Reports 2015 - Ravens Runners London

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Race Reports
Race Reports for 2015
22-12-15
Just a very brief race report for you. I don’t normally post a race report for a Park run but I managed a PB this Saturday at Hockley Woods coming home in 19.33 in second place. For those of who know the course it is a very hill route along woodland paths which starts at the bottom of a hill and finishes at the top of a hill. It is two laps with a nasty climb at the end of each lap. I managed to work my way up from fifth after the first lap to second at the end. It was nice to feel strong at the finish for a change as normally I am cooked by the end of the first lap!
Ian George
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15-12-15
Silvesterlauf in Zurich
The Silvesterlauf in Zurich was great this year and I came in with a new PB - run in very mild, spring-like temperatures. My final result was 30./1331. in 36:23 for 10km - 2 mins. faster than what I ran two years ago in Zurich. Well, I guess that this is final proof that training with the Ravens helps! I was very happy with the 3:38/km average that resulted in. Going for a chill-out in the Alps now for a week and see you at the Christmas run again!
Dominique Jeker
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15-12-15
Southend Rudolph Run - 13/12/2015
Sunday morning lined up on a cold and wet Southend seafront for the annual Rudolph 5 mile run alongside the usual array of Santas, Elves, Snowman, Christmas crackers and assorted other fancy dress. Start was a bit chaotic as we all lined up facing west which has been the route for last 4 years only to be told everybody was facing the wrong way – nice of the organisers to tell us! At the start got past Woody from Toy Story but was held up a bit by a camel. Onto the Southend parkrun course and took me about mile and half before I finally made it round the Christmas present and at that point most of the fancy dress was behind me and the proper runners in front, though did get overtaken by a Christmas Cracker at 2 miles. Next 3 miles is on the seafront so totally flat but you always get the sea breezes so last mile and a half was into the wind. Pace was going well and even though I wasn’t going to break the 35 minutes I was hoping for knew I would be beating 2014 time. Only slight problem was the Thorpe Bay Yacht Club who were not going to stop crossing the course with their yachts and trailers so had to come to an abrupt halt with a van and trailer sitting right across the course. Marshalls could have done better stopping them. Finished in 35:48 this year which was nearly 80 seconds quicker than 2014. Very pleased with the time.
Andrew Ferguson
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15-12-15
SEAA South of Engand Masters xc Championships - Biggleswade
On Saturday I completed in the South of England Masters xc Championships at Biggleswade. The M50, M55, M60 & M65 were all in the same race, a 10k xc over a slightly undulating grass course, and was the first race of the day at 11am when it was still a bit cold and windy. I ended up 11th in the race and 2nd in the M55, I got beat by Jim McMahon from Ireland/Bedford. I ended up in a good race with and an old rival of mine, who finished just behind me, and a group of M50 athletes, one of whom was Dave Moore. Luckily in pushing on in the last 800m to beat my rival I also managed to finish 2 seconds ahead of Dave, but lost out to the other M50s. That was my final race of 2015, apart from the Christmas Day Parkrun, and even though I could not defend my title from 2014 it was still a good way to finish the year. 
Mick Bridgeland
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15-12-15
Bolsover 10k.
Very similar result to 2 previous years finishing in 38:27 although I felt my performance a bit lacklustre. Perils of trying to combine a long week of marathon training with the short sharp speed required of a 10k saw me going well for first 8k but really suffering towards the end. Although this was not a key target race for me, felt I should have gone a bit better. On a better note, I was given the news that my recent performance in the Clowne Half Marathon earned me 2nd place in M40-49 for Derbyshire Half Marathon Country championships, once place higher than last year and only 30 secs off winner – something to definitely aim for next year.
Rupert Holden
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9-12-15
Gosfield Cross Country - 53-12 League
Got pushed into running this one because I was taking my boys up to run in their race. I knew that it wasn’t too sensible after a 17 miler in the wind on Saturday but thought that I would give it a go. I didn’t go off like a headless chicken, but felt good on the 1 mile of school field before heading in to the very muddy and hilly forest. Over taken, as expected by a fellow Strider who has a kamikaze downhill style that definitely works for him. I managed to stay with him, all the way back to the playing field, where I held it together (just), for a good fast finish ahead of this group. Very enjoyable (17th)
Lee Martin
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9-12-15
Iceman duathlon
10km XC run/15km mtb/5km XC. I was touch and go whether to race this or not after tweaking my back on Thursday and shuffling round like an old man for Friday and Saturday morning – I know that running normally loosens it up a bit so thought I’d go big on Voltarol and see what happened. The first km downhill was somewhat unpleasant but it loosened up enough that I ended up leading into T1. Onto the bike and after about 5mins managed to miss a marker on the bike route - went flying off down a track that ended up on a different part of the course – couple of guys followed me and we realised we’d probably gone a wrong ‘un so turned round (although one of them cracked on and ‘won’). Probably lost 5 or 6 mins which isn’t enough to completely blow a race like that but my lack of bike skills/fitness meant that I was always going to be struggling! Finished off the bike and set off on the second run with my lower back locked solid. I ended up doing a sort of weird giraffe impression with my upper body at 45 degrees. Knew a DNF wouldn’t be good for weekend morale so shuffled round to finish it off.
The final race of the series isn’t until March so lots of time to work on the bike (& back) and hopefully get a decent finish
Tom Robertson
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9-12-15

I competed in the 3rd of our XC series and this time it was about ½ mile from my front door – nice mucky water crossing, although not convinced it was all water, bit black, sticky and smelly for that – pic attached, I was in the blue of Matlock AC and manged a 26th place, my best yet of series.
Rupert Holden
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9-12-15
Kent cross country championships
With the 45mph winds blowing directly into the start of the race it appeared to me I had one of two tactics to choose from. The first wasn’t that appealing in trying to stay tucked behind chris greenwood for as long as possible knowing I would have to run most the race on my own. The second was to let Chris go and shelter in the group until midway round the 2nd lap after which the course was sheltered from the wind and push for second place. Decided to protect my body for a forthcoming afternoon of Christmas festivities and went for the easier option. It was the right decision as I secured 2nd with reasonable comfort and without totally destroying my body such that I couldn’t enjoy some Christmas drinks.
Andrew Mercer
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2-12-15
Bushy Park 5k park run
Pleased to report a PB today of 21:22. I have never focused on 5k before and am new to park run, this being only my third one plus a few Ravens 5k races. Went off far too quickly no doubt fuelled by Phil and Arif's assessment of what I should be doing! Paid for it in mile 2 but finished pretty well. I need to learn how to manage the distance better and get the pacing right. Do most of you start relatively slowly and build or start fast and try and hold on ? Any tips greatly appreciated.
Steve Dewey
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2-12-15
Essex Vets Cross Country Champs
I came third in the M50 Essex Vets Cross Country Champs on Saturday. The race was just under 5 miles, 3 laps of the open spaces of Abbey Fields, Colchester.
First was Colin Ridley, 2nd Stephen Philcox, 4th Dean Moy, 5th Paul Spowage and 6th Simon Le Mare. I led for the first lap, dropped to 4th on the second but then pulled back to 3rd. Overall I was pleased, especially after being kept awake most of the night before by my son, who is actually ill, coughing – that’s children for you, but I think it was a missed chance and given better preparation I could have won. My next race is the Southern Masters Champs at Biggleswade in two weeks time, where I am defending the M55 title I won last year, and I might get the chance of revenge on the two guys ahead of me.
Mick Bridgeland
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2-12-15
As with Mick, my preparation was not idea. 15 minutes before the V50 race I still did know if I was going to run. My daughter has not finished a cross country race this year. Initially it was pain from tendinitis after a growth spurt, then she has collapsed or fainted during the last 3 races. After blood tests, heart test and blood pressure test everything seems totally normal. A specialist appointment is not until March. She has had huge pressure on her from the school as they always reach the national schools cross country finals, and Juliette is the second best runner out of the team of 6. And there were extra training sessions for the first time ever, as if Juliette did not make the team, they were unlikely to qualify. She is also changing from a girl into a lady, so lots of bodily and chemical changes going on. Juliette and I have been running together for the last few weeks and she seems fine, and she particularly wanted to run the Essex cross country championships which was the race before mine.
She went off slowly and gradually got faster and faster. I was following her throughout her 4K race, to keep an eye on her. After 3k she felt comfortable and was convinced she would not collapse and overtook 5 more in the last 1k. We were all relieved and overjoyed and she easily beat the number 3 runner in the school.
So now I was Ok to run, but I was already emotionally exhausted, but on a high. 5 minutes after Juliette finished I was on the start line. After 2k the V50 race had taken its form. Mick and the other 4 were 25 yards ahead of me, I was 25 yards in front of the rest. From 4K to 6k, the top 4 were 50 yards in front of Paul Spowage who was 50 yards I from of me, and I was 50 yards in front of the peloton. I knew I would tire early due to the emotion of Juliette's race. This happened at 7k, and at 8 1/2k the peloton leader (Eric Paul) passed me. I then usually think of Phil saying "keep going as they will be as tired as you are", but I knew that was not the case today.
I managed to stay just behind Eric, behind me was the leading lady from Southend AC and a guy also from SAC who had never beaten me. I was very tired, but did not want them to overtake me. I managed to stay with Eric, passed him with 800yards to go, and with 600yards left, put my foot down and managed to stay ahead of everyone else and come 6th.
Simon LeMare
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2-12-15
Managed to get an Essex Vets Team Bronze medal after coming in 17th. In my previous race, I had run out of energy very early on, so started this one very conservatively. Only problem was, was that I continued running conservatively until the last half a lap! (3 lap course). Had plenty in the tank for a good strong finish, but should have finished a couple of places up. Happy nonetheless.
Lee Martin
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2-12-15
Basler Stadtlauf - City of Basle Race
I had a good 5.5km race in Basel, Switzerland this week-end. Came in 16th / 407. The Swiss timing suggests 3:34/km, which makes it 2 sec/km faster than my last year's race in Basel. So I am very happy! It's a beautiful race going through the historic parts of the city - start at the cathedral, running down the main shopping street, which has already Christmas lightning and over a bridge from the middle age.
Dominique
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2-12-15
I ran Great Lines parkrun, had a terrific battle with one guy, thankfully beating him. He came over to chat afterwards and thanked me for helping him to a sub-22, his first for a very long time apparently. First lady, 21.26, 13 seconds quicker than last week but still a long way to go to get to where I was earlier this year (mind you, it is a hillier course).
Vicky Cooper
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2-12-15
I did Guildford parkrun on Saturday. Phil Wicks turned up and ran a 16.07 – I was a not so close second in 17.55 (it is quite hilly and muddy…). I only mention it as he hung around at the end (it was freezing!) and shook the hands of at least the next 5 or 6 guys to come through – really unassuming and nice guy.
Tom Robertson
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2-12-15
Crowborough 10k
Hi All. Well done all the weekend racers. Yesterday I ran the Crowborough 10k - the last of this year's Sussex Grand Prix races. This is a two lap race which involves the ascent of a pretty lively hill accessed via a foot cooling ford. The conditions were mild but with a relatively stiff wind. I didn't have the greatest race, feeling tired from the off and also managing to roll my ankle within the first 1km; although after some initial discomfort this settled down. Came 56th out of 316 finishers with a time of 44.17 (winning time 35.08). We now await the final Grand Prix positions which will hopefully show that if we can recruit a few more ladies to don the Wadhurst colours; things look pretty healthy for us going into 2016.
Kevin Cockram
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26-11-15
Clowne Half Marathon
Ran the Clowne half yesterday for the 3rd consecutive year, a tough undulating course just outside Sheffield. Was not sure of my form since I have not raced this distance this year and was unsure if I could get close to the 1:23 that I had managed on both previous runs. Morning was very cold and I thought it sufficient to add a pair of gloves to keep me warm– this did not turn out to be the case and after a fast first half I got increasingly colder and colder, suffering badly in the later stages.
I was blue by the finish – not often I so misjudge what to wear. Finish time was 1:23:53 and when I checked at home, every mile split was almost identical to the previous runs so consistent at least although I do wonder if I could have gone better if I had been a bit warmer!
Rupert Holden
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26-11-15
Mick and a I ran the combined race of Eastern Athletics Association and Eastern Vets cross country championship for a 12k course at Hilly fields Colchester. I was hoping for a top 3 EVAC place, as it was in 5 year age groups and so Mick was not in mine. I trained hard on treadmills in China doing 1 1/4 hour sessions and using the incline button a lot to mimic hills. It was impossible to run out side as the pollution levels were so high, I had a headache if I was out side walking for more than 5 minutes. Was pleased with my build up, but caught the plane home from China the day before the race, which was not ideal. At the start I ran behind a guy who was in my age group, but he was running at Mick's pace and so I let him go. On the upside I was very pleased with about 30th place overall, 2nd place in the EVAC V50 event, and a team bronze medal for the Eastern AC part of the race. On the downside I was last of 2 in the EVAC V50's, and the team was the last of the 3 clubs that managed to put out a team of 6.
Simon Le Mare
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26-11-15
Wildman Duathlon
Did the Wildman Duathlon on Saturday (10km xc run, 20km mtb, 5km xc run). The sleet and snow that I looked out at over breakfast wasn’t ideal and nor was the forecast 40mph winds but in the end it all panned out rather nicely and ended finishing the race in the sunshine. Decided to try and adopt a more measured race strategy that my last race. It didn’t last very long and at about 4km I found myself at the front (I’ve found this is rarely a good place for me to be in a duathlon). Ended up coming into T1 in 2nd then lost a couple more places as I faffed about with my shoes. After some very dodgy mountain bike riding on my part I had slipped down to about 10th by T2. Seriously wobbly legs coming off the bike which didn’t lend itself to fast xc running but managed to sneak a couple of places back. Finished in 8th in 2.08. Pretty happy with that – just need to get out on the mtb more!
Tom Robertson
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26-11-15
I joined Tom on the Wildman Duathlon. I decided not to join Tom at the front of start, and run a more modest 10K which I hit in 46mins, (silly thing is Tom was quick, but my time would have also won the 10K only race) felt quite good then hit the mountain which was two laps, some nice quick descents, with one lost control but managed not to go over. Hit the final run and being a new boy to duathlons never appreciated how the legs would feel when got off bike, needless to say my 5K time was 34mins !! I new experience and enjoyed it, legs still feeling it today. Hats off to Tom, great result with some serious athletes.
Pat Young
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26-11-15
Chelmsford 10km
I braved the Essex Wind and cold to run the Chelmsford 10km on Sunday. At about 3km got spooked by man wearing more clothes than humanly possible and who looked very cold but sounded just like Sir Bridgeland !! Finished with a gun time of 44:09 but watch time of 43:58 so made my 44 minute target again .. wanted a bit faster but happy with that. Vicky looked far too fresh at the end though!
Lyndon Bubb
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26-11-15
As Lyndon said, I also raced the Chelmsford 10K on Sunday. My running hasn’t quite been up to scratch since the marathon but I did finish first lady at my new local parkrun the day before in 21.39 in that awful sleet/rain/hail/wind etc after cycling there in it too! So it was substantially milder on Sunday and not raining as per last year. Didn’t know what to expect from myself so just did the best I could on the day. Splits were 6:51, 6:50, 6:41, 6:40, 6:37, 6.48 (no idea what happened there!!) and finished in 42.22. I think I was 7th lady, 2nd vet and won a £30 voucher for Runners World for my troubles. Faster than last year but about a minute down on my PB. Best bit was definitely over-taking all the ladies who’d taken me early on.
VICKY COOPER
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26-11-15
I also ran the Chelmsford 10k on Sunday. Managed to finally go sub 40 and PB’d in 39:40. It’s a well organised race with a couple of hills and finishes on the running track. Probably the only race I’ve done which started in the afternoon 2pm. Race was won by Crispian Bloomfield in 32:09.
Gary Pitman
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26-11-15
B&BHAC –v- Orion mob match on Saturday was convincingly won by Orion. There was a very low turnout of B&BHAC athletes. Following a cold and wet morning the afternoon race was in beautiful crisp sunshine although the 7.5m course was back to its treacherously muddy old self. I had an ok run despite carrying a heavy cold. I thoroughly enjoyed the conditions and only fell over twice (or ‘did a Marcus’ as it’s known in the trade). Phil was missed although his presence was always there.
