The highlight of the last weekend in June 2017 for Dursley Running Club  was as always the Cotswold Way Relay, in its 25th year the race attracted 97 teams.

DRC entered four teams and in the run up to the event there was significant amount of chopping and changing to accommodate injury and illness. Despite this the club fielded four full teams, a male senior, male veteran and two mixed teams All the teams put in magnificent efforts, especially the last-minute entrants who had not been able to reconnoitre the route or train for the distance and elevation. The senior men’s team as expected had some excellent stage results with James Everett highest placed Dursley Runner, 3rd overall on leg 8, with Mike Crompton and Tim Britton both placing sixth on their stages and with the benefit of local knowledge Dave Durden squeezed into 10th on stage 7. It was a shame that Dan Anderson was injured as his presence would have no doubt propelled the senior team up the rankings, as it was the seniors were a creditable 7th in their category. The conditions early in the day were reasonably favourable, much cooler than earlier in the week, overcast with a strong breeze. By midday the sun was back out and it was more challenging, the brisk wind cooled the runners, the temperature dropped again for the last legs although it was reasonably humid. At least the runners were spared the torrential downpours of 2016. Over the day a few DRC runners took tumbles, but they all dusted themselves down and completed their legs.

 

The day started well with Dave Wood and Gareth Bradbury sneaking into the top 30 finishers for the senior men on the first two legs. Dave Wood said his focus was on making sure Haydn Smith did not catch him and this was clearly a good motivator. Mark Brasier then upped the ante with 21st on leg 3, he enjoyed running most of the leg on his own, no-one in sight either in front or behind. On the following stage Mike Crompton ran strongly to place 6th, he felt he could not have made up any more places with the 5th placed runner creating too large a gap to pull back.  Margaret had a strong run on Leg 2 finishing 7th female, and Kim Bird ran well on Leg three, 12th female home. Neil Parry running for the male vet.s pipped Steve Watson home, Neil acknowledged that Steve probably had a few too many miles in his legs from the previous weekend, that’s saying something coming from Mr Parry! Caroline Jones ran in 10th female on the stage, another strong run for the Gazelles.

 

Dursley had a strong showing on Stage 6 with all our runners within the top 50, DRC were led home by Tim Britton in an excellent 6th, Kevin Jackson, familiar with this leg had another good run to finish 23rd, Matt Read managed to keep in front of Simon Jones, who has not regained his early season form after a layoff due to injury.

 

Dursley Wotton was next up and as  DRC.s home start stage there was plenty of support in May Lane car park. Joe Browning, struggled in the heat, and again perhaps did not take the impact of the first climb into account, he was caught by Dave Durden and Nigel Sankey on the Golf Course, he manged to peg back Nigel, but Dave ran home 10th, a bit frustrated as a number of runners in front cut the corner and did not run to the Tyndale Monument.

 

Stages 7  and 8 saw a number of strong runs with James Everett the highest placed DRC runner of the day coming home 3rd, late replacement Martin Bragg had a great run based on very little knowledge of the route, a brief conversation at the Dursley cashpoint with Mr D a warned him of the f knee trembler of a hill in the first mile! Martin placed 45th and Andy Truswell did well to finish having turned his ankle on the first long descent of the leg.  Tony Wooldridge led the teams home to Cold Aston in an excellent 23rd position, Mouse worked very hard behind him to come in three minutes behind him in 33rd. Zoe Lamerton and Alice Lewis also ran well, with Zoe placing 12th female on the leg. The final “champagne” leg saw the quartet of Tony Freer, Neil Truelove, Rob Woodward and Dave Saunders taking in the applause as they reached the Abbey, Tony Freer had a fine run, recording a personal best (time for a new leg Tony!), and finishing in 19th, Dave Saunders was next home just over a minute in front of Neil Truelove who had given it his all. Dursley’s ultimate “Lanterne Rouge” was Rob Woodward who was immensely glad to reach the Abbey and after a brief rest was able to take part on a celebratory photo opportunity

 

 

Leg

Dursley Cheetahs

Senior Men

Dursley Eagles

Veteran Males

Gazelles

Mixed A

Springboks

Mixed B

1

Dave Wood(v)

29th 01:37:11

Haydn Smith (v)

33rd 01:39:41

Jonathon Tudor

46th 01:44:38

Janet Matthews

94th 02:02:00

2

Gareth Bradbury

31st 01:42:05

Graham Tudor (v)

68th 02:03:47

Margaret Johnson (v)

47th (7th F)01:53:06

Andrea Sexton (v)

84th 02:12:00

3

Mark Braiser (v)

21st 01:08:07

Karl Rust (v)

88th 01:31:33

Kim Bird

47th (12th F) 01:15:15

Erica Fuller (v)

90th 01:34:25

4

Mike Crompton (C)

 6th 01:28:07

Chris Young (v)

91st 02:12:00

Andy Hara

68th 02:03:19

Karen Eadon (v)

91st 02:12:00

5

Steve Watson (v)

26th 01:33:23

Neil Parry (v) (C.)

24th 01:31:40

Caroline Jones (C.)

 68th (10th F) 01:47:42

Paul Lewington (v)

80th 01:56:28

6

Tim Britton

6th 01:06:40

Kevin Jackson (v)

23rd 01:15:06

Simon Jones

49th 01:23:23

Matthew Read

36th 01:19:31

7

Joe Browning

24th 01:02:35

Dave Durden (v)

10th 59:17

Nigel Sankey

25th 01:02:48

Sam Martin

58th 01:11:37

8

James Everett

3rd 01:21:23

Andy Kilby

79th 02:03:05

Andy Truswell

53rd 01:48:57

Martin Bragg

45th 01:46:56

9

Tony Wooldrige (v)

23rd 01:14:01

Mouse (v)

33rd 01:16:56

Zoe Lamerton

41st (12th F) 01:19:47

Alice Lewis (v)

61st 01:26:59

10

Tony Freer (v)

19th 01:13:58

Neil Truelove (v)

69th 01:31:06

Rob Woodward (v)

83rd 01:38:20

Dave Saunders (v)

64th 01:29:57

 

 

13:27:58

7th Senior Men’s Team

 

15:57:15

11th MV

 

15:57:15

24th Mixed Team

 

 

17:11:53

48th Mixed Team

 

C= Captain V= veteran

 

Team selection and dealing with drop outs means getting to a podium finish is still a work in progress, getting few more competitive seniors would also have positive impact up on the Dursley Veterans team who placed 11th out f 15 teams but a higher placing is entirely feasible.

 

The club provided two water station one at Coaley, and one at Alderley organised by Louise Beck  and Graeme Hawkins, a big thank you t all show assisted at these stations, hugely appreciated by the runners. Lots of club members hopped between stages giving our athletes lots of support, many thanks for this!

 

As ever the club held its CWR BBQ in the evening and a very enjoyable night was had by all, many thanks to all behind the bar and the BBQ, without volunteers it would not happen.

 

So don’t forget to put the last weekend in June 2018 in your diary to race or socialise or maybe even both!