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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.

Latest News

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Windy conditions did not deter a hardy group of Almost Athletes from competing in the Severn Bridge Night Run on Wednesday. Ollie Nolan completed the five mile race in 59:24, coming first in the MV65 category and making a remarkable comeback after recently fracturing his ankle. Joe Harrison was the first Almost to finish in 39:51, followed by Kasha Price (50:43), Janine Bennett (56:19), Clare Gallagher (56:20) and Rachel Nolan (59:24).

Remembrance Sunday saw three Almosts taking part in the annual Sodbury Slog multi-terrain race, where the hilly nine-mile course lived up to its tough and muddy reputation. First Almost home was Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto in 1:33. Seth Gilbert finished in 2:29 and Coralie Pearson in 2:37.  Meanwhile, Paul and Kathy Haig took part in the centenary edition of the Remembrance Day Marathon, finishing in 4:03 and 6:34 respectively. Participants stopped mid-race to observe a two minute silence at 11am, before continuing along the riverside trails of Walton on Thames.

The Autumn Forest Frolic was hosted by club members Ian and Glenda Gill, with proceeds going to Brockworth Hedgehog Rescue. The event saw club members and their families running around the trails of the Forest of Dean, with the reward of Ian’s legendary cooking waiting for them at the finish line.
In Malta, Andrew Wilkinson took a break from his holiday to run the Zurrieq Half Marathon in 1:46.

More than 40 club members were in action at Cheltenham parkrun to witness Peter Mitchener’s debut as Run Director. Jo Foster ran 23:05 to finish second lady, while Prash Sripathi was the first male Almost in 19:44. The club was also represented at Gloucester North, Tewkesbury, and Gloucester City where Lorraine Taylor was 6th lady with course PB of 24:26 and Neil Tring was 7th overall in 20:47. Rich Smith pushed a buggy around Lydney parkrun, finishing in 30:21.

Jo Johnston was in New South Wales, Australia, and ran the hot and hilly Armidale parkrun in 38:39. Andrea Hardy was a tourist at Cannock Chase, Rachel Fargher at Witney, Oliver Bell at Sheringham and Jeff Tibbles at Heartlands.

The Guy Fawkes 5 mile race in Tewkesbury took place on Sunday 4th November with 71 members of Almost Athletes taking part.

Once again, there were some terrific results for the ladies with three age category wins. Patricia Peever came first in the LV35 age group with a time of 33:54.  Ingrid Harris was first in the LV55 group in 37:24 and Mary Welsh won her LV70 group in 53:45.

Wheelchair athlete Danny Reeves also won his race with a finishing time of 33:36.

Josh Hand was first Almost male to finish in 29:44, followed by Matt Polson in 30:34 and Jon Bird in 30:51.  As well as winning her age group, Patricia Peever was also first Almost lady to complete the race, followed by Amy Sheer and Stacey Osmond who both achieved new PBs of 34:40 and 35:09 respectively.

There were also many other new PBs achieved at the race, including each of the following.  For the ladies Charmaine Brunt completed in 39:10, Lorraine Taylor 39:12 and Iris Mayo 51:37. For the men Jonathan Bird finished in 30:51, Paul Warren 34:01, Piotr Michalski 34:16, Andrew Wilkinson 35:34, Chris McMahon 39:23, Richard Knightley 39:32, Gareth Wilkes 40:14 and Mark Stojanov 54:18.

Apart from the Tewkesbury race, there were some good results for Almosts in other events throughout the country.

On Saturday Mark Willicott ran the Spooky Sprint Marathon in Hartlebury in 4:12 whilst Anne-Marie Willicott tackled the Petrified Pootle half marathon and achieved 2:11.

A number of Almosts took part in the Gloucestershire Cross Country race at Charlton Park on Saturday, with Andrea Hardy finishing her first cross country event in 38:37.

Ed Brandley achieved a season’s best time of 51:38 in the Leeds Abbey 10km Dash on Sunday whilst Dave Nelson ran the Malvern View 10km in 1:02.

