FOR Calne’s Denise Nott, Christmas has come early.

The Calne Running Club athlete is reflecting on arguably the best seven days of her career as she firstly achieved a lifetime ambition of winning the Swindon 10k and then followed that up with a sparkling personal best in the Gloucester 10k.

Representing Wiltshire in the race, which incorporated the South West Inter-Counties Championships, Nott broke the 39-minutes barrier for the first time – and that is clearly one of the best presents she could ever have.

“I never thought that was coming and I am absolutely delighted,” said Nott.

“To be honest, I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I am still celebrating my win in the Swindon 10k the week before.

“Normally, I don’t like racing back-to-back races as at 49, you don’t recover so quickly, but I didn’t want to miss Swindon or the chance to represent Wiltshire.

“When I ran my previous best of 39:05 in Cardiff, it was on a fast course in a very high quality field and I felt so comfortable.

“Gloucester is a more undulating course, but I honestly think I prefer that and run better on that type of course.

“Nonetheless, it took me by surprise on the day.”

The conditions were clearly conducive to fast times as just in front of Nott, Wiltshire team-mate Emma Hines, of Chippenham Harriers, smashed her PB with a sparkling time of 38:27 to go fourth in the Wiltshire rankings – and fastest V45.

With Bethan Francis ,of Avon Valley Runners, leading home the county in 11th and club-mate Veryan Cranston 31st, Wiltshire won the women’s team bronze medal behind Cornwall and Devon.

The men’s squad of Calne’s Simon Nott, who improved his PB to 30:25 to complete a marvellous day for the husband and wife duo, AVR’s Ed Knudsen, Devizes Running Club’ Simon Gilbert and Chippenham Harriers’ Paul Gardiner also finished third in the men’s competition.

Elsewhere, Calne’s Phil Daniels clocked a personal best of 36:56 in the Boscombe 10k.

  • CALNE Running Club’s Simon Nott is seeking an unprecedented hat-trick of senior men’s titles at the Tri-Counties Cross-Country Championships at Bath University on Sunday.

Nott has reigned supreme in the past two years and on current form, will be tough to beat over a course he knows inside out.

“I don’t race cross-country too often but I really enjoy it,” said Nott.

“I am looking forward to Sunday and it will be nice to be racing people, thinking of tactics and not be worried about times.

“But it is going to be tough as there are some good runners in the county now but I feel positive and confident.”

Wiltshire team-mate Simon Byrne, of Swindon Harriers, was third last year as the county dominated the podium, and while he is also in good form, is unlikely to threaten Nott’s reign.

Avon Valley Runners will be defending their senior men’s title and also the Tri-Counties silvers they scooped behind Westbury Harriers.

Chippenham Harriers went one better in the women’s race as Cordula Hurcum, Emma Hines, Michelle Maxwell and Julia Maddocks won both the Tri Counties and Wiltshire titles and they will be fired up to repeat that, with Hurcum defending her individual county title.

Elsewhere in the younger age groups, the likes of India Ibbotson, Jade Littlechild, John Howorth and Will Stockley will all be looking to impress.

The event incorporates the championships for Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire and was launched to provide better competition for runners and streamline organisation.