On 23 May 2016 In Running News

5th, 9th, 24th A team places; two overall 7th fastest individuals, top Midland team, but sadly no medal.

Well done all and thanks to our supporters.


Lovely weather at Sutton Park was a welcome start to a long day, as M55 teams raced at 12.15 and young boys at 2.00.  We raced two M35 teams, one M45 and two M55.  I arrived early fully stocked with my Werther’s Originals, and our luck was in: the Nike mobile shoe store had been ousted from its spot by Pirelli comfy slippers stand. The M55 team mistakenly thought that we were being issued with timing chips, but they were in fact Care-line emergency help buttons. Reassuring I thought.


M35 Report

We set out with medal ambitions for our M35 team, but I knew this would be tough, and despite a great start and consistency throughout being our strength, we once again finished 5th in the country for our second time in a row. The top three were very strong, the best for some time and some way ahead with several sub 15 legs. We did finish top Midland team, finishing one place ahead of Tipton.

Dan Robinson was first man, burdened/inspired with the quickest target time from me, and rounding the finishing straight bend in 3rd place, finished in 7th fastest of all legs in 15.20, setting a new M35 BRAT record. Jon Jenkins always delivers and promptly did so, handing onto Robin Biles who cruelly blamed Robin Jnr for a series of ailments and his current sniff, but he held onto 6th place. Chris Ashford was our middle race strong leg, hopefully moving us up the order. He overtook Birchfield into 5th and was the second to beat my target time, but the clubs around us did not falter with hardly a leg over 16min, and several sub-15. Nick Lewis was suffering a bit from after-marathon, but de did not drop any places and in fact opened the gap on chasing Tipton. Martin Matthews still getting back to fitness saw off Tipton for good, but Belgrave were long gone, and so 5th it was to be.

Well done team, commitment and determination was evident in abundance, and particular congratulations to Dan.


Our B team finished in 34th place and 3rd B team, once again beating Tipton B.

Mark Lawlor ran a cracking leg, well up there in 20th amongst the better A teams, and showing up the manager's selection. Mark Liptrot decided this was a good idea, having a great run and into 19th, but I saved my reputation (if I have one) by 1 one whole second. Stuart Male is always consistent and he ran quicker than I expected and we held 21st.  Rob Ryan ran well, and although a different course improved on his Midland performance. Richard Carney likewise saw an improvement, handing onto a bit of a lonely leg for David Sansom, who having an ageist moment had decided he preferred the M35 B option to M55 B earlier in the day, and was very pleased with his time.

Well done team.

1  Morpeth Harriers & AC M35      'A'  1:31:55

        Chris Smith      (1) 15:05

        Michael Morris   (2) 16:06

        Peter Newton     (1) 14:31

        John Butters     (1) 16:06

        Ian Hudspith     (1) 14:40

        Adrian Whitwam   (1) 15:27

3  Thames Hare & Hounds M35            1:34:30

4  Belgrave Harriers M35               1:36:35

        Daniel Robinson  (5) 15:20

        Jonathan Jennings(6) 16:25

        Robin Biles      (6) 17:03

        C Ashford        (5) 15:51

        Nick Lewis       (5) 17:01

        Martin Matthews  (5) 16:47


Fastest legs

        1  Peter Newton       Morpeth35  A   14:31   

        2  Ian Hudspith       Morpeth35  A   14:40    

        3  Chris Smith        Morpeth35  A   15:05       

        4  Andrew Peat        Birchf'35  A   15:06   

        5  Phillip Tedd       ThamesHH35     15:13    

        6  Martin Williams    Wolve&B 35     15:17   

        7  Mark Powell        LeicsC 35      15:18     

        8  Daniel Robinson    BRAT 35    A   15:20 


        Mark Lawlor      (20) 16:36

        Mark Liptrot     (19) 17:04

        Stuart Male      (21) 18:15

        Rob Ryan         (28) 20:22

        Richard Carney   (32) 22:39

        David Sansom     (34) 23:07



M45 Report

This remains a very competitive age group, and this year was easily the strongest since the four leg format of three years. Although BRAT finished 24th, it was our best finish in this period, and in 2014 and 2015 our time would have seen us finish 15 & 16th. The manager has to take blame for depriving them of Jon Jennings who had been seconded to the medal bid of M35, as I was repeatedly reminded by Jort, which would have elevated the team to 18th place. Competitive spirit to the end.

