The Bourton-on-the-Water 10km

Whilst most years in this early spring classic 10Km race, runners are wrapping up in gloves, hats and under layers before massing on the start line, this year runners were greeted with a balmy 14 degrees temperature, glorious sunshine, no wind so summer racing gear was gladly donned by most runners. In fact, so warming were the conditions, sun cream was seen being applied!

As always, the quality of this year’s 617 runner field was high; the winner of the men’s and women’s recording times of 30.05 and 34.20 minutes respectively. In full anticipation, there were a total of 22 Tewkesbury Running Club members lining on the start line, all nervously looking forward to the famously speedy Bourton 10K racetrack.

First to finish for TRC, and also making a welcome return to racing was Ed Hardy in 37mins 08 in 37th position. Ed ran a remarkably well measured and paced race and combined with Ed’s efficient running style this brought him a home in a very pleasing time.

Next home for TRC was the newly crowned TRC King of the Road 2019: James Head ran the race with a slight calf pull from earlier in the week so set off steadily with the aim of consistent 6 min/miles and very nearly achieved that with a 37.38 clocking in 48th place.

Simon Meadows is currently in the middle of a heavy marathon training schedule in preparation for the Newport Marathon in May and with a time of 38.02, the race showed that Simon is heading for a great time come early May.

Certainly no stranger to the Bourton 10K, Jon Mansfield graced the race for an amazing 14th time. Showing his experience in the race, Jon set off with the requisite quick 1st mile and performed better than he expected but still his slowest in 14 attempts!

The next 3 runners for Tewkesbury Running Club; Simon Crilley, Vlad Venglar and Mark Gardiner were all expecting a close inter-club contest, having all finished close together in the previous Sunday’s Cross Country race; with the added assistance of the experience of Mark and Vlad, Simon Crilley put in one of the performances of the race for Tewkesbury Running Club. Returning into the village with just under 1k to go, Mark Gardiner had a slender advantage over Simon with Vlad just off the pace. However in the last 800m, Simon just pulled away from Mark and to his delight recorded his 1st ever sub 40 minute 10K, clocking 39min 47 in 93rd position - a fine achievement for any runner.

Mark Gardiner, although a minute down on his electric performance from last year, was happy with another sub 40 10k in 39min 50, just 1 place behind Simon. Current Tewkesbury Running Club ‘Runner of the Month’ Vlad Venglar has been in sparkling form recently with sub 20 minute Tewkesbury Parkruns so his sub40 cannot be far away as he recorded 40min 35 in 116th place after a rapid 3:35 minute first kilometre.

Next home for Tewkesbury Running Club, putting in one of his best 10k times for many a year was Stuart Dudfield. Running just as well a measured race as Ed Hardy, Stuart even surprised himself with going under 42 minutes - and nearly went sub 41 minutes with an excellent 41min 07.

Chris Duckworth timed 43.29. Chris’ final few week’s preparation for the Bourton 10K had not been ideal and had also picked up a hamstring niggle. However Chris still attacked the course, and clocked a new PB of 43.29. With a smoother run up, Chris will surely lower his PB a lot further next time.

There then followed a trio of Tewkesbury Running Club Ladies squad members. Having been seen racing closely together at the 5k marker, it was with intrigue to see who would first appear back into the village for the final 1K. Speculation was then solved as Suzanne Tharme strode strongly back in from the long Rissington Road and dashed to the line in 47min 18, placing high up in her age category as 4th V55 lady and, of course, the club’s leading lady.

Only a minute behind and fresh from her strong showing at the previous week’s cross country race, Elaine Vincent posted up and excellent PB time of 48min 21, again placing high in her age category as 6th V50 lady.

Shortly afterwards, Carley Merriman was only 40 seconds behind as she posted up a time of 49min 8 secs. Although some way 90 seconds off her PB, Carley’s performance was very noteworthy she was racing after only 3 months after giving birth to her 3rd child! With a return to fitness and the cobwebs blown away, it will not be long until Carley is delivering her own very useful competitive races again.

Jude Rodrigues then led in another 3 Tewkesbury Running Club members; also featuring in the Linda Franks 5 mile and Cheltenham’s cross country, Jude performed with vigour again and timed a fine 10K with 50.10. A return to sub 50min 10Ks this summer should be on the cards as there was no question that Jude was annoyed with the extra 10 seconds.

New and welcome TRC member Philip Prince pulled on his new Tewkesbury vest and run an impressive first race in 50min 52. As with Jude, sub 50 minute 10K now very much within grasp as he looks forward to a spring and summer of improvement. Phillip is was one our club’s Couch to 5k (C25K) runners from 2018.

Just behind Philip, Jo Chandler attacked the Bourton 10K after a strong winter campaign of county league cross country. Showing improvement throughout the season, Jo looked sure for a notable showing on her return to road racing, and she was delighted with a very well earnt PB of 51.24.

Becky Thomas was another to come into the race with not the best preparation, having had to give up her place in January’s Linda Franks race. However Becky braved the Bourton course and strode in with 55min 20 - less than a minute down on last years’ time.

The next 4 runners from Tewkesbury Running Club were all looking to get under the magic 1 hour marker with conditions and course looking perfect for the target. At the turnaround marker C25K star Duncan Tharme looked the least likely to achieve the target as he lay some distance behind the 3 lady racers of Tracy Tailford, Vicky Earls and Tonia Whitebeam. However first of the group to appear from the Rissington Road was Duncan Tharme - Duncan then finished comfortably within the hour with 59mins 20.

Next home with an improved performance from last month’s Linda Franks 5 mile race, was Tracy Tailford. Despite racing the day before and only securing a late entry the night before, Tracy pulled away from the girls on the incline before the turn around point and pushed on for a new PB of 59mins 34.

Whilst most people were resting up on the day before the race saving their energy, Tonia Whitebeam was doing far from that and did a 15 mile training run! With this in mind it makes Tonia’s time of 60mins 05 look far more impressive than it is! Tonia now continues her training for her spring marathon.

Vicky Earls, Tewkesbury Running Clubs ‘Improver of the Year’ 2018, used the Bourton 10K as a trial run before she looks to continue her improvements into 2019. A clocking of 60mins 30 will provide a good benchmark to work on during the springtime.

Amanda Marshall, the 3rd of the 2018 C25K trio, brought home the Tewkesbury Running Club members successful day and provided another stand out performance. Clocking 73mins 13 secs, Amanda clocked her PB time for a 10K as she looks to no doubt continue her improvement this year.

Pictures taken by Barry Cornelius & Cathy Dudfield - thank you for your support.

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