Category Archives: Rachel Terry

Locke Park 20, Redcar, Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rachel Terry

Rachel getting dizzy ...I was a little hesitant in entering this race – a 20 lap course didn’t really appeal to me but it was close to home and would be a good preparation race for my spring marathon so I thought I’d give it a go. PeterMac, Steph and Alister were also entered so we travelled over to Redcar together on a lovely spring morning. There was plenty of parking at the college just opposite the park and within a few minutes we had collected our numbers and commemorative mugs from the bowls club and had plenty of time to relax before the race started. The race was capped at 125 people so it had a bit of a Parkrun atmosphere about it as everyone lined up at the start.

After a few minutes delay we were off on lap one. The route follows the parkrun course, is very flat and winds in and about the park. There are a couple of tight turns, two small bridges to cross and a duck pond with fountain to run around. After the first lap the sun came out and I realised I was going to boil in my thermal layer so quickly stripped down to my vest, dropping my top on my bag as I passed. I figured I could always pick it up again later if it got cool!

To my surprise I really enjoyed the laps and looked forward to seeing the girl handing out jelly beans by the café, taking the first tight corner out of the breeze into the shelter of the trees, heading to the bottom of the park and the half-mile marker that seemed to come round so quickly, along to the marshal shouting out encouraging comments by the first bridge, over the bridge to the smiley marshal who clapped for me every single lap (thank you!), glancing across the pond to try and spot familiar faces to wave and shout encouragement at, over the second bridge to the two lovely ladies, running around the pond past the fountain and then taking the second tight bend and heading back up to the start and water stations. The great bonus of the course was the constant support you had all the way round, not only from the spectators but from locals taking a walk with their kids and all the other runners who passed me or who were passed by me. It really was a great atmosphere. It was also good to know I could grab a drink or pop to the loo at every mile! It was lovely to see fellow Striders Jacquie, Greta, Issy and Bill who came along for the last few laps to cheer us on and hand out Haribo and Freddie frogs! Thanks to you all!

Peter in the Park.
photo courtesy © David Aspin

The race really did exceed my expectations – it was so very friendly, well organised and I’d certainly do it again. All four Striders performed brilliantly with all of us coming in under 3 hours!

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Alnwick Trail Races, Sunday, June 23, 2013

13.1 miles, 10k and kids

Rachel Terry

I spotted a flyer for these races earlier in the year and was immediately attracted by the promise of ‘stunning trails and scenic views’ and the opportunity for the boys to enter the fun runs ‘King of the Castle’ (1km) and ‘The Dirty Rascal’ (2km)! I decided to enter the half marathon and was joined by fellow striders Alister, Bill and Jackie McKenna with Jacquie, Dave and Melanie all running in the 10k. Due to excavation work or, more likely, the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland’s daughter on the same weekend, the start of the race wasn’t at the usual Alnwick Castle but half a mile down the road within Hulne Park. This turned out to be a perfect location for the Terry family with parking right beside the start line, plenty of room for the kids to play cricket and football and to explore the woods whilst waiting for Mum to finish!

Rachel legs it through the park ...

And what a fantastic route through the pastures of Hulne Park followed by trails beside the river Aln and through Brizlee woods. We had to look out for the occasional obstacle too such as a herd of deer crossing over the course at half a mile in and a few wet and slippery cattle grids. The course was quite challenging with a really tough climb around mile 8 where, I admit, I cut my losses and walked up a particular steep hill! However, passing the gothic Brizlee Tower at the highest elevation we were rewarded with stunning views over Northumberland, a drink of water and some jelly babies! Then it was downhill for a mile or so to join the trail back along the river towards the finish.

Medals all round.

After refuelling on a lovely picnic lunch (which ended in the car due to a horrendous downpour) it was the boys turn! They both wanted to run unaccompanied so we had a quick walk round the course and then they were off. The 2k ‘Dirty Rascal’ race went off first (age 7+) and I was a little concerned to see Sammy (age 7) sprinting off with the bigger boys in about 6th place. No time to worry as William (age 5) in the ‘King of the castle’ race was off 2 minutes later in the 1km run (age 3-6). He went past me in first place! The boys disappeared under a bridge out of sight and I sent Michael off to cheer further down the course only to see William already making his way back, still running (thankfully!) and still in first place! How exciting! He crossed the line very red in the face, out of puff but with a glorious smile on his face! Soon after came another mini-Strider, William McKenna, winning the ‘Dirty Rascal’ race closely followed by brother Oliver in 3rd and Sammy in 4th place! What a great result for the Strider children! They all received a great medal and t-shirt and, of course, were treated to a big ice-cream for their efforts!

