This year’s Tewkesbury Half Marathon must go down as the best in history – the weather was glorious with no infamous SW headwind along the Bredon Road, the course was carefully modified and the tee-shirts were top draw. Starting way back at the Gupshill, the runners had a chance to ‘settle’ before flying down the bank adjacent to the Council Offices. When the race approached Kemerton, there was an innovative leg through the village before the long decent down to Bredon church. The cherry on the cake was then a High Street finish which generated a great atmosphere.
30 runners took part for Tewkesbury and without going into too much detail, the super trouper was aimed at Pete Davies. After Pete’s feature in the local magazine, the club favourite had built a fan base to support his run. Pete has had some untimely bad luck with injuries over the last 2 years – he has trained for marathons and ½ marathons diligently but never once has made it to the start line. As sure as day turns to night, the 58 yr old would get fit and then an injury would darken his life. 2018 looks like being his year as he took on the 13.1 mile challenge with some reasonably solid training in his diary and for the race, the addition of a couple of experienced half marathoners in the shape of Sam Robinson and Laura Kent.
Pete dug deep and hit the High street easily under the 2hr 30 min mark to cross the finish in 2:26. Pete’s sociable group contained Sam and Laura and also Tonia Whitebeam who timed 2:26.
James Aubury managed to get a bit more from his legs and pull ahead; James being another who has been concentrating well on his training, he timed one of many PBs.
With Carol Cowley abstaining, Tewkesbury’s share of the prizes would normally be reduced however, with Shona Crombie-Hicks and Gary Duxbury flying Tewkesbury colours the possibilities are doubled.
Gary is on top form and although favouring off-road course, he targeted the THM as a serious race. He ran exceptionally well and beat his V60 rival from Almost Athletes by 20 seconds. But for Gary, one of the South West’s top V60 athletes was in the race and put 11 minutes into our Bushley star. To give it some perspective, the new V60 champ ran quicker than the V50 champ. Gary’s 1:38:05 is a great time, a PB even.
With Gary 2nd in the V60 category, Shona smashed the V40 with her 1:27:02 and went on to take 3rd overall woman. She was just 70 seconds off last year’s winner so she was pleased with her placing and someway satisfied that she was able to record a 23 second gap over 4th place, who happened to be her friend and rival Fee Maycook.
With all things relative, James Head made the biggest impact – not just a healthy performance but he also scooped a top ten place (excluding the wheel chair racers, James placed 7th overall).
James’s race went so well that he came 2nd V40 and on closer inspection, he was only 15 seconds from winning the category! An outstanding result whichever way you view it. Since moving to Tewkesbury, James has been blossoming like a spring flower and he’s now a serious challenger in each race he enters.
The early leader for Tewkesbury was Ty Berg.
It’s Ty’s first race in Tewkesbury colours and on the Friday before the event, it was 95% doubtful that he would start due to an achilles injury. Rather bravely he gave it a go and managed half the course before nursing himself to the finish. Ty is a class athlete, once he gets fit, he’ll be the one to follow.
The talk of the town is sure to be Simon Crilley’s first race for Tewkesbury, first ½ marathon and pretty much first go at running. Simon is a battle-hardened ex-footballer who hung up his boots and switched to the less injury prone sport of cycling. It was only recently that he started doing some short jogs with his partner Helen.
In as little as 8 weeks, his mileage and pace increased to the standard of a decent club runner. Add a recent decision to enter the Half and join TRC, Simon was all set to perform. Simon ran a real quality race and only found himself wanting in the later stages.
His 1:35 is as impressive as all of the aforementioned – arguably the club performance of the day?
The fine performances kept coming for Tewkesbury with Stuart Dudfield holding good pace throughout and shined as an example of excellent technique.
Alec Vincent has returned from his winter of discontent with the form that he achieved last year when he finished the THM in 1:32:04.
Steve Maber entered at the last minute and one would expect only trained sparingly!
Neil Evans ran a light and bouncy race, timing outside his best, Neil is working his way back to former form.
Noel Green is having a tremendous 2018. Knowingly strong over shorter distances, his 1:41 hr is noteworthy.
Ian Smith ran a fine race after his 4:29 Newport Marathon a few weeks ago.
Captain Roy Northcott was fairly content finishing inside 1:50 hr.
Roy followed Tewkesbury’s 2nd placed woman Caroline who pulled away from Suzie Tharme.
Dave Aguirre timed very near to his best despite posing for the camera.
Cathy Dudfield was more than satisfied with her 1:53 hr performance; the race was just a segment of her training programme for some longer distance triathlons later in the year.
Chris Duckwoth had some minor issues after starting off at a pace he’d done before in training. Chris recorded a sub2 however, he will surely be aiming to bounce back. Dan Webb returned to a course he’s impressed on previously, this time he averaged 9.00 m/m – that’s good going on niggly knees.
Lindy Foureacre looked good while running around in 2:04 hr, some 8 minutes away from her storming 1:56 hr in the 2007 event.
Graham Spaull timed 2:04 hr. Graham has found the running bug again. Safe to say he’ll be targeting the Cheltenham Half on 30th September.
Tracy Tailford entered the race quite late in the day and needed to get some quality sessions in over the weeks before. Her 2:17 hr is off her target of sub 10.00 m/m however, with some devotion she should also be looking good for September.
Sheena Moseley was a rose between two thorns as she paced with John Tharme and Cameron Pay. The focus was on Cam as he looked to impress in his Tewkesbury vest.
Although, he can boast a PB of 1:55 hr, Cam’s finish time of 2:11 hr is his best performance since 2011. Good work John and Sheena for preventing him from entering The Cross Keys at 11 miles.
9th James Head 1:23
18th Shona Crombie-Hicks 1:27
41st Alec Vincent 1:32
50th Stuart Dudfield 1:33
63rd Simon Crilley 1:35
82nd Gary Duxbury 1:38
95th Ty Berg 1:39
101st Paul Farrington 1:40 (TBC)
108th Steve Maber 1:41
113rd Neil Evans 1:41
121st Noel Green 1:41
177th Ian Smith 1:47
183rd Caroline Mansfield 1:48
198th Roy Northcott 1:49
213rd Suzie Tharme 1:51
219th David Aguirre 1:51
249th Cathy Dudfield 1:53
266th Gareth Burton 1:54 (TBC)
299th Chris Duckworth 1:58
308th Dan Webb 1:58
379th Lindy Fouracre 2:04
383rd Graham Spaull 2:04
463rd John Tharme 2:11
465th Cameron Pay 2:11
470th Sheena Moseley 2:11
523rd Tracy Tailford 2:17
562nd James Aubury 2:24
573rd Samantha Robinson 2:26
574th Peter Davies 2:26
575th Laura Kent 2:26
578th Tonia Whitebeam 2:26