Stoke 2010k

May 2010 Race Reports


While the cat's awayÖÖ..

In the absence of ďThe MasterĒ, who is sunning himself and drinking loads of beer down south in beautiful Cornwall, it would appear that the mice have been at play and stepped in to ensure that the website is kept up to date ready for The Masterís return. So without further ado, here we goÖÖ.

A couple of races in recent days have seen Team Trentham claim most of the prizes Ė and it wasnít just the ladies this time!

Last Thursday evening saw the final race in the Spring Treble series, with the Kibblestone Clamber taking place at, well, Kibblestone. The weather was pretty nasty to say the least, making the route wet and soggy but fortunately not too muddy. A good turnout of Trentham runners made it a fantastic evening, and the butties in the pub afterwards were a perfect excuse to down a pint or two and to have a natter with fellow runners.

In the menís competition, Ian Yates went in to the final race as the leading chap overall and following yet another excellent performance, was crowned Spring Treble champion overall Ė well done Ian!

The ladies also had did extremely well, with Jo Donnelly finishing 2nd lady overall behind international fell runner Kate Bailey, whilst Del Salt finished 3rd overall although it was a close call with the result coming down to accumulative times with Del claiming the position by just 23 seconds Ė phew! With the support of Kerry Widdowson, the ladies added the team title to their collection of team wins over the past year or two, so well done once again to all the ladies.

There were also fantastic performances from other Trentham peeps, particularly Adam Brearley who is absolutely flying at the moment, having only joined Trentham earlier this year. Ryan, Guy, Eva, Rose, Ken and Ken also turned out to races, so well done to all of you too.

Results from the series can be found here.

Whilst several of our runners headed to Kibblestone, 2 of our runners headed to Mow Cop for the Mow Cop Killer Mile. Last year, Jo Donnelly won the ladies event, but due to the clash with the Spring Treble, it was left to Sarah Johnson to ensure Trentham maintained the winning status. Dan Bowman also headed over to Mow Cop, and hereís what he had to say about itÖÖ.


While most of my fellow club mates were (probably) having a great time sloshing around in the mud down at Kibblestone, I was heading up to Mow Cop to take part in the recently resurrected Killer Mile. I had wanted to run the whole of the spring treble but Iíd promised a colleague Iíd do this one so I donned my tight vest and my even tighter shorts and drove straight intoÖ a cloud. Now that might sound strange but the weather was so dreary Mow Cop was almost entirely engulfed in a cloud. (Reminds me of that joke, what do you call a sheep with no head, no legs and no tail? A cloud.  Badum-tish!) I got out of the car and started wandering through the lonely streets and I realised that recently Iíve been running a lot of sinister sounding races, Milford Murder, Killer Mile, The Kettering Kerb Crawl, etc. Whatever happened to nice sounding races with words like sunshine or lemonade in them? (**Disclaimer** races mentioned may not exist in any capacity)

      So off I toddled, using my hands to grope my way around the empty streets, almost completely blinded by the rain clouds. I felt like I was in that film, 28 days later, except without the cannibal mutants and naked Irish men. Eventually from out of the mist a yellow figure formed, and I was relieved to see a Marshall. I asked him which way it was to the start, he glared at me with piercing red eyes, pointed to the ground and growled ďTHE THING THAT YE DESIRE RESTS IN THE BOWELS OF H3LL!! MWAHAHAHAHAĒ and with that, evaporated in a puff of red smoke. ďFair enoughĒ thought I and continued on my merry way through the pea soup.

   Now, people had always said this race was insanely difficult, and Iíd always thought ďItís a mile, big dealĒ but a few weeks ago thought Iíd drive up to see the fabled road to see what I had to contend with. I got to the top of the course, and went to drive down, before wondering why it looked like the world ended so promptly up ahead. I then realised that this was indeed the edge of the world and I jumped out of my car into a hedge, only to see my beloved automobile sail off into the abyss making that whistling noise that you hear when things fall off cliffs in road runner cartoons. In a few weeks some Australian farmer is going to wake up to discover his prized cow has been killed by a Ford Fiesta landing on top of it.

   Seriously though, as I was walking down to the start, the teens (13-17) race was coming up the other way and to my horror there was a girl who was crying with pain! Iím talking tears streaming down her face bawling! This did nothing for my confidence. As I was nearing the bottom of the hill, I heard a quiet ďHelloĒ from behind me, lo and behold it was Sarah Johnson! I said hello but then uttered the proverbial Macbeth and said ďOooh I reckon youíll winĒ (Sorry about that Sarah) but as it transpired, I didnít jinx her at all.

  I wished her good luck (like she needed it) and we parted ways. It was then that a Scottish lady asked me if Jo was running tonight. I said she was at Kibbleston, probably wading through cow pats as we speak (incidentally, Iíve only spoken to Dave briefly about Kibbleston but Iíd assume the weather was rubbish there too?)

    She then introduced herself as Rich OíKeefeís wife, and then took great pleasure in telling me how difficult the race was, that by the steepest part my calves and Thighs would be burning.

   Anyway, 7:15 came and the whistle went to signal the start of the 2010 Killer mile club runners race (the main event - haha) I set off at a pretty reasonably pace, keeping Sarah in my sights. The way I saw it, if I could at least see Sarah, then I wasnít doing too terribly.

