With the summer racing calendar now in full force, Tewkesbury Running Club members have been very busy in this recent wet mid June period, bringing back numerous successes.
9th June Fairford 10K
After last year’s swelteringly hot conditions, runners were greeted with more temperate conditions this year, with just a stiff breeze to compete with in the 2nd half of the race. Having shown signs of coming back to form, Shona Crombie-Hicks was again the star of the day. Up against stiff inter-club competition and the hard battle for 1st Lady, Shona triumphed on both scores - winning the 1st Lady prize by a clear 3 minutes, taking bragging rights by leading home all the TRC runners… and breaking her own V45 club record with a time of 38min 54secs!
2nd Club member home was Simon Meadows claiming 20th position in 39mins 01secs. Simon lead the tussle with Shona for most the race, until the last decisive final 400 metres. The 3rd TRC member was not far behind; James Head clocked 39mins 32secs, still suffering from a 'hard' Friday Evening TRC session two days previous(?).
Vlad Vengler started the race in great fettle as he was within touching distance of the 3 TRC members during the 1st 5K. This fast start proved to be vital as Vlad crossed the line in 40mins and 22secs to record a PB! - a sub 40mins clocking sure to be on the cards this summer with Vlad’s current training.
Chris Duckworth ran with a slight niggle and recorded a time of 44mins 49secs, providing some great endurance training for his next track race. Amanda Martin has not been in too hot of form recently after her excellent Bath Half result, but still impressed with a time of 48.04. Jude Rodrigues has been racing with great regularity of late and amassed some more Club Championship points with his time of 52mins 10 secs. (Jude spent a lot of the race running with Sharon Lockley, unfortunately Sharon had to pull out with a knee injury before the finish).
Linzi Dyer recently joined TRC in April; Linzi made a very welcome debut in her Tewkesbury vest for this edition of the Fairford 10K. On a course not common with PB performances, Linzi ran to within 20 seconds of her best in a time of 55mins 23secs, as she shone in her first of many races as welcome member of the Tewkesbury Ladies squad.
The last TRC member to finish, proved to be another of Tewkesbury’s star runners. Mike Ward ran in with a time of 73mins and 02secs to easily claim the V75 prize wrapping up another successful Fairford 10K for Tewkesbury.
13th June Cirencester 10K
Billed as the “Summer Sizzler”, unfortunately the race did not live up to its promise and as the weather turned wet in the Cotswolds, the runners had to endure the aptly renamed “Summer Drizzler”. However, spirits were not dampened as 7 Tewkesbury runners lined up.
Making amends for Sunday’s battering at Fairford, James Head put in a fine performance to make the Top 10 places with a time of 37mins and 28secs - a season’s best. Also improving from the Fairford 10K, Simon Meadows raced well to clock an excellent time of 38mins and 22secs to claim 18th position.
Next followed Shona Crombie-Hicks, who claimed the maximum 10 county road race series points as 2nd Lady in a time of 39mins 46secs. A fast finishing Andy Hawkins just ran out of time to chase down his training partner Shona, as he finished 4 places behind, but with the same time as Shona.
Nigel Tillott also gained some valuable points in this year’s County Road Race Series for the V55 age category. With a season’s best time of 42mins and 04secs, Nigel’s challenge is well on track for the year long testing series. Nigel also brought the men’s team home into an excellent 3rd position behind strong Cirencester and Almost Athletes teams.
Linzi Dyer made a quick reappearance after Sunday’s club debut and proved again that she is coming into form as she timed another very satisfying performance of 56mins 02secs, on a course and in weather that wasn’t conducive to fast times.
Vicky Earls was a last minute sign up to the race, and with a long warm up used the race as part of a long run to clock 63mins 12 secs.
Bourton Hilly Half / 10K
With a change from its usual Saturday evening to Sunday morning and change of course, runners were intrigued to try out the ‘new’ 2 lap Bourton Hilly Half, which also featured a new addition of the 1 lap Bourton Hilly 10K.
Immediately in front of the runners as they lined up on the start line in the driving rain, runners knew exactly why the race is called hilly, as the famous ‘Steeps’ rose up in front of their eye and these to be tackled twice by the Half Marathoners!
Linzi Dyer tackled the new 10K race and once she clambered over the top of the classic Steeps climb, she relished the rolling Cotswold countryside and ran in with yet another impressive 10K time of 57.21, a great time on a course with nearly 400ft as ascent.
The Half Marathoners certainly had a race of two “halfs”, with the first lap ran in the driving rain and then, most of the second lap in the glorious sunshine! 1st home again for Tewkesbury was James Head in a time of 1hr 26mins 13secs in 8th place - a pleasing run although he could not quite catch the leading V40 runner just ahead of him for most the race.
Shona Crombie-Hicks is a previous multiple winner of the Bourton Hilly Half and the change of course didn’t alter things as Shona once again claimed 1st Lady in this tough Half Marathon and stopped the clock in 1hr 30mins 13secs. Not far behind Shona, and quietly amassing points at a fast rate in the County Road Race Series was Simon Meadows. Not a regular over hilly terrain, Simon claimed 4th V40 in a time of 1hr 30mins 37secs.
Another County Road Race Series competitor, Nigel Tillott had another satisfactory race as he completed Tewkesbury mens team in a time of 1hr 34mins 35secs. Jude Rodrigues showed once again what a great race competitor he is at the minute by racing his 3rd race in 7 days and excelled over the Bourton climbs with his time of 2hrs 05mins 53secs.
Cheltenham Challenge Half Marathon
Two of Tewkesbury Running Club’s braver competitors took on the huge task of the Cheltenham Challenge Half Marathon. Starting at the racecourse at Prestbury Park, runners wound their way up the sharp off-road climbs to the highest point of the Cotswolds on Cleeve Hill before the descent back to the racecourse: A very tough challenge encompassing a near 1400ft of climbing, mostly done in the rain!
Chris Nicholls is racing with regularity at the minute and although he suffered a downhill tumble, still clocked a respectable 2hr 44mins 59 secs, giving himself a 14 minute improvement on last years time. Another epic display from our May 'Runner of the Month'.
Very closely following Chris was was Lynda Gardner in her 1st race for Tewkesbury Running Club. Lynda has been a regular at the Friday Evening Speed and Technique training nights and put her hill work to use as she ran home an excellent time of 2hrs 46mins 34secs over the extreme conditions.
Suzie and John Tharme tackled the shorter 10K distance version of the Cheltenham Challenge. Both ran the race together as Suzie nursed her back injury round in a time of 1hr 53mins 58secs.