A phalanx of yellow and red was prominent at the front of last Thursday’s opening heat in the Summer long Kidlington Runner’s Motavation road race series held at Charlton on Otmoor.  Anna Jolliffe was the first lady finisher and in doing so become the first Bicester AC winner of a competitive lady’s road race this Century.  The Motavation series is the premier road running series in Oxfordshire and the lady’s race, which is run in conjunction with the men’s event, attracted 198 finishers.  It was quite a close competitive race with just 33 seconds separating the top three lady finishers.  Jolliffe’s time for the approximate 5.2 miles circuit was 31mins 53secs, 81 seconds faster than the time she achieved on the same course in 2023.  Jolliffe is the reigning under 19 lady’s champion and she was easily the fastest under 19 lady on this occasion with the runner up finishing over 2 minutes behind.  With the woman’s race run in conjunction with the men, Jolliffe was 58th over all finisher out of 487 finishers.

In the overall race, Bicester AC had a further four runners towards the front end of the field.  Owen Stocker was consistently Bicester best male finisher in last year’s series and he started where he left off with another top effort to finish 29th clocking 29mins 39secs which was only marginally slower than his effort in last year’s race.  Stocker was also 3rd under 19 male finisher so has started well in that competition.  Stocker was pressed hard by three of his Bicester compatriots and it was ever improving Joshua Moran who followed Stocker home in 33rd place clocking 29mins 56secs.  This was over two minutes faster than his previous year’s effort; he was also the 4th under 19 male finisher.  Noah Gulvin was having his first competitive outing in a road race and ran a race of rich promise to place 35th (30mins 00secs) and 5th under 19 male finisher.  And 6th under 19 male finisher was Isaac Moran who has been hampered of late with a niggling knee but he showed more like his best form in 37th place (30mins 9secs).

There was a further Bicester top half finisher with Darren Jolliffe placing 205th clocking 37mins 49secs.  Jolliffe was 47th in the vet 50 male competition.  There was a big improvement from Emily Benfield, who showed the benefit of her good Winter efforts in 394th and a 9 minute per mile clocking of 47mins 44secs.  Benfield was in front of nearly 100 runners.  And making his debut, Joshua Bradley did well to finish in 418th and beat nearly 70 runners in clocking 49mins 32secs.