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Penguins run and man water station at Cheltenham Half Marathon in tribute to Rich

1 Oct, 2018

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.