Seven Sins – 27&28/12/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club members travelled down to the Forest of Dean to compete in the popular Seven Sins races on Saturday and Sunday (27th & 28th).
Both races are run over the same seven miles course that takes in seven steep climbs and two long water tunnels.
In Saturday’s race, Philip du Plessis placed 64th in 1:11:45 and Sue Higgins 60th in 1:10:36.
There was a larger Club turn-out in Sunday’s race where Matt Boon placed 9th in 57:27. Matt Powell placed 36th in 1:04:50, Charlotte McGlone placed 56th in 1:09:14, Colin Westbury 66th in 1:12:01, Denise Evans 67th in 1:12:22 and Sharon Paintin 159th in 1:39:38.
St Stephen’s Day Race – 26/12/21014
Gloucester Athletic Club youngster Andrew McPeake recorded 27:51 to place 13th overall and 1st in the U17 age group at the Severn AC St Stephen’s Day Four-Miles road race. A member of the Club’s junior endurance group, this was the furthest he has raced on the roads and further evidence of his improvement this winter.
Dave Spackman placed 22nd overall and 1st M65 in 32:37 whilst Karen Voyce, a member of the Club’s Blackbridge Running Group for beginners, placed 23rd in 33:41 – a personal best by over four minutes.
Christmas XC Handicap
There was a strong Gloucester Athletic Club presence at the annual Severn AC Christmas Cross-country Handicap Race over 4.7 miles at Plock Court, with over half of the competitors racing in the famous red and white vests.
Peter Jeffery was the Club’s first runner to finish. Given a six minutes lead on the scratch runner, he finished second in 38:41. Nathan Smith was the next City runner home, placing 5th in 38:49, the fastest time by a Club runner on the day.
Dave Spackman was the oldest competitor in the field, at nearly 70. He overtook the lead-off runner after one mile and actually led the race until the four-miles mark when he was caught by the chasing pack. He eventually placed 8th in 38:49.
Dave Gresswell was next home, in 9th place in 40:53, ahead of Emma Jeffery (11th in 42:32) and Rob Jordan (12th in 44:05).
Autumn University Term
Several of Gloucester Athletic Club’s leading Under-20 athletes have been producing some impressive results whilst competing for their universities during the autumn.
Alex George has been in sparkling form for his Arkansas Razorbacks team in America. He twice won the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week award, on the back of which he was also voted the SEC Freshman of the Year, and he also placed 10th in the SEC cross-country championships.
Kate Davies and Jacob Lange found themselves competing on opposite sides at the annual Oxford v Cambridge Freshers Varsity match at Oxford in November. Representing the dark blues of Oxford, heptathlete Davies won the ladies long jump with a new personal best leap of 5.22 metres, won the high jump with a 1.50m clearance and then took two second places in the shot putt (9.76m) and the 100m hurdles (17.8 seconds). Wearing the light blue of Cambridge, Lange won the men’s hammer event with a best throw of 47.83 metres.
Meanwhile, down at Exeter University, Tom Beckett set a new triple jump personal best of 12.28 metres when winning their Varsity event.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s junior athletes will be in action at the Leisure Centre in Tommy Taylor’s Lane, Cheltenham on Saturday (20th) in the latest round of the Sportshall League. Places are still available and anyone interested should contact Bob Purcell on 01452 417990.
Gloucestershire Cross-Country League – 13/12/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men’s team took a very respectable eighth place in the third round of this winter’s Gloucestershire Cross-country League in the latest fixture at Pittville, Cheltenham on Saturday (13th).
Nathan Smith produced another strong run as he led the team home in 35th place, just ahead of team-mate Freek van Arkel, who placed 37th. Steven Haines placed 48th and James Head 68th, as these four runners all demonstrated their improved form this season.
Matt Powell returned from injury to place 97th, with Dave Gresswell finishing in 114th place to complete the ‘A’ squad.
The ‘B’ team was led home by Matt Flynn in 120th place, narrowly defeating Arthur Daley who placed 121st overall and 1st in the M65 category. Simon Barnes was the next City runner home, placing 136th, with Aaron Bennett (142nd), Peter Jeffery (144th) and Clive Poole (177th) completing the ‘B’ team.
Russell Kirby placed 179th with M70 Chris O’Carroll completing the City seniors in 212nd place.
Juniors Andrew McPeake and Marcus Holba both showed signs of their improvement this winter as they placed 7th (U17M) and 13th (U13B) respectively.
In the senior ladies race, there was another assured performance by the Club’s leading distance runner, Hayley Winters, as she led the team home in 13th place in only her second ever cross-country race. Behind her, Kim Millward produced her best run since returning from a maternity lay-off to place 17th and with Charlotte McGlone placing 24th, the ladies ‘A’ team took 6th place.
Suzanne Harding was next home, in 29th, and with Kirsty Branch taking 34th place and cross-country debutante Sydney Dobberson finishing in 47th, the ‘B’ team achieved their highest league placing (9th) for several years.
Miranda Bass placed 69th and Emma Jeffery 70th to complete the senior ladies squad.
Illness robbed the Club’s junior ladies teams of several runners, but Bethan Moor produced another strong run to take 2nd spot in the U17W race. Tara Sladen placed 8th and Abi Pearce 10th as the team placed 2nd in their category.
Laura McPeake achieved her highest-ever placing in this league, when finishing 2nd in the U15G race, with Briony Bishop placing 13th.
In the U13G event, Elissa Moor placed 36th whilst Jessica Duncton and Lucy Jeffery placed 19th and 21st respectively in the U11G race.
Jurassic Trail Half Marathon / Bath Skyline 10 - 07/12/2014
Three Gloucester Athletic Club members ran the Endurance Life Jurassic Trail Half Marathon which was well over the half marathon distance being advertised as 16.3 miles long with climbs totalling 3559ft. With 3 miles to go Wayne Mayer was in 6th place but then made up a couple of places and with1 mile to go got into 4th place; a strenuous effort along the final run in along a pebble beach gained him the Bronze medal in the race and also first veteran to finish in a time of 2:20:42. Team mates Jason Tilley and Tom Randles finished in 25th and 211th places in 2:41:42 and 3:32:29 respectively.
Charlotte McGlone also enjoyed trail running with climbs but at the Bath Skyline 10 setting a race PB of 54:20 despite running into the wind, tough climbs and very slippery descents. She took 2 minutes off last months race and has improved by 8 minutes over last year's performances.
Birmingham Cross Country League - 06/12/2014
An injury-hit Gloucester AC took to Plock Court for the 2nd Division 2 fixture of the Birmingham Cross-Country League last Saturday. With the race being held over three laps of the flat grassland, it made for a fast, tough race for all athletes.
The A team was led home by Richard de-Camps whose bold tactics saw him settle amongst a lead group of 5 in the early stages of the race. Despite being dropped by a strong front four on the second lap, de-Camps had been dragged clear of the rest of the field, allowing him to take a deserved 5th position. Fresh from a night shift, Nathan Smith was next home for the team finishing in 52nd position. Jack Evans returned from his studies at Oxford University to boost the team with a 61st place finish. Steven Haines produced another good performance for the team, placing 78th with Lee Smith, making a welcome return after recent injury troubles, not far behind in 83rd position. James Head completed the scoring six for the A team, just as he did in the 1st fixture, with an improved 93rd place finish.
Gloucester was also able to complete a B team for the first time this season. Matt Newman performed well on his cross-country debut for the club, placing 126th. Club stalwart Dave Gresswell placed 136th with Max Sheppard and Matt Powell finishing 147th and 153rd respectively. Aaron Bennett was the next finisher, taking 184th, with the B team being completed by Simon Barnes who placed 191st.
Team scores on the day saw the Gloucester A team take 9th position out of the 18 teams with a score of 372 points whilst the B team placed 6th out of 12. These results mean Gloucester now lie in 7th position overall in Division 2 after two of the four fixtures.
Team Captain Richard de-Camps noted after the race: “We were missing 6 potential A team scorers due to injury so it was always going to be a tough ask to achieve a good team result today. However, everyone who raced today battled well for the team and produced strong individual performances.”
Runway 10K – 30/11/2014
There was a strong Gloucester Athletic Club presence at the CLC Striders-organised Runway 10 km road race on Sunday (30th).
The event took place on the fog-bound lanes encircling Staverton Airport and attracted 160 runners.
Stephen Haines and James Head led the Gloucester charge and remained locked together in the top dozen runners throughout the early stages. At the four-mile mark, Haines made his move, pulling away from his club mate on a downhill stretch to finish in 8th place in 37:57, a new personal best time by two minutes. Head placed 9th in 38:11, also a new personal best time.
Hayley Winters was the first senior lady to finish, crossing the line in 22nd place in 40:37, with Matt Newman placing 24th in 40:53, a two minute improvement on his previous best.
Just behind was Arthur Daley, in 26th place. His 41:00 clocking was a new Club M65 best by nearly two minutes and ranks him in the UK top 25 in both M60 and M65 age categories.
Suzanne Harding showed few ill-effects of a recent Achilles tendon injury as she reduced her personal best time to 42:29 in 35th place and there was also a personal best for Charlotte McGlone, who placed 50th in 44:38.
Nick Bishop placed 52nd in 44:52, Clive Poole set a new personal best time of 45:38 in 57th place, Colin Westbury knocked nearly three minutes off his best when placing 59th in 45:40 and Sharon Paintin placed 128th in 55:34.
British Biathlon Championships – 30/11/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Laura McPeake placed 19th overall in the U15 category at the British Biathlon Championships in Birmingham on Sunday (30th).
A personal best time of 61:00 seconds for the 100 metres swim left her in 25th place and she hauled herself up to 19th when clocking the 12th fastest time of the day (5:47) in the 1600 metres run.
British Athletics Cross-Country Challenge – 29/11/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Richard de-Camps and Thomas George travelled up to Sefton Park in Liverpool on Saturday (29th) to compete in the opening British Athletics Cross-Country Challenge fixture of the season. The event doubled up as the trials for the European Cross-Country Championships, thus attracting the very best cross-country runners from across the UK.
The predominantly flat yet soft and spongy course grew increasingly heavy during the afternoon meaning that by the time the senior men’s 10 km race came around, the course resembled a mud bath.
The conditions did not deter the seniors from setting a fast and frantic pace right from the start as the field chased the top six places that would secure qualification for the Championships team. De-Camps went with the pace and hung in well, producing a strong finish that has become a trademark this winter to finish in a very respectable 133rd place in 33:09. Afterwards he said “I’m pleased with that run because I was able to finish strongly despite going off hard. The time was very encouraging and gives me a lot of confidence going into my 10 km road debut at Telford in two weeks time.”
Training partner George could not produce his excellent form of late. The hip injury which had hindered his training in the 10 days leading up to the event prevented him from settling into his normal fluent style but he hung on gamely to finish in 56th place.
Parkruns – 29/11/2014
There were several encouraging performances by Gloucester Athletic Club members at local 5km Parkrun events on Saturday (29th).
At the Newent race, Mike Mansfield took 3rd place in 20:41 and there was a very encouraging parkrun debut from youngster Bethan Moor who placed 7th overall and 1st lady in a new age group record 21:21.
Another member of the club’s junior endurance group, Briony Bishop, placed 15th in 23:55 just ahead of one of the group’s assistant coaches, Russell Kirby, who clocked 24:00 in 16th place.
The third member of the junior squad to finish, Natalie Ashley-Towell, broke her personal best for the course for the second week in succession, clocking 24:32 in 21st place and M65 Dave Spackman finished in 24th place in 25:15.
There was an excellent new personal best at the Cheltenham event for Freek van Arkel, who placed second in 17:25, whilst junior Andrew McPeake also set a new personal best, clocking 20:18 in 25th place.
Aaron Bennett placed 50th in 21:26, just ahead of Kim Millward whose 21:29 in 51st place was a personal best. Miranda Bass finished in 106th place in 23:39 and Christine Campbell placed 253rd in 29:16.
Aztec West Fast 5km – 25/11/2014
A group of Gloucester Athletic Club members were among the 230 runners who toed the line in the latest edition of the Aztec West Fast 5km series last Tuesday (25th).
Matthew Flynn deliberately lined up on the end of the start line in an attempt to get an unimpeded start. It paid off as he finished in 19:32, a 29 second improvement on the time he recorded in the October event.
Arthur Daley ran even-paced miles to place 116th overall and 2nd M65 in 19:46 and Aaron Bennett beat his previous best time on this course by 15 seconds, clocking 20:46 in 144th place.
Kirsty Branch was the club’s first lady to finish, placing 157th in a new best time of 21:21. Rob Jordan ran a season’s best 22:57 and Nicola Hovey won the W55 category in 23:00.
Home International Cross-Country – 22/11/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward placed 3rd overall and 1st M35 in the Home International Cross-Country Open Race at Nottingham on Saturday (22nd).
Millward had been named as first reserve for the England team but as no-one pulled out of the initial squad, the Gloucester athlete had to compete in the open event which was for the reserves from the home nations’ teams and run over the same 8 kms course as the match race, thus allowing runners the opportunity to compare performances.
Millward made a steady start and was lying in 7th place after the opening kilometre. He then began his move, picking off runners ahead of him to be in third place going into the fourth and final lap. Benefitting from a month of increased training workload, Millward kept the chasing pack at bay as he picked up the pace to finish in 3rd place overall in 26:38.
Afterwards, Millward said: “I was very disappointed only to be named as travelling reserve for the England team but I’d like to think that I proved a point as I ran a quicker time than two of the actual team, despite being in a less-competitive race. It was good to be part of the England set-up and I hope that I can build on this with some good performances in the New Year.”
Park Runs – 22/11/2014
Very wet and slippery conditions greeted the runners at Saturday’s Newent 5km Parkrun (22nd) but Gloucester Athletic Club members still produced commendable performances.
Max Sheppard continued his comeback from injury, placing 4th in 21:16. Next home was youngster Tara Sladen who placed 17th overall and 3rd lady in 24:22, just ahead of Martin Hobson who clocked 24:30 in 19th place.
Natalie Ashley-Towell set a new personal best time of 24:52 in 23rd place, with Rob Jordan finishing 26th in 25:11.
The conditions were no better at the Cheltenham Parkrun where Freek van Arkel finished in third place in 17:56. Andrew McPeake placed 34th in 21:18, Miranda Bass placed 79th in 23:37 and Christine Campbell 201st in 28:28. In her first park run, Becky Summers clocked 29:06 in 214th place and Vanessa Anderton 44:13 in 345th.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward has been named as first reserve for the England team at the Masters Home International Cross-country at Woollaton Park in Nottingham this Saturday (22nd).
The match is between England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland and is Millward’s first international call-up since he joined the masters’ ranks in the summer.
Bath Skyline Races – 16/11/2014
McGlone and Paintin were in action again on Sunday (16th), when competing in the Bath Skyline Trail races. McGlone continued her rich vein of form by finishing 21st of the 292 ladies in 56:16 a personal best time on the trails by six minutes. Paintin, wisely remaining cautious on the very slippery surface, competed in the 5kms event.
The two were joined by Club mates Matt Newman and Rob Jordan over the 10kms event. Newman, coming back from a recent injury placed 33rd in 49:52, whilst Jordan just missed out on his sub-60 minute clocking, recording 60:19 in 140th place.
Shakespeare Half Marathon – 15/11/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Peter Jeffery took advantage of the near-ideal conditions to place 44th overall and 5th in the M50 category when clocking a new personal best 1:31:15 in the Raceways Autumn Shakespeare Half Marathon at Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday (15th), despite the course being slightly over the recognised half marathon distance.
Team mate Charlotte McGlone was just down on her personal best, clocking 1:39:04 in 91st place, whilst Sharon Paintin in her first race back following a lay-off with a badly-sprained ankle produced an encouraging 56:53 in 72nd place in the supporting 10km race.
Park Runs – 15/11/2014
There was success for Gloucester Athletic Club members at the Newent 5km Parkrun on Saturday (15th) when Jason Tilley and Max Sheppard took first and second places. Not to be outdone by her male team mates, Kim Millward was the first lady finisher, in 8th place overall. Russell Kirby placed 15th, daughter Vikki placed 27th and Beryl Sampson placed 34th. Mike Mansfield ran around with his young son William.
Schools Cross Country
Members of Gloucester Athletic Club’s junior endurance group featured in various District Schools Cross-country events around the county last week.
At the Forest of Dean event, upcoming steeplechaser Tara Sladen showed her versatility by placing second in the junior girls race, whilst Laura McPeake also took second place in the Cheltenham schools junior girls race. Training partner Jade McGough placed third.
In the Cheltenham inter boys race, Andrew McPeake was around 15th place for much of the race before the boggy conditions took their grip and he fell back to finish in 20th position.
Birmingham League – 08/11/2014
Twelve hours of heavy rain plus a race beforehand meant that conditions underfoot resembled a quagmire as 700 runners tackled the opening Birmingham Cross-country League fixture at Leamington on Saturday (8th).
The race was run over three laps meaning that by the end, the conditions were extremely difficult but Gloucester Athletic Club’s Thomas George seemed to revel in the mud as he produced another top quality, composed performance to place second in the Division Two race.
Starting off steadily, the Gloucester youngster made his way through the field to take his highest ever placing in this League.
George’s training partner Richard de-Camps struggled on the muddier sections of the course, but still managed to produce a strong finish to take a highly commendable sixth place, whilst Nathan Smith found the conditions to his liking and, using the mud to his advantage, ran well to take 47th place.
Next home was Andrew de-Camps who, in his first cross-country race for two years, worked hard to place 60th as he tries to regain the form that saw him win the Midlands senior 800 metres title on the track three seasons ago.
Stephen Haines and James Head have both raced regularly in recent weeks, with Head still recovering from October’s Dublin Marathon. However, they both ran well to complete the scoring six runners, placing 87th and 105th respectively, as the team secured eighth place of the 18 competing teams.
As always, there was solid support from the back-up runners as Ian Summers (161st), Aaron Bennett (192nd), Simon Barnes (255th) and Chris O’Carroll (265th) all showed their commitment to the Club’s cause by putting in strong runs in extremely testing conditions.
The next round will take place closer to home, at Plock Court, on Saturday 6th December when the team will hope to welcome back some of the runners who were either injured or unavailable for the opener.
Birmingham Cross-country League, Division Two, team result:
1st Warwick University 116 pts; 2nd Wolves & Bilston 152; 3rd Bromsgrove & Redditch 189. 8th Gloucester AC 307.
Gloucester AC Charity Party
Tickets are still available for the Gloucester Athletic Club Charity Party at the Irish Club in Horton Road on Saturday 22nd November with special guests, the Shy Teds, Tickets cost £10 and are available on 07817 974630.
Sports Hall League
This Saturday sees Gloucester Athletic Club’s youngsters take part in the County Sportshall Athletics event at the Lydney Leisure Centre. This is a growing competition and is aimed at young athletes in the Under-11, Under-13 and Under-15 age groups.
Team Co-ordinator Bob Purcell says “We’re keen to encourage as many of our youngsters to get a flavour of competition throughout the year and the Sportshall events are a great introduction to team sport. We’ve entered more teams in this year’s league so there’s plenty of room for everyone.”
Any youngster interested in taking part should contact Bob Purcell at club training nights or ring 01452 417990.
Guy Fawkes 5 – 02/11/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club members travelled up to Tewkesbury to compete in the Guy Fawkes Five mile road race on Sunday (2nd).
Matt Powell led the group home, placing 34th in his first race after a four-month injury lay-off. His time of 31:57 was down on his best but will give him confidence as he turns his attention to the cross-country challenges that lie ahead.
Suzanne Harding carried her good training form into this race, placing 58th overall and 2nd in the W35 category in a new personal best of 34:03, whilst Amy Walker followed up her personal best at the previous week’s Stroud Half Marathon by improving her best five miles time by over two minutes when placing 64th overall in 34:47.
Prolific racer Charlotte McGlone, who had raced in the previous day’s Gloucestershire Cross-Country League race placed 91st in 36:04 and she was followed by Nicola Hovey (personal best 38:09 in 119th place) and Kerry Newell (38:10 in 120th). Jane Heward, who had competed in a 76 km cross-country Nordic skiing event the previous weekend, placed 308th in a personal best 51:08.