   The road starts off on a slight incline, which was fine, I overtook a fair few people here, but then the road started getting steeper and steeper, twisting and turning, before the worst section, a long straight stretch of road which got steeper until hitting a 25% gradient. I overtook a couple more people on the steep bit and could still see Sarah, but then she disappeared out of sight. I got to the top of the road then turned left into the finishing straight. I got overtaken by two blokes at this point and I finished in around 10:15. I did want under 10 minutes really but I think I was placed pretty well in the club runners field, position wise so Iím happy with that in retrospect.

   I saw Sarah and discovered that sheíd won (well done!) then I suggested we get a photo for the website. She agreed but I donít think she took into consideration that Iím about as cool as Alan Titchmarsh riding a three legged donkey through Hanley town centre. I went for my trademark thumbs up pose and so not to look out of place she did likewise. The photo should appear below this report and looking at it, the first thing I notice is that Sarah looks fresh as a daisy whereas I look like Rab C Nesbitt with a hangover. Great.

     Erm. I hear that Ian won the Spring treble and the ladies team were victorious too so well done to all! Although I donít know for sure I would assume Jo and Del possibly won prizes too? I look forward to hearing all about it on Tuesday. Iím going to do the Uttoxeter half on Sunday so Iíll hopefully see some of you there too.

   A two page report for a one mile race. I can see my reports getting banned soon haha


Thanks for that Dan, and well done to both you and Sarah on your excellent performances.

And finally,  the Uttoxeter Half Marathon was held on Sunday which included the Staffordshire Half Marathon Championships. The Uttoxeter course is quite a tough one, and with the cool weather and breezy conditions, it made things slightly tougher than usual. The good news is that once again Trentham were in the headlines.

In the ladies race, Del Salt came away victorious after a battle with Michelle Buckle of Newcastle. Running together up to about 8 miles, Michelle pulled away on the notorious steep climb, opening up a gap of about 100 metres. Del tried to keep her in her sights, and eventually overhauled Michelle in the last mile to win by just 13 seconds in a time of 1.26.42. This was Delís 3rd victory at Uttoxeter having last won the race in 2006, and she tells us that this time it was all the more special because she really did have to work for it! Well done Del.

In the menís race, although Trentham didnít get an overall winner (maybe Ian will consider a half marathon one day??!!), the men were still amongst the prizes. Rob Tabbanor won the over 50ís prize and was crowned Staffs Champ for his age group in a fantastic 1.25, Stan Winterton kept up his winning ways to be crowned over 60ís champion and also winning his age group in the main race (1.31), whilst the ever impressive Trevor Goodwin won the over 70ís prize and the gold medal in the Staffs Champs. The final person to win a prize was Ken Pearson who came away as group winner in the North Staffs Road Runners competition, so well done to Ken! We should also mention that Daniel Bowman, although not winning a prize, ran an excellent PB of 1.37, beating his previous best by 3 minutes which given the course and conditions is pretty impressive.

All in all, a fantastic few days once again for Team Trentham Ė well done to each and every one of you! Full results for Uttoxeter can be found here.

The next race is the Clayton 10k on Wednesday evening, which hosts the county 10k champs, and hopefully we will see some more fantastic performances from our members Ė both at the front and the back of the field. Please remember to send in your race reports Ė even in the absence of ďThe MasterĒ Ė it makes the website far more interesting when you do!

5th May - ....and there's more!

Team Trentham are certainly on a roll at the moment, with yet more prizes being claimed by both the ladies and gents on Wednesday evening. But.....before we get to that, here's another instalment of "The Racing Times of Ken Pearson".....

I'm not sure what a psychologist would make of these race reports. Fortunately the therapy is working and I'm feeling more positive now! I have to start with an apology to those of you who were lured into entering the Kibblestone Clamber last week after my race report from the Milford Murder. It is of course not grammatically correct to use the words "taking it easy" and "Kibblestone Clamber" in the same sentence, its a serious matter but not bad enough for a Golden Trainer award.

For those of you who are waiting for my race report from Kibblestone you are going to be disappointed as I decided that the lure of points and a prize at Uttoxeter were too great and I gave Kibblestone a miss, it was also raining.

You all know my routine now so I wont mention any dressing, washing or eating issues. However I learnt from Walter at Stafford half and did take a drink to the race this time. I also tried some new pre race stress relievers this time, a drive past the llamas at Wolseley Bridge, the reservoir at Blithfield and listen to a selection of Paul Weller tracks. Running is supposed to be part physical and past mental according to Lionel, I have done the physical training so I thought I would try a bit of the mental stuff. I know its not just me but runners like to be in control before a race, so that's why they get the running kit out a few days before, make sure the numbers are lined up with the lines on the vest (and centrally placed) and make sure they arrive in plenty of time for the race. 10 am on Sunday and I'm at Uttoxeter with the forms for the Trentham 10 which I put with every other race organisers forms.

