Several Almost Athletes travelled north, taking part in a variety of events and distances. One group of tourists took in Newcastle parkrun before lining up at the start of the largest half-marathon in the world, The Great North Run. They joined 57,000 runners on the famous course across the Tyne to the South Shields coast. Matt Hartwell was the first Almost across the line in 1:31, followed by Mike Harris in 1:39. Dave Mayo ran 2:04, Norm Lever 2:22, Rachael Nolan 2:36 and Iris Mayo 2:53.
Dave Rogers was also in the North of England, completing ‘The Lap’, a 45 mile ultra around England’s largest lake, Lake Windermere. He tackled 8500 feet of elevation, storming home in an impressive 10.5 hours, less than half the cut off time. In nearby Keswick, Martyn Fisher sampled Whinlatter Forest parkrun before going on to complete the Keswick Lakeland Trails 15k in 1:44.
Nick Simon ran the Gritstone Grind 35 mile ultra along the Gritstone Way in the Peak District, finishing in 9:47 and 3rd MV60. At the tough Battle of the Borders Marathon, Shropshire, Ingrid Harris finished 3rd overall and 1st lady in a time of 4:53.
Closer to home, there were mud and obstacles aplenty at the Severn Mud Run, Stroat. Penny Lewis, Zakia Hussain and Jason Hulance all gained PBs as they completed the event in 2:35.
Joanna Wisniewska-Barreto, Helen Barker and Mariel Chretien Woodchester Park Race, a challenging eight mile course through hilly woodland trails. In Bude, Peter Mitchener and Jeanette Gullick ran the 8 mile Bude Pirate Run, both finishing in 1:20. Catherine and Mike Daly tackled the New Forest Marathon finishing in 4:05 and 4:06 respectively.
A number of club members took part in the popular Cotswold Sprint Triathlon. Karen Hilton finished in 1:14, Mark Lyes 1:18, Wendy Haskins 1:29, Glenda Gill 1:29 and Steve Yarnold 1:32. There was also cycling for Mark Stojanov at the Evesham Cyclefest 38 miler, which he completed in 3:20.
Kathy Haig reached Portugal aboard the Zhuhai in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, while Allan Green was on the other side of the world completing the North Shore Marathon, New Zealand in 5:11.
At Cheltenham parkrun, Prash Sripathi was first home for the club in 19:05, with Sharon Hadad first female Almost in 23:19 (8th lady). Nick Lewis ran his 50th parkrun, and there were PBs for Duncan Mounsor 20:46, Mark Conway 25:44, Jane Russell 28:16 and Forrest Wheeler 28:37.
Ben Stone nailed a 19:25 PB to finish 5th at Gloucester City, while Hester Coggin was 2nd lady with 23:43. Ben Taylor took 1st place at Newent in 20:07, while at Mallards Pike, Martin Foster was 4th in 20:03 and Jo Foster was 4th lady in 23:52. Mike Bryce, Patricia and Kev Dendy represented the club at Stratford Park, Stroud.
There was tourism for Kate Freeman at Banbury, Norm Lever at York and David Nelson at Drumpellier Country. Adam Smith ran at Clumber, Lesley Cottle at Fort William, and Steve Axford at Tamar Lakes where he was 4th in 20:43. Lynne Macedo ran at Divonne les Baines, Geneva, finishing 9th lady and 1st in her age category in 31:05.