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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.

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A special mention is due this week to three Almosts who successfully competed in Ironman events.  

On Saturday Matt Proome travelled to Sweden to take part in the Ironman Kalmar challenge. After months of intensive training, Proome finished the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.22 mile run in an impressive time of 12hours 18mins.

On Sunday 19th August Amber Bullingham and James Eastwood both participated in Ironman 70.3 in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Eastwood completed the event in 6hrs 05mins and Bullingham in 6:35.

A group of seventeen Almosts took part in the Westonbirt House Summer 10km run on Friday 17th August.  First Almost home was Michael Harris in 46:40, followed by David Pilling in 47:34 and Dave Chittock in 51:38.  Deb Cartlidge was first Almost lady to complete in 51:39.  Also running were Kate Freeman in 53.36, Suzanne Hills with 53:57, Jackie Slaughter 54:44, Ceinwen Davies 59:41, Charlotte Jameson 59:55, Kasha Price 1:01, Wan Hartley 1:02, Adrian Courtenay 1:06, David Nelson 1:07, Iris Mayo and Claire Gallagher both in 1:09, Mark Stojanov in 1:11 and Julie Averiss in 1:17.          

Kevin Balchin and Gregg Woodman formed part of a team in the South West Tough Mudder event on Saturday, helping to raise money for the 4Louis Charity. The 10 mile event involves overcoming 20 different obstacles along a muddy trail run around the Badminton countryside.

Katy Sworn took on a different kind of challenge in Tywyn, Wales by completing the 2018 Race the Train event in just over two and a half hours.

At this week’s Cheltenham parkrun, Louise Inchley finished her 50th run with a time of 25:53.  There was also a new PB for Chris White with 21:47, for Alice Harmon with 23:30,for  Lepha McCartan in 25:33 and for Peter Kimpton with 27:24.

Parkrun tourists this week included Piotr Michalski who gained a new PB in the Paris Parc Monsouris event with a time of 20:41.  Prash Sripathi was 5th overall in Gloucester City parkrun with 18:58, Jo Foster was 5th lady in Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun and also gained a new PB of 22:01, whilst Martin Foster came in as 21st overall in the same event with a time of 19:09.

Robert Foord went to Portrush to complete his 50th different parkrun venue on the beach, Karla Cleverley ran in Hagley Park, Christchurch, New Zealand parkrun, Rich Smith took on the pebbles in Seaton, Iris Mayo ran in Worcester Pitchcroft and Kev Fairs took part in York.

Overseas, Karla Cleverley ran in the Christchurch, New Zealand, 10km Night Series on Friday, and was very pleased to finish the sandy course in 1:26, whilst Francis Bull took part in the River Valley 10km Trail Run in Maryland, USA.

Almost Athletes hosted their popular Bugatti 10K race based from the Prescott Hill climb venue on Wednesday evening. On a sultry evening and over a testing, undulating course there were a number of standout performances from the club in the field of over 270 athletes.  First home overall for the race was Neil Laurenson from Black Pear Joggers in 35:04. First lady overall was an Almost Athlete in blistering form this summer, our new member Helena Youde in 39:20.
The top 3 men for Almosts were Josh Hand 38:10, Simon Jarvis 39:00 and Prash Sripathi 39:07.
The 2nd & 3rd Almost ladies were Ellie Laney 44:20 and Hattie Jenkins 42:38. Together with Helena Youde the trio collected the ladies team prize for the night.
There were PBs on the night too for Stacey Osmond in 45:33 Hollie Linton in 48:05 and Ingrid Harris in 48:14.

At the Salisbury 54321 50K off-road Ultra, several Almosts stepped up to an ultra-distance for the first time & did not disappoint at their debuts. In the full 50K Dave Rogers was home in a superb 4:31. Lepha McCartan was delighted with her 5:46 and Andrew Wilkinson and Thom Stephens triumphed in 6:17. Ingrid Harris & Allan Green completed the marathon distance in 4:09 & 5:06 respectively. Finally, Helen Fursman Reid delivered in the 33K challenge at 3:15.

At the Birmingham Canal Canter marathon which actually measured 27.5 miles Mark & Anne Marie Willicott made the most of a hot toast feed station at 5 miles and recorded a 5:45.

At the Standish trail race, the first 3 men home for the Almosts were Josh Hand in 1:05, Prash Sripathi in 1:08 and Shaun Carr in 1:16. For the ladies the top 3 were Lucinda Hand in 1:22, Kim Mansell in 1:23 and Lorraine Taylor in 1:32. Special mention should be made for visually impaired Almost Jayne Murphy who completed in 1:57 having been guided on his first experience at this by Robert Dalton-Morris. This race was a double header for many with the Cranham Boundary Chase on the same weekend. Almosts took the men’s team prize with Prash Sripathi in 44:39, Shaun Carr in 48:31 and Haiggy McHaig in 50:25. For the ladies the top 3 were Ingrid Harris, first lady overall in 53:12, Hayley Woolnough 60:15 and Lorraine Taylor 60:43.

