IKANO Robin Hood Half Marathon
30th September 2012
Report from Caroline Nichol.
On Sunday I took part in the Robin Hood half marathon in Nottingham. This was my first half marathon since running the Stafford Half in 2011 and since having my little girl who is now 9 months old.
We set off very early at 7am as the race was due to start at 9.30am. When we arrived there was plenty of parking in a field next to the race village. There was a real buzz in the race village with various tents and stands including Sweatshop, Lucozade (lots of freebies!), a massage tent, physio tent, a tent where you could get strapping done (if you had turned up with an injury) and lots of food stalls. To my delight there were loads and loads of portaloos! There were even members of the event team replacing toilet roll in the loos. All of these things, the ease of getting parked and getting to the loo many times prior to the race (without a horrendous wait and no loo roll) all added to a very stress free build up to the race starting.
At the start we were put into pens and I was in the blue pen. I expected to be squashed into the pen however there was plenty of room to stand without too much of your personal space being invaded. When we got going I thought there would be a real fight crossing the line and a struggle to get into a rhythm, especially being a big event with over 6600 people taking part, but I was wrong. I was really surprised to settle into my stride very quickly. We were running on wide roads that were closed to the public (hence the early race start time) so there was plenty of space to move.
The first five miles were uninspiring with very few spectators for support. These miles were along main roads round the city of Nottingham and round an industrial area. The good thing was however that you were just carried along with the sea of runners round about you. There were lots of charity runners so there were costumes and charity t-shirts to distract me and of course there were lots of people dressed up in Robin Hood costumes.
At mile 5 there were more spectators on the streets and we made our way towards the University. We ran through the University courtyard and out the other side into the park. At this point all I could hear was a band playing the drums, as if calling us down the hill to the lake, it was very powerful and gave me a huge boost. We ran round the lake then back out onto the road again heading towards the city. The support from here on was brilliant and people came out with banners (my favourite was ‘just think about the post-race wine!’ – no that wasn’t George that was holding that one but I felt like it was written for me!) and lots of cheers of encouragement. At mile 9 I got a huge smile from little Isla and a high five which was just what I needed to get me to the finish.
Running along Victoria Embankment at the end was tough. Between 11 and 12 miles you could see runners ahead of you on the other side of the road coming in to the finish. I was in pain at this point and desperately wanted to be on the other side of the embankment coming in to finish. I had a really consistent run from start to finish but had very little in the tank to push on to the finish. I just held my pace and dug deep in the last 400m as we entered the race village again. I managed to quicken my pace a little approaching the finish line which was helped massively by the grandstand full of supporters cheering and shouting us on down the finishing straight. I was knackered but achieved my goal of finishing in under 2 hours in a time of 1 hour 57 minutes.
After crossing the line we were given our medal, a bottle of lucozade, a bottle of water, a foil blanket and a goodie bag. I was shattered and struggled to hold onto all of these things! Our timing chips were on our numbers so there was no faffing about with chips at the end of the race which was great. I really enjoyed the Robin Hood Half Marathon and found it extremely well organised for such a big event. It was a relatively flat course which would be good potential for any of you chasing a pb.
Caroline Nicholl – 3182nd – 1:57:58
Claire Leavy – 5073rd – 2:16:37
MACCLESFIELD HALF MARATHON
On a perfect day for running Karen and I did the Macclesfield Half, the run started and finished at Macclesfield Athletic club,
The entry was over 1000 runners, the course was tough with lots of hills a mixture of urban and rural roads ,
Parking was ample within 5 mins of the start / finish and a big thanks to the Marshals who did a super job with lots of encouragement for the runners,
There was a time out after 3 miles with a cut off at 40 minutes ,I was reasonably safe on this occasion,
I found the going tough having done a back to back run doing the Winsford X county the previous day,
There were 3 really tough hills at 3, 6 and 10 miles the one at 10 was a monster well it seemed like it as I really puffed and panted up it,
Karen fit and fresh ran really well doing a 1.46,54- 7th in her group a super effort on this tough course beating her previous time from 2005 by 3 minutes,
I staggered in at 2.06 feeling real tired,
The men’s winner was Mohammad Aburezeq, Altringham 1.09
The woman’s winner was Olivia Walwyn-Bush- Altringham 1.17 and 9th overall
Winsford Cross Country
29th September 2012
A massive Harrier turnout for the long journey North to Winsford for first of the North Staffs Cross Country league fixtures. There were a number of excellent performances but none better than that of Nathan Sabin who won at a canter in the U17 mens race. What was a tight first two laps Nathan’s recent good form showed as he powered away to win quite easily. What was great was the amazing support given to everyone taking part and the amount of people running in a Cross Country race for the first time.
