Great Western Runners

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It doesn’t seem possible; it was a 12 months ago I had to do a report on our club; probably my age showing up, the older you get the quicker the time flies. Like last year a wet start to the year, followed by a hot summer.


With all the different events we run, our ever faithful  cameraman is about taking photos of us, namely Chris Butler, so there are always photos at Redland Tennis Club for you to pick up.


Christmas lights run always seem very popular, with a buffet being laid on, and now our regular quiz, for which we have to thank Mike Campbell. The money raise from this event going to the Arthur Dagger  fund. Many young athletes benefit from the money we raise.


While I writing this report the cross country season starts today, and a nice sunny day, should be cold and frosty. Re last year, a good season for all our runners, we don’t have so many running cross country these days. I can remember when we would fill a 49 seat coach, now a Mini bus, how times have changed. John Hargreaves is still Gwent league manager and Veronica Ford for the Glos league.


Tony Spicer who has been with the club for a long time, sadly passed away. It will be the long term members who will remember Tony, especially his help on the Bristol Half Marathon, when GWR put this race on. I know Paul Marshal can tell you few tales about Tony, re the wooden ramp in Queens Square, which Tony built for the runners to run over, but somebody driving a truck drove over it, I’m afraid to say Tony was not amused, no need to say the state of the ramp.


London Marathon, numerous runners from our club running this year, and as reported last year, Andy Smith pacing again the 3.45 runners. This year I had a megaphone to shout out at our runners and still most of them did not see me. I try !!!!!!!!!!!.


We were unsuccessful  in getting a place at Welsh Castles this year, and I know a lot of our runners were disappointed, so we will try again next year. The same weekend 5 of us went to Northern Ireland for the Mourne way races, which we did two years ago. Very tough, up to our knee caps in peat bogs. Perfect weather conditions, except at the start when it rained. An excellent weekend.


Cotswold Relay, a big thanks to Simon Richards for organizing our teams again, and must not forget Simon’s helpers Veronica and Steve.  The club trip this year was cancelled due to the lack of interest.


The last 3-4 years it has rain for every Towpath race. This year we had sunshine for every race, but the last one. I should have kept quiet, on Wednesday before the last race I remarked on how dry all the races had been this year and what happened it poured down with rain.


Nigel Barker has left Bristol and moved to Reading. Nigel has been our Club secretary for the past 11 years and has done a fantastic job for our club, and not forgetting the Towpath races. Both these posts  are now vacant and at the AGM we will be looking to fill them. A BIG THANK  YOU TO NIGEL for his hard work over the past 11 years.


Thank you for your support over the last year and see you all at the AGM and have a good new year running.




Mike Willcox