Monthly Archives: May 2019

Helvellyn and the Dodds Fell Race, Sunday, May 26, 2019


Nina Mason

On Helvellyn

I had pre-entered this race a couple of months ago (before last weekend’s OCT offer), so this was the second weekend in a row in the Lakes, and another trip up Helvellyn. Not that I’m complaining!

On the drive over I saw most kinds of weather and arriving at Threlkeld Cricket Club (race registration) it was raining quite hard. The hills were shrouded in cloud and it all looked pretty grim. I checked in, got my number, then sat in the car, staring at Clough Head (what was visible) feeling a bit glum and wondering if this was a good idea. 


Pre-race view of Clough Head from the car

The route is out and back, with three checkpoints on the way out, then Helvellyn, then the same three on the way back. I’d recced the route once – near Helvellyn you pretty much follow the tourist path over Raise, White Side, and up to the summit, but across the Dodds I was a little worried about navigation in the cloud. Even the race map tells us that ‘navigation can be a problem…the Dodds have monstrous ‘cock up’ potential’. Yikes.

I got my bag ready (debating whether to set off wearing my jacket – in the end a mistake) and headed for the mandatory kit check and the start. The rain had eased, but it was still a bit damp, and my lack of warm-up (sssshh, don’t tell Coach) left me feeling a little cool and miserable on the start line. I was relieved to see Dawn from DFR, a friendly face!

Then off, up the road for about a kilometre, across boggy ground, and up Clough Head. The jacket had to come off pretty quickly as I started to heat up. Despite reading previous race reports recommending getting in the right group, I wasn’t, and picked my way past people up the rough grass (leaving others with the ‘steps’). Climbing up here I wasn’t feeling into it at all, not sure how this was going to go, as we all entered the clouds.

Clough Head was wild – blowing a hoolie, dense clag. I tried to keep the small line of runners in front of me in sight, the wind made it so disorientating. But then as we dropped down before Great Dodd it cleared, and I could see for miles. It was such a relief and I started to feel better, even uttering a couple of ‘wows’ at the view.

The rest of the race was a mix of clag, then clearing to give amazing views. The wind however was relentless, nearly blowing me off my feet a few times. I had cheered up immensely by Great Dodd and started to really enjoy things after that. The front runners started to pass me (heading back) as I got to Raise, and most of them got a ‘well done’, except where the wind just whipped the words out of my mouth! Helvellyn looked spectacular emerging out of the cloud, though it was blowing over again as I got up there. The marshals got a big ‘thank you’ and then I was laughing as I rounded the trig point with another runner, and the wind was suddenly intense in our faces. Although my hands were numb, the rest of me felt warm enough. I decided I didn’t want to slow down to put on more clothes, thinking I could only get warmer as I started to descend again.

My new OCT ‘neck tube’ earned its keep, most of the time up over my nose to keep to wind off my face and ears (I hate it blowing in my ears). I felt much stronger on the way back, passing people and working hard on both the downhills and the pull ups.

I almost missed the CP on Great Dodd on the return – a group contoured the summit and I started to follow as they disappeared in the cloud, then I realised I had hit a path which seemed familiar, so I stopped, trying to see through the clag. I doubled back up the hill and was literally only 50 yards away from the cairn but didn’t see it until almost on top of it.

The rain started hard as I hit Clough Head (still claggy, and very, very windy), and then that horrible descent. My language was foul as I slithered, tripped, fell down the steep slope, the driving rain coming down sideways, blowing streams of water off my nose and chin, unable to see, hear, or think.

I worked hard across the bog, and (a little surprisingly) caught Karen from NFR as we hit the road. We decided to run in together (not normally my thing, but at the time there felt good reasons) and so crossed the finish line together. Good to see Dawn at the finish – she’d had another good run today, finishing second lady.

This is a great race – good organisation, a fair bit of climbing, but some good runnable bits, and I know the weather isn’t always as bad! Having said that, despite a bit of a gloomy start I really enjoyed the day – it was wild, wet and windy, and I absolutely loved being out in (at times) fairly appalling conditions. It just goes to show how good running can be for body and mind, whatever you enjoy!

Well done to the organisers and the marshals at the CPs, out in it for hours – thank you!

