Who wants to do a Jigsaw?

Not the type that you have in pieces on the floor at home, but the 10k run type, but the run around the aerodrome at Dunsfold famous for the Top Gear race track type! The is a perfect race for a PB. It doesn’t get flatter, it is on tarmac and if the weather is nice then whoosh!!!

The weather was perfect 8’C overcast, a lovely day for running. There was just one small part of the weather that was difficult. A 40 mph wind.. BOOM! Taking a look at the windsock first thing in the morning showed where the wind was going. It was going straight down the runway perfectly, however we were running into it continuously for 2km which also got repeated at the start of lap 2.

Your report writer wasn’t running this week due to injury so was volunteering and managing the turn around point at halfway. I was stood there with a gale blowing in my face for the entire time, shouting encouragement at the runners. Not that they could hear me from more than 3 feet away due to the wind.

So the run began at 10:30 and they started “running” into the wind, running being a term for moving the legs as fast as they can and being blown back. At the far end of the runway they turn out of the wind and start the run round the outside of the airfield back to the start point. At this point suddenly people were running really quickly. The tail wind has its effect and people come round the perimeter really quickly. At 17 minutes the first runner comes through halfway turns round and goes off into the wind again. Simon Copper is in the top few at this point and Steve Low is not far behind. The look on everyones face as they turn into the wind was memorable and many people didn’t want to go down the 2km runway again.

Round everyone goes for a second lap and the last km of the race has a massive tailwind as they come home to the end. Everyone is absolutely roaring home incredibly quickly. The winner comes down the finish straight a long way ahead of everyone. Just over a minute behind is Simon Cooper in 3rd with a time of 37:35, brilliant especially considering the conditions. A couple of minutes later and 5 places is Steve Low in 39:40. Outstanding by both of you well done.

The third official BVR runner was Lisa Simpson in 51:51 brilliant result in awful weather. I just want to mention my son.. Nicholas Radford who ran his first 10k ever in 43:52, (that’s enough proud dad moment) was the 3rd team member home but doesn’t count.

Just behind Lisa they all came in thick and fast, Vanessa also broke 52 minutes with Sadie Hamblin just the other side of 52. Mary broke 54 minutes, Sarah Jennings 55 minutes and Linda Radford and Karen Morgan 56 minutes. Incredible runs by all in a “light breeze”

Ruth Chaplin and Gemma Robinson fought hard and ran well for 56:56 and 58:34 respectively. Then Amanda Bailey sprinted for the line and worked really hard to break an hour by just 6 seconds. Just behind Amanda were Ave Turner and Sara Vale. I’d just like to congratulate you all on a remarkable run and achievement by all. Brilliant stuff.

The original aim of the run was to go out there and achieve PB’s as it was sold as a very flat and very fast course, however the wind had other ideas. Well let’s just say it tried to have other ideas because BVR are a hardy group of runners. Stand up and be saluted Vanessa Cracknell, Sarah Jennings, Linda Radford, Karen Morgan, Ave Turner. All of you achieved a PB on a day when it wasn’t going to happen. You’re all just plain nuts!

And what happened to our marshall… wind swept and slicked back hair from staring into the wind for 2 hrs. Who’s back again next year? Oh and the first points update for 2016 will be out in the next day or so.

A Race through Alice Holt Forest!

On Saturday 5th September, BVR went out on tour en masse for yet another club race. This is one of the biggest events in the calendar and allows us to support Farnhma Runners a fellow running club in the local area. The race the Alice Holt races with a 1km kids run 3km kids run a 5km and 10km race. We arrived with a turnout of 14 runners with an aim of achieving something we’ve never done before – winning the team race. We sent out Scott Kennedy, Simon Cooper, Steve Low and Alex Radford to try and win the team race… More of that later.

The course is a 10km hilly trail through the forest with three significant hills that we have to worry about at 4km 8km and then the run up to the finish just after 9km. Anyone who has ever done the Alice Holt parkrun will know these hills as we usually run down them!

