February 2011 News

Alsager 5

The Alsager 5 took place on Sunday, the traditional season curtain raiser where everyone sees if their extensive winter training has REALLY paid off. Over 900 runners lined up, well more like jostled up, at the start for the 5 mile dash around the Estate near to the College. There were a good number of Trentham Runners in attendance and a good few new PB's as well according to information received, despite the windy conditions.

The Ladies certainly made a good show of it as usual and did magnificently to walk away with the Ladies team prize finishing just 1 point ahead of both Newcastle AC and Cheadle AC. There were in fact only 5 points between the top 5 teams so a great result. The Same 3 ladies also managed to claim the Ladies Vets team prize with Mandy, Adela and Kerry again finishing 1 point clear of Macclesfield Harriers. Just shows, every place counts in team races so well done to all 3 ladies.

Only had 1 report in so far but have been promised a few so expect the page to be updated again soon. Anyway, here is the first report and it comes from Carl Platt, who has made a bold promise:

Well This year I am going try to send a race report In for every race I do, I enjoy reading other peoples race reports so I thought its about time I started doing some of my own.

With Alsager being a fast, flat course there was a great turn out of Trentham runners and lot of big expectations of times expected. Me Adam, Rodge or his new name Podge (LOL) and Del all warmed up, we did about a twenty minute warm up then off to the start. The start was crazy, felt like I Was standing back in the Boothen End with not much room to do anything. I was a little bit nervous with it been the 1st race of the year. But I have begun to start enjoying the nerves and realising it is just part of the race.
Anyway we're off, this race goes off at a crazy pace and it is so easy to get dragged into doing the 1st mile in a crazy time (isnt it Podge!!). This race for me is just about finding some space and trying to get a rhythm going. The 1st 3 miles I felt really good and relaxed then mile 3-4 was tough as the wind seem to get stronger or I got more tired. Then mile 5 was one last push giving it all I had. I finished In 29.34 which is a PB. however I was a bit disappointed because I wanted to break under 29. No excuses though. I ran to the best of my ability. Adam came home in 30:04 but disaster struck just after the 4 and a half mile mark as he felt is Calf go but he still ran through the pain... top man!! Rodge came home in 30:12 which is a PB....well done matey!! But runner of the day for me was Sam who has been after breaking the 30 min mark and putting a lot of pressure on himself. He has been training really hard and he came in at a time of 30:13, but I know for a fact he would of easily been under 30 Min's without the wind, so well done pal.
The Trentham ladies did the club proud with a number of prizes as well as a number of the men vets!! There were a lot of great runs by everyone at Trentham today so well done everyone. I would like to say a big well done to Lee and Del who ran back from Alsager after the race (hardcore). This year I have joined the NSRRA so looking forward to an interesting year. I also know group C will be Interesting this year as Chris, Dan and Gary are all in the same group and all three ran PB'S great stuff! I would also like to thank Chris, Deb, Richard and Dale and everyone else for the support, without you lot at the end cheering us all on, I'm sure that last little push would have possibly been a little slower!

Thanks for the report Carl and well done. Keep 'em coming matey!

Results are HERE for Alsager.

Next report is from Daniel Bowman, actually had two from Dan but the first one, penned in a somewhat inebriated state, was withheld at the author's request. Here is the second attempt:

The Alsager 5 is the dullest race I’ve ever done, yet every year, along with roughly 4 billion other people, I run this godforsaken thing and every year I’m surprised that the race isn’t actually the speedy little minx I remember. It’s certainly flat. When you run it you feel like a little earwig scurrying down the length of Tara Palmer-Tomkinsons body. The thing that I think affected most of the people however was the insane wind. I mean, it’s been windy lately, but think of it this way. If you have a leaf blower and you blow it at say a Fiat Panda with a collection of potted plants and a small child sitting on the roof, the airflow will be disrupted by the humps and bumps. The child may also breathe in some of the air and he might even have an exotic name like Guadalupe Escobar. In contrast if you aimed the leaf blower over an envelope next to a tiny little man called Herbert Littleman, chances are Herbert is going to knocked over by the air, or at least annoyed by it. Alsager isn’t quite as flat as an envelope because there is the occasional Toyota Prius and those shops that sell clothes which only old people buy from. Like the clothing section of Stapeley Water gardens. Jumper and a potted plant. That’ll do nicely! But erm… it’s still flat, and as a result the wind was roaming the streets like a group of kids with attention deficit disorder. Only difference is, wind actually exists.
So in short, on Sunday I got blown. A lot. I got blown as soon as I got out of the car, I got blown during the whole race, and after the race I was blown, blown and blown again. I was sore, sweaty and tired yet the blowing continued.
Oh and another thing, Alsager 5 is just a few streets. I have no idea why they stage a race there. The start is in a little street which is wide enough for roughly 1 runner, you then proceed up some street or other before turning into some other boring street. You then make your way toward the high street. This is the most scenic part of the race as there is a Co-op to look at. The end is up a little path into a grand finish of cones and Selotape. Pac man enjoyed more interesting scenery than this.
Now, although I’m not a fan of the Alsager 5 as a race, I was looking forward to getting back into racing. I’ve missed it over the winter period. This year I’m also doing the NSRRA and they’ve stuck me in group C. I had high hopes for the year and thought I might be able to place relatively well in the group but that proved to be rather naïve of me. I knew Chris and Gary were in group C, but upon lining up (too far forward if anything) at the start line I found that amongst my opponents for the year were Newcastle tattoo man, slightly-older-than-me-man and Teapot man, my arch nemesis. (I wrote more in depth of my feud with Teapot man in an earlier Race report for this race which I submitted on Sunday after a few beers. I re-read it on Monday morning and thought “What the heck is this garbage!?” Trust me, you don’t want to see one of my “drunk” race reports. It even baffled me and I wrote it. I got that abomination deleted and decided to write this coherent one instead.)
For the sake of ease throughout the year I’ll refer to my group C adversaries in this way. I might learn their names but then when I’m describing our (hopefully epic) duels, It’ll be easier for you to figure out who’s who.
So, after a brief chat with the boyz at the start line, we readied ourselves for the starting horn…

