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Ed Prickett Race Report 2017

Ed Prickett Memorial Relays 2017

 

The 13th annual Ed Prickett Memorial Relay took place on Saturday the 18th of March at the University of Nottingham. The University of Nottingham Athletics Club (UoNAC) hosts the event every year in memory of former UoNAC athlete Ed Prickett, who was sadly killed in a road traffic accident whilst at the British Universities Track Championships. Half the proceeds from the event are donated to the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund (RPMF) – a charity Ed Prickett benefitted from – and despite soggy conditions, with impressive 165 runners turned up to support the cause.

 

We had teams travel from all over the country with university clubs which included Birmingham, Loughborough, Keele, coupled with many running clubs attending, Sheffield Running Club, Reigate Priory AC, Notfast AC, Pierrepont AC, Beeston AC, The Running Wilbury’s, Crawley AC, Mansfield Harriers, IMS and Mixed Teams, and our Alumni teams who supported us. All runners steadfastly started off in their respective teams undeterred by the soggy weather conditions, holding their pace throughout to produce some cracking times.

 

Birmingham A team won the men’s race (4 legs), finishing in an impressive 45:39. This was followed by Loughborough A team and Keele A team who ran equally impressive totals of 47:25 and 48:03 respectively. The Nottingham A team narrowly missed out on first place in this year’s women’s race (3 legs) with a total of 43:04, just 6 seconds behind Loughborough A team who once again won with a fantastic total of 42:58. In third place, we had Nottingham C team, who finished the course in 47:33. Team Mungai came first in the inter-mural sport (IMS) category with a time of 61:08, and in the mixed team category, we had Stuart’s Dream Team who finished in 59:15.

 

Unfortunately, the already tough course was altered once again this year due to construction around Highfields Park at University Park Campus, bringing the distance up to a gruelling 2:37 miles. The racing had a longer run along University Boulevard, moving on to the gruelling Portland Hill followed by the trepidation of striding up the Keighton Hill and this was not without some punchy steps taken, before embarking on the sprint finish on the Downs, however, were kept as a traditional part of the relays.

 

With all the teams, having run brilliant times all round, the individuals to run the fastest legs were Jonny Davies of Birmingham A team who finished in 11:05. Our very own Chloe Bird of Nottingham AC women’s X team who finished with an impressive performance of 14:08 time.  Shortly followed with a fastmoving performance from Hannah Novakovic in women’s Y team with a time of 14:23 and speedy stepping behind in the women’s Z team, Megan Gildea who performed a time of 14:33.

 

The next remarkable run took place with the Nottingham AC C men’s team, Tom McGuinness who performed an outstanding time of 11:19.  In the men’s, A team, our own running legend, Jack Millar performed an amazing time of 11:39 and tailing next in the men’s AC B team, speedy Adam Houchell grabbing an impressive time of 12:25.  Shortly followed by another group of fast paced men, who held no punches, to dazzle on the running circuit: Rob Middlewick: 12:55, Bruce Beckett: 12:56, Jack Alison: 13:00, Will Morris: 13:03, and Dan Leng: 13:04, delivered a solid performance for their respective teams.

 

Overall, on the university platform, the University of Nottingham AC men and women teams did not disappoint or let the wet and muggy weather conditions hold them back by navigating themselves through the race route, with steam coming off their running shoes before hitting a penultimate finish.  Despite this, very impressive, performances produced across the board.

 

Mr Prickett presenting the Ed Prickett trophy to Jonny Davies for winning the first position

johnny davies ed p

 

 

Allan Wilson and Rea Steinberger, Home Fixtures, pictured with Mr and Mrs Prickett.rea allan ed p

 

A massive thank you to the numerous people who helped organise the event, making this an amazing and successful event, especially to Mr and Mrs Prickett for supplying us with the medals awarded to the fastest male and female. Thank you also to everyone else for attending despite it coming down in buckets all day! Next years Ed Prickett Relays will be organised by a new “Home Fixtures team” Kelvin Leong and Chris Fielding, we wish good luck and every success to them both for an enjoyable relay race day in 2018.

 

We hope everyone had a wonderful day.

 

Allan and Rea

Home Fixtures

 

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Long Eaton Parkrun

 

Long Eaton Parkrun
01/04/17

Known to be a flat and fast 5k, the Long Eaton Parkrun was added to our race schedule at the start of this term. A large contingent of 20 University of Nottingham athletes attended this inaugural fixture and with over 10 PB’s the event was a big success.