North Staffs Cross Country League
Race 1 – Winsford, Cheshire
Report from Tracey Gee
The cross country season got off to a promising start for Stafford Harriers, with 13 ladies and 18 men competing in the first fixture, hosted by Vale Royal AC.
There was a slight change to the course from the previous two years, which made it a little more interesting but nothing to get excited about. The course was two laps for the ladies and four for the men’s race.
It was great to welcome some new members to the squad as Steph Clayton, Shelly Burns, Sandra Smith and Holly Wright made their debut. A round of applause to Sara for daring to set foot on a cross country course again!! It was also good to see some old faces return to the teams.
The ladies team have been promoted to division one this season following a second place in division two last year.
Results as follows:
129 finished. The team is currently 5th of 8 in Division 1.
211 finished. The team is currently 1st of 16 in Division 2.
Well done teams! The benchmark for participation in the cross country events has been set, so let’s keep it going to ensure the ladies can stay in division one and the men get promoted this year.
Next race is 27th October 2012 at Park Hall, please speak to Ed or Tracey your team managers, or view the North Staffs Cross Country League website for further information.
SALISBURY TRAIL MARATHON EVENTS
I did the Half Marathon (approx 23ish km!!) on Sunday 12th August. There were several distances being run that day from 10km up to ultra distance.
I’d planned to visit friends over a long weekend and then run the marathon on the Sunday.
However the hay got cut and – with rain forecast – had instead to lug around 500 bales of hay the day we were due to travel south.
Edz and I ended up arriving late the night before the race.
My visit to friends in Andover was therefore briefer than planned and I decided I would skip the run.
But my friends persuaded me to have a go anyway – which I did, opting for the half instead of the full marathon, because I was already shattered!
The weather was hot (after showers all morning!). The course went up Old Sarum, an iron age hill fort, a good climb, then through the city, along green lanes, fields of beet, beech lined avenues, up and down along the Clarenden Way, through the grounds of stately homes and past picturesque Wiltshire cottages, along streams and across the water meadows, and eventually through the Cathedral grounds and back to the start, outside the Fire Station. It was a super race.
The winning man was Ben Brewster from the City of Salisbury ARC (1:20;55) and winning lady, Sally Greenslade Salisbury RC (1:54;40).
I came home 5th Lady in 1:54;40, 26th overall, in need of a long drink and relieved to stop at 13 and a bit miles that day!
The full marathon runners and ultras looked very very tired and exhausted in the hot conditions – hats off to them!!?
9th September 12
Forty Eight Harriers ran the ever popular Lichfield 10 K. Nathan Sabin was our first Harrier yet again and Chris Skellern was our first lady home. There were lots of prizes picked up by the Harriers. Nathan collected the prize for 5th in the race and Steph Clayton collected the 4th place prize in the ladies race. Chris Skellern was 1st L45 eventually. For some reason best known to others she was entered as a V45 man.
When it was pointed out to the organizers they could not be more apologetic and it made a big difference in the team prizes. Chris, Michelle Fox and Steph Clayton won the ladies team prize. There were also prizes for Ian Talbot, 1st V35 and a 1st prize for Val Stuart in her age group.
The only downside to the day was a serious injury to Mark Oliver who fell badly just before the finish. ‘Eventually’ he was taken to hospital and was given various tests and he is expected to make a full recovery although running in the near future is out of the question.
Below is a pdf of the results.
6 Sept 12
REPORT Mike Jones, your handicapper.
Fifty seven harriers took part in the September handicap a record, 16 harriers ran a personal best another record, and on warm evening everybody had a good time cheering each other on, and wasn’t it great to see all the Monday nighters having a go, which on the down side means we all have a bigger handicap, by some 7 minutes, any feed back from you would be very welcome, just email me with any questions on the handicap my email is email@example.com.
