With the spring marathon campaign looming in weeks rather than months away, Tewkesbury Running Club members were blessed with not one, but two 20 Mile races within the county to test out their winter training.
To complement the long-standing Gloucester 20 race, the relatively new Berkeley Fusion 20/20 race has quickly become a favourite with county runners. Starting from the former Berkeley nuclear power station grounds, this flat 2 lap course provides an excellent trail for runners.
Tewkesbury’s sole representative in the race was Newport Marathon bound Kerry Spry. Kerry famously dipped under 4 hours at Newport last year in one of the club's best performances and with a race time of just over 3 hours (3.00.10), Kerry was 4 minutes quicker than last year’s 20 mile prep race time and looks sure to sparkle again at Newport in early May.
The following day, no fewer than 11 Tewkesbury Running Club members lined up for the recently amended route of the Gloucester 20 Mile road race.
London Marathon bound James Head, still in shock from the previous weekend’s attempt at famous Grizzly 19 mile coastal race - found a good group to run in and ran the race at roughly desired marathon pace and was pleased with his 2hr 14mins 19 secs time.
Simon Meadows has been carefully following his marathon training plan all winter and ran the large majority of the race at intended marathon pace and with a clocking of 2hrs 17mins 28secs, must be full of confidence as he enters the last 6 weeks of training for the Newport Marathon.
Nigel Tillott, another Newport marathon bound runner, ran a well-paced race as he encountered more inclement weather conditions than the fearsome Rhayader 30K race, which he ran 2 weeks previously. Nigel ran with his age group competitors in mind and managed to finish in an excellent 2hrs 24mins 20secs and grab and the 3rd V55 position.
Stuart Bird, who is more well known within the triathlon world, has been a regular this winter at TRC training sessions as he prepares himself for his ballot entry to London Marathon in April. Stuart paced the race just off his marathon pace and was very satisfied with his 2hrs 34min 51secs.
Angie Sadler stole the show in her age category yet again as she won her Ladies V55 title by nearly 10 minutes. Angie strode across the line 2hrs 40mins 14secs as first Tewkesbury lady home adding to her impressive long race resume.
Julie Symonds is yet another Newport bound runner and ran most of the early part of the race with Jon Rawlings. Julie’s endurance training then helped her saw out the distance in an impressive 3hrs and 41secs...beating her previous Gloucester 20 time by nearly 10 seconds!
Dave Aguire tackled his first long-distance road race and showed all his consistent winter training is paying off by clocking a superb 3hrs 13min 5secs, which will provide Dave with all the confidence needed for his assault at May’s Newport Marathon. Dave ran the latter part of the race with Jon Rawlings and had enough effort left at the end to beat Jon with a decent turn of foot in the last 800 metres!
As mentioned, Jon Rawlings made a very welcome appearance in his Tewkesbury vest and ran the Gloucester 20 as a training run. Having kept Julie Symonds company for the first part of the race, Jon then dropped back to see in the race with Dave Aguirre... only to be outsprinted by Dave at the finish!
Kim Boskett has been training well all winter for the upcoming Manchester Marathon, Kim has been a regular at the TRC winter training runs and has been seen out in all weathers; dedicated to her training plan. Kim’s excellent time of 3hrs 27mins 32 secs will again provide her with all the confidence needed for the early April marathon.
Lindy Fouracre made a very welcome appearance in her Tewkesbury vest as she travelled from her Somerset base for the Gloucester 20. Following in close behind Kim, Lindy stopped the clock on 3hrs 31mins 17secs... another satisfying long-distance performance for the Tewkesbury team.
Phillip Howells rounded off a highly successful and enjoyable day for Tewkesbury Running Club athletes as he kept all the younger runners on their toes by finishing with a 3hr 42min 38secs, completing yet another long distance race in his 70’s.