th place from a field of more than 2000 with 1hr 21m 54s just a day after competing in the cross-country in Birmingham. Dave Gresswell was not far behind after leading Mower for the first 9 miles, finishing in a time of 1hr 24m for 72nd position. Leading lady was Hayley Winters on her debut at the half marathon distance, running a superb race to finish 16th lady in a time of 1hr 34m exactly. Tracking Winters all the way was Maxine Gray who also ran well to finish in 1hr 34m 20s. Melissa Whitlock and Gareth Malsom ran the course together and were absolutely delighted to finish in 1hr 40 m 1s, an encouraging debut run. Terry Onions was his usual consistent self and was just behind in 1hr 40m 23s for 408th place. Chris Campbell ran well to finish in 1hr 49m 37s, only a few weeks after producing a massive personal best at the Nottingham Marathon. Veterans Dave Spackman and Bogdan Jochym were together for most of the race, finishing in 1hr 50m 43s and 1hr.50m 35s respectively. Rachael Hancocks was pleased to finish strongly in 2hrs 3m 1s to end a superb weekend for the club.
Great South Run
Mark Ingram was the sole Gloucester AC runner to compete in the Great South Run 10 mile road race held in Portsmouth on Sunday. After putting in some solid training in recent weeks, Ingram was pleased to finish in 65 minutes and 2 seconds for 157th place from more than 20,000 runners, in spite of the poor weather conditions for the final few miles.
Birmingham XC League
Peter Kellie was the leading Gloucester AC athlete at the opening fixture of the Birmingham and District Cross Country League at a sunny Senneleys Park, as the club bids to gain promotion to the top flight of the league. Competing in division 2 after narrowly missing out on going up last season, Gloucester AC made a superb start as they finished a clear 2nd on the day behind a powerful Telford AC and backed this up with 2nd in the B team competition.
Kellie produced his best cross country run in several years to claim 6th place in a high calibre field of more than 200 runners, with Steve Millward backing him up with 8th place to put two athletes inside the top ten. Luke Herbert ran well throughout to finish in 12th place with Richard de Camps having a storming run to claim 16th spot and first junior male. Track specialist Nico Constanti answered the call for a strong team with an encouraging run to finish in 32nd place and the first team was completed by cross country captain Dave Gresswell who closed the team scoring with 63rd position.
The B team was led home by Andrew de Camps who found the infamous brook crossing difficult but still ran well to finish 73rd, closely followed by Jeremy Mower who was 80th. The ever dependable Ian Summers was 88th, while Tom Randles made a rare venture onto the mud and was rewarded with 97th place. Andy Hawkins was just behind in 98th position and the B team score was completed by Arthur Daley who was 127th.
Paul Loveridge and Dave Jannetta had a great tussle for supremacy throughout the race, with Loveridge claiming the advantage at the finish after Jannetta had taken a tumble in the brook on the final lap, finishing in 177th and 178th places respectively. John McLean finished off a very successful day for the club with 197th position.
Gloucester AC's Lee Smith produced a sparkling performance at the Abingdon Marathon on Sunday, running the fastest time by a club member in several years. Smith ran strongly throughout the race to finish in a time of 2 hours 49 minutes 25 seconds, a personal best time by more than 12 minutes. Lorraine Ryan also joined in the success on her debut over the marathon distance, running a time of 3 hours 14 minutes 33 seconds despite having suffered with injury problems in the build-up to the race. This time qualifies Ryan to be on the elite start at next years London Marathon. Jane Leckebusch also achieved a qualifying time for London next year in the over 45 category, running an excellent time of 3 hours 36 minutes and 03 seconds. Leckebusch finished with cuts on both knees after tripping over a kerb at 21 miles, but still managed to finish strongly, as did Anne-Marie Edwards who ran the whole course with her mother and finished in 5 hours 6 minutes and 35 seconds.
Gloucestershire XC League
Gloucester AC's Arthur Daley celebrated his 60th birthday in perfect style on Saturday, by winning his new age category at the first Gloucestershire Cross Country League meeting of the winter at Cotswold Farm Park. Daley, who is also the league organiser, stepped up to the veteran over 60 category and won comfortably, placing 80th overall from more than 160 runners. Tom Meheran also won his age category on his return to Gloucester colours, winning the veteran over 50 section with an outstanding 33rd place overall.
The overall race was won convincingly by Steve Millward, who took his maiden cross country victory in winning by more than 30 seconds. Luke Herbert produced an encouraging run in 5th place to further display his recent return to form and was ably supported by Richard de Camps who took 14th place overall and 2nd Junior Male. Lee Smith claimed 26th place and was closely followed by Dave Gresswell in 28th position. Jeremy Mower closed the scoring for the mens A team in 41st spot, resulting in Gloucester finishing 2nd team behind a strong Cheltenham Harriers team.
Alistair Wakefield led the B team home in 45th place with Mark Ingram finishing in 51st spot. Mark Thrall claimed 124th position and was supported by Paul Loveridge in 133rd and Dave Jannetta in 139th place, which resulted in Gloucester having the 1st B Team. Veteran over 60s John Maclean and Chris O’Carroll completed a very satisfying day for the club in 149th and 159th places respectively.
In the age group races, pride of place went to 8-year-old Bryony Goddard-Jones who finished 2nd in the under 11 girls race with an outstanding run. Despite running against girls up to 2 years older, Goddard-Jones was always with the leaders and only lost out in a sprint finish. Hannah Meheran ran well to finish 14th and Chloe Jones completed the team scoring in 28th place, which resulted in the team claiming 4th place. In the under 11 boys, Joshua Friday also ran well to finish in 39th position in a highly competitive race, proving that the new under 10's training group led by coach Jeremy Mower is already starting to show its promise.
In the under 15 girls, Sam Roberts ran strongly to claim 3rd place before dashing off to an afternoon hockey match, a result which was equalled by Adam Thrall in the under 15 boys race with another confident run. Hannah Jones was pleased with 15th place in the under 13 girls race and was supported by newcomer Elin Caine who finished an encouraging 23rd on her cross-country debut.
In the under 17 girls, Becky Summers produced her customary good form to take 4th place, making the most of her recent steeplechase training to negotiate the various obstacles on the course. Jack Evans and Charlie Simmonds were the Gloucester representatives in the under 17 mens race, taking 9th and 19th places respectively.
Gloucester AC Ladies team put in an excellent all-round performance at the opening fixture of the Gloucestershire Cross Country League on Saturday. Leading the way was new signing Emma Gooderham, an ultra-distance specialist who ran superbly well to take 4th place overall from a field of more than 100 runners. Kim Drinkwater produced her best ever run in a cross-country race to claim 19th spot overall, with Maxine Gray completing the scoring for the A team by finishing 22nd, which resulted in the team placing 2nd. Gemma Collier found the going tough but still produced a strong run to finish 29th and lead the B team to 1st place in their category. Cross-country captain Michelle Stark continued her comeback to form with 43rd place, closely followed by Melissa Whitlock who ran very well on her cross-country debut to finish just behind in 44th spot. Helen Davies completed an encouraging day for the ladies team with 73rd place.
Millward and Turtle take county 10km titles
Gloucester AC's Steve Millward and Gemma Turtle were just two of several club members who claimed medals at the county 10km road championships on Sunday, incorporated into the popular Cirencester Park 10km. Turtle, a second claim member of the club, set a stunning new course record of 35.33 minutes as she finished 12th overall from a field of more than 550 finishers, comfortably winning the county title.
Held over a challenging course on a beautiful Sunday morning, Millward was content to sit in the pack until just before halfway, before accelerating over the second half of the race to take second place overall in a time of 32.37 minutes, which was good enough to claim the county title and secure the double for the club.
Gloucester were also dominant in the mens team event, holding off a strong challenge from Stroud AC to secure the win thanks to superb runs from Luke Herbert in 7th overall in 34.32 minutes, and newcomer Andy Renfree in 9th position with a time of 34.46 minutes.
Dave Gresswell extended his lead in the veteran over 40 county series rankings, finishing 17th overall in 36.09 minutes, which was good enough to take bronze in the county event. Ultra-runner Jeremy Mower showed his contemporaries a clean pair of heals over the final kilometre as he claimed 30th spot in 38.09 minutes, just ahead of clubmate Alistair Wakefield in 38.10, who took a break from training for the Dublin marathon next month to get a race under his belt. Nick Cousins also sneaked inside the top 40 with a solid run on his comeback from a knee injury, finishing in 39.14 minutes. Arthur Daley produced his quickest road 10km of the year as he claimed 58th place overall in a time of 40.17 minutes, just ahead of Lorraine Ryan who was delighted to claim senior county bronze in a time of 40.56 minutes.
Dave Spackman dominated the veteran over 60 category to claim the county title and 80th position overall, winning in a time of 41.46 minutes. Gemma Collier produced the only club personal best of the day, finishing in 43.03 minutes for 105th place and 6th senior lady. Paul Loveridge made a welcome return to racing after a long term knee problem, to finish full of running in 45.04 minutes. Michelle Stark belatedly celebrated her birthday from the previous day, by consolidating her position at the top of the county series rankings in the over 35 category with 49.08 minutes. Bogdan Jochym completed an excellent day for the club with a time of 50.59 minutes for 263rd position.
Upton Bishop Big Dipper Road Race
Kim Drinkwater was the sole Gloucester AC representative at the race in Upton Bishop on Sunday, held just outside Ross on Wye, but made up for a lack of clubmates with an excellent run to win the ladies race in a new course record. Finishing in 12th overall on a hilly course of approximately 5.7 miles, Drinkwater finished in 39.27 minutes to win comfortably. Not content with this, Drinkwater then took part in a rowing regatta in the afternoon and also won her event there as well.
Anglesey Marathon - Welsh Masters Marathon Championship
Competing in the Anglesey Marathon Jeremy Mower of Gloucester AC finished 4th position overall, first Vet 40 and won his first ever Welsh Masters Marathon title beating his fellow countrymen. Mower set off in a group of several Masters and broke away from them after 6 miles, establishing a 3 minute gap by half way. Anglesey has a notoriously hard 3 mile uphill finish and Mower eased off with no-one in contention to beat him in his age category. A sprint finish saw Mower catch another runner on the line and finish in 3 hours 36 seconds. The time was not particularly fast for him but it was a job well done. This was Mower's second national title adding to the Welsh Ultra Championship earlier in the year.
Midlands 6 & 4 Stage Road Relays
Gloucester AC had a successful day at the Midlands Mens 6 Stage and Womens 4 Stage Road Relays at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday, qualifying a team in both events for the National finals in four weeks time. On a beautiful sunny afternoon on the undulating course the womens team were pleased to finish 28th overall from a starting entry of more than 80 teams, running four 'legs' of approximately 2.7 miles each.
Gemma Collier led the team off for the first time, clocking 18.06 for 42nd position on the notoriously strong first stage. Kim Drinkwater then produced a superb run on leg 2 to move the team up 12 places into 30th with a time of 17.26 minutes, for the fastest run of the day by a Gloucester athlete. Anne-Marie Edwards kept the momentum going on the penultimate stage with a 19.56 minutes clocking to keep the team in contention, before Lorraine Ryan defied recent injury problems to finish in 28th place overall with an individual time of 17.32 minutes.
The womens B team were started off by Gill Gresswell, coming home in 68th place with a time of 23.10 minutes. Christine Parkin took over for leg two and was pleased with a solid 23.07 minutes for her run. Jane Leckebusch had a storming run on leg three, moving the team up into the top sixty with the teams best time of 19.31 minutes, before Helen Davies rounded off an excellent afternoons work for the women with a time of 20.38 minutes to bring the team home in 55th position overall.
Gloucester fielded 3 mens team for the first time in more than a decade, with strong competition from numerous athletes trying to get into those 3 teams, proving that the club is encountering a renaissance in distance running. The mens A team qualified for the National finals by claiming 20th place overall, from a starting entry of more than 100 teams. The large majority of teams put a strong runner on first leg, so Andrew de Camps led the way for Gloucester and was pleased to run over 40 seconds quicker than last year for the 3.8 mile leg, coming home 55th with a time of 21.08 minutes. Steve Millward than started the charge up the field, gaining 24 places for the team with a time of 18.38 minutes, the fastest of the day for the club. New signing Andrew Renfree proved to be a great acquisition for the club, with a strong run to take Gloucester up to 18th place with a time of 19.31 minutes. Luke Herbert took over on leg four and broke 20 minutes for the first time, claiming a time of 19.55 minutes to continue the clubs progress. Richard de Camps then had a lonely run on leg five as the field started to spread out, finishing in 21.39 minutes to keep the club in the hunt for the qualifying places. Pete Kellie then produced a superb run on the final leg to bring the team home in 20th overall with a personal time of 19.05 minutes. To emphasise a measure of the clubs progress, the aggregate time was over 10 minutes quicker than the previous year, dipping under 2 hours.
The mens B team also acquitted themselves well, clocking several individual personal bests. Lee Smith was the finest example, bringing the team back on the first leg in 20.32 minutes, over a minute quicker than last year. Alistair Wakefield continued his strong form in the build-up to the Dublin Marathon with 21.40 minutes on leg two. Nico Constanti performed well to finish in 21.39 minutes for leg three, before handing over to the consistent Dave Gresswell who clocked 21.11 minutes for the fourth leg. Richard Moor was back in 22.33 minutes for the fifth leg before Ian Summers rounded things off with a time of 22.01 minutes, bringing the team home in 42nd position.
The mens C team produced some encouraging performances, Mark Ingram starting them off on the opening leg with 22.38 minutes. Matt Wade produced a solid run for 23.23 minutes on leg two, before Ben Jones took over and finished in 25.07 minutes. Dave Edwards moved the team forwards on leg four with a time of 24.33 minutes, before Nick Cousins completed leg five in 22.55 minutes despite nursing a niggling knee injury. Wayne Mayer completed an excellent day for the club with the teams fastest leg and 64th position overall, running 22.33 minutes.
