British Fell Relay Championship
Swaledale Runners enjoyed a successful first appearance in the British Fell Relay Championship on October 19th. This year's event was organised by Howgill Harriers and Dallam Running Club and took place on Middleton Fell near Sedbergh. All the big names in fellrunning were present with teams from all over England, Wales and Scotland. Olympic triathlete Jonny Brownlee returned to his fellrunning roots for the day as one of Bingley's leg 2 runners. Despite this, the day had a very inclusive atmosphere with teams of all abilities and ages. Performance of the day went to the Howgill Harrier on the PA who announced, commentated, chatted, joked and encouraged non-stop for over 8 hours. He was constantly entertaining, occasionally hilarious and just one or twice, a little politically incorrect.
Middleton Fell reaches a high point of 609m at Calf Top, from which a series of ridges fan out westwards with views towards Morecambe Bay. It was a grey and blustery day with intermittent rain but thankfully the clouds stayed clear of the summit until just before the end. Leg 1 was close to 5 miles in length up to Calf Top by the most direct ridge and down by another. Derek was our first runner and returned looking thoroughly windswept, he had got us off to a good start finishing 106th of the 217 starters. The rest of the day would be spent fighting to stay in the top half of the field. Neil and Robbie ran Leg 2, the longest leg of the day (about 9 miles), which included an "unnecessary" very steep detour down and straight back up the fell just before the summit. They ran a great leg finishing 94th, especially impressive as most teams seemed to put their quickest runners on this leg.
BOFRA championship 2014
Well that's the Bofra championship finished. After 8 races I finished 35th in the British Open Championship, 8th v40. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the series...
Race 1 – Sedbergh Gala. 56thplace, 26 points. A really good race that I'd done before. Made more exciting by the presence of Iwan Thomas from the One Show. Pleased with my performance early in the season.
Race 2 – Coniston Gullies. 55th, 24 points. This race is crackers really, very short and very steep. I went out too slow and bottled it a bit on the descent. Disappointed, but I'd like to give it another go.
Race 3 – Kettlewell. 58th, 23 points. Another good race and, although it doesn't look like it, possibly my best performance of the series. Especially pleased with my descent, usually the worst part of my game, so a bit disappointed with where I finished.
Kielder marathon 2014
Following last year, when a cloudy day meant I was unable to enjoy the views at their best, I decided to return for a further spin out with the Kielder marathon. Despite the water logging and downpour of the previous day (when the kids and I enjoyed shuttling around on the spectator bus while Dad got 4th overall in the run bike run event: cracking form Dave!), marathon day was all I had wanted: crisp, clear sky (with a frost to be scraped off the car that morning), beautiful scenery and autumn colours. It was great to bump into Chris Lamb, Martin Randall and Niall Cheyne in the starting pens. Some amazing times from the lads, Chris and Martin coming in at 3:28:51 and 3:32:50 respectively, 45th and 55th over the line. Niall was doing a sterling job when we crossed paths at around the 17 mile mark, and was giving it everything, finishing in 4:45:15. I didn't spot Grace Gilpin in the crowds, but from the amount of supporters cheering on SRR, I realised there were probably more of us around! Congratulations Grace on a solid performance, finishing in
4:58:58 and 15th in her category. I was very happy to chip 8 minutes off my time from last year, finishing 30th female, 9th FV40, with 4:09:01.
It has to be one of the most spectacular marathon venues I have done, and I have a nagging suspicion I will be back for more next year. I would definitely recommend it, or the 10k (held on the previous day), to anyone not quite daft enough to beat themselves up on the full distance.
Grewelthorpe Multi Terrain Race 13K
This Sunday saw the first ever running of the Grewelthorpe Multi Terrain Race, a 13K event over a fast and scenic course. There were 83 runners on the start line including 3 members of Swaledale Runners, Liz Sowter, Zoe Mason and myself Stuart Smith (the older version). It was a lovely autumn day for the race with the route taking in track, field, woodland and road sections.
Thankfully it was a very well marked out course as at one point I was totally on my own running through some woods until I came across a friendly marshal who pointed me in the right direction. There was also a real sting in the tale with just about one kilometre to go, a steep climb out of the woods up earthen steps that really tested my legs. A fast return down a quiet country lane saw me finish in (for me) a most pleasing time of 62-42 and unbelievably bagging 5th place, I hadn't realised that I was so well placed! Zoe finished just behind in 63-57, claiming 8th place overall (and 2nd lady) and Liz completed the course in 81-13 in 61st place.
