Cheddar RC were well represented at the Bridgwater Half Marathon last Sunday 1st September which was held at the Morganians Rugby Football Club. A well organised event with enthusiastic marshalling, ample parking and all the expected amenities. Along with the half marathon there was also 10km and 5km races all of which raise funds for Cancer Research UK. With the sun shining over 350 runners lined up at the 11:00am start ready to tackle the 13.1 mile course. Being part of the Cheddar Running Club Championship Series eight of us set off sharing support and friendly banter into the initial miles.
The half marathon course was essentially flat taking in picturesque surroundings and the villages of Stawell and Sutton Mallet. There were some undulating hills between miles three and seven providing about 325ft elevation gain but nothing severe. The bells were ringing as I went past the church, the pop of shotguns echoed from a group on the hillside shooting clay pigeons and villagers came out to clap and cheers along the whole route. The sun shone making very pleasant if a little hot at times but a cool somewhat gusty headwind provided some respite and there were a few water stops. I felt the two mile out and back section about mile ten which gently descended from Chedzoy to a turning point was the hardest section as you know what you have to ascend back to the village while maintaining pace. The upside being that it provides a great opportunity to see your clubmates, check your position and shout support and encouragement after which there is some descent to help you back to the finish.
Andy Rich was first CRC runner back in 1:27:11, Chris Townsend smashed his previous PB by ten minutes to come in second with 1:34:03, Jeremy Newsome took 90 seconds off his PB for 1:34:49, Joanna Rich followed with another impressive PB of 1:41:37, Jill Wring came 4th in age category with 1:42:23, Sam Wheeler completed his first half marathon with a PB of 1:49:20, Rachel Flinders (birthday girl) paced Sam to the finish following close behind in 1:49:23 and Simon Walsh completed an excellent team effort in 1:52:58. After her parkrun PB Saturday Michelle Townsend also came along providing wonderful support to us all and capturing some great photos.
This weekend also saw a milestone birthday for our club coach. After the race we unanimous agreed that our successes simply would not happen without his expertise and encouragement so we agreed to dedicate all our PB’s to Shane … Happy birthday and thank-you!