Category Archives: Alan Purvis

Kielder Marathon, Sunday, October 17, 2010

Alan Purvis, Shaun Roberts, Andrew Thompson

Alan Purvis …

Alan chatting to Dave before the off.

Why does anybody want to put themselves through the pain of running 26.2 miles?

When I first started serious running over thirty years ago it was regarded as the pinnacle of a lifetime in the sport. About the only marathon around was the Windsor to London and it would have a field of maybe fifty or so small, wiry men who had served their apprenticeship with 5, 10, and maybe 15- or 20-milers. The London Marathon, Great North Run and all the other big events opened the floodgates of ordinary mortals prepared to put in the miles and the effort. There are runners now who have done a marathon but never raced a 10k.

In our own club we have people running the West Highland Way, the Bob Graham Round and not just a single marathon but turning round and doing it all again! The first question asked by non-runners is “Have you done the London Marathon”? Having reached the twilight of my running career this was a serious gap in my record. I became too slow for the Harrier League a couple of years ago, went over an hour for a 10K, two and a half hours for the half-marathon and almost last in the Northumbrian Coastal Run. So when Steve Cram put forward the idea of a run round Kielder I thought “yes,its local, probably flat, not likely to be hot and my last chance.”

Despite the proliferation of marathon training schedules available I relied upon what I know about my capabilities and the time I had available for training. My regular exercise had consisted of two days running on the roads, three days in the gym doing strength work and sessions of rowing, cycling and running, with two days off. The extra work would be three or four early-morning runs, gradually-lengthening long road-runs and only one rest day. I believed that three or four days of multiple sessions would replicate the stress expected in a marathon. Although I knew that it wasn’t recommended to do a training run more than, say, 16 or 17 miles I thought it would be a psychological advantage to get nearer to the target, so I got up to 23 miles. [ Good idea, Ed. ]

Having generally arrived home wrecked after these runs I realised that I would have to take food on board! I entered the world of gels and sports drinks which was a bit different from malt-bread, bananas and Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut bars I used to eat on longer triathlons some years ago! Experimenting with the gels showed that I had difficulty in tearing open the sachets so I took a small pair of scissors to do the job properly without squirting the stuff all over my vest.

At the race itself I was pretty quickly dropped by the majority of the field but, after fears around the eight or nine mile mark that I mightn’t make it, I knew after half-way that I would. My finishing time of over six hours would make many runners think, “Oh he must have walked half of it” but I ran every step of the way although at barely more than a really brisk walking pace. At that speed I didn’t suffer much after the race and, like many people who have done a marathon, I didn’t want to lose all that fitness so ran about sixteen miles a few days after. I even thought about doing the Newcastle Town Moor Marathon in November but, having put my wife through the misery of waiting for her husband to cross the line after most people were back home for tea, I was not too disappointed to have missed the entry date!

… Shaun Roberts …

When this race was announced, we had a lot of talk on the list as to whether the high cost was justified, especially as there didn’t need to be road closures. Well, arriving at Kielder early on this cold and foggy Sunday morning, you could see where some of the money was being spent. Shuttle buses, paid marshals, traffic control, temporary car park roadways – all sorts, that a club-run race normally doesn’t have to pay for. Sadly, though, a bit more time on the planning side might have been a good idea. There was a long queue of cars trying to get over the dam and down to Falstone to park – but the shuttle buses were trying to get up and down this same narrow stony road, which slowed down the whole process. I was surprised that the race was only delayed by fifteen minutes.

Andrew Jean and Margaret.Dougie and Alan.

Very sociable before the off – lots of the usual suspects were here, including quite a few fell-runners. Dave Robson wisely decided not to run with an injury, but was there taking some great photos – see link below. And very photogenic it was too – we’d passed a huge ‘sea’ of white fog coming north from Hexham, and there was a similar fog over the reservoir, that burned off soon before the start, giving some perfect mirrored reflections of the North Shore treeline. Steve Cram, whose brainchild this race was, started us off. He also ran the race, despite recently flying in from Delhi – but his pre-race chat seemed a bit edgy to me, as if he could have done with a bit more sleep.

