Three Gloucester Athletic Club members brought their 2019 racing programmes to a close when competing in Sunday’s Gloucester 10-mile road race around Quedgeley and Kingsway.
Arthur Daley running a very even paced race was the first of the group home, clocking 70:35 to take the M70 prize, beating both M65 and M60s winners in the process. He beat the previous Club age-best by a massive 10 minutes and is now placed third on the national M70 10-mile rankings.
Despite not enjoying her best race, Anna Midgley ran a new personal best 71:47, some 46 seconds faster than her previous best, to finish 12th lady while there was a two-minutes personal best also for Amy Walker who picked up her pace over the final two miles to finished strongly in 73:06.
Gloucester Athletic Club Chairman Richard Blackwell reports that 2019 will go down as the most successful in the Club’s long history, with an array of team and individual achievements across the whole Club.
Blackwell says, “The year got off to a fantastic start with our senior men winning the Birmingham Cross-Country League Division Three title and our senior women winning promotion from Division Two in the Midland Women’s Cross-Country League in their first appearance for over 10 years.
“The successes continued in the summer as the senior track & field team dominated Division Two of the Midlands Track & Field League to win their third divisional title in a row to complete a unique hat-tick of promotions for the Club’s senior teams.”
Blackwell adds, “The teams’ achievements in winning those promotions were all down to exceptional teamwork and the athletes’ willingness to put themselves out for their teams and team-mates. I lost count of the number of times the track & field athletes would compete in unfamiliar events to fill gaps and earn points for the team. The commitment to the cause was similar with the cross-country teams and, at the end of the day, that attitude undoubtedly helped win the titles.”
But Blackwell points out that the Club’s triumphs during the year was not limited to the teams as there were numerous individual successes over a range of disciplines.
Jo Willoughby started 2019 off well with a silver medal and British record in the triple jump at the World Masters Indoors Championships in Poland. Later in the year, she struck gold in both the triple and long jumps at the European Masters Outdoors Championships in Venice.
However, Willoughby’s year was not over yet for she coached one of the Club’s outstanding younger athletes, Joel Townley, to the English Schools Senior Boys triple jump title in Birmingham, his second English Schools title as he won the Intermediate Boys title two years previously.
Townley was among a number of Club athletes who qualified for the English Schools Championships as Chrissy and Ben Campion, Jessica Hill, Oliver Keitley and Ellie Wheeler-Smith also took their places among the country’s elite juniors to further highlight the outstanding young talent in the Club’s ranks.
Charlie Price was again the stand-out performer in the Club’s para-athletic group and enjoyed another successful summer that saw her claim the UK Race-Running titles over 400 and 800 metres.
The sport of Cani-Cross, cross-country running with dogs, has grown in recent years and the Club proudly boasts the current World and European Champion in Ben Robinson who met with success in Sweden and Belgium during the autumn.
Looking forward to 2020, Blackwell is the first to admit the Club faces tougher challenges. “There will be new and exciting challenges to meet on and off the field during the year, not least the massive step up in competition standard for our teams, but I know that the athletes and support we have in the Club we shall certainly give everything our best.”
Gloucester Athletic Club continued their policy of youth development as they enjoyed another encouraging turn-out at the second Gloucestershire Cross-Country League fixture at the Old Down Country Park in south of the county on Saturday.
The senior women had a strong presence, placing 6th team overall in a keenly contested race. Gemma Collier is currently in her best form for several seasons and again confirmed her standing as the Club’s leading runner as she gained her highest-ever League placing, coming home in 6th place. Charlotte McGlone exceeded her expectations in her first race since May to place 17th, while Tina Wickens completed the A team in 42nd place. Fast-starting Emily Coyne lead the B team home in 44th, while Nicola Waters was the next runner back in 72nd and Trudy Wells completed the B team in 83rd place. Emma Jeffery came home in 92nd place.
Briony Bishop running in the U20 category in the same race as the seniors placed 5th, while the senior masters saw M70s Arthur Daley place 37th overall, Dave Spackman 102nd and Chris O’Carroll 111th. M65 Dave Clegg placed 78th overall.
Owen Parry led a depleted senior men’s squad home in 38th place, James Walters placed 68th, Sebastian Clarke came home in 87th place and Lloyd Andrews 119th.
The Club is placing great emphasis on this League as a development pathway to higher competition for its many juniors and the talent within the ranks was again evident on Saturday, not least in the U17 Women’s race where Tilly Ashley and Millie Porter were engaged in a highly competitive battle throughout. Tilly prevailed to come home in 2nd place, just ahead of her team-mate in 3rd place.
Running alongside them, Toby Scott was 3rd in the U17 Men’s race while Matt Ward came home in 10th place.
The largest junior squad competed in the U15 Girls race where Millie Newell repeated her 4th place finish in round one with another 4th to lead the team home. Keira Barry provided excellent support, coming home in 11th place just ahead of Anna Pollard in her first race in 12th. Jess Stringer finished in 15th and Chloe Shephard 16th to complete the squad.
The U15 Boys race saw Jacob Barry come home in 6th place with fast-finishing Ben Darlow placing 44th.
The girl's U13 race saw outstanding racing from Ruth Brook who, after a sensibly paced start, vied for the lead to eventually place 3rd, just three seconds behind the race winner. Newcomer to the sport, Gabrielle Griffiths demonstrated sound pace judgement to place 5th while Lydia Wang placed 21st and Aliya Hawkins 35th on the challenging course.
Katie Blackwell led the U11 Girls home, placing 21st, with Olivia Postgate close behind in 29th, Adeline Ducker 33rd and Bailey Ward 37th.
In the U11 Boys race, Harrison Ward placed 32nd.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men had a hugely successful day at Saturday’s second round of the Birmingham Cross-Country League at Clopton Park in Stratford-upon-Avon, winning both ‘A’ and ‘B’ string competitions and putting themselves firmly in the driving seat at the top of Division Two.
On a hilly and muddy course, the City outfit showed their intent to continue the success from the opening fixture where they were convincing team winners in their quest to gain promotion to the top tier of Midlands cross-country racing.
From the gun, junior Harry Wells and James Denne went straight to the front up the long hill and were never out of the top four positions throughout the race. Denne showed his strength and stayed with race leader Ian Allen of Spa Striders throughout before the latter pulled away over the closing stages. Denne held on for a fine second place which means he currently tops the series individual rankings.
Despite being ill during the warm-up, Wells hung on for fourth place and sits second in the overall rankings while Steve Kenyon continued his strong start to the season with a second successive tenth place, just ahead of team manager Steve Millward who was much improved from the first race, following an injury-interrupted summer. Owen Parry showed his progress with a fine 36th place in the 250-strong field with the ‘A’ team being completed by a typically gritty run from Jeremy Mower, who claimed 52nd place for a match-winning team total of 115 points and earn the team their second successive match victory.
Gloucester showed excellent strength in depth with a cluster of runners packing well and leading the ‘B’ team to a convincing category win. Leading the way was Max Sheppard with a committed run for a 58th placing, just ahead of Glen Balmer in 59th, Jason Tilley in 61st and James Walters with a welcome return to form in 65th place. The consistent Steve Haines claimed 81st place while the ‘B’ team was completed by Pete Haynes in 94th place, showing strong support for the club.
Dave Gresswell was next home, placing 163rd, with Lloyd Andrews enjoying the testing nature of the course, close behind in 175th. England Masters international Arthur Daley claimed 180th place and club stalwart Chris O'Carroll battled through to 234th place in what was an over-distance race for both of them.
Team manager Steve Millward said afterwards "The whole team put in a superb performance on what can be described as a proper cross-country course, showing that we are the leading club in this division. Several athletes made their season debut today and all ran well, working together and showing real team spirit which bodes well for the final two races after Christmas. Promotion and a return to the top flight is well within our grasp but we have to maintain the momentum".
‘A’ teams – 1st Gloucester AC 115 pts, 2nd Kenilworth Runners 164, 3rd Dudley & Stourbridge Harriers 168.
‘B’ teams – 1st Gloucester AC 418 pts, 2nd Kenilworth Runners 449, 3rd Spa Striders 612.
League positions after two races:
‘A’ teams – 1st Gloucester AC 205 pts, 2nd BRAT 305, 3rd Newcastle (Staffs) AC 322.
‘B’ teams – 1st Kenilworth Runners 1030, 2nd BRAT 1102, 3rd Gloucester AC 1106.
The Club’s senior ladies produced a typically gutsy performance when they placed 9th team in the Midland Women’s Cross-Country League Division One race on the same challenging Stratford course.
Gemma Collier continued her outstanding winter season by leading the team home in 26th place, ahead of Kim Millward in 37th spot. Anna Midgley placed 54th while Briony Bishop completed the team in 60th place. Tina Wickens placed 85th and Trudy Wells 139th to provide vital support to the team.
Team manager Paul de-Camps said afterwards, “That was a much better result and should move us out of the relegation places. We must make sure we build on this in the next round after Christmas.”
Gloucester club member Sophie Hope continued her return to racing following injury at last Friday’s 5-mile Night Race at Mallards Pike in the Forest of Dean and placed 32nd overall and first lady in 45:46, improving on her 3rd place finish in last year’s race.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Kenyon continued his remarkable run of success in local road races when he won the Mandy Whittington Newent 9K Road Race by 25 seconds in 32:22, adding to his victories at the Linda Franks 5 and Staverton 10-mile events earlier in the year.
Graham Davis was the next club runner home, placing 13th in 38:23, just ahead of Gemma Collier who produced another outstanding run to place 14th overall and first lady in 38:27 while Amy Walker achieved a top-40 placing when coming back in 39th place in 43:07. 346 runners completed the race.
Gloucester Athletic Club runners were prominent in their age categories at the Pomphrey 5k at Mangotsfield, Bristol. Jeremy Mower led the Club contingent home, placing 14th overall and first M50 in 17:55, matching his best 5k time from 2018. The U17 Mens category saw a significant breakthrough for Matt Ward in only his second race over this event. Racing well and with a fast start, he took a massive 50 seconds off his previous best time to place 18th overall and first U17 in 18:23. Training partner and fellow U17 Josh Collenette started more conservatively, due to having raced the Gloucester 10K just two days previously, but finished strongly to place 23rd in a personal best time of 18:39. Their coach Arthur Daley also started conservatively but picked up to win the M70 category in 21:26, placing 61st overall.
Earlier in the month, Daley had represented England in the British Masters Cross-Country international at the Aintree racecourse and, competing in the M70 event, came home the second England scorer in 21st place. The flat course suited Daley who, after a steady first lap, moved through the field using team-mate Chris Mason as his target. The two battled over the final 300 metres but the Gloucester runner prevailed with a surge over the final metres.
The achievements of Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior cross-country and track & field teams which saw them win an unprecedented promotion treble, plus outstanding individual successes across a wide range of competitions were acknowledged at the Club’s recent annual Awards Night.
Paying tribute to each of the teams plus a host of individual performances, Club Chair Richard Blackwell also gave thanks to the volunteers behind the scenes such as coaches, officials and general helpers and supporters all of whom had made significant contributions to the Club in the most successful year in its long and proud history.
“We are immensely proud of every one of our members who has brought success to the Club this year and it is a privilege to be part of such a wonderful Club.”
Meanwhile, World RaceRunner Champion Charlie Price was the winner of the Sports Champion of the Year, sponsored by Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust at the Believe in Gloucester awards ceremony last week.
2019 Award Winners:
Terry Sysum Memorial Award for Athletic Achievement Kate Davies
Andrew George Middle Distance Athlete Award Jessica Hill
Mike Price Memorial Road Running Award Steve Kenyon
Coach of the Year Paul de-Camps
Age Group Awards
U11s Winnie Margretts, Piers Clutterbuck
U13/15s Cross-Country Millie Newell
Track & Field Chrissy Campion, Kyle Neal
U17/20s Cross-Country Briony Bishop
Track & Field Ellie Wheeler-Smith, Joel Townley
Seniors Cross-Country Hayley Winters, Harry Wells
Track & Field Kate Davies, Gareth Winter
Masters Cross-Country Arthur Daley
Track & Field Jo Willoughby, Steve Millward
Harry Wells smashed his previous best time by 54 seconds when he placed 15th overall in Sunday’s Gloucester 10K Road Race that incorporated the South-West Inter-Counties Championships.
Representing Gloucestershire, Wells clocked 32:25, the fastest time by a Club runner this year. The next Club runner home was James Denne who, despite suffering the effects of a cold picked up during the week, placed 24th in 32:53.
U17 Josh Collenette, in his first 10K race placed 116th in 39:24, while Gemma Collier knocked four seconds off her personal best when placing one place behind in 39:26.
Peter Jeffery clocked 45:13, daughter Lucy, also an U17, clocked 45:42, Alex Purcell clocked 55:54 while new club member Barbara Jones clocked 58:42 to place 546th of the 840 finishers.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men stated their intentions with an emphatic win in the opening Birmingham Cross-Country League Division Two race at the Burton Dassett Country Park in Warwickshire, taking the first three finishing positions for the first time in their history in the process.
Recent signing Ben Robinson, fresh from retaining his World and European Cani-Cross titles in October, was a class apart in his first League race for the Club. Making light work of the wind, rain and muddy conditions, he went to the front straight from the start and was always in control winning by 30 seconds from team-mate Harry Wells in second place. James Denne was a further 30 seconds behind in third place as the City team took a unique 1-2-3.
Steve Kenyon showed his versatility by taking his first top 10 finish in this Division, team captain Steve Millward battled through a niggling achilles tendon problem to come home in 28th place while Owen Parry produced another consistent run to complete the scoring ‘A’ team with a 46th place finish. The team’s final score of 90 points gave them a 34 point cushion over the second-placed Birmingham Running & Athletic Club, with Newcastle (Staffs) AC a further 21 points down.
