Week Ending - 2024/06/30


Badgers ladies team are well and truly on an upward curve after a fabulous display at the Desford-based Steve Morris 5 race on Sunday. They managed their first maximum points haul of the season to lift them to within one place and just one point no less of a promotion spot at the end of the season on September 29th. Once again it was the classy Eleanor Fowler who led the team home with a terrific run of 33:12 for the five-mile circuit. Nobody in the club has ever run this quickly for the distance and it earned the Higham-based speed machine 12th place overall in the race and a prize for finishing as the fastest V45 athlete on the day, as well as the only Gold County standard achieved in the Badgers ladies.

Fowler was ably supported by Lucy Marchi who once again ran a cracking race, storming home in 35:53, backing up her brilliant effort at the Prestwold 10K just one week earlier. Twelve seconds behind her was Captain Fantastic, Megan Griffiths, who added a two-minute distance PB to her ever-lengthening list of fabulous feats in 2024. The pacy Millie Ridgway returned to the side and rounded up the scoring four in 42nd place overall with a rapid time of 37:40. Debutante Sara Wilson started from further back in the field and crossed the line a second behind Ridgway but with a superior chip time of 37:32, a great start from the promising newcomer. Veteran Suzy Farrell’s fine form continued as she hared round in 39:09 and the popular Rachael Shelton earned herself a five-mile personal best time of 41:09, the ladies' team is always the better for her being in it. Victoria Jones ran well to make the top one hundred overall alongside the inspirational Cheryl Dewis, a former winner of the V50 individual category, as she battles her way back into action after time away with injury and illness. 

Grace Barsby ran a brisk 41:58 to lop a mammoth 11 minutes off her old personal best, showing just how far she has come in a little over a year with the club. Jane Barrett and Liz Peel followed soon afterwards, closely followed by fellow vets Jill Miller, Karen Thompson, and a rejuvenated Joanne Crow (44:25). Exciting new signing Megan Church turned several heads post-race with her sensational yet highly Germanic socks and sandals combination, and high-fived her way round the course in 45:19 - another very good run. Clare Whetton enjoyed an epic sprint to the line which from behind looked as though a photo finish would be called for, however, from the side angle Whetton was very comfortably ahead, a great start to her 40th birthday celebrations. 

Krystal Knight made her distance debut and what a debut it was, crossing the line in a terrific 47:06. Maggi Savin-Baden achieved an impressive silver standard with her run alongside daughter Anna who was fortunate enough to pick up a spot prize of a bottle of Prosecco! Steph Nickless and Karen Draper battled hard as did Kate Rathbone who ran another personal best, this time in 57:43. Fiona Reidy took a break from cheering to go racing again and ran in tandem with Anne Devenney while Ivana Babicova and Sara Hawkins rounded up the action for a revitalised ladies team.

The men were also out in force with Matt Scarsbrook looking to make it five in five league wins in succession. Sadly for him, he had to settle for second place behind a refreshed Mo Hussein of Roadhoggs, the two both minutes clear of the rest of the field such is their combined talent. His 25:26 was good enough for a sought-after Platinum County standard and he once again propped up the men’s outfit, missing a number of its usual scoring stars. Ryan Preece was pressed into action earlier than he would have liked after his epic Hadrian’s Wall 70-mile race win two weeks prior. He finished just outside the top ten in a splendid, gutsy time of 28:09. Chris Horton has been an ever-present in the men’s scoring side this season, a fine achievement after starting the year with a foot fracture. He produced one of his best races of the season clocking 28:27 in 16th position and with it the only Diamond standard for Badgers in the race. 

Danny Warren returned from a three-week break to Australia, where eating and enjoying life superseded running for much of the time. His class shone through however as he dug especially deep to dip under 30 minutes and make the top forty despite being somewhat undercooked for the event. The pivotal fifth Badger back spot was filled by the inimitable David Jackson, who improved on his sixth Badger finish the week prior. His time of 30:40 was a throwback to his best running days, which peaked shortly before joining the club. 

Next through was his good friend and key man Glyn Broadhurst. The fourth most capped Badger of all time, Broadhurst has been a revelation this season after missing much of 2023 through chronic injury. Like Scarsbrook and Horton before him, he has been an ever-present this season almost always scoring for both vets and men’s team alike, so it is no surprise that Badgers ride so high in both leagues with stalwarts like him in the side. He managed to run 31:07, another gold standard in a season full of them so far. Ashley Taylor continued his rise to prominence with a rip-roaring 32:12 to lead the B-team home once again while Cameron Barnes was welcomed back into the fold, producing a quality time of 32:32.

Wayne Repton has been one of the most improved runners this term and a two-and-a-half minute PB was his reward for another excellent display (33:48). Even more crucially, with the vets team missing regular stars such as Neil Russell, Chris Tweed and Wayne’s younger brother Mark, he stepped up to the plate to fill the final point-scoring place and did a magnificent job too as his side pipped rivals Roadhoggs to the crucial second place by just one race place, earned by the Dosthill man himself. 

There were still plenty of notable performances to come however as Matt Green strode home in a brilliant time of 34:25 and old stager Jimmy Dewis chipped in with vital points for a Badgers B-team that has won five of the six races in the 28-team league which they are dominating. Jack Burton finished well in 35:38, one place and a few seconds shy of Bill Gutheridge who once again worked hard. Jim Cottom, Dave Purvis (36:56 – PB) and vice-captain Dave Jenkinson all travelled nicely as did Colin Lees, Rob Crow, and David Craig. Observers suspected Paul Cooper in his current form might be sniffing around a PB on a decent course with helpful weather but what they didn’t expect was for the Nuneaton bachelor to wallop his old best time by almost three minutes as he cruised home in 39:29. Adrian Parkes, V60 club record holder Peter Mann and Paul Restall ran well and Kieran Coopey took an incredible 7 minutes off his 5 mile best with a time of 43:59.

77-year-old Peter Greenfield was in great form once again as he finished first in his age category with a top-class 45:30. There was a popular return to action after a long layoff for Andy Altoft and Joe Jenkinson made it a rare father and son finish in the race for Badgers before Terry Taylor rounded up the action with a strong run after battling a succession of injury problems.

Elsewhere, Sharon Jackson and Steph White ran the Round Sheffield Run, a hilly trail affair. There were some good performances at parkrun where Colin Lees recorded his 300th event, one of the highest in the club. Alice Belcher ran a 5K PB at Walsall in 25:11, Lil Souter registered her best time for two years and there were top ten finishes for paintball ace Adi Payne, Martin Graham, Nivette Chester, Glyn Broadhurst, Megan Griffiths, and Suzy Farrell. There was a first-place finish at Bedworth as the in-form Lucy Marchi romped to top spot in 23:28. Mark Repton was the quickest of the weekend at Tamworth taking second in 18:23 and last but not least Joanne Crow managed a career-high 4th female at Dolgellau in Wales, a double out and back course in the mountains.