Huw Jones was first leg man, delivering a great time and handing onto Andy Kenchington, who showed this was a consistent team without any weak legs.

Jort van Mourik kept up the pressure and ducked under Andy’s time by 2 seconds, and new boy to relays Adam Western brought them home in 24th.

1  Thames Hare & Hounds M45            1:05:14

       Ben Reynolds     (2) 15:28

        Matthew Lynas    (4) 16:58

        David Symons     (3) 16:47

        Andy Weir        (1) 16:01

       Huw Jones        (23) 17:19

        Andy Kenchington  (23) 18:01

        Jort van Mourik   (21) 17:59

        Adam Western      (24) 18:36


Fastest leg  1  Mark Johnson       Mansfld45  A   15:20


M55 report

The senior team had an early 12.15 start and we noted multi-world champ Martin Rees had decided to turn up. Mark Burnhope returning to fitness is getting quicker each week, but despite running a great time, he overcooked the start and was caught near the end, finishing the first leg in 3rd and 7th o/a fastest of all legs.  Martin Ludford took over and after running well we were in 7th.  I finished off aiming for top 10 and was promptly overtaken by the said Mr Rees, but indeed we finished in 9th place. Well done team. Next year has potential, as a fully fit team should see us medal, but I have said that a few times before!


M55 B

This was a solo effort by John Llewellyn who had dropped an age group to complete a B team, but unfortunately ended up by himself. Nevertheless super vet John ran a great time.  

       David Ogden      (2) 17:27

        Chris Phelan     (1) 17:39

        John Foss        (1) 17:46

        Mark Burnhope    (3) 17:30

        Martin Ludford   (7) 19:29

        Richard Gray     (9) 18:49


Fastest legs

        1  Martin Rees        Croup  55  A   16:28      

        2  James Mcmahon      Bedford55  A   16:53     

        3  Simon Calrow       Wolves 55  A   17:22      

        =  Michael Boyle      HerneHil55     17:22      

        5  David Ogden        SLondon55  A   17:27     

        =  Chris Ireland      Sheff'ld55     17:27     

        7  Mark Burnhope      BRAT 55    A   17:30     


Birmingham Running A&t  M55    'B'

   John Llewellyn   (38) 22:13

On 21 April 2016 In Running News

Well done and thanks to the team; reserves Adam, Stuart, Ben; and supporters Eloise (who took these photos), Martin, Toby, Stuart and others.


Good performances and a decent result considering the mixed health and injuries, but our position shows you the standard that is required if one wants to achieve nationally. BRAT finished 36th and 4th team in The West Midlands behind Tipton, Birchfield and Coventry. Very pleased to beat Wolves who were competitive for most of the race but went backwards over the last four legs, where we were consistent throughout. The race was won by Highgate, ahead of Aldershot with the Midland Champions Bristol in 3rd.


Ed Banks in his usual 1st leg came in 33rd in yet another good time. Handing onto Martin Matthews, who considering he was returning from injury ran a respectable time, but on the always very quick short leg dropped to 39th. “Mr bespoke kit” and club advert Dan Robinson had promised me over 30s quicker than the Midland (and so he should), but he smashed this showing off with almost a minute and pulling back four places. The first of several ex-patients: Jon Jennings snatched a single place, but despite Karl Welborn running an excellent time we slipped back again. Young Mark Burnhope still rusty from a long layoff dropped another couple of places . Welcome to new BRAT Simon Lanckham who has come off a great XC season, but is not back to fitness and we were back to 39th again!  Huw Jones did what he said and took a few seconds off his Midland time but we had now slipped back to 41st. It was time to rally and see if the other teams had front loaded. Tom Powell although not happy with his time started the trend. The story of our race was unavoidable: “been ill, been injured.” Nobody however had a disaster, and all delivered as much as could be expected. Mark Ince who had just started back delivered more than I asked, handing onto Chris Ashford who nailed a good long leg, and looked decidedly wobbly on the home straight. Finally our consistency showed as last leg Nathan was involved in the “mass start”, finishing an excellent 2nd in his own race and also gaining another 3 places to finish BRATs in 36th. We had closed on teams ahead over the last 4 legs, realising 5 places over the last two. Well done team.


[look out for Masters National Relay Champs mail]


Long leg 5.38m and short legs 3.16m.

