Well, Happy New Year Folks and
wishing all Trentham Runners a pleasant and injury free
No reports through as yet but
something of interest has appeared in the inbox. Daniel
Bowman joined the club in January last year and has really
enjoyed his first season with us, and we've all had the
pleasure of reading his reports. Dan has decided to compile
a list of his most noteworthy events of 2010 and send them
in so here is his year in review:
In a weeks time
it’ll be one whole year since I joined Trentham RC. Before I
joined I was just a camp flabby thing who occasionally
wobbled around races. A year on and I’m a married camp
flabby thing that wobbles around races slightly faster. As
such I thought I’d compile a list of some noteworthy notes
of things that I’ve noted from my first year at the club (of
which there are many) and send it in. It’d perhaps be nice
if others sent in their 2010 highlights too but if not you
can feast upon my mind instead. I’ve tried to make them
roughly chronological. Here goes:
My first run down at the club in early January saw about 20
runners turn up due to the terrible weather. I went out with
a slow/middle group hybrid and struggled to stay on my feet.
I also struck up my first new friendship in meeting Ken
Pearson. I immediately liked his beard and hoped to meet
many more beards throughout the year. I was to be
disappointed, Trentham is a very clean shaven club.
Turned up at the Alsager 5 to run my first race for the
club. Came away with a new PB. No one really knew my name so
people just greeted me with phrases like “Good morrow young
scamp” and “I like your vest it is like mine it is, yes very
green, what ho” What a boring race. I have no idea why all
the quick runners battle to be crowned king/queen of
First spoke to Lee on a midweek club run. I learned that he
goes to the toilet a lot, mainly in pubs and on grass.
Got my first half marathon PB of the year at Brighton – 1:41
races on consecutive Sundays. The world’s first “Kilomathon”
the Stafford half and the Liverpool half all within 14 days
Kilomathon in 2:08. Another Trentham runner called Neil or
possibly Nigel ran it and we had a closely contested race to
become the first Trentham runner ever to complete a
Kilomathon. I edged it in the final 200 meters. Technically
I hold the worst club record in Trentham history I suppose.
Ran the Stafford
half in 1:42, disappointing. Lee ran 1:47 in his first ever
half marathon but got announced as Jim by the PA as he
crossed the line because they didn’t process his number
transfer properly. Weather was pretty hot for the time of
year. Sarah pulled a magnificent rabbit out of the hat to
finish 2nd lady. I remember this was the first time I’d met
Rose. We battled in the last 2 miles and eventually I just
about edged it. There’s a photo on Bryan Dale of us running
together. I’ve since discovered that she’s a nice lady but
that photo suggests she wanted to set fire to my face.
Ran the Liverpool
half with a stinking cold but somehow managed to get my
first ever sub 1:40 time though I had my watch robbed half
way round so there was a price to pay. It could have been
worse though, I passed some runners who were on bricks,
having had their shoes stolen.
Discovered that Ian was in his mid thirties. This surprised
me a great deal as I’d seen him at loads of races before and
always thought he was 14 or so. I think it’s his great hair.
He’d go down a treat in prison.
Signed up for the
Chester marathon, along with Del, Kat, Jill and the
Met Adam for the first time at the spring treble.
Congratulated Del on winning the Blackpool marathon. Ian and
Jo both came second as I recall.
Watched London marathon on the telly. Spotted Ben Gamble
amongst the elite men at the start. He came 32nd place
overall which is phenomenal, strangely he would remain
largely absent from racing for the remainder of the year.
Was with Deanne in ASDA and saw Jo at the checkout. Deanne
commented on how pretty Jo was. That’s nice thought I.
marathon in a PB time of 3:56 which I wasn’t happy with but
I didn’t train particularly well so it’s my own fault
Deanne again commented on Jo being pretty. Started to wonder
if Deanne was on the turn. Had worrying thoughts of her
jilting me at the altar to run off with a bricklayer called
Beryl. Also of note, Ryan tied me to Chris Mosiuk’s brother
using an un-untyable knot. We won the three legged race but
although I’ve never admitted it to anyone before, we
cheated! MWAHAHAHA! Our laces snapped within a few steps and
we ran the race with four limbs! I felt guilty about it
until I received my sweet #1 sticker and I was like “HA
Met Lee’s lovely family. Deanne hit it off straight away
with his wife Sammy which I was happy about because Deanne
from this point wouldn’t mind coming to races with me.
Ran Potters arf
after a night on the pizza and beer having watched England
draw against USA in the world cup. Regretted it after
suffering with stomach cramps after just 2 miles. Had my
first ever mid race wee. 1:41. Got my silver medal I
suppose. Going to try for gold in 2011.
The race victories continued to stack up for Sarah.
Meanwhile Carl and Adam closed in on Ian’s status as fastest
Had my best race
so far in 2010 by runner a PB time of 34:30 at JCB 5. Was
cheered into a sprint finish by Adam, cheers for that amigo!