Gloucestershire Cross-Country League – 01/11/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club enjoyed a successful day at the second Gloucestershire Cross-Country League fixture on the slopes of the Malvern Hills on Saturday (1st).
Teenager Freek van Arkel produced his best-ever run in a City vest to place 33rd, an improvement of 45 places on his performance in the opening league race, as he led the team home for the first time.
Nathan Smith had another solid run to place 46th, one place ahead of Steven Haines who made up several places over the latter stages and is showing signs of returning to his excellent form of two years ago when he was one of the Club’s most consistent performers.
James Head showed few ill-effects from his run in the Dublin Marathon just five days previously where he set a new personal best, as he crossed the line in 78th place. Next home was newcomer Aaron Bennett whose strength on the hills told as he held off team-mate Arthur Daley to place 115th overall and secure a place in the scoring team for the first time. Daley, who had been heavily involved in the organising of the event, placed 116th overall and 1st in the M65 category as he brought the team home in 7th place overall, their highest placing for several years.
Other City placings were 145th Peter Jeffery, 171st Russell Kirby, 182nd Simon Barnes and 188th Clive Poole.
The senior women’s team showed just how far they have progressed this year as they took fourth place overall despite missing three of their top scorers from the first race.
Two ladies tackling their first ever cross-country races led the team home. The Club’s top road runner for the past two seasons, Hayley Winters started off steadily and showed her endurance strength as the race unfolded to come home in an excellent 8th place, whilst Charlotte McGlone made light work of the hills as she came home in 18th place. Kim Millward, in her first cross-country race since giving birth last year, completed the City club’s scoring trio as she placed 26th.
Nicola Hovey, in her 3rd race in eight days, placed 50th and U20 Miranda Bass ran strongly to place 67th to underline the strength in depth that the City ladies team is developing.
The Club’s juniors also showed their overall development as many recorded their best-ever individual placings in this competitive league.
In the Under 17s ladies race, Bethan Moor achieved the afternoon’s highest individual placing by a City athlete as she equalled her 4th place finish in the previous fixture. In the Under 17 men’s race, Andrew McPeake continued his recent good form as he placed a career-best 6th.
There was an excellent second place for the Under 15 girls team as Laura McPeake (3rd), Natalie Ashley-Towell (11th) and Jude Dowdeswell (14th) produced their strongest runs of the winter. In the Under 15 boys race, Harry Wells put in another consistent performance when placing 5th.
In the Under 13s races, Elissa Moor took 31st place in the girls event, whilst Marcus Holba placed 14th in the boys race. Jessica Duncton was the Club’s youngest competitor on the day, placing 18th in the Under 11 girls race.
Photos from the race below:
Aztec West 5K – 28/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club members travelled down to Bristol on Tuesday (28th) to compete in the latest race in the Aztec West 5km road race series.
Over what is now recognised as one of the fastest courses in the region, Arthur Daley was the first club runner home, placing 96th in 19:26. Aiming for a sub-19 minutes time, he ran a fast opening mile but paid the price as he slowed considerably over the latter stages. Nevertheless, he was the first placed runner in the M60 category.
Behind Daley, two newcomers recorded personal best times for the distance. Matt Flynn placed 114th in 20:01 with Aaron Bennett 138th in 21:01.
Just two days after running in the Stroud Half Marathon, Nicola Hovey clocked 23:10 in 169th place overall and first W55. Rob Jordan placed 171st in 23:20.
Dublin Marathon – 27/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s James Head crossed the Irish Sea to compete in the Dublin Marathon on Monday (27th) and placed 184th in a new personal best time of 2:55:35.
Stroud Half Marathon – 26/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s endurance runners were out in force at Sunday’s Stroud Half Marathon (26th) as they tackled one of the group’s targeted events.
This was the 33rd annual running of the county’s biggest road race with over 1150 runners lining up at the start, just outside Ebley.
Lee Smith was the first Gloucester club runner home, coping better than most with the blustery conditions, to cross the line in 20th position in 1:20:14, his fastest time for five years.
Donald McDonald was the second man home for the City club, placing 25th in a personal best 1:21:40, whilst Ross Anderson also set a new personal best, clocking 1:26:56 in 69th place. Steven Haines was just behind, placing 72nd in 1:27:03 which equalled his personal best, as he anchored the men home to 3rd place in the team competition.
Peter Lloyd was the next man home, placing 77th in 1:27:48, whilst new signing, Clara Horswell, was the first of the Club’s ladies to finish, placing 98th and 9th lady, in a new personal best 1:29:47, one place ahead of Gareth Hunter who clocked 1:29:49. Darren Mitchell was next to finish, in 130th (1:32:19), ahead of Peter Jeffery (178th, 1:35:06) and the next City lady Amy Walker, whose 1:36:43 in 202nd place was also a personal best.
Other club finishers were:
Charlotte McGlone (253rd in 1:39:04), Martin Hobson (293rd in 1:40:58 pb), Clive Poole (400th in 1:45:34 pb), Terry Onions (423rd in 1:46:18), Emma Jeffery (436th in 1:46:45), Phil du Plessis (494th in 1:49:26), Nicola Hovey (560th in 1:51:47), Tania Hamilton (675th in 1:56:42), Sharon Harris (712th in 1:58:16) and Sharon Paintin (751st in 2:00:16).
Sue Higgins also ran in the event but, rather than race, she chose to accompany her daughter who was running in her very first half marathon.
Poppy Plod – 26/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club youngsters enjoyed themselves at the Hardwicke RBL Poppy Plod races on Sunday (26th). Andrew McPeake won the 5 km event, whilst the Vaile sisters, Alidia and Gabrielle, took 1st and 2nd places respectively in the 2.5 km event.
Great South Run – 25/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Dave Gresswell placed 311th in the BUPA Great South Run in Southsea on Saturday (25th) in 66:12.
Chocolate Biscuit XC – 25/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward took second place in the Severn AC-organised Chocolate Biscuit 4-mile cross-country race at Plock Court on Saturday (25th). Nathan Smith placed 4th and Matt Newman 6th.
In the ladies race, there was an excellent 2nd place for Suzanne Harding, whilst Laura McPeake was a convincing winner of the young athletes 1600 metres race.
Abingdon Marathon – 19/10/2014
Two Gloucester Athletic Club members set new personal best times for the classic marathon distance when competing in the Abingdon Marathon on Sunday (19th).
Denise Evans took over two minutes off her best when recording 3:42:25 to place 339th overall and 3rd in the W50 category, whilst Sharon Nash clocked 4:12:50 in 489th place.
Midlands Cross-Country Relays – 18/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men’s team took an excellent sixth place in the Midlands 4 x 6 km Cross-country relay at Walsall Arboretum on Saturday (18th), their highest placing for many years.
Thomas George gave the team a great start, running a mature race that belied his 18 years. Establishing himself in the leading pack and covering attempted breaks, the Gloucester youngster finished his leg in 4th place, clocking 19:50 which turned out to be the 12th fastest time of the day.
Richard de-Camps took up the reins on the second leg and ran a strong race, putting in surges on the firmer parts of the course and clocked 20:31 as he made up a further place to come home in 3rd place.
Next on was Nathan Smith who, despite having run the Berlin Marathon only three weeks previously and suffering from a cold in the week leading up to the race, showed his commitment to the team for this Championship to clock 22:54 to finish his leg in 6th place.
Steve Millward took over for the final leg somewhat isolated from the leading group, but still managed to run strongly to clock 20:39 to bring the team home in 6th place overall.
Wolverhampton & Bilston took first place, ahead of Oadby & Wigston, with Cheltenham & Co Harriers taking third spot.
Afterwards, a Club spokesman said: “This was our highest championship placing for many years and shows what we can do when we target specific events. It’s important that the Club competes against the top teams in the region regularly to see how we’re progressing. The top three teams today all fielded strong squads but it’s good for our confidence to finish ahead of Tipton and Coventry Godiva. We now need to consolidate this performance with a strong showing in the opening Birmingham Cross Country League race on 8th November.”
Gloucester District Schools Cross-Country Championships – 14/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club junior members were prominent in the Gloucester District Schools cross-country championships at Plock Court last week (14th).
Pride of place went to Bethan Moor who continued her promising start to the new winter season by winning the Year 10/11 girls race, ahead of team-mates Heather Christie (3rd) and Alex Bache (8th).
In the Year 8/9 girls race, Natalie Ashley-Towell placed 6th, ahead of training partners Jude Dowdeswell (8th), Vikki Kirby (10th) and Elissa Moor (15th).
In the Year 12/13 Girls race, Miranda Bass took 4th place.
In the Boys races, Marcus Holba placed 9th in the Year 7/8 event, Harry Wells took 7th place in the Year 10/11 race and Rowan Whitehead 11th in the Year 12/13 race.
At the Stroud Schools event on the following day (15th), Marcus Holba took 10th place in the Year 7/8 race and Ben Minnican 13th in the Year 10/11 race.
All of the youngsters are members of the Club’s expanding junior endurance group led by Kerry Newell and train each Tuesday (6:30pm) and Thursday (6 pm) at the Club’s Blackbridge headquarters.
Gloucestershire Cross Country League – 11/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club made a solid start to the 2014-15 winter season in the Gloucestershire Cross-country league opener at the Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power on Saturday (11th).
Senior Club officials have set the Gloucestershire League as one of their target development competitions for the large influx of distance runners of all ages who have joined the Club in recent months as an introduction to this demanding aspect of the sport and they would have been encouraged by this increased turn-out.
The senior men’s race saw a series of “firsts”, starting off with Stephen Haines who continued his return to regular racing by leading the team home for the first time, placing 49th overall. Next home was James Head, currently in a rich vein of form, in 76th place, with Freek van Arkel just behind, in 83rd spot and Dave Gresswell breaking into the top 100 in 97th place.
Arthur Daley placed 113th overall and first in the M65 age group and with cross-country debutant Matthew Flynn placing 142nd, the city ‘A’ team placed 13th overall.
Another debutant, Aaron Bennett, placed 163rd to lead the ‘B’ team home, just ahead of Peter Jeffery in 167th place. The third first-timer, Russell Kirby, was next to finish in 201st place just six days after his half marathon debut, whilst Clive Poole placed 206th. Rob Jordan placed 231st and the ‘B’ team was completed by seasoned-campaigner, M70 Chris O’Carroll, in 252nd.
The senior ladies race saw some excellent packing by the City club’s leading finishers. Kirsty Branch produced an excellent run to lead the ladies team home for the first time. Starting off conservatively, she made her way through from mid-field as she grew in confidence to place just outside the top 30 in 33rd place. Next home was Amy Walker in her first cross-country race. She started off very quickly but slowed down towards the end of the first lap as she regained her control before putting in a strong second lap to place 35th. Suzanne Harding made a rare outing on the cross-country. Preferring tarmac to mud, she used this race for strength training and made up six places over the final 100 metres to finish in 41st place to complete the scoring trio, giving the ‘A’ team an encouraging 10th place overall.
The ‘B’ team was led home by Emma Jeffery in 58th place, ahead of Miranda Bass who placed 83rd overall and 3rd in the L20 category, whilst another runner in her first cross-country race, Sharon Paintin, placed 106th to complete the ‘B’ team. Trudy Wells was the final City runner home, in 130th place.
The stand-out team performance of the day came in the U17 Ladies race where Bethan Moor (4th) led home team mates Tara Sladen (10th) and Abi Pearce (11th) to a commanding team victory. In the U17 Men’s race, Will Staddon made a solid start to his season placing 5th, with Andrew McPeake improving the time he set on this course last year by six minutes, placing 9th.
There was another strong showing by the Club’s U15 Girls team on the back of their good run at the National Road Relays event the previous weekend. Briony Bishop placed 5th, just ahead of Laura McPeake who crept into the top 10 places in 9th whilst Natalie Ashley-Towell recovered from a below-par run at the relays with a strong 22nd placing to secure 4th place for the team.
Harry Wells was the Club’s sole representative in the U15 Boys race, taking 10th place, whilst Marcus Holba and Bradley Coomber took 19th and 28th places respectively in the U13 Boys event.
Elissa Moor took 37th place in the U13 Girls race and the Club’s youngest runner on the day, Jessica Duncton placed 26th in the U11 Girls event.
Budapest Marathon – 11/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone (right) had a mixed experience at the Budapest Marathon on Saturday (11th).
The race took in some of the outstanding scenery of the Hungarian capital and started off in bright sunshine and warm temperatures which, by the time the field reached half-way were up to 27 degrees.
McGlone, who is currently in the middle of a racing schedule that includes one race a week right up to the end of the year, was on schedule for her target time of 3 hours 30 until she hit the dreaded wall at around the 18 miles point. Suffering from dehydration and cramps, she defied the advice of the local first aid team and eventually carried on to complete the course.
Afterwards, she said: “The dehydration problems apart, I actually loved the run. The sights were amazing and the crowds were fantastic. I’ll be taking things very easy for a few days and hope to race in over 10 km at Swindon next week.”
Bournemouth Marathon – 05/10/2014
One of Gloucester Athletic Club’s newest members, Phil Griffiths, took part in the recent Bournemouth Marathon and, as it was his first ever road marathon, he set a new mark of 4:07:24.
Afterwards, he said: “I am pleased with that run as it was my first road marathon. I gave it everything and it’s given me a target to work towards in future races.”
ECB Coach Awards – 10/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Anna Robertson has been awarded an England Cricket Board regional award.
Robertson, who recently won an award for the Gloucester club’s top female points scorer in the 2014 Midland League campaign, is also Herefordshire Cricket's “Chance to Shine” officer and was named Herefordshire's Young Coach of the Year at the 2014 ECB Coach Awards Reward and Recognition Event at The National Cricket Centre in Loughborough.
The ceremony was attended by the ECB Performance Director David Parsons who was joined by England coaches Chris Taylor, Peter Such, Kevin Shine and former test star Graham Thorpe, all of whom took sessions on their specialist areas during the day.
National Young Athletes Road Relay Championships – 05/10/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Under-15 girls’ team finished an excellent 45th in the National Young Athletes Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park on Sunday (5th).
Briony Bishop ran the first leg, running a strong 15:40 to come home in 45th position, to hand over the Natalie Ashley-Towell on the second leg. Natalie ran a solid 17:39 to finish in 61st place, handing over to Laura McPeake who made up 16 places with an excellent 15:43 for the final leg to bring the team home in 45th place.
All three girls are members of the Club’s junior endurance group led by Kerry Newell who said “I’m very proud of the three girls. They did really well against the best young runners in the country and this experience will set them up nicely for a good winter season.”
Cardiff Half Marathon – 05/10/2014
James Head was the first Gloucester Athletic Club finisher in Sunday’s Cardiff Half Marathon, when placing 215th in 1:21:15 – and improvement of four minutes on his personal best and a good indicator of his form going into the Dublin Marathon in three weeks’ time.
Just behind was Mike Mansfield, who placed 217th in a season’s best 1:21:26, with Steven Haines also setting a personal best of 1:27:02 in 495th place.
Matthew Newman was next home, as he too reduced his best with 1:29:33 in 733rd place. The first city lady home was new signing Amy Walker who, after representing the Club the day before in the National Road Relays event, set a new personal best of 1:37:51.
Next home was Russell Kirby who, in his very first half marathon, clocked 1:42:38, just ahead of the Club’s final representative, Colin Westbury, who also set a personal best of 1:42:47 to complete a successful day for the club.
Blenheim Palace Half Marathon – 05/10/2014
Two more of the Gloucester club’s ladies, Charlotte McGlone and Sharon Paintin, both of whom had been in action at the National Road Relays on the previous day, travelled to Oxfordshire to compete in the BHF Blenheim Palace Half Marathon on Sunday. Charlotte placed 156th in a new personal best time 1:40:02 whilst Sharon placed 773rd in 2:03:10 which was also a personal best.
Bowood House Sprint Duathlon – 05/10/2014
Two Gloucester Athletic Club members travelled down to Calne in Wiltshire to compete in the Bowood House Sprint Duathlon at the weekend (5th).
The event, which comprises a 5 km run followed by a 21 km bike ride followed by another 5km run saw Wayne Mayer place 7th in 1:21:21 and Martin Hobson finish 33rd in 1:32:32.
National Road Relay Championships– 04/10/2014
For the first time ever, Gloucester Athletic Club fielded two teams in the Women's National Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park in Birmingham on Saturday (4th).
Held over a non-standard, 4.3 km hilly course, the teams found themselves up against the very best ladies teams in the country and did themselves proud as many of them improved the times they set when running over the same course at the Midland Championships two weeks beforehand.
Suzanne Harding ran lead leg for the ‘A’ team, coming home in 64th place in 18:19. Charlotte McGlone took over 30 seconds off her time from the regional event, as she led the ‘B’ team home in 68th place in 18:52.
New signing Amy Walker started the second lag for the ‘A’ team strongly as she powered up the first hill, overtaking several runners in the process. She held on to come home in 55th place with an 18:26 clocking, whilst the youngest member of the squad, 19 year-old Sydney Dobberson reduced her regional time by 26 seconds when bringing the ‘B’ home in 65th place with 20:13.
Kirsty Branch ran 18:53, an improvement of 26 seconds, to gain a further one place for the ‘A’ team and Nicola Hovey gained three places for the ‘B’ team, cutting 12 seconds off her previous running.
Grace Vido ran the last leg for the ‘A’ team, clocking 20:09 to gain two further places to finish in 52nd place with an overall time of 1:15:47, the fastest time a City ladies team has run since 2011.
Sharon Paintin brought the ‘B’ team home in 59th place. Her 22:40 clocking was 29 seconds faster than her earlier outing and gave the team an overall time of 1:21:57.
Afterwards, team manager Arthur Daley said: “Both teams contained a mixture of younger and older runners and although several of the veteran age group runners are new to the sport, they all showed through their improved times and the manner in which they approached the race that they are very capable of learning and developing.”
Aztec West 5K – 30/09/2014
A group of Gloucester Athletic Club members travelled down to Bristol to compete in recent Aztec West 5 kms (30th Sept) road race.
James Head led the team home, placing 47th in 17:59, an improvement on his previous best by almost 40 seconds. Next home was Arthur Daley, in 70th place. Daley has been trying to run under 19 minutes for the distance this year and this was the third time that he has clocked 19:02. His frustration will have been tempered by the fact that he was first in the M60 category.
Kirsty Branch led the Gloucester ladies home, placing 137th in 21:32, whilst Sydney Dobberson showed good judgement to run even paced miles to set a new personal best 22:11. Nicola Hovey clocked 22:51 to place 165th overall and first in the W55 category, with Rob Jordan completing the Gloucester line-up in 172nd place with 23:12, just two days after running the tough Portishead 10 km event.
Gloucester AC Awards Night – 26/09/2014
Gloucester’s world famous adventurer, Jamie McDonald, was Gloucester Athletic Club’s special guest of honour at the club’s annual awards night.
Spending time to speak to all of the award winners and guests, Jamie gave an entertaining insight into his various challenges, the most famous of which was running across Canada last year.
The award winners were:
• Terry Sysum Award – Jacob Lange
• Valued contribution to Distance Running – Arthur Daley
• Top road running performers – Hayley Winters and Steve Millward
• Top senior cross-country performers – Bethan Moor and Alex George
• Most improved junior athletes – Elissa Moor and Michael Pang
• Most improved inter athletes – Kate Davies and Joe Beckett
• Most improved senior athletes – Sue Higgins and Thomas George
• Leading veteran performer – Simon Fortnam
• Leading points scorers in Midland League – Anna Robertson and Steve Millward
• Leading points scorers in Youth Development League – Elissa Moor and Ben Campion (U13), Tamsin Doran and Sam Earl (U15), Catherine Hardy and Joe Beckett (U17) and Kate Davies and Tom Beckett (U20)
• Leading points scorers in Avon League – Jada George and Ben Hathaway (U13), Alidia Vaile and Michael Pang (U15), Bethan Moor and Andrew McPeake (U17), Kate Davies and Tom Beckett (senior)
Gloucester Athletic Club’s winter training schedule has begun in earnest.
