Tag Archives: Brass Monkey

The clue’s in the name. For the temperature that is. A flat (apart from bump over the road in closing stages), fast, PB hunter’s half-marathon. Surprisingly rural with cosy finish and ceremony. Organised by York Knavesmire Harriers

Brass Monkey, York, Sunday, January 13, 2019

Half Marathon

Jo Robertson

Having only joined Striders towards the back end of 2018 Sunday 13th January marked my first race in the purple and green vest. Not knowing many people and complete with my shiny new Striders hoody I arrived super-early so as not to miss the bus to Brass Monkey 2019.

I’ve never really described myself as a runner, so joining a club was a big deal for me. I’d done some running prior to having my children (a couple of GNRS back in 2013 & 2014 – one of which is best never to be mentioned again and a handful of 10ks) but always seemed to find myself injured.

The last 12 months have been different. Coming back from having William, I have done a lot of running. Significantly slower than I used to try to run, I have learned to love it and this led me to joining Striders and getting up at silly o’clock in October to try and get a place in Brass Monkey. Well okay – I was up anyway with an 11-month-old, but it was still very early! I was keen to have something to aim for over the winter to keep me going out when the nights were dark and cold and so was delighted to get a place.

Having done the GNR 2018 in 2hr10 (including having to stop for the loo!) I knew I would likely go a little faster and the intention was to do my best but to try and relax/not worry about time. I had in mind to work towards the magical sub 2 hour half later in the year after trying to build up some speed and so decided to run the race without looking at my watch and just go by feel. I seem to not be very good at the battle inside my head during a race. I see a fast pace and spend the whole time worrying I’ll blow up – which then of course I do or I see a slow pace and spend the whole time thinking I’m not good enough. Perhaps only recently have I truly realised how much of running is mental strength.

Anyway, Sunday morning was here and the weather was really very warm for January. It was certainly windy but the potential 40mph gusts didn’t worry me too much as this was about enjoying the race no matter what. Brass Monkey is a very well organised race with lovely indoor facilities and a massive Striders contingent. I certainly don’t feel like I don’t know anyone anymore! Having been chatting at the start I met another lady who was also going to run without her watch and although I knew she was quicker than me I thought I could probably stick with her for at least the first few miles, so I wasn’t on my own.

The race itself is fast and flat apart from two tiny hills at the beginning, which they then take, away and double in size in time for people coming back on the return leg. The marshalls are amazing and so supportive. Harriet who I was running with said thank you to everyone and I soon started joining in this, adding to the enjoyment. I knew we had set off pretty quickly as I could see other Striders near me who I know are speedy people but I felt fine and the chat was good so was happy to keep it up for a while. My inner voice started at about mile 3 where I was worried I was holding Harriet up and encouraged her to run on. She, in turn, tried to encourage me to leave her and run on which settled my anxiety for the next few miles. A quick stop for water seemed to settle my breathing too and the next few miles flew-by still feeling strong. I did see the main clock at the halfway point and knew we were going well but didn’t give it any further thought. The second half is always harder anyway, and no matter what time you get in they give you a lovely T-Shirt.

Mile 9 onwards became harder but still manageable. I had no idea what speed we were going but had a sense we must have slowed, as I was still feeling okay. The gap between us and the Striders ladies in front wasn’t growing though, so who knows. By now we were onto a very interesting discussion about veganism so there wasn’t much time to ponder it further.

At about 11.5 miles Harriet fell a couple of meters behind me and encouraged me to go on. I really struggled with this as we had run so far together and I knew that the main reason I was feeling good was that of the support she had given me. I also knew though that I would have wanted her to go on if she could have and that by that point we were both clearly going to finish so I did push on and sped up a little.

It was really hard work now but my training was paying off as I did still have something to give. With just under half a mile to go, I finally decided to look at my watch. I couldn’t believe the time and nearly started crying right there in the street. With the distance left it was looking pretty certain that I’d be under 2 hours. A barrier I never thought I would be able to achieve. Turning into the racecourse and hitting the worst headwind of the day wasn’t enough to stop the joy at this point and I crossed the line in 1:56:57.

Looking at my splits now I can’t believe how strong and consistent we were. I know for a fact I wouldn’t have let myself go that fast if I had been looking at my watch. I’m utterly over the moon with how it went, thoroughly grateful to Harriet and all the other Striders support we got on the way around and maybe, just maybe, have a little more belief in myself. I’m still not calling myself a runner though… 😉

