September/October 2013 Race Reports


Wolverhampton Marathon

Thanks goes to Debbie Thomas for submitting this race report from the recent Wolverhampton Marathon. I'm sure most of you know by now but Debbie had a tremendous race, read on to find out how well it went:

Wolverhampton Marathon, one of my favourite courses and one I have always seemed to do well on. I think it is the 2 laps, to me it makes the distance feel smaller and I enjoy running back into the park at the end; it’s just a lovely race, not too crowded, well marshalled, and not too expensive either. I don’t have anything bad to say about it, although a suggestion to make it better would be to have one drinks station at around 16 mile marker with isotonic rather than just water, but I can’t complain because the water stops were every 2.5 mile, which is better than most races.

On the day I was up for 6.15am for breakfast and drinks. I wasn’t feeling motivated at all, but I told myself that once I was there I’d feel more up for it, so I stuck on some loud music to get my adrenaline going. Dan Jordan picked me up at 7.20am and we travelled down to Wolverhampton, chatting about how we might get on, etc. We parked on the Molineux stadium easily, and walked to the park 10 mins away. The idea was for Dan to stick with me on the run for as long as possible, his target being sub 3.15 to gain qualifying time for London 2014, although he hadn’t done any focused training, it was just a case of going for it. And if he did stick with me, my idea was to bolt the last half mile or so, as Dan has a race tactic of letting someone pace him around, and then leaving them for dust when the finish line appears… (still not forgiven him for doing it to me on South Cheshire 20 2012!!)

My main aim was to maintain set pace for as long as possible, and I’d be happy with anything between 3.10-3.15, which is what I felt was achievable at my current fitness. At the park we saw Lee Jones and Greg Julian hanging around for the half marathon and we stopped for a quick chat. After using the loos we walked back to the car to get our necessaries for the race. I stuffed my shorts pocket with Lucozade jellybeans and barley sugars, and shared some with Dan, so we at least had something to help us along. I also nibbled some dark chocolate and had some coffee. It was a cold start to the day, I was shivering in just my t-shirt over my race kit walking back to the start; Dan had wrapped himself in a foil blanket, as had some other runners, so he wasn’t the only one looking like a turkey ready for the oven, haha, but I was grateful for the cool weather as I don’t cope so well racing in the heat.

We didn’t bother with a warm up, the first few miles are a warm up, and with just over 5 mins to go we made our way to the start, stashing of our warm tops in the bushes, and sneaking through the barriers to be about third row in. Counted down by 10 and then we were off. I made a bit of a dash for the first 200m or so to try and get through the crowd of runners and despite clipping the legs of a chap next to me, we both remained upright. That would not have been a good start! Dan was alongside me and then we were passed by Scott Minshall and Jon Bowman and then Lee Jones who was going for sub-90 for the half. I kept an eye on the pace, the target being splits of 7.10-7.14 min/mile average, which would work out to be 3.10-3.15 end result…hopefully.

The first couple of miles were good, the crowd nicely spaced out and the pace was controlled. I had to take a pit stop at 3 miles and with Dan carrying on past, I was able to catch up to where I’d left off. It was then Dan’s turn to spend a penny so he pulled to the side and I carried on. About 3-4 miles I saw a lady runner in front and noticed that every mile she was checking her watch, I knew then that she was on for the marathon as her pace was steady 7 min/miles and she was looking comfortable. I upped my pace to keep her within 100 metres, letting her pace me now, slightly quicker than planned, but my idea was to stick with her. Dan was a little behind, taking it steady to catch me up. At a drinks station at around 5 miles she dropped her bottle and turned around to pick it up, that was the first time she knew I was behind her and I passed her at this point briefly. She caught and passed me again and as before I kept her in close range. Along the way a male runner kept himself in between myself and this lady runner, although they didn’t appear to be together (both in non-club vests) I did wonder if it was tactics because for the next 4 miles whenever I pulled up alongside him, getting closer to her, he would sprint off a couple of metres so I couldn’t pass him, and when I caught him again, he would charge off!! I was getting really annoyed by him and I commented to Dan behind me that this guy was annoying me and when Dan caught me up he said he’d noticed what he was doing and how bizarre to run a marathon like that.

