March 2010 News


Carding Mill Canter

News from the Fells on Saturday where a very lean Dale Colclough was again across the border in Shropshire taking part in the Carding Mill Canter. Dale has been kind enough to take the time to write this report:

Don’t be fooled – this race is no canter. 5 miles and 2000ft of climbing.

Den and I love the Long Mynd area. Its magnificent rolling hills and deep valleys are a haven for wild life and a must for any one who is in to the out door life. To combine this with our great passion for running is about as good as it gets.
84 runners assemble in the valley bottom, National trust car park. Strict instructions on the need to carry the correct kit and to report to the finish if retiring from the race are shouted out. ( Its vital that race organisers are not left with the concern that some one may be left out on the Hills ). Unlike road races it’s a quick shout of GO! that sets the runners off up the valley bottom. Within half a mile a sharp turn off the track, means that you have to negotiate a stream before looking up ( and up ) to tackle a steep climb up a rocky ridge that brings the field quickly to a hands on knees walk of 500ft.
The relief on reaching the first summit is immense. Next a contoured track follows the hill line for about a mile before you plummet back down to the valley bottom. Legs are screaming for you to stop as you cross the stream again at the valley bottom. 2.1/2 miles in to the race “half way” and crossing the track it’s another climb of 500ft to the next summit. Screaming calves and thighs for all at this stage. Across the summit it’s a dive down 200ft before climbing up again. Then there is another contoured path taking you to yet another heart breaking climb. Thankfully the last climb is done and a marshal stands at a taped turn with an arrow pointing over a drop that no right minded person would contemplate. The top runners are able to run down this steep gorge, most of us just slither or slide down on our back side or suffer knee wrenching agony trying to keep moving.
At the valley bottom its another leap of faith across the stream ( Photographer on hand ) before a ½ mile break neck run to the finish on an ankle breaking rocky path. The relief at the finish is immense. A miles jog back along the valley bottom to the car park. Tea, Soup and cake is followed by a very informal presentation. Bottles of beer or wine is the choice for category winners.

It was yet another fantastic day out on the fells. You really should try it. I ran on the road for twenty years, before finding the fells, where times and tarmac are now a thing of the past.

For the record I finished 9th and 1st V50 two over 50s were 10th and 11th so a great competition. Den won the LV45s race so bottles of beer and wine were opened this evening as a well earned finish to our day.

Well done Dale and many congratulations on your V50 win. Having done a few of these races I know just how hard it is to get a top 10 finish. There are no 'fun runners' in these events to make up the numbers so just to finish top half of the field is a great success. Keep it up mate!

You can find the results HERE, whilst you can see a picture of Dale during the event below. Thanks for the great report Dale :)


Cheadle Spring 5

The Cheadle Spring 5 took place on Sunday 7th March in mild conditions considering the cold wet spell we have had lately. Tom Humphries won the race in a time of 23:47(ish) whilst other mere mortals finished 3 minutes behind! A good number of Trentham Runners were out for this one including Del Salt who has kindly sent in the report below! Don't forget folks this is your website and it is only as good as the contributions we recieve so if you have done a race PLEASE send in a report, even if you think we might not need it:

The Cheadle Spring 5 took place on Sunday in perfect running conditions with no wind, cool temperatures and glorious sunshine. Team Trentham had a fantastic day and seemed to come away with the bulk of the prizes following some superb performances from the team.

Star of the day was young Sarah Johnson who not only won the ladies race, but also ran an excellent PB to just dip under 30 minutes to win in 29.57 – well done Sarah! Our other lady was Adela Salt who was running her first road race since early October. Del was way off her PB with 31.44 but finished 4th lady and won the 1st LV35 prize.

The gents also had some excellent results, with Ian Yates finishing 4th and Paul Gibbings 5th, both ahead of some pretty good Moorlands runners. Paul Burslem and Rob Tabbanor kept Sarah company for part of the race, and both dipped under the half hour to come away with 1st place in their age groups. Stan Winterton was another of our prize winners, and with Alan Lewis and Ken Bloor also having good runs, it was certainly a successful day for Trentham.

Well done to all of you, and hopefully we’ll see some more good performances by our ladies and gents at the inter-counties cross country champs next Saturday, and the Stafford 20 on Sunday.

Trentham Performances

4th     Ian Yates                27:28
5th     Paul Gibbings       27:45
14th   Paul Burslem        29:45
15th   Rob Tabbanor      29:54
16th   Sarah Johnson     29:57 (1st Lady)
25th   Del Salt                 31:44
35th   Stan Winterton     33:23 (1st MV60)
56th   Ken Bloor              36:06
60th   Alan Lewis            36:48
119th A. Greensmith      44:43

Full results for the race can be found here!

