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County and Club Points & A Lake District Adventure

There is plenty of news this week with club and county road racing points earned at both Fairford 10k and The Stroud Beer Race.

But first mention must surely go to Alex Banks who completed an epic challenge on Saturday. Beginning in Keswick at midnight on Friday he completed the legendary Bob Graham Round. There is much information about this route available online for those who wish to know more but, in a nutshell, the Bob Graham Round involves traversing 42 Lakeland Fells, covering around 66 miles with 26900 feet of ascent, within a 24 hour period.

Alex was well supported by friends and family, including some of his Cirencester clubmates, and completed the challenge in around 21 hours and 50 minutes. He has promised to write up his own more detailed version of his day which will be shared here soon.

For now, very many congratulations to Alex and we look forward to hearing more.

Back after a 2 year, Covid enforced absence was local favourite Fairford 10k. The race this year is one of our club Road Race Championship events and also part of the Glos AAA Road Race series. There was a strong club turnout on Sunday morning for the event, beautifully organised and marshalled by our friends at Running Somewhere Else. Conditions on the day suited many, none of the forecast rain but cool and overcast. There were strong runs across the board.

Dave Bell was very happy with his pacing and his overall 6th place. There were family smiles all round as his youngsters completed the children’s race. Superb work from Brecht Grieten and Simon Campbell earned each of them a top 20 finish.

First Cirencester lady home was Wendy Nicholls with her excellent 42.24 finish and 3rd LV45.

Brian Harris, getting over a bug that stopped him running the midweek Beer Race, found the going much tougher than he remembered and took a rare walk break at 7k! He was still pleased with 2nd MV60 and will have another bash at a 10k PB later in the season. In his second race of the week Neil Morrissey ran very well in 43.26.

Rachel Barrow, after the Beer Race earlier in the week, managed to keep Rupert Chesmore in sight and was pleased to improve on her previous Fairford efforts. Liza Darroch claimed 2nd LV65, but would have been 1st LV70 had the age groups been in the more familiar 5 year blocks.

Technology failed Paul Barrow when his run/walk reminder bleeper didn’t go off, so he just continued to run. He may also have been assisted by the Jubilee helium balloon he acquired along the way but, despite the hills, he was pleased to improve on his time from Berkeley 10k last month.

Brian will update the club championship table on the website in due course and current standings in the county road race competition can be found at

5th June, Fairford 10k, 10k, road

1 Marcus England (Western Tempo) 32.36 (32.35)

6 David Bell (Cirencester AC) 34.18 (34.17)

11 Brecht Grieten 37.22 (37.20)

18 Simon Campbell 39.14 (39.12)

40 Wendy Nicholls 42.26 (42.24) – 3rd LV45

44 Brian Harris 43.02 (43.00) – 2nd MV60

50 Neil Morrissey 43.30 (43.26)

74 Joyce Matthews 46.17 (46.10)

87 David Moss 47.57 (47.49)

116 Gordon Jones 50.51 (50.45)

135 Howard Ewan 51.57 (51.46)

138 Rupert Chesmore 52.21 (52.12)

142 Rachel Barrow 52.35 (52.22)

224 Liza Darroch 1.02.52 (1.02.40) – 2nd LV65

236 Rachel Jones 1.04.10 (1.03.55)

257 Chris Prevett 1.08.13 (1.07.51)

273 Paul Barrow 1.15.55 (1.15.28)

286 finished

At the end of a chilly, overcast Wednesday the clouds dispersed and the sun came out for the Stroud Beer Race, part of the Glos AAA Road Race series this year. Runners gathered on a glorious evening at The Old Lodge on Minchinhampton Common and enjoyed the panoramic views. The fairly challenging course entails three laps, each dropping down into Amberley before climbing back towards the start.

A superb run from Tom Purnell saw him take 3rd place overall and earn his first county points of the season. Neil Morrissey, in fine form, finished in 53.12.

Tom Morgan was really pleased to take 6 minutes off his time from last year whilst adding to his county tally. Our four veteran ladies all also earned points with Ruth Fulford claiming 1st LV70 and Barbara Thomas 2nd LV65. Those valuable points help Ruth and Rachel hold on to the top spots in their respective age groups for the time being.

Finishers were rewarded with a glass of beer from the Stroud Brewery which Ruth promptly took home and used to refill the slug traps in her garden.

