The 25th running of the Dursley Dozen saw 364 runners gathered in the May Lane Surgery car park ready to test their health to the limits over the renowned 12 miles of the Dozen.  Graeme Hawkins (Race Director), Dave Durden (Club Chairman) and Mark Waller (Race Coordinator) welcomed Charlotte and Alex Reeves of the charity Charlotte's Tandems to the start, celebrating the £500 donation the club made to the charity from the proceeds of the 2013 race.
 

 

The icy shower that fell just 20 minutes before the start did little to douse the expectation of the competitors as they considered the challenge ahead of them.

The course, having been lightly watered overnight, had  turned the going from good to extremely soft to heavy to especially gloopy. As ever, the race attracted some quality competitors, with former Dursley runner Garry Hughes up against new clubmate Lee Rankin, and Rob Minton and Wyclef Forbes with an eye on the podium. As all runners seem to be, Hughes was pessimistic about his chances, saying he had been suffering from a cold and was not sure how it would affect him. But once the race was under way it was clear that he was in good form, pulling away very quickly from the chasing pack. His task was made easier when Lee Rankin twisted his ankle on the first long descent from the golf club.

As the above image shows, it is considerably less muddy the closer to the front you are!

 

By the time he returned up the precipice on the golf course Hughes’ lead was unassailable and he finished in just over 83 minutes, substantially quicker than Dan Robinson’s 2013 time, and a very good run in the conditions: “cold, wet and muddy, oh yes and windy” was Hughes’ summary on his return. Wyclef Forbes repeated his 2nd placing from 2012, 3 minutes behind Hughes, but Cirencester's Forbes managed to distance himself from Rob Minton, beating him by 2 minutes. Minton has made steady progress since finishing 19th in the 2011 event, impressing to finish fourth in 2012 and then third last year. Perhaps an example for Dursley runner Dan Anderson, who has come a long himself. Dan completed the 2012 event in just over 83 minutes and placed 35th. This year he was again first Dursley runner home and was an impressive seventh, even more impressive as he only ran up the first hill!

The women’s race was much closer than that of their male counterparts, with Sara Bland continuing Stratford Athletics Club’s strong showing in the Dozen with a win over Suzi Donoghue of the Army Athletics Association. However, there was only a minute and three quarters difference between first and third, with Clare Francis of Brybrook Valley Running Club claiming the last podium position. The race welcomed back many friends, in Jenny Mills’ case the welcome generally includes handshake for finishing first in her category and this year was no exception, despite the conditions being extremely testing.  As soon as the runners descended to the northern slopes of the escarpment the going was extremely heavy. On reaching the precipice the initial slope had to be negotiated before the runners could take advantage of the rope and a lunge from one rope to another had to be achieved at the half way point to ensure a reasonably smooth ascent. Once onto the firmer ground leading to "jelly baby" point the  runners had to contend with strong winds, which threatened to blow the lighter runners off their feet as they turned towards Dursley, running along a slippery adverse camber before making back to relative calm of the woods to descend down into Dursley.

Scott Emsley was the last runner in under the cut off, finishing in a time of 03:34:40. A number of runners were outside the cut off  and were escorted back to the finish by Dursley's  Mountain Man Brad Johnson, where they were very happy to have a sit down, a cup of tea and a bit of cake.

 

Category winners

Senior Women

Joanna Young  

01:55:35   

Senior Men  

Garry Hughes        

01:23:11

FV35                

Claire Frances  

01:45:46               

 

 

 

FV40                 

Suzi Donoghue

01:44:46    

MV40            

Connor Carson

01:28:46     

FV45               

Niki Morgan     

01:48:40   

     

FV50               

Sara Bland      

01:49:53   

MV50          

Miguel Mundinano 

01:29:28

FV55

Alice Lewis

02:06:37

MV55

Michael Williams               

01:42:51

FV60

Jenny Mills

01:57:26

MV60

Edward Monroe                

01:55:15

 

In the team events Stroud suffered from the loss of Lee Rankin, Stroud’s loss was Cirencester’s gain, with Wyclef Forbes, Ben Rosdale and Richard Hurdle pipping Stroud by just under a minute.

Black Pair Joggers were the first women’s team, with Sarah Kellet, Donna Ruston and Jenni Morris finishing in a combined time of 06:35:41, 20 minutes ahead of Forest of Dean.

For Dursley, Dan Anderson and Alice grabbed the limelight but there were a host of good runs from the host club, with Rebecca Topham placing 2nd FV40, knocking around 7 minutes off her 2012 time, and Margaret Johnson 5th FV45, knocking around 14 minutes off her 2013 time! New member Neil Truelove finished 4th MV55 and Joe Browning was another runner who showed a big improvement this year. He said he was drained after his effort, but that was hardly surprising as he ran around 22 minutes faster!

 

Runner

Pos

Time

Net Time

Daniel Anderson

7

1:29:54.7

1:29:52.8

Joe Browning

99

1:50:20.4

1:50:16.2

Rebecca Topham

105

1:52:03.7

1:51:59.2

Mark Brasier

110

1:52:22.1

1:52:17.2

Richard Clarke

116

1:53:38.3

1:53:34.0

Mouse Clutterbuck

118

1:54:05.6

1:53:59.9

Neil Truelove

173

2:00:30.3

2:00:27.0

Jonathon Kerry

201

2:03:51.6

2:03:45.2

Alice Lewis

218

2:06:42.9

2:06:37.7

Margaret Johnson

225

2:07:16.2

2:07:10.8

Erica Fuller

283

2:18:21.8

2:18:08.3

 

 

As ever, feedback from the runners was very positive. It seems that for most entrants adverse conditions make the event more enjoyable. For Walid Aqabani and Johan Breytenbach, the journey to the race as was almost as challenging as the race itself: having followed the official “Highways Agency” detour, they got to the start line some 12 minutes late. This did give them a clear run up May Lane and DBMax were able to adjust their times to give them time of 01:48:01 and 01:35:12, respectively.

 

Full Race results are available from DB max on http://www.racetecresults.com/results.aspx?CId=16421&RId=17