At 9 miles the lady pulled out of the race which was a shock! I thought she would rejoin the race but Dan said it seemed her calf was the problem, and I don’t actually know if she ended up finishing the race at all. I did think to myself that if I was now lead lady that I was having this race, it will be mine!! I wasn’t 100% sure I was in 1st position at this point because we were mingled in with the half runners and no marshals or spectators told me my position. The course is mildly undulating with a couple of taller climbs at around 7 miles and 11 miles. The first time around it all feels easy and circling around the park at the halfway mark I was looking forward to seeing the 25 mile marker again when I made it back as that would be a sign that it was nearly over! We had planted an isotonic in the bushes near a gate in the park earlier, hoping that one of us would be able to fetch it to give us a boost into the second half.

When we came up to this point Scott Minshall was stood at that spot cheering us on, him having finished the half, and I shouted to him that we had stashed a bottle but, unfortunately, despite his best attempt he couldn’t catch me up to pass it on, and handed it to Dan who at this point had dropped off me a little bit, and despite his best attempt he couldn’t catch me up, so I missed it! But I told myself I had sweets as I needed and there were regular water stops so it was no biggy. From here I was joined by the lead bike and that’s when I knew I was definitely in a winning position, and I was very excited! I also reminded myself that it was only half way and I had no idea where the other ladies were behind me so don’t assume it is going to stay that way.

My pace was still hovering around 7.05-7.10 min/miles and I told myself that I was buying time for when I would inevitably tire and slow in the later miles, and I could relax on the hills which feature again at 16 miles and 23 miles, so that was reassuring. I still felt good, maybe a little tired in my legs, but I was determined to keep the quicker pace going for as long as possible. Mile 19 and my thoughts started to turn negative, I suddenly felt very isolated and lonely and that I didn’t want to run anymore.. I recognised I needed to stop these thoughts and told myself that the lead bike would be my company, he was leading me home, and there was no way I was going to give up first place so snap out of it! I started to count in my head to refocus and this helped. The spectators were few and far between on the second lap but the marshals were all really encouraging and congratulating which was nice.

I passed a runner at mile 20-21, I noticed he was carrying a bottle of Lucozade so when I caught him up I asked if he would share it but he refused saying it was only water!! Mean!! I made sure to work a bit harder to get away from that miserable goat!! Mile 21 I felt my calves start to feel twingey… unusual but I thought this must be due to the warm conditions and I was only taking on water, which was just washing me out. I needed an isotonic. My head really started to struggle now, I knew I would have to stop at some point to take on some fluids and to just take a break. I aimed to reach the drinks station at 23 miles and then I would stop, only for 30 secs, but I would rehydrate and I would then focus on the last 3 miles and finishing, no matter how slow I ended up.

I made it to 23, there were a few people at the table, I drank a whole 500ml bottle of water and had a brief conversation with the guy on the stand, and he was telling me how well I was doing and to keep going as winning lady. That was a real boost, and when I noticed that the lead bike had pulled over to wait for me, I thought he must think I’m struggling now, so come on girl get running! I was very tight in my legs and my hips but I just wanted to finish. I got my head down and kept going up the long drag up the main road. I kept counting to myself, I forgot about how far I had left, I didn’t care about anything except crossing that line and being able to stop. Circling the long loop around the park before turning into the finish straight, I started to hear the tannoy announcing runners coming in to the finish, and about 200m to go I heard him shouting that the lead lady is coming in, and encouraging the crowd to cheer me.

I was feeling a bit too tired to care about winning, then I was caught up by a male runner who said he was going to run in alongside me because he’d never get a cheer as loud as I would get and he wanted to experience it! This made me come back down to earth and I thought that I should be really happy to win, it was what I’d always hoped for, and I could not run in as winning lady looking like a misery!! As soon as the course turned into the park and we were on the grass I was beaming like the sun and I managed to think enough to raise my arm up as I crossed the line!! Time was 3.11.09, bang on what I’d thought I could get!! The tannoy was going mad, I’ve never heard “Deborah” shouted as loudly or as many times as he said my name and that made me laugh!! I was so happy and relieved to finish (and win!!), I managed a few steps over the line before dropping down on the grass, shattered, hungry and thirsty. I was approached by a St John Ambulance person and I begged them to find me an isotonic or a banana, because I’d noticed my arms and hands felt like they were beginning to cramp up so I knew I needed something to replenish me urgently!