Chippenham Half Marathon
Gloucester AC's Lee Smith was delighted to record a new personal best at the Chippenham Half Marathon on Sunday, taking 11th place overall and 2nd veteran over 40 from a field of more than 1200 runners. Smith flew round the course in a time of 78 minutes 26 to consolidate his recent good form.
Lorraine Ryan finished in 124th position and 9th senior lady in a time of 90 minutes 14 on her comeback from injury. Anne-Marie Edwards was pleased to finish in a new personal best time of 1 hour 47 minutes 56, showing that Gloucester has a strong womens team for the upcoming cross-country season. Terry Onions ran extremely well to finish in 398th place with a time of 1 hour 43 minutes 48.
Chris Campbell was one of two Gloucester AC athletes to make the journey over to Nottingham to run the marathon on Sunday. Campbell was delighted to revise her personal best figures with a time of 4 hours 7 minutes and 4 seconds, taking more than 20 minutes off her previous best. Paul Robins was the other club member, finishing in a time of 4 hours 37 minutes and 41 seconds.
Lloyds TSB Fitness 4 Mile Road Race
Gloucester AC athlete Adam Thrall was a convincing winner of the most recent Lloyds TSB Fitness 4 Mile Road Race held at the Pilot Inn in Hardwicke. Racing to the front from the start of the race, under 15 athlete Thrall moved steadily away over the out and back course to finish 20 seconds clear in a time of 23 minutes 41 seconds. By dipping under the 24 minute barrier, Thrall is now excluded from future races in this series. His father Mark Thrall was the only other Gloucester athlete to compete, finishing in 26th position and 2nd veteran over 40 in a time of 27 minutes 56 seconds.
Local athlete Beth Sewell, part of Lorraine Shaw's training group at Gloucester AC, took 6th place in a high quality womens hammer final at the Deaflympics in Taipei on Friday. In a competition where the first four athletes broke the previous championship best, Sewell opened her competition with 42.98 metres and consolidated this with two further throws over 41 metres.
Bristol Half Marathon
Alistair Wakefield was the leading Gloucester AC athlete in the Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday, finishing in 190th position from a record field of more than 12000 runners in a time of 1 hour 23.44 minutes. Wakefield, who is in the middle of training for a marathon debut in Dublin in October, worked his way through the field to claim a top 200 spot on the fast course. Following close behind was training partner Nick Cousins, who performed superbly to finish 292nd in 1 hour 26.37 minutes, despite having missed several weeks of regular training with a knee injury.
Maxine Gray was the leading lady for the club, producing a personal best performance to finish 836th with 1 hour 34.27 minutes. Gray was pleased with a new best time but felt that there is more to come at the Great North Run in 2 weeks time. Christine Parkin completed the course in 2 hours 44.41 minutes.
Hay Hill Raiser
Kim Drinkwater was the sole Gloucester AC athlete to tackle the 11.3 mile multi-terrain race at Hay-on-Wye, but produced a superb run to finish in 10th place overall. On a course that climbed several hundred feet, Drinkwater was a convincing winner of the ladies section, finishing in a time of 1 hour 23.21 minutes
Gloucester AC ladies were delighted winners of the team prize at the Beacon 10km on Sunday, as they build towards a strong winter cross-country season. Gemma Collier led the winning team home, finishing 4th lady overall in an impressive 43.06 minutes. Michelle Stark showed an encouraging return to form with her strongest run for months, finishing 64th overall in 47.23 minutes from a field of approximately 130 runners and first lady veteran over 35. This cements Starks position at the top of the county road race series for her age group. Following closely behind was Chris Campbell to seal the team win with second place lady veteran over 35 in a time of 48.07 minutes, just one week before she races the Nottingham marathon.
Steve Millward continued his recent winning streak to take the overall race victory, pulling away from CLC Strider Will Ferguson over the final 500m to win in a time of 33.04 minutes on the undulating course. Luke Herbert moved through strongly over the final mile to take a convincing 4th place with a time of 34.53 minutes. Dave Gresswell consolidated his position at the top of the veteran over 40 county series standings with a solid 11th position overall and a time of 37.44 minutes. Just one place behind on his return to racing after six months out was Andy Hawkins, who was satisfied with a time of 37.54 minutes.
Jeremy Mower produced his customary strong finish to claim 14th spot overall with a time of 38.14 minutes, before Arthur Daley finished in a time of 40.21 minutes. Daley narrowly failed to break the 40 minute barrier, but had to be content with winning the veteran over 55 category.Dave Spackman also claimed victory for Gloucester AC in the veteran over 60 category with a time of 42.27 minutes, before Bogdan Jochymcompleted an encouraging day for the club on his return from injury and illness to finish in 81st position with 50.41 minutes.
Several athletes from Gloucester AC combined a cycle trip around the Cotswolds with a run out at the first ever Winchcombe Hill Race from Sudeley Castle on Sunday. Despite the unorthodox warm-up, club members dominated the race to take several prizes and win the mens team competition.
Steve Millward was the lead athlete home for the club on the tough course, pulling away from Seb Foy (Cheltenham Harriers) on the gruelling climb up to Belas Knap to take the race win in the multi-terrain 10km, finishing in a time of 36.31 minutes for a 90 second victory. Lee Smith ran a superb race, sneaking third place on the line with a time of 39.25 minutes. Club stalwart Ian Summers enjoyed the hilly course and moved through well on the steep downhill sections to claim 13th place overall in a time of 42.43 minutes. Lorraine Ryan continued her tentative comeback from injury with a well-judged run, taking second place in the ladies race and 26th overall with a time of 45.14 minutes. Peter Lloyd also had a fine race, finishing close behind Ryan in 28th place overall from a field of more than 100 runners, with a time of 45.32 minutes.
To complete an excellent day for the club, Gemma Collier was victorious in the accompanying 5km race, winning the ladies section in a time of 19.34 minutes.
Three Gloucester AC veteran athletes placed themselves high in the 10,000m national rankings for their age groups whilst competing in the County AAA Championships at the county's only track in Cheltenham. Jeremy Mower's 6th place(38:03.3) in the race and Silver medal in the V40 competition ranked him 9th in the V40 national lists. One place behind Arthur Daley's 40:05.2 was his fastest time over that distance for 20 years and in his last track race as a V55 raised him to lead the UK list in his age group. Dave Spackman added a V60 Gold to Daley's V55, finishing in 10th place with 43:37.0. This puts him third in the UK lists for 10,000m for this year.
In the accompanying relays, Gloucester AC mens 4x400m were dominant, leading from start through Ben Jones to the finish with Andrew de Camps, Ashleigh Naylor and Richard de Camps supplying the other legs to win county gold with a time of 3.37.7 minutes.
The senior mens 4x100m took second overall but senior county gold with a 48.5 seconds clocking, while the under 15 Girls 4 x 100m team took county silver with a time of 55.6 seconds.
White Horse 5K
Gloucester AC's new signing Andrew Renfree was pleased with a 6th place finish at the White Horse 5km on his debut. A former track specialist for Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers with an excellent pedigree, Renfree clocked a time of 15.56 minutes on his comeback after taking several years out of the sport. U15 athlete Adam Thrall was next home for the club in a time of 17.13 minutes, only marginally outside his personal best on a windy evening at Sandhurst. U17 athlete Jack Evans made a rare appearance in the club vest to finish in 18.32 minutes, for 38th overall from a field of more than 110 runners. The effervescent Dave Spackman was next home in 59th place and second male veteran over 60 with 20.22 minutes, just ahead of clubmate Maxine Gray who was pleased with 9th place in the ladies category with 20.29 minutes.
Gareth Malsom made an encouraging racing debut with a time of 21.21 minutes for 75 place, before Rachel Hancocks and Helen Roberts crossed the finish line together in a time of 26 minutes and 29 seconds
Gloucester AC's Andrew de Camps was delighted to record a new personal best over 800m at the recent Trafford AC Open Meeting in Manchester. Staying on the shoulder of the leader throughout, de Camps sped down the home straight to finish in a time of 1 minute 52.08 for second place, taking four-tenths of a second off his previous best. In the next 800m race, training partner Nico Constanti found the going tough at the end of a long season to finish in 8th place with a time of 1 minute 55.06. Richard de Camps also finished 8th in his heat of the 800m in a time just outside 2 minutes, coming off the back of his 1 minute 56 personal best the previous week.
In the throws, Bola Ogun consolidated her UK top ten ranking with a win in the senior womens hammer, throwing a distance of 53.61m. Alex Warner won the corresponding mens competition with 58.61m. Kate Yhnell was back to her best with 47.56m to take third place with training partner Beth Sewell in 4th place with 42.18m.
Standish Woodland Chase
Nick Cousins was the leading Gloucester AC athlete at the Standish 10 mile trail race held near Stonehouse on Sunday. On a tough multi-terrain course, Cousins was delighted to claim a top-ten spot with 8th place overall from a field of more than 140 runners, finishing in a time of 63.35 minutes. Close behind was veteran Peter Lloyd in 20th position with a time of 67.20, with Dave Spackman claiming 2nd place in the veteran over 60 category and 52nd overall with a time of 1 hour 13.25.
Race The Train
Gloucester AC's Becky Summers raced to a new age group course record at the annual Race the Train festival at Tywyn on the Welsh coast on Saturday. Competing against a steam railway train on an approximate three mile course, Summers produced a superb run to finish 7th overall from a field of more than 170 runners with a time of 20.07 minutes, quick enough to claim a new age group record in the Tynllwynhen Challenge.
In the main race, again racing the steam train over a difficult multi-terrain course of more than 14 miles, the Gloucester AC Ladies team were delighted to win the team prize against tough competition. Led by Lorraine Ryan who managed to beat the train and finish sixth lady overall in 1 hour 46.29, the team was completed by Gemma Collier who ran well to finish in 1 hour 56.14 minutes and a resurgent Anne-Marie Edwards who came home in 2 hours 14.43.
The Gloucester AC mens team also performed superbly well, with several athletes beating the steam train from a field of more than 950 runners. Luke Herbert was first back for the club in an excellent 15th place in a time of 1 hour 34.07, followed closely behind by Lee Smith in 29th overall with 1 hour 36.16. Dom Malsom was pleased to finish in 38th place in 1 hour 37.24, but was frustrated that a hamstring problem prevented him from coming even further up the field. Ian Summers was the final athlete to sneak home in front of the train, in 58th position with a time of 1 hour 40.26. Dave Edwards was pleased to sneak home just under the two hour mark with 1 hour 59.49 minutes in 316th position overall.
British Milers Club Grand Prix Finals
De Camps storms to personal best
Gloucester AC's Richard de Camps produced a sparkling performance at the British Milers Club Grand Prix Finals in Cardiff on Saturday, taking more than 1.5 seconds off his personal best in the mens 800m. Drawn in a tough heat, de Camps hung on to the quick early pace to record 1 minute 56.8. Brother Andrew de Camps also ran well to clock 1.53.4 in his heat of the 800m to finish 3rd, not far off his own personal best. Nico Constanti was also in fine form, finishing 2nd in his heat with a time of 1 minute 54.7.
The Gloucester AC and Severn AC composite team fell agonisingly short of gaining promotion to the top flight of the Midlands Track and Field League, at the final fixture of the season in Kettering. Missing several key athletes through illness, injury or holidays, the combined team were just 9.5 points short of being promoted from an aggregate total of 1391.5 points from the season. Despite winning numerous events, the team lacked a strength in depth which resulted in a fourth place finish on the day and third place overall for the season, the same match points as the two promoted teams Charnwood and Notts AC, but a lower aggregate total.
Again leading the way in the final fixture was the mens distance runners, with comprehensive victories in the 1500m and 3000m from Midlands 5000m champion Josh Lilley, in the 3km steeplechase from fellow Midlands champion Steve Millward and from Andrew de Camps in the 800m. They were backed up by fine B string wins from Ben Coldray in the 1500m and Jeremy Mower in the steeplechase.
The male throwers also weighed in with valuable points with a pair of second places from Gareth Winter in the A string discus and shot, a typically busy afternoon from Justin Sysum with a B string win in the discus, 2nd in the B string shot, 3rd in the A string hammer and 4th in the A string javelin. Wayne Powell also performed well on his comeback from injury with a win in the B string hammer and 2nd in the B string javelin.
Brendan Goss took a convincing victory in the mens long jump and followed it up with 4th in the 110m hurdles, 4th in the triple jump, 6th in the high jump and 6th in the pole vault. He was ably supported by Lloyd Andrews who took 2nd in the B string long and triple jump and 4th in the B string 400m hurdles.
The female throwers also brought home a large haul of points, with Lorraine Shaw winning the A string shot and discus before claiming 3rd in the javelin. Kate Yhnell suffered a rare defeat in the womens hammer but recovered to take valuable 2nd places in the B string shot and discus.
On the track, Gemma Collier had an extremely busy day taking 2nd in the B string 400m hurdles, 4th in the 100m hurdles, 4th in the 800m, 4th in the 1500m and 5th in the 3000m. Kathryn Purcell took 5th in the 100m hurdles, 5th in the 200m B string, 5th in the 400m hurdles, 6th in the 400m A string and 6th in the 100m B string. Sister Alex Purcell also claimed 3rd in the long jump, 4th in the triple jump and 6th in the 800m.
To finish off a largely successful season, the mens 4x400m relay team took victory in the final event following an outstanding third leg from Nico Constanti.
UK Athletics Throwsfest (Birmingham)
Gloucester AC athlete Mike Tommey produced an outstanding new personal best in the mens hammer at the recent UK Athletics Throwsfest held in Birmingham. Throwing the senior mens 7.26kg hammer, Tommey launched it out to a new personal best distance of 52.90m, more than 3 metres further than his previous best. Training partner Kate Yhnell won her event in the womens hammer, claiming a distance of 47.96m with Beth Sewell managing 39.72m as she prepares for the Deaflympics in Taiwan in September. In the womens elite hammer competition, Bola Ogun took 4th place with a consistent 51.15m.