At Cheltenham parkrun on Saturday 3rd November Helena Loude was first lady home in an excellent time of 19:54. There were also four new PBs with Thomas Wood coming in 14th overall whilst completing his 50th parkrun with a time of 19:28.  Jean-Philippe Villain-Chastre finished in 20:08, Peter Kimpton achieved 26:54 and Jeff Tibbles was home in 28:00.  Congratulations are also due to Dominic Lyes who ran his 50th parkrun.

Claire Hawes had a busy weekend. She went from being Race Director at Cheltenham parkrun to running the Big Fetch Mile at Cardiff Indoor Athletics Centre on Saturday, and then completing the Guy Fawkes 5 on Sunday in 48:02.

It was also a bumper Saturday for parkrun tourism with Almost Athletes taking part in eleven different events.  

Hester Coggin gained a new PB in the Gloucester City event with a time of 23:36, which was also run by Ian Coggin, Ian and Glenda Gill and Beverley and Rachel Nolan.  Rich Smith and Mike Kennedy ran the Gloucester North parkrun and Richard Gilbert completed the Kingsway, Gloucester event.  

James Clay and Greg Hollingworth completed another letter from the parkrun Staying Alive Alphabet Challenge by running in Grangemoor near Cardiff, Aline Imray tackled the Coventry course, Oliver Bell took on Kings Lynn, Sian David ran in Cwmbran and Lesley Cottle in Exmouth. Matthew Bevan completed the Severn Bridge parkrun and Norm Lever ran in Marlborough Common.  

Robert Foord took park in the Littleport parkrun on Saturday and then completed the Bonfire Burn 10km race near Cambridge with a time of 44:25.

A committed band of more than 30 Almost Athletes travelled to North Wales for the Snowdonia Marathon, typically regarded as one of the toughest Marathon challenges in the world. The course features 3 brutal climbs with a total elevation gain of 2650 feet. Conditions were cold & very blustery with hailstorms, but this did not stop some gritty & determined performances.
Catherine Daly recorded a massive new marathon PB coming home in 4hrs 10mins on the unforgiving course & conditions. Similarly, there were new marathon PBs for Lepha McCartan in 4:26 and Sarah Fennel in 5:48.
Also running were Dave Rogers 3:29, Paul Thomas 3:46, Thom Stephens 3:52, Matt Proome 3:57, Martin Thomas 3:58, Michelle Balchin 4:00, Mike Daly 4:03, Dave Elliott 4:07, Fiona Barnes 4:15, Helen Fursman Reid 4:22, Deborella Cartlidge 4:23 (new course PB), Steve Wallbridge 4:25, Dave Chittock 4:31 (new course PB), Andy Wilkinson 4:35, Julie Scourfield 4:56, Nick Simon 4:59, Jules Jamieson 5:02, Catherine Mason 5:13, Jackie Slaughter 5:31, & Paul Haig 5:48.
Claire Cook and Mark Eavers put up a spirited fight despite injury but were both forced to withdraw at 15 miles. Support duties for the club were handled by Matt Barnes, Nicky Woodman, Meg Cook and John Scourfield to help the runners home.
At the Gloucester 10K, Helena Youde represented the club as well as the county of Gloucestershire AAA where she impressed by being first lady in the team home in a new PB of 38:30. Matt Polson also ran a new PB by 50 seconds at the event in 37:59 as did Louise Bryan in 47:39 and Mark Soo in 39:20. Chris Spry & Emma Dooley both ran 1:06.
Shaun Carr ran the Beachy Head Marathon in 3:53, whilst Sarah Carr ran the 10K in 1:06. Allan Green ran the Venice marathon in 5:11.
There was parkrun tourism for Hayley Woolnough in Dublin, Andrea Hardy in Brighton and Ben Stone at Glos North.
There were new parkrun PBs at Cheltenham for Thomas Wood in 19:44, Piotr Michalski in 21:05, Richard Knightley in 23:18 and Stacey Osmond at Kingsway in 21:22 for 1st lady.

