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In a weekend of great sporting events there was no shortage of success for Almost Athletes in races from the short Bourton One Mile to the Race to the Stones ultra of 100km.

On Saturday 13th July, Hannah Brown was thrilled with her result in the Cheltenham Pitville Park Triathlon where she came first in her age category and third lady overall.

Lesley Cottle was also first in her age category in the Brean Beach 10km Race with a finish time of 53:45.

Ceri Schofield took part in the Trail Events Half Marathon in Crickhowell, but managed to notch up 17 miles after getting lost (!) with a time of 3:30.

At Bourton a group of fourteen Almosts took part in the evening One Mile race. First to cross the line was Martin Foster in 5:15, followed by Josh Hand in 5:23 and Peter Morris in 5:53. Deb Cartlidge was first Almost lady to complete in 7:01.

On Sunday Christopher Benjamin ran the Bath Two Tunnels Half Marathon and crossed the line in 1:58.

Ingrid Harris and Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto both took part in the demanding Snowdonia Trail Marathon, with Harris coming third in her age category with a time of 5:38 and Wisniewska-Barreto finishing in 6:05.

In Spain, Emma Yates took on the Ironman challenge in Vitoria-Gastiez, and completed in 12:44.

Huge congratulations are due to the team of seven Almosts for completing the Race to the Stones two day ultra of 100km along the Ridgeway over Saturday and Sunday. Des Beer, Francis Bull, Ollie Clarkin, Nikki Durnell, Sarah Fennell, Claire Gallagher and Hayley Woolnough all successfully finished the event which they ran in aid of charity.

At Cheltenham parkrun there were three new PBs for Duncan Mounsor who achieved 21:04, Barry Irvine 24:49 and Felicity Read with 30:10.

Ben Stone came fourth out of 310 runners in the Witney Parkrun, crossing the line in 20:10, whilst Rob Rennell achieved yet another PB at the Severn Bridge Park event with 32:27.

Further afield, Helena Youde and Matt Polson took part in the Mount Etna, Sicily parkrun where Polson came 2nd in 20:49. Also in Italy, Matt Bevan came 5th in the Roma Pineto parkrun with a time of 23:51.

Other parkruns in which members of Almost Athletes took part included Darlington South, Fire Service College, Gloucester North, Oxford, Pocket, Pollock Glasgow, Tetbury Goods Shed, Tewkesbury, Wimbledon Common and Woolacombe Dunes.

On Wednesday evening 10th July, a few Almosts competed in the Cheltenham Harriers Midsummer Open Track 5km event. Both Shaun Carr and Matt Hickman achieved new PBs with 18:51 and 18:57 respectively.

Also on Wednesday, Allan Green completed the 10 lap Dinton Pastures Marathon near Reading in a time of 4:39.

On Thursday evening Jayne Murphy and Dave Nelson took part in the Thornbury 10km race. In very warm conditions Murphy crossed the line in 1:06, closely followed by Nelson in 1:07.

 

