Brampton to Carlisle, Sunday, November 16, 2014

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Endurance Champion Race - click flag for more information. 10 Miles

Gareth Pritchard

Running the race is normally the easy part – getting to the start line injury free and in good shape is the real challenge. After the race our weekly club roundup email started like this: “Still injured; out of shape; a few weeks off the pace; aiming for sub-70 [are] all phrases issued by Gareth Pritchard in recent weeks!”.

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.

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