April 2012 News & Reports

Uttoxeter Half Marathon

The weather was fine, quite a contrast from the South Cheshire 20 the week before and there was no shortage of Trentham Runners out for the Uttoxeter Half Marathon which starts and finishes from the racecourse and heads out on the very undulating countryside around Marchington. Trentham did take some silverware in the form of Laura Thompson 2nd Lady, Jill Phillips LV50, Stan Winterton MV65 and Trevor Goodwin MV75. There were also some very good individual performances with some new PB's notably from Dave Pickstock, Phil Thomas and especially Greg Julian who took the NSRRA group prize in the process. Another runner completing the tough 13.1 mile course was John Guest who has kindly sent in this report:

Having been looking forward to Uttoxeter and feeling generally well, I had a goal time of 1:36 having dipped under 1:35 at the Stafford Half. I started off with the aim of sticking close to Stan Winterton, to prevent my going off too fast, because I know he starts at a sensible pace. Dave Pickstock, was running with and also being mentored by Stan, who has been encouraging Dave not to go off too fast, too early in races, so as to keep something in reserve for the rest of the race. Stan didn't get where he is today by..... you know the rest.

At around 5 miles, although I was on my target pace of 7:15 /mile, I found Stan and Dave's pace too hot for me and I dropped off them. We had earlier passed Tony Hayhoe (a previous Road Runners adversary, now in NSRRA group C) and as Tony came onto my shoulder we exchanged a few words and ran together for a couple of miles at a decent pace until we reached the long hill. Still on my target pace at this point in the race, Tony moved away from me up the hill and although I didn't push too hard the hill took it out of me. (I need more hill training!!).

Up until around mile eight I had been leading group D, but as we came down the steep hill at 8 1/4 miles I was passed by a fellow D runner Nigel Moult of Mow Cop and soon after that by the effective group D leader, a rampaging Steve Locker. Steve asked, "who's that!!", referring to the letter "D" ahead, no time for introductions so I passed the relevant information onto Steve as he chased and very soon caught Nigel then proceeded to move off rapidly into the distance. Nigel soon stopped at the side of the road and although I was feeling none to good myself at this point that was the last I expected to see of him.

As we climbed the hill between 11 & 12 miles I could hear voices from behind getting ever closer and funnily enough, at the same time as I felt my ears burning! Who could have enough breath to chat while I was eagerly sucking in every mouthful? Lee Jones and Greg Julian that's who. I found out from Lee after the race that Greg had said "we can take him Lee he's no good on the hills", or words to that effect. (I need more hill training!!!).
Greg has a point, long distance, hills, and running, just like chocolates are my weaknesses, I just can't get enough of them - they just don't always agree with me.

Into the last mile and feeling weaker by the minute, I was soon passed three other "D"s, Grahame Cope, then Nigel (who I thought had retired), then 67 year old Brian Mackey from Uttoxeter, (who probably has retired, but not from this race!). That left me in 5th place in my group, (I need more hill training!!!) In a feeble attempt to rescue some dignity from my poor performance. I just managed to hold off a fast finisher in the final straight with a lung-bursting sprint to the line - he didn't seem to keen to shake my hand after he saw he been out sprinted by some at least 20 years his senior. My main failing in this race was in overestimating my current form, hence my 7:15 / mile target pace aiming to get under 1:36.

On that note it's interesting to hearing about some fellow Trentham runners saying that they feel like packing in running, or just generally feeling down about their performances when it's not going well. We all feel disillusioned at times, whether it's through over-training then picking up an injury /man or woman flu, or simply not improving as quickly as we'd hoped.

Lee Jones and Dave Pickstock are two examples where they have overcome their respective ailments and who both had great races today. Lee ran superbly last w/e at the South Cheshire 20 and only a week later did so today and is well on the way back to top form. Dave had been suffering with a bad cold in the last few weeks and his race performances had obviously been affected, but PB'd today with a 1:32:26! So if anyone else is feeling down about their running, like I am after my run today, look to Lee and Dave for inspiration. Not forgetting Gregson Julian who also PB'd today and took me down once again, I'm not sure I'm liking this habit you're getting into Greg! Also congratulations to Steve Locker for another impressive group D victory, on the back of his excellent South Chesh 20 race win last w/e.

Well done to the rest of the Trentham pose, especially first-finishing TRC runners Laura Thompson and Paul Clinton. (Anyone know when the next hill training session is?)

Well done John on finishing the tough course, and especially thank you for sending in the report when you have admitted it was not your best race by far. It's easy to send in a report when things are going great, but it takes a bit more to send in the reports when you may have had an off day, so thanks for that and some excellent advice too. Keep sending those reports in folks. The next one comes from Lee Jones who is one of the folks John mentioned above:

