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Thornbury vs Chepstow mob match report

Generations of Chepstow children have gazed out across the shimmering Severn and wondered who was so rich and famous that they got to live in that Big White House?  The Mayor of Thornbury?  Arthur Renshaw?

So there was palpable excitement from our Mob Match opponents, Chepstow Harriers, as they turned out in force, excited by the opportunity to see this landmark abode for themselves.  Hopefully they weren’t too disappointed to discover it was a decommissioned nuclear power-plant.   Still, they must be warmly congratulated for turning out in such fantastic numbers for an away fixture in August.  Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, and owner of Thornbury Castle, must be rolling in his substantial grave.  Although his efforts to keep the Welsh at bay have been somewhat undermined in recent decades by the M4 and M48 bridges.   

With the mercury still above 30 degrees at 7pm there was a suggestion that the Mob Match be resolved over games of petanque at the Anchor, washed down with ice-cold sauvignon blanc.  Instead after a very cursory ‘warm up’ we found ourselves assembling for a 5km dash along the Mad Max-esque bleached-blonde banks of the Severn, to the consternation and utter bewilderment of the slow-strolling dog-walkers.

Any thoughts that the run out into the headwind would be a cagey and tactical affair were immediately dispelled by Nick Williams charging off at 5 min 45 mile pace.  Andy Wilson’s usual race tactic is to run himself to the point of utter exhaustion, and then accelerate. He was the only other runner willing and/or able to pick up Nick’s gauntlet, and Andy pushed his team mate all the way to the finish line.   Nick a deserved winner of the 3 mile race in 16 mins and 56 seconds, with Andy a fine second place just five seconds behind.

Phil Blackburn has taken a well-earned holiday following the end of the football season, so was maybe not quite at his sharpest, although I wonder what would have happened if he’d gone with the leaders.   He still picked his way through the field to finish in 4th place overall, just behind the lead Chepstow runner, in 17 mins 15 seconds. Conner Vidal-Cocker is a relatively recent recruit to the TRC stable, but he already looks like a thoroughbred champion in waiting.  He paced his effort to perfection, pulling away from a cohort of Chepstownians, to finish in 5th, in 17:29.  Paul Harrod, who was a human parasol for a group of runners on the out-leg, also finished strongly in 17:47 to finish 7th.   At this early stage TRC were well out in the lead of the men’s and overall race.

Unfortunately at this point Chepstow’s weight of numbers started to tell, and they stacked the positions from 8th to 30th with just a handful of TRC runners bucking the trend.   That is not to say there were not some excellent individual performances within that mix.  Jim Godden ran a fantastic 19:32; Ash Blackmore ran 20:28, while George Evans in 20:32 and Asten Haynes, 20:49, are both recovering from injury, and should be heartily thanked for turning out to bag us some points despite both knowing they’d be far further up the tow-path if fully fit.

It takes a special athlete to beat the top TRC female runners, and so we should congratulate the brilliant Katherine Matthews who won the ladies race, and was 8th overall, in 18 minutes flat.  Such was the quality of performance from Chepstow’s leading ladies that Avon 10k road champion Lucie Wilson had to settle for 4th place, in a still fabulous time of 19:28.   Club road race champion Ali Vaz was second TRC lady, and 6th overall, in 20 mins exactly.  Jo Plumbley was brilliantly consistent as always to come home next for TRC in 21:34, just 10 seconds or so ahead of Natalie Bennett who had to sprint to the line to hold off a trio of fast-finishing Harriers.   Julia Jolley in 23:33 and  Ashleigh Ferris in 24 minutes exactly made up our top 6.   Despite these wonderful efforts Chepstow won the overall ladies competition pretty decisively.

Apologies that there is not the space to mention everyone who ran.  It was, without exception, a tremendous achievement to run in that heat and to score points for our team.  Even if a few sun-sapped and heat-addled later finishers mistook the picnic table set up 50 yards up the path for the finish line. Inevitably Chepstow’s numerical advantage meant they won the match, but our senior men definitely had the edge at the top-end of the field.   Perhaps we need to annex Berkeley to boost our numbers for future matches?
A huge thank you to Kevin Wood, and his family, and all those who organised this brilliant event.   Thank you to the marshals, and especially to Carol Mosses.   She was the sole person at the kissing gate, and not only coped with a wave of runners hurtling through the tiny gap in the gate, but even had time to set up a temporary traffic-light system to give priority to the faster-returning runners.   Which also meant that our Chepstow guests got a taste of the authentic Thornbury experience.  Thank you to the Chepstow captain for organising the chip-timing; that really enhanced the race, and meant we got the results accurately and promptly.   There was a warm and convivial atmosphere between the teams as we refreshed ourselves in the gardens of the Anchor pub by the light of the Sturgeon moon.  The Harriers returned home in triumph to Chepstow – or ‘transfluvial Thornbury’ as the estate agents call it in a bid to boost house prices.  But the best result of the night was the growing consensus that this fixture is now going to be a regular event in our club calendars.

