2018/2019 AA membership form and fees are now due - join/renew here




We are always looking for news, results and race stories for our weekly Echo report. Please tell us about your experiences, results, personal best times achieved, worst nightmare races etc by emailing almostathletes@hotmail.com - if you don't tell us about it, we can't report it!. We can't guarantee that all information supplied will go in as the Echo have full editorial control, but we will do our best.

Latest News

<< <  Page 2 of 39  > >>

Despite the continuing rain with poor and muddy running conditions, many members of Almost Athletes were again out in force over the past weekend.

On Saturday there were 32 Almost participants in the Forest of Dean Half Marathon, with several excellent results. Hattie Jenkins was both the first Almost to complete in a time of 1:31, and third lady overall, whilst Ellie Laney was fourth lady in 1:35, closely followed by Michelle Balchin in 1:39.  Jenkins, Laney and Balchin won the first ladies team prize. Three other Almost ladies recorded new PBs for this distance – Hayley Woolnough with 1:52, Alison Hume with 1:55 and Julie Birt with 1:57. Steve Wallbridge also broke his time from last year’s race by more than seven minutes, with a new PB of 1:45.

Other Almosts who completed the race in less than two hours were: Thomas Smith in 1:34, Shaun Carr and Matt Proome both in 1:37, Vasco Barreto in 1:38, Mike Kennedy in 1:40, Paul Haig in 1:41, Patricia Peever in 1:44, Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto in 1:48, Dave Elliott in 1:49, Steven Adams in 1:50, Jamie Reeves, Steve Taylor and Jim Trowbridge all in 1:55 and Lorraine Taylor in 1:57.

Also running were Clare Hearing in 2:02, Carole Doherty in 2:03, Catherine Mason in 2:12, Kevin Richards in 2:13, Catrin Davies in 2:17, Dominic Lyes in 2:19, Deborah Elliott and William Jones both in 2:22, Jayne Murphy and Nicola Woodman in 2:25, and Adrian Courtenay in 2:31.

Zakia Hussain ran in the Spring Wolf Run in Warwickshire on Saturday the 7th, a 10km off-road race through both natural and man-made obstacles. Down in Exmoor, Malc Allen tackled the similarly gruelling Exmoor Half Marathon, and completed this difficult course in 2:41.

Ingrid Harris took part in two events over the weekend with terrific results in both. On Saturday she ran the Magna Carta Half Marathon in Runnymede, coming first in her age group with a time of 1:49.  On Sunday she took part in the Groovy Baby Marathon along the River Thames and was first lady overall with a time of 4:01 on a wet and slippery course.

Allan Green notched up yet another marathon by completing the Taunton event in 4:15, bringing his tally of marathons up to 498.

On Sunday 8th, a group of 15 Almosts completed the Manchester Marathon, and there were again some noteworthy results for club members. Karen Galpin stormed home to become first in her age category with an impressive time of 3:30, whilst Rich Walklate achieved a massive new PB of 3:03 by knocking 22 minutes off his previous marathon time. Piotr Michalski and Neil Tring were both running their first marathons, and achieved 3:55 and 3:56 respectively. Janine Bennett also achieved a new PB with a time of 4:57.

Also completing in less than four hours were Rich Birch in 3:13, Prash Sripathi in 3:20, Ben Taylor in 3:21, Farook Mota in 3:55 and Emma Hall in 3:56.

Other finishers were Julie Scourfield in 4:23, Luke Worgan in 4:47, Coralie Pearson in 4:57, and Alison Gregg and Jane Birch in 5:50.

In the Birmingham Half Marathon, Stephen Holland came home in 1:55, whilst Shaun & Sarah Carr ran the tough Loughborough Half Marathon in 1:42 and 2:33 respectively.

There were two PBs for Almosts at Cheltenham parkrun this weekend – Graham Philpott with 28:02 and Jane Russell in 30:42. Piotr Michalski ran the South Manchester parkrun and also achieved a PB of 22:05, whilst Robert Foord came second in his age group at the hilly Colchester Castle parkrun with a time of 22:04.

On Easter Monday, Martin Thomas ran the Bushley Mile in Tewkesbury, and was very pleased to achieve a time of 6:23 and 21st place overall.

The Easter weekend got under way with the Almost Athletes running the Westonbirt 10k race, with Rebecca Waugh 1st Almost Athlete in at 51:50, Gareth Wilkes 2nd at 53:18, Kate Freeman 3rd 53:28, Nicky Woodman 1:04, Kate Plummer 1:04:47, Iris Mayo 1:08, Jakia Hussain 1:15, Rachel Fargher 1:23, and visually impaired runner Rob Rennell with guide Danny Carroll 1:28.

In Stanley Park, Chippenham, Lynne Macedo and Paul Haig completed a 10 mile race, with Haig achieving  1:14, and Macedo 1:51, for her first ever 10 mile race.

Jeanette Gullick attended the Easter Family run, in Wychwood Village in aid of raising money for cancer.