What a contrast in the weather! Severn days ago at South Cheshire 20 the sky was black and it tipped it down on us brave (stupid) runners for all of the race. I had a good run though and loved every rain drenched mile (I had expected MAN flu like symptoms to appear in the following days, but by the Wednesday after I was still feeling fine) I surprised myself by finding my racing spirit 14 miles in, then charging the last 6 miles like a demented clown who'd had overloaded on to many smarties for dinner. Anyway, the weather for the Uttoxeter Half was good, not to hot, not to cold and no hint of rain.
We turned up at the Racecourse a good hour before the start but it was already busy. Sammy decided to park as far away from the finish as she could without actually going on the road! I went to collect my number and t-shirt (which is a lovely orange colour this year) and go for my last wee and No 2, then sammy asked me to put my shirt and phone in the car to keep them safe. So that was my warm up, running the mile back to the car then back again. It was so far that when I got back I was sweating! People had started to gather and I saw loads of the Trentham crew including Phil Thomas who was after a P.B today aided by a shot of Beetroot Juice supplied by Mark Day's Bee Healthfoods. We headed to the start area and I told Phil that Beetroot is a natural laxative and he would feel the effects around the 6 mile mark. I caught site of Greggles (Greg Julian) and trotted up to him for a chat, he had decided to run at the last minute, much to Phil's disappointment who thought he was in for a easy 50 pointer in his E group. I also saw John Guest, team mate and rival in last years races. Although in different groups Greg and John have been having their own battle in races this year, especially in the Spring Treble series where they both beat me easily. I wondered if my re-found racing spirit that I could feel bubbling in my Trentham Green racing shoes would keep me up with these guys today?
We lined up on the narrow lane outside the ground and I pushed my way to my usual spot (front row left) then we were off. Last year someone told me that this race only had one hill, HA, I fell for it then but this year I knew different, or I thought I did. This race starts to climb straight away and goes on for about 3 miles, by the time I reached the 1 mile mark I realised I had started to fast and had gone off like it was flat. I was in good company though, I was running along with Chris Mosiuk, Dave Pickstock (Pickles) and the legend that is Stan Winterton. I was just about to slow up when on the left was John Guest GRR. I tried to push on with them but we were still climbing and hadn't done 2 miles yet, I wished them all well and slowed down. I started to struggle! I looked behind and saw Graham Cope closing in, as he caught up I told him I was suffering already and that I'd started to fast. Graham has loads of experience so I listened when he told me to slow down more, get my breathing right and get my head together, thanks mate x.
By 3 miles I was feeling better but we were still climbing, I made full use of the water station by chucking a cup full over my head. I looked behind and saw Greggles, I decided that when he caught up I would try and stay with him. It was another half mile before he came along side and by now we were eventually on the flat and heading for some down bank. I was ready to make up for some lost time, I knew that after the down hill section we had to climb again, so I relaxed and let my legs go and free wheeled it down the hill, arms doing big circles as I tried not to break and at the same time not to break...me. My watched beeped and I had gone through the last mile in 6:36 (not fast by Ben Gambles standard but flying by mine) and I realised that I had got away from Greg again. Steve Locker however had caught up and was chatting away like he was on a Sunday stroll as we started the climb which signalled the half way point. By now I was into my stride and I found that I was making light work of the hill. I spotted a runner up ahead with a C on his back, Hmmm here we go again. I caught him at the top and we had a little natter. He told me he was still tired after the 20miler last week where he did 2:38 (just a minute quicker than me). We were on the flat but being marshalled to turn left where there was another hill, the guy said he wasn't prepared for another climb so soon and surprisingly slowed his pace! This gave me a little kick and I made light work of this hill too. I was also surprised when I saw that I was gaining on Graham Cope! I tried to encourage him by shouting that I was going to get him and to move his ass, but he must have been doing a 'ME' cuz he didn't speed up. I felt sorry to go past him and I said that I didn't think I would see him again after he came past me at 3 miles.
I reached the 9 mile mark and was thinking that this course was tougher than Potters because I knew there was another hill to climb. I could see quite a way into the distance and.... was that.... John Guest? I couldn't believe it but it kept me going. I remembered that there was a water station just before the last climb, but I thought it was at mile 11 not 10, I knew this hill carried on all the way to the last mile, I grabbed two cups of water (1 to drink 1 to douse my head) and trudged on. Just before mile 11, I looked behind and saw Greggles about 50yds back, this made me smile because I knew he wasn't after me, he was targeting John who was about 50yds in front of me. I was knackered but as Greg caught me he said "come on, I need you to help me these last two miles" I told him I would try but I was tired. There was a C runner with John and this more than anything pushed me on, but as we closed in Greg told me to ssshhh so as not to alert John to soon (think it's his RAF training) We went past John and Runner C, I gasped "Hi" to him and to Greg's credit he urged John on saying "come on mate, nearly there"
At last we reached the top and the 12 mile mark, now there was a half mile steep blessed down bank. I relaxed and let my legs go again and tried to get my breathing something like normal. I was catching up to another runner in front but I didn't care much about him until I saw a letter C on his back!!! I groaned OH NO, he was there, I was gaining. The hill bottomed out with still a half mile to go, I caught up to the new C runner and even said sorry as I went past where we had started from nearly 13 bloody tough miles ago, then we turned to the right and headed towards Walter who was taking photo's before the finish.
I was wrecked, knackered and panting like a rabid dog. I felt someone come along on my left and I was gutted but I couldn't run any harder. I didn't know who would be worse to be beat by, new Mr C, Greggles or John! As he came past I saw that it was Graham Cope, YES I didn't mind that at all. I turned left onto the finishing straight and it seemed like miles away. I looked back and saw that I was clear of everyone, but I still pushed on through the finish in 1:38:25 which is the same time as last year, only I wasn't as knackered then :)
There was lots of back slapping and well done's afterwards. Greg was 1st in his group (sorry Phil) and he had a new P.B for a half. Then Me, Chris Mosiuk, Pickles, Phillip Mainwaring and Ryan Procter went for a cool down run. This was funny because we were all running like pensioners after a bus, then we had a race which was a furlong long! but we had to gallop like horses, DAFT.
Loved this race but its bloody tough and is not a one hill race. Thanks to Uttoxetter racecourse for the venue and also thanks to all Marshalls. Thanks to Sammy, Lara and also my brother Brent and his wife Annabelle and my nephew kyle.
Went into KFC afterwards. I thought there would be loads of Orange tops in there being showed off but I was the only one. I got some right strange looks from all the diners in my florescent top and trainer's. It bothered me at first then I thought that I'm probably fitter than anyone else in the place, especially the guy in the corner with the bucket to himself.

Thanks for sending in the report Lee and well done on beating Greg and John. Not sure about the KFC after the race though! A couple of great reports there but don't be put off sending in your own tales of woe or ecstasy. We all look forward to reading how you get on so if you'd like to appear alongside Lee or John then send it to the email address on the homepage.

Results for the Uttoxeter Half can be found HERE!

Donna Louise 10k

There were 3 trentham Runners out as far as I know and Carl Platt led the way home in 4th place with a time of 35.44, and also Gary Payne and Dan Bowman completed the course in under 44 minutes so well done to those Guys. Carl has taken the time to let us know how the race went from his perspective:

Well on Friday I decided that I wanted to do a race over the bank holiday weekend. When I found out that the Donna Louise race was on, it sold it to me. Even though Its not a road race which I was after, I could not think of anything better than entering a race where the money helps the Donna Louise to carry on doing a fantastic job. Its a fantastic charity and I think every runner should get involved in this race and the Dougie Mac 5k.
Well I arrived at 8:00am nice and early, Went into Trentham Gardens and was amazed how nice it was, Even though I live about a fifteen minute walk away this was the 1st time I have been in. I bumped into Dan, Gary, Daniel and Christine. I also had seen Jase Burgess, I decide I wanted to have a go and stay with him.

