BVR Awards Ceremony

Don’t miss out on the Annual Awards Night 2017

Spaces are limited, so make sure you don’t miss out on our annual awards night on Friday 3rd February 2017. This year we are heading back to Farnham Castle for a three course meal and the chance to celebrate the achievements if the club and its members over the last twelve months. When that’s all done, the party really starts and much dancing occurs.

Last year the castle proved to be a sensational venue, with it’s grand entrance and beautiful great hall. The best part is that the club subsidises the cost of the night, so it’s just £25 for members and £57 for non-members.

Limited places – don’t leave it too late

All you’ve got to do is pay your money and make your menu choices by the 4th January. You can pay by cash, cheque or bank transfer and either email your completed menu choice to treasurer@bvrunners.org.uk or give it to Alan on a Wednesday night. Bank details etc are on the form.

You can download and print off the menu here.

You need to get your place booked now though, as they are limited to 120. Don’t delay!

 

 

Queen’s Avenue Tragedy

Yesterday (Tuesday) evening, two young girls from Aldershot & Farnham District (AFD) Athletics Club tragically lost their lives while out running with their club, in what appears to be the most awful and senseless circumstances. The BVR committee, on behalf of its members, would like to express their deepest sympathies to the families of those involved, as well as heartfelt solidarity with the AFD community. 

BVR at the Bacchus Half Marathon

Running the Bacchus Half Marathon is all about having fun. The day arrives we are all doing our last minute preparations, have we got the right costume, oh yes my friends this half marathon is not about running envy this is all about costume envy. Have we made enough effort, there are flamingos, space people, cheer leaders, film characters, references to the god of wine Bacchus, confident men in morph suits, the list is endless.  Our chosen theme this year ‘the 80’s’, fluorescent colours in abundance.

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Walking up to the start line Rocky blaring from the speakers, we are ready, last minute photos waving at complete strangers smiles all round. Approaching the start with Thunderbirds are Go, the countdown begins, off we go.  We start running through the vines, twisting in and out, 1.5 miles covered and we are coming to a stop, a pinch point maybe too many people wanting to get through but no we get closer and the marshal is shouting runners to the left, drinkers to the right, guess where we were going. The entertainment was the local morris dancers the drink was Surrey Gold, loads of water downed and we were off, our first hill. Not bad we made it walking is the new running right? Quick tour of Dorking, nice beep beeps from motorists, everyone is happy. Now this is where things are starting to go wrong. The ghetto blaster has stopped, a disaster, oh sorry I didn’t say one of the team was a rapper and had spent hours compiling a rappers delight played through a blue tooth speaker attached to an inflatable ghetto blaster, and the playlist had completely disappeared. Random music selected we were back in the game.

Wine stops available at 4 and 6 miles plenty of water and food for energy, a young couple were the entertainment at mile 6 they were encouraged to sing 1000 miles which of course we all joined in the chorus.  Was that preparation for the hill that followed, well no, it was a slow uphill killer that went on and on, we were pleasantly distracted by a herd of bemused belted gallaways. Onwards and upwards, approaching mile 7 we knew a stop was coming up, the entertainment was great a rock band who strangely were playing 1000 miles, runners with more energy were dancing away and sparkling wine was on offer, sadly this was a low point as when we got near the table the bar was dry. No point hanging around any longer we started up the worse hill on the course, how long does this go on for, thankfully parts of it were in the shade. On top of Ranmore Common we were met by the team mascot Archie who was so excited to see us all and Richard was pleased we had made it this far. We were entertained by a steel band, no wine on this water stop but there were plenty of sweeties, the lovely ladies were making up sweetie bags as well. Off we go it is pretty much all downhill now(ish).

Next stop 10 miles we had some lovely rosé and if we wanted to hang around a concert by the local bell ringers. Moving on we are so close to the finish only a Parkrun to go. All downhill now definitely, last stop included cheese which tasted so good, might have only been cheddar but it was fabulous. Last bit through the woods, bemused walkers coming from the other direction cheering us on, we were almost there. Oh no, what about the ghetto blaster, got to have it playing us home. Quick blue tooth link to my phone and we were running back to ‘Ain’t no stopping us now’, we all linked arms and over the finish line we go, smiles galore. A weighty medal was handed out with a technical t-shirt, more food and water with lovely fresh pineapple and melon to help rehydrate.

Bags retrieved we went in search of the support crew, food and drink tickets in hand we were off in search of hog roast and wine, now time to relax. No one was in a hurry to move, all wanting to enjoy the sunshine and talk about the run. Richard popped a bottle of Prosecco the best way to celebrate another great run, happy days.

If you are looking for a half marathon pb this is not the run for you, however, if you want to dress up drink wine and generally have a good time this is definitely worth having a look at, although be warned it sells out about 2 months before the day so it is not a last minute run decision.

