Reports 2012 - Ravens Runners London

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Race Reports for 2012

29-12-12
Saturday 22nd December
Following Friday's fast burn up along the embankment I was pretty knackered on Saturday morning. Busy week didn't help either.
Saturday's parkrun was really waterlogged so I struggled round with the rest of the diminished field. Came 5th although time was poor. Legs felt very heavy from Friday. This was the warm up event for our club 5m handicap on Saturday afternoon. Our handicapper is known to be a little 'erratic' in his handicapping and this time it was my turn to get a tough one. I ended up going off 4th from last with some real quality runners just behind me. The course is very hilly and was particularly wet and muddy although it was surprisingly warm. I struggled from the start and knew it was going to be bad when I was passed in the first half mile. I was subsequently passed by the other two boys, then saw no-one until the finish. Finishing dead last is no fun but to be expected in the circumstances. All good incentive to ramp up the training for some important February races.
Andy Tucker
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29-12-12
I also ran the parkrun that Andy mentioned on Saturday morning (only mine was not a warm up to anything). Likewise, in horrendous conditions, my time was poor but I finished 8th which was comfortably my highest position ever. This positioning was helped by the fact that the runner ahead of me pulled up at the line and DNF. I asked him later why he had done this and he said his time was so bad he did not want it recorded!
Marcus Elwes
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29-12-12
Even though I only hung on to you guys for two or three miles on Friday before turning back, it was too fast. Come the Ranelagh v South London Harriers mob match Saturday (7.5 m XC in Richmond Park) I started well, but faded badly in the second half. There was also a handicap within the race, and surprisingly the thought I did ok coming 9th of 47. We won the mob (largely because we had 47 and they had 17).
Andy Hayward
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29-12-12
Wednesday 25th December
I also ran the parkrun on Christmas day. As you will see from the photos, the going was somewhat 'soft', to say the least. I did wonder what on earth myself, 95 other runners and three volunteers were doing there at 9am on Christmas day morning, preparing for what was more likely to be a swim than a run, but I guess that's what happens with us runners! Two notable absentees were Messrs Tucker and Glackin, who having earlier in the week boasted about their attendance, had clearly looked more closely at the weather forecast than I! The vast majority of the course was covered in standing water, so it was less of a run and more of a splosh around, in heavy rain more or less throughout, and I was therefore quite (pleasantly) surprised to do it in just over 21 minutes, before returning home to make Christmas lunch for the family (after a long warm shower I hasten to add)!
Marcus Elwes
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19-12-12
Gloucester Park Cross Country
Yesterday I ran the cross country at Basildon as part of the Essex league. Felt pretty rubbish as had a cold, was tired from my first week in the City for a year, and only run once in 2 weeks as too busy since starting my new job to run during the week. Course was quite muddy and a few big puddles, and some steep hill to climb.
Did not have much at the end,and could not catch Lee. Finished about 67th so nothing special.
Simon LeMare
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19-12-12
Very wet and heavy under foot and some cracker hills ensured that this was my worse result yet! 66th
 
Mick cool and calm Me, with my usual XC face on!
 
Simon Le Mare after a few too many Chow Mein And clearly enjoying himself Andy C!
These pics were in between two sapping climbs.
Lee Martin
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19-12-12
Andy C kindly arranged for me to run as a guest for Ilford in the Essex xc league on Saturday. Have to say, as I sloshed across the field witnessing sights of racers who looked like they had been to hell and back, I did start to question my sanity and wonder whether I was having a mid-life crisis!!! Andy gave me some great tips which I have to say are definitely what helped me through. I managed - 14th overall (which I think made me 6th in the V35’s), spikes still attached! Well chuffed.
Have to say I got a weird sense of enjoyment out of it (mostly!!)
p.s. I’ll let Andy tell you how he did.
Lisa Wright
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19-12-12
Loved every minute ! That was good cross country. Best Raven run of the day by far was Lisa who finished 14th in the ladies race.
Andrew Catton
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19-12-12
Southend On Sea Park Run
I run the above event on Saturday, the wind was very tough at the end of each lap, managed to cross the line in 20.05 which was 15 secs outside my pb but was very pleased with that. I managed to finish 3rd.
Dave Miller
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19-12-12
Ran the South of Thames Senior XC Champs on Saturday. 7.5 miles in Richmond Park, and for those that know the Park it was on a different course from Kingston Gate. It was three 2.5 mile laps with a third of a mile climb at the start of each lap, muddy undulating circuit round the outside of Isabella Gardens, with a short sharp downhill finish to each lap. Did 62 minutes which was nothing special, but I finished close to two other Ranelagh members that I have been well behind lately, so felt I had a good run.
In the evening it was the Ranelagh Harriers Christmas Party (which Michele and I organise) incorporating the draw for our four club London Marathon places. Having said many times that I don’t ever need to run London again (I’ve done five so far) I had decided I needed an incentive to kick up the mileage to get some more fitness back. Also I have not run a marathon this year, which is the first time for a while that I haven’t. So put my name in the hat. I got a place, so now need to start training!
Andrew Hayward
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19-12-12
I did my 9th Kent County Vets XC champs on Saturday. I amazed myself to finish 7th which is remarkable given my lack of fitness and injuries. I think it was a weak year. We won the team event for the 6th time in the last 8 years thanks to 2 of our new M40’s coming 1st and 2nd. Andy Tucker came 52nd and I think ran in studs (as a lot of the runners did) which I think was a real mistake as it was very muddy.
Luke Armitage
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19-12-12
Had heavy man flu over the weekend. I had agreed to run for B&BHAC in the Kent Masters cross country on Saturday so I jogged to the parkrun in the morning and paced at 20 minutes and jogged back again just to see what I was capable of.
The jog there and back were dreadful but the pacing went ok so I turned up as promised at Rose Hill school in Tunbridge Wells for the 12.45 M40 race. B&BHAC had an excellent days racing with 1st team and 1st finisher in the M60 category, 1st team and 2nd finisher in the M50 category, 2nd team and 3rd finisher in the W35, and 1st team and 2nd finisher in the W55.
The M40 is 9500m round 4 laps - each lap consisting of a treacherous wooded section with mud, hills roots, rocks and general unpleasantness and a playing field that was heavily waterlogged. Just my kind of conditions. The heavens thoughtfully opened up just as we stood on the start line and the conditions became pretty dire. I had a really poor race finishing well down the field in 52nd position - well behind my team mates. I didn't even break 41 minutes. We failed to make any mark as a team although it was good to see Kent AC winning the team prize with Luke taking 7th place as part of the winning team. Winning time was 33.05 (Paul Bell of Kent AC) and Luke ran a very creditable 35.02 despite the conditions and suffering a cold as well.
Andy Tucker
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4-12-12
Hogs Back road race
Hogs Back road race (hilly 11.7km) (Sunday) - this race has been going for over 50 yrs and in the past has had some super strong fields. However, not being run in 2011 and a change of route seems to have seen it slip off the fast guys calendars. Going into the race I was thinking a top 10 would be a solid result but after a quick look up and down the start line, noting the absence of guys with club vests & 1000yd stares, I thought I might get a bit more ambitious.
The first couple of kms were pretty steady with a couple of smaller hills which got a bit warmth back in the legs (after the car was reading -2c half an hour before the start). I got on the front halfway up the first hill and pushed it a bit until it was just me and a GGAC runner (it was their race so he was getting some good support along the way). The big hill came at about halfway and I went pretty hard off the top which bought me a 20m+ gap. From that point on I think I stretched it out a bit then went for it on the downhill – just about managing to stay upright on the ice with some comical windmilling arms. Then just a case of trying not to look back and maintaining the pace for the last few kms. Went round in 40.52 and bagged a pair of Scott trainers for the win. A top race to round off the year.
Tom Robertson
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4-12-12
Well done Tom, I had an interesting weekend. Saturday was the Essex Vet Cross Champs at Claybury Park, however the highlight of my weekend was competing in the Dad's race at my kids swimming gala. This involved a 100 meter individual medley in front of a good 300 spectators. I have never been so nervous.
Ian George
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4-12-12
I ran the in the Essex County Vets xc champs V50 race on Saturday at Claybury. A good xc course; 8.1k in total over 3 laps with plenty of turns and variation and a big hill in the middle! Most of the usual racers were there for the 50s (and V40) race including several Ravens. A fast downhill start but my steady start saw me in about 5th or 6th place as things settled down. Eric Paul from Orion was the early leader but Iain Campbell soon took up the running tracked by Mick. I managed to move up to third by the end of lap 1 and caught Mick at the hill on lap 2. We exchanged positions a couple of times as I seemed stronger going up the hills and Mick going down. I managed to get ahead of Mick on the hill on lap 3 and that's how it stayed until the end although I nearly went the wrong way at the finish! Iain C finished some 30 secs ahead of me and Mick just a few secs behind. Pleased with my run even though I didn't beat Iain C and have now been 2nd four times and 3rd once and not managed to win it!
Also very good runs from Andy C and Phil (a very creditable 29th place).
Dave Butler
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4-12-12
What can I add to Dave's write up Unfortunately Iain got away from me on the first lap, he was a man on a mission. Dave and I had a good tussle for lap 2 and 3, but I couldn't keep with him up the steep hill on the third lap and as much as I tried I could not close the gap Overall I was pleased with third, my history of results now reads 1st,1st,2nd,4th and 3rd, good to get back in the top 3.
Mick Bridgeland
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4-12-12
Had a good fast start followed by the slowest most painful failure possible. Dropped from 11th ish (at the first corner) to finish 27th. I finished 11th last year.
Achieved Team Bronze but feel pretty crappy about that too. We should have had Gold but I let them down.
Lee Martin
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4-12-12
As for saturday it was a seriously good day for Ravens past and present. Firstly we had the over 60's winner Andy Catton. The second over 50 and third over 50 (Dave and Mick) . I was very impressed with Mick's run. I really did not expect him to get a medal. The longevity of Dave and Mick in these championships says a lot about them. Each year new over 50's come on board and they continue to beat them great runs by all. Last but not least Scotty Rice earnt a great silver medal in the over 40's which was a fantastic race. Scotty looked like he was losing a medal with about 600 to go and then got a Hernon Bo!!ocking and earnt a silver. All credit to Scott in his words to his team mates 'Phil Hernon got me that' - ask him yourself !
As for me I had a very good run. I beat a lot of people who had been smashing me this year but was beaten by Wendy - Micks wife and Cats. Nothing bad in that at all but I did die a bit on the last lap and allowed Eamon Brown and a couple of others go past me.
Phil Hernon
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4-12-12
I was mega pleased to get round the Essex Vets and actually felt comfortable. Did not really expect to start let alone finish (17th). Bum pain miraculously disappeared about 200m in to the race !
Moved through slowly from back of field until I caught sight of Phil. Did try to encourage him along for a bit (honest !) but then the competitive juices kicked in. Great run from Phil - hope he has calmed down after being "bumped off" the Orion winning team though !!
I may look it but not quite got to 60 yet (another 7 months) – nice to be in front of all the current over 60’s in race though. Just need to find 3 and a half mins in order to compete with Dave next year (he does of course definitely look over 60 J ).
Andy Catton
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4-12-12
Crowborough 10k
I ran the above yesterday - cold, icy and hilly!
Although nothing to shout about, my time of 44.27 was around 30 seconds quicker than last year and placed me 79th out of 386 finishers - a position I suspect was a reflection of the number of club runners present as this is one of the Sussex Grand Prix events.
Kevin Cockram
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26-11-12
Just a quick report on the Chelmsford 10k, Raven's times were
Dave B - 35:09
Lee - 35:21
Me - 35:33
Overall I was pleased with my run. I started fast, decided to go with the pace and felt ok, I lost it a bit in the middle and Lee came past me at about 6k. He didn't go ahead too far and I could see him just ahead for the rest of the race. I felt strong from 7k to the finish and had a good race with another runner over the last 1k, finally pulling away from him in the last 400m - that always feels good regardless of the rest of the race
My ankle felt the best it has done since I twisted it, so looks good for the Essex Vets next week
Good runs by Dave and Lee but I will let them do their own reports
Dave was 2nd vet 50 and I was 3rd, Iain Campbell was 1st.
Mick Bridgeland
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26-11-12
All the big names were in attendance for the Essex 10k at Chelmsford yesterday afternoon. A whole range of names and runners to target.
Because of the undulating terrain I opted for the go out hard and try and stay within sight of some of the runners that I would like to beat.
Right from the gun, everyone started so fast…. Despite knowing that 3:30 per km would give me the cherished 34:??, I was still a bit surprised to see 3:20 appear on my watch after the first marker. I stuck with the plan and managed to keep a recovering Gary Chandler, Mick and Dave Butler who was just ahead in my sights. Paul Dobson had gone too far ahead as had Chris Burgoyne.
I seemed merely to be keeping pace with Mick (still got Wednesday XC in his legs) for around 5km and then eventually to catch him at 6km. I resisted Stuarts call of “Hello Mick” and stayed focused! He gave me some words of encouragement before I left him and overtook the rest of the his group. The same guys (ex Mick) then promptly overtook me on the next uphill! I recovered and then focused on keeping with them. Slowly but surely they dropped away, leaving me with 2 places to take in the last 800 metres. Finishing 21st in 35:21 just behind Dave Butler who didn’t really become a realistic target until the finishing straight!
Note Harold Wyber 33:45
Lee Martin
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26-11-12
Well done, I also run the Chelmsford 10k, but had a very bad race due to having a heavy cold for the past 2 weeks.
Managed to finish in under 43 mins which is a season worst for me!
Will be out today
Dave Miller
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26-11-12
Well done Dave. A good time in the circumstances and a lot of people would have probably not bothered turning up!
As Lee said most of the "big names" were there and the race started pretty fast even though the first mile seems mostly uphill. I was just behind Mick and Iain C for the first mile or so then managed to get past Mick and one or two others but Iain and Paul Dobson gradually got away.
Pace settled down after the first two miles but I was feeling quite weary and it felt like hard work to keep the pace going. So I was pleased that my mile splits (sorry chaps miles for me!) were very even for miles 3-6. Not quite quick enough though for sub 35mins!
Very happy to see the finish. Didn't look round so didn't know Lee was catching me!
Dave Butler
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26-11-12
Saturday did my usual parkrun. Conditions were very slippery so times were down. Had a 4 way sprint at the end which I managed to win to finish 6th. 10th place was 2 seconds behind me.
Sunday was the B&BHAC 10 mile Cross Country championship. Weather was kind to us during the race - sunny but wind - but the conditions underfoot were treacherous. For those that have run the course, it's our mob match course with a 3 mile loop at the start. I had an excellent battle with 3 other runners who I regularly race against and swapped positions continually throughout out the race with them. One friend has a fantastic ability to run down hill and managed to glide past me a number of times after I had worked so hard to pass him on the uphills. Had a strong finish to come in 9th ahead of the other 3. Time was slow (1.12.52) but I fell over once as did most of the rest of the field. Studs and spikes all struggled with these conditions. I loved it.
Will be out at 1.10 for something slow.
Andy Tucker
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26-11-12
I did the Norwich Half Yesterday and was confident of a PB before the day, but when I awoke to 30mph winds I knew it wouldn't happen especially when half the course was unsheltered country roads.
So I shall wait until 2013 to beat the 90min barrier. 1:33:06
Chris Meadows
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26-11-12
Ran a cross country at Little Baddow in the Mid Essex cross country league. It is a low quality league usually won by Springfield Striders with Leigh Striders who I run for usually second.
The course was very hilly and extremely muddy and some huge quantities of water to splash through.
Quite a few of the Springfield runners were probably racing the Chelmsford 10k so the field would be of a lower quality than normal.
The race started early, but I just managed to get to the front in time. After 1/2 mile I was 3rd. For the next 4 miles there were 3 of us at the front, I even briefly took the lead, which was very exciting as I have never been in the lead of a race before.
With a mile to go I was getting tired, as all of the thick mud had taken its toll on my skinny legs and I dropped to 3rd. With half a mile to go someone from Springfield Striders charged past us.
He had a race with Mike Mansfield (who is recovering from an operation) over the last 100 yards, and just beat Mike who slipped over on the mud.
I was 4th, 5 seconds behind the winner.
Good fun, but quite a few injuries and cuts and bruises as virtually every slipped over at some point.
Simon LeMare
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26-11-12
Well done all the racers this weekend - tricky conditions.
I'll keep this brief, but I finally made it along to my "local" parkrun on Saturday (Tilgate Park on the outskirts of Crawley) and finished 21st out of 151 runners with a time of 21.12.
Organisation, people and atmosphere all good with a relatively testing element away from the lake (lapped twice) and so I hope to make this a relatively regular part of my running - don't panic though, I'll only report back as the times come down!!
Kevin Cockram
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23-11-12
Inter Financial Services XC - Richmond Park - 21.11.12
Team Ravens reports
The conditions were poor . It was cold wet and windy! The course was a fantastic test ...From my angle, early doors I let Marcus go past me. He quickly built up a big lead over me. I also had to stop and do my laces up - bad practice and cardinal error..I was fine though sticking to a pre set plan early first lap kick on second lap...At a guess I reckon Marcus was 400 + ahead at halfway at the finish he was ten metres. My target is next saturday and I was happy with my run and its given me confidence for the Essex Vets and my race within a race!. Felt very strong up the hills ... Other stories hot off the press - Stu was so close to Mick he tapped him on the shoulder twice but Mick eventually beat him by 50 yards. Mick admitted he felt he had ran well - a real sportsman!..Steve Glackin had another good effort a couple behind Mick and Marcus was next (he looked shattered and the facial fungal had developed a white slime!) ...It was too cold to wait for the Storm and Andy but clearly Andy did not have fun on his home course!.
Phil Hernon
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23-11-12
Yesterdays race was my first proper cross country and to get me in the mood I managed to get absolutely drenched (along with Mick) on the way from Barnes station to the BoE. Thinking about it now, we should have stopped off at the Priory to 'dry out'.
Anyway, that was as far as my preparation went, since I don't have trail shoes and decided that a running vest would be adequate on such a 'mild' day. I wasn't the only one freezing as we waited to set off. Its not the first time the forecast didn't match up to reality and as Andrew Hayward says the conditions at the start were horrible. Very windy, very cold and very very wet.
But once I got going it was, oddly enough, enjoyable. Tough on the uphill slogs into the wind and rain but a good workout nonetheless. I was a good way behind Stuart an Mick but finished in a reasonable 37m and (I reckon) 33 secs...
I'd like to do XC again, and will hopefully be better prepared, but most of all, I hope the weather is just a bit better!!
Steve Glackin
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23-11-12
Having stuck my hand up to represent the Ravens at this event, I realised even as we were travelling down on the train to Barnes that I knew nothing about the race, other than it was XC and in Richmond Park. As such, I was probably not ideally prepared for the race and had no real expectation regarding my placing or time. As mentioned before, I have no real experience with XC, this being only my third race off road. For those who don’t know, the race was supposedly 5 and three quarter miles long (although I think we all agreed it was short of this) on a largely undulating off road terrain. The conditions were horrendous both overhead and underfoot and it was clear my footwear (ideal for Parkrun!) was totally inadequate. Nonetheless after the most miserable waits to start (I momentarily felt like we were in a battlefield trench wiating for the order to go over the top!), I settled into a steady pace and managed to maintain this for most of the race before flagging a bit on the last upward slope. Fortunately, the subsequent run in to the finish was long, downhill and firm underfoot which was enough to propel me in to the finish ahead of one person in particular. I have no idea about where I was placed. My time on the watch was 41.28, however, I was relieved just to have got through it, to be quite honest. In all it was good to run as a ‘team’
And the course was a very strong challenge (for me). I was not able to take in the scenery much, having to concentrate on my footing throughout the race, but did catch sight at one point of a couple of startled looking stags bounding around some of the runners, a sight you don’t see that very often in races. There were also a couple of magnificent falls by runners in front of me. Happily, as the ground was so soft, no damage done, other than to pride. I managed to avoid the ignominy of going down myself, but only just on a couple of occasions. I think a pair of spiked running shoes may be a good investment if I am going to do any more XC races!
Marcus Elwes
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23-11-12
Despite a mild start to the day, the temperature had dropped significantly when arriving at Barnes Station for the longish walk to the BOE Club, and the rain started coming down heavily. When it came to the jog down to the course, a really cold wind had sprung up out of nowhere to add to the freezing rain. All of us who ran in just vests and shorts were seriously questioning our sanity, and Phil who kept on his arctic top and leggings was seemingly the sensible (if not traditional) one!
As Phil says, this was pretty much my home course, and the eagle eyed amongst the runners would have seen a couple of sawdust arrows on the ground (facing the other way) from our (Ranelagh’s) mob match with Thames Hare & Hounds last Saturday. With the heavy rain it was about as muddy as Richmond Park ever gets, and the conditions were pretty hard going. A great course – an out section with a bit of a climb, then two laps of a circuit with a longish uphill drag, a run back down through the mud, then two short sharp hills with a crashing downhill between. Then back gently down to the finish.
My ongoing battle with Stormin’ Norman continued, with previous results being 2-2. We started off together, but after only about half a mile Norm pulled away. He got around 100 yards ahead and stayed there for most of the race. He pushed on with a mile to go and finished about 200 yards ahead – 3-2 to the Storm!
When we came out of the club after enjoying the free pie, chips and beans, the skies had cleared, the wind had dropped, and the temperature had become quite mild again. Hard to believe the conditions could be so bad just for the period of the race! I normally enjoy this course, but as I stated yesterday in the expurgated version – on this day it was HORRIBLE!
Andrew Hayward
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23-11-12
In dreadful conditions the Ravens team of Phil, Andy H, Marcus, Norm and Stevie G (not the real one) and myself huddled as best we could in the non-shelter of a tree stump which marked the start and finish of this annual event in Richmond Park. New Raven Tom stood a little away from us with his “Traitor”, sorry “Chaucer” team. I had decided to run it as I love the park and used to spend a lot of time there and was looking forward to a nice run in the sun. So given the cold wind, horizontal rain and poor visibility I was a little bit disappointed – still, weather like that sorts the men from the boys and I was proud to be sporting my Ravens vest, as were the others, with the exception of Phil who remained fully dressed in complete tracksuit, windproof shell, woolly hat and gloves (need I say more)!!!
The race was up a hill, then two big laps, and downhill back to the finish. I started off pretty hard in an effort to warm up a bit and was surprised to get to the top of the hill just behind Mick. He then started to move away and I assumed that would be the last I was going to see of him. However, starting the first of the laps there is a long drag and towards the top I realised I was only about 10m behind Mick and decided it was worth the comic value to put in a bit of an effort just to say hi – so I dug in, pulled up to him, tapped him on the shoulder and said “Surprise!”. Now I know Mick is never at his most talkative when racing but I did feel it was a bit unsociable when he the proceeded to pull away from me down the following hill (and I told him so). The remainder of the lap is a bit up and down and I finally began to warm up. On the second lap I could still see Mick about 30m in front when we reached the long uphill drag which was made all the more entertaining by a somewhat freaked out stag which nearly decapitated someone. Towards the end of the drag incredibly I was catching Mick again and couldn’t resist saying hi for a second time – the look on his face told me that both of us knew I shouldn’t really be there! Anyway, down the hill he pulled away again – plain rude! In the last mile or so I managed to keep going and never really did get the collapse that I was expecting and managed to finish feeling strong about 60-70m behind Mick. Possibly the greatest race of my life!
I doubt we’ll ever get to know the actual results as half the runners numbers had been blown off before the start and the other half lost theirs on the first lap. It was pretty chaotic at the finish and was in serious need of a finishing funnel, but apart from that it was a good event, well marshalled. Great event and nice to be part of the Ravens team who all ran well – we really should try to do more events like this.
Stuart Lenton
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23-11-12
Just a quick one from me as I think if you weren’t there you’ve probably got a good idea by now of what is was like!
Through a combination of bribery (taxis/free vest/pie & a pint afterwards) and downright lieing (‘it’s pretty much flat and won’t be too slippery’) I managed to cajole a few of my Chaucer colleagues into entering as a team. Despite a few late dropouts we had 5 of us running. None of them had done any real cross country before but all had a fanatastic time and haven’t stopped talking/emailing about it this morning. It’s a real credit to Chaucer that they understand the benefits of allowing guys time off to do events like this (I didn’t even get paid to write that!).
The course was really well designed & marshalled - just wish there had been a photographer out there as some of the shots coming down through the trees would have been awesome.
I started off at the front and hung on for the first few hundred meters (why do XC races always go off like the clappers?!) before dropping back to about 10th. I picked up a few places to 6th (I think) over the first lap which is where I finished. As a team we probably had a couple in the top 50 and a couple more in the top 75. Hoping that’ll give us a reasonable team positon – either way it was a top afternoon out.
Tom Robertson
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20-11-12
On Saturday I ran my first cross country race for a year and my first ever race in spikes.
Had a warm up with Mick who gave me some advice. Spoke to Lee as well and decided to aim for about 70 th.
I went off slowly as was told the start is always too fast. After about 1/3 mile I picked the pace up a little and then for the first time ever really stuggled to overtake people as the course was narrow and I was surrounded by people.
After 3/4 mile I was 20 yards behind Lee so thought I was going too fast. Then Lee went faster and disappeared.
After 3 miles was near to Lee again and I was having a scrap with about 5 runners. After 4 miles I had managed to pass the 5 people and then Lee was ahead of me again. Could not catch him and finished in 49th, 5 yards behind Lee so was quite pleased.
Simon LeMare
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20-11-12
Brighton 10k
My preparations for this were not so great having been ill once and twice hurting my calf in a 12-week schedule. Hence, I was glad to make it to the start line but didn’t really know how I was going to run. I started further back than usual to ensure that I didn’t go off too hard and blow-up like I did at Richmond earlier in the year. After the first turn I started looking for people I knew and managed to just spot Serena and shouted to her – maybe it’s my hearing but I’m sure I heard her shout back “Go on, love” which I have to assume is a case of mistaken identity (Serena, please clarify!). Got to 5k in 18-30 feeling ok and realised I that as long as I didn’t slow I’d be on for a good time. At the 6.5k turn I spotted Stuart Fraser going well (and from his expression trying a bit harder than I was). I kept on overtaking people on the way back so knew I was going ok and only really started to feel it in the last 1500m. Crossed the line in 18-45 (chip time), so managed to negative split and get a pb by 6 seconds. Just to clarify, 18-30 out, 18-15 back: 36-45 total.
Stuart Lenton
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20-11-12
What a fab day it was for a race hey Stuart! You looked really comfortable. And yes, that is what I said - I didn't see you, but heard you and thought it was your voice, but thought I'd better use a generic greeting just in case! As has occurred previously in races you have both run in, Damian (my husband, who was at that time running just behind you, but droppped back later), thought I said it to him. Win win :). I started quite far back in the 50 minutes section, having no intention of racing and as a result walked over the start and around the first turn, so wont do that again. I enjoyed the run, feeling comfortable the whole way and finished in 43 minutes, so nothing to scream about.