Well the race started and a runner from outside the area went off at a fantastic pace, Jase went with him, so I thought bugger it I'm going too, Went through the 1st mile in 5:19 and this was going though a few sharp turns in the woods, Jase was about 10-15secs ahead of me after about 2.5 mile. It was a real tough race and I was having a battle with Robin Hope from the moorlands. At the halfway point I realised that I had got my tactics wrong I was blowing (live and learn) and I battled all the way to the end and crossed the line in 35;41 chip time, 10secs off a PB, Which I was happy with, it not been a road race. Was a bit gutted that I lost 3rd place on the line to Robin Hope but I shook his hand and I got beat by the better guy who had raced it smarter than me. We were only about 20-25 seconds behind Jase even though the results said a minute so I was quite happy with that.

I'm looking forward to Strawberry 5 and the Christleton 5k. But all in all it was fantastic day. Dan had a great run 44;06 and Gary is on the way back too with 43;48. Great day, great weather ,great people, great race, great charity . Also well done Mr Bowman (Dans Dad) He had a great run and it will be great to see him running in a Trentham vest when he smashes the Potts Arf, Thanks to Christine for the support too (1st class).

Well done Carl and thank you for sending in the report. Great to get the story behind the time on the results sheet. Good luck for the Strawberry 5 and the Christleton 5k too. Results for the Donna Louise 10K can be found HERE!

Lichfield Half Marathon

Well done to Lynne Callaghan and Rachel Swindells-Hallet who completed the race on Sunday Morning. Lynne Callaghan crossed the line in 1:33:26 whilst Rachel Hallett finished in a time of 1:56:10 and Rachel has kindly taken the time to send in this report:

This is only the second year the Lichfield Half Marathon has been run. The inaugural event in 2011 was well-organised, with a scenic route through local villages and countryside finishing by the cathedral, and I was looking forward to running the race again.

The weather was certainly a little cooler this year: runners dashed between cars and the leisure centre, where those eschewing portaloos could join a very slow-moving queue (and that was for the blokes as well as the ladies), while the grassy area by the start saw none of last year’s sunbathing. Still, the chill probably made for better running conditions, particularly since few runners would have managed to get in any warm weather training recently.

The only serious criticism of the race is the start. As in 2011, the start line was in a schoolyard not large enough for the volume of runners, many of whom begin with an awkward walk-jog down narrow, sloping paths. After crossing the line – bearing in mind this was chip-timing – there was a bottle-neck at the gate out onto the road. However, once out of the school grounds, the wide, closed road with a long, slightly downhill incline for the first mile or so, enabled runners to warm up nicely ready for the first challenge: the hill around miles 2 to 3. The undulations around Newcastle and Stoke and Hanley Parkrun’s hill-training effect seemed to have done the job, and, glancing at my Garmin, I was pleasantly surprised by my pace. At this point, my legs were relatively fresh, but I was aware that I needed to save something for the last quarter of the race, where the undulations return after a lengthy flat section. Once up the hill and away from the town, the course became easier, and runners were further helped by strong support through the villages. 

The undulations through the middle section were fairly gentle, and regular water stations (bottles with caps designed for drinking on the move – hooray!) kept runners hydrated. The melon-flavoured energy drinks around mile 7 were delicious – I’d have been tempted to go back for another had I not been on for a decent time. 

An industrial estate put pay to the scenery at around mile 9, but the road was flat, and the final couple of miles or so back into Lichfield were more aesthetically pleasing. However, what you gain in views of fields, you lose in ease of terrain, and the short, sharp hills were a particular challenge for anyone who’d been tempted to set off too quickly. Over the railway, there was a fast downhill through the edge of the Lichfield suburbs before one last, sharp climb.

The final half mile or so of the race put gravity back on the runners’ side, sloping down towards the finish area. The final hundred metres or so, across churned-up grass, was a little tough, but the finish line was in sight and I liked what my Garmin was telling me… I was ecstatic to cross the line in 1:56:10, knocking 2 minutes off my PB. Over the line was a fast-moving funnel where water, bananas and goody-bags

were dispensed. Last year’s medal was replaced with a paperweight, and goodies included a peaked cap (I would have preferred the Lichfield Half logo to be larger than the Waitrose logo, but I guess that’s sponsorship for you), cereal bar and energy gel. It was also the first time I’d seen ‘instant results’ – a machine that, given your race number, printed out a ticket with your chip time on it. Overall, the Lichfield Half is well-organised, offers an enjoyable route and I expect I’ll be making it an annual event in my running diary.

Results for the race can be found HERE!

Thank you for the report Rachel and well done. Great news on cracking your new Personal Best. I know Rachel is off to her old stomping ground next week to do a race so hopefully she will send us a report from there too!

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Strawberry 5

Saturday was the first ever Strawberry 5 race at Church Leigh near Uttoxeter. Webmaster was hoping to do this one himself, but found himself otherwise engaged. Quite a few Trentham runners did go along though and how well did they do. Stephan Walley won the men's race followed over the line by fellow Trentham runner Carl Platt, who was also followed over the line by Callum Dillon making it a Trentham 1,2,3 in the men's race whilst Debbie Thomas won the ladies race followed by Christine Holmes to make it a Trentham 1-2. If that wasn't enough Trentham had Junior Success in the form of Megan Hickman who also won the Girl's Junior race taking her first race victory in the process. A tremendous day for the club.

We have had 2 reports in so far, the first one from 2nd place Carl Platt:

Well I woke up Saturday morning to this round yellow thing in the sky, I forget what its called but it put a smile on my face. Anyway Me, Steph, Callum, and Chris Headed out to Tean way. When we got there we bumped into more friendly faces from Trentham. We went to do our warm up and then me Steph and Callum did our usual routine of strides. We went to the start and bang the gun goes. We're off.