Piotr Michalski completed his 50th parkrun at Cheltenham having also being awarded one of the club's Runner of the Month awards. Peter Morris scored a new parkrun PB of 20:36, as did Matt Proome in 18:59. At Braunstone parkrun, Jo Foster was 3rd lady in 20:20 whilst Martin Foster ran a new PB of 18:55. Sue Monaghan was 1st in her category at Bakewell parkrun. Rich Smith travelled to Wootton Under Edge for a 31:47. Iris Mayo was first in her category at Evesham.

Finally, the Club was sad to say goodbye this week to two members Marc & Kate Plummer who are emigrating to France. Both have been dedicated members of Almosts and stalwarts of the Cheltenham running community and parkrun at Cheltenham.

The sun was shining on the purple army, as Almost Athletes ran the Tri-max Forest of Dean 10k, Half and full marathon. Pete Hooper completed the 10k in 55 minutes, Charmaine Brunt 58:18, Kev Balchin 1:06 and Kev Fairs 1:08. Running the half marathon, Paul Warren completed the event in 1:40, Amy Sheers 1:45, Chris White 1:47, Farook Moto 1:51, Nicole Hope and Philip Jeyes 2:18, Oliver Clarkin 2:23 achieving a personal best, Lynne Macedo 2:36, Rachael and Ollie Nolan 2:46. Ingrid Harris ran the marathon, coming first in her age group V50-59 in 3:48, followed by Mark Willicott 3:56, Michelle Balchin 4:02 achieving 3rd in age group, Ian Coggin 4:04, Matt Hurshamn 4:14, and Karen Galpin 4:20.

In  Battersea, London, Helena Youde achieved a new personal best of 38:53, as well as achieving 3rd Lady at the Sri-Chimnoy 10k series.

The Cotswold 24 Hour Race, a 24 hour individual or team relay race held in the Bathurst Estate, just outside of Cirencester, an off-road 9km mixed course was run by Team: Prashanth Sripathi, Piotr Michalski and Robert Dalton-Morris, achieving 3rd place in their age category, completing 31 laps in 24 hours. Visually impaired runner, Rob Rennell ran with Team VI runners Bristol, completing his first 9k in 1:13, and second lap 1:16.

At the Barry Island 10k, David Chittock completed the event in 48:54, followed by Lepha McCartan and Deborah Cartlidge in 56:18.

Parkrun tourists saw, Vasco Barreto attending the Bydgoszc parkrun, Poland, achieving 4th overall, 2nd in age category at 19:56. Iris Mayo at Torbay Velopark parkrun, Janine Bennett Didcot parkrun, Claire Hawes Seaton parkrun, Robert Foord Evesham parkrun. At Cheltenham parkrun: Jo Foster completed her 100th parkrun, followed by Oliver Bell completing his 50th parkrun. Catherine Daly and Jamie Watt achieved new personal bests of 23:18 and 22:50. Maisie Markham and Alice Harman completed their first parkrun, with a total of 44 purple finishers on Saturday.

Almost Athletes took to the track this week at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham for the Midsummer Open 5k Classic. In the highly competitive field, all of the Almost Athletes racing secured a new PB on a very sultry evening. Times were Josh Hand 17:38, Martin Foster 18:07, Matt Polson 18:27, Prash Sripathi 18:42, Matt Hickman 19:14, Hattie Jenkins 19:29 and Piotr Michalski 20:28.

Ellie Laney was 1st lady home overall at the Pilot Inn 5k near Gloucester in a time of 19:52.

Prash Sripathi continued his fine form into a new PB at Cheltenham parkrun in a time of 18:49, his first sub 19 minutes. There was also a PB at Cheltenham for Graham Philpott in 25:08.

Also at parkrun Rachael Nolan, Simon Jarvis, Claire Gallagher and James Clay hit the tourist trail to run at the Southwark parkrun in London. The quartet later completed the London 10 Relay. Rich Smith ran Rickmansworth in 25:52. Pete Mitchener & Kate Freeman ran at Tewkesbury for the first time. Lynne Macedo was 2nd in her age category with a new PB at Tunbridge Wells. Also on the tourist trail were Simon Attridge at Richmond, Kev Dendy & Patricia Peever at Ashton Court Bristol, Janine Bennett at Seaton, Mark Stojanov at Canon Hill Birmingham, Hayley Woolnough at Warrington, Neil Tring at Thornbury, Ian Coggin & Norm Lever at Newent, Jason Bliss at Doncaster, Robert Foord at Maidenhead and Claire Hawes at Exmouth.

