On 21 May 2017 In Running News

Hello BRAT mates,


Rotten weather + determination + great running = a medal (not mathematically proven). A bronze individual for Dan Robinson, only our second ever individual medal. Brilliant race Dan, fastest ever time for BRAT.


Alas, a team medal yet again eluded us, despite running in third place for over half the race; our closest and best result. BRAT M35 were second quickest Midland team, 5th overall.  BRAT M35 B team were second quickest B team, 22nd overall. BRAT M45 finished 33rd overall.


The Met Office were true to their word, where for the second half of the race the road became more like a lake. Perhaps the swimming element may play into Chris Ashford’s hands I pondered, but that was just a delusional team manager.


Dan Robinson set off, and their close group of three dominated the first leg pushing each other to a great time, with Martin Williams of Tipton opening a slender 5 second gap at the changeover. Jon Jennings had the responsibility of following Dan’s example and keep us in the mix, where although Tipton and Salford opened the gap, Jon held onto the precious 3rd place from a hard charging Kent. Mark Ince was there to show we were not a front loaded team, racing a great leg and narrowly missing out on a top ten individual time and a course pb, but we had clawed back Salford and kept Kent behind. Mark Woodus revealed to me he was recovering from broken bones in his foot, but announced it was not a problem! My worry was unfounded, delivering a sound time under my target, but Kent came past us and Sunderland closed the gap. Chris Ashford had the task of keeping us in touch to give racer Martin Matthews every possible chance. Another sound performance maintained a sizeable gap behind us, but the top four were strong, pulling away. Martin ran 4th quickest of leg six, having a close battle with Sunderland and stretching away from the pack with a massive 2 minute cushion. Ahead of us Kent smashed it with the second fastest leg overall, overtaking very late on what had appeared to be a dominant Tipton, who had lead from the start.


And so 5th it was to be, equalling our 2016 highest position, and setting our quickest time. Well done team, a great effort and result.


Thanos Tsolakis set off behind Dan for our depleted B team, in fact at one point we had three M35 teams entered. Really good run on what can be a demoralising fast 1st leg. He handed onto new very boy, keen Damian Cartland (nephew to the ex-Rowheath Stalwart Colin "what do you mean I’m a bit fiery" Cartland. Damian gained one place into 26th. Nick Lewis flew round and I wondered whether team selection may be questioned, gaining another place into 25th. Handing onto Martin Cleaver, a bit rusty since his great 12 stage leg, however, he still gained another place. This was becoming a trend, but I (Richard Gray) took over and was well off my intended pace, although closing down two ahead we remained in 24th. Finally Toby Close back after injury embarked on what might be a lonely leg. He overtook two on his travels to finally finish in 22nd overall and a surprising 2nd place B team behind Salford. Well done all.


Andy Piddington led off our M45 team with a very sound leg and 32nd place; handing onto Jort van Mourik, yet another chasing fitness after injury and pleased with his improvement. We had dropped two places, but Rob Ryan promptly snatched one back, and finally Ming Nham losing out to Rob by one solitary second, had gained another place to finish back were we started in 32nd. Nothing like a bit of consistency, well done team.



1. Kent Ac M35 1:34:38 15:47

2. Tipton Harriers M35 ‘A’ 1:34:52

3. Salford Harriers

4. Sunderland Harriers M35 ‘A’ 1:36:33


5. Birmingham R & T M35 ‘A’ 1:36:41 (Previous best 1.37.15, 5th)

1 Daniel Robinson (2) 15:18

2 Jonathan Jennings (3) 16:35

3 Mark Ince (3) 15:40

4 Mark Woodus (4) 16:33

5 C Ashford (5) 16:29

6 Martin Matthews (5) 16:06


22. Birmingham R & T M35 ‘B’ 1:48:51

1. A Tsolakis (27) 17:18

2. Damian Cartland (26) 18:15

3. Nick Lewis (25) 17:00

4. Martin Cleaver (24) 19:00

5. Richard Gray (24) 18:56

6. Toby Close (22) 18:22


Fastest of all legs: 1. Martin Williams TiptonH 35 A 15:11.    2. C Greenwood KentAc 15:15.    3 Daniel Robinson Brat M35 A 15:18



