Weekly update 19th December 2023

It was a busy weekend for the club, but many were involved organising, marshalling, officiating and generally just doing what needed to be done rather than racing as the club hosted their annual Turkey Trot 5 mile road race. There was plenty going on and great to see plenty of assistance across the disciplines as some with a track and field focus helped out to make the event a success. They said they were surprised at how much went on behind the scenes to ensure the event went ahead without a hitch.

Many thanks to all those who helped in some way over the weekend and particularly to Adam Guy as Race Director in the lead up to the event. And also to Phil Evans who stepped in to assist when Adam finally had a date come through for a knee operation during the preceding week which meant he was somewhat side-lined in the final few days and on the day of the race itself.

The race started on a sad and poignant note as we acknowledged a dear friend and club mate, Dominic Kemp, who lost his long battle with illness only days before. A speech was followed by a minutes applause to mark the sad occasion, his many friends, more than he probably realised, where there on the start line, and the marshals who were already in position had their own private moment earlier.

The details of the race itself cannot pass without a special mention for a club stalwart, Noel McKakly, who competed at the weekend having raced at the inaugural contest 40 years ago. Those with a long memory will recall the race was won by the international steeplechaser, Roger Hackney, who was at Birmingham University at the time. Noel was some way behind but whilst Roger has long since retired Noel was still competing.

This year’s renewal was won by Jason Bennett of Birchfield Harriers in a time of 25.36, from Tipton’s Karl Quinney in 26.27, with Ben Witham of the Crazy Flying Monkey Space Invaders (I don’t know either, but he did complete the 5 mile course with a turkey on his head) in a time of 28.59.

Joe St Quinton was first home for the host club in 4thplace in 29.25 claiming the 1st U20 prize, Greg Asbury was 5th in 29.29 bagging 1st M50, Ben Rawlings was 7thin 29.38, Derrick Milligan was 8th and 1st M40 in 29.41, Tom Pryor finished in 29.56 in 9th.

Beth Tabor won the ladies race, just missing out on a course record by 3 seconds with 30.01, from Wolves & Bilston new marquee signing Lucie Tait-Harries who only received confirmation of her club transfer 24 hours earlier, Lucie was 12th overall in 30.44. Georgie Speck of Banbury Harriers was 3rd lady and 20th over the finish line in 32.40.

Keith Carter placed 18th in 32.12, Alex Kelly was 21st in 32.52, Chris Stark, although not listed as a club member was 24th in 33.11, Maria Calleia placed 27th and 6th lady in 34.06. Simon Calrow was the winner of the M60 prize placing 29th overall in 34.29, Mark Illidge was 31st in 34.46, Sean Rowe was 36th in 36.21, Lee Partridge placed 40th in 37.05, just ahead of Darren Edwards who dusted off the cobwebs with a 37.10 clocking for 41stplace, Ian Thursfield was 42nd in 37.09 but behind Darren on the gun time results, Rob Edwards was 48th in 38.32, Mark Perry 52nd in 39.01, Vanessa Landreau Barnes claimed 1st M40 and 54th overall with 39.24, Danni Braine was 57th in 39.21, Craig Buggins 58th in 39.26, Mike Webb 61st in 39.50, Maddie Hart 64th in 40.59, Ruby Buggins 67th in 41.38, the aforementioned Noel McKakly was 75th in 43.02, Debra Horton placed 77th in 43.14, Laura Davies was 79th in 44.49. Julia Condon got the better of her clubmate Imogen Harley with Julia placing 95th in 49.20 and Imogen finishing a place and 16 seconds adrift in 49.36, Julia Cooper was 107th in 53.09 and Balvinder Kaur placed 113rd in 58.26.

Dave Norman

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