Ken Rushton came over to me just as I stood up and congratulated me, saying the presentation would be 30 mins. I was handed a banana and a bottle of water and eventually I walked out of the finishing area… only then to be handed a goody bag containing Lucozade, salted crisps and a lovely, perfect, star shaped Greggs shortbread biscuit (quite large) which I immediately devoured! I instantly perked up and felt so much better. I made my way to the railings and propped myself up, now waiting for Dan to finish. Surely enough (or should I say ‘eventually’, haha!!), at 3 hrs and 26 mins he came over the line, he looked a lot better than I felt! As he came through and collected his bag we both congratulated each other, sat on the grass a few mins, and Dan kindly let me have his biscuit as he didn’t want it (!!) A few minutes later it was the presentation…. I won £65 Bournes vouchers, which was a pretty good prize, and I managed the steps to the stage without falling up or down them thankfully! I found out the 2nd lady was 11 mins behind and 3rd lady was 22 mins behind, so I was very pleased to have won by such a large gap. Then it was a stagger back to the car and go home, job done.

I’d like to thank Ken Richards (Newcastle AC) who was cycling around the course and kept me company here and there, Scott Minshall for trying his best to get my bottle to me despite him having given his all in the half he still tried a sprint to reach me, Ken Rushton for everything he does in organising the event and Dan Jordan for driving me, running with me for most of the first half and for taking me out for a little bit of champagne later in the afternoon to celebrate, otherwise I’d have been alone at home (get the violins!) Thank you to everyone for the texts and emails and Facebook comments, it took me 2 days to reply to everyone! It was lovely that everyone felt so proud. And well done to all marathon and half marathon runners, it was a great day!!

Well done Debbie on getting a great win in the Marathon, surely one to be considered at the end of season awards too :-) Well done also to Dan, Lee, Scott, Paul, Jon and Greg and anyone else that ran the full or half marathon.

Results are here for the Marathon and here for the Half!

Berlin Marathon

There were a number of Trentham Runners that travelled to the German Capital City to take part in one of the world's biggest running events. The Marathon World Record was broken this day, and was it our very own Adam Grew that did it?????
Read on to find out.....

My Big Berlin Marathon.
After a pretty disastrous 2012 Manchester marathon which I did not enjoy from start of training to the finish line I decided to give the 26.2 a rest and focus on other races. That was the plan until Helen Jeffrey, Congleton Harrier and work colleague, won 5 places in the Berlin marathon and very kindly offered me a place on the team. I'd wanted to do a European marathon for a while and seeing as we were being hosted by Tata, one of the main BM sponsors, and it included free entry (normally an eye watering 110 euros) and two nights in the 5* Marriott Berlin I signed up. Oh, and I could take my coach - aka Mrs Grew. Flights paid, extra night booked to celebrate/commiserate, DNF is not an option (as per the tattoo Powerbar dished out at the Expo).

The only slight problem was the race was in 8.5 weeks but to see what my form was endurance wise I popped a long, slow run in and felt not too bad 21 miles later. Unfortunately, a week in the South of France meant little distance training could be done due to the heat and a follow on week in Wales also meant it was difficult to find the time to properly train. 6.5 weeks to go, minus a week's wind down....

Back from holiday and in the normal routine I managed to get some better training it and managed to get a few long runs in to get that endurance up. The hot conditions meant extra care was needed on hydration although offering to buy someone a beer if they get a pint of squash from the pub you are passing on the Caldon Canal is not really an ideal hydration strategy. Switching training to the Tissington trail was much better and a 21 mile run was done followed by a 24.5. Starting in Ashbourne the trail goes gently uphill before you turn round and come back downhill which is easy on the legs and mind. A camelback also helps and there are taps on route which the dog also really appreciated.

In hindsight a few more races as part of training would have helped but I did complete the Belper Rugby Rover (18.6 miles, 2200ft) as part of training although taking the dog was a mistake as she tried to race the leaders and having to lift her over about 20 stiles and detour round cows was not ideal. Good to see Deb Thomas also running there and putting in a good performance with some good support from Dan also.