Got married in
August at Sandon hall. I was genuinely touched by the amount
of Trentham guys who turned up at the pub afterwards, on a
Thursday no less! Love you guys for that, made the day
Went on my
honeymoon to Kenya. Went for a run on my first morning
there. Managed 5 miles but almost passed out so didn’t run
again. Played beach volleyball instead which I’m pretty good
at as it turned out.
Kenya about a stone heavier. Went to Guy and Eva’s wedding
on the Friday night, thinking Ipstones 5 was on the Sunday.
It wasn’t, it was the following day. Thanks to the amazing
free bar I had 6 pints and unsurprisingly had my worst race
of the year at Ipstones. I also couldn’t find my running
shorts so turned up in beach shorts and looked a right mess.
Ran Congleton and
missed out on a half mara PB by 5 seconds. Was still quite
out of shape from honeymoon at this point. Went for lunch
with Lee and his family afterward which was nice.
A former Trentham
runner David, who I didn’t get chance to meet passed away,
and I thought the respect shown to him was touching, even by
those who like myself, hadn’t met him.
On a Tuesday night muster, Becky Austin introduced herself
and expressed her fondness of my race reports. “Your stuff
makes me cry!” She exclaimed, which I’m very grateful wasn’t
overheard by a passer-by.
half after some decent training and ran a big PB of 1:34.
Had a really good day but the big news was that Sarah ran
1:18, which the Sentinel would later say was the quickest
half marathon ran by an English <20 female in 2010. That’s
pretty special right there.
Failed to get
into the London marathon at the club ballot. 3 places, 4
applicants and I didn’t get pulled out of the hat. Initially
gutted but happy for the people who got in.
Tottenham defeated Inter Milan at White Hart lane.
Marshalled a race
for the first time. Had a scary moment at the end where a
runner was having chest pains so I had to run to get a park
ranger type bloke but then on my way back up I fell into a
massive muddy puddle, so any heroism I’d built up went
straight back out of the window.
Ran my first ever
cross country race in road shoes. It wasn’t pretty but the
team spirit really was amazing.
Ran a 10k PB of
43 mins at the Cheddleton pudding run. I ran most of the
race with Debbie and am really grateful for the support/pacemaking
My team came second in the Christmas party pub quiz.
Eased off with the running toward the end of the year. Made
an appearance at the Christmas cracker where I positioned
34th out of 252 runners. My best ever position. Had an
amazing day in the snow with other Trentham’ers who were
dressed like plebs for the day.
And that’s my first year with Trentham. I think 2011 is
going to be even better from a personal point of view and
also for the club in general. If Ian gets back to full
fitness, Adam, Carl and Paul will be a formidable unit in
team events. Sarah could very well get her first half
marathon victory, the ladies will do well in the cross
country as usual, Del will probably win a marathon etc.
Personally, I’ve entered NSRRA and my targets are sub 90
minute half, sub 40 minute 10k and sub 31 minutes for 5
miles. I’ll also do a marathon at some point and aim for
So in summary, I’ve had an amazing year, joining Trentham is
one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve met some
amazing people and look forward to seeing/beating you all in
2011. All the best for the new year.
Thanks for that Dan, and Happy
New Year to you too!!!
Saturday was the annual
Staffordshire County Cross Country Championships which took
place on Stafford Common, for a change, and although due to
illness and injury the Men probably wouldn't have a team out
the Ladies most certainly did with a very strong team
heading down to Stafford.
The Men only
managed to get 5 out with Dale Colclough, Sam Newton, Paul
Burslem, Gerry Calvert and Malcolm Rushton among the
finishers. Unfortunately this was not enough to give a team
result requiring 6 finishers, but I'm sure they all gave
good accounts of themselves.
In The Ladies it was a different
story with a strong team on show sure to challenge for the
top honours. Sarah Johnson once again had a fantastic run to
come 2nd in both the U20's and the Open Ladies just pipped
to the line by Stoke AC runner kate Holt. Next across the
line was Jo Donnelly in 9th Place just over a minute behind
Sarah and then next over the line was Mandy Vernon in 12th
place about 20 seconds behind Jo.
This gave Trentham a team score
of 23 points and easily the best score of the day which
meant that Trentham Ladies were crowned Staffordshire AAA
champions in cross country for 2011.
Also doing the
club proud for the ladies were Jayne Dickens(15th), Del
Salt(17th), Rose Wilson(29th) and Jacquie McPhail(54th) so
congratulations and well done to all of those that ran. The
Ladies also managed to scoop the Ladies Veterans Team prize
with Jo, Mandy and Jayne finishing a whopping 40 points
better off than Newcastle AC in 2nd so well done on that
Results for the races can be found
A report has come through from
Stafford Common from our Ultra Runner Extrordinaire Adela
Salt who has kindly sent in this offering:
Before I start,
this isn't about me - it's about a fantastic team that just
keeps getting better and better, and I'm so proud to be a
part of it!
