Reports 2014 - Ravens Runners London

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Race Reports for 2014

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23-12-14
It came at the wrong end of a big week of training, so when I jumped into the river, my knees gave way, my head went under and any sense of humour deserted me.
This was a very hard slog. I am thinking that it has too much potential for injury for me to participate next year.
Lee

This was a shallow one.


Everyone wears the new fashionable “Mud” socks …

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17-12-14
South of England Masters Cross Country Champs
On Saturday I ran the South of England Masters Cross Country Champs at Oxford. My son was due to run for Essex in the U13 Boys Southern Inter Counties, and my wife in the Women’s Masters, unfortunately both were too ill to run so I ended up going on the train on my own. I ended up finally winning the M55 race after two 3rds and a 4th and 5th in the last few years, so it was worth the journey. Overall it was one of the worst organised races I have ever run !! Due to train delays I got there about 40 mins before the start find there was a long queue to pick up your number, there was just one person giving them out. My race contained both the over 50s and 60s, who were given different numbers to show which team race they were in (teams races were 10 year age groups) but unfortunately you could not tell who was in each 5 year age group for the individual races (usually we have an age group identifier on our backs). So for the who race I had no idea where I was in my age group, and had no idea I had won until the results came out. I had a battle with Dave Cox, M60, who had dropped down an age group for the team race and therefore unknown to me was also in my age group. In places the course was not very well marked out, there were not enough marshals and I don’t think we all did the same course, I just followed the guy in front and overall I don’t think it made any difference to the results. Overall I had a good race, I felt strong and had had some good battles against some M50 runners. Luke was behind me the whole race and even though I did not see him he closed to within 10secs by the top of the hill on the second large lap of what was a testing muddy course before I pulled away over the last mile or so.
Mick Bridgeland
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17-12-14
As Mick says a strangely poorly organised event on a tough but interesting 10k course. Fast grassland, frozen farm tracks plus calf deep mud with a couple of big hills thrown in for good measure. Very pleased with my 5th place M60 as felt strong throughout and competing right to the end. Tinged with a bit of disappointment as several spectators were telling me I was running 3rd and of course super vet Dave Cox was racing in younger age category ! Best placing in a Southern vets cc for 15 years though. Think I must have run a bit further than Mick :)
Andy Catton
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17-12-14
Bolsover 10k.
Cold, but the rain/snow held off. Very windy, meaning the outward leg was very rapid. First few km felt like I was hardly trying and was putting in wind assisted 3:30 splits! Gust of wind on return were enough at times to almost stop me in my tracks. Finished in 38:11, 34th overall, 4th in age category. Happy considering conditions and where I am at with training at present.
Rupert Holden
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17-12-14
Nothing much to report from my first XC of the season at Brizes Park in Kelvedon Hatch yesterday, as I missed the first one in October due to a Half Marathon. The course was 4.1M, neither hilly or muddy (which was okay being as it eased me in gently!). Wasn’t sure how I’d go as my running hasn’t been quick but I did okay. Ran with a Tri-Sport Epping lady for a while, got ahead of her but she came back and passed me on the last 100M. I did pass a good few of my (male) teammates, finishing 7th lady in just under 30 minutes. Hopefully I’ll improve in the next XC.
VICKY COOPER
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9-12-14
Kent Veterans Cross Country Champs, Sparrows Den 6 December 2014
I ran this on Saturday in the 50-59 age category, my first official outing as an 'old git'. You might get slightly fewer runners in this age category, but there certainly seems no drop off in the quality of the runners, including Luke, who came in a highly creditable 4th place in what was billed as 9.5/10km cross country but turned out to be closer to 9km (if that). I came 26th in a time of 39.39, which I was happy enough with in the circumstances. I probably would have been a bit quicker (though no higher placed) if I hadn't taken quite a heavy fall towards the end of the race, badly winding myself. Fortunately, I had built up enough of a gap on the group behind that, once I had recovered, I was able to put in enough of a spurt at the finish to hold on to my placing. I learned an important XC lesson about not day dreaming and taking my eyes off the course!
Marcus Elwes
I was there too and I took the better option of not falling over. It helps your overall time I find. I had an ok race which I enjoyed rather than raced well. Lovely conditions. I finished mid table in 31st place in 37.50. Great to see Marcus and Luke as well.
Andy Tucker
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9-12-14
I did my annual Grim Run yesterday 7.5miles of mud, ponds, mudponds, various obstacles, picture attached. I was 22nd (of 1400) in 54:33 ..... 10mins behind winner who did a 15:45 5k in the Assembly League last year.
Simon Phillips
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9-12-14
Mid Essex XC league
Ran the spectacular and very unusual XC race at Hadleigh Park. A combination of the Olympic BMX course and some other very nasty hills and quite a bit of standing water. Well worth doing if you can when it appears on next year's calendar. I came 16th but should have been 12th as a few of us did an extra bit by mistake and suddenly found runners infront of us. It was really hard as 3 hills were so steep we were not strong enough to run them all the way. The BMX course part was fun, as was the mile on the flat where all the standing water was. The results were very unusual as the road racers came much lower down than expected and the more muscular guys higher up.
Simon LeMare
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9-12-14
Hampshire League Cross Country - Match 3 - Popham Airfield
Ran the above on Saturday on a cold but otherwise calm and sunny afternoon. Is a 3 and a half lap course of the field next to the landing strip which is undulating with mostly long gradual drags and descents with a small technical steep up and down section thrown in. Finished 45th out of 256 in 34.59 for the 10K course. Was very congested on the first mini lap around the twisty section of the course but put the hammer down once got into a long stretch and picked places off during most of the race enjoying a few battles on the 2nd and 3rd long laps where I would be quicker on some sections and they would be quicker on others. Race was won in 30.50 and Southampton had a good turnout winning the men’s team above Aldershot, Farnham & District who we are second to in the overall standings.
Tim Sherman
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2-12-14
Bedford Parkrun
Still weighed down by 3lb of plasters needed to help my feet recover from the XC fiasco I ran what turned out to be another battle against Steve Stanley on Saturday. After a quick start and running ahead of Steve for most of the way I could hear him closing in on the last 500m. Whether it was the pressure or the damp weather will never be known but I then suffered a coughing fit which cost me 2 places and 10-15 seconds. I attempted to chase Steve down but could only gain back the 1 place to finish about 8 seconds behind - thankfully I clocked 19:59 and as sub-20 was the target I'm actually quite pleased. Steve sliced ~20s off last time out at Bedford - a very respectable improvement.
Keith Skilling
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2-12-14
Essex Vets Cross Country Championships
On Saturday, along with Mick, I ran the Essex Vets Cross Country Championships won by Dave last year. (Butler not Miller). I had never raced in a large same age group race before, and was curious as to how it would go. At the start I was next to Mick. Off went the gun and immediately I was spiked by someone behind. (I have a nasty hole in my foot and a 1/2" tear in my shoes and now need to buy a new pair). After 200 yards we reached the first area of thick mud. I went in 15th and came out 12th, and managed to get up to 10th 100 yards later. Mick and Colin Ridley were playing with each other up front, pulling away from us with every stride. I was up to 8th, when Mick and Colin disappeared together into the woods. Managed to overtake a couple more and was 5th after the first lap. With 1/2 mile to go i was in 4 th and finished in that position. Very chuffed as I am still only running 2 or 3 times a week. Saw Mick and Colin at the end who had a nice grin on their faces. Looking at the photos on line after the race, when running I was always grimacing in pain, but Colin and Mick seemed much more relaxed, so I need to work on that.
Simon LeMare
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2-12-14
Apart from the favourite Colin Ridley all my other rivals seemed to be absent for one reason or another. So I decided to go out fairly hard with Colin, without over doing it, and see if we could pull away from the rest. The course was a mixture of very muddy/wet fields and tracks and very hard gravel/compacted path, this meant that my 15mm spikes were perfect on some parts of the course and really painful on others. Anyway the race went as planned and Colin and I opened up a gap on the rest of the field that gradually grew as the race went on. I managed to stay with Colin for the first of two laps but gradually on the second lap he moved ahead. By the end the gap was 24secs, and the gap behind me to third and fourth was over a minute. Overall I was very pleased, even if my feet are very sore from the hard ground. Simon ran very well to come 4th and my wife was very pleased to came 5th.
Mick Bridgeland
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2-12-14
(V60 - finishing second to Dave Cox) - Pretty happy with that. Went with him for best part of a mile before he disappeared off in to the distance. Best I could hope for was silver and managed that comfortably. Albeit tough going and too knackered to train on Sunday (Coxy was planning on a 5 mile road race the next day !) Great runs for Mick and Simon. 50+ field was nearly twice as big as the 40+ ! Onwards to the Southern Vets cc in 2 weeks time. See if I can close the gap on DC.
Andy Catton
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2-12-14
Scott Overall and I decided to head to Battersea for the Sri Chinmoy 10k. I felt heavy legged at the start and went off a little slower than usual, but racing more evenly as a consequence. After the initial melee, I gradually picked off people, including the leading lady; nobody passed me till a stealth runner furtively snuck past in the finishing funnel. I was very happy to be 10+ seconds better than expected - 37:16, only two seconds off a pb. Slightly irksome in retrospect though - if I'd realised then I could probably have eaked out a few seconds in the long finishing stretch. Still, I don't feel I'm in peak form so hopefully I can bring that time down next year.
Simon Phillips
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2-12-14
This week-end I had a good race in Basel, Switzerland. 2.5 rounds through the scenic old town, beautifully illuminated with Christmas lights: up to the Cathedral and down to the Rhine river. The reps helped for a true sprint at the start to secure a front row position and my average time over 5.5km with quite some up and downhill was 03:36/km. This lead to 13th out of 400. Details are at:
A happy Dominique Jeker
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2-12-14
Crowborough 10k
Another slightly late race report from me - Crowborough 10k. This is the last race in the Sussex Grand Prix and despite it's reputation for being a little "tricky" in places, is well organised and supported. For those who don't know, Crowborough sits on a hill and has a reputation for getting its fair share of Sussex snow. In fact, back in 2010 when the race was celebrating it's 25th Anniversary, it was a couple of dumps of snow that got it cancelled twice. I felt quite sorry for them that year as they'd had celebratory t-shirts printed with the year 2010 on them, which due to the cancellations, ended up being handed out 12 months later! Funnily enough, I'd only commented to my father in law on Saturday night that I was lucky enough to own one of these remarkable pieces of race history and what collectors items they must be, before I rolled up on Sunday morning to find them selling them off for £1.00 a piece!! Anyway, to the race itself, two laps of a course that starts at the top, heads downhill, runs through a ford and then uphill to repeat itself before a short additional incline to the finish. The euphoria of the start and the general downward trend meant my first mile was my fastest for quite sometime (possibly ever!) at 6.12 but then came the payback with the uphill slog. Mick will confirm that you don't really go to Crowborough looking for PB's and I reckon most people would probably look at an additional 2 - 3 minutes on their 10k time for this course. That was about true for me with a finish time of 44.32 and 82nd place out of 396 finishers. I was pleased to get in front of two other runners in the finishing straight, although as ever, it would be churlish not to mention that they were both an age group higher. It was also interesting to bump into an old school friend who I hadn't seen for 25+ years. He said he hadn't raced for 18 months but still managed to finish 17th in 37.52 (I think he ran London in 1992 in around 2.37). So that brings to a close my first Sussex Grand Prix season - I've really enjoyed the variety of races and hope that I can push on and improve my times in 2015.
Kevin Cockram
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28-11-14
INTER FINANCIAL SERVICES CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS (5.75m)
A good turnout from the Ravens yesterday saw 9 of us run this fun event. Very good fun apart from the run which was a complete nightmare for me - first mile ok, then the (too small) shoes I'd borrowed from Chris really began to do some damage. By the last mile every step was agony, especially running downhill, so I took the shoes off and ran the last 3/4 of a mile in socks. This was the most enjoyable part of the race: relief, downhill, chips and beans on the horizon. Hobbled back to the BoE for a hot shower and a few beers. Can't run today - it was hard enough walking to work. Next year I'll be better prepared.
Keith Skilling
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28-11-14
It was a tale of footwear yesterday, my normal shoes saw me sliding round the course but luckily only falling over once (into a nettle patch). Someone else approached a large mud bath leapt with the grace of a springbok, possibly an arthritic one, landing right in the middle, temporarily losing a shoe. However another borrowed a pair of Salomons from Dom's wife and had a great race. I saw that Tim was 18th in 33:58 amongst some very good runners and we came 3rd of the vets teams.
Simon Phillips
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28-11-14
A fun days running on a muddier than usual Richmond Park course and the weather conditions were kinder than previous years. Some good runs by team Ravens. I had a good run against Simon P who decided that trail shoes are for wimps and ran in road shoes. He ran past me on the dry and I ran past him on the mud. Dom had an excellent run too. Martin thought it would be a good idea to leave his shoes on the route. Dave M broke his x-country cherry on this event - how can anyone have not run x-country before? David - we must talk. Andy H had an excellent battle on the run in to the finish and Keith went Zola deciding that Inov-8 now make gloves not shoes. Tim ran well but was disappointed with a top 20 place - some people are never satisfied. Rupert won the race - to the showers and the beer. Priorities certainly correct there.
Was a good day out for all - come and join us next year.
Andy Tucker
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28-11-14
Yes, it was good – well done Team Lloyds/Ravens! Worth mentioning the fact that it was the largest ever turn out, with 217 in the men’s race, and another 60 in the womens.
Andrew Hayward
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25-11-14
Frustrating race report
Today I ran the Chelmsford 10k. I was a bit anxious as last weekend I had pulled out of a cross country race half way through, due to very sore and tight calves, and still had one sore calf midweek which is why I did a gentle run Tuesday lunchtime and not the reps. It was raining hard, lots of puddles, pretty cold and a bit of wind. So no PB potential. I had entered as Southend AC as it was part of the Essex Championship, with the aim of being top 3 V50. I did not know what to wear. As SAC only have vests and it was very cold I decided on a white running tee shirt, but no SAC vest on top as that would also be soaked all the way through and add extra weight. The race went well and I was in a group of 7 running at almost exactly 6 minute mile pace. The only V50 I saw ahead of me was Colin Ridley who is Mick's pace. Having climbed the slight hill with just over a mile to go, I noticed someone was catching me from behind. I could not make out their age. With 1/2 mile to go they were catching fast, so as Mick said before, ignore their age and just beat them. I overtook 4 people during the last 200m and won the battle of the group of 7, and narrowly beat the person catching me up. Who turnout to be the 2nd lady ! I came about 35th, 2nd V50 in 37.11, 9 seconds off a PB so very happy. I was very cold, like Lee who was shivering in the clubhouse, my hands were numb and I could not even take off the top of the bottle of water we were given at the end, as my hands had no strength. Just before the prize giving ceremony I was told I had been disqualified because I did not wear my SAC top and I explained why. Later I was told I was reinstated. During the prize ceremony, I did not receive anything and was told I was a DQ. My first ever. No complaints, it was always a possibility, rules is rules.
Simon LeMare
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25-11-14
Very frustrating for you indeed! I too "ran" the Chelmsford 10K yesterday. Had a sore left knee since last Thursday and with my marathon this coming Sunday I wasn't in racing or competitive mode. As Simon said, rain was awful, compounded by burst water mains all over the shop, so it was wet, wet, wet. Thankfully I didn't get cold. Started off sluggish (hadn't warmed up as wasn't going to "race"), so first two miles were just over 7min pace, then I saw some of my club runners ahead. Well, I couldn't let them all beat me! So I started picking them off, and really made use of the downhills, fastest mile was 6.42. Mile 4 saw a wardrobe malfunction, shoelace came undone. Don't know how, I always double-knot. Didn't stop straight away but eventually had to, but just tucked it in. Unfortunately it came out but I didn't stop. Was knackered by the last mile and it showed, overall average of 6.59 min miling. Finished around 43.45, not great but I wasn't really ready for it. Knee discomfort back today so won't be doing much this week apart from Ibuprofen gel on it and a couples of miles here and there.
VICKY COOPER
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25-11-14
Freezing, pouring with rain and a good cool breeze. Having checked out the competition in the Vet 40s very thoroughly (name by name), I knew who the serious competition would be. Right from the start I was in the 2nd bunch, I ventured out of it for a couple of minutes whilst trying to drop some of my competition but it was early on and straight into a head wind. So I let them come back to me and tucked behind for a cosy (yeah right!) journey towards the finish. The group thinned out but I did a fair bit of damage to it in the 5th when with the wind behind and a gentle downhill, I put in a 5:30 mile. Just two more hills remain. Got up one just fine, but the last seemed to sap some energy out of me, and what little warmth that I had gained was quickly lost with the final mile to go. I lost a place but picked up one and finished absolutely frozen with nothing but ice in my legs. Time 35:24. Was fairly sure that I had achieved my target 3rd Vet prize but a guy from Colchester who I had beat by 20 places on the Cross Country and who had a PB of 36 minutes was ahead of me by 7 seconds. Gutted.
Lee Martin
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25-11-14
No such frustrations for me, but also cold for the Clowne half yesterday. The heavy rain subsided before the start. I had forgotten how tough this course was despite having only run it last year. Numerous long drags, a few short sharp climbs. All of mile 8 a steep downhill followed by 4 miles of climbing, enough to nearly break me. I managed to go 20 seconds quicker than last year, finishing in 1:23:25, although my splits were much more even this time around. A good event, managed 22nd place. First lady came in at 75:03, very impressive stuff given that the winner did 72:30. Looking forward now to xc on Weds.....
Rupert Holden
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25-11-14
Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC -v- Orion mob match.
Yesterday (Sunday) was the annual mob match against Orion Harriers on our home course. As others have mentioned, it was a rain soaked day so our hilly, muddy 7 and a half mile course was also home to torrents of running water and deep puddles. Lovely stuff. I started faster than usual and was able to keep a reasonable pace all the way round, nothing spectacular but felt fairly strong despite the best efforts of the hills, water and mud. Not sure if the extremely wet conditions helped or hindered as it made guessing where to put your feet somewhat of a lottery and we had a few fallers on the day but it probably washed some of the mud away too. Finished 20th in 56.16 which was fairly good by recent form, so I was pleased, followed closely by Raven Chris Tuck in 27th (57.06). First home was our Mick Skinner in 48.43. We also won the match which is always a bonus but most importantly I had a great days running over difficult conditions with the lads from Orion. Running doesn't get much better.
Andy Tucker
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25-11-14
Poole Runners Winter 5K Series
Took the afternoon off on Friday so could get home early enough to head south west to the promenade at Boscombe pier for the 19.30 start time. Is an annual series of 5 races from October to March on Friday evenings that I used to race regularly in but along with some fellow Southampton AC club mates decided to head down for the first time in 4 years (didn’t seem that long ago)! Is an out and back course but due to very dim light and a narrowing promenade at the half way mark, the organisers decided to create 2 turning points so you ran out for about 1.5k east into a strong headwind, came back past the start and then turned back again into the wind for the final 1k. Finished 5th in 16.55 which was very pleased with given the strong wind. Was great on the stretch with the wind behind though! Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite sure when the finish was coming and only saw it with about 50 metres to go so might have made up another 5 – 10 seconds with an earlier sprint finish but other than that felt good. We all went for the obligatory curry afterwards on Boscombe High Street which went down well.
Tim Sherman
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25-11-14
Masters International Cross country
I turned up at the course in Nottingham at 11am still hoping that someone was still hoping to drop out of the team before the race at 12:30. Unfortunately they did not and I was left to watch as the M55 England team stormed to victory, all four of the team running very well. I was left to wait until the 2pm Open race and my chance to run the same course against the other two M55 reserves plus various other reserves and vets. The race went ok but unfortunately I lost to the 2nd reserve and beat the third reserve, all of us running times slower than the four guys in the England team, the selectors got it right on this occasion !! The course consisted of four 2k laps around Wollaton Park in Nottingham, it was all run on open grassland which despite the rain was not that muddy apart from one small stretch. From the start we went up a long hill followed by an equally steep down hill , the rest of the course was fairly flat. The slowest member of the England team ran 29:08, and in the open race the 2nd reserve ran 29:15, I was given 29:17 with the third reserve 29:45. To be honest I think I actually ran about 10secs slower but that is the official time. Overall I was very pleased, I think I went off slightly too fast and suffered a bit for it, it was also tough running on my own trying to catch the guys in front and stay ahead of the group behind. All good experience, the next race is Essex Vets xc this weekend, I am in the over 50 race so will be up against the youngsters, should be a good race.
Mick Bridgeland
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11-11-14
Kent Fitness XC Match 2, Swanley Park
I ran this on Sunday after (perhaps unwisely) pacing 20 minutes at parkrun the day before. Also coming off a slight head cold so, all in, found the race quite tough going. It is also quite a tricky course, 3 laps around the tougher parts of the park, with lots of windey bits through different terrain (all XC) and undulating rather than hilly. Also quite muddy and heavy underfoot after a lot of rain overnight. I found I could never quite get into any rhythm and was short of where I think I should have been, based more on other runners than anything. Anyway, I was first home for my club, 96th overall (17th in the 45-49 age group), in a time of just over 37 minutes for 5 mile (+) course.
Marcus Elwes
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11-11-14
Bexhill “Poppy” Half Marathon.
Ran the above on Saturday in somewhat lively conditions – strong winds, waves crashing on the course edge, sea spume flying around and half the beach relocated onto the western end of the course, so there was some pretty deep shingle to run through in places. That said, the sun was warm and the sea looked amazing! Came 72nd out of 984 in 1.35.42 – would have been quicker on a quieter day but so would everyone else. (1st place = 1.16.04, 2nd 1.19.10).
Kevin Cockram
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11-11-14
Hampshire League - Race 2 - Goodwood
Ran the above on Saturday afternoon (http://www.hampshireathletics.co.uk/results/2014/20141108_hlmen.html). Is a 2.5 lap course roughly two thirds of which is on an exposed open hilly grass area next to the Goodwood horse racing course overlooking the South Downs and one third of which takes a steep descent into the woods and steep ascent back out. Started off into a strong southerly wind a bit like what we experienced on the Friday lunchtime run and picked people off throughout the race. Finished 58th out of 241 senior and veteran men in a time of 31.57 for the 5 mile course. The winner finished in 27.32 and the famous Steve Way finished 11th in 28.28. Felt stronger than in previous years when have raced it and time was more than a minute improvement on last year though was less muddy underfoot (so much so that I decided to swap the 12mm spikes for my trails after warming up given that there were a lot of concrete and stony areas). The following day I ran a local CC6 (www.cc6.co.uk) series 5 mile cross country in the New Forest which was very hilly and muddy. Was feeling it a bit from the previous day but was a beautiful sunny morning and was pleased with 6th.
