November Reports


Racing Roundup

Adela Salt has sent us a brief rundown of events this weekend. Hopefully more detailed race reports will come through from you guys, but in the meantime, thanks Del for letting us know how the weekend went:

It's been a busy weekend of racing for most of our members, with the cross country on Saturday at Parkhall and then the Flying Fox 10 miler on Sunday, and yet again there has been some pretty good performances by all of those involved!

Star of the weekend has got to be young Sarah Johnson who ran superbly at Parkhall to finish 2nd again, and then on Sunday she not only won the ladies' race at the Flying Fox 10, but also finished 3rd overall which is an excellent result.

Back to the cross country, Trentham ladies still lead division 1 over Cheadle, with Saturday giving them their best score of the league so far this year. Sarah was a brilliant 2nd which means she also leads the junior ladies competition, and with Jo Donnelly in 7th, Mandy Vernon in 8th and yours truely in 13th, Trentham finished on 30 points on the day. The lady vets team also did extremely well, with a welcome return to action from Jayne Dickens in 14th to finish the count for the vets and giving them 42 points. A strong Telford team means that our "golden oldies" are currently lying in 2nd place overall quite a few points behind, so we have everything to fight for next weekend on STafford Common.

The men's race was as usual extremely competitive but that didn't stop some excellent performances from our gents. Jason Thomas was the top finisher, with Dale Colclough having a good solid run too. It was also great to see Daniel Jordan and Lee Jones getting muddy with the rest of us for what I think was their first attempt at cross country (??), and without them, the gents would have been short for a team. Adam Brearley tried to steel the limelight and was seen throwing himself on the floor and battering his hands and knees just so that Deb would take sympathy on him, but it was all in vain as Deb doesn't do sympathy and likes to see people suffer! Needless to say, he still ran really well, despite the blood gushing down his legs. With Paul Burslem and Phil Mainwaring, Trentham gents did pretty good considering the level of quality in the league - well done lads!

It was also great to have the support of the marshalls at Parkhall who of course were all members or friends/family of Trentham RC, so thanks to them for being there. I personally felt as well that the tribute to Dave Clarke at the start of the race was very fitting with the club hosting this race. Dave was a well repected member of our club, and I'm sure that all of us will miss him greatly.

So on to today and it was the Flying Fox 10, which started with perfect running conditions. For me personally, I was hoping to run 65 something, but it wasn't to be, especially when we hit the puddles and mud at about 5 miles, followed by a ridiculously long hill - and I thought cross country was meant to be yesterday!

Sarah won the ladies race in an excellent time of 60.13 and was never challenged except by the men, and even then she put them to shame by finishing 3rd overall. Fantastic result! I finished in 2nd, and with Deb Thomas in 4th had there been a team prize, Trentham ladies would easily have won. There were also a fair few other Trenthamers out there today, with some coming away with prizes including Becky Austin (1st L35 - and this time she DID run all the way round, and got a PB in the process!) and Rob Tabbanor (1st in his age group). But it isn't all about winning prizes, it's about doing your best and enjoying it. So a MASSIVE WELL DONE to each and every Trentham member than ran this weekend - there are too many to mention individually (plus I will probably miss somebody off!), but you know who you are.

Thanks, Del has got the ball rolling so let's have your versions................


Flying Fox

Sunday was the day of the Flying Fox 10. In previous years it has had all sorts of weather conditions for this race. 3 years ago you needed waders, a couple of years ago it was hard frost, what was in store this time around? Debbie Thomas went along to find out:

As Del mentions, the weather conditions for the Flying Fox 10 on Sunday were half decent considering the time of year. I have vivid memories of the race last year when the course was mega flooded and we were pretty much running horizontally against the winds! I arrived with Sara and we both said we were feeling the effects of Park Hall the day before so would just see how the run went.
After a gentle warm up to the start line and back with other Trentham ladies Del, Jill and Becky we returned to the school to remove our warm layers and walk up to the start line again (about 10 mins stroll from the school). I lined up near the front but not that far forward that I risked holding people up or tripping up over someoneís feet. The race was off on time at 11.00am and we started along the country lane before turning right, climbing a tiny bit and then taking in a small descent.
My first mile registered 6.50 but with tired lungs from the day before I didnít expect to maintain that pace for very long! At about a mile and a half I was caught up by Chris Mosiuk (him racing a day after getting back from holiday, the mad man!) and we trotted along together for about a mile or so before the nice downhill section at about 2 Ĺ miles. Chris left me here to ďstretch his legsĒ and I was happy for him to push on whilst I cruised down.

