May 2011

 

Uttoxeter Half

There were a number of Trentham Runners out on Sunday for the Uttoxeter Half Marathon and two of them have kindly sent in their reports. First one from Roger Grand:

On the morning of the race I wasn't to keen on how sunny it was looking and how the trees were leaning over in the "gentle" wind as the wife described it! At the race course I bumped in to Adam Really, Lee Jones, Chris Mosaic, Rob Tabbanor, Jill, Deb, I could see there were a couple of other Trentham runners but I didn't have chance to do all the rounds, if any of the gents had to go the loo great that none of them flushed ah!

Lining up at the start I caught a glimpse of Ben Gamble & a few of us wondered if we should just go the pub & let Ben run it on his own but we stupidly decided to give it a go, so we were off and I decided not to go off at 5 minute miles like normal & die after 2 miles, my plan was 6 mins on the flat & try & do 7 to 7.30 on any uphills, I think I realised this was out of the window as We ran into the wind correct me if I'm wrong for roughly 9 mile with the sun also, considering all I was 16th by the time we had settled into the pace we could all run at into the wind.

The lanes turned into very nice wind tunnels and I think I felt like crying at one point, a lad in from of me just we got to the 6 mile point stopped throw up twice & started to jog slowly as in his words he felt like sh*t, so threw no hard running I snatched a place Woop Woop! Now I don't like hills and the big one in the middle is one I could have done without, 4 runners came past me on the way up bas#@rds. At the top 2 of the runners who had come past me paid the price & I past them with not too much effort, I had in my mind that the hard work was done for some daft reason & over the next 3 mile My legs & lungs kicked me into touch, how the inclines dragged on!!! My god I was hurting!!! Just as I started the 1st big desent an Ivanhoe runner clawed past me, there was nothing I could do I did my best to stay in reach of him. I had some much needed support off Adam who told there was a runner 50 metres behind me I was determined not to drop back another place, I had about a mile to go.

The last decent was so needed after the previous mile and I kept looking over my shoulder waiting for him to close in, it never came I finished in 1hr 24mins 58sec, 16secs slower than last year but 5 places better at 18th, I knew the wind had been really harsh and anyone who ran it deserved credit, that was tough.

ha ha, Chris Mosaic, classic, Thanks Roger :-) Next report from Deb Thomas:

Uttoxeter Half Marathon has always been my favourite 13.1 miles, even though Iíve only ever done it once before back in 2006 and at that time it was my second ever half marathon when I first started out on the roads! I love the undulating course and the finish into the race grounds is amazing, especially when you hear your name being announced over the tanoy; it makes you feel special! Since then Iíve had to miss it, as Iíve either been London marathon training, injured or on holiday! I had heard that the course had been altered since 2006 and that the skyscraper hill that was around mile 10 was now replaced with a longer climb for about a good mile or so before experiencing a nice long downhill to the finish.

My intention had been to pre-enter this race but I never posted off the form and on the day had to pay the rather inflated £16 fee (yikes!). Adam had kindly driven and once parked up in the grounds we bumped into a few Trenthamers (Jill Phillips looking excitable and eager, Rob Tabbanor debating whether to run with lower back pain, Mandy Vernon looking fresh to run, Richard OíKeeffe fulfilling his duty as ladies captain and there for support, Lee Jones with his belly full of birthday curry, Stan Winterton looking fit (and a target for me!), and amongst others: Alan Lewis, Rose Wilson, Gary Payne, Paul Burslem, Roger Grand, Chris Mosiuk and a few others here and there, some I know the names and others I donít (sorry!)). It was always going to be a tough run with the hot and blowy weather conditions so I knew that a PB was out of the question (fat chance in my current state of unfit!) and that even getting near my Stafford Half time (1.32) could possibly be difficultÖ

11am the race started on the dot and Iíd packed myself in at about 5-6 rows back along the slim country road just outside the race course grounds. Within about ľ mile we were taking in a steady climb with the midday sunshine beaming down and I was wishing Iíd now worn my cap instead of just sunglasses! Just passed Mile one I was shoulder to shoulder with Michael Beardmore (Cheadle) who I was using to pace me out for the first couple of miles as he was running nice and steady. First few mile splits were between 6.56 and 7.15 due to the undulating course then as the course made its way towards Marchington Woodlands I was on my own. Mile five and Iíd caught up Gary Payne who was running well but also starting to feel the effects of the heat. Mile six and the long climb up began and I was feeling good up until about six and a half miles when I was needing a drink very badly. Thankfully a bit further along the Drinks Ahead sign appeared and I made a point of stopping to take on board a good 2 cups of water. A bit further on and I catch Chris Mosiuk who looked like he was struggling a little. He said he was feeling dehydrated so I passed him one of my Ďemergency boiled sweetsí from my pocket before edging in front. Still working through the ups and downs I see Rob Tabbanor ahead, running backwards up the hills! I catch him up and he explains that itís the only way he can carry on running as his back pain was increasing. We run together for a mile or two fighting through the head winds, which are almost pushing me backwards!

Around Mile eight there is a nice downhill to enjoy and soon after Iím on my own again. Mile nine there is a very much needed water station and I again stop and take on 2-3 cups of water as the sunshine and heat is really making me work hard. Mile 10 is the start of the climb up to Mile 12 and itís long and steady and draining. A shout from Adam is a nice surprise as heís standing on the course cheering on. Iím feeling very thirsty now and for a split second consider drinking out of a puddle!! Itís only when I notice the green scum on the surface that I think itís best not tooÖ Iím almost consumed with thirst and Iím even checking the hands of some spectators watching us run from their gardens in case they are holding a drink I can steal on the way past!! Mile eleven and the climb is peaking and then Mile 12 and itís a lovely long downhill run to the race course and once you turn the corner into the grounds you have about 200 metres or so to go for the finish. When I hear my name being called and that Iím fifth lady I smile and the announcer notices and shouts over the tanoy ďand sheís still smiling!!Ē Two seconds after posing for the crowds Iím in a heap on the floor and Richard is having to escort me inside to cool off and get some fluids.

Twenty minutes or so I start to feel human again and then look out for team mates who have suffered the same conditions. Massive well done to Mandy Vernon for winning the ladies and to everyone else who ran so hard to get through it. Itís still my favourite half marathon, the country lanes are lovely and the constant changing of the route keeps it interesting and enjoyable. Recommended, but on a cooler dayÖ!

Big thanks to Richard OíKeeffe, Adam Brearley and Mark Hughes for coming along to support, and also John Clemens of Stone MM who caught me up on his bike from Mile 12 and helped me to keep going, though I resisted the temptation to knock him off his wheels and steal his sports bottle!!! Nice bright green technical t-shirt from the race too. Well done Trentham!
 


Also Sunday were Lichfield 10K and South Cheshire 20 which I'm told realised some EXCELLENT Trentham performances. Hopefully someone will spill the beans soon.........

........ Instead of doing a race report Adela has sent in an update on what she has been doing lately. Here it is:

For those of you that think Iíve been a little quiet recently and perhaps havenít been racing, I thought that I had better send something in to update you (plus Iíve been harassed by a certain Mr Webmaster to put pen to paper so to speak!). I have actually started my own personal blog (www.delsalt.blogspot.com) where I now tend to put my race reports, and I have to say that things have been a little busy of late.

I think the last you heard from me was about the tremendous effort by the Trentham Ladies Team at the National 6 stage relays where they finished in a brilliant 8th place Ė hope you havenít forgotten that one already! In addition to this though, Iíve also done quite a few individual races.

Back at the end of March, I represented England in the British 100km Championships up in Perth, Scotland. I led the race up to about 43 miles, but then I started to get a pain in my foot and slipped off the pace. I eventually finished in 4th place in the ladies event, missing out on a national medal by about 2 minutes which over 62 miles isnít very much at all. Thankfully I wasnít an emotional wreck and was actually very pleased with the result as despite the foot pain, I still managed to run 8.32.33 AND qualify for the Great Britain 100km team for the World Championships in September.

A week or two later, and as mentioned above, Trentham sent a superb ladies team to the national relays, and then the day after was the Newcastle 7 which I decided to do just to see how the old legs were recovering. I certainly didnít go there for a race, and just wanted to have a steady run round and maybe get a veteran prize. I did win the over 35 category and finished 4th lady, so mission accomplished in an ok time of around 47 minutes Ė again, not bad for me considering that nasty climb up Black Bank!