Gloucester Half Marathon
Competitors in the 9th Gloucester Half Marathon at Newent were fortunate to avoid the rain and enjoy sunny breezy conditions. The event was sponsored by C&G Cheltenham and Gloucester for the second year and also supported by Wincanton Logistics who provided the goody bags. Although the change to a Saturday evening attracted a higher number of entries, 386 athletes and fun runners, a similar number to last year, crowded onto the start line on Watery Lane at 6.00pm.
A leading group of seven athletes soon formed, and the eventual winner Paul Hocking of Stroud & District AC pulled away on his own after 4 miles. Hocking was able to maintain a good pace, finding miles 8 to 10 the hardest. He finished over three minutes ahead of Matthew Harvey of Neath Harriers, running his first half marathon event. Followed seconds later was local runner James Rose of Severn AC who finished in a time of 1hr17min30sec. The host club was represented by Alistair Wakefield, who finished in a time of 1hr24min54sec.
The first woman across the line was Myshola Kirkham of Coventry Godiva Harriers in 17th place in a time of 1hr23min53sec, two minutes ahead of Emma D'Alton of Westpury Harriers in 26th place, seconds ahead of local runner Gwen Kinsey of Severn AC who finished in a time of 1hr25min54sec, one place behind.
The winning mens team of Stroud & District AC was made up of Paul Hocking, Andy Furley, and Chris Young. The winning ladies team was Westbury Harriers, made up of Emma D'Alton, Sandra Price and Jane Thornton.
Stuart Matthew and George Bryant of the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service bravely brought up the rear running in their fire kit and breathing apparatus in a time of 2hr45min, raising money for a school in Africa.
The final Quedgeley 5 mile race saw Gloucester AC members win both the male and female series. Dave Gresswell gained the series championship with his lowest placing. His 3rd place in 29:04 saw him easily take the title whilst Christine Campbell won not only the Lady V35 event but also the series championship in 15th place in the race with 38:22. David Jannetta finished just in front of Christine in 38:11 whilst new club member Hayley Winters ran strongly to complete the course in 34:16 and take first Senior Lady spot. Ultra distance specialist Jeremy Mower just missed the 30 minute barrier by finishing 5th place in 30:04. Tom Meheran of Severn AC, who trains with Gloucester on Tuesdays and Thursdays, ran his first race since taking the County V50 Cross Country League title in March and was first V55 in 30:56.
Campbell is one of the coaches taking a new beginners running group on Thursdays at 7:00 and Mower leads a group of under 11's on Tuesdays from the club's Blackbridge headquarters.
Cheltenham Harriers Midsummer Open
Tim Campion produced the performance of the night from the small contingent of Gloucester AC athletes who travelled over to Cheltenham for the final open meeting on the series, hosted by Cheltenham Harriers. Competing in the U17 mens shot putt, Campion claimed a new personal best distance of 10.46m, fresh from a double gold-medal winning performance at the recent UK Disability Athletics Champs held in Blackpool.
Mike Tommey took victory in the U20 mens hammer with a distance of 53.86m, while Adam Thrall just missed out on a personal best in the U15 boys 800m with 2nd place and a time of 2m10.4. Lurenda Mudd completed the strong Gloucester AC performances with 27.7 seconds for the U15 girls 200m, also narrowly missing out on setting new personal best figures.
National Young Athletes League
On Sunday 19th July, Gloucester AC hosted round 5 of the Young Athletes League 2009 at Yate. They were joined in the final round by athletes from Llanelli & Neath, Bridgnorth and Yeovil who all had to cope with the start of the school holidays and intermittent heavy showers.
Gloucester competed well against good opposition from Clubs much larger than theirs, particularly in the under 13 section.
Under 13 boy Laurence Leat is having an excellent end of season, having only started competing for the club in the last month. Having recorded excellent times in his 200m of 27.5 secs and 100m of 13.3 secs he finished off his day with a Club record in his first attempt at Shot putt with a distance of 8.62m.
Not to be outdone, Kelly Constable continued her great form for the U13 Girls with PB's in the 75m of 10.4 secs and 150m of 20.4 secs, both only 0.2 away from the current Club records.
New U15 girl Leah Glover came away with an excellent points haul from three events, coming first in both Javelin and Shot with a creditable third in the discus.
Kate Davies battled hard in her 800m race to finish second with a PB of 2.39:6 secs knocking 5 seconds off her previous best.
In the under 15 girls, Harriet Hunter and Lurenda Mudd had to battle torrential rain for their 200m and 100m races despite having slightly better weather either side of both events, with both athletes running well to secure good points for the club.
The U15 boys saw only two athletes take on a difficult 1500m race, both from Gloucester. Adam Thrall finished first as the "A" runner with a time of 4.39:4 secs. He was supported well by Douglas Bryant who finished first as the "B" runner knocking over 6 seconds off his previous best to PB with 4.44:9 secs.
Overall Gloucester finished third for the day which sees them retain their position in the Midlands West 1 League for 2010.
The results have shown to the young athletes that what they sadly lack in numbers, they more than make up for in quality of results with a staggering 111 PB's throughout the five rounds!
British Milers Club Meeting (Solihull)
Three athletes from Gloucester AC travelled up to Solihull on Saturday for the latest meeting in the BMC Grand Prix Series with considerable success. Andrew de-Camps showed his early season injury problems were behind him with a convincing victory in the 800m when recording a season's best performance of 1min 52.94secs. For the second week in a row he was followed home by his team mate and training partner, Nico Constanti, who recorded a personal best performance of 1min 53.44secs. There was disappointment for Richard de-Camps who could only manage 6th in his race in a time of 1min 58secs but as the first race of the evening he had to contend with the worst of the blustery conditions.
Bourton 1 Mile
Gloucester AC athletes were amongst the medals at the Bourton 1 Mile Road Race on Saturday, a county series road race which also incorporated the county 1 mile championships. Leading the way was Steve Millward, who took second place overall with 4.27 minutes, losing out in the final quarter mile to Severn AC's Tim Dalton by three seconds. Dave Gresswell was next to finish in 13th place overall and 1st veteran over 40 with 5.01 minutes, despite suffering from a stomach bug. Displaying his customary strong sprint finish, Jeremy Mower snatched 16th place and 2nd veteran over 40 on the line with 5.08 minutes. Matt Wade and Jason Gresswell had a close tussle throughout the race to claim 20th and 22nd respectively with times of 5.18 and 5.20. 14 year old Becky Summers continued her excellent recent form to take 2nd place in the junior lady category with a time of 5.34 minutes, finishing just behind U20 winner Stephanie Lane of Bourton Road Runners.
Gemma Collier was delighted to dip under the 6 minute barrier with a time of 5.58 minutes, which resulted in a bronze medal in the county championship race. Dave Spackman followed closely behind in a time of 6.02 to claim the veteran over 60 county gold medal, while Michelle Stark was happy to win the female over 35 category gold medal with a time of 6.14, which consolidates her position in the county road race series. Bogdan Jochym completed a successful evening for Gloucester AC with third place in the veteran over 55 category and 48th place from a field of 92 runners, with a time of 6.27 minutes
White Horse 5K
Five Gloucester athletic club members set personal bests in the third 5km race in the series hosted by Severn AC at the White Horse in Sandhurst. The two youngest runners, Adam Thrall and Jack Evans were competing in their first 5K road race and showed most of the Seniors a clean pair of heels. Under 15 athlete Thrall produced a fine run to finish in 17:07 in 18th position, with Evans 33rd out of the 81 starters in 19:29. Ultra-distance specialist Jeremy Mower was sandwiched between the two finishing 23rd in 17:55. Thrall's father Mark Thrall completed the course in 21:43 (62nd) with Dave Edwards coming back in 20:17 for 43rd place.
The three Ladies running all achieved personal bests with Maxine Gray finishing in 20:40, Anne-Marie Edwards whose training is emphasising core fitness in 21:55 and Rachael Hancox in 26:07.
Avon Track & Field League records broken
Andrew De Camps lowered the Avon Track & Field League 800m record by 2.5secs to 1:53.9, running a strong race despite the blustery conditions. Nico Constanti also dipped under the previous best mark but had to concede to his training partner on this occasion.
De Camps and Constanti were also part of the Gloucester team along with Ashleigh Naylor and Richard De Camps who lowered the 4 x 400m record by 1.5secs to 3:27.5. The latter is particularly noteworthy as their lead was so great it was really just them against the clock in difficult conditions and their average age is less than 20. Ashleigh Naylor also recorded a new PB for the 200m which he won in 22.6. Naylor followed this up with a second place in 11.3 for the 100m.
Gareth Winter also claimed a new league record in the senior mens shot, with the results still to be published.
Pilot 10 mile road race
There was a good turn from Gloucester AC in the Pilot Inn 10 mile road race which was also a County Championship race. The course around Longney and Elmore is a notoriously tough race with plenty of hills. The added high humidity caused a number of athletes to drop out during the race and finishing times were a little slower than normal because of the conditions. Individual prizes in the race were given in 5 year age groups and in the county Championship they were awarded in 10 year age groups. Dave Gresswell followed the leaders from the start and was the clubs first finisher and picked up the first Vet 40 male prize. Gresswell took the Vet40 County silver medal behind Bourton's Dennis Walmsley finishing ahead of Severn AC's Dave Lander and club mate Jeremy Mower. Gemma Collier was the most pleased with her run as she managed to beat her personal best for the distance by a couple of minutes and in finishing second lady picked up the County senior lady silver medal. On a better day and flatter course Gemma should be capable of meeting her target of seven minute miling for the 10 miles. Recent recruit Maxine Gray was ahead of Gemma in the early stages of the race but eventually finished a couple of minutes behind her to take 4th placed lady. Jane Leckebusch and Chris Campbell both won Gold medals in their age categories and completed Gloucester women's team to take the Ladies team prize.
Times & Positions:
Dave Gresswell 5th 61:57 1st Vet 40, silver medal Vet 40 County Championship
Jeremy Mower 11th 64:51
Gemma Collier 2nd Lady 30th 73:43, silver medal SL CC
Maxine Gray 34th 4th Lady 75:14
Jane Leckebush 37th 77:45 1st LV 45, gold medal LV45 CC
Christine Campbell 44th 82:20, gold medal LV35 CC
The Ladies won the team event. 57 finished
Yhnell takes bronze at English Schools
Gloucester AC's Kate Yhnell was delighted to come away from her final English Schools Track and Field Championships with a bronze medal in the senior girls hammer. After narrowly missing out on a medal at the UK Champs a few weeks ago, Yhnell showed the mental fortitude to come back from that disappointment to win bronze at the competition held in Sheffield. Yhnell threw 45.70m to snatch the medal by a small margin from Oxfordshire's Helen Broadbridge.
Tim Williams was again the pick of the male hammer throwers, taking an excellent 5th place despite being a year younger than the majority of his rivals with a distance of 57.66m. Showing the strength in depth at Gloucester AC, Mike Tommey was just one place behind in 6th with 52.45m, while training partner Ashley Andrews from the Forest of Dean AC claimed a big new personal best to finish 7th with 51.76m.
Midsummer Open (Cheltenham)
Gloucester AC's Lurenda Mudd produced a composed piece of sprinting to win the U15 girls 200m at the recent Midsummer Open, held at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham. Mudd clocked 27.8 seconds to take victory, just outside her personal best set earlier in the season.
Several distance runners from Gloucester AC managed to achieve personal best performances in a high calibre senior mens 1500m at the same meeting. Steve Millward was pleased with a new best time of 4.00.6 but was frustrated not to dip under the four minute barrier. Competing at a longer distance than normal, training partners and 800m specialists Andrew de Camps and Nico Constanti also claimed new personal best times with 4.01.5 and 4.02.9 minutes respectively.
Dave Gresswell was the sole Gloucester AC runner at the most recent race in the Cotswold 10km series held over a hilly course near Bourton On the Water. Gresswell was always with the lead group but lost out to Elliot Prince (Cheltenham AC) over the final kilometre and had to settle for second place overall and first veteran over 40, with a time of 37.18 minutes.
Midlands Track and Field League Division 2 (Cheltenham)
The combined Gloucester and Severn AC track and field team achieved a memorable victory in the third fixture of the Midlands League division 2 on Saturday, completing a convincing win over host club Cheltenham Harriers. At a hot but windy Prince of Wales Stadium, the combined team won both the mens and the womens sections to finish almost 30 points ahead of their local rivals to cement top spot in the overall standings and push to reach the top flight of Midlands athletics.
The womens team produced a superb turnaround from the previous two fixtures, narrowly edging out Notts AC from the top spot with a great allround performance. Leading the way was Lorraine Shaw with victories in the shot putt and discus, ably supported by Paralympian Beverley Jones who won the B string in both events. Kate Yhnell continued her unbeaten record in Midlands League competiton with a win in the hammer. Amber Watson produced a composed run in the 800m to claim a comfortable victory, while Emma Gooderham made a welcome debut in the 3000m to win another event for the composite team. Alex Purcell was delighted with a personal best distance in the triple jump to take the teams 6th A string victory of the day.
Sophie Lambert had a busy afternoon collecting points, taking third in the 100m, 2nd in the 200m, 5th in the 100m hurdles and producing two excellent relay legs in the 4x100m and 4x400m. Sister Cleo Lambert also ran well under pressure to claim third in the B string 100m and 200m. Becky Summers took her usual haul of points in the 800m and 1500m with 2nd B string and 4th A string respectively. Amy Whitcher and Kathryn Purcell both produced seasons best performances to win valuable points which enabled the team to move into first place with one fixture remaining.
The mens team also had a fantastic day, producing 7 A string victories and 6 B string wins. Midlands 5000m champion Josh Lilley took a comfortable victory in his favourite event before stepping down in distance to also win the 1500m from team-mate Tim Dalton. Andrew De Camps continued his unbeaten Midlands League season with a strong run to win the 800m, before also moving down a distance to win the B string 400m. Steve Millward managed to claim a new Midlands League record with a win in the 2km steeplechase before returning to the high jump to get a seasons best in that event.
Justin Sysum snatched victory in the mens hammer with his final throw, supported well by Wayne Powell who was a convincing winner of the B string on his return from injury. Gareth Winter won the discus and took second in the shot and B string javelin, while Sysum returned to take second in the javelin, first in the B string discus and second in the B string shot.
