• James Davis

12 Months of BUAC - August

Updated: Jan 3

August was the month of the many BMCs as with the floodgates creaking open in July, the typically active athletes of the UK flooded through them, finally putting months of training to use.


From a BUAC point of view, the middle distance section of the club had a veritable athletics feast to be getting on with, with BMC meetings up and down the country giving high quality racing.


Committee Members Settle In

After having been elected back in April, we hear here from two committee members after beginning their tenure in summer.

Luke at BUCS in February
Following the first ever BUAC Virtual AGM, I was elected to be the PR & Kit Sec for the club. I was excited to get started in the role as I had many content ideas that I wanted to implement to enhance the club’s social media pages. Although lockdown heavily restricted my options as regards to the type of content that I could create, the virtual nature of 2020 provided me with opportunities that I never would have foreseen.
One of the online awards ceremonies
Everything from competitions, to award shows and open days were now online, meaning that there was never a dull moment for me in lockdown, as there was a constant stream of pictures and videos to curate and upload. The additions of coaches and committee profiles, athlete takeovers and interviews, competition recaps, and highlight reels have lead to a significant increase in our social media reach. Since assuming the role during lockdown, we have seen an increase of 28% in our Instagram followers, improving our online presence as well as our ability to recruit athletes to enrol at the university. This improvement is almost entirely down to our outstanding new PR team, as well as the cooperation of club members, past and present. George Loxton, Jonny Currie, James Davis, Lucy Jones, and Luke Gunn have dedicated countless hours of their free time into the club’s social media pages and website, which has made my job of creating content a lot easier. As a team, we aim to continue to provide content of the highest level in 2021! Luke Okosieme
Getting elected in Lockdown produced its own challenges. I would have preferred people get to know me as a committee member face-to-face, rather than through a Facebook post. As welfare officers, Holly and I were aware that we were in for a tough time, and our job started straight away. We set up the BUAC playlist for people to get to know members of club, and the family system, which we hope to grow over the coming years. Noah Armitage-Hookes

5th

BMC Lee Valley

The month began at the Southern hub of Lee Valley. Much like the Trafford meeting that had preceded it, all races were run in lanes, with four BUAC athletes racing the 800 metre distance.


Tom Dodd was once again involved in a fast race, as he improved on his July result to go one place better and faster too, winning the A race in 1:51.06. Adam Day raced in the D race after his PB at the Trafford BMC, and finished second in 1:55.58.


On the women's side, there were two BUAC athletes racing in the women's B race. Sabrina Sinha ran her fastest 800 since 2016, winning the race in 2:08.23. Maisie Grice finished third, in 2:12.17.


Full results can be found here.


11th

BMC Trafford

Dodd grits his teeth (Photo: #teamlowesrun)

Shortly after the previous BMC, restrictions were lifted to allow athletes to race in every lane, providing more competition and taking another step back to normality.


Making the most of the new rules were Tom Dodd and Sabrina Sinha, who both set new personal bests over 1500 metres.


Dodd won the men's B race in a new best of 3:45.56, shaving seven hundredths off of his previous best, set in 2019. Sinha was even more impressive, continuing her comeback with a 4:17.17 for second in the women's B race, beating a personal best set way back in 2016.


Full results can be found here.

Video of Tom Dodd's race can be found here.

Video of Sabrina Sinha's race can be found here.

A full album of photos from the event can be found here.


13th

Track Coach Clubhouse Podcast

Renowned coaches Mark Hookway, Lewis Church and Andy Poppleton hosted Birmingham's Head of Athletics Luke Gunn as they talked about topics including school-age athlete retention, the difference between American and British university athletics programmes, and the advent of the new Birmingham Talent Hub.


The podcast can be found here.

The video recording of the podcast can be found here.


Dustin in Sopot

Dustin on track in Sopot

For the third time in his young career, Ollie Dustin dipped underneath the 1:50 barrier, taking his talents to Sopot, Poland. In a highly competitive race, the Border Harrier finished in third, a position behind behind reigning world indoor champion Adam Kszczot.


His time was 1:48.16, which had him UK#15, as well as UK#6 U23 at the end of a bumper year for British middle distance talent.


Power of 10 results can be found here.


Font Training Camp

With the Ivy League trip to America cancelled way back in February, and travelling abroad becoming something of a myth, a small contingent of BUAC athletes led by Head of Athletics Luke Gunn travelled to Font Romeu for some altitude training, ahead of the British Championships in early September. Here we hear from one of the athletes lucky enough to attend, Lucy Jones.


During the summer I was lucky enough to travel to Font Romeu for an altitude training camp alongside some other past and present BUACers. I went with the intention to build on the fitness I’d maintained throughout lockdown and came back with that and more confidence I could have imagined! This put me in a great position for the British Championships in early September, having had chance to run one 1500 and 3000 following the camp. Overall, this year taught me how to be resilient and open-minded with my training, while relying on the amazing friendships and coaches that BUAC has to offer. Most of all it was wonderful to be supported by the whole BUAC family throughout 2020.

