Lyme Valley XC
The first race of the North Staffs Cross Country League took
place at Lyme Valley at the weekend and the Men's and Ladies
teams were out in force.
The Ladies had a particularly good race with Jayne Dickens
bringing them home in second place overall and the first four
were all in the top 20 to give them the lowest score on the day
and take an early lead in the standings over a distant second
placed Stafford Tri.
The other 3 counters were Jo Donnelly(8th), Vicky Ison(15th) and
The Men also had a good race and managed to come 3rd overall
behind two VERY strong teams in Staffs Moorlands and Stoke AC.
Leading the Men home was Ian Yates(11th) followed by Paul
Gibbings(22nd), Dan Clowes(37th), Dave Pearsell(39th), Paul
Burslem(53rd) and Dale Colclough(62nd).
Results from the Cross Country can be found
Dale Colclough who
took part in the XC on Saturday, scraped the mud off his shoes
only to muddy them up again the following day. Dale sent us this
Yesterdays NSXCL race was my first in
Trentham Colours for five years. It went as well as could be
expected for me and It was good to see the men's team finish in
third on the day following a great performance from the women's
team in winning the first fixture.
Then it was back to the fells on Sunday and an 150 mile round
trip down to Mid Wales for the Arenig Fawr fell race.
The fell race was 6.5 miles and 1800ft of climbing up rocky
ridges and down boulder strew moorland. A great race in
wonderful weather, but best of all and my main reason for taking
part in these races is
the 4quid entry fee included a feast at the end including 3
different home made soups ( as much as you could eat with bread
rolls) and then tea and home made cakes to die for, enough to
feed 300 and there was only 80 entries. You just don't get better
value for money and you really should try these events.
I was 24th, 3rd over 50 so not a bad day - Ex Trentham chairman
Steve Pyke finished 2nd.
Thanks for the report Dale and
well done once again!
A few Trentham members recently took
part in the Cologne marathon/Half Marathon in Germany. Having
Done the Cologne Half myself and experienced the amazing
atmosphere first hand I can say what a brilliant race this is.
There is a real cosmopolitan atmosphere and everyone seems to be
having fun, which goes with the nature of this wonderful
carnival city. It's also a really flat course which helps, and
everyone who went seemed to enjoy it.
Del kindly sent us this report:
Well having only just
got back from 2 weeks in Canada, I trotted off to Germany this
weekend to take part in the Cologne Marathon. Although I have
been to the City many times, I have never done the marathon and
so didn't really know what to expect. It turned out to be one of
the best events I have ever done and I absolutely loved it.
The route itself is flat but has lots of twists and turns which
add a few seconds here and there, plus there are cobbles to
contend with towards the end, but the crowd support is fantastic
and would even rival the support you get in London every year. I
had no idea what position I was in and with my knowledge of the
German language, I kept hearing shouts of 2nd lady, 5th lady,
10th lady etc etc. But positions didn't matter - I just wanted
to finish as a minimum and to dip under 3 hours - but if I could
run around about 2.52, I would be ecstatic!
I went through half way in 1.26 and was feeling pretty strong,
maintaining my pace and feeling confident. I overtook 3 ladies,
2 of which were African, but by the time I'd reached just over
20 miles, the lack of long runs for the past month and the jet
lag from my hols started to take effect and I began to struggle.
I ended up stopping a couple of times just to take on board
fluids as it was quite warm, but with such tremendous crowd
support, I didn't stop for long. Our race numbers had our names
on them which was a nice touch as throughout the final 3 miles,
I had people shouting "hup hup hup Adela" (my name is German and
it was so nice to hear it pronounced the way it's intended!). By
now, I knew that I would easily break 3 hours, but it became a
matter of by how much. In the end, I finished in 2.55.01 which
gave me 5th lady, 1st Brit and 1st in my age group. I was
chuffed to bits!