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

  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


Hogweed Trot – Pete Mainstone Challenge, race 2

Round 2 of this year’s Pete Mainstone Challenge took place in Yate – the only town in South Gloucestershire that simultaneously rhymes with ‘great’ and ‘party’ depending on how posh your accent is.

The Hogweed Trot is another impeccably organised local event that doubles as the Avon County 10k road Championships, and attracts a commensurately high-calibre roster of runners.

The organisers again claim it is a ‘pan-flat’ course – (is there a conspiracy amongst the race directors?) – but the roads are as rolling as the stir-fry wok at a hall of residence’s communal kitchen. However it takes place on quiet country roads on the edge of the town, with the final mile a gentle downhill to the finish on a cyclepath.

Andy Wilson is TRC’s Jason Kenny – no matter how fantastic his own performance is, all anyone wants to talk about is how amazing his wife is! I’ll come to Andy’s run in a moment, but first we must acknowledge Lucie Wilson, who ran a course record 40:20, to win her race and take the coveted county champion crown. Lucie is only an occasional runner with TRC – as she competes at a high level at netball – but after this stunning run we hope she might nail her colours firmly to TRC’s mast, and come and win a lot more races with us cheering her on. Mainly from some distance behind!

Hannah Hamilton also had a wonderful race, and finished in 5th place in 43:39. Strava suggests this was a 10k PB, but whatever it was, Hannah is racing well, with consistency, and is hopefully taking a lot of encouragement from that.

We had a strong turnout from Thornbury’s male runners. Phil Blackburn paced his effort to perfection, holding back slightly over the first 5k before marauding through the field to clinch a 10th place finish in a new PB of 36:51. The exciting thing for Phil, and for the club, is that he’s still going to get faster for at least a few more years, assuming he can maintain his obvious enthusiasm for, and dedication to, his training.

Andy Wilson set off as usual like a Diamond League pace-maker on a caffeine buzz. If his run last Sunday at the TRC championships was mesmeric, this effort was merely sensational. It’s possible the effort of six days earlier caught up with him a fraction, as he couldn’t hold off Phil on this occasion, but he still finished in 12th place overall in 37:09.

Paul Harrod was the next TRC male runner in 37:54, in 16th place, even though his chip-timer didn’t register. DB Max aren’t accepting his proffered explanation that his sprint-finish exceeded the maximum conceivable speed, so it is possible that the 10p metal chip was just a dud. Simon Pinnington had another marvellous run, and went inside 39 minutes with an excellent 38:46. The age-graded scores still need to be fed into Mel Lloyd’s SuperComputer, but it seems probable that Simon will score very highly in the overall PMC competition.

George Evans just missed out, yet again, on a sub 40 min 10k; clearly his in-demand work as a Samba and Salsa instructor might be taking the edge off his finishing speed. But he still produced another fine performance to finish in 40:14. George was just ahead of Asten Haynes in 40:21. Asten is another runner who is going to go under 40 minutes very soon, and he has another opportunity in the Bradley Stoke 10k later this week.

Tom Usherwood was next home in 44:29. I have a hunch that is a 10k PB for Tom, but either way he is running extremely well at the moment. Nick Langridge, who is as ever-green as the perkiest pine, ran 44:38, to take his inevitable, if still well-earned, victory in the V70 category. Chris Foley was second V70, and just missed out on a sub-50 run, with a highly creditible 50:43. Arthur Renshaw completed the TRC septuagenarian champagne trio, with 56:14. Paul Saville ran 46:43 and David Flemington 65:42 to complete this strong team performance from TRC’s men.

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.

Berkeley 10k and parkrun of the month race report

On Sunday, several TRC members had the privilege of improving their running technique under the expert eye of coach Shane Benzie.   However the early proof of that pudding was to be tasted the following evening, as they lined up for the Berkeley 10k, the first event in this year’s Pete Mainstone Challenge.

