July Reports

Blackcountry Half Marathon

Many thanks go to Graham Sheridan for submitting his first ever race report from the Blackcountry Half Marathon which is a point to point race in the West Midlands. Read Graham's report below to find out how it went on a Very Hot weekend:

The Black Country Half is a first for me for a number of reasons, some of which were obvious when I signed up, others were to reveal themselves on the day. I do a fair bit of running along the canals of Stoke, so the thought of doing my first point to point Half along the canal from Wolverhampton to Birmingham appealed. It took about 30 seconds for my usual running buddy Shaun Weston to decide to accompany me on the short trip South, with the normal agreement that I navigate ;-).

As its run pretty much all along the towpaths they employ a staggered start - the theory being that based on the estimated time that you submit on entry, you are given a start time. So the fastest runners start first, and the slower runners start last - the off times went from 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. in order to minimise the amount of overtaking required. The race was not billed as a PB course, as there are 'a number' of bridge crossings and a tunnel to navigate.

We had assumed that for once we would be the only representatives from Trentham, but we found out on Thursday via Kirsten that Sharon Willis was also running. The journey down was pretty uneventful and we found our way to the boatyard to the Race start in plenty of time for Shaun's 9.15 off time. There were quite a few people milling around - loads of Stafford Harriers, and having a quick word with Craig Baxter it is annual pilgrimage for a lot of their members and an opportunity to go out on the beer afterwards - but as 9.00 a.m. came and went there did not seem to be much activity around the start. The weather was very warm, I found some shade, but then joined the queue for the start  at around 9.30. I obviously don't know how it normally works there, but there were no checks made against allocated start times, so everyone who was there was queuing up for the start, and we were taken in batches of 50-odd for the race briefing. Each time those at the front of the queue were told that there was no need to queue, but it was warm and everyone was keen to be off. Anyway the race briefing was done, and we went in single file through a door onto the tow path and you were off! I am not much for pre-race warm-ups, which is just as well, as it was 10.20 by the time I was able to start.

The staggered start meant that the runners were immediately strung out and I have to be honest there were absolutely no pinch points for me at any point in the race. On the downside it did mean that there was always someone to chase. Normally I like to start off steady, if I feel like I am going too fast I ease off and then see what I have left at about 11 miles. This race was completely different, I was hoping for something around 1:55, but did the first mile in just over 8 mins, second mile in 8:15. I just could not stop going past people. I got to the 6 mile mark in just over 51 mins so was on course for a finish time of around 1:50, but it was then that the wheels came off - looking at my Garmin after mile 6 there was just one more mile that was sub 9 minutes. This year there was a detour after the tunnel which involved going up 80-odd steep steps, just after the 4 mile mark, and although it was followed by a downhill round section I think I took it too fast through there and that helped towards the dramatic slowdown.

The water stations were barge-based and spaced out every 3 miles, I took at small cup of drink at each and walked through them all. Just after the 9 mile mark I was passed by  a lady that I had overtaken a good few miles before - that was about the only person who 're-took' me, there were several faster runners that had come past who must have started later - so I decided to focus on keeping in touch with this lady. As I went through miles 10, 11 and 12 she gradually got further away from me, but I always managed to keep her in sight. Each bridge we went over seemed to be steeper than the last and the heat was really starting to get to me - I am sweater and it was getting in my eyes and stinging.

My Garmin read about 12.6 miles when I saw Shaun over the other side of the canal - he had finished and had jogged back to see where I was - he offered words of encouragement across the canal - but when the watch read 13.3 miles and he said that I should be able to see the finish in a minute, but all I could see was a ribbon of runners in front of me, I have to admit that I accused him of telling fibs (well words to that effect). Finally after another couple of sodding bridges the finish came, the Garmin measured the race at 13.57 miles, and the time was 2:02:01 - I had really wanted my third sub 2 hour on the bounce, but I console myself to knowing that I averaged spot on 9 minute miles, which on a 'proper' course is sub 2 :-)
The finish area was superb, plenty of places for people to stand and watch (if you could stand the heat), and the pub was in sight - but two bridges away!! I spotted the lady I had followed in there, and thanked her for dragging me along.

We had a quick drink and then made our way to New Street station to get the train back to Wolverhampton, we did not get too many funny looks walking/mincing along Broad Street with our medals around our necks and out faces crusted with salt and snot - escalators were out of order so had some stairs to negotiate, but we were soon back at the car and got back to sunny Stoke.
Looking at the results today, a good number of people took in excess of three hours to complete the course - given that they are likely to not have begun until well after 11.00, they will have been out there for a long time on a very hot day, every credit to them and I hope the medical staff were not called into action too often.

In summary I am glad that I ran the race and stuck it out when it would have been very easy for me to have jacked in at about 8 miles, not sure whether I would do it again, but I certainly would not put people off from doing it, just don't expect a PB and I would hope that if you run its on a typical British Summer's day, i.e. overcast with steady drizzle, rather than in a heatwave.

Thanks Graham for a very good first race report and well done on completing the race in very tricky conditions. You can find the full results HERE!


Trentham 10

As one of our own races the Trentham 10 doesn't always get a huge field of Trentham Runners as quite a few are thankfully on duty as marshals for the day. One of those that did run it is ever improving Craig Taylor and he has kindly sent us this report:

Ah the Trentham 10. One of the tougher races on the NSRRA league calendar due to one main reason which I will expand on later in my usual lengthy rabble of a race report.
This would be my fourth running of this race, which I am now proud to call my club race!

The first time I ran it was when I first started running back in 2009 and as a slightly chubby waster who only did this jogging lark as a bit of a way to shed some lard as you can imagine it nearly killed me dragging my sagging ass cheeks around in 75 minutes. The second time saw me a little leaner and meaner and in the colours of Newcastle (boo, hiss) and as I was half decent then I clocked 70 minutes. I couldn’t run the race in 2011 due to my ass being permanently planted to my throne at home at that point and when I did it last year I only had just about managed to get my sweet little ass cheeks off the throne and was about as fit as Jordan. Not very. So another 75 minutes clocked. So all in all I wasn’t entirely hopefully of having a decent race especially as when Pickle’s People did a tempo on the actual course a fortnight before the race and I quite literally and almost figuratively did on my candy ass. See the different variations of ass in this race report? There are more to come for all of you ass lovers out there! Anyway, I digress…

I meet up with the Trentham boys who are on a mission to ‘pullapickle’ today in the gurning,  honour of our Captain. Some of the boys really don’t have to try that hard to be fair but it was a great topic of much amusement that helped to settle nerves. A quick warm up down the A34 and a walk up to the start line. At the start line the usual banter and chat was replaced by a readiness to get the race underway from us Trentham men. It was definitely game time so to speak and it was a good feeling that there was a focus to smash some PB’s today. I had a game plan ready for the last week and this was it.

