Race Reports, March 2010

Hartlepool Marina 5M, 28th March

Andy Jordan

My first race of 2010 and only my second race since the birth of my son last summer. I have only made it once to Maiden Castle in the last 9 months but expected to see a few other Striders at the start line, but I think I was alone in representing the purple, white and green. For those that don't know this is basically a fast and flat course along the coast from the Marina to Seaton Carew and back.

Last year in did it in just under 36 minutes and was determined to beat 35 minutes this time around. Sadly I hadn't reckoned on the wind. Why is it at the coast that the wind always seems to be blowing against you? At the start it was like running in a wind tunnel and the end felt like running through treacle. How is that physically possible when you are running in the opposite direction from the one you went in to start with? Anyway suffice to say I was slower than last time by about a minute. Oh well there is always next year.

Grizedale Forest Trail Race, 28th March

10M

Jean Gillespie

Three striders ventured over to Grizedale Forest for the 8th Grizedale Forest 10 mile Trail Race on what was forecast to be a very wet, windy and cold day. However, conditions couldn't have been better, except for the wind. If we had a choice I think we would have opted for the wind although at one point I swear I was going backwards.

I would have thought that by now I would understand trail race language, when a course is described as undulating it usually means steep. The rollercoaster race seemed to be all up hill, especially for the first 10 miles and just when you thought you had climbed as far as you could, rounded the bend, up it went again. The views on top were fantastic and made up for the hard slog of getting there. There must have been some down bits but I can't remember any of them. The finish was wonderful, a mug which was filled with hot tea or coffee and huge portion of homemade cake or flapjack, which went down well. The atmosphere was lively and the organisation superb. Despite being a tough run I could be tempted to do it again next year, if only for the flapjack. The timing of the run was perfect. As soon as we got into the car to head home the rain started. What organisation!

Maggie was first in her age group, well done Maggie. Barrie Evans was first Strider home. He seems to be making a habit of leading Striders home in the Lakes. I managed to get myself around and have a great time.

Thanks to Barry for driving, Wilf for the tea, coffee and cakes and the organisers for a great event.

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1Nick Leigh AltrinchamM 1 0:56:17
10Karen BridgeEden RunnersFV40 1 1:05:50
78Barrie Evans MV60 1:24:32
91Jean Gillespie FV50 1:27:23
132Margaret Thompson FV60 1:44:00

142 finishers.

Blakey Blitz Fell Race, Lion Inn, NYM, 28th March

11m/2630'

Jan Young

Bright sunny day, wide views of heather moorland. Lovely day methinks 'til I try to get out of car at Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge where the wind is so ferocious it takes lion strength to hang onto a car door.

The route covers Rosedale, Glaisedale Rigg and Great Fryupdale, with 3 energy sapping climbs. I walked them, on my own, at the back. Everyone ran away from me! I blamed running at Prudhoe. So I thought just navigate my way around, enjoy the views, the solitude and the effort of keeping going. Always a welcome from Dave Parry, organiser, at finish and encouragement from those faster runners. Official stats unclear; Shaun clocked 11 mls. of mud, puddles, narrow heather tracks, ancient stone causeways on a challenging course.

Jan heads into the bog.
Photo courtesy and © David Aspin

Phil Sanderson had a storming run, setting new course record.

Last in series, Gisborough Moors race, 11 April. Can't wait ... met NYM runner at Blakey who'd run all 30 Gisborough Moors races!

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1Phil Sanderson NFR M 1 1:24:45
34Helen Gilbert Totley AC F 1 1:50:48
63Shaun Roberts M50 10 1:59:54
82Nigel Heppell M55 3 2:08:40
107Jan Young F55 2 2:29:09

112 finishers.

Harrier League, Prudhoe, 27th March

Mudman & Mudwoman

WELL DONE STRIDERS!

MEN'S TEAM PROMOTED TO DIVISION 2

WOMEN'S TEAM FINISH IN TOP TEN!!

Congratulations, too, to Phil Sanderson for winning the Vet 40 grand prix in his first HL season - a fantastic achievement. He can't wait for the 10-11 season.

Steph (aka 'Cinderella') Barlow who lost her shoe but kept on running! Zoe gets stuck in.

Jan adds:

What a club!!!!