… and off we went. I immediately pushed on and tried to get to the front of the group. Tattoo man was just in front of me but that was it and I was quite pleased to find myself in second. I remained in second for about half a mile until Gary passed me and packed in with tattoo man. Meh thought I, 3rd place ain’t too bad. Then I remembered that somewhere behind me was a handsome devil called Chris, who on this occasion was more handsome than usual because he’d got some bed head hair do going on and his come-to-bed eyes were even more come-to-beddy than usual. This is clearly demonstrated on the Bryan Dale website, Chris looks like Keanu Reeves running to save a group of hostages whereas I look like a fat Kevin Keegan running to a portaloo even though he’s already sh@t himself many many times.
Anyway after we’d entered generic street #5 Chris made his move followed by slightly-older-than-me man. I was now sitting in 5th. Bah I thought.
After taking in the scenery of the Co-op on the high street a smooth green runner pulled along side me. Lee was finally going to beat me. This gave me a kick up the bottie and I tried to push on, but my body quickly reminded me that I’m a bit of a chubber by not speeding up whatsoever. “Lee” passed me and I was relieved to see that Lee wasn’t Lee at all and was in fact Paul Burslem. Phew! Lee would never let me live it down if he’d beaten me, though he fully deserves to.
Anyway. Mile 4 and a handle came into my peripheral vision, followed by a spout. TEAPOT MAN! MY ARCH NEMESIS! He took off and I was now either in 6th or 7th position. Not happy.
I peeked over my shoulder to see Andy Greensmith gaining on me. Last year I only beat him by 10 seconds and he was gaining ground! Yikes! I tried to push on for the last km and was cheered on by Dale and Christine. I forgot to set my watch at the start so I had no idea of my time. My PB coming into this race was 34:30 and I crossed the line in… 33:32. Which is great and all, but I wanted to run 32 minutes and place in the top 3 of group C so I’m overall a bit disappointed. I suppose this is a tad selfish because running 5 miles at all is better than say, having webbed toes or having a box of staples where your head should be so I suppose I shouldn’t take it for granted. Gary came in just behind Tattoo man. Tattoo man is looking strong. I hope he has more tattoos so they weigh him down and make him slower as the year goes on but would that be a cheap victory? Maybe. Plus he’d still beat me even if he stopped at every mile marker and got a new tattoo during the race. Tattoo man is faaaaaaaaast.
I would still like to push on up the group this year but it’s going to be difficult. If I can finish above Teapot man I’ll be happy and as long as there’s some form of Trentham person on the podium at the end then fair play.
Thanks everyone who came to support us and also well done to everyone who ran. This race isn’t nearly as easy as it should be and the wind reflected in everybody’s times really.
So if there are two things I’ve learned this weekend, it’s to have realistic expectations, and to not write a race report whilst drunk.

Thanks for that Daniel old boy, well when I say old, well, you know what I mean. Next report on the old doormat comes from Keanu, err I mean Chris Mosiuk. Chris has made real improvements lately and here is his story of the day:

Having not done Alsager before I wasn’t sure what to expect. People had told me it’s a blink and you’ll miss it race, and they were right! I turned up with Dad and we had a quick scout round the course as to the best places for start and finish photographs (I know that sounds obvious, but taking into account any obstacles and lighting). After speaking to one or two Trentham runners, I ran backwards round part of the course with Gary for a mile or so to warm up. We had a good chat about the danger men in Group C, determining that Craig Taylor of Newcastle was probably the biggest threat to the title at this early stage. I joined NSRRA with only a few races left last year and so never really got competitive with it. This race was completely different though, with strategy and nerves coming into play.

I lined up in the starting pack along side Gary and Dan and we were soon off and running. The first half mile was full of traffic, so I decided to take wide route on the pavement and despite this found myself dropping back from other C runners ploughing through the crowd. After the first hairpin corner I was back alongside Dan, with four or five C’s in front relatively close together. The first mile was too quick, especially with the wind blowing a gale. I noticed Gary was trying to hold onto Craig and the pair of them were pulling away. I decided to run my own race and let them go, hoping they would slow down towards the end. After a bit of moral support from Del I pushed on. Around 3.5 miles I was sat in 5th, with two Stafford Harriers about 50 metres in front. One was slowing and I moved up into 4th with a mile to go. Now realising I couldn’t catch the front 2 in the group I’d set my sights on 3rd, but I had work to do. I was closing the gap slowly despite running into the wind with no-one close to break it up for me. With about 300 metres to go I could hear Dale and Christine shouting at me from the crowd, urging me to give it one last push. I put my foot down and made good ground on the 3rdplaced C runner. Turning into the drive of the school I was only 10 metres behind him. I got blocked off by a couple of runners, but spotted a gap and managed to sprint into 3rd. I nearly threw up but it was worth it. Not sure whether it was from pushing hard or a questionable breakfast – something I still haven’t nailed down. Any tips would be more than welcome, but I don’t do bananas and I’m not keen on honey!

So I finished the race in 32.39 and with 48 points to my name. I cant say I enjoyed the race particularly, with no hills to freewheel. Its just constant speed and this year a fight against the wind. I was a minute and a half slower than Alderley Bypass 5 last year, so I was a little disappointed. I did feel like I could have kept the pace going for a few more miles though, and training for London that can only be a good thing. I’m looking forward to the longer races to come, with Silverstone half marathon up next. Feeling pretty confident that I’ll come away with a PB from that one. Well done to all the other runners and thanks to all those who turned up to spur the mighty greens on!

Thanks for the report Chris. we could have had a 'Group C Triple Whammy' of race reports had Gary Payne made good on his promise to send one in, but must have been on his new phone instead. Ha ha ha. He'll know what I mean ;-)

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More Alsager Reports

Well there's an old saying that goes 'Better Late Than Never' and a week after the last finisher crossed the line at Alsager the race reports are still coming in. Here are another Three and all of them quality stuff. I really hope this is setting the tone for the rest of the year so KEEP EM COMING GUYS, but preferably a bit earlier!

First one is from Gary Payne who has indeed completed the 'Triple Whammy' of Group C race reports (with a little cajoling) and this is his first report since joining the club from Stone last year. I'm sure there'll be many more to come:

So after the nagging I thought better send a report in:
Alsager 5. Only done it 6 or 7 times and I know the course well.
Upperhand for me there!!!! warmed up with chris and he tells me its his first time but he runs faster than me in training so, I told him all I knew hoping he would go out and get the win in c group.
but I knew Craig from Newcastle AC was quick as well so he had his work cut out.
as always in a race I give it my all and thought why not try to hang on to these 2. and to the start we went. The start was the same again plenty of shoulder rubbing and various different paced runners starting in the wrong place so careful I go.
I quickly pass Dan and Chris wondering if that was a good idea but then I knew from previous races. you have to go out quick because the race is so fast and short and it makes it difficult for the opposition to catch you, which is unlike other races in the calendar. Knowledge could be a factor in other races as Chris and Dan are quicker than me.
We had been thinking of going for a 1-2-3 Trentham podium in c group but with craig there I didn't think it was possible and I was right. I had a good go at craig but only lasted until the 3rd mile when I lost him. Mile 1 and 2 were about 6.20 ish then mile 3 was 6.45 (oops) all I could think as Del passed me with a shout of encouragement was get it back or chris will be onto you and I knew he would be a quick finisher so the next mile was about 6.30 ish , yes I thought that could be enough, still I'm not looking over my shoulder.
Into the last mile and a horrible head wind so I found a tall runner and got behind him saving some energy, smile for the camera cheers Bryan and round the corner now to push on again and yes I feel I can go faster. Richard gave a shout something like 200 meters to go felt like 2000 meters and a very loud lady voice thanks for the shout both of you and I was listening for come on chris but thankfully I didn't hear it. Another old trick! yes I think I got 2nd place but still just to make sure a sprint to the finish and Alsager 5 was done again and chris wasn't far away. Well done chris, and Dan wasn't far away either and he got a pb.
So ok it wasn't a 1-2-3 but next time hey! So next race lads we tie Craig's shoelaces together and link arms that should stop him unless he gets ink poisoning hey Dan?
well done everyone and c group is going to get better and closer its going to be a good season.
oh and big thanks to Trentham for the welcome to your club my first 2 races for you and both have been pbs.
Gary Payne via mobile phone lol.

