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We are always looking for news, results and race stories for our weekly Echo report. Please tell us about your experiences, results, personal best times achieved, worst nightmare races etc by emailing almostathletes@hotmail.com - if you don't tell us about it, we can't report it!. We can't guarantee that all information supplied will go in as the Echo have full editorial control, but we will do our best.

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The road race season is largely finished and the Guy Fawkes 5 miler last weekend marked the end of the Gloucestershire AAA race series. Both the Ladies Open and Ladies Veteran competitions were dominated by the club, winning both. The men couldn’t quite match the women but did achieve 3rd place in both their respective team events.

Club runners also achieved a huge range of top-three placings across the different age categories. Neil Tring finished first in the MV60 competition, Amy Sheer was third in the Ladies Open and also finished 2nd in the LV40 category, Nat Stowe was 2nd LV35, Lorraine Taylor was 2nd LV50, Matt Barnes 2nd MV45, Allan Green was 2nd MV65 , David Lawrence 2nd MV70, Joanne Wisniewska-Barreto 3rd LV40, Ingrid Harris 3rd LV55 and Sue Monaghan 3rd LV60.

Longer distance running has been the main focus for club runners this week. A number of Almosts travelled down to Meon Valley in Hampshire to complete either 15.5, 21.5 or 40 miles as part of the inaugural Roly's Run. It’s a race that means a lot to Almost Athletes as an event set up in memory of our lost friend and ultra-runner Rich (aka Roly). Sarah Fennell, Archie, Matt Proome, Andrew Wilkinson, Danny Carroll, Fi Barnes, Claire Gallagher, Janine Bennett, Thom Stephens, Kev Fairs and Natalie Greening all completed the event and clocked up a fair few miles in the Almost fun bus in the process!

Miranda Foster completed the Druid’s Run, an 84 mile race over 3 days. Not content with just finishing the very tough event, she came home as first in her age category and 18th overall.

Allan Green completed his 584th and 585th marathons this week. He did the Kings of the Castle Marathon in 4:51 and found a sprint finish to complete the Pheonix Remembrance Day marathon a minute faster. Also completing 26 miles this weekend was Sam Alexander who did the Gower trail marathon which came up at 27.5 miles. He finished in 5:43.

In shorter distances, but certainly no easier, Jules Jameson ran the Crickhowell trail 9 miles in 1:52, a beautiful but very tough race.
With a reduced number of races this week, the Almosts had another strong showing at parkruns across the country this weekend. The Foster family had a successful Saturday morning at King George V playing parkrun in Cheltenham with Martin as the first finisher and Jo was the second placed female finisher. Sue Monaghan was first in her age category at the same parkrun. Kingsway parkrun also witnessed further Almost success with Matt Polson as the first finisher.

In local parkruns, Prash Sripathi was the first Almost home at Cheltenham parkrun and Dunc Mounsor the first Almost finisher at Gloucester City (and first in his age category). Further afield Ben Stone did Pollok parkrun in Glasgow. Lou Tring completed Heaton parkrun, Mike Bryce completed the Pomphrey Hill parkrun, Virginia Pawlyn did Tewkesbury parkrun, Claire Hawes completed Exmouth parkrun, Martyn Fisher completed Salcey Forest parkrun.

Almost Athletes’ ladies had a very successful outing to the Guy Fawkes 5 mile road race, taking three age category wins. Amy Sheer ran a stunning 33:40 PB to finish 1st LV40 and 6th lady. Ingrid Harris topped the LV55 category with 37:21, and Mary Welsh was 1st LV75 in 55:47. Josh Hand was the first Almost home in 29:18, followed by Matt Polson, 30:05, and Shaun Carr, 32:51. Katie Coleman was the club’s second female finisher in 34:31, followed by Laura Tring in 35:53. There were PBs for Alan Mullen (37:35), Josh Rimmell (37:46), Nat Stow (43:11) and Hannah Brown (44:00). Rob Rennell, guided by Robert Dalton-Morris, knocked seven minutes off his PB in 54:00, and Julie Averiss got a six minute PB of 56:28.

Allan Green added to his marathon tally with the Cornish Marathon, finishing in 4:51. Louise Inchley travelled to France to complete her first marathon, the Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes from Nice to Cannes. Stormy weather resulted in a delayed start and flooding on the course, but Inchley overcame the challenging conditions to finish in 4:33. Elzbieta Antosiewicz jetted off to the Big Apple for the New York City Marathon. She completed the race around the five boroughs of the city in 5:15.

