Category Archives: 10M

The Snake Lane 2017, Pocklington, Yorkshire, Sunday, February 26, 2017

10 miles

Fiona Wood

Firstly I must thank Phil Ray for offering me the chance to buy his place in this as he couldn’t make it.

Despite knowing since Christmas I was doing it, I arrived on the start line with no actual plan or idea how it should most usefully fit into my training schedule for the Paris Marathon 6 weeks away.

So with Allan Seheult’s mantra ringing in my ears (‘don’t go off too fast, don’t go off too fast, don’t go off too fast!’) I decided it would be best to not go too fast and to see how I felt in the first mile or so and just go from there. My plan soon formed into 10 minute miles for the first half, then see if I could speed up a bit for the second half.

The conditions for the first 4 miles were very pleasant, almost springlike, and I was grateful for my choice of capris, not so for my choice of long sleeve club vest. All around me people were removing layers and I was quite envious and tried to concentrate on keeping my pace steady, on the more or less flat course.

However after about 4 1/2 miles, we met a strong headwind, reminding us in no uncertain terms that were were in East Yorkshire, in February! This wind continued from the front/side/both for the remainder of the race which made me even more pleased when I was able to more or less maintain my ‘faster’ pace during the second half.

The ‘hills’ I kept asking fellow runners and water station marshals about could be better long inclines, still runnable, and only a couple. This, along with the lovely countryside and fab organisation / marshals makes this one to really recommend. I’ve no idea what it was like up at the sharp end but for me there was plenty of space around without me feeling like I was running on my own and it still felt like a race, albeit a very friendly one.

Also, the race HQ is at a rugby club and the bar was open afterwards (along with teas/coffees/cakes/massages and a good atmosphere). Now, obviously I’m a dedicated athlete(!)  but I do enjoy a swift half as well! So I hung around a bit at the end, chatted to Michael and watched the prize presentations (which I don’t often get to do as they have usually finished by the time I get there).

Goody bag was a Snake Lane gym sack and metal bottle – pretty cool and jolly useful! With the addition of a Crunchie bar, it’s almost like this goody bag was designed specially for me.

Entries sold out in under an hour for this year, so if you fancy going for the 2018 edition (and I really think you should) then be aware that entries will open at 9.30am on Sat 28th October 2017. The race will take place on Feb 25th 2018 at the earlier start time of 9.30am.

This would mean a much earlier Sunday morning start from Durham but I suspect it would still be worth it! A grand day out in Yorkshire.

Fiona Wood

 

POS
BIB
GENDER NAME CLUB CAT CAT POS
CHIP TIME
FINISH TIME
1
730
Male Michael Littlewood Elvet Striders Vet 40 8/100
01:00:26
01:00:29
2
579
Female Rachael Bullock Elvet Striders SNRF 32/93
01:20:19
01:20:47
3
937
Female Nicola Whyte Elvet Striders SNRF 33/93
01:22:02
01:22:17
4
545
Female Louise Barrow Elvet Striders SNRF 39/93
01:24:48
01:25:03
5
650
Male David Selby Elvet Striders Vet 45 82/93
01:28:36
01:29:04
6
717
Female Fiona Wood Elvet Striders Vet 35 60/76
01:37:24
01:38:11
7
427
Male Alan Smith Elvet Striders V70 5/6
01:40:20
01:40:43
8
390
Female Christine Farnsworth Elvet Striders Vet 65 9/9
01:46:57
01:47:25

 

Brampton to Carlisle, Sunday, November 20, 2016

10 Miles

Tamsin Imber

Grand Prix Race. Endurance Champion Race.

Photo by Helen Linton

Pre race

Well, what a top day for a run! Cold yes, but blue skies and the sun is coming out as we arrive in Brampton. I enter the school and join the throng of club runners-it is buzzing with a cheerful vibe! And it’s warm inside! After bumping into a few Striders here and there, I head outside as there is still half an hour before the start-so time for a short warm up around Brampton. Brampton is a pretty village indeed. I find a few quiet side streets to run along. I bump into a man walking his dog and his dog starts to run with me, so I offer to take him to Carlisle :-). Further about the village I spot a few other runners warming up-they are all male and not wearing much-they look like fast runners! Noting the time I head back to base to catch Mr Walton.

