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Linda Franks 5

Tewkesbury run club kicked-off the new decade and the start of the 2020 club championships with the popular Almost Athletes’ Linda Franks 5 race. An event that has been supported by Tewkesbury for many years; from the years when it was a one or two lap/2.2 or 4.4 mile option. These years, it’s the biggest January event in Gloucestershire. Not everyone who wanted to race were swift enough to secure an entry this time, nonetheless, TRC almost made-up 10% of the starting line-up. As well as being a club and county championship event, Club Captain Roy Northcott, will be very interested in the performances as he looks to put the runners in their poll positions for the monthly handicap series.

The race saw some very promising performances from the club – the weather was a tad chilly, however, Simon Crilley lead the club in with an expected personal best (PB) time; he’s into his marathon training for Manchester so to record such a fast time is comforting.

The temperature was starting to boil behind Simon with two quite fascinating tussles: Simon Meadows losing out to a determined Nigel Tillott – they both cracked 32 minutes and Nigel managed to come within the top ten of the competitive V50 category.

The top Tewkesbury female slot was fiercely contested; Carly Merriman stayed on the heels of Lucy Jones until she produced a punishing sprint across the line to give her an early lead in the Queen of the Roads competition – the result was so close, they were given the same time!

They also secured 1st & 2nd respectively in the senior ladies (19-34) category which is never an easy feat. Carly’s category win is going to send shivers through her county peers.

Then, crossing the fast descending finishing line, came three bright stars from 2019… Ian Caley, Nick Curd and Chris Nicholls. Along with Simon, their names are sure to appear in the news in the coming months, if not weeks to come.

David Aquirre was No1 again with that he ran the race in his usual good spirits.

Dave completed the course just ahead of one of the club’s new and determined runners, Craig Prosser. Having lost a bit of form over Christmas, he didn’t shy and laid his first quality step of 2020.

John Tharme pulled a great run out of the bag; running with Linda Younger, they appeared to pace each other only for John to record a one second gap on Linda when he crossed the finish line.

Gordon Dennis is looking like a quality runner; recently joining the club, he looks to be keeping his daughter Sarah on her toes.

His run gave him a top five in his age category.

Jo Chandler lead a stream of five Tewkesbury girls flowing in from 42 minutes.

Claire Gent is certainly one to watch as she displays great technique and if she continues her road to fitness, then she will be moving on up the field and already is an outside bet for the 2020 handicap series!

Sheena Mosley ran a comfortable race staying ahead of Caroline Corbett and Victoria Earls.

Emma Smith especially enjoyed the course as it was around the area she grew up in. Her 5 miles were training miles, nonetheless, she whizzed under 50 minutes in the thick of her marathon training for the big one in London. Emma had great company with Samantha Robinson.

The charming C25K couch stuck to Emma like velcro but Emma showed her competitiveness and stepped ahead of her before the line.

Mike Ward is ever-present over the shorter distances and ran well to easily cut the hour and prove again that age isn’t too important on the running circuit.

Overall place 22nd (category place 11th) Simon Crilley 30:21 minutes

32 (4) Nigel Tillott 31:57

33 (15) Simon Meadows 31:58

81 (1) Carly Merriman 36:07

82 (2) Lucinda Jones 36:07

90 (18) Ian Caley 36:38

93 (24) Nick Curd 37:00

112 (26) Chris Nicholls 38:22

119 (23) David Aguirre 38:49

123 (26) Craig Prosser 39:00

151 (28) John Tharme 41:17

152 (11) Linda Younger 41:18

155 (5) Gordon Dennis 41:30

159 (18) Joanne Chandler 41:54

164 (6) Claire Gent 42:16

190 (20) Sheena Moseley 44:23

216 (27) Caroline Corbett 47:07

227 (33) Victoria Earls 48:38

230 (12) Sarah Smith 49:03

231 (32) Samantha Robinson 49:03

262 (9) Mike Ward 56:49

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