Rat Race Ultra Tour of Arran: 14th & 15th April
This was a new event from rat race, and caught my eye some time ago, before the full details of the weekend were released. I hoped for a weekend of beautiful trail running in a stunning environment. What I found I was in for was (through the info email 4 weeks before the event) was a weekend of beautiful trail running, including sections of scrambling on the 2nd ultra, over the highest points on the island. Although I don’t have a head for extreme heights, I am also not one for backing out of a challenge, and decided to give it a shot anyway.
Well what can I say: it was an experience!!
A pretty tough weekend, from start to finish. Weather the week before up there had set the tone and everything was wet and boggy from setting up tent Friday to leaving again Monday
Saturday's ultra in the south was pretty brutal in comparison to what I had expected. Longer than advertised, lots of tough hills, mud, miles and miles of bog running through misty forests: navigation was a challenge. At one point I went thigh deep into bog, and kept sinking. By the time I was waist high in it I realised this could get dodgy and was glad I had taken note of past TV programmes about surviving sinking mud! Still, finished Saturday reasonably in 7.53 overall, 1.234 km of ascent and 29 miles long
A cold night of no sleep, then on to Sunday......
There were two reasons why I did this race. Firstly, I forgot to apply for a ‘good for age’ place at London this year, and secondly, Rome was the venue for my PB of 3hrs 30min 29sec back in 2011. Well worth the extra costs of travel etc. at the time. Of course, I wasn’t expecting to better or even repeat that, as age has taken its toll since the days of PBs. However, it’s not a bad course, mainly flat, and previously, fairly well organised. The famous cobbles do take it out on the feet a bit, but frankly I didn’t find them a problem. I did notice though, that the IAAF had downgraded it from gold to silver standard. I won’t go through the negatives, but half cups of water at most of the hydration stations, and no blue line to show the shortest route, were a couple of the changes I noticed. On the plus side, a spectacular route around many of the main tourist attractions, including the start at the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Spanish steps etc.
In the end though, my worst time since 2007, and very disappointing, after training more for this race than any of my previous marathons. I can only think that missing out, for various reasons including weather, on the 4 races (Brass Monkey half, Haweswater half, East Hull 20, and Dalton Park 10k) I had hoped to do earlier in the year, plus slow times in most of my 20+ mile long runs contributed. Loads of excuses on the day, and it was pretty warm later on at 23C, but there we are. The result is all that counts in the end. Maybe London next year. Maybe not. I’m hoping to post a positive race report at some point 😊.
It's been a busy weekend for Swaledale Runners, with a variety of races, both home and abroad.
7/4 - Catterick Park Run - There were PBs galore with some great results - Neil Bowmer - 18.58 - 3rd - PB, Nick Downing - 19.21 - 4th, Mark Sowerby - 19.22 -5th - PB, Jim Coldwell - 21.50 - 22nd - PB, Zoe Mason - 25.57, Jean Bradley - 33.44.
Darlington Park Run - Sheila Cantrell - 31.49.
Tim Grimwood and Mike Keavney were at the Coledale Horse Shoe Fell Race on Saturday. This was a big race with big names, won by Carl Bell in 1.11.51. In all there were 366 finishers. Tim did 1.30.51 - 72nd. Mike did 1.53.38 - 234th.
There was a great turnout at the rearranged Thirsk 10 mile on 8/4. Samantha King was first for the club in 1.18.53, Niall Cheyne - 1.25.19, Anneile Whitfield - 1.25.22, Grace Gilpin - 1.27.29, Amy Kerr - 1.29.45, Lucy Tulloch - 1.32.12, Rebecca Pickles - 1.33.20, Roger Brisley - 1.34.14, Chris Sayer - 1.36.08, Andy Broadley - 1.36.08, Debbie Eden Hayhurst - 1.38.09.
Martin Randall once again competed in the Druridge Bay 1/2 Marathon on 8/4 finishing in 1.36.35, 9th overall and 2nd M45.
Two Swaledalers went international, with Jess Young competing in the Hannover 10k in a time of 48.38 and was 3rd V30. Martin Luxton did the Rome Marathon in 3.53.26 and was 17th 65M.
On Saturday 31st Neil Bowmer and Ros Blackmore took part in the NAV4 Adventure LM42 in the Lakes. The event had to be shortened to 27 miles due to the weather conditions. They completed in 6.29 and 7.34 respectively.
On 10/03 John Lynch and Oonagh Bathgate were in Ireland at their cottage and competed in the local Vandeleur Park Run where they took the top two spots- Oonagh 22.50, John 25.28.
Park Runs -31/03
Catterick- Robbie Kelly-21.56 (club record for V60), John Lynch- 26.10, Grace Gilpin-27.04, Michelle Bray- 30.50
Darlington- Stu Hardcastle- 22.44
The club's AGM will take place on Tuesday 24th April at the club house at 7.00pm. Anyone wanting any points raised or discussed please let James know.