Passing by the front of the school and mile 3, I was on about 21 mins so averaging 7 min/mile pace or thereabouts. I was hoping to get around 70 mins if I could, but it was too early to say. At the bottom of the road we run up the little humpback bridge and then take a left, running alongside the railway line for about half a mile or so (though it feels like longer as itís a wee bit boring!) then a short climb over the railway bridge, straight over, taking in a steady downhill. Some of the lanes in these miles are flooded in parts so itís either straight through them or dance around the edges Ė I go straight through and the coldness of the water on my feet makes me gasp! But I manage to overtake two guys who are trying to balance and run on the grass vergeÖ.

Just past mile 5 we hit the largest climb of the race, and it lasts Iíd say, a good ĺ of a mile. My pace dropped right down to 8.10 for mile 5 to 6 and I could hear my feet stomping with tiredness! Iíd also caught Chris up by now; though he was struggling with a hip injury and had to slow down. Over the hill and eventually you can enjoy a good bit of downhill. Coming into the last two miles Iím really struggling and Iím playing mind games with myself to keep going (counting up to 100 over and over, thinking of what Iím doing laterÖ.etc) About now a marshal tells me ďitís mainly flat from now onĒ but I donít really believe that!! To be fair there were no major climbs but there will still some little climbs here and there, and into mile 9 I overtake a guy and we both curse the undulating miles back to the finish!

Into the last half mile and thank goodness the course dips downward! Billy from Stone tells me Iím 4th lady (the 3rd lady passed me at mile 2 and was off like a shot!) and Iím pleased with that. Into the finish and clocking 1.11.40, Iím satisfied but would have preferred the 70 mins I was kind of aiming for. There was a pretty good turnout from the club and most of us managed to get prizesÖSara 1st lady and 3rd overall (stunning performance!), Del 2nd lady, Rob 1st in age category, Becky 1st in age categoryÖ. and Sam Newton, Rose Wilson, Jill Phillips, Sharon Edwards, Paul Burslem, Ken Bloor, Pete Caci, John Dowie, Steve Burrows and Matthew (surname?) all ran really well too, as the results will show. And I think a special mention should go to our veteran runners; Stan Winterton, Alan Lewis, Gerry Calvert and Don Brookes who all had brilliant runs themselves. And one final mention Ė Mark Hughes was there at the finish to congratulate us all; his hip replacement having gone well and him walking on crutches 3-4 days post-op!! Well done to all, it was a brilliant day with fantastic results!!

Thanks for that Debs and we also have the FINAL instalment in Ken Pearson's epic season. The Flying Fox was the last race in the NSRRA calendar and having already wrapped up the championship the pressure was off for this one:

After having finally won the group at Congleton after a month of concentrated effort the weeks up to the Flying Fox were a bit less focussed. Itís a bit of an anticlimax and I wasnít particularly training hard, still running, but with no particular target. Although London is on my list for next year itís a bit far away and my training schedule doesnít start until 16 January after the xmas and new year break. I thought it would be a nice change not to worry about any races for a few months but that went out of the window as the entries for the popular races next year are already out. Iíve now got an entry form for the Alsager 5 and Iíve already entered the Stafford half in March! Whatever happened to turning up on the day and entering?

The Flying Fox is a bit like some of the Sunday runs with Lionel but longer. We have run on various parts of the course,  but not all joined up or in the same direction.  Itís a relaxed race and a nice course, with a few long up hills and a few downhillís as well the added possibility of mud and floods. If the weather is sunny itís a nice way to spend Sunday morning.

I ran the race last year and had a disappointing 1.27 finish although the cup of tea at the school after the finish was very welcome. This year I didnít need to finish particularly high up in the group and I guess I had decided weeks ago that it would be a fairly relaxed run. My excuse for the Park Hall races was that we were in deepest Lincolnshire on Saturday at a friends 60th birthday party and not due to came back until early Sunday morning. After the late night I woke up about nine to be greeted with bright blue skies and sunshine but it was cold, much better than the heavy rain coming back through Derby on Saturday night. That meant that part of the course was likely to be flooded. Most of you will have noticed that many of us are running in the shiny red shoes, it feels quite odd running with other people in exactly the same red shoes. I didnít want to risk them losing their shine and sparkle if the road was flooded again so I opted for my normal trainers which now feel heavier but more comfortable.