I was also lucky enough to be run director at the cold and wet Bromley parkrun in the morning to witness Marcus 200th parkrun. The celebratory cakes made by his daughter were excellent.
Andy Tucker
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26-11-15
X-Country Race Report

My annual X-Country outing was again a very enjoyable event. Weather was perfect, a slightly smaller field than last year but still a good number of Ravens (even someone called Arif running with us!). Thought I was running really well, had a good battle with Steve Stanley (he caught me on every hill, I pulled away on every downhill section - mostly down to better foot ware I think) and finished nicely, winning a sprint finish against some slacker who was obviously only putting in any effort on the last 100m ;-) Turns out I was only 4s quicker than last year - which was probably due to not running in socks! Still at least I'm not going backwards. Its probably a sign of getting older but the sausage rolls seemed really small this year, other than that a thoroughly good day out. Ravens / Lloyds came 4th team - missing 3rd by 1 point. Some great performances from other Ravens, not least Andy Mercer. Hopefully we'll get race reports.
Keith Skilling
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26-11-15
I echo Keith's comments about a thoroughly enjoyable event. Nice and warm after last weekend's freeze-down, I was a few seconds slower than last year but 1 place higher up finishing order in 36:49, 37th, could not quite catchup with a flock of 3 Ravens just under a minute ahead of me. And yes the sausage rolls took more energy to eat than they provided. Good Ravens turnout once again, good to see Andy H in his brewery branded clothing, looking forward to sampling the Ravens beer!
Rupert Holden
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26-11-15
Apart from the running bit, it was a great event ... my first race in 8 months and it felt awful, I haven't done any speedwork either so being less than a minute slower than last year wasn't bad ... although misleading really since last year conditions and, in particular, my footwear were much worse. I was 62nd in 39:08. Finishing sequence was: Andrew (1st vet, 4th over all, running for L&G), Rob (16th), Paul(apx. 30th), Tim(apx. 31st), Arif(apx. 32nd), Rupert(37th), Simon, Iain, Keith, Steve, Vicky (3rd lady), Andy, Donna. Most of us stayed for a few beers, Andrew was then cycling back though I forgot to ask whether, after 4 pints, he was cycling to Barnes, the City or Tonbridge. Tim left his case on a train, which had gone by the time he got back to the platform but luckily a guard had his case and had yet to instigate the Controlled Explosion procedures.
Simon Phillips
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26-11-15
This was my first cross country for sometime, the only other one have done within the last 10 years is the Benfleet 15. Really enjoyed the race and being part of the Ravens team. Cheers Arif for words of encouragement on the way round and waking me up! Would have loved to stay for more than 1 beer after! Does anyone know if any official results were issued? Shame we missed out on 3rd by a point!
Paul Newton
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2-12-15
No idea what to expect from this XC so went in blind. As we were running up to the top of the first long hill, a bloke had his phone on very loud and an American voice told him what distance he'd just run, what speed, how much further to run, what time he should finish, etc, etc. It really wound me up, so it was good to push on to get past. At the top of that same first long hill, the marshall yelling out position places yelled 99 when I went by so that was ok. As I was running down the hill, a bloke in front of me pulled his mobile phone out of his pocket to check it, that also really wound me up and I did utter "FFS" (enter your own words) as I passed him. (Seriously are you racing or checking your messages?). It got serious from here and I tried to get cracked on but those hills were just long!!! At the top of the long hill on the second lap the marshall yelled out 90 and I could see a female in front of me so she was my next target. Sure enough I got her and another bloke. When we came to the short sharp hill for the second time, I passed a bloke who was walking despite me trying to urge him to start running. I got past him so it was a case of staying ahead. I really powered down the last hill as much as I could. Coming into the finish, I saw the hill-walking man in the corner of my eye so I decided he wasn't going to walk up that hill then take me at the end, so I gave it everything I had and sprinted to the end, out-running him. I was strong on the downhills but do need to work on uphill speed.
Vicky Cooper
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2-12-15
Whilst I was in far worse running shape than last year, I had an enjoyable race with Arif and Paul who both looked strong. Having taken a detour up Roehampton Lane I only just made the start after fastening the spikes but tried to make an aggressive start up the first hill to get into position. Once Arif and Paul passed me just before the steep hill on the first lap I thought I would try and stay with them. I managed to keep on Arif's tail and passed him about 2/3rds around the second lap before turning the wick up on the long downhill stretch to the finish. Could see Paul looking over his shoulder in fear but with the lack of speedwork I didn't have enough extra gears to catch him. Was encouraged that had no shin pain although felt this again last night after 4 miles along Brighton seafront in flats. Need to just keep running off road as much as I can as had felt a lot better in last few weeks when doing this. The beers and double helping of sausage roll chips and beans was very enjoyable afterwards although was lucky not to lose garmin which had left in changing rooms. Was also lucky that a fellow passenger had handed my suitcase to the guard at Waterloo as by the time I had realised I didn't have it on the Jubilee line platform and legged it up 3 escalators and the concourse the train was already departing...
Tim Sherman
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18-11-15
A20 path 'n' downs half marathon
I raced the above today which was described as a fast race with a little hill between mile 3 and 4. Woke up this morning to strong wind so throught to my self a pb was out of the question but gave it my best shot. 1st 3 miles was run on paths on the a20 set out at 6.25 pace then was hit with the lovely hill which lasted for 1 mile, pace down to 8.45 throught of pulling out but then picked up a runner to keep in my sight kept with him then started to motor. Kept with him until mile 11 then left him and managed a couple of 6.45 miles and managed to cross line in 88.45 no pb but very pleased with my run. Finished in 15 place, time for a break from racing now and back to hard training.
Dave Miller
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18-11-15
British & Irish Masters xc International
Saturdays race went very well, I came 4th in my age group and was 1st Englishman. My age group was won by Tommy Payne from Ireland, 2nd was Neil Thin from Scotland and 3rd was Ifan Lloyd from Wales. I had a real battle on the last lap with a rival of mine, Colin Feechan from Scotland, and I finally managed to get away from him with 400m to go. My age group team came 3rd so I got a team bronze medal, the Irish won with 16 points, Scotland were 2nd with 23 points and we were 3rd also with 23 points. It was a good course, not too hilly and nice and muddy all the way round, the rain was not too heavy and there was no wind.
In the evening we had the presentation dinner which was a chance to meet old friends/rivals and drink lots of Guinness, a great weekend
Mick Bridgeland
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18-11-15
London Cross Country Champs
So not in the same realm as Mick. (congrats a great run). I spent my Saturday in true cross country style at a wet and windy parliament hill running in the London Cross Country champs. The race is 10km consisting of 2 smaller laps and 2 larger laps. Having made the conscious effort to no do any tapering until the major races after Christmas I approached the race with just the view to getting a hard run under my belt on relatively tired legs. Set off fairly comfortably ( as comfortable as you can be on Parliament hill). Managed to settle in to a fairly even pace and was surprised to find myself feeling relatively strong on the last lap and started passing people, a rare event for me. Finished to see my time was 40:48 (by my watch) which is pretty much the same time I ran at this race last year and might explain why it didn’t feel too painful but ultimately a rather enjoyable albeit tough afternoon of proper cross country running and good to get a run on the ‘Heath’ before the southern champs there in the new year which will be a more strenuous 15k.
Chris Tuck
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18-11-15
Chelmsford parkrun
Well I had a dream the other day where Vicky clipped me around the back of the head and said ‘Run a parkrun you country bumpkin !’ It was a Vicky Krueger dream !!
So I signed up and entered Chelmsford on Saturday. I finished in 21:05 which was not the sub 21 minute I was aiming for. But I can justify it by saying Mick Bridgeland is a meany and is obviously jealous of my position in the Grand Prix ….. as I passed the 3km marker behind his house and rounded a tree a foot must have come out from behind the tree and after a few flailing arms and a forward roll I regained my feet ( I lost no position or time ) but then lost time as I was crying with laughter with the chap running next to me !
Lyndon Bubb
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11-11-15
Beckenham Charity 10k
Yesterday morning I ran the Beckenham Charity trail 10km race. As it is right opposite me I felt it was a good excuse to run a faster Sunday run and make a charity donation at the same time. The race starts on the top of Beckenham place park and then after a minutes silence at 11 and the playing on the last post the race starts.
With the first 1km being downhill I did in fact find myself leading the first 2km but needless to say I didn’t stay there much longer. Lost connection with the leading group by about 4km finding some of the inclines rather energy sapping. Managed to claw back to a few in front of me by the end and couldn’t quite outsprint one other on the line ultimately finishing in 8th place in 39:23. I had wanted to be nearer 38 mins but realised early on a combination of tired legs and energy sapping underfoot conditions it wasn’t to be that day.
Ultimately happy with a top 10 finish and saw on the results that Blackheath and Bromley took home the men’s team prize (I didn’t stay around so have no idea if there was actually a prize) with 3 of us in the top 10. An enjoyable race and one I would definitely do again. Good muddy warm up ahead of the London Cross Country championships at parliament hill on Saturday.
Chris Tuck
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11-11-15
I also ran the Beckehnham Charity 10km and although I had Chris in sight the whole way I just couldn’t close the gap.
Robert Laing
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11-11-15
Bexhill 5k
I ran the Bexhill 5k on Saturday - a re-scheduled Sussex Grand Prix race normally run on a midweek evening in July. Although I have run more than the minimum races required to score in the Grand Prix, I entered this race hoping to better, and therefore eliminate, my lowest scoring race to date. Managed to do this (despite a relatively strong westerly wind along the seafront) finishing 37th out of 228 finishers (3rd in my age category) with a new 5k PB of 19.46 (chip) / 19.48 (gun). Next up for me is the final Grand Prix race - the infamous Crowborough 10k on the 29th of this month.
Kevin Cockram
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5-11-15
3 Race Reports: Maldon Parkrun (Essex), Duathlon World Championships Adelaide, Mosman
Maldon Parkrun – 10th October
1st Place – New Course PB of 17:55

Mosman (Sydney) Parkrun – 24th October
If anyone is in Sydney – I can recommend it for it’s lovely setting although not a PB course – very steep hill on each of the 3 laps! Made me realise that there really is an art to descending a hill quickly!!
4th Place in my Ravens Vest – 18:25 with a stinking cold

Duathlon World Championships Adelaide – 18th October
Run 1: 4.8km in 16:40 (17:20 5km pace)
Bike: 20.15km in 34:25
Run 2: 2.7km in 9:56 (18:23 5km pace)
Total: 1:03:26 – 16th in Age Group – 89th Male of 300+

Super nervous as while talking to the other Team GB guys in the build up it was clear they mostly focus on Duathlon rather than Triathlon! Bit intimidating seeing as this was only my second ever Duathlon – the first being the qualifying event!!! The quality of the field was VERY high as you would expect!
Run 1: The course followed the Torrens River so was fairly flat but had a quite a few ups and downs as footpaths climbed up to join roads/bridges etc, and two sections of trail. Started on a wide path but after 100m it narrowed – so the initial pace was very high as nobody wanted to be caught up behind people. I decided it was probably best to avoid a flat out sprint at the start and try and stay sensible and run my own race. The first km was very quick – I let people past and although I was running hard I didn’t let the excitement take me along too fast – after 2 km I started moving back through the people who started too quickly and kept catching and passing people all the way into the first transition. Ran the first run at 17:20 5km pace without absolutely maxing myself out (really pleased with this pace) as I knew I needed something in reserve for the bike and second run.
Finished the first run in 10th in my Age Group – 41st place Overall of 300
Bike: Nice course of 2 laps but with a hill that you had to change down into the smaller chainring for and two long but slopes that slowed you up at the end of the lap. Was odd cycling after running (normally do it the other way around). Pushed hard and was beginning to fade a bit towards the end. The timing system didn’t pick me up on the bike laps which is annoying but finished in 34:25
Bike Splits were 16th in my Age Group and 139th overall
Run 2: Was feeling tired but was moving ok, nobody overtook me and passed quite a few people throughout the lap. With about 250m to go I was rapidly catching an Australian guy about 30m behind him. With 50m to go there was a 180 degree turn to take you back down the finishing chute – I was about 5m behind and gave it absolutely everything to get him but he had been warned by the Australian crowd I was catching him and I finished just behind him less than a second behind him. He was lucky he was shouted at by the crowd!!!
Run 2 splits were 14th fastest in the Age Group and 53rd Overall
Another great experience with Team GB and I’m pleased with my times etc but there is a lot of work to be done if I want to be more competitive within the Age Group at the Europeans in April. To give you an idea of how good the winner (Carl Avery – GB) in my age group (and overall) was – he ran the first run in about 15:28 5km pace!! So I lost nearly two minutes to him on the first run!!
Only downer was the race didn’t seem very well organised – our routes through transition were different to what we were told the day before – we came in, in the opposite direction. The online results were useless and unclear (I spent a week believing I was 14th fastest overall on the second run). There were no finishers medals which was very disappointing considering the £175 entry fee and a 10,000 mile trip – I’d have paid an extra tenner for a medal/souvenir. However the organisers had found two Australian legends to do the race commentary – the highlight of their commentary as the ladies were finishing was something along the lines of “I think we all enjoy a little Brazilian…….” haha.
George Wakefield
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5-11-15
Billericay 10k
I raced at the above event this morning, woke to thick fog but a still day so decided to give it a right crack. The 1st mile is rather up hill which slowed me down then really pushed on the pace had a really good battle with a Ilford runner who in truth really helped me. Really had a bad mile between 5 and 6 but still managed to hang onto my new friend from Ilford, then really kicked hard in last .20 of a mile and crossed finishing line in 39.11 which is a pb of 15 secs so a good day at the office.
Dave Miller
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5-11-15
Reigate Cross Country Relays
With most clubs 'stars' racing at the nationals in Mansfield, Tonbridge entered a mature(ish) but well balanced team into the Reigate Cross Country Relays consisting of 4 x 2.5 hilly mile legs. Julian Rendall had a hard first leg and handed to me in third place. I had a much easier leg and whilst I was 12 seconds slower than Julian in 14.14 managed to gain a 40 second lead. Next up was our best runner Dan Bradley who extended our lead to over two minutes with the second fastest time of the day of 13.46. Dan Watts then lost over a minute to the fastest run of the day by Ben Coldray of South London Harriers. However we still managed a reasonably comfortable win.
Andrew Mercer
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28-10-15
Jekyll & Hyde Duathlon (Hyde Park)
An age-group win! All the sweeter with this being my last year in my current age group. Not sure what the term is for moving up an age-group.... "promotion"?!
Anyway, as those that were out this morning will know, what a superb day for racing. Cool, dry and still. So obviously the pace was going to be fast. This is where I guess experience comes in - to pace things appropriately. A lap of the Serpentine to spread people out before the 20km bike up and down the south side of the park. Then back on foot for a final two laps round the lake. Not complicated and honestly very "newbie" friendly for any of you out there that might be contemplating a dabble at multisport. Don't be put off - the majority of it, at least time wise, is running! This is a non-standard distance race - 4.2km run - 20.8km bike - 7.6km run. It's other "quirk" is that it has a Hallowe'en theme. It's "claim to fame" is that as far as I know it is the most central of London's duathlons. My times were 15:43 - 34:07 - 30:32. Total, including transitions of 1:22:25.8 and before anyone asks yes that is timing to a decimal place of a second. Results were instantly available on crossing the line. A well organised race and highly recommended. Especially when gaining promotion from an age-group...
Dave Meller
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28-10-15
Miami 70.3
In town for work so had a crack at this race this morning (1.9k swim, 90k bike, 21.1k run). I haven't really put much specific training into this so thought I'd give it the Jonesy treatment and see what happened. Swim was a non wetsuit affair which didn't help me but managed a par 31mins. It was full of jellyfish though which added a bit of spice - not serious stings but enough to be rather irritating! Bike was a pancake flat out and back. Turned myself inside out battering a headwind on the way back in and did 2.23. Run, I was completely smoked from the bike so thought 2hrs was on the agenda but manged to shuffle in a 1.41. Overall 4.40 for 88th overall including pros out of a field of about 2500. The lesson I learnt from today was to race like Jonesy it seems you have to train like him as well. Need to start working on the latter! Time for a couple of margerhitas first though....
