March 2013 News and Reports


National XC Championships

Thanks to Deb Thomas for sending in the next two reports, first one from The recent National Cross Country Championships which were held in the Northeast in Sunderland. The ladies managed to get a team of 5 out whilst the men took 4 hardy souls. With unfavourable temperatures and weather of late it would be interesting to see how it went.......

The National Cross Country at Sunderland commenced with the ladies run at 2.15pm. After a 4 hour early morning journey from Stoke we arrived with about an hour to spare before the ladies race. In this time we had to find the park and ride, get to the venue, collect numbers, pitch the little tent, get changed and warmed up; in the end with only 10 minutes to go!! The conditions were snowy, freezing cold, wet and extremely muddy, which was not very appealing! On the start line myself, Mandy, Becky, Jill and Rose lined up, huddling close to try and keep warm and then we were off, trudging through the sloppy mud to get going. We had to complete two large undulating laps of 4km each. Mandy took off like a rocket from the start, she was soon out of sight, I took it a little steadier knowing that I was full of cold and taking the first lap a little easier would allow me to dig in for the second. The course was very scenic and wide enough for there not to be any bottle necking; although a Tipton runner took it upon herself to barge into me even though I was running alone and not in her way!! She soon became a target to beat after that (I did get her)!! I enjoyed the course, even with the sludge it was not excessively challenging, and I was happy to finish 97th. Mandy had a fantastic run to finish 59th, Becky was next (unfortunately she lost her chip so did not count) then Jill 322nd and Rose 270th… 24th out of 46 teams. It was very amusing to see the state of everyone at the end; head to toe in mud, should have had a wrestling match ha ha!!

The guys ran 12km and finished Phil Mainwaring 475th, Dale Colclough 749th, Dave Pickstock 765th, Pete Clarke (position not given) out of a total of around 1100 runners which was brilliant. A drink or two (mostly coffees) in the local pub helped us all to warm up and we all chatted and told our races stories. Back on the minibus then to the hotel to wash off the muck (it took about 20 minutes in the shower to get clean!) and then it was a lovely Italian meal and a night out which was brilliant and involved ‘a few’ bevies, lots of dancing and laughing…and that’s where the story will end!!

Thanks to Dale for driving both ways, Jill for the treats and cakes, Vinnie for the early morning sweets and thanks to everyone else on board for a fantastic weekend. Can’t wait for the next one!!

And on to the next race in Deb's double header which was this Sunday's Cheadle Spring 5 race, and I can tell you it was very pleasant if a little chilly in the air as I cycled out there to cheer on the runners myself. After the main race set off there was also a junior fun run which I am very pleased to say one of the Trentham Juniors won with Megan Inch leading the whole field home. Anyway, onto the main race and Deb's report:

Cheadle 5
I went into this race knowing that I was in desperate need of a massage as I’d struggled on my midweek tempo run with ‘wooden legs’ syndrome and everything from my shoulders to my ankles was feeling tight and flat. However, Cheadle 5 is one of my favourite races and I was happy to just run my best, all things considered. A nice easy two mile warm up with Jill, Paul Burslem and John Guest helped to make the decision on what to wear as it was a cool morning but I felt warm after the jog so removed my gloves before the start, and I was glad as when we lined up, the sun appeared!

On the start line the only opponent I spotted was Rebecca Harrison, whom I chatted to briefly and then we were off. The first quarter mile is down the drive from the school and helps to get you going. I kept close to Rebecca and planned to stay within easy reach of her, hoping that I might get an opportunity to get in front of her at some point. The first mile takes in a climb at about ¾ mile and Rebecca got away from me a little more when we took in the downhill afterwards. I counted she was 10 seconds in front by now. I wasn’t aware of a third lady behind me so I felt quite relaxed and focused on keeping pushing and ignoring the heavy sensation of my quads.

Miles 1-2 are undulating and I was making sure to take all the short corners where possible. Mile 2-3 gives some downhill and I tried to relax but my legs were not wanting to go any faster! I was not checking my watch for the pace as the course is so up and down it’s not possible to maintain a pace and I just wanted to go for it without worry of my time. After a sharp climb and a left turn the course was heading back towards the finish. I could see Rebecca coming back to me a little now but she was with a fellow Cheadle runner who kept looking behind and telling her I was getting closer. A guy runner near to me tried to encourage me to “go for her at mile 4” but with my legs feeling like lead I knew I couldn’t increase my stride to get much nearer to her. More ups and downs and ½ mile to go Rebecca is a lot closer now, about 6 seconds in front.

Phil Mainwaring shouts me on to push hard but I know I can’t, I’m at my limit and my legs feel like they’re buckling! The crowd are cheering Rebecca to keep working hard as “she’s right behind you” and she digs in, and I try to do the same, taking the left turn to run the last quarter mile back up the drive, I manage to pass the chap she had been next to. I use my arms to try and increase my stride and I’m so close to her now and she’s working hard too but I know I can’t get to her before the line; and then the race is over and she has beaten me!! Rebecca won in 30.52 and I was second in 30.56… Average pace was 6.11 min/mile although my splits ranged from 6.08 min/mile to 6.11 min/mile and I was pleased to have got a PB, especially considering the way I was feeling!!

Well done to all Trentham runners, I have sifted through the results and added on here. Big well done to Jill (also got a PB!), Alan and I think Stan who won their age categories!! Thanks to Paul Burslem and Guy Aartse-Tuyn for their company over the Cheadle 4 course in the sunshine for a cool down and thanks to Jill for picking me up and supplying, as always, tasty cakes and snacks for afterwards! A lovely run much enjoyed

18th     30.56     D Thomas
22nd    31.12     P Burslem
36th     33.09     J Guest
37th     33.20     E Wilson
48th     34.04     S Winterton
68th     36.13     K Widdowson
74th     36.55     J Phillips
78th     37.34     S Lovatt
87th     38.14     A Lewis
128th   43.19     G Lovatt


Thanks for those reports Debbie and the full results for the Cheadle Spring 5 can be seen here: Click here, no sorry HERE!

