RACE REPORTS

GREATER MANCHESTER MARATHON - 7th APRIL 2019

"You could have gone there, it’s free parking on a Sunday."

"There's a space."

"Hun the station is just there."  [pointing]


When we're not running, some of us are very sensitive about having to walk to a destination!


We walked around the corner to see a sizeable number of RRRs already milling between the trestle tables, just in time to fall in for Mary's briefing. Mary has had her hair done. She's gone fairer with blond highlights but left her fringe alone.


"Will you stop going on about female RRR's hair!"


OK. Mary needed to disseminate some essential information. "Don't leave your backpack with your sandwiches unattended otherwise they'll have to be made safe by the bomb squad" & "Collapsing runners should be firmly encouraged to continue", or something like that. Briefing over we could resume the main task of the day, which was to gather into little groups to chat about our upcoming holidays & why we might possibly do the marathon next year.


There were enough yellow jackets for everyone & we became Les Jeunes Vestes, not to overthrow the government but to load the tables with water & gels before the first runners arrived. It didn't seem long before the quickest came clip-clopping through. These front-runners think that if they even make eye-contact with you, never mind exchange a few friendly words, then they’ll lose momentum & show a weakness to the guys next to them. I suppose when you've forked out around £250 for orange Nike Zoom Vapours & been training since before Christmas, on a fast course where you want to run quicker than last year, then exchanging pleasantries with the volunteers does not come high on your list of priorities.


With more Biffa bins than previously & the genius idea someone had of putting a target board at the back of them to encourage jump shots & throwing accuracy, there were less bottles sent skittering across the road. With the concern over single-use plastic I'm not sure about the provision of plastic bottles at these events & most of the water in them was thrown away. A cattle trough maybe, sponges, carry your own containers? Anyway, well done to all the RRRs, several of whom were running for charity. All seemed to go according to plan, although Neil Brock had to pull up with a hamstring injury. There was an array of different costumes - foam heads, bridal wear & people being pushed, all enjoying themselves or just toughing it out. Special mention to the guy in the rhino outfit doing baby steps but still going after 23 miles! The runners kept coming past, but many had lost interest later on in keeping their energy levels up with gels & were just keeping going through the pain. Come to think, gels don’t seem to have any effect on me.


"Telling you to unload the dishwasher doesn’t have any effect on you either."


All the RRR finishers: Phil Austin (4:15:40), Garry Bower (4:20:09), Neil Brock (3:54:34), Ian Dale (3:26:45), Rob Fairbanks (3:11:12), Bernie Goodwin (3:20:15), Jill Heywood (4:27:35), Janet Jobey (3:25:17), Sam Kent-Brown (4:55:33), Val Kilburn (3:50:31), Nick Mallon (3:50:54), Gary Marshall (4:52:12), Carl O'Callaghan (3:15:58), Dave Peart (2:50:38), Helen Radcliffe (3:57:47), Vikki Smith (3:44:24) & James Wright (5:30:42).


"We should do the marathon next year."

"Didn’t we say that last year?"

"And the year before that."


Finally well done to Mary, organiser extraordinaire for pulling it all together for another year.  [Gary Smith]

WILMSLOW HALF MARATHON - 24th MARCH 2019

Twas the night before the race...


"Remote?"

"I can be a little distant at times it’s true."

"Just give it to me, now!"

"Pardon, I thought you wanted to watch telly? Anyway, you know the rule, not before a race."


So 42 mad March RRR hares came down to Wilmslow to hare around a course capable of rewarding your entry fee with a PB. This is a big event, with 2,800 entrants. It's only the 2nd time that Wilmslow has been in the RRR Club Championship - by coincidence, with the same number of finishers (42) as the previous time in 2014 (thanks to Dave ‘Statto’ Emanuel for this factoid).


