On 20 March 2014 In Running News

Hello BRAT mates,

Full results at www.race-results.co.uk  Check the team below when visiting the site.

What a lovely day for a stroll round Sutton Park, but that ridiculous idea was soon put to bed. Although we were down on strength we had a decent team that was a very safe qualifier, so let’s enjoy the day and see who we could beat.

Presentation was mixed and relaxed: Ed sporting a very smart haircut and new red sweatband (ex Olivia Newton John purchased on ebay for the older readers); Dan with a choice of new shoes (making sure he was up to date with the Spring colours; Tom warming up with a spare pair of different tread pattern shoes in hand. (Now that is preparation, ready for an F1 pit stop half way round with wet weather shoes should conditions worsen);  Robin & Family debating whether he runs with the ultimate fashion accessory + buggy; Jort with a three generation picnic going on under their own tree; and then disaster struck: Adam had forgotten his sunglasses ! 

A meeting was called. Should he risk running, should we change the legs to allow the sun’s trajectory to move 5 degrees 10 minutes, should he run always facing east ?

Then in the nick of time rescue appeared on the horizon as replacement shades were generously donated (wishing to remain anonymous).  Tension grew as Adam cautiously…nervously…. (in slow motion)….lifted them to his face, and well, wow !......All was well, the iron man looked like an Iron Man (I think that’s what he told me)

Moving on and off we go.  The course was changed and the course shortened. Don’t know why, we have coped for 30+ years. All legs were reduced by 0.3miles.

Long = 5.1m and short 2.7m in order LSLSLSLSSSS

Ed saw us off in an excellent 14th, and Mark in a choice but always pressured quality second leg maintained our position with a good time. Tom with massive plastered up blister chose slicks, but ended up with an obvious limp with said blister and we dropped to 17th. Another good short from Kevin only 8 seconds behind Mark maintained our position, handing onto the Dan on form who flew and took us back into 14th. That was our number and nobody else was having it !  David, on his way back to fitness, ran a decent time, whatever he says, handing onto Chris. Now Chris cannot sprint, but he might say: It doesn’t really matter, I will have already beaten you”; and yes a very good time only 2s behind Dan and 20s behind Ed gaining one place. Then it was my turn, expecting a full squad turnout for my send off, but they were all scoffing Eloise’s cakes. Despite subsequent send-off deflation and heavy legs from Saturday’s exploits, I was rather pleased, except I lost one place to some Stoke youngster who should show more respect. Man on fire Martin Ludford made his A team debut (please correct me if I am wrong), and was solid keeping our 14th place. Robin, obviously still on a Family high, set about his task and delivered (unfortunate choice of words) the second fastest short leg of the day. Adam “Iron Man” looking cool, despite his longer distance ambitions delivered(not again) a quick 2.7m.  Guess what, yes we were still in 14th.  Glory or bust was handed to Mark, who said he wouldn’t, but did, flew round in easily the quickest short leg . Finishing position, yes you’ve guessed it, 14th.   Well done team mates. 

Now the B team was severely depleted to the grand total of three……NOT OUR PROUDEST MOMENT BRATS.

Martin Cleaver led off, standing in even more last minute than Martin Ludford and recovering from a particularly nasty lurgi, and to be honest a good time. Pete followed on, overtaking two with a time well above his prediction (Aim higher Pete, because you can). 3rd and final leg was in the hands of excitable Jort, holding back on the three generation picnic, who gained another three places. Well done team mates.

So well done and thank you everyone.  LOOK OUT FOR NATIONAL MAIL, followed by NATIONAL MASTERS MAIL.