Cloud 9 Hill Race

Whilst most competing Trentham runners were at Cheadle, 2 of our number headed off in the other direction for the trails and tracks around Bosley Cloud for the Cloud 9 hill race. Having done this last year myself I know what a toughie it is, but at the same time very friendly and enjoyable. One of the Trentham runners taking part was Stephen Burrowes and he has kindly sent in this report:

It was a beautiful day for the run up to Bosely Cloud and after a very cramped start on the disused railway line I started to work my way through the field. I don't like to start too near the front but on this occasion maybe I could have been a bit further up. That would have saved trying to get past the gossips who were out for a Sunday morning easy run and blocking the path by running 2 abreast. After the gentle incline of the railway line it was into more serious stuff and I wasn't losing ground on people at this stage either and passed a number of people who normally run at a very similar pace. On reaching the top, I felt pretty good and decided to push on a bit and passed a few more people. I didn't notice the Bridestones although I did spot some rather fine looking quarried sandstone in what looked like a farmyard. This came after a rather nasty little climb across a field and onto a sandy track. At this stage I guessed that a few leg muscles would be playing up in the days to come and I've not been 'disappointed'. According to my Garmin, there was over 1500 ft of ascent in the 8.9m course so I guess that counts as a good hill training session.

I kept moving on fairly briskly on the way down and overtook a few more people with only one person getting past me and picked up the pace for the final few hundred metres just to make sure that no one was able to speed past at the last moment. I finished with a time of 1:13:20, the winner being Simon Bailey of Mercia Fell Runners (52:10). I was quite happy with my performance and it was a lovely day to be off road. The only drawback was that Trentham had turned out in force somewhere else to monopolise the prizes so well done to all of you for your efforts on the road and to Dale for his performance on what sounded like a very challenging off-road course.

The other runner taking part was Kiri Johnson who finished in a time of 1:23:49 so well done to you both. Results for the race can be found here!


Intercounties Cross Country Championships

This Saturday saw the Inter-Counties XC championships held in Birmingham where several Trentham Ladies were competing. Del Salt has very kindly taken the time to again send in a report so thanks for that Del:

The inter-counties cross country championships bring together the cream of the crop in terms of cross country running, with all the best XC runners from across the country coming together to see which county really is the best. This year, the championships also incorporated the World Cross Country Trials, so the standard was going to be high in all the age groups.

Held at Cofton Park in Birmingham on a rather undulating but dry course, 2 Trentham ladies did Staffordshire and their club proud with some pretty good performances.
Following her superb victory in the Cheadle 5 last week, Sarah Johnson ran in the Under 20's ladies race, and despite feeling a little heavy legged, she had an excellent run to be 2nd Staffordshire counter and finished around about 34th in the race.

In the senior ladies race, the likes of Gemma Steele, Hatti Dean and Steph Twell were in the line up and it proved to be an exceptionally good race at the front. At the back end of the field, it was Adela Salt's turn to see what she could do, and she ended up having a pretty good run to finish 147th and 6th Staffordshire counter, with the senior ladies team finishing in 14th position on the day. It's also worth mentioning that Jo Donnelly and Lynne Callaghan had also been selected to represent Staffordshire, but unfortunately they were both unable to make it.

It was a fantastic day out, and the nice thing about the inter-counties is that you get to represent your county team with people from other clubs that would normally be your rivals, but the team spirit and support is still second to none - so well done and thanks to all the runners from Staffordshire for their support yesterday!

Well done ladies and once again, thanks for the report Del x


Stafford 20

Sunday 14th saw the annual slog around the Weston area of Stafford for the Stafford 20 mile road race. There were a number out for Trentham including Del Salt who finished as 1st Lady (the day after cross country) and also a Ladies team made up of Sarah Johnson, Rose Wilson and Debbie Thomas. The ladies team came 2nd behind a very strong Moorlands team. There was also Paul Burslem who seems to love this one, Ken Bloor, Trevor Goodwin, Jill Phillips who won LV45 cat and Julia Race.

Paul Burslem has kindly sent in this report:

For a change this year I was not looking forward to the “20” as I had had a niggly knee,Wife suggested I did the first lap and play it by ear. Saw all the usual suspects in the reception area,and even give Jill Phillips a bit of running advice[think it was something like “get a grip”] As the race started I told a few people new to the race to watch out on the lap round the campus,as its easy to trip.

