May 2013 News

Hi All, We start off May with a banquet of race reports with quite a few 10k Tales and also an epic 40 Miler from Jill Phillips. We'll start in chronological order with the.....

Market Drayton 10K

First up is Dan Jordan's report from the Market Drayton 10k. There is always a good number of Trentham Runners out for this one, especially from Lionel's group who make it an annual event. I hope we get a report from one of those too soon. In the meantime, here is Dan's report:

So my plan for my first time at this race was to go for a PB and then run home afterwards. Kirsten and Sean kindly gave me a lift and I was delighted to find Jill Phillips in the car letting us know how she’d got on in her ultra the day before – that girl is amazing! We arrived a good hour before kick-off and met up with the rest of the TRC team, had plenty of time for warm-ups and chats and a team photo before we headed off to the start line. I hadn’t realised this was such a big race and that we had left it late and we would be a long way back, so I followed the two Scotts and we pushed our way along the side and into the start. I got chatting to Guy Aartse-Tuyn for a few mins and then we were off, round the field and out onto the road.
The course itself is just around the town, along shopping streets and housing estates, nothing amazing in terms of views, but well supported and reasonably flat. I was really hoping to break 40 minutes as my best was 40:04 two years ago at Clayton and I hadn’t done a 10K since. After London I felt pretty fit and got a PB at the time trial the week before. Anyhow, on race day the two Scotts were up ahead of me and I was running quite hard in the first mile and caught up with them. I thought they were going too slow so encouraged them to come with me but they didn’t, and it wouldn’t be until later that I reckon their pacing was pretty much spot-on! However, I was feeling good and pushing quite hard. When I looked at my garmin after the race I had done the first mile in 6, second in 6:05.

I started struggling towards halfway and remembered looking forward to the 5K marker, and really starting to hang on from there on in. People were coming past me from halfway and the only time I looked at the garmin in the race I wish I hadn’t because it said 7 min/miles. I realised that at that pace I would not get sub-40. However, I hung on as best as I could and made it to the hill about half a mile from the finish before Scott Minshall came past me really strong and kept it up right to the finish. Once up the hill I tried to kick on the downhill and once on the grass I was determined to finish strongly and not let anyone else past me. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the clock and it had a 38 at the start, and I crossed the line dead on 38:30, with a chip time of 38:27.

Well pleased with myself, a 90 sec pb, and I felt like I’d put in more effort than I had in previous races. After picking up yoghurts and goody bag it was time for cake and a hot drink as it started to rain. Then for part two of my day, to run home. I’d worked out a route which would take me off the main road and down small lanes towards Swynnerton and home, about 17 miles in all. I’d printed out maps and instructions, all I had to do was take the right road off the main road home, which of course is what I failed to do!!

As it was I turned off down a country lane, ran for a few miles, then picked up a right of way along farm tracks, and then when I hit a main road I knew full well I was going the wrong way – I could tell I was heading south towards Eccleshall, not ideal! And then I happened upon some woods on my left with a trail, so off-roading I went, fantastic, I loved it. Happened upon a couple with a map and found if I went out the other side of the woods I would be close to the first place on my map!! However, getting to the other side of the woods was more trouble than their map appeared to show and I zigzagged through the woods several times before I finally got out and found a small house and track which eventually led me to a road. Thought this was the B road I was after and happened upon some ramblers and they pointed me in the right direction. By now I’d done over 10 miles and was getting a bit tired and fed up. It had been raining constantly and I had loved the run so far, but I also know when I hit the B road that I was at least 10 miles still from home and I didn’t want to run over a marathon in a day. So I called the cavalry and arranged to get picked up in Loggerheads. I went past a sign that said Market Drayton 4.5 miles, and at that point I had 12 on the garmin :-0
A good race, a good bit added on, and then chocolate cake when I got home, a great day. And when I uploaded my Garmin, the route looked like an Etch-a-sketch drawing


Thanks for that report Dan, and and well done on the PB. Also great entertainment reading about the epic adventure home, haha!

Results for the Market Drayton 10K 2013 can be found HERE!


