December News

Birmingham Cross Country

Saturday saw the latest round of the Birmingham Cross Country League for the Men's team and the Midland league for the Ladies. The men's team (heavy on injuries) just about managed to scrape together 6 runners for their race and Roger Grand has kindly sent in his account of the day's events:

Well the men's team just managed to cobble together 6 of their finest hunky men for the next round of the Birmingham xc league, I opted to drive as I can get 7 in my little car, we met at the club and set off at 11.30 with a 90 mile drive in front of us. Snow, ice, blizzards who knew what would confront us in the back end of beyond......Sod all actually!
When we got there, no snow no ice no blizzards just a mild temp of 6-8 degrees and the flattest field you've ever seen, not really a xc course. As most of us had prepared for near Arctic conditions we quickly decided not to wear multiple layers that is apart from me who had only brought running tights and long sleeved tops.... bugger! am gonna sweat me bits off. After a coffee inside the sports centre there we got changed (Platty, big Phil, Cantona, Mr Gibbings and international playboy Dan Clowes) I'm not saying I had the mick taken for my attire but most people were walking home at this point, the race came and I think it was the longest start line I've been in, at the off I wanted to keep Platty and Mr Gibbings insight which I managed to do and even managed to keep up with them, I can't say it was a very inspiring course as you could see how far the leaders were and didn't do much for ego as they had romped off and you knew they were probably as fresh as a daisy. The last lap I thought thank god! Mr Gibbings was 3 places in front of me & I was doing my best to stay with him, then disaster struck with about a 3rd to go Mr Gibbings pulled up and I knew his calf was too blame, Platty came home 1st for us, then me, Cantona (Paul Burslem) 3rd, Big Phil 4th, too his credit Mr Gibbings came home 5th and Dan 6th. everyone had done their best, and I look forward too Jan 15th for the next one.

Well done Roger and thanks for sending in he report. by the sounds of things it was a pretty decent team out in the end. The Ladies also braved a long Motorway Journey south for their Midlands League clash and Delbert Salty Lips has sent us in this report:

Snow and ice didn't stop "The Magnificent 7" intrepid Trentham ladies heading over to Perry Barr on Saturday for the second race in the Midland Ladies Cross County League. Although the course was relatively flat, it was still heavy going underfoot due to melting snow, but our ladies made light work of the conditions to record their best score of the league so far.
Sarah Johnson had an eventful journey trekking over from the wintry depths of Leicestershire and there was concern that she wouldn't make it due to train cancellations. Thankfully, the young starlet made the start in plenty of time, and had a fantastic run to finish in 9th position. Joanne Donnelly also had a superb run (she reckons it's because she knew Mandy, Del and Jayne wouldn't be too far behind, but we reckon she's putting in extra training sessions!) to finish 24th. The last counter to score in the open team event was Mandy Vernon, who finished in an excellent 35th position, giving an overall score of just 68 points - 30 better than last time - whoohoo!
With Jo and Mandy also being vets, it was left to Jayne and Del to fight for the final spot in the vet team, with Jayne pipping Del to the post and out-sprinting another team's runner in the process to claim 38th position - great finish Jayne! This gave the vets team a better score than last time, to finish on 97 points.
Yours truly was next across the line in 40th position, which meant it was left to Becky Austin and Rose Wilson to bring up the rear. With the rest of the team screaming at them with 100 yards to go, both Becky and Rose had a brilliant sprint finish, and managed to pass other runners in the process.
All in all, despite the cold, damp, snowy weather, Trentham ladies once again held their own in an extremely competitive league. Not sure of where that puts us in the team competition after 2 races, but pretty certain we ain't doing so bad!

See you all next week at Leek for more of the same - yeehaw!!!!!

Well done Ladies and thanks Delbert for sending in the report. As Del mentioned it is Leek, Westwood for the last race in the North Staffs League next Saturday so best get them spikes cleaned and dried off pretty sharpish me-thinks!


Apedale Dash

Sunday was the Dales Dash at Apedale Country Park near Newcastle Under Lyme and quite a few Trentham Runners turned up to take part. Quite a few having done cross country the day before. One of them was Jo Donnelly. Read on to see if she managed to follow the course this year instead of following some Muppet the wrong way as she did last year. (Yes I was the Muppet)!

After a very snowy cross country on Saturday I headed to Apedale on Sunday morning for the annual 10k. I Managed to persuade my husband to have a run out with me as any type of outdoor biking was out of the question in the current weather. (cycling is his sport of choice).
As you can imagine, the going under foot was very icy and it was a bit chilly. There were a few nutters in just shorts and vest (Paul Burslem) but thankfully no girls in crop tops!!!! Full credit to the organisers as bark had been placed on steep down hill sections, sheer ice patches cordoned off and loads of marshals warning of icy patches and directing runners onto the grass where necessary.