Back to the latest race, Joanne Oliver won from Mark Orchard and Chris Pearce, well done Joanne, also Nathan Sabin just failed to break the long standing record of 22-17, by 3 seconds, its just a matter of time, could he do at the Christmas handicap to be held on Sunday December 16th arrive at 9-30am start 10am.
Below are the results in Harriers Challenge order.
2nd September 2012
Report by Jane Bisiker
This multi event day included a marathon, half marathon and cycle event. I left the running to other harriers for a change and did the cycle challenge. This year it was a big challenge, as myself and Richard were riding as support to some of the member of the west park stroke cycle group that I run. They have been training hard all over the summer on our weekly Tuesday session and it paid off. The first of our team finished in just over the hour and our last member at about 1 hour 45 – all fantastic achievements, especially as they raised £800 in sponsor money to keep the group going. It was nice to be able to shout on other harriers as they passed us towards the end of the race. I haven’t done this race for a few years but the organisation seemed good and it was nice to have runners and cyclists all competing together.
On a slightly different note – if any of the retired harriers would like to help out with the stroke cycling group it would be great as we do depend on volunteers to support the group. We cycle Tuesdays 10-12 from the beginning of April to the end of October and if we can get more volunteers I would like to start a second group on a Thursday as we have more patients wanting to cycle than bikes. Just see me down the club or email the web site for more information on what this involves.
These are the results as I could find them but apologies if I have missed anyone out.
Steve Vaughn 5th 3-2-19
Chris Owen 12th 3-11-45
Dave Cook 119th 1-41-08
John Hateley 678th 2-31-06
Roberta Phillips 752nd 2-49-45
Race report from Chris Owen
Before I start talking about race I will get my excuses in early. Three weeks ago did belper 30k and it will go down in history as one of my worst races. Completed course in 3hrs 2min. Friday woke up with a slightly swollen toe, friday night pure agony. On saturday went to a&e, either an infection or gout. Was given antibiotics and ibuprofen. Painkillers worked toe was nearly back to normal size sunday morning.
Now for the race.
Felt really relaxed and started of at a fast pace like usual, legs started complaining at 5m but by 7 everything was hunkydorey. Got to 13m in just over 1hr 35 so I was slightly below ususal speed..I never listen to music except on the second lap of this marathon as it can be a lonely and boring race,I really felt comfortable and the the miles were being ticked off nicely. I was so comfortable no one passed me and I was actually passing runners. This is a course where you experience on because at key points Marshall’s had disappeared. Saying that ,it is cheap,local and reasonable flat.
now for the results
steve vaughan 3.02.15 5th
chris owen 3.11.43 11th second best marathon time ,so no excuses needed
Isle of Mull Half Marathon
Sun 12th Aug 2012
Report byMartin Moore
Well I can’t say I was expecting a large contingent of Harriers to make the 800 mile round trip to Mull…but, hey, it’s not as far as Aviemore or Lisbon, so you never know! Looking for a half as part of marathon prep, and spied this, which co-incided with a few days leave, so thought I might as well battle midgeys and Hebridean storms for a remoter race and big adventure. The course, as the island was wild, beautiful and…hot! Turned out to be one of the hottest, humid days of the summer as about 100 of us lined up in the ferry port of Craignure. Following an initial double-back we followed the coastal road to Salen, between the hills to our left and the sea (clear and inviting) to our right. We marvelled at the Ospreys (probably Buzzards) swooping down from the hills, swooned at the Sea Otters (probably buoys) frolicing in the water and enjoyed the stoicism of the Highland cows (probably large sheep) watching us bimble by. Gentle slopes and inclines bore us to the finish, where Hamish on the mic seemed to enjoy commenting on ‘the wee pale lad from Stafford, across the water’ I was trying to run at a slower, marathoney pace (well, that’s my excuse for a slower time!), and finished in just over 1:44. there was a great reception from the locals at the finish, where the local hotel put on a barbecue. So, amidst the beer and burgers, we inspected our goody bags of t-shirt, medal and Mars bar. Odd, but nice to see lots of different vests (Clyde Harriers, Pentland Runners, Perth Somethings? etc), and the yellow and black instigated many comments and discussions. A great race with a warm welcome, if a little distant…and ne’er a midgey in sight!
