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News

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

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The main event of the weekend was undoubtedly the Cheltenham Half Marathon in which a large contingent of over 100 Almosts took part with some excellent results all round.

Josh Hand was first male Almost home in 1:22, followed by Steve Linton in 1:25 and Martin Foster with 1:26, both of whom gained new PBs.

For the ladies, Helena Youde was third female overall with a terrific time of 1:22 which placed her first in her age group, followed by Hattie Jenkins in 1:31 and Patricia Peever in 1:34.

Danny Reeves put in a great performance and was second in the wheelchair category with 1:29, whilst visually impaired runner Rob Rennell gained a new PB by finishing in 2:59. Louise Bryan ran her first ever Half Marathon in 1:55.

There were a number of other outstanding results for Almosts in the various age groups. Ingrid Harris, Karen Galpin and Karen Gomm were 1st, 2nd and 3rd in their group with times of 1:40, 1:43 and 1:49 respectively. Virginia Pawlyn was first in her group with 2:13, whilst Dale Midwinter and Jeanette Gullick were both 3rd in their groups in 1:29 (a new PB) and 1:42.

Young Almost Holly Linton came first in the Community Mile around the Racecourse with a new PB of 5mins 40secs.

Of the Almosts running in penguin costume, first home was Prash Sripathi in a time of 1:33, followed by Pete Mitchener in 1:54.

Amongst the many new PBs gained today were the following: Matthew Hickman with 1:28, Ben Stone with 1:29, Martin Thomas in 1.39, Piotr Michalski with 1:41, Andrew Wilkinson in 1:42, Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto in 1:43, Catherine Daly in 1:45, Jo Foster with 1:46, Richard Knightley in 1.51, Chris McMahon with 1:52, Sarah Carr in 2.20, Kev Fairs in 2:23, Dave Nelson in 2:25, Mark Stojanov in 2:35 and Rita Crane in 2:56.

As well as running in penguin suits, Almost Athletes manned the 10 mile water station dressed as penguins in tribute to their late colleague Rich Walklate.

Away from the Cheltenham Half, a number of Almosts competed in other events over the weekend.  Claire Hawes ran the Exmouth 10km in 57:21, her fastest since early 2015, and on Saturday Allan Green took part in the Pyjamathon Marathon at Walton on Thames with a finishing time of 4:28.

Dave Chittock ran the British Heart Foundation Half Marathon at Blenheim Palace in 1:50, whilst Dave Rogers and Lepha McCartan tackled the Maverick X series Marathon in Snowdonia which had 7000 feet of climb and a distance of almost 28 miles overall.  Rogers finished in 5:55 and McCartan in 6:49. Oliver Clarkin took on the shorter distance of 14.5 miles with 1300 metres elevation at the same event, and came home in 4:05.

Seven Almost ladies ran the Forest of Dean Half Marathon on Sunday with Sarah Roberts the first to finish in 1:54, followed by Hester Coggin in 1:56 and Karen Hilton in 1:58.  Carole Doherty achieved 2:10, Desiree Beer 2:12, and Nikki Durnell and Wan Hartley both 2:21.

There were celebrations at Cheltenham parkrun on Saturday 29th where two Almosts – Matt Bevan and Prash Sripathi – both completed a remarkable 250th run.

On the same morning, Lynne Macedo ran her 50th parkrun and there were new PBs for Simon Evans with 23:15, Lorraine Taylor with 23.52 and Emma Wilkinson with 24.15.

Rich Smith was a parkrun tourist at the Arrow Valley event, and finished in 30:02 whilst running with a buggy.

Despite the wind and heavy rain over much of the weekend there were some excellent results for Almosts in a variety of different races.

On Saturday 22nd Martyn Fisher completed the Norfolk Coast Marathon in 4:35, whilst Ingrid Harris took on the LDWA Cotswold Challenge Marathon and finished in 5:55.

Alice Harmon recorded an excellent time of 47:51 at the Loch Ness 10km race in Scotland on Sunday 23rd, whilst Mark Stojanov ran 11.5km at Hever Castle in 1:31.

Rob Rennell tackled the Great Bristol Half Marathon and completed in 3:07.

