The South West Cross-Country Championships and Gloucestershire Cross-Country Championships were both held on the weekend of 4th – 5th January and there were Thornbury runners competing in both races.
Hannah Kinloch Haken qualified for the SW Championships after a fine performance in December at the Tri-Counties Cross Country event. After already winning Thornbury’s cross-country championships for 2019/2020, Hannah stepped up to the next level of competition and was representing the Avon Team on a tough course at Aldon Hill, Yeovil against the best regional runners. In what was a great learning experience, Hannah finished 49th overall in 26:07 mins.
Thornbury RC enjoyed a very lively Christmas party on Friday 3rd January, which then explained the reduced numbers who travelled to Rencomb College near Cirencester the following afternoon for the Gloucestershire Cross Country Championships. Despite leaving it all on the dancefloor until 2 am on the day of the race, Jim Godden put in a Captain’s shift and was the only Thornbury man to make the start line. Jim finished 58th overall and was 3rd in the MV55 age category in 46:51 mins. By virtue of being the only Thornbury man to compete, Jim picked up maximum points in the club championships and is in pole position going into the final round in Cheltenham in February.
Thornbury’s women showed they are built from much sterner stuff and had 3 finishers. Clare Watt and Rosina Rowland ran an incredibly close race and were only separated by 2 seconds at the finish. Clare was the first of the Thornbury women home in 39th place in 34:58 mins and Rosina was 1 place behind. There was more age-group success for the club, Clare finished 2nd FV55 and Rosina was 3rd FV55. Judy Mills was the third Thornbury woman in 60th place overall in 39:44 mins.
In the team competition, Thornbury’s women were 9th place in the overall competition out of 12 teams and for runners above 35yo, Thornbury’s vets finished 5th out of 8 teams.
A result which was missed in the previous week’s write-up was the final Thornbury performance of the year. Rob Watkins and his dog, Poppy, took part in the Canicross Seven Sins trail race on 30th December. The Seven Sins in this race relates to the seven climbs over seven miles through the Forest of Dean. Rob has previous form over the equivalent race without canine assistance and used his experience and Poppy’s boundless enthusiasm to win the men’s race in 59:52 mins and was 2nd overall.
Thornbury’s parkrun results on 4th January included a 23:12 mins run from Paul Saville at Ashton Court. If ever Paul’s dedication to the cause was in question after completing 290 parkruns, this run, only hours after the Christmas Party, demonstrated near super-human willpower. Garry Slater was the first TRC finisher at Chipping Sodbury in 20:40 mins, followed by Roger Glew 24:02 mins, David Palmer 27:31 mins, Christopher Pritchard 28:08 mins and Mel Lloyd 29:33 mins.
Kevin Arnold ran 23:53 mins in Lydney and Brian Godsman ran 25:30 mins in Skatas. On Severn Bridge, Adam Frontczak ran 20:22 mins, followed by Mike Poad 21:12 mins, Duncan Pauly 25:47 mins and Claire Evans 34:27 mins.