April 2012 News & Reports


Spring Treble (Hanchurch)

The first of the 3 race series was held at Hanchurch woods on Thursday with many Trentham Runners taking part. There were some fantastic performances too with Adam Brearley coming 3rd place overall and first in his age group in a time of 30.10 for the 5 mile course. Sam Newton also had a fantastic run to finish 7th in a time of 32.09. As far as the Ladies were concerned Trentham fared even better with Jo Donneley crossing the line 2nd in a time of 33:43 (which may have been quicker had someone have not got in her way) and Debbie Thomas finished 3rd with a time of 34.00. I'm not sure how the age groups work for these races but at the moment Adam, Jo and Deb are all leading their respective groups so great news there. There were many other runners out too (including myself) so due to the lack of reports so far I thought I'd pen something:

I always planned to do this series as I like their low key no frills approach, but when I heard that Roger Grand had decided not to run them and was offering his entry I bit the proverbial hand off. It was nice to see so many Trentham Runners up there, some of whom I'd not seen for a while due to my lack of racing, especially Guy and Eva Martin who make this their one race per year event, and not long after sorting out the number transfer it was time to line up for the start. Having done this one a few times before I knew how easy it was to be sucked along by the downhill nature of the course for the 1st half of the race, however, my lack of fitness and conditioning which means I'm crap going uphill, meant that I had to make the most of this and found myself overtaking the likes of Jo and Deb and Andy.

I was loving the course, jumping fallen trees and splashing through the mud and was really having a good time until I hit the uphill section. Landing in one particularly boggy puddle I almost lost my shoe as my heel popped out, but fortunately managed to shuffle it back in without stopping. To be quite honest I didn't struggle as much as I thought I would and although I did fall back a few places on the hills I was expecting the damage to be far worse. Approaching the top of the last hill I caught up with Simon Dunn, who was clearly having some trouble otherwise he'd be up near the front, and to my surprise he almost pulled out of the race just before the final loop section. After shouting at him to continue and at least finish, he did thankfully decide to run alongside me for the last bit.

Heading up the final climb which is two climbs in one really as there's a short downhill bit in the middle of it, Simon found the energy to pull clear, but after I recovered slightly on the first part of the hill I decided that as I was so close to the finish I could try and push on a bit and went past him again and past a Wolves & Bilston runner at the same time. Round the final bend and cheered on by Roger, Jayne, Nick and the kids I managed to hold it together to the finish line and was really happy to cross the line in 35:11 (I was expecting about 38 or 40 minutes before the race).

It was really nice to be involved in a race again and see my teammates competing. I really enjoyed shouting them on towards the line at the finish and having a chat about racing afterwards. Once again, thanks so much for the entry Roger and also thanks for allowing me to donate the entry fee to Phil's 6 Towns Run on your behalf. Thanks to Jayne, Nick, Chloe and Yasmin for the cheers too guys and it was so nice to see you there.

The results for the Men's race can be found HERE whilst the Ladies results are HERE

Photos are HERE!

Also had this one in from one of our top runners, Adam Brearley who has this story from the front of the pack:

Arrived at Hanchurch in decent time ready for the 1st of the Spring Treble races, looking forward to a good blow out to test my fitness. Have been in full training on Daleís schedule for the Potts Arf for almost 2 weeks, and this was one the races planned in. My plan, or rather aim, was to try and finish in the top ten, having (for a change), not being in the best of shape with injuries and having to work a lot lately. Set off at a decent pace and after about a mile was in 6th place. Started to get into a good rhythm, but suddenly took an unexpected sharp right bend, and having ran the course a couple of weeks prior (what I thought was the course!), this gave me something to think about. This was now a long undulating path, eventually leading into the woods on the far side of hanchurch. By this point me and a fella had pulled away a bit, and were in 4th and 5th.

Once we hit the outskirts of the woods I gained my bearings and knew there were a couple of steep climbs and twists and turns, so started to kick on. Left the guy behind and was now running on my own. Weaving through the woods I caught a glimpse of the guy in 3rd who I reckon was about 30-40 seconds in front. I was privately cursing myself as I was feeling strong and wished I had gone off a bit harder. Got to the bottom of a long climb, all gravel and sand, which I knew from training took around 3 Ĺ minutes. Got it in my head to get to the top under 3 and tried to stay in the zone. As I got to the top I saw Dale and Pete Martin giving me loads of encouragement, which gave me a boost. Turned the corner to see a Moorlands guy now only about 10 seconds in front. Dale was yelling that I could push for second !!

Dropped down a long climb, then took a sharp left bend, before the glorious climb back to the finish. Pete was behind me with jasper (the greyhound) and was shouting instructions, but although he meant well he was distracting me !! Halfway up the hill I caught the moorlands fella and went for bust. As I got to the top I had around 100m left and Dale shouted at me to relax as I had cracked it but I didnít dare look over my shoulder so kept working. Managed to finish 3rd, 54 seconds behind 1st and around 20 odd behind second. Had opened a 27s gap on the last hill from 4th which pleased me as much as anything. Had great support around the course from Dale, Roger (gutted that couldnít run due to injury), Pete, Jase and various others. Also a great turnout and run from all our Trentham team (too many to mention to single out). Itís a privilege to be part of such a great club and looking forward to wearing the Green vest with pride for many years to come :-)

Cheers for that Adam and well done on having such a fantastic race. I was really sorry to hear about your injury and hope that you manage to get back soon. I'm sure you'll keep yourself fit and will be back strong as ever so good luck with that mate :-)

The next race is at Milford but there has been a change to the final race which is now Barlaston and not Kibblestone as in previous years!


National Road Relays

The National Road Relays took place on Saturday 14th soon after the Midland Road Relays at the same venue. The Men had to do 12 legs whilst the ladies do 6. Trentham managed to get teams out for both and the Ladies did particularly well finishing 12th Overall with almost 40 teams taking part from across the country.

TrenthamRC - 1:49:39 - 12th Overall
1 LauraThompson (20) 17:45      2 S Hollishead (19) 18:30
3 ChristineHolmes (19) 18:52            4 JoanneDonnelly (17) 18:34
5 MandyVernon (12) 18:00             6 SarahJohnson (12) 17:58

The Men's team finished 58th place with once again, only the best teams from across the nation able to enter. This is a great step forward for the men's team to make the nationals so well done to all those that represented the club in such a prestigious competition.

Trentham RC - 5:06:44 - 58th Overall
1 Carl Platt (60) 30:34                     2 Stephan Walley (58) 16:19
3 Philip Mainwaring (60) 33:09     4 Adam Brearley (59) 16:59
5 Andrew Vickerman (58) 31:35         6 Andrew Greensith (59) 19:01
7 Lee Jones (60) 32:34               8 Chris Mosiuk (62) 18:59
9 Robert Tabbanor (59) 32:10        10 David Pickstock (57) 19:37
11 Daniel Jordan (58) 34:44     12 Greg Julian (59) 21:03

Special Thanks go to Carl Platt who has taken the time to pen this report from Saturday to give everyone a flavour of the competition:

Well Saturday was the national relays at the famous Sutton park. Both Dale and Richard have worked hard to make sure that Trentham men and Women have a team. Well on the car park the Trentham team spirit was as good as ever, taking the mickey out of eachother. I have not seen a spirit like what Trentham have got any where else and I have lived in many different countries and played for many football teams, Golf clubs, Boxing clubs, One thing I know when you have the spirit that we have, nothing or nobody can break it.

