Apr 292019

Well done to Janet Palmer on winning the Spring handicap by a mile and to Julija Simpson, the winner of the Spring knockout trophy.

A beautiful, sunny evening on the Town Moor with very little wind made for excellent running conditions. Numbers were down on recent events with only 32 competitors – though a number of members did have the excuse of having run the London Marathon the day before! There was a new obstacle to negotiate this year as stile into the woods has been replaced by a tall, metal fence with just a narrow gap to get through. There had been some debate as to whether it was too narrow and we should change the course, but we decided to give a go. Happily everybody got through unscathed.

In the race, Janet Palmer took full advantage of some (unintentionally) generous handicapping and romped home well clear of Violeta Tsenova in second place. Violeta, running her first Claremont handicap, was herself well clear of another debutant, Nina Jentl in third. This followed an excellent parkrun where Violeta had knocked about 90 seconds of her PB – it was lucky for her that the handicaps had been set before that performance!

Kat Truong also ran well to finish 4th and then it was very close from 5th to 30th with only 44 seconds separating the 26 runners.

Fastest on the night was our super speedy German, Philipp Grimmer in an excellent time of 18:13. It is a shame Philipp is only a temporary resident in Newcastle and he will have returned home before the next handicap. Next fastest was Daniel Mourenza in 19:06 followed by myself (Tom Tinsley) in 20:20. Fastest lady on the night was Sarah Kerr in 20:40, followed by Violeta (22:57) and Nina Jentl (23:41).

The Spring Cup Final was contested between Julija Simpson, David Lydall and Hazel Juggins, with Richard Slack sitting it out with the feeble excuse of having run a marathon the day before! Julija came in 5 seconds ahead of Hazel with David 3rd.
Julija will have a chance to defend her title in the summer when the other finalists will be Ben Wetherall, Jamie Harding and Michael Teasdale.

It should be noted that some people have questioned their times, so Bill is going to download again and check them all. Watch this space!

Full results are here.

Photos courtesy of Gill, Mungai and myself are on our Flickr feed here:

 April 29, 2019  Posted by at 8:23 pm Club Handicap, Results No Responses »
Apr 282019

Some great running from the Claremont contingent in London today:

2:56:32   Jonathan Gilroy
3:11:35   Catherine Young
3:47:59   Richard Slack
3:49:20   Mungai Wairia
4:56:32   Marie Slack
5:32:35   Marga Burke-Lowe

 April 28, 2019  Posted by at 2:14 pm Results No Responses »
Apr 282019

Finsbury parkrun

28:40 Marie Slack
28:41 Richard Slack

Newcastle parkrun

19:17 Roberto Marzo
19:29 Tom Tinsley
22:15 Gordon MacFadyen
22:48 David Devennie
23:45 Violeta Tsenova (PB)
23:55 Nina Jentl
23:59 Brian Hegarty
24:21 Alan Dunning
25:36 Julija Simpson
26:56 Kat Truong
27:30 Gill Milne
28:52 Susannah Orr

Whitley Bay parkrun

22:39 Chris Gillie
25:36 Daisy Martin

Gateshead parkrun

21:09 Heather Steel
21:49 David Lydall
25:20 Paul Robinson

Riverside parkrun

24:36 Dave Wotton

Rising Sun parkrun

22:25 Alasdair Wilson Craw

 April 28, 2019  Posted by at 11:46 am Results No Responses »
Apr 162019

The Slacks have been on their travels again and, as usual, getting some running in!  Here is Richard’s report:

Regular readers may recall overseas running ventures by Richard and Marie around Easter time. This year, it was a short trip to Ireland and the Connemarathon festival in Connemara – West Coast of Ireland, an hours drive West of Galway. This is actually an annual walking holiday for us and some friends but the weather intervened in its own way!
The weather forecast for the weekend was pretty poor, nigh on abysmal with rain and wind of biblical proportions promised for the Sunday. That meant that walking on the high mountains was pretty much a definite no – especially so after Richard was nearly being blown over on the Mamturks ridge on the Saturday walking with another group from the hotel! So what to do instead with this pretty poor weather outlook. Options were to bag the day and drink guinness (other brands also available) or sign up for some running. Well, every year since we have been going, Marie and I were aware of the Connemarathon festival which comprises a half, full or ultra (39 miles) events on the Sunday. We duly signed up for some final pre-London training with Marie entering the full and myself the half, with appropriate carb loading and drinks for me on the Saturday evening to fully prepare for the weather deluge.
The marathon route (10.30am start) is 3 sides of a square running initially North (wind behind) past Lough Inagh and the 12 Bens or Pins (Mountain range) for around 7 miles. The route turns to face due East  (past the church on the hill where you can ‘stop and pray’) and down towards Leenane Town (more of a village really) at the end of Killary Fjord – that is where the Half (12 noon start) started from. From there both the full and half head due South-East for the final 13 miles – and joy of joys straight into the howling wind from the South East! However, only a limited amount of rain (miles 1 to 4 on the half or around 10 to 14 on the full) although pretty cold at only around 4 degrees. This final 13 miles is a real roller coaster with the first 2 miles and miles 9 to 11 real uphill battles with intermittent ups and downs in the middle section. 
In all around 600 hardy (mad) souls did the full and 1,200 did the half. The shared route for the final 13 miles was on a totally closed road through beautiful mountain scenery and ample provision of water stations and also toilets – although some had blown over – but at least no runners inside!
Great after run party in Peacocks motel with jigging and beers to an Irish fiddle band as well as good provision of hot soups. 
What better way to spend a rainy windy day!
It is a great event and one to add to our list of overseas locations – although not a capital this year!

