On 28 March 2017 In Running News

By Richard Gray


A great day at work. We finished an excellent 8th.


I incorrectly stated that this was down on previous, but in fact it is our fastest time on the new course (2015) and equalled 8th place from 2015, beating last year. Overall our second highest Midland 12 stage position. I also incorrectly stated the short leg distance which is 3.16miles. Must be the stress(or incompetence).


The late flurry of injury and illness meant new boys and B team had to breach the gap, which was accomplished admirably, so well done everyone and thanks for all the last minute multiple swaps.


See information about The National on 8 April at the end….the No1 road race.


Greeted with sunshine, albeit chilly sunshine (not sure of the logic there), helped to put a cheery smile on everyone’s face, even the grumpy manager !


Dan Robinson back on pole, smashed his leg with a course pb putting us in 11th on the traditionally fast first lap. Steve Dunsby followed on in his long stage debut guaranteeing a pb and creeping up to 10th. Handing on to Mark Ince who smashed another course pb, pushing close to Dan’s time and shooting us up to 7th, happy times. Chris Ashford, on his way back to form, did not show any lack of it as he was only 12 seconds off a pb, and still 7th. So that is 3 out of 4 personal bests on the long leg, crucial in the overall result.

First of the shorts was Nathan Warren, in what is always a tough and quick leg and we slipped just two places. Adam Balderson-Higgins stepped in last minute from B first leg and under pressure did what was required, but we slipped to 11th. Kevin McMillan despite suffering with a cold and describing his leg as "slow" held on to 11th. New boy Colin Bailey was not entirely happy about a debut in the A team, but acquitted himself well and kept 11th. Simon Lanckham debuted on a short for this course and delivered our fastest short as expected, snatching back two places including our close battle with Stoke. Rene Vergo ran a very good leg but we came under pressure from Stoke and Bristol B, and dropped back to 11th. Was the writing on the wall ?

Martin “he will sort it” Matthews answered that question, promptly overtaking Heanor, Stoke and Bristol B, no problem. We were now in 8th as Chris “what pressure” Grimley took on the task of last leg. Heanor were dumped, Bristol slipped back, but Stoke slowly gained. I encouraged Chris with 1000m to go: “you have a 20m gap, go” (don’t you just hate that, but necessary ?). Chris did a great job holding on until 200m from the finish when we were caught. Brave run but 9th it was to be, or was it ?


Kenilworth, our close rivals in relays and XC had mucked up big time and were disqualified, hoorah ! Tough, they probably need a better manager. Shame though, we now won’t be able to beat them in The National like last year and the XC this year.


Our B team had as many changes as New Street Station (or should that be Grand Central).


Martin Cleaver stepped up last minute(just assume everything is last minute), running a great leg smashing his pb. Harry “H” Fowler who was probably not relishing 2nd leg, but did not shirk under the pressure did exactly what it said on the tin(what am I on about ?). Handing onto Robert Dowse who was probably the only no change leg, he ran 2nd fastest long and retrieved two places. Jort Van Mourik on the long road back snatched another couple of places. Why break a habit, Abayomi Adedimeji ran the fastest short, justifying an A team place on the day now he knows his injury will hold up, and yes gaining another two places up to 53rd. Everyone’s favourite except mine, XC manager Martin Ludford consolidated our position. Richard Carney dared to drop one place but I forgive him. Mark Iliffe was on hand, and showing off gained five places into 49th.  Really really last minute(“I will just go and get my kit and drop the dog off”) Ming Nham pushed hard, but nine legs were all we had to offer, and so all our efforts ended up with a “We came , we saw, we DNF’d.  very well done and thanks to all in the B.


To summarise. A job well done and very good result. Shame is, in what is a high standard Championship we could only turn out 21 athletes. It may be a top race, but all standards can race without fear. I should be fighting people off, not trying to complete a B team. Well done all who ran and supported.


See below results for National Relays info which is Britain’s top road race open to all clubs.  


