Athletics: Hughes triumphs in 2014 Dursley Dozen

Gazette Series: Garry Hughes at the quarry during the 2014 Dursley Dozen. Picture by charleswhittonphotography.com Garry Hughes at the quarry during the 2014 Dursley Dozen. Picture by charleswhittonphotography.com

GARRY Hughes stormed to victory in the 25th Dursley Dozen on Sunday.

The former Dursley RC runner finished in just over 83 minutes, substantially quicker than Dan Robinson's 2013 time and a very good run in the wet, muddy and windy conditions.

Despite the poor weather, 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.

Race director Graeme Hawkins, Dursley RC chairman Dave Durden and race coordinator Mark Waller 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.

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

As ever the race attracted some quality competitors with Hughes up against new club mate Lee Rankin, with Rob Minton and Wyclef Forbes having an eye on the podium.

Once the race was under way it was clear that Hughes was in good form, pulling away very quickly from the chasing pack.

His task was made easier when Rankin twisted his ankle on the first long descent from the golf club.

By the time he returned up the precipice on the golf course, Hughes' lead was unassailable.

Forbes repeated his second placing from 2012, finishing three minutes behind Hughes, but the Cirencester runner managed to distance himself from Rob Minton, beating him by two minutes.

Dursley runner Dan Anderson 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.

The women’s race was much closer than their male counterparts with Sara Bland,continuing Stratford AC'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.

In the team events Stroud suffered from the loss of Rankin, Stroud’s with Cirencester’s Forbes, Ben Rosdale and Richard Hurdle pipping them 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 FV 55 winner Lewis grabbed the limelight but there were a host of good runs from the host cub with Rebecca Topham placing second FV40, knocking around seven minutes off her 2012 time.

Margaret Johnson was fifth FV45, knocking around 14 minutes of her 2013 time.

New member Neil Truelove finished fourth MV55 and Joe Browning was another runner who showed a big improvement this year as he ran around 22 minutes faster.

Category Winners: Senior Men – Garry Hughes 01:23:11; Senior Women – Joanna Young 01:55: 35; 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 – Micheal Williams 01:42:51; FV60 – Jenny Mills 01:57:26; MV60 – Edward Monroe 01:55:15.

Dursley RC results: 7 Daniel Anderson 1:29:54.7; 99 Joe Browning 1:50:20.4; 105 Rebecca Topham 1:52:03.7; 110 Mark Brasier 1:52:22.1; 116 Richard Clarke 1:53:38.3; 118 Mouse Clutterbuck 1:54:05.6; 173 Neil Truelove 2:00:30.3; 201 Jonathan Kerry 2:03:51.6; 218 Alice Lewis 2:06:42.9; 225 Margaret Johnson 2:07:16.2; 283 Erica Fuller 2:18:21.8.

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