Each Thursday evening, the junior endurance group shall meet at the Club’s Blackbridge base at 6pm. Track & field sessions will continue throughout the winter under the Blackbridge floodlights between 6:30 – 8pm, whilst the senior endurance group shall meet at 6:45pm.
On Tuesday evenings, the endurance groups will meet at Blackbridge at 6:30 pm, whilst there will be circuit training at the Crypt School sports hall for the under-11s between 6-7pm, and between 7-9pm for the over-11s.
For further details, ring 07817 974630.
Entries are being taken for Gloucester Athletic Club’s 20-mile Road Race which is scheduled to take place around the lanes of Haresfield, Hardwick and Quedgeley for Sunday 8th March 2015, starting at 10:30am.
The “Gloucester 20” has become a firm favourite amongst runners who are building up for one of the spring marathons or who face a challenge. The 2014 race attracted a field of over 500 athletes.
Entries for the 2015 event will be via on-line only, visit www.gloucesterac.co.uk/competition/club-events/gloucester-20/ for details.
Gloucester AC Big Charity Party
Tickets are now on sale for Gloucester Athletic Club’s Big Charity Party at the Irish Club in Horton Road on Saturday 22nd November. The guest band will be the Shy Teds. Tickets cost £10 and are available for anyone over the age of 18. Ring 07817 974630 for details.
Cirencester 10K – 28/09/2014
There was a strong Gloucester Athletic Club presence at the Cirencester Park 10 km race on Sunday (28th).
Jack Evans was the first club runner home, placing 11th overall in 37:37.8. A promising youngster, the 20 year-old has raced very infrequently over the past three seasons, but this performance gave a good indication of his undoubted ability.
Peter Lloyd was the next home, placing 39th in 40:44, whilst a newcomer, Matthew Newman knocked 40 seconds off his best time when placing 57th in 42:04.5. In her first race for the club, Suzanne Harding lowered her personal best by 30 seconds when she finishing 88th in 44:04.7 and Peter Jeffrey just scraped into the top 100, placing 99th in 44:49.6.
Nick Bishop and Charlotte McGlone were next to finish, in 117th (45:42.5) and 118th (45:45.1) respectively, with Paul Loveridge placing 150th in 47:45.1.
Next to finish was Sharon Harris, 224th in 51:43.3, followed by Sharon Paintin whose 55:19.6 in 287th was a personal best and the group was completed by newcomer Jane Heward who placed 448th in 68:42.6.
Berlin Marathon – 28/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Nathan Smith and Hayley Winters travelled over to Germany at the weekend to compete in Sunday’s BMW Berlin Marathon and both came away with new personal best times.
Smith reduced his personal best by over five minutes when placing 679th in 2:54.28 whilst Winters knocked over eight minutes off her best time when placing 96th lady in 3:10:15. This time puts her 6th on the all-time Gloucester AC female marathon rankings.
The race will be best known for the world best set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, but afterwards Winters said “The conditions were perfect for distance running. My preparations for this race had gone well and I didn’t suffer from any of the problems that I had experienced in previous marathons. I’m really happy with the time but that was definitely the hardest 3 hours 10 minutes of my life!”
Portishead 10K / Forest of Dean Trails – 28/09/2014
Further away from home, Rob Jordan placed 53rd in the challenging Portishead 10 km race on Sunday in 53:35, whilst in the Forest of Dean Trails Half Marathon, Colin Westbury clocked a new personal best 1:43:45.
At the Forest of Dean 5 km run on Sunday, Andrew McPeake placed 3rd in 22:56, an improvement of four minutes than the time he set in last year’s race. His sister Laura placed 7th in 23:26, two minutes quicker than she recorded last year, whilst Tara Sladen placed 14th in 26:38.
Cotswold Challenge – 28/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower was the winner of this year’s LDWA Cotswold Challenge on Sunday (28th).
This was the 25th anniversary of the multi-terrain event that follows a circular route around the Painswick, Haresfield and Witcombe before the runners face a real sting in the tail with a tough ascent of Birdlip Hill.
As the winner of the previous two races, Mower was a strong favourite and lived up to his billing as he broke the tape in 4:31:30 for the course. Though pleased with his run and a strong finish, the Welsh ultra-distance runner put his time down more to his navigational skills
Gloucester Athletic Club members have been active during the current spate of Half Marathon events around the country.
Bristol Half Marathon – 21/09/2014
At the Bristol Half Marathon (21st), Matthew Newman set a new personal best when placing 580th in 1:31:52, just ahead of newcomer Clara Horswell who also reduced her personal best to 1:31:56 in 591st place. David Hart finished in 1081st place in 1:37:33.
Hereford Half Marathon – 21/09/2014
Two of the Gloucester club’s ladies travelled to Hereford to compete in the Herefordshire Running Festival Half Marathon (21st) and, despite having raced in the Midland Road Relays championships on the previous day, both came away with new personal bests. Charlotte McGlone placed 121st in 1:41:22 whilst Sharon Paintin placed 505th in 2:05:06.
Worcester 10K – 21/09/2014
Another City athlete who raced the day after representing the Club in the road relays was Dave Gresswell, who placed 60th in the Worcester City 10 km in 39:09.
British Masters – 21/09/2014
One month after he won the 3,000 metres steeplechase gold medal, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward won the silver medal over 10,000 metres in the M35-39 age group at the British Masters track & field championships held at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium (21st).
Millward was disappointed with his 33:26.02 clocking, saying the monotony of running 25 laps on the track for the first time in three years was much harder than a 10 km road or cross-country race.
The City runner hopes that his second place will be sufficient to gain him selection for the England Masters cross-country team for the coming winter.
Iona Meet of Champions – 20/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George has been making waves in his first weeks as a student at university in Arkansas, USA.
The 18 year-old from Abbeymead was voted men’s Cross Country Freshman Runner of the Week for his performance at the Iona Meet of Champions where, in just his second collegiate race, he placed second in the 8 km event in a personal best 25:36.7, as he led his Arkansas Razorbacks team to the team gold.
Park Runs – 20/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club members have competed in local 5km parkrun events recently.
At the Cheltenham event on 20th September, youngster Jude Dowdeswell reduced her personal best time for the distance by 15 seconds to 22:53. Club mates Freek van Arkel placed 4th in 18:06 and Chris Campbell 212th in 28:48.
At the Newent event, Beryl Sampson placed 41st in 30:58.
English Schools Combined Events – 20&21/09/2014
In her final competition of the season, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Kate Davies took an excellent 7th place in the English Schools Heptathlon at Boston, Lincolnshire at the weekend (20/21st).
Davies opened up the competition with her second fastest-ever 100m hurdles race, clocking 16.72 seconds which placed her 20th overall. She then moved up four places with a 1.58m clearance in the high jump before climbing up a further place with a below par 9.06m in the shot putt. However, she bounced back with a new personal best 200 metres of 26.94 seconds to end day one in a healthy 12th place with a 2525 points score.
Day two saw the Gloucester youngster drop two places in the long jump, despite recording 5.06m, before she threw 38.00m in the javelin for her second personal best of the competition to climb up to 7th place. Her final event, the 800 metres saw her clock 2:33.10 to cling on to 7th place in her last Schools competition before she heads off to embark on a degree at Oxford University.
Midland Road Relays – 20/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club runners produced some fine individual performances at the Saucony Midland Counties Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park on Saturday (20th) as the Club managed its highest attendance at the event for many seasons.
The senior men’s ‘A’ team came within a whisker of qualifying for the national final as they placed a creditable 31st overall. Thomas George gave the team a good start when he came home in 19th place, clocking 19:10 for the 5.85 km opening leg. Richard de-Camps took over on leg two and recorded 20:08 to hand over to Lee Smith in 20th place. Despite running a solid 21:55, Smith came through in 28th place, handing over to veteran Dave Gresswell, who clocked 23:18 to finish his leg in 38th place. Nathan Smith made up three places with a strong 20:38 clocking and another veteran, Simon Fortnam, made up another four places as he recorded 21:17, bringing the team home in 31st place with a final time of 2:06:26.
The men also fielded a ‘B’ team in the event. James Head gave them a solid start, placing 64th in 21:45, followed by newcomer Aaron Bennett (70th, 25:19) and Clive Poole (72nd, 26:45). A strong run by Steven Haines (24:28) moved the team up to 64th place with veteran Arthur Daley (39th, 24:24) and Rob Jordan (74th, 28:05) completing the line-up for a final time of 2:30:46.
This year saw a significant step forward for the Gloucester club’s senior ladies as they completed two scoring teams for the first time in many years. Hayley Winters ran an excellent opening leg for the ‘A’ team, placing 19th in 16:33, followed on leg two by Amy Walker who ran a solid 18:34 to hand over in 32nd place to Kirsty Branch, who clocked 19:19 in 33rd place. Nicola Hovey completed the quartet, clocking 20:25 to bring the team home in 34th place with an overall time of 1:14:51.
Grace Vido gave the ladies ‘B’ team a steady start as she clocked 19:36 in 64th place. Sharon Paintin then took over on leg two and ran 23:09, coming home in 72nd place. Sydney Dobberson made up seven places, clocking 20:39 before handing over to Charlotte McGlone who ran the squad’s fastest time of 19:25 to bring the team home in 57th place overall in 1:22:49.
There were more good performances in the younger age groups as the Gloucester club’s U17 Women and U15 Girls teams both produced good results.
In the U17 Women’s race, Bethan Moor produced a storming run to come home in fifth place on the opening leg, clocking 15:04. Heather Christie ran a solid 18:53 on leg two to come home in 13th place with Alex Bache clocking 19:17 to bring the team home in 14th place and the first County team with an overall 53:14.
The U15 Girls race saw Briony Bishop give the team a steady start as she recorded 16:31 in 24th place. Natalie Ashley-Towell clocked 17:30 as she finished in 27th place before Laura McPeake hauled the team up to 19th place overall with the squad’s fastest time of 15:55 and a total time of 49:56.
Bugatti 10K – 14/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Sharon Harris and Sharon Paintin travelled over to Cheltenham for the Bugatti 10km road race on Sunday (14th).
Harris showed that a disappointing run in the previous week’s Cheltenham Half Marathon was just a blip as she placed 66th overall in a season’s best 52:11 whilst Paintin placed 80th in a new personal best 56:45.
Autumn 5 – 13/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower placed 3rd in the Severn AC Autumn Five Mile road race at Sandhurst on Saturday (13th).
This was Mower’s first competitive outing since pulling a calf muscle some six weeks earlier and he will have been pleased with his 29:59 clocking.
Mower said: “I started off conservatively as this was my first race since injuring my calf, but I finished strongly and there appears to have been no reaction. I’ll take things easy for the next day or so and then start gradually building up my training for upcoming ultra races.”
Mower’s club mate, Rob Jordan, placed 13th in 38:56.
Telford Games / Yeovil Games – 13/09/2014
At the Telford Games on Saturday (13th), Gloucester Athletic Club’s Andrew Bowers continued to improve as he placed second in the U20 men’s 400 metres final in a new personal best 52.08 seconds, whilst down at the Yeovil Games, Marion Loveridge won the W50 Ladies 3kg Hammer event with a new personal best 42.84 metres.
Gloucester’s intrepid explorer and adventurer, Jamie McDonald, will be the guest of honour at Gloucester Athletic Club’s annual Awards Night at the Hardwicke Royal British Legion Club on Friday 26th September. Tickets (£5 each, or £15 for a family ticket) are available from Garry Hunter (07879 624602).
Cheltenham Half Marathon – 07/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club members were in action around the country at the weekend (7th), participating in a host of half marathon events.
Dave Gresswell led a large contingent home at the Cheltenham Half Marathon on Sunday (7th). Having set himself a pre-race target of one hour 30 minutes, he was happy with his final time of 1:25.06 despite struggling over the final two miles around the Prestbury race course as he crossed the line in 51st place overall and 8th in the M45 category. Next home was Hayley Winters, whose 1:28.13 secured her 91st place overall and 4th senior lady. There then followed two newcomers, Ross Anderson who in his first half marathon will have been delighted with his 1:30.39 clocking in 137th place and Chris Runcie, who improved his personal best by seven minutes, clocking 1:32.50 in 173rd place. David Hart lowered his best time by over one minute as he placed 245th in 1:36.06 and Aaron Bennett, another newcomer, was next home, placing 343rd in 1:39.05. Ben Gardiner was next home, placing 408th in 1:39.59 ahead of Peter Jeffery who placed 421st in 1:40.18. Amy Williams was the second City lady home, placing 432nd in a new personal road best of 1:41.43. She was followed in by Sharon Harris in 1434th place with 1:58.12 and Sharon Paintin, in her first half marathon, completing the City squad in 1701st place with 2:04.12.
Great North Run – 07/09/2014
Helen Pritchard headed up to the north-east to run in the BUPA Great North Run on Sunday and knocked a massive eight minutes off her personal best in 8,632nd place, clocking 1:54.36, a considerable achievement given that she set a Gloucester women’s pole vault record in her last competition.
Chippenham Half Marathon – 07/09/2014
At the Chippenham Half Marathon, James Head placed 48th in 1:26.11. Club mate Martin Hobson suffered from a cramp in a hamstring but still managed to finish the course in 1:47.00.
Woodchester Park MT – 07/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Clive Poole placed 36th overall and 1st M45 in the Woodchester Park 8 mile multi-terrain event on Sunday to earn his first age group win since joining Gloucester Athletic Club this year. Poole’s time was 1:11.20.
Loughborough Young Stars Open – 07/09/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s track and field athletes are beginning to wind down from a busy year with some late season competitions. Jacob Lange produced a consistent series of throws to win the hammer event at the Loughborough Young Stars meeting on Sunday (7th) with a best throw of 59.57 metres. Afterwards, Lange said “That was a good end to the season. I managed a good series with all throws around the 59 metres mark.”
Midland Vets League Cup Final – 31/08/2014
Lange’s Gloucester club mate and training partner Marion Loveridge won the women’s hammer event in the Midland Masters League Final at Stoke-on-Trent. Guesting for Worcester AC, Loveridge threw the 4kg weight 36.66 metres, a season’s best.
Newport Harriers Open – 07/09/2014
At the Newport Harriers Open Meeting, Andrew Bowers won the 400 metres in 53.0 seconds.
Malmesbury 10K – 30/08/2014
Three members of Gloucester Athletic Club’s improving female distance running group travelled to Wiltshire on Saturday (30th) to compete in the annual Malmesbury Carnival 10km road race.
Describing the course as one of the most challenging she has run on to date because of the testing hills, Charlotte McGlone led the trio home, placing 69th overall and 8th lady in 48:11. The next City runner to finish was Grace Hinga, who was 75th overall and 9th lady in 48:44, with Sharon Paintin placing 141st and 35th lady in 56:28.
Under the guidance of the club’s endurance coaches, the ladies side has made significant improvement during the year and always welcomes new runners, regardless of their age and ability. They train each Tuesday and Thursday evening, meeting up at their Blackbridge headquarters at 6:45pm, and anyone who is interested can either turn up on the night or ring 07817 974630 for more details.
England Athletics U17 Championships – 30+31/08/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Catherine Hardy competed in the England Athletics U17 Championships at Bedford at the weekend. The City youngster placed 4th in her heat of the 100 metres in 12.52 seconds and 4th in her heat of the 200 metres in 25.95 seconds.
Gloucestershire County Championships – 27/08/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Simon Fortnam placed 10th in the Gloucestershire County 10,000 metres championship event at Cheltenham’s Prince of Wales Stadium last Wednesday (27th), clocking 36:48.4. Arthur Daley placed 19th in 40:29.0 a new Gloucester M65 club record.
Earlier in the evening, there were silver and bronze medals in the U15 Girls 4 x 100 metres relay as the ‘A’ team of Fathia Ciamaria, Tamisin Doran, Sophie Temple and Bethany Gardiner placed second in 56.2 seconds with the ‘B’ team of Kirstie Constable, Briony Bishop, Alidia Vaile and Natalie Ashley-Towell placing third in 60.7 seconds.
Constable, Bishop, Temple and Vaile then joined forces to take the gold medal in the U15 Girls 4 x 400 metres relay in 4:53.7, the fastest time on record for a City U15 Girls squad.
In the one mile event, Briony Bishop was the first in the U15 Girls category in personal best 6:01.2 whilst Dave Spackman placed 2nd in the M65 category in 7:00.6.
Cheltenham Young Athletes Open – 25/08/2014
A group of Gloucester Athletic Club’s junior athletes endured an afternoon of heavy rain when competing at the Cheltenham Young Athletes Open Meeting on Bank Holiday Monday (25th).
The U17 Women’s category saw a victory for Ellen Thrall in the discus with a new personal best throw of 25.62 metres while there was a busy afternoon for Bethan Moor, who followed up her fifth place in the 800 metres with a second place in the javelin and third place in the long jump.
Alidia Vaile was just outside her personal best when winning the U15 Girls 100 metres in 13.8 seconds, ahead of team mates Kirstie Constable (4th), Tianna George (5th) and Natalie Ashley-Towell (6th). Vaile set a new personal best when winning the 200 metres in 28.2 seconds, with Jude Dowdeswell also setting a new personal best of 30.1 seconds in third place. Dowdeswell was less than half a second outside her personal best in the 800 metres when she placed 5th in 2:38.0, with Ashley-Towell finishing in 8th place. Vaile, Constable, Dowdeswell and Ashley-Towell then combined to win the 4 x 100 metres relay while Constable, Tianna George, Dowdeswell, and Ashley-Towell placed 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th respectively in the long jump.
In the U13 Girls Elissa Moor placed 4th in the 70 metres hurdles, 6th in the javelin and 3rd in the long jump with team mate Jada George placing 2nd in the long jump and shot putt and 3rd in the 75 metres.
The youngest member of the squad, Gabrielle Vaile, placed 4th in the U11 Girls 600 metres in a new personal best 2:22.3.
Severn Bridge Half Marathon – 24/08/2014
Five Gloucester Athletic Club members travelled down to Chepstow on Sunday (24th) to compete in the Severn Bridge Half Marathon, a unique event which involves running the total width of the newer crossing, back and forth.
Peter Jeffery was the first City runner to finish, placing 376th overall and 28th in the M50 category in 1:41.40. He was followed in by Charlotte McGlone who, in her second half marathon in eight days, placed 408th overall and 21st senior lady in 1:42.42.
Next home was Denise Evans who clocked 1:47.11 for 548th overall and 9th in the F50 category, closely followed by Dave Spackman whose 1:47.20 earned him 555th overall and 2nd in the M65 age group. The group was completed by Terry Onions who placed 740th overall and 23rd M60 in 1:52.07.
Antwerp International Athletics Gala – 23/08/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Catherine Hardy gained her second sprint double victory inside one week when representing the South West Counties team in the Antwerp International Athletics Gala in Belgium on Saturday (23rd). Hardy won the 1st 100 metres in a windy 12.36 seconds before winning the 200 metres in 25.93 seconds.
BMC PB Classic – 23/08/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club youngster Alidia Vaile travelled up to Coventry to compete in the BMC PB Classic on Saturday (23rd), placing 4th in the 800 metres in 2:27.6 seconds.
White Horse 5K – 20/08/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward produced his best 5km road race performance for a number of years in the latest Severn AC White Horse 5km in Sandhurst last Tuesday (20th).
Millward led home a small Gloucester Athletic Club contingent when he placed 5th in 15:34 – a new Gloucester club age group best. Nathan Smith was the second club runner home, placing 17th in 16:49, whilst Simon Fortnam just crept into the top 30, placing 29th in 17:34. Hayley Winters placed 47th overall and 5th lady in 18:29, just one second outside her best time on the road.
Afterwards, a delighted Millward said “I’m really pleased with that run as I just did not think I was in that short of shape. I was third county runner to finish so as the race doubled up as the County 5km Road Championships, I won the bronze medal as well!”
Bristol & West 5K – 20/08/2014
On the same evening, three Gloucester Athletic Club runners travelled down to Aztec West in Bristol to race in the Bristol & West AC 5km event. Arthur Daley was the first City runner to finish, in 46th position with 19:25 having run unusually for him the first mile slower than the following two. Nicola Hovey placed 62nd in 22:52 and Rob Jordan 64th in 22:59.