Serena Stracey
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20-11-12
I ran the Gosport HM yesterday, it was my main race of the year, having done 3 spring half marathon’s and got progressively quicker I really wanted to do an Autumn half and finally beat my PB from Bath several years ago of 1.13.31. I thought I was in reasonable shape so decided to go out hard and not get too worried if I blew up.
The race is pretty flat and has a really good field so I knew I would have other runners to hold on to, I quickly got into the third pack in the field and went through the first two miles at 5.25 each which was feeling hard work. By 5 miles it was strung out I went through in 27.20 so knew I had some time in the bag, 10 miles was 55.40 so I just needed to keep concentrating and working and I should go under 1.13.31 with a 1.12 possible. I was really pleased to finish in 1.12.54 for 15th place (about 1500 finishers).
It’s a success I part owe to our group training so thanks, and pleased to hear of the other successes, not just this weekend…just need to decide if it’s London M next?!!
Jon Fairs
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20-11-12
I ran in the South Essex xc league at (hilly)Gloucester Park, Basildon Sunday morning. Great weather for a race.
This is a nice sociable league with the host club laying on a nice spread of cakes plus tea and coffee for the post race catch ups etc so not too serious.
I started steadily a fair way back but after about a mile started picking up places, even more so once we were doing 2 laps of the steep man made hills. Did my fast fastest mile on the flat route back to the finish and pleasantly surprised to realise I'd finished in 6th place. Rob Warner of Havering won with Crispian Bloomfield in 3rd and Jamie Nunn (also Billericay) in 4th.
Good overall result for Billericay as we were first club beating Benfleet by a fair points margin. So top of the league after the first race with 4 to go!
Dave Butler
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20-11-12
Well done Dave - I'm glad you likes the cakes. My kids made a couple of those and were in charge of the water station at the end as well.
I ran myself and I did struggle a bit on those nasty hills. It was my first cross country of the season and it always takes me a few races to really get going. Fortunately the next race is not quite so hilly so I should be able to do much better there!
Ian George
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20-11-12
I ran the Essex League on Sat at Hylands, I was very pleased with my run, I came 36th and beat a few of the guys that beat me the week before at Colchester, I actually enjoyed the race !!
Mick Bridgeland
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13-11-12
Essex XC League 11.11.12
One year and one day following my operation on my hip on saturday I ran my second ever Essex XC League (first for 12 years) and my 168th day on the bounce! . Whilst the Essex League does not have the class of the Metropolitan League or the Surrey League at the top, I believe it is very strong in the middle with a lot of similar runners all capable of sub 30 -5 mile . The race was Parkland/Forest trail and muddy in patches, when I arrived I thought it was going to be a boring course but I found it a good test and enjoyed it, so I was pleasantly surprised. Warmed up with Goady and met Mick during the warm up and must say Mick looked quite thin (racing thin) and looked as thou he would run well... Following the ladies, in which we (Orion ) had 4th place in Vicky Gill ;but also the most attractive in the same girl...the senior men lined up. I was in my shiny light green spikes (first time for 15 years ) I bought these from Run Fast on friday in the hope it would stop me slipping and triggering my hip problem. Normal stampede at the start but I tucked in and ran the entire race in my own zone. I was unaware of who should be round me and only really pushed when a heavy breathing Chelmsford runner pi$$ed me off. At the start of the fourth lap James Hart from our club went past me and I thought I must be running well as he beat me by 3 1/2 mins in the last race!. I finished in 121st and Hart beat me by 40 secs.... I was quite happy with my finish and know I have loads more in the locker and the spikes had worked!
Mick and Lee finished in the 40's excellent runs and Goady no far behind me. Then I got some inspiring news....Dec 1st Essex Vets has always been my target race as I thought I could be our 4th team member, 4 = a team. The team have a very good chance of nicking a team medal ! On saturday I learnt that James Hart is now 50 and having whittled his lead over me from 3 1/2 mins to 40 secs in one race, I have my target and will simply be racing him on Dec 1st !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!If it were a horse race he would be odds on favourite but lets see.
Phil Hernon
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13-11-12
Well run Phil, good to see you running the Essex League
As you said I came 40th only 10 secs slower than last year when I came 30th - as I have said to Lee every year even though I run similar times another group of youngsters seem to finish in front of me!!
Unfortunately since the race I have not been able to run, at first I thought it was my Achilles but I think I just twisted my ankle doing strides before the race, I remember going down a couple of the rabbit holes
I will rest it for a few days
Mick Bridgeland
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13-11-12
I ran for England in the British & Irish Masters international xc in Belfast on Saturday.
I won my age group, M55, in a time of 28:12 over the 8k course and also team gold. Haven't seen the official results yet but think I was about 30secs clear of second (Ian Stewart from Scotland) with Greg Wilson of England close behind him.
Course was 4 laps x 2000m at the Queens Uni playing fields having been moved from Stormont which was flooded. The course was largely flat and pretty fast but some "sticky" mud in places and tiring as it got churned up so tougher than it first appeared.
I started a little way back in the field (men 50 to 64 ages went in one race and 35 to 49 in another) and worked my way through to lead the the M55s after a lap or so. First mile was 5:35 then around 5:50 each of the next 4. As others tired I seemed to pick up quite a few places (with Iain Campbell on my shoulder!) on the M50 age group runners. Unfortunately, Iain got me in the last half mile but he was not my principle concern which was to win my age group. Overall in the 50-64 group I think I was about 10th. Graham Saker won the M50 and Mike Hagar (who i beat for the first time) won the M60s.
Very pleased to win again having not felt particularly confident beforehand!
Cheers
Dave Butler
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13-11-12
Race reports(s)
Ran my usual parkrun on Saturday and had an excellent 3 way sprint at the finish. Managed to finish between to Seniors for a 4th place finish. Time was slow (18.45) but conditions were muddy.
Sunday I ran the Beckenham Charity Trail 10k. It is a 2 lap course with lots of hills and mud. Conditions were lovely. After a 2 minute silence and last post call on the bugle we raced off round some excellent cross country. I know many of the runners and marshalls so it felt like a home match. I had a good run and finished in 6th place in 40.23. Time wasn't great but the course is a tough one. Only finished 4th M40 but did win the team prize.
Andy Tucker
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13-11-12
I ran the same two races as Andy Tucker.
Just outside 20 mins for the parkrun, which was not surprising given the wet conditions.
I then ran the Beckenham 10k trail race on Sunday. I don't have much experience of off road running, and given I have stuck my hand up for the Inter Financial Services XC I thought I had better see how I go.
This run is organised by Beckenham Running Club who are a very decent local outfit who Andy and I see a lot of at Parkrun and elsewhere. The event is very well run, well marshalled and they have a great amateur photographer who always turns up and posts great photos on flikr (see links below).
The race itself was hard work for me (as apposed to Andy T, aka 'Swampy', who was clearly revelling in the the conditions), as it was very boggy underfoot, although the weather on the day itself was absolutely gorgeous. I managed to finish 28th out of a field of 200 odd in a time of 43.44 which I was happy with, being a good two minutes better than what I have achieved off road before (at Andy's Ted Pepper race earlier this year). It was challenging but very enjoyable - I can certainly see the attraction of trail running over road running, even if I don't think I will ever quite embrace it the way Andy does!
Marcus Elwes
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8-11-12
Great East Run
Yesterday I did the Great East Run in Bungay Suffolk. It was mostly flat 20km with a few very steep undulations at the begining and end. It rained non stop from the time I left my house in the morning until my return, the rain didn't bother me, I was just pleased it wasn't windy.
The race went well, I finished 30th in 1:24.58, about 3mins quicker than last year and 9mins quicker than the year before. I still felt very strong at the end, which bodes well for my half at the end of the month. More importantly I beat a relative (no, we are not all related out that way) who I haven't beaten in a road race for about 2 years.
Chris Meadows
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8-11-12
Went to Hog Hill for the Chingford League last night - bit of a farce!. In one of the earlier races a little girl was injured and it was announced that the senior race was delayed. By this time about 120 of the runners had gone to the start and about 90 remained in the clubhouse. The 90 were told all was okay and jog to the start (250 metres down a hill from the clubhouse) as the race was going to start in 5 mins. As we left the clubhouse all the runners were coming up the hill...!!!! the race had started so you had the crazy sight of runners joining the race having not done the hill. The natural reaction is to join it as I did but I was laying 10th and at the end of the first lap I pulled over to wait for one of my normal group to pass and I joined in again but did a fartlek and did not go thru' the finish pulling out 100 yards from the line. Amazingly , all the others who joined at the top of the hill, crossed the line and are included in the results. Oh Oh I had some fun sitting on top of the moral mountain!
Phil Hernon
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3-11-12
Just the usual parkrun this weekend. 19.53 slightly outside PB but highest ever finish (13) and top of age group for the first time. No Andy or Steve, but nice surprise to see Serena on the sidelines cheering on a fellow Strider.
Marcus Elwes
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3-11-12
I ran the Fleet 10K yesterday, was really pleased to finally get a current PB. I ran 34.02 and 9k on my own in second place where I finished, there were 600 odd finishers I think.
It was a two lap course and I was at 17.09 on 5K with some in the tank so knew I had a good chance at beating a 4 year old previous best of 34.18…would really have loved to shave another 3 seconds off but probably a bit too much to do in the last 5k.
The main target for the Autumn is the Gosport Half M in 3 weeks, so will keep plugging away for that now.
Jon Fairs
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3-11-12
I started the Beachy Head marathon. After 3 miles I had thrown up twice and had a splitting headache. Pulled out but still got lost trying to find my way back. Slept the rest of the day. DNF - three letters which I detest.
What a waste of a good marathon place.
Andy Tucker
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3-11-12
Orion v Ranelagh Mob Match, 7.75 Miles XC, Epping Forest.
This fixture has some history to it, going back to 1922, with Ranelagh just holding the edge on victories by five, ahead of this match. It also had some history for me, being the 10th anniversary of my first race for Ranelagh after joining the club in 2002 (at the suggestion of Ricky). We left Richmond in Surrey at noon to perfect blue skies and sunshine, but as we crossed the border into deepest darkest Essex, it clouded over ominously. As we approached the new Orion club house in the forest outside Chingford, it started to rain hard, and the wind got up which had a real bite to it. Got the usual abuse from Phil when we arrived, so we knew all was right with the world!
This course is always muddy (even usually after a dry summer) so it was with horror I realised as I got changed that I had forgotten my studs, and only had road shoes. I remembered from that race ten years ago (when I had never even heard of xc studs) how much more difficult it would be without them. Of the five mob match courses that we run, this one and Blackheath are the toughest as far as I’m concerned. It is quite undulating early on with six short sharp hills. Then loads of ankle deep shoe sucking mud (much of which is gratuitous as it runs alongside the road, but then I guess that’s what cross country is all about!). A long lane which was so slippery I couldn’t stand up without hanging on to the fence for much of it, a little blessed relief along the road back into the mud (where I did a face plant in the mud) and then a section that was both hilly and muddy. Going down the other side was as bad as going up when you don’t have studs. During this descent a superb vista opens up ahead of you – a hillside with all the trees in their autumn colours – then you remember that this is the final killer hill that you have to get up. Going was again heavy, and on cresting the hill there is a long (about 600 yards) gentle descent to the finish, but again this was treacherously slippery, so there was no relief until finally crossing the line. I had an appallingly slow run 75 minutes, but much of that was just trying to stay on my feet! Phil had a good run (I think he did 63 minutes) despite the conditions aggravating his hip and then calf. He stopped for over a minute after a couple of miles to wait for me and jog in with me, but then he realised I was going too slow and pushed on!
Andrew Hayward
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3-11-12
I would like to add to Andy H's report that the course at the weekend was the wettest I had known it and even I lost a shoe in the haste to catch lost time. Sadly, it appears tthat slippery muddy courses suss out my hip and I change my style which effects my calf. For the second week running I found it hard. This week I was doing quite well and slipped jumping a brook and that set my injury off. A few hundred metres later I pulled up and waited well over a minute probably two for Andy. Oddly, my leg had calmed down by this time and I pushed on and the next five miles were the most fluent since my return. Thou I have paid for it since. Despite this I have managed to keep my run going even running at 10pm on my day of arrival . I am now up to 159 days having already done 5 miles this morning.
Phil Hernon
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3-11-12
My first ever Ravens road race report !
Have to say an Irish wedding with copious pints of Guinness and far too much red wine and dancing until 2 in the morning is maybe not ideal preparation for your first road 10 miler in 17 years ! Getting excuses in first. Did have a day to “recover” so went Sunday dawned fairly bright I failed to talk myself out of giving it a go. By the time I got to Tiptree it was drizzling cold rain nicely. Actually felt reasonably good for most of race. Ticked along at planned 6.30 miling until 8 miles then right hip and adductor decided to seize up and reduced me to nearly 8 minutes for each of last 2 miles. No actual results seen yet but on my watch roughly 67.45.
Think it was a pretty good quality National Vets champs. I know David Butler was probably finished and half way round another lap before I crawled in but not idea of time or place – Dave how did it go ? Any other Ravens there ?
Andy Catton
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3-11-12
I ran the Tiptree 10 mile race yesterday which incorporated the British Masters and EVAC 10 mile champs. I finished in 16th place in the race in a time of 58:22, which was good enough to win the M55 age group British Masters & EVAC races. Happy with that considering I've has a few niggling injuries recently which have curtailed my training. Tiptree is a favourite course of mine with a fast downhill start only problem being you have to run back up the hill later on! So ran a fairly quick (just under 28 mins) first 5 miles followed by a slower second 5 miles due to running out of steam slightly and uphill.
Weather was chilly in the wind and raining part of the time but still a lot better than it was on Saturday!
Dave Butler
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3-11-12
Salisbury Half Marathon.
A belated report from the above which I ran on Sunday with the official result showing that I finished FIRST (made you sit up!) Raven home!! In actual fact I came 20th out of 150 finishers, as once again the number of entrants for this race appeared to be heavily impacted by a clash with The Great South Run and I guess, Run to the Beat in London.
My time of 1.35.05 was a course PB for me by 37 seconds, but not overly exciting. However, I did enjoy a good spat with two other runners over the last three miles to get 20th. I’d managed to pick off 24th and 23rd place around the seven mile mark and could see the next two runners some way ahead. As they appeared to be a reasonable target, I put in a bit of effort and gradually worked my way up to join them before sitting with them for a bit and then making my move! Unfortunately they weren’t in the mood to give up too easily (I’d never realised what a coveted place 20th spot in a race could be!) so we traded blows for the next couple of miles, until, with about a mile to go, I managed to push ahead.
The finish is a circuit around a small park and as I ran past her, my wife confirmed I was in 20th place, but also warned (in a loud whisper!) that 21st was pretty close. Luckily, I had enough in me and managed to push on, in the end finishing 42 seconds in front of 21st and 5 seconds behind 19th . I have to say, I enjoyed racing against these other two runners (it would be remiss of me not to point out that they were both an age group older than me) but it really felt like we were all three having a proper go!
Anyway, once again an enjoyable race on a scenic course which comes highly recommended and would benefit from the appearance of a slightly more talented Raven in the future!
Kevin Cockram
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26-10-12
Well done all on your times on the weekend!
I did the Amsterdam Half on Sunday. The plan was just to trot round to avoid further injury (calves and hips being tight), but it was raining (I'm a fairweather runner) and I couldn't help myself, so I pushed it. My pace was slower than it would have been, but sufficient I thought to just about achieve a sub 1:30 time, until that is, my legs fell off at 12k, from which point I felt like I was running with someone else's heavy legs attached to my own. I just about managed a PB, which I should be very pleased with given the circumstances, but I'm not, as I crossed the line feeling fine cardio-wise, just dead in the legs and it's a long way to have to do it all again, just to prove a point!
It's a fairly boring course, but a good one to do a PB on, as it's flat as a pancake mostly, with only 3 slight inclines (that felt massive to me once my legs went). If anyone fancies it next year, we used http://lovingapartments.com/Amsterdam-apartments-home.html to book a place to stay and stayed in the first one that comes up on the home page. It was ace.
Results TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2012
Bib number 21126
Name Serena Stracey
City Surrey
5 km 21:04
10 km 42:24 (21:20)
15 km 1:04:23 (21:59)
Net time 1:31:22
Speed 13,855 Km/Hour
Distance Mizuno Half Marathon
Place 34 / Vrouw
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23-10-12
Leigh 10K
Along with some other Ravens, yesterday I ran the Leigh 10K. It looked like it could be a good day for the Ravens runners as Ian was the the only person in the top 10 from last year that was running, as all of the rest were injured or running elsewhere. My Wednesday night training was drinking 9.7% stout, which was not a good idea and did not do me any good, so I will leave that alone next time. I started in about 8th and by the bottom of the big hill Ian had overtaken me and I was in 5th. By the top of the hill was 4th and after another mile at the top of the descent I was 3rd. As per Mick's suggestion I ran the steep downhills hard, at just under 5 minute mile pace, and overtook Ian into 2nd. There were quite a few very fast sharp corners which were slippery, but as I had run the course lots of times as Leigh Striders is my home club, I knew the course very well, there were a few bloody knees at the end from falls. I expected Ian to pass me on one of the next 2 climbs, but he did not. The last 4K was flat, but I was getting a little tired, but I hung on in there, and managed my highest ever result of 2nd place in 37.09
I dedicate my run to Robin. Last week he had the magnificent idea of a beetroot curry and so I made one at the weekend, and I am sure it made all the difference.
Simon Le Mare
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23-10-12
Yesterday was not one of my best races, however it is hardy surprising as I have probably not fully recovered from my half ironman three weeks ago. Since then I have certainly eased off the training and given myself a well deserved end of season break!
I managed to come home in 3rd place, 30 seconds after Simon. When he came past me at around mile two my legs just did not have their normal zip and I was just not able to go with him.
A great race by Simon and congratulations to him on another sterling performance.
The good news is that I did manage to pick up a prize for the 1st vet 40. In fact the Ravens managed to pick up three prizes! I will leave Stuart tell you about his race.
The only reason I did this race is because I can walk to and from the start and finish. It is a great race organised by the local running club and they deserve a lot of support! Unfortunately they are unable to close the roads so you do have to watch out for the odd car! Mind you the race did sell out so it is clearly very popular.
Ian George
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23-10-12
I also ran the Leigh 10k yesterday and after my PB at the flat Southend 10k two weeks before didn't expect much from this more hilly course. I was quite relaxed, even after getting a puncture on the way there on my bike (thanks again Ian for the lift home after) and my race plan was to go with the flow.
I started near the front and quickly settled into a comfortable pace, Ian and Simon pulled off ahead and I just ran. Looked at my watch twice as it sounded the first two mile laps then I disregarded it. I had overtaken some other runners but had no idea of where I was in the race so when I crossed the line in 4th place with 38:11 I was very suprised. Another PB and about 3 minutes faster than I ran the course last year. I also won the award for the fastest local runner (as Ian and Simon had taken the v40 and v50 prizes). What a great day and I fine result for Ravens with 3 runners in the top 4.
Stuart Cable
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23-10-12
Wix 5 - Essex County Champs
Yesterday, it was renamed the Wix 5 mile Swim!
Started in pouring rain but little wind. Managed consistent pacing and finally had a good race (it’s been a while) to finish (with more in the tank) in 28:01 (12th) – regrettably 5th Vet.
Lee Martin
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23-10-12
Steepdown 5
I raced the above yesterday. Low-key (and apparently low-quality) event as I managed 3rd place (definitely 1st vet). This was my best ever placing in one of these events (I'm usually 10-15th) so really pleased and felt strong. Got chicked though!
Stuart Lenton
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23-10-12
Bromley Parkrun and Croydon 10k
I ran my usual parkrun on Saturday and achieved a new PB of 19.39 and best ever finishing position of 16th (out of over 300), 3rd in my age group and first Raven home for the first time, all three achievements helped enormously by Steve Glackin volunteering and Andy Tucker pacing 20 minutes just behind me (with helpful shouts of encouragement)!
Yesterday, I ran the Lexus Croydon 10k, which was as you would expect a largely uninspiring tour of a slightly damp part of suburban London.
Spotted Steve Glackin at the end, shouting support as I came in. He came in very well with a PB around 37 minutes and in 12th pace overall. I was somewhat further back in 65th but achieved my second PB of the weekend with a time of 42.17, a good chunk off my previous best. In truth I was slightly disappointed, as had hoped to break 42 but suspect the efforts of the previous day caught up with me slightly. I was given a spot prize by the clown of a MC/Commentator for wearing a funny shirt. It was my Ravens vest How very dare you!
Marcus Elwes
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23-10-12
Ran the Croydon 10k yesterday along with Marcus though didn’t see him till just before the end, where his finish looked strong.
I didn’t think it would set off on time as there was a large queue to collect our timing chips – why these weren’t simply posted to people along with the rest of the race details I don’t know! Anyway they queue moved quickly and the race set off just 5 mins late.
Its fairly hilly, though none of the hills are particularly bad and I settled into what I thought was a reasonable pace. I fell in behind a couple of youngsters (i.e. anyone under 30!) and after about 4k I thought these 2 seemed to be slowing down so I overtook them and set my sights on the next guy ahead. Before I could make any inroads, another chap overtook me and he really seemed to be motoring. These 2 stayed about 50 yards ahead for the next km or so, but from about 6k on, the race became more hilly and I was getting closer to these 2 with every little hill. With about 500 m to go I thought I could go for it and I overtook these 2 - fully expecting at least 1 of them to go with me..which 1 did, but I knew I had enough to keep him at bay.
I was really pleased to get a pb only by 4 secs on the Battersea park run, and as this one was tougher, it made the time all the better.
Next goals for me are a sub 17m 40 park run and a sub 37m 10k.
Steve Glackin
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23-10-12
Abingdon Marathon
Half marathon splits of 1.18/1.24 probably tell the story!
Weather wise it was a pretty decent day with a chilly start but only a light breeze and no rain. The race starts and finishes at the athletics track at Tilsey Park - really well organised & good facilities. Bumped into Dave just before the start and had a quick chat before heading off to get a good start position.
My plan, knowing I hadn't done enough long runs, was to buy a few minutes in the first half so I had a cushion when the inevitable drop in pace occurred in the latter stages. 6min miling through to about 17 miles wasn't quite what I'd planned but I was working well with another runner and this was always going to be a sh!t or bust race and I was feeling good so thought why not go for it. Unfortunately the chap I was running with slowed pretty dramatically at about 17 miles so I had to go solo for the rest of the race. Felt OK (relatively speaking) to 20 miles then dragged myself through an ugly few miles to the finish. However, was nearly stopped in my tracks by the pedestrian underpass at about 23 miles which had an 'up' ramp that felt like the north face of the Eiger (Mick - thanks for the warning!).
Finished in 2.42.50, 4th place. Grabbed a very welcome cup of tea and a shower before catching up with Dave.
Stu - afraid the vest didn't get an outing - took a wise old sage's advice and ran in my usual tshirt!
Finally, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have run the time I did had I not joined up with you guys for the last couple of months - so thank you!
Cheers,
Tom Robertson
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23-10-12
Yesterday I run the abingon Marathon, started off at a very sensible pace of 7.50 for the 1st 8 miles I felt good at this point so pushed on in the 2nd 8 miles at around 7.45 felt ok, felt so decided to do the 3rd 8 miles in around 7.40, however at around 23 miles my left calf started to hurt so decided to ease off.
The last 2.2 miles I really had to dig deep and managed to criss the finishing line in 3.22 mins which was out my talked about of 3 hours and 15 mins but I smashed my previous time by 15 mins so I rather pleased.
Dave Miller
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23-10-12
Well done Tom, great run - that underpass is no fun !!
Well done to all the other Raven racers, some great PBs and positions
Along with my wife, son and brother-in-law I ran the Abingdon Park Run on Sat
This was more like a xc race, there was a mixture of road, flooded fields, mud and farm tracks, but no hills - a good training run for the upcoming xc and good fun
I won in 17:26, over 1:30 in front of second place, my son who is ten ran 22:51 (with my wife pacing him) to come 30th out of 121 finishers
I might do a few more of these Park Runs as they are not too serious and can be done after a Thurs rep session ok
Mick Bridgeland
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23-10-12
Saturday I raced in our annual Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC versus Orion Harriers mob match against the indomitable Phillip Hernon Esq. of the Peter McHugh stables. It was our 7 and a half mile cross country course which this year had a large helping of mud to go with it's hills, stiles and assorted obstacles. Orion have always had a strong team although this year they were lighter in numbers than usual. I am pleased to say that B&BHAC prevailed with both the first place finisher and winner overall. I had a pretty good run and finished in 16th place in 55.11. Phil struggled with the conditions which were tough on those convalescing with injuries. He finished in a very creditable 1.02.30 although, as you would expect, he wasn't happy with that. Full results, photo's etc can be found here:
http://www.bandbhac.org.uk/orion%2020-10-12.html
Phil also kindly sponsored and donated a new trophy as a veteran only mob match between the two clubs. The trophy - the Wells/Copley trophy is named after two runners from our respective clubs who passed away recently. The cup was awarded by John Copley's widow. Thanks for that Phil - it was much appreciated by all.
Andy Tucker
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17-10-12
BMAF 10K
Mick and I ran in the Ashford (incl BMAF) 10k yesterday. Chilly first thing but turned out to be ideal conditions. Nice start and finish on the track at the Ashford AC Julie Rose stadium. Course was quite undulating but there was good support round the course to give you encouragement. I finished in 13th place in the race and first BMAF M55 in 34:47 about 1 min ahead of the second M55 (Greg Wilson). Mick was fourth M50 - unfortunately just missing out on a medal on the run in and was 20th in the race overall in a time of 35:15. The M50 race was won by Graham Saker in about 34:12. A hard but good race that was well organised. Nice to be able to have a decent shower afterwards!
Good times for both of us although the old legs were finished at the end!
Dave Butler
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17-10-12
Good report Dave, I ended up with 35:16
I was pleased with the time, especially as the course was undulating. I was a bit disappointed with coming 4th again and also I thought I was on for 3rd until I was overtaken between 7 and 8km by a vet50 who gained a few seconds on me that I couldn't pull back. Legs felt the best they have for a while and I had no problem with the cold I had on Weds/Thurs/Fri so hopefully it's all starting to come back together and I can run better at the Chelmsford 10k
Mick Bridgeland
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17-10-12
The "I told you so" race report
On Saturday I ran the first ever Southend Park Run. It was well organised and 129 people took part. I had no idea what to expect as had not been to a park run before, and for the first time in 2 years I did not pre plan anything for the run. (My 2012 aim was to try to break 18 minutes for a 5K which I had never done)
I always decide in advance my race tactics, what time I would aim for, the pace I would have to run at, have my oaty cereal 3 hours before the start, and take my beetroot juice. (Lee said 18 months ago, I pre plan too much before a race). This time I had 3 weetbix 2 hours before, no beetroot juice, no caffeine deprivation.
