Category Archives: Fiona Wood

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


Male Michael Littlewood Elvet Striders Vet 40 8/100
Female Rachael Bullock Elvet Striders SNRF 32/93
Female Nicola Whyte Elvet Striders SNRF 33/93
Female Louise Barrow Elvet Striders SNRF 39/93
Male David Selby Elvet Striders Vet 45 82/93
Female Fiona Wood Elvet Striders Vet 35 60/76
Male Alan Smith Elvet Striders V70 5/6
Female Christine Farnsworth Elvet Striders Vet 65 9/9


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Coniston 14, Saturday, March 19, 2016


Fiona Wood

Peter Hart asked Mark Todman and me if we would like to run this one with him as he is currently in serious training for the Edinburgh Marathon. Fast forward a couple of months during which the training I had planned in my head to be ready for this distance did not really come to fruition, there we were the night before the race and I think both Mark and I were feeling a little nervous about it. Mark’s wife looked at our faces and pointed out “you know, you don’t HAVE to do it” and I must admit I was slightly tempted not to. “But, I’ve paid for it!” I said.

Ultimately, I was glad that I did do it. The weather was just right for running, for me at least, cloudy and cool with little wind. There was a great atmosphere in the village and we even had some unexpected cheery encouragement from a couple of Blackhill Bounders who passed us during the first couple of miles. Pete took off after about a minute and Mark got a bit ahead of me as I was worried I was going out too fast but then I realised we were doing the same speed more or less so caught up with him and we ran the rest of the race together. I know the road to Torver fairly well by car and had been worried about how the ‘undulations’ would take their toll. However, I seem to have improved a lot on hills in the last six months and at the six-mile marker all felt good.

There were plenty of water stations which were a welcome chance for a bit of recuperation and also broke up the distance a bit. We had planned to walk the mythical ‘mega hill’ we had spotted on the course profile between miles 11/12 but we ended up doing a bit of walking on some of the others as well during the second half in order to not be completely KOd before the end of the race. Some excellent support en-route, especially from cyclists, both those passing us, and the group parked up doing a loud and hilarious ‘mexican wave’ on the far side of the Lake.

Elaine heading for 7th LadyReally, if you must run 14 miles you may as well do so in such a beautiful location as this. The sun even broke through around mile 11 which made for a lovely springtime feel. Pete met us at the finish where we were handed a slate coaster as a memento and offered water (plain or isotonic!) by some fantastic young volunteers who were working their socks off and giving congratulations to the runners as they did so. Food and cakes were available in the school at the finish. As I have never run 14 miles it was always going to be a PB for me, but also a half marathon PB by 2 mins according to my Garmin which I was very happy with especially for a hilly course that I hadn’t really trained for. I may well be back for more in future years if my knee holds up (as I thought the pain might stop me in my tracks on the final big descent)

Serious kudos must go to Elaine Bisson on her excellent performance as 7th lady with a time of 1.37 and great runs from the other six Striders as well. A well-organised enjoyable race that I would thoroughly recommend.


position name cat cat pos chip time
1 Sam Stead (Keswick AC) MOPEN 1 01:16:27
27 Eleanor Fowler (Nuneaton Harriers) FV35 1 01:28:16
94 Elaine Bisson FV35 2 01:37:01
589 Jean Bradley FV60 4 02:04:09
720 Alan Smith MV65 11 02:10:09
807 Peter Hart MOPEN 183 02:14:18
936 Fiona Wood FV35 54 02:25:19
937 Mark Todman MOPEN 190 02:25:20
1073 Kathleen Bellamy FV35 65 02:51:34

1097 finishers.

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Fiona’s 2019 and goals for 2020

It is pleasing to be able to say that I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved this year.

The London Marathon in April saw me bag a new PB, finishing 13 minutes faster than my previous marathon effort. Not only that, but conditions were near-perfect for me and I paced it well. 
Most importantly, it was a truly wonderful day. 

At the Copenhagen Marathon, 3 weeks later, a much hotter day but a new PB again by another minute, and a fabulous weekend away with friends to boot! 

I didn’t want to lose momentum following the spring’s exertions, so I also participated in the Northumberland Coastal Run for the first time, and then during Autumn I did several trail half(ish!) marathons. 

I closed out the year with a new 10 mile PB at the Brampton to Carlisle Race, and I exceeded my 1000km target for the year, making this my highest mileage year since I started running 10 years ago. I was also very surprised and happy to finish the Ladies’ GP in the top 10 for the endurance category and in the top 20 overall.
Certainly, I am feeling ‘fit at 40’! 

Challenges for 2020:
Hardmoors Half Series
Dark Skies 14
To try to run more consistently and increase my annual mileage
To keep enjoying it!

London Marathon 2019
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