It was good to see Wiltshire clubs competing against each other on a formal basis and it was no co-incidence that those clubs that adopted the Wiltshire Race League within their own club championships dominated. There were of course exceptions, with the Wiltshire Race League structured in such a way to prevent hosting clubs from being prejudiced by their athletes not being able to compete in events due to a perceived requirement to assist with the race organisation it was something of a surprise to see Team Bath take maximum points at their Hilly 10 and Highworth Running Club Ladies at their 5-miler!
The benefits though of having a race in the Wiltshire Race League were marked with most race organisations demonstrating an uplift typically of 50-100% in Wiltshire Athletics Association affiliated runners, most marked was the Springfield 5K where Corsham Running Club found their number of entrants swell from just 20 at the equivalent race in 2011 to over 70 when it appeared as Race #6!
As the season progressed it became very much a two club race between Avon Valley Runners and Chippenham Harriers and at the penultimate event, The Clock Change 10K at Calne with a reported record field the Trowbridge based club clinched victory in the Men’s table led home by race winner Michael Towler.
Three of the twelve races in the Wiltshire Race League were specially selected to host the county championships over their respective distances: The TBAS Castle Combe 10K, The Melksham 10 and the Cricklade Half Marathon; Simon Plummer of City of Salisbury Athletic & Running Club proved that he is the counties class athlete taking victories at all three events with his 69:55 clocking at Cricklade providing a new course record. For the Ladies Ruth Barnes of Avon Valley Runners proved victorious at the 10K and 10-mile distances whilst club mate Fiona Price claimed the county title over the Half Marathon.
Avon Valley Runners ladies found themselves needing to take 19 or more points at the Downton Half Marathon to match their men and didn’t disappoint providing the first four Wiltshire ladies home and taking maximum points.
The tables as they finished for the inaugural Wiltshire Race League can be found here.
1st MV40 – Richard Morgetroyd of Avon Valley Runners – 882
1st MV50 – Tom Smith of Chippenham Harriers – 896
1st MV60 – Bernie Hobbs of Avon Valley Runners – 502
The 2013 Wiltshire Road Race League will be sponsored by Newsquest International whose publications include the Wiltshire Times, Salisbury Journal, Swindon Advertiser and Devizes Gazette & Herald. The 2013 Wiltshire Road Race League will kick off on Sunday 3rd February with the Longleat 10K. More details of the 2013 Wiltshire Road Race League can be found here.