233 runners paid tribute to a club stalwart on a wet Sunday morning (15 January) at the Linda Franks 5-mile road race. Now in its 22nd year, this popular race is organised by Almost Athletes in remembrance of one of the founder members of the club. Linda Franks was a well-liked and respected member and talented runner who had competed at a range of distances including the marathon.
Sadly, she passed away suddenly in 1994 and her club decided to honour her memory with a road race, first held in 1995. Since then, the race has gone from strength to strength, raising thousands for charity whilst establishing itself as a ‘must do’ event in the local running community.
Linda Franks was passionate about running, working hard to ensure everyone was included whatever their ability while providing support and encouragement. Almost Athletes firmly believes in this ethos, hence this race being devised for beginners as well as experienced runners with an emphasis on enjoyment.
Anthony Bailey of Cheltenham & County Harriers won the 5 mile road race in 26:25. Teammate Marcus England followed him in 26:46 with Douglas Wight of Almost Athletes coming third in 27:19.
Gemma Hargraves of Almost Athletes won the women’s race in 29:47, claiming the top spot after her second place finish at the Naunton Nearly 19 the week before. Shona Crombie-Hicks of Cheltenham & County Harriers was second in 30:09 with teammate Fee Maycock in third place in 31:10.
Sue Baldwin of Tewkesbury Allrunners was the midpoint runner in 38:33.