October 2012 Race Reports

Great Cumbrian Run

Thanks to Dave Piper for sending us this race report from the recent 'Great Cumbrian Run' which is a Half Marathon in Carlisle in case you were wondering:

“Santa Claus is Running to Town”
(Liz and Dave Piper do the Great Cumbrian Run 2012)

Christmas is coming. There’re so many signs – decorations in the shops, mince pies in the supermarkets, Santa Claus chasing you up Carlisle high street...
Sunday 7th October saw the Great Cumbrian Run take to the streets of the city. 1200 keen runners. Every one a fit, trim running machine. Well, in our own minds!
The UK’s two best clubs were, of course, present. Go Hoad Hill Harriers! Up Team Trentham! And continuing the fine tradition of spotting curious club names – how about a cheer for the Idle Athletic Club? Sounded like our sort of group.
Despite the brilliant sun and blue skies, it was blooming chilly in the castle grounds. The runner dressed as Santa looked fine (Gandalf beards are the last word in heat retention) but the smurf looked cold. He’d turned blue!

The run kicked off with a vengeance, everyone keen to get moving and work up a sweat. A solid line of us surged through the pedestrian zone, across the city to the first hill. Cheers of “Come on Santa!” followed us along the streets. We never did find out the guy’s actual name
The trouble with running is you can’t stop to admire the view. Someone should probably tell us that on regular occasions. But when you’re jogging along in the sun, with Shap Summit on the skyline and not a cloud in the sky, it’s a hard lesson to learn. Concentration was easier as we passed mile 4 and headed into the villages near Cumwhinton. The road went into undulation mode, a welcome relief from the uphill slog out of Carlisle. The locals were out in force to cheer us on. It’s a double boost, as the more villagers there are standing watching, the less of them there are trying to drive past on the windy country lanes. But it is a very considerate part of the world. A big sign warned “Young Nervous Horses Drive Slowly”. Presumably the older horses are fine behind the wheel.

The miles seemed to fly by – mostly due to the excellent weather and brilliant views. Before we knew it, we passing mile 10 and heading back into the city. A nice flat stretch past the football stadium and down towards Bitts Park. Unfortunately, there’s a mean hill between the exit to the park and the Sands Centre, where the race headed next.
Despite the hill, despite the mud along the riverbank, despite the slight ramp up onto the footbridge, we made it to the finish. Half a lap of the Sheepmount Stadium track, and we were home and dry. Dry! After a half-marathon in the North, in October! And if Santa gets stuck down your chimney it'll be because of all the free Mars Bars they had at the finish.

Thanks Dave for the report and a big well done to you and Liz who both ran round in under 2 hours clocking 1hr 57mins. What Dave didn't mention is that Christine Holmes was also running in the same race and did a fantastic time of 1:24 so massive well done to Chrissy too!

Results can be found HERE!

Tissington Trail Half

Another Half Marathon and one worthy of note for being the inaugural run of the Tissington Trail Half Marathon. Adam Grew went along and has kindly sent in this offering:

Apologies that this race report is slightly delayed but hopefully it will be worth it and you’ll see it is a race well worth popping on 2013’s calendar.
We’ve seen some really good runs from the top Trentham runners this year and I’ve been soundly beaten many times by them. To fix this I thought if I can’t beat them then I can’t join them so set off in search of other races to fly the green vest and hopefully be the first (only?) Trentham runner home.
In late August I did Race the Train but it was hot and I was 90 seconds off my RTT pb so was unsure if this was good and both Phil and I were soundly beaten by an awesome run by Christine. Then mid September at the Ashbounre half I clocked a 1:29 but again, with the hills, was this really a good time? So, what was needed was a flat half marathon with few fellow Trentham runners.

Anyway, Google threw up the Tissington Trail half which was new for 2012. The race was closed but you could get on the reserve list so with it costing nothing to ask I fired off an e-mail and got a reply a few days later to say I had bagged a place – result.
The race itself is all off-road on the Tissington Trail which runs from Parsley Hay in the Peak District down to Ashbourne. It is an old railway track so no corners and a decent running surface if not quite tarmac standard. One bonus is that the race is advertised as all downhill – more later on that.
On race day I arrived at Ashbourne Leisure Centre to pick up my number and boarded the coach which took the runners to the race start at Parsley Hay. Conditions were perfect with it being sunny, dry and cool and the atmosphere was very casual and friendly with a large proportion of unattached runners coming from far and wide.

