Gloucester Athletic Club’s Harry Wells and Jessica Hill were both in sparkling form as they set new personal bests over 800 metres at the latest British Milers Club meeting at Tipton.
The meetings have proved happy hunting grounds for the Gloucester club’s middle-distance runners over the years with many of the group taking advantage of pace-making to record new best marks.
In this latest meeting, Harry found himself in the senior men’s ‘A’ race and passed through the half-way point in a shade over 55 seconds. Pushing on through to the 600 metres mark, which he passed in 1:22, he continued to work hard to the line which he crossed in 1:53.95 to reduce his previous best by two tenths of a second. “I certainly wasn’t expecting that time tonight!” Wells exclaimed, adding “I hadn’t done much in the way of speedwork recently, but I felt good at 600 metres and dug in – though the last 50 metres seemed to take an eternity.”
Jessica’s race saw Britain’s second-ranked 800 metre runner of the season, Lynsey Sharp, set the pace. The Gloucester youngster, who still only competes in the U15 age group, went through 400 metres in 68 seconds before kicking over the final straight to finish in 2:18.45 to take two seconds off her three-week old personal best and a seven-seconds improvement over the season. The race was in 1:59.51 won by Birchfield Harrier Sarah McDonald who became the fifth fastest Briton over the distance.
Tilly Ashley had only returned from holiday earlier in the week but ran strongly to place third in her heat in 2:23.11, while Club second-claim member Tracy Hinxman fell victim to some erratic pace-making to clock 2:31.66 in her heat.
Entries are picking up for the Gloucester Athletic Club Open Meeting at Blackbridge on Tuesday 3rd September. The organisers have included a one-mile race at the meeting, giving runners of all abilities the opportunity to race over the classic distance. Meeting Director Steve Millward says “We have included the one-mile event mainly for the many runners around the area who base much of their training on timings for the mile but might never have actually been timed over a one-off. This will give them that chance.” Entries for the meeting are through the Club’s website, www.gloucesterac.co.uk/ competition-events/club-races-events/open-meetings/.
Gloucester Athletic Club shall be holding their annual Awards Night and Christmas Party at the Wotton Hall Social Club on Barnwood Road on Saturday 23rd November. Club spokesman Richard Blackwell says “This will be a very special night as we will be celebrating, amongst many other things, our three senior teams winning promotion in their respective cross-country and track & field leagues in the same year which is a unique feat in the history of the Club.” Free tickets for the event are available on Club training nights.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Joanne Willoughby and Steve Millward were both victorious at the weekend’s British Masters Athletics Championships at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium, as the curtain came down on the famous stadium before it is demolished to make way for a new complex as Britain’s number two city prepares for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Willoughby again demonstrated why she is the outstanding W55 long and triple jumper in the country this season by claiming the title in both events by clear margins, jumping 4.71m and 9.81m respectively, though she had to battle a niggling achilles tendon injury as well the blustery conditions, saying “The weather was awful and it really messed with the jumpers’ run-ups but I was also holding back because of an on-going achilles problem that has plagued me for much of the season. I’m glad to have got through the weekend and will now rest and get some treatment on the injury before the Europeans in Venice next month.”
Like Willoughby, Millward is no stranger to winning Masters age groups titles but he has also had his injury problems this season, as a hamstring injury forced him to miss most of the Club’s track team’s Midland League success. However, he made a return to racing last week when setting a new Club age group record in the 3,000m steeplechase and he improved that record again in Birmingham as he went about dismantling the field to come home a clear winner in 10:15.26 to top the UK rankings for the year and to win his first title in the M40 age group.
Ian Willoughby won the silver medal in the M65 300 metres hurdles event in 55.56 seconds while LJ and Ian Beard both made their first appearance at the Championships. LJ placed 7th in the W35 100m final and 5th in the 200m final and husband Ian placed 3rd in his heat of the M45 100 metres. The M45 1500 metres final saw Paul Barlow just miss out on a medal, placing 4th in a season’s best 4:36.59, ahead of Club mate Jason Tilley in 5th place with 4:51.39.
At the British Masters Combined Events Championships at Hull, Jacqui Holloway claimed the heptathlon gold medal in the W40 age group, recording a personal best and new club age group best score of 4,003 points. Along the way, she set four more personal bests in the high jump (1.40m), shot putt (8.99m), 200m (28.76 secs) and long jump (4.31m).
Husband Matt won the silver medal in the M40 decathlon, scoring 3,771 points in his first attempt at the full competition. He set new personal bests in the long jump (5.10m for a new Club age group record), 400 metres, 110m hurdles, pole vault, javelin and 1500 metres. Training partner Stewart O’Reilly was also competing in his first ever decathlon and placed 5th in the M35 age group, amassing a total of 3,338 points.
Meanwhile, two of the Club’s junior multi-events group travelled up to Manchester to compete in the English U15s multi-event championships. Kyle Neal placed 10th and Joshua Robinson 13th overall despite having been unluckily disqualified in the 400 metres event. Coach Matt Holloway said afterwards “This was their first competition at national level and they both enjoyed the experience, especially getting to meet former Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson, even though neither was too sure who he actually was!”
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track and field team won a thrilling final match of the 2019 Midland Athletics League season at Wolverhampton on Sunday to clinch the Division Two title and their third successive Divisional honour.
Four of the six competing teams went into the match with a real purpose: Host Club Wolverhampton & Bilston and the Birmingham Triathlon & Running Club were fighting it out to see who would be joining already-relegated Cheltenham & Co Harriers in Division Three next season, while Gloucester and Rugby & Northampton were in a battle for the Division title. It was, therefore, no surprise that this was the most competitive and keenly contested match of the season with the teams fighting for pride and status and it was only in the very last event of the day, the men’s discus throw, that the City team took victory as Gareth Winter threw a season’s best 42.96 metres to win the event and spark off wild celebrations among the squad.
Multi-eventer Kate Davies has been the major points-earner throughout the season, quietly going about her business and picking up much-needed podium places to give the team a solid foundation. On Sunday, she exceeded even her own high expectations as she won five individual events with the only blot on a perfect return being a third place in the 100 metres hurdles.
Again, the youngsters who have been introduced into the team this season performed well. Katherine Mills ran a tactically-perfect race to win the 800 metres ‘B’ race, while training partner Tilly Ashley recorded her second fastest ever 800 metres to take second place in the ‘A’ race. Isobelle Herbert continued her development in the 100 and 200 metres, as did Beth Bird in the javelin and discus events and Simon Cook in the high jump. All will relish and benefit from the challenges that Division One will bring next year.
Steve Millward returned to the team following injury and comfortably won the 3,000m steeplechase in 10:27.1 to eclipse Simon Fortnam’s Club M40 age group record that was set on the same track eight years previously.
English Schools Triple Jump champion Joel Townley demonstrated his versatility by winning his speciality event, before taking second place in the long jump and a third place in the 100 metres. He finished off his afternoon by recording the fastest leg in the 4 x 400 metres relay team.
Further victories came the teams way through Ellen Thrall, who won her third hammer event of the league season, Jo Willoughby in the ‘B’ long jump and Beth Bird in the javelin while for the men Harry Wells controlled the 800 metres, Tom Beckett won the ‘B’ triple jump and Gareth Winter won the shot putt before his final title-clinching performance in the discus.
Afterwards, jubilant team manager Richard Blackwell said “This is a great achievement for the team and I cannot pay enough tribute to the back-up support from the officials and coaches who have all played a massive part throughout the season. We have showed that League success is not only down to the quality of our athletes, but their willingness to fill as many events as they could. As the saying goes, “Points make prizes!”
Gloucester AC 342 points; BRAT 341; Rugby & Northampton 340; Wolverhampton & Bilston 290; Coventry Godiva 275; Cheltenham & Co 163.
Final League table:
Gloucester AC 23 points; Rugby & Northampton 19; Coventry Godiva 14; BRAT 13; Wolverhampton & Bilston 11; Cheltenham & Co 4.
Two of Gloucester Athletic Club’s brightest young hopefuls represented the England Midlands Team in the Welsh Athletics International at Cardiff, the annual fixture which showcases some of the best young athletic talent in these islands.
Harry Wells took a credible sixth place in the 1500 metres, clocking 4:06.71, and Joel Townley placed third in the triple jump with a leap if 14.46 metres and while their performances were slightly down on what they may have wished for, both athletes can take great pride in being selected for the match.
Another youngster, Jessica Hill, produced the stand-out performance at last week’s Midsummer Open Meeting at Cheltenham when she knocked five seconds off her 800 metres personal with a stunning 2:20.1 to add some spice at the top of the Club’s rankings for the year.
At the South-West Inter-Counties Championships, Chrissy Campion was competing against girls at least one school year older than herself and did well to place 3rd in what was at the time a personal best 41.36 metres. She went on to improve that mark at the Cheltenham Midsummer Open Meeting. Brother Ben set a personal best 46.72m in the U17M discus.
Despite heavy rain and a sodden Manchester track which made the going difficult for the athletes at the British Race Running Championships, Gloucester’s Charlie Denman won the silver medal in the 200 metres in a new personal best 40.76 seconds. In her least-preferred event, the 100 metres, she placed fourth.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team head up to Wolverhampton this Sunday attempting to clinch their third successive promotion in the Midland Athletics League. The team currently sits at the top of Division Two and are a whisker away from taking their place in the top division nest year.
