I am discovering that the longer the gaps between blogs, the more races I need to catch up on and, as a consequence, the longer it takes me to write them. What that saying about a stitch in time…?
May has been a strange month in many ways. The two Bank Holidays have meant that there haven’t been as many official runs and, of course, John Enright’s sudden death cast a shadow over the whole club and put our running aspirations into perspective. It was nice to see so many members at John’s funeral, though it was obviously a terribly sad occasion. A few people have come up with some ideas about how we might remember John on a permanent basis and we will ensure that some of these are acted upon over the coming months.
On a happier note, we have now announced our first two ‘Members of the Month’ of the new ‘cycle’. Chris Harlan-Marks received the May award in honour of his efforts as Chair over the last couple of years (as well as his immense athletic prowess), while Stacey Marston was given June’s prize in recognition of her representation of the club at Cannon Hill parkrun, her efforts in coming back from injury and her general willingness to embrace the spirit of the club. Congratulations to both Chris and Stacey. The last two ‘Members of the Month’ have both been chosen by the committee. However, we would very much welcome nominations from everyone; please send me a message if you feel someone is particularly deserving and has not yet been recognised.
We (well, Rich Rollins, Paul Gorman and Laura Leslie) are doing a great job of getting the club’s Records and Rankings system up to date. Paul will be sending out another ‘survey’ request over the next couple of weeks so if you haven’t updated your PBs yet, it would be really helpful if you could respond to that.
There have been a couple of fantastic ‘team’ events over recent weeks. The relays at Sutton Park are always a privilege to be involved in and the closest most of us will ever come to experiencing what the elites must feel when they enter the final straight in a packed stadium. On May 17th, the club put in some excellent performances in the National Masters Relays, very much inspired by John and wearing ribbons in his memory.
The Women’s V35 A team (bolstered by Linda Howell’s recent birthday) came 12th in their category in 1.23.39, with Linda getting them off to a great start with a 19.08 opening leg and Sarah Rock (20.35), Suz West (21.51) and Laura Gale (22.05) providing great support.
The Women’s V35 B team came 26th overall in 1.39.36. Emma Hopkins ran 23.22, followed by Lesley Pymm (26.57), Nicola Morris (24.00) and Rachel Partridge (25.17).
The Women’s V45 team finished 18th in 1.12.32, represented by Collette Greenhouse (22.46), Jude Glynn (23.46) and Phil Williamson (26.00).
Given the number of departures there have been from the ‘upper ranks’ of the club, compounded by a couple of significant injuries, the men’s V35 A team did really well to finish 13th in their race in 1.45.21. Dean Parker led the team off with his usual ‘grace and style’ and was 7th overall after his first leg of 15.50. John McKeon had the difficult job of trying to hold as many rivals off as possible in a 2nd leg in which he was up against a lot of very serious runner and finished in 17.37. Sean Rose, still returning from a long term injury, ran a valiant 18.21, followed by Rich Rollins (17.58), Andy Hall (18.01) and me (17.34). Most importantly, we managed to finish ahead off BRAT, who started the final leg a couple of seconds behind us!
Paul Gorman (18.59) and Mike Scotney (19.15) both also put in strong performances for an incomplete M35 B team.
The M45 team came 35th in a very competitive age category. Danny Wilson led off in 18.35, followed by Stuart Pearson (18.12), Antony Stewart (20.52) and Barrie Roberts (22.29).
Many thanks to Lesley Pymm and Stuart Pearson, who put in a lot of time sorting the teams out, and made sure nothing went wrong on the day. For once, it didn’t!
The following weekend saw a fantastic teal contingent take the trip down to London for the Bupa 10,000, which also served as the National 10k Road Championship. Mo Farrar had won the event for the previous six years and his late withdrawal left us all thinking that we maybe had half a chance. Maybe not.
Chris Tarren, making his last appearance for the club before relocating to London, led the men’s team home in 34.55, just missing out on a PB. Chris has been a great club member over the last few years and his progress as an athlete over that time should serve as a motivator to anyone who doubts that hard work will reap rewards when it comes to races; he will be missed greatly on a number of levels and we wish him and Sarah all the best in their new lives.
John McKeon, another unassumingly inspirational runner, was next home in a fantastic PB of 36.12. I was next, scraping a 2 second PB in 37.31. These 3 times gave the club an overall result of 41st place, which wasn’t a bad effort, all things considered.
Nicola Sykes, still not fully recovered from her previous trip to London, nevertheless finished in 37.39, putting her around the top 30 female finishers. Rich Rollins ran a big PB in 37.52, while Paul Gorman’s time of 40.44 was also a PB. Marianne Hensmann (44.36) and Laura Gale (46.01) ensured that the women’s team achieved an outstanding 31st place finish.
Becky Hampson (50.27), Jack Roberts (50.41), Daniel Trimm (1.03.25) and Nicola McKeon, making her 10k debut in a great time of 1.08.26, completed the BvH line up.