Dukeries 40

Jill Phillips has sent us this race report from her latest adventure, the Dukeries 40 mile Ultra Marathon in Nottinghamshire. It makes for a very interesting read so read on to find out how she got on:

At 5:30am on Saturday 11th May 2013 a white van pulled up outside my house to pick me up. No, it wasn’t to take me to the loony bin, it was my support crew in the form of Rob Tab ready to take me to the Dukeries 40 mile Ultra race (some may say both are the same!!!!).

I had been planning on doing this Ultra for a while but only entered 2 weeks prior, after having a good run at London and doing 2 long runs back to back, to ensure I was ready for it. Once entered I printed off a map of the route and started to panic! The route would mainly follow the Robin Hood Way, going through Sherwood Forest and a place called Cresswell Crags. Where it varied from this route it would be signposted, especially going through Sherwood Forest where there would be a maze of paths to choose from. You would be expected to self-navigate, not so much an orienteering exercise just so long as you could follow instructions and find where you were on a map, ha ha!!! I wasn’t so much worried about being able to go the distance, but more about getting lost. As some of you may be aware I struggle to remember the routes of the club runs we do week in week out, so what chance had I of finding my way around 40 miles of unknown countryside and forests!!! And I would have thought Sherwood Forest is a tad bigger than Hem Heath Woods, imagine getting lost in there! So, the week before, I got my daughter to drive me there to have a look, and yes, it was full of trees! But at least I now knew where the “Major Oak” was, a landmark on the route map. A few days before the race, more detailed maps and written directions were sent out. I started to scrutinise these as well as trying to follow it on Google maps. I printed out larger versions of the maps and ensured the directions were in a large enough font so that I could read them without my glasses. I was really worried about not remembering where I was on the directions, I would have to really concentrate.

Due to the early start of the race and having to get up so early, I tried to have some early nights and plenty of sleep the week leading up to the race, but no, my dog kept barking in the night and I had to keep getting up to her. On the Thursday night I’d had trouble with my computer trying to use mapmyrun, I started with a headache (everyone around seemed to be coming down with colds), I couldn’t sleep due to worrying about the route and getting lost, and Molly kept barking!!! I got up Friday morning feeling like I too was coming down with a cold, I was tired and panicky and by the time I got to work had convinced myself I couldn’t do it and was considering backing out. I was in a state!!!!

After words of encouragement from friends at work and Deb Thomas via emails, who also offered to have Molly for me so I could get a good night’s sleep, I was convinced I could do it and was back to being positive. I finished work at lunch time, dosed myself up with cold & flu capsules and vitamin c, sat calmly and studiously went through the maps and route directions, cross referencing and highlighting key points. I sorted out my kit bag and any food and drink I needed for the day, took Molly to Aunty Debs for her sleepover, had my pasta meal, relaxing bath and into bed early. A good night’s sleep and I was ready and up for it.

We arrived at race HQ, a place called Walesby out Nottingham way, on schedule at 7am to a lovely blue sky and sunshine. My race started at 8am with a 30 miler starting at 9am. I registered and pinned on my number, at first on my top but then deciding to opt for it going on my shorts so it wouldn’t get in the way of the straps to my backpack. The obligatory trips to the loo, a litre of water on my back plus a couple energy bars and gels and the all-important maps and directions in my bumbag and I was ready. A race briefing and we were off!!!

There were 4 checkpoints en route, at approx. 8, 18, 24 & 33 miles and Rob would be at each one to support me. So counting the finish, the race was in 5 sections. I’d printed the directions on 5 different sheets for ease of following them and would focus on one section at a time rather than thinking of it as a whole 40 miles.

The first section went past a chicken farm, through small woods, forests, fields and farmland and down a cycle path to Hazel Gap the first checkpoint. This part was quite easy to navigate, I didn’t have to refer to my directions. I’d memorised most of it and didn’t really lose sight of the other runners. There was a point when I couldn’t see anyone in front of me so considered dropping back a bit for others to catch me up, but I told myself “be confident, you know where you’re going”.

