One of the highlights this month so far was Andy Hawkins’ long over-due return to competition. Andy has not been on a start line for 8 years so the highly competitive Hereford 5km was perhaps a shock. Nevertheless, Andy fought his way from the start after being boxed-in and pushed the pace against a testing headwind. With James Head to chase, Andy crossed the line in 19:04 minutes. James, a familiar face in Hereford, timed a consistent 18:38 but both the Tewkesbury runners had to straddle water-logged sections over the last 1km.
Also on the West side of the River Severn (and the Wye for that matter), 3 Tewkesbury club runners took on a slightly more challenging course called Offa’s Orror. This 12 mile trail race tracks several miles along Offa’s Dyke including the skyline above Tintern Abbey. Tracy Tailford made her Tewkesbury debut with her first ever off-road race and teamed-up with fellow borough council stalwart Teresa Roberts. To Teresa’s delight, she bumped into former Tewkesbury runner and also former borough council colleague, Michael Reep. Pleasantries were left at the start line as the runners headed up the first and toughest climb. Jon Mansfield was running too after the disappointing postponement of his favoured Chedworth Roman Trail race.
Jon was soon glad of his change of plan once he trekked across the dyke; surrounded by trees, the ancient pathway was a technical test of coordination, agility and wits. Jon went on to finish 11th and win the first prize in both V40 and V50 although later the V40 was returned.
Teresa found herself chasing Tracy’s heals down the first decent and it wasn’t until she found her feet that she was able to show her class over tough terrain and pull away.
Tracy enjoyed her first off-road experience though a tad long from a distance perspective.
Jon 1:39 hr
Phillip Howells reports from Boston…
For those unable to get into the Boston US world major marathon, then the small market town of Boston in Lincolnshire has the ideal riposte. Inaugurated only 2 years ago the 2018 Boston Marathon UK has everything - lots of support, excellent organisation, many well stocked water stations and a good, completely flat and fast, extremely well marked course on mostly quiet farm roads winding between fens-type fields. Quiet different to what we are used to in Gloucestershire, the very open and exposed scenery close to the sea would be a tough challenge in windy conditions. However, for Tewkesbury RC runners Angie Sadler and Phillip Howells who took part the weather Gods were kind and provided an ideal mild day with a gentle breeze and even a period of sun while our home county was experiencing heavy rain. Both recorded satisfying times to receive the unique medal as a well-rewarded outcome for a long day involving a 3.30am start, a 350 mile round trip and a late return.
Angie Sadler 3-34-09, 113th overall, 3rd FV 50-59
Phillip Howells 5-35-41, 508th overall