Race Reports 2010
Well, after falling last December and twisting her ankle so badly the bruises had bruises, Niamh got back on her feet and decided to enter her first Marathon in Dublin. Despite her best efforts to get a patsy to run in her name (as long as she kept the T-shirt) she put in the training, took the ferry and completed the 26.2 mile course today (25th Oct) in a rather respectable 4.49.15 - easily going under her own target of 5 hours. Hopefully Niamh will put in a personal report soon in her own inimitable style..... and here it is.... better late than never Niamh !)
I read somewhere that after running a marathon you should take a complete break from running. Now maybe I was stretching it a little to include 'writing about running' in that - but hey, better safe than sorry :-) There are two really good things about leaving the race report so long - the first is that the whole experience has fading into a series of little remembrances:
And that looking back the whole marathon feels like it only took me an hour and didn't hurt at all (I wish). Definitely would recommend Dublin for anyone one looking for a friendly 26.2 miler!
The second good thing about delaying the race report for so long is that I can say that I raised a total of £1,546 for the Alzheimer's Society - thanks to everyone who supported me!
Congleton Half marathon, 9 October
4 BRC members ran this local half, Dawn and Big Nige have sent in reports
I'd add my thoughts from the day :-) ........
Well done Dawn on completing your first half marathon, here's what Big Nige thought about it and some news about his exploits at Coniston.
Just a quick update on my running adventures. Saturday the 2 October me and Gaynor travelled to Coniston for me to take part in the 15k trail race. We had to stay B&B one night as all the sites were full. Our first time in the village and the weather was great. Really enjoyed the run some good testing hills to climb, but not quite as difficult as Hawkshead. Completed in 1 hour 24 mins. Great weekend.
This Sunday (10th) saw me take part in my first Congleton Half. I felt good until about 6 miles then my legs were tired. Think I was still a little tired from Coniston. This was a shame as I did not really enjoy the second half and I was disappointed to get 1 hour 52 mins. Still very sore today.
Cheers ~ Big Nige
Steve sent in this one ......
Great to see 5 from Biddulph turn up for this one, Patti, Niamh, Dawn, Cindy and myself made it to a sunny Apedale Country Park. This is the first time I've done this race in the 'summer' - the previous two being 8k distance and held in slightly fresher February. Patti ran with one of her littl'uns and sent her other two offspring as a team of two. Niamh, Dawn and Cindy made a team of 3 but it turned out to be more like see no evil, hear no evil speak no evil as they did a lot of running around in circles - not that I was any better.......
With a mixed bag of weather on the day I thought we could be in for a soaking but luckily - just before race started the sun decided that it was time it made an appearance and the rain held off (at least for a while). Organiser Gary Heppleston assured me that despite the race being 3k shorter than before he'd put in some checkpoints in previously unexplored territory and the additional foliage would make finding them just a tad more tricky. Gary was, as usual, I was off on the wrong path after just 1st checkpoint ! Eventually finding the 2nd cp I made yet another mistake and ended up having to double back at least half a mile or so - although I did successfully find 'K' which wasn't on the list !. Debbie Thomas and her fella, Adam, from Trentham RC, started two minutes in front of me so I thought by this time it was game over as far as getting a place was concerned but nevertheless I still tried to keep a decent pace, albeit pausing every two minutes to try and read the map. With some surprise I came across Deb and Adam near cp 'R' by the old water tower - they'd gone well wrong too. They were on their way to 'XX' while I still had to find the 'R' they'd just bagged - which also proved elusive. A few minutes later I ran into them again as we were all at sixes and sevens amongst 'the lakes' area. Cindy and co were everywhere. Admittedly there were more paths in reality than were shown on the map. Running back to the finish with Deb and Adam I thought I'd got them on place due to the two minutes head start they'd had. Unfortunately I read cp 'T' wrongly - not got close enough to see it properly - and was promptly penalized 4 minutes. Doh! Deb clocked just over 4.6miles on the garmin - over 50% more than the official distance!!
