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.

Published in Running News
Friday, 03 March 2017 16:10

The best mud of the season!

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

Published in Running News
Thursday, 02 March 2017 18:47

BRAT Ladies at the National XC Champs

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.

Published in Running News