Richard Gray

14  Birmingham Running Athletics & 'A'  3:56:16

 
        Edward Banks     (14) 26:55
        Mark Lawlor      (14) 15:09
        Tom Anderton     (17) 29:58
        Kevin McMillan   (17) 15:17
        Daniel Robinson  (14) 27:13
        David McNeil     (15) 16:10
        C Ashford        (13) 27:15
        Richard Gray     (14) 15:51
        Martin Ludford   (14) 17:06
        Robin Biles      (14) 15:03
        Adam B Higgins   (14) 16:00
        Mark Ince        (14) 14:19

Birmingham Running Athletics & 'B'

 
        Martin Cleaver   (52) 34:43
        Peter Brown      (50) 19:00
        Jort van Mourik  (47) 31:38 
 
On 18 March 2014 In Running News
The BRAT ladies had an excellent day at the Midland 6-Stage Road Relays in a lovely sunny Sutton Park on Sunday.

After a few last-minute drop-outs we had to re-jig the teams, but managed to get two teams together.

The 'A' Team were 7th in 1:44:40 and the 'B' Team were 23rd in 2:02:02, out of 35 complete teams from allover the Midlands. A great result!

The 'A' Team were lead off by Mel James (16:10) who ran the fastest leg by a BRAT lady on the day and gave the team a very strong start. Mel was followed by Eloise Lee (17:31), Jenny Coxon (17:07), Danni Bogue (17:31), Nat Pullen (18:52) and Helena Eastham (17:29). Jenny ran the second fastest leg of the day and Eloise, Danni and Helena all ran very consistently finishing the 2.7 mile course within 2 seconds of each other.

The 'B' Team were lead off by Bethan Morgan (19:19), followed by a strong leg from Gill Brook (18:41), then Devkee Trivedi (21:07), Lizi Snushall (22:53), Sarah Hadfield (20:41) and Rachel Brown (19:21), beating several club's 'A' teams.

Well done to everyone who competed! Don't forget the National Road Relays are on the 5th April, if you want to run please let Tona Walder know.
On 17 March 2014 In Running News

Saturday; I'll paint you a picture.

A wild wind swept Scottish landscape (actually a Glaswegian botanical gardens), real (old) men, and mature, graceful, women, went to battle with their 15mm long daggers, cloaked in their battle attire (slightly worn vests and retro Ronhill tracksters); all fighting for the British crowns. 
 
Sir Gray, the great campaigner himself (the old one, not the good looking one) led the charge of the one man BRAT brigade  
 
Richard finished an excellent 5th in the UK and 4 Englishman, just two seconds down on Bronze, and tantalisingly close to silver. 
 
This achievement, in the M55 category, is a high accolade, as those competitors he faced were born of the 80s running boom; where they ate miles and drank (usually too much) real ale, the true harriers.
 
This performance places Richard in a strong position for England selection to compete in the November home international match, Nottingham. 
 
Well done Dicky and thanks again for managing the Midlands Road Relays team to national qualification the very next day; well done boys and girls - 7th and 14th (Team Manager report to follow!)
 
Jack Gray
On 24 February 2014 In Running News

Hello to all our readers !

Eight BRAT ladies made the journey to the lovely setting of this year's National Cross Country final at Woolaton Park in Nottingham. The race distance was 8km over an undulating course which seemed either dry or very muddy in parts! There were over 700 ladies taking part in this cross country flagship event.

We had the usual season long tussle between Eloise and Lauren who as ever were very close. Lauren eventually led the team home in 133rd place with Eloise some 23 sec behind in 147th place, Jen C finished in 226th place and our final team counter was Danni in 303rd place. Gill was 345th, Tanya 375th, new girl Rachel in 513th and Lizi in 644th place made up the rest of the team. The team finished in 28th place out of 83 teams.

In the U17 Girl's race, Anne Kenchington finished a fine season coming home in 52nd place.

That's it now for this season which has probably been the best season we have had numbers wise, expecially with us winning medals at the Warwickshires. I would like to thank everyone who has run this season, thanks for your commitment and effort . Hope to see you all next season,and plenty of new faces!!

Photos from the day by Eloise here.

Geoff Mann

On 24 February 2014 In Running News

The club cross country season came to its traditional climax with the English National Championships, this year at Woolaton Park in Nottingham. The day was bright and sunny and the course was surprisingly firm apart from several patches of bog to be negotiated on each of the three laps.