Me Steph and Callum all went off together, A few people went off and were about 10-20secs in front of us after the 1st 500 metre's. I noticed one of these guys was our very own Rollo the Viking (Phil) who is improving every race and looking stronger every race. Well we got to 1.5 mile and Me and Steph had took the lead. Then Ken rode up on his bike and said its out of you two, and that Callum had moved in to 3rd place overtaking David Allen and some other runner, also Trentham Ladies were 1st and 2nd Deb and Chris.
Me and Steph battled all the way with one person going in front for a few Min's then the next person, We got to 4.7 miles and I knew what Steph is capable of on the track, I had to get away from him, I did not want it coming to a sprint finish. I pushed really hard up the big hill and was leading, but Steph got back at me and we ran into the finish level. Well there was no way we were going hold hands and run across the line together, So we both went balls out and Steph beat me.

Congratulations pal! That's the 2nd time he's beat me to winning a race, there wont be a 3rd haha. Steph crossed in 28;41 and me in 28:44, We both finally got our breaths back when Callum come flying in 3rd place, Well done! Rollo the viking came 5th 0r 6th not to sure but beating Kelvin and some more strong runners, Just shows what talent Phil has got.
Then it was the Ladies turn with Deb having a fantasic run and winning another race well deserved Deb fantastic! Christine Came in 2nd place not far behind with a solid run, Looks like she s finding her form. Also performance of the Day from Meg Hickman who won the Junior race, Massive congratulations! You better be careful Ryan, Rich will be poaching Meg for the Ladies team.

To round the day off Mark Day won a milking competition. I think Trentham went back with every prize going. Great day! Still gutted I did not win tho ;-). Well since I started back racing after my 8 week training schedule I'm more hungry and more determined to keep improving. Also the Six stage relays I think we can give the other local teams a very good run for their money. Keep that green flag flying high! Next up Christleton 5k
Friday night :-)

Well done Carl, a fantastic effort from you guys and thanks a lot for sending in the report. We have had another report from Mr Milk:

Just a brief race report from the Strawberry 5, which had its first running on Saturday 12th May. Race HQ was based at Church Leigh school, which is a small village a
few miles from Uttoxeter. It was a lovely event, well supported by several of the local running clubs including our own, with if I counted correctly, 10 Trentham members participating.

The course is an undulating 5 miles single circuit through country lanes, with a nice downhill section after around 3.5 miles and a short sharp climb with about half a mile to go before the end. The last 300 metres or so is run on grass back within the school grounds.

Personally I'd deliberated whether to do this one or not, with it coming a few days before Clayton 10K. The latter is one I'm targeting for a PB, so I didn't want to go absolutely all out at the Strawberry 5. After sound advice from Carl Platt regarding the pace to run at I
decided to do it! We set off in the afternoon sun, and I ran the first couple of miles
at a decent pace with Mr 6 Towns himself Phil Thomas. We chatted about how nice the course was, ate flies and I think Phil may have burst into song at one point. It was just one of those lovely spring afternoons.

Anyway, to sum up, I enjoyed the race, resisted pushing too hard, was only a little outside my time from Alsager 5, so mission accomplished. Better was to follow, when back at the'Strawberry 5' I found out Trentham had won the mens, ladies and junior ladies races (well done Stephan, Debs and Meg Hickman).Everyone stayed behind after the race, enjoyed cream teas, ice cream, strawberries and cream, cake, and oh yes, I won the 'milk ermintrude'
game. Yes, it was strictly speaking meant for kids I'm sure, but what the heck !

When this race comes around next year, if you're free, go do it. Its lovely. Well organised, well marshalled, lovely course and a lovely setting. Oh and your target is 950ml of milk in a minute if you fancy taking my title away :)
See you at Clayton!

Thanks for the report Mark. We have had one more report from Winning Lady herself Deborah Thomas:

It was the name of this race that sold it to me when I first got handed an entry form, and it would also be my very first race as a 31 year old as it was on the day after my birthday! However as it got closer to the weekend and the weather perked up I was very undecided about doing the race as the start time of 1.00pm meant I couldn’t do much else with my Saturday.… Having done an easy 4 miles at Bournes in the morning I eventually made a decision and headed out to the race in Church Leigh. It was a very pretty journey out through Draycott in the Moors and then Tean etc. and I managed to navigate my own way there this time, courtesy of my birthday present Road Atlas from Jill! No more getting lost!!

The race HQ was All Saints First School and I parked up on the school field where the finish line was, with the start being on the road. Once I had my number I mingled and chatted with fellow Trenthamers and did a very brief warm up. 1.00pm soon came around and there we were all lined up on the start line; green Trentham vests all at the front. Then we were off along the flat road before a right turn with a slight decline and then left into a flat-ish road. I could see Rebecca Harrison up in front but I wasn’t thinking about catching her as she clocked under 6 minutes for the first mile, that was a bit too fast for a first mile for me! A little further along we take a left turn and then a steady climb and this section of road was inhabited by hundreds of horse flies which were hitting you in the mouth and face, and I was dreading if one landed on me and started to bite…!! Thankfully I ran through them unharmed but it was horrendous!

Up the top of the climb and another left turn took us onto a mildly undulating road where I started to close in on Rebecca, and I passed her just before mile 2. I was very surprised to find myself in 1st lady position but I knew there was still a while to go so didn’t count my chickens. Just past half way Ken Rushton was on his bike telling me there is no one behind so relax a bit. I’m grateful for the information and I drop my arms a little bit and steady my breathing before focusing on the chap in front and trying to catch him, which I do.

Miles 3 to 4.5 are mildly undulating with a little section of good downhill before the steep but short hill at about 4.6 miles and then a right turn into the field to run through into the finish. I can hear the tannoy announce me as 1st lady and Carl shouts “go on Deb” and then a couple of seconds later he is shouting Christine which panics me a little!! I get my arms pumping, closing in on the finish line, and then raise them for the camera (as instructed by Mick Hall!) And I’ve won!!! I’m delighted but hot and gasping so I grab a cup of water and drop to the floor to rest. I congratulate Christine on her 2nd lady position especially considering her recent chest infection and Stephan and Carl and Callum on their 1-2-3 finish! As the others finish we all congratulate each other and then get changed to enjoy the stalls and cream teas!

This was a lovely little race, very well organised (although it was a 5.1 mile run) and very pleasant and friendly. It was a lovely sunny day and there was also a 1.5 mile fun run for the little ones and lots of fun and games. Our Meg also won the junior girls race and Mark Day won a prize for milking a fake cow…who knew his talents!?! Well done to all Trenthamers; everyone enjoyed it and it was great to see so many green vests, made me feel very proud.

