December News

Birmingham League Cross Country
5th December

The latest round of the Birmingham Cross Country League took place on the first weekend in December following the wettest November on record according to the MET office, and that's official!!!!

The Men's team were in division 3 action down in Leamington, probably the furthest venue away from us, and we managed to get 8 gents out following the good results at Senneleys Park for round 1. The course at Leamington was a good mixture of Fields, Paths, Riverside walks and Muddy Tracks and consisted of three laps which took in the much maligned Beacon Hill.
The hill was a short but VERY steep dash up to the highest point of the course and was a test for both breathing apparatus and legs alike before the equally steep descent back to level ground! Unusually for cross country races there were also adequate changing facilities including at least a dozen changing rooms, showers, toilets and a cafe all located inside a large brick building. No wonder then that Trentham's (Dan's) small tent was only 1 of two gracing the fields around the venue. Each team could have been allocated their own private changing room, but as Paul Burslem had been on the Abbot Ale the night before, at was probably just as well we hadn't and had instead got ready to race in the open air!
Ian Yates led the way home for Trentham followed by Jason Thomas, Paul Gibbings and Paul Burslem. 5th and 6th counters were Dan Clowes and Dale Colclough. The team did enough to ensure that we finished 2nd on the day and hold on to 2nd overall heading into the Christmas Break. Well done to all of those who ran.
Full results will be available soon on the Cross Country Page!

Meanwhile in the Ladies race taking place in Birchfield it was touch and go as to weather the ladies would even get a team out but after some ringing around salvation was indeed found. Adela, Jo, Sarah and Louise all headed to North Birmingham to take on the areas finest across muddy fields. Del kindly sent in this report:

The second race of the Midland Ladies League took place on Saturday, and with Christmas fast approaching, it was looking doubtful as to whether we would be able to muster together a full ladies team. Thankfully, Jo Donnelly, Sarah Johnson and Louise Clowes saved the day, and along with myself, we travelled down to Perry Park, Birmingham, to fly the Trentham flag for the club.
The Midland League is very competitive - not least because of all the youngsters taking part from the regional unis (notably Birmingham and Loughborough) - plus the likes of Telford, Birchfield and Tipton all in the mix, but Trentham ladies did the club proud by finishing a full ladies team AND a veteran ladies team (yes, us oldies weren't put off by the lean and mean looking whipper snappers!)
The course itself - which I seem to remember reading will be used for the inter-counties next year rather that the usual Nottingham course - wasn't too bad, and consisted of 2 laps around parkland with some nice wooded areas and some open playing fields which were muddy but not too heavy going. It was also relatively flat with just a couple of small slopes rather than hills.
Surprisingly, I was actually the first Trentham lady over the line (probably because it wasn't hilly!!) and finished in 34th place, followed by Jo Donnelly in 39th and Sarah Johnson in 50th, whilst Louise Clowes (who ran with the lurgy and wasn't feeling 100%) finished in 117th and was the final counter for the lady vets team . When you think how well Jo and Sarah have been running recently (with no disrespect to Lou or myself!), it puts things into perspective about the quality of competition that we faced on Saturday.
From a personal point of view, I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Jo, Sarah and Louise as without them, we wouldn't have had a full team. The results usually take a few days before appearing but cross fingers we've managed to move a little further up the table, and hopefully we can get a full team out to the next race in January and keep the momentum going.

Thanks again ladies - and see you next time!

Well done Girls and enjoy the Christmas Break before the next round on 16th January!

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Apedale - Dales dash 10K

On Sunday the Dales Dash 10 K took part in Apedale Country Park near Newcastle Under Lyme. It was very wet under foot and there was a lot of boggy ground to cover for all the runners. Quite a few of the competitors had taken part in The Birmingham Cross Country series the day before and were already a little tired before the race.