I know we go on about Harrier League, but it just brings out everything that's good about our club. Thanks to all for making it a success again. Jan.

Results

Men
PosNameClubCatTime
1 TWADDLE, Ian North Shields Poly 30:30
78 GIBSON, David 36:28
80 REEVES, Thomas 36:31
124 DAVIS, Geoff 37:49
173 WESSON, Keith 39:54
189 WHITE, Conrad 41:06
201 METSON, John 41:33
206 DAGLISH, Graham 41:59
213 THOMPSON, Andrew 42:29
220 HOCKIN, Richard 43:03
225? HEPPELL, Nigel ?43:30
268 OWEN, Phil 49:22
271 TODD, Philip 49:58
273 NICHOLSON, George 50:10

278 finishers. Men's team 2nd, Division 3. Nigel's result TBC.
He says:

For the record, I was a handful of places behind Richard Hockin, 0:43:something. Strangely, I remember the guy in front of me stopped to heave up before he got into the funnel proper and I herded him in ahead of me to keep the sequence correct. He had on a very pale, almost white, vest with pale green? piping round the arm holes, dunno which club that belongs to tho'...

Obviously this chap needed to bust a gut to keep in front of Nigel!

Women
PosNameClubCatTime
1 MOONEY, Jane Morpeth Harriers & AC 22:40
16 MASON, Nina 25:10
20 PANNELL, Rebecca 25:18
46 DAVIS, Susan 26:29
54 GODDARD, Debra 26:58
60 BARLOW, Stephanie 27:23
65 TOMLINS, Zoe 27:37
66 YOUNG, Jan 27:38
81 DYKES, Kirsty 29:00
86 PORTER, Joanne 29:40
88 PROCTOR, Angela 29:44
92 TARN, Lindsay 30:00
99 DETCHON, Emma 34:16

101 finishers. Women's Team 8th.

Coniston 14+, 27th March

16.7M

Anna Pethybridge

Race
Coniston 14+
Distance
16.7 miles
Conditions
Breezy but dry with sunny spells
Thoughts running through head during race
  • "are we nearly there yet?",
  • "ouch! That must have hurt" (as another runner trips and bangs his head),
  • "only 5 miles? But I'm knackered!",
  • "bloody hell, I can't bend my legs",
  • "smile for the camera? Are you having a laugh?",
  • "are we nearly there yet?",
  • "15 miles - thank God, I'm nearly there",
  • "I can't go on!",
  • "oh my God - I've finished. And I'm still alive"
Recommend for next year?
Oh, go on then. I suppose it wasn't that bad!
Goody bag
Poor!!!! A nice coaster, I'll grant them that. But no nibbles, no t-shirt, no medal. Hurrumph!
Final thoughts
I hope they put some bloomin' photos on the website after all that smiling!

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1John Herbert Peterborough M 1 1:33:49
46Eleanor GreenfieldNuneaton HarriersF 1 1:53:33
208Mike Bennett M50 25 2:07:25
508Grahame Arrowsmith M40 181 2:21:53
646Alan Smith M60 19 2:28:24
670Dougie Nisbet M40 230 2:28:24
752Jean Bradley F45 41 2:34:40
874Anna Pethybridge F 70 2:39:12

1291 finishers.

Durham Tri Club Duathlon, High Shincliffe, 21st March

Run 2M, Bike 11M, Run 2M

Peter Brooks

It was a cool, sunny day at High Shincliffe when we met for the final in the Winter duathlon series but, thankfully, there was no snow or ice on the route this month. I arrived in plenty of time, nicely surprised to see quite a number of Striders taking part (well, five anyway) - Emma Detchon, Dougie Nisbet, Louise Bilcliffe and Alan Smith along with myself, unfortunately, none of us had competed in the required three events for any of us to have a chance of winning the league.

And they're off!

After paying our dues we were told which handicap group we were to start in, Emma first - purely because she rides a mountain bike (there will be no stopping her when she has a road bike!), Alan, Louise and myself a few minutes after with Dougie being the last Strider to start (fast bugger!).

We had a chance to cheer Emma on as she started her second loop of the run just before we started. I tried a new tactic of starting a bit harder than usual in the hope of getting a big enough lead to try and become first Strider home. How wrong can a tactic be? I had a very strong first run, catching up a runner from the group in front and a good bike section, but I blew up drastically on the second run. My second run was over three minutes longer than my first.

