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 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


On 12 February 2017 In Running News

The BRAT men's team finished the League season strongly in the final race at the University of Warwick. We turned out 24 runners and were rewarded with 6th place on the day, and 7th place overall for the season. Jack again battled with the leaders for the whole race and finished a magnificent second just behind Cheltenham's Graham Rush. Strong runs by Ed, Chris, Steve, Mark and Simon brought the team home with 308 points.

Loughborough Students won the League championship for the season ahead of Cheltenham and Birmingham University.

The B team (Rene, Kevin, Ben, Adam, Ashley and Iain) also had a good result, finishing 6th on the day and moving up to 5th place overall for the season. Raggy, Andy, Huw, Nick, Derek, Nathan, Paul,Nick, Ming, Owen, Rob, and Richard also battled well and kept the BRAT colours flying. 

Many thanks to all who ran and to everyone who supported the runners, especially the girls team following their race earlier on. Big thanks to Abayomi and Rob Dowse for volunteering for the finish funnel duties this time; hope you are both back in action soon.

Full results with times are on the League website at


Thanks to everyone who has been involved over the season, hope you enjoyed it!

Finally, congratulations to the BRAT women's team who finished in a brilliant 3rd place in the Midlands women's League this season behind only Loughborough Students and Birchfield Harriers. Another impressive season girls, well done.

Martin Ludford


The BRAT men's finishing positions were as follows:

2 Jack Gray

27 Ed Banks

54 Chris Ashford

67 Steve Dunsby

74 Mark Woodus

84 Simon Lanckham

A team score 308


97 Rene Vergo

115 Kevin McMillam

122 Ben Beaumont

124 Adam Western

139 Ashley Fawke

161 Iain Squires

B team score 758


162 Richard Gray

168 Andy Kenchington

174 Huw Jones

175 Nick Forrest

184 Derek Laverty

192 Nathan Smith

193 Paul Shackleton

196 Nick Seagrave

205 Ming Nham

214 Owen Doherty

242 Rob Ryan

254 Richard Carney




On 31 January 2017 In Running News

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!

On 31 January 2017 In Running News

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  http://www.midlandathletics.org.uk/page57.html


Martin Ludford

On 23 January 2017 In Running News

The team were in action at Coundon Hall Park for the 3rd race in the Birmingham League. The course is mainly flat parkland and the races here are always fast. We had a strong turnout of 23 and were aiming to consolidate on the good work of the first two races. The race certainly lived up to expectation, and was exciting to watch as Jack Gray mixed it with the front runners throughout all of the 3 laps, eventually coming home in an excellent 4th place.

The A team scorers were all well inside the top 100 which is always a good sign at this level - Jack Gray 4, Dan Robinson 56, Chris Silver 65, Chris Ashford 73, Simon Lanckham 74, and Steve Dunsby 84, giving a healthy total of 356. This was enough to give us 7th place on the day and keep us in 7th place out of the 16 teams in Division 1 with one race to go. Well done lads, great running in a very strong field, results to be proud of!

The B team scorers were Kelton Aldridge 90, Mark Woodus (on debut) 104, Mark Ince 114, Tom Powell 118, Thanos Tsolakis 124, and Abayomi Adedimeji 132, giving us one of our best ever B team scores in this division of 682. This gave us 6th place on the day and we remain in 6th place overall. Nice work lads, and a great result for the team!

The scoring runners were well backed up by Nick Lewis 139, Adam Western 163, Huw Jones 203, Nick Forest 213, Derek Laverty 216, Rob Dowse 226, Chris Pratt 236, Ming Nham 238, Paul Cannon 261, Rob Ryan 267, and David Sansom 283. Well done all, especially Chris and Paul, both running in their first Birmingham League race.

Full results are available at www.birminghamccleague.co.uk

and some good shots taken by Abbie are on the BRAT Flickr gallery.

Thanks to everyone who came along to support the lads and finally the biggest shout of the day was for Ben Beaumont and Richard Carney who took on the volunteering duties for the League and the Club at the finish. Thanks to both for making special trips to support the team. The final race is on 11th February and again we need people to come forward to take on some volunteer roles; please let me know if you can do this.

