Sunday 15th March saw the Gloucester 20 taking place - a fairly testing 20 mile race and a traditional pre-spring marathon leg tester: With a slender field due to the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic that was to engulf us all within a matter of days, this race seemed to be one of a handful remaining live. So on a cold and wet morning Simon Crilley lined up for the 3 lap course. Simon, debating with himself if it was all worth it after the news of his Manchester Marathon being called off. Training was in full swing and ticking along nicely but the news looked to have taken the wind from his sails. Before he had time to consider the start and to wish club mate Nigel Tillott good luck he was under starter’s orders.
Lap one was under way and the front of the pack was off at a hare’s pace. Simon stuck to the pace he has set in his “I’m not too bothered now mind” and settled into his rhythm. Lap two came round and the pace was pretty much maintained as was the rain and grey sky. Not sure which way round he should have his cap on was forefront of his mind. Did he want to look cool like Simon Meadows or keep the rain from his eyes? Some difficult questions to answer there! In his characteristic indecisive way he carried out both at different stages just to focus on something other than Dave Rantell’s (Cheltenham Harriers) heels.
Lap 3 came at a price – the colourful tattooed legs started to feel the distance but Simon dug in and tried to maintain his pace so he would be within striking distance of his dream 3.00 hour Marathon time. He was delighted to see Stan-Lee (puppy) on the finish straight with Simon Meadows & Linzi Dyer on the other end of the lead cheering him over the last few strides. The clock ticked over at 2:16:53 for the 20 miles. 40th overall from 338 taking part and 5th in the MV45.
Nigel finish with an impressive time of 2:21:38 & 3 in Mv55 which is an outstanding effort.