Category Archives: Members

Club Weekly Bulletin w/c 25/7 – Emmanuel Kipruto Bundotich

Thursday Club Night Leaders

Walking – Val / 12 min – Nigel / 10 min – tbc / 9 min – Hugh / 8 min – Hannah / 7 min – Nick

Tea Rota                                                      

28/7 Carol M – 4/8 / Malcolm Carr / 11/8 – Mob Match /18/8 – Natalie Bennett

What’s On …

  1. Mob Match 11/8

The mob match vs Chepstow will be the club night run on 11/8. This is a home match (Oldbury) over a distance (5k) good for everyone in the Club. We need your details please for the chip timing (and so I order enough cakes!). Details here. Please enter here. Run followed by (free) cakes and a beer (not free) at The Anchor, what’s not to like! 30 people signed up so far … we need a whole lot more please.

  1. Emmanuel Kipruto Bundotich

When Paul & James were in Iten, Kenya  recently they met and trained with Emmanuel. The plan is for him to spend a week with us in September and to attempt to break the twelve year old Oldbury Power 10 miles record of 50min.19sec. His 10k time is 28:22 at altitude! Here is an outline plan for how he will spend his time with us, more details to follow:

  • Thursday 15/9 – Emmanuel runs & chats with 8 min group (Run & Rehydrate Night)
  • Sunday 18/9 – Oldbury Power 10 mile race
  • Tuesday 20/9 – Leads ‘Kenyan Tuesday Night Coaching’ session- venue tbc
  • Wednesday 21/9 – ‘Drill, Stretches & Core Session’ + ‘Running in Kenya’ with Emmanuel & Paul – venue tba
  • Thursday 22nd – Emmanuel runs & chats with 7 min group
  • Sunday 25th – Bristol half Marathon

He will also be available for 1:1 coaching during this week. The above is all subject to him getting final visa approval which we have helped him with.

  1. Thornbury 10k

Thanks to those who took the time to give constructive feedback regarding the Thornbury 10k. This was the first real volume test of the course and we learned a lot from it. We discussed this at the committee meeting on Thursday and we are going to make a number of changes resulting from this. We now turn our attention to the Oldbury Power 10 miles 18/9, more details soon.

  1. Races?

So far I have only received two responses to this request. The idea was to get people to give you support by knowing what events you had entered. If you have entered London Marathon, Great North Run, Bristol Half or Bath Half please let me know so we can compile a list of Club runners for everyone to track on the day. Please send to captain@thornburyrunningclub.co.uk

  1. Pete Mainstone Challenge Update

The next event is 28/8 – Severn Bridge 10k. After 3 events in the 2022-23 Pete Mainstone Challenge Paul Saville is leading the Men’s outright table. The next four places (Phil Blackburn, Ben Bohane, Paul Harrod and Simon Pinnington) are separated by 5 points. In the Men’s age adjusted Paul is still in first place followed by Nick Langridge and Simon Pinnington. Only two ladies in the competition, so far, with Hannah in 1st place followed by Lizzie. All results and next event

23/07/22

Club Weekly Bulletin w/c 11/7 – Castle to Coast

Thursday Club Night Leaders

Thornbury 10k this Thurday – No run groups

Tea Rota                                                      

 14/7 No tea (Thornbury 10k) –  21/7 Arthur – 28/7 Carol M – 4/8 – Malcolm Carr

What’s On …

  1. Thornbury 10k

An e-mail detailing all Marshalling jobs was sent out Thursday (7th) from Arthur. If you have not received it, or have any questions please contact Ros or Arthur. We have over 240 entries and look forward to seeing everyone marshalling next week and for a beer afterwards at The Anchor.  Start Time 19.30

  1. Cotswold Way Relay

The TRC Men’s Vets team finished third in their category! Nathan, Paul T, Paul H, Danny, George, Chris W, Kevin W, Gary, Rob W and Jim G completed the 103 miles in 14:29:28 just 00:7:29 behind 2nd place and 00:9:35 behind the winners. 4th place were almost 1 hour behind. The two mixed teams were 19th (16:57:45) and 47th (20:06:21). Both teams were disadvantaged by having stages with no runners, this meant they were awarded cut off time + 15 mins. Sean was 1st man on leg 5 and Taryn 1st lady leg 9. Full results and write up to follow from Paul.