I always feel like the amateur I am when I see runners doing warm-up runs before any race, never mind a half marathon, & so it was on seeing Dave Peart (1:22:34 for 3rd MV50, the best RRR category position) & Andy Schofield (1:38:45) jogging on the other side of the road on the way in. Judging from their times it certainly pays off. The weather was cool but dry, just about perfect for the flat course - so flat that the organisers advised against setting off too fast! Of course, it wasn’t that flat, but sufficiently so for those that felt they had a PB in them to go for it.


With such a large field, many of whom probably only notionally set off from the correct timing pens, our club runners set off in small friendship groups & ran I think unsighted of other RRRs. So the more technical of us would have run against their watch, whilst others were encouraged to go faster to keep up by their running companions & others like me just hoped to hang on to whoever was in front of me. It also meant that there were considerable differences between the gun & chip times that fed through to the final positions.


Jason Keast (back on it in 1:46:20) said his goodbyes just after the start & I was left to fend for myself. I came up to Emma Bower (2:03:54) with Phil Austin (2:03:55), I think dedicating this race to his marathon training, then Dave Watt (2:11:13) & Gareth McCaffrey (1:54:17). Soon John Fay (1:48:53) came past me & I thought I must try to keep with him for as long as possible, which I did until the 9th mile. Obvious I know, but it really does help to try & stay with a faster runner. Gentleman John then went ahead & I observed that he passed the runners ahead giving them plenty of room, instead of trying to barge past like a bloke did to me earlier. He may of course have been trying to avoid the kids wanting to glad-hand you as you went past. Bernadette (2:16:55 – knee problem) told me that she high-fived willingly because they were more likely to have been made to wash their hands, this being Wilmslow!


The race unwound & after John had gone past I came up to Helen Radcliffe (1:51:01). We stayed together for the 10th/11th mile. Helen chose not to have a photo finish with me & went ahead to go neck-a-neck with John, both pushing each other to the end & thus both getting a PB.


So who else PB’d & is making me turn a countable noun into a verb? In the order in which I met them at the finish or was told on Facebook there was Garry Bower (1:37:08) & Nick Mallon (1:35:48) standing as meeters & greeters at the end, waiting for Garry’s Emma. In her 25th race for the club Emma improved her time for a half by a full 15 mins! Then Diane Allingan (1:52:44) & Gail Shaw (1:56:54) came in with new best times. On the way back to the car pacemaker Bernie Goodwin (1:41:48) called out that his young protégé Adam Farrell (1:41:51) had gone under his target time of 1:45. Alex Critcher (1:42:32) was first on Facebook to answer my PB roll-call, followed by Gareth McCaffrey & Tracy Johnson (1:51:00), Robert Fairbanks (1:20:59) & Vikki Smith (1:42:50). Congratulations to you all.


If you didn’t get a PB you have to sometimes be sanguine about it & it was nice to chat at the finish to Kevin Heenan (1:56:01), who is coming back to running regularly but feeling it & had run his RRR Cup race a day earlier. Then Amanda Richardson (2:13:40) who had completed the Langsett 10K also on the Saturday ("Hilliest 10K I have ever done") & Susan Heaney (2:07:00) racing for the 1st time after an operation. Finally Rob Nixon (2:25:34), who is carrying a few niggles but is taking it literally 'in his stride'. Well done to you guys as well.


Other points to note were George Booth (1:22:52, finishing 66th of 731 Senior Men) running his first half marathon with the insouciance of youth in a fantastic time & for the 1st time I will have mentioned all the 2nd claimers by reporting Gary Fielding’s time of 1:31:40 in his 1st RRR race since 2017. Welcome back Gary. We’re back to full strength with at least four Gar(r)ys in the club!


All the other RRR finishers: Elaine Whitehead (2:13:03), Mike Keating (2:12:09), Jillian Heywood (2:03:19), Teresa Hollins (1:59:57), Gary Smith (1:50:17), Rochelle Evans (1:49:57), Mark Phelan (1:46:53), Valerie Kilburn (1:42:31), Brett Spivey (1:39:15), Robert Kellett (1:37:33), Matthew Kilburn (1:36:07), Bryan Lawton (1:35:58), Elliot Stone (1:35:20), Ian Dale (1:28:02), Shane Reading (1:20:53) & Jarrod Gritt (1:14:10).


