Track marathons and training woes: BAC members in the media

A couple of BAC members have had stories related to their running in the press recently.

Here’s Stuart Goodwin on his first (and probably only) experience of running marathon distance on a track …

Running in circles: my track marathon

Everyone wants a nice, flat marathon course for a crack at their PB. But 105 laps of the track are not for the faint hearted, as Stuart Goodwin discovered

Time for a gel, courtesy of Stu’s wife Roo. Photo: Vicky Halliwell

In summer 2007, I jogged 8km alone on my club’s track in Sandy. I have rarely been so bored. This unfond memory was just one of many reasons why, on New Year’s Eve, with a browser window open and debit card in hand to enter Warrington’s winter track marathon, I should have stopped myself.

I’d had no joy with the London ballot, and none of the other early-year marathons appealed. So when word reached me of a track marathon in my home town, at the scene of more or less every personal best I set as a youngster (as well as the finish of my one-and-only sub-2hr half, two years ago), all thoughts turned to flatness, bouncy-bouncy track and the lack of need for a running belt. These somehow over-rode the small matter of 105 laps, plus 195 metres, and what this could do to a runner’s head …

Read the feature in full at The Guardian website here.


New member Ricky Byrne had an unfortunate ordeal while out on a training run

Electrician running London Marathon for National Autistic Society bounces back from training collapse

ricky byrne
Ricky in the Sandy 10. Photo: Poppy Jones

A Sandy electrician who is set to run a marathon in aid of autistic youngsters brushed off passing out during training last Thursday to smash the town’s 10-mile race at the weekend.

Ricky Byrne, 33, collapsed from dehydration after straining to beat his personal best last week, and was found unconscious by his wife Kelly on the side of the road.

But determined Ricky – who is running the London Marathon for the National Autistic Society, a cause close to his heart – bounced back for the Sandy 10 on Sunday.

He told the Comet afterwards: “I was racing for my personal best, and my wife essentially saved my life. She took my location from my iPhone and found me unconscious …

Read the story in full at the Comet website here.

More at Electrical Times here.

Click here for essential info on running hydration, or ask any of our coaches! Remember: it’s going to start getting warm out there …

Sunshine and silly hats: the Sandy 10 race report

Will Green blazed to his fifth Sandy 10 title last Sunday, on a stunning day for running in the town. Green, from Serpentine Running Club in London, showed he has come back strong from an injury-hit couple of years to hold off strong challengers and reclaim the crown he had previously won from 2011-2013 and 2015.

While many saw in the arrival of British Summer Time recouping the hour of sleep they had lost overnight, hundreds of runners from across the region and beyond arrived early for this popular annual fixture on the roads from Sandy into Everton, organised by Biggleswade Athletic Club.

Marshals, resplendent in a selection of weird and wonderful hats – a tradition established on the race’s 25th anniversary four years ago – ensured smooth and safe running on a sunny yet cool morning in and around the town, as seasoned competitors rubbed shoulders with charity runners and first-timers.

Sandy 10 2017 Marshals - credit Paul Langshaw Photography
Hats and hi-viz for the marshals. Paul Langshaw Photography

Green’s time of 53m09sec was his second best effort on the course, and came despite having competed for his club the day before the race as part of a road relay. He said: “I was a bit unsure if it would leave me a bit heavy-legged but in the end it went very well. I felt really strong throughout and ended up only 10 seconds or so off the fastest time I ran here in 2012.
“The race was great. The weather was beautiful – if a bit windy in parts – and as always the organisation and support by marshals made for a very enjoyable day out.”

Rounding out the top three in the men’s standings were David Hudson of BRJ Running Club (54:44) and Steve Horton, from Bedford Harriers (55:02).

first lady finisher
Rebecca Mayles, No288, topped the women’s standings. Photograph: Julia Mackay

The women’s prize was taken by Rebecca Mayles from the Milton Keynes-based Redway Runners (1:03:49). Mayles, the 29th finisher overall, was tracked throughout by Wendy Webber, from local rivals Milton Keynes AC, who crossed the line 26 seconds behind in 1:04.15. Another Bedford Harriers athlete, Kirstie Sharman, took third in 1:05.01.