The race was started and i was not ready and forgot to start my Garmin. Stuart and I were in about 15th place, and 1 bloke steamed off in the lead. Stuart and I worked our way up to about 8th and the fast chap was 50 yards ahead after 1/2 mile. After a mile the chap in the lead took a wrong turn, the big arrow pointed left and he went right, after some shouts he turned the right way and probably lost about 4 seconds. At half way we were about 5th, with my chum Simon Wilson in front of us. Where the leader (who was now 30 yards in the lead) on the previous lap had taken the wrong turn, this time he cut off the corner, to save about 4 seconds, but he had cheated. Simon and I screamed you missed the markers, stop cheating. We were furious. I shouted to Simon (who is a much better runner than me), you can catch him on the last lap. I decided I was not going to beated by a cheat, but he was in the lead and I was 3rd. Simon caught him with 3/4 mile to go, and I gradually ate into the cheats lead over me. With 1/2 a mile to go I was 10 yards behind him. This time the cheat took the corner correctly, but I was still furious. With 300 yards to go I sprinted past him as fast as I could and beat him.
I finished 2nd behind Simon.
I had not looked at the garmin for last 2 miles as all I wanted to do was to beat the cheat. My race time was 17.22, a PB by 46 seconds. I was astonished.
Looks like Phil was right !
Simon Le Mare
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17-10-12
I had a weekend of watching after doing the Hill session at Hampstead Heath I headed for the Essex League at Braintree. Saw many welcoming faces including Lee ,Ricky and Scotty. The course does not look the most user friendly but very good for the spectators. I will let the guys report on their races but it had some very good quality in it. It is also about pacing I noticed a lot of runners coming thru on the second lap ...passing those who had started too quick.
On the sunday I took four of Run Fast's Kenyan athletes to Peterborough. They finished one and two in both races nearly breaking the course record in both. I saw a very thin Simon and gave him a pep talk. Whenever a runner looks like they have shed weight they end up running well. Simon (as he has reported) did but it is also how you run the race. I hope Simon is genuine when he says he followed my guidance because I believe next year (if he listens) he will break 1 20. He has some balls and works hard and has other 'oldies' around him in our group pushing him on. He just needs to manage his injuries thou.
Luke was correct Kent did take this race serious and won the team event. The Peterborough event was very well organised . It is organised by runners and in truth that shows. I know its quite a way but it is one you should target next year if you want a pb.
Phil Hernon
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17-10-12
I run in the first southend park run and managed to crack the 20 min milestone, which has been bugging me for a while.
Finished in 12th in a time of 19.48 was very pleased and hope it puts me in a good state for next sundays abingdon marathon!!
Dave Miller
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17-10-12
I also ran the inaugural Southend Parkrun seeing it as a good opportunity to break the 18min barrier I had got so close to on the last Raven's 5K. I missed out on Simon chasing-down corner cutting runners and was concentrating on maintaining my own pace. Crossed the line in 4th and 17:58. V. pleased. I now have the Leigh 10K to look forward to this weekend.
Stuart Cable
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17-10-12
I also entered the Southend Parkrun and set a pb in 19:02 - finishing 6th overall and winning my age group(45-49).
Wes Absolom
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17-10-12
Ran the Petts Wood 10k yesterday – its fairly undulating and very muddy! But it’s a very scenic run and very enjoyable too. There are a few sharp turns, and a few points where the track is so narrow you cant overtake anyone, and I also found that I had to keep my head down a lot, since the sun is so low. And we had to run over a railway bridge too!
I finished in 39min and 4 secs and I think I was about 8th but for the first time ever, 1st in my age group! (M40-49)
Stephen Glackin
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17-10-12
Saturday.
Ran my usual Bromley parkrun and had a good run. Cold and soggy conditions but managed to finish 6th place in 18.19 - about 20 seconds better than the last few weeks. I also managed to finish ahead of Steve Glackin for change but only because he volunteered to help and did the registration rather than run.
Sunday
Ran the Titsey Trail 10k. This is a lovely off road race with about 300 runners. It's all trails, hills, mud and a lot of standing water this year. Beckenham running club were using it as part of there club grand prix so there were a number of friends running. Blackheath had few runners as they were all competing at the Petts Wood 10k. I had an good run and a great race against Chris Lydon of Beckenham ( M50). I finished in 7th in 41.38 place behind Chris in 41.28. Winning time was 38.25 (course record is 37.06). It was excellent weather - clear and sunny although quite chilly but the ground conditions were tough - just how I like them.
This Saturday coming is our Blackheath mobmatch against Phil and Ricky's Orion Harriers - a race we have to win. Can't be seen to be beaten by that lot....
Andy Tucker
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17-10-12
Having been injured and unable to run Jan-March, my year's goal was to get fit and, in preparation for VLM 13, to take a good chunk off my half marathon time.
Dartford was a fail but Tonbridge got me 95 seconds. It dawned on me on the way to Peterborough yesterday that was my most important run of the year and I was feeling a bit nervous, so it was good to see Phil there and get some encouragement and good advice (which I followed) … it's been so long since I saw Phil, we’ve both visibly shed a few pounds!
It's not totally flat, but near enough to try to set a consistent pace, the first two miles were 6:25 and I tried to keep that as well as bearing down on runners ahead of me (well trying to). Conditions were great and I finished in 1:24:20, a pb by 3 minutes, so mission accomplished - and a free massage to boot.
Simon Phillip
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17-10-12
I ran the Surrey Vets XC Championships 10k in Richmond Park Saturday. This year for the first time, they took out the M60’s upwards and put them with the ladies on the earlier 6k run. This meant that being in the M55 group, I was one of the oldest in the main race, and being not as fit as I was, I was frightened of coming last! For the first time in months though I felt pretty good in a race. Undulating two lap course, and muddy in places (I chose road shoes but should have worn studs!). “Stormin’ Norman” Hemmings came past me half way round the first lap, but I got him back on the hill at the end of the lap. I was pleased to be ahead of him (just) at 5k as he was a minute ahead of me in the Surrey Road Relays (5k) a month ago. He came past me again after 6k and gradually pulled away. He had 100 yards on me at 9k, which seemed way too much to make up but I was stronger on the hills, and most of the last 1k is uphill. Sure enough, I reeled him in and past him as we crested the hill. Then I just had to stay in front by going as fast as I could to the end – just made it. Time not good (49 minutes) but it’s all relative, and a definite sign of improvement, especially coming at the end of my highest mileage week in six months.
Andrew Hayward
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17-10-12
Essex League - Notley
I ventured back in to Cross Country world on Saturday.
Having slept briefly on my flight back from China / Dubai / Australia (the things that Travelers do to save money!) and being full of a weeks worth of Chinese and daily dosage of wine, my performance was never going to be great….. but I just need to be getting out there and racing a bit more frequently – so I went anyway. Started in a position where I hoped to finish ,….. around 30th. Finished where I realistically expected to finish…… 47th.
Hopefully, there will be an improvement at the Essex 5 mile champs this weekend.
Lee Martin
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12-10-12
Windsor Half Marathon - 7.10.12
It’s a lovely course, starting on the long walk and taking in 2 loops around the park. The conditions were perfect, overcast, light winds and cool. It is quite hilly too, but not too bad. I’d done the St Albans half back in June and though the hills there were smaller, there were lots more of them which made the run tougher. And the scenery at Windsor is much better.
After about the 1st mile there were 3 or 4 runners ahead of me who I stuck with till the end and even managed to get in to a bit of a sprint finish with one of them. I was pleased with the splits, my first half was 43m 9 sec and the 2nd was 42m 23 - and finished 48th in 1 hr 25min and 32 secs.
Windsor isn’t the easiest place to get to. I went by train and you have to change at Slough and get the ‘shuttle’’ service to Windsor. Then it’s a good 20 / 25 mins walk to the start point. Didn’t mind that before the race but it wasn’t much fun afterwards!
Overall though a good half, well organised and marshalled and plenty of water stations. The medal was ok, as was the Mars Bar!
Stephen Glackin
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10-10-12
Ran the first Chingford League tuesday night. It is a 5k (ish) (think it maybe long as everyone said add 40 -60 secs on to your 5k time) around the Redbridge Cycle track which is really hilly . The other handicaps are that its run in the dark (no lights other than the club house) you have to go up a tough hill four times and it was pi$$ing with rain. I was not treating it as a race as I had run hard on sunday and since that time my groin on the operated leg was very tender. The morning of the race I did 30 mins with Peter so I was taking it lightly. Nevertheless , I finished in 21 25 feeling okay and beaten a lot who were ahead of me two months ago. The last time I did it two years ago, I did 22 22 eyeballs out! So another race done and now onto another on saturday ..thankfully and at last , on the country with a bit of luck it will be as muddy as a pig sty!.
Phil Hernon
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10-10-12
Like quite a few Ravens I ran the Southend 10K yesterday. I had trained hard for this race and have been doing more of Dave's core exercise work. I was also following some Swedish research into caffeine deprivation. The research says no caffeine for a week before a 10K race and then have a coffee one hour before the start should give an average 20 seconds improvement on your 10K time.
The one thing I would need to help a PB would be very little wind as the race was on the seafront. I was very pleased as my early birthday present was only a 4 mph wind.
2 hours before the race I had Rupert's beetroot juice, and I hour before my first caffeine for a week. After the gun went off I was in about 75th place, and overtook quite a few people in the first half mile, I felt good but was not sure if I was going too fast. I heard Stuart and Mick in my head saying don't look at the garmin, go with the body. After nearly a mile I gave in and glanced at it. I was going at 12 seconds a mile faster than PB pace, I was not sure what to do when we went round a sharp bend and was shocked to see Dave Butler 5 yards in front of me, so I knew I was going too fast. I called out to him and was relieved to see him start to go away from me at the speed he usually does when we are racing on the track and then i knew I was then on the right pace. The race went well and after 6k went into the slight headwind for the rest of the race. I finished in 23rd place and 3rd V50 in 37.02 which was a PB by 58 seconds. I was naturally very pleased.
The Le Mares had a good day as my 15 year old ran his first 10k race and managed 41.27 and my daughter did well in the fun run.
Simon Le Mare
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10-10-12
Southend 10K - PB - 38:30 something
Went out way too fast in the first 2k and paid for it in the middle section but had a strong finish. I am really pleased with the time, a personal best by about 1m30s.
Regards
Stuart Cable
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10-10-12
With sheer determination and no beetroot juice I just managed to beat to 40 minute barrier and came in at 39:55.
Wesley Absolom
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10-10-12
Firstly , went to Pete Mchugh's Run Fast Groups hill session at Hampstead Heath saturday morning . Did not intend to do the session as had a race planned for the afternoon. I did jog around and jog up a couple of hills but enjoy the banter. Afterwards we head for a coffee shop. It is slowly becoming a 'mecca' for runners from the Heath. This week many of the Heath 'Park Run Group' were there as well as our group . It was a really enjoyable hour or so the chat was great .
Saturday afternoon I turned up at our club for the bi-annual photo and the Winter Handicap. Must admit that during the night was pleased to hear the falling of rain . As Ricky will testify I am better in the mud when you fast boys are slowed down!. This was my third race in a week and would be tough without other races. Those who have ran Orion courses will appreciate me saying they are always hilly and always hard. The Winter Handicap is just that , runners start off at the points the handicapper feels they should. It is always difficult to gauge infrequent runners and improvers!. I started 22 mins behind the lead off runner . There were 53 in total and I was behind guys that had beaten me recently, in some cases were three mins ahead of me three months ago and I was just in front of guys who had beaten me recently. Nevertheless, the mud is a great equaliser. You think 'this is hard ' ; but you have to makesure your head knows its hard for them as well and keep going. No pain, no gain!. The course was described as wet as mid winter and it was . With one mile to go I had gone past many but did not know who was in front. At the muddiest point of the race (just before Yardley a huge up and down about a mile to go ) the marshall said I was leading and a few seconds later I heard her say 'you are second Peter'...halfway down the hill Peter McHugh (not the Lord) went past me. To say I was gutted was an understatement. He pushed on and I was too slow to react and he took a load more out of me up Yardley but I was cutting the distance on the muddy bit and I finished second. Both Pete and myself had broken the 'Handicapper' but other than us Bob Jousiffe had done a great handicapping job!. Peter had not raced all week and if I had not I am sure he would not have got past me so easy ..ifs and buts though!
In the changing room it was clear I had over-performed 7th overall and had taken three mins out of a guy who beat me two months ago and a min out of Dan Green who beat me in a recent 5K. Getting beat by Pete McHugh quite poignant really as our Pete McHugh is the man I truly have to thank , more than any other for revitalising my enthusiasm for the sport, and guiding me to this point. I think we both know there is a load more to come. He sees me on the the hills and track and knows where I need to I am working my nuts off I hope at that point (prob next spring) I will be up with the Simon Le Mare's of the world without the 'crap' just the hard work.
Phil Hernon
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10-10-12
Like some others, I ran the Southend 10k. Having struggled a bit with achilles and knee problems recently, I was pleased to be able to run, get round safely and finish in 13th place in a time of 35:46. I started quite slowly but picked up a lot of places during the race although recent lack of training slowed me slightly towards the end. Unfortunately, I didn't have the form to beat Iain Campbell who some of you know - he had a great run - sub 34:30.
Good news though today as knee seems to be ok & achilles not too bad.
Cheers
Dave Butler
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2-10-12
Hever Castle
I finished but in over 3 hours which wasn't the plan and midpack. I didn't push it too hard on the swim, just wanting to get out before hyperthermia set in. The water was very cold and full of pond weed.
I was pleased that out of my "wave" there were still a lot of bikes around when I went into T1. The cycle, as Simon has said, was a very hilly course, and living in Norfolk this is not the normal terrain that I am used to so I struggled.
When I got back into T2 I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that a lot of the bikes had returned. This explained by the streams of people that passed me on the ride.
The run was a not flat either, it was a mixture of pot-holed tarmac, gravel and grass. This went much better I retook a lot of the people who passed me on the cycle which was pleasing.
All in all an enjoyable debut, but I should do some cycle training next time!
Chris Meadows
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1-10-12
Last Friday 5k - 28.9.12
I ran the Last Friday 5k today. Unfortunately the weather was not the best, it was a bit windy.
I ended up with 17:28, slower than I wanted but I felt strong but just found it hard to keep the speed up into the wind.
My wife also ran and did 19:08 to come 2nd woman, the first girl was young enough to be our daughter
Mick Bridgeland
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1-10-12
Valentines Park 5K - 30.9.12
At the beginning of the 'comeback' I had earmarked the Valentines 5K as the race to go below 20 again. Once below this I am sure I will have a quantum leap and quickly get below 19 . That is just the way it seems to happen - break the hour for 10 and quickly go below 59...In my case I went sub 60 and the next race below 58. Enough about Yesterday year......
Yesterday's race was a disappointment for a number of reasons but equally I have to realise where I am in my training. Unlike Simon Le Mare I do not believe there is any scientific approach to running. My Motto is 'WORK HARD AND EVENTUALLY IT WILL COME THROUGH'... As for yesterday - ideal conditions but the two lap course was so twisty full of turns and clearly despite its flatness not one for a best season's time. Nevertheless, I know I am fit and went for it. I had decided to keep 50 yards behind Andy C and a couple of other targets. I carried this to perfection until my right groin was painful (this is a reaction to the hip operation) and after 3 K I pulled over to stretch it out. After 20 odd seconds I got going again having changed my mind about dropping out. Quite a few went past me but I tried to pull in Andy C who appeared to be slowing down. I couldn't catch him and Andy finished in 19 55 and I crossed in 20 12 (a 6 second improvement on the Barking 5K).
Looking at the results most people had slower times yesterday so that is something. Also , since the Raphael's Park 5m in June , the second in this series(I did 35 26) , I have caught and past a number of runners. I am now with or not far behind runners who did between 32 1/2 and late 33's..so that is something to take from yesterday. I am sure that without that stop I would have broke 20 but hey ho just good to be racing and part of the banter/craic on a regular basis. I also noticed that the original 'Essex Kenyan ' Amin Kolkai made a comeback yesterday. .
Now I am onto the winter stage so(as Peter say's) more tempo in my easy runs and increase my longer runs from the current just under an hour to 90 mins . Lots of XC races starting with a Chingford League race tomorrow evening 8pm start at the Redbridge Cycle track with no lights - in other words its in the dark!. Its also very, very hilly. Sat is our opening 5m race and then with a bit of luck the rain will arrive and I can have some muddy cross country.
Phil Hernon
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1-10-12
Did the park run on Saturday and finished a comfortable 6th place behind Steve Glackin in 3rd and Marcus finished in 26th. Steve ran an excellent 18.05 whilst I ran 1 lap carrying a couple of cones. It's a long story...
Saturday afternoon was our B&BHAC 5 mile cross country race, second in our 9 race cross country season. As has become more common recently, I was very slow starting but was able to pick my way from the back of the pack to finish 9th in 34.26. It's a tough course but the conditions were excellent. Had a good battle with a couple of 15 year olds, one I beat, the other I didn't. Ran well and enjoyed the race for a change. Managed to beat some fellow club mates who have been beating me recently. Winning time was 29.29. It's so good to be back in the cross country season again.
Won't be out today due to work commitments.
Andy Tucker
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1-10-12
Myself, Andy T and Steve G all ran our usual parkrun at Bromley on Saturday. I was still feeling the effects of Thursday's Ravens race (a much harder 5k I think) and a few beers on Friday, but was happy to just get in under 20 mins again (19.56). Andy was placed 6th with 18.41 and Steve 3rd with 18.05. We were all 'chicked' though, by a first timer who came in second in 18 mins dead.
Marcus Elwes
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1-10-12
Did the East Leake end of season sprint tri yesterday. This was a good comparison to the same event at the start of the season back in March, which was my first competitive event of the year and so a useful indicator of progress made over the last six months ..... and my time was 6 1/2 minutes quicker so must have gone in vaguely the right direction.
Managed 1:09:41 v's previous of 1:16:14 - in particular my run was almost 3 minutes quicker! and putting me 41st v's 130+ previously. Had a disaster T1, could not find my bike then got to mount point and took a flyer in the wet conditions and landed heavily on my side - highly inelegant and a bit sore (and great comedy for those watching). Glad to have done it despite poor conditions, very windy, making the bike section brutal, but again managed to pick other riders off, could not feel either of my feet as I got off bike due to cold and numbness as I started the run and pleased to go under 21 for the 5k.
Rupert Holden
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1-10-12
I ran for my club Castle Point in the Essex Cross Country Relay at Hadleigh Downs on Saturday. It was a fairly brutal 5k course with some evil climbs, but good fun. Saw Scott in his Thurrock colours, who I believe was the only other Raven on show, albeit lapsed. No idea how I did as my Garmin has not recovered from its soaking in the Dock last week, but I do know that Southend won quite comfortably from Chelmsford. Please let me know if anyone knows where such results might be found.
Peter Osborne
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1-10-12
Scraping ice off the windscreen at 7am made me wonder why but yesterday I did the Hever Castle Olympic Triathlon with Chris M.
Lake felt very cold at first, but 1500m swim went well apart from a pause to deal with a "gogglewhack" . I accidentally drunk enough lake water and weed to ensure I was well hydrated and nourished for the bike ride to come! Swam it in 29:19 but unlike Rupert it was not followed by any comedy transition moments.
The 40k bike ride is very hilly and this where the big time differentials come from - overall I was 19 minutes behind 1st V40, 14m of which were from the bike - but it went well in 1:24:51, only downside being someone having a serious looking accident on the hill up from Penshurst.
The 10k run is a hilly off-road course, muddy in places. A time of 45:50 doesn’t sound the best but I overtook many and was overtaken just once, was 30th for run time and only four went sub-40 so not so bad in that perspective.
Overall I came 97th out of 700 and haven't ruled out doing a longer one next year so I guess I must've enjoyed it.
Simon Phillips
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1-10-12
I ran the Barns Green Half M yesterday which I concluded last year was undulating but this year I have decided it is hilly, I ran 1.16.01 for 7th place from about 1500 finishers. I was pretty pleased with that and met the objective of a hard training race, the main target being the Gosport Half next month.
Jon Fairs
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1-10-12
Did a hilly 24km x-c race in the Surrey Hills on Saturday - called 'The Hurt' & it did. There was a 12km race at the same time so stayed up with the leader of that until about 10km then dropped off and did a distinctly slower second lap. Won in 1.54 & definitely ticked the box of a hard training run before Abingdon in a few weeks.
Cheers,
Tom Robertson
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1-10-12
Following in the footsteps of Jon, I also ran the Barns Green Half Marathon yesterday and am pleased to hear he now considers the course to be hilly!
Rather sadly, one of my running aims is to finish this race in the top 100. Yesterday I came the closest yet, knocking 80 places and 2 minutes 7 seconds off my course PB to finish in 1.32.37 and 108th place - 17 seconds off 100th place.
I'm trying not to be too depressed (it was also my 44th birthday!) but I wonder if I might have missed my opportunity - on average I reckon you need to run this course sub. 1.30 to get top 100 so am amazed that my time this year put me so close - wonder if a similar time next year might put me much further down the field.
Still, I guess the course PB is progress so I will just have to try again next year and hope that another 12 months with The Ravens makes the difference.
Kevin Cockram
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25-09-12
Yesterday was at the Eastern Vets (EVAC) finals with Dave and Mick.
First V50 race was the 800m. I wanted to take it easy just to get a point for Southend, but was a little competitive on the final straight and pipped some one on the line in about 2.40 in 5th.
Then then heavens opened. Second race was 3000m which Mick was also in. About 15 of us in V60,50 and 40 race. I had trained for this one and was aiming for a PB. I had never run a race on the track in the rain. The gun went off and I was shocked at the puddles and the amount of spray coming off peoples shoes. At the half way mark I realised a PB was out of the question, the wind into your face down the home straight did not help. Finished in 10.24, 10 seconds below my PB I think in 5th place and 2nd V50. Third race was the 1500m, I had never raced this distance before, Dave and Mick were also in it. I would like to have run sub 5 minutes, but the 3000m race before and the wind and rain did not help. I used Mick's advice and did not look at the Garmin, but used the time keepers who shouted out the time as you passed them. At the 800m point, realised sub 5 was not going to happen, but kept on going. With 400m to go the guy in 5th (who finished 20m ahead of me in the 3000m) was 10m ahead so decided to try to catch him, which I did on the line in 5.02. So happy with the time, 5th position, 2nd V50 (but Dave was running in the V40!) Then the 400m leg in the relay.
Miserable day, but lots of camaraderie and a nice atmosphere.
Simon LeMare
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25-09-12
Tonbridge Half Marathon
Ran the above yesterday (along with Simon Phillips, both in our Ravens shirts). Not ideal conditions - whilst the rain was pretty light to start with, it did get heavier during the course of the race and the wind stronger. It is my least favourite half marathon course, due to its tough 'undulating nature'. Last year was the inaugural race and I really struggled then. I was not in peak condition, it was hot and the hills, especially towards the end, really told, even tough I did get a PB then.
I met up with Simon at the beginning of the race which was nice but he soon sped off after the start (but did manage to get his family to give me a shout out in Leigh, which was brilliant as I had nobody else supporting me, real Ravens sprit!).
I knew that for the first half of the race I should be reasonably strong, given my recent training with he Ravens, but was worried about the second half as I had not done any training runs beyond the 7/8 miles we did last Friday. At 10k I was under 44 minutes (a new unofficial 10k PB) and under 45 at halfway, so was happy with my pace.
I couldn't quite keep that level up over the second half, with the hills, wind and rain, but stayed around 4.30/4.45 km pace and was pleased to come in at almost 1.35 dead, in 95th place. Simon was around 1.27 and 31st. The original entry was 1200, although only 850 odd finished, presumably due to the inclement weather. By the time we left, with people still out on the course, it was absolutely hammering down!
Happy with my time, which was 3 minutes under my previous PB (on a much flatter easier course at Paddock Wood) and a whopping 13 minutes off last years time at Tonbridge. Thanks again to the Ravens for this improvement!
Marcus Elwes
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25-09-12
Managed a pb myself in the Bromley park run - 17m 53 so really delighted with that!
Stephen Glackin
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25-09-12
I did the London Triathlon yesterday. This was my first Olympic distance so really did not know what to expect. The weather was absolutely horrendous. The 1500 swim was in Royal Victoria Dock. The water was warmer than expected but the wind and waves (!) were tough. Took ages to get my wet suit off, some practice needed there before doing the cycle (40k) from Excell Centre to Tower Bridge twice. The roads were obviously drenched with huge puddles everywhere, but really enjoyed it. The run was rubbish. More like an assault course with shin deep puddles, several twists and turns and plastic matting. It was very narrow and was unable to get much of a rhythm. My garmin was clearly not as waterproof as I thought and had died by the time I finished the swim, so not entirely sure of time, especially as the official site appears to have been in melt down, but recon about 2.40-45. Am also now the proud owner of a mankini type tri suit. Not necessarily a good look!
Peter Osborn
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25-09-12
Nice to see Marcus before and after ..... well done on the pb didn't realise you hadn't done any long runs recently - train properly and I'm sure you'll get close to 1:30 ;-)
I didn't notice the rain get heavy and thought the conditions were ideal for a half, certainly compared to the warmth of last year. I finished in
1:27:21 which was on target and a pb by a minute and a half. Despite being uphill, last full mile was second quickest and then with 200yds to go someone nearly overtook me but I found a secret gear and saw him off comfortably. Calves very tight after but no achilles issues as feared so a good morning all round!
PS Looking forward to seeing Peter's mankini intervals on Thursday.
(or will Lee be wearing it?)
Simon Phillip
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25-09-12
As Simon has already said in his report I ran the 3000m and 1500m
I did 9:57.9 to win the M50, and the whole race - ran it from the front and wound it up over the last couple of laps to shake off the guys behind me
I then ran 4:48.5 to come 4th in the 1500m, again 1st M50. Dave came 2nd in the M40 age group in 4:44.2
Felt strong in both races, no problems from last weeks stomach bug, felt a lot better than I did a couple of weeks ago on the track
Despite the weather I enjoyed the races.
Mick Bridgeland
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25-09-12
PLESHEY AND ESSEX CHAMPS HALF MARATHON.
Set off fairly steadily but still died after ten miles (in about 59:45). Lost a few places too in the last three and even got chicked!
Finished in 1:19:23
It was windy and raining at the end. Bit disappointed but looking forward to some shorter races now.
Lee Martin
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25-09-12
Ashtead 10k
I did this undulating off road 10k yesterday. It was cold and very wet and at the start, I got stuck behind a good deal of the field until the first hill (which came fairly swiftly - groan), having ignored my other half's advice (as usual) to move up towards the front. Due to the weather, the course was a bad ankle's nightmare, but a really good out and back one that finishes on a pretty steep and bumpy downhill.
Happy with the time given the course - 41.41 and due to the rain clearly having put off a lot of faster people, I managed to place well - first lady and 11th overall, "chicking" quite a few in the process.
I would definitely recommend it for next year though, particularly if the weather is better - it's good XC prep. The marshals are ace and there's cake and bacon butties at the end too - what more could you want!
Serena Stracey
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25-09-12
Fritton Viking Triathlon
This was a double Olympic Triathlon, so 3km Swim 80km Cycle and 20km run, as I'm nowhere near the shape required to do it all myslef I was in this as one of 5 relay teams.