Gary happily announced that I'd come 3rd with a '5k' time 17minutes slower than when I won the 8k event in Feb! Nar, please Gary - I was only 10mins slower ! Deb and Adam made 2nd but the winners were lad and girl who'd come all the way from Rippon. I guess they deserved to do well just for coming that far. Hard work, great fun.
The it-felt-like-a-mile walk to the start made for an interesting (and compulsory) warm up, a low key start (think I heard someone yell 'GO') and then off, up the most awful, calf achingly killing, steep, never-gonna make it without walking some hill - complete with photographer at the very top - nice touch. The official name 'gun hill' but I heard a lot of runners calling it something a lot less polite...
Once over the top though a lovely race, nice long downhill, couple of loops, a few hills - which were (after the big fella at the start) nothing. The finish? 2k of 'I think I'm out of control' downhill before being awarded the years best t-shirt!
Scenic views were sadly lacking (mist) but that only gives us a good reason to go back again next year!
A few more musings
Wyre Forest Half Marathon, 11 July
Two BR members - Nige Jones and John Roach, made their way south on the day of the World Cup final ..... two very different experiences....
...don’t know when I’ll get around to writing a report – I may wait until after John has written his account…………he has more of a story to tell.
Anyway my time below: 108th out of 180. although over two hours this was a fairly up and down all off road course so I thought it would have taken me a bit longer than it did especially since my “training” involved watching a lot of football and an occasional drink!?
“Amazing Feet” Wyre Forest July 11th - the Half that never was!
Up at the crack of dawn, eat the sensible breakfast, drive 80 miles to take part in the 10th Wyre Forest Half – an undulating course run on forest paths and tracks. This was to be my first practise and confidence builder for The Great North Run on September 19th, in support of Alzheimers.
Everybody ready, 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 hooter sounded, off!! Well at least it was for some. After about 10 steps, perhaps only 9, I was ‘bumped’ by another runner, who had changed course to avoid a Forestry Commission post. After a spectacular fall backwards onto the very hard forest track, my race was over!
The race organisers were quickly on the scene, summoned first aid, and retrieved my glasses, one lens of which had been smashed. Tom Kenderdine, Sport and Remedial Therapist, www.muscoskelite.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk, the Red Cross nurses, and then paramedics dealt with the cut on my head, various grazes, and checked me over. As I hadn’t lost consciousness there was no need to take me to hospital, so I found my spare glasses in the car, and returned to the start and finish line, where I met up with Nigel. He’d been aware of someone falling, but not that it was me. We are both very glad that he didn’t know that it was because then the race would have been spoilt for him as well as me.
After the prize giving I was able to drive home with no problems, although I came back the ‘pretty way’, up the Severn Valley rather than the M6.
At least I can say that I was the first to receive a mug, and was given a free entry for next year! Nigel has also promised to buy me a pint next time he sees me in Wetherspoons! So instead of a half I’m having a pint!!
The ladies’ team prize wasn’t awarded because no club had actually named three of their members as a team – so how about a Biddulph Ladies entry next year folks?
I’m pleased to say that I’ve recovered well; the experts say that I have bruised my sacrum but I hope to be running with the club again this week.
1 July 2010 Berryhill 10k
Gave the above a go on Tuesday evening, first time race for me and I really enjoyed the course, even though they had apparently changed it this year from previous years. Time 47.36 and a couple of photos attached.
Following their 'experiences' of the Hawkshead 15k, Nigel and Christine chanced their arms (or more accurately their ankles and knees) for the next Lakes Trail Race in the series. Here's Nigel's take on it all.....
facts: 17k (10.5 miles) Nigel's time 1:54:46, Christine's time 2:06:58
Attached photo of the 'three' who, on behalf of BRC, walked the Potts half for The Children's Kidney Trust, raising £136.07 on the day and with various sponsor forms, donations and my 'egg dump' at Blencathra the total amount sent to the charity is £281.07.