I decided to gamble and took up a place near the front and after a few pictures for the local Ashbourne rag the Race Director started us off. Three runners set off a little quick for me so I let them go and settled into 5th (remember I said it was casual) with 4th about 50 metres ahead. After a mile or so I had settled into low-mid 6 min miles and whilst the course was downhill it was not really enough at this point to get much benefit. The trail is shared with other walkers, bikers, runners so you had to be aware of this and at about 3 miles I had to stop and concede time to 4th place guy as some horses were in danger of getting spooked by my not-so-immense pace.
Setting off again 4th place had gained a little but was not extending his lead so I decided to push and see if I could catch him. Over the next few miles of beautiful scenery I started to pull him back in before eventually sitting behind him to let him know I was there and then passing him. Some of the downhill by this stage had started to give a bit of benefit and I pulled out a little lead and settled into a more than satisfactory 4th place. As we approached Ashbourne the trail was getting quite busy with walkers although this was good as most cheered you on.
By the end of the race I was slowing slightly but held my 4th place and coming into the finish at Ashbourne the crowd gave a good cheer so I gave them a token Mobot over the line (ok, a 40 year old man at a local race doing this isn’t quite the same as Mo at London 2012). A quick Jaffa cake at the end (also at every water station) and I bid farewell and ran down the old train tunnel (now with awesome train sound effects) so I could get back and take my son to football. Shame as I would have liked to have stayed to see other runners come in.
I finished in 1:22 but did clock the course at 13.0 miles. Could this really be a 1/2m PB? That might be stretching it but with the great course, fantastic weather, beautiful scenery and awesome atmosphere I couldn’t really care, it was a pleasure to have run it and one of the top races I’ve done; have a look at the race reviews on Runners World.

Not been down the club for a bit with work but hope to see you soon.

Thanks Adam and a huge congratulations on your race result. Sounds like a really nice race and definitely one for next year's race calendar. The results for the Tissington Half can be found HERE!

Sandbach Super 6

I remember doing the first ever Sandbach Super 6 myself a few years ago and really enjoyed it. One of those friendly atmosphere races that we all love. Debbie Thomas went along (just about) and has kindly sent in this report (even though you've probably heard about the result by now) so read on to find out how it went:

I nearly missed out on this 10k race because I hadn’t read the entry form properly; that entries on the day would be accepted only if the race limit of 200 hadn’t already been met…. Saturday morning at Bournes I discussed the race with Richard O’Keeffe and it was only then that we realised that I might not be able to compete after all as I hadn’t pre-entered and the race was full! It was the same for Sharleen Hollinshead who was supposed to be running, but unfortunately had to pull out over the weekend. However, sincere thanks to Liz O’Keeffe who is on the board at Sandbach Striders, she was able to sweet-talk the organisers and bag me a race number!

On the day Richard kindly drove me to the race for the 11am start (it was sunny but very cold and his car has heated seats!) I completed a little warm up and then looked for anyone I might know in the crowd as I thought I would be the only Trenthamer there, but who do I spot – Frank Murphy! The boy is everywhere!! I also saw Kelvin Amos (Cheadle), Craig and Kerry Taylor (Newcastle), and Steve Jones and Cindy (Biddulph) which was nice. About 10 minutes before the start, it was announced that all runners should make their way to the start, which was about a quarter/half mile walk along a mucky path outside of the main field and then up and over steps over one bridge to be started on another bridge over the railway. Some people had trail shoes on, others like me had road shoes on.

Lining up on the start, I was second row in and stood next to me was a fast and fit looking girl and I thought to myself, well she’s the winner! She looked the biz; hot pants, crop top, arm warmers, athletic build and long legs, but from when the race started she never came with me and I was in first place from the off! The first half mile of the race is off-road across two farm fields that, thanks to the rain, were wet, soft, boggy, and lumpy, and also nicely churned up from tractor tyres! I waded through and emerged onto the road caked in mud. I had no one with me but there was a group of men in front, about 200 metres or so, and I told myself to keep them within range and maybe I might be able to catch them up at some point. I tried not to worry about the second lady catching me yet as it was too early in the race to know what would happen.