Pos.Finish timeChip timeParticipantCategoryPace
1 Male1:09:441:09:42Adrian Bailes
BIRTLEY AC
5:19 min/mile
1 Female1:14:581:14:57Becky Briggs
CITY OF HULL AC
5:43 min/mile
1401:13:2601:13:24Stephen Jackson(M) V355:36 min/mile
3401:16:1501:16:13Gareth Pritchard(M) V355:49 min/mile
4901:17:2901:17:27Michael Mason(M) V405:54 min/mile
7101:19:2201:19:18Graeme Watt(M) V406:03 min/mile
10001:20:5801:20:54Michael Littlewood(M) V406:10 min/mile
18701:25:0901:25:04Stuart Scott(M) V356:30 min/mile
20101:26:1401:26:07Matthew Archer(M) V356:35 min/mile
22101:26:5801:26:48Barrie Kirtley(M) Open Senior6:38 min/mile
22701:27:0901:26:58Allan Renwick(M) V506:39 min/mile
30001:29:3301:29:20Andrew Hopkins(M) V406:50 min/mile
32201:30:3201:30:20Rory Whaling(M) V456:54 min/mile
38201:33:4901:33:14Juan Corbacho Anton(M) V357:09 min/mile
43501:35:4401:35:20Michael Anderson(M) Open Senior7:18 min/mile
49501:38:1601:37:38Mark Payne(M) V357:30 min/mile
50601:38:2501:37:53Andrew Davies(M) V407:30 min/mile
53001:39:1901:38:57Sarah Davies(F) V507:34 min/mile
53401:39:3601:38:58Natalie Bell(F) Open Senior7:36 min/mile
56101:40:2401:39:49Louise Morton(F) V357:39 min/mile
70101:44:3901:43:39Clare Wood(F) V407:59 min/mile
75201:46:1201:45:29Peter Hart(M) V408:06 min/mile
75301:46:1501:46:15Chris Shearsmith(M) V408:06 min/mile
75401:46:1601:45:32Mark Foster(M) V408:06 min/mile
77401:47:0601:46:07Corrine Whaling(F) V358:10 min/mile
78401:47:1701:46:33Matthew Carr(M) V408:11 min/mile
80201:47:4801:47:03Nick Latham(M) V458:13 min/mile
94001:52:1801:51:42Mick Davis(M) V458:34 min/mile
95301:52:3901:51:40Roz Layton(F) V658:35 min/mile
97401:53:2801:52:21Helen Parker(F) V408:39 min/mile
99701:54:1601:53:15Sue Gardham(F) V408:43 min/mile
106001:56:4001:55:33Trevor Chaytor(M) V558:54 min/mile
109001:57:3901:56:28Anna Seeley(F) V358:58 min/mile
111601:58:2401:56:57Joanne Robertson(F) V359:02 min/mile
112801:58:5201:57:01Louise Barrow(F) V359:04 min/mile
115802:00:1901:59:13Lisa Sample(F) V359:11 min/mile
119102:01:3802:00:11Joanne Patterson(F) V359:17 min/mile
127202:05:5502:05:55Adam Bent(M) V659:36 min/mile
129402:07:1102:06:05Carolyn Galula(F) V459:42 min/mile
130302:07:2702:06:20Wendy Littlewood(F) V409:43 min/mile
132402:08:5902:07:32Rachel Coy(F) V359:50 min/mile
134002:09:4202:09:42Alan Smith(M) V709:54 min/mile
135402:11:0102:09:00Kimberley Wilson(F) Open Senior10:00 min/mile
135602:11:0202:09:02Robin Linton(M) Open Senior10:00 min/mile
153302:33:0402:33:04Sophie Dennis(F) Open Senior11:41 min/mile
153602:35:0902:33:04Catherine Smith(F) V4011:50 min/mile
153702:35:0902:33:04Kerry Barnett(F) V4511:50 min/mile
155002:43:5202:41:56Anne-marie Fisher(F) V3512:30 min/mile
(Visited 67 times, 1 visits today)

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

(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)

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

Wendy Littlewood

January 15th, 2017 Brass Monkey marked my first attempt at the half marathon distance and at 5:45 am on the 21st October my race prep for attempt two began.
I had been delighted with my time of 2:10 in 2017, far quicker than I ever imagined. Could 2018 be quicker? Should I be dreaming of the elusive sub 2??
My 5k and 10k times had improved though according to VDOT. Not quite enough to expect this time; still floating around the high 26 for 5k and unable to get below 55 in 10k. A training plan was set to aim for 2:05. Still a decent PB.
As always, life gets in the way of sticking hard to any plan. This plan was also more daunting and regimented than the beginner’s plan I had followed last year. Simply running 10 miles was no longer enough; I had to run the miles at a set pace and the run strides at the end (these often got forgotten….).
Bearing in mind the timing of the run, committing to training throughout winter and peaking over Christmas time is tough. Certainly makes you feel like a proper runner though!! My last long run was with great company (James and Helen Potter) between Christmas and New Year. There was no snow on the ground when we set out on the lines from Broompark. On our return, the whole place looked like Narnia!
As training progressed, my pacing was actually a little faster than expected although my 5k pace was still not improving. Being honest, I was probably shying away from an all-out parkrun – I just wasn’t feeling brave enough for that test. If I failed, in my mind, the sub 2 would definitely be out of the question.
Disaster struck the first week of January – cold/flu. I felt completely wiped out. Nerves really, really set in. Of course, in retrospect, this was perfect timing – enforced tapering! Michael insisted that I would still do sub 2, in my mind, I was focussing on getting around and anything better than last year would be a win.
The cold got better just in time however on the morning of the run, I was still resigned to managing consistent 9:30 min/mile pace, still a PB after all.
Then I met up with Greta and Karen Jones (formerly of this parish). Karen had promised me that she would pace me around for sub 2 as this was not going to be a target race for them. I was aware of their pacing abilities, the first time I ever met them was mid parkrun when they told me they were pacing me for a PB because Michael had told them I was aiming for one that day!!
I got my excuses in and tried to dissuade them from accompanying but they just wouldn’t be shaken off and guided me to the 1:45 – 2:00 area near the start. The conditions were perfect, no wind, no rain or snow, no ice and a positively balmy 4c.
Brass Monkey is a flat, out and back route. Two extremely small hills on the way out that then feel like mountains on the way back! Big enough to have great facilities at the racecourse and small enough to be fun and chatty. As with many runs, the marshals are members of the local running club and extremely supportive and friendly.
The first 3 miles glided by. We were running at a nice chatty (albeit slightly breathless) pace. It felt so comfortable that Greta had to remind me to slow down a little (don’t set off too fast!!). How on earth was I running at 8:45 pace???? Target for sub 2 was 9:08….. Surely I would blow up sometime soon.
We maintained this pace up to 6 miles and I was still feeling comfortable. 10k 54:13??? Surely this had to end soon?? Miles 7-9 started feeling tougher however we still maintained the pace. Sub 2 was back on the agenda with a bang!!!
I knew that mile 10 onwards is when you truly prove your grit and this race was absolutely no different. No matter how many times you tell yourself ‘its only a parkrun’ its always the toughest part of the run. To stop getting completely defeatist and out of control, we did a couple of short walking breaks. Our pacing had been so consistent earlier that we had the time to do this and still hit target.
Mile 10 was the slowest yet at 9:13 – I love the way looking back at pacing always tells the story of the run. Mile 11 was quicker again at 8:49 but then mile 12 hit back at 9:22. I was hurting and so very tired. I desperately wanted to see Michael and the boys.
We turned a corner and could see the Racecourse – Greta kept me concentrating on how proud my boys would be of me…. I was desperately trying to keep the tears at bay.
As we came off the road and into the racecourse, there was no Littlewoods in sight – had they seriously forgotten me?? I should not have worried – just ahead a sea of purple and the most tremendous roar!!! The Strider army were there with bells on!!
With the finish line just metres ahead, Greta grabbed my hand and we sprinted across the line. I have never felt so emotional and tremendous!!
I know I surprised a few people that day, Lewis was certainly caught unawares. He thought he would see me at around 1:59:59 so he had to have quick reactions to run beside the course alongside me to see me finish at 1:55:58!!
15 minute PB.
Brass Monkey has taught me a few things this year:
I can be quicker than I think.
Just because I didn’t do the strides at the end of the long run in week 5 and 6 of the plan doesn’t mean that I can’t hit the target.
Getting up at 5:30 to enter this race is a small price to pay for such a fantastic experience: it is completely worthwhile.
I have the best running pals in the world. Runners are amongst the kindest, most altruistic people. My target for 2018 is to pay this forward