An impressive field of more than 90 Almost Athletes travelled to Stroud for the 37th running of the highly popular Stroud Half Marathon. Ideal running conditions led to a string of equally impressive performances throughout the club.
First home for the Almosts was Helena Youde in a blistering paced 1:23:03 which earnt her 2nd “local” lady back and 4th place lady overall for the race. Next for the ladies was Ellie Laney with a new PB in 1:29:24 giving her 8th lady overall, followed by Patricia Peever in 1:33:48 for 16th lady overall.
For the men, Prashnath Sripathi stormed home in 1:25:26  followed by Martin Foster in 1:27:11 and James Eastwood in 1:27:36.
The running conditions led to a string of other PBs for Almost Athletes with Matt Hickman in 1:28:01, Matt Proome 1:30:19, Neil Tring 1:37:19, Thomas Wood 1:37:37, Kim Mansell 1:39:27, Jamie Watt 1:41:31, Lorraine Taylor 1:50:14, Hayley Woolnough 1:51:47, Chris McMahon 1:54:58, Mark Eavers 1:59:20 for his first sub 2-hour finish and Jayne Adams 2:14:51.
In the “full” distance at the Abingdon marathon , Josh Hand was on blistering form with a 2:50 finish and Allan Green completed the Rickmansworth marathon in 4:38.
Karla Cleverley, Kasha Price & Claire Hawes travelled Portsmouth for the Great South run. Hawes completed in 1:38:10 and Cleverley in 2:34.
Steve Linton & daughter Holly competed in Ibiza at the European Duathlon Championships where in the Sprint Distance, Holly took a fabulous 10th place in 1:22.
At parkrun, Lynne Macedo ran at Medina parkrun on the Isle of Wight, Iris Mayo ran The Severn Bridge parkrun and at Cheltenham parkrun Louise Inchley ran a new PB of 24:47.
The Courtenay family were at Blenheim were Adrian tackled the 10k in 65:36 as did Jamie in 47:16, meanwhile Julie cracked the 5k in 32:47.

Despite the dreadful weather conditions over much of the weekend, members of Almost Athletes took part in races throughout the UK with some impressive results all round.

Mark Willicott deserves a special mention for completing the gruelling Centurion Running Autumn 100 on Saturday 13th in 22h:42m.  This continuous, 100 mile trail race consists of four loops to and from Goring and Streatley, and uses sections of both the Ridgeway and Thames Path National Trails.

The Old Down Country Park cross country race in Stroud also took place on Saturday, and was supported by a number of Almosts.  In the men’s race Nick Lewis was first Almost to finish in 43:37, followed by Prash Sripathi in 43:50 and Martin Foster in 45:02. Dave McGrath followed in 46:25, Thom Stephens in 48:28, Martin Thomas in 50:01 and David Garnett in 54:35. For the ladies event, Patricia Peever was first Almost to complete in 31:48, followed by Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto in 35:00 and Ingrid Harris in 35:25.

A group of Almosts participated in the Hope Valley, Woodhope race on Sunday 14th.  Ingrid Harris, Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto and Lucinda Hand all completed the 8.3 mile event within a few seconds of each other with a time of 1:10, and secured 4th, 5th and 6th ladies places.  Hester Coggin finished in 1:15, Lorraine Taylor in 1:17, Alison Hume in 1:27, Deborah Elliott in 1:34 and Catherine Mason in 1:38.

For the men there were four Almosts who finished in the top twenty.  Richard Birch was 6th with a time of 1:00, Prash Sripathi was 8th with 1:02, Nigel Tillott was 14th with 1:04 and Martin Thomas 19th with 1:08.  Also running were Jim Trowbridge in 1:12, Steve Taylor in 1:13, Steve Adams and Andrew Wilkinson both in 1:14, Rob Hume in 1:16, Neil Tring in 1:17 and Kevin Richards in 1:25.

There were several different Half Marathon events on Sunday in which Almost runners took part.

The Eden Project multi-terrain Half in Cornwall was completed by Dave Rogers in 1:47, Catherine Daly in 1:54 and Lepha McCartan in 2:03.

Wan Hartley finished the Manchester Half in 2:21. Peter Hooper was the 2hr pacer in the Great West Exeter Half, Kev Dendy completed the Birmingham Half in 1:59 and Felicity Broom achieved a new PB in the Royal Parks Half in central London with a time of 2:16.