During the warm-up there were admiring glances from other club members as we arched our backs and locked our eyes on the horizon, like Kate Winslet on the bow of the Titanic; or cycled our legs under our centre of mass like Roadrunner; or placed our forefingers on our thumbs and drove our elbows back, like a Yoga Master bisecting logs with a tiny saw.

Sorry, maybe you had to be there on Sunday!

Anyway, Shane’s input has already borne fruit, as several members ran their course, or even all-time, 10k PBs.

It’s particularly hard to single out any individual in such an impressive, collective, set of results.  I’m tempted to award it to Hannah Hamilton who ran a fantastic 43.56, and finished 12th in the women’s race – the best overall result by any TRC member.

Yet how can we not applaud Ben Bohane, who, just nine days after racing a ludicrous 34 miles along the Pembrokeshire Coast, pitched up at Berkeley and knocked a full minute of last year’s time to finish in 21st place in 37.05?  That’s 21st in a race that attracts runners from across the region and was won by an outstanding senior athlete who was a former silver medallist in the English schools 3000m.  Yet again one wonders how fast Ben could run if he ever actually tapered for a race!  

So Hannah and Ben were the two stars of the evening, but they were by no means the only ones to produce an outstanding performance.

Not far behind Ben was Phil Blackburn, who will represent the club in the Avon county 1500m championships on Sunday.  Phil proved once again that his endurance level is starting to approach that of his jaw-dropping raw pace, and finished a mere 4 seconds further back in 22nd place.   Paul Harrod ran his 10k PB and finished in 37.22, 27th overall, and third VM45.

When I wrote last week that I felt Simon Pinnington’s form was so good that he could get under 40 minutes at Berkeley, I was intending to pay him a compliment!   This was a rough extrapolation from his recent parkrun performances.  However it shows how bad my maths is, because Simon himself was aiming to go more than a full minute faster!  Hopefully he doesn’t read these reports…  In the end, Simon ran a wonderful PB of 39.02, but such is the measure of his recent improvement, that he was a little disappointed.   He was fifth VM50, and 44th overall.

Asten Haynes narrowly missed out on running sub 40, but only by 10 seconds.  That was a very notable run, and Asten is another club member who is naturally quick, and is now building an aerobic base that means he can be highly competitive in the longer distances.  The same is true of Tom Usherwood who is racing regularly, and with great consistency, and should be delighted with his time of 44.17.

I’ve written this before, but it bears repeating: a quick scan of the results might mean you overlook Nick Langridge’s performance.  He finished in 45.11, and for most of the race looked like he might get under 45 minutes.   That is still a fine run, but to do so while now competing in the VM70 age-grade is truly exceptional.  It goes without saying Nick won his age category race.

Paul Saville finished in 47.33, and sneaked into the top 100 of the men’s race by finishing 99th.  Kevin Wood had a busy weekend – running at the parkrun of the month, and attending Shane’s workshop.  Yet he once again produced a stellar performance to finish in 49.42 and fifth in age category.   Lizzie Williams was just  seconds outside the 50 minute barrier and a highly creditable 30th place overall in the women’s race.  Some of the club’s loyal and long-standing legends completed our line up.  Hugh McPherson 55.44; Arthur Renshaw in 57.10 and Mel Lloyd in 1hr 10.   In all cases they ran strong races and finished inside the top 10 in their age categories, so their results are entirely comparable with many of their younger teammates further up the standings.

The amazing members of Dursley running club put on another wonderful event.   I’m biased – I don’t think anyone organises races better than we do – but Dursley runs us close!  Once again, the good burghers of Berkeley were out on the streets to offer their support.   I’m always amazed how few cars are out and about – it really does feel like it is a closed road event, even though it isn’t!

Last Saturday was ‘parkrun of the month’ and we were back at Severn Bridge.   Sixteen members took part, which is a good number, especially as lots of us wanted to save our legs for Berkeley just two days later.

Andrew Darton was first TRC member, running a course PB of 20.28.   Chris Pritchard is improving noticeably and came home in his PB of 25.01 – so close to a 24 minute something time.   Jonathan Hall, 22.34 and Ashleigh Ferris, 26.26 ran the event for the first time.   