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

(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)

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

Stephen Jackson

Ok, so it’s not for everyone, but I love the Brass Monkey half marathon. As long as my legs are strong enough, and my internet speed is quick enough, I’ll enter this race.
What better way to start the year?

The plan was to head out somewhere near PB pace or a little quicker and see how I felt. Never likely to trouble the lead pack in a highly competitive field this was more about seeing where ‘I’m at’ at the beginning of 2018.

After a fairly frantic start, I settled at the back of the second group, with the front-runners disappearing into the distance with the lead car. There was another break at 5k and I was in or around 15th position with some familiar faces, many from the North East (I was to finish 13th).

I found the first half (the ‘out’ of the out-and-back race) the hardest, I think this was due to the brisk start coupled with a headwind. I actually felt better at 10 miles than I did at 5. I ran from just before halfway with Michael Hedley from Tyne Bridge Harriers, not for the first time over the half marathon distance.

The conditions were good; cold but not freezing, no rain, not too much wind.

It was all there for the taking but in the end, I felt I had a good race, not a great one. This is a race you can achieve something special and I fell just short based on the high standards I set myself. That said, a PB is a PB – you shouldn’t be disappointed with a personal best: it is exactly what it says on the tin.

Also, if you’ve got the time – take the bus with fellow club members to a race this year. I know it’s difficult for people with families etc. to justify the best part of the day out of the house, but it really does make it a social ‘team’ event.

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

(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)

The Brass Monkey, York, Sunday, January 15, 2017

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Endurance Champion Race - click flag for more information.

Stephen Jackson

A cold, but not freezing, morning in York for the 35th Brass Monkey half marathon. The weather, as it turned out, was pretty kind to the 1500 or so runners. The drizzle had disappeared by the time the race started at 10:00 and the wind was barely noticeable.

If you enjoy road running there is no denying it’s a cracking race. York racecourse provides the organisers with a great base for runners and spectators alike, the course is as described; ‘fast and flat’ and the marshals and officials do a great job making everyone feel looked after.

I have a theory that the January date is particularly appealing for club runners looking for a ‘post-Christmas’ target – a reason to pull on the high-vis kit through December. Whatever the reason, this is a popular race with a capital P and apparently sold out in 38 minutes.

Unlike last year, this time I had a plan. Go out at 75 minute pace and (3:33/km) and try to pick it up towards the end. As it worked out I had some company for a big chunk of the race as a group of 5-6 runners from various clubs around the North East, including captain Gareth Pritchard, worked together in a little pack – each taking a turn to lead the group.

This worked really well up to 9/10 miles when I decided to make a bit of a move – followed only by one runner from Roundhay Runners in Leeds. It emerged that we had a similar goal in mind and again, the ‘strength in numbers’ approach helped build the momentum towards the end of the race, which was now in sight (metaphorically speaking).

As we hit the railway bridge with a couple of miles to go I had a little bit left in the legs, and pushed on again with my pace now nearer to 10k effort (3:22/km) – time for my end of race mantra ‘now or never’.

So, a second over 1:14 according to my watch, a second under according to my chip; I always did like chips.

A new half marathon PB of 01:13.59 and a post-race analysis of ‘job done’.

A very popular race with fellow Elvet Striders in abundance with lots of smiles and encouragement pre and post-race.

I really hope this can be the first entry on the running calendar for 2018, it is most certainly one of my favourites.

