Cotswold 10k - 7 April 2013
Starting in Temple Guiting, the circular route took in the picturesque villages of Kineton and Guiting Power before a long descent down to a river where runners had the choice between running straight across the ford, or keep their feet dry with a short detour. I’m pleased to report that all four Striders demonstrated their commitment by getting wet feet but taking the fastest, direct route! This was followed by a long, energy sapping uphill stretch up to the 5 mile marker, which was rewarded by a downhill towards the finish, though runners still had to hold it together for the last 3/4 mile or so on the flat.
Andrew Jones ran superbly to finish among the prizes in 3rd place (37.06). He gamely went off in the lead group of three and stayed in contention for the first 2 miles, before suffering on the uphill sections, but as his endurance improves he will continue to make an impact on the local running scene. Dave Smeath was next which, although a full 2 minutes behind Jones in 39.02, was a creditable performance having only recently returned from injury. Smeath ran a tactically astute race, ignoring the early pace, and then after being engaged in a 3-way battle, ignited the burners on the downhill stretch from 5 miles to ensure a comfortable 4th position. Jon Howes was 7th in 41.05 a decent effort though hampered by being isolated for much of the race.
Helen Howes flew the flag for the Striders ladies, finishing as 4th lady and 28th overall in 50.16. This is the highest placing Helen has ever achieved and to be so close to the 50 minute barrier on such an undulating course was an excellent effort.
This is an excellent, friendly local race in beautiful surroundings and should be one to mark down in the calendar for future years.