September News 2012

Wolverhampton Marathon

Many thanks to Mother and Son Piper for sending us this report from the Wolverhampton Marathon last week. Liz ran the full marathon whilst Dave took on the half. I know there's a few Trentham runners who love to do this one every year so thanks for keeping up the tradition and thanks again for the report:

Running With Wolves
(Liz and Dave Piper do the Wolverhampton Full and Half Marathon 2012)

They say the rain in Spain falls mainly on the UK. It certainly felt like it as we stood in the drizzle, waiting to run the Wolverhampton Full and Half Marathon. (And assorted fun runs, relays, bike races and crocodile wrestling. Well, ok, so maybe we made that last one up). Fortunately, Team Jamaica had arrived early, so getting their bobsleigh to the start line wasn’t a problem. I kid you not. Five local blokes, who’d never run in their lives. Dressed in wigs, sunglasses and boot polish. But obviously, not on their boots. It made a talking point, as we (Dave and Liz – and yes, there is a prize if you can work out which is writing this!) stood by the line of portaloos. Weighing up how many visits we had time for, as you do. And whether the rain would stop before the start.
In the true spirit of Cool Runnings, Team Jamaica made it to the start line, with music blaring. Although the coach was the only one looking chilled out. Well, his section of the sled had a seat! Despite their muzak, we could actually hear the race organiser and Lady Mayor wishing us luck. Is this a first in amateur racing? Should we have phoned the Guinness World Record people? Sadly, by the time the thought crossed our minds, it was too late and we were underway.

The Wolverhampton circuit (once for the half, twice for the full, three times for the crocodile wrestlers) is fairly varied. If you’ve run it yourself, you’ll recognise the brick path through the school playground, the loop through the park and the endless miles of suburban housing estate. If you’ve not run it yourself, let me know and I’ll make up something with death-defying leaps across gaping chasms! On the first circuit, we ran together, and kept our minds off the pain by pointing out those less fortunate than ourselves. Like the barefoot runner. Ouch! And the brilliant names of some running clubs – Cheltenham's “Almost Athletes”. And the guys with “I Tried To Say No” as their club slogan. Feel free to take notes for the next revamp of our club colours!

We got to the half-marathon point in 2 hours 7. Dave peeled off to pick up his medal and powder his nose (or whatever they do in the little boys’ room). Liz carried on, slogging out the miles of the full marathon.  The idea was, Dave would walk back round the course to mile 23, have a breather and run the last few miles with Liz. Well, anything to confuse the marshals and St John’s Ambulance! Although they liked the thought that maybe the course was easier if you did it backwards. And of course, there’s only one way to find out.

We crossed the finish line after 4 hours 45 minutes of fun/enjoyment/purgatory (delete as applicable), to cries of “How come you’re just finishing the half marathon, mate?” (at Dave) and “Come on Andrea!” (at Liz). Never had feet been happier to be at rest, or legs happier to be stationery.
We’d done it! Conquered the beast! Broke the back of the Wolverhampton Half and Full Marathon!
We had just two challenges remaining.
First, to trudge all the way up the park to get Liz’s name changed from “Andrea” to “Liz” on the official records.
Second, to wrestle a small crocodile.

Well done to Dave and Liz for a very good effort indeed (Dave finished the half in 2:06.45 and congratulations on taming that beast. In case you hadn't yet worked it out it was Dave that sent in the report and thanks to him for that. Here are the results for the half and full marathons.



Had a couple of reports from the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon and the first one comes form our friendly farmer Stan Winterton:

Having ran the Lake Vyrnwy ½ marathon for the first time last year in a time of 1.34.18, I decided to run again and hopefully retain my V65 title. Club mate Alan Lewis wasn’t going with me this year, so Liz and I booked a mini-break in a farm cottage nearby and travelled down with grand daughter Fran on Saturday, very happily missing the Ipstones 5.
Had a drive around the course on arrival to check it out and refresh my memory. Had my usual pre-race breakfast of porridge and honey at 10am on Sunday to time it for the 1pm start, so much better preparation this year rather than driving down on the day. Spoke to a few Moorlands and Cheadle runners among the nervous crowd before the start but couldn’t spot any more of the famous green vests.
The race began with a steady climb in the first mile up to the dam. We then turned left along the dam wall before following the flat road all the way around the lake. People were passing for the first mile and a half, then I slowly got settled into a rhythm and began overtaking folks and closing on the next group, which always gives such a lift. It was reasonably cool running in shade and sheltered from the wind by all the trees. On rounding the far end of the lake at mile seven the road becomes more open in parts and we were running into quite a head wind.
I was running fine and still overtaking until I gradually started hurting at around mile nine. It was time for some mental tactics. “Come on” I kept telling myself, “pretend you’re chasing Mandy and Debs around Ipstones”. (It’s our Saturday hilly training run which I really enjoy and seems to be helping my race times). It must have worked, because although I was hurting I managed to keep it going back to the dam, then the relief of the gentle downhill back to the finish. I spotted the time clock showing 1.29.50 and gave it all I’d got to the line, to finish with a recorded time of 1.30.00. One second away from glory! I had retained my V65 title and also beaten the first V60, as well as knocking four minutes off my time from last year, so I had to be very pleased. Family support and warm showers afterwards helped to make it a most enjoyable race.
For all the green vested PB hunters, this is definitely one to consider, being an almost flat course. However, please bear in mind that it is totally rural and quiet, with no spectator support.
Having checked back I find it was my swiftest half since Congleton 2009 and because I’m not getting any younger I find that very satisfying. A big thank you to all who have trained with Al and I around that tough Ipstones course, it’s certainly made a difference for me this year.

Good running everyone.
Stan Winterton


Thanks for the report Stan and very well done on the race, that is a magnificent run knocking over 4 minutes of last year's time and going sooooo close to a sub 1:30. Brilliant stuff there from Stan and the next one is from Mr Trenthamfolk himself Daniel Maddock:

18 months ago, I signed up for the Lake Vyrnwy half marathon: Something in Wales was calling me… why the hell did I want to go to Wales? It was freaking me out, so I decided to put my demons to bed and run the race. Unfortunately I was ill, and had to bail on my mates who ran the race and both had a great time. I consequently entered the 2012 race with a heightened sense of anticipation.
Some time later it was August 2012. There I was, sat in a cottage outside Woolacombe, Devon, casually drinking wicked strength scrumpy from a plastic container, when Mrs M asks “When’s that Welsh half marathon you’re supposed to be doing?”. It’s in three weeks!!!! Panic set in… then went away as I sank the last of the apple based poison. Hey ho, training would start when I got home.
Three weeks is not a long time to train for a half, and it was with more than a small sense of trepidation that I climbed into the car on that bright Sunday morning and began the 2 hour+ journey to deepest, darkest Welsh land. Lake Vyrnwy is in Powys, surrounded by hills, accessible only by narrow lanes. The organisers had helpfully provided entrants with a postcode for the Satnav, and we were well on our way when we realised there was a significant lag on the signal out there, and we were consequently lost. We were forced to revert to following road signs. However, we still arrived an hour and a half before the start, and set about exploring the area.
For those of you who have are familiar with Tittensor… imagine the same kind of place, only comprising about a tenth of the houses and considerably more sheep. That’s it. The village hall was the base, where they were selling commemorative T-shirts. At £15 a pop, I thought I would give it a miss, and I’m glad I did… More about that later. The tea and coffee were more reasonable. 50p for a brew and 50p for a fairy cake. Lovely.

After establishing beyond doubt that there was nothing to do, we retired to the car for a picnic on the grass. The last half I did (Stafford) I got hunger pangs at about 10 miles, and hit the wall at 11… I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I had eaten a good breakfast, and followed this up with a ham and tomato bun, a cereal bar and plenty of fluid. It was a warm day.
About half an hour before the start I ventured up the hill to my allocated start pen (a spray painted line on the road), and began to warm up and chat to the locals. Word had it that there had been a crash up the lane, and the traffic was backing up to parts known as ‘civilisation’. There was much talk about the start being delayed, but come 1pm, the hooter sounded and that was it. We were off! I engaged my GPS and started the slow shuffle to the start line.