As usual there are loads of Trentham runners all over the place, queuing for the toilets, chatting or warming up. Rose and I do the usual psychological warfare bit about how late we got in last night, the aching legs from Park Hall, how many pork pies consumed at the party etc. but I know she will overtake me in the road race league today. I declined the warming up today and replaced it with a chat to Eva and a stroll to the start. As usual I have a chat to the other F runners, not many seem to have turned up but the top 5 are all running. For a change I am not too bothered about getting up near to the front, there arenít that many runners and no fun runners so even though the lane is narrow there are no chickens or walkers to get past in the first mile and overtaking is fairly easy. Iím taking a relaxed view on life today and have a sort of target of 80 minutes but Iíve still made sure Iím not too far back. There is the Trentham road race series and a certain Rose Wilson to try and beat!

Off we go up the hill, surprisingly Iím going well and soon catch and pass Darren who usually starts very quickly and Colin. Darren tells me that Steve is somewhere in front and I should catch him soon. The relaxed bit has now become a chase to catch Steve and get another group award. I cover the first two miles in 15 minutes, quite a bit quicker that planned but no problems and its followed by a downhill mile which I do in under 7 minutes! Along the road by the railway line I ease off a bit to 7.45 pace which is fine. No sign of Steve ahead but Alan Lewis catches me and we run together for a mile or so, through the water and up the hill. Alan tells me heís good downhill and he is, he pulls out 20 metres or so down to Maer.

We pass a couple in a car on the way down to Maer with a Jimmy Hendrix track blasting out, cant remember which one though. I think I see Steve in front and reckon I can catch him in the next 4 miles. Just after the Maer junction I catch Steve only to find its not him! Oh well, he must be well out of sight but Iíve still got Alan to chase and Steve Burrowes isnít too far in front as well. I chase them both up the hill but donít reel them in. Down the hill past the start I put in a bit more effort but true to his word Alan is still quick downhill and uncatchable. I can now hear someone catching me but I push on and the heavy footfalls drop away. Just the last half mile to go and I pass Chris who obviously has an injury. Walter is taking photos as usual and I manage a smile for the photographs. Iíve tried that before but I seem to get the timing wrong and always look like Iím half dead. Hope these pictures are better. Iíve probably got the running bit sorted now, I just need to get the smiling right. What about a mark in the road so we know when to smile?

I cross the line and Iím well pleased with 1:16:47, much better than the 1:27:41 last year and the last mile was 7:01!! Another surprise awaits as Iím given the F group first finishers bowl!!  Where was Steve??

Rose finishes not that far behind me so she must have passed me in the club championship, still itís been a good race. The results and photos of the start are online on Sunday night. Well done to Sarah and Adele and everyone else who ran. I also sort out the mystery of what happened to Steve, I can see from the photos that he was never in front of me and the guy I was chasing just happened to have a similar white top and black trackster bottoms.

What next? I think that Iíll have a splash round the Stafford country course next Saturday and Iíve entered the Cheddleton Xmas Pud 10k on 27 November and the Dales Dash on 5 December.

Well done Ken. It's been fantastic keeping track of your on road battles this season and great that you are running so well. Hopefully this will continue right through winter.


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Stafford Common NSCCL race3

Saturday was the 3rd race in the North Staffs Cross Country League held at Stafford Common. Ryan Procter has penned this brief report:

Everything had changed from previous years with the race now going in an anti-clockwise direction and starting at the old hairpin at the bottom end of the common. This was mainly due to the fact that the school was no longer being used as the car-park, which was a somewhat welcome relief so we didn't have to scramble over/under/through the steel fence leading to the common. The main car park was now at the South end of the common on the big field used for car-booting on a Sunday!

After getting there early due to our first Junior Runner taking part in cross country for many years, I helped Dan carry the club tent across to the course. Dan was not running. Well, Dan was, but not Dan. The other Dan was also running his first Cross Country race as was Dan in the Under 13's but that's the other Dan. This Dan wasn't.
Think I might have confused you there, let me clarify; Dan Clowes was not running but supporting, Dan Bowman was doing his first cross country race for the club and Dan Moseley was running his first Cross Country race in the U13 boys.

After erecting the tent, young Dan (Moseley) was taken for a quick warm up by Del and then had a course reccie with myself to see where it would be best to attack and push hard. After  nervously making his way to the start he was off and took it easy on the first loop to make sure he didn't get fatigued too quickly. As it turned out he probably took it a little too easy on the first loop as he had a storming second loop overtaking a few runners and produced a storming finish making up about 5 places in the last 200 metres. All in all a very good effort for his first race coming 29/42 in 14:07. Well done young man!