Ingrid Harris & Allan Green completed the Dorset Invader Marathon in 5:40, the distance turning out to be 28.6 miles.

Over the past week there have been some outstanding results for members of Almost Athletes across a variety of different races and locations.

David Lawrence deserves a special mention for his achievements in four separate events. On Tuesday 17th he ran the Blaisdon 10km in 54:39, which placed him as second in his age group and set a new Club record for that category.  On the 18th he took part in the Waddesdon Manor 5km run and was also 2nd in his category with a time of 26:43.  On Thursday 19th he ran the Gloucester 5km and again came second in his category and set another new Club record with 26:17.  Finally Lawrence participated in the Bourton One Mile race on Saturday 21st, and was also second in his category with a time of 7:43.

Lesley Cottle put in an excellent run in the Jurassic Coast Challenge, a 100km event across 2 days from Poole to Bridport. Her finish time of 14:47 placed her as first lady overall.

There was also a superb result for Helena Youde this week, as she completed the Birkenhead parkrun in a new PB of 18:42, making her 10th overall and 1st female to complete the race.  

A total of twenty-three Almosts took part in the Gloucester 5km on Thursday 19th, with three members finishing in the top ten – Simon Jarvis in 18:27, Martin Foster in 18:34 (a new PB) and Matt Polson in 18:39. There were also new PBs for Prash Sripathi with 18:52, Piotr Michalski with 20:54, Chris White in 22:24, and for Hattie Jenkins who was first Almost lady to finish in 19:30.

At the Bourton One Mile race on Saturday Matt Polson was first Almost home in 5:14 and in sixteenth place overall.  Stacey Osmond was third in her age category with a time of 6:10, whilst Dave Chittock achieved a new PB with 6:23. Richard Birch completed in 5:48, Deb Cartlidge in 6:49, Alison Hume in 7:59, Sue Monaghan in 8:08 and Claire Hawes in 8:47.

On Sunday 22nd, Dave Rogers and Lepha McCartan both ran the Bath Long Half Marathon of 16 miles in 3:02. Allan Green tackled the full Marathon and finished in 5:31, whilst Jayne Cheslin ran the 10km and was 6th female to complete and 3rd in her age group, as well as achieving a new PB.

Also on Sunday, Mark Willicott completed the Wild One Marathon in Worcester with a time of 4:19.

In Cheltenham parkrun, there were new PBs for Matthew Hickman with 19:38, Dave Rogers with 19:48, and Piotr Michalski with 21:30.  Jo Foster achieved a new PB for the second week in succession with 22:04. Anne-Marie Willicott was first in her age category, and Robert Dalton-Morris ran his first parkrun as a Visually Impaired guide with Rob Rennell.

Other parkrun tourists included Jeanette Gullick who was 1st lady in Tewkesbury, Chris McMahon who ran Gloucester North, Iris Mayo who took part in Penrhyn and Prash Sripathi in Netley Abbey parkruns.

A small number of Almosts took part in the Cheltenham Tri in the Park, with Julie Courtenay completing her first triathlon in 55:10.  Also taking part were Nicole Hope, Hannah Brown, Adrian Courtenay and Nat Stow.

Lepha McCartan took on the Maverick Camp Endeavour, a 10,000 foot, 30 mile trail run in Chamonix France. Amongst rocky descents, alpine forests,  beautiful landscapes, and Mt Blanc towering in every angle of the run. McCartan completed this phenomenal run over 3 days: Day 1: 9 miles, Day 2: 13.4 miles and Day 3: 8.5miles.

Following the footsteps of Vikings and Romans, Hayley Woolnough and Deborah Elliott completed the Race to the Stones 50km trail run, an event along the oldest path in Britain, from the Chilterns to the mystical North Wessex Downs. Woolnough and Elliott completed this stunning run in 10 hrs 11 mins.

The Snowdonia trail marathon was run by Ingrid Harris, Mike Kennedy and Allan Green. Harris was  awarded third place prize in her the V50-V59 age category.

Robert Dalton-Harris ran his 250th parkrun in Cheltenham on Saturday, with Peter Mitchener achieving 1st in age group at 21:54, with personal bests achieved by Jo Foster, Nicole Hope, Lynne Macedo and Chaweewan Hartley. At Gloucester North parkrun Helen Youde was 2nd overall and 1st Lady, Chris McMahon was the second Almost Athlete home, achieving 3rd in age group. Parkrun tourists saw Peter Morris at Exeter Riverside parkrun achieving a personal best of 19:59 and Robert Ford the Black park country parkrun, Slough, achieving 24:17.