October News & Reports


Oulton Park Duathlon

I know there will be a few people scoffing at a multi-sport race report appearing on the website but as there were no race reports (or races) from the weekend I thought it might be best to read about something rather than nothing:

There were 5 Trentham runners all heading over to rural Cheshire at the weekend to take part in the Oulton Park Autumn Duathlon. For those uninitiated amongst you a duathlon is a 3 part race involving running and cycling. The first leg on this particular event is a 2.8 mile run followed by the 2nd leg (a 13.5 mile ride) and finally another 2.8 mile run to the finish.

On arrival I spotted Jill Phillips and Dan Jordan queuing for registration and BTF race licence (all adds to the excitement and cost) before spotting Mark Day heading that way as I was parking up. I quickly parked up and dashed to the registration to join Mark at the rear of the long snaking queue, only to find he'd bluffed his way to near the front with Jill and Dan. Well, if you can't beat em........ Unfortunately Guy Martin got there just after we got through the queue and had to start at the back (unlucky mate).

After registering the four of us discussed tactics and pacing before heading off to transition to store the bikes and helmet. You have to rack your bike at the designated place notified by your race number so after searching and finding the place, laid out my brightly coloured Stoke City towel with my bike shoes and skid lid. This is always a good tactic. Saves you running back and forth like a nutter looking for your beautiful bike that looks just like all the others in a race situation.

After the briefing about draughting and track etiquette it was off to the delayed start (queuing up time lost) and time to line up on the grid. I say grid because as the title suggests this was a race around the racing circuit and a rare opportunity for a completely traffic free Duathlon. Many people think racing circuits are as flat as pancakes, but after visiting many in my time I can assure you they are not. Yes the tarmac may be smooth, but the gradients can be challenging, especially when human powered over these gradients.

BANG, off we went. For anyone that struggles with pace judgement multi-sport races offer a new challenge. Not only do you have to worry about your running pace but concern with putting in 'too much' effort as to be knackered on the bike. It is a fine balance, and not only that but you don't want to be on your back gasping in transition either whilst trying to get your roadies on and fastening your helmet. Dan Jordan entered T1 just in front of me as I came in at 17:25 off the first run. Passed the mount line and into the saddle and it was time to rip it up on the bike.

There had been a bit of light rain just before the race making the track slightly greasy. Again, racing tarmac is different stuff from the A34 and a lot more slippery in wet conditions. A tentative first lap out of the way and started getting a feel for the bike. Managed to get the pace up over 20mph average and continued to hold this for the remaining laps. 5 laps done and back into transition for T2. A quick drink from my bottle on entry and rack the bike then off. This time remembering to remove my helmet. When I did this a couple of years ago I managed to forget I had my lid on and ran the 3rd leg with it on (muppet).

This is when you can go for it a bit more as you know when you cross the line it's game over, but it's not quite that simple. As anyone will tell you, jumping off a bike and immediately trying to run is not the easiest of things. 'Jelly-leg syndrome' kicks in and you feel like you're on someone elses pins. Luckily this only lasted a few hundred yards and I could find my rhythm. A run time of 17:43 (happy with that) meant I was only a few seconds slower on the 2nd run and crossed the line in 1.17:33.

It was especially pleasing to see Dan, Jill and Mark enjoy it so much and do so well as it was their first duathlon. Guy and myself also enjoyed it immensely. The goody bag was a good one with T-shirt, recovery drink, water, shower gel and energy bar but at £44 you expect something decent. After a shower and a great picnic it was time to head home for a rest before beer O'clock came round.

As I say, not strictly running but a race report non-the-less. If you would like to see the results you can find them (with splits) HERE!

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Congleton Half

Trentham had a good turnout for the Congleton Half Marathon on Sunday despite there being cross country the day before. One of the runners there was Ken Pearson who sent us this report:

There are some races that you are disappointed with and some that are memorable.  This year London was very forgettable and the Thunder Run was brilliant. I can now add Congleton Half to the “memorable” list for all the right reasons. Training has gone OK for the last few weeks but I’ve not really felt up for some of the tempo runs. Last Sundays was over 11 miles which is the furthest I have run for quite a while, I was tired at 9 but one of the SIS gels seemed to perk me up for the last 2 miles. Last Tuesday and Thursday went well (apart from the soaking!

Saturday morning was a trip to IKEA to buy a table with Caroline and we managed to get an ex-demo one at half price. We also had a look at the Decathlon store in Wednesbury and got a couple of SIS gels for Congleton run. To make the best of probably the last of the reasonable Saturday afternoon weather Walter, Lionel and I took the motorbikes over to the “Shroppie Fly” at Audlem for some carbo loading. A chance comment from Walter about having a caffeine shot before a race and lots of small bits of a jigsaw came together and I had a plan for my race at Congleton.

 Saturday night and I made up the Zero Extreme energy and caffeine drink that was part of the goody bag from the St Thomas’s 7 race. It might not be any good but watching the bubbles from the fizzing tablet was interesting.

Sunday morning and I’m out of the house before 8 and up the motorway to arrive in time to collect my number and have a chat. Lots of Trentham runners about as usual including Dan who is going to be pace man for Phil. The good omens continue and Dan gets a free entry! I collect my number and some new pins and down the energy drink. Even the weather is kind, just about the right temperature, no rain and not much wind.

My race plan is to run at 8 minutes for each mile and finish in 1:45 which is where I was last year. I’ll have a gel at 6 miles and the next at 9 miles. I’m not bothered about beating anyone, just having a good run. I have a quick warm up and I’m mentally prepared now and quite motivated so I go towards the start and get in the crowd about a third of the way back. I realise I’m standing behind two of the E group lads who are in front of me in the group standings. I can beat them over shorter runs but not the longer ones. Seems like a good idea to run with them and see what happens.

Off we go and its a wide start at Congleton so no problems with passing or congestion.  Its quite relaxed for the first mile but it’s a bit quick at 7:28 but there is the hill ahead and that will slow me down a bit, only it doesn’t and its still under 8 minutes for the second mile to the top of the hill. One of the E group runners is clearly faster up the hill and I don’t bother to chase him. I pass Alan Lewis up the hill but he’s bound to overtake me later on the down banks. On to the flat bits and the third mile in 7:20, way too fast so I back off a bit to 7:50 for miles 4 and 5. I’m in a group of runners all going at my pace but its relatively comfortable and I’m surprised that I can keep going at this pace. Another E group runner comes past and I stick with him but we stay at a sub 7:50 pace and get to 7 miles when I realise that I’ve missed the 6 mile mark and the gel so I take it at 7 and decide the next one is at 9.5. As I eat the gel it upsets my breathing and I lose a bit of ground but I recover and re-catch the E runner. I’m still feeling good and I overtake him and keep up the 7:45 pace until 9 miles. Gel time!! Alan Lewis is in front but not too far so there’s a target for and the pace is still sub 7:50. I have no idea how am I able to keep this pace up.