So at 11 o’clock the race begins. We all go screaming off as fast as we can.. in some cases a lot faster than we should have 🙂 . and we’re off. First couple of km goes downhill and the hills are quite steep in the initial part of the race. Up to 4km and we take the first of the hills on.. this hill is basically the final hill we will run up later. Hard work but we all got up it and once we get the other side and start the down we don’t feel too bad. Trying to keep going now through 5-7km as it feels now like it is more uphill than down. Up to the hill at 8km and we’re getting tired now… don’t like this any more, but over.. Now there is only the last nasty to come and there it is . I can see the last hill and it looks vertical right now. Step by step, bit by bit work up the hill. It starts to level off, its beaten, now look good and sprint for the finish line. Job is done, Alice Holt 10k beaten.

All our runners finished the Alice Holt 10k this year and there were some great results, in fact in reality everyone had a great run. There were a few issues with the results and they took a couple of days to be corrected but they are as follows.

Scott Kennedy 2nd overall 36:07 amazing run and a 10k PB … yet again, Simon Cooper 37:23, minutes faster than last year in 4th winning 2nd V40, also a PB. Steve Low comes in 10th, in his fastest time in the event and wins the V50 category. Brilliant performances by all of them. First BVR lady across the line was Lisa Simpson in 51:22 followed by Mary Thane in 56:14. Special mention must go to Karen Morgan who ran 58:57 and broke 60 minutes for the first time ever in a race. Well done… great effort!!!!!

The awards kept coming though as the BVR ladies came 3rd team, a great achievement by all concerned. It was an outstanding performance again and finally the male team after at least 2 recounts won the male points title beating Farnham Runners by just 4 places. Well done team. So one race 5 awards for BVR marvellous performance by all concerned.

So what did this do to the points championship. On the male side Alex Radford (429) retained a 64 point lead over Scott Kennedy (365) with Steve Low (295) just behind with Dave Porter (219) and Alan Freestone (210) making up the top 5.

On the ladies side the points championship is incredibly close with just 4 events left, Linda Radford (302) has a lead of 94 points on Charlotte Walsh (208) but just behind her there are 4 ladies within 5 points, Linda Folley (184), stays 3rd, Sarah Fancett (181) jumps from 6th to 4th, Amanda Bailey (180) stays 5th and Holly Purser (179) drops 2 places to 6th. Karen Morgan (163) is closing fast on all of them as well. It is going to be so close with the last few weeks of the points championship left. Lisa Simpson jumped another 4 places and Mary Thane has now leapt into the top 10 overall.

So every point matters from here for the rest of the year and this weekend it is the Farnham Pilgrim Marathon and Half Marathon. More points for grabs there. How is this going to end…

Enjoy your run.. where ever and whenever it is..

Arundel 10k and the points championship update

Another event comes and goes in the annual race for the points championship, a 10k race at Arundel, the first time this event has made it into the championship. Another great day out for team BVR as 9 willing volunteers turned out on a Sunday morning to race up and down the hills of Arundel and through the castle. There were yet more great performances by the BVR team. Simon Cooper ran a great 38:01 and was second overall and Steve Low was 8th overall again winning his age category in 39:31. Lisa Simpson was our first lady home (6th Lady overall) in 51:48 (51:28 chip time) followed by Linda Folley, Mary Thane, Charlotte Walsh and Karen Morgan. Finally our last male was Kevin Martin and female was Amanda Bailey. Another great representation and really impressed as such a good turnout on the bank holiday weekend.

This event provided a bit of a shake up in the points championship with both the lead 2 males and lead female not being present at the event meant that the gaps have closed up and there have been changes everywhere!

On the male side Steve Low has cemented third place overall opening up a 54 point gap on Dave Porter in 4th and now just 68 points behind Scott Kennedy. Kevin Martin has gone from 28th to 24th and Simon Copper has also gone up 4 places from 36th to 33rd.

On the female side Charlotte Walsh is now 24 points clear in 2nd place but still 76 points behind Linda R. Linda F has gone up to 3rd overall after a good run at Arundel. Amanda Bailey has gone from 6th to 5th overall and Karen Morgan is now chasing the top 6. Mary Thane has gone up to 12th from 15th and slightly further down Lisa Simpson has gone up to 19th from 23rd with her great performance.

