2012/13 Race Referee's Reports (06/03/2012)

The various Race Refereee's Reports from each of the races held this season have now been submitted. You can select each one individually via a "link" from the table below or you can choose to read the whole lot. By selecting a "link" it will take you to that report (in a new browser window/tab) within the whole document. 

Race Division 1 Division 2 Division 3
10/11/2012 Newbold Comyn, Leamington
01/12/2012 Cofton Park, Birmingham Plock Court, Gloucester Burbage Common, Nuneaton
12/01/2013 Tipton Wyken, Coventry Droitwich
09/02/2013 Perry Barr, Birmingham Pitville Park, Cheltenham Coundon Park, Coventry

 

FIRST RACE LEAMINGTON 10TH NOVEMBER 2012 (ALL THREE DIVISIONS OF THE LEAGUE)

The first race of the Birmingham & district Cross Country league began as usual with all three divisions coming together at Newbold Comyn, Leamington, on Saturday 10 November 2012 with thanks to Leamington C & AC for promoting this event.

As in previous years the league was joined by the Midland ladies Cross Country League but as their numbers had increased, the start time was adjusted so that the ladies start at 1.30pm with the men at 2.30pm. This time change proved very successful as almost all the ladies finished before the start of the men's race.

The weather was very kind with almost all sunshine, with very little wind and reasonably warm.

The start this year was moved from near the finish to a field beyond the football pitches so that the start and finish were not adjacent to each other. The course for the ladies was two laps and the men three plus the run in to the finish. One could say that the course was very wet with the stream as formidable as usual.

In the ladies race some 280 ladies completed the two laps with Frances Briscoe of Coventry Godiva finishing in a time of 25 min 04 sec. Some 38 ladies teams closed at the end.

In the men's race we saw 722 finish (Div 1 229, Div 2 218, & Div 3 205) with Phil Nicholls from Tipton take the honours in a time of 33 min 23 sec.

At the conclusion when the results were prepared there was a problem with both the Birchfield team athletes and also the Loughborough team athletes. The Birchfield problem was amicably resolved within a few days but the Loughborough problem took almost 2 weeks to be resolved, all the work being undertaken by the league secretary, Carolyn and the Division 1 race secretary, Bill.

Unfortunately there were one or two problems not within the race itself but with athletes being very inconsiderate to the host club. These included being rude (while running) to marshals on the course while the races were in progress, parking inconsiderately to others and not parking where specifically directed to park, etc. These very inconsiderate deeds have been taken up by the league secretary with several emails going to and fro. If this attitude continues then this very fixture may well be looking for a new venue.

Graham Heeley 


Division 1 - 2nd Fixture at Cofton Park, Birmingham, 1st December 2012. Hosts Bournville H

Weather Conditions:

On the day the weather conditions were dry cold and windy we had no rain and frost as forecasted.

Course Start & Finish

The course was exactly the same as last year a very testing undulating course with some muddy patches under foot due to rain the previous nights. In total the distance was 10k (approx) that consisted of three two mile laps.

The start area was well marked out but could have been a little wider once I saw everyone on the start line we had no complaints. I nominated two officials at the start line to assist with gathering the athletes to the line and starting the race with the referee.

The finish funnel had to be altered as the runners turn the corner they went straight into the finish funnel. So I had the finish funnel dismantle and moved further back it gave the runners more of a straight line run in to the finish funnel.

Course & Marshals

The course was well marked out they were some slight adjustments made when I arrived but this did not effect the route for the athletes too much. The marshals wore hi-visibility bibs and were positioned in all the key areas round the course. The race director (Steve James) made himself available to the referee to check the course and ensured marshals were well briefed in advance.

Officials

All the league officials carried out their duties well on the day but Pete Lisseman never turned up. We had two sets of funnel and timekeeper recorder boards. We were well supported in the additional official's roles for non –hosting clubs they all turned up and covered funnel stewards disc steward and judge/recorders. Dave M collected the envelopes as the nominated club turned up later than expected. Worcester had one disc steward but managed to get another person. In future when sending out communications to all clubs we need to ensure for the disc steward role we ask for two people not one.

