The hills were alive again!

Rich Shepherd approaching the finishing line.
Another quiet week but we did have some amazing performances in the latest Winter Series race on Sunday and there is a truly heartwarming message from Nina, one of our wonderful Couch to 5kers.

Enjoy the mud!

Best Wishes

David Jones
Ready for the off.
Rich out on his own.

Tempo Winter Series 10k Race 2.

Report – Phil Brennan and David Jones.

Once again over 300 runners took on this monthly winter challenge through the lanes and up and down the hills of Ilmington.

The early mist never quite lifted but the windless and surprisingly mild conditions were ideal for racing, the only difficulty was caused by the mud and fallen leaves, which made the steep downhill sections particularly treacherous.

Again our club dominated this popular event, with 37 runners taking part.

In a race where anyone who finishes is to be congratulated, there were many standout performances.

After checking with the race organisers, we’re fairly sure that Rich is the first ever overall winner from the club and it is certainly the first time we’ve ever had a one two. Onwards and very much upwards!

Rich Shephard stormed home as overall winner in 36:34, his fastest over the course for two years and an emphatic minute and a half in front of team mate Matt Burdus- Cook in second place. Matt, 38:03, demonstrated his continuous improvement by posting his fastest time over the course and was comfortably ahead of the third placed runner.

Long distance specialists Richard Liggatt, 10th, 42:01, and Ade Mason, 16th, 43:04, were next to finish for the club.

Just over a minute separated our next 4 members to finish. Owen Goschen, who has been putting in some serious work at a local gym in preparation for this race was 17th in 43:14, the ever improving Seth Turner, 18, 43:24, the ageless Malcolm Bowyer, 19, 44:00, and Joe Lee, 22, 44:24. Malcolm was a comfortable M55 category winner, over two minutes ahead of the second finisher.

Max Ross dipped under the 45 minute barrier, 24, 44:50, while the next nine finishers, Mark Hateley, Emma Bexson – our first female finisher, 46:56, Graham Hill, 47:47, Ben Phyall ,48:04, John Bettles, 48.09, Clive Swain, 48.25, Luke Watkins, 48.37 and Amy Hinton, 49,57 were inside 50 minutes.

Carl James 50:51, and Clare Weatherhead, 51:00, came close. Peter Wharton, 52:54, and Phil Brennan, 54:02, (1st M75), were followed by close finishes from Rebecca Pridham, 55:08, Kimberley Lee, 55:12, and Tony Tomecek, 55:22. Just 14 seconds separating them.

Finishing in under the hour mark were Simon Curran, 56.47, Daniel Hodgkin, 58.59 and Stuart Macleod, 59.01.

Just 1 second off the magic hour mark was Neil Robertson in 1:00.01. Maybe try cutting the odd corner next time Neil.

Louise Stewart seems to race almost every week and this regular racing is certainly paying dividens. Her finishing time was 1:01.31.

Richard Hartwell, 1:03.39 and Mark Sainsbury, 1:05.29 were followed by a quartet of our female club members, Clare Eynon, 1:06.39, Tash Watkins, 1:10.43, Alex Baxendale, 1:13.02 and the indefatigable Gemma Smith, 1:17.32.

Paul Nash, 1:20.29 was followed by the ever present John Butler, 300th, 1:22:47, shepherding them home and enjoying his new status as second in the M75 category.

305 runners finished. Next month’s race, in the opposite direction, will continue the debate over which is the worst way round.

Couch to 5k.

Not for the first time I’m printing a lovely message from one of our Couch to 5kers.

This really has been a tremendous initiative by the club and messages such as these really do emphasise how appreciated it has been.

It must also be hugely satisfying to the many club members who have not only made this happen but who have also been so very, very welcoming to those joining the various groups
“ Bigbigbiiiiiig thanks to Chris and Phil for last night’s run!

It was a revelation to me and you were both a massive support ?

By helping me stay focused I learnt first hand how to manage a high blood sugar at the start of a run (by injecting to bring it down and then scanning regularly throughout the run and using glucose to slow down the ‘rate of descent’ until it gradually reaches a safe plateau) all the while keeping going, non stop, to reach 5k in 48mins.

It’s still no mean feat for me and I felt so great, but more than that – it has so enthused my diabetic clinic this morning (whom I’d been speaking to to check I’d been doing the right thing last night – which they said was spot on) that they want me to talk to a few newly diagnosed teenagers who used to love sport and explain to them about what I did and how diabetes doesn’t need to stop anything. (Goodlord me? Formerly slobby, unfit me, give a talk?!!).

I have really come a long way, far longer than 5k. Thank you so much Chris and Phil (and at other times Jan), and to you all for this amazing year.

I’ve been raving about the Stratford running club to Warwick Hospital and anyone else who listens so you may get a few referrals!! ?? For those I won’t see in the next 2 weeks have a very happy Christmas xx