The Plan

Prior to now I have always ran how I feel. In races this has sometimes worked, and sometimes resulted in ‘the Crash’ when I have set off far too fast! So today, Graeme has very kindly agreed to run with me using his watch to pace us. So I get to see how it feels like to run a paced run and also to see how to use a watch. We finalise our plan just before the race. We were going to go for 71 minutes with a negative split pacing, but Graeme suggests trying for sub-70 as we seemed comfortable at 6.55min/m on the track for 10minutes on Wednesday … I’m always up for a challenge … so why not. We can always drop back to even splits if it doesn’t work out.

The Start

Graeme and I join the crowd, squashing in behind Stephen and Matt at the start-line. After ‘the wait that is before every start’ everyone moves forward like at a music gig when someone comes on stage … and we are off! Down the hill, round the sharp bend and out of Brampton. It’s a bit congested. Graeme keeps looking at his watch, and I just follow Graeme!

Mile 1

Congested and following Graeme.

Mile 2

The sun comes out. Nice views across the fields. Still a bit congested. I am warm now. I angle through a gap in the runners to throw my £4 hoodie that got from the British Heart Foundation charity shop last week to the roadside. (We’ll drive back this way and pick it up if it’s there, if it’s not that’s fine).

Mile 3

Nice. We are into a steady pace now. I’m enjoying this. A down followed by an up and then onto the smaller road.

Mile 4

Running. Nice country road, nice weather, what’s not to like? Graeme keeps looking at his watch, he is keeping us in a good steady pace. As we go round a bend I notice 3 girls ahead. Hummm. I wonder if Graeme has noticed? Probably not. I wonder if his watch will notice if I speed up just slightly and creep past them? Hummm, we are not supposed to increase pace until Mile 5.

Mile 5

Excellent I can see the mile 5 marker! Ha. I increase pace a bit and get past those girls . Graeme looks at his watch.

Mile 6

Graeme looks at his watch.

We have a mile 6 sign and then a 10k (6.2 mile) sign. It confuses me as I have done quite a few half marathons recently and this is half way, I remind myself it is a 10mile race. Graeme now suggests we don’t increase pace til after the bridge, hummm maybe we went off too fast for a negative split for my level of fitness, I guess that is the danger of aiming too high. Well, if we can do even split that is ok.

Mile 7

This mile was hard. I am not sure why! I just had to grit my teeth through it!

Mile 8

This was a good mile. Graeme shouts out that we only need to do 2 more miles at 7 minute pace. Excellent! I can do this. Towards the end of mile 8 Graeme seems to be running faster and faster! Suddenly it feels like a time trial! Is this really still 7 min mile pace? It is uphill, maybe that’s why it is hard?. I have also noticed 3 more girls ahead, I get behind them but it’s hard to get past as they are running astride. Graeme is urging me on. A quote I read somewhere flits into my head. ‘Racing hurts, get over it’ that was easy to accept when sitting on the sofa ha ha!, however I’m not stopping now, I try and keep up with Graeme’s legs!

At this point it is clear Graeme could run the last bit faster than me, I think he should just go, but he doesn’t as he is a Gentleman.

Mile 9

I wish I knew where the finish was, then it would be mentally easier I think. But, its only 4 laps of the track I tell myself. Graeme is being very encouraging all the time. Why did they build The Sands so far away? We are now running with 5 ish other guys. My breathing is really loud! so I am pleased there is background traffic noise! Graeme urges me past them, and I try and manage an increase in speed for a bit, but I don’t know where the finish is so slow down again. Graeme shouts out it’s just round the corner, but I’m not sure which corner he means, there are people in the way! Aghh! And then the path is lined with people and low and behold the finish line is just ahead! Mr Walton is ahead but lets me pass just 1m from the line! What a good sport! … And ooo it’s so good to stop! ..After recovering Graeme checks his watch for one last time-wayhay! 1hr 09 mins! We did it!

Post race

Thanks so much Graeme! This was really helpful! Graeme’s watch showed that we did even splits. .. ha. It’s funny how different a 7 min mile feels at the start compared to at the end! I really enjoyed this race and I would definitely do it again! It’s a nice route and a good club event!

