ATHLETICS: Wendy Nicholls claims Fairford 10k victory as Ciren AC lift ladies' team prize

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Dave Bell (runner-up) and Wendy Nicholls (winner) after their respective races at the Fairford 10k Dave Bell (runner-up) and Wendy Nicholls (winner) after their respective races at the Fairford 10k

CIRENCESTER AC were narrowly denied a double team win at the ever popular Fairford 10k.

Cirencester AC and Triathlon Club

Fairford 10km, roads

The ladies team headed by race winner Wendy Nicholls were triumphant while the men, led home by race runner-up Dave Bell, were pipped by a strong group of runners from Cheltenham and County Harriers.

The Running Somewhere Else-staged event qualifies as a Cirencester AC championship race and, including juniors, the club managed an entry in the high 30s in support of their fellow Cirencester town club.

In-form Bell (32.42) came second overall ensuring that Cheltenham didn’t have a top-three clean sweep. He finished just 10 seconds behind the winner, Graham Rush. The Ciren team bunched well behind David with sixth to ninth spots being filled by Adrian Williams (35.07, second in age), Simon Campbell (35.37), Bill Leggate (35.47, third in age) and Denis Galerin (36.09). These five plus Rob Forbes (13th in 36.26), pushing his son in a buggy, took the second and third team prizes.

Other front-runners worthy of mention were David Wright (16th in 37.43) with an age-group win and Mark Sysum (21st in 37.59) with a third place.

Nicholls (22nd overall in 38.09) was first lady home and, along with triathlete Sarah Gunn (41.55 for 55th and second in age) and Fi Collings (42.14 for 64th overall and third in age), lifted the team prize.

Additionally there were age-group placings for Tony Shelbourn (third in 42.23) and 67th and for club chairman Pam Wheeler 231st in 54.23 with an age-group third.

After running Fairford last year Howard Ewan joined Ciren AC with a goal of bettering his race time. He improved by 5min 44sec and finished 41st in 40.29.

The Cirencester Hares had an excellent day with an overall win in the 3km for Luke Buck, with Ellen Foster second overall.

Eleanor Middleton was fourth overall and they all raced to the finish, Tour de France style, through the hundreds of cheering runners at their start line. Tom Williams and Lucia Pulido were also finishers.

Other Ciren juniors, Matt and Simon Crew, joined Emily Moss in qualifying for the GB team at the upcoming European Biathle Championships in July. The biathle is a run/swim/run event.

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