Soon we were making our way up bingley bank  and just starting to bang a rhythm out,going down the steep drop into Salt I coasted down the hill to save my knee,then we made our way out of Salt and went up a couple of testing rises.We had  a fairly down hill part then till the main road at the RAF base, A couple of runners come past me here [Mick Haire and Paul Davies]

As we got on the long drag to the campus we had the wind behind us to provide a couple of easy miles. As the 2nd mile started the wind seemed to get stronger and by the time we got on the road past the caravan site it was making for hard running [Mick and I took it in turns in the front] Half way through this lap I began to lose touch of Mick and Paul, but got by Paul for the start of the 3rd lap,

Now it was just a matter of survival ,with 16/17 miles in my legs I could really feel the wind and was just glad I wasn’t one of people that I was lapping who would have to come around again, The wind behind me for the last 2 miles was a blessing !! Managed to finish 2.12,down on last year but not bad considering. Knee went stiff after the race, but that was cured by ice and cider !!

Star Trentham performance of the day must go to Del, First lady after doing XC the day before  !!!

Thanks for the report Paul and well done yourself!

Full results can be found here!


Nottingham KILOmathon

New TRC member Danny Bowman recently did the Nottingham - Derby Kilomarathon which is 26.2 kilometres rather than miles and he took the time to send in this report:

I signed up to this race before Christmas because the organisers touted it as the first race of it’s kind, the first metric marathon. 26.2 kilometres (16 and a half miles in old money) running from Nottingham University to Pride Park in Derby. As the race drew nearer however, I started to regret entering as it was logistically a bit of a pain. I had to drive to Derby, then get a lift to Nottingham, then run back to Derby and drive home. Also, with this being the inaugural running of the race I anticipated there might be a few teething problems, especially since there were some 4200 runners.

I got up at 5am in order to get to Nottingham in plenty of time (including the car change over) and it actually went really smoothly. I arrived at the race start area with over an hour to spare. I did the usual stretching, drinking the ‘ode Powerade etc then ventured off for a wee. Now this was a bizarre experience. The urinals were big obelisk type things that men stood around and wee’d upon, in full view of all the other racers and spectators! Having a wee while a family of five walked their dog nary two feet away disturbed me. I made eye contact with the dad briefly, he just looked at me disapprovingly and carried on.
Anyhoooooo onto the race. A well organised start, lots of runners but chip timing so it wasn’t a problem. I was aiming for 2:15 but I passed 10k in 46:30 which is only a minute of my current PB (though I haven’t run a 10k since joining Trentham, and I hope to beat that at Muller) and I passed the half marathon point in 1:43, again not far from my PB. I was amazed to see ahead of me, a fellow Trentham runner! I caught up and introduced myself and learned that his name was Neil. (Hi Neil!)
I realised that I might be able to duck under 2 hours 10 minutes if I got a wriggle on so for the last 2km I sped up and I sprinted across the line in 2:08:18 which I was really happy with! The medal and the goody bag were excellent too but everything was emblazoned with multiple Union Jacks and as a result, when I put them on I’m instantly transformed into a bloke called Kevvo who’s got nine kids, all of whom he takes to the corner shop with him when he goes to pick up his single tinnie of Tennants super at 9am on a Tuesday morning.
All in all, it was an amazing day, very slick organisation, great value for money and I’m the 711th fastest kilomathon runner of all time!

Well done on becoming one of the first runners to complete a kilo-mathon Danny. Incidentally the other Trentham runner was Neil Middleton who finished the race in a time of 2hrs 8mins 37secs so well done to the pair of you, and thank you Dan for the report.

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Ironbridge Half Marathon

Dale Colclough wasn't running this weekend so instead went along to cheer on 3 other Trentham Runners in the Ironbridge Half Marathon. Dale has sent us in this report for which I offer my thanks:

The Wilmslow and Stafford events were both over subscribed and so Carl, Christine and Richard all entered Iron Bridge. Carl and Christine are both entered for London so wanted a half marathon as part of their preparation.

Although the coarse is described as traffic free I don’t think any of us expected what in effect was a trail race for a good part of the distance. Saturdays rain meant muddy tracks and puddles to negotiate as well as some narrow stiles. Along with this the coarse starts in Telford and drops down in to the Ironbridge gorge at Coledale before climbing back to the finish. PBs were out of the window, but this is made up for by a beautiful and scenic route. I followed the race route on my road bike which wasn’t a good idea as I was sliding around through the mud and puddles however it did allow me to follow the race from start to finish. The race was won Andy Davies (international fell runner) in 1hr 12.10 - Carl finished in 1hr 28.15 , Richard 1hr 34.15 and Christine 1hr 37.10 all great performances on a very demanding coarse – I would say that their times would have been a least 3 minutes quicker had they have ran at Stafford. Well done to all three of you.

