Pier to Pier - 2016

Weasdale Horseshoe, Ravenstonedale Show Field, Newbiggin on Lune, 20th August

BM / 8.7m / 2001ft

Jack Lee

Drookit."It's a wonderful day in the West Dales" I tell myself as the wind and rain slam into my body so hard that it makes me stumble on the final ascent of Randygill Top (624m). The rain feels like needles on my face as I pump my legs up the steep bank with my hands pushing my legs down to help power me upwards. Any fatigue and pain in my muscles hidden by the pain; all my clothing had long since been soaked through.

The day had started with optimism, Mike Hughes and I discussing in the back of the car the likelihood of good weather during the race. As we got closer to Ravenstonedale the weather got steadily worse until it was clear the rain was set in for the day. When we reached the agricultural show, the race was starting from, we found registration in a metal horsebox next to the start line and a couple tents were set up next to the horsebox for runners to hide under. We retired to the car to change with both Geoff and I opting to wear our vests and numbers over rain jackets with Mike and Susan opting to wear theirs underneath and flash their numbers at the marshals as they ran by.

Mike electing for wearing the outside in.After sometime spent hiding from the rain waiting for a married couple from the Howgill Harriers to turn up before the race could begin the race started at a fast gallop and I remember hoping that the pace would drop soon which it fortunately did. The first mile or so felt more like cross country then a fell race with mud and a few streams to cross. I stepped in a puddle that looked shallow but went halfway up my shin. It wasn't long though until the ascent of Hooksey began with most runners alternating between a jog on the reasonable sections and a quick hike with arms pumping legs on the steeper sections. It took a while after that but eventually Hooksey was conquered and I could set my gaze to Randygill Top, well I would have if rain had allowed me to see straight. In reality I was trying to blink away the stinging drops of rain, running with my eyes half closed. I had started with a compass in one hand and map in the other, attempting to "thumb" the map as I went but I had good idea of the route from looking at it in the car so by this point had shoved the map in my pocket

Suddenly the land dropped away with a steep descent and an equally steep ascent up a rough grass track with muddy foot holes worn in. Fortunately, however, the climb didn't last too long and soon I was shouting (the wind was very loud) my number at the marshals while trying to run off in the wrong direction with another runner called Brian, we were soon pointed East towards Green Bell (605m). The wind that had been in my face the whole climb was now at my back and I was able to stride downhill and then was blown the whole way up to the top of Green Bell. After Green Bell the descent started in earnest. It was glorious, a chance to stride downhill over grass and rocky tracks, that were more like fast-running becks. This is where the true fell runners I had been ahead of up to then gained twenty or so yards. When we got back to the mile or so "cross country" section that had been the start I had to stop twice to tie my shoelaces and lost a minute or so and two hard earned places.

Tentus
not-erectus.At this point I had been running in tough (to say the least) conditions for over an hour and was beginning to run out of puff. I had been feeling strong up until this point but now was feeling the fatigue set in. Lucky for me it wasn't far to the finish line, even though the last hundred metres was uphill and I finished in 1hr 16m (and 19s). After a quick jog to Geoff and Susan's car I grabbed my phone and went back to the start line to see if I photo the other's finishing moments. There was no point changing clothes as the rain was still heavy enough that anything I put on would have been drenched before I made it back to the car again. I found Geoff had already finished and we waited for the other two. Soon Susan came storming (which seemed appropriate) through to the finish line and at the same time the tent was blown from above myself and Geoff's heads, narrowly missing a woman with a child in her arms. Mike came over the line half a minute later. Then after warming up, drying off and some food we head for home. The conditions had been a through test of determination and fitness but I never gave up and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of what was my first proper fell race (Swaledale doesn't count apparently).

Results

PosNameClubCatCatposTime
1Todd OatesAmbleside ACMOpen01:05:43
14Jack LeeMOpen01:16:19
18Nina WalkingshawHowgill HarriersFOpen01:19:27
29Geoff DavisNFRMV5001:23:17
47Susan DavisNFRFV5001:36:40
48Mike HughesMV4001:37:11

56 finishers

Grand Prix Race. King/Queen of the Mountain Race.

Sedbergh Hills, 14th August

AL / 14m / 6004ft

Dougie Nisbet

The start at the People's Hall.

For the first time in ages I've felt recently that I had some sort of form returning. Perhaps it was time to try an 'AL'. Haven't done one for years. Find out what sort of shape I'm in. Well, now I know. Still, at least you get a prize for being last.

Results

PosNameClubCatCatposTime
1Steven SnapeSalford HarriersM02:26:55
26Nina WalkingshawHowgillF02:57:53
43Penny BrowellF303:16:23
77Paul EvansM03:48:10
85Stephanie PiperF04:02:51
92Dougie NisbetM04:29:06

92 finishers
Penny was 3rd Lady. Dougie got a prize for "bringing up the rear"

Mike's Bob Graham Round, The Lakes, 17–18th June

72M / 27,000'

Mike Hughes

The start at Moot Hall. The "Bob Graham Round", or simply "the BGR" or even just "BG" - there is plenty written about it so no point going into details here, suffice to say is not a race, you are the only entrant, you go when you like, you start and finish at Moot hall in Keswick. To be successful you have returned there after visiting the 42 named peaks of the BGR in under 24 hours.