All in all 5 people on the trip were running the race, Rob (Congleton Harrier, regular runner), Helen (Congleton Harrier, runner for 12 months, no more than 5 mile race), Kedren (Congleton Harrier, little race experience) and Jonathon (amateur ref, no race experience).
We flew out to Berlin early on the Friday and picked up the race number from the pretty chaotic expo - time for some sightseeing. I don't know whether you've been to Berlin but what a city. Eight times as big as Paris with so much history and things to see - the Holocaust memorial was truly staggering and something that I have kept reflecting on every day post trip.

All weekend Berlin felt like it had been taken over by the marathon and at 0630hrs on race morning the restaurant was packed with runners of all nationalities having an early breakfast. Making our way to the start which was only 800m away we caught site of the Elites warming up before taking our pens. Considering training had been short I felt reasonably confident (the light nights and warm weather are so much nicer to train in than training for London in the cold and dark) and was looking for a realistic 3:15 which gets me good for age - I'm getting old you know.

Haile gave us a few words and then 48,500 of us we were off and I settled into a pace although could not shake off a rather bloated feeling. The weather was perfect though - sunny and cool - but I soon realised I'd made a mistake keeping my Garmin set to miles as the markers were in km and trees and buildings were affecting the recorded pace with miles going by in 6:30 - 6:55. Hitting 13.1 in 1:28 was about right for me although I was disappointed to find that the 3:00 pacemarker was slipping away. At 15 miles I felt a little tired and started to panic but eventually devised a game whereby I ran on the blue (optimum) race line and kept repeating a mantra like "follow the blue, follow the blue" which seemed to distract me to 19 miles.

I knew the last six miles were key and maintaining a rough 7 min/mile pace up to 22 miles was good before I could feel my own personal Berlin Wall (sorry) rising up and the time dropping to 8's. Looking at the watch I hit 26.2 confusingly although shortly after we arrived on the run up to the Brandenburg gate and the finish line at 26.8 (pesky Garmin).
Mrs Grew had managed to bag Corporate hospitality and was right on the finish line so a quick stop for photo and then I crossed the line. I had 3:11 down but the results give me 3:09 so who I am to complain.

Back to the hotel, quick shower, out for a club sandwich and beer before walking life back into those legs later that afternoon followed by a family sized pizza and crazy cocktails that night. Congratulations to Rob, Helen, Kedren and Jonathon also as they all managed a PB and we also raised £4k for charity. Finally massive thanks to Helen for picking me for the team!!

Auf Wiederhesen.

 Wuderschoen Adam und vielen Dank für deine berichten. Thanks for the great report Adam and well done to you and the rest of the team. It certainly sounds like you had a good time and well done also on getting such a great time which gives you the automatic qualification you wanted :-)

Well done also to Stephen, Mary, Alejandra and Joel who also completed the 26.2 miles :-)     Da simmer dabei....

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Langley 7

Whilst most were in preperation for the Flying Fox 10 on the Sunday Graham Sheridan was out on the Saturday in deepest darkest Cheshire for the Langley 7 up near Macclesfield. He has kindly sent us this report:

This race was like a return to pre-Trentham race days for me – I hardly knew a soul at the race. It takes place in a small village just outside of Macclesfield on a Saturday afternoon – the day before the Flying Fox – so most of North Staffordshire’s racing fraternity had its sights set on the last race of the season. It was left to myself, Shaun Weston and Terry Wall (who was also racing on the Sunday) to fly the Trentham flag in amongst a throng of Vale Royal, Macclesfield and Wilmslow vests.

I have only ever done one 7-miler before – St. Thomas’s a few years ago, and was led to believe that this race just contained one hill – earlier in the week I had been sent a link to the course profile that confirmed this, but that the said hill went on for 2.5 miles and rose for over 600 feet! The forecast for the day was grim, with heavy showers predicted. The three us of went for a short warm-up, and then assembled at the start. The rain did not materialise, but it was extremely windy, and therefore impossible to hear any of the instructions given by the Starter. I did not see any men in hi-Vis, wearing hard hats and carrying clipboards – which is just as well, as the race was started by a rocket being launched about 6 feet away from the runners!