Tom Robertson
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28-10-15
The Ranelagh Mob continues to build momentum. Ranelagh v Orion on Saturday saw 117 Ranelites overcome 49 Orion over 7.5 miles of cross country (and completing eight successive mob victories for Ranelagh against all other mob clubs). 166 runners turning out on a miserable day is a true testament to the commitment to the historic mob matches between some of the oldest clubs in the country (world!). I had a good run off of very little training, and beat several people who normally beat me, so I was happy.
Andy Hayward
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28-10-15
Thurrock 10k
On Sunday I did the Thurrock 10k. The race was organised by MCC promotions and was a shambles. Their website stated start time was 10:30 and 10:00 they sent out a tweet on Thursday saying 11:00. I arrived in good time to ask a marshall who wasn’t sure and thought it was 10:45! They clearly hadn’t scrutinised the course in the morning as there was no mention of some slippery sections where I saw a couple of runners go over. The course itself was a rather dull out and back twice. All in all a forgettable race. Still waiting for the official results although I did manage a pb 40:25. Forgot to mention the course was short by 6 meters on my Garmin! Roll on Billericay 10K
Gary Pitman
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21-10-15
River Thames half – Walton
This happens to be my local half, just as well as it was an 8:30 start. I had been targeting this as PB potential given that I have been doing regular fartlek sessions with the group. So with the weather good and the course flat i decided to go out fast. Started off with the 1:30 pacers for first 2 miles but 6:50 pace was too quick and not sustainable for another 11 miles. Dropped to 7:10's for next 9 miles and then started to really tire. Gave it everything in last mile but frustratingly just 27 seconds short of a PB and retching at the finish line !! Came home in 1:34:42. Arif, you'll be pleased to know I left it all on the course!! Still, on reflection pretty pleased, times down about 6 mins on Spring marathons.
Steve Dewey
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21-10-15
Run the wix 5 today, after the disappoint of Southend 10k 2 weeks ago wanted to put in a good performance. Went off at my race pace of 6.15 and tired to hold this for as long as possible, had a good tussle with a guy from witham and stayed with him until last 200 metres. Pace dropped a bit in last couple but managed to run a good time for me of 31.30, this running lark is good for my soul.
Dave Miller
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21-10-15
I ran this along with Dave Miller and Mick (and his wife). Thankfully, it was properly marshalled and the right distance! Altogether well organised. Started off pretty hard and decided to just go with the race rather than worry about the pace side (particularly since some of my rivals were nowhere to be seen). 5:27 / 5:29 / 5:38 / 5:39 / 5:39 = 27:58. I am very happy to be back under 28 mins but do now realise that I need to work harder at running the last 2 miles quicker. Was 4th Essex Vet after being overtaken in the last 400 m!
Lee Martin
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21-10-15
Leigh 10k
Along with some other Ravens I ran the Leigh Striders 10k. It was well organised and well marshalled (over 70 Marshalls), and good support from the Ravens cheerleaders in the crowd. The local big guns were out, Adam Hickey and Paul Whittaker. It was a very hilly course with 400m of grass at the end, but good weather conditions. I came in 15th in about 37.54 and first V50. My last road race of the year and my first physical trophy of the year, so very pleased. I always try to have 2 mile cool down after a race, saw Paul Whittaker a bit later, who was just finishing his 10mile cool down !
Simon LeMare
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21-10-15
Ran the Leigh 10k on Sunday for the first time ever on what was a very hilly and tough course, although thankfully the right distance ;-) Pleased with a 10th place finish in a time of 36:53. Really struggled in the 4th mile which was practically all uphill! Thanks Vicky for the encouragement as we entered the grassy section, didn’t realise how quickly my teammate was closing on me until you gave me the heads up!
Peter Smale
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21-10-15
I also did this race on Sunday. This was my third year of doing this race. Didn’t finish as high as Peter or Simon as was 93rd out of about 560 finishers. Managed 45:44 which was 3 minutes quicker than 2014. Might have been a bit quicker if it wasn’t for the Havering Joggers who decided to run two abreast on the sea path and block anybody from overtaking them which they also did on one of the hills as well. Not very good running etiquette. Again thanks to Vicky for the encouragement. Really helped to give you a push in the last 800m.
Andrew Ferguson
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21-10-15
I also ran the Leigh 10k on Sunday. I finished 32nd in 40:57 only 9 seconds away from a pb. Happy with that as like the others have said it’s a hilly course with a grassy narrow finishing straight. Looks like running with the Ravens is paying off as I haven’t run much this year. Onto the flat Thurrock 10k next Sunday hoping for a pb.
Gary Pitman
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21-10-15
Just a short race report. Ran Abingdon yesterday in 2.54. I definitely started too quickly as the pace felt incredibly easy for the first 14 miles. Unfortunately at about 15 miles I started to slow, but glad to have gotten under 2.55.
Rob Laing
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21-10-15
Nothing major from me but did manage to break 18 mins for park run for the first time on Saturday and also completed our clubs opening 5 mile cross country race of the season in 33:08 on Sunday a little disappointed with my time but plenty to work on. Good to see Marcus at park run on Saturday employing the ‘do or die’ race attitude that was discussed over email last week.
Chris Tuck
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21-10-15
Yep, I did these two events as well. Paced 19 minutes for parkrun Saturday and was pleased to see Marcus pick up a PB. Then the first ‘proper’ cross country race of our club season on Sunday. Lovely run. Not a memorable performance by me but very pleasing to be back doing what I enjoy best. A few more of these and some decent training and I should be back to my competitive best.
Andy Tucker
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21-10-15
As Chris mentioned, I decided on Saturday, having not trained since the Tuesday fartlek to 'have a go' in Steve Jones style at parkrun and was rewarded with a new PB of 18:45. Thanks to Glacks for slowing down to help spur me on for the last 200-300 metres. Made all the difference. Also helped having Tucks there pacing 19 minutes, so I always knew where I was without the need to look at the Garmin. It was bl**dy hard though!
Marcus Elwes
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21-10-15
Well I ran the Billericay Striders Own 10km on Sunday as a guest ( the Striders get to run the course for the Billericay 10km as they will all be marshalling the event ) Finished it in 43:53 so finally broken that elusive 44 minute barrier. I was most p%#*ed off in the last 400m when 3 managed to get passed me … I can only just about accept it when it is a Raven on the handicap in the final few hundred…
Lyndon Bubb
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21-10-15
First ‘race’ for a while for me this weekend. Fortuitous timing of a family meet up coinciding with a charity 10k round the Polesdon Lacey estate. Good and hilly course in the woods with a couple of reps up onto Ranmore. Managed to win a sprint finish with a canicross runner/dog.
Tom Robertson
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21-10-15
I ran the Croydon 10k yesterday (for my second claim , Bromley Vets). Its a tough, and quite undulating 10k and i managed 38m 47 secs, so i was very pleased with that. The second half is much more hilly but i managed to run it at almost an identical pace to the 1st, and was overtaking a few youngsters in the last k, which as we all know is very rewarding!
Steve Glackin
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21-10-15
I ran the Fulham and Putney half marathon which is a really nice flat course though there are a few windy turns. I followed Phil's advice and decided to go out hard to see if I could hold the pace and go sub 1.25. It worked really well and I managed to set a new PB of 1.23.49 three minutes faster than my previous best. I found it tough to hold the pace but started to try racing people in front of me rather than the clock (another bit of advice from Phil) and it really helped me mentally. Celebrated at the rugby and feel slightly groggy today!
Alex Hardy
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11-10-15
So I imagine like many others, this weekend saw the start of my cross country season, with the first run in the Kent league XC taking place at Stanhill farm near Swanley.
I have to admit I do enjoy the atmosphere at cross country and jaunted down early to watch some of our younger athletes compete. The start of the men’s race was delayed by 15 mins due to an accident and preventing some people from arriving on time. As expected the front runner set of at a rather quick pace and I decided to try and settle in to a rhythm rather early rather than my usual 1st lap dash. The course was pretty flat by cross country standards. Managed to hang just on the back of a club mate but couldn’t get past him in the last lap as I had planned to try and do. Had a large group come past me with two laps to go and again not quite fit enough to get in to a race with them and probably knocked me down by about 10 places. Something to aim for as the season progresses. Finished the 9.8 km course in 38:13 and 73rd place. Which is over 20 places higher than any of my appearances last year. So overall happy but plenty to work on. Spent my Sunday in the park, running hill reps as preparation turns to the next race in two weeks’ time which from an undulation point of view is an entirely different beast. Our club game second in the 12 to score race but were well beaten by a strong Tonbridge with a certain Mr Mercer in their ranks.
Chris Tuck
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11-10-15
Royal Parks Half Marathon
I did the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday. After Windsor half 2 weeks ago which was a 1:41, I was hopeful of going sub 1:40 so lined up next to the 1:40 pacer. Start was a bit strange as the first wave of runners started and us in the second start had to wait 2 minutes before we were let go. Lots of elbows and nearly got tripped twice in first mile but settled down after that. Was keeping the pacer in sight but he did seem to be going a bit quick and at 5 miles when I was alongside him he admitted he was going for sub 1:39. Managed to keep up and went through halfway in 49:14 but started struggling after the early pace. Was dropping back from the pacer so was a little surprised that got overtaken by another 1:40 pacer who was obviously running the proper pace. Managed to keep him in sight but was dropping back again about 10 miles. According to watch though my pace was still ok and a pb was still on. In the last mile noticed that again I could again see the 1:40 pacer so knew a good time was there. Went through 20km in 1:35 so last km and a bit had to be fast and crossed the line in 1.39.25 which took 90 seconds off the Windsor time and my first ever sub 1.40 half marathon.
Andrew Ferguson
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11-10-15
I also ran RPH. After a disappointing 1:40 at the GNR last month (14 mins off my PB), I was hoping to finish south of 1:35. Sunday morning was prefect weather for long distance running; dry, cool, sunny and no wind, but after arriving late to the start line (nature kept calling), I found myself caught in the crowds for the first 3-4 miles, which meant a lot of zigzagging. At 5k I was on 21:21 and felt really good (the slow start obviously helped – I didn’t do my usual 3 mile burst) and as the crowds thinned, I managed to push on. As I reached the half-way mark in just under 45 mins and still feeling strong, I realised a sub 1:30 may be on the cards. I started to tire at 15k, but with a bit of teeth gritting (I actually have a sore jaw today!) I ploughed on to cross the finish line in 1:29. Over moon with that. Even though this isn’t a PB and I’ve a 13.1 quicker on several occasions, this is probably my performance in a half marathon. It’s the first time I’ve ever recorded a negative split on a 13.1 and the difference between my slowest and fastest 5k was 2 seconds. I don’t think I’ve ever ran so consistently throughout a race. I’ve managed to get a place into VLM, so hoping to build on my fitness to get back to where I was 12-18 months ago. My one and only ever previous marathon (Paris) was 3:13, so hoping to record sub-3 hours on VLM and therefore hoping to record a sub-1:25 half marathon between now and then.
David Wilkinson
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11-10-15
I did this as well - last minute entry from David so no preparation - i had an awful cold all last week (still have it now) so missed x country and decided to do this as a tempo just to get some miles in. aimed for 6.30s all the way and managed it easily enough - great, wide, flat course - really easy to get into a rhythm - would recommend for a pb. did 1.23.54 - 6th female! i think i'll try 6.10s next time and get closer to 1.20. if it weren't for the cost it makes a lot of sense to use races as key training runs (kawauchi style) when preparing for a target race.
Arif Merali
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11-10-15
York Marathon
I ran with another BRR club member as he had blown up at London going too fast. 7.55 was the pace we tried to stick to. Seemed okay, first 13 miles went no problem though we had a bit of a fright at around 7 miles (I think) when the 3.30 pacer caught up (he was going too fast I believe) as we deliberately wanted to stay ahead so we pushed on a bit here. Just before 13 miles we dropped a bloke from Blyth runners who’d been running with us. At 14 my mate surged ahead but I maintained pace. Felt tired at 15 (another hill) but still kept steady to 18. Got to the turn-around point about 18.5 and decided I needed to up the pace. Started passing runners and basically didn’t stop, ran to feel as opposed to pace. Re-took my team mate about mile 22 (just after I’d seen a Trent Park runner on the floor looking poorly, receiving first aid). Felt strong and powered on knowing there was a hill before the finish but just thought I’d deal with that when I got to it. When I did get there, I still managed to keep the pace under 8mm. Came in at 3.26.24, stats below. In the miles 18 to 26.2, only two people overtook me, one about mile 20 and the other in the finishing straight (even though I was gunning it). I overtook loads of people. Avg pace worked out at 7.52mm. London this year I stuck to 8mm pace. I would like to think for London 2016, I can start out at 7.50mm and maintain that pace until such a time as I can up it to go under 3.25 (my PB at Manchester).
VICKY COOPER
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11-10-15
Salisbury HM - aka Salisbury parkrun and Chalke Valley Challenge 10k
Well done all the racers - having been away for the last week I have just been catching up on emails - well done Vicky on your marathon efforts - a sub 3.25 at London 2016 would be well deserved. Also well done the other racers - sorry if I'm missing some out but particular congratulations to Andrew Mercer for his efforts at Tonbridge and Andrew Ferguson for his first sub 1.40 Half Marathon. For me, returning from my holiday via friends in Wiltshire, I had booked to once again run the Salisbury Half Marathon. Unfortunately this was cancelled due to a lack of entrants (77 - pity I reckon I was looking at a top 10 finish in a city Half Marathon!) but being a resourceful chap, I found two other events to race:
Saturday - Salisbury Parkrun - came 15th out of 197 finishers (first in my age category) with a parkrun pb of 20.20 - it was flat!
Sunday - Chalke Valley 10k - came 13th out of (I think) 101 finishers with a time of 42.31. Celebrating its 10th year, this 10k is run alongside a 3k fun run. The 10k course undulated through the Wiltshire countryside and followed a very pleasant chalk stream for a mile or so. Had a bit of a contest with the first lady at various points around the course but in the final mile, she tired a little and it was just enough for me to get past her and cross the line 17 seconds in front. In the finish straight, I had wondered about being a gentleman and letting her cross the line before me, and (briefly!) I did feel bad for not doing so, however, on discovering she was at least 12 years younger, I think she was a legitimate "scalp"!
Kevin Cockram
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4-10-15
Southend 10(.4)k
Yesterday I, along with a number of other Ravens, ran the Southend 10(.4k). Conditions were absolutely perfect. It was my first 10k race for 3 years so I was a little nervous before but had been training ok so was hoping for a good time. Set off a little eager, going through the first mile in 5:35. Knew I'd gone off a little too hard after I waved to one of my friends' parents to get a cheer and heard Lee's voice 10 meters back saying "Don't cheer he'll have pulled out by 7k!" Haha!! Stayed strong for the next couple of miles at 5:44 and 5:48 before the most controversial running incident since the release of Paula's blood data. At the furthest point in the course, 3rd - last place ran 400 meters further than they should have done! The hare, which in this case was one of the Southend runners on a push bike, led 1st and 2nd around the correct turn, however due to everyone else being so far behind, 3rd place ran on further than he should have! Shear lunacy to not have a Marshall at a key point in the course, however nobody died and it's only running at the end of the day! Once we finally got back on track (I was totally oblivious at this time) I then found myself passing the 5k point in 19 minutes!! I knew before the race that 5:50 avg would get me my target of 36 mins so was desperately doing the maths in my head to work out what was going on? Where's Microsoft Excel when you need it?! When I worked out what had happened, I must confess I lost a lot of interest, dropping down to 5:55, then 5:59 for miles 4 and 5 (thought Lee's prediction might have been spot on at one stage). Running back past the finish and into the final mile (5:51) at this point I'd all but given up mentally. Finished the 10.4k course (by my Garmin) in 37:11, going through 10k in 35:59 (again by my Garmin). Overall disappointed, both with my run (a couple of people from my club I wanted to beat, beat me) and for having to race so hard for so far without a proper time. Never mind. Need to psych myself up for another 10k now, hopefully it won't take me 3 years this time!
