Boddington 10 - Sunday 28 January 2024
Local club hosts exhilarating 10-mile road race close to Cheltenham
Sunday 28 January was a day that was long in the coming for local running club CLC Striders. After having to cancel its annual road race at Staverton in 2023 because of ongoing roadworks on the ‘Old Gloucester Road’, the club worked hard to identify an alternative location to host its much-loved 10-mile road race. Using the Gloucester Old Spot pub as race HQ, and with parking at Clavell and Hind, the race was run around the quiet country lanes around Barrow and Boddington, just south of the A4019.
On the day, conditions were dry and not too cold – almost perfect, apart from a fairly persistent breeze from the south which tested the runners on their way ‘out’ on each of the four laps of the flat and fast circuit. The field assembled was incredibly strong. In the end, no less than 22 runners finished in under one hour! The winner of the men’s race was Swansea Harriers’s Michael Kallenberg in a fabulous 51:18. The lady’s winner, just outside an hour, was the incredible Emily Hilliar of Poole AC in a time of 1:00:45.
But the race contained some fascinating ‘races within the race’, with CLC Strider athletes doing themselves and their club proud in this inaugural, high class event.
First home for the club was a steely Rob Green who battled hard to stay with the group of runners behind the leader. The group was packed with county-wide talent and Green tucked in until unleashing a blistering last mile to storm through for second place in a time of 52:37, a new club record and a PB. After winning the Linda Franks five-mile race just a week before, this was an incredible achievement for the club talisman.
Next home, again in a PB time, was Joe Willgoss, continuing his excellent form for 10th place overall in a time of 54:37 – an incredibly resilient and disciplined run, as he found himself between groups for much of the latter part of the race. Second claim runnerMax Harrison-Tosatto raced in his Striders vest on home turf to finish just a minute behind Willgoss in what was yet another PB time on the day of 55:39 for 12th place overall.
Training partners Alex Johnston and Rob Barnett completed the crop of Striders to finish in under one hour, both registering substantial PB times on the day and running excellently judged races to finish in 14th and 16th places respectively, with great times of 56:02 and 56:31. John Comer ran strongly for 25th place, finishing in a time of 1:01:03 – marking yet another PB performance on the day.
Only a few minutes later, the CLC Striders ladies raced home. Helen Knight was 34th overall and 3rd lady in a PB time of 1:04:01 and a new club record. Having run almost neck-and-neck the whole way, she was followed home by Kate Telford, as 35th overall and 4th lady, in a PB time of 1:04:08, bettering her LV35 club record in the process. Liza Bradshaw was 55th overall and 5th in her LV35 category in a solid time of 1:07:47.
The two remaining runners for the club in the field were Aled Leaver, who clocked a PB time of 1:08:40, and Gary Farquharson, who set a new club VM55 age category record in a time of 1:11:56.
On a day of firsts for this proud local club, there was a real buzz about the whole event. Feedback from the runners was overwhelmingly positive – appreciating the smooth organisation, the super-flat and fast course and the supportive and encouraging marshalling throughout. Of course, as with any first-time event, there are logistical lessons to learn, and the club will go into debrief mode after successfully staging its first ever Boddington 10, ready to bring it back, even better, in 2025.