In a week where it was confirmed that the Almost Athletes ladies team finished a brilliant 5th in the Cotswold Way relay, runners from the club produced another array of fantastic performances.
The week kicked off with the Frampton 10k on Monday night. Josh Hand led the way for club, finishing 17th overall in a very rapid 37:04. He was followed in by Peter Mitchener (44:47) and Neil Tring (45:06). As always, the ladies team put in a strong showing, led home by Runner of the Month Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto in 47:59 with Charmaine Brunt second Almost lady (50:03) followed by Deb Cartlidge in 53:03. The event also saw PBs for Richard Knightley in 48:31 and Peter Allsopp in 54:48.
On a sunny, but thankfully cooler, Sunday morning the club provided a very glamorous water station for the Gloucester 10km. As well as distributing quality H2O, Almosts also had a number of runners in the event. First home for the club was Michael Harris in 43:03. He was followed by Ceri Schofield who was 4th lady overall finishing in 46:28. Brunt capped a consistent week by coming home next in 50:05, outsprinting Paul Warren (50:06) and Helen Pardoe (50:09).
The Evesham 10km was run at the same time and it saw the Almosts take home some prizes. Pauline Bargus took home her category prize in a time of 53:43. Matt Polson was the first Almost home finishing 7th overall in a time of 38:36. He was closely followed by Phil Jukes in 40:28 and Rich Birch in 41:08, with the three of them taking home the men’s team prize. The ladies were brought home by Jeanette Gullick who was third in her category in a time of 45:30. Wisniewska-Barreto completed good week (48:35) with Bargus completing the Almost top three. The event saw Mark Stojanov set a pb of 1:06:36.
Capping a solid day of 10km performances David Chittock made a successful return from injury. Ably assisted by Debs Cartlidge, they completed the Porthcawl 10km in well under an hour.
When running isn’t enough, Almosts turn their hand to Ironmans. This weekend saw both Matt Proome and Thom Stephens demonstrate incredible stamina with Proome completing the Challenge Roth Ironman in 12:38 and Stephens complete the Long Course in Tenby in 12:36. The ever-impressive Shaun Carr represented GB in Romania completing the duathalon and finishing 8th in his age category.
And when running one marathon becomes too easy, why not do two in a week?! Alan Green completed the delightfully named Turd marathon in 5:12 and the Moreton marathon in 5:11. Ingrid Harris also completed the latter in 4:17 coming home as first lady.
In some other long distance feats, Christopher Benjamin continued his recent good form completing the Birmingham and Black Country Half marathon in 2 hours and change. Martyn Fisher completed an incredibly hot Great Barrow Challenge Marathon in 4:57.
In parkruns, the Almosts saw Polson home as first finisher at Newent parkrun. Ben Stone was 3rd at Gloucester North in an event that also saw Rob Rennell and guide Rob Dalton-Morris set a pb of 34:04. Duncan Mounsor set a parkrun pb at Cheltenham of 21:16.
Finally, congratulations also go to Fi and Matt Barnes, both of whom completed their Coaching qualifications this week adding to the club’s growing contingent of qualified England Athletics coaches.

For members of Almost Athletes the main event of the weekend was the Cotswold Way Relay. This is a 10 stage race covering an undulating 103 miles from Chipping Campden to Bath Abbey which took place on Saturday 29th June.

Despite the very warm temperatures, the two AA mixed teams both safely finished the demanding event in 17 hours 29 mins and 19 hours 35 mins respectively.

Away from the CWR there were some excellent results for other Almosts at Cheltenham parkrun.

Matt Hickman came 16th out of a field of 451 runners with a time of 19:52, whilst Phillip Jukes followed closely behind in 19th place and 20:09.

Germain Forgeoux was in 21st place and achieved a new PB of 20:15secs which knocked 37 seconds off his previous best time, and Pete Mitchener came first in his age category with 21:38.

Congratulations are also due to Almost Mike Daly who completed his 100th parkrun and to Lee Ormerod who ran the Cheltenham event for the first time in 24:31.

There were also some other noteworthy parkrun results for members of Almost Athletes. Glenda Gill ran her 50th parkrun at Gloucester City, and Patricia Peever was 7th lady to finish the same event in 26:23.

Other parkruns in which members of Almost Athletes took part included Churchfields Farm, Exeter Riverside, Gloucester North, Mile End, Newent, Preston Park Brighton, Tamar Trails and Worcester.

Lepha Mccartan took part in the GE Aquathon at Cheltenham Lido on Saturday 29th which consisted of a 400m swim and a 2.5km run. She completed the event in just 21:08, placing her 4th overall and 1st lady to finish.

Also on Saturday, Natalie Greening ran the gruelling Midnight Mountain Half Marathon in the Brecon Beacons, finishing in 2hrs 20mins despite contracting a virus earlier in the week.

Ceri Schofield and Mark Eavers took part in the Compton Verney Half Marathon on Sunday 30th. Schofield came home in 1hr 43mins whilst Eavers achieved 2:20.

