Athletics: Darton finishes third at Little Stoke

Gazette Series: (5551845) (5551845)

EASTER weekend provided fewer racing opportunities and the main events for most Thornbury Running Club members were the various parkruns.

Eight runners made it to Little Stoke, where Andrew Darton was first to finish for the club, in third place overall, and for the third time finishing in his personal best time of 18:18.

Jim Godden shaved another three seconds from his time, finishing 15th in 19:32, then came parkrun first-timer Al Whiteway, whose 24th position in 20:35 was just in front of Rich Phillips, 25th in 20:37.

Kevin Arnold had a more relaxed run and was over a minute slower than his best time, 39th in 21:34.

Sue Bamford had her second run at the Little Stoke event, and in 22:16 took well over a minute from her previous time.

Sandra Webber also gave herself an easy run in 24:08 while Rebecca Dunsford again improved, this time by almost two minutes to complete the 5k in 31:04.

Jim Godden, Andrew Darton and Sue Bamford all were first finishers in their age categories.

Chipping Sodbury saw more Thornbury runners than usual with first-timer Mike Willis finishing eighth overall in 20:18.

Judy Mills was 40th in 24:59, followed by first-timer Katrina Willis, 46th in 26:00, running with Angela Bushell, 47th in 26:01 in her first run at Chipping Sodbury.

Graham Bishop achieved a new personal best by over half a minute to finish 84th in 30:11.

The results showed age category wins for them all, though Katrina Willis had to be satisfied with being second to Judy Mills.

An exception to parkruns was made by the Davies family.

For his marathon debut, Andi chose the Broadmeadow Marathon in the Warwickshire countryside, a lovely, mainly off-road trail marathon starting and finishing at Stratford Cricket Club on Good Friday.

His time of 3:27:31 put him in second place, but a navigational error prevented him winning outright, as well as giving him a couple of extra miles to run.

Thornbury's Neil Roff also took part, finishing 48th in 4:58:41.

The rest of the Davies family took part in Maldwyn Harriers Chocoholics 5k races, with Luke winning the race overall in 17:12. Yet again, the grown men were beaten by an under-13 boy.

Most of the grown men were also beaten by an under-17 girl as Heidi Davies, in fifth place and first lady, was only a minute behind in 18:14.

Not to be completely upstaged, their mum Nicky won her age category in a time of 22:39, 37th overall and seventh lady.

Thornbury's main meeting is weekly on Thursdays at 7pm at Thornbury Leisure Centre.

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