Ken’s whistle went and a stream of runners went flying down the hill at the start. It seemed every man and his choice of pet was passing me at that stage and a quick check of the trusty Garmin clocked my speed at 06:20 min miles. I hung at this pace which was comfy and knew that all of those that had gone flying past would soon be coming back at the top of Beech Caves or down by the roundabout at the start of the next hill.

First mile was bang on 7 minutes and then up the caves and to the top. All felt pretty steady at this stage. Then the green army started to pack. Matt Plant – who is running superbly well at the moment – and Ed Wilson were running with me and the fabulous water girls of Sarah Heath, Lisa Heath and Kirsten Owen provided some welcome refreshments and a good old bit of encouragement. Steady Eddie had pushed on and then me and Matt were joined by John Corbett who was having a blinder! Then from nowhere the third placed runner in Group C from South Cheshire came tearing past ahead of the roundabout on the first lap like a man who had just realised his missus had got his wallet.

So, the SCH guy and his little spurt lasted all of about ten seconds as he hit the hill before I went past him again. If you ask my missus she will probably say that is still a longer lead than I manage in other athletic activities, shall we say. Anyway, moving on… Me and mar mate Matt get through the first lap and overtake those hapless soles that went off too fast up Beech Caves and began to fall back. We get up Beech Caves again at a really steady pace. We get to the top where our good old friend Sicknote is awaiting us and then the race REALLY started! Matt was willing his legs to go faster by shouting at them and I was just wanting to feel my legs full stop after that climb.

Matt takes off and catches up with Ed by the lay – by where we turn off and they are a good 150m in front. I also ran most of the race with Ian Wood from Oak Park, a really good lad and a Group A runner. I have beaten him at Stone 10k and Cheadle 4 so he is a decent barometer as to where I am at. I push in front of him and feel very comfortable on the incline up to where Dan Jordan and Daniel Maddock are giving great support. Matt and Ed storm on down the hill and stretch their lead over me by a good 200m. I start to catch Ed as he drops off by the motorway bridge and the turn left with around 2 miles – ish to go. I look at the Garmin and I am running sub six min miles at this point. I go past Ed and close in on Matt and Michelle Buckle. I left myself too much to do to catch them as the final hill approaches on the last drag to the finish.

I get up the climb no problem and sprint my rather tired ass off at this stage and looking and the clockboard about 100m away realise I am on course to smash my current PB of 68:39 set at Flying Fox. I storm past Dave, Young Dan and Scotty Minshall cheering us in and pullapickle in celebration as the line approaches. A superb feeling knowing that I knocked around 80 seconds off my old PB to come in at 67:21. Happy days indeed. There were some amazing times and PB’s set by the Green Army during the Trentham 10 and the encouragement and support both on the course, by the marshalls and at the end demonstrates why we are Staffordshire’s number one running club!
Proud to be green, proud to be Trentham.

Thanks for that interesting report Craig. There was certainly some very good performances by the Green Army, yourself included. The results for this race can be found on the Trentham 10 page of our website.

Keep the reports coming in folks. Hopefully we will have a Thunder run report from someone and maybe a Meerbrook one too if we're very lucky :-)

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Meerbrook 15K

There wasn't perhaps as bigger turnout as may have normally been anticipated by Trentham at the Meerbrook 15 this year due to the fact that we had 10 runners doing the Thunder Run instead. One of them that did do Meerbrook is Stan Winterton and he has kindly sent in this report:

I both love and hate the Meerbrook 15K in equal measure. I love it because of it's scenic country lanes which I have travelled since a youngster and for the wonderful 2kms of it's downhill finish. I absolutely hate it for the fact that in order to come down from Gun Hill you first have to climb it twice from opposite sides, but still it draws me back.

I arrived at the village hall early and having collected my number, sat quietly in a corner trying to conserve some energy while watching everyone arrive. It was obvious that the green army was rather depleted from it's usual numbers due to the lure of the Thunder Run, still it was warm and the sun was shining, conditions that I love. I jogged along to the start with John Corbett who is running so well and Mandy who has taken a short break and didn't know what to expect. Saw a few from the club including young Dan who I think was first home and the macho Scott B.T who was running topless, while I was in an old PMAC vest that is more hole than vest.

Started on the Hillswood farm track as always with a pleasant run back to the village hall where the climbing slowly begins, then very gradually at first it begins to get steeper to the point where many are overtaking and my legs and lungs are screaming at me to walk. Foolish pride won't let me give in and slowly I battle my way to the top, a sense of great relief floods over me as I begin the descent to the first junction, known as Eleven Lane Ends. Back into my running now, I'm closing on the runners in front and then enjoying going past them, if only I could go up the hills the way that I go down! Kept on passing a few, including Terry Barker and Russell Williams down into the bottom of Bearda Hill where I saw Scott have a quick glance behind. I don't if he saw me coming but I never saw him again after that.

Once more I refused my legs permission to walk as we climbed out of Bearda and then slowly got going once more along through Swythamley. Then began the long slow grind and climb all the way back up to 11 Lane Ends and then the last tortuous journey up to the top of Gun. Terry had overtaken again on the climb and I was working hard to hold him within shouting distance till we got to the top as I was confident I could take him once more on the downhill. How I enjoyed that last run down to the finish, passing Terry and a few others and although I seem to be getting slower, I still enjoy the whole racing scene. Sadly I couldn't hang around to enjoy the banter as I was taking Liz to Leek Show. Many thanks to Mick and Ken for another well organised race and if I can forget about the pain, I'll be there again next year. Stan.
Thanks Stan for that great report and well done on another great performance. What Stan didn't mention is that in the V65 cat John Corbett won with a great 1:08.14 and Stan Himself 2nd with 1:12.04. Alan Lewis was 1st V70 with 1:22.39 and Mandy Vernon was 1st L40 with 1:04.24

Craig Taylor has also sent us this report from Meerbrook:

Sad to say the Green Army didn’t decent on the small village of Meerbrook this year due to a clash with a certain 24 hour event going on in Catton Park. Well, apart from one crazy fool who admirably rolled up to do what is the equivalent of an ultra in 24 hours! Step forward Lee Jones!