Lucy Herkes

Brampton to Carlisle 10m today has been a weird day with a weird run and a mix of emotions… I woke up this morning feeling just quite bleurgh about the day. It was more that I just felt like I couldn’t be bothered to run 10 miles. I just wanted to stay in bed. My legs were tired from the thousands of steps I had walked delivering leaflets this week and my mind was tired because.. Well just because…. But I battled on and got up. Task 1 complete. Task 2 was to actually get ready for the race. Loads of self doubt just kept giving me this mental block. Even down to the smallest things like which gloves to wear and which top and the thought of these things was giving me a sense of dread ! It was weird! I got ready anyway and made it to the bus. Our running club puts on a bus for some of the races and this was one of them. As soon as I got on the bus and saw my friends I felt better. I think it’s being around other people. And when those people are smiley and happy, I think that’s infectious. They build my confidence. Not only around running but all aspects. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people believe in me. So when I’m asked what’s helped in my recovery I have to say not only running but the friends I have made through running. I’ve only known them maybe 18 months but already they feel like family. We arrived in Carlisle an hour before the race started. Luckily the start was next to a school so we were able to keep warm inside and use the toilet (only 4 times I think this race, it’s getting better!) Anyway, the ‘ideal’ in my head was to keep the race pace at around 9:15 min/miles. I figured that if I could do that, it equates to a 2:01:00 half marathon. My next half marathon is in York in January and it’s totally flat so I was going to try and push for 2 hours. This felt like such a good plan. I ran alone, I wanted to just see what I was capable of. Running alone was good in a way as I was able to focus on what I was doing, but at times it was lonely too and not so good for my motivation!! Anyway, for the 1st 3miles I was running around 9 minute miles. I knew this was faster than what I had planned but I felt good so I kept at it. That was the mistake I made I think. I went off too fast for the first 10k and so after that I really struggled. (I did get a 10k PB!) With me, I never know what goes first, mental strength or physical strength. Or in other words do I become physically tired or mentally tired ? Or does one cause the other and vice versa..? For the last half I really struggled. I can’t even explain what with. My breathing was fine, it wasn’t that. My legs, yes were tired but not overly tired but my mental strength did disappear. All I could hear inside was …

“He’s walking just have a walk!”
“You haven’t made your time anyway so just stop.”
“You are so slow!”
“You won’t do well, you won’t continue, you’re useless, people will be finished and you’re still struggling.”

For some people they say that they can give themselves a boot up the backside and when people pass in a race it motivates them to catch them. But it is the opposite for me. If someone passes I think “well screw it, I’m shit!” It’s like I go into a self-doubting, weak mental frame of mind where my thoughts turn from “this feels good, keep going,” to “you’re shit, just stop.” Once I’m in this mindset I don’t seem to be able to pull myself out. A couple of friends caught me/I caught a couple and that gave me a little boost, enough to get to the end. I just wish my mind was as strong as my legs. I don’t think it’s just me who experiences this though, right? So I finished. My average pace was 9:25 which I was disappointed with but it did teach me what I need to do about pacing for this half marathon in January. I just wish I could get some sort of magic pill that kept my mind strong. Overall I had a great day. Even though I was slightly disappointed in my time, thinking about it, I really beat myself up and criticise myself and I think I need to be kinder. I keep trying to think that I wouldn’t criticise a friend for going slower than hoped for and I would be proud of their achievements. Just wish I could think like this for myself. The day was rounded odd perfectly – dinner, pudding and wine with friends and then a few gins, Xfactor and I’m a celebrity. Not the most healthy food and drink choice but hey ho we all need a treat. Here are my splits from yesterday – they’re hilarious and certainly shows where I went wrong! positively split times