There was a strong showing by the reserves, as they came home in 4th place in the ‘B’ team competition. Steve Haines led the reserves home, placing 64th overall, followed by Jason Tilley in 71st, Jordan Evans in 78th, James Walters in 109th, Dave Gresswell in 179th and Lloyd Andrews in 184th place. M75 Chris O’Carroll placed 224th to complete the City squad.
Team captain Steve Millward was delighted with the performance and result, saying “This is just the start we wanted to the campaign. Before the season started, I would have been happy for us to establish ourselves with a top six place, but the guys exceeded all expectations and ran their hearts out today. The target now is to build on this result and see if we can push for another promotion.”
‘A’ teams, 1st Gloucester AC 90 points, 2nd BRAT 124, 3rd Newcastle 145.
‘B’ teams, 1st BRAT 464, 2nd Kenilworth Runners 580, 3rd Bromsgrove & Redditch 589, 4th Gloucester AC 685.
The Club’s ladies were badly hit by injuries and non-availabilities in their opening Midland Women’s Cross-Country League Division One fixture at the same Burton Dassett course but, in true spirit that defines the Club, they battled gamely for a final team placing of 15th of the 17 teams.
Gemma Collier started the new season where she left off last with another strong performance that saw her place 30th overall to lead the team home. Junior Briony Bishop excelled last season and she showed that she is also in promising form, placing 58th, while Tina Wickens (113th) and Trudy Wells (173rd) completed the scoring team. Another to answer team manager Paul de-Camps’s call for help was Abi Brook who, in her first Midland League race, placed 183rd.
Afterwards, Paul de-Camps said, “We were missing some key athletes today and this affected our overall placing. However, the commitment shown by the ladies who ran was excellent and we know what we have to do in the remaining fixtures if we are to retain our division status.”
Steve Kenyon enhanced his growing reputation on the local road race circuit with a fine second-place finish at the recent Guy Fawkes Five-Mile Road Race in Tewkesbury.
Wisely staying off the ferocious pace set by eventual race winner Alex Lee of Cheltenham, Kenyon decided to mix it with the chasing pack for the minor placings and hung on well for the runners-up spot in a new personal best time of 26:35.
Jason Tilley was the next Club runner home, holding off a clutch of team-mates in the process as he placed 13th in 29:13, one place ahead of Pete Haynes in a personal best 29:14, with Jeremy Mower placing 15th in 29:17. Max Sheppard was just behind, placing 17th in 29:27 while Mike Mansfield placed 18th in 29:38.
Further Gloucester placings were:
78th Chris Davis 36:56, 148th Dave Spackman (M70) 41:06, 179th Amanda McPeake 43:09. 377 finished.
There was a strong Gloucester Athletic Club presence at Sunday’s Stroud Half Marathon with the cold but sunny weather coming as a blessing following the torrential rain that had swept through the region over the previous 36 hours.
Leading the Gloucester group home was Steve Kenyon, whose 1:13:15 in 7th place was a two-minutes improvement on his previous best time and the second-fastest by a Club runner this year.
Jack Evans was making his debut at the distance and will have been happy with his 1:16:43 in 21st place, while James Walters produced another consistent run in 39th place with 1:20:28. Just one week after running in the Yorkshire Marathon, Jeremy Mower clocked his fastest time, 1:20:40, for two years when coming home in 41st place, while both Peter Haynes and Max Sheppard reduced their best times with Haynes knocking over five minutes off his best with 1:21:33 in 46th place and Sheppard taking 90 seconds off his best with 1:22:22 in 53rd place.
Steven Haines was the next Club runner home, placing 97th in 1:27:11, while the first Club lady home was Anna Midgley, reducing her previous best time by over three minutes in 1:34:47.
Other City placings were as follows:
251st Arthur Daley 1:35:47 (Club M70 best); 287th Nick Bishop 1:37:18; 391st Jason Tilley 1:40:01; 475th Lee Moore 1:42:31; 518th Russell Kirby 1:43:28; 541st Paul Corderoy 1:45:08; 594th Nicola Waters 1:47:11 (Club W60 best); Tina Wickens 654th 1:49:15.
The supporting Silver Mile Young Athletes race saw Greta Hart place 11th in 7:13 and Aliya Hankins 17th in 9:30.
Dave Gresswell travelled up to north Wales to compete in Saturday’s Snowdonia Marathon where the weather changed from rain to sleet to sunshine in frequent intervals.
The event is recognised as being one of the toughest in the UK as it encircles the highest mountain in Wales, and Gresswell was satisfied with his run as he placed 499th in 3:55:38.
The previous weekend saw Jeremy Mower run in the Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon in York which incorporated the annual Celtic Nations v England event. Mower placed 129th overall in 2:53:20.
Entries are open for next year’s Gloucester 20-mile Road Race which will take place around the lanes of Haresfield on Sunday 15th March. The race is one of the most popular and well-established races on the racing calendar, sitting perfectly in the training programmes of runners who are preparing for spring marathons.
Entries are on-line at www.gloucesterac.co.uk.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s latest signing Ben Robinson made a winning start for his new club when he dominated the senior men’s race at the opening Gloucestershire Cross-Country League fixture at Wotton-under-Edge last week.
Robinson, who is the current World, European and British Canicross Champion, completed his registration for the City outfit only days beforehand, went to the front of the 9.6kms race from the start and was never headed as he made light work of the wet course as he came home nearly 20 seconds clear of second-placed Dave Bell of Cirencester. Afterwards, Robinson said “I enjoyed that race and it was a good preparation for the European and World Canicross Championships coming up in the next few weeks.”
Owen Parry opened up his cross-country season with a career-best 30th place finish, Steve Haines placed 72nd just ahead of James Walters in 77th. Dave Gresswell came home in 136th place while the scoring six was completed by Lloyd Andrews in his first cross-country race for the Club coming home in 147th place. Just outside the scoring six, Peter Jeffery came home in 161st.
The Senior and U17 Women’s race saw a major breakthrough run by City youngster Millie Porter who produced the best run of her career when taking an excellent third place overall. Gemma Collier ran strongly to place ninth while another U17, Tilly Ashley completed the scoring team as she also produced her strongest run over the country to take 14th place.
Next home was Kim Millward in 25th place, ahead of Briony Bishop and Anna Midgley who clocked the same time in 31st and 32nd place. Emily Coyne made a welcome return after missing much of the summer through injury to place 47th, Amy Walker and another U17 Lucy Jeffery battled throughout to place 88th and 89th, with Amber Spackman just behind in 93rd and 10th U17 to secure her first placing at this level.
Nicola Waters was the next runner home, placing 103rd and 1st in the W60 category while Charlotte Hall, Emma Jeffery and Trudy Wells placed 107th, 133rd and 139th respectively.
The ladies race also featured several Masters Men age groups. Arthur Daley celebrated his call-up to the England Masters team for next month’s Home Countries Cross-Country international by placing 45th overall and 1st M70. Rowland Clegg placed 128th, Dave Spackman 156th and Chris O’Carroll 174th.
There was a much-improved City attendance in the younger age group races. The U17 Men’s race saw Matthew Ward and Josh Collenette making their first starts in a Club race and both acquitted themselves well, placing 8th and 10th respectively.
The U15 Girls race saw Jessica Hill place 3rd, just ahead of Millie Newell in 4th place, with Keira Barry finishing in 18th place while the U15 Boys race saw Jacob Barry place 5th, Ben Darlow 20th Ethan Hood 22nd.
In the U13 Girls race, Ruth Brook held off team-mate Gabrielle Griffiths as they placed 6th and 7th, with Natasha Schofield finishing in 40th place. The U13 Boys race saw Ollie Mitchell place 7th and Ben Mandeville 32nd.
The increased number of young athletes saw the Club complete two scoring teams in the U11 Girls race. Oliva Posgate led the squad home, placing 18th, ahead of Katie Blackwell in 22nd, Tilly Farmer in 24th, Adelina Ducker in 28th, Lizzie Midgley in 46th and Bailey Ward in 48th place. The U11 Boys race saw Harrison Ward finish in 48th place.
Club spokesman Richard Blackwell said, “The Club is placing a great emphasis on this League for our youngsters as we build for the future. Today has proved that we have some outstanding young athletes on the verge of the senior teams and this is where they will learn the art of cross-country racing.”
In Sunday’s Simplyhealth Great South Run, a 10-mile race around Portsmouth, James Denne knocked over one minute off his previous when clocking an excellent 52:42 in 29th place. Gemma Collier took over nine minutes off her best time when placing 257th in 64:10.
At the Shelton Striders 10K in Derby, Jason Tilley ran a personal best time of 37:21 when placing 9th overall and 1st M45. Tracy Hinxman, a second-claim member of the Gloucester club also ran a personal best time of 38:13 when finishing in 15th place overall and first lady.
Members of Gloucester Athletic Club’s junior combined events squad travelled up to Peterborough to guest in the Eastern Counties Combined Events Championships.
Under the guidance of coach Matt Holloway, the group have progressed from the Club’s 365 Academy for U11s, to the point where at Peterborough several of the group were making their final appearance in the U15 age group.
In conditions that changed throughout from heavy rain to sunshine, Kyle Neal produced his best performance in a combined events competition as he set new personal best marks in the 80m Hurdles (15.02 seconds), long jump (4.47m) and 800 metres (2:25.28) and was only just short of his best marks in the high jump and shot putt for a very satisfactory competition.
Phoebe Jones ran a new personal best in the 800 metres (2:58.95) but suffered a foot injury in a rain-affected shot putt which dented her confidence throughout the remainder of the competition. Her main event, the pole vault in which she is the Club’s number one performer this year, was not included in this competition.
Chrissy Campion has had a hugely successful season in the hammer throw, where she reached the final in the English Schools Championships, but still enjoys taking part in occasional combined events competitions. At Peterborough, she recorded new best performances in the 800 metres (3:09.88) and the high jump (1.29m) before suffering an ankle injury in the latter when slipping. She will now turn her attentions to the hammer.
Ella-Grace Edwards, the only athlete in the group not to be moving up to the U17s ranks next year, recorded new personal bests in the 75m Hurdles (12.77 seconds) and long jump (4.22m).
Coach Matt Holloway was optimistic after the competition, saying “The group all performed well when the conditions allowed, but the rain was so heavy that they naturally held back to try and avoid injury. Unfortunately, two of the group were unlucky in that respect but it was a good experience for them all.”
In road racing, Steve and Helen Haines competed in Sunday’s Cardiff Half Marathon. The Welsh capital was bathed in autumnal sunshine, a far cry from the conditions at last weekend’s Cheltenham event.
Steve placed 460th in 1:28:14, while wife Helen placed 10,816th in 2:16:12, a 13 minute-improvement on her time last week.
The 2019-20 cross-country season gets under way this Sunday when the Gloucestershire Cross-Country League holds its opening fixture at the Wotton Community Park, Katherine Lady Berkeley School. The racing starts at 11:00am with the U11 Boys event.
The heavy early morning rain did not dampen the spirits of the group of Gloucester Athletic Club members who were part of a large field that competed in Sunday’s Cheltenham Half Marathon.
Leading the group home was Club stalwart Dave Gresswell who 30 years previously had run his first race in this event. Ironically, Gresswell’s finishing time of 1:31:30 in 120th place on Sunday was exactly the same as his time in that first race, an indication of his longevity.
Jordan Evans was the next to cross the finish line, clocking 1:34:40 in 170th place. Nick Bishop followed, placing 241st in 1:37:30, while Peter Jeffery was 432nd in 1:44:39.
A little further afield, Graham Davis achieved his target of a sub-3-hour clocking when recording 2:59:35 in Sunday’s BMW Berlin Marathon.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s U17 Women’s team of Tilly Ashley, Millie Porter and Katherine Mills produced the outstanding result for the City team when they placed sixth in their category at Saturday’s Midlands Area Road Relays at Sutton Park near Birmingham.
Ashley gave the team an excellent start, coming home in 10th place on the opening leg of the 3.88km course in 15:04. Porter then took up the running and produced an outstanding 14:52 leg to come in 5th place. Mills then ran a strong final leg to clock 16:06 and bring the team home in 6th place overall for a fine result.
Traffic congestion on the motorways and at the entrance to the race venue affected many runners’ warm-ups, not least Briony Bishop who put the disruption behind her to run a strong opening 4.33km leg in the senior women’s event to come home in 51st place with 18:29. Anna Midgley made up 12 places with a 17:41 clocking on the second leg to hand over to Amy Walker who made up a further seven places with an 18:45 third leg, for Gemma Collier to run a storming 16:47 final leg to make up nine places for a 23rd placing.
For the reserve squad, Grace Vido clocked 19:29, Trudy Wells 23:05 and Tina Wickens 19:26.
Jeremy Mower ran the opening leg in the senior men’s event, consisting of six 5.88km legs, and completed his stint in 21:55 for 67th place, a solid performance considering he had to drop out of a 100km event the previous weekend with a hip problem. Owen Parry hauled the team up to 51st place with a 20:50 clocking on leg two, while Jason Tilley continued the momentum with a 21:58 clocking in 48th place. Leg four saw James Denne run the quickest leg of the day, an excellent
19:16, to make up a further 11 places, while late replacement Steve Haines clocked 23:25 to place 41st. The team was completed by James Walters who clocked 23:09 to finish in 44th place overall.
The Masters Men’s race saw Dave Gresswell clock 24:20, Amar Patel 27:26, Arthur Daley 26:19 and Rowland Clegg 29:18.
Elsewhere, Gloucester’s Charlie Denman came home from the Cerebral Palsy National Race Running Championships at Doncaster on Sunday with three gold medals for the 200m, 400m and 800m.
Chris Davis clocked 1:42:36 to place 341st in Sunday’s Swindon Half Marathon while on Saturday, one of the Club’s youngest members, nine-year old Lara Neal completed her 100th Parkrun, when running in the Gloucester City event.
Tickets are now available for the Gloucester club’s 2019 Awards Night and Christmas Party at the Wotton Hall Sports Club in Barnwood Road on Saturday 23rd November. Entry is free ticket only and all members are to ask their coaches for details.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jo Willoughby followed up her gold medal in the triple jump to strike gold in the W55 Long Jump in the European Masters Athletics Championships in Venice.
