Cheltenham Half Marathon + Recent Road Race Action

05 September 2021

It was brilliant to see the streets of Cheltenham once again lined with runners at the 2021 edition of the Cheltenham Half Marathon after the 2020 event had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. Cheltenham Harriers have a rich history in the event and it was lovely to see so many take on the race and run so well in hot conditions.

U20 Jamie Bell made his half marathon and club debut in the event running incredibly well to finish 11th overall and first U20M in 1:15.14. This puts Bell straight into the top 10 in the UK U20 rankings. Chris Wagstaff was the next Harrier home running a well controlled race to finish 17th overall, out of over 2000, in 1:16.25. Andy Gore was the next Harrier across the line, running 1:22.33 to finish as 2nd M50, impressively his quickest half marathon since 2017. Simon Critchley wasn’t far behind his teammate in 1:23.26 and 12th M40.

Arguably the most impressive performance of the day came from our first female finisher Georgia Palmer. Palmer was making her half marathon debut with her previous longest race being just 5.1miles. Palmer had set herself a goal of running 1:32, but far surpassed this to run an incredible 1:28.25. Palmer was 1st U20 by 16minutes and 10th female overall, the time puts Palmer 3rd in the 2021 UK U20 rankings. 

Sam Gilder ran well to finish in 1:34.16 and 187th overall and Sue Townsend was 5th F55 in 1:49.00. It was great to see the return to racing of Leah Hopton after having had a baby earlier this year. Hopton ran incredibly well to finish as 117th woman in 2:10.42 and Charlotte Deacon also ran a superb race to finish as 127th women in 2:12.19. Les Hampton returned to racing for the first time since 2020 and did incredibly well to finish as 1st wheelchair athlete in 1:35.30.

Martin Ford competed in the British Masters 10 mile Championships in Poole on the 22nd of August. Ford ran a SB to take home a silver medal in the M75 category, running well to dip under 80minutes and cross the line in 79:42.

At the Alderton 5k Andy Gore finished 6th overall and 2nd M40 in 17:46 and Petra Vymetalova was 36th and a brilliant 3rd female in 23:08 while pushing a pushchair!

The Dartmouth Regatta 5.1mile road race saw Georgia Palmer continue her impressive 2021 form finishing as 1st female and 6th overall in 33:50.

The Cardiff 5k saw teams from Wales and the English regions compete as individuals and as a team. Kaitlyn Sheppard was selected to run for the Midland Junior Team and ran brilliantly to help the team achieve a 4th place finish and run her 2nd quickest road 5k, 17:06.