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Upcote Five and Bedford Autodrome Marathon

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Another weekend racing and another CLC athlete has broken the magic three-hour barrier over the marathon distance. Well, not just broken, but smashed it. Turning his disappointment at the cancellation of the Barcelona Marathon earlier in the year into dogged determination and yet more training, Ollie Watkins who persevered with his marathon goal for 2020 – over hill and down dale – to smash his previous PB by 16 minutes in a time of 2:48:47 at the Bedford Autodrome Marathon on Sunday 18 October 2020. Epitomising the spirit of quiet determination of all good runners and of the CLC Striders club more generally, Ollie turned months of meticulous training, dedication and sticking to the plan into the deserved reward of a seriously impressive marathon time. Ollie joins Liza Bradshaw and Catherine Wheeler (see previous report) in recording impressive marathon PB times after a time of isolation and lockdown. Well done to all.

Closer to home a good crop of Striders pulled on their club vests to compete in the first local trail race for what feels like forever. Over tough terrain, Striders competed well in the Upcote Five-mile Trail race on Saturday 17 October 2020, with Amelia Mullins winning the honours by coming first in her LV40 category in 39th place overall. First home for the club, in a strong tenth place, was the ever-improving Nick Ledwold. First lady home for the club was Rachael Cary, followed in by Karlien Heyrman. Finishing just seconds apart were Tim Brock and Eoin McQuone. Next came Rachel Vines and Billy Bradshaw, Andrew Gage and Nikki Smith all ran well on the day.

Meanwhile, the club’s ultra-man Rob Bircher completed his toughest trail race ever in the 28-mile Exmoor trail marathon complete with a brutal 2,500 metres of ascent.