Results

Strider Pos. Bibno. Finish time Chip time Participant Category Start time Speed Pace
1 896 01:14:02 01:13:59 Stephen Jackson (M) Open Senior 10:00:10 10.62 mph 5:39 min/mile
2 1382 01:15:41 01:15:37 Gareth Pritchard (M) V35 10:00:10 10.38 mph 5:46 min/mile
3 1066 01:18:20 01:18:14 Michael Littlewood (M) V40 10:00:12 10.03 mph 5:58 min/mile
4 62 01:25:17 01:25:09 Matthew Archer (M) V35 10:00:15 9.22 mph 6:30 min/mile
5 165 01:36:03 01:35:40 Elaine Bisson (F) V35 10:00:29 8.18 mph 7:19 min/mile
6 165 01:41:04 01:39:46 Kate Milburn (F) V35 10:01:24 7.88 mph 7:36 min/mile
7 304 01:42:28 01:41:26 David Case (M) Open Senior 10:01:09 7.67 mph 7:49 min/mile
8 1800 01:45:47 01:44:44 Nicola Whyte (F) Open Senior 10:01:09 7.43 mph 8:04 min/mile
19 1558 01:47:43 01:46:59 Eric Green (M) V45 10:00:50 7.30 mph 8:13 min/mile
9 1524 01:48:47 01:48:02 Chris Shearsmith (M) V35 10:00:52 7.22 mph 8:18 min/mile
10 436 01:49:46 01:48:27 Lesley Charman (F) V40 10:01:25 7.16 mph 8:22 min/mile
11 250 01:52:43 01:51:24 Victoria Brown (F) V35 10:01:25 6.97 mph 8:36 min/mile
12 713 01:56:17 01:55:22 Lesley Hamill (F) V40 10:01:02 6.76 mph 8:52 min/mile
13 274 01:56:19 01:55:24 Karen Byng (F) V45 10:01:02 6.76 mph 8:52 min/mile
14 435 01:57:47 01:56:29 Steve Ellis (M) 60 10:01:25 6.67 mph 8:59 min/mile
15 790 01:59:51 01:58:09 Mark Herkes (M) Open Senior 10:01:49 6.56 mph 9:08 min/mile
16 389 02:00:35 01:57:57 Lucy Cowton (F) Open Senior 10:02:44 6.52 mph 9:12 min/mile
17 327 02:00:35 01:58:58 Trevor Chaytor (M) V50 10:01:43 6.52 mph 9:12 min/mile
18 1506 02:00:38 01:59:06 Anna Seeley (F) Open Senior 10:01:39 6.51 mph 9:12 min/mile
19 1558 02:00:39 01:59:06 Catherine Smith (F) V40 10:01:39 6.51 mph 9:12 min/mile
20 485 02:04:47 02:02:22 Jane Dowsett (F) V45 10:02:32 6.30 mph 9:31 min/mile
21 485 02:05:28 02:03:56 Karen Crampton (F) V45 10:01:39 6.26 mph 9:34 min/mile
22 1367 02:08:33 02:06:10 James Potter (M) V35 10:02:30 6.11 mph 9:48 min/mile
23 1926 02:08:57 02:06:30 Katie-Louise Finney (F) Open Senior 10:02:34 6.09 mph 9:50 min/mile
24 441 02:10:28 02:08:01 Katie Davison (F) Open Senior 10:02:34 6.02 mph 9:57 min/mile
25 1314 02:10:29 02:08:02 Mike Parker (M) V40 10:02:33 6.02 mph 9:57 min/mile
26 1555 02:12:28 02:09:59 Alan Smith (M) V70 10:02:35 5.93 mph 10:06 min/mile
27 789 02:12:32 02:10:07 Lucy Herkes (F) Open Senior 10:02:32 5.93 mph 10:07 min/mile
28 1067 02:13:20 02:10:44 Wendy Littlewood (F) V35 10:02:43 5.89 mph 10:10 min/mile
29 938 02:13:45 02:11:20 Debbie Jones (F) V45 10:02:32 5.88 mph 10:12 min/mile
30 558 02:16:09 02:13:19 Kirsten Fenwick (F) Open Senior 10:02:57 5.77 mph 10:23 min/mile
31 1146 02:16:22 02:13:57 Debbie Mcfarland (F) Open Senior 10:02:32 5.76 mph 10:24 min/mile
32 841 02:19:22 02:16:46 Karen Hooper (F) V40 10:02:42 5.64 mph 10:38 min/mile
33 65 02:24:50 02:24:10 Teresa Archer (F) Open Senior 10:00:47 5.43 mph 11:03 min/mile
34 114 02:26:14 02:23:36 Kerry Barnett (F) V45 10:02:44 5.37 mph 11:09 min/mile
35 1325 02:26:37 02:23:59 Joanne Patterson (F) Open Senior 10:02:44 5.36 mph 11:11 min/mile
36 634 02:29:04 02:26:16 Rebecca Gilmore (F) Open Senior 10:02:55 5.27 mph 11:22 min/mile
37 1676 02:33:37 02:30:49 Margaret Thompson (F) V65 10:02:54 5.12 mph 11:43 min/mile
38 139 02:36:20 02:33:36 Faye Bell (F) V35 10:02:50 5.03 mph 11:56 min/mile
39 913 02:44:27 02:44:27 Neil Jennings (M) V50 10:00:07 4.78 mph 12:33 min/mile
40 912 02:51:16 02:48:37 Elaine Jennings (F) V50 10:02:45 4.59 mph 13:04 min/mile
41 1035 02:53:03 02:50:21 Rachel Leigh-Firbank (F) V40 10:02:48 4.54 mph 13:12 min/mile

“I completed the York brass monkey today for the first time.  2hrs 3min 56sec.  Sore and aching but very happy with my result.  Met up with some lovely striders who were very friendly and supportive, especially Trevor Chaytor who helped me get home afterwards due to an unexpected emergency back in Durham.”  Karen Crampton

(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)

Brass Monkey Half-Marathon, York, Sunday, January 17, 2016

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Endurance Champion Race - click flag for more information.

