Posts tagged Dash
O’BRIEN BREEZES TO DASH TITLE
Cannock & Stafford AC’s Welsh 800m international James O’Brien braved the near autumnal weather at Saturday’s (August 20th) Lichfield Dash round Cathedral Close to closely beat Tamworth AC’s promising 400m athlete Tom Randolph to win the Dash crown and beat the 12 noon chimes to join the small band of top athletes who achieved both since the event started in 1998.
O’Brien, 19, took a quick line advantage right from the outset and as he hit the back straight in the The Close and the strong wind he battled up the home lap and rounded the final bend to take the cheers of the crowd gathered to welcome back Lichfield’s most unique sporting occasion.
Held for the first time since Olympic year 2012, the return of the Dash is a triumph for Dash founder Kevin Wilson of organisers KP Events and he was pleased to see the event back in its spiritual home; “The dash is really really special to this city and on such a horrible ‘summers’ day the turnout for all the support events for kids, the wonderfully quirky Lichwheel’d and their madcap bikes and cycles and the fantastic atmosphere on the line for the main dash made it all worthwhile. Let’s hope it’s back to stay.”
In the Dash Elite Mile Tamworth AC’s Bikram Singh beat KP Events ambassador Phil Clamp into second place.
Full Dash results
1st James O’Brien (Cannock and Stafford AC) 55.84 seconds (within the chimes)
2nd Tom Randolph (Tamworth AC) 56.10 (within the chimes)
3rd Aaron Brown (Tipton Harriers ) 56.97 (within the chimes)
4th James Whitehouse (Birchfield Harriers) 1:04.40
5th Joey Shirley (Lichfield Football Academy)
6th Wayne Wilson
7th Fiona McKean (Lichfield Running Club)
(Click to enlarge images)
This Saturday marks the final day of athletics at the Rio Olympic Games so it’s fitting that the Lichfield Dash sponsored by St Johns House is back for the first time since the Olympic Torch visited the event in June 2012 and as the city welcomes back its favourite sporting occasion, organisers KP Events have been working to ensure that the morning itself is an entertaining celebration of sporting activities set in the closed to traffic Cathedral Close as everything builds to the conclusion of the Chariots of Fire inspired 12 noon race against time as a field of high class sprinters race each other and the 12 o’clock chimes.
2011 Lichfield Dash winner Eliot Giles of Birchfield Harriers (pictured collecting his dash trophy in 2011) carried on his promising athletics career by winning a bronze medal in the 800m at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam in the European Athletics Championships, 10th July 2016.
Now 22 years old, his progress since his dead-heat win over fellow Birchfield Harriers James Whitehouse was the closest finish in any Dash since it all started in 1998 and founder Kevin Wilson of organisers KP Events has already invited him back to the relaunched Lichfield Dash on Saturday August 20th;
“I have spoken to Eliot about a month ago and lined him up, his coach and his on track commitments permitting , to be back this year and I am still hopeful as he wants to be back and he loved his win in 2011 and the crowd took to him, he was a very popular winner. He’ll now focus on being on the plane to Rio and if he’s got the qualifying time then he’ll be our number 1 over 800m so he’ll be going and we’ll look out for him especially as KP Events ambassador Meghan Beesley misses out on her place for GB in the 400m hurdles due to injury.”
The relaunched Lichfield Dash sponsored by St Johns House Lichfield is on Saturday August 20th in Cathedral Close starts at 10 a.m with childrens 100m and 400m races and junior relays, with a special mile race for adults, cycling races with Lichfield Cycling Club and Lichwheel’d plus a wheelchair race with the Lords Taverners, the day’s charity of choice for organisers KP Events. All building the unique atmosphere before the main event, the Chariots of Fire inspired race against the chimes at 12 noon with a field of high quality club athletes on view.
WHITEHOUSE TRIUMPHS AS CROWDS REACH RECORD LEVELS
The Florette Lichfield Dash attracted records crowds on the day the Olympic Torch and Olympic legend Roger Black came to Lichfield and the bumper audience were treated to a race where 2010 winner James Whitehouse of Birchfield Harriers was able to erase the memories of his narrow defeat by club mate Elliot Giles last year and breeze home first and just beat the 12 noon chimes into the bargain.
As in 2010, Cannock and Stafford athlete Ashley Wickett pushed Whitehouse all the way after challenging on the bend coming into the home straight of Cathedral Close but he was always struggling to catch the Birchfield flyer and such was the herculean effort Wickett collapsed near the finish line but was able to recover and cross the line in second place. Latvian athlete Andis Grindialis was third and promising young female athlete Ellie Howat was fourth.
Olympic silver 400m medallist in 1996 Roger Black, was able to attend the events in The Close all morning on behalf of sponsors Florette, and he was involved signing autographs, giving tips to junior athletes and starting the main Dash itself before presenting Whitehouse with the Olympic inspired 3 Spire Dash trophy created by Lichfield’s own world-renowned Arthur Price Ltd.