I had two aims this year; one was to get around the course without actually having to stop and walk for good chunks of it like the last two years and secondly attempt to achieve a new PB over the distance which I set way back when Noah was a lad in 2010.

As usual, getting the kit together is like military precision and after thrice checking and rhyming kit off in an order in my head I hit the road. The cloud is breaking on the way to the race and the sunshine and warm temperatures that had given us a little respite from the Trentham 10 the previous week were not going to be so kind this year.

As I had set off early and with a mixture of my old man’s driving, we got to Meerbrook pretty much as the place was opening up so bagged the prime car parking spot on the village hall car park. Bonus. My wallet was £14.00 princely English pounds lighter a few moments later and I had also got my mitts on the famed Meerbrook t-shirt which is a bit of a tradition. This year’s was pretty apt due to the challenges to come!

Despite rhyming off my kit like an alcoholic rhyming off his daily consumption I forgot two fairly important things considering the tropical temperatures; my suncream and my running cap. Schoolboy error. I just knew I would end up looking like a savaloy in trainers by the time I had finished.

A quick mile and half warm up later I meet up with the small green army of Young Dan (Cawley,) Janson and Lisa Heath, Matt Plant, Ed Wilson, Shaun Weston, Lee Jones and lurking around somewhere was Mr Bang Tidy himself, Scott Zikmanis. I quick toilet stop means everyone leaves me behind so I take solice in strolling up to the start with Andy Mayers from South Cheshire Harriers. Seems that Trentham Running Club are being talked about in high esteem by other running clubs at the moment!

Just before the start I meet up with Stan ‘the Legend’ Winterton and Mandy Vernon. Good to see both racing today. I gotta confess that Stan is someone I look up to admire greatly, a fabulous runner and an absolute gentleman.

Again another toilet stop, doing my bit for the area by watering the plants, and I line up at the start. A quick natter to Alan Brookes who is third in Group C who tells me he can’t get near me in a race at the moment which is a nice little confidence booster. Anyway halfway through a sentence the whistle goes taking everyone by surprise.

Getting this first mile right is the key to the race for me as it can be extremely quick. I settle into a nice pace after negotiating the exposed cattle grid which is usually covered over and settle in at 06:30 pace. It seems everyone comes tearing past me as per usual which is a theme at the start of every race I run just lately. A glance at my Garmin confirms my pace is bob on to what I want. Ed catches up with me and nudges a few yards ahead and some dude from Newcastle in Group B is on my shoulder. Alan is just in front at this stage which is fine with me. Young Dan comes sailing past after around half a mile or so making it look like a training run.

We come to the turn in the road by the Village Hall just before the ascent up Gun Hill starts. I go past Ed, Alan and quite a few others before the climb even starts. And then it comes… Gun Hill. I overtake quite a few going up Gun Hill. Franco Caci from Michelin soon drops off my shoulder and I catch Michelle Buckle and sit behind her. I can see Mandy and Dan around 100m in front so I took that as I was probably going a little too quick but hey ho, too late now going up the hill.

It was here that the heat really started to hit. The humidity and lack of shade was going to make this a very tough race. The hill never stopped in its climb and when I saw Bryan Dale I almost did a little pee as I knew the top was in sight.

There was a group B runner in front of me who I didn’t recognise all the way up Gun Hill and over the top and I was getting pretty annoyed that he was in front of me. I was working hard to keep up with him and then finally overtook him going down the hill after Gun Hill. My slight internal smugness turned into feeling like a top class tit when I realised that I was actually chasing down a runner who was in the group above me. Yep, I had delusions of grandeur and thought I was in Group B. What a muppet.

The undulating nature of the race means that getting into any regular pace or rhythm is impossible. I stick behind Michelle, some bloke from Moorlands and some other guy in a rather bright yellow t-shirt and this is how it pretty much stayed the whole race. I take on my gel which for a few kilometres stops my throat from drying up and manage to get a mouthful of water from one of those crappy plastic cups at the only water stop on the course.

A sharp downhill at half way point is met by the hill from hill down in the dip. I get up it on my tiptoes pretty much and puffing like someone smoking the old Jamaican woodbines. And then another climb. We soon hit a road that is constantly going up and seems to go on forever, a little bit like a Cliff Richard song. Only not as painful as that. At this point I am truly cream crackered, my throat and mouth are dry and I feel like I am breathing out of my backside. I honestly felt like walking at this point but there was no way that was going to happen unless I either fell down or I was knocked down. Michelle and the others in front of me were not pulling away so I took that as a sign I was still working as hard as them and they were feeling it too.

We hit the water station and it was there I overtook the Moorlands bloke, Michelle and the yellow dude pulled away a bit. More uphill and a bit of a backwards and forwards tussle with the Moorlands geezer saw us then hit the uphill stretch leading to Gun Hill. I hung off the Moorlands guy for all of about 200m and then I made a move and finally put him to bed. What the hell I even slapped his ass, put a nappy on and tucked him in. He was gone.

I saw Bryan at the top and if you so desire to wish to see my pained expression on his racephoto’s website that should tell you how much this bit hurt. Over to the top of Gun Hill and a glance at the Garmin. My Average was 7:22 at this point and it needed to be under 7:10 to gain a new PB. This was gonna hurt as it was going to have to be a lightning like mile and whatever else it was to the finish. I quite literally through myself into the descent and it hurt. I prefer going up than I do on a fast downhill but everything went into it. I saw the finish and was quite literally racing the clock at this point. Over the line I came in 26th position and a new PB of 66:35 I had managed to beat my 3 year time by 11 seconds.

Races like that can either make or break you as runners. Almost everyone I spoke to said their times were down by a good minute and a half from previous years so my PB meant a little bit more and also the fact I had beaten runners that are usually a minute or so in front of me gives me a good indication of where I am at.
A special mention for Dan Cawley who ran an outstanding race and was the first Trentham runner home. The lad is really running superbly well at the moment and is really doing the club proud. Well done mate, keep it going!

Next stop is Staffs Knot 5 and I am pretty sure that a green invasion will hit Cannock Chase in a few weeks’ time!

Thanks Craig for the report and well done again on another PB.

Full Results HERE!

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Thunder Run

There were more Trentham runners at the Thunder Run than at the Meerbrook race this year with 10 running and the rest supporting and cheering on. We have had a couple of reports and the first one is from Andrew Vickerman:

The Adidas Thunder Run 24 is a simple idea, run a 10km course as many times as you can in 24 hours. It gets complicated by the 8-9 categories that you can enter as. Trentham had one mixed 8 person team and two, two person mixed teams representing the club.
To organise us Ken Pearson kindly took on the role of the 8 person team captain, entering us and setting up a schedule with expected times that each person would run. The schedule would hopefully give us enough laps to move us up from an 11th place finish to the top ten.

