The 2017 Cheltenham Half (plus Cardiff Half & Great Oaks Yorkley Gallop)
The weather forecast had looked ominous all week as a large group of CLC Striders geared up to run in their hometown half marathon. In the end, the morning dawned overcast but calm, and apart from one shower 20 minutes into the race, the event was dry.
On the day, the standout performance from a CLC athlete came from Charles Goodwin, who came first in his Vet 50 category in a time of 1:22:36 and 33rd overall. A fantastic achievement.
Next home for the club, making is debut in a CLC vest was Mark Fuller, who ran a perfectly judged race to duck in under his desired target time in a PB of 1:24:42. He was followed home by Chris Driskell, trying out over a longer distance than usual and running a well-paced race which saw him finish strongly in 1:27:13. In sharp contrast, Paul Northup went out well but faded badly in the last five miles to finish as sixth male 50 Vet in a time of 1:27:56. Tom Vickers also ran really well to come in under the one-hour-30-minute mark, in a time of 1:29:13.
Striders finishing in the next 10 minutes were vet John Willson in 1:31:15, Neil Broadbent in 1:32:22, and Alex Monro in 1:34:36. The first Strider ladies home were led in by Patricia Sturgess in 1:36:28, with Amanda Steer finishing second in her Vet 45 category, not far behind in 1:37:17. The returning Philip Jowett turned in a strong 1:37:36 and the ever-reliable Gavin Jerman ran evenly to duck in under 1:40 in a time of 1:39:57.
The remaining Striders finishing the Cheltenham Half were: Stuart Barr in 1:42:05, Ed Thompson in 1:42:52, David Orme in 1:43:14, Mike Crossley in 1:44:38, Gary Smith in a new PB of 1:45:35, Hannah Monro in 1:47:22, Kyle Sollars in 1:48:28, Emma Abbey in a course PB of 1:50:31, Josie Parkinson in 1:50:47, Laura Fletcher in a course PB of 1:51:31, David Street in 1:52:08, Christopher Thomas in a new PB of 1:52:58, Daniel Farrelly in 1:53:15, Amy Underdown in 1:53:38, Dan Harte in 1:53:51, Gareth Harries (dressed as a chicken and carrying a fundraising bucket!) in 1:55:25, Carla Quirighetti (in her first post-baby half) in 1:57:13, Charlie Haward in 1:57:19, Martin Bruton in 2:00:10, Sue Clark in 2:02:09, Claire Sansome (in her first post-baby half) in 2:12:55, and Bradley Coates in 2:37:48.
But it wasn’t just the racers. Striders were also volunteering for the event, with Martin Bick and Janet Mustoe marshalling on the streets of Cheltenham.
Also on Sunday 1 October
Meanwhile, down in Cardiff, in the second largest half marathon in the UK, Striders Sophie Longmore and Javid Norat competed, with Javid bagging a sub 1:30 PB of 1:29:44 and Sophie finishing in a solid 1:35:27.
And over in the Forest of Dean, Striders Rob Bircher and Andrew Paterson, were racing in the Great Oaks Yorkley Gallop, with Rob gaining a great second place in the off road hilly 3.3-mile race and Andrew, with his trusty dog Betty, finishing first in his age category and 5th overall in the 6.6-mile canicross event.