  1. Mob Match 14/8

We now have 24 in the team. Details here. Please enter here, we need your details for the chip timing funded by the club. Run followed by (free) cakes and a beer (not free) at The Anchor, what’s not to like!

  1. Castle to Coast Tri

Saturday 23rd July see 9 TRC members taking part in the Castle to Coast Tri. 1.2 mile swim, 67 mile cycle (3,300 feet gain)  and 14 mile run (90% trail) from Windsor to Brighton. The following are taking part in the full tri: Sarah Newnes, Chris Pritchard, Natalie Bennett, Kevin Cundy, Jo Emerson, Claire Watt and Maria Hobbs The following are taking part in a relay team: John Watt (Swim), Joe – Ashleigh’s fiancé (Bike) & Ashleigh Ferris (run). The race starts at 8.15 at Eaton Dorney in Windsor, with the transition to the bike at the Hassocks Leisure Centre in Hassocks (BN6 8LP) and the finish line is Hove Lawns, Kingsway Brighton. According to the event guide there will be an online tracker, once we have the link we will make it available to everyone. Good luck to you all.

10/07/22

 

Cotswold Way Relay 2022 – race report

The Cotswold Way Relay gets harder each year. I can’t imagine the depths of endurance required, the relentless mental focus, and the sheer, bloody-minded determination it takes. Some say it is an impossible job.

Yet somehow Judy Mills manages to get three teams out, and ensures the correct race results are fed back.

As for running the race? That’s the easy bit!

A huge thank you once again to Judy, and fellow team captains Rob Watkins and Kev Cundy for coaxing and cajoling 27 TRC members to make up our three relay teams. Rob led the Firethorn team, which had to be reshuffled more times than Boris’ Cabinet – a motley crew of over-40s male veterans, who somehow managed to tape themselves up and make it to the start-line.

Kevin helmed the Quickthorn team – a mixture of some of the club’s fastest and youngest prospects, alongside some wily older hands. There really is no substitute for experience at this level. Well, apart from running speed, but let’s not be picky. Firethorn and Quickthorn looked evenly matched on paper. Last year the male vets team only secured victory by a handful of minutes with the race still up for grabs going into the final leg. Judy captained the Hawthorn team, another mixed team, although sadly not a full roster on this occasion.

There was never a chance of a repeat of 2018 and 2019’s furnace-like conditions. However the wind (and later the rain) played a significant part. Usually the prevailing south-westerly deals a glancing blow to the runners on the more exposed early stages. This year the Minchinhampton Mistral smacked into our faces with all the force of a Tyson Fury straight right, and the only time the wind eased was when the rain had settled in. It was soon apparent this was unlikely to be a year for course records.

Stage 1 often attracts some of the best runners, as the leading teams stack their line-ups. This year the stage was won by a multiple winner of the South West cross country title, and a 15 min 5k runner. That puts Ben Bohane’s eighth place overall into perspective. This was yet another remarkable run from the club’s Stokes-like all-rounder who covered this 12 mile stage, featuring savagely steep ascents and descents, in a fraction over 90 mins, despite getting lost at one point. However any thought that Quickthorn would establish a commanding early lead in the intra-club race was short-lived, as emerging out of the early-morning mist, like a modern day Owain Glyndwr (with an advanced accounting qualification) came Nathan Darkin in a fabulous run of 1hr 46 mins. Collette Jackson got Hawthorn on the board with a fine run of 1hr 56.

Paul Thomas clawed that time back for Firethorn on leg 2. His recent ultra runs on trails clearly helped him on this very demanding stage. Paul descended like a wheel of the finest Double Gloucester to take a splendid second place in the vets race, and despite an excellent CWR debut for women’s club 10k champion Ali Vaz, who ran 2hr 7mins, Paul took Firethorn into the lead. Not far behind Ali was Julia Jolley in 2hrs 15.

Chris Foley and Mike Bennewitz would be quietly confident in any race that was scored on an age-adjusted basis. However the CWR is done solely on time, yet they still did their teams proud. On the journey up, Chris suggested he was aiming for 1hr 45, but instead obliterated that mark with a fabulous time of just over 1hr 28 mins. Mike was not far behind, finishing as the rain began to fall, with an excellent 1hr 39. Paul Harrod took Firethorn into the lead in the overall vets competition with a solid run of 1hr 6 mins, that earned him a top-10 place, and second male veteran. That would have been two minutes quicker if not for getting lost on one section, and quicker still if he could find a way of negotiating the sharpest descents in a style that doesn’t resemble a broken fridge-freezer being lowered into a municipal skip.

