FORMER Thornbury Running Club chairman and head coach Craig Carscadden was delighted and shocked to be awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List in recognition for his services to athletes with disabilities and to the Paralympics.

Craig was an accomplished runner and represented Great Britain at the 1996 Paralympics in the 5000m.

After hanging up his spikes, he threw himself into helping other Paralympians and was a coach at 2000 and 2004 Paralympics.

As well as his work with the Paralympic movement and coaching local runners, Craig has volunteered his time and expertise in a variety of roles over the last 25 years to promote and help athletes with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

Everyone at Thornbury RC is very proud of Craig and would like to congratulate him for this richly deserved honour.

The Christmas and New Year period is a busy one for runners, many of whom were eager to use the mince pies and trimmings as extra fuel for some winter training and a final race for 2017.

On the last Saturday before Christmas, 13 TRC athletes were at four different parkruns. Andrew Darton ran 23:33 mins in Yeovil, Kevin Wood ran 22:42 mins in Chipping Sodbury and Kevin Arnold was at Old Deer Park in Richmond and ran 22:42 mins.

At the local parkrun on Mundy Playing Fields, Dylan Roberts was third overall and ran very close to his previous best in 20.21 mins.

He was joined by Paul Thomas 23:54 mins, John Mann 25:05 mins, Mike Bennewitz 26:12 mins, Malcolm Carr 28:14 mins, David Palmer 28:16 mins, Arthur Renshaw 31:30 mins, Anne Palmer 33:44 mins, Rachel Murphy 33:46 mins and Jo Williams 34:38 mins.

Due to wet weather earlier in December, the Westonbirt 10k was rescheduled to last Saturday.

Jay Bartley was the first Thornbury runner in 162nd place in a time of 54:31 mins, followed by Peter Coombs 283rd in one hour 1:35 mins and Arthur Renshaw 313th in one hour 2:41 mins.

Also last Saturday, Rob Watkins and Rob Hopkins were back for more punishment at the ‘Immortal Sinner’.

The ‘Immortal’ is a 14 mile off-road race through Gloucestershire countryside, over 14 hills and some treacherous river crossings. Watkins was looking to make amends after taking a wrong turn on the same course in 2016, but there were no such mishaps this time as he finished in a very good fourth place and first Male Vet in two hours 12:16 mins. Hopkins finished in 20th place in two hours 30:35 mins.

At Thornbury parkrun on Saturday, Paul Thomas finished in 16th place in 24:29 mins.

Results; Andrew Darton 24:58 mins, Angela Bushell 28:49 mins, Karen Carr 32:29 mins and Rachel Murphy 36:39 mins.

The final results of 2017 were at the inaugural 5-mile 'Wye Wander' on New Year's Eve. The race set off next to Chepstow racecourse, before heading along a succession of muddy trails in Wye Valley and splashing through one very large puddle. Matt Johnstone was 9th overall and 3rd MV40 in 36:20 mins, followed by Maite Roche 123rd 55:06 mins, Cathy Watkins 195th 1 hour 9:11 mins, Suzy Cundy 206th 1 hour 11:51 mins, Rachel Murphy 237th 1 hour 21:10 mins, Ellyn Pyne 243rd 1 hour 24:59 mins and Magda Johnson 244th 1 hour 24:59 mins.