Other Club performances at the Cheltenham meeting were:
100m Race 3: 4th Samuel Ivins 13.7.
Race 6: 7th Bailey Ward (U11G) 17.9.
100m Wheelchair: 1st Josh Freeman 41.3.
100m RaceRunner: 1st Eleanor Hewitt 32.4.
200m Race 4: 1st Samuel Ivins 27.6.
200m RaceRunner: 1st Eleanor Hewitt 71.9.
300m Race 1: 2nd Amelia Newell 45.4; 4th Amber Spackman 50.7; 5th CoCo Wickens-Shaw 54.3.
400m Race 2: 1st George Daly 59.5; 4th Anna Midgley 65.8.
400m RaceRunner: 1st Eleanor Hewitt 2:47.1.
800m Race 2: 10th Sebastian Clarke 2:16.0; 11th George Daly 2:17.9.
Race 3: 12th Paul Barlow 2:20.3.
Race 4: 1st Tilly Ashley 2:22.8; 6th Anna Midgley 2:28.4; 10th Tina wickens 2:32.6
Race 6: 5th Amber Spackman 2:41.3;
Race 8: 11th Bailey Ward 3:39.0.
Hammer (3kg): Chrissy Campion 43.11m; Marion Loveridge 37.65; Ella Mansfield 30.61.
Three Gloucester Athletic Club members competed in the Welsh Masters Athletics Championships at Brecon and came away with a total of six gold medals between them.
Jo Willoughby demonstrated just why she is the leading exponent of the long and triple jumps in the W55 category in the country by winning both events in commanding fashion, recording a best leap in the long jump of 4.72m and a best leap of 10.14m into a strong headwind in the triple jump.
In his first meeting of the summer, following a torn hamstring in the winter, husband Ian will have been happy with his two golds as he clocked 55.40 in the M65 300m hurdles and 30.3 seconds in the 200 metres.
Tina Wickens was a comfortable winner of the W50 800 metres, crossing the line in 2:32.38. For good measure, she then won the long jump with a best leap of 3.49 metres.
Marion Loveridge represented the Midlands Masters in the England Masters Inter-Area Challenge at Coventry and won the W55cHammer with a best throw of 37.55 metres.
At the recent BMC Regional meeting at Tipton, Harry Wells placed 8th in the 800m A race, clocking 1:58.27 while Katherine Mills suffered a rare off day to finish off the pace in the 800 metres, clocking 2:27.89.
Members of the Club’s para-athletics group competed in the latest Midsummer Open Meeting at Cheltenham. Sam Ivins clocked two season’s best times of 13.6 and 28.0 seconds in the 100 and 200 metres events, while Race-Runner Eleanor Hewitt clocked 32.0 in the 100 metres and 65.4 seconds in the 200 metres.
The rarely run 600 metres races saw M45 Paul Barlow clock 1:41.6, Tina Wickens 1:47.8 and CoCo Wickens-Shaw 2:06.1.
Anna Midgley clocked 5:09.4 in the 1500 metres, with training partner Briony Bishop clocking 5:14.9 and Amber Spackman running a personal best 5:34.3.
Anna Midgley took her good track form onto the road to lead the Gloucester club home in the Bourton One Mile Road Race, placing 28th overall and 1st in the W35 category in 5:33. Hayley Winters picked herself up after a fall during the congested start to place 35th in 5:46, while Paul Corderoy placed 43rd in 5:55. Amber Spackman clocked 6:31 when finishing in 71st place, ahead of her granddad and Club stalwart Dave Spackman, who placed 108th in 7:28 to take the family’s bragging rights. The race was won by Club second-claim member Richard de-Camps in 5:32.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team moved a step closer to winning an unprecedented third successive promotion when they won the third round of this year’s Midland Athletics League at Rugby on Saturday.
Not since the League was re-structured in 2007 has the team won three back-to-back promotions and with the top division now firmly in their sights, they have no intention of slowing up.
As in the previous round, Saturday’s win was by the slimmest of margins but once again the Gloucester spirit was evident as they held off a strong challenge from Coventry Godiva by just six match points. Their nearest challengers for the title, host Club Rugby & Northampton AC, finished back in third place giving the City team a two-point buffer at the top.
An outstanding contribution by multi-event athlete Kate Davies was the cornerstone of Saturday’s win as she won the ‘A’ string javelin and long and high jumps, as well as second places in the triple jump and 100m hurdles and a third place in the shot putt, before helping the sprint relay squad to a fine second place.
Her example was followed by another multi-eventer, Jacqui Holloway, who won the ‘B’ string 100m hurdles and high jump, a third place in the shot putt as well as a leg in the 4 x 400m relay.
The Club has continued its policy of developing youngsters through this league and three products of the junior system are beginning to establish themselves in their first season among the senior ranks. Tilly Ashley demolished the 800 metres field when knocking eight seconds off her personal best, recording a winning time of 2:20.6. Beth Bird won the ‘B’ string javelin and placed second in the discus, while Isobelle Herbert ran a lifetime best 27.8 seconds in the 200m ‘B’ string, before running a hand-timed 100m best of 13.6 seconds in the shorter sprint.
The team welcomed back two of Herbert’s training partners, Ellie Wheeler-Smith and Rory Cawkwell, with both securing excellent places in the sprints, while Ben Reeves set another personal best 12.5 seconds in the 100 metres ‘B’ race.
Jason Tilley had dashed from a friend’s wedding close-by to race for the team and his commitment to the cause was rewarded with two personal bests in the 2,000m steeplechase and 400m hurdles, receiving solid support in both events from Mike Mansfield in his first track races for three years.
James Denne ran his second fastest-ever 5,000m to take third place, with Owen Parry running strongly for second place in the ‘B’ string, while James Walters was less than half a second outside his best in the 1500 metres, which also saw Jack Evans represent the Club on the track for the first time in 10 years.
In the throwing events, Gareth Winter secured a double victory in the shot putt and discus, while Ellen Thrall continued her remarkably consistent season to win the women’s hammer.
Team manager Richard Blackwell said afterwards “We’re just one match away from winning another promotion, which we would never have thought possible at the start of the season, given the potential strength of the opposition. That said, we know that anything can happen so we will be giving it our all in the final match at Wolverhampton in three weeks’ time.”
1st Gloucester AC 380 pts; 2nd Coventry Godiva 374; 3rd Rugby & Northampton 355; 4th Wolverhampton & Bilston 268; 5th Birmingham Running & Tri Club 263; 6th Cheltenham & Co 101.
League standings after three matches (of four):
1st Gloucester AC 17 pts; 2nd Rugby & N’hants 15; 3rd Coventry 12; 4th Wolverhampton 8; 5th BRAT 8; 6th Cheltenham 3.
The Gloucester club is well represented at this weekend’s English Schools Athletics Championships at Birmingham which start tomorrow (Friday).
Joel Townley and Oliver Keitley compete in the senior and intermediate boys triple jump, while brother and sister Ben and Chrissy Campion will compete in the intermediate boys and junior girls discus and hammer. Jessica Hill runs in the junior girls 1500 metres and Ellie Wheeler-Smith goes in the intermediate girls 200 metres.
In Sunday’s Inter-Area Masters match at Nuneaton, Jo Willoughby overcame two opening fouls in the triple jump to win the competition in the final round with a leap of 10.16 metres. She also placed second in the long jump with 4.80 metres.
James Denne was the first Gloucester club member home in last week’s Frampton 10K road race when placing 2nd in 32:57. Clubmate Steve Kenyon placed 4th in 34:27, while Owen Parry came home in 10th place in 35:38 to secure the second prize for the men’s team.
Other finishers were:
18th Max Sheppard 37:10; 24th Jason Tilley 37:49; 25th Mike Mansfield 37:56; 27th James Walters 38:37; 32nd Mark Keeling 39:19; 34th (and 1st lady) Gemma Collier 39:31; 47th Tracy Hinxman 40:32; 49th Austin Blackburn 40:48; 78th Paul Corderoy 43:24; 84th Arthur Daley 44:02; 116th Chris Davis 47:06; 152nd Nicola Waters 49:17;
Gloucester AC finishers in Sunday’s 10K were:
3rd Steve Kenyon 35:02; 10th George Daly 38:18; 17th Peter Haynes 39:32; 20th Steve Haines 39:39; 22nd Graham Davis 39:47; 32nd Dave Gresswell 40:58; 51st Nick Bishop 42:11; 60th Paul Corderoy 42:44; 67th Paul Loveridge 43:31; 78th Arthur Daley 44:19; 79th Peter Jeffery 44:20; 212th Charlotte Hall 51:39; 240th Helen Pritchard 52:13; 281st Alison Evans 53:53; 416th Helen Haines 58:46; Adrian Arnold 79:57.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s young athletes completed their National Youth Development League regular season with a fine 3rd place in their match at Blackbridge on Sunday.
Competing against two strong teams from Swindon and Newport, the City team put together many encouraging individual performances which will give heart to the senior team selectors as several will be eligible to compete in an older age group next summer.
This has been another promising season for the Club’s junior athletes, with many taking the opportunities offered in this League to try out different events often to great effect.
Team manager Matt Holloway was very happy with his team’s showing during the season, saying: “The youngsters have a lot of competitions during May and June, with schools and clubs, so I’m pleased with the way they have responded and supported this competition. Third place behind two strong Clubs is an achievement which they can be happy with.”
At the South West Schools Championships at Exeter, Ellie Wheeler-Smith won the Intermediate Girls 100m in a personal best and Club U17 age group record 12.10 seconds. Ethan Hood knocked two seconds off his own personal best when clocking 2:12.33 in the Boys 800m while Katherine Mills was just down on her best when running 2:27.24 in the Intermediate Girls event. The 1500m saw Tilly Ashley placing 3rd in the Intermediate Girls 1500 metres, while Jessica Hill clocked a personal best 4:50.55 when placing fourth in the Junior Girls final. Millie Porter was a clear winner of the Intermediate Girls 3,000m when clocking a season’s best 11:22.36.
The field events saw Joel Townley and Ollie Keitley, both from the Jo Willoughby group at Blackbridge, won the Senior Boys and Intermediate Boys triple jump titles, while training partner Julia Johnson continued her consistent season, leaping 4.98m in the Intermediate Girls long jump before setting a personal best 10.03m in the triple jump. Phoebe Jones jumped 4.26m in the Junior Girls final.
Ben Campion was a clear winner of the Intermediate Boys discus, throwing a personal best 43.88m, while Beth Bird threw 25.41m and Christen Campion 23.62m in the Intermediate and Junior Girls competitions. Christen took gold medal in the hammer event with a best throw of 37.47m, while Serafeim Apostolakis threw 34.95m in the Intermediate Boys javelin final.
While the youngsters have been performing well, the Club’s more mature athletes have also been in fine form.
Jo Willoughby’s 10.29m triple jump mark in last week’s Midland Track & Field League match at Coventry was a new UK W55 age group record, smashing the previous record held by Janice Pryce (9.75m) by over half a metre.
Paul Barlow set two season’s best at Sunday’s Northern Masters Championships in Bury. He took the M45 800m silver medal in 2:23.1 before going one better to take the 1500m title in 4:55.2.
Seven Gloucester AC athletes braved the chilly damp conditions on Tuesday evening to compete in the British Milers Club (BMC) Regional meeting at Tipton in the West Midlands.
Harry Wells found himself up against his training partner, Richard de-Camps, in the 1500A race. Despite tracking his more experienced colleague throughout, Harry was unable to overcome him at the finish. Nevertheless, he turned in a season's best performance of 3:59.04, just 1.5 seconds outside his personal best for 6th place to Richard's 3:56.91 in 5th.
Training partners Briony Bishop and Hayley Winters were two more athletes from the Paul de-Camps stable who found themselves drawn against each other in the 1500m D race. The pair are no strangers to opposing each other this season and, on this occasion, it was Hayley who had the upper hand. Despite running in pain over recent weeks Hayley has turned in some typically gutsy performances and this race was no exception as she lowered her personal best over 1500m by seven one-hundredths of a second recording 5:03.44. Briony struggled with the early pace in an overly ambitious race but battled gamely to record one of her better times of 5:15.28.
It was always going to be a difficult introduction to BMC racing for Till Ashley as she found herself as one of the slower competitors in the mixed 1500C race which also included a male member, Sebastian Clarke, of her training group. Although spending most of her time towards the rear of the race, Tilly was not discouraged and showed excellent fighting qualities to come through in 14th place in a time of 4:53.29. Her display deserved more as her time was just 29 one-hundredths of a second outside her personal best. Sebastian settled into the middle order of the race and ran sensibly for a time of 4:34.19 in 7th place. A time over 6 seconds quicker than he ran at the Midland League match just two days previously.
Millie Newell has made great strides forward this season, none more so than at the Gloucester Open where she recorded a massive personal best over 800 metres. At Tipton her education continued under the careful guidance of her mother, Kerry, in her first BMC race. Running at a time when most of her school mates would be preparing for bed Millie, unfortunately, found herself at the front of the pack in the 800m F race when the pace maker pulled out after 400m. Undeterred, she stuck to her task in a manner belying her age and experience as older and more experienced competitors drifted past her down the back straight. Showing resilience, she fought back down the home straight to finish in a highly creditable fourth place in a time of 2:26.00. Also in the race was another of Gloucester's second claim athletes, Tracy Hinxman, who finished in 7th place in 2:31.11.
A below par Andrew Bowers has still to show his true potential this season and finished a disappointing 9th in the 800m B race in 2:05.53.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team produced another strong performance in the second round of this season’s Midland Athletics League Division Two fixture in often wet and blustery conditions at Coventry on Sunday.
Their second place finish behind fellow promotion contenders Rugby & Northampton AC was an excellent result following their outstanding win in round one and puts them in a strong position at the top of the table at the half-way stage.
The squad once again set about filling as many spaces on the team sheet as they possibly could, thus picking up valuable points in events where the other competing teams left gaps. It is a simple policy that the current Gloucester squad have mastered to great effect and continues to serve them well.
Joel Townley has firmly established himself as one of the Club’s leading performers this season. Having won the South-West Schools triple jump event the previous day, he showed his loyalty to the team by winning his speciality event before showing his sprinting prowess by recording the fastest 100 metres time by a City athlete, 11.33 seconds, when taking an excellent third place in the 100 meters ‘A’ race. He finished the afternoon with a storming opening leg in the 4 x 400 metres relay, further demonstrating his versatility.
Two newcomers breaking into the sprint events this season, Ben Reeves and Gareth Smith, continued their development in their first season in the sport with both recording electronically-timed personal bests in the 100m ‘B’ and 200m ‘A’ races respectively, while in the ladies sprints, youngster Isobelle Herbert made an impressive debut as she set new personal bests in the 100m and 200m ‘B’ string events.
Harry Wells ran a season’s best 1:56.37 when being pipped for victory in the men’s 800m, while there were two personal best times for Katherine Mills and Anna Midgley in the women’s 800m as they clocked 2:24.41 and 2:26.77 respectively. Katherine was another to show no ill effects from having competed in the South West Schools event the previous day when she later stormed to another personal best in the 400 metres. Anna also set her second personal best of the day when clocking 5:04.87 in the 1500m, with training partner Hayley Winters setting a season’s best when winning the 1500m ‘B’ race.
For the men, James Denne continued his excellent run of form as he stormed to victory in the 3,000m, as Dave Gresswell clocked his fastest time in the event for five years.
There were several podium places to cheer in the field events. Julia Johnson won the ‘B’ long jump and placed second in the triple jump as well as winning the 400m hurdles ‘B’ race in her first attempt at the distance. Beth Bird is another youngster breaking into the senior team this season and she impressed when placing third in the discus and second in the javelin with a personal best throw of 28.85m. Training partner Luke Coghill has been a regular in the discus event for the past two seasons and he stepped up a notch here, setting new personal bests in the discus, shot putt and hammer events.
Kate Davies continued where she left off in round one, claiming victories in the long jump and javelin and second places in the high jump and 100m Hurdles, while another multi-eventer, Jacqui Holloway won the 100m hurdles ‘B’ race, placed third in the 400m hurdles and second in the high jump.
Also in the field, Ollie Keitley and newcomer Simon Cook both earned valuable points in the long, high and triple jumps.
After the match, team manager Richard Blackwell said: “This was one of our best all-round team performances for a long time. We were missing several key athletes due to injury in many events, but everyone pulled together to make sure we filled those spaces. I’m very proud of them. That spirit has put us in a strong position at the halfway stage, so we need to make sure we pull out all of the stops in round three to give ourselves a chance of promotion.”
1st Rugby & Northampton 386 pts; 2nd Gloucester 323; 3rd Birmingham Running & Tri Club 320.5; 4th Coventry Godiva 290; 5th Wolverhampton & Bilston 265; 6th Cheltenham & Co 208.5.
League standings after two of four matches:
1st Gloucester 11 (725 match points); 2nd Rugby & Northampton 11 (719); Coventry Godiva 7; BRAT 6; Wolverhampton & Bilston 5; Cheltenham & County 2.
Gloucester Athletic Club members struck gold at Sunday’s Midlands Master Track & Field Championships at Nuneaton, bringing several gold medals back to the City.
On the track, LJ Beard was making her first appearance in a regional Masters Championships and came away from the meeting with a full set of medals, taking gold in the W35 100m in 14.14 seconds, silver in the 200m with a new Club age group best of 28.36 seconds and bronze in the 400m with a 66.52 seconds clocking.
Tina Wickens led the W50 800m final from the gun, extending her lead throughout to win by 50 metres in another Club age group best time of 2:32.85, knocking half a second off her own one-month old mark.
Jo Willoughby was denied two British records by the gusting wind in the long and triple jumps as she struck double gold. Her winning mark in the long jump was 4.85m, while her winning leap in the triple jump was 10.22 metres.
Marion Loveridge was another gold medal winner, taking the W55 hammer title with a best throw of 36.51m.
The ladies weren’t to have a monopoly of titles coming to the Club. Jason Tilley knocked another second off his personal best when winning the M45 800 metres in 2:15 for his first regional title.
Competitors were rewarded with a host of personal and season’s best times at the Gloucester AC Summer Open Meeting held at Blackbridge last week.
For the first time ever at a track meeting in the City, the runners enjoyed the luxury of electronic timing was used and this undoubtedly boosted the number of entries for what proved to be a highly successful evening’s competition.
Gloucester AC results:
1500m Race 1 1st James Denne 4:16.77; 3rd Steve Kenyon 4:30.71.
Race 2 1st Max Sheppard 4:45.39; 2nd Jason Tilley 4:46.75; 4th Tilley Ashley 4:53.58.
Race 3 3rd Briony Bishop 5:05.37; 4th Hayley Winters 5:07.39; 5th Anna Midgley 5:08.45;
9th Dave Gresswell 5:14.95.
Race 4 6th Paul Corderoy 5:31.43
800m Race 1 3rd Andrew Bowers 2:04.05; 6th Ethan Hood2:14.51.
Race 2 1st George Daly 2:14.17; 4th Jacob Barry 2:18.94.
Race 3 5th Anna Midgley 2:27.62.
Race 4 1st Millie Newell 2:25.45; 3rd Daniel Stewart 2:33.51; 4th Tina Wickens 2:36.06;
5th Lucy Jeffery 2:37.89.
Race 5 8th Amber Spackman 2:48.84.
Race 6 9th Chloe Shephard 3:00.87.
Race 7 2nd Ruth Brook 2:46.41; 8th Keira Barry 2:56.91.
Race 8 1st Paul Loveridge 2:40.82; 4th Coco Wickens-Shaw 2:56.84; 5th Jessica Stringer 2:59.61; 6th Nicola Waters 3:11.37.
600m Race 1 4th Adeline Ducker 2:19.57; 6th Bailey Ward 2:34.64.
400m (Para) 1st Charlie Denman 1:34.02; 2nd Archie Eaton 1:56.56; 3rd Eleanor Hewitt 2:47.19
100m Race 2 2nd Ellie Wheeler-Smith 12.54; 4th Ben Reeves 12.93.
Race 3 1st Ella-Grace Edwards 13.15; 3rd Sam Ivins 13.63; 5th Isobelle Herbert 13.79.
Race 4 3rd Ula Mohammed 15.03; 5th Charlie Hart 15.52.
(Para) 1st Charlie Denman 23.15; 2nd Archie Eaton 25.23; 3rd Victoria Broom 30.83;
4th Eleanor Hewitt 33.29.
75m Race 1 2nd Megan Hart 11.90; 3rd Heidi Wyman 12.03; 4th Adeline Ducker 12.635 5th Bailey Ward 13.84.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Joel Townley and Harry Wells confirmed their status as among the leading junior athletes in the region when they both won gold at the Midland Counties U20 Championships at Nuneaton on Sunday.
Townley has a 100% success record in triple jump competitions this year and extended that run when striking gold with a leap of 14.46 metres, while Wells comfortably won the men’s 1500 metres in 4:10.78, his first race over the distance following a successful winter cross-country campaign.
There was a strong Gloucester AC presence at the recent Berkeley 10K road race which was won by the Club’s track & field team captain, Steve Millward in 32:56.
Owen Parry continued his run of good form when placing 5th in a personal best 35:24, with Jeremy Mower placing 18th overall and first M50 in a 2019-best time of 36:51 just ahead of Max Sheppard in 20th place with 37:18.
Other Club finishers were:
George Daly 23rd in 37:45, Jason Tilley 36th place 39:02, Steve Robbins 40th in 39:22, Dave Gresswell 61st in 41:01, Paul Corderoy 69th in 41:35, Paul Loveridge 94th in 43:14, Dave Spackman 232nd in 52:27, Chris Davis 257th in 53:40 and Helen Haines 282nd of the 390 finishers in 56:24.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s James Denne followed up his impressive win in the Midland League 5,000m track race on the previous weekend with an equally commanding win in the Fountain Five Mile Multi Terrain race at Lydney.
Leading from the gun, the Gloucester runner strode to victory in 31:34, nearly two minutes clear of second-placed Marcus Bennetto of the Forest of Dean club.
In her first race for three months, Gemma Collier placed 15th overall and second lady in 39:41 while John Miklausic placed 37th in 44:18.
Jason Tilley achieved his first local race victory when he held off club mate Steve Kenyon to win Sunday’s challenging Bredon Cricket Club Tower Run by one second, as he clocked 43:50 to Kenyon’s 43:51. Peter Jeffery placed 20th in 51:44
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team made the most of home advantage as they stormed to an impressive win their opening Midland Athletics League Division Two fixture at Blackbridge on Sunday.
Following two successive promotions as Champions of Divisions three and Four, a good start was imperative if the team was to make a statement against some strong teams from around the Midlands and, despite missing key athletes, they have certainly sounded a warning to the opposition that they are not here to make up the numbers in the League.
The team’s victory was based on a solid all-round performance across the full range of events, with several newcomers making their first appearances in the senior team.
Tilly Ashley and Beth Bird are products of the Club’s junior section and made an immediate impact as first Tilly stormed to victory in the 1500 metres ‘A’ race and then Beth won both the ‘B’ discus and javelin events in convincing fashion. Another athlete new to the senior ranks, Katherine Mills, ran another assured race as she placed 3rd in the senior women’s 800 metres while another U17, Ellie Wheeler-Smith, now a regular in the team, took a narrow victory in the 200 metres and a 2nd place in the 100 metres.
There were further victories among the ladies section from Tina Wickens, Anna Midgley and Hayley Winters in the 800m, 1500m and 3,000m ‘B’ string races while another member of the Paul de-Camps stable, Briony Bishop, recorded a fine personal best time of 11:02.3 when taking second place in the 3,000m ‘A’ race.
L-J Beard ran strongly to set two new club W35 age group records in the women’s 200 and 400m, while multi-eventer Jacqui Holloway pitched in with wins in the 100m Hurdles and high jump ‘B’ events. Another multi-eventer, Kate Davies, again showed her worth to the team when winning the ‘A’ string javelin and high jump as well as taking second places in the 100m hurdles, shot putt and long jump. There were further wins from Ellen Thrall and Chloe Jones in the hammer and discus and another second place for Marion Loveridge in the ‘B’ hammer event.
James Denne produced, perhaps, the pick of the track performances from the men’s team as he led from gun to tape in the 5,000 metres to win by 80 metres in a new personal best time of 15:25.8 while Harry Wells ran an assured 800 metres to secure another victory for the de-Camps group.
In the field, there were wins for Joel Townley and Ollie Keitley in the triple jump, Gareth Winter in the ‘A’ shot and discus, and Mike Curneen in the ‘B’ shot putt.
Steve Kenyon received a late call-up to replace injured men’s captain Steve Millward and set a new personal best in the 1500 metres ‘A’ race while James Walters, Owen Parry and Steve Haines showed excellent powers of recovery from the previous day’s British Masters Road Relays Championships to record personal bests in the 1500m, 5,000m and steeplechase respectively.
The men’s team also included three athletes making their first ever appearance in a full athletics meeting. Ben Reeves and Gareth Smith both acquitted themselves well in the men’s sprint events while Simon Cook took an excellent third place in the high jump.
Team manager Richard Blackwell was delighted with the result, saying: “This match showed the importance of working with the coaches and athletes well in advance. We have been planning for this fixture for several weeks as we knew how important it was to fill all the spaces on the team and get off to a good start. One or two of the other teams didn’t travel well, so we can expect tougher challenges in the matches ahead, but for now we’ll enjoy this result.”
Provisional match score:
1st Gloucester AC 388 pts; 2nd Rugby & Northampton 215; 3rd Coventry Godiva 285; 4th Wolves & Bilston 261; 5th Birmingham Running & Tri Club 252; 6th Cheltenham & Co H 219.
The Club’s young athletes travelled to Swindon on Saturday to compete in the second round of the National Youth Development League Midland Division and achieved their highest-ever points tally in this League to finish in third place behind the strong Swindon and Newport teams.
Team manager Matt Holloway was full of praise for his young squad, saying “The whole team should be very proud of their performances today and it was great to see so many athletes competing. The final match of the regular League is at Blackbridge on 23rd June where there is everything to play for to achieve a top two overall finish, which will hopefully qualify for the Play-off promotion match.”
The Gloucester club was well-represented at Saturday’s British Masters Road Relays Championships at Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield.
The Men’s M35 squad of James Walters, Jason Tilley, Owen Parry, Steve Millward, Max Sheppard and Steve Haines placed 12th of the 41 teams that started the event, with Millward clocking the 23rd fastest leg of the day.
The M45 team of Mike Mansfield, Austin Blackburn, Paul Corderoy and Dave Gresswell placed 24th of the 46 starters, while the M65 team of Arthur Daley, Dave Spackman and Chris O’Carroll took an excellent 7th place in their category.
At Sunday’s Plymouth Half Marathon, Bethan Moor set a new personal best 1:30:51 when placing 140th overall and 1st U20 woman, while in the Tewkesbury Half Marathon, Jordan Evans placed 19th in 1:28:01 and Graham Davis 20th in 1:28:26.
Gloucester Athletic Club members enjoyed considerable success across a wide range of events and age groups at last weekend’s Gloucestershire County Championships at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham.
Several members of the Club’s senior track & field team used the meeting as vital preparation ahead of this weekend’s Midland Athletics League opener at Blackbridge and came away with a stash of medals.
Kate Davies opened her outdoors season in style, winning the senior high jump with 1.60m before launching the javelin 38.53m to take another gold. Training partners Joel Townley and Oliver Keitley were equally impressive when winning their U20 and U17 triple jumps while coach Jo Willoughby was a double winner, taking the W55 long and triple jump titles.
Matt Holloway and newcomer Stewart O’Reilly each came away with triple golds after they won their M40 and M35 high jump, pole vault and javelin competitions.
The throwers were equally dominant as Ellen Thrall celebrated her 21st birthday by improving her week-old personal best with a splendid throw of 48.79m to win the senior women’s hammer, while Marion Loveridge admitted to being much happier with her 38.58m winning throw in the W55 event after a below-par showing in the previous week’s Brewer Games. Andy McKenzie threw 27.74m to win the M55 category.
The discus events saw further success for the City Club. Chloe Jones was a clear winner of the senior women’s event with 36.51m, while training partners Beth Bird and Ben Campion won their respective U17s titles and Marion Loveridge added to her hammer gold with victory in the W55 category. Luke Coghill won the silver medal in the U20 event while the Karlsson twins, Paul and Philip, took silver and bronze in the M65 category.
The shot putt was equally productive, with Philip Karlsson gaining revenge over Paul as the pair took gold and silver in the M65 competition. Marion Loveridge won her third title of the weekend when winning the W55 category and Mike Curneen won the M45 title.
The Club’s elder statesmen, Chris O’Carroll, Don Macer-Wright and Dave Spackman came away with several titles in the M75 and M70 age groups, with Macer-Wright returning after a 30-year break to win the javelin and Spackman winning the 3,000 metres in the M70 categories, while O’Carroll took multiple golds in the long jump, shot putt, discus and 100 metres M75s.
One of the most encouraging performances on the track came from Katharine Mills, who showed tactical awareness to win the Senior/U17 800 metres for her first county title at this age group.
The Club’s Para-athlete Group were also successful. Charlie Denman completed a clean sweep of titles in the 100m, 200m and 400m Race-Running event. Vicky Broom, Josh Freeman and Joe Skidmore were victorious in the Wheelchair 100m Senior Women, U17 and U13 categories and Sam Ivins achieved a first by becoming the first para-athlete to win an overall senior men’s title when he took the 100 and 200 metres.
Charlotte McGlone made a welcome return to racing following a break to place 4th overall and first lady in Sunday’s Stroud Trails Half Marathon.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Kenyon ran the fastest marathon by a City runner for over 15 years when he clocked 2:42:56 in Sunday’s APB Newport Wales Marathon, beating his own personal best time by 12 minutes.
The south Wales course is advertised as being one of the flattest on the racing calendar, with over 2,000 runners lining up in near-perfect running conditions.
Kenyon started well, settling in towards the front of the field and passed through the half-way stage in 79 minutes and kicked on through the second half. However, he suffered over the final stages as he hit the dreaded “wall”, and although having to stop on more than one occasion, he persevered to complete and come home in a very respectable 10th place.
Clubmate Graham Davis also had a good run, clocking a personal best 3:09:19 in 146th place while Lee Moore clocked 3:56:21 818th place.
At the Pomphrey Sports 5K event in Bristol last week, Steve Robbins reduced his personal best time by eight seconds when clocking 18:52 in 40th place and Arthur Daley clocked 20:27 in 66th place.
James Walters was the first Gloucester Athletic Club runner across the finish line in Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon, clocking a very respectable 2:50:10, having passed through the half way point in 1:20.
The time was just seven seconds down on his best time set in the New York event in 2017 and demonstrates his remarkable consistency over the distance, with his five fastest races being within three minutes of each other.
Mike Mansfield was running his first London for five years and will have been satisfied with his performance, placing 3,536th in 3:11:44.
Amy Walker clocked a new personal best time of 3:37:48 while Sophie Hope suffered over the second half after passing through the half way point in her target time, to clock 3:59:07.
The Gloucester City Parkrun around the City’s Park has been a happy hunting ground for Gloucester club runners since it was established last year, with Steve Millward winning the inaugural race and Steve Kenyon winning on no fewer than 17 occasions since.
However, a little piece of history was created last Saturday as the Club’s cross-country captain Anna Midgley became the first lady ever to win the event overall, clocking 19:53 for the 5km course to narrowly hold off Andrew Malloy of Bristol & West, some four seconds back.
The City Club’s young athletes travelled down to Braunton in north Devon last Saturday to compete in the opening track & field match of the season, the National Youth Development League for the U13 and U15 age groups.
Although the venue felt the fury of Storm Hannah, which was unleashing its power throughout the meeting, the young team fared well to secure a top three placing overall to set themselves on the way for another successful season. Team manager Matt Holloway will be hoping that his team can build on this start with a strong performance in round two at Swindon on 18th May.
There was success in the sunshine for Gloucester Athletic Club members at Monday’s Gloucester 4.3 miles road race from the Pilot Inn, Hardwick, as Steve Kenyon returned to road racing to seal victory by over a minute and a half in 23:52 for his third road race win of the year. Kenyon’s Club mate Max Sheppard placed second in 25:31 while Bethan Moor placed 7th overall in 28:11 to win the ladies prize.
Amy Walker and Sophie Hope placed 19th and 20th respectively, sharing the same time 34:26, Dave Spackman placed 24th in 36:15, ahead of grand-daughter Amber who placed 27th overall and first FU15 in 39:07.
At the Bushley One Mile Road Race at Tewkesbury, Anna Midgley warmed up for her track season when placing 13th overall and 4th lady in 5:44. Dave Gresswell placed 17th in 5:52 and Arthur Daley 25th in 6:27.
Harry Wells made his debut over 10K at the recent Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay event, clocking an impressive 33:19, while sister Beth has been producing some fine performances in races in London. She placed second overall and first lady in the Orchid River Run 5K in 18:38 and then 15th overall and 2nd lady in the Chase the Sun 5K at the Olympic Park, clocking 20:18.
Joel Townley celebrated his 18th birthday with a new triple jump personal best as he opened his 2019 outdoor track & field season in style at the Bath Field Fest event. The Gloucester youngster leapt 14.80 metres to add 7cms to his two-year old best. Training partner Ollie Keitley placed third with a best jump of 12.51 metres.
Paul Barlow travelled to Cleckheaton in Yorkshire to compete in the Northern Masters League meeting, clocking 15.6 seconds and 31.4 seconds in the M45 100 and 200 metres.
The Gloucester club’s senior track & field team will again be captained by Sophie Rowe (ladies) and Steve Millward (men) for their Midland Athletics League Division Two campaign this season which opens with a home fixture at Blackbridge on Sunday 19th May. The two were joint captains last season when the team won the Division Three title.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward left it late before entering Sunday’s Chedworth Roman Trail, a 10-mile race through the stunning Cotswold countryside, but it proved to be a wise move as he raced to his fourth win in the event.
The Gloucester sports-shop owner was actually working at the event but decided just 10 minutes before the start that it was worth getting his racing shoes on and entering the race to get those all-important training miles under his belt.
Making his way to the front of the 450-plus strong field, Millward passed through the four-miles stage with only Welsh Masters cross-country international Tegid Jones of Witney for company, before pulling away over the more challenging second half to win comfortably in 1:02:28.
Nick Bishop was next home, crossing the line in 1:21:50 for 73rd place. Peter Jeffery placed 129th in 1:29:08, Amy Walker clocked 1:38:53 in 230th place and Nicola Waters 1:40:55 in 251st place.
Steve and Helen Haines travelled down to the south coast to run in Sunday’s Brighton Marathon. Steve had set himself a pre-race target of three and a half hours which he achieved, placing 656th of the 20,000 runners in 3:23:57, while wife Helen found her lack of training miles taking effect at the 19-mile point but she rallied and completed the course in 5:02:54 in 7,547th place.
Max Sheppard took time out of a holiday in Florida to compete in the 18th annual UMC Windermere Run Among The Lakes 10K event where he placed second.
Steve Millward led Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men to team victory in Sunday’s Angels 10K road race around the Ashleworth area, north of the City, when he placed second overall in 34:43.
Millward went off strongly from the gun with Richard Dare of Cheltenham & County Harriers and the two established a healthy lead over the chasing pack. Dare broke away at the half way stage as he put in a strong effort up one of the testing climbs on the route and was never headed as he came home the victor in 34:28.
Jeremy Mower was the next City runner home, placing fourth overall and first M50 in 37:27, with Steve Haines placing 15th in 40:15 to clinch the team prize.
Dave Gresswell was just behind, placing 17th in 41:16, while Paul Corderoy placed 26th in 43:01. Paul Loveridge placed 37th in 45:05, Dave Spackman placed 85th in 53:32 and Helen Haines 97th in 55:38.
Gloucester’s Jeremy Mower competed for Wales at last week’s annual Anglo-Celtic 100km road race at Perth in Scotland. Sixty runners started the gruelling event, run over 42 laps of the North Insch Park, with Mower finishing in 21st place in 8:52:32 to complete his 15th consecutive appearance in the event.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jo Willoughby produced an outstanding performance at the World Masters Athletics Indoors Championships in Torun, Poland last Thursday to take the silver medal in the W55 Triple Jump category.
Longlevens-based Willoughby’s preparations in the lead-up to the Championships had been hampered by an achilles tendon injury that had threatened her participation in the competition, but she called on all of her experience and vast knowledge of the event to produce an indoors personal best leap of 10.52 metres that smashed the existing UK age-group best and equal the European record.
Afterwards, she said: “I’m so happy with this performance as right up to the last minute, I didn’t know if I would be able to jump or not. I went off a shorter run-up than usual and, to be honest, I still don’t know where that leap came from!”
Gloucester club mate Richard Blackwell competed in the M60 60 metres, placing 3rd in his heat in 6.68 seconds before placing 8th in his semi-final.
At the recent Midlands Area 12-stage Road Relays, the Gloucester club’s men’s team placed 25th overall in a highly competitive event.
James Denne ran the quickest long leg of 5.38 miles in 28:13, while Harry Wells produced an excellent run to record the team’s fastest short leg (3.17 miles) of 16:46.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s James Walters was more than happy with his run at Sunday’s Gloucester 20-mile road race as he crossed the finish line in 9th place in 2:03:42, a personal best by just over one minute.
The 20-mile is the one road event that the Gloucester club stages and, over many years, has built up a reputation for its slick organisation and friendly support over the course that takes 500 runners through the lanes of Haresfield.
Walters had set himself a target of running at 6:15 mile pace, his aim for next month’s London Marathon, but found himself being caught up in a group who started to increase that pace after the five-mile mark, leaving the Gloucester runner with a choice of either going with the pace and paying the price in the closing stages or slowing down. Walters wisely decided to hold back and stick to his original pace, passing through the half-way point in a shade over 60 minutes and then hold on to finish strongly.
Afterwards he said: “I knew that I would have suffered if I had gone with the pace, so I’m happy that I stuck to my plan. At this stage of my heavy training and with London just six weeks away, I’ll settle for that time.”
Paul Corderoy was the next host Club runner home, placing 156th in 2:39:19, ahead of Amy Walker who placed 176th overall and 7th LV35 in 2:42:49. Neil Hobbs clocked 2:46:22 in 200th place, Sophie Hope placed 243rd in 2:51:50, Maisie Abbott clocked 3:00:01 in 299th and Andrea Preedy 340th of the 450 finishers in 3:06:39.
New Club signing Adam Cracknell placed 62nd in Sunday’s Reading Half Marathon, clocking 1:13:12. Wayne Mayer clocked 1:22:34 in 224th place, while Mike Mansfield continued his preparations for the London Marathon placing 228th in 1:22:35. Graham Davis clocked a personal best 1:27:30 in 426th and Simon Barnes finished in 3850th in 2:06:31.
In the final Midland Counties Indoors Open Meeting at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, Ellie Wheeler-Smith clocked 7.94 seconds for the 60 metres before setting a new Club U17W record of 12.53 seconds for the rarely-run indoors 100 metres.
The 2018-19 winter cross-country season drew to a close with the annual CAU Inter-Counties Cross-country Championships in very windy and blustery conditions at Loughborough on Saturday.
Briony Bishop has enjoyed her best-ever season, establishing herself as one of the leading junior ladies in the county and a mainstay of the Gloucester club’s successful senior ladies team over the winter. At Loughborough, she achieved her highest placing in the event when placing 82nd in the U20 Women’s race.
By comparison, Club mate Jeremy Mower was one of the more senior members of the County squad and placed 282nd overall and 4th Gloucestershire runner in the senior men’s race.
At the British Masters Indoors Championships at Lee Valley in north London, Tina Wickens ran a perfectly-judged race to win the W50 800 metres in a new personal best time of 2:32:85, the second-fastest by a British W50 this year, to eclipse the 10-year old club indoor age group record held by Angie Alstrachen.
This Sunday sees the Gloucester club stage its only road race, the Gloucester 20-mile road race around the lanes of Haresfield. The race starts at the Robin Greave Sports Centre on the Waterwells estate at 9:30am.
Four Gloucester Athletic Club members, Nick Bishop, Clive Poole, Stephen Shields and Mark Thrall competed in Saturday’s Green Man ultra-marathon, an arduous 45-mile event that follows the Community Forest Path around Bristol, with the famous City providing a stunning backdrop.
Thrall was the first runner of the group, placing 44th of the 195 finishers in 8:41:28, while Poole, Bishop and Shields crossed the line together in 10:19:36.
At the Welsh Athletics Indoor event at Cardiff, youngster Tricia Stanfield found herself up against athletes several years her senior in the 200 metres. Unfazed, she placed 3rd in a season’s best 28.11 seconds.
Gloucester Athletic Club are hosting a Graded Open Meeting at their Blackbridge track on Tuesday 4th June.
There will be events ranging from 75 metres to 1500 metres, for all age groups from U11s upwards and will include para-athletes and race-runners. All races will feature electronic timing.
Entries are now open on the Club’s website (on-line entries only) at www.gloucesterac.co.uk
Youngsters Briony Bishop and Millie Porter and James Denne in the senior men’s race produced the stand-out performances in the warm and sunny conditions at Saturday’s Saucony English National Cross-Country Championships at Harewood House in Leeds as the cream of English distance runners descended on the Yorkshire city for the 131st running of this historic event.
U17W Millie has raced sparingly this winter, concentrating on her studies, but her run in the previous week’s Gloucestershire League fixture where she placed 15th in the senior/U17W combined race suggested that she was in good fettle. And so it proved as she placed 86th of the 220 finishers.
U20W Briony has been one of the success stories of the winter, establishing herself as a leading member of the Club’s senior women’s team that won promotion to Division One of the Midland Women’s League and twice leading the team home in Gloucestershire League races. In a particularly competitive Junior Ladies race, she produced another excellent run to place 80th.
Since joining the City Club from county rivals Cheltenham, James Denne has made a significant contribution to the senior men’s team in their successful Birmingham League Division Three title-winning team. He acquitted himself well in his first National and finished in a very credible 155th place.
Several more Club members made the long trip north to experience the unique atmosphere that only the National can offer.
The senior men’s race was most supported, as Owen Parry and James Walters again renewed their season-long rivalry and it was again Parry who prevailed, as he overcame a fall during the massed-start to place 711th, with training partner Walter coming home in 741st place. Steve Haines was next to finish, placing 975th, Dave Gresswell was 1,362nd, Ian Summers 1,607th, Aaron Bennett 1,751st and veteran Chris O’Carroll 1,983rd.
Kirsty Reid placed 799th in the senior women’s race and youngster Jessica Stronger came home in 364th in the U13 Girls event.
Club spokesman Richard Blackwell said: “It’s important that we offer the very best competition available to our members as it’s a great opportunity for them to rub shoulders with the very best runners of their age group in the country, as well as inspiring the younger ones to greater things for the future. The National is now an established fixture on our racing calendar and we shall continue to encourage our runners of all ages to compete and to enjoy the experience.”
Young sprinter Ellie Wheeler-Smith found the going tough at the English U17 Indoor Championships at Sheffield at the weekend.
On Saturday she competed in the 60 metres, placing 2nd in her heat in 7.97 seconds before placing 5th in the semi-final in the same time. The following day, she raced in the 200 metres and placed 2nd in her heat with a time of 25.75 seconds.
At the previous weekend’s City of Birmingham Games at the National Indoor Arena, Kate Davies had a busy afternoon, setting two new indoor personal bests for the senior 60m hurdles (9.88 seconds) and long jump (4.90 metres) as well as clearing a season’s best 1.60 metres in the high jump. Training partner Julia Johnson set a new indoor personal best when jumping 4.50 metres in the U17W long jump. Sprinter Sophie Temple ran a new indoor personal best and her third fastest-ever 400 metres when clocking 62.28 seconds.
Gloucester Athletic Club members made the most of the good conditions when competing in Sunday’s Bourton 10K Road Race.
Max Sheppard knocked over 30 seconds off his previous best time for the distance when clocking 36:18 to lead the Club’s contingent home in 28th place.
Steve Robbins was the next home, clocking 39:32 in 85th place, just ahead of Hayley Winters whose 39:37, her fastest for three years, secured her 88th place overall and 1st lady.
Graham Davis clocked 40:55 in 126th place, while Arthur Daley just held off fast-finishing Tina Wickens as they placed 176th and 177th in 43:02. Peter Jeffery placed 216th in 45:03, Sophie Hope clocked 45:41 in 231st, Amy Walker 46:03 in 243rd, Helen Haines 55:49 in 438th and Simon Barnes 59:23 in 503rd place.
Gloucester Athletic Club concluded a successful Gloucestershire Cross-Country League campaign at the final round of races at Pittville Park on Sunday.
With the Club’s main priorities, the Birmingham and Midland Women’s Cross-Country Leagues, safely out of the way several of the Club’s athletes were hoping for further success in this competition in team and individual categories.
Even though the senior ladies team were still on a high from their promotion-winning performance in the Midland League, they were keen to secure team medals in this competition. Briony Bishop has established herself as one of the team’s stand-out runners over the winter and again produced another performance that belied her 18 years as she crossed the line in 11th place to lead the team home. Training partner Anna Midgley finished just one place down in 12th with youngster Millie Porter, in her first race of the season, producing a fine run to place 15th overall and second in the U17W category as the ‘A’ team took a fine second place on the day. The results secured the team 3rd place over the season.
Another U17, Evie Green, led the ‘B’ team home when placing 22nd, ahead of Kim Millward in her first race of the season in 27th place and Grace Vido in 34th.
Nicola Waters placed 63rd overall and 1st W60 on the day, to take the league age category title, Abby Brook placed 86th and Trudy Wells 94th to complete the ‘C’ team while Emma Jeffery placed 105th and Charlotte Hall 106th.
The ladies race incorporated the men’s masters’ race and in his first race of the year, Arthur Daley placed 1st in the M65 category, while Chris O’Carroll won the M70 age group.
Steve Millward will have been pleased that he made a last-minute decision to contest the men’s race as he came home in 5th place in his first county League race in five years. Owen Parry produced another consistent run to place 34th, just ahead of team mate James Walters in 37th. Dave Gresswell and John Nash were locked together throughout the race, with Gresswell holding on to place 92nd, just one place and three seconds ahead of Nash. The team was completed by Aaron Bennett who came home in 163rd place. Chris Davis completed the squad, placing 182nd.
Like several of the senior runners, Toby Scott had fallen victim to a virus during the week but produced a consistent run in the U20M race to take 7th place.
Jessica Hill led the City team to second place on the day in the U15 Girls race, placing 4th. Katherine Mills came home in 7th place and Lucy Jeffery 13th. Amber Spackman placed 16th. The U15 Boys race saw Ethan Hood place 11th and Ben Darlow 17th.
In the U13 Girls race, Jess Stringer placed 24th and Chloe Shephard 36th, while in the Boys race Oliver Mitchell placed 19th.
In the youngest age groups of the meeting, the U11s, Ruth Brook took 3rd place in the Girls race. Matilda Farmer placed 51st and Bailey Ward 55th. The Boys race saw a 23rd place finish for Lucas Simpson with Ben Mandeville placing 27th.
Sprinter Ellie Wheeler-Smith continued her fine indoor form at the Birmingham Games meeting at the National Indoor Arena. She opened up with a 7.92 seconds clocking in the U17W 60 metres before stopping the clock in the 200 metres at 25.47 seconds to eclipse Gael Davies’ club record set some 24 years ago.
Training partner Isobelle Herbert also had a busy day, setting new indoor personal best times for the 200 metres, 28.17 seconds, and the 300 metres, 45.55 seconds.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior cross-country teams produced outstanding results to bring their Midland Women’s and Birmingham & District Men’s Cross-Country Leagues to a highly successful conclusion in the mud and water at the Cattle Country Adventure Park in Berkeley on Saturday.
The men went into their Division Three match with a healthy lead over their nearest rivals Newcastle (Staffs) AC, meaning the real business of the race was hoping that Harry Wells could produce another strong run and keep in touch with Solihull’s Chris McLeod to determine which of the two would win the individual overall League win for the season.
McLeod made his customary strong start and by the half-way mark of the six and a half kilometers course, held a 30 second lead over the Gloucester youngster, with Wells’ team mates, James Denne, Steve Millward and Steve Kenyon all making light of the conditions.
McLeod came home the winner with Wells running a tactically sound race to come home in second place to ensure the pair shared the overall title. Denne produced his best run of the season to come home in third place with Millward and Kenyon coming home in fourth and fifth respectively. Owen Parry placed 15th with James Walters coming home in 20th place to complete the ‘A’ team and give the City squad an unassailable lead at the top of the table, with a season’s best match total of 49 points.
Much of the Club’s success during the season has been built around the reserve strength and again the support runners were out in force. Jeremy Mower ran strongly to place 23rd and lead the ‘B’ team home, ahead of Glen Balmer in a season’s best 28th place. In his first League race for five years, Max Sheppard produced a strong run to place 36th, with Steve Haines in 38th. Jason Tilley also achieved a season’s best placing, finishing in 46th with Peter Haynes completing the ‘B’ team in 63rd place to secure a team competition win for the reserve squad with 234 points.
Steve Robbins was the next City runner home, placing 68th, while Dave Gresswell came home in 104th place of the 211 finishers to complete a dominant display by the team.
Afterwards, team captain Steve Millward said: “The success of the season has been down to a great spirit in the camp, the support of all of the runners and coaches and some tremendously hard work. The results are nothing less than the athletes deserve. We hope we can keep up the momentum and take this into the road relay season and beyond.”
1st Chris McLeod (Newcastle Staffs AC); 2nd Harry Wells (Gloucester AC); 3rd James Denne (Gloucester AC); 4th Steve Millward (Gloucester AC); 5th Steve Kenyon (Gloucester AC).
A teams - 1st Gloucester AC 49pts; 2nd Newcastle (Staffs) AC 93; 3rd Solihull &Smallheath 148.
B teams – 1st Gloucester 234; 2nd Massey Ferguson RC 427; 3rd Newcastle (Staffs) AC 473.
A teams – 1st Gloucester AC 268; 2nd Newcastle (Staffs) AC 387; 3rd Massey Ferguson RC 666.
B teams – 1st Gloucester AC 1400 pts; Newcastle (Staffs) AC 1841; 3rd place Massey Ferguson 1929.
If the men’s overall team result could have been expected, given their dominance throughout the season, the performances of the City’s women’s team in the Midland Women’s League have been nothing short of remarkable.
Making a return to the League after an absence of 10 years, the team went into Saturday’s match lying in fourth place overall with a sizeable gap to close if they were to secure promotion to Division One.
Gemma Collier made her customary strong start to the four-and-a-half mile race, giving her team mates a target to chase. As the race settled down, the scoring quartet of Collier, Hayley Winters, Anna Midgley and Briony Bishop forced their way through to the top 20 of the 200-strong field. Such was their determination, they all pushed through to achieve season’s best places with Hayley leading the team home in 7th place, closely followed by Anna in 8th and Briony in 10th place overall and second junior, with Gemma completing the team in 18th place, giving them victory in the team race with 41 points and sealing the final promotion place.
As in the men’s race, the reserves provided solid back-up with Tina Wickens also securing a season’s best 35th placing, Grace Vido 53rd, Liz Usedon 98th and Trudy Wells 106th to spark off the celebrations.
Team manager Paul de-Camps was jubilant at the finish, saying: “Every one of the team has worked hard throughout the season for this result, and their well-deserved promotion fully vindicates our decision to return to the League. This will really start the ball rolling back at the Club with other runners waiting to come into the squad.”
Gloucester sprinter Ellie Wheeler-Smith recorded a new personal best time of 7.88 seconds winning the silver medal in the U17 Women’s 60 metres at Sunday’s Midlands Indoors Championships at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium.
A quartet of Gloucester Athletic Club members braved the snow and icy conditions to compete in last Sunday’s May Hill Massacre and Mayhem races.
In the shorter nine-miles Massacre trail race, Nick Bishop placed 17th in a personal best time of 1:22:01, Stephen Shields placed 54th in 1:33:20 and Liz Usedon placing 98th in 1:50:10.
Club mate Clive Poole competed in the inaugural May Hill Mayhem 15-miiles trail race which included four ascents of the hill in challenging conditions and placed 29th in 2:37:01.
Poole, Bishop and Shields were using the events as a warm-up run ahead of next month’s Green Man ultra-trail event which takes place over a 45-mile course around Bristol.
Gloucester senior women and men will be in racing action at the Cattle Country Adventure Park in Berkeley this Saturday in their final Midland Women’s and Birmingham & District Cross-country League races of the season.
The men are virtually assured of the Division Three title in their League while the women will be trying to close a gap to earn promotion to Division One in their first appearance in the Women’s League for over a decade.
The racing starts at 1:30pm.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Kenyon secured his second local road race win in eight days when he came home a clear winner of Sunday’s Staverton 10-mile road race in a personal best time of 56:14.
The biting cold wind made the going hard for the 180-strong field and put paid to fast times, but the conditions did not seem to deter Kenyon as he tore around the lanes of Churchdown and Staverton to cross the line 40 seconds clear of his closest challenger to further enhance his growing reputation on the County road race circuit.
Club mate James Walters provided solid support, placing 11th in 60:69, while Jeremy Mower clocked 73:50 in 19th overall and second M50 to secure second place for the team.
Peter Haynes was the next runner home for the City team, placing 24th in a personal best 64:53. Steve Haines finished two places behind in 65:22, while Dave Gresswell placed 34th in 66:45.
Anna Midgley placed 74th in 75:32 while Helen Haines placed 140th in 94:09 to complete the Club’s contingent.
Entries are flooding in for this year’s Gloucester 20-mile Road Race which takes place on Sunday 17th March around the lanes of Haresfield and the Waterwells area of Quedgeley.
The event, which is the only race staged by the Gloucester club, has a long history dating back to the 1970s when it used to be a straight race from the Oxbode in the City Centre out to Cheltenham and then back again for a total of 18 miles.
Since then, road alterations and an increase in traffic have caused the race to move to its present location and in recent years it has become one of the most popular events in the county, attracting hundreds of runners who are preparing for spring marathons.
Club spokesman Richard Blackwell says “This is the only race that the Club organises and it’s one of which we are justly proud, given its history and reputation. A huge amount of work goes into staging the event and all of our groups turn out to help on the day as every penny raised goes back into Gloucester AC and the sport.”
Entry for the event is via the Club’s website, www.gloucesterac.co.uk.
Gloucester Athletic Club members continued their good form in a range of events over the weekend.
Steve Kenyon started 2019 where he finished 2018, with another commanding local road race victory as he broke the tape at Sunday’s Linda Franks 5-mile Road Race around the Reddings area of Cheltenham some 45 seconds clear of his nearest rival in an impressive 27:04, his best time for the distance. Still a relative novice, Kenyon has built up quite a reputation on the local scene.
Although cold, the conditions were good for running and the rest of a sizeable Gloucester entry recorded some encouraging performances.
Max Sheppard was the next City runner home, crossing the line in 7th place in 28:15, a personal best by 90 seconds, while Jeremy Mower just crept into the top 10, placing 10th overall and first M50 in 29:13, his fastest for two years.
Steve Haines was another runner to record a personal best, clocking 29:49 in 18th place, as was Jason Tilley whose 30:15 clocking in 22nd place was an improvement of 18 seconds on his previous best.
Just behind was Tracy Hinxman, who knocked over 40 seconds off her personal best time with 30:20 to place 34th overall and 2nd lady, just ahead of Graham Davis who produced probably his best-ever run when taking over two minutes off his previous best with a 30:28 clocking in 25th place.
Ladies cross-country captain Anna Midgley was the next Club runner home, crossing the line in 44th place in a new personal best 32:09, while newcomer Mark Perkins placed 105th in 37:48 in his first 5-miler. Dave Spackman celebrated his birthday by placing 142nd overall and second M70 in 41:00, while Helen Haines completed the City Club’s contingent placing 170th in 43:24.
Meanwhile, a top-quality line-up assembled at the Speedway 10K road race in Chepstow where the first three finishers all broke the magic 30-minutes barrier.
Steve Millward was hoping for a fast time, having produced his best run of the winter at the previous week’s Birmingham Cross-Country League fixture, and went out hard from the gun. Passing through the first 5k in a shade over 16:30, he quickened up over the second half of the race to come home in 25th place in 32:41, his fastest for nine years.
Mike Mansfield placed 84th in 36:51, Steve Robbins ran his second fastest-ever time of 39:26 in 114th place while Hayley Winters was just outside the 40-minutes mark with a 40:03 performance in 124th place.
Competing in the Gloucester 50K around Haresfield and Hardwicke on Sunday, Clive Poole placed 17th overall and third in the M50 category in 4:45:07.
Several members of the Club’s track & field team travelled down to the Cardiff Met University track to compete in the latest Welsh Athletics indoor meeting on Sunday.
Joel Townley will have been very satisfied with his afternoon’s work, jumping his best-ever indoors long jump of 6.60 metres before setting a new personal best time of 7.40 seconds for the 60 metres. Training partners Kate Davies and Ollie Keitley were also pleased with their work-outs. Davies jumped 4.88 metres in the ladies’ long jump before clearing 1.56 metres in the high jump, while Keitley produced the second furthest triple jump of his career, 12.92 metres.
Their coach, Jo Willoughby, showed that her sprinting speed is coming along nicely ahead of March’s World Indoors Masters Championships in Poland as she clocked 8.82 seconds and 29.64 seconds for the 60 metres and 200 metres respectively, while husband Ian was clocked at 9.11 seconds for the 60 metres.
Gloucester Athletic Club will be holding their 2019 Annual General Meeting at the Fountain Inn, Westgate street, Gloucester on Monday 11th February, starting at 7:30pm. All members are encouraged to attend.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior cross-country teams enjoyed a field day in the penultimate round of their respective Midland Women’s Cross-Country League and Birmingham & District Cross-Country League races at Churchfields Farm in Droitwich on Saturday.
The men stormed to their third consecutive team win to virtually secure the Division Three title, while the ladies team produced their strongest team performance of the season to claim second place on the day and put themselves in with a fighting chance of winning promotion at the final race of the season next month at the Cattle Country Park in Berkeley.
The men’s team targeted a quick return to the second division following a disappointing campaign last year which saw them relegated to the third tier and, under the leadership of team captain Steve Millward, the endurance group in the Club has responded splendidly.
On Saturday, Solihull’s talented junior Chris McLeod went to the front from the gun and was never headed, coming home with a clear 30 second lead. It was Millward himself who led the City team home as he led the rest of the field, coming home in second place nearly 40 seconds ahead of team mate and third-placed James Denne who was running his first League race for the Club.
Harry Wells had won both the preceding races this season but did not find the twists and turns and blustery conditions of the Droitwich course to his liking, coming home in fourth place. Steve Kenyon is usually more at home on the roads where he is building up quite a reputation as one of the leading road runners on the local scene. Answering Millward’s call to race, he came home in ninth place as the City squad dominated the top 10 placings.
Owen Parry was the next home, crossing the line in 20th place, two places of the team’s sixth scorer, James Walters, to give the ‘A’ team a solid score of 60 points, 22 points ahead of second-placed Newcastle (Staffs) AC.
The reserves have given excellent support to the ‘A’ team this season and on Saturday Jeremy Mower led the ‘B’ home when he placed 33rd, ahead of Glen Balmer in 37th place. Steve Haines came home in 46th place, Jason Tilley 60th with Peter Haynes placing 67th to secure a win for the ‘B’ team with a season’s best score of 330 points, 22 ahead of Newcastle (Staffs).
On a day when the Club could have fielded three teams, the other placers were:
Dave Gresswell 87th, Mike Mansfield 101st, Clive Poole 164th, Arthur Daley 173rd, Amar Patel 197th, Luke Herbert 204th, Aaron Bennett 217th and Chris O’Carroll 269th.
The ladies have made an excellent return to the Midland Women’s League after a 10-year absence, finding themselves in a strong position after three races.
Like Steve Millward has for the men, team manager Paul de-Camps has developed a cohesive and combative unit that is relishing the fresh challenge.
Team captain Anna Midgley carried her form from the previous week’s County championships into the Droitwich race and produced a season’s best 12th place to lead the team home. Hayley Winters was just behind, placing 15th, with Briony Bishop coming home in 18th place.
The team welcomed back Gemma Collier for her first race of the season and she had a terrific battle with Charlotte McGlone throughout as they fought for the 4th scoring place in the team. Gemma prevailed to come home in 26th place with Charlotte crossing the line in 28th place. Gemma’s position earned the team their best-ever league placing of second.
Tina Wickens was the next runner home, finishing in 36th, Emily Coyne placed 50th, Grace Vido came home in 58th, Liz Usedon 114th and Trudy Wells 145th.
After the meeting, both Steve Millward and Paul de-Camps were full of praise for their squads, saying “The endurance groups have really got behind the League teams this season and the support they’re giving is reflected in the teams’ positions. The final round is on 9th February and it will be a fantastic achievement for the Club if both teams can win promotion.”
Gloucester Athletic Club runners fared well in the first races of 2019, the Gloucestershire County Cross-Championships at Rendcomb College near Cirencester on Saturday, winning medals across a range of age groups.
In perfect racing conditions and on a course that offered everything from hills, slopes and a small river to cross, this was a day for the cross-country purists and spectators were treated to a day of committed and high-quality racing.
The development of the senior ladies’ team has been one of the Club’s big success stories this winter and they produced another strong performance on Saturday. Bristol & West’s Zoe Wassall was a class apart, finishing 90 seconds ahead of her closest rival. The City squad welcomed back Bethan Moor from Plymouth University where she is studying medicine and she had an excellent run, placing 10th overall and 2nd U20 Lady. Anna Midgely had one of her best races of the winter, coming home in 12th place and 2nd in the W35 category, with another teenager Briony Bishop placing 13th overall and 3rd U20.
Next home was Tina Wickens, who produced a strong run to place 18th overall and 2nd W50, just ahead of Charlotte McGlone in 19th place and Sophie Hope in 23rd place as the ‘B’ team placed 6th overall.
The ‘C’ team was led home by Grace Vido in 29th, with Amy Walker placing 33rd and Liz Usedon 43rd. In her first race of the season, Laura McPeake placed 44th.
To add to the individual medals, the U20s team of Moor, Bishop and McPeake won the U20s team title, the senior team of Moor, Midgley and Bishop took the bronze medal while the Masters team of Midgley, Wickens and Vido won the bronze in their category.
The Club’s senior men also came away with credit. Despite being in only his second season of competitive athletics, Owen Parry appears comfortable at this level as he came home in a very respectable 16th place. Jeremy Mower and James Walters battled ferociously over the final 100 metres, with Mower just prevailing to place 24th overall and 1st M50, just one second ahead of his team mate.
Steve Haines was the next home, placing 32nd, while Mark Keeling was unfortunate to pull a hamstring some 800 metres from the finish as he came home in 34th place overall. It will have been a small consolation to learn he was second in the M50 age group. The men’s ‘A’ team was completed by Dave Gresswell in 62nd place.
John Nash was making his first appearance in these Championships and should be pleased with his 70th place finish, while Clive Poole in 87th and Aaron Bennett in 97th completed the squad.
The U17s age group races saw further medals for the City Club as Bethan Powell won the bronze medal and Toby Scott the silver in their respective races.
The U15 Girls have been enjoying a successful winter and stormed to the team gold as Jessica Hill placed 2nd, Tilly Ashley 5th and Katherine Mills 6th while Emma Tillott was not far behind, placing 8th.
In the U13s races, Jess Stringer placed 15th and Chloe Shephard 17th in the girls’ event, while Ollie Mitchell placed 14th in the boys’ event.
The last medals of the Club’s haul came in the U11 Girls category where Ruth Brook placed 3rd, Lydia Wang 7th and Adelina Ducker 17th as the youngsters took a well-earned silver medal.
Competing in the iconic Nos Galan New Year’s Eve road race in Mountain Ash, Andrew de-Camps placed 117th in 19:45 and Hayley Winters placed 134th overall and 4th W35 in 20:06.
In Sunday’s Open Indoor Meeting at the Cardiff Met University track, Gloucester youngster Sulaiman Ouiles set personal bests and new Club age group indoor records of 10.45 seconds for the 60 metres Hurdles and 2.60 metres for the pole vault as well as a personal best 9.23 seconds for the 60 metres.
In the U17 Women’s 60 metres, Ellie Wheeler-Smith clocked 8.03 seconds.