1st June, Stroud Beer Race, 7.2 miles, road

1 Lee Stopford (Stroud & District AC) 37.45 (37.45)

3 Tom Purnell (Cirencester AC) 43.59 (43.59)

38 Neil Morrissey 53.18 (53.12)

101 Tom Morgan 1.03.58 (1.03.41)

121 Rachel Barrow 1.06.47 (1.06.31)

134 Samantha Timms 1.14.11 (1.13.54)

139 Ruth Fulford 1.15.48 (1.15.33) – 1st LV70

142 Barbara Thomas 1.16.38 (1.16.20) – 2nd LV65

154 finished

Never one to take the easy option, after thinking about it for some time, Tom Morgan made a late decision to enter the Midnight Mountain Marathon. The race started at 5:30pm on Saturday with a cut-off time of midnight. Tom describes his experience.

“The route from Talybont on Usk ran via Talybont Reservoir and then up to the the full Beacons horseshoe via lots of up and down to the summit of Pen y Fan a little after half way.”

“Really a race of two halves, nearly all of the ascent in the first half ish (1,500m), then largely flat/down to the finish line. Good conditions to start and all the way up to the ridge line at Craig y Fan Ddu where a rather cold wind was blowing. Beautiful scenery along the ridge to the peak of Pen y Fan at dusk. Thankfully I had started my descent when the thunderstorms arrived, followed by torrential rain which continued until about 3 miles from the end! They actually closed off the course and runners behind me were diverted off the mountain by a shortened route. I’ve been out in heavy rain in the dark in the Lakes and the Cheviots but never experienced a downpour like that before!”

“I found this a really tough event and switched to my plan B of finishing before the cut-off once I was at the summit of Pen y Fan, which I achieved with only 10 minutes to spare!”

Very well done Tom. What a memorable week of running.

4th June, Midnight Marathon, 26.2 miles, trail

1 Nick Brenchley (Unattached) 3.55.32 (3.55.33)

47 Tom Morgan (Cirencester AC) 6.21.45 (6.21.43)

57 finished

In parkrun news this week Luke Campbell had a very interesting run at the Waterfall event in Johannesburg. He reports that there was no signage whatsoever, meaning that visiting runners were completely in the dark about the route. Just 200 metres into the run everyone came to a halt when a gate that hadn’t been unlocked had to be forced open. Luke had to run with a gentleman who was familiar with the course and so, very graciously, let him cross the line first.

Ollie Campbell was 1st at Chippenham. Nea Sneddon-Jenkins was 1st lady at Tetbury yet again. Steve Yates had a fine run at Lydiard. Kate Sackett continues her running recovery but is only allowed to run on soft surfaces for the time being. Rachel and Alan McAdam earned a weekends worth of gastronomic treats by completing the challenging Wyre Forest event. Neil Morrissey tried Witney for the first time with an impressive 7th place finish. Also finishing 7th was Ian Barrett at Cirencester.

4th June, parkrun, 5k trail

Chippenham parkrun

1 Ollie Campbell (Cirencester AC) 17.44

169 finished

Lydiard parkrun

1 Ben Cole (Unattached) 15.42

11 Steve Yates (Cirencester AC) 19.23

238 finished

Stonehouse parkrun

1 Sarah Hanley (Unattached) 19.01

16 Kate Sackett (Cirencester AC) 23.42

50 finished

Wyre Forest parkrun

1 David E Lewis (Unattached) 19.34

46 Alan Mcadam (Cirencester AC) 27.02

52 Rachel Mcadam 27.43

170 finished

Cirencester parkrun

1 Jonathan Kearsley (Unattached) 17.33

7 Ian Barrett (Cirencester AC) 19.09

35 Paul Timms 23.25

83 Brian Harris 29.12

86 Samantha Timms 29.34

92 Pamela Wheeler 30.08

134 finished

Witney parkrun

1 Hugo Jinks (Unattached) 18.15

7 Neil Morrissey (Cirencester AC) 21.26

228 finished

Waterfall parkrun

1 Luke Campbell (Cirencester AC) 25.02

114 finished

Malborough Common parkrun

1 Michael Stone (Unattached) 19.40

25 David Moss (Cirencester AC) 25.41

92 finished

Tetbury Goods Shed parkrun

1 Heath Bampton (Unattached) 19.16

6 Nea Sneddon-Jenkins (Cirencester AC) 22.17 – 1st female

84 finished

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