2018 COTSWOLD WAY RELAY

Results are on the Cotswold Relay web site (click here).

Further below are the club documents and our teams for the relay.

And here is the race report (v2) for Saturday 30th June 2018:

Thornbury runners could certainly wear their club vests with pride on 30 June this year.

This was the 26th running of the event according to the rather classy finisher T-shirts and Thornbury Running Club now has something of a reputation. For the past few years the Veterans Team has been right up there amongst the leading Clubs, yet never in the top spot. Rob Watkins, Vets Team Captain, was given the pick of the available old(er) men. Sadly injuries and weddings reduced the pool across the board, but it was a pretty fast selection that wore Bib Number 1 on the day.

A decision had been made to enter four teams. Past experience showed that this was above optimistic with inevitable last-minute drop-outs, but the organisers, Mike Bennewitz and Judy Mills, were keen to give everyone a chance to take part in this event. There would be a place for the competitive under-40s as well as a place for those who had little expectation of completing their Stage within the cut-off time, and wanted a low-pressure, enjoyable run in the Cotswolds in the sunshine.

Although the Cotswolds is not exactly the wastes of Antarctica – in more ways than one as the temperatures showed – most of the routes are out of the Club’s normal terrain. Even in the middle of the field it’s possible to lose sight of the runner ahead, so going off course can be a concern. Having four teams it was possible to give people, especially first-timers, a Stage they could recce and feel confident with, rather than spring a last-minute ‘any chance you could do Stage 4 instead?’ on someone. This year it was about giving confidence; celebrating how far many members had come on their running journey, and we hope getting them back next year.

The day started with just one Stage incomplete: a ‘No Runner’ in Stage 2 of our Number 4 team. A couple of hours later a work commitment took a good Team 2 runner, leaving Mike some quick thinking to fill the spot from the mostly ‘in it for fun’ Team 4.

Those who know all about the Cotswold Way Relay can skip this bit, but even for those who take part it can be a bit confusing, so here goes. The overall aim of the race is for teams each of 10 runners to complete the 10 Stages of the 102-mile long Cotswold Way from Chipping Camden to Bath Abbey. The winning team is the team with the lowest cumulative time, and Teams can be Male Vets, Male, Female or Mixed (with at least 3 lady runners).  For each Stage there is a Cut-Off time but all runners who fail to finish before this time are awarded that time when the scores are added together. In addition there is a ‘Non Runner’ time, 10 – 15 minutes longer than the cut-off time, and where a Team has no runner in a Stage, that is the time added to the Team score for that Stage.

In addition, each Stage is a race within a race. Although it is a relay, the Stages have mass starts rather than a handover from the previous runner and with 118 Teams taking part in 2018 there was plenty of competition, and a prize is awarded to the winners (male and female) of each Stage, with an extra prize if the Stage Record is broken.

T-shirts as mentioned are given to all finishers, as are, for the first time this year, finishers’ medals. Or there will be when some more have been made as with 118 teams instead of 100, they ran out. Then, when a runner has, over ten years or more, completed all 10 Stages they receive another Award, being crowned King or Queen of the Cotswolds.

And all this through beautiful, yet challenging countryside, past listed buildings, ancient monuments, through Cotswold towns and villages. Surely, something for everyone.

And so the day started, believe it or not in fine drizzle at 7am at Chipping Camden church. The Stage finish at Stanway House was in sunshine, and by now Stage 2 runners were already on their way with Nick Williams the fastest for the Club in Team 2 – being too young to join the Old Fast Boys for a while yet.

Stage 3 saw Cathy Watkins finish within the allotted time, proving that she hadn’t been trying when she did her recce. It also saw a battered and bruised Sonya Bryson who took a heavy tumble before getting back on her feet and carrying-on regardless.

In Stage 4 Henry Orna, another too young for the Vets Team, put in a great performance. Jo Emerson perhaps the only runner in the whole event who really enjoyed the heat increasing her speed and her smile as the miles passed.

Stage 5 saw the ladies again excelling; Taryn in 22nd place, while first-timer Suzy Cundy was thankful that she had done her course recce as she lost sight of the other runners.

Stage 6 saw Dylan Roberts in 8th place overall, while on Stage 7 Rob Watkins put in a Captain’s performance, 6th finisher. Also on that Stage came Brian Godsman who has only very recently decided he is capable of anything over 5k, nearly 18 minutes ahead of the cut-off time.

Laura Orna, another star of the day, appeared to have taken Stage 8 by storm to finish in 7th place overall. This would have put her in 6th place for a female on Stage 8 ‘since records began’ as they like to say on the weather forecast (by the way, the weather was still scorchingly hot and tales of collapses and ambulances were beginning to circulate – none of them the toughies of Thornbury Running Club, of course). Sadly it was not quite like that: Laura herself queried the time which was 20 minutes faster than her watch had recorded. Still a very good time, and Thornbury/Laura could claim the moral high ground for their honesty.

Jim Godden having had to drop out through illness bravely dropped back in to fill a last-minute slot in the vets team and still ran well by most standards – just not by his own. The rest of our Stage 9 runners all had good runs with plenty of time to spare.

And so to Stage 10 where Magda Johnson was unfazed by a sudden 10-minutes-before-the-start promotion from Team 4 to Team 2. She and Rebecca Dunsford decided to make a party of it, and were witnessed singing and dancing their way down the hill to Weston.

