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Runners of the Month - 2022-2023

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.

Rose HubbardOur first runner of the month for July is Rose Hubbard. Rose is a quiet and unassuming member who is a regular attendee of the Barnes' Thursday training sessions. She shines at parkrun, and has been first female at KGV recently where she consistently finishes in the top 2 females and consistently finishes in the top 10 females at Cheltenham. She rarely races but when she does she produces some impressive performances, such as her 3:46:19 debut at the Manchester marathon last October. However it was more recently at last month’s Race to the Tower that she truly stood out. She conquered the double marathon on consecutive days, literally flying over the finish line in ninth position overall and second female in 10:37:24. That really is an awe inspiring result! Well done Rose!

Christopher BenjaminOur second runner of the month for July is Christopher Benjamin. Chris is probably the best race marshal in the world! I have never seen such an encouraging, enthusiastic and caring marshal and passing him in a race gives everyone a massive boost! He also does a few races himself, in fact half marathons are his thing! And Chris has recently completed his 100th half marathon! It’s taken a few years and has been harder to find races in the last 2 years but he brought up the hundred last month at the Sharpness Canal race, accompanied by club colleagues! He truly is an inspiration and legend and probably still celebrating by attempting to drink the equivalent of the North Sea in ale! And why not, I salute you Sir! Well done Chris!

Des BeerOur first runner of the month for June is Des Beer. She is a fantastic all rounder over shorter and longer distances. She is also a remarkable runner in her age category. In her last 5 races she has come 1st or 2nd overall in her age category! She was 2nd at 20m Berkeley in 3:12:15, 1st at the Pendock Spring Chicken 10k in 54:53, 1st at Sheperdine marathon in 4:26:28, 1st at Stroud’s very hilly trail half marathon and 2nd at Dymock Half in 2:03:21. In fact her times this year place her impressively at 5th and 16th in the UK rankings for her age category for 20 miles and marathon! She is also a highly valued club member regularly leading club runs and participating in most of the club race series. Well done Des!

Richard KnightleyOur second runner of the month for June is Richard Knightley. He’s a fantastic runner, very responsive to coaching and really dedicated to his training being a regular attendee of the Thursday speed endurance sessions. Since the return of races in 2021 he’s run his first ultra the Dartmoor Discovery and is about to run it again! He has been regularly knocking out PBs over all distances since then running his first sub 4 hour marathon at Worcester, ran Cheltenham half PB in 1:40:11, ran Frampton 10k PB in 44.53, ran Linda Franks 5 mile PB in 34.49 and is now a regular sub 22 minutes parkrunner. And more recently completely smashed his marathon PB by a huge 16 mins with 3:39:04 at Manchester. Well done Rich!

Mike JohnstonOur first runner of the month for April is Mike Johnston. He’s an incredibly talented runner who has for some months now been continually smashing PBs with Worthing parkrun (17:35), Brighton 10k (36:55), Staverton 10m (60:48), Reading half marathon (1:18:50), Berkeley 20m (2:09:49) and then most recently at Manchester marathon 2 weeks ago he ran 2:49:07, taking 5 minutes off his previous PB. He is wiping the board of MV40 club records! Mike regularly attends the Thursday speed sessions despite living in Oxford and he is very supportive of his club mates, inspiring and encouraging them at every opportunity. He is also incredibly modest about his own achievements. He is simply a fantastic runner with a fantastic attitude. Well done Mike!

Steve PhelpsOur second runner of the month for April is Steve Phelps. Steve had a serious health issue last year which he has overcome in the most amazing way this last six months by setting PBs over many distances from Cheltenham parkrun (22:49), Bourton 10k (44:02), Staverton 10m (73:50) and a PB 2 weeks ago at London Landmark half marathon of 1:37 taking 6 minutes off his previous best. Steve has also recently competed in a canicross trail half marathon with Ace, a duathlon at Castle Coombe and cross country. Steve is a really nice friendly chap, regularly attends club sessions and is a very popular member of the club. He was also very good recently at fixing my leaky tap! Well done Steve!