Having led from the front Jack Millar stormed around the course in a time of 15.37. Although this time didn’t qualify Jack for the BUCS 5k, it was another impressive performance for our president who had been aptly paced by Aki Kitagawa for the first few kilometres. Tom McGuinness also had a strong run and followed just 20 seconds behind in second place.

With our first two athletes, comfortably up the road it was left to Daniel Leng to round up the top three University athletes. Despite claiming he had finished in under 17 minutes on Strava, the Parkrun results dubiously suggested otherwise and Daniel was left with a time of 17 minutes’ dead and a new 5k PB! Chris Fielding then added to this list of official 5k PB’s by finishing 10th in a time of 17.40. This time is made all the more impressive given that Chris was taken out by a dog during the parkrun. The tide of PB’s continued to arrive with Callum Duck’s storming performance which saw him finish just under 18 minutes in a time of 17.57. Daniel Nash backed this up with another PB of 18.35, which is almost 2 minutes quicker than his previous PB!

Next up were our vice president elect and president elect battling it out to be first lady to cross the line. Megan Gildea went past Katie Buckingham to finish in a time of 19.17 although Katie was only three seconds behind! This also meant that there were another two PB’s and that the PB tidal surge was now turning into a PB tsunami.

Having not done a race over 1500m for four years, Makun Madar finished as the first track and field athlete in a time of 19.29. This was yet another PB and Makun was closely followed by Kelvin Leong in a time of 19.38. Needless to say, this was yet another very impressive personal best. Next up, Lottie Richardson just missed out on a sub 20 minute 5k in a time of 20.01. This was Lottie’s quickest time ever and means she has knocked off 4 minutes from her 5k time at the start of the university year! Vincent Ly also just missed out on a sub 20 5k, having been effectively paced around by Adam Thorpe up until the 3k point and PB’d in a time of 20.07. Beth Neal followed Vincent but was just short of her own personal best of 19.58, finishing in a time of 20.16. Only two seconds behind, a hugely improved Michael Gaynor did manage to PB and stopped his clock at 20.18. Sam Towell and Harry Ellis also completed the course in personal record times of 20.26 and 20.39. Allan Wilson also managed to sneak under 21 minutes in a time of 20.50 and was the 14th athlete of the day to run a personal best.

Emily Starman and Dayanah Ahmad rounded up a memorable morning by finishing in 24.04 and 25.12 respectively. This was Dayanah’s fastest 5k and Emily only just missed out on finishing in the top 100! With 14/17 finishers running their own PB’s that means that there was an 82.3% PB rate which is double what the British Milers Club claims to achieve at their races. Thanks to everyone that came for what felt like a very worthwhile morning. We may even do it all over again next term!


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*BUCS XC Race Report* 4th Feb 2017

After many months of ‘building’, the day had finally arrived. An enormous 59 of us travelled to Sheffield for the British University Cross Country Championships in Graves Park and what a course they had in store for us. Hills, hay bales and plenty of mud were the order of the day for the 1991 competitors. After a final pep talk from Coach Lisgo, with the key message to ‘not get drawn in’ being deeply emphasised we watched on as the Men’s A race burst into life.
Following a superb run out in Spain prior to the event, an aspirational Sam Stevens positioned himself at the head of the pack with Adam Houchell sitting on his shoulder. The downhill start meant a vicious pace over the first kilometre but when the gradient reversed we began to see packs begin to form. The top 10 containing Sam forged a small gap to the rest of the field, but not far behind Jack Millar and Tom McGuinness had grouped up with Adam. The punishing course began to take its toll with athletes continually shifting positions based on how well they had paced their effort. Aki the master of this art continued to sift his way through the field picking up well over 50 places to draw level with Jack and they ploughed on together, neither willing to accept one was better than the other in what was their first race together. The vehement competition between one another made for an exhilarating watch, with Millar’s face etched with grit, pain and determination and Aki’s pure focus. These two were not without challenge though as Tom reeled them in on every hill, showing his prowess from his fell running days. Nathan too had provided a strong run, forcing his way up towards Adam, setting the stage for many epic final lap battles. It was hard to judge just how well our team was doing overall, but it looked like we might just get our four scorers home within 60.
Thanks to some of the greatest support our athletes have ever received they continued their assault on the final lap of the course. Was it still too early to consider that BUCS points were realistic? Tom tenaciously battled through to pick up some crucial final positions. Stevens 15th, Kitagawa 34th, Millar 43rd, McGuinness 50th; was it enough? Either way, with all 6 athletes coming home in around the first hundred athletes it would be without a doubt one of the greatest performances from a Nottingham team in many a year…

