Tag Archives: Joanne Patterson

Brass Monkey Half Marathon, York Racecourse, Sunday, January 14, 2018

Joanne Patterson

Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t like distance. In fact, I’m pretty sure most of you would say that I don’t even like running. So when I found myself up at 5.40am on a Saturday in October, in a queue for a queue for a place in the 2018 Brass Monkey, I did wonder what on earth was wrong with me.

I hadn’t got along with distance in the past – I had done the Great North Run in 2016 and it hadn’t gone at all to plan. Looking back, I wasn’t ready. I thought I had trained enough, but I was vastly underprepared for the mental strength that would be required. I completed it, but I hated myself, my life, running, the world etc. etc (always the drama queen). I remember seeing my Dad at the end and just collapsing into his arms in a big snotty blubbering heap, vowing to never run another half marathon as long as I lived. I was gently persuaded to try the distance again at Brass Monkey 2017 to see if it was the distance that I didn’t like, or if it was just that particular race. I, unfortunately, picked up a chest infection in November, and couldn’t train much at all, but to be fair, I had no intention of racing it, and I knew I could complete the distance. I did; in exactly the same time that I ran the Great North Run.

Fast forward to October 2017 – fate had got me a place in Brass Monkey again. I was determined to train properly and give this a real try this time. My times had been improving over the year, gaining good PB’s over 5k and 10k – I could do this. A good friend had been giving me lots of advice and support and constantly encouraging me to have a little faith in myself, and in my training. He even convinced me to run Gibside Fruit Bowl and Loftus Poultry Run, as the hills would be good training. (Our friendship almost didn’t survive the joys of Gibside).

Due to some personal circumstances I had been struggling a little with my mental health and had been signed off work for quite a long time to try and work through them. Training for this race helped me in a way I can’t even describe. Having a goal to focus on, gave me a reason to get out of bed. But it also stood in the way sometimes and convinced me that I was kidding myself, that there was no point even trying.

In my heart, I knew I was capable of a PB, having run the previous 2 attempts in 2:23:59. I wanted to dream of sub 2 hours, but I just didn’t think there was any point. No way could I sustain the required pace over 13.1 miles and I so desperately didn’t want to be disappointed. So I admitted to myself that I would be happy with sub 2:05, which would have been a nice 18 minute PB.

I drove myself down to York instead of jumping on the Strider bus. I wanted to remain slightly incognito so that I could focus properly. A little warm up and then off to the start. I positioned myself behind the sub 2-hour section and waited with more nerves than I have ever felt.

The plan was to run 5k easier than race pace, then 10k at race pace and the final 6k with everything I had left. I was nervous that I would become too comfortable with the easy pace, and not be able to pick it up when I needed to, so the plan kind of went out of the window 1km in. I felt good. My pace was slightly faster than race pace, but it felt comfortable. I saw Allan, Lesley and Graeme and a selection of Strider children, and I actually smiled and waved – never been known. I saw Catherine around 6k and tried to keep her in my sights to keep me going, but at the second water stop, she took some kind of super gel and went off like a whippet.

So feeling good lasted a while, I was enjoying myself but trying not to get too carried away, listening to people around me chatting with their friends (and wondering how they could manage it). I started to slow down around 16k – there is something about hearing “only a parkrun to go” that just messes with my brain – it’s not comforting to know that! I was very aware that I had slowed down and tried to push a bit more, but I had nothing left. Perhaps if I had followed “the plan” I may have had something left, but alas, all I could do was my best. I had never managed to run the entire distance without stopping for a walk, so my next goal was to make sure I didn’t stop, even though a lot of runners around me seemed to be defeated by the “hills”. I was actually thrilled to see the “hills”, it was a nice change from all the flat (this is now on my ‘things-I-never-thought-I’d -say’ list) and I managed to lose a few people so I think I will thank Cross Country experience for that!

Running down into the racecourse felt amazing. I knew I was almost there. I had nearly done it – I didn’t look at my watch, I knew that I hadn’t managed a sub 2 but I had no idea by how much, but it didn’t matter now. I had run the whole way, I had mostly enjoyed it, and really soon I could stop!!! When I think about the finishing straight now, I get goosebumps. A collection of Striders were at the front and they were all I could hear – their roars of support brought out the last of what I had left and I sprinted as fast as I could to the finish, overtaking around 5 runners (Michael, Lesley, Stephen and Matt – thank you so much). My official time came through as 2:00:57. Nowhere near as far over the 2-hour mark as I had convinced myself, and a massive 23 minute PB.

