Conquering Cotswold Trails

Cirencester runners were out in force on a chilly but bright Autumn day for the challenging Broadway Marathon and Half Marathon. Trail running expert Liza Darroch sums up the experience.


“Along Broadway High Street the houses are only one deep so it seems like moments, after a picturesque start on the village green, that we are out in grassy fields and on our way for the Half marathon. More than an hour earlier we had cheered marathon runners Andy, Karen, Tom and Jos off from the same start. The training twins, Jo and Lara have shot off with Tim comfortably joining the team leaving Nick to set his own pace. We are literally, at the very back and Rupert does a great job of hiding his longing to run a real race with the others. Regardless of talent we all have to slog the mile long grassy slopes up to the Broadway Tower but the reward is a fairish stretch of undulating road. The route continues as a mix of road and trail with Snowshill the next big climb. Given the rain we had last weekend the tracks and fields are amazingly dry, a big improvement on the slop, squelch and slide of previous years."


"Slowly over the next few miles we pick off a few of the runners ahead including people who have gone wrong despite clear and careful marking, demonstrating the danger of following the man in front and/or running in a chattering, non-concentrating group. I'm alright - anyone who knows Rupert will know I am in (very) safe hands- he can tell me exactly what to expect round each corner - although I prefer not to know. It is a tough course and the additional loop of the marathon which includes slogging up and out of Winchcombe is even tougher but the increasingly present sun make it a joy to be out and surveying the northern Cotswolds and beyond."




"For the last few miles the big ups and down are done, only to be replaced by seemingly endless small undulations including old "ridge and furrow" but at least the wind is now on our backs. I suddenly realise that, if I push, I might be able to finish in under three hours so what has been a steady run in beautiful scenery becomes a fight as I put my head down and endure the only muddy section and road ending. On crossing the line my watch says 2.59.57 although the chip timing cruelly adds four seconds so it was worth it - just - AND there are finally 15 people behind us. It is lovely to find the other four waiting at the end - the training trio had stayed together, doubtless talking all the way, to finish strongly (of course) with Nick (struggling with that age old dilemma "does time really matter on a trail run?") not far behind."




"Now all we had to do was wait for the marathoners to come in but we gathered that the winner (Dan, a friend of Lara's of course) was already in. The superb conditions underfoot and the weather having helped him to break the course record set by our own Rob Forbes. Andy, one of the club's greatest veterans of off road running was first in to be followed sometime later but quite close together by Karen, Tom and finally Jos filled with relief and triumph after taking on a challenge well out of her comfort zone."


"Broadway Marathon and Half Marathon, like the Stroud Trail events possibly returning next May, are not easy but they certainly provide a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the beautiful countryside we are lucky to live in.”


Congratulations to everyone who completed these tough events.


7th November, Broadway Marathon, 26.2 miles, trail

1 Daniel Weller (Unknown) 3.15.37

19 Andy Hindson (Cirencester AC) 4.36.56

55 Karen Higuera 5.12.23

60 Tom Morgan 5.21.31

65 Jocelyn Randall 5.24.36

89 finished


7th November, Broadway Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, trail

1 Ben Kruze (Unknown) 1.28.35

64 Tim Ingham (Cirencester AC) 2.21.58

64 Joanna Roberts 2.21.58

64 Lara Thompson 2.21.58

84 Nick Wall 2.30.34

116 Rupert Chesmore 3.00.01

116 Liza Darroch 3.00.01

131 finished




For her 60th birthday Tracey Seville received an unusual present from her son, an entry into her first ever marathon! She reports perfect weather conditions and was delighted to complete the distance in 5:17:12. Tracey says it felt like a huge achievement after many years of 10k running. What will she get for Christmas?

6th November, Thames Meander Marathon, 26.2 miles, trail

1 Henry Aylett (Unattached) 2.58.02

303 Tracey Seville (Cirencester AC) 5.17.12

334 finished


Also completing a marathon this weekend, Gary Wood went to Exeter and competed in a small field of runners to finish in 4:44:20.


7th November, Exeter Marathon, 26.2 miles, road

1 Adam Holland (Tavistock Athletic Club) 2.35.19

157 Gary Wood (Cirencester AC) 4.44.20

192 finished





New club member Tom Payne had a very successful morning out at Reading for the half marathon. He was proudly wearing his club vest for the first time and enjoyed the slightly chilly but lovely running conditions. He ran a really evenly paced race to finish in a pleasing new PB of 1:46:50.


Also running for Cirencester was Neville Prinsloo.

7th November, Reading Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, road

1 Omar Ahmed (Unattached) 1.02.14 (1.02.14)

1,680 Tommy Payne (Cirencester AC) 1.53.37 (1.46.50)

2,909 Neville Prinsloo 2.08.34 (2.01.19)

6,020 finished


Conditions were pretty perfect in Tewkesbury for the Guy Fawkes 5, the last race in this years Glos AAA Road Race series. A pretty flat route round country lanes, the only inclines being the two up and over the M5 points, make this friendly event a good chance to test your pace.


An impressive 31:15 from David Wright saw him take the MV60 prize by just 5 seconds. Another fine run from Tony Shelbourn brought him 2nd spot in his MV75 category. His time of 38:54 is an inaugural club MV75 record at this distance, one to add to Tony's collection – he is currently also the holder of the V65 and V70 record for 5 miles amongst many others.


Rachel Barrow was delighted with her 40:48 finish and pleased with how she paced herself. Barbara Thomas was next home for Cirencester and Ruth Fulford’s 46:02 gave her 2nd place in her LV70 age group.



7th November, Guy Fawkes 5, 5 miles, road

1 Ben Maliphant (Bristol & West AC) 26.08

30 David Wright (Cirencester AC) 31.15 – 1st MV60

129 Tony Shelbourn 38.54 – 2nd MV75 – Inaugural Club MV75 Record

149 Rachel Barrow 40.48

230 Barbara Thomas 45.25

236 Ruth Fulford 46.02 – 2nd LV70

365 finished