On Olympic ‘Super Saturday’ almost no eyes were on the Mundy playing fields, but all the same, TRC managed to secure a 1-2-3 in the Thornbury parkrun. (Don’t worry, this report won’t take nouns such as medal and podium and mangle them into verbs.)
Last week Nick Williams cheered on from the sidelines, but this week he laced up his trail shoes and showed us all how it is done. Thornbury parkrun, with its hills and sharp descents, is ideal for Nick, combining, as he does, the poise and balance of Nureyev with the stride-length of Nijinsky. Nick was over a minute ahead of the next runner, and recorded a hugely impressive sub-18 time. Ben Bohane was second in 19 mins flat, with Paul Harrod in third, even if he wasn’t in the same post-code when Nick crossed the line.
Conditions were particularly muggy, which might explain a surprising lack of PBs. However special mention to Julie Jolley for a debut run at the Mundy’s in 24:36, just a second behind 15 yr-old Laura Evans, (daughter of George), who was the first junior to finish. Romeo Maddelena also ran a first Thornbury parkrun in 25:13, while the rapidly-improving Roger Glew ran 24:50 – just outside his PB, but now well over a 60% age-graded score which is the benchmark for a serious runner.
At Stonehouse, Nick Landridge ran 21:34, and yet again managed an 80% plus age-graded score. As a reminder, parkrun UK state that any score above 80% puts the runner in ‘national class level’, meaning they would rank alongside the very best runners for their age and gender anywhere in the country.
Down in sunny Teighmouth Alan Gatling ran a wonderful 21:01, which gave him an age-graded score of over 70%. Parkrun regards that as ‘regional class’ so an indication of just how good Alan’s run was. Henry Orna was allowed an hour off daddy duty, and made the most of it, racing round Lydney in 20:41. Mark West and Andrew Darton went all the way to Tamar Trails, and finished 16th and 17th respectively, while Thomas Darton was top junior in 8th place overall with a time of 20:40.
Given how many dedicated ultra-runners we have in the club, it takes a rare feat of endurance to raise the collective eyebrow. However Steve Wiltshire, plus his father, decided to run 24 hours non-stop in the Conti Thunder Run, which is an almost unfathomable amount of time to be on your feet. The organisers picked a closed loop to do the run, which added to the psychological and mental stress, but on the plus side made the parking easier. Sadly an injury meant Steve couldn’t complete the full 24 hours, but he still kept going for 12 hours plus, which is something very few people will ever have the inclination to attempt.