Results

position name cat catpos chip time
1 Nick Swinburn (Morpeth Harriers & AC) 50:18
45 Tracy Millmore (Birtley AC) L 1 58:35
21 Stephen Jackson 56:08
33 Gareth Pritchard 57:23
65 Jason Harding V45 9 1:00:10
113 Matt Archer 1:04:44
152 Simon Gardner V45 22 1:06:50
207 Tamsin Imber L40 6 1:09:44
208 Graeme Walton V40 29 1:09:44
341 David Case 1:16:57
342 Stuart Barker 1:17:12
351 Nicola Whyte L 65 1:17:40
358 Jean Bradley L60 1 1:18:12
381 Jonathan Hamill V40 47 1:20:33
413 Victoria Brown L35 18 1:22:32
414 Katy Walton L35 19 1:22:33
427 David Browbank 1:23:03
481 Helen Parker L40 21 1:26:24
486 Angela Greathead L40 23 1:27:05
493 Robin Linton 1:27:24
501 Mark Herkes 1:27:52
502 Anna Seeley L 130 1:27:53
503 Catherine Smith L40 25 1:27:55
527 Diane Harold L40 29 1:29:26
561 Deborah McFarland L 167 1:33:57
563 Jane Dowsett L45 18 1:34:03
569 Lucy Herkes L 171 1:34:13
575 Joanne Patterson L 177 1:34:29
577 Christine Farnsworth L65 1 1:34:46
584 Katie Davison L 181 1:35:35
617 George Nicholson V65 22 1:38:58
618 Katie-Louise Finney L 203 1:39:12
621 James Nicholson V65 23 1:39:20
625 Teresa Archer L 209 1:39:46
627 Huw Dixon V55 38 1:39:54
635 Karen Chalkley L50 23 1:40:16
636 Debra Thompson L50 24 1:40:54
642 Kelly Collier L 221 1:43:05
653 Kerry Barnett L45 26 1:46:44
655 Aileen Scott L45 27 1:49:44
656 Julie Jarratt L45 28 1:50:12
659 Stan White V55 39 1:52:00
661 Margaret Thompson L65 2 1:53:11
665 Neil Jennings V50 51 1:55:33
666 Laura Gibson L40 45 1:55:52
667 Sophie Dennis L 241 1:56:46
670 Natalie Johnson L35 50 1:58:56
673 Lisa Hall L 247 2:02:41
676 Rachel Leigh-Firbank L40 47 2:16:12
677 Elaine Jennings L50 28 2:16:12

Finishers 677.

Brampton to Carlisle, Sunday, November 15, 2015

Grand Prix Race. Endurance Champion Race.

Results

position name cat catpos chip time
1 Lewis Timmins
Morpeth Harriers & Ac
52:31
44 Joanna Zakrzewski
Dumfries Running Club
L35 1 1:01:19
27 Stephen Jackson 58:56
101 Matthew Archer 1:06:22
159 Elaine Bisson L35 5 1:10:39
223 Louise Warner L35 11 1:15:06
231 Fiona Shenton L55 1 1:15:40
268 Fiona Jones L35 16 1:17:19
350 David Spence V65 5 1:22:24
362 Karen Jones L45 10 1:23:08
381 Lucy Cowton 1:24:43
382 Anna Seeley L 90 1:24:43
464 Eric Green V50 41 1:33:22
499 Stephen Ellis V60 19 1:37:16
505 Andy James V65 11 1:38:17
511 Christine Farnsworth L60 4 1:39:20
513 Jonathan Hamill V40 64 1:39:57
515 Gillian Green L45 30 1:40:37
516 Debra Thompson L50 15 1:40:48
517 Robin Linton 1:41:11
518 Lesley Hamill L40 30 1:41:12
521 Katie-Louise Finney L 173 1:41:25
522 Jill Young L 174 1:42:22
523 Deborah McFarland L 175 1:42:22
527 Karen Hooper L35 32 1:43:02
529 James Nicholson V65 12 1:43:28
532 Mike Elliott V65 13 1:46:00
545 Caitlin Mooney L 189 1:49:52
546 Kathleen Bellamy L35 34 1:51:17
547 Lindsay Craig L45 32 1:51:17
550 Margaret Thompson L65 1 1:54:16
552 Kelly Collier L 195 1:57:39
553 Laura Chapman L 196 1:57:39
554 Alison Simms L40 35 1:57:40
555 Joanne Parkinson L40 36 1:57:40
556 Neil Jennings V50 47 1:57:53
559 Sophie Dennis L 200 2:04:43

560 finishers.

Guy Fawkes 10, Ripley, North Yorkshire, Sunday, November 1, 2015

Elaine Bisson

Just over an hours drive from Durham lies the quaint little village of Ripley, North Yorkshire. We three striders cladded in purple find ourselves here one foggy Sunday morning. From the allocated field for parking, we make our way to the village hall, today known as Race HQ. It’s buzzing with excited club runners topping up on caffeine, stopping off at toilets and pinning numbers to vests.

As we near 10:30, we start to assemble outside Ripley Castle, pushing near to the start line…this race is not chip timed, every second counts! After a quick race briefing, the nominated Guy Fawkes fires the gun and we are off. There is a brief and frenzied downhill dash until the road turns and climbs up and up. I know this is a challenging course, I reckon it’s similar to the Tynedale Jelly Tea Race. My race plan, run as hard up the hills as I can, run as fast down the downhills as I can…oh and remember to enjoy the surroundings while coming down. As soon as we start the fog clears, the sky is blue, there’s not a cloud to spoil the view…only the hills.