Sadly there was no runner for Hawthorn on leg 4, but there was excitement in seeing whether Danny Bonnett could extend Firethorn’s lead over Quickthorn, especially when up against club legend Jo Plumbley, who has run the Cotswold Way so frequently I’m surprised they haven’t named a section after her. Danny did a brilliant job in what I think may be his club racing debut (??) finishing 4th veteran in 1hr 38. Jo ran brilliantly, as always, and her 2hr 7 mins was very competitive in her personal age category, but the remorseless logic of the stopwatch meant that team Firethorn was now pulling ahead. Would the club competition be over before we even got to Stroud?

Not so fast! Leg 5 saw one of the day’s highlights, and an extremely rare, and therefore all the more celebrated, stage win for TRC. The brilliant Sean Leadbetter managed to outsprint his Bristol and West rival to complete the 11.7 mile stage in a staggering (literally, at the end, I imagine) 1hr and 20 mins. A quite brilliant achievement – chapeau! Sean’s win grabbed back some time for Quickthorn, but not perhaps as much as might be expected, because Firethorn had the ever-reliable George Evans – the Lycra Woman’s Nigel Havers – on the same leg. George was inside the top 15 – second veteran – and only conceded 16 minutes to the outstanding stage winner. Judy Mills took a break from the incessant race admin by running 2hrs and 28 mins for Hawthorn.

Kev Cundy and Jim Williams finished stage 6 almost at the same time, both recording 1hr 47 mins over one of the legs with more elevation than descent: Ebley Mill to Dursley. Chris Worrall buttressed Firethorn’s lead with a wonderful run of 1hr and 15 minutes, which started to pull the team safely into the top 3 of the overall veterans’ competition. Chris was also second vet in the race, and 9th overall. I hope he is going to be a regular racer for TRC over the roads and trails for many years to come.

There was eager anticipation to see the outcome of the race on stage 7 between father and son-in-law Kevin Wood and Chris Pritchard. In the end the gaps between all three TRC runners was the closest of any stage. Ellen Perrett had an excellent race for Hawthorn, and finished in 1hr 27 minutes. Kevin kept Firethorn in the hunt for overall veteran competition honours by running 1h 16. Chris played it safe, and rather like surreptitiously missing a putt on the 18th when playing golf against your boss, he finished a discrete couple of minutes behind Kevin! In all seriousness, Kevin deserves our congratulations, and thanks, for overcoming some significant back pain to not only race, but to do so with distinction.

Stage 8 is one of the longest and toughest in the race, and so Firethorn needed a dependable runner to maintain their lead over Quickthorn, and aim for a strong position in the overall team competition. Thankfully they had that in Garry Slater, who finished in a magnificent third place in the vets race in 1hr 38. Sadly Quickthorn didn’t have a runner for this stage, which essentially ended the intra-TRC competition, but Hawthorn had Rob Hopkins, who must have wondered what the fuss was all about – (only 12 miles of 1 in 3 gradient – too easy!) – who ran 2hrs and 8 minutes.

If a TRC stage win is a rarity, two in a day is possibly a first! The club librarians are still consulting the archives, but I think Taryn Roberts has once again made history. She was the clear winner in the tough stage 9 – and recorded the 6th fastest time by a female athlete in the history of that stage, in 1hr 9 mins and 52 seconds. More importantly she beat Rob Watkins by seven seconds, and I wish I’d been there to witness that sprint finish into Cold Ashton! To be so close to Taryn meant that Rob obviously had a wonderful race himself, and he was yet another Firethorn runner to come home as second male veteran overall. In my opinion Clare Watt is arguably the best runner in the club on an age-graded basis, and while this race is done purely on time, her effort of 1hr 24 minutes was still an incredibly good performance. I think Clare, Rob and stage-winner Taryn win the award for best collective stage by TRC runners this year.

And so, as the afternoon sun dappled across the honey-coloured stones of Bath Abbey (or maybe the rain lashed against the buttresses and battlements – it was a day of changeable weather) Hannah Hamilton and Jim Godden completed another successful day of racing. The final stage, like the opening stage, tends to have some of the best overall runners, so their positions as eighth woman and seventh male veteran would probably have been higher had they raced on other legs. Jim finished in 1hr 16 and Hannah in 1hr 20.