Arrived at the start/registration point at 10.50am to find that the race was actually starting at 11am, not 11.30am as I had thought. Mad rush to get registered and kit off, just making it to the start in time. Who needs a warm up!!!!  I was pleased to see quite a few other Trentham runners, the usual familiar faces from local clubs and a fair few Santas etc.
After health and safety warnings from the organisers, BOOOMMM went the gun (just for you Dan) and off we went. By the top of the first hill my husband assured me there were no women in front, so I tried to relax and work hard where I could. Even though the going was pretty tough and I was being cautious on the down hills and corners, overall I really enjoyed the run. Also managed to stay on the right course this year (quite a few people went the wrong way last year, including me Sarah and Ryan), which was an added bonus.

Good results all round for Team Trentham, with Rob having a good run to finish 7th (I think) and Paul Burslem continuing his return to form to finish 16ish. Myself and Jane were also 1st and 2nd in the ladies race.
Even though we were credited with the same time, it must also be noted that I officially beat my husband according to the results. I remember now why my husband took up cycling instead of running, as we just bickered for the rest of the day about who was working the hardest and who looked the tiredest etc etc. Not that we are competitive!!!!! Itís so annoying that he just turns out, 2 years after his last race and can keep up with me!!!!

Well done to all who took part and bring on Leek next week!!!!

Here are the results for Dales Dash, no HERE Silly!

And as Joanne Says, roll on Leek next week!!!!

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North Staffs XC - Round 4

The final round of the North Staffs Cross Country League took place at the weekend at Westwood High School in Leek. Deborah Thomas has been kind enough to send in this report:

The fourth race of the Staffs XC League is renown for being the toughest with hills and sludge and bad weather but this year conditions were a little milder and thankfully the melted snow and ice hadnít left the course as wet and muddy as we thought it may have so underfoot was reasonable.
I travelled up with Richard, superstar Sarah and the tent and we got there with just over an hour to go. Once the tent was set up the usual of squeezing into your spikes, trips to the loos and warm up were done and then at 1.30pm it was the start of the ladies 5k race. Another change to the course meant we now started at the top of the hill that in previous years weíve had to run up to begin with (relief!!).
On the gun we all shot off and straight through a cold, wet and muddy ditch (yuck!) and then straight into a steep downhill. The runners began to separate out on the downhill and were into single file by the time you reached the bottom so I carried on along the narrow muddy/grassy pathway until taking a sharp right into the field. I had no idea where I was amongst the ladies but not too far in front was a group of 4 running close together and also one or two stragglers which I hoped to swoop past at some point on the hills and into the second lap, which is usually when I just start to get going! Another sharp right out of the field and trying not to slip in the patch of gooey mud you follow the path and then take in another climb before having to plunge into another steep downhill, which is also on an angle, and then around through some more mud before having to try and run up THAT mini mountain!! (Iím not exaggerating about the size of this thing, itís like the King Kong of hills!!)

 As usual this is the spot where most spectators position themselves to give some support/encouragement/abuse to the runners struggling to keep their legs pushing up the hill and there was plenty of it! On the first lap I could hear hearty shouts from Christine and Richard which kept us going and then at the top some of the gents were screaming at us to keep moving! I dread to think about the expression on my face as I can recall pulling my lips back over my teeth with the pain..!!! At the top of the hill you turn left and for about 200 metres have a gentle downhill and a minute or so to try and steady your breathing before having to climb up another, more intermediate, hill and then do another final lap.

 Into the second lap I succeeded in overtaking the group of 4 and also a straggler so I was quite pleased with myself but into the last 200 metres I was overtaken by a certain Rebecca Harrison from Cheadle but I had no more oxygen in my lungs or energy in my legs to try and get past her, damn it! The results show there was 1 second in it!! I was 20th overall and there were again incredible performances from all our other ladiesĖ Sara 2nd, Jayne 8th, Del 11th, Mandy 12th, me 20th, Becky 33rd, Rose 41st, Jackie 98th. This meant that for the third year running Trentham Ladies won the North Staffs XC league and our lady vets were 2nd overall Ė fantastico!!!