The first mile through the streets of Langley went by fairly quickly – I was conscious not to get caught up with everyone steaming off, as I knew that it would get tough pretty soon. The marshals were enthusiastic and in good number. As soon as we were out of the village we started to climb – the gradient was not too bad to start with, and I started picking a few people off as we made our way through the country lanes. Occasionally we were able to get a glimpse of the stream of runners far ahead and up the hill. At about the 3 mile mark I have to confess I had to revert to doing a bit of ‘power walking’ – as we encountered a steep section, there were a few walking by this point – and those that were still running weren’t going much faster than I was walking. After a couple of hundred yards I got going again – the wind all the way up the climb was right in our faces – I am really glad the rain had stayed away, otherwise this would have been a real grueller. Just before the halfway point we made a left hand turn, and the top was in sight – there was a guy on the corner cheering everyone on, which just gave me that lift to push on a little further.

Over the top of the climb and I had tucked in behind a fella who I had just caught up to – for the next mile and a half I stuck there – a quick glance at my current pace showed 6:20 per mile, I don’t think I have ever gone so fast in my life. I then moved up onto his shoulder and had a quick chat – he urged me to go on. The descent seemed never ending, I am convinced that we went down further than we had gone up, and am extremely grateful that they do not run the course the other way around. I was managing to pick a good number of people off at this time.

The last half mile of the course flattens out, and seemed to go on for quite a while alongside a lake, but soon enough the finish was in sight.

Predictably Terry and Shaun were waiting for me at the finish, I had wanted to beat my St. Thomas’s time of 3 years ago by going sub 60 minutes, and whilst starting the descent I thought that sub 58 might be a possibility, but I had seriously underestimated the power of gravity and managed to cross the line in 54:50 for a big old PB. It was an enjoyable race, well marshalled and well organised, decent goody bag too considering how cheap it was to enter.

Whether I go back next year will depend, but I would thoroughly recommend it as a pretty challenging course, some great views at the top and a chance at some quad bashing on the way down.


Thanks for the report Graham, a great read and many congratulations on your PB in those conditions, it sounds like you had a great run, especially on the uphills, a lesson in pacing by the sounds of things. Remember folks, please keep sending in your reports.......

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Leamington XC

A keen group of Trentham runners recently took part in the opening fixture of the Birmingham League XC series, being at Leamington. We have had two race reports in from this one, and here is the first one from Matt Plant:

Having only joined Trentham late on last year I only managed to complete 2 XC races last season, but having enjoyed them so much I really want to do them all this time around. The men's team captain Dave Pickstock has put a great deal of work and emphasis on the Birmingham league this year, and it was great to be part of roughly 25 hardy souls (17 of whom were the men's team) who made there way to Leamington for the 1st fixture. The banter was flying, as we split ourselves up between the cars and made our way there. We got there in good time and managed to watch the ladies start, then made our way to the infamous ditch and watched the ladies impressively storm past. A quick warm up later and off to the start line we went.

The start felt like one of the larger big city races, with hundreds of blokes all lined up stretching what seemed like the length of a football field. Having started off far to quick at Stafford and blowing up after a mile, I made a conscious decision to start towards the back to deliberately stop myself from getting carried away and paying the price later on in the race. I settled into a steady pace, as we first ran around a football field, before dropping onto the main route of 1 small lap and 2 big laps. I was feeling the benefit of wearing spikes as I hadn't worn them before and struggled for traction at Stafford. Once into the first proper lap I decided to kick on and started to overtake people. I've never seen so many different running club shirts at an event, and I had no idea which ones were in our division as I set about picking them off. The hill soon came around for the 1st time and I motored up it, then attacked the downhill. Once off the hill after crossing the path the real fun began and the mud started to get interesting. As we ran though the trees I could hear the laughing and shouting of a crowd so I knew the infamous ditch was close. Having watched the girls, a few of the lads had theories on the best way to get through it. Some said left, some said right, but me being soft in the head decided to just jump straight in the middle of it! The plan worked as I managed to maintain my balance and went past a few more runners.