Of course, a downhill start means an uphill finish. I decided to put this to the back of my head, and attempted to settle into a pace I thought I could maintain. After 400m or so downhill, we began to climb, and did so for about a mile. On fresh legs this was no problem. After about half a mile we got a shock as a fellow runner made their way back to the start, clutching a head wound and bleeding heavily from the forehead. That kind of thing makes you blood run cold, but he was walking wounded. We hoped he was OK and ploughed on.

After a mile or so, we turned left onto the dam that holds the lake at bay, and got my first chance to observe the lake our route would hug all the way round. It was serene, very pretty, and bloody huge! There were a few crowds at the turn onto the lakeside road to bid us good luck, and from then on, it was just trees, water and runners.

Some people don’t like this route, because they find it boring. However I found myself running along merrily, looking at the trees, and I became lost in my own little happy space. It was just me, the road and the scenery. I was feeling great. People would have a chat to me as I overtook… Still doing that ten-miler at Trentham are you? Asked one lady… we sure are, I answered, and why didn’t you enter this year!!! Another asked me if I had any problems getting here… we lamented the narrow roads, lack of mobile signal and the illegible road signs, wished each-other good luck and parted company. It was all cheerful and friendly.

At mile six, the man with the head wound overtook us at pace. He was on a mission, and it was good to see. His shoulders were also gashed, presumably form tumbling down the road, but it was not slowing him down. I was impressed and pleased at the same time. The route has a curious quality, in that it appeared to be downhill all of the time. This did not add up. At mile eight I overtook a Shropshire Shuffler who asked “Is it me, or has it been uphill for the past four miles!” Strange, I thought it had been downhill! I answered that the brain does strange things to you, depending on your state of mind, and left it at that. I was enjoying my run.

At mile 10, we heard the sound of sirens. They got louder until we realised that, being four light-years from anywhere, the vehicle making the noise must be on our road. As we approached a narrow stone bridge a St Johns Ambulance (the 50 year old Leyland DAF type) came careering up behind us at a speed I described as ‘mental’. “Watch out on the bridge” I yelled, and people dove out of the way. It flashed past, and 5 minutes later, we happened upon the ambulance helping a tired but upright runner into the back. At least he was OK, that’s the main thing.
By Mile 12 we started to run downhill. My pace increased accordingly and I was loving the feeling… I had not stopped once (usually at a water station for a breather), as I had managed my pace. This was a major personal success in itself. By then there were plenty of walkers and I tried to offer encouragement. Come on, nearly there Telford! I ushered… Batman! ½ a mile to go! come on buddy! I don’t know how many people I passed in that last mile, but it was a lot. The road was starting to become lined with spectators and several people called out personal encouragement. My man-boobs were bleeding (the Vaseline treatment just doesn’t work with me), my legs were tired but I was there, the end was in sight. That last 100m or so were indeed uphill, but I was motoring and my sprint finish was forthcoming. I found myself in an approximately 100m stretch of empty road space. The finish line megaphone guy saw me coming, announced my name and the name of the club, and a road full of people roared me across the line!

I had resolved to enjoy this race. I wasn’t interested in my time from the outset, I just wanted to enjoy the experience and that I had done. However, I crossed the line in a gun time that equalled my PB set at Stafford. This matched my GPS time almost exactly, as I set it as the hooter went. I don’t know how long it took my to cross the start line, but I resolved to make the necessary adjustments and claim my new PB. Runkeeper tells me my average pace was 9:18 per mile. At 13.1094 miles that equals 2 hours, 1 min and 55 seconds. A full two minute improvement on my previous PB, and I’m claiming that!

Me and Ruth, my inspirational friend, and one of the many reasons I run…
Beyond the finish, the scouts where handing out medals… and organisers where handing out t-shirts! Brilliant! There was no mention of this at the start, so I am doubly pleased I didn’t buy one. This was a friendly, quiet and scenic event. It is very popular, and well organised. If you’re tempted, be prepared for a long drive, and to get lost. You also may want to take a sleeping bag, a tent and arm yourself with a crossbow. This is Wales, after all. The Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon is a flat, scenic and shady course that lends itself to PB’s, and was everything I had hoped for and expected. GNR or Birmingham Half, this is not. Village friendliness, warm reception and enthusiastic locals is most definitely is. I will visit this one again for sure

Well done Dan and congratulations on the new PB mate. Thanks for sending in the report and thanks again to Stan for the same. Results for the Lake Vyrnwy Half can be found HERE!


