THE NAUNTON Nearly 19 is a great way to say goodbye to the traditional holiday ‘insulation’ and winter blues and it was an invitation readily accepted by Stratford Athletic Club duo Sheila Lammas and Tim Hutchinson.
Lammas secured victory in the ladies’ race with a time of 2:35:03 to finish 14th overall, whilst Hutchinson was fourth in 2:19.12 – just 24 seconds slower than last year despite having raced in the cross country county championships the day before.
The marked route starts in the scenic village of Guiting Power, Gloucestershire, and takes in 1,450ft of ascent, some fun descents and a few chocolate-box Cotswold villages.
The prediction for this year’s race was to be the wettest since 2013 but, due to two overnight frosts, most of the mud was frozen, so instead of slipping in the mud it was ice that was the challenge for the Stratford pair.
Hutchinson found it difficult to take in enough energy gels and seemed to end up carrying them around the course instead of consuming them, resulting in the final miles being ground out on weakening legs.
Lammas was concerned about a calf niggle but she said at the finish: “It was a tough old course but at least the calf is still functioning.”