The 7th annual Bushley was a measured success for Tewkesbury Running club; Mungo Park assisted by Dan Webb, put together a fine morning of running. Local villagers teamed-up with club members to set-out and marshal a deceivingly challenging mile course along the Green Street.
The weather came out sunny and there was just the odd residual puddle here and there.
The 11am ‘main race’ was won by the up & coming middle distance athlete Jacob Pickering but it wasn’t decided until the last 200 meters; within a split second of the starting gun firing, Tewkesbury’s John Gundy had produced a 10 meter gap on the runners and maintained it until he settled for the runner’s up spot with a fine 5 minutes and 10 seconds and, a considerable distance ahead of a surprised Jon Mansfield. Jon was also humbled by former Tewkesbury runner Paul Lockyer (in ten years of running together, Jon always had the upper hand). Steve Maber and Alec Vincent were both close to cracking the six minute mark on the infamous course with the sting in the tail.
Natalie Jenks was again the top scorer for Tewkesbury as she kept a safe distance ahead of Suzanne Tharme’s strong run. Carol Cowley used the race to compliment her training as she completed a 20 mile run the day before (awaiting confirmation). Sam Connolly was one of the club’s best performers – all things being relative, he was the most impressive. Terry Ballard ran nicely to just miss the sub 8 minute box while Kevin Emmerson graced the day with a decent effort – not many people can smash-out a mile effort and still be able to hold a conversation while doing so! Mike Ward running in the 80 year old category showed the spirit we all wish for with a smile.
Sharon Peters found a great turn of speed, only she was speeding in the wrong direction! Missing the start by a couple of minutes, she turned around and slipped into the ‘fun run’ and to her credit, ran an encouraging race with Carly Merriman’s eldest daughter Chloe. However, Paul Douglas stole the show with son Ben asleep in his pushchair. Paul pushed the mile in 6:16 minutes!
The race was also graced by a VIP in the sporting word as Zara Hyde-Peters OBE travelled to Bushley with her Coventry Godiva squad. Zara, as a double British champion, sits along side Zola Budd and Jo Pavey though she is more connected with Kelly Holmes. Since retirement she has played key roles with GB Athletics, London 2012 and was CEO of British Triathlon. In her day she would have run the mile in under 4:30 however, as a youthful-looking 53 yr old, she took a more leisurely 5:47 minutes!