The Longlevens-based jumper was already on a high following her win in the triple jump and she went into the final full of confidence, but mindful of an achilles tendon problem that had hampered her training in the weeks leading up to the event.
However, Willoughby knew that she was capable of landing a medal if all went to plan and so it proved as she set her stall out in the opening round with a leap of 4.56m, just three centimetres ahead of her closest rival, Birgit Burzlaff of Germany. The German pushed her all the way until round five when Willoughby produced a jump of 4.69m to extend her lead to 9cms which was to prove decisive.
Afterwards, an elated Willoughby said “I’m so pleased to have won double gold here. As an athlete you are never totally happy and my run up in the long jump was not great as I was short of the take-off board, but I’ll take the win!”
The curtain came down on the 2019 track & field season with the final Avon League match at Yate.
The Gloucester club uses this League to give many of its athletes the opportunity to gain valuable racing experience and to try different events in a non-pressurised competition away from the cut-and-thrust of promotion and relegation battles.
The 800 metres junior races saw Jessica Hill run a controlled race to take victory in 2:19.5, Millie Newell clocked 2:28.0, Lucy Jeffery 2:39.5 and Amber Spackman 2:48.1. Tracey Hinxman clocked 2:30.6 in the senior race. However, the most notable breakthrough was by U13 Ruth Brook who led her 800 metres race all the way only to be beaten in the final 50 metres, but ending up with the consolation of an 11 second improvement on her previous best with 2:35.5.
Elsewhere, Jason Tilley lowered his own 400m Hurdles Club M45 age group record with a 71.5 seconds clocking while ran his second 400m Hurdles ever to take 2 sec off his PB. Ula Mohammed threw the Shot for a PB of 5.11 and then ran the 75m in 11.4 seconds while the U15 girls Shot Putt saw Christen Campion win with 8.75m and team mate Phoebe Jones place second with 7.40.
Other performances were:
1500m Oli Mitchell 5:11.8; George Daley 4:27.5(pb); Jason Tilley 4:49.9; John Featherstone 4:55.1.
100m LJ Beard 100m 14.1; Ben Reeves 12.5; Mike Curneen 14.7; Isobelle Herbert 13.5; Holly Attwooll 13.3; Zea Levy 13.6; Ella-Grace Edwards 13.2; Ella Julin 14.0.
200m LJ Beard 28.6; Joshua Robinson 26.6; Tom Curneen 28.6; Ella-Grace Edwards 28.7; Ella Julin 29.4;
400m John Featherstone 61.1.
High Jump Tom Curneen 1:40m.
Javelin Mike Curneen 18.73m
Hammer Mike Curneen 14.70m.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s end-of-season Open Meeting at Blackbridge attracted another large entry with athletes coming from all over the south west in search of quick times under the floodlights of the Podsmead track as the 2019 track & field season draws to a close.
The bulk of the events on a busy evening were in the middle distance category and many of the Gloucester Club’s athletes took advantage of the opportunity to clock a one mile time.
Consequently, there were several new personal best times recorded as well as plenty of very keen competition with many of the athletes wanting to settle scores with their training partners.
The one-mile ‘A’ race was such an example with a group of City athletes going head to head. U17 Toby Scott gave a rare hint of his potential as he led his club-mates home in fourth place with 4:54.54, just holding off Steve Kenyon (4:55.28) with Owen Parry (4:57.50) and Jack Evans (5:09.96) trailing behind. All four recording new personal bests.
The mile ‘B’ race saw Max Sheppard (5:08.49) and Pete Haynes (5:18.72) setting best marks with Jason Tilley sandwiched in-between. The ‘C’ race was equally successful for Paul Loveridge (6:01.80), Amber Spackman (6:17.80) and Nicola Waters (7:08.13) who all set new best marks.
The 800 metres races were no less competitive. M45 Paul Barlow has missed much of the last two years through illness but he has re-discovered his training and racing appetite since joining up with the Paul de-Camps middle distance group during the summer. His 800 metres times have been coming down gradually and here he ran his fastest 800 metres since 2014 (2:19.90) to go into the winter full of confidence.
Another athlete who can go into their winter’s training on a high is Briony Bishop. She established herself as the Club’s top junior cross-country runner last season and will have been pleased to have lowered her 800 metres personal best by four seconds with a 2:32.29 clocking. Youngster Jessica Hill was caught up in a close finish in her heat when crossing the line in 2:22.03.
The 5,000m ‘A’ race saw a new personal best for Jack Evans, who clocked 16:49.62.
Further Gloucester details:
75m 2nd Adelina Ducker 12.50, 3rd Bailey Ward 13.97 secs.
100 (A) 2nd Rory Cawkwell 11.36, 4th Ben Reeves 12.55, 5th Daniel Power 12.65,
6th Dylan Kay 12.87.
100 (B) 3rd Phoebe Jones 14.10
100 (D) 1st Ella Julin 13.97, LJ Beard 14.27
100 (E) 3rd Ella-Grace Edwards 13.41, 4th Zea Levy 13.58, 5th Isobelle Herbert 13.9
100 (RR) 1st Charlie Denman 22.67, 2nd Archie Eaton 24.24, Eleanor Hewitt 31.74.
400 (RR) 1st Charlie Denman 1:45.85, 2nd Archie Eaton 1:52.61, 3rd Eleanor Hewitt 2:39.32.
800 (B) 5th George Daly 2:17.57, 6th Ethan Hood 2:22.03
800 (C) 5th Joshua Collenette 2:21.72
800 (D) 4th Anna Midgley 2:31.83, 6th Tracy Hinxman 2:32.36
800 (E) 3rd Lucy Jeffery 2:37.10
800 (F) 1st Peter Jeffery 2:49.02, 2nd Jessica Stringer 2:55.30, 6th Chloe Shephard 3:08.77, 8th Chris O’Carroll 3:39.01.
Mile (C) 5th Dave Gresswell 5:54.19
5000m (B) 11th Mike Mansfield 19:21.32, 19th Arthur Daley 21:10.85.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone and Kim Millward were engaged in a thrilling battle in Sunday’s Woodchester 8-mile trail race, held in the glorious late summer sunshine.
Their contrasting styles meant that McGlone’s shorter stride enabled her to sneak a lead on her rival going up the steep slopes while the taller Millward’s longer strides gained the ground back on the flatter and downhill sections. The fact that the finish was at the end of a half-mile climb helped McGlone celebrate her first race back after a break to place 16th overall and first lady in 59:53. Millward finished one place behind in 60:07.
Trail specialist Nick Bishop placed 21st of the 145-strong field in 61:09 while Arthur Daley lost first place in the M65 category over the final stages to place 47th overall in 66:13.
Gloucester Athletic Club masters were making the most of the late summer sunshine when competing in road races at the weekend as the warm weather and light breeze made for ideal racing conditions.
Jeremy Mower in the Maidenhead Half Marathon on Sunday, placing 112th overall in 1:21:20. The race incorporated the annual England v Celtic Nations Masters Half Marathon and Welshman Mower was happy with his performance as he placed 3rd in the M50 ahead of three of the England team.
Another Club stalwart, Dave Gresswell travelled down to Oldbury to compete in the Oldbury Power 10-Miler and was pleased with run, placing 3rd in the M50 category in 67:00. Afterwards he said “I treated the race as a high tempo run as I have been piling up the miles recently as part of my preparations for the Snowdonia Marathon at the end of October. I’ve now got two half marathons in September and the Midlands Area Road Relays in Birmingham to look forward to.”
Gloucester club members won several medals in the final part of the 2019 County Track & Field Championships at Blackbridge last Friday.
In the Senior Women’s/Masters one-mile race, Anna Midgley won the W35 title in a new personal best time of 5:41.2. In her last race before returning to her medical studies at Plymouth University, Bethan Moor took the Senior Women’s title in 5:54.7 and Nicola Waters won the W60 category in a personal best 7:11.3. Briony Bishop took over ten seconds off her previous best when placing fourth in the U20W race in 5:38.8.
In the Senior Men/Masters race, Paul Barlow won the M45 title in 5:08.5 and Arthur Daley won the M65 category in 6:32.6.
In the young athletes’ races, U13 Aliya Hankins set a personal best 7:15.2 and U15 Ethan Hood clocked 5:45.1 in his first attempt at the distance.
World Canicross Champion Ben Robinson, who is based at the Blackbridge track, was a clear winner of the 10,000 metres, clocking 32:20.8. Behind him, Owen Parry ran his fastest-ever track time of 35:21.2 to win the M35 title and Paul Corderoy won the M50 title in 43:36.2.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Gareth Winter finished his 2019 season with an excellent 6th place in the final of the Shot Putt at last weekend’s British Athletics Championships at Birmingham. His best throw of 16.30 metres was a season’s best, beating the throw he set at the recent Midland Athletics League match by 7 cms.
It was a successful weekend for Lorraine Shaw’s throwing group as Gloucester-based Craig Murch, who competes for Birchfield Harriers, placed 4th in the Hammer Throw with 72.02 metres.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Harry Wells and Jessica Hill were both in sparkling form as they set new personal bests over 800 metres at the latest British Milers Club meeting at Tipton.
The meetings have proved happy hunting grounds for the Gloucester club’s middle-distance runners over the years with many of the group taking advantage of pace-making to record new best marks.
In this latest meeting, Harry found himself in the senior men’s ‘A’ race and passed through the half-way point in a shade over 55 seconds. Pushing on through to the 600 metres mark, which he passed in 1:22, he continued to work hard to the line which he crossed in 1:53.95 to reduce his previous best by two tenths of a second. “I certainly wasn’t expecting that time tonight!” Wells exclaimed, adding “I hadn’t done much in the way of speedwork recently, but I felt good at 600 metres and dug in – though the last 50 metres seemed to take an eternity.”
Jessica’s race saw Britain’s second-ranked 800 metre runner of the season, Lynsey Sharp, set the pace. The Gloucester youngster, who still only competes in the U15 age group, went through 400 metres in 68 seconds before kicking over the final straight to finish in 2:18.45 to take two seconds off her three-week old personal best and a seven-seconds improvement over the season. The race was in 1:59.51 won by Birchfield Harrier Sarah McDonald who became the fifth fastest Briton over the distance.
Tilly Ashley had only returned from holiday earlier in the week but ran strongly to place third in her heat in 2:23.11, while Club second-claim member Tracy Hinxman fell victim to some erratic pace-making to clock 2:31.66 in her heat.
Entries are picking up for the Gloucester Athletic Club Open Meeting at Blackbridge on Tuesday 3rd September. The organisers have included a one-mile race at the meeting, giving runners of all abilities the opportunity to race over the classic distance. Meeting Director Steve Millward says “We have included the one-mile event mainly for the many runners around the area who base much of their training on timings for the mile but might never have actually been timed over a one-off. This will give them that chance.” Entries for the meeting are through the Club’s website, www.gloucesterac.co.uk/ competition-events/club-races-events/open-meetings/.
Gloucester Athletic Club shall be holding their annual Awards Night and Christmas Party at the Wotton Hall Social Club on Barnwood Road on Saturday 23rd November. Club spokesman Richard Blackwell says “This will be a very special night as we will be celebrating, amongst many other things, our three senior teams winning promotion in their respective cross-country and track & field leagues in the same year which is a unique feat in the history of the Club.” Free tickets for the event are available on Club training nights.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Joanne Willoughby and Steve Millward were both victorious at the weekend’s British Masters Athletics Championships at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium, as the curtain came down on the famous stadium before it is demolished to make way for a new complex as Britain’s number two city prepares for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Willoughby again demonstrated why she is the outstanding W55 long and triple jumper in the country this season by claiming the title in both events by clear margins, jumping 4.71m and 9.81m respectively, though she had to battle a niggling achilles tendon injury as well the blustery conditions, saying “The weather was awful and it really messed with the jumpers’ run-ups but I was also holding back because of an on-going achilles problem that has plagued me for much of the season. I’m glad to have got through the weekend and will now rest and get some treatment on the injury before the Europeans in Venice next month.”
Like Willoughby, Millward is no stranger to winning Masters age groups titles but he has also had his injury problems this season, as a hamstring injury forced him to miss most of the Club’s track team’s Midland League success. However, he made a return to racing last week when setting a new Club age group record in the 3,000m steeplechase and he improved that record again in Birmingham as he went about dismantling the field to come home a clear winner in 10:15.26 to top the UK rankings for the year and to win his first title in the M40 age group.
Ian Willoughby won the silver medal in the M65 300 metres hurdles event in 55.56 seconds while LJ and Ian Beard both made their first appearance at the Championships. LJ placed 7th in the W35 100m final and 5th in the 200m final and husband Ian placed 3rd in his heat of the M45 100 metres. The M45 1500 metres final saw Paul Barlow just miss out on a medal, placing 4th in a season’s best 4:36.59, ahead of Club mate Jason Tilley in 5th place with 4:51.39.
At the British Masters Combined Events Championships at Hull, Jacqui Holloway claimed the heptathlon gold medal in the W40 age group, recording a personal best and new club age group best score of 4,003 points. Along the way, she set four more personal bests in the high jump (1.40m), shot putt (8.99m), 200m (28.76 secs) and long jump (4.31m).
Husband Matt won the silver medal in the M40 decathlon, scoring 3,771 points in his first attempt at the full competition. He set new personal bests in the long jump (5.10m for a new Club age group record), 400 metres, 110m hurdles, pole vault, javelin and 1500 metres. Training partner Stewart O’Reilly was also competing in his first ever decathlon and placed 5th in the M35 age group, amassing a total of 3,338 points.
Meanwhile, two of the Club’s junior multi-events group travelled up to Manchester to compete in the English U15s multi-event championships. Kyle Neal placed 10th and Joshua Robinson 13th overall despite having been unluckily disqualified in the 400 metres event. Coach Matt Holloway said afterwards “This was their first competition at national level and they both enjoyed the experience, especially getting to meet former Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson, even though neither was too sure who he actually was!”
