On 05 August 2013 In Running News

The BRAT 5k takes place next week on Wednesday 14th August at 7:45pm at Rowheath Pavillion, Heath Road, Bournville.

The race is on a two lap course around the roads of Bournville and usually attracts a good quality field. As in previous years, the race will also incorporate the Warwickshire 5k Championships and is part of the Warwickshire Road Race League.

Enter on the night or download the entry form here.

For BRAT members not running, there are a number of volunteer spots yet to be filled. Please sign up on the club forum.

On 04 August 2013 In Running News

Brueton and Cannon Hill parkruns both had BRAT winners yesterday in Dan Robinson and Chris Ashford respectively. Surely this is a good sign with the Midlands Six Stage coming up next month.

Is this the first time this has happened? Maybe in future we should see how many parkruns we can win on the same day (Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry, Walsall ...). Just think how good that would look on the parkrun results page.

Good work Chris and Dan!

PS All BRAT results from Cannon Hill parkruns are also posted to the BRAT results section - but only if you are lsited as a BRAT on the parkrun database

On 16 July 2013 In Running News

Congratulations to BRAT's legendary marathon runner, Cass Chisholm who completed her 50th 26.2 miler in the scorching Wales marathon on Sunday. Cass appeared to take the hot and hilly course in her stride, and finished in 3 hours 69 minutes. On completing the event, Cass celebrated with fish and chips, and then jumped into the sea exclaiming "if running 50 marathons is a crime, then chain me up and send me down, guilty as charged!".

Cass began running marathons in 2008 (I think; Ed) and since then has steadily added to the notches of her marathon-bed post, with increasing frequency in the past two years. Cass is a prime example of what is known in marathon circles as "a marathon slut" (running one marathon whilst thinking about another).  Number 50 is her 12th marathon (including 2 ultras) of 2013 and entries are already in for several more (including the NYC marathon).

Well done Cass, here's to the next 50! 

The Wales Marathon was part of the Long Course Weekend, for further news about the Wales Marathon and other events, see separate report.

On 11 July 2013 In Running News

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..."

Those were the immortal words of Thanos Tsolakis (verified), as he laced up his trainers for the Timberhonker 10k on Saturday 30th June. His inspirational words were embodied in an outstanding performance by the BRATs mens team who strode to victory in the "hilly" 10k race in Bromsgrove. Results were based on position not time which stood to our advantage, but nevertheless, times were still noteworthy: 

1st Brat - Karl Welborn: 5th overall with time 36.00

2nd Brat - Thanos Tsolakis: 15th overall with time 37.42

3rd Brat - Ross Riley: 22nd overall with time 38.46

The race will be remembered not only for the impressive victory, but also for Karl's decision to wear bright white ladies triathlon shorts, an unusal but clearly successful tactic, keeping Halesowen, Redditch and Bournville in the BRATs shadow on the course and subsequently on the podium. 

Just as ancient Greek mythology has stood the test of time, so too will Thanos' words ring true in many a BRATs ear, as we strive for our future victories. [Beware however in following in his footsteps with the post-race celebratory bicep flexing. Unfortunately, shortly after this photo was taken Thanos "over-flexed" resulting in a small tear of the bicep.]  


On 08 July 2013 In Running News
Ten or so BRATs joined 850 other runners for the Birmingham and Black Country half marathon last weekend. This year saw a double success, Eloise Lee was first lady home and Roger McFadden was first in the V60 category. Jenny Dale was 3rd Elite lady and 4th lady overall. Nick Lewis also had a good run, coming fourth overall and second V30. Run along the canal towpath, runners set off in staggered waves from Wolverhampton to arrive thirteen miles later at the finish in Brindley Place. Times were slow this year due to exceptionally hot weather (plus a detour due to towpath closure that added half a mile to the course).
On 25 June 2013 In Running News

What's better than running one marathon at the weekend? Running two! At least, that's what Cass and Rhys say. The first event on Saturday was the Malvern Midsummer Marathon which was as hilly as it sounds with over 4000 feet of ascent, and rumoured to be over 4000 different kind of sweet and savoury snacks to try en route. In their second outing on Sunday the crazy pair of trainer clad adventurers were treated to 4 laps through the streets of Shrewsbury town centre, which it turns out isn't flat.

First time double marathoner Rhys says 'If running two marathons is one weekend is wrong, then I don't want to be right!'. (Cass thinks, 'It can't be wrong, because I am always right'. ~ Ed) 

Pictured: 7 Birmingham marathon legends with over 600 marathons between them.

On 22 June 2013 In Running News

Severn AC White Horse 5k - Gloucester - Tuesday 18/6/13

Gloucester may seem a long way to go for a packet of biscuits but we were determined to get some! Three of us from the Thursday night track group Martin Cleaver, Ben Beaumont and myself (Martin Ludford) had run the first White Horse 5k race in May and although generally pleased with our times, we had returned home biscuitless. (All the prizes being packets of biscuits!).

As you probably realise the White Horse 5k races are real grassroots, no-frills evening Club races organised by Severn AC on quiet country lanes and cost just a fiver to enter. They have the additional advantage of being run on a really fast flat course with an official measurement certificate, so PB’s are officially recognised.

So for the second race of the series we strengthened the squad with the addition of Raggy Gray and Eloise Lee and set off down the M5 after work. Sadly Ben had to sit this one out due to shin splints but still came along to support and take photos. The new strategy worked a treat and we came home with PBs and biscuits galore!

Eloise Lee was 4th woman home and got one of the good packets (almost a box!) of biscuits along with a PB of 19,06. Raggy ran an impressive 17,34 to win the M50 age group and a decent packet of biscuits. Martin Cleaver ran a massive PB of 18,45 (though sadly no biscuits for him in the Senior Men category) while Martin Ludford won the M55 age group in 19,11 to earn a somewhat basic packet of biscuits and although this is not a PB, it is certainly a best for this millennium. So we headed back up the motorway with the spoils, feeling pretty pleased with ourselves and wondering if we can go even better next time.  

People travel some distance to run these races and they have now become so popular that the organisers have had to limit the entry to 100 for each race. Anyone planning to run now needs to enter in advance to be sure of a place. There are 2 more races left in this season’s series so plenty more packet of biscuits up for grabs!

See www.severnac.co.uk for results and information on future races.

On 14 June 2013 In Running News

The much talked about BITS run sessions have been growing steadily in popularity.  We have been attracting not only new BITS members but have even tempted across some of our Central and Northern BRAT club friends. The BITS signature run session is one of the most feared yet much loved by all (including Sid the dog!!!)..... We call it the ‘Stairway to Heaven’.  Starting out at the top of The Lickey Hills Country Park you are briefly treated to stunning panoramic views of Birmingham, but you soon drop down into the thick woodland paths leading towards Cofton Park.  After that it all gets a little bit crazier. The main set is simple and basically consists of a 600m loop.   The stats are as follows...

• Start/Finish point = Wooden bench at top of the climb.

• Total lap length = 600m

• Total elevation = 56 metres (all 56 metres are climbed in last 150 metres of the loop!!!!)

• Number of steps = Too many!!!  100ish???

• Fastest single lap (bench to bench) = 3:03 (See Strava Segment – Stairway to Heaven).  Not expecting this to stay KOM for long.

• Session duration = 30 minutes or as many laps as possible.

We invite everyone to come and sample this session, share in the pain and reap the rewards