Congratulations to Kev Cundy for completing his 50th parkrun.   Hope he got a cheer from the Chepstownian locals for that achievement, followed by a chorus of boos when it was revealed he came from ‘that Thornbury’.   Kev ran with wife Suzie and let her finish 1 second ahead of him in 29.12.   Who says chivalry is dead?  Finally, the PB machine that is Carol Mosses – the Birkenhead Dibaba – raced to another personal landmark, finishing in 36.56.

race report for w/e 23rd and 30th April

Thornbury Running Club members have a penchant for races that include meal breaks.

I am not sure which of Ben Bohane and Paul Thomas’ achievements at the Pembrokeshire Ultra is the most impressive. Is it their finishing positions: an outstanding 6th overall for Ben, and 23rd for Paul, (but third VM50)? Or the distance covered – a staggering 34.7 miles including sections on the steep coastal path, and some calf-crushing bits on the beach? Or perhaps their ability to eat the calorific equivalent of three roast dinners and still keep running for up to 6 hours?

Well done to both. As I have remarked before, Ben’s range from sub 18 min 5ks, to marathons and ultras, is truly extraordinary. Paul’s focus to his training, and continued improvement, even while competing in the more venerated age categories, is an inspiration and example to all his club team mates.

On the same day, Simon Pinnington, another VM50, showed lots of young whippersnappers how to run, with a brilliant third place overall in a gruelling duathlon, featuring two separate, lung-busting runs, either side of a gentle bike ride. OK, the bike ride was clearly not gentle, but this is a running race report! Congratulations to Simon, who I think stands a very good chance of going under 40 minutes at next week’s Berkeley 10k.

Onto the parkruns, taking place on Saturday 23rd and 30th April. Once again conditions could hardly have been better, and TRC members spanned the county in a quest for new PBs.

At Berkeley Green, Jonathan Greenwood ran a 24:29 PB, along with Jane Leslie who ran her best time in 29:35. Jane’s run merited a very impressive 77% age-graded score. At Wotton, club captain Kevin Wood finished a fraction outside of 24 minutes, but finished in fourth place overall. Wotton is a tough, hilly course, and you have to be strong to maintain a good pace on the final sections of the race. Those track and hill sessions are clearly working, Kevin! At the enigmatically named East Park, Kevin Arnold finished in 11th place and ran 22:35. Tetbury Goods Shed parkrun is far more pleasant than it sounds, with some grass and woodland paths to go alongside the disused branch line. Its not an especially quick course, so the prolific Simon Pinnington did very well to finish in second place overall in 20:39.

Onto the 30th April, and at the Mundy playing fields, Asten Haynes recorded his third win at the event, sprinting to victory in 19:04, just 8 seconds outside his course PB. As is usual at our home parkrun, TRC members followed home at frequent intervals. Andrew Darton, Tom Usherwood and Kevin Arnold were 9th, 10th and 11th and fewer than 45 seconds apart. Mel Lloyd is putting in some consistent performances and should be pleased with a 31:45 effort on this undulating, grassy course.

Severn Bridge is of course all tarmac, and any time the breeze barely troubles the Beaufort Scale, discerning parkrunners tend to stream along the M48. On Saturday we had over 200 runners, a full quarter of whom came from across the South West as the Vegan Runners club had an away day. I’m not sure what the collective noun for a group of vegans is – a Verisimilitude? a Thunberg? – but they were a colourful and fun addition to the race, and provided the winner for both the women’s and men’s races from among their number.

Sean Leadbetter was saving his legs for a triathlon the following week, but he still ran a very fine 17:47. Dylan Roberts was recovering from a triathlon the previous week, yet was able to run an impressive 18:13. Paul Harrod had no excuse for not going full pelt, and so was happy to record a parkrun PB of 17:52.

Richard Jackson finished in his own PB of 21:31 and was 27th overall. Catherine Dack was only 10 seconds outside of her best ever run at the event, but still finished 18th in the women’s race and with a 70% plus age-graded score. Jon Welsh also narrowly missed his best time, running 24:48, and Jane Broadhurst knocked 11 seconds of her PB to finish in 25:08.

Announcing Shoe Try on & New Club Road Race Champs

TRC Bulletin for w/c 25th April 2022

Thursday Club Night Leaders

7min: Paul Harrod / 8min: Mel  / 9min: Mike B / 10min: Arthur / 12 min (5k): Carol / Walking: Val

Tea Rota  

28th April James Marshall / 5th May Romeo Maddalena /12th May John Francksen / 19th May Nick Langridge

What’s On …

  1. Shoe Try On – May 12th

Up & Running Bristol and Saucony Shoes are coming to the Club Thursday 12th May for a shoe try on event. You get to borrow a pair of shoes for the nights run.  More details to follow, please put the date in your diary and plan to arrive about 6:30 to get your shoes. Thanks to Nick Williams for organising.