A big thank you to Kay Adcocks who had brought all the numbers and boards to the meeting because Pete Banks had a car accident on the way to the venue.

First Aid

Med Event was on site and we had no incidents on the course and first aid was not administrated to any athlete on the day.

Event Facilities/Parking Registration/Toilets

No covered accommodations no changing rooms or showers were available on the day. The host club provided three portable toilets with three tents on site one for registration refreshments and Bournville's own tent. I do feel that teams athletes and officials should have some shelter in the event of severe weather conditions we were lucky with the weather on this occasion. Parking was mostly on the roads but space was available for officials nearer the registration area. Dave M sorted out all the registration on the day in the absence of Bill Adcocks and Pete Banks assisted by Kay Adcocks.

Signage/Maps/Risk Assessments/Permits

The signage was adequate maps were available for each clubs the MCAA permit was on display but the risk assessment was not available on the day.

The Race

Before the start of the race an announcement by the referee was made to congratulate Terry Egan. Terry was running is 100th Birmingham League race his first race was back in 1985 he informed us. A generous round of applause was given in recognition of this achievement.

The race consisted of three laps on the first lap the field was quickly strung out because it was a downhill start. Halfway round the lap as they started the first climb up the hill a small group of athletes started get away from the field. At the front we had B'ham Univ, Loughborough, BRAT, Coventry, and Tipton athletes all vying for the front. Lap two the leading pack was whittled down to five with Will Gray (B'ham Uni) leading the pack which included Loughborough, Coventry, Jack Gray (the 1st Junior) from BRAT and Birchfield and Tipton pulling away from the rest of the field. At the start of lap three as the runners accelerated down the hill they were 1st Will Gray Loughborough 2nd Adrian Holliday Tipton 3rd Ben Livesey Birchfield 4 Tom Spencer Coventry 5th Ben Norris Birm Uni 6th Ian Rawlinson Tipton. At the finish Will Gray of Loughborough maintained his lead on the final lap to win the race from 2nd place Adrian Holliday (Tipton) with 3rd place to Ben Livesey (Birchfield ).We had a total of 251 athletes finishing compared to 239 last year.

Overall the event was well organised on the day, we had no problems and I would like to thank hosts Bournville for putting the event on the day.


Division 1 - 3rd Fixture at Sandwell Valley West Bromwich 12th January 2013. Hosts - Tipton Harriers and incorporating the Midland Womens Cross Country League

For this joint meeting the league secretary Carolyn Franks was in attendance.

Weather Conditions:

Mild and cold weather conditions on the day. Snow was predicted but never arrived

Course Start & Finish

I arrived early and adjusted the finish funnel, as it was too short also roped off the sides to prevent spectators coming into the funnel area. Start line could have been longer but to extend it would have gone on the route as they start each lap. We had two officials at the start line to assist with the start of the women's and men's races.

Course & Marshals

The Course distance was 6.4k for women and 9.7k for men although this was slightly shorter (9.3k) I walked the course as per the map and had some difficulty following some of it and so did a lot of the athletes and spectators. When I asked for advice I was told to walk it and it would become clearer - I was not impressed. I told Mike Buntin where marshals would be needed to ensure no one went off course and this was adhered to. Marshals wore orange bibs ideally we needed a few more marshals by the small & medium loops and by the finish. We had a lot of spectators on the course between finish area and the start of each lap and this needed to be roped off. Otherwise it well staked off with tape around the course. It was very muddy in some parts of the course but the ground was soft under foot.