Back home...


"You can have the remote for your 'Line of Duty', I’m giving up on 'American Gods', it’s just too weird."

"What even weirder than you?!"

"Don’t go there..."


Next club race is the John Purdy Springhill Hospice Cowm 5K on Sunday 5th May.  [Gary Smith]

DENTDALE RUN - 9th MARCH 2019

"Did you tell them that I wasn’t running due to my hip flexor?"

"Umm...not exactly."

"I told you not to tell them I was on a spa day!"

"June beat it out of me."

"So what else was said on the coach?"

"Well they all know that what happens on the coach stays on the coach - & goes into the report."


It did get a bit lavatorial, with both Warren 'Sid' Siddall & Garry Bower showing everyone their emergency loo roll, but not any emergency soap & water. So I made a note to self, do not shake their hands before or after the race.


Sid then listed every drinking den & nightclub in 80s & 90s Oldham. The Cat’s Whiskers, Dreamers, Froggies, Bali Hoo, Sheddings, The Candlelight...only when he name-checked The Regent & June said "You’re going back a bit there" was he stopped in his tracks, which allowed us all to get off the coach. Respect to the coach driver who thought he was going into the main car park, then had to back up & reverse into the campsite with 20+ back-seat drivers giving advice.


Off the coach we were joined for the team photo by Bryan Lawton (1:54:26) who was on a weekend getaway with wife Jo & had promised her a romantic meal, specially prepared on the Primus stove. Bryan hasn’t done this race for a few years but ran one of his quickest times.


The forecast had been for snow flurries, after heavy rain the day before which had threatened to cancel the race, but in the event we enjoyed a window of cold but dry weather. Notices were handed out advising that, due to flooding, the course had been changed - but did not mention that it had been lengthened to 14.4 miles from the already demanding distance of 14.2. We still ran through stretches of foot-deep standing water though. A few thought they were OK in just their RRR vest, but most of us had an extra layer underneath. It was cold, with the wind acting like a not-unpleasant cooling fan on your back once you had run through & then out of the village after 7 miles (someone should have used a thicker marker pen & written in bigger letters on the whiteboard that sent the longer race runners to the left & the 7.5K runners to the right, by the way) but then was blowing you to a standstill on the return back to the village.


The number of RRRs taking part this year was down on previous years - 26 is the lowest number since 2010 - with another 8 doing the 7.5 miler. Jarrod Gritt (our 1st finisher in 1:25:46), who is now being chauffeured to the races, came in 5th. Janet Jobey (1:45:26) claimed the prize for 1st lady. Val Kilburn (1:58:18) & Vikki Smith (2:00:07) made up the rest of the victorious RRR ladies team, continuing a winning streak after Carsington. Well done also to the rest of the ladies - Helen Radcliffe (2:08:20), Jillian Heywood (2:26:50), Emma Bower (2:29::22), Sam Kent-Brown (2:35:10) & Debbie Cash (2:40:12) who all toughed it out to the finish.


Great runs were also delivered by our fastest males Dave Peart (1:36:34), Carl O’Callaghan (1:39:43), Neil Brock (1:41:06), Ian Dale (1:43:01) & Bernard Goodwin (1:44:04) who all finished high up the field & in the top 10 in their respective age categories. Mark Foran (2:07:26) ran well in his first RRR race & with his long legs will continue to do so. He was beaten to the finish by Simon Howard (2:07:15), who came past me with about 1K to go & then cheerfully remarked afterwards that he was never going to be caught power-walking up the last hill. He was followed by Helen Radcliffe going past me (2:08:29) with room to spare in the final 500 metres, getting a boost from Val & Vikki shrieking as one, "Watch out Helen, Gary’s behind you!" So now I’m the pantomime villain runner, am I?