1 Bristol & West Ac (Est. 1882) ‘A’ 3:54:50

2 Notts AC ‘A’ 3:56:24

3 Cheltenham & County Harriers ‘A’ 3:59:27


8 Birmingham Running A&t ‘A’ 4:20:51   Long leg 5.38miles, short legs 3.16miles.

1 Daniel Robinson (11) 28:24

2 Steve Dunsby (10) 29:45

3 Mark Ince (7) 28:40

4 Chris Ashford (7) 29:27

5 Nathan Warren (9) 18:10

6 Adam Balderson Higgins (11) 19:04

7 Kevin Mcmillan (11) 18:03

8 Colin Bailey (11) 18:29

9 Simon Lanckham (9) 17:08

10 Rene Vergo (11) 17:55

11 Martin Matthews (8) 17:31

12 Chris Grimley (9) 18:15


Birmingham Running A&t ‘B’

1 Martin Cleaver (53) 33:52

2 Harry Fowler (59) 38:00

3 Robert Dowse (57) 34:37

4 Jort Van Mourik (55) 36:23

5 Abayomi Adedimeji (53) 18:09

6 Martin Ludford (53) 21:18

7 Richard Carney (54) 24:13

8 Mike Iliffe (HJ) (49) 19:25

9 Ming Nham  (OD) (49) 21:00

10,11,12 DNF.


Fastest of all long legs — Provisional 1 Graham Rush Cheltenham A 26:04 2 Stephen Mitchell Bristol&We A 26:21 3 Richard Peters Bristol&We A 26:24


Fastest of all short legs — Provisional 1 Owain Jones Bristol&We A 15:32 2 Jack Hallas Birchfield A 15:34 3 Jonathan Goringe Birchfield A 15:35

See www.race-results.co.uk.


National Road Relay Championship, Sat 8 April, same place.

We have qualified one team. The squad will be the A team and Abayomi, + a few who would have made the Midland A team and had wished to run if they were available. Let me know now if you could not make the Midland, but want to be considered. Come along and support us.


I will send out individual emails.

Richard. 07973 502531.

On 13 March 2017 In Athletics News

Track season is almost here. Here are a few opportunities to compete for those interested.

If you want to start early the Tipton Games is on Sunday 9 April: https://www.facebook.com/events/273136729791031/ 
Entry Form can be found here: http://tiptonharriers.co.uk/index.php/2014-04-06-16-00-58/news-2017/2362-tipton-games-9-april-2017.html

The Warwickshire T&F Championships are being held on the weekend of 13/14 May: http://www.warwickshirecountyaa.co.uk/champs_top.htm#Championships

Tipton Harriers will once again be holding an open meeting series from May to August: https://www.facebook.com/streetrunner1420/posts/10101719293037005

Warwickshire County Athletics Assoiciation will be holding an open meeting series from May to September: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1510651585869688/1864090653859111/

Don't forget the as per the newsletter in January everyone is welcome to join our Athletics teams in their summer fixtures. Experience is not necessary and the team of volunteers work hard to make all feel included. If you are interested in any of the dates contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will be able to give you more information and help you into the squad.

Heart of England Junior League
Sun 7 May - Redditch
Sat 3 June - Kettering
Sun 2 July - Telford

Midland Men and Women Senior League
Sat 6 May - Telford
Sun 4 June - Coventry
Sun 16 July - Abingdon
Sat 5 Aug - BRAT (fingers crossed!) or (Sutton Coldfield if Uni Track not open)

Let us know about any other opportunities here: https://www.facebook.com/bratclubuk/posts/1305433342886018 as it would be good to keep this article up to date with the latest information.




On 03 March 2017 In Running News

Men's National XC Champs - 25th February 2017

Eight of the BRAT men's cross country gang rounded off the season at the National Championships at Wollaton Park in Nottingham over a tasty course full of challenges. The best mud of the season was saved until the end, and with the senior men's race being the tenth and final event of the day, the soft and wet areas of the course were nicely churned up even before the race began. After the opening short loop the race took in four laps, each bigger than the previous one, to make up the 12.5k distance. Several of the guys were running in their first National and after soaking up the atmosphere and supporting the BRAT women's team, it proved a memorable race for all members of the team.

