Mud, water and marshals in fancy dress made for a fun day at the Riverbank Rollick (Sunday 15 Jan). This 9-mile race is one of four events organised by Thornbury Running Club in South Gloucestershire. It’s a favourite with the local running community due to the testing course, upbeat marshals and post-race refreshments, e.g. coffee and cake.
The event started at 11am with 353 runners setting out from Mundy Playing Fields in Thornbury. The field faced a mainly off-road course along trails, fields, woodlands and bridle paths that included 120m of ascent and the Severn River. They headed out towards Oldbury, down towards the riverbank, past the estuary and views of the Bridge before turning back towards Littleton upon Severn to finish at the Playing Fields.
There was plenty of encouragement from the marshals, many of whom wore fancy dress, adding a playful element to the event. A wide selection of costumes on display that included a sunflower, pirate, fox and coming out from retirement – Mr Blobby!
Scott Campbell of Westbury Harriers AC won the 2017 Riverbank Rollick in 57:52. His teammates took second and third places with David Hobbs in 59:49 and Alex Hamblin in 1:00:25 respectively.
Lynette Porter of Bitton Road Runners won the women’s race in 1:08:24. Niki Morgan of Chepstow Harriers followed her in 1:10:31 with Sandra Chipper of Lliswerry Runners coming third in 1:12:48.
The last runner crossed the line in 2:40:07.
New for this year: a wedge-shaped medal - with an image of the Severn Bridge - that together with another two, are awarded to runners who complete all three club races. These three medals form a highly sought after set.
Photo courtesy of Julia Ransom.