After last week’s rain, several Almost Athletes were out enjoying a dirty weekend. With conditions described as soft going and soggy under foot, Almost 30 runners battled the mud to complete the 9 ‘country’ mile Sodbury Slog trails race. Despite these challenging conditions, Nick Lewis grabbed 1st home for the club in 1:10:56, followed just over a minute later by Gemma Hargraves, justly rewarded for her efforts to secure 3rd lady overall in 1:12:13. A steady stream of Almosts then battled through headed up by Nick Spice with Danny Carroll, Martin Thomas, Phil Jeyes and Allan Green, who took 1st in his category behind (1:20:49, 1:21:24, 1:23:20, 1:24:25 and 1:26:08 respectively). Ingrid Harris continued her form from last weekend’s trail marathon finishing comfortably in 1:28:58 to be 2nd lady Almost back and 3rd in her category while Allan Green was rewarded with 1st in his category with 1:26:08. The first husband and wife team – Fi and Matt Barnes finished in 1:37 with Lepha McCartney hot on their heels, behind Marianne Badger and Andrew Wilkinson (1:30:38 and 1:35:49). Hester Coggin, Sarah Roberts, Katy Gaze and Catherine Mason pushed hard to finish sub 2 hours just ahead of Rich Smith and Mariel Chretien. Caenwen Davies and Wendy Haskins slogged round to finish together in 2:11, closely followed by the the second husband and wife team, Ian and Glenda Gill in 2:15, while Coralie Pearson, Liz Curtis, Rachel Nolan and Sarah Fennell crossed the finish line together in 2:20.
Martyn Fisher discovered that Bedfordshire is far from flat as he faced 379 ft of ascent in the Leighton Buzzard Dirt half challenge, conquering it in an impressive 2:12:29.
And Adrian Courtenay secured a new PB in the Cirencester off-road duathlon.
Mark Willicott has almost completed his century of marathons, running his 99th at Stratford in a whisker over 4 hours, behind Michelle Balchin, who stole 3rd lady overall in a very impressive 3:32:20. Similar success for the club in the Stratford half marathon and 10k races. Craig Bullingham took the lead for the Almosts just clipping the 1:30 paving the way for Nick Spice not far behind at 1: 34:20. Jeannette Gullick continued her recent form with a very strong run finishing in 1:39:53 to take 5th lady overall and 1st position in her category, Debbie Masding saw the Almosts home in the half with 2:14:08. Amber Bullingham placed well in the 10k race nailing 4th lady home in 46:22.
Congratulations to the fourth husband and wife couple running this weekend - Kathy Haig ran her first ever marathon in 6.14:50 to support Paul (aka Haiggy McHaig) running 50 marathons for his 50th year. He notched up a very creditable 04:41:12 and 4:48:32 in back to back marathons over the weekend in the Phoenix Running It's a Numbers Game Winter Edition.
And finally and continuing the seasonal theme, Karen Galpin was 1st lady home in the ‘Santa is on his Way’ 10k race in New York State while hubby John won 2nd MV prize.