May 192019

This is one of my favourite runs – a great route down a lovely stretch of coastline – and the weather couldn’t have been better with lovely blue skies and very little wind.

Despite the lovely weather and great sea views, it is a challenging multi-terrain run – very much a mini-Coastal Run. In addition, there are a few places where the runners have the additional complexity of choosing the fastest route. Should I take the path to the left or right? Straight across the grass? I think all 8 Claremonters who ran this morning will agree that it all adds up to a great event.

The results are now in the usual format, so are now accurate in the table below!

77Paul Robinson46:48
78Tom Tinsley46:491st M60
137David Lydall49:28
148Heather Steel49:405th senior woman
261Mungai Wairia53:21
428Clare McKitterick57:13
703Gill Milne64:023rd F60
821Bill Milbourne67:08
Thanks to Mungai, Claire and Gill for the photos – now on our Flickr site.
 May 19, 2019  Posted by at 3:51 pm General No Responses »
May 192019

Richard Slack and Francesco Carrer completed the Fairfield Horseshoe fell race in Cumbria.  Richard sent this report:

The Fairfield Horseshoe is a classic Lake District Fell race first run in 1966 with around 30 runners. The 10 mile route with around 3,000 foot of ascent is a classic clockwise run starting and finishing at Rydal Hall with Fairfield at its apex (overlooking the Helvellyn range).

As part of our on-going Chevy training, this year myself and Francesco signed up for the race – I had previously done it last year in 2018.  Despite the oven like temperatures of the week before the race, Saturday saw a welcome drop in the temperature to around 12 degrees with high cloud cover but enabling good visibility. It is very much a race of two halves, easy to explain, first half up, up and bits of flat, second half after leaving Fairfield summit, down, down and few little ups and flat. The essence of the first half is just to keep pushing forward and not stop (although the views over to the Langdales are splendid) and also run the fast and gentler ups. From the start it is a leg screaming pull up the side of Nab Scar to the first checkpoint at 1,400 foot, then traverse around Heron Pike (2,000 foot) to the second check point at Great Rigg summit (2,500 foot). From here the final climb to Fairfield and the rough mid way point at 2,800 foot.

After Fairfield, you can then really start to gain back some time with some fast downhill grassy sections after safely navigating good lines on Hart Crag and Dove Crag. The downhill however is not without tricky parts, as the normal tourist route sticks to the wall line this becomes increasingly rocky ground and the trick is to find the easier grassy trods to the East of the main path avoiding the awkward step on Low Pike. The lower reaches of the run are flagged across a couple of fields (still downhill though) and the final half-mile run along the bridleway to the start/finish area.

This year, I had upped my pace from 2018 and was able to benefit following some good lines in descent and keeping mainly to the grass trods and was well pleased to be inside my 2018 time by 8 minutes completing the run in 2 hours 13 minutes. Francesco was not far behind on his Lake District debut run at 2 hours 17 minutes. His reflections ranged from the initial “horrific”, to “admittedly great views”, to the determined, “next year will be a better time”. All in all a great hard day of running on the Fells. For the record, the winning time was 1 hour 20 minutes – simply astonishing speed on the downhill sections.

 May 19, 2019  Posted by at 3:36 pm Photos, Race Reports No Responses »
May 182019

Newcastle parkrun

Claremont ladies rule the Town Moor!  Following Catherine’s 1st position last week, Sarah Kerr took up the mantle to be 1st female this week in a PB of 19:51.  Well done, Sarah!

19:51 Sarah Kerr (1st female, PB)
20:37 Paul Hughes
21:54 Gordon MacFadyen
22:09 Mungai Wairia
22:44 David Devennie
23:43 Brian Hegarty
24:10 Violeta Tsenova
25:43 Dave Kear
26:13 Roberto Marzo
27:09 Heidi Flynn
27:53 Chris Carr
28:03 Alice Vialard
37:39 Michael Teasdale

Prudhoe Riverside parkrun

20:56 Chris Jones

Gateshead parkrun

21:39 David Lydall
25:00 Nina Jentl

Rising Sun parkrun

A new PB too for Marga – obviously recovered from the London Marathon!