My aim for this race was 38 mins, averaging 6.20 min/mile as I thought it would be achievable... First mile split was 6.37 with the mud; I was feeling really good and the course was around country roads; pretty much traffic free and lovely and quiet, and I felt quite focused within myself. I was listening out for the supporters cheering on the second lady but I never heard anything… The group in front had split up and I overtook three of them but the others had bolted, although I did pass another of them later. Mile two split was 6.09, so I’d made some time back, mile three 6.24. Mile four split 6.21; was where the course was gently uphill in sections, and I started to feel like I was having to work harder to keep pace. I was passed by a guy who congratulated me on first lady as he took off up the gentle climb, and he was the only person that passed me during the whole race.

Mile five 6.25 and then we take a right to head back into the two sludgy fields we had started across, which were slightly uphill this way round, then through a gate, up and down the steps across the bridge (which were slippy so I had to stop and walk, as recommended by the marshal), along the path which we had walked at the start and then left through a fence into the field for the last 100-150m and finish. Mile 6 clocked 7.08, with 1.18 for the last 0.25. I was announced on the loudspeaker as I came through, and I heard two little girls by the side shouting “it’s the first lady!” “it’s the first lady!” which was the cutest thing ever! I was delighted to have won (and 13th overall), but when I checked my time 40.25 I was more than a bit gutted because I thought I would have ended up with sub-40, especially as I had worked so hard on the road miles. The off-road sections had just taken too long. Richard and Ken Rushton both told me, and I knew myself, that it’s not a course for a PB, as such, due to the off-road sections and especially with the bad conditions we had on the day across the fields.

I stood around for a little bit afterwards and was able to congratulate the second lady who was 2 mins behind (and just getting back into racing after recently having had twins!). The girl I had sized-up at the start was third overall, and 5 mins behind! Then it was time for the presentation and posing for photos (embarrassing!) Nice prize for first lady: cash and a little mirrored trophy. I’d definitely recommend this race; it’s multi-terrain and not too boring and there are no severe climbs or descents, so pretty much flat. There is a run for the kiddiwinks before the main race and afterwards in the cricket club there are refreshments available. The goody bag was pretty good; Dairy Milk, running headband, High5… nice!!

Big thanks to Richard and Liz for sorting me out in the race, looking after me, holding my jacket and for nabbing me some cakes before they all disappeared! And thanks for putting me up the night before, which saved me a panic on the day when I would no doubt have got lost!! Well done to Frank who support Kerry Taylor through the race too; such a gentleman xx


Massive congratulations Deb and well done on your race win. Fantastico!!!
Frank Murphy (mentioned above) got round in 59 minutes so well done to him too. Race results can be seen HERE!

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Flying Fox 10

Big thanks to Dan Maddock for sending us this race report from the last race on the 2012 NSRRA calendar. First home for Trentham was Adam Brearley and first Lady home was Debbie Thomas, also the ladies Race Winner. Here is Dan's report:

Ten miles came and went satisfyingly quickly yesterday at the 2012 Flying Fox 10 mile race. The air was a chilly four degrees and a hopped into my car and drove the short distance to Standon and a race I knew I would find a challenge. Last years’ experience as a spectator had taught me to turn up early, as I was squeezed onto Standon Mill car park only because my car is the size of a shoe. I wanted to make sure I got a spot. As I approached, I saw a couple of Trenthamer’s making their way up the hill towards race HQ, and as I prepared, I heard Pickles making fun of Ken from afar… People were in good spirits, and we were set for a good showing of the Green Army at this friendly local event.
2012 has been a year of personal challenges in many ways, and over the summer my fervour for running had waned. However, over the past month my enthusiasm has returned with vigour, along with the realisation that I am only ever one run away from a good mood. I was running this race because I could, reminding myself that I only regret the things I don’t do. So there I found myself, down a soggy lane up Eccleshall way, with the usual bunch of club runners and many familiar faces on a frosty Sunday morning. The start line was spray painted on the road, and the competitive NSRRA runners were standing on or about it. I decide to make my way to the back, so as not to hinder anyone’s race from the outset. We all have different goals, and I didn’t want to be an obstacle to anyone else’s.