Tim Sherman
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8-11-14
Lordshill 10
Ran the above race for the second year in succession along predominately country lanes but partly around an industrial estate on the western side of Southampton yesterday morning. Finished 23rd out of a field of about 600 in a new PB of 57.53 though didn't realise it at the time as thought had run a low 57 last year when in fact had only run 58.32. Race was won by Toby Lambert of Winchester (ex training partner of Tom Payne) in I think 51.12 so Tom's 50-something course record from 2010 still stands. My club SAC had a very good turnout with a lot of our top guys running. Fortunately the torrential rain had cleared before the start but made for a wet course with a half mile section on a pot holed unmade road past a lorry that ceremoniously chucked muddy water over runners on their way past. Good conditions though being cool with a light wind. Was conscious that was slowing by about 20-30 seconds a mile in the second half having gone at a rapid 5.40ish pace in the first half so think a sub-57 is possible if I can maintain sub- 6 minute miling in the second half.
Tim Sherman
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28-10-14
Kent League - Somerhill Park, Tonbridge
Saturday was the second in the Kent League cross country. 10K around the hills of Somerhill Park. Conditions were excellent and team(s) Blackheath & Bromley had a very successful afternoon. I had a fairly strong run but, as I started slow, had traffic to negotiate so finished mid table somewhere. Lovely course, although not enough mud for my liking. Pleasingly, the Senior men's team I was representing won the event, beating Tonbridge and the race itself was won by our Alex Bruce-Littlewood in 33.12. Next event is on 8th November on our home turf.
Andy Tucker
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28-10-14
53-12 Cross Country League
After pulling out of the Essex League match last week with a tight calf, I started the cross country season with a lower league event at Notley Park. It started fast (5:40 first mile) then settled down after the first visit to the top of the big hill. I sat at the back of the pack watching the various runners drop off. With a mile to go there were three of us – and a kindly marshal said 8th, 9th, 10th – there was all to fight for. Using newly found ability to pick it up a bit (a.k.a. not die) in the last part of a race (following Peters advice to train for those circumstances) , I had a quick burst and put 5 – 10 seconds between me and the chasers. Took 8th place without a hard sprint finish – happy days!
Lee Martin
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28-10-14
Old Deer Park, Richmond Half Marathon
Old Deer Park, Richmond Half Marathon. Two lap course, starting on grass, park path, bit more grass, then onto pavements heading towards the canal. Along the tow path as far as Kew Bridge, left turn up a slight incline, round a (sort of) village green, back down the incline, rejoin the Thames path, right turn over a narrow bridge (which pedestrians were unhelpfully also using), back into the park to start the second lap. I was in 2nd place until about mile 6 (just after Kew Bridge) when I was overtaken by a wind storm – she was seriously moving!! Still okay I thought, I’d spotted the serious sized trophies and wanted one so was still in 3rd place. Until about mile 9 when I was joined by another fast female runner who stuck with me for all of 100M before zooming off into the distance. She did catch 2nd place lady and it was an interesting battle to watch, with 2nd place lady retaining her title and had left 3rd place by mile 12 (the Green). I was slowed on the pavement when a bus unloaded it’s passengers and I shouted at the top of my voice “runner coming through” but you just never know which way they’re going to go. Back on the canal tow path for the second time which I really didn’t like, underfoot was broken tarmac and just generally awful, really having to watch every step. I struggled here and pace slowed from miles 10 to 12. However at mile 12, I was passing male runners so still feeling pretty good and was able to up the pace again. Although 3rd lady had slowed, she was still too far ahead to catch. I finished in a new PB of 1.33.10 (the aim was just that!) knocking off 1 minute and 14 seconds (avg pace 7.05). Got a smaller trophy for V40.
Vicky Cooper
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21-10-14
Chelmsford Parks Marathon
I ran the Chelmsford Parks Marathon today and finished 22nd with a chip time of 3:11:11
It was my first marathon and I primarily wanted to use the race to gain experience. Training has been good, I have really enjoyed the distance work and it has brought with it an unexpected increase in speed. I found the reduced mileage two week taper very difficult and it made me question my ability to even complete the race. Without any previous experience at this distance and a only a recent 1h27 half-marathon to go by I was content to set my target at 3h10 (or under if I could). My plan was to run the 1st half in 1h30 and then see what I could do with the rest of the race.
I met up with the two Peters shortly before the start and we filtered with the other runners to the very narrow and congested start line. In the first mile I was hampered by slower runners, narrow course and frequent puddles - as per normal I had started too far back and like everyone else I tried to keep my feet dry working around the obstacles. After the first mile I was 1 minute behind schedule but I found my pace and slowly brought that back to just 25 seconds at the half. As usual it took 8 miles for me to feel comfortable and everything was going well until 16. Here my ankle injury caught me out, perhaps I placed my foot awkwardly but the onset of sharp pain in my ankle caused me quite a concern. I was worried I might need to stop but it was quickly replaced by a bigger problem. The pain started up my leg to my knee and then I lost feeling in my foot! Running with what felt like a wooden foot knocked 40 seconds off my pace. I have had this problem before (not for a long time though) and it sometimes wears-off. My pace continued to drop and feeling in my foot slowly returned however I think I preferred it numb because the pain was really messing with my stride. I was running a short step on my left, trying not to place the foot too heavily and I couldn't push-off. The result of this was that was the next component in the machine started complaining. By mile 22 my hip joints were screaming. I once again contemplated stopping but in the next few miles I was catching and passing other runners in more discomfort. Some stopping bent-over double, others walking. If I stopped I knew I wouldn't be able to get started again and with each step I was getting closer to the finish. Mile 25 was my slowest at 8m44s and from a check of the watch I thought there was a chance of still getting home inside my 3h10 target. With brute force I pushed my legs over that last mile but in the final 500 yards resorted to a limping leg-swinging technique probably never seen before in running. The final straight was lined with a good noisy crowd and my family waiting right on the finish line. I couldn't disappoint so mustered a sprint, crossed the line, stopped and almost collapsed.
Even though it hurt and I was almost in tears come the end I will be back for more.
Stuart Cable
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21-10-14
Thanks for the lift there and back Pete. Chip times Peter Osborne 3:44:55 Peter Chapman 3:40:52. Multi terraine course lots of puddles and very warm. Well marshalled, delayed start, good support ( Writtle turned out well and made lots of noise), very narrow in places (less than 900 finished out of 1900 who had bought places. Not sure the course could cope with 2000 at the start in another year but it did thin out) all in all not bad. Liked being in a group with Pete O leading the way and stayed together until just over half way when we dropped one then another. Just the two Pete's then until mile 23 when I pushed on to the finish. My first marathon so that's a box ticked and got under the planned 3:45. Stuart Cable put in a great time on that course. On a normal road he would have gone faster I'm sure.
Peter Chapman
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21-10-14
Not much to add to this. Was running with Pete as he says to mile 23, when my lack of long runs caught up with me. Can be quite soul destroying when the pace you’ve kept going really well to that point disappears and you see your running partner disappear into the distance. Peter ran a great race maintaining the pace to the line. My target of 3.45 was done, just, in 3.44.55, so happy with that. The course was better than I thought. Apart from the windy thin paths in the first park that slowed the start and one bottle neck at a gate, the field opened up quite quickly. I know the title should give it away, but most of the run was actually in parks on tarmac with a bit of grass thrown in (which whilst wet was a release from the constant pounding). Cheers for the support on the course Mick. Great run from Stuart, despite what sounds like a John Clease type running action near the end!
Peter Osborne
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21-10-14
New Forest (Minstead) Stinger
Ran this local off-road 10 mile race organised by Totton Running Club on my birthday morning. Was a very undulating course over a mixture of gravel tracks, deep stodgy mud in the woods and some sizeable puddles over some stunning landscapes.
Started near the front finding myself running at what felt a relatively comfortable 5.40 to 5.50 pace but conscious not to exceed this in view of the length of race and terrain ahead. After the first mile was in third but first was gone and second was gradually pulling away. By mile 3 could still see 2nd about 100m ahead when my shoelace undid and I had to stop for about 15 to 20 seconds to tie it up. Had already built a gap over 4th at this stage so didn't lose any positions but was the last I saw of 2nd ahead.
As the course went on it became hillier and muddier so the pace inevitably dropped off but was still able to maintain 6.00 to 6.30 pace on the flat and downhill sections. Ran the rest of the race on my own but was conscious was being caught by 4th as the marshalls were advising by mile 8 was about 150 yards behind. Sure enough was passed at a rate of knots at about 9.5 just before the last muddy and narrow climb through the woods to the finish. Didn't have any pace through that section to regain the position but will was still happy with 4th in 64.55 which only 7 minutes off my road PB time. The winner did 62 something and he's a low 15 minute 5K man so gives you some idea about the terrain.
Was good conditions for it and an enjoyable challenging course and well signed/marshalled. Would definitely do it again and recommend it to anyone who's down in that part of the world and enjoys cross country.
Tim Sherman
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21-10-14
Abingdon marathon
My preparation and training for the above was an blueprint of everything you should not do for running a marathon. Therefore, I toed the line yesterday knowing that I couldn't expect anything other than a training run. Which is exactly what I got - a long painful and unenjoyable one. Conditions were warm and windy but generally good. It's a two lap course on a fairly flat course. I had originally planned to try and train and run a PB time on a flat and less congested course. Also to run a new race for a refreshing change of scenery. It wasn't to be. I therefore set off to just run a steady pace and started off at steady 7 minute miling which I held until about half way. I had lost interest in the whole event by 5 miles so just put my head down with the idea of getting some miles in my legs. Slowed considerably in the second half and finished in about 3.15. My slowest road marathon for over 10 years. But then I can't expect anything else if I don't train properly. Miles banked though.
Andy Tucker
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21-10-14
One Tree Hill
Having injured myself in the first cross country race last season my main aim was to avoid injury, my second aim was to run well. I took it steady at the start, especially up the first hill and made sure I avoided the many pot holes on the start field. After that I started to push on and overtook people who had started too fast ( I have been known to go off too fast myself sometimes). I ended up 46th ( I always joke that I aim to finish higher than my age !!) which I was pleased with and despite it being a tough course I felt strong and enjoyed it. My wife and son enjoyed their races as well so it was good family day out.
Mick Bridgeland
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13-10-14
Petts Wood 10k
I ran this yesterday along with Stevie G. It is the first time I have done it but it is a very popular well supported multi terrain local event. The first 3km or so is on road/path and then the next 5km is on tricky undulating woodland trail, quite wet in parts. The last 2km is back on road. Choice of shoe is important. I went for studs which was the right choice I think. In spite of hard running parkrun the day before (full 5k+ course this time), I felt quite strong and was very pleased to finish in 26th place in 42 minutes dead, 7th in the V40 category. Two V50's were also ahead of me, including a hobbling Steve. Really enjoyably tough race.
Marcus Elwes
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13-10-14
Ran yesterday and finished 23rd. Picked up some sort of thigh injury doing the reps on Thursday and could feel it every time I wanted to pick up some speed but thought I would go ahead and run this anyway. Its an excellent race, really well marshalled and supported throughout and has a variety of surfaces – uphills, flat road surfaces and some heavy mud in the woods to contend with. Oh and a railway bridge to negotiate. After about 2k I could feel the thigh injury getting painful and at about the 3k point considered stopping as I was getting a sharp pain in my lower back. But we got to a nice uphill section and oddly enough the pain eased a bit. So I thought I’d carry on. The pain was bearable through the woods and at 8k ish you come back on to the road – I felt sufficiently ok to try to pick up some speed but at the 9k marker the pain suddenly kicked in and I shuffled the last k (moaning and swearing to myself, like the miserable old git I am), getting overtaken by lots pf people. Crossed in just under 42 mins. Enjoyed the samosas afterwards. Back is very sore today and I can walk ok, but slowly. Will have to have a week off. Marcus ran this too and I’m quite sure had a much more enjoyable run! The other annoying thing is that when I looked at the finishing times, if I was injury free I might have been top 3.
Steve Glackin
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13-10-14
Peterborough Half
With the promise of no wind, cool sunny conditions and a flat course, I headed to Peterborough yesterday to try and qualify for a championship place at the London marathon. This required a sub 75 minute finish time. Somehow I found myself lining up at the start with the kenyon elite athletes and likes of Steve Way. Letting them disappear into the distance I focused on my strategy of not racing until I had 10 miles under my belt. Despite being flat I found it harder going then Tonbridge - whether it was the faster pace, lack of challenging hills taking my mind off things or that I hadnt fully recovered i couldnt say but I made it to half way in 37.37 putting me a few seconds behind my 75 min finish target. This realisation helped me focus and get a wiggle on and I pushed harder as I passed each mile marker. I started overtaking people which helped motivation and managed to pass the 3rd vet finisher in the finishing straight making me 2nd vet behind Steve Way in a time of 74.24. Job done.
Andrew Mercer
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13-10-14
Kent League Cross Country
I ran the first of the Kent League cross country fixtures at Swanley Park on Saturday for Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC. 10K around a twisting muddy course. Despite heavy downpours causing localised flooding the weather conditions were good for the race although the course was fairly cut up. A muddy, twisting and undulating course - just how I like them. I started slowly so got held up by the pack through some of the narrower sections early on in the race. Didn't get into full race pace until half way round the second lap but enjoyed the run. Took it sensibly anyway because I'm running the Abingdon marathon on Sunday. Finished mid table (71st?) in 41.10 - not exactly a blistering pace. Good news was we came third in the team race. The club had an excellent day as there were wins for the U13 boys, U13 girls, U15 girls, U17 girls and U20 women teams.
Andy Tucker
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10-10-14
Southend 10k and marathon relay
Along with quite a few other Ravens I ran the Southend 10k. Aimed for 37.30 which is 30 seconds from a PB as I have not done too much running this year. Was on track after 8k and then saw a guy 100 yards ahead who could be in my age group, so I put my foot down and ran the last mile in 5.40, overtaking him with 200 yards to go. Finished 25th, in 37.10, first v50 (the other guy was over 45). I know I should not report on my children, but I am. My son who is 17 ran a PB in the same race by over 3 minutes, finishing in 38.15. I think this race will be the last time I beat my son ! My daughter, 13 ran a marathon relay last week. The team was 13 to 15 year olds from her school and the boys school. 200 m legs. Each person does one leg every 10 minutes. They beat the age group European record finishing in 1.49.
Simon LeMare
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10-10-14
I was there too - along with Ricky and Vicky and Dave Miller (not all running). Had a good race with a group of 6/7 hitting half way just under 17:30. I was feeling strong but didn't want to push on too hard til later in the race when I traditionally fall apart. By 6k we were down to a group of 3, but by 6.5k I told the group around me that we had slowed too much, so I hit the front. They came with me. We reeled in a Southend runner whilst trying to run strongly. The 8th K was the slowest (but really not too bad). Peter McHugh has recently got me trying to push on for the last 20% of my hard training runs, so managed to dig in a bit better than usual and got back up to speed for 9th (they were still within touching distance and the Southend boys were getting tons of support), then went into the red for the 10th and with a useful downhill slope at around 400 to go, gave it my all, to claim 1st Vet 40 in 35:06.
Lee Martin
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10-10-14
Started off nearish the front, didn't follow the idiots going off like loons, (though first mile was a bit quick), tried to keep a steady pace, overtook a number of my club runners who make that classic mistake every time and don't learn. Had a really annoying girl in front of me who kept going really fast, then stopping to drink water. Got rid of her at the turn-around point (Garrison), then ran with a club mate and another fellow, so three in our group. Each time I went to overtake my guy, he pulled forward, he really did not want me to take him, so I just settled in. In the last 1K I could see we were catching Janis from East Essex Tri and I wondered if I could get her, though not a priority as she looked to be in the next age category up (not the right attitude I know, but I'd already got a massive PB and first female for our club, so didn't want to wreck myself). I did catch her as it happens and Lee Martin was really shouting at me to go for it. Had Lee been nearer the end (i.e. round the corner on the downhill) I probably would have done but I decided to leave it until next time. My club guy, the other guy and Janis all finished just ahead of me (as per previous photo) and I cruised in to finish in 42.31, 9th female overall and 4th in my age category. I was very happy with my running, keeping every mile under 7. My halfway point was 21:00. Delighted.
VICKY COOPER
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10-10-14
What a great day, well done to Lee and Vicky. I also ran the Southend 10k yesterday and can report another PB. I was using this race as part of my preparation for the Chelmsford marathon and I wanted to find out if all the long training runs had resulted in improving my speed. It wasn't an easy morning with every part of my normal routine going wrong culminating with what should have been leisurely stroll to the station to catch the train to the event being a full dash. Every cloud has a silver lining however and by the time I arrived at Southchurch Park I had already had 2 miles of fairly fast warm-up. I saw Lee and Vicky before the race and many thanks to Dave for the encouragement out on the course. My previous best time for 10k was 38:12. I felt with the way I am currently running I could take some time off this so I set my target at 6 minute miles. The race started and I found a comfortable pace and the first mile was completed in exactly 6 mins. I soon realised I should have started nearer the front as I was having to pass a number of other runners and as the race went on I was behind but keeping pace with a group of runners that included Simon LeMare. I wanted to catch them but I couldn't reduce the gap yet any runner that was dropped by this group I was able to quickly pick off. In what appeared no time at all I was at the 7km marker and I pushed to catch and pass another couple of runners the last of which was with about 500m to go. I heard cheers for the runners behind me and increased my speed because I didn't want to be passed. I negotiated at speed the tricky chicane, entrance to the park, change of surface and then the undulation of the final few metres over grass to the finish wary of not missing my step (I didn't want to pick up an injury this close to a marathon run) to finish in 37:25 on the clock and a chip time of 37:19. I am really pleased with the time and after a chat with Vicky ran the 6 miles home at a more leisurely pace enjoying the fantastic weather.
Stuart Cable
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10-10-14
Iron Man Wales
A somewhat belated race report from IM Wales – swim, pretty lumpy with 80+ people missing the cut-off or abandoning, suited my ‘agricultural’ swim stroke to tee – out of the water in 63mins (with guys who normally swim 55), overcooked the bike massively but stayed in a strong group with a few pros and top age groupers (5.33), then hit the run and just about survived the hilly marathon (3.17). Finished in 10.04, 15th overall and 2nd in AG. Big lump of IM perspex for the AG podium and had 30mins to spare on the Kona slots – decided not to take it this time round – going to have to do it all over again (in a few years’ time!).
Tom Roberston
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5-10-14
Tonbridge Half Marathon
I did indeed also run Tonbridge on Sunday and was lucky enough to secure 4th overall. The race was also being used as the Kent county championships in which I secured 1st vet & 3rd senior. Undulating and warm are perfect conditions for me. I paced myself off Julian Rendall (i.e. made sure he was sufficiently ahead that I wasnt going too quick!) and managed to run the first half in exactly the same time as the 2nd so perfectly paced. I didnt imagine I would get myself back to running in this form which is down to the Tuesday and Thursday Ravens sessions. Having done triathlon for the last 10 years looks like I had better sell my bike and replace it with a Ravens vest.....
Andrew Mercer
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5-10-14
Barns Green HM - congratulations to Marcus on his new HM PB and Gold medal - well deserved. As for me, a little disappointing but not the end of the world as I finished 129th in a time of 1.36.23; better than 2013 but still some way off my 2012 time which is where I am trying to get back to. As has been pointed out, I probably went off too hard (particularly given the heat) but this was a bit of a departure for me as I'm normally a little more reserved in my approach to half marathons - however, if you don't try these things, you don't find out what does and doesn't work. That said, I believe the running I have done over the last few months should have given me a quicker time but several things went against me in the lead-up to this race, although I know we can all say that for any number of races - that's what makes it so worthwhile when it all comes together on the odd occasion! Anyway, assuming I'm able to run it, next year will be my 10th Barns Green in a row - I'd love that to be a golden year!
Kevin Cockram
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1-10-14
Barns Green Half Marathon
I ran the above race yesterday for the first time, on the recommendation of a couple of you (Tucks and Kevin have run it often) and I have to say it is a great HM, extraordinarily well organised and very friendly. The course is an undulating (closed) road route which goes through some lovely parts of West Sussex, including the grounds of Christ's Hospital School (a Toff school Phil), where a full marching band plays for the benefit of those running! The course was made a lot tougher by the appearance of a blazing sun on the morning of the race and everybody I think had to reassess their target times as a result. From my point of view, I knew that sub 1:30 was not an option in any case, even if it had been cool, so my only real target was to try and better my current PB of 1:34:31 which I thought I had a chance of, depending on how the race went.
I saw Kevin at he start line and he talked me through some of the key points of the course, before shooting off when the race got underway, much to my alarm! I started relativity quickly and kept him in sight, but then held back as I did feel the pace was too high (around 6:30/6:45 mile pace) at the start, especially in the heat. As I say, the course if fairly undulating and as I tried to get into a rhythm, I was overtaken by a fair number of runners early on, particularly on the downhills, but was generally picking people back off on the inclines. After about 4/5 miles, I realised Kevin was honing back into my view and when I pulled alongside him, we stayed together for a bit, as he again told me what was coming up ahead (very handy as it happened, as you go off road for a half mile stretch at this stage), before I pushed on. I felt fairly comfortable at this point and began to overtake other runners fairly easily, particularly on the uphills. By the time I got to mile 10, however I was slowing badly, as the heat took its toll. My insides were also feeling quite unsettled as well - always a worry!
With two miles to go, I knew I was off pace, having dropped my to an average of 7:15 per mile, which would keep me out of PB range, but this coincided with a good stretch of downhill, so I went as hard as I could, knowing that if I could complete the last 2 miles in 14 minutes, I should sneak in under my target. The last half a mile back to the village is uphill and tough but I manged to grit my teeth and get in in 1.33.53, a PB of just uner 40 seconds. Some of you may recall that Kevin has mentioned in the past the top 100 runners get a gold medal. Well they gave me a gold medal after I finished, but I later discovered I had come 101st! However, on chip time I was 100th, so I think it is justified! I was 12th in my age category (V40).
I will let Kevin report on his race, but suffice to say I would thoroughly recommend this race to any Ravens who want to experience a well organised and friendly Half Marathon of decent quality. All proceeds form the race go back into the local community.The first man won in 1:12:24 and the first woman came in 5th overall in 1:17:42.
