September News


 

The Exterminator

Dale Colclough, our very own fell running machine, decided to head up to Sheffield over the weekend to take on The Exterminator. Read Dale's report below to find out who won. (I know who my money is on)!

After a rear outing on the roads at Leek last week, it was back to the Fells this weekend. I am training to take part in this years OMM 2 day mountain marathon, so need plenty of long runs out across rough ground with plenty of climbing. The Exterminator fitted the bill, as you can guess by the name its a toughie. 16miles and over 4,000ft of climbing. The races starts and finishes in Totley village near Sheffield. Unlike the Belper Rugby Rover of a few weeks back the Exterminator is a navigational event. You are given 9 grid references ( check points) and its up to you to find the best route to each in a set order. We set off staight up Totley Fell a 1,000 ft climb to the Trig that also served as the last check point. No navigational nightmares today as I decided to risk following a local runner ( Dark peak ) who was running at my pace. Lots of ups and downs clambering off rocks from Stanage edge and across boggy moorland. The weather was great so no issues there either. I managed to get back in 2hrs 42mins in 35th place out of 160 starters. ( 5th over 50 ) Its very competitive this V50 cat.

A great event , but not one for the faint hearted.

Well done Dale, beat the exterminator hands down, read more about the exterminator here!


 

Wolverhampton Marathon & Half

A number of Trentham Runners set off for the Black Country on Sunday to take part in either the Wolverhampton Marathon or the Half. In the full Marathon Paul Burslem had a cracking race to come 10th overall and 1st in his age group in a time of 2:56:26. A really great effort by the Big man! Ken Bloor had a good race and finished in a time of 3:21:10. Mark Hughes finished in a time of 3:43:09
Paul Burslem has sent in the report below:

Once again I decided to do the Wolverhampton Marathon, I keep saying I only do it to make the numbers up for North Staffs, but must surely enjoy it after many a year of suffering in it. Looking at the map for this years race, it looked a twisty course taking in a few different places.
The start of this years was great and I was straight into my stride with Pat Hudson at my side, After a couple of miles I tagged onto a trio of SCH, which consisted of Mike Hatton, Nick Dunning and Pete M Jones. I wanted to run at a slightly faster pace than the lads due to the fact I know I will slow down later on. When we got to the twisty part of the course after around 4/5 miles we were still running together and then I started to pull away slightly.
At 8 miles I had my first gel and managed to give myself stitch!! Just had to keep running till it went, The SCH were just behind [I knew this because they were making monkey sounds!!] then I managed to drop one of my gels and started thinking.. not my day.
After a few miles I started to improve and started going past some of the tired half marathon runners. As the second lap started the first thing that hits you is the loneliness, so you have nothing to do apart from knuckle down and get stuck into it. When I got to the twisty part again you could see what is happening behind you, and I could see the SCH trio not far behind looking good [too good!]
When we got to 18 miles we had an extra small loop to run to make the marathon distance up, Just before 20 miles we got back to the original course and just behind was Mike Hatton followed closely by Pete M  Jones, I thought to myself just a matter of time!! Mike went past me at around 21 miles and I was getting my first touches of cramp in my calves, just got to keep going for the last five, At 22 miles a car nearly took me out and I pointed out the error of his ways [Mike heard this and looked back!] At 24 miles miles I could sense Pete behind me and I had to keep it together.
Going into the last mile I decided to boot it !! Got to finish and glad I had because there was a bloke just behind me. Star NSRRA runner has got to be Nick Dunning for taking around 40 mins off PB. Mike Hatton won v45 and I won v40 and got to shake the Majors hand with a bread roll shoved in my mouth.

Thanks for that Paul !!!

In the Half Marathon Del salt had a magnificent run to finish 1st Lady in a time of 1:23:59 (see report below) and John keeling also had a good run finishing in 1:28:25.
These are the only Trentham Results I can find, but if you know of someone else that ran or you ran then please let me know.....

