Thornbury runners win team prize at Doynton Hard Half
THORNBURY Running Club arrived in numbers for one of the highlights of the local winter trail running season, the Doynton Hard Half Marathon.
Strong finishes saw them win the event’s women’s team competition for the first time.
In picture perfect conditions, the small village of Doynton and the race organisers from Emersons’ Green Running Club put on a fantastic welcome for almost 500 runners in sub-zero temperatures in January.
Despite the best laid plans of the organisers, chaos ensued after the first long hill as the first 30 or so runners took a wrong turn and were confronted by the sight of the rest of the field near the top of the frosty Cotswold escarpment, running on the correct course. Panicked runners soon started trudging back up the steep boggy hill, trying to make up for lost time and chase down Thornbury's Ben Foss and Taryn Roberts, who were leading the men's and women's race after two frantic and confusing miles.
Dylan Roberts came in 16th place overall, in 1 hour 49:28 mins. There was more success for the Roberts family, as Taryn Roberts improved on her 3rd place in the previous week's Riverbank Rollick with a sprint finish to hold off last year's winner of the Hard Half, Bristol and West's Naomi Aylwin, and finish in 2nd place in the women's race and 36th place overall, in 1 hour 56:44 mins.
Rob Watkins and Judy Mills both won their age groups. Rob took VM50 honours and was 17th overall in 1 hour 51:15 and Judy hadn't realised she was the winner in the VF60 age group until her name was announced after her 2 hour 46:33 mins run in 287th place. John Grimsey was the only other TRC runner to feature in the top 3 of his age group in 2nd place in the VM70 category in 3 hours 27:08 mins.
Hannah Kinloch Haken and Melanie Wilson both finished in the top 10 in the women's race in 7th/75th overall (2 hours 3:19) and 9th/96th overall (2 hours 8:21) respectively.
With three Thornbury women in the top 10, Hannah, Melanie and Taryn lifted the women's team competition for Thornbury for the first time and made up for the men losing their title from 2019.