My report ended up being quite long, the short version; I trained lots, tried hard, had loads of people to help and did it with just minutes to spare.

My full BG story....

Report continues here...

Borrowdale Fell Race, 6th August

AL / 16.8m / 6562ft

Danny Lim

Photo of Danny Lim traversing boulder field. I was stood in a field in Rosthwaite, a tranquil village nestled amongst the central fells of the Lake District. "Hello Danny!". I looked up to see a familiar face, it was Trevor Matty from Dark Peak. Last year, we hobbled together, cramping up in agony as we made our way to the final checkpoint. We never made it in time for the cut-off and rode the "bus of shame" to the finish. This year, we were back with a score. I was apprehensive as I left home, but had a bit of a morale boost when I bumped into Striders Geoff, Susan, Jules, Steph & Mike H at Penrith service station.

The first mile of the race resembled the Great North Run with jostling and walking as the horde crammed through narrow gates. But it wasn't long before track became footpath then trod. As we passed the final gate, Billy Bland (the record holder of 35 years) was stood there holding it open for us. What a treat it was to see a legend in the flesh albeit it briefly.

As we climbed up Bessyboot, there was lots of enthusiastic overtaking, but I was wiser from last year. This was a race you didn't want to overcook. I held myself back and followed a runner who was keeping a sensible pace.

First checkpoint reached and it was just the start. It was only 4 miles to the next checkpoint, but it was across the boggiest terrain I had encountered, every step you took, your foot sank into the ground anywhere from an inch to a few of feet! It was energy-sapping work. And all this was going on whilst having to mind steep drops to the side and climbing uphill much of the way.

An hour later, we crossed Bogistan (I made that up) and started the climb to Scafell Pike. The terrain was entirely different, as we climbed scree then a giant boulder field. None of this was runnable as you had to carefully pick your way with each step. As we climbed higher, we became enshrouded in cloud and the wind-chill effect was more noticeable. Once the summit was reached, the best part was to follow, the scree run!

I was too terrified last year to enjoy this, but once you got the knack it was really fun, sliding your way down. Each step you took threatened to set off a mini avalanche and once in a while, there would be a shout of "watch out" as a boulder would loosen and roll downhill. Thanks to Aaron Gourley's tip, I had a pair of gaiters which saved me from picking rocks out of my shoes.

It was over too soon and now I had to traverse the "corridor route" which was really scenic but there were a few bits where you had to be careful with a few precipitous drops. Before long I was at the foot of Great Gable, her intimidating profile looming overhead. I made the climb up at a steady pace. It seemed to go on forever but it was only 30 minutes before reaching the top. Here, I passed Trevor who seemed to be good spirits, I wished him well and pushed on ahead.

The climb down was equally steep and rocky as we scrambled down. The next few miles contoured around Brandreth & Grey Knotts and it was quite fiddly. Unnervingly, I seemed to have a small group of runners following me. I gave up on the finding the best line and used the fence as a handrail with my pack in tow.

Throughout the race, I had been monitoring my time constantly. Last year, I was cramping up almost every few minutes after Great Gable and made the Honister checkpoint 50 minutes after the cut-off. As Honister came into view below, I glanced at my watch, I had over 20 minutes to spare; I knew barring a calamity, I was going to finish and celebrated inside.

The final climb up Dalehead wasn't as bad as I thought and my legs though tired still had energy. After tagging the summit & was a steep grassy drop into the valley with no definite path. I disagreed with the line a Calder Valley runner took and thought I'd be clever by taking a direct but insanely steep approach down. So here I was trampling downhill like an arse (and landing on it a few times too!) whilst everyone else followed her whilst staying upright. In the end, there was little difference (minus my dignity) as we reached Dalehead Tarn at the same time.

After navigating a slate quarry, the Rosthwaite finally came into view below. What a welcome sight! The final mile was all downhill and I mustered enough energy to go on the offensive, picking off several runners before crossing the finish line. What a race! If you're into fells, I'd strongly recommend it as it is has everything; distance, terrain, technicality and pace to challenge you. But if you're not familiar with this part of the Lakes, make sure you recce it!

Hoad Hill Half Marathon, South Lakes, 7th August

Nigel Heppell

Elevation cross section of route. Mike B and me got up v.early on Sunday 7th July and travelled cross-country to the South Lakes to take part in the second running of the Hoad Hill Half Marathon.

We chose this race partly because we had never heard of it before, it was held in a part of the Lakes seldom visited by tourist hordes; the alternative 'Cross Bay Challenge' looked too flat (with a chance of drowning); and a relative living nearby could be visited; also the course profile; 6miles lumpy up and down, 6miles totally flat, followed by a killer climb and descent in the last mile seemed like a challenge too good to refuse; and my last official half-marathon race was the GNR in 1995!

Photograph showing view with Information Panel in foreground.