On Saturday it was the county cross country championships,
and what better place to have it than on the Common in the
county town of Stafford. In the absence of team captain and
manager Mr O'Keeffe, I'd stepped in as his deputy to make
sure we had the club tent and collected the numbers, which
isn't half stressful when you also have to focus on racing
as well. Thankfully I had the company of Deb Thomas (who was
unfortunately unable to run), and she not only helped to put
the tent up with me, but also did 2 hours of doggy sitting,
was tremendous support giving us all a shout during the race
AND provided post-race refreshments in the form of the
Despite the absence of some of our regulars (Chris and Becky
were both poorly, and Debs is injured), Trentham ladies
still had a pretty good turnout in the form of young
startlet and surely a future international for the club -
Sarah Johnson, the not-so-new-now newcomer Mandy Vernon, the
ever tenacious Joanne Donnelly, the
Jayne Dickens, the ever smiling Rose Wilson, Jackie Macphail
and finally me who still claims to be a long-distance
plodder (which is becoming more and more apparent!)
The course had actually changed this time to include the top
section of the common, and with recent snow melt and rain,
some parts were certainly heavy going in the mud. There was
even a proper ditch section with a bit of a scramble up the
other side, and I have to say that even though I felt like
poo and was tired today, I did actually enjoy this new
Shortly after the start, most of my team mates had already
stormed ahead and were just dots on the landscape, although
I could still see Jayne having a battle with Bec Harrison
from Cheadle not too far ahead. The finish line for me
couldn't have come sooner, and surprisingly I was handed a
reserve letter for the county team at the Inter-Counties in
March (which I won't be doing as I've got an ultra planned
that month!) What was even more pleasing for me was that
even though I wasn't a counter for our team this time, the
other Trentham ladies ahead of me had done absolutely
brilliant! For the second time in the club's 20+ years
history, the ladies team came away as County Champions,
beating the likes of Tipton Harriers and Wolverhampton and
Bilston. In addition, the vets team were also crowned
champions, whilst it was individual silver for Sarah in the
under 20's and open race, and individual bronze in the
veteran race for Jo. So, as I said at the beginning, this
isn't about me, but more about what a fantastic ladies team
we have at Trentham which I'm sure will go from strength to
Unfortunately the gents struggled to get a team out due to
injury, illness, and would you believe it football???!!!!
However, it was great to see Dale Colclough, Sam Newton,
Paul Burslem, Gerry Calvert and Malcolm Rushton out there
representing the club and having good runs, and also giving
us encouraging shouts whilst we were racing, along with Mark
Hughes and Carl Platt who joined Debs as spectators and
offered their support.
So although it was a disappointing race for me personally,
from a team point of view it couldn't have been better - and
that's what I love about Trentham!
Thanks for that Del, and well
done on your run at Stafford.
If anyone else would like to send in a report then please
feel free! The more the better!
Trig Points Race
The tough off-road race that is
the Trig Points Challenge took place on the tracks and
trails of Cannock Chase on Sunday. Fortunately the skies
were blue and the snow and ice had mostly melted away, not
like last year. One of the Runners taking part was one of
our newer members Adam Grew. He has kindly sent us in this
down the club on a Tuesday evening a few times in November
and been made to feel most welcome I sent off my membership
form to join TRC in December. Unfortunately, December was
not a great month for running thanks to icy pavements, a
winter cold and the Christmas break. However, 2011 dawned
and having signed up for the Wilmslow 1/2 in March (fast
course = PB) I wanted to start the new year on a positive
Last Tuesday I picked up my race vest from Lionel and today
found myself entering the annual Cannock Chase Trig race
knowing that my 6 mile lunchtime runs were not ideal
preparation. I've done this race twice before and know it is
quite tough even though previously I'd bungied myself to the
dog and got her to pull me round (it's not really cheating
if you're battling for 50th place is it?). This year,
however, the dog picked up an injury on the previous Sundays
run, the race start had moved and race distance extended to
16 miles - this could be tough.
On the start line a chap spotted me in my bright green
T-shirt and said hello and I realised it was Dale looking
every inch the hardened fell runner and representing Mercia
Fell Runners. At the start everyone set off and soon went
off in just about every direction you could go - the course
is unmarked so you decide how you are going to visit each of
the 8 checkpoints. The sun was out and going good thanks to
the overnight frost and I soon found myself passing Dale
although I knew his endurance would make it difficult to
keep him behind. Rather than waste time navigating I opted
to trust the people in front knew where they were going and
use my basic knowledge of the Chase. This did not seem to
pay off as I hit checkpoint 2 and seemed to be too far down
the field and overtaking a lot of other runners.
I always find
running on the Chase deceptively tough, it's not as daunting
as a fell race but you seem to put a lot of effort in yet
the mile splits are way down you would expect, maybe it's
all those road miles. The drag up to Castle Ring and the
halfway point was as tough as usual although I was feeling
quite good especially with the "Come on Trentham!" shouts of
encouragement from passing walkers.