With just 4 weeks until the Cologne Marathon, I was using Wolverhampton Half as a test of fitness to give me a realistic goal for the biggie on 4th October. I'd never ran the race before, but I'd heard that it was a little twisty turny (are they proper words?), with some undulations which to me translated as "not really a PB course" but I still intended to give it my best shot to get a decent time. My good friend Gareth Briggs once again offered to torture himself and run it with me and even though he's ran a 72 min half in the past, he didn't seem to mind plodding along with me, with the main goal being to run between 1.23 and 1.25.

I'd decided not to wear a watch today and just tried to stick with Gaz, letting him take me through the miles. It was actually quite nice not to be a slave to checking my pace, distance and time, and I could just concentrate on the running. I knew I was leading the ladies race as all the spectators kept kindly telling me, but around about 8 miles, the long drag of a hill started, the legs went like lead, and to top it all, a race official on a motorbike thought it would be nice to drive just behind us which actually became very frustrating.

Gaz was brilliant. He kept encouraging me up the hills when I wanted to ease back, he kept me chasing the chaps in front of me, he made sure I didn't go too fast, and he helped me to achieve what I set out to do - a sub 1.25 finish. It was even better than that though. With just 100 yards or so still to go, I could just make out the clock and saw that it was on 1.23.45 - could I dip under the 84 minute barrier? In a 100 metre sprint that wasn't quite as fast as Usain Bolt but which for me was bloody quick, I crossed the line in 1.23.59 (chip time) and 1st lady which I was absolutely chuffed about. The only down side is that they gave me and Gaz exactly the same time, but he finished 1 place ahead of me in 16th overall. I later discovered that the results were being done by two blokes - not that I'm cynical in any way!

Finally, well done to all the other Trentham runners who did the marathon today - you all did fantastic!!!

 

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The Glorious 6th....

Whilst some Trentham members were pounding the streets of Wolverhampton a few others were dispatched to other areas of the country to do battle in the good name of Trentham Running Club and these reports came in, firstly from Ian Yates who was running in the Lichfield 10K:

There were over 900 entrants for this 10K – so it was easily the biggest 10K I’ve ever run, and the pre-race atmosphere was similar to that of Alsager 5.

The race starts on the driveway of the local leisure centre – imagine nearly 1000 people starting off on the driveway to the running club and you get the picture.  OK for those of at the front, but I guess it would have taken a fair while for the back markers to cross the start line.

As we started, the sun came out from the clouds, so immediately we were in ‘dry-mouth’ category.  The first 4K is pretty much flat or slightly downhill, and leads to some pretty fast split times.  The ‘climbs’ start at about 4K as the race goes into quiet country lanes, and there was a lot of talk at the finish of the hill at 4K (I can’t for the life of me remember this hill though – how did I miss it, I know I did the same course as everyone else!)  The only climb that I did notice other than gradual inclines (well it was pretty difficult to miss even for me) was at about 7K, and it’s like the hill going up Northwood Lane from Whitmore Road to the Westbury Park roundabout.  That uphill was matched by a similarly steep downhill about 1K later though. 

The uphill at 7K started the point were I finally made some headway against those runners in front of me.  I thought I was pretty much destined to finish in 8th after the first half of the race, as I seemed quite some distance away from the front runners, and not making any ground on them.  The hill must have taken more out of them than me though, as I took two of them soon after the hill, and another one in the last kilometre (I apologised to him after the race for being so cruel to him).  7K to 9K takes you through a maze of housing estate roads and pathways that I’d have had no hope of finding my out of.  The final kilometre has you retracing your steps from the first kilometre along the A51 (now on the pavement after the police road block has been cleared).

I didn’t manage negative splits like last week, although I did manage to knock 12 seconds off last week’s time, to finish 5th in 34.35.  That’s a pretty standard 10K time for me, so I guess I must be nearly back to where I was before injury now.

One final surprise after the finish was to be greeted by Debbie Thomas.  She was gutted to have finished just 2 seconds over 42 minutes, but it’s an excellent time when you consider the injury problems Debbie has battled through this year, and shows that she too is heading in the right direction.  Debbie was 10th woman and 7th in her category – don’t be too hard on yourself Debbie!