Congleton Half Marathon

Well, it's been a long time since we have received a race report but thanks to Deb Thomas and Carl Platt for sending in these from the Congleton Half Marathon. The hot news is that Carl Platt came 8th overall in a fantastic time, read more below, and Laura Thompson came 2nd and Deb Thomas 3rd. WOW read on first from Carl:

Last Xmas I set myself a few targets in running and in life too, Now we are in October and I can now say I have nearly hit every Target that I set, Just 1 to go. (1 happy man).
This year I have really been concentrating on 5k and short races, I just want to get as much leg speed as I can before the big step up to the Marathon in a few years. My 1st target this year was to hit 16:30 at 5 k, my 2nd was to break 28:00 for 5, the 3rd was to break 35;00 Min's for 10k. So Ive got one target left in running this year, To see if I can break under 1:18 for a Half Marathon. My running as been a bit up and down this year, With having about 10 jobs in a year and not really been settled in my mind, Its been quite hard to drag myself out. But I can now say thanks to Roger I am settled at work and as happy as ever :).

So with starting my new job about 10 weeks ago, I decided I was going to do a half marathon. Chris gave me a schedule which she was using and when I looked at the reps sessions I was like this is never right, 9x1k reps, 6X6's Getting up to 9 mile tempo runs. But as the weeks went by I could tell I was getting fitter and stronger. The night-week-months before the race I was always on the phone to Dale, Telling him how my sessions had gone, and getting advice off him where ever I can. I rang Dale the night before and we discussed my race tactics we had a plan and I was going to stick to it. So basically the 1st 8 miles are ran with your head the next 5.1 are ran with your heart :).

I woke up- (race day perfect conditions). I was at Pickles house chucking pebbles at his bathroom window at 7:30, I could see him dancing in the bathroom but he could not here me knocking on the door. So we both went to Congleton both quietly confident about the race. We got there picked our numbers up and went for a warm up with Dave, Deb, Laura John and Mr Burslem. The race started and were off, now after doing 5 ks where you hurt yourself from the start the 1st few miles of a half marathon feel quite easy. Congleton is a lovely course the only problem was when we ran past a load of tractors who though it would be good to pollute all the runners, Anyway on mile 8 Dale rides up and asks how I am feeling, I said good I feel relaxed.

I knew i was on for a good time but as I went through 10 and 11 my legs were hurting and the pain had set in, one thing I've learnt is the pain never seems to get any worse but on the other thing is I can never speed up, So I guess its about hurting without slowing down. So here comes the sting in the tale, I had a polite word with myself ;) So I was running up the hill on controlled anger . Last mile, and boy it was tough then I had a quick glance of my watch I had 200 meters to go down hill I had about 30secs to break 1:17. I looked at my garmin and I ran the last .1 at 4:33 pace it was down hill though. 1:16:53. COME ON!. After getting myself together and thanking Dale I ran back to cheer everyone on, Laura had a fine run looks looks like she is over the injury, Then came Mr Burslem who looked really strong, Then Debbie came through with a massive PB awesome stuff, Then Mr Tab, Then the man of the moment Mr Pickles come through and I've never seen pain like it anyones face, Smashed is PB 1:27:50 , go on the lads:). I cant remember everyone but I know Frank, Rose, Jill, John Bowman, Stan, Kerry all had great runs. Well done everyone who ran.

So I'm going get winter out the way where I will relax a bit with my training and get back to the drawing board and set my self some new targets. Also want to say a massive well Done to Laura 2nd, Deb 3rd, Also well done Chris In the Carlisle half who smashed her PB and ran 1:23:56. Looks like the schedule worked :). Thanls for the support off Dale and Richard on there bikes and Dan,Izzy and everyone else :)

Massive Well done Carl and I really hope you have a fantastic and certainly well earned holiday :-) On to the report from Miss Thomas now (won't be hearing that name for much longer):

Four years ago I ran this race for the first time and struggled to get around, as it was only a couple of weeks after I’d done a marathon, and I remember at about 5 miles I was dying on my feet and hating it and I’ve never done it since! This year I was challenged by my nemesis Dave Pickstock to enter as he had come close to beating me on Potters Arf when I was trying but failing to race when unwell, but he too was not right on the day so I was able to fight him off! I travelled up with Jill Phillips on the day, she was a calming influence for me as I was a little anxious about the run and of course beating Pickle-egg!