A quick drink and a flapjack at checkpoint 1 and I continued on my merry way towards Sherwood Forest. Checkpoints 1 and 2 were at the same place, as the route did a 10 mile loop through the forest. Rob decided to run this part with me, though I did have to reign him in a bit. He was a few paces ahead of me and I didn’t want to be dragged along and risk going too fast at this early stage in the race. It was lovely running through the forest though we had to be careful with all the different paths to ensure we followed the correct way markers. There was one sign which was a bit questionable, but between the maps, directions and the bloke behind us who’d downloaded the route to his Garmin, we confirmed we were on the right path. At the end of the forest we had to pass through a white gate. It was a 5 bar gate and it was huuuge, at least 6 foot high and I had to reach up to open the catch, I felt like Alice in Wonderland!

At checkpoint 2 Rob left me to find his way to the 3rd checkpoint and after a quick drink and a few nibbles provided, I continued on my adventure through this wonderland. This section passed through more wooded areas and fields, down quiet country lanes and through some lovely little villages, a country estate and down a tree lined track to a place called Creswell. Going through a gorge with a lake in the middle and huge rocks either side was absolutely breath taking and I was thoroughly enjoying myself, as can be seen from the photos taken en route. It had gone a bit cooler and overcast but it did nothing to dampen my spirits or lessen the beauty of the surrounding area. I reached checkpoint 3 and had a big hug off Deb Thomas who’d managed to find her way there to come and support me. It was lovely to see her and on her birthday too! A hot cross bun and a top up to the drink in my backpack and I was ready for the off again.

Debs ran with me for a couple of miles, telling me all about Molly’s sleep over, or rather the lack of it! Again the route was very picturesque, going through wooded areas, across fields and a lake, past lodges and gardens, down a tree lined avenue to another little village, over a stream, past a farm. By this time the 30 and 40 mile races had started to merge and I was overtaking other runners. I probably annoyed these a bit as I was so bubbly and cheerful and really enjoying myself! There was more company to ensure I kept going the right way. Towards the end of this section Rob ran back to meet me and I was at the final checkpoint!

This was 33 miles and I felt on top of the world, Deb was there to take my photo – still smiling. Forgetting the previous miles, all I’d got do now was a normal 7 mile club run, my logic! Rob ran a couple of miles with me towards a pine plantation and fields of golden something or other, which inspired me to burst into singing “Fields of Gold” (I think this was the point where he turned back!!). Note to self: “must learn more than 1st 2 lines of that song!” I met up with a bloke who’d downloaded the route to his GPS who proved useful on this section as it was a bit more difficult. The rain clouds opened up a bit but it didn’t affect me as I was on cloud 9! The route continued through another little village past farms and fields and more beautiful countryside until we emerged from a field about a mile from the finish. And there was Rob in his van come to check I was ok, and yes I was still smiling. One of the final instructions about ¼ mile from the finish was “run up hill (New Hill) to T junction”, yeah right!!! I did run most of it and strided out towards the finish, covering the last mile in just over 9 mins. Unlike most road races, there was no elaborate finish area; the finish line was the doorway to the club house of the sports centre. I was elated, grinning from ear to ear and well pleased with myself.

I completed the course in 6 hours 42 minutes, 48 minutes faster than the 40 miler I did last August, so another PB. I was 3rd lady and 19th overall out of 60. The whole experience was fantastic, I was in my element and loved every second of it. The organisers, marshals, photographers and everyone else involved were fantastic and really friendly. A really nice touch was the bloke on his bike who popped up a couple of times checking you were ok. A pint of Guinness ‘n black, pie ‘n peas and I was made up.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Rob and Deb for being there to support me on the day. Sorry Deb if Molly kept you up all night and sorry Rob for not shutting up on the way home! Also to everyone else who has encouraged and believed in me, it does help you believe in yourself

Thanks for that fantastic report Jill. What a tremendous effort, A new pb and Club Record to go with it too :-)

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Clayton 10K

There was a great turnout for the Wednesday night bash that is the 2 Lap Clayton 10K which is a relatively flat and fast course. We have had a few race reports in for this 'Midweeker' so read on to find out how the Green Army got on.........