I would also like to say a massive well done to all our ladies who turned out and ran their hearts out to get us to winning position again. We have a lot of talented and brave ladies and itís been fun and hard work and an honour and a pleasure to run with you all!! And well done to our guys team too who have had to endure some of the faster runners being unable to run due to injuries but have still managed to turn out a full team on every occasion who have done just as brilliant! Oh and one more thank you to everyone who has turned up and stood around in the cold and mud to give us a yell of encouragement, it really helps and is very appreciated, thanks a lot

Nothing from any of the Men's team as yet so in the meantime we'll just have to guess if they managed to stay up or not.......

You can find out all the results from the cross country on our Cross Country Page HERE!

On another note, The evening Sentinel produced a piece on our ever improving Superstar, Sarah Johnson last week, so if you haven't managed to read it yet then HERE it is!


Christmas Cracker

A good number of Trentham runners turned out for the annual Christmas Cracker on Sunday. With all the snow the previous couple of days it was odds on to be the shortened course around the reservoir. Adam Brearley was one of those to take part:

Had been looking forward to the Christmas cracker for a couple of weeks, having heard all the stories from past years events, was looking forward to dressing up and trekking around the roaches. However having heard that because of the adverse weather conditions the race was now around Tittersworth Reservoir, I must admit I wasnít too disappointed as the thought of climbing to the top of the Roaches didnít sit well with the calf injury that I am supposed to be recovering !
Anyway to the dress code. Vinn (yard) kindly donated his Fairy outfit from last yearís race, so all I needed was a pair of sexy fishnets. Deb kindly offered me a pair, but told me in no uncertain terms to Ďdonít get any holes in themí. So lo and behold, as soon as a put my first foot in, my big toe nail ripped them wide open ! Oh well, like I am used to wearing this sort of attire dear J Having got to the race in good time (cheers for the lift Del, you had more or less woken up by the time we got there ;) ), I could tell it was going to be a great morning, everyone was dressed up and there was a great atmosphere. Loads of guys and gals from Trentham were there, but if I thought I was cold, Paul Burslem in his fishnets and short sleeved shirt with no glovesÖÖ.I take my Christmas hat off to you mate ! Dan had a top Penguin costume on, wouldnít have expected any less Dan, and everyone was in the Christmas spirit and ready for the run.
Went off on the gun, and there was just laughter everywhere, completely different than anything I had experienced at a race before. Having run this exact course as the opening Summer Series race in June, and also ran it many times over the years when I was footballing, it is the one that I am most familiar with by a mile. My plan was always to treat this as a good tempo run, partly because am still slightly anxious about racing on this terrain with my calf, and secondly because I do not yet own a pair of trail shoes, so knew I would be slipping all over the place !!

The first mile seemed a real slog, probably because I hadnít done a proper warm up, but Vinnie soon came to give me a bit of company, and we had a bit of a laugh and got into a stride. The course is quite undulating, not the toughest, but far from easy with plenty of small hills to get through. Having crossed the Dam over the Reservoir you are confronted with a steep climb up some steps, but knew this was coming and once you are at the top and up the other hill, I always feel this is the home straight with around 1 ĺ miles to go. Going through a couple of farms, over cattle grids, I was starting to focus on a couple of guys between 10-20 seconds in front, while trying to maintain concentration so not to fall flat on my @rse !

Caught the 2 guys within a couple of minutes and was starting to feel strong, think the last 3 weeks of training have started to feel the benefit being injury free. However my mind wandered at completely the wrong time as I was heading down a steepish road and was like Bambi on Ice as I hurtled towards the bottom, thankful there was a fence to grab hold of as a slid to a halt. Turned right for a few seconds only to hear a cry of Ďitís left mate !!!!í. Sh1t !! So having overtook the 2 fellas and started to pull away they were now right back with me. Over the next 30 seconds a guy came flying across the middle of a field instead of sticking to the actual path that the course was on, just to gain an advantage. I shouted something at him, and all of a sudden had this determination that no one was going to get past me !!

Pulled away and felt good coming into the finish in a time of 30:20 in 14th place. Slower than my summer time by about 1minute, but not bad all things considering. Dan had a brilliant run in 32:30 (I think Ö), and was over the moon, brilliant effort mate. In fact everyone had a really good run, even Lee who had to stop because he was cooking in his Santa Suit !!!!
Had really good day and canít wait to do it next year. Thanks for all the support, Deb, Deanne (probably spelt that wrong Dan) and Sammy, was much appreciated and know that it is far colder watching than it is running ! So thatís it, essay over, hope you are all still awake, have a great Christmas and New Year to everyone at Trentham, must say I have enjoyed my first year at the club so much, hereís to many many more J!!!!

Thanks for the report Adam and well done on such a great race!




Page last updated 20 December 2010


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