TRC’s proud tradition of ultra running was boosted further on Saturday when the indomitable pairing of Natalie Bennett and Ros Rowland completed the 30 mile ‘Conquest of Avalon’ – a gruelling, if scenic, run from Castle Cary to Glastonbury, featuring an ascent and descent of the famous Tor. Ros posted a picture of a really rather snazzy medal on the Facebook group, which rather added to the Minecraft vibe. It is not clear if our intrepid duo collected diamonds and swords along with their gels and water at the feed-stations, or if they had to defeat the Ender Dragon in the final mile, but their results were highly impressive. Ros was first woman home, closely followed by Natalie in second. Huge congratulations to them both.
There aren’t many dragons on the streets of Cheltenham early on a Sunday morning (insert own joke here) so Hannah Hamilton got to enjoy near-perfect conditions as she raced round the half-marathon course. She capitalised in spectacular style by running a fantastic 1hr 35 min, near-PB. Her split times were metronomic, which is testimony to her growing levels of endurance, and bodes well for her upcoming marathon attempt.
Sunday saw the latest round of the Pete Mainstone challenge: an arduous 8m race through woodland paths at Woodchester Park. Paul Thomas was the first TRC runner across the line with a super effort of just over the hour and an improvement of 2 minutes on his last race here. Lizzie Williams followed in an excellent time of 1hr 7mins and 54 secs. She was also first in her age category. Nick Langridge was only 30 seconds behind Lizzie. Chris Foley was the run-away winner in the MV70 category, although he was gracious enough to point out to me that there were only two entrants!
There was a late change of venue for the TRC ‘park run of the month’. Sadly Berkeley Green parkrun was cancelled, so fans of the pan-flat, super-fast, tarc-mac course, (plus any overflow car-park enthusiasts) were disappointed. So club members went to Pomphrey Hill instead. The overall times and performances were very good indeed, especially for those who had not previously experienced the delights of ‘Up Pomphrey’ – the deceptively steep incline the organisers have slipped into the race route. Ben Bohane finally remembered his bar-code (!) and recorded a stunning 19:14. Paul Saville ran a fine 21:38; Roger Glew a new PB in 24:49; Chris Pritchard and Tom Witherbed must have run together and both ran 28:33, but I far prefer the image of an eyeballs out duel and them separated by whoever’s TRC vest is the least threadbare. Emma Pritchard was well inside 30 mins in 29:15, and Mel Lloyd in 31:55.
Other parkrun highlights included Mark West’s excellent 20:47 to finish in 11th place in the popular Tamar Trails parkrun. Andrew Darton was 7th at Mallards Pike (which is getting lots of rave reviews as a great race to try out) in 21:05. Finally, Nick Williams continued TRC’s run of successes at Thornbury: first finisher in 17:53. Very well done, Nick. Bet he made it look effortless too!
Round four of the Pete Mainstone challenge took place on a motorway. All be it one closed to traffic and with stunning views across the estuary. The Severn Bridge 10k – (a race ‘between the sea and the sky’ as the organisers put it) – is fast becoming a fixture in the local racing calendar.
However before focusing on the 10k results, special mention has to go to George Evans, running in the half-marathon event on the same day which attracted over 400 runners. Despite having to cover, twice, the full distance of the bridge, with its deceptively steep slopes, George finished in an incredible 20th place overall in a time of 1hr 23 mins and 8 seconds. That is an average pace of 6 mins and 20 seconds.
Bear in mind that, notwithstanding his lithe and supple physique, George is (redacted) years of age! His amazing time is therefore the 53rd fastest half marathon recorded across the whole of the United Kingdom in his (redacted) age category. When you consider that the Severn Bridge is no-one’s idea of a PB course, it puts George’s achievement into even greater perspective. Look out London, when he makes his debut in the marathon in October!
The conditions on Saturday were probably as good as they get for running on the Severn Bridge. The wind was light, and coming across the bridge, rather than straight down from the west to east. I have run parkruns there on windy days where if you don’t run hard out of the turn there is a danger you get swept along all the way to Aust services. Five TRC members contested the Pete Mainstone challenge. Jonathan Hall ran 46:23, and after three races, now leads the overall standings. However the fastest male runner on the day was Alan Gatling, in a very good time of 42:44. Chris Foley was the clear winner in his age category with a highly impressive run of 52:32, with Mike Bennewitz and Mel Lloyd finishing in the top ten of their age categories too. Full results and standings on Pete Mainstone Challenge Results page.
There was a good turnout for the Thornbury park-run. Most weeks see TRC members towards the front of the race. This time it was the turn of Henry Orna (2nd) and Andrew Darton (3rd) to bring the club colours to the fore. Lizzie Williams was third female runner in 23:27, while Jonathan Hall (23:11) and Jon Watt (30:03) both ran course PBs.
Back on Severn Bridge (although taking place the day before the 10k and half-marathon) Ian Hoffman ran an excellent 20:44, with Romeo Maddalena tackling the event for the first time in 24:25. Surprisingly for a Bank Holiday weekend the only TRC member to leave our fair county for a parkrun was Hannah Hamilton. She continued her rapid Radcliffe/McColghan-esque return to racing form after pregnancy with an event PB in 21:55.
With an outright championship for the Pete Mainstone Challenge now having been added the scores and standings have been added to the results page here.
The third event in the Pete Mainstone Challenge took place last night 23rd June at The Longest Day Chippenham 10K and 5 members took part. The results and standings can be found on the results page.
The 2nd event, Forest of Dean trail 10K, reputedly took place on 13th June but Tough Guy, the organisers, have not published any results on their website. If you did take part in this and have or know of any results please send your time directly to the scorer and it will be incorporated into the results. Thank you.
The results and standings for the Club Night 10K Challenge are now available following the closing of the extended period for members who missed the club night to run the route on their own. They can be found on the results page for the Pete Mainstone challenge.
Any complaints about the results (or the weather in Wales) to Pete Mainstone.
This is to let you know about recent changes in the people looking after the club website and who to contact for any website matters.
Dave Beard, who has been a significant helper and instigator of some improvements, has now left the club and his role in helping out on the website. Thank you Dave.
Steve Dimond, who has undertaken sterling work in the revamp and subsequent maintenance of the current website, is stepping back from a main role but is still available to help with Web content.
In their place Mel Lloyd has come aboard to be one of the main ‘webmasters’ along with Nick Langridge who continues in that role.
Mike Bennewitz is now performing a role in working on the interface with our hosting providers, Worthers, along with Mel.
For club members the main change is really in website content. One of the roles of the ‘webmasters’ is to help members to put their information on to the website. So, if you have anything that you want to be put on then the people to contact are Nick and Mel. We can either do it for you or, if you are confident with uploading your own content, we can see about making you an editor on the website.
Also, if you see anything wrong (and I’ve even had people contact me, quite rightly, about such little things as spelling mistakes) then you can contact Nick and Mel to have it corrected.
The final event of the curtailed and changed dates Road Race Championships took place at the Chippenham Shortest (Longest) Day 10K half muddy trail race on Sunday. 2 runners lucky enough to live in Tier 2 areas took part in the actual race while 2 others took the virtual option. Results and standings can be found on the results page.
There will be no awards for the 2020 season but results for these races can be brought forward to count as part of the 2021 championship whenever that might resume.
2 of the nominated Club Road Race Championship events have survived and the first one took place yesterday on its rearranged date at Westonbirt. In the teeth of Storm Aidan and much like a cross country rather than a road race on its reworked course to keep inside the grounds, the results are now in and can be found on the results page.
There were only 4 runners showing in the results as Thornbury Running Club although more were entered so if your result is missing or was added later let me know