Adrian and Julie Courtenay travelled to Faringdon, Oxfordshire to run in the Buscot House 10km on Sunday, which they both completed in 1hr 14mins.

Earlier in the week Allan Green had notched up yet another marathon by finishing the Marathon Madness race in Worthing in 4hrs 33mins.

Almost Athletes have now opened entries for the Bugatti 10km. Based at the Prescott Hill Climb, this run takes competitors through the villages of Dixton, Alstone and Gretton Fields. Suitable for beginners and racing snakes alike, the race takes place on Wednesday 7th August, starting at 7.15pm. A link to entries may be reached via www.almostathletes.com/bugatti-10k.

Almost Athletes took on another Ultra challenge this week at Race to the King. Dave Rogers ran the one-day hilly 53-mile race from Arundel and along the South Down Way. An impressive performance saw him cross the finish line at Winchester Cathedral in 10:44. Des Beer, Mariel Chretien and Jackie Slaughter completed the course over two days, stopping at basecamp overnight, before finishing together in 14:14.

There were hot conditions at Swansea Half Marathon, where Charmaine Brunt and Paul Warren both finished in 2:03, Mark Pelling in 2:34, and Karla Cleverley in 3:18. Dave and Iris Mayo warmed up at Swansea Bay parkrun before completing the half marathon in 2:18 and 2:41 respectively. Rob Rennell pulled up before the finish but still managed a 10k and 15k PB.

Virginia Pawlyn ran the Chippenham Longest Day 10k in 1:04 for the FV70 age category win. Nicole Hope and Jeremy Cooper both finished in 58:55. At Chedworth Midsummer Run Out 10k, Malc Allen ran home in 55:58. There were age category wins for Peter Blakeman (MV60) in 56:30 and Ingrid Harris (FV55) in 59:13. Catherine Daly finished in 1:03 and Deb Cartlidge in 1:04.

At the Dave McNamee 10k, Peter Mitchener was the first Almost to finish with a PB of 43:12. There were Gloucestershire AAA 10k Road Championship medals for Jeanette Gullick and Rita Crane. Gullick finished 3rd lady in 44:27, while Crane was 3rd VW60. Matt Polson and Helena Youde were at the Bredon Bash, a 5.5 mile race to the top of Bredon Hill and back. Polson finished 9th overall.

Ingrid Harris completed the Divorce Day Marathon, Ironbridge in 4:22 and Allan Green ran the Jubilee River Marathon in 4:52. Christopher Benjamin Raced the Train over 11 miles in Bury, finishing in 1:50.

Hannah Brown was in action at the Chomondeley Castle Marquess Triathlon, completing the Olympic distance course in 3:02 before also competing in the team relay. A group of Almosts got on their bikes to take part in the 40km and 90km Ride for Ryder Sportive.

At Cheltenham parkrun, Martin Foster was first Almost home with a PB of 18.29, closely followed by Matt Polson in 18:34. Sally Freeman finished 4th lady in 22:12, while Jo Foster was 9th in 24:14. Mike Daly was 11th at Gloucester North with 21:41, while at Gloucester City, Neil Tring was 11th in 21:17 and Patricia Peever was 3rd lady in 22:03. Hester Coggin finished 5th lady at Newent in 25:14.

Ben Stone was a tourist at Colby, Pembrokeshire, where he was 6th overall in 22:00. Phillip Jukes ran Upton Country Park with his son Charlie in 23:09. Danny Carroll was 11th at Thornbury with 21:26. In Paris, Kate Freeman completed parkrun de Montsouris in 24:53 and finished 4th lady.

There was also tourism for Andrea Hardy at Churchfields Farm, Rita Crane at Dinton Pastures and Kate Houston at Pollok, Glasgow. Lepha McCartan was at Queen Elizabeth, Horndean, Lynne Macedo at Tonbridge, Claire Hawes at Exmouth, and Mike Bryce and David Nelson at Tetbury Goods Shed.

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.