Thanks very much for the report Deb and congratulations on the race win.

 The results for the Strawberry 5 can be found below

Fun Run Results            Main Race Results

 Thanks go to Mick Hall Photography for the photos below!

Meg wins Girls Race         Deb wins Ladies Race           Stephan wins overall

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Market Drayton 10k

The Old Muller 10k, now the Market Drayton 10k took place this Sunday and there were a good number of Trentham Runners out, especially from 'Lionel's Ladies' so it would be nice to get a report from them. One person not in Lionel's Ladies (I don't think) is Ken Pearson who has kindly sent us this offering:

After racing hard in 2010 in the NSRRA series, London marathon and NSRRA races in 2011 I decided that for 2012 I wouldn’t run too many races this year, just doing the ones I wanted to and the ones I like. I enjoyed Stafford Half and the Spring Treble races but opted to have a weekend away in Chichester rather than run at Uttoxeter.

I would much prefer to have race numbers posted and then just turn up and run. The Market Drayton run is a good event with an excellent goody bag but all that paying to park and then walk to the event is a bit of a disappointment and you have to get there early to avoid the registration and T-shirt queues. Greg and Lee were there as expected in their matching lime green shoes, making fun of my muddy shoes and Trentham 10 sponsors T shirt. Nice to see some of Lionel's group having their first race and of course the usual family supporters.
I wandered back to the car to get my number fixed to my vest and put on the red racers. I regularly have a Highfive Zero Extreme with caffeine energy drink (from Bee Health foods of course) before the race and a gel + drink during the race. Whether it makes any physical difference I don’t know but I do seem to run better with them. The only downside is that my Playtypus drinks bag now looks like a catheter bag containing a urine sample as Greg now reminds me.

Pre race chat is the usual pleasantries as well as the possible move of clubhouse.
It’s quite pleasant in the sunshine but not that warm just standing round. We wander up towards the start and I have a bit of a warm up across the field. Nothing too strenuous but I don’t want a recurrence of my annual summer hamstring injury. The start area is split into expected race finish times and Greg and Lee are in the 45 minutes area with Kerry just behind us. The green goddesses are talking about running 8 minute miles and getting round in 50 minutes as the Clayton 10k is on Wednesday and they consider that more important. I tell them that I’ll be running at 4:30 minute per kilometre and will finish in 46 minutes, same time as 2 years ago with a bit of luck.

We are quite near the front and it only takes a few seconds to get through the start gate and over the chip timing mat. A gap opens in front of me and I scamper through the crowd and leave the green goddesses to their own race. I quite like getting off at a good pace and the good thing with Market Drayton is that there is loads of space once you get through the start gate and no problems with getting blocked by slower runners. Even the access to the main road is much wider now so no problems with overtaking. We run round a housing estate and through the town centre which seems to have even more closed shops but its all wide roads and no traffic, with lots of marshals.

At 1k I’m through in 4:20 which is a bit quick but no problem, to 2k takes 4:21 as does 3k which would be excellent pacing but I realise I’ve had a senior moment again and stopped my watch at the first kilometre mark! I’m confused as to my pace now, so I restart my watch and wait for the next kilometre mark to get some idea. I’m not overtaking anyone and only a few come past me up the small hills which I seem to struggle with at the moment. It’s somewhere around half way that I am expecting the green goddesses or Kerry to come past me soon. The restarted watch seems to tell me that I’m running at 5:00 minutes per kilometre and that’s a bit disappointing but I’m not losing any ground to the other runners so I give up on the pace and just concentrate on keeping my place. There’s a bit of a breeze but I can’t find any large runners to shelter behind.

After about 7k the temperature seems to go up significantly and I’m starting to get a bit tired but it’s a flat run to the end. I decide not to look behind and just go for the finish expecting to be mugged near to the finish line. I lose a bit of ground in the run up to the school and a bit more on the field to the finish but nothing green comes past. I look at the clock, 44:10. Where has that come from? Even a couple of years ago I only managed just under 46 minutes and my training hasn’t been good recently, maybe the Spring Treble races have helped. The added bonus to the time is the goody bag, yoghurts and pork pies.
After the usual post race discussion, I start to wander back to the car. When I get to the school gates I see someone that I worked with some years ago running so I run with her to the field entrance and catch up with more gossip. I don’t seem to have any aches, the hamstring is fine but the soles of my feet are a bit sore, must remember to wear some thicker socks next time.

That was a very enjoyable day but I’m sure Greg and Lee will have their revenge on Wednesday!

Thanks for the report Ken and well done on a fantastic race. The results for the Market Drayton 10k can be found here. If you would like to do a report for the website please send it here!


Clayton 10k

A good turnout for Trentham Yet again for this midweek 10k race around Seabridge Estate starting form the Gatehouse Hotel on a reasonably flat course. There was success in the ladies race from Laura Thompson who won the race in a time of 38.01 with Mandy Vernon crossing the line in 2nd just ahead of Paul Burslem ;-)
Stephan Walley again had a fantastic run and followed up his race win at Strawberry 5 with a 4th place finish here, just 5 seconds of 3rd place. Stan Winterton placed 1st MV65 and Don Brookes M75. Mandy was also first LV40 and Rose Wilson 1st LV50.

Had a couple of race reports in so far and the first one comes in from Mark Day:

I've been looking forward to Clayton 10K..... Before the race detail though, some background. Skip forward a couple of paragraphs if you're bored. I like reading reports with a bit of background info, so I'm including my own.

Rewind to 2009. That was my first full season of running (I joined TRC after Potters Arf 2008). I did loads of races and improved a lot (as you do when you start to get some decent mileage into your legs). After that, 2010 was spent training for a track and field decathlon
(where I sprained and strained just about every muscle I have). 2011 was very hit and miss, as I struggled with niggles that threatened to become proper injuries. I really didn't think I'd get back to any sort of consistency and had accepted that I'd just run socially, jog round
the park and not bother with the competitive side of it. A big part of the problem for me was also that I had an incredibly stressful job with a ridiculous workload. I have a problem with
anxiety anyway, and when I'm under stress my energy levels are pretty wiped out. So, its not really surprising that I didn't have much energy to put into running, and that I struggled with so many niggles.

