Cheltenham half marathon 2021 - CLC Striders race report
It was a long time coming – just under two years, in fact – but, in near-perfect conditions, Sunday 5 September 2021 saw the return of the Cheltenham Half Marathon, and with it a great crew of CLC Striders who turned out to compete over the iconic distance around the beautiful streets of their home town.
Of course, races have been returning for a good while now as lockdowns have eased and things have opened up. We’ve already seen great performances from Striders over all sorts of distances and terrains across the summer – from local 10ks to Half Marathons and trail races all over the UK. But Sunday 5 September felt special. A landmark moment. Because, apart from the restart of local parkruns, it was the first mass participation race that most of the 2,000 or more runners who gathered in their pens up at Cheltenham Racecourse would have experienced for a very, very long time.
So, a little ring-rusty, but eager to show what they could do in front of great local support, here’s how our CLC Striders athletes performed on the day…
First home for the club was Will Pearce in a solid time of 1:25:06. Will was followed by Tom Fletcher who turned in an excellent run for a 1:27:41 finish. Also ducking in under the 90-minute mark was a returning Tom Kabala who, even a long way from full fitness, landed 1:29:00 dead.
Next to finish for the club were Ben Akif in a Half Marathon PB time of 1:30:25 and Nick Ledwold, deep into his London Marathon preparation, in 1:32:04. A few minutes later came a crop of vet Striders who had set off and run the early miles as a big group. Finishing as a three were Andy Brookes (after a summer spent in the saddle) in 1:34:16, former club member and coach Chris Hale in 1:34:17 and Paul Northup in 1:34:19. Soon after this trio were Alex Monro in 1:35:19, JJ Willson in 1:37:11 and Eoin McQuone in 1:37:17.
The first lady Strider home on the day was the determined Fiona Brady-Miller, smashing her 1:40 target in a time 1:38:37. Hot on Fiona’s heels were Nigel Bailey in 1:41:49, James Babbage in 1:42:30 and the second lady Strider, Issy Ravenhill in 1:42:51.
Three more vet Striders completed the 13.1 miles in under two hours – Ed Collier in 1:50:41, Ed Thompson in 1:50:43 and David Orme in 1:54:16. And last to finish for the club, but by no means least, were the run-walk couple of Martin Bick and Janet Mustoe in 2:36:22 and 2:36:23 respectively.
Meanwhile, demonstrating the diversity and strength in depth of the club’s runners, Amelia Mullins ran in an ‘eight-mile’ trail race in Woodchester on the same morning. In reality, the race was about seven and half miles long, including 1,000 feet of elevation, through the beautiful valleys and woodlands around Woodchester. Amelia completed the challenging course in just 1 hour 11 minutes, coming home as the first lady V45 finisher on the day.
The club is proud to have such an inclusive and competitive set of runners and was thrilled to see such a strong turnout to represent CLC Striders locally. The hope is that the year ahead sees the return to a much fuller range of racing – including this winter’s local and regional cross country season and, of course, the London and Manchester marathons