On 29 June 2017 In Running News

We need 22 marshals for the BRAT 5k on 9th August 2017. If you aren't racing, please consider helping out as without marshals we would have to cancel the race.

You will need to be at the race from about 19:00 (race starts at 19:45) till 20:30.

If you can help out please comment on the facebook event page here: https://m.facebook.com/events/660182000846869?view=permalink&id=689532397911829

Alternatively you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thanks.

On 21 May 2017 In Running News

Hello BRAT mates,


Rotten weather + determination + great running = a medal (not mathematically proven). A bronze individual for Dan Robinson, only our second ever individual medal. Brilliant race Dan, fastest ever time for BRAT.


Alas, a team medal yet again eluded us, despite running in third place for over half the race; our closest and best result. BRAT M35 were second quickest Midland team, 5th overall.  BRAT M35 B team were second quickest B team, 22nd overall. BRAT M45 finished 33rd overall.


The Met Office were true to their word, where for the second half of the race the road became more like a lake. Perhaps the swimming element may play into Chris Ashford’s hands I pondered, but that was just a delusional team manager.


Dan Robinson set off, and their close group of three dominated the first leg pushing each other to a great time, with Martin Williams of Tipton opening a slender 5 second gap at the changeover. Jon Jennings had the responsibility of following Dan’s example and keep us in the mix, where although Tipton and Salford opened the gap, Jon held onto the precious 3rd place from a hard charging Kent. Mark Ince was there to show we were not a front loaded team, racing a great leg and narrowly missing out on a top ten individual time and a course pb, but we had clawed back Salford and kept Kent behind. Mark Woodus revealed to me he was recovering from broken bones in his foot, but announced it was not a problem! My worry was unfounded, delivering a sound time under my target, but Kent came past us and Sunderland closed the gap. Chris Ashford had the task of keeping us in touch to give racer Martin Matthews every possible chance. Another sound performance maintained a sizeable gap behind us, but the top four were strong, pulling away. Martin ran 4th quickest of leg six, having a close battle with Sunderland and stretching away from the pack with a massive 2 minute cushion. Ahead of us Kent smashed it with the second fastest leg overall, overtaking very late on what had appeared to be a dominant Tipton, who had lead from the start.


And so 5th it was to be, equalling our 2016 highest position, and setting our quickest time. Well done team, a great effort and result.


Thanos Tsolakis set off behind Dan for our depleted B team, in fact at one point we had three M35 teams entered. Really good run on what can be a demoralising fast 1st leg. He handed onto new very boy, keen Damian Cartland (nephew to the ex-Rowheath Stalwart Colin "what do you mean I’m a bit fiery" Cartland. Damian gained one place into 26th. Nick Lewis flew round and I wondered whether team selection may be questioned, gaining another place into 25th. Handing onto Martin Cleaver, a bit rusty since his great 12 stage leg, however, he still gained another place. This was becoming a trend, but I (Richard Gray) took over and was well off my intended pace, although closing down two ahead we remained in 24th. Finally Toby Close back after injury embarked on what might be a lonely leg. He overtook two on his travels to finally finish in 22nd overall and a surprising 2nd place B team behind Salford. Well done all.


Andy Piddington led off our M45 team with a very sound leg and 32nd place; handing onto Jort van Mourik, yet another chasing fitness after injury and pleased with his improvement. We had dropped two places, but Rob Ryan promptly snatched one back, and finally Ming Nham losing out to Rob by one solitary second, had gained another place to finish back were we started in 32nd. Nothing like a bit of consistency, well done team.



1. Kent Ac M35 1:34:38 15:47

2. Tipton Harriers M35 ‘A’ 1:34:52

3. Salford Harriers

4. Sunderland Harriers M35 ‘A’ 1:36:33


5. Birmingham R & T M35 ‘A’ 1:36:41 (Previous best 1.37.15, 5th)

1 Daniel Robinson (2) 15:18

2 Jonathan Jennings (3) 16:35

3 Mark Ince (3) 15:40

4 Mark Woodus (4) 16:33

5 C Ashford (5) 16:29

6 Martin Matthews (5) 16:06


22. Birmingham R & T M35 ‘B’ 1:48:51

1. A Tsolakis (27) 17:18

2. Damian Cartland (26) 18:15

3. Nick Lewis (25) 17:00

4. Martin Cleaver (24) 19:00

5. Richard Gray (24) 18:56

6. Toby Close (22) 18:22


Fastest of all legs: 1. Martin Williams TiptonH 35 A 15:11.    2. C Greenwood KentAc 15:15.    3 Daniel Robinson Brat M35 A 15:18



1. Thames Hare & Hounds M45 1:05:14


33. Birmingham R & T M45 1:18:19

1. Andy Piddington (32) 18:35

2. Jort Vanmourik (34) 19:21

3. Rob Ryan (33) 20:11

4. Ming Nham (32) 20:12


Fastest of all legs:  1. Terry Scott TyneBriM4 15:24


Full results at www.race-results.co.uk


Photos at: http://www.racephotos.org.uk/


See you late September for the 6 Stage, but lets all enjoy Summer first.