Shortly after the pulsating Green Machine that is Trentham Ladies were lining up to do battle out on the Muddy Tracks. It was a slightly different course as was advertised due to the sit down protest by the cows and horses in the top field, and the Ladies did 2 identical laps instead of the 1 short and one long as first thought. Kim Fawke was miles ahead of the rest of the field for Telford, but an excellent run by Sarah, who was back home for her mum's birthday (and cross country of course) saw her finish a clear second in a time of 22:12. Next home for the birds was Mandy Vernon who also had a great race to come 6th in 23:08. Next home in 8th was Del in another great time of 23:21 and Jayne not far behind in 10th with a time of 23:31. 4 finishers all in the top 10 was a great result and sees them well clear at the top with one race to go. There were also notable runs from Christine Holmes, Deb Thomas and Becky Austin who also took points of 2nd placed Cheadle by finishing ahead of their 3rd and 4th placed runners respectively, Christine finishing strongly in 12th, Deb having a stormer for 16th and Becky finishing in 33rd. Every runner that finishes ahead of the opposition makes a great contribution to the team. Also running for Trentham were Rose Wilson, Jill Phillips and Jackie McPhail who will help strengthen the masters results.

The Men's race also had to be changed and after being told originally that it would be 4 identical laps, we were then told at the start that it would now be 3 laps. Still missing Ian Yates and a few other members of the Cross Country team it fell to some of the slightly weaker runners to make up the team this week. Adam and Jason were there along with Paul Burslem, Paul Gibbings, Carl Platt and Phil Mainwaring so it looked like we had enough strong runners to get a decent result. Unfortunately Adam had to drop out on the first lap due to a recurrence of his recent Calf Injury, meaning a 6th counter would come from lower down the field. Little did I realise that the 6th counter would be me. Only deciding to run at the last moment due to a stinking hangover I was not feeling at my best for sure. After a steady first Lap chatting to Dan Bowman and Lee Jones I decided I would try and push on a little on the 2nd loop. I made up a good few places steadily and was doing okay and on the 3rd lap really pushed hard making up a few more places heading towards the finish. It was at this point that Chris Davies came storming past me, making me look like I was running in Slo-Mo!
What the ????, surely he had finished his 3 laps. It was at this point I realised there were after all going to be four!! Ah bugger! I know a couple of runners started to head down the finish straight after 3 laps only to be turned back so at least that hadn't happened to me, but after pushing on in the 3rd I had very little left for a 4th in my current Fat State!
I dropped a few places on the final foray through the clag and probably ended up about where I was the lap before! I must say, the muddy ditch that we ran through was not the usual one but a poor substitute a bit further up the field. It is one of the highlights of Stafford Common seeing runners trying to retrieve their precious spikes from a foot deep puddle of shit! Bad show course markers!!!!

Anyway, first home was Paul Gibbings in 34th with a time of 42:10 (proving that the course was probably nearer 7 miles than 6). Jason Thomas was next home with the big Four 0 twenty seconds behind Paul G. A great run by Platty saw him finish in 51st in a time of 43:10 and then 4th back was Paul Burslem, 81st in 45:17. Philip was 5th in a time of 46:30 to finish 98th. Several millennia later the 6th counter trundled home 131st in 48:58 in the shape of me, and what a shape it is. Dan Bowman had a good run considering he was running in plimsolls as was Lee Jones, and both finished in just over 50 minutes to help the team steal points away from other meddling fingers. Talking of Meddling Fingers, mine were all over the do-nuts and flapjacks in the tent after I got my breath back and started to feel less nauseous. Malcolm Rushton, Alan Lewis and Gerry Calvert also ran for Trentham.

A quick stop off for a pint at The Star in Stone before going home to scrape the shit off to go and watch the mighty Stoke City beat a poor Liverpool 2-0. On this note boo to Christine's sister who took this moment to jet off to Australia meaning poor Carl Platt missed the game having to go and wave cheerio at the airport. Come on love, check the fixtures before emigrating next time.......

This report comes in from Dan Bowman, doing his first ever cross country race. Will he attempt another? Read on...........