Marcus Elwes
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1-10-14
Robin Hood Marathon
Yesterday I raced at the above marathon, the first half of this marathon is run around the streets of nottingham I managed to start of the front of the pack and settled into a nice pace, going through 1st mile in 7.10 managed to hold onto this pace for the 1st 11 miles, however by this stage the sun decided to came out and it got rather hot. At 11 miles the half splits from the marathon at this stage I was running on my own and my pace was getting slower and then at AROUND 22 miles got really bad cramp and the last 4 miles was hell, managed to cross the line in 3 hours 22 mins not were I wanted to be but guess you have days like this.
Have decided to take a break from marathons for 18 months now to get my times down.
David Miller
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1-10-14
Tonbridge Half Marathon
I ran the Tonbridge half marathon yesterday around the lanes of Simon Phillip's home patch. It's a well run, well supported race organised by the local community. Facilities are good and the course quite tough - undulating and, on the day, very warm. Coming off the back of a period of injury and illness I wasn't expecting a great performance so managed to run a fairly consistently paced race and finished, as expected, a couple of minutes off my form time. Finished in 1.25.48 in 44th place. First home again was Julian Rendall of Tonbridge AC in 1.14.08. I would have caught him if they had given me another 70 or so miles....
I would certainly recommend this race to anyone who wants a good half marathon although not for a PB.
Andy Tucker
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1-10-14
Elvis (5K)
So on Sunday, it was the last Elvis (5K) of the series. I’d been dropping hints for runners to pace me to a sub-21 but no takers so worked out what I needed to do (around 6.45 per mile) and tried to stick to it. It was an unexpectedly hot day and I didn’t fancy my chances. I was fairly near the front, placed directly behind a girl I have XC battles with (and usually win), but noted she’s had a load of parkrun firsts recently and is definitely a sub 21er. I tried to stick with her, she got ahead a bit, had an Ilford girl on my shoulder (seem to pace her frequently these days, for her to pass me in the last 800) and went through the first mile in 6.42. “Right then” I thought, “just need to stick to this”. It seemed to work, not only did I take the XC girl but three (male) club-mates to boot. Held steady going through 2nd mile in 6.43, 3rd mile in 6.46 to finish the .1 in 41s. A strong field of East London females (and a couple of Ilford girls) saw me finish 6th in a very respectable time of 20.54. As the actual first V35 came third, she received a separate prize so I took home £20 for the actual V35 prize. Been extraordinarily lucky, I’ve taken home £50 in cash and £20 in vouchers in the last three races. Still got my 2nd female prize to receive for the IAA at Battersea Park to come yet.
Vicky Cooper
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23-09-14
BMAF 10000m Track Champs - Birmingham
I came 2nd yesterday in the BMAF 10000m Track Champs at Birmingham. I did 35:51.47, which I was very pleased with considering that I hurt my ankle a couple of weeks ago and although it is getting better it was still a bit sore. The winner did 35:33:37, he managed to get away after about a mile but the gap was less than 100m, 3rd place was 36:56.45 – I could see him across the track and just worked on trying to increase my gap on him. It was again a bit windy down the back straight but overall not bad conditions. I can now put myself forward for the International XC and wait to see what the selectors think.
Mick Bridgeland
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23-09-14
Dartford 10M
After Wednesday’s disaster I decided I was just going to pace yesterday’s race as opposed to race it. I wanted to achieve between 7 and 7.10 mm but couldn’t due to hills, avg was 7.13mm. I just relaxed settled into it, really enjoying the run, getting stronger as I went, overtaking quite a few females that had passed me earlier in the race. Great course, stunning scenery, extremely supportive marshals (best ever) and a no frills race with water and bananas at the end. Still managed to bag a PB finishing in 72.44 and 5th female, picking up another trophy and Sweatshop voucher. Advertised as the last one of these due to constantly having to reschedule (this race is supposed to take place much earlier in the year), hence I guess the large amount of trophies (top 5 finishers for both male and female) and vet prizes/team prizes too.
Vicky Cooper
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19-09-14
Kent 5000
11.9.14 yesterday was club champs split into 3 races. A: 14.30-15.55; B 15.55 -17.00 C: stragglers. Me and Rob Laing went in C but were a little disappointed that one of our training partners had sneakily stepped up into the B race. So we didn't have much to run with. For the sharp end of the race I sat behind Rob (who thrashed me at assembly last week) until the last lap and kicked. Got to the home straight, Rob kicked back, I kicked again and we finished together in 17.50 (although rob was ahead). I definitely feel I didn't work hard enough early on as I had quite a bit of capacity on the last lap. but the real drama was in the A race - Alex Yee (a 16 year old triathlete) pushed Nick Torry all the way and got a 14.40! and another v40 from the club Chris Greenwood came 3rd in 14.47! (2nd fastest v40 Brit this year).
Arif Merali
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19-09-14
Canvey 10k
Ran the Canvey 10k, which had its start delayed due to a car crash on the main road onto the island. After 400 yards I was behind Adam Hickey, Paul Whittaker and a couple of sub 35 minute guys, and so decided 5th was the best I could do. We then ran on the sea wall into quite a strong wind. One guy was wearing a long sleeve thermal vest and was quite happy to take the wind (turns out he a is professional boxer based in Basildon fought 7 won 6) along with another big guy, so a pretty lady and myself tucked in behind them. After 2 miles we entered Canvey Island Country Park and I passed them all. Ran the rest of the race on my own. Mainly worrying if my car will have all of its wheels on when I reached the end. A slow 38.58, but happy with 5th and a kiss from the Mayoress.
Simon LeMare
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19-09-14
I ran the Chesterfield half yesterday, which was run alongside the full marathon. Had the very surreal experience (for me) of finding myself in 3rd place of over 2000 after about 1/2 mile, running around local roads I know well and getting great support from the crowds. There were 2 in front, one running full and the other half - lost sight of these 2 after first couple of miles and ran the undulating course totally solo, holding my place until mile 10 when a pair of half distance runners caught me - could not hold them in the end and took 4th place (missing 3rd by a few seconds) in the half marathon in a long 1hr 21. Happy with my run, even pacing on a good but challenging course - still waiting for results, knew quite a few doing the full marathon, the first ever in Chesterfield..
Rupert Holden
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19-09-14
Ingatestone 5M
Ran this unexpectedly hilly course yesterday. I have done it at least once previously but couldn’t remember it. Beforehand, I had a look at previous years/times and expected to come in around 5th. I finished in 4th (thought I was 3rd as first lady literally was nowhere to be seen), first in age cat and a new PB to boot of 34.38. Took home an iffy trophy of a female runner which looked as though it had a black eye and £30 – thank you very much! It’s the last time this race will be run.
VICKY COOPER
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19-09-14
Ran my first Hellingly 10k yesterday (they were actually celebrating the 30th running of this race so it probably was about time I ran it!). Although not a large event, this is one of the Sussex Grand Prix races and so had a real "clubby" feel to it and attracted some pretty good runners - well that is my excuse for finishing 56th out of around 280 finishers in a time of 42.45. The course itself seemed to be 5k uphill and 5k downhill and although I'm not particularly proud of my 10k times, I think this was probably a PB for me - I haven't raced that many 10k's!
Kevin Cockram
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19-09-14
IAA 10k
It was a great turn out at Battersea night last night for the IAA 10k, with loads of Ravens chequered vests - too many for a full combined race report, I'll focus on those I could see (i.e. ahead of me) so look forward to reading some more reports (yes, you) ! There were a veritable fistful of PBs and other excellent performances with several people still on their way back to fitness. All times approximate. Tucks was out marshalling and Phil was officiating at the finish line, but unfortunately Stuart couldn't make it to defend his title. Arif, Rupert, Dom and I ran the first lap together, with Rob Laing nearby - we were a tad too fast though, first mile 5:45 and not far behind Lee! As we left the park on the big lap, we broke a little from Dom as Dave Meller caught up with him - I then started to lose ground on the, errm, hills (or bridges as some people call them). Rob passed me as we re-entered the park, but we caught up with Arif and Rupert - only briefly in my case, and the gap built again, at least I kept them in sight. At one stage Rob started falling back and I entertained hopes of getting him, but he fought his way forward again and Arif joined him on a surge as they broke from Rupert. As we entered the final lap, Phil implored me to catch them even if it made me sick, so, dutifully, I tried to close the gap on Rupert in preparation for a vomitory last km, but I made little headway so the diced carrots remained in situ. Phew. Lee stormed home in 36:02 and 7th place. Continuing their series of tussles, Rob got the better of Arif on this occasion by virtue of 2 seconds, finishing in 37:16 and a PB. Rupert was next, also claiming a PB in 37:34 and could probably have been even faster if not for Sunday's 1:21 half. I couldn't close the gap much on Rupert but was glad at least to beat the minute boundary in 37:55, top end of expectations. Mainly just times now … let's have some race reports, especially from you PBers ...
36:02 Lee
37:16 Rob PB
37:18 Arif
37:34 Rupert PB
37:55 Simon
38:20 George - a young guest who specially purchased a Ravens vest at lunchtime
38:38 Dave - nearly 2 hours quicker than his 10k on Sunday (which did involve a wetsuit to be fair)
39:25 Dom - really enjoyed it and glad of the pacing from Dave & others
39:36 Steve (S) - would have been a PB except he did 39:28 PB last week and forgot to send the race report ;-)
39:39 Mike PB - very pleased and focussing on < 26 miles next year (and fatherhood)
39:44 Martyn PB - I was shocked at how sweat-free and unruffled Martyn was post-race, clearly more to come!
41:37 Marcus PB and enjoyed the tussle with Cats, sub-41 next year
41:40 Cats - coming back from injury and in line with expectation
42:05 Chris - hot on the heels of the first lady (not Michelle Obama)
43:41 Vicky PB and 2nd lady but still not happy at all with her performance! Spoilt by cash prizes probably.
44:00 Keith - disappointed to be beaten comfortably by Chris, relieved not to be lapped by the winner and rather scary in the photo.
Simon Phillips
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19-09-14
I enjoyed yesterday's race but boy was it hard. I don't do many 10ks and I know why - they really do hurt! I was confident of a PB, given where I am at the moment, but had hoped to be able to break 41 minutes. However, my legs felt very heavy from the get go and having set the back of Steve's head as my target, I had to re-evaluate somewhat after about a mile, when he disappeared into the distance and then Chris eased past me. At the end of the first loop, I became aware that Andy was just behind me and sounding ominously strong. And so it was for the next big loop around the bridges with Chris, myself and Andy neck and neck. Andy then eased past me as we re-entered the park and I tucked in behind him for a while before moving past him, hoping that the manoeuvre would break him (as if). I think I went past Chris at this juncture as well. Andy did likewise and came again and passed me once more. I tucked in again, however, in all the over-taking confusion, I slightly lost track of where we were on the course and saw an entrance to the park which I mistakenly thought was the closest one to the finish, so took that opportunity to surge (or something) past Andy for hopefully the last time, but realised I had gone far too early (probably about half a mile early) and had to hang on for dear life to hold him off to finish in 41.37. I have never been so pleased to see Phil (at the finish line) in my life! A good race but my time for this distance should be better, so still work to do.Afterwards Phil barged me out of the team photo and then Arif took us to a pub on the other side of the Park, the wrong side for all of us (but the right side for him) and then vanished to spend the evening with his Zurich mates. Vicky managed a second PB of the evening by purchasing the most expensive glass of wine in history.
Marcus Elwes
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19-09-14
Lots of progress and without doubt improvement to come. Watching the race I have some observations : 1. When I shouted at people it was interesting that they found more . In some cases improving their position (and therefore time) considerably. Which shows they had some left and were not putting it in. Martyn Starkey has the best style and looked totally relaxed. It even drew a comment from Al Aitken. The women running in Battersea Park are probably the most stunning I have seen in a London park. Cyclists are twats. How can a cyclist just cycle straight thru a finishing funnel when runners are finishing in it. More than once as well. Mark Coxhead and others deserves a big thank you for putting the race on and keeping it alive. He is now getting payback with decent fields. For those Ravens who could not run last night you can always marshall like Andy. Give something back. Great set of PB’s and interesting that there are a lot of personal battles occurring which should also push you on.
Phil Hernon
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9-09-14
Langham 10k
Perfect cool day and a mostly flat course. It had PB written all over it. I missed the small print that suggested that without reasonable recent training, only standard results could be expected. Got through 5k comfortably well under 17:30. Started really dying in the 8th KM and was caught up by two others who paced me nicely in for the sprint finish. A pleasing result given the lack of training…. 35:27
Lee Martin
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9-09-14
Eridge 10m Cross country challenge
I ran this excellent cross country race yesterday in warm but near perfect conditions. The race's tag line is 'It's deeply steep and muddy hard' so that will give you an idea of the course. My favourite sort of race. Having turned my ankle badly a week or so ago I ran carefully so as not to aggravate the injury and subsequently ran in far more evenly than if i 'raced' it. It's an amazing course over private land with some delightfully named points such as 'Cheeky bog', Leap of death and Tomb of the unknown Harrier. I finished in 26th place in 1.19.19 which is a couple of minutes ahead of last year which was pleasing. Julian Rendall of Tonbridge won it (just) in 1.03.20.
Andy Tucker
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5-09-14
Assembly League race at Beckenham Running Club:

Just the 4 of us Ravens again at Beckenham last night: Simon P, Steve G myself and Vicky. Phil came along to support/marshall and Serena was there again cheering us on. Arif and Rob (I think sorry if not) were there running for Kent AC. As for the run itself, Simon has the times but I think the finishing order for the Ravens was Simon, Steve, myself and Vicky, all in very acceptable times as far as I could tell. At 19:08, I was 4 seconds off my time from the June race at the same venue, but happy with where I was and who locally I finished ahead of, including Steve Smythe (Runners World Coach) who I have never beaten before. I put the slightly slower time down to the warmer weather and a poor start where there was a lot of jostling and tripping going on (not deliberate I hasten to add - just numbers). Good to be out running with the Ravens again. I have enjoyed these AL races - they are a good standard for me to measure myself against.
Marcus Elwes
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5-09-14
Six Ravens running at Beckenham last night with hearty support from Phil & Serena. Marcus and Steve were making their 5th AL appearance of the season, unfortunately work prevented Tucks from doing likewise. For Rob and Arif it was race no. 4 ... Cats was due to make but is stuck abroad apparently. Someone got bundled over at the start, Phil had to save a runner from being run-over and Arif was shocked by the big hill early on (perhaps he'd believed me when I told him it's a flat race with a gentle downhill finish). It does flatten out though until you approach the park for the half-mile uphill finish - where Rob breezed past me to finish strongly in 17:15, only a couple of seconds off his last race here. Halfway up the hill I was fading but spurred on by Serena's lies ("100yds to go") and Phil's support I twice rallied, unsuccessfully, for the finish line. However I just held off Arif, both finishing in 17:32 - Arif's first time on the course, I was faster than expected, although about 25 seconds slower than last time, as was Steve finishing in 18:11 on his way to claiming his second prize in a week! Marcus had a good race, beating several rivals and was a mere two seconds off his last race here, finishing in 19:08. Vicky put in a great race for a sharply focussed 20:20. It was a humid night, which made the finishing hill all the worse where just as you think you are approaching the summit, it moves further away. Another good evening's racing and time at the end for a drink or two at the bar whilst the prizes were getting sorted out.
Simon Phillips
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5-09-14
Never done this one so didn’t know what to expect. Hill at the start was a bit of a surprise but not too difficult, the hardest was negotiating other runners/trees/cars etc. Could never decide whether I should have been running on path or road, quite congested either way. Tried to keep up with one Eton Manor woman I usually beat (at the Elvis races) but she had the advantage of knowing the course yesterday (that’s my excuse!). Was breathing rather heavily so got a few looks from those directly in front. Last hill tough!!!!! Serena was very ermmm “encouraging” and I got there. According to my Garmin I managed every mile under 7 so I’m pleased with that. Look forward to hopefully competing in more Assembly League races next year.
VICKY COOPER
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2-09-14
Due to lack of reports, thought I’d mention the Chelmsford Parkrun which I won! I had an enjoyable race with a Vet 35 to come home in 1st place with a time of 16:48. Chuffed with time and place. Just shows what 2 weeks of loafing on a beach in Mexico eating re-fried beans and drinking Tequila does for you!
Lee Martin
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26-08-14
I was third Raven in yesterday’s Barking 5K (as an over 55 but nobody seems to recognise us) ...the story is hidden in the results. To be fair, I was really suffering with my sciatica the days leading up to the race (even calling Nick C at the weekend to get some advice). On the day it was really quite painful. I arrived my normal 2 hour before the race and did my prolonged warm up (which includes rubbing a jar of Tiger Balm into my leg and foot), in the hope that my leg was ready at the start. I started and it was a painful in the hammy and foot .. the foot feels dead like it has pins and needles in it . It means I have to start a lot slower than I would like, but by the start of the second of two laps the foot had life in it. By this time I had let Andy go ,but could see him some 400 metres in front. It gave me something to chase ..I was praying he did not look over his shoulder and by 800 to go I was 30 metres behind him but he took a sneaky look and tried to sprint .. I stayed with him and got closer but he took another look with 150 to go and had enough to beat me .. if it had been a 5 miler I would have had him but it was not. Throughout this chase I could see Marcus getting closer as well but he finished quite well and stayed ahead of Andy C. My second lap appears to be 30 plus seconds quicker than the first.
Phil Hernon
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26-08-14
I came 74th overall (214 finishers), 7th female but first in my age category and new (massive) PB of 21.08. Fairly uneventful race, kept it steady, kept overtaking people, was pleased to beat two females who always beat me in 5K races, an ELR girl and Breege Nordin (V55) of Ilford, extremely competent runner and I’ve never managed to beat Breege in a 5K ever, so was dead chuffed. Also beat three of my club mates who I never beat. Interesting fact about the Yorkshire lass who came first (female) in 17.55. She completed a parkrun on Saturday morning then the Thames Meander Marathon that afternoon, finishing in under 2.59.54, getting first female and her prize was… £15. The entry fee was £29. Personally I think that’s taking the Mick.
VICKY COOPER
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26-08-14
What do you mean "tried to sprint" - I took off like a scolded cat ! :) So what really happened. I started even slower than Phil. Getting my worn out old bones going at that time of the morning demands far greater effort than warming up a dodgy sciatic nerve. Whilst Phil was having a little coming together (think Hamilton and Rosberg) with one of my female club mates I managed to slip past. Think she was temporarily disorientated by the tiger balm fumes. Opened up a comfortable 30 secs lead at halfway slip streaming Marcus. Then much like Andy H's comment on Phil's race report think I must have dozed off. Rudely awoken by a quick look round with 600 to go and decided to get a move on. Found lots in reserve and eased past several rivals (including another unbeknown 60 year old) leaving Mr H trailing in my wake, albeit he was now fully warmed up and flying ;) If its any comfort Phil when I was afflicted with same trouble by doing right piriformis stretches and glute strengthening it can disappear as suddenly as it came on.
Andy Catton
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26-08-14
As you will have seen, I ran this yesterday, having taken up Phil's offer of ring side seats for the final showdown between him and Catts. Interesting physiological battle between the two beforehand, as Phil conceded pre-race to Andy due to his Sciatica. Sensibly, Andy remained on guard to keep a steely eye on his injured opponent, which was wise given how well Phil ran in the circumstances. For my part I struggled. I don't know why but I just could not get going, failing to get under the 4 minutes per km which is my main target for every race of this length. In fact, had it not been for a cheery Dagenham runner who recognised the Ravens strip and helped pace/encourage me round the latter stages, I am not sure I would have finished strongly enough to get near the 20 minute mark. Great to see Andy, Phil and especially Vicky at her 'home' event and doing so well. As Phil says, her Club take great pride in a fabulous event with a big turnout given the BH and the rain. It was good to support the event and it is a complete bargain at £5. Not many races that competitively priced these days.
Marcus Elwes
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18-08-14
Stour Valley Path 100km I am pleased to say that my final ultra of the year is now behind me. On Saturday I ran and crawled the Stour Valley 100KM (62 miles) through the Suffolk and Essex countryside between Newmarket and Manningtree. It was a very beautiful route passing at the end through Dedham Vale and the scenes of Constables paintings. Unfortunately, it was dark by the time I got there! The race itself was very mixed and as usual I got lost several times due to poor concentration and not following my map, which was very disspiriting, adding about an extra 3 miles. I went through the marathon point comfortably at about 4 and a half hours before having a very bad patch between 30 and 42 miles nearly missing a cut off point. However, I recovered in the later stages and was able to run reasonably well towards the finish. Out of 126 starters, 74 finished and I came 39th in a time of 13 hours and 30 mins.
Mike McGeown
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17-08-14
Saturday - Tunbridge Wells Park Run - 9th place with a PB of 21.13 - my times have gradually been coming down over the past few weeks so hopefully sub 21.00 on this course is not too far off for me. Sunday - Henfield Half Marathon - a small(ish) low key trail half marathon that follows the Downs Link and various tracks and bridleways towards the South Downs. Pleasant scenery, flat but with a number of stiles to contend with. My time of 1.36.36 (my watch) put me around 20th (give or take a few places either way - my wife was counting!) out of I guess around 100 plus runners - I assume the results will be in the public domain at some point in the future. An enjoyable race which was completed in ideal conditions before the rain came through and represented the "extra HM" that I needed to find to put into my schedule of planned HM's to make Hastings 2015 my 50th HM. Also an indicator for Barns Green at the end of September - more work required!
Kevin Cockram
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15-08-14
Last Wednesday I did the middle of three 5K races around a hilly course in Epping Forest. Still on one leg because of sciatica (with the aid of painkillers) I managed 20 31 which was 3 secs outside my best for the course and 45 secs faster than the last one. Course is on trails and there were the odd muddy patch. If the sciatica goes I am sure I can get around 19 15 on the road. Nevertheless, I quote the Orion website - Summer Grand Prix Tables 2014, 16 races done, Congratulations to Phil Hernon who has the Mens Over 50 category sewn up with 4 races to spare. Job done!
Phil Hernon
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11-08-14
I finally won the BMAF M55 5000m yesterday in 17:34.40. I have been trying to win this race first in the M50s and now in the M55s for as number of years. Unfortunately none of my rivals turned up and I ended up running the whole race on my own and nearly lapped all the other M55s twice, it was a bit tough into a headwind down the back straight with no one to run with. My nearest rivals in the race were the first two M60s (their race was run with ours) who finished in just over 18mins. Chris Beecham had a great run in the M45/M50 5000m, he ran 16:15 to come 5th – it was a great race to watch, Chris was running with a group of 6 runners and was in 3rd place with 2 laps to go and looked on for a possible medal.