Richard Gray.

On 12 May 2017 In Running News

FINAL RESULTS of the BRAT Running Series 2016/17


Men's Results:


1st - Chris Ashford

2nd - Simon Lanckham

3rd - Ben Beaumont


1st V40 - Andy Piddington

1st V50 - Martin Ludford


Multi-Terrain Race Champion - Martin Ludford

Short Race Champion - Ed Banks


Women's Results:


1st - Molly Browne

2nd - Jen Straw

3rd - Eloise Lee


Multi-Terrain Race Champion - Rosie Davies

Short Race Champion - Jen Straw


No female vets did enough races to qualify.



Full results can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.






London Marathon – 23rd Apr


Cotswold Hilly 100 Relay – 14th May


Hagley 10k – 17th May (MT)

Arrow Valley 12k – 14th June (MT)

Birmingham & Black Country Half Marathon – 1st July

Droitwich 10k – 12th July (SR)

Stratford Summer 6 – 22nd July (SR)

BRAT 5K – 9th Aug (SR)

Kenilworth Half Marathon – 3rd Sep

Waseley Wobbler - Sep (Date TBC) (MT)

Autumn Midland Road Relays – 23rd Sep (SR)

Birmingham Half Marathon – 15th Oct

Birmingham Marathon – 15th Oct

XC League Race 1 – 11th Nov

Suicide 6 – 26th Nov (MT)

XC League Race 2 – 2nd Dec

Telford 10k - Dec (SR)

Warwickshire/Worcestershire XC Champs – 6th Jan

XC League Race 3 – 13th Jan 

Midlands XC Champs – 27th Jan

XC League Race 4 – 10th Feb

Spring Midland Road Relays - Mar (SR)


(MT) = Scores for the multi-terrain prize

(SR) = Scores for the short race prize


To breifly re-cap the rules, runners must complete 8 races in the series to count (6 for U20/U17). The multi-terrain/short race prizes will be scored from the highest aggregate score from the qualifying races.


On 11 May 2017 In Running News

On the 28th April, the Mid Cheshire 5km road racing series hosted the English 5k Championships. Two BRATs entered, and both hoped to score well in the nationals.

As the 1000 strong field descended on the rural closed-road circuit, the dry calm evening was seemingly a message from the gods, inviting all who twitched behind the start line to believe:

“Perhaps it’s my night”.

In the women’s race Becky Hair clocked a superb 18:33, shattering her PB by a colossal 23 seconds. When crossing the line, a wide eyed, smiley if a little weary Becky proclaimed “I did it”. It was only three hours and a few glasses of prosecco later, she realised by how much she ‘did it’ by, when she discovered she’d finished a marvellous 18th overall in the Nationals.

In the men’s race Jack Gray hoped to build on a surprisingly decorated end to his cross country season. Jack ran a good race working with the lead pack throughout. In the last 1k he lost touch with 2nd and 3rd, but held on to a credible joint 4th (with a handy dip) five seconds behind a national medal, and with a time of 14:19.

On 11 May 2017 In Running News

At a time when most cross country spikes are cast away, damp and dreary, into a long-summer slumber, two BRATs were competing in the UK’s historic cross country finale: The Home Countries International.

The Home Countries International is a British royal rumble. Here, the home nations (England, Scotland, Wales and North Ireland) are joined by the regions (Midlands, South and North) and the armed forces to fight for their chance to be crowned champions of the mud. 

Two BRATs were selected for Team Midlands to compete in the imposing historic setting of Margam Castle, Wales.

In the women’s race (8km) Molly Browne crowned her exceptional XC season with a strong run, helping the Midlands to claim fourth place in the team championships. Molly finished 19th overall in a high-class international field. Well done Molly!

In the men’s race (10k) Jack Gray built on a successful end to his cross country season in a punishing hard run-race. Biding his time Jack positioned himself well, breaking the field up with a bold move at the 6km mark. In the final 2km Jack batted with a lead group of five to come away with an unexpected individual bronze medal.

All in all, a brilliant day where two BRATs shone on an international stage.

On 28 March 2017 In Running News

By Richard Gray


A great day at work. We finished an excellent 8th.