21:38 Alasdair Wilson Craw
29:42 Marga Burke-Lowe (PB)

 May 18, 2019  Posted by at 3:48 pm General No Responses »
May 182019

Howard MacLennan was also out the next day, running the Ability 5K in Sunderland in a time of 21:31. Well done.

It was a lovely evening and the smiles in the photo seem to show that everybody was happy with their run!

80Catherine Young39:46
186Howard MacLennan44:51
247Nina Jensen48:04
356Chris Gillie54:58
357Daisy Martin54:58
 May 18, 2019  Posted by at 2:34 pm Results No Responses »
May 162019

Sarah Bowen ran the North East Marathon Club 50K at Newcastle Racecourse, was first lady home in a time of 4:55:24 and still managed to smile at the end as the photo shows. Well done, Sarah.

Marie Slack also ran at the event, but I am not sure of her time or distance. Will update, when I know.

 May 16, 2019  Posted by at 1:22 pm Results No Responses »
May 112019

Newcastle parkrun

This was a great morning for Claremont Road Runners with 4 PBs and a first place finish!  Catherine Young, despite complaining of a hangover, was first female in a PB of 19:22.  Sarah Kerr, missing her PB by 1 second, also made the ladies’ podium as 3rd female on the day.

There were also PBs for Violeta Tsenova and Tar Hipwood, with Clare McKitterick equalling her PB.  However, I might be biased but I think that special mention should be made of Gill Milne’s PB.  It isn’t easy to get a PB when you have done more than 100 parkruns over a number of years and, dare I say it, at our age- so well done, Gill!

19:22 Catherine Young (PB, 1st female)
19:33 Tom Tinsley
19:54 Sarah Kerr
20:08 Paul Hughes
21:45 Mungai Wairia
22:50 David Devennie
22:54 Luke Woodend
23:09 Clare McKitterick (=PB)
23:32 Violeta Tsenova (PB)
23:37 Maddie Day
23:55 Nina Jentl
24:41 Brian Hegarty
25:23 Dave Kear
25:52 Julija Stoniute
26:38 Alice Vialard
27:02 Gill Milne (PB)
27:41 Chris Carr
27:46 Tara Hipwood (PB)
28:22 Susannah Orr

Roberto Marzo was also at Newcastle, running for the first time with his daughter Elena in a buggy, but doesn’t appear in the results.

Whitley Bay parkrun

22:55 Chris Gillie

Gateshead parkrun

19:41 Paul Robinson
32:33 Dave Manners

Upton House parkrun

21:45 David Lydall

Penrith parkrun

Not to be outdone by the Newcastle contingent, Marie got a PB at Penrith – well done!

26:32 Marie Slack (PB)

Cotsford Fields parkrun

25:06 Dave Wotton

 May 11, 2019  Posted by at 6:33 pm General No Responses »
May 092019

I have to say that this is my least favourite of all the relays in the North East club calendar – I much preferred the old location on the paths by Segedunum. So I wasn’t looking forward to it when we left the house to venture out into rush hour traffic in heavy rain with the car’s thermometer showing a not-very-May-like 7°.

However by the time we got to the meeting place in Cobalt Business Park, the rain had relented a bit and there was already a good group of Claremonters assembled – most like me wondering “why do we do this?”. I think we do it for the camaraderie, team spirit, laughs and cake (but mainly the cake!). With a good turnout from Claremont, all of these elements were there to help us forget about the weather and have a good evening’s racing.

There was a particularly good turnout from the ladies with 6 female teams far outnumbering the 2 teams of men. And it was the ladies who were, as ever, the most impressive with a 14th placed finish for Catherine Young, Serpil Bulut and Hannah Mainprize. Indeed, they were the fastest Claremont team on the night with Catherine and Hannah being the 2nd and 3rd fastest Sky Blues of any gender – only our super speedy Spaniard, Daniel Mourenza, posted a faster time.