I collect my T shirt (not sure if plum is my colour) but at least it doesn't have a Samaritans logo on it. Not many Trentham runners about and I cant see and Group F runners. I check out the winner's crystal and pick up a couple an entry form for Meerbrook 15k. I have a chat with Malcolm, drop the stuff off at the car, have a drink and bit of a warm up then wander to the start area and bump into Dan but still no F Group runners in sight. Given that today NSRRA are giving out Group prizes for the first in each group at the finish I have decided to race the course and not just run round. The lack of visible F runners means I will aim for 8 min/ mile, lose a bit (lot) up the hills and probably get round in 1:46 or so. Start is OK and the first few miles are at about the right pace.

At the first photographer I tidy my hair but forget about the misshapen T shirt. The run seems to be into the wind most of the time so I try to shelter behind a small female runner in front but it doesn't work and I have to overtake her. I'm feeling quite good as I get to the hill at 6.5 miles and only lose a minute on the target time but manage to run all the way up. Rose is a few hundred yards in front as we go down the hill but no way will I catch her. I've not run the course for a few years and get confused when we turn off the main road and go through Marchington village. My pace is still OK but I don't know where the hills are so the pace is uncertain. I slow down a bit on the hills but get to 11 in 1:28 which is right on target but I slow up the hill to the 12 mile mark. Its downhill and flat after that which is good for me and I overtake a few runners but the legs are getting tired. Still no F runners anywhere and as we go onto the race course I think I might get in under 1:45 so I pick the pace up and start to overtake more runners. Crossed the line in about 1:45:19 and I'm handed the Group award, I think that's the first prize (other than random gifts) I've received.

Nice to see Dan and Rose already at the finish, Dan has a PB and Del has won the ladies race. As I walk back to the car a Stafford Harrier asks me how what time I did, he was second in the group so we introduce ourselves and have a chat. That was a good race, and I'm pleased I got round in about the time I expected and a bit faster than Stafford. Lunch is at my in-laws who live in Uttoxeter so it was a good day for lots of reasons. I haven't mentioned the watch for while. I decided not to use the "record every two miles only" watch and used the "record each mile but the stop button doesn't work" watch which has now been renamed the "record every mile until 12" watch. My new watch will arrive this week from Wiggle. For those interested its a Timex Ironman Triathlon 75 Lap OVA Watch in Black/Silver, specifically designed to be worn on the inside of the wrist and the lap button is on the top not the bottom. I hope it lasts longer than the 18 months of the last Ironman watch.


Thanks Ken, and well done on your excellent run.

Right then, back to the Clayton 10K and Trentham's medal haul.

Kathryn Ambrose, who has been running exceptionally well recently, has kindly sent in the following...

Clayton 10K - a view from the rear! Despite the fact that the Clayton 10K is the closest race to my house, I've never done it before, probably because it usually falls in the same week as Muller, and that's one of my favourite races (two 10Ks in a few days is too much for me!). But this year, my little brother has (most inconsiderately) decided to get married this weekend, so I can't do Muller :( So, having not raced a 10K yet this year, I decided to have a crack at Clayton. The aim was to get as near to my PB of 56.42 as possible (well, isn't that always the aim!), and use this race as a benchmark for some more 10Ks in the coming months, with an eventual target of 52 mins at St Michael's in June.

Went and parked up at the school in plenty of time to register and find some fellow green vests. I wasn't disappointed - Trentham RC were proudly represented as ever, although it was a real shame that both Sarah and Rose weren't able to run due to injury. Headed down to the start at the pub and found yet more green vests, and some more of my ex-club mates from Keele. That's one thing I love about racing now - I'm never short of anyone to chat to!

Lined up near to the back so I didn't get pulled along with a too fast start. I always say I only know how a race is going to go once I've started running, and the message from my legs was that it would be OK! The first two kilometres went by very quickly, and even the long drag up Dartmouth Avenue didn't seem too bad. Was temporarily blinded by Dan's Cote d'Ivoire football shirt, but then recovered to maintain about 8.30 pace until the roundabout ;) I know the route really well, as it's one that I use regularly on my solo runs, and I *love* the bit down Whitmore Road - I always feel like I'm flying down there.

Resisting the temptation to carry on down the hill, over the motorway bridge and back on to Lymes Road to take me back through Keele woods and home, I started the deceptively cruel ascent back along Seabridge Lane. Now the legs were really starting to burn! Picked the pace up again as I reached the right turn after the cones and the policeman, and focused on the 4K marker up ahead. Put on my best 'I'm trying very hard' face for Bryan Dale and tried to run a bit faster so he could get a 'both feet off the floor' shot, but this was somewhat marred by the impromptu rubbish collection going on ahead. Managing to get out of the way of said bin wagon, I steeled myself for yet another hill. Saw Sarah up ahead, telling me that it was downhill after the bus stop, which was great because it gave me something to focus on.

More Trentham support in the form of Rose - this bit was a bit fuzzy in my head, but I think she said something about me enjoying it really!!! After that, I knew I was back to start my second lap (and I hadn't been lapped, haha). Through the 5K mark in 28.15, so if I ran even pace I would be on for a PB. But I NEVER run even pace - I think I've done it once!! Never mind, I digress (not as badly as Dan in his race reports though :)) The second 5K was nowhere near as pleasant. Worked really hard down Dartmouth Avenue for the second time, with the kilometre markers seeming to take an age to come round. Really really wanted to give up about halfway along, but gave myself a good talking to, and reminded myself that pain is temporary and pride is forever :) Knew I had the nice downhill stretch to come again, so pushed on a bit there.

