Chicago Marathon was the destination for seven Almost Athletes, all looking to add the World Marathon Major to their accomplishments. An impressive performance from Matt Proome saw him knock 13 minutes off his PB, finishing in 3:29. Michelle Balchin was next in 3:43, then Matt Hampton 3:50, Alison Hume 3:56, Sandra Stuart 4:52, Mark Eavers 4:52 and Nicola Woodman 5:38.
Closer to home, Allan Green added to his marathon tally at the King Forest Trail Marathon, Bury St Edmunds. He finished in 5:08. Miranda Foster took on the challenging 34 mile Gower Bach Ultra. She completed the race in 6:57, taking 2nd lady and 1st LV50.
At Oxford Half Marathon, Matt Hartwell was first Almost home in 1:27, Marty Ward ran 2:13, and Wan Hartley 2:16. Lesley Cottle completed the Exeter Great West Run Half Marathon in 1:57, while Pete Hooper was an official pacer, leading runners around the course in 2 hours. Mark Pelling took part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon, finishing in 2:45.
There was mud aplenty along the new course of the Hope Valley Run. Over twenty Almosts completed the eight mile course, and it was Shaun Carr who was first across the line in 59:24, 7th overall. Richard Birch followed close behind in 59:38 (8th place), then Peter Mitchener 1:04, and Andrew Wilkinson 1:07. For the ladies, Ingrid Harris finished in 1:09, Hester Coggin 1:09 and Vicky Kennedy 1:26. Also running were Mike Kennedy 1:08, Neil Tring 1:09, Richard Knightley 1:10, Steven Adams 1:14, Steve Taylor 1:15, David Garnett 1.17, Rich Smith 1.25, Sue Monaghan 1:27, Andrea Hardy 1:29, Glenda Gill 1:29, Mariel Chretien 1.35, Lorraine Taylor 1.35, Des Beer 1:35, Claire Gallagher 1:49 and Jayne Adams 1:49.
The first event of the Gloucestershire Cross Country season took place at Wotton under Edge. Martin Foster was first Almost to finish the men’s race in 37:37, then Nick Lewis 39:36, Gary Farquharson 42:07, Martin Thomas 42:21, Duncan Mounsor 43:09, Vasco Barreto 47:48 and David Garnett 55:55. Patricia Peever and Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto took part in the women’s race, finishing in 27:51 and 29:31 respectively.
To mark World Mental Health Day, the club’s mental health champions challenged members to run and talk a collective 102 miles, the length of the Cotswold Way, in an hour. Runners flocked to the Prince of Wales track to take part, smashing their goal by running a total of 253 miles, and raising over £400 for Mind in the process. A group of Almosts also helped organise a run and talk event at Cromhall parkrun, Leyhill Prison. Over 30 runners joined in, followed by tea, cake and chat about how activity can help improve mental health and wellbeing.
At Cheltenham parkrun, Prashanth Sripathi was first Almost home in 18:49 and 8th place. Sharon Hadad was 7th lady in 24:12. Martin Foster was 2nd at King George V Playing Fields in 20:00. Duncan Mounsor followed in 21:10 for 2nd place and 1st MV50. Jo Foster was 5th lady in 24:17. Ben Stone was 2nd at Cirencester in 20:40, and Kim Mansell 4th lady at Stratford Park in 25:38. Matt Polson was 2nd at Chipping Sodbury in a time of 18:45.
There was tourism for Catherine Mason at Worcester, Jenny and Michael Combellack at Warrington, and Andrea Hardy at Wolverhampton. Nick Lewis ran at Worcester Pitchcroft, Malc Allen at Bury St Edmunds and Martyn Fisher ran at Gadebridge. In Canada, Ben Taylor ran 20:38 and finished in 1st place at Mundy parkrun, Vancouver.