Apr 252017

Well done to Lucy Dunbar for completing her first London Marathon in under 4 hours.  She sends this report:

Where to start? The London marathon weekend began for me on Saturday morning where I went for a leg loosener run along Regent Canal with my family. My dad made it his mission to say ‘good morning’ to every runner we passed, refusing to be put off when only a couple replied out of 30+ runners. Good old happy Londoners!

From there it was off to the expo to pick up my race number and timing chip. I was dreading the queues but the whole thing was very well organised and separated into different queues based on your number so actually this was all very quick and efficient. I picked up a nice new London Marathon vest as based on previous races I thought the finishing tshirt may as always be too big so wanted a momentum that fit! There were lots of stalls and athletes doing talks but we missed most of this (I did spy Steve Cram – but that’s pretty normal these days after seeing him at the Good Friday Relays). Here we got to pick up goodie bag number 1 (we got another after the actual run full of goodies – Great North Run should take note, you get far more for your money at London!!).

So my Sunday morning didn’t start off too great. I struggled to get to sleep and woke up at 2am thinking it was time to get up and then struggled further falling back to sleep from there! I went down for breakfast at the hotel at 6.30 which was put on earlier for all the ‘athletes’. I then put on all my gear for the day, as you can see from the photo I look a little like I’m off to an 80s roller disco. Sporting my Claremont vest, pink knee high compression socks and my Heads Together campaign headband. I was really on board with wearing the headband – as I work in mental health it is a message we should be sending to everyone – that it is okay not to be okay and we should all talk about how we are feeling a whole lot more.

Once deposited at the blue start by my parents and boyfriend, I was left alone for an hour to hang about while they rushed off to a place to see me later on. Here was one of the days most ‘interesting’ experiences where I tried to navigate the toilets and found myself in a queue for female urinals. Now this isn’t something I’m on board for… I joined a group of ladies at the side of the tent who adopted a more ‘sod that’ approach and just squatted at the side of the tent together. Ah bonding at its best. 5 minutes after leaving I then found the normal portaloos, sigh. To the start line!!

At the start line it became clear quite how many other nationalities come to run London, there was a large group of Germans nearby and I can remember passing South Africans, French, Mexican, Spanish and Americans to name a few.

And off we went! I tried to be sensible in the early miles and just get into a consistent stride and pace and not go off too quickly. There were many times it was too busy and congested like the Great North Run where you had to look out for tripping up over people’s legs who moved about in front of you and as always trying to pick up water was a bit chaotic but better organised and more spaced out than the GNR. The crowds really were amazing. I had people shout ‘come on Claremont’, I’m not sure if they thought this was my name or if they knew it was a running club but it was nice all the same! Running over London Bridge just before halfway has to be one of the best moments, runners were getting their phones out to take selfies while they ran.

I had kept up a steady pace for the first 30k and all being well I would have been on for 3 hours 49 minutes, but it was not meant to be today! As we got to around 19-20 miles, my Garmin started to play games with me and kept alternating pace between 1 minute miles to 16 minute miles which made pacing extremely difficult! And from there I really started to hit the wall, the heaviness in my legs just seemed to come from nowhere but got progressively worse and worse. When my Garmin finally starting to sort itself out I realised I had dropped into the 9 minute miles. And then the chaffing came and oh my was I glad for those lovely medics who stand there handing out the Vaseline, you guys are lifesavers!! I knew from here that my hopes of a PB (sub 3.51) were out the window. I really had to dig deep here just to keep moving. It helped with the amazing support and trying to think of the two little girls I had raised over £1000 for. I tried to remind myself that completing a marathon is an achievement in itself and on I went adjusting my aims for sub 4 hours instead. At Westminster, after seeing my boyfriend and some friends, I managed to pick up the pace slightly. The end was in sight! Turning down onto the mall was pretty spectacular and I managed to pick up the pace to have a kind of sprint (as much as you can when you’ve ran 26.2 miles) to the finish! 3 hours 56 was my time in the end. Not my fastest marathon – but definitely quicker than my debut 4 hours 16 from Kielder!

The crowds, the live music and everything was amazing, it really does carry you through. A pleasant surprise was picking up an extra small finishers tshirt that actually fitted! I know enough of you have heard me whine that barely any of my race tshirts actually fit! And, another goodie bag to finish. I then hobbled, and I really mean hobbled along to find my family.

The organisation really has to be praised as everything the whole day was so smooth and efficient, from the underground being free for all runners to baggage buses and everything being really speedy. Also we went out for pizza later that night where all marathon runners got a free pizza – yay free pizza!!