Garry Bower (1:56:15), by including DIY on the new house in his cross-training, remarkably ran a PB even though the course was longer. Well done! Meanwhile Jason Keast put his back out, but instead of retiring when we went back through the village he carried on for the full distance (in obvious pain) taking in the scenery to finish in 2:57:02. After going to the walk-in surgery at the George & Dragon he took two Stellas for his back & felt much better.


All the other RRR finishers: Dave Watt (2:24:44), Warren Siddall (2:24:25), Kevin Heenan (2:24:14), Robert Nixon (2:21:36), Stewart Jones (2:03:53) & Elliot Stone (1:51:14).

 

Finally, well done to those who tackled the 7.5-mile route. I know Steven Shaw (1:05:38) is coming back from injury & is being supported by Andy Schofield (57:26). I don’t know why Owen Flage (47:58) & Rob Kellett (56:53) chose the shorter distance this time, but hope to see all 4 of them competing in future club races. The same goes for Jennifer O’Callaghan (1:25:03), Tracey Hall (1:25:03), Claire Timms (1:25:03) & the stalwart June Allingan (1:30:33).


Next up is the Wilmslow Half Marathon on Sunday 24th March - last club race before 'marathon season'.  [Gary Smith]

CARSINGTON WATER HALF MARATHON - 23rd FEBRUARY 2019

In the hotel room...

"Jarrod & Simon Reeve?"

"Hmm not really & you’d better stop this."

"You’ve not seen my new trainers? After reading up I have deduced that Carsington is mostly an earth track, so I’ve bought a crossover light trail/road shoe."

"That’ll be a 'rail' shoe then?"

"Or a 'toad' shoe?"

"If you run slowly a 'snail' shoe!"

Titter ye not. "Make space for the other towel?"


Race day, we drove from our hotel without breakfast, as I wasn’t going to pay for just a bit of porridge & a piece of fruit. Every link for this race uses the word 'scenic', so it was a bit distracting to be driving along country roads with a heavy mist on the fields either side, lovely scenery that we couldn’t see!


"I hope you’ll be able to see where you are running?" (more tittering)


There’s always some tension getting to a new event. Finding your way there, parking up (when there are parking charges, the race organisers are always coy about telling you what it costs to park at their event), the toilet queues, etc. so it was great to see the RRR coach (should we have our own liveried transport?) parked up near us & we soon made out the distinctive RRR vest in the vapour. Thanks to Dave Emanuel who found us to hand over our bib numbers just as we were going to set off to look for him, after I thoughtlessly had ignored his "We’ve arrived!" message.


To the race then. Round the reservoir, out into the country park & back again, with a final straight out then back the same way, so that the faster runners were coming past the ones behind them, like the Tatton 10K & the last 2K of Bolton parkrun. Jarrod Gritt & Rob James showed great chutzpah starting in the front line with fellow RRR shocktroops close behind. Bernadette - earwigging as usual – had overheard Jarrod talking to Rob about the course record - 1hr 17mins - so when he came home 1st in 1:16:23 as the new course record holder, there had been some forethought given to the matter! Well done also to Rob (1:19:04), who came in 2nd overall, as well as Shane Reading (4th, 1st MV45 in 1:23:58) & Dave Peart (5th, 1st MV50, 1:24:35) who made up the winning men’s team & both won their respective age categories. It is some achievement to win an age category & so well done also to Dave Emanuel (1st MV55, 1:31:50) who won his. This was his 3rd race in a new age category, proving the adage that as you get older you win more races in your age category.


"There is no such adage!" said Bernadette (with feeling).


Not only but also, as our first 3 women took their team prize - congratulations to Janet Jobey (2nd FV45, 1:37:04), Val Kilburn (1:45:40) & Vikki Smith (1:48:11). So we came, once the mist had cleared we saw & then we conquered!


There was a RRR wagon train running over the dam wall with myself (1:53:35) Rob Nixon (2:04:54), Simon Howard (1:55:16) & Helen Radcliife (1:55:20) all running behind each other, Simon in his 50th club race. Later, at mile 10, just as I was wondering where my nemesis John Fay (1:49:58) was, he hove into view coming in the opposite direction, way ahead! Yet another age category winner was Diane Allingan (1st V60, 1:58:48) ahead of Mark Rigby (2:02:20), running his 10th club race.


This 'undulating' course was a bit marmite, with only a short but quite steepish incline towards the end, but the up & down repetition I think had a gradual greater tiring effect on the legs. I even saw Richard Cummins (1:40:08) & Bernie Goodwin (1:34:07) falter, while at 11 miles I was pretty much done in. But what did others think?


Warren 'Sid' Siddall (1:58:29) liked the course, 'a bit lumpy' (great description), would do it again although he would have liked to have gone sub-1:55. By the way thanks for the encouragement yesterday at Oldham parkrun Warren, marshaling at the start of the woodland path. For Adam Farrell (1:52:47) the race 'had its ups & downs' (clever!) & nice scenery - he's wishing his dad Neil a speedy recovery from making excuses not to run so that he can beat him again!


Gail Shaw (2:05:07) is like me - companionable with a cheerful disposition. No, not just in this respect, but in deciding that it was a tough course. After having a word in high places, telling Dave Emanuel that the event was full & him then getting her in, she wished she’d kept quiet. She went one adjective further than Neil Brock (1:29:09) in describing the course as a 'tough undulating one which never seemed to end' & like me finished slower than her previous half marathons. Gail is now looking forward to 'going back to her regular marathon training & hills now'. When I confronted Neil at parkrun & demanded that he think of something other than 'undulating' he caved & went for 'rollercoaster'.


Amanda 'Mandy' Richardson (2:14:22) loved the course even though, guess what, she found it 'undulating'. Her only previous half marathon was back in February 2018 & flat, but with the encouragement of the cheerleaders she managed to be only 4 minutes slower. She is looking forward to doing more long runs & is a great advert for someone who starts running & then with more confidence goes in for longer & (with her cross-country races) more varied running challenges.


Bernadette (2:27:30) also found it hard but really appreciated the out & back at the end, when the 'big guns' all encouraged her to keep going.


All the other RRR finishers: Angela Rogowskyj (2:57:01), Claire Timms (2:34:07), Sharon Dracup (2:34:06), Elaine Whitehead (2:21:14), Tracey Hall (2:17:14), Dave Watt (2:15:00), Jillian Heywood (2:13:25), Lisa Cummins (2:09:24), Martin Jones (2:08:25), Tracy Johnson (1:56:51), Jason Keast (1:48:07), Elliot Stone (1:38:24), Ian Dale (1:32:32) & Carl O'Callaghan (1:31:32).


The mist lifted & the sun came out so that the RRRs on the coach could enjoy some pub grub & raise a glass to toast Shane Reading, who was presented with a framed list of his 100 consecutive club runs. A great day out in a nice part of the world. Just a shame that the souvenir tee wasn’t included in the entry fee.


Thanks to everyone who contributed with their thoughts on the race. Next up is Dent on Saturday 9th March.


Finally, big thanks to the cheerleaders Jill Hickson, Jenny O’Callaghan & Martina Naismith, who just need to work on their routine & remember their pom-poms next time.  [Gary Smith]

DEWSBURY 10K - 3rd FEBRUARY 2019

The night before the race, Bernadette & I debated how much winter training we were short of & how much Dave Peart looks like Luke Goss (not separated at birth, but close, we agreed). All things come back to running!


After Simon cancelled Thursday’s club training, then parkrun was cancelled with the freezing temperatures & icy conditions, I was coming into this race with the hopeful notion that no final preparation was good preparation. At my age you shouldn’t overdo it is, I’m certain, one of those things in the '10 things you should know about running' article.