A week later, and it was the London Marathon. I was hoping to run close to 3 hours but given that the 100k had only been 3 weeks previous, I didnít know how the legs would hold out. I love the London Marathon and itís a fantastic atmosphere, and thankfully that crowd and all the other runners kept me going when things got a little tough between 18 Ė 23 miles. I picked it up in the last 3 miles, and finished in 3.03 exactly, just ahead of former Olympic Rowing Champion James Cracknell (I was on the telly just in front of him coming along Birdcage Walk!). Again, I wasnít disappointed, and was pretty happy with my run.

And lastly, whilst all the better runners were at the Uttoxeter Half or Lichfield Half on Sunday (which saw Mandy Vernon and Sarah Johnson win the ladies races respectively), I decided to take on yet another long one, this time the South Cheshire 20. Iím sure those of you that raced over the weekend will remember the pretty strong winds and the glorious sunshine, so any race was going to be a hard one, and the South Cheshire 20 certainly lives up to that. Undulating with short sharp hills for the first 8 miles or so straight in to a head wind, followed by 5 miles of stupidly long and steep ups and downs (yes, hilly!) with a little shelter in the county lanes where it then got extremely warm, and finally to the last 7 miles which reverted back to undulating with short sharp hills again, and weirdly still in to a head wind! It was quite a lonely run as the field breaks up quite a bit after a couple of miles, and I just tried to focus on the lovely scenery rather than the hills ahead. Iíd been hoping to run about 2.17-2.18 but that was unlikely in the weather, but Iím pleased to say that I ran 2.20.23 in what was probably one of my better paced races having gone through 10 miles in just a shade over 70 minutes. I also won the ladies race which was a nice bonus, and gave the perfect excuse to have a munch on the tasty home made cakes at the finish.

I know we donít have many long distance runners in the club at the moment, but this really is a gem of a race, and one of my favourites. The organisation is superb, the course is challenging but scenic, the support off the South Cheshire Harriers and their helpers is tremendous, itís cheap to enter, and this year, the t-shirt was pretty cool and seemed to go down very well with the runners.

So what do I have planned next? Well, Iím doing the Kibblestone Clamber, then I have the English National Trail Running Championships on 15th May Ė 32 miles in the Forest of Dean, and a selection race for the Commonwealth Trail Running Champs. I also had a phone call on Tuesday asking if I would like to represent Great Britain in the World Trail Running Championships in July over in Ireland. If you think you know my response, answers on a postcard please J
Happy running everybody, good luck in your races, and no doubt Iíll see you all very soon.

Thanks Del and talking of Kibblestone.......


Kibblestone Clamber

It's always nice to get something through from the newer members and this was no exception. John Guest was running the Spring Treble for the first time as a Trentham Runner and has kindly offered up this report as a summary of the events:

Last of the Spring Treble series and I intended to have a steady run, after what I believe is my busiest racing week ever - don't think I've ever done 3 races in 5 days and soon to be 4 in 8 with the Market Drayton 10k on Sunday - and as my sore calves are telling me - for good reason!. Although, looking around the assembled runners, there were a fair few who I recognised were also on their 3rd in 5 days too, so no excuses. As intended, I started right at the back and eased steadily through the pack and noticed a couple of Trentham runners, Ken Pearson and one other, so worked my way towards them. (sorry, I've only been a member of Trentham for about a month, with two training nights under my belt and don't know many names yet),
Still on the first lap and feeling surprisingly comfortable I pushed on and caught sight of my Spring Treble/NSRRA group 'E' league rival, Mr Jones ahead - Lee had narrowly beaten me at Hanchurch and I, even more narrowly, squeezed past him at Milford with a cheeky sprint near the line, which he kindly thanked me for with a choice, affectionate expletive!
Despite my intention of running a steady race, after Lee had thrashed me at Clayton the previous night and also at Uttoxeter on Sunday, (even though I'd posted my best times for at least 5 years), my competitive streak kicked in and I homed in on him. Unusually, he didn't seem to be running that fast, as I found myself gaining ground without too much effort, so I settled in just behind and said "hello" to let him know I was there. He promptly upped his pace and said he'd been waiting for me - which might explain why he was just "jogging" along, or maybe, as I suspected because he'd put the effort in for the previous two, more competitive, NSRRA races, and after all he's no spring chicken now he's just hit 41!
I really enjoy both the Spring Treble and the Staffs Moorlands Summer Series races because of the relaxed atmosphere of the spring and summer evenings, plus the challenging multi-terrain courses on offer and the communal efforts of men and women against nature... (oops, nearly lost myself then), errÖ. not forgetting the many country pubs and alluring beers and barmaids.
Back to the race, I tracked Lee for the 2nd of the 3 laps and thought I'd better offer to do some work and take the lead for a while, but as it was snatched back after a few strides, I sat in again. On the final lap I knew I was onto to a winner when I was offered a draw for the series and he kindly/lamely offered to cross the line together, holding hands! Now I wasn't about to accept the gracious offer, as I don't know him well enough for that, so I said I'd see how I felt at the end.
A very enjoyable race/series on refreshingly varied terrain and although we weren't particularly fast on the night, we shook hands at the finish and I was congratulated with another, different expletive, I do like variety. Nice surprise with the goody bag and topped off with the usual excellent complimentary sandwiches and pork pies, washed down with a couple of delicious pints of "Bomber" at the Brushmaker's Arms.
Well done to series prize winners from Trentham, Rob Tabbanor V50, Jane Dickens V40 and Deb Thomas and all others who took part. I look forward as a new Trentham runner to putting a few more names to faces and getting to know you all a little better