Catherine Smith

Having found myself up at some ridiculous time earlier in the year to secure the entry I was once more rudely awakened from my sleep very early on Sunday morning because of the Brass Monkey!

Catherine out for another PB
photo courtesy and © Ben McNeilage Yorkshire Knavesmire Harriers

Road trip for me, Kerry Anne Barnett, her boyfriend James (second claim Strider) and Gareth Pritchard we set off on the icey journey to York Race course

I had high hopes for a PB with all the talk of a fast and flat course but was also nervous my PB at Keilder had been a fluke and that the ice may scupper any plans we had for a fast race.

We arrived to a beautiful sunrise and got ourselves ‘race ready’ (selfies, numerous toilet stops and other essential pre race activities!)

It was great to catch up with some of the strider posse before we all went outside and lined up for the race.

Gareth and I had discussed what I needed to aim for pace wise to get my sought after 2.05 ish PB so I stood in the appropriate time pen with Rebecca Devine (more selfies… Obvs!)

After a few announcements we were off, it was absolutely freezing, but bright and clear and there was a great buzz from the crowd – runners and spectators.

I was enjoying the pace & soaking up the atmosphere and soon enough the first mile was ticked off. I checked my watch and saw I was ahead of planned times so I slowed a bit, didn’t want to peak too soon! Wise words from Allan ringing in my ears, golden rules 1-5 – don’t set off too fast (and repeat x4!)

Along the way the support from the marshalls & spectators was great and I thought the surrounding areas were very pretty, despite it being a road race. I spoke to a couple of Striders on route, Robin Linton and Jayne Freeman which was a welcome distraction for me but all in all just tried to focus on sticking to pace and not spilling icey cold water on myself at the water stations!

I had a bit of a panic when my garmin dropped out and said I was doing 11 min miles all of a sudden as we went through a wooded part but some lovely regular Brass Monkey runners said “that always happens here love” phew!!!! Apart from that minor shock I was loving the race, I was ahead of pace and feeling strong, I was starting to believe I had sub 2.05 in me & pushed on.

I struggled a little from mile 11 so the frozen jelly babies were very gratefully received around Mile 12.

Pacing still on track and lifted with the sugar hit and shout outs from the crowd I pressed on, trying to work out the pacing maths in my head distracted me from the pain of the last mile and a bit which seemed to go on forever!

I could finally see the finish line and I knew I was ahead of the sub 2.05 target – I was so elated but just kept telling myself not to fall over! I crossed the line at 2.03.13 (official chip time). I actually squealed as I read the text much to the shock of those around me at the time who thought something bad had happened!

I was absolutely delighted to hear that Gareth and James had also PBd along with many of the other purple posse!

Battling it out at the sharp end.
photo by Ben McNeilage / Yorkshire Knavesmire Harriers

We celebrated Kerry coming in ahead of her planned time and then went on the hunt for much needed refreshments hearing the achievements of many of the club as we passed them enroute including Penny, Matthew, Michael and Kelly who all reported excellent PB times.

I have officially classified this as my new favourite race (didn’t have an old favourite race to be fair!!) I loved the whole day (not just cos I PBd) and will definitely be setting my alarm for next years entry!

Results

pos bib name category gun time chip time
1855 Dan Kastral (Barnsley Athletic Club) (M) 1:08:53 1:08:52
90 Sharon Barlow (Darlington Harriers & AC) (F) 1:18:35 1:18:33
1 884 Stephen Jackson (M) 1:16:21 1:16:18
2 1305 Gareth Pritchard (M) V35 1:17:33 1:17:31
3 1027 Michael Littlewood (M) V40 1:19:01 1:18:58
4 42 Matthew Archer (M) 1:24:52 1:24:48
5 227 Penny Browell (F) V40 1:27:13 1:27:02
6 161 Elaine Bisson (F) V35 1:31:48 1:31:38
7 429 Sarah Davies (F) V45 1:39:30 1:38:50
8 1705 Graeme Walton (M) V40 1:40:37 1:40:04
9 1588 Malcolm Sygrove (M) V45 1:40:39 1:40:05
10 802 David Hinton (M) 1:42:10 1:41:17
11 1469 Tim Skelton (M) V35 1:43:55 1:43:02
12 922 Greta Jones (F) V50 1:45:12 1:44:17
13 386 Lucy Cowton (F) 1:45:20 1:44:25
14 1762 Nicola Whyte (F) 1:47:08 1:46:14
15 728 Diane Harold (F) V40 1:48:40 1:47:59
16 923 Karen Jones (F) V45 1:49:02 1:48:07
17 1519 Ian Spencer (M) V50 1:51:08 1:50:13
18 91 Stephanie Barlow (F) V40 1:51:56 1:51:16
19 1587 Kathryn Sygrove (F) V50 1:54:27 1:53:21
20 1476 Alan Smith (M) V65 2:03:26 2:02:26
21 1484 Catherine Smith (F) V40 2:04:33 2:03:13
22 1239 Mike Parker (M) V40 2:06:54 2:05:09
23 781 Lucy Herkes (F) 2:07:30 2:05:45
24 1025 Robin Linton (M) 2:07:36 2:05:51
25 595 Jayne Freeman (F) V45 2:07:54 2:06:59
26 458 Rebecca Devine (F) 2:11:32 2:10:12
27 1814 Jill Young (F) 2:11:37 2:09:53
28 1099 Debbie Mcfarland (F) 2:13:10 2:11:26
29 837 Karen Hooper (F) V40 2:15:13 2:13:28
30 353 Kelly Collier (F) 2:15:37 2:13:50
31 1634 Margaret Thompson (F) V65 2:28:56 2:27:34
32 96 Kerry Barnett (F) V40 2:29:37 2:27:30
33 899 Neil Jennings (M) V50 2:32:39 2:30:31
34 701 Lisa Hall (F) 2:33:54 2:31:46

1512 finishers.