PositionNo.NameGenderAge CatClubTime
129Brennan TownshendMOpenKeswick AC2:07:58
2645Sophie NoonFOpenCumberland Fell Runners2:51:36
7319Nina MasonFV40Elvet Striders3:16:46

Roseberry Romp, Newton-under-Roseberry, Tuesday, May 21, 2019

BS/5 miles/320m

Nick Latham

Courtesy of Eric Green

What an absolutely brilliant race!  I loved it.

I often struggle to get to mid-week events but when this one popped up I realised I could make it and double my fell race experience in the process. I got there early, just after registration opened at 6pm. The car park was already pretty full but I managed to nab one of the last available spaces. I was shortly followed by Jan, Robin, Eric and Sarah who made up our full Striders contingent.

I have a mental image of fell races to be small affairs compared to road races with perhaps several 10s of people rather than the 100s or 1000s. It was obvious from the registration queue that this was going to be much more popular than I thought! In the end there were exactly 300 finishers, quite a turnout.

I was also intrigued by the composition of the field. My only previous fell race was Cronkley, where, in a field of around 30, I was firmly part of the tail and I can normally expect to be around the middle of the field in most other races. Without meaning to be judgemental, I could see this field was a much broader range of runners than Cronkley, from the hardened fell aficionados through to “regular” club runners (people who might run a mix of road, XC and trail on a normal day) to some who seemed quite inexperienced. The results seem to bear out that assessment with times ranging from 35 to 90 minutes. My point is that you don’t have to be put off thinking it’s just for faster runners, anyone can give this sort of event a go.

I wasn’t planning to race hard, I was treating it as a tempo-effort session and I lined up where I thought was about half way back in the field. With a short announcement about there being lots of runners, so fast finishers weren’t to eat all the cake, we were given a short “3, 2, 1, go” and we were off…

Steady up stony & dusty Roseberry Lane, there’ll be a bottleneck at the gate. Into the woods and a right turn along the surfaced track. Not many passing places, some undulations. Into a rhythm.

Courtesy of Eric Green

Left at the quarry and start climbing – a short steeper section to start with, then more gradual along the outside of the quarry. Single file most of the way. Sharp kick up to a kissing gate – “How British are we?” as we form an orderly queue – then make a quick pass up a short section to a stile (more recovery, I mean queueing). Brief flatter section before a left turn (marshal point) up a short and brutal final climb to the head of the quarry.

Flat along the cliff edge (fenced in), chance to get the legs moving again. Welcome downhill, pick up a few places barrelling past more tentative descents. Apologise to Darlington Harrier who I nearly wipe out in the process.

Onto the top woodland path, climb steadily to the gate onto the common. Past the shooting hut and start the rough path up the south side of the topping. Single-file procession again, hands on knees, no real swapping of places at this point. Alister Robson pops into view just behind me, I’m too out of breath to do more than wave.

Reach the rocks at the top, swing around the trig point and the fun (descent) starts. Why are these two picking their way tentatively over flat rock? Blast past.

Onto the “tourist path” – uneven stones, careful with foot placement – concentrate.

Reach the bottom, runners off to my left – how did they get there? Ignore them, direct route is straight ahead, stick to it.

Across the saddle at a decent pace, bear left to join the path up Little Roseberry. Two in sight ahead of me, can I close them down?  Swaledale vest pulls away, I’m right behind the other by the top of the climb and the next marshal point.

Chuckle at the “left turn” arrow in tape across the bilberries, into a narrow channel. Round the bend, what a view!  Stunning! No time for that, rough track, concentrate on foot placement. Path widens, chance to over-take, grab it.

Sweep down to the edge of the moor and another marshal point, gradually closing on the Swaledale vest. Easier gradient here, gradually reel him in and sit in behind for the last narrow section of path off the moor. Footsteps behind, someone’s closing in. Closed gate ahead so I’ll be with Swaledale and The Feet going into the last section.

Back onto Roseberry Lane again, 400m to the finish. 

Kick hard out of the corner – drop The Feet, close down Swaledale.

Reach the bend in the lane, I’m past him. Don’t look back.

Man ahead – I’m closing fast, I can get him…I’m past. 

Another – catch and pass. 

Woman from Stockton Striders, I might even get to her…

Dig in, gain one last place before the line.

Stop Garmin.  Gasp for air.

Eric and Robin had already finished (no surprise, really), so I was either third counter for the men’s team or last Striders bloke home, whichever way you want to look at it. Jan came in a little while later, clearly in some distress with an injury and Sarah wasn’t far behind to complete our turnout for the evening.