Starting and finishing in Ford Park, Ulverston, a full marathon set off 30mins before the Half was led through town by guides to negotiate the central streets, a few back lanes, and some civil engineering works before being let loose on the Cumbrian Way; a nice gentle start as the track was Photograph showing track descent with sea in background. too narrow to do anything but follow the runner in front, and then there was the kissing gate! one runner at a time certainly stretched the field out (next year oil the hinges please). After that came a series of lanes and fields interspersed with tracks across and around fields, gradually reaching out onto bracken and rock covered hillsides with glimpses over the estuary before the headland revealed the full glory and extensive views of Morecambe Bay at low tide.

No sign of the 'Cross-Bayers' today as it was so windy the sands had shifted and their start was relocated to Silverdale just out of sight behind the Cartmel penninsula. The strength of the wind also defeated the organisers of the Hoad Hill races who had to abandon plans for entertainment and refreshment marquees in the park.

Nice views over Bardsea village before we dropped down a steep rock-strewn lane to the coast, through the garden of someone's Stately Home and turning north along the coastal path; sometimes on hard track; sometimes on soft sand; other-times large rounded pebbles; several miles of playing Photograph showing lighthouse. cat and mouse with other runner's strengths and weaknesses; some like uphill; some like downhill; I was comprehensively thrashed by a lady from Dunstable (just visiting, she said) who clearly liked the flat terrain along the coast and then disappeared into the distance once we got to the canal just after the sponsor (GlaxoSmithKline)'s factory. The Canal; completely flat, completely straight; how can a distance just over 1 mile seem like it takes forever?

A few twists and turns on country lanes, crossing the main A590 road under Police guidance, and enter the park to climb the switchback path towards the Sir John Barrow monument on Hoad Hill. Pass by one casualty of exhaustion/dehydration/overexertion laid out beside the path but efficiently attended by concerned runners and marshalls, all in radio contact with Race Organisers/Emergency Services and reading details off the back of her race number (did we all fill that in before starting the race?). Onwards and upwards becomes a test of resolve to see who would break into a walk last of all; I give in early to temptation, but can walk as fast as most around me can run so no big deal Photograph of Mike Bennet. there apart from young 'Ben' who has a fan-club waiting at the top of the hill and is compelled to overtake. Pass by another handful of runners laid out around the base of the monument with cramp, some in tears, some having their legs pulled (literally) by sympathetic marshalls; I catch up and get past Ben on the downhill stretch but the sprint (ha!) finish into the long funnel back into the park brings on cramp for me and Ben has it in the bag.

Not the cheapest run I've ever entered, but well organised, well marked, loads of bananas, and a nice introduction to places I would never otherwise have seen (campervan owners can contact me about an interesting wildcamping location spotted on this run).

Oh! and the T-shirt?; you'll see me and Mike coming from a long, long, way away!

Photograph showing view over Morecambe Bay.

Results

PosNameClubCatCatposTime
1Joe KennyM01:30:00
4Christina WiejakBarrow and Furness Striders ACF01:40:51
48Michael BennettM02:02:37
65Nigel HeppellM02:10:02

155 finishers

James Herriot Trail Race, Castle Bolton, Wensleydale, 31st July

14K

Jack Lee

Photo of Jack, Geoff and Susan.In a week that had already been packed full of running I found myself standing at the start line to the James Herriot Country Trail Run chatting to Geoff Davis and Penny Browell, Susan Davis having dropped back a bit further from the start line. In an instant chatting turned into a frenetic mayhem as the announcer suddenly started the race and a few hundred bodies set off in the same direction at very different paces. The first section must have been 500m or so but took the runners through Castle Bolton and up to the start of the fields and the first climb. The next kilometre was a climb up through fields and small tracks during which I chased a small group of 6-7 men with a Quaker Runner at the tail hoping that they could shield me from the wind buffeting all of us and threatening to blow my number back down to Castle Bolton. It wasn’t long into this climb that my lungs were hurting but almost everyone nearby was puffing like a steam locomotive and those that weren’t were walking. For me it was a matter of digging in, steeling myself mentally and keeping the knees high and legs pumping.

After what seemed like an age with too many false horizons we reached one of North Yorkshire’s typical flat topped fells and the race continued along the spine of the fell, the terrain now undulating with a slight incline. Now it was a matter of holding my place against the attacks from runners behind and staying as near to the Quaker Runner ahead as possible but while I kept most runners behind, besides the odd man storming by at a rate of knots, I lost ground to the runners ahead when I went over slightly on my right ankle again, a problem that has plagued me at almost every recent race. Soon the next stage could be seen, a steep descent followed by what looked like a painfully sharp ascent. The descent came soon after a water station where I failed in attempt to get a cup, when I made a grasp for the one cup the woman offered the other and withdrew the one I was aiming for. It felt like I was flying down the descent with my feet barely touching the ground and arms no longer pumping but aiding balance, there is nothing more satisfying then free distance but soon after the steep climb started it steepened even to the point where at the top I walked a few yards.

