Athletics: Thornbury runner Burke impresses at Kymin Fell Race

FELL Racing differs from cross country and road running.

Most Fell Races are held where there are substantial hills and runners expect it to be tough and hilly.

The course is not as rigidly fixed as in other races; runners can choose their own way between points – long gradual climbs or short sharp ones for instance. The ability to run downhill at breakneck speed is a great advantage, and there are few marshals so the ability to navigate with map and compass can be essential, especially on longer routes or where there is reduced visibility due to low cloud.

The Kymin Fell Race is held just outside Monmouth, and is relatively short with no real navigation required, and it was here that Thornbury's Wilf Burke had a good run to finish second MV60 and 36th of 116 competitors in 39:28.

In contrast, some would consider the flat, well-marshalled parkruns a real soft option, though a 5k sprint can be as hard as you want to make it.

There was a good turnout from the club at Little Stoke, although no new records.

Garry Slater was the only runner under 19 minutes, finishing 10th in 18:58.

Paul Thomas was 16th in 19:23, with Kevin Arnold, 42nd in 20:58, all three running faster than last week.

Joel Makinson, in her first parkrun since last August, was 122nd in 25:25.

Regular parkrunner John Francksen also improved his time from last week to finish 142nd in 27:11, in front of Mr and Mrs Carr, who had a morning run together, with Malcolm 148th in 27:27 and Karen just two seconds and one place behind.

Elsewhere Judy Mills enjoyed the bright sunshine and flat course at King's Lynn parkrun, achieving a personal parkrun best of 25:24.

This Sunday, January 19 sees the annual running of the Riverbank Rollick, a race of about nine miles which starts at the Pithay Near St Mary's Church in Thornbury at 11am and follows fields and tracks to St Arilda's Church at Oldbury, goes south along the banks of the Severn and returns to the Mundy Playing Fields via Littleton and Thornbury Golf Course.

Entries are full, and the club hopes to provide an enjoyable if wet and muddy run, and also to raise funds for their chosen charity of 2014, Meningitis Now.

Thornbury Running Club meets at 7pm on Thursday evenings at Thornbury Leisure Centre and new members are always welcomed.

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