I have to thank Liz for persuading me to enter the race especially as I actually won the 1st vet 50 prize and with Zoe claiming 2nd Lady it was a good day for the Swaledale runners. This was a super event, very well organised and one to enter next year.
Redcar half marathon 2014
This was the third time that I had done the Redcar half marathon, and, in a rare occurrence, there was actually no wind. In fact, it was really quite warm! The calm weather helped seven club representatives to good times, including three PB's. Derek Parrington knocked 3 minutes off his previous best finishing 53rd (6th male 50-54) in an impressive 1:25:12. Julia Spittle went under 2 hours to finish as the 3rd female 60-64 in a time of 1:59:06 and James Taylor shaved time off his best to record 1:41:45. Ronnie Cassar ran a strong 1:50:30 to finish as the 3rd male 70-74, Jackie Keavney was the 4th female 40-49 in 1:31:22, and Liz Sowter tenth 50-54 in 1:56:46. I finished in 1:32:20 having set off a bit too quick, and well off any prizes!
After the event Jackie received a prize as 6th senior woman, a major achievemnet in such a big race.
Hardmoors Saltburn half and Teesdale sprint triathlon
I have emerged briefly from revision and exams to do a couple of events. The Hardmoors Saltburn half marathon on 10th August was a fantastic day. The weather didn't quite live up to the stormy forecast and there was only half an hour or so of downpour (rather refreshing in the event). As ever with Hardmoors it stretched a bit beyond the authentic half (over 15 mi), but then it's a pleasant surprise to round a corner & realise you're actually finished! Result 3rd FV40, 7th female, with time of 2.35. Great course, would recommend it.
Teesdale sprint triathlon on 21st September was another lovely crisp day. 400 metre pool swim followed by a hilly 18 mile cycle and a 3 mile run through field and farm tracks. A great atmosphere, made more so by the quick inventive thinking from the organisers when the bike racking didn't turn up. Result 1st FV40, 4th Female overall, with splits of 7.06 swim, 59:56 bike, and 24:54 run.
Tholthorpe 10K 2014
I have been looking all year for a 10k road race which didn't interfere with any of the longer races I had planned. Tholthorpe 10k fitted the bill, squeezed in between the Northumberland Coast Marathon and the Nine Edges 20 Miles. I felt I had been running quite well this year but was yet to test this on the road, having concentrated on fell and trail races.
The race starts and finishes in the charming village of Tholthorpe which is near Boroughbridge and all proceeds go towards the Village Hall. The race attracted 235 runners on a sunny September day.
I did my usual flat out start but for a change I managed not to run out of steam before the end, finishing in 10th place overall. I was pleased with my time of 37.32, a PB. There were good results for other Swaledale runners too, with Martin Randall pleased to finish in 40.00 flat and 21st overall. If this was a chipped race, he would definitely have been sub-40 minutes. Martin Luxton was next in 44.40, 2nd Vet 60, then Peter Devlin in 49.46. Stuart Smith ran an excellent 37.45, 11th overall, for Pocklington Runners (1st claim club). As this is Stuart's 40th Year, he is planning to run 40 sub-40 minute 10ks. One down, 39 to go........
Round Ripon Ultra 2014
Now in its 5th year the Ripon Round Ultra event is well and truly on the calendar of endurance events in the area. It is an event organised by GO BEYOND and is well supported. This is the third time that I've done this run and I thoroughly enjoy it. The start and finish is in the village of Studley Rodger, just outside Ripon. Race HQ is based in the Village Hall where you can use the "facilities", get a hot drink and have a post race massage, parking is not far from the start. After registration you are given your race pack consisting of your number, dedicated map book and a technical top. There are mandatory and recommended items of equipment you need to take out on the course. The route has four check points that you must visit and there is a time limit on the whole event. All check points are manned and have hydration and nutrition at them.
The forecast for this year's event didn't look good at all, heavy rain all day until tea time. What do weather people know! It turned out to be perfect, although 23 entrants decided not to take any chances and didn't show. The first part of the route goes from Studley Rodger to Check Point 1 North Stainley (7.5m) along road and trail, taking in parts of the Ripon Rowel route. All very nice so far. At this point I was with a group of
eight runners and was second female. Trying to pace yourself for an event of 35 miles takes a bit of doing and I hoped I hadn't set off too fast so early on in the race.
