December News & Reports

Cross Country - Nuneaton

Men's team captain Dale Colclough has sent us this brief update from the latest Birmingham League fixture which took place at Nuneaton at the weekend:

The Menís Team travelled to Nuneaton on Saturday to compete in the second fixture of the Birmingham cross country league.

The team were in a confident mood following their win in the first fixture last month. Some changes in runners from the first fixture were made. Out went Sam & Saul ( both ill )  Dale (Injured) and Paul (Clinton) unavailable. The good news though was back from injury came Adam and Dan (Peel) and Dave Pickstock made his debut in the league. 

  Another tremendous all round team effort saw our men take victory on the day with a miserly 61 points total and extend their lead at the top over Knowle & Dorridge and Cheltenham. 172 runners took part representing 20 teams. Man of the match for us on the day was a close call as there were so many great performances but Stephan Whalley justs gets that accolade due a real gusty run and a great sprint finish to ensure 3rd place overall.   


Our counters were as follows:
Stephan Whalley 3rd  Carl Platt  8th Paul Gibbings 9th  Martin Hull 11th  Jason Thomas 13th   Ian Yates 17th Adam Brealey 20th Dan Peel 81st 
Dave Pickstock 112th.

Thanks for that Dale, the 3rd fixture is in the new year (14th Jan) so plenty of time to trim off all those Christmas excesses before the race. I'm sure Dale will be looking to get as many out as possible so let him know if you are able to run.

Leek Cross Country

The final round of the North Staffs Cross Country League took place at Westwood High in Leek at the weekend. There were a number of Trentham Runners in attendance despite the 'Killer Hill' looming in the frosty conditions. It did manage to stay dry though which is somewhat a blessing as it can be really boggy there. Making her first appearance for Trentham in the XC races this season was Sarah Johnson and after no coaxing whatsoever she has kindly sent us this report:

Well, leek xc was my first cross country this season as I spent all of October and the start of November out of running due to a bad fall down a hillÖ

After arriving at the race and saying high to all the friendly faces, I decided to copy the rest of the Trentham ladies and go for a warm up about half an hour before the race. However I didnít go round the course as it is lumpy and soggy and I prefer to avoid that until necessary so went over   to the playing fields instead. This turned out to be a mistake later on.

  So after the (now ritual) late start we were off and I found myself around about 6 th and behind all the eager U17 lads who bomb off then you often find walking later on.. After the first horrible downhill I started to get into my stride and worked through the field to sit in third until we reached the hill and I made it to second. At this point I was feeling good and could see the 1st lady ahead and sat in behind her going up the Ďkiller hillí. At the top she seemed to stop so I took this opportunity to overtake and gain a lead. I was quite surprised to be in this position at under halfway so pressed on and apparently made a 15second gap.

I was quite enjoying the run at this point with the undulations and the sun was out as well. Going round the bottom field I could see a few Trentham vests but also decided it was probably a good time to push on as I was being gained on. Up the first hill and my legs felt like jelly but the gap was still there. Down that hill though I practically walked (in my defence I had just had 5 weeks off after falling down a hill like this) and gave away quite a bit of   my lead but I still thought I could hold on to the finish. Now came killer hill take two and I started up it at a steady pace. It was at this point everyone started yelling at me and I guessed I was being caught up, however in my head I thought we had the field to go round at the top before the finish like last year and figured that it was probably best to hold a bit back for that final loop and hope that she once again died at the top of the hill. When she came barging past me I was a bit like Ďwhat are you doing?í thinking we had at least another 500m at the top.

Sadly I realised too late the finish was at the top and the course had changed from last year.   I didnít have a sprint to catch up and drifted over the line gutted that Iíd just given away quite a large lead. I should have checked the course out beforehandÖ Coming in after me was Jo Donnely who had a fantastic run to finish third which if Iím not mistaken is her best placing this season! The Trentham ladies then came in pretty close together as is now usually at these events but I wonít say any names as Iím sure I will get names and placing mixed up.

It was great to be back racing and building up my training and being overtaken at the end has given me loads of motivation to train in this horrible weather! The support around the course was fantastic as always, I donít tend to look up but couldnít avoid spotting Jayne Dickens screaming at me as she came to support even when unable to run so thanks Jayne and to all the other guys and gals around the course. I stayed to watch the men's race but no doubt there will be a race report from them shortly! Oh and I seem to have been spotted racing for Trentham (thanks to the source of all knowledge that is Facebook) when I should have been racing for my uni..... whoops

Well done Sarah and thanks for the report, I'd blame the captain if I were you for not explaining the course changes (you listening Rich?) and I'm sure it was great being part of the Ladies team that won GOLD yet again in the NSCCL. Also I believe tat the Vet ladies won too (or Masters as they are now called) and the men's 40+ and 50+ have got silver I think. I wasn't around for the presentations so you'll have to excuse me if i'm wrong. Also, on another note I think it has been fantastic to see Juniors out there representing the club with counters in 4 age groups and 3 teams finishing the whole series, one of which just missed out on bronze medals. For the first season racing for all of these youngsters I think they have done themselves proud. Hopefully we'll have a report from the men's team and an update on the silverware.

There's still the Birmingham League fixtures and the Midlands and Nationals to look forward to, so don't forget to let Richard or Dale know if you'd like to run. I'm sure they'd love to have you.

And this just in from Men's captain Dale:

The mens team went in to this final fixture in the knowledge that a mid table placing was guaranteed. Our aim this season was to target the Birmingham league and use the North Staffs fixtures for training. Having said that the turn out for all of the fixtures has been good and Saturday at Leek was no exception with 20 Trentham vests on the start line.  We did have interest in the Masters competitions with a good chance of consolidating Silver medals in the Over 40s and Over 50s teams. 