This weekend just gone has seen a lot of members in racing action. A large group of Harriers headed up to Hanley for the Potters Arf, widely reckoned to be one of the tougher Half Marathons in the calendar, on Sunday. Linda Howell (1.39.46), Jim Clarke (1.54.25), Jude Glynn (1.54.37), Collette Greenhouse (1.57.32), Monica Baptista (1.59.33), Emma Hopkins (2.02.06) and Philomena Williamson (2.15.07) were all suffering the effects afterwards.
Jenny Jackson (50.00) and David Jenkins (1.02.55) both took on the shorter, but no less demanding challenge of the Two Castles 10k. Well done to both of them.
Another excellent 10k race took place in Aldridge. James Collins finished a very creditable 16th place, but just fell short of the PB he set on the same course last year by a few seconds (37.35). Jon Hammond is now well back on the comeback trail after child birth and showed this with a time of 41.29. It’s been a long road for Claire, but Jon’s had it a lot tougher, so we should all congratulate him on this performance. Not far behind was Matt Slater in 42.01. Strangely, a Barry Roberts was first male V70 home, but on closer inspection this was a Birchfield Barry, not a Bournville Barrie.
There were no PBs on a fairly lousy morning at Cannon Hill parkrun on Saturday, but 3 members were successful in making improvements the previous week when it was official ‘PB Day’: Steve Taylor recorded a new best time of 22.50, Collette Greenhouse ran 23.14 in her 51st parkrun and Rachel Partridge recorded a time of 24.45.
Going back to the start of May, there was a prominent showing of Teal at two popular midweek races. On 7th May, at the DK 10k, Mike Scotney was first Harrier home in 40.40, followed by Danny Wilson (42.22), Simon Newman (a PB of 42.29), the rapidly improving Lizzy Bryans (another PB of 43.43), Lisa Cartwright (46.17), Laura Gale (47.27), Mark Cooper (50.49), David Jenkins (55.52) and Sarah Wilson (64.41).
On the following Wednesday at the tough multi-terrain Hagley 10k, I think there were more Harriers running than members of any other club (an incredible16 out of 157 runners). Matt Cook came a fantastic 3rd in a time of 36.10, despite a nasty fall, closely followed by James Collins in 8th in 38.04. Andy Hall (39.57), Stuart Pearson (40.30), Mike Scotney (42.34), Linda Howell (43.43 and 2nd woman), Simon Newman (45.20), Sarah Rock (45.45), Suz West (48.44), Laura Gale (50.11), Oliver Crouch (50.36), Jim Charlie (50.37), Jude Glynn (52.04), Mark Cooper (55.23), Rachel Ward (56.49) and Lesley Pymm (61.35) all represented the club superbly.
3 club members ran impressive marathons over the Bank Holiday weekend, with Andy Hall completing the Edinburgh Marathon in 3.02.58 and Andy Hoole and Chris Collins recording times of 3.05.29 and 3.05.13, respectively, at the Liverpool Rock’n’Roll Marathon. The two Andys have written fabulously insightful reports that are available to read on the website. If you are under any illusions of what it takes to run 26.2 miles, I strongly advise you to take a look!
Also running in Liverpool (in the Half Marathon) were Linda Howell (93.14), Suz West (a brilliant new PB of 97.39), Nicola Morris (1.50.46), Maria Wilkes (1.56.07), Lesley Proctor (also 1.56.07) and 2.05.45. Congratulations to all of them on their great times.
James Gittins and Simon Newman took advantage of Cicci’s invitation to run the Rimini Half Marathon in his home city. All 3 ran times they were happy with (but were somewhat vague about publicising!) and, again, there is a great report (by James) already on the website.
There were a few PBs recorded at the Croome Gunpowder Plot 10k on 11th May. Dean Parker came 2nd in 33.58, Stuart Pearson finished in 38.55, Matt Slater ran a PB of 40.07, Stuart Mugridge also ran a PB of 41.09 and Laura Leslie also bagged a PB of 42.47. Stuart’s report is already on the website and made for a great read, even if his description of Dean’s running style caused a few people to smile, not least Dean himself!
On 13th May, Lisa Cartwright (47.44), Mark Cooper (52.38) and Lesley Pymm (57.47) took part in the Kingsbury 10k Classic. On 18th May, Stacey Marston (58.58) and Katie Thomas (64.17) completed the Cobra Classic 10k. Well done to all of them
Finally (I hope), the Tewkesbury Half Marathon and 10k both attracted a few Bournville Harriers on Sunday 25th May. Caroline Harlan-Marks just pipped Chris in the 10k, coming 2nd female in 41.38, with Mr H-M one place behind in 41.43. In the Half, Simon Newman recorded a big PB in 93.55. I am aware that a couple of other people also ran this race, but the results are not presented well on the Run Britain website and I wasn’t able to locate their times. Please let me know if one of them is you.
That’s probably enough results to be digesting in one sitting.
Keep on running….