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.


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

Wicksteed Park: Race Report 12/11/16


For the second instalment of the North Midlands Cross Country we headed to Wicksteed Park in Kettering.

In wet conditions the women’s race set off following a one-minute silence for the two Aldershot girls and a former official of the North Midlands League. In a repeat of the Derby Race, Amber Reed provided another fast start and was closely marshalled by Chloe Bird who managed to pull ahead of Amber to finish 7th. Amber finished twenty seconds behind in 10th place and both remain as first and second counters for Nottingham University. Following in behind Amber and Chloe, Megan Gildea produced an indefatigable run to finish 14th. The combined efforts of the women’s team meant they finished second on the day, only losing to Notts AC on countback. Our next two finishers, Emily Starman and Charlotte Richardson both showed substantial improvements in their placings compared to the Derby race. Emily finished 43rd and Charlotte finished 50th. That is an 11 place and a 25 place improvement respectively!

For the men’s race we welcomed some debutants to the cross country scene. Calum Duck, Chris Fielding, Rob Middlewick and Chris James all turned out for the first time but our heartless president Jack Millar showed no mercy by speeding off into the front pack almost instantly. Unlike our last League race, Tom McGuinness chose not to take on Jack and provided a more reserved start. Millar was rewarded with a second place finish meaning he continues his run on the podium. Tom followed closely behind in sixth with another strong run.

Third counter for the University was Daniel Leng. A decent 67 second final 400 meters meant that he finished in 32 place. However, not too far behind Rob Middlewick produced a tremendous debut run. Rob had persistently stuck with Daniel throughout the race and had only slightly dropped off towards the finish meaning he completed the course in 38th place. Chris Fielding also provided another eye catching debut performance outsprinting Beeston AC’s fell running champion and fellow university runner George Russell to finish 61st. Calum Duck was also not too far behind in 68th place and rounding off the debut performances was Chris James finishing in the top half of the field in 90th place. Allan Wilson and Matthew Grammatico then concluded an impressive team third place for the men by finishing 151st and 153rd respectively.

Kettering provided yet another great team performance and some outstanding individual performances. Who’s ready for East Mids XC?

50th Annual University of Manchester Relays Race Report


The 2016 relay season commenced on the 22nd October with the much anticipated Manchester Relays, at Wythenshawe Sports Ground. In one of the largest turnouts in years, a cohort of 30 of our finest athletes made the journey up north to take on some of the country’s best university teams, in a performance we hoped would be a clear sign of our club’s growth and prominence on the national race circuit.
The relays began with the men’s race and Jack Millar led off our A team in true presidential fashion. Jack made the most of the optimal conditions, as he smashed his own 3k track pb, in the process clocking the 14th fastest leg of the relays in 8.46. Among the fresher’s, making the A team, was Dylan Stanway, and backing up his impressive run from Markeaton Park kept us in contention with a time of 9.42. He handed over to another new boy Sam Stevens, who proved a night out need not be a reason for a lacklustre performance, as he stormed through the field, in what was the fastest performance by any fresher at the relays, in a time of 8.37. This brought us up to 4th, very closely following Leeds and Bristol’s Alumni team. It was Nathan Gibson who was tasked with the unenviable job of holding this position on a highly contested leg, but he did just that with his run of 9.15. The pressure was building as the finish neared and Aki Kitagawa gave Jack Allison a handsome position to work on after his leg of 9.04. As Jack entered the final field there was a matter of seconds to our nearest rivals and in an epic final few hundred metres, he managed to hold off a Birmingham runner to secure 5th team home. A mark to be proud of and a statement of our improvement from finishing 23rd the previous year.
Our men’s B team put on a good performance too. This was comprised of a large proportion of Dave’s Warriors and everyone’s favourite alumni, Alex Bradford- they brought the team home in 24th. There were some outstanding runs from Will Patterson (10.01) and Dan Cresswell (9.38), between them they showed that injuries are not always enough to hold back a quality runner- great want was shown from all members of our squad.
Moreover, there were positive performances all round and it was particularly pleasing to see the progress certain athletes had made. Matt Simpson led off the C’s on what has been a much delayed return from injury and he didn’t disappoint with his run of 10.49. Backed up well by his team, they finished a respectable 48th.
Starting five minutes after the men, the women stamped their mark on the race. We had 5 women’s teams demonstrating the magnitude of our strength in depth and with several new runners it was always going to spring some interesting results. In her university debut, Lori Marshall, set the pace delivering a sterling performance, running 11 seconds clear of the field in a time of 9.51, and despite the later start time, she was entering the final field moments after some of the men’s race were starting their second legs. Capitalising on this storming run, Amber Reed set to work on increasing our lead and after employing some devious, yet fair to say accidental tactics by means of a slight corner cut, handed over to Chloe Bird in the lead. A gutsy run of 11.00, sadly wasn’t enough to hold off two very strong runners but not many teams can give Birmingham a scare and I think it’s safe to say we did! A very well deserved medal finishing well ahead of 4th even after the time penalty incurred.
An additional, very solid performance, was from the B team, which brought them a well-deserved 16th place, as all three of Kiri Marsh, Megan Gildea and Katie Buckingham delivered on the day. However in a testament to the depth of our squad, it was the E team who stole the show. Alexandra Ridge switched it on in the second half of the race to run an impressive 12.06, only to pass on to Jo Helme who gave her own performance to remember, running 12.02. After just 3 minutes rest from her first leg, Amber built upon her teammate’s fantastic work with another fine run of 11.43, cementing what was certainly the team performance of the day in 23rd.
The entire girl’s contingent certainly take home the plaudits with all 5 teams finishing in the top 32 from a field of 61. Now, with Leeds relays on the horizon, I’m eager to see who else steps up to the plate. Let this be but a stepping stone on our conquest to university domination!