About 400 metres from the Beaudesert checkpoint I spotted
Dale coming the other way, he'd obviously used some
racecraft to use a more efficient route and overtake me. I
decided to see if I could catch him and took on a gel. I
didn't see him all the way down from Castle Ring and by mile
12 my lack of long runs were starting to make themselves
known. Hitting the final checkpoint with an annoying stitch
and tired, plodding legs I'd definitely had enough and found
myself on my own - time to set the GPS to "Back to Start"
mode. I finally crossed the line in 2hrs 21mins in 42nd
place having completed the course in a very inefficient
17.25miles. Dale finished a strong 21st in 2:11. I was just
glad I didn't win this time as the organisers managed to get
my surname wrong though on the results - Adam Green should
read Adam Grew.
Not my finest race but seeing as I didn't see any other
Trentham runners on the list I thought I'd send in my first
race report. Happy running.
Thanks for the report Adam and
well done in what can be a very challenging race. Hope your
training for Wilmslow goes well and we look forward to
reading some more of your preparation race reports in the
Results for the Trig Points are
Dale Colclough has also sent in
this report from the Trig Points race, which he was running
as a Mercia Fell Runner. read on:
This was the 25th
running of the annual Trig Points race, 137 runnners started
in bright winter sunshine, conditions underfoot varied from
sheet ice to ankle deep mud, with that together with an
added complication of a new finish, there must have been 137
different routes used, stories at the finish were full of
tales of adventures (or misadventures)as the course wound
its way round the Chase.
The entry above is care of Mercia Fell runners web site.
I thought a report wouldn’t go a miss as I have not
submitted anything just lately.
This race is a must for Fell runners and road runner alike
as it it combines good trails, big climbs some road and good
navigational skill. Combined with great value will never get
at Road races. £5.50 entry fee for a 16 mile race included a
bottle of beer at registration and soup, roll and cake as
well as tea and coffee at the finish.
Having run at Stafford in the County champs xc on Saturday I
turned up at the Chase feeling a little tired and stiff
legged Not the ideal preparation for a 16 mile fell race ).
I didn’t have to wash my Trentham vest as I pulled on my
fell colours of Mercia. I was joined by our new member Adam
Green who was proudly wearing his new Trentham vest.
We were all give a bottle of beer at Registration to
celebrate the 25th running of the event. Do we drink it now
or put in our bum bags??
The start was haled by the usual fell race shout of “Off you
go” and the 137 starters set off up about five different
tracks. Interesting to say the least. I set off at my usual
sedate pace and by control 1 was down in about 40th spot.
Having climbed to the half way point at Castle ring I was
pleased to see that with out passing any one I was elevated
to about 25th place. Navigational skill and local knowledge
came in useful for a change. I kept on line all the way back
to the finish but was followed ( owing to my Mercia vest )
by a runner who turned out to be a V50 runner. He nipped in
front and beat me to the prize ( drat ) . I will where my
Trentham vest next time. I came home in 21st and second V50
so not to bad. Adam found some navigational challenge and
slipped back from top 20 place to 42nd. Great day out and
great weather even if a bit cold.
Get it in your diary for next year - it’s a must.
Thanks for the report Dale and
well done, even though you JUST missed that MV50 prize. I'm
sure you'll get it next time.
back to top
This was the first EVER Blymhill
10K which I believe is somewhere near Wolverhampton. One of
our newer members, Andrew Vickerman was the only Trentham
Runner to take part, and he has kindly sent in this report
for us to read:
My story isn’t
going to have the usual creativity of Dan Bowmans report, or
have any incidents like Kens watch and battles in the NSRRA.
It was however, the first of a series of races against my
brother-in-law. Currently, we are entered in the Telford 10K
and Stafford Half too. He used to do quite a lot of running,
but the last couple of years has only done an odd race.
The pre-race info had said that it was multi-terrain and if
wet muddy, but not suitable for spikes. Prepared as ever, I
forgot my off road trainers, hat (an essential for any
baldy) and gloves. The club uniform red trainers didn’t know
what was about to hit them!!
We got to the race, just in time to nab the last car parking
space and walked around to the school the size of my house.
At least it said it was a school but I am sure it had a big
snooker table in it. We spoke to a few people who work with
my brother in law, although I hadn’t got a clue what they
were saying because of their thick Wolvo accents.
We got to the start point and there was about ten people
standing around, I remember thinking great a top ten finish!
The masses were behind us. We took up position and were
started pretty quickly. My plan was to get a gap on my
Brother-in-law and try to hang on. Not to be, the first 3.5
miles were pure muddy tracks. I saw a few people lose a
trainer and fall over, but my Sunday runs with Lionel had
conditioned me and my red trainers to it.