I felt like I was running well, and continued to catch and pass people, although it wasn't easy in places where the track thinned through the woods. The hill and the ditch were uneventful on the second lap and it was great to get some much needed encouragement from the ladies as I tried to push on. As I approached the last lap I tried to up my pace again but was starting to tire. The hill was more of a chore the 3rd time around, but I still managed to pick people off. Through the woods and ditch we went for the last time, and ran into the big field before sprinting (well trying to anyway) towards the finishing line. Breathing out of my backside, I made my way to the already finished Trentham runners, where we all exchanged handshakes and congratulations as we watched everyone else come in.

Everyone ran brilliantly, and there were some exceptional performances by the clubs elite runners, and although we were filthy and exhausted, the mood was fantastic. The banter continued, as we swapped race stories, thoughts on how we'd done, and mocked Dave (sorry dave) for only making the b team! The cakes and donuts (cheers Paul, Dan) were shared out as we got changed and made our way back to the cars. Some of us then went the pub for the usual post race drink and bite to eat which finished a great day off nicely. We had to wait a few days for the results, but they were worth waiting for. Trentham had come first by a good distance, and our b team were the 3rd lowest point scores on the day! It was a great feeling being part of the Trentham team, as opposed to running races individually, and knowing that we'd done so well was the icing on the cake. If anyone is contemplating doing the XC I urge them to give it a go, as not only is it a fantastic team event, it's free, and it's got to be worth seeing Dave getting mercilessly mocked when us improving runners beat him!

Thanks for that Matt, a great report and well done on having a good race yourself. Really get a feel for the cross country reading that one, and Leamington is a course I enjoy myself with the crazy hill in there for no good reason. The next report is from Carl Platt who was also down in Leamington once again representing Trentham after his sabbatical:

Well this is my 1st report since been back at Trentham. So its the 9th of November, this is a fixture that our New Captain Dave and the rest of the team had been targeting. We got down the club at 10:45. I went to speak to everyone and could sense the anxiety and the excitement, also the unknown for a lot of runners. I did my best best to be me and give off as much energy as possible to the group, but I could see every one was up for it. Right then, business time.

We got to Leamington, first was the Ladies race, Well we all know what a fantastic Job Richard has done over the years, with the Ladies and today was going be know different. What a Fantastic run by the ever improving Christine 34th place, Followed closely by Laura who have both been out injured this year so great to see you both coming back, followed by Deb, Not far behind was the ever Consistent Jill followed by Lauren and Emily who you could tell really enjoyed the 1st Birmingham XC race, Well done all.

To the men's race, Well I had one plan and that was to run smart and hard. Great to see so many runners out, I just want to say that everyone is as important as each other, Takes a lot of good bricks to build a nice house, plus we have got the foundation from the committee and the captains Richard and Dave plus experience from Dale, Plus I cant wait see some of the younger runners come through, what a good job Ryan and Phil are doing too. Anyway back to the race the course was very muddy in places with a nice hill in it, to look at, not to run up haha. New signing Simon Myatt destroyed the field and came in 1st place, what a fantastic run, Bryn and Phil also had awesome runs with Myself, Roger and Craig making the 1st 6 finishers up, well done, 6 runners in the 1st 20 cool.

But that was not enough was it, the next 6 runners came in Captain Pickles, Pete Dutton, Dan J, Matt Plant, Mr Burslem ,and Ed Wilson. So that meant The A team and The B team had won, but even then our awesome runners kept coming with Dale, Lee Jones, Terry Wall, Paul Orry, and Andy Vickerman doing a great job in pushing the other teams runners down the field. Could not ask for a better day. Well done to everyone who ran, there ain't no I in Team. Same again for the next one. Then it was back to the pub for a good old laugh and a few pints. Would love to see more people getting involved, Its fantastic for morale.

