June 2012 News & Reports


Summer Series - Tittersworth

Race 1 of the Summer series is already upon us and fortunately one of our runners has sent us this report so thanks to John Guest:

Love the Staffs Moorlands Summer Series races, been doing them for years, but having picked up a cold on the Tuesday + no training since a Monday lunchtime steady 3-miler, I wasn't feeling particularly ready for Tittesworth and had considered taking it easy. But my general fitness has been good and once at the start line with my recent off-road racing rival and Trentham club-mate Gregson Julian revving up in front of me, I zipped up the man suit, slipped into first gear and off we roared.

After a pacey start with a few hundred metres completed, on impulse I decided to throw in a sudden spurt for about 50 metres and just got onto the back of Debbie Thomas. I eased to a more comfortable pace for the next mile or two, but tried to be strong up the hills and to push going down as much as possible. That ill-advised spurt at the start had at least allowed me to open up a gap between Greg and myself, although I know he runs strongly uphill, soexpected to see him again before the finish.

Getting onto the road at around the three mile mark and going downhill, I heard a recognisable breathing rhythm approaching from behind, getting closer with every stride. No need to turn around, I just knew who it was. Greg's downhill running is definitely improving, as is his general race pace. We moved onto a narrow single-track trail that allowed me to hang onto my position that was being challenged, so I upped my pace slightly as we snaked around the winding path, ducking for low hanging trees and stepping high to avoid their roots, as Mother Nature tried her best to slow us down.

Another right turn, off the trail and onto the road down leading towards the right-hander into the reservoir car park, Greg was pushing to get on level terms and with the flash of green that appeared in my peripheral vision on my left-hand side, I found some energy from somewhere and we pushed on to pass a Staffs Moorlands runner and one other and with the "green flash" keeping pace I was determined to get to the corner first, thinking this is going to be a "smackdown" to the finish.

I just made it through the narrow gate with three rivals very close and feet thundering behind me, turning right into the approach to the car park. Suddenly, the Staffs Moorlands runner we'd passed before the turn bolted past, which spurred me into action. With 200 metres to go, it was time to move up another gear and find out what I had left in the tank. I can usually summon up a bit of a sprint for the finish, but after feeling a bit rough over the last day or so, I wasn't sure what I'd got to play with. Still, I went for it and without looking back I pushed on trying to catch the Moorlands runner who I'd kept pace with, but he'd got the drop on me, (another lesson learnt!) Glancing back just before the funnel to see it was clear behind, with relief I eased down over the line, phew that was tough, but fun!

Really enjoyable race and even managed to see some of the wonderful scenery. Greg and I pushed each other to both post good times and to improve our positions in the race, although it hurt at the time. I'll be missing for Biddulph Grange next week, but I'll be back and really
looking forward to the Buxton Hilly the week after, which, (you'll like this Greg), is an uphill finish, not to mention twice uphill around the tower.

Great to see so many Trentham runners in attendance, I counted eight of us, the most I've seen previously for Summer Series races is only two or three. Got to mention excellent performances from Adam Brearley 12th, Jason Thomas 17th and Debbie Thomas 24th & 2nd lady, in addition to other Trentham runners - Lee Jones, Phil Thomas and Rose Wilson running
well too. Fantastic courses, great social atmosphere, it would be good to see more TRC runners for the rest of the series.

Well done John, sounds like a great race there with you and Greg. Also well done to the other Trenthamers who took part, especially Debs who seems to be improving all the time. Good luck for the next few weeks of racing.


Westbridge 5

With no entries on the day

I do love running in the rain, especially racing. I've had two good races in the rain, Potters Arf last year and South Cheshire 20 this year and on both of those I got P.Bs. So when my alarm went off at 7am on the morning of the Westbridge 5 and I heard the rain through the open window, I smiled. My wife (Sammy) also heard the rain, groaned then pulled the covers over her head.  We arrived early to make sure we got a parking space. I left Sammy and Lara in the car and went to get my number then joined the queue for my toilet sabbatical. On the way back to the car I was happy to see that the rain hadn't put many people off and also that there was an abundance of 'green army' present. I had a quick warm up with Chris Mosiuk then we headed to the start for the off.