I set off with tired legs, feeling a bit heady from dehydration, the first major climb, the ‘Birstwith Brute’ takes its toll, but as I reach the crest my legs start to loosen and I actually start to enjoy myself. 5 miles in and the worst is over and the views are beautiful. I remember how I quite enjoy the challenge of hitting a hill as hard as I can, to feel my legs burn and then to enjoy the relief on the glorious downhills.

There are two other big climbs, ‘Swincliff Swine’ and ‘For Fawkes Sake’. A few smaller ones are mixed in for good measure, not big enough to warrant nicknames. I’d caught glimpses of purple along the way but on the final hill I could actually read the words ‘Penny’ emblazoned on the vest, this really spurred me on in those final miles. I started to overtake quite a few runners. The last mile, mostly downhill, was a crazed race to the finish, picking off as many women as I could until I hit the final climb and up through the gateway to the finish line. I actually managed in this race, a good negative split. I will ignore the fact my mile splits are hilarious and revel in my achievement.

And so me and my fellow purplies, now a bit red and sweaty, meet up to collect water and round the corner to the wondrous sight of our goody bags. Bags, we were told, would be heavily laden with chocolate bars. 15, if we were lucky. We visually weigh them up, trying to guess the best filled. We are like kids with Christmas stockings. Eagerly we open them up, we’ve earned those 15 chocolate bars. Yet low and behold only 4, 4 measly bars are in our bags. Nevertheless, we have our orange T-shirts to prove we conquered those hills.

Will we be back? £12, easy transfers, 10m, 1000ft climb. Good parking, lots of toilets, pretty surroundings, lovely tea shops, chocolate(only 4 bars and for some only 3), and yet it was a good one, not for the PB chaser, but to feel alive, yes, you bet.

Shaun Lee Johnstone Memorial Multi-Terrain Race, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, Sunday, October 18, 2015

10 Miles

Danny Lim

This was one of those low-key, very friendly but efficiently run races. The start was a farmyard near Boroughbridge. From there, we ran through 10 miles of muddy farm tracks, interspered by bits of boggy grass and the ood patch of tarmac; in short, it was proper cross country terrain!

Every turn had a friendly, cheery marshal, and some of the locals turned out in force too. It only cost £8 to enter, but all finishers got a medal, a banana and 10 tea bags of Yorkshire Tea! What more could one ask for. From Durham, it would take just under an hour to get here.

But perhaps the one thing I will remember was my chat with the race director. The race is named afer his son who died of a brain tumour aged 16. Although 17 years ago, his sadness still showed.

Tynedale Harriers 10 Mile Jelly Road Race, Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dougie Nisbet

Louise spies the finish I wasn’t really sure what I was meant to do, and across the car park I spied a similarly perplexed looking individual. Wandering over I asked his advice. He shrugged in a relaxed manner, said it was his first race too, and we assumed, rightly, that by following everyone else, things would sort themselves out.

That was 8 years ago and the stranger in the car park was Phil Owen. Neither of us knew at that time that Elvet Striders existed but even then the purple presence in the race was unmistakable.

NatalieBack to yesterday morning and lying in bed a reminder on my phone told me that it was Jelly Tea time. I hadn’t planned on doing this event as, being a point to point, I remembered it being a fiddly business. But closer reading showed that it now started and finished at the same place, and, importantly, there were entries on the day. I could feel another impulse purchase coming on.

It was hot and calm at Hexham Racecourse and the drive up and up from Hexham to the venue were an indication of what we were in for. Much is written about specificity of training and this event has often been a favourite pre-taper 10-miler for those doing the Great North Run. However, as far as specificity goes, it shares little with the GNR. It’s hilly. My word is it hilly! This all new course scours the quiet lanes south of Hexham, where there are an abundance of quiet, steep, endless hills.

Striders Sticking Together After a ropey season I’m still treating races as fact-finding missions, testing myself to see how my form is and what I might expect in the GNR in two week’s time. I didn’t feel lightning quick or fit but I didn’t feel too bad either so I settled down and had an enjoyable 10 miles in the sunshine.

I’m not sure what I think of the all-new course – I think I like it – and as long as you enter in the knowledge that the chances of a PB are negligible, there are far worse ways of spending your day.

