top of page

Rupert Reflects and Sunny Marathons

There is much to celebrate from races this weekend but first an important note from Pam regarding the upcoming AGM.


The 2022 Annual General meeting will take place on Zoom on Thursday 28th April 2022 at 7.30pm. To book a place please contact Pam on by Monday 25th April 2022.


Last week we heard a little of Rupert Chesmore’s Northern Traverse Challenge. With a week of recovery under his belt, Rupert has kindly put together a summary of his epic few days taking on the kind of adventure that most of us are very happy to only read about.

In Rupert’s own words,

“Delayed twice by Covid, the Silva (don’t forget the sponsors) Northern Traverse followed Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route from St Bees in the west to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea. Basically 190 miles and 21,600ft of ascent, it covers the Lake District, Pennines, Vale of York and, finally, the North York Moors. Each has a different terrain of steep rocky fells, open boggy moorland, hazardous descents and bleak open countryside. Non-stop and unsupported with controls up to 45 miles apart, it draws elite competitors from all over the world. To cope with the challenging navigation, bitter, strong wind and frozen snow, competitors often opted for self-preservation and ran together during the overnight sections.”

“I set myself an 85 hour target and ran and walked for the first 48 hours reaching Richmond with 3 hours in hand and looking forward to my first sleep after two nights on the move. But the gale force winds had blown down the tents designed for sleeping at Richmond Rugby Club and runners were offered the Away Team changing rooms instead. The room was strewn with sleeping forms and I found a lady runner recumbent under the urinals. I had to make do with a toilet cubicle and slept an uncomfortable hour with my head under the toilet pan.”

“The terrain of the Vale of York is more familiar to me but, despite reasonably flat lanes and footpaths, for the first time in my ultra running career, my feet got the better of me. Half way across the vale, at 140 miles, I ground to a halt with deep blisters and swelling. Running and walking another 50 miles was not an option but, as I was mixing with regular Spine, MDS and Dragon’s Back participants, I felt I did myself proud.”

“The small stone I collected on the beach at the start (to throw in the sea at Robin Hood’s Bay) is still with me. Whether it wants to complete the journey (or how?) is still undecided.”

“Having taken another 24 hours to get home (night in a hotel followed by the train) I have had plenty of time to reflect on the severity of the route, the nature of the surfaces and the need to consider (a different ??) race strategy. I am more than willing to bore anyone who wants to consider it for 2023!”

Will his vivid description tempt any of you to have a go?

In another Covid delayed event, but in more clement weather, Gary Wood was at the Ibiza Marathon on Saturday.

Having put in a good block of training, Gary was initially a little disappointed with the run, describing it as one of his slowest. But, reflecting on it afterwards with fellow runners, agreed that it was “too hot, too hilly and too hard” to be a PB course. He enjoyed the event though and was, of course, simply happy to finish.

Gary’s experience shows us how we should take each race at face value. The distance may be the same, but the conditions on the day and the profile of the course have a huge impact on results, particularly over such a long distance.

Congratulations to Gary on ticking off another marathon.

9th April, Ibiza Marathon, 26.2 miles road

1 Gizachew Hailu Negasa (Unattached) 2.16.23

378 Gary Wood (Cirencester AC) 4.53.43

438 finished

Also taking on the marathon distance this weekend were Keith Firkin and Rachel Barrow who were in Brighton.

Keith had a great run to finish in 3.39.35 at the well organised and very well supported event.

Rachel was delighted with a new PB and to have finished unscathed apart from very sunburnt shoulders. She had said never again to marathon running after failing to ever get inside 5 hours in three attempts at Bournemouth, most recently in 2018. However, after a good couple of years running and improvements to PBs at other distances she decided to have one more crack at it and set out with hopes of a finish time somewhere between 4:15 and 4:30.

She credits the brilliant 4:15 pacing duo for getting her to 21 miles, but then things fell apart a little and some walk breaks and much recalculating crept in. The incredibly vocal crowds lining the last couple of miles of the route helped many strugglers to find a little extra energy to finish with a flourish.

10th April, Brighton Marathon, 26.2 miles road

1 Alex Ramsier (Coulsden) 2.29.07

1423 Keith Firkin (Cirencester AC) 3.39.35

3936 Rachel Barrow 4.17.38

8347 finished

Also in Brighton, Paul Barrow had a really enjoyable run in the 10k event. Paul used his Jeff Galloway inspired run/walk method and kept the discipline going even when it meant running up the hills! He was very pleased to improve on his time from Bourton earlier in the year.

10th April, Brighton Marathon Weekend 10k, 10k road

1 Ronny Wilson (Lincoln) 30.03

2395 Paul Barrow (Cirencester AC) 1.16.01

2693 finished

More locally, there was a good club turnout at the popular Highworth 5 mile race. This was the next in the Club Road Race series. The event takes place on country roads and has what the organisers describe as a “sting in the tail” hill at 4 miles.

First home for Cirencester was Bill Leggate with a superb 27.57 finish bringing him not only 2nd in his age group but also a new MV45 club record, previously held by Mark Sysum. Congratulations to Bill. Also finishing strongly was Brecht Grieten in 30.57.

Wendy Nicholls was first Cirencester lady to finish in a fine 35.32. Wendy still holds the course record for this race which she set in 2006.

There were plenty of other fine performances with well earned points in the club championship which will be updated in due course. The next race on the schedule is the Berkeley 10k next month.

10th April, Highworth 5, 5 miles road

1 Ed Knudsen (Avon Valley Runners) 25.19

7 Bill Leggate (Cirencester AC) 27.57 - 2nd MV 40-49 and new Club MV45 record

18 Brecht Grieten 30.57

64 Wendy Nicholls 35.32

87 David Moss 37.14

143 Elizabeth Thomas 40.54

167 Gordon Jones 42.35

231 Ruth Fulford 48.13

248 Rachel Jones 51.01

261 Helen Manners 52.45

299 finished

Of note at parkrun this weekend, Ollie Campbell was involved in a close contest at Chippenham. With just 13 seconds separating the first three finishers, Ollie was victorious. James Thomas and Ian Barrett took first and second place respectively at Cirencester and Nea Sneddon-Jenkins was first lady at Tetbury once again.

9th April, parkrun, 5k trail

Lydiard parkrun

1 Nick Cairns (Unattached) 17.55

92 David Moss (Cirencester AC) 27.21

244 finished

Chippenham parkrun

1 Ollie Campbell (Cirencester AC) 16.42

212 finished

Cirencester parkrun

1 James Thomas (Cirencester AC) 18.03

2 Ian Barrett 19.15

57 Pamela Wheeler 30.31

117 finished

Tetbury Goods Shed parkrun

1 Roger Hutton (Unattached) 18.09

13 Nea Sneddon-Jenkins (Cirencester AC) 21.47 – 1st Female

34 Alan Mcadam 24.29

45 Rachel Mcadam 26.09

106 finished

126 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page