Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex and Thomas George ventured down to Mountain Ash in the Rhondda valley on New Year’s Eve to compete in the annual Nos Galan road races.
The races, which started in 1958, are run every New Year’s Eve in memory of legendary local runner Guto Nyth Bran and this year attracted an entry of 1500 runners of all ages from around the world.
The elite event saw the George twins tackle their last race on British soil before returning to their respective American universities for the indoors season.
European Junior 5000m champion Alex ran another excellent race, placing 3rd overall and 1st Junior man in 14:38, a new Club Record for the 5K distance on the road, while Thomas, in his first race for two months, placed 21st in 15:55.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Andrew McPeake finished 2015 on a high note when he placed 4th overall and first U17M in the Severn AC Boxing Day Four Miles Road Race at Elmore on Saturday (27th).
Starting off strongly, the Gloucester youngster clocked 25:02, his best recorded time for the distance.
In his first road race for over 12 months, Max Sheppard placed 11th in 25:37.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Freek van Arkel enjoyed a successful end to 2015.
He knocked over 30 seconds off his 3,000m personal best when winning the Cardiff Christmas Classic Indoors Grand Prix in 8:56.15. He then won the Forest of Dean Christmas Tree Five Mile Multi-terrain event before finishing off the year with a win at the Boxing Day Kingsway Park Run in Gloucester.
The first three months of the 2015-16 cross-country season saw several of Gloucester Athletic Club’s promising young athletes make significant improvements, none more so than Harry Wells who, since joining Paul de-Camps training group, has established himself as one of the top young talents in the county.
Wells (15) placed third in the opening two Gloucestershire Cross-country League races before winning the third round at Blackbridge in December for his first-ever victory in the League. In between, he also took second place in a very competitive Gloucestershire Schools cross-country championship event.
The next race on the youngster’s agenda is the County Cross-country Championships in Coleford in January with the main targets for the winter being the English Schools and English Clubs’ cross-country championships.
Gloucester Athletic Club members donned fancy dress to run in the annual Rudolph’s Rampage 7km multi-terrain race over a challenging course around Painswick on Sunday (20th).
Russell Langley continued his recent fine form since he joined the Club, placing third in the men’s race, while club colleague James Head also placed in the top 10, finishing eighth. Max Sheppard made his return to racing following a long injury lay-off and will have been pleased with his 11th place finish.
Charlotte McGlone ran strongly to place 15th overall and second lady and Colin Westbury just made it into the top 20 finishers, in 20th spot.
Sue Higgins produced a strong run to place 26th overall and first in the LV45 category, while behind her Clive Poole and Nick Bishop continued their on-going battle with Poole pulling away from his rival in the final kilometre to place 29th, one place ahead of Bishop with Paul Loveridge just behind in 32nd.
Michelle Stark placed 79th overall while Lindsey Lyes kept off the pace, instead hanging back and encouraging several of her Abbey Running Group members who had chosen this event as their first foray into racing.
In his last race before moving up an age group, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Dave Gresswell took second place in Severn AC’s Christmas Cross-country handicap event, ran over five miles at Plock Court on Saturday (19th).
In the annual Athletics Weekly poll, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George came second in the Junior Athlete of the Year award as voted by the magazine’s readers.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s cross-country runners produced another strong all-round display in the Gloucestershire Cross-country League fixture at Blackbridge on Saturday (12th) to give further evidence of their development this winter season.
The Club’s main objective this cross-country campaign is to re-build both men’s and ladies squads and to have more of a presence in the leagues following a dip in recent seasons and, thanks to the work of the coaches and team captains and the commitment of their athletes, this is starting to pay off as the ladies had four scoring teams in their race for the first time in recent memory and the men’s team achieved their highest placing in this league for five years.
Despite the recent heavy rain, the Blackbridge course was firm underfoot, though the runners had to battle against a strong wind throughout. This didn’t prevent the leading pack in the men’s race, in which the Cheltenham squad was dominant, starting off at a fast pace that never relented.
Nathan Smith sensibly stayed off the ferocious pace, settling in with the chasing runners, and although he faded on the second of three laps, he recovered to finish strongly to once again lead the City team home in 17th place.
The next three scorers for Gloucester were all newcomers, having only taken up competitive racing in the past 12 months, and underlining the Club’s rebuilding process. Glen Balmer ran solidly to place 22nd, while James Walters and Russell Langley, who have less than a handful of cross-country races between them, placed 32nd and 33rd respectively. They were immediately followed in by two of the team’s more experienced runners, Steve Haines (34th) and a back-to-form James Head (35th) to complete the scoring and bring the team home as second ‘A’ team of the day behind Cheltenham.
Luke Herbert’s lack of sustained training and racing over the past two years probably took its toll as he dropped away from the pack over the latter stages of the race, but he continued his return to racing by leading the ‘B’ team as he placed a respectable 41st. Dave Gresswell and team captain Aaron Bennett were the next runners home, placing 87th and 89th, ahead of Arthur Daley who placed 101st overall and first in the M65 category. Clive Poole (119th) and Paul Loveridge (130th) completed the scoring, as the team placed 13th overall and second among the ‘B’ teams.
Team captain Aaron Bennett said after the race: “I’m really pleased with this result as we had three newcomers in the scoring six for the ‘A’ team today. We’re attracting new runners to the Club all the time and they are making a huge contribution to the teams.”
The ladies managed to complete four scoring teams of three in this League for the first time in recent memory.
Hayley Winters and Charlotte McGlone both produced their best performances of the season as they scored their highest-ever league placings of 8th and 9th respectively and with Suzanne Harding recording a season’s best placing of 31st, the ‘A’ team took an excellent 4th place. Intelligent racing by the whole squad meant that the next group of runners all followed in quick succession. Grace Vido placed 38th, Sue Higgins 42nd and Kirsty Branch, who had travelled back from Surrey specifically to race, 44th to bring the team home in 12th overall and 3rd ‘B’ team.
Nicola Waters produced a season’s best placing of 52nd to lead the ‘C’ team home. She was followed in by Kerry Newell, making her cross-country debut for the Club, in 59th and Lindsey Lyes in 65th to complete the team in 18th place overall and 2nd ‘C’ team.
Emma Jeffery continued her return to racing following an injury lay-off and placed 74th. Newcomer Kirsty Reid, in her first race for the Club, placed 87th and Hannah Bennett 104th to complete the ‘D’ team.
Afterwards, Club spokesman Richard Blackwell said: “This has been a very good day for the Club. It was important that we featured prominently in our home fixture and it was great to see so many athletes racing well. We know that we have a long way to go to match the quality of one or two of the other clubs in the league, but we are certainly moving in the right direction.”
Two of Gloucester Athletic Club's internationals were in action in road races on Sunday (13th).
Irish international Rose-Anne Galligan travelled up to Telford in Shropshire where she made a rare appearance over 10km on the road. Having recently returned from a training trip in Font Romeu, France, the Irish 800 metres record-holder placed 6th lady in 34:31.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Mower travelled to Bicester in Oxfordshire to compete in the Andy Reading Memorial 10km event, placing 25th overall and first M50 in 36:36. The Welsh international’s next race over 10km will be the Bourton event in February when he hopes to run under 36 minutes.
Gloucester Athletic Club sprinter Andrew Bowers successfully opened his 2015-16 indoors season at the Grand Prix Open Christmas Classic at Cardiff’s Indoor Arena on Sunday.
He won his 300 metres heat in 38.4 seconds before winning the 600 metres in 1:26.5, an indoor record for his University team.
Gloucester Athletic Club consolidated their position in Division Two of the Birmingham Cross-Country League when they placed 13th of the 17 teams in the second round at Cofton Park in Birmingham on Saturday (5th).
The tail-end of Storm Desmond that was wreaking havoc further north played a significant part in the proceedings, adding a further challenge to what was already a tough course befitting its status as a national championship venue. Even so, conditions underfoot were generally firm given the heavy rain over the previous 48 hours.
The Gloucester squad was bolstered by the return of Nathan Smith (pictured above), who had missed the Club’s previous cross-country fixtures because of marathon commitments. Smith’s strength took him to 28th place overall, a position he hopes to improve on significantly in the next round which takes place on the home turf of Blackbridge in January.
Jeremy Mower was another making his first Birmingham League appearance of the season and he showed his experience to place 61st, ahead of the ever-reliable Steve Haines in 74th.
Only two places separated James Walters and Lee Smith in the first round, with Smith prevailing. This time it was even closer as Walters, who is in his first season of competitive racing, turned the tables placing 73rd to Smith’s 74th. Newcomer Russell Langley, in his first league race for the Club, completed the scoring team in 91st for an excellent debut as the team scored 419 points.
For the first time this season, the team finished a ‘B’ team in the league. Luke Herbert continued his return to regular competition following a lengthy lay-off by leading the second string team home in 100th place, just ahead of James Head in 106th who had a disappointing day by his own high standards, having only arrived at the venue just before the start after a busy work shift.
Matt Newman adapted to his first cross-country appearance of the season well by placing 129th, while Ian Summers just held off Dave Gresswell in a keen battle as they finished 158th and 159th respectively. Arthur Daley completed the ‘B’ team scoring, placing 178th, with Clive Poole placing 202nd of the 242 finishers.
Afterwards, team captain Aaron Bennett said: “I was pleased to get two scoring teams out today, but slightly disappointed in only placing 13th team overall. We have home advantage in round three when I will be hoping for a good turn-out and a top 10 placing.”
This Saturday (12th), Gloucester Athletic Club hosts the third round of this season’s Gloucestershire Cross-Country League at its Blackbridge headquarters. There will be a full programme of races, starting with the U11s at 11:45 am.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s young athletes were in good form at last week’s County Schools cross-country championships at a very blustery Newent (5th).
In the minor girls race for Year 7 pupils, Tilly Ashley ran a strong race to place 2nd of the 35 finishers, while in the junior girls race for years 7 and 8 Bethan Powell placed 5th, Scarlett Pegler 23rd and Ellie Gabb 24th. The junior boys race saw Owen Fishpool place 13th and Toby Scott 14th.
There was a strong Club representation in the Inter Girls race for years 10 and 11 pupils. Niamh Powell continued her excellent season by leading the Gloucester contingent home in 2nd place. Laura McPeake and Jade Gough battled throughout placing 6th and 7th respectively, Cressie May placed 9th and Natalie Ashley-Towell 14th, while Jude Dowdeswell and Megan Gill placed 26th and 29th.
In a very keenly contested Inter Boys race that saw just three seconds separate the first three athletes, Harry Wells took second place.
There was another medal for the Gloucester squad in the senior girls event for years 12 and 13, as Bethan Moor took the silver medal behind her nemesis, Zoe Wassell of South Cotswold Schools. Tara Sladen continued her comeback from a long-standing back injury that has seen her miss competition all year, placing an encouraging 16th, while in the senior boys race Will Staddon placed 6th and Andrew McPeake 14th.
The next stage will be the South West Schools Championships at Pittville in February.
At the Hereford District Schools event in November, Gloucester’s Briony Bishop was a runaway winner of the Inter Girls race.
Gloucester Athletic Club spokesman, Richard Blackwell, said afterwards: “These results are just reward for the hard work and effort that the youngsters put into their sport, through training and competing, and goes to show that there is a huge amount of young talent in the county and the Gloucester club at present. Many of these athletes will be pushing for places in our senior teams before too long, which is a great testament to the youth development policy we have at Gloucester.”
Gloucester Athletic Club’s talented youngster, Bethan Moor, made a step up in class on Saturday (28th) when she competed in the British Athletics Cross Challenge incorporating the European Trials at one of the country’s iconic cross country courses, Sefton Park in Liverpool, placing a very credible 50th.
Bethan’s coach, Paul de-Camps, said “I was delighted with her performance in finishing 50th in a field of this calibre, as the main aim was to expose her to higher quality competition in preparation for future years.”
A group of Gloucester Athletic Club members travelled down to Bristol last Tuesday (24th) to compete in the final Aztec West Fast 5K Road Race of the calendar year.
Ultra-distance international Jeremy Mower dropped down in distance and led the group home, placing 45th overall and first M50 in his first 5k race for nearly two years, clocking 17:55.
Simon Fortnam was the next City runner home; in his first race in 14 months after injury, he placed 53rd in 18:15. His aim is to build on his strength and fitness before tackling cross-country races in the new year. Arthur Daley ran an evenly-paced race, although he tailed off between the three and four kilometre stage before picking up to place 93rd overall and first in the M65 category in 19:40.
Sydney Dobberson was the first City lady home, placing 137th in 21:51 for her first time under 22 minutes on this course. Nicola Waters was aiming to win the W55 category and was in contention until the final 800 metres before she fell away to place 2nd W55 and 145th overall in 23:00.
Charlotte Hall placed 148th in 23:41, Rob Jordan 152nd in 24:24 and Hannah Bennett 172nd in 27:08.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s youngsters have been busy competing in a range of competitions recently.
Members of the Club’s junior endurance group produced a host of impressive results at the various district schools cross-country trials.
At the Cheltenham event, Bethan Powell placed second in the junior girls race, while her sister Niamh won the inter girls race ahead of team-mate and training partner Jade Gough, who placed second. Bethan Moor took second place in the senior girls race.
In the Forest of Dean event, Jasmine Parham won the inter girls race, the third consecutive year she has won her age group.
All of the above runners, plus Laura and Andrew McPeake, will compete in the county schools event at Newent on Saturday (5th).
The Club’s track & field young athletes have been competing in the Gloucestershire Sportshall Athletics League. Run over three fixtures during November and December, the competition gives the youngsters opportunity to hone their skills in a range of specially designed events.
Team manager Claire Manley says: “Although we’ve only entered small teams in the early fixtures, it’s clear that the youngsters enjoy the concept and the competition as we practice all of the events in our indoor training sessions.”
This Saturday (5th), the Club will be holding its second QuadKids competition of the winter for young athletes at the Blackbridge track. The competition comprises four events – 75m sprint, howler throw, standing long jump and 600 metres run – and is open to anyone between the ages of 8-13. Entries, which close on Thursday 3rd, cost £2 for all four events. Details can be obtained from Bob Purcell on 01452 417990.
This year’s 9Bar Chilly 10k road race at the Castle Combe race circuit near Chippenham certainly lived up to its title as a field of over 520 runners, including five Gloucester AC members, braved the coldest morning of the autumn tempered by glorious sunshine that provided excellent racing conditions on Sunday (22nd).
Junior Andrew McPeake was racing in only his second ever official 10k road event and his first since joining the Paul de-Camps training group based at Blackbridge. He was delighted with his run, as he placed 38th overall and second junior in a personal best time of 41:23, a five and a half minute improvement on his previous best.
Peter Jeffery, Nick Bishop and Clive Poole were involved in a race-long battle that saw less than 10 seconds separate the three at the end. Bishop and Poole in particular were having their own personal tussle, with each runner taking turns to set the pace as they sought to drag each other through at a fast pace. Poole had a clear lead on Bishop with one kilometre remaining, before the latter drew level and pulled away over the closing stages. Jeffery just held on to place 53rd in 43:01, with Bishop 54th in 43:07 and Poole 55th in a personal best 43:10.
Lindsey Lyes placed 130th overall and 8th lady in 48:26.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George and coach Paul de-Camps are among the 34 athletes and coaches who have been invited to join the 2015-2016 British Athletics Futures Programme. The programme seeks to support through funding the next generation of champions and their coaches' development plans to aid their future success.
Alex, who is currently studying at the Arkansas University, won the European Junior 5,000 metres title in Sweden in August and was the first Great Britain runner home in last winter’s world junior cross-country championships.
In his most recent race, the Gloucester youngster placed 176th in last Saturday’s NCAA DI cross-country championships over a 10k course at the Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky, birthplace of the great Muhammad Ali.
Despite having not fully recovered from a bout of ‘flu the earlier in the week, Gloucester Athletic Club's Jeremy Mower decided he would still run in the Shakespeare Autumn Marathon at Long Marston, Warwickshire on Sunday (15th) to test his present level of fitness with upcoming ultra races. The course, which is actually half a mile over the recognised marathon distance, consisted of nine laps of an airfield and had over 40 turns and with the windy and wet conditions, it was not ideal for fast times.
Mower placed 4th of the 101 finishers in a time of 3 hours 5 mins 46 seconds, gaining four places in the latter stages.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Mike Mansfield was the first winner of the Newent 9km race on Sunday, coming home just four seconds ahead of Ledbury’s Berry Clifford to win in a time of 36:41.
The county’s newest event was run over an undulating 9.5km course that took in the country lanes of the town and Cliffords Mesne before heading back into the town centre.
Mansfield’s club mate Charlotte McGlone placed 20th overall and first lady in 42:45, while Peter Jeffery placed 23rd in 43:19, Anna Midgley 45th in 47:56 and Lindsey Lyes 48th in 48:44.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men made a satisfactory, if unspectacular, start to their 2015-16 Birmingham Cross-country League campaign in the season’s opener at Leamington Spa on Saturday (7th).
The loss of key personnel over the summer has meant that this season will be one of transition as the Club brings through the athletes who in the past would have been considered reserves, but the new team all performed well on Saturday.
Two days of continuous rain and a race beforehand meant that the Leamington course was a virtual quagmire and very much unlike the firm underfoot conditions that the runners had enjoyed the previous weekend at Malvern. However, the squad adapted to the conditions well as they set about tackling a 10km course that comprised of three laps including the infamous “Leamington ditch” that resembled a mud bath.
The honour of who was going to lead the City squad home was always going to be between James Head and Steve Haines, both of whom have been producing good performances in early-season races. No more than 20 metres ever separated the pair throughout the race until Head put in a strong charge over the final kilometre to finish in 50th place, his highest-ever placing in this extremely competitive League by over 40 places. Haines battled on to place 54th, again a personal best league placing.
One of the squad’s more experienced racers, Lee Smith, was next home. Just three weeks after running his second fastest-ever marathon at Abingdon, Smith ran strongly to place 69th, two places ahead of the team’s next finisher James Walters who, in his Birmingham League debut, faded over the latter stages.
The scoring six was made up by two more of the Club’s more experienced runners. Luke Herbert has race sparingly over the past two years but has been making a comeback this autumn, competing in both Gloucestershire League races, while Arthur Daley has been an ever-present in recent seasons, coaching and mentoring less-experienced athletes as well as competing regularly. The two placed 92nd and 159th respectively to secure 12th place of the 17 teams with a score of 495 points.
Team captain Aaron Bennett ran strongly to place 165th as did Clive Poole, who placed 208th, both personal league best placings.
Afterwards, Aaron Bennett said “I’m happy with the performance as many of the team achieved their highest-ever placings in the league. We were missing one or two runners today but expect to have them back for the next race in December when I will be looking for a top ten finish.”
1st Cannock & Staffs 101 pts; 2nd Tamworth 181; 3rd Knowle & Dorridge 182. 12th Gloucester 195.
While several of his club colleagues were trudging through the mud at Leamington Spa, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Nathan Smith was competing in the Marathon Des Alpes Maritimes in Cannes, France where the temperatures were up in the 20s.
The first half of the race was relatively flat and fast whilst the second half involved negotiating several hills. Smith placed 39th overall and first Briton in 2:48:13, a personal best time by six minutes but down on his targeted 2:40. “I gambled and went off too fast over the first half of the race and, unfortunately, paid for it at the end” he said.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone and Sharon Paintin travelled down to south Gloucestershire to compete in Saturday’s Avon Valley Railway 10km multi-terrain event.
Run over a single loop course, the race started off along the Bristol to Bath railway path before heading off into woodland and a very muddy course after heavy rain.
Charlotte placed 16th overall and third lady in 47:48 whilst Sharon placed 86th overall of the 188 runners in 1:01:30.
Gloucester Athletic Club young athlete Bethan Moor made the trip over Milton Keynes on Saturday to compete in the British Cross Challenge event, placing 54th.
Gloucester Athletic Club built on their encouraging start to this season’s Gloucestershire Cross Country League with another all-round solid showing at the second fixture at Malvern on Saturday (31st).
Both mens and ladies squads were keen to keep up the momentum from the opening round at Guiting Power three weeks ago where they fielded their largest squads for many a year and, in perfect racing conditions on the slopes of the Malvern Hills, they did just that.
The men achieved their first podium place in this competitive league in several seasons when they took third place overall.
Glen Balmer led the team home in 25th place, his highest-ever placing in this league. Clearly finding the firm underfoot conditions to his liking, he sensibly stayed off the brutal pace set by the small breakway group at the front of the field, choosing instead to settle in with the chasing pack to work his through the field.
Steve Haines is currently in the best form of his life, having twice recently reduced his half marathon best times and leading the cross-country team home in the opening league fixture. He again attacked the hills on the opening two laps on Saturday, before running out of steam on the third long climb. However, he recovered to finish strongly in 33rd place, his best-ever league placing.
Since making his club debut two years ago, James Head has been a regular scorer for the team and gradually improving his performances on the road and cross-country. Saturday saw him produce another strong run, keeping in touch with team mate Haines throughout, as he also finished strongly to placed 36th, another personal best league finish.
James Walters was the next City runner home. Having only taken up running three years ago and now in his first competitive season, he improved his placing in round one by 40 places as he placed 42nd.
Matthew Flynn is another relative newcomer to the sport. Still in only his second season, he has steadily improved and was rewarded with his highest-ever league placing on Saturday when he crossed the line in 60th place, while the team was completed by one of its most experienced campaigners, Luke Herbert, who has been making a return to regular racing this autumn. Herbert placed 66th as the team amassed a total of 262 points, its best tally in several years.
