FOUR Dursley runners managed almost 134 miles between them over the first weekend in March with a plethora of races, writes David Durden.

Matt Hazel-Livall and Dave Halford were on the start line of the 2019 Greenman with Pete Dunn sadly having to withdraw due to illness.

The ultra consists of a 45-mile course following the community Forest Path around the city of Bristol, Hazell-Livall provided a brief synopsis: “It started at 8am, I ran for eight-and-a-half hours, I didn’t die, but may need some new legs.”

The race started from Aston Park school, it was raining and cold at the start. Hazel-Livall was tracking the nine-hour pacer hoping to stay with him. Hazel-Livall recalled.

“The rain stopped and it warmed up quickly, after some fields and the reservoir another hill gave some amazing views.”

At round 20 miles Livall was starting to “feel it”, having not taken on enough water over the initial stages, whilst Halford’s disrupted training schedule was also beginning to tell.

The runners reached the Frome Valley Way at 27 miles and checkpoint 3 at Hambrook. Just two more miles and Halford decided that he was not able to continue running to the finish and called it a day.

Having completed the event in 2018, the prospect of slow walk to the finish was not inviting.

For Hazel-Livall, the end felt as though it was in sight, but he said: “My legs were not so pleased with the thought of another 15miles.”

It was on to Blaise Castle and the final checkpoint at 39miles. After a very quick stop he pushed on, once on the Downs it was only 5k to go, running down past the Greenman statue and back to Aston Park school and a cheering crowd at the finish. The 45 miles were completed in eight hours 28 minutes (provisional).

Well inside his nine-hour target he described it as an awesome introduction to ultra running.

Meanwhile, in Wales, Rachel Brown was a DRC soloist at the Rhayader Round the Lakes road race on Saturday. Rachel said: “The 30km race is described as a demanding race, starting in Rhayader it follows a circular route around the Elan Valley reservoirs, finishing back in the town.

"The rain held off until the end, however the wind was brutal particularly where the course is very exposed. I felt comfortable and strong on the climb. However, as we started to descend at mile six, we found ourselves fighting with the strong headwind.

"It was a relief to reach the relatively sheltered Valley.”

Brown was 350th in a time of 03:05:42 and was 16th F45, happy with her run considering the conditions. Kate Browning completed Millennium Ultra, in Staffordshire. Browning got to the race there by the skin of her teeth , last on the coach that took the participants to the start line. The last shall be first and Browning was first woman home taking 07:25:43 to complete the 41 miles and was 20th overall in a field of 141 runners.

Two DRC members competed at the shorter 10K distance at the Two Tunnels event in Bath. Marketed as having the longest underground sections of any running race in the UK using two former railway tunnels that are now a shared use path. The first tunnel The Devonshire is 408m long and the second Combe Down Tunnels 1672m long. Outside of the tunnels Mark Sprigings reported the weather was wet and windy, joining him was Steve Tilley, whose last run for DRC had been over forty years ago. With the tunnels interfering with his GPS watch Sprigings felt he struggled with his pace judgement; this did not stop him running a personal best of 38:34 placing 14th, with the winner finishing in 34:06. Tilley finished in 48:51, 19th in the M50 category. Results Mark Sprigings; 14th, 38:34 (M20-29 11th); Steve Tilley 157th 48:51, (M50-5919th)

Three DRC's athletes were competing at 13.1 miles on both sides of the Country on Sunday, the weather looking far better in the Fens that in Wales! Chris Williams and Hannah Butcher were the two DRC representatives at the Cambridge half-marathon in a field of 8354 runners, Hannah was very pleased to run a personal best.

Results: Chris Williams, 01:54:03 2687th (426th M35-39); Hannah Butcher, 02:12:16 6324th (356th F35-39).

Annette Heylings was in a wet and windy Newport to run the half, she said: "The winds and heavy rain made it tough and my strava timewas 02:26:14.

There was a good turnout of thirty-nine DRC parkrunners out this weekend, with Clare Troy running her first ever parkrun at Wotton. Jacky Gilmour was highest Age grading with 72:20% at Kingsway, with Mouse Clutterbuck just a smidgen behind her with quick run around the Stonehouse course of 21:39 giving him an AG of 71.59% and a personal best.

Tel Cother posted a personal best at Kingsway and Pete Allen at Wotton. Matt Rogers was the quickest DRC male parkrunner of the weekend at Wotton in 20:21 whist tourist Catherine Pinnock was quickest woman, 23:34, at Minehead.

John and Eileen Hieron took part in the 47th Ports of Auckland Round the Bays event on Sunday. One of the world's largest fun runs and New Zealand's largest mass participation sporting event, the Ports of Auckland Round the Bays fun run attracts more than 26,000 participants. John Hieron was first home over the 8.4km course in 57:58, 3rd M80 whilst Eileen Hieron finished in 58:59, 4th F70 out of and amazing 74 competitors in the 70-74 category. At the other end of the age range, Bill Smith DRC junior placed 26th running for Stroud at the District cross country event held at Cheltenham the culmination of an excellent season cross country running for Smith.