We got to Sutton park, I went for my warm up then it was time for the race, 2:00pm and were off, I was  feeling relaxed and good, took  a look over my shoulder and (OH MY GOD I'M LAST). All  I can remember after that was OOOOOWWWWWWWWW! Got to the bottom and I could hear the support from my fellow team mates, My eyes went blur at this point I got across the finish line and needed to lie down for 10 mins. Then Steph went. He ran a fantastic leg and and is in awesome form as he came through in 16;19. Then it was (ROLO THE VIKING)  Or as we know him Phil I eat hills for my breakfast Mainwaring . Phil has been in fantastic form of late and just missed out on 6 min/miling, running a very tough course in 33:09 .
Next was Breo, Adam had a great race Thursday and continued his fine form with a 16:59. Next was Callum, This guy is a like a breath of fresh air and is going to be a great addition to our club. He Improved his leg by 1 min and a half and ran 31:35 for 5.6 miles. That's a Sub 29 for 5 mile, awesome. Then Andrew Greensmith made is debut and what a 1st run for the team he had with a great run of 19:01, Then over to Saul, He ran another fine long leg even though after he said he may have gone off a bit easy, But for your 1st race back for a while still a great run. Then Chris Mosiuk ran his 1st leg for he team and the new farther did not disappoint wit a great run of 18:59. Then the main man got off  his high horse whilst somebody else got on . Step in Rodger Grand, He ran a great time of 32:10 even after having abuse shouted at him (jase).

Then Dave Pickstock ran a fantastic leg, he was running sideways up the hill he had put that much effort in. Then Dan the man ran a great long leg and past the baton over to Greg, Now this guy as got a great outlook on life and is absolutely loving his running he ran a great leg and Improved by 30secs in 2 weeks WOW.

WHAT A TEAM, We came 58th out of 61, But this is the 1st time we have qualified for the nationals in 12 years. The Ladies team did fantastic and Rich must be over the moon with the dedication and determination they show ever time they put the green vest on, They came 12th but would of come 7th last year with there time this year. Even though everyone ran well, My runners of the Day were Callum and Laura,  Well done both of you, Its great to  see how close and how supportive we all are to each other. Big thanks to Dale and Richard. None of these events would happen with out them and the support of the committee. Keep smiling Trenthamers and don't let nothing or nobody grind us down :-)

Thanks for taking the time to sit down and write the report Mr Platt, and as Carl forgot to mention it I will mention that he did have the fastest long leg of the day with an excellent time of 30:31. Once again well done to all those that represented the club on Saturday and helped to reinforce the great name of Trentham Running Club.


Worcester Marathon

As most people are thinking about London next weekend a certain Mr Paul Burslem had other matters on his plate as he has been looking forward to the Worcester Marathon for the last few months. Paul has kindly taken the time to send us this report so please read on:

As to be different to the masses  and partly due to I donít like crowds and built up areas, I picked this race this year and a wise decision it was,The Saturday morning started with a short trip down the motorway to Worcester and parked up. We were parked by the magnificent cathedral. The first thing I noticed about the area was the cleanliness also by coincidence I never saw a McDonalds. After a bit of shopping and a pizza we had a walk along the river watching all the swans,

We then made our way to the premier inn which we were stopping in. The area round here was packed with the rugby fans of Worcester and Exeter trying to park. We got settled in then had a walk past the rugby ground (where the race would be starting) and along part of the canal. In the evening at the bar I was watching rugby fans having their tribute bitter while I was stuck with my orange !!!

On the Sunday morning I got up at 6-45 for my 9-30 start and had a few sandwiches energy drinks and coffee, I left  the hotel at 8-30 as it was only a fifteen minute walk to the start,  at the rugby club. I had a chat to a few runners before the start, the only one I knew was  Keith Skelton of Stafford.

At around 9-10 they started to lead us to the start which was a few minutes walk, but there were still loads of cars still coming in the car park. At the start area they told us of a fifteen minute delay because people were still arriving. Why people would train months for an event and risk being late is completely beyond me !!

The start was nicely segmented eg sub 1-30,130,1-45   And the runners actually stood in the right spots !!! So the gun went and I had a nice smooth  start. The 1st mile was up-bank so it kept everyone in check, but then it went down and I did a 6-22 mile !!  The course was very undulating and there wasnít much flat. I wanted to do about 6-45 pace average so it was a matter of been slightly faster than that downhill and slower up bank.

All the race was in the countryside so there was loads to distract you from the running. At around 6 miles we come to quite a steep climb and went past a few half marathon runners who had gone off too fast, then we did the same at around 8 miles. As the race was a combined half and full it was hard to judge where you were, but when we got to around mile 11 we split up and all I could see was one marathon runner further down the course and one more by me - GAME ON !!

The runner I was with was local so he had his fan club at around 12 miles and as you know you have to put a show on, so he pulled ahead slightly. Then there was a slight rise so I went past him and was informed I was in 6th position. At the half way point I could see 3 runners ahead of me in the distance and tried to keep them in my sights. I put myself in 5th position at around 16 miles. He had just started walking so told him only walk for minute or he would seize up. I could see my next targets running together and managed to get one at 19 miles. By now all our times were increasing so it was just a matter of knuckling down and trying not to lose too much.

As I was approaching 22 miles I still wasnít getting any closer to 3rd place and then I had my last water and we went up another climb and he started walk/running up it and I was just behind him. We then went down bank and I got stitch. I tried squeezing  on my stomach and to carry on running. I was just jogging watching perhaps the only chance I would ever have of coming 3rd[not counting age cats] I had to do this for roughly 10 minutes for it to die down.
I was seriously pissed !!!!

I just had to get the last 3 miles out the way and hoped id get him again on the last climb(the2nd mile of course which I did 6-22 going down it). Just before that last climb I went over another small rise and I could just see him perhaps 50 yards ahead. As we hit the last climb he slowed but I didnít and as I knew the last mile was down bank I just nailed it so he couldnít follow and I went over the brow of the hill and I didnít dare look round and just went for it. The last half mile on the canal following a flight of locks down then it cut into the ground for the last few hundred yards. It was a great feeling hearing ďand here comes third placeĒ

So a brilliant weekend. I would have liked sub 3 and I'm sure I would have got it at London, but just too many hills tired me out. This is a race I would  deffo recommend.

Well, what can you say about that apart from WOW. Excellent result Paul and a superb time on such a difficult course. Paul never mentioned there, modest as he is, that he was only a few minutes off winning the thing outright, but 3rd place is a fantastic achievement and he should be rightly proud of himself. I'm sure Paul has since celebrated with a few Abbots or St. Austell's Tributes as every Marathon runner should :-) Results for the Marathon can be found HERE!

 


Newcastle 7

No reports as yet, but we do know that Stephan Wallley managed a top 5 finish in a time of 39:58,  and a mere matter of seconds away from winning the race. Mandy, Sharleen and Laura were 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively and all this only a day after the National Road Relays. I'm not sure of the age group prizes as they are not clearly listed but hopefully someone will shout up who won what soon.....

Just had this report in from Phil Mainwairing who is storming along at the moment and as you can see above had a great race at the National Road Relays the day before. Read on to find out how he got on:

Quite a few Trentham runners turned up for the Newcastle 7, including a number who had ran in the National relays and resultantly were looking a bit tired and a bit confused as to why anybody would want to run two races in one weekend. I ran a few warm up laps of the athletics track with Chris and Stephan before lining up for the race and trying to get fairly close to the front. I knew if I was going to do well Iíd have to push on the hill up the first three miles and then just try to stagger along the latter half of the race as the tiredness from Saturday set in. With this in mind, I managed a good start and tried to stay with Paul Clinton, but as the bank started to get longer I was struggling to keep pace. I got to the top of the hill receiving a few shouts of support for Trentham and the continuous support of Dale who was cycling up and down the bank trying to support everyone at once, and approached the temporary traffic lights where everyone around me seemed to have recovered from the hill and started to stride away.

That was the last I saw of Paul and for the next few miles I was listening to the footfalls of runners approaching behind me, quietly dreading someone passing me with a bold and happy ĎBí clipped to their back. After about four and a half miles I exchanged a few words of encouragement as Mandy and Sharleen passed me and I was encouraged to see that after five miles I was hitting just over 32 minutes. After six miles I was finally passed by a B runner whoíd spent a good few minutes slowly tracking me down and who slowed up almost immediately after passing me so I silently shouted at myself until I passed him and, knowing I didnít have the legs for a sprint at the end, I started to steadily increase my pace over the last mile knowing that each time I did the guy behind me would have to respond and hate me more and more the closer we got to the finish.