My legs felt like lead weights after about 2.5 miles when we
got a welcome stretch of road, passed a few others but after
a couple of hundred were back in the fields wading. Out of
the fields we hit a woodland area, my brother-in-law was
still right beside me. At this point I decided to let him do
the work, just hang on and go for the sprint (well quicker
We went over 5 or 6 styals at which point he kept opening a
gap which I had to work to get back to him. Through some
more fields and out on to the road. I was struggling at this
point and some Dudley fella overtook asking where the
Trentham man with the red shorts is. I just laughed, he must
have thought I was a bit weird, but I was in no mood for
talking. Into the final straight I just managed to pull away
and win by 2 seconds officially (think it was a bit more).
Slow time of 55.27 but given the terrain and styals I am
quite pleased, overall 105th out of 216. The winner finished
in 38, so a good opportunity for a win with some club
Good medal, well organised and great marshals. Probably one
of the most fun races I have done yet, although I haven’t
done many as I only joined the club 8 months ago.
Well done Andrew, especially
going one nil up on your brother-in-law. It's great to get
these reports, especially on the newer/less well known races
as it gives the other members an opportunity to find out
& Midland Cross Country
The 3rd races of the 4 race
series took place on Saturday in both the Birmingham League
for the Men at Wolverhampton and the Midland League for the
Ladies at Coventry.
Things aren't going too well for
the Men's team this season, and with a number of injuries
affecting the male runners it was always going to be tough
going this year. We did manage to get a team out for the
race, as we have just about managed for all three fixtures,
but even this could not prevent the team from slipping to
the bottom of Division 2. The illustrious Gladiators out on
Saturday were Roger Grand (82nd), Ian Yates (101st), Adam
Brearley (112th), Carl Plat (116th), Paul Gibbings (119th)
and Phil Mainwaring (123rd). Dale Colclough, Sam Newton,
Adam Grew & Paul Burslem also ran and on the whole our
counters were finishing higher up the field than a lot of
Yet to have a report from the Men's race, but with 10 of
them running I'd hope at least one could pen a few lines to
appear here -->
Well HUGE thanks to Roger Grand
and Adam Brearley for sending in these reports which are hot
off the press. Roger's first:
Well eight of us
initially met up at the club and I don't think there was 1
of us who wasn't coming back from injury, got a niggle etc.
We all said its been disappointing how this years XC had
gone but we were in good spirits and said a points score of
450 might give us a fighting chance, the journey wasn't too
long & if Paul Burslem & a blue JAG had come together going
for the same lane it might have been different!
When we arrived we quickly paid a visit to the little boys
room & grabbed a drink, Dale turned up & we got changed for
a look at the course and to warm up, the course raised a few
eyebrows on how it zigged & zagged back on itself, about
15mins before the start Adam Grew appeared to give us 10
We lined up for the start & bang we were off, didn't have a
game plan really just hoped I could improve, it was good
seeing Trentham green every time you either had too zig or
zag, on lap 1 roughly gathered I was around the mid 60's,
lap 2 my legs I think had other ideas on how fast I should
run as I started to drop back, lap 3 my legs realised I had
temporary charge I held my position & on a slight rise
before the home Sprint I thought stuff it & went for broke
as could tell the 5 in front were waiting till after the
bank before the Sprint, it worked :-) came in 82nd & then
came back & gave encouragement to who I could, we never
managed 450 we got 653, but we all enjoyed it & all came
Thanks Roger, and this from
Only decided to
race the XC on Friday for a couple of reasons. Firstly
because after Stafford Common when I had to pull out with
calf trouble again I vowed to concentrate on building up the
strength and getting fit and leaving XC for this season.
Secondly it was an excuse to get out of settee shopping all
day with Deb. Only one winner there then !!
Firstly, was most impressed with our turnout, 10 in total.
Although Captain Dan’s optimism that we had a ‘great’ team
out was slightly off the mark, as most of us were either
lame, or just coming back to fitness ! So on paper maybe,
but in reality not quite !
So off we all travelled from the club. Myself, Carl, Roger
and Paul Gibbings’ in Roger’s giant people carrier. Although
not much room for us thanks to Carl’s Peter Crouch legs
winding their way around all of the seats ;) And then there
was Paul Burslem, Yatesey, Sam & Phil narrowly escaping
death on the M6 on the way up.
Having met Dale there, Yatesey telling our new recruit Adam
to find a club (when he is already with us) !! and Paul G
realizing he had forgot his club vest off we set for the 6
mile, 3 lap course. Both me and Carl had decided to treat
today as a good training run, for reason as explained
earlier for myself and Carl just coming back from his
So the first 2 laps we went steady on a quite undulating,
but enjoyable course. Yatsey’s ‘steady run’ was clearly
already quicker than most of our race paces as we saw him
disappear into the distance led by Roger, Phil and the 2
Pauls. Dale and Sam were in close attendance with Dale
periodically telling us to ‘stick to the plan’. Was already
beginning to think that this was more of a proper XC course,
as opposed to some of the open fields we have run around
this year. A couple of long steady climbs with short steep
hill thrown in, I was actually starting to enjoy this !!!