After what was the last major climb of the race the rest was mostly downhill on good trail, with gravity doing most of the work until the last 3 or so miles where the course flattened and headed on back to Castle Bolton. At this point I was on my own (or so I thought) I could see the man from the Quaker Running Club 150m ahead and I had left another runner, who had been attacking on the top of the fell, during the descent. So coming up to the last water station I was very surprised when the 1st lady shot into my peripheral vision to get a drink. I then decided to make the most of her water stop and shoot off as fast as my tired legs would take me towards the finish and it worked for a time until with a little less than a mile left she overtook me going at what must have been a min/mile quicker, I had no chance of rebuffing such an attack and she even ended up taking the Quaker Runner ahead by the end as well. For me the race was just a procession to the finish line with a token sprint put in for good measure. What had started in a whirlwind of frenetic energy now ended up in a calm manner for the most part, with runners who were usual quite strung out came across the line. The only excitement was seeing Penny and Geoff coming towards the line, Geoff behind at this point but with a cheeky smile which spoke volumes. I could see that he fancied his chances of an overtake and our mudman didn’t disappoint using all his experience, cunning and competitiveness to pull off a perfect overtake and win the battle of the Striders. A bit late the mudwoman finished to take 2nd in her age category rounding off a thoroughly testing but enjoyable day out in Yorkshire.

