A date for your diary: James Herriot Trail Race, July 30th. Some of you will want to run it, but we also need a few helpers. It is organised by the Rotary Club, but for many years now Swaledale Runners have organised the finish: we need 5 people in total. Can you please e-mail Geoff Kensett if you are able to help.
This weekend I went to Derbyshire and ran the White peak trail race, a 16 mile figure of eight route, half of it taking in the Tissington trail, which runs along an old railway line. The other half was over fields and along a very pretty gorge, called Dovedale with a river running through it and hidden caves dotted along the way. Quite a steep, zig zagging climb out and on to more fields along the top. The other sting in the tail, was a diagonal climb, approx 1/2 mile before the end. A very well organised race, with groups setting off at 10min intervals and the use of a dibber system. I was very pleased to get round within my outside time of 3hrs, but even happier to achieve my predicted time of 2hrs 50, by finishing in 2hrs 51.16. Then to find i was actually 3rd FV 50, was the icing on the cake.
The Fellsman is a notoriously tough 62 mile hilly off road Ultra event featuring involving the summits of Ingleborough and Great Whernside, difficult navigation over rough ground,and night time running. Five Swaledale runners took part in this years event starting on April 29th. Neil Bowmer finished in a fantastic 81st place out of 374 starters in 16h27m. Ian Oldham was next club finisher in 17h31m. Stu Clarkson knocked 4 hours of his previous time to finish in 22h39m, with Ros Blackmore in 22h43m and Mike Rosher in 24h27m.
Most runners would take it easy for several weeeks after such a tough event, but astonishingly Ian Oldham completed an even longer ultra race just one week after the Fellsman. The Hardmoors 110 follows the Cleveland way from Filey to Helmsley and Ian came 30th out of 84 finishers in an impressive time of 29.58.43.
Compared to the Fellsman, the Fairfield Horseshoe (9 miles, 3000 feet climbing) is child's play. Six club members turned up on May 13th for the latest race in the club fell championship. Tim Grimwood came 61st of 371 finishers in 1.44.18, with Derek Parrington and Martin Randall also breaking the 2 hour barrier, recording 1.54.36 and 1.58.21 respectively. Jim Coldwell, Oonagh Bathgate and Michael Keavney traded places for much of the race, with the two men finally pulling clear on the descent. Jim appeared poised to ease ahead of Michael with about a mile to go, when Michael stopped to provide medical assistance to an injured runner. Jim finished in 2.06.17 with Oonagh in 2.07.39, Michael finally jogged home in 2.18.17.
The following day, Andrew Fletcher ran in the Ripon 10mile road race, finishing 43rd out of 384 runners in 1.13.40. Finally, a belated mention must go to Mark Sowerby, who set an excellent personal best of 3.08.34 in this year's London Marathon.
The Fellsman – 29th/30th April 2017
How to describe the Fellsman? On the face of it, the Fellsman is like many other races; ultra-distance, being approximately 62 miles, largely unmarked, with lots of hills. But it has something else, a sense of history that make it that little bit different and a little bit special. It has evolved from being the Fellsman Hike, a long distance Scouting event which was first organised in 1966, to a modern day ultra but still with Scout groups continuing to support many of the checkpoints. Now it attracts more runners than walkers and the organisers strive to balance the needs of both communities.
Five Swaledalers started the race. Neil Bowmer, Ian Oldham, Mike Rosher, Stuart Clarkson and myself managed to get to the start line on time, with all of the correct mandatory kit, our hallowed tallies (due to be hole punched at each checkpoint) and our hopes and dreams of completing the 55th Fellsman. The pre-race briefing included a Met Office warning for sunburn, which produced a laugh, and then we were off, across the playing fields and up the track to Ingleborough. Mike, Stu and I took it easy to start, whilst Neil and Ian raced off, not to be seen again until the following day. Stu then steadily moved ahead on the steep ascent but I resisted the temptation to keep up. I had a plan; to hike the ascents and to run only when gravity assisted, in other words, downhill. I hoped this would not only give my legs the longevity they would need to complete the distance, but also help with my ultra -distance stomach problems that I just can’t seem to alleviate. It was sickness that caused my withdrawal at 45 miles at the previous year’s Fellsman, so I was determined to not over exert myself early on.
The new membership form is now available: see under 'About Us' and then 'Membership' above.
New members are always welcome. Why not come and run with us as a guest to find out what the club is all about?
The Wensleydale Wander was run in glorious sunshine this year and Swaledale runners posted some great times:
12 Mile Route: James Taylor - 1.39.46 (3rd overall), Andy Gaines - 1.51.00, Kirsty Todd - 1.52.00, Robbie Kelly - 2.02.35, Sally Hughes - 2.42.00, Steve Hughes - 2.42.00.
22 Mile Route: Martin Randall - 3.20, Neil Bowmer - 3.23, Oonagh Bathgate - 3.24, Sue Crabbe - 3.54, Ros Blackmore - 3.54, Claire Stewart - 3.54, John Lynch - 3.55, Stu Clarkson - 4.10, Ray Crabbe - 4.12, Vicki Howe - 4.16, Helen Inglis - 4.48, Jan Ilsley - 4.48, Sarah Haynes - 5.22.
Our final Predictor Run of the Winter season took place on Thursday 30th March.Times achieved on the evening showed that running conditions were very good. Everyone managed to complete the route under their predicted time. Neil Bowmer was first to finish in 27.51, but Helen Nicholson, the only lady running, finished closest to her predicted time, finishing just 7 secs below her target time. A big thank you goes to Sarah Haynes, Stuart Clarkson and Helen Inglis for supporting me in running of this event. I couldn't have done it without them.
We are pleased to announce that a new beginners' group will be starting on April 6th. It is based at Swaledale Outdoor Club, New Road, Richmond and will take place on Thursdays at 6.30pm.
Complete beginners are welcome! We will be following a programme comprising of C25k and Run Together resources to help you reach 5km. (see Run Together page here). Begin running with us in a friendly, supportive group. The first session is free! Thereafter you can choose to pay £2 per session for the remaining 9 weeks or you can join the club and run with us for the rest of the year! (Club membership costs £12 annually for social membership or £25 annually for England Athletics affiliated membership - 50p subs per session) Places are limited so please contact us to book a place.
For further information contact Jess Young (07753 407258). Please note that due to our insurance arrangements, club membership is open to adults aged 18 years and above.
More advanced runners are welcome in our other groups - see About us above and feel free to contact our membership secretary for further information.
Three Swaledale Runners travelled to the Lake District for the Black Combe fell race (8 miles, 3300 feet climbing) near Millom on March 11th. This gruelling race climbs Black Combe twice from different directions and has a reputation for thick mists and difficult navigation. Many of the nation's top fellrunners have gone off route in previous years, and this year it was the turn of Swaledale's fell champion Tim Grimwood to go wandering. As a result, the three runners finished unusually close together. Tim finishes towards the top of the field in our local races but admits to still being a novice in the Lakes, and finished a modest 116th of 175 runners in 114.39. He estimates he lost 15 to 20 minutes exploring the misty summit.The club's very own Cumbrian born runner Jim Coldwell, was 131st in 118.12 followed by Becky Barnett, 136th in 119.03.
Last weekend four members ran in the Thirsk 10k road race in very windy conditions. Andrew Fletcher was 3rd V55 in 67.20 with Mark Sowerby not far behind in 67.54. Pete Devlin finished in 92.06 and Roger Brisley in 95.53.