First report from Craig Taylor:

Who couldn’t be seduced by the picturesque 2 – lap, 10k road race that is Clayton? All with the added bonus that you start and finish at the pub. Which would obviously be quite handy if I could drink beer and eat the grub that they serve, of which I can do neither! Anyway, I digress slightly… I haven’t been doing a great deal of speed work due to the London Marathon and having a knee injury so I have gone from being a snail to a slug. I was pretty damn fast once upon a time but alas, I now have to make a measured approach when I fart as to whether or not I can make it to the toilet on time if need be.
So having watched Captain Dave’s green army smash PB’s all over the show at Treetops 10k and Market Drayton 10k and coupled with the fact there would be no tempo run at the club this week I thought I would roll on up and have a crack. Now my PB at 10k distance was a long 38 minutes at Clayton two years ago. In fact, I have only got under 42 minutes twice in total so for some reason me and the 10k distance don’t seem to agree with each other for some reason or another. This coupled with a bad dose of the old man flu on the morning of the race I really wasn’t fancying my odds of cracking 42 minutes and having the indignity of getting my ass whooped by my rather speedier team mates.

I got to the Gatehouse just before 5pm, nice and early for a change. I’m sure the wife will tell you that being early is a trait of mine and not always in a positive sense. Taking full advantage of this opportunity I was at the head of the non – existent queue for the pre – race visit to the throne. And what a pleasure it was. Nobody standing outside tutting and sighing whilst doing one for Queen and country and certainly no Lee Jones lurking around and barging in on me like he had done the previous year. All that was missing was a copy of the Sun and the throne would have felt like my own.
I register and get my number then do my quick superman impression and get changed in the car. Good job the car park was empty! Gradually the place fills up with runners. One space on the car park is next to a wall and watching people try and park in it was a highlight of the evening. Captain Pickle tried and failed, Franco Caci from the Michelin had several attempts and gave up with his head bowed in the hope no-one had seen him and then finally some old bird in a matchbox car took eight attempts to do it but by the sweet mother of God, she did it! I’m sure there is some sort of lesson to us all in there but as this is a family website I am not going to try and explain what that could be.
I meet up with the Green Army and there is the messiah, Captain Pickle with a red sort of rash which has burned his skin on his right leg. He claims he did it at work whilst doing something with concrete. I think he did it with waxing strips whilst trying to shave his legs. Team photo later, lots of micky taking about Lee and his Pussy (I’m being serious, he was showing it off to everyone!) we go for a quick warm up. It was literally a sight to behold a sea of green running in unison down and back up Seabridge Lane. Proper teamwork and unity.
The race starts and I tuck in behind Dan Cawley and Gary Payne both of whom are running brilliantly at the moment. Keeping up with the pair of them would be an achievement today. I get John Miles to run with us too even though he didn’t feel fast enough to do so and told him I’d help to pace him around. We settle into a nice pace, Dave and Mandy soon go past and are looking effortless. I just knew that the pair of them would run a belter of a race.