As you might be able to tell, I’d blown all intent to hold back out of the water. It all started on the first climb between the gate and the stile when I found I was able to move past people but wasn’t flat out. I think that flicked the little “race” switch in my head and from then on, I was on the lookout for gaining places. I think the fact that I’d held back at the start helped and that I wasn’t concerned about walking the steeper climbs – steadier pacing in the first half left me able to capitalise on the downhill where I’m generally better.

I finished 143rd in 52:44. The Swaledale vest turned out to be M45 too, so I gained a bonus age-group place on the closing stretch! I later discovered I was nearly 3 minutes up on Katie Abel of Stockton Striders, who I’d just pipped at Vale of York half marathon last year. I also came in a minute and a half up on Alister, despite him catching me on the main climb.

The description said 5.1 miles and 320m climb. I clocked 4.65 miles and 362m climb, Robin and Eric’s watches gave them similar distances and other Strava results seem to confirm the climb. Looking back at my route, there was a split in the tourist path before the zig-zags started, which was probably an easier gradient and less rough underfoot, so I might have missed a small advantage there, but not a catastrophic nav error.

This would be a brilliant introduction for anyone interested in giving fell running a try. It would be quite hard to get lost, especially if you’ve walked or run in the area before; it was well marked and marshalled. The National Trust web page even carries the route and a description, so anyone could try the course throughout the year if they didn’t want to wait for the next race.

If you’re thinking about dipping your toe in the waters of fell running, there are much worse races to try it. Just make sure you get there as early as you can for a parking space!





PositionRace NoTimeNameClubCategory
140935:44Tim GrimwoodSwaledaleMSEN
599143:30Kirsty StruthersNYMACWSEN
7639345:13Robin ParsonsElvet StridersM40
10246848:26Eric GreenElvet StridersM50
14338952:44Nick LathamElvet StridersM45
19739257:33Jan YoungElvet StridersW65
238891:03:42Sarah FawcettElvet StridersW55

Parkrunathon 2019, Saturday, June 1, 2019

Parkrunathon 2019 will take place this Saturday, 1st June. in support of the IF U CARE SHARE foundation. Here is the planned schedule if you’d like to drop in:

parkrunathon 2019 schedule

Timings are approximate but there will be plenty of updates on the Facebook page throughout the day.

If you can, please come and join us for as many or as few parkruns as possible, whether it be in a running or supporting capacity. The more the merrier. For those wanting to run, there is no registration required, just simply come along. All parkruns, apart from the official parkrun at Segdefield, will be classed as freedom runs, no official timings.

More details can be found on the fundraising donations page and on Facebook.

Old County Tops Fell Race, Lake District, Saturday, May 18, 2019

Nina Mason

Feeling Ok on Helvellyn (top 1)

I would never have even considered this race – it’s well beyond anything I have previously attempted in terms of distance, climb, and time on feet. But a few weeks prior to the event Elaine got in touch and asked if I would pair up with her. Immensely flattered and yet terrified at the same time, I did a bit of reading, studied the map, and received a couple of encouraging messages suggesting I could do it (thanks – you know who you are) ….and said yes. Elaine said she was happy doing it my pace, she just wanted to complete it and have ‘a good day on the hills’.

The race starts and finishes in Langdale near the New Dungeon Ghyll. You must run in pairs, finish in 12 hours, and there are 8 checkpoints – three of which are the old county ‘tops’ Helvellyn, Scafell Pike, and the Old Man of Coniston. I shared with Elaine a timing plan which would get us to the CPs within the cut offs (one recommended, one mandatory), and see us finish in about 11hr 15.

I was pretty anxious beforehand – I have never recorded a ‘DNF’ and I didn’t want this to be my first. For the first time I was starting a race with no idea whether or not I would get round.

Caption: All competitors get a Harvey course map – I’ve added the big red arrows showing the ‘tops’. Looks easy in 2D!

We had each recce’d a half of the course, and we were fairly confident we would be ok if we needed to navigate (though this might cost us time). On the day we were incredibly lucky with the weather. The forecast rain never appeared, there was no wind, the sun came out a couple of times, but it never got too hot, and the tops were pretty much clear, except for Helvellyn.