But this, of course, means I will have to do it again next year….

Overall PositionBibno.Finish time Chip time Participant Category
1124001.07.1501.07.12Jamie Parkinson
THAMES HARE & HOUNDS
(M) Open Senior
72185401.19.0601.19.02Tracy Millmore
Birtley
(F) V35
1382901.12.4501.12.41Stephen Jackson(M) Open Senior
30131101.15.0501.15.01Gareth Pritchard(M) V35
6997501.18.5001.18.44Michael Littlewood(M) V40
8524201.19.4801.19.43Chris Callan(M) V35
1024001.21.2601.21.19Matthew Archer(M) V35
144133701.23.0701.23.00Phil Ray(M) V35
19475901.25.4101.25.25David Hinton(M) Open Senior
19564101.25.4301.25.38Mark Griffiths(M) V40
265162801.28.4801.28.28Emma Thompson(F) V35
2693201.28.5201.28.45Michael Anderson(M) Open Senior
433134801.35.5101.35.24Allan Renwick(M) V45
4458501.36.1501.35.49Michael Barlow(M) V40
516112101.38.2501.37.57Dan Mitchell(M) V40
59767001.41.3001.41.01Jonathan Hamill(M) V40
771184801.47.3501.46.48Katy Walton(F) V35
78239001.47.5401.46.54Andrew Davies(M) V40
79270701.48.1101.47.09Peter Hart(M) V40
800144401.48.3801.47.36Anna Seeley(F) V35
85254301.50.4001.49.39Mark Foster(M) V35
936145001.53.4801.52.46Chris Shearsmith(M) V40
101697601.56.4601.55.58Wendy Littlewood(F) V35
1070141201.58.1701.57.15Lisa Sample(F) V35
108619701.58.3901.57.37Alex Brown(M) V45
1113150001.59.4401.58.42Catherine Smith(F) V40
11688602.01.5002.01.02Stephanie Barlow(F) V40
1180124502.02.2102.00.57Joanne Patterson(F) V35
130674002.09.4702.08.02Alison Heslop(F) V45
132886202.11.3702.10.02Debbie Jones(F) V45
1330105602.11.4202.10.06Debbie Mcfarland(F) Open Senior
1333129802.11.5602.10.21James Potter(M) V35
134451102.12.4702.11.01Kirsten Fenwick(F) V35
136721202.16.2602.14.41Vicky Brown(F) V35
14509002.30.4602.29.01Kerry Barnett(F) V45
146460202.36.4702.35.01Rebecca Gilmore(F) Open Senior
1481165602.51.5402.50.12Rachel Toth(F) V40
1486TOTAL RUNNERS
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Red Kite Trail Race, Dipton, Stanley, Sunday, July 9, 2017

8 miles

Joanne Patterson

July would be the month I would take part in 5 races – clearly I was very keen at the start of the year, and signed up for most things that I missed last year due to getting into running just that bit too late forthe popular races.

4th of July saw me take part in my first Bridges of the Tyne – I was really looking forward to this race – it was only 5 miles, mostly flat, I had been running quite well I thought – this could be my race. But apparently, attempting to race on a school dinner and a packet of hula hoops isn’t advisable. I struggled from the first mile, both physically and mentally. I finished the race feeling disappointed in myself and completely disillusioned with running.

This is when being part of a close-knit club comes in very useful. I had some great advice and caring words from my fellow clubmates (namely, Mark, Vics, Matt , Tim & Catherine).

  • You put too much pressure on yourself
  • Pick one of your races that you want to do well in, and focus on that. Use other races as training runs
  • You need to make running fun again, and not about PBs and beating yourself
  • Mix it up – try not to focus on times for a bit

I took this all on board when I decided I would still take part in the Red Kite Trail run on 9th July. This was 8 miles of trail – basically four miles downhill and then four back up. I was never going to be very good at this race, but before Tuesday, a silly part of me would beat myself up massively, regardless of the result. Taking all this advice on board, I decided I would run my own race – not worry about competing with anybody, not caring if I was last Strider home. Taking it back to how it used to be, and trying to enjoy running instead of turning it into something negative.

I arrived at the Community Centre in Dipton (practically next door to my daughter’s nursery school) and immediately found some Strider friends, who all seemed to be in the same frame of mind. We had the usual photo opportunities, then out to the front for the start.