I went to my usual start spot near the front on the left and told myself not to go off to fast as I have a habit of doing and burning out in the first mile. The first part of the race runs along a road towards a field that we have to go around, Gary Jones was in front of me on my left and I noticed the runners up ahead veering to the right to avoid a huge puddle so I prepared to do the same. Gary didn't see this puddle until he was on top of it and decided to put the breaks on at the last second. Into the field I looked to see who was in front of me in my C group. Andy Greensmith and Lee Ellis were away and running well but closer to me were Antony Hayhoe and Stan Winterton with Mick Beardmore up ahead. We cleared the field then dodging another huge puddle went onto the side road that leads us back past the start before heading to the canal.

The 1 mile mark is just before the entrance to the canal, my watch said I was just under 7minutes which I was pleased with because it's usually around the 6:20 mark and I had stuck to my plan to not go off to quick. I was still running along with Stan but I expected him to pull away any minute but I decided to keep up for as long as I could. As we neared the end of the 2nd mile and also the end of the canal section I actually went past Stan! this doesn't usually happen so I asked him if he was okay, he said he was but was having an 'off day' I know what they feel like so I plugged on fully expecting him to come back past at a later stage. By now I had done mile 2 again at sub 7mins.

Off the canal now and I saw Antony Heyhoe up ahead. I still felt fine and I wondered if I could catch him. Before Antony though was Grahame Cope, although he's not in my group I feel that there is a friendly rivalry between us, he beat me easily at Clayton 10k but I gave him a run for his money at Uttoxeter where he beat me in the last half mile. I went past him and said Hi, again fully expecting him to come back past before the finish.
Out onto the road section and I was closing on Mr Heyhoe, my watch beeped for 3miles 6:40! I was going to fast. I was starting to flag but as I caught up with Antony I knew I couldn't let up. I said Hi to him and urged him on but I tried to keep the same pace until I was about 20yds ahead then I had to slow up. As we approached the canal again I really started to flag and I went through 4miles again under 7mins.

On the canal I thought I had made a mistake and I really wanted to slow up. I kept looking back to see if Antony was gaining but he didn't seem to be. Up ahead was Mick Beardmore, so I turned my attention to him and tried to relax and concentrate on my form. This actually worked and I realized that I was gaining, but as we rounded the bend and could see the opening for the finishing straight Mick seemed to find an extra gear and he took off. It was all I could do to maintain my pace and as I went past Sammy and Dan Jordan who were standing at the exit off the canal and cheering us on I think I said a swear word. I ran past Walter who was taking photo's for Brian Dale and through the finish in 33:58 on my watch. Last year I did 34:44 so I was well pleased. Antony was just behind me and I think if it was a 100yds further he would have come past.
So, another good race in the rain (well just drizzle really). There were the usual hand shakes and pats on the back and well done's all around, then I quickly got cold so I gathered my support crew and headed to the car.
Well done to everyone who ran and thanks to all the marshals for giving up their time on a cold wet day. I'm glad I've found a bit of form and learned that it's ok not to go belting off at the start. Potters Arf next!! I hope it chucks it down :)
LOVE RUNNING, PROUD TO BE TRENTHAM

Well done Lee, another good run and it certainly looks like you may have your wish for the Potters Arf this weekend with the weather we're having at the moment. So next race up is the Potters Arf, and if you're reading this and running yourself, try and remember what happened during the race so you can send us a race report and let us know all about it.

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Potters Arf 2012

After the London Marathon this is probably the most talked about and anticipated club race of the year. There were more than 30 Trentham Runners taking part in the race this year with so many different goals. This is one of those races that brings all the club team-mates together and the atmosphere in Hanley is fantastic. One of the runners out there was Stephan Walley who has sent us this report:

Potters Half 2011 was the race that made me decide I would like to start running seriously, so I thought it appropriate to share a quick report....
The day starts off with me picking up Pete Martin, and we have a steady drive up to Hanley. Pete tells me he is going start the race off very slowly and build it up, and I agree with his strategy. I wait in the car up until my warm up as I don't like to speak to anyone before a race, a bit stupid really, as I should be more relaxed! The nerves don't seem to bother Pete, and I see him chatting with quite a few people before the start. It looks like he is well known amongst the running community, which is understandable, as this is a runner who has clocked some unbelievable times in his heyday, including 14.20 for a 5k!
I can always tell when warming up before a race if I will do well or not, and I felt quite tired on the start line as I just could not get to sleep the night before as the adrenaline and nerves has kicked in early and had taken their toll. Looking back, I had built this race up to be something grand and important, and placed too much emphasis on doing well in it. I find this is always a bad idea as I always do better in a race when I don't even plan on entering, and enter last minute. I think a lot of other runners have had the same line of thought as this race features high up in the local racing calendar.
As I walk down to the starting line with all the other runners, I can already feel the heat of the sun which is not ideal as we have not even started running yet! After the off, I settle into a comfortable pace and find I am in around 15th position. Approaching the start of Victoria Road I cannot even see the two front runners, Andi Jones and Ben Gamble, they must have taken off at a blistering speed.
For the first couple of miles, I decide to stay around 50 meters behind Carl Moulton as he always beats me by around 30-40 seconds in pretty much every race we have competed in. As I reach the top of Victoria road and after receiving some prominent words of encouragement from Kerry Widdowson, I begin to up the pace, and catch up with Carl and we are now running side by side.
Carls pace is very strong and I begin to struggle on Anchor Road dropping back slightly, but as I reached the top I regained my strength but could only manage to run behind him. By this point we have overtaken quite a few runners and are in 5th and 6th position.
The remainder of the race is quite nondescript, and only consisted or large quantities of pain and agony, especially going up Milton bank. I have ran the course around 4 or 5 times this year but was not prepared for the jelly like sensation I felt in my legs going up that last climb.
I eventually completed the course in 1.17.18 and finished in 5th position, a good improvement from last year but I feel I could and should have done a little bit better.
I was surprised at how many people lined the route as I don't remember there being so many people the previous year. I heard quite a few people shouting my name and "go on Trentham" I was not sure who these people were as towards the end it was all a bit of blur, but thanks for the support, it was much needed.

Thanks very much for doing the report Steph, and a Massive well done to Stephan, finishing 5th in such a high prestige race is some achievement and I'm sure the best is yet to come as he gets better with experience and training. Great running.

Next report is from Roger Grand who after some niggling injuries was really looking forward to completing this race before anything else, so read on to find how it went:

Just when you wanted the rain too stop, I think we all wanted some rain! It was far too hot. It was good to see the green army out in force and in good spirits, got to say what was with the shopping centre not letting runners in!!!! But after nipping McDonald's instead of waiting inline with everyone else at the porta loo's, Deb Thomas and I slowly jogged up to the start and with all the other runners just start sweating waiting for the off.

It was as usual that super Trentham Steph galloped away with the front group, I managed to keep with a couple of people and keep a strong pace but it wasn't until the 1st water stop that I felt comfortable, I found myself running with a guy from Dudley& Kingswinford running club and we worked it really well together, when one slacked off the other would give them a shout to get them going again throughout the race. I had to tell him at the bottom of Anchor road though that I'd catch him up on the downhill as I knew I'd struggle to keep the pace and didn't want to slow him up and true to form I caught him back up at the 2nd water point.

I thought the crowds were brill today, especially Adam and Carl the two hottest hunks at the club (sorry Pickles but they just are) who I think shouted their hearts out for every Trentham runner. The Dreaded Milton bank loomed and Andy Allen (Stoke ac) and James Simpson (Chesire Harriers) came past me, the Dudley guy, myself with Andy and James started our own battle as we headed back towards Hanley.

We jostled positions all the way back in and as we came back over the bridge Andy had just broke away from us but I kept James within touching distance, Carl and Adam were shouting sexual obscenities at me if I didn't beat James in so coming onto the top of the Potteries way I made my move, luckily he didn't seem able to respond, with the crowds giving their all I crossed the line in 1:22:14 to see my two girls waiting for me, a good end to a hard run.

Well done Roger and thanks very much for the report. Great to see what you are capable of if you can keep the injuries at bay and that is a very good effort indeed.

