CLC Striders race round up - For the weekend of 4 and 5 November 2023
Saturday 4 November
Gloucestershire Cross Country League, Race Day One - Cirencester Park
After a month of heavy rain, conditions were as wet and muddy as anyone could remember for the opening fixture of the 23/24 Gloucestershire Cross Country League. Held over the technical and challenging course in the beautiful but soggy grounds of Cirencester Park, the race contained woodland trails, boggy valleys, steep inclines and adverse cambers across soaking grassland and meadow. It was not for the faint-hearted.
First, it was the turn of the ladies, defending their Masters win from last season. Over their two laps, the ladies were led home by Helen Knight in 11th place overall and as 2nd in her LV40 category in a time of 30:35. Next home, 4th in the LV40 category and 27th overall, was Liza Bradshaw in 32:04. Ladies captain Rachel Vines was 40th overall and 6th in her LV40 category in 33:17 to make up CLC’s three scoring finishers. The CLC Striders Ladies Masters were second in the team event, just behind Team Bath.
Also running were Fiona Brady-Miller, finishing in 75th place in a time of 36:38, Laura Leaver in 39:52, Emma Abbey in 40:22, Rebecca Reynolds in 41:55 and Nicola Weager 42:13.
Running in the same race over the two laps, club super-vet David James made a solid start to his season with 2nd place overall in his MV70 category in a time of 35:29.
With the ground well and truly churned up – after all the junior races and the ladies event - it was the turn of the men to do battle over three laps.
Once again, it was Rob Green who brought the club’s first place home, finishing in 12th overall as 1st in his MV40 category in a really strong field in a time of 38:55. Next was Tom Burgess, delivering a gritty performance for 55th place overall in 44:24. Making his club debut, an impressive Mike Thompson lead a trio of Striders in, finishing in 90th place in 48:00 and followed closely by Jamie Hartnoll in 94th and 48:24 and Aled Leaver in 99th and 48:52. Completing the scoring six, Nick Ledwold was 105th in a time of 49:35.
Also registering on the day was another club debutante Richard Aarons in 111th, Paul Lockyer in 128th (who deserves a special mention for running to even get to the event after his car broke down en route!) and Eoin McQuone in 159th.
Sunday 5th November
Guy Fawkes Five - Tewkesbury
With the course flooded for only the third time in the event’s 30-year history, Tewkesbury AC had to move their annual five-mile event across to an alternative out and back route on the day. In the end, the weather was kind, with bright skies and just a slight headwind on the ‘out’. As the last race in the Gloucestershire Road Race series for 2023, the stakes were high.
Joe Willgos turned in a fantastic performance on the day to finish a strong second in a rapid time of 26:59:6 and secure himself second place in the overall Road Race Series at the same time. Matt Ashman secured a new PB for the five-mile distance in 34:24:8 as the next Strider home. Steph Parker was next for the club in 36:03:8, with Mike Speke finishing in 38:15:0 and Laura Daubney in 38:50:9. Paul Northup pulled up with a calf strain at four miles and hobbled the remainder of the course to cross the line in 38:20:0.
Kate Telford was elsewhere, but had already bagged first place in the overall Gloucestershire Road Race Series for the year.
New York Marathon
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, Kate Telford was running in the iconic New York Marathon, as part of her bid to run all the world’s ‘majors’. Taking it easy (ahead of target marathons in 2024), Kate was able to drink in the sights and sounds and really enjoy the experience, finishing in a gentle 3:32:08. Kate has now run five of the world’s marathon majors, with just Tokyo to go in March of 2024!