THE Forest of Dean Athletic Club organised their very popular Fountain 5 trail race, a challenging, hilly five mile run on Thursday, May 25.

Starting near Parkend Church the run winds its way through the beautiful woods of the Oakenhill Enclosure towards Yorkley and Pillowell before heading back along the old railway lines to the finish back near the Church.

The race headquarters is at the Fountain Inn, Parkend and all runners were rewarded with a drink at the Fountain after the race – 86 runners and 18 Canicross runners and their dogs took part in perfect conditions.

The race, which attracts runners from the local area as well as South Wales, Herefordshire and even a runner from Tavistock, was won by Sam Jones of Parc Bryn Bach running club in 32:01. Luke Gray from Monross Trailblazers came second in a time of 32:27 and third man was David Bannister (Ledbury & District Harriers) in 34:39.

The first lady to finish was Emma Millman of Severn AC in 39:43, followed by Amy Brammar (Bristol and West) 40:22 and Kelly Winstone (unattached) 41.05. The canicross race was won by Jordan Evans in 38.21 and the first canicross lady was FODAC’s Sarah Bucknall in a time of 43:27.

There were also age category prizes for the following athletes: Will Smith (FODAC), Leyton Fleet (FODAC), Richard Boseley (Severn AC), Owen McLaughlin (FODAC), Joanna Hobson (unattached), Lisa Jeffrey (Chepstow Harriers) ad Helen Kula- Przezwanski (Tavistock AC). The men’s team prize was won by Forest of Dean AC (Matt Aldrige, Will Smith and Jullian Bailey-Gard) and the ladies’ team prize was won by Spirit of Monmouth (Lucy McDonald, Vicky Roberts and Trina Sami-Brown).

All the prizes were generously donated by FODAC member Robert Freeman of locally based firm Forest Products.

On Sunday, (May 28) Forest of Dean AC athletes took part in the Dymock Half Marathon and 5 miles races at Dymock.

The races, which are started by the firing of a real cannon at Dymock cricket club, follow undulating country lanes through the Gloucestershire and South Herefordshire countryside before returning to the cricket club.

In the Half marathon first FODAC athlete was Leanne Meek in a time of 1:39.20. She was followed by Robert Freeman in 1:44.20, Brian Francis 1:45.07 and Anna Freeman 2:14.02. In the 5 mile race Amy Penn was the third overall finisher in a time of 30:59. Leyton Fleet was the second Forest of Dean AC runner in 32:34. He was followed by Jessica Reid-Ko (44:28), Melinda Ruck (45:03) and Daren Smith (45:03).

Also on Sunday, three FODAC athletes took part in the Crocodile 8 multi terrain race which is organised by Wye Valley Runners. The 8.8 mile route is another challenging race which surprised runners with brilliant support from a bell ringing team, a drum band and a piper. It is a true multi terrain race with road sections, woodland trails, muddy paths and even some steps through the woods. Jacqui Wynds was the first FODAC runner home, winning her age category in a time of 1:33.56. She was followed by Gary Burley in 1:48.50 and Debbie Green in 1:48.59.