Week Ending - 2024/06/16


Badgers athlete Ryan Preece took a magnificent first place at the weekend in the 70-mile Rat Race “The Wall” event, an ultra-marathon starting near Carlisle and tracking the route of Hadrians Wall before ending on the opposite side of the country, having taken in around 3,500 feet of elevation. Well over 1,000 people entered the race but only 798 were able to complete it, with the final finishers continuing into a second day at getting across the country in one stint. Not the case for Atherstone-based Preece however, as he won comprehensively in a time of 10 hours, 11 minutes and 17 seconds, over half an hour ahead of his closest rival. After a challenging, injury-laden winter, the 27-year-old Aldi computer boffin has knuckled down to win an individual prize in the Leicestershire Road Running League as well as earning himself a new marathon personal best with his superb 2:37 at London. Club spokesman Chris Horton said of the latest achievement, “It’s a sensational win for him. I don’t recall seeing anyone excel at such a wide range of distances in all my time at the club. Let it be known that he was the first Badger in history to run a sub-16 5K, and here he has beaten off hundreds of Ultra runners in a national event to win at a canter. It’s just fantastic for him – he’s a superb athlete and a really good lad too.”

Closer to home in the week, it was very much a case of Bosworth or bust as they say, as the Bosworth 5-mile race returned for its second year after being won by Matt Scarsbrook in 2023. Mark Repton was first home for the club this year in a speedy 31:06 with Colin Lees first V50 Badger back in 37:16. Suzy Farrell was first lady back for the club in 38:24 while Charlene Dunn ran superbly in 39:49 to continue her impressive comeback. Jill Miller went well in 41:24 and there were personal bests for Alice Belcher (42:02) and Paul Cooper (42:15) to round off a good night’s work.

At the weekend, it was very much a case of Barmouth or bust as they say, with dozens of members trekking up to north Wales for the annual 10K race and social weekend at the holiday hotspot. First home in 47th spot was the returning Adrian Payne in 40:12. The one-time poster boy of Badgers is working hard for another crack at the big time and this performance was a good starting point. Next back was Ashley Taylor in 41:01 with former skipper Carl Savage claiming some notable scalps in his 60th place 41:14. A clean-shaven Dave Jackson pipped Stefan Martin to the all-important 4th Badger back position with fellow vets Bill Gutheridge, David Craig, Jim Cottom, Rob Crow, Peter Mann, Jimmy Dewis and Paul Restall all performing admirably, some of whom had even ascended Cader Idris the day before. 

Rachael Browne cheated death to become the first female to finish, and what a finish it was too, let that be known. Cheryl Dewis, Jill Miller, Liz Peel and Joanne Crow all had good races, as did Rachel Crump and Serena Baker. There were 10K PB’s for Carl Ford in 60:08, Matt Smith (59:51) and Rick Reilly who broke the hour mark for the first time ever in 59:49. Other runners included Martin Graham, Paul Cooper, Ann-Marie Currier, Luke Bennett, Danni Gunn, Averil Caton, and Debbie Bremner. John and Anne Devenney ran well as a husband and wife combo with Eileen McCarry, Fiona Reidy, Eve King and Kate Rathbone also completing the tricky but beautiful course alongside Gemma Spencer and stalwart Sara Hawkins. 

At parkrun, it was very much a case of parkrun or bust as they say, and there were some very good runs on Saturday morning, none more so than the one from Chris Young, who helped himself to a PB at Tamworth in 21:28, an excellent effort. Wayne Repton took almost a minute off his best, this time at Long Eaton in 20:34, with his younger sibling Mark running a swift 18:31, the quickest Badger of the weekend anywhere. With many of the runners off at Barmouth, Kingsbury was for once virtually bereft of Badgers but that did not stop club founder Nivette Chester from winning there well in 24:52. Glyn Broadhurst was also in winning ways, chicked at Dollgellau but still able to beat all the men off, being first male back in 19:40 with Dave Jackson 4th and Megan Griffiths 2nd lady also in the top ten. Mark Cox was fourth at Beacon Hill parkrun, and Matt Green (4th) and Janey Barrett (3rd) featured prominently at Holbrooks in Coventry.