Mike Bryce kicked off a visit to Edinburgh with Portobello parkrun before running Edinburgh Men’s 10k in 42:17.

Heavy rain and wind saw only the hardiest of parkrunners venture out to get their weekly 5k fix. At Cheltenham, Prash Sripathi was 6th (20:32), followed by Robert Brush in 8th place (21:11). Jo Foster was 6th lady (24:09), Rosemary Hubbard 9th lady (25:24), and Sharon Hadad 10th lady (25.28). At King George V Playing Field, Piotr Michalski finished 2nd (23:59), Ross Greening was 3rd (24:07) and Steven Adams 6th (25:16). Natalie Greening was 1st lady (29:01) and Cheryl Rodham 4th lady (31:25). Hester Coggin was 3rd lady at Kingsway (24:19). At Gloucester North, Mike Kennedy was 6th (24:09) and Victoria Kennedy was 2nd lady (27:19).

There was tourism for Matthew Bevan at Exeter, Lynne Macedo at Holkham, Robert Foord at Letchworth. Debbie Elliott and Hayley Woolnough ran at Lydney, and Jo Johnston was at Armidale, Australia.

 

On a very wet and windy Saturday morning a group of 23 Almosts took on the Snowdonia Eryri marathon. Despite a bad fall towards the end of the race, Matt Barnes was first Almost to finish with a time of 3:18, followed by Martin Foster in 3:24 and Robert Dalton-Morris in 4:03.

For the ladies, Chloe Farrer was first home in 4:01, Helen Fursman Reid in 4:15 and Fiona Barnes in 4:17.

Also running were John Scourfield with 4:16, Andrew Wilkinson in 4:19, Emma Yates in 4:28, Steve Taylor in 4:37, Sarah Roberts in 4:38, Rob Hume in 4:40, Paul Haig in 4:47, Maisie Markham in 4:48, and Nick Simon in 4:50.

Charlotte Jamieson was 6th in her age category with 5:13. Chris Urwin crossed the line in 5:19, Alison Gregg in 5:44, Ceinwen Davies and Wendy Haskins in 5:53, Richard Birch in 6:00 and Claire Gallagher and Jane Birch in 6:01.

At Saturday’s Cheltenham parkrun Prash Sripathi came 9th out of a field of 274 runners with a time of 20:05. Pete Mitchener was run director and delivered a ‘Strictly’ themed race briefing, although the intense rain did rather spoil some of his props.

Hamish Adamson was 9th at the King George V parkrun with a time of 21:05, and Natalie Greening was 4th lady to finish in 27:13. There was a new PB for Dave Mayo with 28:09 and for Kim Davenport with 31:08.

At the Newent parkrun Victoria Kennedy was 3rd lady with a time of 29:49.

Other parkruns in which members of Almost Athletes took part included Brandon County, Exeter Riverside, Gloucester City, Gloucester North, Heaton, Jersey Farm, Maidenhead and Mallards Pike in the Forest of Dean.

The weather on Sunday 27th October was in stark contrast to the previous day as it remained sunny and dry throughout.

Over in Ireland two Almosts competed in the KBC Dublin Marathon. Virginia Pawlyn came first in her age category with a time of 4:44, and Dave Davey finished in 4:28.

Closer to home, a group of more than 50 Almosts competed in the Stroud Half Marathon with several achieving new PBs.

Josh Hand was the first male Almost to cross the line in 1:24, followed by Matt Polson in 1:25 (a new PB) and Matt Hickman in 1:28.

Amy Sheer was first Almost lady with 1:32 (a new PB), Patricia Dendy was next with 1:38 and Jeanette Gullick followed with 1:39.

There was also a new PB for each of the following: Duncan Mansour with 1:33, Louise Bryan with 1:51, Hannah Brown and Nat Stow both with 2:05, and Iris Mayo with 2:41.

Lesley Cottle was pleased with a finish time of 1:58 at Stroud after completing a very wet Warmley Forest 10km on Saturday in 58:30.

Allan Green ran the Three Lakes Marathon on Thursday in 4:34, and then completed the Stroud Half on Sunday in 1:45.

With a range of autumn marathons and other races coming up, the results of lots of training miles and tapering were shown through an impressive array of results in parkruns this weekend. Most notable is Rob Rennell who completed his 100th parkrun at Gloucester City. It has taken a lots of perseverance from Rob, who is blind and partially deaf, to achieve this feat. Special mention should also go to Rob Dalton-Morris, his guide runner. As the Almosts do, a number of club runners joined Rob for the event with Hester Coggin coming home as first female.