Thank you Claremont for giving me the opportunity to run London where the ballot has rejected me for three years! I recommend to you all to keep trying to get in. I said never again yesterday, but today I’m coming round to the idea of doing a fourth marathon…

 April 25, 2017  Posted by at 12:55 pm General No Responses »
Apr 232017

Well done to these fine athletes competing in our nation’s capital today:

3:02:07     Roberto Marzo
3:26:28     Catherine Young
3:37:36     Mungai Wairia
3:56:34     Lucy Dunbar
4:47:46     Daisy Martin

 April 23, 2017  Posted by at 6:48 pm Results No Responses »
Apr 232017

Newcastle parkrun:

19:33   Dan Edwards
19:34   Paul Hughes
20:32   Mungai Wairia
21:53   Robyn Wynn
22:51   Richard Slack
23:28   John Grimshaw
23:29   Brian Hegarty
24:00   Dave Kear
25:55   Chris Carr
26:17   Susannah Orr
26:31   Serpil Bulut

Gateshead parkrun:

24:43   Rose Hawkswood
43:42   Lorna Pearson

Gibside parkrun:

27:07   Graham Leslie

Rising Sun parkrun:

20:08   Alasdair Wilson Craw
21:33   Arthur Liu
23:22   Luke Woodend
23:38   David Reay

Andover parkrun:

23:19   Jane Evans

http://www.parkrun.org.uk – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 April 23, 2017  Posted by at 6:01 pm Results No Responses »
Apr 202017

Rose Hawkswood has been running silly races in the Netherlands and sends us this report:

Texel 60 or: How I realised support is a superpower.

I’m not going to pretend that I was totally prepared for running Texel 60k. Yeh I’d completed the Claremont 35 and was hilly and tough at times. But I thought I could get pretty damn close, having never raced at this distance, or even a marathon. Naive and enthusiastic I hoped I would get round in 6-6.5 hours.

Texel 60 is a clockwise 61km run around the island of Texel (pronounced “Tessel”) in the north of the Netherlands. Starting at the bottom of the island heading north there are two beach sections in the first 20k broken up with running through a forest.

This was murder, not the sand that I had prepared for, XC is worse. The wind, the wind from the north was unrelenting, in your face, making me pay for being enthusiastic. There were moments of beautiful sunshine then icy cold hail! I knew the worst conditions have pasted.

After 22km I was joined by my friend (and host for the weekend), Darci, she was my bike support for the next 38k.

The rest of the route was on cycle paths and roads, going over dunes, along dikes, through a town or two and around the harbour.

It didn’t get easier, my legs were ok they trained for this, but everything else had been battered by the wind which I absolutely had not at all prepared for.

I passed halfway in about 3.25, so I was still hopeful of getting a finish time before the 7 hour cut off, I had a tail wind now and it was all road and flat. At the 3rd (43km) check point, I was still just about going to do it for time (5hr 3 mins, with 18km and 1hr 57mins left on the clock).

Unfortunately I just didn’t have it, running kept getting harder. I spent too much time walking and with 5k to go I had about 25 minutes to finish cut off time, it was a really really long 5k.

There were two reasons I made it to the finish line, the first I had no other way of getting home than on my own two feet, and the second the fantastic support from Darci.

Arriving at the finish line was heart breaking, the race team were packing up. I’d failed, finished but not with pride.

I got a huge hug from someone who was chatting a lot of dutch, and not a single thing I understood. I have been told he hugged everyone who crossed the line, that might be the official way to finish a ultra on Texel. My splits were 1h 36min @ 16km, 5h 03min @43km and about 7h 23min overall, although my watch had died in the last few 100m.

The Claremont 35 wasn’t much shorter, but it was a lot easier because of the constant support and camaraderie from my fellow club mates. That support is like having a running superpower where anything is possible.

Texel 60 and 120 is on again in 2019, I don’t know if I’ll be there again. Texel is a beautiful (windy) island with very ugly sheep, I highly recommend a visit.

 April 20, 2017  Posted by at 5:13 pm General No Responses »
Apr 182017
Roberto Marzo 00:39:21
Dan Edwards 00:43:21
Mungai Wairia 00:43:25 3rd M60
Howard Maclennan 00:46:21
Luke Woodend 00:46:32
Richard Slack 00:47:17
John Grimshaw 00:47:30
Daisy Martin 00:51:58
Chris Carr 00:53:05
Marie Slack 00:55:50
Janet Palmer 00:59:56
Bill Milbourne 01:03:25
 April 18, 2017  Posted by at 9:54 pm General No Responses »
Apr 162017

A great turnout from the club on a rather cold and drizzly day. It was quite a contrast from last year’s warmth and blue skies but conditions were perfect for racing nonetheless. Well done to the veteran ladies’ A team on a brilliant 13th position out of 41 teams. The prize for consistency must surely go to the veteran men’s B team for finishing times separated by a mere 11 seconds! Apologies to the senior men’s team for my tardiness at the start but thanks to Paul’s stellar run, we didn’t finish last!