Men’s age group prizes went to Gary Blaber (Male veteran over 40, 1:00:06, Milton Keynes AC), Andrew Henderson (MV50, 1:02.35, Cambridge & Coleridge AC), David Frampton (MV60, 1:07.31, North Herts Road Runners) and Jim Fell (MV70, 1:21.55, Werrington Joggers). Riverside Runners took the men’s team prize. The prize for top local finisher, where only runners from SG18 and SG19 postcodes are eligible, went to Jamie Hall (ninth overall, 58:32).

On the women’s side the honours were taken by Christine Lathwell (Ladies veteran over 35, 1:05.48, Stopsley Striders), Paula Downing (LV45, 1:07.51, Mablethorpe Running Club), Nora Haggert (LV55, 1:16.26) and Annette Newton (LV65, 1:22.41, BRJ Running Club). The ladies team prize went to Bedford Harriers, who also took the Erlensee Cup given to the club who enter the most runners – a staggering 80 from the race’s 530 entrants. Elaine Livera (51st overall, 1:08.34) took the local prize.

Overall race winner Green, who now competes in the MV40 category, also ended the day awarded with the Roger Wadeley Trophy for the best overall age-graded performance of the day. Wadeley, who died in 2010 after a battle with cancer, was a Biggleswade AC stalwart for over three decades, and a talented racer who still holds 11 club records, two of which date back to the 1970s. Speaking of the accolade, his first age-graded award at the Sandy 10, Green said: “I was particularly pleased to win Roger’s trophy – I know how important he was to the club.”

This year’s souvenir technical T-shirt.

All finishers received a souvenir technical T-shirt, featuring the slogan: ‘”Run 10 miles” they said … “It’ll be FUN!” they said.’ Once again the race supports the St John’s – Sue Ryder Hospice in Moggerhanger, who will benefit from the surplus race proceeds – since 2010 the hospice has received £10,750 from race organisers. For its 2017 running the Sandy 10 received vital sponsorship from returning partners Marshalls of Sandy, Tesco Sandy and The Barns Fitness Studios, Potton. Officers from Bedfordshire Police were an invaluable part of the organisation, lending support and a visible source of reassurance to marshals and runners at key points of the route where competitors crossed over open roads. Also on hand were Heart Services, who provided first aid cover.

MP Alistair Burt, himself a keen runner and former Sandy 10 entrant, started this year’s race and handed out the prizes. Afterwards he said the event is “always one of my best days of the year. Superb organisation from a great club.”

Full 2017 results here

More race photos from Paul Langshaw Photography here

Sandy track resurfacing – days six to 13

Club chairman Damien Pitts writes …

Day six – 4 March 2017

The shot put circle has now been completely dug out and four sections of the tarmac path on the outside of the track have now been dug up. No further sections of the path are due to be dug up.

A big thank you to the few that came down this morning to help move the pole vault and high jump beds – who knew sponges could be so heavy!


Day eight – 8 March 2017

The steeplechase water jump passed its initial inspection last week for any leaks.

The grass on the inside of the track has started to be cleared away from the track, as well as the grass on the outside edge of the tarmac path that runs around the outside of the track. A pressure washer has started to be used on the tarmac path as well.

The long jump pit has now been empted of sand and is ready for inspection.
The shot putt throwing area has now been dug out and the boarding is started to be around the outside edge of the throwing area.

Day 10 – 10 March 2017

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All of the soil from the shot put throwing area has now been removed and the base layer has now been installed.

Work has also continued on the clearing of the concrete curbing on the inside of the track with a pressure washer and the grass on the outside edge of the tarmac path that runs around the outside of the track continues to be cleared away.

Day 13 – 15 March 2017

The base layer of the shot put throwing area has been added to and the edging for the throwing area has now been put in place.

The tarmac path areas that were dug out, have now been resurfaced.

The long jump pit has been inspected and some of the edging needs to be replaced, this will be dug out shortly.

Baton changes aplenty at Schools Cross-Country relays


On 1 March BAC organised the 20th running of the Schools Cross-Country Relays in Chicksands. On a busy day at Rowney Warren, 196 children from eight schools took part, as teams of three across years 5-8 took turns to run 1km legs on heavy terrain.