All finishers got a goody bag with an apple, a banana, a bottle of water and a few Tracker bars (as well as a Bag For Live environment fans).  With a free t-shirt too, £10 is a bit of a bargain for another excellently organised race.

Results at http://www.ukresults.net/2009/lich10k.html

Thanks for the update Ian, and it seems there was more than first thought competing in the Lichfield 10k so the Trentham results are here for all to see ;-)

Position Name Time Pace
5 Ian Yates 34:35 05:34
74 Deb Thomas 42:02 06:46
127 Paul Bryan 44:50 07:13
139 Mel Dugan 45:27 07:19
140 Richard O'Keefe 45:27 07:19
732 Cynthia Warren 1:09:39 11:13
733 Paul Hinton 1:09:39 11:13

Next report comes in from Stephen Burrowes who was back in home territory of the Lakes for the latest in his fell running series:

 Derwentwater trail race:

It was yet another trip back to the Lake District this weekend except this time we didn't have our old house to return to since it's now under new ownership complete with its bats, swallows, house martins, woodpeckers, barn owls , buzzards, kestrels, green finches...

Last year's Derwentwater Trail race was cancelled due to "extreme weather conditions" although another runner who had travelled from Glasgow and I ran around the course together anyway having both made the effort to travel there specially for the race. We didn't find the conditions "extreme" although it wasn't easy going but the registration tent had been blown down during the night and there were a number of other health and safety issues which were not really course related.

This year there were a number of organisational changes and the weather was better although it soon became fairly obvious that there had been a lot of recent rain. The course has a variety of terrain. The first 3.0km is pretty level along the disused railway line – mainly a gravel bridle way and I took it fairly steadily passing the over-enthusiastic starters during the second and third kilometres. Once off the railway line, the course climbs for nearly 5 km with a height gain of around 2000 ft. The underfoot conditions varied from slippy grassy tracks, rocky trails, gravel bridleways and the "infamous Glendeterra Bogs" which were saturated and very heavy going. The trail is narrow in places for a couple of kilometres from half way, and there is a very steep drop on the valley side with polished stone underfoot. The marshalls were careful to warn runners and I did pick my way carefully over some of these stretches, slowing to a brisk walk at times. By this stage we were in light cloud, wind and drizzle and I wouldn't have liked to have stopped for any length of time in only a light vest and shorts but by this stage we were running down hill and I picked up my pace and started overtaking a few more people. However I wasn't as brave as some of those who just seemed to be hurling themselves down the steeper stretches of wet, slippery rock and gravel trail. The first year I ran this course I was a very enthusiastic downhill runner who went head over heels 2 km from the end and ended up having his cuts sponged clean of muck and dirt by a St. Johns Ambulance volunteer once I'd sprinted across the finishing line. I've been more tentative since then when descending.

I was content with my time of 1:16:23 and crossed the line in 130th place (35th in my age group) out of a field of over 400 whilst the winner was James Walsh (Leeds AC) in a time of 51:53. Vicky Wilkinson (Bingley Harriers) was the first lady (and 8th overall) in an impressive time of 1:00:07. I've now completed 3 out of the 4 in the series with the final race being the Coniston Trail on 3rd October and relatively speaking I do want to improve on my time and position so it's down to some more methodical training with regular hill work and more miles but I've said that before and not managed it!

Well Done Stephen and thanks for that great report!


Ipstones 5

A good number of Trentham Members turned up to race at the Ipstones 5 this weekend despite some other sporting action taking place elsewhere on the same day. There were a number of good performances. Ian Yates was top performer for Trentham coming second in a time of 28:50. Trentham results can be seen below whilst full results are available here.

Position Name Time
2 Ian Yates 28:50
12 Paul Burslem 32:30
26 Jayne Dickens 34:28
34 Ken Bloor 35:40
39 Stan Winterton 35:49
48 Stephen Burrowes 37:09
49 Brian Tonks 37:14
63 Walter Mosiuk 38:56
67 Terry Parton 39:13
70 Rose Wilson 39:18
72 Kerry Widdowson 39:37
87 Gerry Calvert 42:20
90 Don Brokes 42:38
114 Malcolm Rushton 47:33

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Other weekend action!!