So on Saturday I made my cross country debut. Saying it like that sounds like it was an eagerly anticipated debut, like Iíve won all the local road races and have decided to sprint on mud instead. In reality Iím the same old wobbly me, I was just won over by the fact cross country is free. Also, I was impressed with the camaraderie the previous week when I marshalled at Park hall so promised myself Iíd have a go at Stafford common, third of the four NSCCL races.
My diet hasnít really been going too well so my thighs still resemble kebab meat spindles and my bottomís so big I can actually whip people with it, but I waddled across the muddy car park to the Trentham tent in quite good spirits. Iíd struggled big time with running this week due to a rather naughty bout of the sniffles but I was determined to get around and have a jolly old time.
As I approached the Trentham tent I was impressed by the turnout. There must have been 20+ green vests, it looked like a huge pile of snot (in a good way) I also noticed that everyone had little spiky pixie shoe things on. I learned that they were called spikes and allow you to get a grip on the cow pats. I donít own a pair of spikes, only my bog standard road running shoes. I asked Adam if I should run in road shoes. He said Iíd be ok but I think he just said this because heís either too nice or because he wanted to see me picking cow poo out of my teeth. Not sure.
Speaking of cow pats, Iíve never seen so many! It was like a stinky mine field. Iíve been to car boot sales on Stafford common before and never noticed the cow pats before, did they ship them in for the cross country? Some of them were enormous. There were rumours that one of the under 11ís stepped in one and it sucked him in like a vast mound of eggy quicksand. Apparently all they found afterwards was a Stafford Harriers vest and some teeth buried deep in the beef quagmire. Poor kid.
Anyway I had a little jog with Steve, Ad, Karl and Phil up a little hill to get a good vantage point for the ladies/teenage boy race. I heard the distant sound of the start gun *poof* and the race was on! First were a pack of teenage boys, racing up that hill as if theyíd seen a jazz mag blowing away in the wind. First lady at this point was a young lass from Telford harriers, at least, we thought she was a young lass but the results show she was V35!? What? She looked younger than me! Which is a compliment I suppose, but seriously, 35? This girl would get IDíd for rusks! Hats off to you deceptively young Telford harriers lady. Next up the hill was Sarah. She lost a few seconds having a cheeky glance at us, but I canít blame her because weíre all well fit.
Next up was Del, followed by Mandy, Jayne, Chris, Becky, Rose, Jill and Jackie (apologies if Iíve missed anyone) Over the past few years some runners have become familiar to me and also I noticed Michelle Buckle and Ruth Cornwatch-Rice go by. Me and the boys then ran/waddled (me) over to the other side of the field to see the race post-mud. By this I mean there were some right cheeky little ditches (not to be mistaken with the song by Snoop Dogg) which nigh on sucked your shoes right off (ahem)
So once again the pack of teenage boys bounded past, followed by the V35 youngster. Sarah was about a minute behind, Mandy was hot on Delís heels but it was clear even at this point that Trentham ladies were going to run away with the show again.
After the ladies/teenage boys had disappeared off to go around the course again we all made our way to the finish line. Orange vest teenage boy was the clear winner, followed by white vest teenage boy, with tall white vest teenage boy taking third. I think orange vest teenage boy won at park hall so thereís probably a bright future for him and his bright orange vest.
Anyway, the veteran youth from Telford came in, with Sarah about two minutes behind her. I think 4 Trentham ladies were in the top ten so hats off ladies! Hats off indeed!
I did quite a lot of clapping but held back a little bit because clapping is hard work now Iím married. I used to be really good at clapping but now my wedding ring hits my hand and I bruised it at Park hall last week. I like being married but adjusting to a life with less clapping is hard. I just think itís a great way of encouraging people. That said I could probably clap with my thighs at the moment but the noise would deafen the runners, or the wind generated from my colossal flabbers would knock the runners half way to Stone, and the club tents would be gone too.
Anyhoo so the gents race was about to start. I noticed Mark Dalkins lining up alongside Chris Davies, last weeks runner up and winner respectively. That Chris Davies is a beast but itís weird, he looks like a normal bloke, heís not a bean pole like some of these elites but he just sprints non stop and doesnít even look tired. Anyhoo off went the starting gun *BABOOOOM* and off we sloshed. Already I was finding it hard work running through the mud in my road shoes. I set off with Lee but shortly afterward Ryan drew alongside us and started being a wiseguy. Lee told him he smelled like cowpats for some reason and then we started a gentle uphill where Ryan slowly edged away.
We turned the first corner and I started to edge away from Lee a little bit until *SQUELCH* I hit the first of many mud pits. I was so close to falling over in the first mud pit that I nearly had to finish the race looking like Al Jolson.
Anyhoo I waddled/squelched along the first lap and felt awful. Running cross country in road shoes is very hard. It was impossible to get any grip so I was working much harder than I should have been just to propel myself forward.
I started the second lap (of 4) and wanted to give up, I was really struggling, then things got worse, I sort of slipped/stumbled and kicked a cowpat up the legs of the runner in front of me. It was ridiculous how much cow pat I got on him. I might as well picked it up and thrown it at him using some sort of poo-catapult. Luckily he didnít react so Iím guessing he thought it was just mud. Iím glad I didnít have to share a car with him after the race, with his smelly poo legs. Poor bloke.
I waddled around the second lap feeling really rough, but then the Trentham ladies appeared! First Sarah who has a fair set of lungs on her for such a quiet girl, then the rest were a bit further on. This spurred me on and I launched into the third lap with a bit more enthusiasm.
It was during the third lap that I heard someone coming up behind me so I moved over to let them overtake, and it was Chris Davies. I WAS GETTING LAPPED!! I donít think Iíve been lapped before and initially I was a bit gutted but as he went past he said ďThank you, well doneĒ which I thought was really nice! I mean granted, he didnít even look out of breath but thatís a real class act right there. I read in the paper that he was taking it easy at Stafford because he wanted to break the course record at the Brighton 10k the following day but still, to offer encouragement and be that courteous when youíre winning a race? Amazing. About a minute later Mark Dalkins lapped me. Well done I said, then when he didnít say anything back I felt momentarily rejected, before realising that Chris Davies had set my expectations too high and 99% of elite-ish runners preserve their energy and donít speak.
The same support as lap two got me round the rest of the race, although I could also see Ken Bloor gaining on me, followed by Steve Burrows. I knew Ken was gaining on me because I felt something poke me in the thigh so I knew he must be within 40 feet of me.
Anyway, I finished the course in 50:30. No idea how far the course was but Iíd estimate 6.5 miles maybe? I dunno but it was hard work in my road shoes.
Went back to the Trentham tent to get changed and it was like a bakery in there, donuts and flajacks everywhere. Jill came in and said ďIf itís in the tent, you can help yourself to itĒ Oh Jill you little flirt, Iím a married man!
I Considered going to the pub with everyone but I had to get to Trentham gardens to get Christmas presents. In the car on the way home though I realised I couldnít go to Trentham gardens on account of my shoes being caked in about 3kg of mud/cowpats. I then considered going to the pub after all but was too dirty for that too because they chose a pub in Stone. In Stoke I would have been ok, Mud/cowpat is permitted in some pubs there, and actively encouraged in the Burton stores I believe but in Stone I would have looked like a suspicious hobo. Suspicious in that Iím clearly well fed so people would have been all like ďWhereís he been getting all that foodĒ
ErmÖ to conclude, cross country was fun but I probably wonít do it again until I invest in some spikes. Iíll do the Christmas pudding run a week Saturday where I hope to knock a fair chunk off my 10k pb. Iíll keep you posted, I should be able to knock 3-4 minutes off it with a bit of luck. Oh also Iím gutted about Adam getting injured. I donít do lists but if I had a top 10 favourite people at the club list heíd easily be sitting in the top five. Love that guy. Good luck with your recovery amigo!