Thanks for the report John who was too polite to mention he did cross the line ahead of Lee in the final race, and here's to many more successful races as a Trentham Runner. As John did mention, Trentham prize winners from the series were Rob Tabbanor (V50 Male), Jayne Dickens (overall Ladies winner and V40 winner) and Deb Thomas (2nd female) so well done to you three for your successes.

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Lichfield Half

As previously mentioned last Sunday was the Lichfield Half which Sarah Johnson won in difficult conditions on a windy day and she has kindly sent us this report (only 1 week late) so thanks Sarah, and here it is:

After a long cross country season and a few 10ks I decided it was time to put the long runs to good use and do a half marathon. I last ran one in October so was kind of half hoping to knock off some time and so went for the 'flat/undulating' and 'pb potential' course that was the new (or resurrected) Lichfield half marathon rather than the hills of untogether.
After arriving early and a brief warm up we headed to the start where unusually there was a distinct uneagerness among the men to be at the front!
However the gun went and as usual, there was a surge of runners who sped past the crowd, turned the corner and promptly slowed down, allowing me to work my way through. At this point there were three men about 40m ahead and one (who would later win the race) alongside me.
This stayed the same for a mile and I clocked the exact pace I wanted. However mile 2 was slower and at this point the man I was running with decided it was time to move up and join the men in front. Even though I was working at a slower pace than I wanted I felt that it would be unwise to push on so early in the race and tagged on to one of the original three who was now falling behind. This was the same for the next 4 miles and I have never been in sight of the leading car for such a way before!
I have to add, that it was a struggle. Despite the flattish first few miles the wind was against us and the mile splits were 10-15 seconds down. This kind of made it hard mentally because I knew a pb was already not going to happen and there was ages left (I am a 10k runner after all!)
I managed to accidentally lose all my times and reset my watch at 7mile which was probably a good thing but I did it whilst trying to simultaneously run and stretch out a stitch. I swear this guy must have wondered what the hell I was doing waving my arm in the air but I did read it somewhere! I can's say it worked to well so I tried another technique I had read about, speeding up so the rest of you is uncomfortable and you forget about the stitch. This sort of worked, but then I was meandering across the road between efforts. At some point the stitch went and at 8mile the lead men were now spreading out at the leader picked up the pace.
We crossed the much dreaded railway line (which I had had visions of coming down in front of me) and soon a) I had left my running partner behind but b) had got overtaken by two new men, although one didn't have a number on.
The wind seemed to be behind me for about one mile. Then it was again against me. The road went on and on and although I could see a man in front on me he was getting no nearer. The last few miles I rally struggled. Every turn seemed to be another hill, Not a big hill, but a short steep kind of hill that quickly went back down that hadn't registered on Google maps when I mapped the course! After ten miles, hill reps is not what you want and hill reps with a wind blowing you back down is even worse. I don't know whether I looked particularly bad because several people were telling me I was nearly there and to keep going! I did keep going ,although the last mile must have been the slowest of all. I was knackered. The 200m to go sign and the crowds, although encouraging, couldn't overcome the tiredness and with no pb to chase as soon as I hit the grass my legs were all over the place.