        Edward Banks      (33) 28:19

        Martin Matthews   (39) 17:19

        Daniel Robinson   (34) 28:33

        Jonathan Jennings (33) 17:39

        Karl Welborn      (36) 29:34

        Mark Burnhope     (38) 18:51

        Simon Lanckham    (39) 30:42

        Huw Jones         (41) 18:35

        Tom Powell        (40) 30:30

        Mark Ince         (41) 18:03

        C Ashford         (39) 29:15

        Nathan Warren     (36) 17:25



1  Highgate Harriers                   4:16:30

        Peter Chambers   (8) 26:31

        Robel Bahelbi    (5) 15:59

        C Rainsford      (5) 26:55

        Brahma Pochee    (4) 16:19

        Danny Russell    (2) 26:36

        Benjamin Noad    (2) 16:02

        Shaun Dixon      (2) 26:42

        Peter Hawkings   (2) 16:05

        Robert Wilson    (3) 27:38

        Victor Mound     (2) 15:40

        Andy Maud        (1) 26:12

        Murray Strain    (1) 15:51


Fastest short leg 3.16m:   1  Ross Murray        Gateshead       15:14

Fastest long leg 5.38m:    1  Dewi Griffiths     Swansea Har     25:28


Richard Gray

On 07 April 2016 In Running News

This was a great race at the sharp end, where during leg 11, the top three were all within 15 seconds of each other after nearly 4 hours racing! Bristol ended up with the fire power on the last leg, overhauling Cheltenham who just held off Notts.


Ed was first off the line for B.R.A.T., looking lean and confident, and although this is a new course, I reckon Ed ran a sort of pb with a brilliant 28.11, in 8th  place, achieving 21st quickest long leg overall. Brilliant. Dan “I’ve fallen out with Adidas” Robinson took on the baton delivering another great time, adding he would run even quicker at The National (Don’t disappoint Dan!)


Kevin McMillan stepped at late notice into a long, possibly his first long, and although dropping to 10th; he should be very pleased with that run. Chris Ashford is obviously fond of the number 8, and promptly re-established B.R.A.T. back to our last year’s finishing position. That was the long legs over, now over to new boy Iain Squires to set a short leg benchmark, although he may have been confused having over the week moved between the A and B teams and at least a couple of legs in each!


No problem, 8th we remained. Young Tom Powell (well young relative to me) upped the pace but had no one close enough to chase, handing onto another 12 stage new boy Mark Liptrot who ran well, but we dropped to 10th. Rene Vergo as consistent as ever, gained ground on the team ahead, handing onto new B.R.A.T. boy old boy (there is a logic in there) Mark Burnhope who snatched 9th. Could we reclaim our rightful 8th place I hear you cry, well, no we couldn’t!


Nathan Warren ran a quick time but as is the luck of relays, we dropped back to 10th.  Ben Beaumont, who had also been pulled between both teams and several legs, ran his very best as can always be relied on, and guess what, yes we were still 10th.  Finally Mr Consistent, Huw Jones brought us home, yes you don’t need me to tell you in what position.


Unfortunately we could not complete a B team, always a real shame. Toby Close led off and ran a great first leg. Martin Cleaver literally had a long leg dumped on him around 10.00 Friday night, and although being far from perfect 1500m training, should really be pleased with his performance. Andrew Robbins snatched a place securing 45th overall, handing onto Adam B-Higgins who ran the fastest B long, enjoying overtaking five and moving up to 40th. From now on it was the vintage parade in various forms of health and fitness. First it was me (middle statesman), in my first tentative steps since last May, and pleased I was. Andy Kenchington (youngest statesman) continued The Rowheath Old School with a very good time. Next kit man “H” Harry Fowler (elder statesman and does he look it !) decked out in as many promotional examples of BRAT technical garb’ he could get on, continued his impressive come back (I beat him). Richard Carney (younger statesman) pulled us up a place as we broke into the top 40. Following on was XC Manager Martin Ludford, very closely following H (In age), who ran well and was pleased on another comeback, gaining one place into 39th (I beat him as well). Alas 10th leg was to be our last, which Rob Ryan delivered with a time he should be pleased with, and 40th was where we bowed out.


Thank you to every athlete and the few supporters who made it to give us a shout. Remember, The National on the 16th. If you are not competing, come and watch the best athletes in the country.

