Last Sunday 8th December the Andy Reading 10k foot race jointly organised by Alchester Running Club and Bicester AC continues to be one of Bicester’s sporting events and this year’s event attracted 380 finishers from all across the South of England, a trader’s dream at this time of year. The race is run in honour of one of the founder members of Bicester AC, Andy Reading, and continues to raise thousands of pounds for worthy charities with this year’s beneficiary, Macmillan. The predominantly flat route takes in a wide sweep of the village of Chesterton including a lap of the village before runners make the long trek to Weston on the Green airfield before returning back to Chesterton. As in previous years the main race was supported by two children races which attracted over 100 children.
In the main race early proceedings were dominated by Cheltenham’s Phil Bestall as he swept into a commanding lead along the drag to the airfield. However wily veteran Steve Male bided his time in the leading pack and made his move on the airfield stretch putting the rest of the field to the sword. The Oxford City AC athlete had 18 seconds to spare at the line clocking a more than respectable 33mins 23secs. Runner up was Headington Road Runner James Eve who had the consolation of winning the senior man category. Males’s team mate, Nick Jones, just missed out on the magic 34mins barrier (34mins 3secs) but he was a comfortable 3rd some 41secs clear of ever improving Mark Tyrell from Eynhsam Road Runners (3rd Senior Male).
Samantha Amend (36mins 47secs) has become something of a standing dish in this event and she completed her third race out of the last 4 finishing a comfortable 3 minutes of her nearest pursuer vet 35 runner Laura Jones (39mins 44secs). There was a good battle in the vet 35 category as less than a minute and a half separated the first three home with Helen Mulhall claiming the runner up spot in this category (40mins 41 secs) just 31 secs clear of Tring runner Claire Doherty.
It was a good day for Oxford City AC who currently have the strongest vet road running team in the country. Apart from Male’s success in the vet 40 category they bagged two of the other veteran categories. Evergreen Dave Parson continues to defy the years as he produced another excellent clocking of 41mins 28secs to win the over 60 prize. And Gwyneth Hueter ran a faster time than the over 45 winner in winning the vet 55 category (45mins 43secs).
In the vet 50 male category Peter Scrowther, competing for North Herts RRC, was an easy winner of his category clocking a swift 37mins 1secs and special mention should be made of the first male over 70 runner, Brendan Cradden, who did very well to break the 50 minute barrier (48mins 38secs).
With over 70 Alchester and Bicester athletes required to help stage the main event local participation was inevitably scarce in the main race but Alchester did have ten runners which were headed by impressive Shaun O Gorman who clocked 38 mins for 37th place. Other Alchester finishers were Josh Parker (107th 43mins 23secs), Claire Court (166th 47mins 28secs), Stephen Howard (189th 49mins 28secs), Annelies Henshall (224th 51mins 30secs), Nigel Lambert (229th 52mins), Sam Suter (260th 54mins 22secs), Hazel Howard (272nd 55mins 48 secs), Clare Burnby (329th 60mins 42secs) and Gillian Warson (332nd 61mins 49secs).
The children’s races were split into two races with under 11’s competing over a 1k course and older runners running over the longer course of 3km. The only event that eluded host club Bicester AC was the 1k girl’s race that attracted 36 finishers. This was won by Lucy Rose (Wycombe) defeating Bicester’s Millie Couzens, who ran better than ever for runner up spot. Thomas Kavanagh is looking a fine prospect and he bagged the 1k boy’s event for Bicester heading a field of 46 runners. Bicester’s Freddie Taylor ran another creditable race for third. In the primary school team competition, Bure Farm added another team win to their roll of success this winter.
It was very much a Bicester family affair over the 3k distances as the Gould duo act swept the board in both the boys and girls event. Amy Gould made her maiden bow over the longer distance and despite running against several older athletes she showed her increasing maturity at the longer distance by sweeping to victory. It was a Bicester one two in this event as Molly Acton chased Gould home for one of her best performances of the winter so far. And Tom Gould completed the Gould celebrations as he made his experience count in the boy’s event. Gould was chased home by the versatile Tom Couzens who replicated the effort of his sister by finishing 2nd in his first ever 3k race.
Other award winners in the 10k were as follows:
2nd Vet male over 40 Marcus Maxwell 35m 45s
3rd Vet male over 40 Dave Thame 35m 59s
2nd Vet male over 50 Peter Brackett 40m 31s
3rd Vet male over 50 Phil Gilkes 40m 57s
2nd Senior Lady Rachael Phelps 40m 07s
3rd Senior Lady Victoria Broadbent 40m 12s
1st Vet Female over 45 Lucy Gettins 45m 55s
2nd Vet Female over 45 Jo Gundle 47m 02s
2nd Vet Female over 55 Jane Watkins 47m 01s