Peter Smale
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4-10-15
Ran, along with at least 6 other Ravens, what was unfortunately an infamous race. Went for a PB as perfect weather with little wind. A slightly different course to last year, but mostly the same. My son Dominic, went off fast and was with Lee for the first 2k. I caught Dominic at 4 1/2k and he said we have all gone wrong and run an extra 0.4k. It seems that the first 2 runners ran the correct route, but those in 3rd/4th did not know it followed the road we were on and into the car park used for the Park run which exits on the normal route. (Not sure whose fault, but I know there were some no shows of some Marshalls). I was completely demoralised.
At 7k saw Ian George and was gradually catching him, but could not quite catch him at the end. Finished in 31st in 38.15 and missed out in what would have been a PB.
Dominic was 34th, went off too fast and had a heavy cold. Pretty sure that is the last time I will beat him.
Simon LeMare
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4-10-15
Well done Simon. I thought you were going to catch me but fortunately I somehow managed to pick the pace up on the downhill stretch to the finish line. Funnily enough I knew we went wrong as I had taken a look at the route the night before. What was I meant to do? Play it safe and follow everyone else or follow what I thought was the correct course and risk a DQ because maybe the organisers had made a last minute change to the course. I wish I went with my instinct as it would have been quite amusing to find myself ahead of Peter and Lee. Notwithstanding the cock-up I had a pretty good race and had it not been for the extra distance I would have been under 37 minutes.
Ian George
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4-10-15
I raced the above and had trained all summer for this wanting to go sub 39. Went off to fast as normal must learn from my mistakes, also went the wrong at this stage i gave up and knew no pb was no so just pleased to go through 10k in 39.47 and 6.41 in 41.01!! Managed to pick up a gold medal through!!
Dave Miller
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4-10-15
After the crushing disappointment of the rugby on Saturday evening I had the crushing disappointment of being woken up by my alarm on Sunday morning. It had seemed like a good idea when we entered the race!!!!. Anyway, saw Peter, Simon and Robin before the start and chatted to Ricky on the start line. Had thought my 44.11 minute finish time was just down to my plodding along but quickly became aware at the finish that the course was long. Obviously, I ran even further off course than everyone else! Home afterwards for a quick shower and change and on to the Olympic Park for Ireland V Italy and some serious refuelling! Sport just isn’t the same though when you don’t care who wins.
Philip Priest
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4-10-15
I don’t use my Garmin for pace, just time. I use the mile or kilometre markers to assess pace, on the basis they should be more accurate than the watch! Started too far back and took about 2 k to pass Ricky and Phil. Felt comfortable at 3k at a second or so over 12 minutes with sub 40 in my sights. Didn’t see the 4k marker, but was shocked to pass 5k at about 21.30. Finished in 41.27, but somehow lost my chip – but got a gold medal for coming in 97th, because I knew runner it front of me. Spotted my new friend from Ilford AC, and got his name from his number. Beat him obviously. Idiot doing the announcements wasn’t interested in the idea that the course could be long.
Robin McCoy
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4-10-15
Well I survived the Southend 10km. Another issue I had as well as the extra loop was that I was completely unaware that the race had started. I was in the sub 45m area and happily strolling along with the crowd and after a minute or so walking asked the guy next to me where the start was and was told we crossed in at 30 seconds ago… Never even noticed …apparently it was just a timing mat on the floor …... I can’t blame anyone for that and have to put it down to stupidity more than anything !
Chip time was 45:39 but I reckon without the extra distance and start issue I may have managed to break 44minutes which have never managed to do yet and is the goal for the year. C’est la vie . Always next time !
Lyndon Bubb
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4-10-15
Tonbridge half
The start was always going to be fast with two previous winners going head to head and I dropped off the lead group of 5 when I realised we had done the first mile in 5.20. I then spent the next 11 hilly miles getting back into contention. Over took 5th place in mile 3 but had to wait until mile 12 to overtake into 4th (which is where I finished last year). I caught 3rd place in the last 400 metres but didnt quite have enough left to beat him to the line. Finished in 74.01 which was 2 minutes quicker than last year so very happy and has fuelled a desire to get into the medals next year!
Andrew Mercer
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4-10-15
It was obviously the day for race diversions yesterday, although the one at Tonbridge was for a more serious reason as a runner collapsed and had to be air-lifted out.
Early reports suggested he died, but I think these may have been premature. Fingers crossed. It meant that many runners (mostly plus 2 hour mark and above) were diverted when only about 800m from the end and ended up running a further 3k, including cross country and through people's gardens! A lot of very grumpy people at the end, although once they realised the cause, they became a bit more sanguine. Fortunately I avoided all this having come home in 1:30:46 which I was happy enough with, given it is a tough course and was over 4 minutes faster than when I ran it last time in 2012. I had hoped to duck under 90 minutes again, but just could not quite mange it this time. I was 63rd overall, 5th in my age category. Well done Andrew great race, sorry to have missed you.
Marcus Elwes
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4-10-15
Hyde Park 10K
I don’t like or usually run “women only” races and to be fair this wasn’t one but it was predominantly ladies, named Run with the Girls, a 10K in Hyde Park for a charity I support, called A Mile in Her Shoes. There were a few guys that ran it but only a handful. We were told the race had filled up, 500 places but only 359 finishes which I thought rather low. As I stood on the start line I looked to my right “saw” the winner; I looked to my left and “saw” 2nd place. I wondered if I’d be next. I set off at a fairly fast pace, the lead lady (correctly recognised) shot off following a lead bike not to be seen again! There were enough marshals and signs to avoid getting lost despite the park being very busy. I was challenged for third place at 2K but had dropped her by 3K. Little bit worried when I saw I’d gone through 5K in 20.12 (new PB!) and thought I’d cooked it. I clung on and achieved my goal of a 10K with each mile being under 7 minutes. Fairly consistent pacing after the first mile saw me get third place and a shiny new PB of 41.10 (over a minute off). Winning lady was 33.46, 2nd place 39.07.
VICKY COOPER
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20-09-15
EVAC race report
Ran the Eastern Vets finals in Bedford. Unfortunately no Mick or Lee this time. I was entered into 4 individual M50 races and the relay. The main competition was James McMahon who Mick has had good battles with in the past. First was 1500m. First lap 82, with James in the lead, second 75, overtook James with 1 lap to go and won in 4.48. My very first crossing the line first in UK. An hour later was the 800. First lap in a slow 80 seconds, I took on the lead after 1 lap. Had a great ding dong battle with 1 other guy and did the second lap in 67.5 but came second by 0.11 of a second in 2.27. 75 minutes later was the 3000. James had not run the 800 so was in a better shape than me. I came second to him in about 10.30. 20 minutes later a 400m in 70.05 came 5th. In the relay we came 5th. Am shattered.
Simon LeMare
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20-09-15
New Forest Half Marathon Race Report
I completed the New Forest HM yesterday in a new PB of 1.32.35, which was very surprising as we were led to believe the course was hilly and multi-terrain. 4th in age-cat, 8th female (from 620) and 69th from a total field of 1,407. It wasn’t particularly hilly, the terrain was mixed but not difficult. Four events in one day, marathon, HM, 10K, 5K. Due to people not turning up in time, the HM, 10K and 5K races were delayed, quite annoying when organising your nutritional requirements (and it was chip timed after all). We raced at 10.15am instead of 9.30am. It was fairly uneventful throughout, but pretty annoying when at 11 miles we then merged with the 5K/10K runners/walkers splayed across the entire width of the path and I then had to start weaving through them all and try to keep my pace. I will feed this back to the organisers. (I reckon if I’d have entered the 10K, I’d have had a good chance at winning it).
VICKY COOPER
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20-09-15
Will Bolton Memorial Relays
I ran a leg in the Will Bolton Memorial XC relay organised by Blackheath & Bromley Harriers, which I understand is traditionally the start of their XC season. Good fun on a lovely Saturday afternoon (a rare racing day for me), it is a 4 person relay of 4km over trail and through hilly woods. More or less the same course as the Kent Masters in December last, but half the distance (or so). Chris T was there as well for B&B and Serena in support of her local club, who put in a couple of teams. I ran for Petts Wood, my other 2nd claim club, as my first claim club couldn't get a team together. I was pleased with my time of 16:49. Chris was 15:58. My team came an unremarkable 26th out of 52 teams. Tonbridge AC absolutely cleaned up with the first 3 team places and 16 of the 20 fastest times!
Marcus Elwes
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20-09-15
Ran the great north run yesterday. A combination of daddy belly and a 2 week holiday (too much food/drink with no running) meant I ran a disappointing 1:40 (14 mins off my PB on that course). It was a very hot day yesterday with blistering sunshine – even for up north! I’ve ran the GNR 9 times and yesterday was the worst weather conditions. My day was further marred (although the disappointment of my time rendered inconsequential in comparison) by the news that a close friend (who I’ve encouraged to get into running) suffered a major heart attack at mile 11. He’s currently in a coma in intensive. Appreciate he’s not known by you guys, but if you could keep him in your thoughts, it would be appreciated. Appreciate there are numerous causes of heart attack, but I’ve got no doubt the weather conditions didn’t help - there was also fatality 400m from the end yesterday – which is a lesson on proper nutrition and hydration pre-race and when to decide you’re going to have to hang back and put a PB on hold for another day. Sorry for the pessimism, these emails are normally very positive, but admittedly I’m rather shook up by events over the past 24 hours.
David Wilkinson
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20-09-15
Eridge 10
I ran the Eridge 10 yesterday. A 10 mile course with the tag line ‘It’s muddy hard and deeply steep’ – does that give you a flavour? A lovely cross country event across private estates in the wilds of Tunbridge Wells. Still carrying the remnants of holiday decadence and a nasty virus I approached the race as a good training run. Started out sensibly and struggled initially but finished well picking up a few places so down on my usual time and position. Great run with excellent conditions. Hopefully with a few weeks work I can get back to racing again.
Andy Tucker
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20-09-15
The John Faulds Hellingly 10k - I ran this on Sunday, my ninth race of this year's Sussex Grand Prix. I'd actually forgotten how much of the first half of the race is uphill but was soon reminded! Managed to cross the line in 42.24 (42.45 last year) taking 49th place (294 finishers) by passing a gentleman with whom I'd been having a bit of a tussle in the second half of the race in the finishing straight - as ever I think it only fair to acknowledge that he is two vet categories up from me! Next Sussex outing for me is a week on Sunday and the infamous Barns Green Half Marathon (some of you may have heard me talking about this race on the odd occasion!) perhaps via a Park run / Ravens 5k.
Kevin Cockram
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20-09-15
I Raced the sprint world championships in Chicago yesterday. It was a hot day ! My race was split into 2 waves so half the competitors set off 5 mins before. I had a good swim 3 of us were neck and neck exiting the swim together in the lead. There was about 600m of running in total for the transition which was a bit draining. On the bike I hit a big speed bump early on and one of my tri bars snapped off, I also lost my drinks bottle at the same time. It wasn't catastrophic as I could carry on on a single bar but the heat was taking its toll and I couldn't take in any fluids. Onto the run it was really hot and I was just under 20min 5km pace (my last race in the UK I ran 17:12 for the run !) but I was still overtaking a few others who were equally struggling. I wound it up and really sprinted the last 400m ending up collapsing over the finish line and was wheeled in to the medical tent where I was looked over by medical staff for about an hour before I came round. So not my best ever race but ended up 7th in my age group. Big thanks to George (and his girlfriend Madz) who raced an hour earlier and came to cheer me on at the end. Im sure George will post details of his race but he had a great race in a really competitive age group and posted a fantastic (18min) run split for the conditions.
Rob Osborne
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10-09-15
Richmond Half
Ran this very scenic half this morning. First 4 miles in Kew Gardens, next 7 on mostly tow path before finishing in Old Deer Park, Richmond. The conditions were superb, cool and sunny. Finished in 1:37 which placed me 284th out of 2,800 and 14th for my age group out of 190. I tired in the last 3 miles which not that surprising as my longest training run was 11 miles last weekend, so really pleased with the time and hopefully something to build on. Am fairly sure that the Tuesday sessions really helped me out.
Steve Dewey
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10-09-15
A busy weekend of racing (sort of). Ran 18.46 for the Chelmsford Park Run. Not a PB, but sub 19 an important milestone for my return to running. Yesterday ran the 8th leg of The Essex Way (Dedham to Bradfield – 8 miles ish). Lots of climbing over stiles, going through gates, and an awful lot of uphill for a flat county. Great fun – took 4 wrong turnings and fell over twice. A good atmosphere with everyone helping each other with the directions. Will definitely run next year. Ran for Billericay, so probably banned from Ravens for life. Inspired by that, I am planning on entering some real races. Just need to find my EA number (last real race was December 2013).
Robin McCoy
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10-09-15
Kent Coastal Half Marathon
I ran this race yesterday in Margate. Originally, I put myself down for the full marathon but, in an unexpected moment of good sense, switched my entry to the half, as had not done enough training for the full. I managed 17th place overall and 2nd M50, which is the closest I have ever got to an actual race prize. Frustratingly, the 1st M50 was in 15th place, so very close indeed. It was a brutally tough race, much more so than I had expected; the hills and coastal wind making it hard going. My time of just over 1:33 reflected this, but only the first 10 came in under 90 minutes and the general consensus seemed to be the course added 5-10 minutes to PB times, so on that basis, whilst initially a bit disappointed, I am pleased enough. Would recommend it as a well organised and picturesque race, After looping around part of Margate first, the course goes out toward Ramsgate for around 7/8 miles before coming back. The marathoners goes back through Margate for a further 7/8 miles before looping back. Lovely day for it but, as I say, the wind made it tough going. Extraordinarily good value at £21 (full or half) which includes a technical t-shirt.
Marcus Elwes
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10-09-15
I ran the Wetherby 10k up in sunny Yorkshire yesterday, the race itself has been going 10 years and attracts some pretty decent runners from the area. I was a very late entrant running in place of my sister who has recently been diagnosed with secondary bone cancer so I knew it was going to be a difficult race emotionally, which it was. I got involved with the ravens late last year after having a conversation with Ricky Goad at a work do and asking him how I get my 10k time down from 45 minutes to below the 40 minute mark, he scoffed somewhat and said it would be a lot of hard work but if I was serious about it he would introduce me to his running club, little did I know how good a running club it was… I’ve been chipping away at my 5k time over the past few months to below the 19 minute mark but haven’t done a 10k race since March (41.30), up until a few weeks ago I was training well but a break for holiday and then a niggling back injury after the Victoria park assembly league meant I haven’t done any speed work for 6 weeks and have lost some pace. My preparations for the race were poor, a five hour drive up the M1 on Friday night, a Chinese take-away the night before and two small children that decided Saturday night was the night to get up for an hour at 2am meant I was a tad nervous of hitting the 40 minute goal. The race itself was very well organised, starting and finishing at the race course with a mixture of road and trails in between. I went off a bit quick and think I went through the 1st k in about 3:35 but started to settle down in behind a local guy. After 3k it started to be a struggle but I felt I was running at a decent pace so kept pushing. I resisted looking at my watch to see what pace I was doing as that usually puts me off but as I came round a bend at the 5k mark there was a BMW sitting there with a timer on the back, 19.23. This gave me a bit of a lift but then I started thinking about times rather than just running, 6k and 7k markers came and went but by this point I felt I was starting to slow but I was determined to push on, I think I even shouted at myself out loud at one point. A couple of guys came past me that I couldn’t respond to but I still had the original local lad up ahead of me about 20m away. For some reason they didn’t have 8 or 9k markers and I was starting to really feel it and running out of steam, luckily round the next bend we came back in to the race course and there was a 400m to go sign. I managed to pull a mild sprint out of the bag and took the local guy plus one other I crossed the finish line, the announcer looked a bit bemused when he said “and here comes Kate Davie crossing the line”... I looked at the watch and it said 39:45. A huge thanks to all the Ravens, it’s been a pleasure running with you this year and I couldn’t have done it without you. My new target is sub 38 minutes for 10k.