I was greeted at the finish with more shouts for Trentham as well some very enthusiastic shouts from a few of the Trentham juniors. By this point Iíd gotten around ten seconds in front of the runner whoíd passed me and I knew heíd given up the chase meaning Paul was the only group B runner ahead of me. I finished 25th in a time of 44min 20sec and immediately sat back against a wall to get my breath back while trying not to be sick after the last mileís exertions.

I was happy with this, especially on tired legs and started shouting on every green vest to come sprinting up to the finish line. All in all, a good race, very well marshalled on a surprisingly sunny day and as usual itís always nice to be so well supported from all parts the course by so many people, not to mention seeing such a strong effort from a total of thirty one Trentham runners.

Well done Phil, great effort mate, especially after Saturday. For those who haven't seen it there's some great video footage on Bryan Dales Website which he's uploaded to YouTube!

Results HERE!


Milford Murder

No reports this time so just a brief run-down of the evenings events. Adam Brearley's unfortunate injury left it up to Sam Newton to finish first for Trentham in 10th place leaving him 5th overall. Rob Tabbanor came 14th again to tighten his grip on the MV50 trophy and Andy Greensmith had another great run coming in 25th. Roger Grand was having a fantastic run but unfortunately picked up an injury on course and hobbled in well down after contesting a great battle with Sam. In the ladies race Jo Donnely and Deb Thomas had fantastic runs again to finish 2nd and 3rd and take another step closer to silverware. Kerry and Eva also had good runs to maintain their top 10 positions. The final race is next Thursday (26th April) where the trophies will be decided on a new course at Barlaston Downs. There will be drinks and presentations in the Cricket Club afterwards.

The standings so far can be seen below.

MALE        FEMALE

 


Virgin London Marathon

There were only a few Trentham Runners taking part this year for one reason or another, mostly due to missing out in the ballot, but those that did take part all managed to finish the race. First home for Trentham was Tracey Lovatt who actually managed a negative split crossing the halfway point in 1:44.59 and finishing in a time of 3:28.02 slightly picking up the pace for the second half, so well done to Tracey on that. Lynne Callaghan was next across the line in a time of 3:41.42, a little slower than what she would have liked but she is still happy with her time so well done Lynne. Next over the line for Trentham was Jill Phillips in a time of 4:06.43 after giving herself a good talking to when struggling a little after 20 miles, she kept going to the finish and actually enjoyed the last 4 miles so well done Jill. Dan Bowman was next to finish for Trentham, but not until he'd given everyone a bit of a scare by carrying a dud chip which meant it looked as though he'd dropped out. After a couple of tube trips and back alley shortcuts Dan managed to cross the line around the 4:13 mark looking fresh as a daisy ;-)
Only kidding Dan, I know he struggled after 20 miles due to cramp and almost collapsed near the end but managed to finish so well done Dan. Yvette Henshall-Bell was next to finish in a time of 4:20.57 and after so much training and effort a big well done to her, and next one to cross the 26.2 mile stripe was Sam Tidy making his Marathon Debut he crossed the line in 4:56.06 and was well happy with that and indeed just to have finished it.

So, no reports as yet but it is early days and there's plenty of time for them to arrive, but in the meantime well done to all who ran on doing the club proud and hopefully you all enjoyed it too.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Dan Bowman has just penned us this race report. My advice, open a bottle of wine or indeed boil the kettle, and then read on :

Itís been a long time since I submitted a race report. My running has taken a back seat for the last year, through our turbulent pregnancy and the arrival of our son. I havenít lost my zest for running, but I havenít been able to commit to a consistent training schedule because thereís been so much going on. I got a 10k PB last May, a 5k PB in September then Iíve just been a bit of a plodder since. I must admit that when my London rejection pack came through the letterbox I almost felt relieved because 2012 would be somewhat of an inconvenient year for me to get into London because our baby was due a few days before Christmas.

   I still put into the club ballot however to see what happened. After last years mathematical improbability where I didnít get in and was gutted I didnít really expect to be pulled from the proverbial hat. When Richard reached into the hat and said my name my initial thought was that it was a wind-up. I was touched that a lot of people were pleased Iíd gotten in. I decided that I would find the time to train for the race and do it.

    My training for London was actually better than I thought it would be. I found the time to do lots of 10 miles, some 13ís, a 14, an 18 and a 20 miler. Itís been tiring doing this because I donít get as much sleep as I used to but I was quite confident this week of getting round in around 4 hours, with my target time being 3:50. Iíd booked onto the Stafford harriers bus. £99 for all transport, accommodation and food was a bargain. It really took all the stress out of the trip. My dad accompanied me because being a history teacher he fancied coming down to support me as he could simultaneously look at loads of statues and interesting churches.

    When we pulled up in Newcastle to get the coach, there was one parked down the road so I ran down to it to see if it was ours. The door was closed so I opened it and blurted out ďLondon marathon!?Ē to the driver. I then looked to the right to see about 40 OAPís looking at me disapprovingly. I apologised and shut the door again. The front of the bus read ďWeston SupermareĒ Doh. Anyhow, we finally found the right bus and we were sat one row from the back. Jill and Yvette were across from us, which was good because we just chatted all the way to London. Lynne Callaghan was sitting a few rows in front too with her fella. It was a shame Sam wasnít on the bus because it would have been good to have the whole crew together but he was staying with friends in Luton so had gone down earlier.

   Saturday night consisted of eating lots of pasta then sitting in a Jacuzzi for a while. Thought I would struggle to get to sleep but dropped off at around 11pm. My alarm went off at 5am and I got up. I hadnít been too nervous about London really until the morning of the event itself. I really had butterflies in my stomach. I went to grab some breakfast. Had some muesli, two croissants and a banana. I felt sick. I had so much anxiety in my mind ďHad I trained enough? Had I tapered properly? What if I canít finish?Ē

      The bus arrived at Greenwich and we got off. It was brilliant to finally see the balloons and all the other things that Iíd only ever seen on TV until this point. The sheer scale of the event really overwhelmed me. We said goodbye to Jill as she was on green start whereas the rest of us were on blue. I wandered around on my own for half an hour just taking in the sights. Thereís something beautiful about seeing so many people of varying shapes and sizes, most of whom were raising money for charity, or trying to achieve different personal goals.. There were also lots of different countries being represented, a group from South Africa, some Austrians, Italians, French. I even saw a bloke from Chile. It was a cacophony of different colours, backgrounds and cultures and it really made me feel quite emotional.

     Made my way to the starting pen at 9:25, 20 mins before the race was due to start. I was in pen 3 of 8 so I wasnít too far from the front. I had one last stretch, applauded the announced elites and then the starting horn went. This was it. It took me less than two minutes to cross the start line. I made sure to stamp on the chip pads and I was off. I was finally running the London marathon.

   I wanted to actually pace myself properly here rather than go off like a squirrel being chased by a mental 80ft version of count Dracula like I have done in races in the past. It was hard to settle into any sort of rhythm at all initially though because it was so congested, and the roads in Greenwich arenít as wide as the ones closer to the city centre. I plodded along and we merged with one of the other starts. I found myself running next to some bloke from TOWIE called Arg. I hadnít previously known what he looked like but Iíve heard people talking about him in the past. I said hello and shook his hand, wished him luck and carried on. Seemed like a nice bloke, and grateful for the encouragement.

    I reached 5k in 27 minutes, which was really the sort of pace I was hoping to maintain. Felt absolutely fine, though the sun was quite intense and I knew Iíd probably get sunburned. Carried on at a nice pace for a bit. The final start merged and there wasnít much to look at for a bit, until about 6-7 miles where we did a loop around the Cutty Sark. Because I was feeling fresh as a daisy I took it all in, admired the scenery and lapped up the applause from the crowd, many of them shouting my name, which was printed on my vest. I know people always say ďMake sure you have your name on your vestĒ but seriously, it was absolutely amazing. Iíd estimate that throughout the race I probably had 300-400 people scream my name as I passed. It was absolutely breathtaking.