Martin Ludford

On 16 January 2017 In Running News

Saturday 14th January saw the BRAT ladies head to Wolverhampton for the penultimate Midland League Cross Country. Another cold, and damp day did not deter a 10-strong team taking on a course full of twist and turns and rolling hills.

BRAT had a set of amazing performances spanning the length of the field in what was probably one of the highest standards of league races there has been! Molly Browne had a great run to finish 7th - her top league placing to date. Helena Eastham showed a valiant effort to overcome tired legs with an amazing 13th place finish, Jen Dale followed in a brilliant 24th position showing she is very strong on her injury comeback. Eloise Lee ran a brilliant race, coming in 43rd a big improvement on her placing in the previous league race and absolutely obliterating her time for a similar course in the relays back in the autumn. BRAT success continued with Sarah Hinksman having a fantastic run to take 53rd, still being relatively new to cross-country, Helen Pike followed closely in 59th having improved on her 77th and 63rd finishes in the previous league races in her first year of cross country. Cat Bone and Lisa Tindle had a great sprint finish, battling it out with one another to finish 84th and 85th respectively. Rachel Brown improved on her previous league place by a whopping 13 places to come home in 101st. These performances were brilliant, especially as almost half of the team are in their first cross-country season only having raced in the mud and their spikes a handful of times.

BRAT ladies showed the midlands what they’re made of and claimed 4th place in the seniors and 7th in the masters which is fantastic.

A special mention must go to Anne Kenchington who braved the cold to come along and support despite not running herself, it helped each and every runner push that little bit harder. Christine Bertram was also brilliant doing the BRAT volunteer duties on behalf of the club so a big thank you to her.

It was a great day out all round, and a wonderful team yet again. The final league match is the 11th February and the Men and Women are all racing at the same venue. The senior women are fighting for a podium finish in the league. It promises to be a very good day, and there are talks of vast amounts of baking to refuel ready for watching the men’s race. If anyone would like to get involved racing then drop us an email, equally if you fancy just coming along and supporting and being part of the team then the more the merrier – drop us an email and we can give you details of where it is.

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On 12 January 2017 In Running News

Men’s Warwickshire XC Champs – Leamington – 7th January

A good turnout of 22 BRAT men ran in the jointly held Warwickshire and Worcestershire XC championship race at the notorious Newbold Comyn course complete with the infamous ditch and the beacon hill.

Having watched and supported the BRAT juniors and the BRAT women’s team in earlier races, the men had 3 tough laps of the churned up course, along with 300+ others to complete their 10k race.

With 4 to count we expected to be in with a shout at team medals of some description, maybe in the Masters race we thought. However the senior team of Jack Gray, Ed banks, Dan Robinson and Ben Beaumont excelled and won the team gold medals for the club in the main category ahead of Coventry Godiva (silver) and Leamington (bronze). Well done lads, great running!

Jack Gray was also the overall winner of the race, and won the individual gold to defend his County title for the fourth year in succession. Nice one Jack!

In the Masters category the BRAT team of Rene Vergo, Thanos Tsolakis, Nick Lewis and Adam Western just missed out on bronze team medals behind Kenilworth (gold), Rugby (silver) and Bournville (bronze). Well run guys, better luck next year! 

Simon Lanckham running as an individual placed a creditable 12th in the Worcestershire senior race

Individual results in the combined seniors / masters race were:

Jack Gray



Ed Banks



Dan Robinson



Simon Lanckham



Rene Vergo



Thanos Tsolakis



Nick Lewis



Ben Beaumont



Abayomi Adedimeji



Adam Western



Derek Laverty



Huw Jones



Paul Shackleton



Rob Dowse



Andy Piddington



Nathan Smith



Chris Pratt



Martin Ludford



Nick Seagrave



Ming Nham



Michael Gilbride



David Sansom



Thanks to everyone who ran and all who turned up to support our teams on another memorable and enjoyable day for the BRAT Club

Finally while packing away I have ended up with a few bits of lost property clothing which were left after the race - give me a shout if you think any of it may be yours.

Martin Ludford