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Tales of the Century

Three of our club members who are well known for taking on ultra distance endeavours were in action again at the weekend. Karen Higuera, Tim Ingham and Dave Musgrove were all as ready as they could be for the challenges of the Cotswold Way Century.

Beginning on Saturday in Chipping Campden, ahead of them lay just over 100 miles of the ups and downs that many of you will be familiar with from taking on a section in the Cotswold Way Relay. But, to take on the whole thing solo with the added challenges of keeping fuelled and hydrated well enough, running through the night, keeping the body moving and the mind positive………

Karen, Tim and Dave have all been kind enough to spare a few moments to put some words together to describe their individual experiences.

Karen covered a huge distance and says “Unfortunately, I got timed out after getting to Tormarton after the cut off time at mile 87. I pushed at Horton with an hour to do 7 miles with a mega climb which proved unachievable, but I definitely finished having given it my best. The elusive Cotswold Way Century will have to wait until next year.”

“I had stomach issues again like last year but narrowed it down to what I ate as I haven’t had the same problems on any other ultra, so in future I’ll probably stick to making up my own bags of food. All good other than that and I hope to get back to training next week!”

For Dave, a niggle that reared its head fairly early on was sadly enough to end his attempt for this year. “I was plodding along quite nicely, feeling alright and enjoying the Autumn scenery. But my calf started twinging at 10 miles. I tried to ignore it but by 20 it was obviously not right. Got to the 27 mile checkpoint, had a chat with the medic and decided to take some drugs and see if it got better if I slowed down a bit. It didn’t and I figured walking 70 miles wouldn’t be much fun, and I didn’t really want to get a massive calf tear, so packed it in after 30 miles. Shame, because it was a great day for running. I’m a bit disappointed but I ran through a calf strain earlier in the year and ended up making it much worse, so I’m OK with it.”

Tim started out knowing that he was likely to have some trouble with his feet. “For years I have struggled with foot issues so no surprises that that was one thing I was worried about. I had to tape my feet right from the start. I chose the 10am start to give me a bit more time. It was nice to lead a race until Checkpoint 1, the only time I will! Soon after that I started having some issues but hoped for the best. At Painswick I got some attention from the medical team but was soon struggling to run and so time was against me. I hobbled to Wotton Under Edge where I called it a day. The Cotswold Way is not an easy challenge, if it was more people would do it. I might take a break from 100 milers for a year and come back stronger in 2024.”

There is no doubt that we will see more epic adventures from these three in the not too distant future.

There was success at Swansea 10k on Sunday where Nea Sneddon-Jenkins bagged another new PB, by only 19 seconds she modestly reported, but a PB is a PB! Well done Nea.

Also in Swansea were Liza Darroch and Rupert Chesmore.

Liza reports “The Swansea 10k comes highly recommended. It’s a large but very well organised event and the route, curving around Swansea Bay, takes you on a wide dual carriageway through the Mumbles and back along the seafront. Running along beside blue sea and a sandy beach was a real joy for us landlocked Cirenites.”

Liza, still focused on the Chester Marathon in two weeks time, tried to take it steady and was rewarded with another age group first place. Rupert meanwhile was supporting his rugby playing daughter round her very first (non parkrun) race.

18th September, Swansea 10k, 10k road

1 Kadar Omar (Birchfield Harriers) 29.11 chip time

228 Nea Sneddon-Jenkins (Cirencester AC) 41.36

1625 Liza Darroch 1.00.19 - 1st FV70

2617 Rupert Chesmore 1.20.41

2773 finished

Also on Sunday, Aaron Willis was racing. This time on road rather than the trails, he decided to test his pace on the tarmac at the Chippenham Half Marathon where he ran a superb 1.20.39. Aaron however was not completely happy with how his race went.

“It was a fine morning at Chippenham for the half marathon. Not feeling a hundred per cent, I should have started slower and struggled in the second half of the race. In the last three miles I was overtaken a lot. It was a tune up race for Stroud Half and a big PB but I’m slightly disappointed so have a bit of work to do in the next five weeks.”

We look forward to finding out how Aaron goes at Stroud, one of the two remaining races in the Club Road Racing Championship.