Richard Gray

A team       10th    4.26.28

28.11   8   Long   Ed Banks   (21st fastest long leg)

29.28   8   Long   Dan Robinson

31.38  12  Long   Kevin McMillan

29.22   8   Long   Chris Ashford

19.12   8   Short   Iain Squires  

17.31   8   Short   Tom Powell

18.28  10  Short   Mark Liptrot  

18.03  10  Short   Rene Vergo

18.49   9   Short   Mark Burnhope                                                                                                                                              

17.43  10  Short   Nathan Warren

19.27  10  Short   Ben Beaumont

18.36  10  Short   Huw Jones             


B Team       

33.24   45  Long    Toby Close

35.10   46  Long    Martin Cleaver

34.09   45  Long    Andrew Robbins

33.37   40  Long    Adam Balderson Higgins

20.39   41  Short    Richard Gray

19.09   41  Short    Andy Kenchington

21.28   41  Short    Harry Fowler

23.34   40  Short    Richard Carney

20.48   39  Short    Martin Ludford

21.40   40  Short    Rob Ryan       


Fastest short  Douglas Musson, Notts,  15.15

Fastest long  Graham Rush, Cheltenham, 26.32

Results at www.race-results.co.uk

On 05 April 2016 In Running News

This year there will be a new BRAT Club running championships series to encourage participation and some friendly in-club competition between members.

The series will comprised of 20 races throughout the year, of which you need to do at least 8 to score (6 for U20s) and (edible) prizes will be awarded at the end of the year. 

The series will run from April-March. Key club events will stay in the series each year, with other races changing each year to keep the series interesting. See below for the list of events in the series and the rules.


2016/2017 SERIES:

  1. 6/12 Stage Midland Road Relays – 2nd April
  2. London Marathon – 24th April
  3. Hagley 10k (Multi-terrain) – 18th May
  4. Arrow Valley 12k (Multi-terrain) – 8th June
  5. Arden 9 Miles (Road) – 19th June
  6. Droitwich 10k (Road) – 13th July
  7. BRAT 5k (Road) – 10th August
  8. 4/6 Stage Midland Road Relays – 24th September
  9. Waseley Wobbler (8 mile Multi-terrain) – September – Date TBC
  10. Great Birmingham Run – 16th October
  11. November XC League – Date & Venue TBC 
  12. Suicide 6 (6 mile Multi-terrain) – 27th November
  13. December XC League – Date & Venue TBC
  14. Telford 10k (Road) – 11th December
  15. Warwickshire/Worcestershire XC Champs – Jan 2017 – Date & Venue TBC
  16. January XC League – Date & Venue TBC
  17. Midlands XC Champs – Jan 2017 – Date & Venue TBC
  18. February XC League – Date & Venue TBC
  19. National XC Champs, Nottingham – February 2017 – Date TBC
  20. Coventry Half Marathon OR Droitwich Half Marathon – TBC once dates confirmed to avoid clash with National XC.



  • 8 races to score
  • 6 races to score for U20s
  • Competitors must complete 8 races (6 for U20) in order to qualify for a prize*
  • Prize* for top 3 male and female plus first male and female in each age category based on their best 8/6 scores
  • *This is a trial year so prizes will be in the form of chocolate bought out of Eloise's own pocket and bragging rights!
  • Age categories will be: U20, Senior, V40, V50, V60, V70
  • Scoring: The first male and female in each event will receive 200 points, with 2nd place 199 points etc. For the road relays the scores will be based on finishing times. For the 12 stage men’s relay where they have legs of two different lengths, the fastest in each length leg will receive 200 points with the 2nd fastest on each receiving 198 etc.
  • Key club races will stay in the series every year and other races may change each year to keep the series interesting
  • I will try to include varying distances, with one marathon a year and a maximum of 3 half marathons.
  • If you have any suggestions for races you think should be included next year, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
On 17 March 2016 In Running News

The National Cross Country Championships are the biggest race of the cross country season, quite literally. More than 700 women of all shapes, sizes and abilities toed the line at Donnington on 27th February to do battle among each other over the grassy, undulating terrain. The race director had assessed the going in the morning as “good”, so the hopes were high that there would be none of the mud of epic proportions that courses like Parliament Hill provide without fail.