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track and field team won a thrilling final match of the 2019 Midland Athletics League season at Wolverhampton on Sunday to clinch the Division Two title and their third successive Divisional honour.
Four of the six competing teams went into the match with a real purpose: Host Club Wolverhampton & Bilston and the Birmingham Triathlon & Running Club were fighting it out to see who would be joining already-relegated Cheltenham & Co Harriers in Division Three next season, while Gloucester and Rugby & Northampton were in a battle for the Division title. It was, therefore, no surprise that this was the most competitive and keenly contested match of the season with the teams fighting for pride and status and it was only in the very last event of the day, the men’s discus throw, that the City team took victory as Gareth Winter threw a season’s best 42.96 metres to win the event and spark off wild celebrations among the squad.
Multi-eventer Kate Davies has been the major points-earner throughout the season, quietly going about her business and picking up much-needed podium places to give the team a solid foundation. On Sunday, she exceeded even her own high expectations as she won five individual events with the only blot on a perfect return being a third place in the 100 metres hurdles.
Again, the youngsters who have been introduced into the team this season performed well. Katherine Mills ran a tactically-perfect race to win the 800 metres ‘B’ race, while training partner Tilly Ashley recorded her second fastest ever 800 metres to take second place in the ‘A’ race. Isobelle Herbert continued her development in the 100 and 200 metres, as did Beth Bird in the javelin and discus events and Simon Cook in the high jump. All will relish and benefit from the challenges that Division One will bring next year.
Steve Millward returned to the team following injury and comfortably won the 3,000m steeplechase in 10:27.1 to eclipse Simon Fortnam’s Club M40 age group record that was set on the same track eight years previously.
English Schools Triple Jump champion Joel Townley demonstrated his versatility by winning his speciality event, before taking second place in the long jump and a third place in the 100 metres. He finished off his afternoon by recording the fastest leg in the 4 x 400 metres relay team.
Further victories came the teams way through Ellen Thrall, who won her third hammer event of the league season, Jo Willoughby in the ‘B’ long jump and Beth Bird in the javelin while for the men Harry Wells controlled the 800 metres, Tom Beckett won the ‘B’ triple jump and Gareth Winter won the shot putt before his final title-clinching performance in the discus.
Afterwards, jubilant team manager Richard Blackwell said “This is a great achievement for the team and I cannot pay enough tribute to the back-up support from the officials and coaches who have all played a massive part throughout the season. We have showed that League success is not only down to the quality of our athletes, but their willingness to fill as many events as they could. As the saying goes, “Points make prizes!”
Gloucester AC 342 points; BRAT 341; Rugby & Northampton 340; Wolverhampton & Bilston 290; Coventry Godiva 275; Cheltenham & Co 163.
Final League table:
Gloucester AC 23 points; Rugby & Northampton 19; Coventry Godiva 14; BRAT 13; Wolverhampton & Bilston 11; Cheltenham & Co 4.
Two of Gloucester Athletic Club’s brightest young hopefuls represented the England Midlands Team in the Welsh Athletics International at Cardiff, the annual fixture which showcases some of the best young athletic talent in these islands.
Harry Wells took a credible sixth place in the 1500 metres, clocking 4:06.71, and Joel Townley placed third in the triple jump with a leap if 14.46 metres and while their performances were slightly down on what they may have wished for, both athletes can take great pride in being selected for the match.
Another youngster, Jessica Hill, produced the stand-out performance at last week’s Midsummer Open Meeting at Cheltenham when she knocked five seconds off her 800 metres personal with a stunning 2:20.1 to add some spice at the top of the Club’s rankings for the year.
At the South-West Inter-Counties Championships, Chrissy Campion was competing against girls at least one school year older than herself and did well to place 3rd in what was at the time a personal best 41.36 metres. She went on to improve that mark at the Cheltenham Midsummer Open Meeting. Brother Ben set a personal best 46.72m in the U17M discus.
Despite heavy rain and a sodden Manchester track which made the going difficult for the athletes at the British Race Running Championships, Gloucester’s Charlie Denman won the silver medal in the 200 metres in a new personal best 40.76 seconds. In her least-preferred event, the 100 metres, she placed fourth.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team head up to Wolverhampton this Sunday attempting to clinch their third successive promotion in the Midland Athletics League. The team currently sits at the top of Division Two and are a whisker away from taking their place in the top division nest year.
Other Club performances at the Cheltenham meeting were:
100m Race 3: 4th Samuel Ivins 13.7.
Race 6: 7th Bailey Ward (U11G) 17.9.
100m Wheelchair: 1st Josh Freeman 41.3.
100m RaceRunner: 1st Eleanor Hewitt 32.4.
200m Race 4: 1st Samuel Ivins 27.6.
200m RaceRunner: 1st Eleanor Hewitt 71.9.
300m Race 1: 2nd Amelia Newell 45.4; 4th Amber Spackman 50.7; 5th CoCo Wickens-Shaw 54.3.
400m Race 2: 1st George Daly 59.5; 4th Anna Midgley 65.8.
400m RaceRunner: 1st Eleanor Hewitt 2:47.1.
800m Race 2: 10th Sebastian Clarke 2:16.0; 11th George Daly 2:17.9.
Race 3: 12th Paul Barlow 2:20.3.
Race 4: 1st Tilly Ashley 2:22.8; 6th Anna Midgley 2:28.4; 10th Tina wickens 2:32.6
Race 6: 5th Amber Spackman 2:41.3;
Race 8: 11th Bailey Ward 3:39.0.
Hammer (3kg): Chrissy Campion 43.11m; Marion Loveridge 37.65; Ella Mansfield 30.61.
Three Gloucester Athletic Club members competed in the Welsh Masters Athletics Championships at Brecon and came away with a total of six gold medals between them.
Jo Willoughby demonstrated just why she is the leading exponent of the long and triple jumps in the W55 category in the country by winning both events in commanding fashion, recording a best leap in the long jump of 4.72m and a best leap of 10.14m into a strong headwind in the triple jump.
In his first meeting of the summer, following a torn hamstring in the winter, husband Ian will have been happy with his two golds as he clocked 55.40 in the M65 300m hurdles and 30.3 seconds in the 200 metres.
Tina Wickens was a comfortable winner of the W50 800 metres, crossing the line in 2:32.38. For good measure, she then won the long jump with a best leap of 3.49 metres.
Marion Loveridge represented the Midlands Masters in the England Masters Inter-Area Challenge at Coventry and won the W55cHammer with a best throw of 37.55 metres.
At the recent BMC Regional meeting at Tipton, Harry Wells placed 8th in the 800m A race, clocking 1:58.27 while Katherine Mills suffered a rare off day to finish off the pace in the 800 metres, clocking 2:27.89.
Members of the Club’s para-athletics group competed in the latest Midsummer Open Meeting at Cheltenham. Sam Ivins clocked two season’s best times of 13.6 and 28.0 seconds in the 100 and 200 metres events, while Race-Runner Eleanor Hewitt clocked 32.0 in the 100 metres and 65.4 seconds in the 200 metres.
The rarely run 600 metres races saw M45 Paul Barlow clock 1:41.6, Tina Wickens 1:47.8 and CoCo Wickens-Shaw 2:06.1.
Anna Midgley clocked 5:09.4 in the 1500 metres, with training partner Briony Bishop clocking 5:14.9 and Amber Spackman running a personal best 5:34.3.
Anna Midgley took her good track form onto the road to lead the Gloucester club home in the Bourton One Mile Road Race, placing 28th overall and 1st in the W35 category in 5:33. Hayley Winters picked herself up after a fall during the congested start to place 35th in 5:46, while Paul Corderoy placed 43rd in 5:55. Amber Spackman clocked 6:31 when finishing in 71st place, ahead of her granddad and Club stalwart Dave Spackman, who placed 108th in 7:28 to take the family’s bragging rights. The race was won by Club second-claim member Richard de-Camps in 5:32.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team moved a step closer to winning an unprecedented third successive promotion when they won the third round of this year’s Midland Athletics League at Rugby on Saturday.
Not since the League was re-structured in 2007 has the team won three back-to-back promotions and with the top division now firmly in their sights, they have no intention of slowing up.
As in the previous round, Saturday’s win was by the slimmest of margins but once again the Gloucester spirit was evident as they held off a strong challenge from Coventry Godiva by just six match points. Their nearest challengers for the title, host Club Rugby & Northampton AC, finished back in third place giving the City team a two-point buffer at the top.
An outstanding contribution by multi-event athlete Kate Davies was the cornerstone of Saturday’s win as she won the ‘A’ string javelin and long and high jumps, as well as second places in the triple jump and 100m hurdles and a third place in the shot putt, before helping the sprint relay squad to a fine second place.
Her example was followed by another multi-eventer, Jacqui Holloway, who won the ‘B’ string 100m hurdles and high jump, a third place in the shot putt as well as a leg in the 4 x 400m relay.
The Club has continued its policy of developing youngsters through this league and three products of the junior system are beginning to establish themselves in their first season among the senior ranks. Tilly Ashley demolished the 800 metres field when knocking eight seconds off her personal best, recording a winning time of 2:20.6. Beth Bird won the ‘B’ string javelin and placed second in the discus, while Isobelle Herbert ran a lifetime best 27.8 seconds in the 200m ‘B’ string, before running a hand-timed 100m best of 13.6 seconds in the shorter sprint.
The team welcomed back two of Herbert’s training partners, Ellie Wheeler-Smith and Rory Cawkwell, with both securing excellent places in the sprints, while Ben Reeves set another personal best 12.5 seconds in the 100 metres ‘B’ race.
Jason Tilley had dashed from a friend’s wedding close-by to race for the team and his commitment to the cause was rewarded with two personal bests in the 2,000m steeplechase and 400m hurdles, receiving solid support in both events from Mike Mansfield in his first track races for three years.
James Denne ran his second fastest-ever 5,000m to take third place, with Owen Parry running strongly for second place in the ‘B’ string, while James Walters was less than half a second outside his best in the 1500 metres, which also saw Jack Evans represent the Club on the track for the first time in 10 years.
In the throwing events, Gareth Winter secured a double victory in the shot putt and discus, while Ellen Thrall continued her remarkably consistent season to win the women’s hammer.
Team manager Richard Blackwell said afterwards “We’re just one match away from winning another promotion, which we would never have thought possible at the start of the season, given the potential strength of the opposition. That said, we know that anything can happen so we will be giving it our all in the final match at Wolverhampton in three weeks’ time.”
1st Gloucester AC 380 pts; 2nd Coventry Godiva 374; 3rd Rugby & Northampton 355; 4th Wolverhampton & Bilston 268; 5th Birmingham Running & Tri Club 263; 6th Cheltenham & Co 101.
League standings after three matches (of four):
1st Gloucester AC 17 pts; 2nd Rugby & N’hants 15; 3rd Coventry 12; 4th Wolverhampton 8; 5th BRAT 8; 6th Cheltenham 3.
The Gloucester club is well represented at this weekend’s English Schools Athletics Championships at Birmingham which start tomorrow (Friday).
Joel Townley and Oliver Keitley compete in the senior and intermediate boys triple jump, while brother and sister Ben and Chrissy Campion will compete in the intermediate boys and junior girls discus and hammer. Jessica Hill runs in the junior girls 1500 metres and Ellie Wheeler-Smith goes in the intermediate girls 200 metres.
In Sunday’s Inter-Area Masters match at Nuneaton, Jo Willoughby overcame two opening fouls in the triple jump to win the competition in the final round with a leap of 10.16 metres. She also placed second in the long jump with 4.80 metres.
James Denne was the first Gloucester club member home in last week’s Frampton 10K road race when placing 2nd in 32:57. Clubmate Steve Kenyon placed 4th in 34:27, while Owen Parry came home in 10th place in 35:38 to secure the second prize for the men’s team.
Other finishers were:
18th Max Sheppard 37:10; 24th Jason Tilley 37:49; 25th Mike Mansfield 37:56; 27th James Walters 38:37; 32nd Mark Keeling 39:19; 34th (and 1st lady) Gemma Collier 39:31; 47th Tracy Hinxman 40:32; 49th Austin Blackburn 40:48; 78th Paul Corderoy 43:24; 84th Arthur Daley 44:02; 116th Chris Davis 47:06; 152nd Nicola Waters 49:17;
Gloucester AC finishers in Sunday’s 10K were:
3rd Steve Kenyon 35:02; 10th George Daly 38:18; 17th Peter Haynes 39:32; 20th Steve Haines 39:39; 22nd Graham Davis 39:47; 32nd Dave Gresswell 40:58; 51st Nick Bishop 42:11; 60th Paul Corderoy 42:44; 67th Paul Loveridge 43:31; 78th Arthur Daley 44:19; 79th Peter Jeffery 44:20; 212th Charlotte Hall 51:39; 240th Helen Pritchard 52:13; 281st Alison Evans 53:53; 416th Helen Haines 58:46; Adrian Arnold 79:57.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s young athletes completed their National Youth Development League regular season with a fine 3rd place in their match at Blackbridge on Sunday.
Competing against two strong teams from Swindon and Newport, the City team put together many encouraging individual performances which will give heart to the senior team selectors as several will be eligible to compete in an older age group next summer.
This has been another promising season for the Club’s junior athletes, with many taking the opportunities offered in this League to try out different events often to great effect.
Team manager Matt Holloway was very happy with his team’s showing during the season, saying: “The youngsters have a lot of competitions during May and June, with schools and clubs, so I’m pleased with the way they have responded and supported this competition. Third place behind two strong Clubs is an achievement which they can be happy with.”
