Bramhall race report – 28 December 2013

A Sunday papers review of 2013

This is a report of two halves, a little like Bramhall 5k half way up the first hill where either Jim or young Samuel Pendrill call out the split times.

FIRST HALF REPORT: THIS WEEK’S RUN

Karl Tavini has worked hard all year at his running which has paid dividends as he now finds himself in the low 18’s.  This would have justifiably been his first win today ... if it hadn’t been for the fact that Alex Young decided to turn up.  Alex hasn’t attended Bramhall for over a year – how unlucky for Karl that he chose to do that today.

Alex has a PB of 16.23 and having won 6 times in 7 appearances one wonders what it would take to beat him on that 7th run where he came third back in April 2011 – the answer is Dave Norman and Mike Sawrey clocking 16.17 and 16.22!  So it was rather unfair to spoil Karl’s glory today but Alex took it steady, cruising home in 17.49.  Karl managed a solid effort of 18.14 for 2nd and George Coulson was 3rd in 18.26.  There were four other Coulson’s running today (I am fairly sure they are all related to European cross country champion Jess Coulson of Stockport Harriers) James (J14, new PB of 20.43), Robert (J14 27.12) and Isabelle (J14) and Neil both on 32.39.

The women’s podium has one thing in common – they are all good J15-19 club runners; Mollie Williams was first (12th overall) in 19.34, Lucy Donaghy was second (24th overall) in 20.20 and Matilda Edwards was third (36th overall) in 21:04.

To compliment the young ladies performance there was a vintage performance from three veteran runners which we’d all give handsomely for top age gradings like these.  David Gee (VM60-64) was graded 86% for a time of 18.39 (4th overall). Robert Taylor (VM60-64) was graded 85% for 19.35 (13th overall) and Steve Shaughnessy (VM55-59) was graded 81.5% for 19:21 (8th overall).

There were 412 runners today (120 higher than same week last year) with a very healthy 39 first timers – we hope you return as New year’s Resolutions bite to watch those PB’s tumble, whatever your speed and fitness.

It struck me whilst looking through the results today how many families run here.  A few to mention, because it’s not just about the fastest or best runners, are as follows:

100 metres into the run I often hear a call from the crowd “Come on the Newsomes”.  There were five Newsome’s running today; Paul 21.19, Thomas 25.57, Sarah 29.54, Harry 30.21 and Libby 30.27.  Looks like a highly competitive, tightly bunched running family to me!

Only 15 seconds separated the Doe family of four with Dad Nick showing no chivalry by beating J14 daughter Annie by 1 second in 29.29 whilst Mum Lesley clearly fought to the line with daughter Emma with both ending up at 29.43, just in front of 30 minute pacer Chris Hammerton who ran it in ... 30.01 of course.  Finally, the Tomlinson’s were obviously running in Red Arrow formation today with young Bobby and Daisy clocking 33.54 with Dad Andrew a second behind.

SECOND HALF REPORT:  THE YEAR THAT WAS KNOWN AS 2013.

Now for a Sunday papers review of 2013.  Here are a few facts and figures.  In the last 12 months there were 50 parkruns at Bramhall as two were cancelled in January due to snow and ice (a large contingent drifted over to Woodbank for these two).  In those 50 runs there have been 21,000 runners with an average attendance of 422 per week.  Attendance predictably peaked around April/May in the lead up to BUPA 10k with four consecutive weeks above 500 runners.  There was only one more run above 500 (end of August) until the record was smashed a week ago on the Santa run at 592.

For the men’s first finishers in 2013, Rob Downs won 19 races, Kevin Acton 5, Jonathan Currie 4 and Tom Peers 3 yet for me the performance of the year came from Sam Tarry (J14) in 17.05 (which also broke the JM14 course record) who left the not-shabby competition for dust.  The fastest finisher of the year was James Bleakley in 16.28 and the average winning time in 2013 was 17.23.

For the women’s first finishers in 2013, (there’s a theme developing here) Juliet Downs (J14) won 10 races, Ellen Downs (J15) 6, Jill Tavini 6, Janine Ellis 3, Nicola Lloyd 3, Mollie Cooke (J15) 2 and Lucy Donaghy (J15) 2.  The fastest finisher of the year was Juliet Downs in 19.04 which also broke the JW14 course record and for me goes down as the Runner of the Year as she battled it out with her sister.  The women’s average winning time in 2013 was 20.45.

Other age records tumbled in the year too apart from JM14 and JW14: Sharon Johnstone broke the VW40 record in 19.23 on 3 August. Victoria Perry broke the VW55 record in 20.47 on 12 January (she also holds the VW50 course record and went on to break the British VW55 marathon record at VLM this year in 3.03.45) whilst David Chadderton broke the VM65 record in 21.26 only three weeks ago.  Finally, Tom McGaff beat his own course record age grading of 89% three weeks ago by running 17.57 as a VM55-60.

For me the most memorable occasions of 2013, for the right or wrong reasons, were:

-          April: Paul Norris and Richard Hall’s dogged determination and quest to run sub 20 minutes which finally happened within a week of each other in April coincidently around the time that concentrated beetroot juice was vogue

-          April: Steve Shaughnessy’s response on Facebook to the Boston marathon bombings which he was directly exposed to, writing about the true character of a runner.

-          April and July: 11 year old Flynn Walsh running 18.40’ish three times

-          July: Richard Hall and Andrew Tomlinson’s three legged 5k world record (27.39)

-          November: Nathan Mayoh taking his chain saw to a large tree blown across the course.

-          December: Alex’s Miller’s professional video of the 2013 Santa run on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHD88FYA1PI )

-          Sophia Tavini’s collapse on the course whilst running with everyone close-by providing immediate and expert assistance

-          The lively debate on Facebook of whether under 11’s should be accompanied by adults

-          The growing and vocal crowds around the Grand Stand area by the pond

-          The continued growth of Bramhall Runners and the great efforts they’ve done for Foodbank.

-          Last but not least, the undiminished efforts from Nick, Rob, Janine, Jim, Graham, Martin and others who regularly get to the park at 8am to set up the course, whatever the weather.

Finally, a reminder that Stockport Cerebral Palsy Society (charity number 1009768) is this year’s official race charity for Wilmslow HM, so if you would like to help with this worthy cause, get in touch with Adrian Rigby-Bates, SCPS’s Fundraiser at 0161 429 1522 adrian.bates@stockportcp.co.uk

Watch out for a new parkrun at Lyme Park hopefully starting around March time and be sure to include Bramhall parkrun within your New Years’ Resolutions!!  See you in 2014.

Charlie Batho