1. Thames Hare & Hounds M45 1:05:14


33. Birmingham R & T M45 1:18:19

1. Andy Piddington (32) 18:35

2. Jort Vanmourik (34) 19:21

3. Rob Ryan (33) 20:11

4. Ming Nham (32) 20:12


Fastest of all legs:  1. Terry Scott TyneBriM4 15:24


Full results at www.race-results.co.uk


Photos at: http://www.racephotos.org.uk/


See you late September for the 6 Stage, but lets all enjoy Summer first.


Richard Gray.

On 18 May 2017 In Swimming News

Open Water Swimming at Upper Bittell Reservoir, Barnt Green Sailing Club, Barnt Green is now underway for the 2017 summer season.

We hope to swim every Thursday until September 7th.

Swimming starts at 6pm when the life guard and safety boat operator are ready. We will also need 1 observer and 1 administrator for each session.

Swimmers must start their final lap at 7.30pm or earlier if the light is poor.

The cost of the session is £5.00.

You no longer need to be a member of BRAT to swim at Bittell. If you are not a member and would like to swim, you will need to complete the day membership registration form before entering the water and agree to be bound by the BRAT Open Water Session Rules. A copy of these rules are available at the venue.

To help with the administrative process, it would be great if any non-BRAT first time swimmers could complete and print out the form prior to coming to the venue (Bittell_OW_swimmng_day_member_form_2017.docx).

We have modified the loop for 2017 and reduced it's length to approximately 400 metres. This is due to both swimmer feedback and to make it easier for the volunteers to keep tabs on everyone in the water.

WE ARE ALWAYS IN NEED OF VOLUNTEERS TO KEEP THESE GREAT SESSIONS GOING, SO PLEASE VOLUNTEER. Speak to one of the volunteers at a session if you would like to help out.

We have been made aware of the issue of 'killer shrimp' by Barnt Green Sailing Club. If you have used your wetsuit in any water courses that are known to be affected by this invasive species, it must be rinsed and, more importantly, thoroughly dried before you wear it at Bittell. Bittell is currently free of killer shrimp and we want to ensure it stays so.

We look forward to seeing you there!


On 12 May 2017 In Running News

FINAL RESULTS of the BRAT Running Series 2016/17


Men's Results:


1st - Chris Ashford

2nd - Simon Lanckham

3rd - Ben Beaumont


1st V40 - Andy Piddington

1st V50 - Martin Ludford


Multi-Terrain Race Champion - Martin Ludford

Short Race Champion - Ed Banks


Women's Results:


1st - Molly Browne

2nd - Jen Straw

3rd - Eloise Lee


Multi-Terrain Race Champion - Rosie Davies

Short Race Champion - Jen Straw


No female vets did enough races to qualify.



Full results can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.






London Marathon – 23rd Apr


Cotswold Hilly 100 Relay – 14th May


Hagley 10k – 17th May (MT)

Arrow Valley 12k – 14th June (MT)

Birmingham & Black Country Half Marathon – 1st July

Droitwich 10k – 12th July (SR)

Stratford Summer 6 – 22nd July (SR)

BRAT 5K – 9th Aug (SR)

Kenilworth Half Marathon – 3rd Sep

Waseley Wobbler - Sep (Date TBC) (MT)

Autumn Midland Road Relays – 23rd Sep (SR)

Birmingham Half Marathon – 15th Oct

Birmingham Marathon – 15th Oct

XC League Race 1 – 11th Nov

Suicide 6 – 26th Nov (MT)

XC League Race 2 – 2nd Dec

Telford 10k - Dec (SR)

Warwickshire/Worcestershire XC Champs – 6th Jan

XC League Race 3 – 13th Jan 

Midlands XC Champs – 27th Jan

XC League Race 4 – 10th Feb

Spring Midland Road Relays - Mar (SR)


(MT) = Scores for the multi-terrain prize

(SR) = Scores for the short race prize


To breifly re-cap the rules, runners must complete 8 races in the series to count (6 for U20/U17). The multi-terrain/short race prizes will be scored from the highest aggregate score from the qualifying races.