Felt surprisingly strong as I started the climb up Seabridge Lane for the second time, but the dry heaves started setting in near the top of the hill. Now I know I'm working hard when I start grunting louder than Maria Sharapova. Pushed on again for my second photo opportunity with Bryan Dale (no bin wagon this time) and the 9K marker. Now the last hill was in sight - told myself I only had about 5 mins of running left to do, so to get on with it! Saw Jo doing her cool down, shouting encouragement from over the road (thanks Jo!) and pushed for home as my Garmin bleeped 6 miles and the downhill started. Did a good sprint finish and stopped the watch at 57.58.

Very pleased with that, as it's only just over a minute off my PB, and only 10 seconds slower than when I did St. Michael's, a pancake flat course. Stayed for the presentation, which was really nice to be a part of. And Eva bought me a drink too, which was even nicer! Team Trentham brought home lots of prizes (now see if my memory serves me correctly!) - ladies' team prize for Del, Jo and Eva, male vets' prize, 3rd for Ian in the men's race, 2nd and 3rd for Del and Jo respectively, V50 for Rob Tabbanor, V65 for Terry Parton (no disrespect, Terry, but I honestly didn't think you were much above 50!!) and V70 for Don Brookes. Amazing. And also great performances from Dave to record a superb 43 mins, and from Lee, who has battled injury lately and finished even though he *really* didn't want to carry on at halfway!

Not sure how Chris did, but he must've been fast, because I didn't see him at the end! Ken had yet another great race too, but I don't want to steal his thunder in case he wants to write another report (please do, Ken, I love your reports :)) Great stuff.


Thanks for the report Kathryn, and well done on another impressive run.  Congratulations to everybody else that ran.  Full results can be found here.


And finally, our wandering webmaster has sent some photos of his holiday shenanigans

 enjoying interaction with the local wildlife...


making the most of the reduced opening hours...


winning the bet with Emma...

Normal service will be resumed next week

Clayton 10K




Trentham Runners turned out in Great Numbers for the midweek Clayton 10K with no fewer than 21 of us taking part. With a membership of just over 100 runners that is a pretty good turnout for a midweek race. Leading the way home once again for Trentham was Ian Yates who finished 4th. Jason Thomas also had an excellent run coming in 8th to highlight his great form of late. Adela Salt and Jo Donnelly battled it out to be the first Trentham Lady across the line and what a battle it was, with Del just edging it by 7 seconds to come second and Jo coming 3rd overall.

Ken Pearson, having a great battle in the NSRRA series was once again out on the streets and sent us his latest report:

Not having done many races for a few years I donít know how I will react with races only a few days apart.

Uttoxeter was excellent with a group win although probably the fastest runner in the group didnít race. Clayton was going to be a bit of an unknown so I had decided to put as little effort in as possible just to stay near the front rather than trying to do my best time. There seems to be so many runners at this race, very friendly and lots of people to chat with. One of the other group runners tells me the fastest runner hasnít been seen. Race plan is to run at about 4:30 /km and see what happens.

Sort of a mixed start with people everywhere and I get to 1km at 4:30 so thatís good but there are 3 other group runners all together. This stays the same up to about 4km when the previously unseen group runner comes past. He has been just behind us for a while judging by the photo on Bryan Dales website which shows the 5 group runners all together and 3 are from Trentham. I have to make my mind up to let him go or chase him and my competitive streak kicks in so its race on!

I just concentrate on trying to catch him and having Eva and Terry some way in front helps as it give me something to aim at. I catch Eva at about 8k but Iím losing a lot of ground for a group win. I push on as Terry is next and I manage to pass him just before the end.  Final time of about 47:09 according to Terry and itís the first time I have ever beaten  him in a race, Eva also finishes in front of Terry and only a couple of seconds behind me. She must have been training in secret. Good finish for me but probably 200 m behind the group winner

I grab a drink and bump into the other group runners, they were less than a minute behind and I feel a bit of a fraud coming second in the group as the others are all 10-15 years older than me. I also found out Don holds the over 70s NSRRA 10k record at under 45 minutes, I hope Iím still running at 70. It was interesting watching the runners at the finish trying to open the boxes for the medal without dropping them on the floor. I was lucky as I dropped mine on the floor at home rather than in front of the crowd. There are no rules regarding medals in our house, the ďone in one outĒ rule is only for T shirts but Iím not sure what will happen when the shoe box where I keep medals is full.

Update on the group position is that I was second but almost a minute behind the winner, quite disappointing as he was also a minute in front of me at Stafford. We both have the same points tally now, 198 after 4 races but every time I race him I lose.  I donít think I can improve enough to beat him without some serious training.

Just to update you on the watch situation, I just use it now to see what my time is at each km mark but I know it wont record the time. The new watch Iíve ordered still hasnít arrived yet. 

Thanks Ken. Another great report.