What I wasn't expecting to be told as soon as I crossed the line
was that I had to have a random drug test, and I was escorted to
a car and driven to a nearby hotel. I wouldn't have minded, but
I had taken anti-inflammatories as a precaution for my recent
foot injury, plus taken the usual imodium and whilst these are
classed as "Not-prohibited" on the banned substances database,
I'm getting a little paranoid that the next time you hear of me,
I'll be disqualified and be facing a 2 year ban from the IAAF.
I should also mention that Ken Bloor did the marathon and
finished in 3.23, whilst Adrian Pestell did the half and
finished in 1.33 - well done to both of you! Also, thanks to
Mick Hall from the Staff Moorlands for once again organising the
trip - as ever, the company was fantastic, and I personally had
a wonderful weekend.
Well done Adela, a fantastic result
and a really good performance which helps spread the name of our
great club! Thanks too for the great report and....Well done to
everyone else who took part as well!!!
Haven't had a race
report from Congleton as such but what we do know is that Jayne
Dickens had a great race to finish first Lady in a time of 1:26,
whilst Sarah Johnson on her comeback from Ecuador (who's going
to pick my bananas now?) also had a fantastic run to come 2nd.
Also a fantastic well done to Paul Burslem who had a brilliant
run and finished in a time of 1:20:59. Must be close to a PB?
Jayne tells me that
the race was really well organised and that she enjoyed it
despite the nagging injury she is carrying and stubbornness saw
her through to the finish, well done everyone who took part and
the Trentham results are below!
Coniston Trail Race
Stephen Burrows sent us this report last week, a
little late but as they say, better late than never! Thanks
On the 3rd October I
headed up to the Lake District for the final race in the
Lakeland Trail series which started and finished at John Ruskin
School in Coniston village. It is a 15km circuit along well
marked and marshalled footpaths and bridleways and takes in
panoramic views of Lake Coniston and the surrounding peaks of
the Old Man, Swirl How, Wetherlam and Dow Crags. The first 3/4
km is flat and those who didn't know what was to come stormed
off leaving me making steady but unremarkable progress. However
the flat soon turns into a steady and ever steepening climb and
although I've lost some of my uphill strength, I started
overtaking some of the more optimistic runners and this
continued all the way to the highest point which I reached after
about 500m of ascent. The 50 - 80mph gusting winds which had
been forecast had arrived and as we climbed we became more
exposed. Parts of the trail included fine grit and the winds
whipped this up into something resembling a sand blasting jet -
a run and free exfoliating beauty treatment rolled into one!
Underfoot conditions were generally good if you're used to off
road running but there is one short 200m section after
approximately 4km which only agile mountain goats or people like
James Walsh, the eventual winner and his Leeds club mates were
able to run. It's really only single file and more like very
easy scrambling than walking or running.
Reaching the highest point was a bit of a relief since as well
as blasting us with grit, the winds were blowing runners into
each other but there was still one more extreme experience to
come. On cresting the top we also rounded a sheltered bend
before being hit head on by the strongest winds I've ever had to
run in which almost literally brought us to a complete stop.
Fortunately this only lasted for a minute or so before we
dropped down onto a more sheltered part of the path. The rest of
the trail was relatively plain downhill 'sailing' although there
was still mud, loose stones, tree roots, some cold stinging rain
and Nordic walkers to contend with.
I enjoyed the race and finished ahead of some runners who would
normally be in front of me. My race time was only a few seconds
slower than my previous time over this course which was a good
weather run and overall I moved up two places to finish 34th in
the series. All in all, a good day and a series and race to
recommend for those of you interested in the challenge of hill
running without having to worry about navigating.
Cheers Stephen and well done on another successful race :-)
Birmingham XC League
The first round of the Birmingham
Cross Country League took place at Sennely's Park in Birmingham
at the weekend, with all 3 Men's divisions and the Ladies all
racing at the same venue. If you have never been before it is a
real spectacle as well over 1000 runners get mudded up to the
eyeballs (some quite literally).
