The Club Captain Roy Northcott writes about his Bank Holiday Monday over in Buckinghamshire…
“After last week's London Marathon, this week it was the turn of the Milton Keynes Marathon, with myself and Nick Matthews flying the TRC flag. The weather looked unpredictable but overall turned out to be pretty good for marathon running. The wave start was a bit frustrating as it was a while before our wave started. We ran together for a while but when 'traffic' separated us I decided to let Nick go ahead. He's running well these days whereas I'm a bit down on my pace so it was always likely he would leave me in his wake. The first few miles took in some of the wide streets and tree lined boulevards of Milton Keynes, before heading through various parks and green spaces making it feel more rural for much of the route. I went through half way in 1:55 which was about what I was aiming for with Nick about 5 minutes ahead at that stage. However, whilst Nick continued to run strongly for most of the race, I was getting stomach cramps which were hindering my progress and meant I couldn't take on gels or sports drink, which made things even tougher for the 2nd half as energy reserves dropped. The course is billed as pretty flat but it has numerous underpasses and it's surprising how all the slight ups and downs feel steeper than they really are! The finish is in the impressive MK Stadium, though can catch you out as you have to run round half the pitch to the finish line. Nick did slow slightly but still posted an impressive time of 3:45:57. I had long given up hopes of getting near 4hrs but at mile 25 still though I could break 4:20 if I pushed hard. Despite my best efforts the last stretch turned out to be a bit long and I came across the line in 4:20:35. It may not be London, but the race is well organized and a good alternative next year if the usual ballot rejection comes through!”
Stroud Trails (1/4m, 1/2m & Marathon)
Several Tewkesbury runners took part in the events over the Stroud valleys (including Roy Northcott six days after the Mk marathon). I’m not sure of the results only that Cathy Dudfield was on fire (this means running quick as your bum is burning) in the half distance with Stuart Dudfield and Mark Parker. Nigel Tillott and Paul Mason joined Roy in what must have been warm and sunny conditions as lunchtime beckoned. Karen Mason, who has started competing for Tewkesbury again, I gather ran in the quarter distance with daughter Chloe.
Phillip Howells writes from Stratford-upon-Avon where amongst others, Jude Rodrigues stood on the Marathon start line to harvest the fruits of his long and hard working training…
A trio of Tewkesbury RC travellers made their way to the 2017 version of the Shakespeare marathon in Stratford-upon-Avon with genuinely notable finishes for all three.
The regular club marathon-running pair of Angie Sadler and Phillip Howells were each taking part for the ‘nth’ time in this race, on this particular occasion to help their friend and fellow local Almost Athlete runner Ingrid Harris celebrate her 100th marathon. But it was a rare treat to also have club mate Jude Rodrigues join them on the start line in what was only his second ever marathon.
He picked a glorious spring day for it, albeit a rather hot one on a deceptively tough course. The route takes in two laps of pretty and resplendently green Warwickshire countryside after an initial tour of the town centre past Shakespearian monuments and including a few miles of the Greenway old railway path each lap. The many bottles of water at the ample water stations were much in demand in what is always a very well organised race promoted by Rotary for charity.
As ever, rising to the occasion and running with Ingrid for the day, Angie recorded an impressive 3-42-44 to finish not only 15th woman and 150th overall (from 612 finishers in total), but once again receiving the prize for 1st FV55 in a big marathon event. It was her 158th marathon or ultramarathon finish to date.
Jude recorded a very creditable 4-40-48 for 478 place to join the relatively few who have ever completed more than one marathon, while Phillip in his 3rd marathon as a now 70 year old came in 30 minutes later in 5-14-44 for 576th place. It was his 221st marathon/ultramarathon finish, which also meant he has now completed over 70 each of road marathons, trail marathons and ultramarathons, a combination achieved to date by only 7 of the nearly 600 members of the 100 Marathon Club. It goes to show that even if getting slow and old there are always milestones you can aim for to motivate yourself.