There was a good battle between the other 5 ladies teams, who all finished in a cluster. The “winners” of this battle were Nina Jentl, Violeta Tsenova and Gill Milne – largely to an excellent run from Violeta who was making her competitive debut for the club and posted the 3rd fastest time for a Claremont lady on the night.

It was also a close battle between the two mens’ teams with the lead changing hands on each leg, but Alasdair Wilson Craw took Kenny McCormick on the last leg to claim the prize for himself, Daniel and Dave Kear.

PositionLeg 1TimeLeg 2TimeLeg 3TimeTeam Time
14Catherine Young12:04Serpil Bulut14:58Hannah Mainprize12:1639:18
42Nina Jentl14:46Violeta Tsenova13:55Gill Milne17:0345:44
47Julija Simpson
15:51Nina Jensen14:46Julie Dumpleton16:3247:06
49Hazel Juggins15:54Tara McCully14:47Ay Okpokam16:4647:27
51Sarah Bowen14:45Alice Vialard16:14Mary Martin16:5547:54
53Kat Truong15:29Marie Slack16:45Cath Robson17:0949:23
62Daniel Mourenza11:41Dave Kear16:54Alasdair Wilson Craw14:1442:49
64Tom Tinsley12:29Howard MacLennan13:29Ken McCormick17:2243:20

I think David Lydall was first to spot the excellent co-ordination and synchronisation of the “Nina Jens”!

Thanks to Serpil, Howard and myself for the photos – now on Flickr via the link below:

 May 9, 2019  Posted by at 5:12 pm Race Reports, Results No Responses »
May 042019

Newcastle parkrun

As well as the results below, our temporary member, Phillip Grimmer came 4th in an impressive time of 17:45 on an unseasonably cold and windy day.

18:56 Daniel Mourenza
19:42  Roberto Marzo
20:17  Tom Tinsley
20:32  Sarah Kerr
21:59  Mungai Wairia
24:13  Nina Jentl
24:20  Clare McKitterick
24:23  Brian Hegarty
24:50  David Devennie (aka Darth Vader)
25:15  Dave Kear
27:16  Chris Carr
27:22  Alice Vialard
27:30  Alex Anslow
28:36  Tara Hipwood

Prudhoe Riverside parkrun

20:49  Chris Jones

Whitley Bay parkrun

23:17  Chris Gillie
26:56  Daisy Martin (27 min pacer)

Gateshead parkrun

21:32  Paul Robinson

Scunthorpe parkrun

22:58  Maddie Day

Rising Sun parkrun

22:21  Alasdair Wilson Craw
22:33  Luke Woodend

 May 4, 2019  Posted by at 7:38 pm General No Responses »
May 032019

There was a strong Claremont representation at this year’s Masters Relays in Bedewell Park, Jarrow. In the first race, the 4 ladies teams were supplemented by our male over 65 team with 3 more teams fielded in the men only race.

On a cool but dry night, there were some good performances and a bit of inter-team rivalry to keep interest levels high – indeed Howard MacLennan’s incredible sprint finish to try top catch the equally determined Dave Wotton was one of the highlights of the night.

Our older teams did very well – the over 55 ladies team of Hazel, Gill and Cath were 1st in their category and the gadgies team of Alasdair, Dave K and Kenny came second in their age group – and I am sure that we would have won the prize for noisiest supporter category if it existed!

PositionCategoryLeg 1TimeLeg 2TimeLeg 3TimeTeam
Race 1
18 F35-44 Sarah Bowen14:12Ay Okpokam16:07Serpil Bulut13:4944:08
22F35-44Nina Jensen13:57Alice Vialard15:55Julie Cross14:5744:49
29M65+Alasdair Wilson Craw13:39Dave Kear15:55Ken McCormick16:3346:07
32F55-64Hazel Juggins15:04Gill Milne16:27Cath Robson16:3848:09
34F45-54Marie Slack15:59Julie Dumpleton16:01Mary Martin16:2648:26
Race 2
48M55-64Tom Tinsley11:40David Lydall12:58Richard Slack13:4038:18
55M35-44Luke Woodend13:19Gordon MacFadyen13:45Dave Wotton14:2441:28
56M45-54Alan Dunning14:30Jamie Harding13:52Howard MacLennan13:0741:29

