James Bolton and Joanne McCandless were in winning form at Geoff Smith’s Banbury 15 (Sunday 17 March). The two veterans showed their class on a rolling hilly course.
Geoff Smith’s Banbury 15 is popular with club runners looking to see whether their training is paying off as they prepare for an upcoming marathon. Organised by Banbury Harriers and held on rural roads in scenic Oxfordshire it is a challenging race that tests strength and stamina.
The race was named in memory of Geoff Smith, coach and club chairman at Banbury Harriers who sadly passed away in 2015. There was also the Paul Bithell Fun Run with a choice of 1 mile (1 lap) or 2.5 miles (two laps). Both events started and finished in Spiceball Park.
The route passed through Little Bourton, Great Boughton then Cropredy before looping around Appletree. It returned along the same route including a steep climb at 11 miles and back towards Banbury. There were three water stations to keep everyone’s fluid levels topped up as they tackled the ups and downs.
James Bolton of Woodstock Harriers AC was first across the line in 1:25:24. Sam Upton of Witney RR was second in 1:28:11 beating his teammate Gareth Petts who finished third in 1:28:33.
Joanne McCandless was the first female in 1:37:05. Edwina McDowall of Headington RR came second in 1:38:47 followed by her teammate Diane Foster in 1:45:51.
The Banbury 5 is on Tuesday 4 June.