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Forest of Dean Trails 1/2 marathon

Tewkesbury runners headed due south for their next club 'off-road' championship event, the Forest of Dean half-marathon. The long-standing event has always been popular, not just because it's a great way to take-in the forest scenery, but it's also a course that is relatively sound underfoot due to the runner-friendly forest fire breaks and considerably maintained tracks. Starting from the Speech House, the runners head down towards Cannop Pounds. Of course, what goes down, goes up and there is ~750 feet of moderate ascending during the 13.1 miles course that also touches Mallards Pike. As in 2023, the 2024 event incorporated the British Trail Running Championships... this attracted some of Britain's top off-roaders.

For the Tewkesbury squad, they had an array of concerns ahead of the start - Jane Sauer had a knee niggle reoccurrence, Nigel Tillott a lower back pain, Noel Green and Karen Harrington were both post-covid. Tracy Tailford was starting with a glute pain and Chris Nicholls was recovering from a chest infection. With Jon Mansfield lacking in distance training, it was only Emily Meadows who was in fine fettle.

True to form, Emily finished with a wide smile and a 1/2 marathon PB! On a non-road course, that makes her the headline performer. Jon did win bronze in the British championships (as he did in 2023) but Emily's efforts put Jon in the shade. Good runs by Chris and Karen were noteworthy and the bravery awards go to Tracy finishing in pain, Nigel and Jane crossing the line and Noel, clearly below par, finishing in sub 2hrs.

There was a surprise at the end for Nigel - he won the 'local' cup!!!


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