All in all we finished the 2nd relay team but an hour behind the winner of the whole event who did it solo in 4:06.
I did the swim in about 1:10, I think I was towards the back of the field, but the field was small (40-50 entrants) and the event was far enough to put off novice competitors (I like to think).
I was "chicked" myself as 2 of the relay swimers were female and another was male but also cycled (his cyclist pulled out) so that gave me a free run at the only hot shower afterwards which was welcome after swiming in a chilly 14 degree lake.
Chris Meadows
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17-09-12
Ran Great North yesterday - good weekend with huge crowds. Saturday saw the City Games and also my daughter running the junior run - she came 21st in age group, 4k in impressive 17:56.
Yesterdays run was packed with supporters - even more so than previously. Rain managed to hold off during the long wait in the pens at the start but shortly after the gun went, the heavens opened too and it remained wet for the entire race. Started ok but knew after first couple of miles that I was not going to be able to push it too hard. Went through halfway in just over 45 mins and held pace until about 10 miles but then started really struggling for last few miles, lack of training and strength and injury starting to show. Finished in a very satisfactory 1:31:46 (almost exactly 7 minute miling), but please really just to have finished in one piece, although I am feeling the injury this morning with my sciatic in the right leg, will be taking it easy for a few days.
A huge thanks to all those who have supported me with their generous sponsorship.
Rupert Holden
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17-09-12
Well done Rupert. Try and be sensible now. ! Broke my 'training' PB for the outer loop of Richmond Park yesterday 57 57 . Three months ago I was running it in 68 mins and struggling to do that! With some runs of 1 hr 20 - 1hr 30 should knock some more time off.
Phil Hernon
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17-09-12
I ran the Pride 10k in Victoria Park on Saturday in 35:13, 1st M50, 14th overall - I saw Chris Beecham (33:47) and Serena (40:28PB) who both had good runs
Overall I was pleased with the time, would like to go sub 35 again, next 10k on 14 Oct, Ashford 10k (BMAF Champs) will be a good chance
A good race, the usual Victoria Park 10k course, nice weather, bagels and bananas at the end plus a towel, very useful.
Mick Bridgeland
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17-09-12
A few Ravens were out at the Surrey Road Relays in Wimbledon Park on Saturday. A tough little three mile loop with a sodding great hill in the middle of it. I was in the Ranelagh Harriers M50 “B” team, and ran the second leg as hard as I could (22 mins). We didn’t have a 4th man, so I offered to run the final lap as well, figuring that we had no chance of medals (only 1 medal per age group per club, and we had an “A” team) so I could take the second leg easy just to get the team home. After that first lap, I rested on the grass for a few minutes and then went to the stand to change numbers when I was informed that the fourth runner for the “A” team had not shown. I had my vest off putting the B team number on it when Andy Bickerstaff came in to the stadium and round the track. I quickly struggled to put my vest on and ran to the start, by which time Andy finished and had been standing there looking confused for 20 seconds. I took off still with the B team number on, and now knowing that the A team were in silver medal position (the first three guys had all run 17 mins). Sh*t – I wanted to run the second leg easy! I pushed myself as hard as I could up the hill, but at the top had to stop and retch four times! Note to self, don’t run too hard uphill when not fit enough! I was forced to slow after that. The team captain waited outside the entrance to the stadium with the correct number, so I hastily ripped off the old number and carried the new one round the track in my hand. I finally finished in 23 minutes, only 40 seconds down on my first lap, but slow enough to have dropped us to 4th and out of the medals. Overall a good experience though.
Stu F had a good run for Hercules Wimbledon. Dave Moore was there in his leg brace taking photos with his Dorking & Mole Valley colleagues. Keith Newton was walking round the course offering support. Storming Norman was there as usual.
Andrew Hayward
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17-09-12
Coincidentally, I did the opening club cross country fixture on Saturday - a 4.5K relay. 4 laps of our local park with some interesting hills. Huge turnout - 30+ teams with the finest of Tonbridge AC taking the honours. The coincidence is that I also did two legs. I did the first leg in 16.09 having done the parkrun earlier (18.32). Felt ok but very slow at the start before everything clicked and I had a good race against Steve Smythe who beat me by a second. Went from dead last to about 15th. After crossing the finishing line I was promptly press ganged into running another leg for a separate Blackheath team. Only managed 16.27 on that lap. Not sure if being caught unawares helped as I gave it all I could on the first lap anyway. Felt good on the second lap but otherwise tired. Neither teams were in the scoring so my times were irrelevant. Best I have felt for a few weeks though.
Andy Tucker
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13-09-12
Insurance Athletic Association 10K - 12.9.12
Full results of last nights IAA 10K aren't out yet but I thought a quick e-mail to summarise.
Ravens were prevalent in their striking black and white vests. Can't confirm exact placings but I think Tom was 3rd, Lee was 6th, Stuart F was 7th (non-Raven). Steve G was 12th?, Simon was 15th?, I was 18th and Chris 21st?. Sorry I don't know Pete's Lisa's or Andy H's positions. Lee ran 36.02, and I know Chris did a PB and broke 40 mins for the first time.
If we had been able to claim the team prize we would have won that I am sure.
Someone said to me in the changing rooms afterwards -'You Ravens have got some excellent runners - great club'. We are famous and clearly have some pedigree.
Well done all - you did the Ravens proud.
And thanks to Andy H for organising.
Andy Tucker
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13-09-12
I ran a 42.22 (no idea of position, in the high 40s I would imagine) which whilst well down on what I have done in the past was ok following a chest infection last week. Well done all, especially Chris who has got that 40 minute monkey of his back. No reps for me today!
Peter Osborne
I think I did @ 43.17. (Not sure of my position either!) – First 10k under my belt
Lisa Wright
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13-09-12
I think i was 9th (non-raven) - about 37.20. I set off in a group of 4 inc Stuart F for about a lap then Stuart got away. on the second lap me and a lady dropped the 3rd gent. at the re-entry to the park on the 2nd lap we met up with stuart again who'd taken the wrong turning into the park and then had to shout him in the right direction again as he attempted to run anti clockwise on a clockwise circuit. He then pulled away again.
I ran the last lap with the same lady (Rhona I believe) and managed to drop her about 5 times but she kept coming back and ambushed me at the end with a surprisingly fast last 50 metres.
Arif Merali
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13-09-12
I think I was 23rd in 39:52 (Ravens B team), despite Kevin's best efforts to take me on the line.
Very pleased with how it went on a good flat course, it helped a lot always having familiar faces/backs to chase on the course which helped set my pace.
Also a first sub 40min I believe for Simon, although I think he's only done one 10k previously a fortnight ago.
Thanks to Andy for sorting it all out, and well done to everyone on their time.
Chris Meadows
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13-09-12
It was an enjoyable, well organised evening and great to race with so many vested-up Ravens - plus Rupert and Andy M providing marshalling/encouragement services. We should try to do this more often!
I was nip and tuck with Steve for about 4k, we had a little chat between the bridges but then he broke away to join the pack ahead …. Note to self: shut up next time! … I was disappointed not to stick with Steve for longer but his pace was faster than my 5k best so I was never going to keep up.
The rest of the race I was running solo - the gap ahead grew and they were soon out of sight ... and I was unaware of anyone behind. Finished in apx 38:42 which I'm happy with - maybe with some company I could've pushed a bit harder in the middle section too. Oddly I was probably the only runner with a 38:xx time.
Well done to everyone and many thanks to Andy H for organising.
PS Tender Achilles today so no reps - I have to be back early anyway so I'll probably try a HIW jog at 12:30.
Simon Phillips
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13-09-12
Congrats to all Ravens racers last night. Great turnout and performances esp Chris under 40 and Lisa debut.
Andy Catton did indeed run as well - of sorts. Writing this from my sick bed, as extremely ill on way home afterwards (probably food poisoning). Does rather explain stomach cramps and totally legless after end of first lap !
Staggered in in about 41.30.
Obviously won't see you today !
Andy Catton
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13-09-12
I was well down the field. I would have sneered at 48 minutes a few years ago, but I ran really hard all the way! And the average pace of 7:45 is better than north of 8:00 which I posted on a club four mile race at the weekend! Knowing that 48 was about the best I could hope for on current form and fitness, my plan was simple – start near the back and try and work my way forward as much as possible. This worked well as I was overtaking people all the way, including up to the line. And no one came back past me, so that was good. One disconcerting thing that I wasn’t used to was being overtaken by people who weren’t in the race – they were just out for a run – I was racing for Pete’s sake - how dare they! One particularly annoying chap was doing reps, so passed me at speed, rested, passed me at speed etc. about five times! If he was trying to wind me up, he succeeded!
Thanks to everyone for making the effort to show up, and to Andy T for a donation to the beer fund! That place afterwards was so expensive it was appreciated!
Andrew Hayward
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13-09-12
Ran it in 37m 39 secs...(a 10k pb for me) .
Overall a very enjoyable race – the route was good, nice and flat. Setting off, I was behind the leading group and within a few minutes they were going further away with every stride.
Then a group of about 5 or 6 overtook me as we exited the park on to Chelsea Bridge. I managed to hang on to one of these (a fellow Raven, not sure of your name, apologies) and we made our way between the bridges. At this point I was thinking I can catch these 4 or 5 guys up ahead so I increased the pace a bit. As we entered the park again I was much closer to them and within the next km I gradually overtook all of them. At this point I could see Arif running along with the 1st lady runner.
I tried to get closer to them on the final lap but didn’t make much progress. And then ended up in a contest with another guy who overtook me with about 1k to go. I overtook him but then with about 200 to go he sped past me.
It was a good race , well organised and it was nice to speak to the other runners afterwards.
Cheers
Stephen Glackin
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13-09-12
I think I dipped under 35mins (34.55ish) in 3rd. I set off with Lee in the front group - got a bit carried away and led for about a mile then tucked in for the windy bridge to bridge section. I think the group split at about 5km and I managed to stay in touch with the front 2 guys for a couple of km but the early pace came back to bite and I finished off on my own (cursing Stuart's 400m reps on Tuesday!).
Many thanks to Andy for organising & well done to all for fast times, first times & PBs.
Tom Robertson
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10-09-12
Ran the internationally renowned Canvey 10k.
Was looking forward to it as ran my best leg on the Essex way relay last weekend and ran my fastest 800m during 6 X 800m reps on the track on Tuesday with Southend AC, and my fastest 1mile during 4 X 1 mile reps on the track with Leigh Striders on Wednesday (not that those times were fast as I have never raced at those distances before). Started off in about 15th place and after 1 mile was up to 6th. My garmin had stopped working during the warm up and I had no idea what pace I was running at. As I passed each person I asked what pace we were running at, no one was wearing a watch (probably because of the high chance of being mugged whilst in Canvey). After 2 miles I was in 4th, and tried to stay there as 3rd place was a long way ahead of me. I was sure I was running faster than I usually do. Just before the 5 mile marker ( the course was mapped in miles for a 10K !) the marshal shouted out 29 minutes, so was very pleased.
Crossed the line in 4th so was very happy as my highest ever placement. There were no chips or electronic clock at the finish so I asked for my time and they said 38 minutes 36 seconds which did not seem right. Adam Hickey was first in 32.09 and he thought he had run in just over 31. Apparently there was confusion over whether we had started at 10.59 or 11.00. Adam decided to let the times stay as he said it was occasionally a problem at smaller events. Crispian Bloomfield who was 2nd said he was after the position not the time as he is now slowing down a bit. So unfortunately I did not record a PB at 37.36, but very happy with the 4th and first V50
Will see what time I can do at the Southend 10K in a month's time.
Just over 2 1/2 months of Gardening Leave/Running Leave left
Simon Le Mare
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10-09-12
I finally managed for the first time to get under 20 minutes for my 5k parkrun on Saturday morning and did it in a Ravens shirt to boot! Conditions were absolutely perfect for a good run so I knew I was in with a reasonable chance, after last weeks near miss. After getting a few last minute start line tips fom Andy T, I kept a good steady sub 4min/km pace all the way round and knew that I was likley on to be under 20 minutes as I came to the line. In fact I clocked 19.46 which was 25 sconds off my previous PB, costing Adidas a 50p charity donation in the process! Very happy to have finally cracked 20 and all due to my running with the Ravens. In the 4-5 weeks since I have started running with you guys (and girls), my 5k time has come down almost a minute.
Marcus Elwes
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10-09-12
My races not so great. I still had the tail end of the virus from last week and felt fairly weak for both my runs.
Saturday was the park run where I timed a poor 18.47 - 10 seconds down on last week and 30 seconds behind where I should be. Lack of good training with the Ravens is a contributing factor. Work has a lot to answer for.
Sunday was the Eridge 10. 10 miles of fairly extreme cross country conditions with steep hills, difficult terrain and half a dozen bogs/streams where you are knee deep in mud. The particularly warm weather added to the difficulty. After 3 miles I knew I was in trouble so throttled back and ran it as a tempo/training run. As a result I finished in 1.24.50, about 12 minutes slower than last time I ran it and only just scraped into the top 50. Shame because it is the epitome of my favourite type of race.
Andy Tucker
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10-09-12
It was the opening run of the 132nd season for Ranelagh Harriers on Saturday. it was only a four mile race, but started at 3:15pm in the heat of the day. It was brutal, and I know I’m not as fit as I was, but I felt like I’d finished an ultra-marathon rather than four miles at the end.
Andrew Hayward
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10-09-12
This is slightly off topic but I raced at the weekend, but not running, I was in a 3km open water swimming race. Part of my training towards Hever Castle (30th) and my leg of a double Olympic tri (23rd) distance relay team at the end of the month.
The results are as yet unpublished, but I think I did just under an hour which I'm pleased with. There were eighty swimmers and I think I was mid pack.
Chris Meadows
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10-09-12
Mick and me ran for EVAC yesterday in the Vets Inter Area Match in Solihull. I ran the 1500 and Mick the 3000 and we both then ran the 200m legs of the medley relay - think that was a mix of damage limitation and people still there at 5.30pm!
We both had good races - Mick finishing as 3rd M50 in the 3000 in a time of 9:57 safely ahead of the 4th place runner but not close enough to the 2nd placed runner to catch him and I finished as 2nd M50 in the 1500 in a time of 4:35.3 having started fast close behind the younger age group runners and then managing to hang to 2nd place in the last 200m. Don't know what our times were in the 200m!
EVAC finished in 2nd place overall out of 6 teams on the day and also in both the mens and ladies competitions.
A very nice day albeit long day out from 8am to 9:30pm. Back to work for a rest!
Dave Butler
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4-09-12
Vets 5K
I ran one on the 21st Aug at Battersea Pk - finished 4th in 17.14.
Stuart Fraser
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4-09-12
Decided to run the local park 5k on Saturday morning, partly in encouragement of my 11yr old daughter, who was running this distance for the first time. Was a bit dubious due to always finding the undulating course tricky, particularly first thing at the weekend. Had previously managed 21:53 back in May. Started steady and felt comfortable and did first km in just under 4 mins and concerned I was going too quick but surprised myself by keeping very steady and finished in 19:59 - very pleased and not what I had expected. Felt ok rest of day but next morning my sciatic was giving me some grief and still a bit sore today.
My daughter managed 24:24 on her first ever attempt, good showing and a good warm up before she runs the BUPA junior event up in Newcastle in 2 weeks time.
Rupert Holden
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4-09-12
I did the Weald St George's 10k (near Sevenoaks) yesterday - first half has some uphill but is mainly downhill, then vice-versa for the second half with the worst saved for last. Was my first 10k and given the course happy with my time of 40:27, came 17th/333 and hope to take best part of a minute off that at Battersea next week.
Simon Phillips
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4-09-12
Ran 20.15 parkrun on Saturday, disappointed as felt I was on sub 20 pace. Later discovered the course was long (5.08km) and in fact I had run 3.59 pace! So still not officially sub 20 but getting closer thanks to running with the Ravens! Thanks all.
Marcus Elwes
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4-09-12
Did the same run in 18.18 and thought it felt a bit longer than usual! And I’m certain my times have improved thanks to the Thursday reps!
Thanks Ravens!
Stephen Glackin
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4-09-12
I also did the Bromley parkrun on Saturday with Steve and Marcus. I managed a steady 18.37 which is about par for me at the moment.
Sunday I woke up feeling dreadful (man flu?) but went to Ashford for the final of the SCVAC Masters League Final. I was down as the B string runner in the M35 1500m and the A string runner in the M35 3000m.
I wasn't really up to running either but was happy to finish and get some points for the club.
The 1500m was okay and I managed to finish 6th in 5.02. I had only run 5.15 at my club 1500m back in June as part of the track middle distance championship. Did I mention that I'm not a track runner....? The race was good and I had a good battle for 5th/6th. Winning time was about 4.20. The 3000m was near the end of the day and I was feeling progressively worse as the day went on. However, there were 4 clubs in close contention for the title so I was happy to go out just to get a point. The 3000m was really bad. I managed 10.58 (2 seconds quicker than the time I ran in June) and struggled around in 7th place, even being lapped by the first two finishers. Not sure of what their times were - official results still to be published.
So to the match itself. We lost by just one point last year, and by four points the year before. The match was the usual nail biter, and looked like being decided on the 4x400 relay, though we had a few points in hand before that. We won the SCVAC Masters League Final by 9.5 points from Abingdon AC, who sneaked in front of Herne Hill Harriers in the last few events. I think the final scores were B&BHAC 242 points, Abingdon 232.5 points and Herne Hill 231 points. It's actually the largest winning margin for the Final for a few years.
Sadly can't get out today - enjoy your centenary run Phil. Maybe you should be given the bumps in true 'birthday' style.
Andy Tucker
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4-09-12
I did a 1hr 36:57 for the half marathon yesterday in the Ironman 70.3 Galway which was the 2nd fastest run time in my age ground giving me 3rd overall in age group.
Wes Absolom
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2-09-12
Belated race reports – I did the last Assembly League 5k in Dulwich 4 weeks ago and was pleased to do 17.42. On Saturday I did Avery hill parkrun 5k as start of 10 mile training run and won the race in 18.16 (on grass undulating). I feel I am starting to return to some form of fitness. I am taking the opposite approach to Phil since my injury and reduced the number of runs per week from 5 to 4 max. I know running will suffer but want to be still walking and running when I am 90. I am trying to supplement with some gym sessions and aqua running / swimming.
Luke Armitage
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29-08-12
Ran the Barking 5k yesterday. This was the latest leg of the ELVIS series and allowed me tread old ground. This race was always a 'must do' event' despite the difficulty in parking your car (for a number of reasons') . Conditions for the race were humid; but very windy in certain parts of the course . A course, which is run totally within the confines of the park and identical to the one used for the 'Park Run' held each saturday. Its fully measured and organised by a club so ticks all my boxes. Before the race I had a chat with one of Orion's best runners young Daniel Moses. A lovely lad with loads of ability! He had never got under 16 before and I am pleased to say he eventually won the race in 15 52 . In the past this race has been won in sub 15 I remember Andy C running sub 15 and not winning it ! As for me, since my injury I had managed a 21min 10sec 5k at Battersea a couple of months ago and set my target as going under 21. I thought that would be a nice step. I ran exactly 4 min K's up until 3k (WHICH WAS THE PLAN) the next were 4. 07 and 4.08 (THESE WERE INTO THE WIND) so according to my watch I got 20 15 nearly a minute off my last time , but I was given 4 18 . Not sure how the ELR guy in front finished 7 secs in front because we crossed straight after each other - so be it not a lot of difference in times. I am pretty sure my next 5k will be 19 something ....as feel being my 93rd consecutive day I may have left a bit in training. Pleased with my run as it equates to sub 6 1/2 miling which is my target for a 5m before the yearend and whilst not anything like you guys its a small step in the right direction to getting under 19 which should enable me to do a sub 40 10K . An achievable target for the spring after the XC season when I plan to be entering races at least every other saturday!.
Phil Hernon
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29-08-12
Ran the Mel Batty 10k Sunday. Poor turnout although a VPH guy, who had run a quick track 5K the day before, and Adam Hickey battled it out for a 30 min time. I hobbled around managing to blow a gasket around 4K ran on my own from 5K ! 42m 32s ! Hope to be out today.
Ricky Goad
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29-08-12
20.36 reverse parkrun Saturday just in front of Andy T who was very noisily pacing 21 minutes behind me (kept me honest anyway!).
Marcus Elwes
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15-08-12
Bradwell Marina Triathlon - 12.8.12
I was a little disappointed yesterday when it took me 1hr 42 minutes to run 20k (mainly off-road) but I didn't have much left in my legs after the 1.6km (tidal) swim and an 82km bike but having seen the full results this morning I felt a lot better when I saw I had the third quickest run time of the day - the winner was 3 minutes ahead and 2nd place was only 12 seconds ahead. I was 5th overall and won my age group with a time of 4hrs 53:56.
Wesley Absolom
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7-08-12
Ran the latest Orion Forest 5 at the weekend. Prior to the race I was suffering with a sore calf and was unable to have my regular massage on Friday but thought I would take my chances. Rather than a calf injury I think its a sore calf that has arisen because of the volume of hill work I have been doing. In summary I went thru' 3 in a minute and half quicker than I had in the previous race and felt very strong but the hill that we went up just before 3 took its toll on my calf and rather than risk it I jogged in for the latter two miles. Those that I were running with eventually finished over 1 1/2 mins quicker than I ran last time but better to be safe than sorry. The following day I ran for an hour (on a flat course) with no reaction so just need the massage and I will be okay. Up to 71 days without a rest so I expect a few twinges. Andy C ran and had a good race finishing in just over 33 on a tough course. I would add that I could see him ahead of me when I started to jog probably about a minute in front- so there are some positives.
What a fantastic weekend of Athletics.
Phil Hernon
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7-08-12
Ran the Self Transcendance 10k in Battersea Park on Saturday. Did the first 1k fast (for me) in 3.45 (apparently - I don't wear a watch) and then slowed a bit and stayed at just over steady until 8k. Did 41.49 and was the last of the group I went with. Have been told to pull my finger out!
Serena Stracey
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7-08-12
Did the 5000m on the track last Wednesday as part of my club middle distance Grand Prix - the penultimate race in fact. To keep it brief, I finished second in 18.16, a reasonable run although some 25 seconds slower than a parkrun I did in April. I was 12 seconds behind the winner, the 15 year old who beat me in the 3000m, but was about 25 seconds ahead of third place. I enjoyed the run although would prefer 5K on te road or country. That puts me 10 points in the lead in the Grand Prix going into the final race.
Andy Tucker
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7-08-12
Inspired by Mo Farah (but running nothing like him) Mick and me ran in the BMAF 10000m at Oxford yesterday. They ran the M50s and M55s in the same race so we were together. There were 16 or 17 runners in total.
There was a downpour just before we started and the track was extremely wet. So we splashed round 25 laps and all looked like we had just run a xc race when we finished - in fact probably dirtier than last winters xc races!
We ran the first few laps together before I got slightly ahead and then it was down to grinding out the laps. Ran at a fairly consistent pace throughout and finished in 2nd place overall and 1st M55 in a time of 34:53. Mick was 5th overall and 4th M50 in a time of 35:35 so unfortunately just missed out on a medal. We both had good runs but would have liked slightly better times!
Then we had a farce - 3 runners ran only 24 laps - partly mis-advised by the lap counters. This caused complete confusion with the photo finish and order of finishers! This then took nearly 3 hours to resolve before the results were ready with the help of the runners. Mick did an excellent job helping to sort out the results!
A good day but glad its only once a year - 25 laps of the track seems a lot further than 10k on the road !
Dave Butler
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2-08-12
Did the Whitchurch Olympic triathlon in sunny and windy Shropshire yesterday.
Found going tough, possibly due to heavy training + entire day's heavy gardening the day before but had a good race and finished 18th (out of 60 or 70??) in 2:32:58 - pleased to be getting close to the 2:30 mark.
One thing I have noticed over the 3 Olympic Tri's that I have done this summer is that my running is definitely improving again - I was around the 43 mins mark for the 10k yesterday, run on flat grass, this having gone from 50 to 46 mins over the previous 2 events.
Big goal now is the Great North run in September - am looking forward to running a half again, first for a very long time.
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2-08-12
Rupert Holden
I ran in the EVAC champs in Sandy on Sunday. Not much competition in my age group but was pleased with my time in the 3000 - 9:45.1. I was 3rd overall, Paul Dobson was second in 9:39.6 - I just couldn't hang on to him and the winner was M45 Alan Turnbull (I think that was the name). The 1500 followed just over an hour later with the weather turning a bit rough - wind blowing hard but luckily heavy rain held off! I was 5th overall in 4:48 which I was happy with having just run the 3000 and with a strong wind. In both races I was the only M55! Better medals now though - nice gold colour!
Despite the lack of competition Its a good day - relaxed & friendly - just turn up, tick your name on the list, get your number and turn up at the start!
Dave Butler
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25-07-12
I ran the Dartford Half Marathon yesterday, as expected it was the hilliest one I've run and although I've been struggling a bit with my long runs the rest of my training has been good - and on fresh legs I was hoping for to beat my pb (Hastings, which isn't flat either) … but I didn't, missing it by two minutes and finishing in 1:30:57 (62nd /630).
After the killer hill at mile 10 the course is a bit annoying - open residential streets, sharp corners and twists through barriers etc. …. but the first 9 miles are good up and down nice country lanes. It was very well organised, a nice morning and starts/finishes at the Harriers track in a park, so although a tad disappointed with my performance I really enjoyed the race.
Simon Phillips
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25-07-12
I did the Grays Tri (Sprint: 400m / 20k / 5k) yesterday in a little over 1:12. This was a couple of minutes down on last year, mainly caused by the extended bike transition of several hundred yards having to be run in cycle shoes, not too easy.
Peter Osborne
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25-07-12
Mick and me ran the 5000m in the BMAF Track & Field Champs in Derby yesterday.
They ran the M50 and M55 age groups together so we were in the same race. It was quite hot and sunny (and windy) so we tried to be sensible and run a steady pace from the off. We were at the front for the first couple of laps then a group of about 5 M50s came past and pushed on a bit.
We ran together for about half the race until I got a few seconds lead which stayed until the end although we did get back past one of the M50s and another dropped out 2/3 laps from the finish.
The end result was that I was 4th overall (1st M55) in 17:04 and Mick was 5th overall (4th M50) in 17:11 so unfortunately Mick just missed out on a medal.
Although we were slightly disappointed to not get under 17mins it was a good hard race for us and an enjoyable day's racing to watch and suntan top-up as well! So overall happy with the day and I was v happy to pick up a gold medal!
