Wednesday, 15 February 2017 21:38

Medals Galore at Final Midland Women's XC League

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


Published in Running News
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 20:55

Women's Midlands XC Champs

The 2017 Midland Champs returned to Prestwold Hall in Loughborough following the success of last year’s event. It offers a good, honest, gruelling cross country course – made worse by a slight measurement error adding an additional km to the race. A small but hardy BRAT ladies team tackled 9km of mud and hills and there were some brilliant performances.

Molly Browne had a hard battle to secure a surprise top 10 finish coming in 10th place, Megan Thomas ran a great race to finish in 69th place with Eloise Lee showing she is made of tough stuff following closely despite not feel 100% with a 73rd place finish. Cat Bone was next for BRATs in a fab 112th place, Claire Keen came in strongly to finish in 133rd and Claire Jackson hot on her heels with a 140th place finish.

The course was particularly gruelling and the added distance was certainly a challenge, but everyone dug deep and did themselves and BRAT proud!

The next race is the final Midland League race on Saturday 11th Feb, followed by a social at the Junction in Harborne in the evening, so hopefully see you all there!

Published in Running News
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 19:24

Men's XC - Midland Championships

Midland XC Championships – Prestwold Hall - Jan 28th

The BRAT men's team were in action at the Regional Championships near Loughborough this weekend, and a memorable event it turned out to be. The course measurers must have taken a lot of stick for their miscalculations; the men's race which is traditionally 12k turned out to be a 15k epic. Consequently nearly three quarters of the field were running for over an hour, a treat normally only enjoyed by the backmarkers.

We had a hard core of 11 BRATs on the start line for this quality race of nearly 400 runners across the rolling pastureland of Leicestershire. Simon Lanckham led the team home in an impressive 58th place closely followed by the high flying Mark Woodus in 66th . Next home was Adam Western with an amazing age-defying performance in 121st. Ben Beaumont with a strong run was next home in 127th , Huw Jones coming back well after injury was 191st and Derek Laverty in 210th put in a good run to close the team. The team score of 773 was very creditable at this level and gave us 13th place out of 33 clubs in the region, ahead of a good number of our local rivals. More BRATs battled through to respectable placings; Ming Nham 240, Martin Ludford 252, Rob Ryan 306, and Richard Carney 337. Comiserations to Richard Gray who was unfortunately forced to retire with a lap to go. Well done everyone and thanks for turning out to represent the club. Hope you enjoyed the experience!

The team winners were Notts AC who had their 6 scorers home inside the first 23 places; it's difficult to compete against that sort of quality! Birchfield finished second and Tipton were third.

Thanks also to the BRAT women's team who, after securing an impressive 8th place in their race, stayed on to support our lads, and also got a good drenching for their troubles as a massive squall hit the area in the middle of the men's race.

Thanks also to Jort for coming along to support and for doing a sterling job with my pretty basic pocket camera - shots of the event are now on the BRAT Flickr gallery.

Full results are now available on the MCAA website at


Martin Ludford

Published in Running News