Elvet Striders Clamber, Houghall Woods and Low Burnhall, 27th July

5.2 miles

Results

All Clubs
position bib name club time cat cat pos
1 89 Michael Joyeux Quakers Running Club 30.54 M30 1st overall / M30 1st
2 55 Johnathan Evans Jarrow & Hebburn AC 31.21 MSEN 2nd overall/1st MSEN
3 80 Stephen Jackson Elvet Striders 32.29 M30 3rd/1st male strider/M30 2nd
4 52 Liam Emmett Jarrow & Hebburn 32.35 MSEN 2nd MSEN
5 99 Michael Mason Elvet Striders 32.39 M40 1st M40
6 155 Paul Weir 32.57 M40 2nd M40
7 58 Jonathan Gilroy Jarrow & Hebburn AC 34.25 M30 M30 3rd
8 42 Danny Dixon 34.42 MSEN 3rd MSEN
9 62 Callum Greig Run Peterlee 34.48 MSEN
10 136 Alex Sneddon Jarrow & Hebburn AC 35.04 FSEN 1st female/1st FSEN
11 86 Steve Johnson Houghton Harriers & AC 35.25 M40 3rd M40
12 93 Jack Lee Elvet Striders 35.34 MSEN
13 53 Kevin Emmett Jarrow & Hebburn AC 35.36 M50 1st M50
14 61 Rory Graham Houghton Harriers & AC 35.55 MSEN
15 134 Alice Smith Sunderland Harriers & AC 36.15 F30 2nd female/1st F30
16 26 John Collins 36.23 M40
17 144 Gary Thwaites Sedgefield Harriers 36.30 M40
18 152 Mark Warner Elvet Striders 36.39 M30
19 122 Phil Ray Elvet Striders 36.44 M30
20 131 David Shearan Jarrow & Hebburn AC 37.04 M30
21 75 Lee Hetherington South Shields Harriers & AC 37.22 M40
22 95 Elaine Leslie Jarrow & Hebburn AC 37.49 F40 3rd female/F40 1st
23 104 shaun Mcgrath Houghton Harriers & AC 38.02 M50 2nd M50
24 9 Elaine Bisson Elvet Striders 38.40 F30 1st female strider/2nd F30
25 164 Tamsin Imber Elvet Striders 38.50 F40 F40 2nd
26 57 Alan Foster 38.55 M40
27 11 Penny Browell Elvet Striders 39.08 F40 F40 3rd
28 3 Philip Atkinson Birtley AC 39.12 M40
29 108 Patrick McShane Jarrow & Hebburn AC 39.20 M30
30 63 David Gribben Houghton Harriers & AC 39.27 M50 3rd M50
31 156 Dale Wilkinson Sunderland Strollers 39.45 M50
32 147 David Walker Sedgefield Harriers 39.48 M40
33 143 Mick Thornton Jarrow & Hebburn AC 39.53 M50
34 123 Mark Robinson Sunderland Strollers 39.59 M50
35 69 Gary Hargrave Sunderland Strollers 40.22 M40
36 133 Tim Skelton Elvet Striders 40.29 M30
37 33 Malcolm Cox Sunderland Strollers 40.33 M60 M60 1st
38 4 Gary Bailey Run Peterlee 40.37 M40
39 47 Lee Drummond Birtley AC 41.00 M40
40 153 Louise Warner Elvet Striders 41.02 F30 3rd V30
41 142 James Thompson Vegan Runners UK 41.40 M40
42 117 Darren Parks Jarrow & Hebburn AC 41.45 M40
43 94 Malcolm Leece Jarrow & Hebburn AC 41.46 M40
44 115 Steven Outterside Jarrow & Hebburn AC 41.51 M40
45 135 Paul Smith Crook & District AC 41.52 M50
46 113 Melvyn Olley Washington Running Club 41.58 M40
47 105 Allan Mcmanus Sunderland Harriers & AC 41.59 M30
48 64 Gareth Hamblin Sedgefield Harriers 42.02 M30
49 8 Mike Bennett Elvet Striders 42.03 M60 M60 2nd
50 56 Steve Foreman Sedgefield Harriers 42.25 M40
51 17 Kevin Carrahar Sunderland Harriers & AC 42.39 M50
52 78 Brian Hurst Jarrow & Hebburn AC 42.53 M40
53 32 Vikki Cotton Sunderland Harriers & AC 42.54 F30
54 106 Michael Mcnally Jarrow & Hebburn AC 42.55 M50
55 140 Jason Taylor Blackhill Bounders 43.18 M40
56 34 Rob Craig Sunderland Strollers 43.29 M50
57 39 Sarah Davies Elvet Striders 43.50 F40
58 109 Stephen Mills Crook & District AC 43.54 M40
59 82 Laura Jennings Elvet Striders 44.42 FSEN 2nd FSEN
60 107 Tony McNeill Durham City Harriers & AC 44.45 M50
61 161 Nicola Woodward Sunderland Harriers & AC 44.47 F30
62 100 Rachelle Mason Elvet Striders 44.51 F30
63 35 Matthew Crow Hunwick Harriers 45.11 MSEN
64 36 Vanessa Cutter Gateshead Harriers & AC 45.26 F30
65 150 Jane Wallace 45.26 F40
66 163 Tim Matthews Elvet Striders 45.30 M50
67 149 Michael Wallace Sunderland Strollers 45.32 M40
68 59 Joe Glancy Sunderland Strollers 45.33 M50
69 91 Bill Kirk Sunderland Strollers 45.36 M60 M60 3rd
70 121 Nicola Race Hunwick harriers 45.42 F40
71 110 Adam Morton 45.49 M30
72 90 Peter King 45.50 M40
73 1 Stephen Allen Sunderland Strollers 45.53 M30
74 166 Lesley Charman Elvet Striders 45.59 M40
75 29 Anthony Corbett Quakers Running Club 46.19 M50
76 148 Marie Walker Sedgefield Harriers 46.24 F40
77 111 Louise Morton Elvet Striders 46.38 F30
78 38 Andrew Davies Elvet Striders 46.39 M40
79 154 Rosie Warnett Sedgefield Harriers 46.45 F30
80 116 Percy Parkin Crook & District AC 46.48 M70 M70 1st
81 146 Diane Vaughan Quakers Running Club 46.52 F50 F50 1st
82 28 Katherine Conway Washington Running Club 46.54 F30
83 15 Jo Carnie Steel City Striders RC 46.56 F40
84 77 Richard Hughes Quakers Running Club 47.13 M40
85 139 Yvonne Storey Tyne Bridge Harriers 47.19 F40
86 83 Nina Jensen Claremont Road Runners 47.26 F40
87 145 Frances Timson Elvet Striders 47.27 F30
88 102 Stephen McCoy Sunderland Strollers 47.40 M40
89 72 Christine Hearmon Sedgefield Harriers 47.55 F50 F50 2nd
90 112 Sam Newington Durham City Harriers & AC 48.12 F40
91 114 Michelle O'Neill Sunderland Strollers 48.21 F40
92 14 Amanda Cable Low Fell Running Club 48.31 F40
93 51 Steve Ellis Elvet Striders 48.41 M60
94 65 Lesley Hamill Elvet Striders 48.44 F40
95 126 David Round Sedgefield Harriers 48.55 M50
96 44 Garry Douglass 48.58 M30
97 84 Marsha Jobling Jarrow & Hebburn AC 48.59 F40
98 71 Peter Hart Elvet Striders 49.20 M30
99 23 Mark Colling Quakers Running Club 49.31 M40
100 24 Wendy Colling Quakers Running Club 49.31 F50 F50 3rd
101 124 Mick Robson 49.39 M40
102 85 Hazel Johnson Shildon Running & AC 49.42 F40
103 88 Debbie Jones Elvet Striders 49.55 F40
104 30 April Corbett Quakers Running Club 50.10 F40
105 132 Chris Shearsmith Elvet Striders 50.27 M30
106 128 Jill Rudkin Elvet Striders 50.33 F40
107 60 Nicola Gloyne Blackhill Bounders 50.51 F30
108 48 Lyndsay Duffy Billingham Marsh House Harriers 51.16 FSEN 3rd FSEN
109 66 Anna Hardy Quakers Running Club 51.17 F40
110 25 Alex Collins Elvet Striders 51.24 M30
111 127 Ian Rudge Shildon Running & AC 51.41 M40
112 101 Giles McCourt Sunderland Strollers 51.43 M30
113 37 Andrew Darling 51.52 M30
114 49 Nick Dunk Witham Runners 51.52 M40
115 98 John Martin 51.52 M40
116 54 Tracey Emmett Jarrow & Hebburn AC 52.27 F40
117 160 Fiona Wood Elvet Striders 52.31 F30
118 87 Chloe Johnston Sunderland Strollers 52.48 FSEN
119 18 Sandra Cass Quakers Running Club 52.56 F50
120 31 Andrew Corfield Sedgefield Harriers 53.39 M40
121 21 Michelle Coleman Elswick Harriers 53.51 F40
122 20 Martin Colborn Run Peterlee 54.10 M40
123 119 Ashley Price-Sabate Elvet Striders 54.21 F40
124 158 Richard Wilson Sunderland Strollers 54.50 M60
125 73 Angus Hearmon Sedgefield Harriers 54.57 M60
126 92 Anne Kirk Sunderland Strollers 54.59 F50
127 68 Denis Hargrave Sunderland Strollers 55.02 M70
128 13 Angela Tribe Elvet Striders 55.15 F40
129 5 Laura Beacham Elvet Striders 55.29 FSEN
130 125 James Ross Shildon Running & AC 55.36 M50
131 129 Leanne Salem Claremont Road Runners 55.59 F30
132 41 Rebecca Devine Elvet Striders 56.25 FSEN
133 162 Jill Young Elvet Striders 56.28 F30
134 50 Jan Ellis Elvet Striders 56.33 F50
135 103 Debbie McFarland Elvet Striders 56.36 FSEN
136 22 Kelly Collier Elvet Striders 56.50 F30
137 67 Anna Hargrave Sunderland Strollers 57.34 F40
138 76 karen Hooper Elvet Striders 57.38 F40
139 70 Victoria Harrison Tyne Bridge Harriers 57.52 F30
140 96 David Little Shildon Running & AC 59.27 M30
141 16 Nicola Carr Sunderland Strollers 59.36 F40
142 27 Jill Connolly Sunderland Strollers 59.36 F50
143 165 Kirsty Mcsween Sunderland Strollers 59.36 F30
144 81 Sara James Tyne Bridge Harriers 60.44 F30
145 118 Judith Porter Aycliffe Running Club 60.47 F60 1st F60
146 157 Jack Wilson Sunderland Strollers 61.39 M60
147 46 Jane Dowsett Elvet Striders 61.44 F40
148 19 Carla Clarke Elvet Striders 61.50 F30
149 7 Emily Beaumont Quakers Running Club 66.24 F30
150 40 Katie Davison Elvet Striders 71.02 FSEN
151 137 Diane Soulsby Elvet Striders 71.05 F50
152 130 David Sawyer Sedgefield Harriers 72.20 M40
153 43 Michelle Donnellly Sunderland Strollers 72.33 F40