The training group in very warm weather in Font Romeu

16th

Nuneaton Senior Open

Jonny Currie attacking hurdle 10

In one of the earliest of the many many meetings that took place at the freshly laid blue track in Nuneaton, featured just over a half dozen BUAC faces as more athletes looked to open up their seasons.


In a 100/200 double was Imogen Sheppard, the incoming fresher putting together a 13.04/26.87 pairing as part of the third meeting in her already busy season.


Rory Keen and 2018/19 Track Captain Mark Cottam shared a 400 heat, the former running 48.59 for a season's best, while Cottam finished just behind in 48.62.

Gricce was running well after a strong cross season

Maisie Grice put together a double on the day, the first of which being a 2:13.58 800 for her second race of the season over the distance. Her second was an event she had not run since May 2018, and she shaved seven-tenths of a second from her previous best by running 64.33 for the 400 metre hurdles.


Also in the 400 hurdles was Jonny Currie, putting his multi-event training to use in his first hurdles outing, running 62.92.

In the final, fastest 800 race, Adam Day faced off against Matt Rawlings. Finishing 1-2, Day ran 1:55.00 on the nose, while Rawlings put out a season's best of 1:56.59.


The singular field athlete on the day was Cara Clarke, the Worcester athlete producing a long jump season's best of 5.22 to finish second in the A pool.


Full results can be found here.


21st

Bromley Twilight Meeting

Issy Boffey after her new 800 best

With ten days since the previous BMC races, athletes were clearly crying out for fast middle distance racing, and some of the finest athletes in the country travelled to Bromley for their Twilight Meeting.


On the men's side, the first 800 heat had both Harry Fisher and Tomer Tarragano racing, and both set new bests. Tarragano's 1:57.09 was over a second faster than his previous best time, but the monumental improvement in the race was from Fisher, who ran 1:53.18 to cut an unbelievable 3.5 seconds from his PB.

Taylor leads after a lap in the 1500

On the women's side of things, Issy Boffey also set a PB by just under a second, crossing the line in 2:02.10 in the second heat.


Patch Taylor, Tom Dodd, and alum Ian Crowe-Wright raced over three and three-quarter laps in two separate heats, with Taylor slightly off his best in running 3:58.66 in race one. Dodd took a further second off his best in coming third in the second heat, 3:44.25 his time. Crowe-Wright followed him home in a season's best of 3:44.69.

Thompson (2nd L), Brint (37) and Sinha (40)

There was one women's heat for the 1500, and Sabrina Sinha, Emily Thompson, and Cesca Brint were all involved for BUAC. Just like Dodd, Sinha took further time off of her best, set at Trafford, to come home in 4:16.71. In a season opener over the distance, Thompson ran 4:19.43 for her first time under 4:20, and Brint was the final Birmingham athlete home in a season's best 4:22.48.


Associate member Jay Rossiter raced the first heat of the 3000, and set a season's best of 8:22.45 to start the action over seven-and-a-half laps for BUAC. Fellow associate member Mark Pearce started the next heat, delivering an agonising new best as he ran 8:00.05 for the distance. James Gormley and Mike Ward had a head-to-head in the next heat, and it was Sheffield athlete Gormley who came out on top, going one better than Pearce to break eight minutes comfortably in 7:57.77, with a blistering 54-second last lap. Ward finished fourth in the heat, an 8:07.97 season's best for his troubles, slightly faster than his British Indoors medal-winning run.

A worn out Amelia Quirk

Final athlete on the men's side was alum Jonny Davies, in a race which saw four athletes under 7:46. The Reading athlete was one of those four, an 7:45.75 just edging Alex Yee for third in the race, and taking nearly five seconds off his best. Kate O'Neill raced in the second women's heat for a time of 10:02.98 in her solitary track race of the season. Amelia Quirk and Saskia Millard both went in the final, fastest 3000 heat for the women, and a fast race saw personal bests for four of the five athletes. The two athletes bookended the field, with Quirk's 8:54.09 ranking her UK#5 at year's end as she took almost 20 seconds from her best. Millard also improved, taking around half a second from her BMC Grand Prix time by running 9:20.28.

I didn't really put much expectation on racing this summer. I just wanted to race well tactically if the opportunity came about, rather than run fast times. So, getting the win in the B race at Bromley Twilight meet was great and going under 8 for the first time was just a bonus. Training had been going well leading to British Champs. The lockdown really allowed me to refocus on running again, and thankfully I didn't struggle with motivation too much, I was just happy with having something to do. Plus, training on my own is something I'm pretty used to, though I definitely missed being around the uni running community. James Gormley
Fisher leads his 800

Full results can be found here.

A full album of photos from James Rhodes can be found here.

Video coverage from Team Project Run can be found here.


