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Ultras, Marathons, Triathlons, Man vs Horse and many more

10 Jun, 2019

Almost Athletes faced a wet and windy start to the Race to the Tower Ultra and Marathon event. Michelle Balchin ran through the rain to complete the 52.4 miles along the Cotswold Way from Whiteshill to Broadway. Her impressive performance saw her finish 2nd in the FV40 category with a time of 11:19. Chris White completed the two-day double marathon in 9:57, and Andrea Hardy ran the marathon distance, finishing her first marathon at Broadway Tower in 6:49.

Neil and Laura Tring took on the two-day Jurassic Coast Ultra from Poole to Bridport. The 100km challenge along the coastal path takes in Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Chesil Beach along the way. The challenging first day racked up an elevation gain of over 4500ft, and they reached the overnight point in 7:55. Slightly gentler terrain on the second day saw them make up time to cross the line in a total time of 13:48.
Catherine and Mike Daly raced horses as well as humans over the 22 mile Man vs Horse event in Llanwrtyd Wells. Mike crossed the line in 4:00, followed by Catherine with a course PB of 4:14. Allan Green added to his marathon tally at the Rugby Challenge Marathon (5:13) and Yeovil Marathon (4:17).

At the Sharpness 16, Wan Hartley, Nikki Durnell and Julie Averiss ran along Sharpness Canal from Sharpness Marina to Gloucester Docks. Durnell pulled up with an injury at the halfway mark, but Hartley and Averiss went on to finish the 16 mile course in 3:55.

Broadway Tower was also the destination for a group of Almosts running the 5 mile Broadway Tower Charity Run. Ben Stone was first Almost to the Tower and back in 38:22, followed by Nick Spice (39:00), and Malc Allen (42:50). Ingrid Harris ran 44:07 to take 1st in the FV55 category. Kev Fairs finished in 49:34 and Mike Line 55:50. At Stroud Beer Race, Michelle Balchin and Joanna Wisnieska-Barreto finished in 56:27 and 57:33 respectively.

Adrian and Julie Courtenay ran the Gloucester 10k Run for Life, and there were half marathons for Josh Hand in Market Harborough (1:20 and 3rd overall) and Kev Fairs in Derby (2:13). Robert Dalton-Morris was in Connecticut, where he ran the 8 mile Litchfield Hills Road Race in a course PB of 54:51.

Almosts displayed talents other than running at triathlon and cycling events across the country. Hannah Brown completed the Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire, clocking a total time of 7:29. Ingrid Harris also took on the half distance at the Cotswold 113 triathlon finishing in 6.21. Jayne Cheslin was at the British Standard Distance Triathlon Championships in Leeds and finished 8th in her age category in 2:42 with a 10k PB of 49:40. Mark Stojanov gained a new PB of 1:36 in the Linc 3 Counties Cycle Ride 20 miler.

At Cheltenham parkrun, Run Director Peter Mitchener completed the inaugural Ten Title Challenge. Peter Morris was first Almost home in 21:50, but it was the ladies who excelled, taking five of the top six female spots. Jeanette Gullick was first in 21:53, Sally Freeman second in 22:12, and Hattie Jenkins third in 22:30. Sharon Bullimore was 5th Lady in 22:54 and Sharon Hadad 6th in 22:59. There were PBs for Maisie Markham (27:23) and Rita Crane (31:04).  It was Adrian Courtenay’s 150th parkrun, while Kev Dendy impressively managed to finish his 350th run in 350th place!

Several Almosts achieved top ten finishes locally. Charlie Isles was 2nd lady at Tewkesbury in 22:11. Martin Foster was 4th at Worcester Pitchcroft in 18:33 while Jo Foster finished 6th lady with 23:20. At Newent, Ben Taylor ran 20.44 to finish 4th, and Stone was 8th overall at Gloucester City in 19:45. There was tourism for Danny Carroll at Tetbury Goods Shed, Peter Jones at Bressay, and Martyn Fisher at Wimpole Estate. David Nelson was at Ruchill, and Matt Polson travelled to Hafan Pwllheli where he finished 3rd overall in 19:08.