National 12 Stage Road Relay Championships Saturday 11th April, Sutton Park, Birmingham
Posted 19 April 2015
Dave Turvey should be spared no credit for getting Halesowen across the finish line after receiving short notice of the unexpected news of qualification, leaving little time to pull a team together, but – after expanding the envelope of modern communications – a team with an average age of 45 years per runner, battered around Sutton Park for 55th place out of 59 finishers (but do note that only one of those behind was an ‘A’ team!).
The weather was dry but rather gustier than two weeks previously at the Midland 12 Stage but Richard White returned a sub-30 minute time of 29min 51s and 44th position for the long leg of 5.57 miles.
Tim Bailey sliced 23 seconds from his Midland time over the short leg (3.19 miles) with 20min 13s and then Kevin Monk recorded 35min 11s and 63rd place on the alternating long leg. Fastest short leg belonged to Marc Turner (17min 48s) overtaking three teams then Bill Nock pulled back four with 32min 23s. Andy Nock (20min 32s) improved by 15s on his Midland outing to conclude the first half of the race.
Leg seven was Dave Turvey’s, a tad under par with 32min 33s then Alex Morgan recorded 21min 13s on leg eight and 59th position. Youngest team member Dan Cleary held the club position with 32min 50s, handing over to James Parker (19min 15s) on leg ten who knocked 16s from his Midland time.
Phil Scarr on the penultimate leg improved by two places with 33min 49s leaving a very happy Paul Allen to celebrate his 45th anniversary of running the National 12 Stage with an anchor leg in 22min 40s, but unfortunately receiving no medal this time.
The final position was 56th but Swansea were subsequently disqualified for using a dodgy bloke.
Morpeth Harriers AC ruined Notts’ unbroken spell of wins with an exciting win in 4hrs 21min 52s. Leeds City AC were third.
For those worried about running a late leg and returning a poor time, please note that the fastest leg of the day was on leg 12 by the Notts athlete who took-over two minutes adrift of the Morpeth runner and who remained out of sight for the entire leg. The clock and faith can be great motivators.
Onwards and upwards
Midland 12 Stage Road Relay Championships Saturday 28th March, Sutton Park, Birmingham
Posted 1 April 2015
This humble race in the English Midlands is actually the London to Brighton road relay, re-enacted over semi-artificial legs to replicate the original race but over safer and certainly more predictable conditions. Transferred to Sutton Park in 1970 after safety concerns on the A23, the Midland qualifying round is one of three events held alongside the Northern and Southern areas culminating in the National 12 stage over alternating long and short legs. When you cross the finish line on the twelfth leg, you are actually passing in front of Brighton Pavilion.
Well, change? What? Desperate times at Sutton Park. Another course change. An added loop in the early part of the race extended the distance of both long and short legs but, by and large, seemed to be a popular move.
Notts AC are unstoppable at present and by an ever-increasing margin. Bristol & West were second, ahead of a rejuvenated Wolverhampton & Bilston, although they were a country-mile adrift.
And talking of adrift, the Halesowen team were certainly in that category. About the most dismal performance in living memory saw the A team finish in 28th place, battered by some weaker teams (on paper) out of the qualification zone for the National Championships. Yet the team was only weak due to the absentees – those that competed ran with gritty determination to gallantly reduce the damage.
Take the B team for example – only three legs completed but Paul Allen and Mark Higgins both did long legs without complaint and just cracked on with the job. Ali Grant, clearly unfit, ground out a short leg. Looked painful.
Richard White was a very respectable 19th on the first leg in a club best of 30min 27sec. Phil Scarr had a solid run on the first short leg (19min 20sec) and handed over to Mark Hadley who pulled back two places with a time of 31min 34sec to give Tim Bailey (20min 36sec) his first outing for the club in quite a while. The third long leg was the responsibility of Tom Kenderdine who gained one place in 31min 37sec. Dave Lewis eased himself back from injury on a short leg in 20min 1sec. Then Matt Allen, as a late replacement on a long leg, ran 32min 57sec to hold 24th position. Bill Nock (18min 22sec) headed the final five short legs with Andy Nock on leg 9 struggling round – well below par – in 20min 47sec. John Hill impressed all with 20min 21sec then James Parker and Rob Weaver were thankfully taken into the mass-start for the final two legs to make a race of it. James was the faster in 19min 31sec with anchorman Rob 20min 41sec. Fortunately the weather held and we needed no more than the trusty groundsheet. Thanks to Keith for time-keeping duties.