Simon Lanckham lost a shoe on the opening loop and so remarkably ran the remaining 12k with just one shoe. He was still the first BRAT home, finishing in 404th position out of 1762 finishers. Next home was Jon Undy in around 694th (sadly a timing chip malfunction meant he was not recorded in the published results, though the organisers ECCA are trying to look into this). Then a bit further down the field came a steady stream of BRAT finishers: Andy Piddington 980th, Huw Jones 1044th, Nathan Smith 1092nd, Martin Ludford 1153rd, Ming Nham 1229th (despite having to recover and replace a shoe 3 times!) and Owen Doherty 1393rd (in borrowed vest and shorts - thankfully you remembered your spikes Owen!).

In the team results we are showing as 99th out of 131 teams, though in reality we should be a dozen or more places higher if / when the results are eventually corrected.

Well done and thanks to everyone who committed themselves to run these Championships for the Club. It was great for team bonding and I'm sure you will agree well worth the effort! Thanks also to the BRAT women's team who supported the guys round the course.

Thanks again to all, it's been a good season – many new faces, lots of old faces, good turnouts, good team spirit, and even a bit of silverware!


Martin Ludford

On 02 March 2017 In Running News

BRAT Ladies at the National Cross Country Championships, Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

For most the cross-country season has now drawn to a close following the biggest race of the year – The National Cross Country. Almost 800 ladies donned their spikes and colourful club vests to combat 8km of hills and mud in Wollaton Park. 

The BRAT ladies were a small contingent with a team of four hardy runners ready to test out their ‘real cross-country’ stamina and end their seasons on a high! 

The gun went, and of course the rain started …

Claire Keene had a brilliant run to finish 526th, probably most impressive was her ability to stay on her feet without spikes! Given her amazing progression this cross-country season Claire, you have thoroughly earned yourself some shiny new spikes for next year! 

Megan Thomas had a fabulous race to finish 280th after giving a gutsy run on a challenging course and finishing very strongly. This brought her best cross-country season to a brilliant close having placed consistently well in the league races and Midland Champs! Onto great things over summer! 

Eloise Lee was finally able to enjoy a cross-country race without battling through with an awful cold. It was fantastic to see Eloise finish her season on a high with an amazing 275th place. Eloise has run in every possible cross country race this season and finished being the second scorer for the BRAT Nationals team, a great achievement!

Molly Browne was taking on the penultimate race of her season, with Inter-Counties still to race. Molly had hopes of bettering her previous 100th place, and had a brilliant run in a competitive field to finish 47th, beating a few Midlands rivals in final sprint for the line too! 

It was great to have a BRAT team competing at by far the best race of the year! They did themselves and the club very proud and finished a credible 38th out of 90+ teams which is a fabulous achievement. It would be great to have more BRAT vests racing next year, the National really is a spectacle. 

A big thank you to Eloise and Molly who took on the role last minute of captaining the ladies XC team this season. They have done a sterling job and have encouraged lots of members to race, including newbies.

On 21 February 2017 In Athletics News

Eleven B.R.A.T. athletes took part in the Midland Indoor Championships at the NIA, Birmingham on February 11/12th, many competing indoors for the first time and in a more formal atmosphere than they have been used to, but gathering vital experience for the future.

Leading the way as he often does was Jonathan Briggs, making his debut in the senior men’s age group, winning the shot put with 11.16m. The shot put was a successful event for B.R.A.T. as Alex Clegg won a silver medal in the U20 men’s event with 11.39m (PB) as did Jack Costello in the U17 men’s event with 10.08m (PB).

Alex also won silver in the pole vault with a leap of 2.90m and rounded off the weekend with a 53.00s 400m another pb, coming 5th in his heat. Jack also came 8th in the U17 long jump just missing his PB with 4.63m.

Making her debut on the boards Petra Bediako came 5th in both the 60m and 200m finals for senior women in 8.22s and 27.14s respectively, having set a PB of 26.80s in the heats.