The 12k men’s race had a massive field of 1657 finishers and was won by Steve Vernon a real XC specialist who now has a record 8 medals of different colours in this event over the years. Interestingly, just 40 seconds behind him and finishing in 9th place, was Johnny Brownlee, clearly getting himself into good shape for the forthcoming triathlon season.

The BRAT team was led home by Tim Carter in 193rd position, just ahead of Ed Banks 196th and Dan Robinson 234th. Making up the scoring six were Nick Lewis 440th, Martin Ludford 885th and Jort Van Mourik 941st giving the team 41st place out of 127 complete teams which is a very creditable result at this level, our best finish for some years. The results also show we were 8th of the Midland region clubs which is also quite an achievement. Ben Beaumont 1080th and Tom Keenan 1299th were the other BRATs in the results, both enjoying the experience of their first National.

Well done to all who ran, thanks for seeing the season through to the end and for helping to make the day so successful. Thanks to all the BRAT girls for supporting us round the course after their race, and to Bournville Harriers for seats on their coach up to the race.

Full results are available here. Photos by Eloise are here.

Martin Ludford

On 13 February 2014 In Running News

Hello BRAT mates,

Yes cheer up, Spring is on its way and so are the daffodils if they don’t drown.

Its time to polish up those racing flats, but keep your swimming trunks and wellies to hand in case, and run faster.

I only need a reply for The Midland.

1) Midland 12 stage Road Relay Champs, Sunday 16 March, pm, Sutton YES SUNDAY !

Comprises 3 and 5.4 mile legs.

We will enter as many as want to run and hope to qualify two teams for The National below.

2) National 12 stage Road Relay Champs, Sat 5 April, pm, Sutton Park. 

Team qualification is required from The Midland, where we expect to qualify one or two teams.

3) Masters National Road Relay Champs, Sat 17 May, pm, Sutton Park.

Comprises 3 mile legs.

Teams entered in age groups from baby face 35 years up to last man standing.

Only replies for The Midland 12 stage required. Other dates for your information. I need to know within the next 10 days please. If you are not sure then a possible or probable will help me determine the number of teams.

Richard Gray.   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;   07973 502531

On 11 February 2014 In Running News

The men's and women's cross country teams both travelled to Cheltenham for the least fixture of the season on Saturday. Here are the team managers' reports:

Women's Race

Eight BRAT girls, myself, Michael and Claire's mom (!) travelled along with the BRAT men for the last league race at Cheltenham. Division 1 status was not under threat this year unlike last year when it was only preserved at the final race; no wonder I'm grey !!!!.

Lauren (35th), Eloise (40th) and Jen C (51st) were team counters with able back up from Tona (61st), Nat (69th), Gill (88th), Claire (116th) and Sarah (156th). Well done to all who ran.This has probably been the best year we have had numbers wise and good to see.
 
The ladies finished the season in 7th place out of 12 in division 1, a great result given the calibre of teams in the league. They also placed higher than the men's team did in their league!
 
We have a record number of girls, 16, running in the nationals (I hope !) at Nottingham on 22nd feb for the last cross country race of the season. Thanks all.
 
Geoff Mann, Team Manager

Men's Race

The League season concluded with the final race at Pittville Park in a joint fixture with the Midland Women’s League. So after cheering the girls to the finish in their race in bright sunshine, 19 BRAT men toed the line just as the latest Atlantic storm arrived. Thankfully it was not quite as bad as the Leamington episode two weeks ago but it still made for some extremely uncomfortable running conditions, with driving rain and winds every bit as strong as forecast. The course was heavy going most of the way round although the recent heavy rain had already meant that the usual stream crossing was removed from the course, a source of disappointment for a few but relief for most!

In the A team places Ed Banks 35th, Dan Robinson 42nd and Tim Carter 43rd were flying high up the field and finished in great positions. Backed up by good runs from Chris Ashford 74th, Nick Lewis 89th and Eliot Ward 106th the team came home in 10th place with 389 points. Well done lads, great work.