Report by Jane Bisiker
Only a few harriers ventured over to Stourbridge for this ‘longish 10k’ race. It was however, well worth the journey. The race starts in Mary Stevens park, but the route soon goes out into the countryside along fields and through woods. The usual favourite features make the race interesting i.e. the muddy gully and the Stourbridge sands and there are plenty of hills thrown in for good measure. Nathan ran well as usual coming 7th overall. The results were a bit of a Penkridge sandwich, with me and Nathan the bread, with a filling of Beef and Skelly. It’s a shame not to have either the stumble or stagger in the challenge as both are good off road races. The race was won by Robin Stedman-Smith from Newport RC in 37.04.
Nathan Sabin 40.24 7th overall
Keith Skelton 44.37
Chris Skellern 46.48
Jane Bisiker 55.57
Sabin won the 3.5k fun run to clinch yet another harrier victory. The sprint of the night however, was to get from the run to a TV to watch Mo do his stuff. Luckily just about managed it, then celebrated both races with a curry and glass of wine. The perfect Saturday night!!
JCB 5 MILER
Here are the results for the JCB 5 from 12/07/12
10 – Nathan Sabin 30-05
20 – Mark Bridgwood 30-59 (pb)
22 – Ian Talbot 31-20 (pb)
31 – Keith Skelton 32-21
44 – Neil Martin 33-58 (pb)
50 – Darren Mattocks 34-20
56 – Ian Hodkinson 34-32
57 – Richard Caley 34-32
65 – Stephanie Clayton 34-52
68 – Steve Cooper 35-08
69 – Chris Skellern 35:15 1st V50 F
107- Richard Draper 37-01
123- Eddie Smith 37-55
128- Jim Smith 38-11
129- Mark Bentley 38-19
142- Ralph Wedlock 39-05
189- Esther Batho 41-33
191- Liz Cook 41-34
194- Grahame Williams 41-39
202- Karen Murray 42-10
203- Sandra Smith 42-13
208- Gill Hodkinson 42-19
211- Shelly Burns 42-24
224- John Greatholder 43-18
283- Holly Wright 47-01
290- Helen Walker 47-26
300- Dominic Mattocks 48-40
303- Julie Noakes 48-54
326- Sue Down 50-22
329- Kenneth Down 50-53
346- Nicola Bridgwood 52-45
352- Ruth Edwards 54-29
353- Lindsay Ashforth 54-37
356- Julie Birtles 54-49
Vicky Talbot also ran but we can’t find her results yet.
1ST Male – Ben Gamble – 25:47 Tipton Harriers
1ST Female – Juli Caddick – 32:09 Tipton Harriers
382 Finished The Race.
LOVE LIFE LOVE RUNNING 10K
Just seven Harriers made the journey over to Cannock Chase for the “Love Life Love Running” 10k. What turned out to be a fantastic event, it was the ever improving Steph Clayton that made the biggest impression. On a very hilly course she was second lady finisher and twelfth overall with a PB of 42.54
Other Harrier finishers were,
Ian Talbot 11th 42:55,
Sally Burns 114th 1:01:29,
Rebecca Bostock 115th 1:01:20,
Holly Wright 117th 1:01:54,
John Hateley 124th 1:02:19
Claire Leavy 125th 1:03:23
1st Male – Simon Newton, Barnsley Harriers, 34:45
1st Female – Carol Yarrow, Finch Coasters, 41:27
Race report by Caroline Nichol
I picked the Trentham 10 as my first race back after having my little girl, Isla, who is now 6 months old. I haven’t raced this distance before and wanted a low key race, with no pressure, that I could just run and enjoy. I couldn’t have picked a better race to come back to. It’s a 2 lap race with a nasty hill to climb on each lap. The course was on country paths and roads which meant that there were very few spectators and runners were very spread out. For me this meant I could just concentrate on enjoying the run without too much going on.
When we set off the sun was shining and it was pretty hot. There was a downhill section to begin with and everyone shot off very quickly. I knew that the hill was coming up very near to the start so I tried not to get carried along with the fast starters. We crossed the motorway then started to climb and climb and climb! The hill was much longer than I had expected and got stepper and steeper. The advice was to take ‘fairy steps’ and that’s exactly what I did. I ran very cautiously round the rest of the first lap knowing that I had that nasty hill to climb again on the second lap.
