Race Reports, October 2006

Davison Shield, Sunderland, 28th October

Sherman Cup & Davison Shield

by Susan Davis

After a very wet run on Wednesday and further rainfall on Thursday I was very surprised and of course a litttle disappointed at the lack of mud at the Sherman Cup. today. I had encouraged Dave S on Wednesday at which time it looked set for a pretty miserable wet day today that running would be worthwhile suggesting that we could have mud wrestling at the end of the race so no doubt Dave was disappointed today aswell.

A good start to the x/c season 6 men I believe & 7 women running well done to everyone who took part, especially to our new women members Lianna, Karen & Kathryn all sporting new off road shoes for the event and Lianna leading the womens team home.

Many thanks to Dave R for his great work as captain which included collection & distribution of numbers, driving to the event & giving other members a lift, support during the race photography & post race bananas. Also thanks to Wendy & Jane who although not with us will have thought about all of us as they were hopefully nearing the end of Beachy Head Marathon when we kicked off at the X/C, in her absence Wendy also made sure post race chocolate treat was available.

Thanks also to supporters Tony, Janet, Joyce Debs & Elise.

I am sure that we would all like to congartulate Fiona's son Bob in taking part and completing his first X/C running for Durham Harriers in the U17 boys race. WELL DONE BOB ! we look forward to seeing you at the next X/C 25 th November.

I look forward to the next race where hopefully we will head towards double figures reprensting the club from both the men & womens section.


Davison Shield

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 MILTON, Felicity Durham City Harriers 0:21:40
7 HOUSE, Leanna 0:24:41
12 SHENTON, Fiona 0:25:45
18 ELLIOTT, Karen 0:27:27
22 BANKS, Kathryn 0:27:46
31 DAWSON, Mandy 0:29:24
32 DAVIES, Susan 0:29:35
42 YOUNG, Jan 0:31:17

46 finishers
The team was 3rd out of 8 full teams.

Sherman Cup

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 STEPHENSON, Ryan North Shields Poly 0:29:50
48 HORSLEY, Will 0:36:18
84 BENNET, Mike 0:38:21
118 WHITE, Conrad 0:40:51
127 BLACKLOCK, Ian 0:41:25
139 HEPPLE, Nigel 0:43:26
147 SHIPMAN, David 0:43:59
166 PURVIS, Alan 0:52:54

168 finishers
The team was 20th out of 22 full teams.

OMM, The Agony and the Ecstasy, aka The Karrimor, 28th October

Geoff Davis

The Karrimor Mountain Marathon (KIMM), or Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) as it is called now, is a two day event held over mountainous terrain. Teams of two navigate their way around a two day course as quickly as possible carrying all food, stove, tent and equipment for an overnight camp.

This year's event was held in Galloway, S.W. Scotland on 28—29th October. There are various courses and the 'B' course that my running partner Paul Hainsworth (Northumberland Fell Runners) and I did was 43km long with 3050m of climb over the two days (27 miles and 10,000' in old money).

It had been 13 years since my last Karrimor so the memories of pain and discomfort had receded somewhat. However, they quickly returned as Saturday dawned with steady rain, mist down to the campsite and the rivers in semi spate. Nonetheless we set off in good spirits and the competitive urge soon kicked in as we passed teams much younger than ourselves struggling with the navigation and the conditions. No probs finding the first checkpoint. The second took a bit longer to get to than we thought and Paul grazed the length of his shin down a rocky hole as we traversed the steep hillside.

The map showed that the route to checkpoint 3 included two river crossings (no bridges out here!). The first one went ok as we managed to stand on partly submerged rocks and only went in knee deep. The second, however, was a raging torrent and as wide as a good—sized front room. Paul went in first and although he is around 6'3" tall the water was just about at his waist. I slid into the water a bit gingerly but we supported each other as we struggled through the foam and made it to the other side unscathed.

The rain continued to fall and the mist barely lifted as we pressed on through the next two checkpoints over steep hills on mainly trackless terrain. We finally reached the point where we knew the rest of the route was mainly downhill. At this point my spirits lifted, I forgot about the weather and the heavy sack, remembered I was a fell runner and flew down the last couple of miles to the overnight camp area. We arrived here at about 4pm, after starting just after 9am, and wouldn't leave until our start time the following morning (9.40am) so we were here for some time.

We put up our (small!) tent, got out of our saturated clothes and got a brew on. The rain stopped and things started to look up as we made inroads into our three course meal — all eaten from the same plastic camping mug! We saw a few familiar faces around and chatted to club mates (from Northumberland Fell Runners) and other friends. The results after day 1 were on display and showed us to be 48th out of around 230 teams that started our course — not bad for a couple of oldies.