Results for Clayton are

Muller 10K



The Muller 10K also known locally as the Yoghurt 10K took place on Sunday and again a good showing from trentham RC with even LIONEL turning out to race. What's going on there then? Again, first across the raspberry flavoured line was Ian Yates having a great race to finish 2nd and claim his 2 dozen trays of Yoghurts. Massive well done to Ian. First over the line for the Green Army in the Ladies race was Jo Donnelly. Again Ken Pearson was battling it out at the pointy end of group F and was kind enough to send in this report.

My preparation starts really early for this with a visit to Bradford to see the David Hockney exhibition and a walk round Salt Mills on Saturday. Its an interesting day because of the history of the area and the shops seem to have interesting and different stuff in them. We buy a rucksack (as our other one is in New Zealand) and some sports energy drink from a fantastic cycle shop there. Caroline is surprised when I discover a Triumph motorcycle dealer just a few hundred yards away, pure coincidence of course. 

A great disappointment on Friday though. The new watch has arrived and I rip the box open but the watch display is completely blank and no amount of pushing buttons, in the vain hope that it will come alive, works. Back in the box to post it back on Monday. Muller will be another press and guess as far as splits are concerned. 

Additional preparation is needed on this Sunday morning as I have to mix the energy drink and read the instructions. Iím slightly surprised that it looks and tastes OK.

Usual parking issues at Market Drayton and Iím too late to park at the school so itís a walk up to the school, a few others are there already and I go to get my T shirt and chip. The idea was to take the T shirt back to the car then put on Trentham shirt and number but Iím not allowed to collect the chip as I donít have any idea what my number is. Another walk to the car and back.  More successful this time! T shirt is dropped off at the car and I drink the energy drink as per the instructions. Quite a few Trentham runners enter this race, probably because itís a carnival atmosphere, plenty of space, face painting and animals to stroke with local produce stalls etc and a goody bag, T shirt and 12 Muller yoghurts for finishing. Put it in our race calendar next year! Like last year the weather is sunny.

It was a busy start last year but there are 1700 runners this year and the start is in the school grounds. Itís a very narrow start area where the chip timing is, as well as a narrow course up to the exit onto the road. This start is going to be congested but at least itís a chip time and doesnít count for NSRRA points.

Lee and I go to the start but donít realise that its split into expected finish times but we eventually get towards the front in the 45-50 minute section. Off we go and its something like 50 seconds to get through the timing gate. For me, Iím aiming for 45 minutes which is easy to remember at 4:30 per kilometre, slight complication with the time through the start but Iím confident I can do the mental arithmetic as we race. Itís slow through the start and the bit towards the road then we stop as its narrow, off again and Iím trying to overtake people who have obviously started off in front of faster runners (touch of grumpy old man there). Chris comes past complaining his PB attempt is not looking good. Quite busy into the town but its wide enough for the runners and well supported, clock 4:30 at the 1km mark which is well too fast given the time through the start. Next few kms are at 4:30 pace which is good and Iím on a pace for under 45 minutes race time, which with hindsight was too ambitious. Nice to see the faster runners coming back along the road near the Muller factory, Ben Gamble is in the lead but Ian is in a group of 3 behind. Water station is a bit of a mix up but I manage to get half a cup. As we turn back towards the town its an opportunity to see the other runners, there are a lot of them! This leg is into the wind and I remember my mistake at Uttoxeter when I followed a slim woman. This time I choose a larger man whoís wearing a battenburg cake coloured shirt, not as nice to follow but more effective.  For some reason I seem to have dropped a bit of time coming through the factory but Iím still on for 45 minutes chip time. I wonder whether the energy drink will have any effect and what T shirt will I have to throw out?

Last few kms were uneventful, just about kept up my pace but got overtaken by more people than I would have liked and I didnít have a sprint finish. Nearly fell over on the grass run in and crossed the line in just under 46 minutes on their clock. I havenít bothered to try and use the watch as Iíll only be disappointed. A bit slower race time than last year but I guess the chip time was better. One of the group runners who I beat on Wednesday finished in front of me today, I think Iím a bit disappointed but Iíll wait for the official times before deciding.

I raise my spirits by having a drink of water and watch a few of the other runners finishing. Then itís the usual queue for the goody bag and yoghurts which was worth the wait. For some reason I had put some money in my shorts pocket, possibly hoping to see some faster socks. There werenít any so after the race I went into the local produce marquee and found a guy selling olives and other stuff. Perfect antidote for the ďone in one outĒ rule! 

Not sure what to do in the races now, I guess Iíll carry on with the energy drinks, aim to lose a bit of weight and maybe do a bit more specific training. Any other suggestions to improve performance would be appreciated. Next race is Westbridge 5 so weíll see how it goes. 

Thanks for the report once again Ken. I hope you enjoyed the olives, making my mouth water thinking about them. Results for Muller can be found here!

Stoke 2010


The first ever Stoke 10K took place with much fanfare in the town of the same name on Sunday with over 600 runners turning out. The race was taking place as part of the City's 100 years of the '6 Towns' celebrations. There was plenty of stuff going on around the location with a small funfair and various stalls.