Iain Davie
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10-09-15
Blackwater Tri 2015
I took part in the Blackwater Tri on Sunday and I’m very pleased to say that I came in FIRST PLACE!! This is a pool based swim so everyone starts at different times so you don’t really know how you are doing as you’re going along. Swim (400m): 6 min 15secs 3rd fastest swimmer. Bike (23km): 38min 19secs 3rd fastest cyclist – had one guy overtake me on the bike (but I caught him up again in the first km of the run) – had to work quite hard on the bike didn’t feel like I had my cycling legs on. The course was two laps – had a tailwind up the 2 hills but a headwind for a lot of the flatter parts of the lap. Run (6km): 21min 1sec – this time includes T2 time so really pleased with my pace and there is probably just under a km offroad – I was initially really annoyed to not be sub 21mins but when you add in 30secs or thereabouts for T2 then I’m very happy. Overtook loads of people on the run as I caught the earlier starters. I had the fastest run time (please note on the below results it says I’m 2nd quickest but if you look at the fastest runner it says they did 16:15 for the 6km – and the name next to that time isn’t Mo Farah etc so think that guy did one lap not two!). Total Time: 1:06:07. The icing on the cake was that I had my parents, girlfriend and a few friends watching – they were as excited as me when the results were announced, if not more so! So very happy and think I am in as nearly good shape as possible before I fly out to Chicago next week!
George Wakefield
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3-09-15
Assembly League – Beckenham 3.9.15

I am sure that all participants will send their reports in and as a team we scored very well . Andrew M , Liv, Tom Lee George, Rupert , and Mick all having good runs. Vicky continued her recent good form Marcus and Tucks were their normal consistent self . Tucks also ran at lunchtime helping with the beginners. Andrew Ferguson did his first club race and his long locks were visible a long way down the hill. I apologise for not mentioning others ... Mick and Lee picked up gongs with Vicky being pipped by a point but I have instigated a stewards on this one. All in all a good night. Sixth race of a great series thank you to all of you that have supported them. I think they are great little races and now the funnels are sorted (self pat on the back) times will be accurate. Bit disappointed with last night’s turn out (think we were smashed in the mob; but we will see they can throw up strange results) but as was pointed out to me by Marcus and Tucks a year ago we were getting 4’s and 5’s so perhaps I am being harsh. It would be good to see a few more there though.
Forgot to mention Gemma was running her first race for us . The last member of the Kent Mafia ‘Trifecta’ also turned up –Steve Glackin looking very well.
Thanks to all.
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3-09-15
Phil Hernon
Awe, how exciting! A gong! I look forward to seeing it. As for the race – started steadily with a reasonable downhill section picking people off. Tom stayed with me through the first part of the flat, I thought that I had pulled away from him, but when it came to the hill, my lack of appropriate training showed up and a few went past and Tom caught back up. Mick and I had checked out the finish and worked out a final finishing sprint point which gave me the head start I needed to beat Tom and the chasing pack. Still about 20 secs down from the one earlier in the year but I put that down to a great holiday and inconsistent training. Good to see so many Ravens there again. Well done everyone.
Lee Martin
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3-09-15
Good run Lee, especially given the uphill finish! For me, this was my first trip ever this far south of the river and only survived due to having google maps on my phone!
First time in ages that I have done any kind of speed work so started steadily and kept within myself on initial hill. Managed to run all 3 miles at a very even pace, finishing in about 17:46 so happy to have kept it under the 6 min mile mark. Enjoyable evening, good to see so many out, well done all.
Rupert Holden
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3-09-15
Enjoyed my first assembly league run last night – will be back for more next year!
Andrew Ferguson
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3-09-15
Thanks Phil and again for your efforts around the finish funnel (and elsewhere). Well done Lee and Mick. Gutted for Vicky - assumed she had it in the bag. Not sure what happened there. Storming run by her again mind, which I hope is some consolation. I was pleased with my race in the end. I have not been feeling the running mojo at all since coming back from holiday but somehow ended up with another PB of 18:55 (watch time), and I do not quite know where it came from. First race in this season where there was no Raven around me at all, so tucked in with some of my regular local rivals (who annoyingly all seem to have upped their game recently) to keep me going. Reeled a few in but not all this time, a couple getting away including one on a sprint finish. As is often the case now at Beckenham, I took quite a lot of people on the last hill, which helped. Thoroughly enjoyed the event and the season. Only sorry the French Air Traffic controllers prevented me from attending all 6 races.
Marcus Elwes
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3-09-15
Think Lee has covered my race but I was merely thinking of the team when I let him go away on the finishing straight – I was steadying the pace of the hordes looking to come round us (and I was red lining!)….but I did just manage to hold off one of the SEAC lads on the line. Lee then really put the boot in as we did a race pace warm down back to get trains! Phil – cheers for organising.
Tom Robertson
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3-09-15
Well done to all runners last night everyone seemed to run well – great run by Vicky to get another PB (on that course) and for Mick and Lee to get some deserved medals. Vicky may well be due one too after Phil’s instigated stewards enquiry. If not we may make a special medal for her for services to the Ravens. Apologies for not running at my best last night, I had a few health issues - including a horrible cold - which clearly indicates that I am obviously an elite athlete if you believe what you read in the Guardian:
Hopefully this won’t affect the mob match results (which I await with eager anticipation – one of my regular club running mates was the enemy last night). Thanks to all who have run the Assembly League this year and I strongly encourage anyone who can to run next year. The more Ravens we have there the more we seem to excel and enjoy ourselves. And finally a thanks to team manager and Mr Motivator (in many ways…) Phil H. Taking the time to get us organised and to be there even if not running certainly helps us get that little bit extra out of ourselves.
Andy Tucker
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3-09-15
Right, so firstly, thank you to Phil for all the organisation he does around these races and getting us to get our arses into gear for getting to them and running them (and of course asking for a re-count). Also to everyone who has said some very nice things about me following last night. The rationale person in me is saying, it’s not the end of the world, so you didn’t get anything this time, but next year you’ll do better and be more competitive. In my heart of hearts, I also knew beforehand that if those particular three ladies turned up for the last race, I was in danger of placing 4th (or lower). The competitive me is very disappointed and it wrecked my night’s sleep to be perfectly honest with you. I’m gutted and so annoyed with myself when I practically had it in the bag. I should have worked harder and dug deeper. I had such a great run and only in one or two places did I think I could have upped the pace a little. The thing about running is we constantly learn. I’ve been respectful to this league by not starting nearer the front to avoid getting in the way of the faster runners. However, next season, I need to be up there even if people do come past me. I need to learn to hang on to people and mostly I need to practise hills a lot more. There was a female Dulwich runner I’m not normally anywhere near but last night I did manage to overtake her at the start of the park, she was simply too strong and overtook me on the hill. I’m still pleased with my time (19.52 according to my Garmin though I doubt that’s what the officials will give me) and looking at the spreadsheet provided by Simon Phillips, only 10 seconds off Lisa’s best time of last year. Last time I ran this was 20.04. I was however still somewhat disappointed to be slower per mile than Monday’s race. Anyway, onwards and upwards, I do like the Beckenham course and will give it my best shot next year! Well done to everyone who raced, especially Mick and Lee for their wins.
Vicky Cooper
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3-09-15
I had a reasonable run - 17.17 - 25 seconds faster than last year. was with George most of the way but got dropped at the bottom of the hill and didn't have the miles in the legs or the willpower at the end.
Arif Merali
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3-09-15
Well run everyone last night! Think I expended most of my energy last night stressing over getting there on time thanks to train problems! Massive thanks to Phil who asked (made) the race starter wait for me to pin a number on and have a wee before he went down to the start to begin the race!! With no proper warm up I struggled a bit to begin with and due to the number of people I lost contact with Mick/Lee/Tom in front of me. I bottled it on the downhill I’m afraid, too dark etc. and just didn’t want to risk anything on the uneven pavements (should have run in the road as Mick pointed out). Once onto the flatter parts could see Mick up in front and tried to get back towards him, had Arif just behind, although I was confused by his blue top! Mick was too far away to catch up, up the hill but had caught up a bit and overtook a tall Dulwich runner going up the hill by which time I was warmed up and felt better! Have learnt a bit about the course for next year (and a lot about the public transport options for getting there). So a stressful evening and was just glad to make it there in time in the end! Glad I got a run but disappointed I didn’t get proper preparation/warm up time and set a better time – going to go really hard in my Tri on Sunday to make up for last night and it should be a better indication of my fitness.
George Wakefield
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1-09-15
SAC track champs
Ran the SAC open 1500m yesterday. As many know I have been training for this type of distance. Slightly breezy and annoyingly the 1500m was split into 5 races. In ours there were only 8 runners all of totally different PB's. I was in the lead from the gun, this was really weird as I had never been first in a race. My pace was all over the place. I was aiming for just over 5 minute mile pace. When I looked at my watch i was doing 4.45 pace, 5.15, 4.52, 5.25. Was over taken with 500m to go by the guy with a PB of 4.15 who had earlier run the 5000m With 400m to go the chap ringing the bell said 3.31 which was slightly disappointing. Finished in 4.43.5 a PB by 1 1/2 seconds.
Simon LeMare
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1-09-15
Phil came along to our soggy 5K yesterday at Barking Park to manage the finishing funnel and help out generally. Was good to see Andy Catton racing despite him not being a morning person. And I’m rather delighted with my new PB of 20.28, 5th lady and 1st V35. Despite the torrential rain, it was a great day all round.
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1-09-15
Vicky Cooper
Not sure I am an afternoon or evening person anymore either ! ;) Well done Vicky excellent run and great new PB. As Phil says we will have you under 20 mins by next year. Actually I was quite pleased with race yesterday - as been in Dublin for a weekend wedding (I don't need to add more) Nonetheless you do expect your Raven club mates and friends to give you a bit of encouragement - come on Andy dig in or hold on to me or something similar when they come past. But no not a word she just put the boot in ! Lol
Andy Catton
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1-09-15
Newick Will Page 10k
I ran the above race for the first time on Sunday. I'd been told it was relatively hilly so decided to be a little cautious; however, despite a couple of testing inclines, it wasn't as bad as I had expected and I enjoyed a relatively comfortable race in pleasant conditions. Lost places on the downhill sections (as usual) but felt good on the uphills, particularly the last section which worked to my advantage as I gained several places. Came home in 31st place out of 178 finishers in a 10k pb (by three seconds.....I think!) of 42.20. More speed work and a few parkrun's will hopefully see further reductions going forward. Also, apologies to all who will be running (and Phil in particular), but having said that I would run the Assembly League this Thursday, I am now 90% likely to be in Wiltshire and therefore unable to take part.  I have to say that I'm disappointed to miss this race as it will no doubt be good to be part of a large Ravens contingent, but good luck to all who do run it, and hopefully next year, having made my Assembly League debut in 2015, I'll be able to run one or two more.
Kevin Cockram
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28-08-15
I ran the Property 5km last night in Regents Park. Having stood on every level of the podium over the last 3 years I was keen to get back to the top. The race always starts too fast and this year was no exception however I made the first turn in joint 1st with a triathlete who beat me into 2nd on the same course a few months ago in the Landaid 10km. I continued to push hard hoping his traithlon training wouldnt suit a faster race and he fell away by around 2km. However I suffered a little in the latter part of the race but held on for the win in 16m 30s which was very satisfying.
Andrew Mercer
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28-08-15
I also took part in the property 5k I managed to start with Andrew and could see him for a while. Ended up coming 18th in a time of 18.28 which is a 1 second pb from 2 years ago.
Paul Newton
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28-08-15
Mel Batty 10k
I raced the above race on sunday which is described a flat course, I would more like to say it is undulating any way as always give it my best shot. I had not been feeling well for 2 weeks suffering with a really bad cold and cough. The day was very overcast with a slight wind, went off at my normal slow speed of 6,12 per mile and was going to try and hold this for the first 5 miles and then just hang on, but after 3 miles I was running at around 6,30 pace and my breathing was suffering the second half of the race was tough but managed to hang onto a few guys and managed to cross the line in 40.30, which was 30 secs faster than my last 10k 6 weeks ago so must be doing something right.
Dave Miller
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24-08-15
Just been on two weeks vacation and am now on the injured list officially. I ran the North Downs Way 100 mile race two weekends ago in order to get points for the UTMB (as if I get the points I have a guaranteed place for next year after three years of trying to enter). I finished the race within cut off of 30 hours which was an achievement since there was almost a 40% drop out rate. Sadly my knee won't let me run so it's physio and I need a scan. Hopefully this can get diagnosed and sorted soon!
Mike McGeown
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23-08-15
After last week's late declaration, an early one: Tunbridge Wells Parkrun - 20.41 - 18 seconds off last week's PB.
Kevin Cockram
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20-08-15
BBC RUNNING CLUB 10KM RACE - REGENT'S PARK 20TH AUGUST @ 18:30
Official time 40:29 – but ran an additional 200m as we were sent the wrong way for 2 out of 3 laps! My ‘unofficial’ watch time had me just under 40 mins. Great North Run (13.1) up next for me in 2 weeks.
David Wilkinson
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20-08-15
I managed 39.47. It was a nice route around Regents Park though as David said limited number of marshals made it tough to know if you were heading in the right direction.
Alex Hardy
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20-08-15
A late declaration as I've been in Perth (Scotland!) for a few days. Last week (for the first time in ages) I managed to get along to both the Ravens Fartlek and Reps sessions. Phil has mentioned that if you could do at least 8 of the 10 fartlek sessions he has currently put together, you'd likely whack your current Parkrun PB for six. Well, after one of Phil's fartlek sessions and a Thursday rep session, I would like to declare a new PB for the Tunbridge Wells Parkrun which I ran last Saturday; my first time under 21.00...............20.59!! I admit this is not an overly special time by Ravens standards, but Tunbridge Wells isn't the quickest Parkrun you'll find and as I've been aiming to get under 21.00 for quite some time, 20.59 will do me nicely. So I guess the new challenge has to be to aim towards 20.30, and who knows, this may even lead towards achieving that which I've been banned from talking about in Ravens circles!
Kevin Cockram
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16-08-15
Just a brief race report for you. I was up at 4.00 am yesterday to compete in the Ely Olympic distance triathlon. This was a 1,500 meter river swim followed by a 44k bike and a 12k run so slightly longer than the usual standard distance triathlon. I managed to finish 10th overall and 1st in my age group and I was even slightly quicker than when I last did this race in 2013 in similar conditions. My run was just under a minute slower than last time, nonetheless I am at least getting a lot closer to the running form I had prior to my injury. I am still being cautious with my running by trying to avoid too much speed-work and running on trails as much as I can but last week was my biggest week in about 15 months at very nearly 30 miles….
Ian George
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16-08-15
Congrats Ian - nice work on winning your AG ! I had a comparative lie in, waking up at 4:30am yesterday for the Thorpe Triathlon out at Thorpe Park. After a disappointing race last month in the European Champs where I melted in the heat, I was keen to have a better race yesterday. I had a good swim - 2nd out of the water and was leading the race off the bike. I had a good run through the muddy trails around the lake with a time of 17:30 (just short of 5km) extending my lead to over a minute to take the overall win. 4 more weeks of hard graft before George and I head off to Chicago for the World Champs !
Rob Osborne
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15-08-15
Spitfire Scramble 24 hour Relay
I took part in the above from 12noon on Saturday to 12noon on Sunday. I’ve never done anything like this before so initially I was nervous about getting lost but I needn’t have as the 5.9M course was so well sign posted, that it was practically impossible (I say practically as I know someone who did). Ours should have been a team of 8 but there were only 7 of us. I completed 5 laps and feel fine today (surprisingly). 29.5 miles covered but I walked half a mile back from the showers so am claiming 30M! My splits were pretty even, 42:49, 44:43 46:26 (night time run), 44:57 and 44:47. It was a multi-terrain, undulating course in Hornchurch Country Park and another first would be the night time running and with a headtorch. First 100M or so to get used to it, then I felt like I was flying. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, so much so, I’ still buzzing and would definitely do this again and highly recommend it if your lifestyle allows.