Cloud 9 Race

Thanks to new Trentham member Jansen Heath for sending us this report from the Congleton Cloud 9 race. Jansen went along with his wife Lisa to check out the summit of Bosley Cloud (not that you have chance to take it in) so read on to find out how they got on:

Cloud9 the first of the off road races on theTRC calendar. Even so most had opted for Tarmac this weekend doing the Cheadle 5. The four of us that had chosen for softer ground were in for a treat, it turned into a beautiful sunny morning leaving views to die for.
The green army members running were myself Janson Heath, my wife Lisa Heath , Simon Dunn a rugged fella who I hadn't met before but I knew he was an old hat in the fells and this race. Also Malcolm Rushton who I never saw on the day . We also met up with stokeFIT duo Greg boughy and frank Murphy along with lucinda. I also met Debbie Thomas's other half Adam from staffs moorlands.

On turning up for the race I anticipated trouble parking due to the size of the leisure centre car park. This was not the case as all surrounding businesses chipped in with parking space. The organisation and logistics were excellent and I congratulate Congleton Harriers for this.
The race was delayed by 15 mins due to an accident on the macc road to allow runners to get there, a tad annoying as I'd warmed up and had to start again. Simon Dunn's method of warm up looked easier. He just stood in a pink recycling bag, old school warrior.!!

When The race began and I had set myself a target of averaging 8 min miles taking into account the hill climb. I started at a steady 7:45 pace, Gregg and frank sped off, I'd be seeing frank later ;). I soon realised I should of gone out faster, there were bottle necks at stiles etc and I was agitated it was costing me time. I knew the front of the field were away and not getting the hold ups . This then Had a snowball effect as my strong point is uphill and I was struggling to get around people who had got out the blocks quicker but were slower uphill.

As I got to the top of bosley cloud the field was thinning and I knew I had to make up the loss of two near ten minute miles. I dropped a gel and threw myself downhill at 6:30 pace hopping rocks and roots on the way but making up ground. The terrain settled and I could maintain a nice pace. The next 3 miles flew by, Eventually one mile from home I crept up on Franks shoulder and sat there for a minute or two. I then picked my moment and decided to pass, he shouted some obscenity in my ear, I think it ended in!! I reached the line in 1:12 which was actually on target but I knew I could have gained a few minutes with better tactics. Simon had a cracking time of 1:09 for first male grrrrrr. . Lisa had set herself sub 1:30 and achieved it comfortably with 1:24, although she stopped when she saw me until I pointed at the finish line 30 yards away. :) Anyway congrats dear on First Lady. Ahem, Only lady!! Gotta be in it to win it tho.... Malcolm v65 clocked 1:44.

We then took advantage of the free soup, roll, banana, gingerbread man and tea and coffee. Yum.
Overall a lovely little race that I will be doing again for sure. Only £8 and some nice little touches. Also an option to buy an event T-shirt for £8 Well done congleton harriers and all that entered

Thanks for the report Jansen and by first male and first lady we assume you mean for Team Trentham :-) Great stuff and a great report. Let's keep the reports coming in please folks with the Stafford 20 and Stafford Half around the corner I'm sure there must be plenty of scope for a few lines.

Results for the Cloud 9 HERE!

Stafford 20

The Stafford 20 took place at the weekend in freezing temperatures and snowy conditions. It was fine underfoot but it was not pleasant to be out running in, especially for 20 miles. There were a number of Trentham Runners out for this race, some doing the relay and some doing the full 20 miles. A couple of noteworthy performances for the 20 include Jill Phillips who picked up a silver in the Staffs Championships and won the L50 prize, and Paul Burslem who picked up the award for looking most like uncle fester, oh, and and picked up a medal in the Staffs Championships too :-)

We have had a couple of race reports, first one is from Andrew Vickerman who was attempting the 20 as part of his Marathon preparations:

I was looking forward to this race as I had been putting the training in this year with doing VLM. In training me, Lee Jones, Jon Bowman and Matt Plant had agreed to run together doing 8’s to come in at 2:40.  Race preparation is never great with a 2 year old in tow, especially this year as my wife was doing the relay. So before I knew it I was standing on the start line in the freezing cold and light snow.
As agreed our little group all set off around the campus bollard dodging and then out into the big bad world. We hit the first hill which seemed really easy and nowhere near as bad as I remember it being last year. Janson Heath was always about 10 yards in front of us and I kept reminding him that I was there (In the same NSRRA group). At about 6-7 miles a gap was opening up between Lee & Matt and Me & Jon. Jon said what should we do, I asked him how he felt and as we both felt good we agreed to continue and could always drop back.

Coming up to the 8 mile marker Jon just disappeared into the distance leaving me alone in no mans land. My target had now changed to try and keep up with Janson. Lap 1 done, got a wet hand and no water at the water station. Lap 2, kept Janson in sight and concentrated on not needing the toilet. Virtually stopped at the water station this time to make sure I didn’t miss again. Coming out of the country lane, Janson turned and spotted I was still behind. He must of kicked around the corner because when I got to it I was a further 20 yards behind. It remained that distance for another 5 or 6 miles. I struggled to get any jelly beans out of the packet, my hands were that numb and gave up in the end.

Matt Plant came past me on the hill (3rd lap) which still wasn’t feeling too bad. I concentrated on getting along the country lane and then it was downhill. Job done, got to the downhill and was still feeling great. Onto the main road, as soon I as saw the marshal with her Costa Coffee I was gone. Legs like jelly, passed the man who shouts at you to stay left and that was it, I had to stop. I tried to get going again, but had to keep stopping every couple of hundred yards. All the people I had worked hard to overtake were retaking me and then Jill Phillips having another run of her life came flying passed. Wounder, I had been joking around with her all week, she had said she would take me at 5 miles, I lasted until 19.5. I had to stop again, I turned around, NOOOOOO, Lee Jones was 20 yards behind me, there was no way I would hold him off now. He sailed through and left Dan Jordan to pick up the pieces.