Markeaton Park Race Report – 15th October 2016


After a solid finish to last years track season, the University of Nottingham distance squad headed off to Markeaton Park in Derby to get their Cross Country season underway. The ladies race was 6k and the men’s race 9.8k.

First lady home was Chloe Bird who finished the course in an impressive time 26.38. Despite having been led by debutant Amber Reed round the first lap Chloe managed to pull ahead, finishing 8th, three places ahead of Amber in 11th. The final counter was another debutant Kiri Marsh (19th) who consistently held her placing ensuring that Nottingham University had three runners in the top 20. This meant that the senior ladies team finished second only behind Nottingham AC in the overall team rankings.

A little behind the first battle of the day had started between Megan Gildea and Katie Buckingham Megan led Katie the whole way round until the second and final lap where the two drew level. Despite Katie’s hard work, Megan doggedly pressed ahead in the last few hundred meters and managed to finish five seconds ahead of Katie. They finished 29th and 30th respectively. Beth Neal backed them up having run through the field to finish in 41st place. The final Nottingham University runners were debutants Emily Starman(54th) and Charlotte Richardson (75th). Both produced impressive runs, finishing in the top half of the field and looked at home in a strong field. Finally, the best run from a Nottingham University student was Lori Marshall who finished a strong second running for Nottingham AC.

In the men’s race debutant Tom McGuinness set out to shock club President Jack Millar by storming into second place immediately. Whilst grinning, Jack set about catching Tom which he did so so by the end of the first lap, however it wasn’t until the second lap that Jack finally started to pull away. Despite the club infighting Jack managed to finish the race in a memorable third place in just 32.30. Tom was 42 seconds behind and finished in sixth place.

In last years race Jack had led Nottingham University home in 29th place so the improved depth of the men’s team this year was highlighted by Matteo Gala and Dylan Stanway finishing 26th and 29th respectively. Dylan had led Matteo most of the way but Matteo managed to catch him on the third lap and pulled ahead of Dylan in time for the finish. Both Matteo and Dylan were debutants but our final counter was returner and club treasurer Will Morris. Despite a cold he produced a strong run finishing in 45th. Behind Will, another battle had developed between Greg Wright and Bruce Beckett. Despite a solid performance at Wednesday nights social Bruce couldn’t hang on to Greg (62) who outkicked Bruce (63rd) in the final few hundred meters of the race.

Having last been seen on the first lap telling spectators he had ‘lost his shin’ Jack Allison then emerged chatting to Daniel Cresswell. The two ran alongside each other until the finish where Jack (82) outkicked Dan (83rd) in a short sprint.

Our final four runners included a sick George Russell (115th), a fatigued Ewan McLachlan (127th) who raced on Saturday, Conor Vale (149th) who was constantly moving through the field throughout the race and a much improved Allan Wilson (203rd). After seeing the men’s and women’s team today at Derby I really, really can’t wait for BUCS.

Welcome Relays 2016 – Race Report

As per tradition the annual Welcome Relays took place on the Saturday 8th of October in Wollaton Park, a friendly race around the lake where newcomers to the club could get to know each other. We had a fantastic turnout of 41 superb athletes sorted into 11 teams of 4 – the keenest of which ran 2 laps instead of one.

It was a wonderful autumn afternoon offering optimal running conditions – on the other hand the general public thought so too, meaning some unlucky runners had to deviate from the path to avoid hitting people! Despite that every single person ran around the 1.85k loop in impressive time undeterred by the hill up to Wollaton Hall. Exciting times ahead for UoN AC athletes, a massive well done to everyone who competed!