Thanks for the report Gary and well done on another great PB run. It really does look like group C is going to be a real battle for Trentham runners.
Next report is from Lee Jones who didn't want all the group C runners to steal the limelight:

Hi everyone, I have just read 3 race reports from group C runners so thought you might like to hear from someone from group E.
As you have already heard the day was windy but not cold or wet. As usual I turned up with my support team in tow (wife Sammy & daughter Lara) & had made sure I had done my pre race routine (3 poo's 2 Imodium 1 bowl bran flakes) I was looking forward to my 1st race as a NSRRA member, however myself and a group of hardcore runners from the club have been doing long runs on Sundays so I thought it would be a good idea to do the race and then run back to the club in Trentham via Bathpool Park and then along the canal which meant 18.8 miles in total. I wasn't alone in this venture Del Salt (fantastic runner) & Matt O'Neal (runner) agreed to join me.
It was great to see so many green vests in attendance & it was good to see those club runners not racing there to support (cheers guys) As I went to line up at the start the nerves started to make themselves noticed, fluttering my butterflies & cramping my stomach (oops to late for poo number 4). The street at the start seemed really cramped & we were packed in like sardines in a can. Then we were off. I was quite close to the front and like everyone else I did the 100 mtr dash, sprinting like I was being chased by a pack of wolves, then I checked myself and settled into a more comfy stride. I watched about 10 green vests fade into the distance Dan, Chris, Adam, Gary, Carl, Andy, Del and more. Before I knew it my watched beeped the 1st mile 6:50 whoa that was to quick, I felt good but needed to save some juice to get me home. About mile 3 Kerry came past, she looked good but strangely didn't want a conversation and only kept waving her gloved hand at me in reply to my quips.
I was running along happily in a world of my own actually enjoying the wind when at my right shoulder appeared my arch nemesis Becky Austin, this vision in green and black with clashing bright yellow trainers, showing perfect form, up on the balls of her feet, hair trailing, arms gracefully pumping, sweaty thigh's glis....err, anyway hmm, she came past. she has been the comedy thorn in my side in races of the past, i.e. Christmas Pudding run in Cheddleton where after battling for 2 miles she beat me to the line with a blazing sprint finish GRRR. Anyway she had sneaked up on me and at first it was game on and I upped my pace to match her. I lasted about 100yds before again checking myself and slowing down ( I'll get you next time Beckalar waa ha ha)
As I was nearing the finish I looked at my watch 33:10 I still felt good and instantly regretted not going for the magic sub 35min, I thought maybe it wasn't to late so I started to up my pace once again. By this time Becky was about 300yds in front of me. I made it my goal to catch up with her but we were heading to the last street corner and I realized it was all in vain but I still managed to take over about 10 other runners. I went though the finish at 35:26 PB. As I was WALKING from the line to the ladies who were writing down bib numbers and positions 3 people came past me! "How Rude"
Because I was concentrating on conserving my energy and running within myself, I was not aware of any of my corresponding group letter's running around me. Thinking back I can remember seeing lots of B, C & D's, so didn't know how I was fairing in the group race.
I really enjoyed the race and was more than happy with my time :) Well done to everyone who ran especially the Trentham Crew and even more the Trentham ladies, you are the dogs doo dars. Roll on Stafford 20
P.S The 13.8 mile run home is another story

Thanks Lee, and now for a real treat. This report comes from Alan Lewis who many of you will know well. Alan has been a Trentham Runner for many years and is one of a good few 'Top Class' veterans we have running at the club. It is great to receive such a compelling and interesting report:

Have read the reports on the recent Alsager 5 with interest and thought that as a change from the histrionics of some of the "young bucks" in the club you might be glad to receive a report from the underrated and understated "grandad vets" section, which as a broad definition I will define as those regular competitors who are over 60, although in Trentham most of these superstars are over 70 with the exception of super vet Stan (Winterton). I don't think it is realised that the club has in its ranks some of the top over 70 vets, certainly in the Midlands if not nationwide. Top of the heap is Don Brookes who is still breaking records at the age of 75. Last Sunday Don broke superstar and ex President of NSRR Reg Fernyhough's 5 mile over 75 record and those who know Reg, now well into his eighties, will know what an achievement that is. Incredibly Don did not start serious competitive running until he was well in his sixties. His time of just a few seconds over 40 minutes means he is still running 8 minute mile pace even at this age. If you put Don's name into the "power of 10" website you will see his record over the past few years showing his very high national rankings at various distances nationally in the over 70 category.
Gerry Calvert, a mere 73 has run for Trentham since its formation and continues to be one of the gutsiest runners in the club. Despite having problems with his feet over the past five years or more, thereby curtailing his ability to train as he would like, he continues to produce excellent performances, particularly over the shorter distances, for which his training schedule is nowadays best suited. He still runs and makes a good job of the occasional 10miler or half marathon and on Sunday was just in front of Don after their usual close tussle in the Alsager race. Again Gerry's record can be found on the website but because of the problems mentioned above it is not as impressive as it would otherwise be. However, if we think back to some of his earlier performances Gerry was running sub 60minute 10 miles, 36 minute 10k's and sub 3hour marathons amongst other things even after turning 50, so there you are folks ,there are some targets for you, but you'll need to work hard to achieve them Before having his problem. He and I had some titanic struggles when the three year difference in age was not such a factor as it is now that we are older. Add to this that Gerry is still an almost ever present in Trentham's N. Staffs X-country league (and incidentally the oldest competitor in the league) and some of you young things will realise what a long way you have to go in your careers to get anywhere near this.
Matter of interest why are the turnouts in the men's cross country so poor, there does not seem any obvious reason for this other than a fear of falling over and getting dirty. There are few road races in the winter and when you do fall over the landing is normally soft and all you get is a rollicking off your mother, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner whatever when they see the state of your kit. Trust me I've been there many a time. Come on you young lads the ladies are showing us the way with their superb performances in this category.
As the baby of the squad, having only reached the magic 70 last year, I am only just embarking on my new career. I have a big advantage over the other two since the age difference becomes a much bigger factor as we get older. Nevertheless I can not relax since I know that if I do not keep myself in top shape one of those two will have me, Don with his exceptional natural ability and Gerry with his never say die attitude, what fun!