At the South West Schools Championships at Exeter, Ellie Wheeler-Smith won the Intermediate Girls 100m in a personal best and Club U17 age group record 12.10 seconds. Ethan Hood knocked two seconds off his own personal best when clocking 2:12.33 in the Boys 800m while Katherine Mills was just down on her best when running 2:27.24 in the Intermediate Girls event. The 1500m saw Tilly Ashley placing 3rd in the Intermediate Girls 1500 metres, while Jessica Hill clocked a personal best 4:50.55 when placing fourth in the Junior Girls final. Millie Porter was a clear winner of the Intermediate Girls 3,000m when clocking a season’s best 11:22.36.
The field events saw Joel Townley and Ollie Keitley, both from the Jo Willoughby group at Blackbridge, won the Senior Boys and Intermediate Boys triple jump titles, while training partner Julia Johnson continued her consistent season, leaping 4.98m in the Intermediate Girls long jump before setting a personal best 10.03m in the triple jump. Phoebe Jones jumped 4.26m in the Junior Girls final.
Ben Campion was a clear winner of the Intermediate Boys discus, throwing a personal best 43.88m, while Beth Bird threw 25.41m and Christen Campion 23.62m in the Intermediate and Junior Girls competitions. Christen took gold medal in the hammer event with a best throw of 37.47m, while Serafeim Apostolakis threw 34.95m in the Intermediate Boys javelin final.
While the youngsters have been performing well, the Club’s more mature athletes have also been in fine form.
Jo Willoughby’s 10.29m triple jump mark in last week’s Midland Track & Field League match at Coventry was a new UK W55 age group record, smashing the previous record held by Janice Pryce (9.75m) by over half a metre.
Paul Barlow set two season’s best at Sunday’s Northern Masters Championships in Bury. He took the M45 800m silver medal in 2:23.1 before going one better to take the 1500m title in 4:55.2.
Seven Gloucester AC athletes braved the chilly damp conditions on Tuesday evening to compete in the British Milers Club (BMC) Regional meeting at Tipton in the West Midlands.
Harry Wells found himself up against his training partner, Richard de-Camps, in the 1500A race. Despite tracking his more experienced colleague throughout, Harry was unable to overcome him at the finish. Nevertheless, he turned in a season's best performance of 3:59.04, just 1.5 seconds outside his personal best for 6th place to Richard's 3:56.91 in 5th.
Training partners Briony Bishop and Hayley Winters were two more athletes from the Paul de-Camps stable who found themselves drawn against each other in the 1500m D race. The pair are no strangers to opposing each other this season and, on this occasion, it was Hayley who had the upper hand. Despite running in pain over recent weeks Hayley has turned in some typically gutsy performances and this race was no exception as she lowered her personal best over 1500m by seven one-hundredths of a second recording 5:03.44. Briony struggled with the early pace in an overly ambitious race but battled gamely to record one of her better times of 5:15.28.
It was always going to be a difficult introduction to BMC racing for Till Ashley as she found herself as one of the slower competitors in the mixed 1500C race which also included a male member, Sebastian Clarke, of her training group. Although spending most of her time towards the rear of the race, Tilly was not discouraged and showed excellent fighting qualities to come through in 14th place in a time of 4:53.29. Her display deserved more as her time was just 29 one-hundredths of a second outside her personal best. Sebastian settled into the middle order of the race and ran sensibly for a time of 4:34.19 in 7th place. A time over 6 seconds quicker than he ran at the Midland League match just two days previously.
Millie Newell has made great strides forward this season, none more so than at the Gloucester Open where she recorded a massive personal best over 800 metres. At Tipton her education continued under the careful guidance of her mother, Kerry, in her first BMC race. Running at a time when most of her school mates would be preparing for bed Millie, unfortunately, found herself at the front of the pack in the 800m F race when the pace maker pulled out after 400m. Undeterred, she stuck to her task in a manner belying her age and experience as older and more experienced competitors drifted past her down the back straight. Showing resilience, she fought back down the home straight to finish in a highly creditable fourth place in a time of 2:26.00. Also in the race was another of Gloucester's second claim athletes, Tracy Hinxman, who finished in 7th place in 2:31.11.
A below par Andrew Bowers has still to show his true potential this season and finished a disappointing 9th in the 800m B race in 2:05.53.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team produced another strong performance in the second round of this season’s Midland Athletics League Division Two fixture in often wet and blustery conditions at Coventry on Sunday.
Their second place finish behind fellow promotion contenders Rugby & Northampton AC was an excellent result following their outstanding win in round one and puts them in a strong position at the top of the table at the half-way stage.
The squad once again set about filling as many spaces on the team sheet as they possibly could, thus picking up valuable points in events where the other competing teams left gaps. It is a simple policy that the current Gloucester squad have mastered to great effect and continues to serve them well.
Joel Townley has firmly established himself as one of the Club’s leading performers this season. Having won the South-West Schools triple jump event the previous day, he showed his loyalty to the team by winning his speciality event before showing his sprinting prowess by recording the fastest 100 metres time by a City athlete, 11.33 seconds, when taking an excellent third place in the 100 meters ‘A’ race. He finished the afternoon with a storming opening leg in the 4 x 400 metres relay, further demonstrating his versatility.
Two newcomers breaking into the sprint events this season, Ben Reeves and Gareth Smith, continued their development in their first season in the sport with both recording electronically-timed personal bests in the 100m ‘B’ and 200m ‘A’ races respectively, while in the ladies sprints, youngster Isobelle Herbert made an impressive debut as she set new personal bests in the 100m and 200m ‘B’ string events.
Harry Wells ran a season’s best 1:56.37 when being pipped for victory in the men’s 800m, while there were two personal best times for Katherine Mills and Anna Midgley in the women’s 800m as they clocked 2:24.41 and 2:26.77 respectively. Katherine was another to show no ill effects from having competed in the South West Schools event the previous day when she later stormed to another personal best in the 400 metres. Anna also set her second personal best of the day when clocking 5:04.87 in the 1500m, with training partner Hayley Winters setting a season’s best when winning the 1500m ‘B’ race.
For the men, James Denne continued his excellent run of form as he stormed to victory in the 3,000m, as Dave Gresswell clocked his fastest time in the event for five years.
There were several podium places to cheer in the field events. Julia Johnson won the ‘B’ long jump and placed second in the triple jump as well as winning the 400m hurdles ‘B’ race in her first attempt at the distance. Beth Bird is another youngster breaking into the senior team this season and she impressed when placing third in the discus and second in the javelin with a personal best throw of 28.85m. Training partner Luke Coghill has been a regular in the discus event for the past two seasons and he stepped up a notch here, setting new personal bests in the discus, shot putt and hammer events.
Kate Davies continued where she left off in round one, claiming victories in the long jump and javelin and second places in the high jump and 100m Hurdles, while another multi-eventer, Jacqui Holloway won the 100m hurdles ‘B’ race, placed third in the 400m hurdles and second in the high jump.
Also in the field, Ollie Keitley and newcomer Simon Cook both earned valuable points in the long, high and triple jumps.
After the match, team manager Richard Blackwell said: “This was one of our best all-round team performances for a long time. We were missing several key athletes due to injury in many events, but everyone pulled together to make sure we filled those spaces. I’m very proud of them. That spirit has put us in a strong position at the halfway stage, so we need to make sure we pull out all of the stops in round three to give ourselves a chance of promotion.”
1st Rugby & Northampton 386 pts; 2nd Gloucester 323; 3rd Birmingham Running & Tri Club 320.5; 4th Coventry Godiva 290; 5th Wolverhampton & Bilston 265; 6th Cheltenham & Co 208.5.
League standings after two of four matches:
1st Gloucester 11 (725 match points); 2nd Rugby & Northampton 11 (719); Coventry Godiva 7; BRAT 6; Wolverhampton & Bilston 5; Cheltenham & County 2.
Gloucester Athletic Club members struck gold at Sunday’s Midlands Master Track & Field Championships at Nuneaton, bringing several gold medals back to the City.
On the track, LJ Beard was making her first appearance in a regional Masters Championships and came away from the meeting with a full set of medals, taking gold in the W35 100m in 14.14 seconds, silver in the 200m with a new Club age group best of 28.36 seconds and bronze in the 400m with a 66.52 seconds clocking.
Tina Wickens led the W50 800m final from the gun, extending her lead throughout to win by 50 metres in another Club age group best time of 2:32.85, knocking half a second off her own one-month old mark.
Jo Willoughby was denied two British records by the gusting wind in the long and triple jumps as she struck double gold. Her winning mark in the long jump was 4.85m, while her winning leap in the triple jump was 10.22 metres.
Marion Loveridge was another gold medal winner, taking the W55 hammer title with a best throw of 36.51m.
The ladies weren’t to have a monopoly of titles coming to the Club. Jason Tilley knocked another second off his personal best when winning the M45 800 metres in 2:15 for his first regional title.
Competitors were rewarded with a host of personal and season’s best times at the Gloucester AC Summer Open Meeting held at Blackbridge last week.
For the first time ever at a track meeting in the City, the runners enjoyed the luxury of electronic timing was used and this undoubtedly boosted the number of entries for what proved to be a highly successful evening’s competition.
Gloucester AC results:
1500m Race 1 1st James Denne 4:16.77; 3rd Steve Kenyon 4:30.71.
Race 2 1st Max Sheppard 4:45.39; 2nd Jason Tilley 4:46.75; 4th Tilley Ashley 4:53.58.
Race 3 3rd Briony Bishop 5:05.37; 4th Hayley Winters 5:07.39; 5th Anna Midgley 5:08.45;
9th Dave Gresswell 5:14.95.
Race 4 6th Paul Corderoy 5:31.43
800m Race 1 3rd Andrew Bowers 2:04.05; 6th Ethan Hood2:14.51.
Race 2 1st George Daly 2:14.17; 4th Jacob Barry 2:18.94.
Race 3 5th Anna Midgley 2:27.62.
Race 4 1st Millie Newell 2:25.45; 3rd Daniel Stewart 2:33.51; 4th Tina Wickens 2:36.06;
5th Lucy Jeffery 2:37.89.
Race 5 8th Amber Spackman 2:48.84.
Race 6 9th Chloe Shephard 3:00.87.
Race 7 2nd Ruth Brook 2:46.41; 8th Keira Barry 2:56.91.
Race 8 1st Paul Loveridge 2:40.82; 4th Coco Wickens-Shaw 2:56.84; 5th Jessica Stringer 2:59.61; 6th Nicola Waters 3:11.37.
600m Race 1 4th Adeline Ducker 2:19.57; 6th Bailey Ward 2:34.64.
400m (Para) 1st Charlie Denman 1:34.02; 2nd Archie Eaton 1:56.56; 3rd Eleanor Hewitt 2:47.19
100m Race 2 2nd Ellie Wheeler-Smith 12.54; 4th Ben Reeves 12.93.
Race 3 1st Ella-Grace Edwards 13.15; 3rd Sam Ivins 13.63; 5th Isobelle Herbert 13.79.
Race 4 3rd Ula Mohammed 15.03; 5th Charlie Hart 15.52.
(Para) 1st Charlie Denman 23.15; 2nd Archie Eaton 25.23; 3rd Victoria Broom 30.83;
4th Eleanor Hewitt 33.29.
75m Race 1 2nd Megan Hart 11.90; 3rd Heidi Wyman 12.03; 4th Adeline Ducker 12.635 5th Bailey Ward 13.84.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Joel Townley and Harry Wells confirmed their status as among the leading junior athletes in the region when they both won gold at the Midland Counties U20 Championships at Nuneaton on Sunday.
Townley has a 100% success record in triple jump competitions this year and extended that run when striking gold with a leap of 14.46 metres, while Wells comfortably won the men’s 1500 metres in 4:10.78, his first race over the distance following a successful winter cross-country campaign.
There was a strong Gloucester AC presence at the recent Berkeley 10K road race which was won by the Club’s track & field team captain, Steve Millward in 32:56.
Owen Parry continued his run of good form when placing 5th in a personal best 35:24, with Jeremy Mower placing 18th overall and first M50 in a 2019-best time of 36:51 just ahead of Max Sheppard in 20th place with 37:18.
Other Club finishers were:
George Daly 23rd in 37:45, Jason Tilley 36th place 39:02, Steve Robbins 40th in 39:22, Dave Gresswell 61st in 41:01, Paul Corderoy 69th in 41:35, Paul Loveridge 94th in 43:14, Dave Spackman 232nd in 52:27, Chris Davis 257th in 53:40 and Helen Haines 282nd of the 390 finishers in 56:24.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s James Denne followed up his impressive win in the Midland League 5,000m track race on the previous weekend with an equally commanding win in the Fountain Five Mile Multi Terrain race at Lydney.
Leading from the gun, the Gloucester runner strode to victory in 31:34, nearly two minutes clear of second-placed Marcus Bennetto of the Forest of Dean club.
In her first race for three months, Gemma Collier placed 15th overall and second lady in 39:41 while John Miklausic placed 37th in 44:18.
Jason Tilley achieved his first local race victory when he held off club mate Steve Kenyon to win Sunday’s challenging Bredon Cricket Club Tower Run by one second, as he clocked 43:50 to Kenyon’s 43:51. Peter Jeffery placed 20th in 51:44
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team made the most of home advantage as they stormed to an impressive win their opening Midland Athletics League Division Two fixture at Blackbridge on Sunday.
Following two successive promotions as Champions of Divisions three and Four, a good start was imperative if the team was to make a statement against some strong teams from around the Midlands and, despite missing key athletes, they have certainly sounded a warning to the opposition that they are not here to make up the numbers in the League.
The team’s victory was based on a solid all-round performance across the full range of events, with several newcomers making their first appearances in the senior team.
Tilly Ashley and Beth Bird are products of the Club’s junior section and made an immediate impact as first Tilly stormed to victory in the 1500 metres ‘A’ race and then Beth won both the ‘B’ discus and javelin events in convincing fashion. Another athlete new to the senior ranks, Katherine Mills, ran another assured race as she placed 3rd in the senior women’s 800 metres while another U17, Ellie Wheeler-Smith, now a regular in the team, took a narrow victory in the 200 metres and a 2nd place in the 100 metres.