The Gloucester/Severn team also dominated the jumps, with triple jump wins in the A and B string coming from Brendan Goss and Lloyd Andrews respectively. The same two athletes then followed this up with two 2nd places in the long jump.
Mens Performances (A string followed by B string)
100m - Ashleigh Naylor 4th 11.2s, Ashley Phipps 3rd 11.6s
200m - Ashleigh Naylor 4th 23.5s, Ashley Phipps 5th 24.0s
400m - Nico Constanti 3rd 51.1s, Andrew de Camps 1st 51.1s
800m - Andrew de Camps 1st 1.59.5, Richard de Camps 2nd 2.02.2m
1500m - Josh Lilley 1st 4.04m, Tim Dalton 1st 4.05m
5000m - Josh Lilley 1st 15.23.7m, Dave Gilbert 3rd 17.34.8m
110mH - Brendan Goss 4th 18.2s, Lloyd Andrews 4th 21.9s
400mH - Steve Millward 4th 59.6s, Lloyd Andrews 3rd 63.9s
2km S/C - Steve Millward 1st 6.02.9m, Pete Kellie 1st 6.26.7m
LJ - Brendan Goss 2nd 6.24m, Lloyd Andrews 2nd 5.60m
TJ - Brendan Goss 1st 12.95m, Lloyd Andrews 1st 11.94m
HJ - Brendan Goss 4th 1.70m, Steve Millward 3rd 1.70m
PV - Nick Walker 3rd 3.20m, Brendan Goss 3rd 2.10m
SP - Gareth Winter 2nd 12.68m, Justin Sysum 2nd 11.84m
DT - Gareth Winter 1st 40.85m, Justin Sysum 1st 40.30m
JT - Justin Sysum 2nd 48.71m, Gareth Winter 2nd 39.48m
HT - Justin Sysum 1st 58.58m, Wayne Powell 1st 52.62m
4x100m 5th 45.2s
4x400m 2nd 3.25.2m
Womens Performances (A string followed by B string)
100m - Sophie Lambert 3rd 12.7s, Cleo Lambert 3rd 12.9s
200m - Sophie Lambert 2nd 26.2s, Cleo Lambert 3rd 27.2s,
400m - Amber Watson 3rd 60.6s, Kathryn Purcell 4th 68.4s
800m - Amber Watson 1st 2.18.9m, Becky Summers 2nd 2.35.8m
1500m - Becky Summers 4th 5.13.4m, Gemma Collier 3rd 5.42.6m
3000m - Emma Gooderham 1st10.40.5m,Chris Campbell 2nd 13.43.6m
100mH - Sophie Lambert 5th 18.7s, Kathryn Purcell 3rd 19.4s
400mH - Kathryn Purcell 4th 74.6s, Amy Whitcher 3rd 83.0s
LJ - Alex Purcell 6th 3.97m, Amy Whitcher 6th 3.55m
TJ - Alex Purcell 1st 10.21m, Amy Whitcher 3rd 8.72m
HJ - Cleo Lambert 6th 1.15m, Amy Whitcher 5th 1.10m
SP - Lorraine Shaw 1st 10.29m, Beverley Jones 1st 8.55m
DT - Lorraine Shaw 1st 37.31m, Beverley Jones 1st 26.58m
JT - Lorraine Shaw 3rd 22.12m, Paula Whitcher 3rd 14.09m
HT - Kate Yhnell 1st 46.80m, Paula Whitcher 5th 14.22m
4x100m 2nd 51.8s
4x400m 4th 4.36.3m
Lloyds TSB Fitness 4 Mile Road Race
A combination of speed work and and sustained endurance runs over the hills helped Gloucester AC distance runners to good times in the July Pilot 4.
Arthur Daley (V55) and Matt Wade raced each other over the 4 mile event with Wade staying off the pace for the first mile then taking Daley just after the hill at 1.5 miles. Daley surged pas Wade on the flat after the turn only to be overtaken by 3 miles. The lead alternated several times during the last mile with Daley just beating club mate by one second finishing 6th in 25:28 to Wades 7th in 25:29.
The next two club runners also finished sprinting alongside each other. Gemma Colllier overcame the sultry conditions to take another 30 seconds off her personal best narrowly beating Max Gray who also took half a minute of her best. Collier followed Gray by several seconds for most of the race but used her strength gained from training up the Cotswold scarp to gradually catch Gray until both Ladies were sprinting over the final 100m. Collier finished 22nd with 27:46 to Gray's 27:50.
Vet 55 Gerry McGarr completed the 4 miles - his first race for several months- with sore calves in 29:41 for 38th place about half a minute in front of V50 Paul Loveridge who ran steadily, until a final sprint, echoing his speed work from Tuesdays session to take 58th place in 30:19. New member Nathan Gregory finished in 30:43.
AAA U20 & U23 Championships (Bedford)
Gloucester AC's Kate Yhnell fell agonisingly short of claiming a medal in the hammer at the Uk age group track and field champs held at Bedford at the weekend. Competing in the under 20 competition, Yhnell produced a personal best performance when it mattered most to finish in 4th place, just 3 centimetres short of the bronze medal. Yhnell is peaking just at the right time with the English Schools championships coming in 10 days time.
In the mens under 20 hammer competition, Yhnells training partners at Gloucester AC all competed well with Tim Williams producing the standout performance. Despite being one of the youngest in the event, Williams claimed a new personal best with 58.29 metres for 7th place. Mike Tommey was not far behind in 9th place with 52.31 metres are suffering some early no throws. Ashley Andrews, representing Forest of Dean AC, was tenth with 47.66m which was narrowly short of his personal best.
On the track, Welsh under 20 800m champion Nico Constanti took on the best in the UK and finished fifth in a high quality heat with 1 minute 55.35. Training partner Andrew de Camps claimed a seasons best in his heat of the U23 800m and was unlucky to miss out on the final with a time of 1 minute 53.91
In the second event of the Quedgeley 5 Mile Race Series Gloucester AC again dominated the top places. Newly turned Vet 40 athlete Lee Smith beat club mate Dave Gresswell who had previously won the first event. Gresswell went off hard over the first couple of miles and Smith sat in behind him and made his move half way. Over the last mile Smith took 20 seconds out of Gresswell. Smith was delighted with his first ever race win and setting a new 5 mile PB. Only last week Gresswell had beaten Smith by two seconds in a 5K race and Smith put his victory down to the extra miles he had done during his London Marathon training earlier in the year. Gresswell afterwards vowed to step up his training miles and regain some endurance before the next race. Gresswell remains overall leader in the series with a 1st and 2nd place. Despite running a marathon only four days earlier Jeremy Mower managed to come in 4th place and move up into 2nd place in the series. Gemma Collier set a new PB and finished second lady behind Kim Mazzucca of the Forest of Dean. Christine Campbell was the 3rd lady in the race and is now 2nd lady overall.
Finishing Details of Gloucester runners:
1st man, Lee Smith, MV40 male, 28:35 PB
2nd man, Dave Gresswell, MV40 male, 28:57
4th man, Jeremy Mower, MV40 male, 30:31
2nd lady, Gemma Collier, SL, 35:37 PB
3rd lady, Christine Campbell, LV35 39:34
Midlands Championships (Birmingham) - Millward takes second Midlands title
Gloucester AC's Steve Millward stormed to his second Midlands title at the regional Track and Field Championships held at Birmingham on Sunday. Taking part in the 3km steeplechase, Millward was content to trail Ed Womersley from Stroud AC for the majority of the race, before hitting the front with 500m to go and winning convincingly in 9 minutes 24.99.
On a successful day for Gloucester AC, Kate Yhnell produced a seasons best in the senior womens hammer with 49.97metres to claim fourth spot despite still being under 20. Training partners Beth Sewell, Anna Robertson and Marion Loveridge took 5th, 9th and 10th places respectively in a high-standard event.
On the mens side, Nico Constanti underlined his recent superb form with silver in the U20 mens 800m in a time of 1.54.83, just outside his personal best. Justin Sysum defied a recent illness to take fourth spot in the hammer with 57.76m, frustratingly just outside the medal positions. Andrew De Camps finished 6th in a close-fought and high quality mens 800 metres with 1.54.43, after dominating his heat earlier in the day. Younger brother Richard de Camps was 5th in his heat with 2.03.4, in his first year in senior competition. Ashleigh Naylor finished eighth in his heat of the 100m with 11.61 seconds before following up with 5th in his 400m heat with 51.04 seconds, narrowly outside his recent personal best.
Young Athletes League
Sunday 21st June saw a happy and enthusiastic gathering of Gloucester AC's athletes for Round 4 of the Young Athletes League at Telford.
Although low in numbers the team got stuck into the opposition early and amassed a total of 153 points for the day. The low point score was no reflection on their performances, as they managed 13x 1st placings and 20x 2nd placings in their events.
The Under 13 Boys team scored well Ryan Hearn setting a Personal Best in High Jump with 1.16m and running well in the 800m to record 2.33:4secs. Joe Morgan had a good day with strong races in the 100m and 800m but recording a PB in his Long Jump of 3.36m. The best day was had by Joe Beckett who set PB's in all three of his events! He recorded 15.4secs in the 100m, Long Jump 3.15m and in the Shot Put came 1st with 4.20m. Sam North started the day attempting the High Jump which is no mean feet as he has never even practiced! He also ran well in the 200m before injury saw him pull out of the 100m later in the day.
Not to be outdone the Under 15 boys recorded several of their own PB's with Joe's brother Tom Morgan managing 5.52m in the Shot also. The sprinters did well with Harrison Sayer finishing the 200m in 1st with 24.4secs, the 100m in 2nd 12.3 and a PB in the Long Jump of 4.95m where he also finished 1st. Niall Gibbons recorded a PB in his 200m of 27.3secs, a PB in Javelin of 22.10m and a good finish in his 400m rounded off his good day. Andrew Bowers recorded PB's in the 400m of 62.2 coming 1st, then 20 minutes later came 1st the "B" race of the 100m in a PB of 14.0secs. He almost made it a trio of PB's for the day but just missed out in the 800m with a time of 2.26:4secs.
The U17 Men saw Tim Campion finish 1st in the Discus with 33.09m, a day after competing in the South West Finals in Exeter where he threw a PB of 37.29m. Tim finished off his day with a Shot of 9.30m and a PB in the Javelin of 25.23m. He was supported by Sean Beckett who had a trio of PB's, firstly in the Long Jump recording 3.57m, the 400m in 69.2secs and the Javelin in 24.08m. The only other runner saw Jack Evans finish 1st in the 3000m in a time of 10.13:8.
The girls took the boys success in their stride and competed well starting with the U13's. Kelly Constable continues to perform well in the sprints with a 150m time of 21.4secs finishing 1st. She also finished 1st in the 75m where she recorded an excellent PB of 10.7secs. After only two meetings Kelly is now ranked joint third in the South West in both short sprints! Not to be outdone Jennifer Hayward matched her PB in the 75m with a time of 12.0secs, a PB in the 70m hurdles of 15.4ecs finishing second and a long jump of 3.21m. Hannah Jones knocked seconds off her 1200m time to record a PB of 4.44:0, along with a PB in Shot with a 1st place in the "B" throw of 4.79m. She also ran well in the 150m race with a time of 24.8secs finishing third. Ellen Thrall scooped two PB's with a Shot of 6.03m and a Long Jump of 3.16m. The girls took the opportunity to run the 4x100m relay, finishing a strong third with a PB time of 62.20secs.
The small contingent of U15 girls saw Harriet Hunter finish 1st in her 100m in 14secs, a seasons best time in her 200m of 28.5secs and a PB in her Shot of 5.79m coming 2nd. She was encouraged by Danielle Mulraney who started the day well with a 2nd in Long Jump with 3.60m, and then recorded a PB in her 800m of 2.57:3 coming second in the "B" race with a PB in the 100m of 15.4secs. Kate Davies rounded off a great day with a PB in the Long Jump of 4m, a PB in the 800m of 2mins 47secs and a 1st place in the Javelin with 18.67m.
In all the Team had an enjoyable day which saw several of them try out new events for the first time. They now look forward to Round 5 of the Y.A.L which is their home meeting on the 19th July.
Malvern Midsummer Marathon
Gloucester ultrarunner Jeremy Mower was the first finisher amongst a group of over 50 runners who completed the Malvern Midsummer Marathon. The 26 mile event is over and around the Malvern Hills and involves taking in all the peaks from the south at Chase End up to North Hill, with over 2500 metres of ascent and descent. The final few miles are very tough over the last few peaks as by then most runners are walking up the hills as their quads can feel like they are about to explode. Mower ran round the first 19 miles with local Malvern runner Chris Lewis-Farley whose navigation skills were far superior to Mower's. At 19 miles we both knew a course record was on and it was just a question of whose legs lasted the distance and fortunately for Mower the more experienced athlete he was the stronger over the last few miles and managed to run up most of the final hills. Mower set a new fastest time for the 26 mile course in 4 hours 31 minutes. Afterwards Mower said "I felt a bit guilty finishing ahead of Chris as without him I'd have taken a few wrong turns and he would have beaten me, but in the end his legs went first and he did set a new PB by some way."
White Horse 5K
Ten members of Gloucester AC's 40+ strong distance squad competed in a windy 5k race at the White Horse in Sandhurst. Club captain Dave Gresswell held off a fast finishing challenge by Lee Smith to finish 15th in 17:01 with Smith closing 2 seconds behind for 16th place. Second claim member Gemma Turtle, course record holder, won the women’s race with 16:13 and Becky Summers took victory in the U17 women’s category in 19:34. Arthur Daley won the Vet 55 division with a season's best of 18:49.
Despite the windy conditions, two runners improved their personal bests. Finishing in 57th place, Gemma Collier took over 30 seconds off her personal best with 20:34 and newly qualified coach Christine Campbell also improved by 30 seconds for 82nd place in 22:42.