On Sunday I had an excellent run despite the wind which slowed things down somewhat. After another "tussle" with young Rose (I think she must be targeting me as she always seems to be chasing me) where I finally managed to get away and other skirmishes with "youngsters" Eddie Smith (Stafford) and Charles Larsonn (Newcastle) I finally came home in 36-56 giving me the over 70 prize. I'm putting my current form down to my chasing Stan round his tough 14 miler on Saturdays and the twelve hill reps I've recently been doing. The other regular competitor is Trevor Goodwin, a more recent addition to the club, and incidentally dad of Charlie Weller (Newcastle), (now she would be an excellent addition to the ladies vets if she could be enticed away, how about it ladies, you've already poached Becky Austin).
Although not as fast as us three Trevor continues to turn out regularly for Trentham and has won awards in the NSRR leagues because of his competing regularly. Add to us four two more names ( George Latham and Terry Jukes) who do not now appear although I understand that they are both fit and if those two were competing what an over 70 squad we would have, not many, if any, better in the country I wouldn't think.
Turning to "young" Stan Winterton (65) what can you say? He continues to turn in some terrific performances at all distances and again his record on the web is impressive. Stan was not that pleased with his performance on Sunday but 34-12 sounds pretty good to me for someone who is not yet at his best for this season (too early in the year, unlike me Stan likes the sun beaming down). At any rate it was good enough to give him the over 65 prize and his fan club (Kerry) was left trailing in his wake. Again Stan, like the rest of us was a late starter but some of his performances as a young lad in his forties bear repetition. His marathon (2h 40ish) and half marathon (1-14ish times would mean nowadays he would be almost winning races and he also has superb pb's in all distances. Stan is certainly one of the top vets in his age group in the Midlands and there won't be too many better nationally, particularly over the longer distances when at his peak. The only problem is that currently he is on his own in the club in his category. There are however at least two superb runners John Keeling and Geoff Rigby in the same age group. If we could get those two competing regularly what a cracking over 65 squad we would have. Those three would be winning national awards. Finally if only we could persuade our greatest superstar (Richard) who although only a young man, being in his early sixties just qualifies as a "grandad vet" His record is second to none in our club but of course his time is taken up coaching our super ladies squad and what a brilliant job he is doing.
Finally as I have mentioned, Trentham claimed all three senior vet's prizes at Alsager. A fact that I don't think is mentioned anywhere on the site. I just thought it would be good to remind everyone what a superb collection of old men we have. We should be cherished because we need to be preserved until such time as some of you young things are ready to take over our mantle. But bear in mind it will take a lot of hard work over a very long period of time. Approx 30 years of running in the case of Stan, Gerry and me

Best wishes to all at the club and keep up the good work

Alan (Lewis)

ps Stan's Saturday training run is still available to you all. Some have said they will try this tough run but so far all have chickened out. Come on if an old man like me can do it every week and live to tell the tale it should be no problem for you "youngsters"

Thanks Alan for this fantastic account of our male veterans and the Alsager race. Describing Richard O'Keeffe as a 'Grandad Vet' made my laugh for ages. I'm sure he'd appreciate that. As I say PLEASE keep the reports coming in. I can only put on here the information I receive from you guys so keep em coming!!!!

Once again, HERE are the results from Alsager!

Alsager 5 was the first race in the club Road Championships. As usual this race saw a good turnout of Trentham runners, 26 in total. As some of you may be aware, points for the Road Championships are allocated depending on your percentage performance compared to age and gender related standards. So it’s a bit like the tortoise and the hare, us old gals can still end up with more points than you young bucks.

So after the first race the top 3 in each division are as follows:

Division 1: 1.Stan Winterton, 2.Alan Lewis, 3.Rob Tabbanor

Division 2: 1.Sam Newton, 2.Kerry Widdowson, 3.Becky Austin

Club Championship Standings HERE!



Final round action from the Midland Cross Country league on Saturday comes from Adela Salt:

following a team victory at the Alsager 5 last weekend, a few Trentham ladies - along with Ladies Team Captain/Manager Richard O'Keeffe - made their way down to Bourneville for the last race in the Midland Ladies Cross Country League. Going into the final race, the team knew they were in with a shot of some medals, so needed to make sure that enough bodies turned out to get the points.
The course was a considerably hilly 4.5 miles, but thankfully the ground was dry apart from just a couple of marshy bits, which made for some pretty good running.

Sarah Johnson was once again the star of the day, finishing as top club finisher in 3rd position which guaranteed her the overall Midland League Junior Title - so a massive well done to Sarah again!
Mandy Vernon had a brilliant run to finish 26th, and not only that, it also gave her 3rd overall in the individual vet competition which was a fantastic surprise for Mandy and thoroughly deserved.
Next over the line was Jayne Dickens who along with Rose, only just made it to the start with about 10- minutes to spare having got lost on route to Cofton Park. Jayne finished in an excellent 36th position, and was closely followed by a fast finishing Del in 37th. With Mandy, Jayne and Del completing the vets team and scoring just 99 points, this gave the team the Gold Medal in the veteran team competition for the second successive year over Telford - well done Ladies!
Debbie Thomas was also running her first cross country of 2011 and knowing how competitive the Midland League can be, was hoping for a top 100 finish, but stormed to 75th which completely exceeded her expectations - great to have you back Debs! And finally, Rose Wilson kept up consistant performance for the Trentham ladies with an excellent 113th - fantastic running.

So all in all another enjoyable and pleasing day for Trentham. A massive thank you to Richard for driving us down there and giving us the support - even if he did almost make a mash of the scores that nearly saw Telford walk away with our gold medals - and well done Trentham ladies once again!

Thanks for the report Del. I know Del doesn't mind writing the race reports from the cross country but it would be nice if one of the other girls made the effort to pen a few words now and again, so here's hoping with the Nationals coming up next weekend!!!

If you are looking for more info on Cross country then make sure you check out the Cross Country Page right here on the TRC website.