I found this event (not unexpectedly!) very tough, and I had a couple of bad patches. The first 15 or so miles (and Helvellyn – top 1 – in the bag) felt ok. But then heading up to Angle Tarn (CP4 and about half way) I was starting to struggle to eat, and psychologically I felt there were a lot of miles in front of me. But, with a bit of internal ‘get a grip Nina, just get to the next checkpoint’ and Elaine telling me quite firmly that my sandwich wouldn’t get eaten if it was still wrapped up, I plodded on.

Heading up to Scafell Pike (top 2) and down the other side over Great Moss and Mosedale I got a second wind, which lasted to the climb up Grey Friar (on our way to Coniston Old Man). My head was ok, my legs were tired but moving (slowly), but my stomach needed a lie down and some kind words. Eating was really difficult here (I know, hard to believe!) so I was nibbling tiny pieces of flapjack and washing it down with water. Elaine, again coming to the rescue, also forced a couple of pieces of mint cake down me. It worked. One of my highlights of the day was getting up to Coniston Old Man (top 3) and knowing we were on the home stretch.

So 30 miles in, and with a good mouthful of a popular brand of tangy, sugar-coated jelly sweets (I have discovered my race food!) I started to feel ‘good’. Even Elaine asked if I was excited as I bounded down the hill (ok, ok, it felt like I was bounding) to the final CP. From there, a ‘victory lap’ of the last 3 or so downhill miles to the finish (catching a couple of pairs on the way!) where I cried like a baby out of sheer relief and thankfulness.

I reckon Elaine had a secret race plan – we obviously travelled my pace, but finished an hour inside my planned time (and I’ll take the extra effort to be finished an hour sooner any day).

Elaine and I starting to believe we have got this – on Coniston Old Man (top 3) – Home stretch!

Elaine was an amazing running partner – for asking me to do this, and for being utterly unselfish – if she ever got frustrated with my pace she never, ever showed it. Most of the race I was following her (though I led a couple of sections and pointed out the odd trod on the bits I’d recce’d) – but she was always checking where I was and checking her pace accordingly. She also offered no ‘sympathy’ (on my instruction, as I wouldn’t have reacted well to this) but just good common sense, pragmatic support all the way round. I don’t think I would have made it round without her, and I feel incredibly thankful that I got the opportunity to do this event with her.

We were both ‘well-chuffed’ for completing this, and also with the additional reward of winning the LV80 category (that’s two lady vet 40s in a pairs event in case you’re thinking we both look really good for our age. Obviously, we do anyway).

Would I do this again? Possibly yes, with more training! It is a fantastic, well-organised event, an excellent (tough!) course, and for £20 per person you get a map, a lot of miles, brilliant support at the CPs, mountains of food at two of them, and food at the finish. Oh, and the famous t-shirt…. only for those that finish the race. A truly limited edition, and Elaine and I are very proud of ours!
Photo Caption: Elaine and I at the finish – Age group prize mugs

The famous t-shirt – only 246 given out this year 🙂

Fairfield Horseshoe Fell Race, Lake District, Saturday, May 18, 2019


Aaron Gourley

I’ve wanted to run Fairfield Horseshoe for many years but just never got around to doing it but a very last-minute decision to go camping in the Lake District meant I might have a chance this year. However, unlike many of the other fell races, although many are going the same way, this was pre-entry only, so I had to enter pretty much at the last minute, if not the last person to do so.

After not a very good night’s sleep but with the chance to relax and take time for breakfast I set off from the campsite to Rydal ready for the 12pm start. On the way there I passed the Old County Tops runners as the made their way across the road from Helvellyn – another race I have longed to do for a while. I parked up at the event car park and made the long walk up to the start area, where there was a thorough kit check before receiving my race number and timing tag. Then there was a short wait for the start of the race.

The weather was fairly pleasant for a race, mild if not a bit muggy. There was a nice cooling wind blowing but importantly, there was going to be good visibility as the summit of Fairfield can be very confusing to navigate in the clag. Mindful of the disaster of a run I’d had at Newlands a few weeks ago, I was determined not to overcook it at the start of this race which, after a short run up the road quickly turns to begin the long ascent up to the summit of Fairfield. I took my time trying to keep my heart rate in check but as not to fall too far behind.

As the ground got steeper, running became a fast walk and the cooling breeze helped massively to ensure I didn’t overheat. I seemed to be climbing strongly and my breathing was good and heart rate consistent. I also seemed to be holding my ground on the early steep climbs where I would normally lose places.