Lincroft took the honours in three of the four categories – the boys’ race for years 5 & 6, and both boys’ and girls’ categories for years 7 & 8. In the latter race the school showed tremendous strength in depth, as a second Lincroft trio took third place. Max Reeves (boys’ years 5 & 6) and schoolmate Tristan Cook (years 7 & 8) recorded the fastest legs in their categories, with Cook’s storming leg of 3min 32sec the fastest of the day.

In the girls’ years 5 & 6 category, Etonbury Academy emerged victorious, with first leg runner Harriet Wall running the quickest leg. Etonbury added to this with second place in the boys’ years 5 & 6.


Top three placings also went to Alameda Middle School (third, boys’ years 5 & 6; second, girls’ years 5 & 6), St Andrews (third, girls’ years 5 & 6), Rushmoor and Holywell (second and third respectively, boys’ years 7 & 8) and Robert Bloomfield Academy (second, girls’ years 7 & 8). Libby Holmes, taking the baton home for Robert Bloomfield in the latter race, stormed round in a category-leading time.

Congratulations also to runners from Alban Church of England Academy, who came fourth in the girls’ years 5 & 6 race and fifth in the equivalent for years’ 7 & 8. For the first time in the event’s history, the 2018 races look set to include categories for school years 3 & 4, with changes to the distances involved also under consideration.

David Brown’s Diamond League date

david brown

Biggleswade Athletic Club stalwart David Brown has been appointed as an official for this year’s Anniversary Games at London’s Olympic Stadium.

A talented athlete in his own right, and latterly a massively respected official, David’s efforts are now rewarded on the grandest stage, which played host to London 2012. The Diamond League event on 7 July acts as a curtain-raiser for this year’s World Championships, which take place at the venue in August, and it always attracts many of the world’s best, with last year’s attractions including Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah.

Of David’s appointment, BAC chairman Damien Pitts said: “He has given up a lot of his free time over quite a few years to provide coaching to our athletes, to organise events on the club’s behalf and to help us to affiliate with other clubs. David deserves this and I really hope he enjoys the opportunity.”

At February’s AGM both David and the club’s officials coordinator Sonia Edwards emphasised the need for more members to start down the path to qualification, in order to ensure smooth running at track events and ensure records set at club-run meetings are ratified. For more information, contact Sonia on

The wading game: MK Festival of Running race report

Image courtesy of race organisers

Neil Harvey writes …

Woke up for the Milton Keynes Festival Of Running to rain, and temperatures of five degrees. I still wasn’t 100% after virus and injury. However, as runners do … I still went ahead.

We had a decent turnout with myself and John Stott hitting the 20 miler and the rest of the guys – Philip Housden, Malcolm Steward, Rachel Hallam Stott, Corinne Calligan, Helen Steward and Vikki Vowles – opting for the 10k (sensible people).

I was happy with my time (3 hrs 8mins 21secs) given my injuries – only four minutes outside last year and if not for a tight hamstring at 17.5 i would definitely have broke three hours. Never mind – there is always Oakley …

John running in his first 20 miler posted a terrific time so well done – I’d predicted 2.5 for him so was not far out as finished in 2:28.39.

In the 10k, Phil (47min 13sec) posted a great time, as did Malcolm (50:13) – well done to both. Rachel finished in 1:02.52, closely following by Corinne (1:04.21), Helen (1:06.10) and Vikki (1:14.36). Brilliant times ladies, and even better is knowing that all bar Phil came through the first Couch to 5k programme last year …WOW. It only seems like yesterday that I ran round the park with Helen on 5K passing out day in Bedford last year – great progress, keep it going!

The conditions were awful (rain/wind/temperature/hail) and very challenging, as anyone who has run MK regularly know it’s also far from flat.

Image courtesy of race organisers

Oh, also forgot to mention the LAKE – yes, LAKE – under the underpass at about three miles. It left everyone soaking for the rest of the race.

The race was again well organised with water stations and marshals everywhere, plenty of parking. While not the easiest of races i will certainly be back next year. I would strongly recommend this race as part of London Marathon training –  it is challenging but because of this I would say the 20 miles is equivalent to a flat 22.5 miles.