National XC Championships
Alton Towers

Saturday 19th February, National Cross Country Championships, Alton Towers, Staffordshire........ Team Trentham were there competing for honours and with the Ladies Team going so well there was even a chance of Silverware. Our very own Ultra Runner Adela Salt and Fell Racer extraordinaire Dale Colclough have both sent in reports from what was a very muddy event. First Adela:

Being an ultra runner and not being a big fan of short races or cross country, you may be surprised to hear that the national cross country championships are always a highlight of the year for me, and one of the cross country races that I do look forward to. I know I have absolutely no chance of winning, so there's no pressure, and it's all about enjoying the occasion and running against the cream of the crop from England.
This year the championships were once again held at Alton Towers, and having been held here 3 years ago, I had happy memories of a pretty good course that wasn't flat but wasn't anything like Westwood every year.
Travelling down with Richard, Bec Austin and Deb Thomas, I was actually getting excited until we had a text from Sarah to say that the course resembled a swamp and was extremely muddy. Being a road runner, this wasn't what I wanted to hear but then I guess it just added to the challenge.
On arrival, no words can really describe how bad the mud was, and that was just in the tent area - nothing could have prepared us for how bad the course was going to be. We'd already heard several ambulances go whizzing past, and we later heard that 3 competitors had broken their legs, and that several others had become victims to the conditions with something like 15 ambulances needed in total. Alton Towers had apparently tried to get the event stopped, but with the organisers agreeing to change the course, it carried on as planned.
The ladies race was now going to be 6km instead of 8km, and 3 laps around the top fields, cutting out the dreaded short, steep hill that I remembered from last time.

We had a good turnout for Trentham ladies again, with Mandy, Jayne, Rose, Debbie, Becky and myself all lining up on the start line, and following the gun, it was like a stampede across the field as we all jostled for position. Within 200 yards or so, it was really bad underfoot, and as we hit the first bit of downhill, the mud was pretty thick and deep. A couple of ladies went down in the mud, causing a bottle neck as people avoided trampling them, at which point I got whacked in the shoulder by somebody trying to keep their balance (yes, my arm has bruised!)
I was actually feeling pretty good for the first time this week, but as the mud got thicker and deeper, it became much harder to maintain balance, maintain pace, and to actually get into any sort of rhythm. It was great hearing the familiar voices of Team Trentham - Carl, Chris, Adam, Richard and Ken, as well as some of the chaps who were warming up ready for their race, and although it probably didn't look like it, it did spur me on although the legs had gone like jelly and with every step forward, it felt like 2 steps back.
I had no idea what position I was in, but having finished 156th in the nationals last year in Leeds, I was hoping to improve on that position.
The final half mile or so was flat, the mud wasn't any better, and there was a pool/swampy part full of knee deep water that we ran through which was absolutely freezing. Up ahead was the finish gantry, and I could see that Jayne and Mandy had already finished just ahead. I think I came in something like 132nd so really pleased, and with Deb Thomas coming in a coupe of minutes later, she completed the count for the team which saw Trentham ladies finish 20th out of 67 teams - not bad at all considering!
Of course, it wouldn't be cross country if we didn't compare who was covered in the most mud, but as you can see from the photo, it was a close call between all of us!
All in all, a very enjoyable day despite the mud, and I'm already looking forward to next year's event. On a final note, our young startlet Sarah Johnson had a super run in her race to finish in the top 10 - absolutely brilliant Sarah, and I'm sure everybody in the club will agree how proud we are to have you running for Trentham.

Thanks for that report Adela, and here is Dale's:

The rain and Snow! had saturated the ground at Alton and the course and tented village was a quagmire.
This was a big concern to the organisers and justifiably the later races were reduced in distance due to delays in the schedule to allow the St Johns team to ferry away injured and exhausted junior runners.
Sarah had ran in the Juniors race earlier and had ran superbly to finish in 10th position. Yes that’s 10th in the English national. Fantastic Sarah.
The ladies ran next and showed us the way again finishing 20th team overall another brilliant performance.
The men’s team were short of most of their top runners and did well to turn out six. Paul Gibbings, Paul Burslem, Phil Mainwaring, Gary, Malcolm Rushton and myself.

To say it was muddy was an understatement and falling in the opening 200yds didn’t help my confidence. However the conditions suited me and I felt strong all the way chasing Phil all the way to finish in 599th place.
Well done to all who took part and thanks for great support from Debbie, Adam, Christine, Richard, Ken and our team captain Dan. Deb those Donuts make it all worthwhile.

A Huge well done to all who represented the club at Alton Towers and here is that pic of the Ladies Team

Results for the National XC Champs are HERE!

Super Starlet Sarah Johnson has now also submitted a report via the communication medium Facebook, and here it is:

So yesterday morning i was up bright and early at half 7 as my race was at 11.45 and i prefer to get there an hour ahead to give time to collect chips, queue for the loo and a decent warm up. However this would involve leaving at ten. At ten to ten my lift (aka) parents are still in bed. I start to worry slightly but figure if we're out by quater past it will be fine. 20 past and we are out. Half ten and we are at tesco meir petrol station and there's a massive queue. At this point i start to stress and decide to put my spikes on so i can jump out and start warming up straight away.
Anyway we arrive about 35mins before the start and i jumped out the car whilst in the carpark queue and find a very boggy and muddy grass sidewalk. Fantastic. I hate muddy courses because i struggle to pull myself out. However when i reached the main area i just came to a complete stop.
It was like nothing i had ever seen before except maybe glastonbury on tv. Battle of the Somme/Battle of Pachendaele sprung to mind. You could easily have lost a small child in that. In fact my sister never left the road in case we lost her.
I collected my chip and there was 25mins left which was spent jogging round the field that was later cut out the course. At this point i couldn't feel my feet and had a bad feeling about this race. So much so that i actually decided to fill out the emergency details on the back of my number which i admit i don't usually do. In fact i put several emergency contacts on, after seeing the course i felt it may be neccesary...
The ten minute call came and i was still freezing so went in the pen with my hoody and t shirt on, only removing it at the 3min call. I didnt have time for strides or anything like that although i didn't think it was going to be a very fast race.

Typically i had no idea what pen i was meant to be so i just picked a spot and we were off. The first half a mile as per usual with the junior races was was quite fast and i gradually worked my way round the side of the pack. As my race was an early one we did not have the shortened course and had to run down to the swamp like bottom of the later cut out field then zig zag back up the field before climbing the hill that is the main feature of the Alton Towers course! First time round was not too bad and i made up several places coming off the top. Ahead of me i saw another local girl, Kate Holt of Stoke limp out, one of the many casulties of the day which must be quite gutting after all the training. The rest of this first lap i made up another few places and was now in 11th place (or so i was told by my dad). The rest of the race was basically me chasing down the girl in black in front of me but she soon caughyt a few more runners so there were now 4 girls who if i kept the pace up i could potentially beat. The second time up that hill i was getting closer then my legs just went to jelly. Not suprising really after 'running' through knee deep swamp and then having to drag up the hill. The girl in front of me was also dying on her feet but i just had nothing left.

