On 19 August 2014 In Running News

Hello BRAT mates,

Yep, the summer is hanging on to allow you more time to work on the speed you have acquired through the summer. Five weeks to stop plodding at the same 10K pace and get more speed work in.

Saturday 20 September, 1.40pm, Sutton Park as usual.

6 legs x 5.85K. We can enter as many teams as we like.

Qualification to The National on 4th October will be the top 25 teams including B teams, so it is a selection race for the fastest qualifiers for one or hopefully two teams.

I have to enter the number of teams before the 5th September, but you only need to let me know if you are a definite, probable or possible as I can enter one squad with more names than places.

Please include a recent time or estimation for a distance between 5K -10K, or indeed what you think you would do on this course or the 5.85K mile 6 stage if you prefer.


Richard Gray

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On 16 August 2014 In Running News

While Team GB were winning European medals in Zurich, grass roots running was alive and kicking in south Birmingham as this year's annual Rowheath 5k road race took place in perfect conditions for running. As well as being part of the Warwickshire Road Race League, the event was also the Warwickshire 5k Road Championship with medals at stake. Despite another local race at Clent clashing with us, the race attracted runners from all over the region as well as further afield and we had 187 finishers including 18 BRATs.

The race was won by Adrian Holiday of Tipton in 14,59 with Bournville's Nicola Sykes taking the ladies title in 17.28. BRAT's Anne Kenchington was 2nd lady and first U20 in 19.33. First BRAT male in 17,46 was Nick McEvoy, also U20. Full results are available in the results section of the website and photos are on the  BRAT flickr site.

Well done to all who ran and a big thank you to Richard Carney and his team of officials, marshalls and helpers for organising a great evening of racing.

Martin Ludford

On 11 August 2014 In Running News

The BRAT Rowheath 5k is this week, starting at 7:45pm at Rowheath Pavilion, Heath Road, Bournville. This is a great opportunity for you to do an actual measured and certified road 5k. The race also incorporates the Warwickshire county 5k championships and is part of the Warwickshire Road Race League.

See you there!

On 21 July 2014 In Running News

3 weeks ago I travelled over to Chamonix for the Mont Blanc Marathon; the race was my first attempt at a marathon and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy! It has over 2,500m of vertical ascent and is run over quite technical mountain terrain.

The marathon was one of three races (along with the 80km Ultra and the Vertical Kilometre) making up the Skyrunning World Championships in Chamonix that weekend, so the atmosphere in town was absolutely crazy! The marathon was the last of the three weekend races, and unfortunately a huge storm rolled into the valley the evening before. This forced the race organisers to make a few last minute changes to sections of the course which would have been dangerous in bad weather.  

At 7am the next morning, the race began in the pouring rain! Although still fairly undulating, the first half of the race is the ‘fast’ section, where you make your way from Chamonix town centre to Montroc at the far end of the valley. From there, the course winds its way round to the first major aid station at Vallorcine, where (in true French style!) they have a selection of cured meats, cheese, sweets and drinks.

The second half of the course is where the race (and the pain!) really begins. Coming out of the aid station, you’re faced with a 1000m vertical climb to the top of Col de Possettes, followed by a fast descent back down to Montroc. After a few kilometres of gradual climbing, there’s then the second of the two 1000m climbs, before the final long descent down to the finish line. The last 500m to the finish line was a tunnel of hundreds of people all ringing cow bells and screaming ‘Allez Allez’; the support was incredible and like no other race I’ve ever run before.

I finished in 4:52 and was completely overwhelmed to hear I was 25th female and 1st British female. Definitely a few tears at the finish!  

For anyone who likes hills...I highly recommend it! An amazing race, not to be missed!

Lauren Woodwiss

On 18 July 2014 In Running News

The annual BRAT 5k Road race is fast approaching. This is a Wednesday evening road race open to all. Start time 7.45 pm.

Based at Rowheath Pavilion, Heath Road, Bournville B30 1HH.

Parking, changing, showers and post race bar available.

Organised under UKA rules.

The race normally attracts a field of 180+ runners of all standards from many of the local clubs. It is part of the Warwickshire Road Race League, and also includes the Warwickshire County 5km Road Championship.

Enter on the night from 6.15 pm. Entry fee £4 / £6 (unattached)

Entry form also downloadable from the Events section of the website – save time on the night by filling in the form in advance.

On 08 July 2014 In Running News

Where better to spend a Sunday morning than enjoying the sunshine by the seaside? Beautiful Morecambe Bay, with its seaside towns and nuclear power stations, was the choice of Sarah and Simon for a gentle 1/2 marathon. Described in understatement as "the hardest race I have run" by Yaz, the Cross Bay Challenge is 13.1 miles of sand, sea and river current to navigate - indeed the Garmin track seems to put it all underwater - as you cross from the south edge at Hest Bank to Flookborough.

Only a couple of times did our brave explorers actually feel like they were going to be swept away, and it's the first race either of them had done that served water off the back of a tractor at key points. It was also slighty odd in terms of tactical racing - in the not-so-gentle sea breeze using a runner ahead for drafting made good sense, and Simon's record was a line of around half-a-dozen behind him for shelter as the wind picked up.

No world records were in danger, given the mixed terrain - but Sarah placed 3rd woman overall and 2nd vet, the pair were 55 & 56 out of a field of just over 300.

An excellent race, and one more people should try next year. Next week another trail run around the New Forest - hopefully a little drier and assuming neither gets lost - also shorter.

On 19 June 2014 In Running News

Jack Gray, having taken the club 5000M record a few weeks ago, has just beaten his new record by a further 10 seconds. In Manchester on 31 May he ran 14m13.5s, despite having to take on the mantle of the chasing group as their pace had inexplicably dropped to a 72s lap.  This time is within the British Senior Champs qualification time of 14m15s, and places him 5th U23 and 29th overall in the UK. Nice one.

Richard Gray recently finished his campaign seeking an English Masters Cross Country vest over four National Championships winning no medals whatsoever, however, he has acquired a speciality skill of finishing 4th Englishman. This generosity towards other competitors was demonstrated in 3 out of the four races in Country, 5K, 10K and 3mile Road Relays. Fortunately there are four XC places up for grabs should selectors show compassion.

Should you ever choose to mug him, you will find no silverware (nor gold nor bronze), but he could point out the bloke in front who has.

On 16 June 2014 In Running News

What started out as a silly idea ended up as one of the most talked about threads in the history of our BITS Facebook page.   Within hours of posting the event details, the BITS Tuesday night run soon became an event of epic proportions.  Before we knew it we had central BRATs registered, pre-race banter taking place, a trophy being purchased, inter club rivalries being formed, a whole list of pre-race excuses, not to mention some VERY dodgy 5km times being submitted.

The end result was a brilliant 5 mile dash round some stunning Bromsgrove countryside.  There was lots of fun and plenty of encouragement as slower runners set out first progressively followed by the quicker ones.  Steve Brookes set off as last man out (a stunning 20mins after the first athlete had gone off).

The first home was Ben Albutt who, although he was in one of the earlier groups, held a strong steady pace over the hilly 5 miles and surprised himself as much as the guys at the finish line as he thundered home.

The 5 mile handicap road race marked the end of the road running element of the BITS run sessions, and we have now moved to the stunning Lickey Hills to work once again on hill strength and power. 

The intention is to run the race again at the end of the summer and we encourage everyone to come and give it a go.  Nothing too serious, just for fun!