A POPULAR running event took place in Glastonbury on Sunday (May 2).

The 39th Glastonbury Road Run, which seemed to be one of the very first large events to be held since last autumn, started at 10am.

Organisers Mendip Athletics Club, led by race director Ian Humphreys and chief marshal Allan Sandford, searched for a Covid-secure venue and a route that avoided the general public.

And so they chose the venue at Strode College Sports Centre with a route from Street Drove across the levels towards Baltensborough.

Around 770 people turned up to join the 10k run on the day.

Here is race director Ian’s account of the day...

“The race got underway at 10am with the first of 47 waves of runners, each 15-20 strong, from Bowling Green Road - passing under the finish gantry just round the corner into Street Drove. This first wave held the quickest runners, including pre-race favourites Kurtis Gibson, formerly of Mendip AC but now running for London club Thames Hare and Hounds, and Kate Drew of Taunton AC. Two minutes later the second wave started, followed by successive waves at two minute intervals.

“Gibson set off at an aggressive pace, looking to improve on his PB of 31:34 set last autumn just before lockdown. By the half-way point, reached in a rapid 15:30, he was 45 seconds up on the chasing pack, but starting to feel the effects of such a quick pace. Still going away he retired to the side of the road at 8K to be sick, leaving Oliver Paulin of Coventry Godiva Harriers to pass Ben Tull and record a perhaps unexpected victory in 32 minutes and 22 seconds, with Tull crossing the line second in 32:35, from Zak Hurrell (Wells City Harriers) 32:42, Daniel Mayhew (Wells City Harriers) 33:02 and Christian Green (Wells City Harriers) 33:03.

Bridgwater Mercury: Race Winner, Oliver Paulin of Coventry Godiva Harriers and Oxford University, crossing the finish line as one of the later waves of runners is just setting out for their 10K run.

“Street Strider’s Matthew Lusby ran 33:30, just ahead of leading masters athlete Jon James (also of Wells Harriers) who clocked 33:32 to become the faster over 55 in the UK so far this year, a distinction James also held in 2020. Running in wave three, and a further four minutes down the road Millfield pupil William Aitken ran the race’s fastest second half and nearly grabbed an overall victory as he clocked 32 minutes and 26 seconds - if he had only been braver with his forecast time and had started with the first wave he may very well have won.

Bridgwater Mercury: First local, Martin Lusby of the Street Striders running club, finishes just ahead of Wells super-vet Jon James, whose 33:32 clocking took him to the top of the UK rankings for male masters athletes over the age of 55.

“Kate Drew faded a little after half way, but did enough to secure the overall victory in 37 minute and 7 seconds, though again the second place runner may have been thwarted by starting in a later wave, as Ruby Orchard (PB Running Club) clocked 37:14 ahead of Serane Stone (Tiverton Harriers) in 37:29. Fourth Place among the ladies was Alison Thorne of Erme Valley Harriers running 38:34, ahead of Gill Pearson (Running for Time) 38:53. Fastest of the locals was Zoe Dale (running for Wells City Harriers), with 40:49.

“In the traditional Age Graded ranking, normally used to decide the prize list, Jon James (M55) was first with a grading score of 96.17% (where 100% represents the nominal “World Record” for the runners age), with Joanna Thompson (W60) on 93.87%, Guy Woods (South West Vets AC, M55) 92.87%, Martin Colwill (Bideford AAC, M50) 86.66%, Daniel Mayhew (Wells City Harriers, U17M) 86.28%, Serane Stone (Tiverton Harriers, W40) 86.08%, Alison Thorn (Erme Valley Harriers, W45) 86.04%, Steve Wood (Clevedon AC, M45) 85.61%, Gill Pearson (Running for Time, W45)85.34% and Jane Hardacre (South West Vets AC, W55) 84.66% making up the top ten. The success of the grading system can be seen in that both youngsters and older athletes are represented and the top ten has five males and five females.”

Unfortunately, there were no post-race presentations and awards will be posted to runners over the next few weeks.

