Mar 172019

Report by Richard Slack

I was meant to do a trail race in the Lakes on Saturday but due to gales and flooding gave that a miss. Next thought – what can I do instead. Knew Marie was joining the marathon fraternity of Claremont for another NE Marathon Club winter wonderland on Sunday so duly signed up.

We arrived at Ashington woods and met other Claremont regulars, Nina, Marie, Bill and Janet. The NE Marathon club runs are a pretty relaxed affair with a lovely atmosphere and well marshalled (windy corner, sunshine straight, the corner of the little bog) with full encouragement at the refreshment table every lap.

The 2.6mile  course, through Ashington Community Woods was really lovely – plenty of twists and turns to keep it interesting and relatively flat throughout with the possible exception of a shallow 1km uphill drag up the back straight. You run as many laps as you want and get checked off each lap. Obviously 10 laps equals nearly a marathon at 26 miles so on completion a further little out and back was added. But at 9am that was the least of my worries and the furthest thing from my mind!

My plan was to get through the first 5 laps (roughly half marathon) and see how far I could go after that. Mentally I set targets to complete lap 6 then two more to lap 8, a “digger inner” on lap 9 and then only one more glorious lap would get me through. And pretty much all that went to plan except the increasing inability of the accelerator in my legs by lap 8 to 9, like being stuck in 3rd gear. Nonetheless on I plodded and finally lap 10 came. What I thought would be a lovely and decent paced last lap turned into another battle but this time to the finish and the extra bit at the end. 

Sure enough the end came. I was so proud to have done this and part of the preparations for London. Marie was waiting at the end having done 7 laps (18 miles) and Nina went on to, I think, her last lap – but she might of course still be running! My legs and brain then really ceased to work so any thought of bending and walking was a real serious deal!

But on a serious note, anyone fancying a go at a marathon these runs are perfect as mentally the laps tick by and today you knew that every 2.6 miles a few snacks and fuel was waiting – no champagne though. 

Oh, and the time 4 hours 8 minutes 40 seconds. But over such a distance, the time rather looks after itself.

Rest assured, champagne now and beer and curry later- necessary recovery for me.

 March 17, 2019  Posted by at 4:57 pm Race Reports No Responses »
Mar 162019

Newcastle parkrun

20:07     Roberto Marzo
22:42     Mungai Wairia
23:50     David Devennie
24:36     Luke Woodend
26:15     Dave Kear

Harrow parkrun

20:15     Tom Tinsley
28:30     Gillian Milne

Gateshead parkrun

20:34     Sumanth Nayak

Ganavan Sands parkrun

21:51     Chris Jones

 March 16, 2019  Posted by at 8:27 pm Results No Responses »
Feb 092019

I’m on my annual visit to the Gulf for some much-needed vitamin D replenishment and my race of choice this time was the Ras al Khaimah half marathon. It’s one I’ve done before (and done well in) but the course was moved this year from RAK city centre to a rather spectacular location; a man-made island that’s been created by dredging sand from the sea. Those of you familiar with the Emirates will no doubt know of the Palm Jumeirah, another man-made island shaped like a palm tree that juts off the Dubai coast. There are more of these things popping up along the coast these days and this one, shaped like a crescent, is still quite new. Other than a hotel and some private apartment complexes, there hasn’t been much development on it, so I imagine the race has been moved there as an advertising opportunity for the emirate to attract investors.

What does this course look like to you?

This was only the 13th running of the half marathon but it’s already got a bit of a reputation. The Emirates is obsessed with superlatives; the biggest, the longest, the tallest, the glitziest, the richest; and while most of these adjectives describe the skyscrapers, their ambitions extend beyond mere real estate. Dubai has its marathon; the world’s richest with a $250,000 winner’s cheque and ridiculously fast times (last year’s edition featured six men under 2:04:45) and Ras al Khaimah has its half. It’s billed as the world’s fastest and for good reason; the average finishing time of the elites is the quickest anywhere and both men’s and women’s world records have been broken there.

The course is pancake-flat and there are only two hairpin turns, with the rest being smooth flowing curves. Add to this the fairly benign climate in the Gulf (20 degrees and hardly any wind to speak of at this time of year) and this makes for some fast times. The temperature at the 7am start was 10 degrees, which in the strong sunshine, was ideal. I had a decent spell of training this winter so instead of a conservative pacing approach settling for a sub 90, I decided to gamble on running flat out, or as close to 5k pace as I could manage, and hope for the best. It’s only 21km, what’s the worst that could happen?

