There was drama in the club’s penultimate championship event down in Stroud. Tewkesbury had eleven runners taking part in the long-standing local Half Marathon and to say the conditions were good is an understatement; the roads had dried, the wind died and the sun had come alive.
Perfect conditions to run your best and leading the Tewkesbury spearhead was Nigel Tillott; Nigel had close rival Steve Maber with him for the early miles and the form studiers would have predicted a close race between the two.
Despite losing his Garmin watch during a clash of arms with another runner, Nigel kept a strong pace throughout and by doing so kept Steve at bay. Unfortunately, the official chip timing system failed so it’s hard to say exactly what people ran over the measured 13.1 – the starters further back in the field were especially affected as the time it took to flow pass the start line was a matter of minutes! We think Nigel timed 1:28hr however, he may have been sub 1:28? Either way he was quicker than 2014 and that’s a positive against the negative of losing his Garmin en route. Steve Maber tired at 10 miles and finished in 1:32 however for Steve, his target was 1:30 and given that it was his first Half Marathon, it’s a notable achievement.
Nigel looking strong after the first incline.
Not far behind was the club’s next big performer, Stuart Dudfield. He ended a plethora of autumn half marathons with a season’s best time of 1:34. Cathy Dudfield was also at the end of the same plethora with race number four in five weeks. Her 1:54 run is verification of her sound fitness.
Jetsetters: No passports were needed for the trip to Stroud.
Closely behind Cathy and improving on her 2014 time, Karen Maber finished under 1:55 with her limited base training. She also had the disadvantage of having performed hard at the Eastnor Mudrunner the day before so like her husband aforementioned, it was a notable performance. Sharon Peters improved too on last year and timed her best time this year; Sharon kept pace with Carol Cowley initially but Carol does run with deceiving velocity and we’re happy to report that Carol swept the V60-69 category very much like she has done on previous years. Suzanne Tharme timed under 1:45 and with the chip timing error, it’s difficult to know if Calvin Blanford cut 2hrs – his gun time was 2:02 but Calvin is known for starting at the back before moving through. Wes Reid had a Monk-over and still finished in a healthy 2:30 something.
The most talked about performance was produced by in-form Natalie Jenks. Fresh from her Cheltenham Half PB, Natalie ran the style of race which we all dream about by picking off her competition along the course – Sharon, Suzanne and Carol were targeted with success only for the dream to morph into a nightmare when the tenacious Carol fought back – despite Natalie’s abundance of top gears, she could not stop Carol from winning the run-in. Nat’s time of 1:42 is a new PB.
Nigel Tillott 01:28
Steve Maber 01:32
Stuart Dudfield 01:34
Carol Cowley 01:42
Natalie Jenks 01:42
Suzie Tharme 01:45
Sharon Peters 01:47
Cathy Dudfield 01:55
Karen Maber 01:55
Calvin Blandford 02:02
Wesley Reid 02:39