Another busy week for Almost Athletes, with several members taking on multiple races over the weekend’s packed racing calendar. There were county medals up for grabs at the Bourton One Mile Challenge - the eighth event in the club’s road race series – with several members earning one for their Friday evening efforts. Patricia Dendy was first in her category, her time of 6:01 lopping a full 29 seconds off an age category record which has stood since September 2014. Earning bronze medals were Peter Morris (5:55); Peter Mitchener (6:23); Allan Green (7:06) and Claire Hawes (9:08). Matt Hickman was first home for the club in a blistering 5:24. Ian Poole recorded a new personal best time of 5:57 for the distance.
Others running included Duncan Mounsor (6:09); Neil Tring (6:09); Dave Mayo (7:00); Victoria Kennedy (7:36); Josh Rimell (7:52); Corinne Cooper (9:05) and Lynne Macedo (9:33).
Saturday started bright and early for Fiona Barnes and Mark Willicott, who took on the Serpent Trail 100k race in the South Downs National Park. It was Fiona’s first 100k event and she was amply rewarded for her efforts with a new age category club record for the distance - which measured long by a couple of miles - clocking a spirited 15:53:22. Mark Willicott was mere steps behind in 15:53:25, also claiming a new club record for his age category.
Fi Barnes and Mark Willicott at 100k Serpent Trail
The club fielded four teams in the annual Cotswold Way Relay hosted by Team Bath AC. Confirmed results were not available at the time of going to press, but Team Almosts Being More Doug (Richard Birch, Fran Hill, Duncan Mounsor, Hester Coggin, Matt Hampton, Victoria Kennedy, Jeanette Gullick, Thom Stephens, Cat Daly and Ian Coggin) featured two runners who were awarded King of the Cotswold plaques for completing all ten legs of the relay over the years: Matt Hampton and Ian Coggin. Team Almosts Running for Rich comprised Ela Antosiewicz, Sue Pearce, Nicole Hope, Ivana Wilson, Norm Lever, Shaun Carr, David Chittock, Richard Knightley, Mike Kennedy and Lorraine Taylor. Team Almosts Running for Us All included Bob Spawton, Amy Sheer, Lorraine Brinton, Paul Chambers, Ed Munro, Graeme Stopp, Danny Carroll, Felicity Read, Deb Cartlidge and Mark Wreford-Bush. Team Almosts Running for Anne-marie was made up of Craig Jackson, Andrew Wilkinson, Phil Jeyes, Steve Yarnold, Sharmila Door, Kev Fairs, Neil Tring, Miranda Foster, Jayne Cheslin and Peter Mitchener. In addition, the club provided a number of marshals and its customarily enthusiastic water station on Leg 3 of the relay.
Matt Hampton celebrates King of the Cotswolds
Just a few fields away and starting from Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, Cos Pearson took on the Maverick Adidas Terrex Original Cotswold 2022 ‘long option’ race, a hilly trail running event on hard packed established trails with steep ascents, taking in the Winchcombe, Gloucestershire and Cotswold Ways. Cos recorded 2:49:38 for the 22km event.
Over in Wales, a quartet of Almosts ran the Porthcawl 10k. John Johnson completed in 42:08; Jo Johnson in 42:13 (4th in category); David Chittock in 49:37 and Deb Cartlidge in 66:23.
Clive Baker was the club’s sole representative at the Quantock Beast, a tough 6.7-mile race, clocking a strong 71 minutes over the hilly course. Closer to home, Ben Stone, Mark Eavers and Marty Ward ran the Westonbirt half marathon, which came up some way short of 13.1 miles, taking in the picturesque avenues of the old arboretum and ancient Silk Wood. Ben achieved a top 20 finish, recording 1:27:22. Mark followed in 1:58:03 and Marty in 2:10:03.
On Sunday morning, over twenty members saw themselves back in Bourton on the Water for the Greystones 10k, a trail race organised by the Rotary Club North Cotswold in aid of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Sixth in the club’s offroad race series, members were on the hunt for points and put in some strong performances on the varying and technical terrain. Third overall, first female and first in category was Patricia Dendy, who crossed the line in 45:12. Katie Coleman finished seconds behind in 45:24 for fourth overall, second female and first in category. Also enjoying first in category finishes were Ian Poole (45:51); Olga Goffin (47:29); Neil Tring (49:56); Alison Hume (56:01) and Allan Green (57:15), who in addition to earning a county medal at the Bourton one mile event less than 48 hours before had also run a midweek marathon at the Suffolk Running Academy in 5:11.
Almosts at Greystones 10k at Bourton on the Water
Also competing, in many cases just days after running marathons or ultra marathons, were Shaun Carr (48:38); David Garnett (52:40); Graeme Stopp (52:59); Jim Trowbridge (54:18); a resurgent Dave Mayo (54:20); Ingrid Harris (56:44); David Woolnough (61:38); Hayley Woolnough (61:41); Sue Monaghan (64:03); Mike Line (65:57); Janine Bennett (66:15); Josh Rimell (70:15); Lorraine Taylor (72:46); Claire Hawes (74:23); Iris Mayo (83:24) and Ollie Nolan (83:25).
There was the usual handful of strong performances at parkrun, with overall personal bests earned by Lewis Jones at Cheltenham (19:33), just one second behind new club member Alistair Mathew. Alice Tredgett was first female to cross the line at Cheltenham parkrun (20:26, PB). Kate Nichol stopped the clock at a new personal best time of 27:24, also in Pittville Park and at Plock Court, Gloucester the in-form Jeff Tibbles improved his personal best to 25:57. Nick Lewis was third to finish at King George V Playing Field (19:12) and Andrea Hardy earned a course personal best of 27:51 just one week after completing a hilly marathon on the Cotswold Way.
In other non-running activities, Matt Proome travelled to Austria to take on Ironman Klagenfurt, his third Ironman, in uncomfortably hot conditions. He crossed the line in an outstanding 13:03:03.
Three members set themselves the demanding challenge of the Lake Coniston End to End swim, a 5.25-mile swim in the Lake District. Mark Lyes finished in 2:53:20; Colin Watkins in 3:15:53 and Wendy Haskins in 3:30:31.