The scoring six received solid support from its second string runners. Dave Gresswell tired over the latter stages and was just outside a top 100 placing when he crossed the line in 101st while Club cross-country captain Aaron Bennett clearly likes the Malvern course. He achieved his best-ever league placing on this course last season and improved that further when he placed 112th. Clive Poole and Russell Kirby also demonstrated a liking for the challenging course, attacking the hills and finishing strongly in 149th and 163rd respectively.
Additionally, the Masters squad of Balmer, Haines, Head and Gresswell were second placed team in their category.
Afterwards team captain Aaron Bennett said “There were some really good performances today and to place third is a great reward for the hard work the runners are putting in. We’ve got round one of the Birmingham Cross Country League next week which is a big step up but I’m hoping we can field a strong team and continue the good start we’ve made to the season.”
No less impressive were the Gloucester ladies who, after fielding a record three scoring teams in round one went one better this time by having four scoring teams complete the race.
In a rare outing over cross-country, Hayley Winters ran strongly to lead the ‘A’ team, taking 12th place. Charlotte McGlone produced another solid run to place 23rd with Selina Graham placing 39th to bring the team home in an excellent 6th place overall.
Solid grouping and good teamwork brought the next bunch of Gloucester runners home as Grace Vido (43rd), Kirsty Branch (45th) and Kate Burford (47th) secured 13th place overall for the ‘B’ team.
Such was the success of the Gloucester tactics of running and working for each other, the ‘C’ team runners were not far behind. Sue Higgins who, by her own admission, “just doesn’t enjoy cross-country races,” placed 48th six days after winning the F50 category in the Stroud half marathon, just ahead of ladies cross-country captain Anna Midgley in 51st place and Sydney Dobberson whose 56th place brought the ‘C’ team home in 16th place.
Nicola Waters was the next runner home, completing her third race in seven days in 67th place. Emma Jeffery continued her return to racing after a long injury lay-off placed 80th and there was a welcome return to racing by Beth Wells who, in her first cross-counry race in over two and a half years, placed 107th to bring the ‘D’ team home in 25th place.
There was even room for a reserve, as Hannah Bennett produced a gutsy run to place 129th of the 144 finishers.
Team captain Anna Midgley said afterwards “There was a fantastic spirit among the squad today and they all worked for each other on what was a very tough course. They have all responded to the calls to compete and to have four complete teams today is great. Our next fixture is at Blackbridge in December, so we’ll be looking for another good turn-out.”
Club spokesman Richard Blackwell said “It was great to see so many Gloucester runners competing today and the teams were so supportive of each other. We’ve got some way to go before we can challenge at the very top of the fields, but we’re certainly moving in the right direction and with many talented youngsters coming through, these are very exciting times for the Club.”
Gloucester Athletic Club’s promising young athletes were once again prominent at the second round of this season’s Gloucestershire Cross Country League held at Malvern on Saturday (31st).
The warm and sunny weather and firm conditions underfoot ensured there would be some fast races and so it proved throughout the programme of eight race categories.
Bethan Moor again found herself in a very competitive U17 Ladies race. As in the first race at Guiting Power, Worcester’s Sophie Tothill was in a class of her own at the front, leaving Bethan to scrap with Cheltenham’s Megan Brinley for the minor places. After a race-long tussle, the Cheltenham athlete prevailed with Bethan having to settle for third place. Alex Bache produced a typically gutsy run to place 11th.
In the U17 Men’s race, Harry Wells showed his improved form since he joined Paul de-Camps training group at Blackbridge. Keeping with the leading group throughout, he was beaten into third place after a tremendous sprint for the line. Training partner Andrew McPeake ran strongly for 14th place and with Will Staddon, in his first race of the winter season, placing 16th, the City squad claimed third place overall.
The U15 Girls race saw Niamh Powell lead the talented Gloucester team home. Always in contention, she narrowly missed out on victory, taking a well-deserved second place. Briony Bishop and Natalie Ashley-Towell again provided solid support in 12th and 13th place respectively as the team took second place on the day. Jude Dowdeswell, also in her first Club cross-country race of the season, placed 18th.
The U15 Boys race saw Owen Fishpool flying the City flag. Having only joined the Club in September, he is already showing improvement in Kerry Newell’s junior endurance squad and produced a plucky performance to place 13th.
There was another podium place in the U13 Girls race where Bethan Powell took second place. With Tilly Ashley placing 8th and Malika Ouiles 30th, the City squad placed second overall.
The U11 age groups saw Amelia Newell place 7th in the girls race and, in his first cross-country race, Sulaiman Ouiles place 29th in the boys event.
Afterwards, the Club’s junior endurance coach, Kerry Newell, said “This was another great day’s racing for the youngsters. They’re all working hard in training and are now gaining valuable race experience. It’s early days, but it’s looking very promising for the season”
There was a host of personal best performances for Gloucester Athletic Club members at Sunday’s Guy Fawkes Five-mile road race at Tewkesbury on Sunday (1st).
Matt Newman led the City contingent home, placing 32nd in 31:16, a personal best time for the distance by 54 seconds. Nigel Nash also set a new personal best, shattering his previous mark by 69 seconds when placing 60th in 33:45, while Suzanne Harding was the first City lady home, placing 64th in 33:58, an improvement of five seconds on her previous best.
Next home for the City club was Dave Spackman, whose 37:14 in 105th place was a new Club M70 best, beating the time he set earlier this year by just over two minutes.
Chris Davis crossed the line in 118th in 37:14, Lindsey Lyes placed 120th in 38:24, an improvement of 4:41 on her previous best and Kerry Newell placed 128th in 38:46.
Three Gloucester Athletic Club members crossed the pond to compete in Sunday’s New York Marathon.
Denise Evans clocked 4:08:12, Tania Hamilton 4:24:22 and Sharon Harris 4:32:24.
A smaller number of Gloucester Athletic Club members than usual travelled down to compete in the Aztec West 5k in Bristol on Tuesday evening (27th).
The first Gloucester runner home was Matt Flynn in 67th place. Flynn ran a well paced race, opening up with a conservative 6:11 mile, before speeding up with 6:04 and 6:05 miles. He took 26 seconds off his personal best time to finish in 18:42.
Arthur Daley was the next Gloucester runner to finish. Despite having run the Stroud Half Marathon just two days previously, where he set a new Club age best, he also ran an even paced race, clocking miles of 6:24, 6:25 and 6:28 to finish in 20:00 and second in the M65 category.
David Hart had set himself a target time of 20:30 and, despite fading over the latter stages after a fast opening mile, he placed 99th in 20:33.
Nicola Waters had also set a new personal best at the Stroud Half so it came as no surprise to her that she failed to win the W55 category for the first time in eight races. However, she was still satisfied when placing third in the W55 group in 22:47.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Dave Gresswell ran his fastest ten-miles time for four years when he clocked 63:06 for 196th place overall at the Morrisons Great South Run in Portsmouth (25th) while Debbie Lee completed the Severn AC Chocolate Biscuit cross-country race (24th) in 29:30, her fastest time on the course.
Stroud Half Marathon - 25/10/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Nathan Smith continued his fine start to the winter season when he took an excellent seventh place in Sunday’s Stroud Half Marathon in a new personal best time of 1:15:55.
In perfect weather conditions, the Gloucester athlete ran a controlled, even-paced race to knock one and a half minutes off his previous best.
Steve Haines is another City runner who has started the winter season well. He set a new personal best of 1:25:39 at last month’s Cheltenham Half Marathon and reduced this again when he crossed the line in 1:25:13 in 35th place.
Peter Lloyd crept into the top 100, placing 92nd in 1:31:15 and he was followed in by Arthur Daley who showed his experience with an even-paced run and deliberately running in different groups throughout to maintain his pace. Daley crossed the line in 102nd place in 1:32:37, a new Club M65 record by some nine minutes. Next home was the Club’s men’s team cross-country captain, Aaron Bennett, who lowered his previous best by five minutes when clocking 1:34:24 in 120th place.
The first City lady to finish was Sue Higgins, who placed 132nd overall and first in the F50 category with a fine 1:35:36, just outside her best time, while less than 30 seconds separated the next three Club runners with Peter Jeffery placing 146th in 1:36:53, Nick Bishop clocking a personal best 1:37:00 in 148th and Clive Poole, who also sliced a couple of seconds off his personal best with 1:37:20 in 155th place.
Nicola Waters was the next home, clocking 1:44:55, Lindsey Lyes set a new personal best 1:49:19 in 328th place, Sharon Nash clocked 1:55:20 in 419th place while Terry Onions completed the City line-up, placing 447th of the 841 finishers in 1:57:07.
Quad Kids - 17/10/2015
Gloucester charity “Get up and Go Gloucester” joined forces with Gloucester Athletic Club and Gloucester Athletics Track Management to stage a “Quad Kids” event at the Blackbridge track last week (17th).
The charity, which promotes a healthy lifestyle for people in Gloucester, was keen to stage an athletics competition and, together with representatives of the GATM charity, came up with the idea of the event which was aimed specifically at the 8-12 year-old members of the Gloucester club’s Development Group, many of whom had no competition experience.
Some twenty five youngster took part in the competition which comprised of a 75 metres sprint, howler (small javelin) throw, standing long jump and, finally, a 600 metres run.
Event Co-ordinator, Bob Purcell, said: “We’re very grateful to Get Up And Go for supporting this event which gave our youngsters the perfect introduction to competitive athletics in a friendly, no-pressure environment. Hopefully, it has helped them take their first steps into athletics as a sport rather than just an activity.
Feroz Goga, one of the charities trustees and a main driver behind the event, said “I think this event worked really well. The youngsters all enjoyed it and it was clear that there are some talented youngsters here in the City.”
Until recently, the Gloucester AC record for the highest number of marathons and ultra races completed had been 181, standing to Philip Whitmore.
However, on Sunday 11th October, long-time Club member Pam Storey broke that record when she completed the Plusnet York Marathon in 5:12:48 to place 3396th overall and 17th in the F60 category.
A long-serving stalwart of the British Ultra-Distance scene, Storey has now completed 126 marathons and 56 ultra-events.
Classic Quarter Endurance 44mile Trail Race - 13/06/2015
A group of Gloucester Athletic Club members travelled down to Cornwall to compete in the Classic Quarter Endurance Race, a 44-mile trail relay along the south Cornwall coastline from Lizard Point
to Lands End. The Gloucester squad of Emma Jeffery, Sydney Dobberson, Rob Jordan and Peter Jeffery place 40th of the 80 finishers.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex and Thomas George have started their cross-country seasons, competing for their respective universities in the United States.
Now in his second year at Arkansas University, Alex opened his season two weeks ago and placed third in the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He followed this up with an excellent run in the Pre-International meet in Louisville, Kentucky, where he placed 50th in a very strong field.
Thomas only started his first year at the Missouri University in September and is still settling into a new, demanding regime very different from his Gloucester base. However, he will have been pleased with his 34th placing at the Joe Piane Invitational at Notre Dame, Indiana.
Great Birmingham Run - 18/10/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone placed 930th overall in Sunday’s Great Birmingham Run sponsored by Morrisons.
This is the second largest half marathon in the UK attracting somewhere in the region of 22,000 entrants, so settling into a comfortable rhythm was not easy. However, a tough climb at around the 10-miles mark and a steady incline from there to the finish sorted many of the runners out, enabling McGlone to work her way through the field over the final third to record a time of 1:36:08.
Club-mate Sharon Paintin placed 7,031st in 2:07:26.
Great Dundrum Run - 17/10/2015
Meanwhile, Charlotte Hall returned to her home town of Larne in Northern Ireland to compete in the Great Dundrum Run, an eight-mile multi-terrain event that covers road, track, beach and board
walk. After a steady start, the Gloucester athlete 330th in 1:08:24, an improvement of six minutes on the time she ran last year.
Gloucestershire Cross-Country League – 10/10/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior ladies and men’s teams made encouraging starts to their 2015-16 campaigns at the first Gloucestershire Cross-Country League sponsored by Gloucester Sports event of the new season at the Cotswold Farm Park near Guiting Power on Saturday (10th).
Both teams have appointed new captains for this season in Anna Midgley and Aaron Bennett, and both have stated their intentions to make their teams a prominent force on the county scene, starting with increased presence at these fixtures, and their athletes responded well by fielding more athletes than in recent seasons.
The ladies showed their strength in numbers by completing three scoring teams on the day, despite being without a few runners due to unavailability. Charlotte McGlone led the ‘A’ team home, placing 25th, just six days after racing in the Cardiff Half Marathon, saying “Although the ground was firm under foot, the undulating surface made the latter stages very tough so soon after the Cardiff race.” Selina Graham was the next City finisher, placing 34th, just ahead of team captain Midgley in 36th place as the team placed 9th.
The ‘B’ team was led home by Suzanne Harding in 38th place, with Sue Higgins placing 45th and newcomer Kate Burford, a promising 52nd in her first race for the Club bringing the team home in 13th.
Charlotte Hall was the first home for the ‘C’ team, placing 59th, ahead of Debbie Lee in 72nd place and Nicola Waters in 76th as the team finished in 19th place. Reserves Sharon Paintin and Hannah Bennett placed 136th and 145th respectively.
The men were also well represented as they begin to re-build following the departure of the George twins to universities in America and of Richard de-Camps, who has transferred to Cheltenham.
Steven Haines has rediscovered his racing appetite in recent weeks and keen to establish himself as the Club’s leading runner this cross-country season. He soon settled into a sensible pace which he maintained throughout as he led the team home in 40th place. James Head will be among those determined to make sure Haines does not have things his own way this winter, however, as he battled well to place 43rd, while Matthew Flynn showed his improvement over the summer as he achieved his best-ever placing in this league, crossing the line in 75th place.
The next man home was James Walters, making his debut for the cross-country squad. Still a relative novice at the sport, he showed good pace judgement and determination to cross the line in 85th place, just three places ahead of Luke Herbert in his first cross-country race for 18 months. The scoring six was completed by another seasoned campaigner, Dave Gresswell, who came home in 95th place to secure 11th place overall for the team.
There were plenty of reserves running to back up the scoring side. Arthur Daley celebrated his birthday by finishing in 123rd place overall and first M65, Clive Poole achieved his best-ever placing in the league in 157th, Paul Loveridge came home in 161st place and Russell Kirby 175th to complete a highly satisfactory day for what was very much a new-look squad.
Afterwards, Gloucester vice-Chair Richard Blackwell, said “The seniors are now on a long road to re-building their squad, so it’s important that we blood the newcomers and those runners who were previously on the fringe of the team so that they learn the ropes of this highly competitive and challenging sport. We must be visible at these races, so it’s vital that we build on this start.”
Gloucester Athletic Club’s young athletes made a promising start to their 2015-16 winter seasons with an encouraging showing at the opening Gloucestershire Cross-Country League fixture at the Cotswold Farm Park near Guiting Power on Saturday (10th).
The City club has recruited many young athletes since the start of September and with a healthy number of these keen to run in cross-country events, the famous old white and red vest was more evident across the range of age groups than in recent seasons.
There were podium places to cheer in both Under-13 Girls and Boys races which gave the whole team an ideal start. Bethan Powell was always with the leaders in the Girls race, eventually placing third to kick her season off in fine style. Tilly Ashley was never far off the pace and finished strongly to place sixth and with Gabrielle Vaile running solidly in 26th place, the team took a deserved third place overall.
Toby Scott was the Club’s sole representative in the Boys race and gave signs of his improvement over the summer as he fought strongly to take third place overall in a tight finish which saw just two seconds separate the runners in third to fifth positions.
The Under-15 Girls race highlighted the increase in the number of the Club’s runners competing on the day as they managed to field two complete scoring teams. Niamh Powell led the City home, securing a fine third place behind the impressive Burton from North Somerset AC. Laura McPeake ran strongly to place 12th and the ‘A’ team was completed by Briony Bishop who, despite still bearing the scars of a nasty fall in the National Road Relay event the previous week, placd 17th to bring the team home in third place. Natalie Ashley-Towell led the ‘B’ home, placing 21st, while Jasmine Parham placed 27th and Vikki Kirby just held off club-mate Alidia Vaile in a battle for the line as they placed 29th and 30th respectively to secure 8th place for the ‘B’ team.
Two of the Club’s more recent signings made encouraging cross-country debuts in the Under-15 Boys race. Owen Fishpool placed 19th while Jacob Dowler placed 28th.
In the Under-17 Ladies race, Bethan Moor ran strongly to place 6th behind runaway winner Tothill of Worcester AC, while there was an excellent podium place for Harry Wells who placed third in the U17 Men’s race. Andrew McPeake placed 14th.
After the races, the Club’s junior endurance head coach Kerry Newell said: “We have been emphasising the importance of these races for several weeks and there was a great turn-out today. The group is constantly growing and everyone will be encouraged to support these events.”
Bournemouth Supersonic 10K – 03/10/2015
Peter and Emma Jeffery travelled down to Bournemouth to compete in the recent Supersonic 10k event. Peter placed 95th in 43:06 while in only her second race of the year due to injury, Emma placed 291st in 49:56.
Young Athletes National Road Relays – 04/10/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s youngsters produced some excellent results in the Young Athletes National Road Relays events at Sutton Park in Birmingham on Sunday (4th).
The Under-15 Girls team of Briony Bishop, Natalie Ashley-Towell and Laura McPeake had impressed when placing 5th in the Midlands event two weeks previously and the same trio were again in action for the national final.
The start of opening leg is always very competitive, as runners jostle for the best position and Briony was the victim of some over-enthusiastic pushing as she tumbled to the ground at the very start. She picked herself up and, covered in numerous cuts and bruises, set off in pursuit of the rest of field which was by now well on its way. That she gained some 40 places to bring handover in 42nd place after a 15:47 clocking is testament to her courage and ability. Natalie then took up the running on leg two and put in another strong leg, making up a further two positions with a 16:23 as she handed over to Laura in 40th place. Laura overtook another eight runners as she clocked 15:56 for her leg to bring the girls home in 32nd place overall.
Harry Wells ran a storming opening leg for the Under 17 Men’s team, coming home in 25th place with a 12:48 clocking, the 52nd fastest leg on the day. Andrew McPeake took over on leg two and produced a solid run, clocking 14:29 as he handed over to Will Staddon for the final leg in 44th place. Will, who has only just returned to full training following a break over the summer, clocked 14:36 as he brought the team home in 46th place.
Club Chairman Andy McKenzie said afterwards: “These youngsters are the Club’s future so it’s great to see them all running so well and really compete against the very best young teams in the country. We’re enormously proud of them.”
Cardiff Half Marathon – 04/10/2015
Freek van Arkel was the Club’s first finisher in Sunday’s Cardiff Half Marathon (4th). In his first attempt at the distance, he placed 294th of a field of over 20,000 runners in 1:23:19. Matt Newman was next home, placing 347th in a 1:24:55, an improvement of nearly three minutes on his previous best time for the distance. Jake Sanders was another to record a new personal best time as he placed 380th in 1:25:04 to improve his two-week old best by over 50 seconds while Steve Haines placed 450th in 1:27:04, his best time on the fast Cardiff course. Hayley Winters led the City’s ladies home, placing 557th in 1:28:49. Charlotte McGlone placed 1,324th in 1:36:12, Tania Hamilton placed 3,830th in 1:49:23 and Helen Davies placed 8,174th in a personal best time for the course of 2:08:21.
Aztec West 5K – 29/09/2015
A small group of the Club’s endurance runners went down to compete in the Aztec West 5k Road Race in Bristol on Tuesday (29th).
Newcomer George Daly, in his first road race for the Club, placed 56th overall in 18:49. Arthur Daley found himself in a ding-dong battle with Steve Holier of North Somerset AC, overtaking each other no fewer than seven times during the race before Holier prevailed as Daley placed 7th overall and second M65 in 19:21. Selina Graham placed 98th in 21:07, Nicola Waters placed 108th overall and first W55 in 22:58 and Charlotte Hall knocked over 50 seconds off her previous best as she placed 113th in 23:24.
Cirencester Park 10K – 27/09/2015
The warm conditions and the demanding and recurring hills at the Cirencester Park 10k (27th) affected many runners and, consequently, times were down on their predicted targets.
James Head has only just returned to full training following a four-week rest and found the initial pace faster than he would have wanted Once he regained his “second wind”, he settled into a steady pace and crossed the finish line in 20th place overall, in 38:46.
Matt Newman ran a more conservative first half which suited his style and he came home in 25th place in 39:40. Suzanne Harding also ran a controlled first half and although her second half time was slightly down on her opening half, her superior strength and speed took her past several runners as she crossed the line in 62nd place overall and 9th lady in 43:46.
David Hart tracked Harding during the race and also moved through the field, crossing the line just one place down in 63rd in 43:51, while Nigel Nash consolidated his place at the top of the county M50 Road Race series as he placed 67th in 44:11. Dave Spackman called on his years of experience as he negotiated the hills more effectively than many of his younger rival, placing 132nd overall and 1st M70 in 47:54.
Cheltenham Half Marathon – 27/09/2015
Nathan Smith produced an excellent run at the Cheltenham Half Marathon, crossing the line in 16th place in a new personal best time of 1:17:20, an improvement of nearly one minute on his previous best.
