THORNBURY Running Club’s Jim Godden is a highly competitive runner, but his first fell race at the weekend turned into a baptism of fire.

For Godden set his goals on running further and more challenging events in 2018 and, as such, travelled up to the Midlands into Shropshire for the 11 mile Long Mynd Valleys Race (LMV) on Sunday.

The LMV has a fearsome reputation as it features some 3,700 feet of climbing with 40 per cent gradients in parts of the course.

The hardened fell runners from Wales and Northern England are conditioned to these sort of races, going up and down these treacherous trails like mountain goats.

Conversely, Godden found himself scrambling up some of the climbs, hanging on to the heather plants for grip, while trying to remain upright on the dangerous descents.

Jim got to the finish feeling dizzy but undeterred, vowing to come back for another dose of the fell running experience.

His finishing time was two hours 30 mins in 110th place.

Meanwhile, after a week’s break at Thornbury parkrun to allow the course to recover, Andrew Darton ran clear of all the competition on Saturday to be first finisher overall in 20:58 mins.

Paul Thomas was the next Thornbury runner in a new personal best on this course in 22:54 mins in fifth place.

Reuban Williams ran 28:04 mins, Jo Williams set a new personal best with a time of 28:05 mins and Richard Illingworth ran 34:05 mins.

Kevin Wood was back at Chipping Sodbury parkrun and ran 22:46 mins.

Thornbury Running Club meets at Thornbury Leisure Centre every Tuesday and the main club night is on Thursday at 7pm.

Most club members have joined via word of mouth and an ever-increasing number have enquired via the club’s revamped Facebook page.

With the rapidly increasing membership, the club recently asked its new recruits what their main motivation for joining was.

The most popular response was to get fit, followed by getting faster and thirdly for the social benefits.