The 3rd report from the Potters 'Arf comes from King Rolo himself, Mr Phil Mainwairing. Phil has also been on fire lately and hopefully this would continue:

I think I was one of the few runners on Sunday to have a really good run at the Potters Arf as the heat and hills threatened most peopleís races. I was hoping for rain but the good weather did bring out plenty of crowds, also this was my first chance to test out the amazing powers of the beetroot stamina shot so I was in good spirits as I met up with the rest of the green army.

I wanted to be as disciplined as possible for this race and start nice and slow but the first two miles were downhill and I didnít want to lose time that I couldnít recapture on the hills so I happily bounced along looking towards the first big hill. I caught up with Paul (Clinton) and Dave (Pearsall) and enquired where the NSRRA group B leader was lurking. Paul told me he was way ahead so I tried to pull back a bit and pace myself for the distance. After a few miles Mandy and Laura passed me, both intent on catching the lead woman and being cheered on by hundreds of adoring fans given their local celebrity status. This was fun to watch so I tried to stay on the back of them until around seven miles, using the hills to my advantage whenever possible.

Throughout this I had Richard and Christine cycling up and down constantly giving support and keeping me going. This was very much appreciated, especially since people lining the pavements would take notice and join in the encouragement. At the half way stage marathon runner extraordinaire (Paul Burslem) passed me in an enthusiastic and cheerful way and after a brief moment of optimism I gave up all pretence of trying to match his pace as I was starting to suffer. I briefly caught up with Laura before she noticed Iíd caught up and that Mandy was getting away from her, so she promptly moved up a gear and that was the last I saw of her for the rest of the race.

After eight miles I was counting down to the finish and yearning for drinks stations. Nevertheless, more and more Trentham supporters where lining the streets which kept me pushing towards the end. This was especially important as by then I was passing walkers and thinking they had all cheated at some point and taken a short cut. I was on heartbreak hill before overhearing they had started earlier and seemed to be enjoying a relaxing walk while I was trying not to pass out and not really going much faster.

I reached the final stages and knew I had to hurt myself for just another few minutes before the end so I was slowly picking up my pace when Carl and Adam saw me, thought I was racing the guy in front and started screaming support at me. By this point I didnít care who was in front of me and was simply thinking ĎPlease God make this ******* race endí, but I do appreciate the support and the guy in front of me absolutely crapped himself when he heard the shouts and turned around to see a crazy sunburnt ginger bloke sprinting at him.

I finished in a chip time of 1:26:58, collecting a gold medal and knocking more than two minutes off Uttoxeter. I also managed to finish second of the group B NSRRA runners with only Paul ahead of me. This is probably the best race Iíve had this year, mainly because of the unwavering support throughout the race, so a big thank you to everyone who turned up to shout us all on. Also well done Laura and Mandy for their podium finish as well as to everyone who battled through this race even when it was starting to beat them down.

Well done Phil, that is another magnificent performance and well deserved. Nice to see someone who gives so much to running getting some reward back. Thanks very much for the report mate. That is all the reports we have for now so all that remains is to share the results HERE!

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St Michaels 10K

Thanks go to Carl Platt for sending in this race report from the St. Michaels 10k in Stone. Carl was running the race today wearing a Staffordshire County Vest after being selected last week. Read on to see if it inspired him to great things:

Well last Sunday I had a bit of a shock, I had a phone call and was asked to run for the county, It took a bit to sink in. When I started running two running years ago I never expected any of this. I started running because a Friend was taken away from us at an early age, I decided that I would run the London marathon and raise as much money as I could for the Dougie Mac, Its a great charity. I hope he can see me now, cause me and the lads still think of him everyday. I might get one shot at running for the county and was going run through brick walls.

The night before the race I have never been so excited, bit strange hey, had about 4-5 hours sleep all I kept doing was playing the start over in my brain and make sure I went off at the right pace, The Last time I remember been this excited was Xmas eve when I was about five, Thought I would try trick my Mum and Dad who told me we could get up at 6, by putting the clocks forward. The only problem was I only put the one in bedroom forward so when I ran in at 3am I was told back to bed, Live and learn hey, bit like racing.