The next City runner home was John Gormley, whose time of 1:21:40 in 32nd place was also a personal best time. Steve Haines continued his racing comeback, placing 73rd in 1:25:33, one place ahead of former GB 800 metres Olympian Andy Hart, who teaches in Gloucester. Dave Gresswell was next to cross the line, placing 82nd in 1:26:08, while Matt Flynn placed 128th in 1:29:06. Sue Higgins was the first lady from the City club to finish, placing 279th in 1:35:57, while there was a six-minute personal best improvement by Clive Poole, who placed 320th in 1:37:12. Next home was Peter Jeffery, 582nd in 1:41:17, followed by Kerry Newell, who placed 928th in 1:50:15, and Lindsey Lyes was 1145th in 1:50:58.
Bristol Half Marathon – 13/09/2015
At the Bristol Half Marathon, Jake Sanders and Matt Newman both set what at the time were new personal bests of 1:25:57 and 1:27:46 respectively. Both times were reduced when the pair ran at the Cardiff Half Marathon.
County Relays - 26/09/2015
Nine Gloucester Athletic Club members competed across four teams in last Saturday’s Severn AC Cross Country Relays around a two-miles course on Plock Court (26th).
James Walters led the senior men’s team out, coming home in fourth place in a very respectable 10:29 – the 7th fastest time overall on the day. Jeremy Mower took up the running and produced a solid 10:55 leg to move the team up one place. Aaron Bennett clocked 12:27 on leg three to come home in 4th place. A guest runner from Stroud AC ran the final leg to bring the team home in 5th place overall.
Kim Millward ran the opening leg for the Gloucester ladies ‘A’ team, clocking an impressive 12:27 as she came home in the lead. Debbie Lee ran the second leg in13:47, as she handed over to Grace Vido in second place. Vido ran the third and final leg in 14:21 to place 3rd overall.
Charlotte Hall ran the first leg for the ladies ‘B’ team, clocking 13:46 to place 4 th overall. Hannah Bennett ran 16:20 for the second leg, placing 6th, before handing over to guest runner Alison Lane of Bourton, who brought the team home in 6 th place overall.
Mike Storey guested in a Gloucester Corinthians squad made up of local Masters age group runners and completed his lap in 16:21.
Midland Road Relays Championships – 19/09/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s U15 Girls team took an excellent fifth place in the Midland Road Relays Championships at Sutton Park on Saturday (19th). Run over three legs each of 3.86 kms in ideal sunny racing conditions, Briony Bishop got involved in the competitive opening leg to ensure the team got the best possible start. She came home in 9th place in a personal best time for the course of 15:21. Natalie Ashley-Towell took over on the second leg and she ran a personal best of 16:23 to come home in 11th place. Laura McPeake produced a fantastic second half of her leg to make up six places and bring the team home in fifth place. Her time of 15:23 was also a personal best.
All three girls are members of the junior endurance training group led by coach Kerry Newell, who said: “This was a great result for the girls and is a just reward for the hard work they put in at training, as does the whole group. We’re now targeting the National Final where they will be up against the best squads in the country.”
The Gloucester club’s men’s team placed a credible 51st in the senior six-stage event.
Fielding very much a reserve team due to athletes being unavailable because of work commitments, the fact that the City club raised a team speaks volumes for their strength in depth.
Freek van Arkel ran the opening leg and came home in 61st place of the 101-strong field, covering the 5.85 km lap in 22:01. Nathan Smith ran a storming second leg, clocking 20:40 as he made up 16 places to bring hand over to Steven Haines in 45th place. Haines ran a solid leg, coming home in 46th place in 22:17 as he handed over to newcomer James Walters on leg four, who was making his first appearance for the team. Walters judged the pace well and made up four places, clocking 21:24, as he handed over to Clive Poole on the penultimate leg. Poole clocked a personal best time for the course of 25:06, dropping down to 52nd place, before handing over to Dave Gresswell who clocked 23:51 to bring the team home in 52st place.
Non-running team captain Steve Millward said: “It was very important that we fielded a team in this regional championship event as it states our intentions to compete at the highest level. The timing was unfortunate as we had several athletes unavailable, but I’m pleased with the effort and commitment shown by the guys who ran today. This will give us a good springboard as we head into the cross-country season.”
Worcester 10K – 20/09/2015
In Sunday’s Worcester City 10 km road race, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Peter Jeffery placed 241st in 44:38. Claire Manley, in her first ever 10 km race, placed 1,467th in 61:33.
Worcester Run Bike Run – 20/09/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Dave Gresswell competed in the Worcester Run-Bike-Run race on Sunday. The event consists of a 10 km run, followed by a 25 km bike ride finished off with a 5 km run.
Gresswell completed the event in 1:59:02 which, given that he had raced in the Area Road Relays on the previous day, was a more than satisfactory performance.
British Masters Throws Pentathlon – 19/09/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Marion Loveridge took part in her first British Masters Throws Pentathlon at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Saturday (19th), placing third overall. The highlight of her series was a new personal best in the 3kg hammer event with a throw of 43.20 metres to consolidate her second-place in this year’s UK age group ranking list.
In the 10,000 metres event held on Sunday, Arthur Daley confirmed his position as the top ranked UK runner for the year in the M65 age group when coming home 80 seconds clear of the second-placed runner.
Daley and the winner of the W50 category, Maureen McCarthy of West Suffolk AC, the two fastest runners in the field had agreed prior to the start to share the work, aiming for 95-second laps. The pair kept to that schedule for the first half of the race before Daley pulled away after 5,000 metres to run the second half of the race by himself. He came home a clear winner in 41:23.74 for his first national gold medal.
Avon League – 13/09/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club brought the curtain down on their 2015 track & field season when competing in the recent Avon League fixture at Yate (20th).
The Club uses this League primarily to introduce its members to competitive athletics and this season saw many youngsters take their first steps on what they hope will be a long career in the sport.
Of the many promising performances in the final fixture, two stood out. In her first proper competition, Eire Rowland-Evans became the youngest female from the City ever to clear a height in the pole vault when clearing 1.80 metres while long and triple jump prodigy Joel Townley set a new League record in the U15 Boys long jump of 6.11 metres to erase the nine year-old mark from the record books.
Avon League team manager Russell Kirby said: “This has been a fantastic season in terms of introducing youngsters to the sport. It was particularly pleasing to see more lads competing as the season progressed as this has been a real problem area for the Club. We now have a strong base to build on for next year.”
Gloucester Athletic Club’s autumn/winter training programme commences week after next.
Circuit training will take place at the Crypt School Sports Hall each Tuesday, from the 6th October; the Development Group shall train from 6-7 pm and the senior groups from 7-9 pm.
The endurance groups will continue to train on the Blackbridge track each Tuesday and all groups shall be training outdoors each Thursday.
Ring 07817 974630 for further details.
Apperley Quarter Marathon – 13/09/2015
Following a summer of inactivity, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Nathan Smith returned to racing at the weekend and met with considerable success in low-key events.
Now coached by Kerry Newell at the Blackbridge club, Smith won Saturday’s latest running of the Kingsway 5km Parkrun, whilst on Sunday (13th) he won the Apperley Quarter Marathon in a time 37:50, some 40 seconds ahead of Jon Mansfield (Tewkesbury) and James Wilkinson (Chelt & County).
Bristol Half Marathon – 13/09/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Matthew Newman took advantage of the near-perfect running conditions to lower his personal best time for the half marathon by over 50 seconds when he clocked 1:27:46 to take an excellent 274th place in the Bristol Half Marathon event on Sunday (13th).
In her first ever half marathon, Selina Graham placed 996th in a highly-respectable 1:37:42 while club mates Neil Hobbs (1671st, 1:43:37) and Peter Jeffery (2327th, 1:48:30) also completed the event.
Tewkesbury 10K – 06/09/2015
A group of Gloucester Athletic Club members made the short journey north to compete in Tewkesbury 10km road race on Sunday (6th).
A field of over 330 runners toed the line in perfect racing conditions in this, the first running of the event on its new course and produced some very fast times.
Matt Flynn was the first Gloucester AC runner home, placing 15th in his first ever 10km road event in a highly respectable 39:49, while Hayley Winters placed 20th overall and first senior lady in 40:20. Kim Millward ran a season’s best time of 43:06 to place 37th while Sue Higgins was just one second outside her best 10km time as she placed 46th overall and first W50 in 44:08.
Paul Loveridge lowered his personal best time by nearly 30 seconds when clocking 45:16 in 57th place, Peter Jeffery placed 67th in 46:26 and Kerry Newell placed 114th in 50:53.
Woodchester Park MT8 – 06/06/2015
Five Gloucester AC athletes competed in Sunday’s scenic and very hilly Woodchester Park 8-mile multi-terrain trail race near Stroud. The weather was perfect, dry and sunny, although heavy rain earlier in the week had left the terrain mainly firm but challenging in places.
Peter Lloyd and James Head had been locked together in their own private battle for much of the race before Lloyd pulled ahead over the final stages to prevail, placing 11th overall and first M50 in 56:23. Head finished two places back, in 56:43.
Colin Westbury was next to finish, placing 32nd in 65:35, ahead of Clive Poole whose 67:01 in 36th place was a personal best on the course by over four minutes. Denise Evans placed 42nd of the 98 finishers in 68:36.
Meteor Mile – 05/09/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Laura and Andrew McPeake competed in the Meteor Mile race along the runway at the Gloucestershire airport in Staverton on Saturday (5th) and both set new personal best times for the distance.
Andrew placed 9th overall and first U17M in 5:17.7 whilst sister Laura placed 19th overall and first lady in 5:48.3.
Malmesbury Carnival 10K – 05/09/2015
Charlotte McGlone placed 40th overall and second lady at the Malmesbury Carnival 10km road race in Wiltshire on Saturday, clocking 45:06.2 – over three minutes faster than she ran on the same course last year. Peter Jeffery placed 50th in 46:11.6 and Sharon Paintin placed 169th in 57:30.9.
Severn Bridge Half Marathon – 30/08/2015
A group of Gloucester Athletic Club runners headed south to compete in the second annual Severn Bridge Half Marathon on Sunday (30th).
The race, which was voted the UK’s Best New Race by the Runners World magazine last year, starts at the Chepstow end of the old bridge and then, after the crossing, takes in a loop along undulating lanes which included a challenging hill at around the eight-mile mark as the runners head towards Thornbury, before heading back across the iconic landmark to the finish.
This year, the field of over 2,300 runners enjoyed near-perfect racing conditions, with little wind and light rain which suited Charlotte McGlone in particular as she improved her best time over the course by over four minutes, clocking 1:39:04 to finish 269th of the 2,300 finishers.
Colin Westbury came home in 418th place in 1:43:28 while there were personal best times for the next two Gloucester finishers; Russell Kirby clocked 1:43:50 in 432nd place and Tania Hamilton reduced her previous best by 10 minutes, placing 504th in 1:45:54.
Terry Onions was the next city runner to finish, placing 982nd in 1:55:38 and Peter Jeffery was just outside two hours, clocking 2:00:34 in 1159th place.
Bugatti 10K – 26/08/2015
Despite suffering from what he described as an off-day, Gloucester Athletic Club’s James Head managed a 7th place finish in last Wednesday’s Bugatti 10km road race (26th).
The race, which is featured in the Gloucestershire County AAA Road Race series, started off from the Prescott Hill Climb Centre on the outskirts of Cheltenham in perfect summer conditions and is run over an undulating course with a testing climb in the final kilometre.
Head was down on his season’s best, clocking 38:04, ahead of newcomer Jacob Sanders who, in his first run for the Club took an encouraging 10th place in 38:54. Next home was Matt Newman who was happy to dip under his 40 minutes target on the course, clocking 39:44 in 16th place.
Nigel Nash ran a solid 44:37 in 53rd to extend his lead in the V50 category of the road Race series with three races to go. Dave Spackman placed 89th in 49:06, Peter Jeffery 96th in 49:31 and Lindsey Lyes placed 126th of the 199 finishers in 53:23.
County Championships - 23/08/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club enjoyed a successful day at part three of this year’s County Track and Field championships held at Blackbridge on Sunday (23rd), winning a host of medals while setting several new club age group records in the process.
The first event of the meeting, the 75m wheelchair race, was hugely significant as it was the first race of its kind ever to be held in the City. The winner in the U11 Girls category was Chloe Ford, while Josh Freeman was first in the U13 Boys category. Their times of 55.3 and 60.3 seconds respectively will set a benchmark for, hopefully, many others to challenge in years to come.
Heavy rain during the early part of the meeting may have been a hindrance for some, but it was a welcome relief for the 10,000 metres runners following the extremely hot and humid conditions of the previous day. In his first race at this distance on the track, James Head led the way for the Gloucester club, finishing just outside the medals in 4th place in 36:45.6. Behind him, Dave Gresswell ran an evenly-paced race to finish in 7th position in 38:04.2 whilst Arthur Daley came home in 11th place. Daley’s time of 40:05.1 was not only a new Club M65 age group record but also took him to the top of the UK ranking list for the age group in 2015.
The ‘B’ race saw Sue Higgins tackling the distance on the track for the first time and she ran a perfectly-judged race to take first place in a new Club F50 age group record of 44:38.5 which moves her up to 4th in the UK age group rankings for the year.
There was success also in the one mile races. Suzanne Harding was a clear winner of the senior ladies race, leading from gun to tape to win in 6:01.0. Andrew McPeake was second placed U17M in a new personal best time of 5:33.5, while sister Laura was third placed U15G, also in a new personal best 5:56.3.
In the younger age group one mile races, there were new personal best for Malika Ouiles (U13G), Finley Powell, Sulaiman Ouiles and Alfie Manley (U11B) and Toby Scott (U13B) while at the other end of the age scale, Chris O’Carroll set a new Club M70 age group record.
There were further medals to come the City Club’s way in the relays. The U15 Girls 4 x 100 metres team of Kali Thomson, Erin MacFarlaine, Sophie Temple and Beth Gardiner were a class apart in their event, while MacFarlaine, Temple and Gardiner joined forces with Alidia Vaile to take gold in both the 4 x 200m and 4 x 400m relays.
The hastily-assembled senior men’s 4 x 100m team of Andrew Bowers, Steve Gardiner, Richard Blackwell and Justin Smith were second-placed in their category, whilst the equally ill-prepared 4 x 400m team of Dave Gresswell, Arthur Daley, James Head and Chris O’Carroll were the first senior men’s team to finish in their race.
Afterwards, Gloucester club secretary Bob Purcell said “Naturally, we are all pleased to see so many of our athletes rewarded for their efforts by winning medals or setting new personal bests but, for me, the highlight was seeing the two youngsters compete in the wheelchair event. It was a wonderful start to what was a very enjoyable meeting.”
Pictures below: the U15 girls 4x100m (left) and 4x200m (right) relay teams
World Masters Championships
Four of Gloucester Athletic Club’s most experienced members travelled to Lyon, France to compete in last week’s World Masters Athletics Championships and came away with mixed results.
Marion Loveridge showed perfect timing as she improved her season’s best throw by half a metre in the W50 Hammer competition, launching the 3kg weight 42.18 metres to take an excellent 8th place in the final.
Joanne Willoughby’s training has been interrupted by a nagging Achilles tendon injury since she won the W50 long jump title at last month’s British Championships, so her sixth place in the world final with 4.50 metres off a shortened run-up was particularly commendable. However, the injury flared up during her warm-up for the triple jump, the event at which she is the reigning European Indoors champion, forcing her to drop out of the event without being able to register a jump.
Willoughby’s husband, Ian, qualified comfortably from his heat of the M60 100m hurdles, but he stumbled badly after clearing the second hurdle in his semi-final that he had to drop out.
Finally, the Club’s track & field captain Steve Millward went in the M35 3,000 metres steeplechase, the event in which he is the current British Masters and Midland senior champion but he was another to have had last minute preparations hindered by a niggling Achilles injury. He took an excellent 9th place in the final in 10:13.19 in the face of some very stern competition.
Midland U15/U17 Championships – 15&16/08/2015
Joel Townley produced the stand-out performance as he took the gold medal in the U15 Boys triple jump final in the Midlands U15/U17 Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium at the weekend (15/16th).
The 14 year-old from Hucclecote headed the ranking list going into the competition and was in impressive form on the day, producing a winning jump of 12.54 metres.
In the U15 girls 100 metres heats, training partners Sophie Temple and Erin MacFarlaine clocked 14.29 and 14.17 seconds respectively. Unfortunately, neither times were quick enough to progress through to the final while Elissa Moor placed 10th in the U15G long jump final with a best jump of 4.10 metres.
Bethan Moor placed 7th in the U17W 3,000 metres final in 11:15.42 and Harry Wells placed 9th in the U17M 1500 metres final in 4:32.68.
Midland League - 08/08/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s attempt to stave off relegation from Division Two of the Midland Track & Field League ended in bitter disappointment as, despite producing their best performance of the season, they could not beat their main rivals in the final match at Worcester on Sunday (9th).
The City team went into this final match knowing that they had to beat both Worcester and the Birmingham-Rowheath team to retain their Division Two status and whilst they finished comfortably ahead of the hosts, the Birmingham outfit were just too strong in too many areas on the day as they placed second team of six, ahead of Gloucester’s third.
Nevertheless, there was a host of excellent individual performances from the City squad that will give them great hope for the future.
On the track, sprinter Jevaughn Gayle produced his best results in the senior team as he recorded a hat-trick of victories in the ‘B’ string 100m, 200m and long jump events.
Richard de-Camps showed that he returning to somewhere near his best form after injury threatened his summer, by winning the 800 metres ‘A’ race in convincing fashion before taking second place in the 1500 metres.
The City squad were treated to an equally dominant performance in the 3000 metres by Alex and Thomas George who were making their last appearances in the team for the foreseeable future before heading off to their respective Universities in the United States this week. Content to track the leaders throughout, the twins put in a trademark devastating burst of speed over the final 250 metres to come home clear winners and take maximum points.
The men’s 400 metres saw Andrew Bowers produce one of his best-ever runs as he ran a tactically sound race to win the ‘B’ event, while the Club gave a debut to youngster Rory Cawkwell who gave signs of his future potential in the ‘A’ race.
The men’s relay teams also performed well. The 4 x 100m sprint relay team of Bowers, Cawkwell, Gayle and Ashleigh Naylor produced the best run by a City squad for several seasons, taking second place behind the strong Birmingham-Rowheath squad and the 4 x 400m squad of Bowers, de-Camps and both Georges finished the season on a high note with a fine victory.
In the field events, the hammer-throw pairing of Tim Williams and Andy McKenzie took maximum points as Williams finished the league season unbeaten in the event, while Tom Beckett improved his triple jump personal best by over 30 cms to 12.64m when placing third.
In the ladies events, the stand-out performances came from Charlotte Stallard, Kate Davies and Helen Pritchard.
Stallard has improved steadily in the hammer-throw during the season, coming perilously close to breaking the 50-metre barrier. She first achieved that mark when throwing 50.04m at Yate last week before launching the 4kg weight out an impressive 50.84m to win at Worcester. Ellen Thrall gave her training partner solid support, winning the hammer ‘B’ event before going on to win the ‘B’ event in the discus.
Davies and Pritchard have established themselves as the Club’s top multi-eventers and both competed in no fewer than seven events on Sunday. Their willingness to stand in and fill gaps in the team to great effect are a fantastic example to all young athletes.
On the track, the ladies gave their all. Sophie Lambert returned from injury to plug gaps in the sprints, while there were brave performances in the face of very testing opposition in the middle distance events from Suzanne Harding, Rachel Vines, Nicola Waters and, in her first ever track race, Hayley Winters.
After the match, team manager Richard Blackwell said: “Quite simply, we weren’t good enough this year. We had a very disappointing second round match where we failed to make anything of having home advantage at Blackbridge and we never recovered from that reversal. We did very well to beat two strong teams in Bristol and Notts today, but the Birmingham-Rowheath team had too much quality. It is impossible to criticise the athletes and officials who have supported the team throughout this difficult season and they can all hold their heads high, regardless of the end result.”
Cannock & Staffs 384 pts; Birmingham-Rowheath 363; Gloucester 315; Bristol & West/Yate 310; Notts 296; Worcester 281.
Final league standings:
Cannock & Staffs 21 pts; Bristol & West/Yate 19; Notts 16; Birm-Rowheath 12; Gloucester 11; Worcester 5.
Standish Woodland Chase – 09/08/2015
A small group of Gloucester Athletic Club members competed in the 28th Standish Woodland Chase 10-mile multi-terrain race on Sunday 9th.
Peter Lloyd was the first City runner home, placing 18th overall in 68:01. Dave Gresswell placed 23rd in 69:10, Denise Evans placed 59th in 80;57 and Clive Poole placed 62nd in a new best time over a 10-mile multi-terrain course of 81:48.
Cranham Boundary Chase – 08/08/2015
The latest version of the race that is run in conjunction with the annual Cranham Feast took place on Saturday (8th).
For many years, the event was a six miles road race around the Cranham village boundary, before becoming a multi-terrain event four years ago.
This year saw a new version of the old favourite, over a 4.2 miles multi-terrain course that finished with a brutal climb into the cricket ground.
This year’s winner was a local resident, Peter Sammon, who completed the course in 25:10, nine seconds ahead of Oxford City’s Heath Bampton with Dan Anderson of Dursley AC in 3rd place in 25:55.
Matt Boon was the first Gloucester Athletic Club finisher, placing 5th in 26:57 despite losing a shoe with over a mile to go.
Andrew McPeake came home in 24th place and first in the U17 age group in 33:30, with Lindsey Lyes placing 39th overall and 4th senior lady in 38:24 and Chris O’Carroll 56th overall and first M70 of the 64 finishers in 45:22.
