Report on Banbury 15


Race report

                                                        BANBURY FIFTEEN MILE ROAD RACE

Paul Fernandez captured his first victory in Sundays Banbury “15” on the warmest day of the year. Unlike the wintry conditions of last year that resulted in the race being postponed .

   The Abingdon Ambler throughout the race contested victory with is old rival on the county and road racing circuit James Bolton of Woodstock Harriers. This was evident from the early stages as the two pulled away from the 300plus field on the route up Hardwick Hill towards Little Bourton.

  Fernandez on the route towards Great Bourton attempted to pull away, but Wilson was determined to keep with him. The first water stage at Cropredy found the two in quite close contention with Fernandez still in front.  

 Tom Offord of the host club making his debut over a distance beyond ten mile was sitting nicely in the leading ten positions as was fellow Harrier Simon Pritchard. He was closely followed by Cherwell’s highly useful veteran Ian Thomas.

 The route towards Appletree found Fernandez slightly edging away, but a determined Wilson closed towards him as they approached the second water station at nine miles.

 Offord at this point was in 5th place and first year senior Rosanne Andrews of Rugby & Northampton was comfortably leading the ladies race.

 The front duo reached the turn onto the return journey towards Cropredy with Fernandez still attempting to pull away. This would continue until the last mile when Wilson found that he was losing the battle and would have to settle for second place.

 Fernandez approached Spiceball Park and the finishing line with now 50second lead he crossed the line in 1hr 25m 42s. The time was four minutes outside the course record of 2010, understandable has he remarked owing to the warm conditions.

Wilson was easily in second place in 1hr 26m 29s, in third place came Chris Lamb of Rugby& Northampton 5minutes 46seconds behind . To the delight of the host club in his debut Offord finished in an excellent fourth place. Veteran Pritchard finished a happy 10th, with fellow vet Thomas one place lower.

 The ladies race easily went to Andrews in 21st place with a time of 1hr 42m 07s.


Most Harriers took time off running to marshal and help to make the race a success. However there were a few i.e. Pete Newell 1.42.59 in 22nd place, Pete Grieveson 1.46.43 in 84th place and Neil Wallis 2.06.53 in 143rd position this out of a total of 265 runners.

The photos of Tom Offord running up Great Bourton hill & Pete Newell in full flow. 


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