Well done to the three of you and once again thanks for the report Dale.

Results can be found here!


Stafford Half Marathon

The Stafford Half Marathon filled up it's subscription a long time ago so those fortunate to get in on time had some wonderful running conditions when they arrived in Gaolgate Street this morning. Among the were Ken Pearson who had a fantastic run and is really hitting form at the moment, and Kathryn Ambrose who was hoping to get under the 2 hour barrier. They have both sent in fantastic reports so here they are, Ken's first:

I was disappointed with my Stafford Half time last year which was 1:51 or so. Despite the various comments about my appearance on Thursday evenings I persevered and the three runs a week obviously made a difference. I had an extra bottle of London Pride on Saturday evening as a final training event followed by the Day Nurse capsules for breakfast on Sunday to combat a serious case of man flu.
I decided to aim at 1:45 so the pace needed to be 8 min per mile, dead easy to follow as my running watch wont do the split times as the button fell off somewhere in Stoke a month ago, I haven't bothered with another watch and my old one doesn't always work properly.
Usual Stafford procedure, shave and trim my beard, decide what to wear, favourite socks, shorts, Loughborough half marathon tee shirt from 1990. Drive into town and take the Trentham 10 entry forms to the help desk, collect tee shirt and medal, have a chat with a few other runners, go back to car to drop of stuff and collect timing chip. Back to start and discuss race plan, bump into my godson on his first half marathon, 1:35 expected time!!
Took a full minute to get through the start which is a bit annoying as are the slow runners who insist on starting at the front, so I have to work my way round them. I quite like the detour up and down whatever road it is, 1st mile in 7:46, bit quick really, second mile in 7:26, well too fast. Godson passes me up Radford Bank exchange a few words but he's gone. Picked up water at 3 miles and squirted godsons parents with it at Baswich Lane, ran past the end of our road but Caroline not out to cheer me on as the cleaning takes priority on Sunday mornings. Did miles 3 and 4 in 16 minutes as watch refuses to time split at 3 miles. Nice run down to Milford and 7:37 to mile 5. Nice run along to Tixall but its depressing seeing the runners at the front over a mile ahead. Watch will only works every two miles now and I lose a minute up the Tixall Bank. I'm dead on target at 64 minutes at 8 miles, starting to enjoy the run. Lee is 100 m in front and the Sunflower is nowhere in sight. Steady run past the Crematorium and onto Beaconside, watch still only recording every two miles and I'm losing about 10 seconds a mile off my schedule. Lee still 100 m in front. The miles seem to be going by quite quickly and we're onto the old railway line, had a chat with a paramedic here last year then my legs gave up. No problem this year and I catch Lee at 11 miles at 1hr 30. I don't really like the last mile as its all over the place and I like to run at a steady pace, my legs feel tired as well but there's no sign of the Sunflower or the Dalek. Not a bad run through the park and onto the winding bit through the town centre. Something like 400 m to go and I hear the crowd cheer on the Sunflower who is catching me, tired legs respond for a change and I manage to keep in front of him (it). Cross the line at 1:46: 30 so with the 1 min to get to the line that's 1:45:30, only 30 seconds behind schedule. Minimal queue to be dechipped, no queues for water and bananas. Have a chat with Chris and Dan then go to see where Walter and Katherine are. No sign of them but see the Dalek.
I quite enjoyed the run, good time and my legs don't hurt, even manage a jog back to the car. get back home to be greeted by the usual one tee shirt in one tee shirt out rule but avoid making a decision. Put medal in the medal box but get distracted and search for earliest medals, Hempstead Valley Half in 1984 and Epsom Half in 1985, try to find results of these races on the internet but give up.
Another good race and I'm going to enter a few more this year.

Well done Ken, and also well done to Kathryn. Here is her take on the event:

Well, seeing as this is the first time I've raced for AGES, I thought I'd better send in a report in honour of the occasion. The conditions were perfect today for a great race, and I have to say I was impressed with the improved organisation at the finish area (which left much to be desired last year). This race filled up very quickly, and it is easy to see why - a great course, reasonably priced compared to some of the other half marathons and you get a medal AND a T-shirt. Not that I'm swayed by that sort of thing...