National Cross-Country Championships, Saturday 21st February, Parliament Hill Fields, London
Posted 25 February 2015
Flat, firm and fast – all the factors that do not describe the 2015 National.
For those competitors choosing to start a little slower, problems were encountered within two minutes of the gun as over two thousand runners swept up the hill and tried to squeeze through a small gap in a hedge. Almost comical – certainly frustrating. Heavy conditions underfoot and several other pinch-points reduced the 7.5 mile race to a three mile event. However, for those who wished to get a good place at the finish, they were wise enough to shuffle near the front and storm off for the first half mile.
Of those ‘wise-ones’, Richard White was the fastest, finishing in 336th place, eight minutes and 13 seconds behind the winner from Sale, Charlie Hulson (39.12), thereby defending the club championship title. Mark Hadley felt that he had a disappointing day in 509th place but continually-improving Captain Dave finished the season with 3rd club position (672nd) ahead of another satisfying performance by Matt Allen (738th) who has enjoyed a revived to start to 2015.
The next three places were occupied by the ‘crippled calves’ with Phil Scarr surviving well for 1,058th position, beating Bill Nock (1,092nd) for sixth scorer. Dave Lewis (1,117th) did not fare so well and endured a calf tear, undeservedly robbing him of a counting six position. Halesowen runners were close behind – on time, not place – with Alex Morgan (1,176th) battling over his least suitable terrain to squeeze James Parker (1,297th) into ninth counter. Andy Nock was also a tad disappointed with the last outing of the season in 1,323rd place, being our final runner as Andy Lloyd had to retire on the second lap. 2005 runners finished.
Halesowen were 69th team based on six scorers and 45th based on nine scorers. It was pleasing to see that both of these team trophies came back to the Midlands courtesy of Notts AC who have ended a golden season.
The return journey in the minibuses started off with cups of tea, then moved onto glasses of bubbly stuff and ended with beer at mid-night in the Waggon. Sweet. We even had some supporters. But, unfortunately, despite Sam’s gallant efforts, we failed to get a mention on Lisa Tarbuck’s radio show. Shucks.
Keep the Faith
To see the results click here
Halesowen field 6 relay 4x200m relay teams at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix
Posted Sunday 22 February 2015
Halesowen was one of six “local” clubs invited to send relays teams to the Grand Prix meeting at Birmingham’s NIA (now called the Barclaycard Arena). As a set of warm-up events, team from Halesowen, Birchfield, Royal Sutton Coldfield, Rugby & Northants, Cheltenham and Solihull & Smallheath fielded young male & female athletes in U13, U15 and U17 ages.
With 24 of our fastest young Sprinters participating in the six relay races, we surpassed our expectations and won 4 out of six races.
The club:connect relays are an initiative by British Athletics to field local young athletes as both warm-up and ambassadorial events showcasing local talent to the paying spectators as Grand Prix events, promoting athletics for all abilities and all ages. We “win with grace” or “lose and smile”. Along the way the winning teams do get a little prize-money for the club…so well done and thank you to all of our athletes who did so well!
Here are our wonderful teams
U13G: Placed 1st
U13B: Placed 1st
U15G: Placed 2nd
U15B: Placed 1st
U17W: Placed 1st
U17M: Placed 3rd
After racing, each of the athletes received a free ticket to watch the event, seeing Katarina Johnson-Thompson break her second British record in 7 days! (LJ 6m93: Indoor British LJ record), seeing Greg Rutherford win the mens LJ with the last jump of the event and finally rounding off the day watching Mo Farah break the world indoor 2mile record to the loudest applause ever heard inside the NIA.
What a great day!
Birmingham & District Invitation Cross-Country League, Saturday 7th February 2015, Pittville Park, Cheltenham
Posted Thursday 12 February 2015
The final race of the 2014 /2015 Birmingham League drew the smallest field of the season but one of the most exciting finishes with six runners belting across the line within 55 seconds. Cheltenham Harriers were denied individual glory on their home fixture as Brum Uni’s Jon Davies won in 30 minutes dead, but Cheltenham put in a sub-100 score to win on the day and finish third overall behind Birmingham University and Loughborough Students. Jolly good, well done chaps.
