Thornbury runner wins 50 mile race

May 29 2018
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Thornbury Running Club’s Nick Williams braved the heat and the hills to triumph in the Winchcombe Cross Ultra, a 50-mile off road race in the Cotswolds.

Despite the arduous conditions, Nick maintained a constant pace during the 4-lap race and was in second position after 37 miles of racing at the end of the third lap. 

As the race leader was starting to fade, Nick surged into the lead in the final lap, pressing home his advantage to win the race by over 20 minutes in a time of 8 hours 46:26 mins.

Kevin Arnold has been a regular at the Fleet Half Marathon for over 10 years, which also serves as the Army Half Marathon Championships. After an injury affected performance last year, Kevin bounced back with his best result since 2011 in a time of 1 hour 35:27 mins, a result good enough for second place in the Army’s M45 age category.

Joanne Plumbley, Dylan Roberts and Taryn Roberts have taken part in The Butcombe Trail, a daunting 50-mile race through the Mendip hills and surrounding villages. 

All 3 athletes have competed in multiple Ironman triathlons between them and are used to taking on big challenges. In wet and windy conditions they finished in equal 35th place in a time of 10 hours 38:42 mins.

Newport Marathon hosted its first marathon in cold conditions, as almost 3500 runners took part in the Marathon and a further 2500 entered a 10k event and family mile.  Matt Johnstone was the lone Thornbury RC entrant on the day. After a more cautious start, he tried to increase the pace in the second half of the race and started to overtake more runners. However, this increased optimism came face to face with the infamous ‘marathon wall’ at the 24-mile mark and the final 2 miles was a painful experience. Matt finished in 203rd place in 3 hours 15:40 mins.

This year’s London Marathon was confirmed as the hottest in its 37 year history and the 5 Thornbury RC members completed the race raising over £6,000 for charity between them.

Target times had to be quickly recalculated and fancy-dress costumes were ditched, as a more cautious approach and self-preservation were the order of the day.

Andrew Darton had promised this would be his third and final London Marathon. After completing the first half in a very respectable 1 hour 39 mins, he succumbed to the heat at the 16-mile mark, jogging the majority of the race thereafter. Andrew was still the only Thornbury runner to break the 4 hour barrier in a time of 3 hours 54:16 mins.

Kevin Cundy is an experienced marathon racer and was next in a time of 4 hours 44:05 mins. 

Chris Foley finished just behind Kevin in 4 hours 44:44 and was 107th in the 65-69 yr olds age category.

This was Sean Underwood’s first attempt over the full marathon distance since taking up running in 2016. Unfortunately, his preparation for Sunday’s race was dogged by a nagging knee problem, but after overcoming much bigger battles losing weight and raising significant sums for his chosen charity, he got to the finish in 5 hours 20 seconds.

After completing 6 half marathons in 2017, Rachel Murphy was another making her debut over the full 26.2-mile distance. Rachel was pushed along by the huge support from the crowd and fellow runners and crossed the line in 6 hours 37:54 mins.

Thornbury RC continues to grow and has just reached 150 members, with an almost 50:50 split between men and women and 24 new recruits since the new year. To learn more about the club check the TRC website or contact membership@thornburyrunningclub.co.uk