Josh Hand - Winner of Dymock Half Marathon
Almost Athletes shone at a number of events over the weekend. At a very warm Dymock half marathon - the fourth event in the club’s road race series – Josh Hand won the race by a healthy margin of almost three minutes in 1:25:11 and Katie Coleman was first woman and seventh overall in 1:36:53. Louise Horner-Baggs (1:46:19) and Lesley Cottle (2:03:05, 1st in category) joined Katie in scooping the women’s team prize, while the men just missed out on a team prize by a single point.
Lesley Cottle, Louise Horner-Baggs, Katie Coleman - winning female team at Dymock half marathon
Also competing were Duncan Mounsor (1:42:49); Mike Kennedy (1:43:23); Steve Phelps (1:45:38); Peter Mitchener (1:47:58); Neil Tring (1:48:50, 2nd in category); Mike Daly (1:54:33, 3rd in category); Pete Blakeman (1:56:47); Richard Bennett (1:57:37); Des Beer (2:03:21, 2nd in category); Ela Antosiewicz (2:06:27, 2nd in category); Jeff Tibbles (2:07:41, PB); Victoria Kennedy (2:09:36); Lorraine Taylor (2:16:28); David Woolnough (2:26:20); Hayley Woolnough (2:26:21); Wan Hartley and Pauline Bargus (both 2:26:39).
In the Dymock 5-mile race, Craig Jackson put his recent injury woes firmly behind him to record 36:01 for third in category. Also running were Dave Mayo (43:46); Josh Rimell (52:40); Iris Mayo (55:39); Rachael Nolan and Karla Cleverley (both 68:29).
Prior to the weekend’s activities club members took a trip to the Dick Whittington 5k in the Forest of Dean on Thursday evening. The race is the fourth event in the club’s offroad race series and, as such, attracted a large contingent from the club. Indeed 24 out of the 41 finishers were Almost Athletes. The standout performance came from ladies’ cross-country captain, Patricia Dendy, who produced a stunning run across challenging and hilly terrain to finish fourth overall, first Almost home and first in age category in 28:08. Also finishing first in category were Shaun Carr, Jamie Courtenay, Neil Tring, Allan Green, Ingrid Harris, Lorraine Taylor, Sue Monaghan and Cathy Booth. Renewing their race series rivalry, David Garnett and Jim Trowbridge produced the most nail-biting finish of the evening, with Jim eventually taking the win by under a second.
Other finishers included Mike Kennedy, Duncan Mounsor, Francis Bull, Graeme Stopp, Jason Hulance, Victoria Kennedy, Mike Line, Alison Hume, Kev Dendy, Adrian Courtenay, Janine Bennett, Dave Nelson and Jakia Hussain.
Almost Athletes team photo at Dick Whittington 5k - photo courtesy of Finish Line Events
At the other end of the racing spectrum a number of club members took on longer challenges home and abroad. Elliot Hodges crushed the Cornish Classic Quarter 44-mile ultra in 10:48 whilst offroad specialist Jules Jameson donned club colours for the first time this year and completed the hilly Chawton Challenge 30-mile ultra in Hampshire in 7:47. Portia Clapham completed the Classic Quarter as a relay with her brother, her 36km leg having over 1,000 metres of elevation gain.
Christopher Benjamin notched up his 99th half marathon at the 16-mile Bristol Three Peaks and eagerly contemplates his target 100th in June. Further afield Jackie Slaughter took on the tough Beer Lovers Marathon in Liege, Belgium in soaring temperatures, recording 6:15 for 27 miles and more stairs and steps than she had ever climbed in a single day, all while dressed as Ginger Spice.
A handful of Almosts made the short trip up the M5 to take on the testing terrain of the Worcester marathon and half marathon. Mark Willicott came home in 4:24:30 and Allan Green, powering closer to 700 lifetime marathons, was first in his age category, recording 4:50:24. The club’s sole female representative, Alison Hume, used the race as a training run for her first ultra next month and was delighted to finish comfortably in 4:22:51 (2nd in category and 6th female).
In the half marathon option Francis Bull recorded a strong 1:56:12 and Cos Pearson paced a friend around her first half marathon in 2:25:02.
Finishing a fine second overall at the hot and hilly Ridge Off Roader half marathon in the Chilterns was Mike Johnstone, the club’s sole representative at this event.
Over the border at the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run 10k Dave Chittock clocked 48:44; Deb Cartlidge 67:31 and Kevin Keegan 69:37.
Deb Cartilidge and Dave Chittock at Cardiff 10k
On a gloriously sunny morning the club filled the volunteer roster at King George V Playing Field parkrun, with Steve Adams, Adrian Courtenay, Sharon Hadad, Richard Knightley, Duncan Mounsor, Peter Mitchener, Kate Nichol, Rich Smith, Mark Stojanov and Mark Wreford-Bush acting as pacers and helping 18 runners to new personal bests. Duncan Mounsor and Neil Tring were both first in age category. Jeff Tibbles celebrated his recent good run of form with an outright PB and Jonathan Shuman, Dave Davey, Julia Whittaker and Heather Smith earned course PBs. In the capital Olly Bell ran his 64th different parkrun venue - Tooting Common - and Ross Greening took a trip to Bushy Park, the birthplace of parkrun. Hamish Adamson and Helen McGuire enjoyed a trip to Seven Fields to catch up with Claire Gallagher.
Ben Taylor was first over the line at Mundy parkrun and Issy Ravenhill was third female at Marine Parade parkrun. Travelling furthest this week was Felicity Read, who took on Donaupark parkrun in Vienna.
Phil Jeyes completed his first triathlon since having knee surgery at the Lake 62 Evening Sprint event and quickly followed it up with his first standard distance triathlon at the Worcester Lakeside Double a couple of days later.