Athletics: Illingworth record still stands for Thornbury at London Marathon

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First published in Thornbury Sport

THERE is no race quite like a marathon and no marathon quite like London.

The fastest it has ever been completed by a Thornbury RC member was in 1989 when Richard Illingworth was clocked at 2:57:33, and although others have taken part with the ability to better the time, it hasn't happened.

Rob Watkins, who has completed the distance in under three hours, could not find the necessary speed and strength on Sunday and his time of 3:05:44, while one most of the club can only dream of, wasn't enough to claim the record.

David Atkinson also had a good run, finishing in 3:16:14, while Nancy Harding was 45th in her age category in 3:38:34.

Selina Slater ran a well-paced race, accepting the fact that she had to run the second half slower if she was to finish comfortably, and crossed the line in 4:08:14.

Arthur Renshaw had a good run until mile17 when things started to go wrong for him, but he still finished in 4:57:25.

There were still opportunities for racing at shorter distances last weekend.

Only a few Thornbury members made it to one of the parkruns on Saturday.

At Little Stoke, Jim Godden, on his second run, knocked 14 seconds from his previous time to finish in 19:35.

Kevin Arnold ran close to his best, 21:07, while Ross Phillips had a more relaxed run than of late in 25:43.

At Chipping Sodbury, Hugh McPherson was also only seconds away from his best in 22:31 and Judy Mills, having cycled a few miles to the event, was happy with 25:17.

The Offas Orror race on Sunday, organised by Chepstow Harriers, is of near half-marathon length of 20k and is mainly on footpaths and forest trails with around 480m of climb, on and around Offas Dyke close to Tintern.

Being tough, muddy and hilly, it was ideal for Rob Hopkins, who led the club home in 1:40:55 and 34th place.

Jim Williams was the only other club non-pensioner, but finishing in 1:52:10 and 88th place, he still allowed himself to be beaten by MV60 Nick Langridge, who was 87th in 1:51:45.

Either Pete Mainstone had a very good run, or Jeremy Clothier ran to keep him company as the two over-60s finished together, 189th and 190th in 2:11:28 and 2:11:29 respectively.

For those with less sense of adventure, the Frenchay 10k offered a chance to race over a shorter, flatter distance, with the race counting towards the club's Road Race Championships in which members need to complete three 10k races to qualify.

First club finisher was Jeff Davis, 38th in 42:17.

Jon Greenwood again won the SVM category, 44th in 42:56.

Kevin Arnold, 65th in 44:29, crossed the line in front of Richard Phillips, 66th in 44:43.

Sandra Webber was the first club lady, fourth in the SVF category and 168th in 49:53, followed by Jane Leslie, sixth SVF in 54:32 and faster than many younger runners.

Angela Bushell, newly returned to Thornbury, has done less running of late so found the race hard and had to be satisfied with 55:42 and 295th place.

Nigel Hale was close behind, 303rd in 56:22 with Romeo Maddalena 453rd in 65:04.

Entries are now open for the Sundayshill 10k race, which will be held in the evening on Monday, June 30.

This event is open to all and entry details can be found on thornburyrunningclub.co.uk

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