I managed to get in front of Emma on the bike section but Alan and Dougie both sailed past me on the second run along with quite a few other runners, Alan finished about two or three minutes ahead of me, Dougie had finished, been to MacDonalds, had a sleep, woke up and was taking photos well before I finished.

On the bike route, I managed to see quite a few Striders out and about - Andrew Thompson was out for his run at Coxhoe, Jan Young and Nina were flying along by the Rose Tree pub and Joanne Porter made an appearance at transition.

The summer duathlon series will start in May and should be held on a Thursday evening, the Tri club will announce the course soon.

Results

Pos Name Run 1+T1 Bike+T2 Run 2 Total
1 Phil HATZIS 11:4528:4511:38 52:08
8 Hilary ROSS 13:3836:3113:24 1:03:33
20 Dougie NISBET 17:3939:5215:43 1:13:14
26 Alan SMITH 16:2846:1015:07 1:17:45
27 Peter BROOKS 16:0843:2519:22 1:18:55
31 Louise BILLCLIFFE 17:3051:3917:22 1:26:31
32 Emma DETCHON 20:1050:0620:36 1:30:52

33 finishers.

VAANE XC Championships, Darlington, 20th March

Nina Mason

The working week had seen sunshine and spring-like temperatures. There is sunshine and blue skies today as I write this. Saturday however dawned grey, complete with drizzle to be followed by heavier rain. I smell a cross-country.

The VAA-NE Cross-Country Championships was run from Branksome School, Darlington and saw six Striders enjoy the fine x-country weather, with the added bonus of plenty of mud thrown in for free.

After a discussion as to whether it was warm enough in the teeming rain for vests only, or maybe t- shirt required, or the again gloves instead...it was ladies off first. Fiona Shenton, Jan Young and I formed part of a (somewhat disappointing) field of fourteen—there was no room for hiding in this one—accompanied by the men's V70 and V75. Fiona had a good run on the fast and a bit-too-flat 5.5K two-lap course, finishing fourth; with Jan and me in hot pursuit.

There was no let up in the rain for the men's three-lap 8.8K race, and a bigger field was dominated by Brian Rushworth winning an impressive eighth championship. David led the Striders men home with a strong run, with Mike and Conrad close behind.

A soggy, mud-spattered and somewhat chilly group of competitors gathered in the school gym afterwards and saw Fiona and Jan collect medals for winning their age groups. Us ladies also won second team prize, all of which shows you gotta be in it to win it!

A mention must go to Mike's carrot cake—so good it was worth having to give my shoes an extra scrub.

Results

Women
Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1ANDERSON, Kirstie Tynedale HarriersF35 1 24:31
4Fiona Shenton F50 1 26:46
8Nina Mason F35 3 27:53
14Jan Young F55 1 29:54

21 finishers.

Men
Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1RUSHWORTH, Brian Sunderland HarriersM45 1 32:04
25David Gibson M40 5 36:23
35Mike Bennett M55 4 37:58
47Conrad White M50 6 42:08

60 finishers.

Hardmoors 55, North York Moors, 20th March

A measly 54M!

Dave Robson

Dave looking fresh.

The brief version—54m (after a late course adjustment). Started at 8.00 finished 23.55. 65 starters, 45 finishers, so 20 dropped out because of the bad weather and two of them had suspected hypothermia. Weather was light rain initially, then heavy rain and strong winds. The weather became much better after 10 hours and then got frosty as the night went on. Lots of hills and muddy

I was concerned about doing a race which would be 21m longer than I have ever done before. Doing a gentle marathon six days before was also worrying me, would it have any effect ? It turned out it didn't which was a relief. I was also worrying about running on my own in the bad weather that was forecast, I find it helps to have company when the weather is bad. Luckily, I joined up with another runner at 22m and ran the next 32m with her. I don't think I would have completed it on my own.