Race Director Arthur Daley was pleased with the new event, saying “The new race appears to have been very successful as it contributed to the success of the fete itself as well as being a challenging course for the runners.
British Masters Championships – 25+26/07/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s youngsters have not been having things their own way when it comes to winning track & field titles.
Alex George’s stunning victory in the 5,000 metres at last week’s European Junior Championships had clearly spurred on the Club’s senior statesmen and women as they competed in the British Masters Track & Field Championships at a very wet and windy Alexander Stadium in Birmingham over the weekend (25/26th) as they came away with several medals.
In the W50 category, Joanne Willoughby set a new personal best since competing in this age group, 4.67m, to win the long jump by 20 cms and add to the gold medal she won in the European Masters Indoors triple jump back in March. In the ladies hammer competition, Marion Loveridge continued her fine season when producing her second best throw of the year, 41.33 metres, to take the silver medal.
There was success also in the men’s events. Ian Willoughby took the gold medal in the M60 100 metres hurdles in 16.76 seconds, whilst Steve Millward successfully defended his M35 3,000 metres steeplechase title, despite having missed much of the previous three weeks training because of injury. Content to sit with the leaders for the opening four laps, the Gloucester club captain stretched out over the second half of the race to win by 15 seconds in 10:13.26. Like the Willoughbys and Loveridge, Millward now turns his attention to next month’s World Masters Championships in Lyon, France.
The Club’s fifth medal came in the shape of a bronze medal in the M65 5,000 metres where Arthur Daley was engaged in a head to head battle with Peter Witcombe of Brighton & Hove Harriers as they chased the minor medals behind the clear leader, Richard Marks of the Welsh Masters club. Daley tracked Witcombe throughout the first half of the race, resisting the latter’s tactic of running towards the outside of his lane to encourage Daley to lead the pair into the strong wind. With six laps remaining, the Gloucester athlete took up the challenge and was involved in a cat-and-mouse tussle to the end where, despite his best efforts, Witcombe’s superior speed took him to second place, ahead of Daley in third. Daley’s finishing time of 19:21.56 was just outside his season’s best 19:19.6, a time which ranks him third in the UK in his age group.
Cheltenham Midweek Open – 22/07/2015
Ashleigh Naylor confirmed his position as the club’s top sprinter at the final Midsummer Open Meeting at Cheltenham last week (22nd). He opened up with a season’s best time of 22.95 seconds when placing third in the 200 metres before clocking 11.30 seconds into a headwind in the 100 metres.
In other races, Nas Purewal faded over the latter stages in his 100 metres heat to place fourth in 12.04, while Helen Pritchard clocked a season’s best 14.20 when placing fourth in her heat.
Newcomer, Ellie Luff (U13) placed 4th in her 200 metres heat in 30.69 seconds, while Elissa Moor took third place in the U15G 75m hurdles in 14.83 seconds and sixth place in the long jump with a best jump of 3.91 metres.
In the one mile event, Suzanne Harding clocked a personal best 5:52.12 in 5th place, to rank her 10th in the W40 category in this year’s UK ranking list.
The Club’s hammer throwers were dominant as Marion Loveridge (W50) and Jacob Lange (SM) won their categories and Charlotte Stallard placed second in the senior ladies event.
BMC Regional Meeting – 22/07/2015
At the BMC Regional meeting in Newport (22nd), Thomas George knocked over a second and a quarter off his personal best 800 metres time when placing fourth in the ‘A’ race in 1:55.03 whilst training partner Richard de-Camps won the ‘B’ race in 1:58.24.
South West Inter County Championships – 19/07/2015
While George was performing heroics in Sweden, some of his Gloucester club-mates were doing themselves proud in the South-West County Championships at Exeter.
Catherine Hardy continued her fine season when taking the gold medal in the U20 Ladies 100 metres in a new legal personal best time of 12.07 seconds, consolidating her UK U20s top 20 ranking. She followed this up with a silver medal in the 200 metres in 25.16 seconds to replicate her positions in the South West Schools championships at the same venue four weeks ago.
Kate Davies was another multi-medallist, winning the senior ladies javelin with a best throw of 35.81 metres, silver medal in the high jump with 1.50 metres and bronze medal in the long jump with 4.98 metres. She placed 4th in the shot putt with 9.45 metres.
Rory Cawkwell won the bronze medal in the U17 Men’s 400 metres in a new personal best time of 59.59 seconds, an excellent achievement in his first full season of competition.
Pitchcroft 10K – 19/07/2015
In the Pitchfork 10km multi-terrain race in Worcester on Sunday (19th), comprising three laps of the Worcester race course, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Dave Gresswell placed 17th in 37:40. Club mates Mike Mansfield was 30th in 38:39 and Peter Jeffery placed 79th in 43:23.
European Junior Athletics Championships – 18/07/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s youngsters gave their Club plenty to cheer about at the weekend.
Leading the way was Alex George’s magnificent victory in the men’s 5,000m in the European Junior Athletics Championships in Eskilstuna, Sweden on Saturday evening (18th).
The 19 year-old from Abbeymead, who was brandishing the logo of the Arkansas Razorbacks under his left eye as a tribute to his American University, ran a perfect race.
Keeping with the leading pack throughout, he passed through the 3,000 metres stage in a shade over nine minutes. As the front five athletes broke from the rest of the field, George stepped up the pace going into the final lap. Although being overtaken down the back straight, he made a move with 200 metres remaining that was to prove decisive as he came home the winner in 14:34:42, just 25/100ths of a second ahead of silver medallist Simon Debognies of Germany (14:34.67) with the Italian, Crippa, taking the bronze medal in 14:35.39.
Afterwards, a naturally delighted George said “With 500m to go I was very confident that I could win it. I felt really relaxed and the race seemed to have played straight into my hands. When they overtook me on the back straight I was pleased because I eased up hoping they'd go really hard into the wind.
"Then with 120m to go it was just like what we had practiced all year in training – hard off the final bend and kicking for home.”
Bourton Mile – 18/07/2015
At the Bourton One Mile Road Race on Saturday evening, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Dave Gresswell placed 24th of the 186 runners in 5:17. Club mate Nigel Nash (48th) just held off Arthur Daley (51st), clocking 5:53 to Daley’s 5:55. There was some consolation for Daley, however, as he won the M65 category. Debbie Lee placed 76th in 6:33, David Spackman placed 91st overall and 1st over-70 in 6:52, Chris O’Carroll was 138th in 8:10 and Vanessa Anderton placed 173rd in 11:42.
YDL Lower – 18/07/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club hosted the third round of the Youth Development League lower age group fixture at Blackbridge on Saturday (18th) and their youngsters made the most of the home advantage to produce some excellent performances.
The Under-15 girls section saw a host of personal and season’s bests. Erin MacFarlaine set two new personal bests as she took second place in the 100 metres and showed good pace judgement to win the 300 metres. Training partners Sophie Temple, Kali Thompson, Fathia Fategbe and Piper Holmes also set new best marks in their first full season of competition as did “old hands” Elissa Moor and Vicky Kirby. Kirby produced arguably one of the best performances of the day when she threw the hammer over 25 metres for the first time, recording a new best distance of 25.39m. Jade Gough (1500 metres) and Alidia Vaile (800 metres and 4 x 300m relay) both produced their best runs for several weeks.
There were encouraging performances in the Under-13 girls events as Josie Thompson, Ella MacLean, Trisha Stansfield, Malika Ouiles and Tilly Ashley all set new personal bests in a range of events.
The Gloucester club has struggled to attract boys in this lower age group this season but they are fortunate to include one of the country’s outstanding talents in Joel Townley in their ranks. Townley placed 12th in the English Schools triple jump final the previous week and showed his versatility in this match as he set a new personal best time of 11.9 seconds when winning the Under-15 boys 100 metres. He followed this up with a clear win in the long jump and a second place in the high jump. Barnaby Huckstable produced a strong run in the Under-13 boys 200 metres before taking 4th in the long jump, while Jacob Dowler showed great promise when placing second in the Under-15 boys 800 metres in his first ever race for the Club.
Team manager Bob Purcell said afterwards: “That was a much better showing from our youngsters today. These kids clearly have a great deal of promise and we will continue to do all we can as coaches to help them realise their potential. Alex George has shown what can be achieved with hard work, so let’s see if any of these youngsters can follow his fantastic example.”
YDL Upper – 28/06/2015
A group of athletes from Gloucester Athletic Club travelled to Hereford to compete in the latest round of the UK youth Development League on Sunday (28th) and produced a series of excellent performances.
The sprinters used the following wind to their advantage as Catherine Hardy, Kelly Constable, Jevaughn Gayle and Rory Cawkwell all recorded their fastest-ever times over 100 and 200 metres.
There were more personal bests set on the track in the longer sprints and middle distance events as Alex Bache, Miranda Bass, Harry Wells all set new best marks, while there was a season’s best time in the 800 metres for Bethan Moor.
In the field events, there were personal and season’s best from the established throwers Ellen Thrall, Chloe Jones and Jonathan Jones but also some unexpected podium places for the track athletes who responded to team manager Garry Hunter’s call by filling in unfamiliar events to further underline the spirit that runs through this young team.
In all, it was a spirited team display that will have pleased the athletes who reaped the rewards from the hours of hard work they have put in.
Tyntesfield Thriller & GE Aquathlon - 28/06/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Clive Poole placed 23rd overall and 9th M40 of the 82 finishers in the Tyntesfield Thriller 15km Trail Run near Bristol on Sunday (28th), while in the GE Aviation Aquathlon consisting of a 400m swim and 2.5 km run in Cheltenham, Laura McPeake was second female with brother Andrew placing 4th male.
BMC Grand Prix – 27/06/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s leading middle-distance runners, Alex and Thomas George and Richard de-Camps, were among the 400 runners who competed in the British Milers club Grand Prix meeting at Watford on Saturday (27th).
The meeting was billed as the best middle distance event of the year and possibly the most competitive BMC event ever, and attracted athletes from as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, Kenya, Eritrea and Uganda as well as several European countries, so the Gloucester trio were very fortunate to have qualified for this prestigious meeting.
Alex George confirmed his reputation and position as one of the leading junior talents on the British middle distance scene as he placed 4th in the 1500 metres ‘B’ race in a new personal best 3;44.15, an improvement of over two seconds on his previous best and the qualifying standard for the forthcoming European Junior Championships in Sweden. It was his fifth Gloucester club record of the year and ranks him 3rd in the UK Junior rankings for the event, alongside his similar ranking for the 5,000 metres (the event at which he is the newly-crowned British junior champion) and number one ranking in the 3,000 metres.
Brother Thomas's season has been dogged by bad luck and so it proved yet again on Saturday! Of the 30 races on the night only one suffered from poor pace making and, unfortunately, it was Thomas who was affected. As a result his time was down on his predicted sub-3:50 clocking as he finished in 7th place in the 1500 metres ‘E’ race in 3:53.76.
Richard de-Camps continued on the rehabilitation trail and, although he was disappointed with his season's best time of 1:56.56 for 5th in the 800m ‘I race, he is getting progressively stronger and should hit his previous heights before the season is out.
After the meeting, coach Paul de-Camps said "It was great to see the Boys rubbing shoulders with so many Champions and Olympians. I hope to bring more of our athletes to meetings such as this in the years to come. As for Alex, it was another outstanding performance especially as he was not at his best after the excitement of the past 7 days. This was his final appearance in the UK this season as we will now embark on a sold block of training before the European Championships.”
Cotswold Way Relay – 27/06/2015
Two mixed teams from Gloucester Athletic Club took part in Saturday’s Cotswold Way Relay that runs from Chipping Campden in the north, down to Bath Abbey in the south, taking in the spectacular views offered by this famous trail.
Now in its 23rd year, the event is run as 10 back-to-back races with each one starting with a massed start at the expected arrival time of the leading runner from the previous stage.
The ‘Gloster Gladiators’ team placed 8th and the ‘Gloster Meteors’ team placed 15th of the 59 mixed teams.
Worcester AC Open – 25/06/2015
There was success for Gloucester Athletic Club members at the Worcester AC Open Meeting last Thursday (25th).
Kelly Constable produced her best runs of a disrupted summer. She opened up with a clear win in the 100 metres before breaking the 60-second barrier in the 400 metres for the first time when placing 2nd in 59.60 seconds. Alidia Vaile placed 4th in 65.78 seconds, her first ever attempt at the distance. Kirstie Constable took over half a second off her personal best 300 metres time with a 47.23 second clocking in 4th place.
In the field events, Andy McKenzie was looking to extend his personal best for the M50 Masters age group 6kg hammer. He has only thrown this weight once before, two years ago when he was hindered by a back injury and could only manage a best throw of 22m. Now recovered, he opened with a throw of 28.50m to add 6.5 metres to his best as well as setting a new club record. He increased this to 29.41m in the second round but was unable to improve further in the final two rounds as he sought to break the 30m barrier. McKenzie is now ranked 22nd in the UK M50 hammer rankings. Club mate Marion Loveridge won the F50 category in the hammer with a best throw of 40.14 metres.
MCAA Championships – 14/06/2015
In the recent Midland Athletics Championships, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Kate Davies won the gold medal in the senior ladies javelin with a best throw of 32.84 metres and the bronze medal in the high jump with 1.50 metres.
Four Gloucester Athletic Club youngsters have been selected to represent the Gloucestershire Schools team at the English Schools Athletics Championships.
Catherine Hardy (100 metres), Ellen Thrall (hammer), Jonathan Jones (discus) and Joel Townley (triple Jump) will make the long trip north up to Gateshead for the event which take place on 10/11th July.
Height was the theme with Gloucester AC distance racers over the last week. The Aviator 10k saw Jack Evans 5th place give him PB of 37:10 with Chris Davis 23rd setting 41:54 and Martin Hobson 58th in 58:14
In the Bredon Bash, a 6 mile Fell Race with 500 feet of climbing, Debbie Lee 52:37 finished in the top 10 women but with very tight calfs. James Head used the race as preparation for Saturday's Cotswold Way Relay and came 15th in 43.20. Lee also raced in the second White Horse 5k producing sub seven minute first mile but then slowing after the first climb as her left calf tightened giving her 22:45.
Despite it's name the Malvern Half Marathon was run over over a gently undulating course; Chris Davis was 62nd in 1:37:45 and Charlotte McGlone 1:41:08 4th senior lady in 85th position.
YDL Lower - 21/06/2015
The third Lower Youth Development League saw another club record tumble as the quartet of Alidia Vaile, Erin McFarland, Elissa Moor and Vicky Kirby took 13 seconds off the recently improved 4x300m club record to record 3.16.7.
The two outstanding races for Gloucester Athletic Club were the U15 Girls 4 x 100 won by Sophie Temple, Piper Holmes, Kali Thompson and Fathia Fategbe with excellent teamwork in 55.3 and the U13 1200m won by Tilly Ashley in 4.27.8. This was a PB by 3 seconds and showed mature running as Ashley hunted the initial leader for 800m taking her on the third lap and coming home over 4 seconds in front of second place.
The Gu15 High Jump saw relay member Piper Holmes gain 2nd place with PB of 1.51 create a second PB in the Long Jump with with 4.38. Fellow relay member Fathia Fategbe also created a new PB with 5th in the Shot Putt A 7.24. She also high jumped 1.30 for 2nd in the B event.
Relay record breaking Vikki Kirby took 1st in the Hammer with 24.60 which 2m further than the second placed athlete. Kirby was also 5th in the B discus 11:38 and 4th in the Shot Putt B with 5.18 producing a new PB.Team member Elissa Moor time of 14.4 was a PB for the 75m Hurdles and she threw 10.73 in the Javelin (6th) and gained 1st in the Long Jump B with 4.27m
Other U15 Girls performances gained valuable points for the club: Sophie Temple; 100m A 6th 200m, 5th 29.5 100B: Kali Thompson ,3rd 100m 14.3, 200m A 2nd 29.1,14.48 Discus A
Erin MacFarlaine; 100m 2 13.9, 3rd 300m 48.7 ; Alidia Vaile, 300m 2nd 46.5 800m A 5 2.29.8: Briony Bishop; 1500A 3 5.23.8
The U13 Girls performances saw Tilly Ashley long jump 3.82m and gain a second PB of 14.9 in the 75m Hurdles. Grace Manly high jumped 1.10m for 3rd, ran 75m for 5th place with 12 seconds dead and 200m in just over double that time with 24.5 secs.
The 800m saw Malika Ouiles run 3.12.3 while she threw the javelin 9.11m for a PB and gained 2nd in B Shot (4.37m) . Trisha Stansfield came 6th in the middle distance A race with 3.01.5 then 4th in javelin with 9.18 and 4th in A shot putt (5.25m) Second placed B string long jumper was Josie Thompson with 3.65m
The Boys U13 team was sparsely represented with Adam Saunders coming 4th in the 100m 15.0, 3rd in the 200 31.2 and long jumping 3.75m for PB and 3rd place.
England Athletics U20 & U23 Championships - 20+21/06/2015
Four of Gloucester Athletic Club’s top youngsters headed to Bedford for the England Athletics Under 20 & Under 23 Championships last weekend. The competition also doubled as the selection trials for both the European U20 and European U23 Championships.
On the track, Gloucester were represented by the George twins. Racing in the U20 Men’s 5000m was Alex George, who already possessed the qualification standard for the European Championships, so a win would guarantee selection. Alex settled in the pack towards the front of the race in the early stages as the pace fluctuated with varying leaders. As they entered the final kilometre a lead group of just 8 athletes remained with Alex edging closer to the front of the race. With 600m left to run, the Gloucester athlete made his move, hitting the front and taking control of the race. From there he gradually increased the pace with a final surge inside the last 200m enough to deliver Alex an impressive 2-second victory and his first National title on the track. Alex’s time of 14:18.88, his second clocking inside the qualification standard of 14mins 20secs, coupled with the win booked his place in the Great Britain Junior team for the Championships in Eskilstuna, Sweden next month. This latest selection will complete a remarkable few months for the University of Arkansas student after also representing Great Britain at the World Cross-Country Championships in China last March.
Alex’s brother Thomas was racing in the U20 Men’s 1500m. Running in the first heat of 2, Thomas positioned himself well as he ran just behind the early leaders. However, as the pace increased and the race came down to a sprint finish, a deep gash to the shin suffered during the race hampered Thomas’ chances, causing him to fade in the last 100m. Sadly, placing 9th in his heat in a time of 3:56.78 was insufficient to see the Gloucester athlete progress to the final.
Away from the track, Gloucester also had 2 athletes competing in the Hammer Throw. Ellen Thrall was first up on the Saturday morning contesting the U20 Women’s event. Thrall produced a consistent series of throws with her best effort of 43.84 metres good enough to place her 8th. Contesting the U23 Women’s event on the Sunday morning was Charlotte Stallard. With all the throwers struggling in the windy conditions, Stallard was unable to produce her best but still performed well to position 10th with a throw of 47.98 metres, just 1 metre down on her personal best.
Midlands Senior & U20 Championships – 14/06/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club members met with considerable success at the Midlands Senior and Under-20s Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Sunday (14th).
Steve Millward (pic above, bottom left) successfully defended his 3,000m steeplechase senior men’s title to win his fifth Midlands title in the event. Wisely staying off the early fast pace, the Gloucester athlete gradually closed the gap on the leaders to take the lead with just over 400 metres remaining. He pulled away over the final lap to win in a new Gloucester club M35 age group record time of 9:39.16, his fastest time for four seasons and the second fastest time in the UK in the M35 age group this season.
There was double success for the George twins. Alex moved up and age group and comfortably won the senior men’s 1500 metres in 3:50.61, while Thomas won a tactical U20 Men’s 1500 metres final in 4:01.90 to complete a unique family double (pic above, bottom right).
Catherine Hardy (pic above, top left) ran a personal best 12.11 seconds when taking the silver medal in the U20 Ladies 100 metres and went one better to take the 200 metres title by two tenths in 25.11, while Jonathan Jones took the U20 Men’s title in the Hammer, throwing 47.65 metres, to back up his bronze medal in the discus.
Two of Jones’s training partners came away with medals. Ellen Thrall won the silver medal in the U20 Ladies hammer and Charlotte Stallard (pic above, top right) was just down on her personal best when taking bronze in the senior ladies hammer.
The final medal on what was a very successful day for the city club came in the senior ladies long jump where Kate Davies won the bronze medal with a best jump of 5.10 metres.
Additionally, Richard de-Camps continued his return to racing from an injury lay-off to place a creditable 5th in the senior men’s 800 metres final while training partner and Gloucester second-claim member Ben Robinson won the 5,000 metres.
Aviator 10K – 14/06/2015
Jack Evans was the first Gloucester Athletic Club runner home in the Aviator 10km road race on the lanes around Staverton Airport on Sunday (14th), placing 5th in 37:10. Chris Davis placed 23rd in 41:54 and Martin Hobson 58th in 58:14.
Old Down Trail 5K – 14/06/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Lindsey Lyes was victorious at the Old Down Country Park trail 5km event in Bristol on Sunday (14th), winning in 28:00
New York 10K – 13/06/2015
Sue Higgins competed in the New York 10km event around Central Park whilst on a short holiday in the American city. She placed 376th of the 7874 finishers in 48:20.
Bourton Half Marathon – 13/06/2015
Despite the damp and humid conditions for Saturday’s Humph’s Hilly Half Marathon at Bourton-on-the-water on Saturday evening (13th), there were some fine performances by Gloucester Athletic Club members.
