The annual Guy Fawkes Five run continues to go from strength to strength. Behind Remembrance Day, it’s the biggest event in November, especially in Tewkesbury. This year’s race reached full capacity rather quickly and the 400ish entrants had the delight of a relatively warm morning with the bluest sky imaginable. Bizarrely, it did try to rain during the 11am start though it was a feeble try.
With the race HQ at Tewkesbury School, the runners were in a rush to return as a mouth-watering array of sweet fancies awaited them, not only that but a team of masseuses eager to please and some tasty baps needed devouring. As well as being the race organisers, Tewkesbury Running Club (TRC) managed to field an impressive line-up athletes. Race director Stuart Dudfield excitedly set the runners off on the 5 mile country lane route. With the exception of the two M5 motorway bridges, the profile is flat and that normally encourages good pace and over half of the TRC runners recorded personal best times. The race winner this year was the formidable Ali Cambell from Stroud AC.
The ladies winner was the former women’s course record holder, Shona Crombie-Hicks – also quite formidable. Shona is in excellent form and TRC have been enjoying some fabulous training runs with her now she has relocated from Bourton-on-the-Water.
As soon as the runners finished, they were entitled to complimentary fresh fruit and locally produced drinking water. Then back at the HQ, excellent Duraflex sponsored technical tee shirts and medals were issued out. The TRC runners were lead home by Jon Mansfield. Jon was racing to secure maximum points in the Gloucestershire Road Race series.
Jon’s 6th place overall was enough to defeat his two V45 rivals on the day – and also break a club record. Alas for Jon though, his poor performance in the Stroud Half Marathon earlier means the County title remains elusive.
In contrast, Mark Parker who was magnificent at Stroud, didn’t quite make his expected 5 mile PB. Although he finished second for Tewkesbury in a sharp 32 minutes, onlookers were expecting Mark to follow Jon’s heels. It later transpired during the post-race interview that he had embarked on a 20 mile off-road training run a couple of days earlier – it goes without saying he was a little fatigued!
Mark also worked behind the scenes with the race organisers setting-up the event so credit to his race performance especially with catching 3rd place lady Elizabeth Smith during the later stages.
Alec Vincent had lost some form due to niggles over the summer so his was the first surprise ‘official’ PB to be recorded. Alec found himself running alongside some quality runners.
Starting his first mile at a strong pace ahead of Mark Parker and a plethora of women who were all contesting the runner’s-up spot behind Shona. Although he has ran faster during summer training runs, he was forced to finish in the wake of Tewkesbury-based Sarah Sheppard.
Only seconds behind, Michael Jackson finished in an incredible 33:10 – a whooping PB from the runner whose form is sometimes sporadic.
Like Alec, Jacko exchanged places with some of the chase women and he also managed to catch the new TRC prospect Harry Moss.
Harry has been taking in some high volume, high paced training over the last months and was able to put himself to the test against some established athletes.
Paul Farrington ran a tidy 34:11. Paul makes running look easy with his efficient style and always manages to hold a good tempo and appear fresh over the finish line.
Club Captain Roy Northcott has surprised several with his running over the shorter distances lately. For Roy, whose wife Julie was making her big race debut, it was the day to shine.
He produced a PB just seconds outside 7:00 m/m of 35:09. For some though, the day will be remembered for his brave run-in to the finish; with yards to go, his hamstring tightened and instead of easing-up, he pushed harder to leave the finish-line team gobsmacked.
Rivalling, if not bettering Jacko’s performance, Chris Duckworth coasted the five miles to time a tremendous PB.
On the back of his striving Stroud Half performance, he was tipped for success but not as successfully as he did do. His new five mile PB of 38:07 makes fine reading of how well he has developed over the last 12 months.
David Aguirre and Samantha Robinson have achieved so much since joining the club; David in particular has just got better and better with a diary full of impressive events completed.
He PD’ed with 38 minutes while Sam trimmed her best 5 mile race time down to 47 minutes after a strong finish along Walton Cardiff lane.
Laura Spence made a rare race appearance and recorded a creditable 40:20 mins. Andy Corbett was kept on his toes by the under-estimated Linda Everis. Linda surprised herself by finishing close to her PB and was pleased with her run. Andy teamed-up well with the triathlete and manged to get a couple of steps ahead of her on the finish line.
Julie Symonds always impresses and this time she knocked some more seconds off her PB. 4 seconds to be precise and looks like ending 2017 in a very good place.
Having his year shattered with injuries and niggles, Pete Davies ran to finish in 51 minutes – not his best, though under the circumstances, to get a solid performance under his belt was a must as he looks forward to 2018 and what events to target.
One runner who has his 2018 target in sight is London Marathon bound Dave Harper. For Dave, like some of us, taking on the London marathon is the pinnacle of a runner’s life. He completed the course under the hour and found it not too demanding – which is good to hear as he will surely be thinking about his first steps of his marathon training.
6th Jon Mansfield 29:28 minutes
22nd Mark Parker 32:01
30th Alec Vincent 32:52 PB
33rd Michael Jackson 33:10 PB
38th Harry Moss 33:25 PB
46th Paul Farrington 34:11
62rd Roy Northcott 35:09 PB
102nd Chis Duckworth 38:07 PB
114th David Aguirre 38:42 PB
148th Laura Spence 40:20
166th Julie Symonds 41:36 PB
189th Andy Corbett 42:21 PB
190th Linda Everis 42:23
258th Sam Robinson 47:36 PB
303rd Pete Davies 51:47
350th Dave Harper 58:13
Tewkesbury old boy Rob Bowery takes the V40 prize from Mark Parker while Shona scoops-up her deserved prize after winning with a 96 second gap.