The last half mile of that race was so slow and i felt so sick but i could hear the support for someone behind me. At this point i still thought i was 11th but after a very short sprint (about 10m) before the finish line i heard the announcer say i had made the top ten so obviously my dad couldn't count or someone else had pulled out. Either way i was very happy but feeling very light headed and thought i was going to faint. Harry Harvey came over to ask for my mobile and for the life of me i couldn't remember which was quite embarrasing because i couldn't think straight. Anyway i later discovered that my mum and sister had sat in the car for most the race-Not really pro's at this support team effort! but i'd like to say particular thanks to Paul B who i hear was actually looking foward to the nationals and was there really early intime to see my race!

I admit at this point i was quite cold and discovered that i'd lost my hoody and t-shirt (why is it always xc? lol) so decided against staying to see the seniors. I was also covered in mud as i expect those who ran will also have experienced and went back to the car where i had to sit on black bins in my race kit all the way home then got hosed down with more freezing cold water before being allowed in. However it was a very good feeling to have been back before the seniors even started and dread to think what the course was like by 3pm even if you didn't get the joy of that hill! Well done to everyone who got round, it was the hardest xc i have ever done/seen.

Well done Sarah. A tremendous effort and thanks for the report.

Incidentally, anyone who requires an entry to the Stafford 20 should get in touch with Adam Brearley, who cannot run now due to unforeseen circumstances.

Barry 40

Thanks to Del for sending in this report from the Barry 40 mile track race she did at the weekend. Here is her story:

When I decided to get back into the ultra running again last year, at no point did I even consider that I might do a track ultra, and yet there I was on Sunday morning standing on the athletics track of Jenner Park Stadium in Barry, South Wales for the start of the Barry 40 Mile Track race. This race has been going for 25 years and actually has a small field of around about 30 runners, mainly due to needing lap scorers as the "course" is quite simply 161 times around the track. Our very own Jo Donnelly is extremely familiar with the race having helped out many times herself in the past with being from this neck of the woods, and although I didn't actually see them, Jo's mum and dad popped down to give me some support today for which I am most grateful.
Anyway, I had been warned about this race in the sense that the weather is usually unpredictable, ranging from glorious sunshine to torrential rain and even snow in years gone by. Today it started quite cool, with heavy rain and gales, but whilst the wind was relentless throughout the entire race, the rain did eventually stop and we had a mixed bag of sunshine and showers.
Having not raced on a track for many years - and even then I only used to do the 1500m - I was a little daunted by the thought of running round in circles for near on 5 hours, with very little to look at, but I have to say that the time did go quickly.
I'd arranged with my coach Norman to run 1.45 per lap - approx 7 minute miling, but being flat and feeling great, I ended up averaging 6.50's for the first 20 odd miles, going through the 20 mile marker in 2.18. A somewhat dicky tummy shortly afterwards resulted in a quick dash to the loo, but thankfully I had no other problems during the race.
My main competition today was from Karen Rushton who I'd shared a room with at the World 50k Champs last year, and then we'd met again at the Gloucester 50k back in January. Despite me finishing ahead of her on both occasions, she has been improving tremendously over recent months, so I didn't really know what sort of race she was going to run today. As it happened, every 2-3 miles I ended up lapping Karen and was eventually about 1.5 miles ahead of her with about 5 miles to go, so knew I didn't have to worry too much.

If the distance wasn't enough of a challenge today, the mental challenge of so many laps certainly was. I usually count the laps in ultras as I find this easier to deal with, but counting down from 161 as opposed to 40 really was frightening, so I just blanked my mind and tried not to think about anything except putting one foot in front of the other, and yelling instructions to Andy about what food or drink I needed (apparently I was delirious at one point and just shouted drink which wasn't exactly helpful!)
Going through 30 miles in 3.30, I was in 4th place overall but I was beginning to struggle and my pace had started to slow,running about 10-15 seconds per mile slower than at the start. I had donuts, toast and honey, and even hula hoops to try to get that extra bit of energy, but whilst I was actually feeling ok, the legs just refused to go any quicker. I eventually caught Colin Gell who was lying 3rd overall, a lovely chap who I know mainly through doing the ultras, and we ran together for a while to help eachother along. The wind down the back straight by now was horrendous, and it was a battle for everybody to fight their way through. It was at this point that I found out that if I could keep the pace going, I could become the 3rd fastest British female ever over 40 miles, and would be ranked 9th in the World on the all-time list. The pressure was now on, and I fought as hard as I could to just keep going.

The last couple of miles were really tough, Colin had pulled away, and I desperately wanted to get in the top 10 world rankings. I had now slowed to about 7.30 pace, and knew it was going to be tight. With 600m to go and after just over 39 miles of running in my legs, I tried to pick up the pace, and my winning time of 4.47.59 meant that I had done it, and I was absolutely over the moon!
Karen finished in just under 5 hours, a fantastic result given that she has never ran that far before, and with us both on the England Team at the end of March for the 100km, hopefully England will reclaim the Anglo Celtic Plate. from Scotland.

Whilst I enjoyed the Barry 40 and would consider doing it again, I can safely say that I will NOT, ever become one of those crazy loony ultra runners that runs 24 hour track races - they really are nuts and that's putting it politely. At least in Perth at the end of March, we'll only have 50 odd laps of a park to do - looking forward to it already!

Thanks for the report Del and a huge congratulations on the result. Here is a picture from Barry!

Anyone else got a report from the weekend? I know there was Milford 21 and Knype Pools races going on locally so if you did either, let us know how you got on!


Having done this race before I know what a tough one it is with many people agreeing that it is tougher than doing a marathon, so there's never a huge turnout of runners from Trentham making the short journey south to Cannock Chase, however Debbie Thomas was one that made the journey through the wind and rain, and kindly sends us this report:

It had been mentioned to me, about 3-4 weeks ago, that my usual Sunday running group (i.e. Pete Caci, Rob Tab, Lynne Callaghan, Kerry Widdowson, Chris Mosiuk…etc) were building up the miles in the long Sunday morning runs to plan for the Milford 21 (Cannock Chase) to do it as a training run for those doing London marathon (Lynne & Chris) Having not long ago gotten over a groin strain and then a really severe abdominal problem (which no doctor could diagnose!) I wasn’t sure I’d be fit enough to take part. Anyway, in the two weekends before Milford I managed to: 1.) get better, and 2.) cram in a 16 miler and an 18 miler so I thought then I could probably manage the full 21 miles, albeit probably struggling through the last 3 or so. On the day it was just down to myself and Pete Caci as the others unfortunately either couldn’t make it or had personal commitments which meant that the 11am start was a little inconvenient.
We got to the car park on Milford Common with about an hour to go and then headed to the Cannock & Staffs tent and registered (£17 bit steep!) After a couple of trips to the loo, a little jog and last minute decisions on what to wear (forecast was on and off showers but didn’t want to wear too much or too little) we headed to the start line. It was raining to start and everyone (about 120-150 people by looks of it) were sheltering under the trees on the hill until we got the “3 minutes to go” call. I had filled my pockets with boiled sweets, a 250ml bottle of lemon and lime Lucozade lite and two SIS gels, which I was planning on trying for the first time. Pete was running with a bottle belt on, holding a 500ml bottle of water and some boiled sweets also. There are water stops on the course but I always prefer to carry some on me as I find I get thirsty at various parts of the run, usually when there is no water station!