Off at 10:15, on a short tarmac loop near Leaplish, then onto the Lakeside path. Conditions were perfect – cool, but not too cold, then later bright without getting hot. A bit of a breeze, but nothing too strong, even coming into it across the dam. I set off pretty firmly and found the first stretch up towards the Castle to be fine – faster than I’d done on a recent recce – and I covered about eight miles by the hour mark. I knew that wasn’t going to last though, and sure enough, the endless succession of short hills pulled my pace down a lot, so I only covered another seven miles by the end of the second hour. Most of the surface so far was cycle path gravel, which isn’t the fastest, but it’s quite nice, having a bit of ‘give’ in it. So getting to the tarmac on the dam felt really hard underfoot, and the soles of my feet started to ache – as did the ligament in my right knee that’s been giving me some gip for a couple of months. I didn’t have to walk any hills, though, until just after the twenty-mile mark (2h40m), when my legs were just crying out for a break – I started to walk the steepest slopes.


Into the woods onto Bull Crag Peninsula, where I managed to keep running between short uphill walks. It seemed to take an age to get to the finish – time seemed to slow to a crawl, as I kept checking my GPS to see how much was left: 1m, 0.9m. 0.85m, 0.82m … the last mile seemed to take as long as the first eight had done! Finally, we got to the source of all the loudspeaker noise we’d been hearing for miles across the water but couldn’t see – and the assembled crowds were great. After the elite types had come in, I reckon most spectators were actually bored silly, which is the only way I can explain the huge cheers that went up as I put up a thumb to the left. I did the same to the right – more cheers. Sod it, I’ll really get them going, I thought, so I did an arms-wide, aeroplane-stylee set of swerves to the finish, and they went wild! All very nice, and it started to erase the memories of the last few miles.

The queue for a massage was pretty short, so within five minutes of finishing I was sprawled on a table with a young scouse masseuse pummelling my aching legs. For some reason, the organisers had roped in twenty sports massage students from a Liverpool college – excellent! Hope they got paid. Just what the doctor ordered – until I tried to stand up afterwards. Jelly legs! In fact there were a lot of runners hobbling around, asking themselves, and others, why this had been such a hard run. The simple answer was: the endless undulations. No really massive hills, but an awful lot of smaller ones, that stopped you getting in to any real rhythm. Saw Fiona afterwards, who’d had a good race, also Andrew and Grahame who’d also done well, on what is a very hard marathon course – well done to everyone else who got round …

Just time to experience one last niggle on this first-run event. Had to wait over forty minutes to get on a shuttle bus back to the car park – as I could have seen coming, the buses had again got caught up in the stream of traffic leaving the car park. Time for a good chat with a bloke who’d just run the race in his Vibram FiveFingers, which is to say, close to barefoot! He’d had a good run for 25 miles, but the chunky stony finish got to him in the end.

… Andrew Thompson

Just to add a bit to Shaun’s report, this race was a funny one – the hundreds (thousands?) of little hills were hard but also had downs to go with the ups which did give recovery time in readiness for the next bit. Not going to mention PMA this time though, for Dougie’s sake, think he is getting sick of my ‘run at them screaming’ chat.

It did get very tough towards the end – the hill at 20 miles was a killer. I managed (apart from half of the above mentioned hill) to run the whole route so I was pleased with myself about that, even though I slowed down a lot towards the end. I also did exactly the same as Shaun – the last mile I found myself checking my watch every ten steps wishing it over. When I checked three times and it was still on 25.27 miles I gave up on that and a minute later I found myself singing ‘Holiday’ by Weezer very, very loudly (without an ipod) while stumbling over the moors – think I lost the plot a bit there! I went past one man in tears sobbing loudly but I’m not sure if that was my vocals or the never ending last mile. Great route overall, not easy but it was never going to be. I’ll be back next year.

One last thing: thanks to Dave for appearing at the top of three different hills on the route armed with his camera – the encouragement was appreciated, reckon he must have covered nearly marathon distance himself …



Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 ZAK KIHARA Kenya M 1 2:29:06
15 LIZZY HAWKER Road Runners Club F 1 2:58:22
79 FIONA SHENTON F 12 3:33:29
99 SHAUN ROBERTS M 87 3:36:18
226 ANDREW THOMPSON M 192 3:53:13
322 GRAHAME ARROWSMITH M 271 4:04:55
629 DOUGIE NISBET M 499 4:42:03
696 JEAN GILLESPIE F 154 4:49:27
765 MARGARET THOMPSON F 180 4:59:48
926 ALAN PURVIS M 689 6:11:49

934 finishers.
Honourable mentions to Andy Biggs (DCH), 3:34:48, Phil Green (NFR), 4:30-ish, Steve Gustard (DFR) 4:42:04, Chris Hassell (NeVets) 3:49:38, Linda Noble (Darlo) 3:28:51. Steve Cram finished 158th in 3:46:12.

