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.)


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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