Upon arriving the boys had staked a claim and started camp set up. We were right on the course edge about a 0.3 mile from the finish line. The sun was beaming down, so it was time for a relax whilst we waited for the rest of the crew to arrive.
At 5pm we went for a reccy of the course, it quickly became apparent how hard the course was. On the open fields the grass was really long and in the woods it was single track with lots and I mean lots of switchbacks. That thrown in with the sun and numerous hills, I knew it was going to be an interesting weekend.

That evening we had a few bevvys and a BBQ. Lee put so many coals on his BBQ that it was still going the next day.
RACE DAY......As usual I was one of the first up getting Elizabeth’s milk. Scott, Lee and Matt were soon about preparing for Meerbrook 15K.
The time soon came around for the Start. Dave was up first, he was sat on the floor in the middle of the group, he was either in the zone or struggling with the heat. Turns out he was in the zone, bringing us home in 39:51, which I think was top ten. Scott Minshall took over, having had some banter with Dave. Guess what......he came back in exactly the same time! We were flying, Debs went.. smashed it and Jon Bowman was soon bringing home the baton to pass onto me.

I was away, felt like I was flying as I was overtaking a lot of solo runners. I think I went out a bit quick though as at about 4-5k, I was blowing. I knew that if I could get to 8k I would be okay as its all downhill and flat from there (bar a small hill right at the end). I came home in 48 minutes, ahead of captain Pearson’s schedule but a little down on what I wanted.
Time for a shower. The facilities were top notch. They were like the VIP ones you get a festivals with proper toilets and showers. Don’t worry though they did have the odd portaloo just in case you wanted the real festival experience.

I think the heat had got to me a bit and I was feeling really drained. I got some pasta and a rice pudding inside me to try and cherp me up ready for my next run in a couple of hours. Looking at the chart we were over 20 minutes ahead after the first round of runs, but then Dave and Scott knocked another 7 minutes off between them. We were 7th!
The thunder run had officially started now as Jon was somewhere out in the woods dodging lightning forks. He came back into the handover section saying be careful out there its slippy. With it being the first rain run I had done in ages I felt absolutely great. I had practised with my head torch so that was no issue, until SMACK! I had hit what I thought was an oil slick, gone down hard and broke my head torch. I was in a dilemma, do I stand there and fix my head torch or do I carry on regardless. I chose the latter.

I got going again, pushing on well and making up some lost ground. At about 6-7k you enter a wood that has loads of switchbacks. There were about 7 people to overtake so I excused my way through trying not to slow down, got passed all of them bar one............ down I went again, this time throwing in a dramatic roll to muddy myself even more. I got up but kept slipping, it was like a black and white film. In fact the guy who had been tailing me all the way said follow me and another asked if I had been drinking. I must admit to feeling guilty for burning the fella off when we hit dry land. 52 minutes.

I have never been so dirty, luckily Kirsten had done the honours and brought my stuff for the showers. This time I ate straight away and got my head down. Upon getting up for my night run it turns out our advantage had slowly slipped away. I went down to take over from Jon, but he seemed to take an age coming back. Turns out a girl’s headtorch had broken so he ran with her for a bit. The rain had stopped now, but it was great fun still in the mud. My time had slipped to 57 minutes now.

Had another shower and washed my clothes. Everybody was starting to stir and tell tales of the nights running. Lee, Kirsten and Paul weren’t going to have time to do another lap so they were done. It looked increasingly likely that I was going to land the last run as we had slipped well behind schedule. Sure enough on 23hrs 42mins I got my last run, Jon had given it some beans doing his last lap in 57 minutes.
I was away, the ground seemed to have firmed up a little bit. In fact it was possibly worse now as it was trying to suck the shoes off my feet. I’d say the first 5k is harder and I was really struggling just to get one leg in front of the other come the water station. Ken and Lee were there for one final cheer, my legs were burning but I was giving everything I could, albeit in slow motion. I ran past our campsite which no longer existed and got a big roar up the last little hill, where the green army had assembled ready for a group run over the line in 24:42:00.

The obligatory photos followed and I collected my medal which is pure quality. I love the fact the ribbon has got dirty with mud, just about sums up three of my runs.
I was spent. As a team we had done 29 laps, finishing in 11th place out of 253 teams, missing out on the top 10 by 2 minutes. Captain Ken kindly pointed out that there were a 100 or so more teams this year, so not a bad achievement at all!

Jill and Dan finished 4th in their category with 10 laps each. Phil trooped on even though his partner pulled out on Saturday. Well done Phil.
Thanks to all of the support crew: Ken, Emily, Elizabeth, Sammy, Chloe, Lara, Scott BT, Sarah, Dotty, Matt, Shaun, Janson, Lisa, Walter, Lionel, Rob, Heidi and Adam.
The hardest thing of all, trying to keep my eyes open on the A50.
One question for next year.......... which trail shoes!?!

Thanks Andy and the next report comes from team manager himself Ken Pearson:

Perhaps an unusual Race Report as this is a report for a race that I didn’t run.
Having done a few road races in my time, I found that racing is mostly a challenge of your internal self. Finding how far and fast you can go, how low you can get and how you can come out stronger from understanding your self and what you can achieve. The desire to run takes all sorts of forms and is different for everyone as we all have different personalities and needs. I had a great year in 2010/11 and thoroughly enjoyed real racing in my group in NSRRA, in London Marathon and the Thunder Run.

The Thunder Run has grown from 102 entries 5 years ago to approaching 3000 this year and it is no surprise why this has happened as it’s a brilliant event to run or spectate at. Thunder Run is a 24 hour relay race on a 10k cross country course, running through the countryside and woodland in the dark and the light, heat and cold. Trentham has been represented for the last 3 years with various mixed teams of 8, mixed pairs and solo runners. Those who have raced have really been surprised at their achievements. Those watching have been impressed with the commitment and courage of the competitors and their team spirit. Our presence has grown from 1 team of 8 to start with and a few family members and visitors, to 3 teams (a mixed 8 and two mixed pairs) and a multitude of family and friend visiting or camping with the runners overnight.

