RUTH Barnes has confirmed that her victory in the Devizes Half Marathon will probably be her last Wiltshire County Championships success, writes KEVIN FAHEY.
The Bradford on Avon-based doctor is moving to Dorset next month and while she is not planning to immediately leave Avon Valley Runners, she admits her future will lie with a local club near her new home.
“My husband has a new job so after eight or nine years in Bradford on Avon we will be leaving in May,” said Barnes.
“It will be quite sad to be leaving as my period with Avon Valley Runners has been the most consistent and successful of my running career and they are a great bunch of people.
“I will stick with my coach Steve Williams as I cannot see any reason why a long-distance relationship won’t work as I don’t need to see him every week and anyway it is not far to drive up and see him every now and then.
“It is a shame to be going but we are looking forward to our new home and running along the coast which will be a nice change.”
Having last month won both the Vitality Bath half marathon and the Aztec West 5k in Bristol, both in personal best times of 75mins 32secs and 16:38 respectively, Barnes admitted she only lined up for the Devizes race as a training run and because it incorporated the Wiltshire Championships.
“It was actually quite hard as it was so hot but Devizes is a beautiful course and is the complete opposite to Bath as you are out in the glorious countryside on your own for most of the time,” added Barnes.
“It was nice to leave Bradford on Avon with a final county title and AVR also won the women’s team prize as well so that was good.”
There was further cause for celebration in the men’s race as Mike Towler claimed overall victory and also led AVR to the men’s team title.
“It was my second race of the weekend as I ran the South West Road Relay Championships in Exeter the previous day which we won as well,” said Towler.
“It was the first time I have run the race so I was pleased to win it even though it was tougher than I expected .”