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Lakeland Adventures and Much, Much More

It’s been a very busy and very varied week of racing so maybe settle in with a cup of something and have a read about what your clubmates have been up to.


Three intrepid Cirencester runners headed north to take on the 100km Silva Lakes Traverse. There is lots of information on the event website for those who want to know more but, in a nutshell, the route crosses the width of the Lake District starting in St Bees and finishing at Shap. Beautiful scenery, 3500 metres of climbing and 30 hours to do it in.


And so it was that Alex Banks, Nea Sneddon-Jenkins and Rupert Chesmore found themselves on the Cumbrian Coast on a glorious April morning.


After months of hard work and superb achievements in training for this event, Nea’s day sadly didn’t end as she would have wished but she has kindly put some of her reflections into words for us.



“I was really pleased with how I paced the first part of the race. I felt strong but I just ran at a really easy pace and chatted to lots of the other runners, making sure I was walking regularly to conserve energy for later.”


“My problems started on the first downhill. I probably ran that a little fast and held my stomach far too tight resulting in some pretty bad cramps and being unable to take on any fuel without feeling sick. Realising I was in third place, I let the pressure get to me despite my only goal at the start having been to finish by midnight. I didn’t spend enough time in the aid station and left feeling rushed and still unable to take on any fuel.”


“When running was too painful I walked hoping I could eat but, after some very technical terrain, I was completely done and had given up in my head. It was really hard to DNF and I almost definitely should have continued. Things probably would have got better if I had stopped for a bit and given my stomach a break.”


“I think it’s a good reminder that we’re all human, we all make mistakes and it’s important to reflect on races to see what went well and what we could have done differently. There are always more races and I’ve learnt lots for next time.”



Alex Banks had a really successful day and completed the race in 10th place overall taking two and a half hours off his time from last year. And this was allegedly a training run! Congratulations Alex.


Rupert Chesmore shares some of his thoughts on the day having completed the mission in just over 22 hours.



“We started in glorious golden sunshine above St Bees beach with 100km to Shap and 3500 metres of serious fells to climb ahead of us. Tracking up Ennerdale, up and over to the Honister slate mines, the route drops down to Rothsthwaite for the first control after a mere 29 miles.”


“Suitably recharged, we climbed out of the valley before descending into Grasmere and then onto the harder climb to Grizedale Tarn then down to Patterdale and the second control point. Next comes the longest, steepest section up into he clouds on Kidsty Pike. In the darkness, visibility dropped to 10 feet before a hard, technical descent to Haweswater and the final 10 mile drag to Shap.”


“This was an exceedingly well organised event, safe, with experienced and very supportive crews. At the control points there was food suitable for all needs.”


A huge well done to all three of you.



1st April, Lakes Traverse, 100km, trail

1 Mark Darbyshire (Unattached) 9.46.58

10 Alex Banks (Cirencester AC) 13.07.08

100 Rupert Chesmore 22.10.11

117 finished


Closer to home, it was the Devizes Half Marathon on Sunday.


Ian Barrett was delighted at how his race tactics paid off. He reports making a steady start, taking things easy on the uphills and into the wind before catching people in the second half. After dealing with the tough off road climb at mile 12 and the steep descent to the finish, Ian found himself finishing ninth overall, first MV50 and two minutes inside his target of 1:25.


Luke Campbell says he would recommend the event and he paced his fiancée to a 1:55 finish as she ran over 15km for only the second time.



2nd April, Devizes Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, road

1Michael Beckett (City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club) 1.13.44 (1.13.42)

9 Ian Barrett (Cirencester AC) 1.22.56 (1.22.53) – 1st MV50

141 Luke Campbell 1.55.42 (1.55.29)

295 finished


In a small field at the 43rd running of the Highworth 5, club members earned points in the next race in the Club Road Race Championship.


There was yet another impressive performance from Wendy Nicholls who was 2nd female finisher.


James Widdowson enjoyed the race having not done it for many years and was pleased to pick up maximum club points having stuck to his plan to deal with the nasty hill in the last mile.


Great runs too from all our other Cirencester participants including age group placings for Gordon Jones, 2nd MV70, and Ruth Fulford, 2nd FV65…………why do race organisers think a V65+ category will do? Ruth is an impressive and inspirational FV75 runner.


For those interested, the next couple of races in the road race championship are the Bourton Mile on 12th May and Fairford 10k on 11th June.


2nd April, Highworth 5, 5miles, road

1 Michael Towler (Unattached) 26.56 (26.56)

15 Wendy Nicholls (Cirencester AC) 33.27 (33.25) – 2nd Female

34 James Widdowson 37.27 (37.21)

48 Rachel Ranger 40.16 (40.10)

53 Gordon Jones 41.28 (41.21) – 2nd MV70

95 Ruth Fulford 49.40 (49.29) – 2nd FV65

96 Helen Manners 50.04 (49.51)

118 finished




Dave Bell and Tom Payne both took part in Reading Half on Sunday.


Dave, struggling with lower back problems, suffered pain throughout the race and almost pulled out in mile 3. Having talked himself out of this decision he finished in a superb 125th place with overall sub 6 minute miles despite the pauses early on.


Tom Payne was rightly delighted with his run, an amazing eight minutes knocked off his previous PB!




