A Happy New Year to all TRC Members past and present.
Judy Mills reports on what’s happened over the Holiday period plus a special report on TRC’s year 2016 prepared for the The Thornbury Gazette
Funny lot, runners. While most people spend Boxing Day, not to mention Christmas and New Year’s Day, at home with the family, runners go out in the cold for a race. Often they also choose the muddiest, wettest option available as well, while those who don’t understand their mentality can only look on assuming that they will say ‘it’s nice when it stops’. But no, honestly, they do it because they want to
The two Thornbury Running Club members pounding the streets of Clevedon on Boxing Day were Andrew Darton and Janet Gaze. With almost a thousand competitors, Darton ran well to finish in 32nd place, 4th MV40 completing the 4-mile course in 23.03minutes. Janet Gaze, running in the FV60 age group also did well, coming home in 37.19minutes in 698th place, and 9th in category.
Final outing of the year was the weekly parkrun. The Wotton course was as muddy as ever and saw Kevin Arnold complete the 5k in 24.17minutes and Judy Mills in 28.49minutes. Chris Ashworth finished in 26.20minutes.
Liam Symonds-Barry took on the easier Kingsway course, finishing in 26.45, much below his best, which suggests he was running with a friend or family member.
At Chipping Sodbury it was good to see Rebecca Dunsford back in her trainers after too long a break, and she must have been happy to finish, even in 39.08minutes. Keeping her company were Becky Griffin (30.10minutes)and Suzanne Cundy (30.28minutes). The men were a little higher up the field, though Christmas seems to have added more than a few seconds to all the Thornbury times: Paul Thomas (23.11minutes) and Kevin Cundy (23.14minutes).
New Year’s Day is an opportunity for runners to bag not one but two parkruns, and this is what Kevin Arnold and Neil Roff did. Arnold was at Lydney for 8.30am running the 5k in 23.39minutes then buzzing to the Forest of Dean event where he ran for a further 24.03minutes. Roff was closer to home with a good time of 22.18minutes at Chipping Sodbury then a more pedestrian 37.20minutes at Pomphrey Hill. Angela Bushell also ran at Sodbury in a time of 25.04minutes.
The Hangover 10k is the first local race of the New Year, always popular with Ros Rowland even on a wet day. She started 2017 well, finishing 47th in 46.07minutes and winning the FV50 category.
It has been another successful year for Thornbury Running Club with some remarkable achievements from members. All too often people are wont to say that they would love to be able to run but they can’t. ‘Can’t’ is not in the Club’s vocabulary, and several of those who may have said this previously would have to agree. The regular Tuesday evening sessions have produced a number of runners who have in 2016 gone on to complete 10k and even half marathon races.
New to the longer distances this year was Magda Johnson who was recently awarded the Club’s Helen Ralphs Award, presented annually to a newcomer who has both made great progress and has supported other newer members. Cathy Watkins has watched husband Rob racing and has now proved she too can do it, albeit slightly more slowly, and Suzy Cundy has been regularly running 5k parkruns and now has over a hundred to her name completed the Cardiff half-marathon. Meanwhile her husband, Kevin Cundy, also upped his racing mileage to 26.2 miles of a marathon, choosing no soft option but the hilly and tough Beachy Head marathon. Other Club members kept him company and kept him going when the free sausage rolls at a checkpoint threatened to become too much of a temptation.
Yet again it is impossible to write a report of the year without the name Rosina Rowland coming to the fore. Advising and encouraging the new runners, she sets a hard-to-follow example, competing more frequently than any other Club member. Amongst her (at least!) 25 appearances in 2016 were the Cotswold Way relay where, along with Mark Curtis she has achieved the accolade Queen of the Cotswolds (yes, all right, Curtis is a King) for having now raced each of the ten Stages. Her frequent attendance at the winter cross country races, where she is Ladies Captain saw her win the Club Championship as well as take 2nd place in the V50 category in the Gloucester League. In July she again took on an organisational role, as joint Race Director of the increaingly popular Thornbury 10k. She is our own in-house caterer wearing her day-job colours as Rosina Catering, serving up a delicious curry and chilli at the Club Christmas party.
But for Rowland, the running highlight of 2016 will be her success at the Cotswold Way Century in October. Alongside Rob Hopkins and Dave Beard she completed the full 102-mile Cotswold Way, running overnight, non-stop, in a time of twenty-nine hours and 31minutes.
Thankfully, Thornbury Running Club has a number of members who will go the extra mile to encourage other runners and to ensure that Club events run smoothly. Club Chairman Craig Carscadden is a fully qualified coach with a wealth of experience in all aspects of athletics, including disability sport, and he is always happy to prepare training schedules for members with a goal in sight. The Club would struggle to function without ongoing support from Arthur Renshaw, Pete Maintone and John Grimsey, all themselves very experienced runners though not as fast as they were forty years ago.
Race Directors Jo Emerson, Ros Rowland, Emma Barnes, Justin Taylor and John Watt are responsible for ensuring that the three Club open races run smoothly. January’s Riverbank Rollick is again a sell-out, and entries have increased at both the Thornbury 10k (July) and the Oldbury Power 10-miler (September). For the first time in 2017 all three races have chip-timing and all who complete the course will be awarded a medal. The three race medals clip together making an impressive piece of running bling.
Members Roger Denton and Arthur Renshaw both qualified for international events, with Renshaw competing at the European duathlon championships and Denton at the Ironman world Championships, while brother-and-sister duo, Taryn and Dylan Roberts have had great success at triathlon, Taryn finishing 1st in her age group at the Taunton triathlon and 9th at Ironman UK; over the full distance of 2.4miles of swimming; 112 miles of cycling and a full 26.2mile marathon. At the same event Denton was 3rd and Dylan Roberts 63rd in their age groups.
Keeping the Club name in print, both Kevin Arnold and Garry Slater enjoy a weekly parkrun, whenever commitments allow, while Rob Hopkins’ and Jo Emerson’s names appear high-up the results page of many tough, some would say wacky and obscure races.
Add to those with their names in lights a number of dedicated men and women who love to run, socially or competetively, and it is clear why Thornbury is such a thriving Running Club. New members, whatever their ability, are always welcome, and details of Club runs and activities can be found on Facebook and Twitter as well as on the Club website thornburyrunningclub.co.uk