We pass Lee, Matt, Andy Vickerman and Janson who are looking good and had a good start and then start to just work our way up the field. The first lap of the race seemed to fly by at steady 6:40’s. I managed to keep a nice pace up the climbs but by the middle bit of Seabridge Lane Dan and Gaz had started to pick up the pace. I didn’t feel like I could hang with them at the time so I just hung back and stuck to the pace that I thought I could run at. I had an absolute nightmare a month earlier at Newcastle 10k and it wasn’t going to happen again. Over the halfway point and loads of cheers from Trentham runners who came to watch and their families and also some of my old Newcastle team mates which was a nice touch. Dan and Gaz were well out of sight so I thought I would start to push a little. I catch up with some dude from South Cheshire in Group C and knew he was the third placed runner at the moment.
Pickle has got Group C sewn up and Gaz was too far ahead so I thought I would use my brain and run tactically for a bit. I tracked him for half a mile and then overtook him just after the roundabout going downhill on the speed limit road. And he soon took the bait and came flying past me. Silly boy! He was racing his conkers off going downhill whereas I was keeping up quite nicely a few yards behind and the last 2.5k of the race was uphill. As soon as we started climbing I went gliding past him and he was never to be seen again. As I hit Seabridge Lane I could see Gaz was starting to drop back a little but trying to make what was around 250 yards up in the last 1k was a fair old ask. I just hoped Gaz would get a sub 40 as he has been working like a demon for it.
As we started the climb to the finish I knew that John was on my shoulder. Uphill, John is a bit of an animal too so I was waiting for him to attack me. However when I hit the last 2k I had become a man possessed and I was in no mood to let anyone past me. I held John off up the hill and felt strong whilst doing it and then I saw John’s shadow fall back as I opened up with 100m to go.
I came through the line, nearly knocked Ken Rushton flying and glanced at my watch. 40:16 I had on the old Garmin. My first reaction was swearing at not hitting under 40 minutes but I had no idea at what my pace was over the second lap as I hadn’t looked at my watch once. Then I realised what a great run I had just had and hit my second fastest time over 10k and my quickest run since returning in November 2012 from a long illness.
Then came the best part of the evening. Trentham runner after Trentham running powering through the line smashing PB’s. Pickle, Mandy, Jon Bowman and Scott Minshall, Dan and Gaz had already come in and were celebrating and then the rest of the Green Army in waves bounding home. Gaz got his sub 40 which was just fantastic! The atmosphere and celebrations as a team were something that I haven’t experienced before; as well as being pleased as individuals everyone seemed more happy for everyone else and their achievements which says everything about the club and the team spirit at the moment. The look on Lee’s face when he came over the line was a picture (one for the mantelpiece to keep the kids away from the fire) when he saw what a massive PB he had gained. Top man and so well deserved. And what can I say about Dave? 36 minutes. An inspiration to us all.
So it seems I’m not quite as slow as I thought I was. And I’m gonna get a whole lot quicker in the coming weeks. I can honestly say I’ve not enjoyed my running as much as I am at the moment and that is all down to the wonderful folks down at Trentham Running Club. Proud to be Green and proud to be Trentham and part of Captain Pickle’s army


Thanks Craig, a very comprehensive report there, and well done on getting your best time for a while, and next report to land on the mat from John Miles who is submitting his first ever race report.......

I joined TRC in June 2012 following an effort at Stafford 1/2 and then the Potters 1/2. I got an injury and went to see Brian Cole who said you should join a running club. He recommended TRC and since that first day, meeting the legends that are Lee Jones and Walter and then running in Walters group I haven't looked back. I have really got the bug and its getting worse!!! Due to working shifts I can generally only get down once a week and cant commit to many races but have done ok in a couple of them and Pickles (another legend) invited me into his group. Typically having done so I was cursed again with my calf injury and many treatments, not running for over 5 weeks and being super frustrated I was really happy to start again in earnest hoping to get fitter for the 2013 Potters 1/2.
I saw the Clayton 10K and was wondering whether to do it or not as I am probably a bit paranoid now about getting injured and ending up in that dark place it seems only runners end up in!!
Anyway, I thought I will give it a go. The prep for it started the night before on the Tues. Pickles leaving nothing to chance arranged a meet and for us to do 1 lap of the 2 lap course.
Race day came and I was nice and early so I could enter. Met up with some other Trentham runners and we then had a warm up. The usual "what you looking for today" was being banded round and having never run a 10k on the road before (Dales Dash 2012 only time I have done this distance) I said I would be really happy with 43 minutes or under. I spoke to Craig T and I asked him what he was after and he was hoping for around the 40 min mark. I really wanted a go at this time too, so I asked him if I could run with him and try and keep up. The whistle went and off we set. With Pickles advice in my head "don't set off too fast, use your brains!!.... we set off too fast!!

Once on Dartmouth Ave I settled into a pace that I though was far too quick for me but just kept Craig in my grasp and went with it. I actually enjoyed the first lap but once I went past the Gatehouse it dawned on me that I had it all to do again. I pushed hard up Clayton Road and overtook a couple I had been sat behind just as I rounded the left turn onto Dartmouth Ave. Disaster then struck as I somehow legged myself up by catching my left foot in the loop of the lace on my right trainer. I fell to floor in the most ungraceful manner imaginable landing on my left arm. This immediately began to bleed, I tried to tie my lace back up but failed at the first attempt then managed to get it done just as Matt rounded the corner and gave me some encouragement. Dripping blood from my arm and feeling a bit p*ssed off to say the least I pushed on and tried to catch up with Craig. I knew I was going too fast but the fall threw me. By the time I got to the cones at the top of Seabridge Road with its junction with Seabridge Lane my legs were jelly. Last push I thought, come on!!!! I looked at my watch and thought I am going to get under my target of 43min but still wanted the best time poss, so gave it everything I had got left crossing the line in 40min 20sec. To say I was chuffed is an absolute understatement. Big thanks to ALL the Trentham runners I have met since joining, the encouragement and togetherness with a bit of healthy competition thrown in is awesome....thanks...John Miles / Milo / Copper John.... etc etc