Mick Bridgeland
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8-08-14
Last of the Summer Whine trail race (6.5 miles) in Pleshey, Essex.
V enjoyable run out with some good company keeping me on my toes and vaguely on track.
Lee Martin
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8-08-14
Assembly League 3.5m - Victoria Park Report: enjoyed myself yesterday - went at a sensible pace, smooth all the way round (quite easy actually) and knocked off 20 seconds from may (20.08). Funny old sport - been going backwards on the track recently. But I did cheat - i took a taper day wednesday - although your body feels no different it does give you an edge.
Arif Merali
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8-08-14
I did 22.20 (unofficial), which was around 35 seconds faster than last time, albeit in somewhat more conducive conditions. I struggled for the the last half a mile, having really pushed in the middle of the race to get up with some runners I knew I might have trouble staying with. Tucks was about a minute ahead of me, but did not seem to be running as easily as he normally does. Mike was 15 seconds or so (I think) ahead of Tucks and Tim I obviously never saw once he shot off at the start. Well done to those who turned out, including Arif for his well represented Kent team. The field generally was smaller than last time, presumably due to holidays. Dulwich again had a strong turn out.
Marcus Elwes
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8-08-14
I made my time 19.17 which was about 20 seconds slower than last time but coming off a 4.5 mile cross country race the night before and a high mileage week including the fartlek session on Tuesday was fairly happy with that. Felt I was moving well on the almost completely flat course. After a sensible start picked runners off during the rest of the race. Unfortunately in the sprint to the line against 2 others I felt I was just edging ahead but I was placed on the far side where the overhanging branches are so lost some momentum ducking out of the way. The other 2 therefore finished ahead but we were probably within a second of each other. Good chat and drink afterwards at the Royal Inn.
Tim Sherman
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8-08-14
As Marcus said, I did about 21.20 with Mike McGeown probably in the 21.0 something range. Well done Mike - good run. Not my best run but lots of reasons for that.
Andy Tucker
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8-08-14
Tour of Terling
8 miles trail race on day 1. It’s in my back yard and I need to stretch my legs this week after a very low mileage / quality week in Woolacombe camping. I hooked up with Gary Chandler and Mark Newton and right from the start regretted my choice of running buddies. Because I was sure that they were hoping to drop me right from the off, I doggedly held on to their shirt tails and ended up feeling stronger than they looked towards the end. A great run – only spoilt by the insane pace. Currently we are in the lead. Tonight is Day Two - a 5 mile trial race
Day 2 - 5 mile Trail race. Decided to give it a go as a solo navigator - IE not run as a team (with someone who can really interpret the instructions). I live very local to the race but that proved to be a disadvantage - ended up missing gates to go through and footpaths (FP) to head down. I found all 5 clipper points on this very twisty trail but ran 6.5 miles in this 5 mile race. Lots of stop and starting and running like a headless chicken. My main competitor ran with a mate and his kid but he didn't get lost and ran at a very leaisurely pace pretty much the same time. He was leading by 12 seconds after this day.
Day 3 - 4.5mile multi terrain race involving two transits of a significant ford. Two key things; (1) there were time bonuses for 1st, 2nd, 3rd of 30,20,10 seconds at the end of the first half lap. (2) If you finish within 30 seconds of the person in front, you get their time. Main competitor went off v fast (he had effectively had a good rest day yesterday). So he got the 30 secs, I got 20 secs. I started dying on the hills and was about 15 secs behind him after one lap as we entered the ford. He was really slow in the water and I got back to within 5 seconds. By halfway around lap two he was about 25 seconds ahead so I had it all to lose! I gave it full beans through the ford - didn't catch too much up but finished within the permissible 30 seconds. So going into Day 4 (2 x 1 mile sprints - uphill and downhill), I am now stuck in second - behind by 22 seconds.
Final Day - I cemented my position of 2nd with a steady 1 mile up and 1 mile down (6:15 and 5:15). No real racing intent – just to come second.
Lee Martin
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8-08-14
Ran 10k yesterday in a recorded 37:24. Pleased with the effort and I would have definitely ranked this as my PB except that: 1) This was the final leg of a triathlon and I had already done nearly 2 hours of punishing swimming / riding - hence cannot be considered a road race under normal rules. 2) As per usual, triathlon distance are a bit suspect - from some course mapping available, the route was just over 9.8km - however, still felt like the longest 10k that I have ever run.
Rupert Holden
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8-08-14
Ran the Wheatsheaf & Pigeon (our local pub, affectionately known as the “Wee & Pee”!) 5k on Saturday. Fast flat course along the towpath between Staines and Laleham - it was actually 5.25k, but who’s counting. Having not run for the best part of three months until the beginning of last week, I exceeded all expectations by coming 5th overall, just about twenty seconds behind the first lady. I was first M50. It’s great to be back running.
Andy Hayward
P.S. I suppose I should admit that the entire field was six, Michele actually beat me and was the ONLY lady, and I was the only runner over 50. Still it sounded good for a while!
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8-08-14
Saturday was Orion 5M trail race. Most difficult aspect not knowing the course, or where to expect the hills. Main hill manageable, worst part of route fairly near the end, the grass sort of goes up and down a lot over (approx.) 200M. Finished 5th female in 36.32, awarded V35 as other V35s finished higher up the field. Really enjoyable, it’s part of a series of 3, next year will aim to complete all 3.
VICKY COOPER
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8-08-14
Phil and I were there as well, not far ahead of Vicky. I think we managed to get round on one good leg each. A testing little course and was very happy to manage to 7 minute mile it and feel reasonably good. And at least 1st M60. Been in a bad way since with abscess under a back tooth. Painkillers and antibiotics kicking in now so should be back out running tomorrow.
Andy Catton
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8-08-14
Last Saturday I did the Forest 5 a hilly trail race in Epping Forest. The conditions were perfect but I ran most of it on one leg. The terrain, particularly the last hill , was really not suitable for the treatment of sciatica!. Thou I did my fastest time in the three race series , Saturday being the third race. I managed to keep ahead of Cats and Vicky – Vicky being first in her category , she got a nice medal. The following THREE runs SUNDAY, SOR and canals were tough . I was considering dropping out of last night’s race a 5K again for the club over the trails in the forest. After the warm up I knew I was not good and the sciatica was bad , but decided to run for points. After a mile I could hardly move my left leg! I managed 21 14 on one leg .. slower than I had run a 10k in the other week. Now 68 points ahead with a maximum 75 available to anyone . So one more race(5 remaining) and I have won it!. My personal target for the summer achieved!.
Phil Hernon
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22-07-14
Ran two races in two days. Wednesday did Andy Catton’s club 5 mile . Hilly tough course through Hainault Forest with very difficult underfoot conditions including gravel. I found this tough on my sciatica and as a result did not run as I hoped . I finished in 35 09 about 5th Over 50, first over 55 .. on Thursday I travelled to Welwyn to do Midweek League’s final race. My legs were shattered and I decided to start at near the back of the field and use it as a tempo type run. I finished the up and down course in 44 38 and felt good and oddly my legs now feel fine. Slow for a 10k but a good feeling going past people and enjoying the run. The good news is a total of 28 points for two races and increased my grand prix lead.
Phil Hernon
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22-07-14
On Saturday I ran the Chilterns 31 mile Ultra. It was a hot, humid but beatufilly set run through fields, forests and hills. I am pretty pleased with a time of 5hrs 46 mins. I finished 24th out of a field of over a hundred other happy nutters despite getting lost at one point and running 32.5 miles in total.
Mike McGeown
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22-07-14
Attended my first ever Track and field at Dartford on Friday. Did ok in the 800m and then pulled my left hamstring in the 100. My own fault for not warming up properly - I had warmed up for doing a longer run but not the right way for a sprint.
Steve Glackin
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11-07-14
As I was going to be there anyway with my son who was doing the 800m I decided to give the Woodford Green open meeting 3000m a bash last night. I had convinced myself that just under 11 minutes was a sensible target for my first time attempt at this event. Other than 88 seconds per lap sounding plausible there was no other logic to me coming up with this time. I ran the first 3 laps in about 80 seconds each with my son shouting “slow down you f***ing idiot” after each one. 80 seconds a lap would have brought me home in 10 minutes. He needn’t have worried because by the end of lap 4 I was overtaken by a small child and the bloke I’d seen half an hour earlier at the bar with a pint of John Smith’s and a pickled egg! Anyway, a finishing time of 11.18 saw me last other than a heavily pregnant lady wearing flip flops. The annoying thing is I will now have to do another one just to prove to myself I can do it properly.
Steve Stanley
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11-07-14
Great City Race
A good showing of Ravens last night at this event - myself, Steve, Vicky, Arif, Peter O and Richard S, the latter all resplendent in their company colours. The all cotton R&Q running vests were particularly attractive it has to be said. My company had not bothered to attire us in the corporate livery, so I took the opportunity to parade my Ravens colours. I also saw Serana's other half Damien who was running for his company and got a great shout out from Serena herself at the end of the race. I find this a frustrating race on several fronts. I suspect that for fun runners and newbies it is great because you get all the razzmatazz of a big race (over 6000), but for the more serious runners (no observations necessary thank you), it is a bit harder to enjoy. It is a very flat PB course, but you have to be in the right position at the start to make the best of it, which is at the front. Unfortunately, as I had put my estimated finish time as 20 minutes, I was put in a 'pen' of 19-27 minutes, behind the front pen, and I could not get near enough to the front before the start, so spent 75% of the race dodging and weaving through other runners (many with ipods, backpacks, trousers, etc., some even walking!). The other frustrating aspect is the length of the course. My garmin had it at a whopping 5.26km and others were in a similar range over. I do not know whether this is something to do with the tall buildings, bridges, tunnels etc or whether it is genuinely long, but it is slightly frustrating not knowing for certain. As a consequence I was annoyed immediately afterwards with my time of 19.28 because, if my watch was right, my 'real' 5k time was well below 19 minutes, which is a key target. However, after a night of mature (ish) reflection, I realise it is a huge chunk (40 seconds) off my 5k road PB in any case, and if the garmin was right, then I should be able to get under 19 legitimately soon. Saw Vicky, Peter, Richard and Steve afterwards. Vicky was very pleased with her time of just over 21 minutes, which was brilliant the day after a tough Wimbledon common trail race. Richard was under 20 minutes whilst Peter was just over, well ahead of his pre race prediction. Steve had a tough race, injuring himself towards the end and limping home (still faster than me mind!). I didn't see Arif but assume he smashed it, in spite of doing reps at lunchtime.
Marcus Elwes
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11-07-14
Bloody carnage - i let Phil Sanders have my pink dot so got stuck in awful traffic - absolutely caned it but still got 19.38. slightly damning verdict on the city - ipods everywhere/ people pulling out after 2k/ goodie bag bigger and heavier than the london marathon! but in keeping with the city loads of free booze :)
Arif Merali
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8-07-14
On Friday night at the Southend Athletics Club eat as much as you can charity curry a pretty female runner persuaded to do my first road race of the year, and join her for the Horndon on the Hill 10k. This would my longest hard run of the year as I have been snowed under with work and not done much training due to 3 months of 14 hour days. After lots of encouragement from Robin I was 15th at the bottom of the hill after a mile, at the top of the hill after 2 miles I was 9th. Picked off another couple at miles 4 and 5 and finished in 7th in about 37.58 and first V50. I went home with a couple of blisters as it was such a long race.
Simon LM
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8-07-14
Milton Keynes 10k (1.7.14) Yesterday evening – Milton Keynes.
This was the final race in the East Midlands Grand Prix Series. Flat and fast with the first 100 of 475 runners coming in sub 40. By some fluke of nature I was one of them – with a PB of 39.53. (and it only took me 30 years of running to get there! I reckon in another 10 years I could shave 30 seconds off that). But in all seriousness, it’s been the Raven’s fartlek and interval sessions that has made all the difference, so thanks to everyone for that. I didn’t do any of the other races in the series as I didn’t stumble across them until a few weeks ago but it included a 10k at Silverstone race circuit and some other very well attended events. So worth a thought for next year for anyone up in the Northants/Beds sort of area.
Steve Stanley
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8-07-14
MID WEEK LEAGUE Highfield Park, St Albans - 10k (1.7.14) 41 11- the start and finish of the course was pretty rutted . Feel if it had all been road I would have been closer to 40. Good course thou and St Alban Striders did themselves proud a very well organised free race.
Phil Hernon
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8-07-14
Phil very kindly got me a number for this mid-week race, as it’s very close to me. It was a lovely evening for racing with probably 300+ runners turning out. The route took in a lap of the park and then onto a cycle path to the east of St Albans and back. Not feeling particularly race fit I went out a bit harder than I should to see if I could hold on, which took its toll after 6k when I felt my pace noticeably dropping. Held on to finish in around 40:45 with Phil coming in just after me in a time of around 41:2? which keeps him in pole position to win the club trophy.
Martyn Starkey
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8-07-14
Dulwich Midsummer 5K (3.7.14)
I ran the Dulwich Midsummer 5k on a very warm Thursday evening (admittedly not as warm as the lunchtime Ravens 5k race!). Perhaps surprisingly, given how may 5k distances I run, I have very few official 5k times, the majority of my appearances at this distance being either parkruns or Ravens 5ks. So I was keen to do well, however, my plan was foiled by the fact that because of the ongoing work at Dulwich Park, this race was shifted to Brockewll Park which is substantially less flat than the former! As a consequence, I was unable to break 20 minutes but was happy with my placing of 26 and the identity of some of the runners who were behind me. Dave's old nemesis Tony Tuohy was 5th in 17.12.
Marcus Elwes
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8-07-14
Ran the Orion 5 trail race sat . It was wet and slippery in places but ran two mins quicker than last month. 34 52 ... Very hilly course ! My 11th race since early June .
Phil Hernon
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8-07-14
Bewl 15 (6.7.14)
Yesterday was the Bewl 15 miler (incorporating the BMAF multi-terrain championship, seemed a lot of good runners) and I met up with Mike and Kev at the start. It's mainly an undulating, very pleasant trail, bit slippery in a places due to the rain. After 10 miles round the lake, it's onto road for about three horrible miles of hills, then back to trail, where I overtook the leading lady … and a few seconds later almost went flying at a slippery, downhill 90-degree turn in the woods! Just about managed to keep her at bay, even on the uphill finish, for a time of 1:43:08 which I was quite happy with. There was a huge selection of homemade cakes, of which I helped myself to four lovely pieces. Met up with Mike who had a disappointing performance, only managing once piece of cake by my reckoning. Still, he had a good race and we settled down for the free beer (Harveys) and a chat with Kev and his robot nipples.
Simon Phillips
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28-06-14
I did 5000m at Eltham last night. Pleased with 16.56 M50 pb.
Luke Armitage
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28-06-14
Battersea Park 5k, 26th June 2014, AL No. 4 2014
Course: a flat, fast course, on pathway within the park
weather: a bit sweaty, light rain at times, wee bit of wind in places
additional comment: 20-something piece band playing 70’s tunes (eg YMCA) during warm up and race.
Winner - sub 15 minutes! (Paul Martelletti)
Tim Sherman: “Had a good race”, finishing @ 12th overall, an incredible 16.36, a road pb by 2 seconds.
Friar Tuck: Currently nursing a calf strain, decided to run (but take it easy). Tuck’s taking it easy still meant he sailed past me (Lisa) no effort to a low 19 minute finish. Positive note- the calf didn’t play up
Mike Mc: Animal - 19:04 – less than 15s from his pb. Amazing run in light of having just done double ultras at the weekend and LB Relay on Wednesday
Stuart F: First race since FT100. 17:30 - regardless of the fact he has only been running @ 20m per week plus one reps session (although he has been doing @80m on the bike) , would have been happy with 17:59. Legs aching today.
Stevie G: “Didn’t enjoy the running last night” but still “managed” 18m 25 secs!
Simon P: looked and felt pants but he pulled out a 25-second season’s best of 17.52
Lisa: 20.35 – royally messed up – flew off at the start far too fast doing the first mile in less than 6m (derrrrrr)!
The guy in the blue shirt (???? Arif…??!!!): 18.08 – another great run having done the LB relay Wednesday night
Lisa Wright
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26-06-14
LBH Bridges Relay
It was a surprisingly big event last night with 142 teams and a really good atmosphere and setting, across the river from Big Ben. The 2.3 mile route passes Lambeth Bridge, carrying on to Vauxhall Bridge to bring up the first mile, cross that and alongside Millbank, across Vauxhall Bridge and a half mile sprint back to the start.
Tim, Mike, Steve S. and I were running for the Ravens and Phil very sportingly turned up to support us.

At 7pm the riverside walkway was busy but quietened down in time for the race start, which was a congested affair with Tim getting stuck towards the back, but he overtook lots of people en route to Lambeth Bridge, running excellently - even so he was rather surprised to overtake Tom Payne on the other side (who was running the first leg as a warm up!) and finished 12.27, putting us in 10th at that stage.
Mike was next and ran really hard trying to keep us in a good placing, his lungs exploded in the final sprint but urged on by Phil he did a great job keeping us at 15th with a time of 13:58. Steve ran the 3rd leg holding off all but two runners and leading home a 'peloton', after a bit of a gap. Steve finished really strong with a time of 14:30.
I ran the final leg and it was probably the weirdest race I've run, over 500 runners but I didn't see another final-leg runner until the final half mile when two overtook me, I was glad to have proof of the race! In fact from Vauxhall Bridge to Lambeth Bridge I didn't see any other runners at all, got slightly lost at one stage where there were no people and it was a relief to see a marshal at the bridge since I was worried I'd gone a bridge too far. My time was 13:45, and we finished in 19th place. Tom brought home the Run Fast team in first place and Arif's did the 3rd leg for his team which finished 25th.
Steve says he was disappointed with his time of 14:30, but I had a look at our most recent Ravens 5k times and, like the Tim & Mike, he was bang on the pace of that -unfortunately I was 13 seconds slower. Performance of the night was Mike, running so hard and well just three days after a 70 mile double ultra around the Isle of White - he'd recovered well enough after a pint of Guinness that he was talking of doing the Assembly League tonight. He'd run a 5k warm up too.
Hopefully see lots of you at Battersea this evening.
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24-06-14
Beckenham 10k
Ran this along with Simon Phillips yesterday. Though it was a 9.30 start it was quite hot even then. It wasn’t the best attended race for some reason – though there were lots of Dulwich runners present. Started off at my usual pace and the 1k marker arrived too early - at 3m 5secs on my watch so it was a bit short. Simon was ahead (maybe 150 metres) and going strong though I just about managed to keep him in my sights. Second time around I began to make a bit of ground and just after the 8k marker he was only about 30 yards ahead – from 8 till 8.6k is uphill and I was making up ground - after that the remainder is a little down and flat – and I couldn’t make up the extra ground though I was getting just a smidgen closer. Finished in 37.51 - so a reasonable time and about 10 secs behind Simon. So I was very pleased to get that close in the end! (1st MV50)
Steve Glackin
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24-06-14
Lovely day for a race with Stevie B at the Glackenham 10k. The hills took their toll on me and I slowed second time round. Although I held off Steve at the end, someone between us gave me a sprint finish - thought I'd seen him off but he surged past me at the line, I do enjoy them though. Finished in 37.41
Simon Phillips
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24-06-14
North Downs Run - 30K
I ran the North Downs Run yesterday, a tough, hilly and extremely hot 30K across the hills and woods of North Kent. My favourite kind of race. The race started at 10.30 and was already 25 degrees when we started and only got hotter. It's a beautiful course with some extremely steep climbs and descents with a real variety of terrain - grass, paths, woodland, tarmac and cornfields. Truly beautiful although you spend most of the time looking where you are putting your feet. I started of easy and picked it up. Had a steady race of picking people off and, despite the midday heat sapping the strength - a lot of the course is in the open under the blazing sun - I managed to finish strongly in 2.20 and 23rd place. I have run this race many times before and I think that was a course PB for me so very pleased. Puts me in good stead for the Bewl 15 in a couple of weeks.
Andy Tucker
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24-06-14
It was the Dartford Sprint Triathlon for me yesterday which also doubled-up as our Club Champs. The was meant to be a 750 meter swim (more like 900 meters) a 24k bike (reduced to 19k due to flooding) and a 5k accurately measured run. The good news is that I managed to win both events. Unfortunately though I seemed to have picked up a slight injury which resulted in me hobbling out of T2, however once I got going on the run it was a lot better. Come the start of the 5k run I did have quite a big lead so I decided to run a little easier and not go full gas. I am still hobbling a bit today. I am a little concerned because I have an Ironman in two weeks but at least I am now in taper mode so I just need to take it really easy.
Ian George
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24-06-14
Southern Athletic League - Division 1 - Match 3 - Southampton
I ran just the 1500m this time as a non-scorer – there were plenty in the race who were faster than me with a large contingent from SAC. As is usually the case in a 1500m race, the pace on the first 2 laps was ‘relatively’ easy but then really wound up with 800m to go. With a big lactic acid build up on the last lap, I managed 4.24.3 which was 0.9 outside my PB. Was hoping for a PB but as was so close was not too disappointed. The winning time was 4.07 with a close field in under 4.20. At least I wasn’t last as there were a couple of lads from another club behind me at the finish.
Tim Sherman
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17-06-14
Friday evening was T&F for my club in the SCVAC Kent Div 2 at Norman Park, where I came second in the M35 1500m B string race in a PB of 5.30.8 and ran the first leg of the 4x400m relay, which we won. We also won the meeting itself and moved up to second place in the Division as a result, with 2 meetings remaining. Saturday, I paced 21 minutes at the parkrun, with Stevie G pacing 20 and Tucks 19 minutes. On Sunday, the 3 of us ran the Orpington 10k, which has relocated to a new trail course around High Elms Country Park. Organised by the Orpington Road Runners club, they heavily (and somewhat gleefully) advertised this new course - 'designed by a sadist' - as one of the hardest 10k's in the country. We were even started off by a man dressed as the Grim Reaper! All good fun. It was certainly a very challenging course with several long hard ascents, a number of quite tricky descents as well and plenty of hazards to watch out for. Anyway, strong performances by Tucks who came 7th in 41.33 and Steve who came 16th in 42.40. I came 29th in 46.27. The total field was just over 300 and only the top 3 runners subbed 40 minutes.