The town hall was very busy before the race with runners registering and applying liniment, begging for pins, etc and one of them was Ryan Procter who files this report:

This was my first road race since the 'Cheddleton Christmas Pud' at the end of November 6 months ago. Injuries and other things had prevented me from running over winter and so I had not been racing on the road at all. I did do the Dougie Mac 5k, but only as a Trentham Trotter to support the Charidddy!!! I have been training for a couple of months now, without much progress, but thought the time was right to get back on the horse, even if my particular horse had four caster wheels and a wooden head and had cobwebs between it's hind legs!
I must admit it seemed very strange being back in amongst the pack and it's the first time my Trentham Vest had made an appearance this year. A few friendly faces were there to ease my aprehensions including Del, who was doing her impersonation of a Japanese tourist for the day, and a few of my Council Colleagues who were doing some of the marshalling and helping on the stalls! Jill was also there with Emma to support me and managed to find a banner with my name written on it! Oh My God, now the pressure was on.
Heading to the start line I managed to share a joke with a few of the old NSRRA brigade, who I hadn't seen for ages and ages, and also found a good number of Trenthamers around me to encourage/poke fun at/punch me (delete as appropriate). Adam who is flying along of late was there with Debs, Sarah was out as was Jo Donnelly. Chris and Walt the Mosiuk boys, Kiri, Rob Tab and a few others who I don't really know yet, as I've been away for so long!

After a briefing over the tannoy by Ken Rushton, which incidentally, no-one could hear (and I do mean that) we were off without any warning. First mile was a lap of the Stoke Town Centre around the one-way-system and back in front of the town hall. 6:15 WHAT the blomingdy flippin heck!!?? What was I doing? That was way too quick. Twelve months ago yes, but in my re-incarnate state as the Tub Munster, no Way!!!
Back off boy!!!

I was running alongside Jo Donnelly and Chris Mosiuk (who I know desperately wanted to beat me) and only revealed himself after I turned and spotted him running in my considerable slipstream. Then the Port Vale (who?) player came alongside, Gareth Owen, who was racing for charity. I told him we knew he was a secret Stokie and that he should do it for The Potters, to which he replied, "I'd better slow down then". Cheeky Boy. I asked him to show us his Stoke City Tattoo and he promptly pointed to his backside! HOW rude!!!

After the second lap which took in Corporation Street as well as the one-way-system we headed out along Leek Road to Joiners Square. I know a few people have knocked the race for being in amongst the traffic and dirty city, etc, etc, but it really was quiet as almost all the roads had been closed for the event, and it's roads you're not usually running along! The trudge up Lichfield Street was really hard work, and it was here that Jo finally earned peace and quiet by pulling away from me for good! (sorry Jo). I fully expected the slight younger Mosiuk to come past any second, but I managed to get to the top ahead of him, just.
Now this is where the controversy comes in, I was fully expecting to enter the Park at the top gate, the one near Shelton Church at the top of College Road. Instead we were directed down College Road and into the bottom gate, a quick shufty round one side of the lake and out of the Boughey Road gate. Not even time to feed the geese on the pond! I think we should have entered at the top, done a zig-zag around the park past the pavilion and fully around the lake. Like the old Parks race but in reverse! Instead as we headed back down Boughey Road to join Leek Road again near to the now stirring Students, a quick glance of my watch assured me I was gonna crack my PB by about 3 minutes.
Only trouble was, I knew I was going to be around 40 mins the way I was running, so I thought, oh it must have been changed last minute like! Maybe another half lap around Stoke or something, so not sure weather to start throwing it all in as we headed back onto Glebe Street or hold back, but no, we were indeed directed into Kingsway and to the finish, oh well, I thought. To be absolutely honest I must admit to being a little pleased it was over as I was struggling a bit, but I always feel like that anyway and a finish time of 35:30 was a new PB by miles. Ha ha, if only. The Garmin brigade assured me it was only 5.4 miles and not a new PB. The sad thing is I did speak to a few people who were on for a new PB and now it counts for nothing.

I do know that the organisers are distraught over what happened and will be very sorry for the error that took place. It was a good race though, and hopefully the errors will be rectified for the next time which will make it a truly worthwhile addition to the race calendar.

The other Trentham members taking part were Ian Yates, who came 3rd/4th overall depending on which way you view the results and picked up the 3rd place prize deservedly! Sarah & Jo were 2nd and 3rd ladies and picked up prizes along with the 1st lady Vet prize for Jo! In all 21 runners from Trentham took part. Once a gain a MASSIVE turnout so well done to all you guys!

The results can be found HERE and are sortable so you can just see Trentham Results by typing Trentham in the club filter. (saves me doing a table) :-S

chester marathon



Bank Holiday Monday hosted the first ever Chester Marathon which took place on the outskirts of the ancient Roman City. A few Long distance Trentham runners went along to test it out. Jill Phillips, Ken Bloor and Dan Bowman managed to complete the race after Del unfortunately had to pull out through injury. A couple of reports have come through and the first one is from Jill Phillips:

"Having enjoyed London Marathon so much in April with no adverse side effects, I decided to run Chester Marathon 5 weeks later on Bank Holiday Monday, 31st May, the first ever full marathon in Chester. This should give me just enough recovery time with one week to spare (must be going nuts in my old age!). There was originally going to be 5 of us flying the flag for Trentham, but unfortunately Kathryn and Del had to withdraw, which left myself, Dan Bowman and Ken Bloor.

