THE sixth and final race in Thornbury Running Club’s 2018/2019 cross-country season took place on Saturday on the undulating Blaise Castle course, writes Matt Johnstone.

In the women’s 5.9K race a team of 3 Thornbury women joined a field of over 250 runners and Clare Watt had another good run, finishing 108th overall and 5th in the LV55 age group. Clare’s performance also secured her top honours in the club’s age-adjusted championship. Sarah Newnes was the next TRC runner in 188th in 34:06 mins. Judy Mills achieved the distinction of being the only TRC athlete to compete in all 6 races and had the best age group result on the day, finishing 203rd overall and 4th in the LV60 category in 35:01 mins.

There were 4 Thornbury runners in the men’s 9K race and it was Martyn Green, making his second appearance of the season, who was the first TRC finisher in 126th in 38:17 mins. Paul Harrod had cheered his son in the U17 race and then made a quick change to race himself shortly after. Paul was the next TRC man in 151st in 39:21 mins. Jim Godden’s season as club captain ended in glory, beating a longtime rival on the line in a sprint finish. Jim finished in 168th in 40:12 mins. Paul Saville’s cross-country debut for TRC was only a week removed from a half-marathon on the road, and as the race wore on he started to feel a little leg weary. It was still a good effort and Paul finished in 208th in 42:15 mins.

On Sunday, Dave Beard and Andrew Hollingdale made the trip across the bridge to join 2,000 other runners for a rain-soaked Newport Half Marathon. Dave’s training in 2019 has been geared towards the London Marathon at the end of April and his performance on Sunday showed he is making huge strides forward. He knocked off an impressive 8 minutes from his previous half-marathon best to finish 72nd in 1 hour 27:31 mins. In difficult conditions, Andrew equalled his previous best in 1 hour 42:50 mins.

Saturday’s TRC parkrun results included a new personal best on Thornbury parkrun course from one of TRC’s youngest runners, Reuban Williams, in 22:59 mins. Not to be outdone, his Mum, Jo Williams, ran a new personal best of 24:56 mins. Nigel Hale was next in 31:31 mins, followed by Sue Pascoe and Sylvia Fix in 53:00 and 53:01 mins.

Katherine Adams ran 26:20 mins at Eastville parkrun and Matt Johnstone ran 20:25 mins at Pomphrey Hill parkrun. Kevin Wood ran 22:07 mins at Highbury Fields, followed by Christopher Pritchard in 27:24 mins.

Att Chipping Sodbury, Laura Orna ran 20:35 mins followed by Richard Jackson in 21:19 mins.