The (very effective) whistle man called us to heel, and at 11:00 sharp released us into the countryside. The lane was very narrow and it took a little while to get going, but once we did, it opened up nicely. I began to think about the challenge ahead. I had heard many a tale of horror about this race. ‘Hilly as Hell’ was one such quote: ‘massive puddles’ was another… Take it all in your stride Dan, whoever said a flat and featureless race was interesting?
The first mile was gently undulating, and knowing I had to run back along this stretch to the finish, I paid attention. I like to know what’s in store. At the one mile point, Runkeeper started broadcasting my pace to the field. I usually silence the app but had forgotten beforehand, and as I didn’t want to risk dropping my phone or to stop, so resigned to live with it. Average pace 8:42… faster than any other race pace I had achieved, and too fast for me… I thought. Sensing I was a little out of control, I concentrated on my pace and on what felt comfortable, and took the sharp left-hander onto the ‘circuit’.
During mile three, I was visited by a lady runner from Sandbach who introduced herself as Richard’s wife. We had a natter about being ‘plodders’ and she overtook me, as did a Stafford Harrier who was in recovery from injury and training for the London Marathon. There was then a lovely 100ft or so descent to the three mile marker, back trough the village, where spectators shouted encouragement and clapped. Turning left onto the road parallel to the railway, little did I know that the climbing was only just getting underway.

Now, I’m not afraid of hills, but those little ones up-and-over the railways were bad enough. On the stretch of road parallel to the railway, I passed Mrs O’Keeffe and Harrier Lady, and was ushered off the main road, onto what can only loosely be referred to as ‘a road’. Think Cow Lane, only muddier. The path ahead was indeed flooded, and a marshal told us it was shallower in the middle. We sploshed our way through, wound our way past several farms, and got stuck into the serious climb between the five mile marker and six and a half miles. Just before the six mile point, the water station was a welcome sight. I grabbed two cups and glugged them down. I was thirsty, and as a Stone Master Marathoner passed by, she told me the worst of the hills were now over. I said I didn’t believe her, and with a grin turned the corner and chuckled at the 100ft climb still in our path. Onwards and upwards!

On this stretch I befriended a couple of chaps from Lichfield and we enjoyed a good chat about the benefits of club running, the state of the property market, bad drivers, dingy sailing and sore knees. Some might say that if I was able to chat, I wasn’t pushing hard enough, but I needed the distraction and enjoyed the company. As we approached mile eight, I started to smell the bacon butties, and we turned back off the circuit and onto the familiar path we had already trodden at the start. I abandoned my companions unceremoniously as the undulations started to feel strangely larger and longer. I was tired but it was going well. As I sped down the lane, the marshal’s yelled at me to run faster. Kerry from the club jogged past, back up the lane. Her Harrier friend berated me for looking ‘far too fresh’. I can assure her, I didn’t feel it. I tumbled onto the school field and down to the finish, where I was handed what was hilariously described by Dan Bowman as ‘the best race memento that has ever existed – a photograph of a tree in a plastic CD sleeve’. I think it is a calendar…

Checking my Runkeeper, I had completed the ten miles in 1hr 29 minutes and 45 seconds or there about (Official time 1hr 30 minutes and 6 seconds, booo…). I had averaged sub-nine minute mile pace and I was very pleased. This was the fastest average pace I had achieved over any distance I can recall. Had I been ‘in control’ of my race, I would almost certainly (and quite deliberately) have slowed down. However, over recent weeks have felt the improvements, and now have tangible proof. As I said in the title, if you think you have your race under control, you’re not running fast enough… Sometimes its’ good to lose control, and head into life’s little challenges with a little reckless abandon, don’t you think?

Well done Daniel and thanks very much for sending the report too. You can read more about Dan's races on his own blog here and you can see the full results for the Flying Fox HERE!

Stafford XC NSCCL

One of our newer members Matthew Plant did his first team race at the weekend running in the North Staffs Cross Country League race at Stafford Common. It was his first time doing cross country so was naturally a had a few little apprehensions before the race. Read on to see how he fared:

I have been a member at the club for a few months now, but have only just started to compete in races themselves. After completing the Flying Fox 10 miler the other week, the XC race at Stafford was the next race I could attend, and I was looking forward to it. I had prior warning that it would be muddy, and after looking at a map of the course which described ditches and boggy patches, I couldn't wait. I arrived with plenty of time to spare and made my way to the TRC tent. I spoke to some of the guys there, explaining that this was the my first XC race for the club, and told them I was unsure of the procedure and what actually happened prior to the race itself. (This is where I must apologise for not knowing/remembering names, as its something I'm rubbish at) Everything was soon explained and I felt a lot more confident now I knew what I was doing. I was given plenty of tips, with the tying, then retying my shoe laces proving to be invaluable. I was also told about the route, what was in store, and most importantly to pace myself and run my own race (this is something else I usually struggle with as I get easily carried away and go off to fast).