As we approached the 3rd lap we began, heeded by Dale’s
shout, to push on. One by one we started to pick people off,
eventually passing Phil and Paul but with no hope of
catching Yatesey on his ‘steady run’ or Roger who was having
a great run.
Eventually came over the finishing line in a somewhat
disappointing position of 112, but having stuck to the
original plan and not got carried away was relatively happy
that this was out of the way and under the belt. Because it
was such a good course I felt myself wishing afterwards that
I had actually raced it, but having felt my calves on Monday
so tight I am glad that the brain took over for a change !!!
Unfortunately it now looks a certainty that our Men’s team
are relegated. It has been a really frustrating time for
quite a few of us with injuries, meaning we have not once
put out our strongest team when all fit. So the immediate
aim is to bounce straight back up next year, and start to
prove that us men can compete like our fantastic ladies !!!
Thanks for the reports boys and
as you say, with the quality we do have at the club I'm sure
we can challenge for promotion again next season.
In the Midland League the story
is a very different one for the Ladies. Results are not up
at time of writing but it sounds like once again they had a
day to remember down in Coventry. Adela Salt has kindly sent
in her report:
race in the Midland Ladies Cross Country League took place
on Saturday at a very gusty and quite muddy Wyken Park in
Coventry. Numbers for Trentham ladies were a little depleted
due to injury or other commitments, but we still managed to
get 5 ladies out along with an extremely enthusiastic and
vocal supporter in the form of Chris Holmes, who made sure
we didn't slack off.
The course isn't exactly hilly, but it is bumpy and quite
twisty, and with the tufty grass, made things a little hard
going in parts.
Young Sarah Johnson (who was named Lady Runner of the Year
at the NSRRA Presentation Evening last night!) had yet
another fantastic run to finish in 10th position, whilst
Mandy Vernon and Adela Salt had their best runs in the
league so far to finish 20th and 26th respectively, giving
the team a total score of 56 points on the day. With Mandy
and Del being the first 2 over the line for the vets team,
it was Jayne Dickens that was the 3rd counter for the vets,
finishing in 30th position. This gave the "old ladies" a
team score of 76, which will hopefully close the gap on
Telford in the overall competition, meaning a fight to the
finish in the final race next month at Bourneville to be
league Veteran Champs for a second year running. Rose Wilson
also ran today, and finished a creditable 122nd out of
almost 300 runners.
The final fixture is at Bourneville on 12th February, and it
would be great if we could get as many ladies out as
possible to strengthen our chances of moving up the results
table. There should also be plenty of support at the next
race, as Trentham gents are at the same venue, which I'm
sure will make it a very enjoyable day out. If you are
interested in running, please let me know!
In the meantime, well done Trentham ladies yet again - a
brilliant start to the year so far, and the road season
hasn't even started yet :-)
Thanks for the report Del and
Del also has provided this addendum to the above report:
Results are out for the ladies XC
at the weekend, and we did overtake Telford in the vets, and
are now leading the league by 40 points! We finished 4th
open team on Saturday which probably puts us 5th overall,
whilst Sarah is leading the Junior individual competition as
you need to do 3 out of the 4 races to get an award, and
she's teh only one to do all 3 so far, so brilliant news all
round for the ladies.
Results can be seen
not the standings!
As most of you will know Adela
Salt was off down in Gloucester at the weekend to take part
in the Gloucester 50K which is also a selection race she
needed to do well in. Read her story here:
Having got back
in to the ultra running in the latter half of last year, I'd
made the decision that my main goal for 2011 would be the
World 100km Champs in September. This would involve numerous
selection/qualification races along the way, starting in
January at the Gloucester 50km. Gloucester was the selection
race for the England 100km team at the Anglo-Celtic Plate in
March, and not only did I have to run under 3.50 to gain
selection, but also finish in the top 2. To put things into
perspective, 50km is just over 31 miles, and I needed to run
at an average 7.15 pace to qualify.
Sunday morning dawned, and an early 7am start saw Andy and I
travel down to Gloucester. Whilst I've done several 50k
races in my time, I had never done this one, although I knew
it was a little undulating, something akin to the Stafford
20 or the Stafford Half. I also knew that whilst there
wouldn't be many in the race, I would have some competition
from a couple of other ladies who have previously ran
internationally, and although I had been told that it was
just a "training run", I knew it wouldn't be a walk in the
One of the ladies running was Karen Rushton, who was my room
mate at the World 50k champs in Galway last year. She had a
PB of 3.41 and whilst my PB for the distance is actually
3.24, more recently my best for 50k is around 3.38. Needless
to say, I had a sneaky feeling that for the best part of the
race, Karen and I would be battling against eachother for
that first race victory of the year!