There is also the E runner from the start a hundred metres or so ahead and I decide to hunt him down over the last few miles. Alan also has a target ahead and we swop places a few times as we slowly catch them. Alan overtakes his target and I slowly reel mine in and decide that I wont overtake him as I catch him but take a bit of a rest and follow him. I complete miles 11 and 12 in just over 7:40 for each mile which is unbelievable. As we cross the river I decide its time to overtake Mr E and work up the hill trying to keep running and not walk. Alan gives me encouragement and I put in an effort up the “sting in the tail”. No response from Mr E but I’m not looking back and just concentrate on keeping up the same pace as long as possible. I don’t think I can sprint at the end so I’m going for a long paced run in to the finish. The marshals telling me the distance to the finish is great. I pass Walter taking photographs but don’t pose this time as there is a race on. It’s a relatively flat bit now and there is less than a mile to go. I’m running with another guy and he’s up for a race to the line. We reach the 400, 300, 200 signs together and I have a quick look behind but Mr E is not there and I keep up the pace to try to pass the runner with me. We run together at pace through the finish and clock 1:42:09.

I’m so pleased, I’ve really enjoyed the run and it’s my fastest half marathon time for quite a few years! I feel quite good but I have no idea how I managed it as I haven’t really done the right training. I don’t really know why the run went so well, I’ll think about that later. But now I’m enjoying the moment and thinking whether I can get sub 1:40 this year?

Well done Ken, it's almost as good as a PB when you set fastest time in years as a vet so congratulations on that. Another runner after a new PB was St.Phillip Thomas of Tean, who went for the crafty option of using a Kenyan pace runner to acheive his target. Here's his story:

I think this may be my first race report this year so accept my apologies now as it’s a bit of an epic and also very auto biographical in parts too!

It seems like an age has past since I entered the Congleton Half marathon and yet now here I am the night before getting my kit ready. Putting my gels and pre and post race food on the table ready, sending out good luck messages on facebook and thinking to myself “how did thisturn into such a huge deal for me”? A week ago my only expectation was to try for under 2 hours with a good level of self belief that I could at least beat my 2.04 from last year.
Training for this has been a bit hit and miss. Life kept getting in the way! Oh and I had some bad luck along the way too!

Its my 3rd Congleton half now and my first as a single person, last year I ran round with the girl who I hoped would one day like to become Mrs Phil T, she had other ideas though! It will be good to go back and run it again and let go of a few ghosts. I’m hoping that the emotions and frustrations of the last few weeks and indeed the last 12 months will work for me and push me on. But if that fails Dan Bowman will be on hand to push me on to a new PB.

Completely out of blue I seem to have got myself a pacer!
Could my race get any more serious? All I needed now was personal food and water stations.
On the Thursday night before the race Dan offered to run with me as he didn’t want to “embarrass himself in the race by being crap”! Stephen Burrows summed it up nicely. “His crap would still be faster then most other people’s crap”. Very true Stephen but I took Dan up on his offer to pace me in the race and hopefully get me a good time.

Race day
Ouch! Hows that happened I never have a bad back! I’ve woken up today with a bad back. I didn’t sleep well too. Worried that Dan wouldn’t show up or that I’d let him down and fall behind too much. Dan has pushed the bar high by saying we’ll aim to get under 1:50. I daren’t let myself believe that could be true, though I’m now %100 confident I’ll be under two hours and I will push like hell for 1:55 which would be awesome.

I get there stupidly early which affords me the chance to park close to the finish so I can get my post race milk shake and flapjack afterwards! By now the back pain seems to have gone, no idea how that even came about! After getting my number and meeting up with some of the green army I spot my friend Laura who I’ve coerced into running this as her 2nd half marathon. I’m quite nervous that she’ll hate me after the race. I spot Dan and he’s in a relaxed mood and even gets a number from Amy Gamble. I have a quick panic thinking I’ve now lost my pacer as he’ll treat this as a race and not a run now! I didn’t need to worry as Dan and I had a chat about what I wanted to do and when we should up the pace.
We started close to the back and took it steady for the first few miles up the hill past Tesco. We kept to a good 8 minute mile pace and Dan was like a mother hen asking if I was comfortable and to say if we should go slower or speed up at any point. From my split times on the Garmin I could get a sense that I was doing well and Dan would say we’re still on target. “Your doing ok Phil, is this pace ok for you mate?”
He was a tremendous help in allowing me to focus solely on running. He did the thinking. He’d let me know when we’d hit 10k, 7 miles the 1 hour mark. Tell me the water station was up ahead. I was able to work on my posture and keep a good rhythm. The mid section miles all came in around the 8.10 to 7.40 minute miles and I was still feeling good.
I went through a short period where I felt flat footed and took a gel to get me going again. I got past that and then we hit the 10 mile mark and I had strict instructions from Dan to not look at my watch now. He’d do everything; all I had to do now was keep up.

Dan started to push on, I dutifully followed behind. It felt hard now and I told myself to dig in. “Dig deep Phil”. On the only steep down hill before you hit the sting in the tail I was a little way behind Dan but he kept checking back to see I was still throwing my body forwards as fast as it would go. As we hit the hill so did a huge tanker which gave me some concern that I’d have to stop and wait for it to pass the narrow lane. The truck stayed behind me and gave me that little bit of extra motivation to get up the hill. Once onto the flat Dan started to open up the Bowman engine and with constant encouragement I tried the same.
800 metres to go now; and though I hadn’t looked at my Garmin for some time now I knew this was looking good. I managed to catch up to Dan, though he may have slowed slightly too.
He was shouting “400 metres, 300, on the flat now Phil”. Round that bend’s the finish. You can lie on the grass in 30 seconds”.

Somehow when I heard the loud hailer and as I rounded the bend to the finish I found something new in the legs. Dan (bless him) let me past as I swung my legs out as fast as possible and sprinted the last 100 metres like I was Mo Farah…! Shabba X

Dan Blowman and I both come home in 1:49:02; it was a time I hadn’t even dreamt was a realistic possibility until now. Thank you Dan, you and the rest of Trentham must have more confidence in me and my running legs then I do. Until now my race goals have been to always aim for sub 2. Now I know that if I work hard and stay injury free and with the help and support of my club mates I can push on to new levels.

I exercised a few ghosts out on that race today too. I’m an emotional and stupidly sentimental chap at heart. Today was lovely; lovely to feel surrounded by my mates within the running community. From Mow Cop and South Cheshire to Newcastle AC and Michelin and my running family at Trentham. You know green is my favourite colour! Thank you for the support and most of all thank you again for helping to replace my lost goods from the break in.

