The official magazine of Team Bath Athletic Club
First published Tuesday 01 Dec 1987

The Bath Plug
Issue 1437 11 Oct 2018
Welcome to the first newsletter style Bath Plug! I hope you enjoy the new format, and I welcome any feedback. I've made this change to improve how the Plug appears directly in your inbox, so if you haven't already, please sign up to the mailing list here:

If you have new content for me, nothing has changed - please email all reports, pictures, results to: We've had lots of great reports in recent weeks - let's keep it up! 

This week was busy for TBAC road racing and there are reports from National Road Relays, Chicago Marathon (x2), Chester Marathon, & Basingstoke Half. Also updates on the 5K TT, results from Marshfield Mudlark & Salisbury Half, and a call for club Trustees. Don't forget Gloucester League XC starts Saturday!! See you there. 

Tom Davies (Plug Editor)
Gloucester League XC Starts Saturday!
By Thomas Davies/Mark Thomas

TBAC competes in the Gloucester League XC series which starts at Old Down this Saturday 13th October. The more runners the better, so please sign up if you haven't already. See the Team Bath AC facebook group for coordinating lifts etc. 

Note the recent timetable changes:

Races are now starting about two hours later than originally scheduled. Check the Gloucester League website for further information. 

U11 Girls    13:00
U11 Boys    13:15
U13 Girls    13:30
U13 Boys    13:55
U15 Girls      14:15
U15 Boys    14:35
U17/Senior/Vet Ladies & Over 65 Men 15:25
U17/Senior/Vet Men  16:05

TBAC men's team at National Road Relays: Themis Bower, Alex Carter, Aaron Pritchard

Robert Howorth, John Howorth, Dan Jones

National Road Relays, Sutton Park
By Dave Coales

Our young and talented squad produced our best result for 20 years at the Six Stage National Road Relays on Saturday.


Alex Carter again was our fastest man opening up with 19:09 on leg 1. Next it was the ever reliable Dan Jones who recorded a time of 19:30. Aaron Pritchard took 23 seconds off his time from two weeks on leg 3. Aaron was followed by Robert Howorth who took 30 seconds of his Sutton Park PB. On a thankfully dry afternoon following a very wet morning Themis Bower battled bravery on leg 5 leaving John Howorth to bring the team home on leg 6 which he did in some style. John like his twin Rob took half a minute of his PB and in doing so brought the team home under the magic 2 hour barrier.

Alex Carter, Aaron Pritchard, & Robert Howorth racing hard at the National Relays.
Tom and Mo win age categories in Chicago!
By Tom Hutchison
I entered Chicago as it was my 5th of the 6 world majors. And because I have been carrying a qualifying time. And because I turned 65 in September and wanted to make the most of being the youngest in a steeply declining age category. 
Coach Paul King has been brilliantly encouraging but also practically aware of the training needs of geriatrics. So I managed 18 weeks of training without major injury though I often got close and had to rest from sore knees and some over training. Lost 5 kg - off where?
I was so pleased to run 3.15.33 in drizzly, perfect conditions. I had decided to try and run not on pace, but on even effort based on heart rate. Unlike last spring in Boston when I ignored my heart rate and ended in a hypothermic heap. 
150 is my anaerobic threshold, and I just kept this lid on until 35k when the 3.15 pacers came up behind me like a surging wave shouting encouragement. Only 7k to go so I let my heart rate rise to 155 then 165 and felt like I was surfing home, engulfing and passing loads of tired runners. The last 800 meters were awful but I made it to the finish just as my legs seized up: 
Some splits: 22.51 (first 5k), 01.37 at the half, 23.11 (5k 35-40)
Anyway it turns out I was first vet 65. 

So me and Mo Farah both won our age categories. Though actually the 1st V70 ran 3.08!
So what next?
Hoping to be high enough in Manchester next spring to get an England Athletics Masters selection. Then I might have a third attempt to finish off the Cotswold Century but this time with a bit of proper training and coaching. And of course some nice cross country coming up. 
Long road back to Chicago
By Simon Brace 