Marcus Elwes
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17-06-14
As Marcus mentioned, I too ran the Orpington 10K. It was a new race/route but around familiar territory for me. I had a good run after a hard first K and was able to pick my way through the pack, using my local knowledge to my advantage. Lots of tough hills worked in my favour so the last K (mainly downhill) left me chasing down two runners. Unusually for me I ran well on the down hills and even put in a sprint finish to take them both for 7th place. Pleased with that. Steve G was first M50.
Andy Tucker
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17-06-14
Orpington 210K Ran this along with Andy and Marcus yesterday. Phew it was tough! When asked before the start ‘ how tough is this, in comparison to Lloyd park run’ Andy replied without hesitation ‘Twice’. Easily the hardest 10k I’ve ever done, it seemed to defy logic by having more uphills than down, given the start and finish are at the same place. Even the downhills were very tough, because they were so steep and usually ended with a sharp turn. The flatter bits in the woods were lovely to run through, the flat bits in the fields much less so, as it was quite uneven underfoot. Andy overtook me at about 2 k and though I managed to keep him in my sights till about 7 k, he was gradually pulling away and looking stronger as the race progressed. Pleased with my time of 42.40 and also pleased that the morning was a bit grey and cool – perfect running weather. Marcus is running very well at the moment and posted a 46m time.
Steve Glackin
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17-06-14
I eschewed that rather tough race and went for the flatter Self Transcendence 10k at Battersea Park, finishing in 37:22, best run since vlm. Simon Phillips
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13-06-14
Battersea Park 5K
Rain stopped just in time for a hot 5km on Monday eve. Went through 3km in 9:52. The 4th Km hurt a lot and I slowed down and let too many people pass me. Managed to hang on there for the 5th km to grab a respectable 16:45 (8 secs off a PB). I will now start to remember that the 4th KM is where I need to buckle down and just get on with it!
Lee Martin
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13-06-14
Wimbledon Adventure Trails:
Race 2 Vicky and I ran this yesterday evening. It was good fun, though I have to say a much tougher course than I had expected. Undulating (especially the first half) with heavy sticky mud in parts, despite the good weather - trail shoes were definitely needed. I had no real expectations, set off too fast and got a stitch half way round (!), but picked up later on, though had nobody to race to the finish. Came 25th, 4th in my age category. Vicky had a very strong run, in spite of being pipped by two runners on the line (I did warn her!), coming 35th, 3rd in her age category. Excellent and challenging event, well worth doing. I think the last in the series is on the 9th July.
Marcus Elwes
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13-06-14
I enjoyed last night’s race far better than the first one. I did finish with a sprint, giving it everything I had, little annoyed to literally be pipped at the post and yes, Marcus was very vocal (yelling at the top of his voice from 400M away), but there was nothing I could do. Even though I said I wouldn’t do the last one in the series, I am actually VERY tempted… J
VICKY COOPER
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13-06-14
Finished my fourth race in 8 days last night . The record - forest 10k midweek league 42 mins , Orion trail 5 ran an easy 36 mins , Tuesday did Elvis League 5m 33 mins couple of secs Vicky and Cats did this. Fiver to enter goody bag and t shirt - a proper runners race great course. Last night did Trent park 9k midweek league race 36 mins. Possibly best of four and beat numerous runners who have been beating me.
Phil Hernon
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12-06-14

Assembly League 5k - Beckenham 5.6.14 Lisa, Andy, Marcus and myself represented the Ravens at last nights event. Did ok, thought I was striding along at a decent clip and even managed to overtake quite a few on the last hill, but was a little disappointed to record 2 secs slower than my last time there. Still if nothing its consistent!
Steve Glackin
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12-06-14
I was very pleased with my run last night, 18 seconds faster than last time at this venue and I managed to finish ahead of several local rivals, one of whom I have never beaten before (and who looked suitably unhappy about the fact). It was a lovely evening for running and the more I run that hill at the end (third time in 2 months), the less it seems to bother me. Great efforts by Steve, Lisa and Andy C on the injury comeback trail and thanks especially to the latter two for making the trek to Beckenham to represent the Ravens.My unofficial time was 19.03, Steve was comfortably under 18 mins, Lisa I think was about 19.40ish and Andy a bit over 20.
Marcus Elwes
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12-06-14
Yes a good evening, weather was a huge contrast to the last AL! I made my time 19.42 which is 2 seconds faster than my previous best at beckenham (i stole them 2 seconds from Steve!)
Lisa Wright
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12-06-14
A beautiful day for running yesterday, saw Dave Miller, Stuart Cable and Vicky en route in the Southend hm and we had good repeated support from Wes and Simon LM on the laps along the seafront. Try as I might, I finished in 1:25:11, surprisingly 3½ minutes slower than last year! Nothing to do with the weather. Nice to catch up with Dave and Stuart at the end, Vicky must've quietly sloped past us.
Simon Phillips
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12-06-14
Due to one of my runners collapsing, I DNFd. More important to look after him. Two people looking after him when I arrived were great, then when I saw him I took over. Quickly got medical help and he’s now fine. Exhaustion and dehydration. One guy in his 30s died, lots of people collapsed and were generally ill due to the weather. Saw Dave Miller and chatted to him at the end which was nice.
Vicky Cooper
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12-06-14
As simon and vicky have already mentioned I run the southend half marathon yesterday, far too hot for me, so decided to lower my target time. Managed to cross the line in 92.32 mins which i was pleased with. Was good to catch up with simon and vicky and thanks for the support from wes and simon on the course. A very sad end to the day the guy who passed away i had got to know over the past couple of months, my prayers and throughts are with his family today.
Dave Miller
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12-06-14
A very late race report from me - I also ran the Southend Half on Sunday, it was my first race since I messed my ankle up last year so I was really pleased with a 1:26:55. Over a minute off my previous PB.
Stuart Cable
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12-06-14
I ran the 5k at the British athletic league national 4 at Mile end for Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets on Saturday filling in for a couple of absentees (Paul Martelletti. ..?) I ended up running by myself as some were way ahead others were way behind on a hot afternoon dropping off the pace a bit in 2nd half. I ended up with around 16:52 (by my watch) picking up points for 2nd b string not bad but room for improvement.
Rob
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4-06-14
Wed 28th May
I did my first 3000m in 34 years last night. I had no idea how to pace it but was pleased to get 9.47 (my watch) just ahead of Keith Newton who did 9.50. My boys did pb’s Alfie 2.04 800m and Noah 4.21 1500m. Winning their races easily with solo runs once the pacers had dropped out. Impressed as they have done no track running as they have been rowing and won the National Schools rowing title in Nottingham on Friday.
Luke Armitage
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4-06-14
1st June
Did the Outlaw Half triathlon yesterday, running the half marathon at a very even 7 min mile to finish the run in 1:31. (this followed the 1.9k swim and 56 (+) mile bike, finishing overall in 4:59:35, just managing to crack the 5 hour mark and giving me 14th in age category). Great event, good weather, very tired today, will be out for some slow recovery runs at some point this week.
Rupert Holden
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4-06-14
3rd June
Last night I ran the first Sri Chinmoy Battersea Park 5k of the year. There was a massive turnout of 235 runners and I ended up with 17:00, 2nd V50 behind Tony Tuohy (16:42) and 29th overall which shows the quality of the race. I was just in front of Keith Newton who ran 17:10 and the first women, Sandra McDougall, who ran 17:12.
Mick Bridgeland
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27-05-14
I completed the first Elvis race hosted by Dagenham 88 at Eastbrook End last night – trail 5K race, finished in 3rd female place, new PB of 21.20. Saw Andy Catton.
VICKY COOPER
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27-05-14
I ran the Essex Champs – Vet 1500m race on Saturday, I came 7th out of 9 but it was great fun as a race and I ended up with a seasons best of 4:42.89. The most important thing was that I ran faster than my son who earlier in the day won the U13 1500m in 4:54.39, a PB, and to see him on the podium getting his gold medal was a great moment.
Mick Bridgeland
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27-05-14
I also ran the Essex Vets 1500m on Saturday. Luckily it was before the heavens opened! I came 4th in a time of 4:37.98 but trailing the first 3 by some 18 secs. Pleased with my run & must be getting the marathon out of my system now! Great runs by Mick and son. Particularly from son, Zak, who will be beating us soon at this rate.
Dave Butler
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20-05-14
Sunday 11th May - Hastings 5 Mile - 34.32 (75th out of 367 finishers)
Sunday 18th May - Horsham 10k - 43.49 (83rd out of 442 finishers)
Quite happy with both but hope there is better to come.
Kevin Cockram
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20-05-14
I ran for Ilford in the SCVAC league match at Lee Valley track last night in the 3000m. One men's race for all age groups 35+ with 23 runners. I came 4th overall and 1st M60 in a time of 9:55.9. A few secs slower than last Wednesday's 3000 but still happy with my run as I move back to shorter distances after the marathon.
Dave Butler
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19-05-14
Gothenburg Half Marathon and Crouch End Kids Fun Run
Not being able to run more than 6m since late Feb has not been the best prep for Gothenburg, but as it was a work related event (running as part of a 30 man and woman team for Gard) I felt I should give it a go. Gothenburg is quite something, the world's largest half, with 66,000 starters in 25 different staggered starts of about 2500 each. Quite good elite field off at 1pm, my start time was 148pm and despite being at the front of my pack spent the next 1:39:15 overtaking, speeding up, slowing down, dodging, jumping round fun runners and trying to stay cool. It was a balmy 23 degree and quite uncomfortably hot. Settled early into a surprisingly comfortable 715 pace but course bottle necked horribly in the middle parts so dropped to 745 and then picked up again at end to finish (in the athletics stadium) comfortably and most importantly injury free. I'll give it another go next year as its a nice course, great city and real party atmosphere and my time should get me a better start next time. Weird experience as I knew I wasn't in ideal shape but probably overtook what 7000 people maybe more and can't recall being passed once, so that must be some sort of record! I seem destined to run halfs when coming back from injury but all the physio and personal training in the gym seems to have worked, hip alignment sorted, knee pain gone and felt good even tho time a PW. So see more of you all going forward I hope. Then, to punish me for being away on a Saturday, on sunday my wife had entered my 5 year old son (and me) in the U-6 boys fun run, 1m round the local park, part of the Crouch End 10k and Fun Run Day. Junior went off like a rocket, with a trademark "eat my dust" ringing in my ears (quote: Dusty Crophopper in Disney's Planes if interested), leaving my sore quads struggling to keep up, Owen then got sidetracked by an interesting leaf and some well intentioned heckling from neighbours, before knuckling down, turning on his "boost" (a facility only available on top of the range hot wheels) and finishing in a very creditable 9:35, a proud dad hobbling in just behind.
Andrew Chamberlain
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19-05-14
Ran the Eyam half marathon yesterday. Stunning scenery with views over 5 counties, assisted by the glorious sun! Very challenging course, as reflected in mile splits of between 5:13 and 8:38, this was not flat. Finished in a long 1:27 (good 2+ mins quicker than I have run this previously) getting me a top 20 finishing place. Very enjoyable run, first race since Manchester marathon.
Rupert Holden
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19-05-14
Baddow 10 Miler Race Report > Hot Hot hot. A very steady climb being towed up the 2 miles of hill (3 & 4 miles) by a young Southend Runner. Mingay and I battled away until 8 miles until I just had to let him go having felt v tired from quite early on. Time irrelevant (1:00:19) but 2nd Vet 40 and 9th place was pleasing. I seemed to fair better than many others (including Gary chandler and some other Springfield team mates). Vicky and Dave Miller were also there.
Lee Martin
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19-05-14
As Lee said I also raced at the Great Baddow 10, the weather was really to hot for me to go for a PB so decided to just enjoy the day. Set off too fast, did the 1st mile in 6.45 then by the time the long drag started at mile 2 was running at round 6.55 pace managed to keep this going for most of the race, the wheels really started to come off at round mile 9 but managed to cross the line in around 69 mins. Not to myself must try harder, not no excuses these days as I am not working so have lots of time to train.
Dave Miller
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19-05-14
Third time doing this race for me and as I've been on form recently I had two goals; one to get a decent PB and the other to beat our top female club runner. Thankfully I achieved both. I came in at 1.12.51, 6th female, unsure of Vet placing (Lee can you email me directly (i.e. not group) and show me where those placings are?). It was harder than I remember, the hills seemed longer; as per Dave, great first mile (6.40) but mile 8 I was down to 7.44, overall avg 7.14. Hot! Annoying female ahead of me who walked up all the hills but still beat me - argh!! Lovely to see Lee and Dave (even if I did call Lee, Dave).
VICKY COOPER
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19-05-14
Crystal Palace Sprint Triathlon
Ran 5k at a very hot and hilly Crystal Palace in 22.24 yesterday. As this was tagged onto a bun fight in a swimming pool and 9 times around a cycle course with a pig of a hill each time, was quite pleased with my 1.24.33 time. Got sun burnt! Peter Osborne Well done Peter. I was there too and every time I do this race I forget how hard it is. I managed to get round in 1.12 which was good enough for 3rd vet.
Ian George
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19-05-14
BMAF National Road Relays - Sutton Park, Birmingham. I ran the first leg of 4 of the BMAF Road Relays on Saturday. It's an undulating 3 mile course and was warm but I was pleased with my run and 17.49 time. I had difficulty getting through the pack at the start but at least I didn't have to cope with the wandering herd of cows who came to spectate the latter stages. Unfortunately, my leg 2 runner was nowhere to be seen when I reached the finish and materialised from the ether 3 minutes after I finished. This dropped our final M45-55 team position from 21st to 29th. A great day out - 10 hours door to door for 18 minutes of running - which I heartily recommend to all clubs out there to participate in.
Andy Tucker
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19-05-14
Southern Athletic League - Division 1 - Match 2 - Abingdon
I ran both the 3000m and 1500m on a warm Saturday. Sat in sheltered stand for most of day and there was some intermittent cloud cover so didn’t suffer too much with the heat. The 3000 was first and finished in 9:31 which was a 1 second PB. Was a bit thrown with the pace in the early stages. The front 2 who I knew were quicker than me including one of my club mates went off fairly easy and I thought it was best to stick behind my club mate but then he didn’t speed after a few laps so realised he was suffering and eased past. Unfortunately 2 of my other club mates who are of similar pace to me past me but only finished 10 and 5 seconds ahead of me respectively so not too bad. Think I should be capable of a 9:20 at least this season without the quad/IT band niggle I’ve got at the moment. Was done in at the end but legs didn’t feel too bad so thought I’d give the 1500m a go an hour later as a non-scorer with no pressure to get points for the club. Felt good and enjoyed it more – was nice to see only 3 laps to go when crossing the finish line for the first time! Finished in 4:30 which is my second best time over the distance and 6 seconds off PB which I did last year fresh so was happy with that. I feel that there’s more to come as the season progresses, get my niggle sorted out and get a bit more speedwork under my belt.
Tim Sherman
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19-05-14
Ran the Bromley park run again last Saturday in reasonable 18m 18secs. There were 525 runners - Bromleys biggest ever attendance. Noticed that Luke and his sons did Dulwich - all very impressively too!!
Steve Glackin
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19-05-14
As Steve mentioned there was a record turn out at Bromley. Steve did not mention that he came third out of those 526 runners. There was also a record turn out at Lloyd parkrun, where I ran. The field was boosted by none other than an Inter-Church Mob Match between Selsdon Baptist Church Runners, Chiltern Church Runners, Good Shepherd Runners, Holy Trinity Church Wallington and Molesey Church RC. In total this amounted to about 80 extra runners in a field of 221 all told. Some great slogans on the backs of their running shirts like 'Blessed Are The Pace Makers', 'The Last Shall Be First' and best of all on a 100 parkrun shirt 'And The Centurion Did Believe'! Funny though it might sound, I did not run well at all. I was very sluggish over the first half and only picked up late on in the run. It was perfect PB conditions, so bit of shame not to have got under 21 mins. Enjoyed the inter church mob match though!
Marcus Elwes
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15-05-14
Wimbledon 5m Trail
Well, first of all, you’ll be pleased to know I didn’t embarrass myself or the club with my run (though possibly myself as I realised at the end I had my shorts on back to front…). It was a bit of a rush to get there from work, tube, bus, walk; didn’t think I was going to make it in time, picked my number up and quickly got changed. The route was once around a small field, out into the undulating/muddy woods, back to the field for another lap to finish. First half mile was a bit dodgy because even though it was flat, the path was narrow and there were massive puddles; the runners ahead/at the side were trying to avoid them so left you nowhere to go and you couldn't get past. Once that was out of the way, I was able to pick up the pace a little. There was a nice long downhill (that Andy was at the bottom of) where I managed to overtake a guy, then it was trail/cross country. Some very, very muddy, short hilly bits so not sure how those who wore “racing flats” would have got on and low hanging trees. It was nicely scenic, I managed to pass one more guy and a girl then just ran as best as I could. The “toast rack” really took it out of me, legs felt heavy and was down to about 7.50 minute miling so not good. Once I was back on a flat path, I could see the first field again and was able to pick it up a little. Nobody was near me so was able to run though the big puddles where necessary and avoid the ones I didn’t need to. I felt that I finished strong and claimed first vet lady. Struggled with my breathing most of the way round, so something to work on. My average pace was 7.31 and I finished in 37.26 (according to my Garmin).
VICKY COOPER
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15-05-14
Beckenham Road Relays
Marcus and I both ran the Beckenham Road Relays last night under our first claim clubs. This is the race I ran last year as part of team Ravens with Simon Phillips and Steve Glackin. 3 legs of 2.6 miles around the multi terrained and hilly Beckenham Park. I ran the first leg in 15.36 which I struggled to achieve but was pleased with. Too short and fast a race for my liking. Marcus ran well to bring his Bromley vets team in only 4 places behind our B&BHAC A team. A great race with a lot of familiar faces to me.
Andy Tucker
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15-05-14
I ran 16.46 which was a 30 second PB on that course, which I am really chuffed about, because it is a tough race with some very high quality runners.
Marcus Elwes
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15-05-14
EVAC 3000m Chelmsford
Good conditions with Mick, Dave Butler and Simon Le Mare and a good turn out by some recognised V40s Gary chandler and Paul Dobson – they upped the challenge. They would have like me to pace them round the 7 ½ laps but I figured with their fitness coming from pure marathon training, I would target the Mo’ approach and sit at the back of the leading pack and wait for the last 2 laps. It worked with a slow (by last year’s standards) 9:45 ish. Gary challenged well for 2nd, Dave Butler 9:51 3rd , Dobbo 9:53 4th, Mick in 10:01 6th.
Lee Martin
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14-05-14
Completed Bluebell 5M trail race yesterday in 36.38, got 5th female. Should have done better, fell on second lap. The fall wasn’t serious, I went down in the mud, sort of skidded onto my bottom where the ground was incredibly soft, muddy and watery but it slowed me down and it was sort of hard to get going again. I looked a sight.
VICKY COOPER
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14-05-14
Did the first Midweek League race last night. A good standard league made up by clubs from North London, Herts and West Essex. Four/Five races on the road from 5m-10K the clubs are in two divisions we got promotion last season. Last night’s was 10K around the cycle paths of Stevenage . A twisty hilly course ran in constant rain. As I am not one of the elite runners (but they never showed!) from our club, I decided just to use it as a bit of training. Started off with one of the slower guys from the club and at 5K pushed on to negative splits of 21. 45/ 20.33 and in truth was comfortable (other than the sciatica) all the way round . On the second half went past 40 at least ,only overtaken by 2. Not up with some of you guys but with the nagging sciatica /piriformis nerve problem, which Nick C assures me is not a running injury, I was pleased to complete my first road race of the summer.
Phil Hernon
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7-05-14
Richmond Half
Perfect running conditions yesterday, and an early start which is always a bonus for me. Large enough crowd, but I managed to start at the front. I set off at a good pace. Probably too fast, but it felt alright. I was in an epic battle with a 'Master' until the 6m marker, then he just left me. Bit demoralising, but I was trying to pace myself. I slowed after 8 miles, but really tanked after 10. Managed to cruise home for a time of 1:22:35. Splits as far as I could remember them were: 6 miles at 36:12, 8m at 48:14, 11m at 1:08:20, 12m at 1:15:30. Overall, great race. I can see why Andy T got his PB there.
Gregory King-Underwood
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7-05-14
Thames Path 100m ultra
Mission accomplished! My time 21 hours 15 mins. Ultra runners had said to me that with these sort of races you go through many highs and lows and I found this to be very true. At the 51 miles check point I phoned my wife and said I was thinking of quitting because I felt exhausted and the area just below my right hip was really painful . I decided to push on and try and get to 60m and then decide what to do. By 60m the pain below my hip/groin was too great to run but walking was ok. I realised time wise, I could walk the last 40m and still complete within 24 hour, which was my revised target. From mile 60 to 85 was horrible. This stretch was through the night and the area we covered went through squelchy mud and sodden meadows. I also missed a maker and got lost for about 15 minutes which at the time was very disheartening. By mile 85, the sun was rising and I was given some painkillers and knowing there was only 15m to go,this gave me a huge boost. The combination of the painkillers and the beautiful sunrise made me decide to just go for it and get the thing done as quickly as possible regardless of the discomfort. I ran the final 15 miles in around 3 hours gaining around 9 race places. As I say mission accomplished but never again; although without injury I think I could have gone quicker....... 24 hours after completion, I still feel very beat up but considerable better today. hopefully by Wednesday i’ll be ready for an easy jog. A thank you to Andy Haywood and Michelle for their support as I passed their home. I finished 38th. Some amazing times from the top guys and lady. see link - http://www.centurionrunning.com/live/2014-tp100-live/
Stuart Fraser
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7-05-14
Gear 10K - Kings Lynn
As mentioned by Phil, me plus Lee, Mick and Luke ran in the "Gear" 10k in Kings Lynn on Sunday which was also the British Masters 10k. This was a well organised race around the town centre with a fast flat course though with quite a few twists and turns. A large and good quality field with over 1700 finishers. I started off at a good pace (first mile was 5:22) though slightly behind the others. Then settled down into a mile pace around 5:30 and gradually gained places and now slightly ahead of Mick, Lee and Luke and catching the leading V50s who I ran with/just behind over the latter few k's. Pleased to finish as 1st V60 (and 37th in the overall race) in a chip time of 34:34 just 20 secs off my 2010 PB, over a minute ahead of the 2nd V60 (David Oxland) and 10 secs behind the winning V50. With Lee, Mick and Luke following closely behind.
