Defying winter colds and weather, Ward’s Solicitors’ Partner Gary Hope successfully competed on behalf of England in his first Masters International Cross-Country Competition in Swansea on 15th November.
Set in the “outstanding surroundings of Singleton Park, with its undulating grassland” the 8 kilometer race involved four laps of the two kilometer parkland and saw a field of over ninety compete from across the United Kingdom. Gary came an impressive ninth in his age category, with a time of 30 minutes 22 seconds.
“I think that was one of the toughest cross country courses that I have run for a long time. It was a privilege and a distinction to run for England but I can’t really say that I enjoyed running up hills through very boggy and heavy ground once my energy had run out. It was like trying to run as fast as you can in wet wellies! I think the outstanding surrounds were rather lost on me during the race!”.
Gary has run for Severn Athletic Club since he re-kindled his enjoyment of the sport in 2003. Gary joined the club to lose some weight (he was over 14 stone) and to compliment his life as a conveyancing solicitor with Wards, a role he’s held for over 16 years since he joined as a trainee.
Gary recently took part in the Bristol half marathon (he came 20th) and now has sights on the coming cross country season and perhaps aiming for a top 100 position in next year’s London marathon (he was 107th last year). “You need to be quick in Conveyancing!”, he said.