New signings Wyn Edwards and Helen Roberts set new bests in their first attack on this distance with Wyn finishing 44th in 19:19 and Helen 85th in 23:28.
The club's most prolific racer, Michelle Stark, enjoyed a good first 2 miles but then tightening hamstrings slowed her down, finishing steadily in 22:22 for 81st place.
Dave Gresswell from Gloucester AC stormed to a fine third place at the St James Place charity 10km run in Cirencester Park on Sunday. After losing touch with the two lead runners, Gresswell hung on well to claim third spot with 37.04 minutes on the testing multi-terrain course. On the womens side, prolific racer Michelle Stark was 56th overall and 6th female with a time of 49.04 minutes.
Gloucester Athletic Club's Jeremy Mower was the fastest finisher at the Cheltenham Circular Challenge Marathon. Mower clocked 3 hrs 33mins 10secs over the 26 mile multi-terrain course and beat the previous record by more than 18 minutes. He ran the first half of the race hard, knowing there were slower sections ahead and the heat would take its toll later in the race. With seven miles to go Mower was feeling the effects of dehydration and becoming tired. Managing to get half a litre of water and a caffeine gel into him he managed to get going again through the final section which he knew well having been brought up in Swindon Village.
Parry wins third Welsh title
Carys Parry took her third straight Welsh Senior title in the womens hammer on Saturday in Cardiff. Parry, who is part of the strong throwing group at Gloucester AC, dominated througout the competition and won by almost four metres with 66.10m, just short of her personal best. In the mens hammer competition, training partners Mike Tommey and Ashley Andrews took 6th and 7th place respectively but were the best two under 20 throwers on shoe. Tommey was just short of his personal best with 49.36m and Andrews continued his fine recent form with 43.30m
Lorraine Ryan produced the standout performance at the first race in the Cotswold 10km series at Temple Guiting, winning the womens section by a considerable margin in a time of 41.33 minutes. Defying some pre-race nerves, Ryan was in control from early on and stretched her lead throughout. Lee Smith was equally delighted with his run, taking 4th place overall with a time of 37.23 minutes on the undulating course.
The Gloucester AC and Severn AC composite track and field team managed a creditable third place overall, at the second fixture in the Midlands Track and Field League Division 2 fixture at Loughborough on Sunday. In a close contest, the combined team snatched third place only on the final event, the mens discus, thanks to wins in the A and B string for Justin Sysum and Gareth Winter.
Leading the way in the second fixture were the male distance runners, scoring almost maximum points. Victory in the 800m A and B string was secured through Andrew and Richard de Camps respectively, both running astute tactical races to do enough to win. Josh Lilley and Gary Hope won the 3000m A and B string, Lilley pulling away convincingly over the final laps. Lilley also took 2nd in the 1500m and was backed up by 2nd in the B string from Tim Dalton,on his welcome return from injury. Steve Millward took a comfortable win in the 3000m steeplechase and was supported by Jeremy Mower who claimed 3rd in the B string despite slipping in the water jump early on in the race.
The throwers claimed their usual excellent haul of points, Justin Sysum and Gareth Winter dominating throughout the day. Sysum claimed two first places, a second and a fourth while Winter took a first, second and fifth.
Not to be outdone, the female throwers also won lots of points with former Commonwealth Gold Medallist Lorraine Shaw taking two first places and a fourth. Kate Yhnell took victory in the hammer and also a second and third place. Marion Loveridge also claimed a win in the B string hammer.
In the jumps, Curtley Phillips and Lloyd Andrews both took a second and a fourth place each in the long and triple jump respectively. Kathryn Purcell had a busy afternoon, competing in five different events plus a relay, bringing in good points for the team.
Mens (A string followed by B string)
100m - Dave Hoskins 6th (14.1s), Richard Blackwell 6th (16.1s)
200m - Lloyd Andrews 6th (27.1s), Dave Hoskins 6th (28.3s)
400m - Andrew de Camps 5th (52.5s), Richard de Camps 5th (54.3s)
800m - Andrew de Camps 1st(1.59.0m), Richard de Camps 1st(2.00m)
1500m - Josh Lilley 2nd (4.01.9), Tim Dalton 2nd (4.03.1m)
3000m - Josh Lilley 1st (8.44.1), Gary Hope 1st (9.09.4m)
110mH - Steve Millward 5th (19.7s), Dave Hoskins 5th (23.3s)
400mH - Steve Millward 4th (62.1s), Lloyd Andrews 3rd (68.5s)
3km S/c - Steve Millward 1st (9.41.5), Jeremy Mower 3rd (11.34.1m)
LJ - Curtley Phillips 2nd (6.31m), Lloyd Andrews 2nd (5.72m)
TJ - Curtley Phillips 4th (12.23m), Lloyd Andrews 4th (11.02m)
HJ - Steve Millward 6th (1.55m), Dave Hoskins 6th (1.40m)
PV - Nick Walker 3rd (2.80m),
DT - Justin Sysum 1st (38.46m), Gareth Winter 1st (37.86m)
HT - Justin Sysum 2nd (59.39m), Mike Tommey 3rd (37.23)
SP - Gareth Winter 2nd (12.46m), Justin Sysum 1st (11.51m)
JT - Justin Sysum 4th (43.85m), Gareth Winter 5th (28.63m)
Womens (A string followed by B string)
100m - Cleo Lambert 6th (13.6s), Kathryn Purcell 5th (13.8s)
200m - Cleo Lambert 6th (27.8s), Kathryn Purcell 5th (27.8s)
400m - Kathryn Purcell 5th (67.2s), Alex Purcell 4th (65.6s)
800 - Becky Summers 4th (2.32.8m), Michelle Stark 5th (2.55.6m)
1500m - Becky Summers 4th (5.19.6m), Gemma Collier 4th (6.07.2m)
3000m - Michelle Stark 5th (12.13.9m), Gemma Collier 3rd (12.43.5m)
100mH - Kathryn Purcell 4th (20.5s)
400mH - Kathryn Purcell 4th (74.4s), Amy Whitcher 4th (86.6s)
LJ - Alex Purcell 5th (4.35m), Amy Whitcher 6th (3.70m)
TJ - Alex Purcell 5th (8.80m), Amy Whitcher 4th (8.29m)
HJ - Amy Whitcher 6th (1.15m)
SP - Lorraine Shaw 1st (10.32m), Kate Yhnell 2nd (8.28m)
DT - Lorraine Shaw 1st (36.59m), Kate Yhnell 3rd (21.82m)
HT - Kate Yhnell 1st (48.49m), Marion Loveridge 1st (35.45m)
JT - Lorraine Shaw 4th (19.57m), Paula Whitcher 5th (14.14m)
Lloyds TSB Fitness 4
Five of the growing number of Gloucester AC's Lady's chose to compete in the June edition of Severn AC's TSB Fitness 4 rather than train at Blackbridge with the mixed group of distance runners with three gaining personal bests.
Newcomer to the club Max Gray, learning the challenges of the course, was 3rd Lady in 28:24. Jane Leckebusch, returning in her second run after injury, finished 37th from the record 120 runners in 29:09 and first female Vet 45. She was closely followed by another runner returning from injury, Anne-Marie Edwards who took over a minute off her personal best to break 30 minutes for the first time with 29:49 in 42nd position. Only two places behind, Christine Campbell finished in 29:55 also breaking the 30 minute barrier for a PB. Second newcomer to Gloucester AC Rachel Hancox made an encouraging debut performance, with 36.16 for 83rd place.
The consistent Arthur Daley was first male vet 55 in 8th place overall with 25:13.
Midlands U15, U17 & U20 Champs (Birmingham)
Gloucester AC athletes dominated the hammer throwing events at the Midlands U15, U17 & U20 Champs at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham over the bank holiday weekend. Mike Tommey led the way with his first ever regional title in the under 20 mens section, taking victory in a closely-fought event with 51.95m. Training partner Ashley Andrews, representing Forest of Dean AC, took fourth place with 45.54m, just missing out on bronze by less than a metre. In the Under 20 womens competition, Kate Yhnell was dominant in claiming victory with 48.14m, more than 5 metres clear of her nearest rival. On the track, Adam Thrall produced an excellent performance with a massive personal best in the under 15 boys 1500m. Taking over 16 seconds from his previous best time, Thrall was delighted with 5th place with 4.30.24.
Competing on a higher claim basis for Birchfield Harriers in the National Junior League Midlands Premier Division on Sunday, Tommey and training partner Tim Williams were again a class above the rest with some excellent throwing. Tommey won the A string with 54.76m, just below his personal best, with Williams throwing 53.33m to comfortably win the B string.
CAU Inter Counties
Steve Millward from Gloucester AC was absolutely delighted to come away from the UK Inter-Counties Championships with a bronze medal in the 3km steeplechase on a sweltering afternoon in Bedford on Saturday. Representing Gloucestershire, Millward ran a sensible race staying off the early pace before moving through into third at midway and claiming a surprise bronze medal with a new personal best performance of 9.20.14.
Bola Ogun was pleased but frustrated to come away from the hammer event at the UK Inter-Counties with fourth place for the second successive year. Ogun produced a consistent series of throws to claim fourth with 50.43m, but was an agonising 20 centimetres away from snatching a medal.
National Young Athletes League (Swindon)
Sunday 17th May saw the Gloucester AC youngsters take on Cwmbran, Marlborough and Hereford at the National Young Athletes League meeting in a very wet and windy Swindon. Gloucester started well and with a much strengthened team of twenty four athletes the scores and Personal Bests came flooding in, very much like the weather!
The U13 boys age group was fiercely contested, with Gloucester fielding six athletes. Ryan Hearn had an outstanding day with a height of 1.05m in the high jump, which he had never tried before, along with a PB and commanding win in the 1500m- 5.04:6s. He was supported by new boys Jake Selway and James Sedgley who volunteered for any event going and lapped up the experience with good performances in the 800m, Shot, 75m hurdles and 1500m. Not to be outdone Joe Morgan, Joe Beckett and Sam North gave their all in the 100m and 200m to give Gloucester vital points.
Harrison Sayer dominated the 200m and 100m sprints in the under 15 boys section with PB's of 24.5s and 12.3s respectively. Scott Pricecompeted well in the throwing winning the "A" string hammer in a new PB of 22.26m. He also won the Shot with a distance of 7.03m in difficult conditions. The U15 boys competed well with good performances from Tom Beckett along with Adam Thrall, Douglas Bryant and Andy Bowers in the middle distances.
Ashley Phipps come up against a strong Cwmbran sprint team in the under 17 mens section, but still claimed second in both the 200m - 24.5s and 100m -12.1s. Tim Campion continues to have a good throwing season with first places in the Discus- 27.9m and the Shot - 9.22m. There were also good performances from team mates Charlie Simmonds and Sean Beckett.
The U13 Girls had a good day with the five athletes competing well. Newcomer Kelly Constable put in an outstanding grade 3 performance in her 150m sprint, winning by nearly two seconds with a time of 21.2s. She completed her day with a solid Shot of 5.45m. There were also strong performances from Hannah Jones in the 200m and 800m and Ellen Thrall in the Shot and Long jump. Jade Price and Jenny Hayward took on the 75m hurdles for the first time and did well, with Jade recording a good time of 16.6s and Jenny 17.9s, despite falling mid-race.
Kate Davies in the U15 Girls also improved her distances in the Discus -14.14m and Javelin - 18.66m with Lurenda Mudd gaining a PB in her 200m race of 28.1s. They were supported in the age group with good performances from Harriet Hunter and Danni Mulraney.
Despite the torrential rain at times, Gloucester completed the meeting with some strong performances in the relays. The U13 Boys of Sam North, James Sedgley, Joe Beckett and Joe Morgan recorded 70.2s in what could only be described as torrential hail! The U15 boys fared better with Tom Beckett, Andy Bowers, Adam Thrall and Harrison Sayer recording a storming 56.8s. Not to be outdone the U15 Girls ofLurenda Mudd, Kate Davies, Danni Mulraney and Harriet Hunter competed in a hotly contested race narrowly coming 2nd with 57.5s. Despite the great british weather Gloucester performed well, coming third overall with a Team points score of 174.0, a massive improvement on the previous fixture.
The Marlborough Downs Challenge
Gloucester AC’s Jeremy Mower was an unfamiliar face at the front end of the field in the Marlborough Downs Challenge 33 mile Trail ultra race. Having run many road ultra races this was his first serious off road event. Early on he decided to run with the experienced off road ultra runner Tim Laney of Team Vasque and this proved a wise decision. Laney dragged Mower round the course for the first thirty miles and Mower finished in a very respectful time of 4 hours 44 min 50 secs in tenth position out of the 128 starters. Mower was pleased to make the top ten as this was probably the strongest field in the races history as it was part of the Vasque Ultra-Running Championships and he was ahead of some established off road athletes. Afterwards Mower said “It was an enjoyable experience running with Tim, it was like taking a master class in trail running and I learnt so much about pace judgement. I did struggle on the descents and muddy sections as five weeks ago I broke my big toe and could only get a pair of road shoes which had little grip.”
Six other Gloucester AC runners took part in the race. Ian Summers had run it on a previous occasion and for the others it was their first ultra race. They ran around together as a group making sure they took plenty of food and drink on at each check point which is wise if you’re doing this type of thing for the first time. All of them fished in great condition and thoroughly enjoyed the run and said they couldn’t wait to do another one and they even had enough energy to go out and party in the evening, whereas Mower had a quiet night in replenishing his glycogen stores.
Welsh Athletics Open Meeting (Cardiff)
Gloucester AC athletes led the way at the opening meeting of the Welsh Athletics Series held in Cardiff recently. In calm conditions, Mike Tommey claimed a big new personal best with the 6kg hammer, throwing 55.43 metres to win the under 20 mens section. Following closely behind was training partner Ashley Andrews from the Forest of Dean AC with 48.43m, just short of his personal best. Darren Andrews was also close to his current best with 36.60m in the senior mens competition.