It takes time processing the results from an event like this. And then it takes more time trying to correct them. At the time of writing it looks as though the Team 1 Vets came a creditable 8th and the faster Mixed Team 2 were 15th in that category.

We could have played it differently: we could have put all our fast runners in one mixed team and abandoned the Vets team. We could have attempted a Ladies team. We probably still wouldn’t have won anything, but hopefully we would have still enjoyed it.

At the start I mentioned Thornbury’s reputation. Now not just for running, but also for supporting. Jim Williams, unable to take part this year through injury decided that the least he could do was to provide a cheer and a chilled bottle of water and piece of fruit for every Thornbury competitor and indeed for anyone else in need. After several hours’ calculations he devised locations and timings for a second water station on each Stage, and from 7.30am to 7.30pm was out there on the course wearing his Club T-shirt. To cover the places he couldn’t reach in time, Judy Mills stepped-in, and Mike Bennewitz and Pete Mainstone provided the cheering at the Abbey where Pete could tell anyone who would listen that it was his son in law, Iain Cotton, who carved the remarkable round marker stone set outside the Abbey to show the End (is the Beginning, is the End) of the Cotswold Way.

Amazing team work all round!

The Cotswold Way Relay is held on the last Saturday in June each year. Put it in your diaries now, and dissuade all friends and family from arranging weddings or holidays on that date. If you want to run it, we will find a place for you!

Judy


Race information 2018

Cotswold Way Relay 2018 – Club Information docx Cotswold Way Relay 2018 – Club Information pdf CWR18 Final Team as of 2706) pdf  

TEAMS for 30th JUNE:-

ALL SORTS AND DOLLY MIXTURES
LEG DIFFICULTY ALL SORTS TEAM DOLLY MIXTURES TEAM
1 Med Judy Mills Richard Jackson
2 Hard Non-Runner Chris Foley
3 Easy Cathy Watkins Sonya Bryson
4 Hard Mike Bennewitz Henry Orna
5 Med Suzy Cundy Sean Underwood
6 Med Steve Dimond Steve Allen
7 Easy Brian Godsman John Watt
8 Hard Arthur Renshaw Ian Evans
9 Easy Angela Bushell Sarah Lowman Newnes
10 Easy Magda Johnson Rebecca Twyman Dunsford
Number    9 10
Reserve      
Team No    4  3
Team Lead   Judy Mike
CELEBRATIONS AND QUALITY STREET
LEG DIFFICULTY CELEBRATIONS TEAM QUALITY STREET TEAM
1 Med Lizzie Williams Rob Hopkins
2 Hard Nick Williams Garry Slater
3 Easy Kevin Cundy Paul Thomas
4 Hard Jo Emerson Moray Sloan
5 Med Taryn Roberts Ian Shepherd
6 Med Dylan Roberts Dave Beard
7 Easy Clare Watt Rob Watkins
8 Hard  Laura Orna Paul Harrod
9 Easy Collette Jackson Matt Johnstone
10 Easy Ros Rowland Andy Darton
Number    10 10
Reserve      Paul Clark (TBC)
Team No    2  1
Team Lead   Kevin Rob Watkins

Following on from last year’s success where Thornbury Running Club Vets team secured second place overall we have entered 4 teams into this year’s CotswoldWay Relay. The idea is to get both as many club members as possible to do the race and also put on a good competitive show for the club.

It’s a fantastic offroad race set in the beautiful Cotswolds, hosted by Bath Athletics Club who have been running it for over 20 years. On the day there will be 4 people per leg from the club with a 90 team limit set by Bath ACC – so 90 runners per leg and 900 only in total!!
Further information can be found on the website:

http://www.cotswoldwayrelay.co.uk/.

This is Pete’s ultimate definition of a flat race ….. (not….)!! And in certain places you can see Wales as well!!

Although there are cut-off times for each leg don’t worry about that too much (unless you are in the fast teams of course). The idea is to get as many people to do it as possible. In addition don’t forget this is one of the races where the Running Club pays your entry fee so it’s free!! Not only that you will get a free technical T’shirt to commemorate the run from the organisers.

Judy and I plan to host as many ‘Reccie’ runs as possible but with Bath ACC making a rather later than usual announcement about the race date we are little behind in that respect. Please keep tuned to the TRC Members Facebook Page.

BUT BUT BUT – even if you don’t get to Recce with Judy and I please make sure you DO a Recce beforehand. Although the Cotswold Way is well signposted it’s easy to go wrong as there are some turns where the signs are not as visible as we would like or even misleading at best!

On the next page is summary of the different legs (obtained from the Cotswold relay website).

I’ve got your choices for which leg suits you and the Provisional List is posted in this area on the Website. Please check this is correct and still suits your personal circumstances.

You will also note each ‘leg’ is a linear leg so cars will be needed at each end of the leg for pick-up and drop. Last year our respective wives/partners kindly helped, which made life a lot easier. Please be aware parking at some of the legs is not so easy so please look at the CWR website (above).

And finally the club has taken a bit of a gamble this year and posted 4 teams, but the consequence is we are still about 3 runners short at the moment to fill the teams and have no reserves. Please do have a look at the list and put your name down to run if you can please.
And finally finally we are proposing to hold the Summer BBQ Party on the night of the Race (30/6) but more of that from Suzy Cundy.

 

For runners of all standards