The 2018 Gloucestershire Amateur Athletics Association Road Race Relays attracted an array of clubs to it’s Haresfield 5 km course. The venue was the same for the Glos AAA 5km championship so some people knew what to expect from the course – generally considered, the profile is a slight decent along the first mile then the course makes a square that somehow leaves the remaining miles as energy sapping ascending, not greatly but just enough to keep the heart rate out of the comfort zone.
Amongst the clubs competing, strong teams from Swindon, Clevedon, Black Pear and Worcester were also fighting it out amongst the Gloucestershire teams. For Tewkesbury’s 3 teams, there was always a slight chance of a county medal if we stood up and performed bravely against the velocity of the other runners. Tewkesbury’s team spirt stood out for sure and the women’s team of three were all excited to see how they would fare on the country lane route. At 14:30 hrs the mass start was released and although Swindon went on the dominate (and even put Cheltenham Harriers into 2nd), when the first legs of the TRC came into view there was excitement to see all 3 runners come into the handover zone in quick succession; Chris Duckworth, by far our youngest runner, led with a time of 21:41 minutes. Chris ran a swift first mile as expected and had to work very hard over the last 2.1 miles – he managed to hop onto the pace of passing Severn AC runner Victor Marques and that was the perfect move as Chris kept his average pace up. He handed the ‘baton’ to Club Captain Roy Northcott.
Noel Green in Tewkesbury’s V50 team followed with 21:00 to hand onto Alec Vincent and just 13 seconds later with 20:13 came in Amanda Martin leading off our V45 women’s team.
Chasing Roy and Alec was Elaine Vincent; taking the pace from Amanda, in-form Elaine established a great pace and went on to run her fastest 5km ever!
That followed the man of the moment Alec, who everyone was watching after his terrific sub40 10km in Pershore. He didn’t disappoint with a leg time of 19:14 – true to form and an impressive PB time.
Roy completed his leg in 23:19 minutes and released Mark Gardiner;
Mark had the impression that the course was fairly easy-going after running on it previously and he managed to record the quickest first mile for the club only for the later miles to take their toll.
Handing-over to Phillip Howells, our most senior athlete by far.
Phillip ran a solid 5k and even managed to response over the last few hundred yards as he was pressed by other teams. He completed the Tewkesbury Men’s team to take 8th place in the competition.
Alec set Jon Mansfield away to complete the V50 team of 3 and he returned in 18:59 to give the team 60:13 minutes to win not only the county Gold, but also win the V50 competition out right.
Ultra-distance runner Angie Sadler ran the final leg for the Tewkesbury women and her 22 minutes exactly, secured the overall county title as the fastest women’s team in Gloucestershire 2018.
All in all, from a squad of 10 runners, six were awarded Gold medals. The Men’s V50 title was the target so to win the women’s title and improve on our 2017 4th place is amazing. Well done all who contributed and supported.