2013 was an exceptional year. In previous years the weather has been kind and running has been a challenge mainly against your own ability and endurance. This year the weather added a further level. Our teams raced against the heat of the day, the clock and their teammates until about 8pm on Saturday night when the heavens opened up and hard trails became slippery mud, hidden roots were exposed, small ditches became water filled trenches and the head torches struggled to light the paths. Add the disorientation of running through woods and it becomes a real mental, as well as a physical challenge.

What most of you missed, was seeing your fellow runners coping with awful weather, vile underfoot conditions, and extreme tiredness. What you also missed was a group of people enjoying themselves and supporting each other. You missed the highs of being near the top of team placings, and the lows of coming back in the dark wet through and literally covered top to toe in mud. You missed the solo runners in a zombie like state towards the end having covered a ridiculous number of miles; you missed the support that every team there gave not only to their own runners but to other competitors and the sea of smiling faces at the end.

It would be wrong to pick out any performances as all the Trentham runners and supporters were winners. You can find the stories and pictures on TRC Facebook or https://www.facebook.com/adidasthunderrun/photos_stream. Or you could ask anyone who was there, but be prepared for a long reply.
Well done Trentham Running Club. I had a great weekend

Thanks for that report Ken and we also have a report from Kirsten Owen:

The Thunder Run, was one of the major runs on my calendar this year; my first Marathon at London, my marathon PB at Edinburgh and finally I was getting to run the Thunder Run, my running year is nearly complete.
I went to see Trentham Thunder Run Team last year when I went along to see them running it in 2011, the atmosphere was brilliant it was like a festival for runners, with 24 hour food and showers what more could one want.

The team and running order was sorted Team Captain Ken had sorted everything out from registering us at the event, calculated everyones predicted times and looking after the priceless vintage Trentham tent. Unfortunately due to injury Ken would not be running this year, but that did not stop him playing a major part of our team over the weekend.

The weather was great and with everyone helping out the tents were up in no time; there was not putting your feet up as Pickles decided it would be a great idea to recky the course, despite having just opening a nice cold cider I went along with them. The course was playful but there was some great inspirational quotes on route to keep you going. After we headed back in to the camp our evening descended into building BBQ’s and campfires and everyone looking forward to the events of the next 24 hours. As well as the teams of runners we had a team of great supporters Sammy, Chloe, Lara, Heidi Pickstock and Adam, Scott, Sarah and Dorothy, Emily and Elizabeth, Matt Plant, Lisa, Janson, daughter and friend all made sure we were well looked after with food, refreshments and plenty of words of encouragement.

Morning saw the departure of Lee, Scott and Mat to go and run Merebrook and everyone started to prepare for the job at hand running for 24 hours. There was much excitement and anticipation in the camp and once Deb’s arrived we had a full complement to our team…well as long as Lee made it back in once piece from Merebrook, if not then Ken might have to run a lap after all!!

Each one of my laps were very different but great at the same time; my 1st was in the nice sunny weather late afternoon and I had a great battle with a girl from Boxfit group, we keep passing each other which helped to keep the pace up, my 2nd lap was in biblical rain and mainly involved my core in trying to keep me upright through the twisting and turning forests trails, and my 3rd and final lap was as dawn was breaking over the camp, the rain had cleared up, people were starting to stir and emerge from their tents. As I past the camp for the last time I must have surprised Lee Jones as he was still there and not at the changeover area, there was a little panic in his face, but he needn’t have worried as he was there in plenty of time for me to orange baton over.

Yes my times could have been better but as everyone said there is no “I” in team, and it was that team that came 11th out of 253 mixed 5-8 teams; everyone was where they were meant to be, at the time they were meant to be. Not one person said it was too wet, too muddy or too hard everyone gave 150% and that makes me proud to say that I am part of Trentham running club. The highlights for me was the atmosphere and the spirits of the whole event; the Green Army pulled together, our friends and family came along to see and support us, thanks to you all.
Do I want to run it next year….hell yeah my name is already down!

Thanks for the report Kirsten, and well done to everyone that ran at the Thunder Run this year. Hopefully next year the rain will hold off a little longer.

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Leek Half

Craig Taylor has sent us this report from the Leek Half Marathon:

Ah the Return of the Leek Half. Not quite in the same league as the Return of the Jedi but still a worthwhile mention in the same sentence. If I was Luke Skywalker there is no doubt that the climb up to the Roaches was my Darth Vader. And we all know how that one ended. I’ll put my light saber away, ahem, and get on with writing this little report anyway…

I always like to set the scene on my race reports and this one was a cracker. Firstly, I ran the Staffs Knot on Wednesday and for those that know me for some reason I can’t seem to get it up during midweek races. My performance that is of course! That race was no different. I sucked. Big time. I haven’t even bothered with a report for that one as it was a big pile of monkey crap. To make my already dark mood an even deeper shade of black the bloke who I beat to get 49 points in my NSRRA group was awarded MY 49 points due to some underhanded tactics. Needless to say a few e-mails to our very own Paul Clinton and he awarded those 49 points back to their rightful owner. Lesson to be learned here in that cheats never prosper. Unless you don’t get caught of course!

So the little storm cloud that was hovering above my head followed me into the Leek half. Making a welcome return after a 12 month sabbatical presumably to spare the sheep the trauma of watching us lot traipse our sweaty backsides through the wonderful Peak District for a year. But alas we were back and a very good turn out from the Green Army would see us back in business.

Lee Jones led the warm up which was great until he took us down the hill at the start and to the end of the road. Only problem was we had to run back up that sodding great hill to get back to the start. Oh well, first hill of the day done and dusted. It was also getting pretty warm too by this point with little breeze and the sun peeking out behind the clouds. Pretty much ideal conditions which worries me as we never have ideal running conditions in this country!
Now I had mapped this race out in my head pretty well. I knew the time I wanted to get but with some big races coming up for me I didn’t want to go all out on it which is a tough thing for a racer to get into his head and stick to the plan. When it comes to distance I can stick to a plan pretty much down to the number, I am a bit crapper when it comes to the short stiff. See Staffs Knot 5 for the best example. Did I mention that was a performance worse than watching Stoke City trying to play football? Back to the report…

The start was great, all downhill and not at all congested. It seemed an endless sea of colours of different running vests all went tanking down the hill like there was a Wright’s pie for the first to reach the bottom. And there were some big blokes bowling on down that hill believe me. I trotted along without a care in the world as Stan and Steve Locker came past, I could hear Lee just behind me and also Harry Porter from Mow Cop came beside me. Very easy for the first mile and a good chat to a few runners along the way.