Thanks Dan, and my wife for that matter who pushed me across the line, where I duly collapsed on the pavement. I hadn’t worn my watch as I tend to look at it too much and it gets me down when things aren’t going to plan. Lee said I had got about 2:39, which I was over the moon with as I wanted 2:40.  Turns out I got 2:38:23. Well happy, second in NSRRA (I think), losing out to fellow club member Janson. Well deserved Janson, led from the front! In fact well done to everyone, some great performances.
Great experience, I now know what ‘the wall’ is, but am a bit gutted a lost a couple of minutes right at the end. Oh yeah got a free sports massage too.

After the Stafford Half next week, I have 3 weeks to get in at least 2, 20+ milers. If anyone wants to join me, cheers.

Thanks for the report Andrew and well done on getting well under your time despite the slight disappointment at the end. I'm sure you will do just fine at London and may even join you on one of your training runs as I too have yet to get above 17.5 miles.

Just to help pad out the page a little (as we are a little short of reports lately) I have decided to pen one myself, only this one is for the relay. The story begins a couple of weeks back.........

After coaching the juniors one night Phil was telling me about the team Dave Pickstock was putting together to take on the relay at the Stafford 20. Before I realised what I was saying I opened my mouth and said that we should put a team in too. The original plan was to ask Mark Day to make up the team and have 3 of the coaching team run together just for a laugh, but Mark quickly dismissed this as he said he hardly running at the moment. After another brief chat we then decided that we should look for a 'speed merchant' and beat the Pickle Team into 2nd place. Unfortunately there were no takers here either, so plan C was then to assemble a mixed team capable of challenging for the mixed team prize.

I have no shame in saying the first person we asked was Laura, and we thought it may be the ideal comeback run after her injury. Have a bit of fun, no pressure, and see what we can do. Unfortunately Laura felt it was too soon to be racing, but the ever willing Becky Austin stepped forward to offer her race-craft and expertise. How could we refuse? So all was cosy and running smoothly until Saturday when Phil contacted me to say he could not run due to a niggling foot injury. Disaster. We did try and convince Richard to take his place but to no avail, we even tried him when drunk, but no - he was having none of it. Oh dear.

Plan D was now that I run leg 1 & 3 and Becky does the middle leg, and after clearing this with Ken that was what we were going to do. Ken did mention that we could ask someone doing the full 20 to also be our first leg runner. (Plan E) Unfortunately Andi Jones didn't want any added pressure on his own race so we went with the next best, Paul Burslem.... Great Stuff, we had a team of 3 again :-)

Off I went to register the team and then was the next shock, literally, my number was 666!!! Oh my life, could things get any worse? Just in time to see Paul set off it was then time to kick back a little and relax before legs 2 & 3. We checked out the relay changeover point and the finish so we could be best prepared for the race, we even had a clothes storage bag from London Marathon 2011. We did also notice some serious competition in the form of Rebecca Harrison's team from Cheadle (she was doing the 8) and Chris Skellern's Stafford team. We were still confident.

Paul did an amazing job for us and Becky took over from him in 3rd place in the mixed race. Becky had the run of her life, beating her pb and doing a fantastic job in keeping the Stafford team in sight ready for my attack on the final leg. Unfortunately this is where Muppet Chops buggered it up. I got my timings a little out and when Stafford went through I was expecting Becky to be another 3-4 minutes away I said to Phil (Now team manager of Team Trentham Gingerbeard) that I was going for a quick Pee behind a bush. Shocker!!!!! Becky was coming up to the changeover and I was still track suited up!!!! You should have seen the fumble, she tagged me to set off and I was still taking my jacket off, struggled to get my trackies off, falling over and then had to get a hoody off too. What a balls up!!!!! Wasted at least 20 seconds if not more!

Off I went, just starting the stopwatch and still needing a pee. Overtook quite a few doing the 20 going up Bingley Hill and then turned left into Hopton Village. You do feel a bit of a fraud flying past all these runners and the look of anguish on some of their faces as you go past are a sight to behold. Anyway, it was just before I hit the village I had to duck into a hedge for a pee, again dropping another vital 10 seconds or so. Glad I did though as I now felt more comfortable. Ahead I could now see a Stafford vest with something tagged on the back, but I convinced myself it was a B or a C maybe form the NSRRA.

As I was reeling him in I could now see it was wider than it was high and it MUST be a relay sign. I pressed on hard. Just after I got on to Beaconside I could now see that it was a relay sign and started to catch him up but as we got close to the roundabout by the University I knew I'd been pushing my limit. As we turned left at the roundabout back up to the gate I knew my legs were not going to give me the sprint finish I had in mind. I tried to reel him in but he pressed hard to the finish and I couldn't go with it. Gutted!!!!

Crossing the line the only feeling I had inside was disappointment and frustration, not at anyone on the team, but myself. We came 3rd by 27 seconds in 2:19.25 and I knew had I been ready and been for that comfort break it would have been a different result. Not that it cost us anything but pride as only 1st relay teams got a prize and the Cheadle Team won it by over 10 mins. I was fairly pleased with my own run once it did begin and managed to do my leg in 39 mins which worked out at 6.5 min miling, much better than I thought it would be. I consoled the rest of the team with cake and that was that. Fun day out but could have been better.

Well it's true what they say, you wait for one and 3 come at once. Thanks this time to the Bald Eagle - Lee Jones for this one:

Gutted that I missed out on a London place again this year I have entered the Greater Manchester Marathon, and with this in mind I have been putting extra long runs in and trying to keep to sub 8 minute miles, also I've been doing an extra run on Saturdays to maintain a 40mile + week in an attempt to run 2013 miles in 2013! All was going well and I was looking forward to Staffs 20 as a good trainer for my Marra but then I was struck down with a Man-flu like virus the likes of which I've never had with enough snot to sink a battleship. I must have been ill because I didn't run for a whole week and all I managed before this race was a very shaky Sunday run and 2 steady club runs. Suddenly I was under trained, unprepared and not ready.
Race day arrived and the weather was cold, dull and slightly snowing! Perfect running weather. Myself, Jon Bowman, Andy Vickerman & Matt Plant all agreed to start together and stay at sub 8's because we would all be happy with a 2:40:00 finish. We set off in good spirit, chatting away and shouting "Ballards" on our lap of the Uni building before heading out onto the road. Our little group was together and we were joined by Janson Heath and as we made our way easily up the long drag I was happy.
I think around mile 4 things started to change, Janson was pulling away and as we went past a marshalling Ken Pearson he said "come on, this is supposed to be a race" (or something like that) Jon & Andy were leading and I felt them give a little surge. We went through 5 miles in 38mins so we were on target but we had another climb to do and I actually struggled to stay with our group as they didn't let up on the pace. As we levelled out we started to see the mileage markers for the 2nd & 3rd laps! I shouted up that we were doing 7's and said I was slowing to 8's to stick to the plan. Matt slowed with me but Andy & Jon were away which at the time I thought was a mistake.
I ran along comfy now, glad that Matt was still with me but I wondered if I was holding him back. We smiled for Brian Dales camera (cheers mate) then ran the never ending road that led to the end of the first lap where Sammy, Lara & my brother Aaron were waiting to cheer us on. Sammy tried to hand me my beetroot shot but because I felt ok I said I would get it next time (in hindsight I wish I had taken it then). We made our way for the 2nd time up the hill which seemed to have the wind pushing against us just to make it harder. I was really glad when we turned left and headed towards the caravan site and the 10 mile mark.
I was still running comfy and we passed 10 miles in 1:17 which was great but this seemed to be the go point for Matt & I knew he wanted to speed up. I told him to go ahead and he seemed reluctant at first because I think he was being loyal to me but then took off like it was the start of the race!
So, I was on my own but I was still in my target time and feeling fine. I stuck to my plan, ran comfy and stayed just under 8minute miles. My smile was more of a grimace this time going past Brian and I couldn't wait till I saw him again. At the start of the 3rd lap I grabbed my beetroot shot off Sammy and plugged on. Aaron had changed into running gear and started to run with me as he said he would try the last lap. He was running in front and I made a hash of taking my shot and spilled it all down my chin! Azza looked round and said "Lee, Lee oh my god, your nose has exploded" :) he thought I was bleeding. His run didn't last long as he saw the hill then bailed on me!! Thanks Azz.
I knew the 15mile mark was at the top of the hill but I was slowing down. I was determined to reach 15 and still be in my target time and I did it with seconds to spare. Now it was mental, I knew I couldn't drop below 8's but it was hard to keep my thoughts positive as runners started to come past. Just past 17miles Jill Phillips came past going great guns looking like she could run all day and night. It didn't bother me, I told her she was ace and urged her on. What did bother me though was a C runner that came past! He said Hi and I noticed he didn't have his letter on. He said he never gave it a thought but I reckon he was being sneaky.
I was all in, I had resigned myself to failure and was contemplating walking when I looked back expecting to see Gregson Julian coming to over take me next, but instead I saw Dan Jordan!! This really surprised me because Dan is a great runner and he should have finished by now. He came along side and said he was using it as a training run!! Brilliant. I told him the guy in front was in my group and he said "Right, lets get him" I told him I couldn't but he said "shut up, concentrate on breathing and keep up with me" I don't know where I got it from but I did as I was told and started to lengthen my stride. The guy was 50yards in front but we closed the gap quickly. Maybe the beetroot kicked in but once I was past him I kept going and Dan was saying "Brilliant, amazing, great" I didn't even see Brian Dale as we went past I was to focused. I cleared the little hill and saw the final stretch then powered on going past people who had taken me. Jill was away and uncatchable but who was that up front..... Andy Vickerman. This powered me on again and somehow I was doing 7:20's and on target again. I saw Andy stop and walk, NOoo, I felt bad for him and had a pang of guilt as I went past, he had worked so hard and was so close to the finish. Dan told me to carry on as he was going to stay with Andy, I said "I've got this now" and thanked him then urged Andy on. Now there was just the run to the finish, I certainly wasn't sprinting but I was giving it everything I had. Aaron was there again and he ran me to the final corner and the 100yds to the finish. I went across the line in 2:38:00 exactly and I was knackered :)
Andy ran in less than a minute behind so Dan must have kicked his arse as well.
All in all I had a brilliant run, I stuck to my plan (sort of) and got a 2minute P.B I really must thank Dan Jordan for pushing me those last 2miles, you didn't let me give up. Also thanks to Sammy, Lara and Aaron for standing in the cold supporting me and all the runners. Thanks also to all the Marshalls, they were brilliant.

Thanks for the report Lee and well done. Tough conditions and a tough one to get round and have such a strong finish so good on you for that.

Did I say things come along in 3's try FIVES as we have had another 2 race reports from the Stafford 20. Gregson Julian has penned us one but firstly here is one from relative club newbie Craig Taylor and I'd go and boil the kettle first if I were you :)

Advance warning – I would grab a brew and half a packet of chocolate digestives for this one!
For some strange reason I like Stafford 20. I’m not sure if it is the distance, the course or the time away from the wife that I enjoy most (only joking Kerry!) but I have been looking forward to the race for months now. I missed last year’s race due to being a poorly boy so come Saturday afternoon I was already pacing around and laying out may race day kit and fuel in perfect symmetrical order like someone with a bad case of OCD.
In a strange case of déja vu from the last time I ran this race I was woken up to the wind howling and having the time I wanted to run and the race planned in my head. I would have loved a PB but 2 hours and 18 mins was a tad ambitious seen as I have only been training again since November. Anything under 2 hours 25 minutes would do me just fine with the London Marathon just around the corner. A good mate of mine Dave Wilson from Whitchurch Whippets was going to run with me as we were looking for similar times and just for a natter and a bit of company as it can get pretty lonely out in the Stafford wilderness. Even the sheep aint friendly around here!

Now as my Trentham buddies know I am a bit partial to wearing just a running vest even when it is a touch on the cold side outside but even this weather was a bit much for my flesh to be on show so I covered up with the trusty long – sleeved base layer! I love that top, it was a prezzie for my Father – in – Law but I pinched it before it even saw the wrapping paper. Result! After consuming what seemed to be a ill tasting concoction of fluids (get your minds out of the gutter) I went off on a little warm up with Captain Pickle and Jansen Heath before shivering my way to the start line to meet up with Dave. The pre – race talk was the battle for first between Andi Jones and Ben Gamble. First aim of the race then was not to get lapped by those two speed demons!