Running on Tarmac in Trail shoes is a bizarre feeling on your feet, but before I knew it we were off road. Down some glorious grassy hills into the middle of the countryside. The sun was shining, I had a pretty awesome playlist on my phone and things felt good. Up until mile 3, I had to stop like a million times to climb over stiles (possibly exaggerated), this would normally have frustrated me as it would ruin my splits – but today, i was thankful for the stop, trying to take it all in. Chatting with fellow runners and thanking marshalls. There were a few ropey ankle situations, which reminded me of cross country, and I saw an injured Mr Bisson hobbling back to the start (it doesn’t matter how many times he reminds me of his name, I always want to call him Mr Bisson – i guess that’s what happens when you are married to a club celeb like First Lady Bisson). Throw in a refreshing stream crossing (i can confirm going straight through is more advisable than trying to cross the rocks – is that right Anna??) and before I knew it, I was at the halfway point.

I had seen the elevation profile prior to the race, so I knew what I had ahead of me. I stopped at the water station (something I would never normally do), drank some water and inspected the massive blister forming on my big toe. This running thing is so glam. Off i went again, expecting the next 4 miles to literally be a sheer vertical climb. Happily it wasn’t quite as bad as that – some running through fields, into the woods and straight into a massive muddy bog. At some points in this run, there was nobody behind me, and nobody in front of me – it was almost like somebody had just marked out a nice Sunday route for me. I tried to catch up with a runner in front, as I felt more comfortable with somebody in front, so that I could follow them and not end up lost!

So the elevation profile was true to its word – the hills made cross country hills seem like nothing. I was comforted to see everyone walking the hills – this had been my plan. I got talking to some lovely ladies from Morpeth Harriers, and we encouraged each other to run the flats and downhills, then catch each other on the next uphill. Up to the top of the last hill, and i saw the place i get my nails done, so i knew where i was. I blasted the last little bit to the finish line, mouthing “Jesus Christ” to Catherine and Anna who were waiting at the finish line for me. Hugs from the Morpeth ladies reminded me what a great sporting community I am part of.

Considering I am from the area, these were trails I never knew existed. The sights and smells and a renewed view of what running means to me made this a great run. Thank you so much to my ever suffering team mates for helping to get me here. I’m not saying that I can treat every race like this, but, for now you have helped me more than you realise.

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Harrier League: Thornley Hall Farm, Thornley Hall Farm, Saturday, February 11, 2017

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Mud King/Mud Queen Race - click flag for more information.

Joanne Patterson

So the day had arrived.  I had been awake most of the night listening to the rain lashing off the windows and dreading the fact that I had to face my demons and have my second try at this NEHL fixture.  My first attempt at it (in fact, my first attempt at XC since I was at school) hadn’t gone great.  As is probably common knowledge by now, I got too carried away and had a nasty fall around 100m from the finish, and so didn’t get to cross the finish line.

I had arranged to travel to Thornley with Tamsin, she picked me up early and we agreed that we must be mad.  It rained the entire journey.  Pictures were being posted on Facebook of the mud and the conditions, which did nothing to calm the nerves and dread.

We arrived at the farm and it was immediately obvious that this was going to be tough.  Everywhere you looked there was mud.  Nowhere near as much grass as I remembered from the first time.

I hunted out the Striders tent and a few of us huddled inside to keep warm.  The tent filled up, the chattering and laughing started, and I didn’t feel quite as nervous.  Knowing that even you seasoned XC pros were dreading it just as much as me, really helped!  I popped out with Kerry and Catherine to cheer on the U11’s, so we could see future Strider Lewis Littlewood having a really good run.  Lots of U13s passed in the next race, minus one or both trainers in some cases – Christ.  I was going to lose my new trainers wasn’t I?  Another thing to worry about!  Shortly after that we headed back to the tent to take off our multiple layers of warm clothing ready for battle.  A few team photo’s (in the warmth of the tent) and we heard the call for the ladies to line up!

We all huddled together (with hardcore vest-wearing Lesley in the centre of the huddle) to try and keep warm, as the rain turned to sleet and we were told there was a 15 minute delay.