A beautiful course, combined with fun runs for the kids made for a great day out for all the family. We shall definitely return next year, hopefully with a few more Striders?

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Marathon of the North, Sunderland, Sunday, April 28, 2013

Jacquie Robson and Rachel Terry

Jacquie Robson …

There was a time when I swore I’d never do a marathon. Then I swore I’d never do one again after finding myself sobbing just over 21 miles in to last year’s Marathon of the North. Then, after entering the MOTN again in January of this year, I got injured and ill and injured again during my training, so thought it best to withdraw. So I told everyone that I wasn’t doing it. But then Boston happened, and then I watched the London Marathon. And I’m a Strider. So I thought ‘Hey, I could just START the marathon and see how it goes. What’s the worst that could happen?’. And the day before the marathon I found myself quite excited at the prospect, and self-declared driver of my very own running train: the slow train to completion. Jill Ford and Katie Butler, running in their first marathon, had already decided that a run-walk strategy was a sensible approach, and we took advice from Emma Detchon who did the ‘run a mile, walk a minute’ to perfection last year. Settling on this as our race plan, we gained a few extra passengers: Rob Clark, also looking to get his first marathon under his belt, Sue Jennings and Jo Porter, looking to complete their second marathon in just over a week, both having PB’d at London, and Jo Richardson who accompanied Emma on the run-walk strategy the year before and knew it worked and was planning on running round with Jo P. Other Striders sorted themselves into other ‘trains’ – the ’10 minute mile train’ (driven by Greta) and the 8min 30 mile train, driven by experienced marathon train driver Alister, and all trains (as well as plenty of Striders ‘lone wolves’) had their photo taken in then assembled in purple clusters waiting for the start. After the minute’s silence to remember those affected by the Boston bombings, we were soon away. I was a bit overcome at the start and began chanting some of the inspirational marathon quotes I’d looked up during the week (such as: ‘Run the first part with your brain, the second with your personality and the last part with your heart’ and ‘In the first half don’t be an idiot, in the second half don’t be a wimp!’) before I thought I’d better shut up before the others tripped me up and ran away without me!

The first mile rocketed by. We were supposed to be jogging at 11 minute 30 pace each mile, but it felt so slow that we kept having to rein it in (well, rein Jill in – she was off like a whippet! ‘Rein it in, Mrs F – you’ll thank us for it at 20 miles’, ‘I know, I know, sorry!). We got some strange looks when all seven of us came to a halt at the Mile 1 marker and took our minute’s march, but we kept reassuring spectators that it was all part of the race plan. Mile 2 and 3 ticked by quickly, too, and we picked up a couple of extra passengers – Mike Elliott got on and off the train throughout the first part of the course, and we acquired a lovely lady called Ally who was nervously running her first half-marathon and stuck with us for a while. We collected drinks at each drink stop, managing in most cases to navigate the weird water pouches that choke the unwary drinker, and chomped down some gels or chews ready for later. We enjoyed seeing the other Striders pass us on the switch-back sections, and had a good shout and cheer every time we saw someone we knew. We smiled for all the cameras and thanked all the marshals, high-fived a few kids and generally had a jolly time. At about 8 miles we saw both the other trains pass us and gave them a big shout out – smiles all round at that stage. Unfortunately at about 9 miles we lost Ally – she stopped to see her husband and fell off the back of the train – I hope she finished OK as she was doing great up to that point.

Train crossing ...