Off went the claxon and off went all of us for the picturesque lap of the university which has dangers within! Those metal bollards at catch – you – in – the – nuts height! Could be nasty, but they were safely negotiated and I was on my way. Dave, Paul Burslem and myself settled into a steady 06:30ish pace before hitting the climb by the county showground and sweet lord above there was an arctic blast billowing down the hill right in your mush. And this was to come a further 3 times. The pace was pretty nippy and I past 6 miles at around the 42 minute mark without exerting a great deal of energy so all was good.
Beaconside must be one of the grimmest roads ever that saw tarmac. Long, undulating and bloody boring aside from running past the brilliant aircraft on the MOD site which always breaks up the monotony. The wind was heavy going along that two mile stretch too and as per usual there was the odd car driver who thought trying to clip a runners backside with their wing mirror would be fun. Bryan Dale was busy snapping away on Beaconside too looking absolutely frozen. Bryan is an absolute legend so give him a wave and a shout out when you go past him!
At the end of the first lap there was loads of encouragement from Team Trentham and their families which was a great boost before the climb again up to the showground. I lost Dave around 10 miles in as I was knackered and just needed to drop off the pace a little bit. Still on course for under 07:10 min miles so I could afford a slower few minutes to sort out my second wind and attack the last part of the race. And attack it I did indeedy! The second lap flew by and as soon as I got to the top of that climb for the third time not only did my boy bits resemble Frosty the Snowman’s but the run towards the finish line was on. Dan Cowley came past me around 17 miles in and looking in great form. I told him to catch the Stafford Harrier in front who was in his NSRRA Group B and low and behold two minutes later he had left him trailing in his wake! Superb performance lad.
Onto Beaconside and feeling really good at this point, the old legs were tired but no problem stamina wise and I had enough left in the tank to be dipping under 7 min miles for the last mile. Again loads of cheers and encouragement at the end from Team Trentham which was really appreciated in weather of biblical proportions and a finishing position of 65th in 2:22:21.
I was over the moon with the time, also getting 50 points in my NSRRA group by a fair old distance but more importantly some top points for Trentham in the team competition and also well on course for a sub 3:10 marathon at London.
Awesome performances all around from Trentham runners such as Jon, Lee, Jill, Jansen, Greg, Andy and Kirsten to name but a few as well as the relay teams led by Captain Pickle and Ryan respectively. I give Ryan’s team the overall win anyway as Becky is better looking than any of you lot!!!

I absolutely agree with you about the relay Craig and good snaffling capturing that long sleeved top from the outlaws :) Thanks very much for that first excellent report and may there be many more to come in the future. Next up then is this one from Wing Commander Julian, otherwise known as Greg :

This is only my second race report for the club now in 4 years, the other being the Cloud 9 last year. Yesterday’s race was just as exciting as the Cloud 9. I have done half marathons and 10k’s in the past and have had PB’s and very good runs, yesterday’s run apart from being the longest race I have ever run had something else different about it.
There was a group of Trentham runners at the race registration who were buzzing with pre-race excitement. In my haste to get registered I had left my already filled in entry form in the car so had to fill in another one. I spotted Ryan in the crowd and asked where the forms were,” good to see you’re well prepared”  he said and handed me a form. Yes Ryan it’s all in the preparation! (I’ll have to watch how you teach these juniors with their relay techniques carefully.) Anyway I paid my money and got my number 237 and went outside to see if I could get a glimpse of Frank in his retro shorts, I didn’t have to look far. You don’t wear them to circuits do you!!!!! By the way Frank, well done to all your relay teams, fantastic results.

Soon everyone made their way out of the warm reception to the icy cold starting line and no sooner than we lined up the claxon sounded and we were off. My race plan was to run my own race and stay as close as I could to 8 min miles. My first was 7.38 but soon settled down to 8.01-8.02. On the first hill up towards the show ground I could see Dan Jordan so and decided to catch him. I remember him saying at the start he was going to do 8min miles on the first lap so I thought I would stay with him. We had a good old natter on the way round; it’s amazing what subjects get talked about whist running. There was some good banter with some of the other runners around us as well. I managed to avoid my RAF stories for at least 2 or 3 miles but it was hard not to talk about my RAF days being so close to a camp that I spent a good 10 years of my life at and where I met my wife Lorna.

The miles past and sooner than I thought the first lap was over. Lorna was waiting for me in the cold to hand me my drink and energy shot which gave me a nice little boost. Running up the hill towards the show ground was the hard bit with the wind right in your face. I dug deep and thought of the days when I used to do this route, but then with full kit weighing 60lb and with a 14lb weapon as part of my BFT (Battle Fitness Test). We had to do it in 1 hr 30 min for the 10k route. Easy I hear you say, but the last mile was in full NBC with respirator……there I go again slipping into my RAF stories!!

Soon enough I was onto lap 3 with another drink and shot collection from Lorna which gave me another boost for the hill ahead. This is it I thought the last lap. My body told me I had slowed down, but looking at my watch and I was still on 8.02. I can’t believe how the 18 mile marker came and went so fast and putting me into unknown territory, I have never run past 18 miles before. It did however give me an amazing boost of determination to get to the end running 8.06 miles. The long drag of Beaconside road approached after my last gulp of water at the water station. I kept thinking I was slowing down but I wasn’t. All I could think now was the end, the time, the GR1 Harrier and, hang on who’s that in the distance, a D runner!! Yes something new to think of now…….catch him! I actually paced up a bit and closed him down. It was Gary Jones and I passed him with 400mtr to go. When I reached the finish line, my watch was on 19.98 so I ran through the line until my watch read 20miles and then stopped; all I heard from the other Trentham runners was Run Forrest Run. Cheers guys.

The before race nerves I’d had turned into after race elation. My time was 2.42.02 which I am absolutely over the moon with. Roll on London is all I can say. Like the Stafford 20 I’ve never done a marathon before I can only think that the buzz I got after yesterday’s run will be even better in 6 week’s time. Facebook was buzzing yesterday afternoon with everyone on a high after their great running performances . Sounds like everyone had a good run.
Thanks Greg for that race report, had a bit of everything, Romance, Intreague, Comedy and Aircraft, hmmm. haha! Well done mate on such a fab run especially as that was your first time running 20 miles and I'm sure that you'll have a fantastic run at London.