    Passed through 10k in 53 minutes, maintaining my pace relatively well. Still feeling absolutely fine. Not a great deal happened until we rounded another and Tower Bridge rose up into the sky like some sort of giant robot that wanted to eat you but you didnít really mind because it was friendly and polite so you ran into itís large metal mouth to be robot nommed. Itís so much bigger than it looks on the telly, and because I didnít know it was coming until I rounded that corner it was just stunning. This was my favourite part of the course. An obvious choice I know but it was probably the most iconic stretch of a race I had done possibly since passing through the Brandenberg gate 3 years ago and it was surreal actually being a part of it. Just after Tower Bridge I reached half way in 1:53. I felt ok still and carried on my merry way through a bit of a boring stretch past loads of pubs. The support here was excellent. An odd sight was a really old bloke with a massive beard dancing on top of a speaker to ďBorn SlippyĒ drinking a can of Lager. Still, whatever shaves your kebab meat I suppose.

    Saw Ben Gamble coming the other way so shouted some encouragement. He seemed surprised and looked at me trying to figure out who the fat-thighed thing in the ill fitting vest was. Started to feel a little bit tired but I had a boiled sweet from an old lady in the crowd and it perked me up again. I wonít be telling Jackson about this because I literally accepted sweets from a stranger. In fact I accepted sweets from about 15 strangers in total. Bad example!

    As I mentioned, I was aiming for 3:50 for the race and even passing through mile 19 I felt pretty good and was still on for around 3:52. The major turning point for me was the 20 mile marker. I think it was somewhat psychological but about 200 meters after passing 20 miles my right thigh started to throb a bit. Then my left thigh started to throb. Not too bad at first but then I realised they were starting to cramp up. Maybe I hadnít trained well enough, maybe I hadnít got my weight down enough or whatever. Iím not sure what causes cramp but I got it. Bad. I thought I had cramp in Berlin but now I know that I didnít. Until around mile 22 the cramp was only in my inner thighs, but then my right calf started to go too. I really started to panic because I was so so worried about not being able to finish and I kept thinking of all of the people who had sponsored me. Iím still haunted by the time last year when I had to pull out of the Brighton marathon for personal reasons even though people had sponsored me online and they couldnít get their money back even though I hadnít done anything to earn sponsorship.

   I thought of going back into work, where about a hundred people have sponsored me, and telling them I didnít finish. My mind was in a bad way at this point. After enjoying the race for 3 hours I now felt rougher than at any point since I started running. My left calf started to cramp at 23 miles because I had started putting more weight on it due to my right leg giving up the ghost and thus started my all time low in running. I felt someone pat me on the back and it was Jill coming past. I think she could see I was struggling when she looked at me. She went past and disappeared into the distance.

     The mile/KM markers never seemed to arrive and every stride seemed to take forever because I never knew when one of my calves or thighs were going to go. I nearly fell on the decent into the tunnel at mile 24 but managed to stay upright. It was absolutely excruciating and it was getting to the point where I felt I was losing control over my body, which caused me to panic again. The crowd noticed I was grimacing and occasionally moaning in pain because they upped their support tenfold. I had to run next to the guardrail so I could grab it if my legs went again and almost everyone in the crowd was shouting my name. A woman held out a tray of sweets and she yelled at me to take some because I was struggling, I reached into the box but didnít get purchase on any of them and had to keep on going. She looked really upset that I didnít manage to grab one.

    After coming out of the tunnel there were 2 miles and a bit to go. I remember seeing Big Ben on the horizon and heading toward it. Every 50 yards or so I had to steady myself as my legs were just destroyed. I felt like I could hardly control them any more and the pain was unlike anything Iíve known before. It was like the muscles were trying to detach from the bone and curl up. Thatís the best way to describe it.

     Eventually I got to Buckingham palace, 800 meters to go, 600 meters to go. I then passed the 385 yards to go sign and could see the finish line. I made my way toward it the best I could until my right thigh completely went, and I mean completely. I lurched forwards and the pressure on my calf caused it to seize up entirely. I was sort of kneeling forward on my right leg and I couldnít get back up. I just couldnít straighten my leg. The crowd in the grandstand gasped because they thought I was going over but when I didnít they started absolutely yelling at me, shouting my name for me to get up but I couldnít. I could see people running toward the finish, about 200 yards away but I just couldnít control my legs and stand up again. I got tears in my eyes at this point, partly because my head was in a dark dark place and I wasnít thinking straight, paired with the fact Iíve never felt so pathetic and helpless in my whole life, and it was soul destroying that my body broke down when I could see the finish line.

     After about 10-15 seconds a bloke ran up behind me and lifted me so I could straighten my leg. After a few goes I started moving forwards again and got over the line in a very disappointing 4:14 (clock time). At this point I should have felt jubilation but as I stopped moving my legs both froze and one of the finish line staff had to help me to where the medals were. It took me about 20 minutes just to make it to the baggage claim. I then found a piece of grass to sit on but because I couldnít bend my legs I couldnít actually sit down so in the end I had to throw myself onto the ground like Ric Flair, which is pretty funny in hindsight. Must have looked odd to onlookers when I willingly face-planted the ground for no reason.

    Eventually I managed to get myself back up again and I went over to meeting point T. My dad gave me a massive hug which made me quite emotional because my family isnít very sentimental in that respect. I had a look at my phone, and my Facebook and Twitter had gone crazy, and I had 8 text messages asking if I was ok. My dad had been receiving phone calls regarding my wellbeing as well. Turns out that a post had gone on Facebook saying it looked like Iíd dropped out of the race because I hadnít got a half way chip time. Anyway, it transpires that I had a broken chip, and as a result the results state that I didnít finish the race. Iím not overly fussed about this because I missed my target time by so much. If this had happened and I was on for a PB I would have been furious.

   Although disappointed with my time, after reflecting on things, I did the best I could under the circumstances. I donít think Iíve ever worked so hard and pushed myself so much in my entire life. Things went from good to dreadful in the space of a mile and I ran 10k in the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. So when I think about it like that I also feel really proud. Iíve done my best and raised a lot of money for charity (Probably over a grand)

   I know Iíve moaned throughout this but I wanted to do an honest write up rather than gloss over the bad parts and make myself out to be some sort of fitness machine. Plus, my problems are put into context by the poor girl who passed away whilst running. Dreadful news. Iíll finish on  a high though. It was overall a brilliant weekend. It was great to spend time with my dad, and the other Trentham runners. Thank you to the club for the opportunity to run this epic race.

   I remember when I was stumbling in agony to the baggage area yesterday, thinking about how disappointed people would be with my time, and initially I was disappointed, but then I thought to myself that getting to the finish after experiencing easily the most pain Iíve ever been in for over six miles makes me much more proud than getting a PB and coasting round. Congrats to everyone else who ran, it was a pleasure running with you all. Apologies for length but hey, did you expect anything else?

Well done Dan on completing such an epic race which a marathon is. You feel so many emotions during those 26 miles and you captured the lot there, I can only speak for myself, but that report bought back so many memories for me during my London Marathon experiences and I can certainly sympathise with your efforts so thanks very much for managing to write such a heartfelt report. Brilliant stuff.

Lynne Callaghan has also very kindly submitted this report:

Last year I nabbed myself a place on the Championship Start at London. I really wanted to beat my 2010 time of 3:16:37 and when the 2011 date quickly approached and I knew I hadnít done sufficient training to beat this time, I deferred my place until 2012. Strictly speaking, the time I had used for this place had run out in 2011 but as it was a deferment, they let me carry it through.

So, January 2012 comes around and just when my marathon training was meant to kick in, I got a new job which involves 3 hours of commuting every day. And so my annual cycle of no training began again! On a full work week of 7 days in a row, I could fit in exactly NO...yes ZERO runs, then on my days off I had to try and get a long run in, which with a rest day before and a recovery day afterwards meant over my 16 week schedule, I managed a pathetic 2.6 runs a week and an average weekly total of ...22.6 miles!