Sarah, Lynda and Ken after the pots half charity walk
Esther completes her first Marathon, Edinburgh, 23 May
In really warm conditions Esther Brunsdon, our only vest out on the Edinburgh Marathon Course, successfully crossed the finish line and completed her first marathon. Looking forward to a report Esther ...... please
hey hey hey ..... here's Esther's take on her maiden marathon ...
thoughts & condolences are with the family & friends of Douglas MacFarlane.
"Really warm conditions" - B****y understatement Ed! SCORCHING - BOILING - BAKING - SAHARA esq!!!!!!!!!!!
Did I enjoy it - well - yes. For once I didn't do anything silly & knew from the onset with temperatures reaching over 25oC I had no choice but to take it at a steady pace all the way.
If I was ever going to partake in 26.2 miles again I would do Edinburgh - shame we can't book more appropriate running weather with the powers that be.
A medal, a quality T shirt & some interesting tan lines.
Further anecdotes will be issued verbally to individuals as & when requested. Not for general viewing!
Thanks for that Esther & well done from all at the club
Sat 24th, Hawkshead 15k trail race - a weekend away
Twelve members entered this event starting from the postcard pretty village of Hawkshead in the Lake District. 1464 feet of climb - 1464 feet of descent faced the competitors. Unfortunately chairman John came down with a last minute bug and wasn't really well enough to take part but he still travelled up to support. The Saturday event coincided with the club's annual 'Blencathra weekend' and some members took advantage of the accommodation at the outdoor pursuit centre there while others dusted off their touring vans and stayed on a campsite only a 300 yard walk to the start line. Steve sent in this report .....
We travelled up with a car full late Friday afternoon having managed to bag some accommodation at the Blencathra centre. For some reason I was optimistic about the weather - I mean it is the Lake District after all and rain is the more the norm than sun. I should have bought a lottery ticket for the optimism (for once) was justified. Friday had been dry and sunny and the predictions for Saturday - even for the Lakes - was similar. We met up with the revellers on the Blencathra weekend at the Salutation Inn in Threlkeld then later made the 3/4 mile drive up to the centre. There's a lesson to be learnt here, if in general you only drink decaffeinated beverages don't go and drink a couple of big mugs of normal, full fat, full caffeine tea the just before going bed the night before a race. I didn't sleep a wink all night!! Dang!!! This wasn't in the plan. It's a case of the more you try to sleep the less easy it is to do. Still I consoled meself that I once saw a TV program about sleep and I'm sure I remember that short term it was shown that a lack of sleep doesn't affect you physically - just the ability to play chess or land the space shuttle. Well, I wasn't about to take on Kasparov and the shuttle was in for a service so I should be OK.
The Blencathra centre comprises a number of buildings of which the running club occupied two. It's a bit like a youth hostel but with the addition of large classrooms for learning about red squirrels. Just like a youth hostel the bathrooms are shared ( no en-suite - I mean come on!) which meant, for those wishing relieve themselves of a gallon of ye-old janx spirit (or several mugs of tea) it meant a walk along a corridor through fire doors which required popeye spinach strength to open and if you weren't careful, closed with a bang which rattled the rafters. There were a couple of times when I felt like drifting off when BANG! a fire door made itself known. Well, I thought a bathroom break might help so tiptoed out of the room and down the corridor. Conquered the doors on the way out but BANG! lost one on the way back. Sorry everyone, it slipped from me fingers and was just too strong to retrieve. Decided to get up about 7.30am (run start was due at 2pm) partly because I was bored and partly because I now really required a caffeine shot to make sure I properly stayed awake for the rest of the day. Was amazed when Dale and Denise (guests from Trentham RC) came in around 8.00am having already run up and over the not insubstantial 3000ft Blencathra. That's scarily dedicated. The weather looked bright and settled, the vista from the centre west toward Keswick was just stunning - Helvellyn range to the left, Cat Bells and Derwent water in front and the Skiddaw range in the distance to the right.