Hopefully we will have a few reports in from the Stafford Half next week as I'm sure there will be a good number of Team Green out there for the 13.1 miles. You will see me there, but only marshalling the start. Good luck runners.......

Results for the Stafford 20 are HERE!

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Cartmel Lakeland Race

Saturday 16th March was the Cartmel Lakeland Trail Race up in the lake district area and at least one Trentham member was running, Jansen Heath, but were there more?

Cartmel is one of a series of 6 Lakeland trail races that take place in spring and autumn. It is where I started running so has great affinity with me and the wife also. It started out when a few of us from my hillwalking/climbing group, the rocktarts decided to run over hills and mountains to speed thing up a little and see more. This little muddy beast of a run is 18k long with 1300ft of ascent and when I say muddy I ain't doing it justice. It can be hellrunner without the water dips.
On Thursday Lisa and I were going through the start lists and as we got to our name noticed another trentham runner, Christine Holmes was entered too. That night I saw Christine and mentioned it to her. She didn't even know she was on the start list :). Apparently they had entered her automatically as she had finished 3rd lady last year. She then ummmed and r'd whether she should race it or not and said she would let me know.

I travelled up Friday night in the camper and bagged myself a free pitch by cartmel racecourse from where the race begins. I wandered to the pub in town where it's a rocktart custom (or is it now a janson one) to down a few pints before the race. It doesn't start until two ;) . I got a message off Christine saying she was doing it. Happy days.

I met Christine in the morning, Mandy Vernon had come along too for support. After the 10k race had gone off, we discussed our time targets. Christine said 5th lady was her target and I wanted to beat the rocktart record of 1:35 so I thought not to far apart. I then said I would use Christine as my rabbit to chase then. (I run better if I'm chasing a faster runner). Anyway another race for slower runners sets off first, this follows the main route and just churns it up for the main race. Which I moan about every year but its part of its custom. An hour passed and then it was our turn. Christine and I moved to the front so we could get off quickly as starting is paramount in these races as passing people can be a challenge. Lisa stayed in ghe middle of the pack with another rocktart runner. Off we went, I glanced down at my garmin and it said 5:40 min miles :/. I told Christine the speed and she didn't bat an eyelid. This rabbit might be a little fast today then I thought. We hit the first ascent. A long half miler and not to steep but a tough little start. I'd just got Christine in sight, sort of ;). Through the woods and onto the second climb, a much steeper one, I saw the green rabbit disappear over the brow of it, next time I saw her was for a hug on the finish line :).

The race was going through its many peaks and troughs and I noticed that not many runners were coming past me. They usually do on fell type races As I tire. This time it wasn't happening so I thought a top 70 finish maybe which was our best position upto yet. The race was becoming muddier and was taking its toll on the earlier race that had set off. This becomes another obsticle, dodging the casualties of the previous race and shouting "going left or right". As it neared the last mile i looked at my garmin and saw 1:22!! What!! I could break 1:30 here!!! Woohoo...... Doh! I forgot, there is a sting in the tail. A very steep wood climb that is muddy and full of slow movers from the previous race. Anyway I finished in 1:32:04 knocking 13mins of last years time. Christine finished in 1:25:06 which was two mins quicker than last year which also bagged her FIRST LADY yey!!! And a £50 asics voucher. Cup if tea and a piece of Lisa's cake for me. Lisa bagged a PB also of 1:48:05.

An excellent day, beautiful race in a beautiful place.

Well done Jansen and massive well done to Christine on winning. Thanks also for the excellent report and the ahem, excellent poetry at the end!

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Stafford Half

A great number of Trentham runners out on Sunday for the Stafford Half Marathon. Some excellent performances from Trentham Runners with lots of pb's and some age group prizes, but performance of the day has to go to Mandy Vernon retaining the Ladies Title by winning the race in a time of 1.22.04. We have had a few reports com in already and first on the mat came from Craig Taylor with his second ever race report and two in as many weeks :-)

Before I get into the finer details of my race report, I thought it may help to put in a bit of context for those who don’t know me as well just yet. Two years ago at Stafford Half I clocked a time of 1:24 mins which was a fair old PB for me and my running was taking off. Then, I got ill and for the next 18 months the two years of hard work previously had just gone down the drain. Fast forward to November last year and with my health back on track I began training again and joined the Green Army. Now, I hope you are sitting comfortably…

It’s been a fair old while since I managed to run a sub 1:30 marathon, two years to be exact, and I honestly didn’t think I would be able to run one again at many points over the last couple of years. However, since being back into training and working my cream crackers off I had this one on my radar for a few months now.

My usual pre – race prep involves a very lazy Saturday evening however not this one! In my attempt to get in touch with my feminine side I had brought the wife tickets for Dirty Dancing for a Christmas present. The wife was overjoyed. As you can image when I realised last week that it was the night before the half marathon I was certainly not overjoyed! So, a late night up ‘anly duck and a very late Saturday night pasta feast left me with 6 hours kip. Not ideal. That’ll teach me to try and get in the wife’s good books.

So with the family in tow we get to Stafford. It is pretty nippy but the conditions were great for running unlike last week. I think I still had frostbite in certain places from Stafford 20. Chatting to Guy Aartse – Tuyn, Harry Porter who is challenging in my NSRRA group and Gary Payne on the car park who are all up for a good race. Gary in particular has been running superbly well for months now and was confident of a sub 1:30. I was pretty sure he would nail one too as his hard work deserved it. I was bricking it at this point as the clock ticked down as I knew full well I would have to go sub 1:30 today to pick up 50 points in my NSRRA group and I have not ran a race to that pace or distance for some time.

A quick warm up and the belly goes into overdrive. I run past my team mates having their photo taken ahead of the race. No time to stop and smile as there is only 15 minutes to the start and my arse is twitching like a rabbits nose.  I make it back to the start in time and bump into Dan and Jon Bowman, two top blokes it has to be said! We get to the start and in the pack of Trentham runners; Captain Pickle up ahead, Andy Vickerman, Stan Winterton, Lee Jones to name a few. I was also by some of my old Newcastle AC team mates so it felt a bit strange. I was going to run with Rob Ibbs from Newcastle who was my mentor for the time that I was with the club and for me, one of the best runners about and still a force when he is on form.