On Sunday whilst most people were resting or doing training runs a few other members were out doing races and getting some fabulous results to the bargain!

One such member was Dan Clowes who went along to the Sandbach 10k (which used to be the Sandbach Super 6 I think). having done this race before I can say it's a very friendly local race on mostly flat quiet country lanes and the odd railway bridge for good measure. Dan sent in this report:

Attached are the results from the Sandbach 10k today. Jason Thomas and I ran for Trentham. Jason said he had too many Jack Daniels the previous night and didn't fancy a long steady run. So a flat out 10k would be better! Personally I don't understand his logic but he ran very well. I restricted myself to just the one bottle of wine the night before so had prepared well!
As we finished, Jason looked a bit pale, but he had obviously worked hard. It was his first 10k in quite a while.
I struggled in the last 3k, I think down to tired legs from a bike time trial on Saturday and the Silverstone Duathlon on Wednesday. Anyway 2 new PB's in a weekend can't be too bad. I think I'm ready for the World Duathlon Championships now. Bring on the Americans!

Well done Dan and thanks for the report.
See the full results
here!
 


Whilst Dan and Terry were doing the Sandbach 10K another member was heading in the other direction down the M6 and that was Paul Gibbings who was taking part in the Nuneaton 10. He kindly sent us this report:

I recently joined the Midland Masters and decided to run the Nuneaton 10 which incorporated the Midland Masters Championship. I was keen to run well so have been tapering off my training towards the end of this week and went down there hoping to have a reasonable run on what I'd heard was a pretty flat course.

There was a distinct lack of people I knew running there, I spotted Paul Davies from Centurion who is in my age group, and beat me easily in every Birmingham League Cross Country Race last year, but apart from him, everybody was strangers. Also I didn't have my Garmin so had to rely on the old fashioned method of looking at my stopwatch and hoping the mile markers were accurate to get a good idea of my pace.

I had decided to track Paul Davies and hope that he would drag me through to a reasonable time, and hopefully he would be quite high up in the V45 category. The first couple of miles were wind assisted and it went off pretty fast, didn't see the 1 mile marker, but went through 2 miles in 11:20 and 3 miles in 17:00, and was feeling pretty comfortable, not bad considering this was sub 57 min pace. At this point I was in 11th place just behind Paul, so decided to try and push the pace, unfortunately that was the point where we hit the headwind, the strength of which surprised everyone I spoke to after the race, so by the end of the first lap of 5 miles although I'd moved up into 9th place the pace had dropped, and I went through halfway in 28:55, which was slightly disappointing considering the earlier pace, but not too bad.

The second lap was all about position, rather than time, I could still see the runners from 3rd place onwards, mainly because it was long straight roads, but it gave me a bit of encouragement. It didn't however help me run any faster, and although I was most probably as close to the 4th place runner at the end of the lap, as at the start I didn't manage to actually overtake anyone, but no one caught me either. There was one runner I was gradually reeling in, and at 9 miles I thought I was going to catch him, but the last mile was a real struggle, and I finished 6 seconds behind him. All the way along that last mile I was trying to work out if he was 45 or not, and as it turned out yes he was, and he was first in our age group, so I was left kicking myself, and wondering whether I could have caught him with a bit more guts and determination.

I ended up with a time of 58:41 which was my fastest 10 miler of the year, so quite encouraging. Now to try and carry some of that form onto the cross country.

Thanks Paul and well done on another outstanding performance.

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Lake District Mountain Trial

Dale Colclough continues his Fell Running exploits with a MONSTER effort in the Lake District last Sunday (13th) and sent us this report in the week. It makes me tired just reading about it! Thanks Dale and keep up the FANTASTIC running that you are producing at the moment. I'm sure Dale won't mind me mentioning (he probably will) that he has recently turned 50,yes the big five 'O' and with the quality of his running at the moment he will surely be picking up prizes soon! Here is his report:

The Lake District Mountain Trial.