Officials

All the league officials were present except Pete Lisseman who was unavailable due to an ankle injury. Staffs Moorlands was the only club that did not provide a person for T/keeper's recorder. B'ham Uni was the only club not to report in to the referee for officiating duties (collect envelopes). When challenged I was told sorry I am running and will collect them at the end of the race. I replied the women have finished so you can ask one of them to do the job. Thankfully they got a team athlete Vicky and she did a good job when told what was required. Overall I was pleased with the performance of all the officials on the day. (Do we put in some sort of penalty clause (50 points?) for non-hosting clubs not providing officials/helpers) on the day.

First Aid

Med Event arrived at 13.15pm with a vehicle. There were no incidents on the course and first aid was not administrated to any athlete on the day.

Event Facilities/Parking Registration/Toilets

The registration area was too small and not big enough to accommodate Men and Women. Because the women's race was first they took up the whole room and no other area was reserved for the men's registration. Bill Adcocks had to work on a bench and we were grateful that it was not raining. Car parking was available and I did not see any problems. Three/four areas were reserved including an overspill area which was well sign-posted. Plenty of toilets were available for everyone near the registration area.

Signage/Maps/Risk Assessments/Permits

Course Maps.

Maps were available on the day and visibly displayed and clubs were also sent a copy of the map in advance. Unfortunately the information for the men's race was incorrect and it was not spotted until the ladies race had started. When told the revised course I was informed that it was now 3 large laps. I announced this change to everyone. Then another person told me it was 1 medium and 3 large laps for the men. I then spoke to Mike Buntin and he confirmed it was 1 medium and 3 large so I had to go round the tents again and announce the updated version. This was something I did not need but I was pleased with the PA system I brought along with me which was very effective and the message was received and understood. It was suggested that we could buy a loud hailer for referees to help start the races in the future.

I looked for a risk assessment or MCAA permit on display on the day but did not see one.

The Races

Ladies race 1.30pm

The ladies ran 1 small loop followed by two large laps the race had a good turnout from the women with 216 runners finishing on the day. The race was won by Iona Lake (Junior) from B'ham Uni (24.12) closely followed in 2nd place by Claire Jacobs Tipton (24.16) then 3rd Clare Tarplee Solihull & Small Heath (24.18). A few observations that were noted by me and other officials were as follows. Race numbers were not the same style as some were folded, hand-written or pinned incorrectly and we had duplicated numbers. This made judging difficult for our officials and athletes need to be told how numbers should be worn in future when they are issued. Also the Midland Women's league should ensure that they issue the same style of numbers for each race.

Men's race 2.30pm

The men ran 1 medium lap followed by three large laps. From the start Ben Livesey from Birchfield took the lead followed by Adrian Holiday of Tipton. They already had established a lead from a pack of nine runners chasing the two front runners. The field was well strung out as they started the first of their three large laps with Ben Livesey continuing to dominate the race and had a clear lead of around 50metres from Adrian Holiday. The order at the front remained the same for the rest of the race as the athletes found the muddy conditions quite testing on the course. Ben Livesey finished 1st (31.19) and was delighted with his victory 2nd was Adrian Holiday from Tipton (31.55) third on a sprint finish was Sam Tosh Loughborough (31.59). We had 252 finishers on the day.

On the day I found this meeting did not go as smoothly as I wished with the problems at registration a concern when hosting with the women. The map information which was sent to all clubs two weeks before had changed but it was not spotted by the club until I queried it with the organiser. The course needed more marshals for the small loop. Otherwise I think the athletes and spectators were happy with how the race went on the day.


Division 1 - 4th & Final Fixture at Perry Barr, Birmingham 9th February 2013. Hosts - Birchfield Harriers

Weather Conditions

Mild damp overcast weather conditions on the day.

Course Start & Finish

Arrived early at 11.50am and the club were still putting out the course so I offered to assemble the finish funnel for the club. The start was situated on the football pitch. We used two officials to help with start of the race.