As the name suggests, this race is staged over a challenging course that tested all of the competitors but James Head found the course and conditions to his liking as he produced a strong run to place 11th overall and first Gloucester runner in 1:23:18.
Dave Gresswell was next home, placing 21st in 1:27:09. He admitted afterwards to having struggled over the latter stages, saying “I just haven’t been able to put in enough long runs in training recently and paid for it over the last few miles, but I’m still reasonably happy with the run.”
Nigel Nash and Charlotte McGlone were involved in a private duel throughout the race, changing places on numerous occasions, before Nigel put in a strong finish to place 54th in 1:39:52. Charlotte placed 57th overall and 3rd senior lady in the County Half Marathon Championships in 1:40:39.
Clive Poole continued his recent improvement, placing 69th in a new personal best time of 1:43:37, nearly two minutes quicker than his previous best and his fourth personal best time over a range of distances in the past six weeks.
Russell Kirby was the next City runner home, placing 75th in 1:44:40, while Sharon Paintin placed 124th in 2:03:12 and Dave Spackman 130th in 2:06:15.
Malvern Joggers 10K – 10/06/2015 / Westonbirt 10K – 08/06/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Debbie Lee has had a busy week. On Monday (8th) she placed 137th in the Westonbirt 10km Trail Race in 47:48, whilst on Wednesday (10th) she ran the Malvern Joggers 10km events, placing 124th in 51:08.
Josefa Odlozila Memorial meeting – 08/06/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Rose-Anne Galligan travelled over to Prague to compete in the 800 metres at the Josefa Odlozila Memorial meeting on Monday evening (8th).
Galligan, who has missed the last 10 months with injury and with no winter background work, placed 7th in the 10-strong field in 2:05.42, a hugely pleasing run considering she only started training in April. Afterwards, she said “Surprisingly, that was my third fastest season opener ever so I’m really looking forward to improving throughout the summer and staying injury-free.”
County Schools Athletics Championships – 07/06/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club youngsters were in fine form at last Sunday’s County Schools Athletics championships in Cheltenham (7th).
In the senior girls events, Ellen Thrall was dominant in the hammer competition, winning the county title with a best throw of 44.25 metres, to back up her silver medals in the shot and discus, while Catherine Hardy overcame a defeat in the 100 metres by her nemesis Sophie Yorke of Cheltenham, to win the 200 metres by a clear margin in 26.1 seconds.
In the intermediate girls 1500 metres, Bethan Moor was just outside her recent personal best, when placing second, while Alex Bache placed 6th in the 300 metres final. Chloe Jones took second place in the discus.
There was triple success in the intermediate boys events as Rory Cawkwell (400 metres and 100m hurdles) and Harry Wells (800 metres) stormed to county titles. Michael Pang placed 7th and 5th in the 100m and 200m finals respectively and James Etheridge took 7th place in the javelin final.
In the junior girls events, there was a county title and personal best for Piper Holmes in the high jump, while Elissa Moor also set a new personal best in the long jump as did Fathia Faregbe in the shot putt. Jude Dowdeswell set a new personal best when placing 6th in the 800 metres final and there was a strong Gloucester club representation in the 1500 metres with Jade Gough placing 2nd, ahead of Laura McPeake (3rd) with both girls taking large chunks off their previous best times. Niamh Powell placed 6th and Natalie Ashley-Towell (9th). Beth Gardiner took 4th place in the 100 metres, ahead of training partner Sophie Temple (6th) while Alidia Vaile and Fathia Faregbe placed 5th and 6th in the 200 metres final.
In the junior boys age group, Joel Townley was a clear winner of the triple jump and then won the high jump on count-back to complete a successful afternoon for the city club.
Fairford 10K – 07/06/2015
Dave Gresswell led the Gloucester Athletic Club contingent home in Sunday’s Fairford 10km road race when he placed 11th overall in 37:19.
Hayley Winters placed 26th overall and 2nd lady in 40:22, Chris Davis was just outside his personal best when placing 33rd in 41:25, Peter Jeffery placed 49th in 43:32, just ahead of Charlotte McGlone who placed 50th in 43:35 with Sharon Paintin placing 170th in 554:45.
Midland League – 06/06/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club slumped to their worst team result in recent years when they could only finish a distant sixth place in the second round of matches in the Midland Athletics League match at Blackbridge on Saturday (6th).
Already missing several key athletes due to work and exam commitments, the team’s cause was not helped by last minute withdrawals due to illness and injury giving team manager Richard Blackwell a huge selection headache.
Nevertheless, there were many outstanding individual performances from the small team that will give them hope of surviving in this highly competitive division and avoiding relegation.
Rose-Anne Galligan made a welcome return to competition following an injury-ravaged 2014 track season. The Irish senior record holder over 800 metres produced an impressive burst of speed in the home straight to win the A-string 800 metres before taking second place in a very close 400 metres that saw one tenth of a second separate the first three runners. Afterwards, Galligan said “It was good to have a couple of low-key races here at Blackbridge. I’m flying out to Prague tomorrow [Sunday] for my first serious 800 metres for 10 months, so I’m pleased to get these races under my belt.”
Meg Teague made a significant breakthrough in the women’s triple jump. Going into the competition with a personal best 9.89 metres, she broke through the 10 metres-barrier when clearing 10.03 metres into a strong headwind and then improved this to 10.17 metres to take second place.
Chloe Jones, the youngest member of the team, rose to the challenge of competing against seniors for only the second time, by setting three new personal bests. She improved her best shot putt to 8.04 metres, threw the javelin 17.04 metres and then, in her preferred event, recorded 32.15 metres in the discus.
Jones received solid support from her throwing colleagues as Charlotte Stallard, Ellen Thrall and Anna Robertson all took podium places in their speciality events.
Jones’s namesake, Jonathan, also had a successful day as he added half a metres to his personal best in the men’s discus, throwing 37.57 metres, whilst Tim Williams was a class apart in the men’s hammer, winning by nearly 15 metres with a best throw of 59.50 metres.
In the men’s track events, Tom George was a convincing winner of the 800 metres, as was team captain Steve Millward in the 3,000 metres steeplechase, whilst there was another improved set of results by the sprinters on a day when high spots were at a premium.
After the match, team manager Blackwell was positive despite the result, saying “This was always going to be a very difficult match given the absentees. However, the spirit displayed by all of the athletes was heartening and I was particularly pleased at the way they stepped up and were only too happy to fill some of the gaps in order to win extra points. We have two matches remaining and must make sure we get all of our athletes competing if we are to stay in this division. It’s going to be tough, but we have the athletes capable of making it happen.”
Match team result (subject to scrutiny):
Cannock & Staffs 365 pts; Notts AC 354; Bristol & West/Yate 346; BRAT 343; Worcester 336; Gloucester 248.
League standings after two matches:
Bristol & West/Yate 10 pts (774 match pts); Notts 10 (721); Cannock & Staffs 10 (688); BRAT 5; Gloucester 4; Worcester 3.
Scafell Mountain Marathon – 06/06/2015
A small group of Gloucester Athletic Club members travelled up to the English Lake District to compete in the Scafell Mountain Marathon on Saturday (6th) which, as the name suggests, involves running around and up England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike over a distance of 27.5 miles.
Aaron Bennett was the first Gloucester runner home, placing 54th in 5hrs 55:56. Colin Westbury placed 92nd in 6:41:41, Denise Evans 137th in 7:51:27 and Phil du Plessis 138th in 7:51:29.
Fitness 4 – 02/06/2015
At the recent Severn AC Four-mile fitness run at Elmore on Tuesday (2nd), Gloucester Athletic Club’s Clive Poole placed 6th in a new personal best time for the distance of 27:53.
This Saturday (6th) sees Gloucester Athletic Club host round two of this season’s Midland Track & Field League at the Blackbridge track in Podsmead.
The home Club took an encouraging 4th place in the opening match at Yate and welcome back Irish National 800 metres record holder Rose-Anne Galligan into the team. Galligan will be racing 400 metres as a speed exercise before she runs her first 800 metres of the season the following week.
The first field event is the men’s hammer at 11:15am and the track events start at 1:00pm. Entry is free.
Bristol 10K – 31/05/2015
In near perfect conditions, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Matt Newman reduced his best time by nearly 30 seconds when clocking 38:52 in the Bristol 10km road race on Sunday (31st).
Newman placed 268th of the 9,000-plus field.
YDL Lower – 30/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s promising young athletes gave further evidence of their huge potential when they competed in the latest National Youth Development League Midlands Division match at Worcester on Saturday (30th).
Many athletes set new personal and season’s bests in the warm conditions and team manager Bob Purcell was delighted with the effort and spirit they showed. “We have a really talented bunch of youngsters coming through the junior ranks this summer. There is no room for prima donnas, these kids just get on and compete and clearly have great fun while they’re at it.”
With many of the team still in their first year of competition, it was up to some of the “older hands” to step in and fill some of the gaps in the team, competing in unfamiliar events. Jude Dowdeswell is normally an endurance runner, but after beating her previous 800 metres best by over two seconds, she went on to set a new personal best in the javelin. Kirstie Constable, Elissa Moor and Beth Gardiner also showed their versatility and willingness to “give it a go” by competing and earning valuable team points in a range of events as did Toby Scott and Barnaby Huckstable who, together with Adam Saunders, provided the backbone of a small boys team.
Newcomers Erin MacFarlaine and Sophie Temple produced strong runs in the sprints, as did Ella Maclean who set two new personal bests, Kaci Callender and Grace Manley.
Malika Ouiles and Jade Gough set new personal bests in the 800 metres to complete a good afternoon’s work for the Gloucester squad.
BMC Grand Prix – 30/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s top middle distance runners travelled up to Sportcity in Manchester to compete in the BMC Grand Prix Meeting (30th).
Richard de-Camps gave further indication that he is gradually getting back to his best form following recent injury problems when clocking a season’s best 1:56.89 in the men’s 800 metres.
Tom George also took a huge step n the right direction after taking time out through injury, running a season’s best 3:51.99 in the 1500 metres. Brother Alex didn’t enjoy such a successful evening, as he was tripped in his 1500 metres heat with 200 metres remaining when well on schedule to achieve the GB standard of 3:44.5 for the European Junior championships in Sweden.
Aztec West 5K – 26/05/2015
Matt Powell was the first Gloucester Athletic Club runner home in the latest running of the Aztec West Fast Five mile road race in Bristol last Tuesday (26th), placing 68th in 19:14, as he just held off M65 Arthur Daley who placed 72nd and 1st in the M60 category in 19:25.
Suzanne Harding reduced her season’s best time by 20 seconds as she crossed the line in 99th place in 20:34, while just two seconds and one place her, Peter Jeffery set a new personal best.
Aaron Bennett, in his last race before he tackles this weekend’s Sca Fell Pike Marathon in the Lake district, placed 104th in 20:45 and there was a personal best 21:08 for Kirsty Branch in 110th place in her last race for the club before she returns home to Surrey having finished her studies in Gloucester.
Clive Poole placed 112th in 21:12, Nicola Waters 117th in 21:38 and Sydney Dobberson 129th in 22:44.
White Horse 5K / 5 mile – 19+25/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club members competed in the recent Severn AC White Horse road races around Sandhurst.
In the 5km road race on 19th May, Matt Powell placed 25th in 18:48, Debbie Lee placed 40th in 22:20 and Rob Jordan placed 43rd in 23:25.
In the White Horse 5-mile road race on 25th May, Debbie Lee was the 4th lady home in 37:50.
Gloucestershire County Track & Field Championships – 23/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club members produced a host of excellent performances at part two of the Gloucestershire County Track & Field championships at Cheltenham on Saturday (23rd) to bring a stash of medals back down the A40 to the City.
The Club’s coaching teams had placed great emphasis on these championships for the younger members of their groups as they take the first step on the ladder to what they hope shall be successful careers in the sport and their young charges did not disappoint as they rose to the challenge in a range of events.
The previous week’s field events had yielded a host of county titles for the Gloucester club and from the early events on the programme it was clear that the tally would be added to. Rory Cawkwell got the ball rolling by taking gold in the U17 Men’s 400m hurdles in his first serious attempt at the event before returning to the track just a couple of hours later to take another gold medal, this time in the 400 metres flat in a personal best 54.0 seconds.
Another 400 metres title came the city club’s way when Kelly Constable dominated to win the U20 Ladies title. Constable then took silver in the U20 Ladies 200 metres as she was narrowly beaten in arguably the best race of the afternoon by club mate Catherine Hardy who overcame a rare reversal in the 100 metres, while one of Hardy’s training partners, Jevaughn Gayle, won gold in the U20 Men’s 100 metres. Miranda Bass completed the U20 medal haul when she took the bronze medal in the 800 metres.
Harry Wells lowered his personal best again when taking the silver medal in the U17M 800 metres and there was further success in the U17 1500 metres events when Andrew McPeake was the first MU17 to cross the line in a new personal best 5:06.5, while Bethan Moor dipped under the five minutes barrier for the first time when she won the silver medal in the U17 Ladies event in 4:59.6. Angharad Evans took the bronze medal in the U17 300 metres, while Chloe Jones won silver in the U17 Ladies discus.
The Club’s U15s were in superb form. Beth Gardiner just held off training partner Eric Macfarlaine in the 100 metres final as they took the silver and bronze medals respectively ahead of Kali Thompson (6th) and Sophie Temple (7th). Macfarlaine also took the bronze medal in the 200 metres, holding off team mate Alidia Vaile who placed 4th.
Laura McPeake lowered her personal best when taking the silver medal in the 1500 metres, ahead of training partner Niamh Powell, who also set a new personal best when taking third. Briony Bishop placed 5th and Natalie Ashley-Towell 11th. Jude Dowdeswell set a new personal best when placing 5th in the 800 metres and there were silver and bronze medals in the long jump for Elissa Moor and Piper Holmes.
For the boys, Joel Townley added to his brace of titles in the triple and high jumps as he won the long jump in a personal best 5.79 metres to further underline his potential.
In the U13 events, there were gold medals for Josie Thompson in the 70m hurdles and Jada George in the 200 metres and a bronze medal for Bethan Powell in the 1500 metres and encouraging championship debuts for Malikia Ouiles, Adam Saunders and Barnaby Huxtable.
After the meeting, a Club spokesman said “Our coaches targeted these championships as an ideal introduction for our youngsters to individual championship competition and we’re really pleased with the results. It will give them the encouragement to train well and go further in the sport. There clearly is a huge amount of young athletic talent in the Club at the moment.”
At the opposite end of the age scale, Chris O’Carroll set new club age group records as he won the county titles in the M70 200 metres, 400 metres and shot putt.
Tewkesbury Half Marathon – 17/05/2015
Chris Davis was the first Gloucester Athletic Club runner to cross the line at Sunday’s Tewkesbury Half Marathon, knocking three minutes off his personal best with 1:36:29 in 95th place.
Charlotte McGlone placed 110th in 1:37:58, Peter Jeffery 122nd in 1:39:22 and Sharon Paintin 496th of the 650 finishers in 2:10:04.
YDL Upper – 16/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club youngsters were in excellent form in the Youth Development League match at Yeovil on Saturday(16th), setting several personal bests in the warm and sunny conditions.
Throwers Chloe and Jonathan Jones continued their strong starts to the new season. Chloe added half a metre to her three week-old personal best when winning the U17W discus with a best throw of 32.07 metres. She also improved her best mark in the shot putt when placing second with 8.74 metres. Jonathan set a new personal best of 41.65 metres as he won the U20M hammer but was disappointed with his 38.78 metres discus throw despite placing second as he felt he was capable of throwing further on the day.
Megan Teague is another athlete who has made a good start to the 2015 season. She improved her long jump personal best by 20 centimetres when winning the U20W event with 4.79 metres and was just three centimetres short of her triple jump best, when she took another first place with 9.70 metres.
There were personal best performances on the track as well. Catherine Hardy knocked one tenth of a second off her personal best to win the U20W 100 metres in 12.2 seconds, a time which ranks her in the UK top 20 in her age group for the season. She followed this up with a win in the 200 metres, beating her rival Zoe Nash of the South East Wales composite team by a tenth, in 25.6 seconds. Training partner Michael Pang also set a new personal best when placing 5th in the U17M 100 metres in 12.1 seconds and Miranda Bass took two seconds off her previous best time as she won the U20W 800 metres in 2:45.4. Andrew Bowers ran a season’s best 52.3 seconds when placing second in the 400 metres.
After the match, Team Manager Garry Hunter said: “I’m very pleased for the athletes who made the long journey to compete in this meeting, as they all recorded new personal and season’s bests. The turn-out was small, so I’ll be expecting a greater response for the next match.”
BMAF Road Relays – 16/05/2015
For the first time in many years, Gloucester Athletic Club entered two teams in the British Masters Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park in Birmingham on Saturday (16th).
In the W45 event, Den Evans showed she is back to her best form as she clocked 21:58 for the three-mile course on the notoriously competitive first leg., bringing the team home in 39th place. Sue Higgins took over and blasted around the circuit in 21:41, making up eight places. Sharon Nash was drafted into the team at the 11th hour due to injury drop-outs and produced a strong run to keep the team in contention, recording 23:27, as the team placed 32nd overall and 12th in their category.
Over 90 teams contested the highly competitive M35 age group event. The ever-reliable James Head ran 17:37 on the opening leg, handing over to team captain Steve Millward in 59th place. Millward picked runners off all the way round, as he brought the team up to 29th place with a 15:48 leg, one of the top 20 fastest times of the day. Newcomer Glen Balmer continued the upwards momentum, clocking 16:56, to move the team into the top 20. Steve Haines took over on leg four and, despite a lack of races recently, produced a strong run with 17:49. Mike Mansfield took over on the fifth leg and showed his experience with a controlled run as he clocked 17:53 to bring the team home in 19th place.
Unfortunately, serious traffic hold-ups in the area meant that the remaining runner couldn’t get to the event in time, meaning the City squad were unable to complete the event, but Millward was nevertheless pleased by the positive team effort and performance, saying “Naturally, we were disappointed at not being able to complete a team, but things were out of our control. That said, we were all pleased with our performances which shows the strength we have in the Club at present.”
BMC Grand Prix – 16/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George ran his first race since returning to the UK after his first year at Arkansas University when he raced in the BMC Grand Prix at Stretford on Saturday (16th).
Competing in the 1500 metres ‘A’ race, George placed 6th in 3:46.80, a season’s best. His brother Thomas placed 10th in the ‘B’ race in 3:54.58.
Night of the 10,000m PBs – 16/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club's Dave Gresswell travelled to London to compete in Saturday's annual Highgate Harriers "Night of the 10,000m" meeting that also incorporated the English 10,000m track championships.
Gresswell placed 20th overall in his race and 2nd M45 in 37:46.93.
South Devon MT10K – 16/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club's Clive Poole competed in the South Devon Multi-Terrain 10km event on Saturday (16th). The route took in country lanes, footpaths and bridleways and offered views of the Dart Valley. Poole placed 43rd overall in 50:03.
District Schools – 15/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club youngsters were successful at the Cheltenham District Schools trials at Cheltenham last week (15th).
Training partners Sophie Temple and Bethany Gardiner took first and second places in the Junior Girls 100 metres in 13.3 and 13.4 seconds respectively, while there was a win for Alidia Vaile in the 200 metres. All three youngsters were representing Chosen Hill School.
There was a 1-2-3 for members of Kerry Newell’s training group in the Junior Girls 1500 metres final. Laura McPeake took first place in 5:12.5, Naimh Powell took second place in 5:13.3 and Jade Gough placed third in 5:14.2. All three performances were massive personal bests.
Kirstie Constable had a busy afternoon, placing 6th and 3rd in the heats of the 100 and 200 metres , 3rd in the 200 metres heats and 6th in the long jump final.
At the Forest of Dean District Schools event Natalie Ashley-Towell, also a member of Kerry Newell’s group, won the 1500 metres.
Gloucestershire County Championships Part 1 – 13/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club members were in medal-winning form in the first part of the 2015 County Athletics Championships at the Prince of Wales Rugby Stadium in Cheltenham last Wednesday (13th).
The ladies hammer events saw three county titles and a silver medal coming back to the City as Charlotte Stallard (Senior), Ellen Thrall (U20) and Marion Loveridge (F50) once again dominated the competition to take respective golds, while Vikki Kirby took the silver medal in the U15 category to continue her development in her first season in the event.
There were two more gold medals in the triple jump events. Meg Teague set a new personal best 9.73 metres to take the U20W title and Joel Townley gave further signs of his huge potential when winning the U15B title in a new personal best 11.86 metres to rank him in the UK’s top three for the season.
Gold medals were not restricted to the field events. Angharad Evans won the U17W 2,000m steeplechase in a personal best 11:38.2 while there was a gold medal for Jeremy Mower in the M45 3,000m steeplechase.
Suzanne Harding and Miranda Bass won the W35 and U20W titles in the 3,000 metres in 12:00.7 and 13:22.3 respectively and there were silver medals at the same distance for Briony Bishop (U15G, 11:50.5) and Kirsty Branch (SL, 12:15.8).
There was further success in the 5,000 metres as county age group titles went to Nicola Waters (F55) and Arthur Daley (M65) with Selina Graham taking bronze in the SL category. Freek van Arkel placed sixth in the senior men’s event in 16:28.6.
The second part of the Championships takes place at the Prince of Wales Stadium this Saturday (23rd).
Cambridge University Meeting – 09/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jacob Lange opened his 2015 outdoor season last week (9th) when competing in the Cambridge University Club meeting. He placed second in the hammer with a best throw of 48.59 metres and then placed second in the shot putt with 10.09 metres.