18th September, Chippenham Half Marathon, 13.1 miles road

1 Aaron Richmond (Bideford AAC) 1.07.20 chip time

41 Aaron Willis (Cirencester AC) 1.20.39

598 finished

At the tiny, friendly Angels 10k on Sunday four club members were some of the fewer than 100 who took part. The race was the penultimate event in the Glos AAA County Road Race series for the year and was also the County Championship 10k Race for 2022.

The race day experience was a very different one for Brian Harris this time. “This was my first outdoor run since tearing my hip adductor muscle 4-5 weeks ago. Having managed to maintain some gym work I had only started intermittent jogging on the treadmill this week. With Chester Marathon just two weeks away I was curious to see what I could manage outside without worsening things. I deployed a jog 3 minutes/walk 1 minute strategy which gave me more time to appreciate the lovely countryside. Despite finishing an unaccustomed last in my age category, I still earned very useful points in the county championship and, more importantly, don’t appear to have aggravated the injury.”

Rachel Barrow was disappointed with her performance but somehow managed to finish 2nd of 9 in the FV50 category, earning points in the championship and a County silver medal.

“I didn’t have the best start to the day when my watch strap broke off in my hand as I was putting it on. But this was a lovely little event, one I hadn’t done before. I didn’t know it was quite so undulating and the hill in mile three just about did for me. The field was so small that I found myself quite alone for a while after that, never good for me when it’s not going well! It was a very scrappy run from that point onwards. I’d been pleased with recent 10ks at Fairford and Frampton so this was really disappointing.”

“I feel quite embarrassed about a Silver county medal for a performance like that. When I scanned the results later, I saw that I was well beaten by the first FV55 lady, seven FV60s and two FV65s! I guess it’s just about who shows up on the day. But its great to see such strong, mature women running so well. That inspires me to keep going.”

Paul Barrow was hampered by a sore arm and shoulder after tripping up on a dog walk earlier in the week but got round using his run walk strategy. Barbara Thomas collected some valuable county points with her 3rd FV65 placing.

With one race to go in the series, the Guy Fawkes 5, both Brian and Rachel are both safe at the top of their age groups.

18th September, Angels 10k, 10k road

1 Steve Kenyon (Severn AC) 33.48 (gun time)

74 Rachel Barrow (Cirencester AC) 56.03 – 2nd FV50

87 Barbara Thomas 1.02.30 – 3rd FV65

90 Brian Harris 1.10.44

94 Paul Barrow 1.23.25

98 finished

There was great parkrunning as ever, both locally and further afield.

Of note, Ollie Campbell had a win at Chippenham, Gemma Lund was 3rd lady at Minehead, James Thomas was 2nd at Chipping Norton and there was a top ten finish at Eden Project for Ian Barrett. Gordon Jones ran very well at Stonehouse.

At Tetbury, Wendy Nicholls ran sub 20 minutes and was 2nd lady, Paul Timms ran a new best for the course and Rachel and Alan McAdam were back on the straight and narrow after their curly wurly experience last week.

17th September, parkrun, 5k trail

Minehead parkrun

1 Ashely Spurrell (Unattached) 19.51

18 Gemma Lund (Cirencester AC) 23.33 – 3rd Female

100 finished

Eden Project parkrun

1 James Trubridge (Unattached) 16.58

6 Ian Barrett (Cirencester AC) 18.35

263 finished

Stonehouse parkrun

1 Ian Newns (Unattached) 17.05

25 Gordon Jones (Cirencester AC) 25.36

61 finished

Chippenham parkrun

1 Ollie Campbell (Cirencester AC) 17.14

113 James Hunton 27.48

229 finished

Buckingham parkrun

1 Michael Pearce (Unattached) 18.39

125 Bryan Reid (Cirencester AC) 28.43

202 finished

Cirencester parkrun

1 Ed Nunn (Unattached) 18.15

43 David Moss (Cirencester AC) 25.06

61 Gary Wood 26.04

99 Brendan McCarthy 28.37

182 finished

Tetbury Goods Shed parkrun

1 Jonathan Jamieson (Unattached) 17.14

10 Wendy Nicholls (Cirencester AC) 19.52 – 2nd Female

23 Paul Timms 22.22

43 Rachel Mcadam 25.35

44 Alan Mcadam 25.35

56 Samantha Timms 28.30

94 finished

Chipping Norton School parkrun

1 Aric Klukowski (Unattached) 17.46

2 James Thomas (Cirencester AC) 17.57

82 finished

Don’t forget to let Rachel know about your running stories, big or small, at

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