May 242015

Newcastle parkrun:

18:46   Roberto Marzo
19:05   Jeremy Smith
20:27   Tom Tinsley
21:27   Mungai Wairia
23:22   Luke Woodend
24:56   Mary Martin
26:06   Dave Kear
28:21   Yincent Tse

Sunderland parkrun:

20:47   Heather Steel

Gateshead parkrun:

19:11   Paul Robinson
19:40   Sumanth Nayak
29:57   Dave Manners

Keswick parkrun:

22:58   Richard Slack – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 May 24, 2015  Posted by at 7:52 am Results No Responses »
May 202015

Race report by the globe-trotting Howard MacLennan:

The event was very pleasant in this old Norwegian/American community. Just to let you know the film Fargo wasn’t actually filmed in Fargo.

This year the event started & ended in the Fargodome, plus you can actually pick up a GPS signal inside for your watches. The noise was booming inside from the supporters & runners. It was helpful to keep out of the early morning cold, place your bags, normal toilets & pick up many free goodies. Under Armour were the event organisers whom provided quite useful reusable bag. Plus you get your free tee-shirt before the event. The race course changes each year; normally a loop course, the area is very flat & is a must do racecourse qualify if you want to participate in the Boston marathon for Americans. Friday is the 5k, Saturday is the full marathon, half marathon & 10k. Various start times & varied routes well marked. You can practically join in anywhere you think at the start with the pacers. Unfortunately we were just a little late & joined right at the back when the gun went off. Generally you run past the many beautiful wooden styled homes, local businesses like cafes, old cinema, railway stations, colleges & University etc. Many American flags were waving, followed by the North Dakota flags & at times the Norwegian flags. Practically every street has supporters from the area; many children wanting to high five, live bands from rock to old Norweigan folk music, plenty of water & power aid drinks stops.

The results were very quick to come through by email & linked you straight away to a website that constantly updates plus have your certificate to print off. It has an interesting aspect as it lets you know how many people you overtook & vice versa.

As we started at the back, the beginning was about negotiating to run past many runners. I overtook 3011 by the first 10k & 361 by the last. 4803 participants ran, not the suspected over 8000. Possible drop outs. Had a respectable time of 1.41.13 as I’ve been injured for most of the year. I apologise for not wearing my vest, forgot to bring it & suspect it is collecting dust since the cross country season.

I would definitely come back here again to race. The people are very hospitable, great shops, cafe’s, restaurants, art galleries & the doughnuts are way better than Krispy Kremes. Plus Fargo borders Minnesota where clothes are tax free & is the state of 10,000 lakes. Plus just North is Winnipeg in Canada, so there is a lot of places to visit & easily accessible by car.


 May 20, 2015  Posted by at 10:39 am Uncategorized No Responses »
May 172015

Newcastle parkrun:

19:31   Roberto Marzo
20:28   Paul Hughes
21:41   Mungai Wairia
22:03   Charlotte Spencer
22:07   John Grimshaw
24:32   Katherine Hooper
26:40   Rose Hawkswood
27:25   Dave Kear
28:50   Leanne Salem

Keswick parkrun:

23:13   Richard Slack

Croxteth Hall parkrun:

19:02   Sumanth Nayak
19:51   Tom Tinsley – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 May 17, 2015  Posted by at 8:49 pm Results No Responses »
May 142015

8 teams represented Claremont at Wallsend on Wednesday evening.  The weather was kind and it helped make for an excellent, well organised event on a revised course due to work on the paths.  I think it was a little longer and perhaps a little harder and I want to know how they make the hill steeper on the 2nd lap!

Position Category Ist Leg Time 2nd Leg Time Cumulative 3rd Leg Time Cumulative
35 Male Jeremy Smith 12:50 Matthew Kingston 13:02 25:52 Paul Robinson 12:50 38:42
76 Female Charlotte Spencer 14:14 Mandy Herworth 15:06 29:20 Heather Steel 13:46 43:06
99 Male Jamie Harding 14:46 Luke Woodend 15:42 30:28 David Devennie 15:19 45:47
102 Male Tom Tinsley 13:32 Kenny McCormick 18:00 31:32 Dean O’Brien 14:24 45:56
114 Female Heidi Swaffield 15:28 Mary Martin 16:53 32:21 Julie Cross 15:27 47:48
130 Female Michelle Nesbit-Burrell 16:15 Marie Slack 17:53 34:08 Julie Dumpleton 16:01 50:09
133 Female Leanne Salem 19:30 Rose Hawkswood 16:46 36:16 Collette Byrne 14:44 51:00
Male Ben Hull 15:55 John Grimshaw 14:53 30:48
 May 14, 2015  Posted by at 10:52 pm Results No Responses »
May 142015

By John Grimshaw

The last in a series of races for a while (Blaydon race is my next big one) brought me the biggest 10k in Europe with upwards of 35,000 competitors .