Big gains are still to be had and there are still places up for grabs. A summary of the top 6 in each category are below:

Name Points Name Points
Alex Radford 407 Linda Radford 284
Scott Kennedy 341 Charlotte Walsh 208
Steve Low 273 Linda Folley 184
Dave Porter 219 Holly Purser 179
Alan Freestone 210 Amanda Bailey 171
Steve Bailey 186 Sarah Fancett 165

There are 5 more dates with events on that score points this year. The first of these is this Saturday at 11am – Alice Holt Races, always popular and quite a few of us are going! The full list is

Date Event(s)
5th September Alice Holt 10k and 5k
13th September Pilgrim MarathonPilgraim Half Marathon

Lightwater MABAC

4th October Camberley 10k
18th October Nonsuch MABAC
1st November Puttenham MABAC

And don’t forget the points for either running at parkrun and volunteering at Rushmoor, could make all the difference!

Run well and have fun doing it!

The Points Championship.. so far

We’re now 13 events done out of 21 for the points championship for 2015 so it seemed a good time to go through the story so far. So rather embarrassingly (as I’m one of them) the Radford clan has led the tables from the first events this year having been at every event with the exception of Holmwood MABAC, however the tables have been close all year.

In the ladies table, initially Karen Jones was 2nd, then Tracy Dolman, and then Karen Jones took that back from her until the Fleet half marathon at which point we had a new person in 2nd, Holly Purser who still holds that position today, however after the Surrey Slog the female points championship has got incredibly close with just 22 points now seperating 2nd from 6th. It’s going to be an absolute grandstand finish towards the end of the year. With Holly (179), Charlie (178), Linda F (167), Sarah F(165) and Amanda B(157) separated by the points from just one race it’s all up for grabs right now. Karen Jones(131) and Karen Morgan(117) aren’t out of the race either.  They have all been chasing the 2014 PB Queen Linda Radford(264) who has an incredible lead of 85 points. With 8 events left it sounds a lot but it’s not impossible to catch. There’s going to be a lot of changes in the table yet and no-one should predict how its going to go from here. You never know!

In the male championship there has been a battle going on between Alex R and Scott all year from the first race of the year. Currently Alex Radford (388) has a 48 point lead over Scott Kennedy (340). They have been fighting it out all year long and have opened up a gap of over 100 points to Steve L (236) in third place with Dave P (218) and Alan F (208)  just behind. Steve Bailey(181) who was third at one time has dropped to 6th in recent weeks  and Andy Ratcliffe(162) has shot up from 12th to 7th after good results at Elstead and the Surrey Slog.

There are still tons of points left with over a third of the points still up for grabs so nothing is decided yet. However, now is the time to make a move as huge changes can happen in the closing weeks as happened last year. The more of us that turn up at the points events, the more points are up for grabs. Anyone who turns up at most of the events that are left will move up masses of places in the table.

So where next for the points championship, Wimbledon for a 5 mile MABAC on Tuesday 4th August 7:30pm. This run comes highly recommended, its got a big hill early on each lap then downhill and a long flat and round a sports field at the end of lap 2.  There is even a FREE buffet afterwards, sandwiches and stuff and a bar (which you have to pay for)! It’s a great social evening that comes highly recommended that has a 5 mile run at the start. Hope to see as many of you there as possible, it’s one of the most fun MABAC’s of the year and we all sit around chat and eat after.

Anyway if you want to see the points championship as it stands today follow the link here -> Points Championship

The Sloggers have it

Anyone ever wandered why this race is called the Surrey slog? No…. It is also known as the “Holmbury Half”. I know which name I prefer and I know which one is more true, but you can decide which is better for yourself.

A dangerous dozen BVR nutters runners decided to take on the Holmbury Half marathon on 19th July. The run consists of a quick lap of a school, a bit of trail running and then a sprint down a big hill to the finish back in the school. What could possibly go wrong?

And then we begin in blazing sunshine and blue sky at exactly 10am. Round the school we all go, quite fast as we want a good position at the bottlenecked stile at around 1km. Some of us go round the stile, some of us over and then the race is on and the first thing we all do is slow down as the first of the 5 hills takes hold. It’s not too bad around 3/4 mile but we’re already regretting going off quite so fast round the school.

Over the top and then its downhill for well over a mile. You could almost forget about the first hill at this point but then we come to the really steep downhill. 100m of steep downhill on uneven loose stones, two choices, throw yourself down it or tiptoe. then we come to the second hill and up we go again… why did i just run that downhill so fast? Should have eased back more oops. Oh well we’re here now. Up we go, but this is taking longer than the first one but eventually we’re there up number two, well that’s 4.5 miles done. And off we fly down the next hill, of course feels easy and we don’t want it to end.

