-6th August 2019
With the finish line of this 10K race put on by Cheltenham’s Almost Athletes being on the grounds of the famous Prescott Hill Climb, runners were under no illusion that a flat course awaited them, with several testing climbs on route, mostly all within the final half of the race.
A whole host of Tewkesbury Running Club members assembled at the Dixton start line for this late summers evening race. Greeted with light rain showers at the start and finish of the race, runners were almost presented with perfect conditions.
As with the victorious Ladies team from last year, the men from TRC found themselves (this being race 10 of a 12 race County Road Race Series) with a chance of winning the Masters County Team 2019 title - something that has never happened before. With this in mind, Tewkesbury fielded a strong men’s team.
Leading the way home for TRC was James Head as he placed 7th in time of 38mins 53secs. Although his slowest time by far on this course, James was happy as he nursed his hamstrings round the course for a pleasing result.
Next male home for the team was the 'ever-present' Simon Meadows. Simon has scored more points for TRC in the Masters team prize than anyone else and again performed solidly finishing in 16th place with a time of 40mins 6secs.
Jon Mansfield also put in a great team performance as he finished just behind Simon in 16th place with a time of 40mins 30secs. With Jon’s position, TRC again scored a great Masters team score of just 19 (1st 3 runners count), putting Tewkesbury in an even stronger position come the final 2 races.
Recent new ‘returning’ member Stuart Baker showed what an impact he will make by joining TRC. Stuart ran an impressive paced race and had Jon to chase for the last challenging kilometre of the race. Dipping across the line in 19th place, Stuart was only 10 seconds behind Jon in an excellent time of 40 mins 40secs.
Providing great team back-up, Simon Crilley ran the Bugatti course for his 1st time and after an impressive first half of the race, Simon said he "struggled up the final testing climbs", but he still clocked an enviable sub 7min / miling time of 42min 4 secs for 25th position.
Again Nigel Tillott, as with Simon, bolstered the TRC men’s squad greatly as he placed 37th position. Although not Nigel’s best time over the Bugatti 10K, his time of 43mins 23secs was still very handy, in what is a very competitive V55 age group this year.
Mike Ward rounded up the Tewkesbury Men’s team as he again impressed in 75mins 19secs, a noteworthy time in Mike’s V80 category over the undulations of this 10K course.
Shona Crombie-Hicks looked to get back to winning ways after the previous week’s Gloucester 5K... and that is certainly what Shona did! Setting off with her usual fast start, Shona stated her intent early on. With even good quality fellow club male runners struggling to reel Shona back in, Shona saw off all Ladies runners as she comfortably won the Ladies title, coming across the line in 13th place with an outstanding time of 39mins 36secs.
Carley Merriman nervously approached the race, having heard all the tales of the uphill running on the back-end of the course. However, Carley had no need to be nervous. With many a training run over Bredon Hill, Carley was fully prepared as she tackled the course with full vigour and raced to the finish in a very pleasing time of 48mins 57secs.
Suzanne Tharme made a welcome appearance at the start line after recent back problems that has hampered her running. Suzanne however showed her experience and running talents as she raced round the course in 50 mins 42secs. Finishing 25seconds faster than last year... and only 20secs away from the leading V55 Lady runner!
Sharon Lockley has been training regularly and well at TRC sessions and her training efforts have shown at her recent races by putting in several quality race times of this summer. Sharon again showed her racing skills as she finished with a time of 54mins 3secs; over a minute faster than last year as she continues her pleasing progression.
Vicky Earls has been in great 10K form recently, with some improving performances both at home and in her native Ireland. With club mate Linzi Dyer running as support, Vicky again raced well, as the 2 TRC runners crossed the finish line in 60mins 26secs - huge 4 minutes better than last year for Vicky!
Afterwards most Tewkesbury Running Club stayed behind to enjoy “Cake and Prosecco” as Simon Meadows was also celebrating his 41st birthday.