Unfortunately, no more deferments were available, so rather than lose my entry money for the 2nd year (Not to mention my travel and accommodation!) I thought, Ďblow ití, lets run!

I felt slightly uncomfortable at the start knowing all the girls around me would be whizzing off at super fast times but told myself that if I was to finish, Iíd have to stay at 8:30ís to 9ís Ė over a minute slower than normal.

My first mile and I thought this is great, nice and steady 8:30 pace and looked in horror when I saw 7:15 on my watch! I slowed my stride as much as I could but felt like I was practically walking and stayed at under 8 min miles for the first half of the run. At mile 19, I had to stop at the portaloo (ahem!) for a couple of mins and quite enjoyed the lack of pressure to get going again. This was my turning point and I then stayed at over 9 min miles for the next few. At about mile 22 my hamstrings were shrinking like violin strings and I had to stop and stretch then for a while despite feeling really self conscious in front of the crowd. That turned into a good thing as, when I was able to start my slow hobble again the crowds around me gave me a lovely little cheer which made me smile!

Iíd be lying if I said it wasnít hurting now, but when has anyone not hurt in a marathon?! I told myself to ĎGet a Grip!í.

On the embankment just before Big Ben I saw a staggering figure in front of me and ran across to a man about to keel over. He was a white as a sheet and was pretty out of it, mumbling, so I sat him on the floor and got a gel out of my waist band, ripped it open and pretty much shoved it down his throat telling him to eat it. Some spectators came over with a drink and after I vetted the fluid (!) I let him drink it and told him to stay put whilst I got some help. After I sent the Ambulance people over to him, I somehow managed a 6:30 mile Ė which was nice!

On Bird Cage Walk, I saw a young girl on the floor with some ambulance people. She was sitting with her legs out straight and looked like she was talking and all I thought was, bloody hell, what a terrible place to have to stop with cramp / stitch / muscle strain and hope she would at least be able to walk the last 800 meters.

I was over the moon to finish in 3:41:42 as, a) I wasnít convinced Iíd be able to finish, and b) was just looking for around 4:00 if I did. This was my 2nd most pleasing marathon time ever.

I was horrified to hear on Monday that the girl Iíd past on Bird Cage Walk died. Itís opened my eyes and as fit as I consider myself to be in the scheme of things, Iíve made an appointment with my GP just to be sure.  We all take these things for granted and unfortunately none of us are infallible, so if anyone has any doubts, 5 mins at the quacks is all itíll take to hear to are an icon to modern health and wellbeing! And that person youíre about to run past because you think someone else will stop ... go back and check ... you never know.

Well done Lynne and congratulations for your performance, and many thanks for sending the report. It was very sad to hear of the young lady who died during the race. This is the first death of a lady during the history of the race, but still very sad news.

Another race report from London this time from Virgin London Marathoner Sam Tidy who made his 26.2 debut:

Well here goes for my first race report for my first marathon. Having started running as a complete beginner almost exactly 2 years ago this felt like quite a big deal. Whoíd have thought the hardest bit of the training would be the taper when cutting the running down proved frustrating and seemed to bring all the niggles back particularly my knee. So it was with nervous trepidation that I approached the prospect of treading the tarmac of our fine capital city for 46,112 hard yards.
After arriving at Blackheath ridiculously early and using the facilities while they were empty I decided to lay down the binbags and have a bit of a sunbathe/kip for half an hour (despite the forecast we were blessed with blue cloud-free skies and it was quite warm for 8.20am!) Woke up to being absolutely surrounded by people, ironically one of the first of whom was Dan Bowman. After a bit of a catch up and wishing each other luck the time just seemed to fly by and before I knew it I was in the pen and ready to go.

Whatever anyone tells you about the support it simply isnít true Ė it is far better! It was like a wall of noise from start to finish. Woolwich, Bermondsey, Greenwich absolutely nuts. I have never heard my name being shouted at me so many times! Whilst primarily I wanted to just finish in one piece, I had a time target of 4hrs30mins in the back of my head and got myself a pace band to see if that could be achievable.

The aim was to start the race as slowly as I could with Martin Yellingís words from the Expo in my head Ďno matter how quick or slow you think youíre running at the start itís always too fastí Quick check of the pace band Miles 1-3 Ė 1 minutes quicker than 4.30 marathon pace Ė slow down a bit. Miles 4-12 between 4-5 minutes quicker Ė slow down a lot! The first 18 miles felt good. I felt like I was in a nice groove. Cutty Sark and Tower bridge were amazing. Such a good feeling to run around such iconic landmarks that I had watched people run round as a kid both spectating and on the television. I knew at some point I would pay for this fast start and I wasnít wrong. It seemed to take an eternity to get from 18-20 but a sighting of my wife and mum and a very quick stop and chat spurred me on as did some quality abuse from a friend of mine at 20 miles!

I started to get a bit down that the 4.30 was becoming unattainable as I was slowing a lot whilst the level of effort needed was increasing. I decided to try and think of enjoying the race and think about what landmarks I had left (the orange tunnel, Embankment, the river, parliament square, Big Ben, the Palace); when I could treat myself to a gel, a Lucozade, a jelly baby, geeing the crowd up, booing and thumbs down to the Watford flag (which proved a welcome distraction on 3 seperate ocassions Ė all harmless banter!) Ė anything positive that could distract me from thinking about time, pace, miles. A guy in front of me said to his running partner back at 15 Ė weíre into single figures now Ė that felt like a boost and counting down felt better Ė later in the race I tried to break it into chunks - just a 10K left, just the Alsager 5 left, just a parkrun left . . . and any positive mantras I could think of e.g. at least there are no hills! I actually picked up towards the end although I had my first walk at the long tunnel on 20-21ish as I thought well at least no-one can see me.

As you come at the tunnel, once you have become re-accustomed to the light you are hit with a wall of noise which sucks you into the finish and I had a good, slightly quicker mile. I was starting to think quicker miles would mean less pain and less time pounding the pavements! Although I had to dig deep and kind of zone out for the last 4 miles I knew I was going to finish and started to concentrate on finishing strong and looking good at the finish line which gave me a new focus. I also started to notice I was quite close to 5 hours and decided there was no way I was going to have a time starting with 5 rather than 4 which geed me on. The feeling of being on the famous red tarmac of The Mall turning the corner just before in front of The Palace was amazing and the immense feeling of achievement on completion was irreplaceable and, although I know I have a better time in me than that I was ecstatic to be become part of only 1.5% of the population to have completed a marathon (Thanks, Pet for this positive mantra!)
This was not a run, not a race but a worldwide sporting event, an absolute carnival of running. I saw and met so many people at the expo on the train before, during and after the race trying to achieve their own individual goals Ė some normal; some crazy; some downright insane. A man with a 20ft Blackpool tower on his back, wombles (05:40), rhinos, a man dribbling a football, a hula hooper, a morris dancer, a bottle of beer, a chap who had run all 32 marathons, a lovely French couple running together and many more besides.
I enjoyed every minute of it and am still buzzing days later. Nothing can replace that feeling as the medal is placed over your neck having officially become a marathoner! Thanks to the running club for affording me this amazing opportunity. Canít wait to get my name in the public ballot next week. I have got to beat that time and get the pacing sorted.

Well done Sam and thanks for the report. I think Sam has summed up the London Marathon perfectly there. It is a carnival, but a very tough one, and well done for completing it in under 5 hours.