(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)

Brass Monkey Half-Marathon, York Racecourse, Monday, January 19, 2015

Penny Browell

Penny, running hard to a PB at the 2015 Brass Monkey
Photo © and courtesy Ben McNeilage

I still have no idea why I signed up for the Brass Monkey this year. Last year’s was my least favourite race of the year – flat, boring, hard work and just not my kind of thing. Yes I’d got a PB but even that hadn’t really made up for spending 13.1 miles in drizzle and pain. So as I drove down to York this year I really wondered what I was doing…I’d agreed to go with my brother-in-law for a nice Sunday morning trip but he’d had to pull out at the last minute. So why was I still doing it? As I approached York it was a lovely, but very cold, morning. I saw one nasty accident where a van had gone over on the ice and realised the course was going to be icy which would probably kill my chances of a PB. Again I wondered why I was here…

Once I got to the racecourse I felt a bit better – there was a good show of Striders and as always it was nice to catch up as we compared notes on how much clothing we felt was needed in the sub-zero temperatures. As we lined up for the start I was struck by what a beautiful, crisp winter morning it was and actually began to look forward to the run. Before long we were off…

The ice came and went and all the way round there were fabulous marshals cheering us on, warning us about the icy patches and encouraging us through to the end. When we got to the 10-mile mark I realised I still felt good and that I wasn’t going to suffer as I had the previous year. I actually managed to pick the pace up a bit for the last 2 miles (very rare for me in long races). At about the 12.5 mile point I was happy to see Allan waving us on although he seemed less happy to see me enjoying myself so much and shouted at me to get past the guys in front of me. I took his advice and managed an extra little burst for the final straight back into the racecourse and was delighted to finish more than 2 minutes ahead of my previous HM PB.

After changing, I saw Graeme who had also had a great run, along with Stephen who had finished in an incredible 1.18. From other people’s reports it had obviously been a good day for a lot of us with PBs for many and a lot of very happy faces crossing the line. So although I’m still a hill-lover, I have to say I really enjoyed the race. I guess it’s like everything else: variety is the spice of life! I’ll be pleased to get back to cross-country in a couple of weeks though!

A trio of Strider ladies at the 2015 Brass Monkey: Katy, Karen and Nicola
Photo © and courtesy Ben McNeilage

Results

Striders POS Name Club Cat Chip Time
M Daniel Jenkin Durham City Harriers (M) Open Senior 1:08:57
F Shona Mcintosh Hunters Bog Trotters (F) Open Senior 1:16:13
1 Stephen Jackson (M) Open Senior 1:18:24
2 Gareth Pritchard (M) V35 1:22:19
3 Graeme Walton (M) V40 1:26:41
4 Penny Browell (F) V40 1:31:44
5 Helen Tones (F) V35 1:41:28
6 Brian Ford (M) V45 1:43:10
7 Lesley Charman (F) V40 1:44:16
8 Helen Williams (F) V35 1:44:24
9 Lucy Cowton (F) V40 1:46:17
10 Greta Jones (F) V45 1:46:32
11 Jackie Mckenna (F) V45 1:47:01
12 Paul Beal (M) V50 1:49:04
13 Jean Bradley (F) V55 1:49:19
14 Katy Walton (F) Open Senior 1:51:29
15 Karen Jones (F) V45 1:51:29
16 Nicola Whyte (F) Open Senior 1:51:40
17 Claire Readey (F) V35 1:53:00
18 Eric Green (M) V45 1:53:25
19 Kathryn Sygrove (F) V45 1:56:30
20 Jacquie Robson (F) V35 2:04:06
21 Gillian Green (F) V45 2:06:05
22 Christine Anne Farnsworth (F) V60 2:13:21
23 Laura Jackson (F) V35 2:13:47
24 Jane Baillie (F) V35 2:16:28
25 Helen Allen (F) V40 2:17:29
26 Jill Ford (F) V45 2:25:49
27 Alister Robson (M) V40 2:25:49
28 Margaret Thompson (F) V65 2:27:30
29 Barrie Evans (M) V65 QUERY

Note: POS shows relative Strider position. Not overall position.

1465 finishers.

(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)

Brass Monkey Half Marathon, York Racecourse, Sunday, January 19, 2014

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Endurance Champion Race - click flag for more information.

Colin Blackburn

Grand Prix Race. Endurance Champion Race.  Striders who know me will know that I am not usually one for the roads but that I have been turning up for some of the club’s classic road races over the last couple of years: GNR, Brampton and the GNR again! This year I decided to tick off the Brass Monkey, though given the 90 minutes I spent trying to access a crashing Knavesmire Harriers’ website it was nearly a write off before I even started. Having managed the almost impossible, to get just one entry into the race – no more, no fewer! – I joined 20 or so Striders on the bus to York very early on a cold January Sunday morning; a similar number made their own way there. By the time we got to York the forecast “sunny periods” hadn’t arrived and so I prepared for a wet run. But, by the start, it was a bit warmer than at home and so the thermal came off and my gloves and hat were left in my bag. In fact it was probably pretty ideal: the cold side of mild, overcast, light drizzle and no wind.