The remarkable consistency of the Firethorn vets team won us a third place overall in the team competition – in a cumulative time of 14hrs and 29 minutes, just 8 minutes behind Team Bath. We just should have run 1% quicker and we’d have been second! That is still a fantastic team performance, and (lente, lente, currite noctis equi) the inexorable march of time means that some of the club’s promising young mid-30 year olds should soon become available for selection. Team Quickthorn need to regroup and lick their (presumably bramble?) wounds. They were missing a few of the club’s very fastest runners this year, but should be more than consoled with two heroic stage wins for Sean and Taryn. Hawthorn sadly didn’t get a full team out this year, but still have some excellent individuals performances, especially if age-graded results were taken into account.

Next year the Cotswold Way Relay wends it way through Clarkson Country on Saturday 1st July. Please put the date in your diary, and let’s give the team captains some selection headaches to go alongside the admin ones!

Thornbury 10k – Thursday 14th July . Start 19.30

All the details for those who have volunteered to help with our 10k next Thursday were sent out by e-mail  about 5pm this afternoon.

If you have not received your instructions and you thought you had put your name down to help then please get in touch with me – we are still a few places short.

Arthur Renshaw

07810 300025   

arthur@arenshaw.co.uk

 

parkrun of the month for June – and Bradley Stoke 10k race reports

Thornbury Running Club finally provided definitive proof to the age-old question that has divided the long-distance athletics community for years: does eating pizza washed down by a couple of pints of lager fewer than 36 hours before a big race improve performance?

And we can say, with confident assurance – yes it does.

That’s the only plausible explanation for the flurry of PBs that TRC members recorded at the ‘parkrun’ of the month’, which took place on Saturday at Chipping Sodbury, not long after our very enjoyable club night at the Olveston social club.  To those who say that Domino’s and San Miguel might not be the optimal nutritional strategy for a flat out 5K, I just say ‘follow the science’.

Paul Thomas had at least nine slices of pizza, (‘OK, this is getting into libel territory now’ Ed.) and that, rather than his consistent and focused training mileage, was the direct cause of his stunning new course PB of 19:14, for 11th place overall, and an age-graded score just under the magic 80%.   Hannah Hamilton had also been partaking of the pepperoni and she was rewarded by essentially equalling her PB, to finish second women overall – which is a fantastic achievement – and running 20:45.  Nathan Darkin had a pizza the action as well, and smashed his PB , (21:32), while Chris Foley was only a handful of seconds outside of his best which was set more than three years ago.

This month’s parkrun coincided with the graduation of the most recent cohort of the ‘couch to 5k’ beginners.   Congratulations to all of them, and thank you to the TRC coaches for continuing to run these excellent sessions.    Melinda Evans and Sam Glew were among the TRC members to run Chipping Sodbury parkrun for the first time.

Elsewhere last Saturday, other thin-crust crusaders included Ben Bohane winning Thornbury parkrun for the 12th time in 18:26; Phil Blackburn running his fastest parkrun time at any venue, coming third at Burgess parkrun in a brilliant 17:15, while Simon Pinnington ran 20:01 to come first at Wotton for the fifth time.   More observant readers might point out that Simon didn’t make it to the beer and pizza night, and thus our ground-breaking dietary study is undermined, but I can assure you that Simon had at least three Thatchers’ and a Papa John’s the night before, so the evidence base is further strengthened.

A handful of TRC members also turned out for the Bradley Stoke 10k, which was held on Sunday 5th June.  This is an extremely popular event organised by another thriving local club the (hey sisters) Sole Sisters.   Tom Usherwood was first TRC runner in 44:27, finishing in an excellent 5th place in his age category, which is as venerable as Joe Root’s test match batting average.  Paul Saville wasn’t far behind in 46:41, while Chris Pritchard (51:37) and Paul Reeves (58:01) made up our male team for this event.   Carol Mosses was the sole TRC sister this time around, and finished in 1hr 18 mins.