Thanks for the report John and well done on running such a fantastic race despite the tumble :-)
Next one up is from Dan Cawley who is also submitting his first ever race report, brief but concise:

I have never written a race report before but I feel it's time to tell my story! Less than a year ago I'll be honest I wasn't much of a runner but was keen and went looking for a club to help me improve. I tried potters trotters but that didn't work out. My mum joined another running group, but when I asked join she said no as I'd embarrass her and slow them all down!? I was lost but then came a hero in captain Dave Pickstock at Trentham!! He said all were welcome in his group! He even got over the fact I'm a vale fan!? With his training plans and the support of all the other lads, who are all top guys I will say!! I turned my running from something a tortoise would laugh at to a half decent style! This has resulted in me doing the Uttoxeter half in 1 hr 27.32 and now Clayton 10k in 39.43!! Not bad even those speed merchants at potters trotters would agree?? It is all down to Captain Dave and my fellow training pals! So I'm here to say thanks guys I owe it all to you!

Thanks for that short story Dan, and well done for that effort! One thing for sure though, you made the right choice of club ;-)
Next one is from El Capitano himself, Dave Pickstock:

Clayton 10k is a bit annoying as it falls on the Wednesday which ruins my week of training. Having been on a nightmare job for the last two weeks my body has been tired and not really up for a race. On the morning of the race I went to work with the attitude as soon as I get the job finished the sooner I get home. BIG MISTAKE. Breaking concrete out in rain caused me to have a big concrete burn on the top of my leg. Which was bad news as it proper burnt my leg. On the afternoon of the race I arranged to pick sicknote up. I knew he was nervous because he kept on talking about his previous times at the Clayton run. He was putting too much pressure on himself. But I knew if he stuck to the plan he would nail it.

Having signed up and having a chat with everyone it was time for a warm up. It must have looked impressive as about 15 of us did it together. Which is something we will do at every race from now on. We made our way down to the start line; I only had one thing in mind which was to find Mandy Vernon and stay on her shoulder. The race started and me and Mandy were a fair way back. I was bothered as I knew Mandy knows what she is doing. Steadily making our way up the field we could see the green army in front of us. Having a quick chat with them to make sure everyone was in the right place. It was time to concentrate on the race after using Mandy for the first two miles. I thought it was about time to make a move, pick up the pace and close down everyone who was in front of me. First lap was done and everyone was cheering by the the Gatehouse. But I learned my lesson never to pick my head up and look at spectators. I know I was going well with leaving Mandy and Joel Gamble behind me. Looking up to see who was next was David Betteley. He was someone I didn't think I would beat this year. I closed the gap and got right behind. He was caught up in a group of 4 people. My intention was to stop behind them for a mile and use their pace, but going up that bank they were going slow so it was time to show them my heels and make a move. Relaxing into the race and picking off people I was into my last kilometer. I didn't know my time because I didn't look at my watch during the race. But as soon as got over the line I stoppend my watch to see the time of 36.32. No time to talk to anyone I ran back up the hill to watch my fellow team mates coming in. I would like to say a big thanks to Mandy for helping me and hopefully I didn't annoy her. A massive well done to my boys, many of them getting PBs. Our training is working the results are starting to show that. More hard work is needed. Roll on the Westbridge 5.

Thanks for the report Dave and well done on getting your new PB in such a great time. Leading by example! Next and final report from the Clayton 10k comes from Mr Sick, Gary Payne who actually made it to this one :-)

After a few years running 10 years plus now, and i have never officially broken 40mins , ive broke it on short courses , stoke 10km etc. so after xmas i set my target of sub 90 at stafford and missed it by 50 seconds because of my silver chain around my neck, Paul Burslem's words so my next target race was Newcastle 10k, and I thought I would live up to my new found nickname of sicknote and sat it out due to feeling unwell so the next 10 k was clayton. I've ran this course 9 times before so this would be my 10th so I know the route and its not the easiest of courses but with all my training since xmas and my weight loss (dale was right) I thought clayton could be the one.
just one thing I don't get right with running is pace, i always go off to quick I needed to get it right it was the only thing stopping me so as the best team captain/ coach I've ever worked with suggested I ran behind Dan and with craig in tow for the first lap, pickle (top captain) spoke to me before told me to believe and use dans steady pacing of the first lap then go for it second lap.

