On 04 March 2015 In Running News

An unfortunate crop of injuries and some last minute travel problems meant that only 4 of the men's team ran in the end of season finale at the English National XC championships. Sadly we didn't have enough to finish a team, though it was certainly a memorable day for all who did make it down to London for the event.

In a record breaking field of over 2,000 finishers Nick Lewis 499, Richard Gray 803, Martin Ludford 1473 and David Sansom 1914 were the BRATs in the 11k senior men's race which was run over two grueling laps of quality mud on Hampstead Heath (check out the photos at the club Flickr page or Eloise Lee’s photos for a real idea of the conditions).

Thanks to Jort for grabbing the camera and continuing to take photos while I went off to race. Thanks also to everyone for all the support around the course, we needed all the encouragement we could get!

Martin Ludford

On 27 February 2015 In Running News

A few words on the final cross country race of the season. Ten ladies met up at a very muddy Hamstead Heath which was the venue of the National Cross Country Championships. The race was run over a tough 8km course.

The team finished off a very successful season with a fine 15th place. Those taking part were Eloise Lee, Helena Eastham, Ellie Bishop, Becky Hair, Yaz Chaudhri, Claire Capper, Sam Rose, Danni Bogue, Christine Bertram and Rachel Young. A total of 865 runners finished the race. Eloise's photos of the race can be found here and Martin Ludford's photos are here.
Big well done all and thanks to you all and to everyone who has run this season. The committee of the Birmingham League have decided they don't want the ladies in the men's league next season so that will make the AGM in march interesting as a way forward will have to be found.
Once again thanks all.
Geoff Mann
On 26 February 2015 In Running News

Hello BRAT mates,

Yes, spring will soon be in the air, with colour in your cheeks and a spring in your step. Time to think about banishing mud to the archive of your mind and treat yourself to a new lightweight colourful pair of racing flats. An opportunity to reject plodding and think speedy, or relative speediness anyway.

Here are dates for your diary. At the moment I only need an idea for The Midland so I can estimate how many teams to enter, but you can answer on availability for the two/three if you prefer. I am happy with “probable” as opposed to definite, as long as you get back to me as soon as you are sure.


1. Midland 12 Stage Road Relays,  Sat 28 March, 12.00, Sutton Park.  8x3m & 4x5.4m legs.

I have to enter teams and need to know probables by 1 March. Everyone can enter regardless of speed or age!

To save me looking up detail for those not on the system, please confirm your DOB, UKA competition number, check that you are a paid up BRAT member, and let me know an estimated time for either 5K, 10K, or this race stage time.


2. National 12 Stage Road Relays,  Sat 11 April, 12.00, Sutton Park.  6x3m & 6x5.4m legs. Qualification is for the top 25 teams from The Midland Relays above. Team members are by selection. Normally we only qualify one team, but who knows, if we have a good response we could qualify two, so possibly 24 places to be had.

3. Masters (35 to very very old): BMAF National Road Relays, Sat 16 May, start 12.15 or 2.00pm depending on team age category. The early start is for M55+ so we have time for toilet stops and to get our Trikes & Zimmers round the course.

I decide which age categories we enter based on the response. It is likely we will enter two teams for M35-45 (6 legsx3m); one or two for M45-55 (4 legs x3m); one team for M55-65 (3 legsx3m); M65 (3 legs) possible but unlikely. You can run for a younger team, and I often use this to enter a strong team for any category that has a chance of a good result, unless you insist on running your age category for an individual result which is fine.

I will let you know what chances of a good placing we have when I have seen the response.

Any questions always welcome.

Richard Gray  07973 502531

On 10 February 2015 In Running News

The final League race of the season at Pittville Park in Cheltenham saw the BRAT team finish 8th on the day and secure 9th place overall for the season. Jack Gray enjoyed another battle with the leading group and finished a superb 3rd, closely followed by Ed Banks who recorded his best ever finish in 14th place. Great runs by Chris Ashford 40th, Tim Carter 61st, Rene Vergo 95th and Eliot Ward 105th completed the A team with a score of 315.

The B team places went to Richard Gray 105, Chris Grimley 119, Huw Jones 122, Toby Close 128, Abayomi Adedimeji 138, and Martin Cleaver 144, giving a score of 756 for 5th place on the day and 6th place overall for the season. Simon Bowler 146, Iain Squires 177, Richard Carney 195, David Sansom 196, and Charlie Hanson 203 completed the BRAT finishers.

Well done to everyone, thanks turning out and representing the Club. A special thanks to Jort for coming along to support and to fulfill our obligation to provide a volunteer to assist the officials at the finish on the day.

Birmingham University were League winners for the season, ahead of Loughborough in second place and Cheltenham third.

Finally Jack Gray gets another mention for picking up the award for 2nd individual over the course of the season, well done Jack!

Full results are available at www.birminghamccleague.co.uk and there are photos from the race on the club Flickr gallery.