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TRC Bulletin for w/c 13th June 2022

Thursday Club Night Leaders

7min: Rob / 8min: Mel  / 9min: Chris P  / 10min: Suzy / 12 min (5k): Caron / Walking: tba

Tea Rota                                                      

 16th June Romeo Maddalena / 23rd June  Tom Witherbed / 30th June Kevin Arnold

What’s On …

  1. Mob Match

Only 11 people so far, but plenty of time. Mob match vs Chepstow Thursday 11th August. A home match starting from The Anchor and going out to the Power Station. 5k run starts at 7:30. Details here. Please enter here. Run followed by (free) cakes and a (not free) beer at The Anchor, what’s not to like!

2. Cotswold Way Relay

Team captains Rob Watkins (vets), Mike Bennewitz (mixed) & Kev Cundy (mixed) are looking for a few more team members + reserves. Please Enter here. We have now opened to non-TRC members at £20 per head (no charge to TRC members).

3. Thornbury 10k – Thurs 14th July

We seem to have stalled at 32 people who have kindly volunteered.  We had 55 at Pizza night and funds from races help support these activities, so we should get at least 55 volunteers! Please Volunteer here, thank you. Thursday 14th July, race starting at 19:30.

4. Ticks

As we are running off road at the moment please be aware of ticks, especially when running through long grass

5. Thursday Tea Rota

This week’s appeal for volunteers which went out to all 150 Members resulted in just 2 people joining the Tea Rota! We need more people to volunteer. Reply to this e-mail or text 07810 300025

12/06/22

TRC Thursday Night Tea Rota – short of people!

We are very short of people who are prepared to do Tea on a Thursday night.

All you need to do is turn up in the downstairs room at 18.50 with a litre of milk and look after any kit bags left whilst people are out running.

Val will have done the set-up so your job is to make tea/coffee/squash for the returning Groups.

If you can volunteer to do Tea one night that would be appreciated. Reply to this e-mail or send a text to 07810 300025

We need volunteers for Thursday 30 June onwards.

Thanks       Arthur Renshaw

Pizza & Beer

TRC Bulletin for w/c 6th June 2022

Thursday Club Night Leaders

We are meeting at Old Down Cricket Club to run on Thursday. 7min: Paul / 8min: Lizzie  / 9min: Hugh  / 10min: Ellen / 12 min (5k): Jim W / Walking: Val

Tea Rota                                                      

 9th June Run & Rehydrate / 16th June Romeo Maddalena / 23rd June  Tom Witherbed

What’s On …

  1. Run & Rehydrate 9th June

1st drink on the club plus pizza! No sign up needed, please just turn up. Normal run groups from Old Down Cricket Club starting at 7:00pm. Meat, veggie and vegan options available.

  1. Mob Match

Mob match vs Chepstow Thursday 11th August. A home match starting from The Anchor and going out to the Power Station. 5k run starts at 7:30. Details here. Please enter here. Run followed by (free) cakes and a (not free) beer at The Anchor, what’s not to like!

  1. Cotswold Way Relay

Team captains Rob Watkins (vets), Mike Bennewitz (mixed) & Kev Cundy (mixed) are looking for a few more team members + reserves. Please Enter here.

  1. Thornbury 10k – Thurs 14th July

Thank you to the 27 who have now volunteered to marshal. We need 60 marshals, please Volunteer here, thank you. The event is on Thursday 14th July, race starting at 19:30. We need more entries, If you have friends or work colleagues that run please direct them to entries. If you have a notice board at work where you can display a poster please contact captain@thornburyrunningclub.co.uk for a copy. Full results from the Club Road Race Championships over the Thornbury 10k course are now on the website: https://www.thornburyrunningclub.co.uk/racing/members-results/running/running-results-2022/

  1. parkrun of the month 11 June

Next parkrun of the month, also “graduation” run for beginners group that has just finished, @ Chipping Sodbury 11/6.

  1. Track News

Next track date 14th June. We then only have one date, 28th June, before the track closes on 4th July, reopening late Sept/early Oct. They are resurfacing the track and changing the infield. Whilst this is disappointing we will have the track back in time for winter and in the meantime will use the summer evening to explore other venues. More Kenyan Diagonals @ Chantry Fields and Kenyan Hills coming soon

05/06/22

Thornbury 10k & Track News

TRC Bulletin for w/c 30th May 2022

Thursday Club Night Leaders

7min: Nick / 8min: Ros  / 9min: Kev C  / 10min: Arthur  / 12 min (5k): Carol / Walking: Val

Tea Rota                                                      

 2nd June Tom Witherbed / 9th June Run & Rehydrate / 16th June Romeo Maddalena / 23rd June  tba

 

What’s On …

  1. Run & Rehydrate 9th June

1st drink on the club plus pizza! No sign up needed, please just turn up. Normal run groups from Old Down Cricket Club starting at 7:00pm. Meat, veggie and vegan options available.