On hitting Barnes Park the conversation had gone a bit flat, so Jill started a game of ‘the ABC of wine’ to keep our mind off things, and we enjoyed a couple of big cheers from spectators Jan and Tony – thanks, guys! Before long, we were heading back towards the Stadium and were approaching halfway, all feeling pretty good with the jog a mile-walk a minute working out exactly as planned. Last year, the route came right past the stadium at about the 18 mile marker so we got to see the front runners coming in, but this year the first loop was shorter and we cut around away from the stadium and away from the finishing half-marathoners, being cheered on by some Striders and a couple of Crook AC runners as we passed. Just before 14 miles we spotted Katherine and Mark Preston and we unloaded some kit onto Katherine and posed for some of Mark’s fantastic photos (thank you, Mark!). All was still well at that stage. I was a bit apprehensive approaching the coast as this was where I fell apart last year, but things felt fine and the company was great. As we came up to Sunderland Uni, Jill suddenly realised that she was running a marathon (she hadn’t realised this during the previous 15 miles!) and she had a little moment, and we kept smiling. The loop up and down to the waterside at around 15 -16 miles, however, was quite tough and we took a couple of extra walks to try to keep the train together.

We stuck it out until about 17/18 miles, heading along the coast, when the rain started to come down and the train started to splinter. Jill and I were finding the walking hard going on our knees, and a couple of others were finding the running hard going so the train was no more. I headed off with Jill up the hill and into the horrible downpour, on target for about 5 hours 10 minutes, which was great going for what we had planned. Once the rain stopped we found a good pace and we ploughed on. We spotted Neil Sleeman on his way back towards the stadium and gave him a big cheer (and got one in return) and we pressed on past 19 miles. I braced myself for the wall that hit me (fell on me?) last year, but mile 20 and 21 ticked past, still walking a minute in every mile (and a bit extra up hills) and still making good progress with no hysterical crying. By 22 miles we know we were going to finish, and even though we each had a really tough mile, by the time we reached 24 we started to speed up on the running sections, but still took the walks when we needed them! Realising we were at mile 25 was a great feeling and we started to grin. It was fantastic to see Sunderland parkrun’s David Whitmore waiting for us just before we had the Stadium in sight, and he escorted us for a bit on our run in. Then it was around the corner and up the hill and we could finally see the finish and the great crowd of Striders cheering us in. You can see from Mark’s photos how pleased we were! We were both a bit emotional as we crossed the line (some of us more than others…), and very shocked when we realised we’d come in in just over 5 hours. This was only 10 minutes slower than last year for me – and a heck of a lot less painful – and a more-than-respectable first marathon finish time for Mrs Ford that she’s sure to smash in her next marathon. Sue followed us in not long after – bloomin’ amazing after her sterling efforts at London the week before – then the two Jo’s and Mike. We got back around to the Striders cheer point just in time to cheer in Katie and Rob, both proudly finishing their first ever marathons with Striders smiles on their faces.

Great company, a great atmosphere and a great Striders day out. My London Marathon entry’s in for next year!

… and Rachel Terry

Completing a marathon has been an ambition of mine for quite some time. After recently joining Elvet Striders and having a big birthday this year I thought 2013 should be the year I gave it a go. Being a newcomer to racing I really hadn’t a clue where to start looking for a marathon so thought I would take a look at the Grand Prix races on the Striders website and saw there was a marathon at Sunderland. Perfect … close to home, bound to attract lots of Striders and their supporters and the bonus of GP points up for grabs!

The week before the marathon I was feeling quite nervous, unprepared and not quite sure how to tackle this gruelling race. Furthermore I had developed a worrying pain in my calf. However, after a super pep talk by the lovely Jacquie, including a few inspirational quotes and foam roller advice, I was feeling confident that I could finish this race and maybe even enjoy it.

Race day came and I was up bright and early and jogged round to my friend’s house (thanks Michael!) for a pre-race massage to try to help loosen my sore calf … gosh physio before a race. I felt like an elite athlete! I met up with some other Striders at the Duke and we were on our way! We parked right outside the Stadium of Light, soon met up with a sea of purple for a photo and then I found myself on the start line of a marathon on a rather cold and blustery day! After a minute’s silence to remember those affected by the Boston bombings, we were off!

The first mile was a bit of a blur but I remember having to hold on to my hat in the wind and thinking that this was not going to be easy. I settled into my target race pace (8:15) and began to relax. I had decided to split the race into 5 mile chunks and not to think how far I still had to go. The first 5 miles passed by quickly and I ‘rewarded’ myself with a delicious gel. I’d much rather eat a lovely piece of cake or flapjack but figured I’d soon get fed up carrying a rucksack full of treats so gels it had to be! Heading towards the 10k marker I got a cheer from a friend running in the relay which picked me up and this was soon followed by waves from fellow Striders Neil and Matt already heading back along a switch back section.