(Visited 51 times, 1 visits today)

Ampleforth Trail Race, Sunday, October 11, 2009

7 miles

Alan Purvis

Alan before the off.A glimpse of a habitat populated by privileged youth was offered to competitors in the Ampleforth 7M Trail Race. Benedictine monks found the perfect place to found their abbey in a hidden valley in the Hambleton Hills at the southern end of the North York Moors. The start/finish was in the grounds of Ampleforth College, sometimes called the “Catholic Eton”. I counted seven rugby pitches and two cricket squares complete with ‘mock Tudor’ pavilions, as well as a running track and swimming pool. For pupils to enjoy these facilities they need parents who can afford fees of a cool £26,500 a year! It was midday on Sunday but there was no sign of the residents of the magnificent stone buildings as we made our way to the start.

‘A scenic off-road race through woodland and forest’. Although this description was quite accurate it didn’t mention that the difference between the altitude of the start/finish and the highest point on the course was over 100 metres! Almost the whole event was along forest trails with some very steep ascents and descents which quickly spread out the field of about one hundred.

I had a battle at the back of the field with two women and a man – passing them and being passed according to the gradient. Running along a narrow path I heard a polite request, “Can I just pop by you here?”. Being a gentleman I allowed her through but managed to pass her on the flat run in to avoid the ignominy of being last!

As we left we saw a couple of the “young gentlemen” emerge from the village pub. Perhaps they were all in there!

Footnote: Rule of St Benedict and the School Motto “….do now what will profit us forever” – probably one of the earliest exhortations to get some training in!

(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)

Sedgefield Serpentine, Sunday, September 13, 2009

7 miles

Alan Purvis

Serpentine Lake at Hardwick Hall.The Race Headquarters were billed as the Hardwick Arms on Sedgefield High street but registration was at a barber’s shop two doors down the street. The mirrors were very useful for those wishing to have their number pinned absolutely horizontally on to the vest or to add that last touch of lipstick!

While I was in the shop the village bobby came in to express concern that we may get caught up in the cycling Tour of Britain passing nearby at the same time but the organiser was able to reassure him that we wouldn’t set foot on any of the roads.

That was confirmed during the course of the race when we ran on every possible type of surface other than than lovely flat smooth tarmac! Before the start we were warned that we were to run through a field of heifers but the starter assured us that they had promised not to trample on any of the competitors!

The first part of the race took us through the newly-transformed grounds of Hardwick Hall. Here we ran around and across the winding lake which gives the race its ‘serpentine’ name. From there it was field paths with rather tussocky grass which made it more of a cross-country race. Though only half a mile longer than a 10K it did seem to go on forever and I was horrified to be told that I had reached half-way when I was already hoping the finish was around the next corner!

Despite the excellent marking of the route with arrows and tapes a few people, including me, went wrong in the last field and added five minutes to their times. Jean Bradley was the only other Strider but there were two faces familiar to older members – Suzanne Kirkup, once of the Harriers but a long-standing member of Chester le Street, and Erica Eniz who will be known to some of our triathletes.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Terry Wall Morpeth M 37:56
35 Susan Milburn Newton Aycliffe AC FV50 52:44
46 Jean Bradley FV50 56:43
70 Alan Purvis MV70 76:59

73 finishers.

(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)

Kensington 8K, Washington DC, Monday, October 27, 2008

Alan Purvis

“Kensington 8K, Saturday, September 27th” said the banner across the road. I always try to find a race while away on holiday and this one was almost within running distance from where I was staying. But this wasn’t your actual Kensington High Street in our capital city – this was in Washington DC. And it wasn’t just a race but part of a family fun-day. Mom, Dad and the kids all turned out in their oversize tee-shirts which had to be collected the day before. Almost no-one dressed in our familiar cutaway shorts and vests and I saw no running club names. Even so, the first ten were doing five-minute miles.

Before the 8:30 am start, quiet was asked for and everyone stood for the US national anthem, played on a saxophone with an extravagant arpeggio on the final high note. Conditions were very warm and humid after thunderstorms the previous evening which caused an electricity cut right in the middle of the presidential election debate between McCain and Obama whose names are splashed across every front garden here.

All of the six hundred or so runners were from Maryland or DC, except one from Florida and another from California. I was down as being from ‘Durham, CO.’ (Colorado)’! The route passed through closed roads in a residential area and around a park. I thought I was doing well up to the half-way mark but realised, on the way back, that it had been mostly downhill from the start. I must have looked pretty bad at the end as, when I unlaced my shoe to release the transponder which triggered the timing for the race, a young lady re-tied the shoe for me! I finished 371 out of 566 and was placed third in my age group which is designated here as 70-99! Seems a bit tough on the 90 year olds to be racing against youngsters in their eighties!