Off we go and I stick with Rob, nothing too fast at all. You always feel like you should go faster at the start as nearly everyone gets carried away in the excitement. Nope, nice and steady. Stan and then Gary go past about half a mile in before we are out of the town. Hmmm, could have a race on today. I feel like I am on a training run at the moment as Rob and I talk tactics, running in general, triathlons and whatever else. Running nicely at sub 1:30 pace as we hit Radford Bank. Dan Bowman is running well as we go past him near the top and Gary seems to have pushed on and is well ahead at this point. I can also see Jon Bowman who is having a stormer.

I hit the car garage before Milford and I can’t resist it any longer, time to put these legs to work with some speed. At this point I am picking runners off and breezing down into Milford at low 6 minute miles on the trusty Garmin. I try to ease up a bit as this isn’t the time to push too hard. Gaz still hasn’t really got any closer but hasn’t pulled away either and in my head I know exactly where I am going to catch him. Over the bridges at Tixall at a nice steady pace and Gaz starts to drop back. Half way up Tixall Bank I catch him and put my foot down over the other side and push on. I’m pretty sure I am the lead NSRRA Group C runner at this point but my time comes before points. The long stretch sees me push on and overtake those who have gone off too fast and before I know it I am up and onto Beaconside.

I catch up to some South Cheshire Harriers and sit with those guys for a bit and have a chat about London marathon which is coming up. That was pretty much a feature of this race, I had spent most of it gassing to my fellow runners who I know. If I actually kept my trap shut and used it to breathe more efficiently rather than rabbit away I may knock a few more minutes off! I’m obviously more in touch with my feminine side than I realise!

Onto the canal bit which is mind numbingly dull. The conversation along here did help even though it was at a hard tempo run pace which still felt good. The path seemed to never end and just as it was I saw Frank Murphy up ahead who was struggling. I have got a huge amount of time for Frank and he is a good mate of mine. I give him some words of encouragement which I cannot possibly put into this race report. Roy Chubby Brown would blush at my motivational language I’m fairly sure of that!

I draw up alongside Frank and make the decision to run with him to push him on. I knew barring an absolute disaster that with over 12 miles gone I was well under the 1:30 mark. I stay with Frank up until 200m to the finish and he pushes away from me, which was fine as he had ran a blinder. I put my foot down over the last stretch to the line to hold off a Stafford Harrier and came home in 1:27:29, my second fastest half marathon and first sub 1:30 for two years.

Lots of congratulations and handshakes in the town square after the race as my fellow Trentham runners had achieved some amazing times, particularly Mandy Vernon, Dave Pickstock, Jon Bowman and Andy Vickerman with new PB’s. I shared my post-race banana with Chris Mosiuk’s beautiful little daughter Masie and went for my warm down a very happy runner.  I may have to flick Dirty Dancing on the night before the Newcastle 10k – just to compare the stage show of course!  

Thanks Craig for the excellent report and many congratulations on getting your sub 1:30 half back. Quite a milestone so well done. Next report comes from our very own Mr Dan Blowman who by his own admission is struggling to get out and train at the moment. Dan's reports are usually highly entertaining so read on to see how it went:

Stafford half marathon 2013 was my comeback race. It was my first serious attempt at getting a half decent time since Jackson came along. I’m not one to make excuses usually but I found it difficult to find the time to train since becoming a dad, and my ever slowing times made me lose my mojo for running. I was sick of turning up to races in a vest and shorts that looked like they’d been painted on to a walrus, and waddling round to a serious of sympathy cheers. In 2012 the only part of my running which improved was my downhill because I could just tuck my head in like a turtle and roll perpetually, a perfect sphere of sweaty blubber.

Fast forward to 2013 and Deanne has finished her maternity leave. When she started back I had 3 realistic options on getting to work each day. Since it’s 7 miles from my house to work walking wasn’t really feasible so it was either stock up on Special brew and get the bus, buy a bike, or run. Due to it being the cheapest option, and the safest (I didn’t fancy being knocked off a bike or stabbed to death for my trainers) I chose the latter and at first I found it difficult, setting out at 6:55 every morning, hitting Kidsgrove bank straight away and then carrying on to Fenton was tough, especially with my fitness levels/horrendous weather.

I haven’t missed a Stafford half since I started running and so I signed up as usual. Although it was my comeback race I didn’t really feel much pressure in the lead up to race day. My brother has surpassed me as the quickest runner in the family, and my dad continues to improve and they were both dead certs for PBs. Because of this the focus was off me and nobody really had any expectations.

I arrived with Jon in Stafford at 9:30 for the 10:00 start but it took us an eternity to find a parking space and we didn’t even get chance to warm up so we had to go straight to the start. We met up with Craig and we tried to cut across the plaza to get to the 1:30 start area but we were stopped by a grumpy old lady. “What time are you likely to run?” she barked at us. “1:30” we responded. “well you can’t pass” WHAT!? WELL WHY DID YOU ASK US THEN!?!? WHAT DID WE HAVE TO SAY TO CROSS THE SACRED PLAZA BETWEEN THE PIE SHOP AND AGE CONCERN!?! WORLD RECORD? FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT!?! TRANSCEND THIS MORTAL REALM AND TRAVEL BACK TO THE DAWN OF TIME ITSELF!?!?”grrrrrrrr anyway so with the clock at 9:55 we had to start burrowing through the bulging mass of Fred Flintstones and morph suits attempting to get somewhere within the same postcode as the start line.

No sooner had we managed to squeeze into a little group of green people PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP we were off! I noticed immediately that I felt 10 times stronger than I had for a long time. For the second year in a row my watch had packed in right before this race so I had to guess at my pace. I tucked into a little group with Craig, Jon and Gary initially.