Dave Butler
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20-07-12
Ran the 'Hilly Newman 5 ' last night. This is an off road race entirely within Hainault forest and those that have ran there will appreciate it gets bloody muddy. The race is the latest leg in the ELVIS Series and brings Orion into competition with Ilford ie Hernon v Catton. The race is organised as a tribute to Newman Sargent who was a well known 'runner' on the local circuit (frequently near the back but loved it) who passed away very early in his life it was good to see that there was a good turn out of old faces!. The course was very muddy, very hilly but highly enjoyable. The results are not yet out but I finished in 35. 52 , which included a 20-30 sec stop to stretch my groin of the operated leg. I think this may have been as a result of all the slipping around but I got going again and pulled back all but one of those that overtook me. Looking around I was in the group that had finished in front of me in the last race ,a road 5miler that I had completed in 35 38, so I am reasonably happy as I am improving and must admit I felt very strong over the last mile it was also my 53rd day on the bounce. Andy, did beat me probably by a good two mins but as I have said before, there is simply no replacement for natural talent, but he knows that he better be on his 'A'game otherwise I will sneak past him. These League races are awesome I cannot wait for the cross country season last night brought some great memories back.
Phil Hernon
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20-07-12
I ran the Langdon Hills 5k last night. It is actually a 5.2k course taking in a few short sharp hills with a long downhill stretch to the finish that is run twice. It is all off road, and whilst usually being rock hard and rutted was this time rather soggy and heavy under foot. There were none of the local faces on display which resulted in me coming 4th in just over 22 minutes. A nice testing local race setting me up for my next dip into the Triathlon market this Sunday in the glamourous surroundings of Grays in Essex. Good to see Ricky there last night back in action. Osborne Peter
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17-07-12
Elmore 7
I did the Elmore 7 on Saturday. For those who don't know, it's a fairly undulating 7 mile road race that starts and ends at a fete in Chipstead. The fete and its fabulous Pimms tent and WI cake stall had already been cancelled due to the weather, but the race went ahead.
Being a fair weather runner and having spent the 4 hours beforehand out on my new bike, it wasn't the best start (getting the excuses in there - am learning), but I managed it in 48.52, which I was pleased with as my legs felt like lead from the off and I'd had to stop at mile 1 with a cramp! That's never happened to me before. The winner was an international Mongolian lady, who beat me by about 15 minutes!!
It's a good hard course to put in the diary for next year.
Serena Stracey
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17-07-12
Swanage Half Marathon:
Having crossed paths with the Olympic Torch procession on both Thursday and Friday, I ran this race (a relatively small scale event with no road closures and no chip timing) for the third year in a row on Saturday; dry and warm at the start but with heavy rain about five miles in.
The course starts on the seafront at Swanage before taking to the hills out towards Corfe Castle from where it returns via somewhat undulating back lanes and ends with a final fast (assuming you’ve left something in the tank!) three miles back to the start line.
Owing to its proximity to Blandford Camp and the Lulworth Ranges, there is always a high number of entrants from the military, the numbers of whom somewhat swell the entrants from local clubs and tourists. The military prove interesting competitors; there appears a varied range of abilities and depending (I guess!) on their training, also provide an opportunity to gain several places in one hit, as apart from the final mile where it appears it’s every man for themselves, the old adage of not leaving a man behind appears to come to the fore, as in certain cases, they stop and wait for any of their particular group who might have dropped off the pace!
Anyway, onto the race itself and as I am now the proud owner of an all singing all dancing Garmin (it actually does more than I need it too but I’m not known for travelling light!) I am able to tell you such wonderful statistics as the fact that the start of the race was 8ft above sea level, it reached 393ft at its peak, had a total elevation gain (and loss!) of 892ft and a finish 9ft above sea level – I guess the tide was going out!
All of this roughly translates as “This is NOT PB territory” but I did get a new course PB with a time of 1.37.20 (gun time; I had 1.37.01), knocking 1 minute 7 seconds off my time from last year and so came home in 75th place out of 515 finishers (first place was a time of 1.13.46). Unsurprisingly, my pace varied in line with the course profile; I ran the slowest pace for mile 8 (8.28) but saved the best to last; miles 12 and 13 (6.56 and 6.57 respectively).
Barns Green in a time under 1.30 at the end of September still looks a tough call for me but I’m relatively happy with my latest trip to Dorset.
Kevin Cockram
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12-07-12
Eastern Vets
Apologies to Stuart in advance !
Last night I ran at the Eastern Vets along with Mick and Lee.
I was put in for the 800m, 3000m and 400m relay.
The last time I ran the 3000m (which was my first time) I finished in 10.44 (1 minute behind Dave and Mick), my aim was to run sub 10.30. I had specifically trained for this race for the last 10 days. This meant I had to run about 5.32 pace.
I did not want to run the 800m, so I ran it at 6 minute mile pace as a warm up for the 3000 although I sped up during the last 150m to make sure I was second in my age group.
At the start of the 3000m I let Mick and Lee speed away and glanced at the garmin and it said 5.23 pace, which I thought was too fast for me so I slowed to 5.30. After 1 lap they were as expected about 30m ahead of me.
On lap 2 I was behind Andy Coleman who seemed to be slowing, the garmin said 5.40 so I overtook him. Mick and Lee were now 60m ahead.
On lap 3 I realised I should beat Andy and was a bit more relaxed. Mick and Lee were now 100m ahead.
On lap 4 I was running very comfortably and realised the gap between Mick and Lee and myself was the same. I glanced at the garmin and it said 5.20 pace, which shocked me. So I thought I would continue at that pace until the legs fell off.
Surprisingly they never did and I finished in 10.14. So I was very pleased.
I wondered if I could have gone any faster, That question was answered during the 400m relay which was the next race, as after 200m my legs had gone.
Regards
Simon LeMare
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12-07-12
I managed to do my back in, just muscles. in the morning as I bent down to do my shoes up - old age !!
The back improved enough during the warm up for me to decide to run
Paul Dobson won the race, Lee and I stayed with him until about 1k, we should have been able to stay with him all the way, he only ran 9:39, which if my back had been better I was looking to ran
Lee ran be hind me for most of the race, I waved for him to come past with 800m to go, my back was feeling it, but he thought I was tricking him and declined my off
Lee finally came past at 400m to go and I stayed with him until 200m to go when he eased ahead
I did 9:58.8 and Lee did 9:56.?
As Simon said Lee and I both slowed in the second half, we should have been able to carry on at our first half pace and been about 10secs faster
My back still hurts but is getting better each day, running and walking is less painful than juts sitting around, but I am going to rest for the next couple of days
Still a good fun race even though he time was a bit disappointing
Mick Bridgeland
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12-07-12
Yep - bit disappointed with the time – but then again, it was my first 3000m – so I may now have a soft PB !
I will probably end up waiting till next year before my next crack at it.
Lee Martin
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12-07-12
Gibbet Hill 10K
I managed to get home from a work trip last night a bit earlier than expected so with 20 mins spare entered last minute for a local 10K.
It’s organised by my local club and is cross country, hilly and very wet…fairly low key and the usual mix of a few hundred local club runners.
I had a bit of a shock on the start line though as when scanning the competition, was surprised to see the male and female Mongolian Olympic marathon representatives had chosen this for a short hard taper run!!
It’s not often you get to race Olympians so gave it a bash for 400m but after that class shone through. I finished second to chap named Ziggy from Mongolia and could only admire his talent, I’ll now be an avid fan of his main race next month!
Jon Fairs
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12-07-12
A lot of Ravens seem to be doing triathlons this year and after some umming and erring I decided last week to take the plunge and entered last night's evening Sprint Tri at Hever Castle - seemed like a good idea to make the most of a balmy summer's evening in some beautiful surroundings.
Apart from the running of course I didn't particularly train for it - 15miles on the bike Monday and similar about three weeks ago, a 1.5k swim at the end of last week and 2k a couple of weeks before about sums it up - but as I'm reasonably fit from running I didn't think it mattered too much for the short distances.
The rain in the afternoon was torrential with some impressive thunder and lightning to boot. My wife dropped me off (driving along some of the cycle route which was flooded in several places). I waited 10mins in the car till the rain calmed down to a mere downpour and by the time I was setting up I transition it had almost stopped, but set in again as I struggled with the wetsuit. I could console myself with the fact it's not an Ironman, so I'll only be wet for 1.5hrs not 10.5 hrs like Ian! I was in the first of four waves, maybe 40 people - so probably about 160 in total.
The setting for the 750m swim is spectacular - and the thunderstorm directly above made a good fist at matching it …. ah well pink swimcap on, glad to get underway and rain doesn't matter for the swim, which went fine apart from taking a few right hooks round the course - nobody told me how violent triathletes could be in the water! The times aren't up on the website yet but it was 15minutes something, then just under 2 minutes for transition - at a guess I was about 8th in my wave at this point.
It wasn't raining too much at the start of the bike ride and in the end turned out sunny for much of it, the roads were flooded and not being used to a road bike I took the corners carefully. It's a hilly route and we started off cycling upstream. As expected I was overtaken by several cyclists en route, including two whizzing past at one point when I was guilty of daydreaming and admiring the lovely view across Penshurst Vineyard! I did overtake a couple too and despite the earlier deluge the ride wasn't as bad as I’d feared - completed the 20k in 45 minutes something and T2 was about a minute and a half - guessed I was about 12th in my wave
The run was messy - my legs were wobbly from the cycling for the muddy uphill start and for a while it felt like I was running in my bike shoes, as hoped I passed some (three) in the first km but the route was horrible, usually I bet it's a lovely undulating grassy trail but yesterday much of it was slippery mud and there were shin-deep ponds to run through (why didn't they just hold all three events in the lake??) and a series of treacherously wet wooden-bridges. I didn't see anyone else for about 3k and probably should've pushed myself more, did catch sight of someone else and got him with 1k to go, saw another (turned out to be a lego boy - they get everywhere) and passed him with about 1/2k to go. Finished the run in 23 minutes and a second or two, which despite everything was disappointing - it'll be interesting to see what times other people got compared with their runs on the course before (just about everyone seems to have done it before) - perhaps with some competition in the middle of the run I could've pushed faster.
Total time of 1:28 something, all in all thoroughly enjoyable and grateful that it barely rained for the bike section, hope to do the Olympic distance one at Hever in September.
Simon Phillips
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10-07-12
Wivelsfield Woodland Wobble
As the name suggests this is part of the West Sussex Fun Run league so very low key. A cross-country course, 4.5m, mostly along narrow, churned up bridleways. After my recent races where I have tried to prepare properly, I thought I’d go for the alternative approach of having a very late night and a skinful. As you would imagine I started well within myself until the fog in my head cleared a bit, but then started moving through the field, although it was extremely tricky to find passing places. Entered the final waterlogged field and managed to sprint/slide my way round overtaking 3 more in the run-in to finish in 12th place (out of 300-odd).
My youngest daughter ran the mile event and finished about halfway down. Not sure if the goody bags (including crisps and haribo) given out at the end really set the right tone, but apart from that a great way to start Sunday morning.
Stuart Lenton
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10-07-12
Nice one mate, I deceided to run the Felstead 10k yesterday which is a flat fast course run along the lanes around felstead. The rain was steady at the start and then got heavier as the race went along, started off rather fast managed to go through 5 k in 19.50. Managed to hang in and crossed the finishing line in 41.20. Results not out but think I finished about 50 out off 350.
(...the offical results are out for felstead 10k today finished position 47 out off 312 so in the total 15%.)
Dave Miller
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10-07-12
I did the british 10k on sunday (free place from gatorade) - as far as i could tell those who arrived earliest started at the front which meant for the first 3 mile it was complete congested carnage - good fun slaloming through the crowds but lost loads of time - then found 2 fast spaniards whose train gave me slightly clearer passage so was able to do 6 min miles for the last 3.5 but overall a crap race at 40.30. Not sure how chris managed to get a place nearer the front.
Arif Merali
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10-07-12
It was Ironman Germany for me yesterday at the European Champs in Frankfurt. Despite the torrential rain I managed to get myself round in 10.34. This was 1.01 for the 2.4 mile swim, 5.44 for the 112 mile bike and 3.38 for the marathon. To be honest I was hoping to get nearer the 10 hour mark, however given the weather conditions and especially the rain and the wind on the bike I am feeling pretty pleased. I did question my sanity a number of times yesterday and wonder why I put my self through such torture but was really pleased to run all the marathon and finish strongly. The finish line was the best ever.
Ian George
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10-07-12
I did the penultimate race of my track grand prix last night, the 800m. I paid my £6.50 (£4 in advance... must plan better) and filled in my entry form. Expected time? No idea. I put down 2 mins 50 seconds based upon my 85 second laps I did at the 3000m knowing that I start slowly. Having no idea what an 800m looks like or which way round the track to go I asked a few hints from more regular track runners. They told me clockwise and two laps. Suggested hard for the first lap and try and stay with it for the second. Sounds like a plan.
I put on my near pristine running spikes. wondering why they had no heels and toes that stuck up in the air. Had I picked up my Ali Baba dressing up shoes by mistake? I turns out that we had enough runners for 6 heats and they were split based upon projected times. Two of my regular running pals were there, both over 60 and both experienced middle distance track runners. One was in heat 2 and the other in heat 4. When they discovered by predicted time I was the target of some extreme abuse and ridicule. Ignorance is no excuse apparently. Conditions were excellent, minimal wind, dry although a little warm. I watched the first couple of events with the winners finishing at about the 2 minute mark. A lot of the competitors were under 13's and I was impressed that they managed to sustain the 2 laps after their initial burst of enthusiastic speed. My two fellow 60+ runners both did well managing about 2.30. Turns out that race 5 had a runner short so I was shamed into running that race by the other 58 competitors.
So, lane 8. Nobody said anything about lanes. I didn't bring any indicators so how was I supposed to change lanes? A quick conflab with the race official told me the rules and where I could break out from my lane. Pressure. Not done this before. I want my mummy.
On your marks, gun goes - I'm in the lead!. Oh yes, that's because I start in front of everyone else. Lane 6 comes flying past before the break mark at 100m - I think he is still in nappies. Shouldn't he be somewhere playing with lego? At the brake I'm in 6th (out of 8) and wondering if I have gone off too fast. With my sights on lego boy I skip past an assortment of nursery school escapees and fellow parkrunners and glide majestically into the lead at the 300 mark. Easy this running lark, only 500 meters to go. The bell has me running for all I'm worth, only a lap to go, time 78 seconds. I do reps at the canal's longer than this. I'm a distance runner, I can cane the last lap and take the club championship title. So why do my legs hurt so much? Should my breathing sound like an asthmatic? Why are all these youngsters bounding past me?
The last lap was a real struggle, I was being passed left right and centre. I put on a slight burst at the final 50 meters but all that did was mean I finished 6th rather than 8th (but only just). Final time 2.35. That puts me about 250 meters behind the winners of heat 1. So much for tactics.
That works out about £3 a minute - you track boys don't get much value for money do you. Marathons work out about £1 a mile and triathletes probably about 50p a mile. Clearly track is for the rich elite and I won't have anything further to do with such elitism (except the mile race in a couple of weeks - the final of the middle distance grand prix).
Andy Tucker
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5-07-12
Bewl 15 1.7.12
I ran the Bewl 15 yesterday, a beautiful off road race around the surprisingly hilly Bewl reservoir. Conditions were wet and warm with a fair amount of mud. I have run this event a number of times and this was by far my worst performance. The first 5 miles were a struggle with my breathing and pace both laboured. I picked up for the final 10 miles and felt ok, even managing to nail the nasty hills between the 10 and 12 mile mark. Finished 40th in 1.48 which is about 25 places and 7 minutes off of where I usually finish. Conditions weren't great but didn't seem to affect others greatly. Just need to put a bit more work in on the longer distance stuff.
Andy Tucker
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5-07-12
Wedding Day race - 29.6.12
I “ran” the Wedding Day race on Friday – just short of 4.5 miles in Bushy Park. Felt fine for the first 1.5, but then felt the calf tightening, so I dropped the pace immediately, and nursed it round the last 3. Spent 25 minutes moving backwards through the field, and finished in a very slow 37 minutes, but got round without having to stop and limp back, so mission accomplished. Rested Sat & Sun, so will be out for an easy one lunchtime.
Andrew Hayward
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5-07-12
Trentham Tri - 1st July 2012
Belated report for the Trentham tri that I did on Sunday - competed in the Olympic distance and I think that all the good athletes were doing the half ironman distance being held simultaneously since I managed to get 18th place - was also first v45 (although not sure there was an official prize for that).
Starting to get the hang of this tri thing and actually almost enjoyed the swim in shallow muddy water - good wide lake so plenty of space which was a big help. As for the bike, course was 'undulating' with a sharp climb which had to be negotiated twice (Ian, do you remember this bit or has course changed?) - this hurt on my over-geared bike and was worried that I was pushing too hard and would burn my legs out for the run - very pleased with my time of 1:06 for the 40k. However, when I did start the run, I felt surprisingly good. Surface was bumpy grass, soggy in places but I found a steady pace and did somewhere between 46 and 47 for the 10k..
Total time was 2:37 - happy with that and also feel very comfortable with the Olympic distance.
So, having started the tri's as a diversion whilst my back healed, I am going to have to admit that I am starting to get the bug - bring on a sea swim and half ironman next year I think!
Rupert Holden
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5-07-12
Battersea 5K - 2.7.12
I did my first non-Ravens 5k at Battersea last night, tried to pace myself a bit but trees messed with the Garmin so was trying to stay in touch with 4 guys ahead - got some good encouragement from Phil at halfway and that spurred me on to try to pass these 4 - it took 1K but eventually managed it and then I bust a gut to get past the next guy just before a bend leading to the home straight - except that it didn't and he had time to get me back at the death.
18.58 (pb), 4th in the over-46 category that I just made up and 99 seconds behind Mick who forced me to jog back to Embankment.
Simon Phillips
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29-06-12
Last night was the first Southend Athletics Club road runners section 5K time trial.
I was looking forward to it as I have not run a 5K this year.
It was on the seafront which was very busy as it was a nice evening, but there was a strong wind, so I knew a p.b. was pretty doubtful, but thought I would give it a go.
There were about 20 of us, but as usual it was more like an individual time trial.
It was an out and back, with the wind behind out and into you coming back.
Running in the lead was awkward due to all of the people in the way having a walk.
I ran the first half at just under 5.30 pace as the wind was behind. The turnaround point was a nightmare as that was also where 2 other groups had arranged to meet and there were about 20 people there.
Into the wind I ran 5.45 to 6.00 pace as some parts were a little sheltered from the wind. After 4K I started to tire and after 4 1/2 I was struggling.
Finished in 18.12 which was 5 seconds outside a p.b.
Reasonably happy as with the right conditions I should be capable of a faster run.
Regards
Simon
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25-06-12
Horndon on the Hill 10K - 24th June 2012
Yesterday I ran the Horndon on the Hill 10K.
I was a little anxious about the race as 10 days ago I had 2 blood vessels taken out of my left calf leg. But I had a good session on Wednesday of 1K reps and none of the stitches bled so I thought I would enter the race.
On the Saturday night one of the runners from Southend Athletics Club was emigrating so there was a leaving party. So my pre race carbo loading consisted of sangria, rioja, magners, sausages, burgers, samosas and cheesecake. There was some of Rupert's special ingredient beetroot in a salad so I had 2 lots of that.
The start of the race was down the big hill. As Mick says run the hills down hard, so I overtook loads of people and was in 3rd place at the bottom of the hill. After we have turned around and run back up I was in 8th. Then it was into the strong wind, so I ran behind the 4 people in front of me for a mile. When we turned direction and the wind was behind I upped the pace. After 5 miles I was in 6th place running with the fastest lady. We had 1/2 mile with the wind behind so I upped the pace and dropped her and managed to finish in 5th place overall, 1st V50 and with an official PB of 37.59 (unofficially I ran faster in a time trial on Southend seafront).
The results are still not on the web, but I am pretty sure of the above.
Simon LeMare
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25-06-12
Ranelagh Richmond 10k
Well done Simon.
This race was not my greatest moment! Everything (and everyone) seems to be catching up with me.
Didn't feel great before race but wanted to race something shorter off my half marathon training. Mind was not right as felt like I might be getting ill and left the all important pre-race gels in the car.
My half pace is pretty consistent 6-15's so I knew I had to feel a bit stretched to achieve a pb (36-50). After about 2 miles I knew I'd blown it, started slowing considerably and wished my daughter hadn't come to watch!
Still, managed to get to 5k in 18-09 (15 secs inside pb and yes I looked at my watch), but knew I was going backwards. To salvage something I tried to make it to 5m in a pb which I did (30-22, previous best 30-42, does this count???). Picked it up a little bit in the last k, finished in 37-35.
Altogether a painful experience. Clearly some speed endurance needed as the first two miles in 5-45's killed me before I fell back into my half marathon 6-15 pace.
Hated every minute of it,
but I'll be out later!!!
Stuart Lenton
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25-06-12
Well done stuart and simon, I also ran the horndon on hill 10k yesterday.
Went off pretty fast did the 1st k in 3.45 but then it Went down Hill, managed to go through 5k in about 21, hang in for the 2nd half coming in about 42.20 ish a pb by about 60 secs
Will be out later
Dave Miller
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25-06-12
Orpington 10K - 24th June 2012
Well, to bring everyone back to reality I raced yesterday and didn't do a PB. Nowhere near in fact.
Orpington 10K. This is a local race run by a local club (for local people...) and has been a favourite of mine. Friendly race across some excellent cross country. Unfortunately they were obliged to change the course this year to avoid crossing a particularly busy road. This made a difficult course even harder as the course twisted and turned around a number of hills, with a few obstacles thrown in for good measure.
The course was muddy and slippery in places so suited those of us who are endurance runners rather than speed merchants. I started slowly but was able to pick my way through the pack. Only got up to about 20th place where I stayed for the entire race. Became a bit of a procession. Finished in 20th in a poor 42.33 although everyone's times were down by about 2 minutes from last year - a combination of the course and the weather. Not my best run but was good to run a real muddy cross country race in the middle of (alleged) summer.
It's the Bewl 15 miler for me next Sunday so hopefully a better performance there.
Andy Tucker
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25-06-12
I also ran Horndon yesterday. Despite the lack of support of those who had promised to turn up – Phil, Ricky and Natalie my PA (who is now making her way to the job centre), I think I came 10th in 39.56, although the results are still not out. A tough course but I think a PB (sorry Andy), at least for this course! I feel a bit sore this morning, but might be out for a hobble later.
Robin McCoy
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19-06-12
SCVAC Track & Field - 18.6.12
I ran for Ilford last night in the SCVAC track & field league at Hemel Hempstead.
Didn't get there in time for the 1500 so swapped with Andy Catton who ran a very good race in 5:23. In return I did the 400, which was a bit of a shock to the system. Managed a steady 67.1 in 4th (& last place - but there were 2 DNFs in the race who pulled up with hammy injuries) so still got good points for Ilford!
Then I ran the 5000 coming second to Malcolm Muir who did an excellent 16:15.3. My time was a more leisurely 17:02.7 but good enough for 1st v50. Had hoped to get under 17 mins but not on top form at the moment. It was a very useful warm up race for the BMAF champs 5000 in July when I hope to be running a bit quicker.
Then it was a cold shower and down to the pub for a couple of shandies!
A very sociable and enjoyable evening.
Dave Butler
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19-06-12
17:02 for a 59 year old - "leisurely" !! Plus it was pretty much solo. Phil if you hold him I'll hit him !
What Dave missed was my first "competitive" 100m for I reckon 45 years. Our over 50 sprinter pulled his calf in first warm up stride and I had to step in.
An impressive 17 secs from a standing start in trainers - but I actually beat someone !!
Also raced Sunday - Dagenham 5m (actually about 5.6) off road in 36.21. But pleasingly ahead of quite a few that beat me in the Havering 5
previous Tuesday.
Andy Catton
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19-06-12
Well this puts it into perspective. Last night I did the Battersea 5k at Battersea Park. I had set myself a target of 22 and had not tapered in anyway having a tough hill session on saturday and an hours run in Richmond Park on sunday. Plus a lot of driving! The results have not been published as of yet but I managed 21 10 and my fastest km was the last . I ran the 5k per mile quicker than I did the 2 mile a few weeks ago. Lots of women beat me but the blessing is that the small blond just in front had a beautiful rear!. I beat a lot of people who had 'done' me in the 2 miler. Shamefully, I managed 2nd over 50, 18 secs behind the winner. Shows how lucky we are to have Butler, Bridgeland, Catton and Goad!. Whilst not earth shattering , Its another step towards the 2012 targets of a 5k below 20 and 5 mile below 33 . The hard work normally takes 3/4 months to come through and I have only been training 10 weeks so I am praying for a quantum leap.. then roll on the XC season.... even better news no hammy problems no other reactions at all so down the track tonight. I can always dream of doing a leisurely 17 02 but I some how suspect the best I can target is an eyeballs out 19 02 !
Phil Hernon
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18-06-12
Sprint Tri Debut
It was my turn to make my debut at a triathlon. I did the Sprint event at Fritton Lake in Suffolk which was 750 swim, 20km cycle and 5km Run.
All went well. I didn't drown, get knocked off my bike or get a puncture. The day was quite windy but overall I really enjoyed it and it's as difficult getting off a wet suit when tired as I thought it would be.
I'm not sure how my individual times stack up but they were.....
Swim 15:37
T1 04:45
Cycle 42:27
T2 00:36
Run 20:14
Total 01:23:39
I finished 73 out of around 200.
Chris Meadows
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18-06-12
Well done Chris, I too did a Sprint Tri yesterday at to delightful surroundings of Lakeside Shopping Centre. I don’t know what my splits are yet but for the same distances 750/20k/5k I did 01:18:30ish so quite pleased with that. Hated the swim, and need to work on that but the rest went pretty well. Chris, did you have a picnic during T1?!! Saw Wes there, who did very well, I’m sure he’ll fill in the gaps.

Pete Osborne
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18-06-12
Yes I also did the Lakeside sprint triathlon and thankfully it wasn't as windy as your one Chris. My total time was 1:09:41 which put me 2nd in age group - I don't know overall as I haven't seen the full results yet - my splits were as follows:
Swim 13.35
T1 00.47
Bike 34.03
T2 00.45
Run 20.31
Wes Absolom
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18-06-12
I did the London to Brighton bike ride yesterday – great weather for it but painfully slow getting out of the crowds through London. However, once in the countryside got going pretty well. After an 8 am start and 3 leisurely tea breaks, arrived in Brighton about 1.15 pm (although didn’t bother going to the finish at the seafront but instead headed down into Stanmer Park to join the family for lunch).
Stuart Lenton
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16-06-12
EVAC League - 13th June 2012
I ran the 1500m for Chelmsford in the EVAC League match at Chelmsford. I was 1st V50 in a time of 4:41.3 which was ok but had hoped for sub 4:40. Came 4th (of 15) in the overall race which included all age groups and was won by Andy Coleman for Chelmsford in 4:30.9. Paul Dobson running as a guest I think was 3rd in 4:37. I ran a steady race tucked in behind the leaders but despite my best efforts I lost ground over the last lap - more speed endurance needed (or lose a few years!).
Great pity to miss the curry but a very nice evening for a track race.