"That’s a good inscription for your gravestone - 'He never overdid anything'."

"Well let’s just see how much time that new sports bra, new flip-belt, new Nike Pegasus trainers, new Runderwear & new 'wind defence thermoregulated compression leggings' saves you, shall we?"


Yes, this is the time of year when we can all disport the new gear we got for Christmas because they didn’t know what else to buy us & in the January sales. The warranty for all this 'energy return' and 'graduated compression' never guarantees a new PB though!


In the car, Jason (new Sauconys, bought from a well-regarded local running shoe shop emporium), ever the builder, delicately enquired as to how many moves away Bernadette & I are from our 'retirement bungalow'. Let’s just get on with the report shall we...


Old habits die hard & once again RRRs all gathered in the same place on the ground floor of the Sports Centre. No Ronnie this year as he’s overwintering somewhere in the Southern Pacific, but we still had 68 RRRs come out of hibernation on a stone-cold morning that justified the buffs, hats & gloves. Hipster Jason was setting a trend with his Johnny pirate buff & wearing daughter Harriet’s 'Frozen' Disney princess sparkly gloves. His kids took all his running gloves to go to play in the snow & now he’ll only find 'one' of them if it has been picked up & left on a bench somewhere. Good to see Chairman Bryan & Vice-chairman Dave at the same race. I know they wouldn’t have greeted each other with "I thought we agreed that you were opening the shop this morning!"


We don’t pay 3 months in advance (what a pain!) to come to Dewsbury for the scenery, the facilities or the 'unique' tee, but to see if we can smash our best 10K times & this year's race event produced a veritable cornucopia of RRR PBs. So, drum-roll & trumpet fanfare for the following: Jarrod Gritt (first RRR home in 33:47 - down to his racing weight & looking like he should be saddling-up for the 3:30 at York; I’m idly wondering whether all runners could be handicapped based on weight, VO2 max, BMI or anything else that could give me a semblance of an advantage?), Richard Cummins (38:34), Carl O’Callaghan (39:35), Matthew Kilburn (40:58), Alex Critcher (44:02), Andrew Chadwick (44:40), Adam Farrell (47:19), John Fay (47:30 - went past me like he was on a rocket sled), Warren ‘Sid’ Siddall (49:35), Gary Marshall (49:42 - fessed up at Thursday’s training - wasn’t going to say anything as he 'only' PB'd by 20 seconds!), Lisa Cummins (51:39), Liane Gilligan (53:21), Elaine Whitehead (55:11), Kevin Hutchings (55:33), Huyla Whttaker (1:03:41 - "Knocked 1 min off my last one" gets her a place at the PB top-table), Dave Bardsley (57:06), Emma Bower (57:46), Sharon Dracup (59:13) & Sue Farrell (1:00:10). Well done everyone. What’s interesting about this PB roll of honour is the different runner profiles on it - there are people who’ve always run fast, those coming back from injury, those just starting out, those who have been club members for a long time, those not so long, those who’ve taken time out & all the different ages represented as well. It’s a great advert for club & social running. Again, bravo.


Also, bouquets to those running in a club race for the first time: George Booth (a blistering 37:37), Tracy Johnson (49:06), Liane Gilligan, Kevin Hutchings, Debra Cash (55:39) & Natali Brown (1:03:17). Yet more plaudits for Jillian Heywood (completing her 50th club race in 54:06), Dave Crewe (his 25th race in 46:34) & Stephen Rogowskyj (also his 25th race in 1:01:19). A special mention too for reigning RRR Ladies Champion Janet Jobey (41:40), our 1st female finisher, 6th in her age category out of 148 & for Anne Jones (1:06:36), back running after being injured for 2 years. Good luck Anne with the rest of the season. Great stuff!


My own time (48:42) was down on last year, in distance about 1 circuit (400 metres) of Brian Moore’s Kingsway track at my pace, so I can commiserate with fellow club runners who didn’t smash it this time.