Worcester Half Marathon – 17/08/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone and Tania Hamilton competed in the Worcester City Half Marathon on Sunday (17th), in aid of the County’s Air Ambulance service.
Apart from detours and the need to walk behind horses at times(!), both runners finished strongly. Out of a field of 112 runners, Charlotte placed 28th overall (5th female) in 1:42:21 while Tania placed 40th (8th female) in a new personal best 1:46:15.
South West Championships – 17/08/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s top junior sprinter, Catherine Hardy, was a double gold medallist at the South-West Championships at Exeter on Sunday (17th).
Having just returned from a two-week break, the 16 year-old was a clear winner of the U17 Women’s 100 and 200 metres in 12.35 and 25.73 seconds respectively to add to her South-West Schools sprint double from earlier in the season.
Hardy’s Gloucester club mate Tom Beckett produced his best performance in a regional championships to date when he won the bronze medal in the U20 men’s triple jump with a leap of 12.04 metres.
The Gloucester club’s top multi-event athlete, Kate Davies, had a busy afternoon competing in five events as she prepares for her final heptathlon of the year, the English Schools Combined Events Championships next month.
Davies won the U20 women’s javelin with a best throw of 31.66m, placed third in the high jump (1.55m), shot putt (9.69m) and 100m hurdles (17.56 seconds) and fourth in the long jump with 4.89 metres.
Finally, Alidia Vaile dropped down from her normal 800 metres to place a very creditable 7th in the U15 Girls 300 metres final.
BMC – 12&17/08/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s de-Camps brothers, Andrew and Richard, were both in action at the latest rounds of British Milers Clubs events last week.
At the Stretford Gold Standard meet on Tuesday (12th), Andrew placed 6th in the 800 metres ‘B’ race in 1:55.52 whilst Richard took victory in a tactical ‘C’ race in 1:55.88.
At the Grand Prix event at Solihull on Saturday (16th), Andrew took second place in the 800 metres in 1:55.90 with Richard placing 5th in 1:56.45. Team-mate Rose-Anne Galligan placed 6th in the women’s race in 2:05.60.
British Masters Championships – 09&10/08/2014
There was treble gold medal success for Gloucester Athletic Club members at the British Masters Athletics Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium at the weekend (9th/10th).
Marion Loveridge started the City club’s medal haul, taking the W50 hammer event by just 15 cms from Dutch guest Ingrid van Dyjk, with a best throw of 39.27 metres. Loveridge said: “I put myself under a lot of pressure to win here today. I was top of the UK rankings for this age group going into the competition so I guess I knew I had to perform and although it wasn’t my best competition of the year, I’m really pleased to have won the national title.”
Ian Willoughby has had a successful season since moving up to the M60 category, topping the national 100 metres hurdles list and ranking second in the 300 metres hurdles, setting new Gloucester AC age group bests along the way. On Saturday he took the gold medal in the shorter event, clocking 16.69 seconds, before taking silver medal in the 300 metres hurdles in 49.57 seconds.
The third City gold medal of the weekend came in the M35 3,000 metres steeplechase when Steve Millward led from gun to tape to win by 40 seconds in 9:56.71, a new Club age group record. Afterwards, he said “I was really pleased with that run. Despite the torrential rain throughout, I felt comfortable and finished strongly. It’s great to win my first British Masters title to follow up my UK Inter-Counties win in 2010.”
Christine Campbell was the Gloucester club’s other competitor, placing 7th in the W40 100 metres in 17.20 seconds.
Standish Woodland Chase 10/08/2014
Three Gloucester Athletic Club members braved torrential downpours to contest the Standish Woodland Chase on Sunday (10th).
James Head placed 13th overall in 1:10:00, Denise Evans placed 30th overall and first W50 in 1:20:50 and Clive Poole placed 36th in 1:24:25.
Cranham Beast – 09/08/2014
A lost shoe in a bog cost Gloucester Athletic Club’s Nathan Smith a likely victory in the Cranham Best Five Mile all-terrain event on Saturday (9th).
At the half way stage, Smith was leading the field of 100 runners by over one minute when he lost a shoe whist attempting to negotiate a particularly boggy section of the course. Retrieving and putting the shoe back on cost him all of the lead he had built up and he struggled to regain his momentum, trailing home in second place behind the winner, Peter Sammon, in 32:10.
Matt Boon was the second Gloucester athlete home, placing 6th in 33:45, with Dave Gresswell completing the scoring trio in 9th place, clocking 35:23.
James Head was the next member to finish, 11th in 36:09 with newcomer Matthew Newman creeping into the top 20, placing 19th in 38:04.
Junior Andrew McPeake placed 28th in 41:07, Colin Westbury 49th in 45:36, Peter Jeffery 53rd in 45:50, Emma Jeffrey 59th in 47:05 and Trudy Wells 74th in 51:29.
In the Young Athletes races, Harry Wells was first finisher in the U15 Boys race and Laura McPeake was first home in the U15 Girls category.
Fun Runner Four – 05/08/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club provided almost one third of the field in Severn AC's Four Mile race at Elmore last week (5th).
The warm and very humid conditions caused most runners to record slower times than in the June running of the event, but Hayley Winters appeared unaffected as she led the team home, placing 2nd overall and first lady in 25:04.
Chris Runcie placed 7th in 27:09 with new member Aaron Bennett 11th in 28:59. Second lady Kim Milward showed she's returning to form with 12th place in 29:28, just ahead of Paul Loveridge in 13th place with 29:38 and Clive Poole, 14th with 29:42, a 13 second improvement on the time he recorded in June’s race.
In 16th place, Grace Hinga took a massive 57 seconds off her previous time with 29:50. Sharon Paintin raced a fast first 3 miles but, like others, slowed over the last mile which contained 3 hills to place 28th in 34:03 whilst Trudy Wells, who does much of her training with the Club’s Junior Endurance group 35:20 for 32nd in her first race this year.
Two members of the Club’s Blackbridge Beginners running group which caters specifically for beginning or returning runners were next to finish. Karen Voyce placed 33rd in 37:03 and Chloe Willoughby clocked 39:05 in 37th place. Jane Heward, whose main sport is Nordic Ski-ing, produced a sprint up the final hill for 40:08 for 38th.
Midland League – 02/08/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team produced their best performance of the season to place third in the final Midland League Division Two match of the season at Cheltenham on Saturday (2nd) to escape the threat of relegation that had been a very real prospect going into the fixture.
Team manager Steve Millward had been rallying around his athletes in the days leading up to Saturday’s match and welcomed back several leading athletes who had been unavailable in the previous matches due to injury and competition clashes – and it was those athletes who effectively sealed the team’s survival in this competitive league.
In his last race for the team before he heads off to university in America, Alex George led the 1500 metres from the front with brother Thomas as the two crossed the line together comfortably ahead of the field. The twins then joined forces with training partners Andrew and Richard de-Camps to win the final track event of the day, the men’s 4 x 400 m relay.
Justin Sysum and Jacob Lange returned to add much-needed strength to the throwing events, with support from Tim Williams, who won the men’s hammer, and Steve Millward in the javelin.
The ladies team has been the surprise package of the season, eclipsing their male counterparts in many events, and despite some last minute drop-outs they were on top form again on Saturday.
Kelly Constable made a welcome return to form following a series of injury set-backs, taking excellent wins in the 200 and 400 metres, and a little piece of history was created when Helen Pritchard won the pole vault – the first time a City athlete has ever won this event in any competition.
Anna Robertson and Kate Davies both had another full afternoon as they made a significant contribution to the points tally, with solid support from their team-mates in all of the events.
After the match, Steve Millward said “This performance was a huge improvement on the previous match, in terms of quality and commitment, and we thoroughly deserve to stay up. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be sitting down with all of the coaches and looking to plug the gaps over the winter.”
Cheltenham & Co H 414 pts; Bristol & West 345; Gloucester 343; Newport 302; Coventry 253; Charnwood 236.
Overall League standings:
Cheltenham & Co H 19.5 pts; Newport 17 (1368 match pts); Bristol & West 17 (1286 pts); Gloucester 13; Charnwood 10; Coventry Godiva 7.5.
On Saturday (9th), Gloucester Athletic Club hosts the Cranham Beast event, with races for juniors (U11 and U15) and seniors. The racing starts at 3pm and entries can be taken on the day at the Cranham cricket club.
Gloucester Athletic Club hosts the Avon League fixture at their Blackbridge track this Sunday (10th). In terms of numbers competing, this will be the biggest match to be staged at the track with athletes of all ages coming from clubs such as Forest of Dean, Bath, Bristol, North Somerset and Stroud. The first event is at 12:00 noon
YDL Upper – 27/07/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s youngsters pulled out all of the stops to retain their Midland West Div One status in the National Youth Development League Upper Age Group match at Yeovil on Sunday (27th).
A small but committed team rallied to team manager Garry Hunter’s call and they responded splendidly, placing fourth of the seven teams in the division to secure their survival in this flight for another season.
On a day when every last point earned was vital, it would be unfair to single out individuals in a gutsy team performance, but Kate Davies’s four individual wins in the 200 metres, long and high jumps and the 100m hurdles contributed massively to the team’s total, as did the sprint double for Dayna Willoughby.
Bethan Moor and Tara Sladen made their debuts in the 1500 metres and showed tremendous potential as they took 1st and 3rd respectively. Both scored significant points elsewhere as they gamely filled gaps in the team.
Sydney Dobberson typified the team’s spirit, having made a 100-mile train journey to Gloucester before heading down to Yeovil just for the match. She was rewarded for her efforts with an excellent new personal best over 3000 metres.
In the men’s events, brother Tom and Joe Beckett continued to build on their best-ever seasons and Andrew Bowers set two new personal best times in the 200 and 400 metres. As with the ladies team, there were staunch performances from athletes striving to earn extra points with Luke Hill and Andrew McPeake both stepping out of their comfort zone to ensure the Gloucester team achieved their survival goal.
After the match, Garry Hunter said: “These athletes who committed themselves today really did their Club proud. Their backs were against the wall but they showed a lot of character to ensure we are in this division again next season. I’m very pleased for them all.”
Cheltenham Midsummer Open – 23/07/2014
Several of Gloucester Athletic Club’s younger athletes are reaping the rewards of regular competition by knocking substantial chunks off their personal best performances in recent open meetings.
At the latest Midsummer Open Meet at Cheltenham (23rd), sprinter Owain Thomas set new personal bests in the 200 metres showing promise of what he can achieve next season with a full winter’s training under his belt.
Alidia Vaile, Jude Dowdeswell, Bethan Moor, Natalie Ashley-Towell, Scarlett Pegler, Tianna and Jada George, Marion Loveridge and Andrew McPeake all set new personal bests in what was a very successful meeting for the City club.
BMC – 23/07/2014
At the BMC Gold Standard meeting at Trafford (23rd), Andrew de-Camps ran a season’s best 1:54.47 when placing third in the senior men’s 800 metres, while training partner Thomas George set a new personal best 3:49.30 in the 1500 metres.
YDL Lower – 19/07/2014
The Club’s juniors encountered heavy rain and an electrical storm at their match at Swindon but this did not prevent them from producing a stack of personal best performances.
Alidia Vaile produced perhaps the most impressive performance of the day as she knocked over three seconds off her personal best as she strode to a convincing win in the U15 girls 800 metres in 2:26.8. Training partner Jude Dowdeswell equalled her best time when placing second in the 800 metres before setting new marks in the 200 metres and javelin. Other members of the Kerry Newell training group, Natalie Ashley-Towell and Vicky Kirby, also set personal bests in the discus and javelin and 200 metres respectively as, like their older counterparts, the youngsters showed tremendous spirit in covering as many events as they could.
The youngest member of the team, 11 year-old Scarlett Pegler, was also busy setting personal bests over 75 and 150 metres, whilst another athlete new to competition this year, Fathia Fategbe, set new bests at 100 metres and high jump.
Only two boys made the trip, but Michael Pang and Sam Earl both continued their development with strong performances in the sprints and throwing events.
Blackbridge Jubilee Athletics Track
Gloucester’s Blackbridge Jubilee Athletics Track has received a glowing report from UK Athletics following a recent visit by a facility inspector, who described it as one of the finest in the south-west and Wales.
The track, which was given a major overhaul in 2012, has received praise from everyone who has used the facility either for competition or training.
Bob Purcell, Managing Director of the charity that runs the facility says: “The feedback from UK Athletics echoes everything that people have said about Blackbridge. The track has had time to bed down and is now starting to produce some very fast times. We’ve hosted open meetings, schools matches, regional league matches and the County Championships here already this year and will be staging an Avon League match next week.”
However, the track is not just open to serious athletic clubs. Purcell continues “Local community groups and the County Council are regular users, as are some of the Run England groups in the area. I’m sure that some of the local rugby, football and hockey teams will also benefit from training on the facility.”
Anyone wanting to know more about using the track should contact Bob Purcell on 01452 417990.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field face their stiffest challenge for many seasons when they compete in the final Midland Track & Field League match of the season at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The team currently lies in 5th place of six teams in Division Two and Gloucester must beat rivals Charnwood if they are to avoid the drop to Division Three.
Team manager Steve Millward says “We’ve assembled our strongest available team and if they all perform as well as I know they can, we are capable of avoiding relegation.“
Entries are now open for Gloucester Athletic Club’s multi-terrain Cranham Beast race which takes place in the Gloucestershire village on Saturday 9th August.
The senior race starts at 4pm from the Cranham Cricket Club. Entry fee is £8 for UKA Affiliated members or £10 for unattached runners. Entries will be taken on the day at no extra charge.
The senior race will be preceded by children’s races, starting at 3pm. Entry fee for these will be £2.50.
Further details can be obtained from the event website, www.iamoutdoors.co.uk/cotswold-allrunners-events/cranhambeast
BMC Grand Prix – 12/07/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Richard de-Camps has been in sparkling form in the past two weeks.
At the BMC Grand Prix event at Trafford, Manchester he sat off some erratic pace-making to place 4th in the men’s 800 metres in a new personal best time of 1:54.42. The following week (19th) he improved that time again to 1:54.04 when placing 4th in the BMC event in Oxford.
Afterwards, he said “I’m really happy to chip a few more tenths off my best, but frustrated not to dip under 1:54. Hopefully that will come in the next week or so.”
Rose-Anne Galligan was also in action at the Trafford meeting, placing 5th in the women’s 800 metres in 2:04.37. Galligan then travelled home to her native Ireland to compete in the national championships (20th) where she placed 2nd in the 800 metres final in 2:09.14.
Cheltenham Midsummer Open – 16/07/2014
There was a host of personal best times for Gloucester Athletic Club members at last week’s Midsummer Open Meeting at Cheltenham (16th).
In the rarely-run 150 metres, Dayna Willoughby, Alidia Vaile, Christine Campbell, Jada George and Ian Willoughby all set new best times, while there were new personal bests in the 300 metres for Kelly Constable and Matt Powell.
In the 800 metres, Jude Dowdeswell took nearly three seconds off her personal best while training partner Briony Bishop lowered her 1500 metres best time by a second and Tara Sladen showed her versatility when setting a new best time in the 300 metres hurdles.
Megan Teague continued her rich vein of form when setting a new personal best in the triple jump and there were event wins for Charlotte Stallard and Ellen Thrall (hammer) and Tom Beckett (triple jump).
English Schools Championships – 11+12/07/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s top young athletes performed with great distinction at the English Schools Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium (11/12th).
In the senior girls events, Charlotte Stallard took fifth place in the hammer final with a best throw of 42.94 metres whilst Kate Davies recorded her second best-ever throw of 37.15 metres when placing 8th in the javelin final. Dayna Willoughby missed much of the winter and spring with a foot injury which made her appearance at these championships all the more remarkable. However, the lost training took its toll as she could only place 6th in her 400 metres heat.
There were high hopes of a medal in the senior boys 1500 metres final which featured Alex and Thomas George. Despite having strong runs, neither could quite produce their top form as America-bound Alex finished just 13/100ths of a second outside the medals in 4th place in 3:50.65 with Thomas placing 6th in 3:52.51. Jacob Lange went one place better than his 6th place in last year’s hammer final, placing 5th with a new personal best 62.53 metres.
In the intermediate girls events, Ellen Thrall produced one of the Club’s top performances of the championships as she set a new personal best 47.66 metres to place 9th in the hammer final. In the 100 metres, Catherine Hardy, in her first national Schools championship, found herself drawn against the overwhelming favourite Imani-Lara Lansiquot from Surrey. Despite her customary strong start, Hardy faded to 5th place to miss out on a place in the final.
In a very competitive intermediate boys 200 metres, Mason Tonks placed 7th in his heat.
Club Chairman Andy McKenzie said: “These youngsters continue to bring credit to themselves, their families and their coaches as well as the Club. We’re immensely proud of them and their achievements.”
Midland League – 06/07/2014
By his own admission, Gloucester Athletic Club’s track & field team captain Steve Millward knows that his team face a huge task if they are to avoid relegation from the Serveline Midland Track & Field League Division Two following a gutsy but disappointing result in the third match at Loughborough.
The team placed fourth of the six teams on the day, leaving them in fifth place overall and facing the drop with just one match remaining.
Millward said: “We were already without some key athletes, which was acceptable as I knew this well in advance, but we were let down by several last minute withdrawals which meant it was difficult to fill those gaps. That said, I was extremely pleased with the efforts of those who competed and really worked hard.”
That spirit was evident throughout as many athletes stepped in to compete in unfamiliar events to earn an extra point or two in a league where every single point can make a difference at the end of the season.
Nevertheless, there were many positives to take from the meeting as the ladies excelled throughout. Individual victories went to Megan Teague (long and triple jumps), Catherine Hardy (100m), Dayna Willoughby (200m), Kate Davies (100m hurdles), Anna Robertson and Charlotte Stallard (hammer) and the 4 x 100m relay team. There were also encouraging senior team debuts for youngsters Bethan Moor and Tara Sladen.
The men celebrated two individual victories through Thomas George (800m) and Tim Williams (hammer). Millward set a captain’s example by competing in six individual events, Tom Beckett once again produced evidence of his progression this year and there was a first appearance for new signing Freek van Arkel.
Millward concluded by saying: “We’ll be going into our final match knowing that we have to beat Charnwood to avoid relegation. It is a massive challenge, but not impossible and we’ll be pulling out all the stops to do our best.”
League standings after three of four matches:
Newport Harriers 14 pts; Cheltenham & Co 13.5; Bristol & West 12; Charnwood 9; Gloucester 9; Coventry Godiva 5.5.
Pomphrey Sports 5K – 24/06/2014
There was success for Gloucester Athletic Club’s Nicola Hovey and Arthur Daley at the final race of the Pomphrey Sports 5km series in Bristol.
Daley placed 71st overall and first M60 in 19:48 to win the age group series competition and Hovey finished in 121st place overall and first W55 in 23:00 to win her series age group.
In his first 5km race for the Club, Richard Harris placed 111th in 22:11.
Gloucester 10K - 13/07/2014
Gloucester's first community organised city centre road race this century was a resounding success for Gloucester Athletic club ladies as they finished with 3 members in the first 10. Winner of last year's commercially promoted race, Hayley Winters made it a double being presented with the first ladies prize of a pair of Brooks shoes from Gloucester Sports by the Sheriff of Gloucester Cllr Lise Noakes. Winters, who lives on the course and whose flat co-incidentally featured on the commemorative t-shirt finished in 39:49. Second lady in for Gloucester Sue Higgins ran a very evenly paced race for 45:01 and despite being in the middle of the age group gained the first W45 prize. Charlotte McGlone ran in 10th lady with 46:37 and Michelle Stark, coming back from a long lay off and also representing her Gloucester based employers Fast Hosts finished with 51:44.
Gloucester AC men just missed out on prizes with Winter's partner Nathan Smith completing his third fastest 10k for 4th place with 35:57. Dave Spackman, at 69, was second M60 with 47:08. At the other end of the age groups Chris Runcie took 2 minutes of his personal best with 44:06 in 47th place. He was closely followed home by Nick Bishop in 49th place with 44:07. Paul Loveridge was one place behind McGlone in 91st with 46:40.
