WITH the welcome spring sunshine comes a whole variety of races to test the members of Thornbury Running Club.
A slightly unusual challenge is to Beat The Bore. The Severn Bore gradually speeds up from 4mph to 13mph between Arlingham and Gloucester, and all runners have to do in this 11-mile race is beat it to the Anchor Inn.
The bore arrived at Epney 12 minutes early, with only a few runners keeping the roar of water behind them all the way to the end – one of these being Thornbury's Andi Davies, who finished second overall and first MV40 in 1:09:53.
At the Little Stoke parkrun there were three new personal bests for Thornbury.
Sandra Webber, who achieved a great Bath Half Marathon result of 1:47:06 the previous week, made her first parkrun appearance since last May to finish in 23:17, knocking another five seconds from her previous best.
Rich Phillips also achieved a PB by two seconds with a time of 20:17 and son Ross Phillips made his parkrun debut in 26:29.
As usual Garry Slater was the first home from the club in 18:48, and Daniel Harding made it two PBs in a row in 20:18.
Jack Grudgings decided to test the Chipping Sodbury course, rewarded with a good time of 20:01, while Judy Mills was first in her age category in 25:08. Graham Bishop (32:53) returned, bringing wife Carole with him (34:07).
John Francksen was off on his travels but made it to Glasgow parkrun, which he completed in 27:54.
Trudi Johnson ran the Surrey Half Marathon at Guildford on Sunday, finishing in a fair time of 2:07:22, which she felt slightly disappointing, putting it down to the heat but also to some lack of preparation on her part.
Only four Thornbury Runners were successful in the ballot that is now necessary for fair allocation of places to Axe Valley Runners' ridiculously popular Grizzly races.
Starting on Seaton Esplanade, the race immediately slows all but the quickest as it takes in almost half a mile of shingle beach, before taking runners up hill and down into Beer; uphill and down into Branscombe where the cub race runners, including John Grimsey (1:57:42), turn back for the shorter 10-mile option. Meanwhile, the race continues away from the shore, up and down hillsides and through countless colours, flavours and densities of mud, at 16 miles returning tired legs to another half mile of shingle followed by a steep cliff path and an overall distance just short of 20 miles with over 3,500 feet of ascent.
For Hugh McPherson this was a new experience which he intended to enjoy rather than race.
His plan changed after 11 miles when Judy Mills caught him and he felt obliged to make a bit more effort, but being a gentleman allowed the lady through the finish first in 4:06:29, following a few seconds later in 4:06:33.
Both Mills and Arthur Renshaw were using the run as marathon training, but Renshaw chose a slower start and finished in 4:27:51.
In the final mid-week race of the Pomphrey Hill Winter Series 5k, Jack Grudgings had a strong run to finish in 37th place in 20:19.
These events are in the main entered by club runners, and are competitive with good class athletes taking part.