We decided to drive down to Hawkshead early so that if anyone wanted to eat they could either get something in the village or rustle something up on the stove in Tracy and Kev's 'van. Had a bite to eat then wandered over to the start area where the vest numbers were being handed out in marquee. No chip timing on this one. Didn't seem long before we were on the start line amongst 500 other hopefuls. Although Nige Hopper, Kev and me were bunched together we were still about half way way in the crowd - maybe even further - a mistake which we paid for in the next mile or so. Can't remember hearing a gun but the crowd was moving. Initially a short distance on road then right onto a narrow, stony, greenway. It was pretty tightly packed with runners and virtually impossible to pass anyone. I began to wonder whether the whole course was going to be this tight and we'd never really get going. The ground was as dry as Dave Allen, and a dust cloud formed over the running column. Couldn't help but think of a cattle drive across the prairie. Didn't need to grit me teeth - it was done for me. Just as well the pace was slow and I didn't need to breath too hard. Left and right of the path were long bramble branches just flicking back and forth as runners went past giving each a pleasant memento. The first real climb proved a long one and the first point at which we could make progress over slower runners - or more accurately we walked a bit faster. Kev began running again and pulled away about 2/3 up, I just cursed meself for drinking too much tea and watched him go. Saw a sign at the side of the path saying "4km", jeez I felt like I'd done at least 7! Got to the top and began the decent - a decent descent too! Kev was still in sight so I tried to gather a bit of momentum to catch him back up. It took a while and another descent but I just managed to reel Kev in and then sneakily attempted to stay out of site - right behind his shoulders.. Didn't remain incognito for long - he recognised me breathing - how d'ya like that - I have recognisable breathing!!. Ran with Kev a bit and thought he was with still alongside but for some reason he dropped back a little - maybe saving himself for the climb on the return leg. Beautiful views to be had alongside lake Windermere before reaching the second and last water station at about 9k. One sip and the rest of the cup over the head. The last real climb was called the coffin trail (perhaps due to the number of coffins they've had to bring runners down in). Didn't see anyone running up this one - all walking. It was the toughest climb of the route I think but unlike Shuttlinsloe didn't require a hands-and-feet scramble. Fantastic downhill for about 3k to the finish (with the exception of the last 1/2 km on where it flattened and really sapped the last ounces of energy). The inflatable PUMA sponsored finish gate appeared right in front. I'd made it just in time - the old legs had had enough. Then the marshal directed us left away from the finish line and sent us on some bizarre bend around the back of the marquee to finish thru the gate from the other direction. They must've really wanted to be accurate to the the race distance!? I didn't wear a watch but the official time on the website was 1.31 something. Can't believe I only managed 10minute miles!
Spoke to a Stafford Harrier at the finish who said he'd seen loads of runners falling around him, I didn't see any fallers apart from a guy who was limping back toward the start after about 2miles in. The casualty tent did look busy though - a bit of queue was forming, nothing serious I hope. All BRC runners finished without a scar except for Colin who'd acquired a matching hand and knee set. He's a tough old boot tho and will be fine I think. It was great that so many of the Biddulph crew took part. Proud of all of em. After we'd all finished safely we gathered on the campsite between Kev and Nige's 'vans and relaxed in the sun with a celebratory bottle of Stella and a bowl of spicy bombay mix. Lager has never tasted better. A great weekend - really enjoyed it.
photos of Hawkshead race are on photo gallery 6.
Air Products 10k
to see no fellow runners at the above race - had to fly the Biddulph flag
alone!!! Made my debut in a time of 45 mins 36 secs. Good flat course on a
bright breezy day, didn't fancy it when I first left Biddulph as it was
raining but it turned out a good fresh morning with 214 runners taking part.
Thanks for the report Nigel.
Wilmslow half marathon.
