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.