Once again, the glorious Bourton-on-the Water was the scene of some sparkling performances from Tewkesbury runners.
The top girl was Natalie Jenks after notching a new 10km personal best (PB) time. Natalie has been training hard and has long desired to be quicker over the distance. On the day of the race, she was mentally and physically charged and ran a controlled pace. Her notorious lavatorial concerns were left behind and she stylishly excelled to her second outstanding performance of 2018.
Natalie, as in previous years at Bourton, found herself in a competitive group of Tewkesbury runners. This time, it was in-form Chris Duckworth who set the early pace. Chris ran to his limit from the start and bravely held on for as long as he could – his first 5k was so fast, he could have jogged the last 5k and still recorded a PB! His training recently has been impressive including a sharp 1:40 ½ marathon distance. Chris hung on to time a desirable sub 44 minute run.
Gary Duxbury divided them with his own PB as he showed his class in the competitive V60 age category.
Jon Mansfield unset the form book crossing the finish line ahead of Tewkesbury fringe runners Rob Bowery and Simon Meadows.
Rob in particular has led some fast training runs over the winter with Shona, Simon and James Head only just hanging on! James ran a neat sub 39 after being hit with seasonal illness in the weeks previous.
Focus was on Mark Gardiner whose form is especially sharp and in his last 2 races has finished just a hare’s whisker behind Jon. His run was a PB and a good 90 sec faster than his fine run in Hereford’s NYD 10km.
The early pace from the Tewkesbury contingent was again set by John Gundy. Very much like 2017, John hit the start hard and worked vigorously to hold pace. His 38:34 was just a few seconds off his Bourton best.
Parkrun specialist Mike Bryce managed to avoid injury long enough to make the start line in decent shape. His sub 42 in his best time for many years and may even be a PB?
Barry O’Driscoll ran a tidy race. A couple of minutes off his best from 2011 however, a solid foundation to the series of marathons he is planned to run this year.