There were some highly impressive individual and team performances at the 25th running of the Cotswold Way Relay on Saturday. Mike Bennewitz and Judy Mills had marshalled the troops expertly, reminded everyone to do their recces and managed to get everyone’s race bibs to them on time. All that was required now was the race itself and 103 miles to complete.
The Male Vets Team aka ‘Thornbury Quality Street’ were aiming to shed their bride’s maid tag, as Rob Watkins memorably remarked, and become the bride. Confused? You should be!
The day started well for the Vets with early trump cards Roger Denton and Rob Cowlard setting a good pace in legs 1 and 2. Rob took another club leg record in the process and now holds 4, erasing Roger’s previous record by 4 seconds.
At the halfway mark Jim Godden, Martyn Green and Rob Hopkins handed over in 1st place. Could the others hang on with the hosts, Bath AC Vets, breathing down their necks? The short answer is no, but it was still a glorious effort by all concerned. A combined time of 13:14:36 was slightly faster than last year’s performance and left the Vets within 3 minutes of Bath in 2nd place again.
Paul Clarke and Rob Cowlard were the highest placed finishers of the team – both taking 6th place in a packed field of quality runners.
The 2 Mixed Teams, ‘Thornbury Dolly Mixtures’ and ‘Thornbury All Sorts’ were a perfect blend of youth and experience. The 2 teams featured 3 Kings and Queens of the Cotswolds (Arthur Renshaw, Ros Rowland and John Grimsey), awards given to runners who have completed all 10 legs.
The winning team were the Dolly Mixtures who completed the course in 16:53:19 in 39th place out of 61 teams.
We think the provisional result of 13th for the All Sorts was incorrect as it omits the time of one of the team members. The combined time of 17:13:52 places them in about 48th place.
Taryn Roberts’ set a second club record, this time on leg 4 in only her second outing. She finished 28th overall and 2nd lady in a time of 1:44:00, which beat the previous mark set in 2009 by over 7 minutes!
3 new Kings and Queens of Cotswolds were crowned. Nick Langridge, Martyn Green and Judy Mills joined the ranks, which now totals 9 runners.