Sorry this report is a little late, but Sundays Mountain Trial wiped me out, hence not being at the club on Tuesday. What an epic. This was the 57th year of what is fell runnings' all time classic. The course is kept secret until the day. You are only handed a map marked with the 8 check points to visit at given point 5 minutes from the start. Setting off in 3 minute interval ( so no following on this one) the challenge is to navigate your self round 8,000 feet and 20 miles of mountainous terrain. The course is planned to allow for plenty of route options, making it not only physically but mentally very demanding.

Fortunately the weather was fine and clear, but as I picked up my map and looked in the direction of the first check point all I could see was a wall of bracken up the steep sided hillside in front of me. It took me 55 minutes to reach the first control having battle through very rough ground. This was in upper Esk Dale and the next control meant climbing up and around Scafel Pike. Lots of rocky ground and a further two check points and I had being going for 3 hours as I reached Allen Crag. A rule of the event is to be self-sufficient, you have to carry your own food and outside assistance would lead to disqualification. I was glad to have packed my light pack with plenty of snacks. Control 4 to 5 was an epic race in its self, I had to get from Allen Crag across Bow Fell & Crinkle Crags and down to the Wrynose pass before climbing back up another 2,000 ft to Swirl How. I messed this up and it took me 2.1/2 hours. Then it was a plummet back down in to the Dudden valley before climbing to the last control sited a knoll on a really remote bit of fell side. Then it was a crash back down rocks, heather scree and more bracken, before the relief of reaching the finish. 7hrs 44 mins was my time, some 21/2 hours behind the winner, in 64th place out of 140 starts and 100 finishers.
Take a look at my route map. I will pin it to the notice board on Thursday.

Interested in a go take a look at the Mountain trial site
http://www.ldmta.org.uk/

 

Well done Dale. I'm sure your epic adventures will continue to inspire us lesser mortals!

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Antrobus Cabbage Canter!

Trentham RC's intrepid explorer Mark Day set off for another race not too far away, but just off the radar for most Trentham runners. This time it was the Antrobus Cabbage Canter in South Cheshire and he sent us this report:

On Sunday I took the relatively short trip to Antrobus in Cheshire for the Antrobus Cabbage Canter. Its a really nice village location, and they hosted 3K, 5K and 10K races today. The latter was two pretty flat laps through the lovely Cheshire countryside. The sky was blue, the scenery great and all was set for a cracking run.
I'd lined myself up to go for a PB, and this added to my usual pre-race nerves. I cracked the first mile off in 7:03 and felt good, but decided to back off for the next couple of miles as I normally get naturally quicker in the last couple of miles and always have a good kick at the finish.
I had my sister, brother in law and niece supporting me today and passed them after 2.5 miles. Nicky waved me on from the halfway point which followed shortly afterwards.
Just after this, the back of my left knee and hamstring started to twinge again (I've been nursing it in the last couple of weeks). Time for the mental battle. Do I push on and risk injury or abandon the PB attempt and live to fight another race?
My rational side won through quite quickly and I backed off the pace (a little grumpily I admit). I enjoyed the second lap as much as I could, managed to resist pushing the pace and finished in 48:03. I collected my medal, t-shirt and cabbage and gave Nicky the usual sweaty hug (she loves it!!).
The finish was held in the local school grounds, and there was a really good community spirit around the organisation of this race. After the races were all done, there was a special event for all the kids that turned up to race or support - cabbage throwing!

Our niece Charlotte joined them and I very generously offered my cabbage. Said cabbage is now unfortunately inedible after having several leaves stripped from it, and having quite a heavy landing! I've not even been vegetarian for a whole week and I'm quite ashamed to say I've been part of such blatant cabbage abuse!
In summary, Whilst you can't ever guarantee the British weather, if anyone fancies a great, friendly run in the Cheshire countryside, this is one for your 2010 diaries. I'll certainly be back.