The other crucial thing for me in this race was car support. This wasn't required as there was a drop bag system, but having much more frequent access to equipment and food made a vital difference. My friend spent her longest time in her car—almost 20 hours—much more than she has ever done before—thank you. She has never been involved with a long race before and her greetings at some points - 'You are mental' made me smile in a sort of mad way ;-)

My equipment worked very well. Ran in Helly Hensen base layer, OMM Kamleiker waterproof top, Gore tights, Inov-8 roclites and a Raidlight Endurace back pack. I made a basic error at the start by running in road shoes. It is said you can do the Cleveland Way in road shoes and that might be okay in a Dave still looking fresh. dry conditions, but they weren't that today as I discovered pretty quickly :-O. Luckily the first car access point was at 5m so I changed into the Roclites then. I also started with gloves that were way too thin for the conditions on the tops. My worst time was when it was sheeting down with rain and my hands got cold. Again a car access point saved me and I changed into fleece gloves. However, in the final stages in the frosty conditions, my hands were getting very cold even with those gloves.

Refueling strategy. Took stop blocks (had about 8 of them), S!cap tablets (used all 8 of them). Had a couple of Cliff bars that were give out on the way round (nice, never had them before). Made sure I had a quarter of a sandwich at every car access point. I had some cashew nuts as well. I also drank Asda's isotonic berry sports drink all the way round, drinking when thirsty. I learnt all this from supporting Phil on the Hardmoors 110 last year and reading Clare's experiences at the Glasgow to Edinburgh, so thanks to those two. The result was I got no cramp, no nausea and my legs felt very good all the way round. I also able to walk down the stairs this morning :-O

The route was basically along the Cleveland Way from Helmsley to Guisborough woods where it then cut back to Guisborough. There are moors, woods, lots of hills, some of some big long climbs, all of which I walked up. Had to walk some the descents too because of the steepness and rocky paths. Two out and back sections at the White Horse and at Roseberry Topping. Dave still looking fresh, how does he do it? Because it's a route for walkers mainly and to save it becoming a quagmire, the park authority have put in a lot of large rock slabs which can be slippery and lots of assorted rocks on the ascents and descents. I could not find anyway of running down these safely. I felt I would cause serious damage if I fell on to those rocks. The uneven rocks in the path up and down Roseberry Topping were particularly tough especially with a head torch. There were sometimes fell runner alternatives to these paths, but they were often slippery.

The Mighty Deerstalker, Traquair House, Tweed Valley, 20th March

nominally 10km

Anna Pethybridge

Erm...not quite sure how to caption this one!

The Mighty Deerstalker has to be experienced once. Not at least once, just once!! Starting from the lovely grounds of Traquair Country House the run takes you through two waist deep bogs, up two very tall hills, one of which is scree, through 4 river crossings, one of which involves wading upriver for 100 odd metres, and through a variety of obstacles including balance beams (at the top of a hill when the legs are at their wobbliest), and through two forests. Oh - and if that's not enough of a challenge it takes place at night, so headtorches are a must! It was challenging, exhilarating, freezing, tiring and filthy and oh so much fun!

Advertised at "10k and a bit" rumours were flying that friends of friends of friends had measured the route only to find it was actually 8.2 miles. EIther way it was 2:35 of the whackiest running I've ever experienced. Fancy dress was expected, as you can see from the photo, and there was an amazing array of deerstalker hats, coloured tutus, pyjamas and antlers. Thankfully, given the perishing conditions there was no mankini in sight - for which I was very grateful given the intimate proximity of the participants in the twilight scramble up the scree slope.

Looking back at certain points in the run, Unidentified Running Objects the sight of a caterpillar of headtorches climbing upwards and weaving through trees was breathtaking. See the photo for the descent from the second hill.

The organisation of the race was fantastic. Camping and parking in the grounds of Traquair was free, There was catering all weekend (though the queues were terrible) and the beer tent was open until midnight (though the beer, then wine, then whisky ran out long before that!) All in all it was a cracking weekend and I have just about thawed out. My visy jacket took two washes, as did my husband's thermal socks. The pink mini skirt, however, didn't quite make it. RIP.

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1Darin Dougal Leithenburnfoot Runners Male Stag 1:21:25
46Mhairi Brown Female Stag 1:34:17
825Anna Pethybridge Female Stag 2:34:57
1197Joanne Heron Female Stag 3:25:52

1220 finishers.

Ultimate Trail Race & Challenge, Cartmel, Cumbria, 20th March

18km

Zoe Tomlins

I should title this report "Striders go the extra mile" - as Jen Copley and Jean Gillespie managed to do exactly this at the Cartmel 18k (making it unofficially almost a half marathon for them). You can decide what you like from the finishing times - Denise and I would like everyone to believe we actually were way ahead and just couldn't be caught by our team mates!

Jen, Denise and Zoe.

What started off as a very miserable wet day in Cartmel actually gave way to some pleasant running weather about 20 mins into the run. All in all it was a lovely well-rounded Striders Day Out: The hills were steep, the mud was sticky and slippery, the sheep were friendly and the Kendal mint cake plentiful. Seven Striders flew the purple flag - Dougie did us proud in the "Race" with a very respectable time. Denise, Jen, Barry, Jean and Maggie and I entered the "Challenge" event (which meant we could run a little bit slower than the flying Scotsman). Despite some chilly overnight camping conditions, Jen would have led us home effortlessly if it hadn't been for her accidentally going through the wrong gate and taking the scenic route! I battled it out for about 5 miles near the end with a bloke about three times my ages who couldn't catch me on the hills but was as sprightly as a mountain goat on the downhills and proved to be a good motivator for me to keep my pace.

Another fun-filled mud-splattered day in the Lakes, with the added bonus of a free Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding for every runner. Not that we only do it for the cake of course!

Barrie Evans adds...

The Ultimate Trails Series is proving highly successful and very well organised (except for those taking a wrong route this year). The day included 3 runs - a 10k, followed by the Challenge and finally the Ultimate Trail Race over the same course as the Challenge. Entries for the 3 runs topped 800 but on the day probably due to the weather only 600 turned up to figure in the results. Zoe confirmed that twenty minutes or so into the Challenge the rain stopped and weather conditions for running were nigh on perfect (except on the ground). Unfortunately the damage was already Where's Dougie? done by the heavy and continuous rain from early Friday evening and in places the course was waterlogged and there were long sections of thick treacle (otherwise mud/water often of unfathomable depth which a number of times brought me to a shuddering halt and surprise that I did not lose a shoe - these unscheduled halts tended to come on downslopes with a consequent struggle on the invariable and immediate uphill still in mud and with no momentum to help) and very slippery stones making staying upright an additional skill requirement. The surface is continually varied underfoot and hardly ever on the flat, the scenery and views around the course are amazing (probably even more so if you had real time to take it in!!) and the end is only glimpsed some 50 metres before you reach it coming down a winding track through woodland which reaches to the very edge of the Cartmel race course. The ground conditions though slowing me did not detract from a thoroughly enjoyable event and I must commend the gallantry of Denise and Jean in their desire to run further than required and allow me to be first Strider home!! I must also congratulate the newer members - Zoe, Denise and Jen on their participation and superb efforts.

The setting and excellent facilities at Cartmel including changing, piping hot showers and a bar in the race course complex plus hot and cold food and drink available from marquees provided the finishing touch to an event which I would recommend to all Striders .

Results

Ultimate Cartmel Trail Race
Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1SCOTNEY, Marcus Dumfries Running Club 1:10:26
130Dougie Nesbit 1.51.27

176 finishers.

Ultimate Cartmel Challenge
Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
49Barrie Evans 1.57.42
74Zoe Tomlins 2.04.58
88Denise Mason 2.08.48
90Jean Gillespie 2.09.18
101Jen Copley 2.13.30
133Maggie Thompson 2.27.29

209 finishers.

Kielder Water Marathon, 14th March

26M

Dave Robson

This year there are three marathons in the same place in the north east. This might appear to be a bit disappointing, but its at Kielder Water and the route is almost entirely off road with a surface which is very comfortable to run on and the scenery is just stunning.

The first one was today and was for 100 marathon club members only. However, buried deeply in the entry form was the qualification that guests could run if there are any places left (there was an entry limit of 50). I asked if I could be a guest and I got in. It was also free, I just needed to take some cake to share with everybody afterwards. This is definitely my sort of marathon. Having done the first event last September, I remembered that it was an undulating course, but it seemed much harder this time. It was certainly windier today. We also started at the top of the reservoir and ran the longer south side first. However the north side is more undulating than the south side and it was into the wind, so it felt pretty tough, I was surprised how tired I was at the end.

My time 5hr 9min, was possibly a bit slower than last time, but it was a longer run today as a bit was added on to ensure that it was at least marathon length. The 100 marathon club members were very welcoming. It was a small field, 20 or so runners.

Lots of folk brought food and there was way too much. I hope they do this again next year, I like these low key events

Sunderland parkrun, Silksworth, 13th March

5km

Zoe Tomlins

This week's Sunderland Parkrun saw a record number of 49 runners take part, helped by the beautiful sunshine on Saturday morning. Five Striders took part - myself, Graham Daglish, George Nicholson, Joanne Porter and Mike Elliot. The sudden increase in temperature made it feel a bit harder than usual (I feel a bit silly saying a 5k was "hard" when I read about Clare's 56 mile endeavours!) but Joanne got a PB which was great.

I myself was breaking no records, but thanks to the fabulous Parkrun website I could still say I was No.1 if I graded myself by age/gender/shoe size etc; a nice little facility for the runners like myself who have the terrible competitive streak but not the talent to match! Anyone who hasn't given the Parkrun a go yet really should try it, the atmosphere is always friendly (with an occasional bit of good-humoured Strider-Stroller rivalry). It's great just being able to turn up any Saturday you feel like, run as fast or slow as you feel like, and it's all done and dusted by 10am so the weekend is still your oyster!

Dentdale Run, Dent, Cumbria, 13th March

14M 379Yards

Shaun Roberts

Nina finishing strongly.

Striders flooded over the Pennines for this one in huge numbers! Nine ran the full race, but several more ran a 'Half-Dent' (Barrie, Christine, Mary C), others got out for a run on the morning (Pam, Yvonne, Peter M) and we were very well-supported round the course. We had no less than four cottages being occupied for the weekend, which meant you couldn't pop out for a paper without tripping over drunken or hungover Striders in the street.

The race? Well, it all augured well on the morning. A nice cool start to the day, but very bright. We set off into a light breeze - I got a good start, and it was all looking good until near the halfway point, by which time the breeze had gone and it was all getting rather warm. Blew up. Vest off, took on board all the water that was on offer, but it didn't help much. Alan Rowell went past round here - he said later I was "looking crap", and he was right. Turning the corner at the top end helped - the breeze was back, and as I cooled down I speeded up again. Actually, Jan said later she was bloody freezing along here, so one way or another we had quite a mix of conditions.

I ended up five minutes down on last time, and was glad to get to the finish, to be honest. Coming in topless raised a few eyebrows for some reason. Fiona had said she needed to take this one very carefully, given her recent injury problem, but despite being eight minutes down on two years ago, she still won her age group. Nina had a good strong run, well under two hours, followed soon afterwards by Roz, who was second in her age group.

Jan was along soon after, fifth in her age group with a good run, though she didn't really need to be engaged in conversation until quite a while after the finish. She soon perked up once she knew the ladies had scooped a team prize. Well done ladies! And many thanks to the very many supporters around the course - always very welcome.

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1Steve Littler Wesham RR M 1 1:17:59
24Jo WaitesCalder Valley Fell RunnersF40 1 1:34:24
74Shaun Roberts M50 14/57 1:45:45
82Fiona Shenton F45 1/38 1:46:15
142Nina Mason F35 10/37 1:55:07
156Roz Layton F55 2/13 1:56:57
228Jan Young F55 5/13 2:06:57
273Jean Bradley F45 16/38 2:12:12
287Frank Coffield M60 20/36 2:14:52
304Dougie Nisbet M40 89/95 2:18:06
351Margaret Thompson F55 12/13 2:34:24

369 finishers.

Honourable mentions, too, to Alan Rowell (1:43:24, and first M60), and Geoff Watson (1:49:00, and doing well to drag his fast-twitch muscles round this one), both running in orange.

Haweswater Half Marathon, Bampton, 7th March

13M

Denise Mason

I should have known I was in for a good day from the moment I woke up. The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky and the air was really cold and crisp. I picked up Jane and Alan and we headed off to the lakes. We got there nice and early to collect our numbers and bumped in to George and Barry. Jane and I discussed our race strategies whilst walking to the start line. Given that the course is described as 'undulating' and we had heard so many tales of how hard the course was supposed to be, we decided to run it steady and treat it more as a training run. (My goal this year was always to crack 2 hrs at Redcar in June and Jane was just using it as a training run for the VLM.)

