It was a happy hour for James Bolton at the Wychwood Brewery Cotswold Classic 10 miler (17 September). Not even ‘hillzakilla’ could spoil his winning performance in Sunday’s challenging road race.
Bolton of Woodstock Harriers AC improved on his runner-up spot at the Headington 5 on 27 August. He was first across the line in 55:12 with a gap of over two and a half minutes between him and Tegs Jones of Oxford City AC. Jones finished second in 57:50 with Mark Baker of Eynsham Road Runners taking third place in 59:30.
Michelle Dorrington of Headington Road Runners won the women’s race in 1:06:27 followed by Bonnie Van Wilyerburg in 1:06:51. Kate Krzywiec of North Cotswold Tri & Run was third in 1:07:09.
The last runner came home in 2:46:07. A field of 328 completed a hilly route that included the 518ft climb known as ‘killazilla’ and were rewarded with a long-sleeved technical t-shirt and a Wychwood Brewery beer.
New for this year’s race was the presentation of the inaugural Vernon Blowfield Memorial Shield to the winner. Vernon Blowfield was a second world war veteran, founding member of host club Witney Road Runners and lifetime vice president of Oxfordshire Athletics Association. He competed at national and international level and ran nearly every day of his life, continuing into his late eighties.
This life president of Witney Road Runners passed away in February aged 97. His family wanted to honour his memory and provided funding for the memorial shield and display cabinet as a permanent reminder of his contribution to the sport.
James Bolton is the first recipient of the Vernon Blowfield Memorial Shield.