Two weeks before Chester I hurt my back whilst gardening which resulted in a pain on the outside of my left knee and after my 8 mile run on the Tuesday before the pain had moved to the back of my knee. A little bit concerned but I knew what I had to do, ice, ibuprofen and no more gardening!!

So early on the Monday morning I set off for Chester Rugby Club with my daughter Katrina as chauffeur, knee still a bit dodgy. I didn't get to speak to Dan before the start, spotted him from inside the Rugby Club but he'd disappeared when we got outside, shame as I knew he was nervous and I wanted to give him some last minute encouragement. So I went to line up for the start hoping to see him, but it's not easy to scan the field when you're only 5ft on tip toes. So we had to start without exchanging good luck wishes, luckily Dan did catch me up shortly after the start so I could wish him well and final words of wisdom not to go off too fast and as instructed he didn't stay with me to chat (I tend to switch off and go into my own little world).

The route was flat (ish), out and back, running the length of a greenway to the River Dee at Queensferry. A total of about 18 miles would be spent on the Greenway. This was, psychologically, hard work as you could see runners way in the distance and it seemed to go on forever. It got quite lonely in places as the Greenway was closed to the public so there were only spectators at the drinks stations, but they were greatly appreciated and full of encouragement. At 10 miles I knew it would be a long slog and couldn't wait for half way when we'd reach the River Dee then turn back to make our way back down the greenway.

At 13 miles I felt a sharp pain at the back of my knee and thought "Oh dear" (or words to that effect). I was a little concerned as I couldn't be further from the finish and if the pain got worse I was afraid I'd have to walk and 13 miles would take me quite a while. So I slowed down, applied some PMA (positive mental attitude) and started to sing to myself, if I ignored it it would probably go away.

At half way we ran along part of the river where the relay cross over was and loads of spectators, which spurred me on until we re-joined the greenway at 15 miles. The pain had eased a bit so I looked forward to counting the miles down to the finish, if I could just keep to my steady pace I may not have to stop.

At 19 miles I spotted the green vest, and by 20 miles I'd caught Dan up not feeling too well, head drooping a bit. A few words of encouragement  and "chin up Dan", I carried on hoping my knee would hold out. At about 23 miles I spotted the green vest and red shorts of Ken, caught him up as he was staying with a guy from Newcastle who was struggling. I'd forgotten about my knee at this point but couldn't wait to get off that greenway at about 24 miles. A few twists and turns and what do we get just before 25 miles, a hill !!! The last 1.2 miles seemed to take forever but I crossed the line feeling better than I thought I would in 3:49 greeted by Mick Hall and his camera. Ken followed in 3:51 and Dan in 3:56.

On finishing we got a medal, a goody bag with sports drink, mars bars, Haribo bears, energy bar (excellent except the bag was paper and everyoneís was ripping under the weight of it's contents). And a big bonus was the t-shirt in different sizes so I actually got a small that I can wear out and not as another nightie!!! There were also spot prizes which both me and Dan got :-).

Apart from the long slog on the greenway it was a good race, the organisation was first class, good finish area in the Rugby stadium, plenty of drinks on route and goodies at the finish.Ē

Well done Jill. First across the line, and first in with the report for Trentham, closely followed by Dan, as in the race, who has sent in this very entertaining piece. Just watch where you put your feet as you read it:

On Monday I ran the Chester marathon so I thought Iíd upload a brief report, let you peeps know what went down in Chester town. My head and body are a bit battered today so apologies if I repeat myself/donít make sense etc.
It was annoying that the race was on Bank holiday Monday as I had to book the Tuesday off work to recover but hey ho. I signed up to this race a few months back because I wanted to run a marathon again this year but didnít get a place in London and couldnít scrape together the pennies to go with my chums to Edinburgh. So I settled on Chester, which was still pretty pricey actually at £33 but I had my entry as a birthday present so problem solved! I gave up the booze, upped the mileage and was a lot more conservative with how many races I took part in.
The weekend went sooooo slowly as I wasnít feeling too well, I didnít have much to do and I was a little nervous about the marathon as I was desperate to get under 4 hours. My only other marathon (Berlin 2009) clocked in at 4:14.
I passed the time on Sunday by going to cheer on the troops at the Stoke mystery tour race, parking in Hanley and walking down to Stoke because Jill (my marathon coach) recommended I stretch my legs a bit, limber up me ode pins for the big day and that. I spoke to a few peeps then walked back to the car, realising on the way that not only do I have the slowest 10k PB at the club now, but probably in the whole of Stoke!
The next day I was awoken by Greg, my pet cockerel, nice and early. I had a shower, ate some peanut butter on toast and put deep heat gel on my legs. I put too much on though and it felt like Iíd been sitting on the edge of a toaster, swinging my legs about amidst hot hot pieces of toast, rubbing my legs with their heat and coarse nature. Toast is what they give people whoíve had their tonsils out I think. I donít know why they do this though. Is it only humans who have tonsils? You never hear anyone say ďMy dog knocked his tonsils on a tree last weekĒ Food for thoughtÖ
So into my car I got with my hot legs and drove to Chester. When I arrived I went for a pre-race wee because to date Iíve never had to have a toilet break in a race and I didnít plan on losing valuable seconds by having a whizz up the side of a barn or something.
There was a stand outside handing out free gels, I got one and slicked my hair back so I looked really cool and fast. Only kidding folks it was a gel to put in my mouth to give me energy. I also had an energy bar which tasted about three months out of date, I had a look at the packet and indeed it was!

