A festive band of Almost Athletes headed to the coast over the weekend to take part in the Weston Christmas Cracker, a winter favourite and an event which has raised a significant amount of money for charity over the years. Coralie Pearson was the first Almost Athlete to finish the sandy course in 53:24, shortly followed by Craig Jackson in 53:34 and Elzbieta Antosiewicz in 53:35. Ali Shaikh (dressed as a penguin) waddled home in 53:54, and was joined by David Chittock (54:20), Claire Hawes (1:04:07), Deborah Cartlidge (1:06:38), Philip Jeyes (1:09:27) and Karla Cleverly (1:20:37).
Enjoying the seaside a little further south were Allan Green and Ingrid Harris, who travelled to Portsmouth. Allan Green completed the Coastal Waterside Marathon in 5:05:04, while Ingrid Harris followed up her recent marathon exploits by completing the half marathon course in 1:50:35, earning her a 5th place age category finish.
Powered by mince pies, Almost Athletes enjoyed a very successful round of parkrun performances on Saturday. At Cheltenham Josh Hand (19:22) was the first placed finisher in his age category and the first Almost Athlete across the line, while Ivana Wilson bagged a new PB time of 23:51 and Janine Bennett ran her quickest time for three years with 28:57.
At the King George V Playing Field course, Matt Polson was the first finisher overall in 19:58, while a hattrick of first place category finishes was achieved by Alison Hume (27:22), Mike Smith (23:53) and Sue Monaghan (35:59). Heather Smith achieved a new personal best of 31:34. Over in Tewkesbury, Graeme Stopp led the Almost Athletes with a time of 23:29, while Elzbieta Antosiewicz was the first placed category finisher with 27:14.
Elsewhere, Steve Phelps represented the Almost Athletes at the Hullavington Secret Santa 10 miler, finishing in 1:17:07, and Janine Bennett braved the cold to enjoy the Forest of Dean Christmas Tree Run.