You runners are the best examples of all that is good in humanity

Well done Phil, a huge PB there and a great effort. Good to hear you're starting to feel positive again which can also be a great benefit to your running. Once again, congratulations. Results for the Half are HERE!

Also just had this one in from our veteran reporter Alan Lewis who has been mentioned in Ken's report several times:

Short report on the Congleton Half. I seem to have had my own roving reporter on this race since Ken Pearson has given a graphic description of his race and kindly mentioned me on several occasions. I had a mind to finish in front of him and had no idea where he was until the latter part when he caught me. Knew then that I would need to gain substantially on the downhill before the final sting in the tail climb but he stuck with me and of course at my age the muscle power isn't quite there nowadays on the ascents so he was able to take advantage and pull away on the climb. Nevertheless pleased with my run,(1-42-25) substantially quicker than last year so life in the old dog yet.

Stan has been suffering from a sore Achilles this past week or more so he wasn't sure about how he would go but he had a good run considering this and was round in 1-35-42. Like me he took his time on the early part of the race and was able to improve his position substantially from 7 miles onwards. On reaching the finish I was greeted by young David Pickstock who was over the moon because he'd beaten me at last after several attempts. Beaten me by a substantial margin as well (1-37-14) so well done David. You've obviously been putting in some work and it's paid off so there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to improve considerably on that if you stick at it. He told me that he now has Stan in his sights and again why not with the huge age advantage you have. Mind you, like me Stan won't give you anything so you'll have to put in even more work to shorten your times by those extra minutes but there's no reason why you shouldn't.

The best bit was to come at the presentation and the glazed expression on Kerry's face when it was announced that she had won an over 35 prize. Not only that but the prizes were presented by Ann Brightwell (nee Packer) who won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 1960's (Tokyo 1968 I think). Wow Kerry, what a morning, prize-winner AND shaking hands with an Olympic Gold Medallist, shame nobody had a camera to record your moment of glory. Stan and I were also delighted to have the privilege of meeting a great British athlete from 40 odd years ago when we picked up our over 65 and 70 prizes. She asked me my time and said she was impressed so that was praise indeed. Another prize-winner for Trentham was Stephan Walley who finished 6th overall. Thought I'd mention that as otherwise it might go unnoticed. One surprising feature of the results was how slow the winning times were. The winner came home in 1-15-05 and there were only a few non vets in the first 20. If I tell you that Stan would have won the race by a couple of minutes as he was running 1-13 at 40+ and I would have been in the first 6 or so at 50+ you can understand what I mean so what's happened to standards over the years- there is no doubt they have deteriorated since there were plenty of runners faster than me and Stan around 20 years or more. Something to think about!. Anyway that's it so best wishes to all

Well done Alan on another victory in the Veterans classes and also to Stan. Sorry I haven't had the time this week to search through the results looking for the prize winners (it's much easier if someone who was there tells me) but well done to all of those who did pick up some silverware.

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Broxtowe Duathlon

Hot on the heels of the Oulton Park Duathlon report, Lynne Callaghan has sent us this one from a different duathlon in Nottingham:

Four weeks ago I suggested to Steve Locker that he have a bash at a duathlon; I found an ideal beginners event in Nottingham. Steve agreed as he's been riding his bike quite a bit, whilst in and out of injury. I was really pleased when he said John Fryer was also going to sign up - the band of multi-sporters in our club is ever growing I’m glad to say!
I arrived at Broxtowe with an hour to spare and found Steve and John already racked and raring to go. Not everyone had been so keen and the event was slightly delayed in the end waiting for stragglers to arrive.

Despite all 3 of us entering the challenge event, it was actually pretty short being the duathlon version of a super-sprint tri, 4km/14km/2km.
As the chaps couldn’t remember where they'd racked their bikes I suggested they go and find them again to save getting lost and panicked in T1. That done we went to the start. I hadn't thought how long it'd take to finish but Steve estimated 60mins which, as it turned out, was spookily close!!

We're off, the off road sections of the run were a little dodgy as it had been raining overnight and there were a few ruts in the field but nothing too bad. The road section was a welcome relief and I managed to make up a fair bit of ground. Onto the bike and an odd figure of 8 course with both ends of the 8, being the tops of hills! The slightly dangerous right hand turn across oncoming traffic being the only bit for concern! Back into T2 and a flying transition thanks to the last minute decision to use toe cages because of the short distance. 1.5km in and I see Steve coming the other way and we both comment on the fact that our legs won't work! Still, only half a km to go..... Done. We all finished very close together and I'm really pleased that both John and Steve said they'd like to do another - it must have been good! They have no excuse now either as their flash posh bikes put my little winter hack to shame!! Well done guys and, anyone looking for a beginner’s duathlon for 2012, I can't recommend Broxtowe Duathlon enough.

Well done you three, and I think Lynne forgot to mention a second placed finish for herself, how very modest. The full results for the challenge race can be found HERE!

Aviemore Half

We have finally had a report from the Aviemore Half. I knew Jill or Debs would come good, and it is indeed 3rd Senior Lady herself, Miss Debbie Thomas who won on penalties in the shootout and got the honour of being Scottish Correspondent. Here is Deb's tale:

AVIEMORE HALF MARATHON : The course is a truly ‘highland route’ but without the hills! The Start is at a height of approx 1100 feet and the Finish at approx 720 feet. The route passes through the Glenmore Forest and Loch Morlich with the Cairngorm Mountains setting a spectacular backdrop. Conditions are a mixture of good solid forest track, paths and tarmac roads; a normal good supportive running shoe is all that is required.

From the Start the first 7 miles are forest tracks through areas of Glenmore Forest Park and Glenmore village. After crossing the road, a forest track takes you around Loch Morlich and onto the main road which continues on past Coylumbridge and Inverdruie. The route crosses the road by the fish farm and over the Spey River by the pedestrian footbridge.

The last short section takes you under the main highland railway line, across Aviemore main street and then along the front of the Four Seasons Hotel to a  welcome Finish line!!!

