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Cheltenham half marathon 2022

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At the end of a long hot summer, it was time for CLC Striders to re-gather to run the streets of their hometown in the annual Cheltenham Half Marathon. Conditions were windy but the promised rain held off. Temperatures were still surprisingly warm and the going was muggy.

The mass start at the Racecourse is always a sight and, after a slight delay, a good crop of club runners set off among the thousands to do battle over 13.1 miles.

As usual, the start and town centre running proved swift and well supported. But the final stretch around the Racecourse itself lay ahead as a stern test of even the strongest of runners.

On the day, CLC Striders were led home by the indomitable Rob Green in 1:12:19 and sixth place over all – a superb result considering his whole summer has been about training for his European Tri Champs in Munich.

Next home was Rob Barnett, finally ducking in under his 80-minute target in a PB time of 1:19:21 for a fantastic 24th place. One second behind Rob in 25th place was ‘second claim’ runner Max Harrison-Tosatto in a time of 1:19:22. Not far behind was the rapidly improving Jon Comer in a time of 1:21:38 for 34th place. Using the half as a long training run ahead of London, Will Pearce was next to finish in 1:23:13 and 40th place and he was followed home for yet another top-50 finish by Sheng Peng in a really strong 1:25:13.

The next crop of finishers were Jamie Hartnoll in a really well judged, progressive run to bag a time of 1:27:22, Tom Fletcher in a solid sub-90 time of 1:28:55, Ben Akif in 1:30:04, Rich Tilsonin 1:31:51 and Adam Greenwood in yet another PB time of 1:35:10.

Nigel Bailey finished in a solid 1:41:35, Gavin Jerman, in the final weeks of training for his London Marathon, clocked 1:41:43, Matt Ashman exceeded his expectations in his first ever half with a perfectly judged 1:42:20, closely followed by Amelia Mullins in 1:42:40 and Eoin McQuone in 1:45:05. Domenico Geracitano finished in under two hours in 1:52:57

Ryan O’Donnell, who was flying towards a massive PB entering the Racecourse, eventually finished in 2:07:38 after passing out at 12.8 miles, within sight of the finish. Paul Northup pulled out at the 9-mile mark with dizziness and fainting and did not finish the race.

In the 10k event run on the same morning over part of the same route, Julia Rose clocked 52:11, and Ed Collier, running with cracked ribs, clocked 53:04.

Meanwhile, up in Worcester, lone Strider Kate Telford was earning the honour of first lady finisher in the Worcester Half Marathon in a PB time of 1:27:15.

The club were pleased to compete so well and look forward to the autumn of racing ahead.