Jo Donnelly has sent in this report:

Having taken part in the Midland Cross Country League on Saturday I headed out to Apedale on Sunday morning with sore legs and very little motivation. As the start approached a large number of Trentham runners appeared which was really good, but there did seem to be a general theme of tiredness and too many beers the night before!!!!
As the race got underway Richard Ogden and Rob set off well for Trentham men and Sarah headed off into the lead for the women.  As well as being pretty undulating, the course was very wet and boggy so my feet were soon wet, muddy and cold. Within the first couple of Kilometres, Paul Burslem came past me, moving through the field comfortably and - it was noted Paul – doing quite a bit of chatting as he passed people!!!!!

Within the women’s race, Jackie Slack from Newcastle had soon moved into the lead and me and Sarah were running pretty much together in 2nd and 3rd. As we headed up the big climb to the exposed top, I must admit I was blowing pretty heavily and feeling sick. The flat path at about 6.5k was a welcome relief, as was the singing “go Sarah, go Jo” drifting up from behind. Yes, Ryan was catching us fast and encouraging us all the way – well, I think his calls, to stop talking about shopping and start running were encouragement!!!!

As Ryan came through at 7K I decided to try and go with him and moved clear into 2nd place. This however was where the fun started!!!  Unfortunately one of the arrows at a corner had spun around to point right instead of left and a number of runners had headed off the wrong way and me Ryan, Sarah and others were following. Luckily for me Ryan quickly realised that things were not right and we doubled back to the course whilst trying to shout those ahead who were still heading off into the distance!!!

Although we hadn’t gone too far wrong, by the time we got back to the course we had lost quite a few places. Luckily there were few kilometres to go and with a burst of adrenaline I was able to gain some lost ground taking me back into what I thought was second place. I was soon to realise however that Jackie Slack was one of the runners taking in the sights of Chesterton so I was in first place!!!!

Obviously the detour for some runners distorted the results slightly but it seemed to me to be another dominant display for ‘Team Trentham’.  I haven’t seen the results but Richard, Rob and Paul were at the front end of the field and myself and Sarah were first and second in the ladies. Well done to all and I’ll certainly be studying the course map before next year!!!!!

Thanks for the report Jo, it made me smile for sure, something I wasn't doing on Sunday after the race as the little detour cost me a 4th place finish amongst Trentham Runners for the team prize, which we won quite comfortably ahead of Staffs Moorlands and Newcastle.

It was also a double for the team prizes as the Ladies also came first ahead of Stafford Harriers with Jo, Sarah and Kiri counting 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively!

Trentham Results below.

Position Name Result
7 Richard Ogden 41:39
8 Rob Tabbanor 41:55
10 Paul Burslem 42:19
12 Dave Myatt 44:49
15 Jo Donnelly 45:08
16 Ryan Procter 45:12
22 Sarah Johnson 45:43
37 Stephen Burrowes 47:23
75 Kiri Johnson 51:20
77 Ken Bloor 51:28
91 Ken Pearson 54:11

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Leek Cross Country (NSCCL)

Saturday 12th December was the last race in the North Staffs Cross Country Championships series at Westwood School in Leek. Deb Thomas has Kindly sent in this report:

Westwood High School in Leek hosts the final cross country run in the North Staffs League. Most people regard this course at the most authentic cross-country run out of the league as it involves a few good hills and lots of mud.
This year the course had been altered slightly and took out one of the main hilly fields. For the ladies race the course was one large and two small laps, criss-crossing the bottom flat field once and taking in the big steep hill three times; and for the gents it was four big laps, and four times up the big steep hill! For once the weather was kind in Leek (rare) and we had sunshine with little wind but a cold air.

The course underfoot was firm but there were a couple of big puddles up top which were very cold! For a majority of ladies it was their first time on the course but despite all the nerves they ran brilliantly and managed to get up that hill all three times! First lady back for the club was Jo Donnelly followed in by Sara, Del, Debbie, Mel, Kiri, Hayley, Kerry, Rose and Louise. This gave the team a total of 39 points and ensured we took first place again and first vets team!