Dave Butler
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14-06-12
Did the latest Elvis League Race (Raphael Park 5) last night. Firstly, must admit was pleasantly surprised how nice the area was . I had visions of Gidea Park being an extension of Romford - I was wrong!. To the race- Lee , Rupert and Andy C also ran. Lee and Rupert in Ravens gear which received a number of compliments. As I am on the road back I had set myself a target of between 35-36 mins. My recent 5 miler (10 days ago) was 37 28. Not inspiring times but after the time off sensible targets. The race started on a very wet and muddy track which carried on for 400 yards and was part of all three laps (one small two big) the rest was made up of twisting turns around the streets of Gidea Park suburbia, A few hills but not overly testing but hard at 4 miles 1 600 yards. I finished in 35 26 within my target range and included a little jog after slipping on a rutted gravel path (two mins quicker than two weeks ago -both measured!). Rupert and Lee finished in 34 20 (Lee felt dead) and Catts in around 33 . Excellent night, great atmosphere and good to be part of it even though as I say times are not inspiring. Keeps me on target for a sub 33 min 5 miler by the end of the summer. Once again it was great not to have a throbbing painful hamstring at the end. Lee Rupert and myself went for a curry after and chewed the race over. Another curry tonight but as I did my run in with Robin, Peter and Greg this morning I am not worried about the calories. 17th consecutive day!
Phil Hernon
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12-06-12
Dorking 10 miler
A belated race report from me........Dorking 10 (miles), the twenty-something time it's been run, with over 500 runners, and a couple of challenging inclines, plus was also part of Surrey Champs... Managed 2nd vet in 58:35, which really chuffed with as only run once in previous nine days, and had had a couple too many pasties at home in Devon last weekend! So perhaps I have found the secret dietary supplement!!!!
Also, received a memorial trophy for runner with highest age % :-)
Dave Moore
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12-06-12
Potters 'arf
Did the 'arf on Sunday - my hometown race (Stoke for you southerners) which I'd never done before. I had been struggling with a small muscle pull and a cold during the week but felt reasonable on the day. It was an absolute scorcher and I even managed to get sunburnt which didn't happen in Barcelona!
The course was hard - basically a series of huge up and downhills - we started on a downhill doing 6 min miles (target was 6.30s for a sub 1.25) for first 3 and then started to feel pretty heavy legs and was starting to get overtaken and never felt particularly good throughout. The largest hill at approx 11.5 was a killer but managed to finish pretty relaxed and fast. My chip didn't register but my gun time was 1.29.04 so I was most probably just under 1.29 in 57th place out of 1300 odd.
Most probably my target was ambitious for the course without some decent mileage beforehand but I did do 6.45s for 24 miles in barca so not sure why I couldn't improve on that.
Arif Merali
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12-06-12
Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC Track 1500m championship
My 'track racing season' continued last night with the club 1500m championship. It was a horribly wet and windy night - poor running conditions. At least, that's (one of) my excuse(s).
I was anticipating a poor turnout in view of the terrible weather and the Euro footie but was pleased to note that there were about 35 entrants. As a result there were two races, the quality runners ran first. Unsurprisingly I was in the second race with the children, the old and the infirm (two out of three for me there then). The first race was a good contest and was won in about 4.40 I believe. Times are still to be published.
About 20 of us lined up to start the second race. Predominantly youngsters, it reminded me that I don't think I have raced this distance since I was at school. Did I mention previously that I'm not a track runner? With 20 odd runners I took up a position on the outside of the track and at the gun was able to avoid the congestion nearer the inside lanes. Despite my half baked plan of taking it easy, I found myself in 5th place behind four young kids - combined age probably still less than mine. I felt comfortable on the first lap with no undue pain from the hamstrings and did an 80 second first lap. The weather was battering us so I dropped to about 85 seconds on the second lap but found myself in the uncharted territory of the front position. I managed to drop some of the kids by this stage but could hear some runners close on my heels - Steve Smythe of Dulwich runners (M50) and Graeme Coates of B&BHAC (M60). Graeme is a good 800m runner and both are regular park runners with me. Steve passed my with about 300 meters to go and Graeme passed me with about 120 meters to go. I picked up in the last hundred but couldn't catch them. Steve finished in 5.11, Graeme about 5.13 and me about 5.15.
Despite my dislike of track running, I enjoyed this race. I had forgotten how completely different the tactics are and was surprised how quick the race went. No ticking off the laps over this distance. I also gained a better appreciation of just how good some of our Ravens are - PB's of nearly a minute quicker than me would probably have lapped me on the day. It also awoke my desire to run a few fast races every now and then. And I was pleased to beat a few fellow Harriers including the M50 who beat me in the 3000m last week which was a surprise.
Next track race is the 800m. Now that should be a laugh.....
Andy
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11-06-12
Southend Half Marathon - 10.6.12
Yesterday I ran the Southend half marathon which I have been looking forward to for a couple of months. The reason was because my last aim whilst I am on gardening leave is to come first in a V50 event. If I had been 4 months older at last years race I would have won the V50 then.
The field seemed to be of a lower quality than last year, which I was naturally pleased with.
The weather was warmer than I expected so 15 minutes before the start I swapped my Ravens tee shirt for a Ravens vest.
I started very close to the front and after 1/2 mile found myself in about 25th place where as I am usually about 50th to 100th in an event with about 1500 runners.
My aim, apart from winning the V50 was to do a good PB which stood at 84.28 and I hoped to get under 83.
I was ahead of schedule after 4 miles and then realised why when we did a 180 and ran back the otherway along the seafront as I discovered it was a little windy. With so few people infront of me there were very few that I could hide behind to protect me from the wind.
When I did catch some runners up, they were slowing down too much and so I had to overtake them and gained 3 more places.
After the next 180 turn I ran a little faster to take advantage of the wind behind and overtook 3 more people. But I started to feel a little tired after 8 miles when we had done another 180 back into the wind.
The guy in 3rd looked like a V40 to 45 but was not sure, and someone about 45 seconds behind me I was pretty sure was a V50.
Miles 8 to 11 were hard as into the slight breeze. I caught another 2 up and passed them.
With 2 miles to go we left the seafront so very little breeze and speeded up a little. During the last mile I was quite tired, but there were 2 runners in front of me I wanted to pass, the last of which I managed to with 400 yards to go.
I finished in 13 place in 82.55, so was really pleased.
Checked with the person compiling the results where I had come. The guy in 3rd was a V45 and the winner of the V50's finished in 84.15 !
So we checked my electronic entry form and found half of the information had disappeared, including my age. I managed to persuade him I was a V50 and was placed in first !
My daughter was the first girl in the under 16's fun run, which we are very pleased with as she is only 11, and my son was 4th overall in the fun run. so a good family day.
I am really chuffed as have my first trophy, and am now content to come back to work as I have completed my main running aims for my time off, although I will continue to train hard, and enter as many races as I can without upsetting the Mrs.
Simon Le Mare
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11-06-12
Simon
Very well run yesterday, I also run the Southend half marathon yesterday, was looking to do it in around 90 mins.
I started off rather fast doing the first 3 miles in about 20 mins, I found the sun was rather hot but managed to hang in the last 2 miles were really hard crossed the finishing line in 92.18, 15 secs outside my pb.
Dave Miller
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11-06-12
I also ran the Southend Half yesterday - my key objective was to keep good pace, last year I started too fast and faded massively in the last two miles. This year I set my target at a pace of 6:45 per mile and I nailed it. The splits fluctuate slightly (fastest 6:30, slowest 6:50) but I finished 52nd in 1:28:14 with an average pace of 6:44 and I felt good all the way. In fact I could have carried on (unusual for me because I don't do much distance running) and I even had enough left for a pretty decent sprint finish.
Stuart Cable
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11-06-12
Cheshire Triathlon - 10.6.12
Congratulations Simon, good race.
I also competed yesterday, although in a slightly different event - I did the Cheshire Triathlon and for some reason I had entered the Olympic distance.
My strategy was to survive the swim, knowing I would be one of the last out and then use cycle and run to catch places.
I was very nervous about the swim around the lake four laps (1500m) of a lake, including a low bridge and lilly pads. Having never ever gone open water before it was always going to be an experience, but the start of 100 blokes shoving ahead was quite remarkable - no space whatsoever and could not get into a decent crawl stroke (and when I could the water was so murky that I could not see anything). Did quite a bit of breast stroke but held on ok. By the 4th lap, feet and hands were getting cold but the sense of relief when I got to the end was immense. Also, I was not last out, good dozen or so behind me. Found out later that my swim time was about 35 mins, including getting to transition so very pleased.
So onto the bike - 3 laps of a reasonably flat course. Started off flying and was catching one or two people per mile. Then towards end of first lap, a loud bang as I went round a sharp corner - my 30 year old tub had literally exploded. Luck to stay on and resigned myself to DNF. Strolled back to the transition area, stopping to shout encouragement to other cyclists. As I got to the end of the lap, started chatting to some spectators and after a few minutes one of them offered me his wheel - at first I though he was joking, but after about 30 seconds realised he was serious - so, hyped myself up and got back on the bike - by this time I was well and truly in last place. Later calculated that I lost about 11 mins in my time out. So the next two laps on the bike were absolutely flying average of about 21 mph so very happy with that. Big catchup was on and passed a good number of riders (including one guy who did the entire 25 mile on a BMX bike!!).
Probably overdid the ride, legs were heavy for the run - it was all off road, through woods and fields and given the recent rain it was extremely muddy - this was cross country, not road running. It was 4 laps, which I found tough psychologically, battled through it - was plodding on at 8 min miles which was not happy with at the time but given the conditions and the fact that it was my third hour of racing I think reasonable. Again, was catching others. Overall, finished in 71st place in 2hr 55. My target had been 2:45, which given my time out on bike was achieved - a 2:44 finish would have just put me in top half of the field.
So overall, a fun foray, given that my running is still very flaky - I enjoyed it enough to be entering Trentham tri in 4 weeks - my mouse is hovering over whether to push the button for Olympic or half ironman distance, although I need to invest in a new set of tyres first!
Rupert Holden
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11-06-12
Sierra Leone Marathon - 9.6.12
I've just arrived at Heathrow, on saturday I ran the 1st ever Marathon to be held in Sierra Leone. Having been injured for 7 weeks and only resuming running two weeks ago this was always going to be a matter of "getting around" the race started at 6:30 am to take advantage of the first hour or so being cooler (26c) after an hour it was well over 30c and by 10am it was around 35c. The sky was completely clear of cloud and this was to be the hottest day of the 5 days we were in Sierra Leone! The race is in Makeni which is about 3 to 4 hours inland from Freetown and the coast. The course is nearly all off road (only 2 miles of tarmac between mile 23 and 25). Those 2 miles were the only flat part of the course. The rest was very hilly and even though the race was through jungle the shrub was cut back by the trails so there was very little shade.
The race started at the same time as the half marathon and 5K, there were about 300 runners 100 runners running the full marathon. I went off at a very steady 9 minute mile pace, and had sweat running down my face after half a mile. I soon found myself in a group of 5, 4 guys and a girl which stayed together for about 15 miles before 3 of the guys fell off the pace, I managed to stay with the girl (who finished 3rd lady) until 18.5 miles when I started to feel a bit sick and light headed, from then on I walked the hills and jogged the flats. I haven't seen the results yet but I finished in 4:34 (I was pretty pleased considering the tough off road course and extreme temperatures and also the fact that I had hardly trained for it. The other Miller guys that were at there and sometimes run with us as follows: Henry Gurney finished in 3:40, Steve Dewey 4:20 and Michael Lambert 4:40.
I am not in work today but hope to be out for something light towards the end of the week.
Andy Morcombe
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11-06-12
Springfield 5 - 8.6.12
Well done to all the racers. I ran the Springfield Friday night 5 coming 6th and first v50 in a time of 28:37, which was not my best! Although it was very windy I felt tired and had to work hard to get just an ok time.
Still a great evening as the event is based at the Green Man pub, Howe Street (nr Chelmsford) so burger afterwards ( in entry price) and stayed in the pub until 11pm.
Dave Butler
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8-06-12
Following last week's B&BHAC 10,000m track championship, last night was the club track 3000m championship. Again, track is not my strong point and 3000m is far to short and fast for me.
About 20 ran and this time we had some youngsters competing. Again the hamstring meant I had to go off fairly easy which is no use in a 7 and a half lap race. Felt hard going from the start and breathing was difficult in what felt a warm and muggy evening.
Managed fairly consistent 80 to 85 second laps and came home in about 11 minutes in 4th place. Beaten by two under 17's and a M50, the latter who was ahead of my by about 30 meters at the finish. Winning time was about 9.40. Final times to be confirmed. Just re-confirmed my belief that I am not a track or short distance runner. Still, it meant I was home in time for my tea.
Andy Tucker
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8-06-12
I did the Orion 5 miler through the Forest on the Saturday it was a bit wet! Did 36 57 (35th - 5th over 50) last year this year 37 38 (33rd 4th Over 50)...last year was dry this year was slippery and I had trained hard all week. It was a start as I want to check my improvement on Aug 4th the third of the series. In truth a fellow Orion member JJ was going to call it a day so I ran with him and he got a PB!. Just good to finish a run with no hamstring issues , last year I did not run for a month (Maiden Castle) after the race ...so in a small way there is a big blessing.
Phil Hernon
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31-05-12
Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC - 10K Track Championship 30.5.12
Last night was our club 10K track championship. Now, much as I love 10K, I don't like track running. But being a club runner I thought I ought to do it. I've been having some hamstring problems recently which resulted in me dropping out of last Saturday's park run after 200m. I'm having physio on it tonight. Despite this, I decided to run although it felt really tight and hurt in the warm up. I decided to take the first lap easy so it loosen up. About 20 runners ran and, sadly, none of the quality athletes you would expect at an event like this showed up.
As planned I started easy and found myself at the back after 300m. Surprisingly the tightness and pain I had felt in the warm up was all but gone - amazing what adrenalin does for you. Up the front, a couple of my regular running mates were already 100m or so ahead and looking strong. After 4 laps I was easing into a comfortable stride and making my way through the field - doing about 90 second laps. One of my main running companions (and rivals) pulled out shortly afterwards so with 6 laps gone I found myself in 4th place. By 10 laps I was second with a young 15 year old lad called Tom Desborough leading me round. He is a regular park runner and a name for the future. I passed him at 12 laps and found myself in the lead. That scared the hell out of me. I pushed on and managed to maintain the lead. I finished in about 38.30 (final timing still to be confirmed) and about 150m ahead of Tom. I am therefore the Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC 10K track champion for 2012. How sad is that.
What a shame we didn't have our proper athletes out competing in such an important event. It turned out to be a good evenings running against some good friends rather than a club championship. The leg held up well and I felt fairly strong through the whole race. The time was disappointing but not surprising considering all the factors. Such a change from Saturdays DNF park run.
Andy Tucker
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31-05-12
Firstly, well done Andy on the track 10k – as Robin says, a win is a win and I can vouch for that as I’m still revelling in the glory of the Ravens 5k Handicap!
Secondly, a few words following my completion of the Edinburgh Marathon last Sunday with a new PB time of 3.21.12 - 10 minutes 13 seconds quicker than last year!
As the vast majority will recall, the weather on the day was a tad warm (reminded me of my first marathon; London 2007) and I do wonder if it had been a little cooler, whether a time around 3.17 might have been a possibility for me. That said, it was still a great day; the vast majority of which I was able to enjoy.
Just prior to this race, I’d finally plucked up the courage to go "hi-tech" and purchase a Garmin (thank you Run-Fast - I too can vouch for their helpfulness and in making my purchase, soon came to realise that I was dealing with individuals whose athletic ability was of a calibre somewhat higher than that which I have to offer!) and was therefore, for the first time, able to look at such swanky things as time splits; averaging out at 7.40 minutes per mile with my fastest split being mile four (7.16) and my slowest (what a surprise!) mile 25 (8.23) - I know these look extreme to you professional types, but there were also some relatively consistent splits in there!
Unlike last year, as I ran through the crowds at Musselburgh, somewhat disappointingly I wasn't asked out for the evening by a local Clare Grogan lookalike, but the locals were decent enough to spray the passing runners with cold water from garden hoses and car jet washes (they probably enjoyed the fact that they could do this whilst us southerners are currently banned from displays of such sheer extravagance!) and certainly the support along much of the course was once again a real bonus.
I'd recommend this marathon to anyone; I know some frown on it as a "quick" course (I'm not one of them) but on a decent day, the run along the coastline makes for a pleasant excursion (just try to ignore the power station!) and as mentioned the locals are very friendly and supportive of all the runners efforts (the marathon is just part of a two day festival of running - 5k, 10k, half marathon, relay, child friendly races etc) plus Edinburgh itself isn't a bad spot for a post-race celebratory drink.
Anyway, so closes a year of regular running with the Ravens. Twelve months ago I asked to join you with the aim of getting my marathon time under 3.30 and my half marathon time under 1.30 and now, 12 months on, I have a half marathon time of 1.28 and a marathon time of 3.21; times which can very definitely be attributed to running with the Ravens (particularly the fartlek and reps sessions) as well as listening to sound advice from some very talented members.
Thanks to all - time to set some more goals!
Cheers,
Kevin Cockram
PS - many thanks to all those who sponsored me - looks like I'm in the region of having raised £450 for Macmillan Cancer Support but I'll confirm when I have an exact total.
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30-05-12
5K road race - 27.5.12
Just scrapped in with a 19:56 – so I don’t get to quit yet ! Mind it was a bit of an early start for my worn out old body, hay fever kicking in & damn hot.
Andy Catton
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30-05-12
A result from Sunday - local Bookham 10k - definitely XC on the North Downs, and VERY low key. Managed to win for first time, in 42mins, so pleased, and actually won a £100 Gore top in process!! Incidentally, the Moore Family now hold a new record.....we came first and last :-)
David Moore
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30-05-12
Sri Chimnoy series - 28.5.12
Well I returned to 'racing' last night . My first race since last July ! I chose a low key event at Battersea Park part of the Sri Chimnoy series that I first entered in 1984 and have run on the odd occasion since but two of my clubmates showed up!. I managed 26 45 once in the Harry Reynolds 5 around the park and first broke 6 1/2 min miling in the 1984 4 miler- so I have history there. Nevertheless, last night I set a target of breaking 7 min miling ie under 14 mins. I had taken no rest as its all part of the training, I ran the hill session at Greenwich on saturday (hard but so enjoyable) , sunday's run , hard on monday lunchtime and a deep tissue massage late monday morning. I achieved my target of sub 14 with a 13 39 timing. I did not feel comfortable before the race on the long jog down, nor in it. I had a couple of scary moments when I really was struggling for breath (nearly choking!)and almost came to a walk..one of the guys put this down to the pollen but I am convinced I need a asthma pump. The good news is that I had no hamstring or hip issues and will now target the Forest 5 on saturday in Chingford. Those that know me, know I am not in good condition carrying excess weight and really not running at any serious pace but my comeback since my op' has been cautious . I am still only doing 50% of the hill and track sessions but it is a long road back but one I am prepared to travel. It is not all about winning or being a superstar; but running, pure and simple that you have the ability to run! The sport is without doubt one of the most fantastic things in my life and last night at the end being part of the banter was just so much fun - it was great to be amongst it again! Despite my lack of current condition I am confident that the next time I run a two miler at Battersea (9th July) it will be a minute quicker. The next race (5K) at Battersea is on the 18th June at 7 pm. I recommend this to you all other than Dave Miller as there are a few posts to go around at various points! .
Phil Hernon
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30-05-12
Well done Phil and congratulations on keeping focussed on your comeback and the most important thing i.e. running for fun and the banter which is an essential part of it all.
I ran in the SCVAC T&F league at Barnet last night for Ilford. Ran the 800 first and came 3rd v50 of 6 in 2:21.2 then the 3000 came 2nd v50 (to Martin Curzon) in 9:56.3 - quite a slow race - not my best 3000 & should really have taken it on mid race. Then ran in the 4x400 relay, 3rd leg in 66.2, overall time 4:13.
Happy with my 800 "debut" particularly after minimal warm up time and 400 time. Need to do more speedwork I think!
Lovely evening for running!
Dave Butler
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22-05-12
Baddow 10 miler
On Sunday I (and quite a few other Ravens) ran the Baddow 10 miles.
It was my first 10 miler and I was not really sure what time to aim for. As it was quite a hilly course I decided to try for under 62.30, in my normal running shoes and not the new racing ones.
The male runners were all excited by seeing the celebrity starter of the lovely Fatima Whitbread.
The race went OK and I used Mick's advice of working hard on the downhill parts to try to catch up some of the lost time from the uphills.
There was a nasty incline with 1/2 a mile to go, but I managed to overtake one person during it, with 50 yards to go I sprinted to just overtake one person and managed 28th position in a pleasing 61.47 and was 3rd V50.Simon Le Mare
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22-05-12
I also run yesterday decided to give it a go and bet my previous bast over this distance of 72.14.
I also worked hard on the downhills, managed to finish in a time of 70.14 giving me a pb of 2 mins really pleased with that!
Dave Miller
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22-05-12
I ran Baddow as well and managed a time of 57:28 - my best for the course; 8th overall and first V50. Managed to run a very evenly paced race as well so very pleased - Marathon training must have helped.
Ran with Malcolm Muir for a few miles and hoped to keep with him as he increased his pace mid race and overtook a few people with him but I gradually slipped back to finish some 40secs behind Malcolm.
Good weather for racing - nice and cool and no rain!
Dave Butler
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22-05-12
Managed 60:25 I set off too fast and managed half way in 29:29 before the legs started to go at around 6 miles. Managed a useful couple of points for the Essex Grand Prix so not a complete waste of time.
Lee Martin
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17-05-12
Rather late report!,
 
As can be seen from the pics I did a rather off road race at weekend, 7 miles of mud and hell
I did this race last but got lost, so decided to follow someone. But either we went wrong way or others did, as came round a corner and we went from 2nd/3rd to about 20th, ended up doing at extra 0.5 mile
My lack of real fitness showed and ended up 6th but reasonably happy as haven’t run for a week with a cold which cant shift.
Great fun and something not to take too serious.
Pat Young
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15-05-12
Halstead Marathon and Essex Champs
Ok Ok – I was wrong and all those who said that I would be able to resist racing it, rather than just doing enough to get round was absolutely right.
Its all because of the down hill start which made it impossible to run slowly – consequently, after the first mile I found myself in 3rd place OVERALL (unheard of territory here!) and dreaming of a podium finish. I tracked the guy in front until ten miles and caught him by running fast down the numerous hills and just steady up them. All the hills made running with a pace band nearly impossible – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I got to half way in 1:23:10 (6:20s per mile).
Knowing that tiredness was definitely building up in my legs, I was pleased that people were telling me that as long as I didn’t do anything stupid, Second place was mine!
Such was the gap between me and winner “Alan Smalls” (Vet record holder), the organisers laid on a cyclist to help me navigate through the back runners who were sharing the course and then take me off in a different direction to the finish. In mile 26, the guy suddenly takes a big swerve into a grassy and bumpy meadow and then proceeds up a challenging hill. I knew that I was slowing so I asked him again, if he could see 3rd place runner, at which point he said “no” and then a minute later “he’s about 100 yards or less behind you”. This meant significant digging at a time that I had the least reserves. I managed to “speed up” to an amazing 7:10 for the last mile and hold him off to achieve:
In 2:49:38
2nd Place Overall.
2nd Vet
2nd Essex Vet Overall
1st Team (Springfield)
1st Team (Essex Qualified)
The meant five visits to the stage to meet the mayor and more prizes than room on our shelves!
I feel absolutely dreadful today and wonder how on earth I will run the Essex Champs 10 Miler at Great Baddow on Sunday!?
Lee Martin
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15-05-12
North Norfolk Marathon
Yesterday I did the above. I wasn't expecting great things due to a sore foot, it was a hot day and it not being a kind course, and I was right not to.
The course was two laps starting at Holkham Hall heading out towards the beach running along dirt/gravel pathways out towards a small town called Wells-next-the-sea, then back along the road towards the hall and along more muddy gravel paths when you got back onto the estate. Mile 12 was out and back along the very long drive way and the last mile was on grass with more mole hills than I though possible.
The foot held out, a little pain after about 4 miles but it went of its own accord. The run was okay, plenty of shade under trees but it was more like a training run as I didn't see a sole on my second lap until someone passed me at about 25 miles. Also I think the course was short as my Garmin only picked up 25.5miles. Surely the tall trees couldn't have interfered with 0.7miles. The short course has left a sour taste in the mouth as I don't feel I did a marathon. Whatever the distance was it took me 3:31.
Twenty minutes after the marathon started a half joined the course. Within the last 200yards of the first lap I was passed by the winner, and he was someone who has run with us before and I often see him down Shadwell Basin, about 5'7, early 30's, he normally has a full beard, very quick. I think Andy H knows him. Sorry for being vague. Second place in the half, running without a number, was our very own Henry Gurney.
See you later in the week, I'm having a couple of days off.
Chris Meadows
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14-05-12
10th May 2012
Yesterday I ran the Eastern Vets Track and Field.
It was my first ever race on a track.
I was entered for the 3000m which I have never run before. The shortest race I had run was a 5000m.
Annoyingly I was asked to run the 800m 30 minutes before the 3000m as Southend AC had no one in the V50 category. I had not run an 800m before either.
I took it easy to save energy for the 3000m and ran 2.36 finishing 5th and the 2nd V50.
In the 3000m my aim was not to be lapped. I came 3rd in 10.44. behind a couple of gentlemen called Dave Butler and Mick Bridgeland! They did not lap me.
Lastly I ran a leg in the 4 X 400m where I actually overtook someone, (although I found out later he ran slow because of a muscle niggle)
It was a fun evening and next time will concentrate on one run to get a decent PB.
Regards
Simon Le Mare
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14-05-12
Dave won the 3000m in around 9:48 and I was second in about 9:51
A good race, Dave moved ahead after 4 laps, opened up a small gap which I could not close
My leg was ok in the 3000m just a slight pain and I wouldn't have wanted to try a sprint finish !!
I got roped into the 4 x 400m relay, but as soon as I started my lap I could feel my leg was not right so I just jogged the lap, Simon came past me after about 200m, as we were the only M50 team, all the other teams were M40
Mick Bridgeland
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14-05-12
Well done Mick & Simon. Nothing to add to reports apart from fact that I managed to avoid the relay !
Dave Butler
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8-05-12
I did the Lisbon Triathlon on Saturday.
This was a half ironman consisting of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and a half marathon. All went pretty well and I ended up with a time of 4.43 and in 57th place (6th in my age group) which is not bad considering most of the top places were made up of professionals. I managed a 1.30 half marathon which is pretty good considering my legs felt tired after the efforts of the bike. All good preparation though for my next Ironman in Frankfurt in July.
Ian George
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8-05-12
Richmond Half Race Report
You’ve all seen the 9-week training plan I’ve been following for this race. Training went well but there was one serious flaw in my plan, which Ricky pointed out in Chicago airport lounge, in that I was travelling last week and only flew back on Saturday morning.
However, arrived at the race feeling ok and I don’t really think the jet-lag affected me at all. Ran a very steady and even-paced race (without looking at my watch at all). Started to really feel it at about 9 miles and the guy I was running with moved ahead slightly although he only finished about 50m ahead so I think I kept it together quite well. Finished 21st in 1-21-59 (although I was a good 4 or 5 seconds quicker than that as there wasn’t any chip timing at the start).