I incorrectly stated that this was down on previous, but in fact it is our fastest time on the new course (2015) and equalled 8th place from 2015, beating last year. Overall our second highest Midland 12 stage position. I also incorrectly stated the short leg distance which is 3.16miles. Must be the stress(or incompetence).


The late flurry of injury and illness meant new boys and B team had to breach the gap, which was accomplished admirably, so well done everyone and thanks for all the last minute multiple swaps.


See information about The National on 8 April at the end….the No1 road race.


Greeted with sunshine, albeit chilly sunshine (not sure of the logic there), helped to put a cheery smile on everyone’s face, even the grumpy manager !


Dan Robinson back on pole, smashed his leg with a course pb putting us in 11th on the traditionally fast first lap. Steve Dunsby followed on in his long stage debut guaranteeing a pb and creeping up to 10th. Handing on to Mark Ince who smashed another course pb, pushing close to Dan’s time and shooting us up to 7th, happy times. Chris Ashford, on his way back to form, did not show any lack of it as he was only 12 seconds off a pb, and still 7th. So that is 3 out of 4 personal bests on the long leg, crucial in the overall result.

First of the shorts was Nathan Warren, in what is always a tough and quick leg and we slipped just two places. Adam Balderson-Higgins stepped in last minute from B first leg and under pressure did what was required, but we slipped to 11th. Kevin McMillan despite suffering with a cold and describing his leg as "slow" held on to 11th. New boy Colin Bailey was not entirely happy about a debut in the A team, but acquitted himself well and kept 11th. Simon Lanckham debuted on a short for this course and delivered our fastest short as expected, snatching back two places including our close battle with Stoke. Rene Vergo ran a very good leg but we came under pressure from Stoke and Bristol B, and dropped back to 11th. Was the writing on the wall ?

Martin “he will sort it” Matthews answered that question, promptly overtaking Heanor, Stoke and Bristol B, no problem. We were now in 8th as Chris “what pressure” Grimley took on the task of last leg. Heanor were dumped, Bristol slipped back, but Stoke slowly gained. I encouraged Chris with 1000m to go: “you have a 20m gap, go” (don’t you just hate that, but necessary ?). Chris did a great job holding on until 200m from the finish when we were caught. Brave run but 9th it was to be, or was it ?


Kenilworth, our close rivals in relays and XC had mucked up big time and were disqualified, hoorah ! Tough, they probably need a better manager. Shame though, we now won’t be able to beat them in The National like last year and the XC this year.


Our B team had as many changes as New Street Station (or should that be Grand Central).


Martin Cleaver stepped up last minute(just assume everything is last minute), running a great leg smashing his pb. Harry “H” Fowler who was probably not relishing 2nd leg, but did not shirk under the pressure did exactly what it said on the tin(what am I on about ?). Handing onto Robert Dowse who was probably the only no change leg, he ran 2nd fastest long and retrieved two places. Jort Van Mourik on the long road back snatched another couple of places. Why break a habit, Abayomi Adedimeji ran the fastest short, justifying an A team place on the day now he knows his injury will hold up, and yes gaining another two places up to 53rd. Everyone’s favourite except mine, XC manager Martin Ludford consolidated our position. Richard Carney dared to drop one place but I forgive him. Mark Iliffe was on hand, and showing off gained five places into 49th.  Really really last minute(“I will just go and get my kit and drop the dog off”) Ming Nham pushed hard, but nine legs were all we had to offer, and so all our efforts ended up with a “We came , we saw, we DNF’d.  very well done and thanks to all in the B.


To summarise. A job well done and very good result. Shame is, in what is a high standard Championship we could only turn out 21 athletes. It may be a top race, but all standards can race without fear. I should be fighting people off, not trying to complete a B team. Well done all who ran and supported.


See below results for National Relays info which is Britain’s top road race open to all clubs.  


1 Bristol & West Ac (Est. 1882) ‘A’ 3:54:50

2 Notts AC ‘A’ 3:56:24

3 Cheltenham & County Harriers ‘A’ 3:59:27


8 Birmingham Running A&t ‘A’ 4:20:51   Long leg 5.38miles, short legs 3.16miles.

1 Daniel Robinson (11) 28:24

2 Steve Dunsby (10) 29:45

3 Mark Ince (7) 28:40

4 Chris Ashford (7) 29:27

5 Nathan Warren (9) 18:10

6 Adam Balderson Higgins (11) 19:04

7 Kevin Mcmillan (11) 18:03

8 Colin Bailey (11) 18:29

9 Simon Lanckham (9) 17:08

10 Rene Vergo (11) 17:55

11 Martin Matthews (8) 17:31

12 Chris Grimley (9) 18:15


Birmingham Running A&t ‘B’

1 Martin Cleaver (53) 33:52

2 Harry Fowler (59) 38:00

3 Robert Dowse (57) 34:37

4 Jort Van Mourik (55) 36:23

5 Abayomi Adedimeji (53) 18:09

6 Martin Ludford (53) 21:18

7 Richard Carney (54) 24:13

8 Mike Iliffe (HJ) (49) 19:25

9 Ming Nham  (OD) (49) 21:00

10,11,12 DNF.


