On 15 January 2018 In Running News

Nathan SmithKevin Oakes 2Welcome to the first articlew in our new series "Marathon Monday". Every fortnight you can read an article leading up to spring marathon season including Brighton / Milton Keynes / Manchester and "the Big One" the Virgin London Marathon on 22nd April.


Over the next few months we are going to cover a range of topics including training / nutrition / race psychology as well as a VLM course preview for both participants and spectators.


We have two BRAT's, Nathan Smith and Kevin Oakes, who were lucky enough to be allocated the clubs places for the Virgin London Marathon. We are looking forward to hearing from both as to how their training is going, the highs and the lows as well as understanding a bit more about why they are undertaking this challenge.


So, which other BRAT's are planning on taking part in a spring marathon in 2018? What are your hopes and aspirations? First Timer? Looking to complete or compete? Do you have a target whether its raising money for charity or achieving a personal best?


Let us know by replying to this post below or email  us at 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. so that we can get in touch and find out a bit more about you and let all of your club mates know about your targets and goals.

On 07 January 2018 In Athletics News

Cross Country success for the BRAT Men

A good day out for the BRAT men's Cross Country team yesterday at this year's County Championships. The joint race took place at Warley Woods with results being split between Warwickshire / Worcestershire and Seniors / Masters.

After supporting the BRAT juniors and women in earlier races, 24 BRAT men took to the start line in the final race of the day for a testing 4 lap grassland and woodland course. We were rewarded somewhat unexpectedly with bronze team medals in the Warwickshire senior category behind Coventry Godiva and Leamington (congratulations to Tom Powell, Steve Dunsby, Jon Lundy and Chris Burrows - medals are on the way to you via Richard Carney who collected them at the presentation). Well done also to Kevin Oakes, Rob Dowse, Barry Fallon, Frank Inman and James Wright for pushing those guys all the way round.

Not to be outdone the Masters team of Nick Lewis, Rene Vergo, Toby Close and Iain Squires also took bronze medals in that category behind Leamington and Rugby - again, Richard has your medals. Good work also by Andy Kenchington, Huw Jones, Adam Western, Andy Piddington, Nathan Smith, Paul Cannon, Martin Ludford and  Michael Gilbride who kept the pressure on throughout the race.

Simon Lanckham, Ashley Fawke and Damian Cartland also put in solid performances in the Worcsestershire Championships, though we didn't have enough runners finish a team in this category.

Thanks to everyone who turned out for this race, and to the many supporters who came along to cheer our runners.

Overall a very enjoyable and satisfying day for the Club (and for the happy team manager!).


Martin Ludford

On 19 November 2017 In Athletics News

OK - I know it's not even Christmas yet and we have only just started the Cross Country Season,

but the Senior Track and Field dates and Fixtures are now out.

So when you get your new diaries here are the dates to fill in


Sunday 6th May at Rugby (previously Sat 5th - thisis a date has changed)

Saturday 2nd June at Tipton (This will be joint hosted by Halesowen and BRAT So if you can't compete

please come and help.)

Saturday 7th July at Abingdon

Saturday 5th August at Stoke




On 10 November 2017 In Running News

Do you run? Come and run cross country for BRAT this season! It’s as simple as that.


Why on earth would I want to do that? Isn’t that used as punishment at school?

  • Races are free: BRAT covers the entry costs for all team members.
  • It’s genuinely fun to do something as a club and be part of a team.
  • It really doesn’t matter if you’re fast or slow, old or young. No, really.
  • It’s great for your running, pretty much whatever speed, distance and surfaces comprise your normal territory.
  • You don’t have to commit to lots of events: even if you just take part in just one race over the whole season you’ll be welcome.
  • There’s usually cake.

Ok, the cake convinced me. What do I need to do?

  • Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Ladies team) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Men's team) to be added to the mailing list.
  • Check the 2017-18 dates and put any suitable ones in your calendar.
  • Make sure you have some shoes that won’t let you down in *whispers* mud (cross country spikes, fell or trail shoes). It can be muddy!
  • Make sure you have or can borrow a BRAT club vest. As these are club events, these are compulsory kit (but you can wear longer sleeves underneath it as needed).

How far do I have to slog through this maybe mud?


Mud levels vary: some courses can be disappointingly dry.

Anyway, the distances also vary and there’s usually a course map issued beforehand that says how far it will be, but changes on the day can happen (generally to shorten!).

Most of the women’s races are around 6km and the men’s 10km. For added excitement, there aren’t any mile or kilometre markers on the courses.


How the does it all work?


You don’t need to know this, you just need to turn up and run. However…

Women, men and juniors have separate races. Sometimes they are on the same day at the same location with different start times (which is nice because we get to support each other), sometimes they are apart.


The scoring for cross country works on runners’ finishing positions. If in a particular category the first four (women's) / six (men's) team members to finish “count”, their finishing positions will be added together – for example if one BRAT came 3rd, the next was 10th, the next 15th and the next 37th the team score would be 65. The team with the lowest score wins.

Four races are part of a league, so the totals are kept across the season.


Over 35s (‘masters’) run in the same race as the seniors, they can score for both the senior team and the masters team. The masters positions are scored separately, so if a BRAT over 35 is 20th overall but 5th of the over 35s, the 5 would go towards the masters team score.


Do I need special kit?


Well, it would be tricky to run the courses in road running shoes: ideally you need a good grip. Many people wear cross country spikes which are a lightweight shoe into which you can screw metal spikes of different lengths (according to the amount of mud). Other people run in trail shoes or fell running shoes. If you have existing off road shoes, you will be fine to use those.


The other thing that you must own or borrow is a lovely BRAT club vest: this is mandatory kit in the rules of all the races. If it’s chilly and you like to have more layers you can wear it over other things. You can’t wear any other type of BRAT kit instead; it has to be the official club vest.