The women’s race had reason to keep you on the edge of your seat too. In what was the largest race of the day it was always going to be quite a spectacle and with our girls covered in war paint they were ready for the challenge. Yet again we had a strong team and with no set A team runners in the women’s event anybody could step it up on the day to score for the team. Hannah Novakovic looked serene as she set the early pace for our team, closely followed by Kiri Marsh and Alice Reed. The first lap was a logjam with no athletes able to make any real inroads on those ahead, but as the hills started coming thick and fast we saw some movement.
After a fierce fight at Wollaton, Amber Reed and Megan Gildea looked set for a repeat with neither gaining any real advantage over the opening kilometres. Megan gradually distanced herself as the race went with on, showing her recent consistency. The biggest surprise came from behind though with Charlotte Richardson running incredibly strongly. Seemingly thriving in this previously unfamiliar territory she continued climbing through the field, setting up for her best performance of the season. The terrain provided a stern test for the athletes as conditions worsened throughout the race but our eventual scorers packed well with Alice pacing her effort best to come home in 80th, closely followed by Hannah in 87th and Kiri in 91st, all finishing within 20 seconds of each other. A very strong showing from a team plagued with injuries, but showing off the depth of our team extremely well. It was nice to see some true green and gold spirit too as Kate Backhouse, Issie Forrest and debutant Michelle Ruas crossed the line arm in arm.

The Men’s B race epitomised what BUCS cross country is about, with war cries and mocking chants from all teams, it was more like a battlefield than a start line. The eruption of noise as the gun went was enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. Similar to the women’s race there was a bottleneck at the first corner, so getting a swift start was vital and our lads all seemed to get away reasonably well. Having continually delivered on the university circuit this year, Dylan Stanway stuck on Adam Thorpe’s shoulder for the first lap, eventually settling back with Rob Middlewick who was in a rich vein of form, despite injury. The pace was strong even with the deterioration of the course and most people managed to successfully negotiate a particularly muddy ditch, with just one or two exceptions…
After such a big lead up to the event, none of the athletes wanted to be beaten by their teammates and from the many rivalries that are ridden throughout the team, Dan Leng, Bruce Beckett and Lewis Fagge were in a tight contest of their own. Come the finish Dan Leng narrowly maintained his lead to beat Bruce by just one place in 147th and 148th respectively. Fortunate really, as it meant no trees came to harm post-race. The hay bales proved a welcome addition to the course too, giving something to look forward to each lap, especially for the likes of steeplechaser Dan Cresswell. Starting more aggressively than we’ve seen before Ewan McLachlan targeted Chris Fielding and was rewarded with a noticeable improvement on Wollaton and one of his best runs to date. Overall the team performed supremely, finishing much higher than last year with Adam 53rd, Rob 96th, Dylan 103nd and Will Morris 107th.

After a painful wait and watching Jack Millar constantly trying to work out whereabouts we might have come, the scores finally came through. Our men’s team had come 5th! BUCS points! A terrific and immensely relieving result and a true showing of what Nottingham Athletics Club has really become. This just topped off a cracking weekend with such tremendous success thanks to all our athletes putting on a fine display. To celebrate everyone’s endeavours we had a lovely squad meal, followed by a night out in Sheffield. It was a pleasure to be a part of such a fantastic team and to have made such a good trip of the championships. It really wouldn’t have been the same without you all! Can’t wait till next year now… How long till then again?
XC Love – Adam & Dan


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North Midlands Cross Country League: Fixture 4 Wollaton Park: 14th January

 

With BUCS Cross Country looming large the final instalment of the North Midlands Cross Country League was always going to provide for an interesting watch. This race provided the final measure of performance for all athletes wanting to run in the famous green & gold vests before the biggest university race of the year.