Up number three and now we are seeing arrows on the hills the other way. We have to run back down this later. It’s really beginning to hurt now. We’re thinking why do I put myself through this. Can I run up this? I might have to walk a bit. Come on keep going. Over the top finally at 7 miles and down down down again. Holmbury itself is next big climb, long climb, come on Holmbury we’re ready for you. And so it begins, the long drag up up up. We round a corner, must be nearly there .. Gutted not yet, round another corner is it easing off? Finally, the legs are burning but I’m up the top and wow the view is good, but no time for that 4 miles still to go. Round the compass and back down. 1 whole mile of perfect downhill gradient running, steep enough to help keep you moving but not too steep you have to hold back. Down we go and past drinks and then see the 11 mile point.

From 12 miles we know its all down hill. Into the forest for the last time and start the climb, oh this is long, it hurts, it hurts, no more but still it goes up. We’re tired, had enough, don’t want to play anymore, want to give up and then in front of you is the 12 mile sign. The last mile is almost all downhill. Pushing on and then the drop begins. Suddenly the energy comes back and you can run down this hill, fly down these hills, across the car park and down the last narrow path. Heading for home, but there is one last sting, 600m from the finish is one final short steep uphill. We’re over, round the stile and then lets go, there’s the finish line. We’ve beaten the Surrey Slog. Woop woop. Although I think the reality is that the Surrey Slog has beaten us, chewed us up and spat us out. Its almost 600m of climb, a little less than the Farnham Pilgrim full marathon but an achievement to get round it!

Now we can celebrate although oh my word we’re tired and beaten both mentally and physically. The grass is the perfect place to sit and we do for a while whilst we drink Dave’s recovery drink, strawberry Nesquik.  It’s been roastingly hot, the lack of tree cover didn’t help in places, but we have conquered and earned our medal.


The BVR mob did a grand job with all runners completing it. Congratulations to all that were there. So how did everyone do? Brilliant that’s how! Scott Kennedy came home in 6th in about 90 minutes, Steve Low in 8th in about 95 minutes and Alex Radford sprinted for the last 400m to be 2 seconds inside 1hr 40. Well done to them but two BVR ladies completed the race and both with outstanding performances. Lisa Simpson deserves a standing ovation. It’s her first ever half marathon and she completed it in about 2:07! Lisa, they only get easier from there, promise. Talk about picking a tough one. Our other lady, Linda Radford ran the course 3 minutes faster than last year… another race, another PB…. Nothing seems to stop her.

But beyond that we also came back with a couple of bottles of wine. Steve Low won the veterans over 50 category (yet again). Well done Steve brilliant again and John Taylor won the over 70 category, another brilliant run!

Add to those people Andy Ratcliffe just inside 1:50, Roger Bearn around 2:00 and Mark Millington also around 2:00, having their first crack at the race and Patrick Lines, Dave Porter and John Orrell having yet another go at this race. You all did a great effort and did our club proud.

I mustn’t forget our marshalling team that was there John Hogg (referee), Val Hogg, Ave Turner, and Charlie Walsh (who enjoyed the power of the car park far too much!), our timekeeper who was a star Amanda Bailey as well as Steve / Dave and John H setting out the course the day before. Thanks all, we appreciated you all being there too.

Overall its a great race and a good bit of fun, but it is unlike any other event of the year. We all highly recommend it to anyone for a go next year. Most of us will be back for another go. Will you join us for the challenge?


Endure24, Keep on Running!

On Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June 2015 team “Blackwater Valley Runners 1” took on the Endure24 challenge. In principal it sounds simple, run as far as you can as a team in 24hrs. Many of the team trundled down to a field in Aldermaston where they spent the night on Friday, putting up tents, drinking beer and discussing tactics that we would be employing over the next two days. The team was Steve Bailey, Steve Low, Tracy Dolman, John Taylor, Alex Radford, Linda Radford, Charley Walsh, Alan Freestone and Amanda Bailey and Melvyn Dolman supporting us magnificently. By 10:00 on the Saturday morning we’re all together camped and set up ready for the fun to begin. Conditions were initially overcast and quite drizzly in spite of the forecasts appearing to say otherwise. At 12:00 midday our first runner Alex enters the pen with over 400 other runners and it begins. A 24hr race with a sprint to the first corner of the course!