The community organised race - Tewkesbury AC, Gloucester AC, Almost Athletes and Running Somewhere Else all contributed manpower and resources - attracted entrants from many local social running groups with the newly formed Kingsway Runners sporting their newly designed group vests (Mike Cooke 51:47, Samantha Claridge 55:04, Steve Yetton 57:48, Khirstie Bromage 58:23 and John Hookway 65:43) and Sellars Bridge Striders represented by Tim Dowle (55:27) and Dave Greenward. (58:26) as well as Stark and Higgins.
Elmore 10 mile road race - 12/07/2014
Severn AC's 10 mile road race, held in hot and humid conditions, was a test for both Gloucester AC entrants. This was James Head's first race after regaining fitness and Dave Gresswell used it to test out his fitness after some weeks interrupted training due to work commitments. Both finished with bronze in the Gloucestershire AAA Championships held in conjunction with the race, Head in the senior men and Gresswell the M45 category.
Gresswell - aiming at about 65 mins - lead Head for the first 7 miles but was overtaken by Head who had possibly - bearing in mind the hot and humid conditions - started at a better pace. Head finished in 8th place with 67:24 and Gresswell in 9th in 67:57.
Frampton 10K - 07/07/2014
Nathan Smith was Gloucester AC's first runner home in the hotly contested Frampton 10k. Smith cycled to the course after a 12hr shift but still managed to produce a personal best by over 30 secs with 35:18 and if he can consolidate his training looks able to get below 34 minutes. Simon Fortnam achieved 37:00 for 14th place with Matt Powell (SM) the next placed Gloucester runner in 37th with 39:10. Powell had spent most of the race tracking first M60 Arthur Daley, briefly over taking him at downhill at 5k. Daley regained the lead by 6k only to lose it again over the last mile. Daley's 39:22 was his second fastest since 2007.
Nick Bishop reduced his PB by 90 secs to come in 93rd with 43:32 and Martin Hobson took 114th place with 44:54. Peter Jeffery completed the men's team with 46:32in 153rd.
Nicola Hovey set a season's best and gained 2nd W55 spot with 47:02 for 168th position.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jo Willoughby currently leads the world rankings for the Triple Jump in the F50 category. Willoughby, the lead long and triple jump coach at the Gloucester club and a former Wales and Great Britain international, set the world-leading 9.49 metres and moved to 4th on the UK all-time F50 ranking list earlier this month when winning the Midland Masters title at Nuneaton.
YDL Lower - 22/06/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s young athletes set a stash of new personal best performances when they hosted the latest National Youth Development League (lower age group) fixture at Blackbridge on Sunday (22nd).
Track victories in this league are hard to come by for the young Gloucester team, so the commanding win by Briony Bishop in the U15 Girls 1500 metres by 30 seconds was probably the stand-out individual performance.
Jude Dowdeswell and Natalie Ashley-Towell both recorded personal bests in the 800 metres, as did Alidia Vaile and Tamsin Doran in the 300 metres.
Fathia Fatagbe set new best marks in her home debut over 200 metres and high jump and was an unexpected winner of the U15 Girls ‘B’ string shot putt, whilst Chloe Jones was a clear winner of the ‘A’ string discus.
The U13 girls were also busy recording new best performances as Jada George (75m), Megan Bishop (150m) and Elissa Moor (800m, long jump and javelin) all enjoyed successful afternoons in the Gloucester sunshine.
In the U15 Boys events, Harry Wells knocked another five seconds off his best 1500 metres time when clocking 4:38.1, to mark a 10 seconds improvement in his last two races. Sam Earl was another to set new best marks, in the hammer and shot putt, as was Kieron Parry in the shot putt, hammer and long jump and newcomer Joel Townley in the long jump.
Race For Life – 22/06/2014
At Sunday’s Gloucester Race For Life 10km event, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Charlotte McGlone was first finisher in 43:00. Tania Hamilton was third in 46:52 and Sharon Painton 10th in 53:26.
England U20/U23 Championships – 21&22/06/2014
Alex George produced the stand out result of the trio of Gloucester Athletic Club’s members in the England U23/U20 championships at Bedford at the weekend (21st/22nd) when he took the silver medal in the U20 men’s 1500 metres.
This meeting doubled up as the trials for the World U20 championships, therefore attracting the top juniors in the UK as well as a talented group of athletes who were on tour from the USA.
After qualifying comfortably from his heat, the Gloucester youngster ran a tactically sound final, always in the leading group, coming home in an impressive second place in 3:51.29 just half a second behind Shaun Wyllie of Bracknell AC.
Alex’s brother, Thomas, just missed out on a place in the 1500 metres final, finishing sixth in his heat in 3:59.18.
In the U23 men’s hammer final, Tim Williams placed fifth with a new personal best throw of 62.73 metres and Jacob Lange placed eighth in a competitive U20 men’s hammer final with a best throw of 58.02 metres.
South West Schools Championships – 21/06/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Kate Davies and Catherine Hardy were both double gold medal winners at the South West Schools Championships at Yeovil last Saturday (21st).
Multi-eventer Davies set a new personal best 1.63m when winning the senior girls high jump before winning the javelin with a season’s best 36.83m.
Hardy was a clear winner of the intermediate girls 100 metres in 12.36 seconds, her fastest ever legal time, and then lowered her personal best when winning the 200 metres in 25.55 seconds.
Charlotte Stallard won the silver medal in the senior girls hammer with a best throw of 42.33 metres, whilst training partner Ellen Thrall won the bronze medal in the intermediate girls hammer with 44.50 metres. Thrall set a new personal of 25.58 metres when placing fifth in the discus final.
Bethan Moor found herself detached from the medallists but worked hard to place 4th in the intermediate girls 1500 metres in 5:04.89. Dayna Willoughby placed fifth in the senior girls 400 metres final in 59.00 seconds and Cheyna Nicholls took 10th place in the intermediate girls hammer in 27.88 metres.
In the junior boys 300 metres, Rory Cawkwell placed second in his heat in 39.16 seconds.
Gloucester Athletic Club will be well represented at the English Schools Championships in Birmingham next month, with eight youngsters gaining selection for the Gloucestershire team.
Kate Davies, Charlotte Stallard, Dayna Willoughby, Catherine Hardy and Ellen Thrall are in the girls events, whilst Alex and Thomas George, and Jacob Lange will be in the boys team.
European Team Championships – 21/06/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Rose-Anne Galligan placed fifth in the 800 metres at the European Athletics Team Championships First League in the Estonian capital, Tallin, on Saturday.
The Irish national record holder clocked 2:05.97.
Worcester Open – 17/06/2014
At the Worcester Open Meeting last Tuesday (17th), Gloucester Athletic Club’s Harry Wells knocked over five seconds off his personal best when placing 8th in the U15 Boys 1500 metres in 4:43.0. Club mate Andrew Bowers set two season’s best times when placing 2nd in the 400 metres in 53.0 seconds and 4th in the 200 metres in 24.2 seconds.
White Horse 5K – 17/06/2014
At the latest Severn AC White Horse 5km race, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Simon Fortnam placed 29th in 17:54. Club newcomer Chris Runcie clocked 20:21.
14-15/06/2014 – Gloucester 24 Hour Track Race
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower placed fourth in the Gloucester 24-hours track race at Blackbridge on the weekend (14/15th).
The race, organised by the Ultra Running Group of Great Britain, was billed as a return to the scene where in 1982 Gloucester’s Dave Dowdle set what was then a world record for the event of 274.48 kms which, to give an idea of the scale of that achievement, is still the UK all-time best.
The latest Gloucester event was won by Dan Lawson who covered 242.88 kms, with Mower recording 196.68 kms, a remarkable performance given that he ran the final four hours with a swollen ankle and his best distance for 24-hours on the track.
Tewkesbury’s Angie Sadler placed 8th overall and second lady with 172.01 kms.
Gloucester’s Chris O’Carroll, MP Richard Graham and Dowdle himself all made cameo appearances during the event.
14&15/06/2014 – Midlands Senior and U20 Championships
Gloucester Athletic Club sent six athletes to compete in the Midland Senior and Under 20s Championships in Birmingham at the weekend (14/15) and all came away with a medal.
The very first event of day one, the men’s hammer, saw Tim Williams throw 59.33m to win the bronze medal.
The first track event, the U20 men’s 1500m was totally dominated by the George brothers, Alex and Tom. Setting a ferocious pace from the gun, the pair intelligently shared the pace-making duties and towed a group of four runners through. Alex, whose personal best was significantly quicker than the rest of the field came home the winner in 3:49.73, 17 one-hundredths of a second ahead of Tom, whose 3:49.90 clocking was a personal best by over two seconds and propelled him up to 10th place in the UK age group rankings. Both can go into this weekend’s English Championships and world junior games trials with confidence.
The Gloucester club’s strength at 1500 metres was further demonstrated in the senior men’s event where Richard de-Camps took the bronze medal in a slow, tactical race.
In the U20 women’s 400 metres, Dayna Willoughby showed she is gradually regaining her form of last year following an injury-ravaged winter, placing 3rd in a new personal best time of 58.58 seconds.
On day two, Steve Millward was a class apart in the senior men’s 3,000 metres steeplechase, coming home the winner by over 15 seconds in a season’s best 9:55:67 to complete the Club’s medal haul.
15/06/2014 – Welsh & South West England Masters
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Ian Willoughby continued his run of success with a double victory in the combined Welsh and SW England Masters Championships at Brecon on Sunday (15th).
Willoughby clocked a new personal best of 16.4 seconds when winning the M60 100 metres hurdles and followed this up with victory in the 300m hurdles in 49.8 seconds.
14/06/2014 – Park Runs
Two members of Gloucester Athletic Club’s junior endurance group recorded new personal best times at the Cheltenham 5km Parkrun on Saturday (14th). Andrew McPeake clocked 22:26 in 69th place and Natalie Ashley-Towell knocked over a minute off her personal best with 22:36 in 78th place. Alex Purcell also set a new personal best of 26:48 in 189th place, whilst Christine Campbell clocked 27:50 in 209th place.
This weekend’s 24-hour track race at the Blackbridge Jubilee Athletic Track in Gloucester has attracted an entry of 35 runners. The event, which starts at 12 noon on Saturday (14th) shall be held at the same venue where, in 1982, Gloucester’s Dave Dowdle set what was then a world record distance of just over 170 miles. Dowdle, himself, shall be making a guest appearance at the race and will run the first lap with Gloucester MP Richard Graham.
Race organiser, Pam Storey, is hoping that the event stirs the imagination of the local public and that they will come along and support the runners in this most arduous of track races.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Anna Robertson has been making waves in the world of ladies cricket over the past 18 months.
The 24 year-old from Hereford was voted the ECCB Chance to Shine Coach of the Year for 2013 and recently attended a special event at the House of Lords to celebrate the introduction of one million girls into cricket since 2005, where Robertson and one of her Herefordshire U13 county players, Tharindi Attalapitiva, both spoke about the programme and the positive effect it has had on them.
Gloucester Athletic Club has appointed Carlton ‘Skip’ Blake as its head generic throws coach.
Club Secretary Bob Purcell says: “Skip was appointed the Club’s head multi-events coach in 2011, but with the signing of Ian and Jo Willoughby as hurdles and horizontal jumps coaches, we now have most of the bases covered. We felt that Skip’s vast coaching and competitive experience in the throws events will be better utilised in this very specialist area.”
Gloucester Athletic Club will be holding a Family Day and Barbecue after they have hosted the National Youth Development League Lower Age Group fixture at the Blackbridge Jubilee Athletics Track in Podsmead on Sunday 22nd June.
Team Manager Bob Purcell says “This will be the perfect opportunity for all of our members and their families to come along and see our future stars compete on their home track. We’ll be having a barbecue and quiz after the event and we hope that as many people will come along and cheer the kids as possible.”
For further information on this event, ring Bob Purcell on 01452 417990.
Midlands Masters – 08/06/2014
Whilst the Club’s youngsters were meeting with success at Cheltenham, those who could be considered at the opposite end of their careers were winning titles at the Midlands Masters Championships at Nuneaton on Sunday (8th).
Marion Loveridge has shown impressive early-season form this spring and she continued this with a dominant performance in the ladies Hammer Throw. Not only did she win the F50 competition, but her best throw of 40.50 was over six metres further than anyone else in any age group managed on the day and was a new Gloucester AC age group record and Championship best performance.
Ian Willoughby continued his run of Club record-breaking performances when he struck gold in the M60 300m Hurdles in 48.8 seconds. He added to this with victory in the 100m Hurdles in 18.5 seconds. His wife, Joanne, who is also a coach at the Gloucester club, was another double winner in her first competition for several years, winning the F50 long and triple jumps in 4.24m and 9.49m respectively.
Midland League - 07/06/2014
Despite being ravaged by a fixture clash, injuries and unavailabilities due to exams, Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team still made their manager Steve Millward proud with a fighting and spirited performance that earned them fifth place overall in the second Midland Athletics League fixture at Yate on Saturday (7th).
The Gloucester team is normally a very young one with an average age of under 20, but with the County Schools championships taking place on the same day, Millward had to dig deep into the Club’s resources to raise as strong a team as he could for this match.
“It was very much a damage-limitation exercise to keep ourselves out of the relegation places” said the Gloucester manager afterwards, “And I was absolutely delighted with the effort and commitment of the team as they strived to muster every single point they possibly could.”
The team welcomed back Ashleigh Naylor and Andrew de-Camps, both making their first League appearances for two years and both responded with strong runs that belied their lack of racing over that time. Sprinter Sophie Lambert stepped up to contest the ‘A’ string 100 and 200 metres and came away with season’s best times in both and sprinter Terence Babarinsa did not disappoint when given his senior team debut.
Tom Beckett carried his impressive early-season form into this match and set two new personal bests in the high and triple jumps and there was a hat-trick of wins for Libby Taylor, in the 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles and triple jump.
The endurance runners for the ladies proved themselves as Kirsty Branch and Sydney Dobberson both in their first senior league match for the Club, each competed in the 800, 1500 and 3000 metres events, whilst throwers Anna Robertson and Marion Loveridge and the Purcell sisters, Kathryn and Alex, all made significant contributions to the team total.
The team spirit was exemplified further by Dave Gresswell who, after having completed a 12-miles training run in the morning, answered the call from his team manager to race in the 3000 metres whilst seasoned-campaigners M60 Arthur Daley and M70 Chris O’Carroll set what must be a new league record for the oldest combined age for the discus event.
Gloucestershire Schools Athletics Championships – 07/06/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s top young athletes were in sparkling form at the Gloucestershire Schools Athletics Championships at Cheltenham on Saturday (7th).
In the senior girls events, there were clear wins for Dayna Willoughby (400 metres), Charlotte Stallard (hammer) and Kate Davies (javelin). Jacob Lange continued his domination in the senior boys hammer throw in the region, taking gold in his specialist event, whilst there was a bronze for Andrew Bowers in the 400 metres.
In the inter girls section, Catherine Hardy took gold in the 200 metres and silver in the 100 metres, and there was also a gold for Bethan Moor in the 1500 metres ahead of training partners Tara Sladen and Heather Christie placing 5th and 8th. Ellen Thrall took gold medal in the hammer and backed this up with silver in the discus. Cheyna Nicholls took silver in the hammer, bronze in the shot putt and placed 4th in the discus. Joe Beckett flew the Gloucester AC flag in the inter boys events, taking silver in the discus.
Although there were no medals in the junior girls events, personal bests fell like nine-pins. Alidia Vaile and Jude Dowdeswell (800m), Laura McPeake, Natalie Ashley-Towell and Cressida May (1500m) and Saskia Barnett all lowered their best times. The girls did not have things their own way, however, as Rory Cawkwell took gold medal in the junior boys 300 metres in a new championship nest time of 39.6 seconds. Michael Pang set two new personal bests in the 100 and 200 metres and there was a 6th place finish for Harry Wells in the 1500 metres.
Fitness 4 – 03/06/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club was well-represented at the Severn Four-Mile Fitness Run in Elmore last week (3rd).
Omar Alim led the group home in 24:57 to show he is approaching his best form since 2011. Hayley Winters was the first lady home, in 24:59, and James Head continued his racing comeback with 25:05.
Newcomer Chris Runcie clocked 27:40, while Sue Higgins clocked a personal best of 27:57. Paul Loveridge was next to finish, in 28:18, and there was close finish between Clive Poole and Tania Hamilton who both recorded personal bests 29:55.
Next home was Sharon Harris, with Grace Vida (32:24) and Sharon Paintin (33:32) completing their first races for the Club.
Fairford 10K – 01/06/2014
Jason Tilley was Gloucester Athletic Club’s first finisher in this year’s Fairford 10km road race on Sunday (1st), placing 19th overall in 37:54.
Matt Powell struggled over the latter stages to place 33rd in 39:48, whilst there was an encouraging return to racing for James Head following injury as he placed 45th in 41:01.
Chris Runcie placed 106th in his first race in Club colours, clocking 45:57, and Charlotte McClone placed 135th in 47:59.
BMC Grand Prix – 31/05/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club's leading middle distance runners headed north to Sport City in Manchester on Saturday (31st) to compete in the latest BMC Grand Prix. The meeting turned out to be a novel experience for the group as they raced against a backdrop of thousands of screaming fans at the One Direction Concert in the adjacent Etihad Stadium.
However, this did not deter the City athletes from once again producing their own brand of first class entertainment, equal to that next door as they set about revising their personal best times.
Alex George’s main goal for the evening was to achieve the 1500 metres qualifying standard 3:47.0 for the British Championships at Birmingham at the end of June and he did not disappoint as he lowered his two-week old personal best with a 3:46.44 clocking to place sixth in the ‘B’ race and to remain in the UK top three for junior men in 2014.
His brother Thomas produced arguably the performance of the night from a Gloucester viewpoint when he knocked nearly four seconds from his previous 1500 metres best time, clocking 3:52.02 for second place in the ‘D’ race. Training partner Richard de-Camps placed 8th in 3:56.00, a personal best by 18/100ths of a second.
There was some disappoint for the group as the squad’s elder statesman Andrew de-Camps, on the comeback trail after a long absence through injury, suffered a reversal in the 800 metres, coming home in 8th place in 1:55.53. Afterwards, he said “I’m angry with that run as I was completely out of sorts and just didn’t race well. It’s back to the drawing board to see where we go for the rest of the season.”
In the women’s 800 metres, Irish record holder Rose-Anne Galligan ran a season’s best 2:02.07 in second place. Despite finishing quickly, she left herself a little too much do and just failed to overall reigning European Champion Lynsey Sharp.
Stroud Beer Race – 28/05/2014
Two Gloucester Athletic Club members used this year’s Stroud Beer Race to judge their return to competition. Pete Lloyd showed that the Achilles tendon injury which has kept him out of competition for a year is behind him as he took the M40 prize, placing 5th in 47:56 and Nikki Harding was 2nd W40 (42nd) in 64:18.
Pomphrey Sports 5K – 27/05/2014
Good weather helped and bad travelling hampered three Gloucester Athletic Club members in last week’s Pomphrey Sports 5km event in Bristol.
Traffic delays on the M5 meant that the group arrived only 15 minutes before the start of the race, denying them the chance to warm-up. However the good weather conditions compensated with Nicola Hovey performing only a few seconds short of her 5km road best in 22:13, taking the W55 prize, and Kirsty Branch setting a new best with 21:28. Arthur Daley ran a below-par race by his standards, but still placed 3rd M60 in 24:29.
County Championships – 18/05/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club members reaped the benefits of having the 2014 Gloucestershire County Championships on their home Blackbridge track, collecting a stash of titles and medals as the event returned to the City for the first time in over 30 years.
In the senior and U20 track events, county titles went to sprinter Sophie Lambert who took her first-ever county double over 100 and 200 metres. Richard de-Camps moved down to 400 metres and was a commanding victor, crossing the line in 52.5 seconds. Dayna Willoughby took the ladies 400 metres title in 60.5 seconds whilst Arthur Daley took the M60 title in the 5,000 metres.
In the field events, Kate Davies was another double winner (javelin and shot putt) whilst Marion Loveridge (F50), Charlotte Stallard (U20W) and Jacob Lange (U20M) secured hammer titles. Ben Potts (U20M shot putt) and new-signing Peter Saunders (U20M long jump) also won gold in their respective events. Tom Beckett overcame a disappointing long jump to take silver in the U20M triple jump, a position also occupied by Megan Teague in the U20W event. Kate Davies took three silvers (high and long jumps and 100m hurdles) and there was a silver medal for Thomas George in the U20M 400 metres.