Then we hit the first hill. I sort of went up it really easily without putting a great deal of effort in and cut through like a knife half of the people that had gone tonking it down the hill. Couldn’t help but have a little Dr Evil type of chuckle. Frank Caci came up beside me as did Scott Bang Tidy and we ran together for about a mile. We hit the next climb which drags on more than an episode of EastEnders and Frank who was breathing like a 90 year old smoking a packet of Capstan Extra Strength and Scott dropped off. Another load of people taken on that hill too had pretty much clawed back everyone who had gone bombing in front. I knew I would pull people back in but not before mile 3 of the race!

Down to Meerbrook and a welcome water station. Then Bryan Dale snapping away and trying his best to make me look like a runner. Still can’t expect miracles from the guy eh!
Nick Dunning catches up as we move onto the Three Horseshoes. I make several comments about how crap his football team are (no guesses there who I am on about!) and drop him behind pretty quickly. A nice little leg stretcher down to the start of the dreaded climb. I overtake some guy at the start of the climb through Upper Hulme who had decided to stop for a breather, give him a bit of encouragement and carry on. Not too far past the tea rooms Dale Colclough and Roger Taylor were there to cheer us on and give support. Although to be fair, all I got was the p**s taken out of me when I went past! I was chuckling all the way around at Dale’s comment so it actually helped to relax me.

Up and over the Roaches which went on forever. I was following Dean Windsor at this point and I knew if I stuck behind Deano a decent time would come without exerting myself too much. Down the drop at the end of the climb over the Roaches was brutal. I controlled it well but even that was difficult. I kept with Dean and when we hit Mile 9 I felt really good and fresh. Then came mile 10.

I nearly got hit by two cars at the T – junction at mile 10 due to the water station being on the wrong side of the road, the Police not being able to direct traffic and the marshalls not telling me in which direction to go. As a result I had to come to a near stop to avoid getting flattened and had a bit of a temper tantrum by throwing my cup of water on the floor and coming out with words that would have earned me a bar of soap shoved in my god and a slapped posterior in my younger days. Did it make me feel better? Yep it did actually so I aint apologising!

I made up lost time pretty quickly through rage more than anything else, and before I knew it I had picked off more runners and it was mile 12. Past Bryan again who seems to have a transporter to get him to so many different locations on a course and then the drop back down to the hill at the end. Now getting up this hill was the hardest part of the race for me. It hurt. It hurt a lot. I had no idea who was behind me so I put everything into it. I came through to where the finish was and it was ever likely I was running very low 6’s on my garmin. Pullingapickle was a definite at this point!

I crossed the line in 33rd place with a time of 1:33:42. A new course PB by 5 mins and 11 seconds. 50 NSRRA points in the bag and pretty much second place tied up behind the untouchable Dave Pickstock and a very worthy winner. Some amazing runs from Scott Minshall, Dan Cawley, Becky Austin, Andy Vickerman and everyone else. The support from the Trentham WAG’s and kiddies was superb too. All in all a tough but very rewarding day.

Next stop, the Dave Clark 5. I’m feeling glad all over!!!!


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Burton 10K

Many Thanks to Ed Wilson for sending us this report from the Burton 10k last weekend. Read on to find out about his trip along the A50:

Its getting on for a year since I first discovered Trentham RC, so its probably time that for me to get off my backside and write one of these race reports. I first became aware of the Hatton Darts Burton 10K when a flyer was left on my car window during the Uttoxeter Half Marathon in May. Said flyer then gathered durst inside the car for a couple of months until one day I decided it might actually be a good idea to enter the race. Having mainly run longer races in the past I'd never done myself justice in the few 10Ks that I had run; for some reason I couldn't quite get my head around the distance and figure out how to pace it. That said, my previous best was done on the hilly course at Berryhill so did fancy my chances on the roads of East Staffordshire.

With it not being a NSRRA race, there was a smaller than normal contingent of Trentham runners. The two Scotts, Minshall and Zikmanis together with Matt Plant and the ever enthusiastic Lee Jones all signed up on the day making it a Trentham fivesome. Although its good seeing waves of green in races, it was also nice being part of a smaller TRC team amongst a mixed bag of Staffordshire and East Midlands vests on the day. The race HQ is at the Shobnall Leisure Centre on the outskirts of Burton which makes a good base with loads of parking space plus free access to the showers and lockers inside. Having arrived about an hour before the start, we convened for some stretching and a light warm up on the grass around the leisure centre. Brian Dale passed by and jokingly warned us to 'behave ourselves' although I couldn't think what he was referring to. We then did a jog to the start line which is a little way away on the other side of the A38 dual carriageway, passing some allotments complete with big sunflowers on the way.

The race starts on a narrow side street before turning left away from the town and up a fairly steep hill. After squeezing through a narrow alleyway between some houses you are quickly into a more rural setting. After passing Scott Zikmanis on the steepest part of the climb, I settled into a steady pace of around 4.10 minutes per kilometre as the gradient levelled out (I always switch my Garmin to Kilometres during 10Ks) which would deliver a PB of around 41 minutes. By this point, Scott Minshall was predictably out of sight and well on the way to an impressive PB of 36.30. I briefly considered using Cheadle runner Rebecca Harrison for pace making, but quickly realised she wasn't going fast enough and breezed past. Matt Plant has been running superbly of late and I was always mindful that he would be lurking just behind ready to pounce. I resisted the temptation to look back and thankfully he did not come past on this occasion.

The middle section of the race is run on fairly level plateau and its possible to go at quite a pace. I can't remember too much about this section other than a rather annoying part where we seemed to switch from one side of the road to another about five times in the space of about 400 metres. Brian Dale was on hand taking the photographs as we passed through the small village of Anslow. Then you hit the Uttoxeter-Burton B road which marks the two thirds point of the race and the beginning of the steady descent back to the finish.

With no sign of Mr Plant and my confidence boosted by a few overtakings I decided to throw everything at the descent to try and get that PB. The last four kilometres were all comfortably below 4.00 pace with the best being 3.40. By this stage the route was familiar as this was the same road that I'd driven along en route to the race. You quickly re-enter the Burton suburbs and pass under the elevated A38. As the Marstons brewery came into sight, I knew we were nearly home. There is then a sharp left turn into the Leisure Centre complex. You go round the back of the changing block before emerging onto the athletics track for one lap before crossing the finish line. Top TRC WAG Sarah Heath was on hand to offer encouragement as I emerged onto the track. I love these track finishes where you can put on a real sprint finish and it brought back memories of past races such as Macclesfield Half and Sheffield Half which also finish on running tracks.