The above description explains the half marathon route so it saves me the need! On the day we had an earlier start than last year (10am instead of 11am) which felt better as we had to have breakfast at the hotel at 7am and last year I was hungry before the start! Porridge with honey, 1 slice of toast and 1 tea with sugar (no milk) set me up for the race quite nicely, as well as sipping lots of water up to an hour before the start. We arrived at the race finish for about 8.30am and then had to jump onto a shuttle bus to be shuttled to the race start up in Glenmore Forest. Me, Jill, Mandy and Rose were feeling quite relaxed up to arriving at the start when the nerves started to appear a little (Mandy especially as we told her she HAD to win!!). We had just over an hour to kill so we hovered around for a bit and completed a 10-15 minute warm up. The morning was cool and the sun was starting to poke through the clouds, pretty perfect. 15 minutes before the race we were asked to line up into expected finish time zones so me and Mandy headed to the 1.30-1.40 zone only to notice that the 1.20-1.30 zone was fairly empty! So we moved up a zone to gain a better head start. A short walk into the woods on a path took us to the start line and after a 4 minute delay we were off. The course had changed slightly, compared to last year, and so we headed straight out along the trail path before some gentle undulation led us, surprisingly, onto some road for about 300m, before turning left onto a trail path towards Loch Morlich. The first seven miles of the course are off road with undulation, some good downhill and a bit of a climb at mile 3. Last year’s route was harder as there were lots of small sharp climbs. I had started off quite well, clocking 7.00 for mile 1 and 6.33 for mile 2, with mile 3 being my slowest mile overall of the 13 at 7.13! I enjoyed this section and managed to join the tail end of a group of about 4 chaps (including Chris Owen of Stafford Harriers) who were running a good pace. I let them set the pace for a while and after completing the very beautiful lap around the Loch we hit the road with 6 miles to go. The road section is mostly very gentle downhill with a couple of bumps along the way. The group of chaps I was with had pulled away from me a little but there was a chap in front (Nairns AC, orange vest) who I allowed to set the pace at 6.55 min/mile as I felt comfortable but working at this and I was concerned that mentally I would struggle on this section. He had a lovely running style I noticed, very relaxed looking and he was extremely consistent with his splits so I just concentrated on keeping with him and tried to relax, with a plan to push hard on the last 3. He was also quite helpful in telling me what was coming up (e.g. “downhill for mile and a half”….”last small climb”) so I made sure I shook his hand at the finish as that information really helped me. With 3 miles remaining I passed my orange-vested friend (10 miles – 1 hour 7 mins) with the hope of maintaining sub-7 min/mile to finish in at least 90 mins. My final 3 mile splits were 6.26, 6.31 and 6.47 with a 38 seconds for the .1 !! I crossed the line in 1.28.48 and was announced as “third lady”, which I received a prize for. However, on later checking the results I was actually 7 th lady but was 3 rd senior lady as they kind of classed the veteran ladies separately! Confusing!! But I was more pleased with my time. Anyways, that is my brief report, as you all know Mandy had a blast and won the ladies in a new massive PB, and Rose and Jill also had brilliant runs, knocking minutes of their previous half times!!

The Aviemore weekend trip was absolutely fantastic, the Stafford Harriers are a great bunch and the trip is more than worth the money!! Thanks to Mandy, Rose and Jill for a weekend full of laughter, frolics and wine and whiskey!! And Amanda and Sarah from Stafford Harriers who joined us at meal times were wonderful. I could say lots more about the weekend, give some secrets away…but as the saying goes “what goes on tour, stays on tour”!! ;-)

Now I understand the fast times, a 300 metre elevation drop, haha! No, I'm quite sure that the off road terrain for the first 7 miles more than compensates for this and it's a very well earned Congratulations to all 4 of team Trentham who went across the border to raid the Scottish Wine stores and escaped to tell the tale. Well done on getting your 3rd place Debs and thanks a bunch for sending the great report. The times are now out too and can be found HERE!

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Sandbach 10K

No reports as yet but will hopefully have something here soon. Andy Cotton having his first race as a Trentham Member came 5th overall in a time of 38:44 so a massive well done on such a great performance. Results HERE!

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Abingdon Marathon

Rob Tabbanor ran the Abingdon Marathon at the weekend and his secretary Jill Phillips has sent us this report. Read on to see how Rob got on in Oxfordshire:

I’d said to myself at the start of the year, that if everything went well during spring and summer I would hope to be able to run a marathon, maybe in the autumn. I’d seen the Abingdon Marathon scheduled for October and thought it would be ideal, however, on enquiring I found it to be full, so I decided to do Wolverhampton in September instead.

Now to cut a long story short, when Jill Phillips heard this she told me that Dan Jordan had entered Abingdon but was not now planning to run it. So with Dan’s entry transferred to me it was off to Abingdon that I headed on Saturday to stay overnight in readiness for the 8:45am Sunday start.

Abingdon, for those who don’t know, is situated about 10 miles south of Oxford just off the A34. The marathon is said to be flat with the start and finish incorporating a lap of an athletics track and apart from a run through some woodland on some good made up pathways which you do just the once, it is as near as damn it a 2 lap course. The start and finish around the track gives spectators a good opportunity to cheer on family and friends from the stadium seats.

I was hoping to run, if possible, under 3 hours, although this may be a little bit ambitious on reflection. My aim was to go out at 6:50 pace and all was going well up to 22 miles, where I’d stuck to the plan apart from just a couple of miles which were at 7 minute pace. However the last 4 miles and a bit were a real struggle and they took me just over 35 minutes to complete and it was all I could do just to keep running when I wanted to either walk or stop altogether! However, I managed to keep running, or perhaps that should be shuffling, and crossed the line in 3:05:37.

This race incorporated several different championships, one of which was the British Masters, and although I was 11th vet 50 overall I was 3rd vet 50 in the British Masters so picked up the bronze medal. The 1st vet 50 and in 7th position overall was Mike Hatton from South Cheshire in a fantastic time of 2:43, he was there along with club mate Pete Marquis Jones who ran 3:04 and came past me looking good at the 24 mile mark.

This is a marathon that I can well recommend as the organisation, race HQ, facilities and support are first class.

One final thing: I don’t want anyone to mention marathons or ultras (Jill Phillips this means you) to me for the foreseeable future. Although… if I’m serious about getting under 3 hours……?? No stop thinking this way and think of the pain I’m in !!!

If you are now reading this report thanks go to Jill for sending it in for me.
Rob Tab

Note form Jill to Rob: I’m sure I’ll be able to work my magic and with a bit of gentle persuasion on January 23rd you’ll end up alongside me on the start line of the Gloucester 50k

Thanks for writing the report Rob, and thanks for electronically converting it Jill. Well done.


Birmingham Half Marathon

Quite a few Trentham Runners went down to The Birmingham Half on Saturday with very different ambitions. Some were raising money for charity whilst others were there looking to achieve new targets. Two of these were Stephan Walley and first Carl Platt:

Well for about 9 weeks I’ve been training for the Birmingham half, Training had gone really well and from the times I ran at Ellesmere and Sutton park I was feeling confident. Well me and Stephan went to the start, and we found our selves in the pen by the elites. My plan was to try and run an average of 5:55 pace. The 1st mile I went through at 5:55  perfect, the next 12.1 were not so good haha . I struggled from start to finish. I just did not seem my self at all.

