The 2018 Angels 10km race took place in September after its regular spring date was a victim of the Beast from the East. As it happened, the rescheduled weekend was on the receiving end of some unpleasant weather. However, though the runners stood at the start in rain, by the time the race had reached halfway it had cleared and by the time the presentations took place, the sun was shining!
The run incorporated the Gloucestershire Amateur Athletics Association (GAAA) and it was part of the annual GAAA road race series and this was something that Tewkesbury, for the first time, had an interest in; Shona Crombie-Hicks has been encouraging Tewkesbury women to join her in events to form a competitive group to spearhead a challenge for the GAAA Women’s Team title. Quite a tough challenge given the powerful bigger clubs in the county. Regardless, Shona had club support from several Tewkesbury women and the stage was set.
Shona has been undergoing treatment for a niggling hamstring strain that has been derailing her Jersey Marathon training to the point that she has been abstaining from various training runs and even took caution to not run in her local race, the Apperley Quarter Marathon. That said, Shona was still favourite to collect her 5th straight win in this Angels event and had planned to run sensibly to ensure the Tewkesbury women collected maximum points. But a leading second-claim Gloucester AC runner lined-up against her and having won Nigel’s Gloucester City 10k in August, Shona knew she would have to race hard to ensure a fabulous 5th consecutive title. As it happened, both girls ran faster than form indicated and Shona even bettered her 2017 with 39:47 minutes. A hard earned win for Shona.
Annabel Roberts ran in as 5th woman for the 1st FV40 prize and she too had to work hard as she knows her fitness isn’t where she would like it to be. Her performance did look effortless to spectators as she arrived on the Cricket ground in 42:04.
Then followed Natalie Jenks as 7th woman and 2nd FV35. Nat timed 43:58 mins over a course she is familiar with.
The Tewkesbury girls kept coming and with a strong showing from Almost Athletes, a great run from Sharon Lockley was welcome. Shaz added to her previous weekend’s PB with an 18th place woman with 52:36 mins over a course which features several undulations and a hill climb after 4k infamously known as ‘heartbreak hill’.
A rare appearance by Caroline Corbett raised eyebrows; Caroline has become more accustomed to triathlons over the years so it was warming to see her again in the TRC vest. Her 60:49 minutes is light exercise as she had been hit by injury earlier in the year.
The TRC women’s team were victorious on the day though it was close, however a 1st, 5th and 7th from Shona, Annabel and Nat took the wonderful prizes that only the Angels offer.
With equal focus on the men’s race, Tewkesbury were competitive too. In-form James Head held on to 3rd position until the later stages when the pair he had on his heals raced each other and reduced James to 5th with 37:52 mins as 2nd V40.
Simon Meadows placed an excellent 8th with 38:59 over a partially demanding course profile.
Chis Duckworth ran knowing a hard 10km run would benefit his 1/2m training for his target race in Stroud. Chris made the most of the first 4km before ‘Heartbreak Hill’ which joins the internationally famous ‘Caterpillar Hill’. He did generate a lead on Natalie and when she pulled ahead, he used her as a spur. Chris timed 44:19 mins and relatively speaking, this was one of his best runs to date. He narrowly missed out on a GAAA medal with 4th in the county.
The Tewkesbury runners were also awarded several GAAA county medals including a silver for Sharon.