Thanks to Howard, Gill, Serpil, Alice and everyone else who took some of the photos (click to view Flickr album):

 May 3, 2019  Posted by at 2:21 pm Photos, Race Reports No Responses »
May 022019

Richard Slack was lucky enough to win the ballot for the Claremont place in this year’s London Marathon. I think it is fair to say that he did us proud and he has sent the following report:

London Marathon 28 April 2019

To begin, I am so grateful and felt very privileged to be drawn for the Claremont club place in this iconic event. This also meant that both Marie and myself would run the London marathon in 2019 as Marie had been successful in the public ballot.

Whilst pretty chuffed to have a place, I really wanted to do my best for myself and also the club, so as from December I followed a good training regime. As part of this, I got used to a bi-weekly Friday run from Durham back to Gosforth (18 miles or more depending on route and quayside extension) as well as doing the North East Marathon Club Ashington Woods lapped marathon. This helped ensure, but no means guarantee, that I would be somewhat prepared for the physical and mental hell of the final four to six miles on race day.

Marie and I travelled down to London on the Friday and went to the Expo to sort out numbers. Saturday was a quiet day with a gentle loosener parkrun at Finsbury Park. Saturday night lacked the normal wine fuelled carb loading for me restricted to a just a gentle glass of red wine, purely to calm the nerves. Sunday morning dawned cloudy and cool – fantastic for the race – and not the oven of the prior year. Up early and off to Blackheath for the Blue start getting there around an hour beforehand. All really well signed and marshaled with an atmosphere of mild trepidation with nervous smiles abounding. Come 10.28 I set off proudly in my Claremont Sky Blue, with Marie following around 10.45 as part of the zoned wave start. Roberto had told me about the crowds – he was right – throughout the route the support is unbelievable with massive walls of noise at key points especially at The Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge which sounded like Newcastle winning the league (except that of course will never happen!).

I can say, that the first 20 to 22 miles I really enjoyed and ran a good tempo keeping to around 26 to 27 minute parkrun pace. My strategy to get under four hours. Whilst all my training had largely been on my own, running with a crowd, as we all know, really kept me going and helped maintain the pace. The drinks and gel stations were always a welcome sight coming pretty regularly through the entire course, topped up with peanuts and bananas. The one unknown was running on a sticky road surface after the Lucozade drinks! The crowds continued to be immense through the return leg in Canary Wharf heading at long last for the Embankment at around 22 miles. Still feeling pretty ok at this point, but knew that my legs were beginning to occasionally cramp. Then on 23 miles I felt my left hamstring really tightening up followed by the inevitable big cramp. There I was with a time of under 4 hours well in sight, stood by a bridge with a marshall asking if I needed the St John’s tent. No way! I gave my hamstring a bit of a telling off (polite reporting phrasing), relaxed, took a few little steps and much to my delight carried on at a manageable pace for the final three miles without further incident.

I can’t really remember much about those final 3 miles running by the Thames and round towards Parliament and Buckingham Palace – it was all a bit of a blur by then, however, the finish in sight after the final turn was just sheer pleasure and relief. No sprint finish, just keep on running in the spirit of my whole run strategy. Delighted with a time of 3 hours 48 minutes, well inside my goal, but more importantly that I had massively enjoyed the whole experience and felt really proud in my Sky Blue Claremont standing at the finish area.

Marie too had a great day and run with a time of 4 hours 56 minutes as well as the other Claremonters lucky enough to savour the London Marathon run in cool conditions. Well done to Catherine, Jonathan, Mungai and Marga.

Post race recovery, not mentioned in many running magazines or training plans followed and had been in my mind for some time in the latter part of the race. A bottle of champagne, pork pie with nice blue cheese (and water admittedly). All set up for a curry with Marie in London to end the day off. Sure that could catch on with the elites one day!

Four of our six happy marathon runners

The inevitable Mungai selfie!

 May 2, 2019  Posted by at 2:51 pm Race Reports No Responses »