Shaun Carr tackled the Bedford Duathlon which consisted of a 10km run, followed by a 40km bike ride and then a further 5km run, and came home in 2:17.

Further afield, Allan Green was first in his age group in the Palma Marathon with a time of 4:07, while Simon Evans finished the Half in 2:01. Steve Yarnold also took part in the Half Marathon whilst Helen Yarnold ran the 10km race.

Coralie Pearson completed the Bucharest Marathon and Karla Cleverley ran the Half, whilst Steve and Holly Linton took part in the Ibiza European Duathlon.

There were also some terrific results at Cheltenham parkrun on Saturday 13th where two Almosts – Matt Polson and Prash Sripathi – both finished in the top ten. Polson was third overall with a time of 18:56secs and Sripathi came 10th in 20:12.

Richard Knightley gained a new PB with a time of 23:21, whilst both Liam Taylor and Connor Bryant ran the Cheltenham course for the first time in 28:33 and 28:42 respectively.

Jenny Randall was a parkrun tourist in Warrington and finished in 23:05.

Almost Athletes got the weekend started with the Chicago friendship run, attended by Anne-Marie, Helen Fursman, John Galpin, Graham Fletcher, Fiona and Matt Barnes. The Chicago Marathon saw Matt Barnes first in at 3:13, Karen Galpin 3:40, Helen Fursman-Reid 3:53, Anne-Marie Willicott 4:15 and Des Beer 6:35.

In Cardiff, the half marathon was run by Piotr Michalski achieving a personal best of 1:36, Miranda Foster 1:40, David Chittock 2 hours, Ali Shaikh 1:43, Kasha Price 2:37, Chaweewan Hartley 2:15, and Claire Gallagher and Lisa King 2:59.

Rachael Nolan ran the Bournemouth running festival marathon with her Fly2Help bear Douglas, to raise money charity completing the marathon in 5:29.

At the Chester metric marathon, Sarah and Steve Wallbridge achieved 2:36 and 2:33.  The Chester Marathon was run by James Taylor in 3:20, Paul Warren 3:22, Chris White 3:41, Lorraine Taylor and Neil Tring 3:59.

At the picturesque and challenging off road Clarendon Marathon, in Salisbury, Ingrid Harris achieved 3:54 and was 1st in her V55 age group, Debbie Minett achieved a worthy 4:57 running for CALM charity.

Kev Dendy ran the Cricklade 10k achieving a new personal best of 52:14. Andy Ford ran the Cricklade half  marathon in a new personal best time of 1:31, Michael Grant 1:34, Kerry Heath-Smith 1:45 and Neil Harris 1:57

In Santorini, Greece, Rachel Fargher and Malc Smith took part in the 10k trail race.

Allan Green ran the labour of love marathon in 4:21 at the Minet Country Park, Hillingdon, Hayes.

Parkrun tourists saw Helena Youde at the Nose Hill parkrun Alberta, Canada. Norm Lever was at the Wammy parkrun, Newcastle under Lyme achieving a new personal best of 24:04.

Martyn Fisher ran the challenging Wimpole Estate Half Marathon, Cambridgeshire in 1:59.

Lynne Macedo achieved a new personal best of 2:29 at the Oxford Half marathon.

In Walton on Thames, Kathy Haig took part in the Leviathon marathon and Paul Haig the 50 Mile Ultra marathon.

Adrian Courtenay took part in the Devils Aquathon at the Cheltenham Lido, consisting of a 400m swim and 10k run from the Cheltenham Lido to Leckhampton Hill, Adrian achieved 1:40. Jamie Courtenay took part in the longer 2km and 10k run achieving 1:46. Also, attending this event was Lucinda Hand, coming in 2nd Female overall.

Shaun Carr took part in the Storm the Fort, long course duathlon, Shropshire consisting of 21k run, 90k bike, 11k run achieving 11th overall in 6:37.

At the Warwickshire Super Sprint Triathlon, Lepha McCartan took part in her first triathlon, achieving 58:44 and 1st in the Pink wave for Breast cancer.