The Angels 10km race also took place on Sunday after having been postponed from April due to bad weather.  The undulating course which starts at Ashleworth is part of the Gloucester AAA County Road Race series. Martin Foster was first Almost home in 40:10, followed by Richard Birch in 40:22, Neil Tring in 44:15 and Allan Green in 47:35.

Once again there was success for the Almost’s ladies team consisting of Amy Sheer, Michelle Balchin and Catherine Daly, who were second overall with times of 45:17, 46:13 and 48:58 respectively.

There were also County medals for each of the following: David Lawrence, Neil Tring, Richard Birch, Allan Green, Amy Sheer, Catherine Daly, Michelle Balchin, Lorraine Taylor and Hayley Woolnough.

At Cheltenham parkrun there was a new PB for Louise Inchley with 24:51 and Louise Bryan ran her first parkrun in 24:39.

Parkrun tourists this weekend included Pete Mitchener in Melbourne, Australia, who gained a new PB with a time of 21:10. Nat Stow ran Gloucester North for the first time in 27:14 and Kate Freeman took part in the Bakewell parkrun.

Almost Athletes travelled far and wide this weekend to take part in events in all corners of the world. Peter Mitchener ran the Sydney Marathon in 3:58, Hannah Brown Stockholm half marathon in 2:23, Mike Bryce, Simon Jarvis, Rachel Farghar, Malc Smith, Janine Bennett and Claire Gallagher ran the Copenhagen Half Marathon, Oliver Bell, Ali Shaikh and Sandra Stuart all took part in the Berlin Marathon. Vasco Barreto took part in the Trail of the Dents-du-midi, from the village of Champéry, Switzerland. A 57km ultra marathon, tackling 7 peaks across the trail, with 3700m of elevation gain. Barreto completed this event in 10:41.

Locally in Worcester, Josh Hand, Gareth Wilks, Nicole Hope, Dave Nelson, Andrea Hardy, Rob Rennell took part in the Worcester 10k. And, Chris White the Worcester half marathon, completing this race in 1:40, gaining a new personal best.

Amy Sheer tackled her debut marathon, in Richmond, London, achieving an exceptional time of 3:36, gaining fourth female overall position.

At the Apperley quarter marathon, Helene Youde was first  female overall, Jo Foster second Female Almost Athlete in and Ingrid Harris third in. James Eastwood was first male in, Matt Polson second and Richard Birch third in.

Michelle Balchin took part in the Heart of England, Forest Marathon, Starting in the Medieval market town of Henley in Arden, South Warwickshire. Balchin completed this tough event in 4:50.

Becky Bendall took part in the Calke Abbey 10k, in Derbyshire. At the temple Trail Half Marathon, in Marlborough Julianne Jameson tacked this trail event in 2:12. In Swansea, Paul Warren completed the 10k in 42:04 and Charmaine Brunt 49:28, both achieving PBs.

Allan Green took part in three marathons over the past week, New Forest Marathon 4:45, Wendover Woods 4:17 and Heart of England, Forest Marathon 5:33.

In Warrington, Karla Cleverley took part in the EHM 5k, coming in at 42:48, and the Half Marathon in 3:13.

The Devil Mudrun Cheltenham, a hardcore, hilly 9km course, featuring 31 obstacles through rugged countryside and plenty of mud, was attended by Gregg Woodman and Kevin Balchin.

Martyn Fisher took part in the Royston Harvest Trail Half Marathon.

At the Cirencester Tri Ferris big swim, Mark Lyes completed this swimming race in 1(hr):03.

Parkrun tourists saw, Janine Bennett, James Clay, Claire Bear, Rachel Fargher, Malc Smith, Greg Hollingworth and Simon Jarvis at the Amager Fælled parkrun, Copenhagen, Oliver Bell Berlin parkrun, Philip Jeyes at the Jamaica Pond parkrun, Boston, Jeanette Gullick, Sarah Wallbridge, Sheila Chatterley at the Coleford parkrun, with Sheila achieving first in her AG and Hattie Jenkins second lady at the Bath Skyline parkrun. Helene Youde was first lady at the Cheltenham parkrun.