The good news is that the Ladies
managed to get a full team out with 5 runners turning up on the
day (3 to count). It's the first time in a long time we have
managed to do this for the Birmingham races so let's hope we can
continue this for the other three.
Del has sent us a report, more of
which later, and further good news is that in the Cross
Challenge, part of the same event, in the Vets category Del and
Jo managed to come 5th and 6th respectively!
In the Men's race Trentham had a
fantastic day too and with 6 runners needing to count the
'blokes' managed to get 7 runners out on the day, with a
somewhat depleted squad we managed to come 2nd in division 3,
where we just missed out on promotion last season. With the top
3 teams going up Trentham Gents have put themselves in a
fantastic position just 16 points behind the leaders
(Leamington) and a long way clear of 3rd place West Bromwich.
Ian Yates led the way for Trentham
coming home in 5th place ahead of Paul Gibbings in 8th.Jason
Thomas and Paul Burslem came in 17th and 18th before Dave
Pearsell 24th and Sam Newton 36th finished the points scoring!
One important thing that shows in the results is just how
important to the team the other 'non-scoring' runners are even
without scoring points themselves, as Trentham's 7th finisher
took points of every team below them, by finishing ahead of
their 6th or even 5th runners thus reducing their score. I hope
we can build on this excellent start, so if you would like to
help Trentham win some silverware this year, then make sure you
turn out for the next race!
Men's results are
Ladies results for the League will be posted as soon as they are
Here is Del's Report:
For the first time
ever in Trentham Running Club's history, a full ladies team took
part in the first race of the Midland Ladies Cross Country
League which was held at Senneleys Park in Birmingham on
Saturday. The first race also incorporates the Birmingham Cross
Challenge which attracts quality competition from across the
country, with the top runners out for the prize money, but that
didn't deter our ladies, neither did the inevitable river
crossing which has made this course so popular in the past. We
managed to get 5 of us out, including 3 "Master" ladies which
meant we had both a full senior and veteran ladies team
finishing. These ladies were Adela Salt, Sarah Johnson, Jo
Donnelly, Debbie Thomas and Louise Clowes.
Throughout most of the race, Sarah was the leading Trentham
runner, whilst Jo and Del weren't far behind and kept swapping
positions every time they hit a hill! On the switch back, it was
great to see Debs wasn't too far behind, with Lou bringing up
the rear. The good news is that none of our ladies embarrassed
the club by falling in the river, and I reckon some of our chaps
could learn a lesson or two from us (Ryan?!) Although results
are not yet available (it usually takes a couple of weeks as
they have to work out the league positions as well!), Jo's mum
and dad counted us in as best they could, with Del finishing
around about 47th (a sprint finish to pass 2 opposing teams saw
Del pass Sarah in the finishing straight), 48th for Sarah, Jo
came storming through in 52nd, and then Debs and Lou weren't too
From a personal point of view, it was great to compete against
different clubs, and to raise the profile of our own club
elsewhere. It was also reassuring to have our Trentham gent's
team there who were taking part in the Birmingham Men's League,
and they were most enthusiastic in encouraging us around the
course and weren't all waiting at the river crossing willing us
to fall in! It was fantastic day out, and I'm looking forward to
the next one on 5th December. If any other ladies want to take
part, please let me know and hopefully we will get a full team
In the meantime, a massive WELL DONE to Sarah, Jo, Debs and Lou
- it wouldn't have been a team effort without you!
Thanks for that Del!
Great Cumbrian Half
Stephen Burrows was back in home territory at the weekend for
the Great Cumbrian Half marathon and kindly sent in this report:
hardly seems like a year since I last did this one and getting
out of the car having managed to find just about the last place
a busy car park made me wonder why I'd bothered! Strong gusting
wind and rain reminded me that the Lake District is often wet.