Course & Marshals

The course was three laps at 3.3km per lap just short of 10k. I walked the course while they were still putting it out. It was well staked out and they provided adequate marshals on the day. The only issue I had was that the club does not have any matting to cover the crossing on tarmac paths. This has been raised in the last few years but the organisers tell me they have only ever had one complaint. I would like to put on record that the club must provide matting for safety reasons. The athletes were warned at the start about crossing the tarmac with no matting. The Marshals were all in the right place and were easy to identify and made sure athletes did not go off course.

Officials

Birchfield did not notify the league officials with map/directions as required 14 days in advance of the cross-country fixture taking place on the 9th February. John Vickers (T/K) and Peter Lisseman (Judge) both made comments of not being notified. (League Rule 17) We had a full quota of league officials and nominated clubs reported to Bill Adcocks that they were available to help Bill advised them to see the referee at the finish area.

First Aid

Mick from Med Event arrived in good time but he was not required on the day.

Event Facilities/Parking Registration/Toilets

Birchfield provided their club room for registration and presentation and the Birchfield café was open for hot food and drinks. Toilets were available within the stadium and there were plenty of parking spaces.

Signage/Maps/Risk Assessments/Permits

On the course we only had one map and a risk assessment but the maps were available on the B'ham league website in advance. The MCAA permit was left in registration rather than posted on the course for everyone to see.

The Race

The race consisted of 3 large laps around the field which included the football pitch and running around the lake. Athletes then had to run up the top field at the back of the new stands than back round to the finish up the hill 3.3km. The course was mostly flat, muddy in parts around the football pitch and the lake area, a good fast flat course with a small hill at the start and finish. Ben Livesey (Birchfield) went off quickly and took control at the start of the race. He was being followed by Abdul Abdulraman (Birchfield) 2nd place and Ross Jones (Wolves & Bilston) in 3rd place. At the start of the 2nd place Ben Livesey had company with him as Jack Gray (BRAT) was running on his shoulder looking strong as they climbed the hill to start the 2nd lap. Then there was a gap with Cheltenham who had two runners in the top six with Tipton and Loughborough students packing well and also Coventry who had runners packing well in the first 15 places. At the start of the final lap Jack Gray had taken the lead from long time leader Ben Livesey, then there was a gap of 30 metres with Rhys Park (Cheltenham) in 3rd. Sam Densham (Loughborough) 4th. We had two juniors in the top four places as this was the final fixture they was plenty to play for. Coventry was also trying hard to make up ground on Loughborough for the top spot. Meanwhile Wolves and Bilston, Bournville and Rugby & Northampton were fighting to stay in the league. At the end of the race it was Jack Gray 1st in a time of 32.33, 2nd was Ben Livesey in 32.42 and 3rd Sam Densham in 33.06.

We had 241 athletes who finished the race. Well done to Loughborough students who finished first on the day - 2nd was Coventry and 3rd was Cheltenham. Overall the winners for Division one were Loughborough students, 2nd Coventry and 3rd Birmingham University. Bournville Harriers, Rugby & Northampton and Worcester are relegated and go down to Division Two next season

Summary

I would like to thank Birchfield for hosting the final meeting and their hospitality.

I would also like to thank Bill Adcocks, Pete Banks and Kay Adcocks for the work done in producing the results throughout the season and Dave McNamee for the overall work he does for division one and the league.

This season I have had very good support from all the league officials who have all carried out their duties in a dedicated, professional manner. Also the non-hosting clubs have all turned up and carried out their officiating duties without any difficulty. It is with regret that we will be losing Cindy Morrissette as a league judge as she has decided not to continue working for the league next season and we wish her well for the future.