"What shall I say about your time Bernadette?"

"Don’t bother mentioning me, 51 seconds out (from a PB), I’m still stuck on 60 minutes."

"It might help if you fell pregnant, certainly hasn’t harmed Rochelle’s running." (As being a new father hasn't affected Shane’s performance - 36:27 in his 99th consecutive race for the club. I don’t think he’ll flake out before his 100th.)

"Whaaaat?"


Er...I’m just off to get Jason to quote for a walk-in shower for a bungalow...


All the other RRR finishers: Neil Bradley (1:09:07), Angela Rogowskyj (1:09:03), Karen Stuttard (1:08:26), Sally Crewe (1:06:42), Judith Bradley (1:06:13), Jenny O'Callaghan (1:03:32), Bernadette Ball (1:00:50), Dave Watt (58:24), Tracey Hall (58:21), Lynda Brookes (57:57), Nikki Forster (56:59), Susan Heaney (56:53), Amanda Richardson (56:43), Gareth Mccaffery (53:50), Lee Higginbottom (53:03), Kevin Heenan (53:02), Gail Shaw (52:49), Chris Nicholson (50:17), Simon Howard (49:28), Paul Cooke (49:27), Mark Heaney (49:17), Mark Rigby (48:27), Helen Radcliffe (48:20), Rochelle Evans (47:00), Vikki Smith (46:45), Jason Keast (46:41), Stewart Jones (46:39), Valerie Kilburn (45:33), Adam Stirling (45:02), Garry Bower (44:48), Bryan Lawton (44:02), Elliot Stone (43:13), Brett Spivey (42:13), Ian Dale (39:50), David Emanuel (39:29), Bernie Goodwin (39:21), Dave Peart (38:58) & Chris Lowe (38:25).


Next up is the Carsington Water half Marathon on Saturday 23rd February. Nice early 9.30am start!  [Gary Smith]


*************************************************************


So, what can be said about the start of this year’s season? Cold? Freezing? On the approach to Dewsbury Sports Centre I noticed a reading of -6°C, that didn’t stop Team RRR from racing in numbers. 68 of us braved the cold for what is possibly the fastest 10K course around. A simple out & back, with a very gentle climb out & a gentle descent back, the course gives the perfect opportunity for a big negative split as well as a shiny new PB.


In the Sports Centre it seemed as though we had taken over most of the ground floor. It was great to see some new faces running for the club as well as a return for some of those who have been out for a while. I think some people thought I was mad donning my shorts & vest, but to be fair I did wear gloves & a buff.


Such is the popularity of this race that not only did it sell out, but they even introduced a penning system at the start. This is a massive bonus as it ensures that runners are in the correct start area & ensures everyone can get off to a good start.


One of the great things for me, with the course being an out & back, was the amount of support I got from RRRs on my return. My apologies for my lack of response to you all, I did hear you, but was just too focused on keeping alive. Upon turning around I could feel my legs gather more speed as I started the descending part of the race. As I passed those cheering me on I gained confidence & with just 2K left, feeling the burn, I managed to push myself to maintain my pace & finish in my best-ever 10K time of 33:47. A big thanks to Anne Jones for the water before the race, whatever was in there clearly made the difference.


I just about managed to stay on my feet to receive my t-shirt, this year long sleeved & significantly less rude than last year. I waited there to see some of my fellow RRRs cross the line - normally I’d stay longer but I could feel myself getting cold & needed to layer up. A massive well done to George Booth, running his 1st club race in RRR colours, who was 3rd RRR to finish in 37:37, knocking just over 2 minutes off his PB. George came in just behind Shane Reading, who ran his 99th consecutive RRR championship race in 36:27 - 1 more to reach his landmark goal of 100 at the Carsington Water Half Marathon. A mention for another big PB of about 2 minutes to Andy Chadwick; I am sure there were many other PBs along the way.  [Jarrod Gritt]

 

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