RUNNING: Bicester’s biggest mass participation event, the Andy Reading Bicester 10km run, took place last Sunday around Chesterton.
Organised jointly by Bicester Athletic Club and Alchester Running Club, the popular annual event attracted over 400 runners.
Over 70 helpers braved the very cold conditions to help marshall the course. Conditions were sufficiently icy for race referee and Bicester AC member, Graham Pickup, to put back the start time by 30 minutes. In the event, although the course was tricky in places, the 30-minute reprieve had thawed out the most dangerous parts of the course.
The event has done much to support local charities over the last five years and this year’s run was staged in support of CLIC Sargent.
Sunday’s race attracted athletes from all over the south of England including two past winners of the men’s race. It was perennial winner Jonathon Blackledge from Belgrave Harriers who cruised to the front early on and despite best efforts of Ed O’Gorman (Chiltern Harriers) and Garry Harris (Headington Road Runners), Blackledge cruised to an easy win to smash his time from last year and win effortlessly in 32mins 04secs.
In the lady’s race it was Belgrave Harrier Samantha Amend who stormed to victory in one of the fastest ever times for a lady competitor in the race (36mins 09 secs).
There were some fantastic local performances among the 400-plus field. Alchester member Nigel Marley was a brilliant fifth in 33mins 47 secs. New Alchester member Samantha Usher looks like she is going to be a force in the vet lady 35 category as she took second place award in her category in 40mins 55 secs. Andy Stickley produced one of his best efforts of the season as he swept to a fine 31st place in 36 mins 55 secs. Kevin French continued his good progress through the season and produced another personal best with 73rd place in 40 mins 17 secs. Andy Beaumont made a welcome return to action and was a very competitive fifth in the vet over 50 age group clocking 40mins 32 secs.
Other Alchester places were as follows:85th Richard Cadle 40mins 50 secs, 173rd David Jamieson 46mins 20 secs,
292nd Trevor Rackley 52mins 10secs,332nd Annelies Henshall 54mins 10secs,380th Paul Sandiland 58 mins 06 secs,
403rd Natalie Green 59 mins 58secs, Bicester AC places;168th James Minchin 45mins 56secs.