VICKY COOPER
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13-08-15
Wimbledon Dash 5K
Having run easy for 3 days for the first time in nearly 6 weeks after the stress fracture, I entered the above race with some team mates from London City AC. Having been able to run at about 7 min/mile pace the day before for 6 miles I expected to be around a minute a mile slower than before the lay-off over 5k so as just hoping to break 20 minutes if possible. Put in a decent effort which felt pretty much as hard as running a sub-17 but managed 19.03. Getting 6 week xray tomorrow so am hoping that's positive and that can build up the training so try and get back to normal within the next few months.
Tim
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13-08-15
Yesterday was the Masters World Championships 10,000m in Lyon.
First things first, I ran a very disappointing 39.55 which is over a minute outside my PB. My target was sub 38 when I signed up several months ago. I went through 5k in just over 19 mins but then the heat and humidity and my lack of endurance took its toll in a big way. So not a good day at the office really.
That said, it's a fantastically organised event ( which you might hope for given the 90 euro entry fee!) and you really are made to feel like a proper athlete. Names printed on your race numbers, led from the warm up area to the track by a partially attired French woman and introduced to the crowd on the start line so that you can do the obligatory raised arm acknowledgement to all sides of the stadium.
I was 11th in the B race and first Brit. The other 6 Brits were in the A race but this is a pedantic technical detail I'm not prepared to discuss. Does this mean I was B race British Champion?
All hugely enjoyable even if not my moment of athletic glory and my enduring memory will be out-sprinting a Bolivan bloke named Jesus. There has to be a metaphor in there somewhere!
Steve Stanley
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13-08-15
A very brief race report - I competed in the Ironman 70.3 Dublin on Sunday. The swim is 1.9km and for the first 1000 meters we were swimming into the tide so times were going to be slightly down (1st pro took 28 mins when they’re usually about 23-24 mins). The shape of the course unfortunately meant we didn’t get the benefit of swimming with the tide. My swim time was 41:36 which put me 54th in age group/291. The bike course was fast and relatively flat and the 56 miles took me 2hrs 38:53 (av 21.15mph) which moved me up to 24th . The 13.1 mile run around Phoenix Park was a little slower than planned and took me 1:41:26. This gave me a total time of 5:09:05 (including transitions) which put me 22nd in age group and 285/2500 overall. The race was well organised and very well supported so I can recommend it to anyone considering it. There is also talk of a full Ironman in Dublin next year.
Ironman have a league table for age group athletes called the All World Athlete (AWA) which takes your best 3 IM / IM70.3 events - so to be fair it as much about quantity as quality but in the 70.3 rankings I’m currently 31st overall and 1st GBR athlete. This could well change as there are still a few events left this year.
Wesley Absolom
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4-08-15
Eastern Vets 2k
Mick and I were at the EVAC evening at Lee Valley. First I ran a pedestrian 800m in 3 minutes to get some points for the team. An hour later was the very unusual 2k.
I was very nervous about it as knew it was my best chance ever of being in the top 10 in the country for my age group for a race distance, and needed a quick visit to the loo 5 minutes before the race start. After the gun I was in 5th behind Mick and three fast V35's. I was always 1 to 3m behind them. With 600m to go the V35's put their foot on the gas and so I did too and caught Mick with 500m to go. We had a good tussle for 200m and then i ran as fast as I possibly could for the remainder of the race. Was very happy with 4th but surprised as I was given a slow 6.27 I was absolutely shattered afterwards, the most I have ever been after a shorter race, and could not have given any more. Then was a fun 4x100m and the SAC V50 relay team finished in our traditional last place. SAC won every meeting are in the final in 6 weeks time at Bedford and so I will concentrate on 1500m training up to then. Hopefully Chelmsford will also be there.
Simon LeMare
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4-08-15
Vicky Park Assembly League
The Vicky park assembly league
A perfect evening for running makes you forget about the trails and tribulations of getting to and from Vicky Par. It really is a lovely setting and nice to be back running an AL race which wasn't utter chaos, from an organisational point of view. Great to see so many Ravens and, as Phil says, I hope we can finish with a bang in Beckenham in September.
From my point of view, I was surprised with my run, as I had felt very jaded coming into the race and did not feel up for it at all, even when warming up, but once we got going, I felt relatively OK and managed to maintain a decent pace (for me) throughout. One of the good things about having so many Ravens out is that it gives you something to tag onto whilst racing. I have found that in several races this year, I have 'used' other Ravens to pull me along and last night was no difference. At various points I had Tucks, Lucy and Derv around me which kept me going, as well as being joined by a couple of my local rivals at a couple of points.
I managed to overtake both Lucy and Derv although, as at Battersea, Derv came back strong and just pipped me on the line. Both of us had strong finishes, pipping a number of other runners in the process. My watch time was 21:42, which was my best time on this course by 10 seconds from the AL race earlier in the summer. It is, by default, a PB for that distance. Managed to keep all my local rivals at bay as well so all in all very happy with my performance.
Marcus Elwes
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4-08-15
A short report. Finally beat Tony Tuohy! 4 seconds slower than last time 18:59.
Lee Martin
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4-08-15
I ran, I enjoyed it, I loved the atmosphere and being part of a very successful and sizeable Ravens team. All looking splendid in club colours too – they do stand out. Not sure of my time but had trouble staying ahead of Marcus and others – because they are running so well – well done Marcus on another PB. Been a good year for you. Also great to see Ricky out racing with us again. Thanks for the encouragement Phil. Roll on Beckenham on 3rd September.
Andy Tucker
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4-08-15
Good running guys, think we got a great result and obviously the female team was helped as Lucy believes she was 5th female!
Mile 1, settling in and finding pace (6.41), mile 2 finding targets and chasing down (6.44), mile 3 (or from the corner where we turned right after the first loop etc), (6.41) I started chasing a specific target, and got close but couldn’t close the gap at the apex (towards the end of the park) around the corner and down the long straight. Then battle ensued as I tried to take her but she wasn’t going down without a fight, she was elbowing me and despite the racing line being to the right, she was pushing me towards the left side of the path (dirty running?); I finally got past her but it had been a battle and a half and I still wasn’t sure she wouldn’t pass me back on the home straight after our left turn towards the finishing line. I tried to give it everything I had left (very little TBH) and thankfully she didn’t come back. I would say it was more of a mental battle than physical. My last .5 mile was 2.56 – don’t think I’ve ever run that fast!! According to my watch I finished in 23.02. No doubt she’ll be gunning for me at the last AL in September.
Vicky Cooper
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4-08-15
Wee & Pee 5k
We had a great afternoon in sunny Staines by the river on Saturday. Fabulous hospitality chez Hayward and a very friendly little race/fun run, as part of the proceedings. Not sure how may actually ran in total but Stu, Arif and Chris T made up the top 3, I squeaked 5th and Vicky was 2nd lady home. Norman and Bernie also ran for the Ravens, whilst Andy H was half and half Ravens/Ranelagh (he wore both shirts!). I think we 'won' the unofficial mob match against Ranelagh, who had, amongst others, Paul Sinton Hewitt running for them. Great to meet him afterwards. The other main drama of the day was Bernie taking a bit of a tumble toward the end of the run and, after some attention from Andy and others, finishing with blood pouring down his face from a nasty gash above his eye. It looked like he had been 12 rounds in the ring, not having completed a fun run! Chris, standing watching at the end, said reluctantly 'I suppose I better go and see how he is; he is my father...'.
Good to see long term injured Dave and Simon in support, along with Tucks and Catts (who were thwarted in their plans to run by the M25) plus Phil and Nikki.
Marcus Elwes
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4-08-15
Thanks very much to all those who came over for this race and for making it such a great day. According to Phil’s written results (which we had to rescue from the bin outside the pub later that evening!!!!) there were 26 finishers. 20 of those were either Ranelagh or Ravens and as a direct result of my plea to both clubs to come and support the race. So without all of you, there would have been eight runners (two of us would still have done it!). The landlady Becky was thrilled at the turnout, and the quality – her comment to me before the start was priceless – “Blimee – there’s people warming up!”.
A nice flat course but with two sharp turns, and a few ruts and roots in a couple of places to slow you down (or trip you up!). Slightly long, but with PB potential if correctly measured some time (maybe we can persuade Ranelagh’s Hugh Jones to come and measure it for us next year!). I came comfortably mid table, but really enjoyed the run. Actually I would have finished two further down the field but for Bernie’s tumble, and Rob Curtis stopping to help him.
I’ll leave it to others more used to working out results as to who won the informal mob match and by how much, but it looks like a Ravens comfortable win. The results are attached - all three podium places went to Ravens, with Stu Fraser winning the race from Arif Merali and Chris Tuck, and Becky Hall from Ranelagh just pipping Vicky Cooper from Ravens for the ladies prize, with Ranelagh’s Sonia Rowland third lady.
And thanks to all for coming back and having a party with us – a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and to celebrate my new venture. I think Arif came first in the BBQ stakes (so to speak!) having a couple of burgers in the pub before continuing at the house afterwards!
Andrew Hayward
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4-08-15
Last night I ran the Battersea Park – Sri Chimmoy 5k. I end it up with 17:38. It was a bit windy and I had not rested for the race as I was not sure if I was going to run it or not. I was pleased as I had a good race against a few guys and managed to out sprint them at the end, but I was very tired before and after the race.
Mick Bridgeland
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29-07-15
Outlaw Triathlon
So yesterday was my first foray into full distance triathlon, not being a veteran of such distance like some others(!) A beautiful start to the day but the forecast was not good. Got through the swim in one piece and through the first 3 hours or so of the bike before the heavens opened. And the rain did not let up. So a soggy end to the bike, got to admit that after about 100 miles I was getting ready for it to finish and counting down to the start of the run. Run was nice and flat and muddy in places, but I managed to constantly be picking people off. Despite being in my comfort zone, this was the tough part, body aching, definitely a case of mind over matter and getting through the miles. Very sore today, but very enjoyable experience and superbly organised event. Overall, time was 10:31:31, the marathon part run in 3:22:03, so very happy with that. 63rd overall, including teams, 46th individual and 8th in age group. Thanks to all those who encouraged / gave advice - it was noted, particularly the nutrition aspects.
Rupert Holden
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29-07-15
BMAF 10k Road Champs (Magor nr Newport, South Wales)
I ran the BMAF 10k Road Champs yesterday. I won the M55 age group in 35:38. It was a nice flat course, but the weather was wet and windy. Overall I was very pleased, I had a good race against one of my rivals, overtook him at 6k and pulled away from him by racing some of the younger racers. My wife cam 3rd in the M40 age group. I saw Andy Catton, who was not happy with his race. There was also a Welsh club who ran in Ravens colours, very confusing
Mick Bridgeland
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29-07-15
Great run by Mick (and his wife who came passed me around 3k like I was jogging). As Mick states "not happy" (sorry Phil I know it's all relative). Went through 5k in 20.20 which was ok but just running on empty all the way back and no fight in me. 9th M60 in a poor 41.37. Did come back with a gold medal though as with two Ilford team mates we won the 35/45 age group race (LOL!) Nice few days away in Wales though, especially the Penderyn Whiskey Distillery :)
Andy Catton
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29-07-15
I ran in the British Masters 5000m championships in Birmingham on Sunday. My 2 goals in the v50 race were to run a PB and to not come last. I opted for the just run as fast as you can from the beginning and forget about pacing yourself option. This seemed to work quite well for the first 8 laps and my distorted ego told me a sub 18 minutes was not totally impossible if I kicked on a bit. Sadly my legs were operating in the real world. Slapping heavy footed through the puddles I finished in 18.27.97, less than a quarter of a second outside my PB. Irritating to put it mildly but it was good to run in some exulted veteran company even if they did lap me a few times and I did achieve my other goal of not coming last - just. The first 3 (for those interested) were: Paul Whittingam 16.10, Simon Anderson 16.29 and Tony Tuohy 16.57.
Onwards and upwards I'm running in the 10,000m at the Masters World Championships in Lyon in a couple of week's time. I've seen the start list. There is a one legged pork pie seller from Murmansk who may well be slower than me as long as he doesn't bring his A game. It will probably be 30 degrees plus and I'm no expert but I reckon that 10,000m is twice as far as 5,000m. I feel sick already!
Steve Stanley
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29-07-15
Maldon Sprint Triathlon 2015
On Sunday I did the Maldon Sprint Triathlon which is my local race so was keen to perform well and push hard. I was 7th last year so I was hoping to be top 5 or maybe even on the podium.
Swim: Had a slight goggle problem and had the opportunity to stop and sort them, so sorted them at the downstream mark even though it meant letting a lot of people swim past! Still exited the water in 8th having swum back through the field.
Bike: Hit the bike hard being a bit annoyed with the swim and I know the roads really well so wasn't scared of pushing through corners etc. Caught up really well particularly during the headwind sections and finished the bike in 2nd position with the leader in my sight. Really pleased with this as I've been working hard on my cycling.
Run: Mostly on footpaths but with two trail sections totalling about c.700m each lap. caught the leader a bit in the first lap but couldn't close him any more in the second lap and finished on the podium in 2nd place with a big smile on my face!! Only 29 seconds behind the winner!
Times:
Swim 750m (Tidal): 13:01
Bike 28km: 49:14
Run 5km: 17:55
Total: 1:21:34 (Finished in 1:28:01 in 2014 so big improvement!)
George Wakefield
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29-07-15
36.06 and third lady was my result on Sunday at the Benfleet race Kirste 5M. It was awful, not specifically because of the dire weather although of course that didn’t help; the terrain was akin to cross country, very narrow paths for the first mile making overtaking impossible and pretty dangerous due to the bridges en route as well as really bumpy grass and then wooded area with lots of hazards (though they had been spray painted yellow). Although the mud was compact, due to the heavy rain Friday and Sunday, there was a top layer of slippy mud and I don’t think it would have mattered even if I had have worn my trail shoes. Got close to 2nd lady but not enough. Benfleet marshals are exceptional, very supportive and the best at all the events I’ve taken part in. That said, it’s not a race I’ll be entering again any time soon.
On Monday night, I was lucky enough to be offered a place in the Diamond relay team at the Olympic Stadium (Old Mutual, friend of a friend). Start was on the track, then out of the stadium, around the park and back in the track to finish. It was quite windy and not a flat course, so considering I’d raced on Sunday, I was pretty happy with my 21.42 time for the 5K. I ran the 5th leg so got to keep the baton at the end.
Vicky Cooper
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22-07-15
Last night I took part in Ilford’s Elvis race – 5M in Hainault forest, three hills, two laps. Last year I completed this in 37.22 (which was an improvement from the year before) and last night I completed it in 36.12. Jenni Sheehan and I (from Ilford) usually have a good battle at races, I managed to beat her last night. Crispin Bloomfield won the race but as Billericay Striders aren’t in the league, our guy Liv Ionita (who came second) scored the highest. (He’s coming on brilliantly now, winning the last Elvis race at Dagenham 88). I was happy with my performance, then ran home (thought it was about 6 or 7 miles, turned out it was 10). I even managed to find a £20 note, so happy days! Andy Catton won the V60 in an impressive time of 35.10.
VICKY COOPER
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22-07-15
Morrisons Great Newham London 10k AKA Olympic Park 10k race report
Ran the Olympic Park 10k along with Andy Catton and my son Dominic (17). Amazing day out along with ten thousand other runners. Not sure how, but started in the Elite section add saw quite a few other Essex runners that I recognised. Was overtaken by my son after 800m, and I was trying to keep Paul Mingay in my sights (he is nearer to Mick's league than mine). The course was very undulating with lots of bridges and moving from one level to another, lots of twists and turns and quite windy as well. Recognised lots of the different buildings from the Olympics. After 9k the stadium was in our sights, but seemed too close with just under 1k to go. Entered the building and ran a whole circuit of it on the ground flood, to the sound of Chariots of Fire and the commentary of Mo Farrah winning his race, it was very dry and dusty, then turned left onto the track. It was amazing seeing yourself on the big screen and your name on it, and hearing the commentator calling out your name, Simon Le Mare another good "older" runner. Dominic said he was surprised by how smooth and fast the surface was. Finished in 37.56 in 81st place. After arriving home found out that the age groups were all in 5 year bands, and i was in the 50 to 54 one, Paul Mingay beat me by 30 seconds and won the 55 to 59 and was shocked to see i had won the 50 to 54 group. Dominic was 6th in his age group in 39.27 so a great and unforgettable day out.
