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CLC Striders Race report for 18 and 19 March 2017 Gloucester 20, Reading Half Marathon and the ‘Mad Dog’ Forest of Dean Canicross Half Marathon

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**A slightly quieter weekend’s racing saw Striders athletes take part in the Gloucester 20-mile road race, the Reading Half Marathon and the ‘Mad Dog’ Forest of Dean Canicross Half Marathon.</p>

</strong>Once again the wind was strong and gusty as Striders runners lined up on the start line for the Gloucester 20 and the Reading Half last Sunday. Indeed, it feels like the wind – as well as strong performances – have been the defining characteristic of recent weeks’ running.

Over in Gloucester, four Striders took on the challenge of 20 miles hard running out from Quedgley to Haresfield in three long loops – and all their training paid off.

Ross Greening came home first for the club in a time of 2:39:02 and as seventh overall in the Male Vet 55 category. He was followed by the metronomic Gavin Jerman, in a steady 2:42:39 as 14th Male Vet 50 finisher.

But performance of the day came from the hard-working Emma Abbey, who clocked a new club record for her age of 2:50:38, finishing seventh in her Lady Vet 40 category on the day.

Kate Wakeling finished just outside the three-hour mark in 3:03:54 as the 26th finisher in her Senior Lady category. And Charlie Hayward conquered 20 miles for the first time in 3:28:47, as she continues her solid preparation for the London Marathon.

Meanwhile, in Reading, Striders lady Captain Rachel Vines and Nikki Smith both tackled an undulating and winding course in and around Reading for 13.1 miles, battling the persistent winds to come home in a strong 01:34:47 and 01:43:03 respectively. In a huge field of 10,000 runners, Vines finished in the top 1,000 and Smith in the first 2,000.

And finally, on Saturday 18th March, Andrew Paterson competed in the Forest of Dean Canicross Half Marathon with his trusty terrier Betty, coming home in second place in a blisteringly fast time of 1:38:47.