I felt good as the march upwards continued. I traded places with a few other people, took note of who was around and ahead and made targets – keep with these; catch them; don’t even think about trying to catch that person! The views of the surrounding fells were stunning, as I made time to lift my head and have a look around. Days like these are priceless and I was really enjoying the race as I made my way over to the final pull up to the summit of Fairfield. I managed to pass a few targets from up ahead as we reached the top, before the real racing could begin.

I’d executed my climb to the summit well and was feeling good and in control of my race unlike at Newlands where I was completely burnt out by half way. I knew I had enough to make a good effort of getting back to the finish. I set my sights on an Eden Runner up ahead and went for the chase. The ground underfoot was rocky but runnable, so I was able to maintain a decent pace. After a few sharp climbs there was then a steep rocky technical descent to negotiate, made more difficult with the huge number of walkers on the route. I got down this as fast as was manageable then set off again on the chase. This time a guy from Tring AC was my target. I slowly worked my way up to him and after a bit of swapping places I eventually got past and pulled away as the final descents got steeper.

The relatively dry weather meant that the rocky paths were bone dry and hard which made every step painful on the final blast down. Eventually the route dropped on the stony track near the car park and then turned up for the final ¾ mile slog back up to the finish.

This was a long drag back to finish which turned off the path for a cruel little detour across a small bridge over a beck and a little climb for the run to the finish. Like all good fell races there was minimum fuss as I grabbed a cup of orange juice and made my way back to the car very happy to have finally run this race. It’s definitely one I’d to run again, hopefully soon

PosRace NoNameTimeNet TimeCategoryCat PosGenderGen PosClub
113Carl Bell01:20:1701:20:15SEN1Male1Keswick AC
16211Kelli Roberts01:31:5401:31:53SEN1Female1Helm Hill
168104Aaron Gourley02:09:3602:09:25V4043Male137Elvet Striders

The Thrunton Thriller half-ish marathon, The Cheviots, Sunday, May 12, 2019

Tamsin Imber

Courtesy of Martin Ellis

Since recovering from ME, some of my running could be described as ‘off road aloneing’. When I get the chance, which is about once every few weeks, I jump into my car and drive to a wild remote place in the countryside. I run for 2-3 hours on a route of my choice, at a pace that suits me. Then I return to ‘Tamsin’s mobile teashop’ (my car) which is decked out with Yorkshire teabags, a proper solid mug, carton of milk, flask of hot water and slabs of cake for a post-run tea and cake before returning to civilisation.  Having done that for a while, arriving at Thrunton Woods for the Thrunton Thriller trail race, it felt strange that there were other people there. But I like people, so that was ok. The other different thing was that I didn’t need to map read. Sometimes it’s nice to run on someone else’s route as you can just focus on and enjoy the running and having seen the route, I was looking forward to a full tour of Thrunton Woods. And what a beautiful, unspoilt place it is, having been closed to the public for so long!

It was a friendly bunch of runners that waited at the start. They were mostly local, but a few had come all the way from Scotland. The start-line marshal wished us well. He pondered about the distance, but after some thought concluded he had no idea other than it was more than a half marathon and said good luck anyhow. He also noted that the local farmer was upset as he had just this morning lost his albino peacock and if we saw it whilst on the run could we ‘hoy it under our arm and run on down to the farm?’ We got a count down from 5 from his cute kids and then were off, running up a long hill through tall conifers with the sun on our shoulders. So nice to feel the sun after the weather of last week!

Soon after the start I was running in stride with another runner, chatting, when a loud buzzing thing zoomed just above us! Last week, I was zoomed at by some anxious nesting
lapwings on Cronkley fell in Upper Teesdale, but this was a bit different. It was a drone. They had told us earlier they were filming with a drone, I just had not realised it would be that low to the ground!

The course was spectacular. It wandered through the hilly forest, but we also got to climb up Coe Craggs which rise above a sea of tree tops. There were some quite boggy, heathery and clearly untrodden ways which we squelched through. I enjoyed running at my own pace. I wanted to try, as it was a race, so ran comfortably hard. 

Coe Crags Courtesy of Martin Ellis

Barry Kemp was marshalling at one spot. He is the race organiser. I knew it was him before I saw him as I heard his music. Last time I saw him he had got his ghetto blaster to the top of Hedgehope Hill in the Cheviots, in January. He was there standing proud to the full onslaught of freezing cold 70mph gusting winds.  I salute him for this. This time I passed him at a tranquil bend in a forest path. He said I was 3rd lady. Better than that, I have been feeling stronger in my running recently and felt fresh today. This was heartening. Previously, by being ill for 12 months, I had lost all my fitness. So much so that I remember a few weeks into recovery I had pulled a muscle under my ribs by just trying to carry a shopping bag! I ran past Barry.