Elsewhere, Matt Polson and Helena Youde finished as first male and first female at the Ross-on-Wye parkrun. Hamish Adamson finished 2nd overall and Sharon Hadad as third female at King George V playing field in Cheltenham, an event that also saw a parkrun PB of 22:58 for Josh Rimell. Hannah Brown ran her fastest parkrun since 2017 at Cheltenham, the same location as Peter Mitchener who came first in his age category. Finally, Martyn Fisher ran his fastest 5km in 10 years, completing Krakow parkrun in 22:56.

As usual, the club had runners running parkruns all over the country: Piotr and Kasia Michalski at Cardiff parkrun, Lou Tring at Heaton, Robert Foord at Black Park, Nick Lewis at Yeovil, Nick Goddard at Fell Foot, Dave and Iris Mayo at Portsmouth Lakeside, Norm Lever at Chasewater, Mike Bryce at Clevedon Salthouse Fields and Dave Nelson at Mallards Pike.

Beyond parkrun, and a little further afield, Sue Monaghan travelled to Amsterdam to complete an 8km race there, finishing in 45:15. Back in the UK, several runners travelled down to Southsea to complete the 10 mile Great South run. Pauline Bargus led the club home in 1:30, which was enough for 8th in her category. She was followed home by Dave Mayo (1:31), Claire Hawes (1:43), Deborah Gayner (1:56), Iris Mayo (2:06) and Heather Theyer (2:27). Jason Hulance made the short journey over to Blenheim to complete the Palace 10km in 55 mins.

Allan Green ran a couple of marathons this week (as you do!). He completed the Pine Challenge Marathon in 5:14 and followed that up by completing the XRun in Reading in 5:15, with the extra minute being the result of being a bit tired! Ingrid Harris also ran the XRun completing it in an impressive 3:51 making her the fastest female and therefore winning the event. At the Abingdon marathon there were fantastic performances from Kim Mansell, who ran 3:31 and Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto (3:49).

The inaugural “Proome 10 mile drink-run-drink” from Gloucester to Cheltenham was enjoyed by a range of club runners. As it was the inaugural run, everyone achieved a pb... and a sore head on Sunday morning!

Chicago Marathon was the destination for seven Almost Athletes, all looking to add the World Marathon Major to their accomplishments. An impressive performance from Matt Proome saw him knock 13 minutes off his PB, finishing in 3:29. Michelle Balchin was next in 3:43, then Matt Hampton 3:50, Alison Hume 3:56, Sandra Stuart 4:52, Mark Eavers 4:52 and Nicola Woodman 5:38.

Closer to home, Allan Green added to his marathon tally at the King Forest Trail Marathon, Bury St Edmunds. He finished in 5:08. Miranda Foster took on the challenging 34 mile Gower Bach Ultra. She completed the race in 6:57, taking 2nd lady and 1st LV50.

At Oxford Half Marathon, Matt Hartwell was first Almost home in 1:27, Marty Ward ran 2:13, and Wan Hartley 2:16. Lesley Cottle completed the Exeter Great West Run Half Marathon in 1:57, while Pete Hooper was an official pacer, leading runners around the course in 2 hours. Mark Pelling took part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon, finishing in 2:45.

There was mud aplenty along the new course of the Hope Valley Run. Over twenty Almosts completed the eight mile course, and it was Shaun Carr who was first across the line in 59:24, 7th overall. Richard Birch followed close behind in 59:38 (8th place), then Peter Mitchener 1:04, and Andrew Wilkinson 1:07. For the ladies, Ingrid Harris finished in 1:09, Hester Coggin 1:09 and Vicky Kennedy 1:26. Also running were Mike Kennedy 1:08, Neil Tring 1:09, Richard Knightley 1:10, Steven Adams 1:14, Steve Taylor 1:15, David Garnett 1.17, Rich Smith 1.25, Sue Monaghan 1:27, Andrea Hardy 1:29, Glenda Gill 1:29, Mariel Chretien 1.35, Lorraine Taylor 1.35, Des Beer 1:35, Claire Gallagher 1:49 and Jayne Adams 1:49.

The first event of the Gloucestershire Cross Country season took place at Wotton under Edge. Martin Foster was first Almost to finish the men’s race in 37:37, then Nick Lewis 39:36, Gary Farquharson 42:07, Martin Thomas 42:21, Duncan Mounsor 43:09, Vasco Barreto 47:48 and David Garnett 55:55. Patricia Peever and Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto took part in the women’s race, finishing in 27:51 and 29:31 respectively.