This meant we finished 9th overall for the season, a good result in this sort of company. Loughborough Uni. won the league title for the season ahead of Birmingham Uni. and Tipton Harriers, while Wolverhampton, Severn and Warwick Uni. are relegated to be replaced by Worcester, Bournville, and Sutton who will be promoted from Div 2 for next season.

The B team scorers were Michael Dimond 114, Dave Smithers 126, Martin Ludford 148, Mike Ellis 157, Toby Close 164, and Owen Doherty 168 to give the B team 877 points and 5th place on the day. This secured us 4th place for the season overall which is another fine result. Great work lads.

There were several other BRATs finishing not far behind in case of any slip ups - Jort Van Mourik 169, Steve Thompson 174, Ben Beaumont 184. Michael Gilbride 185, Rhys Pippard 190 and Tom Keenan 203. Charlie Hanson battled well for 2 laps but was forced to pull out with a lap to go. There were 208 finishers. Full results are available at http://www.birminghamccleague.co.uk/. Eloise's photos can be found here.

Thanks to everyone braved the elements to support the team around the course, and special thanks to Mike Purnell, Richard Carney and Rob Andrews for helping with team admin and for assisting the League officials at the finish in horrible conditions. Without volunteers like these the races just wouldn’t happen. If anyone else fancies getting involved next season, for instance when injured, the club and the League are always looking for extra help. Please give me a shout and I can explain some of the jobs and roles which need to be covered.

Thanks to everyone who has turned out to run for the Club over the course of the season; big BRAT turnouts are a feature of these League races and they help to give us an advantage over much of the competition, not to mention the great club atmosphere and spirit which they produce. Long may it continue!

Martin Ludford

Final League standings after the 4 races are below

 

A Team

Points

1

Loughborough

484

2

Birmingham University

641

3

Tipton Harriers

657

4

City of Stoke AC

884

5

Birchfield Harriers

895

6

Cheltenham & County H

929

7

Coventry Godiva

1141

8

Kenilworth Runners

1426

9

B.R.A. T. Club

1480

10

Rugby & Northampton

1577

11

Telford AC

1977

12

Halesowen

2033

13

Staffs Moorlands

2137

14

Wolverhampton & Bilston

2152

15

Severn AC

2209

16

Warwick University

2451

 

   
     
 

B Team

Points

1

Loughborough

1354

2

Cheltenham & County H

2137

3

Kenilworth Runners

3286

4

B.R.A. T. Club

3317

5

Wolverhampton & Bilston

3750

6

Warwick University

3823

7

Birchfield Harriers

4001

8

Halesowen

NS

9

Rugby & Northampton

NS

10

City of Stoke AC

NS

11

Severn AC

NS

12

Coventry Godiva

NS

13

Tipton Harriers

NS

14

Birmingham University

NS

15

Telford AC

NS

16

Staffs Moorlands

NS

Martin Ludford, Team Manager

On 04 February 2014 In Running News

After a more impressive presence at the last few league meetings, a small and relatively inexperienced but determined BRAT team took part in the senior men's race of Midlands Championships at Newbold Comyn Leamington on the 25th of January 2014. Unfortunately, upon arrival Ben realised that he had "donated" his spikes to a (dis)honest finder on the Mail Box steps, reducing the team to the bare minimum (6) for qualifying.

What for most was the first encounter with the varied and technical Leamington course (including "the ditch", "the hill", and many gnarly tree roots), was made even more dramatic by the cloud burst coinciding with the start. However, thunder, lightning nor lashing horizontal rain, could stop any of us from finishing, by which time we were rewarded with bright sunshine.

First BRAT home in 50th position with yet another strong result was the ever reliable Dan Robinson, followed by Nathan Warren 101, Jort van Mourik 169, Martin Cleaver 181, Toby Close 215, and Martin Ludford 243. With 366 runners completing the 11.5k course, this meant we finished 22nd out of 34 teams. Full results here.

Well done to everybody who ran!

Note - the last fixture of the league season is this Saturday at Cheltenham for both the men's and women's teams. Please confirm your attendance with Martin or Geoff if you have not done so already. Let's end the season in style!

Jort van Mourik