153 finishers.

Elvet Striders Only
position bib name time cat cat pos
1 89 Michael Joyeux (Quakers Running Club) 30.54 M30 1st overall/M30 1st
3 80 Stephen Jackson 32.29 M30 3rd/1st male strider/M30 2nd
5 99 Michael Mason 32.39 M40 1st M40
10 136 Alex Sneddon (Jarrow & Hebburn AC) 35.04 FSEN 1st female/1st FSEN
12 93 Jack Lee 35.34 MSEN
18 152 Mark Warner 36.39 M30
19 122 Phil Ray 36.44 M30
24 9 Elaine Bisson 38.40 F30 1st female strider/2nd F30
25 164 Tamsin Imber 38.50 F40 F40 2nd
27 11 Penny Browell 39.08 F40 F40 3rd
36 133 Tim Skelton 40.29 M30
40 153 Louise Warner 41.02 F30 3rd V30
49 8 Mike Bennett 42.03 M60 M60 2nd
57 39 Sarah Davies 43.50 F40
59 82 Laura Jennings 44.42 FSEN 2nd FSEN
62 100 Rachelle Mason 44.51 F30
66 163 Tim Matthews 45.30 M50
74 166 Lesley Charman 45.59 M40
77 111 Louise Morton 46.38 F30
78 38 Andrew Davies 46.39 M40
87 145 Frances Timson 47.27 F30
93 51 Steve Ellis 48.41 M60
94 65 Lesley Hamill 48.44 F40
98 71 Peter Hart 49.20 M30
103 88 Debbie Jones 49.55 F40
105 132 Chris Shearsmith 50.27 M30
106 128 Jill Rudkin 50.33 F40
110 25 Alex Collins 51.24 M30
117 160 Fiona Wood 52.31 F30
123 119 Ashley Price-Sabate 54.21 F40
128 13 Angela Tribe 55.15 F40
129 5 Laura Beacham 55.29 FSEN
132 41 Rebecca Devine 56.25 FSEN
133 162 Jill Young 56.28 F30
134 50 Jan Ellis 56.33 F50
135 103 Debbie McFarland 56.36 FSEN
136 22 Kelly Collier 56.50 F30
138 76 karen Hooper 57.38 F40
147 46 Jane Dowsett 61.44 F40
148 19 Carla Clarke 61.50 F30
150 40 Katie Davison 71.02 FSEN
151 137 Diane Soulsby 71.05 F50

153 finishers.

Grand Prix Race. Endurance Champion Race.

