A Pick 'n' Mix of Stories

There is plenty to read about, and a real mixed bag of news, as we look back over two weekends of results.



There were all round great performances at the Bourton Hilly Half with Simon Campbell crossing the line first for Cirencester, some cracking age group wins and a first ever half marathon for Neil Morrissey. What a one to choose as your first! The race was also part of the county road racing championship series, so some valuable points scored too. Liza shared some thoughts on the event.


“Thanks to the work and enthusiasm of its new race director, the Hilly Half has received a fresh lease of life. With the start and finish point in the Greystones Nature Reserve, and a changed, one lap course it was a great event.”


“The first mile included a quick scamper down the familiar High Street, but soon we were toiling up the infamous STEEPS. The next section, cruising along the top is an old favourite, the distant 180 degree views on the left are followed by more on the right – you really are on the top of the world. Not long after that we were treated to a new stretch, a two mile float down to the valley bottom. This long, steady descent was followed by a lovely section contouring through the village of Sherborne, including great views of a lazy looking River Windrush.”


“Then came the tough bit – THE SECOND HILL. First, out of Sherborne, it climbs steeply and then slows to a steady climb for another mile or more. With the wind strongly in your face there was no alternative – just keep on going. Once at the top we turned a corner and plunged steeply back down and it wasn’t so long before we were back on the famous 10k route with another 3 miles to the finish. The race finished as it started, running over the open fields of Salmonsbury Hill Fort and back into Greystones where a great welcome and spread of cakes was waiting. But the icing on this club’s cake must surely be that out of the 5 veterans running 3 earned age group firsts.”


Updated standings in the county championships can be found at athletics4u.co.uk


19th June, Bourton Hilly Half, 13.1 miles, road

1 Ben Robinson (Bristol & West AC) 1.11.34 (1.11.33)

21 Simon Campbell (Cirencester AC) 1.30.50 (1.30.46)

50 Brian Harris 1.40.52 (1.40.45) -1st MV60

51 Neil Morrissey 1.42.19 (1.42.00)

83 Karen Higuera 1.54.41 (1.54.22) – 1st FV55

109 Rupert Chesmore 2.05.23 (2.04.55)

132 Liza Darroch 2.22.23 (2.22.04) – 1st FV65

139 finished



Meanwhile, Rachel Barrow enjoyed a holiday half marathon in Norfolk. The run around the Sandringham estate was not quite what she expected, being predominantly off tarmac. But, having come to terms with that nasty surprise, she had fun and was pleased to run the whole thing despite the hot, humid conditions.


19th June, Sandringham Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, road

1 David Hudson (Huntingdonshire AC) 1.11.25 (1.11.23)

619 Rachel Barrow (Cirencester AC) 2.22.43 (2.10.43)

1262 finished



Nea Sneddon-Jenkins achieved one of her goals in the SSAFA Cardiff 5k. She describes the race for us.


“Wednesday evening was a hot one for a hard 5k effort and I was really tired already after a busy weekend and a hectic start to the week. Cycling to the park to collect my number, I could feel the heat rising off the road and hoped that the trees in the park would provide some shade. Spoiler alert - they didn’t!”


“The nerves had been building all day as I knew the goal for this race was to go sub-20. So, after a very brief warm up with a friend, we lined up for the start and off we went. I felt tired almost immediately but I pushed hard and, despite the terrible, uneven pacing, I could see I was still under 20 minutes approaching the finish line. One final push and I crossed the line in 19:57. Finally, a sub-20 5k!”


Congratulations Nea.


22nd June, SSAFA Cardiff 5k, 5k, road

1 Remi Adebiyi (Newport Harriers) 14.29

85 Nea Sneddon-Jenkins (Cirencester AC) 19.57

177 finished


Also in 5k action, and just two days after a challenging half marathon, Neil Morrissey had a fine run in the Heddington 5k.


The race is one of a 5k series put on by Calne running club. It is described as a “fast, flat course around quiet country lanes” and a “superb course for chasing a PB”. The next two dates are 19th July and 16th August with entries via Run Britain.