So, 2012 came along and I'd just been made redundant. It's a reflection on how stressful my previous job was that being made redundant has caused me less bother than the job did. OK, yes, at times its been very difficult, but overall I'm actually happier now, and my running is certainly more consistent. I've been doing things right this year, building back up steadily and seeing Brian Cole regularly for physio. I set myself one running goal for 2012, which was to go back to where my PB was set (Telford 10K in December) and beat it. I had no other plans.

This is the point where 'waffle avoiders' can start reading again :)

So, to Clayton. I didn't at the beginning of the year expect to be in the sort of shape where I could have a go at a 10K PB in May. But here I was, fairly confident that even an average performance would get me a PB. I hadn't seen the course before, I'd heard it was undulating, but to be honest I'd much rather not know about hills in advance as I spend so long thinking it through I can drive myself round the twist! I hadn't ran at all since the Strawberry 5 race on Saturday as I wanted to be as fresh as possible for Clayton, and when I arrived I felt really good. Fingers crossed, a good time was waiting at the finish line.

There seemed to be a huge turnout from TRC again. At one point before the start, green vests seemed to line both sides of the road. Perhaps it was just a very green, leafy suburb???        I mingled, caught up with Phil and Greg, my fellow NSRRA group E runners, talked green goddesses and green trainers with Ken and Lee respectively, then Phil, Greg and I went to 'psyche out' one of the Group E frontrunners, Mark Harrison from Cheadle. Let's face it, we're all too nice to psyche anyone out so it was just a friendly chat rather than steely stares. A bit more chat, a bit of beetroot banter and we all walked to the start.

The start didn't go well. There was a faller immediately, right in the middle of the pack, and then we were squeezed onto the pavement as we rounded the corner onto Clayton road. My rough plan for the race had been 'hang around near Greg' as he's been running better than me in the early part of the year. As we dropped downhill though he'd got through the bottleneck much better than I and I had to open up my stride to get back onto his shoulder. Rounding the corner, I was alongside him and a quick thumbs up to Dan Bowman and Deanne saw us head up the steady climb to the roundabout on (I think) Whitmore road. Mile 1 went through in 7:01. I think mile 2 was somewhere just after the turning onto Whitmore road and that was slightly quicker, 6:54. This was going very well. My brain was already working out that if I struggled and only did 7:30's for the rest of the race I would still PB. This was going very well indeed.
The third mile was the toughest part of the course for me. I'd much rather have a nice long hill than ups and downs. My pace fell back slightly - 7:14, but I could see I was now closing on Lee Jones up ahead.
Lap 2. All the way up the long climb on the second lap I was closing that gap to Lee, and caught him just before the Whitmore road roundabout at the top of the hill. I was surprised I'd climbed the hill so well, but I was really hoping he'd now push on and keep me going, as I really thought I would start to struggle. Lee was struggling himself though, but he encouraged me on, which was just what I needed. Mentally it was getting tough now. I saw the 7KM market and started thinking 'only a club time trial left now'.Not long after this, Greg came back to my shoulder and we both then pushed on again. This gave me something else to focus on exactly when I needed it.
I was managing to pull away from Greg up the hills and he'd run back to my shoulder between them. Our mini battle served us both well, and my next 2 miles were a little quicker, 7:09, 7:08. I was now, to coin a phrase buggered though! When Greg came back onto my shoulder within the last mile I didn't think I could respond. Somehow though I did. Graham Cope came past and I gave it my all to hang onto him. Despite the fact my lungs were about to explode I went for it as the finish was now in sight. I just hoped that if I gave it everything I'd gained enough on Greg to make the gap hard to close. I had! I crossed the line, it was a great feeling, knowing for sure I'd wiped my PB out. I didn't expect quite how much faster I'd gone though, and had another one of those 'did I really just do that' moments when I saw my Garmin time of 43:42! To use a common, modern, three letter acronym, WTF!

To say I had a runners high for the rest of the evening was an understatement. It was made even better when Greg worked out that we'd both beaten everyone else in Group E, with me taking maximum points.

Post-race we ate chocolate cake (thanks Greg), had a celebratory pint with the TRC crew and caught up with everyone else's race stories. Lots of excellent performances by the green army again, particularly by Laura, Mandy and Stephan. I know that Dan, Greg and Sam also PB'd, but I'm sure there's lots of others who did too.

Thanks to everyone who supported last night too. I can't name you all, but all support is always appreciated. During the race though, Lee Jones' encouragement made a difference and
the battle I had with Greg will make it a race I'll always remember. I reckon that battle knocked a few seconds off both of our times - thanks mate :)
Overall, then I'm a very happy runner. Let's see where we go from here eh?


Well done Mark and congratulations on your new PB which is officially 43:44 according to the results and thanks very much for such an interesting report. Top Job all round. Next report is from one of the runners mentioned in Mark's report. Lee Jones, who has come back to some kind of form recently after a bit of a lull. Read on to find out how Lee got on during Wednesday's race:

Is it strange to prefer to run a 13mile race rather than a 6 miler? I've been running long enough now to know that I'm not a sprinter, my natural running pace is around 7:40 and my comfy race pace is around 7:20. Any faster than this and my energy levels deplete and I end up puffing like a chain smoking asthmatic 80yr old with a heavy head cold. Now I know that here is an argument for me to join the fast group and do some interval and hill training and speed sets to improve my times, but I love the middle group and I do run hard in training and try to push myself between muster points. Anyway, I don't favour short races so all day I was dreading doing this race, the Clayton 10k.

We arrived early and the usual throng of people had started to gather. I collected my number then went to the Gatehouse pub to use the loo which was full! I bet the owners of the pub hate this night as the place gets descended on by a 100 or so florescent clad, emaciated runners, off loading all the carbs they had been stuffing throughout the day. The lock on the door wasn't working and I opened it to reveal the half arse of Craig Taylor, Ooops. I apologised but he realized it was me he seemed quite happy to chat while he was doing his business, and he did leave the seat lovely and warm. After I had done and washed my hands I went back outside and headed towards the start.