I was very glad to finish.
For some reason there was tape everywhere. So just wanting to get out and lie down I started ducking under tape to get out of the maze in a sort of semi daze. A marshal said to another 'this isn't really working is it'. After I realised that instead of zigzagging through the marked out finishing queue I had just gone straight through it all! I can't think when I have finished a race!

In retrospect, Lichfield half was really quite a nice course, with some country roads, long flat stretches and plenty of pretty villages but that day the gales just made it such hard work! Although I am not running it next year as I already have my half picked (I only do a few) , it was a well organised race, with a bag full of SIS sports supplements and chip timing that I would recommend (just check the weather forecast first).
I would also add that there was another Trentham runner there that (apologies) I don't know but did see on the video! Two race reports in a month, I think that's my writing done for this season!

What Sarah forgot to mention is that she finished 5th Overall in a time of 1:19:33 9 minutes ahead of the next female. Results, Photos and Video HERE! I'm sure that's not the last we will hear from Sarah this season, although her modesty means I do have to prize reports out of her like a pearl from a shell.

Talking of reports where are the reports from Clayton 10K and Market Drayton 10K? There was certainly enough of you doing them!!!!!!

 


Clayton 10K

After the recent races around Clayton and Market Drayton it has been a little disappointing to only get one report from both races, but all credit to Chris Mosiuk who has taken the time to send in this offering. Chris was using both these races to look for a new 10k PB after his recent progress. This is how it went:
 

I had been waiting for a 10K to come around for some time, my last one being St. Michaelís in June 2010. This week I got to have a go at completing my 3 targets I set at the start of the year Ė to complete London marathon (check), finally run a sub 90 half marathon (check) and run a 10K under 40 minutes (computer says no). Last year these two events were in the same week and I was able to run a PB in both races, 42.02 at Clayton and then 30 seconds quicker at Muller. I wanted to do the same again, hopefully picking up a useful score in group C and some free yoghurts in the process.

 

I lined up on the start line at Clayton, not behind Ben Gamble but along side him. Realising I might have been a little ambitious I took a step backwards and stood behind Sam. I made a good start, but far too quick over the first half mile. My Garmin said 5.45 minute miles as an average after half a mile so I slowed down to a much more sensible pace. I was sitting 2nd in group C but leader Craig Taylor of Newcastle was still behind and he soon caught up. I ran with him for a mile, using the downhill of Whitmore Road to keep up. He drew us closer to Francesco Caci, relation of Pete I assume. I had to let Craig go after 2 miles as I couldnít keep up, but wasnít too disheartened as I knew I was on for a PB at this point. For a good two miles I had a battle with Franco, all in good spirit. He was pretty fresh having not done Uttoxeter half on the Sunday prior and he used that to his advantage pulling away after 4 miles. Still on for a PB I just carried on knowing I should be pleased. I had yet another group C contender chasing me and he soon overtook. I caught him back up and led at 5 miles. Approaching the finish line, I lost my place again but I was running on the limit. I knew if I pushed Iíd get that familiar Ďsickí feeling so I let him go. 4thplace in the group is where I finished in a new PB of 40.45, so I had to be pleased. Thanks to all the Trenthamers out on course for the support, particularly Del who seemed to be on every corner..? I got told off by Bryan Dale, for starting off too quickly. I knew he was right but I still think a sub 40 might have been a little out of reach regardless, with my legs still a little tired from Uttoxeter.

