The first cab off the rank was a small group who travelled to Cornwall to take part in the Cousin Jack Classic, a 17 mile race from St Ives to St Just following the coastal path over some rough terrain covering 3334 feet of elevation. James Wright came home in 5th place in 2.55.24, Andy Sprague was 25th in 3.27.39 and Mark Homer came home in 3.35.49 to take 33rd place. Later in the day another trio were putting some finishing touches to their marathon preparation taking part in the Rhayader 20, a race around the reservoirs in mid Wales with a considerable amount of ups and downs to test the legs. Darran Bishop finished in 21st place and 2nd in his age group in 2.16.11, Simon Hughes was 35th in 2.20.51 and Andy Weaver ducked under his three hour target to finish in 2.58.23 in 183rd. Twenty four hours later Lisa Kendrick dipped her toe in the shark infested 20 mile waters by taking part in the Milton Keynes 20 coming home in a time of 3.03.00 to take 406th place. A little closer to home Lorna Hulme bagged a 1st place finish in the Droitwich Half Marathon, looking to get some speed into her legs before a tilt at the London Marathon, Hulme crossed the line in 22nd overall in 1.31.19 for victory with Rebecca Warren coming home in 81st in 1.46.30. And a large group took advantage of a race on the doorstep with the annual Action Heart 5 taking place from Russells Hall Hospital. Stuart Perkins virtually ran past his front door to take 7th place in 29.55, there was a tussle for positions just behind with Steve Parr in 41st in 35.50 getting the better of Richard Tonks in 43rd in 35.57 and Kieran Pitt in 44th in 35.59. Darren Marklew came home in 54th place in 37.08, Roger Beddard was 67th in 38.10, Rory Campbell was 75th in 38.42, Dave Hickman was 79th in 39.00, John Andrews was 99th in 39.59, Tom Cobb was 109th in 40.50, Tony Noke was 161st in 43.45, Malcolm Beddall was 162nd in 43.49, Zoe Marklew was 183rd in 45.01, Lucy Elwell was 188th in 45.36, Sarah Collisson was 204th in 46.47, Meg Dowen wsa 217th in 47.51, Tracey O’Donaghue was 228th in 48.21, Sally Clewes was 275th in 53.20, Sarah Jones was 307th in 56.45 and Susan Hughes was 317th in 58.09.
As the month moved on Richard Bate who set an early mark for the best performance of the weekend by finally cracking the recognised good club standard benchmark of 40 minutes for the 10k distance. Taking part in the Shakespeare 10k, a flat but sometimes wind affected race at Stratford Raceway, Bate came home in 12th place and 3rd in his age group in a time of 39.45 to finally bag a PB that has been a long time coming. A husband and wife team took part in the Resolution Run at Arrow Valley in Redditch with Pete Krivosic claiming bragging rights by finishing the 15k race in 1.24.43 to take 28th place with Sarah Krivosic finishing in 50th in 1.43.37. With many putting finishing touches to marathon training there were plenty of half marathons to choose from. Matt Biggs travelled to Wembley for the North London Half Marathon finishing in 1.23.04 to take 56th place, Stephen Grosvenor took part in the Bath Half finishing in 1.52.25 in 3585th. A large group travelled south for the Silverstone Half Marathon around the formula one motor racing circuit, Mark Judge was first home in 282nd place in 1.30.23, Malcolm Beddall finished in 2.09.01 in 3895th with Jan Burbie clocking the same time but a place behind, Oliver Morrison was 4041st in 2.10.28 and Kimberley Ball was 4186th in 2.11.57. And an even larger group journeyed to Telford for the Ironbridge Half with Simon Hughes bringing the hoops home in 1.25.59 in 24th place, Andy Weaver polished his marathon plan with a 1.48.23 finish in 222nd, Jacqui Elson-Whittaker was 340th in 1.56.32, Carol Fisher was 372nd in 1.59.23, Sue Payton was 393rd in 2.00.08 and Nigel Warrington was 459th in 2.05.12. A couple of hoops went even longer in the Knighton 20 with Simon Blizzard recording a time of 2.24.22 to take 55th place, John Sixsmith was 163rd in 2.55.05 and Lisa Perkins finished in 3.56.30 in 302nd position. And going longer still in the Dirt Run Ultra, a 32 mile run along the railway walk and canal towpaths from Himley Hall, were Gina Collins who placed 46th in 7.30.37 and Alison Whitehouse a place and 2 seconds behind in 7.30.39 in 47th of 49 competitors.
A week later and looking to get some speed in the legs before a tilt at the classic marathon distance a couple travelled to Shropshire for the Shrewsbury 10k, over a tough, hilly, city centre course, with Dave Norman coming home in 50th place in 39.50 just getting the better of Mark Homer who came home in 40.05 to take 57th place. A group of hoops took on the challenge of a couple of 20 mile races with runners travelling in different directions to race. Helen Tromans went south to take part in the Gloucester 20 coming home in 86th place but claiming 1st in her age group in 2.26.55 and a larger group travelled east for the Ashby 20 with Stuart Perkins putting some quality training to good use taking 29th place in 2.08.39, James Wright was 46th in 2.12.21, Mark Judge was 160th in 2.25.40, Stephen Parr was 281st in 2.37.00, Roger Beddard was 536th in 2.53.13 and Ingrid Cain was 968th in 3.22.45. There were also plenty racing over the half marathon distance. First off the blocks were a trio in Coventry with Karen Doy taking 842nd place in 1.49.17, Kathryn Sneyd was 1032nd in 1.53.21 and Samantha Hemming finished in 2.12.30 to take 2031st place. And in Stafford a large group conquered both the 13.1 mile distance and strong winds on course with Matt Biggs claiming 44th place in 1.23.16, Darran Bishop chased him round to finish in 1.23.30 in 51st position, Kieran Pitt was 346th in 1.37.38, Dave Hickman was 377th in 1.37.59, Richard Tonks was 500th in 1.40.41, Tracy Alderson was 522nd in 1.42.25, John Sixsmith was 634th in 1.43.11, Rory Campbell was 903rd in 1.45.57, Lisa Frowen was 1519th in 1.59.39, Alison Whitehouse was 1829th in 2.03.18, Jane Campbell claimed 2045th place in 2.07.31, Tony Noke was 2186th in 2.10.25, Gina Collins was 2523rd in 2.19.40, Keith Whitehouse was 2538th in 2.20.08, Kay Bonner was 2588 in 2.20.49 and Charlotte Tonks was 2673rd in 2.24.55.
The month closed with one of the highlights of the racing year at the Midland Counties Road Relays at a sun bathed Sutton Park on Saturday. With the men running as 12 relay legs, with the first 4 legs covering a distance of 5.38 miles and the final 8 legs over 3.165 miles. Darran Bishop was first off for DK covering the long leg in 32.18 to place the club in 41st position, Stuart Perkins went out on the next long leg, coming home in 31.48, with Dave Norman third in 34.03 and Simon Hughes completed the long legs with a time of 33.41 with the club handily placed in 42nd place. Sergei Ljubovnikov went out on the fifth leg finishing in 22.10, Matt Biggs was off sixth posting a time of 18.18 and moving the club up to 40th. Mark Homer ran a 20.07 leg in seventh, Simon Blizzard ran eighth in 19.45, Andrew Weaver ran ninth in 22.12, Richard Jones tenth 22.29, John Andrews eleventh in 23.49 and James Wright finished off the round dozen in 18.14 to bring the club home in 34th position.