Noel McKakly


DIVISION 2 - SECOND RACE AT PLOCK COURT , GLOUCESTER 1st DECEMBER 2012

The second race was promoted by Severn AC at Plock Court, Gloucester. The venue was the same as used the Severn Club as in previous years. The course is flat except for a 4 foot climb and a 4 foot descent on the far side with the rest running around football field full of football pitches. It is usual to complete three laps of this course but due to weather conditions where most of the course had been under water several days before it was not possible to use one end of the playing field so the lap distance was reduced but the number of laps was increased to four. As a result of the weather conditions the going underfoot was very wet and muddy in several places.
The weather was very kind on the day about 6 degrees with a watery sun but little wind but in the closing stages of the race the temperature dropped. Some 218 athletes started with 213 finishing. Because of the shortness of the laps the leaders started to pass the back of the field after the start of the third lap. However all competitors completed the correct number of laps on the course.

The race was won b Chris Perrin (C & S) in a time of 33 min 56 sec. Chris is a junior and 19 juniors completed the course. Chris also led home his Cannock & Stafford team. 10 B teams closed in. At this stage after 2 races C & S also hold the lead. As a result of the first race Trentham failed to show and unfortunately Newcastle failed to close a team.
One noticeable absence was First Aid. The host club stated it was present in the sports complex (which was very active) but none was out on the course. Parking was at a premium at this venue especially with all the sport activities that take place on this site.


DIVISION 2 - THIRD RACE AT WYKEN, COVENTRY 12th JANUARY 2013

The third race was hosted by Sphinx at Wyken, Coventry and was held over the usual rough, undulating grassland of about 9km. The going was soft underfoot with a few patches of heavy mud. Once again, Sphinx did a good job in setting out the course which was well marked with direction arrows, tape and human marshals. Slight modifications were addressed when suggestions were made. The finish was well marked and set out, and First Aid was in full attendance. The weather was dry but very cold.
Eventually all clubs provided the extra officials which proved very useful. The race proceeded smoothly and at the end of the race the Race Secretary was able to compile the results. In general there were no problems and the race was won by Tim Dalton of Severn on 31m 35 with Paul Ward of Telford in third. Severn AC won the team race with 88 points from Warwick University and Gloucester was third. There were 8 clubs with B teams.
My thanks to Rob Mulgrue for his assistance on the day.


DIVISION 2 FINAL RACE AT PITTVILLE PARK, CHELTENHAM 9th FEBRUARY 2013

The final race was held at Cheltenham's Pittville Park organised by CLC Striders (This being the same course as used by Division one earlier in the season). This is a new club who are very enthusiastic and just need a little guidance with their organisation.(Not sure if this is the first time they have organised a cross country race). On this occasion the Midland Ladies League was held in conjunction with the this fixture with 174 athletes and the winner recording 21 min 49 sec. The course was around the perimeter of a park which is undulating with a small river crossing about half way round. The ladies completed two laps and the men's league three laps.

The race was won again by Chris Perrin a junior from Cannock & Stafford in a time of 30m47s with Tim Dalton of Severn second in 30m55s and Chris Rimmer of Telford third in 31m06s. 205 athletes finished the course including 16 juniors. There was one disqualification. On the day Severn won with 110 points and won the division with 521 points second on the day and second overall Warwick University 174 and 640 points respectively, and on the day Telford were third with 174 and also promoted with 800 points overall. Gloucester were unfortunate, just failing in fourth overall place with 805 points.

Three teams failed to finish during the series and thus relegated were OWLS, Trentham and Newcastle.

Stratford on Avon, Warwick University and Tamworth supplied officials but Knowle & Dorridge, Gloucester, Centurion and Telford failed to supply an official as requested by paper notification at the previous meeting. One timekeeper did not attend or notify the division of his non-attendance but was replaced by an official from Stratford.
My thanks go to the league secretary Bob Carey and all the other officials who worked hard over the four fixture series and our congratulations go to the three teams who move up to Division One and we wish them all the best next season.

Graham Heeley, Referee Div 2, 10 February 2013


Division 3 Race 2 at Burbage Common 1st December 2012

Walking the course a week prior to race day there was a distinct possibility of calling it off. However walking the course again a day before it was much better. On race day it was still very wet underfoot and cold and windy.