 

After a few days of recovery, I set off on Sunday morning with Dad, Jill and Jamie Williams to the Market Drayton 10K, formerly Muller. I was wearing my ruby slippers from the trainer research and Iíd forgotten my watch. Last time I was sporting this combo I thrashed my 5 mile PB completely by surprise, so I was hoping for a good omen. There was also no NSRRA pressure, despite seeing a few familiar faces. I followed Gary who sneaked in towards the front overcoming the barrier tapes and off we went.
The course was slightly different to previous years, but at least they solved the funnel problem from last years start. With no idea of pacing I set off quickly, but at a pace I thought I could maintain. I counted through the miles estimating how long I had left to run. I was still moving well at half way, but desperate for some water. Once Iíd had that, I just kept my legs moving. I completely missed the 4 mile board and so wasnít sure what was going on! I could soon see a big number 5 down the road and was pleasantly surprised. I knew I was on for a good time.
With a guessed half mile left to go I pulled alongside the 3rd place lady and asked what the time was. She replied with 36.30, so I knew I could well beat my target. I upped the pace slightly to give myself every chance. Bryan was taking photos on the finishing stretch and gave me a bit of encouragement. The guy in front can see Iím closing the gap and he starts a sprint to fend me off. As some of you will know, I love a good sprint finish. He really went for it, but I maintained winning record and edged passed him just before the line. (Iíve just checked Brian Smithís photos, he was smiling as I was overtaking!)

 

I just had enough time to glance at the clock as I came through, which read 39.24. My chip time came in at 39.20, of which Iím really pleased. All this years targets met already, although Iíve set myself a new one of becoming a Compleat Runner with the NSRRA. Iíve ran all 6 races so far, just another 14 to go! Well done to everyone who took part in either event, or both, particularly the ladies team for cleaning up at Clayton!


Well done to Chris there for achieving his new pb and thanks for the report. Incidentally believe it or not Francesco is no relation to Pete, which is a huge surprise really but true non-the-less.

results for Market Drayton HERE!


Treetops 10K

 

Sunday 15th May was the annual Treetops 10K at Trentham Gardens, always popular as you get free access to the gardens for yourself and followers. One of the many Trentham Runners there (and the only one who bothered to do a report) was Danny Bowman, so good on yer mate, here it is:

Itís been deathly quiet round here lately. Most Mondays around 2pm (when I assume Ryan has some sort of sandwich break) I excitedly load up the old green website and let my brain feast upon the delights that all of your beautiful fingers have etched into eternity. Over the past few months however there havenít been many reports getting added. Iíve no idea why, maybe itís some sort of writers strike? (Ha three years out of date satire) Well a couple of you will know I went through a bit of a grim time recently and as a result I lost my mojo with running a bit, and when I did turn up to the club Iíve ended up causing a bit of tension or, more recently hitting Jill in the face with a pool cue.

The NSRRA races have been coming and going and although Iíve finished 7th out of about 20 in each of the two races I completed, I was just struggling to get going. Well, things have picked up in the past week and now life is going pretty swimmingly again so I was actually excited to do the race I did this morning. The Donna Louise Trust Childrens Hospice Treetops 10k and 5k fun run. It doesnít exactly roll off the tongue but nether does a petrol pump and where would we be without petrol pumps? Stuck in a place with no petrol pumps, thatís where.
There is a boing backstory to this. Ha Iíve misspelled boring as boing. Iím keeping it, it looks good. Anyway, basically Iíve been in charge of putting together a team at work due to a corporate sponsorship thingy and to my great surprise, I managed to convince 19 people to do the 10k and a further 16 to do the walk. Although there were some great performances from my work peeps, you probably donít know any of them so I wonít go into details about that, but the past few weeks have been pretty busy organising everything going into the race.