After the race we watched, live on TV, Hull City beat the mighty Arsenal, and finished the day with a meal at the Bombay Club, with valet parking, only a block away from the White House. Bit of a comedown when we go back to eating at the Millenium Indian Restaurant only a stone’s throw from County Hall!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Steve Hallinan Washington DC M22 1 25:50
371 Alan Purvis Durham CO M70 3 48:57

566 finishers

(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)

Staveley Stampede, Knaresborough, Sunday, August 31, 2008

Andy Jordan and Alan Purvis

Andy Jordan …

The Staveley Stampede – 10 mile (or so they said) – a brand new mixed-terrain race for 2008 based in the lovely Yorkshire village of Staveley (just off the A1 at the Boroughbridge turn). The weather was a bit humid but not too bad for a 10 mile run. The day started well as I found the start with little bother and was at race HQ in the local village hall just after 10am. The village was out in force already preparing the food for the after party on 2 large barbecues (the burgers were very good at the end of the race) and numerous cake stalls for the more discerning runner … why have carbo-gel when you can have a home cooked muffin?

The race started at 11am and I set off at a good pace on the local roads. However, when I reached the 2 mile marker I checked my watch and was disappointed to say the least when my watch said 26 minutes. I thought I had started well and kept trying to glance at other runners’ Garmins to see what was going on. No joy on that front so I got into a rhythm and kept plodding on. At the mile 4 marker on the cross country section I asked the marshal a seemingly stupid question – ‘how far have we run?’ The answer … ‘about 6 miles mate’. From there the last 4 miles were mainly on tracks and road back to the village hall. So the inaugural Staveley Stampede 10 mile race turned out to be about an 11.5 mile race thanks to the first marshal on the very first bend who sent us all on an extra loop. Hopefully next year they will get it right and if so I would heartily recommend the race (and the village pub).

… and another report on this one from Alan Purvis

This event meant a trip of fifty-five miles to try out a new ten-mile race at Staveley near Knaresborough. The race was advertised on a web-site and took on-line entries. They sent a very comprehensive race-pack with a map and description of the venue and the race itself. Race headquarters were in the village hall, which had produce for sale outside and there was a barbecue afterwards.

And then what happened ? The runners were all sent the wrong way by the very first marshal! I wondered what was going on when a van, which had been at the start, passed the race tooting on its horn. After a while we were all directed back to the race route by another marshall shouting, “You’ve all got an extra two miles to run!”

The extra miles, in one sense, added to my enjoyment as, instead of my usual head-down, check the mile-markers effort, I enjoyed a long conversation, over the first four miles or so, with a fellow runner. He was brought up in the area and said that at one point you could see Menwith Hill to the west and the White Horse on the Cleveland Hills to the east – if it hadn’t been so misty! As we went through Staveley, apart from pointing out the old station and the cricket ground, he waved to a couple outside their house, saying, “She was an old girl-friend of mine!” You don’t get that in most races!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Nigel Thompson Lytham St. Annes Rrc M40 1:06:11
18 Jacqui Dews Holmfirth Harriers F 1 1:21:41
59 Andy Jordan M 1:33:49
119 Alan Purvis M70 1:52:30

149 finishers.

(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)

Beamish 10K, Sunday, June 29, 2008

Alan Purvis and Andy Jordan

Alan Purvis …

The Beamish Tram Challenge is certainly unique. Where else do you get the opportunity to chase a tram? In some respects I was better placed than the majority of runners in that I was around when trams and trolley buses were the latest mode of transport. I became pretty good at jumping on and off when they were still moving!

This was a highly organised event with a four-page list of instructions, much of which was to prevent people getting free entry to the Museum. The staff at Beamish, including their numerous volunteers, turned out in force to marshall what was a quite complicated course.

The proceedings started at 9 00am with a fun run of one-lap of the tram-track. The race was started by the author of the “Horrible Histories” series of chidren’s books, Terry Deary, who is a runner himself with Quakers. About fifty youngsters, some accompanied bt their parents, took part including James Reeves with his Dad, Tom.

When all the stragglers got back to the Town it was the turn of the adults to show their paces. I was beating the tram for the first ten yards over the cobbles but was soon left behind. We completed two laps of the tram circuit passing familiar features such as the colliery village, the main entrance, the fairground and the bandstand, encouraged by Debs Goddard outside the Cooperative Stores. Just before we turned onto the paths around Pockerley Manor I was lapped by the leader.

