Poet's Path Potter
Spring sunshine warmly welcomed a whole host of Tewkesbury Running Club members as they competed in a variety of races over the weekend of 23rd and 24th March.
Poets Potter Path Marathon
First up was Nigel Tillott and Angie Sadler in the Poet’s Path Potter Marathon, both of whom had raced in the previous weekend’s Gloucester 20 mile race. Nigel and Angie toed the line in the more relaxed, but as equally demanding race, through marked pathways of the Dymock woodland trails. Both runners are regulars in the race organised by Tewkesbury Running Club’s very own Phillip Howells, and both performed well and enjoyed the race in the spirit of which it was held.
With little time to relax after his marathon effort, Nigel was seen out the same evening putting the finishing touches to his smoothly organised and community spirited Pendock Spring Chicken event which was held the following day...
Pendock Spring Chicken Races
Whilst the 10K and the 5K races take the main billing, one of the highlights of the Pendock Spring Chicken race day is the children’s 1K event raced beforehand - and many children/relations of TRC members took on the challenge.
Chloe Merriman has been seen competing with success in the school’s cross country races this winter, and she continued her progress with a sparkling 6th in the Pendock 1K, coming home 2nd girl in 4min 31. Equally as good, Sofia Merriman tackled the course well and followed her sister with 6mins 54. Jack and Oliver Steele both look as handy a runner as their father as they finished high up in the field in 17th and 24th positions respectively with excellent times of 5min 15 and 5min 43. Aneira Nicholls ran with great credit and enjoyment as she finished in 41st place in 6min 50. Lisa Wills had the able assistance from Simon Meadows, but he was not needed, as she stuck gamely to the task and rallied at the finish for a brilliant 7min 32 clocking.
After the excitement of the children's race, it was on to the main event, the Pendock 10K, where 9 Tewkesbury Running Club members took part.
James Head took the early lead in the race, but alas, it only lasted for the first 400 metres, where Tewkesbury's next club recruit, Owen Grant, swiftly took control of the race and strongly came home in one of the race’s fastest times of 36min 04 seconds. Owen was delighted with how he tackled the course and more than delighted with his prize (which was, of course, a chicken). James nonetheless, was pleased with his race as he finished 5th overall in a time of 39min 39, running the second half of it in isolation!
Not far behind James, Jon Mansfield crossed the line in 11th place, clocking 41min 21. Jon was surprised to see older, as well as newer models, show him a clean pair of heals over his favourite distance.
Next home, fresh after his 1Km warm-up with Jack and Oliver, Russell Steele clocked a decent 46min 36 on the demanding Pendock course and in increasingly warming weather to run back to the school field in 37th place.
As ever, Carol Cowley, put in one of the best TRC performances of the day as she finished clear winner of her age group, coming home in 80th place in 53min 30.
Closely following Carol was regular racer this spring, Jude Rodrigues who judged his top 100 placing to perfection, running to the line as 99th in 55mins.
Within eyesight of Jude, Paul Booth tackled the famous Pendock off-road hill twice and ran in a handy 57min 33 in 116th position.
Inspired by his daughter’s 1Km performance earlier, Chris Nicholls struggled with his achilles niggle however, he neatly finished under the hour in 58min 26secs for 125th. James Aubrey, having enjoyed the race last year, came back to tackle the challenging course again; this time he was happy to beat last year’s time in 66min 36. Finishing the TRC contingent and fresh from the previous days Poet’s Path Potter organisation, Phillip Howells strode to a confident 73min 31 finish, again finishing high up in his age group.
Forest of Dean Half Marathon
Whilst the Pendock racers were celebrating their success after the race, thoughts were turning to how the 5 Tewkesbury Running Club members fared in the Forest Of Dean Spring Half Marathon.
This popular Half Marathon, run nearly entirely on hard forest tracks with sweeping down-hills and long demanding gradual up-hills, attracted 1880 runners and also provided the backdrop for the National Short Course Trail Runners Championship.
In this high-quality race, Vlad Venglar ran the race very well and stormed the finish line with a highly creditable 1hr 30min 33secs in 90th place. Vlad was initially disappointed with not breaking 90-minute barrier, although the same effort on a less demanding course would see Vlad well under the 1hr 30 mark.
Following Vlad was Noel Green; Noel said "my legs felt tight from the start and thought I was having a poor run so didn't look at my watch once all the way around as it would just confirm I was having a bad run - so, I was very pleasantly surprised with 1:43 hr, which was only 3 minutes slower than my last run there 6 years ago". He was also chuffed with 11th place V55 in the National Short-Course Trail Champs.
Next home was Liz Spiers, putting in one of the performances of the weekend for TRC, by clocking an impressive 1hr 47mins. Liz obviously found the undulating Forest of Dean tracks to her liking as she strongly knocked over 5 minutes of her time from last year.
Suzanne Tharme showed tackled both the distance and hills well and handily finished the race under the 2 hour marker as she crossed the line in 1hr 58min 59. She did confess that she took it easy as her legs also felt tight from the start.
It wasn’t long for Suzanne to wait for husband John Tharme, as John emerged from the woods and enjoyed the crowds on the run-in to finish the tough Half Marathon in a 2hr 5min 38 clocking - he felt he had a good run up until the last mile when the feeling changed!
London Landmarks Half Marathon
There was lovely weather in London too for Linda Younger. Now becoming a much-desired race taking in the stunning and World famous sights, Linda was one of 6,900 women who out-numbered the men (5,100) and she managed to shine brightly by finishing 915th and as 15th in her competitive V55 age category from 221. Her time was 1:57 hr and indicates her form has returned to that prior to her injury and surgery.
Pete Davies put his many months of careful training to the test in this West Country gem. Becoming concerned on the day that he was to cover a couple of miles on the famous Weston sandy beach and then climb up out of the town for around 1.5 miles, Pete knew this challenge was going to ask for a little extra that he had expected; regardless, he stuck to it and quite remarkably crossed the finish line in a new PB time of 2:19 hrs.