On Sunday 31st March, Mothers Day, the A-Plan Insurance Yeovil Half Marathon took place. This was the 9th running of the event.
The first challenge for the entries was to make sure they all put their clocks forward!! This very popular race attracted a record number of runners. The course profile was generally flat with a few sharp hills to challenge the runners. Ideal for first time runners taking part in their first race.
From the start, the runners ran along the entire length of Yeovil Country Park. They then left the town on the western side, before running past the impressive sight of a National Trust property, Montacute House. The race then headed back towards Yeovil via quiet country roads to the finish at the Quedam Shopping Centre.
Three Trotters trundled up the A303 to Yeovil. Weather conditions were cool but dry for the start. Bruce Campbell was competing in his first competitive race for nearly three years, so I am quite sure his nerves were jangling before start time! Bruce didn’t have to worry, as he ran a blinding race to finish in 120th position, recording a great time of 1:34:26. This could be a very successful year for Bruce, if this performance was anything to go by!! The clubs other two runners also ran great races. Louise Gentry clocked an impressive time of 1:40:16 to finish in 234th place, and Sharon Still was placed in 1434th spot in a very respectable time of 2:30:23.
The overall winner was Stuart Holloway, crossing the line with hundreds of spectators cheering him and all the other athletes’ home, in a time of 1:12:24.
Also on Sunday, The Dorset Ooser Half & Marathon took place, organised by Badger Trail Events.
Both races started from an ancient thatched barn in a tiny hamlet of Turners Puddle, Bere Regis, in the heart of Dorset. The start took the runners uphill & then followed farm tracks, fields, trails that meandered through ancient woodlands & old historic drover routes. There were also short road sections which took the racers through picturesque hamlets, managed woodland tracks, heathland and set in the glorious Dorset countryside!!
The Marathon route included 3.5k of short tarmac sections, the longest being 1k. The route consisted of thirteen hills, mounting to 1090 metres of ascent. There was also some muddy patches, seven stiles and two fords to negotiate. There were some runnable stretches to gather some pace, but not a race for the faint hearted.
A large contingent of the Trotters who were due to run the marathon, decided to make it a long weekend. They travelled to Dorset on the Friday afternoon, and stayed in the Youth Hostel in a lovely little village called Litton Cheney. There was no shop, but did have a pub, which gave the thirsty Trotters the provisions they required!! On the Saturday, they relaxed with a friendly game of chip and putt at nearby Weymouth. A few ales at the local in the evening to help them sleep before an early night with race day looming.
On the morning of the race, the weather just about perfect, but with a light wind to make it feel cool. Thirteen Trotters lined up at the start.
Our first Trotter home was Roger Hayes, who finished in 32nd position in a time of 04:01:04. Crossing the line together was Lance Mason who was given 33rd place, in exactly the same as Roger, 04:01:04. The other positions and times were: Christian Robinson (60, 04:23:58), Derek Skinner (78, 04:34:37), Stephen Barker (85, 04:39:46), Kim Nichols (144, 05:09:00), Neil Rutley (145, 05:09:00), Sally Ingledew (170, 05:24:42), Ruth Johnson (171, 05:27:06), Mark Wotton (05:42:27), Sue Tremlett (198, 05:53:48), Sara Keatley (214, 06:06:24), Richard Keatley (215, 06:06:24).
Incidentally, this was the first race that Sara and Richard have raced together since becoming a married couple. Congratulations to both of you!!
Today was also Sue Tremletts birthday and she celebrated by completing her 17th marathon. March has proved to be a tough and busy schedule for Sue. Time for a well-earned rest is in order through April.
There were 243 finishers. Race winner was Jacek Cieluszecki in a staggering time of 02:53:46!!