21st June, Heddington 5k Series, 5k, road

1 Jake Stephens (Chippenham Harriers) 15.53

64 Neil Morrissey (Cirencester AC) 21.10

94 finished



There were the usual great parkruns up and down the country including a 1st for Brecht Grieten at Cirencester. And, although not officially club members any longer following their move to Australia but still very much in touch, the Chudley family enjoyed a very successful run at Carlisle whilst back for a visit.


18th June, parkrun, 5k trail

Carlisle parkrun

1 David Thompson (Unattached) 17.31

5 Millie Chudley (Cirencester AC) 19.58 – 1st Female

15 Sophie Chudley 21.31 – 2nd Female

17 Alex Chudley 21.52

159 finished

Gedling parkrun

1 Darren Powell (Unattached) 18.21

37 Kate Sackett (Cirencester AC) 25.23

104 finished

Cirencester parkrun

1 Brecht Grieten (Cirencester AC) 19.34

8 Neil Morrissey 21.33

58 Samantha Timms 28.39

97 Lorna Harris 35.41

114 Helen Manners 52.26

114 finished

Tetbury Goods shed parkrun

1 Peter Grist (Unattached) 17.50

3 Luke Canmpbell (Cirencester AC) 18.52

28 Alan Mcadam 26.04

36 Rachel Mcadam 27.40

93 finished



In the Cotswold Way Challenge there was a variety of options to choose from. Base camp for the event was at the Royal Agricultural University. Martin Croucher opted for the two-day, daylight 100k challenge. Tom Payne took on the 1st Half 53k route, from Cirencester to Wotton-Under-Edge with 1630metres of elevation including some of the toughest Cotswold Way climbs.


Martin had his usual seemingly very laid back approach to the first day which he describes as the harder one due to all the hills, but prettier because of them. He took full advantage of the feed stations including the all you could eat pick 'n' mix stall and, at the end of the day, opted to go home to his own bed for the night rather than camp at Wotton. At the close of Day 1 he found himself in 2nd place overall which determined his tactics for the following day.



The decision to go home for the night of course meant a very early start on Sunday morning. Martin describes the second day, covering 47k back to Cirencester as easier in terms of terrain but lonelier. He distracted himself by having fun chasing down his 23 minute deficit on the leader from Day 1. Those following him on the tracker could see that he was picking up his pace the whole way and he breezed through the finish line to take first place by a significant margin. His fabulous effort was rewarded with a glass of fizz and a burger and chips. The food of champions.


Tom Payne describes his day completing his longest run ever like this,


“After committing originally to the Isle of Wight Ultra in May and having to reschedule due to Covid, the next ultra the organisers could offer me was the Cotswold Way Challenge starting at the RAU – it felt like fate!”


“The run started off great, running many of the routes I was familiar with from training. Then it felt like the hard miles started. I arrived at Painswick RFC feeling ok but knew there were the big hills around Dursley to come. The last 10k were a bit of a blur until I got to the Tyndale Monument and could see the finish line at the bottom of the hill and went for it. I finished in 7 hours 17 minutes and in 5th place overall.”



“A big thanks to everyone at the club for their support, especially Karen Higuera who has taken me out on a number of training runs since Christmas.”


A huge well done to both Martin and Tom.



25th + 26th June, Cotswold Way Challenge (2 Days), 100k (Day 1 - 53k, Day 2 - 47k), trail

1 Martin Croucher (Cirencester AC) 14.19.38 (Day 1 - 8.36.08, Day 2 – 5.43.30)

122 finished


25th June, Cotswold Way Challenge – First Half, 53k, trail

1 Dane Mather (Unattached) 6.32.35

5 Tommy Payne (Cirencester AC) 7.17.04

283 finished




New club member Harrie Siebenaller had a tremendous result when she took on the Black Mountains Half Marathon and was first female finisher.


