Three things which had a natural affinity this weekend!
The mud: it was the start of the Glos AAA Cross Country season, with the first fixture being held at Cirencester Park. The weather made sure that in true XC tradition there was plenty of mud, but that didn’t deter the eighteen hardy souls who ran, slipped and slid their way round the course. In the Men’s race Josh Hand was first home for the club in 46:19, followed by Nick Lewis in 46:55. Dave McGrath was next home in 49:15, followed by John Johnson in 49:47 and Hamish Adamson in 50:38. Other finishers for the club were Jonathan Shuman 52:14; Jamie Baron 52:19; Sam Pegler 53:49; Steve Taylor 57:48; Elliot Jordan 59:10 and David Garnett in 1:06:39.
In the Women’s race Patricia Dendy was first Almost home (and third in her age group) in 31:53. Alice Tredgett crossed the line in 33:19; Isobel Atkin in 34:05 and Joanne Johnson in 34:24. Nichola Sanderson finished in 40:06, while Victoria Willoughby came home in 41:23 and completing the Almost mudfest was Sophie Groves in 46:09.
Muddy but happy Almosts after their XC races
Of course on Saturday there was plenty of parkrun action too. Cheltenham had its regular ‘First Saturday of the Month’ pacers event, and as so often Almosts volunteered to don pacers vests. This month Ela Antosiewicz, Paul Jones, Peter Mitchener, Steven Wood and Sarah Wood did the honours. It was Ela’s 25th time of volunteering at parkrun and her 50th parkrun. Johnny Rea finished in second place at Dallas Burston Polo Club parkrun, Dave Nelson almost developed webbed feet after running a river-like Cwmbran parkrun while Sue Low enjoyed Eden Project parkrun in the sunshine! Other parkruns seeing Almost action this week were Kingsway, Arrow Valley, Gloucester North, Stewart parkrun Middlesbrough, Weymouth, Fountains Abbey, Evesham, Melksham, Gloucester City, Marlborough Common, Tetbury Goods Shed, King George V Playing Field, Coed Cefn-Pwll-Du (where Mike Bryce secured third place finish), Peel, Holyrood, Burnham and Highbridge, Chester and Blaise Castle.
After the rain on Saturday flooding forced a change of route to the ever-popular Guy Fawkes 5 on Sunday. A thankfully dry and sunny morning saw 55 Almost Athletes toe the starting line for a race which produced some great results for the club and many PBs for individuals.
There were Age Category firsts for (l-r) Maddie Page (36:36), Allan Green (39:18) and Katie Coleman (32:07):
There were PBs for Matt John (34:38); Ian Mckinlay (39:45); Mark James (43:07); Deborah Elliott (44:03); Jane Russell (44:21); Wan Hartley (44:51); Vicki James (50:02); Julie Averiss (54:39); Leah Madiss (50:49) and Zakia Hussain (56:15). Dave Nelson achieved a new PB dating from his hospitalisation for Covid in 52:01.
Alice Tredgett was fifth woman home and second in her age group (32:00) while Pauline Bargus (44:53) and Sheila Chatterley (47:20) each claimed 3rd place in their respective age categories.
The mixed team of Alice Tredgett, Katie Coleman, Declan Walker (34:29), Matt John and Josh Rimell (35:37) placed 5th out of 32 mixed teams.
Other results were: Joanne Johnson (33:05); Duncan Mounsor (35:51); Dale Midwinter (36:59); Elliot Jordan (37:17); Neil Tring ( 37:27); Ali Shaikh 38:14); David Davey (38:17); Donna Evans (40:11); Nichola Sanderson (40:21); Charmaine Brunt (40:31); David Woolnough (40:32); Rob Hume (40:34); Hayley Woolnough (40:35); Paul Jones (41:15); Victoria Willoughby (41:26); Alison Hume (41:35); Barry Irvine (44:08); Bob Spawton (44:11); Clare Bone (44:20); Helena Nilsson (44:31); Christine Harker (44:56); Sally Mckinlay 45:35); Coralie Pearson (45:35); Carl Methven (45:59); Melissa Jonga (47:40); Claire Cook (48:21); Jeff Tibbles (48:58); Glenda Gill (50:49); Claire Hawes (53:28); Corinne Cooper (53:44); Iris Mayo (53:54); Melanie Methven (54:34); Sue Sturgeon (55:51); Jason Hulance (56:15); Rachael Nolan (57:07); Oliver Nolan (1:06:08.)
In the North West, Tim and Adele Perkins completed a tough trails Half at Delamere Forest while in the South West, Lesley Cottle ran the Sidmouth 10k in 58:30.
And, of course, Allan Green ran another marathon! This time it was the Rabbit Challenge Trails event finishing in 5:16.
Another excellent week of racing for the club!