Nickys Refreshment Rating : 9/10
Weather : 10/10
Course : 9/10
Beginner Friendliness : 10/10
Momentos : Cabbage, T-Shirt, Medal

Thanks for that Great Report Makro, and well done on another great race! Please keep sending in the reports guys! :-)


Truro Half Marathon

What better way to start a holiday on the Cornish Riviera than with a Half Marathon?
I had the CRAZY idea that if I set off on my first day on holiday at 5am I just might get there in time to take part in the Truro Half, which I came across on Runners World. It seemed to have very good reviews and a new course the previous year so why not give it a go.

I haven't run in WEEKS at all apart from 3 very short runs (2 miles, 2 miles and 5k) which were part of Duathlons and Triathlons I had done recently. The reason I have not run is due to a niggling knee injury which just will not go away.

Wether or not I did run depended on what time I could get to Truro as entries closed at 10am for a 10:30 am start. After setting out at 5:45am, some 45 minutes late I was already way behind schedule and after passing through Exeter at 8:45 it was touch and go as to weather I'd make it. I arrived in Cornwall's one and only Cathedral City at 9:55 am and the warm up was a quick dash in my flip-flops to register. The race itself was chip timed and very well organised with 500 taking part. A bit pricey at £20 on the day, but decided to give it a go!

The race starts with the first couple of miles doing a loop around the city centre before heading off into the surrounding countryside. If you are aware of the countryside around Truro you will know that it is EXTREMELY hilly on all sides! As the race headed out of town into the rural lanes we climbed quite steeply for about half a mile, and I wasn't feeling too bad, and more importantly the leg was okay! I was in about 20th place at this point, but alas this wasn't to last. I was hoping that after the initial steep climb the majority of the race would be around the top of the surrounding hills, but no, it certainly wasn't.

Four times the race drops down into steep sided valleys with 4 ford crossings en route and then the resulting climbs out of the aforementioned valleys. I would say it is the toughest Half I've done and can only compare it with Meerbrook but for 13 miles. The finish is also similar, with a half mile decent into the City and a flat finish in the last few hundred yards.

Man was I glad to see the finish, my complete lack of running meant I was over the limit at around 8 miles and I had to resort to walking some of the steeper climbs. Runners were flooding past me on every climb and at the finish I hadn't the strength to respond as people made the dash for the line.

Finished in a time of 1:36 in 53rd position, my worst Half Result for a good while and clear evidence that training is everything! Well a demoralising start to the jolliday, but that was the bonus, a week of relaxing and plenty of time to forget it lay ahead, and another few pounds added that I won't be running off anytime soon!

x Ryan x


Racing Round Up!

No reports in for these races but several Trenthem Runners were in action elsewhere over the Weekend of the 20th.

First up is the Inaugral 'TARMAC 7' where Ian Yates finished a very creditable 3rd place in a time of 39:43 and led the way for other trentham Runners; Paul Burslem (43:55), Ken Bloor (48:42) and Mark Hughes (43:44). Well done to all those, and well done for suporting this new race on the running calender!

Next up were Walter & Chris Mosiuk who were taking part in the Bupa Great North Run. Chris finished in a time of 2:06:58 officially, but there has been a massive mistake somewhere. Chris actually finished in a time of around 1:36 and Walter hasn't even got a time recorded. Hope to update you on this soon so keep checking back. The good news is they managed to raise their target figure in sponsorship and you can still sponsor them now!


 


Jersey Marathon

Early reports are emerging from across the Channel regarding one of our Trentham Runners. Deborah Thomas recently left Blighty to take on the enemy on foreign soil, and one of the few carrier pigeons that has made it back alive, trusty 'Speckled Jim' carries the message that she is alive and well and put in a rather marvellous performance in the Jersey Marathon. Originally she was supposed to be joined in a crack commando squadron comprising other elite forces, but alas, they fell by the wayside leaving only Lieutenant Thomas to carry the standard.

