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Runners of the Month - 2023-2024

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.

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Cheryl RodhamThe first runner of the month for September is Cheryl Rodham. Cheryl is a fantastic runner who completed her first marathon this year with a great time of 4:43:30. She has also been smashing out the PBs this year, along with committing to our road and off-road race series and the Glos AAA race series. Over the year she has set new PBs at parkrun in 25:06 and over 10k on the off road Pershore Plum in 53:43. But more than that, she is quite possibly the kindest and most encouraging person ever and is very humble and generous. She quietly helps out so many people in the club. When she is not running she is out supporting and was very excited recently to acquire a megaphone to give those running Cheltenham Half an extra push. It certainly helped me! And she is always happy to run with slower runners to support and encourage them. She is a real asset to the club! Well done Cheryl!

Lizzie RennThe second runner of the month for September is Lizzie Renn. Lizzie has just completed the For Rangers Ultra, a 230km five-stage foot race across four Kenyan wildlife conservancies in support of the valuable work of For Rangers and Save the Rhino International. Proceeds from the event support the welfare and work of those who have dedicated their lives to protecting rhinos and other threatened species. The race is only open to 70 runners, who have to be entirely self sufficient across the five days running back to back marathons carrying all their supplies. Lizzie completed the event in a cumulative time of 34 hours! Lizzie has been carefully and methodically preparing for this event for months, running around Cheltenham and the surrounding hills for ever increasing distances and carrying a progressively heavier backpack. She is inspirational! Well done Lizzie!

Ben Stone Our first runner of the month for August is Ben Stone. Ben is one of the club’s speedier runners and this year has run a parkrun in 19.48 at Gloucester North, a 10k in 40.10 at Bourton and ran his first marathon in an excellent 3:34.31 at London. However, his focus this year has been fundraising and supporting others by running in memory of Marty Ward, Ben’s best friend who suddenly passed away last year. Ben raised several thousand pounds with his London charity place for RSPCA showing great determination to get to the start line as he had planned to run it with Marty. And he ran the Cheltenham half with over 30 others helping raise over £20,000 so far for Sue Ryder, a charity Marty supported. Ben has shown that it's not always about PBs, it's also about supporting friends and family and taking care of your own mental health and wellbeing while honouring a close friend, which truly embodies the spirit of Almost Athletes! Well done Ben!See less

Katie ColemanOur second runner of the month for August is Katie Coleman. Katie is an exceptional runner and currently inside the top 100 over 5k for her age category in the UK rankings. She regularly supports our road and off road race series and cross country when her busy family life allows and almost always finishing as 1st female Almost. She regularly finishes in the top 3 females overall at races such as Berkeley 10k in 42.13, Dymock Half in 1:35.40, Pershore Plum 10k in 43:02 (2nd place) and Angels 10k in 41.44. She has recently grabbed 2 club records in her age category with PBs of 19:57 at Gloucester 5k and winning her category with 1:31.47 at Cheltenham Half. She also won her age category with a PB of 41:05 at Frampton 10k. Katie also volunteers to support the club as one of our mental health champions, a qualified run leader and recently stepped up to help drive the club’s sustainability agenda. Well done Katie!

Josh RimellOur first runner of the month for July is Josh Rimell. Josh is a runner who has improved dramatically in recent months. It all started with his first marathon which he trained hard for and finished comfortably inside his five hour target at London in 4:54:48. Since then, off the back of that marathon training, he finished 2nd overall in the club handicap series, is currently leading the senior male age category in our road race series and has achieved PBs across shorter distances. He is a regular parkrunner and has been constantly improving his parkrun PB and most recently at the end of July set a new PB of 20:52 at Cheltenham. Back in May he set a magnificent three minute PB at the challenging Dymock half marathon in 1:49:04. In June, Josh then slashed his 10k PB by almost three minutes to 45:39 at the Gloucester 10k. Well done Josh!

Janine BennettOur second runner of the month for July is Janine Bennett. Janine is a member who has recently taken on a big challenge. She is a very keen parkrunner being a member of the Cheltenham parkrun core team and enjoys being a parkrun tourist partly due to her local ambassador role but has also travelled overseas to Denmark, Sweden and the Isle of Wight! Janine is also a keen off road runner and is currently leading her competitive age category in our off road race series. In recent months she completed the Regents Park 10k in 1:32:24 and the Needles Half Marathon with over 1,100 feet of ascent in 2:59:02. All of this was part of her training for her first ultra marathon which was the Ham and Lyme 50k over a challenging course from Somerset to a seaside finish in Dorset taking in over 3,000 feet of ascent on the way which she completed in 9:24:30. Well done Janine!