A brief description of the course. Across the start line and turn left onto a road for a couple of hundred metres before a climb up the first hill. The course then gently rolls up and down on trail paths for just under 3 km before a short steep and slippery downhill before a right slippery turn back uphill. Soon after this we have a long straight chalk path and we weave our way downhill to the 5km point. The food stop and course drinks station. Usually a sign of relief or respite, some lovely water. At Endure24 it means, the big nasty hill is round the corner… get ready for it. So up a sharp hill for 700m and just over the top we hit the 6km point and we wind our way back down hill through the forest with a few switchbacks to the 7km point. Down a little more and through a final forest and we can hear the music again blaring out. Still 600m to go though as we enter the campsite as we weave our way through the tents and eventually the final bend is there. Cross the finish line 5 miles complete (8km) and 1 lap down. Now all that is left is hand a wristband over to the next person and off they go and time for a well earned rest.

Doesn’t that sound immensely simple, run a lap next person goes up, hand over wristband, previous person rests and eats. Well this is where Endure24 starts to bite back. Well before 6pm we all have 1 lap on the board and are feeling rather pleased with ourselves, but disaster strikes, one of our team is sick. A replanning takes place and we all go out an hour earlier than planned. So nighttime descends, by 8pm we are running with torches through the forest and ploughing our way through the darkness. It’s a really cool effect running at night with just your own light to guide you, but the holes in the ground look a little bigger, the slopes a little steeper but we’re a team and we’re doing everything we can to get round for the next person. We’re 16 laps done shortly after 11pm and suddenly we appear on the leaderboard in 47th position overall with Frimley Flyers 12 seconds behind us. Through the night we press on, all of our changeovers perfection, even at 3am our next runner is waiting for the changeover anxious to go round again. While waiting in the pen we hear shouts of “NIGEL!!!” “NIGEL!!” but there is no Nigel, he is still in bed or not made it over, so the whole pen starts shouting for him, but he never comes.

The sun comes up and the news from the team is brilliant, our sick person has recovered and we are still racing along, still working hard. Tracy does the sunrise shift as the world lightens up and we are on the home straight. 530am she hands over for leg number 24. We go back, we eat again all getting ready for our last run each. Everyone knows there is one more each, but if we run well we can get 33 laps in. The pressure is on but we rise to the challenge, runner after runner comes in with a great time and a herculean effort. Linda does leg 25, Steve L 26. Anotehr great handover to Alan for 27, Charley does 28, Steve Bailey rattles out 29. We need 4 more to make our target, less than 3  hrs to get the last runner out. John completes number 30, Tracy completes 31 and its 10:59. At 11:35am the last change goes to Charley and she can take as long as she wants. The team has done it, achieved 33 laps.

Charley comes round the final corner and the entire team join her on the course for the final 50 metres. We’ve done it. We’ve survived Endure24, we haven’t survived it, we’ve beaten it. It’s gone as close to perfect as it could be.

When the smoke settles and the results come in it’s confirmed 33 laps in 24 hrs 26 minutes and 26 seconds. 165 miles, 2 miles more than the distance from London to Manchester as the crow flies and we are 39th overall. Overall being 159 teams. We have beaten three-quarters of the entire field.

It sounds totally crazy and totally barmy the whole event and yes it probably is, but it’s a special event full of ups and downs, drama and laughter including many more things there isn’t space for in this report. It’s over FOR NOW, but go and ask any of the team if they would do it again……….

And finally Andy Murphy ran for the Sands team and did 7 laps (35 miles) personally as they completed 34 laps in 24 hrs, 40 minutes and 10 seconds. Overall they were 12th out of 29 teams. Another awesome performance, well done Sir! We seemed to bump into you everytime you went out!

Off to the Surrey Hills Again


So on a warm and sunny Sunday morning a mass of Blackwater Valley Runners turned up for the latest instalment in the MABAC series. This time we were at Farley Heath. In excess of 20 runners enjoyed the sunshine in the woods. We were even met by bluebells as well. For the first time in a while we had a couple of juniors run the 1 lap course so we were there as a club en masse.