Well done to Ian Oldham who managed to complete the Hardmoors 55 on 17/3 before the event was abandoned due to the bad weather. He completed it in a fantastic time of 11.18.51.
The Catterick Parkrun on 17/3 was run in tricky conditions. This was Jim Coldwell’s first Parkrun and he completed it in 22.28. Grace Gilpin’s consistency and dedication to these races got her a great 3rd lady overall in 26.35.
Darlington Parkrun – Stuart Hardcastle – 22.02, Niall Cheyne – 36.45 (running with his sister, over from Australia).
There was a great performance from Emily Abbey at the rescheduled Lightwater Valley 10k on 24/03 – 3rd Lady in a time of 45.12. followed by Vicki Howe – 53.32, Anne Singleton – 59.10 (PB), Julia Spittle – 1.00.56.
Impressively Anne Singleton also ran the Dishforth 10k on 25/03 in another PB of 58.17. Tim Grimwood also doubled up at the weekend and competed in his first Park Run on Saturday and then was 6th at the Brough Law Fell Race on Sunday. Jim Coldwell and Julia Snape were in Cumbria at the Coniston 14 and got times of 1.52.04 & 2.31.49 respectively.
Park Runs – 17/03 – Peckham Rye – Robbie Kelly running his first Park Run – 21.55 – 1st VM60. Catterick – 24/03 – Neil Bowmer – 19.15, John Lynch – 24.20 (PB), Grace Gilpin – 25.19 (PB).
Well done to Jess Young who was the First Lady at the Catterick Park Run on 10/3 in a time of 22.12.
The usual suspects took to the hills at the Black Combe Fell Race on 20/3. Mike Keavney 1.54.31-66/113, Jim Coldwell 2.01.24 - 85th, Tim Grimwood 2.09.52 - 92nd (navigational problems?)
Three Swaledalers took part in the Hilly Dentdale 14. Nick Downing was the first for the club in a great time of 1.37.02 - 37/421, Rebecca Simpson 2.15.20 - 280, Grace Gilpin 2.21.39 - 327.
There was a great turnout from Swaledale at the High Cup Nick Fell race on 24th February. This race is the first in the clubs Fell running championship. The quality of runners was extremely high, with a who’s who of current fell running greats. The race was won by Sam Stead from Keswick AC in a time of 1.02.02. The Ladies did brilliantly once again to take the Ladies team prize. Results: Tim Grimwood:1.14.18 - 41st out of 419 runners, Nick Downing: 1.17.40 – 72nd, Sarah Hackett:1.28.56 – 167th (2nd in Age Category), Mike Keavney: 1.31.20 – 191st, Rebecca Simpson: 1.31.22 – 192nd, Rich Gale: 1.33.18 – 205th, Jim Coldwell:1.34.47 – 218th, Caroline Graham: 1.36.36 – 232nd, Robbie Kelly: 1.37.55 – 244th, Rebecca Barnett: 1.44.02 – 289th, Lucy Riley: 1.47.17 – 316th, James Taylor: 1.49.04 – 329th.
The following day Snake Lane 10 mile took place at Pocklington. Chris Sayer – 1.37.34, Andy Broadley – 1.40.32.
Park Run - 03/02/18 - Catterick - John Lynch -24.37 PB, Amy Kerr-25.18, Grace Gilpin- 25.47, Liz Sowter- 26.05 PB, Corina Russell - 36.22 PB, Niall Cheyne- 36.29, Sheila Cantrell - 49.05.
Dalton Park 10k - 04/02/18: Sheila Cantrell -1.03.21, Jean Bradley - 1.08.19.
Ripon Muddy Boots 10k - 04/02/18: Martin Randall - 44.44 - 49th / 415 Runners, Sarah Hackett - 45.37 - 63rd - 2nd W40, Richard Gale - 50.48 - 140th, Anne Singleton - 1.03.30 - 325th.
Our club Chairman, Sarah Haynes went international with a visit to see Neil & Ros in Spain. They competed in two distances - Ocaive 13K mountain run - Sarah 1:59:49 103rd out of 134 and 12th vet A Fem. Ocaive 21K mountain run - Ros 3:16:33 147th out of 176 and 3rd vet B Fem, Neil 2:53:03 101st out of 176, 19th vet B masc.
On 11th Feb Julia Spittle & Sarah Norman competed in the Saltburn Hardmoors Half, where Julia won her age category.
Park Run – 10/2/18 – Catterick – Andrew Fahey – 20.21, Andrew Fletcher – 21.27, Amy Kerr – 25.01, Grace Gilpin – 26.04, Liz Sowter – 26.41. Darlington – Niall Cheyne – 26.44
Andrew Fletcher – 21.15 – 12th; Jess Young – 22.13 – 1st Lady (once again); John Lynch – 25.00 – PB; Grace Gilpin – 26.08; Liz Sowter – 26.29; Sarah Haynes – 29.03 – PB
Stu Hardcastle – 21.53