Results

position name bib cat cat pos club finish time chip time
1 Tadele Geremew Mulugeta 321 Ages16-39 1/105 Elswick Harriers 00:56:10 00:56:08
14 Justina Heslop 192 Ages35-39 1/34 Elswick Harriers 01:03:07 01:03:04
94 Elaine Bisson 42 Ages 35-39 5/34 01:15:57 01:15:49
104 Matthew Archer 18 Ages 16-39 52/105 01:16:45 01:16:39
235 Helen Todd 456 Ages 35-39 11/34 01:29:36 01:29:11
271 Victoria Brown 60 Ages 16-34 22/63 01:33:50 01:33:12
278 Jean Bradley 50 Ages 55-59 5/10 01:34:23 01:34:00
279 David Spence 421 Ages 65+ 4/10 01:34:37 01:34:05
323 Anna Seeley 402 Ages 16-34 31/63 01:38:14 01:37:39
348 Dougie Nisbet 535 Ages 50-54 32/41 01:42:02 01:41:38
396 Louise Barrow 31 Ages 16-34 47/63 01:49:32 01:48:41
439 Laura Gibson 522 Ages 35-39 33/34 02:02:42 02:01:51
440 Karrie Eilles 138 Ages 16-34 61/63 02:02:42 02:01:52
441 Natalie Johnson 231 Ages 35-39 34/34 02:02:43 02:01:53
445 Jaqueline Wright 500 02:03:21 02:02:30

450 finishers.

Thirsk 10, Monday, March 23, 2015

Michael Ross

I entered this race on a whim late one Friday night back in November knowing a good few Striders had done it over the last few years and it was advertised as a flat fast course.

Not having ventured over 10k for races in the last 2 years due to injuries I was determined to make this race and after a steady away winter I started training for it in late February and training went well, having matched my 2.5 year old parkrun pb the week before I knew I was in decent shape for it and set myself a target of 80 mins for it.

Race day dawned sunny and calm thankfully and I headed down the A19 arriving in good time to pick up my number and sort myself out. The race HQ is at Thirsk racecourse but the start is about 10 minutes walk away, we were shepherded there about 20 minutes before the 11am start.

The race started on time and I eased my way into it, the first half mile fairly slow and then gently picking up pace as the congestion eased a bit, Steve Trout passed me at this point and we exchanged greetings as Striders do, my first mile completed in 8:04. The next couple of miles were on a closed country road and passed uneventfully at steady pace, turning onto A167 which was partially closed I felt my hamstring and glutes tighten and I eased back just slightly as I settled in behind a couple of runners for the next 2 miles, going through halfway in 40:10.

At about 6.5 miles we took a left up a closed road and was immediately faced with a stream of others coming back down the road which was slightly disheartening, the run up the road seemed to last forever and get harder, as we moved through mile 7 I checked my watch I noticed my pace had increased as I started overtaking more people and pushing on. Shortly afterwards Steve passed me coming back the other way and then the turnaround point came into sight thankfully, this gave me a boost as I picked up the pace more going through mile 8 in 7:49. Louise Barrow gave me a shout just after this as we passed in opposite directions. and then we were back onto the open roads again, mile 8 to 9 was my fastest mile at 7:46 and at this point I realised sub 80 was on if I could maintain my pace.

Mile 10 seemed to last forever and I was constantly checking my garmin as the distance slowly moved on, eventually the finish came into sight and as I caught up a lass from another club she gave me an encouraging shout as I went past her and rounded the corner back into the racecourse and over the finish line in 79:47, a pleasing 33 second negative split and a new pb over the distance by over 2 minutes.

Brampton to Carlisle, Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gareth Pritchard

So I guess I should put this into context and hopefully add some colour to what was another great day on the beautiful tarmac for the Striders. Almost 2 months ago I injured my achilles quite badly and have struggled ever since then. The run/walk half at Haltwhistle finally shot it to bits in September where I came 2nd from last and had to walk over the line.

Gareth speeds towards a sub-60 minute finish at the Brampton to Carlisle road race 2014
photo © Alister Robson

Even after this it took me another 3 weeks of failed self-taught rehab before I finally admitted defeat and went to see a physio like I should have done from the start – some big lessons learned.

Race day was almost perfect for running: fresh, dry and guaranteed to be mud free for my fellow PB hunters. Striders always put on a bus for this race which I highly recommend to everyone thinking about this next year. It’s a great chance to catch up with fellow striders and a well earned pit-stop for Sunday lunch on the way home (they do a great chocolate cake).