Harrie reports that it was “an incredible event offering some great views throughout. The route was challenging and varied from the outset and included a miles worth of walking half way through as the incline made any attempt at running very inefficient! Luckily the weather was better than predicted and the brief showers offered a very welcome opportunity to cool off.”



25th June, Black Mountains Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, trail

1 Rhys Davies (Unattached) 2.10.31

7 Harrie Siebenaller (Cirencester AC) 2.23.18 – 1st Female

63 finished



Despite his very understated style, Dave Musgrove still paints a very vivid picture of his Mont Blanc Marathon. The route, which starts and finishes in the centre of Chamonix, is described as beginning on rolling tracks before reaching the steep and technical slopes of the Aiguilette des Posettes. Runners without sufficient mountain experience are strongly discouraged from attempting the race.


“I did the Mont Blanc Marathon in Chamonix today. Didn't go well to be honest - got the hydration and nutrition wrong again so had a pretty tortuous last eight miles, being sick, cramping up and falling over. I'd failed to properly put the cap back on my electrolyte tablets at the first aid station so when I tried to refill at the second station, the electrolytes were just a sweaty mush that I couldn't get into my water bottles. So that was a bit of a pickle. I tried to weedle some out with a pine twig to lick it like a sherbert dip, but that was an ineffective strategy. Anyway, that meant it took me 7hr45, which was a lot slower than I was hoping for. Very hot and very hilly race, but the atmosphere is brilliant and the scenery obviously spectacular.”


An incredibly impressive performance.


26th June, Mont Blanc Marathon, 26.2 miles, trail

1 Jonathan Albon (The North Face) 3.35.20

1075 David Musgrove (Cirencester AC) 7.43.40

2096 finished




Stuart Fitzgerald had a very fine run in the Wiltshire countryside to finish 6th overall in the Lacock Half Marathon.


26th June, Lacock Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, road

1 Rob Abraham (Unattached) 1.19.12

6 Stuart Fitzgerald (Cirencester AC) 1.27.29

146 finished



In parkrunning news, Holly Willis ran very well in the large field at Poole. Also in a bigger crowd than they are used to on a Saturday morning, Lorna and Brian Harris ran at Clapham Common.



25th June, parkrun, 5k trail

Poole parkrun

1 James Quinlan (Unattached) 15.41

45 Holly Wills (Cirencester AC) 20.19

503 finished

Stonehouse parkrun

1 Joe Phillips (Unattached) 19.06

16 Kate Sackett (Cirencester AC) 23.07 – 1st Female

58 finished

Cirencester parkrun

1 Marc Fallows (Unattached) 18.24

2 Ian Barrett (Cirencester AC) 19.11

9 Sophie Chudley (Cirencester AC) 21.10 – 2nd Female

15 Alex Chudley 21.36

37 Rachel Ranger 24.48

41 Paul Timms 25.10

75 Pamela Wheeler29.26

81 Gary Wood 30.08

110 finished

Clapham Common parkrun

1 James Maloney (Unattached) 16.48

548 Lorna Harris (Cirencester AC) 35.14

549 Brian Harris 35.19

584 finished

Tetbury Goods Shed parkrun

1 Jack Bather (Unattached) 19.48

26 Alan Mcadam (Cirencester AC) 26.07

34 Rachel Mcadam 28.07

101 finished

Stratford Park parkrun

1 Alastair Campbell (Unattached) 19.44

56 Rachel Barrow (Cirencester AC) 30.13

88 finished



In an update to Summer Sizzler results, the combined excellent runs from Ian Barrett, Simon Campbell and Tom Payne resulted in a win for Cirencester AC in the men’s team event. News is still awaited as to what Tom has decided to do with his prize money.


And finally, great fun was had by all at the BBQ and prediction run social. Nathaniel Paddock won the junior run and Jill Hadland finished an astonishing two seconds off her predicted time to take the adult top spot.



Pam was presented with flowers on behalf of us all to say a big thank you for all the hard work she puts in to make the club the success that it is.


Many thanks to the social committee for making it all happen.



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