So we all lined up to begin having been warned there was water across the full length of the course towards the back end and we were off. Starting with a big down hill we ran through the sandy ground and charged off all thinking, we’ll pay for this later. So we reached the bottom and then started our first climb, and then got onto the longest straight I’ve ever seen on a MABAC. You could literally see 600m or more in front of you and see the full group leading you in the distance. Soon after we start down again, and find a bit of tarmac to run down, then we’re back into the woods and then come across the puddle. It’s big enough to swim through. We could have used it for the first part of the Crondall Triathlon, ok it’s not in Crondall… Round we went and then started the final climb to the finish which starts steep, and then we climb up and it levels off and goes again! Eventually we break out of the forest and a quick left turn and we’re back to the start again. Rinse and repeat and lo and behold we’ve finished. Quite a long race at well over 5.7 miles, tough course in warm weather.

So how did we all do, start with the juniors, Nicholas Radford was 1st round for the juniors and Alaistair Radford was 5th or 6th. Well done to them both for a great run. Shame you got a stitch Al.. we will fix it, Doc Chazzo that’s one for you!

So the seniors… Scott Kennedy was 2nd overall with Steve Low 6th. At the time of writing times are not available. More good runs from those two. Really good runs from everyone, Vanessa did a good time, William Hurley ran really well and Paddy fought hard to beat Steve Bailey. And then Dave Porter beat Holly in a sprint for the line. It was all happening today. Every other runner seemed to be from BVR today. Great attendance and great company.

Anyway onto the important stuff that everyone really cares about, Coffee and Cake. Today’s home made selection was Lemon Drizzle Cake from Melissa, and chocolate and non-chocolate flapjacks from Paddy. I can attest that they were all fantastic. YUM!!! As well as that there was carrot cake, mini millionaires shortbread and chocolate fudge cake. Flasks of Coffee and Tea were also available as well as fizzy drink. What more could you want from your Sunday morning run? A run through the forest and then cake.. It’s the way to go.

Next up is Holmwood on 14th June 2015, more coffee and cake and a small matter of a run thrown into the bargain. Look forward to seeing you there for the next episode!!! Have fun all!


recommended races mabac

A Wet Day in Cranleigh

Summer finally arrived in Cranleigh on 29th March, warm day, 13’C and the obligatory wind and rain which goes with the UK summer. 14 crazy runners decided that it was a good day for a run through the roads around Cranleigh. Stood around at the start we were provided with a cooling drizzle, which never stopped for the entire run. To add insult to injury we started at 8am… (ok it was 9am but the clocks had gone forward and it certainly felt early!). Our brave team started our run which consisted of a 9 mile lap followed by either a solitary 6 mile lap or if you were really feeling it two 6 mile laps.

On time we began and we left Cranleigh behind us into the wind and  rain which was to greet us around the entire course. It was a pretty flat course, with the exception of the several hills that we had to run up and down multiple times. Three miles in and we still hadn’t found anything but a headwind and hills. Did that stop us? Not a chance. Many of us were doing our longest run that we have to do on our marathon training and for the Brighton Marathon Crew it was the last long run at all as they get to taper over the next couple of weeks.

We all flew round the first lap and ran through the centre of Cranleigh, dodging the pedestrians as we went through the streets, to a quick bit of trail which signified the start of lap two. From this point the entire run started to feel uphill, but we ploughed on past marshalls who had their heads hidden in hooded jackets to keep warm and groups of children handing out jelly babies and water who were cheerful in spite of the weather. Our second lap ends as we come up the big hill towards the finish, knowing we have to tackle that once more before the end. And then onwards past the finish and a final lap beckoned. The wind gets stronger, the rain gets wetter but we’re immune to it now. At mile 20, we all come to the bottom of the final hill and its one big push, everything that’s left out it comes as we get up and over, and we’re there, just got to run downhill to the finish. We turned the final corner and there is the big red inflatable which says we have achieved a miracle, we have run 21 miles and have survived to tell the tale. We can do anything after that. We’re untouchable.

So… onto the results. In the 15 mile race, Scott Kennedy made light of the hills and the weather and steamrollered the course in 1:33:20 to win the event by 31 seconds! Absolutely phenomenal. Great run Scott. For team BVR Andy Murphy and Charles Lee completed the 15 as well in very respectable times and hopefully the niggles they picked up will recover over the next few days.

In the 21 mile race all the credit goes to “Porter’s Princesses” who completed their 21 mile run. Great runs by Holly, Linda F, Sarah F, Charley and Linda R as they completed 21 miles, many of them for the first time. They all looked great afterwards and enjoyed the achievement they managed. Well done to Dave Porter for dragging them all round over the last 3 months to get them ready for the big event that is to follow for them all over the next 5 weeks.

Congratulations also to the rest of team BVR, Alex, Alan, Andy, Roger and Steve for a good 21 mile run.

Finally thanks to John and Val for standing out for 3 hrs plus, we all appreciated seeing you on the course.

Our next MABAC is on the 12th April at Farley Heath, look forward to seeing you all there, but if you aren’t there, good luck in the Brighton marathon!


BVR Runners out and about pacing

Linda and Alex Radford have been taking part in two events from “The Human Race” as part of the Garmin Pacing Team. Firstly a half marathon at Eton Dorney on 28th February 2015 and Lidl Breakfast Run in Kingston on 15th March 2015. At Eton Dorney Linda ran the 11 minute/mile group round the lake 4 times which and Alex was supposed to be running at 7 minute/mile group but got roped into going a little quicker to bring the group back in under 90 minutes. The weather was overcast and dull and gradually got windier each time we went round the lake till it felt like it was blowing a gale at the end. All of the runners who took part in the event hung on to the pacemakers all the way round and many achieved massive PB’s. It was a privilege to be part of the event and was wonderful to be part of other people achieving their goals.

At Kingston two weeks after Eton Dorney, they were at it again, this time Linda ran 16 miles and Alex 20 miles, with the same goals to bring runners round in the time they want to for marathon preparation with the main marathons coming up in a few weeks. This time we should have had the knowledge of tour guides running the Thames path and straight past Hampton Court Palace, but alas our knowledge wasn’t that good, however when one of the foreign runners started asking questions the other runners all chipped in and knew a huge amount. Again the goals were achieved with us running within a few seconds for each mile of our assigned paces.

Pacing is a great fun thing to do and you soon realise the responsibility when you start and a great big mob of people attach themselves onto you and want you to take them round so they can succeed. The funny thing is in Kingston we ran the last 2 miles pretty much on our own. The runners were feeling good and the best bit was watching them sail off into the distance as they accelerated towards the finish. We met some great people and it was lovely to give something back into the running community.

All those people who ran with us during both the Eton Dorney run and Lidl Breakfast run, we hope achieve their goals and run the times they want to do. For us it’s onto the Fleet Half-Marathon and our own marathons in a few weeks.


Richmond Park MABAC

Another cold chilly winters morning and BVR are off to Richmond Park for the latest MABAC. 17 intrepid runners took a tour of one of the most beautiful parks in the country. Before we started though we had serious marathon training to do so 8 of us ran the entire park and got a sneaky 10 miles in before the Mabac and 2 others got a good 4 miles in before the MABAC as well. We all did this on the perimeter gravel paths around the outside of the park thinking it was a pre-amble as to what followed.

Oh how we got it wrong!! At 11:00 sharp we started off on the MABAC itself and immediately went into some nice thick sludgy and slippery mud and many of us wished we had trail shoes on. Congratulations to those that had the right footwear. Four of us decided running was too much like hard work and took a lay down on the course only to find we had to get back up and carry on running. One of us was daft enough to do it twice. We all worked hard and ran round the course as hard as we dare and made it round the two laps of a testing hilly course.

Onto the results, he does it again, can anyone beat him Scott Kennedy was 1st overall in an amazing 27:40. In fact he was so good, he had time to go on an offcourse tour round the park! Well done. Behind him Steve Low came in a creditable 7th in 30:59. Our first lady home was Holly Purser in 39:49 (72nd overall) and she’d done the 10 miles first.

Further down the group John Hogg beat Kay Collins in a sprint to the line, not really fair John as Kay is running for two. (Maybe she should get double points!)

So covered in mud we all trundled back to where we left the bags and drank coffee and ate chocolate brownies (thank you Kay, homemade and healthy as they had raisins in) and treats from Linda Folley. A good run was had by all and there will be some photos (at least clean before photos) going up of the team soon.

Well done all and here’s to the next event – Fleet Half Marathon 22nd March 2015.


Photographs courtesy of Richard Jones.