Dave Butler
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7-05-14
Light breeze in Kings Lynn meant that PBs were possible but we are all Vets and struggling to maintain our current times (let alone go for PBs). It was a sharp start with the four of us running together until the end of the seawall at 4k. I pushed on at that point and Dave seemed to come with me and then set the pace. I hung on to his shirt tails until 7k and then just had to let him go as tiredness took over. Slowing up, I expected a raft of people to come past - only 2 did and I hung on to the back of the second one until the 9k marker and then pushed hard for the finish where I retook those places. Like Dave, it was only 10 secs off my PB in 2010. Chip time 34:52.
Lee Martin
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7-05-14
As Lee said I ran with Dave, Lee and Luke (plus others) at the start. I got dropped between 3k and 5k, but managed to get back to Luke (who has also been dropped) by 6k. I ran/races/battled with Luke from 6k onwards, racing with each other took our minds off of the distance and pain. We could see Lee ahead and realised we were gradually closing on him, I made my final move with 400m to go and managed to shake Luke off. Finished with a chip time of 35:00 to come 3rd M55, a M55 PB and my fastest 10k since 2011 (As you get older Lee you have 5 year age group PBs !!). My wife came 3rd W40 in the race, and 2nd W40 BMAF (one of the women ahead of her was not a BMAF member). Overall a very pleasing run, a flat course but a bit twisting and turning, fast times are down to the level of competition. Mick Bridgeland
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7-05-14
Ted Pepper 10k
Ran the Ted Pepper 10k yesterday morning, organised (brilliantly) as ever by our own Mr Tucker. It’s a tough course, though quite flat, most of the ground was hard but rutted making it necessary to watch where you put your feet. Its also quite energy sapping, and it was quite a warm morning too. Mike, Marcus and Simon also ran. Started off ok – if a little way back and gradually worked my way past a few people – got to the halfway point in just over 20 mins. The second half felt slightly downhill and I got to the 8k marker in 32m so I knew I had to kick on a bit if I was to get sub 40. Luckily the last 1.5 k was on a much flatter surface so I just crept in under 40 mins. The race was sold out I understand and seemed to have a very big contingent of Dulwich runners… Thanks again to Mr T for organising and well done to all the other Ravens runners this weekend.
Steve Glackin
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7-05-14
As Steve mentioned, 4 Ravens ran this race yesterday on a lovely sunny morning in Bromley and of course one organised it, with great efficiency and a good sense of humour to boot (although I have to say some of the jokes at the starting line have been heard once or twice before Mr T…!). I managed to see Simon, Steve and Mike all before the race, but not much after it started. The first 600 metres of the race are on the track at Norman Park, before the course wends its way out onto our local parkrun course and then disappears into the woods and fields that surround the area, before finishing on the track again. As Steve says, it is a largely flat course, but tough on the legs and the warm day, though welcome, added to the challenge. Knowing I had no chance of beating any of my fellow Ravens (or indeed being beaten by any of my local club members), the only targets I had were one or two parkrunners I knew and to get under 45 minutes, which I had never achieved before in this race. My halfway split was a bit over 22 minutes, so I was on course for my main target and, in fact, was able to better that with my second half split to get a time of 43.23, which I was very pleased with, as it constituted a PB for an off road 10k, and was a couple of minutes faster than my best on this course. I didn’t see any of the other Ravens after the race (other than Andy), they were all obviously keen to get home – I believe Simon to support his wife in her first 10k race. I hope they enjoyed it too. Excellently organised race as always. Very competitive field with a lot of club runners, especially from Dulwich. In fact their top female runner Clare Elms and her coach Steve Smythe (of Runners World) I saw on 4 different occasions last week – T&F last Monday, Assembly League Thursday, parkrun Saturday and Ted Pepper yesterday.
Marcus Elwes
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7-05-14
I also ran the Ted Pepper 10k, which was very well organised by a friendly fellow with a familiar face, also meeting up with Mike, Marcus and Steve at the start. It was a lovely sunny morning and good route though parkland and woodland, although flat it felt tough. At around 8k I started fading, ready to pretend I still had the marathon in my legs, but picked it up again as someone tried to pass. On the home-straight Tucks shouted, "hurry up if you want sub blah" - I didn't know what blah was but I fancied subbing it, so I hurried up to finish in 38:58 (16th). After several cups of water, we got a yellow thing and a free pair of socks to round off an excellent event. Saw Steve and Mike at the end, but couldn't find Marcus - glad you had such a good race. Simon Phillips
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7-05-14
Milton Keynes Half
Yes my FIRST ever half, so not really knowing what to expect, only that I wanted to try and get under 90. Training has been hampered over the last month or so with work commitments, so going into it I didn't have the confidence that I had done the work required, which really started to notice after 10 when my pace dropped away. It was also very warm, as I seem to remember it was for Keith doing the half last year!! On a positive, 45th out of 1600 finishers so was reasonably pleased with 90:44, but have gained more in terms of what is required in future.
Martyn Starkey
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7-05-14
Great Notley Duathlon
I did the Great Notley Duathlon on Sunday. OK so I know it is a multisport event but it did contain 2 runs legs and only 1 bike leg. Anyway the race was split in to two waves the under 40’s and the over 40’s. The over 40’s was by far the biggest wave. Come the end of the first 4k run there were of us who came in to T1 together but half way through the bike I managed to take the lead. It stayed this way until T2 when the guy who was just behind me flew through T2 and had a 10-15 second lead on to the 2nd run. I managed to close the gap to about 5 seconds but he then pulled away on the climb up Kestrel Hill (those of you who have done the cross country at Great Notley will know this little lump) and I finally came home 2nd vet about 20 second behind. Fair play to the winner as he used his running shoes on the bike as well hence the reason he was so quick through transition!
Ian George
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2-05-14
Assembly League - Victoria Park 1st May 2014 8 Ravens flocked to a very wet Victoria Park last night for the latest Assembly League. Mike McGeown, Marcus Elwes, Tim Sherman, Richard Sherrard, Steve Glackin, Victoria Cooper, Lisa Wright and yours truly represented our fine club for the 3.5m race. Arif was also there proudly wearing his Kent AC vest. The heavens had opened leaving the course, and runners, very wet. I had a fairly good race although got badly boxed in at the start. Took me some time to get going just in time to see Steve Glackin and a superfast Mike McGeown disappear into the distance. Picked up the pace and managed to pass them on the outward leg of the long lap where Mr. McGeown made some suggestion that I was without parents. Held on for a hard run in at the finish chasing a guest runner friend from my Blackheath club. Finished in just under 21 minutes with Steve Glackin just behind me and Mike not far behind him. Not sure of the times or positions so I will leave others to tell their own story.
Andy Tucker
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2-05-14
Like myself, there were a few of us representing Ravens for the first time last night and I thoroughly enjoyed myself in spite of the weather. Although I felt a bit sluggish in our warm up, as soon as the race began I felt good. During the first mini lap I kept just behind Mike and Andy but realised that they were going a bit too fast for me and I wouldn’t be able to sustain it. I managed to settle into a nice rhythm though and had enough energy left at the end for a decent sprint finish. I came in at just under 22 minutes and according to my GPS tracking I got a 5km PB of 19:36 during the course, so very happy.
Richard Sherrard
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2-05-14
Rain. Walk. Rain. Walk. Rain. Walk. Run (in rain). Walk. Walk. Walk. Shopping for soap. Walk. Walk. Beer. Train home. I ran 22.55 or therabouts, just ahead of our two superfast Ravens ladies. Beat one parkrunner that I usually lose to, but he had just flown in from Dubai that morning, so not reading too much into it.
Marcus Elwes
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2-05-14
I started a couple of rows back from the front and was a rather congested start being careful to avoid tripping over anybody so reckon took at least 500m to get up to speed. Legs felt heavy to start with but soon picked up. Picked off quite a few on the first short lap and got stuck in with a group who were going at a similar speed. By that stage there was quite a gap to the leading group at the front but think they were out of my league anyway. Think I managed to maintain 5.20-5.30 miling pace for most of it but haven’t checked the Garmin stats yet. Finished in about 18.54 so reckon would have been between 16.30-16.50 for 5k as 0.4 mile is about 700m? Tired today after 2 nights getting home around 11pm but well worth it – a good quality race and a good turnout. A good representation of Ravens decked out in black and white which was good to see. Tim Sherman
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2-05-14
Despite not looking forward to it and generally being down in the mouth about it, I did enjoy it. Was a lot busier to start that I imagined and I tried to get ahead, but just made a tactical “school boy” error of going off too fast and tiring early. Couldn’t keep up with Lisa (though she was very encouraging) and found the long straight on the second loop hard going. Still I finished in fairly good spirits; my first two miles were under 7 minutes but just crept over on the third to go 7.03 – disappointing but hopefully I’ll improve. Despite being the last of the group, I certainly wasn’t made to feel any less a contributor and I really enjoyed the “running” chit-chat on the way back to Stratford station. Poor old Mike M was desperate for a pint! Think I came in around 23.40. Loved the photo!!
Victoria Cooper
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2-05-14
Good evening for a run, not a good for travelling on foot in the rain to the run!! Concentrated on not going off too fast at the start (which is something I usually do); I think it mean that I had a better 'rounded' run. Quite pleased with my time, I think I did @ 23m. Post race touch - discovered it was less than 10m from the Vicky Club House to Hackney Wick overground. Wish I realised that before I went!!!
Lisa Wright
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2-05-14
My second Assembly race of the season and I must say, it’s a very good event. The different courses and distances make it a ‘newish’ challenge each time. The course was really good – flat and fast. Got to say though, its not as easy place to get to and this was confirmed further by the late start – to allow participants to make it through the evening traffic. Despite the earlier rain, the conditions were almost perfect - a cool evening, and no wind. Quite a crowded start and for the first few hundred metres it was difficult to get going, but after a bit I was able to get some space and watched as most of those ahead went further ahead. At about the mile marker, Mike zipped past me and that was my q to wake up and stick with him. I just about caught up with him and we ran pretty much together for the next mile. I knew full well though (from the coughing and spluttering behind me) that Mr Tucker was hot on our heels. Sure enough at just after 2 miles Andy eased past, I tried to keep up with Andy and as we moved away from Mike, he bid us well in our endeavours and remarked on the large ‘Bustards’ that roam the parks of that part of East London. From then on Andy was getting quicker and I couldn’t stay with him – though I might have closed the gap a little at the finish. All in all a really enjoyable run, and a great turn out from the Ravens.
Steve Glackin
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2-05-14
Not a good day for me - got completely soggered cycling across - and was just hard going all the way - its so flat that you just have to just keep pushing throughout - got beat by loads of people from Kent (including women and children) that I should be beating. back to long runs/ track after a post marathon interlude of stag dos and weddings.
Arif Merali
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30-04-14
I ran for Ilford AC in the Southern Counties Vets league at Lee Valley last night. Did the long jump (just to get a point) in the middle of which I did the 400m finishing 2nd in a time of 66.3 with one eye on the 1500m starting a few minutes later. Missed the last long jump to do the 1500m. Again finishing 2nd (to David Wilcock) in a time of 4:41.7. Not my best 1500m. After a slow start to the race, I took the lead up to about 1100m but didn't seem to have the pace or strength in my legs to push on from there for that last lap. Still an enjoyable evening though and reasonably happy as it's quite a change from the marathon and at least starts the focus on shorter races.
Dave Butler
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30-04-14
I too did the Southern Counties Vets (Kent Divisions) last night at Sutcliffe Park. The plan had been to run the M35 400m, the M35 3000m and do the M35 hammer but unfortunately I tweaked a muscle during the 400m (where came 4th in 69.9) and I did not want to exacerbate the injury by running the longer distance, so dropped out. I came third in the hammer. Our club came third overall (Division 2) - my lost points from the 3000m would not have made a difference to our position thankfully. I suspect that I did not warm up properly for the 400m, hence the tweak and had the two races been reversed in order I probably would have been OK. 400m is not a distance I have run often. Another lesson leaned.
Marcus Elwes
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28-04-14
Last Friday of the Month 5k - Short Course
I just ran the Last Friday of the Month 5k in Hyde Park. Today, because of turf laying, we ran a revised, flatter, and therefore potentially faster course. Unfortunately a marshal directed us/the leader went wrong in the first K and we ended up running a short course. I realised when we went through the first K in 2:47, rather than my expected 3:20, that something was wrong. Some guys dropped out at that point but I decided to at least carry on to the 2k mark just in case it was just a miss placed K marker. The 2k was 1K further on from the first K marker so the error was in the first K. I decided to carry on to the finish and ended up with 16:32.60 which means that I would have ended up with around 17mins !! At least I felt good and it bodes well for a good run at the BMAF 10K on the 4th May
Mick Bridgeland
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28-04-14
Braintree 5M race report
I run Barking parkrun on Saturday, but not hard as I was saving myself for the Braintree 5M – I still got a new Barking parkrun PB of 21.47 so happy with that.
On Sunday, I thought the course was going to be relatively flat with a hill at 4 miles – how wrong can one be! I set off with three Dagenham 88 boys in front and an older chap at the side of me. Now I know not to underestimate older guys as they’re experienced and can sometimes be fast beggers. We had a good old battle for the first two miles with neither of us wanting to give and inch and eventually I managed to shrug him off when we came to (another) hill – he definitely kept me going! After that it was really trying to keep the D88s in sight, one had left long ago, one had stopped to be sick but he’d managed to catch and pass me again and the other I did managed to catch him and even overtake him but simply wasn’t able to hold him back and he put on the burners within the last mile and left me. I was pretty knackered by the time I rounded the last corner and headed up the finishing straight but could hear a heavy breather behind me. He passed me near the end but waited at the end to thank me for pulling him round to a PB!! I wasn’t sure what time I’d done as my Garmin didn’t start properly (user error), but was confident of being under 35 again, just wasn’t sure if I’d beaten last Saturday’s time at Victoria Park. Results later showed I had, finishing in 34.32, a PB of 17 seconds, on a hillier course.
VICKY COOPER
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24-04-14
Vicky Park 5m
I ran the Victoria Park 5m race on Sat. It was a good quality race, nice conditions, a bit of a head wind in the finishing straight, but nice and warm. I came 27th, 1st M50 in 28:02 gun time 28:00 chip time, I saw the clock in the last 50m slowly ticking towards the 28 mins ! Phil that is an age graded % of 91.42. Stuart Fraser had a very good race and was just ahead of me in 27:57 (27:54 chip), I ran/raced him for some of the race, his 100m race training is obviously paying off. A good race, I felt strong and managed to beat a number of my M55 rivals. Next race is the Last Friday 5k this week followed by the GEAR 10k, which is the BMAF Champs on the 4th May.
Mick Bridgeland
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24-04-14
I too ran the Vicky Park 5M, in a way the hardest race I’ve run for a long time – but it was a fast race. I knew the standard would be high and I’d be relatively near the back, but it’s not a bad thing as it’s another way to improve. The first mile marker came before my Garmin picked up the mile (although I don’t rely on my Garmin) and it showed 6.31. However, my actual Garmin first mile was 6.39. I slowed quite significantly after that but still was trying my hardest (I really was!!). The next couple of miles were a tad over 7 min and as Mick said, there was a head wind on the last straight to the finish. I sprinted as best as I could to the finish (especially when I saw the clock under 35 minutes). My Garmin showed 34.48, the clock 34.50 but official time was 34.51. I am very happy with that considering my previous 5M PB (set in 2012 as I didn’t run a 5M last year) was 38.02. 110th out of 192 finishers (as expected in such a field), 12th female, 3rd in my age category. Our club did however get third female team which was a miracle being as the other two ladies were quite a bit slower than me! One of our guys can’t have been concentrating properly as he ran an extra mile. As it’s a figure of 8 he should have gone left, right, left, right, but took an extra left, finishing a little over 6 miles in 44 minutes some. I did see a guy pull out, guess it was the same guy Arif mentioned. I recognised Mick’s name from this group so went over and said hello to him after he’d collected his award. Such a tremendous time, I’m in awe. Brilliant stuff!
VICKY COOPER
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17-04-14
My race report is for the 5k race held at the RMS conference. Given I only started jogging last week I wasn't expecting too much. Fortunately I was able to run it as hard as My fitness would allow without getting any problems from my foot. In spite of fading in the latter stages I managed to cling on for 3rd place in just under 21 minutes, a full minute behind the winner, Martyn (I am now extremely smug) Starkey. Seriously, he ran a brilliant tactical race to beat the second place guy who he ground down in the second half of the race. For me, serious training starts here - I can't let that happen again!!!
Stuart Lenton
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14-04-14
Vienna Marathon I was glad to just be on the start line after my poor week of preparation. I ran 03:15:05. Think my chip time will be a little better. The wheels came off very early but I'm pleased with my finish.
Mike McGeown
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8-04-14
Back from Paris after my first ever Marathon. I am pleased to say that it went well and that I did enjoy the race all the way through. I finished in 3h10. +/- what I had targeted.
Conditions were good, maybe a bit too warm but manageable. Could get some water every 5km. I had good sensation, my sour knee did not really bother me. My focus was to reach the 30th kms and to still have some energy left. I could do it and was pleased to get to that point relatively fresh. Then It does make a difference when you see people struggling, collapsing or walking and you’re ok with “just” 12kms to go. I was constantly repeating to myself (from conversation with experienced marathon runners including some of you guys) The race only starts after Km 30... The race only starts after Km 30.. keep some energy ... I was pretty steady with an average time per km of 4mn30 all along the race.
Already looking for the next one which is I guess a good sign.
Stephen Julien
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8-04-14
I ran a 3000m at Woodford Green Open Meeting on Saturday in 9:57.73 – it was a bit windy and I ran on my own so very pleased. 40 mins later I also ran the 1500m in order to pace my son (11ys old) and my wife. In his first 1500m my son ran 4:58.86 to beat my wife who ran a PB of 5:04.42. A great Bridgeland family day out !
Mick Bridgeland
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8-04-14
Manchester Marathon
Ok, so my first marathon since Berlin 2011 and all the injury fun since. Went off at planned aggressive pace, 39:15 at 10k, just under 1:24 at halfway. With a group until about mile 12 but the pace was too quick and I knew I would not be able to hold it so backed off. Company was very sparse after this and ran the majority of the second half solo, not ideal given the windy conditions, making it a tough effort. Finish in 2:52:09, felt comfortable and really enjoyed the run, never thought I'd be so happy to see the welcoming sight of Old Trafford stadium. Not a pb, I was 48 seconds faster in Edinburgh 3 years ago.
BUT I think yesterday was a tougher run and therefore better effort overall. Placed 92 overall, 8th in age group. unlike London, it was quite sparse at the front end of the field, hence having to run on my own for such a large portion. The course did u-turns 3 times so it was quite a sight to see the 7000 or so runners behind as we ran back.
Rupert Holden
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8-04-14
I’m not going to go on, know reports are meant to be kept brief, so; surprised at size of field, didn’t start in right area but didn’t matter as found and stuck with a 3.30 pacer. Got bored of him after about 16 miles so left him (and the others who were jostling which made it annoying, too busy etc), was still VERY conservative, but pushed on, felt brilliant passing others that had passed me early on. Saw a pal just before mile 25 who ran a short distance with me, chatting and then took a photo of me looking quite strong. Finished in 3.25.48 and a negative split to boost. I can go faster and I will. I did see Rupert about 3 times and shouted but knew he didn’t hear me, it was a very “noisy” race. Water was great as it was in drinkable pouches, did like the course, didn’t find it windy much but that’s probably because I was almost constantly surrounded by others, so was protected. One guy in the 3.30 group had a t-shirt on with the words on the back “The Wall” – not particularly helpful… Really happy, but now know I can go faster and achieve more. I was 12th in my age category and 58th female overall. According to Powerof10, I’m currently 21st in my age category and 97th overall.
Viccky Cooper
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8-04-14
Transcendence 10k - Battersea Park
5 am get alarm for very early train back to London. Battersea 8 am start. Perfect conditions on a flat course. 4 laps seems a bit repetitive although they are over quick enough. I set the pace til 5k in the second group for a comfortable 17:32. Lack of a proper taper meant heavy legs and a struggle for the 2nd half giving me 35:22. Much improvement to follow – hopefully.
Lee Martin
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4-04-14
Assembly League - Beckenham

Last night was the first of the 2014 Assembly League races at Beckenham. For those that don't know it, the course is all road, about 3 miles and starts and finishes with a steep climb. We had a select group of Ravens run in excellent conditions. First home in 16.32 was Dave Butler, tapering for London, who had yet another excellent race against Dulwich's Tony Touhy. Not far behind, and also tapering for London, was Simon Phillips who had an excellent run finishing in 17.09. Last year he was narrowly pipped at the line by Steve Glackin but his marathon training gave him a healthy lead over Steve who ran his usual strong race finishing in 17.42. I was just behind, having had a good run but still feeling slightly wheezy as a result of an annoyingly persistent cold, finishing in 18.01. Marcus also ran well pleasingly beating a number of his regular parkrun competitors to finish in 19.22 and Peter Chapman was also happy to finish in under 20 minutes in 19.55. All times are approximate as we are awaiting the final results. We also had a 'special guest appearance' by Serena last night who 'encouraged' from the sidelines.
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1-04-14
Bromley parkrun
This Saturday's parkrun was used by no less than 4 clubs for mob-match purposes! In amongst all that, I tried very hard and managed to get under 20 minutes for the first time since October 2012, in fact recording a PB of 19.36. All those hills must now being paying off....
Marcus Elwes
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1-04-14
Saturdays Bromley parkruns was a mob match between the 5 local clubs - Blackheath & Bromley, Petts Wood, Beckenham, Bexley and Cambridge Harriers. I have been running the parkrun regularly for a few years, mainly as a good training run but have recently slipped into the habit of pacing 20 mins for others - my pb on the course is sub 18. This gives me a good paced run without wearing myself out. Looking back at the results, the last decent parkrun i did at Bromley was August 2013 when i ran 18.42. There was a good turnout from Blackheath and Petts Wood so we had a good race. I ran the first lap with our Steve Glackin and another B&BHAC teammate with a half way split of 9.10. Faded a bit in the second half but finished strongly for an 18.18 finish - my fastest since April 2012. Still 10 seconds behind Steve who ran excellently. Also a note that Marcus had an great run running a new PB. Well done Marcus. Results aren't confirmed but I believe Blackheath won the mob match.