Richard (Half) 1.51.37 (214th out of 1122 finishers).

Marie (Full) 5.17.48

 April 16, 2019  Posted by at 9:15 pm Race Reports, Results No Responses »
Apr 132019

Newcastle parkrun

18:27 Jason Hall
20:08 Sarah Kerr (PB)
21:26 Mungai Wairia
21:43 David Lydall
21:59 Luke Woodend
23:37 Clare McKitterick
24:24 Nina Jentl
24:30 Julija Stoniute (PB)
25:45 Brian Hegarty
27:43 Mary Martin
29:59 Chris Carr

Prudhoe Riverside

20:52 Chris Jones

Whitley Bay parkrun

21:23 Matthew Kingston

Gateshead parkrun

31:44 Dave Manners

Eden Project parkrun

24:37 Julie Cross

Doncaster parkrun

23:02 Robert Bryce

Rising Sun parkrun

24:48 Alasdair Wilson Craw

 April 13, 2019  Posted by at 2:15 pm Results No Responses »
Apr 062019

Newcastle parkrun

19:21 Sumanth Nayak
21:38 Mungai Wairia
22:05 Luke Woodend
23:06 David Devennie
24:00 Clare McKitterick
26:45 Kat Truong
28:01 Alice Vialard
36:05 Emma Crowley

Prudhoe Riverside parkrun

20:40 Chris Jones (PB)

Coventry parkrun

26:01 Dave Kear

Whitley Bay parkrun

They have revised the course at Whitley Bay and realised that the old one was a bit too long – so it is a great opportunity for a course PB!

20:20 Tom Tinsley (PB)
27:25 Gill Milne (PB)
27:56 Chris Gillie
27:57 Daisy Martin (28 minute pacer)

Gateshead parkrun

20:11 Roberto Marzo
20:30 Catherine Young
20:36 Paul Robinson
21:09 Heather Steel
21:44 David Lydall
24:49 Nina Jentl (PB)
31:33 Dave Manners

 April 6, 2019  Posted by at 5:02 pm Results No Responses »
Mar 262019

Report from Howard MacClennan:
What a Glorious Day to run the Newcastle University Athletics & Cross Country Club 3rd Cow Bell 5k, on the Town Moor!

The course varies from the Newcastle ParkRun as you have to run past the bandstand, tennis courts and the Wylam Brewery, in the Palace of Arts. Whether it’s faster or not, is questionable.

Claremont Road Runner were accidentally able to field a men’s team of three.

First to come in for the Light Blues, was our Spanish friend and very vastly improving Daniel Mourenza. Today was a bit of an experiment, instead of running the ParkRun at 9am, to race later and gather on any improvements. Well Daniel did, not only did he smash a Personal Best with the time of 18:14, but beat last year’s winner. Some may argue he was going to do it anyhow, but we will soon be able to tell when he returns to ParkRun in the near future.

Surprisingly Luke Woodend did not come second, but fair credit he ran ParkRun in the morning and past results say he would normally beat me. I came in at 21:56, very much a surprise for me, as I’m recovering from a slight injury.

Our Luke Woodend came in third, with a respectable time of 22:02. Personally I wouldn’t have managed that time if I had ran two races that day.

Overall Cow Bell 5k brought many runners from afar, especially from Liverpool University and Clubs South of the Tyne. A good turn out to support our local clubs, and a new men’s course record was made at a very fast time of 16:09.

Newcastle University Athletics & Cross Country Club personally thanked Daniel and I at the presentation held in the North Terrace Pub for supporting their race. I’m sure Daniel was happy with the celebration drink and a deservedly earned afternoon nap.

