There was a great turnout from Swaledale for the first Midweek League race hosted by Harrogate Harriers. The popularity of the MWL races continue to grow and 412 runners completed the 6 mile, hilly course with 24 from Swaledale. We had some great results. Stuart Smith was in 9th place in a time of 37.07 with Steve Brown not far behind in 21st place in 38.10. Jacqui Keavney was first lady in 74th place in 42.02. Full results are on the HDSL website.
The Ripon 10 is one of my favourite races, despite the hilly course. The route is very attractive, starting and finishing on Hells Wath in Ripon, via Fountains Abbey. Although there are some challenging hills, the last 7 miles is not too bad and there is a nice downhill finish. There is also plenty to eat at the end, including a bar with all money raised in aid of Cancer Research
Ronnie Cassar was first home for Swaledale and first MV70 in a time of 1.29.27, Julia Spittle 1.33.20, Roger Brisley, 1.37.38, Karen Thompson 1.39.31, and Anne Singleton 1.47.26.
Here is a summary of recent races, as submitted to local papers. Members are encouraged to send in their own reports to Liz Sowter as usual.
The Cape Wrath Challenge is a week long series of running events in the far north-west corner of the UK. Neil Bowmer and Ros Blackmore made the long trip and enjoyed a busy week of running. Monday 11th May saw a hilly road half marathon, Neil finished 17th in 1.48.32, Ros was 29th in 1.57.19. The following day Neil was 8th in a 5.5 mile hill run, Ros finished 31st in 51.40. In Wednesday's 10 mile race Neil was an excellent 3rd in 78.22 and Ros was 30th in 90.46. After a short rest the finale of the week was Britain's most north-westerly marathon. The exposed route includes 2500 feet of climbing and this year's race took place in windy conditions, meaning that the usual mid-race ferry crossing was not possible and a route change was required. Neil came 11th of 81 runners in 3.43.41 and Ros finished 48th in 4.21.15.
A carload of club members travelled to the Lakes for the Fairfield Horseshoe fell race (10 miles, 3000feet climbing) on Saturday 16th. In perfect conditions for fellrunning Robbie Kelly was first home for the club in 1.52.13 for 73rd place out of 208 runners. Michael and Jacqueline Keavney traded places several times during the race, eventually Michael gained just enough advantage on the descent to narrowly avoid being caught on the final flat section, finishing in 1.57.58, just 35 seconds ahead of Jacqueline. Claire Stewart and Michael Rosher came in together in 2.22.34. Earlier the same day Rob Bowles made his first appearance as a Swaledale Runner and came 6th at the Fountains Abbey Parkrun in 19.12.
At the Ripon 10 mile race on Sunday Ronnie Cassar won the MV70 category in 99.27. He was followed by Julia Spittle in 93.20, Roger Brisley 97.38, Karen Thompson 99.31 and Anne Singleton 107.26. James Taylor was in action at the Ravenscar off-road half marathon the previous weekend, and came 66th out of 165 runners in 2.05.48.
Karen and I both joined the Northallerton branch of Swaledale Runners two years ago, jogging once or twice a week but it was not until January of this year that we decided to “up our game” and attempt the Swaledale Marathon this June. We have done a few mid-week league races, slow and steady but this is completely out of our comfort zone. Over the last month or so we have increased our runs to 6 miles on a Wednesday evening and we try to do something on a Sunday morning. We have been over to Osmotherly for a five mile run, Reeth for an eight mile run and Gunnerside for an eleven mile stagger. Many thanks to Chris and Julia for dragging us round. It certainly helps to run with others, it pushes your limits and takes your mind off your heavy breathing and tiring legs.
Two weeks ago we took part in our first race, Fountains 10K - a bit of rain to keep us cool and a hill at the end to make us suffer, but all in all we felt OK. I thought it was a good race to experience the different surfaces - road and moor. I was really impressed with the organisation of the event and the free flapjack at the end was very tasty!