So I got to Trentham gardens this morning at 9:25 for a race start of 10am. This was my first 10k of the year, my last being the Cheddleton pudding run in November, where thanks to Debbie, I got a PB of 43:14. Iíd looked at the results from last yearís Treetops race and saw that Alex Derricott won it in just under 35 minutes (slow for him) and only a couple of people ran under 40 minutes. I ascertained from this that today might not be a PB day, of which Iíve enjoyed a few since I joined the club 17 months ago.
The weather wasnít great. Rainy and cold. I wasnít wearing my Trentham vest due to running with my work team so Iíd let my brother borrow it because heís still not got round to buying one. Trentham gardens is a nice place and I was looking forward to running around it. Had no idea how Iíd go on mind because (discounting the killer mile) this was my first distance race since Stafford half. Oh actually I did that crazy wet thing with Chris and Jo but I canít remember when that one was.
ErmÖ right so I warmed up with Jon for 5 minutes and went to stand at the start line. Stood around for a second untilÖ ďCASHEW!!!!!!!Ē and off we went. I knew I wouldnít get a quick start because the blues brothers were standing in front of me, right on the chip mat (yes, chip timing in a small race. Nice) so after sitting in around 30th position for a minute or so I pushed on to around 12th and stayed there for a bit. The ground was pretty muddy. Not ideal running conditions really but on I went. I was very aware of two kids in front of me, around 10 probably. They were bombing it round! Their legs were only the size of apples (apples that have been rolled out into leg shapes. Stretchy apples for arguments sake) but I could only just keep up. The leading pack of three club runners disappeared after a while and I set myself at a nice steady pace. Now Iíd had a couple of beers yesterday for the footy and Eurovision so (as I did at Potters last year) I had a constant feeling in my stomach that I was going to explode in a shower of red and brown and the police would have to identify me by my dental records.
Still though I soldiered on. My constant ďIím going to dietĒ monologues are empty promises and so Iím still beefy for a runner but my legs felt ok today. They didnít seem to mind carrying me round. 3k in 12 minutes, not too bad. There was then a ford which the runners in front were running round. ďHow stupidĒ thought I and ran right through it, overtaking someone in the process. HA!
The race consisted of two laps and the second half of each lap was pretty hard going. There was a zig-zag section around the Italian gardens where we had to keep coming back on ourselves (Reminds me of when I was a teenaÖ no I wonít say it) Followed by a long, hardÖ hill.
Over the top I went and one of the little nippers from earlier came past me! What the hell!? I thought. How is he possibly running this quickly!? My question was answered a second later when he turned off toward the finish. He was the leader of the 5k race. Relieved and having regained the masculinity which I never had to start with I set off on the second muddy wet lap. It really was a nice looking course around the lake. The paths werenít great for running on and it was a bit up and down but it was one of those therapeutic races. Ran through the ford again but this time lost my footing and nearly fell over. Some kids laughed at me so I kicked them. I didnít really I just laughed it off because I looked a berk.
During the second lap I was ermÖ lapping the 5k runners/walkers and it was pretty good because I was getting some good encouragement from them as I was now sitting in (I think) 10th position.
Came round the zig-zag section again and started the stupid hill. It was at this point I noticed I was quite far ahead of some Staffs moorlands guys and Graeme Cope. I had thought earlier on that I was only positioned well because charity races donít really bring out the club runners as much but it looked for sure like I was having a decent one. Yippee! I thought. I then noticed I was gaining on the dude in 9th place coming up the hill. I drew level with him and he did that thing where he just tucked in behind me to choose his moment to sprint over the line. To look at he was in better shape than me but that hill had zapped him a little bit. We reached the 9.5k mark and still he hadnít made his move. I saw the finish line come around the corner, it was still around 150 metres away though andÖ ďwhat the!?Ē the guy behind me began sprinting. Now as Good looking Chris will tell you, I can sprint with the best of them but this was a bit of a stretch. I set off, picking up the pace but he was still about 5 feet in front. With around 50 metres to go I summoned every last piece of pizza in my comedy thighs and thundered across the line in a new PB of 42:30 (ish, results arenít out yet)

Now, I appreciate that time doesnít sound too fancy but for a mostly offroad, muddy, undulating race Iím over the moon with it. Plus Iím sure I got my first ever top 10 finish. Itís a cheap victory maybe because itís not exactly an NSRRA race or anything but I was ever so proud of myself when I crossed the line 1 second ahead of the guy that I had the epic 150 metre sprint finish with. I had a look at last years results and saw that Sam finished a minute quicker than me in that race, and also squeezed into the top 10. Samís a top runner so Iím especially pleased. Anyhoo, Iím going to watch some Doctor who now so Iím going to sign off. Well done to the other blokes representing Trentham (5 of us in total) and also for raising cash for the Donna Louise Hospice. Apologies to those who started reading this expecting some dirty tangent-fest but Iíve ruffled enough feathers lately so I figured Iíd be more passive. Love you all and Iíll see you at (my next race) Potters Ďarf!
Oh actually thereís an NSRRA one by a pond in Stone or something. Iíll do that one beforehand so ermÖ See you at the pond in Stone!
And thus concludes my sensible controversy free report. But to reward anyone whoís stayed with me until this point,
Fart balls.

Thanks for the report Danny Boy, and well done. Nice to see that you are enjoying your running again and keeping us entertained.

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Page last updated 18 May 2011

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