As I began the 400 metre finale around the track, Scott Minshall (with goody bag in hand) ran across the grass field in the middle to shout out words of support before following me all the way round. Having done my first 10k in over 45 minutes late last year, I never envisaged coming so close to the 40.00 mark in 2013 and was therefore delighted with a finish time of 40.18 which was 89 seconds faster than the previous one. Matt Plant finished only a few seconds later which was remarkable considering he'd done Stan's 13 mile run the day before. There's no way I would consider doing a race in such circumstances. It wasn't long before Scott Zikmanis and Lee Jones appeared and we supported them to the end. As Lee crossed the line, the man on the PA commented that it 'was a good turnout from Trentham today.' True enough, but you should have seen the Potters Arf mate!

After posing for the obligatory photographs and trying on our new T-Shirts we all went for a well deserved team lunch at The Albion pub just up the road; Scott Minshall had spotted a 'Two for One' offer as he ran past in the race, which must not have been easy at the pace he was travelling. Despite being served by possibly the most miserable waitress in the world we all enjoyed our grub and commented on what an enjoyable race it had been. It later transpired that we'd finished sixth in the men's team competition which was a nice surprise as we didn't know there was one. To round off a successful day Mr Minshall was awarded first prize in the men's V50 category! You've got to feel some sympathy for the poor bloke who came second and was robbed of his prize...

Thanks for the report Ed, and well done on getting such a great time. Hopefully more reports to follow, and hopefully Scott did the right thing and gave his prize back.......

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Dave Clarke 5

The Dave Clarke 5 was once again a huge success this year despite the field being down on last year (last years was a NSRRA counter) it was still a good turnout with 165 runners in the main race and 37 junior racers too. Trentham did very well taking 3rd Male (Stephan), M65 (Stan) F40 (Becky), F50 (Jill) and both the Men's and Ladies team prizes. Another Trentham Runner who had a good run was Craig Taylor who sends us this report:

Firstly, I am proud of this little cracker of a race for a number of reasons which I will share with you lucky readers now:
1.) The race is run in memory of Dave Clark of Trentham RC and from what I have heard, and although I was never fortunate to meet the man, he was Trentham through and through.
2.) Secondly it is hosted and organised by Staffordshire and the world’s premier running club, Trentham!
3.) And thirdly you don’t get many 5k races around locally and certainly not over this sort of terrain so it is a good tester over a shorter distance.

This is the second time I have ran this race, the previous time was last year in my very last race for Newcastle AC and just as I had been diagnosed with Coeliac disease. Subsequently, it was my last race before I took what was over three months totally off running before coming back as a member of the green army and Pickle’s People.

My race day started with a trip to Birmingham on the train. Weird places are trains. The regulars look at you as if you are some sort of unwelcome parasite disrupting their daily little routine of sitting in their little area. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than having a seat reservation and telling them to shift their ass of my reserved throne or even better, shift your laptop/bag/suitcase/shopping bag/newspaper/other bum cheek off my seat so I can sit down. I know people who don’t like asking others to jog on out of the way but I love it, must be the power trip and feeling of superiority that runs in my veins. Either that or I’m just a tit, I’ll let you be the judge of that one!

Anyway, one very long, very boring conference later I ended up back at said train station on said train with the same old said train geeks. The conference was good for one thing though, it let me daydream away about the race and what I wanted to achieve. I had ran the Leek Half marathon the Sunday so still had that in my legs along with a pretty brutal 1k rep session with the club on Tuesday and other runs in-between.

Firstly, as it was not a NSRRA league race, I wanted to enjoy it as I was under no pressure at all. Secondly I wanted to run for a specific time and see if I could nail the pace in a race environment. Thirdly, I needed to stay fresh due to a race I have trained for coming up shortly and lastly I wanted to look good on Bryan Dale’s photo’s for once and not look like some munter who has been hit with the ugly stick. And then hit with a big ugly shovel for good measure.

In good old Stoke – on – Trent fashion after a lovely sunny day it decided to rain half an hour before the start and it kept raining.  It is not great for running particularly when you suffer with a beautiful combo of asthma and hay fever.  I watched the junior run beforehand and it was great to see so many younglings taking part. Loved the moment when Scott Zikmanis ran in with his little girl Dorothy. Moments like that you can never put a price on.

We lined up for the start and a great intro from Ryan explaining what the race was all about. Well done mate. Off we went. By the time we had dropped down on the field I had already slowed the pace down as I had started too quickly over the first 300m. I was joined by Dale, Sam and another Trentham runner who I don’t know the name of. There are so many of us nowadays it is hard to keep up! A quick chat to Dale and I pull just in front heading up to Cow Lane.

Now, this was a bit of a mistake slamming the anchors on so early as I then got caught doing the conga up to Cow Lane with bob hope of overtaking anyone. I managed to squeeze my svelte like frame (not svelte enough, I have to add) past a few people before I see a bald head and a sky blue vest five bodies up front. Then came the cry of my dulcet tones “Move your effing backside Terry Barker you are holding me up!” I’m good friends with Terry who fired some abuse back before I steamed on past before the drop onto Cow Lane. On another note it is great to see Terry coming back into form given his pretty horrendous injury. Top lad I have to say even if he does run for that mob and supports Aston Villa. Can’t have everything in life eh!!!
Again I get caught on Cow Lane and can’t overtake as everyone decides to run in the middle and unless I fancied eating a bush, which I didn’t at that particular moment. We open up onto a field and before embarking on the canal I cut a swathe through a number of runners like a hot knife through butter baby! Janson is kindly holding the gate open to get through, what a man, and then on the canal.

Sam is running with me at this point and is doing really well. We overtake Paul Clinton and a few other Trentham guys and then go past Dan Jordan encouraging people on coming off the canal. In front by a few yards I see Scott Z, Matt P, Jon Bowman, Paul B, Ed Wilson and Sam. Now, I just sit a few yards off Sam and then WHACK, BANG, POW!!! He had pulled a tree branch back out of the way so it wouldn’t hit him, let go of it and it smacked me straight in the kisser. Fortunately I’m sure you are all very glad to know it has not damaged my chiselled good looks. It was for the part very funny and I shouted some obscenity which I will not repeat on this report in jest at Sam. My mother would slap my backside and shove a par of Imperial Leather’s finest in my gob if only she knew of my vulgarity.