Here is Deb's report from jersey:

“The Standard Chartered Jersey Marathon started at 9am from the east corner of Elizabeth Marina in St Helier, and myself and Jill Phillips arrived at 8am to allow an hour to prepare, warm up and calm down! The day had begun cool with sunshine appearing; a lovely autumn morning and quite perfect conditions for a marathon I thought. Whilst mooching around we were spotted by fellow club mate Mark Hughes who was looking very calm and cool in his sunnies and it was reassuring to see a familiar face. We then spotted some guys and gals from Stone MM who had also made the journey over the waters and had a natter for a little while. Time was ticking on (boom boom!) and I made the usual 30 trips  to the loo before diving under the rope to the start.
I stood near to Mark on about the 4th row from the front and we had a quick chat with a guy who was speed walking the whole race, as practice for an international event apparently. We were all nicely spread out and when the gun sounded we were straight over the line to begin with a small loop of the town before heading out onto the road. I managed to remain near the front of the pack as there was no pushing and shoving and I was looking forward to the run as it would be taking us around country lanes, a park and some coast line all in one run! By mile 2 I felt relaxed as the starting nerves had settled and I clocked 13 mins, which was a bit quick but I knew it would balance out with my usual slowing at the end.
Around this point I got chatting to a guy running next to me (Jay) who was from the Royal Engineers to raise money for Help the Heroes. At 4.5 miles we started to climb the so called ‘hill’ (a very gently climb of 300ft) which was looping around some small reservoirs and thankfully was under some trees so we were shaded. Next we passed the first relay change over point and the crowds gave us a loud cheer. After this we carried on along some gorgeous country lanes past some huge houses and farms. At some points we could even see the sea. By mile 10 we were joined by another runner, Michael, who was a Jersey man himself  and who had done the course a couple of times before so he was able to tell us what was coming up and point various things out; almost like a guided tour!
We proceeded along the country lanes and past another relay change over point, again receiving lots of cheers which provided a boost. Eventually we reached half way and we were all feeling good and enjoying the run. The pace was averaging 7 ½ min miling; quite sensible, but around this point Jay started to drop off slowly. However, me and my comrade carried on together and at mile 14-15 Jill appeared (having trekked from the start) to give us a shout and snap some photos! We then went on to some cycle paths along the road before entering a park. On one field sprinklers were sprinkling (!) and it was very tempting to go and run underneath! We refrained though as it would have added extra metres onto the race… From here we went back onto the roadside for a little while before going back onto the cycle path. There were lots and lots of water stations along the route, and from halfway Gatorade was also being offered. At mile 17 my tum gave a rumble so I took a bite of fudge (to trial it) which helped, though at first was a bit sticky in my mouth, but it worked.
At mile 20 we were still keeping good pace and within another ½ mile we were taking in a very much needed gradual decline for about a mile and a half. Michael then warned that the last four miles would be along St Helier promenade with gleaming sunshine, no shade and a head wind; oh ho! So on to the flat we went and it was a case of starting to work hard at it, in the hot sunshine and with a breeze.
I felt ok until 24 miles when I had to start dragging my feet along. We were spurred on a little by each other and also by the people sitting in the cafes or walking along the promenade. I had many shouts of “go on, girl power!” and at the point of ‘1/4 mile to go’ Jill appeared again, like a guardian angel, to shout at me to keep going (despite my protests!)
Toward the finish Michael had gained a short lead on me and when I saw the clock was ticking into 3.15 I was pleased to have achieved my target (3.15.40, not bad for a plod!). Michael had also managed to run a PB which was fantastic! Overall I was 28th out of around 300 runners and 6th lady. Mark Hughes followed us in with 3.40, which was a fantastic achievement as only 3 weeks before he had run the Wolverhampton marathon and had also done another couple of races before Jersey! In fact, he ran Jersey marathon 3 mins quicker than Wolverhampton! After a cool down run with Michael to loosen up, Jill and I headed toward the nearest pub (the Ha’Penny Bridge) for a shared bottle of pear cider, and kindly the staff were handing out free sandwiches, samosas and chicken kebabs; mmm!
We also bumped into the Stone bunch again (all with pints in their hands!). The presentation for the race wasn’t until 5pm so rather than bus all the way back to the hotel we walked along the beach and had a quick paddle in the sea; a lovely end to a fantastic day. I would definitely recommend this marathon to everybody and am hoping to go back next year. The course is very gently sloping and none of the route is boring so for enjoyment it is 10/10 in my books! Loved it!”

