Birmingham International Marathon and Great Birmingham Run, 15th October 2017

Birmingham Marathon

Howard Bush and Ben Evans

Around 22,000 runners took to the streets of England’s second city for the annual Great Birmingham Run Half Marathon and the inaugural Birmingham International Marathon on Sunday. Amongst those taking on the full marathon were Tamworth AC’s Ben Evans and Howard Bush.

The race started at the famous Alexander Stadium, taking in two laps in and around Birmingham before finishing in the city centre. The conditions were ideal for running, but the new and unfamiliar course presented some challenging inclines along the 26.2 mile route.

Just three weeks after his personal best performance at the Berlin Marathon, Ben Evans looked in good form again, settling in amongst the front end of the field from the start.  As the race drew on, Ben paced himself well, holding enough back to progress over the final miles from seventh to a fourth placed finish with a time of 2:38:25.

Speaking after the race Ben said “As we came around the second lap we started to pass a few of the runners at the back of the field and I lost track of my position, but knew I was somewhere in the top 10. When I approached the finish line and heard the announcer say I was fourth I couldn’t believe it!  It’s such an amazing way to end what’s been a really great season for me.  I’m truly overwhelmed!”

Howard Bush made his first appearance in a marathon since 2013, although he showed little sign of such a prolonged absence on the day. Despite expressing little love for the hills, Howard put in a fantastic performance to finish 11th in his age group with a time of 03:03:51; setting a new Men’s 45 club record in the process.

Shortly afterwards Howard said, “I knew it would be a big ask to finish under 3 hours again, with not really enough miles in my legs. But I gave it a shot and have to be pleased with the end result”

Following some well-deserved rest, Howard and Ben will soon be back in action with the rest of the Tamworth AC Cross Country Team.  Our first fixture of the Birmingham Cross Country League 2017/18 season will be at Telford on Saturday 11th November.

Tamworth AC were also represented in the Half Marathon that started from the city centre in the afternoon and followed much of the same route as the marathon with a single lap before returning to the finish line.  Malcolm Perry finished 12th in the Men’s 65 category with a time of 02:02:42 followed shortly by Tessa Barnard in 02:14:47.

Berlin Marathon, 24 September 2017

Just a week after winning the Tamworth 5 mile, Ben Evans flew out to Germany for the 44th Berlin Marathon. The Tamworth AC distance runner has been in good form throughout the year and set high expectations with his performance at the London Marathon back in April

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ben Evans Berlin Marathon

Ben celebrating!

The wet conditions may have dampened the eagerly anticipated world record attempt, but Ben set out with a strong measured pace over the early miles, passing the halfway mark in 1:18:16. In the second half of the race Ben pushed on, digging deep in the final miles to register an impressive negative split and cross the line in 2:35:20; knocking a further 3 minutes off his marathon PB in London and finishing 45th in the M35 age group.
Afterwards Ben said “I’m delighted with the progress I’ve made over the summer since London and I gave it everything I had today. Of course, it would have been great to sneak under 2:35, but those extra 20 seconds will give me something to work on over the winter months. Berlin is a fantastic city and the marathon is fast and well organised. Definitely one I’d like to race again some time”.

Tamworth 5 Mile: 17th September 2017

Tamworth AC played host to the final race of this year’s Burton and District Summer League season, with the Tamworth 5 Mile on Sunday 17th September.

In perfect running conditions, nearly 200 athletes took on the undulating course that starts and finishes on the athletics track at the Tamworth Stadium.

On a great day for the club, Ben Evans put in his best performance of the series to win the race with a time of 27:22 and seal this year’s senior and overall men’s individual league titles.

After the race, Ben said “I really wanted to win this one and I knew I’d have to work very hard for it. I’d managed to open up a decent lead with about a mile to go, but I wasn’t taking any chances and kept pushing right to the line.  I’ll fly out for the Berlin Marathon this week in great shape and following a performance today that’s given me an extra boost in confidence.”

Scott Hudspith rounded off a strong season to finish in third place with 27:53 and comfortably claim the Under-25 men’s individual league crown.  For the ladies, Charlotte Bush was once again first of the Under-25s with a time of 33:19 and she also won her individual category for the season.

Also competing for Tamworth AC were Tom Orton (30:47), James Oakley (30:53), Max Kent (31:49), Andrew Woods (32:22), Steven Gunn (32:40) and Tom Ainsworth (34:16).

 

The start line of the preceding Junior 1 Mile race was notably awash with the green and white vests of Tamworth AC.

James Walker won the Boys race with a time of 05:49 and Toby Wooton finished third with 06:12.  In the Girls race, Abi Hamer was first to the line in 06:18, followed closely in second by Charlotte Perry with 06:20.

