Once again the county road runners descended on the village of Ashleworth for the annual Angels 10K, an undulating race that circumvents Hasfield Hill... otherwise known as Caterpillar Hill.
This year, the spectators were treated to some thrilling running as both the men’s and ladies’ races went down to the wire and 11 members of Tewkesbury Running Club played their part in the day’s racing.
The Tewkesbury ladies team again had their morning’s running full of successes. Leading the women’s team home was a ‘return to form’ Shona Crombie-Hicks. Shona has an impressive record in this race, recording numerous Ashleworth victories and Shona went off quickly from the start to enhance her record.
However this year, Rachel Underhill from Cheltenham Harriers made a race of it early on and the lead between the two ladies frequently changed hands and more often than not the ladies, were seen racing stride for stride. Coming into the narrow alley 200 metres from the finish line, the ladies were still neck and neck and it was only in the final stretch that Rachel Underhill sneaked ahead as Shona finished with a time of 39mins 5 secs in 10th position. After a few month’s off competitive running, it seems Shona is back ready for a fruitful summer of racing.
Just as pleasing as Shona’s performance, was Tewkesbury Running Club’s second lady home, Lucinda Jones. Lucinda starting running with TRC late last year and has been impressing all with her regular club training. Running her first race (first ever race!) for Tewkesbury, Lucinda clocked an excellent time of 46mins 16secs, finishing in the women’s top 10. A time that will surely be beaten on a less demanding course.
Coming from a couple of strong cross country races and a fine race at the Bourton 10K earlier in the year, Elaine Vincent continues to improve her running and prove a valuable member of the ladies team and she succeeded again as she ran strongly over the undulations and clocked a time of 52mins 13secs.
Jo Chandler has been one of Tewkesbury Running Clubs big improvers this winter; again with a successful cross country campaign. Jo ran with Elaine Vincent in her sight and must have been pleased with her time of 52mins 59secs… even more pleased than her time… Jo was over the moon to claim the Angels’ 10K V35 title. A fine reward for a great race by Jo.
Caroline Corbett made a welcome appearance for TRC and continuing the theme of the day for close finishes, Caroline had the closest of them all - coming to the line it looked a dead heat between Caroline and a Hucclecote Harrier, however Caroline just prevailed in the photo finish with a time of 62mins 19secs.
Bringing home the successful ladies team was Tonia Whitebeam. Tonia ran most of the race with James Aubury as she finished with a time of 66mins 2 secs. As is now usual with Tonia, her race prep takes unusual forms, and this race was no exception. Tonia had her long run of 23 miles the day before!
The men’s race was won by Rich Dare of Cheltenham harriers in 34mins 28secs as he just overcome the strong challenge from Steve Millward of Gloucester.
Tewkesbury Running Club fielded a strong looking men’s team for the event, and leading the men home was James Head in 8th position in a time of 38mins 31secs. Although not James’ finest time on this course, he was happy enough after a long series of spring weekend races.
Alec Vincent is returning to fitness and looks to be heading towards the exciting sub 40 min form he showed last year as he was next TRC man home in 42min 2secs taking 21st position, in a very similar time to last year.
Nigel Tillott has been racing every weekend in March over the longer endurance distances as he prepares himself for Newport Marathon in May. This much shorter than usual distance would have been a surprise to Nigel’s system, requiring a different skill set, but Nigel settled into the race and came away with 2nd V55, just behind Alec in 42mins 11 secs in 23rd place. Nigel now races in the Brecon Off Road Marathon next weekend!
Following the two experienced racers, Chris Duckworth has been focussing on speed training recently and that training has started to bear fruit as Chris waltzed to the finishing line in 42min 57secs in 25th place. The undulating course is not usually the place to set a PB, but Chris took 30 seconds off his 10K PB, leading him to wonder what he could achieve on a flatter 10K course.
Completing the men’s team, James Aubury ran with the able assistance of club mate Tonia Whitebeam and towards the end pulled away from Tonia as he crossed the line with a time of 65mins 53secs, a very satisfying performance for James as he comes back into form.