The long, windy night went over fairly quickly and relatively comfortably. Sunday dawned clear, dry, bright and with very little wind — ideal conditions for fell runners like me and Paul — the orienteers prefer the mist so they tell me. Our late start meant we had plenty of competitors to follow and we were soon passing them in droves particularly on the downhills. The first two checkpoints were quickly and easily found although I managed a headfirst dive at one point into the soft boggy ground. The third check point offered a choice of routes and after a slightly protracted debate we chose the wrong one!

However, nothing was going to stop us today and although we probably lost 5–10 minutes we pressed on and on hitting all the remaining checkpoints with no trouble while passing other teams all the time — great for the morale! With a mile or so to go we would have gone through a brick wall to get to the finish. We didn't have to do that but we did have to negotiate thigh deep glutinous mud before hitting the forest track to the finish at just after 2pm. We both shook hands and headed for the refreshment tent for our pastie and beans.

After a few hic-cups our correct time was finally calculated. We finished in 38th position overall in our 'B' course, were the 3rd Veterans team to finish and were 6th veterans team after the complicated handicap system was applied. We were very satisfied with this and I might not leave it another 13 years before I have another go!

Beachy Head Marathon, Brighton Rocks!, 28th October

Jane and Wendy

Yes, It's the place to base yourself for the Beachy Head marathon which takes place along the coast at more sedate Eastbourne (not really us!)

Despite arriving at 7pm on Friday instead of the planned 4.30pm (freight blockage at Chester-le-Street jammed up the whole East Coast line) we still had time to settle in, prepare the pasta (M&S fresh — thanks Andrew!), bravely ignore the alcohol cravings and wonder if running 26 miles was a fair price to pay for a 4 day trip to the sea-side.

7.15 am on Saturday saw us heading in the dark to rendez-vous for a lift with Amanda and her very kind friend Terry. This was actually the only spare time we had to think of you Sherman/Davison cup runners — and envy you for being still in bed!

En route to Eastbourne via the back roads Terry pointed out race landmarks while Jane and I grew quieter and paler — it all looked ver y pretty, but in the immortal (Gibside?) words — not flat!

The starting point was very interesting, a private school on the edge of town with good facilities including a swimming pool (yes, we had taken our cossies as instructed by Amanda).

We had already decided to 'fly' the club vest and only shorts were needed for the sub-tropical 16 degrees forecast despite grey clouds. Some runners sported 'longs' — nesh southerners!

Avoiding the vicious poles of the walkers we looked at the start (see photo) then decided to do the same as them. However , once the maroon went up (fitting nautical touch!) the usual nervous/friendly banter got us up the first hill to where a lone Scottish piper serenaded the field, after which the pace picked up and we were away over the tops with a panoramic view back down over the town and the English Channel.

After the spread of runners at Swaledale we were (stupidly, in retrospect) surprised at how busy the first half of the course was. An entry of 1,500 made a great sight stretching away ahead of us along the South Downs Way until small figures disappeared over the skyline.

A variety of grassy field edges, narrow paths, stony tracks, softer woodland paths and muddy lanes led us over little bridges to emerge in small flint-knapped villages. As they lay in valleys the only way out was — yes, you,ve guessed — up another ... hill !

As we ran we searched for club vests from anywhere North of Durham (needless to say we were known as the Geordies), but only spotted one girl from Idle in Yorkshire , although Amanda said they had met a Glaswegian. Ah,yes, Amanda — it was all her fault we were there anyway. Having talked us into entering she the became indisposed (twice weekly physio for months).This nutter then set out with Terry and completed 20 miles with NO visible ill effects — apart from the usual bow—legged gait the next day. How did she do it? Sheer guts and madness we decided.

Meanwhile we plodded on towards a Gunnerside moment at 16+ miles with a drinks/soup/hot cross bun stop followed immediately by a very steep climb. By now we were yearning for a glimpse of the sea again but this reward only came at the expense of a muscle-bursting murderous flight of 92 steps lurking in the trees.

Apparently we were too late for the piper's second 'turn 'just here but a hop over a wall suddenly displayed the Cuckmere river finally meandering into the waves. To our left ,far away, tiny dots headed upwards onto the Seven Sisters. The race profile here resembles the teeth of a saw and we alternately strained hams and quads as we toiled and down.

Along this section I urged Jane to go ahead and leave me to struggle on in peace (she claims I used other language) but she loyally remained to nag me onwards. At last the Belle Tout lighthouse hove into view near the last fuel stop (tea and fruitcake) and cries of "only 4 miles to go" put a gleam into Jane's eyes and made me think I might just make it with both knees intact.

Who was I kidding? Jane was still going strong up each slope as I ground ever earlier to a walk. Then suddenly there was only 1 mile left and Jane finally took off and sprinted downhill to finish in 5 hours and a few minutes while I hobbled crab-wise after her to do 5h10. We were both amazed and delighted by our times.