I’d not really prepared for a half marathon relying instead on it being a comfortable distance for me. In fact several days cross-country skiing the previous weekend, including a very tough 15km of a disastrous ski marathon, had taken their toll. I hadn’t realised quite how much until about halfway round the Brass Monkey lollipop of a course. Muscles that really shouldn’t ache when running started to ache, muscles that I only ever seem to use for skiing but muscles that were still complaining. It made for a very painful final six miles. What probably made things worse was that everyone says this is a potential PB course. No wind, no sun, and nicely cool just added to that potential, a potential my brain didn’t want to waste even if my legs did. So I punished my legs more than I probably should have, but I did get that PB.

Spot the Strider.
photo courtesy and © David Aspin

For those who have not yet done this half marathon, the course is a mix of minor and more minor roads. I’d say it’s as flat as a pancake but the bridge over the A64 is a nasty little climb when your legs are tired after 12 miles of pounding the roads. It’s well marshalled with three well-placed water points. There are some great patches of support as you pass through a couple of villages and there is fantastic support at the finish, well there was by the time I finished. There’s even a bit of wild life to see, about half way round a weasel darted across the road in front of me carrying something like a vole in its mouth.

Once we were all in and changed – and it’s great to be able to get changed in the warm, dry comfort of the race course main building – it was back on the bus for Shipton. It was a short bus trip to the Dawnay Arms for Sunday lunch and a couple of very welcome pints, then a longer sleepier bus trip back to Durham. A tiring but enjoyable day, but one my legs are not going to let me forget just yet.

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Chip Time
1 Matthew Peirson Holmfirth Harriers M 1:10:19
19 Jilly Woodthorpe Barnsley AC F35 1:15:57
83 Gareth Pritchard M 1:21:58
153 Paul Evans M 1:25:51
181 Graeme Walton M40 1:27:17
294 Jeremy Lloyd M45 1:31:08
343 Katy Walton F 1:33:24
347 Rachel Terry F40 1:33:27
376 Stewart Mcconnell M 1:33:29
367 Jonathan Steed M40 1:33:50
511 Colin Blackburn M50 1:38:11
520 Michael Hughes M45 1:38:15
715 Alister Robson M40 1:44:56
759 Rachael Bullock F 1:46:00
826 Jane Ives F40 1:47:53
846 Lucy Cowton F 1:48:37
908 Jackie McKenna F45 1:51:13
1037 Paul Beal M50 1:54:02
1042 Alan Smith M65 1:55:49
1045 Richard Hall the Younger M45 1:54:36
1050 Jacquie Robson F35 1:55:01
1090 Kirsty Anderson F35 1:56:24
1104 Laura Turnbull F 1:57:04
1140 Ian Spencer M50 1:58:08
1164 Kathryn Sygrove F45 1:59:38
1160 Kate Macpherson F40 1:59:44
1252 Sarah Fawcett F50 2:05:17
1349 Christine Anne Farnsworth F60 2:16:23
1429 Margaret Thompson F60 2:31:37

1446 finishers.

(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)

Brass Monkey Half Marathon, York Racecourse, Sunday, January 22, 2012

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Endurance Champion Race - click flag for more information.

Dougie Nisbet

Grand Prix Race. Endurance Champion Race. Dougie with Dave WestonWe turned onto the avenue to the racecourse and I saw a sight unfamiliar to me. Lots of places to park, even for a coach. This must be what it’s like when you’re organised and turn up to races with time in hand. I made a note to try this out as it sure looked more relaxing than driving round and round looking for somewhere to park with just minutes to spare before kick-off. As chief-of-the-clipboard I’d been a bit anxious about parking and I relaxed a little as we pulled into the side of the road just a couple of hundred metres from the racecourse. Billy the Bus wasn’t so sure. He’d spied the marshalls ahead waving coaches into the racecourse car-park and he was quite keen to get a piece of the VIP treatment. “This is a long way to walk for my cup of tea!”, he exclaimed, so we scrambled back on the coach and headed for the racecourse. Sure enough, parking cones were swept aside and we were waved straight through to the racecourse and were soon parked pretty much right outside the front door. Like royalty. Lovely.

Mike ElliotThe chaos from last year was absent this year as we’d all had our race numbers posted to us. So I found myself a cup of coffee and made an impulse buy of a packet of shotblocks (Blackcurrant) and settled down to wait. I decided to have a couple of shotblocks now and eat the rest during the race. They really were very nice. Presently I threw the empty wrapper in the bin and headed for the start.

A blustery and sunny start soon gave way to a blustery and sunny first mile, a shoelace malfunction, then some fierce cross-winds. With lots of Striders running there was the added excitement of spotting purple vests and giving chase. It took me a few miles to settle into my stride but then I started to feel very comfortable and, for the first time in months, race fit. It was a great feeling. I gradually and cautiously lifted the pace and around mile 8 I was slowly, but imperceptibly, closing on a Strider vest. Who could it be? Oh joy of joys, that head belonged to the crimson crown of Kathryn! It’s been absolutely ages since I last beat Kathryn in a race as she has improved steadily throughout 2011 and so this was a big confidence boost. It took a long time to close the gap so I had plenty of time to consider my overtaking quip. I settled for a condescending pat on the shoulder and a pitying smile as I went past in the sure knowledge that this would shatter her resolve.

George, Denise and AlisterI should, as Mr Diamond once observed, have known better. Just half a mile from the finish I heard that unmistakable patter of tiny feet. I glanced around in horror only to see Kathryn attack with a ferocious intent. I immediately lifted my pace and gave chase but this was no half-hearted effort and she soon opened up a comfortable gap of about 20 metres. My immediate thoughts would not be permitted on a family website but I was secretly impressed. Smart move, well played. I would have done the same thing myself, and did indeed do something very similar at Gibside in 2009 to steal the gallop on Debs.