Martin Ludford

On 09 February 2015 In Running News
Hello to you all!
The final league race took place at Aldersley Stadium, Wolverhampton with 14 BRAT ladies taking part. We had 3 new runners to the team Carol Sinkinson, Rachel Young and Christine Bertram and a few old faces running for the team for the first time this season Tona Parnell, Sophie Ward and good to see Chris Hirsch back running.
What a great day it was for team BRAT; they finished in a record breaking 2nd place on the day, the best position we have ever had with Chrissie Wellington (5th), Beccy Tipping (16th) and Helena Eastham (31st) as the team scorers. Other BRAT runners on the day were Becky Hair, Ellie Bishop, Yaz Chaudhri, Eloise Lee and Jo Rooney. Well done to you all!
The team finished the season in 4th place,which is also our best position ever. The league was won by Birchfield. Only the Nationals are left now, where the lucky BRATs who have entered will sample the delights of Parliament Hill - can't wait (to watch, that is!).
There are going to be changes in the ladies league next season due to the high number of runners that are now turning up. No doubt this will be sorted at the AGM in march.Lastly would like to thank everyone who has run this season. Thanks and well done.
Geoff Mann
On 27 January 2015 In Running News

Men's Report

The best runners and clubs in the Midlands were in Nottingham for this year’s Regional XC championships. The men’s 11k course through the glorious parkland of Wollaton Hall was mainly firm and fast, though there were several hills thrown in and a 200m stretch of swamp on each of the 4 laps.

Jack Gray, continuing his comeback, had a great battle against several international runners at the front of the race and was very happy with his final position of 9th in this high quality field of 456 finishers. Dan Robinson 112, Toby Close 169, Ben Beaumont 178, Martin Cleaver 203 and Dan Burwood 226 were the other BRATs scoring for the team, with Martin Ludford 235, Michael Fahy 284, and Tom Keenan 432 the remaining BRAT finishers.

The team score of 897 gave us 15th place of the 30 clubs who finished teams, which at this level is a respectable result, and probably our best in this race for well over a decade. The race was won by Notts AC who had their six counters in the top 10. Second were Tipton, and third were Wolverhampton & Bilston.

Well done to all who ran and many thanks to the supporters for all their encouragement. Sorry not everyone was around for the team photo.

Check out more photos by Pete Matthews on the BRAT Facebook page and Eloise Lee here.

Our next race is the final League fixture at Cheltenham on 7th February.

Martin Ludford

Women's Report

Last Saturday our Warwickshire champions also took part in the Midland Championships at Woolaton Park.The course was a shorter version of the men's course, with mud in places but otherwise fast.

The Warwickshire champions (really will have to stop saying that!) finished in 7th place out of 30 teams taking part.The four team scorers on this occasion were a back to form Eloise in 36th place, Marie Ann 45th, Jen D 48th and Yaz in 68th place.The rest of the team supplying great support were, Rosie, Becky, Danni, Claire C, Claire J, Sarah B and a very very late arriving Nicola who didnt have time to collect her timing chip! Which was a shame as she was at the higher end of the results. Well done to all who ran.

The next race is the final league race at Wolverhampton on February 7th; hoping to see a vast crowd of BRAT runners!

Geoff Mann

On 11 January 2015 In Running News
Hi to you all!
Yet another very successful day for the BRAT ladies cross country team! 320 ladies took part in the 3rd league race which took place at Droitwich.
The BRAT girls finished in 3rd place behind Birchfield and Loughborough. Chrissie, Becky and Helena scored the team points, finishing 6th, 15th and 23rd respectively.
The rest of the team who provided superb back up were Lizi, Catherine, Bea, Rosie, Kerry C, Eloise, Nicola, Jen C, Lauren, Melissa,and Marie. This has put a bit more daylight between us in 4th and Telford in 5th. Thank you to all who ran. I hope to see you and a lot more for the final league race which is at Wolverhampton on the 7th February. In addition, we have the Midland Champs at Nottingham on 24th January and the Nationals at Parliament Hill, London on the 21st February.
Thanks all; see you soon!
Geoff Mann
On 11 January 2015 In Running News

A bumper turnout of 27 BRAT men and a near full strength team at Coundon Park gave us a much improved result in the 3rd League race, which was run on the mainly flat and fast 3 lap course as usual.

The A team returned their best score of the season of 264 points to finish 8th on the day and move us up into 9th place overall, while our strong B team scored 652 points to finish 6th on the day and move up to 7th overall.

Jack Gray had a great race to finish 2nd which set things up nicely and he was soon followed home by Ed Banks 22, Dan Robinson 42, Chris Ashford 58, new boy Ben Hall 65, and Nick Lewis 75. Well done guys, great results all round.

The B team places were taken by XC debutant Karl Welborn 87, Martin Matthews 92, Tim Carter 96, Rene Vergo 121, Eliot Ward 125, and Thanos Tsolakis 131 showing that we have good strength in depth. Well done you guys.

There was also sterling work by another 15 BRATs, many of whom finished ahead of other teams’ A and B team counters which also helps our result: Richard Gray 145, Huw Jones 149, Chris Grimley 156, Tom Walsh 166, Toby Close 167, Martin Ludford 171, Paul Clarke 181, Abayomi Adedimeji 193, Dan Burwood 194, Ben Beaumont 195, Simon Bowler 208, Michael Gilbride 237, Paul Dugmore 249, David Sansom 256, Charlie Hanson 264. Great work guys, keep it going.

Many thanks to all supporters for standing out in the bitterly cold conditions, and particularly to Richard and Jort for sorting out the discs and paperwork at the finish.

For full results see www.birminghamccleague.co.uk.

Latest A team standings as below:

Martin Ludford