Newsletter – June 2024

Newsletter – June 2024

June 2024

By Rosie Clarke


Welcome to the June edition of the GWR monthly newsletter!

This is the place where you can hear all about the latest club information including races, save-the-dates, ADMF good-news stories, kit updates, and more… all in one place! We hope that this can be a great way to keep you all updated on the exciting goings-on of the club, and to celebrate all we have accomplished.

In this edition, we have a marathon (pardon the pun) selecta of May socials and races, we have the kickstart of the Towpath tetralogy (google confirms this is the 4-version of a ‘trilogy’, now you know…), we have valiant volunteering successes, we have many category podium spots, and we still have poetry opportunity enticing you in…

Dates for the diary and Events:

June 2024

Monday 3rd June: Blaise Blazer 4 mile

Monday 3rd June: Hogweed Trot 10K

Tuesday 4th June: Sri Chimnoy 2 mile

Wednesday 5th June: Club run (4, 6, 8 and 10 mile groups)

Saturday 8th June: Parkrun Tourism – Newport (Tredegar House)!

Sunday 9th June: Bradley Stoke 10K

Sunday 9th June: Chew Valley 10K

Tuesday 11th June: Clevedon Midsummer 10K

Wednesday 12th June: Club run (4, 6, 8 and 10 mile groups)

Wednesday 19th June: Club run (4, 6, 8 and 10 mile groups)

Friday 21st June: GWR Towpath Series 10K Race 2

Tuesday 25th June: Sri Chimnoy 2 mile

Wednesday 26th June: Club run (4, 6, 8 and 10 mile groups)

Friday 28th June: Nailsea Beer and Banger 10K

July 2024

Wednesday 3rd July: Club run (4, 6, 8 and 10 mile groups)

Saturday 6th July: GWR at Cotswold Way Relay (10 legs totalling 100 miles)

Tuesday 9th July: Sri Chimnoy 3 x 1 mile ice cream relay race

Wednesday 10th July: Club run (4, 6, 8 and 10 mile groups)

Wednesday 17th July: Club run (4, 6, 8 and 10 mile groups)

Wednesday 24th July: Club run (4, 6, 8 and 10 mile groups)

Friday 26st July: GWR Towpath Series 10K Race 3

GWR Towpath

That’s right, the most anticipated race series possibly in the world (and certainly in Bristol) is approaching. Is it the Paris Olympics? Is it the Western States? Is it the Barkley Marathons? No… it’s the GWR Towpath series (naturally)! Want to try your hand at a 10K PB? Want to finish strong? Want to just get out and soak in the inter-club atmosphere? Look no further – the remaining three race dates are live – sign up here!

Friday 24th May: Race 1 (including MobMatch)

Friday 21st June: Race 2 – 10K

Friday 26th July: Race 3 – 10K

Friday 23rd August: Race 4 – 5K finale

Please like, comment and share the Towpath Race Series page on Social Media as it really helps to advertise the event and to gain the interest needed to make it the wonderful event it is.

GWR Social 40th Anniversary – TBC, save the date 17/07/2024… more info to come soon!

May Race and Achievements Report

Welcome to May’s recap of racing carnage, chaos, and shenanigans complete with some pretty impressive escapades…

Saturday 4th May saw a fantastic turnout for Parkrun Tourism at Chipping Sodbury… this is a great opportunity to get to know other members of the club, new and old. If you’d like to join us all on Saturday 8th June in Newport (Tredegar House), we’d really love to see you there; if you haven’t been on one of these before, just gravitate towards the sea of blue GWR tops when you arrive and join everyone for the party.

Oliver Feighan had a fantastic marathon PB in Belfast to kickstart our bumper edition of racing. He says that the race atmosphere in particular was really good and with a nice course covering almost the whole city (how’s that for a morning tour?!). He mentions “everyone in the club gave really good advice leading up, which I think made it go so well. This was my second marathon and beat the last time by 25 mins”… Incredible improvements Oliver!

We had a deviation from the normal running events on Saturday 4th May for the Great Western Runners’ social in the form of the Bristol Brewery tour. A lovely time, and if you’ve missed out on that one, don’t worry, you’re in luck… there’s another social planned for the 40th anniversary of the club in July… standby for further details whilst you soak in the atmosphere of the brewery tour below…

Tuesday 7th May saw the return of another beloved race series in the club, the Sri Chinmoy series! We had a great turnout at this lovely atmosphere race, including Clare Meraz who bagged the 1st lady title, and many others represented by Great Western Runners who also gained medals. See the Sri Chimnoy blog for the full cast and results blog here!

Saturday 11th May saw the Great Western Runners Eastville Parkrun Takeover on a very sunny looking morning…

In a break of the fourth wall, and a dire warning to you all to never underestimate 1) the importance of navigation, 2) the effect of the heat, and 3) the laws of gravity, your resident newsletter author (Rosie) tackled an ultra in Eryri on Saturday 11th which promised 55km and almost 11,000ft of scrambling elevation bliss. I’m not a stranger to a long distance, but apparently I am a stranger to all things navigation based. I managed to trundle the wrong way for 5 miles and took a few tumbles on the way to the untimely DNF elimination at 22 miles in. My ego’s just about recovered… Luckily these 100% stunning views kept me going and I’ve now regained sanity enough to issue a warning to you (yes, you!) to recce your courses. I made this mistake so you don’t have to….

