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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

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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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*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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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


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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?


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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!


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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.


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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!

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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.