Sunday was the Paddock Wood half marathon. A beautiful if rather warm day started early with the 9.30 start being 8.30 in drag following the clocks changing. Paddock Wood is a fairly flat.slightly undulating course which I have run a few times before but never particularly well. I felt a bit rough as I'm still carrying a bit of a cold but lined up with many B&BHAC team mates as well as a smiling Kevin Cockram resplendent in his Ravens vest. Following the tough Spitfire 20 I was determined to run more comfortably but steady. Regardless, I went out quicker than planned putting in a 6.20 pace. I was pleased that I was able to maintain the pace going through the half way point in 41 and a half minutes. I stuck with it and finished feeling fairly strong. I was pleased with my consistent pacing, strength and getting the tactics, water etc right on the day. Finished in 1.23.18 - about 2 minutes quicker than Tunbridge last month and the fastest half I have run since 2008. Kevin ran an excellent 1.34 - 4 minutes quicker than his recent Hastings and Eastbourne times. I also chatted briefly with Run Fasts Nicholas Kirui who was hoping to run 63 minutes. He won the race in 1.05.28.
Andy Tucker
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1-04-14
I ran the Paddock Wood Half Marathon yesterday in pretty much the time I expected - 1.34.31. I have to say that I actually found it quite a struggle from about 7 miles but just had to hang on - crossed the line but wasn't up to seeking people out in order to socialise! Also a pity that after two years of running this race in a 1.28 time with a failed chip, this year the d*mn thing worked!! I'm still very aware that I ran yesterday so decided to have a rest day today. I've a few (generally shorter) races earmarked for the next few months but Barns Green in September is now my main "target" race - plenty of speed-work required before then and then you never know, if I survive another winter of discontent, I hope I can return to Paddock Wood in 2015 to have another go at a sub 1.28.30 time......if that happens, no doubt the chip will fail!
Kevin Cockram
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1-04-14
I did the London Fields aquathlon yesterday. This is a 400m swim followed by a 5km 5 lap run around London fields. I had a fast swim clocking 5;10 for the 400m (perhaps a tad too fast !) and was glad that only walking was allowed in transition. Took me a lap or so to get into my stride on the run. I ended up with an 18;01 run split 23:59 overall which was enough to take the overall win.
Rob
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26-03-14
Brentwood Half Marathon
Just a brief race report from me. I ran the Brentwood half marathon yesterday along with a few other Ravens. I started off fairly quickly and was looking good at around half way but unfortunately I could not keep the pace going and finished with 1.22.44. Given the fact that I went in to this race without any taper the time was not too far off what I expected.
Ian George
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26-03-14
I also did the Brentwood a personal PW for me, 1.28 but wasn’t expecting much as only done about 7 miles per week for the last 4 weeks. As Phil says you only get out what you put in.
Pat Young
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26-03-14
PW for me too! Getting round without crippling myself was the target. Which I think I achieved.
Robin McCoy
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26-03-14
I too ran the Brentwood HM yesterday – saw Robin, called over to him at least 5 times and he failed to hear me, not sure how….. I wasn’t racing it, I was trying to pace at 8mm ready for Manchester so found it very frustrating having runners go past me that I knew I could beat. Still it’s all about the bigger picture and I didn’t want to give everything yesterday and have nothing left for the 6th. I was rather bored by mile 12 so just took off and passed loads of runners on the “hill” to finish in 1.43.08. Next year I’d like to actually race this course; it was my first time here and I really did enjoy it and there’s no doubt it’s a fast course.
VICKY COOPER
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26-03-14
I also ran yesterday, completing the Wilmslow Half in 1:22:30. Weather was windy and odd hail storm, legs were bit heavier than I would have liked. Good final prep for Manchester in 2 weeks, the course being very close to the marathon route.
Rupert Holden
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26-03-14
BHF Warwick Half Marathon
Ran this event yesterday. First time for me, second year for the event. Charity (BHF) organised and it showed to be honest, pretty poor in many organisational respects, although apparently a lot better than last year! Fewer club runners than I am used to and lots of fun runners. It was a good day for it, although chilly with a biting wind. The course, however, is excellent and 100% traffic free. It is a challenging undulating course and wends it way from the start at the racecourse, through the countryside NW of Warwick town centre. It was a much tougher course than I had expected to be honest and I struggled for the first half to keep my average pace around 7.19/7.20, which I knew was off PB pace, and had resigned myself to missing out this time. I was also being overtaken more than I am used to, which did not bode well. However, I had a slight feeling that the course seemed to be more up than down for the first half and with a head on wind, so hoped (not knowing the course) that it may be slightly easier in the second half. Fortunately, after about 11 miles, it did indeed ease off and had a long clear downhill run back to the finish at the racecourse and I was able to push on hard, only getting my pace down to under 7.15 average by about 12 and half miles and managed to finish 158th (out of 1906) in 1.34.31, a PB of exactly 30 seconds on my time at Tunbridge Wells 3 weeks ago, which I was very pleased with in the circumstances. I just need a flat course now - fed up of bl**dy hills!
Marcus Elwes
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26-03-14
Hastings Half Marathon
Well my report relates to the performance of others. I took four of Peter's Run Fast team to Hastings. Boniface Kongin won it in 64 mins and he did not break sweat on the tough course. Gladys won the ladies race. More impressive was Boniface's inter reaction with the local kids and their reaction. He crossed the line and spent ages with a young handicapped boy who had completed the mile fun run in a frame . It took him slightly less time than it took Boniface to complete the half marathon. Nobody asked Boniface to do it but it made the little lads day. Kevin managed 98 mins .
Phil Hernon
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26-03-14
I headed down to a sunny (until the hail arrived - luckily post race for the majority) Hastings but once again was not in the best of health - this time a cold and bordering on losing my voice (hooray I here you all say!) Anyway, I decided to run it fairly steady and not go too mad, my main aim being to complete the race and gain the rather swanky finishers horse brass (my 8th) so my 1.38 time was about as expected.
Next week it's Paddock Wood where I hope to be somewhat quicker - unfortunately I don't think I'll be in the 1.28 PB territory that I have been for the last two years but I would hope to be nearer to 1.32. Post that it is time to get back to some proper speed training (body allowing) for the annual assault on gold at Barns Green in September! Back in Hastings, it was good to see Phil and the Run Fast team - there is always a lot of silverware on offer at this race and I noted that once again the vast majority of it was going to leave the south coast in the back of Mr Hernon's car!
Kevin Cockram
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26-03-14
B&BHAC closing 5m XC handicap.
Saturday was our final club cross country race (shame) in our 9 races series. The series is a club grand prix - The Bennett's Cup - and consists of an opening 4.2 mile relay, a 5 miler, a 10 miler, a 10k mob match, a 5 mile yacht handicap, three 7 and a half mile mob matches (including Andy Hayward's Ranelagh and Phil's Orion), and the final race 5 mile handicap.
The weather was excellent, if a little breezy, with a once soaked and muddy course now consisting of various potholes, divots etc. In true handicap style, we all started off at different times with a view to finishing all together. The handicapper, an ex mathematics professor, has an 'interesting' take on the handicap over the 9 races which usually results in a fairly close battle in the final event. I had a good race and felt strong but, again, lacking in pace. Going into the race I was lying in 2nd place overall in the points table, 3 points behind the leader. With only 35 runners it was going to be difficult to make up the 4 minute advantage he had on me plus take another 3 places but as I reached Fox Hill (the name says it all) about a mile from the finish, I caught and passed him. I finished 4 places in front of him and had to wait for the final scoring to see if 3rd and 4th place had beaten me. Pleasingly I managed to win the overall championship by 1 point (385) with 2nd and 3rd both on 384 points. There is now a terrible mug shot of yours truly on the B&BHAC website clutching the Bennett's Cup trophy.
And, whilst we were awaiting the final results, I was presented with an additional medal. Turns out that B&BHAC took the third place team prize at the Tunbridge Wells half marathon a couple of weeks ago. Result! Good job there were two decent B&BHAC runners ahead of me.
So a very rewarding weekend. An impromptu mob match within the parkrun on Saturday and the Paddock Wood next Sunday. Lovely to be back racing again.
Andy Tucker
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26-03-14
I was pleased with Eastleigh 10k result. It was quite windy in places. Good to be first M50 from over 2300 finishers. Reppers results: Jack Wilson 32.36, Tall Tim Sherman 34.46, Me 35.24. Ian I saw a East Essex Tri runner, Paul Hart he finished just in front of me.
Luke Armitage
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26-03-14
A much depleted Springfield team turned out for the Road Relays – my team were the only Springfield Striders men there and we were in the Vets 40 – no senior Springfield men at all. It was 3.7 miles and there were a good number of other Clubs turning out – just not many from Springfield! Dead pleased to be the second fastest Vet on the day – missed out on being top dog by 2 seconds :-< Silver medal now in the bag.
Lee Martin
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18-03-14
apologies for the delay - i took a sightseeing day
barcelona- 2.58.
setoff with a target of doing between 6.30-6.40 pace - ran by feel and felt pretty comfortable to about 20 - by this time i knew i had built up a good enough contingency for sub 3 and knew that was the main aim. plan was to run conservatively to 23 and then try and kick on but it was hot and i was getting my obligatory pangs of cramp so i didn't overdo it - happy to break the 3h albatross but think a 2.55 isn't too far away with some proper marathon training (have been training hard but didn't do much specific marathon work)
looking at the overall results - winner did 2.12 - so perhaps it was a bit hot
ps. was good to see a heavily bearded tom payne (something i'm better than him at) who was pacing the elite ladies - still came 18th overall!
roll on london/ manchester & well done to all w/e racers especially luke's noah.
here are the splits if anyones interested:

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18-03-14
Saturday I paced the Bromley parkrun at 20 minutes. I ran slightly to fast but slowed to finish bang on 20 minutes. This was the first Bromley parkrun I have done in 2014 due to flooding so it was nice to be back on familiar territory. Saturday afternoon was our home mob match against South London harriers. 7 and a half miles over hills and stiles although the course was more or less dry, amazing as it had been so badly flooded only 2 weeks before. I had a fairly good run, pushing myself but no more than 90%. I was 4th Blackheath home although we didn't have a great turnout. A good run in the sun. Sunday was the Spitfire 20. Two 10 mile laps starting and finishing on the Cranleigh Airfield, home of the Top Gear test track. I found myself racing in Stig's tyre tracks round Gambon, the hammerhead etc. It's a flat course for the first 3 miles then undulating after that. It was a hot day and I dehydrated so went through halfway in 1.10 as planned but slowed considerably on the second lap to finish in 1.25 - slowing 30 seconds per mile. I should have taken on water earlier than I did. Quite happy with that as it was purely a long training run but was a good reminder of what I need to work on. So a weekend over of over 30 racing miles for a total week of 70+ miles. All good training.
Andy Tucker
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18-03-14
Nice one, unlike you only run 2 races over the weekend, decided to do the Southend Park run on Saturday and just jogged round in around 20 mins, first one have done for a while would be good to race one soon. On sunday run the Colchester half marathon, another lovely day for it, run the race as follows. 1st 4 miles in 7 min miling then the next 4 in 6.45 then wanted to run the last 5 in 6.30 but could not hold onto the pace the last 5 miles but managed to cross the line in 88 mins, but due to a mess up with the timing chips next name is not in the results. So I understand this has happened to lots of people yesterday and also happened in the past with people from the ravens!
David Miller
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18-03-14
I managed just one race over the weekend. I did the BMAF xc Champs in Glasgow and came 6th in my age group. It was a 4 lap, 4.9mile race over an undulating dry course, very windy though. First and last lap were good, middle two were a bit harder. I had a great race against the guys that came 7th and 8th on the last lap, managed to get rid of them in the last half a mile. Very close race in the M55s, 21secs faster would have got me 2nd, 16 secs slower and I would have been 9th. Dave won the M60s, I will let him report, and my wife came 3rd in the W40 race (3 laps of the same course)
Mick Bridgeland
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18-03-14
Not quite so close in the M60's with neither Martin Rees or Mike Hagar there but good opportunity for me to win the race which I was happy to take! Started a bit conservatively but ran at a good sub 6min pace throughout and worked my way through the field without being blown away by the wind! Managed to finish 23rd in the overall 35-64 race and ahead of a couple of very good Essex 50's - Paul Spowage and Colin Ridley so very happy with my race.
Dave Butler
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18-03-14
Had a good race on Sunday, good close to the XC season, we finished top again, giving us a win of 5 out of 5 and promotion to Division one. Sadly the shield wasn’t on hand and the host club didn’t know who’d won either the first or second division, so a bit of an anti-climax (not their fault though). I was particularly proud of myself because I’d had a lousy 22 mile training run on Saturday, having to lay down for 3 hours when I returned home as I felt so ill! Sunday, only a 4 mile XC race and the ground was hard, the day hot and I just went for it. I came in 7th lady (I’m usually 12th or 13th) and was only 6 seconds behind my team-mate whereas I’m usually 2 minutes behind; I was sitting on her shoulder for most of the race but just couldn’t get past. She got first lady in our division and I’m hoping I’ll not be behind her for too many races now.
VICKY COOPER
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18-03-14
Well done on your promotion Vicky. You’ll be replacing us in division one next season as we were relegated! We did our best and even had 33 runners turn up! That has got to be a record. An interesting route on what was very hard and rutted ground. It is amazing how much the ground has dried up over the past few weeks. Not my best race as I was 9 places lower than the last turnout at Thorndon Park. I even managed to fall over twice which hardly helped.
Ian George
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18-03-14
I also raced yesterday. I built my 20 mile training run around the Fleet Half Marathon in Hampshire. Glorious weather (not enough water stations in my view) and I decided to run based on how I felt rather than pace watching the whole way round and was very pleased with the result. I achieved a PB of around a minute at 01:28:29. Things are going in the right direction.
Mike McGeown
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10-03-14
Essex 20
A story of pain and suffering! Ran comfortably to 10 miles in 60 mins (almost to the second). The tenth mile was at the top of the big climb which came 3 times in the race. Unfortunately, there was no more comfort to be had and a whole ton of suffering! Only got passed by 3 in the second half and ended up with a 2:05.
5 mile splits:
0:29:53
0:30:12
0:31:39
0:33:21
Finished 8th I think in Essex Champs with a Team Silver medal. (13th overall) I wont make the mistake again of entering long races without really doing enough long training runs!
Lee Martin
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10-03-14
I ran the Essex 20 as part of marathon training yesterday. Lovely sunny day for a run round the Essex country lanes! Decided to run the race at an even MP throughout ideally 6:20 pace but between 6:20 and 6:30 in any event (hopefully). Managed to stick to the plan with an overall average of 6:25 to finish 19th overall and 1st M60 (& beat the M50s) in a time of 2:08:19. Very pleased with the finish as my fastest mile was the last one at 6:07 but my splits were fairly even throughout.
Dave Butler
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10-03-14
I also run the Essex 20 and used it as a training run, run the 1st 10 in 8 min miling, then the 2nd ten in 7.40 pace, idea training for London!! Felt good at the end and feel ok today so must of run it just right!!
Dave Miller
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10-03-14
Had my bit of pain 'n' suffering yesterday too, but managed 2:11:03 in the Finchley 20.
Dave Meller
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10-03-14
Ran the Roding Valley hilly HM yesterday, I’ve done this race twice before and was looking to improve upon my 1:42:41 from last year, ideally around 1:40 (let’s not get too carried away here). Saw a guy in front that I knew was looking for a 1:38 and he was out of sight by around 8 miles but I thought I was running quite well, one girl in bright pink and I had battled, me winning the downhill, her winning the uphill before she finally broke free and left me. Undeterred I soldiered on and was over-taking runners, even a couple of guys from my club that are fast. Was stunned to see I’d completed 8 miles in under 57 minutes. Kept pushing but trying to get that fine line between pushing hard enough to get a good time but not so hard that you exhaust yourself and lose it altogether. I asked a marshal how many females were in front, he told me I was 7th. When I rounded the last corner, one of my club supporters confirmed I was in 7th. Finishing on the track I saw the overhead gantry showing 1:34:20 so I sprinted to the end, finishing in a chip time of 1:34:25 and a gun time of 1:34:31. Over 8 minutes off my course PB makes me a very happy lady today. I was 2nd vet (first vet finishing in 1:28 and it was just a training run to her, not a race, she went out to complete another loop to give her 20 miles…..). As she was the 2nd lady overall and received that prize, I scooped the 1st vet prize J
VICKY COOPER
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10-03-14
I did the BMAF British Vets Indoor T&F Champs over the weekend at Lee Valley. I got a bronze in the M55 1500m on Saturday in 4:44.38, I ran at the front from the gun, got overtaken by the winner with 4 laps to go and had a battle with the guy in second over the last two laps but he had too much speed for me ( both guys ran 2:13ish for 800m on Sunday so they have a bit more speed than me). I won the 3000m on Sunday, the M55s were in the same race as the M60 & M65 age groups, and as I didn’t want to out sprinted again I decided to push the race from the beginning despite being a bit tired from Saturday. Ended up with 9:52.20 and finished over 100m ahead of the next guy – very pleased. My wife also won bronze in the 1500m and gold in the 3000m so a good weekend for both of us. Only downside was that it was far too nice outside to race indoors, but at least we could warm up in the sunshine
Mick Bridgeland
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5-03-14
Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon
I ran this race yesterday, along with Andy Tucker and Steve Glackin (running as a local parkrun colleague) and managed a PB of 3 whole seconds, with 1.35.01 which I was happy enough with, in the circumstances. I decided before the race to run without my Garmin, following a conversation with Martyn on Friday's easy run. Not sure whether it helped or not, but was interesting to try. I probably would have been a bit peeved if I had missed out on a PB by 3 seconds instead! Its not really a PB course with the large hill in the middle, which any of you who know the area/race will be aware of. Ironically, I was much stronger on the uphill bit and overtook a large number of people on that 1/1.5 mile stretch, so I think all the training with you guys and the XCs has obviously helped a lot.
Marcus Elwes
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5-03-14
It was a really good half, well organised and marshalled etc. All the markers in the right places… Apart for the park runs and Ravens 5ks it was my first ‘race’ since October. Started off well enough and was enjoying the downhills, but knew from what I was told we would be paying for it. From about 5 miles it was undulating and from 6.5miles it was uphill till nearly 8 miles. Tough but good. After about 9 miles Andy overtook me looking strong and striding along smoothly. No coughing, spluttering or chatting either ;>). With each of the last few miles he was going further away. The last two miles are slightly downhill so it allows for a good finish. Crossed the line in just under 1.26 – about a minute behind Andy. Pleased with that but must work harder. Much harder!
Steve Glackin
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5-03-14
Yes, a nice day for a half yesterday. Bit windy in places but nothing to shout about. I had a fairly good run finishing in 1.25.05 - just under a minute quicker than Brighton two weeks ago, albeit on a hillier course. I have broken 1.24 on this course a number of times before so still need to work more on the speed work. Was good to see Steve and Marcus running well - well done Marcus on a PB - especially on that course. Sub 1.35 next time. Steve - I was chatting, you just didn't hear me. Spitfire 20 in a couple of weeks and the Paddock Wood Half two weeks after that. With a large dollop of cross country mud in between. Lovely.
Andy Tucker
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5-03-14
Paris Half Marathon
On my side, yesterday morning I ran the half marathon of Paris. Fantastic conditions, good weather, sunny, not windy and not too cold however very busy, 40’000 runners.. it is a lot, Quite happy with the result, better time than last year by 5sec.. which make it a PB for me : 1h24mn47. I was aiming for 1h24 (slightly below to be honest) but you don’t realize while running that 2 sec late per km makes quite a difference over 21km.. obviously that makes sense but when I was running I did not really realize. Good thing compared to last year when I almost collapsed and threw up at the end..., this time I felt strong, which gives me a bit of optimism for my first marathon in a month time. To repeat what Marcus said, all the training with you guys helped me a lot, Thanks a lot
Stephen Jullien
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5-03-14
Well done all the weekend racers, especially Marcus with his PB at T/Wells - head to Paddock Wood at the end of the month and you'll get another one! As for me, yesterday I enjoyed the second of my annual "Spring South Coast Half Marathon Tour" and pitched up in a very windy (but sunny!) Eastbourne. Nothing outrageous to report as a time of 1.38.02 placed me 153rd out of 1,383 finishers, but I was relatively happy with my time as this course has a nasty hill (definitely gives Fordcombe Hill on the Tunbridge Wells course a run for it's money!) and is quite twisty around Sovereign Harbour - throw in the blustery conditions and I think my time sits relatively well alongside that which I posted at Brighton the other week. Anyway, the south coast tour moves to Hastings next (the best of the three) and then moves inland for what I hope will be a blast at Paddock Wood.
Kevin Cockram
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24-02-14
National xc Champs
The Bridgeland family ran the National xc Champs on Saturday. Good weather conditions, a lovely course in Wollaton Park, Nottingham, mainly dry but a few really muddy bits plus a log to jump over on each of the three laps – I made it 7.27 miles. I came 572nd out of 1657 finishers in 46:05. Luke passed me after about 1.5 miles and came 505th in 45:13 and I suddenly saw Dave Moore just ahead of me up the last hill (I think he sneaked pass me earlier) but could not catch him, he came 568th in 46:00. Arif also ran but not under his own name. It was really packed all the way round there was someone to chase/battle with the whole way. Overall a really enjoyable event/race, my hamstring was sore before the race but I did not feel it during the race, my best race of 2014 so far. My legs were very tired on my Sunday 11 mile run.
Mick Bridgeland
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24-02-14
Yep, good run Mick. the rules and regs police won't be happy but i ran as nick park as i joined the club too late for entries. i did 46.31 all the way back in 620th but not too far behind mick and dave, but most probably should have stayed in a slightly faster group from the start. Great experience though. Kent's John Gilbert came 6th ahead of Johnny Brownlea and Nick Torry which is phenomenal. We then went on a slightly messy pub crawl, got back at 3 and then did 12m very quick on Sunday at 8 (which I think was harder than the race!). And then obviously back to the pub before our train back. Knackered now.
Arif Merali
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24-02-14
Hadleigh Hares 53-12 XC

My final cross country race of the season ended with a dry hilly race in Suffolk. My long spikes definitely not of benefit. The legs were feeling the effects of another heavy week’s training and on the first very long hill I probably lost about 5 places. I took many of them back on the downhills. 2nd lap was much better (in fact I overtook someone on the biggie) and pulled out a sizable gap before the finish. Unlucky for some, I came 13th yet again. Ricky normally tells me that I my stride looks rubbish on the photos – so I thought I would send you this one where it seems like none of my feet on the ground (perhaps I am dancing in along in the vein of the guy in front who is definitely looking a bit Dandy – with his beautiful headscarf). My son Lawrence pulled a final winning result out of the bag with a 10 place improvement and another cracking sprint finish.