Soon after a lady caught me up. We ran together for a few miles. Then the sun really came out and I felt too hot in my long leggings. I pondered, should I give up the possibility of a podium finish by stopping to change into my shorts? Today it was a yes. I stopped and let her go, fumbled with unlacing my trainers and took time to appreciate the view.  Unfortunately, a full tipping out my rucksack onto the ground revealed I had left my shorts in the car. But, no bother. I turned my long-sleeved top into a skirt as the head-hole fitted round my waist with the top zip undone, and the sleeves acted as a belt when tied up. I pinned my race number on the front of the skirt. Job done.

The route rounded off with an awesome 3-mile downhill section which is brilliant to power down. (I had the voice of Michael in my head, ‘attack!’). There was then just one more up and down a thin rocky path to the finish. I would recommend this race for exploring unvisited corners, friendly people and good cake. (The chocolate-strawberry cake easily scores a 10/10).  As for distance, (in case you are considering this race) others had worn a Garmin and measured it to be 15 miles and 2, 224ft of ascent.

16Jonathan Boxshall02:02:05.2MV40North East Marathon Club
1518Alicja Czopek02:40:33.8FV40BMF Edinburgh
2034Tamsin Imber02:50:51.4FV40Elvet Striders

Pier to Pier, South Shields to Roker, Sunday, May 19, 2019


1553Liam TaylormMen38.5506
42615Molly Pace (Jesmond Joggers)wWomen44.7693
9240Michael MasonmSeniors M4040.8661
15237Georgie HebdonmMen42.2265
16204Graeme WattmSeniors M4042.2655
18247Michael LittlewoodmSeniors M4042.4475
28963Stuart OrdmMen43.4453
59159Allan RenwickmSeniors M5046.0298
941199Juan Corbacho AntonmMen47.6265
98161David HolcroftmMen47.824
1551130Conrad WhitemSeniors M6050.1882
157318Stephen SoulsbymSeniors M5050.2041
164273Matthew CarrmSeniors M4050.4936
1721319John BissonmSeniors M4050.8191
21456Katy WaltonwWomen52.1454
252250Peter HartmSeniors M4053.2151
263249Ian ButlermSeniors M5053.5762
2761Jonathan HamillmSeniors M4054.0397
300792Dan MitchellmSeniors M4054.6321
312305Corrine WhalingwWomen54.9451
32844Mark FostermSeniors M4055.1566
3461000Mark HerkesmMen55.4608
380668David BrowbankmMen56.1356
406861Laura JenningswWomen56.8738
424241Rachelle MasonwSeniors W4057.3278
426395Angela CharltonwSeniors W4057.37
45732Karen ByngwSeniors W5057.8047
464245Anna MasonwSeniors W4057.8386
4672Lee BrannanmSeniors M4057.8654
4731065Sarah DavieswSeniors W5057.9566
482996Chris ShearsmithmSeniors M4058.054
518232Robin LintonmMen59.109
52524Alan ScottmSeniors M5059.2334
533261Marita Le Vaul-GrimwoodwSeniors W4059.44
556805Craig WalkermSeniors M5060.1963
592283Lee StephensonmSeniors M4061.3598
597233Jill RudkinwSeniors W4061.4806
608619Jean BradleywSeniors W6061.8119
612264Lesley CharmanwSeniors W4061.8753
6281404Joshua WaltonmMen62.1242
666231Kimberley WilsonwWomen63.0654
669267Natalie BellwWomen63.3119
673964Zoe Dewdney ParsonswSeniors W4063.3837
682425Kelly GuywWomen63.6534
737611Sarah FawcettwSeniors W5064.867
745285Damian CookmSeniors M4065.0078
747680Debra ThompsonwSeniors W5065.0343
77723Aileen ScottwSeniors W4065.9567
789251Janet ElliswSeniors W5066.1283
82238Alan SmithmSeniors M7067.3495
8261149Andrew ThurstonmSeniors M6067.5143
859806Catherine WalkerwSeniors W6068.6892
9541299Victoria DowneswWomen72.0434
9891047Jane BailliewSeniors W4073.2992
103933Sophie DenniswWomen75.3224
1085504Carolyn GalulawSeniors W4076.7423
109147Jane DowsettwSeniors W5076.7654
1096438David RushtonmSeniors M4076.9071
109839Lisa LumsdonwSeniors W4076.9934
1127406Julie SwinbankwSeniors W4078.6131
113766Carole Thompson-YoungwSeniors W5079.2282
1145265Laura GibsonwSeniors W4079.5732
1146344Rebecca GilmorewWomen79.5884
1247346Rachel TothwSeniors W4091.6299
1272227Helen LintonwSeniors W50101.5146
1273228Diane SoulsbywSeniors W50101.537
1274246Wendy LittlewoodwSeniors W40101.5388
1275270Sandra GreenerwSeniors W40101.5523