The second half of the race took us up and down hills steep enough to reduce some competitors to walking. This was followed by a long trek around the edges of ploughed fields and a stream crossing before a steeply descending track took us to the finish. The sight of Beamish Hall ahead encouraged a last effort but this was prolonged by a tour of the outbuildings behind the Hall before the finish line. As well as a rather smart black tee-shirt we received a passable picnic with a ham sandwich, a packet of crisps, an apple and an orange drink.

Striders were represented by Andrew Jordan, Philip Owen, Tom Reeves and Dave Robson. I jokingly asked Dave if he was doing another race later in the day. He wasn’t but only because he had run the 5K time trial at Middlesbrough followed by a race at Kendal on the previous day!

… Andy Jordan

Can you beat the tram at Beamish? Simple answer. No. One thing that I have learnt from this race is that trams are deceptively quick. I have also discovered that I quite enjoy 10k races as this was my first ever attempt at the distance and my first run as a strider. The race had a friendly atmosphere and it was great to be running with the club as it meant I recognised a few faces at the start line. Having only been to Beamish a couple of times I had not realised that it is actually quite hilly and the second part of the race (the off road bit) was harder than I thought it would be. However, all 5 striders who entered made it round without any mishap and we managed to win the team event as well which was a huge bonus for my first club run. Can’t wait for next year now that we have a title to defend!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Nick Swinburn Morpeth M 32:58
12 Tracy Laws Chester le St FV 46:18
17 Thomas Reeves MV 42:24
77 Andrew Jordan M 49:25
99 Phil Owen MV 51:23
118 Dave Robson MV 53:11
156 Alan Purvis MV 1:00:24

180 finishers

(Visited 36 times, 1 visits today)

Harrier League, Blyth, Saturday, December 15, 2007

Alan Purvis

After waiting for years for a new Harrier League venue two came along at once! No sooner had we found our way to Wrekenton last year than we were taken right out of our comfort zone, last Saturday, to East Cramlington Nature Park. Fortunately host club Blyth had clearly signposted the roads and there were acres of parking space at the Nature Park.

The course consisted of three two-mile laps on grassy paths alongside coniferous plantations. It was undulating rather than hilly without the killer climbs of, say, Farringdon or Prudhoe. The surface was mostly frozen after a week of sub-zero temperatures with one particularly difficult stretch over what had been churned up mud before the freeze. The faster runners found some corners quite slippery and there was one deep ditch which brought the downfall of at least one competitor.

The Strider tent had another outing and was big enough to also accommodate Durham City whose captain, Alan Rowell, had thought there were going to be insufficient Harriers to justify putting up their tent. In the event they had eight men while Striders had nine men and seven women.

There were debut runs for Steven Lindsay and Phil Owen for the men. Tom Reeves was the our first male counter while Donna James was our fastest woman and third overall, justifying her one hundred and fifty mile round journey from Thirsk. Fiona’s son, Robert, had his first senior outing with the Harriers and we saw, back to the Harrier League scene, long-term injured Bob Brown and Roger Wright.

As usual there was plenty of support in both races and plenty of replacement carbohydrates aftewrwards.

Shaun adds:
Very nice undulating (only) grassy course (round a central ‘bowl’) which was either frozen solid or boggy depending on whether it was in the sun or not. Probably even better next time – i.e. without the rock-hard churned up mud sections.

Fiona adds:
Well done to all at Cramlington, freezing cold but at least sunny – not nearly enough mud for you Sue!



Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 RUSSELL, Kristopher Low Fell RC 34:26
121 REEVES, Tom 40:48
133 BENNETT, Mike 41:11
178 ROBERTS, Shaun 42:47
189 LINDSAY, Steve 43:30
202 WHITE, Conrad 44:06
204 WESSON, Keith 44:12
239 ROBSON, Dave 47:12
256 OWEN, Phil 51:03
265 PURVIS, Alan 56:27

267 finishers.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 MATTHEW, Kerry Chester-le-Street 25:34
7 JAMES, Donna 28:01 * fast pack
34 LAYTON, Roz 29:54
42 ELLIOTT, Karen 30:23
57 SHENTON, Fiona 31:30 * fast pack
62 SCOTT, Stephanie 32:17
66 GODDARD, Debs 32:32
72 YOUNG, Jan 33:39

78 finishers.

