Splendid conditions greeted runners gathering to start the lung-stretching, leg flexing Broadway Trail runs.
With the marathon runners staring just after 8am, they had to tackle an extended loop through Winchcombe and some quite dramatic Cotswold trails.
Tewkesbury’s chairman Nigel Tillott passed Sudeley Castle and climbed his second substantial climb in great shape before finishing back in Broadway in 15th place in a time of 4hrs, 13 minutes.
The figure 8 marathon measured a generous 26+ miles and Tewkesbury’s Angie Sadler ran strongly during the later miles to reach Broadway in 29th position and as 2nd place woman. Her time of 4:29 hrs showed a fine improvement over her 2017 exploits on the same course.
The Broadway Half-Marathon took the runners over a 13+ mile loop from Broadway, through the Bridget Jones setting of Snowshill, heading due south along the escapement before descending down to Stanway. Then re-joining the homeward bound marathon course through Stanton and Buckland.
The last half mile is along lanes giving the runners an opportunity to let the mud fly off their shoes.
Focus was on the defending V60 Gary Duxbury, who is a force to be reckoned with over trails. Like Angie, Gary had an improved run cloaking a quality 1:58 hr to safely retain his V60 title and strongly claim 15th place overall against hardy competition.
Gary followed his neighbour Alec Vincent by just 5 minutes.
Alec is in decent form and completed the course in his best time to date by reducing his course PB by 3 minutes; had he not been hindered by plantar fasciitis in both feet he may had scaled further than his amazing 8th place.
Alec claimed 2nd V50 as his club mate Jon Mansfield placed on the podium as 3rd overall and first V50. Jon found conditions perfect but could not cope with Alec’s pace up the Broadway Tower climb and had to concede 50 yards by the time the terrain levelled; it wasn’t until descending down the long leafy path through Lord Neidpath’s Stanway wood that Jon had pulled clear from Alec.
Liz Spiers only opted for her off-road shoes minutes before the start – although the course didn’t offer deep mud, it did offer greasy mud and slippery grass, so her uncomfortable rugged off-roaders offered more comfort than crashing through a stile without style. Her strong 35th place finish gave her 12th women in 2:11 hrs.
Roy Northcott was no stranger to the popular November challenge having done the marathon last year amongst several other uneasy long distance races. Roy finished in 2:11 hrs in 57th position and will probably be back on the marathon start line next year!