Well me and Steph went do our warm up then off to the start. I listened to what Dale told me and stuck to the plan, The gun went and just as I had imagined all last night I went through bang on race pace, now all I had to do was maintain that pace. To be fair the race is flat and not that much happened but I know I give it 100 percent and when I turned the corner at the end I had Adam and Pete shouting me I crossed the line in 34:34 a PB by a minute.

Also thanks for the support from Dale, Amy, Adam, Pete and even my Mum and Dad turned up. Then when we got to presentation I found out that Trentham men had won the team prize, Great run from, Steph and Rollo the Viking (Phil) the man to watch keeps Improving every race and he ran under 6 min miling, well done pal. Then it was the staffordshire championship which I won bronze in. This is one of my happisest days as a runner, Now its back to training now with a few 5ks In the next few months. :-). 1st thing 1st, going out for a few beers with Adam and watch the football :-).

Carl, an absolutely outstanding run mate and well deserved. Congratulations and thank you very much for the report.


Torbay Half Marathon

One of our ever improving runners from Walter's group was down Soth at the seaside at the weekend whilst most of you were in Stone running along the A34. Joel has kindly sent us this report:

Torbay Half 2012, this race I decided was a race I needed to prove to myself that I'm improving my running. I set myself a target of sub 1.45.

Beginning of race day Iím up and ready had the usual breakfast and went down to reception and ordered a taxi, be right there she said, 20 minutes later I'm fretting the taxi isnít here, 25 minutes late it arrives she only went the wrong way, wish she hadnít of told me as I thought she wouldnít get me there as she was clearly struggling with the area she works in.

FINALLY I make it to the start area, go into the pub for a little warm, give my jacket to the mother and head of onto the start line, set up my watch and I'm ready go, at this point I feel more unprepared than ever but its a bit too late to worry about that, the horn sounded the start and off we went, it took me about 20 seconds get over the start line and the first mile was a lap of the green I managed get a good pace going thinking back to the advice some of the Trentham guys gave me to take it steady and ease into the run.

After the first lap of the green we then preceded onto the main part of the run and the first of two laps from Paignton to Torquay. The route included some tough and long climbs along with some stunning ocean views.

At the halfway point I was on schedule for sub 1.45 but was gradually convincing myself I was going lose it if I carried on to which I slowed back my pace and made the most of the downs. Seemed to work and going into 9 miles on target for sub 1.45, at this point I thought I might as well just go for it now and see where I get, I got to the final 400m and manage to find enough in me to have a sprint finish.

All round a good enjoyable yet tough race and to come out with a new PB of 1.36.53 is an ideal run all round.

Well done Joel, an excellent result and thanks very much for taking the time to write the report too. Results for the 2012 Torbay Half can be found HERE!

 


Coniston Trail Race

Thanks to one of our newer members Frank Murphy for sending us this race report from the lakes. Sounds like a real toughie. Read on:

If you would have told me last year when I started running that in a yearís time I would be running a marathon Iíd have told you that you were more drunk than me.
If you told me it would take around 5 hours and 25 minutes to finish then I would have definitely thought you were insulting me! Inspired by my friends, Gregg Boughey and Brian Cole, ultra runners extraordinaire, I have decided to try my hand at ultra marathons. Iím no good at running quickly or with pace, but I am a stubborn bugger, and I knew that once I start something like an ultra I wonít be quitting it, so maybe I would be good at those. I had recently upped my training and my longest run to date was 17 miles.

Last Tuesday was due to be 20 miles, a run with the club and then whatever necessary to make it up to 20. 10 minutes before I left the house I was offered a place in the Lakeland trails Coniston marathon by some friends at Wolves and Bilston A.C. after one of their runners dropped out through injury. I snapped it up, thinking Ďoh, itís nice and flat up in the lakes, it should be fun.í I did the club run and took it relatively easy with about a mileís worth of effort and the rest nice and steady, and everybody I spoke to about it during the run said Ďare you mad that will be a tough oneí! I ran home taking the total distance up to 19.5 Miles for the run, but felt lousy throughout and began to wonder what I was going to feel like on the day! Oh dear!