Anyway, enough about them, what us? Eighteen starters; seventeen finishers. Great packing for the counting six, all between 41st and 107th. Richard White again led the way home, hanging on after a less-than-cautious start to deprive Marc Turner of maximum points in the club championships. Roger Mallard, improving with each race had hoped to grind Mark Hadley into the grass of Pittville Park but the wily soldier was having none of it. Nick Hazelwood made a welcome return for fifth counter in 103rd place and Matt Allen took the last of the glory positions in 107th to bring the A team back in 12th place, giving Halesowen 11th place overall for the season.
Captain Dave Turvey was the leader of the B team in 114th place, behind whom, a little further back, was developing a right old scrap which saw Phil Scarr emerge as victor in 150th place, Bill Nock 157th, Andy Nock 166th, Dave Lewis 167th and Alex Morgan 171st to conclude the B team in 8th overall.
In 184th place was John Hill who beat James Parker by two places. Paul Allen (192), in the absence of Guesty, had to beat Ali Grant by six places and former racing-hair-cut Andy Lloyd, who concluded our efforts in 200th place.
Some interesting stats from the day: Dave Lewis had run 21 miles on Friday morning and another three miles in the evening “to loosen-up” and thus enters Halesowen’s league race tradition of turning-up regardless. I ran in the same vest that I had worn when I won at Cheltenham 21 years ago (ok, it was division 2) but Paul Allen steals the show by celebrating the 45th anniversary of his first league race, also at Cheltenham, in 1970. However, Andy Nock finishes the season with the most finishes in league history at 139.
It is also pleasing to report that continuing canine hygiene means that Pittville Park need no longer rhyme with its former nickname.
‘Thanks’ to all officials and promoting clubs who have helped to maintain this as the best quality cross-country league in the World.
Keep the Faith
Midland Cross Country Championship, Saturday 24th January, Wollaton Park, Nottingham
Posted Wednesday 4 February 2015
Anna Cosimetti reports on the Senior Women’s race
My thanks go to Helen Attwood, Kerri James, Caroline Lambert, Sarah Smith, Sally Spencer (and myself) who made up the Senior Women’s team for this race.
On arrival we were captivated by the beautiful setting and landscape of Wollaton Park. Then realisation dawned that we were actually going to run it!
Our race was 8K and I think I can confidently say, having reached the finish line, that everyone enjoyed the course; it had uphills, rolling downhills, flat stretches and the ever persistent muddy bit! Taking all that into account it was our perception of a great cross country course.
Once again we had outstanding performances:
Kerri James – 72nd – 34.54
Sally Spencer – 125th – 37.32
Sarah Smith – 165th – 40.20
Caroline Lambert – 167th – 40.23
Anna Cosimetti – 212th – 43.32
Helen Attwood – 231- 45.45
Nearly a photo finish between Sarah and Caroline!
The team finished 20th out of 30 teams. Well done everyone.
Many thanks to everyone for their continued support and it is always a pleasure to have the support of the Senior Men; it is greatly valued. Thank you also to the junior members of the club for their support, lovely to see and very much appreciated.
And finally on behalf of the Senior Ladies congratulations to the U15 ladies for a fantastic performance, well done!
Midland Cross-Country Championships, Saturday 24th January, Wollaton Park, Nottingham
Posted Wednesday 18 January 2015
Bill Nock reports on the Senior Men’s race
Wollaton Park is a classic ‘big race’ venue, and the course for this year’s Midland Champs over a four lap, undulating, sinuous course with firm, fast grass and a short slog through thick mud was befitting of one of the ‘blue riband’ events of the cross-country season.
For those competitors with ambition, this was going to be a painful afternoon’s racing, but correspondingly, the rewards from a good performance would be more than worth the suffering.
Thirteen Halesowen athletes toed the line on a dry and almost sunny afternoon. The club cross-country championships is looking tight throughout the table and this race was an opportunity for runners to claim a place or two improvement in the absence of some Halesowen notables.
We lined up about three rows back. A little nervous, but positive. Andy said, “I think we should move back – we may get run over when the gun goes off.” But of course, we didn’t and we didn’t.
Richard White and Mark Hadley were soon leading the campaign with the younger athlete dominating, much to the frustration of Mark who has been playing bridesmaid all season. Matt Allen has been building his form on consistent training and the results are now rolling in. Kevin Monk has been showing up for Saturday sport after a lengthy absence and is steadily cranking out some great runs.