23rd

Birchfield Inter Club Invitational

Poppy Bean in hammer action

Birchfield Harriers, displaced from their usual home of the Alexander Stadium as Commonwealth preparations begin, hosted an invitational inter club meeting at Nuneaton, against Thames Valley Harriers, Coventry Godiva Harriers, and a composite 'Nuneaton Nomads' team made up of those who had made Nuneaton their home to train over the summer.


Highlight of the day-long meeting was given by the ever-impressive Poppy Bean. After a year without competition, the Notts athlete broke her personal best and the club record in the process, a near five metre improvement to 53.45.


Adam Day racing the 1500

On track, the faster men's 1500 had a trio of bests for BUAC athletes, with Matt Rawlings, Dan Maud, and Adam Day all getting in on the action. Finishing second through fourth, Rawlings led them home, taking almost an exact half second from his best to finish in 3:56.05. Maud, fastest on paper, produced a 3:57.50 for a season's best, while the biggest improvement came from Day in fourth, who took seven seconds off his previous best in running 3:57.96.


In the two-lap middle distance races, Ollie Johnson raced to a personal best in a stacked eight-man field, trimming four hundredths from his 2017 PB with a 1:54.14.


Sabrina Sinha continued her stellar run of form in the month of August in the women's heat, running solo to victory ahead of alum Issy Cotham. Firmly cementing herself on the comeback trail, Sinha ran 2:05.31 for her fastest ever time, bettering a personal best set back in 2016.

Before lockdown I was throwing really well, which provided me with motivation to get into a routine of training circuits and core each morning. My dad helped me adapt what would usually be my gym sessions by building a solid box and using hammers as weights. I couldn't throw over lockdown, but tracks opened 3 weeks before my PB competition. Having this time away from throwing helped me feel refreshed and my technique was still in my muscle memory. Before this competition I knew I could PB but I didn't realise it would be by that much! Poppy Bean

James Davis' full report from the event can be found here.

Vinco coverage of the event can be found here.


25th

BMC Trafford

Gold Standard races took place on a horrendous night in Stretford, as the final northern BMC of the month took place. Battered by Storm Francis, there was very little fast racing to be had, in stark contrast to typical BMC races.


One athlete who did have a personal best on the day was Emily Thompson, racing in a tough 3000 A race. Under 10 minutes for the first time, the Banbury Harrier ran 9:57.14, just ahead of Charnwood/BUAC's Lucy Jones.


Associate member Mark Pearce made amends for just missing out on a sub-8 clocking over 3000 at Bromley, racing to second in the men's A 1500 in a new best of 3:45.76. Mike Ward was fourth in the race, 3:46.77 his season's best time.


James Davis' full report from the event can be found here.

Vinco coverage of the event can be found here.


28th

BMC Nuneaton

Ben McIntyre set a personal best in winning the men's C 800 at Nuneaton, the multi-talented multi-eventer taking over a second off for a new best of 1:58.33.


Full results can be found here.


Mid Cheshire 5K

Dexter on his way to a sub-16 clocking

Harry Dexter went under 16 minutes for the first time at the Mid Cheshire 5K, also sneaking into the top hundred as he ran 15:59 for 99th place in a rare road outing.


The Vale Royal athlete had not recorded a 5K road time before, but the performance was 13 seconds faster than both his multi-terrain best from Boxing Day 2019, and his parkrun best.


Full results can be found here.


29th

BMC Lee Valley

Fisher (261) in third (Photo: #teamlowesrun)

The highlight of BMC racing at Lee Valley came in the form of Tomer Tarragano and Harry Fisher in the men's 1500 D race.


There was a pair of personal bests, as Tarragano raced to second place in 3:58.91, and Fisher to fourth, taking 12 seconds off of his personal best by running 4:01.14.


James Davis' report from the event can be found here.

Pictures from the meeting can be found from #teamlowesrun and Mark Hookway.

The video of the 1500 D race can be found here.


29th-30th

SEAA COVID Games

Taiwo Eyiowuawi performed well at the SEAA Games, in Chelmsford, as she put together five strong performances over two days. A 58.85/59.81 pair of 400 races was backed up by three 100 metre performances which got better and better, lowering her personal best from 12.9 (HT) to 12.61w, then 12.55w, then 12.54w on a very windy day in Chelmsford.


Kirsty-Anne Ebbage also put together strong performances over two events, shot put and discus her preferred disciplines. 9.81 was a season's best for the senior 4 kilo weight, but by far the standout performance was her 42.03 with the discus, over three-and-a-half metres further than her previous best. The result made her UK#22 at year's end, as well as UK#7 U20.


Full results can be found here.


30th

Charnwood Open

Social secretary Jas Clark and incoming hurdler Louise Robinson both produced personal bests at the Charnwood Open, as August came to a close.


Clark raced to a 25.63 (+0.9) best over 200, while Robinson completed a double of 24.99 (+0.3)/58.29 for the 200 and 400, her best two performances of an eight race flat season.


Full results can be found here.


Weekly Roundup

After an action-packed week, we had a summary of all of the action in the week that was. James Davis' roundup can be found here.

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