Throughout the race the warm encouragement from everyone — marshals , fellow runners and walkers just out for a stroll, really helped . We gave our best wishes to the idiots (male) who had toiled round near us but were now setting off to do Snowdonia on the Sunday and Dublin on the Monday!!!!!

We, on the other hand, (female) know when we've had enough — although this did only apply to the marathon and not to the post-race celebrations back in Brighton with our new friends!

If you enjoy running off-road do consider this race for next year. It has a fantastically friendly atmosphere and the emphasis really is as advertised — personal achievement rather than running just for a time, so it would suit many Striders — could we get enough for a coach???

PS You get a medal and a meal afterwards, not to forget the swim!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Matt Giles Stourbridge RC 3:00
574 Jane Nathan 5.08
586 Wendy Rowell 5.10

840 finishers

Richmond Castle 10K, A Virgin's Tale, 15th October

Pam Kirkup

If losing one's virginity was this difficult, then the human race would die out—I can't imagine anyone wanting a repeat performance anyway!

So, Sunday 15th October dawned—a perfect day for running...sadly! In addition, Andy asked me to take charge of the bus and collecting in the dosh...no chance of backing out there then!

I did ask people on the bus about the course, but no-one seemed to be able to help. There was a few saying "Don't know Pam, haven't done it before.", a few shrugs and then Susan said, somewhat enigmatically, "It's best not to know, Pam. Just take it as it comes!" Is that what is normally said to 'virgins'??

So that's what I did! And it was best not to know! To call the course 'undulating' has to be a euphemism—the first 3K seemed to be relentlessly uphill...and steep is the word (is the word, is the word...)

However, it did level out and the course was very scenic and, actually very enjoyable...until the last half mile. This is the sadistic part—you just think you've cracked it, the hills are all over and you're coasting home—then you have to run up the cobbles into the market place and then into the Castle Grounds. That part was killing! Killing but incredibly satisfying! For me it was my first race since the GNR 2005. I had done Swaledale but as a walker. It was probably not the best choice for a return to racing but it has given me a great deal of confidence. I now feel that I can run Brampton and hey, if I'm last—it doesn't matter. I can only get better.

The Beer Festival was enjoyable but I gather that the beer was beginning to run out and lose quality so the revised leaving time of 3pm was a good idea.

I'd like to thank Dave Robson and my Paul (Foster) for their support and photos of the day.

Will I be there next year? Yeah right!.... No, of course! Seriously, of course I will. I ran it at my most unfit—well with very little training—I have to run this race again, for my own satisfaction and because I'm competitive enough to want to do a better time.

So maybe, losing one's virginity does lead to satisfaction...and doing a whole lot better in the future!!


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
67 GEOFF DAVIS MV45 00:42:45
85 JOHN HUTCHINSON MV50 00:43:42
87 SHAUN ROBERTS MV45 00:43:49
176 MANDY DAWSON FV35 00:48:12
213 SUSAN DAVIS FV45 00:49:46
248 JANE NATHAN FV40 00:51:54
261 WENDY ROWELL FV55 00:52:40
271 JAN YOUNG FV50 00:53:13
358 JAMES NICHOLSON MV55 00:59:22
369 MIKE HALL MV75 01:00:55
393 JACKIE SMITH FV65 01:03:13
394 PAM KIRKUP FV55 01:03:23
428 KIM HALL FV70 01:25:23

Derwentside 10M, 8th October

Thomas Reeves

Sunday 8th of October at 9.45 marked the 21st and last running of the Derwentside 10 mile race. The weather was very kind to the runners including 4 Male Elvet Striders (where were the girls?). It was clear and there was only a very light breeze. This was to be the last run on its current course due to the costs of closing roads.

I got my excuses in early having a bit of a head cold and feeling generally grotty. By the way thanks Shaun on commenting how rough I looked!

The race started in the pedestrianised area of Stanley and was more or less downhill for the first mile. I had a race plan but that was messed up as I decided to follow Shaun in his usual eyeballs out dash over the first three miles or so. We hit the first hill at about 3.5 miles and it was steep!

The rest of the course was up and down as you would expect but also very pleasant with a fair bit on trails. I got over my bad head after 4 miles and focused on the job at hand which by this stage was to make it to the finish. As I started the final mile and a half I met Alan Purvis coming in the other direction. He informed me the marshalls had sent him down the wrong way thinking he was on his final mini lap at the end of the race. I took a wrong turn in the final half mile which cost me a few seconds but generally the race was easy to follow with plenty of marshalls all in all a really nice run.


Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Daren Purvis Chester le street 00:56:07
26 Tom Reeves 01:11:18
35 Shaun Roberts 01:13:14
67 Alan Purvis 01:44:34
107 Mike Hall 01:46:17

113 finishers