Steph left me on about mile 8 I had nothing left in me and the last 5.1 miles were agony even though I gave it everything I had. I ended up crossing the line in 1:21:40 in 89th position. I was gutted! I also did not notice that I had just walked past the world’s greatest runner haha. Steph ran another solid performance in 1:19:10 but I don’t think Steph was happy either. I did not stay gutted for long as I know in sport it's how you bounce back.
Anyway we hit the town and the smiles were soon back on our face after a few beers. Nice to see Man united having a bad day too. But the race is well organized and even though I did not get the time I Wanted I still really enjoyed it.

Well done Carl, despite your disappointment at the result, it is still great news that you still enjoyed the race, and it is still a great time. The other Trentham Report comes from Stephan Walley, also looking for a good time:

Bit of a disappointing race for me and Carl at Birmingham half. Over the last month or so we have both placed a lot, well too much emphasis on this race and we were confident we would do well. The way we have been training and also based on my last result at Congleton half two weeks ago, we realistically thought we would dip under 1.17.00, but it wasn't to be for either of us. Here is a short report of how it went -

Before the race we decided we would start of at around 5.55 pace and gradually build up, looking back now, this was a mistake as the start was downhill, so we should of taken advantage of this and just gone with the flow rather than being so reserved with our speed, I also think we should have gone into the race to race it and not have been overly concerned with split times and instead just run how our bodies felt.
100s of overly eager runners overtook us in the first mile and we hoped we would eventually be able to latch onto a group of fast runners but instead for the first four miles we would catch a small group up and then find they weren't going that fast and then move up towards another group and do the same, this happened a lot and it didn't seem like we had a good rhythm going and I found it mentally tiring. Although we cannot use the high winds as an excuse, it didn't really help either.
After mile 8 I was feeling quite comfortable so I upped the pace, looked back and Carl was not with me, I was hoping he would push on and follow but he didn't respond. For the remaining 5 miles I was on my own and I felt pretty good and I thought and felt that I was on for a good time but there was a clock on the side of the road not far from the finish and it just ticked passed 1.18.00, I was really disappointed when I saw this. Finally crossed the finish line in 1.19.09 and Carl finished in 1.21. something.
The race was a good learning experience and our training has definitely not gone to waste, we still both managed to get in the top 100 out of 15,000 which I'm quite pleased about. Looking forward to doing some cross country races now, where I am sure we will both be able to put that training to good use.

Well done to both Stephan and Carl who despite their feelings on the results should be really happy with the performances. Sometimes it just happens that way in racing and it will only help make them both stronger and better runners.
One person who did have a great run was Greg Julian who was very pleased to cross the line in 1:44:19 and also Dan Maddock and Sam Tidy who completed the 13.1 miles in 2:11:39 and 2:12:08 respectively. Results for the Birmingham Half can be found HERE!

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Movember Race Reports


Mad Jack's 5Mile race

On Sunday 6th Adam Brearley slipped off under cover of darkness to cross the border into Shropshire. After daubing a bit of mud on his face and donning his trademark long socks he then felt ready to take on the 'Mad Jack's 5' race. Here is Ad's report:

On Sunday I travelled to Attingham Park in Shrewsbury for the ‘Mad Jacks 5’ XC race. Main reason was to continue to build up my fitness and to do a race out of the area as to not be measuring myself against familiar faces.

The course was in a beautiful setting. We set off for about 2miles through various fields. We came across plenty of deer and cows, the terrain was dodgy underfoot. Got into a half decent stride, and counted was around the top 40 or so. The course was fantastic, quite a few gates, stiles and huge logs in the woods to jump over, before the finale. A pond that was roughly about 20metres long, and came up to your knees. This was about 200m from the end, and certainly sapped what little energy I had left.
Came through in 31:48, in 13th position. The course was actually 5.1m according to someone with a Garmin at the end. Was happy with the run in respect of slowly improving my fitness. And also finished 1st V35 out of 43, my first prize. Had to wait another 1hour or more for my pair of socks !!! Great course and would highly recommend to anyone who like their off road stuff.

Well done Adam on winning the M35 prize, no mean feat. What Adam didn't say was that he came 13th out of 343 runners. Results can be found HERE! and here is a picture of Adam in 'that' pond near the finish.

Flying Fox 10

No race reports from the Flying Fox 10 but the results can be found HERE! What I do know is that Deb Thomas was 3rd lady and Stan Winterton won the M65 age group prize so well done to those guys.

Just had this report in now from Deb Thomas:

It was a sort of last minute decision to run the Flying Fox, in that I hadn’t pre-entered due to being struck down with a rather aggravating head cold for the past two weeks. By Thursday though I knew I was getting better as my track session gave to better breathing than the previous week, when it felt like my lungs were the size of a mouse’s handbag! Pete Caci very kindly picked me up on Sunday morning and en route we picked up Laura Thompson with Kerry Widdowson following behind in her little tank (!!) We all needed to enter on the day and after parking up we strolled up to the school. It was very cool at this time and I was concerned about being too cold before the start as it can make it difficult to get going. Inside we bumped into fellow clubbers and had a quick chat before walking back down to the car to lose some layers and complete a warm up. We did an easy 1 ¼ mile along part of the course and then got back to the car to decide on what to wear finally; vest, shorts, headband and gloves for me, though with the sunshine I wasn’t sure if I’d end up being too hot, which as it turned out I was so I removed the headband part way round!. We jogged up to the start line and I encouraged Laura to follow me into position towards the front of the crowd so we could get a better start. A quick race briefing was given and then off - there was no start gun and no shout which took us all by surprise!! The start of the course is undulating with a slight climb and a nice downhill within the first mile.
I was side-by-side with Laura for the first couple of miles when I start to gain some lead into the third mile. I told myself I’m going to push all the way around and not allow myself to ease off on any miles, as I can be prone to doing! My first 3 miles were all sub 7.00min/miles. Into mile 3 is the wonderful, much needed, downhill section where we pass the crowd outside the school and head down the road, over the railway bridge and then left to run alongside the track. Up again over the railway bridge and down a long road then a left turn takes us along some little ups and downs. I passed Chris Mosiuk at mile 4 and he and Frank Caci (Michelin AC) give me some support, and I only manage to grunt at them in response and I’m thinking oh my God I’m going too fast to keep this up! Then there is a large puddle (best to wade straight through!) and the dreaded climb at mile 5, where I manage to nip past Dan Jordan, and which adds an extra minute onto my splits (7.38!!). The climb is long and goes up 300ft in stages so you don’t get much opportunity to recover your breathing or get the lactic out of your quads. At this point I overtook Steve Martin of Michelin AC and he kindly shouted some verbal encouragement to get up the hill and not give in to it. Towards the top, however, he catches me and passes me but he is still telling me to “come on Debs keep working hard” and “relax, breathe deep” and despite the fact my legs are burning and I don’t feel like I can run any quicker I manage to stay with him because I want to work hard and not ease back. I don’t bother with the drinks station, I can’t drink out the cups of water as I tend to inhale more than I swallow! Now some more undulation for miles 6 and 7 and I’m still with Steve who is just in front of me now telling me to let him “do the hard work” and so I tuck behind him as he tells me so he can pace us.
I can see Rebecca Harrison (Cheadle) and Ruth Watchorn-Rice in front (about 300 metres or so) and Steve says “you can win this if you want it” but I know that my legs are at 100% effort now and there is nothing more I can give and I know I’m in third, well as long as our Laura doesn’t pip me to the post!! Mile 8 arrives and the course finds some downhill sections where I manage to get some deep breaths. Steve is still shouting encouragement and with about 1 ½ miles to go I pass him and as I do he tells me to strive to pass the two chaps in front. Just past mile 9 the course becomes more downhill but everyone is pushing hard now and I don’t manage to catch the guys in front but I do manage to maintain my position without being overtaken. Into the finish and the crowd are cheering and I’m relieved and very happy to finish third lady and get a PB for that course!! As it turns out I was only about a minute behind Rebecca who won, damn it!! A minute or so later and Laura comes in 4th lady, which is fantastic, just a shame there is no team prize! As the Trentham gang continue finishing I have to head inside to put on some warm clothes as it is still very cool and I’m shivering!!

