Record field braces the Riverbank Rollick
THORNBURY Running Club's opening race for the year, the Riverbank Rollick, was another roaring success, with a record field of 458 runners taking part.
After several years of mild conditions and dry weather, the true nature of the course revealed itself on January 12, with very heavy mud adding to the difficulty of this 9.6-mile multi-terrain course.
The early rain didn't dampen the mood of excellent support generated by Thornbury RC's marshals, many in fancy dress, and the runners' families and friends who lined the course.
Weston AC's Chris McMillan and Stroud AC's Alastair Cambell were neck and neck before McMillan opened up a commanding lead to cross the finishing line in the fields of Castle School in an exceptional time of 59:52 mins. Cambell was 2nd in 1 hour 3:21 and Westbury's Alex Hamblin was third, in 1 hour 5:24.
In the women's race, Bristol and West AC's Annabel Granger took top honours again in a time of 1 hour 12:20, (11th overall). Thornbury RC's Taryn Roberts was third behind Chepstow Harriers' Niki Morgan, finishing in 1 hour 16:03 (22nd overall). Taryn was also 1st in her age group – F18-39.
Dylan Roberts was the fastest Thornbury runner on the day, finishing 8th overall in an excellent time of 1 hour 11:21. Rob Cowlard won the M45-49 age group (14th overall) in 1 hour 14:13. There was more age group success from TRC runners from Clare Watt, who was 2nd F55-59 in 1hour 32:01, Judy Mills, 4th in F60-64 in 1 hour 47:33 and Chris Lee, 5th in M60-64 in 2 hours 6:52.
The South West Cross-Country Championships and Gloucestershire Cross Country Championships were both held on the weekend of January 4-5 and there were Thornbury runners in both races.
Hannah Kinloch Haken, representing the Avon Team at the regional championships on a tough course at Aldon Hill, Yeovil, finished 49th overall in 26:07 mins.
At the Gloucestershire championships at Rendcomb College, Jim Godden finished 58th overall and was 3rd in the MV55 age category in 46:51 mins.
Thornbury's women had 3 finishers. Clare Watt and Rosina Rowland ran an incredibly close race, with Clare the first of the Thornbury women home in 39th place in 34:58 mins and Rosina was 1 place and two seconds behind. Judy Mills was in 60th place overall in 39:44 mins.