Notfast Running Club, now 25 years old, has a long history of achievements covering all aspects of the sport. It is always a pleasure to report on individual and group successes…and this is one of the finest.
On Sunday morning George Combes finished his 100th Half Marathon and chose Clowne in Derbyshire to mark this ‘Century’. The Clowne Half Marathon is tough by any standards…it is hilly and much of the course is on roads without pavements …add Sundays biting wind and his existing hamstring injury, it is unlikely that George was relishing the thought of this, final ‘Half’ very much at all.
A group of more than a dozen Notfasts were there at the start, to support him and to join in the applause from the 500 of so other competitors when George was awarded a beautiful engraved glass plaque from the organising club, Clowne Road Runners. A very thoughtful gesture, the plaque recognised the importance of his having run the100 th ‘Half’ in his 77th year. George had a tough run but finished just outside 3 hours, a time that he was pleased with under the circumstances. A group of club members escorted him for the last mile and saw him over the line…this to more applause, richly deserved indeed !
A bit about George. He was not a career club runner…he started at the age of 59, prompted by a friend, Mick Baggaley, to have a go…” If I help you to to get up to 5 miles without stopping will you run with the club ?”, asked Mick..the rest is Notfast history. George developed his running talents well, to the point where he ran 1hr 45min half marathons while in his 60’s. Add to this a mass of 10k races, no less than 8 London Marathons and numerous other races..a picture is emerging…that anyone can take up running if reasonably fit..and certainly if surrounded by the supportive and encouraging cameraderie of a club such as Notfast, a Running Family by any other name.
So George crossed the line at Clowne, greeted with enthusiasm by his clubmates ,and was steered to the comfort of the Community Centre HQ to a well deserved sit down and drink. A lovely touch was provided by clubmate Lyn Gordon presenting George with a home baked cake, decorated with a picture of him running in a previous race, the Grantham Half called ‘Newtons Fraction’, held in March.
So, Mr Combes has completed his personal challenge to put 100 Half Marathons under his belt and has now, quite wisely, decided to have a bit of a ‘lay off’. He will not run until the New Year so that his hamstring has a chance of repairing itself. Somehow this writer has a sneaking suspicion that it will not be that long next year, when the weather has warmed up a bit and George has a few miles in his legs that we will find out that our dear running friend has once again pinned a race number onto his club vest…its in the blood you know !
Along with George two other members ran The Clowne Half Marathon.
Martin Dickenson 2.10.25
Diane Thorpe 2.10.25
George Combes 3.09.00