We set off fairly fast, looping around the village for the first mile before starting to climb one of the many hills on the course! Worryingly I felt my hip flexor strain on the first hill, but I took the advice of Neil (physio) and lent forward more and contracted my stomach muscles. It didn't ease the pain as such but it certainly prevented it from getting any worse. The course continued with long inclines and I was surprised to find I was overtaking quite a few people. The scenery was awesome. Snowcapped hills around the Haweswater Reservoir were a welcome distraction! From miles 4 to 6 we were pretty much running down what felt like a steep descent and all I could think of was that we had to run back up it shortly which was pretty soul destroying. At 6 miles we turned back on ourselves and begin the long slog uphill. Jane really took off and for a couple of miles I was digging deep telling myself not to stop and walk. I kept looking at my watch in disbelief seeing 8:50 minute miles/ 9 minutes miles and I honestly wondered how long I could keep this up for. At the 11 mile marker I glanced down and saw 1hr 40 on the watch and from then on in it was game on! George caught up with me and we ran the last couple of miles together which spurred me on. The last mile was mostly downhill and the hips were really feeling it, but I could hear the crowds cheering so I knew the finish line was coming, plus I knew I was in for PB so I pushed myself onwards. I really can't believe that I finished in 1hr 58 mins 45 secs! It may not seem fast to some but I never dreamt I would come anywhere near that time. I've knocked 15mins off my PB and I'm delighted.

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1Dominic Raby Chorley Harriers M 1 1:14:07
46Karen Bridge Eden Runners F40 1 1:26:21
214Graham Daglish M50 28 1:42:37
342Alan Smith M60 8 1:52:09
393Jane Ives F40 40 1:56:09
412Denise Mason F 58 1:58:45
414George Nicholson M60 14 1:59:02

517 finishers.

Cautley Spout Fell Race, Cautley, nr Sedbergh, 7th March

Geoff Watson

The Cautley Spout race took place under clear skies and sunshine on the 7th March. This race is another Kendal Winter League and starts opposite the Cross Keys at Cautley, one of Wainwright's favourite stop off's. The race ascends "Great Dummacks" (663m) on the south side of Cautley Crag and is probably the highest climb for a straight up and down race in the Howgills. Apart from the fell race there was also a 5 hour open mountain bike orienteering event going on which added to the fun.

The race starts with a short charge across the valley through Cautley beck before hitting the hillside. Having picked up a few places going along the valley I managed to keep a decent walking pace going up the fell passing a few more before the 10.5 miles of the previous day began to kick in. It was downhill after this, but we still hadn't reached the summit! Towards the summit snow began to appear and the ground became harder and icier until we reached the top where there was a good covering of snow which had hardened with successive cold nights.

The descent was hard going, tired legs would not let me descend as fast as I wanted to. The hard ground made it more difficult to get a grip which resulted in a few falls. There were also a few large patches of solid snow which a few had braved running over without falling. Once we hit the flat again it was back through the beck, but there was no sprint along the valley to the finish, merely an effort to keep going.

Despite it being a tough little race it's well worth doing for the views of the crag and cautley spout. The film by Andy Holden (link below) show's what a beautiful location and day it was.

Glasgow-Edinburgh Double Marathon, 6th March

56M

Clare van den Bos

"Keep the canal on your right and you'll be fine."

Started off, cold and nervous, in a park in Glasgow. The hooter went and I set off near the back. Which is where I stayed.

I decided to do the 25 mins run/ 5 mins walk thing, and I pretty much stuck to that the whole way round. I ate and drank something during every 5 min bit and I also made sure I crouched right down to stretch my legs a bit. Having a routine meant that I could run for 10 minutes and then spend the next 15 planning what to eat :-) Food is always the way to get me to do things ...

salted nuts/ pretzels/ sweeties/ sandwiches/ muffins/ chocolate (that one was a mistake) about 300 Kcal an hour. water/ OJ/ nuun (but hardly any nuun as it is pure Juice of Ming) drinking mostly when thirsty.

