Glorious Mud

On Sunday, hardy cross country enthusiasts gathered in a very cold, windy and rainy Pitville Park in Cheltenham for the second Gloucestershire AAA meeting of the season. As usual there were races of various distances for the different age groups. Dorian reports that the youngsters had to deal with the worst of the dreadful weather.


First home for Cirencester was Aaron Willis who, despite wishing he’d worn different shoes, was 3rd MV40 in an impressive 39.48. There were also strong performances from Alex Banks and Andy Fellows. During the race Dorian Matts did a good deed by going to the assistance of a gentleman who had been taken ill.


In a very close run boys U11 race, Sebastian Compton-Evans and Ernie Hayward finished within one second of each other and both inside the top 15.


Fifteen year old Lyra Elliott-Jones did incredibly well to stay upright in the conditions despite wearing trainers. In the same race Nea Sneddon-Jenkins and Jo Roberts represented the club with fine runs.




Making her race debut in the U11 Girls category was eight year old Vivienne Tompson. After completing the 2.2km distance, an emotional Vivienne declared that it had been extremely hard and very cold but that she really wants to do it again! Really well done to Vivienne. Not everyone has the resilience for cross country and we all look forward to reading about your next race.


13th February, Gloucestershire Cross Country, Race 2 – Pitville Park, Cheltenham

Mens Race Distance 9.3km

1 Leon Chevalier (University Of Bath) 35.35

22 Aaron Willis (Cirencester AC) 39.48 – 3rd MV40

53 Alex Banks 42.55

56 Andy Fellows 43.20

121 Dorian Matts 59.01

122 finished

Boys U11 Race Distance 2.2km

1 Fletcher Rogers (Tockington Manor School) 9.35

11 Sebastian Compton-Evans (Cirencester AC) 10.13

13 Ernie Hayward 10.14

47 finished

Ladies / MU17 / MV65+ Race Distance 6.4km

1 Arty Wilson Spence (Worcester AC) 26.08 (MU17)

26 Nea Sneddon-Jenkins (Cirencester AC) 31.17 (SL)

78 Joanna Roberts 37.40 (LV55)

85 Lyra Elliott-Jones 38.32 (LU17)

109 finished


Girls U11 Race Distance 2.2km


1 Constance Rendell (Stroud AC) 9.54

31 Vivienne Tompson (Cirencester AC) 14.10

35 finished


Also knee deep in mud on Sunday were Howard Ewen and Neil Corbiere who both completed the Dursley Dozen in fine style.


This tough race started and finished in the town centre, beginning with a sharp climb up the road to join the winding woodland path that ascends and breaks out onto the exposed Stinchcombe Golf Course where participants got their first real taste of the truly inclement weather.


There is a welcome downhill to Waterley Bottom but the next climb is never far away in this race. Another event going on locally meant a change to the usual route and a crazy descent to the foot of The Precipice, a section that was nigh on impossible in places.

The runners were then back out into the teeth of the biting wind on the golf course before a relatively calm last couple of miles down through woodland to the town centre where the brave, mud covered warriors were cheered home by supporters lining the street.


13th February, Dursley Dozen, 12 miles, trail

1 Paul Hocking (Dursley Running Club) 1.27.44 (1.27.43)

24 Howard Ewan (Cirencester AC) 1.44.03 (1.44.00)

47 Neil Corbiere 1.50.01 (1.49.57)

432 finished



On the roads this weekend, Barbara Thomas went to Melksham for the Wiltshire 10. This 10 mile race is run on gently undulating country lanes and passes through historic and picturesque Lacock along the way.


13th February, Wiltshire 10, 10 miles, road

1 Jon Cracknell (Lonely Goat Runners) 53.00 (53.00)

324 Barbara Thomas (Cirencester AC) 1.47.34 (1.47.14)

349 finished



In some news from last weekend, Holly Willis had an excellent run in the very challenging Portland Marathon. This is a tough race of just over 27 miles made up of two loops Portland off the coast at Weymouth, one clockwise and one anti-clockwise. Participants navigate the South West Coast Path on the route that takes in the lighthouse, prison and quarries and is full of difficult descents and around 2400 feet of hard climbing.


Holly was first female finisher and an impressive 7th overall.

6th February, Portland Marathon, 26.2 miles, trail

1 Mathew Underhill (South Coast Sharks) 3.30.45 (3.30.44)

7 Holly Willis (Cirencester AC) 4.25.02 (4.24.59) – 1st Female

52 finished



In parkrun news this week, Ollie Campbell tried out the Leamington event for the first time and took first place just two seconds ahead of the second placed finisher.


At Cirencester Brecht Grieten won with a new course PB. Wendy Nicholls was first lady and Helen Manners was on all important tail walking duties.


12th February, parkrun, 5k, trail

Reading parkrun

1 Unknown

97 David Moss (Cirencester AC) 26.34

225 finished

Leamington parkrun

1 Ollie Campbell (Cirencester AC) 17.49

371 finished

Cirencester parkrun

1 Brecht Grieten (Cirencester AC) 19.37

11 Neil Morrissey 22.14

15 Wendy Nicholls 22.44 – 1st Female

26 Gordon Jones 24.14

42 Rachel Ranger 26.38

44 Jocelyn Randall 27.23

72 Pamela Wheeler 31.09

116 Helen Manners 54.34

116 finished

Tetbury Goods Shed parkrun

1 Heath Bampton (Unattached) 16.19

28 Alan Mcadam (Cirencester AC) 24.34

33 Nea Sneddon-Jenkins 25.04

46 Rachel Mcadam 26.23

95 finished



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