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.