Completing the impressive field of Tamworth AC youngsters were Lottie Mclaren (06:31), Emily Pearce (06:38), Kian Dickson (06:39), Ellie Gauntlett (06:40), Sophie Perry (06:42), Adam Stokes (06:42), Tegan Vickery (06:45), Annie Boonham (06:55), Natasha Lee (07:02), Morgan Wright (07:33), Lillie Caswell (07:44), Sofia Farmer (07:52), Ben Godber (07:56), Keira Richards (08:00), Harriett Livingstone (08:08), Abigail Webb (08:08), Oliva Teague (08:10), Robyn Lee (08:32), Natasha Witcomb (08:54), Katie Hobbs (08:53), Charlotte Evans (09:30) and Sophie Godber (10:04).

Burton and District Summer League 10k 13th August 2017

Tamworth AC’s distance runners were in action again in the Burton and District Summer League at the Burton 10k on Sunday (13th August). Following the recent spell of wet weather, the sun came out to make for warm conditions over an undulating course that finishes with a lap of the Shobnall athletics track.

In a rare reversal of the usual pecking order, Ben Evans was first home for TAC in 6th place with a time of 34:58 ahead of first under-25 male Scott Hudspith in 8th with 35:48.

In the Vets, Howard Bush pushed through a niggling back injury to finish with a time of 39:17 and Derek Bolton crossed the line in 43:42.

Charlotte Bush added yet another BDSL under-25 ladies victory to her collection with a great time of 45:08.

Tamworth AC will play host to the next and final race in the BDSL series on Sunday 17th September. Entries to the Tamworth 5 mile can be made online here or on the day.

The Worthington 5 Mile Tuesday 4th July 2017

The Worthington 5 Mile was the sixth race of this year’s Burton and District Summer League series, seeing a great turnout for Tamworth AC on the evening of Tuesday 4th July.

In wet conditions, uncharacteristic of recent weather, the race was won by Scott Hudspith with a superb time of 28:10. A late three-way sprint finish for second place saw Ben Evans come in fourth with a time of 28:34.

Max Kent won the Men’s Under-20s category with a time of 30:36 and Adam Smyth crossed the line just a second later with 30:37.

In the Men’s Vets, Howard Bush finished in 31:05 and Dave Williams had a strong race to finish second in the Men’s 50-59 category with a time of 31:13.

Charlotte Bush continued a great season with another BDSL Ladies Under-20 win, crossing the line in 33:44. The ever-present Derek Bolton completed the line-up for Tamworth AC, coming in home in 35:19.

Following on from recent success at the Washlands Relays it was great to see a full scoring complement in the Team competition, with Tamworth AC finishing second behind South Derbyshire Road Runners.

The next event in the Burton and District Summer League will be the Burton 10km on Sunday 13th August.

Burton and District Summer League, Washland Relays 14th June 2017

Race 4 in the Burton and District Summer League series saw Tamworth AC’s men defend their Washlands Relays crown from 2016.  On a warm Wednesday evening, TAC fielded four teams; each athlete running a two-mile lap in a race with an impressive turnout of 290 runners taking part in 83 teams.

Max Kent started out on the first leg for the Men’s A team completing the course with an impressive debut time of 11:47. Ben Evans then set out at a pace on the second leg, chasing down the leaders and opening up a lead with a time of 11:18, before handing over to Scott Hudspith who bolted round in 10:56 to extend the lead and take the first individual mens prize. It was left to Adam Smyth to put in a fine composed final leg of 11:41 and seal the win for a second consecutive year.

The A Team Max Kent, Ben Evans, Scott Hudspith and Adam Smyth

It was a great night too for the U17 ladies who also won their category. Eve Clawley got the race underway, coming home in 13:33. Emily Findlater took over making the second lap in 16:34 before Charlotte Bush finished the job with a time of 13:42.

Ladies U17 Team Eve Clawley, Emily Findlater and Charlotte Bush

The Men’s Vets team also did well, coming 4th in their category on the night. Howard Bush got things going with a strong first leg of 11:36, followed by club Chairman Dave Williams coming home in 12:36. Steve Deegan completed the third leg 13:33 before Mark Wapplington rounded things off in 15:29 despite a troubling hamstring.

The Veterans Team Howard Bush, Dave Williams, Steve Deegan and  Mark Wapplington

In the Men’s B team, James Oakley made the first leg with a time of 12:00. Next was Derek Bolton in 13:41 followed by Nigel Fisher in 17:09. After a quick vest change, Howard Bush ran round again to finish things off with a time of 12:37.

The B Team James Oakley, Derek Bolton, Nigel Fisher and Howard Bush

The Gate Gallop at Anker Valley plays host to the next race in the BDSL series on Sunday 25th June.