Creese enjoys first marathon

On a frosty morning Becs Creese travelled to Berkshire to race in her first marathon; the Abingdon Marathon.

Creese was surprised by the flat course and each flat mile seemed a luxury after the gruelling training runs round the hills of East Devon. She kept a steady pace and the miles started to fly by. Around mile 10 the pain started to kick in and her legs started to ache, but she kept going and from the half way point onwards she began to overtake other runners and strangely enough she continued to feel good and this continued from here on in. By mile 22 things were getting tough but seeing her family picked up her spirits and spurred her on to the finish. Seeing the finish in sight she finally realised that she had done it; she had completed her first marathon. A rather emotional Creese crossed the finish line, with a huge smile on her face in 4:05:16.

The Greensands Marathon in Dorking, Surrey is one for all Grizzly runners - it’s a relentless series of hills, including Surrey's highest point, Leith Hill. Entirely on tracks, through beautiful woodland, spectacular views; this is a stunning course. The 250 runners starters first enjoyed a rousing chorus of Jerusalem.

It is a friendly race, well spectated all the way around and the runners coming the other way took time to give lots of support. The cut off time of 1hr 10 at the seven mile point meant that everybody shot off at the start and unfortunately Amy Greenhalgh joined in... and then forgot to slow down after she'd got there. At the turn around point Amy knew she had seriously messed up her pacing, so it was a case of getting her head down and knocking off the miles, eventually finishing in 4:08 and sixth lady overall.

After 17 years of painstakingly trying Paul Johns has finally broken his half marathon PB in the Bupa Birmingham Run. 15,000 competitors lined up for this event along with great Haile Gebrselassie. Johns broke his 10K PB by half a minute and was on for a sub 1.30. The sting in the tail came with a large hill with three miles to go. Johns crossed the finish line in 1:31:04 in 447th position in a new PB.

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Four AVR’s enjoyed the Exmoor Stagger from Minehead, at 85ft above sea level, up to Dunkery Beacon at 1,800ft. Eleanor Wood was 1st AVR home and 1st lady over 50, 73rd overall in 2:39. Geoff Woodward came in next, 122nd in 2:54, followed by a ghostly looking Retro Reynolds 154th in 3:59 who also got overtaken by second claimer Richard Dodge running in his Yeovil vest on this occasion in the last 10 metres. Mike Giles had a great run and was pleased to finish 161st in 3:05.

On Friday 20 AVRs plus other club runners, completed a nocturnal version of the 12ish mile "ColyWobble". Darkness and glistening eyes of the beasts made them run quicker than normal. It was a fantastic social event, with elite runners helping and encouraging the not-so-elite all the way to the finish.

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A great time was had by all with good beer and great company. Many thanks to Bridget Keefe, Nat Warren, Dave Mutter and Chris Irvine for providing lifts up to the start.

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