I soon found myself entering the lovely Barnes Park and once again saw Matt running in the opposite direction! By this point (mile 10) I wasn’t feeling as fresh as I had hoped and little doubts were being to creep in … but then I had a cheer from Alister’s 8:30 train … and suddenly I found the lovely Jan running beside me forcing a jelly baby into my hand and saying to everyone ‘Sorry I’ve only got enough for Striders … you’re looking great Rach!’ Thanks for your support Jan – much appreciated!

After leaving the Park I got back into my stride and exchanged waves with Greta’s train and a few more Striders along the route. I also got chatting to another marathon first timer which helped pass the time before heading towards the Stadium and the half-way point. I was a little concerned at how I might feel when I split off from the half marathoners but as the bodies thinned out I felt I was running well and started to feel a bit more confident. Around mile 14 I was greeted by cheers and waves from Katherine and Mark Preston. Thanks guys and great photos! I enjoyed the next downhill section to the waterside and spotted Alister’s train again as I struggled back up the hill.

Heading down to the coast was the most enjoyable part of the race for me. The wind was behind me, so I felt I was flying down that hill! I knew I had to make the most of it as I’d soon be running back up, so I lengthened my stride and really enjoyed the run down. I soon settled back into a sensible pace along the seafront and enjoyed the views and fond memories of a wonderful day spent with my children on that very stretch last September. Turning round at the switch-back was a cruel awakening as the wind hit me like a brick wall and I battled back along the seafront. I made it to 20 miles, refuelled and took on some more water. I don’t know how many of those damn water pouches I opened but I never did find the right technique as they either sprayed all over my glasses or I could barely get anything out of them or so much shot out that I choked!

Once I reached mile 22 I was confident I was going to finish. I passed Alister and Graham at a switch back around 23 miles, waved and got a ‘just a park run to go’ from Alister. Shortly after a lady shot passed me and, although I knew I couldn’t catch her, I thought I would try to kick on and my legs responded. Glancing down at my Garmin as I ran through Roker park I was at 7:30 pace … didn’t last long! Turning back along the seafront I hit that wind again and everything came to a grinding halt. There were quite a few men ahead so I dug deep and tried a technique I used in rowing … the ‘hook and wind’ … pick a target ahead, throw an imaginary hook and wind them in.it works for me and I managed to overtake a few people! Katherine and Mark were at the top of the hill cheering me on … sorry no smiles this time, just a determined race face! Then it was a final kick to the stadium, helped along by a few ‘looking strong Strider’ cheers. That last 400m hurt but what a fantastic feeling to cross that finish line! I had completed a marathon and was pretty chuffed with my time too! Would I do it again … well as I got a ‘good for age’ time to qualify for London it would be rude not to!

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Time
1 Jake Harrison Leicester Tri Club M 02:42:23
47 Neil Sleeman M 03:12:09
73 Jess Riches Chester-le-Street F 03:20:46
122 Matt Claydon M 03:28:32
168 Rachel Terry F 03:34:36
213 Graeme Walton M 03:42:10
223 Anna Seeley F 03:42:51
237 Alister Robson M 03:44:00
273 Megan Bell F 03:49:03
351 Jane Ives F 03:55:45
421 Zoe Evans F 04:04:58
450 Andrew Thompson M 04:08:12
526 Angela Proctor F 04:18:32
527 Phil Owen M 04:18:43
529 Kate Thomas M 04:19:04
536 Paul Beal M 04:20:19
548 Jackie Mckenna F 04:22:03
559 John Hutchinson M 04:23:43
560 Jean Bradley F 04:23:43
561 Sarah Fawcett F 04:23:43
573 Brian Ford M 04:25:59
589 Greta Jones F 04:28:22
624 John Greathead M 04:34:24
629 Dave Robson M 04:34:55
718 Jill Ford F 05:01:27
719 Jacquie Robson F 05:01:28
730 Susan Jennings F 05:08:10
737 Joanne Richardson F 05:11:13
738 Joanne Porter F 05:11:14
740 Mike Elliott M 05:12:20
760 Katie Butler F 05:27:56
763 Robert Clark M 05:36:25

781 finishers.

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