A record number of Wootton Road Runners took part in the Oakley 20 mile race in Bedfordshire last weekend as the warm-up to the spring marathon season continues.
With many runners hoping for success at London, Manchester and Hamburg in the coming weeks, the undulating 20 mile race offered a popular pre-marathon challenge for 42 of the clubs hardiest runners.
Lazloe Boden made short work of the blustery conditions to take 15th place overall in an impressive time of 2.11.21 with Mark Nightingale and Graham Hollowell the next Wootton runner’s home in times of 2.32.18 and 2.32.50 respectively.
Solid performances from Chris Chapman, 2.34.34 and Mike Carrea, 2.34.51 put them just ahead of Paul Northern in 2.38.31, Niall Gardiner 2.41.44 and new runner Andy Mayes in 2.42.23. Nick Matthews, 2.45.04 and Phil Wood, 2.47.01 also dipped under the 2.50 mark while John Ferris’ good form ahead of the Manchester marathon later this month continued with a time of 2.46.19.
Jenny Green was the first Wotton lady to complete the race in a time of 2.43.14 ahead of the improving Eliza Kurczewska in 2.48.54 and Laura Stevenson in 2.54.57, a PB of over 10 minutes.
Running together, Gabby Deere and Helen van Uem recorded a time of 2.57.41 just ahead of Steve Borondy, 2.58.25, Tony Swindells, 3.00.02 and Angus Stevenson, 3.00.20.
Despite illness, Deana Loveridge finished in a creditable 3.09.48 and there was another PB for Vicky Greenshields whose excellent form continues as she took another 10 minutes off her previous best to finish in 3.14.26, just ahead of Sharon Mayne in 3.19.49.
Initially hoping to complete the race in under 3.20, Mick Turner will be very pleased to come home in 3.12.05, while a sprint finish for Tim Molloy gave him a time of 3.22.19.
Liz Cahill and Tracey Ferris finished together in 3.28.23 just ahead of Estelle Young in 3.30.46.
Several Wootton runners have also journeyed further afield to take on races in the US over the last couple of weeks with Nicola Deether completing the San Francisco Half in 1.57.13 and Michelle Lewis competing in both the New York Half Marathon and the New Orleans 5km.