I’d like to congratulate all Trentham runners who completed the run; there were some fantastic results, which you can see below, and a massive attendance by the Green Army! I must thank Pete Caci for the lift to and from the race, very much appreciated, and I’d like to give a shout out to Mark Hughes who completed the race despite his recent hip replacement a year or so ago and subsequent rehab. I’ve never known anyone so determined, stubborn or valiant to get back to running!! Well done Mark, we’re all proud of you and delighted that you’re back in the racing game. A big thank you also to Steve Martin of Michelin AC for all his help on the run, I’m extremely grateful.  





Stephan Whalley



Paul Burslem



Andy Cotton



Paul Clinton



Rob Tabbanor


40th/3rd lady

Deb Thomas



Chris Mosiuk



Dan Jordan


50th/4th lady

Laura Thompson


61st/1st over 65

Stan Winterton



Dave Pickstock



Stephen Burrowes



Alan Lewis



Kerry Widdowson


101 st

Pete Caci



Ken Pearson



Phil Thomas



Lee Jones



Jill Phillips



Julia Race



Gerry Calvert



John Guest



Trevor Goodwin



Linsey Wild



Malcolm Rushton



Kayleigh Harold



Mark Hughes



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Leamington XC (Birmingham League)

Trentham took a team down to Leamington on Saturday for the first race of the Birmingham Cross Country League series looking for a good start to the division 3 campaign for 2011/12 season. Men's Captain Dale has sent this brief summary:

Trentham’s men's team have been in the shadow of their fine women's team for some time now and are determined to turn around their fortunes.  Promising form and a great effort saw our team pack well in the opening fixture and claim an early lead in division 3.
71 points total ahead of CLC Striders on 116.

A great start to the Birmingham League. Lets make sure everyone turns out for the next fixture on December 3rd.      

 Positions :
Carl Platt 8th
Stephan Whalley 9th
Martin Hull 10th
Paul Gibbings 11th
Ian Yates 15th
Jason Thomas 18th
Saul Lovatt not sure but he was in front of Sam
Sam Newton 37th
Paul Clinton 61st
Dale Colclough 128th  -   what am I like…

Thanks Dale and well done to the gents that ran there at the weekend and not long to wait for more xc action with Stafford Common coming up this weekend.

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Stafford Cross Country (3)

Dan Jordan was part of the team that ran in the 3rd round of the North Staffs Cross Country League this weekend and has kindly sent us his report from the event:

I couldn’t get to the cross country at Stafford to see much more than the end of the women’s race unfortunately, but great results for Trentham again, well done to all on the women’s team, and to the Juniors.  I had a warm-up and then lined up with the hugely moustachioed Phil Mainwaring.  I said to Phil that we were too far back, but it worked out well as the course is very open and there aren’t really the bottlenecks like at Park Hall. 

I decided I would try and stay with Phil for as long as possible and then just hold on and see where I got to.  However, I felt like I hadn’t tried hard enough at Park Hall and really wanted to finish this one feeling like I’d given it my all, so as Phil accelerated off I tried my hardest to stick with him for as long as I could.  He was moving up the places well and I just tucked in behind him and tried to keep at his pace.  It felt tough, but I just held on; I’d made sure my garmin was set to just show distance covered so I had no idea of the pace!  After about 2.5 laps I found I was starting to draw level with Phil, so I told him that he had kept me going until then and it was now my turn to be pacemaker.  I kept on going and had some guy on my heels from there on in.  I never looked round so I don’t know who it was but I could hear him so close to me.

The only time I got a little look behind was on the “hairpin” bend and I could see there was a big group of 10-12 other runners, all within about 10 metres of me.  I was determined that none of them were coming past me and I targeted the next runner ahead, and after passing him the next one and so on.  The guy on my shoulder never let go though ; I managed to break him about 800 metres out by putting on a real spurt, then just as I was coming round the bend towards the finish Christine shouts out “sprint finish Dan, you’re at the track, 300m, GO”.  I laughed as she said it and then thought, you’re dead right, and off I went.

I finished in 91st , just sub 41 min which is a 10K PB of over 3 minutes for me.  Fantastic support throughout the run from team Trentham, sorry I only got to give the thumbs up, I didn’t have any extra energy!  Phil was not far behind at all and I know that we both appreciated each others’ pace-making and it brought us both home in better times.

Thanks for that Dan and well done to all those that ran. Latest standings can be found on the NSCCL website HERE!


Cannock Rotary 10K

I have been promised a race report from more than one source for this one but nothing as yet. What I can tell you is that Laura Thompson (although entered as Potters Trotters) came 2nd Lady in a time of 43:30 and only 7secs off the winner. Also two cracking runs from Greg Julian and Phil Thomas who managed to usurp their nemesis Ken Pearson and picked up PB's in the process. Results can be found HERE!

Well here is our first Race Report, I know Ken's will arrive in due course, but in the meantime take it away Phil Thomas:

What motivates a person to get up early on a cold foggy November morning and had down the motorway to Cannock Chase and then run as hard and as fast as possible over a 10k course?

