ONE DIRECTION GRAND PRIX
Fechin Mc Cormick
To the beat of the pop group “One Direction” echoing from across the adjacent football stadium, Sportcity, too, was alive with the sound of excellence that was the nation’s top-ranked middle distance runners competing in the British Milers Club Grand Prix. This prestigious annual festival is always an event par excellence, superbly hosted by top endurance coach Norman Poole (President of the BMC) and his merry team. For the uninitiated, the BMC is the premier middle distance club in the country and the vast majority of the best performances every year are produced by its members.
Over twenty-nine races, I witnessed epic duels as competitors sought last ditch Commonwealth Games selection; drank from the elixir of running that’s ‘PB’s or chased nemesis scalps. Of course, Sale Harrier’s elite middle-distance specialists were among them with many also serving as pace-setters.
James Bailey, with his superb 5000m PB of 14:46.21, has got to be wearing a smile. It’s a massive improvement on his recent years and he’s finally beaten his previous best set way back in 2006. Just behind him, the club’s higher claim member Dave Norman also did well to record a SB of 14:53.91 so soon after his Manchester marathon.
In the 1500m races, U17 Aimee Pratt (4:42.84) has got to be congratulated on her PB. Though the youngest in the field, early on she got boxed in and gustily ran the whole race from the front and only ran out of steam in the final 200m. There’s certainly more PB’s to come for her. Megan Davies finished on her shoulder with a SB and was given an identical time, though she’d have liked to have been faster. In the men’s 1500m races, in form Charlie Hulson’s mature race from the middle of the pack, probably assured him his PB of 3:48.18. It’s come on top of a massive 3000m PB by 14 second just two weeks earlier. U20 Jack Crabtree (3:47.56) and Nick Samuels (3:53.67) recorded season’s best times. U23’s Jamie Roden (3:58.80) and Ryan Moore (4:01.20) both came within a second of improving their best, recorded just a few weeks earlier.
Congratulations to U20 Imani Modahl on her superb 800m PB. Over three races during the month of May, she’s impressively improved from 2:24.91 to 2:19.47 to record this new PB of 2:17.09. In the men’s race, Dave Proctor, I suspect, also has good reason to be pleased with his SB. His 800m time of 1:51.84 was a full six seconds faster than he ran in the Cardiff BMC three weeks earlier and indicating that he’s fast returning to his sub 1:50 form.
The piece de la resistance of the entertaining evening were the ‘A’ quality races and in-form Niall Brooks was the club’s 1500m representative, bench-marking his return to top form following severe illness. In a typically well executed race, he tracked eventual winner Jake Wightman (Edinburgh AC) but couldn’t find the gear on the final circuit and was caught on the home straight by Chris Warburton (Notts) to finish 3rd and clock 3:43.01. Higher claim member Matt Barnes (Altrincham AC) was our representative in the ‘A’ 5000m race and he recorded a SB of 14:23.31.
Posted 03/06/2014 13:21