Great to see Serena, Andy H and part-time Raven Ed Kirk-Wilson (13th). Looked for Colin but didn’t see him.
So a 1 minute PB – not sure all the extra work was worth it!
Resting today as I can’t walk again even though I jogged afterwards, stretched, had a recovery drink and even had a hot bath when I got home!
Stuart Lenton
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8-05-12
Yes, well done all. I cruised around in 1:43 which considering the Cup Final hangover, lack of training and the fact that this was my longest run for a year, was ok. It was a cold day and we were into a headwind back along the river, ie the whole second half of the race. As Serena says though it is a good race and well marshalled. I did see Colin Frew at the end - he did 1:28.
Andy Hayward
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8-05-12
I did it too, though at a much steadier pace!
The purpose of this email is to pass on to those who've not done it, my view that it's an excellent race - well marshalled, sign-posted and a good course. I'll definitely be signing up next year (and training for it!).
I did Andy T's Ted Pepper Memorial off-road 10k too. I ran it really slowly, with a friend, so nothing to report time-wise, but it's another good one. About 10 of us did it and everyone though it was a corker of a course and well run / marshalled.
Serena Stracey
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30-04-12
Bracknell Half Marathon - 29th April 2012
I did the Bracknell HM yesterday, it was in horrendous conditions and a fairly undulating and twisty course so not one for PB’s. After a mile I was in a lead group of 3 and despite spending an hour working out how I could engineer a winning position from the situation we stuck together for 10 miles and then after a few false starts the race proper started, I kicked on with another of the guys but couldn’t stick with him for the last mile.
Finished 2nd overall in 1.15.37 so pretty pleased.
Cheers
Jon Fairs
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2012 LONDON MARATHON reports here...
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18-04-12
Guys
Lee, Chris Beecham and I ran the Newham Classic 10k yesterday
Despite having a pain in my a**e, periformis muscle, for the last two weeks I decided to run
It felt ok during the race, just a few twinges her and there
I got beat by Lee, who ran a very good race, and unfortunately I also came 2nd v50 (I did not realise the guy 7 secs in front of me was a v50, but I still could not have beat him !!) But overall because at one point I was not going to run at all I was pleased with the run - I also won £70 for second v50
Unfortunately all of the above happiness was negated by the fact that we think the course was significantly short, about 9.7k
We had our suspicions when we ran about one min quicker that expected, I also had doubts during the race when I ran 5k to 7k in about 6mins !!
I think that the turnaround marker between 5 and 7k was in the wrong place
Lee and I have emailed the race director but at the moment we have heard nothing official and the race results are up on Power of 10, but I think they are wrong !!
See you at 1:10
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13-04-12
Paddock Wood half marathon - 1st April 2012
Ran the Paddocks Wood half at the weekend, scenic course around rural Kent which was quite pretty apart from the start/finish area in an industrial estate.
Went through first half in 35.56, slowed down a bit in the second half and had a couple of people fly past but still finished in 73.03 - pleased with the time.
Hoping to make the Thursday session as long as my project manager doesn't book any meetings then!
Chris Beecham
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13-04-12
Southend Athletics Club 10K
Sorry for this slightly long race report report but you have to blame Stuart Lenton mostly, although Ian and Mick should also take some responsibility !
I have been looking for a race to run before the London marathon, but after I had fully recovered from the Seville marathon, as I had read that with the extra miles that you run training for a marathon you can sometimes run a middle distance PB.
There was nothing suitable that fit into my available schedule and so I decided to have a go during the Southend Athletics Club quarterly 10K time trial as I felt OK and there was virtually no wind.
I did a 2 mile leisurely jog to the start which was on the seafront and then did a warm up.
Unfortunately, I assume because of the Easter holidays, only a dozen people turned up, and none of them could run under 40 minutes. So I decided as I was feeling good I would have a go on my own against the clock.
With all of the races I have run, i have set the pace on the Garmin as that required for a PB and run that pace steadily during the race and then for the last mile or so see how much energy I have left.
Stuart had mentioned to me twice before to stop wearing the Garmin for a shorter race and to go as fast as my body felt was right. Ian and Mick agreed with Stuart as they said they wear their Garmin for a race, but not for looking at it during the race only for analysis after it.
So I decided to have a go Stuart style. My PB was 38.07 which I ran at the Southend 10K in October.
The first mile was fine as it was like a training run, as was the second, then I started to suffer from self doubt to run a PB on my own against a clock, and thought maybe I could be on for a 5K PB and then jog back, and so I increased the pace, glimpsed at the Garmin a couple of minutes later and realised I was about 15 to 20 seconds off a 5K PB time.
At the half way point where you double back on yourself I glanced at the Garmin and saw I was about 8 seconds ahead of PB 10K pace, but I had increased the pace for the last mile.
Mile 4 was easy as I then met all of the other runners running in the opposite direction who all cheered me on as they could see I was running hard.
Mile 5 was difficult, and twice glanced at the Garmin when I thought I had slowed a little, just to see what my pace was, which fortunately was about that required to just run a PB.
The last mile was equally difficult but it was helped at the beginning of it when I saw the time keeper drive past me, urging me on.
With 600 yards to go, I could see the time keeper at the finish who was cheering me loudly.
I kept the same pace going, but could not sprint at the end.
As soon as I passed the time keeper, I stopped the watch and looked at it.
37.11 a PB by 56 seconds! I was, and still am absolutely astonished.
Stuart was right with his tactics.
Large beer on its way to you Stuart, and also a normal one for Mick and Ian.
I am really chuffed with the time, but am a bit spooked by the run as I don't really understand how I ran such a big PB.
My aim, before the Gardening Leave finishes, is to try to be the first M50 for a race, I think the Southend Half in June may be the one, as long as the decent runners stay away like they did last year. But hopefully I will see you all at the next curry beforehand.
Thanks again to Stuart.
Simon Le Mare
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3-04-12
Paddock wood half marathon
Having entered this race a while ago before the latest set of injuries started as I am back running without any pain decided to give it a crack! What a lovely spring morning decided just to use it as a bit a training run! However after 1st mile which I did in 6 30 pace throught a pb was on, however after 10 miles started to feel the early pace! Crossed the line in 1 hour 34 53 seconds not bad I suppose as I am only been back running 4 weeks, with a lot more fartlek sessions and long runs hope to get this under 1 hour 30 by the end of the year!
Dave Miller
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3-04-12
I sent the following email last night to Mark Thomas at Sports Systems re. chip timing at yesterdays Paddock Wood Half Marathon:
Hi Mark, You spoke too soon. I've sent an email via the website but once again my time hasn't been picked up. I was running under number 2365 and posted a time according to my watch of 1.28.27 - a new PB (I'd been told the course was PB setting territory). Trying not to have too much of a downer about it but I put a lot of effort into this race so am gutted this has happened again. Hopefully you can sort something out.
What a nightmare – particularly in view of getting the right side of 1.30! Still, I have no problem claiming this time as my new HM PB – I know the time I ran and interesting enough, I had a word with a lady I ran a lot of the race with and she too didn’t get clocked (she also got under 1.30 for the first time). The chip timing people told me it was a problem with one of their two scanners (said they didn’t realise what the issue was until the race was underway) – I guess you got picked up if you passed under the right scanner……………..story of my life! Anyway, no use going on about it – based on Hastings I know they’ll give me a time and placing so I’ll just have to accept it and move on. Good to see Dave Miller at the end sporting a Ravens vest and also thanks to Mick Bridgeland for mentioning the other week that this was a fast course – I went looking to bag a new HM PB based on his comments!!
Kevin Cockram
PS – traded a 19 mile training run for yesterday’s race so when I got home I did a 6 mile "warm down". Not sure if I should have but appear to have survived it!
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3-04-12
Race report - Reading
I did the Reading HM yesterday. It was a big event, 18000 finishers at the Madjeski Stadium and really well organised, one I will definitely do again. Without Mick there i was able to successfully complete the designated course! The race went well but I did a lot of running on my own so had to keep working hard, I came 58th in 1.13.58 on chip time and really pleased to dip under 1.14 which was the target.
Jon Fairs
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3-04-12
Olympic Park Run
I hobbled around the Olympic Park run on Saturday, it was a great experience to run into the stadium in front of 12,000 spectators and to run 300m around the track. Even if I was fit to race it there were too many people who weren’t runners walking around blocking the way, I also started right at the back of the last wave of runners which didn’t help. My official time was 37:18.
Andy Morcombe
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3-04-12
I did my regular parkrun on Saturday and was pleased to do a course PB of 17.52, taking 24 seconds off of my previous course PB.
Andy Tucker
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30-03-12
A belated race report from last Sunday - 35:55 in the Wimbledon 10k - apart from a bit of Wimbledon Hill, a fast course, and my best 10k time for a while.
Dave Moore
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27-03-12
I did the Barcelona marathon on Sunday. I stepped off the plane on Friday lunchtime and it was absolutely scorching (about 24), significantly higher than forecast so signs were ominous. However because of the clock changes effective start time was 7.30 which was encouraging. I Intended to do 7min miles all the way so wanted to be in and around the 3hr pacemakers. Unfortunately due to schoolboy error/ race disorganisation I realised there was no pen management and regardless of the pen runners were supposed to be in it had actually turned into a free for all. This meant I had to climb over a fence to get into the 3 - 3.30 pen and I was right at the back. So I started about 4 mins behind the 3h pacemakers. This meant there was a lot of overtaking to do at the beginning but I made up time well during the early stages - encouraged to find the race very flat, smooth and fast. So for me it felt like I was flying. I ran with a Garmin for the first time and was doing consistent 6.45s most of the way. I caught up with the 3.30s and 3.15s easily but never got to the 3s. With about 2.5 miles to go started slowing and getting a few cramp twinges like at London last year. I made the decision to manage the cramp rather than go for 3 as the main priority was to get into london good for age. So dragged my right hamstring round for the last 2 and got in in 3.03 which was good enough for a 2nd marathon. Overall pretty comfortable and only felt the sun for the last hour - just need a little help in avoiding cramp - i think I'd struggle to do more than 3 gels a race. Legs are pretty screwed but should be better tomorrow.
Cheers,
Arif Merali
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27-03-12
Saturday 24th March 2012
Park run in the morning. Excellent conditions meant I ran 18.20, only 4 seconds off of my course PB, and 6th overall. Wasn't pushing too hard either because the afternoon was the closing race of our club cross country season. It's a 5 mile yacht handicap. I was started after most runners so had plenty to chase. The conditions were good with hardly any mud and, although it was warm, a lot of the course is under the shade of trees. Run time was a steady 35.09 which was slower than some of my peers but felt good all the way round. Shame the cross country season is now over.
Sunday 25th March 2012
Cranleigh 15/21. Been meaning to do this one for years. It's a popular race with those doing London. 21 miles, 285 yards around the roads of Sussex. One 9 mile loop then a 6 mile loop. Those doing the full 21 doing the 6 mile loop twice. Again the conditions were excellent with a 9am start (8am in view of the clocks going forwards) meaning that the conditions stayed sufficiently cool as to be pleasant. Planned as my final long training run before London I was pleased to run consistent 7 minute miles all the way dropping to maybe 7.05 for the last mile or so. Finished in 2.29 so pretty good consistency all the way round. Felt strong and could have done 6.50's comfortably. Not sure of my finishing position as results haven't been released yet. Saw Serena on the first mile or so and then at the end (as she did the 15) where she cheered me loudly - nice to see one of the Ravens out racing.
Andy Tucker
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27-03-12
Well done Andy - you looked very comfortable, even at the end!
I did the 15 as a training run and ran with a friend, trying to stay in between 7 and 7.15 mm, which we managed fairly comfortably. It was about 5 miles too long for me, so even though we weren't pushing it, I did have a bit of a wobble at 13 miles and had a tantrum when I went past the 15 mile marker and couldn't see the finish. I was told to man up. Did 1:48 in the end.
Serena Stracey
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27-03-12
A watching weekend for me over the weekend.
Saturday marshalled the club 15 race at Orion. New start time at 10 30 am and over 300 runners attended. Was hoping to see Ian George as he had talked about doing it but he didnt show. Lots from his club thou !. Sunday I was RunFast's (Peter's Agency) at the Hastings have I looked after two Kenyan Runners (Jane and Bernard) they both won their races in fantastic times for the course (74 mins and 66 mins respectively) . Saw Kevin there who looked chuffed as despite his injuries thought he ran a pb. Have to say I had a fantastic time the guys were a great pleasure to look asfter and I highly recommend the race which was very very well organised.
Phil Hernon
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27-03-12
Ran the Brentwood ½ yesterday. It was a rather odd start with “The Elite” running 5 minutes before the massed start. As I got in my stride I started catching up with back of the elite. In the distance at about mile 5 I saw someone running in the style of South Essex legend Richard “Ricky” Goad. As I drew the level it was indeed the man himself.
Ran pretty evenly at about 6.30, slowed a little from 9-11 and then started the charge up the hill to finish in 1.24.20, which I think is a PB. As Andy said, lovely running conditions, but no sign of Pat.
Robin McCoy
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27-03-12
Sandy 10
My “swansong” for the Striders was this 10 mile road race up in Bedfordshire. It was jolly chilly in the mists up there (at least 5 degrees colder than St. Albans) so many runners were not prepared for the cool start. I had an old sweatshirt with me to keep warm until the last minute that I intended to discard (de-junking for the move), but it found its way back to me at the end like a boomerang! The course was what I call a tadpole – out along the tail, round the head and back down the tail. Virtually all the uphill was on the first half and the only part that felt a bit exposed (wind in my face) was the furthest out part of the course, so turning back onto the tail to head home I started to feel very strong. That said, I genuinely didn’t start to feel warm until about mile 8 – and it was a 10:30am start so not early. Envious of all you who ran in lovely weather! This might be the only negative split I have ever achieved (ok, it was courtesy of the downhills on the way back!) and my last mile was 5:45 ish. Overall time was 63:40-something and I was first lady, having taken the lead in the first mile. There were a couple of girls in the field who I know are quick, so I was surprised by the win but dead chuffed since it will be my last race for a while (ever?) in my St. Albans vest. We also got the ladies’ team win, which was a bonus!
Well done to everyone else – some great results!
Sally Onn
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27-03-12
A race report of sorts from me ....
First competitive event in 5 months, since back injury and first triathlon since 1985, I did the East Leake Sprint Tri yesterday.
Overall, thoroughly enjoyed the event and competing again, shame my performance was not quite up to an elite level.
Totally messed up the swim, starting too hard and suffering as a result, probably lost about a minute because of this.
Cycling was fun, managed to pass 12 others and not get passed myself, keeping to my 20mph target speed on the undulating route, riding a bike that is 30 years old and still lighter than most of the flash machines being paraded around, and praying that my tyres would stay inflated..
Had forgotten the comedy value of getting off bike after hard ride and trying to stand, let alone run!
Really struggled on the 5k run, my injuries kicking in about halfway round and noticeably limping the second half, finishing the run in just over 23 minutes.
Finished well down the order, as I expected, but more importantly I was really glad to have taken part and got the adrenalin flowing again after such a long absence. Really friendly event, good filler until I am back running properly again.
Rupert Holden
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27-03-12
On Saturday, I ran the early morning Battersea Pk 10k in 35:04 (split 17.38/17.26), finishing 6th. Conditions were perfect and I had someone good to follow all the way round. Mixed feelings about the time because it was better than I thought I’d achieve just before the start but it was a race I’d targeted for a PB. My 12 week training schedule which was intended to get me in peak condition this weekend, sadly for me went wrong in week 8 when my Achilles flared up due to overuse. I continued to train in discomfort for a couple of weeks but not surprisingly the Achilles just got worse, so I was forced to dramatically cut back my mileage and concentrate on repairing my injury. The rest/ice/various exercises worked and by Saturday, I felt ok to race – just felt rusty and not as strong as I had felt last month. I’m now taking a 6 week break from hard training to try and get over a variety of minor niggles, so if anyone would like my place for the Hyde Pk 5k race this Friday, please let me know.
Stuart Fraser
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27-03-12
Mick and me ran the British Masters XC in Bath yesterday. A lovely warm and sunny day!
The mens age 35-64 race was the second race of the two at 1pm. A 3 lap (5.11 mile) course on grass made up of long gradual uphills and then downhills and no mud so quite fast.
I was first M55 in 28:58 and 31st overall; Mick was slightly behind me about a minute later and 8th M50 which is a very competitive age group so a very good run from Mick as well.
Pleased with my run as I managed to overtake some other runners throughout and kept the 2nd M55, Greg Wilson, a little way behind (19 secs at the end). A small improvement on the Glasgow international where he was just 9 secs behind!
No more races now until London Marathon!
Dave Butler
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27-03-12
A great run from Dave
My run was ok, I felt strong and pushed all the way, unfortunately my rivals gradually moved away from me ! looks like I need to train harder for xc
Mick Bridgeland
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27-03-12
Firstly, well done to all for your efforts this weekend. Secondly; Hastings 2012 – for me, the race that never was………..? I ran this yesterday (one of my favourite half marathons) in near perfect conditions. Once again, ignoring my Brighton adjusted time, this was a new Half Marathon PB with a time of 1.31.47 which I was quite pleased with as I had a few issues last week with my feet following an 18 mile training run for the Edinburgh Marathon the previous Sunday. Unfortunately however, it appears that I won’t be able to claim this time as at present I don’t appear on the official list of finishers. I’m assuming there was a problem with my chip timing, so I’ve emailed the company responsible and am currently awaiting a response – I don’t hold out much hope though. In light of this and as things went relatively well, I’m now contemplating a late entry into the Paddock Wood Half Marathon this Sunday – it doesn’t exactly fit in with my Edinburgh training plan but I’m pretty gutted about yesterday and want to get an official Half Marathon time somewhere under 1.32. As for Hastings; I’ll keep you posted with regard my chip timing issue but I must also say it was good to see Phil and his winning team at the finish line – Phil looked like he was making off with the family silver as he headed away from the race with his arms full of cups and champagne!
Kevin Cockram
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19-03-12
I ran the M50 3000m at the BMAF Indoor T&F Champs yesterday
I came second in 9:44.84
Unfortunately the M50 race was run with the M35s and one of the M50s, Guy Bracken went with the M35s from the gun and ended up with 9:15.84, and the guys behind me ran 10:02 at best, so I ended up running 3000m all on my own with no real danger of coming anywhere but second
Should I have gone with the lead guys ? That would have meant running at my 1500m pace so I think not
A silver medal is a silver medal but I would have liked a decent race
Mick Bridgeland
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19-03-12
I ran the BMAF indoors but did the 1500m on Saturday.
Decided to track David Wilcock rather than race hard from the gun. Ended up being a rather slow race - first 400 in 80 secs! And then got faster lap by lap until he did 34 & 33 for the last 2 laps which I couldn't go with.
Ended up third in 4.41 to DWs 4.36 so a bronze medal for me. David Bedwell was second. Bit disappointed as I think my tactics played into their hands but I'm still a learner on the track!
Dave Butler
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19-03-12
I ran the Surrey Tempest 10 miles yesterday, it was run with a 20 mile race at the same time.
It started with a lap of Dunsfold Aerodrome, also known as being the Top Gear race track and then consisted of undulating country lanes.
There were 200 people doing the 10 and 800 people doing the 20. I came third in 57.00 the top two were a minute or so ahead and I ran round with the leaders of the 20 miler and was glad to part company with them after 10 miles!
It was a good sharpener as training for the Reading half in 2 weeks. See you at 1.10 hopefully.
Jon Fairs
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13-03-12
Blackheath & Bromley Harriers -v- SLH Harriers Mob match. 10.3.12
Did our club mob match on Saturday - 7 and a half miles on our home course - hilly and fairly muddy - in beautiful sunshine. This was the 101st mob match between our clubs, with the first 'official' run between the clubs being recorded in 1873. Proper cross country stuff.
I had a reasonable run, felt good most of the way round although seemed to lack a some sharpness in my racing. Probably down to the other races in previous weekends catching up with me. I managed 54.52 which is about average for me around the course. Finished 13th out of only 67 competitors - an all time low for a mob match.The race winner was Stuart Major in 46.59, 2 and a half minutes ahead of second. B&BHAC one the match though.
Andy Tucker
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13-03-12
I ran the 1500m at the SCVAC Indoors Champs yesterday as a guest. They ran two 1500m races & I was in the 2nd one (50-59 age group) and came 2nd in 4:37.61 which I was happy with as a warm up for the BMAF Champs this coming weekend.
Led for most of the race but the eventual winner, Andy Cunningham (just turned 50 I think) was too strong for me over the last 2 laps and finished in 4:33.
Dave Butler
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13-03-12
Bath Half Marathon - 11.3.12
Bath Half Marathon on Sunday: beautiful sunshine and a lovely 2-lap route that I have done many times before. Unfortunately, I had a bad day and only managed 1:26, a good three minutes slower than last year. I think it was a combination of having raced (too) hard the Sunday before and also a very stressful week conspiring against me! I also set off way too fast (hard to avoid as first mile is downhill and I was right at the front of the field courtesy of my near-elite place ha ha ha), doing splits that started at 5:45 and slowed to about 6:55! My legs were DEAD.
A minor gripe was also the fact that they split the course in two with cones and barrier tape so that second lap runners could overtake the fun-runners in fancy dress, but at the turn-around point, this put the faster runners way off the racing line. We all had a few hundred yards extra on our Garmins at the end as a result. The route was of course accurately measured, but in previous years I have not felt so much like I was taking a massive detour on the corners.
As for the stressful week, I am re-locating to France at the end of the month so there are a million and one things to sort out. I am very excited about the move (my better half has a new job at Airbus in Toulouse), but sad to be leaving your training group when I have only just got going! If only I had discovered you a couple of years earlier.
SALLY ONN
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7-03-12
My contribution to the results is a 13.4mile ("half marathon") on the winding tracks of Richmond Park in a VERY low key and yes wet charity event. In fact, was so low key that you could start whenever you wanted within a 45min period, and I ended up running it all without once running alongside/ tucked behind another runner! Finished in 81:44, but came second by c 30secs to someone I never saw! Also, mega stiff!
Cheeers
David Moore
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7-03-12
I did the Ostend to Bruges 10 mile on Sunday. It's not exactly a scenic course, though on a bike path along the canal, but it was a very flat, "A to B" course, so for those who have trained, a fab one to do if looking for a PB. There was a good level of competition there too. I think the winner did it in 47.30 and the top 50 were all under 60 minutes.
Somehow, I managed a PB (67.56, from 68.13,), which was a total surprise, given the lack of training and as I had 3 stitches for the last 2/3 of the race. I checked after and the course was not short either. Miracles do occur! They just take 6 years....
Serena Stracey
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5-03-12
Essex 20 ~ Langham 4.3.12
Robin, Dave Butler, Scott Rice and I trundled up to the new race location (having outgrown the fantastically flat old one). As predicted, weather was decidedly grim with varying amounts of rain (from spit to heavy) and a steady breeze. No-one went outside for a warm up – preferring to shelter in the hall until the last minute.
The starter warned us of a short sharp hill during the first mile and a longer one in mile three to be faced on all 3 laps.
First mile or two felt really easy with plenty of easy downhill so decided to ease off and stick to the planned pace = BIG MISTAKE. I should have made hay while the wind was behind me and there was any downhill. Following the third mile I was way behind target and running in to a head wind.
Lap two – Ran a lot harder on all the best bits and managed to get back on target pace for a sub 2:03: something finish (hit 10 miles in 1:01:56)
Lap three was all about hanging in there and not falling too far off pace. Managed to throw in a 5:56 mile and finish very strongly with a 5:51 mile to balance all the other slower ones in the 6:20s.
Didn’t get the 2:03 something but did manage a new PB 2:04:08 (21 second PB …… a tiny one second a mile improvement!)
Robin came in at 2:15 – which looks really good for London < 3hrs!
Dave B was just nursing a poorly Achilles and jogged round in 2:10 when he could be creaming round in under 2!
Scott – am not sure how hard he was running but was pleased he came in after me! (he looks in good shape)
Because of the weather no-one warmed down, so I will see you for a very slow SOTR run today for my warm down. Legs are as sore as hell!
Lee Martin
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5-03-12
A horrible day and running up the same 2 hills 3 times didn’t do much for me. I had 2.14.09 on my watch, which has given me a lot of confidence for London, albeit 4 very hard weeks of training to go. I felt strong at the end and I had the last mile at about 6.30. I have already castigated Dace Butler for overtaking me at 18 miles and denying me my one chance to beat him, accepting that he was both injured and not racing!
Like Lee my legs are very sore, but did 40mins on the cross trainer/stepper this morning which has loosened them up a bit. Will be out for a V slow jog and chat!
Robin McCoy
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5-03-12
Well done to all who raced at the weekend - lots of Ravens racing!
Thanks Robin for your support specially after ruining your chance to beat me!
However, I agree with Phil if you start a race then regardless of excuses real or otherwise the result stands otherwise you shouldn't be on the start line.
Anyway I was pleased with my run yesterday with a big negative split - 71 mins first 10 and 62 mins second 10 so I was definitely racing the second ten! And happy after steadily moving up the field managed to win the Essex v50s gold by 15 secs to boot!
Dave Butler
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5-03-12
Eastbourne Half Marathon - 4.3.12
Following last Sundays Tunbridge Wells half in glorious sunshine I planned to run the Eastbourne half yesterday more as a race than a tempo training run. Unfortunately the conditions conspired against me.
Weather on the day was very wet and windy and a chilly 6 degrees. From the start we ran along the coast road to a steep climb between 2 and 3 miles. For those that know it, it's the same area as the start/finish of the Beachy Head marathon. Despite the early climb I felt good most of the way round although it just became a battle against the oncoming wind and rain and looking for good grip on a slippery surface. Finished in a disappointing 1.27 (48th?) but still felt like a good tempo training run. Also saw Kevin C who finished in 1.33 (I think). He was proudly wearing his Ravens vest too. Hope to be able to properly race next time.
See you at 1 for a steady one.
Andy Tucker
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5-03-12
Report from Eastbourne Half Marathon where it was good to see Mr Tucker at the start enjoying the “Sunshine Coast” even though this appeared to involve him scrabbling around for what little shelter the cab of a parked lorry provided – I’m not sure that this particular image will make the “Visit Eastbourne 2013 Tourist Guide”!
Weather as we all know was pretty grim but despite this, if you discount my adjusted Brighton Half Marathon time from the other week, I posted a new half marathon PB by 24 seconds with a time of 1.33.22. Having said that, Eastbourne is definitely slower than Brighton (weather permitting) so had the course been correctly marked, I still think my time at Brighton would likely have been around the 1.32 mark.
Fair comment from Mr Hernon with his grade “C” - I do think I can push myself further, however, I’m still learning how to do this without collapsing in a heap prior to the finish line – more Tuesday and Thursday Raven sessions required!
Anyway, next stop is Hastings Half Marathon on Sunday 25/03 – if you haven’t run this before, it comes highly recommended and they give you a horse brass on completion – might look rather swanky on Mr Hernon’s Howaboutnow!