Coastal Run, 24th July

about 14 miles

Results

striders pos Name Cat Chip Time
[1] Carl Avery (Morpeth Harriers) Senior M 1:13:34
[27] Johanna Gascoigne-owens (Alnwick Harriers) Veteran F35 1:27:17
1Stephen JacksonSenior M1:22:41
2Michael Mason(M) Veteran401:23:51
3Andrew Hopkins(M) Veteran401:31:56
4Jack LeeSenior M1:35:22
5Jon Ayres(M) Veteran401:37:18
6Graeme Walton(M) Veteran401:37:35
7Simon Gardner(M) Veteran401:39:32
8Penny Browell(F) Veteran401:40:43
9David BrownSenior M1:42:50
10Elaine BissonVeteranF351:43:07
11Louise WarnerVeteranF351:48:03
12Michael Bennett(M) Veteran601:50:25
13John Hutchinson(M) Veteran601:50:35
14Malcolm Sygrove(M) Veteran501:58:44
15Lesley Charman(F) Veteran402:05:06
16Ari HodgsonSenior M2:05:13
17Jean Bradley(F) Veteran602:06:50
18Dougie Nisbet(M) Veteran502:06:52
19Stephanie PiperSenior F2:07:26
20Eric Green(M) Veteran502:07:27
21Karen Jones(F) Veteran402:08:05
22Nicola WhyteSenior F2:08:20
24Dave Robson(M) Veteran602:10:59
25Frances TimsonSenior F2:12:46
26Debbie Jones(F) Veteran402:12:51
27Kathryn Sygrove(F) Veteran502:13:50
28Sue Gardham(F) Veteran402:13:50
29Sarah Fawcett(F) Veteran502:14:40
30Lesley Hamill(F) Veteran402:15:14
31Camilla Lauren-maatta(F) Veteran502:16:56
32David CaseSenior M2:17:49
33Anita Clementson(F) Veteran402:23:35
34Katherine Preston(F) Veteran402:25:14
35Kate Macpherson(F) Veteran402:25:14
36Gillian Green(F) Veteran402:28:50
37Robin LintonSenior M2:33:18
38Aileen Campbell Scott(F) Veteran402:34:45
39Stan White(M) Veteran502:37:37
40Mark HerkesSenior M2:41:12
41Katie-Louise FinneySenior F2:41:13
42Jill YoungSenior F2:42:11
43Debbie McfarlandSenior F2:42:12
44Lucy HerkesSenior F2:42:13
45Laura GibsonVeteranF352:54:39
46Kelly CollierSenior F2:54:51
47Natalie JohnsonVeteranF352:55:16
48Neil Jennings(M) Veteran502:55:17
49Margaret Thompson(F) Veteran602:56:29
50Alan Smith(M) Veteran602:57:00

980 finishers.

Grand Prix Race. Sprint Champion Race.

Sunderland 5K, 13th July

Katy Walton

I had been looking forward to this race following my great experience in 2015. This race is a very fast 5k course. On this night the sun was out and the wind up slightly, but no conditions to make the pb seekers fear their results.

Ladies and M50's were the first group of people to charge down the 1k hill at the very start of the race. Elbows all out hoping that you don't trip.

Once reaching the bottom of the hill a crowd of spectators greeted the eager runners as they started their small lap of the park.

Clearly marked kilometre signs were positioned en route for those keeping to a set pace.

As you finished the first loop of the park you approach the supporters again, Simon, Allan, Graeme, Mark, Stephen and Gareth were shouting loudly. Next is a larger loop where runners do a loop of the lake, at this point the wind was certainly making its point in slowing me down.

A lady who I often race against at the NEMAA ran past me which bucked me up a bit, I knew I was on par with her so my new aim was to keep on her.

A little mistake I made last year was that I didn't push on the winning 'straight' (I was unaware where the finish was) and this year I was determined not to repeat my mistake so I started to pick up my pace and give my all.

A nasty little incline on the finishing straight certainly finished each runner off nicely!

Excellent times from all Striders, Stephen Soulsby, Elaine Bisson, Louise Warner, Lesley Charman, Fiona Jones and Karen Byng, Louise Barrow, Catherine Smith and Victoria Stott.

In the second race Strider men running were Gareth Pritchard, Stephen Jackson, Mark Warner and Graeme Walton, all men gave their all as the vast group of runners flew down the hill causing a big draft of wind to hit the spectators. Fabulous runs from all.

This race is a brilliant, cheap local race which can be entered on the night and also an offering of a good chance of a pb. See you next year Sunderland 5k!!

IRONMAN UK, Bolton, 17th July

2.4 miles swim, 112 miles bike, 26.2 miles run

Debs Goddard

Photo of Debs giving thumbs up before starting.I was so happy to have even made it to the start line of this event after six months of hard training and a knee injury which meant that I hadn’t run for more than six miles since January. For the last week I’ve lived on a diet of ibuprofen and practically bathed in alcohol hand gel so I didn’t pick up any last minute nasties.

This event is logistically complicated in that it’s a split transition. This means that the bike start and the run start are in different locations 12 miles apart and the finish is in a further location in Bolton town centre.

I travelled down 2 days before the event to take my time registering and setting up the two transitions. My Tri club buddy and twice Ironman himself, Tim Matthews, was my domestique for the weekend and was tasked with the challenging job of keeping me calm!!!

After registration and the welcome party on Friday, we spend Saturday setting up the two transitions and I was able to get into the Lake (Pennington Flash) for the practice swim session as luck would have it with my coach Sorell. The lake was much better than I expected – fairly warm and reassuringly murky (I am not remotely interested in knowing what lurks beneath!!). We also managed to meet up with my fellow Durham Tri competitor Bob Hewitson and have a hearty carbo loading breakfast and a nervous chat about the upcoming challenge awaiting us the next day. So off to bed for an early night for an extremely early start but not before applying the ever important race number tattoos (so damned cool!!).