I overtake Ed and Paul who commented that ‘he had nowt in his old legs.’ I disagree with that Mr Bozlem you had two weeks fully inclusive beer and food in your legs! Anyway, showing no mercy I galloped on by. Before I knew it we hit Cow Lane again and it was a line of green going up. I saw Alan Brookes of SCH in front by 200m who is one of my rivals in Group C. well, not really a rival as he has only beaten me in two races and I have annihilated him in the rest but beating him wasn’t even on the agenda today so he could have his moment. I ran along Sam and encouraged him to catch him up. I had loads left in the tank at this point but wanted to push Sam on as he is a good lad and I was only treating the race as a hard tempo run.

Top of Cow Lane and Sam picked it up a bit in an effort to push on but by the time we had come back onto the field Sam was flagging a bit. He had a terrific run. The racer then kicked in a bit and Alan who was still a good 200m in front saw me putting my foot down. I went past Sam and thought I would try and close the gap on Alan a bit if nothing else to make him work harder than he needed to. Past Bryan Dale on the bend with 250m to go and still feeling very fresh I hit the finish line soon after. I ran a 20.02 which was two and a half mins quicker than the previous year and I ran exactly to the time I wanted, give or take the two seconds. Happy days.

Some great individual performances from Scotty Minshall, Pete Nicholson, Dave Pickstock, Jon Bowman, Scott Zikmanis, Matt Plant, Becky Austin…… the list literally goes on. And the Men and the Women also took home the team prize. All the hard work and training is paying off for everyone, well done all.

I can honestly say by the end of the evening, everyone was feeling just a little Glad All Over!!
p.s. Ryan – is my mug in the post? 

The answer Craig is yes, and thanks for the report, all the extra Mugs for Trentham Runners have been received and they can be handed out on Thursday :-)

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Wilne 10K

Thanks goes again to Craig Taylor for doing this race report from the Wilne 10K:

Another weekend, another race. This little beauty however was not part of the NSRRA league nor was it within the borders of Staffordshire. Nope, I took a little trek out to deepest, darkest Derbyshire for this one. The returning Carl Platt gave me the heads up that this would be a good one to race, a pretty flat and scenic course plus it was part of the Midlands Championships so it would be a fast field.

Now, over the years 10k has been a bit of a nemesis of mine and I have only ever broken 40 minutes twice, one of which was this year at Stone. I want to develop my speed and push as hard as I can physically go especially next year so given there are no 10k’s really remaining in Staffordshire for the rest of the year other than Stan’s pudding run up a mountain 3x that offer PB potential this would be a good test.

This one would be the third race in a fortnight which is not ideal prep at all but I was already committed to doing Leek half and our very own DC5 so it would be interesting to see how the old legs would fare.

Carl very kindly came down to support and Stephan also was coming to run the event so I played chauffeur for the day. After messing about with a new sat nav – me and technology don’t go particularly well anyway – I set off and make it to Carl and Pickle’s house. Success. Did I also mention that I have all the navigation skills of a homing pigeon with its head up its own backside and wings tied together? Well receiving an e-mail off the organisers to say that there were road closures and diversions set up all around the location we were going due to roadworks wasn’t exactly the thing I needed to read to send me asleep peacefully the night before the race.

Regardless and feeling about as confident as a Stoke fan that they may actually see a pass or two this season, we set off. As the roads were quiet and the journey I was making was one I do pretty much every day for work as I work in Derby I put my foot down and the running and football talk commences. The time seems to pass by in flash when Stephan actually notes that the time is passing by in a flash and somewhat of a blur due to me doing a nudge over 70mph. As there was no toilet paper in the car I decided to slow down a tad. If only I could run that fast eh!?!

After doing a loop of Wilne twice due to the diversion and car park signs not actually being entirely accurate in their guidance, we find said car park which just happens to be in the middle of a big field. And, yep, you guessed it, said field was full of cow muck. Dodging the mess, we collected our race packs with quite an unusual look chip timing tag. I put mine on in a matter of seconds and Stephan decided to dismantle his trainer in an attempt to get it affixed. The outcome was a broken chip tag but to be fair to the lad he managed to do something to get it to hold in place. Even the Krypton Factor would have rejected the concept of that one due to the difficulty rating!

After a warm up and the invariable pee pit stop in a random corner of a random street in this random part of the world we line up. The dude counting us down reeled off some of the elite runners and their rather quick 10k times. Hmmm…. some of these were quicker than my 31 minute 5 mile race PB. Somehow I don’t think I would be troubling the pack today. I’ll save it for next year.

And we were off. The start was fast due to the number of quick runners. I settled into a pace around the 6:15 mark. It was windy out on the course and the wind was directly in my chops at this point. I hung behind a few runners and let them take the blast. We turn into a little street and then all of a sudden it was into windy country lanes with no people, a few houses and not a car to be seen. The course had very steady inclines and losses all the way through. I started to pick people off who had set off too quickly which was bound to happen in such a quick field. The sun had got his hat on and was generously giving everyone else a blast of heat as it was warm out on the course and after seeing some people dropping out with exhaustion the heat was clearly playing a part. I hit 4k and note it is an incline to the finish. Not ideal at all as it is a pretty tough 1k rep at the end of the race.
We back onto a verrrryyyyyy long drag and the wind is literally whipping up a storm. Dust and leaves are pelting my mush and as I was running next to some geezer who was 5 foot at a push I wasn’t exactly getting much protection.

I push on and go past Carl who shouts out some encouragement and by the 6k point the wind was really having an effect. Going from sub 06:15 miling pace to high sixes wasn’t in the plan and it was literally taking twice the effort to try and keep a decent pace. The next 1k was the same story but I was still moving through the field quite quickly so it was obviously taking an effect on everyone. I tag onto some bloke from Derwent Runners and try to keep pace.

Suddenly 8k was up. Not far now. I knew my chances of a sub 39 minute race had gone due to the
5 – 7k wind blasting but there was no way Jose I was going to slacken off. I kept picking people off until the 9k mark came up. I pushed on and was feeling the burn at this point, then a 400m to go sign flashed in front of my eyes. All I kept thinking was it was just a 400m rep on Campbell Road which actually helped me push on. The finish was in site and my chip time came in at 39:27 which I was over the moon about. The course was long too, 6.27 miles in total. My average was 06:17 pace which is exactly the same as my PB average over 10k so if the course was the correct distance then I would have come within a few seconds either side.

So, a very enjoyable race and a very enjoyable result. A top goody bag also and a good old natter on the way home. I also spotted a sandwich shop for Carl as he was a bit peckish and all I’ll say was he managed to get his hands and mouth around a fair old pair of baps at an excellent price!!!


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Page last updated 04 September 2013


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