To mark World Mental Health Day, the club’s mental health champions challenged members to run and talk a collective 102 miles, the length of the Cotswold Way, in an hour. Runners flocked to the Prince of Wales track to take part, smashing their goal by running a total of 253 miles, and raising over £400 for Mind in the process. A group of Almosts also helped organise a run and talk event at Cromhall parkrun, Leyhill Prison. Over 30 runners joined in, followed by tea, cake and chat about how activity can help improve mental health and wellbeing.

At Cheltenham parkrun, Prashanth Sripathi was first Almost home in 18:49 and 8th place. Sharon Hadad was 7th lady in 24:12. Martin Foster was 2nd at King George V Playing Fields in 20:00. Duncan Mounsor followed in 21:10 for 2nd place and 1st MV50. Jo Foster was 5th lady in 24:17. Ben Stone was 2nd at Cirencester in 20:40, and Kim Mansell 4th lady at Stratford Park in 25:38. Matt Polson was 2nd at Chipping Sodbury in a time of 18:45.

There was tourism for Catherine Mason at Worcester, Jenny and Michael Combellack at Warrington, and Andrea Hardy at Wolverhampton. Nick Lewis ran at Worcester Pitchcroft, Malc Allen at Bury St Edmunds and Martyn Fisher ran at Gadebridge. In Canada, Ben Taylor ran 20:38 and finished in 1st place at Mundy parkrun, Vancouver.

On Saturday morning a group of Almost Athletes joined barefoot runner Anna McNuff as she passed through Tewkesbury towards Gloucester on her quest to complete the equivalent of 100 marathons.

There were some excellent parkrun results this weekend for members of Almost Athletes, with several achieving new personal best times.

At Cheltenham parkrun Martin Foster came 13th out of a field of 479 runners with a time of 19:56. Donna Evans was first in her age category with a time of 24:08 and there was a new PB for Helen Fursman with 23:04 and for Felicity Read with 29:29.

The new King George V parkrun was the scene of further success for the club, with Matt Polson in 2nd place with a time of 18:44, Prash Sripathi in 4th with 19:38, Duncan Mansour in 7th with 20:38 and Ross Greening in 10th place with 21:21. Mansour was first in his age category and Greening’s time was a new PB. There were also five other PBs at the event for Steve Adams in 23:23, Rachel Fargher in 26:42, Sue Monaghan in 29:32, Jayne Adams in 29:52 and Jeff Tibbles in 31:29.

At the Mundy parkrun Ben Taylor was 1st to finish in 20:17, whilst at Gloucester City Nick Lewis came 3rd in 19:29 and Ben Stone was 4th in 19:38. Hester Coggin was 4th lady with 23:23, as was Patricia Dendy at the Mallards Pike parkrun with 22:48.

Other parkruns in which members of Almost Athletes took part included Armidale in Australia, Barclay, Bexley, Heaton, Ipswich, Lymington Woodside, Winchester and Woodley.

There was plenty of action on Sunday 6th October, with club members competing in a number of different events.

Seven Almosts took part in the Cardiff Half Marathon with Catherine Daly the first to finish in 1:55. Russell Jones achieved a massive new PB with a time of 2:13 (20 minutes faster than his previous best time), and Penny Lewis completed her first half marathon in 2:38. Also running were Dave Chittock with 1:57, Catherine Mason with 2:08, Deb Cartlidge with 2:38 and Karla Cleverley with 3:15.

Another group of Almosts ran in the Cricklade Half Marathon, where Jeanette Gullick came 1st in her age group with a finish time of 1:39, followed by Steve Wallbridge in 1:57, Sheila Chatterley in 2:03, Christopher Benjamin in 2:09, and Sarah Wallbridge and Debby Masding both with 2:13.

Martyn Fisher took on the Hoohaah Wimpole Estate Half Marathon and finished in 1:57, whilst Hannah Brown finished in 1:42 at the Sudeley Castle sprint Duathlon.

There were also three Marathons in which club members ran on Sunday. Ingrid Harris tackled the Clarendon off-road event and came in as 6th lady with a time of 4:03. Jackie Slaughter completed the Loch Ness Marathon in Scotland in 5:01, and Allan Green ran the Queen of Dragons Marathon along the river Thames at Windsor in 5:17.

The Devil’s Aquathon attracted a few Almosts with an excellent result for Shaun Carr who was 2nd overall in the shorter (400m swim) and 10km run with a time of 1hr 00secs. Giles Foster finished in 1:13 and Adrian Courtenay in 1:37. Jamie Courtenay took on the longer 2km swim and completed the event in 1:46.