The flat & fast course at the Oldbury 10 mile race near Thornbury was a happy hunting ground this week for a large turnout by Almost Athletes.
For the ladies, Helena Youde was first home for the race overall in a time of 1:04:59. Together with Patricia Peever & Hattie Jenkins the ladies also stormed to the team prize for the race where Sally Conway, Judo bronze medal Olympian presented their prize.
First home for the men were Prash Sripathi Kumar in a PB of 1:04:04, Rich Birch in 1:05:57, Martin Foster 1:06:04 PB and Dave Rogers also in a new PB of 1:07:03.
The course also brought out a string of personal bests including Matt Hickman 1:07:31, Jeannette Gullick 1:16:30, Stacey Osmond 1:18:46, Andy Wilkinson 1:19:15 , Lorraine Taylor 1:22:22, Alison Hume 1:24:32, Chris McMahon 1:26, Lepha McCartan 1:27:03 and Janine Bennett 1:39:04.
Danny Reeves earnt a prize for the events inaugural wheelchair athlete in 1:12:26.
Travelling to the North East for the Great North Run, the world’s largest half marathon, a small band of Almosts were relieved to find no fog on the Tyne but instead some ideal running conditions. Christopher Benjamin felt like the first time in a half with 2:09 and Oliver Clarkin ran around an army of other runners to secure a new PB of 2:17. It was another family affair for the Nolans with Oliver home in 2:27:07 & daughter Rachael in 2:32:05. Iris Mayo found the going tough but finished in 2:47.
At the Marathon du Medoc in France Virginia Pawlyn finished in 6:11.
At Cheltenham parkrun there were PBs for Dave Rogers in 19:29 and Chris White in 21:29.
There was parkrun tourism for Peter Morris at Trellisick in Cornwall in 22:57, Dave Nelson at Strathclyde Park in Motherwell in 29:56 a best for the year, Ellie Laney in San Francisco, California in 20:02 for first lady. Martyn Fisher completed his 100th parkrun at The Wimpole Estate, Cambs, whilst Dave, Sam and Barney McGrath ran at Exmouth parkrun.
In her first outing as an Almost Athlete, Kerry Knowles conquered the Stratford 10k in 1:08:05. Karla Cleverley defeated the Northampton half marathon in 3:23:35. Hazel Everett took a 1:02 at the New Forest 10K. Ingrid Harris was 3rd lady overall at the Bacchus Wine Marathon.
At the Cheltenham Lido triathlon with its 500m swim, 13km bike & 2.5km run Neil Tring was round in 53:02 PB, Lou Tring in 59:23 PB, Hannah Brown 1:02, Nat Stow 1:03, Adrian Courtenay in 1:07 and Sarah Carr in 1:09.

Many Almosts participated in multiple events over the weekend of 1st-2nd September, with some outstanding individual and team results as well as many new PBs.

Dave Nelson was particularly busy as he took part in four separate races.  On Saturday 1st September he ran the Evesham parkrun and finished in 31:51, followed by Alderton Village 5km with a time of 34:19. That same evening he competed in the Meteor Mile and gained a new PB with 7:47.  On Sunday 2nd he finished the Cardiff 10km race in 1:05.

Nikki Durnell also ran in the Cardiff 10km and gained a new PB with a time of 56:47.  She completed the Meteor Mile on Saturday in 8:04.

Martin Thomas gained two new PBs with a time of 5:48 at the Meteor Mile and 1:25 at the 10 mile Chedworth Roman Trail.

Catherine Daly recorded a new PB at Cheltenham parkrun with a time of 22:48 and then ran the Meteor Mile in the evening in 6:27.  On Sunday she finished the Chedworth Roman Trail in 1:35.

Thom Stephens ran the Random Act of Kindness Ultra of 30 miles in 4:53 on Saturday, followed by the Chedworth Roman Trail on Sunday where he came home in 1:21.

A number of Almost Athletes took part in the Alderton Village 5km race on Saturday 1st September.  David Ramsdale was first Almost home with a season’s best time of 20:43. Michelle Balchin was 4th lady overall and first female Almost to complete in 22:08, followed by Ingrid Harris who was 5th lady in 23:31.  Also running were Steve Yarnold with 26:18, Neil Harris with 27:09, Connor Bryant with 28:17, Keven Balchin and Greg Woodman both with 28:26, Rita Crane in 30:31 (a new PB), and Coralie Pearson with 31:56.

