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Adventures on Track, Road and Trail

It was a really busy and varied weekend of racing over the bank holiday. Don’t forget, the best way to let your clubmates know about your own racing adventures is to send details to Rachel on for inclusion in the weekly round-up.

Before tales from this weekend, news of a fantastic performance across the pond a couple of weeks ago. Chris Miller ran the notoriously hard to get into Boston marathon on 18th April. The restricted field size means that even running an age group qualifying time is no guarantee of a place, it merely gives athletes the opportunity to register.

This was the 126th running of the Boston marathon and Chris reports “Conditions for the race were good. Cool but bright sunshine, I got sunburn on my shoulders. The support along the course was excellent. Unfortunately, the famous hills after 18 miles, more the downhills to be honest, took their toll on my quads so there was a bit of a slow down towards the end. I was happy with the time and grateful to have experienced such a great event”.

Chris ran a tremendous 2:50:54, not far outside the club age group record for the distance that he already holds.

18th April, Boston Marathon, 26.2 miles road

1 Evans Chebet (Kenya) 2:06:51

1509 Chris Miller (Cirencester AC) 2:50:54 (chip time)

24918 finished

Also taking on the marathon distance this weekend were Brian Harris and Nick Wall. Nick’s decision to enter the Milton Keynes event was quite last minute. After his disappointment at having to pull up in the Manchester marathon last month he didn’t want his training to go to waste. Brian on the other hand had decided to forgo his place at Manchester to focus his efforts on Milton Keynes.

For an award-winning course advertised as “fast”, they both found it technically demanding, with many sharp turns and hilly under/over passes. Despite the course not being quite what either of them had expected, not one, but two club age group records were broken. Brian took the MV60 record so recently acquired by Keith Firkin at Brighton and Nick now has the MV65 record.

Brian started with the 3:15 pacer, but pushed ahead on his own at 11 miles when the pacer surprisingly started to struggle. But the ambitious pace took its toll after 18 miles and Brian slowed by around 30 seconds per mile. He was very pleased that his knees held out to take him to a new PB by almost 4 minutes. He is also hopeful that his superb 3:20:12 finish might qualify him for a ‘Good For Age’ place at London next April and he can stop accumulating the training tops that London Marathon dish out to those unsuccessful in the ballot!

Nick was going well to about 20 miles and on track for around a 4 hour finish. Unfortunately, the nature of the course brought on a painful hip injury meaning a run/walk strategy from that point losing him around 40 minutes. He was pleased to complete the distance after a tricky few weeks and looks ahead to another bash at Manchester next year.

2nd May, Milton Keynes Marathon, 26.2 miles road

1 Michael Young (West Cheshire AC) 2:29:37 (chip time)

176 Brian Harris (Cirencester AC) 3:20:12 - 5th MV60, new club MV60 record

898 Nick Wall 4:32:27 - new club MV65 record

1350 finished

Nea Sneddon-Jenkins took part in a much smaller event on Saturday. She was at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham for the Gloucestershire AAA track and field meet and competed in the 5000m race. The small field of 14 in the event was a mix of both male and female athletes from different age groups. Nea was one of just two senior women running and so it was more about a race against the clock than anyone else on the track.

In her own words she finished “frustratingly close” to her sub 20 minute goal in 20:08.5. With the hard training Nea puts in, there is little doubt that she will soon break through that barrier.

30th April, Gloucestershire AAA Track & Field Championships, 5000m track

Senior Women

1 Helen Knight (CLC Striders) 19:13.2

2 Nea Sneddon-Jenkins (Cirencester AC) 20:08.5

By complete contrast, trail running ultra specialists Karen Higuera and Andy Hindson joined forces to run the famous Fellsman race in Yorkshire. The extremely challenging event begins in Ingleton and finishes in Threshfield with participants covering 61 miles and 11000 feet of climbing in between.

Karen tells of her experience, “I completed the iconic Fellsman race in the company of the maestro Andy Hindson. His navigation skills got us out of a few tricky situations in some of the many peat bogs covered in marsh grass, heather and brambles. On one occasion I was almost swallowed up when I stepped on what I thought was a stone, and found myself in up to my thighs to the hilarious laughter of a gentleman called Mick who duly helped me out.”