The course consisted of 4 laps along lovely country lanes,
and although the weather was cool and murkey, it was still
quite a nice, scenic route. Surprisingly there was plenty of
support, probably because the race was run alongside a
marathon, so plenty of encouragement on the way round. I'd
gone into the race in the hope of running 3.40 which would
be around 7.00 pace, which funnily enough was also Karen's
For the first 2 laps, whether intentional or not, we ran
together and were knocking out consistant 5k splits. It was
actually quite nice to have a bit of company - I've spent so
many of these longer races in isolation and talking to
myself! - but today was different, and whilst we didn't
chat, we did share the odd word and encouragement. We both
knew that we were leading the ladies' race, and every so
often, I would pull away from Karen on the flat, and she
would pull away from me on the hills. I'm not so naive to
think that we would cross the finish line together, and had
the feeling that the victory would come from some crazy
sprint finish that quite frankly, after 30 odd miles of
running, I didn't really fancy.
Half way around the 3rd lap and with just over 13 miles to
go, I started to think that one of us needed to make that
break soon. The trouble was that to do so, we would need to
run a much faster pace to open a gap, and then hold a decent
pace to make sure we weren't caught. Karen is much stronger
on hills compared to me, so I knew that if I went for it, it
would come down to my sheer determination, stubborness and
experience. Before I knew it, I had speeded up and was now
running around 6.45 pace, I could sense that Karen hadn't
gone with me, and admit I was a little surprised. I passed
Andy a mile or so later, and he later told me that I had
already opened a 30 second gap, but it wasn't enough. I just
needed to start the final lap, and if I could maintain my
lead until then, I knew I could do it.
The last lap flew by, and I found myself overtaking so many
other runners who were now struggling, but they still had
the energy to offer loads of encouragement as I passed. I
went through the marathon distance in 3.02 (I'd done the
half in 1.31 so it was my first ever evenly paced
marathon!!), and started to think that if I could just hold
things together, I could run under my target of 3.40.
The final mile or so seemed to go on forever, and although I
was obviously tired, I was still feeling strong in the legs.
I was so chuffed to cross the finish line in 3.37.08 - a
minute faster than my 50k season best last year, and on a
much hillier course. Not only that, but I'd also won my
first road race of the year, and gained England selection
for the 100km at the end of March.
Karen had a fantastic run to finish about 4 minutes behind
me and very close to her PB, so she will be joining me on
the England team in March where hopefully we will reclaim
the Anglo Celtic Plate for England. In the meantime, at the
other end of the scale, I've got Alsager 5 in a couple of
weeks (please don't expect too much!), and then maybe the
Barry 40 at the end of Feb as part of my prep for the big
one - 161 laps of an athletics track! And who says ultra
runners aren't crazy??!!!
So a big well done to Del and
don't forget if you also raced this weekend then let's have
it....... in the meantime here's a photo of Del in action.
Saturday was the Midland
Counties XC championship and a group of Trentham Ladies went
along to do the muddy field thing. One of them was Joanne
Donnelly who has kindly sent in this report after apparently
A hardy group of ladies headed down to Leamington on
Saturday for the annual Midlands Cross Country
Champs. We have done some cross countries in all
conditions this year, but Saturday beat them all as
it was absolutely freezing.
We raced at Leamington earlier in the year and at
one point of the course there was a small
ditch/stream to jump over. No problem. As we arrived
at the course on Saturday, we were curious to see
why there was a large crowd of people gather by the
ditch. As we got closer, we soon realised that the
small ditch/stream was now a very large, muddy,
freezing river, and that the gathered crowd were
having much fun laughing at the poor runners who
fell. Mick Hall has posted some videos of the ditch
on his Facebook page which are quite entertaining.
Sarah was first off in the Junior ladies race over a
rather short 5k. The race started at a very fast
pace and unfortunately Sarah got a bit left behind
and found herself in about 30th position at the end
of the first field and having to fight her way past
lots of runners. Sarah soon got into her running
however and stormed through the field to finish a
very credible 5th place.
A few races later it was the turn of the senior
ladies, who were racing over 8km. As with the junior
ladies, the lead runners were off like whippets, but
all of the Trentham ladies started steadily as usual
and aimed to work through the field. The course was
pretty muddy and slippery, but on the whole fairly
flat, apart from one short sharp hill. Thankfully
there were no dramas on ‘the ditch’ for the Trentham
I was first home for Trentham in 38th position, very
closely followed by a fast finishing Mandy in 40th.
(I think it’s only a matter of time until she gets
me!!!!) The versatile Del was next in 49th
-50k one week and 8k the next!!!! Becky Austin
finished in 102nd position after impressively
sprinting past 4 people in the finishing straight
and Rose showed many, much younger ladies a clean
pair of heals to finish in 111th.
In the team event we finished 9th
overall, which we were really please with,
especially as we are all vets.