Locally in Cheltenham, Julie Courtenay achieved her 100th parkrun.  Parkrun tourists, Daniel Reeves, Robert Foord, Kate Freeman, Kasha Price, Claire Gallagher attended the Pitcroft parkrun, Worcester. Janine Bennett attended the Seaton parkrun, Devon. Kev Friars the Rising sun parkrun, Newcastle. Andrea Hardy the Flatts Lane parkrun, Middlesborough. David Farrow the Mole Valley parkrun, near Dorking, grabbing a respectable time of 22:31.

Allan Green took part in three majors events over the Easter period, firstly with the Dinton Easter Challenge Marathon, a 6 hour timed event in Pastures Country Park, Reading, running as many 3.3 mile laps as possible, achieving 8 laps in a time of 4:41. Second event was the Darnley Challenge marathon, at the Darnley Estate, Gravesend, Kent, with self navigating loops, achieving 2 loops in 5:19. Final event for Green was the Enigma Easter series marathon at Caldecotte lake, Milton Keynes achieving 4:36.

After several weeks of cancellations and bad weather it was good to see that Almost Athletes members were out participating in many of the longer races scheduled for last weekend.

Jackie Slaughter tackled the arduous 75km Canalathon on Sunday 26th which follows canal paths through the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. She was thrilled to complete this event well within the time limit, and knocked 20 minutes off her previous PB for a 50km distance.

Allan Green continued to move ever closer towards his goal of 500 marathons by running the Codopoly in Telford on Wednesday in a time of 5:32, and then the QE Spring Marathon in 5:35.

Ingrid Harris took part in not one but two events over the weekend.  On Saturday she finishied the Poets Path Potter trail marathon around Dymock as joint second lady, and then the Cleevewold 14 in the Cotswolds on Sunday in 2:24 where she was the first Almost lady to complete the run.

A large contingent of other Almosts took part in the Cleevewold 14 mile multi-terrain run on Sunday. Josh Hand was the first Almost to finish in 1:48, followed by Nick Lewis in 1:53, Richard Walklate in 1:55 and Prash Sripathi and Simon Jarvis both in 1:57.  Also running were Danny Carroll in 2:08, Steve Taylor in 2:48, Mike Line, Karen Hilton and Dawn Carroll all in 2:58, Debbie Minett and Jeanette Gullick in 3hrs, Sarah Wallbridge and Nick Spice in 3:03, Bob Spawton in 3:08 and Mariel Chretien in 3:37.

The Gloucester 20 mile race on Sunday also had a good turnout of Almost participants, many of whom were using the race as part of their training for the forthcoming London Marathon.  Both Alison Hume and Lorraine Taylor achieved new PBs with times of 2:55 and 3:02 respectively.  Brian Todd completed his first 20 mile race in 3:23 and Hanna Brown ran for the first time as a member of Almost Athletes in 3:43.  Richard Birch was first Almost to finish in a fast 2:20, followed by Martin Foster in 2:21, Kieran Keating in 2:35, Mike Kennedy in 2:37, Neil Tring at 2:56 and Bill Jones in 3:34.

Two Almosts – Becky Bendall and Sarah Carr - travelled to London on Sunday to compete in the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Becky completed the race in 2:05 and Sarah in 2:31.  Jamie Courtenay headed down to Yeovil and ran their Half Marathon in 1:39.

Further afield, Miranda Foster took third place in her age group for the Bordeaux marathon with a time of 3:45, whilst Robert Dalton-Morris was delighted to complete the Valencia IAAF World Half Marathon in a new PB of 1:35.

Karen and John Galpin travelled to Northern Ireland and ran in the Larne Half Marathon.  Karen was very pleased to finish as second in her age group with an excellent time of 1:38.

Steve Ellul achieved a new PB in Cardiff Bay 10km race with a time of 53:15, whilst Kirstie Hallam was 1st lady in Tockington Duathlon.

There were congratulations at Cheltenham parkrun for two members of Almost Athletes – Matthew Hampton and Kate Plummer – who both completed their 100th run on Saturday.

Several Almosts were parkrun tourists this weekend, including Simon Jarvis who stormed to fourth place in the hilly Eden Project parkrun in Cornwall with a great time of 18:28.  Claire Gallaher and James Clay also ran at the Eden Project, whilst Natalie and Ross Greening participated in  the Exmouth run. 

Mark Medland took part in the muddy Wotton under Edge parkrun, and Paul Turner completed the Gloucester City event for the first time in 24:28. In the North of England Andrea Hardy ran in the Halifax parkrun.

Despite the rain, and water logged roads at the Berkeley 20/20, the Almost Athletes spirits were certainly not dampened. In the 20 mile race, first Almost Athlete home was Hattie Jenkins in at 2:15, winning 1st Female category, Michelle Balchin came in at 2:38 claiming 4th category position and Helen Fursman-Reid finished in 2:58. First male Almost Athlete in was Prashanth Sripathi at 2:16, second Richard Walklate 2:22 and third Matthew Polson 2:30.  In the 20km race, first home was Mike Kennedy with an impressive time of 1.34, second Victoria Kennedy 1:52 and third Catherine Mason 1:58, followed closely by Christopher Benjamin 1:59, Glenda Gill 2:09 and Kathy Haig 2:28.