Simon LeMare
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22-07-15
Did this run as well. Was a warm one and agree that the Olympic Park is more undulating than you think. Finished in 43:56 which was a PB by 2 seconds. Amazing experience being able to run in the Olympic Stadium. Was 542nd overall and 57th in my age group.
Andrew Ferguson
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22-07-15
Seeing as I got a name check had better come clean and admit I ran as well ! I wasn't in the elite start. Started so far back I think Simon was well into his his 2nd k before I crossed the line lol. Spent first 5k weaving my way through the masses but despite having a training run felt very knackered at 7k - and the masses started passing me back ! Was hot and windy and a surprisingly tough undulating and twisty circuit. Good fun nonetheless and of course an iconic finish. Great runs by Simon (and son) and Andrew in the conditions. OK for the record 43.30 chip time. 5th race of the week. 200m, 800m and 3000m in Southern Vets league on Monday night followed by Ilford Hilly 5 trail race Wednesday evening (1st M60).
Andy Catton
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22-07-15
IMUK 2015
Things take longer in Ironman world,,,, including getting race reports out! Sorry I didn't hit the Monday morning "post bag" then, but here's a quick report on what is now my annual "pilgrimage" to Ironman UK. I normally get asked to confirm what exactly it involves, so to clarify, it's a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and then a marathon. Obviously all you runners out there will get that last bit. The clock starts at the start and finishes when you finish the run, so in true triathlon style part of the "fun" is getting through transition quickly. Well, what a day weather wise - I think we had the tail end of the weather that caused the golf to be cancelled. The rain wasn't a huge problem whilst swimming but what with the wind chill it meant the first couple of hours on the bike were teeth chattering ones! So basically it was one of those days to just knuckle down, but the wind on the bike was really pretty testing. Knuckle down I did though and got myself to the second transition in reasonable shape. So the marathon. Well it's not like marathon running as you guys 'n' gals know it. Taking on food and drink at the feed stations is critical, so it's a bit like an extended set of intervals from one feed station to the next. Great support though from the locals, partly helped by the fact that all of a sudden the sun came out!
My times:
Swim - 1:06;57
Bike - 6:11:50
Run - 3:43:05
Total - 11:14:23
Placed me 130th/2000 and pleasingly 10th in my age category. I say that because I'm at the "top end" of it so I look forward to being the youngest in the next one when I move up next year! Finally then the "pilgrimage" point.... Well Ironman UK has been going for 11 years now and I am one of only a handful of people to have done them all. Last year we numbered 7. This year we are down to 5 and I beat the nearest of them by 2 hours. So.... Ravens.....please continue to look after my running as you so brilliantly do. I'll be going back next year for number 12 and let's see how the other "repeat offenders" (as they call us) get on!!!!!
Dave Meller
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10-07-15
JP Morgan corporate challenge 8.7.15
So last night I took part in the JP Morgan corporate challenge run in Battersea park. The run is a 5.6k ( a distance I am told is derived from the distance between the 2 JP Morgan offices in New York) which loops around the outside of the park and the crosses back across the middle. I am not a huge fan of mass participant races with the dodging etc that comes with it but this was the first race that I have had the opportunity to repeat a year on having taken up running last summer. The race goes off in waves and I had this year had the foresight to get myself in the front wave. I saw Mr Laing (well the back of him) briefly at the start. Needless to say that was the last I saw of him. As usual got a bit carried away at the start and looked at my watch at the first K to see I was running 5.15 min mile pace. Managed to pull myself back to a more comfortable rhyme. Finished in 20:51 which is considerably quicker than my 22.43 last year, it felt just as hard all the same. I had made the statement before that if I didn’t improve maybe I would quit training. So nice to know that the training is working. Improvements I lay a lot of at the Ravens door.
Chris Tuck
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10-07-15
Having not run the Horndon on the Hill 10k due to a bizarre potato related accident, this was my first race since London 2014. Delighted to run 21.45 which is nearly a minute faster than 2013 which was the year that I ran a PB at every distance. Gave Pete Osborne a good kicking. I spotted Damian Gold – who ran 20.34. Damian – are you out there? – was it something we said?
Robin McCoy
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10-07-15
I started at the front of the first group and ran the first km at about 16.30 5km pace and was over taken by what felt like a million people. I spent the next 4.6km over taking most of the people who flew past me in the first km. When you do events like this it makes you appreciate when you race with experienced runners, who you know and can use as a basis to pace yourself. My time was 19.52, bit disappointed as it is off compared to my other recent performances.
Robert Laing
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10-07-15
Yes, as Robin mentioned I got a good kicking from him. Ran 23.07, actually quicker than I did 2 years ago. I fell the group needs to hear more about the potato related injury. One of the best reasons for a DNS I’ve ever heard.
Peter Osborne
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10-07-15
I managed a 21.12 last night down a little from last year but had awful start from the red wave too congested!
Paul Newton
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10-07-15
Hi All. I've not been out with the group at lunchtime since I started a new job at XL about 18 months ago. I'm still running regularly but have a whole new routine doing most of my running on the way home. I still enjoy reading everyones' race reports. As Robin said I ran the JP Morgan run on Wednesday. I thought it was pretty well organised for a mass participation event plus it was for a good cause. I did see Robin a few rows back in the pen at the start (how can you miss him!). I was hoping to run faster than last year when I managed 20.25 as I'm in pretty good shape at the moment but it got away from me on mile 3 and I ended up with 20.34. Cheers.
Damian Gold
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10-07-15
Standard Chartered great city run 9.7.15
I ran the Standard Chartered great city run last night. It’s nice to be able to run in the streets around the city, though it is far too busy a run for my liking. Looking at the results I was 155th overall out of a field of several thousand. 155th is not far off where I’d finish in the Assembly league races, out of a few hundred. Give me ‘smaller’ race any day! I recall Vicky saying last year about seeing people taking gels before the race and saw some of them last night too. Totally pointless for a 5k in my view.
Managed 18.34 and was reasonably happy with that, though I think it felt as though it was slightly longer than 5k.
Saw Dave, Vicky, Marcus who all ran well and Phil who looked very smart.
Steve Glackin
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10-07-15
Ran this yesterday evening. Saw Vicky, Francesca, Dave and Steve G, plus a few of my local mates running for their companies.. Think I heard Phil cheering me on as I came in, but that may just have been in my head (it happens)! Managed to get in the fast start pen this year, so less of the race spent dodging other people than last year. Watch time 19:15. Had hoped to sneak under 19 minutes but didn't quite have the legs after a busy week or so racing. Steve was 18:30ish, Vicky once more under 21 and Francesca around 23 something. I don't know what Dave did. Good fun but still a little bit of a silly race with all the fancy stuff for a 5k. It seems like you spend ages getting prepared and positioned at the start and then it’s over in a flash. I was 236th in 19:16. First for my company which was all that really mattered.
Marcus Elwes
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10-07-15
I was 489th in 21:00 which was 34 seconds quicker than last year and a PB. Sebastian was 503rd with 21:03 and Francesca was 64th women with 21:55. Well pleased with my time suffered a bit towards the end but wasn’t much left in the tank.
Andrew Ferguson
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10-07-15
Well done everyone who raced last night, finished in 20.18, started right at the back and spent the 1st mile dodging lots of people but mile 2 was 6.10 and mile 3 around 5.50 so pleased with my finish.
Dave Miller
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8-07-15
Bewl 15
I ran this yesterday morning, along with Andy T, Mike and Kevin, the latter two being members of Wadhurst Runners, who organised the event. I have to say, in terms of organisation and extras it is one of the best races I have entered. And one of the toughest ('pah' says Andy). This is a mainly trail run around picturesque Bewl water, in the heart of Sussex. There is one small stretch (a mile of so?) on road, but the rest of it is woodland trail, including styles and gates to navigate, in addition to the usual tree routes and rutted earth. I suspect it is very picturesque run on a bright sunny summer day, however, yesterday it was run almost entirely in the rain, sometimes very heavy, which made it even more treacherous, as the muddy parts were quite slippy. Conditions tailor made for Andy (a pig in the proverbial on the day) and designed to send me tumbling more than once, I feared. I had no real intention of 'racing' this one, having been out drinking for most of Saturday (and a bit of Friday), and was planning just to use it as a long training run. Needless to say though, once underway, that thought went out of the window as I hared off far too fast. I maintained a reasonable pace through the first 5 miles clocking in around 37 minutes. I was passed by a motoring Mike fairly early on; Andy have torn off at the beginning, never to be seen again. I slowed for the second 5, coming through in around 75 minutes. The last 5 was a real struggle, especially as a lot of it is uphill and my legs were completely shot. This is the longest race I have done since London in 2013 and the longest trail/XC I have ever done, so perhaps it was no surprise. Anyway I finished in 1:55:28, just outside the top 100. Tucks stormed it and came in 42nd, around 10 minutes ahead of me. Mike was 62nd in 1:48 something and Kev 1:58 something. Whilst I was a little disappointed with my time and performance in the latter stages, I achieved my aim of getting round and with the added bonus of not falling over once, although coming quite close on a couple of occasions. After the race, you get loads of goodies, including technical t shirt, free cakes (yum) and beer (always as winner!). Fab event all round though my legs are really feeling it today! Also great to catch up with Mike and Kev, on their local patch, at the end.
Marcus Elwes
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8-07-15
Yes, as Marcus has so eloquently explained, I was a pig yesterday. A lovely race round the not so flat circuit of Bewl reservoir with the added excitement of a slippery wet course. I had a fairly good run and enjoyed the conditions – it is usually blisteringly hot rather than soggy. Marcus did beat me in the post-race beer and cake event though. Great to see many familiar faces including Mike and Kevin resplendent in their Wadhurst Runners vests. We4ll done to them all.
Andy Tucker
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8-07-15
As reported by both Marcus and Andy, Sunday saw 650 + finishers at the Bewl 15. I personally didn't get off to a good start; bad positioning and managing to cut my knee on some wire which was sticking out of a hedge before I'd even crossed the line! I thought this might be more of an issue than it turned out to be and was relieved that the bleeding stopped after about 3 miles - probably because the wound was covered in mud! My other issue was that it was a day for trail shoes - the problem being that I don't possess any! (soon to be rectified). I therefore had to take things pretty steadily for the mile or so down to the reservoir and then at various places around the course. Apart from the slippery nature of the course (which at 7am I have been reliably informed was like a dustbowl and was no doubt back to a similar conditions by 5pm!) the weather made for a relatively pleasant running environment and one which I knew would appeal to Mr Tucker! Before the rain my aim had been to try and get under two hours but given the conditions on the day, I thought that unlikely. However, I just tried to run as consistently as I could, slowing when things looked too slippery for my racing slicks! With a around three miles to go I began to realise that a sub 2 hour time was looking possible, although I knew that things would be tough for the majority of the final mile where the course climbs back up the reservoir via field and track to the start/finish line. As I gained the track, I had managed to catch up with a fellow Wadhurst Runner and I stuck with her as we came round the final bend. I'd like to say I was a gentleman and allowed her to cross the line first, however I think the reality was that I didn't have the energy to get passed her! I came 145th out of 684 finishers with a chip time of 1.58.43, knocking 2.20 off my time from last year. Had I run in trail shoes, I guess my time would have been quicker but there are probably a few hundered other runners who could say the same thing! It was good to chat with Marcus and Andy at the end over beer, tea and cake and great that Mike was able to don the Wadhurst vest and place so well for the club. Hope to see another strong Ravens contingent at Bewl next year.
Kevin Cockram
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8-07-15
I ran the Brentwood (Blackmore) 10k yesterday, it was also the Essex 10k Champs. I ended up with 36:02 gun, 36:01 chips, I could see the clock as I approached the line and could not quite dip under 36. The first and last 4k were ok, but I struggled in the middle 2k between 4k and 6k – I think this is where last week’s Weds and Thursdays races caught up with me. I came 2nd M50, Dave Tullett from my club who has just turned 50 was a long way ahead of me, Chelmsford also managed to get a team out and came 3rd. Overall I really enjoyed the race and it’s all good prep for the BMAF Vets 10k Champs at the end of July, I reckon low 35s is still on.
Mick Bridgeland
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8-07-15
I also ran the Brentwood 10k yesterday, I ended up running just under 41 mins very pleased with the time as I am training for 5ks at the moment, looking to move onto 10ks in September. I also had a bad patch between 3k and 6k but managed to push on for the last 4k.
Dave Miller
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8-07-15
As home turf I also ran the Brentwood 10K. Wasn’t ideal prep as arrived on start line rather hangover. Enjoyed it, and managed a 38.28. Didn’t know if I struggled as felt sick whole way round !
Pat Young
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8-07-15
I also entered the Brentwood 10 km. Two courses of antibiotics for a chest infection and no running in last three weeks was not preparation I wanted, but given that I missed the Insurance 5km, Ravens 5km, Assembly League and Hordon 10km I needed the points to keep ahead of Meadows … I jogged/ran around and finished in 47:37 which I am happy with. Just to add to Sir Michaels low 35’s comment below …
My 7- year old son, who is a fully paid up and card carrying member of the Mick Bridgeland fan club after cheering him on the at finish commented ..” He didn’t look like he was trying that hard”
Lyndon Bubb
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8-07-15
After running a short 5K on Thursday, it was my luck to run Watford parkrun on Saturday morning only to discover that too is short. I’ve notified the Ambassador who looks after this parkrun so no doubt it will be rectified. I too ran the Brentwood 10K. Nothing like the old course (not as tough). There was a lovely trail section that I rather enjoyed, not least because it’s where I took down one of the Dagenham 88 boys who I don’t normally catch. I died around 4K but managed to bring it back and was overtaking people after about 6K. I had a battle with another female in the last 1K; I’d been catching her steadily for a while and we changed positions a few times but she was stronger in the end, finishing with a sprint. I finished in 10th female place and a new PB of 42.14. Didn’t quite manage to keep all miles under 7 (had 2 at 7.04) but avg page was 6.48 so I’m getting there.
Vicky Cooper
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3-07-15
EVAC report – 1.7.15
Lee, Mick and I ran the mile last night, swiftly followed by the 4x200m relay. I also ran (jogged) the 400m 20 minutes before the mile, to get some points for the team.
Due to the 400m I ended up doing my longest ever warm up. My mile PB was 5.10.9 and was going to aim for 5.08. Ran three 77second laps so was on track for 5.08, but felt surprisingly good, and then ran hard for the last lap. I was quite shocked to do it in 70 seconds and ended up with 5.01.1 A PB by nearly 10 seconds, so very chuffed. (I was rubbish in the 200m relay, and Lee Mullered me as we each ran the first leg).
Simon LeMare
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3-07-15
After my Battersea Park AL disaster last month, I'm going to "limit" myself tonight to a nice and sensible first 3k! Although, because I was running in flats last night rather than spikes, my calves feel fine and dandy. I stuck close by Scott and pushed on to take the EVAC honours in 4:53. Scott ended up 2 seconds behind him and the non-scoring Mark Waine and Dobbo ended up 4:57, 5:00. Pleased with the race after 18 long hot holes at the London Golf Club - which is not a good course for me (a real hacker)
Lee Martin
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3-07-15
What can I add to Simon's report, great run Simon, and Lee for winning the race in a new PB. I saw his last fast lap as he overtook me. My tactic was to go out with Lee and Scott Rice and try to build up a lead on Simon, it worked for 1209m, unfortunately I could not match Simon's last lap burn up, I ended up with 5:09.1.
