race report w/e 12th September

The Great North Run is the biggest half-marathon in the world, with 57 000 runners taking part in this year’s 40th anniversary celebration. I presume the race is called ‘great’ because it refers to the wider geographic area of the north of England, rather than ‘great’ as in ‘super, smashing, great’, but either way it is an extraordinary event, and one for any serious runner’s bucket list.’ The weather in the North East was unseasonably hot, with the temperature rising close to 15 degrees, but that was no problem for TRC’s intrepid trio who had spent the summer acclimatising in the tropical South West.

Melanie Wilson was the first Thornbury runner to finish in a time of 1hr 44 mins. She was in 76th position overall in her age-group, which is a wonderful achievement in a race of such magnitude. Hugh McPherson and Chris Foley were barely ten minutes behind Mel, yet four and a half thousand runners crossed the line during that time – another indication of the scale of the event. Chris and Hugh compete in highly exclusive age categories, and once again achieved remarkable results: Chris an amazing 9th overall, and Hugh in 49th. They ran together and finished well inside the 2 hour mark.

There isn’t much to report from this week’s parkruns. Lots of club members are preparing for the Bristol Half, and of course the London Marathon. In a limited roster of results, the highlight has to be Laura Orna, who was first woman at Thornbury, in 22:10. Claire Watt was second woman, and her age-graded score was a fraction below 78%, which on that course is seriously fast. Ashleigh Ferris was in the top 5 at Haverford West, running 24:55, while Ian Hoffman ran 21:44 and was 8th overall in the Llyn Llech Owain parkrun: (translated from the Welsh it means ‘Lynne likes Owen’, presumably a reference to the burgeoning romance between the race directors).