Athletics in South Wiltshire back on track thanks to team work

South Wiltshire athletes will soon be able to compete and train on a first class facility thanks to team work from key partners.

Following long discussions between the four organisations involved in securing the future of Salisbury’s only running track, it was announced today that consensus has finally been reached on a new, 10 year agreement.

Wiltshire Council, South Wilts Grammar School, The City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club and Salisbury City Council all recognise the valuable contribution that each has made to the long-term sustainability of the track, which will provide a first class facility for both the school and all members of the community for years to come.

Work on resurfacing the track will begin in July 2019 and is expected to take 10 weeks. As well as the track resurfacing, the works will see an improved layout for field events, ensuring compliance with current UK Athletics standards including the provision of disability access, plus the introduction of a discus cage and electrical supply to the finish line which will enhance timing.

Through its usage agreement with the school, the volunteer-led athletics club will now be able to increase access to the track and to go on developing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to engage in the sport.

John Thomson, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for leisure has been instrumental in facilitating the discussions.

He said: “I am delighted that thanks to key parties working together to move this project forward we are on track to have a first class facility for athletes of all ages and abilities. The Salisbury Athletics Track is the only one of its kind in the south of the county and the only track in the county that enjoys such a significant level of community access. The willingness of the school to enable access to their land and manage the facility, together with a significant amount of funding contributed by Wiltshire Council, will ensure that the school, the community and importantly the City of Salisbury Athletics Club and Running Club has a valuable and accessible sports facility for at least another 10 years.”

Chris Child, Governor, South Wilts Grammar School said:

“We are immensely grateful to Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council and the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club for providing the necessary funding to allow us to go ahead with replacing the school’s ageing athletics track.

“This funding has also secured its long term future and in addition to our own use and use by other schools, it will allow us to make available an excellent sporting facility for use by the wider community, particularly the club.

“Furthermore, our funding agreement with Wiltshire Council and the license agreement with the club will also provide a regular income for the school which will enable us to fund its upkeep throughout its life.

“This is great news for both the school and Salisbury!

“Salisbury City Councillor, Sven Hocking said “We are delighted to provide the final piece of funding to support the development of this excellent new facility. As a great believer in the benefits of sport for all ages and abilities I encourage everyone to make full use of what will be a superb new site and look forward to seeing the end product in use for the benefit of the school and local community.”

Athletics club president Dave Amey added: “It’s great news for Salisbury and beyond that the future of our home track for the past 26 years is now assured for a further decade.

“We believe that enabling continued access to the track for every child in the city and across South Wiltshire – one in ten of the children involved have some form of disability – is a vital part of the way the club looks to an inclusive future within the community.

“Salisbury today is in the midst of a running boom among adults too, embracing the most modest of newcomers to aspiring Olympians and fully fledged internationals.

“With the new agreement in place, the track’s return to full use will allow our club coaches and teams of volunteer helpers to go on broadening the benefit we know the sport can offer.”

South Wilts Grammar School has provided the land on which the track is built and will provide the management responsibilities of the facility. Wiltshire Council has provided £154,650 of funding; the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club will pay to the school £7,500 towards relaying the track and Salisbury City Council and Salisbury Area Board have each provided contributions of £20k.

It is planned that the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club will pay usage fees of an estimated £110k over a 10 year period that the school will put towards maintenance costs. The school will not make a profit from usage fees.

further information from:

John Ruskin
City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club

Home team double success at Salisbury 10mile

Rod Smith, former race director of the Salisbury 10mile and the man who gave his name to the race this year, with his wife Carole after receiving his souvenir tee shirt.

A record turnout of 105 athletes from host club City of Salisbury helped achieve a team double win at the Rod Smith Salisbury 10mile road race in the Woodford Valley where Richard Waldron of Southampton AC was men’s individual winner and Portsmouth’s Emma Jolley topped the women’s places.
Salisbury’s Richard Davidson led the winning way with an age group second place 58.43 in this key Hampshire League fixture, and closely-packed behind him came James Hassan 60.16, James Presley 60.53 and James Mills 61.12 for the men.
Matching success followed from Ruth Thom in 65.42, Kathy Dudman 66.56 and Poppy Langdon-Brown 67.15 to take the women’s prize.
The men’s B team were led by Lee Syrett 61.25, Andy Holme 62.27, Peter Callanan 63.22 and Ricky Lee 63.46 and the women’s trio consisted of Charlotte Ingram 69.19, Sam Hibdige 73.15 and Sarah Brewster 74.38.

Jonathan Croom was first for the men’s C team with 64.21, followed by Al Moutray 66.06, Phil Smith 67.00 and Chris Maple 67.30, and for the women Emma Clarke 76.15, Joanne Bailey 78.05 and Heather Hitchins 79.17 made the cut.
Salisbury’s leading finishers just outside the team rankings were: Peter Harris 67.59, Richard Larcombe 68.30, Nick Hudson 69.48, Mike Brewster 70.12, Joe Cornwall 70.58 and Sam Stephenson 71.02.
Top women just outside the teams were Emma Smith 81.39, Alison Scott 82.53, Annie Wills 83.12, Melenie Murphy 85.04, Rachel Bala 85.21 and Kara Rogers 86.48.
Awards were presented at the finish by club president Dave Amey and former race director Rod Smith.
In North Carolina at the Irwin Belk track, Salisbury student Jaymee Domoney broke the club’s longstanding senior men’s 1500m record with a rapid new personal best of 3min 51.28sec.

Rod Smith 10mile’s charity support

The region’s flagship road running event, the Salisbury Rod Smith 10mile is joining forces with Alzheimer’s Support on Sunday 14th April to raise funds for the charity and mark the contribution to the event’s previous years of success achieved by its former race director and his team.
Rod Smith will be spectating at the event on the day, having been diagnosed with the disease around two years ago. Although he no longer runs, Rod remains a keen follower of the club and its role in the wider Salisbury community.