Good performances through out  assured 5th place on the day and the silver medals in both Masters categories. Runner of the series for the men has to go to Martin Hull who won the individual V50s Championship.  Fantastic effort Martin. A special mention to those of you ran in all four fixtures -thanks: 

Paul Gibbings      Martin Hull        Carl Platt 

  Phil Mainwaring     Greg Julian

Congratulations to the Women who once again performed brilliantly to secure open and vets titles.

Staffs Championships up next  7th Jan    at Sandwell Park. If you want to be entered I must know this week if you havenít already informed me.

Thanks for that Dale and well done on getting so many of the male runners out to run these 'training runs'. I also hear that Jo Donnelly was 2nd in the V35 and Mandy and Sharleen were 1st and 2nd in the V40. Also Rose and Jill were 2nd and 3rd in the V50 age groups so well done to those too.

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Wheaton Aston 10K

It's taken a wee while to surface but thanks to ever improving Andy Vickerman aka 'The Vicar' for sending in this report from the Roman 10K between Christmas and New Year. Here it is:

Went down to the Wheaton Aston Roman 10k on 27th Dec.  Had to be disciplined with food and drink as I was gunning for this race after disappointment at Cheddleton in November.

The journey was plain sailing down the M6 to junction 12 and you are virtually there. The parking was good, but it is quite a way from the race HQ.
Another small walk to the start.  The start is quite congested, decided to take my position just behind Rose.
The course was really flat and the weather conditions perfect, conducive for a good time. I stuck with Rose for the first couple of miles, pressed for the next couple and then consolidated for the final 2 dropping a couple of places.  I did have the joy of doing a Dudley fella on the line who was cruising.
Good hi vis technical t shirt and a shiny new PB by 4.5 minutes.  Bit gutted as my watch said sub 45 but my official time was 45:08.  Don't know how I lost that much time when I was stood right next to the starter!
This time last year I beat my brother in law at Blymhill, this year he finished 18th in 36 minutes.  I'll get him back next year......


Thanks for the report Andy and good luck with catching your In Law in 2012....

Vernon's Limp Wrist

This report comes from John Guest who made the short journey South to Stafford to tackle this unusual 5 miler where the first across the line isn't necessarily the winner....

Having been put off by the name of this race in previous years, I decided to 'man up' and give it a try, especially as pre-entry was only £4. Vernon's 'Limp Wrist' 5 mile run, or as Stafford Harriers call it - the 'Bare Wrist run', (seems I'm not the only one put off by the name), doesn't have a particularly interesting course. Bit of road then back to the start, along a long path of an old railway line and back past the start, then the same bit of road as the beginning of the race and back to start/finish, but it is flat which should mean faaaaast! Also, as the race turns back on itself a few times, you get to say hello and encourage lots of people during the race. There were three Trentham runners in attendance including myself, the others were Rose Wilson and Stephen Burrowes, who I chatted with briefly at the start. I thought that if I could stay with Stephen I'd be doing well.

Maybe 'Bare Wrist' is a more descriptive name for a race run not wearing a watch, because I don't think my wrist flops down without the support of a watch strap. But I'm a bit of a purist/traditionalist so 'Limp Wist' it is.

I'd predicted a conservative time of 36:09 for my race, based upon my current form, didn't want to aim too high as I was unsure whether it was going to be muddy in parts, (it wasn't). During the first mile I felt I'd started a bit too fast, running just behind Mark Neeld of Stone, but he soon scampered away. I knew Stephen Burrows was behind me, but hadn't a clue how close he was until we turned at the end of the track and I saw that he wasn't too far back. The interesting issue with this race, is that you don't know whether people are trying to get their best time, or trying to match their predicted time which could be anything. Most of the race was pretty uneventful, but seeing lots of other runners as you passed in opposite directions made it a little more interesting along the fairly straight, seemingly never-ending track. It seemed I'd judged it ok though because only one other runner came past me and I passed a Stafford Harriers runner at about half way and kept on well to the finish retaining my position.

Not knowing your time at the finish made it all the more interesting and it seemed more of a social occasion than usual with lots of people chatting about how they felt the race had gone. We all then trooped off to the Stafford County Council club in the town, where there was a bar and they'd also put on some well received sandwiches and hot drinks.

Mick Jones the race director/organiser and his team were busy sorting out the results while we scoffed the food washed down with energy drinks (draft Guinness!). Finally the results were ready for the 104 participants and everyone's time was read out aloud indicating whether they were faster or slower than their predicted time, chorused by cheers or groans from their team mates. It was suprisingly entertaining, yet tense and exciting waiting to find out your own time and how well, or badly you'd run, as it got down to the last ten runners who finished the closest to their predicted time and therefore would each get the cash prizes. (Ever typed or written a word and think it doesn't look like it's spellt write? - just had that with the word "prizes", had to look it up even though I knew it was right.)

The results session didn't start to well, because the first person called up to collect a spot prize was a young girl from Mow Cop, who was rather insensitively told to "go and sit down" because they'd cocked up, but she turned out to be one of the main prize winners, getting second closest to her predicted time, so hopefully that made up for it.

I was very pleased with my time of 34:34, 1:35 faster than predicted and despite not getting in the prizes for getting close to my prediction, I did win a spot prize for being the 66th furthest away from my predicted time! A family Pass for Shugborough - winner!!

So despite being a pretty boring course, the event as a whole was very entertaining and my performance, the sandwiches, the Guinness and the spot prize made it a very good day. Plus the fact that the event raised funds for a good cause, St Katherine's Hospice, make it one that I'd recommend to Trentham runners for next year.

Well, many congratulations on picking up that spot prize John and thanks for the report. It is one of those races that is not a traditional 'Trentham Runner' fixture so hopefully this report will encourage a few more to take part in this race next year.




Page last updated 09 January 2012


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