Runners enjoy the ups and downs of races
Henry Orna and Matt Johnstone have been flying the flag for Thornbury Running Club in two very challenging races.
Henry travelled to just outside Bath for the aptly named ‘Bath Hilly Half’, a two lap race over the half marathon distance which starts and finishes on Bath Racecourse and features an assortment of exhausting climbs. Henry finished 19th overall in a very competitive field in 1 hour 47:24 mins.
Matt joined the masses at the highly popular Sodbury Slog over the multi-terrain 10-mile race which starts on the outskirts of Chipping Sodbury. As well as a selection of fields, muddy paths and steep hills to negotiate, the ‘Slog’ is well known for its thigh-deep water hazards and deep muddy trenches.
The organisers added some off-road sections for this year’s race and even had 4000 gallons of water on standby if one of the sections was not deep enough.
After gaining some places in the first half of the race, Matt lost a similar amount of places in the second half after succumbing to the effects of one of the leg-sapping muddy trenches. Matt’s final position was 14th overall and 4th in the MV40 age category in 1 hour 12:25 mins.
The second round of the Gloucestershire Cross Country league rolled into Charlton Park, near Malmesbury with a combined team of 19 men and women were wearing the blue and red Thornbury vest, including three making their cross-country debuts.
Last year’s race was a mud bath on the same route, but thankfully this contest was a more straightforward test of running ability and stamina, as the undulating course was firm and fast.
In the women’s 6.7k race, Laura Orna had another excellent performance, finishing in 31st place overall in a swift 29:27 mins. Jo Emerson and Clare Watt were the next Thornbury runners.
The Thornbury A team were in the top half of the competition in the women’s field, finishing 17th out of 41 teams and thanks to the great turnout there was a B team which finished 39th.
Nick Williams returned from injury in the men’s 9.6k race with a strong run amongst some of the best local club runners. After the usual frantic start, Nick settled down into a good pace and finished 59th out of a large field of almost 250 runners in 37:11 mins.
Henry Orna bided his time and ran a well-judged race to finish second of the Thornbury men in 101st place in 39:49 mins, closely followed by Dylan Roberts in 104th in 39:52 mins. Dave Beard had one of his best runs for the club, finishing in 116th in 40:26 mins.
The men’s team was 15th out of 25 teams and in the Vets competition the A team were 7th and 24th out of 24 teams.