  1. Cotswold Way Relay

Team captains Rob Watkins (vets), Mike Bennewitz (mixed) & Kev Cundy (mixed) are looking for a few more team members + reserves. Please Enter here.

  1. Thornbury 10k – Thurs 14th July

Thank you to the 18 who have volunteered to marshal so far. Please Volunteer here. Thank you. To deliver this event successfully and safely we need 60 marshals. The Thornbury 10k is on Thursday 14th July 2020, race starting at 19:30. We also need more entries If you have friends or work colleagues that run please direct them to entries. If you have a notice board at work where you can put up a poster please contact captain@thornburyrunningclub.co.uk for a copy.

  1. Club Road Race Champs 2022

Congratulation to Nick Williams for winning the Club Champs 10k in 35:44, the best 10k time by a TRC male runner in nearly a decade. Also to Ali Vaz who ran a brilliant race and completed the tough course in 42:15. Thank you to everyone who took part as a runner or marshal and for making the event a great success. See Paul Harrod’s Race Repot for more details, full race results coming soon to the website.   

  1. Mob Match -11/8

Mob match vs Chepstow Thursday 11th August. A home match starting from The Anchor and going out to the Power Station. 5k run starts at 7:30. Details here. Please enter here. Run followed by (free) cakes and a (not free) beer at The Anchor, what’s not to like!

  1. Track News

Unfortunately the WISE track will be closed from 4th July to change the infield to an American Football marked pitch and for the track to be resurfaced/re-laid. The plan is to reopen late Sept/ early Oct (tbc) with a sparkly track minus the infield. Whilst this is disappointing, we will have the track back in time for winter and in the meantime can use the summer evening to explore other venues. More Kenyan Diagonals @ Chantry Fields and Kenyan Hills coming soon!

  1. Park run of the month 11/6

Next parkrun of the month, also “graduation” run for beginners group that has just finished @ Chipping Sodbury 11/6.

  1. Club Charity Update

You will hopefully recall we recently voted to adopt Bristol Bone Marrow as our Club charity for 2022-23. Bristol Marrow is in fact a group of volunteers at Bristol University who raise money for Anthony Nolan but are not a registered charity in themselves. Any money we raise with them will go to the Anthony Nolan Trust.

28/05/22

TRC 10k championships – and recent race round-up

If Arthur Renshaw ever invites you for dinner on Shrove Tuesday, you might want to think twice before accepting.

At the pre-race briefing for the Club 10k championships, Arthur assured us that most of the course was “pan flat” – which makes you question how much heat his kitchen utensils would transfer to the pancake batter!

In fact, the course did get flatter as it went on – and in my view Arthur and the TRC committee have found a fantastic route to relaunch the Thornbury 10k in July.    It begins with seriously steep climbs and descents out of Oldbury; on into the tiny hamlet of Cowhill (although I bet the estate agents still call it Oldbury-on-Severn); followed by bumpy bits in and around Kington, before a final two-mile loop on the outskirts of Oldbury that takes you back into the heart of the village for the finish.  It is a test of race strategy, as well as endurance, and it should certainly be possible to run a negative split if you can avoid the temptation to run too hard on those opening climbs.

A huge thank you to the volunteer marshals who made sure the event ran smoothly, and will help refine the plan ahead of the race later in the summer when we expect up to 200 runners to take part.

It was a warm and sunny Sunday morning, even by 8.30am when the first runners arrived at the Anchor Inn, where the race would start and finish.   You don’t normally see that many scantily-clad people congregating at a pub so early in the morning unless you’re about to board a flight to Malaga.   The Anchor management kindly let us use the outdoor toilets, and given the high percentage of middle-aged men taking part that was a mercy.

Jack and Rory Williams were there to check out the course on which they intend to win the 2038 edition of the race.   They enthusiastically rang their cow bells as we set off, and were still shaking them with undimmed enthusiasm an hour or so later when the final runner came home.  It gave the opening climb something of an Alpe D’Huez vibe, but fortunately their mum, Lizzie, had confiscated the orange smoke flares.

