Double delight for Salisbury track athletes

Fielding a tiny team of just three men and five women, City of Salisbury contested the final fixture of the Southern Athletics League at Par near St Austell in Cornwall with such gusto they even saw off a much larger squad from their fierce rivals Swindon.

Club treasurer Alan Munro, normally confined to a club coaching role, produced extraordinary results by running the 100, 200 and 400m sprints as well as scoring vital further points in both the pole vault and high jump.

Andy Holme and Andrew Daniell joined the fray with Munro to cover almost every men’s event between them, winning one after another.

With Catherine Goddard and Laura Simpson dominating the throws and Tasha Mundell, Emma Clarke and Alex Mundell excelling on the track and the jumping events, team spirit prevailed.

Next day in the South West championships at Exeter, success continued.

Emma Clarke took gold in the steeplechase and bronze in the 800m, Alex Mundell took gold in the 800m and silver in the 400m, and Molly Hole took gold in the under 15’s shot put.

A silver medal went to Tash Mundell in the under 17’s steeplechase and bronze went to both Skye Allen in the under 17’s 100m and Georgia Clarke in the under 15’s shot put.

For the men, Andy Holme was gold medallist in the steeplechase, Greg Herring took gold in the under 15’s 800m, with silvers going to Josh Hole in both the under 17’s shot and 400m, and silver to Henry Dix in the under 17’s steeplechase.

On the road, Nick Hudson returned to competition after a four month enforced absence due to injury and at the Trowbridge 10k was pleased to run a solid 48min 59sec.

At Salisbury parkrun, star turn of the day among a field of 440 was the club’s Joanne Bailey who was fastest female with an outstanding pb run of 20min 53sec, scoring an age group rating of over 86 per cent.

Lee Syrett was quickest overall in a time of 18.01, Christopher Melville taking second with 18.02.


Salisbury runners in numbers at 5-4-3-2-1

One of the area’s best-loved trail running fixtures of the year, the Salisbury scenic ‘5-4-3-2-1’ features the cathedral, two castles, three country estates, four hills and five rivers along the way to encourage the large entry that on Sunday included 35 from the city’s Athletics and Running Club.

Over the 21k half marathon distance, Sarah Kemp was second in her age category and fourth female with a good run of 1hour 50min 12sec, and she was closely followed by Jo-Anne Gready in 1.55.31 and newcomer Yvette Emmerson 1.59.46.

Then came Heather Hitchins 2.6.32, Matt Bellerby 2.11.59, Paul Woodhouse 2.21.32, Denise von Roretz 2.32.21, Elly Mills 2.32.53, Norbert Weber 2.48.56 and James and Paula Phillips 3.55.00.

Phil Smith was the club’s best of those completing the full 42k marathon in 4.06.44 despite recent injury, and next came Jon Greenhalgh 4.15.34, Charlotte Boardman 5.01.31, Chrissy Gorham 5.29.34 and Jef Hutchby 6.37.30.

On the 33k course, Katie Sloane did well to take first place in her age category and second female overall, crossing the line in 2.47.35.

Then came Nick Cooke, second in age group with 2.51.40, Craig Murphy 3.18.45, Steve Mitchell 3.18.47, Richard Larcombe 3.27.06, Linda Robson 3.45.49 and second in her category, Mel Murphy 3.46.15, Kathryn Dreyer and Jeanette Hardiman 4.53.03 and Will Witt 4.57.21.

The ultra marathon 50k event saw James Mills take a well-earned seventh spot in 4.07.55. He was followed by Phil Perry in 5.09.04, James Ballard 5.22.53, James Welsh 5.37.37, Liz Roberts 5.57.46, Peter Manning 6.28.18, Di Cross 6.37.57, John Sowray 7.17.29 for first in his age group and Marie Manning 10.50.45.