Was very pleased to have some guaranteed company for the race, as Walter had agreed, for his sins, to help me to crack the sub-2 today. Sadly, it wasn't to be - I'd missed most of last week's training with a heavy cold, so wasn't hopeful. Gave it a fair go and was on target pace until about 6 miles, but then I really started to suffer for the brisk start and it was a battle to keep going. Through the heavy breathing and general snottiness, I tried to persuade Walt to push ahead, but he wasn't having any of it and stuck with me to the bitter end! I definitely would've given up without his encouragement. As it turned out, it was my second fastest half ever, and I'm really pleased with the fact that I kept going when I really really wanted to give up. Only 4 mins down on my PB, so can't be bad.

A huge well done to the rest of Team Trentham out today. Too many awesome performances to mention as ever, from Kiri, Kerry, Rose, Chris, Dan and Lee (I think it's Lee, anyway, the taxi driver who runs with my group!) but I should single out Sarah Johnson, who came in second lady with a superb 1.24. And Ken Pearson had a great run to finish in 1.45, which I know he'll be really pleased with. And Stan Winterton won the V60 again - truly awe-inspiring.

Now all I have to do is watch out for the bad photos on Alan Dale's website - the one at 3 miles I am NOT looking forward to seeing!

Well done Kathryn and thanks for the report. Just had another Stafford Half race report land on my desk from Chris Mosiuk. It really is like busses this is, you get nothing for ages then 3 turn up all at once. Here is Chris's report:

Stafford Half was my first race of the year, and my first half marathon since setting a PB at Congleton in October. Having not clocked up a great deal of mileage since then due to a knee injury I wasn’t expecting anything special but believed that 1:40 was achievable. I hadn’t run the race before, but having worked in Stafford for nearly 8 years I was familiar with the course.

I made my way to the back of the pack with Kiri and my dad, observed the minute’s applause for the late David Barlow and set off after a quick chat with my old P.E. teacher. I definitely started too far back, getting caught up in a lot of traffic for the first mile. It only set me back about a minute but in the same breath prevented my usual trick of flying out the blocks and struggling after 5 miles!

After 3 miles and running up the Radford bank I felt surprisingly comfortable. I passed Ken and looked for the next green vest to drag myself along. I couldn’t find one until 6 miles when I spotted 4 within a hundred meters or so of each other. I was enjoying the race rather than punishing myself for a change, and where I would normally begin to tire I felt as strong as the early stages.

Miles 7 and 8 were the most difficult, largely due to the strong wind blowing in the wrong direction. 9 to 10 seemed to fly by, considering Beaconside is a long, relatively straight road. On to the railway track my legs were tiring and I could feel my knee starting to give me a little bit of grief, and it showed that I’d not done the distance for a while. The runners around me pulled me through back to the town, all of them in good spirits.

I finished the course in 1:37:33 and 244th/160 (chip time) which was pleasing, really enjoyed the course and the race. It sets my up nicely to break my personal goal of under 90 minutes this year. Well done to all the other Trentham runners who took part, especially Sarah, but unfortunately most of you missed out on hot soup, crusty bread, a bacon bap and brew all for £2 in Oddfellows Hall! (Good spot Kiri!)

I was really pleased to be back racing, and nice to get my first points on the board in the Trentham Premiership!

Thanks for that Chris and folks; Keep Em' Coming!!!!

Results for Stafford Half are here!

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Lynne's Fortnight

Many runners will know Lynne Callaghan is training for her Marathon. This weekend Lynne sent in these race reports which were part of her training programme. Never one to worry about going out of the area it is nice to read these reports to give us an insight into other races than the local ones we all know and love (and hate)!!!

Firstly she took part in the Trimpell 20 and the following week, not satisfied with that took on the Ashby 20. Here are Lynne's reports:

Last weekend i went off to Morecombe to do Trimpell 20 a nice little 20 miler along the lovely River Lune. The race has changed a little bit from when I last did it about 5 years ago but is still very pleasant. I ran it just for a change to the usual 20 milers around Stoke in the build up to london and was hoping for 2:29. Within about 50 meters a very nice chap from Wilmslow RC joined me and we ran together chatting for about 5 miles, him seemingly oblivious to the pace we were running, but me in panic mode! I told him to run on as the pace was too quick for me and off he went. We'd exchanged war stories of niggling injuries - mine a terribly painful hamstring that had decided to appear only 3 days before the race and his, tendonistis in his foot. The race is 95% flat which I thought would be great but it was just relentless and just meant there was no opportunity for a breather. Really great marshalls and good water stations although those tiny plastic cups... don't get me started on those... Anyway, at about 13 miles I saw Wilmslow-Man up ahead stretching at the side before running off again. Mile 16 and he was in trouble - shoe off massaging his foot. I gave him a tap on the back and told him to take it steady. The last 4 miles, it has to be said, were torturous - out and back and then around a running track TWICE to the finish! Disappointed with 2:31 finish as 5 years ago i'd finished in 2:30 - age? I couldn't find Wilmslow-Man at the end but checking the results, he was only about a minute behind so hopefully his foot will be fine. My hamstring was sore that night but then totally disappeared - mysterious...

This weekend I went to Ashby-de-la-Zouch for the Ashby 20 - this is definately a great race I would recommend to everybody's 2011 calendar. Supurb marshalls, 8 drinks stations in total - all with BOTTLED water (!), sponges, jelly-babbies, vaseline, chocolate (if you can stomach it) and Hi5 gels. Its a pretty race in rural leicestershire run on 2 undulating laps. For the 2nd week running I was joined by a perky chap, this time from Telford aiming for just under 3 hours but insistant on running with me, good on him I say! Made the same stupid mistake as the week before and went off too quickly - my pace judgement is virtually non-existent nowadays! I'd decided I was going take it steady and just do a 2:40 as the hills are tough on the 2nd lap, but I was feeling quite good and the miles were ticking past nicely. This was a chip timing race too which, for a normal 20 made a nice change. By mile 18 I was still feeling ok and was running past lots of people who were starting to feel the heat when some nice chap warned me to beware of the hill at the end. Thankfully the hill wasn't too bad then into a field and 400m on wet grass to drain the last bit of energy from you. Finished 2:30 which I was pleased with given the much hillier conditions then the previous week. Don't know if Telford-Man got sub-3 as he forgot his chip! One and only criticism of this race is 5 portaloos is NOT enough for nearly 1000 runners!!

Thanks very much for the great reports Lynne and well done. Remember folks this website belongs to you and if you have done any race please let us know about it so we can all share in your success!

Cartmel Fell Race

New member Nick Dickens was recently forced into doing the Cartmel Fell race because of his, shall we say, frugal wife who is currently recovering from a foot operation and was unable to run herself. Rather than waste the entry fee someone HAD to do it!!! Nick kindly sent us this report:

Jayne entered this race a while back but due to the her left foot, sorry, wrong foot, I mean right foot being the bad foot still she couldn't do it so rather than lose her £20 she said I'd have to do it. 18km(11.25miles) in length, the longest race I've done was 10 miles in the Flying Fox back in 2004 so this was going to be unchartered territory for me, all off road with a bit of tarmac in between.
Race started at 1pm so there I was in the rain on the start line 5 minutes beforehand eyeing up the opposition then noticed a distinct lack of fell running whippet like competitors, weird...
The gun went off and so did I. There was about 6 or 7 guys just in front of me for the first mile and I stuck with them then the course started going up hill, I gradually went past them all and caught the 1st placed guy up, I ran with him for a few yards then he started to fade away as the hill kicked up again and again, there was a fair few hills in the first few miles and I increased the gap with every one. By this time the rain had faltered though it was a bit breezy on the fells and I was out in the wilds with only sheep for company...

As the race went on I started to think of a possible victory then thought, 'No Way!', someone is bound to catch me up and give me a good hiding on the fells, periodically I did look behind but never saw anyone but still kept the foot on the throttle as much as I could just in case someone was on the way. The course wound it's way through the moors, up and down hill, through some woods down narrow single-track, rocks and mud, a proper off road runners dream, I loved every second of it, you had to really concentrate on your footing to make sure you didn't go over and it really kept you on your toes.

The last 2 miles was mud, more mud and even more mud and some more undulations then a nice stream crossing with a lurking photographer.
I eventually emerged from the mud in the woods to come out on the home straight into the race course, I couldn't help but feel like Red Rum or Shergar at this point and stormed (ahem) over the finish line in 1:25:51. 2nd placed finisher was over 6 minutes behind.

It was only after the finish I found out that Jayne had entered herself into the Challenge race, a kind of fun race, same course and distance as the fell race at 2pm which the fell running whippet types entered but this one had no prizes (other than the T shirt and sticky toffee pudding which the daughters have stolen) :-( had I entered this race I'd have placed 22nd. Results aside it was an excellent course, easily the most enjoyable race I've done, the only one where I will ever taste victory, and certainly the longest too, I'll be back for more, the Staveley race in June is looking tempting as is Coniston...