Sunday 19th May of course saw one of the biggest (and hottest) turnouts for the Great Bristol Run (10K and Half Marathon) that we’ve ever seen! In this event, a massive group of GWR members participated, with some notable commendments below…

Rita Davies scored a fabulous 3rd in age category in the 10K (well done Rita!)

Katie Hooper also secured a wonderful 3rd in age category for the Half Marathon (great effort Katie!)

And if that wasn’t enough, Clare Meraz also caught the memo and ran with it (pun fully intended), and was also 3rd in her age category… not only that, but she also qualified to represent England (yes, that’s England, the whole country!) in her age category for the 10K and Half Marathon next year, in a continuation to how she represented England in Birmingham this year. I hope you’ll all join me in giving Clare some big congratulations!

Needless to say, studies are being undertaken to further understand how we bagged these wonderfully skilled members. These efforts all show incredible resolution, training, knowledge and effort – especially in the tough hot weather conditions. Congratulations to all, and especially if you’ve had an experience that you’re proud of.

 Rumour has it Kipchoge is looking for tips from Great Western Runners…

16th May also marked the final in the Western Prom series. This year has been a truly fantastic (and character-building weather-wise) series for all those who have taken part. Amongst the many many accomplishments too lengthy to list, a special mention goes out to Mike Willcox, who was the series winner for the Vet70 category. Incredible stuff, well done Mike!

In a venture over to the long distance realm, a distance that strikes horror into the hearts of many (and haunts the dreams of a few more…) saw Roz Glover tackle Bridge 100 mile race again and ultra #106. The endurance that this requires really is something! Big congratulations.

And last (but certainly not least), once upon a time (on Friday 24th May) in a land far far away (the Towpath underpass), we saw a return to the 1st Towpath series race including the much-awaited Mob Match, which had a mega turnout, see Mark Watts’s full blog online for the full commentary. If you’d like to join the wonderful team of volunteer marshalls for one or all of the remaining races, please speak to Awais who is our friendly Towpath volunteer co-ordinator.

Here we are! The series begins again, the kit dusted off and old whatsapp groups rekindled for another series throughout the summer. With mostly the same core team, with a few substitutions, we looked to kick off the series with an incident free, enjoyable event and I think we agree that is what we got.

The Mob Match for the first race of the season is a great way to kick it off, and that we did in glorious sunshine. A credit to DBMax who once again handles all the series and on the day entries without fault and arrived at the start/finish in good time.

15 clubs represented made this first race one of the best attended races in the towpath’s history with a bumper crowd of 228 entrants for race 1…”

If you are a member of Great Western Runners and have a running story you are proud of in June that you would like featured, please contact Rosie, and she will endeavour to include it in the next edition.

ADMF Good News

The Arthur Dagger Memorial Fund (ADMF) was created by Great Western Runners in memory of one of our most treasured club members Arthur Dagger. ADMF’s mission is to provide financial support for young, talented athletes.

Please consider adding a donation alongside your membership renewal if you are able to. As we’ve seen at AGMs and Kelly’s recent update last Wednesday regarding ADMF grants, this money really goes a long way to facilitating opportunities for young talent who have otherwise been disadvantaged.

Thank you to all those who continue to support this wonderful initiative – the wonderful success stories wouldn’t exist without you all! For more information about ADMF and what it’s all about, see more information here.

Misc. Updates


Please don’t forget to renew your membership ASAP!

 Membership renewals are now due – sign up to officially be a part of our wonderful club for less than £1 per week. With membership, you gain wonderful club benefits including being a part of England Athletics. Annual memberships are still £50 for single and £80 for joint household membership… all information is listed on the renewal forms.

Are you Wel fare?

As part of the recent drive to ensure Great Western Runners remain compliant with England Athletics we can now announce we have our first two Welfare officers! After passing the EA courses (Lead) David Honeywill and Karen Wills take up theseroles with immediate effect.

Official contact details for them coming very soon!

Safety & First Aid

**Safety notice: please be mindful of ticks when running in long grass, and familiarise yourself with safe tick-removal procedures online**

It is important to Great Western Runners to ensure that everyone has a safe run. We have kindly been provided with a First Aid kit to be used when required, and for this we need to understand who out of us are First Aid trained. If you are first aid trained and would be happy to be added as a point of contact on club nights that would be of great assistance. See Mark Watts for further information and to get involved.

Please also be mindful to walk when going across the Clifton Suspension Bridge, particularly if there are other pedestrians around.

Got a story to tell?

Club member Suzannah Evans is looking for runners from the club to have an informal chat for a series of creative writing endeavours. Why not find out more information after a Wednesday club run over a post-run drink in the bar. Please contact Suzannah or Mark Watts for further info.

Sportsshoes Code

Short on running gear? Fancy a discount at You’re in luck! Email the committee the code for 10% off the whole range on orders over £50, complete with free shipping, valid until July 2024.


For kit (including club branded running gear) enquiries, please see the website here.


If you would like to contact the committee about any club run business, suggestions, questions or otherwise, please do get in touch on

We’d love to hear from you!

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