There were further victories among the ladies section from Tina Wickens, Anna Midgley and Hayley Winters in the 800m, 1500m and 3,000m ‘B’ string races while another member of the Paul de-Camps stable, Briony Bishop, recorded a fine personal best time of 11:02.3 when taking second place in the 3,000m ‘A’ race.
L-J Beard ran strongly to set two new club W35 age group records in the women’s 200 and 400m, while multi-eventer Jacqui Holloway pitched in with wins in the 100m Hurdles and high jump ‘B’ events. Another multi-eventer, Kate Davies, again showed her worth to the team when winning the ‘A’ string javelin and high jump as well as taking second places in the 100m hurdles, shot putt and long jump. There were further wins from Ellen Thrall and Chloe Jones in the hammer and discus and another second place for Marion Loveridge in the ‘B’ hammer event.
James Denne produced, perhaps, the pick of the track performances from the men’s team as he led from gun to tape in the 5,000 metres to win by 80 metres in a new personal best time of 15:25.8 while Harry Wells ran an assured 800 metres to secure another victory for the de-Camps group.
In the field, there were wins for Joel Townley and Ollie Keitley in the triple jump, Gareth Winter in the ‘A’ shot and discus, and Mike Curneen in the ‘B’ shot putt.
Steve Kenyon received a late call-up to replace injured men’s captain Steve Millward and set a new personal best in the 1500 metres ‘A’ race while James Walters, Owen Parry and Steve Haines showed excellent powers of recovery from the previous day’s British Masters Road Relays Championships to record personal bests in the 1500m, 5,000m and steeplechase respectively.
The men’s team also included three athletes making their first ever appearance in a full athletics meeting. Ben Reeves and Gareth Smith both acquitted themselves well in the men’s sprint events while Simon Cook took an excellent third place in the high jump.
Team manager Richard Blackwell was delighted with the result, saying: “This match showed the importance of working with the coaches and athletes well in advance. We have been planning for this fixture for several weeks as we knew how important it was to fill all the spaces on the team and get off to a good start. One or two of the other teams didn’t travel well, so we can expect tougher challenges in the matches ahead, but for now we’ll enjoy this result.”
Provisional match score:
1st Gloucester AC 388 pts; 2nd Rugby & Northampton 215; 3rd Coventry Godiva 285; 4th Wolves & Bilston 261; 5th Birmingham Running & Tri Club 252; 6th Cheltenham & Co H 219.
The Club’s young athletes travelled to Swindon on Saturday to compete in the second round of the National Youth Development League Midland Division and achieved their highest-ever points tally in this League to finish in third place behind the strong Swindon and Newport teams.
Team manager Matt Holloway was full of praise for his young squad, saying “The whole team should be very proud of their performances today and it was great to see so many athletes competing. The final match of the regular League is at Blackbridge on 23rd June where there is everything to play for to achieve a top two overall finish, which will hopefully qualify for the Play-off promotion match.”
The Gloucester club was well-represented at Saturday’s British Masters Road Relays Championships at Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield.
The Men’s M35 squad of James Walters, Jason Tilley, Owen Parry, Steve Millward, Max Sheppard and Steve Haines placed 12th of the 41 teams that started the event, with Millward clocking the 23rd fastest leg of the day.
The M45 team of Mike Mansfield, Austin Blackburn, Paul Corderoy and Dave Gresswell placed 24th of the 46 starters, while the M65 team of Arthur Daley, Dave Spackman and Chris O’Carroll took an excellent 7th place in their category.
At Sunday’s Plymouth Half Marathon, Bethan Moor set a new personal best 1:30:51 when placing 140th overall and 1st U20 woman, while in the Tewkesbury Half Marathon, Jordan Evans placed 19th in 1:28:01 and Graham Davis 20th in 1:28:26.
Gloucester Athletic Club members enjoyed considerable success across a wide range of events and age groups at last weekend’s Gloucestershire County Championships at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham.
Several members of the Club’s senior track & field team used the meeting as vital preparation ahead of this weekend’s Midland Athletics League opener at Blackbridge and came away with a stash of medals.
Kate Davies opened her outdoors season in style, winning the senior high jump with 1.60m before launching the javelin 38.53m to take another gold. Training partners Joel Townley and Oliver Keitley were equally impressive when winning their U20 and U17 triple jumps while coach Jo Willoughby was a double winner, taking the W55 long and triple jump titles.
Matt Holloway and newcomer Stewart O’Reilly each came away with triple golds after they won their M40 and M35 high jump, pole vault and javelin competitions.
The throwers were equally dominant as Ellen Thrall celebrated her 21st birthday by improving her week-old personal best with a splendid throw of 48.79m to win the senior women’s hammer, while Marion Loveridge admitted to being much happier with her 38.58m winning throw in the W55 event after a below-par showing in the previous week’s Brewer Games. Andy McKenzie threw 27.74m to win the M55 category.
The discus events saw further success for the City Club. Chloe Jones was a clear winner of the senior women’s event with 36.51m, while training partners Beth Bird and Ben Campion won their respective U17s titles and Marion Loveridge added to her hammer gold with victory in the W55 category. Luke Coghill won the silver medal in the U20 event while the Karlsson twins, Paul and Philip, took silver and bronze in the M65 category.
The shot putt was equally productive, with Philip Karlsson gaining revenge over Paul as the pair took gold and silver in the M65 competition. Marion Loveridge won her third title of the weekend when winning the W55 category and Mike Curneen won the M45 title.
The Club’s elder statesmen, Chris O’Carroll, Don Macer-Wright and Dave Spackman came away with several titles in the M75 and M70 age groups, with Macer-Wright returning after a 30-year break to win the javelin and Spackman winning the 3,000 metres in the M70 categories, while O’Carroll took multiple golds in the long jump, shot putt, discus and 100 metres M75s.
One of the most encouraging performances on the track came from Katharine Mills, who showed tactical awareness to win the Senior/U17 800 metres for her first county title at this age group.
The Club’s Para-athlete Group were also successful. Charlie Denman completed a clean sweep of titles in the 100m, 200m and 400m Race-Running event. Vicky Broom, Josh Freeman and Joe Skidmore were victorious in the Wheelchair 100m Senior Women, U17 and U13 categories and Sam Ivins achieved a first by becoming the first para-athlete to win an overall senior men’s title when he took the 100 and 200 metres.
Charlotte McGlone made a welcome return to racing following a break to place 4th overall and first lady in Sunday’s Stroud Trails Half Marathon.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Kenyon ran the fastest marathon by a City runner for over 15 years when he clocked 2:42:56 in Sunday’s APB Newport Wales Marathon, beating his own personal best time by 12 minutes.
The south Wales course is advertised as being one of the flattest on the racing calendar, with over 2,000 runners lining up in near-perfect running conditions.
Kenyon started well, settling in towards the front of the field and passed through the half-way stage in 79 minutes and kicked on through the second half. However, he suffered over the final stages as he hit the dreaded “wall”, and although having to stop on more than one occasion, he persevered to complete and come home in a very respectable 10th place.
Clubmate Graham Davis also had a good run, clocking a personal best 3:09:19 in 146th place while Lee Moore clocked 3:56:21 818th place.
At the Pomphrey Sports 5K event in Bristol last week, Steve Robbins reduced his personal best time by eight seconds when clocking 18:52 in 40th place and Arthur Daley clocked 20:27 in 66th place.
James Walters was the first Gloucester Athletic Club runner across the finish line in Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon, clocking a very respectable 2:50:10, having passed through the half way point in 1:20.
The time was just seven seconds down on his best time set in the New York event in 2017 and demonstrates his remarkable consistency over the distance, with his five fastest races being within three minutes of each other.
Mike Mansfield was running his first London for five years and will have been satisfied with his performance, placing 3,536th in 3:11:44.
Amy Walker clocked a new personal best time of 3:37:48 while Sophie Hope suffered over the second half after passing through the half way point in her target time, to clock 3:59:07.
The Gloucester City Parkrun around the City’s Park has been a happy hunting ground for Gloucester club runners since it was established last year, with Steve Millward winning the inaugural race and Steve Kenyon winning on no fewer than 17 occasions since.
However, a little piece of history was created last Saturday as the Club’s cross-country captain Anna Midgley became the first lady ever to win the event overall, clocking 19:53 for the 5km course to narrowly hold off Andrew Malloy of Bristol & West, some four seconds back.
The City Club’s young athletes travelled down to Braunton in north Devon last Saturday to compete in the opening track & field match of the season, the National Youth Development League for the U13 and U15 age groups.
Although the venue felt the fury of Storm Hannah, which was unleashing its power throughout the meeting, the young team fared well to secure a top three placing overall to set themselves on the way for another successful season. Team manager Matt Holloway will be hoping that his team can build on this start with a strong performance in round two at Swindon on 18th May.
There was success in the sunshine for Gloucester Athletic Club members at Monday’s Gloucester 4.3 miles road race from the Pilot Inn, Hardwick, as Steve Kenyon returned to road racing to seal victory by over a minute and a half in 23:52 for his third road race win of the year. Kenyon’s Club mate Max Sheppard placed second in 25:31 while Bethan Moor placed 7th overall in 28:11 to win the ladies prize.
Amy Walker and Sophie Hope placed 19th and 20th respectively, sharing the same time 34:26, Dave Spackman placed 24th in 36:15, ahead of grand-daughter Amber who placed 27th overall and first FU15 in 39:07.
At the Bushley One Mile Road Race at Tewkesbury, Anna Midgley warmed up for her track season when placing 13th overall and 4th lady in 5:44. Dave Gresswell placed 17th in 5:52 and Arthur Daley 25th in 6:27.
Harry Wells made his debut over 10K at the recent Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay event, clocking an impressive 33:19, while sister Beth has been producing some fine performances in races in London. She placed second overall and first lady in the Orchid River Run 5K in 18:38 and then 15th overall and 2nd lady in the Chase the Sun 5K at the Olympic Park, clocking 20:18.
Joel Townley celebrated his 18th birthday with a new triple jump personal best as he opened his 2019 outdoor track & field season in style at the Bath Field Fest event. The Gloucester youngster leapt 14.80 metres to add 7cms to his two-year old best. Training partner Ollie Keitley placed third with a best jump of 12.51 metres.
Paul Barlow travelled to Cleckheaton in Yorkshire to compete in the Northern Masters League meeting, clocking 15.6 seconds and 31.4 seconds in the M45 100 and 200 metres.
The Gloucester club’s senior track & field team will again be captained by Sophie Rowe (ladies) and Steve Millward (men) for their Midland Athletics League Division Two campaign this season which opens with a home fixture at Blackbridge on Sunday 19th May. The two were joint captains last season when the team won the Division Three title.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward left it late before entering Sunday’s Chedworth Roman Trail, a 10-mile race through the stunning Cotswold countryside, but it proved to be a wise move as he raced to his fourth win in the event.
The Gloucester sports-shop owner was actually working at the event but decided just 10 minutes before the start that it was worth getting his racing shoes on and entering the race to get those all-important training miles under his belt.
Making his way to the front of the 450-plus strong field, Millward passed through the four-miles stage with only Welsh Masters cross-country international Tegid Jones of Witney for company, before pulling away over the more challenging second half to win comfortably in 1:02:28.
Nick Bishop was next home, crossing the line in 1:21:50 for 73rd place. Peter Jeffery placed 129th in 1:29:08, Amy Walker clocked 1:38:53 in 230th place and Nicola Waters 1:40:55 in 251st place.
Steve and Helen Haines travelled down to the south coast to run in Sunday’s Brighton Marathon. Steve had set himself a pre-race target of three and a half hours which he achieved, placing 656th of the 20,000 runners in 3:23:57, while wife Helen found her lack of training miles taking effect at the 19-mile point but she rallied and completed the course in 5:02:54 in 7,547th place.
Max Sheppard took time out of a holiday in Florida to compete in the 18th annual UMC Windermere Run Among The Lakes 10K event where he placed second.
Steve Millward led Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men to team victory in Sunday’s Angels 10K road race around the Ashleworth area, north of the City, when he placed second overall in 34:43.
Millward went off strongly from the gun with Richard Dare of Cheltenham & County Harriers and the two established a healthy lead over the chasing pack. Dare broke away at the half way stage as he put in a strong effort up one of the testing climbs on the route and was never headed as he came home the victor in 34:28.
Jeremy Mower was the next City runner home, placing fourth overall and first M50 in 37:27, with Steve Haines placing 15th in 40:15 to clinch the team prize.
Dave Gresswell was just behind, placing 17th in 41:16, while Paul Corderoy placed 26th in 43:01. Paul Loveridge placed 37th in 45:05, Dave Spackman placed 85th in 53:32 and Helen Haines 97th in 55:38.
Gloucester’s Jeremy Mower competed for Wales at last week’s annual Anglo-Celtic 100km road race at Perth in Scotland. Sixty runners started the gruelling event, run over 42 laps of the North Insch Park, with Mower finishing in 21st place in 8:52:32 to complete his 15th consecutive appearance in the event.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jo Willoughby produced an outstanding performance at the World Masters Athletics Indoors Championships in Torun, Poland last Thursday to take the silver medal in the W55 Triple Jump category.
Longlevens-based Willoughby’s preparations in the lead-up to the Championships had been hampered by an achilles tendon injury that had threatened her participation in the competition, but she called on all of her experience and vast knowledge of the event to produce an indoors personal best leap of 10.52 metres that smashed the existing UK age-group best and equal the European record.
Afterwards, she said: “I’m so happy with this performance as right up to the last minute, I didn’t know if I would be able to jump or not. I went off a shorter run-up than usual and, to be honest, I still don’t know where that leap came from!”
Gloucester club mate Richard Blackwell competed in the M60 60 metres, placing 3rd in his heat in 6.68 seconds before placing 8th in his semi-final.
At the recent Midlands Area 12-stage Road Relays, the Gloucester club’s men’s team placed 25th overall in a highly competitive event.