In good conditions, six University of Nottingham athletes lined up for the start of the women’s race. Having finished as the second University of Nottingham athlete at the Derby and Kettering races, Amber Reed looked to go one better by leading the University home on a familiar course. However, Megan Gildea provided another improved run and both athletes were neck and neck going into the final one hundred meters. In a Korir-esque sprint (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/38545205

) Megan strode ahead of Amber to finish 18th in a time of 24.28 whilst Amber finished three seconds behind in 20th place. Outside of the individual battles, Hannah Fleet rounded up the women’s team performance by finishing 30th in a time of 25.40. This meant that the women’s team finished a notable 4th for the Wollaton Park fixture.

However, the impressive performances didn’t end there. Charlotte Richardson finished 38 places higher than she did in the first North Midlands fixture in a time of 25.52 (37th). Hayley Mills, in her first North Midlands race, just missed out on a top 50 finish finishing 53rd in a time of 26.44. Fiona Starkie rounded off a good race by finishing 61st in a time of 27.14.

With the women’s race wrapped up, the 16 Nottingham University athletes amassed at the starting line for the men’s race. However, for this race there was an added dynamic. Three places were available for the Universities ‘A’ team at BUCS Cross Country. As it turned out, some athletes thrived and others took a distinct nose dive in the face of this opportunity.

With most athletes getting involved in a borderline sprint for the first 400 meters, Aki Kitagawa ran a controlled race pulling past the initial front runner Adam Houchell. In fact, despite being outside the top 20 for the first half a mile Aki pulled his way through the field to finish 3rd in a time of 34.54. A textbook run meant that the Aki effectively guaranteed his spot in the men’s ‘A’ race for BUCS Cross Country. Having headed the University runners for the first mile or so, Adam Houchell also held up well and whilst he couldn’t hold onto Aki, he stayed well clear of the rest of his teammates. Adam finished 12th in a time of 36.33 and now looks good for the BUCS A race. Finally, first year runner Nathan Gibson managed to finish as the third-place University runner with a time of 37.04 (18th) which puts him in pole position to take that final spot in the BUCS ‘A’ race.

Of the other performances that stood out, Robert Middlewick provided yet another impressive performance to finish 32nd in a time of 37.58. Rounding up the impressive second place team finish for the Universities men’s team Will Morris finished 41st in a time of 38.18. Bruce Beckett (46th), George Russell (60th), Daniel Cresswell (63rd),Sam Broomhead and Will Bloomer (94th) all also provided outstanding runs in a good field to finish top one hundred. Conor Vale (129th), Ewan McLachlan (131st), Allan Wilson (195th) and Michael Gaynor (222) capped off a good season of North Midlands races.

And yes, there were sixteen athletes who started the race not fourteen. Unfortunately, Adam Thorpe who had been going toe to toe with Nathan for the third spot in the BUCS ‘A’ race was unfortunate to roll his ankle going into the final kilometre. This forced him to drop out. I also dropped out.

Our final finish to the North Midlands Cross Country season was a good one and added another podium finish to the first two provided by Jack Millar at the Derby and Kettering races. Things are looking good for BUCS Cross Country in two weeks’ time!


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Leeds University Cross Country Relays Race Report 3/12/16

 