With two decent results, in the hottest London Marathon then a traumatically hot Race to the Stones, I got greedy and threw myself back into training far too soon with ambitions for a fast Chicago Marathon.
So four weeks post RTTS, one Tuesday night early August, after a typically brutal interval session, I felt a pain building in my left foot. The next morning, the pain had become excruciating. Soon afterwards, it was diagnosed as a severe stress fracture in my metatarsal... argghhh... only 9 weeks until Chicago!
Two days later, I managed to hobble sufficiently to mount a spin bike... what a relief... I could ride with minimal pain. Contrary to my orthopaedic’s advice, I threw myself into cycling - intense spin and Zwift workouts coupled with long weekend bike rides. I’m not advocating ignoring medical advice, but sometimes you know your body better than anyone - riding was certainly not aggravating my injury, and was my only means of retaining fitness. Or so I thought...
Part way through my healing, Claire, my Physio whom some of you will know well (I like to call her The Magician!), encouraged me to start aquajogging! Willing to try anything, and not afraid to look like a right plonker flapping up and down the slow lane in the Uni pool, I added another cross-training discipline to my routine. Then three weeks before Chicago, Claire got me running on the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill... not that I was desperate or anything!
Two weeks out, my orthopaedic said I shouldn’t try running (or cycling!) for another two months. At the same time, Claire was strapping up my foot so I could run outside for the first time in 7 weeks... eek! And so I managed to bag a handful of runs before we flew off to the Windy City, the longest being a super slow 14 miler that left me aching all over.
24 hours before marathon day I jogged 30mins on the treadmill. I felt awful... stiff and in pain. I felt my marathon prospects were 50:50 at best. And so the day came... Kim and I walked the 1.5 miles from our Airbnb to the start, and that would be my warm-up. Unlike usual marathons, where I’m keen to turn my legs over before we race off, I needed to preserve my poorly foot. As I lined up in Corral A, I felt significantly out of my depth, chuckling at the sight of my super-chunky supportive footwear (that would proceed to swell in the rain!) compared to everyone else’s super-light Nikes.
As the bright orange Nikes flew off ahead, I tried to lock in to my own steady pace. From then on, it was simply a case of zoning out, managing the aches and pains, just putting one foot in front of the other. At no point was I confident of finishing... more than any race, I never knew what might lie in the mile ahead.
But I finished. In 3hr06. A miracle. Or was it. I now reflect on all the brutal sessions on the bike, the monotony of aquajogging lengths in the pool, the tentative first running steps on the antigravity treadmill. Plus all the core and strength sessions in between. I had done everything possible to give myself the very best chance to get round, and in a respectable time. It wasn’t luck. It’s testament to the merits of cross-training. To run fast, you can’t beat running. But it’s not the only way. Will you see me aquajogging again once I’m properly healed? You never know. Will you see me on the bike at least twice a week? You bet!
Kim & Simon Brace enjoying their time at Chicago Marathon
Basingstoke Half
By James Donald

Despite a day of pouring rain the day before, conditions were perfect for the Basingstoke half marathon. This race of ~1000 starts in Basingstoke’s large main park before heading off into the countryside for a pretty route that takes in a number of the surrounding villages, a rather large hill and a section of undulating road known locally at “the Big Dipper”.
I’d been targeting this race as a way of getting some post Great Glen Ultra speed back in my legs prior to the cross country season and as such was targeting a top ten finish with maybe a top five depending on how things went / who turned up. 
Things went according to plan at the start as I let a fast lead pack of 6 go off and settled into the chasing group. After about 2 miles I got bored of leading this group and decided to pick things up so left them behind with the target of catching those starting to hang off the back of the front group. Unfortunately this move coincided with the largest of the day’s hills which made for an unpleasant mile of climbing on my own. 
After this I slowly reeled in 6th place (5th proved to be out of reach), resulting in a bit of a tedious tooing and froing battle over miles 8-11. After this I fell off a bit and let a gap of about 30m open. At around mile 12 I had a word with myself and managed to close this and open up a small gap going into the last 800m. I just about managed to hang on to this, taking 6th in 1:16:41. 
I think the hills probably added about 1.5min to the time so I’m happy with this and feeling good for Gloucester League kicking off this week!
A somewhat tired looking James Donald at the end of the Basingstoke Half
Chester Marathon
By Josh Taylor

I did the Chester Marathon on Sunday attempting to beat my marathon PB from a couple of years ago. After missing out on my PB by a long way at my last attempt in the London Marathon back in April, my training had gone well throughout the summer and I knew I was in good shape. The weather conditions were very good (certainly better than the heat of London in April) and made for a fast time but the course was a lot more undulating than I had hoped. I set out on my target pace of 6 minute miles and got to halfway within target time and feeling good. The second half was a lot tougher including a steep hill at mile 24 which came at a difficult time. I managed to hold it together and was relieved to come in at 2 hours 38 minutes and 19 seconds (in 19th place) which was a PB by about a minute and a half. Probably not the fastest course for anyone targeting a PB but I would recommend Chester as a well organised and scenic race.
Josh Taylor with a PB performance (and fastest TBAC marathon of the year so far) at Chester Marathon 
Running Bath 5K TT - Age 15 record. 
By Mark Thomas
In the October edition of the Running Bath 5 km Time Trial an age 15 record was set by Lizzie Nobes who ran 20:11, beating the previous record of 20:34 by 23 seconds. Congratulations to Lizzie, who is rewarded with a voucher from Running Bath.
Running Bath 5K Time Trial
By Ray Brigden

League standings to October are published below. The full sets of results are available on the TBAC website using the button here: 
The Bath Plug is the weekly magazine of Team Bath AC. Copy and comment for publication, questions and corrections to the editor at Copy to the editor by Wednesday 18.00 for inclusion. Available online at
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