I went in to talk to Brian Cole at his injury clinic at Northwood stadium, and he said it was a lovely run and Iíd enjoy it. Now I knew I was in for trouble. Brianís idea of a lovely run is a 100K race at sub 6 min mile pace!! He gave me a few different tubs of his maximuscle formulas and strict advice on when and how to take them, which I followed to the dot. My final run was on Wednesday, about 2 miles with my beginners group and 3 more after, and then a 1 Mile swim on Friday as I was cracking up doing nothing, and that was me, rested, fresh and itching to run. I was picked up on Saturday afternoon by Gwyn James, Matt Richards, Jim Smith who were all running, and our roadie Harris, all friends from running site www.dailymile.com (check it out).

As we drove further north, the hills turned to mountains, and I realised that no matter where we ran, the lunatics in charge would make us run up some of them for sure!! We arrived at our campsite, pitched the tents and went in search of beer and food. Matt, who ran the race last year, showed me the route. ĎIt starts off there, and goes straight up in to that mountain there, then goes right around that mountain, and that mountain, and that mountain and back down to here, ignore the race profile because it looks flat in places, but it isnítí. You couldnít even see the mountains because of the clouds that bisected them half way up!! Then Gwyn told me about his friend. ĎHeís done 169 Ultra marathons and he said this is the hardest run heís ever done by far! Great. You know that feeling? Where the whole world is against you? That is what I was feeling right then!! Anyway, beer done, grub done, tormenting Frank done, we went back to camp and got a fire going had a bit of a chat and went to sleep. I woke at 02:00 thinking I was late for the race and then woke every hour or so afterwards. The rain didnít stop all night!!

Come the morning of the race, we wandered down to the start, and gathered at the start line. I had decided, on Brianís advice to wear compression tights and decided, against advice of the others to keep my club jacket on too, I could throw it round my waste, carry it, or ditch it if it annoyed me. 09:00 and we were off, 2 laps of the school field and then straight up a mountain! Our first mile was 9 m/m pace on Gwynís Garmin and I thought maybe we were going a bit too fast, but round the corner , right on cue, appeared a hill, standing proud enough to put the killer mile to shame! Gwynís tactic was to walk the hills and run the rest, which I stuck with too. My plan was to run a few miles with Gwyn to gauge the run, and then either leave him behind, or leave him to run ahead, whichever suited. There were markers every 5K and the first one came soon enough, nobody around us seemed to appreciate my shout of Ďonly 37 more K to go!! The first 15K wasnít really enjoyable as it was teeming down with rain and I was having to wipe my glasses clean every minute or so just to be able to see. All I could see was rain, mud and Gwynís bum. And let me tell you, staring at rain and mud for 15K whilst running up a mountain isnít pretty. Gwynís bum on the other hand...!

The rain slowed and eventually stopped and finally I had chance to appreciate the wonderful sights that everybody was rabbiting on about. TREES. Trees, trees and more trees!
Gwyn mentioned that he was struggling to remember to take on water, so we decided that every uphill that we walked, he would take on water. I had to tell him a few times but after that it worked a treat for him. A few miles on and we hit a firebreak in the trees, about a quarter of a mile that we could actually run!! After that and the route went off onto a single file track, I was still feeling really good and really fresh and started to gradually pull away from Gwyn as he was stuck behind a few people on the track. I waited at a point where I could let everybody pass and re-joined him and off we went. I noticed he wasnít as talkative the past few miles and his morale seemed to be dipping and I was getting a bit worried for him. We had both brought caffeine energy gels with us and I suggested he had one but he said he was ok and carried on. A few miles later and he was ok again, I realised he was quiet and not talkative because of the girl he was running behind, you could have parked a bike, but youíd never get it back!!

On we went, along the part which on the profile looked flat (pffft) and then started a descent back to the valley floor and lake level. But would they take us down a path? NO. We went down a route which seemed vertical and with rocks 2 ft in height which we had to step down. Gwyn told me he used to go up these on his motorbike and I couldnít grasp how even a motor bike would get up them, but round the corner we came to 3 blokes in 4x4ís going UP them, how I donít know but they were. My feet were really sore now, and trainers getting tight, from the constant pounding of the stones and shingles jutting out along the past few miles of the route. All I wanted was a bit of soft ground to run on! (silly me).