Bola Ogun was a convincing winner of the womens hammer competition with a solid 49.94m, with Beth Sewell claiming 3rd place with 43.58m. University of Gloucestershire student Anna Robertson, a new addition to the training group at Gloucester, continued her recent improvement with 37.49m to take fourth place
Gloucester dominate at Berkeley 10km
Gloucester AC mens and womens teams led from the front at the Berekeley 10km on Monday, taking both team titles and also providing the third place mens team and the individual race winner. Personal bests were the order of the day in the fourth race in the county series, despite the windy conditions.
After a conservative start, UK-number one ranked 2km steeplechaser Steve Millward took control from just after the two mile marker and stretched away to win convincingly in 32.23. Following home in sixth place overall in a new personal best was Luke Herbert, who worked hard to beat the 34 minute barrier and succeeded with 33.53. Lee Smith was next home in ninth place with another personal best of 35.34, reaping the rewards of his marathon training. Completing the scoring for the winning team was Dave Gresswell who performed well despite a recent illness to claim 11th spot with 36.04.
Nick Cousins produced the run of the day to knock almost four minutes off his personal best to claim 14th place and a time of 36.37. Club stalwart Jeremy Mower was next in with 37.12, closely followed by Ian Summers with 37.25 which meant Gloucester AC had 7 runners in the top 20. Closing the scoring for the B team was Alistair Wakefield with 37.40, fresh from a personal best at the Tewkesbury half the day before. Mark Ingram continued his welcome return to racing with a solid 38.21, before Matthew Wade secured his first ever sub-40 run with an excellent 39.25 for 37th place from a field of almost 200 runners. The evervescent Dave Spackman claimed third in the mens over 60 category with 41.15, before a fantastic run by Kim Drinkwater brought her home in 41.44 for yet another personal best and second female overall. Gemma Collier also ran a personal best with 43.44 to take 6th female and 80th place overall, before Chris Campbell produced her third personal best time in as many weeks, taking five minutes off her previous best with 46.13. Bogdan Jochym and Martin Chopping had a close-fought tussle throughout the race to finish in 47.09 and 47.29 respectively, with Michelle Stark coming back in 49.35 after a conservative first half of the race. Fiona Roberts was delighted with a personal best of 52.43, after a long-term injury lay off before Gill Gresswell rounded off a superb evening for the club with the final personal best of 55.48.
Wakefield scorches around Tewkesbury Half
Alistair Wakefield was the star runner for Gloucester AC at the Tewkesbury Half Marathon on Sunday. Held on a new course in hot conditions Wakefield ran consistently well throughout to finish 30th overall from a field of more than 1500 runners, with a time of 1.25.53. Terry Onions showed a welcome return to form despite being unable to train for several weeks, with 1.42.52, closely followed by Dave Janetta who continues to record personal best times at every race distance, taking another 5 minutes off his previous best with 1.44.59. Steve Murdenwas next home for 335th place with a time of 1.46.56, with Christine Parkin just missing out on beating the 2-hour barrier with a pleasing 2.01.49. Josie Thomas was delighted with her run, taking over 20 minutes off her personal best recorded at the Forest of Dean Half Marathon held only 6 weeks ago.
Gloucestershire Track and Field Championships
Sophie Lambert was the pick of the Gloucester AC athletes at the Gloucestershire Track and Field Champs held at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham on Sunday. The Birmingham University student took the senior womens 100m title with a time of 12.4 seconds, before also winning the 200m title with 26.1 seconds. Not to be outdone, sister Cleo Lambert took the junior ladies 100m title with a 12.9 seconds clocking.
Youngster George James flew to victory in the U11 boys sprint with 9.2 seconds for 75m. Harriet Hunter took the U15 girls 100m with 13.4 seconds before Ashleigh Naylor completed an excellent day for the sprint group under the leadership of Bob Purcell, with a win in the senior mens 400m with 50.7 seconds.
Ryan Hearn dominated the U13 boys 800m to win by a clear margin in 2.30.8, while at the other end of the age spectrum, Arthur Daley took the veteran 55 category win in the 5000m.
The hammer throwing group took their customary haul of titles, Zoe Derham and Carys Parry leading the way with 64.04m and 63.62m respectively to go to numbers one and two on the UK rankings. Kate Yhnell took the under 20 ladies title with 46.10m, with Scott Price winning the U15 boys title and Tim Williams taking the under 17 mens title with a huge throw of 63.65 metres.
Drinkwater wins at Blaisdon
The Blaisdon Bluebell 10km held on Bank Holiday Monday produced yet more success for the Gloucester AC womens team.
Kim Drinkwater ran a strong race to take her first ever road race victory with a personal best time of 42.46 minutes on a tough, undulating course. Michelle Stark also had a good run, only six days after a promising 3.54 debut at the London Marathon, with 45.32 minutes for second place. Helen Davis closed the team scoring to give Gloucester AC the team victory.
On the mens side, Dave Gresswell had an excellent run to record a personal best time of 35.30 minutes, to just miss out on third place overall in a sprint finish with Mike Smith of Bourton Road Runners. Dave Spackman took the veterans over-60 title with a typically strong run to clock just outside 40 minutes.
Midlands Track and Field League (Division 2) - Yate, Bristol
Throwers dominate to put Gloucester/Severn in promotion frame
The Gloucester/Severn composite track and field team got off to a flying start in the first Midlands Track and Field Division 2 match held at Yate in Bristol on Saturday. Having gained promotion from division 3 last summer, the combined team is looking to go straight up to the top flight of Midlands athletics after a promising second place overall in the opening fixture.
A large haul of points came from the exceptional throwing group, under the tutelage of Lorraine Shaw. Justin Sysum claimed 1st in the A string hammer with a UK top ten ranking distance, 1st in the A string discus, 2nd in the B string shot and 3rd in the A string javelin. Providing great support was Gareth Winter with 1st in the A string shot put, 1st in the B string discus and 2nd in the B string javelin. On the womens side, Lorraine Shaw took the A string shot with Paralympian Beverley Jones winning the B string. Kate Yhnell dominated to win the hammer, with Marion Loveridge comfortably winning the B string.
Other A string victories came courtesy of a well-judged run from Ben Coldray in the mens 1500m and Steve Millward in the mens 2km steeplechase. Brendan Goss completed his usual full complement of events with some strong performances in the triple jump (2nd), 3rd in the 110m hurdles, 3rd in the B string 100m and 3rd in the B string pole vault. Becky Summers scored well in the 800m and 1500m with 3rd place in both events despite being the youngest member of the team, while Cleo Lambert, Amy Whitcher and Kathryn Purcell all produced encouraging performances to boost the team score.
Mens Results (A string then B string)
100m - Ashleigh Naylor 3rd (11.4s), Brendan Goss 3rd (11.9s)
200m - Ashleigh Naylor 3rd (23.2s), Lloyd Andrews 4th (25.8s)
400m - Nico Constanti 4th (52.0s), Ben Jones 6th (57.9s)
800m - Nico Constanti 3rd (1.58.7), Ben Jones 4th (2.14.5)
1500m - Ben Coldray 1st (4.02.6), Gareth Howells 4th (4.43.4)
5km - Gary Hope 3rd (16.01.5), Luke Herbert 1st (16.15.6)
110mH - Brendan Goss 3rd (18.6s), Lloyd Andrews 5th (22.4)
400mH - Steve Millward 4th (60.4s), Lloyd Andrews 3rd (65.4)
2km S/C - Steve Millward 1st (6.01.1), Ian Summers 2nd (7.13.2)
LJ - Brendan Goss 4th (5.83m), Lloyd Andrews 3rd (5.72m)
TJ - Brendan Goss 2nd (13.01m), Lloyd Andrews 3rd (11.49m)
HJ - Brendan Goss 6th (1.60m), Steve Millward 2nd (1.55m)
PV - Nick Walker 4th (3.20m), Brendan Goss 3rd (2.10m)
SP - Gareth Winter 1st (13.22m), Justin Sysum 1st (12.70m)
DT - Justin Sysum 1st (39.47m), Gareth Winter 1st (38.40m)
HT - Justin Sysum 1st (60.94m), Mike Tommey 2nd (49.50)
JT - Justin Sysum 3rd (46.91m), Gareth Winter 2nd (37.96m)
4x100m - Gloucester/Severn 4th (47.3s)
4x400m - Gloucester/Severn 3rd (3.34.1m)
Womens Results (A string then B string)
100m - Cleo Lambert 6th (13.1s), Rozalia Gombera 5th (14.6s)
200m - Cleo Lambert 6th (27.3s), Kathryn Purcell 6th (27.7s)
400m - Sarah Williams 6th (74.2s), Kathryn Purcell 3rd (64.9s)
800m - Becky Summers 3rd (2.31.3)
1500m - Becky Summers 3rd (5.03.1), Michelle Stark 3rd (6.04.7)
3000m - Michelle Stark 4th (12.38.4)
100mH - Rozalia Gombera 5th (22.2s) Sarah Williams 3rd (21.1s)
400mH - Amy Whitcher 6th (74.7s), Kathryn Purcell 4th (86.0s)
LJ - Kathryn Purcell 6th (4.12m), Amy Whitcher 6th (3.65m)
TJ - Cleo Lambert 4th (8.68m), Amy Whitcher 2nd (8.13m)
HJ - Cleo Lambert 6th (1.30m), Amy Whitcher 6th (1.15m)
SP - Lorraine Shaw 1st (10.82m), Beverley Jones 1st (8.23m)
DT - Beverley Jones 3rd (24.06m), Kate Yhnell 3rd (17.53m)
HT - Kate Yhnell 1st (46.06m), Marion Loveridge 1st (34.89m)
JT - Paula Whitcher 6th (15.10m), Alex Purcell 4th (12.79m)
4x100m - Gloucester/Severn 6th (53.6s)
4x400m - Gloucester/Severn 6th (4.46.2m)
Taking part in his second race in two days, Nick Cousins confirmed his superb recent form with 9th place at the well-known Offa's Orror 20km trail race held near Chepstow on Sunday. After a cautious start which left him mid-pack, Cousins made light work of the challenging course to move through the field and snatch a top-ten spot with 1.31.16. Over-45 Peter Lloyd also had a good run to finish 24th from a field of 250 runners with a time of 1.37.58.
Fresh from her exploits at the National Relays the day before, Lorraine Ryan produced another encouraging run to take second place at the Eastnor Castle 7 mile multi-terrain race in Herefordshire on Sunday. Ryan completed the course in 52.00 minutes for 19th place overall, a time which would have comfortably been good enough to win the previous years race. Also faring well was Dave Janetta in 52nd place, dipping just under the hour mark for the tough, undulating course. Proving that his recent hill training has been working, Janetta ran strongly throughout for 52nd place from a field of almost 150 runners. Martin Chopping also ran well for 73rd position, taking a brief break from organising the Gloucester Half Marathon which takes place in July.
ERRA National Road Relays
Gloucester AC made history on Saturday as they took part in the National Mens 12 Stage and Womens 6 Stage Road Relays, held in Birmingham, for the first time in almost 20 years. Leading off for the ladies team on the notoriously difficult first of six 3-mile legs was Michelle Stark, who came back in 20.19 for 51st from a field of 70 starters, over 20 seconds quicker than her run over the same course two weeks earlier. Lorraine Ryan then produced a customary strong run to move the team up the rankings, gaining 11 places with a time of 19.25 for the fastest run of the day. Anne Marie Edwards made a welcome return from injury and was delighted with a 23.32 clocking to keep Gloucester in contention. Gill Gresswell took over on the fourth leg and was equally pleased with her time of 25.57, as the field began to spread out, keeping the club inside the top 50. Chris Campbell, fresh from a big personal best at the Reading Half Marathon, moved the team up to 46th position with a time of 23.12, before Gemma Collier produced a strong last leg to run quicker than two weeks ago with 21.09, to bring the team home in an excellent 42nd place. Such a strong team performance bodes well as the Gloucester athletes prepare for a summer of road racing.
The Gloucester AC Mens Team also performed well in the 12 Stage race, alternating 5.4 mile 'long' legs and 3 mile 'short' legs for 57th place overall. After an excellent run two weeks ago at the Midlands event, Tom Randles started off on leg one and came home in 31.06 for 67th place. Mark Ingram continued his comeback from a long injury lay-off with 17.56 for the intitial short leg, followed by the consistent Lee Smith on the third leg, keeping Gloucester in 64th position with 31.30. Alistair Wakefield took over on the next short leg with his first ever sub-18 minute clocking, with Welsh international ultra-runner Jeremy Mower taking the next long leg with 32.15. On leg 6 was Richard Moor, who was considerably quicker than his Midlands run with a time of 18.24 for a short leg.
Club cross-country captain returned to the team to take long leg 7, coming back in a time of 31.21 to bring the team up to 62nd place and above several of the Midlands who defeated Gloucester at the Midlands relays. Ben Jones ran leg 8 and was over half a minute quicker than his Midlands run, showing a return to form with 19.00. Luke Herbert then produced arguably the run of the day with an excellent long leg time of 29.29, showing the confidence gleaned from winning the Tredworth Easter road race on Monday. Arthur Daley continued the forwards momentum with 19.11 for stage 10, before Ian Summers ran the final long stage with 33.19 to bring the team up to 58th place, before Nick Cousins ran the quickest short stage of the day to gain another place for Gloucester with 17.13, a big personal best.
Easter 10K, White Horse
All four Gloucester Athletic Club athletes in the Easter 10k run from the White Horse, Sandhurst came home with the traditional winner's chocolate biscuits. Luke Herbert, coming off a heavy weeks training matched pace with 2nd placed Will Ferguson (CLC Striders) until the last few miles when he dropped off to finish 4th in 34:18. Pete Lloyd made one of his rare local appearances to secure the Vet. 45 prize in 11th place with a steady 36:57. Vet 55 Arthur Daley slowed from 6:15 miling to just over 6:30 pace over the last 2 miles to just secure his aim of a 39 min. time with 39:59 in 21st place. Helen Davis finished 51st in 47:06 to pick up the Lady's Vet 35 prize.