The gents had a fantastic turnout as well and managed to get themselves around the tough course with great finishes: Ian Yates was first Trentham back followed by Paul Gibbings, Jason, Dale, Paul Burslem, Dan, Sam, Paul Thomas, Steve Burrowes, Andy, Ken Bloor, Gerry and Malcolm. Overall the gents team were 4th on the day, and there were some very strong performances.

 

This last race was also the venue for the overall league presentations. Main prize winners were as below:

 

Trentham - 1st Ladies Team
Trentham - 1st Vets Ladies Team

Trentham - 3rd Vets Gents Team 40+

Jo Donnelly – 3rd Lady Overall
Jo Donnelly – 2nd W35 Overall
Rose Wilson – 1st W50 Overall

Paul Gibbings – 3rd M45 Overall

Thanks for the report Deb. The race also was the last in the Club Cross Country Championships and the final standings for these can also be found on the Cross Country Page (in the navigation section on the left of the webpage).

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Christmas Cracker

A number of Trentham members turned out for the annual scramble over The Roaches, only to be told on the day that we would instead be running the course that makes up the Summer Series race around Tittersworth reservoir. This was because of the Wintery Conditions and poor visibility on the top of The Roaches which forced the organisers to cancel the race for the first time in memory. Unfortunately it was also the 25th anniversary of the Christmas Cracker which made it even more disappointing.

However, the poor conditions did not deter the hardy souls that did turn out, many in fancy dress, in fact, those that were NOT in fancy dress were definitely in the minority! Two runners that had good races were Dale Colclough and Adela Salt and Adela sent us in this report:

Waking up to ice and snow on Sunday morning and having heard that the Telford 10k had already been cancelled, I set off for Tittersworth near Leek hoping that the Christmas Cracker wouldn't suffer the same fate. This one is my favourite race of the year where you can relax and just enjoy the fantastic Christmassy atmosphere and know that you are in good company with 300 or so other loony runners in fancy dress, eager to tackle the Roaches, come what may.
Today was a little different. Snow had been falling on and off all night and was still falling quite heavily when we arrived at the car park, and with freezing temperatures, the Buxton Mountain Rescue had advised against sending us up the Roaches. The rumblings of a course change filtered through - we would now be running around the lake instead, a distance of just 5 miles instead of the usual 8 and a rather mild and tame course compared to what we would normally do. Hmmmm.....a few grumblings, a few comments of "let's go up anyway and protest" but realising that the moors can be deceiving and even experienced runners could easily slip on ice, injure themselves and be a victim to hyperthermia whilst waiting for medical attention, common sense prevailed and we all eagerly awaited the start of the 25th Roaches Christmas Cracker.
Despite it being clearly stated that we would be going around the lake, it was apparent after the first half mile or so that the lead runners had gone the wrong way, and almost 300 other Santas, fairies, elves, reindeer, men dressed as women and women dressed as men, plus a few goodness knows whats had followed. A swift decision by our own Dale Colclough saw some of us do an about-turn, which immediately resulted in all the tail runners realising the mistake, and so it became a battle trying to get through the crowds. Dale and I seized the opportunity to blast to the front but it wasn't long before the faster runners caught us again and went gliding past.
The route around the lake was actually quite undulating and with the snow underfoot, it was slippery and a little hard going in places, but it was extremely picturesque with some fantastic views. Dale had gone storming away from me, and it wasn't long before Christine Howard soon caught me which was to be expected as she's an exceptional runner. From then on, I maintained my position and finished the race as 2nd lady which I was really pleased with, as I now know I am on my way back to full fitness following a year that has been plagued by injury.
A massive well done to the other Trentham runners that I spotted all running together - Ryan, Mel, Deb and John, plus Ken Bloor and Malcolm Rushton, Kiri Johnson, and of course Jill Phillips who was there spectating and giving us all a shout when it mattered.
Yet again a fantastic race, and one that I will certainly be back to do again - no matter what the weather.

Well done Del and thanks for the report. Well done also to all the other Trentham runners who turned out and had fun joining in with snowball fights and skating along the way!

The results can be found here and photos from the race can be seen here!

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Page last updated 29 December 2009

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