After only managing 2 training runs and having to tape up my achilles for the race, I was trying to be realistic with my goals. So a slow start, then build to 5 miles and if my achilles is OK, push hard to hopefully be home in around 65 mins. That was the plan but as I always expected, it went out of the window as soon as the race began.

I started near to my fellow speedy striders, Grahame, Matt and Stephen then my natural racing instinct got the better of me. After clocking a suicidal first mile at a 5K PB pace I finally caught up with the marathon king, Stephen (the start is downhill so you have to take advantage, but we both suffered from this super speedy start).

I reigned myself back in and started to clock 6 minute mile pace. Still faster than I planned and I knew I was not in shape to hold it but no way was I pulling back from a race. Half-way came in about 29:30 and my achilles still felt good but my lack of fitness was really showing on the undulating course as my pace started slowing towards the end.

As I slowed and people passed I kept expecting to see a purple strider top and was mentally getting ready to dig in and race hard. Thankfully the last mile is all downhill but I had no real idea of my race time until I heard Alister’s booming voice saying that sub-60 was still on as I neared the finish. A last mad sprint and and I was home – in 59:58! First strider home and still able to walk! I was very happy to say the least and only 45 seconds slower than last year – a total shock!

Stephen was 2nd strider home in 60:36 and looking a dead cert to break sub-60 next time after another massively impressive run. PB’s were had by multiple striders so a big well done to all. Congratulations to Fiona Jones as first female strider home with an impressive sub 1:15. A special mention also for Sophie Dennis who had a horrible fall in the first mile but continued for another nine to finish. Two bloody knees but she was still smiling as she crossed the finish line showing true strider grit and a credit to the club.

There was no t-shirt or memento but there were two pairs of running socks in the goody bag, so I can’t complain. As always, it was a well organised event, not all the roads were closed off but that really didn’t make a difference. Another great day and one I will definitely be looking forward to again next year.

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Cat Pos Time
1 Tadele Geremew Elswick Harriers 1 49:48
56 Alex Sneddon Jarrow & Hebburn AC L 1 59:42
58 Gareth Pritchard 59:58
69 Stephen Jackson 1:00:41
131 Matt Archer 1:04:16
163 Graeme Walton V40 29 1:06:11
313 Fiona Jones L35 9 1:14:03
335 Elinor Butler L 47 1:15:15
340 Michael Downes 1:15:33
354 Lesley Charman L40 8 1:16:07
368 Jackie McKenna L45 9 1:16:55
379 Richard Hall 1:17:25
396 Anna Seeley L 65 1:18:33
408 Mark Dunseith 1:19:19
422 Greta Jones L45 16 1:19:54
426 Jean Bradley L55 5 1:20:10
440 David Spence V65 11 1:20:48
462 Paul Beal V50 42 1:21:39
489 Brian Ford V45 56 1:23:51
542 Lindsay Rodgers V45 61 1:28:28
557 George Nicholson V65 12 1:29:46
558 Sarah Fawcett L50 21 1:29:47
560 Rebecca Fisher L35 18 1:29:51
569 Andy James V65 13 1:31:03
582 Karen Chalkley L50 22 1:34:04
585 Claire Hunt L50 23 1:34:14
603 Christine Farnsworth L60 4 1:36:49
606 Denise Benvin L45 41 1:36:58
611 Jacquie Robson L35 20 1:38:30
612 Jill Ford L45 42 1:38:30
613 Victoria Downes L35 21 1:38:30
625 Karin Younger L50 27 1:39:32
632 Karen Hooper L35 26 1:42:10
635 Margaret Thompson L65 2 1:46:59
637 Anita Dunseith L 2 205 1:48:52
638 Sophie Dennis L 2 206 1:49:43
639 Sue Jennings L45 44 1:50:07
640 Kathleen Bellamy L35 27 1:50:08
641 Laura Gibson L35 28 1:51:35
642 Natalie Johnson L35 29 1:51:36

646 finishers.

Guy Fawkes 10, Ripley, Sunday, November 2, 2014

Kirsty Steed

We had been down South for a few days prior to this race and rather than drive all the way back home and having to head back down to Ripley again the next day we thought we would instead treat ourselves to a night in a local inn. The Boar’s Head in Ripley looked nice and had the bonus of being right next to the start – so with a lie-in and car parking on offer it was a no brainer really. It was lovely too, we had a cracking meal in the restaurant the night before and had enjoyed a leisurely breakfast while watching runners arrive and register, we could also grab our numbers before it got too busy and use the bathroom as many times as we liked before the start, sheer luxury!

