On 18 May 2015 In Running News

Continuing the great success of the men's 12 stage team at last month's national road relays, B.R.A.T's veteran men pitted themselves against the country's finest at the National Masters Road Relays last Saturday.

Leading by example, team manager Richard Gray produced the performance of the day, finishing a close second on leg 1 in the M55 race. The best team result was from our team in the marquee event, the M35 6-stage relay (team pictured) in which we came fifth, agonisingly close to a first ever national medal for the club.

Richard's report will appear here shortly!

Results: http://www.joelee.co.uk/resindex.html

On 28 April 2015 In Running News

There were some outstanding performances by B.R.A.T. runners at the London Marathon on Sunday. The most notable club performance in the capital came from Martin Matthews. Six years after last breaking 2:30 he snuck under the barrier and ran 2:29 for the iconic distance. Martin was delighted with his performance and rightly so. He led home a strong contingent of B.R.A.T. runners, several of whom ran personal bests. Some of those setting new PBs included Kevin McMillan, Ed Barlow and Nick Lewis.

Some of our athletes gained entry via qualifying times and some through gaining a club place. Priority for these is given to athletes who regularly compete or volunteer for the club and next year's allocation will be made in December.

Full results for the club can be found here.

On 15 April 2015 In Running News

For grown-ups only.

Not to be read if born after 16 May 1980. Contains ageist remarks. Radio 2 listeners will be banished to their own sound proofed gazebo.

BMAF National Road Relay Champs, 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 a & Zimmers round the course.

I decide which age categories we enter based on the response (the power of control). 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 legsx3m) 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. I do have a list of those already confirmed as unavailable, but please reply again if you are available.

Therefore you can respond definite, probable, possible for me to decide on the number of teams. You would not have to commit until nearer the event.

Richard Gray.   07973 502531

On 15 April 2015 In Running News

B.R.A.T's Tim Carter set himself a new challenge at the start of this year: to win a marathon. After chasing a time at London last year Tim fancied a change so his new goal was to win the race in his new home town. The course is a challenging one, hilly and exposed in most parts, and the day of the race saw very windy conditions. Hardly ideal marathon weather. Undeterred, Tim set out in the lead and had a large gap at 20 miles, which he passed in around 2 hours flat. The windy conditions, along with a sore hamstring, slowed Tim down in the last 10k but he hung on to win by the narrowest of margins.

Well done Tim - you can be forgiven for missing the 12 stage (but only because you won!). Pictured above is Tim receiving his winner's medal alongside Dan Robinson who used the event as a training run for the London Marathon next week and finished third after running the first 16 miles with Tim.

Results can be found here.

On 13 April 2015 In Running News

What a result !

National 12 Stage Road Relay Championship

23rd overall in the country, equalling our best previous position last year;  1st Birmingham club; 2nd West Midland; 6th in Midlands (counting Bristol and Bedford).

On a bright sunny and breezy day, on Saturday we once again made our mark on The National Road Relay Champs in Sutton Park. First good news was the official course distance was announced as +0.19 miles longer than the usual. We had settled on +0.16 after The Midland, so our pace just increased. Long 5.57m, short 3.10m.

After a hectic 72 hours of 5 team changes, with excuses ranging from a cut little finger, to a leg actually dropping off (lame excuse), we presented ourselves on the start line. Study weary but obviously not leg weary, Jack Gray led off and stormed round in the always dauntingly fast National 1st leg leading pack into a brilliant 7th place. On form Jon Jennings, probably uttered words describing his pure joy at such a challenge posed by very quick 20 something year olds, as he ran our fastest short leg 15sec quicker than his Midland time, but still losing 11 places! (Medal for bravery against odds).

Ed Banks our quickest leg at The Midland was under further attack, and despite taking 10 sec off his Midland time dropped another 5 places. I knew what I was in for, and although happy with the run was ambushed by one either side off the line followed by a further four, although I did win my sprint against a young whippersnapper.

Mark Ince had a stormer beating his Midland by 21 seconds, slowing our seemingly free-fall experience to one place in 30th.

This is where our strength in depth turned the tide. Young Ben Hall after The Midland now knew what to expect, racing 20 sec quicker and clawing a much needed place. Why change a trend, so Dan Robinson although disappointed with being 32 sec quicker, gained another place!

Welcome to new boy Stuart Male who delivered a good solid run only slipping one place. Nathan Warren stepping into a long leg ran brilliantly, retaliating in style overtaking Birchfield and putting BRAT into 25th. Tom Walsh although losing a couple of places, again showed a second time round produces results in a brilliant 30 sec quicker. Martin demonstrated our strength on the last long leg banishing Coventry and two others, opening up a big comfort gap for last leg. Kevin MacMillan stepping into the breach at the very last minute driving up from the Malvern only had the clock and lapped teams to beat, and indeed did just that with a solid last leg.

Thanks to all the team, reserves, supporters and Midland team resulting in an exciting and successful day.

Richard Gray

On 30 March 2015 In Running News

Last Saturday marked the weekend of the Midland Road Relays 2015, this year despite a number of injuries and illness we still managed to get one team out and finish 13thof 52 teams!

After a few changes of the course, and setting up the tent in blustery conditions Jen Dale (pictured) took us out with a storming run of 19:37. This set us up well in 19th place, and was followed by Becky Hair in a time of 20:02 – with a sprint finish! The course was certainly hillier than first anticipated, but with great team support in the final straight it was really motivating! Sam Rose brought us up another few places in a time of 20:53, and Ellie Bishop gave a cracking run in 21:05. Marie Voice and Eloise Lee bought us home in great times of 20:06 & 20:41, overtaking another few ladies to bring us up to 13th place.

It was a brilliant day, despite the weather, and it was great to get one team out! Hopefully next year we can get some more people on board and get our well deserved top 10 finish! Now, onto the National Relays in April where we should get a team out!

On 09 March 2015 In Running News


The CAU Inter Counties Cross Country Championships is the last race on the domestic cross country calendar and is the unofficial UK Championship. On the back of their performances at the Warwickshire county championships in January, a few of our athletes were selected to run for the county.

In the women's race, Beccy Tipping, who has had a great cross country season for the club, earned the blue and green Warwickshire vest and helped the women's team to 6th overall. A great end to a very successful season.

B.R.A.T. also provided three of the nine athletes in the senior men's team; Jack Gray finished 34th to cap a strong season in which he won the county champs and finished second overall in the Birmingham League standings. Ed Banks was sixth and last counter for the Warwickshire team, finishing 129th. The most impressive feat of all though, was Dan Robinson making his return to racing after missing the second part of the season due to injury. What he lacked in fitness he made up for in determination, and worked his way through the field in a sensibly judged race.

Photos of both races can be found here.

And so the curtain closes on a great season of cross country for the club. Time to put your spikes away and replace them with your racing flats; the Midland 6/12 Stage in on the 28th and we are hoping for a result to match the fantastic season we've had on the mud!

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