Amongst all the festive celebrations Thornbury’s runners were very busy burning off the calories during the end of year racing calendar. There were parkrun results galore with Race Directors and their teams generously volunteering their time to hold events on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Special mention to Henry Orna, Pamela Macleod, Paul Clark and Kevin Wood who all did a parkrun double on New Year’s Day. Henry and Kevin ran Chipping Sodbury in 19:10 mins and 22:22 mins while Paul ran 22:02 mins in Ashton Court. They all dashed across to Eastville Park for the later start time and Henry ran 20:21 mins, Paul 20:51 mins and Kevin finished in 23:13 mins. Pamela took advantage of the removal of the Severn Crossing toll to start her new year at Newport parkrun, which she ran in 33:51 mins, before heading across to the Riverfront parkrun in a quicker effort of 33:13 mins.
On Boxing Day, Ian Shepherd ran in the multi-terrain ‘Chester Round the Walls Race’. The race has been going since 1972 and starts and finishes on Roodee racecourse, with a lap of the narrow city walls in the middle and several flights of steps to contend with. Ian completed the 4.25-mile course in 99th place in 33:08 mins.
Closer to home there were TRC runners at the 4-mile Clevedon Boxing Day race, another long-standing fixture during the festive season. Richard Philips was the first Thornbury runner to finish in 303rd place in 30:15 mins, followed by Joanne Williams 362nd 31:14 mins, Mark Williams 501st 33:31 mins and Janet Gaze 859th 39:14 mins.
Rob Watkins and his canine companion, Poppy, travelled to Forest of Dean for Seven Sins Canicross on 29th December. The name of the race stems from the 7 hills the runners and their dogs must negotiate on this 7 mile off-road trail race. This was Rob and Poppy’s first race together, and they set a high bar for future races by earning a podium finish with 3rd place in 57:31 mins.
The final race of 2018 was the Wye Wander and 5 Thornbury runners were out on the Wye Valley trails and lush fields alongside the Chepstow racecourse for this 5-mile race. Conditions were much drier than 12 months previously, which made the narrow sections along the valley less precarious and the deep-water hazard more of a puddle. Nick Williams jostled with the leaders and was in third place for much of the race, before a strong finishing Chepstow runner came through the field. Nick still finished in an excellent 4th place overall in 31:24 mins. Matt Johnstone was in the next group of runners and finished in 7th place and 2nd MV40 in 33:05 mins. Laura Orna had another strong run and finished in 26th place overall and 4th woman in 37:14 mins. Hannah Kinloch Haken was not far behind and finished one place behind in the women’s standings and 31st overall in 38:03 mins. Paul Thomas was next in 38th place in 38:54 mins.
Happy New Year from Matt.