Millward wins at Chedworth
Steve Millward continued his encouraging run of recent form with victory and a new course record at the Chedworth Roman Trail Race near Cirencester on Sunday. After a cautious start, Millward pulled away on the hills during the second half of the race to win in 57.36, taking over a minute off the course record. Peter Lloyd produced his best performance this year to come home in 18th place from a field of 350 runners with 65.53, followed by Nick Cousins in 56th position with 72.01. Lorraine Ryan enjoyed the tough course and was pleased with 6th Senior Lady home and a time of 75.18. Terry Onions had a strong run to just miss out on a top-100 spot with 76.44, while Michelle Stark continued her build-up to the London Marathon with 130th position and a time of 80.08. Emma Jeffery made a welcome return to racing with 81.19 for 144th place.
Gloucester AC qualify for National Finals
Gloucester AC's mens team qualified for the National 12 Stage Road Relays for the first time in 17 years on Saturday, after an excellent team performance at the Midlands 12 Stage Championships. Showing tremendous strength in depth, Gloucester AC moved through the field over the course of the 45-mile twelve stage race at Sutton Park, Birmingham to secure a spot in the Nationals in two weeks time.
Leading off on the notoriously tough 5.4 mile first leg was Lee Smith, who came back in 36th from a field of 58 with a solid 31.21 clocking. Taking over was Nick Cousins who covered the 3-mile short leg in 17.57, before handing over to European Masters Indoor 800m finalist Keith Short, who clocked an impressive 19.07. Running the next 5.4 mile leg was Peter Kellie who started the forwards momentum by moving the team up five places into 35th spot with 30.29 minutes.
Alistair Wakefield consolidated that position on leg five with an 18.13 clocking for the 3 mile leg, passing on to Ian Summers who showed a welcome return to form with the clubs second best short leg of the day with 17.45, gaining 3 places. Steve Millward took over for the next long 5.4 mile leg and after a steady start, moved the team up another 4 positions with the quickest club time of 28.38 and the 6th fastest overall.
Ben Jones ran a controlled short leg to come back in 19.34 before passing on to top veteran Arthur Daley who sped round Sutton Park in 19.01 to take the team up to 27th place and within reach of a top-25 spot and qualification for the Nationals. Luke Herbert took over for the final 5.4 mile long leg and ran superbly to take the team up to 24th with 29.43. Richard Moor then took the team further up into 21st place with 18.35 for the 3-mile short leg before Tom Randles produced an excellent 16.28 on the final stage to bring the team up into 19th position.
Gloucester AC womens team also performed above expectations at the Midlands 6 Stage road relays at the same Sutton Park venue, finishing in 26th place and also securing a spot in the National Finals. Michelle Stark led the team off on the first stage with 20.40 to bring the team back in 31st position. Kim Drinkwater then moved the team up 10 places on leg two with an encouraging 19.59 clocking after months of injury troubles. Chris Campbell then timed 26.24 for the third leg and handed over the Fiona Roberts who kept the team in contention with 27.28.Lorraine Ryan then powered through the field to gain 7 places with a time of 19.21 before Gemma Collier produced a customary strong finish to bring the team home in 27th place with a time of 21.15.
Millward breaks course record at Carterton 10km
Fresh from the disappointment of losing out on the county 4km cross-country title the day before, Steve Millward raced at the Carterton 10km near Oxford and came away with a more satisfying performance. Leading from the field of 250 runners from the start, Millward pulled away strongly throughout the race on a tough course to take the win and break the course record by 30 seconds in a time of 33.27.
Reading Half Marathon
Several Gloucester AC athletes competed in the Reading Half Marathon on Sunday. Lorraine Ryan having finished her debut cross -country season as overall senior womens champion, suffered with a back problem from eight miles but still came home in 1:27:59, narrowly missed out on a personal best. Michelle Stark was pleased to take over 90 seconds off her personal best, with a time of 1:36:14. Also racing was Christine Campbell, who took a massive 18 minutes off her previous best with an excellent 1:51:08. Paul Robins also managed to dip under the two hour barrier with 1:56:42.
Summers takes County 4km title aged 14
Becky Summer stormed to the county 4km cross-country title on Saturday at Plock Court, taking the under 17 title and defeating all of the senior women in the process. Running a composed race in the windy conditions, Summers led throughout and won by a comfortable margin.
Also racing was Steve Millward, who took bronze in the senior mens 4km race after losing out in a three-way sprint finish with Dave Roper (Cheltenham AC) and Seb Duffy (City of Stoke) for the county title.
Gloucestershire Cross-Country League (Leamington) De Camps leads Gloucester AC to Team Title
Athletes from Gloucester AC created history on Saturday when taking the team title at the final fixture in the Gloucestershire Cross-Country League at Leamington on Saturday. For the first time in more than a decade, the club took the honours after an excellent team performance. Leading the way was track specialist Andrew De Camps in a fine 3rd place, with club captain Dave Gresswell gaining his highest ever league placing with 11th overall. Lee Smith also achieved his best ever result with 15th place, followed by Nick Cousins in 23rd position. Cousins was delighted with his showing, despite losing his shoe when crossing the stream on the first lap.
Alistair Wakefield continued his rich vein of form with 26th place and the team score was completed by the long-awaited return of Mark Ingram in 32nd position. Ingram has been struggling with illness and injury for the past two years so the club was happy to see him back in club colours and running well. Providing back-up with another league-best performance was Mark Thrall in 62nd place, obviously encouraged by the promising 3rd place achieved by son Adam in the under 15 boys race. Under the guidance of coach Rob Cytlau from Severn AC, Adam had progressed well this winter with third place overall in the league this season, and will be looking to re-write his personal best times on the track this summer.
Despite not racing in the final fixture, Lorraine Ryan was crowned the overall senior womens champion to complete a fantastic debut cross-country season. Michelle Stark was also amongst the prizes as she took 2nd overall in the over 35 category. Ryan and Stark instead raced at the Reading Half Marathon the next day and both came away with positive performances.
Anglo-Celtic Plate and UK 100km Road Running Championship
A sunny and cool day greeted competitors at the Celtic 100k road race, which took place in Galway, Ireland on 28 March 2009. The 100km (62.1 miles) road race incorporated the 2009 Anglo Celtic Plate competition between the home nations of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Running a fifth time for Wales was Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower. Mower was suffering with tight glutes as a result of not recovering from winning the Welsh championship three weeks earlier and he struggled from the Marathon distance up to 50 miles with the problem. Turning around a cone at each end of the course was agony for him. At 50 miles it eased off and he actually ran the last 12 miles faster than most of the field. He was able to finish in a respectable 8:53:07 and 27th out of the 49 starters. He was third scorer for the Wales team as they narrowly missed out on 3rd place despite in being their best cumulative time for eight years.
Gloucester athletes fare well at Forest Half
Dave Spackman was the pick of the Gloucester athletes at the Forest of Dean Trails Half Marathon held at Parkend Village on Sunday. Fresh from a gold-medal winning performance at the county road relay champs the day before, Spackman finished in 1 hour 33.59 to take third place in the over 60 category, just missing out on second place. Alistair Wakefield continued his fine run of form with 49th position from a field of almost 1800 runners, coming back in 1.26.27. Also competing were Terry Onions (2.16.52) and Josie Thomas (2.44.20)
Medhurst shines in Newent
Gloucester AC's Ryan Medhurst produced an outstanding performance at the Gloucestershire Primary Schools Cross Country Champs held at Newent on Saturday. In ideal racing conditions, under 11 athlete Medhurst finished 5th overall and first city athlete from a field of almost 100 runners. Even though this is his first season with the club, Medhurst is already showing great potential.
Gloucester Girls qualify for London mini-marathon
Two Gloucester AC athletes have qualified to represent Gloucestershire in the mini-marathon which precedes the main London Marathon race on Sunday 26th April. Becky Summers and Georgie Lowe finished 5th and 6th respectively at the trial race held in Bristol on Saturday.
County Road Relays
Gloucester AC came away with the most medals in the County AAA Relay Championships held in conjunction with Severn AC'c open race with all the teams collecting a medal.
First to finish was the three man over 50 team with an average age of 57 years of Keith Short o/55 (19:28), Arthur Daley o/55 (19:11)and Dave Spackman o/60 (20:33) taking the open and County Gold medal. This was the 4th successive year they have taken the title and once again it was never really in doubt after the first two legs recording times that were faster than a few Vet 40's on the day.
Soon after that the resurgent ladies team of Michelle Stark o/35 (20:59), Lorraine Ryan (19:52) and Gemma Collier (21:44) triumphed as they finished second Lady's team behind a strong Bristol team and first in the County Championships by a comfortable margin.
The Senior Men did not have their strongest team available, but were strengthened by the inclusion of u/15 Adam Thrall who ran 17:34 for the 3.25 mile course. Peter Kellie moved Gloucester up ahead of Severn on leg two and was happy with his 16:24 and on leg 3 Richard DeCamps ran the fastest leg of all Gloucester runners with an impressive 16:18. Nick Cousins still recovering from his marathon in Malta ran 19:50 for the last leg and was passed by Severn's Josh Lilly. Cousins held on to bring the team home in 5th place in the open race and take the bronze medal.
The over 40 Men's team ensured that Gloucester had medals of all the colours by finishing second in both the open and County races. Vet 45 Pete Lloyd had a great run with 17:58 putting Gloucester into 2nd place, a 21:43 for Mark Thrall on leg 2 saw him overtaken by Dave Randle of Cheltenham, Ian Summers came home in 18:41 on leg 3. Jeremy Mower brought the team through to second place on the final leg to complete an excellent afternoons racing.
Mower is Welsh Ultra Marathon Champion
Jeremy Mower of Gloucester Athletic Club is the new Welsh Ultra Marathon champion placing first Welsh man in the Barry 40 mile track race on Sunday. With PB’s at the marathon and 35 mile distance already this year Mower was the favourite to take the title for the first time. The conditions on the day were called the worst in the 23 years of the race. Three hail storms, rain, and a steady wind of 21 mph with 34 mph gusts for nearly two hours of the race. What made it worse the wind was in your face in one direction but you did not get the full benefit behind you as it was blocked out by the large stand at the Jenner Park Stadium. Mower was content to follow his rival Mark Baker, Northbrook AC for the Welsh title and waited until he showed signs of tiring before making his move just after half distance. Mower went through the marathon distance in 3 hr 15 min 2 sec and opened up a mile gap on Baker. About this time the wind picked up and Mower's left lateral quadricep became sore and it was like running with a dead leg which was due to him not fully recovering from his 35 mile race two weeks earlier. With everyone struggling in the conditions Mower was happy to drop the pace and make certain of his first ever Welsh National title, finishing in 5 hours 13 min 39 sec. Mower finished 4th overall in the race behind three runners from England and also took home with him the first Vet 40 prize. Mower will travel to Ireland to compete for Wales at 100km on 28th March 2009. It will be his fifth international vest making him one of the most experienced ultra runners in the race.
Lorraine Ryan leads the way for Gloucester AC
For the first time in more than a decade, Gloucester AC had three senior women representing the county at the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships held on Saturday in Nottingham. All three athletes were making their senior debut and leading the way was Lorraine Ryan in 176th place on a challenging but fast course, coming home third scorer for the county. Michelle Stark was next back in 265th place, finding the pace tough after putting in some high mileage in the build-up to the London Marathon in April. Following closely behind was Gemma Collier in 273rd place, fresh from an excellent personal best time in the Malta half-marathon six days before.
In the age groups, Adam Thrall was the clubs highest placed athlete of the day, with 152nd spot in the under 15 boys race and 4th county scorer. Thrall was satisfied with his run after struggling with a illness for the past few weeks.
In the under 15 girls race, Becky Summers was 5th home for the county team in 167th place overall.
Malta Half Marathon - Herbert leads Gloucester AC to international honours
Gloucester AC have returned from the recent Malta Marathon and Half Marathon with a host of honours and personal bests. Leading the way in the half marathon was Luke Herbert, coming home 7th from a field of over 700 runners in a time of 1hour14.29. After settling into a strong chasing group, Herbert pushed the pace throughout and was delighted with a personal best by four minutes. Taking 16th position and third in the veteran 40 category was club cross-country captain Dave Gresswell, finishing in a personal best time of 1hour18.03. Following closely behind in another fantastic run was an ecstatic Lee Smith with 1hour18.30, smashing the 1 hour 20 barrier for the first time in his career. These three athletes closed the team scoring and gained third place overall, being presented with their glass plaques at the official evening presentations.
Andrew Hawkins from Severn AC came home in 1 hour 21.07, an encouraging time after missing several months through injury. Running for the first time in a Gloucester vest, Jo Fletcher dominated the womens race and came home to win in a time of 1 hour 23.42, almost a minute ahead of team-mate and 2nd placed female, Lucie Woodyatt. Combining the top two with a personal best performance from Lorraine Ryan in 7th place with 1 hour 27.14, the Gloucester AC team were convincing winners of the team prize.
Paul Nash was next home for the club in 1 hour 27.45 despite suffering with plantar fasciitis throughout the race, followed closely by Jason Gresswell in a personal best time of 1 hour 28.32 in 68th place. This meant that Gloucester AC had 10 representatives in the top 70, an excellent achievement. Not to be outdone, Gemma Collier stormed home in yet another personal best time, taking three minutes off her previous best with 1 hour 34.43 for 132nd overall and 12th female.
Neil Scowby finished in 1 hour 49.34 off limited training, with Arnold Yeomans coming home in 1 hour 52.10, almost eight minutes quicker than he predicted before the race!
Club chairman Andy McKenzie was pleased to finish in a time of 2 hours 5.53, with Gill Gresswell running a personal best time of 2 hours 8.31 to complete what was an excellent squad performance.
Nick Cousins was the sole Gloucester AC athlete to take on the marathon and on a tough course with several twists and turns, he was delighted to finish in 3 hours 06.38 for 27th place from a field of almost 200 runners. This was a fantastic debut by Cousins who was hampered with injury in the build-up to the race and will be looking to go even quicker next time.
