There was plenty going on for athletes from Wolverhampton & Bilston AC this week with some midweek action to compliment the usual weekend races.
A large group travelled the short distance to Oakengates for the Telford Spring Warm Up Meeting with everyone returning with either a season’s best, admittedly early in the season, or a personal best. William Parton was 2nd in his heat over U17 100m in a time of 12.2, Thillana Owen was 1st over 100m U13 in a PB of 14.4 and Alice Cattell was 2nd over U13 100m in another PB of 15.5. Over 600m U11 Seb Palmer won his heat in a PB of 1.53.5, George Shaw was 10th in a PB of 2.36.10 in the same race. Biba Guest also raced over 600m in the U13 age group in a PB of 2.07.3. Over 800m there was a 2nd place finish for Daisy Frost in the U15 age group in 2.35.2. U15 Grace Hendy was 2nd over 600m in a PB of 2.38.4, Kiki Guest was 5th in 2.49.6 in the U13 age group, Gracie Billett was 6th in a PB of 2.55.3, Alice Cattell was 7th in 2.59.1, another PB for her, and Clara Butler-Montero was 10th in a PB of 2.59.1. George Shaw placed 24th in a big long jump field with a PB leap of 2.57 metres.
Twenty four hours later the club was out in force either organizing, marshalling or racing, or sometimes a bit of both, in the Fordhouses 5k. There was a win for the home club with Jack Pickett crossing the line in first place in 15.04, with Shrewsbury AC’s Matt Costello placing 2nd in 15.31 and Rob Meredith of Tipton Harriers taking 3rd place in 16.03. Dan Turner was 5th in 16.23, Ben Foster placed 9th in 16.48, Zakari Sandhu-Whitton was 11th in 17.19, Aaron Poole 12th in 17.19, Ashley Atkinson 15th in 17.35, Dylan Illidge 19th in 17.53, Paul Dean 20th in 17.58, Danny Malone 21st in 18.06, Brian Wright 23rd in 18.26.
Beth Tabor claimed victory in the ladies race in 24thoverall in 18.32, with Lucy Calrow taking the runners up spot in 29th place in 19.01 and Sabrina Thomas on the last step of the podium in 37th in 20.25.
Back to the overall race Paul Marson was 25th in 18.36, Derrick Milligan 31st in 19.35, Jay Patel 32nd in 19.35, Simon Calrow bagged an age group win in 34th in 19.56, Dave Norman was 36th in 20.17, Andy Dyall was 38th in 20.24, Mark Illidge placed 39th in the same time, Paul Clarke was 41st in 20.33, Holly Baddeley 42nd in 20.37, Darren Owen-Jones 43rd in 20.38, Joe Flatley 44th in 20.49, Keith Carter 45th in 20.59, Brett Robinson 46th in 21.00, Rob Edwards 50th in 21.13, Lee Partridge 51st in 21.36 in the middle of a Rob Edwards sandwich, the other Rob Edwards was 52nd in 22.03. Pat Cummings placed 53rd in 23.00, Craig Buggins 54th in 23.16, Mark Perry 55th in 23.23, Lionel Spittle won his age group in 56th in 23.42, Vanessa Landreau also claimed an age group prize in 57th in 23.47, Russ Blair placed 58th in 24.37, Anna Moore was 65th in 25.04, Steve Warrilow was 66th in 28.41, Mary Solomon 69th in 29.15, Julia Cooper 70th in 29.28 and Julia Condon was 72nd in 30.49. Many commented on how well the event was organized so great credit should go to Adam Guy as race director and his team who put in a massive shift to make this happen, the only issue being that with a club mate on marshalling duties around every corner there was absolutely nowhere to hide when you were racing round the course and suffering.
There was more track action at the weekend with Markus Facey-Dell competing in the T37 100m at the Coventry Spring Meeting finishing first in his race in 13.26. And in the Rugby Easter Open Meeting there were some good times over 300m with Psalm Roberts-Nash placing 2nd in 36.59, La-Taunya Samuels was 4th in 43.17 and Freya Hooper placed 6th in 45.20. Lattie also placed 3rd in her heat over 100m in 12.78 and Freya won her 100m heat in 13.65.
There were some big guns firing at Sutton Park on Saturday in the National Road Relays with Olympic and Commonwealth gold medalist, Alex Yee; World Indoor bronze medalist over 3000m, Marc Scott; another Olympian and Scottish 10,000m record holder, Andrew Butchart; and seven time Welsh Cross Country champion and 2.09 marathon runner Dewi Griffiths all lining up at some point during the afternoon. Despite the lofty company the club did themselves proud after some big holes were punched in the team with late withdrawals on the eve of the event. The legs were split into alternating long and short, about 5 ½ miles and just over 5k, with the odd numbers being long and the even numbers short. Ben Foster was first away running 29.49 with the club in 57th, Tom Pryor went off second running 19.50 with the club in 60th, Dan Turner picked up 7 places with a 29.27 3rd leg, Joe St Quinton ran a rapid 18.42 to maintain that position, Pete Hood was good enough to step up to run a long leg in 36.47 with the club dropping back to 60th, Danny Malone maintained that with a 18.44 short leg, Dylan Illidge ran 32.36 to pick up a place, Dave Smith maintained that 59th position with an 18.46 short leg, Dan Brazier kept us in 59th with a leg in 34.28, Dave Norman picked up a place with a 10th leg of 20.41, Paul Hammond picked up two more spots with 33.35 and Mark Illidge was last cab off the rank but picked off another place to finish in 20.56 and final position of 55th. There may have been far more in front than there were behind but it was a massive privilege to be part of such a huge events that was supported by the absolutely top class athletes throughout the day.
On Sunday morning Zakari Sandhu-Whitton bagged a third place spot in the Cannock Chase Trail 10k coming home in a time of 38.07.
And there was more marathon action in the North West with a group taking part in the Manchester Marathon. Luke Carpenter finished in an impressive time of 2.54.01 in 589th placed, Dave Joynson continued his marathon adventures with 3.06.01 for 1539th place, Dave Newport made his marathon debut with a time of 3.08.06 in 1686th, Ben Mescam ran 3.49.38 in 6827th, Adam Cotterill was 7698th in 3.54.46, Rob Carrington was 11492nd in 4.21.01 and Gill Mitchell finished her two hundredth, yes two hundredth, marathon in 15923rd in 5.09.00. Huge congratulations to Gill for reaching this impressive landmark.