On the Twelfth day of Christmas, my Goody Bag came to me. The weather was once again glorious, there was a bit of a nip in the air but the sun was shining and it was just lovely. We bumped into Graeme Walton and Jon Ayres at the start but despite the reasonably small field I missed both Jackie McKenna and Helen Williams – sorry! There was an attempt at a briefing before the race but either the directors megaphone wasn’t working or I was too far back as I didn’t hear a word of it and only knew we were off when everyone in front started moving. It was a bit congested for the first half-mile or so, on a track through the grounds of the beautiful Ripley Castle.

I hadn’t done this race before but Jon Ayres had warned that it was a bit hilly and not to go out too fast. This isn’t a problem at the moment for me anyway but the congestion helped dictate a pretty sensible pace to begin with and as tarmac turned into rocky trail I was just concentrating on where my feet were going. We ran through a farmyard (which did NOT smell good) and then back onto the road for a bit of an incline.

We then turned off onto a much smaller road and another climb before a lovely mile of downhill and before I knew it I was at the first water station at 4 miles. After this came the first of the named climbs, the Birstwith Brute. And brute it was, I decided at this point to walk the named hills and try and run the rest. The brute was long and unforgiving and the majority of folk around me were doing a mix of walking and complaining about the hill, much like I was, but eventually it finished and it was off downhill again in glorious scenery.

The next named hill was the Swinecliffe Swine, another hands on knees drag but a chance to rest the quads before the next downhill. There was another water station at 8 miles before the final hill – “For Fawkes Sake” – love it! I walked this one too and was overjoyed when the marshal at the top confirmed that it was the last one and that there were only 1.5 miles to go until the end, although he did say it was undulating rather than flat. This was indeed the case, the last mile wove its way through the castle grounds before a final sprint uphill to the finish, and I was pleased to still have enough in my legs to finish strongly.

Hot enough for ice-cream. I had remembered halfway round that the reason we had signed up to this race was because I had heard it was a goody bag of delights and that proved to be the case with no fewer than TWELVE chocolate bars (Graeme got 16!) and a t-shirt, well worth the pain of the hills! Good performances all round from the Striders too, on what was a tough but fun course.

It would have been rude to visit Ripley and not try some of its famous ice-cream so we treated ourselves to a large cone in the shop and soaked up a bit more of the sunshine before heading home to a chocolate fest.

I really enjoyed this race, yes it was hilly but there were some glorious downhills and the scenery was stunning, and I really enjoyed making a weekend of it too, I think this will definitely be going on the calendar for next year, Brute or no Brute!

Tynedale Jelly Tea, Hexham, Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dave Spence

Woke up got out of bed dragged a comb across my head and then reality struck when I realised it was Sunday and a 10 mile race faced me that morning. No going back to bed since I had promised to take Barrie Evans to the race. So 8.30 Barrie arrives and off we go to the Tynedale Jelly Tea.

Knowing the way to Ovingham very well doesn’t stop going the wrong way twice. I know what you are thinking – Old men not able to talk and navigate at the same time might have been the problem. But got there in plenty of time and caught the bus to Hexham. After the short pleasant journey arrived at the modern sports centre, checked in, acquired a number, changed, threw bag on baggage bus, chatted to other striders and then not being able to put it off any further a short walk to the start.

So a shuffle along to the start with obligatory toilet stop (it’s an age thing) and we were off. The first 3 miles mainly downhill finally dropping into Corbridge [where the race passes some extremely handy toilets – I should know … Ed.]. Time looking good. But then before your very eyes looms heartbreak hill out of Corbridge. And oh it goes on and on and on for 2 miles. Water poured over the head near the top, Turn left, marshall says downhill now, liar. It’s up then down then up. But what goes up must go down and it does for nearly 3 miles to Bywell. More water poured over the head. Sorry did I mention the heat. Then it’s 1.5 miles level road alongside the Tyne before you turn left and hit a minor Eiger for 200 yards and a marshall says again it’s all downhill now. Well it is after the uphill bit which wasn’t mentioned. And finally the finish down to Ovingham school with a reasonable time.

Then cheer in other Striders at the finish including Barrie. At last reward time and into the School for jelly, sandwich, tea and piece of cake. What better way to spend Sunday on what is a really well organised interesting run which has a great atmosphere. Numbers running were well down this year I suspect because of closeness to the Big One.

Now looking forward to next year?