Depleted by last minute cancellations due to injury and illness, a core team of just 6 women (Sarah Bakewell, Christine Bertram, Danni Bogue, Claire Capper, Sarah Wallis and Rachel Young) lined up at the start, some excited by the incessant buzz that hundreds of racers create, some nervous by what would lie ahead on the course that none of us had scouted in detail.

The gun went off and so did we, together with the stampede: spectators screaming, drums banging, trumpets blowing. The endless seeming snake of runners wound its way over grassy fields with the odd cabbage patch (no kidding) and a very short stretch of proper mud thrown in. We also realised quickly that even though the going was indeed “good”, once a couple of thousands kids have run over the course before you, it turns into something slightly less than good. It was a course for the strong women and the lightfooted with only the spectators really knowing where any of the runners were.

Throughout the race we had vocal support from the men’s team, family and friends which made a huge difference. And so our first 2 runners, Christine and Claire, finished well within the top half of the race in 217th and 226th, with Danni in 405th and Sarah W in 456th rounded out the counters, with Rachel in 494th and Sara B in 587th all having fantastic races and pushing counters for other teams back to gain us valuable points. The general post-race mood was upbeat and relieved with everyone having put their best race in and finished with a smile. The results show our team in 55th, but that did not include our first counter, and so we should really be about 10 or so places higher up. Overall, it was a great day out with fantastic results all round and the team already agreeing to line up in 2017.

On 11 March 2016 In Running News

We are in urgent need of female runners for the Midland Road Relays on Saturday 2nd April and we also need runners for the National Road Relays on 16th April.

The deadline for the Midlands is this Wednesday 16th, so if you can run in either races please let This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. know as soon as posible!

Both races are held in Sutton Park and start at 12:20pm. It's a great, fun day of racing and a brilliant team event. It's a fabulous way to get to know other people in the club. We had some brilliant runs last year and would be great to get a huge turn out this year.

There are 6 legs in a team, 4 legs are 2.995 miles and, 2 legs are 5.38 miles.

When emailing Becky your availability, please provide your name, date of birth, England Athletics number and preference of short/long leg.

On 07 March 2016 In Running News

With only the hardiest answering the call, just seven BRATs made it to the season’s finale at Donington Park in Leicestershire for the 129th English National XC Champs which took place on a testing course over undulating farmland, with over 1700 runners finishing the race, which was won by Jonny Hay of Aldershot Farnham & District. Arduous was the verdict of most finishers!

The BRAT team was a mix of youth and experience, with at least three of the team running in their first National. Well done to all and thanks for turning out to represent the club in this prestigious event. New recruit Tom Powell led the team home in an excellent 218th position followed by Ed Banks 262nd, Jon Undy 396th, Martin Cleaver 753rd, Andy Robbins 1052nd, Andy Piddington 1129th (the six counters), and Martin Ludford 1180th. We finished 55th out of 123 teams, so a respectable result but one which we can certainly improve on in the coming years.

Eloise's photos of the event can be found here.

The club season is now over but next Saturday (12th March) will see the Inter Counties Championship take place again on our doorstep in Cofton Park. Many of the top names of the national cross country scene will be on view, plus we have a number of BRAT runners selected for both the Warwickshire and the Worcestershire teams so why not come along to support. A few of us are helping with marshalling etc. as usual, but the organisers are still on the lookout for a few more volunteers to ease the load. If you are interested please get in touch.

Martin Ludford

On 03 March 2016 In Running News

Hello BRAT mates,



Yes the nights are brighter and the daffodils flourishing. Get the sun cream and racing flats out, and shout: “No more 10K pace in the mud, I want to run much faster and ignore my heart monitor.”  Well I can help, it’s Road Relay 3 mile time, so get speedy, feel the BRAT team spirit and contact me.


Midland 12 Stage Road Relays,  Sat 2 April, 12.00, Sutton Park.  8x3m & 4x5.4m legs.

I have to enter teams and need to know definites, probables and possibles by 10 March. I can enter a much larger squad of names places, so you are not committed yet. I need to have a good idea of how many teams to enter. 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.



For your diary:


National 12 Stage Road Relays is on Sat 16 April pm, Sutton Park. 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. Mail to follow.

Masters (35 to very very old): BMAF National Road Relays, Sat 14 May, pm, Sutton Park.  Everyone from 35 wanted, slow or fast. Mail to follow.

Any question always welcome.


Richard Gray.  07973 502531