What a fantastic event that was. A huge amount of thanks and respect to Gavin Paskin and all those that helped organise this inaugural event.
The marshalls and volunteers ensured the day ran smoothly, without you lovely bunch giving up your time there would not have been an event.
The idea of the Stuart Wild Memorial Race was for it to be as inclusive as possible. Laps of 2.62 miles were undertaken either as a solo (10 laps) team of two (5 laps each) or a team of five (2 laps each).
There was an optional fancy dress theme of superheroes and several took this on board. We had The Hulk, Supergran, Batman, Wonder Woman and Big Willy Winky (don’t ask!).
There was a buzz before the start, lots of laughter, hugs and photos. This was a massive day for the club as it represented what we are, all inclusive, friendly and supportive.
Stuart Wild was a long-standing member of the club and well-known marathon runner. He had begun to organise the race with fellow runner Gavin Paskin when he suddenly passed away in March. Gavin continued ahead with the event and it was agreed it would be renamed in tribute to Stuart.
The individual mens race was won by Black Pear Jogger Nick Hooper (3:06:50) with fellow Black Pear Leonardo Taggio coming in second (3:09:57), Ian Wild was a very popular 3rd (3:48:05).
The ladies category was won by visiting Angie Sadler from Tewkesbury AC (3:09:38), Caroline Hemming from Spectrum Striders was 2nd (3:34:05) and a brace of Black Pears coming in joint 3rd, Sue Shacklock and Teri Thompson (3:41:56).
The relay team of 2 was won by Black Pear Joggers Nick Adams and Michael Brazier (2.44.26), Sarah Bland and Rob Minton from Stratford AC secured victory in the mixed pairs (2:47:30) and Karen Pollard and Jenni Morris victorious in the female pairs (3:19:11).
The fastest team of five were the all-male Black Pear Joggers team ‘The Wild Bunch‘ (Matt Fitzgerald, Jeremy Jones, Darren Salisbury, Andrew Stafford and Mike Lane) who finished in 2:34:56. ‘Wild’s Wandering Wino’s‘ consisting of Anthony Jones, Charlotte Birch, Dave Shacklock, Bethan Stimpson and Jon Shacklock won the mixed team of five race (3:02:32).
We had great support from everyone. Cleeve Ladies were fantastic, entering 3 teams, we also had Tarzan who was a great character. Dave Phillips from Massey Ferguson runners had completed over 400 marathons in 30 years, he said how much he enjoyed this event.
An email received from a long standing member of The Black Pear Joggers summed it up perfectly:
“Thank you to all the organisers and helpers for a special, wonderful day. Stuart would have been looking down on us all. Big hugs to everyone for encouraging and helping me along the 10 laps, it was fun. You really are a friendly, happy bunch. Keep smiling, lots of love from Supergran Jan xx
So once again a huge thank-you to everyone. Those that took part, helped out or spectated. We should all be proud to be part of this fabulous community that is “running”, see you all next year.
by Steve Jones