The Midland Counties Women's race went well with some 240 runners starting the 2 lap event.

The men's 2 lap race of saw the local club's Matt Amos take a convincing win and 184 completed the race.

The officials were missing one judge. However we did have two volunteers who helped out. I also had to drop in as Timekeeper's scribe. No untoward incidents were reported to me and everything went well.

The course was well marked and marshalled with a good long finishing funnel. First Aid were in attendance with a 4x4 vehicle if needed. They had only one minor cut to deal with.

A problem to be looked at in the future is toilet provision. There were too few toilets for the women creating a last minute rush to get to the start from the College changing rooms.

The gym was used for Registration, Results and Refreshments. Therefore there was no heating. The caretaker did provide a small heater but it was still cold for the majority of people.

The club has asked me to thank people for removing dirty shoes before entering the building and also for leaving the showers as clean as possible because the area had recently been refurbished.


Division 3 Race 3 at Droitwich 12th January 2013

A dry, cold and windy day for race three.

The extremely muddy course was well marked out and there were plenty of Marshalls and helpers to provide a good day of racing. The course included a sizable ditch which I deliberated on for a while on whether to take it out. But in the end I left it in ( no complaints from anyone ). A proper cross country challenge !
I had to lengthen the finishing funnel a little.

The race was won easily by Dan Robeiro Solihull & small Heath with 194 finishers.

Point to think about in the future:- the bridge's very hard surface was difficult to negotiate in spikes being concrete/hard tarmac.
There was a very muddy steep incline down to the river under the road, runners were finding difficulty in slowing down before turning under the bridge. No problems thankfully.

First Aid was in attendance on the two bridges over the course and a ambulance at the school.
All officials were present and the facilities at the school for results and changing were adequate. Unfortunately there were no refreshments. A hot drink would have been very welcome after standing out on such a cold day.


Division 3 Race 4 at Coventry 9th February 2013 Promoted by Northbrook A.C.

Another cold day for race 4 at Coundon park.

A three lap course around waterlogged fields with a section of winding wooded tracks provided yet another very stick, wet challenge for this final race. The course was excellently marked out and marshalled with a really good finishing funnel. One downside was the distance from Registration at the school to the course (as at Burbage Common). There was a lot of room at the start for parking.

Excellent refreshments were provided by Northbrook, a good assortment of homemade cakes and batches.

All League Officials were present except Jim Skidmore who notified me in plenty of time.

Volunteers from spectators helped to usher runners down the finishing funnel. The presentations went well and thanks to Graham, Division Secretary, for all his work in all the fixtures. Thanks also for scribing for the timekeeper on the day.

In the race itself the athletes were well spaced out due to the condition of the course.
Matt Amos, Nuneaton Harriers, led from the start winning by 38 seconds from Dan Rebeiro, Solihull & Small Heath with Mike Cornes, Black Country Triathletes, third with 175 finishers.

Nuneaton taking team honours with 79 points from Northbrook 132, Black Country Triathletes 178, Massey Ferguson 191

Top Positions after 4 races (subject to checks)

Teams

1. Nuneaton Harriers A.C. 534
2. Northbrook A.C. 675
3. Massey Ferguson R.C. 689
4. Sparkhill Harriers 968
5. Black Country Triathletes 1118
6. Stourbridge R.C. 1152
7. Dudley Kingswinford R.C 1165
8. West Bromwich H 1404
9. Cobra A.C. 1578
10. Oak Park R.C. 1830

Individuals overall

Juniors

1 Dan Rebeiro, Solihull & Small Heath A.C.
2 Jake Waples, Nuneaton Harriers A.C.
3 Alex Hewitt, Aldridge R.C.

Seniors

1 Dan Rebeiro, Solihull & Small Heath
2 Dan Stang, " " "
3 Jake Waples, Nuneaton A.C

My personal thanks to all officials and volunteers of division 3 for their valuable help during the season.

Barry Ewington, Division 3 Referee