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Roaches Fell Race

Philip Mainwaring has sent in his report from the Roaches Fell Race, which took place last Sunday 14th November, the day after Stafford Common XC race which he also ran (extremely well I add). This is Phil's report:

On Sunday, I decided to have a go at one of the local fell races over at the Roaches. Dale has been gently encouraging me into this type of racing and warning me of the vital equipment necessary, so at the start I was equipped with fell shoes, waterproof jacket, waterproof leggings, hydration pack with 1.5litres of water, compass, map, emergency whistle, mobile phone, hat, etc so that even if I was lost and stranded in a cave for several days, I would still be quite comfortable. I started the race feeling tired after the X Country the day before and pride gave way to reality as I realised even though I was running up the Roaches I was failing to overtake a woman in front of me who was walking up. I managed to avoid walking for the most part, but for sections such as scrambling up Shutlingsloe peak it was unavoidable. Also, I wasnít willing to run a reckless descent on tired legs so I lost quite a few places going down to the river crossing and then had a funny moment going across a boggy field that quite suddenly left me waist deep in mud. I was grateful for the waterproof jacket as going over some of the peaks involved a wind chill that my Trentham vest alone was struggling to cope with.

The race was incredibly well marshalled even offering a drinks stop (apart from the river) making sure no one had the chance to get lost. The route passed over the Roaches towards Shutlingsloe peak and back again, covering 15 miles and 5,700ft of ascent with a few hundred runners completing the course, of which the winner finished in 2hrs 5mins, and who cheerfully encouraged me on as he sprinted back towards the Roaches while I was still aiming at the half way point. I finished in just over three hours and positively started picking off other runners towards the latter stages of the race when endurance started to count. This was a spectacular route with views stretching across the Peak District, but I got the impression that if the weather conditions hadnít been as good as they were it couldíve turned quite treacherous, especially on the rocky descents. 