Almost Athletes faced a wet and windy start to the Race to the Tower Ultra and Marathon event. Michelle Balchin ran through the rain to complete the 52.4 miles along the Cotswold Way from Whiteshill to Broadway. Her impressive performance saw her finish 2nd in the FV40 category with a time of 11:19. Chris White completed the two-day double marathon in 9:57, and Andrea Hardy ran the marathon distance, finishing her first marathon at Broadway Tower in 6:49.

Neil and Laura Tring took on the two-day Jurassic Coast Ultra from Poole to Bridport. The 100km challenge along the coastal path takes in Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Chesil Beach along the way. The challenging first day racked up an elevation gain of over 4500ft, and they reached the overnight point in 7:55. Slightly gentler terrain on the second day saw them make up time to cross the line in a total time of 13:48.

Catherine and Mike Daly raced horses as well as humans over the 22 mile Man vs Horse event in Llanwrtyd Wells. Mike crossed the line in 4:00, followed by Catherine with a course PB of 4:14. Allan Green added to his marathon tally at the Rugby Challenge Marathon (5:13) and Yeovil Marathon (4:17).

At the Sharpness 16, Wan Hartley, Nikki Durnell and Julie Averiss ran along Sharpness Canal from Sharpness Marina to Gloucester Docks. Durnell pulled up with an injury at the halfway mark, but Hartley and Averiss went on to finish the 16 mile course in 3:55.

Broadway Tower was also the destination for a group of Almosts running the 5 mile Broadway Tower Charity Run. Ben Stone was first Almost to the Tower and back in 38:22, followed by Nick Spice (39:00), and Malc Allen (42:50). Ingrid Harris ran 44:07 to take 1st in the FV55 category. Kev Fairs finished in 49:34 and Mike Line 55:50. At Stroud Beer Race, Michelle Balchin and Joanna Wisnieska-Barreto finished in 56:27 and 57:33 respectively.

Adrian and Julie Courtenay ran the Gloucester 10k Run for Life, and there were half marathons for Josh Hand in Market Harborough (1:20 and 3rd overall) and Kev Fairs in Derby (2:13). Robert Dalton-Morris was in Connecticut, where he ran the 8 mile Litchfield Hills Road Race in a course PB of 54:51.

Almosts displayed talents other than running at triathlon and cycling events across the country. Hannah Brown completed the Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire, clocking a total time of 7:29. Ingrid Harris also took on the half distance at the Cotswold 113 triathlon finishing in 6.21. Jayne Cheslin was at the British Standard Distance Triathlon Championships in Leeds and finished 8th in her age category in 2:42 with a 10k PB of 49:40. Mark Stojanov gained a new PB of 1:36 in the Linc 3 Counties Cycle Ride 20 miler.

At Cheltenham parkrun, Run Director Peter Mitchener completed the inaugural Ten Title Challenge. Peter Morris was first Almost home in 21:50, but it was the ladies who excelled, taking five of the top six female spots. Jeanette Gullick was first in 21:53, Sally Freeman second in 22:12, and Hattie Jenkins third in 22:30. Sharon Bullimore was 5th Lady in 22:54 and Sharon Hadad 6th in 22:59. There were PBs for Maisie Markham (27:23) and Rita Crane (31:04). It was Adrian Courtenay’s 150th parkrun, while Kev Dendy impressively managed to finish his 350th run in 350th place!

Several Almosts achieved top ten finishes locally. Charlie Isles was 2nd lady at Tewkesbury in 22:11. Martin Foster was 4th at Worcester Pitchcroft in 18:33 while Jo Foster finished 6th lady with 23:20. At Newent, Ben Taylor ran 20.44 to finish 4th, and Stone was 8th overall at Gloucester City in 19:45. There was tourism for Danny Carroll at Tetbury Goods Shed, Peter Jones at Bressay, and Martyn Fisher at Wimpole Estate. David Nelson was at Ruchill, and Matt Polson travelled to Hafan Pwllheli where he finished 3rd overall in 19:08.