Huddling inside Carlisle Castle's courtyard didn't do anything
for keeping warm but the very crowded start did help. Almost
1600 people channelled under a portcullis meant to keep large
numbers out seems like a recipe for disaster but I used my local
knowledge to get near the front and got running without any
The course is scenic and more hilly than undulating with the
route climbing for about 5.5 miles from Carlisle before starting
to descend again in a series of ups and downs. My Garmin tells
me that there was about 750 ft of climb overall so not the
Potter's Arf but the gusting wind and showers did add to the
difficulty. At least this year no pace making bikes tried to cut
The winner finished in a time of 1:12:17 and I arrived a bit
later with a time of 1:35:34. This was less than a minute slower
than last year and given the strong winds and rain I'm happy
with that. The finishing line commentator described the
conditions as appalling but I wouldn't have gone quite that far
and did enjoy the race.
Thanks for that
Steve and WELL DONE on another great race!
Dale Colclough was
excused from the Birmingham Cross Country recently and instead
took part in the slightly less testing (whatever) Original
Mountain Marathon. If any of you have read about, or even taken
part in this Epic event then you will surely understand what a
tough event Dale has completed. Dale has kindly sent in this
The O.M.M The original Moutain
No Senneleys Park for me this week end as I had unfinished
business - Last years OMM was called off after day one following
the most testing conditions in the events history and reports on
the 10pm news of runners lost in the hills.
This years event was held in a very remote part of Mid Wales.
While not known for high mountains, it is more notorious for its
wild moorland, peat bogs and tussocks.
Steve Fenney ( Stone Masters) was my partner for the event that
insists on two person teams for safety. We had entered one of 6
disciplines - a score class that involves navigating round the
hill side and moors, visiting controls that are awarded points
for their degree of difficulty based on distance, height gain
and severity of the terrain. We were aloud six hours on day one
and five hours on day two to get back to the finnish. Failure to
be back in time results in reduction of points at two per
minute. Just to make it interesting your team has to be self
sufficent and carry all required for the overnight camp - tent
stove food etc. Out side help of any sort leads to
disqualification and it is compulsory to carry all relevant kit.
Having been ferried to the start on a coach, we set off at our
designated start time. Each team in the class setting off 3
minutes apart, so no following. From the start you are handed a
map with 30 or so marked controls. Having planned a route we
then set off for our six hours first day epic. The weather was
wet and windy to start, but mild so it wasn't long before we
were stripped down to shorts and tee shirts. The first three
hours went really well and Steve superb navigation lead us
directly to the controls. The terrain then changed from rolling
hills to bogs and peat hags and tussocks. The going was very
tough but we made steady progress.
Towards the end of day one we
had to cross a river in spait to gain extra points and were very
nearly swept away. A final battle to the over night camp in
heavy rain and strong wind got us back with 12 minutes to spare.
No shelter though until the tent was up ( well more like an
envelope ). Out of the 300 teams that started we were both
amazed to find our selves leading after day one. That did mean
we would have to be one of 20 teams in the chasing start on day
two and set out at 7am. After a sleepless night in our tiny
tent, we were brewing up at 5.30am and getting ready to go - The
pressure was on....
We got away to a good start and it seemed like we had a good
chance of making the top five. Then disaster, I slipped badly in
some peat hags and hurt my hip. I was limping badly and progress
became slow and painful. We battled on taking a low level route
back to the finish which meant missing out on vital points. What
a relief the finish line was. Following a compulsory kit check
hot soup and tea was laid on before the 40 minute bus ride back
to the event centre in Builth Wells. We dropped to 25th out of
300 teams due to my injury, but it didn't take away from what
was another very tough but enjoyable event in the mountains. I
recommend you all give it a go.
Its now Tuesday and the hip injury is improving, but it may be a
few days before im back at the club Hopefully I will be fit for
the next cross country.
Well done to all at Senneleys
Dale, thanks for that report and we all wish you well on your
recovery and hope to see you at Park hall in a few days time.