Almost Athletes took full advantage of the unseasonably appealing weather this weekend, with runners heading to events all over the country. Down in Portsmouth at the Great South Run, Kev Fairs was the first club member home in 1:32:30, followed by Joshua Rimell in 1:34:21. Elspeth Haile finished the 10 miles in 1:36:30, Claire Hawes in 1:43:49, Iris Mayo in 1:52:02 (a PB time by over 14 minutes), Jack Helliar in 1:56:52, and Oliver Nolan and Rachel Nolan both in a time of 2:08:07.
Saturday morning saw a strong set of milestones and PBs for club members at Parkruns near and far. Pete Mitchener celebrated his 200th Parkrun with a time of 22:59 in Cheltenham, while Neil Tring racked up his 50th different location with a 21:55 at Chipping Norton School Parkrun, which also made him 1st place finisher in his age category. Joining Neil in Chipping Norton was Mike Bryce, whose time of 20:56 also earned him a 1st place category finish, and third place overall.
At King George V Playing Field, Ingrid Harris sprung back from a lengthy injury lay-off to finish not just first place in her category, but as second female finisher overall in a time of 25:57. Steve Yarnold ran the course for the first time in 28:09, while Hamish Anderson was the first Almost home in 21:08.
Elsewhere Robert Foord earnt a big PB of 19:41 at Cardiff Parkrun, breaking the 20 minute barrier for the first time. Corinne Cooper also achieved a PB of 30:45 at Gloucester City, Dave Nelson bagged a ‘post-Covid PB’ of 32:15 while visiting the Oaklands Parkrun, and Felicity Read managed a new best of 27:37 at Pittville Park.
Not content with one PB in a weekend, Felicity went on to complete an impressive double-header with a half marathon PB time of 2:00:42 at the Weston Super Half. She was joined by Coralie Pearson who completed the course in 1:58:22, and Rob Rennell in 2:36:34.
Almost Athletes were also in action at the Oxford Half Marathon, where Steve Phelps earned a new PB of 1:43:28. He was followed by Susan Dryburgh in 1:44:10 and Kim Lewington in 2:07:57. Slightly further from home, Graeme Stopp and Forest Wheeler completed the Leaf Kicker Half Marathon in Winona Lake, Indiana.
Seeking out an escape from the pavement, a group of Almost Athletes travelled to take part in the Brecon Beacons Trail Running Challenge where they pitted themselves against formidable elevation and technically challenging routes. The half marathon was tackled by Pete Blakeman, Steve Wallbridge, Rob Hume, Richard Bennett, Dave McGrath, Steve Taylor, Tony Heap, Des Beer and Bob Spawton. In the 10k, Alison Hume was the first club member to finish, followed by Sarah Wallbridge, Sheila Chatterley, Ceinwen Davies and Sam McGrath.
At Cleevewold, Almost Athletes scooped up the team prize, with Nick Lewis and Josh Hand coming in second and third place overall in times of 1:48:23 and 1:49:08 respectively. Matthew Hampton finished the 14 mile course in 2:26:10, and Edward Munroe in 2:30:29.
Finally, the club was well represented at the Hope Valley Run in Herefordshire. Neil Tring led the Almost Athletes with a time of 1:10:58, followed by Dave Garnett in 1:22:02 and Lorraine Taylor in 1:26:53. Glenda Gill finished the course in 1:34:19, Mariel Chretien in 1:34:30, and Philip Jeyes in 1:34:50.