 

BVR runners – Karen Jones, Gayle Gunner and Sarah Bradbury

Support Crew – Richard and Archie Jones

BVR Does Hart4Relay

So … waking up to blue skies and the sun already shining it looked like it was going to be a glorious summers day … so what better to do … lets go to a not so empty field just outside Fleet ….

The first thing that strikes you about this place is that you are two minutes from the M3 and all the busiest that brings but yet you feel like you are in the middle of a farmers field away from all of that.

So there were already gazebo’s set up a plenty and as the morning hours passed more gazebo’s were erected …. Oh and that was just for the BVR camp! Looks impressive … must be time for a photo ….

Warm up done and at 10.25 we were called to the start … so those setting off first got behind the starting line and the rest of us … that’s the rest of our six teams … and support crew … all went to cheer them on their way so with Paula Fudge being given the microphone they were off .. and off they went … fast!

So the course, unsurprisingly was mostly trail. The starting area sent you on a very slight incline and then right along some bumps across a field, then down a country track. This is all rather pleasant … then came another slight incline … no this isn’t too bad … keep on pushing along … and then through the woods … what is this? Am I going backwards … no still going forward that’s okay … oh and there’s the top … phew … ooh, followed by another hill … ahh that’s okay, this ones not too steep and at the top again and down a nice path. Oh, and there’s a nice marshal cheering me on and turn the corner … ouch … this would be the hill everyone was talking about at the start (and I’m at the bottom looking up …. a long way) … plod plod plod and there’s the top. Phew! Now for a bit of sand and some nice long flat runs through the woods … haven’t I been here before (you come to the same point from two different directions) … and then comes the down hill … just don’t fall flat on my face… this is a very long downhill back to the race village and round the corner and there’s the finish line. Right I’ve crossed the finish line … oh my god … who put the exchange area so far away? Right I’m there! …. and breathe!

So as I mentioned earlier …. we managed to enter six teams … everyone gave their all on every run and there were some great times achieved on something that was not exactly a flat course. However, would I describe it as hilly? Well, that brought about some debate so I think I will leave that for the people listed below to comment on. Besides that the atmosphere was fantastic and there was a real sense of team spirit that quite frankly I am not talented enough to find the words to describe … for everyone there … thank you for creating this wonderful atmosphere.

Throughout the four hours and beyond the cheering of BVR for their running teams could be heard and it was a sight to behold to see everyone crowded after the finish line to cheer those still giving their all out on the course home for the final lap.

The event itself was a little bigger than we expected with 115 teams taking part (28 male teams, 60 mixed teams, 27 female teams). So how did our teams fair?

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Our fastest team – the BVR Black Group, Simon, Scott, Steve and Alex went out fast … and after the first few laps were in second, at one stage they dropped to fourth but somehow managed to pull that back with the superhuman efforts and finished back in second place overall and second male team. They completed 16 laps. Well done guys … I could see how much effort went into that and it was great to hear again the BVR cheers when we got to see you collect your prizes. How was the beer?

Next came the BVR Leg Ends, Paddy, Kev, Alan and Mick completing 13 laps, came 40th overall and were the 19th male team.

Blackwater Valley Runners Team 3, Andrea, Nicky, John and Maria completed 12 laps and came 66th overall and were the 26th mixed team.

Blackwater Valley Runners Team 2, Chris, Tracy, Melvyn and Amanda and Blackwater Valley Runners Team 3, Linda, Richard, Mary and Karen both completed 11 laps and team 2 were the winning team completing their laps 23 seconds quicker.

BVR Lovelies, Emma, Lucy, Cath & Linda came 83rd overall and were the 11th female team.

And of course …. no amazing achievement can pass without the obligatory celebration! So, then came the prosecco and the beer and the ……

Thank you to those that brought it with you … it was a lovely way to finish.

Well done all … it was a great day … and a great team to be part of.

So what’s next … well our next BVR Points Championship event with be the Farnham Half Marathon, Marathon & Family Walk. More information can be found at http://www.farnhampilgrim.org.uk/.

If you don’t fancy that distance why not join us at the Alice Holt Races the following weekend on the 17th. There is a 10K, 5K and a 3K or 1K for the smaller runners in our families. More information can be found at http://www.farnham-runners.org.uk/racediary/aliceholt10k.htm

So come and join us for a run in September on the 11th September.

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.

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.

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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?

 

Elstead Marathon – It’s only a Race?

The first sunny Friday in July …… 3rd July 2015. After 103 years of the Elstead Marathon, Blackwater Valley Runners once again decided to grace the event with our presence, the blue and yellow t-shirts would once again be worn in solidarity!

This event is always tough “it’s a marathon” well actually just over 5 miles, but always a very entertaining 5 miles.

Elstead Marathon starts in an alleyway beside the Woolpack pub, goes straight onto tarmac roads for about 1 mile, first obstacle car wing mirrors and parked cars, dodging these can be tricky, this year an added hosepipe to dampen us down! This leads onto the Elstead Common, where runners meet the second obstacle – horse poop (you know the No 1 club rule “if it smells – don’t run through it!”) skilfully most experienced runners missed! As you pass the moat after another mile the first signs of “normal people” supporters cheering, across the road into obstacle number three – badly rutted track, at the end of this is a much needed water stop, it always seems hot on this race.