Bolton 10K

There were a few Trentham runners down in London for some low key event which I'm sure will get a mention somewhere, and there were also a few others sneaking North off the radar to take part in a 10K race. The course is described as " on undulating roads around and within Leverhulme Park. There is elevation gain/loss of approximately 108m over the course" so it's not an easy course by any means. Carl Platt, Christine Holmes and Sharleen Hollinshead were there flying the Green Flag and hoping to have a good race as they were all in good form. Here's how they got on courtesy of Cage-fighter Carl himself:

Well after doing the road relays and not doing a road race since Alsager 5, I thought it was about time I got my arse in gear and started racing again. I spoke to Christine who wanted to do a road race and said it might be a good idea if we go out the area, We looked on the internet and found the Bolton 10k. So Sunday we went off up the M6, We arrived in Bolton about 1 hour to spare.
We did not realise how big the race was with over 750 runners taking part. We did our warm up and a few strides. At the start line we bumped into Sharleen who had won this race the previous year, This year it was a new course. Bang the gun went off and were off. After about a mile 1st and 2nd place were about 10-20 secs ahead, But I could see them which was good, I was in 4th place at the time but 3rd was just in front of me and 5th just behind me. Quite handy when its wet and windy. Anyway we went through about 1.5 k of gravel and puddles then  hit the bottom of spooky hill which is a real nice incline. The guy in 3rd place looked quite comfortable but I felt good too. We turned a corner and I noticed that 5th place had dropped off quite a bit. Then we went up another nice hill. We got to 3k and we were back on the road.

I was running very relaxed and went past 3rd place till about 5 k, I knew I was not going to get 2nd place and I knew that 3rd and 4th was going to be out of us two. This may of been a stupid move but it worked well for me. I let him take the lead in front of me knowing that we had to go up spooky hill again and the wind and rain was in our faces. I had a plan that if I could get to 8k on the flat road bit I would go for it. Running up the hill I was not concentrating on how much I was hurting but concentrating on 3rd place. I noticed his shoulders dropped and his breathing was getting heavy. I felt quite good as he dragged me up the hill. We got to the 8k mark and just like my plan I went for it. He came with me but his breathing all over the place, He was outside his comfort zone, But fair play he hung on to me.

 I crossed the line in 36:20 he was 10 secs behind me. I got speaking to the runners in front of me and I was 1 min  40 behind the Leader who was Anthony Valentine, This guy has run sub 15 on track for 5k sub 16 on road for 5k, sub 25 for 5 mile and sub 31 for 10k, This made me feel really good, What a top bloke he was as well. Sharleen Came in 2nd place and Christine came 6th lady. Fantastic, not a bad day for Trentham RC. It was horrible weather on a tough course, but I did not care I got my 1st top 3, I was so happy. In the presentation later I found out I won fifty pound and a Trophy. Think my running mojo is back :-). Stopped off at pub on the way back for a Sunday dinner and a pint. Happy days

"Not a bad day for Trentham"? I'd say that was a bloody fantastic day for Trentham and especially for you 3 guys. Massive well done Carl and you deserve every credit you get for that effort. A race with 600 finishers, to be top 3 is a great result. A Huge, Massive Well Done!

The results for the race can be found here.

 

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Spring Treble (Barlaston)

The 3rd and final race of the Spring Treble Series took place at Barlaston Downs on Thursday evening, starting from Oulton Cricket Club. As a new race following the switch from Kibblestone no-one really knew what to expect. Debbie Thomas has kindly sent us a brief report:

I entered the Spring Treble Series 2012 having enjoyed the three races in 2011, although back then I was a bit podgier so the races felt far more hard work than they should have! Gladly this year I am a wee bit lighterÖ The first race Hanchurch Hilly is my favourite, I love the downhill start and running through the woods is inspiring. I set off knowing that the finish was uphill and I tried not to feel too worried about where I would place in the ladies race as I had noticed there were a lot more ladies than in 2011! I enjoyed the 4.8 mile course and managed to come in behind Jo Donnelly at 3rd lady. Not bad!

The second race Milford Murder is the toughie: 5.5 miles. It starts with two steep climbs then a long drag followed by a steep rocky downhill, a little flat part before going around again and back over the steep climbs to the finish. I began this race reasonably steady to ensure I would have some steam left for the final climb and I quite enjoyed the first lap, managing to get into third lady position within the first mile or so. I could see Jo up in front on the climbs but she was never catchable. Coming into the first downhill drop I was aware the fourth lady was making better progress than me so I hoped she would begin to tire on the second loop around, and thankfully she did a little. Second time down the descent I knew Iíd have to let myself go to keep her away from me and I was able to, even though I did have to half brake at one stage as my legs were going way too fast and I was at risk of tumbling! Up to the finish in third position, and there is Jo at second again!

The final race was a new location for 2012 and I was feeling very anxious, knowing that Barlaston Downs hills can be painful! The race started at the top of the road at Oulton Cricket Club before we enjoyed a long descent for about ĺ mile before crossing the bridge by the stream into the Downs. This next part was flat for about another ĺ mile before we took a right up a long climb that went up in three stages. Unfortunately Jo had decided not to run this race so I was feeling a bit apprehensive to get into second position.

Once over the hills there is a good descent to the bottom and then a little section of flat to catch your breath before re-entering the Downs for the second lap. Second time up the hill I see the first lady (Audrey Wilson) walking and running, but I donít consider passing her as I assumed she was catching her breath before whizzing down the hill. For most part of the race I had the company of Paul Hill (Wrekin Tri Club) and we say a few encouraging words to each other every now and then. Finishing the final descent and turning left out of the Downs back up the road we had started on, we spot Audrey walking and running in stages, obviously struggling on the climb. Paul says ďcome on, you catch her and then I can be second lady in after you!Ē I replied that there is a long way to go yet (the map had shown the course to be 5.1 miles and at this stage we were only at 4.2).

Dale Colclough is on the road, spectating, and he is telling me to ďgo for itĒ, ďcome on DebsĒ but I think this hill isnít easy and if I get closer she might push onÖ Anyway, at 4.5 miles we had caught Audrey, I asked if she was ok and she said she hasnít much hill training so was struggling. Dale is still shouting, and me and Paul manage to pass her on the climb. Iím now in shock and panic hoping to hold on to the winning lady position, Paul is by my side and Dale is yelling top of his lungs to keep me pushing onÖ I see the small crowd at the top of the hill with Jill, Laura (Samís better half) and Emma (Ryanís better half) in the crowd amongst others, we take a left, climb a little further and then turn right into the finishing straight, and then I have WON!!! Audrey and third lady Emma are not too far behind, and we congratulate each and have a little chat, which was nice.

The presentation was great; Trentham cleaned up with me as 2nd lady overall, ladies team prizes, gents team prize, Kerry 1st MV35 and Rob Tabbanor 1st MV50!! The whole series has been a thoroughly enjoyable challenge and the camaraderie is brilliant. Iíve absolutely enjoyed these races and I must say Barlaston Downs was far better than Kibblestone! Well done to every single Trentham runner who ran and completed the series, dead proud of you.

Well done Debbie, that certainly was an awesome performance last night and thoroughly deserved with all the extra training you've been doing. Congratulations to Debbie, Kerry & Rob, and indeed to all the runners who managed to complete the tough series of races. It was also great to see Trentham Running Club walk away with both the Male and Female team prizes too. One final mention for Dale Colclough who has been there to encourage all the runners during the series and even man-handling some of them (thanks for the push Dale). The support really counts.

The overall results can be seen below and also the prize winners:

Men's Overall        Ladies Overall        Prize Winners

 

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Great Manchester Marathon

Not too many Trentham Runners in this one with most opting for the South Cheshire 20 on the same day, but Adam Grew was at least one Green vest amongst the 5 thousand or so that started the race. Read on to find out how Adam got on:

Seeing as I work not too far from Manchester I decided in late 2011 to enter the Manchester Marathon 2012. My last marathon was the half-trained-for 2008 London marathon and I was quite up for entering another one especially seeing as I had turned 40 this year so thought I might benefit for the reduced good for age time (i.e. 03:15 instead of 03:10).
Without going into too much detail, training had been a little difficult due to the normal tried and tested excuses of work, winter cold and a hectic family life (ok, and a bit of a lack of commitment also...) but I had at least done three long runs of 26.2 with my dogs from Froghall up the Caldon canal to Stoke and back; if you have not done this it is strongly recommended as the Churnet Valley has to be one of the most scenic places in Staffordshire. Whilst my fitness was not as good as I'd have liked I can vouch that my dogs fitness had really benefited and if I dared put on running kit at home it could have been classed as assault by over-excited canine assailants.