Well in my case the motivations to compete in the 2 nd Cannock Rotary 10k road race came from a variety of unusual sources. It was suggested that I entre a 10k race after doing well at the Congleton half marathon were I took almost 8 minutes off my PB for that distance.


Greg told me about a road race in Cannock in November and so I thought I'd try my best to finally nail my first sub 50 10k at that race, but before that I had a crack at the flying Fox 10 where I got a little too close to Ken who has compared Gregson Julian and I as hyena's chasing him down.

After some light hearted banter Ken proclaimed that he'd buy each of us a pint if we could beat him before he hits 60 which is a year away. Well I'm never one to turn down a challenge especially if I can get a free drink out of it so it was game on. Though I had to admit that I thought it would take me the best part of next year to beat him.


I'm a regular user of the social networking site Twitter and at some point between running in the Congleton Half and the Cannock 10k I was followed by a runner from Sunderland Harriers and without fully realising it I somehow seem to have set myself up for a series of running challenges with this canny Geordie! She threw down the gauntlet by saying she was going to smash her 10k time at a recent race and implied that I wouldn't be able to match her time. Unperturbed by this I said I was equal to any time she could get in a race!

However this was before she completely destroyed her 10k PB setting a new time of just over 48 minutes. I knew she was good and that she'd get sub 50 but I didn't expect her to be; well that good! I now needed to pull something spectacular out of the bag!


Before Cannock my 10k PB was 52.13 at Stone this year.

I knew I could and would be under 50 minutes but now I'd have to dip under 48 to claim bragging rites over my northern nemesis! On the day of the race I got to race HQ in plenty of time and rubbed some deep heat into the legs and debated wearing something under my race vest. In the end it was warm enough to go with just the green vest.


This was going to be a tough race and unlike the last few I didn't have someone pacing me round. I was on my own and in a way this was good for me as I could now prove that I can be fast without having Lee or Dan pushing me. Though its thanks to both for showing me that my legs can go faster then I thought. But now it was my time to show just how fast I could be. My race plan was to go hard from the start and not ease off at any point. My other plan was to keep behind Ken and Greg as I expected them to be faster them me and they would help get me round in a respectable time.


I started the race tucked in behind them both but very quickly got caught up in traffic and they seemed to get away from me far too soon. I kept them in my sights and the first 2 kilometres came and went in a blur of speed. I was over taking runners and slowly managed to get just behind Ken but I found his pace to be slower then what I was doing at that time and so eased past him on the 3rd K, this I found a strange situation as I've never been close to beating Ken before, but once past him it was on up another hill and I started to chase after Greg then.


I kept checking my pace was still on target but never looked at the time as it would have distracted me. I knew I was going fast as the kilometre markers kept coming up quickly.

Towards the end I then looked at my time just in case I needed to push even harder.

I was pleasantly shocked to read 42 minutes as I approached the last hill and I was starting to gain on Greg but the hill in front of me looked like a shocker but once I was moving onto the hill I found it to be easier then I thought.


Marko and Ryan were mountain biking on the chase and came over to watch the end and shouted some good encouragements to both of us but this let the cat out of the bag as Greg had no idea I was running so close behind him now. I saw the white in his eyes as he turned to see me catching him. He opened up and I followed as hard and as fast as I could.

Everything was pure pain up that hill and I was grunting louder then a Russian tennis player!

In the end I couldn't catch Greg who finished 11 seconds ahead of me but man what a race that was.


And the best news of all, not only had I been equal to my northern challenger but I could report back to her with a very respectable time of 46.44. I was happy. However this has now become a full blown battle of the sexes and its highly likely that I will race against Enigma Girl at some point in 2012 so place your bets now.

Are you team Phil or team enigma?

One things for sure I've got my work cut out keeping ahead of her!


And so that's what got me round a foggy wet 10k race.

The thought of being beaten by a girl, the hope that I would get a free beer and the chance to prove I could smash my 10K time from 52 to sub 50 and then some.

We all have motivating factors which push us to achieve new and better race times and it just happened that for me on this occasion they came from more unusual places. My heartfelt thanks to all for helping and pushing me on that day and in the past few races too. Thank you


Thanks for that Phil and well done mate.

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Cheddleton Christmas Pud

There was, as usual, a good turnout for the annual Christmas Pud Race also known as the Cheddleton 10K organised by our very own Stan Winterton. Some good results from Trentham Runners especially Sarah Johnson who won the Ladies race in a time of 37:41 (just holding off Jason Thomas) and Mandy Vernon getting 3rd. In the Men's race Paul Gibbings led them home picking up the V45 prize in the process in a time of 35:58 with Carl Platt and Stephan Walley not far behind. Alan Lewis won the V70 prize. It was also nice to see so many Trentham Juniors out for the Fun Run too.
A couple of reports have come in so here is the first from John Guest:

Feeling less than confident that my sore calf would last out until the finish, after an unsatisfactory short test run last night - undeterred I set out for the Cheddleton Pudding run, the scene of my 10k PB time of 38:50, some 20+ years ago, (yes I really am that old!)

It was pleasing to see so many familiar faces from TRC milling around before the race, most taking refuge from the cold in the school hall. Also a record number of runners from my place of work - there were 9 of us in total, or 11 counting ex workmates, 5 of which are not regular runners! We've had loads of banter at work about this race and to make it more interesting we predicted finishing positions for our posse of runners, at 50p a go, with the grand total of £4.50 going to the one who gets the most correct.

Having struggled with calf injuries, (both legs, one after the other!), since I crashed out of my last real competitive race at the JCB 5 in July, I was eager to run, but cautious not to over extend myself in this race and end up out of action for 5 or more weeks again.

Being a cool day, I made sure to make time for a good warm-up followed by plenty of stretching and took up a position about 6 or 7 rows back from the front of the pack - saying a quick "hello" to the ever smiley and ever speedy Debbie Thomas, Gary Payne, Walter Mosiuk and "Statler and Waldorf" aka Ken Pearson and Greg Julian, (that should get a reaction!) - with the intention of keeping a steady pace and finishing time under 50 minutes, but at the slightest twinge I'd ease it right back.

Felt good going up the hill, so I kept a strong pace on the flat but eased off slightly downhill towards the end of the first lap. Loads of encouragement from the spectators in Hollow Lane and around the course, really spurs you on when you hear your name and "go on Trentham". Thanks to Rich O'Keefe, Lee and Mrs Jones to name but three.