The organisers would like to thank all the organisations that helped with the event - Mendip Athletics Club, Guy Fawkes Traffic Management Team, St Johns Ambulance, Glastonbury FM, Wick Carnival Club, Mendip Vale Carnival Club, Masqueraders Carnival Club, King William Carnival Club, the Street Lions organisation and the staff at Strode College Sports Centre.

Bridgwater Mercury: ROAD RUN: Sunday's Glastonbury race


Main Race Winners                                                        

1 M            Oliver Paulin       Coventry Godiva Harriers             0:32:22

2 M            William Aitken   Millfield - Joans Kitchen House  0:32:26

3  M            Ben Tull                                                0:32:35

Main Race Winners                                                                       

1 F              Kate Drew           Taunton Ac                            0:37:07

2 F              Ruby Orchard    Pb Running Club                               0:37:14

3 F              Serane  Stone    Tiverton Harriers                              0:37:24                                                              

Main Race Category Winners                                                     

1 SM         Oliver Paulin       Coventry Godiva Harriers             0:32:22                                              

1 SW         Kate Drew           Taunton Ac                               0:37:07                                           

1 U20M    William Aitken   Millfield - Joans Kitchen House  0:32:26                                                         

1 U20W    Pia Lewis              Brighton & Hove Ac                         0:40:36                                                  

1 M40       Steve Wood       Clevedon Ac                                       0:35:34                                          

1 M50       Jon James           Wells City Harriers                           0:33:32

1 M60       Steve Masters   Wells City Harriers                           0:40:23                                               

1 M70       Vic Millard                                                              0:49:08

1 W35       Ruby Orchard    Pb Running Club                       0:37:14

1 W45       Alison Thorn       Erme Valley Harriers                       0:38:34                                                   

1 W55       Joanna Thompson                                                0:42:58                                                   

1 W65       Sue Nicholls        Burnham On Sea Harriers             1:01:32


1              Jon James                           Wells City Harriers                           M55       00:33:32               M            56           96.17%

2              Joanna Thompson                                                                           W60       00:42:58               F              62           93.87%

3              Guy  Woods                       South West Veterans Ac               M55       00:35:19               M            58           92.87%

4              Martin Colwill                    Bideford Aac                                      M50       00:36:36               M            54           86.66%

5              Daniel Maydew                Wells City Harriers                           U17M    00:33:02               M            16           86.28%

6              Serane  Stone                    Tiverton Harriers                              W40       00:37:29               F              44           86.08%

7              Alison Thorn                       Erme Valley Harriers                       W45       00:38:34               F              47           86.04%

8              Steve Wood               Clevedon Ac                                       M45       00:35:34               M            49           85.61%

9              Gill Pearson                        Running For Time                             W45       00:38:53               F              47           85.34%

10           Jane Hardacre                   South West Veterans Ac               W55       00:44:26               F              57           84.66%

11           William Aitken                   Millfield - Joans Kitchen House  U20M    00:32:26               M            19           84.58%

12           Ruby Orchard                    Pb Running Club                               W35       00:37:14               F              39           83.71%

13           Christopher Peck             Egdon Heath Harriers                     M35       00:33:43               M            39           83.64%

14           Christian  Green               Wells City Harriers                           M35       00:33:03               M            35           83.01%

15           Paul Synnott                               

M55       00:38:32               M            55           83.00%

16           Oliver Paulin                       Coventry Godiva Harriers             SM         00:32:22               M            24           82.96%

17           Steve Masters                   Wells City Harriers                           M60       00:40:23               M            60           82.67%

18      Ben Tull                                                                                            SM         00:32:35               M            22           82.46%

19           Zak Hurrell                          Wells City Harriers                           SM         00:32:42               M            30           82.31%

20           Matthew Lusby                Street Striders                                   M35       00:33:30               M            35           81.89%

21           Kate Drew                      Taunton Ac                                         SW         00:37:07               F              24           81.72%

22           Phil Burden             Taunton Ac                                         M40       00:35:41               M            43           81.46%

23           Peter Mountain                Bristol And West Ac                        M60       00:42:48               M            64           80.84%

24           Sue Nicholls                        Burnham On Sea Harriers             W75+    01:01:32               F              75           80.77%

25           Nia Davies                           Weston Athletic Club                     W45       00:42:01               F              49           80.76%