Despite freezing conditions and an icy wind blowing across the open Blenheim Palace grounds, veteran IWCA AC runner, Alan Thomas, managed to knock five minutes off his finish time from last year by completing this year’s OX5 Run in 00:57:12. Alan, who will be 64, next month, put in his strongest performance for some time to finish with a spirited sprint finish, overtaking a number of runners in the last fifty metres to finish in 708thplace in a field of nearly 1000 runners.
A shivering Shawn Merry put in a fine performance to cross the line in 120th place with an impressive time of 00:38:12 and Andrew Craft strained every sinew to pip Coach Stuart Craft at the post. Both Andrew and Stuart recorded times of 00:35:07, coming in 49th and 50th place respectively.
A bleary eyed Stuart, who ran straight from a nightshift driving the Oxford to Gatwick Express to knock one second off his previous personal best, comments:
‘I am very proud of our team’s performance today. The icy wind made it difficult to breathe at times and it was the only race I’ve ever taken part in where our runners were shivering at the finish line, so their excellent effort and good finish times are all the more impressive’.
With Kassim (Kasper) Abidal pulling out of the race due to work commitments and Paul Brackett and David Craft sensibly not wanting to risk injury after all their hard training for their forthcoming Thames Path 100 and Barcelona Marathon competitions, we did not have the required five entrants to qualify for the fastest community team trophy, but there’s always next year. And at only 14 and 16 years old, Andrew and Shawn look set to be key players in our club's development at this and other such future events.