  1. TRC Annual Party & Awards Night – May 20th

4 weeks until the Club party at Thornbury Golf Club and the numbers are growing. Tickets still available subsidised at £16 person for both Club members and guests. Price includes first drink, sumptuous BBQ, Celebration cake and disco. Purchase ticket/s Annual Party & Awards Night . Any questions

  1. Club Championships

We have decided this year to hold two Club competitions. A straight shoot out single race ‘Club Road Race Championship’ event with trophies for 1st female and male runners.  Plus the ‘Pete Mainstone Challenge’ multi-event competition with both outright and age adjusted female and male winners.The Club Road Race Championship will take place 9:00 am Sunday 22nd May over the new Thornbury 10k course. This will also serve as a course tester event for Club members only.

The ‘Pete Mainstone Challenge’ will give you the opportunity to select 3 events from a list of 8 over the Club year (to March 2023). We are working hard to select events we think will be popular and will publish the full list asap. However, we can confirm that the first event will be the Berkeley 10k Road Race 2022 on 9th May At the time of writing this post there are still 390 places available. Entries: Many Club members have already entered so please sign up and join in.

  1. Cotswold Way Relay

We already have 18 entries for the CWR. For those new to TRC the Cotswold Way Relay is a very popular event with members. The event is a 103 miles, 10 Stages, off-road race through the Cotswolds from Chipping Campden to Bath run in teams of 10 people We have entered 3 teams – Quickthorn (a vets team of our ten fastest over 40 female or male runners) and two mixed teams Firethorn and Hawthorn (at least 4 female runners per team). Entry is free for members. The Club’s entry process this year has been changed based on experience over the past few years and is similar to what we use for Cross Country (see link below). If we become oversubscribed we will work on a first come first served basis. Please Enter here


Self Defence Sign up & Other – Bulletin W/c 28th March

Thursday Club Night Leaders

7min:  Jim G? / 8min: Hannah / 9min: Mike B / 10min:  Steve / 12 min (5k): Jim W / Walking: Val

Tea Rota

31st Mar: Sam Prescott / 7th April: Nick Langridge / 14th April: Mel Lloyd / 21st April: Paul Thomas

Save the Dates…

  1. Self Defence

Personal safety is important as many club members run by themselves in less populated locations. I have organised a Krav Maga self-defence session for Saturday 28th May 9:30 – 12:30 at a Club subsidised price of just £9.50, reduced from £15.50 in last week’s bulletin (full price £25.50). We need 20 people for the session first come first served by 29th April please. Sign up link

  1. Membership Renewal EA Due

EA deadline is 1st April so the 40 outstanding members wanting the Club EA subsidy need to please renew by Friday -> Renewal Please complete the form and accept the new T&C. We appreciate prompt payment please. Questions to

  1. TRC Annual Party & Awards Night – May 20th

Please join us for an evening of celebration, laughter, dancing and yummy food at Thornbury Golf Club. Tickets subsidised at £16 person for both Club members and guests. Price includes first drink, sumptuous BBQ, Celebration cake and disco. Purchase ticket/s here: Annual Party & Awards Night Payments to the club bank account shown on the form.  Any questions

  1. Unique Coaching Opportunity – Sunday 8th May

With only 14 signed up from the club and needing 20 to run the session this is now open to non-members at the full price of £100/head. If you have friends in other clubs please let them know. Chepstow, Westbury Harriers, Bitton and B&W have already been contacted and also posted on local Facebook pages. We need final numbers by 14th April. Questions to

  1. EA Run & Coach #3 – Training for a 5K PB 5th April

Third EA Run & Coach session with Kerry Newell, ‘Training for a 5K PB’, is on Tuesday 5th April at Chantry Playing Fields. Full details at Training for 5k PB

  1. Club AGM

The Club AGM is on Thursday 31st March 8:30 in the Fitness Studio TLC. If you have items you would like to raise or if you would like to volunteer for the committee please send to by 28th March.