The Under-17s also fared well. Ellen Thrall took gold in the hammer to further demonstrate the City club’s strength in this event, Bethan Moor took a surprise long jump gold medal to make up for her silver medal in her preferred 1500 metres, and Catherine Hardy recovered from a reversal in the 100 metres to take gold in the 200 metres.
Joe Beckett further demonstrated his improvement this season as he took silver medals in the U17M discus and javelin and there was a silver for Ellan Thrall in the U17W discus.
Briony Bishop took the only track gold for the Club in the U15 age group as she won the U15 Girls 3,000m in a new personal best. There were golds to celebrate in the field events, however, as Tamsin Doran (shot putt), Sam Earl (javelin) and newcomer Rory Cawkwell (triple jump) took their first county titles.
Alidia Vaile took silver in the U15 Girls 200 metres and there were further silvers for Bethany Gardiner (100 metres), Michael Pang (100 and 200 metres) and Harry Wells (1500 metres).
The Club’s youngest title winner was Ben Campion in the U13 Boys discus.
Club Chairman Andy McKenzie said afterwards, “We’re naturally very proud of all of our athletes who took part in these Championships. Not only do we send our congratulations to the medallists, but the event gave many of the youngsters and newcomers their first taste of championship competition and will be a huge learning experience for them in their athletics careers".
Dymock Half Marathon – 25/05/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men won the team prize at the Dymock Half Marathon on Sunday (25th) to retain the title they won at last year’s event.
A strong team performance over the tough, undulating course saw Nathan Smith taking second place behind Severn’s James Rose in a time of 1:20:01. Afterwards, Smith said “I suffered from leg cramp over the final two miles but, otherwise, I am pleased with the run. The long uphill stretches on the course probably add an extra two minutes on the time, so I reckon I would have clocked sub 80 minutes on a flatter course.”
Smith’s club mates, Mike Mansfield and Jeremy Mower were locked together in a battle throughout the race, with the latter forcing the pace, until the final mile when Mansfield made his move to finish fifth overall and first veteran in 1:21:35. Mower placed sixth in 1:21:43 to ensure the team prize stayed with the City club.
Tewkesbury Half Marathon & 10K – 25/05/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Hayley Winters was a convincing winner of the Tewkesbury Half Marathon on Sunday (25th) in her second fastest-ever time over the distance, stopping the clock in 1:29:17. Afterwards, she said “I’m delighted with the run but found the final four miles difficult as I was running into a strong wind and had become isolated form the rest of the field.”
Club mate Martin Hobson placed 238th overall in 1:49:11.
In the Tewkesbury 10km event, held in conjunction with the Half Marathon, Gloucester AC’s John Gormley placed 6th in 37:33, with new signing Jason Tilley placing 7th in 38:20. Sue Higgins produced her best-ever road run when placing 3rd lady and 65th overall in 44:10, an improvement on her previous best by 1:50.
Trailblazer MT10K – 25/05/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward was the winner of this year’s Runners World Trailblazer multi-terrain 10km race in the Forest of Dean on Sunday (25th).
On a testing, hilly course, Millward overcame the torrential rain and muddy conditions to win by 90 seconds in a new course record 34:15.
Afterwards, Millward said “I’m very pleased with that run as it shows I’m in good shape and on the way to challenge for the 3000m steeplechase at the Midland Championships and British Masters Championships later in the season.”
Park runs - 24/05/2014
In the recent Cheltenham 5km Parkrun event (24th), youngster Tara Sladen set a new personal best 21:39.
17/05/2014 – BMC Grand Prix, Watford
Gloucester AC were well represented at the British Milers Club Grand Prix in Watford on Saturday evening (17th) and the ideal conditions showed as they produced three personal best performances.
Thomas George was in action over 800m, an event he is still learning and where the slightest error can prove costly. Nevertheless, despite his own injury problems over the winter, he managed to lower his personal best for the second time this season, recording a time of 1:56.28.
Brother Alex George continued his fine winter form over the Country as he opened his 2014 summer account over 1500m by leaping straight to number 2 in the UK Junior rankings with a personal best of 3:47.92, lowering the time he set in his outstanding 2013 by over two seconds. In a scrappy race, which presented Alex with a number of problems against physically much bigger opponents, there were signs that he can go considerably quicker given a clean run.
Richard de-Camps, also lowered his personal best over 1500 metres with a time of 3:56.3 despite a long day having spent the morning taking exams in Bristol.
However, the happiest athlete of the night was former three-time Midland Champion, Andrew de-Camps, who was competing in his first outdoor 800m race for almost three years following a serious achilles injury. Although in the unaccustomed position of opening the programme in one of the slower races, Andrew showed he had lost none of his racing nous as he ran a flawless tactical race, only being beaten as his legs gave out in the final 50 metres due to lack of training and recording the rather modest time, by his standards, of 1:54.9.
14/05/2014 – County Championships, part 1
In the first part of the Gloucestershire County Championships meeting at Blackbridge on Wednesday (14th), Briony Bishop was first-placed U15 Girl in the 3000 metres in a new personal best 11:25.7. Arthur Daley was first-placed M60 in the 5000 metres in 19:04. In the field events, Bethan moor was first-placed U17 Lady in the long jump with 3.58m whilst Megan Teague and Libby Taylor placed second and third in the U20 ladies triple jump with 9.24m and 9.06 respectively.
After an absence of over thirty years, the Gloucestershire County Athletics Championships return to the County City when the 2014 edition of the event takes place at the Blackbridge Jubilee Athletics Track in Podsmead on Wednesday (14th) and Sunday (18th).
Bob Purcell, Managing Director of Gloucester Athletics Track Management, says “This is a great honour for the track and for Gloucester to have the championships back in the County City after so long. We’re really excited about it and are confident we can do the County proud.”
Entries can be taken on the day, for details visit http://www.glosaaa.org.uk/ and http://www.glosaaa.org.uk/PDFS/2014_GTFtimetable.pdf .
11/05/2014 - Northern Masters
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Paul Barlow travelled up to Leigh, Greater Manchester to compete in the Northern Masters’ Championships on Sunday (11th) and came away with no fewer than three gold medals (800, 1500 and 3000m) one silver (long jump) and one bronze (400m). Afterwards, an exhausted Barlow said “The times were less than spectacular, but it’s great to win a few regional titles.”
09/05/2014 - Diamond League, Doha
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Rose-Anne Galligan made her 2014 outdoor season debut in the womens’ 800 metres at the Diamond League event in Doha, Quatar, last Friday (9th).
Galligan, the Irish national senior record-holder for the event, placed 10th in 2:02.42. Afterwards, she said “I’m really pleased with the time as it was my fastest-ever opening race and I’m really excited about the rest of the season.”
07/05/2014 – Gloucester District Schools
The Blackbridge Jubilee Athletics Track was the setting for the Gloucester District Schools meeting on Wednesday (7th) with many Gloucester club members prominent. Miranda Bass, Siobhan Barnes and Jude Dowdeswell all won their respective 800 metres age groups events, Dowdeswell knocking a sizeable chunk off her personal best in the process. Alex Bache placed 5th in her 800 metres race and Natalie Ashley-Towell took second place in her 1500 metres beating her previous best by nine seconds. Meg Teague was a double winner in the long and triple jumps with 4.40m, and 9.45m and Catherine Hardy won the girls 100 metres.
05/05/2014 – BMC PB Classic, Millfield
On Bank Holiday Monday (5th), a group of athletes headed south to compete in the BMC PB Classic meeting at Millfield School in Somerset with several coming away with new personal best times, despite the heavy rain throughout.
In the senior men’s 800 metres ‘A’ race, Richard de Camps was a whisker outside his personal best time with 1:55.59 in 5th place, holding off training partner and club-mate Alex George whose 1:56.19 was a new best.
Dominic Tutton was outside his best time as he placed 5th in the men’s 800 metres ‘D’ race, but there was success for youngster Alidia Vaile in the U15 Girls’ event as she lowered her personal best for the second time in two days, clocking 2:30.16 in 5th place.
In the men’s 1500 metres ‘A’ race, Thomas George continued his comeback following injury with a new personal best 3:55.85 in 4th place and Harry Wells knocked a sizeable chunk off his best, recording 4:49.45 in the U15 Boys’ race.
05/05/2014 – Brewer Games
Two new Club age group records were broken at the Brewer Games at Cheltenham on Monday (5th) where Ellen Thrall improved her own U17 Women’s Shot Putt record to 7.82m and Ian Willoughby lowered the Club’s M60 300m Hurdles record to 49.80 seconds. Thrower Joe Beckett was another athlete in fine form, improving his personal best in the U17 Men’s discus to 34.46m, whilst Jacob Lange continued his unbeaten run to win the U20 Men’s hammer with 57.58m. In the 400 metres, Andrew Bowers clocked 53.39 seconds and Christine Campbell ran 17.29 seconds in the 100 metres. In the QuadKids competition, Elissa Moor set new personal bests in the 800 metres and long jump.
03/05/2014 – Anglo Celtic Plate
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower set a new record for the number of appearances by any athlete in the Anglo-Celtic Plate 100km when he ran in his 10th event at Gravesend on Saturday (3rd).
Representing Wales, Mower passed through the halfway point in 4 hrs 09:26 before being affected by cramp which slowed him down sufficiently to warrant first aid. After a massage, he was soon back on his feet and eventually finished in 13th place overall.
Afterwards, Mower said “That was the toughest course I have raced over 100km and had I realised there was so many ascents and descents, I would certainly have done more hill training in the lead-up to the race.”
Mower’s next ultra race will be the Gloucester 24-hour track race on the weekend of 14th/15th June on the Blackbridge track in Podsmead where, in 1982, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Dave Dowdle set a then world record distance of just over 170 miles in 24 hours.
05/05/2014 – Blaisdon 10K
Matt Powell was the Gloucester club’s first runner home in the Blaisdon Bluebell 10km event on Monday (5th), placing 6th in 39:09. Club mate Dave Gresswell placed 7th in 39:45, the day after racing over 5,000m at the Midland League match in Coventry, with Dave Spackman placing 22nd in 52:35.
05/05/2014 – Milton Keynes Marathon & Half Marathon
Further afield, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Arthur Daley and Sue Higgins met with success at the Milton Keynes Half Marathon on Monday (5th), taking the M60 and W50 first prizes in 1:33:21 and 1:36:17 respectively. In the full marathon, Den Evans clocked 3:43:32, Philip du Plessis 3:48:07 and Nicola Hovey 4:01:40.
04/05/2014 – Midland League
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior track & field team manager Steve Millward was delighted with his team’s third place in the opening fixture of this season’s Serveline Midland League Division Two match at Coventry on Sunday (4th).
Millward said “We were disrupted by fixture clashes and injuries, but the team responded well and we covered many more events than I expected as we went into the match.”
This led to several athletes competing in more events than they normally would, with Millward himself being a prime example as he competed in no fewer than seven events on the day, taking second places in his speciality steeplechase and 400 metres hurdles and an unexpected win in the 110m hurdles.
Simon Fortnam was another to fill in extra events to win unexpected points, taking victories in the ‘B’ string 110m hurdles and steeplechase to add to valuable points in the 400m hurdles and 5000m events, whilst Alex Purcell earned a sackful of points in her first competition for nearly two years.
In addition to the donkey work put in by the experienced athletes, there were some top quality performances by the younger athletes as sprinters Catherine Hardy and Jevaughn Gayle set personal bests in the 100 metres and Thomas George made a welcome return to competition following a winter blighted by injury to control the 800 metres.
In the field events, Tom Beckett had his best day in senior competition as he set new personal best performances in the long, triple and high jumps and Kate Davies equalled her personal bests in the long and high jumps. And whilst the throwers did not enjoy their accustomed domination, there was still a host of excellent performances from the throwing group of Anna Robertson, Lauren Richards, Jacob Lange and Tim Williams.
Afterwards, Millward said “If we can consolidate this third place in round two, we can put ourselves in a good position to push for promotion in the second half of the season. That is not an unrealistic target.”
Team scores: Newport Harriers 345 pts; Bristol & West 319; Gloucester 317; Coventry Godiva 308; Cheltenham & Co 304; Charnwood AC 266.
03/05/2014 – YDL Lower
Gloucester Athletic Club’s young athletes travelled to Solihull to compete in the UK Youth Development League Lower Age Group fixture on Saturday with the Under-15 Girls team, in particular, producing some outstanding performances.
Kerry Newell’s coaching group have already shown this spring that a successful season lies ahead and this was in evidence at Solihull as Alidia Vaile, Jude Dowdeswell, Kirstie Constable, Vicky Kirby, Briony Bishop, Natalie Ashley-Towell and Laura McPeake all recorded new personal bests in their various events, the highlight of their afternoon being a new Club record in the 4 x 300 metres for Vaile, Kirby, McPeake and Ashley–Towell.
Excellent support came from Beth Gardener and Tamsin Doran in the sprints and Amelia Hill and Eire Rowland-Evans who all had busy afternoons.
In the Under-15 Boys events, Lewis Nicholls recorded new personal best times in the 100 and 200 metres.
03/05/2014 – Anglo Celtic Plate 100K
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower represented Wales in the Anglo-Celtic Plate 100km on Saturday 3rd May. The match involves international teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In doing so he became the first person to have competed ten times for any of the countries. Mower reached the 50km mark in 4 hrs 9 min 6 secs, but several miles later he was slowing down due to tight quad muscles, a visit to the massage tent though got him going again and he managed to pull a few places back and finish in 13th position in 8:49:13. The 2030 metre course was held at the “Cyclopark”, Gravesend and had one short sharp hill and another long drag with both having to be negotiated up and down. Mower said this was the toughest course he had raced 100km over and on reflection would have done more hill training had he known the amount of ascent/ descent on the course, over 600 metres over the entire 48 lap race. Mower’s next big ultra race will be a 24 hour track race at the Gloucester Athletic Track on the 14th July 2014 at 12 noon. The event will be celebrating the setting of the British 24 hour track record by Gloucester’s Dave Dowdle in 1982 when he covered 170 miles.
29/04/2014 – Pomphrey Sports 5K
Earlier in the week, Daley was 1st M60 at the latest Pomphrey Sports 5km race, clocking 19:02. Kirsty Branch reduced her personal best by over 20 seconds when clocking 21:30 and Nicola Hovey was first W55 finisher in 22:09.
27/04/2014 – Angels 10K
Gloucester Athletic Club members have been in local road race action recently. Hayley Winters placed 14th overall and 2nd senior lady in the Angels 10km road race, clocking 40:38. With Charlotte McGlone placing 39th and Kim Millward placing 39th, the City team placed second in the ladies team event. In her first race following an injury break, Nikki Harding placed 80th.
26/04/2014 – Youth Development League
Gloucester Athletic Club’s young athletes continued their promising start to the 2014 track & field season with a series of impressive performances at the National Youth Development League Midland Division match at Blackbridge on Sunday (27th).
The field event athletes were on top form, posting a host of new personal best performances, none more so than the long and triple jumpers who are clearly benefitting from the coaching of former Great Britain international Jo Willoughby.
Kate Davies enjoyed her best-ever long jump series. Going into the competition with a personal best leap of 5.02 metres, she was over the five metre mark in each of her jumps, ending with a new best of 5.14 metres. Meg Teague also improved her best long jump, recording 4.58 metres, and also set a new personal best 9.88 metres in the triple jump.
Tom Beckett improved his personal best in the triple jump with 11.74 metres, before equalling his best high jump of 1.60 metres. Beckett’s younger brother, Joe, was another to set a new personal best, recording 30.82 metres in the javelin.
There were more personal bests from the throwers as Jacob Lange improved his best shot putt mark backed up with impressive results in the hammer and discus and Charlotte Stallard and Ellen Thrall earned further good points in the hammer and discus.
The field athletes did not have things their own way, however, as there were several noteworthy performances on the track. Sprinters Jevaughn Gayle, Ben Potts and Kelly Constable showed glimpses that they are close to producing their best form whilst there were new personal bests in the ladies 1500 metres from Bethan Moor and Heather Christie. Further bests came from Catherine Hardy (200 metres), Katia D’Amato (300 metres) and Jools Richardson (400m hurdles).
Team Manager Garry Hunter said afterwards: “I’m very happy with many of the performances today, especially as it is so early in the season. There’s certainly more to come from this talented bunch.”
26/04/2014 – Park Runs
Gloucester Athletic Club members took part in various 5km Parkrun events at the weekend.
In the Bovey Tracey run in Devon, Rob Jordan placed 21st of the 89 finishers in 26:08 whilst two young newcomers, Tara Sladen and Natalie Ashley-Towell placed 17th and 24th respectively in the Forest of Dean run.
22/04/2014 – Forest Mile
In the Forest of Dean AC One Mile track race, Gloucester’s Natalie Ashley-Towell set a new personal best of 6:29.
21/04/2014 – Tredworth Road Race
The annual Tredworth Race Road was, for many years, a local sporting highlight over the Easter period. Unique in the fact that it was only open to City athletes or members of the local Clubs, it attracted large crowds who would often pack three-deep along the routes to witness the best local road racers.
Sadly, those days are but a distant memory, but the race continues and this year saw the 68th running of this once popular event.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower placed 4th overall and first V40, clocking 25:24 for the 4.3 miles course.
19/04/2014 – Lanhydrock Parkrun
At the Lanhydrock Park Run in Bodmin, Cornwall, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Max Sheppard placed 13th in 20:42.
16/04/2014 – Oxford Open Meeting
At the Oxford City AC Open Meeting Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jada George placed 4th in the U15 Girls 100 metres in a new personal best time of 15.76 seconds and 7th in her first ever race over 200 metres in 34.21 seconds. Elder sister Tianna clocked 15.65 and 32.57 seconds for the 100 and 200 metres.
13/04/2014 – Avon League
Gloucester Athletic Club got their 2014 track & field season underway at the opening Avon League fixture at Yate with many athletes taking advantage of the warm conditions to record some encouraging results.
Heptathlete Kate Davies gave evidence of a promising season ahead when she produced no fewer than three lifetime bests in the high jump (1.60m), 100m hurdles (16.8 secs) and the 100 metres (13.3 secs). The 18 year-old backed these up with a solid series and victory in the javelin for a very satisfying afternoon’s work.
Tom Beckett also had a successful afternoon, setting new personal bests in the 100 metres (11.8) and long jump (5.46m), whilst brother Joe also produced his best-ever results in the shot putt (9.70m) and discus (29.37m).
Sprinter Sophie Lambert was pleased with her opening run of the new campaign, clocking 12.8 seconds in the senior ladies 100 metres. Newcomer Helen Pritchard showed promise in her first races in club colours, clocking 13.9 and 66.8 for the 100 and 400 metres respectively.
Younger members also shone in the sprints as Beth Gardiner, Tamsin Doran and Aaron Mitchell all recorded new personal bests.
The successes were not restricted to the track events, however, as both Charlotte Stallard (45.53m) and Ellen Thrall (41.90m) set season’s bests in the hammer throw.
Stand-in Team Manager Paula Whitcher said afterwards “This was a very pleasing afternoon because it gives all of our track & field athletes the chance to compete in a low-pressurised environment. For many, this is the first steps they will take to a career in the sport and as such, the league serves this purpose very well.”
London Marathon – 13/04/2014
Mike Mansfield was the first of four Gloucester Athletic Club members to finish in Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon (13th).
Mansfield crossed the finish line in just over three hours, 3:00:15, in 1412th place. Next City runner home was Richard Moor who clocked 3:30:21 in 5129th.
There then followed two debutants; Kathryn Purcell crossed the line in 3:54:09, with Tania Hamilton finishing in 4:04:01.
Frenchay 10K – 13/04/2014
One of Gloucester Athletic Club’s most recent recruits, Damian Cuke, was the Club’s first runner home in the Frenchay 10km event on Sunday.
In warm and sunny conditions, Cuke completed the testing hilly course in 40:30, for 24th place.