Avon League – 10/05/2015
Joel Townley produced the stand-out performances for the Gloucester Athletic Club team in Sunday’s opening Avon Track & Field League fixture at Yate, as he continued his impressive start to the new season.
The Gloucester youngster, who is coached at the Blackbridge track by European Masters Indoor Triple Jump champion, Jo Willoughby, was a clear winner of both the high and triple jumps in new personal bests of 1.70m and 11.00m and also set a new personal best time of 12.2 seconds in the 100 metres.
Townley was not the only athlete from the Willoughby training group to meet with success at Yate. Training partner Meg Teague opened her season with a victory and personal best 4.70 metres when winning the senior ladies long jump.
In a match which saw many Gloucester athletes making their club debuts, there were victories for two of the more experienced members of the team as Kelly Constable (100m) and Charlotte Stallard (hammer) were dominant in their events.
Stroud Trail Marathon & Half Marathon – 10/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club members competed in the annual Stroud Trail Marathon and Half Marathon around the Stroud Valleys on Sunday.
Both races consist of a mix of local trails, towpaths, disused railway tracks and the picturesque Cotswold hills and feature some very challenging climbs.
Colin Westbury was the first Club runner home in the full marathon over 27 miles, placing 47th of the 167 finishers in 4:35:56. Phil Griffiths, who used the race as preparation towards his first ultra-distance event next month, placed 86th in 5:05:50, an improvement of over 40 minutes on the time he set when running the event last year.
Charlotte McGlone placed 21st overall and 3rd lady in the half marathon, over 14.7 miles, clocking 1:59:12. Her training partner, Sharon Paintin, placed 155th of the 215 finishers in 2:47:11.
Arlingham Passage 4 – 05/05/2015
Competing in his second race in two days, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Clive Poole braved wet and very windy conditions as he placed 6th overall in last week’s Arlingham 4-mile road race (5th), recording a time of 28:35, a personal best for the distance by over one minute.
BMC Millfield – 04/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club members travelled down to Millfield School in Street to compete in the opening BMC meeting of the new season on Bank Holiday Monday (4th).
Competing in his first 3,000 metres race for three years, Thomas George was hoping for a time around 8 minutes 20 but some erratic pace-making put paid to those ambitions. However, he still reduced his previous best time by 20 seconds when placing 6th in 8:38.6.
Harry Wells, like George a member of Paul de-Camps’s training group, knocked a further two seconds off his recently set 800 metres personal best when placing 6th in the U17 Men’s race in 2:08.57.
Bluebell 10K – 04/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club members were among the medals at the annual Blaisdon Bluebell 10km road race on Bank Holiday Monday (4th).
In warm but breezy conditions, the route takes the runners up towards May Hill before returning to the village.
Glen Balmer led the Gloucester group home, placing second ahead of Dave Gresswell who finished in third place in 38:07. Clive Poole took his first race prize, placing 12th overall and 1st M45, in 45:51.
Brewer Games – 04/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Ashleigh Naylor continued his impressive start to the 2015 season when he won his 100 metres race at the Brewer Games in Cheltenham on Monday with a personal-best equalling 11.12 seconds. There was a new personal best for U20 Jonathan Jones, who beat his previous best by 50 cms when throwing 41.79m in the discus.
Under-17 Andrew McPeake was just outside his personal best time when recording 5:12.09in the 1500 metres while at the other end of the age categories, M60 Ian Willoughby clocked 50.31 in the 300m hurdles event.
In the U15 Girls events, Elissa Moor and Katie McPeake each set two new personal bests. They both recorded new marks in the 75m hurdles, while Elissa improved her best in the long jump and Katie in the javelin. Vikki Kirby competed a busy weekend, competing in the hammer event, which also included her training partners Ellen Thrall, Marion Loveridge and Charlotte Stallard.
YDL Lower – 02/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s youngsters travelled up to Solihull to compete in the National Youth Development League U13/U15 fixture on Saturday (2nd) and, despite the unseasonal cold, wet and windy conditions, produced a series of excellent performances in their first team competition of the new season.
The Club focuses on encouraging its youngsters to try out as many events as possible in the early stages of their careers and this policy reaped rewards as many of the team ventured outside their comfort zones to compete in unfamiliar events, particularly the throws, with considerable success as they earned good points for their team.
Whilst the Under-13 team included many athletes making their first track & field appearance for the Club, it was their elder colleagues in the Under-15s who provided the bulk of the team’s points on the day, as Jude Dowdeswell, Vikki Kirby, Laura and Katie McPeake and the sprinters all produced performances that promise much for the coming season.
Only three boys made the trip to Solihull, highlighting the acute shortage of young male athletes in the Club. Barnaby Huckstable and Toby Scott both set new best times in the U13 800 metres and long jump, but the stand-out performances came from Joel Townley who was a convincing winner in the U15 long and high jumps, recording personal bests in both events in the process.
After the match, team manager Bob Purcell was full of praise of the athletes who made the trip, saying “This was a difficult fixture as it clashed with a Bank Holiday weekend, but the youngsters who competed all showed tremendous potential and clearly enjoyed the experience of competing for their Club. The lack of young lads coming into the sport in the City is a serious problem, however, and one that we are working hard to address.”
Anglo Celtic Plate 100K – 02/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower represented Wales in the annual Anglo Celtic Plate Home International 100 km road race in Redwick, near Newport, south Wales on Saturday (2nd).
Just one week after competing in a track league match, Mower started well, keeping within touch of the leading group for the first 45 kms before the strong winds and showers took their toll. Mower rallied over the final 25 kms and finished strongly in a time of 8 hours 58 mins 57 seconds, as he helped his team secure the bronze medal.
Remarkably, this was Mower’s 11th appearance in the event and the 10th time he has made the Welsh scoring team, both records for any country. He will now turn his attention to the British Masters Marathon later in the year where he will be hoping to win a medal in the M50 category.
Malvern Hills Ultra - 02/05/2015
While Mower was racing in south Wales, his Club colleague, Sue Higgins, was the joint-first lady finisher in the Malvern Hills 34-mile ultra multi-terrain event, recording a time of 6 hours 58 minutes. This was Higgins’s first ultra-distance race which followed a course out and back over the Malvern Hills and took in a total of 6,000 feet of ascent.
BUSA Championships – 02/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club members were in action at the British Universities Championships at Bedford at the weekend.
Representing Oxford University, Kate Davies showed that she is on the way to regaining her best form following an ankle injury as she placed 9th in the javelin final with a throw of 37.62 metres. Wearing the colours of Exeter University, Tom Beckett recorded 5.76m and 12.13m in the long and triple jumps respectively, while Freek van Arkel, representing Cardiff University placed 13th in the 5,000 metres in 16:24:33.
Arkansas Meeting – 01/05/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George opened his 2015 outdoor track season in spectacular fashion as he ran his second fastest ever 1500 metres when winning the event at the Arkansas Twilight Meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Friday evening (1st).
George’s time of 3:47:13 propels him to the top of the UK U20 ranking list for 2015 and is comfortably within the qualifying standard for his main target for the year, the European Junior Athletics Championships, which take place in Eskilstuna, Sweden in July.
Aztec West 5K – 28/04/2015
Tom Randles was Gloucester Athletic Club’s first finisher in the latest Aztec West 5km road race last week (28th), placing 29th. This was Randle’s first 5km road race for three years and he was satisfied with his 17:29 clocking, as it came just three days after he had raced in the Midland League track fixture when he recorded 17:29.3.
Arthur Daley had set himself a sub-19 minutes target for the race but despite running an evenly-paced race and setting a new Club M60 best, he just missed out as he placed 71st in 19:13 to consolidate his 3rd place on this season’s UK age group ranking lists.
Suzanne Harding had also competed in the previous weekend’s track meeting and continued her current good form when she placed 103rd in 20:43, her fastest time for seven years. Behind her, Kirsty Branch, another to have raced in the Midland League match, produced another consistent performance as she placed 111th in 21:31, while Nicola Waters showed few ill effects from running in the London Marathon just two days before, placing 120th in 22:13, her fastest for a year. Rob Jordan ran his fastest 5km of the year as he placed 127th in 23:07.
London Marathon – 26/04/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s competitors in Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon all recorded personal bests as the City club enjoyed one of its most successful days in the capital.
For Hayley Winters, this was her major race of the season. She had already shown impressive form over a range of distances on the road in recent weeks, particularly last month’s Gloucester 20, so she knew a good time was on the cards on Sunday. And so it proved, as she powered through the first half in 86:32, half a minute faster than her best time for a half marathon event. Winters maintained the tempo to cross the line in 3:01:17, tantalisingly close to the three-hour barrier but a personal best by nine minutes and the fastest time by a Gloucester senior lady.
Matt Powell was another runner who had targeted London as his main race for the spring. Benefitting from an injury-free training programme in recent months, Powell was hoping for a time around the three-hour mark and was on target for that time as he passed through the first half in 90:06. Despite hitting the dreaded “wall” at around the 18-mile marker, he held on to record a new personal best of 3:14:24, an improvement of 20 minutes on his previous best.
The next two City runners to finish both set new Club age-group bests. Sue Higgins knocked over 25 minutes off her previous best to set a new Club LV50 best of 3:25:34 and Nicola Waters, like Higgins, ran event splits to clock 3:47:51, a 13-minutes improvement on her previous best and a new Club LV55 best.
Tania Hamilton was hoping to break the four-hour barrier following her 4:04 debut clocking last year and produced a disciplined even-paced run to achieve that target with 3:56:24.
Finally, Kerry Newell, who had been fitting in her training around her coaching role at the Club, clocked 4:03:51 in her first marathon to complete an excellent day for the Club.
Blackpool Half Marathon – 26/04/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone was among the 2,000 competitors who took part in the Blackpool Half Marathon along the town’s famous promenade on Sunday (26th) and produced a fine run as she placed 4th female in a new personal best time of 1:32:34.
Midland League – 25/04/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track and field team produced what team manager Richard Blackwell described as “a gutsy performance, full of typical Gloucester spirit” in the opening Midland Track & Field League Division Two fixture of the new season at Yate on Saturday.
A strong start is vital in this competition as there are only four matches over the season, but with the team already missing several key performers due to unavailability, their cause was not helped when faced with further 11th-hour withdrawals due to injury. However, the athletes present responded to the situation by producing a series of club records and personal bests to give the squad a fighting chance of avoiding relegation from this competitive league as they battled throughout to finish within striking distance of a mid-table position.
The team celebrated several individual victories on the day. Catherine Hardy continued her strong start to the season by winning the ladies 100 metres ‘A’ race in a personal best-equalling 12.3 seconds to go with her Club record-equalling 24.9 seconds when taking second place in the 200 metres, while fellow sprinter Owain Thomas, in his League debut, finished strongly to take victory in the men’s 200 metres ‘B’ event with a personal best 22.8 seconds. Another debutant, Freek van Arkel battled strongly down the home straight to clinch victory in the men’s 800 metres ‘B’ race and there was a double victory in the 2,000 metres steeplechase ‘A’ and ‘B’ strings for men’s captain Steve Millward and Jeremy Mower. Millward’s 6:22.9 was a new Club M35 record.
In the field events, Tim Williams took victory in the men’s hammer with 61.41 metres, just 16 cms off the league record, Kate Davies won the ladies ‘A’ string javelin and there was victory in the ladies triple jump ‘B’ competition for Helen Pritchard, who put in a full shift by competing in no fewer than seven events during the day.
Every team has its unsung heroes and Gloucester is no exception as vital points were earned across the board by the likes of Pritchard, Davies, Millward, throwers Anna Robertson, Charlotte Stallard and Marion Loveridge and newcomers Chloe Jones and Jonathan Jones. Alex Purcell led the ladies team by example and they responded well with solid performances in the middle distance events from Kirsty Branch, Suzanne Harding and Rachel Vines.
Afterwards, Blackwell said “There was a strong team spirit here today and we are confident that if we field as strong a team as we know we can in the remaining matches, we can stay in this league.”
Match score: Bristol & West/Yate 426 pts; Notts AC 345; Cannock & Staffs 319; Worcester 304; Birmingham Running & Triathlon AC 292; Gloucester 291.
Angels 10K – 19/04/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men took the team prize at Angels’ 10km Road Race run on an undulating course around the lanes of Ashleworth on Sunday (19th) with the early morning cold conditions contrasting starkly to the warm weather several of the runners had experienced during their recent training trip to Portugal.
James Head, Dave Gresswell and Matt Powell were all in the leading group for the first 4kms before the first big climb broke the field up. Head held on to lead the team home, placing 3rd in 37:26, with Gresswell 5th in 38:02 and Powell finishing 9th in 39:06. The scoring team was made up by Nigel Nash, who placed 25th in 44:22.
Charlotte McGlone was the first lady to finish, placing 23rd overall and 3rd lady in 43:15, the fastest she has run on this course.
Paul Loveridge placed 35th in 45:48, Dave Spackman 53rd overall and first M70 in 48:57 and Sharon Paintin 70th in 51:45.
Chedworth Roman Trail – 19/04/2015
A small group of Gloucester Athletic Club members competed in the Chedworth Roman Trail race over 10-miles on Sunday (19th).
Peter Lloyd was the first City runner to finish, placing 26th in 69:17, ahead of Colin Westbury who placed 63rd in 76:48. Team-mates Nick Bishop and Clive Poole were locked in a private battle throughout, with Poole leading until two miles from the end before Bishop’s superior strength up the hills took him clear. Bishop placed 98th in 81:53 while Poole finished in 104th place in 82:17.
Alan Bertram Spring Memorial Meeting – 19/04/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte Stallard opened her 2015 season with a new personal best in the hammer competition at the Alan Bertram Spring Memorial Meeting at Loughborough on Sunday (19th). Stallard placed sixth with a best throw of 47.87 metres, adding 1.50 metres on her previous best set last season. In the U20 competition at the same meeting, Ellen Thrall threw 41.15 metres.
YDL Upper – 18/04/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Under 20s and Under 17s produced some excellent performances when they hosted the opening UK Youth Development League Midlands South-West Upper age group fixture of 2015 at Blackbridge on Saturday (18th).
On the track, the sprinters were dominant as Catherine Hardy, Kelly Constable and Dayna Willoughby for the ladies and Jevaughn Gayle and Andrew Bowers for the men all romped to convincing wins in their respective events.
Libby Taylor and Tom Beckett earned valuable points in the long and triple jumps, as did Chloe Jones, Ellen Thrall and Jonathan Jones, in his first Club competition, in the throwing events.
The middle distance runners found themselves up against stiff opposition, but there was a personal best over 800 metres for Harry Wells and some solid runs by Bethan Moor and Alex Bache.
Afterwards, team manager Garry Hunter said “Given the number of athletes we have training the turn-out for this match was a bit disappointing, but I was really pleased with the performances and effort put in by the team today. We have a long season ahead and I have no doubt that those athletes competing today will have some good seasons.”
Grocery 4 – 18/04/2015
Jack Evans was Gloucester Athletic Club's first finisher at last Saturday’s annual Grocery 4-mile road race at Sandhurst, taking second place behind Will New of Cheltenham.
Both runners set the early pace with New opening a gap after one mile. The Gloucester youngster held on for second place, crossing the line in 22 mins 48 seconds.
Further back, Evans’s team-mate Jeremy Mower battled it out with former Gloucester athlete Andrew Hussey (Cheltenham) for the first Vet 40 place, exchanging positions throughout before Hussey made his move over the final stages to place 5th, ahead of Mower’s 6th place.
Brighton Marathon – 12/04/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Phil Griffiths travelled down to the south coast to race in the Brighton Marathon (12th) and came away with a new personal best time of 3:47:59, an improvement on his previous best time by 20 minutes.
Gloucester Athletic Club open their 2015 Midland Track & Field League campaign with a Division Two match at Yate on Saturday (25th). Team manager Richard Blackwell knows this season is going to be challenging, saying “Several key athletes from the past two seasons are now away studying at university and they are going to be difficult to replace, but we have some very talented youngsters coming through who we hope will make the big step up to senior competition. This is a tough league, but we’ll be giving it our best shot.”
Yate Sprint & Hurdles Challenge – 12/04/2015
Several Gloucester Athletic Club youngsters travelled down to Yate on Sunday (12th) to compete in the traditional season opener, the Sprint & Hurdles Challenge, and produced encouraging performances with the 2015 track & field season just around the corner.
In the U20 Ladies events, Catherine Hardy and Kelly Constable blew away some of the winter’s cobwebs to give evidence, if it were needed, that their winter training has gone well. Hardy ran a club outdoor 60m best of 7.8 seconds and followed this up with a fast 25.45 seconds while Constable clocked 12.6 seconds for the 100m and 25.64 seconds in the 200 metres, her fastest for two years. In the U20 Men’s 400 metres, Andrew Bowers clocked 53.87 seconds in the 400 metres.
In the U15 Girls events, Jude Dowdeswell, Alidia Vaile, Kirstie Constable and Kali Thompson, in her first ever meeting for the Club, all took full advantage of the following gusty wind to recorded their fastest-ever times over the 100 and 200 metres.
Afterwards, sprint coach Richard Blackwell said “It’s good to see our youngsters taking advantage of the opportunity to open their seasons in this low-key event away from the more pressurised league races that are coming up in the next couple of weeks. They all produced some fast times which will come down as the season unwinds.”
Worcester Marathon & Half Marathon – 12/04/2015
Hayley Winters placed 32nd overall and second lady in Sunday’s Worcester Half Marathon in 1:28:42, just 90 seconds outside her one year old personal best. This was Winters’ last race before the London Marathon and showed that her preparations are going well as the times were slowed by a very strong wind.
Team mate Charlotte McGlone was 84th overall and 5th lady in 1:36:45, Peter Jeffery 125th in 1:40:40 and Sharon Paintin 487th of the 710 finishers in 2:10:17.
In the Worcester marathon, Gloucester Athletic Club newcomer Chris Davis clocking 3:57:25 in his first attempt at the classic distance, placing 104th.
Frenchay 10K – 12/04/2015
At the Frenchay 10km race on Sunday, Clive Poole placed 74th of the 420 finishers in a new personal best time of 46:24.
Portugal – 04/2015
Members of Gloucester Athletic Club travelled to Monte Gordo on the Algarve in Portugal for a training camp over Easter whilst they were there, several runners competed in a series of races staged by the local clubs that consisted of a 4km cross country race on Good Friday, a 5km beach run on the following day and culminated in a gruelling half marathon on Easter Sunday in very warm and humid conditions.
Nathan Smith was the pick of the Gloucester runners, placing 3rd senior man in the overall challenge. He opened up with a solid run in the cross country event, which he consolidated with 8th place in the beach race, before taking another 8th place in the half marathon in 1:20:12, finishing ahead of Portuguese Olympian Ana Dias. After the series, he said “Those were three tough races over three days, so I’m particularly happy with the half marathon time especially as it was a surprisingly hilly course.”
Matt Powell, using the trip as his last week of hard training before he tapers off for the London Marathon, was happy with his half marathon time of 1:30:10, saying “I’m aiming for a time of around three hours at London and treated this race more as a pacing exercise than anything else so it showed me that I’m on target for that. I’m pleased with the time as I have been training twice daily on this trip.”
Tom Randles made a rare appearance in a cross-country event, finishing ahead of Dave Gresswell, who was 2nd M45 to finish. Matt Powell was next home, followed by Ian Summers with Omar Alim, in his first race for several months due to an injury and work commitments, completing the men’s team.
In the ladies cross-country race, Gemma Collier continued her return to racing following a lengthy absence. She quickly established herself in the lead group and, despite forcing the pace throughout, was overtaken on the final lap, settling for second place. Amanda Martin took third place in the LV40 category.
Randles and Summers also competed in the beach race, the latter running with daughter Becky around the testing course.
Bushley Mile – 06/04/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Laura McPeake and Suzanne Harding competed in the Bushley Mile races at Tewkesbury on Easter Monday.
Over an undulating course with a sharp incline over the final 200 yards, Laura placed 21st in 6:02 and Suzanne 23rd in 6:07. The times were personal bests for both runners, with Suzanne’s time equalling the Club’s W35 road best.
White Horse 10K – 04/04/2015
With many of his Club colleagues away in Portugal, Jeremy Mower carried the Gloucester Athletic Club flag at the White Horse 10km and Tredworth road races over the Easter holiday.
Mower, who is in training for the Anglo-Celtic Plate 100 km race in early May, placed 3rd in the 10km race in 37:23. With the first two runners clear of the field, Mower ran much of the race on his own after breaking away from the chasing pack.
Tredworth Road Race – 06/04/2015
In Easter Monday’s traditional Tredworth race, Mower clocked his fastest-ever time for the 4.3 mile event, recording 24:36 in second place behind Severn’s Time Dalton.
After Monday’s race, the Welsh international said “I’m pleased with both races as I have been putting in some heavy training recently ahead of the 100 km race and it’s nice to know that I have some speed in the legs.”
Mower received excellent support from his Gloucester team mates at Tredworth as Chris Davis placed 6th in 28:22, Debbie Lee 7th overall and 1st lady in 32:47, Dave Spackman 10th 33:09 and Mike Storey 19th in 41:25.
Indoor Opens – 29/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Andrew Bowers opened his 2015 outdoor campaign at a very wet and windy Abingdon Open Meeting on Sunday (29th). Bowers placed 3rd in the 400 metres in 54.1 seconds.