Once refreshed you are back on your way to Hankley Common towards obstacle number four – a hill -not a big one, but seems to catch your breath out?! Down the other side you reach the sand for the fifth obstacle, keep to the right? Seems a hard surface! Suddenly this changes into deep sand! Go to the left? and changes again! This soon leads onto the bumpy track which has been worn away by 20ft puddles, luckily dry this year, these craters go up and down like a rollercoaster this goes on for ages, suddenly you are going towards a field…a nice grass field? NO a pampas grass field of lumps and bumps, go too fast and you keel over, slow down and you are overtaken by a daredevil not concerned for his or her future running career, once over the barbed wire 12 inch tripwire, you are onto the weir gates, you can hear the crowds cheering people on, or is it in! You are a couple of seconds away from a public soaking … splash! Straight into the river Wey to cheers from the baying crowds, not wanting to look too silly you go over to a very steep slippery mud bank, EVERYONE is watching you!!! Eventually you get a grip with people screaming around you to hurry up!! Once up the bank it’s along the last 300 metres to the finish on the green (I was overtaken with 100 metres to go and accepted my defeat …. however I saw this runner slow down as she headed towards the line … my thoughts changed “I am wearing BVR colours”, “I can do this!” … head down, I sped past my target.. YES VICTORY!!!!, I spent the next two minutes saying sorry to the runner, “it’s only a race”, I had been in her position ☺ it hurts!).

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But at the end of the day ….it’s not just a race it’s “the Elstead Marathon”.
103 years of history have made this race interesting, challenging for all, with a great supporting atmosphere. Many a race director could learn from this old race! We followed the race in the traditional way and went to the pub, another happy memory with BVR.

Scott Kennedy obviously did not find it as hard as myself in an amazing 3rd place, Alex Radford 20th, Andy Ratcliffe 50th place.
A great turnout of 35+ Blackwater Valley Runners, three years ago there was just four of us doing this race!

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!

 

Fleet Half

BVR Fleet Half Race Report – A PB fest!

One of the club’s favourite events in the calendar each year is the Fleet Half Marathon – fleethalfmarathon.com.

It is a long-standing local event organised by one of our fellow local clubs Fleet and Crookham AC. Offering a great course (mild undulations, closed roads, good support and atmosphere) and a strong – club runner heavy – field of around 3,000 runners it is a good opportunity for BVR to turn out in force in their blue and yellow shirts and chase a few PBs.

This year represents the best turn out yet with a massive 52 runners from all sections of the club – that’s nearly half of our membership! Some were attempting their first Half Marathon and others were seasoned runners looking for that elusive PB. The weather was, well, fine. Really bright, a little bit sunny, perfect for running and my personal favourite run of the year so far.

We agreed to meet in the field near the finish at 10am ‎for a club photo – pre-race – given we expected 50+ club shirts we really could manage a group photo worthy of publication! And here’s the result…

As always the usual level of healthy competition exists throughout the club with a bit of friendly banter in the start area and a few people choosing who else in the club to follow as a pacer.

The gun fires at 10:30 and the field takes a full 3 minutes to cross the line. We know this because Nick insisted on being the last to cross the line, having to circle a few times before crossing the line to ‘out do’ the others trying to do the same!

The course passes down the high street twice in the first five miles and this spectacle gathers a huge crowd every year. Bright, sunny weather helps today of course.

A number of our runners had generously volunteered to marshal at the event this year. Without marshals events like this don’t happen so we encourage anyone who can’t run (maybe they have an injury or are ill so need to miss the event) to marshal and support the events members of the club regularly enjoy.

Throughout the route these familiar and friendly faces appeared cheering their fellow club members of with the odd enthusiastic high five too.

So with such bright, pleasant running conditions the odd PB here and there was inevitable. Scott crossed the line in a blistering 1h17m (PB) to claim 40th place followed by Steve in 1h21m (PB) taking first in his age category and Alex setting a PB of 1h26m. Then followed Lawrence 1h32m (PB), Jason 1h34m (PB) Alan 1h35m (PB), myself and Nick nipping at my heels again this year – very impressive having started at the very back of the field!

It didn’t end there… the following people also set PBs! (a long list follows)

Amanda, Chris McW, Karen Jones (PB by 30 mins!), Linda R, Charley W, Sarah F, Zoe B, Linda F, Andy M, Steve M, Michelle B, and Lee J. ‎

Congratulations to ‎Karen M, Tina M, Susie, Kate B, Scott, Lucy E, Jennifer H, Hanne and John Taylor for running their first half marathon too.

And finally a big thanks is due to the members who volunteered, it was great to see your smiling faces en-route! ‎Karine, Steve R, Mary, Claire, Deb, Kay, Ave and Shanie.‎

Same again next year? ;)‎

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