On a cool, breezy
mother's day morning, Esther and I stood nervously at the start of the
Kev Shuff entered and ran the Stafford 20 in support of Esther who used the race as a fitness barometer for her forthcoming maiden marathon in Edinburgh.
Here's Kev's take on 'Cloud 9'
Just a short note about the race on Sunday. After a frosty start to the day the weather picked up to leave a great day for running up the side of that flippin hill. After not running the Cloud 9 for a number of years I'd forgotten what a real challenge it was. A quick pose for a team photo and we got under way. My first task was to try and keep up with the two BRC members running with me - Rob and Nigel - who are both running extremely well lately. This task was made a little easier after a mile and a half as I watched Rob pull away in the distance - OH to be twenty again!! Never mind, I just thought keep going, run your own race! Four miles later with Nigel on my shoulder my tactics had to change again! With a surge at the top of the cloud I managed to put a little gap between us and was able to maintain it to the finish. I had to work hard all the way though. Anyway, summary of the race: well organised good weather, really tough course, and GREAT RUNNING by ROB, NIGEL and CALUM (on his race debut? ed). Really well done fellows.
Apedale 8k Orienteering
Chuffed ter bits to win the event - despite landing a penalty for not properly recording a checkpoint. Thought no-one had a chance though when the inimitable Adri Hardveld showed up for signing in. Fortunately Adri ran far too fast and failed to see most of the posts. If there was ever a race you had a chance of getting the better of Adri - this is it.
Knype Pool Charity Race raises £530!!
Things were going just fine for this year's charity race - there'd been more pre-race entries than last year, lots of web hits for the entry form thanks to links posted on other local club websites as well as a big banner by Bryan Dale and a mention on John Schofield's race calendar. It was looking like a record turn-out - until that is everyone woke up on the Sunday morning to find their road covered in up to 8inches of the white stuff. That would have been just great if we were holding the cross country skiing now going on in Vancouver ( who are struggling for snow) but not so good if you want to travel a few miles by car to a 5 mile off-roader in the Staffs Moorlands!. However, despite some reservations, a decision was made to soldier on and run the race. Due to the road conditions the number of starters was down from last year and yet despite the poor driving conditions the 5mile off-road course was ironically completely runable. 1st home was a young Staffs Moorlands AC runner - Jack Ross (see photo below) following the tradition set last year by SMAC runner, Ryan Holroyd. Ross had nearly a minute over the 2nd place, Julian Goodwin, of Boalloy who was followed around 30 seconds later by yet another SMAC athlete, Jason Burgess. Ross was not only noticed for his speed but also for his robustness - being the only competitor to brave wearing a single layer vest in the arctic conditions. Respect. First lady home was Clare Holdcroft of Mow-cop runners -a great result for the recently formed club up there on the hill. Even with the inclement weather the Biddulph Mayor's charity, Douglas Macmillian Hospice, will benefit from a donation of £530.02! photo all thanks to the all those who entered and organised the race.
Knype Race 2010 winner Jack Ross - in action. Photo - Bryan Dale archive
Feedback from the race finishers was very positive - here's just a few quotes ....
209, "good but hard, good marshals"
303, "enjoyed it"
301, "brilliant, fantastic, great marshals"
300, "cracking course, got everything"
291, "excellent, could not go wrong, back next year"
311, "good tough course - good for physical and mental toughness..."
421, 422. "cracking race, well planned, good marshals, back next year"
282, "character building"
302, "brilliant - just right "
278 "enjoyed it, back next year"
Thanks to everyone for a well organised event in great conditions ~ Nigel Hopper
If the feedback is anything to go by and the weather is a little more kind then there ought to a record turn-out next year. Fingers crossed.
Here's a message to everyone from BRC chariman, John Lovatt.
Can I say a big thank you to all
those members and non members who helped
Alan Roberts awarded life membership of Biddulph sports council
For "loyalty, dedication, endeavour and achievement to sport in Biddulph", Alan has been awarded a life membership of Biddulph sports council. Well done Alan, well deserved too. photo