We came to a water station around 17 Miles, where Gwyn yet again pilfered just about every piece of mint cake he could, filled our water bottles and were off. Off into a bog!! Probably the next mile or maybe more was soggy, boggy crappy ground, with just a few yellow Puma flags jutting out for us to follow. It slowed us right down and we must have covered this stretch at around 2 miles an hour. By now I had stopped trying to avoid mud and puddles and was just ploughing through anything that was in the way (at 2 mph). As we got further out of the bog land, we came to a woman from the challenge event (the same route but with a further 2 hours to complete) and she was seriously suffering. We egged her on a bit but it wasnít working! I gave her one of my energy gels as they were doing nothing for me, and just the offer of it perked her up and put the spring back in her step! We went on and on and on with the pace slightly quicker and then found solid ground so I bounded off with the hope that Gwyn would try and chase me down. No. He was playing Romeo again!!

The bog became soil and I upped my pace, I was desperate to get Gwyn there within his target time of 5 hours but couldnít tell him. At 22 miles we reached the final water station, filled our bottles and off we went. Gwyn was showing signs of suffering again so I gave him my last gel which did the trick and off we went. ĎCome oní I said, Ď4 miles to go, we can hammer thisí I was as fresh as when I started and tried to up the pace, nothing was going to stop me at this point and I wanted to up the pace to that of a run! I decided I could run any more hills that tried to stop me and tried to lead the way for Gwyn to chase me down. He really perked up with the gel in him and I decided to tell him I was trying to get him there in the 5 hours he wanted. His answer Ďwe will have to do sub 5m/m for the next four miles thení! Doh. The next bit was really hard, although it was relatively flat, there were tree stumps and roots sticking out everywhere and we just couldnít get much speed up! Nevertheless I wasnít going to let him take it easy, as the route followed the edge of Coniston I flew along, stopping every time I was nearly out of eyeshot so that Gwyn had me to aim for, which seemed to be working and eventually we met solid ground by our campsite. And then the best thing I have ever seen! The 40K marker. We had 18 mins to do just over a mile and the rest was flat! We powered on but had no stride in my legs, I thought we were doing sub 9m/m but the Garmin argued and said 10:30 Grrr!

We quarrelled over who should finish first as I didnít want the chip readings to be messed up but then we both went through together. We forgot to look at the time we finished in but it was around 5 hours 25 mins. I felt amazing throughout the whole run, and still felt like I could go back and do it all again, but now we had stopped I was in agony and couldnít walk and the pain from my feet was immense!! We collected our medals and t-shirts, which simply yet aptly had the word Ďsurvivorí written on it, and cheered a few other finishers over the line including gel woman and bike attendant girl! We went to watch the award ceremony and found Matt, Jim and Harris. The winner did it in 2:52 and had been home for a bath. Mental. Matt finished in 3:48 and Jim in 5:55.

It was the best run of my life, Iíve already entered for next year and am thinking about doing the 15km races later in the year. I recommend it to every single one of you reading this. If I can give you any advice then it is to walk the hills, take a supplement along and prepare for any eventuality and any weather. Oh and drop the kids off first!
After doing that Iíve realised that Iím more than capable of doing a 50K and that a 50 Miler wonít take much more! Some people say that itís training, or grit and determination that gets them through. I can honestly say, that itís since running with you all at Trentham for the past 2 months, I have become much more a better, and sensible runner. I owe it to both you (Trentham RC), and to the invaluable help and advice from Brian Cole, that not only was I stupid enough to enter something like this, but I was more than able to finish it comfortably, strongly and happily!
Next year sub 4:30!
See you all there next year hopefully!!

Thanks for the report Frank and well done on completing the race. I know you have even bigger plans now so good luck with that too and be sure to let us know how it goes.