This was the first Manchester marathon for a number of years and whilst being flat I was concerned that organisation may be a problem as we'd seen at the Liverpool Marathon. Anyway, after watching London 2012 I was quite excited although the 5 day forecast looked very dodgy with rain and wind.
Up early on race morning I arrived at Nick, a work colleagues, house and Nick, his brother and I set off for Altrincham where we would leave the car and catch the tram to Stretford for the short walk to the start. We arrived in reasonable time and I donned a old fleece and wheelie bin liner to keep out the rain. Ok, we looked like women in long dresses but were warm and dry and I could have made a fortune if I had taken with me a few rolls of bin liners.

Lining up at the start the conditions were not good and I was glad when a portly Darren Campbell and not-at-all-portly Ron Hill set us off. I'd been talked into signing up with the 3:00 pace setter but knew this was too quick and wanted 3:10 (I thought good for age changed from 3:10 to 3:15 at 40 but it actually changes at 41). The pace setter set off with consistent 6:35's which I knew would burn me out too soon so let them go after a few miles and, being warm, took off my long sleeve top leaving on just my Trentham vest.

I felt ok up to 6 miles with the 2nd place lady coming past and 12 miles came up with me a couple of mins inside the 3:10 pace but with the calves a little sore. Into the second half of the race we started to hit country roads and by this time the weather had turned worse with heavy rain and strong wind - time to get the long sleeve out and gloves on to stop the wind-chill. Hitting 20 miles I felt ok although the legs had obviously done a bit and by 21 I worked out if I could keep under 8 mins/mile I'd possibly bag the 3:15 (3:10 had gone by now). The weather was dreadful by now and something you'd expect in the Peak District in December so by this stage and it was basically a head down, just get to the finish affair.

At 22 the pace was slowing due to the lack of training and I caught up the earlier 2nd placed lady. Running in vest and shorts she was zip-zagging across the road barely faster than a walk. Asking if she was ok I was met with a incoherent answer a number of times so I gave her my top and said we'd run together to the marshall. On finding the marshall she advised she had no phone and to carry on to the next marshall further along who then advised to carry on to the next checkpoint. We set off but Miss 2nd-place could not continue so we ended up taking up a local resident's offer of help and taking refuge in his house. By this stage I realised the race-time was really suffering but could not leave a strange lady in a strange man's house and it was only when the marshall caught up and advised they had called for the medics that I retrieved my top and set off with stiffening legs. The last 3 miles were very tough and the finish line was a welcome sight and I managed to get 3:22 and beat my previous PB of 3:23. I reckon the 3:15 might have been possible but I'll save that for a not-so-rainy day.

At the finish I collected the medal and went to baggage reclaim. This was an absolute shambles with about 6000 bags jump dumped in a tent in no order. People were cramming into the tent and tempers were fraying as runners were tired, hungry and cold. I eventually left the area after 50 long mins with no bag and met up with Nick Going back we decided to give it 10 more mins and searched for the bag and miraculously found it although it was short of tracksuit bottoms (not surprising as a large amount of people's kit had just spilt and being trampled into the grassy floor).

Finally we made our way back to the tram but within 400 metres of the finish we stumbled on another runner who had collapsed and was being tended to by the 4:15 pace setter. This guy was also wearing just a vest and was almost unconscious so with help from a lady spectator we managed to get him into a local residents house and call for medical help. Unfortunately the ambulance that came past advised it was full of runners and we'd have to wait. However, after a short time in a warm environment and under a warm blanket the runner perked up so we made a hasty exit and finally got to the tram and then back to Nick's house where his wife kindly fed and watered us

Thanks very much for the report Adam and well done on getting round with what sounds like minimal training and not without interruption on the race itself. Thanks for the report. You can find the results for the Marathon HERE!

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South Cheshire 20

There were a good few Trentham runners out on Sunday for the South Cheshire 20 road race. They probably got wetter than I did, and I was doing the Swimathon! There were some fantastic performances from our runners with Laura taking 1st place and Deb coming second. Also Paul Burslem, Steve Locker & Jill Phillips taking their respective age group prizes. Another one of our hardy runners was Lee Jones who has recently re-discovered his love of running and has made a vow to run all 20 NSRRA races again this year, so we can look forward to lots of fascinating reports from the hairless harrier. Here is his take on the South Cheshire 20:

I haven't penned a race report in a while, I won group E in the NSRRA last year but got injured at Christmas and moved up two groups in the league to group C. So, although I've been racing I've been coming last in the group and thought no one would want to hear of my woes! Anyway, its taken me a while to get back my racing mojo and some sort of form. I have still done all the NSRRA races so far this year, but I've only ran them to get around. I've also just completed the Spring Treble series and this is where I started to feel the love for racing again.
At Milford Murder I tried really hard but found myself lacking in speed and fitness, this made me really upset and I did think about quitting racing all together. I love running and I love being part of the Trentham team, I love the team spirit and I think members of other clubs are envious of the tight bond and support we have for each other, so I can't stop racing. I decided that I'm going to get back in the game, starting with South Cheshire 20.
The weather on race day was atrocious, wet, windy and freezing cold. It reminded me of Potters Arf last year where it persisted it down all the way round but I had a brilliant run and smashed my P.B. so I saw this as a good omen.
I arrived at the sports centre early with my support crew, Sammy & Lara-Honey. I went to collect my number and had a chat with the people milling around. No one wanted to go outside to do a warm up (to cold) so I started doing laps around the half of the sports hall that wasn't being used. I wondered how many times I would need to go around to make 20 miles! All to soon we were called to line up for the start, and it seemed that as soon as we were on the start line we were off. The pace was really slow at the start, with only Nick Hackett making a break for the lead. I was quite happily running along in a group with Graham Cope, Amy Gamble and Gaz Jones with Trenham's Deb Thomas & Dan Jordan just up ahead.

My plan was to stick as close to 8 minute miles as possible but as the 3 mile marker went by I looked at my watch and saw we were doing 7:30s, this worried me as I thought I wouldn't be able to maintain that pace, so I fell back and ran at just under 8's. Now I was on my own but I didn't mind. The rain was still coming down but not heavy and I was enjoying myself. We ran past Gorsty Hill golf course and I started to reminisce on my golf playing days. I used to really hate the rain then because as well as getting soaked I couldn't hold on to my bloody clubs and used to wang them all over the course. Its funny to think that I only started running to improve my golf game but that didn't work at all because I haven't played in nearly 2 years.
A guy caught me up before mile 5 and we started having a natter. He was from out of the area and doing this run as a trainer for Edinburgh Marathon in May. He asked why most runners had letters on there backs so I explained about the NSRRA league. I said hi to Richard O'Keeffe then Brian Dale then Hi fived Terry Barker who was Marshalling at the 5 mile mark. The guy said he was after a 2:30 time, that's when I looked at my watch and realised that he hadn't slowed down but I had kept up with him and we were running at a 7:15 pace. I wished him well and slowed back down.
On we went, I still felt good as we ran through Betley and along the road towards Madeley. The rain was still persisting and some puddles had formed on the road on our side. As I ran on I noticed a particularly big one that filled up half of the road and was lapping over the path. I looked behind to see if any cars were coming along because I wanted to judge my run past so I didn't get showered. The road behind was clear but as me and another runner went past on the path a car coming towards us came and drove through the puddle and drenched us from our waists down. From then on when I went past puddles I ran right in the middle of the road, not caring if I slowed the traffic down to my pace.