On 11 May 2017 In Athletics News

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Telford athletics track on Saturday 6th May, saw the first senior league meeting of the 2017 season.

It was also the BRAT teams’ first match back in division three for some seven years, however, given that we have had two relegations in the past three years since the track disappeared, our third place finish on the day bodes well for the season, and hopefully this result, combined with the progress being made on the new track at the university, does provide some light at the end of the tunnel.

Considering the usual round of injuries which always seem to coincide with the beginning of the season, we still managed to get out a fairly full squad – including several people making their club debuts; Colin Bailey, Steve Dunsby, Theresa Tandoh and Nikki Lawrence. All of these guys performed extremely well on their first outing.

Remarkably, we had 14 wins on the day; David Lima (100 and 400A), Jack Gray (800B and 1500A), Richard Bayliss (1500B), Dan Robinson (5000A), Colin Bailey (Pole vault B), Jonny Briggs (Discus A), Petra Bediako (200A), Karen Bailey (400 hurdles B), Eloise Lee (1500B), Molly Browne (3000A), Anne Kenchington (3000B) and finally, and my performance of the day – Becky Hair winning her first ever competitive 800 metre race. She led from gun to tape and was 20 plus metres clear of the runner in second place!

The next meeting is at Coventry on Sunday 4th June. Can I please ask everyone to make themselves available for selection and let me know as soon as possible – onwards and upwards as they say!

Nigel Clegg
Track & Field team manager

On 11 May 2017 In Running News

On the 28th April, the Mid Cheshire 5km road racing series hosted the English 5k Championships. Two BRATs entered, and both hoped to score well in the nationals.

As the 1000 strong field descended on the rural closed-road circuit, the dry calm evening was seemingly a message from the gods, inviting all who twitched behind the start line to believe:

“Perhaps it’s my night”.

In the women’s race Becky Hair clocked a superb 18:33, shattering her PB by a colossal 23 seconds. When crossing the line, a wide eyed, smiley if a little weary Becky proclaimed “I did it”. It was only three hours and a few glasses of prosecco later, she realised by how much she ‘did it’ by, when she discovered she’d finished a marvellous 18th overall in the Nationals.

In the men’s race Jack Gray hoped to build on a surprisingly decorated end to his cross country season. Jack ran a good race working with the lead pack throughout. In the last 1k he lost touch with 2nd and 3rd, but held on to a credible joint 4th (with a handy dip) five seconds behind a national medal, and with a time of 14:19.

On 11 May 2017 In Running News

At a time when most cross country spikes are cast away, damp and dreary, into a long-summer slumber, two BRATs were competing in the UK’s historic cross country finale: The Home Countries International.

The Home Countries International is a British royal rumble. Here, the home nations (England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland) are joined by the regions (Midlands, South and North) and the armed forces to fight for their chance to be crowned champions of the mud. 

Two BRATs were selected for Team Midlands to compete in the imposing historic setting of Margam Castle, Wales.

In the women’s race (8km) Molly Browne crowned her exceptional XC season with a strong run, helping the Midlands to claim fourth place in the team championships. Molly finished 19th overall in a high-class international field. Well done Molly!

In the men’s race (10k) Jack Gray built on a successful end to his cross country season in a punishing hard run-race. Biding his time Jack positioned himself well, breaking the field up with a bold move at the 6km mark. In the final 2km Jack batted with a lead group of five to come away with an unexpected individual bronze medal.

All in all, a brilliant day where two BRATs shone on an international stage.