James Denne ran the quickest long leg of 5.38 miles in 28:13, while Harry Wells produced an excellent run to record the team’s fastest short leg (3.17 miles) of 16:46.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s James Walters was more than happy with his run at Sunday’s Gloucester 20-mile road race as he crossed the finish line in 9th place in 2:03:42, a personal best by just over one minute.
The 20-mile is the one road event that the Gloucester club stages and, over many years, has built up a reputation for its slick organisation and friendly support over the course that takes 500 runners through the lanes of Haresfield.
Walters had set himself a target of running at 6:15 mile pace, his aim for next month’s London Marathon, but found himself being caught up in a group who started to increase that pace after the five-mile mark, leaving the Gloucester runner with a choice of either going with the pace and paying the price in the closing stages or slowing down. Walters wisely decided to hold back and stick to his original pace, passing through the half-way point in a shade over 60 minutes and then hold on to finish strongly.
Afterwards he said: “I knew that I would have suffered if I had gone with the pace, so I’m happy that I stuck to my plan. At this stage of my heavy training and with London just six weeks away, I’ll settle for that time.”
Paul Corderoy was the next host Club runner home, placing 156th in 2:39:19, ahead of Amy Walker who placed 176th overall and 7th LV35 in 2:42:49. Neil Hobbs clocked 2:46:22 in 200th place, Sophie Hope placed 243rd in 2:51:50, Maisie Abbott clocked 3:00:01 in 299th and Andrea Preedy 340th of the 450 finishers in 3:06:39.
New Club signing Adam Cracknell placed 62nd in Sunday’s Reading Half Marathon, clocking 1:13:12. Wayne Mayer clocked 1:22:34 in 224th place, while Mike Mansfield continued his preparations for the London Marathon placing 228th in 1:22:35. Graham Davis clocked a personal best 1:27:30 in 426th and Simon Barnes finished in 3850th in 2:06:31.
In the final Midland Counties Indoors Open Meeting at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, Ellie Wheeler-Smith clocked 7.94 seconds for the 60 metres before setting a new Club U17W record of 12.53 seconds for the rarely-run indoors 100 metres.
The 2018-19 winter cross-country season drew to a close with the annual CAU Inter-Counties Cross-country Championships in very windy and blustery conditions at Loughborough on Saturday.
Briony Bishop has enjoyed her best-ever season, establishing herself as one of the leading junior ladies in the county and a mainstay of the Gloucester club’s successful senior ladies team over the winter. At Loughborough, she achieved her highest placing in the event when placing 82nd in the U20 Women’s race.
By comparison, Club mate Jeremy Mower was one of the more senior members of the County squad and placed 282nd overall and 4th Gloucestershire runner in the senior men’s race.
At the British Masters Indoors Championships at Lee Valley in north London, Tina Wickens ran a perfectly-judged race to win the W50 800 metres in a new personal best time of 2:32:85, the second-fastest by a British W50 this year, to eclipse the 10-year old club indoor age group record held by Angie Alstrachen.
This Sunday sees the Gloucester club stage its only road race, the Gloucester 20-mile road race around the lanes of Haresfield. The race starts at the Robin Greave Sports Centre on the Waterwells estate at 9:30am.
Four Gloucester Athletic Club members, Nick Bishop, Clive Poole, Stephen Shields and Mark Thrall competed in Saturday’s Green Man ultra-marathon, an arduous 45-mile event that follows the Community Forest Path around Bristol, with the famous City providing a stunning backdrop.
Thrall was the first runner of the group, placing 44th of the 195 finishers in 8:41:28, while Poole, Bishop and Shields crossed the line together in 10:19:36.
At the Welsh Athletics Indoor event at Cardiff, youngster Tricia Stanfield found herself up against athletes several years her senior in the 200 metres. Unfazed, she placed 3rd in a season’s best 28.11 seconds.
Gloucester Athletic Club are hosting a Graded Open Meeting at their Blackbridge track on Tuesday 4th June.
There will be events ranging from 75 metres to 1500 metres, for all age groups from U11s upwards and will include para-athletes and race-runners. All races will feature electronic timing.
Entries are now open on the Club’s website (on-line entries only) at www.gloucesterac.co.uk
Youngsters Briony Bishop and Millie Porter and James Denne in the senior men’s race produced the stand-out performances in the warm and sunny conditions at Saturday’s Saucony English National Cross-Country Championships at Harewood House in Leeds as the cream of English distance runners descended on the Yorkshire city for the 131st running of this historic event.
U17W Millie has raced sparingly this winter, concentrating on her studies, but her run in the previous week’s Gloucestershire League fixture where she placed 15th in the senior/U17W combined race suggested that she was in good fettle. And so it proved as she placed 86th of the 220 finishers.
U20W Briony has been one of the success stories of the winter, establishing herself as a leading member of the Club’s senior women’s team that won promotion to Division One of the Midland Women’s League and twice leading the team home in Gloucestershire League races. In a particularly competitive Junior Ladies race, she produced another excellent run to place 80th.
Since joining the City Club from county rivals Cheltenham, James Denne has made a significant contribution to the senior men’s team in their successful Birmingham League Division Three title-winning team. He acquitted himself well in his first National and finished in a very credible 155th place.
Several more Club members made the long trip north to experience the unique atmosphere that only the National can offer.
The senior men’s race was most supported, as Owen Parry and James Walters again renewed their season-long rivalry and it was again Parry who prevailed, as he overcame a fall during the massed-start to place 711th, with training partner Walter coming home in 741st place. Steve Haines was next to finish, placing 975th, Dave Gresswell was 1,362nd, Ian Summers 1,607th, Aaron Bennett 1,751st and veteran Chris O’Carroll 1,983rd.
Kirsty Reid placed 799th in the senior women’s race and youngster Jessica Stronger came home in 364th in the U13 Girls event.
Club spokesman Richard Blackwell said: “It’s important that we offer the very best competition available to our members as it’s a great opportunity for them to rub shoulders with the very best runners of their age group in the country, as well as inspiring the younger ones to greater things for the future. The National is now an established fixture on our racing calendar and we shall continue to encourage our runners of all ages to compete and to enjoy the experience.”
Young sprinter Ellie Wheeler-Smith found the going tough at the English U17 Indoor Championships at Sheffield at the weekend.
On Saturday she competed in the 60 metres, placing 2nd in her heat in 7.97 seconds before placing 5th in the semi-final in the same time. The following day, she raced in the 200 metres and placed 2nd in her heat with a time of 25.75 seconds.
At the previous weekend’s City of Birmingham Games at the National Indoor Arena, Kate Davies had a busy afternoon, setting two new indoor personal bests for the senior 60m hurdles (9.88 seconds) and long jump (4.90 metres) as well as clearing a season’s best 1.60 metres in the high jump. Training partner Julia Johnson set a new indoor personal best when jumping 4.50 metres in the U17W long jump. Sprinter Sophie Temple ran a new indoor personal best and her third fastest-ever 400 metres when clocking 62.28 seconds.
Gloucester Athletic Club members made the most of the good conditions when competing in Sunday’s Bourton 10K Road Race.
Max Sheppard knocked over 30 seconds off his previous best time for the distance when clocking 36:18 to lead the Club’s contingent home in 28th place.
Steve Robbins was the next home, clocking 39:32 in 85th place, just ahead of Hayley Winters whose 39:37, her fastest for three years, secured her 88th place overall and 1st lady.
Graham Davis clocked 40:55 in 126th place, while Arthur Daley just held off fast-finishing Tina Wickens as they placed 176th and 177th in 43:02. Peter Jeffery placed 216th in 45:03, Sophie Hope clocked 45:41 in 231st, Amy Walker 46:03 in 243rd, Helen Haines 55:49 in 438th and Simon Barnes 59:23 in 503rd place.
Gloucester Athletic Club concluded a successful Gloucestershire Cross-Country League campaign at the final round of races at Pittville Park on Sunday.
With the Club’s main priorities, the Birmingham and Midland Women’s Cross-Country Leagues, safely out of the way several of the Club’s athletes were hoping for further success in this competition in team and individual categories.
Even though the senior ladies team were still on a high from their promotion-winning performance in the Midland League, they were keen to secure team medals in this competition. Briony Bishop has established herself as one of the team’s stand-out runners over the winter and again produced another performance that belied her 18 years as she crossed the line in 11th place to lead the team home. Training partner Anna Midgley finished just one place down in 12th with youngster Millie Porter, in her first race of the season, producing a fine run to place 15th overall and second in the U17W category as the ‘A’ team took a fine second place on the day. The results secured the team 3rd place over the season.
Another U17, Evie Green, led the ‘B’ team home when placing 22nd, ahead of Kim Millward in her first race of the season in 27th place and Grace Vido in 34th.
Nicola Waters placed 63rd overall and 1st W60 on the day, to take the league age category title, Abby Brook placed 86th and Trudy Wells 94th to complete the ‘C’ team while Emma Jeffery placed 105th and Charlotte Hall 106th.
The ladies race incorporated the men’s masters’ race and in his first race of the year, Arthur Daley placed 1st in the M65 category, while Chris O’Carroll won the M70 age group.
Steve Millward will have been pleased that he made a last-minute decision to contest the men’s race as he came home in 5th place in his first county League race in five years. Owen Parry produced another consistent run to place 34th, just ahead of team mate James Walters in 37th. Dave Gresswell and John Nash were locked together throughout the race, with Gresswell holding on to place 92nd, just one place and three seconds ahead of Nash. The team was completed by Aaron Bennett who came home in 163rd place. Chris Davis completed the squad, placing 182nd.
Like several of the senior runners, Toby Scott had fallen victim to a virus during the week but produced a consistent run in the U20M race to take 7th place.
Jessica Hill led the City team to second place on the day in the U15 Girls race, placing 4th. Katherine Mills came home in 7th place and Lucy Jeffery 13th. Amber Spackman placed 16th. The U15 Boys race saw Ethan Hood place 11th and Ben Darlow 17th.
In the U13 Girls race, Jess Stringer placed 24th and Chloe Shephard 36th, while in the Boys race Oliver Mitchell placed 19th.
In the youngest age groups of the meeting, the U11s, Ruth Brook took 3rd place in the Girls race. Matilda Farmer placed 51st and Bailey Ward 55th. The Boys race saw a 23rd place finish for Lucas Simpson with Ben Mandeville placing 27th.
Sprinter Ellie Wheeler-Smith continued her fine indoor form at the Birmingham Games meeting at the National Indoor Arena. She opened up with a 7.92 seconds clocking in the U17W 60 metres before stopping the clock in the 200 metres at 25.47 seconds to eclipse Gael Davies’ club record set some 24 years ago.
Training partner Isobelle Herbert also had a busy day, setting new indoor personal best times for the 200 metres, 28.17 seconds, and the 300 metres, 45.55 seconds.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior cross-country teams produced outstanding results to bring their Midland Women’s and Birmingham & District Men’s Cross-Country Leagues to a highly successful conclusion in the mud and water at the Cattle Country Adventure Park in Berkeley on Saturday.
The men went into their Division Three match with a healthy lead over their nearest rivals Newcastle (Staffs) AC, meaning the real business of the race was hoping that Harry Wells could produce another strong run and keep in touch with Solihull’s Chris McLeod to determine which of the two would win the individual overall League win for the season.
McLeod made his customary strong start and by the half-way mark of the six and a half kilometers course, held a 30 second lead over the Gloucester youngster, with Wells’ team mates, James Denne, Steve Millward and Steve Kenyon all making light of the conditions.
McLeod came home the winner with Wells running a tactically sound race to come home in second place to ensure the pair shared the overall title. Denne produced his best run of the season to come home in third place with Millward and Kenyon coming home in fourth and fifth respectively. Owen Parry placed 15th with James Walters coming home in 20th place to complete the ‘A’ team and give the City squad an unassailable lead at the top of the table, with a season’s best match total of 49 points.
Much of the Club’s success during the season has been built around the reserve strength and again the support runners were out in force. Jeremy Mower ran strongly to place 23rd and lead the ‘B’ team home, ahead of Glen Balmer in a season’s best 28th place. In his first League race for five years, Max Sheppard produced a strong run to place 36th, with Steve Haines in 38th. Jason Tilley also achieved a season’s best placing, finishing in 46th with Peter Haynes completing the ‘B’ team in 63rd place to secure a team competition win for the reserve squad with 234 points.
Steve Robbins was the next City runner home, placing 68th, while Dave Gresswell came home in 104th place of the 211 finishers to complete a dominant display by the team.
Afterwards, team captain Steve Millward said: “The success of the season has been down to a great spirit in the camp, the support of all of the runners and coaches and some tremendously hard work. The results are nothing less than the athletes deserve. We hope we can keep up the momentum and take this into the road relay season and beyond.”
1st Chris McLeod (Newcastle Staffs AC); 2nd Harry Wells (Gloucester AC); 3rd James Denne (Gloucester AC); 4th Steve Millward (Gloucester AC); 5th Steve Kenyon (Gloucester AC).
A teams - 1st Gloucester AC 49pts; 2nd Newcastle (Staffs) AC 93; 3rd Solihull &Smallheath 148.
B teams – 1st Gloucester 234; 2nd Massey Ferguson RC 427; 3rd Newcastle (Staffs) AC 473.
A teams – 1st Gloucester AC 268; 2nd Newcastle (Staffs) AC 387; 3rd Massey Ferguson RC 666.
B teams – 1st Gloucester AC 1400 pts; Newcastle (Staffs) AC 1841; 3rd place Massey Ferguson 1929.
If the men’s overall team result could have been expected, given their dominance throughout the season, the performances of the City’s women’s team in the Midland Women’s League have been nothing short of remarkable.
Making a return to the League after an absence of 10 years, the team went into Saturday’s match lying in fourth place overall with a sizeable gap to close if they were to secure promotion to Division One.
