League bests for Salisbury road runners

Ever-greater numbers of Salisbury road runners competing for the City athletics club are driving up standards, none more so than among the fastest of the ladies.
In the Hampshire League’s hotly contested Fleet half marathon, all three of the club’s Ladies A trio had to clock good personal bests to earn their places: Ruth Thom with 86min 48sec, Charlotte Ingram 93.09 and veteran Sarah Brewster 99.14.
Two more new marks were set by the men’s A team. Stuart Holloway took ninth place overall in 72.11, then came Rob Drag 78.04pb, Richard Davidson 78.22pb and James Hassan 79.35.
For the men’s B team the metronomic James Mills was timed at 80.56pb, supported by Mike Brewster 82.43, Rithy Hy 83.45pb and first-timer Benedict Saunby 86.04.
Another personal best was set by Nick Cooke for the C quartet with 86.29, followed by Phil Smith 89.01, Chris Maple 89.45pb and Mike White 89.55.
Vicky Robinson set a new mark for the ladies’ B team with 105.16, then came Heather Hitchins 106.50pb and Mel Murphy 112.02, while for C team, Liz Roberts set the pace with 116.33, then came Annie Wills 117.32 and a pb from Lisa Milner in 117.51.
Leading the quickest of the dozens of other Salisbury finishers were Jason Bennett 92.59, Richard Larcombe 93.05, Steve Mitchell 97.07, James Ballard 98.50 and Jon Kershaw 99.02.

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

Syrett sets new mark at Winchester 10k

Lee Syrett

City of Salisbury’s Lee Syrett made the most of speed he has honed in 5k parkruns at Churchill Gardens to bag a good new personal best over twice that distance in the Winchester 10k.

He crossed the finishing line in 37min 14sec to clip nearly half a minute off his previous mark, and was the club’s quickest on the day.

Next in was Jonathan Croom on 38.43, and he was followed by Iain Weber and John Duffy who also both set new bests with 39.24 and 40.43 respectively.

James Ligatt was timed at 41.12, then came Pete Harris 41.53, Marc Hankins 44.26, Paul Holt 50.05, Colin Warrington 50.33, Kevin O’Leary 50.49, Vanessa Maple and Lucy Orchard both 55.23, Charlotte Routledge 56.39 and Jo Marks 57.07.


Salisbury runners dominate ‘Terminator’ hills

City of Salisbury athletes took the notorious 12mile Pewsey ‘Terminator’ race by storm on Sunday, notching first place in the men’s race and winning the ladies’ team event.

Stuart Holloway was the men’s winner on a multi-terrain course known for its steep hills , his strong run of 77min 08sec more than four minutes too good for his nearest challenger, Stuart Padgett of Chippenham Harriers.

Reece Ingram was not far back in 88.41, then came Ruth Thom with 99.32 for a good third place in her age group and leading place in the victorious team, completed by Charlotte Ingram’s 106.38 and Louise Sloan’s 123.18.

Other Salisbury finishers were Steve Mitchell 104.18, James Ballard 108.04, Stuart Robertson 113.40, Jon Kershaw 116.54, Linda Robson 139.42, Lisa Milner 148.34, Mel Murphy 148.37, Liz Roberts 148.43 and Kathryn Dreyer 158.05.

In the Tenterden 5mile road race, James Ballard clocked 34min 43sec to earn a first ever win in his 50-plus age category.


Two 1500m bests for Davidson

Richard Davidson

One of City of Salisbury’s many speedy veterans, Richard Davidson took third place in the South of England championships on the indoor track at Lee Valley in London just one week after setting another personal best on the same track in a Southern Counties event.

The flying vet’s time of 4min 32.5sec was eight seconds quicker at the second attempt, and puts him third in this season’s UK rankings for his 40-plus age group.

In the Bramley 20mile road race at Reading, Rithy Hy was the club’s fastest on the day, stopping the clock at 2hours 16min 59 sec, and he was followed by Kathy Dudman in 2.23.41, Anne Patrickson 2.45.49 and James Patrickson 2.58.30.