Eventually we turned left and went down a country lane, I was glad to get away from the main road and the puddled drivers driving through puddles! but then I saw that we had to start climbing some hills, I dug in and for the first time had to watch that I didn't go to slow rather than to fast. At 10 miles my watch said 1:18 something, I was pleased because I was half way and still felt okay and I had kept to a planned pace. Then two C group runners came past at a fast pace, both of these guys were in D group last year. This killed my pig, seeing them charge past going great guns and I began to have negative thoughts about racing again so I started plodding, not checking my watch for pace and not even being bothered. I went through 13miles in 1:45 which is still quicker than my first ever half but I had done the last 3 miles in 27mins (bad)
Suddenly I was mad at myself for letting my pace drop, so I tried to go faster but I couldn't because I was dying for a wee! I ducked into a cut out in the hedge to answer the call of nature and counted the runners that came past. I swear this was the longest wee I have ever had in my life and by the time I had safely tucked the old man away 11 runners had come past. GAME ON. I started running, I had no aches or pains but I was soaking and freezing and a little bit mad. I quickly started picking off the runners that had come past me, I must have missed the 14 mile mark but I saw the 15 one, I glanced at my watch 7:20's but I felt fine and I was back to my position before my wee. I looked into the distance and saw one of the C group runners that came past, Andy Hayhoe. He seemed to have slowed and this gave me hope that maybe I wouldn't finish last in my group after all. By the 16 mile mark I was right up with him and then it gave me great pleasure to surge past him as he had done to me. By now we were running by Gorsty Hill golf course again and going up a slight hill. I looked to the top and saw the unmistakable form of Gary Jones!!!
I ran to the top of the hill and saw that I'd closed the gap on Gaz, however I was starting to flag, I went through 18 miles but I didn't dare look at my watch, I was still gaining on Gaz but very slowly. Now I was racing, I'd done a 14 mile warm up and I was 4 and a half miles into a 6 mile race and poor Gaz was my target. 19 miles and I had halved the gap but I was knackered. I considered slowing down and letting him go then I looked at my watch.... 2:34 something, WHAT THE HELL, I'd been so hell bent on catching up with people but I had kissed my target time of Sub 2:40 goodbye 8 miles ago. Gaz looked back and saw me and tried to increase his pace but he didn't stand a chance. As I went past he told me he felt like crying BLESS he had worked really hard, I gasped at him that he wasn't last then ran on.
Running to the finish I felt great, I saw Sammy and Lara waving from the other side of the road as I turned into the field and had my last photo from Brian before running through the finish in 2:38:17 on my watch. YYEEESSSSSSSSS
It wasn't till I got home that I remembered that I had stopped for a wee. I was gutted because I was sure that the official time must be over 2:40 but when they were posted I had done 2:39:55 PHEW. Now I don't know which time to take as a P.B
Although cold and wet, this race was brilliant and definitely my best race in ages. The route was brilliantly marshalled all the way around and I would like to thank all the Marshall's for giving up their time to stand out in the cold and wet for hours on end.
If you have managed to read all the way to the end then thanks, sorry it took so long.
LOVE RUNNING, PROUD TO BE TRENTHAM :)

Well done Lee, I'm afraid you'll have to take the official time as a p.b. but still a great achievment anyway. Thanks for the report and good luck for the rest of the races, and keep those reports coming in :-)

We've had another report in from the SC20 and this one comes from our ever improving Lady runner Debbie Thomas who as we all know finished 2nd Lady behind Laura Thompson. Read on for Deb's lowdown on the soggy days events:

Starting out on Sunday morning on my own, with a map and directions from Jill, I somehow managed to end up coming off the A500 too early and heading into Crewe town centre thinking to myself that this canít be the right wayÖ I called Jill and apparently I was nowhere near the race HQ and with only 45 mins to the start I started to panic as I didnít know how to get to where I needed to be! To cut a long story short I drove back down the road and circled around the roundabout at J16 M6 about 20 times whilst Rob and Jill (my saviours!) drove out to find me and guide me to the race! A massive thank you to them for that, I was in a state of massive panic!

On arrival, in the cold and wet, I headed into the HQ and mingled a little bit, trying to calm down at the same time. I still felt a bit flustered so when Dan Jordan asked if anyone wanted a little warm up I joined him for the 5 mins or so to try and come down off the ceiling. Shortly afterwards everyone started to head out for the 9.30am start outside on the road. We were lined up and a couple of minutes later we were off. The rain was constant but not too heavy at this point. Iíd started up toward the front and Dan J had asked to run with me to help pace him out and we set off quite comfortably at average 7.15 min/mile pace. I was hoping to get under 2 hr 30 min but with the bad weather conditions anything could happen, so it was a case of one mile at a time! The first few miles were mostly flat-ish and downhill heading out along the main roads towards Weston. Ahead I could see Laura up near to Rob and I was hoping to keep her in sight throughout the run as she would no doubt be keeping a good pace. I could see she was in first lady position and I was hoping to keep as second lady, but there is a while to go yet to worry about that! We pass the odd person or two and one chap, Richard, decides to keep us company for a few miles.

We enjoy a good chat along the way and keep each other motivated on the hilly parts and with the cold. Into Wrinehill there is some undulation and mile 9 sees the steepest climb. Mile 10 Dan needs a pit-stop as he canít seem to pee-and-go as he normally does (!!) and me and Richard stick together up over the rolling hills. Dan catches us at around mile 11 and as the road straightens out we end up into a wind tunnel, which makes the rain drops feel like hail, ouch! Richard comments that he is not enjoying this part and I try and keep talking to him to help take his mind off it. Into Audley at mile 12 and a few more climbs here and there. Into the Barthomley at mile 15 and around this point we are passed by a chap in a green wind jacket who has been a little behind us most way. He comes past looking quite fresh and we all hope to keep him in sight for the remainder of the race. Mile 15 (Englesea Brook) there is some nice bumpy undulation to boost the cold/numb legs, and at this point Richard begins to struggle so me and Dan push on, realising that we are steadily closing in on the South Cheshire chap in frontÖ. Dan says Iím a slave driver (!) by trying to quicken the pace but Iím feeling good and am working harder on the easier parts of the course to balance the pace on the harder parts, and I was quite enjoying myself and was feeling pretty ok!

Mile 16 we have done the big loop now (the race is like a lollipop) and we are alongside the South Cheshire runner (Lee) and although we thought we would catch him and pass him he sticks with us and we give each other some encouragement, and decide on a plan that once we have gone up the last climb at mile 18 we would push on to the finish, all guns blazing. Mile 18 arrives; up the climb we go and Dan is off in front but I canít seem to get my legs to go any quicker to go with him! Lee is by my side and we are both really trying now, wanting to finish the race and chase Dan! Dan catches and passes the chap in the green wind jacket, then Lee and I manage to pass him at the last turn into the field to finish; mission accomplished! Itís still cold, wet and windy, and the field we have to run into for the finish is wet and squishy; a bit of a shock to the legs! I clock 2.25.22 Ė as it turns out it is a PB for me by 21 seconds!! At the end there is Laura and Rob and Dan and we all congratulate each other (especially Laura who won the ladies race!!!) before heading into the little tent for a drink and free flapjack, and then into the HQ (sports hall) A hot shower later and Iím almost feeling my limbs and digits again!!

I would like to thank Richard OíKeeffe for his support en route and for fetching my bag from my car after the race as I was too cold to go back out! Also the lovely Becky Austin and John for following us along the way and providing much needed sweets and encouragement, and also Ken Rushton who cheered us on at mile 18. Thanks to Mark and Nicola Day for looking after me after the race and special thanks to Rob and Jill for coming out of their way to get me to the race in the first place!! Well done to all Trentham runners who completed the cold, wet and wild race and to all prize winners: Laura (1st lady), Paul Burslem (MV45) Jill Phillips (FV50) etc. And of course thanks to Dan J for keeping me company during the miles, it was nice to work as a team, and it was nice to find someone with just as much gift-for-gab as me!! I really enjoyed this race, even in the terrible conditions; one for next year!

 

Congratulations Deb and well done, and also a big thank you for sending in the race report too. Results for the SC20 can be found HERE!

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