Lee Martin
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24-02-14
I ran for EVAC in the Vets Inter Area Match at Lee Valley on Sunday. EVAC won the combined mens & ladies by 1 point from SCVAC with the ladies winning their match by 7 points and the men losing by 6 to be second. I ran the 1500, 3000 and a leg in the 4 x 200 relay winning in all 3. I completed the 1500 in 4:37.87 a second behind Tony Touhy (M50) & 7 secs ahead of the next M60 very happy with that. Then 4 hours later did the 3000 in 10:07 - not my best time but half a lap clear of the next M60. This was swiftly followed by the relay where I did the final leg taking over well in the lead and managed to stay in front with somebody running it rather quickly behind! The 1500 was 1.8 secs off my indoors pb and 2.3 secs off the indoors M60 WR. Seconds are harder to come by over short distances though!
Dave Butler
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24-02-14
I ran the Headcorn half marathon yesterday, hoping to be in the pb ballpark - although it turned out be an undulating course, not flat as they claimed. It was a windy day too, a guy behind me (I was 8th, 1st M40) was 30 seconds off his pb, I'd have been happy enough with that .... unfortunately I was a very disappointing 2 minutes off mine, finishing in 1:23:45. For the first 2 miles my pace was good, so I made the mistake of deciding not to keep in touch with the group of 4 ahead, unfortunately I don't think I pushed hard enough from then on and was largely on my own for the next 11 miles, apart from eventually passing 2 from that group.
Simon Phillips
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20-02-14
Lee Valley race report
Mick and I and our families ran tonight at Lee Valley. I decided to run as my children were going to. As with Mick, we had not done any training for a 1,500 m race. It was my first race indoors, my first track race with spikes, my first race I had not trained for, and my first race without beet root juice. I decided to aim for 4.59 and see what happened. Mick was in the race before me with the pros, I was with the intermediates. I was feeling good after 3 laps, and upped the pace a little. I found it easier running on an indoor track as you are more aware of your pace, and if you want to go faster or slower, as you see the clock every 200m. But the bends were strange because of the camber. I sped up more with 400m to go and finished in 4.50.32 my second fastest 1,500 m, (5 seconds off a PB) and could have gone faster. I was very pleased.
Simon Le Mare
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18-02-14
Wrexham 'Half Marathon' (inc North Wales championships)
Well what a complete farce yesterday was. On the positive, I set a new PB for the distance of 22km. On the negative, the disorganised chaos that was the Wrexham Half marathon was an embarrassment to club-organised events. The website stated that the route had been amended due to flooding in the area. 100 meters after the start, there was a T-junction. The organiser had told the start line to turn left. We duly went left (approx the fist 100-200 runners). The marshals thought that we should turn right. After running to the left for about 15 seconds, following a lot of shouting, the leaders all did a u-turn and then proceeded to having to pass the majority of the field who had turned right. It transpired that if we had turned left then it would have taken us on the correct route. As it was, we did what was generally agreed to be somewhere between 13.7 and 13.8 miles. The marshals did not know what was going on, A lot of angry folk at the finish, many of whom were on for a pb. A similar situation happened at this event 2 years ago were the marshals sent the leading group the wrong way and they ended up going short.. What could be a good event spoiled by appalling organisation, unlikely that I will do it again. For the record, I reached 13.1 miles in approx 1:21:30 having run solo for much of the course. Put it down to a good training run and managing to see the funny side of it.
Rupert Holden
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18-02-14
I ran the Cross Country yesterday at Thorndon Park. This was my first race since October. Having run no cross country for about a year I was not expecting anything special but I managed to finish 22nd which is my highest placing for a good few years.
Ian George
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18-02-14
I too ran at Thorndon XC yesterday, once again our team won making it 4 out of 4 and looks like we’ll get promotion to division 1. How long we’ll stay there is anyone’s guess…
VICKY COOPER
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18-02-14
Well done to all the weekend racers. I too ran the (muddy) Thorndon XC yesterday finishing in 9th place which I was happy with after a long Marathon training run on Saturday.
This made it 4 out of 4 division one wins for my club, Billericay.
Dave Butler
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18-02-14
I did the Bramley 20 yesterday, having done a few 20 mile races before I have concluded running them flat out is actually detrimental to marathon training as the recovery takes too long and the injury risk too high. So I aimed for quicker than 2.10 but slower than 2.05 and didn’t quite deliver with an even paced 2.04.06. The race itself is an excellent no nonsense pre-london warm up with a high standard and on course a lot of camaraderie as it feels like everyone is there to tick off a long training run.
Jon Fairs
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18-02-14
I also ran the Bramley 20 miles at the weekend. A great event and a beautiful day. I was treating it as a training run, not having run further than a half marathon since before Christmas. This certainly was evident by 15 miles as I was clinging on to dear life having gone through 13 miles in 01:31:00ish. Overall despite not enjoying the last 7 miles, I achieved a PB of 02:28:39 which I am pleased with.
Mike McGeown
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18-02-14
Ran in a Mob Match in Richmond Park on Saturday afternoon – Ranelagh vs Blackheath. I have run this (our home) course on probably thirty occasions, and don’t remember conditions like that before. The mud was as bad as it gets in the park, but the wind (especially on the second lap) was brutal. Having crested the hill and looking forward to the gentle downhill to the ponds, it was disconcerting to be almost blown over, and struggling to run forward going downhill! The wind was against for the last mile or so of the lap, and the mud by the ponds was mid calf deep in places. The last mile of the second lap was a real struggle for me, and I felt like I couldn’t take in enough oxygen to keep running (although I did – just). Andy T on the other hand proved that he likes the country, and flew round, having told me before the start that he would be taking it easy!
Andrew Hayward
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18-02-14
As Andy H mentioned, I ran the Ranelagh -v- Blackheath mob match on Saturday. The usually fast 7 and a half mile course around Richmond Park was unusually wet and boggy with some large tracts of surface water topped off with some strong winds to boot. I loved it - I had to stop myself from rolling around in the mud for fun. I had an ok race which I enjoyed rather than raced well. I had a good battle with a couple of Ranelagh lads although we were soundly beaten by Ranelagh in the match. Well done to the Ranelagh team who did their club proud. It was good to see Andy as well as Chris Read and Andy Bickerstaff out there (not) enjoying the mud and wind.
Sunday I became Steve Glackin for a couple of hours. Resisting the urge to quaff Guinness and shout 'Potatoes' a lot, I donned the Ravens vest to run the Brighton Half Marathon. The conditions were near perfect with just an occasional strong headwind along the coast. I was lucky enough to meet up with Serena and Kevin Cockram at the start. It's a nice race, generally flat although with the odd incline and a good field of 7000 or so. As this is the first decent half marathon I have run in a couple of years I was intrigued to see far how my recovery had progressed. Aiming for sub 1.30 I went off at a comfortable pace and was able to maintain it throughout. I had plenty of strength and stamina but didn't have the pace. Unfortunately the mile markers along the route were either wrong or missing completely so I had difficulty in judging my pace overall but finished fairly strongly in 1.25.52 - probably Steve Glackin's slowest ever half marathon. Although slower than I can do I was pleased with the result considering and know that with some decent speed work I should be able to take a couple of minutes off at Tunbridge Wells in a couple of weeks.
Andy Tucker
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18-02-14
A quick and belated "race" report as I ran the Brighton HM on Sunday in pretty much perfect conditions......which is a pity as the same could not be said of me! My time of 1.37.19 was around 7 minutes slower than last year and reflects what a nightmare 2013 was post Paddock Wood. Still, in January I didn't think I'd be running this race at all, so just to get to the start line in some sort of shape was pretty gratifying. In the warm coastal sunshine, I was delighted to start alongside the familiar and ever smiling face of Andy T (who soon disappeared into the distance) and then received an unexpected boost in the form of a cheery shout from Serena as she sailed "serenely" by! Both were no doubt enjoying ice creams on the beach by the time I made sight of the finish line.
For me, this race came a few weeks too early but it's a start and hopefully I can build from here and make 2014 a better year than last.
Kevin Cockram
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18-02-14
I can't really add further to the other two excellent reports, save to say that I "trundled" more than "sailed" past Kevin and that both Kevin and Andy looked very comfortable when I saw them. The conditions really were perfect and I was almost immediately (instead of hours afterwards) glad that I hadn't given away my number, which I had thought of doing. I was pleased to have ducked 1:33, as I was aiming for sub 1:40, having struggled a bit since injuring my ankle back in December. Indicates that if I pull my finger out, I might actually sub 1:30. We'll see...
Serena Stracey
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18-02-14
I did my usual parkrun on Saturday, which in itself is not remarkable, but managed to achieve my highest ever finishing position of 5th, which I was chuffed about. My normal parkrun (Bromley) has been cancelled since Christmas due to flooding, so I have been running one at Lloyd Park in Croydon, which is Serena's local. It is a much more challenging course; a proper cross country run with a lot of mud and hills. Quite a lot of the top runners were away this weekend and early on I realised I had a good chance of a top 10 finish, so actually ran a more tactical race than usual, thinking that perhaps I could do better than that if I was sensible, and managed to overhaul several people in the course of the run, usually on the up/down muddy slopes, to finish in the top 5 for the first time ever. One of the runners I overtook runs with a dog on a lead strapped to his waist. I overtook him when he and the dog decided to go round the same tree in different directions!
Marcus Elwes
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12-02-14
I did the Crystal Palace run and saw Serena there! Even for a hilly run, it was very wet in places. But great fun!
Steve Glackin
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12-02-14
KCAA cross country
I ran the KCAA Cross Country on Saturday at Swanley. Last of the Kent County races for the season. Another very muddy course where the spikes came into their own with a great mix of mud, hills and a twisting interesting course. I had a good run beating a few team mates who have been beating me recently. I finished in 62 place which was fairly mid table but was 4th Blackheath finisher due to a low turnout so ended up as a 'scorer'. The Achilles again behaved itself and was ok after an 18 miler steady yesterday. Hopefully I can put that all behind me now.
Andy Tucker
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12-02-14
Essex league cc
I mildly twisted my ankle after 2 miles but decided to carry on slowly as it was so much fun in the mud and the rain and the wind.
Simon LeMare
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12-02-14
I ran the Great Bentley half marathon on sunday along with Mick and Lee. We all had good runs despite very windy conditions which meant it was not such a fast course as it can be and made it quite tough in parts. I finished in 14th place in a time 1:17.52 and was 1st M60. Lee was close behind in 1:19 to be 2nd M40 and Mick 1st M55 not far behind in 1:22. I'll leave Mick and Lee to provide further detail of their runs. I got into a fairly large group which included the leading lady, which was great. The group split into 2 after a few miles but I managed to hang in to the first group - 4 of us then the lady dropped off the group leaving 3 of us who completed the race together. Think my time would have been slower if I'd been on my own as it got quite hard against the wind though mile 12 was great and my fastest of the race (5:37) with the wind blowing me along!
Dave Butler
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12-02-14
It was the windiest race that I have ever been in! Ran in a group of 4 (the group behind Dave’s). I made a dash for freedom in that 12 th mile with the wind behind me. 1:19:00 dead. Not a great time but it was a good race (1min 16 secs behind my rubbish PB)
Lee Martin
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12-02-14
I also ran the Great Bentley Half yeaterday. Unsurprisingly, I didn't make the photo. Given the impressive wind, I am pleased with a time of 01:29:43. Not far off my PB and an improvement after a dissappointing run at the Watford half the weekend before.
Mike McGeown
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12-02-14
I did the Chichester 10K in pretty windy conditions. It’s a well organised race with an exceptional field, I was about 30th in 33.52….I am giving London another crack this year, as usual the challenge will be surviving the training to make the start line injury free but fingers crossed. Been working away a lot recently and so haven’t been down for a while but rest assured still a fully-fledged Raven and enjoying watching everyone’s progress!
Jon Fairs
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4-02-14
Topping off a 73 mile week, I had no real excuse as to why I shouldn’t go to this very local cross country (a couple of miles from my house). Pictured below was the parkland section which as you can see is unpleasant enough, the balance of it was in farmers fields where the best footing was in the 18 inches deep puddles tractor tracks where at least the mud was compacted. Four ditches and two journeys up a very big hill just about sum this course up. It went well given my “My body is bu99ered” attitude and I finished in 13th.
My kid Lawrence looked far better than me and faired very well – clearly sandbagging for a Tom Payne’esque finish (regrettably with his own teammates) – very proud Dad.
Lee Martin
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4-02-14
A rare report from me. This was my first XC for my local club and beforehand I was wondering why everyone was making knowing comments about how brave I was to choose this one to make my debut in. However, as we lined up to get instructions from the marshalls at the start of the race, it began to fully dawn on me, as the spoke about this being the toughest of the 7 races in this league, especially given the recent rain which had, they revealed, led to 'biblical' amounts of water under foot! They we certainly not wrong on that account - I have never seen so much waterlogged ground, mud, water and carnage out in a race, but what fun! I went down twice fully immersed in one of the many gigantic 'puddles' that had to be negotiated in the middle of the (just over 5 mile) course, battled my way through mud, soaked grass and sodden common at both ends, ripped my shorts on something and ended with a large scratch on my right thigh and a grazed knee, but was very happy with my finish of 105 out of 339 hardy souls (time 38.30), the third highest finisher for our club, and beat several people I would normally expect to be behind.
Marcus Elwes
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4-02-14
I did our club mob match v SLH over 71/2 mile in Epping Forest. Those who have done the course will know that dry it's tough but Saturday it was the wettest and muddiest ever. There were a few paths that gave respite but generally it was through deep puddles and mud. I finished 24 th and was only seconds slower than my time on a dry course v blackheath . I was first over 55 and felt very strong. Greg joined the race as a guest and had a great run and await his report.
Phil Hernon
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4-02-14
Right, first race report ever, so apologies for anything I omit, or if its too long.
Basically, it was a race of two halves. First half, on muddy track, so stable under foot. You could get a decent pace going on the tracks. I was in the front quarter of the field at the beginning and I managed to pick of a few places on the track. Within 10 minutes, the field had separated nicely. I stuck with my pace makers that Phil had picked out for me. Pace was good, but perhaps I went out a bit too quick. About half way through, we hit some big hills on the track, which took the wind out of me a bit. My pace maker went past me then. Only saw glimpses of his shirt on the horizon after that.
Second half, was pure mud and water. It was all about survival. As this was my first XC since secondary school, my main aim in the mud section was to try to go round it. Other runners came close to me and I saw them just plough through the middle of the mud. Looked like fun and it was the most direct route, so I did the same. Was great. Lost my leg up to my knees in mud a couple of times. Had to wade through water too. But I reckon I must have made up time.
I lost a bit of time due to wrong footware though (thanks Phil). I wore spikes and there were a few road sections, which meant I couldn't cruise along like the rest of the field. Marginally affected my performance perhaps.
Two big crunch points were 'the Bog' and the last hill of the run. The Bog was a 20 degree slope, about 200m long, but mud about a foot deep for the whole way. That came 3/4 of the way through. Sapped all the strength out of my legs. Last hill was about 600m long, started shallow but just got steeper and steeper. Muddy too. Legs felt like jelly. I think I may have technically walked a small section of the hill. Embarrassingly enough, it was also just in front of half a dozen spectators, so I lost a bit of pride too.
Anyway, I made it to the end. I came 9th, with a time of 56:43. First place got 52:27. Orion won the match. It was great fun and so so tiring. I've got a lot more training to do!!!!
Greg King-Underwood
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4-02-14
I ran our club 10 mile XC championship yesterday. For those who have run it, it is our mob match course with a 3 mile loop added at the beginning.
Like today's other reports, it was a tale of the overall conditions and the mud. It's a course of hills, stiles, mud and boggy conditions - with just enough tarmac to make spikes impractical. It was trail shoes for me. Following the Southerns last week I had a fairly good run, continuing my improvement. I finished 7th in a depleted field of 41 in a fairly unimpressive time of 1.14 (although not too bad in view of the course). I managed to beat a few people I have been struggling against recently but still have a few to catch. I should be back to full fitness soon enough. The Achilles took a battering (more so than at the Southerns) as the course is very unforgiving.
All in all, this race epitomises everything I love about running - I enjoyed it immensely
Andy Tucker
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4-02-14
I ran in the SE Essex XC league at Weald Country Park, Brentwood on Sunday. Like most other races it was wet and muddy (and a bit hilly). Started steadily some way back but moved through the field after a mile or so to battle with Matt Bland and another (young) guy for the rest of the race. Felt strong in the second half of the race and got away from the other two on a series of hills about a mile from the end to finish 5th (only 14 secs behind Crispian Bloomfield in 3rd!)
Dave Butler
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28-01-14
South Of England Cross Country Race Report - Parliament Hills
I ran as Glyn Parry (didn't join Kent in time to run as myself)
great experience, bloody muddy though. plan was to stay in the vicinity of Luke but got stuck in a bottleneck early on and never really saw him again (nowhere near strong enough anyway). Passed Mick early on, had a chat/ mini battle with David second lap before easing ahead and then basically hung on not trying not to die to the end. Not terrible and wasn’t slowest Kent runner (which is an achievement in that club!)
Thought it was very hard but surprisingly my calves were not on fire yesterday and did manage to get 10 miles in @MP-1min so obviously didn’t work hard enough
PS. Amazing run from Kent’s John Gilbert to medal
Arif Merali
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28-01-14
I ran as Jamie Darling (finished way down in 503rd)
Had a good run. Started slowly and finished quickly. Conditions got worse as the race went on - 15mm spikes were the order of the day. Unfortunately got caught in some horrendous conditions just after the race - I'm glad I had finished running by then. I saw Mick before the start and Luke on the first lap, who looked like he was running well. Saw Tom Payne in the top 7 half way round the first lap. I think he finished 11th.
I was glad to finish with my ankles in one piece and no appreciable issues with the Achilles.
Andy Tucker
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28-01-14
I really enjoyed the mud and hills on Saturday. I felt good and had a far better run than I did at the Kent county. Beating people by 3-6 mins who beat me there. I passed Mick on the second hill. I saw Andy at one point. Thanks for the shout. I caught Knut a good Belgrave M50 at half way but then could not stay with him. Pleased to finish 251st. My boys both ran really badly. Overall a really good occasion. I look forward to the National next month.
Luke Armitage
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28-01-14
Crystal Palace parkrun
I managed to win the CP park run on Saturday – and got a pb for that course - 18m 40. Most of the nippy youngsters (Stephen Thackery, Roger Villardel) were running at Dulwich, so after having a good look around the field at the start I thought I might have a chance. Having said that, you can never be sure. Sometimes the guys with all the ‘gear’ are rubbish and the lass flash ones can be super speedy. I got to the front after 200 yards and realised after 1k that I just had to keep the pace going . Going up the hill the 2nd time I put a little more distance between me the chasers….and then hung on at the end. Most of all, it was nice to be ahead of the youngsters and see a 50 54yr category winner!
Steve Glackin
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24-01-14
Whilst in Tokyo i decided to try to find a race and chose a 5K as i thought with bad jet lag a shorter race would be better. The race was extremely well organised as long as you are Japanese. I was the only foreigner in the race. Trying to obtain my race number was a nightmare as all i know in Japanese is hello, good bye, thank you, where is the nearest toilet and big t1ts (sorry ladies). I eventually obtained my race number in the basement of a theatre 1/2 mile from the race! There you could leave your belongings. It turned out to be like a large park run. About 250 people, some doing 2 laps for a 10k and 1 lap for the 5k. After finding some one that spoke a little English, i found out where the race started and finished. I was nearly arrested during my warm up by a Imperial Palace security guard as i think i was running where you should not be. it was extremely windy and very cold and i ran in tights, shorts, compression socks, a long slieve shirt, gloves and a hat. the 10K started 5 minutes before the 5k. After 1/2K i was in 7th, then we hit the wind, i could run no faster than 6 minute mile pace. After 2k we were out of the wind and i was in 3rd. the rest of the race was highly congested trying to pass the slower 10k runners on a narrow path. Finished 3rd in 18.02, my first international podium. The prizes were energy gells, energy drinks, canned energy drinks, all in Japanese, so i have no idea what they are.
Simon LeMare
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24-01-14
Essar Four Villages Half Marathon
Helsby, Cheshire
Sun 19th Jan
1:20:44
Rupert Holden
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24-01-14
Very much a newbie with Ravens and certainly one of the slowest but 2.12 at Benfleet 15 in what was the muddiest/hilliest 15M XC in the world :-) 16th female and approximately 10 minute PB.
VICKY COOPER
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10-01-14
Highwood Cross Country
Still on the come-back trail with lower quality XC. Following the Saturday long run in horrid conditions, I managed on Sunday a PW in this league of 16th. For the first time in many years my splits showed one long uphill muddy mile as 8 minutes! Course was very muddy and my ankle managed to explore various new angles in which to bend. I will be out today and hoping to go along to Mile End tomorrow night. Looking forwards to hearing how the Essex and Kent XC Champs went. Lee Martin
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10-01-14
More info on Essex xc Champs
Dave came 38th, brilliant run. I came 65th, second lap was hard work but last (third) lap I felt alot stronger, which is good, calf was ok. Simon came about 30secs behind me, so at least I didn't get le Mare'd - I had to tell Simon to f**k off at the beginning of the race as he started talking to Dave and me. Chelmsford had 12 runners, I was 11th scorer, the A team won by a massive margin, 6 in the first 11 and our B team came 6th just behind Springfield A. My son came 7th in the U13 and his team came 2nd by 3 points, my wife's team also came 2nd - so I was the only one in the family without a medal.
Mick Bridgeland
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10-01-14
I ran OK. Was about 10 seconds behind Mick at the end of lap one. At the end of lap 2 about 15 seconds behind then had a wierd problem as had small stick stuck in my new sharp spikes which cost me about 5 places as I had to stop to get it out. I lost my usual Southend Athletics trophy for the fastest vet for the Essex champs to a V35 "vet" My kids also ran and won silver and bronze team medals.
Simon LeMare
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10-01-14
As Mick reported, I came 38th at the Essex County xc. Highlight was Mick telling Simon to f*** off shortly after the start as Simon wanted to have a chat! A nice undulating course not as wet and muddy as I thought it might but were some tight turns that were quite muddy and slippery so pleased I was wearing long spikes. I had a good race picking up a few places during the race though not so eyeballs out as at the County Vets xc at the end of November - not nearly so knackered at the finish! An enjoyable day out. Followed by a 16 mile training run Sunday morning. Legs tired today so it's the gym for me at lunchtime!
Dave Butler

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