NeilBut Kathryn had mis-timed her attack. We turned left away from the main road and as we approached the final corner I realised the gap was closing. We were both exhausted from our battle so this was not going to be an elegant energised sprint built upon a saved reserve. I attacked on the final corner and ran for the line as surely as if the Captain had fired a couple of photon torpedoes up my jacksie. I braced myself for the counter-attack, but it never came. It was a close thing and I’m sure if Kathryn had attacked just a couple of minutes later than she did she’d have certainly crossed the finish line in front of me. Still, we were both happy! Having me to hunt down had given Kathryn a PB, and having Kathryn hunt me down had elbowed my time to a sub 1:45. Even if did mean I was dangerously close to the dry boak as I collapsed on the bench while someone relieved me of my timing chip, and the spike in in my heart-rate as reported by my garmin is Davesomething I prefer not to examine too closely. Things did, as they say, go a bit fuzzy. I don’t think I was alone as Jane and Dave also needed things to lean on after crossing the line. But the rewards were worth it.

Our return to Durham was via a good pie and chips at the Dawney Arms and finally my coach-master duties were over (I can’t believe how tricky it is to count up to 30 – especially when Jim Nicholson is heckling!). Soon I’m home and settling down to beer and curry. The phone rings, and it’s for me. It’s Richard, from Gillingham’s coaches. They’ve found my bag! Excellent! Er, hang on, I didn’t know it was missing. And isn’t Richard actually calling me at home, from, er, my mobile. Ah…..

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Chip Time
1 Yared Hagus Wallsend Harriers M 1:06:42
30 Felicity Milton Heaton Harriers F 1 1:17:45
91 Neil Sleeman M 1:24:00
145 Till Sawala M 1:26:13
145 Stewart McConnell M 1:29:39
353 Shaun Roberts M55 1:33:32
371 Jerry Lloyd M40 1:33:32
383 Graham Daglish M55 1:34:00
683 Andrew Thompson M 1:42:10
697 Alister Robson M 1:42:12
788 Roz Layton F55 1:44:49
815 Dougie Nisbet M45 1:44:53
818 Kathryn Sygrove F45 1:45:14
925 Jane Ives F40 1:48:06
1074 Karen Chalkley F45 1:52:53
1139 George Nicholson M60 1:54:05
1154 Ian Spencer M50 1:56:17 *
1197 Claire Readey F35 1:55:58
1201 Corrina James F35 1:56:05
1260 Greta Jones F45 1:58:11
1278 Denise Mason F 1:58:28
1282 Martin Wilson M40 1:57:57
1316 Dave Robson M60 1:58:56
1467 Barrie Evans M65 2:07:14
1491 Susan Jennings F45 2:07:29
1520 Mike Elliott M65 2:09:13
1523 James Nicholson M60 2:10:37
1543 Angela Proctor F35 2:10:33
1582 Jacquie Robson F35 2:14:04
1676 Margaret Thompson F60 2:27:15

1712 finishers. *Gun time – no chip time.

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Brass Monkey Half Marathon, York Racecourse, Sunday, January 23, 2011

Grand Prix Race - click flag for current league tables. Endurance Champion Race - click flag for more information.

Grand Prix Race. Endurance Champion Race.

Lindsay, looking somewhat incredulous at making it to the finish ... First and foremost a correction – as well as the general mayhem on arrival at York racecourse the Brass Monkey organisers can also get the age categories wrong! I’d be chuffed to bits if I can still run this kind of time when I do reach 45 🙂 This was my first half marathon since 2007, but, as many Striders told me, this was the one to target for a PB. The fact that I beat the 1:30 barrier for the first time is partly thanks to Shaun who kept forging ahead until around the 8/9 mile mark.

The other contributing factor was the haggis and neeps supper (and a dram or two of Aberlour) the night before which clearly is the way forward in pre-race cuisine and kept me going at a steady pace.

The running conditions were perfect with only a slight breeze over a flat course, through a series of small villages south of York. After all those hill repeat sessions on Wednesday night the few slight inclines felt like downhills (at least until the last couple of miles). Well done to all of the Striders who took part and whose ages were correctly recorded!

Shaun adds …

Congratulations also to Jo Porter who also got a PB, getting under two hours for the first time, and Kathryn too, who took about 15 minutes off hers, despite being trampled underfoot at the beginning, due to her lining up on the start line. 😉 Well done to Jean, too, who got her ageing uterus round without any major mishap.

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Chip Time
1 Paul MARTELLETTI Victoria Park Harriers M 1:05:21
81 Stacey ROGERS Heaton Harriers F 1 1:21:12
231 James GARLAND MV45* 1:28:45
256 Shaun ROBERTS MV50 1:30:04
455 Andrew THOMPSON M 1:36:26
569 Anna SEELEY Durham City Harriers F 1:39:40
757 Dougie NISBET MV45 1:43:06
792 Kathryn SYGROVE FV45 1:46:18
795 Ian SPENCER MV40 1:44:31
883 Alister ROBSON M 1:48:41
888 Richard HALL MV50 1:48:53
900 Alan SMITH MV60 1:49:10
905 Stef BARLOW FV35 1:49:22
1017 Jean BRADLEY FV50 1:52:30
1024 Barrie EVANS MV60 1:51:58
1087 Lindsay TARN F 1:54:51
1096 Michelle LANGLEY F 1:55:12
1206 Joanne PORTER FV40 1:58:24
1333 Denise MASON F 2:04:43
1334 Dave ROBSON MV55 2:04:44
1396 James NICHOLSON MV60 2:10:02
1461 Emma DETCHON F 2:15:05
1478 Christine FARNSWORTH FV55 2:16:59
1505 Margaret THOMPSON FV60 2:22:01

1561 finishers. *Or indeed not.

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