Personally, I was pleased with my run as I beat some
ladies that have beaten me in the Midland League
races and I finished strongly. I think the extra
distance was an advantage for me. I must admit
though that I am getting fed up of cross country and
cant wait to race over the road.
done ladies and well done Jo. As Joanne said, it is
almost time for the road racing season to commence
with Alsager just around the corner so I expect a
plethora of race reports from this ever popular
event. In the meantime here's one from this weekend
Shifnal Gallop 10K
On a cold but gloriously sunny
Sunday the second ever Shifnal Gallop 10k took place around
quiet country lanes, quiet being a bit of an understatement,
and farm tracks around Idsall School in Shifnal near
Telford. Almost all the race entry fee goes to the Midland
Air Ambulance based at RAF Cosford. Two intrepid explorers
in the shape of Ryan Procter & Mark Day (and what a shape
they are) set off nice and early with Mark's lovely wife
Nicola in tow to cheer on the boys. Here is Mark's report of
the day's events:
Today, I ventured
out to Shifnal for their 10K, accompanied by a certain Mr
Ryan Procter and ably supported by my wife Nicky.
This was my first race since the Dougie Mac 5K in April
2010. As many of you will know, I spent last year training
for the decathlon that I did for charity in September.
Having dragged my body through that despite Achilles
trouble, I decided that 2011 would be about enjoying my
running and not aiming for PB's, and no races longer than
10K. So when Ryan asked me about the Shifnal 10K I was more
than willing to give it a go.
The drive to
Shifnal was eventful for two reasons. Firstly, even though I
didn't think I drove quickly, we somehow managed to warp
space-time and arrived in December. That's the only way that
I can explain Shifnal town centre being adorned with
Christmas decorations, shoppers busily doing their last
minute shopping, and carol singers greeting us with a chorus
of "silent night" as we pulled up at our destination. OK, so
only one of those is actually true, but not the one you
might think. OK, so it is the one you've might think.
Anyway........where was I?
Oh yes, a race report, but first the second reason for the
journey being eventful. As we travelled on the 50 minute
journey from Stoke to Shifnal, my passengers battled to the
death over a game of scrabble on Nicky's iPad. After much
deliberating and gnashing of teeth, Ryan triumphed, with a
clear margin of victory. I won't say any more on the matter,
as Nicky is within arms length of me as I type this, and I
don't want another black eye to go with one I got earlier in
the week after a clash of heads with one of our dogs (yes
you did read that right!)
then the race.....
We registered, collected our numbers and headed out onto the
school field for a very brief warm up before the start at
I set my Garmin for a pace of 9:00 minute miles, as this was
about the best that I expected without pushing myself.
The starter set us on our way and the first part of the race
was on fields around the school grounds. I took it easy,
keeping up with my aim of running within my ability and was
enjoying it. We passed by Nicky just as we headed out on the
road, and climbed the country lane past the mile marker and
uphill towards the first turn onto a track through fields. I
clocked my first mile in 8:40 and settled in nicely, slowly
gaining on a big group of runners as we continued climbing
up towards the 2 mile marker.
The next couple of miles passed really quickly, and was a
mixture of tracks through fields and quiet lanes. I steadily
picked people off as these two miles passed, and had done
them in around 8:20 and 8:05
I was really enjoying the run by this point and quite
happily eased off a little in the next couple of miles and
took in the scenery, which was pretty darned good. We passed
down more lanes and along the edge of a large area of
woodland, before hitting the road once more with about 2
miles to go. After seeing the 5th mile marker come and go I
had a surge of adrenaline, which then faded as I rounded the
corner and saw a steady climb. By this point I was feeling
the legs get heavier as 5 miles is about as far as I've been
Fortunately the last ¾ mile was all downhill, with the
last 200 yards or so being back on the school fields.
Normally, I'm able to put in a bit of a sprint at the end,
and with Ryan and Nicky cheering me on I pushed the pace up
to the line where I collected my medal and bottle of water.
A glance at the watch showed I'd clocked 51:08, which was
absolutely great considering I'd taken it steady.
Ryan also really enjoyed his run and he clocked something
around 42 mins
Aprez-10k was a plentiful supply of free tee/coffee and an
all you could eat buffet consisting solely of flapjack! Who
could ask for more.
So, in summary, the Shifnal 10K is a brilliant race. Put it
in your diary for next year. It's a really lovely quiet
course with great scenery, friendly marshals and a good
community feel to it.
I've just been pondering, and I enjoyed this race so much
that I've decided it ranks in my all time top 5 since I
started running 3 years ago.
All in all, a great morning out. I'm really pleased to have
stuck to my aim of just enjoying the run and will certainly
be doing it again next time (which is Alsager 5), so thanks
for asking me Mr P.
See you there.
And for those that are wondering (probably no-one if truth
be known), Ryan again defeated Nicky at Scrabble on the way
home too! Ouch!
Thanks for the report Marko and
well done on such a good time, as you say, without really
pushing hard, I'm glad you enjoyed the race and I know that
Mr P also really enjoyed a fantastic race made all the
better by the even more fantastic company :-)
Results for the Shifnal Gallop
can be found