Max Sheppard placed 28th in 41:01, whilst another newcomer, Charlotte McGlone clocked 46:30 in 108th and Clive Poole 49:10 in 151st.
Due to popular demand, Gloucester Athletic Club has set up a beginners running group.
Under the leadership of recently-qualified running coach Donna Veal, the group is aimed at those people who are new to running or returning after an injury or a break from the sport.
As Veal explains, “Although we’re under the Gloucester AC umbrella, we are not exposing the group to the competitive side of the Club – unless they want to progress, of course! We’ve had several parents of younger Club members join in the sessions and the word is starting to spread that the focus of this group is to gain fitness in a non-pressurised environment.”
The group meets each Thursday, 6:30 pm at the Club’s Blackbridge headquarters. Anyone who is interested can just turn up, or ring Donna Veal on 07947 809782 for more details.
Paris Marathon – 06/04/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Nathan Smith and Hayley Winters crossed the English Channel to compete in the Paris Marathon on Sunday (6th).
Smith felt the effects of a recent hip injury and was restricted to completing the course in 3hrs 09:11 for 1626th place.
Winters had set herself a pre-race target time of 3:10 and was on schedule up to the 17-mile stage when she started to suffer from cramp, which slowed her down over the remainder of the race. She crossed the line in 3,344th place in 3:21:17.
Chedworth Roman Trail 10 – 06/04/2014
Closer to home, three Gloucester Athletic Club members competed in the Chedworth 10-mile multi-terrain event on Sunday.
In his first race back from a knee injury, Matt Powell was the first Gloucester athlete to finish, in 40th place, clocking 1:14:41. Ian Summers was the next runner home, crossing the line in 1:16:43 for 53rd place. The trio was completed by Chris O’Carroll in 204th place and 1st M70, in 1:42:41.
Yate Sprints and Hurdles meeting – 06/04/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s young athletes travelled down to Yate to compete in the annual Sprint & Hurdles Fest on Sunday (6th).
Strong winds nullified many of the times for personal best purposes, but there was plenty of encouraging performances by the City youngsters.
The shortest event on the programme was the 60 metres which saw both Catherine Hardy and Kirstie Constable record their fastest-ever times over the distance. The pair then moved up to the 100 metres and again used the favourable following wind to record impressive times, as did Jude Dowdeswell, Alidia Vaile, Kelly Constable and Jevaughan Gayle, in his first race of the year.
The 200 metres also saw Vaile, Dowdeswell and Kirstie Constable set new best times, whilst Gayle, Andrew Bowers and Ian Willoughby also set season’s bests; Willoughby’s 28.78 seconds clocking was his fastest time since moving up to the M60 age group. Willoughby then set another mark in the 300 metres hurdles event with 51.11 seconds.
Park Runs – 05/04/2014
Several Gloucester Athletic Club members took part in local Parkrun events at the weekend (5th).
At the Cheltenham run, Max Sheppard set a new personal best time of 19:39 when placing 12th, whilst the Newent event saw Dave Spackman place 13th, Rob Jordan 18th and Beryl Sampson 56th.
Gloucester Athletic Club shall continue to train during the Easter holidays but there shall be no training at the Blackbridge track on Sundays 13th, 20th or 27th April due to fixture commitments.
Blackbridge Young Athletes Open – 30/03/2014
Several Gloucester Athletic Club youngsters took advantage of the ideal racing conditions to compete in the Club’s Young Athletes meeting at the Blackbridge track on Sunday (30th) and to get a race under their belts ahead of the outdoor track & field season.
The 800 metres races saw many of Kerry Newell’s talented and growing group use this meeting to gauge how their winter’s training had gone and many came away with new personal best performances.
In the U20 Ladies race, Miranda Bass ran her first ever track race, recording 2:52.0, whilst in her first race in the U17 age group, Bethan Moor ran an assured race to break the tape in 2:34.9, ahead of Siobhan Barnes (2:48.8) and Alex Bache (2:53.8, in her first track race). There was a host of new personal best times in the U15 Girls race as Alidia Vaile, Briony Bishop, Laura McPeake, Natalie Ashley-Towell and Kirstie Constable all recorded new best marks, with Jude Dowdeswell just missing out on her best time from 2013.
Will Staddon was a convincing winner of the U17 men’s 800 metres, coming home untroubled in a new personal best 2:20.2. Andrew McPeake set a standard in his first track race of 2:39.7. In the U15 Boys race, Harry Wells was a clear victor in a personal best-equalling 2:26.7 whilst behind him, Sam Earle, David Donnelly, Lewis Nicholls and Kieran Parry all set new best times.
Among the many encouraging performances in the sprints, Shya Pinnock stood out as she returned from 12 months out of the sport to take victory in the U17 Ladies 100 and 200 metres, being pushed all the way in the latter by Katia D’amato.
Meeting organiser Bob Purcell said afterwards “It was good to see so many of our youngsters compete today. For many, it was their first taste of competition and important that they took those first steps in a friendly, un-pressurised situation.”
Radley Open – 30/03/2014
At the Radley AC open meeting at Abingdon on Sunday (30th), Gloucester Athletic Club’s Andrew Bowers placed 2nd in the U20 Men’s 400 metres in 53.75 seconds.
Bowood 10K – 30/03/2014
On Sunday (30th) Rob Jordan placed 54th of 233 finishers at the Bowood 10km fun Run in Calne in 48:16.
Short Course Cross Country – 29/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward is the new Gloucestershire County Short Course Cross-country Champion. In the senior men’s 4km event at Plock Court on Saturday (29th), Millward ran a tactically sound race, tracking Severn AC’s Harry Bishop, before pulling away over the final 1500 metres to win comfortably by 13 seconds in 13:38.
Afterwards, Millward said: “I have to be pleased with that result as it was my first County cross-country win after several near misses. I’ve been working on my track speed in recent weeks and it certainly paid off.”
Park Runs – 29/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Rob Jordan placed 21st in the Forest of Dean Parkrun on Saturday, clocking 24:16.
There was Parkrun success for Gloucester AC’s Mike Mansfield on Saturday (29th) as he won the Newent event in 19:34. James Head placed 4th in 21:26, youngster Briony Bishop 12th in 22:57 and Beryl Sampson 30th in 27:53.
Pomphrey Sports 5K – 25/03/2014
At the first Pomphrey Sports 2014 Summer Series 5km road race in Bristol on Tuesday (25th), Arthur Daley placed 27th overall and first M60 in 19:04, his fastest time since 2011. Kirsty Branch placed 56th in a new personal best 21:53, Nicola Hovey was 62nd overall and 1st W55 in 22:40 and Rob Jordan placed 66th in 23:13.
Daley’s time ranks him 2nd on the UK M60 list for 2014, whilst Hovey creeps into the top 10 W55, in 9th place.
Kingston Breakfast Run – 23/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Kathryn Purcell placed 301st overall and 58th lady in the Kingston Breakfast Run over 16.2 miles, clocking 2:08:57 in her final race ahead of April’s London Marathon.
As part of Sport Relief, Gloucester Athletic Club shall be staging a junior Open Meeting at the Blackbridge Jubilee Athletics Track in Podsmead on Sunday (30th).
The meeting is aimed at young athletes between the ages of 7 and 16 who have little or no experience of competition as a taster ahead of the summer outdoor track & field season.
Athletes are asked to report and register at the Blackbridge track at 10 am on Sunday or ring 07817 974630 for more details.
Gloucester Athletic Club will be holding an induction session for new members and anyone who is interested in finding out more about the club at the Blackbridge track next Tuesday (1st April), at 6:45pm.
As Club Secretary, Bob Purcell, explains “We see this as an ideal opportunity to welcome new members and their parents so that we can introduce them all to the Club, teach them about track etiquette, discuss membership implications as well as talking to the parents about the part they can play in helping their child realise their ambitions.”
The induction sessions shall take place on the first Tuesday of each month throughout the summer, including September.
Pendock Spring Chicken – 23/03/2014
Max Sheppard led the Gloucester Athletic Club contingent home in Sunday’s Pendock Spring Chicken run, a 10km race over an undulating course that combined both off and on-road running. Sheppard placed 13th of the 173 finishers in 42:42.
Beryl Sampson was 1st F55 category runner to finish, in 49th place overall with a time of 47:26, whilst Colin Westbury was just behind placing 53rd in 48:23.
Midland Indoor Open – 22/03/2014
Two of Gloucester Athletic Club’s promising youngsters, Kate Davies and Catherine Hardy, were in action at the final Midland Indoor Open Meeting of the season at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Saturday (22nd) and showed they have wintered well as they both set new personal best performances during the afternoon.
Hardy has been steadily lowering her 60m personal best in 2014 and did so again on Saturday as she placed second in her heat in 7.85 seconds, an improvement on her previous best and Gloucester U17 club record of three one-hundredths. She then clocked 12.63 seconds for fourth place in the rarely-run indoors 100 metres, another Club U17 record.
Davies, the Club’s top multi-event athlete, dipped below 10 seconds for the 60m hurdles for the first time when she clocked 9.98 seconds for third place in her heat. She then placed third in her heat of the 100m hurdles with 17.13 seconds, an indoor best and less than two-tenths slower than her outdoor best time.
Midland 12 Stage Road Relays – 16/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club produced one of their best road racing team performances for several years when they placed 15th of the 56 teams at the Midlands Area 12-stage Road Relay at Sutton Park in Birmingham on Sunday (16th).
The race comprises four legs of 5.1 miles and eight legs of 2.7 miles and team selection and athlete distribution can have a significant effect over such a long event.
Nathan Smith took the first long leg against some high standard athletes and was satisfied with 30th place in 29:15. Richard de-Camps took over on a short leg two and gained 10 places as he clocked 14:09. Jeremy Mower then recorded 30:12 for the long stage three before Alex George produced arguably the run of the day on leg four as he gained 11 places with a time of 13:18, the fastest time of all the runners on that leg and the joint third fastest time of the day, to suggest that his 12th place in the previous day’s English Schools Cross championship event was just a blip.
Mike Mansfield took over on leg five and held onto a top 20 placing with 30:50 for the long stage, before Andrew de-Camps showed he is returning to form when gaining two places up to 17th with 14:57 for the short stage six.
Steve Millward took over for the final long stage and recorded the team’s fastest long leg time of the day, 27:36. Matt Boon fully justified his call-up to the team with a 15:50 clocking on stage eight, before handing over to Wayne Mayer, who maintained the team’s progress with a solid 16:10 short stage.
Tom Randles overcame recent injury problems to record 15:34 on stage 10 before handing over to Lee Smith who despite being isolated on stage 11 still clocked 16:27 for his leg. Paul Barlow produced a welcome return to form with 15:00 on the final stage to bring the team home in 15th overall and third-placed county team behind Cheltenham & County Harriers and Stroud & District AC.
Team Manager Steve Millward was delighted with the team’s performance, saying "This was one of the best team results for Gloucester in recent years at the road relays and it shows just what we are capable of, if we get our best athletes committing to the big regional events. Obviously Alex George's run was the standout performance, but it was pleasing to see so many of our athletes running to their potential on the day".
Gloucester 20 – 16/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club finishers in the Gloucester 20-mile road race were:
180th Denise Evans 2:49:11
266th Kathryn Purcell 3:03:10
275th Colin Westbury 3:04:49
377th Tania Hamilton 3:32:18
Minchinhampton 10K – 16/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Simon Fortnam placed 3rd overall and 1st V40 in the Minchinhampton 10km road race on Sunday (16th) in a time of 38:28.
Kerry Newell placed 94th in 49:56, Clive Poole 112th in 50:46 and in her first race in over 12 months, Michelle Stark placed 154th in 52:59.
ESAA Cross Country Championships – 15/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George placed 12th in the senior boys race at the English Schools Cross-Country Championships at Donnington Park on Saturday (15th). Initially aiming for a podium finish, the Abbeymead youngster said “I just felt flat today, with nothing in the tank.” Twin brother Thomas, in his first serious race in four months, placed a very encouraging 83rd.
In the intermediate girls race, Bethan Moor was less than five seconds off a top 100 placing when finishing in 114th position, whilst Gloucester newcomer Miranda Bass placed 294th in the senior girls race.
Milton Keynes Half Marathon – 09/03/2014
At the Milton Keynes Half Marathon (9th), Nathan Smith placed 51st in a season’s best 1:24:55 and Hayley Winters 78th overall in a personal best 1:27:06.
Gloucester’s fundraising hero Jamie McDonald will be the guest starter for this weekend’s Gloucester 20 Mile Road Race from the Waterwells Sports Centre near Quedgeley on Sunday (16th).
The race starts at 10:30am, prior to which the Gloucester Athletic Club shall be presenting the intrepid explorer with a cheque for the Pied Piper Appeal.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Annual General Meeting shall take place on Friday 28th March at the GALA Club, Fairmile Gardens, Longford. The meeting starts at 7:30pm and all Club members are invited to attend.
Barry 40 – 09/03/2014
Illness forced Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower to drop out of the Barry 40-mile track race after 32 miles on Sunday (9th).
Mower said “I went through the marathon distance in 3 hours 16 minutes and my legs felt fine, but I just had no energy. With the Anglo Celtic 100km event just eight weeks away, I felt it best to pull out to risk doing any damage.”
Surrey Half Marathon – 09/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Kathryn Purcell continued her preparations for next month’s Virgin London Marathon when placing 795th of the 5,000 finishers in the Surrey Half Marathon on Sunday (9th). Normally a sprinter/hurdler, she was timed at 1:43:05 to knock over six minutes off her personal best.
Inter Counties Cross Country Championships – 08/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George produced one of his best-ever performances when taking second place in the Junior Men’s race at the Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships at Cofton Park in Birmingham on Saturday (8th).
George’s old adversary, Matthew Shirling of Liverpool Harriers, was a clear victor in 25:07, with the Gloucester youngster clocking 25:29 and Preston’s Jamaine Coleman taking the bronze medal in 25:36.
Bethan Moor produced a typically spirited performance to place 90th in the U15 Girls race, whilst club mate Laura McPeake, in her first-ever race at this level, placed 202nd in the U13 Girls race.
Sue Higgins was called up as a last minute reserve and placed a credible 264th in the Senior Women’s race, just one week after she ran a personal best at the Bath Half Marathon. In only her sixth ever cross country race, the Gloucester W50, ran steadily throughout before tiring over the final 300m.
Richard de-Camps was forced to drop out of the senior men’s event after suffering a knee injury on one of the difficult muddy downhill sections on the testing course.
Park Runs – 08/03/2014
There was a strong Gloucester Athletic Club presence at the latest Newent 5km Park run on Saturday (8th). Wayne Mayer, in his first Park run, placed 5th in 19:37, with club mates Mike Mansfield and Paul Nash placing 6th and 10th respectively.
Kim Drinkwater made a welcome return to this event, recording a new personal best 24:11 in 17th place, whilst Beryl Sampson placed 20th in 24:28 with Russell Kirby 21st in 24:33 – his first Park run.
At the Cheltenham event, Dave Spackman lowered his personal best to 22:23, when placing 39th. Kerry Newell made her Park run debut, and placed 59th in 23:33 and Christine Campbell also set a new personal best time of 27:42 when placing 137th.
World Indoor Athletics Championships – 07/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Rose-Anne Galligan placed fifth in her 800m heat at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Sopot, Poland on Friday (7th).
Running in the green vest of her native Ireland, Galligan was drawn in a tough and often physical heat and clocked a season’s best 2:03.30.
Afterwards, the Gloucester athlete said: “I’m pleased with the run today as it was tactically sound. There was a lot of bumping and pushing, but I’ve known worse! It was my second fastest-ever time indoors and sets me up nicely for the outdoor season.”
Gloucester Athletic Club have commenced their summer training programme. They will be holding sessions for all disciplines at the Blackbridge Jubilee Athletics Track each Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30-8pm.
Everyone over the age of 8 years old is welcome, ring 07817 974630 or visit the Club’s website at www.gloucesterac.co.uk for further details.
Bath Half Marathon – 02/03/2014
At Sunday’s Bath Half Marathon (2nd), Gloucester Athletic Club’s Sue Higgins placed 804th overall in 1:34:21 while Neil Hobbs placed 2878th in 1:49:01.
Wiltshire Bustard Half Marathon – 02/03/2014
Ian Summers and Ben Gardiner of Gloucester Athletic Club competed in the Wiltshire Bustard Half Marathon over a challenging course at Salisbury on Sunday (2nd). Summers placed 27th in 1:46:30 and Gardiner 33rd in 1:49:30.
England Athletics Indoor Championships – 01&02/03/2014
Two of Gloucester Athletic Club’s most promising young sprinters, Catherine Hardy and Kelly Constable, were in action at the England Athletics Age Group Indoor Championships at Sheffield on the weekend (1/2nd)
In the U17 Ladies 60 metres, Hardy placed 3rd in her heat in 7.89 seconds, just 1/100th outside her personal best and Club age group record. She then placed 5th in her semi-final, clocking 7.93 seconds.
Constable, whose training has been disrupted recently due to a foot injury, clocked 8.14 and 26.77 seconds in her heats of the U20 Ladies 60 and 200 metres.
Sportshall Athletics – 01/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alidia Vaile was in the Gloucestershire team at the regional Sportshall Athletics final in Torbay on Saturday, placing 3rd in her heat of the six-lap event and 3rd in the eight-lap relay.
Park Runs – 01/03/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s James Head entered his first 5km Parkrun on Saturday and placed 9th in 19:42 at the Cheltenham event. Youngster Andrew McPeake, also a first-timer, placed 44th in 23:14, whilst Christine Campbell recorded a new best time of 28:29 in 140th place.
At the Newent event, Mike Mansfield placed 3rd in 21:50, youngster Briony Bishop placed 9th in 23:00 and Beryl Sampson placed 14th in 24:07.
County Road Relays – 01/03/2014
Jeremy Mower and David Spackman were Gloucester Athletic Club’s sole entrants at the County Road Relays at Elmore on Saturday (1st).
The race had to be hastily re-located because the original course in Sandhurst has fallen victim to the recent flooding and the new course incorporated two challenging hills over 5km.
Spackman ran with two other over-60 year-olds to make up a team and he was the fastest in the M65 category, clocking 22:03.
Mower was the fastest M45 athlete of the day, clocking 17:38.
Pomphrey Sports 5K – 25/02/2014
Nathan Smith was Gloucester Athletic Club’s first finisher in the final Pomphrey Sports 5km road race of the winter in Bristol last Tuesday (25th). Smith crossed the line in 17:42 for 11th place.
Behind Smith, Hayley Winters continued her good form, placing 24th overall and 1st lady in 19:15, just ahead of Arthur Daley who placed 25th and second in the M60 category in 19:18.
Nicola Hovey was the final Gloucester finisher, crossing the line in 66th overall and first W55 in 23:15.
At the awards presentation at the end of the race, Nicola Hovey won the W55 category for the series and Arthur Daley took second prize in the M60 category.
Bourton 10K – 23/02/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club was well represented at the Bourton 10km Road Race on Sunday (23rd), with several runners defying the windy conditions to record encouraging times.
Steve Millward was the first City runner home, crossing the line in 7th place in 33:29 a more than satisfactory performance given he had been suffering from a heavy cold during the week and had only decided to race on the morning of the event.
Simon Fortnam was less pleased with his run, saying afterwards that he simply could not get into his stride in the blustery conditions. Nevertheless, he clocked 36:07 to place 4th V40 and 41st overall.
Jeremy Mower and John Gormley were in a close battle right to the finish, with Mower placing 64th in 38:04 and Gormley 65th in 38:05.
There then followed a bunch of Gloucester athletes, closely grouped together, led by James Head who placed 80th in 38:35, just ahead of V60 Arthur Daley who placed 86th in 38:42, Matt Powell, who was 90th in 38:48, Dave Gresswell, 93rd in 38:56 and Hayley Winters who dipped under the 39 minutes-barrier by one second to place 6th lady and 96th overall.
Other Gloucester AC finishers were:
Max Sheppard 114th in 40:00, Nicola Hovey 268th in 47:03, Kirsty Branch 275th in 47:14, Clive Poole 285th in 48:13, Tania Hamilton 274th in 48:37 and Colin Westbury 304th in 48:37.