The culmination of hard work over the autumn semester had come to this; Leeds Cross Country Relays. We took a 25 strong team up to West Park, a change of venue to previous years. The new course presented a challenging test for all athletes with a mix of light gradients, muddy sections and a very distracting social sec wielding a megaphone.
A small but stacked women’s field toed the line to contest the first race and an alarming pace was set from the moment the gun went. A group of four containing our very own winner from Holme Pierrepont Hannah Novakovic began to break clear in the early stages, with Beth Neal and Emily Starman in pursuit. Sadly the early pace took its toll as Hannah faded in the latter stages to finish 8th but still posted an extremely swift 12.39, with Beth and Emily following home in 19th and 23rd with times of 14.02 and 14.28 respectively. Taking over from Hannah, the ever consistent Kiri Marsh picked up a place to finish in 13.01 and handed to Megan Gildea to bring it home. A superb leg of 12.48 meant picking up one final place to bring the team home in 6th and demonstrate our strength in depth with what was an entirely different A team to that of Manchester Relays. Strong runs and a tremendous hobble from everyone’s favourite VP Katie meant our other women’s teams both pulled through the field throughout the race finishing 16th and 21st.
Off the back of a stellar performance at Manchester, Jack Millar led our men’s team from the front again. A well-judged start led to him picking up places later in the race, bringing him to the front of the pack. With his eyes lighting up with the success which might ultimately befall him, he had a slip even Steven Gerrard would be proud of, as he tumbled to the floor on a muddy section of the course. Definitely nothing to do with ruckus generated by Jack Allison and his new favourite toy… Rushing to get back up again, Millar slipped once more on the ice-rink like surface, sadly costing precious time and much momentum. Despite this he soldiered on to record a thoroughly impressive time of 10.04, finishing 10th, but it was certainly an opportunity that went awry. Tom McGuinness quickly put us back in our rightful place as he swiftly ate up the miles to put us back into 6th with a run of 10.16. Nathan Gibson then held his position well against many competitive runners behind, holding 6th with a 10.42 but unfortunately it was not a position we could quite maintain as we dropped back into 9th place by the finish, with just a few valuable seconds costing us, despite Adam Thorpe running 10.40.
First leg was tightly contested between our second and third teams, with Dylan Stanway leading out Will Patterson for the whole race. However a late charge from Will resulted in him coming home just 2 seconds ahead with a brilliant 11.00. A particularly classy run came from Rob Middlewick, running 11.05 helping our B team to finish 28th overall and a strong debut by Joe McLeod also rewarded him with a fast time of just 11.42. Alex Gardner took full inspiration from our president Jack Millar when it came to how to deliver the complete performance and not only crossed the line in a quick time of 12.34, but also with a rather muddy right leg.
I greatly appreciate everybody’s efforts on the day, particularly Jack Allison and Adam Houchell for their brilliant supportive techniques. It was yet another fantastic event and a great way to end the term, but now we must build. BUCS Cross Country is on the horizon.


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East Midlands Cross Country Report

 

On the 27th of November 22 University of Nottingham Cross Country runners descended upon Holme Pierrepont Nature Reserve for the first fixture of the East Midlands Cross Country League.

At 11.00 am the men’s and ladies race set out on a tight and twisting course. A strong Nottingham University ladies team was comfortably led home by debutant Hannah Novakovic who led the race from the start to finish. Hannah extended her lead to over a minute by the finish, providing the first, 1st place finish at any cross country this year for the University of Nottingham. Katherine Owen followed this up by only narrowly missing out on a podium finish to place 4th in her first race for the university this season. If the East Midlands League was hoping for a competitive team competition they were soon to be disappointed. Alexandra Ridge finished 6th in another strong performance to back up Manchester Relays and provide the final counter for the winning ladies team.

Not far behind the first three, veteran runners Hannah Fleet, Alice Hughes and Beth Neal all produced strong runs to finish 9th, 10th and 11th respectively. Their consecutive finishes meant that our second team finished third in the overall ladies’ team standings. An ever improving Charlotte Richardson followed close by in 14th with another good performance. Fiona Starkie then wrapped up a tremendous ladies’ race finishing 32nd on her debut race.

Not to be outdone by the dominant ladies’ team performances, XC Captain Adam Thorpe produced a tremendous tempo run (seems to be popular amongst XC Captains!) to win the men’s race. Adam was the only sub 30-minute runner on the 8k course and finished in 29.57 and on his return from injury is looking very strong. Only nine seconds behind Adam, Jack Crabtree’s former training partner Dylan Stanway produced an impressive performance to make it a Nottingham University 1-2. Complementing our first two counters, Rob Middlewick and debutant Ben Ashby finished 5th and 9th respectively. This meant for the first time this year the UON’s men team finished first in the team event.

Not too far behind, club Treasurer Will Morris (12th) led in the second team alongside debutant Lewis Fagge (11th), Ewan McLachlan (18th) and Matt Simpson (42nd). All raced very well and Ewan described is as ‘probably the best cross country race that I’ve ever done’*. An injured Greg Wright was the first finisher for the third team and debutants Chris Thompson (59th), Miran Faily (68th) and Alex Gardener all provided notable performances. This was wrapped up by another debutant Kelvin Leong (93rd), Allan Wilson (106th) and Michael Gaynor (112th )who’s good races ensured we ended the day on a high.

Thanks to everyone who came along to a great day with some superb performances. Next up is/was Leeds!

*It’s on Strava