The start is on Windermere Rd outside the late shop so the road is always full of cars on both sides. We gathered for the off and I sort my usual spot of front left. There was a crowd of around 100 / 150 runners all packed in around the cars. Ken spoke to us quickly, saying that we weren't going to go through the traffic lights but were to run on the path and grass verge till we were round the corner. I looked behind and saw the crowd and knew that I was going to have to run like hell to get to the first corner on Seabridge Lane which was about 100yds away just to avoid the inevitable surge of bodies.

3.2.1 we were off. I took about 10 strides then I heard people shouting Oi and Woah but I didn't stop and reached the corner in about 10th place but I didn't slow down till I was past the lights and going down Clayton Rd. Someone came past and told be that a bunch of runners had gone down. Why do we start this race on Windermere Rd? It would be a squeeze with no cars on it plus we have to run uphill and then there's the corner to contend with in the first 100yds. Why can't we start further up Seabridge Lane? The runners could gather on the grass verge then come onto the road for the start and even run through the lights before being herded to the left on Clayton Rd.

By the time I'd reached the roundabout the Green Army had started to come past. Laura Thompson, Mandy Vernon, Rob Tab, Paul Burslem,  then it was left onto Dartmouth Ave past the Bowman family and towards the 1K mark where Steve Locker was spectating and cheering us on. As I went past he said "Ooo your running well. Either that or you have gone off to quick"!!! Cheers Steve, but he was right, once again I'd started to quickly. I slowed down and by the time I have reached the end of Dartmouth Ave Stan Winterton, John Guest and Gaz (Sicknote) Payne had come past me. We turned left onto Whitmore Rd which I was glad about because it runs down hill. I managed to maintain my pace and no one came past me on that stretch but as we turned left again onto Seabridge Lane a lady runner called Claire came past quickly followed by Graham Cope.

As we ran up the hill section of Seabridge I noticed Steve Locker again (he was on his bike and had cut up Roe Lane) this time he said "Well done, your holding your position well, but Ken Bloor's just behind and he's better than you" Yeah, thanks Steve!! Ken then came storming past and I had thoughts of peeled tinned tomatoes like I always do! Don't know why?
As I ran down towards the Gatehouse where Sammy and Lara were waiting I realized I had been running too fast and had turned into the chain smoking 80yr old. I had only done 3 miles and I was ready to quit. I grabbed my water, drank half then tipped the rest over my head. I decided then that this was a bad run for me but I managed to run down to the roundabout before slowing my pace to 7:30's.

I struggled all the way up (yes it is an up) Dartmouth Ave and as I neared the end I looked back and saw Mark Day. He groaned when I saw him cuz I think he was trying to sneak up on me. When he came past we were on Whitmore Rd but still slightly climbing. I tried to stay with him but my head had gone so I encouraged him to push on. I looked back again and there was Greggles about 10yds back. Him and Mark are in the same group and Greg was targeting him. We were running down now to where Bryan was taking photo's (Thanks Bryan) and I managed to stay with Greg till after the camera then I slowed again. Mark was about 20yrds in front and Greg caught him then slowed to his pace. At the turn for Seabridge I caught up with the lady runner Claire who had come past me at that point on the first lap. I felt sorry going past her but in the back of my mind I had thoughts of catching Mark and Greg and maybe going past them.

On the hill section of Seabridge I knew this wasn't going to happen as they were getting further and further away, obviously battling each other. After looking back to reassure myself that there was no threat from Mr Phil Thomas aka the 6townsrunner I resigned myself to just plodding to the finish. I was already kicking myself though cuz I've had great runs on my last couple of races and thought I was back on top. As I neared the finish someone said "Don't let this girl beat you" I looked back and Claire was just behind which made me go WAAGHH and I sprinted the 20 or so yards to the finish. I don't usually run away from pretty girls but I couldn't let her beat me. Sorry Claire. My time was 44:08 which was 2 minutes slower than last year :(
I congratulated Mark and Greg on their good run. Mark won the battle and also the group for a full 50 points so Greg will be out for revenge now. As for me, I was very disappointed with my performance but I put it down to going off to fast (again). Well done to all runners especially Craig Taylor and Terry Barker who have made a racing come back after bouts of illness or attempted heroism. It's another short race next, Westbridge 5 and I'm really going to try and not go off to fast at the start, but we'll see. Sorry if this report has dragged on again, if you've managed to make it to the end then thanks.

Thanks for sending in the report Lee, despite not having your best race which is a massive credit to you. At least you are back running and enjoying it which is the biggest thing of all. Thanks also for the 'toilet humour', I can honestly say we've never had that in a report before! That's all the reports for now folks, if there are any more they will appear here at some point but in the meantime the results for the Clayton 10k can be found HERE!


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Christleton 5k

Ever fancied a cheeky Friday Night Race before the weekend? Well a few Trentham runners did just that as they headed up to Cheshire to take part in this fast 5k. One of their number was a certain Mr Carl Platt who has very kindly sent us this race report:

I had entered the Christleton 5k In February, My plan this year was to do as many 5k's as possible, The idea is if I can run close to 5min/milling for 5k I can then step it up for 5 miles and 10k. The only problem is there are not hardly any 5 k road races in Stoke-on Trent, before I started running there used to be a park series, I don't know why they stopped. My view is that 5ks make you a better runner because they're so intense, Then when you do a longer race it feels quite easy for the 1st few miles. So every month I look for a 5k outside Stoke-on-Trent. There is a 5k x 4 race series in Manchester starting July ends In August, Its a fantastic flat course and I'm pleased that there are 4 people interested so far Me, Steph, Mandy and Chris, I'm going do them all.

So Tuesday night I went up to track and did 8x1200 meters with a 1 min 30 jog recovery, I ran them all in 4 Min's and looked at my watch, I had ran 5:20 pace. Well I spoke to Dale on the phone in the week and told him I was looking to get 16:30 which is 5:20 pace. So me, Steph Mandy and Chris all went to Chester. I've never raced on a Friday before felt quite strange. We were at the start line and the gun goes off. The pace was really fast and I noticed Steph had gone for it, I hung back and kept to my plan. I cant remember much about the race but the last mile was just agony and I was praying for the finish line. I felt like my muscles were telling my brain no more, or was it my Brain telling my muscles no more, anyway I did not listen to either of them and pushed on through, I got past the finished line and felt quite dizzy.