The second lap was tough, but I enjoyed keeping up a good steady pace and overtaking others going up the hill and I could see Gary Payne 75 to 100 metres ahead. I enjoyed starting the 3rd lap, not only because of the great encouragement, but also knowing you've only got that hill one more time. Climbing up the said hill I noticed that I was closing in gradually on Gary and used an overtaking runner to pull me ever closer to him, I was only about 20 metres adrift at the crest of the last climb, but that was it, he moved up a couple of gears and away he went, moving away from me down the hill, but pulled me on to strong fast finish and I beat the earlier "overtaking runner". Cheers Gary.

Really pleased not to get any adverse reaction from my calves and especially as I improved on my last years time by 20 seconds to finish with a time of 45:20 on my watch. I've not seen the results, but well done to all other Trentham runners - before the start I saw Sarah Johnson, Carl Platt (I think?), Stephan Walley, Mandy Vernon, Paul Gibbings, Jason Thomas and Alan Lewis, (not forgetting the "speedy" DT of course), so I'm sure Trentham runners will have occupied a number of the leading positions.

…….And a final very well done to Stan Winterton for all the work that goes into organising this race for such as worthy cause. It's definitely one I'll continue to support, being one of my favourite races that I always look forward to in the calendar.

Thanks for That John and next one comes from Mr Movember, Daniel Jordan:

Well it was the first time that I’ve ran this race and it was a really tough 10K; hilly and windy, although not as cold as last year when it was all ice so I am told.  Although the race was tough, being part of Team Trentham just makes it all so much better.  Lots of runners of all ages and abilities, and fantastic support from friends and families and injured runners (Lee and Linsey!).  With it being a three lap race the bulk of the supporters are at the start/finish area which means a great boost every 2 miles.  I particularly liked that Ken was there with a megaphone and was shouting out your name as you went past the spectators; it made me feel special anyway!  I turned up in plenty of time for a quick warm up with Gary and listened to his advice of sticking with Mandy for a bit at the start as she “doesn’t go off too quick”.  I have news for you Gary, she does compared to my pace!! 

Just after we set off I did try to stick with Mandy but she was up with Rob and they pulled away from me after about a mile.  I had gone past Debs at the start and wasn’t sure whether I should have just tucked in behind her, but I felt good so off I went.  I did quite a quick first lap and was worried I had overdone it, but apart from a couple of short periods of stitch I was OK, and tried to keep Rob in view but he vanished somewhere on the second lap, when I had a visit from Sharleen.  We had a quick chat about St Thomas 7, and then she was off.  I tried to go with her, but that was just not going to happen. 

Coming into the end of the second lap and Richard cheered Debs on and she was clearly not far behind me.  Now Debs is a real target for me and I really wanted to finish close to her, so I tried to keep it going over the last lap.  She got closer and closer to me and was literally on my shoulder and we shouted encouragement to each other as we climbed the final hill.  I could hear her breathing and I really tried to keep pushing and keep her behind me.  I knew that if I could get up the hill and to the top corner of the triangular route it was all flat and downhill from there, and with my long legs I would have a chance.  I did get to the corner just ahead of her and pushed hard over the flat, but so did Deb!  Then onto the downhill and I could still hear her but I could  tell I’d gained a few important seconds.  I flew down the final hill and across the line in 41 mins 6 secs, Debs just a few seconds behind me; what a race! 

Well done Dan, and thanks to both of you guys for the reports.
The full results for the 10k are HERE and fun run results HERE!

Just had this report in from our veterans correspondent, Mr Alan Lewis reporting from Cheadle in the Staffs Moorlands:

Thought I'd add my bit on behalf of us oldies regarding the Christmas Pudding Race last Saturday. Once again well done to Stan and his army of helpers for another great well organised event with a brilliant atmosphere. Thankfully this year the weather was much kinder. and Stan's announcement at the prize giving that the race had raised £7300 pounds for Cancer Research UK last year really does bring home what an important local race it is. Well done to everyone involved.

Four of us oldies in the field. Don Brookes ran his first competitive race since Alsager last February and at the ripe young age of 76 shot round this tough course in 51:28. He tells us he is only running about once a week and to turn in that sort of performance on virtually no training is amazing and is indicative of what a huge athletic talent Don is. Add to that the fact that he didn't start competing until he was in his 60's and that makes his performances even more mind boggling. Also having an excellent run was regular competitor Gerry Calvert (a mere 74) who went round in 50:43 only about 20 seconds slower (and closer to me, must look to my laurels). than last year.Gerry is another inspiring runner who soldiers on not just in the road races but also in the cross country fixtures.
A pleasant surprise was the appearance of "young" Terry Jukes, who at 70 was making his first competitive appearance in a road race, as far as I'm aware, for several seasons Older members will remember Terry as an original member of Potteries Marathon A C which of course eventually amalgamated with Trentham so he is a runner of thirty or so years standing. Anyway he was running under the banner of NSRRA in this race so we need to re- recruit him as a member of our over 70's club if he has started to race again. Anyway he had a good run to go round in 51:45 but is certainly capable of going faster when fully "tuned" as it were. The only member of the squad missing was Trevor (Goodwin). Don't know who gave him permission to have a day off, certainly wasn't me. When you think that the aggregate age of our "squad" is 366 giving an average age of 73. There certainly isn't another club anywhere around here with five such competitive able and ancient athletes who turn out so regularly in road races etc and I don't think there can be many clubs in the whole of the country with this number.

As for yours truly I was reasonably pleased with my run and my time of 48:36 which was good enough to give me the over 70 prize. A minute or so slower than last year but I don't think the head wind on the first part of each lap helped. I suppose even at our age you think you can get faster but of course it isn't going to happen generally. Trouble is I've had such a good year I almost expect to do it every race.
I was particularly pleased with my big finish. I had been running with the same group for a good part of the race but they had got away from me on the third lap so I was left isolated. Anyway on the latter stages before the lovely steep downhill finish I decided to gird up the old loins for one last effort. Shortly before the hill I caught a couple of ladies at the tail of the group which gave me the impetus to give it everything, passing another 7 or 8 runners in the last 300 metres or so- wonderful feeling. Just hope I'm lucky enough to do it for a few more years yet.

Finally congratulations to the great turn out of Trentham runners (28 I make it ) whether prize winners or not, taking part is just as important. And what a rich haul of prizes for the club- brilliant. As someone has already mentioned thanks once again to our chairman Ken Rushton for standing at the end of each lap with the microphone and shouting out names- really does give a lift before tackling the big hill once more and also thanks for the support at various places round the course. Alan

Thanks for that fantastic update Alan, and as has been mentioned before we are so rightly proud of our Veteran Competitors at Trentham who always represent the club in such a great light so well done to all you Grand-dad Runners. Well done also to all who took part and a massive well done to Stan Winterton for organising such a great event!





Page last updated 04 December 2011


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