Well Done Deb, a great performance and thanks for the report!


Trentham Time Trial

The latest club time trial took place on Tuesday (29th Sept) around Wedgwood as usual. Many thanks once again to Richard who takes the time to collate the results and organise it. If you would like to take part in the next one it will be the last Tuesday in October. All are welcome to take part in a no pressure event!

Latest Results for September's Club Time Trial are here!


WALSALL 10K

Our illustrious adventurer Ian Yates set off south again this weekend to Walsall to take part in a 'Friendly' 10K. Is there such a thing? find out by reading Ian's report below:

When I got back to the car after the Lichfield 10K, there was a flier for the Walsall 10K under my windscreen wiper.  This caught my attention, as it’s my distance, and I was born in Walsall (even though I moved to Stoke when I was 2½ and have no memories of living there!)  So, on Sunday I went out of the local catchment area again.  I had my dad in tow too, as he decided to do the 5K run, to relive some memories of living there (the start of the race was only 500 metres from our old house). 

The race is advertised as ‘The Friendly One’ over a mixed terrain of ‘parkland, rural and urban stretches’.  What do they do to make this friendlier than any other race I wondered?  The pre-race atmosphere was certainly very relaxed, I think this was because there was also a family 3K walk as well, so it wasn’t full of runners stressing about injuries, colds or hills, but people with young children, pushchairs and grandparents.

When the gun went, it was to lovely blue skies.  The start is at the very top of the Walsall Arboretum, a large park with lakes, a golf course and lots of open parkland.  The first kilometre started off on a large field, turning into an unevenly surfaced car park (some of the stones were large enough to feel through thin soled racing trainers) before heading off onto the roads.  I led the race for the first half kilometre, before two Birchfield runners stormed past me, one of whom soon flew off on his own.

It’s very flat until the 3K marker, when there’s a significant 2 minute uphill pull.  A left turn at nearly 4K took me by surprise – we went off road, onto a trail path at the side of a farmer’s field.  So, when the entry form mentioned rural stretches, it didn’t mean country roads as I thought, but country paths!  While the terrain was still good, it still slows you down, and you have to be careful to step over tree roots etc, and there were lots of little twists and turns to negotiate.  At one of these I lost a few seconds, as one of the marshals wasn’t as clear as she could have been at which path to turn right at!  We were off road for about a kilometre, before we went back onto the road, but within another half kilometre we were back off-road again.  This time, it was a rutted field with no actual path – we had to follow a painted white line over ankle height grass to keep to the correct route.  This was definitely the moment to forget about fast times now.  The rutted path, ankle-high grass soon passes onto a large field, where we then ran down the side of many football pitches.  At 7K, we were back on the road, running alongside the 5K runners, who had been down a canal towpath.

There were a few gradual inclines now up to about 9K, but nothing too hard.  The last kilometre takes the race back into the Arboretum, following tarmac paths before the final finishing strait over the same field we started on.  I finished 3rd in 34.56 – not bad considering all the off-road elements.  The official results are currently wrong – it shows I came 2nd.  The race was actually won by James Trollope (who won the Lichfield 10K) in just over 32 minutes – he must have been too quick for the results team.  The results can be found at: http://www.rotary.org.uk/WalsallRun/10K%20results%2027%20September%202009.pdf

My dad did OK in his 5K race.  He only runs one race a year now (Dougie Mac 5K), and has recently turned 60, so I don’t think 33.38 can be scoffed at (although I do wish I could have beaten him even though I’d done twice his distance!)

Was it ‘The Friendly One’?  Well, it certainly was friendly, but aren’t most races…

Well Done Ian on a great result. It is magnificent to see you back in full flow after the injury so keep up the good work. Don't forget if anyone else has raced recently remember to send in your reports so we can all read how you get on. Just a few words will do if you don't feel like writing a lengthy report, which just remains to say, thanks to Ian for that fantastic report.

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Page last updated 06 October 2009

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