Every 4-6 weeks or so the committee nominate one or two Runners of the Month - these are people who we feel have worked hard and improved in some way, whether that is by running their first 5K, coming back from injury or completing a longer event in an exceptional time. At the end of the year, at the club AGM, members have the opportunity to choose a male and female Runner of the Year by voting for the various Runners of the Month.
Our first runner of the month is Pauline Bargus who has been achieving some phenomenal results since she joined the club. In January this year she won her age category at the Gloucester Winter Half Marathon, running a time just outside of her PB despite the cold conditions. This is form that she has carried over from last year as she achieved similar success in several races, placing high in her age category in every event she completed. For example, at both the Evesham and Bugatti 10kms she won her age category and was second at the Tewkesbury half. As with any runner, success is built off a lot of unseen hard work. Pauline completed 1000 training miles last year and she is a regular member of the Thursday morning run and coffee group. A brilliant runner and valued club member – congratulations Pauline!
Our Second runner of the month is Matt Barnes (and his knee). This is a recognition of his running achievements but also of the amount that he gives back to the club. The Thursday night sessions he and Fi organise are well planned, challenging but hugely rewarding and regulars are noticing the benefits. Matt (and knee) is very generous with his knowledge and encouragement to others. Alongside this, Matt (& knee) have produced some stunning results in recent months. The knee was able to run 3:18 at the Snowdonia marathon late last year. He’s translated that form into this year running a PB of 63 minutes at the Staverton 10 miler and also taking 45 seconds off his 5 mile PB to set a club record at Linda Franks (in 29:45). Matt (&k) is a bit of a club legend and this award is thorough-knee deserved!
Our first runner of the month is Helen Fursman-Reid. Helen had a fantastic 2019, producing a range of impressive results. Her most notable achievement was the completion of the London Classics; She ran the London Marathon, completed the 100 mile Ride London and also swam the Serpentine (a 2 mile swim), showing her versatility but also her powers of endurance. This is obviously the result of a lot of training miles and hard work. Her dedication and perseverance saw Helen also complete two other marathons last year in Snowdonia and Cumbria. In what was a ‘short’ distance event for Helen, she achieved a first female finisher at the Forest of Dean Festival of running half marathon. Many congratulations Helen! Top running.
Our second runner of the month is Jean-Philippe Villain-Chastre. JP has made huge gains since joining the Almosts and he’s been a regular supporter of the different training sessions put on each week. When it comes to racing JP is usually found on the trails somewhere and this dedication to getting muddy saw him win the clubs senior prize in last year’s off road series. The strength he built up off road has transitioned into his road running with JP achieving a couple of fairly major milestones last year. He managed to run a sub-20 minute 5km at the Gloucester 5km and was then able to demonstrate his speed endurance by achieving a sub-90 minute half marathon at Cheltenham. Many congratulations JP and best of luck this year!
Our first Runner of the month is Hannah Brown (and I’ve definitely got the right one this time!). Hannah trains incredibly hard which has been borne out in her results this year. 2019 started with a fantastic sub 5 hour marathon at Manchester, form that she has maintained right throughout the year. Recently she has managed to lower her half marathon best at Cheltenham and then lowered it again by running 7 minutes faster at Stroud a few weeks later. Hannah has also been branching out beyond running completing a variety of duathlons and triathlons showing her versatility and achieving a podium finish in the process. Top running (and swimming and cycling!) Hannah!!
Our second runner of the month is Andrew Wilkinson. Wilko has been on great form this year and has turned in some impressive performances at the back end of the season. Most people are happy just to complete the Snowdonia Marathon but Wilko turned up and produced a PB which shows the great form and fitness that he is in. Proving his love of hills isn’t confined to Wales, he also PB’ed over 10km at Bugatti this year, lowering his time below 47 mins for the first time. Most recently he travelled down to complete Roly’s run, finishing the 40 miler and further showing why he should be our runner of the month. Great work Wilko!