Taking flight … BAC athletes rocket to RSPB Race For Wildlife 10k glory

Biggleswade Athletic Club athletes Jamie Hall and Elaine Livera took top honours at the RSPB Race For Wildlife 10k race last weekend on an extremely cold morning at The Lodge in Sandy. The pair took first in the men’s and women’s standings respectively, with Elaine fourth overall in the combined results. BAC’s Deb Bryant was third lady finisher on the day as well.

Deb Bryant, Elaine Livera and Jamie Hall after the RSPB 10k. Photo by Charlie Arnold
Deb Bryant, Elaine Livera and Jamie Hall after the RSPB 10k. Photo by Charlie Arnold

The first running of the race took place on an awkward but picturesque two-lap course, each of which took in two steep inclines, including the cruelly leg-sapping Galley Hill. The route took runners through the old heath and the new heath, including the Iron Age Hill fort, and down the spectacularly sunlit, tree-lined bridleway.

Being a local affair, BAC members assisted with the planning and management, and those competing were already familiar with much of the route as the RSPB HQ is a favourite in training runs.

Jamie’s time of 36:57 was 1min 6sec clear of Martin Amos in second, while Elaine’s 42:10 for fourth overall was just 10sec behind Trevor Grace in third. BAC’s Paul Cooke was fifth overall in 43:40.


Elsewhere last weekend, multi-event specialist Daniel Steel continued his excellent start to the season at the Brunel Indoor Jumps and Throws Festival in Uxbridge. Having recently mauled the indoor heptathlon club record, he came away with a huge CR and PB in the shot put, with a best of 10.05m, but with three of his six efforts clear of the old mark.

Daniel also leaped to an impressive 5.65m in the long jump, while his 12.69m in the triple jump was not just a season’s best, but his best effort in two and a half years.

At the Eastern AA Indoor Championships at Lee Valley, BAC’s Morgan Webster – competing for Bedfordshire – took a fine silver medal in the Under-20 400m.

Morgan Webster, left, on the podium. Photo by Jamie Webster
Morgan Webster, left, on the podium after winning a silver medal. Photo by Jamie Webster

Run over two laps indoors, Morgan started the race slowly but slowly built up pace and passed the breaking point lying fifth out of six athletes. He then showed his pace judgment by reeling in those ahead, and his superior kick told in the closing stages as he fought his way into second place in a time of 51.25. He was joined on the podium with Beds team-mate Joseph Hubbock, who finished third.

BAC’s Hannah Ridley, competing for Keele University, took the line for the BUCS Cross Country Championships at Hillingdon House Farm Sports Ground in Uxbridge last Saturday. In a hefty field of 704 finishers, Hannah finished a very creditable 320nd in 29:59.9. The women’s race, taking in two laps totalling 6.5km, saw competitors having to contend with awkward ground and a sapping, muddy water crossing that conspired to suck shoes from the feet of some athletes …

If they could stay on their feet, that is …

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