It included Haile Gebrselassie’s last competitive race, as it happens he came 16th and then joined in the last wave and ran it again! A legend!

The weekend included, as well as the race, the Manchester City games, this had a number of top athletes competing on raised platforms on the streets of the city.  I had seen it on the TV when it was on at Newcastle but watching from the front of the crowd ‘up close and personal’ and also looking up at the athletes gives a completely different perspective!  The stars included a reunion with Jess Ennis-Hill in her comeback race! (She came third out of 4 in the 100m hurdles) but must have been relieved just to get the first one out the way!  Also Greg Rutherford another of the gold winning athletes I was lucky enough to see at the London Olympics on that golden Saturday.

The race on Sunday was quite a late start with the assembly area opening at 10am for the Orange wave. I arrived early to get a good position.  I managed to get a few hundred from the front with only the elite/celeb and fast passed club runners in front which meant I crossed the line within 18 seconds of the main race starting!

The wheelchair race started at 10:55, with elite women at 11:12! They actually started 5mins late, before the main race including my orange wave at 11:38!

Waiting for the start I was spotted by a Heaton Harrier (Dave) so we passed the time with a pleasant chat. He was planning to also run in the last wave with his daughters if he could find them! That is after he had ran in the first wave!

The race is a out and back race with a loop around old Trafford and passing coronation street set. It was well signpost with Km markers and 400/200m to go at the end. A mainly flat fast course with a couple of slight inclines/descents. Also there were timing points at 3K/5K/8K. The disadvantage of starting at the front was the tendency to set off too fast, I didn’t disappoint! Having spoken to Dave (Heaton Harriers) he had ran the route before, I knew he was a bit faster than me, so I wished him well at the start and didn’t try to run with him.

I did manage 13:26/3k, 22:59/5k and 37:26/8k and I can say the second 5k was a bit of hanging on, the weather was quite kind, not too warm and no rain so just club vest and shorts.

There was a large and encouraging crowd all the way around the course with the usual selection of local bands playing there hearts out, two water stations and a run through shower. Although being passed by someone walking was a little disheartening until I realised he must have been 6’7″+ and looked like a pro walker!!

Due to it being an in/out race route the 2/9k and 3/8k markers were close on either side of the road so we could see the elite women pass us in the opposite direction around the 8-9 marker!

The last 400m the crowds got significantly large and louder, by the finish I was really holding on crossing the line on 47:06 which when adjusted for the chip timer a finish of 46:48! This is a season best and only a minute of my PB off last year…. Getting there!

After the finish there was first aid, the BBC, (I waited for an interview but they obviously didn’t recognise me!) then you went past a water point continuing down the street was your goodie bag, you could eventually get out at the end of the street, meeting my GF due to the amount of people was a challenge and took about 25mins!

All in all I think it is a race I will do again and recommend highly.


 May 14, 2015  Posted by at 10:33 pm Race Reports No Responses »
May 142015
Category Time Name Time Name Time Name Team Time Position
W35 13:28 Tamsin Saxton 14:18 Nina Jensen 13:46 Mandy Herworth 41:32 8th
W45 15:08 Mary Martin 16:30 Marie Slack 14:56 Julie Dumpleton 46:34 7th
M45 13:07 John Grimshaw 14:03 Richard Slack 11:46 Matthew Kingston 38:56 19th
M55 12:18 Alasdair Wilson Craw 15:48 Ken McCormick 12:27 Tom Tinsley 40:33 4th
M65 14:18 Owen Fallon 13:45 Ben Hull 15:13 Bill Milbourne 43:16 2nd
 May 14, 2015  Posted by at 8:58 am Results No Responses »
May 102015

By John Grimshaw

This race has run for 5 years and I am yet to miss one. I have experienced a variety of weather conditions over the five years ranging from 24 degrees to Sunday’s chilly 8 degrees with driving rain and 42 mph winds!
After waking to this Sunday morning I did think twice of going!

The race is centred around the Stadium of Light and does pretty much a figure of eight. It starts by heading from the stadium out across the Wearmouth Bridge, heading down the main shopping street looping round a park near the civic centre (they used to go through this park in earlier years but learned from the fact that the gates to the park were far to small to let the peaks of runners through without a significant delay) then returning across the wearmouth bridge before a sharp right on to the river walk heading to the sea. You then run all the way along the front to Roker Park, looping it to bring you out onto the promenade before heading back to the stadium where the finish was.

At the finish there was a announcer who, whilst he was trying to encourage the runners, did confuse a few who had not run this race before and who thought the start line (200m) from the finish was the actual finish and slowed to be told by the announcer and spectators that they still had 200m to go round the corner!