Thanks for the report Phil. Sounds like you had a really good race and also enjoyed it. I do always feel, like you, that the weather conditions can play a massive part in fell racing and make a huge difference to not only the times, but also the capability of some of the participants. Well done matey :-)


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Cheddleton Christmas Pud 10K

Cheddleton Pudding race took place at the weekend and Dan Bowman has sent in this report from the Moorlands Race. You may want to make a cup of tea first......

2010 has been my best year with regards to running. I joined the club in January and since then Iíve knocked 9 minutes off my half marathon PB, 3 Ĺ minutes off my 5 mile PB and 14 minutes off my marathon best. The one (common) distance that has eluded me throughout the year has been the 10k. I got a PB last year at St Michaels 10k of 45:26, failed to beat it at the Burton Midsummer 10k a month later (due to scorching hot weather) and then didnít run another one until St Michaels this year, which turned out to be the hottest race Iíve ever done. It seemed that mother nature didnít want me to get a 10k PB. I was confident of finally getting under 45 minutes at the Cheddleton pudding run though. There was no way the weather would be out to get me for a third time. Went to sleep looking forward to a nice shiny new PB.
Naturally it snowed overnight. I grumbled and made myself cheese on toast. Cathedral city since you asked. People are always raving on about Cathedral city but Iíd never tried it, until I saw it on offer in ASDA the other night. Iíd always been put off by the advert, where they just had this yokel scream ďCATHEDRAL CITTTTTTY!!!Ē into the camera over and over again. Iím happy to report that that cheese on toast was sensational. I put a little bit of tomato sauce on it too and the result was devine. If I had one criticism of Cathedral city Iíd say it gets a little bit runny, even when nicely browned on top. Iím quite into my cheese and Iíd definitely buy Cathedral city again. In fact, I can understand why that yokel couldnít stop screaming Cathedral city now, though I think heíd had a bit too much. ďWhat would you like sir?Ē ďCATHEDRAL CITTTTTTTY!Ē ďSorry I think youíve had enoughĒ ďIíll tell you when Iíve had enough! I need some of that mature yet slightly mild goodness in my yokel tummyĒ
I checked Facebook after Iíd eaten my delicious breakfast and saw Walt had posted that ďParking was tightĒ at Cheddleton. I wasnít sure whether he meant there wasnít much parking, or was using 80ís slang and the parking was in fact amazing. Looking out of the window at Satanís blanket however, I realised that Cheddleton wasnít going to be much fun at all. Gulp! The gulp was me having a mouthful of ginger beer. I like ginger beer.
I set off at 1 oíclock for the 2pm start. After about 5 minutes I realised Iíd left my Trentham vest at home so I had to go back and get it. I was running (badum-tish!) a bit late now.
Parked up on the main road in Cheddleton at 1:35 and had a jog to the registration bit. Like most blokes my age, I own a Davy Crockett hat for use in cold weather. I got some funny looks from people as a result. Deanne says itís because I look stupid in it but I strongly suspect that sheís jealous and in fact I look amazing in it and the funny looks I get are ďOh my god that hat is amazing, as is the fitto wearing itĒ
I bounded into the registration room, got my number and bounded back out to the start line. I gave my hat to Leeís wife to look after. Everyone in the crowd was well jealous of her for obtaining my great hat. It was like in the Polar express when Santa gives the main kid the first gift of Christmas. I jumped into the sea of vests and nestled up next to Walt and Ken, about half way back in the field. I had nary a moment to tie my laces when ďAAAWWWOOOOOOGAAAAAĒ The starting horn went.
Now I vaguely remembered a bit of a bottle neck the last time I did the race but whoooooah baby! I couldnít move! I was tripping over runners left right and centre trying to get past. As we reached the top of the hill there was a little bit more space but I was really annoyed as I felt good but my first mile clocked in at just over 3 weeks. Another thing I realised was that Lee has a tendency to line up on the very front row so he had a pretty good head start on me. Leeís come close to beating me on a few occasions this year and I realised that Iíd have to have a good run to catch him up.