Fastest of all long legs — Provisional 1 Graham Rush Cheltenham A 26:04 2 Stephen Mitchell Bristol&We A 26:21 3 Richard Peters Bristol&We A 26:24


Fastest of all short legs — Provisional 1 Owain Jones Bristol&We A 15:32 2 Jack Hallas Birchfield A 15:34 3 Jonathan Goringe Birchfield A 15:35

See www.race-results.co.uk.


National Road Relay Championship, Sat 8 April, same place.

We have qualified one team. The squad will be the A team and Abayomi, + a few who would have made the Midland A team and had wished to run if they were available. Let me know now if you could not make the Midland, but want to be considered. Come along and support us.


I will send out individual emails.

Richard. 07973 502531.

On 03 March 2017 In Running News

Men's National XC Champs - 25th February 2017

Eight of the BRAT men's cross country gang rounded off the season at the National Championships at Wollaton Park in Nottingham over a tasty course full of challenges. The best mud of the season was saved until the end, and with the senior men's race being the tenth and final event of the day, the soft and wet areas of the course were nicely churned up even before the race began. After the opening short loop the race took in four laps, each bigger than the previous one, to make up the 12.5k distance. Several of the guys were running in their first National and after soaking up the atmosphere and supporting the BRAT women's team, it proved a memorable race for all members of the team.

Simon Lanckham lost a shoe on the opening loop and so remarkably ran the remaining 12k with just one shoe. He was still the first BRAT home, finishing in 404th position out of 1762 finishers. Next home was Jon Undy in around 694th (sadly a timing chip malfunction meant he was not recorded in the published results, though the organisers ECCA are trying to look into this). Then a bit further down the field came a steady stream of BRAT finishers: Andy Piddington 980th, Huw Jones 1044th, Nathan Smith 1092nd, Martin Ludford 1153rd, Ming Nham 1229th (despite having to recover and replace a shoe 3 times!) and Owen Doherty 1393rd (in borrowed vest and shorts - thankfully you remembered your spikes Owen!).

In the team results we are showing as 99th out of 131 teams, though in reality we should be a dozen or more places higher if / when the results are eventually corrected.

Well done and thanks to everyone who committed themselves to run these Championships for the Club. It was great for team bonding and I'm sure you will agree well worth the effort! Thanks also to the BRAT women's team who supported the guys round the course.

Thanks again to all, it's been a good season – many new faces, lots of old faces, good turnouts, good team spirit, and even a bit of silverware!


Martin Ludford

On 02 March 2017 In Running News

BRAT Ladies at the National Cross Country Championships, Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

For most the cross-country season has now drawn to a close following the biggest race of the year – The National Cross Country. Almost 800 ladies donned their spikes and colourful club vests to combat 8km of hills and mud in Wollaton Park. 

The BRAT ladies were a small contingent with a team of four hardy runners ready to test out their ‘real cross-country’ stamina and end their seasons on a high! 

The gun went, and of course the rain started …

Claire Keene had a brilliant run to finish 526th, probably most impressive was her ability to stay on her feet without spikes! Given her amazing progression this cross-country season Claire, you have thoroughly earned yourself some shiny new spikes for next year! 

Megan Thomas had a fabulous race to finish 280th after giving a gutsy run on a challenging course and finishing very strongly. This brought her best cross-country season to a brilliant close having placed consistently well in the league races and Midland Champs! Onto great things over summer! 

Eloise Lee was finally able to enjoy a cross-country race without battling through with an awful cold. It was fantastic to see Eloise finish her season on a high with an amazing 275th place. Eloise has run in every possible cross country race this season and finished being the second scorer for the BRAT Nationals team, a great achievement!

Molly Browne was taking on the penultimate race of her season, with Inter-Counties still to race. Molly had hopes of bettering her previous 100th place, and had a brilliant run in a competitive field to finish 47th, beating a few Midlands rivals in final sprint for the line too! 

It was great to have a BRAT team competing at by far the best race of the year! They did themselves and the club very proud and finished a credible 38th out of 90+ teams which is a fabulous achievement. It would be great to have more BRAT vests racing next year, the National really is a spectacle. 

A big thank you to Eloise and Molly who took on the role last minute of captaining the ladies XC team this season. They have done a sterling job and have encouraged lots of members to race, including newbies.