The Dozen Dozen preparations start early, August the preceding year in fact, and on the day of the race helpers are up early on Sunday to greet the runners in the 2015 event. Today they were greeted by a thick cold mist. However the mist very quickly started to lift to leave and the Dozen course bathed in bright winter sunlight

.

Despite the good weather conditions as ever the entrants looked suitably nervous. With no numbers being posted out this year race organisation was at a premium, chip distribution at race headquarters worked well and runners started to gather at the start line from around ten past ten onwards. The conditions looked to suit the front runners with relatively firm conditions around the course. The conditions under foot would change dramatically as the more and more runners churned the course up, with frosty ground underneath the mud proving to be quite slippery.

 

 

By the time the race started there was very little need for any thermal clothing apart for maybe a pair of gloves. The narrow path up through the woods means that if you are not at the front off the field you are likely to be slowed down in a large human traffic jam that wends it way up the Golf Course.  Dan Anderson of Dursley led the charge up to the chain with the aim of getting a clear passage up to the golf club.

It was Paul Fernandez and James Bingham who came out into the bright sunlight of the Golf course first, Bingham having been a late replacement for Richard Smith of Almost Athletes, (Bingham had not filled in the relevant paperwork on the day, subsequently causing a number of headaches around the results which are subsequently  provisional).  Dan Anderson was now in the top five. Wendy Nicholls, pretty in pink (see below) was the first woman to reach the golf course.

Fernandez and Bingham had opened up a significant lead by the time they entered Hermitage Wood at around three and a half miles, having in the mean time taken in the speedy descent of Sheep Path Wood before climbing back up Listers Drive to re-emerge onto the golf course. It was noticeable at this point that Fernandez was not working as hard as his challenger. Behind them Connor Carson was also distancing himself from a chasing pack. Wendy Nicholls was also establishing a small lead over Charlotte Bowers (Chippenham Harriers) and Helen Fines, late of Cheltenham but now of Holmfirth Harriers. The dry weather conditions and warm sunlight made the going good for the front runners and all were showing a good turn of pace.

The turn for home made all the difference in the men’s race  after the speedy descent to into Ashen Plains wood Fernandez starting to pull away on the ascent, with the not much changing in terms of the position of the following runners.

Behind the front runners Joe Browning had taken and initial second place for Dursley as the race emerged onto the Golf Club, Mike Compton in third. Kate Browning led the Dursley Women’s contingent with Kim Stephenson in second. By Hermitage Wood Compton was quickly closing Browning down, suggesting the latter may have set off  a little too briskly. Dursley Stalwart Kevin Jackson was not far behind.

Back at the front of the race Fernandez continued to maintain his lead looking extremely comfortable as he returned across the Golf Course to the Broadway and the final descent into Dursley. Bingham and Carson were too far from Fernandez and each other to make any impact on the placings. The battle for fourth pace was closer with Dean Taylor of Pontypool and district only some 50 metres in front of Dan Anderson on the traverse to the Broadway. Anderson was on his last legs and was more concerned than any effort to gain fourth place might leaving him blown back to sixth. So the order over the golf course plateau was to reflect the final result with Fernandez emerging triumphant at May Lane, blowing away the course record 01:18:57.

The women’s race proved to be less contested  with Wendy Nicholls stretching out a her lead until she finished over two minutes in front of Charlotte Bowers, Helen Fines could not close a gap of one minute and had to be satisfied with winning the FV40 category in third place overall.

 

Men

Gun

Chip time

Cat

   

1

Paul Fernandez

01:18:59.5

01:18:57.8

M40

1

Abingdon AC

2

James Bingham

01:21:55.8

01:21:53.6

MSen

tbc

Cheltenham and County Harriers

3

Connor Carson

01:22:05.6

01:22:02.8

M40

2

Kenilworth Runners

 

Women (overall in brackets)

Gun

Chip time

Cat

   

1(27)

Wendy Nicholls

01:33:00.9

01:32:58.8

F45

1

Cirencester AC

2(35)

Charlotte Bowers

01:35:17.6

01:35:14.2

F35

1

Chippenham Harriers

3(41)

Helen Fines

01:36:17.8

01:36:14.9

F40

1

Holmfirth Harriers

 

For Dursley Dan Anderson did not blow and maintained his fifth position, he was a trifle disappointed but had to accept he had nothing more to give, and you can never  do better than this on the day plus he was a good 5 minutes quicker than last year. Mike Compton came in second for the club with a steady run, although he less than happy running through hermitage Woods. He managed to keep ahead of Kevin Jackson, who may have been saving himself for the Gwent League Cross Country League race he was running in the same afternoon. After a strong start Joe Browning, possibly overdressed for such a sunny day, fell away and finished five minutes behind Compton.However Joe can be pleased with his year on year improvement 02.12 in 2013, 01:50 in 2014 so with a little less clothing and a steady start he should be getting down into the 01:30s next year.

