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!