Six weeks to go before the Swaledale and we know it will be a real challenge. Our plan is to WALK up, RUN on the flat and SKIP down the hills. We are not thinking of what time we can do it in : if we finish we will be over the moon.
Training runs and races had gone well. Even though the week leading up to the marathon had been relaxed and calm, for once I was feeling a bit nervous. Quite a few people had told me that I should be finishing around the 3 hour mark or even sub 3. They are runners I know, trust and respect but I didn't believe them for one minute. " Just go for a long run and enjoy yourself, like you do" were my husband's final words to me before dropping me off. I made my way to the Championship start and met up with running friends there. Once our kit bags were on the baggage buses we waited patiently behind the elite men. This year's starters were the two joint male winners of the first London Marathon, the winner of the first women's race along with running legend Paula Radcliffe. This was the first year that I didn't have my three children with me for support. Not having to look out for them in the crowds though did mean that I could fully focus on my goal of sub 3.15. My plan was to run a slower first half and then pick it up in the second half. This is how you are supposed to run a marathon apparently. I tried it that way last year and got a pb of 3.10. Up until then all my other marathons had been raced at as even a pace as possible, but I have faded towards the end. Once the race had started and I had established my pace the first check was at 5k, this was 20.45. "Seems a bit quick to me" I thought. Next check 10k, 41.42, again all ok but a bit swift?
If you were at last night's AGM you will know that we now have two club championships, the road championship and the new fell championship, organised by Jim Coldwell. Details of all the races can be seen above under 'competitions'. You don't have to be an experineced fell runner to join in - there is something for everybody. Why not give fell running a go this year?
Congratulations to our runners who completed the London Marathon today. We knew Jackie Keavney would run well, but her finishing time of 3.01.15. was astonishing. She was 100th lady overall and 10th in her age category. Watch this space as she moves up an age group very soon! Well done to new club member Adele Marshall who also set a new PB with an excellent time of 3.25.04 and to Zoe and Alan Mackay who completed the course together in 4.38.46.
Last weekend's racing action started at the Darlington Park Run on Saturday where Jacqueline Keavney finished first lady in 20.04. On the same day three runners were in the Lake District. Stuart Hardcastle and John Hunter were at the St Georges Day 10k in Langdale, Stuart finished in 47.36 (3rd V55), John was 2nd V65 in 56.08. Michael Keavney ran the Anniversary Waltz fell race near Keswick (11.5miles, 3600feet climb), finishing in 2h23mins, just a minute quicker than his previous best time.
On Sunday there was a good turnout at the Fountains 10k near Ripon. The undulating course includes a short off-road section and doesn't produce fast times. Jacqueline Keavney continued her weekend of short races in prepartion for next weekend's London Marathon. She was first club runner and 3rd lady in 43.09. Ronnie Cassar finished in 51.33, followed by Abi Bromirski 56.31, Jennifer Roebuck 62.40, Anne Singleton 64.07, Karen Thompson 64.09 and Shelagh Price 64.12. At the Reeth 20k trail race Stu Smith swapped his Pocklington vest for Swaledale green to mark his trip home and finished an excellent 5th out of 121 in 91.58. Rachael Alderson was first club lady in 123.46 (54th), followed by Alison Johnston 134.35 (83rd) and Julia Spittle 136.06 (86th). Much further afield Robbie Kelly set a marathon PB of 3h19mins in La Coruna, Spain.
Details are now available of Michael Rosher's exploits in the Lakes Mountains 42 mile race the previous weekend. This included over 10000 feet climbing including High Street and Helvellyn. Difficult weather conditions made a tough race even tougher. Just completing the course is quite an achievement and Michael finished 47th out of 63 starters in 13h16mins.
Perfect running weather for the Greater Manchester Marathon this last weekend, based at Old Trafford. The event was well organised, friendly, and most importantly for me on the day, flat! Came in with a chip time of 3.42.06. Not a PB in absolute terms, but WAVA adjusted time was my best to date, so I'm at least temporarily putting the brakes on the march of time!