Taking all these on board the race started and as I started towards the back, most people were racing off into the distance. I resisted the urge to try and go faster, reminding myself of the advice several people had told me. The weather was quite decent for a mid November afternoon, and the sun even made a fleeting appearance once or twice, although not for long. I felt pretty good as I worked my way around the first bend, and up a steady incline before dropping into the first bit of real mud. This wasn't too bad I thought, as my relatively clean orange trainers quickly turned into a brownie/grey mess.

I trudged my way through a boggy patch, then back onto something resembling grass and carried on. The mud though kept coming, and the next part of the course I found strangely enjoyable. I jumped off a small bank into a patch of mud about a foot deep, this then continued for a 100 yards or so, and at this point I fully understood the reason behind the shoe lace tying routine. Attempting to run through this section was hard, and there were no easier or better footings to be had anywhere. I decided to just get my head down and plough through it as best as I could. After leaving the bog, the course went up two relatively small but slippy inclines, before dropping back down onto a more accommodating grass section. This section brought welcome relief to my legs, and I passed the finish line now knowing what the final 2 laps would entail.

On the second lap I had the unexpected bonus of some of the TRC ladies cheering me on (again sorry for not knowing names) and it gave me a boost as I embarked on a bit if a tussle with one of the Stafford Harriers runners. We were pretty much neck and neck for the 2nd lap, with both if us getting in front, before the other would overtake again. The bog was even boggier, and this time I just waded through it as it wasn't possible to get anymore muddier. I began the 3rd lap just behind the Stafford guy but with the encouragement from the TRC cheerleaders I overtook him and began to gradually pull away. The benefit of taking it easier in the early part of the race was now paying off, as I started to increase my pace and overtake a few more people.

The third lap of the bog was insane and really took it out of my legs. I kept reminding myself that there wasn't long to go and tried to retain my earlier quicker pace. As the finish line came closer into view I attempted a sprint finish as I could gradually see shadows closing in on me, but somehow I managed to hold them off. I finished with a time of 49:58 which I was immensely pleased with considering the conditions.

I would like to thank everyone who was there from the club, for their help, advice and encouragement that I received last Saturday. Without it I'd have been much slower, a lot more tired and probably shoeless. Saturdays aren't an easy day for me to race due to other commitments, but if I can do a XC race again on a Saturday I will certainly be there again. I would also encourage other club members to go along too if they can. It costs nothing, it's strangely enjoyable and the support you receive is fantastic! Luckily I'm free for the Leek XC on the 8th December and can't wait to do it all again.

Well done Matt and thanks for taking the time to send the report. Hopefully this will inspire a few more gents (and ladies) to take the plunge at Leek and enter their first team event. As Matt says the support and cameraderie is always excellent and you will be sure of a warm welcome (even though it will probably be -2 and frozen as it always is for Leek)

See you there :-)

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Clowne Half Marathon

On Sunday Phil Thomas went to Chesterfield to run in the Clowne Half Marathon as part of his marathon training. Read on for the full story:

The road to Portsmouth via Chesterfield: Part 1 of 2.

I’m sure by now most of you will know about my upcoming marathon on the 23rd of December in Portsmouth and I’m sure you’ve all had enough of listening to and reading about my anguish as I try to train my body to run 26.2 miles along the south coast, but hey guess what? Yep I’m not going to stop going on about it just yet; sorry.

So as part of my prep for the marathon I wanted to run a race 4 or 5 weeks before hand as a bit of a rehearsal for the for the big one. So I’d wear all the kit that I’ll wear for the marathon minus shoes which I still need to buy ASAP and see how I cope with such mundane takes as running with my gel belt on and eating a gel under race conditions with heavy winter gloves on (you all know how cold my fingers get in winter). It would also be a chance to try and get a good time which will be a confidence booster while making sure I’m comfortable with all the relatively new kit that I’ve bought for the marathon and in the weeks after this race I can then iron out any issues that crop up from the race.