Senior Women
16:04     Lucy Dunbar
16:06     Jane Evans
15:52     Rose Hawkswood

Veteran Women
15:48     Julie Cross           16:13     Daisy Martin
15:22     Nicki OBrien         18:35     Marie Slack
14:59     Sarah Bowen       16:33     Alice Vialard
46:09                                  51:21

Senior Men
14:18     Sumanth Nayak
12:55     Paul Robinson
14:02     Sichao Yang
13:43     Roberto Marzo

Veteran Men
13:46     Alasdair Wilson Craw          15:14     John Grimshaw
13:58     Mungai Wairia                     15:13     Richard Slack
14:27     David Lydall                         15:03     Howard Maclenan
13:34     Paul Hughes                        15:08     Dean OBrien
55:45                                                  60:38



 April 16, 2017  Posted by at 11:48 am Results No Responses »
Apr 162017

Newcastle parkrun:

19:46   Roberto Marzo
21:30   Mungai Wairia
22:54   Richard Slack
24:05   Daisy Martin
24:20   Dave Kear
25:39   Alice Vialard
27:11   John Grimshaw

Gateshead parkrun:

20:50   Sichao Yang
22:44   David Lydall
23:59   Jane Evans
31:38   Dave Manners
44:28   Lorna Pearson

Rising Sun parkrun:

21:59   Arthur Liu
25:31   Brian Hegarty

Banbury parkrun:

20:35   Tom Tinsley
30:42   Gillian Milne

Greenock parkrun:

23:52   David Devennie

http://www.parkrun.org.uk – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 April 16, 2017  Posted by at 10:38 am Results No Responses »
Apr 132017

Report by Richard Slack on his customary Easter European half marathon trip.

Following Vienna and Berlin, Budapest was this year’s Easter destination. I was last in this beautiful city in 1991, just after the collapse of communism in 1989, so was looking forward to a run around it.

The half marathon forms part of a weekend of running and took place on the Sunday, with a relatively small field of around 7,000 runners. After mega crowded half marathons this was very welcome with ease of number pick up, orderly start zones and plenty of space during the race and also meeting up at the end by the finish gates.

The Sunday dawned bright with blue sky and sunshine. We made our way for the 10am start arriving at Heroes Square and the People’s Park around 9am for the bag drop. Whiling away an hour we made our way to respective start zones. The run itself first follows the length of Andrassy Utca, a wide boulevard, and notably a Unesco world heritage site, running from Heroes Square down towards the river Danube. On reaching the river we crossed over the Chain Bridge and onto the Buda side, marking the first 5km. There followed a run along the river past the National Gallery and the elevated Castle district before a loop back around to run back towards the Chain Bridge.

The run along the Buda side river was stunning with superb views of the Parliament on the Pest side. However, there’s not much shade running along a wide riverbank road in the late morning sunshine so energy levels were somewhat sapped. Indeed, just as I had started the switch back, I saw Marie who was feeling a bit out of sorts and having a real struggle between 10km and 15km. However after a stop and giving herself a good talking to she battled back, determined to keep going!

We re-crossed the Danube over the Liberty Bridge and following a run along the Pest side of the river, we headed back into the City at around the 15km mark. The route then passed St Stephen’s Basilica before heading back towards Heroes Square and the finish. The sun kept shining and then after 17km of running pretty much on the flat we had to go up an over a fly-over – not much of a hill granted but it was a an unwelcome test towards the end.

We met up at the finish area on what had been a beautiful run and despite the relatively low numbers, on fully closed roads throughout with six refreshment/water stops on route. The event was really well organized, well supported and at the same time very relaxed – a real pleasure to run. I was pleased with my final time of 1.48.47 although at one point had hoped for near to 1.45. Marie came though at 2.25 and whilst disappointed with the time was pleased to get round in one piece. Looking forward to keeping the sky blue flag proud and flying at our next European city in 2018.

 April 13, 2017  Posted by at 11:56 am Race Reports No Responses »
Apr 092017

Newcastle parkrun:

19:04   Paul Robinson
19:32   Sichao Yang
20:03   Roberto Marzo
20:50   Mungai Wairia
22:58   Brian Hegarty
23:49   John Grimshaw
23:56   Dave Kear
25:30   Rose Hawkswood
27:02   Alice Vialard

Gateshead parkrun:

19:54   Sumanth Nayak
21:27   David Lydall
26:00   Graham Leslie
44:25   Lorna Pearson

Gibside parkrun:

25:04   Jane Evans

Whitley Bay parkrun:

25:40   Daisy Martin

Strathclyde parkrun:

22:58   David Devennie

South Manchester parkrun:

21:49   Luke Woodend

http://www.parkrun.org.uk – Free, timed, 5k runs every Saturday 9am

 April 9, 2017  Posted by at 11:31 am Results No Responses »
Apr 062017

Well done to Leanne Salem on completing her first ever marathon. Here is her report of the day:

Race report …well with much excitement I set of on April fools day for the drive to Manchester..Sunday 2nd April…6 am breakfast…40mins walk to the start which actually got rid of my nerves..it was a beautiful day..bags dropped and off I went ..nice and slow to start ..kept thinking it’s only a run nothing bad will happen ( as weeks before at Kirkley half I had maranoia..so I’ve been told )..I didn’t have it here, I loved every second every minute every hour …the crowds, the music, the lovely people of Manchester keeping us in jelly babies..I absorbed it all, every 26.2miles of it and yes I would don’t all again ..even just for the free beer at the end and the massive medal ..
And all for a great cause Cancer Research UK.

 April 6, 2017  Posted by at 12:28 pm General No Responses »