(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)

Robin Hood 10K, Monday, August 20, 2007

Dave Robson and Alan Purvis

Dave Robson

A cold August evening. A complicated route, but to keep it simple it was two long laps followed by a short one. There was a crossing point where runners were coming across you and you had to time it right. There were also sections where runners were coming towards you and also points where you merged with faster runners. I also got stung by something and a few other runners were as well. Not a flat course – it had a few short sharp climbs. Mike, Alan and Ann ran. A mug, fruit and a lollipop (of course) to all finishers.

A sting in the tail by Alan Purvis

The Robin Rood 10K (Aug 20) was a new event having switched from the roads of Jarrow and Hebburn to an off-road venue in Primrose between Jarrow and South Shields. The race is sponsored by the Robin Hood public house which is situated about eight miles into the Great North Run route. The pub was advertised as the race headquarters but a glance into the bar revealed only dedicated Monday evening drinkers rather than runners.

The true headquarters were three white tents, pitched on a field nearby, for use as registration and changing accommodation. The organisers neatly avoided producing an entry form by simply taking details over the counter.

Despite the first-time status of the race most of the regular die-hards were in evidence. The course consisted of two four-kilometre laps and one two-kilometre lap. It made full use of the valley of the River Don with plenty of short ups and downs along tarmac paths and grassy bits.

Four Striders took part – Mike Bennett, Dave Robson, Alan Purvis and Ann Rush – and pretty much ran to expectations considering the twisting and turning course.

Several runners reported being stung by wasps including the author of this piece! I was told at the finish, “There’s some vinegar over there” which wasn’t much comfort as the last time I was stung it put me into A+E to reduce severe facial swelling! Luckily on this occasion the swelling was confined to my arm although it did last three days!. I was told that wasps home in on the carbon dioxide breathed out by a potential destroyer of their nest. There was obviously plenty of CO2 around at the tail of this race!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Stewy Bell Chester-Le-Street & Dist AC V40 1 33:43
21 Angela Hibbs Claremont RR L 1 40:29
31 Michael Bennett V50 2 41:48
112 Dave Robson V55 9 49:58
149 Alan Purvis V65 6 58:18
159 Ann Rush L45 6 1:02:07

171 finishers

Team Results

Pos Club Points
1 Jarrow & Hebburn AC 27
10 Elvet Striders 188

12 men’s teams counted

(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)

NE XC Championships, Herrington Country Park, Saturday, December 9, 2006

Alan Purvis

These Championships were held at Herrington Country Park on Saturday 9 December. The venue was chosen as a dress rehearsal for the National Championships which will take place here in March 2007.

NE Xc Champs

The whole area was reclaimed from pit workings and has been landscaped to form hills and lakes. The course consisted of a run-out to a large lap over initially flat land and then a stiffish climb to a summit before descending and returning to the run-in to the finish.

As a result of the recent wet weather, but probably also through the poor drainage of reclaimed land, the course cut up very easily and after hundreds of feet had passed over the surface it became a quagmire over much of the distance.

The senior men did three laps over the twelve kilometre event while the women covered eight kilometres in their two laps. Despite the mud the times of the leading athletes were very impressive and weren’t very much slower than for similar distances on the roads.

While the catchment area for the event was larger than the Harrier League, including as it did Cleveland and North Yorkshire, the fields were substantially smaller. Perhaps, with reason, many of the slower runners felt that the “Championships” were more daunting than lesser events and therefore didn’t enter. However those who did run had a preview of the Nationals in March.

Striders had five men and one woman competing which meant we didn’t make a team in either event.

(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)

Derwentwater 10M, Sunday, November 5, 2006

Alan Purvis

Four Striders made the trip to Keswick for the forty seventh running of this popular race. While the route is basically around Derwentwater there are plenty of hills and spectacular views along the way.

Nearly 500 competitors filled the the traffic-free Market Place before setting out through the narrow streets on their way up Borrowdale. Here the undulating road gave some warning of what was in store on the other side of the lake. After crossing the River Derwent at Grange the route climbed 220 ft along the side of that familiar feature of the view from Keswick – Cat Bells. Then it was mostly downhill through the village of Portinscale and on the finish at Keswick School.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 SCOTT, Mike Border Harriers M40 1 53:56
12 ROBINSON, Rebecca Kendal A.C. F 1 58:12
189 Kathryn Banks F 25 75:12
425 Alan Purvis M65 94:53
428 Christine Farnsworth F55 95:32
431 Barrie Evans M60 95:38

485 finishers

(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)