It was getting close to 9:30 now so I decided to head over to the start area, but not before sticking some Vaseline on my nips. My Trentham vest plays havoc with my right one, but not my left. You could serve toast off my left nip and it would be right as rain but my right one pretty much drops off if a piece of fabric so much as brushes against it. Weird. So off I trundled with my moist chest and hot legs raring to go!
Oh at this point I might mention they did a number auction for this race. Basically, you bid on a particular number and the money goes to charity. I was number 2 (my birthday, to bring me luck or something like that) Iíve never had an amazing number before and Iíve got to admit, it felt pretty good! Plus itís better having a low number because less ink makes you weigh less and you can run faster (fact)
I said hello to Ken Bloor at the start line and congratulated him on his time at the Stoke Mystery tour race the previous day. The marshalls sent him through Coventry via a carpet factory so he was pleased with his time of 19 hours and 4 minutes.
PEEEEEEP! Went the whistle and off we went! The first part of the race was downhill for a bit through a nice little housing estate, now this I wasnít happy about because it was an out and back race along the same route so I knew that mile 26 would be uphill. Grrrrr. Ken sauntered off into the crowd never to be seen again (by that I mean I didnít see him again, he didnít go missing or anything)

I felt surprisingly comfortable and started banging out 8 minute miles pretty comfortably. I passed Jill at the 2 mile point. I said hello and carried on with my 8 minute miling. At this point we got onto the Chester greenway and my word! It was just a straight path which went on and on and on! It was pretty flat but it wasnít half dull.
It was at this point when a big brown dog went past me and ran right in front of me. At first I was a bit like Arrrgh! Because Iím a tad scared of dogs. They hate me! People always say to me that Iíd like their dogs because theyíre big softies but itís not true! for some reason every dog in the world wants to run me over in a car which has been modified for dogs (ie rather than a clutch it has a bone which makes the car move forward when the dog licks it) Anyway I then realised that the dog was running perfect 8 minute miles so I used him (he was definitely a boy, Iím talking two tangerines in a football sock, wowzer) as a pacemaker.

I continued using my pace dog up until about 7 miles when out of nowhere he just sh@t himself! I actually had to jump over the dog and his generous beef torpedoes in order not to get dog log all over my shoes. So my advice is thus: if you ever find yourself using a dog as a pacemaker, give him plenty of room because eventually heís going to poo on you. Itís only a matter of time.
I carried on at a nice little pace, and we climbed up over a bridge, and the race leader came the other way back down the path, he was MILES ahead of everyone else (I later learned he was aiming for 2:20 to qualify for the Commonwealth games, apparently)
I reached the half way point in 1:46 and only then did I realise how stupid my pace for the first half had been. I was relieved to be off the greenway though, after 10 miles or so on there, but after weíd done a little lap by a river, back onto the greenway we went for another 10 mile slog. I coped ok up until 20 miles, when Jill came soldiering past me. ďI told you 8:30 milesĒ she said as she zoomed off into the distance. Jill was right. I started to struggle BIGTIME! I even started to worry that I wouldnít get my sub 4. It was just so psychologically draining running up that straight path. I felt like some refreshing lemonade going up a straw it was so straight.
I finally got off the greenway at around 24 miles and started the gradual incline back up to the finish. I was really really struggling now and had to really dig in to make sure of my sub 4.

One thing that did keep me going, strangely enough, was my number. Quite a lot of kids were playing ďspot the lowest numberĒ so I was like race royalty to them. A lot of kids were holding their hands out for high fives too. I complied but I donít know why they were so bothered about getting slapped by a big sweaty hand, though itís not as bad as Potters half last year when a kid handed me a cup of water and I messed up grabbing it and instead slapped the cup straight into his face.
I wasnít the only person struggling either, people were pulling up with cramp and one bloke had resorted to running backwards because it was less painful. I didnít want to risk this though because I just knew as soon as I turned my back I would step in that dog poo from earlier.
As I reached the 26 mile marker I still had that pesky 0.2 mile bit to contend with and as I came into the finishing straight I was pleased to see the clock on 3:57, however I made a bit of a fool of myself, because my head was all over the place and this girl overtook me with about 20 meters left to go. Out of nowhere I sprinted past her and jumped on the chip mat, making myself look like an absolute berk. I was also laughing maniacally for no reason and as a result my finish line photo is the creepiest thing Iíve ever seen.

My official time was 3:56:30, which is slower than people were predicting Iíd run, but I suppose I canít grumble.
I wanted to go to Alton Towers on Tuesday to celebrate but we remembered it was half term and it would have been really busy so instead we went to Quarry bank mill where I learned how cotton is made.

Ha ha, Thanks for that Dan. Made for a very entertaining report and well done to all three of you for managing to finish the race in very respectable times indeed.

Here are pics of Jill and Dan crossing the line:

Chester Marathon



Page last updated 04 June 2010


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