In a tough week for running, there has been a range of good performances from Almost Athletes. There were three hilly and muddy races in the club race series which produced a number of notable performances.
At the Cirencester Summer “Drizzler”, Josh Hand was the first Almost home, coming 9th overall in 37:26. The ladies team goes from strength to strength claiming the first and third ladies team with the winning team comprised of Helena Youde, Amy Sheer and Jeanette Gullick, the latter two also won their age category. The men’s team claimed second overall comprising Hand, Martin Foster and Matt Polson.
Despite the conditions, the race produced PBs for; Pete Mitchener in 43:44, Neil Tring in 44:46, Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto in 46:55, Gregg Woodman in 48:49, Lee Ormerod completed his first 10km in 50 mins, Pauline Bargus in 53:28, Peter Allsopp in 56:49, Nat Stow in 57:05. Jane Russell ran under an hour in her first race as an Almost, and Rob Rennell gained a huge 2 minute PB in 1:08:57.
A large number of Almosts also tackled the Cheltenham Challenge this weekend, with representation in both the 10km and half Marathon.
In the “ultra” half Marathon, Mike Daly led the club finishing 10th overall in 1:58. Ingrid Harris was the first female home, winning her age category in the process in 2:01. Finishing as 7th lady overall was Hattie Jenkins, closely followed by Olga Goffin finishing 8th in 2:06. Finishing just outside the top 10 was Hester Coggin in 12th.
Other notable performances came from Hamish Adamson, completing his first event for the club, in 2:13, Richard Knightley in 2:10, Jackie Slaughter in 2:43, Wan Hartley in 2:46, Sandra Stuart in 3:07, Adrian Courtenay in 3:09, Dave Nelson in 3:12 and Sue Monaghan finished in a course pb.
In the Challenge 10km, Peter Mitchener was the first Almost home in 46:28. This placed him 11th overall and he also won his age category. Sharon Hadad was the first Almost lady home in 51 mins, finishing as 5th lady overall. She was closely followed by Jo Foster in 54 mins and Helen Barker 10km in 56:42. Other notable performances include Julie Averiss finishing in 1:24.
At the same time as events in Cheltenham, Almosts provided a large majority of the Bourton Hilly Half field. Hand was the first Almost home, coming third overall in 1:22. He was followed home by Matt Barnes and Martin Foster who both ran 1:27. Completing a strong week, the ladies team claimed first overall prize with a team comprised of Youde, Ceri Schofield and Debs Cartlidge. To complete a strong showing by the club, Neil Tring won his age category.
Despite the large number of runners at these three events, this week also saw a range of athletes complete a variety of other races. Allan Green showed no sign of slowing down, completing the Dorney Lake Marathon in 4:33. At the Maverick Exmoor “The Beast” half marathon, Samuel James ran 3:01, and in the “long” marathon Oliver Clarkin completed a very tough course in 6:49. Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto completed the Cheddar Gorge Marathon in 5:12.
Missing a good night’s sleep in the process, Christopher Benjamin completed the Dartford Midnight Half in 1:57, which was his first sub 2-hour in almost 3 years in. Piotr Michalski ventured to Paris to complete the Versailles 15km in 1:10.
Heather Theyer and Debbie Gaynor completed the London to Brighton bike ride in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
At Cheltenham parkrun Sally Freeman was the first Almost and also the first lady. Cheltenham parkrun also saw a pb for Rob Rennell in 34:03.
As ever, there was a wide range of parkrun tourism which included: Piotr Michalski at Bois de Boulogne in France, Claire Hawes at Kesgrave, Jo and Martin Foster at Wyre Forest, Rich Smith at Keswick, Katie Coleman at Colby Woodland Garden, David Nelson at FoD, Steve Phelps at Plymvalley, Danny Carroll at Torbay Velopark, Andrea Hardy at Gloucester North, Michelle Balchin at Newent, Kate Freeman at Victoria Dock, Peter Jones at Kirkwall and Matt Bevan at Somerdale Pavilion.