Double tops for Holloway and Thom at Dorset half marathon

City of Salisbury’s Stuart Holloway and Ruth Thom had double cause for celebration at the tough Dorset Invader off-road half marathon near Blandford Forum when they both took first place.

On an over-length 14.5mile hilly course and with around 500 competitors to beat, Holloway went one better than his several runner-up spots of late to notch a resounding win in 1hour 31min 10sec, more than half a minute clear of his nearest challenger.

Ruth Thom matched that success by crossing the line as first female finisher to crown her consistently good form,  a full five minutes ahead of Lordshill’s Sarah Winstone in second. Thom earned an excellent 11th place overall in 1.51.02.

Sarah Kemp took a break from triathlon duties and was the club’s next to complete the distance, her 2.01.39 giving her a good third spot in the ladies’ race.

Then came Mike White in 2.02.55, followed by Craig Murphy with 2.18.19, Steve Mitchell 2.19.27, Ali Holloway 2.29.02, Mel Murphy and Linda Robson 2.45.07, Denise von Roretz 3.00.53 and Lesley Brown 3.34.40.

The full marathon, contested over 28miles on a two lap course with a total of 2,000ft of ascent proved to be at least twice as testing due to heavy rain that turned some of the tracks to mudbaths.

James Mills was Salisbury’s best on the day with a strong 3hours 45min 51sec performance that earned sixth place, just ahead of Mark Glanville’s 3.46.50 in seventh.

Phil Perry continued his year-long marathon sequence in 4.55.02, and similarly determined runs came from Liz Roberts with 6.05.32 and the injured Jef Hutchby 7.16.15.

Photos show: Stuart Holloway and Ruth Thom


Bea Wood sets another new mark at parkrun

Another age group record fell beneath the running shoes of young Bea Wood at Salisbury parkrun when she broke her own previous best time over the 5k course in Churchill Gardens.

Contesting the lead all the way round the three laps with her equally competitive City of Salisbury clubmates Lee Syrett and Fabrice Webb, she completed the distance in a notably quick 17min 47sec for first place, setting a new 11-14 years age group record with an outstanding age grading of 89.78per cent.

In second spot among the field of over 400 on a damp but almost windless day, Syrett was close to his own personal best with 18.02 with Webb close behind in a pb 18.08.

Fourth place went to Gavin Mackay of Petts Wood Runners with 18.19 and fifth was Stonehenge Triathlon and Road Club’s Peter Newman in 18.26, representing two more of the 20 running clubs there in all.

Joanne Bailey from the Salisbury club was second female finisher in 21.24, age graded at a very good 83.49 and third was Polly Jacobs in 21.26

One of the most acclaimed of the 90 personal bests achieved on the day was by Kate Luter in the 45-49 age category. Taking part in nearly every parkrun since its launch in the city two years ago, she has shown huge resolve in reducing her time bit by bit from well outside 50 to under 40 minutes: Saturday saw yet another improvement to 39.41.



Salisbury quad kid athletes set mark for the future


City of Salisbury’s up and coming quad kids’ multi event athletes set themselves the target of winning the Wessex Young Athletes League title at Swindon and after a string of good performances on the day they achieved exactly that.

The set the tone for the other age groups at the fixture too, the club making sure of their league placings by taking second place at the weekend match to a strong Camberley squad.

Among the day’s many highlights, Luke Reeve broke the club’s 25 year old under-13s’ javelin record with a throw of 32.69m and Bea Wood improving her own Wessex League record in the under 15s’ 1500m with a great time of 4m 33.9s.

Molly Hole continued her fine season in the high jump with a clearance of 1.63m, with Martha Royle and Gabrielle Kirkham also showing great form in their events.

But the real stars of the day were the amazing boys quad kids team (pictured) brilliantly managed by Andy Holme, with Will Barnard topping the team’s standings by also taking the individual title in the six team contest.

The local group have shown well throughout the season, helped by a superb team spirit which augurs well for Salisbury’s track and field future.