Well done Nick! A great result, and to finish 22nd in a long fell race takes some doing! I'm not sure your description of the 'Challenge' race as a 'Fun Run' is up to the mark either. Well done on winning it, there's no fun runners in Fell racing!

Keep 'em coming in folks..........!


Milford 21

Fresh out of school after passing her Level II Athletics coaching course, Del Salt decided to take on a somewhat less daunting challenge by running the Milford 21. Anyone who has done this race will testify as to what a grueller it is (me included) and it is far from a scenic stroll across the Chase. Del sent us in this report:

This year saw the 40th anniversary of the Milford 21 - a lovely low key off-road race of 21 miles across Cannock Chase with some hefty hills and a couple of "river" crossings. Off-road + hills = avoid like plague, in my eyes, but with great organisation, a friendly atmosphere and with it being a long one, the appeal of this race is too great to avoid it.

In past years, Trentham have had good representation at this race, and with it being the first race in the club off-road champs, I was expecting to see lots of green vests and smiley faces. The smiley faces were there, and although some of the vests were familiar, I didn't spot a single "Trentham green" anywhere, and many of the others were alien to me. I had a chat with a few peeps from the other local clubs, and then our own Mark Hughes came wandering up the hill. Unfortunately due to injury, Mark couldn't compete, but he gave me loads of encouragement out on the course, so thanks for that Mark!

I didn't really want to race today, and just wanted to use it as a long run in preparation for the Chester Marathon at the end of May, but then who should appear but Michelle Clarke from Telford. Michelle is lovely and has really improved over the past few months, and even though I kept telling myself not to race, the competitive athlete in me kept rearing it's ugly head to say GO FOR IT!

Michelle and I ran together for the first couple of miles, but as soon as the hills started she pulled away, and for the next 10 miles I could see her running strong, about 200 yards ahead of me. I started to gain on her at about 15 miles, but didn't want to go past as I really would end up in race - and of course, I wasn't here to race. Starting yet another climb, I spotted Mark again, and he said that Michelle had got about a minute on me and that I could close her down, but still I was cautious as I knew there were more climbs to come. It was then I made my decision - what the hell, a race is a race and so I picked up the pace. I over took a few chaps in my pursuit of the leading lady and they urged me on, and finally, at about 18 1/2 miles I caught Michelle and went past. We said a few words to eachother, Michelle saying she knew I'd come past eventually, and me saying she would catch me again on the next hump, but now my mind was focused, the body was following, and I was opening up a gap.

I knew the final hefty climb was about half a mile from the finish, and although I had now opened up a considerable lead, I knew I was rubbish on hills and that it wouldn't take much to be caught and be out sprinted at the finish. Half way up the hill, gasping for breath, I asked a couple whether Michelle had started on the hill yet - she had just reached the bottom and was making good progress! Damn. I started to run again, and managed to get to the top, and from there it was gently undulating with a good downhill to the finish, so I ran like a crazy wild animal to finish as the winning lady - YAY!

I have to say that it was great being in a proper race after such a long time, where it really is a mental and physical test against your competitors. Michelle finished strongly, about a minute behind me, knocking an amazing 15 mins off her best time for that course. What's really nice is that after all that, we still shake hands and share a cup of water together, have a laugh and joke, and have utter respect for eachother. My next long race is likely to be the South Cheshire 20, and guess who else is planning to be there??!!

Well done Del and thanks for the report. I'm not aware of any other Trentham Runners taking part in this race either so good on you for representing the club so magnificently!


Prague Half

The final report of a really busy March comes in from Stephen Burrowes who was over in Prague on Holiday and also to take part in the Half Marathon as well. Sounds like Stephen had a great time and a great run too as you can read below from his report:

Having arrived in Prague a few days before the race it seemed a shame not to walk around and take in the sights especially since the weather was so good so a fair few miles later I was thinking that this wasn’t really the best kind of preparation. Still the visit was meant to be a holiday not just a chance for a race. It’s a beautiful city and I would highly recommend it. Our hotel was quiet, clean, friendly, good value within ½ mile of the start line so what more could you ask for?
With over 6,000 running on Saturday, the race start was quite crowded but well organised. Getting into numbered start area early meant hanging around again after the warm up but at least it put me ahead of some, if not all, the slower runners. I had intended running with the 1:30 pace setters as much as possible, but they were just too far forward in the crush. Next time I will make more of an effort to get up alongside them and really go for it because this is one I really want to do again.
The course itself is fairly flat and has cobbled areas, tramlines and potholes to negotiate but is a good one for a PB if you need an excuse for a visit. The route pretty much follows the riverbank which is what makes it fairly flat. There are substantial hills very close by which make for splendid scenery along with distinctive buildings dating from the baroque through to the 20th century. I didn’t really spend much of my time looking around during the race since I was trying for a decent time and for the first 7 miles I was keeping around 7:00/m pace. The course does come back on itself so I was able to see the front-runners flying back towards me at one point and the winner was Joel Kemobi Kimurer in a time of 1:00:09 who must have pulled ahead of the other very strong Kenyans later in the race.
I finished with a chip time of 1:33:27 which is 3 seconds off my PB and I am kicking myself for not pushing on in the second half of the race. I finished with too much left in the tank really but there’s always next year. All in all it was a great break and a great race even if I was the only Trentham runner and totally outnumbered by the mob of Stafford Harriers who regularly make the trip. Who’s up for it next year?

Well done Stephen, a great race and sounds like you really enjoyed it too.

Liverpool Half

Sounds like the course has been altered slightly as when I ran this the event started and finished in the very nice surroundings of Sefton Park, but fairly new member Danny Bowman went along to the Liverpool Half for his 3rd big race in as many weeks! Surely he couldn't keep his recent good form going.......

The Liverpool half marathon this weekend marked the end of a three week series of races for me, having run the Kilomathon and the Stafford half on the two previous Sundays. It sort of happened by accident really. I signed up to the Kilomathon last year without realising it was the week before Stafford, then I realised the week after that was Wrestlemania weekend, and my friend and I stay up every year to watch it, but we have to do a race in the morning (to earn all that beer and pizza)
So I ran the Kilomathon a fair bit quicker than I anticipated, but then in Stafford I was 40 seconds off my PB, even though I’d been training really hard. I then remembered Jill and Kat advising me against doing three long races in such a short amount of time and started to dread Liverpool.
I turned up to the club the Tuesday after Stafford and decided to run sloooowly, but felt really good so I tried to keep up with Mosiuk Jr when he decided to speed off. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t a good idea. I did run slowly on Thursday and figured I could probably still get a time in the low 1:40’s, then worry about exhaustion afterward.
Then on Friday I caught a nasty cold. Come Saturday I was running (pun definitely intended) a high temperature, couldn’t breathe through my nose and was sneezing uncontrollably. I went to bed at 8 o clock Saturday night, hoping a good nights sleep would shift this pesky cold. Alas I didn’t fall asleep until 11pm, then I woke up at 2:30am and couldn’t get to sleep again. I set off for Liverpool at 7am, but the clocks had gone forward so I’d had virtually no sleep and my body was convinced it was 6am. I felt so ill. I drank this horrible Beechams thing and set out. Looked at the packet and it would make me drowsy. I was dreading this race. I’ve never run ill before and I already had no energy.

So I parked up at the Echo arena, on the bank of the Mersey, went to the loo (noticed a sign by the sink which read “Not drinking water, do not fill kettles” - I imagined someone coming out of a port-a-loo with a pot noodle)
Anyway, race started 14 minutes late due to congestion on one of the closed roads but off we went, and for the first couple of miles I felt really weak, but once we got off the main roads and started going through the city parks, I started to ease up. I reached 10k in 44:30 (Well under my actual PB) then got to 10 miles in 1:15 (7 minutes under my PB) and I didn’t know where my energy was coming from.

I coasted along quite nicely but then the last two miles were on the bank of the Mersey and it was so windy. I felt like an ant getting burped on by a large dog.
I eventually crossed the line and… I didn’t know what time I’d managed because there wasn’t a clock at the end and I can’t afford a fancy Garmin. I did however get a text 3 hours later informing me that I ran 1:39:27 which was over two minutes quicker than my personal best!
I was buzzing for a bit, until my body remembered that I had a cold and then I felt awful. It’s two days later now and I still feel terrible. I’m going to have a break from racing for a bit. I’m going to run the Killer mile and the Muller 10k I reckon, oh and I’ve entered for the Chester marathon then of course, Potters Arf! Yay! I love Potters ‘arf

Well done Daniel on beating your Personal Best and thanks also for the report.

Thanks for sending in so many reports in March guys. It really does help make the website worth looking at. Remember, without your input there's a lot less for us to look at. Keep em coming in for April..........


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Page last updated 31 March 2010


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