Depending on your personal preference you’ll want shorts, capris or leggings. If you do go for full-length be aware that the bottoms will get wet and muddy on some courses.

A waterproof shoe with a decent grip is handy for the walk from the car park to the race, wellies work well too. And some warm layers for before and afterwards.


The captain/s will have your number and some safety pins for the first race. If you do more than one of the four league races, you’ll need to keep hold of your number and bring it next time. Other races all have individual numbers.


Anything else I need to know?

  • You need to be a current BRAT and have us as your first claim club.
  • Unlike big city races they don’t give out any water or goody bags.
  • Lifts can usually be arranged so don't worry if you don't drive.
  • The teams usually have a small tent or gazebo for bag storage, but leave valuables somewhere safer if you can.
  • It’s brilliant to have people cheering us along if any friends or family want to watch.
On 09 November 2017 In Social News

A night to celebrate achievements across BRAT Club over the last year on Saturday 25 November.

Get your tickets here: www.tickettailor.com/all-tickets/34775/bcee/ 

Tickets are £10 for adults, £6 for juniors/ unwaged

As usual this will be at the Bournville and Selly Oak Social Club, 13A Hubert Road, B29 6DX.

Doors open at 18:30 for a 19:00 start.

Awards, Bar, Hot Buffet, Music, Review of the Year, BRAT Bake Off

BRAT Bake off theme this year is Pimp my BRAT snack, see link for more information: http://www.pimpthatsnack.com/

On 26 October 2017 In Running News
Saturday 21 October marked the beginning of the 2017-18 cross country season. In a slightly damp field in Wolverhampton the BRAT team set up camp for the Midlands XC Relay Championships. It was probably the largest team the club has taken to the event and the team spirit was running high. With several members making a debut in cross country running, there was an air of apprehension and nervous excitement in the BRAT tent. 
With 3 men’s teams and 4 women’s teams there was plenty of BRAT support around the compact course, and when the going got tough there was no opportunity to slow down as just around the next corner another BRAT would pop out and give you a cheer. With Storm Brian in full flow, the weather was true to cross country form – wet and wild. As 2pm approached 7 A leg runners stood anxiously on the start line and the gun sounded. 
Chris flew home in 2nd place for the A team, with Ben fresh from his Birmingham marathon (B Team) and Andy (C Team) hot on his heels. Ashley, Toby and Damian were off next working their way around the windy course to pass to Simon, Huw and Kevin. Brilliant runs were had by all and in no time the anchor legs were off. Richard brought the A team home in 13th, Rob in 25th and Paul in 34th; with 59 senior men’s teams competing, all three BRAT teams did extremely well! Top team managing and supporting from Martin Ludford as always! 
The women’s race was going on at the same time as the men so there was definitely some inter-club rivalry! On leg one Sheridan, Ellen, Sophie and Helen had fantastic runs – Sheridan smiled the entire way around, Sophie and Ellen looked like naturals on their first XC race and Helen proved she’s got some speed in those endurance legs! On leg two we had Eloise, Megan, Katie and Margaret who all ran extremely well. Eloise following her trend of obliterating last year’s times in recent races came charging home with the team now in the bronze medal place. Megan had a great run gaining places and looking very good in the process, Katie bounced back from her half last weekend having a great run and Margaret put the Masters team in top 10 contention with a fine middle leg! The master’s team were brought home by new member Liz who had a fantastic run to end the team in 8th place out of 26 which is just brilliant. Hannah showed she is made of tough stuff and was more than a match for cross country, having ran a great race she brought her team home in 18th place. Danni again, had a fantastic start to her cross country season bagging the team a 10th place finish. Set up perfectly by Sheridan and Eloise, Molly was able to chase down the leading women (and Huw) and bring Team Turquoise (coincidental matching coats) home to claim the silver medal. Despite a time-trial style last leg, Molly ran the fastest female leg of the day. 
All in all the start of cross country could not have been better. To come away with a silver medal was incredible, but what was the icing on the cake was the enjoyment had by everyone and those new members trying XC for the first time vowing to sign up to more, and even saying they couldn’t wait. It was one heck of a great afternoon to be a BRAT. 
If you are interested in running in one of the upcoming XC races then just contact: 
Martin (Men’s Captain) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Eloise and Molly (Women’s Captains) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Full results can be found here: http://www.midlandathletics.org.uk/xcrelays.html
13 B.R.A.T. [A] 1:31:49
Chris Silver (2) 20:56
Ashley Fawke (9) 23:39
Simon Lanckham (8) 22:08
Richard Gray (13) 25:06
25 B.R.A.T. [B] 1:39:58
Ben Beaumont (24) 24:08
Toby Close (23) 25:06
Huw Jones (24) 25:12
Robert Dowse (25) 25:32
34 B.R.A.T. [C] 1:45:00
Andy Kenchington (27) 24:50
Damian Cartland (31) 26:20
Kevin Oakes (34) 26:56
Paul Cannon (34) 26:54
2 B.R.A.T. [A] 1:15:16
Sheridan McWilliams (7) 25:20
Eloise Lee (3) 26:24
Molly Browne (2) 23:32
10 B.R.A.T. [B] 1:24:49
Ellen Waterman (15) 28:32
Megan Artemova-Thomas (9) 27:40
Danielle Bogue (10) 28:37
18 B.R.A.T. [C] 1:44:05
Sophie Dalley (28) 34:29
Katie Bowyer (19) 34:37
Hannah Ludford (18) 34:59
Women Masters
8 B.R.A.T. 1:33:02
Helen Pike (5) 27:23
Margaret Kenchington (7) 28:53
Liz Painter (8) 36:46
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