Tewkesbury RC runners were out in force again this weekend to compete for the club in the County Road Relays at Haresfield. Taking place in the small village near Gloucester, competitors gathered at the Beacon Inn pub ready to tackle the 5km loop ahead of them.
Starting in the centre of the village the route took runners out towards the motorway before turning down a narrow country lane, passing through the hamlet of Colethrop and then returning to Haresfield for the finishing straight.
Fielding an impressive 5 teams Tewkesbury RC certainly took centre stage as the rain lashed down in South Gloucestershire but the soggy weather wasn't about to dampen their spirits as every member put in a shift for their club. Teams were divided into 4 for the senior men’s, 3 for the men’s V50 and 3 for the ladies masters.
A sudden downpour before the race began made for very wet conditions and worse was to come as yet another deluge occurred shortly after the start.
Braving the elements for the Ladies team were Jane Sauer, Natalie Jenks and Angie Sadler. Jane started off strongly and set an unbeatable pace for the ladies with Natalie picking up the baton (not literally) and keeping the girls firmly in front. When you want to steady the ship you need a strong anchor and this was ably supplied by club stalwart Angie Sadler who completed the winning line-up despite her reservations that running a double marathon the week before was not ideal preparation for a 5km!!!
For their fine efforts the ladies then picked up their gongs for 1st place in the Ladies Masters category - retaining the title the club won 12 months ago - well done girls!
The Men's A team set off at a fair old tilt with Ed Hardy proving he's just as good on tarmac as he is on grass with a fine performance which was mirrored by Elliott Parsons who ran excellently on his debut for the club. If you've seen him tear up the Tewkesbury parkrun course recently you'll know Elliott is certainly a welcome addition to the club's ranks!
Russell Steele was on hand to take on the third leg and he too ran a fine race. Finally Paul Douglas saw the "A Team" home and proved he was no crazy fool by finishing in style. I love it when a plan comes together!
The B team were expertly set off with Mark Parker leading the charge. Come rain or shine Mark is always ready to pull through and once again Tewkesbury RC were in safe hands (or should that be legs?) Alec Vincent took over the reigns just as a rainbow began to form over the course.
Alec could've been forgiven for chasing rainbows but there was a race on and he soon passed over to Vlad Venglar who set off looking for his pot of gold. Anchoring the B Team Mark Gardiner finished right as rain with daughter Lydia shouting encouragement from the touchline.
It was raining, it was pouring but the old men certainly weren’t snoring as the Men's V50 team were well represented with Jude Rodrigues, Phillip Howells and Steve Maber cooking up a storm in their category. Sorry about the old bit...
Finally the Men's C Team didn't want it to rain on their parade as Chris Duckworth took to the course like a duck to water. Handing over to Roy Northcott who had already received a drenching during his pre-race warm up run, Chris ran well and achieved a PB to boot.
Roy then handed over to Wes Reid who was determined not to make heavy weather of it and ran close to a PB. Finally it was clear blue water for Paul Booth who had the hardest job of all in running round a deserted course to round things up for the club.
Every runner for Tewkesbury put in a brilliant effort for their respective teams with several members folding over in exhaustion after putting in a shift for the club.
Many thanks to all those who ran and for our small band of supporters as well.
Ladies Masters 01:04:51 (1st)
Jane SAUER 20:59 Natalie JENKS 21:31 Angie SADLER 22:21
Men’s V50 01:14:23 (4th)
Jude RODRIGUES 23:50 Phillip HOWELLS 29:25 Steve MABER 21:08
Senior Men’s A 01:18:03 (12th)
Edward HARDY 17:29 Elliott PARSONS 18:59 Russell STEELE 20:04 Paul DOUGLAS 21:31
Senior Men’s B 01:21:18 (16th)
Mark PARKER 19:37 Alec VINCENT 20:35 Vlad VENGLAR 20:38 Mark GARDINER 20:28
Senior Men’s C 01:40:07 (18th)
Chris DUCKWORTH 24:47 Roy NORTHCOTT 24:15 Wes REID 27:05 Paul BOOTH 24:00