I searched for a long race within driving distance so I didn’t have to stay anywhere over night and I came across the Clowne half marathon in Clowne (obviously) which is near to Chesterfield. In an ideal world a 20 mile race would possibly have been better but there wasn’t any around that I could see, so it was off to Clowne to run a half marathon on Sunday the 25th of November.

Up early to leave for around 7.30 and boy was is a horrid start to the day, lashing down with heavy rain and blowing at near gale force. I had given myself plenty of time to get there so I’d be calm and not in a flap by the time the race got underway at 10am.

I set off at 7.20 and got to the race for 8.45 so I had a good hour to chill before running.
I’ve been feeling good for the last few weeks and can feel the benefit of the increased pace that I’m running at now so I was arriving in Clowne with high hopes that I might be on for a good time here. They say the course is wheel chair friendly yet the course profile suggests a few hills. As I made my way from the car park to the race HQ (some 800m) I asked a few of the local runners what it was like. “It’s a bit hilly, where are you from” “I’ve travelled up from Stoke-on-Trent”. “Ah so you know all about hills then, I’ve done the potters a few times” We both laughed and agreed that the hills would not trouble me too much. Someone else said there are 8 hills in total. Hmmm! How bad can it be if they have a wheel chair race too!
At the race HQ I discovered that the baggage area is 3 quarters of a mile away at a school and though I still had half an hour I’d best get that dropped off and use the return leg as my warm up jog. This annoyed me a bit, why not have the bag drop at the same place as everything else?
It was roughly a start finish in the same place and they had cones with placards on for sub 1.20, sub 1.30, sub 1.45 and sub 2. This I liked as I’m used to knowing who’s who in the local North Staffs races and were to stand in relation to other peoples starting paces. I just look for folk with a big E on their backs. So I got into the sub 1.45 area only to get pushed further forwards until everyone from sub 1.45 was now in the sub 1.20 section, I was like ‘yeah dream on Phil.
I’m also very used to Ken and his trusty whistle and as I’d somehow got too close to the start when they fired the starting pistol I almost pooped myself it was that loud! I’ve never been very good with guns but that’s a whole different story…

And we’re off. It was a very slow first mile of about 8.45 and also very congested for a local race. I kept telling myself to run how you feel Phil, there is no pressure here. I must admit I’m out of the habit of racing for a personal time and not knowing anyone here I found it difficult to find people to pace set with. 2012 has been my first year in the NSRRA and it’s very easy to be motivated and run in a group either with club mates or group rivals. Early on I found a guy in a grey club vest who seemed to be keeping to a steady 7.40ish pace per mile and so I decided to stay with ‘grey man’ from mile 2 onwards and we ran side by side, one in front of the other and at times one of us would make a move and the other would follow. Normally me giving it a quick burst of speed to get back to him again. This tactic helped me relax into my stride though I always know the pace wasn’t quick enough for a PB and so for about half a mile I left grey man behind and tried to run at a higher pace to see if I could get back into this.
The wind made it tough going and it never seemed to be pushing me from behind. It was mostly a strong cross wind that more then once or twice came close to blowing me over.
Past mile 4 and into a place named Whaley! Another comedy name I thought. Most of the race was out in open farm or moorland and very exposed to the wind which was becoming a factor in slowing my progress now.
Grey man came past me on the way to mile 5 and I made an effort to stick with him again but it wasn’t going to happen. He had paced the first half of the race well and was now like a steam train at full power. After mile 6 I never saw him again. I’d also got rid of stitch on my left side only to be attacked by an even worse stitch on the right. This was excruciating pain and I started to drop back and also get really angry. I’ve been getting this problem for a while now in races and it’s really frustrating when you feel physical fit and good enough to run at your optimum only to be taken out by an ‘exercise related transient abdominal pain’ otherwise known as a stitch to the side!
I will conquer this issue but like before it makes the act of running painful and miserable and I run because I enjoy it and I like that feel good bounce after a good performance in a race. Despite the stitch I still felt I might be capable of a sub 1.45 time though I know a PB wasn’t on the cards today.

At this point in the race I owe thanks to the unknown runner who man handled me out of the way to only draw level with me before dropping back. This just added to my bad mood. Good god man if you’re going to physically move someone out of your way at least have the good grace to be faster then me and run on; but thank you. You made me so angry that I found a little something extra for the last section.