It was a perfect day for a race: cool, dry, no wind and no sunshine. 9.30am the race started and I had planned to run with Rob Tabbanor as I knew he could pull me along. My target for the race was 1.28 so the average pace I needed to maintain was 6.42 min/mile. Mile 1; I started with Laura Thompson, Rob and Paul Burslem and I clocked 6.29 – too fast! I eased back a little as we took in a climb and I had a brief chat with Frank Murphy who was ahead of me for the first mile! Mile 2 split was 6.50 and I was pleased as it had evened me out. I was alongside Ruth Watchorn-Rice for the next half mile or so before she broke away whilst I was keeping within my race plan.

I caught back up to Rob who had pulled ahead for a little bit, and mile 3-4 we passed Rebecca Harrison who had started out as leading lady, and I said to Rob that the miles are coming quick and we are feeling really good and strong. Throughout the race, Dale Colclough, Richard O’Keeffe and Ken Rushton were cycling up and down the runners, encouraging us along and also advising on who was where, and often telling me or Rob to stop talking!! The course was mildly undulating and it was feeling very easy to hold a quicker pace than planned – around 6.25-6.40 min/mile, depending on the ups and downs. Mile 5 we caught up to Ruth Watchorn-Rice who was with a small group and as we caught up and run alongside, they all sped up to keep with us and then me and Rob were at the front of the pack, with them all tucked in behind! We had a little chat about the course and how perfect a day it was…all very relaxed, but we kept focused and by mile 6-7 we had dropped a couple off the back (Ruth included) and were now in a group of 3 to 4.

At mile 8 Dave had pre-warned me that when he reached that point he was “coming for you” and no way in hell was that happening, ha ha!! I kept checking my mile splits and was using the push of the guys behind to keep me working hard, and I also had the fear of Ruth catching me up too! I listened out throughout the course of the run who the spectators were cheering after I’d passed them so I knew who was behind…if I’d have heard “come on Dave/Pickles” I’d have sped up and gone like the clappers!! The miles kept coming quickly and I was surprised to still be feeling strong. Mile 10 there is a hill to tackle and at the top I lost Rob at the drinks stop (he struggled to get his pace back) and the other guys who had stuck with me for a while, although one (Dave Wilson) came with me for a little while longer and kept apologising for “being on your tail”, but really he was pushing me on which I needed. Richard was advising me that Laura was about 53 seconds in front, but I knew there was no chance of catching up at that point!

I got stuck into the last couple of miles as I was just wanting to get back and finish and stop! Around a corner I passed Bryan Dale who shouted some encouragement, and takes his photos of me looking like a huffing puffing mess! Dan Jordan is there too, he shouted some support (and also a cheeky insult to which I replied with two fingers!!) Coming into the last quarter mile, Carl Platt shouts how far there is to the finish, although this changed from 300 to 200 to 400 metres to go!! Ha ha!! And then it’s the finish and I’ve managed a new PB 1.25.45 and 3rd lady!!! I was very shocked and happy and ever so slightly smug (and relieved!) that Pickles finished 2 minutes behind me after all his fighting talk….but he too ran a PB so well done on that sunshine!!

I must say congratulations to Carl on his PB and 8th place finish, Laura on her 2nd lady (and I think a PB too) and of course Jill, who ran her best time for a year!! Many thanks to Jill for the lift and Rob for putting up with me for 10 miles and for all the supporters who turned out. There were prizes all around on the day too including Rose Wilson and Stan Winterton for age category prizes….Big well done to all Trenthamers who ran and got PB’s or not, was amazing to see so many green vests coming through!!

That is amazing reading folks, massive well done to all that got their PB's and had such fantastic races, and especially Deb Thomas. well done all>






Page last updated 10 October 2012


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