 March 26, 2019  Posted by at 5:54 pm Race Reports No Responses »
Mar 262019

The BBC (Bonkers Bunch of Claremont)  have been having fun this weekend at Kielder – at least if your idea of fun is running marathons in the dark! The latest to join this elite female group of super-runners is Sarah Bowen who sends this report:

Dark Skies Runs @ Kielder 22nd-24th March 2019

First I was somehow inspired to sign up for these, then to get round them, somehow also to do some extra (10!) miles over the weekend (with the dangling carrot of pub lunches at the end) and now to write this… What a skill our ladies team captain Nina has in “inspiring” us to do things we never thought we would!

I wanted to run the marathon last year at the last minute but races sell out quickly (get your entry in for 2020 as soon as it opens), so I got my entry in promptly back in August and it seemed a safely long way off… The bumph tells us that “runners are being given an out of this world opportunity to race under the darkest skies in England… Kielder is the perfect venue for the ultimate starlit running challenge”. As an aside, if you’ve never been to Kielder then go! Kielder water for water sports (or running around!), the largest working forest in Europe for walking, mountain biking (or running around!) and a lot more…

They put on a 10 mile race on the Friday evening, a 26.5 mile race on the Saturday evening and a 14 mile race on the Sunday evening with the option of people entering both the marathon and half-marathon for the “Double Crown” or all three for the “Triple Crown”. Marie Slack went for the double and Julie Dumpleton, Nina Jensen and I went for the triple (or treble? This much debated grammatical point whiled away a good few miles!).

Friday afternoon came and Julie, Nina & I headed up Hawkhirst scout activity centre where we gave the camping pod option a miss after Nina and Julie’s literally freezing experience last year and went for the en-suite lodges with bunk beds (not easy to get down from a top bunk with a lot of miles in the legs as Julie discovered!). Everyone marvelled about how lightly I’d packed and how excessively Julie had packed but it turned out that 3 pairs of running shoes, a Claremont vest & a head torch isn’t all you need and so once the kit was re-distributed, with Nina & Julie making offerings of pyjamas, socks, shampoo & food, we had just about the right amount of kit between us!

All the runs started off before sunset, with lovely views and as the sun went down, the head torches came on and it was great not to be able to see the hills ahead, but instead see the line of twinkling lights and runners bobbing up and down around the forest with the blue and white (Claremont coloured) fairy lights welcoming us into the finish. The first 10 miler was great… a lovely warm up.

Marie then joined us on Saturday ahead of the marathon, which went right around Kielder Water. We were told we might see the Northern lights at 9pm but unfortunately it was too cloudy and so we settled for a lovely sunset and the twinkling head torches instead. It got quite cold as the night came in but we all prevailed and made it round with a massive sense of achievement… maybe only surpassed by the winner, who finished with a new course record of 2:52:00, narrowly beating us all. Julie treated herself to a massage after all the exertions and we headed to bed at about quarter to two.

There were some navigation concerns over the weekend as two of Claremont’s “navigators of the year”, with a history of navigational issues around Sport Central, never mind the great outdoors, came together in this large rural expanse but with Nina aka “mum” keeping a close eye throughout and talking us through turning left out of the chalet each day, disaster was averted and no-one was lost… Nina’s mum role developed to being the go-to for every question or decision that faced us including what to eat, when to eat it and what colour buff to wear! She also gently explained to me that putting a hat on as well as head torch wouldn’t be a problem and block out the light as the hat would go under the head torch, not over the top!!

Sunday then came around and we were bussed off to the other side of the lake and dropped off in preparation for running back. It was threatening to rain and be a bit more windy than it had been all weekend but it turned out to be a lovely clear night with a fantastic display of stars and so we turned the torches off a few times to enjoy it to the full. This was a real test of endurance but we made it, all 4 of us crossing the line together to receive our double or triple crown plaques. So satisfying.

Really the weekend was a bargain as all the runs were longer than advertised and Nina threw in an extra 5 miles each morning. The marshals were all fantastic; so encouraging. What a brilliant weekend had by all. We’ll be giving the Monday club run a miss mind!

 March 26, 2019  Posted by at 12:56 pm Race Reports No Responses »
Mar 122019

Ay Okpokam sends this brief report from the Brough Law Trail race:

“The weather didn’t look very promising when I got up on Sunday morning but luckily it improved a little, for the duration of the race (apart from a brief and rather unpleasant spell of sleet).

It was my first time running this 5 mile (with a 1250 ft climb) race and I really enjoyed it!

I finished 135th out of 145, with a time of 1:08:35. “

 March 12, 2019  Posted by at 10:03 am Race Reports No Responses »