There were some big performances at the local big race at Ashleworth; The Angels 10km always brings out the familiar faces from the Gloucestershire running scene and accordingly, it was familiar faces that took the big prizes.
Being only a short trip across the River Severn, the event was well-supported by Tewkesbury – both running and spectating. The club’s headliners came in the shape of local Steve Maber winning the V55 category, Jane Sauer the FV40 champ and Mike Ward in the V80 category. Mike has been returning from an injury so it was delightful to see the popular gentleman collecting his award from the Cricket Club balcony.
Jane’s call-up to the balcony was even more deserved as she had to battle twice with a stomach stitch – the final few hundred meters saw her knotted in pain!
Steve, on the other hand had a race within the race as he was packed together with Alec Vincent, Vlad Venglar and Russell Steele.
The quartet battled along the course and when they reached the 4km mark, the wheat was sorted from the chaff as the country lane cuts up Mixhill Wood. A roadside grit box at the bottom of a climb normally indicates breathing trouble and the four huffed and puffed to the water station at the top.
From that point the course offered some fine undulations and some pleasant gentle descents. It was Alec who really got the grit between his teeth and lead the chasing three along the technical finish back to the Cricket club. Vlad finished just meters behind. Russell, who started too laid back, finished just meters behind Vlad and Steve, just meters behind Russell. It was quite a sight.
Finishing ahead of Alec was Mark Parker who clocked an impressive time on a tough course.
Jon Mansfield just sparred into the top 10 despite being a little poorly.
With Jane working very hard to time 45 minutes, in contrast Natalie Jenks continued to baffle onlookers and ran at a light tempo to save her legs for a training run the next day.
In total contrast to Natalie, Julie Symounds was ‘recovering’ her legs after last weekend’s London Marathon. She ran very well considering.
Paul Booth returned to racing after a few months astray; he looked in smooth shape over the final hundred yards.
With all things being relative, Chris Duckworth was the brightest performer. With the Tewkesbury Half Marathon his ambition, Chris continued his gains with a 10km PB… the Angels course is a couple of minutes ‘tougher’ than the popular PB courses.
Jude Rodrigues shone too. Unlike the Jude of old, he looked strong, he ran strong and could have gone stronger for longer.
Pat and Neil Cameron made a rare appearance and were both unlucky not to win their respective categories. Excellent efforts.