Positions stabilized over the first lap but Wollaton Park teases the unwary; the repetitive nature of the hills began to expose a few weaknesses and the Halesowen hacks moved into zones that would see overtaking as common as a Formula One race. Three old vests clawed past Andy Carruthers with Bill, Dave Lewis, Alex and Andy Nock locked in stalemate over a one-minute band.
James Parker seemed to be suffering from the effects of supporting his son and daughter on earlier races but held a large gap over legend Paul Allen who spent the afternoon trying – and eventually succeeding – in shaking off Richard Guest. A good result for Paul – not such a great day for Guesty.
Meanwhile, White ground out the pace to put a gap on Hadley of over two minutes for 66th place to Mark’s 105th. Matt (143rd) achieved a season’s best Halesowen finish of third counter ahead of Monk in 190th. Phil Scarr was relieved to just finish after prolonged calf problems and his 204th position was respectable regardless. Nock junior (230th) held on to sixth counter ahead of consistent and reliable Lewis (250th), Morgan (253rd) and Nock senior (258th) with Carruthers 301st in 51 min 49 s. Parker 319th, Paul Allen 373rd and Guest 387th brought the team home for 16th place.
Notts had a startling performance providing the winner Alistair Watson and the first three places. Their counting six completed in 10th place for 27 points. I’ve never seen that before at this level of competition.
But the best was saved until last – the tea lady bringing refreshments at the finish, the showers were hot and the beer in the Waggon tip-top.
Report from NIA event weekend 15 February 2014
Posted Wednesday 19 February 2014
Rob Logan of British Athletics (who ran this event under the club:connect initiative) says that the videos will be available soon on the British Athletics Youtube channel.
Eight athletes consisting of a ladies team and a men’s team from Halesowen were invited to perform a combined relay event on Saturday 15th February at The NIA immediately before the main event The Grand Prix took place. The Athletes were;
Beth Sharkey U20W–400m
Alex Beardmore U17W–300m
Josie Oliarnyk U15W–200m
Iris Oliarnyk U13W–100m
James Hoult U20M–400m
Niall Geraghty U17M–300m
Charles Hilliard UM15–200m
Harvey Warmington-Christmas U13M–100m
The teams went out into the arena to a sell-out crowd approaching 10,000 people and participated in the first and second events of the Sainsbury Birmingham Grand Prix. In this year when many of the world’s top athletes had to achieve performances to qualify for the world indoor championships in Poland http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-indoor-championships many of the world’s best were there in top form alongside the cream of UK athletes.
We had strong teams and competed well, coming third in the Ladies event and Second in the Mens event.
After the event, athletes went back to the warm-up area to collect their belongings and had a chance to meet top athletes and have their pictures taken with them. Greg Rutherford stopped by and talked with our athletes, also posing for pictures with them (!!!!!!!!with an Olympic gold medallist!!!!!!)
Free tickets to watch the event were provided by British Athletics to the competitors, who had ringside seats for the rest of the day. The final event of the day saw Genzebe Dibaba smash the world indoor 2 mile record to the loudest applause of the event. http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-indoor-championships/news/genzebe-dibaba-two-miles-sainsburys-indoor-gr1
Thanks to Dominic Mcneillis and Clare Sharkey for managing the teams on the day.
Posted Friday 3 January 2014
12th December Welsh Masters Cross country championships at Buith Wells
Paul Allen 1st M65 5.4 miles 43:11
3 laps up steep wooded hillside 460 ft climb in total
15th December Telford 10k
Excellent results from all who ran 806 finishers PB denotes personal best
54th Joe Donkin 33:10 PB
61st Dan Cleary 33:47 PB
70th Richard White 33:34
97th Russell Cadwallader 35:35 PB 5th V40
107 Joe Phillips 36:06 PB
184 39:14 V40 PB
200 Chris Cleary 39:45 5th V50
For full results please click here
Sunday 30th December Old Father Tyme 5 Mile road race Cardff
Ideal running conditions sunny no wind
Paul Allen 66th/155 1st M65 Welsh Masters 5 mile Championship
For full results please click here
Ellesmere 10K Results
Posted Sun 1 September 2013
Brilliant run from Mark and Dan in warm and windy conditions over a course what Bill would call flat where as normal people would call it hilly. Mixture of road gravel paths and canal tow path.
Slightly over distance.
Mark Hadley 33.52 5th 1st V45
Dan Clearey 34.34 8th
Chris Clearey 40. 27 77th 4th V50
Paul Allen 45.35 133rd 3rd V65