Northumberland Coast Marathon 2014
The Northumberland Coast Marathon, one of the North East Marathon Club's (NEMC) annual series of four marathons, takes the coastal path from Alnmouth past Dunstanburgh Castle as far as Newton Links and back. Neil 'faster' Bowmer, erstwhile runner and life coach, drove Ros, Liz and me up in lots of time for this year's earlier start at nine o'clock. I'd done this marathon the year before and they were kind enough to give me a trophy (MV55), so I thought it would be churlish not to go back for another go.
This low-cost out-and-back crosses several beaches in its course and I could feel my pace drop each time I ran on to the sand. That said, knowing the route from the previous year meant I was better prepared for its deceptive ups and downs. It also meant I was better prepared for the last three miles, which had felt like a slog in 2013. The weather was great and I set off with Neil and we soon settled into a comfortable 8 min mile pace. Organiser Melanie Horan was setting a similar pace just in front of us and we followed 100m or so behind her for a good part of the first half. Somewhere around the 11-mile mark I found myself ahead of Neil and Melanie, who we'd passed. Neil waved me on and it looked like he was going to keep pace with Melanie Horan for a while at least.
Nine Edges Endurance Event
You can run, walk or even climb your way around this beautiful 20 mile course in the Peak District! Superbly organised by Edale Mountain Rescue Team, this event focuses on the 9 grit-stone edges of the Dark Peak, either
The route is fantastic, with wonderful views across the valleys. Primarily on trails, most of the hard work comes in the first half, getting to the top of firstly Derwent Edge and then Stanage Edge. There is a fine track under Burbage Edge which allows some time to be made up and in fact most of the route is 'runnable', except parts of Stanage where there is some 'rock hopping' across grit-stone blocks.
This year there were 159 runners taking part, in ideal running conditions. It was cool, overcast but with occasional bursts of sunshine. I had a lovely run, pottering along in the middle of the pack, taking in
See galleries for more photos.
Snape 10K 2014
Snape is a delightful village just the other side of Bedale. A wonderful place to spend a sunny September Saturday morning. As usual the 10k and 5k set off at the same time in opposite directions. This gave the 10k runners a chance to see the senior athletes of the future as the leaders in the 5k shot passed us before we reached our 2.5k mark. The course follows farm lanes before entering the edge of Bedale and turning through the grounds of the secondary school. The return to Snape takes in several different surfaces ranging from smooth road to rough pasture.
The entries were down on last year. This could be for many reasons, but large local races changing their dates could not have helped. The small field meant that I ran over half the race by myself which I think caused my mind to wander and my pace to slow. No matter, I enjoyed the race and will probably be back next year.
Stuart Hardcastle was the first Swaledale runner to finish and he was pleased with his time (46:32) as this was his first race for a while. Other club times were John Hunter (54:57) Anne Singleton (61:27) Corinna Russell (78:08)
Kirkstall Abbey 7
I was the sole representative for our club 'Swaledale' in the Kirkstall Abbey 7 on the 21st September 14 amongst a field of 280 runners. Race conditions were close to ideal for this multi-terrain race, starting and finishing in the Abbey grounds.
I finished 8th overall in a time of 40.38 and 1st MV55.
Congratulations to Steve also for his recent age-group win at the Paras 10.
Many of us enjoyed Jess's first training session at the racecourse last week. Session 2 is tomorrow: here is the full programme leading to the Shaun Lee Johnstone 10 mile race in October.
- Great North Run 2014
- Strength and conditioning work
- Woronora Dam Pipeline 20k Trail Run
- Muker show fell race
- Castle 10K - marshals needed
- Burnsall feast sports
- Reeth Show Fell Run 2014
- Ironman triathlon Bolton
- City 2 Surf
- Borrowdale Fell Race
- Darlington 10K 2014
- Osmotherley Phoenix 2014
- Race entries
- Kilburn Feast 7 2014
- Harrogate District Summer Race League 2014 Round Up
- British Fell Relays
- Club accreditation
- Wharfedale half marathon
- BOFRA championship
- Helvellyn and the Dodds
- Anniversary Waltz
- La Perimetral 2014
- London marathon 2014
- London marathon 2014