Berryhill 10K

It was the usual weather expected for the Berryhill 10K with persistent showers and wet grass which has strangely become the normal for this mid-summer race. There was a massive turnout from the juniors for this race after promoting it to the parents the week before. 21 Trentham juniors in a field of 40 runners, now that's taking over a race. In the main race there were also a good few Trentham Runners out behind the eventual winner Ben Gamble and top of the list was Callum Dillon in 5th Place. Mandy Vernon won and also claimed the LV40 crown and I think Steve Locker took the M55 prize too. We have had one race report in so far from Phil Thomas so here it is:

Iíve not submitted a report for a while now so thought Iíd write up my thoughts on an epic nights racing at the Berry Hill Fields 10k. It was without doubt the hardest Iíve ever competed for a position in a race before. Its nights like this which give me that buzz you only get from working really really hard to achieve something and for me it was a 6.32 mile battle with Chris Smith from Michelin AC and 2nd claim Green army member. On the previous Saturday we had a great battle at Hanley Parkrun and pushed each other and both got new 5k PBs from that mornings tussle. Oh by the way I beat him!

And so it was onto Berry Hill and I wanted to do well in E group at this race, Iíd not had a good 10k yet this year and felt Iíd been running well enough to have a go. Iíd never ran here before but know the race was about two thirds off road and so made to choice to wear my off road shoes. About 10 minutes before the race I nipped into the bushes for a quick wee; big mistake, not only was it the girls pee tree according to Jill but I turned my ankle over! OuchÖ I quickly forgot about that when my legs started to itch from the grass pollen and for a few moments I was in agony with hay fever and couldnít stop itching.

Luckily the race started and it was a hectic downhill which I ran slowly as I didnít want to slip on the tarmac. My off road shoes donít have much grip on roads. I wasnít sure how many E group runners were ahead of me but I soon spotted Chris come past me on the first mile and so I stuck with him but he carried on going and going and soon went past fellow E runner Adrian Reeves-Jones from Cheadle. I kept with Adrian and fellow Cheadle runner Sally before finally taking them both on mile 2.

I got level with my target man Chris again and like the Parkrun, we both pushed each other hard. It was hard to separate the two of us for the next mile, but then I got shot by a chav! (Well I got a stitch but it was similar, and it was Berry Hill!) so mile 3 was slow and Chris took a commanding lead and Gary Payne who Iíd passed earlier came back level with me but after a strong talking to by Mr Payne I started to close in on my target again but with 1.6 miles to go I didnít think I had the legs or speed in me to chase Chris down and reclaim my 3rd place in group E, it felt like today would be his day and revenge for my Parkrun win.

With .6 of a mile to go Iíd closed the gap down and he knew I was bearing down on him. On a turn he looked round and saw me and then I saw him kick out with a burst of speed. I tried so hard to catch him on that hill and kept thinking how bad do you want this Phil. I got almost level with him at what turned out to be half a mile still to run though I didnít know the race was going to be 6.32 for me that day and I just ran and ran and slowly I moved past him.

Onto the last two hills and I used the down hill parts to try and create a gap. Try as I did I couldnít get a strong lead and I knew he was right behind me and I know Iím not a strong finisher so in the last 300m I had to give everything. Bryan Dale told me to ďpush on now Phil, its all down bankĒ. I kicked out and lengthened my stride and only then did I think Iíd done just enough to beat Chris to the line. In fact in the closing 150m I had a new target man to keep me moving as fast I could go and I tried to catch John Guest but he had more left in the tank then me and kept pushing on.
I beat Chris and I might have set a new 10k PB. As I write this the official results havenít been published yet. As soon as I stopped and got some water I couldnít talk to anyone. I needed time to take in what Iíd just been through. It can be an emotional ride this running lark.  Iím pleased with both my completive nature in the race and my time. I never gave up, and like I often say ďI just donít know when Iím beatenĒ. So my moral from this story is donít give in, fight for your place in the race and never back down. My other key moral is watch you donít hurt your ankle trying to have a quick wee before a race! Once the race was over my ankle started to hurt (a lot)! Ouch!

A great race experience and itís a good job Chris and I are friends and Iím sure the day will come soon when he has the edge but isnít that what the NSRRA is about. We all help and push each other to accomplish greater and higher goals. So thanks go out to all of you for helping me become a stronger and Ďslightly fasterí runner and may there be many more battles ahead.

Thanks for the report Phil and well done on getting round with the dodgy ankle. The results for the Berryhill 10k can be found HERE and the junior race HERE!

 


 

 

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