The next few miles came and went and past 10 miles I made a new attempt to speed things up a bit but then another hill came into view. Though none of the hills in the race are horrific, when combined with such a strong wind in your face it really felt like I was climbing Milton Road on more then one occasion and add a stitch into the mix and it made for a truly miserable experience. So past Whitwell and back into Clowne and past mile 11 and I’m running under the pace I know I’m capable of in a race and time is ticking away fast. I find this part of the race the hardest. I kept getting a lot of catarrh in my throat and when I tried to spit it out the wind / law of sod meant it would fly back and land on me! Good job no one saw that.

On to the last mile and I stopped checking my Garmin and just went for it. I used every ounce of power I had left to close in on the finish and get this race over with.
I crossed the line in 1.46 something. I wasn’t happy with that. Head games had played a part as well as Mother Nature and the 3 stitches I had at various points.
I know I can do better then that. However I came away having learnt that what I’d been stressing over in terms of the marathon race would be fine and that other things still needed looking at, such as how tight my gel belt is and to drink a wee bit more prior to the race as that combined with breathing maybe behind my stitch problem.

So after the 2 mile walk to get my bag and get back to the car I headed home feeling despondent and a bit flat. The race had served its purpose as a dress rehearsal for Portsmouth but I would have loved to have driven home with a new PB or even a 2nd best over the distance and some confidence that I’ll not blow up on the marathon like last time. So this was part 1 of a 2 part story. Yes you know it. Look out for part 2 after I’ve completed my marathon. Could be a great Christmas read or not…


Thanks for the report Phil and good luck with the final few weeks marathon training. Be sure to let us know how you get on in Portsmouth too.


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Dales Dash 10K

Many Thanks go to Paul Burslem for taking the time to send in this race report. Now facebook has taken a hold few reports make it to the website these days but as many peoiple have said, not everyone is on facebook so please send your reports to the website address so everyone can share in your successes. Read on for Paul's report:

Woke up this morning for the race and looked out the window to the sight of all the cars froze over and thought this was a good day to be in front of the fire !! But at the end of the day we are runners and we run in anything
Ann and Charlie joined me this morning so they could have a walk and spot us from various spots on the course
Had my traditional coffee before the start to get me going and decided with being a man to just wear my vest and shorts. I think if you are wearing anymore you are just letting yourself down .
The race started and I saw the last of Steph and Callum !! After a 100m we went up a very steep climb for early in the race and Debs Rob and I were together (well Debs was slightly ahead) then we went down the 1st down-bank and my weight took me past her. We then went up into the wood and she went past me!! The path in the woods went steadily up bank and we picked a few runners off, then after the woods we had a nice down-bank and I went past Debs again !! We went up a steep climb to the memorial and she then went past me. After a small loop we went past the memorial again and I passed Debs again !!

We then had a sharp drop and I warned everyone around that it was slippy at the bottom, but still Debs went over !! We stopped for her but she was fine (What a trooper). We then went up a nasty climb and Rob and Debs pulled away from me (really must lose some weight). We then went on to a grassy section and luckily with it been cold was hard and we didn’t sink into it. I started to pull them back slowly and we were all in a line. We had to give Rob a shout as he carried on instead of turning left, think this must have spurred him on as he started to pull away. I went past Debs in the last mile, then we had one last climb and yes you've guessed it she came past me at the top. My legs were burning and we had the last downhill and I just trotted down. Rob was well clear on the final stretch and I was slowly reeling Debs in then I heard runners behind and I just booted it !!! Went passed Debs again but someone went past me.
My apologies to all the other Trentham runners who I didn’t mention in this, but how this turned out today was a private little battle with Two other great runners, and how we kept each other going, Hope you all have your own private battles in the future,
Debs won the ladies race with Jo in 2nd, and not forgetting Steph been the top dog and a brilliant 2nd for Callum.

Thanks for the report Paul and well done on a great race and an epic battle with Rob and Deb. Although Paul beat Deb no other girls did (sorry Paul, haha) which meant she won the ladies race and Jo came 2nd. Stephan won the men's race with Callum in 2nd so 4 of the 'podium places' ended up draped in green. Well done to all that ran.

Cross country this weekend so let's have a few reports please!

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Page last updated 07 December 2012


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