Photo of Debs with number printed on right arm.So race day arrives – up for a 3am breakfast in the hotel then onto the shuttle bus to the lake for a 4am and pitch black arrival to the start but thankfully no rain. Wetsuits donned we arranged ourselves in the chute to enter the swim in predicted swim time order. On my way down to the water I spotted my wonderful supporters from Durham Tri club – Tim, Lesley, Amanda and Olivia which gave me a nice little boost. At about 6.25am I was off!! The swim course consists of a 1.9K lap of the lake then an Aussie style exit from the water to run around a channel of about 50m to the roar of the crowd before jumping back in for a second lap. I exited the swim in a satisfactory time for me of 1hr 30mins. Into the T1 tent which unfortunately had a surface underfoot of thick squelshy mud (but made my cross country soul feel rather at home!) On to the bike and off I went to tackle the 112 mile ride.

This bike course is rather challenging featuring over six thousand feet of elevation. The route consists of a 12 mile trip out to the village of Adlington then two 50 mile loops. The two most legendary climbs are entitled 'Sheephouse Lane' and 'Hunters Hill' which are obviously done twice each. The support of the crowds was fabulous around most of the course but most notable on these two aforementioned climbs. Huge crowds lined both sides of these hills, music was blasting in places and encouragements being shouted – a real Tour de France feel. There is quite honestly nothing like the sight of a man in a mask, cape and mankini dancing to the tune of ‘Uptown funk’ to lift the spirits when the legs are getting tired.

Photo of Debs taking corner on bike. I did find it quite challenging to eat and drink enough to keep well fuelled – very surprising for those who know me well!! The taste of isotonic Powerbar energy drink after 4 litres, chia bars and sweets can become very tedious. I took up the option to have a ‘special needs’ bag available to me at mile 88 and experienced a moment of sheer ecstasy when I extracted and devoured my packet of salt and vinegar square crisps which I had cunningly placed there earlier. I even managed to eat a couple of ham and cheese croissants to make sure I had something in the tank for the ever approaching marathon.

I saw my own family twice on the bike route at the most remote part of the course which was fantastic and the Durham Tri support crew cycled their way to two vantage points to cheer me on. Tri club coach Ian MacKenzie also made two surprise appearances on the bike route which again gave me a great boost. All was going rather well pacing and timing wise until disaster struck at 100 miles – a rear wheel puncture, arrgh! Now to put this into perspective, in 10 years of cycling I have never had a puncture – what a cruel world this is. Thankfully I had practised this in the week before the race so tried to stay calm. I had been introduced to CO2 canisters which inflate the tyre to 100PSI in 3 seconds – a god send. About 20 mins later I was on my merry way again and before long found myself at the finish of the bike leg 8 hours and 20 minutes later in T2 at the Macron Stadium to the welcome cheers of my fans. Unfortunately my Durham teammate Bob had fallen off his bike earlier in the race and fractured his wrist, so his racing day was sadly over.

Photo of Debs in Trisuit giving thumbs up.

By this time of the day the sun was well and truly shining so I lathered on the suncream, donned my fresh tri suit and socks, said a quick prayer to the God of injured knees and I was off to face the most challenging part of the event. The run course consists of a six mile run from the Macron Stadium then a hilly six mile loop of Bolton town centre which is completed three times. I set off on a 4 minute run (which very quickly became a shuffle) followed by 1 minute walk strategy with the aim to keep this up throughout. It started well and the route was fairly pretty along a canal path which offered some welcome shade and a blissful stretch of off road surface, yippee! This only lasted for 1km unfortunately before it was back to soul sucking tarmac. I then joined the three loop part of the course where we were rewarded with a different coloured hair scrunchy to proudly wear on our wrist on the completion of each lap.

Again nutrition was a major challenge and my stomach had simply had enough of trying to digest vile food options whilst competing with the muscles for a blood supply to enable this. I managed to get down a few gels, bananas and tortilla crisps washed down with lashings of coke and water. Jules Percival had bought me a packet of polos on the assurance that they were marvellous for warding off nausea in endurance events. Wow was she right and I rewarded myself with one after every 5k of running completed.

Photo of Debs with support team.

By the time I started on the loops I felt absolutely cream crackered and can honestly say the support of the crowd and other competitors got me through. The lovely people of Bolton were out in force for the whole route; their enthusiasm helped no doubt by the sunshine and for some ice cold beers in their hands. My tri family were along the route and also my coach and her colleagues from Tri Training Harder which was wonderful. The real saviours of the day, however, were my Hubby and kids which had positioned themselves half way up the long drag of a hill. They proceeded to take it in turns to run with me for short stretches, hold my hand, give me hugs and encourage me that 'I had this'. My son Rhys later told me that watching the marathon was like watching an episode of the zombie drama 'The Walking Dead'. Never was a truer word said as I definitely felt like I was starring in it at some points. On each loop when you hit the town centre part, you are faced with the roar of crowds driving you on and a trip past the finishing shoot which gives you a taste of what’s to come.

At long last and 5 hours and 49 minutes later and a total time of 16 hours and 5 minutes it was my turn to hit the red carpet and do my victory dance to the sound of the yearned for words of the PA “Debs Goddard you are an Ironman” – it was an awesome moment and one I won’t ever forget.

Photo of Debs at the finish with red carpet and timer.