11am on the dot and we were off along the trails following the patches of saw dust and arrows which mark out the course. About ¼ mile in there is a steep climb for a good ¼ mile or so and then for the first 4 to 5 miles the course is very sneakily ascending. We had planned to just run how we felt and not push too much in the early stages as it is a demanding course with lots of climbs throughout. The first few miles involved dodging lots of huge puddles and patches of mud; glad I decided to wear my trail shoes but damn why did I wear white socks!! At mile 5 my legs were feeling heavy from all the steady climbing and mud but thankfully the course now flattened off for a couple of miles. Running past a marshal I was told I was 4th lady already, very surprising! I knew though that there was a long way to go so that could change at any point, and of course, position wasn’t a target for me today (or was it…?!!) Miles 5 to 10 were quite boggy across trails and fields, and legs and shoes were caked in wet mud by now. Around miles 10 to 12 you hit the renown “switch backs” which are 5 really, really steep climbs with just as steep descents, pretty much one straight after the other. Runners in front, and me and Pete, decided to power walk up the climbs otherwise your leg-energy would be exhausted. At the top there were beautiful views over the Chase and surrounding countryside, and with not racing, as such, I was able to take these in for a couple of seconds, and catch my breath. Following these, there are a further 2 climbs up on to the top of the Chase, but I managed to keep going up these ones very steadily. I was passed now by another lady runner, putting me into 5th position.

The last few miles are slightly kinder, mostly being more downhill/flat and on better trail paths, though you do have a couple of river crossings with stepping stones to negotiate! Still it is hard work as you’re tiring and the down hills are jarring your worn out quads, and some parts are quite isolated so you really have to use some brain power/mind games to get yourself through (I was counting to 100 over and over!). Mile 14 and I’m pulling away from Pete. Feeling a little tired and thirsty, despite quickening on the flatter parts, I drink the rest of my Lucozade and pop a boiled sweet in my mouth for an energy boost. Two minutes later and I’m coming back to life and slowly catching the lady in 4th.

A glance back at Pete shows he is about 150 metres behind me now, and I wonder whether to wait for him and run with him (and take my gels) or to carry on. I wait but Pete tells me to push on as he can’t run any quicker now, but can keep going as he is. I leave him and carry on alone. Thankfully there are some runners in sight in the distance so I can focus on them. At the final drinks station (about mile 16.5) I stop to take a cup of water and top up my water bottle. I’m now overtaken by the same lady, so I’m back in 5th, and she is definitely motoring so my chances of catching her again are slight… Feeling better for the drink I’m picking up the pace again. My Garmin tells me I have to do the last 3.5 miles in around 30 mins to scrape under 3 hours… and then the bloody thing went and died so I had no idea of my pace!!

Mile 17 (or there about) I had my photo taken and I manage a smile/grimace (attached) and then I hit the trails which we started out on. I pass a male runner who says “well done, keep pushing” and I run as fast as I can manage. My tummy is rumbling now so I’m aware I’m running short on fuel (breakfast of bowl of cereal, two pieces of toast & jam obviously burnt off), but with about 2 miles to go I knew I’d be ok, even if I had to finish on my hands and knees! Mile 18 and I see a runner in front and from their body shape can see it’s a lady runner (I’m slightly short sighted so I had to get closer to focus!) I manage to get past her and get a good way in front…what a boost! Not knowing the time now I just keep running until mile 20.5 when we have to climb up the steepest hill ever! I ask the marshals how far is left at the top and they say about ½ mile….phew! Trying to run up it is seriously hard work and exhausting so I steadily climbed up (and I mean climb, not walk!!), feeling my hamstrings pulling and my legs filling with lactic acid. A photographer clinging on to a tree on my right encourages me up the hill, and then tells me that only one lady so far has ran up it without stopping (she must be a fell runner or have bionic legs!!) At the top I stop and walk a few steps to ease my legs and then start to run again. I pass two people on the side of the course who really shout at me to work hard for the last 300 metres. I do and as I run into the finish (downhill) I receive a very flattering round of applause from all the other finishers, how lovely.

I head straight to the drinks table and consume two cups of blackcurrant juice and 3 (or was it 6?!!) shortcake raisin biscuits before approaching the officials for my time….2.58.44 and 4th lady!!! Very happy!!! I chat to the lady who was 3rd, she had apparently gone off course and done an extra mile somewhere, so I congratulated her on getting 3rd lady despite the extra distance! She congratulated me also, which was nice. 13 mins later Pete comes through the finish, looking shattered but elated. Finishing positions were 40th for me and 64th for Pete out of a total of 113 runners. After Pete had had some refreshments, we collected our t-shirts and stiffly walked back to the car. A quick change into warm clothes, a lovely drink of Rego strawberry recovery drink, and we were on our way home, aching and tired but extremely proud of ourselves and contented.

Well done Deb and well done also to Pete. Below are a couple of photos that Debbie has sent in, and the results for this year's Milford 21 can be found HERE!


Knype Pools Race

Also on the same day as the Milford 21 was the Knypersley Pools Charity Race and a few Trentham Runners made the trip to Biddulph to take part. One of them was Daniel Bowman who has kindly offered up this summary of events, as well as a window into his zombie loving social life:

I heard about this race last week from Walt, who is now the Frodo to Bryan Dale’s Gandalf. My initial thoughts were that firstly, I had never heard of it, and secondly, I didn’t much fancy it. After chatting with Chris though we agreed it might be a good one to do then run home from as part of our respective marathon training regimes.
Thursday I was planning on going down to the club but the ode ball ‘n’ chain persuaded me to have a beer and a Chinese instead. We also watched a film called the Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. I adored the film for anyone who cares. It’s directed by Terry Gilliam and the majority of the film is like his stuff from old Flying Circus episodes. It also struck a chord with me because a lot of it was like the stuff I think about moments before I fall asleep. Anyhooooooo on Saturday I was debating whether to bother doing the race as my friend and his better half were coming over to watch Take me out and Rec 2. Me and my friend are both big zombie film fans and were very disappointed by the film. Take me out was as usual, amazing.
I had a couple of beers and for my tea I had hot cross buns (Don’t know why, just saw them in the shop and wanted to get me some) went to bed about midnight with the mindset of “Meh, I’ll see how I feel in the morning”
Now, I’d already let Lee down as having enjoyed the LSR the week prior I’d informed him of my decision to do the erm… Knype Biddulph Resevoir thing ( Still don’t know the actual name of this race) so I woke up on Sunday morning feeling… meh. Not bad, not good, just a bit meeeeeeeeeeeeeh.
Anyway, I figured I’d nip dooooonstairs and have my usual pre-race breakfast of toast and honey and see how things went. Whilst waiting for the ode bread to pop up I began trying to think of dairy puns. I recently entered into a war of dairy puns with Sam, Walt and Chris, amongst others and sadly I was finding it difficult to find the killer pun. The battle’s died down a bit now but I will concede, I met my match in that one. Truly epic stuff. If you want to know what happened here/view the battlefield or whatever I strongly suggest you check out Chris M’s face book status from mid last week. Beautiful warfare.
Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo out I popped into the old Fiesta and drove to the race. I’d now demoted my plans to not running home from the race, but attempting to find it and having a good go at it.
Rang my step dad to get directions and away I went. I went the wrong way initially because the signs to Kny… Kneype… the pond were a little hazy, positioned directly between two parallel roads right next to each other but I persevered.
Arrived at the race to find the car park full. To be fair the marshalls were really nice and allowed me to park on the road so I was very grateful for that.
Jogged down to the registration/start area and it started absolutely p!ssing it down. I was considering just using the phrase “raining” or “bucketing” but thought I’d use the naughty one and censor it by means of ! Because the rain was absolutely horrific. I did however feel pretty good considering I’d had a couple/4 cans of man vino the night before.
Found the registration area to (initially) discover no people anywhere. Just two wobbly tents. Two tents bulging at the seams with… people. There must had been 30 people packed into each gazebo type tenty thing sheltering from the cold. Eventually found the registration forms, said hello to Jo and Chris, and started filling it in. Carrying it toward the pay/safety pin bit it turned into paper mache and the ink smeared everywhere. To the organisers credit they deciphered my wet stains (way-heeeeey) into my actually name on the results so fair play.
Anywaysssssssssssssss I lined up with Chris and he said “I didn’t have any competition until now” to which I thought “The only way I would be any competition to you would be in a who can get the most mud in their chaffed thigh wounds and die from the resulting infection” competition.
So we waiting for the starting horn…
For once I’m using the actual noise because it was a town crier that unleashed us. Hats off to Biddulph for providing a stranger starting noise than the stuff I usually write.
I bombed off quite confidently just behind the leading pack. I didn’t know at the time but Mark Dalkins was in there. Chris was alongside me until a short steep hill where I opened up a little gap. I may be a bit of a chubber but I’ve got ungodly thighs and I can cope with hills pretty well. I began to daydream that I could beat Chris and Jo, until I began descending a steep muddy bank. My feel nearly gave way on me but I managed to stay upright. It might be worth mentioning that Chris and I were wearing road shoes and I genuinely feel we would both have positioned higher up in the field had we worn off-road shoes.
Anyway I went round the corner and still had no Trentham runners in front of me. Pleased I was.
An unknown Trentham runner passed me on the straight shortly thereafter and I was all like “Grrrrrr”
Who am I kidding though? If you had a fleet of Bugatti Veyron’s racing against a Koala bear with a thyroid problem the Veyron’s will eventually win, even when the Koala bear is kicked across the start line by a man made entirely from sandwiches. Even if the sandwiches were full of the Channel tunnel and the song Enola gay by ELO. Seriously, this koala was up against it. The thighs were thundering, the lungs were full of little men pushing the walls again and again until the inevitable. If their were some supreme court of Koala bears the leaders would have been crying “But why are you bothering!? You haven’t eaten eucalyptus for weeks! The only thing you’ve eaten recently is a tyre and a mini-disc player”
That night I imagine the koala bear grand council slept uneasily. Some of them would be sleeping upon beds of straw and raspberry scented tumble dryer scent bags but other would be sleeping with one eye open dreading the future of the forest, and the planet as a whole really. Just worrying. Worrying. Worrying a koala worry… and then they’d fall asleep.
The next day would probably be alright to be fair, but those koalas, they probably mainly worry at night. The weather is nice where they come from though so a great day would probably be had by all, including the higher ups, in their robes, during the hot hot sun of the somewhere south weather and that…
So I thundered on thinking the world of my kebab spindle athleticism until things took a turn for the handsome. Chris and Jo easily disposed of me, leaving me absolutely covered in mud, trying to climb some staircase that was for no reason in the middle of a hill. I reached the top (barely) and started trying to gain ground on Chris because again due to my pretzel like thighs, I can cope with stairs ok. It was at this point I overbalanced and came within a few inches of introducing Mr Face to Mr Dog Excrement. I cursed and continued. I then entered a field. The path was straight on but I couldn’t turn very sharply and found myself careering down a hill waaaaaaaaaay off the course. I couldn’t stop at all and lost a good few seconds scrambling back up to the route. Grrrrrrrrrr!
Anyhooooo after this field (where two people passed me) I didn’t let anyone else pass. Luckily there was a steep hill before the finish and I’m good on dem like. I crossed the line in 36minutes40ish I think. Jo came second so hats of to you madame, and Chris doth slain me in but 70 secs. I was initially disappointed with my time and distance behind Chris but in retrospect I actually did ok. I finished 23rd out of 113.
Now, my overall review of the race.

Did I dislike it?
If I didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this. I’d have found something better to do because I’d Have Known Better. I have mentioned that it was muddy, it was slippery, it was low key. Yes is was. But… it was absolutely brilliant. I enjoyed every faeces drenched moment of it. Yes I nearly lost the use of my limbs a few times, yes I nearly developed hypothermia due to the ridiculous weather conditions and yes my position was boosted by the fact that other people sometimes race for fun and don’t try and prove some deathbed macho rubbish to the rest of the world. I loved this race. It was beautiful, full of personality and I’m thoroughly glad I ran it. I’m sorry I wasn’t much fun after the race guys, I was so cold I really had to get back to my car to warm up, but well done everyone. Well done Jo, well done Chris, well done Malc and well done mystery Trentham guy who I’m sure is a very nice person.
This, as always, is an Honest review and I love you all sincerely.
(Apologies over the terrible use of grammar toward the end, I’m tired. Please ignore any dodgy grammar. Seriously though, what‘s going on with me there? Some terrible use of grammar. Hmmmm some might say that‘s suspici…)
This report has been terminated.
Daniel Bow-something

Thanks for the report Dan and keep 'em coming. If you are racing this weekend then let us know about it. You can find the link to the email address on the main page.

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Page last updated 06 March 2011


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