Thanks Carl, and yes indeed we are top of the league as you can see HERE! Thanks for the brilliant report Carl, who is too modest to mention that he came 3rd himself in the race almost a minute clear of the next runner, and please guys and gals keep them coming in :-)

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Stafford Common XC

Thanks Dale Colclough for sending the race report from the 2nd fixture of the Birmingham League series of Cross Country races which was held recently at Stafford Common:

Birmingham Cross Country League 2nd Fixture Stafford Common
Trentham Men’s Team arrived at Stafford common in confident mood having topped the league at the first fixture. Team Captain Dave Pickstock rallied the troops and twenty three runners toed the line. A fast and frantic first lap saw Tom Halloway take an early lead over Newcastle’s Steve Ratcliffe. A chasing group of four including Carl platt sat just off the early pace. Trentham’s men were packing well although Craig Taylor lost a shoe in the mud costing him a minute and putting him back in about 80th place.
Newcastle’s Steve Ratcliffe hit the front going in to the second lap with Tom Halloway chasing hard to keep in contention. Carl Platt then made his move chasing down Tom and overhauling Ratcliffe to take the lead. Having gained the advantage Carl was away and lead by 50 metres going in to the last lap. Carl had to dig deep to maintain his advantage and crossed the line to not only lead Trentham home but gain his Debut cross country victory. Proud of you mate.
Further back Trentham men were working hard for the cause. Our first six counters packed well with our sixth counter home in 22nd. Trentham’s total of 74 points easily taking victory on the day and extending the lead at the top of the table. Strength in depth meant that Trenthams B team total of 156 was enough to take 2nd place overall convincingly win the B competition. Special mention for Craig, who having lost his shoe clawed back 50 places to finish 30th. Highlighting Trentham men are now up for the fight in team competition.
Trentham results Carl Platt- 1 Tom Halloway -6 Phil Mainwaring -8 Dave Pickstock-17
Roger Taylor-20 Pete Dutton-22 Dan Jordan-23 Scot Minshull-24 Leigh Mathews-25
Adam Grew-26 Paul Burslem-28 Craig Taylor-30 Mat Plant-41 Ed Wilson-46
Dan Crawley-47 Lee Jones-60 Paul Orry-78 Dale Colclough-87 Terry Wall-88
Mat Burley-111 Greg Julian-117 Andy Vickeman-120 Ken Bloor-144

Thanks for that Dale and well done Team Trentham who look assured of promotion back into division 2 again this year. Well done also to Carl Platt who as Dale mentioned crossed the line first overall to take his maiden XC win.

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Stockport 10

Many thanks to Lee Lymer for sending us this race report from a race just off our radar. It's always nice to get reports from other races so read on and find out how it was:

This report is really aimed at beginners and steady runners or those who are not seasoned race participants, so if you are a fast or experienced runner, it will probably bore you. You have been warned!
My race started really the day before as we travelled up to Stockport and stayed in a hotel only 3 miles away from the start. I got to the hotel and realised that the delicious and healthy pasta salad that I had prepared for my tea was still sitting in the fridge at home. Yes, what a Volley I am! Anyway, what is a girl got to do; stuck in an unknown city with no tea and no money for a hotel meal? Of course, order a pizza. Perfect meal before a race – NOT! In my defence I will say that it was all vegetarian and I did choose the extra thin one with lighter cheese. However, if you also are a lover of crap food before a race, you may want to read on... to the end.

After a 9 hour sleep I did make amends with my instant porridge pot cooked with the aid of the amazing appliance called kettle. I even stuck a banana in it in an effort to be good. We arrived at the start at good time and I went to collect my number. There was a bit of a chaos in the picking up tent. The numbers had all been packed in a random order and nobody knew where any numbers were. The poor marshals seemed harassed but seemed to cope ok. We all knew it wasn’t their fault. Eventually I got my number and now I was ready for the race. Got talking to few of the other runners over a coffee and soon it was time to go to the start.

A great big inflatable D over the track was a good inclination where the start may be so we all trotted off towards it. When the hooter went off we did a full lap around the stadium and another half before we ventured out in the park. It is hard to imagine that only a few minutes ago I was absolutely freezing and yet barely a mile had gone by when I had to remove my jacket. There was a slight breeze and the weather forecast had said it was 9 degrees and cloudy. That spells out as perfect running weather.

