European bronze medal for Chris

PUBLISHED: 11:00 04 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:04 25 May 2010

AFTER a winter of injuries, North Somerset AC s Chris Millard ran a season s best to win a bronze medal at the European Interland meeting in Ashford, Kent.

AFTER a winter of injuries, North Somerset AC's Chris Millard ran a season's best to win a bronze medal at the European Interland meeting in Ashford, Kent.The 42-year-old was the defending champion after winning in Belgium last year, and backing this up with Great Britain and Wales National titles over 100 and 200 metres. The hard work was undone when a hamstring pull shortly before the 2007 world championships meant he had to pull out of the 100 metres during the semi-final. This injury has nagged away all winter, and until two weeks before the meeting Chris did not think he would get the opportunity of running. Some excellent physio work ensured a late selection, and this was fully vindicated by a top performance in windy conditions. Chris was also a member of the relay team that finished second in the meeting. The season continues next weekend in Birmingham, and the following weekend in Cardiff when Chris defends his national titles. A probable opportunity to compete in the Euopean championships in Slovenis awaits toward the end of July.Anyone interested in being involved with Chris' club, North Somerset AC, should visit www.fitnessontrack.co.uk. Millard is also head coach with the prestigious North Somerset Athletics Academy.NSAA has developed four national champions, more than 25 regional champions, and over 40 county champions in a variety of events in the three years since it's inception, and continues to grow both in numbers and quality. For more information, visit www.nsaa.me.uk. ONE hundred and six runners took part in the gruelling Beacon Batch Fell race. The five-mile race, organised by Weston Athletic Club, started from Langford near Churchill and climbed 1,000 feet to the summit of Beacon Batch, the highest point on the Mendip hills, before descending back to the start. Runners from across the south west and Wales attended the annual race which was this year blessed with fine and dry weather for the early evening run. The challenging profile was not of an issue for Vito Graffagnino of Clevedon Athletic Club who had opened up an early lead from the main field during the initial accent. On reaching the summit, Graffagnino had a commanding lead and was left unchallenged during the decent to the finish and completed the race in a time of 31 minutes and 3 seconds. Patrick Wooddisse of Bristol and West Athletic Club worked hard to close the gap and finished second in a time of 32:37, while Mike Roberts, also of Bristol and West Athletic Club, finished third.Meantime Frances Bird of Weston Athletic Club ran a excellent race, looking comfortable she headed off tough competition to finish first lady in a time of 41 minutes and 16 seconds while Kate Britten of Clevedon Athletic Club worked hard to finish second in a time of 41:43 followed by Helen Bennett of Mynyddwyr De Cymru finishing third.Men: Vito Graffagnino 31:03 (Clevedon AC); Patrick Wooddisse 32:37 (Bristol and West); Mike Roberts 32:48 (Bristol and West). Ladies: Frances Bird 41:16 (Weston AC); Kate Britten 41:43 (Clevedon AC); Helen Bennett 42:00 (Mynyddwyr De Cymru).Men 16-18: Jamie Hayward 38:30 (Weston AC). Men 18-39: Vito Graffagnino; Patrick Wooddisse; Mike Roberts. Men 40-49: Andrew Carruthers 34:36 (Halesowen Athletes). Men 50-59: Anthony Rhodes 39:04 (Great Western Runners). Men 60-plus: Roger Trubridge 38:37 (Unattached).Ladies 18-39: Frances Bird; Kate Britten; Helen Bennett. Ladies 40-49: Wendy Tippett 46:55 (Westbury Harriers). Ladies 50-59: Lynette Blanchard 48:17 (Nailsea Running Club). Ladies 60-plus: Liz Green 47:46 (Weston AC). THE first-ever ladies only 5km and junior cross-country races in Weston will take place on Saturday July 5, at Wyvern Sports Centre, Marchfields.The races are supported by North Somerset Council, Ladies Running Network in Weston, Weston AC, Clevedon AC and North Somerset Athletics Academy, as well as the organisers Wyvern Sports Centre, Tim Pollard and Weston Junior Athletics Club.The junior boys' and girls' races will start at 1pm with the Under-5s running 50m, the five and six-year-olds will run 100m, the seven and eight-year-olds will run 500m, the nine and 10-year-olds will run 1,500m, the 11 and 12-year-olds will also run 1,500m. The 13, 14 and 15-year-olds will run 3,000m. The entry fee for 5-15-year-olds is £2.50, and the ladies only race is £4.50. Proceeds will be re-invested into the Weston Junior Athletics Club for support in fun in fitness and giving children the opportunity in life. The ladies 5km race is for 15-year-olds and over and starts at 2pm. The cross-country course is flat, grass and traffic free, with a little sand thrown in.They will be giving a medal to all those who participate in the runs and have winners prizes for most age groups, presented on the Olympic podium. Registration will be on the day and must be completed 30 minutes before the start of the race.There are also refreshments on sale on the day and for the more adventurous children the gladiator wall and trampolines will be available. For more information call Clive on 01934 521848 or 07974 813576 or email: coach@wsmjuniorathletics. co.uk or the web: www.wsmjunior athletics.co.uk

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