Rod Smith
Rod Smith at the Solent Half Marathon 2012

The race will start from the running track at Five Rivers leisure centre at 10am and after winding its way up one side of the Woodford Valley and back down the other, will finish back on the track. A record entry of 950 athletes will take on the challenge, including more than a hundred – also a record – from the organisers, the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club.
The club plans to collect donations from competitors arriving at nearby carparks, plus baking hundreds of cakes for post-race refreshments and sharing proceeds from the race with the charity.

Commenting on the partnership between Alzheimer’s Support and Salisbury’s running club, Laura Crouch from the charity said:
“As all too many of us know, this disease can hugely affect people’s lives. At the charity we want to raise our profile so that our services become better known and can benefit more of those who are affected directly by it, and their carers. We’re delighted to be working with the club in this way.”
Note to editors: Alzheimer’s Support is a Wiltshire charity that has been supporting people living with all types of dementia since 1990 and brought its award-winning services to the Salisbury area for the first time in 2017.
For more information see
For more on City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club please contact John Ruskin

Salisbury athletes go the distance

The Manchester marathon was the focus for City of Salisbury athletes on Sunday when Aaron Wilson showed he is close to his best form, finishing close to the leaders among the field of 20,000 with a time of 2hours 34min 34sec.
Chris Southern was not far behind with a personal best 2.39.13, then came Chris Maple 3.23.27, Charlotte Boardman 3.36.59pb, Joe Cunningham 3.51.08pb and Grace Cousins 4.30.36.
Although ten miles shorter distance, the 16mile Combe Gibbet to Overton multi terrain race over high downland is a similarly tough challenge. Richard Larcombe continued his current good form to cross the line in 2hours 2min 13sec and he led the Salisbury contingent home.
He was followed by James Ballard 2.08.47, Fiona Ross-Russell 2.10.20, Jon Kershaw 2.12.25, Vicky Robinson 2.27.02, Alison Scott 2.29.06, Melenie Murphy 2.36.09 and Rebecca Lockwood 2.47.08.
A personal best of 87min 11sec made Ricky Lee’s trip to the Devizes half marathon well worthwhile, and John Roberts was there in support with 109.59.
Nick Hudson too claimed a PB with 41min 15sec over the weekend at the Lincoln City 10k, James Hudson recording 52.03.
This Sunday (14th) sees by far the biggest ever muster of the club’s runners at a league event, with over a hundred – more than ten per cent of the field – facing the starter at the Salisbury 10mile road race.

Another week, another CoSarc winner – Holloway takes half marathon at Yeovil

Stuart Holloway of City of Salisbury athletics and running club notched a good win at the Yeovil half marathon after leaving his nearest challenger, Loughborough College’s Niall Stewart, a minute and a half in his wake.
The Salisbury athlete was timed at 72min 24sec for one of his fastest runs at the 13.1mile distance.
James Mills was the club’s next to finish, in 85.35, and he was followed by Ruth Thom 93.03, Jo-Anne Gready 98.03, Samantha Hibdige 100.01 and John Turley 121.14.
In the ‘Clock-Change Challenge’ 10k at Calne, Richard Larcombe was the highest placed of Salisbury’s runners, his 41min 34sec setting a new personal best.
Jon Kershaw too recorded a pb with 44.36 and he was followed by Barry Vincent in 48.45 and Kevin O’Leary 49.44.
Then came Paul Holt also 49.44pb, Kieran McManus 52.42pb, Rebecca Lockwood 52.43, Denise von Roretz 62.49, Christine Webb 64.55, Anita Holt 65.09, Duncan Watkinson 70.07, Lesley Brown 70.43 and Sue Sheppard 77.20.
The keenly awaited Salisbury Rod Smith 10mile road race in the Woodford Valley on April 14th has set new records even before the start, with 950 entrants expected from all over the South to take part and many more having to be turned away.
More than a hundred Salisbury running club runners are due to face the starter, almost doubling the previous figure, and the number of volunteers involved in marshalling and making the event happen has also reached a new high at 120.

Bea Wood takes win for England


City of Salisbury Athletic & Running Club (CoSARC)
Beatrice Wood

Back to top form and running for England, City of Salisbury’s Bea Wood won the schools’ international cross country in Dublin, showing a clean pair of heels to Anna Hedley of Scotland in second and her great rival from Sussex, Bethany Cook in third.

Wood’s fine performance led her age group to a good team win and fully justified her England cap.

Perfect road running conditions in the Eastleigh 10k helped produce a raft of personal best performances among the sizeable Salisbury contingent.

James Hassan led the way with 36min 10sec and then came new bests from all six of the following: Lee Syrett 36.21, Jonathan Croom 37.52, Ian Lawrence 39.50, Marc Hankins 42.57, Jon Kershaw 43.51 and Heather Hitchins 46.40.

Aly Sloane clocked 47.54, Barry Vincent 48.32, Linda Robson 50.04pb, Jackie Hassan 53.50pb, Mel Holloway 54.29, Fi Thatcher 56.07, Helen Carlton 57.39, Anne Norman 60.48, Janine Kemm 61.05, Marilyn Hunt 64.50, Will Witt 65.06, Emily Wells 67.10 and Petra Oyston 73.10.

Salisbury’s outstanding season in the Hampshire road race league continues, the club’s ladies A team now at the top of division two and the men’s A team fourth. Stuart Holloway is third overall in the individual standings with Chris Southern sixth, and Ruth Thom is placed tenth in the women’s table.

In the London Landmarks half marathon, Gary Domoney beat his previous best with 100min 47sec.