Al­mosts named as best club in the South West

Gloucestershire Echo - - SPORTING INDEX -

AL­MOST Ath­letes has been named as the run­ning club of the year for the South West of Eng­land by Eng­land Ath­let­ics

The club will now rep­re­sent the re­gion at the na­tional awards in Jan­uary.

It’s a huge hon­our and, much like the club’s run­ning achieve­ments, the re­sult of many years’ hard work.

It’s a re­flec­tion of the friendly na­ture of the club and the hard work that goes into it by a huge num­ber of vol­un­teers.

The com­mu­nity spirit of the club was in ev­i­dence over the week­end, as the club con­trib­uted a large num­ber of mar­shals and vol­un­teers to help make the Chel­tenham Half Marathon hap­pen.

As you’d ex­pect, a large club con­tin­gent also pounded the streets around town to fin­ish with a lap of a very windy race­course.

Lead­ing the club home was Matt Barnes in 1:24 which was good enough to rank 35th over­all.

He was fol­lowed home by two run­ners who achieved per­sonal bests; Martin Foster (1:26) and Matthew Hick­man (1:27).

Olga Gof­fin did an amaz­ing job to fin­ish 17th woman over­all in 1:33. She was fol­lowed home by Amy Sheer (1:36) and Katie Cole­man (1:38).

Mul­ti­ple club mem­bers achieved per­sonal bests: Jean-philippe Vil­lain­chas­tre (1:29), Dun­can Moun­sor (1:37), Richard Knight­ley (1:47), Karen Gomm (1:48), Louise Bryn (1:52), Josh Rimell (1:52), He­len Barker (1:56), Kev Fairs (1:57 which is a mas­sive 13 minute PB) and Sharmila Door (2:14).

In half marathons fur­ther afield, Sam Wizard achieved a PB of 1:59 at the Blen­heim half, a race that also saw Natalie Jayne fin­ish in 2:18.

Christo­pher Ben­jamin com­pleted his 7 th half marathon in the Mil­ton Keynes Au­tumn race in 2:04. Dou­bling the dis­tance Marty Ward (5:23) and Dave Nel­son (5:40) con­quered the chal­lenge of one of the big six ma­jor marathons in Berlin while Al­lan Green com­pleted the Barn­sta­ple marathon in 5:04.

Dave Rogers (3:59), Thom Stephens (4:13) and Giles Forster (5:16) all ran the ‘un­du­lat­ing’ Michael­mas As­ton Sub-edge marathon.

Julie and Adrian Courte­nay com­pleted the Por­tishead Coastal path 10km in 1:17, an event in which Sheila Chat­ter­ley also ran and Lewis Jones com­pleted the na­tional Three Peaks Chal­lenge in 25 hours.

Les­ley Cot­tle was first in her age cat­e­gory at the Ex­mouth parkrun, a feat matched by Peter Mitch­ener at Chel­tenham.

Hester Cog­gin was third woman home at Glouces­ter City parkrun whilst Prash Sri­pathi was third over­all at the King Ge­orge V play­ing field parkrun in Chel­tenham, his high­est parkrun plac­ing.

As for parkrun tourism, club mem­bers went over­seas to tackle events in He­sen­heide in Ger­many and Ar­mi­dale in Aus­tralia whilst closer to home, mem­bers ran at Wim­pole Es­tate, Clum­ber Park, Cirences­ter, Strat­ford Park and Mal­lards Pike.

Wel­fare of­fi­cer Fiona Barnes, chair­man Claire Hawes, Michelle Balchin, holder of the Rich Walk­late Tro­phy and Alison Hume, mem­ber­ship sec­re­tary with the award

Al­most Ath­letes at the Chel­tenham Half Marathon

Sam Wizard, Natalie Jayne

Dave Nel­son in Berlin

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