Three Gloucester AC runners took part in the Winter 5 mile road race organised by Severn AC from the White Horse, Sandhurst. Jeremy Mower found the going tough as he had not recovered from his previous week’s ultra race but led the club home in finishing 23rd out of the 56 finishers. Arthur Daley again won his Vet 55 male age category and was 37th overall. Michelle Stark was 37th overall and 1st Lady over 35. Michelle has been making great improvements recently and has won her age group category more than once in the last few months. Gloucester Athletic Club have had a lot of admirers lately because of their new training kit and have received comments such as "very smart" and "professional".
Jeremy Mower 30 min 39 sec
Arthur Daley 31 min 46 sec
Michelle Stark 34 min 52 sec
Jeremy Mower selected for Wales and takes 5th place at Draycote 35 mile race
Gloucester AC ultra runner Jeremy Mower has been selected to run for Wales for a fifth time in the Anglo-Celtic Plate 100km on March 28, 2009 in Galway, Ireland. He capped his good news with a new PB in the Draycote 35 mile race in finishing 5th place in a time of 4 hour 14 min 42 sec. It was a good quality field with Scotland sending four internationals down to the race. Race winner was Scotland’s Marcus Scotney one of the leading mountain runners in the UK. The conditions were very cold and windy for the first 3 hours of the race and at the open end of the lake it was difficult to run straight at times. Mower battled it out with Scotland’s Les Hill and Richie Cunningham. The three ran around together for the first twelve miles and when Cunningham picked up the pace Mower decided it was too quick and kept his present pace. At 23 miles Mower overtook Hill and had Cunningham in his sights and eventually went past him at 29 miles. Mower finished strong and managed to do the last mile in under 6 min 30. He is now favourite to win the Welsh Ultra Championships at Barry on March 8th, 2009 but has to be careful not to overdo it with the international only 3 weeks after it.
Gloucester AC achieved the highest team placing for more than a decade in the final Birmingham League Division Two Cross Country fixture at a muddy Coundon Park in Coventry. Finishing 4th team on the day and 4th overall for the season, the club narrowly missed out on one of the three promotion spots available despite another strong showing in the final race.
On a waterlogged course in Coventry, Steve Millward led the team home with a fine 5th place, taking the lead on the first lap and always staying in contention. Luke Herbert had his best cross-country race in two years to finish in 13th position from a field of more than 210 runners. Herbert has improved steadily throughout the season as he regains fitness and his determination was evident in an excellent run.Peter Kellie came home in 17th position despite being in the middle of exams for a medical degree. Richard de Camps was next home in 45th place which resulted in him finishing joint third under-20 athlete for the season. The first team was completed by Lee Smith in 51st, who is in the middle of heavy training for the London Marathon, and club captain Dave Gresswell in 60th place.
The B team was led home by vice-captain Ian Summers who was pleased to finish 79th, an improvement on the previous fixture. Jason Gresswell followed Summers home in an encouraging 80th place on his return to the Gloucester AC cross-country squad. Alistair Wakefield narrowly missed out on the top 100 with 104th place, while Nick Cousins followed in close behind in 108th place despite having to work in the morning. Paul Nash and under-20 athlete Ben Jones completed the scoring, finishing almost together in 126th and 127th positions. Dave Edwards provided solid backup with 157th place, which enabled the B team to finish 3rd on the day and 3rd overall for the season.
Gloucester AC are already looking forward to next season and aiming to sustain a serious challenge for promotion to the top division, after a most encouraging season.
Gloucester AC: Marathon & 50km reports: Midland XC: Welsh Indoor Open Track
Gloucester AC Ultra-runner Jeremy Mower stepped down in distance to tackle the Gloucester Marathon which was also the official county championship. The early pace of the leaders was too much for Mower to keep up and he dropped down to sixth place. In the latter stages his ultrarunning strength brought him through the field and he finally finished in 4th place just missing out on third. Mower was second finisher in the County Championship behind race winner Stroud AC's Rob Gornall. Mower set a new PB in 2 hours 54 min 52 sec and finished the race in excellent condition which is a good job as he has three ultra races coming up in the next nine weeks, including the Welsh and UK championships. On the same course a 50km race was held and Gloucester AC's Christine Campbell made her ultra debut finishing in a respectful 5 hrs:14 min:44 sec. Christine was pleased with her run as she managed to get round without any problems.
Richard De Camps finished 25th in the U20 Mens at the Midland Cross Country Championship. He was delighted as he seems to be getting back to some sort of form after all the achilles problems which have blighted his training since Christmas.
Andrew De Camps was 5th in the final at the Welsh Open Indoor Champs at Cardiff in 1 min 55 secs. The race was won by GB International Richard Hill. Gloucester's new signing Nico Constanti was 3rd in the B final of 400m in 50.63s which was a PB indoors. Ryan Preddy was 3rd in the A final in 49.51s.
Gloucester athletes conquer May Hill
Athletes from Gloucester AC were again to the fore at the May Hill Massacre multi-terrain race on Sunday. On a bitterly cold morning, over 500 competitors took part in the extremely tough 8.7 mile race, running through knee deep mud and water. Fresh from a victory at the Linda Franks Memorial race the previous week, Steve Millward made an early breakaway together with Garry Hughes from Dursley AC as they climbed up towards May Hill. Hughes managed to get away and cruised to take the title, with Millward finishing strongly as both athletes were comfortably inside the course record previously held by Lee Rankin of Stroud AC.
Dom Malsom finished a superb 5th place with a well-controlled run, continuing his string of recent impressive performances. Peter Lloyd came home in 28th place overall despite going slightly off-course just after the halfway mark. Nick Cousins was next back in an encouraging 33rd place, despite not having raced for several months. Paul Nash looked comfortable throughout and was pleased to finish in 64th position, just ahead of Lorraine Ryan who was 3rd Senior Lady home. Ryan was delighted to later discover that she was the recipient of some Mizuno apparel for her podium performance. Following closely behind and running extremely well for a longer than normal race was Ben Gregory in 75th place overall and 3rd Junior Male. Terry Onions found the freezing conditions difficult and was relieved to finish in 213th position, just ahead of Michelle Stark in 217th who positively revelled in the muddy conditions. Emma Jeffery displayed her usual tenacity and determination to defy the tough course and come home in 292nd place.
Steve Millward 56.04
Dom Malsom 58.34
Peter Lloyd 65.21
Nick Cousins 66.36
Paul Nash 69.53
Lorraine Ryan 70.08
Ben Gregory 71.03
Terry Onions 82.25
Michelle Stark 82.56
Emma Jeffery 88.12
Linda Franks Memorial Race
Gloucester AC athletes dominated proceedings at the Linda Franks 4.2 mile memorial race on Sunday, the second race in the County Road Race Series. With five men in the top eight and four women in the top ten in the category, it was a commanding team performance. Leading from the front was Steve Millward, winning the overall race with a time of 21.58. Pulling away from the pack after one mile, Millward stretched the lead to over half a minute by the finish to continue his comeback to fitness. In third place was Luke Herbert with 22.58, who hung on well after going with the early pace. Dom Malsom finished strongly in fourth with 23.05, after keeping off the early pace. Malsom now leads the county series after two races and is looking for a strong performance at the London Marathon this year.
Dave Gresswell finished as first veteran over 40 in seventh place overall, cementing his position as category leader in the county series. Lee Smith finished close behind in eighth with 23.59 to further emphasise the clubs strength in depth. Alistair Wakefield ran well to finish 15th overall, while Lorraine Ryan claimed third place in the womens section with an excellent 26.41. This puts Ryan joint second in the county series and confirms her current good form. 14-year-old Becky Summers came back in 35th overall and 5th place in the ladies race with a composed run, just behind first male veteran over 60, Dave Spackman.
Michelle Stark produced a strong run to finish in 45th place, 2nd lady over 35 with 29.32, just ahead of the fast finishing Gemma Collier with 29.34. Bogdan Jochym found the shorter distance race difficult but produced a solid run for 5th male veteran 55, and will be hoping to get amongst the medals in the county series again this year. On her comeback after 8 months of injury, Jane Leckebusch had an excellent showing to finish 71st overall and 5th lady over 45 from a field of almost 150 runners.
Midlands Cross Country Champs (Mansfield)
Adam Thrall, an under 15 athlete from Gloucester AC, had his best ever cross country race to finish 14th in the Midlands Cross Country Championships held recently at Mansfield. Displaying maturity beyond his years, Thrall ran a composed race to gain his highest ever placing in a regional championships. Benefitting from a new training regime under Rob Cytlau at Severn AC, Thrall was always towards the front of the field and was delighted with his race.
Gloucester AC achieved their highest team position in recent years at the third Birmingham League fixture held in Coventry on Saturday 17/01/09, claiming an excellent third place. Showing solid improvements throughout the team, Gloucester are currently fourth overall for the season and aiming for promotion.
On a fast and relatively flat course at Wyken Park, Steve Millward led the team home in 7th place from 225 starters, despite suffering from flu. Peter Kellie finished close behind in 10th place, a solid improvement on the 16th place achieved in the previous fixture. Luke Herbert also progressed up the field this time around, coming home in 17th position after missing several weeks training with injury. Providing strong support for the first team was Dom Malsom, with a measured run to finish 33rd, just ahead of Richard de Camps in 34th place overall and 4th Junior male. Lee Smith recovered well from a disappointing run the previous week to close the scoring in 49th place.
Leading home the B team was club cross country captain Dave Gresswell in 68th, who was also suffering the effects of illness. Ian Summers ran well to finish in 76th place, while Alistair Wakefield consolidated his recent good form with 93rd, an improvement of almost 40 places on the previous fixture. A close tussle throughout the race ensured Paul Nash and Arthur Daley finished strongly to claim 121st and 124th respectively. Dave Edwards completed the scoring in 169th place for the B team, which resulted in 3rd place on the day and 3rd overall, proving that Gloucester is getting a strong squad together.
Also running well and providing solid support were Bogdan Jochym in 204th place, Arnold Yeomans in 212th place and club chairman Andy McKenzie in 217th position.
Gloucester New Year 10
Gloucester Athletic Club held their 10 Mile Road Race from Quedgeley school last Sunday 4th January 2009. This annual event to raise charity money, was this year also the opening event in the 2009 Gloucestershire County Road Race Series. With nearly 400 athletes pre-entered, and over 100 entering on the day, it gave this popular event one of the biggest fields yet. In fact, partly due to the numbers who turned up, the event start had to be delayed by 30 mins.
All the runners were treated to an extremely cold run around the country lanes, by the Sharpness Canal and River Severn.
As well as hosting the event, Gloucester AC also had a strong contingent taking part.
Dominic Malsom led the way to finish in 4th place, smashing his previous personal best for the distance to finish in 57mins 40secs. V40 Dave Gresswell, managed to stay with Malsom and finished 7th in 59mins 20secs, just a few seconds over his current best. A fantastic run by Lee Smith also resulted in a sub 1 hour finish, and 8th place in 59mins 46secs in his first race over this distance. Smith who is currently marathon training was very happy with his time, as the miles of training are obviously paying off. Gloucester AC ultra-runner Jeremy Mower, also showed that he still has good leg speed over shorter distances, as he finished just 8 seconds over the hour in 10th place. In 18th place was Gloucester AC veteran Peter Lloyd in 1hr 2mins 20secs followed by Alistair Wakefield who was over the moon with his 24th place finish, in a personal best of 1hour 3mins 14secs. Bogdan Jochym completed the course just 4 seconds slower than last year.
Gloucester AC ladies also finished well, led home by in-form Lorraine Ryan, who was chased hard all the way round by Gemma Collier. Collier finished in 1hr 12mins which was over 2 mins faster than her previous best. Michelle Stark also got a PB of 1hr 13mins, although felt afterwards that she could have run faster if it were not for the undulations and cold weather. Emma Jeffery was next home also suffering in the cold conditions, and Chris Cambell with her second PB in the same week completed the Gloucester AC finishers.
Gloucestershire County Cross-Country Relay Championships – Plock Court
Golden Gloucester take haul of County Medals
All four Gloucester AC teams entered in Saturdays County Cross Country Relay Championships came away with gold medals.
Each runner had to complete a 2 mile loop of a very cold and frosty Plock Court course. First back were the Senior Mens team, consisting of Andrew DeCamps, Dominic Malsom, Richard DeCamps and Steve Millward in a winning time of 39mins 34secs. Placed second after the first leg, the team gained the lead over the 2nd and 3rd legs, with a strong final leg by Millward giving a convincing win. Millward had run from the centre of Gloucester in order to take part, where he was preparing to take over joint ownership of Gloucester Sports the following Monday. Andrew DeCamps collected the fastest Junior Male time for his leg of 9mins 48secs.
The Senior Ladies continued their strong showing at Cross Country events this season by finishing in a winning time of 50mins 43secs. A strong start by Michelle Stark on the first leg put the team in contention, followed by the fastest team leg by Lorraine Ryan meant that Emma Jeffery and Gemma Collier could finish off in style. For most of the ladies this gave them their ever first cross country county medals.
The V40 Mens team of Ian Summers, Mark Thrall, Jeremy Mower and Dave Gresswell finished in 44mins 56secs to collect their gold medals, with Gresswell running the fastest V40 leg in 10mins 32secs.
The V50 Mens team consisting Arthur Daily, Keith Short and Dave Spackman easily won their race in a time of 35mins 54secs.
Gloucester XC team captain, Dave Gresswell, said “This is the first time in several years that Gloucester AC have entered so many teams, and to come away with Gold Medals for everyone is fantastic. Although this event was re-scheduled, there was still a good turn out from county athletes. I would recommend this event to all clubs for next season, as it was good fun and at Plock Court it was good viewing for spectators to cheer the teams on”.
New Years Day 5 Mile – Pilot Inn, Quedgeley
A few hardened members of Gloucester AC braved the cold and post New Year celebration hangovers to take part in the New Years Day 5 Mile Road Race.
Run over a testing undulating course from the Pilot Inn, Dave Gresswell was first back for the club in a new PB of 28mins 24secs. Well worth getting out of bed for. “hic”
Chris Campbell also finished with a PB, and along the way she also ran the first 4 miles quicker than she had previously done.