Aafter the start whistle and the stupid bottle neck, it never used to be like that i dont know why they do it now, I tucked in behind a vale fan dan, and went through 1 and 2ks both in 4 mins per km, I thought I was jogging and dan was having a bad one all my competitors where in front and moving away but I remember what coach pickle said and stayed with dan and tucking behind him in the wind, cyclists do it so why not runners and it works. Craig was close by and my first target was to beat craig regardless of time and we hit the first climb on the first lap feeling comfy , after turning right at the top Dan started to increase his pace. I found it ok at first and we started going past my usual rivals , (winner) and got to the pub and 5 km at 19.54, (I havent broke 20mins for 5km yet this year) so I knew I had done something right staying with dan.

We started lap 2 and id forgot about craig and dan was increasing his pace or was he? am I getting tired I couldnt work it out I just kept on trying to catch him he was about 15 meters infront of me for the long drag to the roundabout , then I passed dave wilson never beaten him before, and we have an oatcake bet from a previous race nom nom. anyway I passed him and started gaining on dan again at the roundabout, now for some downhill and id forgot we overtook jon bowman and scott minshall, until jon went by and then scott tagged on to us.
really hurting now and all i could think was they've passed me and craig was probably next and here is the last hill and he loves hills, oh no im goin get beat again! Anyway i worked the hardest ive ever ran up the climb not letting anyone past and got to the top had a quick check over my shoulder and to my surprise he wasn't there winner.

I hit 8 km and looked at my watch and knew if I really went hard at it now I could get sub 40,craig was beaten he was to far back!
so flat out i went never passed anyone but no one passed me went over the crest of the last hill and top coach pickle bellowed at me i aimed at the finish line and went flatout crossed the line in 39.54 punched the air i had done it. (ken was telling me to slow down! ) i had finished though i couldnt see properly!
i would like to say cheers to dale for advise and tips on getting quicker, they worked
and to team captain/coach pickle his advise and encouragement has been brilliant and we can all get to his level last year i was beating this guy, but his hard work and dedication got him a 36min 10km in 8th position, if he keeps improving like this he could win races, i want to win a race so its much of what he is doing and whats best for me to get there. target races train hard race clever and dedication. what a team we have here.
oh and can i add pickle crossed the line in 36mins didn't collect a medal infact he didnt stop running he went back to the top of the hill and cheered us all in legend.
oh and paul burslem check the pictures i took the chain off ! for the race , no more race bling for me
well done everyone else

Thanks Gaz, and well done on such a great race getting under that 40. Well that concludes all the race reports from Clayton so here are the results..... HERE!

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Buxton Half Marathon

Thanks to Debbie Thomas for sending us this race report from the recent Buxton Half Marathon. Debbie has been in cracking form lately and starting to prove herself one of the Trentham Elite so read on to find out how she got on:

It’s been five years since I first attempted the Buxton Half marathon, back then I’d just started to get back into racing after a knee injury which had seen me out of the runinng circuit for 4 months. Maybe Buxton wasn’t the best choice of race at that time in hindsight but I managed to finish in 1.36, and I’ve never forgotten how I felt like bursting into tears at the hills which come between 7 and 10 miles, they felt so cruel when I’d not got the fitness to handle them! This year, I spotted the race entry form and kept it in the back of my mind, thinking I might do it if I felt reasonably fit for it, and even then I might just get around it rather than race it hard, especially with Potters just 2 weeks afterwards… I entered online mid week and despite pleading with several team mates to come with me, I had no takers, I was alone! Jill Phillips very kindly offered to drive me to the race and we could enjoy a nice lunch afterwards, for her birthday on the Saturday.