After the sea of people had parted a little I passed Ken Bloor. This took about 30 seconds. I then passed Rose who was storming through the field, then after we started toward the next hill I saw Becky Austin ahead. Well, I didnít see Becky per se, but there appeared to be about 6 blokes using someone as a pace maker, and letís just say that in my experience, blokes donít use women who look like Susan Boyle as pace makers, if you catch my drift. Anyway, I passed Adrian Mole and his 5 mates, said hello to Becky then started to climb the first hill. I heard Deb coming up behind me (distinct breathing/euphoric moaning) and she gave me a bit of encouragement. Iíve gotta admit I felt really strong, but was frustrated by the time I lost with the sardines in the first mile.
Anyway, I saw Lee on the horizon. Deb was now pretty much level with me and we soldiered forward. As I passed Lee I slapped him on the bum. I think he enjoyed this. He shouted after me ďMake sure you beat MattĒ Matt is a farily new guy whoís pretty much the same speed as me so didnít think Iíd beat him.
So down the steep hill I went, neck and neck with Deb. I still felt strong and after getting some encouragement from Del and Adam we started the second lap. I was grateful for having Deb to run with actually because she kept me at a nice steady pace. She was wearing a fancy running watch. I havenít got a running watch, I just own a £7 casio piece of rubbish. I may as well draw a little watch on my arm. I think Iíll do that for my next race, draw a watch on my wrist with ďWorld recordĒ on the display, or is that a little childish? On this occasion Iíd not even bothered putting my watch on because I thought a PB would be impossible in the snow. Hats off to the gritters though. Nice gritting. Stuck with Deb for the whole second lap and started the third, but started to trail off a little bit. Gave a little wave to Bryan Dale, then Deb gained a few seconds on me before DISASTER STRUCK! My stupid red shoes threw a spanner in the works and my lace came undone! I had to stop and do up my lace. I saw Deb sail off into the distance even further. She would have annihilated me anyway but I probably lost about 10 seconds here.

Started running again and sprinted past this Congleton dude whoíd gone past me while I was lacing up. I also, to my eternal surprise, passed that nice smiley bloke from Cheadle, Russell Williams. As I went past he looked at me with a sort of ďwhy is a chubby person overtaking meĒ expression on his face. He carried on smiling mind. Iíve never seen him frown ever. What a lovely happy chappie. Couldnít believe I passed him though. Iím guessing he was taking it easy because usually heíd be running sub 40 minutes surely?
Whilst writing this someone just passed me a Krispy Kreme donut. Iíve never had one before. It was butterscotch flavour and it was to die for.
Speaking of donuts, back to the race, where there were no donuts. Is the correct spelling donut or doughnut? Neither is coming up as incorrect. One of lifes great mysteries.
Anyway, back to the race, where there were no donuts. Donuts spelled backwards is Stunod. That would be a good name for a Viking.
Anyway, back to the race whereÖ You know, that Stunod thing has been playing on my mind a bit. I wonder if somebody called Stunod, possibly a Viking, invented donuts? Iíll Google it.
Ah. Google informs me that: Stunod is Southern Italian dialect for "stupid". I guess you could say my theory was a bit stunod. Thatís my new favourite word. Stunod.
So anyway, back to the race. Before we explored the world of donuts I was on the last lap, having just done my lace and overtaken happy happy Russell from Cheadle. I could see Deb on the horizon, catching up with Big Phil. Oh I forgot to mention, I passed Matt prior to this which surprised me, especially with my ridiculous first mile and my lace stop off.
Some dame from Congleton tried to get past me on the final descent. I was all like ďNo way JoseĒ (most people write no way hose, haha thatís like declining a watering can. Speaking of watering cans, why do people say ďOooh my eyes are wateringĒ ? theyíre leaking, not watering. Thatís like saying ďMy nose is bloodingĒ )
So I bounded down the steep hill and crossed the line. The results arenít out yet but Iím sure Deb, Phil and I finished one after another. Three Trenthamers in a row, more like a train drivers cucumber baguette than a sandwich.

Deb crossed the line in roughly 42:50 so Iíd estimate that my time was about 43:10, a huge new PB! Very pleased with that considering the course/weather/laces/congestion.
Saw Becky come in, and Lee, Walt, Ken Pearson, The Bloorient express, Rose and others too. Very good turnout for Trentham. Sarah Johnson won the ladies race. Speaking of Sarah, whatís her name? Some people call her Sara and some call her Sarah. Iím confused. Should I be calling her Sar-rar or Sair-rar? Fill me in like an egg sandwich people!
Anyway, to conclude, I had a very nice Christmassy day with some top notch folk. Cheers to everyone who supported. Like I say, the results arenít out but Iím 99% sure I got a big PB. Well done everyone. Next up is the Christmas cracker on the 19th. We should try and get a massive posse doing that one. Iíve already got my fancy dress costume ready and itís truly my favourite race of the year. Check it out. Itís amazing.


Results for the Cheddleton 10K are now HERE!





Page last updated 29 November 2010


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