My 5k splits were fairly consistent at 20:30 or thereabouts, didn’t fade at the end as I had feared and finished in 1:27:03, a PB. As for the elite race; eleven men finished under the hour with two going sub 59. That’s the most in history. Rising Swiss star Julien Wanders was one of them, going sub 60 for the first time and smashing Mo Farah’s European record in the process. Perhaps Mo should race here next year to reclaim it. Although, I suspect he has bigger ambitions in the marathon…

 February 9, 2019  Posted by at 5:41 am Race Reports No Responses »
Jan 272019

A short list this week because a 28 strong Claremont contingent volunteered to do all the tasks at Newcastle parkrun.

Newcastle parkrun

19:54     Roberto Marzo
21:42     Heather Steel
21:43     Paul Robinson
23:25     Paul Hughes
52:14     Alan Dunning

Newcastle parkrun, 26th January 2019

Prudhoe Riverside parkrun

22:41     Madeleine Day

Whitley Bay parkrun

24:07     Chris Gillie
26:51     Daisy Martin

Gateshead parkrun

20:03     Sumanth Nayak
33:40     Dave Manners

 January 27, 2019  Posted by at 6:57 am Results No Responses »
Jan 202019

Newcastle parkrun

19:09     Daniel Mourenza
21:57     Mungai Wairia
23:17     Madeleine Day
24:25     Brian Hegarty
25:23     Dave Kear
27:21     Alex Anslow
27:49     Tara Hipwood
27:53     Alice Vialard
28:07     Kat Truong
28:07     Chris Carr

Whitley Bay parkrun

23:33     Chris Gillie

Durham parkrun

25:17     Richard Slack
26:34     Marie Slack

Gateshead parkrun

21:46     Heather Steel
22:06     David Lydall
22:09     Paul Hughes
22:23     Paul Robinson
24:28     Lucy Dunbar
33:12     Dave Manners

Princes parkrun, Liverpool

20:08     Tom Tinsley
29:07     Gill Milne

 January 20, 2019  Posted by at 7:09 am Results No Responses »
Dec 032018

Well done to these four Claremonters who ran the Hexhamshire Hobble fell race.

And they finished in a good grouping …

108 1:33:38 David Lydall
119 1:35:04 Francesco Carrer
123 1:35:50 Richard Slack
126 1:36:12 Sarah Bowen

 December 3, 2018  Posted by at 8:58 am Results No Responses »
Dec 032018

Newcastle parkrun

18:51     Roberto Marzo
19:01     Daniel Mourenza
23:45     Alan Dunning
25:03     Dave Kear
25:08     Julija Stoniute
26:01     Alice Vialard
46:25     Bill Milbourne

Grovelands parkrun, Enfield

28:18     Catherine Robson

Sheffield Hallam parkrun

18:59     John Lea-Wilson

Whitley Bay parkrun

23:47     Chris Gillie
25:01     Dean O’Brien
27:59     Daisy Martin

Gateshead parkrun

21:23     Paul Robinson
22:04     David Lydall
23:30     Heather Steel
32:38     Dave Manners

Rising Sun parkrun

28:43     Luke Woodend

Bodelwyddan Castle parkrun

26:14     Julie Cross

 December 3, 2018  Posted by at 8:55 am Results No Responses »
Nov 112018

Another parkrun Saturday, another Claremont winner!  Congratulations to Jason Hall on coming first at Stewart parkrun in Middlesborough!

Newcastle parkrun:

20:54   Sarah Kerr
22:51   Luke Woodend
22:52   Arthur Win Sun Liu
23:00   David Devennie
24:20   Brian Hegarty
25:21   Dave Kear
25:53   Mungai Wairia
27:43   Chris Carr


Stewart parkrun, Middlesbrough:

18:12   Jason Hall   1st place, PB



Whitley Bay parkrun:

31:34   Dean O’Brien

Gibside parkrun:

26:52   Graham Leslie
34:04   Marga Burke-Lowe

Rising Sun parkrun:

19:59   Matthew Kerry

Croxteth Hall parkrun:

19:54   Tom Tinsley   81.32% WAVA

 November 11, 2018  Posted by at 8:25 am Results No Responses »