“We endured 9 hours of driving wind and rain through the night and often couldn’t see more than a couple of feet ahead. We had to find the 22 navigational points along the way where all our details were checked by a team of dedicated volunteers. I have total admiration and respect for them and much gratitude. They were wrapped in sleeping bags and foil blankets sheltering in tents waiting for runners to pass through. I ate well at every aid station where there was an abundance of delicious food, hot drinks and Yorkshire humour.”

“My plan was simply to finish so I am very pleased with the outcome. Having made some notes about improvements to kit, I might have another go next year!”

30th April and 1st May, The Fellsman, 61 miles, trail

1= Oli Johnson (Dark Peak Fell Runners) 11 hours 23 minutes

1= Damian Hall 11 hours 23 minutes

113 Andy Hindson (CirencesterAC) 23 hours 22 minutes

115 Karen Higuera 23 hours 28 minutes

204 started, 135 finished

Also running a trail ultra this weekend was Tom Morgan in the Malvern Hills Ultra 45.

Tom reports “I felt good going into the event, comparing it to the Fox I did at the start of the month I was expecting 10 to 11 hours finish time.”

“I started well and felt I had the pace about right, but at 20k I started feeling really unwell, feeling sick and my heart racing (it wasn’t according to my watch). It was a lot warmer than expected and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so I think overheating and dehydration was my main issue. Switched to run/walk where I could on the flat. This lasted until around 30k when I felt I could pick up the pace and run a bit more. From about half way I started to get rubbing in my heels and balls of my feet, tried my best but couldn’t stop significant blisters developing on my heels by 50k. Walked a lot from there to the end on the flat, tried to run most of the down but had to run/walk due to the discomfort. At the time the whole experience felt awful and I told myself that was the end of my ultra running!”

“Feeling fine today, if it wasn’t for the blisters I’d be out for a short recovery run. Reflecting on the time now it actually wasn’t too bad a result compared to other events with similar elevation I’ve done in the past.”

A fine example of Tom’s ‘never give up’ spirit. Tremendous.

30th April, Malvern Hills Ultra 45, 45 miles trail

1 Henry Walker 7:58:00

32 Tom Morgan (CirencesterAC) 12:01:00

37 finished

Aaron Willis’s experience at the Pembrokeshire Coastal Half Marathon was a heart breaking tale of running highs and lows. He finished the race in 1:35:07 but that was not the end of the story.

He says “It was perfect running conditions at Marloe Sands in Pembrokeshire. After breaking away from the front four after three miles I was on my own for the rest of the race and finished strong in first place. However, I was disqualified for not carrying water, phone and jacket. A bit disappointing but lesson learned.”

Thank you to Aaron for sharing that. Probably something we can all take on board.

As usual there was some great parkrunning and volunteering on Saturday. Of note, Paul Timms ran his best time at Cirencester. Ian Barrett had a top 10 finish at Lydiard. It was good to see Kate Sackett running at Stonehouse on the comeback from injury. Nea warmed up for her track event later in the day with a run on the tough Route A at Tetbury and was 1st lady.

30th April, parkrun, 5k trail

Lydiard parkrun

1 Michael Gilbert (Unattached) 16:43

6 Ian Barrett (Cirencester AC) 18:27

41 Neil Morrissey 21:05

141 James Hunton 27:22

344 finished

Stonehouse parkrun

1 William Duckworth (Unattached) 19:20

52 Kate Sackett (Cirencester AC) 33:18

61 finished

Buckingham parkrun

1 Tamlyn Goodrich (Unattached) 17:38

137 Bryan Reid (Cirencester AC) 29:32

223 finished

Cirencester parkrun

1 Adam Whitmee (Unattached) 19:07

24 Paul Timms (Cirencester AC) 22:40

38 Gordon Jones 24:30

40 Rob Jones 24:36

56 Rachel Ranger 26:23

60 Brendan McCarthy 26:35

68 Gary Wood 27:25

82 Samantha Timms 28:58

83 Pamela Wheeler 29:14

91 Ruth Fulford 30:50

136 finished

Tetbury Goods Shed parkrun

1 Alex Foyn (Unattached) 18:03

12 Nea Sneddon-Jenkins 22:34 1st female

25 Alan Mcadam 25:22

38 Rachel Mcadam 27:35

92 finished

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