When I reached the hill on the second lap many people were walking. I took my fairy steps again, kept on running, and was pleased when I reached the top. The second lap was a bit shorter than the first and was mainly downhill. I really enjoyed the downhill sections which gave me a chance to relax and quicken my pace. From 8 miles onwards I felt that I had enough in the tank to push on to the finish. There was a bit of a hill to climb near the end which wasn’t easy with tired legs however from there on it was all downhill to the finish. With the finish in sight I went up a gear and felt I finished really strongly. My time was 1 hour and 32 minutes which I was so pleased with especially over such a tough course. The main thing was that I had achieved what I set out to do which was enjoy my first race back.
Well done to all the Harriers who took part in the Trentham 10.
Here are the results:
FAIRFIELDS VALLEY CHALLENGE
Another month, another marathon. This one was slightly different to my usual ones, with it being a challenge not a race. So there wasn’t direction arrows just a list of instruction. There was a no of distances, 13m, 18m, 26.4m and 50k with a choice of walking or running. I have done 2 of these challenges before and got lost on both occasions (I took the walking options because then I was a non runner). So I didn’t have much faith in the following of instrucions. The start was very bizarre, usually everyone dives to the front and go of like rocket, not today I was one of the front runners doing just a 8min pace for the 1st 5mile, until a guy came up doing a more realistic pace and the good thing was he knew where he was going so I was happy and tagged with him (first time I have been at the front doing a respectable pace). But we took a wrong turning 4m further on, but this was easily rectified. The course was mixture of footpaths, bridal ways, roads and cycle ways; with our nice dry summer the paths were bone dry. This could be a bit of a lie, deep puddles and sloppy muddy paths. My race was going fine, a bit fast maybe but I had to keep up with my guide until checkpoint at 16m I lost my guide. So I had to rely on my own navigation, this started to cost me time as I had to keep stopping to check I was going in the right direction, okay until 20m and my instructions didn’t correspond to my surroundings as I caught site of a fellow runner and started following him. When I caught up with him and asked are we going in the right direction, it turned out he was doing the 50k. So I had to follow him at a very slow pace, luckily I came across another runner who was doing my route so I was saved. At the 22m checkpoint is where all the distances converge I had a fair number of navigators and the finish eventually came in view. With it only being a challenge distance, getting lost etc I actually did 27m. For those who are interested it took me 4hrs and 8min. I will be more happy when I am back on the road doing marathons (Wolverhampton) as these trail marathons are hard
OVER THE EDGE RACE
Sunday 8th July 2012
As part of the Wenlock Olympian Games this month a Marathon and Half Marathon were put on for the first time. Run by the National Trust and the Wenlock Olympian Society, the races were organised immaculately. Buses laid on to take runners to their respective starts, regular water stops, excellent marshalling and signage.
The 26.7 mile ‘Marathon’ began at Craven Arms and the 14.7 mile ‘Half’ at Wilderhope Manor, with both being started by Olympic Gold Medallist, Jonathan Edwards.
The marathon went cross country, up and down and over Wenlock Edge, most beautiful scenery, wonderful meadows full of orchids, with many wooded pathways, steep slopes and some ‘gentle’ gradients.
There were however Miles and Miles and Miles of deep Mud and though the Three Peaks Fell Race and Man versus Horse were tough, this is the only race that, nearly at the end, found me sneaking a little walk – on the flat!!! I was exhausted!!! But, I think, no more than the rest of the participants. On the bus to the start, talk had been of which ‘iron man’ had been accomplished and which tough goal was next in sight, but so many ‘pros’ were struggling badly in the second half of this tough run.
The race finish eventually came, with a superb setting in the grounds of the church, in the picturesque centre of Much Wenlock , very quaint and with a lovely atmosphere. Prizes and medals were given by Jonathan Edwards and it was amazing to be called to the podium( !!) to receive the L40 bronze medal.
First male marathon runner home in 3 hours 35 mins, first lady 4 hours 1 minute.
Karen Davies home, 9th lady and 3rd over 40, 5 hrs 3 mins.
John Greatholder having run the Birmingham Canal Half the day before took on the 14.7 mile ‘half’ and once again enjoyed the mud, finishing in 2hrs 46. Fastest man 1 hour 39 and winning lady, 1:52.