That all might seem a bit OTT but I knew it was going to take me rather a long time and wanted not to fall over ...

Most of this route is stunning. Especially after Falkirk. The landscape opens up and the views of the snow-covered hills. And close by, the trees and the birds and the ducks ice skating and oh, a rat Raspberry! I ran through beautiful beech woods and along bits that felt like country paths. And all pretty much on my own, which was a nice feeling, mostly.

Sometimes I listened to music, but not a lot. The stillness and birdsong was lovely to hear and when I was running through the scary skanky bits I wanted to be able to hear ...

First HM was great. Good pacing/ hydration/ still with some of the field. CP 1 and Phil saves me from being poisoned by gluten and off I trot.

I spend the next two and a bit hours to CP2 leapfrogging with a couple who have matching kit and a guy who just can't face me being in front of him ... (I leave him at CP3 :-) )

CP2 is the Falkirk Wheel. A bit disappointing that it's not going round. Pick up stuff from my drop bag and take too much water. My backpack is too heavy for the next half hour until I realise that I don't have to carry water for the next 5 hours and ditch half of it :-) Through two scary tunnels which I didn't like.

CP3 where apparently I impress the marshall by looking all fresh. Silly woman!

And this is where things get tough. I'd let go of my timings so I hadn't really eaten/ drank/ walked properly. And it felt like there was a heck of a long way to go, still, even though I'd already run further than I ever had before. I had a patch where it felt like I was running at full effort and yet was struggling to make 13 min/ miling.

So I had a little weep. And reminded myself that I didn't have anything to prove to anyone, that I was doing this because I wanted to. Then I took good advice and focussed on getting to CP4, texting ahead really to say that no-one needed to put themselves out waiting for me as I was going to be slow, and possibly even pulled off the course.

Oh, and the sunset was breathtaking. Dark reds right across the sky and as I turned a corner there it was, perfectly reflected in the canal. Made the whole thing worthwhile.

Got to CP4 and a text saying that not only was a friend from fetch waiting for me at CP5, but she'd sent her lovely husband out to meet me :-) That really lifted me.

A runner passed me and reminded me that it was actually dark and hadn't I better put my headtorch on? So I did and that made a huge difference, especially when I remembered that I could angle the torch rather than having to move my head ...

Through splashy mud and stuff and CP5. The marshall asks "Are you number 6?" and titters politely at my "Who is number 1?" joke. She says it's only 7.5 miles to the finish.

Suddenly it feels like I might actually finish. Which is an odd, lightening feeling.

Just as well, because from this point the difference between the walking and the running paces is purely academic as my leg is causing me so much pain and everything else is just tired. And suddenly I'm starving. Need chips. Spend the next hour fantasizing about chips and Daniel Craig, or chips on Daniel Craig ...

3 miles to go. A wise runner once said "Any fool can run 3 miles." Well not this one. I can hobble it, and that'll have to do. The last mile takes me over 22 minutes, even though I'm pushing as hard as I can. Lots of helpful texts, one very annoying ring tone. (James Bond theme - that's where the whole Daniel Craig stuff started)

I approach the finish and all I can see is 2 marshals :-( Is that it? NO! Round the corner and OH! OH! (I'm still teary thinking about it!) There's a huge crowd of people (who've come out of the party especially) waiting and cheering and Anna's made me a finishing line to cross and there's Phil, waiting with a gin just for me :-) :-) I fall over the line and into a hug. I can't believe it's over.

Clare reaches Anna and Phil waiting at the finish.

Almost as soon as I finish everything starts hurting. Even my hair hurts.

Then gin and champagne and trying to get changed in the toilets and a very green risotto (and watching everyone else eat garlic bread and pizza) and a taxi to the Hotel From Hell ...

It's in an Edinburgh town house... 10 steps up to the door. I check in and the bloke says "your rooms in the next house up." Pick up bags. Down the steps, up the steps to the next house, up two flights of stairs, find he's given me the wrong key. Consider going to sleep on the landing. Down two flights of stairs, down the steps, up the steps, get the key, down the steps, up the steps, up two flights of stairs, take 5 minutes getting into the shower and bed.

I could get to like this long running malarky. And I'd like to try it somewhere less, well, flat.

55 miles, 12 hours 41(ish) :-)