In Minchinhampton, the 10k race got underway with Oliver Bell coming in at 46:55, Pete Blakeman 49:00, Steve Yarnold 1:00, and Adrian Courtenay at 1:06.

At the Larmer tree trail marathon, Wiltshire Downs, Ingrid Harris achieved a worthy 4:14 through tough and muddy terrain in and around the Rushmore Estate.

Farook Mota, attended the Barcelona Marathon, achieving 3:43 in the hot Spanish sunshine.

Starting and ending in Wrexham Town Centre, Allan Green, took part in the marathon, achieving 4:22.

Nearly 60 Almost Athletes were at the Bourton 10k, one of the traditional early season, curtain raiser races in Gloucestershire. In a highly competitive field there were some notable club performances in the bright and cold but perfect running conditions.
For the ladies, Hattie Jenkins had a superb run with a new PB of 38:40 that earned her 8th lady overall and 3rd in her category. Next lady home was Patricia Peever in 42:54 followed by Jeanette Gullick with 43:00, 3rd in her category and a new personal best.
First club male across the line was Josh Hand in 36mins 26seconds, followed by Alexander Jones in 36:28 & Martin Foster in 38:25.

There were further Personal Bests at Bourton for Chris McMahon in 49:40, Hayley Woolnough who was delighted to break 50 minutes with a 49:08, Mark Eavers in 52.43 and Lorraine Taylor in 50:12 beating her previous by more than 7 minutes.  Dave Chitts also recordered a course PB of 46:10,

Vasco Bareto travelled back to familiar climes in Portugal where he took on the mountainous, off-road challenge of the 111km Trail de Conimbrigia Terras de Sico which he completed in 18:23:07.

Josh Hand was in Berkshire for the Wokingham Half Marathon where he set himself a new PB with a blistering run of 1:19:45. This excellent time scored him a 106th placing in a field of more than 2500 runners.

Cos Pearson travelled to the Tokyo Marathon as she continues her challenge to complete the 6 worldwide Marathon Majors and she was delighted to record a 5:05:19.

Claire Hawes travelled west to Devon & took on the Exeter 10k where she secured a 1:03.

Claire Gallagher, Kasha Price, Simon Jarvis, John Bailey & John Galpin competed at the Peopleton Duathlon, a run of 4 miles, bike of 18 miles and a further run of 2 miles.

At the Weston Super Mare, Two Bays Tough Ten Mile, Steve Adams was home in 1:25:29, Ingrid Harris was 1st in category with 1:29:38, Sheila Chatterley was back 1:39:40 and Allan Green in 1:47:20.

In the traditional marathon at the 100 Marathon Club’s AGM, Ingrid Harris ran 3:50 and Allan Green 4:50.

Portuguese ex-pat Emma Yates was in Spain for the Seville Marathon where she was delighted with her 3:39:54.

Catherine Daly continued her fine recent form of PBs at the 20mile and half marathon distance when she secured a parkrun PB of 23:36 at Cheltenham.

Almost Athletes were out in force attending the Cross Country in Pittville Park on Saturday 17th February, in which nearly 300 runners from across the country took part in the wet and muddy event. Nick Lewis, was first Almost Athlete in at 40:38, second was Prashanth Kumar Sripathi 40:51, third Simon Jarvis 41:06. First Female Almost Athlete in was Jeanette Gullick 32:48, second Ingrid Harris 33:28, third Michelle Balchin 33:32.

Visually impaired runner Rob Rennell took part in the Castle Coombe Chilli 10k, achieving 1:17.

At Richmond on Thames, Christopher Benjamin took part in the half marathon, achieving a worthy 2:07.

Parkrun tourist, Helen Fursman attend the Linwood parkrun, Glasgow achieving 3rd lady and 1st in Age Category in 22:41.

Steve Linton, attended the Powerman duathlon in Spain, running 10k, then cycling 60km followed by  a further 10k run, achieving 3rd overall position.

In Grafham Water Park, Cambridgshire Shaun Carr took part in the Anglian standard distance duathlon, running 10k, cycling  40k, then running 5k in a time of 2:18.

At Gravesend, Kent, Allan Green took part in the Gothic Marathon run, where runners are encouraged to wear their darkest attire, with black high in fashion for the day. Green also went onto run the Dirty running marathon  in 4:44, with Ingrid Harris 3:47, achieving 2nd Lady position overall.

Further afield, in Castellon de la Plana, Spain, Mark and Anne-Marie Willicott, Fiona and Matt Barnes ran the Castellon Marathon, with Mark achieving 3:21, Matt 3:03, and Anne-Marie and Fiona 4:07.