Clive Cookson 10K, Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Joanne Patterson

After taking a bit of a step back from “racing” following some disappointing (to me!) times, I have been choosing my events very carefully – shunning the majority of popular races.  I took part in the Clive Cookson 10k in 2017, gaining a PB over the distance of 56:04. I felt it was time to give this another try, having not completely hated it the first time.

I love this race.  It is so underrated. A two 5k lap course with the first 2km on a very gradual (but noticeable, particularly on the second lap) climb, rewarded with some lovely gradual down, through country lanes and then housing estates…  The support is fantastic for such a small event – very few places on the course where there is nobody cheering you on. I think there were maybe 10 striders in attendance, not that I saw many of them because they were all the speedy ones who would have already left the carpark by the time I had done the first lap.  It always amazes me that more Striders don’t attend this race – this year it was even a GP fixture!!

My aim for this race was a PB, which I guess is usually your aim if you are entering a race. My 10k time stood at 54:09 from Tees Pride in 2017.  Lots of calculations and looking at the last time I ran it to try and establish what pace I should be attempting to run at to get in under 54 minutes.  It seemed crazy that I would need to run 5:22km average pace for 10kms – training runs have been much much slower over shorter distance and I had always convinced myself that couldn’t be good.  Nevertheless, I turned up, managed to pin my number on in the most crooked fashion yet, then got to the start.

I started quite near the back, as I knew we would start the climb straight away and “don’t go off to fast” rings in my ears.  On a chipped course, I like to start quite far back, as the ability to pass people works wonders for my confidence.  I soon realised that I was passing people (even uphill) but nobody was passing me – this instantly gave me my focus – don’t let anyone pass you.  I kept this up for most of the race, losing only 2 places around the 7k mark (both to men, so I wasn’t too bothered), but it wasn’t made easy for me!  A Derwentside AC runner was on my shoulder, pushing hard to pass me around 6k, but I kept my focus and she dropped back – more confidence!! My km times were good – except for the 2kms uphill, they had all been well under target.

The confidence felt amazing – I felt strong, my legs were fine and at no point did I feel I wanted to stop.  My brain was kind to me, and never once uttered “you need to stop Jo, you’re tired and rubbish” which is normally loves to do!  I was even high-fiving kids and there are pictures of me smiling.  Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough…

Around 9k, I was catching a lady in front of me – she was running well but I knew I only had a km to go so I pushed on and passed her.  Clearly more familiar with the course, she zoomed past me with about 600m to go – this was so frustrating after my “don’t let anyone pass you” mantra.  Luckily the absence of our beloved track sessions hadn’t removed my ability to kick and with shouts of encouragement from Matt, I made up the gap and finished 12s in front of her!  With a new PB of 53:16.
If you’ve never tried this race – put it in your diary for next year.

PositionBibNameClubCategoryCategory PositionNet Time 
1501Gus WithersGateshead Harriers & ACMSEN1/7532:11:00
45314Tracy MillmoreBirtley ACFV351/3037:55:00
3233Stephen JacksonElvet StridersMV351/4433:08:00
26272Michael LittlewoodElvet StridersMV407/4636:34:00
28207Georgie HebdonElvet StridersMSEN13/7536:54:00
72379Allan RenwickElvet StridersMV504/3439:23:00
95448Emma ThompsonElvet StridersFV353/3040:58:00
16078Matthew CarrElvet StridersMV4027/4643:40:00
204197Peter HartElvet StridersMV4038/4645:33:00
217487Corrine WhalingElvet StridersFV3510/3046:16:00
29775Karen ByngElvet StridersFV506/1950:51:00
335347Joanne PattersonElvet StridersFV3520/3053:16:00