The Meteor Mile event took place on Saturday evening at Staverton Airport and was supported by a large contingent of Almosts who claimed ten of the top twenty places overall.

Jonathan Bird was first Almost to finish in a time of 4:55 and 5th overall, followed by Matt Polson in 7th place with 4:59 and Simon Jarvis in 9th place with 5:04.

Helena Youde claimed a new Club record and was the first lady overall to complete in 5:34, whilst Stacey Osmond was third lady with her time of 5:53, which was also a new personal best.  Earlier in the week on Wednesday 29th August, Osmond had finished with a time of 20:36 in the Pilot Inn 5km race in Stroud, placing her as second lady overall.

There were a number of new PBs at the Meteor Mile including Matthew Hickman with 5:23, Gaz Run with 5:40, Chris McMahon with 6:12, Janine Bennett with 8:02 and Mark Stojanov with 8:58.
 
On Sunday 2nd, the Chedworth Roman Trail 10 mile race which had been postponed due to bad weather earlier in the year finally took place.  Forty-eight Almosts took part – many of whom had also competed in the Meteor Mile the evening before - and there were some excellent results all round.  

Ellie Laney was first lady to finish in 1:17, Amber Bullingham and Patricia Peever were both first in their age categories with 1:20 and 1:22 respectively, and jointly the three took the Ladies Team prize. Ingrid Harris completed in 1:26 and was second in her category.

Prash Sripathi was first Almost male to come home and 3rd in his age category with a time of 1:11, followed by Richard Birch in 1:14 and Shaun Carr in 1:20.  Michael Daly was second in his category with a time of 1:23.  Richard Knightley, Martin Lee and Jayne Cheslin all ran this race as new members of Almost Athletes, and finished in 1:33, 1:35 and 1:39 respectively.

Allan Green completed yet another marathon on Sunday 2nd by running the Great British Cake Run event in Wokingham in a time of 4:33, whilst Zakia Hussain took on the challenging 10km Autumn Wolf Run near Leamington Spa and finished in 3:09.

At Cheltenham parkrun there were new personal best times for Jamie Watt with 22:30secs, Jeff Tibbles with 28:02 and Melvyn Harris with 32:08.  Josh Hand came 13th overall with a time of 18:48 and Prash Sripathi was 18th in 19:34.

Parkrun tourists this weekend included Rich Smith at Higginson, Marlow with a time of 25:14, Andrea Hardy in Oxford with 27:13, and Iris Mayo at Arrow Valley parkrun in 34:10. In France, Lepha McCartan took part in the Rouen parkrun and finished in 26:59.

Claire Gallagher and Kasha Price got the weekend under way, flying the Almost Athletes flag at the 401 running festival Portishead, Bristol. Gallagher and Price each ran 4 individual races over the two days, covering a total distance of 26.2 miles, gaining 4 medals each for their remarkable efforts. Also at the 401 running festival, David Chittock, Deborah Cartlidge, Lepha McCartan, and Suzanne Hills took part in the half marathon.

A wet Winchcombe 10k was attended in great volumes of Almost Athletes, with Prashanth Kumar Sripathi first in at 44:10, Simon Jarvis second 44:46 and Richard Birch 45:05, with Ingrid Harris achieving first in the V55 age group. The 5k race was run by Julie Courtenay.

In Dorset, Ingrid Harris ran the East Farm Frolic Marathon, an 8 lap undulating course with Harris claiming the first Lady prize in 4:01.

The Severn Bridge 10k was run by Iris Mayo in 1:07, the Half Marathon was run by Anne-Marie Willicott in 1:58, Christopher Benjamin 2:03, Dominic Lyes 2:07 and Nicole Hope 2:10.

Becca Waugh ran her 100th parkrun in Cheltenham, parkrun tourists saw Dave Nelson at the Le mura di Lucca run in Tuscany, Oliver Bell at Rouen, France and Rich Smith at the Pitchcroft parkrun Worcester.

The Pershore Plum Plodders 10k saw Danny Carrol first in at 48:51, Kevin Fairs 1:01, Chaweewan Hartley 1:03, Rita Crane 1:06 and Mark Stojanov achieving a personal best of 1:07.

Hannah Brown took part in two sprint triathlons over the weekend, Brown completed the West Lancs. event in 1:27, and the Matlock event in 1:44.