THE ‘mystery’ woman who kept Wendy Nicholls off the podium in the Bourton 10k road race can now be identified, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

The Cirencester AC runner initially thought she had finished third in the race and was shocked when she wasn’t called onto the podium to collect her prize. The fact that the ‘mystery’ woman who came second also didn’t appear only added to the confusion.

It was later confirmed that Ellie Sutcliffe of Exmouth was the mystery woman.

Nicholls was sure she hadn’t been passed by three runners even as she flagged towards the end of the race.

“At the turn-around point on the course I was keeping an eye on how many women were ahead of me and I knew I was second at the point,” said Nicholls.

“I had blown a gasket and was caught by another woman on the way back so I thought at worst I was third. I just couldn’t understand it when I was told I was fourth, especially as no-one else there had seen the woman in second.”

The official results produced on Sunday evening showed Exmouth Harrier Sutcliffe had finished third which was a surprise to her.

“I had entered the race but couldn’t run as I am injured so I was just watching having taken a few days off on holiday in the Cotswolds,” said Sutcliffe.

“The blunder may have occurred because I had the race chip in my handbag and I may have crossed the finish line.”

The confirmation of the mistake only cheered up Nicholls a little.

“I didn’t run very well at all but then my training over the past month has been diabolical due to niggling injuries and being busy at work,” added Nicholls.

“Still, it is nice to hear that I did indeed finish third and now I am due a prize! Hopefully things will improve in the coming weeks.”

In the men’s race Chris Illman finished runner-up with clubmate David Bell third.

Swindon Harriers’ Heath Bampton finished 18th and first veteran over 45, just ahead of Cirencester’s Adrian Williams.


Men: 1 Oliver Mott (B&W) 32:21; 2 Chris Illman (Ciren) 32:41; 3 David Bell (Ciren) 32:43; 4 Brett Halliwell (Stroud) 32:50.

Others: 18 Heath Bampton (Swin, M45 1st) 34:33; 19 Adrian Williams (Ciren) 34:35.

Women: 1 Rachel Felton (Stroud) 34:40; 2 Kate Wright (Stratford, W50) 37:34; 3 Wendy Nicholls (Ciren, W40) 37:47.