Second mile came up even quicker than the first and I was still keeping a steady pace with those around me so I was happy with that. By now we had left the park and were running on roads around a small housing estate. It was great fun because there lots of spectators stood by their gates, watching in awe at us all hurtling past. I heard one guy ask what we were doing and one of the marshal’s reply: “They are raising money for equipment and medicines for sick kids”. I've never heard it been put so nice before.

Third mile came by and now we were on a main road climbing our first hill. It wasn’t particularly long or even steep but it was enough to make me think that because this one hadn’t been mentioned: how bad are the others really going to be? At the top of the hill we ran down a dirt track. Ha, ha, I knew lots of people who would love this terrain. There was plenty of mud, potholes, puddles, acres of grass and even horse muck for those who like to juggle their way through obstacles on their way. The 4-mile sign came and went and we were still off-road. It wasn’t until near the 5-mile mark that we eventually got back on tarmac and then we were faced with hill number two, which was a mountain. It went on and on and it was like running up limekiln bank but the same distance as Anchor Road. I really don’t know how I managed to get to the top and still stay running, but I did. I was very pleased to pass quite a few runners who were walking.
When we eventually made it to the top of the hill, we immediately turned off the main road and back on to the housing estates. This time it was quaint little bungalows and one old dear was stood at the window in one of them. She was vigorously waving at everyone running past with a huge smile on her face. I wonder if she used to be a runner herself perhaps. We past the 6 mile sign and now we were off-road again, running past a field full of horses who were excitedly galloping back and forth in the field and then along the fence. I noted the roar from a low-flying aeroplane above us gliding towards the treetops which it only marginally missed as it descended towards the airport. It just dawned to me then that this race just has every element in it that could have something for everyone. How lovely! It was an amazing experience to be running along horses and other farm animals and it made me think of the poorly kids that we are running this race for. Wish they would see us now.

At mile seven I got excited as I could hear the tannoy form Woodbank Park in the distance. It lulled me into thinking that we were close to the finish. I instinctively sped up at that point. However, by the time mile 8 came around, the tannoy was well out of earshot again. Now I knew we would be approaching the killer hill soon and I was pleased that we got out of the fields and back onto solid road again. As promised (or threatened?), it didn’t take long before we started the incline. It was a long slowly increasing hill which seemed to wind around corners a few times before we got up. The increase in pace that I had picked up at mile seven seemed to keep me going as I found myself passing other runners on my way up, some of them were men too. This continued steadily all the way, around each corner there would be another one struggling, so I passed them. It wasn’t long before I was back with my original group who I lost at mile 5.

By the time mile 9 came around, I knew that it was going to be just flat and that the last few hundred meters were on the track anyway so there should be no more nastiness ahead of me so now I could start spending my reserved energy. I ran as fast as I could, overtaking quite a few runners and a young man was running side by side with me for a while before he must have mustered up enough energy to make it ahead of me. We entered the park and started heading towards the stadium. Yet again I could hear the tannoy and the roars from the spectators and it was getting nearer and louder with every step. Lots and lots of runners were walking towards us with their goody bags and cheering us on and wishing us luck. What a great bunch of people! All of a suddenly I found myself on the track and this was my queue to sprint. It was here where I must have done my maximum speed of 5.16 min/mile (according to Endomondo records). Alli saw me run on the track and said I flew past everyone who got in my way. As soon as I saw the clock I knew that this was going to be a massive pb. My current 10 mile pb was set at Flying Fox at 1:48:25 and this time I went through the finish at 1:36:57 but of course my chip time will be even less. Alli came running out to me at the finish and all I got so overcome by emotion that I could barely speak.

How sad that I was the only member from the Green Army there. Mind you, was I? I had borrowed Lee Jones’ vest so does that mean that there were two of us there and if so, then that means that I beat Lee because my chip’s attached to the bib so technically the chip went over the line a millionth second before Lee’s vest. Ha, Ha! Anyway, I can definitely recommend this race for all the club members. I’m going to say that this is my second favourite race (only just behind Barcelona Half). There is something here for everyone and I dare say that if people don’t enjoy this race, they should not be allowed to call themselves a runner.

Thanks for the report Lee and massive congratulations on your new 10 mile PB. If there's anyone else out there who would like to submit a report for the website then please feel free to email it over. We love reading them :-)

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Page last updated 18 December 2013


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