Kevin C.
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5-03-12
Wymondham 20m - 4.3.12
I did the above race Sunday morning. For the non-Norfolkers amongst you it's pronounced Win-dum.
It was non-stop drizzle and seven degrees throughout the whole event, but luckily no wind. Which was good apart from the wet shoes with no cushioning towards the end.
My intention was to use it to discipline my pace to 7:30 in practice for the VLM. In my long run training I struggle to discipline my pace and usually slow too much towards the end. The course was mostly Norfolk flat but there were a few undulations.
I kept hearing people shouting "well done third lady" at the person just behind me at 15 miles which gave me a good incentive to keep the pace going. I was ready with the Robin McCoy patented weave and elbow if she dared try and pass but fortunately I was able to keep that in my locker as I only pulled away further.
The race went quite well and I stuck to roughly my pace throughout the whole time. I even found a turn of pace towards the end but couldn't quite get under 2:30, I finished 2:30.35. 7:31 average pace and I felt I could have carried on to the full 26.2 if it was the big day.
Legs ache a little today, but I feel exhausted with bags like John Prescott's under my eyes,
I plan to be out for a steady SoR later if I can stay awake.
Chris Meadows
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5-03-12
Berkhamsted Half Marathon - 4.3.12
I also raced yesterday in some of the worst conditions I have ever experienced. Luckily I finished before it started snowing! The Berkhamsted Half is just one very picturesque loop, featuring long climbs at mile 3 (my first three splits went 6:11; 6:19; 7:11..!!) and at about halfway, but you are rewarded with the most incredible downhill finish from about mile 10 (my last split was 5:39). I was first lady in 1:24:48 (42nd overall) and felt really good throughout. Bath Half next Sunday so will be hoping my sore quads recover in time for a crack at a PB there (1:22:18).
Well done everyone who raced. Definitely earned our cake/beers yesterday!
Sally Onn
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5-03-12
Abu Dhabi Traiathlon - 3.3.12
Well done to everyone who raced yesterday. I was lucky enough to do the Abu Dhabi Triathlon on Saturday morning. The only issue I had with the weather was making sure I put enough sun-screen on. It was ridiculously hot but I managed to get through it OK. The distances were 1.5k swim, 100k bike and 10k run. The highlight though was doing a lap of the Yas Marina F1 circuit halfway round the bike leg! It was very surreal!
Ian George
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5-03-12
Clapham Chasers 20m - 4.3.12
I did the clapham chasers 20 miler starting next to craven cottage and heading out towards Richmond and back along the river.
It was an 8am start so got up at 6 and got out of the house at 6.40 - ran to stratford station to be told trains don't start until 7.10! got to fulham broadway at about 7.50 and pegged it to the start - got there at 8ish; it was a staggered start and i had missed my pacing group (7.30s) so went with the 8s, 2mins later. Again nailed it to catch up with the 7.30s which i did within 3 or 4 miles, met a few mates including Andy M and then pulled away again steadily. I had a very good lady to run and chat with who pushed the pace and did the last 2 miles in 6.45s and managed to pull away from her and finish in 2.21.53 - should have gone with the 7 min group but overall happy with the run as i did a couple extra at the beginning.
not out today.
Arif Merali
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5-03-12
I ran the Clapham Chasers Thames Riverside 20. It is an out and back course along the Thames towpath between Putney and Kew Gardens. The weather was pretty wet light rain at times mixed with the odd heavier shower. The footpath was pretty slippery and very muddy at certain points especially on the way back.
My finish time was 2:30:18. Almost bang on 7:30 pace which I was very pleased with. My legs are very tired today and my knees are sore so I will be resting and hope to have a gentle run tomorrow.
Arif was also running and after starting late went quickly past me at about 2 miles.
Andy Morcombe
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5-03-12
Well done to all the racers, some great times in what were not the best conditions
My wife, Wendy, was out on her training run yesterday when she met a runner who stopped and asked her for direction, she ran along with him for a mile or so and chatted about running -
Wendy: You seem quite good, what do you run?
Him: Marathons
Wendy: Are you running London?
Him: I’m pacing London; I’m running the other London (Olympics).
Wendy: What’s your name?
Him: Scott Overall.
Wendy (with rather more respect this time): Oh, you are quite good, aren’t you?
Was I jealous !!
Mick Bridgeland
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27-02-12
Nationals Parliament Hill - 24th February
First race report for the Nationals!
- was seriously stuck in traffic and despite allowing 2hrs to travel the 20 miles, I missed the start - seriously hacked off, and next time will travel by public transport. Horrid.
But, mega congrats to all those who actually made it to the start and competed. Heard it was a great event.
May be see you on Thursday.....
Best regards
David Moore
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27-02-12
I made to the start on saturday and did not run. Traffic and parking were tough. Nevertheless, what a fantastic way to spend a day , watching some excellent runners competing at the highest level. The organisers clearly were caught out by the weather (bit like Pete and I were by the men's race). Dog walkers and walkers seemed to cause mayhem with the marshalls. Only saw Andy Bickerstaff running because we thiought it was three laps rather than two!. Our plan was to watch the 'friends ' on the last lap but we stood at a point and eventually realised they had all finished!. So not sure who ran; but rest assured that is probably the driest and warmest National ever!. If you did not run it and are a member of a club shame on you!.
Phil Hernon
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27-02-12
Totally agree - a really terrific event. I ran a poor race Saturday finishing 547th but I really enjoyed it. The only thing that I found frustrating was the couple of bottlenecks at the start of the race; however difficult for the organisers to avoid when you have 1800 runners trying to squeeze through 30 odd foot less than 1k from the start. I had a slow start again but made up around 100 places on the second lap. GSR times 7.14, 7.03, 6.19, 6,00, 7.01, 5.56, 5.55.
Stuart Fraser
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27-02-12
I ran the national in the senior ladies race on Saturday, finishing a not-terribly-impressive 82nd, (although an improvement on my 237th at Leeds in 2010!).
I found it really tough – not least the fact that the combination of slippery mud, hard forest tracks and uneven grass meant that pretty much any choice of shoe turned out to be wrong! (I wore 12mm spikes). Fabulous weather though and I managed not to have any incidents involving out-of-control dogs or children. My club finished 13th senior ladies’ team, which we’re pretty happy with for a national championship.
Sally Onn
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27-02-12
Tunbridge Wells half marathon - Sunday 26th February 2012
Yesterday I was David Miller for a day. Nothing to do with lampposts, I just ran the Tunbridge Wells half marathon in his name (they wouldn't change our details over at the last minute).
Despite being my favorite distance I haven't run a half since 2010. My races have all been shorter distances. Yesterday had the perfect racing conditions - dry, sunny, no wind and 6 degrees. I decided to use the race as a training run with the intention of running consistent miles. I managed to do so with fairly consistent 6.30 miles other than the miles 6 to 8 which are all uphill. I passed the 9 mile mark at exactly 1 hour and felt good all the way round. The last mile I upped the pace and managed a 6.10 last mile and finished in 1.26. About 3 minutes off my expected time but I was happy with the way I ran - I felt I had plenty left in the tank.
The only downer was an incident at the finish. Just as I turned into the finishing 50 meters, I was concentrating on catching a team-mate who was just ahead, when three young children (5 or 6 years old) ran across the finish. I managed to miss the first two (one of whom was dressed as batman...) but hit the third child who went flying. I heard him hit the tarmac with a thud. By that time I was still upright but my momentum carried me on. I was beaten by my teammate by 3 seconds. Somewhat annoyed (although vaguely concerned for the child's wellbeing who I later found out was ok) I wondered what I had done to deserve such a finish. But then I realised I was Dave Miller for a day...
Next Sunday is the Eastbourne half.
Andy Tucker
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27-02-12
I was beaten by one of my 12 year old sons!!
Having had a week off with achilles problems, then slowly built up running and was up to 7.5 miles at 7 mins per mile I thought I would join my sons in a Parkrun 5k to see how it felt. I thought my son had gone off far too fast when he was still with me and the leader at 1 mile. However, he dropped me at 2.5miles. He did 18.47 and I limped home outside 19mins. I've hurt my achilles again so I suspect it will be no serious running for me for 3-4 weeks.
Luke Armitage
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24-02-12
I ran the Last Friday 5k at lunchtime in 17:02
Slightly faster than a month ago so I am moving in the right direction, it was also a bit windy to day which slowed me slightly
Dave Moore and Ricky also ran. I ran with Dave to about 3k and then I finally managed to shake him off, he was actually talking to me in the first 100m of the race !!, he ended up with 17:25.
Mick Bridgeland
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20-02-12
Seville marathon - 19th February 2012
Ran the Seville marathon yesterday.
As you know my sole present running aim is to run sub 3 for a marathon. The course was very flat, very cold at the start, hot at the end. All of the preparation went to plan. The start was in the old Olympic stadium, and you start on the track and run through the tunnel to the course around the city. All went well, was by the track with 20 minutes to go, thought I would have a last wee and then went back to the start area on the track and realised that every man and his dog was at the front, and there was no way of pushing in. There was no seeding. I ended up behind a runner who was going to run pushing a buggy with their child in it! I was furious. When the gun went off, all I concentrated on was not falling over. Started the garmin when I was under the start.
For the first part to the tunnel the pace was 9min 45, then it slowed to go up through the long tunnel. It took about 2 miles before I was able to reach the 3 hour pace I wanted. The garmin lost satellite contact for a while because of the tunnel. I had no idea how much time I had lost, but took a punt at 2 minutes. Having taken stock of the situation, I calculated the extra pace required and upped the pace by 4 seconds a mile.
The marshalling was terrible, lots of cyclists on the course, I had to push one out of the way on a tight bend. At the half way point it said 1 30 52, so i was still on course for sub 3, but did not know exactly how much time I had to play with.
At about 15 miles the calves were starting to get quite tight. At 20 miles the calves were very tight, and so was my right hamstring. From 23 miles it was hurting a lot, and my hands started to swell up and I had slight pins and needles in them. This happened at the Comrades so i did not worry. At 25 miles, my quads became really tight and started a headache and was petrified I was going to hit the wall like I did in Edinburgh at 25 1/2 miles. At 25 1/2 miles I started to slow, as had nothing left in the tank. Reached the stadium and had to do 3/4 of a lap, and half way round saw the time had just ticked over from 2.59 to 3.00.
When I crossed the line I was so tired I forgot to look at the finishing time. I thought it was about 3 hours and 20 seconds. Had to wait an agonising 4 hours before the times were out.
2 hours 59minutes and 24 seconds. 14th M50 I am still on a high.
See you in a few months.
Simon Le Mare
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20-02-12
Brighton Half - 19th February 2012
Ran this yesterday – great conditions for a good Ravens turnout. Myself, Stuart Fraser, Kevin Cockram and Ed Marron.

Went off a little too quick for me, but probably what I had to do, started finding it difficult from 4/5 but strangely it was only my legs that hurt (feet and hips mainly) so managed to blot it out and carry on at same pace. Really pleased with myself for holding it together for the best part of an hour and finished 74th with a chip time of 1.24.59 (previous pb 1.26.30).
There was much anger around me at the finish though with everyone who wore a garmin complaining that the course was 13.5 miles. How can people put on a race that big (9000 entries) and get the distance wrong? It will be interesting to see Stuart F’s splits.
My legs are screwed and probably won’t be out today.
Stuart Lenton
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20-02-12
Congratulations Simon on breaking 3hours with negative splits and to John with another excellent half.
I finished 15th (2nd vet ) yesterday at Brighton in 1.17:53. If the distance was 0.4m long I’ll be very disappointed because I’ve missed out on a PB (compressed time would have been 1.15:30). I went off fast (5.36, 5.32, 5.35, 5.33) taking advantage of the tail wind but at 4m we turned into the wind for 6miles and I slowed up to around 5.50’s. Mile 10 was tuff but I knew after that we’d be heading back wind assisted. My GSP showed the distance at 13.51 and my average pace as 5:46. I felt I gave it my all and considering I’ve only once ran over 13m since Berlin, I was pleased with my run.
Stuart Fraser
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20-02-12
Firstly; well done to everyone who raced this weekend - I'm hardly qualified to comment on such things but there appear to have been some very good times achieved. Particular congratulations to Simon for his sub. 3 hour marathon time - I'm in awe of all who achieve this and through the Ravens, it is great to be able to run and mix with all of you who have considerably more talent and ability than I possess.
As for me at the Brighton Half Marathon - a new PB by 58 seconds with a (chip) time of 1.33.46
I'm obviously pleased with this but a couple of things went against me (needing a pee the whole way round was not something I'm looking to repeat!) and so as ever, I'm left wondering if I could have pushed it a little more (my wife tells me the look on my face about a mile from the end would imply not!).
I saw both the Stuarts (congratulations on your times and placings) at the start and on route after the first turn - both running well and I apologise to Mr Fraser for not having the air in my lungs to call out some encouragement as he flew past!
Also, funnily enough, when I got home, the cold that has been threatening me for the past week finally manifested itself and I'm now sitting at my desk at work with every remedy known to man - I guess the timing was superb!
Anyway, I'm now going to take a few days out to get over Brighton and this cold and then I'll be turning my attention to a couple of dates further up the coast (Eastbourne and Hastings) where I have some unfinished business with a young lady from Brighton………………………………………….!!
Kevin Cockram
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20-02-12
EVAC 3000m Indoors Champs - 19th February 2012
Great runs at Brighton
I see Harold ran 75:37, I think there is more to come from him, and Stuart 77:53
Jon ran a great 74:16 at Wokingham which will get him on the Championship start at London next year
Dave and I did the EVAC 3000m Indoors Champs yesterday
Dave pipped me by 1 sec - 9:40.27 to my 9:41.26 to come 5th and 6th (M35 - M55 all in the same race)
We had a good race ran, there was 4 of us in a group for most of the race, me, Dave, a M35 guy and Paul Spowage. We dropped Paul with about 4 laps to go and I managed to hold Dave off as he tried to come past me several times during the race
I went for it with one lap (200m) to go and down the back straight I thought I had Dave beat, I must have lost concentration round the last bend because suddenly he came past me and I could not respond.
Mick Bridgeland
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20-02-12
Wokingham half marathon - 19th February 2012
I did the Wokingham Half M yesterday, looks like I choose the right race based on this report!
I ran 1.14.16 which I was pleased with, very high standard so that gave my 39th place but I benefitted from running in a group. It’s not too far off my PB so I hope to keep up the hard work and see if I can beat it at some point this year and I am enjoying the challenge of trying to do that.
Well done to all the other racers this weekend, some great runs.
Cheers
Jon
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20-02-12
Royston Sunday League XC - 19th February 2012
Congrats on the PBs! Especially sub-3 Simon. I should think you are justified in feeling high about that for at least a couple of weeks/months!
I thought I would share my own report from yesterday, when I did the last Sunday League XC race of the season, over in Royston. This is a fairly low-key league featuring clubs from Herts, Essex and London (it seems to be dominated by triathlon clubs for some reason) and men and women race together over about 5.5 miles.
The Royston course was really tough - a small lap to spread the field then 2 large laps featuring goodness knows how many horrendous short sharp climbs, mainly on open fields, but with a very uneven section in woods. I didn’t realise it until someway round the first big lap, but after a bad start I actually hit the front of the ladies’ field very early on and somehow managed to hang on for the win, despite falling spectacularly a hundred metres or so from the finish. It helped me that the second lady had her parents there and I could judge from their cheers exactly how far away she was HA HA HA.
I was glad the men were there to follow as it was pretty brutal in places coming over the ridge into the wind. The field was a bit depleted by all the halves etc on the same day, but it was nonetheless quite satisfying to get the first ladies’ spot. For various reasons this was the only race in the Sunday League I could actually do so needless to say I won’t have featured in the overall results.
SALLY ONN
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18-02-12
11th February 2012
I finished 61st (4th V45), a few places behind fellow Raven Dave Moore on Saturday in the Surrey league match. I had a poor first lap but improved and gained around 15 places on the second lap. My club Hercules had a good day and we avoided relegation, so we can look forward to racing Kent next season.
Stuart Fraser
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18-02-12
Well done Stu. I saw that Mooro had a good run. Look forward to next year.
I came 37th in Surrey League Div 2. Pleased to win the Vets for the league. However, I twisted my ankle and also achilles has flared up again. I could hardly walk on Sunday. Was OK for swimming yesterday. But I will not be running more than a jog for a bit. I have reluctantly pulled out of the National, shame as I was really looking forward to Parly hill, but even if I am running by then it would be too much risk.
Luke Armitage
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18-02-12
I also ran the race but didn't see any fellow Ravens. It was a nice two lap course around the Wimbledon Common on the snow. Even splits for the two laps. I ran to and from the race, so it gave me an 11 altogether. Ran in vest and shorts. Now at home with full blown lurgy!
Andy Hayward
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18-02-12
Yes, indeedy, with great endeavour DorkingMV managed to preserve, and in fact extend, our lead in the points gained category from the very first race! Or perhaps we were simply scared of facing the mighty Kent next year....mega congrats Luke!
.....And sorry to miss you Andy!
....And perhaps Stuart started a little slowly on Saturday due to the length of his bike ride and run beforehand....
Best regards to All
David Moore
P.S. Hope to see a few of you at the Nationals, look out for the purple vest and pink skin!
Thanks
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7-02-12
Last Friday 5k - 27.1.12
I ran the Last Friday 5k today in 17:05, Scott Rice ran 16:49ish and I think Dave Moore ran 17:40 ish, nice to see both of them racing
Scott gradually pulled away from me as the race went on
It was a lovely day weather wise, sunny, not too cold, a slight wind that slowed us a bit but we've had worse
Overall I was quite pleased, would have liked to get under 17 mins but it was not to be, it was nice to be back racing on the roads after lots of xc races, I need to now work on the speed.
Mick Bridgeland
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7-02-12
Southerns - 27.1.12
Went to watch the Southerns at the weekend . The Brighton course looked a great one . Very little mud but loads of hills. The finsh to the mens was extraordinary.,Ben Tickner took about 400 metres out of Phil Wicks on the last lap. Wicks was in the lead still with 600 to go . You could see them running down the hill and Tickner went past him in the final 300 yards to win by a few seconds- great race. I was standing at the top of what looked like a very hard hill and their faces were a picture but I did see two of our members - Rick Goad and Sally Onn. Sally finished 41st and looked very controlled throughout. One thing that disappointed me and probably the organisers was the lack of finishing teams. Orion had four men , Springfield I noticed three , Chelmsford not many more, Woodford had a good contingent but most of our clubs were not very well represented. I find it a bit sad that when such great events are laid on, the organisers of second rate local sunday cross country races decide to have the event on the same weekend. Surely, running and doing well in the Southerns is far better than being a 'BIG TIME CHARLIE' in the local Corner Shop sponsored cross country race. In saying that runners have to start somewhere and it helps bring new blood into our sport; but if you are one of the best twelve at your club you should be gagging to run against the best in your area, Getting the calendar right is prime but the better runners should be on the start line at major events otherwise they will die and that will be sad.
Phil Hernon
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7-02-12
Thanks Phil…. though I am suffering from extreme gutted-ness today as my club (St. Albans) missed out on bronze medals in the senior ladies’ team competition by TWO POINTS from Belgrave Harriers – for me this was literally one second on the line (as I finished in the middle of a pack of five) so needless to say I am feeling pretty shame-faced about that! The St. Albans Striders are not exactly a big-time athletics club, so our first regional XC medals would have been pretty cool. Argh!
Sally Onn
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7-02-12
Ranelagh did finish twelve (not including me unfortunately) and came 26th team. I have run that course before when they had the South of Thames XC on it (can’t get much further south without being in France!) and remember it is a tough but rewarding course. Well done to the Ravens who ran it.
Andy Hayward
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7-02-12
Chelmsford came 17th team so at least they had 6 finishers
Keith came 88th, I couldn't find Stuart in the results, but there were a number of people running under other guys names so he may still have run.
Mick Bridgeland
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7-02-12
I was there as well!
...Phil, how could you miss me, I was wearing a bright purple vest, with matching pink skin!
A superb, tough course, and is definitely my favourite XC course to date (ok, haven't run on that many)
Dorking Mole Valley came 31st in the mens, which is good for us. Pleasingly, i ran much better than Friday (in the LFoM 5k - ugh), finishing in just under 61mins.
David Moore
Thanks
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25-01-12
22.1.11
I ran the Benfleet 15 yesterday in a time of 1.44.21. This was my 5th time and my fastest yet and highest ever finish in 20th place. They changed the course this year and it now starts and finishes at the same place as the cross-country races in Hadleigh meaning a downhill start but a killer uphill finish. Fortunately the mud was not too bad this year, however the wind certainly made the race very tough especially between miles 4 to 8 and 11 to 13 straight in to a very strong headwind. I had an interesting battle with a certain James Heskey-Jones from Tiptree, remember Lee’s and Mick’s marathon a few weeks ago. Anyway he passed me at about mile 4 but I managed to catch him up and pass him at mile 8. Rather annoyingly though he caught me up again with only a few hundred meters to go to pip me by a few seconds.
Ian George
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25-01-12
I also did the Benfleet 15, (took Peters place) in a time of 1:51:37. I didn't have any trail shoes so struggled on the mud. As Ian says the wind was hell. Its a going to be a long slow road to fully fit, but now heading in the right direction.
Pat Young
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21-01-12
Race report - I did the Surrey L Div 2 on Sat at Reigate. Sunny day great hilly course. Kent AC had 7 runners in the first 9. I failed to make our scoring 10 but came 31st and was please to beat my closest rivals in the vets standings. I now lead the vets by one point with one match remaining.
Luke Armitage
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21-01-12
Race Report# 53-12 League Cross Country - Hadleigh (Suffolk)
2 lap course which was 99% dry as a bone. One very long hill to be climbed on each lap.
I slipped back to around 24th as we went up the hill but pulled them all back on the flat and downhill section.
After lap one was 18th which is where I finished.
Pleased to beat Kev Harris.
Pleased to see that Gary Chandler was going so well (placed 12th) but disappointed to be so far behind him. I might try resting before the next one.
Mens team – 1st
Mens and Ladies joint result – 2nd.
This leaves us a little nervous for the two remaining fixtures – it is possible that Ipswich Jaffa will take the trophy.
Lee Martin
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9-01-12
Cold Christmas to Good Easter - Trail Marathon.
Mick and I had decided to use this unusual race as a training run. It is after all wonderfully picturesque and beats running around the same old routes again.
Starts off with a very early registration at Good Easter village hall followed of by getting on one of two coaches for the trip to Cold Easter. It brought back memories of school trips with groups gathering at the back and lots of nervous jokes. The journey seemed to go on for ever – it was hard to believe that we were going to run back (& cross country!)
Anyway, we pulled in to a small cul-de-sac and we were started. A field of 120 runners had entered and we all set off up a long cruel hill – just to warm us up. This was quite good in the sense that it strung us out very quickly and carrying out your own navigation became very necessary.
Mick and I immediately lost Allen Smalls (British Ultra Runner) who was running around 45 seconds a mile quicker than us. But we were joined by a Tiptree runner who added nothing to our navigation. Mick read the instructions whilst I ran at the front trying to interpret / spot any of the way marks.
Anyway, after 21 miles, we had enjoyed beautiful countryside running, with 3 checkpoints at village halls kindly offering drinks, jelly babies, jafffas cakes, milk shakes, quiches and sandwiches! Unsuprisingly, our average pace was just over 7 min miles pace until the checkpoints where Mick had to be physically pulled away from the tables.
The pace was dropping a bit after this and still this unknown Tiptree runner was following behind us. I urged Mick to push on as we left the aid station but it was tough going across a few sticky fields. We waited until we approached the road to the finish with around 1.5 miles to go and then dropped him. He fell way behind (2 minutes) in the short distance left.
That left the results as:
Allen Smalls 3:12:00
Lee Martin 3:26:24
Mick Bridgeland 3:26:45
James Haskey Jones (Tiptree) 3:28:23
Free Chile, baked potatoes, tea, cakes and chocolates waited for the runners.
Prize giving was worth waiting for – the organizers pulled out an Ales of England crate and allowed us to pull 3 beers each.
All in all, an excellent event and one which I hope to do again.
Lee Martin
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9-01-12
With 1.5 mile to go Lee could smell a podium position and was getting worried about the Tiptree runner in 4th place, he took the opportunity of the last sticky field to open up a gap which he maintained when we got onto the last mile on the roads
I must admit I was day dreaming when Lee made his move and had not even thought about the finish I was just pleased to get to the end of an enjoyable run, I was also confident of losing the Tiptree guy once we got on the roads
In answer to Stuart Frasers question, 26.2 miles is a long way however you run it, the self-navigation, check points (you have to eat some of the food !! it would be rude not too) and cross-country inc sticky mud tend to slow you down and make 8 min/mile hard work on places - there were about three points where we had to stop and re-read the instructions a few time before we agreed on the way forward - doing t on your own would be harder as you would start to doubt your own judgement
I found it hard going in places and the legs were a bit sore at the finish, having said that it was much easier when we had the odd bit of road/track running where you could stride out a bit more and stretch the legs - I think both Lee and I were running about 6:35 pace for the last slightly less that a mile on the road and it actually felt better than the fields.
Mick Bridgeland
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9-01-12
Sounds like a good day out well done . I ran County Xc last minute decision ! It was down the road I asked if they had a spare number on Friday got the nod Sat morning .Got round !!
Ricky Goad
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9-01-12
I ran the Essex seniors xc as well. After a steady run bearing in mind it was 7 miles over 3 laps of hills at Gloucester Park, Basildon, I came in 32nd a few places behind Allen Smalls but ahead of a few others who beat me in the last local xc race in December. So reasonably happy with the result.
Dave Butler
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6-01-12
Yesterday I ran the Mid Essex cross country league race at Stebbing, the league is a low key one, Leigh Striders who I run for won it last year, and this year it will probably be won by Springfield Striders. Each race is usually about 5 miles and about 80 to 100 runners. I usually come about 10th.
It was the course yesterday that was amazing as I have never run anything like it. Apparently it was about 4 miles long and was arranged around and in a small river. The course was only about a square mile, but was marked out to go through the maximum amount of mud. Shoes are always lost, and must be tied on really tight.
The run is very popular and about 125 people ran it, including quite a few "guests". The first mile, was mostly muddy hilly grassland, one of the first 5 runners lost a shoe in the first muddy bit. Then the first really muddy bit where it was about a foot of mud, and then into to the river, up to your knees. It was a massive shock to the system as was very cold.
Altogether there were 14 crossings over and / or in the river, plus lots of very muddy bits. The deepest part was up to your waist, but you never spent more than about 10 seconds in the water.
After 3 miles, my body started to warm up. the end came as a surprise as i was still expecting about a mile to go.
It was a great race, I came 18th, we washed ourselves down with 2 hosepipes at the end, and then had mulled wine and cakes.
Nearly in the grove with my gardening leave.
I am running my usual 3 times a week, but have added in a 2 hour extra run. Body is fine so far.
Regards
Simon Le Mare

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