The days might be getting shorter, the nights longer, and the temperatures lower; but that hasn’t stopped the intrepid Almost Athletes getting out and about and doing what they do best – running!
Almosts at Newent 9
Lesley Cottle at Newent 9
This past weekend saw some great performances from club members. On Sunday, there was the Mandy Whittington Newent 9k, which saw Lesley Cottle have the standout performance, winning the LV60 category in a time of 48:31. There were also fantastic course PBs set by Mike Bryce, improving by over a minute to finish in 40:23 and lead the club home; Patricia Dendy, taking 2 minutes off her previous best in 40:32 and finishing second in her age category; and Coralie Pearson, smashing her previous best by 7 minutes, finishing in 51:26. Also completing the race were Rob Hume (47:04), Alison Hume (50:03), Des Beer (52:15), Dave Mayo (52:36), Jane Russell (54:08), Charmaine Brunt (54:35), Mike Line (56:12), Sue Monaghan (58:12), and Iris Mayo (1:04:20).
Almosts at Roly's Run
Elsewhere, a small band of Almosts headed south to Hampshire to complete Roly’s Run, a hilly trail run held in memory of former club member Rich Walklate, who sadly passed away in 2018 aged only 33. Rich was an inspirational runner, completing some incredibly tough challenges including multiple Iron Man triathlons, and the event is a great tribute to him, offering three potential routes (15 miles, 20 miles, and 40 miles) over some very challenging – and hilly! - terrain. A huge well done to Kev Fairs, who was delighted with his time over the 20 mile distance; and to Claire Hawes and Natalie Greening for completing the 15 mile course. Unfortunately Lorraine Taylor injured her ankle during the run, resulting in her and Neil Tring being unable to finish. Happily there is no break, just a bad sprain, but all of the club wish her a quick recovery. In addition, as usual, Alan Green was off completing a marathon, this time finishing the 26.2 miles at Lee Valley Water Centre in Waltham Cross, finishing in 5 hrs 11 mins.
Almosts at Stratford Park parkrun
There was also the usual array of achievements at parkrun on Saturday morning. At Cheltenham, Ingrid Harris continued her return from injury by finishing first in her age category in 25:37; while Kim Lewington emulated that achievement at Gloucester City in 27:10, as did Dave McGrath at Stratford Park Stroud in 21:56 (also earning the highest age grade at the event), Nicole Hope (28:23 – PB) and Rachel O’Bryan at King George V (23:14), and Kieran Keating, also at Cheltenham in a new PB of 23:16. There were also new PBs for Richard Knightley at Cheltenham (21:44), Paul Thomas at Mallards Pike (22:25), and Cottia Howard (39:18) at KGV. All told, Almosts were represented at 23 different parkrun events.
Dave was one of 6 Almosts who made the trip to Stroud, along with Hamish Adamson, Rob Hume, Alison Hume, Cheryl Rodham and Jeff Tibbles. A special shout-out to Rich Smith’s 5 year old daughter Bella as well, who scored a new PB at Cheltenham by around 6 minutes, finishing in 41:44 – a future Almost for sure!
In other club news, Duncan Monsour was pleasantly surprised to win the MV50 category in the Gloucestershire AAA Road Race Series for 2021. Also winning their categories in the Series were Peter Morris in the MV60 category, and Lorraine Taylor in FV50; while Ivana Wilson finished third in FV35, and Mary Welsh finished second in FV75. Congratulations to all!
At the social club run on Wednesday night, a special presentation was made to four club members who have achieved the notable distinction of being crowned Kings and Queens of the Cotswolds. This is recognition awarded to those who have completed all 10 stages of the Cotswold Way Relay race held every summer, meaning they have all run approximately 103 miles, covering the entire distance from Chipping Campden to Bath! Congratulations go to Steve Adams, Des Beer, Dave Davey and Rich Gilbert; and we hope they wear their new crowns with pride.
Finally, club chairman Peter Mitchener presented the Sunflowers charity with a donation of £1,000 from the club. Sunflowers is a small local charity which offers comfort and bereavement support to families following the suicide of a loved one, and the donation will help them continue to deliver their support services across the county. The donation was made in memory of a much-loved club member Anne-Marie Willicott following a proposal from Karen Galpin, Anne-Marie’s sister; and was gratefully received by Abbie Warren from the charity.