TRC Runner of the Month 2019.
The 'runner of the month' for January and becoming Tewkesbury's inaugural winner is Vlad Venglar. By far the best patch of form ever seen from Vlad where he has, not only managed to beat for first time the club's Parkrun record holder over the Vineyards, but he also lead the club in this year's Mayhill Massacre with an outstanding 4th place in a much improved time from his previous exploits over the demanding course. Congratulations Vlad.
Our runner of the month for February is a new name to watch out for: Phillip Prince has jumped from the 2018 'Couch to 5k' group and made a big splash in the Bourton-on-the-Water 10km. His 50 minute 10k time was an almighty achievement and, although it took a lot out of him at the finish line, Phillip's brave performance caps a fine February of running for him and thoroughly deserves the accolade of RofM. Congratulations Phil.
The Runner of the Month title for March has been awarded to James Head. Truly deserving, James has been head and shoulders above us all with some leading performances in a range of testing events, including the infamous Grizzly on the South Coast, the GL20, Pendock Chicken and even smashing Parkruns. His form is outstanding and looks to harvest the benefit of his patient, dedicated and constant training for this year’s London Marathon. When he did put his feet up in March, he composed some race reports for the club website news section and just goes to show why the hard-working postman is our 3rd RotM for 2019. Congratulations James.
The Runner of the Month for April and, our first ever female winner is Laura Kent.
Laura has been running with the club for a few years now however, it’s 2019 that she’s resplendently blossoming. Her running in April has been big news with a 2:14 hr personal best in the Berlin Half Marathon. Then, she upped her pace over 5 miles and recorded a new best time of 45:47 minutes. In the form of her life, she’s certain to crack her 10km PB in May.
Our Runner of the Month for May has to be the strongest nominee since records began. Having completed his first marathon, which panned out to be an almighty test both physically and mentally, Chris Nicholls then went on to score a personal best time of 2:15hr in the Tewkesbury half-marathon. In a month where he managed to log 100 miles of quality running, Chris’ pièce de résistance shocked the club; buzzing from his THM performance he entered the Dymock half-marathon – the Dymock course is a tough and undulating run on the rural westerly edge of Gloucestershire – not only did Chris cross the finish line in fine fettle, he remarkably clocked 2:11hr, his second 13.1 mile PB of the month. It’s an incredible achievement for any runner from amateur to professional to double PB and considering the latter course to be ‘at least five minutes harder’, it’s baffling to think how he managed it.
Chris started the month of May lame with an achilles concern; with his Newport marathon training uncompleted, he risked a DNF after he started the race. With days to recover he was on the Tewkesbury start line and then a couple of weeks later he had the confidence to run into the unknown around Dymock and return triumphantly to firmly receive our RofM for May. Congratulations Chris.
Our Runner of the Month for June is the inspirational Shona Crombie-Hicks. Her running in June was breath-taking; with her Fabulous performance in the Broadway Tower Charity race, the Fairford 10k and the Bourton Hilly Half, which she convincingly won the ladies' titles in each. Her gritty 2nd place in the Angels before arguably her most outstanding achievement (in June) in the Cotswold Way Relay last week. Her charisma, colour and relentless consideration for her fellow runners make her a credit to the club and a very worthy winner of the club's 6th RotM award. Congratulations Shona.
The Runner of the Month for July has been awarded to one of our hardest working members - not just when she dons her trainers but from the moment she wakes-up. Lesly Allaway normally flies under the radar, however, she's been sighted in several great training runs last month adding her vibrancy. Working hard and training hard aside, Lesley produced a fine performance in the Gloucester 10k race before her 'big one' in Somerset for the Frome Half-Marathon; just a 75 mile drive away from Tewkesbury, she couldn't resist the lure of the hilly 13.1 mile challenge and crossed the finish line under 150 minutes. An awesome month, congratulations.
The Runner of the Month for August is quite literally, the club's most colourfull character; sporting a well-groomed beard and simply mesmerizing body art, Simon Crilley has had a month to remember... with the day he collected his first running trophy, the day he ventured on to the athletics track, his brave handling of the Bugatti course, his infectious club runs and he even found time to support the club over in Alderton.