8am Sunday morning the Jill-mobile arrived and we headed off to Buxton, the roads were quiet so well under an hour later, despite the threat of the car giving up the ghost, we arrived in the town centre and parked up, stuck a ticket on the car and headed into the Pavilion Gardens HQ to collect my number. At the desk I poked my finger into the ribs of Frank Murphy, a familiar face and a comrade for the race, yay! Then we saw Jenny Day and a couple of other friends from other clubs, which was nice, and we all had a chat. The weather outside was sunny and blue skies, with a mild breeze. I was worried I might overheat but thought with being so high up there should be a good breeze at the top of the hills. I completed a warm up around the gardens for 10 mins, visited the ladies several times (I was making the most of there being plenty of loos and sinks for once, and no queuing!) and waved Jillybean “see you later”. Lined up on the start line for 10am, then off we went, a very mild uphill to get us out of the town then the climb increases up Axe Edge for over two miles on the A53, then a left turn downhill towards Dalehead.

I knew from the start I was in 1st lady position but there was still a long way to go yet. I could see Frank up ahead of me and just before the 2 mile marker I overtook him, and we wished each other well. The downhill was more than appreciated and lasted a good ¾ mile or so. The course then undulates to about the 5 mile mark passing High Edge Raceway, coming to the top of Dowel Dale. I was still feeling good into the first 5 miles, I was thankful of the breeze every now and then to help keep me cool, and I was glad to have my sunglasses on. I passed a couple more runners when the route headed down Dowel Dale. This was a really scenic part of the course; you could see Chrome Hill and we were surrounded by beautiful green hills. We had to run over several cow grids on this route, but kindly they had been covered over with a rubber mat so I didn’t have to worry about getting stuck in them! At about mile 7, turning left at the end of the road at Glutton Bridge, the harder of the 2 main climbs headed us up to Jericho. I had dreaded this part of the course, it is the worst section as you have just completed a flat run (which had a strong headwind) and then you are climbing steadily for well over 1-2 miles with no relief. I kept focused, made sure I was using my arms and I managed to pass another runner on the way up.

I usually start to count in my head when I’m going up a climb, which I started to do here, but after a while the numbers turned into swear words!! A short descent brought us to the 9 mile mark then a left turn and following the road into Harpur Hill past the rugby club and up a short but tough climb up to the college. I hated this part, I was really having to work hard and I did not want to be, I’d had enough! I caught up another runner or 2, one chap stuck with me for a little while but I made sure to drop him off as I was annoyed to be used as his wind shield!! After this was another descent. Turning off the A515 at Mosley Road and following the marshal’s directions through the houses to eventually emerge at the corner of the Pavilion Gardens, I was hating this part too, it was a little twisty turney and the road was broken up which was making my feet hurt.

Crossing over to Broadwalk and following to the end passing the 13 mile mark, little Jillybob was there with her camera and cheering me on. I hopefully managed to smile at her, rather than grimace!! Turning left at the end of Broadwalk and left again through the gates of the park to the finish line, I was straight over the line plonked myself next to a litter bin which had a little patch of shade!! I was shattered and very hot, but very happy to have clocked a PB on that course of 1.31.48 despite the hot weather and the huge horrible hills! And of course I was pleased to have won the ladies, and 19th overall out of 230!! After a few minutes I got up, downed a bottle of Buxton water and Jill reminded me to go and fetch my race t-shirt. A brief 10 min cool down, a much needed shower and some more fluids it was soon the presentation. I received a big glass trophy, £25 high street vouchers and a bottle of wine which was fab. Then it was straight to the pub for lunch with my BFF Jilly, a pint of Guinness and black and some fodder.

Big thank you to Jill for taking me to the race and for supporting me on the day, you’re wonderful and I had a lovely day xx This race is very well organised, the marshals are brilliant; when I ran past they all got excited that I was first lady and really shouted me on!! The water stations handed out bottles of water and the prize list was really good. There was no goody bag but there were t-shirts for all runners and bottles of Buxton. Not bad for £10 entry fee… One for next year… maybe, if I can forget about those monstrous hills…!!

Thanks for the report Debbie and many congratulations on your fantastic win.

Results for the Buxton half can be found HERE!

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Page last updated 10 June 2013


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