Rory and Jack already knew their dad was awesome, but Nick reminded the rest of the club of that fact, with a stunning run in 35:44, which I am told is the best 10k time by a TRC male runner in nearly a decade.  Nick could go at least a minute quicker on a properly flat course!

Nick led from the gun, and had already put about 10 seconds on the second place runner by the time we passed Oldbury parish church.   Before the start, I predicted the finishing order of the runners would be the same as at the top of that first climb.  But like driving to the very edge of Almondsbury village, it ain’t Over till it’s Over. 

Andy Wilson was second up the hill, motoring to his usual fast start, but showed how much his endurance levels have improved to hold on to that position, despite the quality of the runners behind him, and finish in 37:07.  Andy’s best run in TRC colours so far I’d suggest.

Phil Blackburn deployed a different strategy and was much more circumspect up the opening hills, and he was the only runner to come through the field, moving from 5th to 3rd, to record an excellent time of 37:22.   Sean Leadbetter did struggle slightly in the closing miles, but that’s all relative.   He was still fourth in 38 mins flat.   Ben Bohane continued his remarkable run of results with 38:11 in fifth place, although like Paul Harrod (39:02; 6th), is possibly at his best on the flatter road routes, and/or evening events.  Both were notably down on their Berkeley 10k PBs.

George Evans has the most elegant and efficient upright running style – honed by bounding hurdles topped with champagne coupes set out by his butler at his Kington estate.  George pulled away from Asten Haynes in the final mile to finish in 40:25, with Asten a mere 19 seconds behind.   Paul Thomas (42:11) and Pete Cable (44:05) completed the male top 10.

Ali Vaz was an equally emphatic winner of the women’s race, and also finished inside the overall top 10.   Ali ran a brilliant race and completed the tough course in 42:15.   Jo Plumbley – just a week after finishing another gruelling ultra – managed to outsprint Hannah Hamilton, and pip her by 44:50 to 44:54.   

Nikki Foss ran her overall 10k PB, which is a magnificent achievement.  She ran 51:54, and I am sure there is much more to come, as she has fractionally more time to devote to training now the demands of motherhood are merely relentless as opposed to all-consuming!  Congratulations to junior runner Abbey Bonnet for coming in 5th place in the women’s race in a fabulous time of 53:40, and for making sure her dad, Danny, didn’t get lost or get into mischief on the way round.

As the TRC committee decided that this would be a straight shoot-out for the club championship, there isn’t space to list all the results.  However please check out the website to see the full standings.  Many of the other performances were just as impressive on an age-graded basis, but we weren’t recording those on this occasion.

Finally, a brief roundup of some of highlights during the previous fortnight.

Ros, Jo and Natalie – the 3 Amigas – ran the 40 mile Stroud Ultra together.  Literally, ran it together, as they paced each other round to finish at the same time, in 9 hours and 54 minutes.   All very civilised, and each of them got medals in their age categories; in Ros and Jo’s cases it was gold!

Ben Bohane ran his first ever ultra, in Pembrokeshire – a race that attracted a high quality field from across the UK, and he only went and finished 6th!   Stunning run, for a guy I’m running out of superlatives for.  Well, I ran out of them a while ago, but just hope you’ll forgive the etymological recycling.

Mark West ran one of the best marathon races in recent TRC history, with an excellent 3hrs and 8 mins.   At the other end of the scale, Phil Blackburn was the first TRC member to race in a county 1500m track championship for quite some time.  In his first attempt at the distance since he was school, Phil bravely tracked the leaders for the first few laps, and while he inevitably had to descend into the pain cave over the last 400m, he still finished in a brilliant 4 mins and 33 seconds.   I am sure he can improve on that, and I’d also like to challenge Andy Wilson to try one too!

Highlights from the parkruns include, 14th May, a first place at Lydney for Dylan Roberts in 18:08, (followed by a second at Berkeley Green the following week). and a 19:06 PB at Severn Bridge for Simon Pinnington. 

On the 21st May, Jo Webster ran her 104th parkrun – which is a great achievement – and completed the Thornbury run in 26:34.    Catherine Dack was fourth women at Wotton (sounds like a Shakespeare play) in a new PB of 26:29, while at Severn Bridge, Richard Jackson equalled his course PB of 21:31, but given the windy conditions I estimate that to be a real terms decrease of 15 seconds.