There were yet more impressive results for the Badgers at the weekend as the club held their slightly belated annual celebrations of turning ten years old. Former men’s captain Adrian Payne has improved out of all recognition in the last twelve months and on Saturday took on the 28 mile long Maverick Frontier Trail Race in the North Downs, Surrey. He bossed the race from the off taking in some challenging terrain and some three and a half thousand feet of elevation and never once looked like losing as he held his pace throughout to finish in an incredible 4:01:11. To put this into perspective, he was some 38 minutes ahead of second place, with his experienced ultra-running club mate Mark Cox going well in 6th overall with a solid time of 4:53:41. With his washboard stomach and chiselled features (it says here), it’s little surprise that craggy Payne is often dubbed the poster boy of Badgers, and this high profile win will only improve his standing amongst his numerous adoring fans such as the Hermitage twins to name but two.
There were a couple of personal best half marathon results at Blackpool with Andy Smith going superbly in 1:44:58 and his wife and fellow veteran Caroline also going better than ever before in a quality 2:10:26. Carl Savage clocked some 39 miles as he completed the restaged Big Bear Ultra event running across Warwickshire in an eye watering 6:48:42, a tremendous effort from him. Popular former club chairperson Karen Thompson was also in action coming home shortly afterwards in 7:06 as she notches up another marathon en-route to what will be a remarkable ton. Stefan Martin completed the first 15K long Trail Running Peaks Series Run and bagged himself a very respectable 22nd place overall with his time of 1:25:56. Vicky Fowler and Vicky Jennings were part of a team that ran the Equinox 24-hour event near Grantham with each Badger managing 5 laps apiece over the weekend. Liz Peel has run hundreds of half marathons in her career but usually one immediately after the other as part of a full 26.2-mile experience. This weekend, both she and Serena Baker took on the Yabba Dabba Do half in Chasewater and emerged with times of 2:14, two weeks ahead of her 101st and final marathon in London. Fellow academic Maggi Savin-Baden finished second in her age category at the Derby Sprint Triathlon (1:41) to cap a good week for her.
Parkrun saw plenty of action over the weekend, but the star of the show was undoubtedly Glyn Broadhurst who set his second PB (17:10) in as many weeks in a fast field at the speedy Walsall Arboretum course. Broadhurst has been a key man for several seasons, underpinning the men’s team at cross country and on the road as well as holding the vets club record for the marathon. However, since Covid, he has transformed himself into a different animal, working relentlessly through lockdowns and turning out personal bests at 5 mile and 10K already over the summer, at the age of 45. His parkrun PB comes off the back of going hard in almost all of his previous 162 runs and to take seventeen seconds off is really something special, to the point where his recorded age grading of 82.62% ranks as one of the highest ever achieved in the club.
Babbs Mill saw several Badgers troubling the top ten as for the ladies, Jo Hardy finished third overall in a rapid 26:15 with Leesa Dennis (27:24) and Karen Draper (28:29) taking 7th and 10th respectively. The men had no shortage of success either as Danny Warren took third overall with his buggy run pushing his daughter Orlagh around the 5K course in a marvellous time of 19:37, one of the fastest in the club’s history, and Adders superfan Colin Lees taking 8th with a fine 22:20. Ian Orton finished a minute later in 12th just outside the top ten.
Andy Altoft ran a 5K PB at Kingsbury Water Park where the majority of park running Badgers headed. Chris Horton led the way and the race taking the 42nd first-place finish of his career and his 22nd at the Water Park in 18:16. Fellow veteran and another former winner Sam Starkey helped fill the podium with a decent 19:01 in 3rd with Mark Repton excitedly tempo-ing round in 19:34 for 5th. Austen Puleston ran well in 22:26 with Jill Miller the first lady Badger back in 13th overall with her time of 27:28. Long-serving Paul Grubb was in action running 26:01 at Conkers with marathon bound Gail Gunn going well at Bedworth.