COTSWOLD WAY RELAY - 25/06/2016
CLC Striders ladies put in an excellent performance to claim the prize for 3rd ladies team in the Cotswold Way relay on Saturday. The team of 10 were consistent throughout the race to beat off some tough competition in this ever-popular race.
With each of the CLC Striders teams taking their name from one of the club’s colours, the CLC Striders ladies’ white team laid solid foundations for success right from the start. Carrying the metaphorical baton on the first leg from Chipping Camden to Stanway House, Rachel Vines got the team off to a strong start to finish as 5th lady and 39th place overall on this 12 mile leg. Next for the ladies on the Stanway to Cleeve Hill Leg was Helen Hucker, who maintained the momentum to finish as 7th lady and 42nd place overall. Hucker was followed by Zoe Gough who ran well to finish 12th lady in 41st place on the 8.2 mile Cleeve Hill to Seven Springs leg.
At almost 13 miles and with over 400 metres of ascent, Leg 4 is among the toughest of the race, and for the Striders there was another strong run, this time from Alice Johnston who showed excellent form over this challenging route from Seven Springs to Painswick to finish as 6th lady and 36th place overall. Liza Barry took over for leg 5 from Painswick to Ebley Mill and had an impressive run to put Striders in a strong position at the half way point, finishing as 2nd lady and 18th overall. Amelia Mullins followed Barry to tackle the 8.8 mile leg between Ebley and Dursley; Mullins kept up the battle for the medals to finish as 5th lady and 34th overall, and she handed over to Rachael Cary whose strong run to finish as 6th lady and 29th overall on the Dursley to Wotton leg in increasingly inclement weather maintained the medal challenge. Long distance specialist Laura Gush was next for Striders on the 12 mile Wotton to Old Sodbury stretch and by now the weather was deteriorating rapidly with thunder, lightning and torrential rain making life increasingly difficult for the runners. In the face of dire weather Gush showed her toughness to keep the Striders in the mix finishing as 9th lady and 56th overall. Katie Truslove was next, and Truslove had a storming run on the 9.2 mile Old Sodbury to Cold Ashton leg in the face of continuing thunderstorms and downpours to finish as 1st lady and 15th overall and tee up final leg runner Karlien Heyrman for the final push. Heyrman has made a massive impact for CLC Striders since joining the club two years ago, and put in a strong leg to finish as 4th lady and 26th place overall.
There were also notable performances from Striders’ two other teams: ‘CLC Black’, a team of male vets, and ‘CLC Green’ a mixed team. Spearheaded by some strong performances from Jon Howes (16th on leg 2); Rich Shardlow (18th on leg 4); Paul Northup (19th on leg 9) and an outstanding run from Charles Goodwin who took 7th place on the highly competitive leg 8, the vets finished in a pleasing 7th place, whilst the CLC Green team finished 19th out of 52 teams with Nick Barry’s impressive 2nd place on leg 9 supported by strong and gutsy runs across the board.