National Cross Country Championships – 22/02/2014
Richard de-Camps (Senior Men) and Alex George (Junior Men) flew the flag for Gloucester Athletic Club at the National Cross Country Championships at Wollaton Park, Nottingham on Saturday (22nd).
For both it was a slight step into the unknown as the races were about 2k further than the more traditional distances for their respective age groups. For Richard it was his first 12k cross country whilst Alex was faced with his first 10k race outside the senior age group.
For Alex, the day was further complicated. After a 10-day trip to the USA in late January he has since been faced with an intensive training block to regain full fitness. Consequently he was a little race rusty, but this did not appear to deter him as he rose to the occasion and, producing his trademark strong finish, placed 15th behind athletes two years older than himself.
Richard de-Camps' recent sojourn on the indoor circuit, allied to the extra distance, probably cost him upwards of 50 places in this level of competition as he faded towards the end of his race. Nevertheless, he showed his usual strength and commitment to produce a highly creditable performance and finish 221st in a field of almost 1700 competitors.
English Masters Inter-Area – 22/02/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Paul Barlow and Jeremy Mower represented the Northern Counties AA and Welsh AA respectively over 1500 metres at the English Masters Inter-Area match at Lee Valley on Saturday (22nd).
Barlow placed 3rd in the M35-49 race in a new Gloucester AC indoor age group record 4:37.00 whilst Mower placed 5th in 4:48.89, also a Club age group best. Mower also competed in the 3000m, recording 10:17.39 for 3rd place and another club indoor age group record.
Park Runs – 22/02/2014
At the Cheltenham 5km Parkrun on Saturday (22nd), Gloucester Athletic Club junior Laura McPeake, in her first attempt at the event, placed 29th in 22:24. Dave Spackman placed 39th in 23:08 and Christine Campbell 164th in 29:41.
Birmingham Games – 15/02/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Richard de-Camps concluded his short indoor season with a 2nd place over 1500 metres at the Birmingham Games at the National Indoor Arena on Saturday (15th). Following his Midlands Championship win over 800 metres the previous weekend, de-Camps was hoping for a faster run but a slow early pace put paid to fast times. De-Camps will now turn his attention to this Saturday’s English National Cross-Country Championships at Nottingham where he will be joined by club-mate Alex George who, in his first domestic competition since his GB debut, will be looking to cement his position as one of the UK’s leading juniors.
Also competing at the Birmingham Games were Dominic Tutton who placed 3rd in the U20 1500 metres ‘B’ race in a new personal best time of 4:20.37, and Christine Campbell who placed 6th in the W40 60m in 10.53 seconds, also a personal best.
Hereford Sports Awards – 13/02/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Anna Robertson has received another award for her outstanding coaching contribution in her native Herefordshire during 2013.
Already the recipient of a national award from the English County Cricket Board, Robertson was at the annual presentation of Sports Awards at Hereford’s Shire Hall last week (13th) to receive the Coach of the Year Award for her coaching achievements in athletics, cricket, netball and rounders.
Entries for this year’s Gloucester 20-mile road race, which takes place around the lanes of Quedgeley and Haresfield on Sunday 16th March, have now closed because the 500 limit has been reached.
Gloucester AC Chairman, Andy McKenzie, said: “To reach the upper limit for entries with four weeks to go just shows how popular this race has become. In line with Police guidelines, we will not be taking any more entries."
Dursley Dozen – 09/02/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Ben Gardiner placed 112th in Sunday’s Dursley Dozen in 1:52:35.
Birmingham Cross Country League – 08/02/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men consolidated their mid-table position in the final Birmingham Cross-country League Division Two match of the season at Coventry on Saturday (8th).
On a wet and heavy course, described by many as one of the toughest they had encountered for several years, and a biting, cold wind, a weakened City squad worked hard to ensure they held onto their Division Two status.
In the absence of several leading runners, Nathan Smith led the team home for the first time in this League. Smith’s 32nd place was his best-ever Birmingham League placing and was just the boost he needed as he now turns his attention to preparing for April’s Paris Marathon.
Second man home for Gloucester was ultra-distance man Jeremy Mower, in 56th place. Mower will now be concentrating on preparing for May’s Anglo-Celtic Plate 100km race in Gravesend when he shall become the first runner to make 10 appearances in the four-sided international event.
Paul Barlow was the next City runner to finish, in 81st place, with James Head just scraping into the top 100 in 99th.
Wayne Mayer was originally scheduled to race in a coastal trails event in Dorset that fell victim to the gale-force storms that hit the southern part of the country, so changed his plans at 4:30 on the morning of the race to support his team-mates in Coventry. His reward was a season’s best 115th placing.
Steven Haines, another late addition to the squad, completed the scoring six in 120th position to bring the team home in 12th place on the day with 503 points.
As always, the measure of a Club’s strength is its reserve team and, at Coventry, the ‘B’ squad took 6th place overall.
Max Sheppard produced his best run of the winter to lead the team home in 132nd, just holding off Ian Summers who placed 139th. Veteran Arthur Daley was next home, in 149th place, with Simon Barnes finishing in 177th. Dave Gresswell placed 186th, just ahead of Luke Herbert in 190th to complete the ‘B’ team.
Paul Loveridge completed the Gloucester line-up, placing 241st.
After the race, team captain Omar Alim said: “The conditions today were a real test of the runners’ fitness and strength of character. The mud and the surface water on the course was ankle-deep in most places and they all did well to complete the race. Mid-table is as good as we could have expected, given the availability challenges we faced in the second half of the season, but the spirit has been great throughout the year.”
South West Schools Cross Country – 08/02/2014
At the South-west Schools cross-country championships in Bournemouth on Saturday (8th), Gloucester Athletic Club’s Bethan Moor took an excellent 10th place overall and the first Gloucestershire runner in the U17 Ladies event.
Midland Indoor Championships – 08/02/2014
There was success for Gloucester Athletic Club members at the Midland Counties Indoor Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on Saturday (8th).
Richard de-Camps emulated the feat of his brother Andrew by winning the senior men’s 800 metres title. Having impressed to make it through the toughest of the four heats, de-Camps recovered from a slow start in the final to steadily move through the field before striking for home with 150 metres remaining. Afterwards, he said “I’m thrilled to bits to win my first senior title and to take the title won by Andrew last year makes it all the more sweeter.” His father and coach, Paul, said “Richard is the heartbeat of a very talented group of runners we have at Gloucester. He ran two tactically sound races today and thoroughly deserves this success.”
Kate Davies was the second City athlete to strike gold at the championships when she won the U20 Ladies shot putt with 8.99 metres.
Earlier in the day, she had placed 3rd in the high jump with 1.55m, 8th in the long jump with 4.60m and set a new personal best 10.09 seconds in the 60m hurdles.
In the U17 Ladies 60 metres, Catherine Hardy improved her personal best and Club record when clocking 7.88 seconds for second place in her heat. She then clocked 7.95 for second place in the semi-final before falling just short of a medal, placing 4th in the final in 7.96 seconds.
Youngster Alidia Vaile acquitted herself well in her first ever race indoors, placing 6th in her heat of the U15 Girls 800 metres in 2:43.32.
May Hill Massacre – 02/02/2014
In the recent May Hill Massacre event, Gloucester Athletic Club runners achieved the following places and times:
61st Sue Higgins 1:27:48 (1st W50)
79th Phil du Plessis 1:31:56
90th Denise Evans 1:33:36 (2nd W50)
155th Colin Westbury 1:45:44
Business at the Blackbridge Jubilee Athletics Track at Podsmead is booming at a time when many tracks around the country are closing down.
Over the coming spring and summer months, the track shall be hosting one Avon League and two National Youth Development League matches plus two of the Gloucestershire track & field championships meetings.
Bob Purcell, Managing Director of Gloucester Athletics Track Management the charity that runs the track says: “We’re delighted to be finally bringing these fixtures back to Gloucester after many years. It’s only right that the county championships should be held in the county city.”
Additionally, the track shall be playing host to a series of open meetings, the Gloucester 24-hours track race as well as a range of disability athletics events during the summer.
Purcell adds “Currently, the track is in use at least five days a week and with the various league and open matches that are already booked, we’re in for a busy 2014.”
Gloucestershire Cross Country League – 01/02/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s junior athletes were in medal-winning form at the final Gloucestershire Cross-Country league fixture of the season at Plock Court on Saturday (1st).
The heavy rain that has pounded the region in recent weeks made the going difficult, but Bethan Moor excelled in the conditions as she won the U15 Girls race by 50 metres – her first League victory in this age group – and with it, the individual league U15 title. Team-mate Abi Pearce secured another top 10 finish, placing 9th.
In the U13 Girls race, Laura McPeake (3rd), Alidia Vaile (6th) and Briony Bishop (7th) secured an excellent second in the team competition on the day, whilst Gabrielle Vaile took 43rd in the U11 Girls race.
In the U15 Boys race, Will Staddon’s fighting 4th place led the Gloucester team home to second place on the day as he received solid support from David Donnelly (14th) and Andrew McPeake (15th).
Gloucester Club Chairman, Andy McKenzie, said afterwards: “These youngsters are a credit to their coaches and if they continue to show this sort of application and attitude then I am sure they and the Club have very bright futures.”
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steve Millward continued his return to racing when placing 9th in the senior men’s race at the Gloucestershire Cross-Country League fixture at Plock Court.
Although disappointed with his placing, Millward acknowledged afterwards that he has had less than a handful of races all winter and that each race is another step towards full fitness when he shall lead his track & field team into battle in the summer.
Second man home for Gloucester at Plock Court was Nathan Smith, whose 18th place was one of his best ever races over the country. Simon Fortnam was the next man home, in 29th place, earning him 3rd place in the M40 category over the season.
James Head continues to improve, and his 55th place was further evidence of his development. Max Sheppard also showed his return to full fitness from a long injury pay-off as he placed 70th and the scoring six was completed by Arthur Daley, whose 95th place was enough to secure him the individual league title in the M60 category.
Dave Gresswell placed 110th, Simon Barnes 117th, Peter Jeffrey 148th, Clive Poole 149th and Paul Loveridge 158th.
The Gloucester Club’s senior ladies team completed their most successful league season in recent years, as they once again completed a scoring team.
Sue Higgins led the team home in 24th place to win 2nd place in the individual W50 category over the season. Next to finish was Nicola Hovey in 39th place, winning her the silver medal in the W55 age group, whilst Emma Jeffery placed 42nd, just ahead of Kirsty Branch (45th) in her first cross-country race.
Afterwards, Andy McKenzie said: “The fact that we were the only City club to complete a scoring team in each of the senior ladies races this season was a significant step in the right direction for us and gives us something to work on for the future. I’m particularly pleased for Beryl Sampson because although she couldn’t race today, she still won the league W55 title which is just reward for her efforts over the years.”
Pomphrey Sports 5K – 28/01/2014
In the January running of the Pomphrey Sports 5km winter road race series in Bristol, Hayley Winters placed 2nd senior lady and 38th overall in a season’s best 19:15.
Arthur Daley placed 44th overall and 2nd M60 in 19:34, also a season’s best, whilst Denise Evans set a new personal best 22:51 in 79th place. Nicola Hovey also set a season’s best 23:07 when finishing 1st W55 and 80th overall.
Welsh Open Indoor Championships – 26/01/2014
With no cross-country race on the weekend, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Richard de-Camps moved indoors to compete in the Welsh Open Indoors Championships in Cardiff on Sunday.
Running in a very competitive 1500 metres which featured several international athletes, de-Camps placed fifth in 3:58.71 equalling his indoor best.
Afterwards, he said: “I’m very satisfied with the time because I have been concentrating on cross-country this winter and had done no specific work towards this race. I’m competing in the Midlands Indoors Championships in two weeks’ time and will need to fit in a couple of speed-based sessions before then.”
De-Camps’ training partner, Alex George, was the recipient of the annual Bob Hussey Memorial Award at the 2013 Gloucestershire AAA Awards evening, held on Friday 10th January. The award is presented to the athlete who, in the view of the voting panel, produced the outstanding track & field performance during the track & field season. George narrowly won the award from his Gloucester club-mate Rose-Anne Galligan on the strength of his outstanding 3000 metres performance at the BMC Grand Prix in Manchester in August when he clocked 8:18.90.
Linda Franks 5 mile race - 26/01/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club finishers at this year’s Linda Franks 5-mile road race held on Sunday 26th January:
28th James Head 31:50
95th Kerry Newell 36:47 (2nd L40)
110th Dave Spackman 37:41 (2nd M65)
113th Rob Jordan 37:51
118th Kirsty Branch 38:12
John Thomas Terrier Invitational, Boston, USA – 25/01/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Rose-Anne crossed the Atlantic Ocean to race in the Terrier Classic indoor meeting in Boston, Mass at the weekend. Galligan had been invited to act as a pace-maker for American prodigy Mary Cain in an attempt at the World Junior 1500 metres record. In the event, Cain ran the second-fastest time ever recorded by a junior, clocking 4:24.11, just one-hundredth of a second outside the existing record.
Galligan’s main goal for the winter, however, remains achieving the qualifying standard 2:03 for the 800 metres at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland in March. Galligan, the Irish outdoor record-holder, clocked an impressive 2:03.69 in Reykjavik last weekend in her first serious race of the year, as against an indoors personal best time of 2:02.84 which she set last year.
Park Runs – 25/01/2014
At the latest round of 5km Parkrun events (Sat 25th), Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alidia Vaile clocked 24:54 at the Cheltenham run. At the Newent event, Mike Mansfield placed second in 21:08. Club-mates Briony Bishop placed 11th in 23:56, Rob Jordan 13th in 24:14 and Beryl Sampson 34th in 30:06.
Reykjavik International Games - 19/01/2014
Two of Gloucester Athletic Club’s leading athletes were in international action on Sunday (19th). Ireland international Rose-Anne Galligan placed second in the senior women’s 800m at the Reykjavik International Games indoor event in Iceland on Sunday. Her time of 2:03.69 was a season’s best.
Cross Country Internaciaonal de Italica - 19/01/2014
Meanwhile, representing the England U20s team at the Cross Country Internacional de Italica event in Seville, Spain, Alex George placed 2nd behind Matthew Shirling (Liverpool Harriers).
British Athletics Cross Challenge, Cardiff - 19/01/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Bethan Moor placed 15th overall to lead the Gloucestershire team to team victory in the U17 Ladies event at the British Athletics Cross-Country Challenge event in Cardiff on Sunday (19th).
In the U20 Men’s race, Dominic Tutton placed 27th, whilst Will Staddon placed 24th in the U17 Men’s event and Harry Wells 43rd in the U15 Boys race.
Park Runs - 18/01/2014
At the latest round of Parkruns on Saturday (18th), Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alidia Vaile placed 64th at the Cheltenham event in 23:50, whilst Vanessa Anderton placed 312th in 48:34.
At the Newent event, Briony Bishop placed 8th in 23:43, Beryl Sampson placed 12th in 24:50 and Dave Spackman 14th in 25:23.
BUPA Edinburgh Cross Country International - 11/01/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Alex George was delighted with his first run in a Great Britain vest at the BUPA Edinburgh Cross-Country International Challenge on Saturday (11th).
The 17 year-old from Abbeymead, competing in the Junior Men’s 6km event, was the first Briton home in 8th place after working his way through the quality field.
Afterwards, George said: “It was great fun. My race plan was to sit in the pack and then work my way through and it worked brilliantly for me. To be the first Brit home in my first international is unbelievable.”
Coach Paul de-Camps was equally pleased, saying: “I was anticipating a good run from Alex because his training had gone particularly well in the previous couple of weeks, though we daren’t imagine he would lead the team home. We’re all very proud of him.”
Midlands Indoor Open - 11/01/2014
Gloucester Athletic Club’s Catherine Hardy got her 2014 indoor season under in fine style in the Midland Counties Open Meeting in Birmingham on Saturday (11th).
Competing in the U17 Women’s 60 metres, the 16 year-old set a new personal best 7.97 seconds in her first race, eclipsing Andria Lyn’s club age group record by 3/100ths. In her second race, Hardy went even faster, clocking 7.92 seconds.
Birmingham Cross Country League - 11/01/2014
It was very much a damage-limitation exercise for Gloucester Athletic Club’s senior men’s cross-country team in the third fixture of this season’s Birmingham Cross-Country League at Coventry on Saturday (11th).
With four of their regular six scorers unavailable for this race, the team was always going to be hard pressed to maintain a promotion push, but those runners who made the trip battled gamely to the end.
Steve Millward made his first league appearance of the winter and led the team home in a very creditable 21st place. In a repeat of the previous weekend’s County Championships, Simon Fortnam and Nathan Smith were again locked together for much of the race before Fortnam pulled away to finish in 55th place, with Smith two places down, in 57th.
Jeremy Mower was the next City runner to finish, in 108th, with James Head making the scoring team for the first time, in 112th. Tom Randles was sixth man home, in 127th, ensuring a 12th place overall for the team.
Next home for Gloucester was Ian Summers (145th), just holding off the fast finishing Max Sheppard in 146th, whilst Luke Herbert placed 181st and Simon Barnes 216th to complete the Gloucester contingent.
Team captain Omar Alim said: “This was always going to be a difficult race for the team due to the absences. However, the runners all did their best in very trying conditions and I can’t knock anyone for the lack of effort today. We’ve missed promotion for the season as we’re now down to 7th place overall, but we’ll look to pull out all of the stops in the final race in February.”
Gloucestershire County Cross Country Championships - 04/01/2014
Heavy rain in the days leading up to the Gloucestershire County Cross-Country Championships led to a last-minute change of course but, nevertheless, Gloucester Athletic Club members achieved their best overall results for several seasons at Blackbridge on Saturday (4th Jan).
In the senior men’s race, Steve Millward, in his first serious outing of the winter, led the team home in 5th place ahead of Richard de-Camps who placed 7th, despite suffering from a heavy cold. Simon Fortnam was next home, in 24th overall, just holding off Nathan Smith (26th) who had tracked Fortnam throughout. David Adams (49th) made the scoring six for the first time since joining the Club and Arthur Daley placed 52nd to bring the team home in 5th place overall. Clive Poole placed 64th.
The City’s senior ladies produced a much-improved performance, taking 5th place overall. Sue Higgins led the team home in 11th place, just holding off Beryl Sampson in 12th place. Both ladies finished first in the W50and W55 categories respectively. Nicola Hovey completed the scoring team, placing 16th.
Gloucester Athletic Club’s junior endurance group did coach Kerry Newell proud at the County Cross-Country Championships at Blackbridge on Saturday (4th) as they came away with a stash of medals.
The U17 and U15 boys categories were run as one race. Dominic Tutton placed 5th in the U17 section, whilst Will Staddon placed 3rd in the U15 category. Andrew McPeake and David Donnelly placed 14th and 15th respectively as the team took well-earned bronze medals.
In the girls races, Bethan Moor just missed out on a medal when placing 4th in the U15 event. The U13 race saw Laura McPeake continue her development, placing 3rd in a close finish. Bryony Bishop placed 6th and Alidia Vaile 17th as the team took a deserved bronze with Elissa Moor placing 25th. In the U11 race, Gabrielle Vaile placed 21st.
Coach Kerry Newell said afterwards “The group all ran well in very heavy conditions today; that was a real slog! They have all put in a lot of hard work over the past twelve months and thoroughly deserved the success.”
England Athletics U20 Indoor Combined Events - 04/01/2014
Kate Davies, Gloucester Athletic Club’s leading multi-event athlete, took an excellent 11th place in the England AAA U20 Indoor Pentathlon at Sheffield on Saturday (4th Jan).
Davies opened up her competition with a new personal best of 10.21 seconds for the 60m hurdles, an improvement of 0.25 on her previous best. She then cleared 1.57m in the high jump, before setting another personal best, 9.93m in the shot putt. In the long jump, Davies produced the second-longest jump of her career, 4.99m, before rounding off a very satisfying competition with 2:34.80 for the 800 metres.
New Year's Day 10K - 01/01/2014
In the Wye Valley Runners New Year’s Day 10km road race, Gloucester Athletic Club’s Steven Haines placed 23rd in 40:05, club-mate Matt Powell placed 26th in 40:36 and Matthew Aspinall 78th in 48:09. All three were season’s best times.