A most fabulous race, but due to the gallons and gallons and gallons of deep mud, very tough and grueeeeelling!!!
Stafford Harriers Charity Run
Black Country Half
7th July 2012
A record thirty-six Harriers participated in this year’s Charity Run, the Birmingham Black Country Half-Marathon, once again. Conditions didn’t look too promising as we gathered in the British Waterways boatyard at Wolverhampton for the start. After the obligatory team photo for the Express & Star, we were indeed treated to a short, sharp shower. The race organiser, on seeing the sheer number of Harriers present, agreed we could all start en masse at 09:45. (The Elite race had already set off; nineteen men and fourteen women, being won by Martin Williams of Tipton Harriers in 1:15:19 and Yasmin Chaudhry of Birmingham Runners And Triathletes in 1:30:15, respectively.)
Congratulations to our own Tom Sandy for finishing 2nd overall in the Open race in an excellent 1:23:30. No mean feat considering we’d had the equivalent of a month’s rainfall in twelve hours the previous day. This mean conditions were atrocious underfoot with puddles and great patches of mud all over the towpaths-in the end people just ran through the puddles because once your feet were wet, they stayed that way and there was nothing else you could do about it.
Honourable mentions also go to Steph Clayton (3rd Lady overall in the Open race, also 3rd F30 in 1:41:04), and Tracey Gee, 1st F40 in 1:45:17. The muddy conditions saw Jon Loft take a tumble and graze his face, but he did manage to finish and was seen suitably patched up in the Pitcher & Piano bar afterwards. You could take out a second mortgage on a sandwich here if you wanted to-some of us decided t o eat at Lloyd’s No.1 Bar instead.
We were joined by ex-Harrier Tony Baker (now of Aldridge RC) in the Pitcher & Piano, Tony also having raced. He took us on the now customary tour of Birmingham’s hostelries, moving on from the Pitcher & Piano to Lloyd’s No.1 Bar, the Wellington, the Old Joint Stock and the Briar Rose, after which we went home, in my case for a nice Chinese. Harrier times are given below; the winner of the Open race was Gary Whitehouse of West Bromwich Harriers in 1:22:29, the Ladies’ Open winner being Carole Penlington (Unattached) in 1:30:10. There were 1093 finishers.
May I now take the opportunity to thank you all for competing. Last year we raised over £520 for the Oak Tree Farm Project-let’s see if we can at least equal, or beat, that total this year.
Report from Craig Baxter
What a difference a year makes. Last year we all complained about the heat and this year the course was so wet and muddy. It certainly didn’t put off yet another fantastic turnout by the travelling Harriers again. On a personal note I was looking forward to this race given how well I ran at the very hilly Shifnal Half the previous week and the much cooler conditions this time. I had a slight achilles niggle leading up to the race but I wasn’t going to let that bother me, until, just after mile one where I stood on a large stone which twisted my ankle right over. I thought my race was over after this and limped on until the water station at mile four where the less than helpful marshal annoyed me that much I just kicked on. As the ankle continued to swell I was more determined than ever to get to the finish and taste that well earned pint. As I continued on there was the extra challenge of puddles and mud as the recent weather took its toll on the towpaths. Eventually I got to the end to be greeted by my great friends and the thought of an afternoon debrief around the pubs of Birmingham. It is a good race and although flat not really a great PB course. Will be back again in 2013.
1st July 2012
Nine Harriers travelled to Shifnal to run this year’s half-marathon in showery conditions. In previous years when I’ve run this race it’s been baking hot.
If you fancy a half that’s slightly different, then this one’s for you. Half on-road, half off-road, it’s virtually traffic-free, starting and finishing at Idsall School, taking in country lanes, farm tracks and a forest trail. Also part of your fee goes to the noble cause of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. Those Harriers who had never run it before were raving afterwards.
Special mentions go to Ian Talbot finishing 10th overall in 1:26:47 (1st M40), Chris Skellern (3rd Female and 1st F50), and Keith Skelton (breaking 1:30-it’s not a PB course!)
The winner was Chris Davies of Telford AC 1:14:39, whilst the joint female winners (6th=) were Claire Martin and Kim Fawke, also of Telford AC (both 1:26:07).
Harrier times are given below: