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Now Merson to miss Bristol half marathon - 18/9/14 

A FIELD of around 9-10,000 runners is expected to toe the line for the 26th Bristol half marathon on Sunday.

That in itself guarantees the race will be a success but at the sharp end it appears the interest is not as great as in previous years.

Former west women winners Claire Hallissey (Bristol & West) and Emma Stepto (Cornwall AC) aren’t entered but in-form Lucy MacAlister will be there though she is a long shot to add this title to her triumphs in Plymouth, Taunton and Cheltenham this year.

Her Bristol & West clubmate Jenny Jagger might be better placed to fish top west runner – but where that will leave her overall remains to be seen.

Meanwhile Tom Merson has ruled himself out of the race as he is away.

North Devon League ss set for lift-off - 18/9/14

The Gliddon & Squire North Devon Cross Country League gets underway at Bideford on Sunday with the first race at 9am (

West coach to give seminar on junior sprint star's success - 18/9/14  


WEST coaches and ambitious athletes might be interested in an intriguing talk to be given by Ali Abrams in Bristol next month.

The former Bristol & West AC sprinter turned successful coach will be giving a workshop/presentation  entitle ‘A journey from Whitehall to the World Junior Championships’ for England Athletics based upon the selection of Bristol athlete Chris Stone whom he has transformed from ex-Sunday league footballer into a world class junior sprinter.

“The session will cover developing young athletes and how I've done this with my group, examples of my training program and how to develop and nurture quickly progressing athletes,” said Abrams.

“Chris will be talking about his journey in athletics to date and experiences so far and his plans for the future and how we plan to go about achieving this.”

The coaching seminar will be held on Saturday October 18th from 10am-1pm at South Gloucestershire Sports College in Stoke Gifford. For further details email Abrams at:

Barnstaple marathon is a big hit - 18/9/14 


EVEN before the first step is taken the new Barnstaple marathon a week next Sunday (Sept 28th) is a massive success with entries long since closed for the race organised by North Devon Road Runners.

The half, which boasted over 800 finishers last year, is also a sell-out so well over 1,000 runners will be pounding the roads around Barnstaple and the Tarka Trail next week.

No hang ups for Jane as she races to victory - 15/9/14


JANE Allison of Plymouth Harriers cruised to victory in the second Hanger Up’n’Down 11.8k multi terrain race organised by Erme Valley Harriers.

The vetern finished sixth overall in a time of 59mins 52secs, putting her over two minutes ahead of clubmate Alicia Regan (62:08) with Frey Carlson third (62:57).

Top man was Joshua Moon (55:27) from Tamar Trotters’ Chris Prall (56:03) with Tom Packer of the host club third (56:55). There were just 59 finishers.

Why Emma is giving Bristol half a miss - 15/9/14 


EMMA Stepto has confirmed she will not running the 26th Bristol half marathon next Sunday.

The Cornwall AC runner has been a regular visitor to the half and the 10k races and last year won the race with a fantastic performance clocking a personal best of 73mins 40secs.

While it is shame she won’t be defending her title Stepto is saving her energies for the Cardiff half two weeks later as that race which incorporates the British Championships, two weeks later.

No-one can ever accuse Stepto of ducking a challenge!

Newquay Road Runners at the double - 15/9/14


IT was a Newquay Road Runners double in the Truro half marathon yesterday.

Veteran Ken Walker took the men’s title in 79mins 19secs, 18 seconds clear of Carn Runners’ Paul Whear while Eleanor Davis finished 10th overall in a personal best of 83:33.

Hayle’s Emma Schuck was runner-up in 84:58.

Bideford’s Brian Andrew was rewarded for his trip with a personal best of 92:51 in 40th, the second Devon man hoe just behind Alan Williams of Tamar Trotters (92:02).

Rodgers roars to Avon county title - 15/9/14 


JAMES Rodgers was a convincing winner of the Oldbury 10 miles road race yesterday.

Rodgers, who is now racing for North Somerset AC, clocked 55mins 06secs to finish 61 seconds ahead of Bristol & West’s Jarlath McKenna (56:07) with Westbury Harriers’ Anthony Glover third (57:14).

Stroud’s Lee Rankin was top veteran in fourth (57:29).

Leading woman in 11th overall was B&W’s Kate Hulls in 63:08 with Stroud’s Naomi Eaton second (65:14) and Team Bath veteran Jo Thompson third (66:16).

With the county championships incorporated into the event Rodgers and Hulls were crowned Avon champions.

There were 110 finishers.


Why Emma reigns supreme in the west country - 9/9/14

TAKE Jo Pavey out of the equation – it would be an unfair comparison – and Cornwall’s Emma Stepto is the undoubted queen of west country racing this year.

On Sunday the popular 44-year-old from Camborne completed her 15th win of the year in the Treggy 7 miles road race in Launceston finishing fifth overall in the race.

Her dominance of the west country road running scene is such that she has only been beaten once in any race that she has finished in the region and that was the high quality Bristol 10k in May when she finished runner-up to Rebecca Robinson.

In her other 14 races around the west Emma has remained unbeaten – and even won one race outright with a superb win in the Siblyback Lake 10k in March.

By any standard that is a remarkable record.




Storm Force 10 (2nd overall)


Marazion 10k (4th overall)


Siblyback Lake 10k (1st overall)

Gloucester 20 (3rd overall)


Enys 10k (2nd overall)


Bristol 10k (2nd woman)


Siblyback Lake 5k (2nd overall)

Stickler 5 (7th overall)


Turkey Trot 5 (4th overall)

Magnificent 7 (9th overall)


Exeter 10k (12th overall)

St Levan 10k (2nd overall)

Indian Queens half marathon (2nd overall)


Treggy 7 (5th overall).

Devon's own William the Conqueror! - 9/9/14  

ANOTHER in-form west athlete is Will Battershill of Erme Valley Harriers. At the weekend the 16-year-old from Holberton, who is a student at Ivybridge College, added the UK Schools’ 1500m title to his ever growing list of achievements.

Victory completed an outstanding clean sweep of domestic school titles in the event as he has now won the 1500m steeplechase at the South West, English, British and UK Schools level.

Furthermore he smashed his personal best by almost three seconds at Manchester last weekend as he set a new championship record of 4mins 15.38secs to beat his rivals by almost six seconds.

That cements his position at the top of the UK Rankings and lifted him to 14th on the All-Time lists.

That is also a remarkable record.

Merson scorches to personal best in Cardiff 10k - 8/9/14

TOM Merson shaved one second off his personal best in the Cardiff 10k road race yesterday.

Merson’s official time was given as 30mins 27secs in third place behind Cardiff’s Jonathan Hopkins (30:21) and Peter Huck (30:24).

The time is Merson’s fourth sub 31 minutes clocking this year alongside 30:28 in the Yeovilton Easter Bunning 10k, 30:34 in Manchester and 30:54 in Bristol.

In addition his other two 10ks in 2014 were 31:12 to win the recent Exeter 10k and 31:38 over the same course in March. What a super consistent performer.

To continue a strong west presence East Cornwall Harriers’ Dan Nash, who is a student in the city, was fourth in a 30:37 which slashed 30 seconds off his previous best set earlier this year in Nice, France.

In addition Taunton AC’s Phil Burden ran a PB of 31:40 for eighth place but Bideford’s Shaun Antell was well outside his best of 31:00 clocking 32:17 in 11th.

Other wet runners to make the top 20 were North Somerset AC’s James Rodger sin 18th (33:030 and Mike Towler of Avon Valley Runner sin 19th (33:13).

Top woman was Stroud’s Rachel Felton in 30th overall (34:13) just ahead of Team Bath veteran Dave Coales (34:17).

Tiverton's Squibb continues his good form - 8/9/14

IT was a Devon one-two in the Bridgwater half marathon yesterday. Tiverton Harriers’ Kevin Squibb raced to a superb victory in a personal best time of 75mins 49secs with Jody Bee of South West Road Runners runner-up in 78:24.

The time carved a whopping three minutes 27 seconds off the time of 79:16 he set on making his half marathon debut – in what is in effect only his first full season of racing - at the Ruby Run in Holsworthy in June when he came third.

It was 41-year-old Squibb’s second overall victory of the year after also enjoying success in the Castle Hill Corker 10k multi terrain event in February.

It also continues his recent good form as he clocked personal bests of 33mins 47secs in the recent Exeter 10k road race and 16:37 in the Run Exe 5k at the start of August. So definitely a name to watch in the veteran ranks in the months ahead.

To continue the Devon dominance Erme Valley Harriers’ Alison McEwing was top woman in 14th overall (1:24.20) of the 307 finishers.

Lucy just can't stop winning! - 8/9/14

LUCY MacAlister won her first Cheltenham half marathon as she continues her assault on west country half races.

The Bristol & West AC runner, who lives on the Somerset/Devon border near Wellington,  has already won the Taunton, Plymouth and Torbay events in 2014and was third in the Bath half in March and she notched up win number four in a time of 78 minutes 35secs.

Annabel Granger made it a B&W one-two clocking 80:33 in second.

Second last year Cheltenham’s Dave Roper was a popular local winner as he finished over a minute clear of Gloucestershire University student Graham Rush.

Cheltenham half marathon  men: 1 David Roper (Chelt) 69:26; 2 Graham Rush 70:37; 3 David Bell (Ciren) 72:03.

M40: Pete Vale (Mercia) 76:08. M45: Rob Gornall (troud) 77:24.

Women: 1 Lucy MacAlister (B&W, W35) 78:35; 2 Annabel Granger (B&W, W40) 80:33; 3 Lucy Walmsley (Bourton RR, W40) 86:19.

Robinson sets the pace in Somerset marathon - 8/9/14

MICHAEL Robinson of  Cornwall-based club Mud Crew Trail Runners romped to victory in the Somerset Levels & Moors marathon today completing the 26.2 miles off-road race in a time of 3hrs 15mins 15secs to finish over ix minutes clear.

Top woman in eighth overall was Mary Menon in 3:46.43.

Nick Daniel of Chard Road Runners won the half marathon in 1:39.22 with Yeovil Town Road Runners’ Rosemary Appleby first woman in 2:06.39.


A duathlon with a difference in Minehead - 4/9/14 


NUTCOMBE Bottom in West Somerset is the destination for endurance athletes in the South West this autumn for the Nutcombe Duathlon a week on Sunday (September 14th).


The Duathlon, which includes a 7K run, 11K cycle, a 2.2K sprint, starts at West Somerset Sports & Leisure Centre in Minehead. The picturesque route will then lead competitors through some inspiring but challenging local countryside on the Nutcombe Bottom Crown Estate.


The Duathlon is part of the 1610 race series of endurance events being organised by 1610 to encourage the local community to get fit and active.

The event is all off- road so competitors will require a mountain bike to take part.


Health Development Manager for 1610 Ltd Amanda Godsell, says the event offers something a bit special for endurance athletes who enjoy a challenge with a difference:


“Although the distances are not far, due to the terrain and hills this is a challenging and testing event,” said Amanda. “It can also be completed as a relay team with one person running and one cycling, so it makes it more manageable. 

“The mountain bike and cross-country routes make it a unique and picturesque event. Feed back was great from last year’s competitors and this year we are hoping for even more entries.”


For further details see the website at: 


Pavey returns to Glasgow for Great Scottish Run - 4/9/14 


EUROPEAN 10,000m champion Jo Pavey has also confirmed that she will be returning to Glasgow next month to take part in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run half marathon on Sunday October 5th.

The city holds fond memories for the Devon-based runner after winning bronze in the 5000m at the Commonwealth Games and will mark the start of her winter road running campaign.

“It means a lot to me to be coming back to Glasgow and I think it will be quite emotional, especially as the course goes past many of the venues that were used at the Games,” said Pavey.


Lucy links up with Taunton training group - 4/9/14 


BRISTOL & West AC’s  former marathon international Lucy MacAlister has revealed she has linked up with coach Charlotte Fisher’s training group in Taunton.

MacAlister lives on the Somerset/Devon boxer since re-locating back to the west country after several years living inLondon and since the move has been training mostly on her own.

“I have been doing some sessions with Charlotte and her group including some track work and that has been really good for me,” said MacAlister.

“It is nice to train with a few other people and Charlotte has a really good group of young runners there.”

MacAlister has also joined Taunton AC as a second claim member though will continue to race the major events, including the Cheltenham half marathon on Sunday and then forthcoming Bristol half marathon, with Bristol & West AC.


Golden girl Molly soars to the top! - 4/9/14 


THE big west success story of the week was a brilliant gold medal for Molly Caudery in the under 15 girls’ pole vault at the England Athletics Championships - and is hoping there is still more to come this season.

The 14-year-old Redruth School youngster from Illogan not only underlined her huge talent but also showed that she has the temperament for the big occasion as she produced a personal best of 3.30m to lift her first national title at the England Athletics Championships.

Furthermore, Caudery achieved all the with a borrowed pole!

“We met a coach of another girl in the hotel before the competition and he loaned me a stiffer pole which is what I really needed as I am finding mine too soft now,” said Caundery.

“It was a complete gamble but it worked and I am so pleased. That is my best ever result and all the hard training has paid off.”

Caudery, who is coached by her dad Stuart, has in effect out-grown her own poles so that selfless gesture probably made the difference between gold and making the podium as she added three centimetres to her previous best.

But it was still very close in the four-hour competition that started with 21 pole vaulters as both Caudery and Shaye Emmett of Sutton cleared the same height of 3.30m.

“I got the gold as I cleared 3.30m first time and she only made it at the third attempt and we both then failed at 3.40m,” added Caudery.

The England gold will sit nicely alongside her silver from the national indoor championships during last winter and there may yet be further success to come at the English Schools’ Combined Events Championships at the end of the month.


Places still open for west seminar in Exeter - 4/9/14


THERE are a small number of places remaining for the two-day South West Endurance seminar ‘Creation of a Robust Athlete’ next weekend (September 13-14th) at the Devon Hotel, Exeter and for further details see the website at:


Strugglers back Bridget Dohoo memorial race - 4/9/14


THE inaugural Bridget Dohoo Memorial Challenge will take place next Sunday (September 14th) starting at 11am.

The 9.6 miles event, which will start and finish in the mid-Devon village of Lapford, is being organised by South Molton Strugglers to raise money for Hospiscare. Bridget, who was a keen runner, died last year and during her battle with cancer she took part in several races to raise money for charity.

The event also includes a three-mile fun run and junior run which starts at 10am and for further details see the website at: 


Busy week of racing ahead - 4/9/14


THERE is a busy mid-week race programme next week starting with the popular 36th AXA 5 miles road race in both Bristol - near Cribbs Causeway - on Tuesday September 9th (6.30pm) with entries taken on the night as long as the limit hasn’t been reached (

The following night there is a choice between the final race in the Yeovilton 5k series (, the Armada 5k in Plymouth’s Saltram Park ( and the Springfield 5k series in Corsham, Wiltshire (


* Looking further ahead the start time of the Severn AC Autumn 5 miles road race in Gloucester next Saturday (Sept 13th) has been brought forward to 11.30am ( and the 2014/15 Weston Prom 5 miles series gets underway on Thursday September 18th (

Fancy a canter around Cotleigh? - 4/9/14

WEST runners have some interestingchoices on Sunday with the Cotleigh Canter 5k road rae in east Devon (, te Plymouth Coasters 5 miles road ( and in Cornwall the Treggy 7 miles road ( 


NDAC take over cross country league organisation - 28/8/14 

NORTH Devon AC has taken over the organisation of the Gliddon & Squire North Devon Cross Country League.

The league, which opens at Bideford on September 21st, comprises five fixtures and caters for runners aged under 9 up to seniors and veterans. All meetings start at 9am.

“If you are in the area or looking for another race do feel free to join in the fun,” said spokesman Mark Brace.

For further details see the event website at: or email Brace at:

Fixture list: Sunday 21st September 2014: Kingsley School, Bideford; Sunday 12th October: West Buckland School; Sunday 16th November 2014: Shebbear College; Sunday 30th November 2014: Arlington Court; Sunday 11th January 2015: West Buckland School.


Ultra ace Holly stars in Sweden - 28/8/14