I looked at my watch 16:29 (YETI) very happy to knock 24secs off my PB. I looked at my splits after and I ran 1st mile 5:19, Mile 2 5:20, Mile 3 5:19, last .1 5:19, So even though I felt like I had come to a standstill on the last mile I had actually kept the same pace. Steph - Well what can I say, this guy is built for speed, he just missed out on breaking 16:00 Min's (AWESOME). I'm sure the next one he does he will break it no problem. Mandy had a solid run and ran 18;07 after just coming back off holiday, Christine had a solid run too running 18:43 well done both, All 4 of Trentham runners came away with PB's. Exciting times at the running club for the Men, Women and Juniors. If anyone is interested in doing the 5K sizzlers give us a shout.

Thanks for the report Platty and well done on knocking off a whopping 24 seconds from your PB. Awesome running. It looks like there was a real quality field out for this fast race as shown in the results HERE and we all wish you guys well with the 5k sizzlers coming up in July. Well done Team Trentham.

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Burton 10
Debbie Thomas has kindly sent in this report from the Burton 10 which she ran at the weekend (a little last minute) and from the sounds of things had a great time. Read on to get the full story:

Burton 10 was another ‘decide to do at the last minute’ race so far this year for me. I had had it in the back of my mind the past couple of weeks, thinking it might be a good idea to do this race in the run up to Potters Arf, but with the blazing hot sunshine this last week I started to reconsider as I don’t run well in the heat at all, and wondered if it was worth it. With my indecision I completed a steady 11 miles on Saturday (I had planned to do my long run on Saturday and do a smaller run on Sunday) but with the breeze it felt so much cooler and I didn’t feel that bad, so I began to reconsider racing after all…. As the day went on, and hearing that Stephan Walley was doing it, I decided to go to the race, enter on the day and see how it went.

It is a two lap course and I thought that if I began to feel unwell I could pull out half way and that would be that. So Sunday morning comes around and I try and contact the race organisers first thing to find out if there are any places available on the day, as I had heard it was a popular race and that online entries had left only around 30 places. I spoke to a lady who told me that the race was probably full already and she couldn’t help me out any more! I also spoke with others (Jill, Ryan, Alan Lewis…) to try and find out or if they had a number I could call, but no joy! Having already arranged a lift with Steph I thought I may as well go along and hope there are places available, and if not I could be the cheerleader (!) for Steph and Frank Murphy, who had both pre-entered.

Thankfully the traffic was light and Steph got us there in good time, and I darted off once he had parked up and managed to get a number, yay!! Despite what I’d been told on the phone there were plenty of places left. With over an hour to go, once Steph and Frank had collected their numbers, which took a while as there was only one person doing the job!, we mooched around and completed a 15 minute warm up over the first part of the course which was grass and then onto a path with circled around the park. I drank a little more of my electrolyte drink and decided to not carry a bottle as I’d just take on the water around the course, and I wore my cap to keep the sun off my bonce. Not long afterwards we were lining up on the grass by the river and then off!

I decided to try and keep under 7 min/miles as much as possible but I would not pressure myself as the high temperatures would affect my running anyhow and I wanted to make sure I felt well for as long as possible. I set off and kept just behind Rebecca Harrison who was running around 6.40 min/mile pace which was comfortable, and I passed her at around 2.5 miles as she slowed a little. The first mile was completely flat, just before mile 2 you climb a little before another flat part and then a downhill and then some flat. Miles 2 to 4 are basically undulating and 4 to 5 is downhill and flat and back into the park to begin the second lap. I felt good for the first four miles and I was holding the pace at 6.40-6.45 min/miles which was fine. Every time there was a good breeze I lifted my cap off my head to keep my head cool. There were some hot patches and some really breezy parts along the way and I was grateful of the water stations, even though they only gave out cups which made it difficult to take on more than a few drops.

Beginning the second lap, at around mile 6 I began to feel a little fatigued and thirsty and I can see the climbs ahead, oh no! I let myself slow a little as my legs were feeling heavy and tired. Up over the hills and mile 7 I’m alongside a chap from Derby (Jake) who encourages me to catch the small group of 3-4 men in front…I manage to pass them but one of them doesn’t let me pass easily as we’re running on the pavement and there is a lamppost with a bin on it approaching and he doesn’t move over to allow me to avoid it!! I kept my composure however and dropped back a step and once passed the obstacle I dug in to get away from him – HA! I was waiting for mile 8 to come around as this is where there is a nice downhill, and I was feeling hot and tired and I just wanted to get back, and then into the flat mile 9 cutting through part of the park, coming up on the main road to cross the bridge across the river (I wish we could have ran through the cool water!) and down into the finish…and a time of 1.08.52, 4th lady; I also won the silver Staffordshire Championship medal which was a lovely surprise!

Over the line I was handed a (melting) Mars bar and a cup of water, then I hit the ground and flaked out for a few minutes and then I chatted to Jake who had finished about 20 seconds behind me. I eventually staggered back to the car and Steph told me he had finished 5th man overall (wow!!) although he had placed in 4th position until the very last ½ - ¼ mile when he was overtaken. Well done Steph on a great, very hot run!! Frank ‘brought up the rear’ as we say in a great time (although he was disappointed to have lost a couple of minutes on the second lap) and after the presentation we travelled home, having enjoyed the event very much. I was happy-ish with my time, although on a cooler day I would have hoped for around 1.05 – 1.06…. Never mind!

I must say thanks to Steph and Frank for the lift and their company, it was nice to go up as a little group and it was nice getting to know you both. Well done to you both on your great runs, it was 10 times the hard work than normal with the heat, and I was glad we all survived! Thanks also to Ken Rushton for cheering us on. One for next year, and hopefully more Trentham folk will take part…


Well done Debs on getting 4th lady and your silver medal in the Staffs Championships. Great effort, and well done also to Steph for his 5th place finish. The results can be found HERE with an interesting name in 6th place (not our sicknote though) and Frank's entry is under Stoke AC. Well done all of you guys and once again, thanks for the report :-)

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Sale 5

Carl Platt entered the Sale 5 on Sunday and walked (or should that be sprinted) away with a new pb of 27:51 and a third place finish in the process. Hopefully we will recieve a report from Carl, but in the meantime HERE are the race results.





Page last updated 30 May 2012


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