As the little loop came back along the road Frank was leading the race, about 40-50 yards in front of Ben Gamble, in second. I’d like to tell you what my pace was for the first few miles but without my watch I hadn’t a clue. I tucked in just behind Jon for the first 4 miles so I would say my early pace was around 6:45 minute miling. I anticipated that I would be strong in the first 10k and that’s what happened. I lost Jon at around 4.5 miles, and lost sight of him altogether by the time we got to the long incline just past Milford.

Because my body is so used to running 7 miles I slowed slightly after this point but I still felt good, just had to drop the pace a tad. Every man and his dog started to pass me at this point, Stan, Matt, A new guy (Ed?) amongst billions of others.

On the long stretch of road that goes past the RAF base Frank lapped me, and I had to avoid the tarmac that he’d ran over because it had melted and runners were getting stuck to the road/being burned alive.

Turned into the little estate before getting to my least favourite part of the course, the dusty little path that takes you past nothing, right the way through nothing and brings you out just north of nothing. The only memorable thing that’s ever happened to me in this insufferable void was when I passed Gary Payne in 2011 and he told me he’d been run over by a car (!?)

Anyway, once I’d burst through the grey film that separated limbo from actual human existence I was into the last mile. I still felt strong. No chaffing either which I was pleased about because I’ve dropped a bit of weight but I’m still a somewhat voluptuous BBW.

Ran along the river, into the town, was lapped by Frank again and crossed the line in 1:34:10, my second fastest half marathon ever. I’m elated by this to be honest. I’m a long way behind the other blokes at the club but for a personal achievement, I’m just stoked to see my training pay off. 23 half marathons and I’ve only run one of them quicker.

Anyway I crossed the line to find out Jon had run 1:28 which is stunning. I’m really pleased for him. He’s come a long way since Nottingham half marathon 2011 when he ran 1:59:53!

Did the usual post-race pleasantries and went back to cheer my dad on. My dad only took up running just over a year ago and his half marathon PB was 2:16. He’s been getting the mileage in ever since and we waited tentatively to see how much he’d knock off his PB. We cheered as Frank ran past, then Dan Maddock, Jill, Frank, Ken, Frank and Frank. Then we saw my dad, looking strong! We raced back to the finish line to see him finish in 1:58! An 18 minute PB! Between them Jon and Dad had knocked 29 minutes of their PBs! Unbelievable!

Anyway, we watched Frank pick up the winners trophy from the Mayor. He won the race in a time of 17 minutes. The presentation was a bit weird because Frank is the mayor of Stafford so he had to hand the trophy to himself. He then ate the trophy and set off to do a few more laps of the course.

Sunday really has rejuvenated my love of running. Since I joined the club, I’ve never known Trentham get so many brilliant results in one race. Loads of PBs, loads of Sub 90’s, Mandy and Frank won the ladies and men’s races. Unbelievable. A big part of this is Pickles. I think his approach to his new role as men’s team captain is spot on. His enthusiasm is infectious and I’m genuinely excited about 2013 from a personal and a team point of view. Due to my current circumstances I can’t really train with the club anymore so I’m only really going to be able to catch up at races and social occasions. My training will continue and I’m very optimistic that all of my PBs will fall this year. I’ve entered the air products 10k in 2 weeks time and I’m not doing any of that “Euggh I’m not racing malarkey” I AM racing and I’m going for a PB.

Well done to everyone who ran, and thank you to those who supported/marshalled.
Much love

Thanks Dan for that report and you certainly didn't disappoint in the entertainment department either (ooh, err)! Bit of a Bowman family report there and it is great to see all the family running so well. I must admit whilst watching on Sunday that for me performance of the day was Jon Bowman getting 1:27. Fantastic result.

We have another Bowman report now in the form of dad Andy. Andy has only completed 1 half marathon before and is relatively new to running so this race was set to be a real challenge. Read on to find out how it went:

As a fairly recent addition to the club I thought I would write a report from the perspective of a relative beginner from the lower half of the field. I joined Trentham last summer mainly due to the fact that Jon and Dan ran at the club and had told me how friendly and welcoming everyone was. I have been coming on Tuesdays and on Sundays for a while now and did a number of races last year. This year my target was to improve my times and I got a PB in the Alsager 5. The Stafford half was a more daunting prospect as I had only done one half marathon previously ( Potters 2012). The week prior to the event I was abroad with 60 Year 9 students on a WW1 Battlefields trip-not the best preparation, although I kept reassuring myself it was my taper week!

As ever I arrived far too early and spent a while wandering around aimlessly, getting increasingly nervous. I was saved from my meanderings by meeting up with the Trentham guys and posing for a photograph-standing at the back in such impressive company! We made our way to the start and I chatted with Walt Mosiuk, Jacqui McPhail and Pete Clarke. I briefly saw Jon and Dan literally sprinting to the start after a belated arrival! All too soon we were off. It seemed to take ages to cross the start line and it took a while to get going due to congestion. However, I soon started to run the 9 minute miles I required if I was to break two hours.

Initially I thought I would try and keep Walt in sight but he moved inexorably away from me, so I relied on my watch and ran my own race. After a rather dull bit through a housing estate, presumably there just to make up the distance, I headed out through Walton and up to Shugborough , still feeling comfortable. I went up the hill at Tixall, still on target. A long fairly dull stretch followed up to Beaconside, past RAF Stafford and then along the disused railway line-I had been warned that this went on for ever but I kept to the schedule, eventually coming back into Stafford and running along the river, where I managed to pass a few people.

I finally crossed the line in 1:58:29, an unremarkable time for most runners but for me a real achievement. After I finished I caught up with a few of the others-Dan and Jon had both done tremendous times and the Trentham team had achieved some incredible results. From my running group there were also sub 2 hour times from Pete Clarke and Jim Fowler. The support and atmosphere at the end was brilliant, and Facebook was full of peoples’ successes. I am really looking forward to the Edinburgh half in May now-thanks to everyone for a memorable day.

Well done Andy on your fantastic efforts and congratulations on getting that first sub2 (first of many I'm sure) The great thing about this club is that all members are encouraged to participate and contribute regardless of ability and that goes for race reports too. It's just great to hear everyone's running stories. Thanks for the reports so far and in case you haven't seen them HERE are the results.





Page last updated 20 March 2013


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