Using the stadium as the base meant there were plenty of facilities and even with a few thousand runners there was plenty of space to get out of the weather before the race as well as toilets and refreshments.

After the finish you have to walk through the stadium where you collect your goodie bag and T.
There was one brave soul with a toon top on and to be fair he got a decent well natured barracking!

The race was hard but I do prefer a cold race so well pleased with my 47:20 (season best) finishing 199th overall and 13th in my age group!
A friend and my GF were spectators however and had in a lot of ways the worse deal as they had to stand in the wind and driving rain getting utterly soaked so thanks to them I still got a couple of photos!

Having done all five Sunderland 10ks it is well organised despite the well publicised disaster of the marathon and half marathon a couple of year ago that was abandoned and people went the wrong way respectively!

One final point thank you to metro for having work on the lines meaning no metros to Sunderland on the day!!! So the car parks were very busy getting out!

 May 10, 2015  Posted by at 2:31 pm Race Reports No Responses »
May 102015

By Sumanth Nayak

This is one of the Lakeland Trails series of races. I did the marathon around Coniston Water in 2012 and I’ve always wanted to try the shorter, but no less challenging, races. There’s a 10k in the morning and a 17k (actually 18) in the afternoon. Both start and finish at Staveley, near Windermere. The 17k is a loop going out to Kentmere and back. A friend gave me a lift and we set out at 9am in torrential rain feeling sorry for the parkrunners but also worried about what was in store for us. Thankfully, as we approached the lakes, the skies cleared up and it turned out to be quite a pleasant day.

There was a great atmosphere at race HQ, Staveley recreation ground, with food stalls, a drum band playing near the start and lots of runners warming up. My first priority was to decide which food stall I would visit after the race. The tagline for the race is ‘Sting in the Tail’ referring to the final punishing climb to the summit of Reston Scar, a kilometre from the finish. I think the name itself inspires terror! We could see a stream of the 10k runners coming down the hillside into Staveley. I was joking that Reston Scar was probably just a tiny bump but judging by how high up they were, it looked like we were in for a nasty climb. As we headed towards race registration, I bumped into Paul Hughes just finishing the 10k (actually 11) in fifth place! I think he’s done a few of these events and it was actually on his recommendation at Coniston, that I entered this one.

Elevation profile

Elevation profile

The race starts with a tough climb out of Staveley on tarmac paths before heading onto rocky trails. I set off way quicker than I wanted but I felt fine on the climb, steadily making my way through the field. It was the descents I was worried about as all the rainfall in the previous week would have made them treacherous. Sure enough, on the first descent at 4km, scrambling down large rocks, mud and puddles, I twisted my ankle. I was probably going quicker than parkrun pace but it was impossible to slow down, it was just that steep. After hobbling for a bit, I carried on, the adrenaline numbing the pain. That was probably the steepest descent out of the way. Another long, punishing climb towards Kentmere for a couple kilometres and it all seemed very familiar for some reason. Of course, this was part of the Lakeland 50 route! Memories of crawling up these massive rocks in sheer agony came flooding in. Thankfully, I was in fitter shape this time to run up the entire way.

Staveley 01

Once at the summit around 10km, a long, steady descent followed where I could really let loose and make up time. Conditions underfoot were getting worse, with mud more than ankle deep in places. Every time someone around me tip-toed around a puddle, I made a point of just streaming right through it, soaking us both. There’s no avoiding getting dirty on a route like this so you might as well just take the shortest path! Towards the end, there were a few stiles and walls to climb over breaking up my momentum but at least it gave me a few seconds to take a breather. I could now hear drumming, which meant the final climb was close. Only, it was a series of climbs! There were signs reading “Sting in the tail” and “Are you prepared?”. A couple of false summits, some muttered curses and finally, I could see the top marked with a pile of stones. A sharp left turn and then it was a steep downhill but mostly on firm grass. The view of Staveley and surrounding hillside was jaw-dropping but I couldn’t stare for too long for fear of tripping over and breaking my neck. Just over a 100m descent in one kilometre; definitely worth the grueling climb to the top! I timed my sprint finish wrong, thinking it was just around the corner. Instead, there were a few twists and turns before finally heading into the recreation ground where I managed to hold my pace and finish in 1:26. Someone said to me a good time on this course would be something equal to my half marathon best, so I was quite pleased with that.

This was without a doubt, one of the best races I’ve done. If you’re looking to get away from road races, I can’t recommend the Lakeland Trails series enough. There’s something for everyone, 10k to 18k, half and full marathon, and a couple of ultras. The routes are very challenging, not just for the elevation but also the rocky terrain but they’re well worth the effort. As someone who can’t stand cross country, this will come as a shock, but I think the wetter and muddier the better. And you get a pretty snazzy t-shirt!

 May 10, 2015  Posted by at 1:00 pm Race Reports No Responses »