TRC Bulletin for W/C 14/03/22  

Thursday Club Night Leaders

  • 7 min: Rob
  • 8 min: Kev C
  • 9 min: Mike B
  • 10 min:  Arthur
  • 12 min (5k): Nigel
  • Walking: Val

Inside TLC Fitness Studio @ 6:50 or straight to the car park for runs starting at 7:00. Refreshments available after the run in the ‘Fitness Studio’.

Tea Rota

  • 17th Mar : Roger Glew
  • 24th Mar : Hugh McPherson
  • 31st Mar: Sam Prescott
  • 7th April: Nick Langridge

Save the Dates…

  1. Club Charity Vote 2022-23

Three charities have been nominated and you now have until midnight Monday 25th March to vote. Details of the charities and please vote . The winning charity will be announced at the AGM 31/3.

  1. Free 15 min Sports Massage Thursday 24th March

After the Club run 24/3 an opportunity for a free 15 min sports massage in the Fitness Room, TLC. No booking required. If you have any muscular aches or pains that could benefit from a Sports Massage come see Jason from Thornbury Sports Massage. If you have never tried a Sports Massage now’s the time to try.  If you have had one before and know the benefits then try Jason. If you are currently injured, come along early, this could be the treatment you need.

  1. London Marathon

London Marathon ballot results are due 14/3. If you entered and have receive a rejection letter in the ballot you may be eligible for the Club’s London Marathon place. Take a look at Club London Marathon place to see if you qualify.

  1. Membership Renewal 2022-23 Due

Membership for 2022-23 now due please -> Renewal . No increase in membership fees for 2022-23. Already had over 30 renewals, thank you. Please complete the form and accept the new T&C. We would appreciate prompt payment please, especially for those wishing to have individual EA membership subsidy. If you are one of the 8 people who joined since 1/1/22 this does not apply to you, your membership continues until 31/3/23. Questions to

  1. TRC Annual Party & Awards Night – May 20th Thornbury Golf Club

Come along for an evening of celebration, laughter, dancing and yummy food! Tickets for the evening are at the subsidised price of £16 per person for both Club members and guests. Price includes first drink, sumptuous BBQ, Celebration cake and a disco. Purchase ticket/s here: Annual Party & Awards Night Payments to the club bank account shown on the form.  Any questions to

  1. Unique Coaching Opportunity – Sunday 8th May

We have 14 people signed up for the unique opportunity for all club runners to be coached by one of the UK’s leading athletics coaches, Shane Benzie. If you would like to attend please sign up here by 25th March -> Coaching Opportunity If we don’t have 20 people by that date we will review the event. The Club is heavily subsidising this event, as an investment in building the Club, and the cost is just £50 per person. Questions to

  1. Mob Match – Sunday March 27th   39 now signed up. Please sign up now -> Put me on the team All info is shown on the link.

8. EA Run & Coach #3 – Training for a 5K PB 5th April

Third EA Run & Coach session with Kerry Newell, ‘Training for a 5K PB’, is on Tuesday 5th April at Chantry Playing Fields. Full details at Training for 5k PB

  1. Club AGM

The Club AGM is on Thursday 31st March 8:30 in the Fitness Studio TLC. If you have items you would like to raise or if you would like to volunteer for the committee please send to by 28th March.

10.   Club Nights – Last Updated 25/02/22

The government is removing remaining domestic restrictions in England. There are still steps you can take to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 We would ask you please to not attend club session if you have any COVID symptoms, thank you. For the latest list of COVID symptoms:


December parkrun results – and Pete Mainstone Challenge

Thornbury Running Club members dominated the local parkruns in December, with our tally of first-place finishers surely* a record. It has certainly capped a fantastic year for the club, and our thanks must be extended to the amazing volunteers who kept the parkruns going through the late autumn and early winter.

December 4th was ‘parkrun of the month’ at Severn Bridge. This was during those halcyon days before it became a criminal offence for runners to congregate and run alongside Welsh motorways. Apparently good ventilation helps prevent the spread of Covid 19, and so one would have thought the furious gales whipping down the Wye Valley would make the event “safe,” but apparently not.

Anyway, huge congratulations to Sean Leadbetter for winning the race in 18:25, thereby joining Laura Orna as the only TRC member to be first-finisher at this event which attracts a lot of speedy runners from across the region, due to the downhill finish and PB potential (wind-permitting). Alan Gatling was 7th overall in 21:37, and Nathan Darkin 9th in 21:52, surely* the only time we’ve had three in the top ten at this event.