Three of our U17 women had busy weekends. Naomi Johnson progressed to the semi finals of both the 60m and 200m coming 5th in both events with 8.39s (PB) and 27.64s, having recorded a pb of 27.25s in the heats. Competing in the same events Thersa Tandoh ran 8.67s in the 60m coming 6th in her heat and 29.35s for 5th in her heat. Anna Berrill competed in 4 events, 60m, 7th in her heat in 8.75s (PB), 200m 5th heat in 28.99s, 300m 4th heat in 47.93s (PB) and 14th in the long jump with a best effort of 3.59m.

Four of our U13 athletes competed in the quadrathlon, all acquitted themselves very well with Josie Williams coming out on top finishing 7th with 1062points, Maisie Scamp 8th with 1002points and Ines Villalobos Finigan 14th with 790points in the girls event and Oliver Hubbard was 11th with 739 points in the boys event.

On 15 February 2017 In Running News

Saturday 11th February was the final Midland League XC race of the 2016-17 season, this saw both the BRAT Ladies and Men head to Warwick University for a rather cold run in the mud. BRAT Ladies started the race with three points separating them and Birmingham Uni who were currently in the bronze medal position for division one, so it was all to play for.

Molly Browne closed the league with a fantastic run her highest finish in 5th place, Leonie Balter came in strongly not far behind with a brilliant 7th place finish, Jen Dale had the race of her life to finish a great 11th and Marie Matthews was the team’s fourth scorer in a fabulous 26th place with a fine run. Megan Thomas followed closely with a superb 39th, Sarah Hinksman returning from illness showed she was on good form with a brilliant finish in 43rd, Helen Pike had a fantastic run despite the cross countries being much shorter than what she is used to, coming in at 45th, Lisa Tindle had a great run following closely with 57th and Cat Bone came through strongly with a fab 83rd place finish to complete a brilliant BRAT team! Unfortunately Eloise Lee was forced to retire half way round due to illness.

BRAT Ladies had a nervous wait for the overall league results to be announced! The senior team totalled 49 points to give them their lowest finish over the four races and … enough to secure a BRONZE medal – finishing 46 points ahead of Birmingham Uni – an amazing achievement!

BRAT had two individual medallists for the league overall for the first time in the club's history. Helena Eastham finished joint third overall having run tremendously in the first three races. Molly Browne came away with silver overall after a great run in all four races improving position with each run.

The Masters team finished impressively in 7th place, which is not only a fantastic achievement but so brilliant that in each of the races there has been a scoring masters team.

A huge congratulations to each and every BRAT lady who has raced in the league this season, the team atmosphere at races has been brilliant and the BRAT vest has been worn with pride. For a lot of ladies this was their first XC season and they have done absolutely amazingly – improving on positions and learning to love slipping around in the mud! A special mention to thank those who despite not being able to run themselves have braved the cold and embraced the mud cheering everyone on and volunteering for the club.

Below is a full list of the runners and supporters for the season, and finishing positions for division one.

BRAT Ladies Midland XC Team 2016-17:
Molly Browne (12,7, 7, 5), Helena Eastham(15,9, 13), Leonie Balter (21,15, 7), Eloise Lee (62, 52, 43), Lisa Tindle (69, 56, 85, 57), Helen Pike (76, 63, 59, 45), Claire Keene (94, 81), Rachel Brown (113, 101), Louise Beasley (126), Catherine McNicholl (142, 112), Jen Straw (19, 24, 11), Megan Thomas (45, 39), Sarah Hinksman (50, 53, 43), Claire Jackson (88), Sarah Bakewell (104), Cat Bone (84, 83), Marie Matthews (26), Anne Kenchington, Christine Bertram, Jenny Coxon.


Overall League Positions (3 races to score):

Molly Browne - 2nd

Helena Eastham - 5th / 3rd Senior

Leonie Balter - 7th / 5th Senior

Jen Straw - 12th / 7th Senior

Sarah Hinksman - 31st / 13th Masters

Eloise Lee - 35th / 14th Senior

Helen Pike - 40th / 17th Masters

Lisa Tindle - 44th / 18th Masters