Catherine Hardy chose to compete at the final Midland Counties Open Indoor meeting at the HPC at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium to finish off her winter indoor season and set indoor personal best times when winning the 60 metres (7.84) and 100 metres (12.5 seconds).
Berlin Half Marathon – 29/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone travelled to Germany to compete in the 42nd running of the Vattenfall Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday (29th). The race attracts a field of over 30,000 runners and McGlone placed 1,787th in 1:34:12.
Forest of Dean Trails Half Marathon – 29/03/2015
Clive Poole was running closer to home, placing 411th of the 1478 finishers of the Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half Marathon in 1:46:53.
IAAF World Cross-Country Championships – 28/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George was delighted with his 39th place in the Junior Men’s race at the World Cross-Country championships in Guiyang, China on Saturday (28th).
The 19 year-old was the first Briton home, completing the 8km course in 25:54 and leading the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team to 13th place overall.
Afterwards, he said “I’m really happy with my performance. I came here off an indoor season not doing much cross country specific work in preparation for this, so a cracking effort. I’m really proud to represent my country and to be the first Brit home. I’m honoured to be here and to be a part of such an amazing young team.”
Midlands Road Relays Championships – 28/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club enjoyed a successful day at the Saucony Midlands Road Relays Championships at Sutton Park, Birmingham on Saturday (28th), completing teams in both the men’s and ladies events.
Sydney Dobberson gave the ladies team a solid start in their six-stage event. She adopted her usual tactics of a steady start before gradually moving through the field, to finish the 5km lap in 22:34, handing over to Kim Millward in 39th place. Millward ran a strong leg, clocking 21:46 and improving five places to 34th.
Gemma Collier, in her first race for three years, stormed round the course in 20:15 to haul the team up to 27th place, before handing over to newcomer Selina Graham who ran an encouraging 21:42 to improve two places.
Kirsty Branch gained another place as she clocked 22:34 and Suzanne Harding, returning after three weeks out through injury, ran 21:57 to bring the team home in 22nd place in a total time of 2:10:48.
The men’s event was run over 12 stages, four legs of just under 10 kms and eight legs of 5 kms.
James Head ran the first long leg, coming home in 42nd place in 33:45. He handed to Mike Mansfield who clocked 18:52 as he made up four places to 38th. Nathan Smith ran a storming 3rd leg, making up 10 places as he recorded 31:40, handing over to Matt Newman who came home in 33rd, having clocked 20:24. Steve Millward took up the running on the fifth leg and clocked the team’s fastest long leg time of the day, 30:27, as he came home in 27th place.
Aaron Bennett ran a solid 21:32 leg as he came home in 29th place, handing over to Lee Smith on the final long leg of the day. Smith ran 34:31, coming home in 32nd place. Dave Gresswell took over the baton on leg eight and clocked 19:22 as he came home in 34th place. Gresswell handed over to Pete Kellie who, in his first Club race for over four years, clocked the team’s fastest short leg of the day, 17:58, as he made up four places.
Ian Summers held onto 30th place as he clocked 20:02 on the 10th leg, handing over to Matthew Flynn ran 21;49 to come home in 32nd. Arthur Daley clocked 20:22 as he brought the team home in 32nd place in an overall time of 4:50:44.
Both men’s and ladies teams entered partial ‘B’ squads, made up of travelling reserves. For the ladies, Nicola Hovey ran 23:05 on leg one and Hannah Bennett 27:47 on leg two, whilst for the men, Lee Moore clocked 40:08 on leg one, Rob Jordan 24:35 on leg two and Russell Kirby 41:48 for the third leg.
After the races, captain for the day Steve Millward said: “There were some good performances from the men’s and ladies teams and it was great to see Pete and Gemma running for the Club again after such long lay-offs. Significantly, we were one of only two clubs in the county fielding teams in both races, so I’m very pleased with the support our runners gave this event.”
Poet's Potter Marathon – 28/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower retained his title with first place in the Poet's Potter Marathon, a mainly off road race taking the routes of the two Poet's Path walks and the Daffodil Wallk around Dymock on Saturday (28th). Mower set a new course record of 3 hours 58 min 43 sec, and was 37 minutes ahead of the next two finishers.
Mower will now turn his attention to preparing for the Anglo-Celtic Plate 100km race in Newport, Wales, in May when he’ll be representing Wales.
Palestine Half Marathon – 27/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club's Tom Randles was among the 3,200 runners who took part in the third annual Palestine International Half Marathon around Bethlehem last Friday (27th), finishing the hilly course in 16th place in 1:27.29.
European Masters Indoor Championships – 23-29/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Joanne Willoughby was triumphant at the European Masters Indoor Championships in Turon, Poland last week.
She opened up by taking a surprise silver medal in the W50 Long jump on Tuesday (24th), leaping 4.60 metres which was her best distance since moving up to the masters’ age groups.
Then, on the Wednesday, she went one better to take the gold medal in the W50 triple jump with a leap of 9.81 metres, the second best in the world this year.
After the competition, she said “If anyone had said to me before I left the UK that I would come home with two medals, I would never have believed them as there were several athletes ranked higher than me in both events, so to take gold and silver is a fantastic surprise.”
Willoughby will now return to coaching her jumping group at the Blackbridge track, before setting her sights on the outdoor season.
World Cross-Country Championships
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George makes his Great Britain U20 debut in the World Junior Cross-Country Championships in Guiyang, China this Saturday (28th). George made the flight from Arkansas to London on Friday before flying out with his team-mates on Sunday. He will be the first male Gloucester club athlete to compete in a World Cross-country event since Gerald Neely represented Ireland in the senior championships in Poland in 1987.
European Masters Indoors Championships – 24/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Joanne Willoughby won the silver medal in the L50 Long Jump at the European Masters Indoors Championships in Torun, Poland on Tuesday (24th) with a new indoor best jump as a Master of 4.60m. The gold medal went to Germany’s Birgit Burzlaff with a 2015 world-leading leap of 4.75m.
Warwick Half Marathon – 22/03/2015
Charlotte McGlone and Sharon Paintin, competed in the British Heart Foundation-organised Warwick Half Marathon on Sunday (22nd) and both came away with personal bests, clocking 1:34:13 and 1:55:31 respectively. Afterwards, McGlone said “I’m racing in the Vattenfall Half Marathon in Berlin next weekend, so this was a great indicator for that race.”
Cleevewold MT – 22/03/2015
James Head was the first Gloucester Athletic Club runner home in Sunday’s Cleevewold 13.5 mile Multi-Terrain event run over the highest points of the Cotswolds, when he placed 28th of the 139 finishers in 1:57:43. Colin Westbury placed 46th in 2:10:23, ahead of Denise Evans who placed 51st and 2nd LV45 in 2:12:55 and Terry Onions, who placed 87th in 2:26:49.
Pendock Spring Chicken MT – 22/03/2015
In the Pendock Multi-Terrain Chicken Runs on Sunday (22nd), Gloucester Athletic Club youngster Natalie Ashley-Towell placed 15th overall and second in the U15 girls age group in the 5km race in 23:14. Her dad, Hubert, representing the Forest of Dean club won the event in 19:51, while Gloucester’s Mike Mansfield placed 8th in the 10km event in 38:42 and Debbie Lee 73rd in 51:10.
Mark Cawte Memorial Meeting – 22/03/2015
At the Mark Cawte Memorial Meeting at Swindonon Sunday (22nd), Gloucester Athletic Club’s Vikki Kirby recorded a new personal best throw of 24.87m in the U15 Girls hammer. This beat her previous best by 10 metres and shows the progress she has made since joining Lorraine Shaw’s training group at Blackbridge in the winter.
Eton Dorney Half Marathon – 21/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s leading endurance runner Hayley Winters produced another strong performance at the Eton Dorney Half Marathon on Saturday (21st) as she continues her build-up to next month’s London Marathon.
Winters has been in impressive form in recent weeks setting personal bests for 10km and 20 miles, the latter being just two weeks ago, and whilst her 1:26:34 was a few minutes outside her best time, the Gloucester athlete was not disappointed: “The conditions were really blustery on Saturday, so I am happy with the time. I felt strong throughout despite having run the Gloucester 20 only two weeks ago and it shows that preparations are going well for my main target, the London Marathon.”
County short-course Cross-Country Championships – 21/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward took the silver medal in the senior men’s County Short-course cross-country championships at Plock Court on Saturday (21st), clocking 13:16 for the 4km course. Dave Spackman placed 22nd overall and 1st M70 in 18:25 and Debbie Lee took the LV40 Gold medal when placing 23rd overall in 18:35.
Minchinhampton 10K – 15/03/2015
Charlotte McGlone was the first Gloucester Athletic Club runner to cross the line in the Minchinhampton 10k on Sunday (15th), placing 26th overall and 2nd lady, beating her best time for the course by over two minutes with 43:32.
Peter Jeffery was the next Club runner home, placing 32nd overall and 1st M50, in 44:08, with Colin Westbury placing 41st in 44:50. Clive Poole placed 55th in 45:37, Nick Bishop 59th in 45:54 and Sharon Paintin who placed 160th in 53:27.
The race, which is run over an undulating course with a steep climb at the halfway point and at the finish, attracted over 400 runners.
English Schools Cross-Country Championships – 14/03/2015
Four Gloucester Athletic Club members represented the Gloucestershire team at last Saturday’s English Schools cross-country Championships in Blackburn (14th).
In the Intermediate Girls race, U17 Bethan Moor was caught up in the masses at the start of the race, but then showed great fighting spirit to move through the field to place 91st overall and second county runner.
Laura McPeake ran a strong race in the Junior Girls event, placing 134th, whilst Club newcomer Niamh Powell placed 245th in her first National competition.
Harry Wells carried the boys’ flag for the Club and ran a solid race to place 226th in the Intermediate Boys race.
Afterwards, a Club spokesman said: “It’s great to see these youngsters reap the rewards of their hard work over the winter months and represent the county at these Championships and we hope they can carry this success into the spring and summer road and track seasons. Not only are they representing their county, but also their club and their coaching groups and we’re all very pleased for them.”
Bideford Half Marathon – 08/03/2015
At the recent Bideford Half Marathon in north Devon (8th) half of which is run over roads and half over the local Tarka Trail, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Amy Walker placed 143rd overall in a new personal best time of 1:33:32.
Gloucester 20 – 08/03/2015
This year’s Gloucester 20-mile Road Race proved to be one of the most popular in recent times as over 530 runners competed in the event around the lanes of Quedgeley and Haresfield last week (8th). By the time the race started, the early morning rain had stopped and temperatures were ideal for running, though the field had to contend with a strong headwind in places.
The race is Gloucester Athletic Club’s biggest annual promotion and always attracts many runners who use the event as vital preparation for spring marathons and this year was no exception.
Nathan Smith was one of those. Preparing for April’s London Marathon, he led the host Club’s contingent home, setting a new personal best time of 2:03:54 in 13th place.
Lee Smith was the next home, placing 26th overall and first in the M45 category in a new personal best 2:09:30, with Matt Powell, also preparing for London, placing 56th in 2:20:58, a five minutes improvement on his three year-old best time.
Hayley Winters continued her excellent form of 2015 by placing 62nd overall and 2nd senior lady in a new personal best 2:23:33, while Neil Hobbs backed up his strong run atthe previous week’s Bath Half Marathon with a new personal best time over 20 miles of 2:40:49.
Another runner to show few ill-effects from the Bath Half Marathon was Sue Higgins placed 189th overall and second LV50 in a personal best 2:43:13. Higgins was locked together with club-mate Denise Evans throughout the latter stages, with Evans placing 190th in the same time.
Club newcomer Phil Griffiths placed 209th in a personal best 2:45:13, whilst Nicola Hovey continued her London preparations with a 2:46:25 clocking in 217th place. Colin Westbury improved his personal best by over 12 minutes, clocking 2:52:02 in 262nd place, whilst the Gloucester club’s junior endurance coach, Kerry Newell, using the event as preparation for the London race, dipped inside her three hours target, clocking 2:58:45 in 307th place and Terry Onions placed 325th in 3:01:13.
Barry 40 mile track race – 08/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s ultra-distance specialist Jeremy Mower placed fourth overall and third in the Welsh Championships in the Barry 40-miles track (8th). Mower’s time of 4:58:20 was his second fastest time ever over the distance and has earned him selection for the Wales team in the Anglo-Celtic Plate 100km event in May.
British Masters Indoor Championships – 08/03/2015
There was treble gold medal success for Gloucester Athletic Club members at the British Masters Indoor and Winter throws Championships at Lea Valley (8th).
Marion Loveridge won the W50 hammer throw with a best throw of 39.91 metres, nearly two metres further than her great rival Janet Smith who place second.
Joanne Willoughby took gold medals in both the long and triple jumps with winning jumps of 4.36m and 9.19 metres respectively.
Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships – 07/03/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Richard de-Camps and Thomas George competed at the CAU Inter-County Cross-country championships at Cofton Park, Birmingham, again putting themselves against the very best cross-country runners in the country.
In the senior men’s race, de-Camps couldn’t quite produce his best form but still managed to place 175th, covering the 12kms course in 40:05.
In the junior men’s race run over 8kms, George produced a much-improved run from his outing at the National Championships, placing 38th in 24:58.
Aztec Winter Series 5km – 24/02/2015
At the final Aztec Winter Series 5km event of the 2014-15 season at Aztec West in Bristol, Gloucester Athletic Club newcomer Selina Graham placed 98th in 20:54, one second ahead of Suzanne Harding who, despite having run in a 10km race just two days previously, ran her fastest 5km for seven years. Peter Jeffery, in his first time on this course, placed 100th in 20:58. Kirsty Branch was just outside her personal best in 113th place, clocking 21:30 while Sydney Dobberson clocked 21:14 and Nicola Hovey won the W55 category and with it her third series victory. Arthur Daley, despite missing this race through illness, took second place overall in the M60 series.
Bath and Newport half marathons – 01/03/2015
Steve Haines led the Gloucester Athletic Club contingent home in Sunday’s Bath Half Marathon, placing 323rd in a new personal best 1:25:45. Matt Newman placed 508th in a new personal best 1:29:01, just ahead of Clara Horswell whose 1:29:04 in 512th place was also a personal best.
Sue Higgins ran her second-fastest half marathon, clocking 1:35:29 in 958th place, while Peter Jeffery recorded 1:40:06 in 1461st, Neil Hobbs 1:42:52 in 1819th while Phil Griffiths took over 11 minutes off his previous best, clocking 1:44:27 in 1955th place.
This year’s Admiral City of Newport Half Marathon (Sun 1st) followed a new route around an undulating course, made no easier by very strong winds.
Nevertheless, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone set a new personal best, clocking 1:32:44 in 189th place. Club-mate Sharon Paintin also clocked a personal best, recording 1:55:40, for her first sub-two hours performance.
County Road Relays – 28/02/2014
There was multiple success for Gloucester Athletic Club at the County Road Relays Championships at Elmore on Saturday (28th) as the Club’s ladies teams dominated their categories to win two gold medals, with the men adding to the medal haul with a bronze medal.
The ladies race, ran over three legs each of 2.7 miles, saw youngster Briony Bishop lead off for the City club’s talented Under-15 squad. Bishop showed few signs of the illness that has laid her low over much of the year as she returned a time of 17:21, the fastest time by a lady on the day, handing over to team-mate Natalie Ashley-Towell who, like Bishop, had competed at the English National Cross-country championships the previous weekend. Ashley-Towell consolidated the Gloucester team’s lead, running a solid 18:54 leg, before handing over to Laura McPeake on the final leg. McPeake extended the Gloucester lead, running 17:31, the second-fastest leg of the day, to take the team gold medal in an overall time of 53:46.
Suzanne Harding ran the opening leg for the Gloucester club’s senior ladies team and, despite suffering a calf muscle injury, came home in the lead in 17:45 – a strong run given this was her third race in seven days. Nicola Hovey led off for the senior ladies ‘B’ team and came home in third place in 19:09.
Kirsty Branch and Grace Vido took up the running on the second legs for the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams respectively, with Branch extending the lead with an 18:39 clocking. Vido maintained third place for the ‘B’ team, clocking 19:19. Youngster Sydney Dobberson ran a sensible 19:20 leg to bring the victorious ‘A’ team home in 55:44 whilst Debbie Lee clocked 20:17 to bring the ‘B’ team home in the silver medal position.
The senior men’s race, ran over four legs of 2.7 miles, saw James Head give the Gloucester squad a solid start, coming home in 4th place in 15:13. Youngster Andrew McPeake took over on leg two, clocking 17:10 to keep the squad in medal contention, handing over to Mike Kennedy on the third leg. Kennedy recorded 16:54 for his leg, to hand over to Nathan Smith who stormed round in the team’s fastest leg of the day, 14:41, to bring the team home in the bronze medal position in an overall time of 63:58.
The Gloucester men’s ‘B’ team of Dave Gresswell (16:05), newcomer Glen Balmer (15:08), Lee Moore (18:22) and Jeremy Mower (15:18) took gold medal in the M40 category, whilst there was further gold medal success for Dave Spackman (20:10), Humphrey Phillips (20:24) and Arthur Daley (17:58) as they took the M60 title to complete a successful afternoon for the City club.
AGM – 27/02/2015
At their recent Annual General Meeting, Gloucester Athletic Club appointed the following officers onto their committee:
Chair – Andy McKenzie; Secretary – Bob Purcell; Treasurer – Andy Beckett; Membership Secretary – Alison George; Endurance representative – Dave Gresswell; Officials’ Representative – Ian Willoughby; Press Officer – Richard Blackwell; Social Secretary – Garry Hunter; Committee members without portfolio – Joanne Willoughby, Jeanette Lange.
Bourton 10K – 22/02/2015
With many of Gloucester Athletic Club’s endurance runners choosing the Bourton 10km road race as one of their targeted events for the winter, it was no surprise to see over 20 of the Club’s members toe the line for the start of the popular Cotswold village event on Sunday morning (22nd).
A cold Saturday night meant there was some ice on the roads and whilst the temperatures hovered around the two degrees mark, conditions were otherwise good for running with no rain or wind to speak of.
James Head has been enjoying a good run of form in recent weeks, achieving best places in cross-country league races and personal best times in road races, and he was one of the runners hoping for a good race at Bourton. And so it proved, as he knocked nearly two minutes off his best 10km time with 36:14 in 30th place.
Jeremy Mower was the next City runner to finish. Currently preparing for a 40-miles race in Barry, the Welsh ultra-distance international placed 43rd in 36:53, his best for three years.
Steve Haines led a trio of bunched City runners home as he placed 66th in 38:12, closely followed by Hayley Winters (70th in a new personal best 38:22) and Matt Powell (78th in 38:47). Winters and Powell were both using this race as a speed run ahead of the Gloucester 20-miles race in mid-March.
Peter Lloyd was the next Gloucester runner to finish, clocking 39:46 in 99th place, just ahead of Peter Jeffery (101st in 39:53) and Matt Newman, whose 39:58 in 102nd place was a personal best by nearly one minute, while Clara Horswell used her natural speed to gain several places over the final kilometre and finish strongly in 114th place in 40:26.
Amy Walker, Charlotte McGlone and Suzanne Harding were all within striking distance throughout the race, before Amy put in a strong finish to move past her Club mates in the closing stage to record 42:35 in 171st place, a two minute improvement on her previous best. Charlotte placed 176th in 42:41, also a personal best by two minutes, whilst Suzanne faded over the latter stages to place 182nd in 42:48, her second fastest-ever 10km time.
Then came Clive Poole, whose 43:25 clocking in 190th place was a two-minute improvement on his previous best, Simon Barnes placed 208th in 44:09, whilst there was a personal best time of 44:50 for Kirsty Branch in 220th place. Martin Hobson placed 228th in 45:10, Nicola Hovey 241st in 45:44, Sydney Dobberson 252nd in 46:00, Emma Jeffery 308th in 48:35 and Sharon Paintin 355th in a three-minutes personal best 51:12 completed the large Gloucester contingent.
English Cross-country Championships – 21/02/2015
A small group of Gloucester Athletic Club runners travelled over to Parliament Hill Fields in London to compete in the Saucony English Cross-country Championships on Saturday (21st).
The relentless climbs coupled with extremely thick, heavy mud made the course even more demanding than usual and created one of the toughest cross-country championships in recent memory.
The first of the Gloucester contingent to race were Natalie Ashley-Towell and Briony Bishop, in the Under-15 Girls event over 4 kms. Both were experiencing the National Championships for the first time and acquitted themselves well despite being amongst the largest field they had ever raced in. Natalie placed 234th and Briony 260th out of the 379 finishers, with both girls thoroughly enjoying the experience of pitting themselves against the nation’s finest runners.
Next to race was Thomas George in the Junior Men’s race. George’s preparations had been disrupted by injury and illness over the weeks leading up to the event but despite this he gave his all on the day. His lack of training and racing eventually caught up with him over the final stages of the 10 kms race, but he will have been encouraged by his 94th placing as he regains his strength and fitness ahead of the track season.
The senior men’s race over 12 kms saw Richard de-Camps aiming for a top-200 placing
The final race of the day saw over 2,000 athletes contest the Senior Men’s race over 12 kms and included Richard de-Camps chasing a top 200 finish. Fresh from his silver medal over 800m at the previous week’s Midland Indoor Championships, de-Camps showed his versatility with a solid display over the much longer distance. Despite the thick mud being much to his disliking, de-Camps used the hills to his advantage, producing a gutsy run to eventually come home in career-best 207th position after 45 long hard minutes of racing.