There was a suggestion on the day that the M48 was closed to traffic, and concerns over a wasted journey meant that Hannah Hamilton decided not to make the trip. There then followed frantic calls to her agent from the other parkrun directors, before she elected to run at Wotton. Needless to say she surfed the mud in spectacular style to win her race in the aesthetically pleasing time of 22:22. At the Mundys, Ben Bohane came first in 19:37, leading, as always, from the first few strides, with Paul Thomas in third in 21:03.

December 11th was the only week of the month where TRC didn’t notch up a first-place at a local race. However Nick Williams won the Brueton parkrun in 17:42 – a fine victory in a field of over 200 runners. Lizzie Williams was just outside the top 10 in her race in 23:49.

Other notable performances came from Moray Sloane, 7th at Thornbury; Taryn Roberts, third at Chipping Sodbury, and homing in, once again, on the 20 min barrier, with 20:31; plus Kevin Arnold, sans 50kg backpack this time, with an excellent 12th place on Severn Bridge. However performance of this week must go to Simon Pinnington (20:46) and Gary Slater (20:50), third and fourth respectively at Wotton. Both men compete in an age-group that would merit a round of applause and a modest raise of the bat in a cricket match, and they showed the youngsters how it’s done by recording strong 70% plus age-graded scores. On a flat, tarmac course they’d both be mightily close to 80% I believe, which Parkrun UK says is ‘national standard’.

Jim Godden missed that mark by 0.03% on December 18th at Chipping Sodbury – that early Christmas glass of prosecco the night before counting against him in the agonising sprint to the finish. Still, 14th place, in 19:53, and as close as makes no difference to 80% age-graded score, is proof that Jim is running as well as he ever has. In the same event Catherine Dack just missed out on a top 10 finish, running 25:30.

Dylan Roberts won the Mallards Pike race in a brilliant 17:28, although with modest assistance up the steep bits from his canine companion. At Thornbury, the incomparable Clare Watt was first finisher in 23:39, also missing an 80% age-graded score by a fraction, but the heavy ground of the Mundys in mid-December, means she is significantly above that benchmark in reality. She was backed up by Richard Jackson (22:59) and Moray Sloan (23:12) who recorded top-ten finishes in the men’s race.

Christmas Day fell on a Saturday this year, and so it was fantastic to see so many parkrun events take place. Once again, we can’t thank the volunteers enough for giving up their precious time on this most special of days. The turnout from TRC members was also impressive, with over a dozen members keen to offset their pigs-in-blankets with a bracing three-miler in the mud.

The Watt family were at Warwick Racecourse, and despite the going being good-to-soft at best, Clare still came close to an 80% score with a 4th place finish in 23:55. John ducked under the 30 min barrier, and was allowed roast potatoes at lunch as a result. Poor Andrew Darton has had a miserable year with injuries, but still finished inside the top 10 at Hentstridge parkrun. Wishing him a full return to racing form in 2022. Finally, Chipping Sodbury always schedule their event on Christmas Day, and four of our most venerable members donned their Santa hats for this one. Nick Langridge doesn’t even take Christmas Day off from being awesome; he ran within a rounding error of an 80% score to finish in 22:03. Kevin Wood ran an excellent 24:30, Chris Foley 26:45, and John Francksen 33:20.

Finally, Dec 19th was the date for the Chippenham ‘Shortest Day’ 10k, and the latest event in the Pete Mainstone Challenge. I ran the ‘Longest Day’ version, which was held one sun-dappled evening in June, a contrast to the cold, wind and mud of last month. The course is a good one, but runners climb gradually for most of the first 9km and then you go sharply downhill for the final 1000m. The net effect is that you can’t go as fast as you’d like on the downhill, and the cumulative effort of the climbing means that this not a PB course, especially in the winter.

That makes Sean Leadbetter’s performance all the more remarkable. Sean was fifth overall in 36:25, beaten only by some of the most seriously committed club runners in the region. Sean was spotted in the pre-race photo sporting an outlandish woollen bobble hat that ought to have to led to his disqualification on sartorial grounds, but that fashion crime aside, he delivered one of the very best results by a TRC member across the whole of 2021. Well done Sean!

Nick Langridge maintained his Vadar-like grip on the top of the overall leaderboard with a typically consistent run of 46:71, second in his age-group. Kevin Wood just missed getting under 50 minutes, but was rewarded with a fourth place age-category result. John Welsh ran 53:19 and Carol Mosses finished in 80 mins.

*writer shorthand for “I can’t be bothered to check”.