The inaugural staging of the Dave McNamee Memorial 10k took place recently as 100 plus runners were bathed in the warm Spring sunshine amongst the rolling hills of the Cotswolds.
Held to commemorate the life of the popular county runner, the hilly course took runners on a scenic route out through beautiful Cotswold villages, winding lanes, pretty woods and through a shallow ford before finishing next to the village hall at Temple Guiting.
Even though this was the first staging of the event the course followed the route of the old Cotswold 10k held in the village many times before.
Runners set off from the hall and out through the tiny village of Kineton where they descended towards the River Windrush. Running alongside the river they then turned sharply at the hamlet of Barton and started the long slog up their first hill towards Guiting Power.
Passing through the famous Cotswold village - famed for being the home of many thoroughbred racehorses and trainers - the field then began to descend once more through Guiting Wood and out along a ridge with terrific views of the valley below them.
Such was the splendid view that you could see a long line of the front runners disappearing deep into the valley and up out the other side. Once at the bottom of the hill you then had to choose whether to tackle the shallow ford or chicken out and use the bridge. I'm happy to report that all of the Tewkesbury contingent chose the water!
Then one final steep climb led back to Kineton and the final dash for the finishing line.
First back for Tewkesbury RC was Vlad Venglar.
Virtually neck and neck with fellow club member Steve Maber, the beast from the east tackled the steep hill out of the ford with venom and managed to break away from his team mate on the climb.
Steve battled back but could not close the gap on Vlad who eventually finished in 42:16 with the veteran runner next across the line in 42:42.
Paul Mason made an unconventional start preferring to stay at the back of the field to encourage wife Karen and daughter Chloe, but Paul was soon fighting his way up the pecking order and finished well in 47:10.
Steve Wiggall made a welcome return in black and yellow tackling the course with ease to finish strongly in 53:41. Wes Reid meanwhile set off well but struggled on the second climb and as a result finished agonizingly short of the hour mark in 61:35.
Finally Karen Mason finished in a pleasing time of 70:13 - a few minutes behind daughter Chloe (66:18).
All six members ran well on a difficult course in unusually hot conditions with Vlad and Steve Maber finishing inside the top 20, with the latter rewarded for his efforts as he received a medal for first place in the County V55 category! Well done Steve!!!
19 Vlad Venglar 42:16
20 Steve Maber 42:42
37 Paul Mason 47:10
69 Steve Wiggall 53:41
93 Wes Reid 1:01:35
110 Karen Mason 1:10:13