Team M finished 1st with a brilliant time of 26 minutes and 33 seconds, followed by teams F and K which had overall times of 27:32 and 28:01 respectively. The fastest lap was run in 5 minutes and 41 seconds by newcomer Sam Stevens, followed closely by our very own president Jack Millar who ran the lap in 5:42. Newcomer Tom McGuinness also finished the lap in under 6 minutes with a time of 5:51. Among the females newcomer Hannah Novakovic ran the fastest lap in a fantastic 6 minutes and 54 seconds. As part of the winning team newcomer Kiri Marsh ran the second fastest lap in nimble 7 minutes and 16 seconds, followed by our Vice President Katie Buckingham with a time of 7 minutes and 32 seconds.

After a collective cool down prizes where awarded and everyone headed to mooch for a well deserved meal and drinks – a fool proof way to end the day after all that intense running!

Extending a thank you to an incredibly supportive committee and their family members the event ran smoothly and we even ended up with a collection of delightful pictures, capturing super running styles, which can be viewed on out Instagram and on Facebook. Full results can be found on our Facebook page.

BUCS Outdoors 2016 – Race Report

BUCS Outdoors was great end to the year for UoN Athletics, with great performances all round, amazing support and lovely weather. The event saw a massive team of 25 athletes turn out to compete, and despite the early Saturday start the energy and enthusiasm of our athletes never dropped throughout the three days.

There were some amazing performances across both track and field events, and despite the extremely tough competition we had several finalists deserving of a special mention:

– Aubree Peipmeier 5th place in 5000m finals

– Beth Mortiboy 4th place in Triple Jump

– Gavin Lock, Pierre Walker, Makun Madar and Adam Thorpe in the 4×400 relay final

– Nick Lawrence, Pierre Walker, Olu Ogunseitan and Seb Mathewson who would’ve finished 6th in the 4×100 relay final, despite an unfortunate DQ it was a great performance.

bucs outdoors

Also massive congratulations to everyone who competed:

Olumide Ogunseitan, Pierre Walker, Makun Madar, Gavin Lock, Adam Thorpe, Jack Allison, Adam Houchell, Alex Zinal Bradford, Jack Millar, Seb Mathewson, Harry Ellis,
Nick Lawrence.
Grace Elvin, Ailsa Malcolm, Katie Buckingham, Katie Clubb, Victoria Reeves, Charlotte Sadler, Megan Gildea, Aubree Piepmeier, Donelle Arulanandam, Beth Mortiboy, Chloe Bird.

There were amazing performances from everyone and overall a great weekend!

Ed Pricketts 2016 – Race Report

Little bit late with this one, sorry everyone! – Dan

On the 5th March 2016, the University of Nottingham Athletics Club (UoN AC) hosted the 12th annual Ed Prickett relays to raise funds for the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund (RPMF), raising £150 in total. This race is a memorial to the University of Nottingham athlete Ed Prickett who was sadly killed in a road traffic accident whist at the British Universities Tack Championships.

This race is renowned for being a tough course, with the dreaded Keighton Hill towards the end of the run. Sadly the race route was altered this year, due to works around the lake but this did not seem to put off athletes with over 170 runners and 51 teams this was another successful year for the University’s Athletics club. Teams came from all around the country with university teams which included Durham, Birmingham and Loughborough.

There were some fantastic times throughout the day! The fastest male runner “Jack Hallas” of Hurricane Heroes, completed the course in a time of 9 minutes 32. In the female race we had joint winners with Jo Hickman-Dunn and Chloe Richardson both from Loughborough A, completing the course in 11 minutes 21 seconds. Our own members performed excellent as well, special mention goes to Josh Bull who was the 6th placed male and completed the course in a time of 9:46 and also to Maddie Garner who finished as the 9th female with a time of 12:39.

Loughborough performed brilliantly throughout the day winning both the male and the female team races, with their first teams finishing in times of 39:17 (4 legs) and 34:32 (3 legs) respectively. UoN Triathlon A came first in the inter-mural sport (IMS) category with a time of 46:32. In the mixed team category Team Ellen came first in a time of 47:58.

We would like to thank everyone for attending; we hope that everyone enjoyed the race as much as we enjoyed organising it. A new “Home Fixtures” team consisting of Allan Wilson and Rea Steinberger will now have the responsibility of organising the next Ed Prickett Relays, we wish them the best of luck and an even better day next year!

Hope everybody enjoyed the day!

Charlie Morris and Emily Woodford

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Emily & Charlie with Peter & Sarah Prickett