Magnificent marathons for Axe Valley Runners

By Francesca Evans

18th Apr 2023 | Running

As we head into prime marathon season, the first five Axe Valley Runners started the ball rolling with Richard Hardy and Joel Seward taking on 26.1 miles in Newport, while Matt Frost, Jack Broom and Steve Lewis headed to Manchester to tackle the biggest UK marathon outside London.  

There were four personal bests, one brilliant debut and such is the standard at Axe Valley Runners that the four youngsters in Manchester all ran sub-three hour marathons.

Over in Wales, Hardy finished a tremendous 15th in a massive personal best of 2:40.52 at the ABP Newport Wales Marathon, while Joel Seward also improved his personal best finishing 23rd in 2:44.30.  

More than 1,700 completed the race, which was won by GB ultra athlete Dan Nash in a course record of 2:19.46.  

More than 18,000 took part in the Adidas Manchester Marathon that started and finished near Old Trafford with the fast flat route heading out to Altrincham via Sale.  

Jack Broom was making his marathon debut with a very impressive 87th place in 2:38.08. Meanwhile, Matt Frost also nabbed a personal best in 2:56.23, 770th place. Steve Lewis completed the marathon in 4:32.37, another personal best, coming in a very creditable 11th M70 and 12871st.  

The event also offered a team-relay option with teams of two or four. Kevin Feeney was joined by family members, running his first leg in an excellent 53:08 to set the team up for a brilliant 66th place from 238 teams with 3:57.40 overall.

Yesterday (Monday) was the famous Boston marathon where Axe Valley Runners' Tim Sibley was taking part.

Storm Noa batters Yeovilton 

Three intrepid Axe Valley Runners (AVR) braved Storm Noa on Wednesday last week and tackled Yeovil Road Running Club's (YRRC) Spring and Summer Yeovilton 5K race series.  

With strong gusts of wind and driving rain, David Cull was first AVR back in 15th in 19.25. Adrian Strawbridge followed in 20th in 20.06 with James Ashforth in 38th in 22.15.

This is a great event well organised by YRRC and with five more events in the series it is well worth considering to check out your speed over 5k.  

Boggy Butleigh

Ian Kinnersley and Eleanor Wood headed into Somerset for the Butleigh 10k, which was actually closer to 6.5 miles of muddy off road running on tracks, bridleways and through woods all underneath the Glastonbury Tor.  

They both loved it with Ian storming home in 51.39, an excellent 20th, and Eleanor fourth female finisher in 53.36.  About 120 completed the race in excellent spring conditions.

A vertical kilometre!

Rik Tumber took part in the KVK - Kernow's Vertical Kilometre – which is a 15-mile trail race across the hills and coastline of Cornwall, around St Agnes, with an incredible 1,000m of climb.  

Rik finished an excellent tenth in 2:16.33 from 121 finishers.  

Lightening Bolt but no Usain!

Cliff Marriott popped up to Wiltshire for the Lightening Bolt 10k in a village just outside Chippenham. It was a flat road race in which Cliff finished in 54.10, 56th out of around 100 finishers.

Remembering John Mellodew at parkrun

The family and friends of John Mellodew attended Seaton parkrun on Saturday to remember John, who passed away in January. 

John, AVR member for many years, had been a regular participant at parkrun until the Covid break and often took part with three generations of his family.  

On Saturday, his daughter Anita celebrated her 50th milestone finishing second female in 22:25. Her daughter, Elsie, also completed Saturday's run.  

Many AVRs who used to run with John also came to remember him.  

The sun shone again making conditions perfect. First female finisher was new AVR member, Deborah Whiston in 20:28.  Ron Seward celebrated a PB in 22:26 which also placed him second on age grade with 80.61%.

Prize for the furthest travelled for parkrun tourism this week goes to Tim and Amie Sibley who nabbed the elusive 'J' for the parkrun alphabet challenge by running Jamaica Ponds parkrun in Boston, USA.  


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