This soon passed, and the gun went off.  The first part of the race seems to pass in a blur.  Lots of fast ladies passing me, but I felt I was holding my own in my part of the pack.  Off the grass and through the biggest, icy cold puddle I have ever experienced – wow that was actually fun.  The first hill was slippy slidy mud – I tried to run up it the best way I could, but I don’t think you could describe it as running.  I hear cries of “I can’t do this” from other runners and I immediately feel in good company!  There was literally no avoiding any of the mud or puddles, and I just ended up embracing it, with my main worry being to stay upright.  It was horrible.  It was hard.  My feet were so heavy, the hail bounced off my face like someone had just thrown stones at me.  I can’t do this.  It’s too hard, it’s not for me.  I won’t make a difference – all the faster ladies are way ahead – they make the difference for us.  Not long after these thoughts, I see 2 purple vests holding up an injured Mandy.  Oh no somebody is hurt.  Oh no they’re some of our fast ladies.  She seems really hurt.  I should stop and help.  No Joanne, she has help, she will be ok.  But if I help, I won’t need to run anymore.  But we have potentially lost 3 ladies.  You need to run, you need to do all that you can for the team.  So I keep running.

Massive huge hill.  Jan Ellis has placed herself perfectly in the middle of the hill.  You can’t stop now, she will see you.  You can get up the hill.  I imagine Jon Ayres shouting at me about my arms, and I get up the hill with Jan’s support ringing in my ears.  Wow that was hard.  I think I am going to die – oh great, look here’s Phil and Di with a camera….I carry on steadily, always worrying about falling – I will look like such an idiot if I fall again.  My favourite part of the whole course, is the downhill bit which leads upto the hill next to all the tents – for some reason, I really like that hill.  I take at least 2 ladies with the men shouting support as I went.  I think I may have sworn halfway up, but I didn’t stop.  Crap.  I have to do that whole thing AGAIN?!  For all my mile times on my garmin were a lot slower, it felt like the second lap went so much faster.  I was back around to my favourite part again in no time, met by more male Strider support, plus some comment from Jon about my arms (supportive I’m sure).  I didn’t look over, I just put everything I had into that last hill and passed another 2 ladies (who I think promptly took their places back on the downhill but still…).  Running along that last bit to the finish seemed to take forever, but shout outs from the already finished ladies kept me going.  I have never felt anything like crossing that finish line and stopping my garmin (which for the first time ever I could not have cared less what the numbers were).  I did it.  I blooming did it.  And I wasn’t last!

Now, where are those brownies?

I never understood the love/hate thing that people have for XC until now.  I can’t wait for Alnwick.

Results

men
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1401Dan Jenkin (DCH)MsenF43:5038:50
27551Scott WatsonMV50S47:0247:02
29546Phil RayMV35S47:0647:06
30556Stephen JacksonMsenF47:1242:12
38533Matt ClaydonMV40S47:3447:34
49521Jason HardingMV45M48:1045:40
85534Matthew ArcherMV35S49:3149:31
99536Michael LittlewoodMV40M49:5147:21
101500Danny LimMV35S49:5549:55
134507David GibsonMV45S50:5050:50
146520James GarlandMV40S51:2151:21
149514Gareth PritchardMV35F51:2746:27
216532Mark WarnerMV35M54:0351:33
239535Michael HughesMV45S55:0055:00
258525Jon AyresMV40S55:5155:51
265501Dave HalliganMV50S56:2356:23
284499Daniel MitchelMV35S57:5157:51
305549Richard HockinMV60S59:4659:46
331529Malcolm SygroveMV50S62:3962:39
341561Tim MatthewsMV50S63:4463:44
356528Lindsay RodgersMV45S66:0766:07
365544Peter HartMV35S69:0769:07
366504David BrowbankMV35S69:0969:09

369 finishers.

women
posbibnamecatpackrace timeactual time
1613Emma Holt (Morpeth Harriers & AC)FsenF31:1527:55
22416Olivia NealFsenM36:3234:52
48418Rachael BullockFsenM37:3835:58
56432Tasmin ImberFV40F37:4534:25
66419Rachelle MasonFV35S38:0338:03
91428Stephanie PiperFsenS39:0339:03
97391Juliet PercivalFV40M39:4338:03
118407Lesley CharmanFV40S40:4840:48
124433Victoria BrownFV35S41:1141:11
128415Nina MasonFV40S41:2841:28
141406Laura JenningsFsenS42:0642:06
146382Jan YoungFV60S42:3442:34
174434Victoria JacksonFV35S44:1944:19
2051120Joanne PattersonFsenS49:0549:05
235402Kerry BarnettFV40S55:5555:55
238401Kelly CollierFsenS57:3257:32

245 finishers.

 

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