News round-up on road & trail – Easter weekend 2016

Despite the inauspicious weather conditions created by Storm Katie, at least twenty-two ESM road runners turned out to race over the Easter weekend, and were rewarded with three trophies and a clutch of personal best times.

Five of the veteran men decided to join Mo Farah at the Cardiff Half Marathon on Saturday, also the IAAF World Championships for the distance. As the television coverage showed, the runners had to contend with wind and driving rain in the later stages of the race, but veteran Simon Shaw managed to run a personal best of 73:10, finishing a very creditable 58th. London marathon-bound Steve Plummer was just seconds short of his own personal best, while fellow V50 Pete Drew clocked up a PB.

On Easter Monday, Brunel University hosted the third staging of the newly-revived Hillingdon Half, which this year also incorporated a 10k race. Athletes again had to battle against gusts of wind, especially around the campus, where the buildings seemed to create something of a wind tunnel. Leanne Smith and Catherine Gunnewicht led the women’s 10k race from start to finish. Leanne claimed she was mainly trying to catch team-mate Steve Curd, who finished three minutes ahead and in ninth place overall. With the half marathon and 10k runners setting off together, Catherine was unaware she was lying in second until informed by a club-mate spectating two-thirds of the way round. As she explained afterwards: “that gave me a huge boost and determination to keep my place, so I was gutted when I was overtaken in the last 100 metres by a woman! It turned out she was doing the half marathon”. None of the ESM athletes are particularly experienced at the distance and Leanne and Catherine were delighted to win their first race trophies (pictured).

Four club members completed the half marathon, led home by Ian Leslie. Wayne Meek did well to complete the distance following an injury and minimal training.

Meanwhile, Louise Prince opted to go it alone and race the same distance at the River Thames Spring Half Marathon in Walton, which she completed a mere four seconds short of her personal best.

A group of six opted for the off-road Beaconsfield 5 race, which proved exceptionally wet underfoot this year. The photos show the different puddle tactics adopted by John Falvey (straight through the middle) and Patricia Thomas (skirting round the edge). The club was led home by Fiona Kennedy, who finished fourth in the women’s race and won the W55 trophy for the second year in a row.


If you were out there competing in an ESM vest this weekend and want your result added, please email
ESM results summary (chip times)

Cardiff ½M

Men: 58 Simon Shaw (M40) 73:10; 650 Steve Plummer (V50) 87:17; 811 Pete Drew (V50) 88:58; 1094 Steve Morris (V45) 92:24; 1684 Jav Sondh 96:36

Full race results here

Hillingdon 10k

Men: 9 Steve Curd 43:58

Women: 1 Leanne Smith 46:57; 2 Catherine Gunnewicht (W45) 48:46; 12 Claire King 59:03; 15 Beata King (W45) 60:23; 35 Debbie Gorman (W50) 76:55

Full race results here

Hillingdon ½M

Men: 36 Ian Leslie (M55) 92:34; 83 Tony Hursey (M45) 1:43:22; 109 Wayne Meek 1:47:30

Women: 45 Sarah Percival (W50) 2:01:47

Full race results here 

River Thames Spring ½M

Women: 39 Louise Prince (W45) 1:55:40

Full race results here 

Beaconsfield 5 Trail

Men: 55 Phil York (M50) 36:51; 145 Walid Fawaz (M40) 43:10; 154 John Falvey (M55) 43:33

Women: 4 Fiona Kennedy (W55) 35:44; 24 Patricia Thomas (W50) 43:19; 54 Annette Galloway (W45) 47:48

Full race results here