2nd April, Reading Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, road

1 Ollie Lockley (Leeds City Athletic Club) 1.04.35 (1.04.35

125 David Bell (Cirencester AC) 1.21.28 (1.21.24)

694 Tommy Payne 1.39.54 (1.38.20)

4,604 finished



Also in half marathon action on Sunday was John Milloy at the London Landmarks Half.


This was John’s first half marathon for 5 years and a real tale of determination after battling through very difficult challenges. He was running to raise funds for Prostate Cancer research having been diagnosed with he disease himself less than a year ago and undergoing major surgery just last October.


Scroll back on the club WhatsApp chat to 27th March for a link to John’s Just Giving page.


What a tremendous achievement.



2nd April, London Landmarks Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, road

1 David Smale (Unattached) 1.13.33 (1.08.03)

15,015 John Milloy (Cirencester AC) 4.18.32 (2.48.21)

17,162 finished




Trail specialist Karen Higuera ran the Coombe Gibbett to Overton race on Sunday. This is a point to point race in the Berkshire/Hampshire countryside.


Karen reports that she had great fun and would recommend the race to all of you who enjoy spectacular scenery, mud and hills! It is well supported and marshalled with a plentiful supply of water and jelly babies on the route and cakes, hot food and drinks at the finished catered for all needs. Bread and butter pudding was Karen’s choice.


The organisers made donations from the days proceeds to two local food banks.




2nd April, Coombe Gibbett to Overton, 16 miles, cross country

1 Ben Neale (Tavistock AC) 1.37.27

69 Karen Higuera (Cirencester AC) 2.28.03

149 finished


The results don’t yet seem to have been published, but another of our hardy off roaders, Lara Tompson, ran the tough, hilly 14 miles of the Cleevewold event on Sunday and was very happily shocked at placing first in her age group.


Well done to Lara.




Jos Randall and Tanya Everett battled rain, wind and very exposed conditions on the Severn Bridge in an evening 5 mile race. Photographic evidence shows that a bit of hi viz face painting went on too!


31st March, Rogue Runs Chepstow, 5 miles, road

1 Sion Daniles (Llanelli AC) 29.28

121 Jocelyn Randall (Cirencester AC) 44.17

141 Tanya Everett 45.49

383 finished



Also running in the dark last week were Brecht Grieten and Harrie Siebenaller. There was a choice of 5k or 10k distance at the Tough Runner Dark Series held on the trails of the Notgrove Estate.


Brecht crossed the line first in the 5k event and Harrie was 2nd lady in the 10k.



25th March, Dark Series 5k, 5k, trail

1 Brecht Grieten (Cirencester AC) 20.35 (20.34)

11 finished


26th March, Dark Series 10k, 10k, trail

1 Glen Jones (Witney Roadrunners) 48.47 (48.45)

10 Harrie Siebenaller (Cirencester AC) 1.01.43 (1.01.39) – 2nd Female

38 finished




A late story from last week, Luke Campbell ran the Jurassic Coast 40 mile challenge beginning in Abbotsbury and Finishing at Lulworth Cove.


Luke reports “The whole day was sunny and windy, fortunately mostly tailwind. The first 9K was boggy, wet and muddy resulting in very unpleasant feet early on. The lap of Portland was not nice, strong winds, very rocky and busy with tourists.”


“Good feed stations all round. After Portland about 7 miles of tarmac to the north side of Weymouth Bay was not nice for my feet! Then the hills start, with half of the 1300 metres of elevation coming in the last 9 miles. A mug of warm soup meant smiles at the finish before a quiet minibus journey back to HQ.”


“Fairly good event, quite pricey at £85 considering no route signage but the accurate tracking app and free hydration gels made up for it.”


Great stuff Luke….and thank goodness for the mug of soup!



After seemingly endless rain, Cirencester and Tetbury called off their parkruns on Saturday. Cirencester runners found others to go to slightly further afield.


In Cumbria, as part of the support crew for the Lakes Traverse, Kate Sackett and Liza Darroch ran the Maryport Prom event where Kate was 2nd lady and they both ran impressive age graded times in excess of 80% and each set new age group records for the course.



1st April, parkrun, 5k trail

Lydiard parkrun

1 Theo Cinnamond (Unattached) 18.10

53 Alan McAdam (Cirencester AC) 25.16

57 Rachel McAdam 25.39

97 David Moss 29.28

181 finished

Oxford parkrun

1 Tomasz Dobrzycki (Unattached) 17.54

256 Colin Tapley (Cirencester AC) 32.30

262 Clare Tapley 32.47

345 finished

Chippenham parkrun

1 Ollie Campbell (Cirencester AC) 17.43

124 finished

Maryport Prom parkrun

1 Yasmin Small (Unattached) 18.55

10 Kate Sackett (Cirencester AC) 23.22 – 2nd Female

40 Liza Darroch 30.18

77 finished



*******CALLING NEW RUNNERS*******


If you know anybody who would like to take up running or get back to running after a break, a new Couch to 5k group is starting on Tuesday 25th April at 6pm. Anybody is welcome, you don’t have to be a club member.


For further information email cirencouchto5k@hotmail.com



Please send your running news and photos to Rachel at rachelelisabethbarrow@hotmail.co.uk and a link to your race results to Martin at cirenacresults@gmail.com




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