Gemma Collier made her customary strong start to the four-and-a-half mile race, giving her team mates a target to chase. As the race settled down, the scoring quartet of Collier, Hayley Winters, Anna Midgley and Briony Bishop forced their way through to the top 20 of the 200-strong field. Such was their determination, they all pushed through to achieve season’s best places with Hayley leading the team home in 7th place, closely followed by Anna in 8th and Briony in 10th place overall and second junior, with Gemma completing the team in 18th place, giving them victory in the team race with 41 points and sealing the final promotion place.
As in the men’s race, the reserves provided solid back-up with Tina Wickens also securing a season’s best 35th placing, Grace Vido 53rd, Liz Usedon 98th and Trudy Wells 106th to spark off the celebrations.
Team manager Paul de-Camps was jubilant at the finish, saying: “Every one of the team has worked hard throughout the season for this result, and their well-deserved promotion fully vindicates our decision to return to the League. This will really start the ball rolling back at the Club with other runners waiting to come into the squad.”
Gloucester sprinter Ellie Wheeler-Smith recorded a new personal best time of 7.88 seconds winning the silver medal in the U17 Women’s 60 metres at Sunday’s Midlands Indoors Championships at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium.
A quartet of Gloucester Athletic Club members braved the snow and icy conditions to compete in last Sunday’s May Hill Massacre and Mayhem races.
In the shorter nine-miles Massacre trail race, Nick Bishop placed 17th in a personal best time of 1:22:01, Stephen Shields placed 54th in 1:33:20 and Liz Usedon placing 98th in 1:50:10.
Club mate Clive Poole competed in the inaugural May Hill Mayhem 15-miiles trail race which included four ascents of the hill in challenging conditions and placed 29th in 2:37:01.
Poole, Bishop and Shields were using the events as a warm-up run ahead of next month’s Green Man ultra-trail event which takes place over a 45-mile course around Bristol.
Gloucester senior women and men will be in racing action at the Cattle Country Adventure Park in Berkeley this Saturday in their final Midland Women’s and Birmingham & District Cross-country League races of the season.
The men are virtually assured of the Division Three title in their League while the women will be trying to close a gap to earn promotion to Division One in their first appearance in the Women’s League for over a decade.
The racing starts at 1:30pm.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Kenyon secured his second local road race win in eight days when he came home a clear winner of Sunday’s Staverton 10-mile road race in a personal best time of 56:14.
The biting cold wind made the going hard for the 180-strong field and put paid to fast times, but the conditions did not seem to deter Kenyon as he tore around the lanes of Churchdown and Staverton to cross the line 40 seconds clear of his closest challenger to further enhance his growing reputation on the County road race circuit.
Club mate James Walters provided solid support, placing 11th in 60:69, while Jeremy Mower clocked 73:50 in 19th overall and second M50 to secure second place for the team.
Peter Haynes was the next runner home for the City team, placing 24th in a personal best 64:53. Steve Haines finished two places behind in 65:22, while Dave Gresswell placed 34th in 66:45.
Anna Midgley placed 74th in 75:32 while Helen Haines placed 140th in 94:09 to complete the Club’s contingent.
Entries are flooding in for this year’s Gloucester 20-mile Road Race which takes place on Sunday 17th March around the lanes of Haresfield and the Waterwells area of Quedgeley.
The event, which is the only race staged by the Gloucester club, has a long history dating back to the 1970s when it used to be a straight race from the Oxbode in the City Centre out to Cheltenham and then back again for a total of 18 miles.
Since then, road alterations and an increase in traffic have caused the race to move to its present location and in recent years it has become one of the most popular events in the county, attracting hundreds of runners who are preparing for spring marathons.
Club spokesman Richard Blackwell says “This is the only race that the Club organises and it’s one of which we are justly proud, given its history and reputation. A huge amount of work goes into staging the event and all of our groups turn out to help on the day as every penny raised goes back into Gloucester AC and the sport.”
Entry for the event is via the Club’s website, www.gloucesterac.co.uk.
Gloucester Athletic Club members continued their good form in a range of events over the weekend.
Steve Kenyon started 2019 where he finished 2018, with another commanding local road race victory as he broke the tape at Sunday’s Linda Franks 5-mile Road Race around the Reddings area of Cheltenham some 45 seconds clear of his nearest rival in an impressive 27:04, his best time for the distance. Still a relative novice, Kenyon has built up quite a reputation on the local scene.
Although cold, the conditions were good for running and the rest of a sizeable Gloucester entry recorded some encouraging performances.
Max Sheppard was the next City runner home, crossing the line in 7th place in 28:15, a personal best by 90 seconds, while Jeremy Mower just crept into the top 10, placing 10th overall and first M50 in 29:13, his fastest for two years.
Steve Haines was another runner to record a personal best, clocking 29:49 in 18th place, as was Jason Tilley whose 30:15 clocking in 22nd place was an improvement of 18 seconds on his previous best.
Just behind was Tracy Hinxman, who knocked over 40 seconds off her personal best time with 30:20 to place 34th overall and 2nd lady, just ahead of Graham Davis who produced probably his best-ever run when taking over two minutes off his previous best with a 30:28 clocking in 25th place.
Ladies cross-country captain Anna Midgley was the next Club runner home, crossing the line in 44th place in a new personal best 32:09, while newcomer Mark Perkins placed 105th in 37:48 in his first 5-miler. Dave Spackman celebrated his birthday by placing 142nd overall and second M70 in 41:00, while Helen Haines completed the City Club’s contingent placing 170th in 43:24.
Meanwhile, a top-quality line-up assembled at the Speedway 10K road race in Chepstow where the first three finishers all broke the magic 30-minutes barrier.
Steve Millward was hoping for a fast time, having produced his best run of the winter at the previous week’s Birmingham Cross-Country League fixture, and went out hard from the gun. Passing through the first 5k in a shade over 16:30, he quickened up over the second half of the race to come home in 25th place in 32:41, his fastest for nine years.
Mike Mansfield placed 84th in 36:51, Steve Robbins ran his second fastest-ever time of 39:26 in 114th place while Hayley Winters was just outside the 40-minutes mark with a 40:03 performance in 124th place.
Competing in the Gloucester 50K around Haresfield and Hardwicke on Sunday, Clive Poole placed 17th overall and third in the M50 category in 4:45:07.
Several members of the Club’s track & field team travelled down to the Cardiff Met University track to compete in the latest Welsh Athletics indoor meeting on Sunday.
Joel Townley will have been very satisfied with his afternoon’s work, jumping his best-ever indoors long jump of 6.60 metres before setting a new personal best time of 7.40 seconds for the 60 metres. Training partners Kate Davies and Ollie Keitley were also pleased with their work-outs. Davies jumped 4.88 metres in the ladies’ long jump before clearing 1.56 metres in the high jump, while Keitley produced the second furthest triple jump of his career, 12.92 metres.
Their coach, Jo Willoughby, showed that her sprinting speed is coming along nicely ahead of March’s World Indoors Masters Championships in Poland as she clocked 8.82 seconds and 29.64 seconds for the 60 metres and 200 metres respectively, while husband Ian was clocked at 9.11 seconds for the 60 metres.
Gloucester Athletic Club will be holding their 2019 Annual General Meeting at the Fountain Inn, Westgate street, Gloucester on Monday 11th February, starting at 7:30pm. All members are encouraged to attend.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior cross-country teams enjoyed a field day in the penultimate round of their respective Midland Women’s Cross-Country League and Birmingham & District Cross-Country League races at Churchfields Farm in Droitwich on Saturday.
The men stormed to their third consecutive team win to virtually secure the Division Three title, while the ladies team produced their strongest team performance of the season to claim second place on the day and put themselves in with a fighting chance of winning promotion at the final race of the season next month at the Cattle Country Park in Berkeley.
The men’s team targeted a quick return to the second division following a disappointing campaign last year which saw them relegated to the third tier and, under the leadership of team captain Steve Millward, the endurance group in the Club has responded splendidly.
On Saturday, Solihull’s talented junior Chris McLeod went to the front from the gun and was never headed, coming home with a clear 30 second lead. It was Millward himself who led the City team home as he led the rest of the field, coming home in second place nearly 40 seconds ahead of team mate and third-placed James Denne who was running his first League race for the Club.
Harry Wells had won both the preceding races this season but did not find the twists and turns and blustery conditions of the Droitwich course to his liking, coming home in fourth place. Steve Kenyon is usually more at home on the roads where he is building up quite a reputation as one of the leading road runners on the local scene. Answering Millward’s call to race, he came home in ninth place as the City squad dominated the top 10 placings.
Owen Parry was the next home, crossing the line in 20th place, two places of the team’s sixth scorer, James Walters, to give the ‘A’ team a solid score of 60 points, 22 points ahead of second-placed Newcastle (Staffs) AC.
The reserves have given excellent support to the ‘A’ team this season and on Saturday Jeremy Mower led the ‘B’ home when he placed 33rd, ahead of Glen Balmer in 37th place. Steve Haines came home in 46th place, Jason Tilley 60th with Peter Haynes placing 67th to secure a win for the ‘B’ team with a season’s best score of 330 points, 22 ahead of Newcastle (Staffs).
On a day when the Club could have fielded three teams, the other placers were:
Dave Gresswell 87th, Mike Mansfield 101st, Clive Poole 164th, Arthur Daley 173rd, Amar Patel 197th, Luke Herbert 204th, Aaron Bennett 217th and Chris O’Carroll 269th.
The ladies have made an excellent return to the Midland Women’s League after a 10-year absence, finding themselves in a strong position after three races.
Like Steve Millward has for the men, team manager Paul de-Camps has developed a cohesive and combative unit that is relishing the fresh challenge.
Team captain Anna Midgley carried her form from the previous week’s County championships into the Droitwich race and produced a season’s best 12th place to lead the team home. Hayley Winters was just behind, placing 15th, with Briony Bishop coming home in 18th place.
The team welcomed back Gemma Collier for her first race of the season and she had a terrific battle with Charlotte McGlone throughout as they fought for the 4th scoring place in the team. Gemma prevailed to come home in 26th place with Charlotte crossing the line in 28th place. Gemma’s position earned the team their best-ever league placing of second.
Tina Wickens was the next runner home, finishing in 36th, Emily Coyne placed 50th, Grace Vido came home in 58th, Liz Usedon 114th and Trudy Wells 145th.
After the meeting, both Steve Millward and Paul de-Camps were full of praise for their squads, saying “The endurance groups have really got behind the League teams this season and the support they’re giving is reflected in the teams’ positions. The final round is on 9th February and it will be a fantastic achievement for the Club if both teams can win promotion.”
Gloucester Athletic Club runners fared well in the first races of 2019, the Gloucestershire County Cross-Championships at Rendcomb College near Cirencester on Saturday, winning medals across a range of age groups.
In perfect racing conditions and on a course that offered everything from hills, slopes and a small river to cross, this was a day for the cross-country purists and spectators were treated to a day of committed and high-quality racing.
The development of the senior ladies’ team has been one of the Club’s big success stories this winter and they produced another strong performance on Saturday. Bristol & West’s Zoe Wassall was a class apart, finishing 90 seconds ahead of her closest rival. The City squad welcomed back Bethan Moor from Plymouth University where she is studying medicine and she had an excellent run, placing 10th overall and 2nd U20 Lady. Anna Midgely had one of her best races of the winter, coming home in 12th place and 2nd in the W35 category, with another teenager Briony Bishop placing 13th overall and 3rd U20.
Next home was Tina Wickens, who produced a strong run to place 18th overall and 2nd W50, just ahead of Charlotte McGlone in 19th place and Sophie Hope in 23rd place as the ‘B’ team placed 6th overall.
The ‘C’ team was led home by Grace Vido in 29th, with Amy Walker placing 33rd and Liz Usedon 43rd. In her first race of the season, Laura McPeake placed 44th.
To add to the individual medals, the U20s team of Moor, Bishop and McPeake won the U20s team title, the senior team of Moor, Midgley and Bishop took the bronze medal while the Masters team of Midgley, Wickens and Vido won the bronze in their category.
The Club’s senior men also came away with credit. Despite being in only his second season of competitive athletics, Owen Parry appears comfortable at this level as he came home in a very respectable 16th place. Jeremy Mower and James Walters battled ferociously over the final 100 metres, with Mower just prevailing to place 24th overall and 1st M50, just one second ahead of his team mate.
Steve Haines was the next home, placing 32nd, while Mark Keeling was unfortunate to pull a hamstring some 800 metres from the finish as he came home in 34th place overall. It will have been a small consolation to learn he was second in the M50 age group. The men’s ‘A’ team was completed by Dave Gresswell in 62nd place.
John Nash was making his first appearance in these Championships and should be pleased with his 70th place finish, while Clive Poole in 87th and Aaron Bennett in 97th completed the squad.
The U17s age group races saw further medals for the City Club as Bethan Powell won the bronze medal and Toby Scott the silver in their respective races.
The U15 Girls have been enjoying a successful winter and stormed to the team gold as Jessica Hill placed 2nd, Tilly Ashley 5th and Katherine Mills 6th while Emma Tillott was not far behind, placing 8th.
In the U13s races, Jess Stringer placed 15th and Chloe Shephard 17th in the girls’ event, while Ollie Mitchell placed 14th in the boys’ event.
The last medals of the Club’s haul came in the U11 Girls category where Ruth Brook placed 3rd, Lydia Wang 7th and Adelina Ducker 17th as the youngsters took a well-earned silver medal.
Competing in the iconic Nos Galan New Year’s Eve road race in Mountain Ash, Andrew de-Camps placed 117th in 19:45 and Hayley Winters placed 134th overall and 4th W35 in 20:06.
In Sunday’s Open Indoor Meeting at the Cardiff Met University track, Gloucester youngster Sulaiman Ouiles set personal bests and new Club age group indoor records of 10.45 seconds for the 60 metres Hurdles and 2.60 metres for the pole vault as well as a personal best 9.23 seconds for the 60 metres.
In the U17 Women’s 60 metres, Ellie Wheeler-Smith clocked 8.03 seconds.