After the event, de-Camps commented: “It was great for a small group of us step out of our comfort zone and compete in the Nationals. This is the top event of the cross-country season and it’s important for our development that we compete here. We’ll certainly be encouraging more of our colleagues to race at this event next year.”
Indoor track & field – 20&21/02/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George’s remarkable 2015 indoor season took another step upwards when he set a personal best for the one mile at the Alex Wilson Invitational event at Notre Dame, Indiana.
The 19 year-old from Abbeymead, who is currently studying at the University of Arkansas, placed third in a new personal best time of 4:07.46, an improvement of two seconds on his previous best which he set last month. This ranks him second on the UK Under-20 ranking list for the season and 4th on the all-time indoor list, which goes nicely with his 5th place on the all-time list for the 3,000 metres.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Tom Beckett set a new indoor personal best of 12.01 metres when placing 9th in the qualifying rounds of the triple jump at the British Universities Indoors Championships at Sheffield on Friday (20th).
Gloucester Athletic Club re-commence their outdoor training programme next week.
Starting on Tuesday 3rd March, the Club shall be training at the Blackbridge track in Podsmead as follows:
Tues and Thurs 6:00-7:30pm junior endurance group; 6:30-8pm all other groups.
There shall be induction sessions for newcomers plus a parent on the first Tuesday of each month.
Ring 07817 974630 for further details.
Gloucester Athletic Club youngsters have been successful in gaining selection for various championships in the coming weeks.
Alidia Vaile, Piper Holmes, Sophie Temple and Bethany Gardiner shall be representing Gloucestershire in the South-West Inter-County Sportshall Athletics final in Torbay this Saturday.
Bethan Moor, Laura McPeake, Miranda Bass, Will Staddon and Harry Wells have all been selected to represent Gloucestershire at the English Schools Cross-country championships at Blackburn in March.
Bath Skyline 10K – 15/02/2015
Competing in the final Bath Skyline 10km events of the winter, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone was the 7th lady finisher in a new personal best 60:54.5 for the cross-country route. Clara Horswell clocked 63:28.9 and Sharon Paintin 75:07.1.
Indoor meeting, USA – 14/02/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s middle-distance sensation Alex George, currently at University in Arkansas in the United States, ran a new personal best over 3,000 metres indoors at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Washington on Saturday (14th).
George knocked over two and a half seconds off his previous best to clock 8:08.41 in 4th place to top the UK Under-20 ranking list for 2015.
Gloucestershire Cross-Country League – 14/02/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club brought the curtain down on their most successful Gloucestershire Cross-Country League campaign for many seasons at the final league fixture of the winter at Tewkesbury on Saturday (14th).
A greater focus on this League this winter has reaped the rewards for the ever-improving ladies and junior sections as many achieved their highest individual and overall league placings.
There has been a significant improvement by the senior men’s squad over the season. Twenty year-old Freek van Arkel, in his first full season in the Gloucester vest, led the team home in 26th position, his highest League placing to further underline his development this winter and to back up his top 200 placing in the recent British Universities Cross-country championships.
James Head and Steven Haines have both produced consistent performances over the winter and again featured in the Club’s scoring team, placing 42nd and 51st respectively. Dave Gresswell has shown signs of regaining his form of recent seasons and placed 77th on Saturday and the team was completed by two athletes making the scoring six for the first time, Peter Jeffery (102nd) and Russell Kirby (123rd) as the Gloucester squad placed 9th on the day and 6th overall for the season, an improvement of five places. Clive Poole achieved his highest-ever League placing, finishing in 135th place, whilst Humphrey Phillips and Rob Jordan placed 148th and 153rd respectively.
In the senior ladies race, 19 year-old Sydney Dobberson started off steadily and picked up several places throughout as she led the team home in only her second-ever cross-country race in 25th place. Team mate Kirsty Branch adopted different tactics, going off hard before the heavy conditions took their toll. Even so, her 26th place was her highest-ever finish in this League. Emma Jeffery completed the scoring team, placing 42nd, and Miranda Bass placed 50th to take second place overall in the Under-20 Ladies individual standings for the season.
Those results saw the ladies team place 8th on the day and 4th over the season, an excellent achievement by a squad that only started racing together this winter.
The Club’s junior section has shown steady progress over the winter season, as runners have grown in confidence as well as fitness through regular training and racing.
Laura McPeake enjoyed another good race, placing 4th on the day in the Under-15 Girls event which was good enough to secure her the silver medal in the individual league standings whilst team-mate Natalie Ashley-Towell found the heavy conditions to her liking as she finished in a season’s best 10th place.
Elissa Moor placed 23rd in the Under-13 Girls race and Lucy Jeffery and Jessica Duncton placed 17th and 23rd respectively in the Under-11 Girls race.
Bethan Moor was robbed of a first league win when leading the Under-17 Ladies race as she took a wrong turn on the twisting course, resulting in disqualification. Despite this, she still took the individual bronze medal over the season.
In the junior boys races, Andrew McPeake again finished in the top 10 in the Under-17 Mens race when placing 9th, and there was an excellent 3rd place for the improving Harry Wells in the Under-15 Boys race.
Marcus Holba (11th), Toby Scott (15th) and Barnaby Huxtable (22nd) all achieved their highest league finishes in the Under-13 Boys race to bring the Club team home in 4th place on the day, whilst at the other end of the age scale, Arthur Daley finished the season as M65 league champion despite being on officiating duty on the day.
Afterwards, a Club spokesman said: “There have been some tremendous team and individual performances over the season throughout all of the age groups and it’s really encouraging to see more and more of our youngsters racing in this League. We have high hopes for them all.”
Dursley Dozen – 08/02/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Sue Higgins placed 134th overall and first L50 in the 12-mile multi-terrain Dursley Dozen event on Sunday, completing the course in 1:49:07.
Birmingham Cross Country League – 07/02/2015
With their Division Two status already assured for next season, Gloucester Athletic Club fielded very much a second-string team for the fourth Birmingham Cross-country League fixture of the 2014-15 season at Wolverhampton on Saturday (7th).
The Club’s senior men’s team has been beset by injuries and non-availabilities throughout this winter but a solid start in the early-season races meant the team would finish in a mid-table position and could afford the luxury of bringing in their reserves who had served them well during this difficult campaign for this final fixture.
James Head, in only his second full season for the Club, led the team home in this league for the first time as he achieved his highest-ever league placing of 74th. Next home was Steven Haines, in 125th place. Haines has enjoyed a recovery in his racing fortunes this season and has consistently been among the club’s leading six scorers throughout the year.
There then followed two runners who have typified the Club’s fighting spirit this winter, stepping into the breach when the team has been short. Dave Gresswell placed 147th, whilst fellow V45 Ian Summers finished seconds behind in 158th.
Experienced campaigner Arthur Daley and comparative newcomer Aaron Bennett were locked together throughout the race, with both runners prepared to take up the running and force the pace for his team-mate to follow. Daley prevailed over his younger colleague by the thickness of a vest to place 181st to Bennett’s 182nd, completing the scoring team.
Match-day team result:
1st Warwick Uni 100 pts; 2nd Wolverhampton & Bilston 114; 3rd Bromsgrove & Redditch 126; 17th Gloucester 867.
Overall League placings:
1st Wolves & Bilston 480 pts; 2nd Bromsgrove & Redd 607; 3rd Warwick Uni 610; 10th Gloucester 1878.
South West Schools Cross Country – 07/02/2015
Bethan Moor placed 13th in the Intermediate Girls race at the South West Schools Cross-country championships at Chippenham on Saturday (7th). Club-mate Laura McPeake placed 31st in the Junior Girls race.
Midland Indoor Open – 07+08/02/2015
Meanwhile, in the warm and dry National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, Catherine Hardy placed 5th in the U20 Ladies 60 metres in a season’s best 7.87 seconds. Alidia Vaile placed 3rd in her U15 Girls 800 metres heat in 2:36.22 and Andrew Bowers placed 3rd in his heat of the U20 Men’s 400 metres in 52.68 seconds.
To many 18 year-olds, the thought of travelling down a frozen track at speeds of up to 130 km/h while lying face down on a small sledge, can be pretty terrifying. But not to Gloucester Athletic Club jumper and hurdler, Libby Taylor, who has been selected to attend a training camp in Norway with the Great Britain Skeleton Talent Squad.
Taylor, who lives in Eastington, was one of 1,000 hopefuls who signed up to the programme geared to finding the next wave of athletes who compete in this dangerous, but exhilarating, sport. The selection process is exhaustive as Taylor has already passed speed, strength and agility tests to reach this stage.
“Certainly, the training I do at Gloucester Athletic Club has stood me in good stead for the skeleton tests” says Taylor, who is coached at the Blackbridge-based Club by the husband and wife team of Jo and Ian Willoughby in the long & triple jumps and sprint hurdles respectively. “The speed, fitness and strength work we do for those events is so important for the skeleton, so I guess I already had a bit of a head start in the selection process.”
When asked what made her even consider putting herself at risk in this sport, Taylor immediately replies “Because it’s great fun! Yes, there is danger, but you get a great thrill and sense of excitement.”
Whether Taylor can emulate the Olympic successes of past skeleton gold-medallists Amy Williams and Lizzy Yarnold remains to be seen, but in the meantime she will enjoy the experience of being on the programme to find the next skeleton star.
After a successful cross-country campaign for his Arkansas State University team in the United States, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George has been racing indoors in recent weeks.
He opened up with an indoors personal best time for the mile of 4:10.86 when placing fourth in the Arkansas v Texas match on 16th January, reducing this to 4:09.42 at the Rod McCravy Memorial meeting in Lexington, Kentucky on the 24th.
He saved the best for last, however, when at the Razorback Invitational meeting on his home track at Fayetteville on 30th, he knocked over eight seconds off his absolute personal best 3,000 metres time when placing 11th in 8:11.02.
Aztec West 5K – 27/01/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Arthur Daley was in record-breaking form at the latest running of the Aztec West Fast 5km Road Race series in Bristol last Tuesday (27th).
Running a perfectly-judged race, the veteran Daley clocked even-paced kilometre splits to place 84th overall and second in the M60 category in 19:24, a new Club M65 age group best time.
The next Gloucester runner home was Aaron Bennett, who placed 117th in a new personal best time of 20:10. Bennett only took up running during the second half of 2014 and has now lowered his best time for 5km by 50 seconds. This latest personal best was an improvement on his previous best by 36 seconds and he confidently expects to break the 20 minutes barrier over the next few races.
Newcomer Selina Graham was next home, placing 128th in her first 5km race, clocking 20:38 off a very fast opening mile, whilst Kirsty Branch was just outside her own best time when clocking 21:29 in 146th place.
Sydney Dobberson continued her promising start to 2015 when reducing her personal best by one second to 22:10in 163rd place, and there was an age group win for Nicola Hovey who won the W55 category when placing 167th in 22:29.
Rob Jordan placed 184th in 23:26 and another newcomer, Hannah Bennett, placed 209th in her first 5km race in 26:47 which was well inside her 30 minutes target.
Linda Franks 5 Mile - 25/01/2015
There was a very strong Gloucester Athletic Club presence at the Almost Athletes-organised Linda Franks 5-mile road race run on a predominantly flat course around the lanes of Up Hatherley on Sunday (25th).
Now in its 21st year, this is a firmly-established event on the local racing calendar and as it is included in the County’s Road Race series, it is one of the city club’s targeted road races.
James Head led the Gloucester contingent home, placing 8th. He just missed his sub-29 minute target, clocking 29:04, but nevertheless was satisfied with his run in the cold and dull conditions.
Next home was Stephen Haines who is enjoying a revival in his racing form this winter, placing 12th in 30:19, whilst there were five mile personal bests for Matt Newman, 27th in 32:10 and Clara Horswell who placed 30th overall and second lady in 32:15.
Just behind, in 32nd, was Arthur Daley whose 32:25 clocking was a new Club M65 best by over two minutes and earned him the M65 category first prize.
Youngster Andrew McPeake placed 57th overall and first in the U17 category with a personal best time for five miles of 34:07 and there were five-mile bests for Aaron Bennett (60th in 34:14), Charlotte McGlone (61st in 34:16), David Hart (63rd in 34:35), Nick Bishop (66th in 34:39) and Nigel Nash (71st in 34:54).
Suzanne Harding returned from a three weeks injury lay-off to place 72nd overall and 2nd in the LV35 category in 34:56 and there was a personal best for Peter Jeffery, who clocked 35:12 in 78th place.
Sydney Dobberson was next home, placing 99th overall and first U20 Lady in 36:30, a Club best by a 19 year-old. Rob Jordan placed 122nd in 38:29, Kerry Newell 126th in 38:44 as part of her London Marathon preparations, Emma Jeffery 133rd in 39:13 after working a night shift, Dave Spackman whose 39:20 in 135th place won him the M70 category and a new Club best, and Sharon Paintin, who placed 163rd of the 250 finishers in 41:59.
Newent Parkrun – 24/01/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Mike Mansfield won the latest running of the Newent Parkrun series (24th), crossing the line in 20:53. Behind him, Briony Bishop made a timely return from illness to place 4th in 22:40 and Natalie Ashley-Towell placed 10th in a new personal best 23:39. Both Briony and Natalie are members of Kerry Newell’s successful junior endurance group based at the Gloucester club’s Blackbridge headquarters.
Rob Jordan and Beryl Sampson placed 21st and 22nd in 25:18 and 25:21 respectively.
British Athletics Cross-Country Challenge & Schools Inter-Counties – 18/01/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s junior cross-country runners produced some outstanding results at the British Athletics Cross-Country Challenge event in Cardiff on Sunday (18th).
The event incorporated the Schools’ Inter-Counties Championships and was run in bright, sunny but cold conditions on a very soft and muddy course.
The Under-15 girls’ team carried on from where they left off at the County Championships two weeks previously where they took the team bronze medal. Laura McPeake again led the team home, placing 8th overall and second county scorer. Briony Bishop placed 36th overall and Natalie Ashley-Towell 47th. Niamh Powell and Jade Gough, also members of the junior endurance training group based at Blackbridge placed 11th and 20th respectively as the county team took the gold medal.
Bethan Moor continued her excellent start to 2015, placing 8th overall and 3rd in the schools category in the U17 Ladies race, with club mate Tara Sladen taking 36th place overall.
The Club had one competitor in the U20 Ladies race, Miranda Bass finishing just outside the top 20, in 23rd place, while in the U13 Girls race, Elissa Moor took 70th place.
Harry Wells produced the stand-out performance in the boys’ races, placing 15th in the U17 Men’s event, ahead of Will Staddon in 23rd.
Bath Skyline 10K – 18/01/2015
The muddy and slippery conditions were not restricted to Cardiff, as runners in the latest Bath Skyline 10km event on Sunday (18th) discovered.
This month’s race was held on the Bath racecourse and was described by the organisers as perhaps their toughest course ever, taking in over 300 metres of ascents and descents on some treacherous slopes, in addition to running through a series of streams and bogs.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone was 6th lady finisher in 62:30.
Riverbank Rollick – 18/01/2015
Meanwhile, club mate Sue Higgins travelled to Thornbury to compete in the Riverbank Rollick, placing 97th overall in 79:07 in similarly testing conditions.
Birmingham & District Cross Country League – 10/01/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men’s team consolidated their mid-table position with a fighting performance in the third round of the Birmingham & District Cross Country League Division Two fixture at Burbage Common in Nuneaton on Saturday (10th).
Injuries and non-availabilities have ravaged the team this year, so retaining their Division Two status has always been the over-riding target for the season.
Richard de-Camps and Thomas George again set the marker, establishing themselves early on in the leading group on a heavy course that was made no easier by the biting wind. De-Camps put in another trademark workmanlike effort as he again led the team home, placing 10th, whilst George recovered well from a fall on the opening lap to hang on for 11th place.
Nathan Smith was isolated, so his 53rd place was a commendable effort. The next three Gloucester finishers all worked well as a team, taking turns to force the pace and finished within metres of each other. Steve Haines placed 84th, junior Jack Evans 86th and Freek van Arkel 88th to complete the scoring six and bring the team home in 9th place overall with a points score of 332.
Dave Gresswell placed 163rd, Aaron Bennett, in his first cross-country season, continued his development by placing 172nd and the Gloucester squad was completed by Simon Barnes who crossed the line in 208th place.
The result leaves the City team in 9th position of the 18 teams.
1st Lee Slater, Dudley/Stourbridge; 2nd Martin Williams, Wolves & Bilston; 3rd Harry Bishop, Severn.
10th Richard de-Camps; Thomas George 11th; Nathan Smith 53rd; Steve Haines 54th; Jack Evans 86th; Freek van Arkel 88th; Dave Gresswell 163rd; Aaron Bennett 172nd Simon Barnes 208th.
Indoor Competitions – 10&11/01/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Catherine Hardy and Andrew Bowers successfully opened their 2015 indoors winter campaign at the weekend.
At the Midland Counties Open Meeting in Birmingham on Saturday (10th), Hardy was second-fastest qualifier in the U20 Ladies 60 metres, clocking 7.88 seconds behind Cheltenham’s Sophie Yorke. She then went on to win the final in 7.93 seconds.
Bowers travelled down to Cardiff to compete in the South-West U20 Championships on Sunday (11th) and won his heat of the 400 metres in 52.8 seconds.
The previous weekend, Gloucester youngster Scarlett Pegler competed in the South-West England U13 indoors championships in Cardiff. In her first-ever indoors competition, she was 9th fastest over 200 metres in 32.75 seconds and 10th quickest over the 60 metres in 9.78 seconds.
Dirt Run – 01/01/2015
Wayne Mayer placed 4th in the New Year’s Day Dirt Run over 10km at Worcester, in 41:36. Max Sheppard placed 9th in 45:46, Paul Nash 11th in 46:27, Colin Westbury 27th in 51:05, Russell Kirby 34th in 53:21 and Martin Hobson 35th in 53:35.
Vikki Kirby placed third in the junior race in 113:59.
Entries for this year’s Gloucester 20-mile Road Race on March 8th are coming in at a rate of knots. A limit has been set at 600 and already the number of entries received is over the 300 mark.
Richard Blackwell, one of the race organisers, says “The Gloucester-20 is a long-established event and is held at a perfect time for runners wishing to peak for one of the spring marathons. Entries are being received from runners all over the country and we’re hopeful of achieving the 600 limit.
Anyone wishing to run in the event can enter on-line at http://www.gloucesterac.co.uk/competition/club-events/gloucester-20/
Central Lancashire Half Marathon – 04/01/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone got her new year off to a great start when she set a new personal best time in the Central Lancashire Half Marathon at Lea Town near Blackpool on Sunday (4th).
The Gloucester runner placed 101st overall in 1:37:40, an improvement on her previous best by 84 seconds.
Gloucestershire County Cross-Country Championships – 03/01/2015
Gloucester Athletic Club enjoyed a successful day at the County Cross-Country championships at Coleford on Saturday (3rd).
The county championships are the traditional curtain-raiser to the championship season with regional and national championships coming up in the coming weeks, so this event held over a challenging wet and muddy woodland course was the ideal way to blow away the cobwebs following the Christmas festivities and enable the athletes to focus on the challenges ahead.
Cheltenham’s Dan Owen was over 20 seconds clear of the field in the senior men’s race but there was a real scrap for the minor places involving five athletes, including Richard de-Camps who produced another strong run, just missing out on a medal in 5th place to lead the Gloucester team home.
Nathan Smith and Freek van Arkel were locked together for the opening two laps before Smith’s superior strength and speed took him past his team-mate as he placed 20th, with van Arkel placing 22nd in his first senior county championships.
There was a similar battle just behind as James Head and Steven Haines pushed on in an attempt to catch their colleagues. Benefitting from a background of marathon training, Head prevailed as he finished in 40th place with Haines placing 45th. The scoring six was completed by Aaron Bennett, also making his senior championships debut, who placed 51st to bring the team home in 4th place overall with a total of 163 points, just one point behind third-placed Stroud. Cheltenham & County Harriers ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams took first and second places respectively.
Other City finishers in the senior men’s race were Dave Gresswell (53rd), Peter Jeffery (56th), Clive Poole (66th) and Chris O’Carroll, who placed 78th overall and 1st in the m70 category.
The Gloucester club’s senior ladies team confirmed their re-emergence on the local distance-running scene, also finishing in fourth place overall.
Hayley Winters continued her impressive form in this, her first season of cross-country racing, when placing 9th. There was a top-20 placing for Emma Jeffery who worked her way through the field after a steady start to place 19th. Miranda Bass completed the scoring, placing 23rd overall and 2nd in the U20 category.
Afterwards, team official and coach, Arthur Daley, said: “It’s good to see many of our new members starting to establish themselves in the scoring teams as it will ensure our continued presence at these championships and other team events. The 4th places achieved by the senior men and ladies represent our best performances for many years and we’ll be looking to build on these over the coming months.”
The Club’s juniors more than matched their senior colleagues as they produced a series of excellent results.
Bethan Moor achieved the Club’s highest individual placing of the day, taking second place in the U17 Ladies race. Tara Sladen provided solid back-up, taking 9th place for her first county top 10 finish.
The U15 Girls took a splendid team bronze medal behind the Bourton and Cheltenham teams. Laura McPeake produced another strong run to take 3rd place, followed by Briony Bishop (11th) and Natalie Ashley-Towell (12th).
There was a bronze medal in the U17 Men’s race as Andrew McPeake took an excellent 3rd place. Harry Wells placed 8th in the U15 Boys race and Lucy Jeffery took 16th place in the U11 girls race.