Although it isn't rare to see an ex-footballer or active cyclist like Simon take to endurance running, it is rare to make a successful transition. However, with the month Simon has just had, it is safe to say he has transformed. Though it hasn't been an easy 2019 - he's had his aches and pains and there have been times when he needed to reset. Thankfully, he diligently cultivated his running fitness to flower in August to be keenly picked as our 8th RotM. Congratulations Simon.
Our runner of the month for the busy month of September is having a year to remember; having suffered much of the summer with Hay Fever in addition to his Asthma, James Aubury has been committed to training and tackled wet off-road conditions in the Apperley Quarter Marathon event. As his HF subsided, his Asthma was persistent and thus affected his lung capacity – something that is quite handy for endurance sports. The Cheltenham Half Marathon was an almighty challenge for James, not only did he slip off the pace from his club mates but his chest was strongly fighting his efforts. James bravely pushed on with the task and surprisingly beat his PB for the distance with a respectable 2:23 hr. That’s some achievement all things considered. With a September of successful runs behind him, James looks forward to his next events including the Guy Fawkes 5, Newent 9 and the Croome Capability Canter. Congratulations James.
The month of October proved to be impossible for the club captains Roy and Micheal – impossible to decide the most stand-out Runner of the Month! Therefore, for the first time ever, joint winners were chosen;
As always, it’s about who has made the biggest splash throughout the month and the first of the joint-winners is quite simply an inspiration to us all – a guy who enjoyed his 50th birthday and also clocked his first full year running outside, Ian Caley. Ian made some huge gains on the running front during the summer ending with his a PB in the Cheltenham Half Marathon with 1:54 hr. However, it was in October that he really took-off – he then ran an even quicker HM during a training run with 1:50 hr before the race of his life thus far at Stroud; by chopping almost 7 minutes of his half marathon PB, he was elated to boast 1:48 hr as his new best time. Congratulations Ian.
The Stroud Half Marathon witnessed some incredible performances for the Tewkesbury runners, especially by our other RotM for October. Hot off the back of her own half marathon PB over the Cheltenham course on the 29th September and less than 12 months after giving birth to her third daughter, Carly Merriman filed her PB down below the 1:45 hr benchmark and said goodbye to a whopping 4 minutes from her PB. Carly has been slowly gaining her fitness back since February and after a sound Tewkesbury HM, her big goals were visible. Her training in October was on the limit as the infamous over-training warning of shinsplints paid her a visit. Undeterred and fuelled with determination, she grabbed her long-standing objective with both hands and her famous magic socks. Congratulations Carly.
November’s Runner of the Month was phenomenal; since slipping on his Tewkesbury vest, he’s caused a bit of a stir in the county and November especially was his month. Standing on the finisher’s podium in each of the events he performed in with a 2nd at the Newent 9 and a comfortable 2nd in the Croome Capability race. However, it was in the Guy Fawkes 5 that Owen Grant rewrote history – he managed to break the club’s 32-year-old 5 mile record. Owen recorded 26:41 minutes, a time that says each mile in 320 seconds! Who knows how long his new record will stand for, but with no signs of slowing, next November should be interesting. Congratulations Owen.
In quite a spectacular twist to end the year, the 13th and final Runner of the Month title has been awarded to everyone in the club! Yes, the Club Captains, Roy Northcott & Mike Younger have decided after reviewing the diverse efforts, achievements and successes made by everyone during 2019. Not dissimilar to the stars shinning last night, some members shined brighter, however, we all added our brightness during 2019 - not just by our physical exploits but by the quite amazing support and camaraderie, the organising and team playing, the cheering and screaming, the applause and abuse, the event arranging and logistics support, the newsmakers and the photographers - everyone made the club's galaxy. The Captains want to formally recognise everyone this December for their parts in making 2019 a historic year for Tewkesbury Running Club. Congratulations to every member.