Kate Browning was very pleased to finish first Dursley woman with a course personal best, and 2nd on her age category, not bad considering the first FV40 was 3rd overall. Adam Cook was relieved to get it all over with having crammed in his training in over January. Richard “the roarer” Smith was almost certainly the noisiest finisher, and possibly need to be tested for stimulants after he roared over the line, may be one jelly to many after the precipice. Both John Delafield and Julian Peachy were also happy with their runs, Julian in particularly as he knocked 8 minutes of  his previous best. Fran Amigoni may well have been over dressed for the occasion given the weather, tights and a wind-stopper. Less insulation and she may have dipped under 2 hours, so it is fair to Say Alice Lewis and Margaret Johnson were relieved with her sartorial choice. Fran was happy and was glad of all the encouragement she received on the way around. Kim Bird had a strong run and finished 8th Senior Woman, Jan Short also ran well to finish 4th FV50. Paul Rogers made it around as the clubs Lanterne Rouge, he said “he couldn’t think of anything better to do on a sunny Sunday morning”

 

   

Gun Time

Chip Time

cat

Cat Pos.

     

5

Dan Anderson

01:24:19.8

01:24:18.3

MSen

2

Male

8.5 m/hr

11:55:14.8

57

Mike Crompton

01:38:52.3

01:38:47.4

MSen

30

Male

7.3 m/hr

12:09:47.3

65

Kevin Jackson

01:39:43.6

01:39:39.0

M50

8

Male

7.2 m/hr

12:10:38.6

86

Joe Browning

01:43:47.3

01:43:41.1

MSen

41

Male

6.9 m/hr

12:14:42.3

96

Kate Browning

01:45:22.7

01:45:20.0

F40

2

Female

6.8 m/hr

12:16:17.7

163

Adam Cook

01:53:15.1

01:52:39.1

MSen

62

Male

6.4 m/hr

12:24:10.1

176

Richard Smith

01:54:04.6

01:53:07.8

MSen

66

Male

6.3 m/hr

12:24:59.6

184

Kevin Proctor*

01:55:03.3

01:54:13.4

M40

37

Male

6.3 m/hr

12:25:58.3

189

Kimberley Bird

01:55:40.2

01:55:16.7

FSen

8

Female

6.2 m/hr

12:26:35.2

222

John Delafield

01:58:45.9

01:58:12.3

M50

20

Male

6.1 m/hr

12:29:40.9

256

Francesca Amigoni

02:01:57.3

02:01:25.3

FSen

15

Female

5.9 m/hr

12:32:52.3

283

Jan Short

02:04:10.7

02:03:50.7

F55

4

Female

5.8 m/hr

12:35:05.7

320

Nigel Sankey

02:08:47.5

02:08:19.0

MSen

98

Male

5.6 m/hr

12:39:42.5

356

Julian Peachey

02:12:58.5

02:12:22.9

M45

47

Male

5.4 m/hr

12:43:53.5

395

Audrey Harris

02:20:25.9

02:19:44.9

F35

17

Female

5.1 m/hr

12:51:20.9

405

Julie Froggatt

02:23:43.8

02:23:10.4

F50

16

Female

5.0 m/hr

12:54:38.8

441

Karen White

02:40:31.3

02:39:54.7

F35

21

Female

4.5 m/hr

13:11:26.3

442

Paul Rogers

02:41:53.2

02:41:31.2

M45

53

Male

4.4 m/hr

13:12:48.2

* Kevin Proctor advises he thinks this time might be incorrect.

Graeme Hawkins always likes to celebrate class veteran runners and so was happy to announce Jenny Mills win in the FV65 Category, travelling up form the deep South West, Mills in a delightful participant who makes running look so easy, although you could tell she was trying as she closed in on the line.

Provisional Results can be found at the following address

http://www.dbmax.co.uk/results/results-2015.html

Apologies if you have not got a mention. Did my best this year to follow the action as it happened , but even then it is difficult to keep up.

As ever this iconic race would not happen without the attention to detail and hard work of the race Director Graeme Hawkins, plus the organisation of the course marshalling and laying out teams by Mark Waller. Allied to these two major tasks are a myriad of helpers sorting out the headquarters, giving out numbers and chips, selling teas coffees and cake, handing out the post race T-Shirts and cleaning the showers (Well done Kevin Proctor, ran the race and then cleaned up after himself! ). Then we have the (very happy) parking attendants

, and of course the marshalls and those at the drinks stations who are so critical to the success of the event with such a complex route.

Again the many positive comments that we receive on the day and afterwards testify that your efforts are all to the good.

 

Audrey Harris posted “Brilliant run. My first ever Dursley Dozen. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks everyone for the organisation”..

 

Dursley Running Club will be running a new summer off road event the 5 Peaks Challenge. Keep you eyes out on this webs site for more details. The initial running of this event will be limited to 100 runners.