Mick Bridgeland
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3-07-15
Wimbledon Common Trail Run 1.7.15
The third in the three race Wimbledon Common Trail Run series organised by Andy Bickerstaff last night, was the longest run at 8 miles (the previous two are 5 miles). The fact that it started at 7pm on the hottest July day ever recorded, and the hottest day in a decade (when it had been 38’C/98’F at 4pm) was unfortunate! The dropout rate of 20% told you all you needed to know about conditions! I haven’t run this far in many months, but had paid my entry fee months ago and love running on Wimbledon Common, so decided to give it a shot. It was a two lap course, and I realised two miles in with six to go that in those brutal conditions, combined with my lack of match fitness I just wasn’t having fun, and decided I would stop at the half way point and record my first ever DNF. I walked up the Toast Rack (which I’ve never had to do in the hundreds of times I have run it before) talking to a girl who was also walking and also never had done so before (she had never previously DNF’d either, but expressed her intention to do so tonight). At the half way point where I could have dropped out, I gave myself a stern talking to, tipped about a gallon of water over my head and started the second lap (I looked back and saw that the girl had indeed dropped out). A laboured second four miles, but I did it, and despite a ridiculously slow time, felt I had achieved something.
Andy Hayward
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3-07-15
Assembly League race 4 – 2.7.15
Another good turn out from the Ravens on another muggy evening, including debutant Iain Davie. This is the first time I have done a race here and I would have to say that, sadly, it is my least favourite for the AL course. Too cramped, not massively interesting and all a bit chaotic for my liking. As to the race itself, I knew I was not on top form, having run most of the way home the night before to avoid the oven temperatures on our slow moving (and sometimes non-existent) trains, so planned to set off fairly slow/steady and see what happened. Having done a Mick Bridgeland endorsed warm up session and a lot of standing around trying to work out where the start line was and which direction we were supposed to be going, we set off. Having intended to start of slowly, I was helped enormously by the fact that I couldn't actually do anything else given the crowd and it was probably about a km in before any space opened up. The two Steves moved ahead of me early and with no Keith, I had no other Raven to chase, so I stuck with my usual Kent crowd the best I could. One nice thing about the course is it doubles back on itself twice so you get to see the front runners and I was mightily impressed t see Rob battling it out at the front on the first turn. Mick and Lee were also well placed. I pushed on in the 2nd half and managed to finish ahead of the key people I wanted to (including a Beckenham lady who 'chicked' me at last weekend's parkrun!), and came in on 18:57. Like others, I suspect the course a little short, but was happy enough with a sub 19 minute finish in the circumstances. I have no idea how the others did, although I think Rob dropped back a bit from the front guys, but still a tremendous effort. Vicky also put in a storming run.
Marcus Elwes
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3-07-15
Some great performances last night. I paid the price for Quick start I could hear Mick chuckling to himself as I shot off 3:06 for the first km then started to slow ! I got overtaken by about 6 others ended up with 16:08 by my watch 7th or 8th overall I think. Great turnout and much more pleasant evening than Wednesday.
Rob Osborne
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3-07-15
Great start ! and a great run overall 7th or 8th is a very good position in a race of that quality. I enjoyed the race, I got overtaken in the final straight by a very fast Peter Smale, great to see you back Peter even if you did beat me. Unfortunately I could not quite overtake the first women, I need that extra 80-100m ! I think it is now 2 all between me and her in the Assembly league. I ended up with about 16:52, not too far behind Lee who I could still see in the distance, George was only just behind me, no idea what positions we were in.
Mick Bridgeland
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3-07-15
I didn't have my GPS watch on but it felt a fair bit short to me. I felt like I was running at 19 minute 5k pace but I finished in 18.40 so 100m short is about right.
Steve Stanley
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3-07-15
I didn’t want to run this race; all day yesterday I was undecided and even when I received my number I was in two minds. However, what made my mind up was the fact that it was only 3.1 miles and the Ilford AC chap who is only 40 this year and due to falling off his ladder in January, will never walk, talk or feed himself ever again but was an avid runner and managed (I think) 2.48 at Dublin last year and would probably love to have the ability to run. I decided to start near the back and just take it steady and enjoy it. Unlike Marcus, I really did enjoy the course last night. It was fairly scenic, the breeze off the water was nice and it was flat! When I went through the first mile and checked my watch, it showed 6.40. Oh great I thought, now my watch is recording stupid times too and will probably need replacing! I carried on and slowly started to overtake people. When my watch beeped for the second mile, it was still well under 7 minutes so I still thought, don’t get carried away, still a mile to finish. I then got to, and passed the Kent chap I had a battle with a the previous ALs and also took a VPH girl, couldn’t quite get the one ahead of her before finishing. My Garmin showed a finishing time of 20.21 – which even I didn’t believe. Now we know the course is short, it makes sense, but it would still have been a sub 21 minute 5K so I am once again a happy girl.
Vicky Cooper
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3-07-15
I Finished.
Andy Tucker
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2-07-15
I ran the Springfield Striders Friday 5 Mile race last Friday. I was a bit nervous before the start because I haven’t raced as far as 5 miles since the Great Bentley 1/2 m at the beginning of Feb. I ended up coming 5th in 29:00, I managed to out sprint Gary chandler in the last uphill 400-500m, but I must admit the mile between 3 and 4 was hardwork, but I could see Gary struggling in front of me and that kept me going. This is a 2 lap undulating country lane course, starting and finishing at Pleshey (a quite Essex village) village hall. My wife also ran and came 4th woman. Included in the entry fee was a free burger that I washed down with a couple of beers, a good fun evening.
Mick Bridgeland
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2-07-15
I did the Nonsuch ParkRun at the weekend with the wife as we had child care for the first time in ages and as she is only 7 weeks post giving birth. Having been out the night before drinking and eating the opposite of what might be considered good carb loading and a little leg heavy from the 5K on Thursday I wasn’t expecting a quick time on a hot morning with 500 other people. Once I had got past the people who for some reason sprint the first 1K / 2K and then fall by the wayside I went through half way in 8:55 but slowed in the second half to 18:19 which got me home in 10th, I am happy with that the wife came home in a respectable 35 minutes as she was taking it easy, not last by a long way so she was also happy.
Duncan Anderson
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2-07-15
I did the 3000m yesterday at the Eastern Veterans T&F championships in the glamorous epicentre of East of England athletics, Luton. An eclectic mix of sub 9 minute 35 year olds and sub 20 minute octogenarians. I quite enjoy 3k as it's no more painful than 5k but it's over a bit quicker. Quite good running conditions and a few people to run with so I managed a PB of 10.48, 4th overall and 1st V50 (but still 45 seconds behind the first V55!)
Steve Stanley
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25-06-15
The Wall Ultra Marathon 69 miles

A report in inverse proportions to the race you'll be glad to know! On Saturday, myself and fellow Raven, Paul Cole ran 'The Wall' ultra following Hadrian's Wall between Carlisle castle in Cumbria to the Gateshead Millennium bridge in Newcastle. It is 69 miles in total distance. About 500 people started all of whom had 24 hours to finish. The course is varied and follows roads as well as off-road trails and for the first half it is extremely hilly. The race started at 7.00am and having agreed to run together, Paul and I left the drawbridge of Carlisle castle behind and after clearing some early bottle necks of bunching runners settled into a pace of between 8 and 9 mins per mile and aimed to walk the hills and then reel in anyone who passed us. This strategy not only was successful but provided some sport. We went through the marathon in just over 4 hours but the steep terrain meant that we never reached 30 until around 5 hours. Half way brought an end to the major hills and we concentrated on knocking off sections of 10 miles. At the 50 mile mark the race transitioned from something that had been fun into hard graft. I had a bad patch which running with Paul helped me get through since Paul's feet were so blistered and sore he found it easier to run that walk! As we tired our pace dropped to around 9 min per mile for a bit. After you have done 50 plus miles it is all mental. It seems very unfair that you've run so far and yet the 3 miles to say the next check point do not come easy and need to be earned. Your lungs are in good shape but your leg muscles are screaming 'why(!)' every step you take. The final check point seemed to never arrive but felt amazing when we finally got there as there were only 7 miles to go. I have no idea where we found the energy from but we seemed to fly through those final miles with only a couple of short breaks and even managed to increase the pace to 7.45 on sections of the entry into Newcastle. We were greeted by bright sunshine and the Tyne's six bridges and cheers from drinkers along the quayside and managed a sprint finish. I think I may have over celebrated before we crossed the line as Paul pipped me by a second. We finished in a time of 12 hours and 43 minutes in 39th and 40th place respectively. A fantastic race and it was a pleasure on an ultra to run with someone so evenly matched as Paul and I were. Shame we didn't know that when we had signed up as if we had entered as a pair we would have won the pair (team) category! Whist we went off for food and a celebratory beer afterwards we were very aware that many would be running throughout the night to achieve their goal and it was to them as well as ourselves that we raised a glass!
Mike McGeown
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25-06-15
Ranelagh Richmond 10K
Not sure my tiny 10k run deserves a race report after Mike’s impressive efforts. I can not imagine how tough that must be. I by comparison had a bit of a jog around the Richmond 10k organised by Ranelagh and as promised by Andy Hayward this was indeed a flat and fast course ( I did not grace it with a fast pace myself). Due to a last minute convenience break I found myself right in the middle of the start rather than a bit further forward as I would have liked. I tried to tell myself mentally that this was a good thing an prevented me from going off to fast as is normally the case and did indeed go through the first mile in the 5:50 target, however I then duly decreased and ran the race at an even pace but over the 6 min miles. This saw me finish in a time of 38:06 and 94 overall. I overtook some people in the last kilometre as I strived to try and keep under 38 mins but was foiled by the last part going pass where I thought the finish line was only to loop back and lost a few places as a few came back past me. Despite the slower than desired time, I feel everyone of these races is a new experience and did actually enjoy being out racing again after 2 and half weeks on holiday. I was also very impressed with the event and even receiving a text within 2 hours of finishing with my official time and position. Will definitely look to try and run it again next year.
Chris Tuck
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25-06-15
Not so serious, was the Bi-annual Terling Tournament - it is one of those "quaint" country village type things. The final event is always the pram race. Home built cart, 5 pushers allowed. Fancy dress compulsory. One lap of the village including a trip through the long ford. Double points for the best fancy dress. We won the fancy dress but got pipped by the boys from the local Rugby Club who had a much more efficient cart.
Scooby (Lee Martin)
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25-06-15
I ran the Lullingstone Park run on Saturday along with Marcus and Andy. The famous Kent mafia on tour. What a lovely Park run, set on the slopes on the Darent Valley, it was either uphill or downhill but never flat. We set off and all three of us were going well but were overtaken on the first hill. I went with the leader and was behind him by about 20 feet for the first lap. On the second lap I got a bit closer and began to entertain the thought of actually crossing the line first. But every time I tried to overtake he kicked on. I tried about 4 times and each was the same. Finished in 20 .08 which I’d say was pretty good for that course. Afterwards we went on a warm down run along the river, past Lullingstone castle and the Roman villa. So what have the Romans given us? Well judging by the ‘Villa’, sheet metal, plastic, double glazing and car parks. Oh and I seem to recall learning about Roman roads at school, that they were flat and straight. Well not round Lullingstone they’re not. They’re all windy and uphill. Joking aside, this is in my opinion the loveliest park run I’ve done and looking forward to trying it again sometime.
Steve Glackin
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25-06-15
Yes as Steve says, a lovely if somewhat challenging parkrun. I had entertained hopes of a Ravens 1-2-3 but we had a pesky interloper who spoilt our plans and pushed us down to 2-3-4. Tucks was so unimpressed with this turn of events that he made us go for a 5k warm down. I recorded a new PB in not once falling over once during the entire proceedings.
Marcus Elwes
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25-06-15
Horwich BMAF National Master 5k Road Champs
I ran the BMAF 5k Champs on Sun in Horwich (nowhere near the distance that Mike ran). I came 2nd in my age group and beat one of the guys who beat me in the Master xc Champs. Unfortunately the windy conditions meant that fast time were not on, it was all about the race and positions, I had a great tussle for most of the race with the guys who came 3rd and 4th, great fun. I ended up with about 17:18, about 13 secs behind the winner.
Mick Bridgeland
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25-06-15
IM 70.3 report
I was competing in Kronborg (Denmark) yesterday at the Ironman 70.3. Thankfully on race morning the rain had stopped and the wind had dropped to about 12-15 mph. The swim (1900 metre) was dreadful, 2 laps in icy cold water in the small harbour where the course was far too tight for about 400 competitors at each start wave. After getting kicked, punched and swum over quite a few times I had a slow disappointing time of 39 minutes. The 56 mile bike was a nice course despite the wind and I was pleased with my time of 2:48:44 (av20mph). The 13.1 mile run was interesting being on road, off road, round a castle, down some steps, across a railway track then along the beach on rubber mats - so a strange course for an Ironman event. My run time was 1:40:26 which gave me an overall time including transitions (x2) of 5:17:00. 54th in age group out of about 210. I was pleased with my overall time considering how badly the day had started - I know the areas I need to work on but don't think I'll be re-visiting Kronborg to race.!
Wes Absolom
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25-06-15
Rotary River Run 10km
Very early on Sunday I had to force myself out of bed to go and do the Rotary River Run 10km (2 laps: 1 x 6.5, 1 x 3.5). It’s a local race to me and is a nice route along the un-paved seawall next to the river if you are just going for a run, but is hard to race along as it is very rough and definitely dangerous for ankles and knees etc especially when also damp from the rain on Saturday. Could not have been less up for the race when I woke up, but in its inaugural year last year I won it in 37:53 so felt duty bound to return and give it a go. This year I thought there would be some better/more runners etc – so just wanted to get a PB over the course – expecting club runners to have discovered it and so push me down the pack. But I came 2nd in 37:11 having backed off a bit over the 2nd lap trying to preserve my ankles and my knee from the rough course, and being able to see first place (Scott Cousins – Springfield Striders) a way off in front and not being able to see third place behind me at all – so didn’t have to murder myself over the last 3km. Glad I got out of bed and happy with a course PB in the wind and over the rough ground but next Sunday I’m sleeping until 11!
George Wakefield
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25-06-15
Fritton Lake Olympic(ish) Triathlon
Sunday I did the above event, the "ish" bit comes in as the cycle was 4k short due to road works on the usual route. Having spent the previous day at Hyde Park watching Blur and not getting to bed until 1:30 my preparation was more "Follow the Bear" than "Simon La Mare". Not ideal prep for my 5:45 alarm. Having lost a contact lens in the swim Sunday became Saturday when the whole thing was a blur. I wasn't doing it for a particular time just to enjoy the event. Finished in 2:34 which I was happy with. As per previous events my swim and run were respectable and my cycle and transitions very slow.
Chris Meadows
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25-06-15
Heathfield 10k
As for me a brief and late(ish) report from the Heathfield 10k which I ran on Sunday. This wasn't actually in my planned schedule of races for the year but I'd been told it was potentially a good points scorer for Wadhurst so decided to do my bit as it was also pretty local. For those that know the Crowborough 10k there are some horrible similarities; namely hills! Basically you head straight down hill for about 1.5km, run a lumpy 7km and then run back up the 1.5km you ran down at the start. Chuck in some warm weather, a general feeling of lethargy and a lap round a sports field at the top of the final climb and you get (in my case) not a particularly great time by Raven standards - 45.08 for 53rd out of 212. Still, hopefully makes a course PB next year a distinct possibility!
Kevin Cockram
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19-06-15
Insurance Association Athletics Championships
A fun night down at Battersea again. I entered the 1500, 400 and Javelin as well as being roped into running the medley relay as part of the SR team. Ran what I thought was a good 1500 and finished in 4th place - but when I checked my time later it was 3 seconds slower than 2 years ago. Still I beat Dominique and Rupert which is all that matters really ;-) There was a bit of controversy as a number of runners (a certain M. Bridgeland amongst them) didn't turn up for the start but were allowed to run in a "B" race after the main event. As far as I'm concerned there were only 3 runners on the track ahead of me so I FINISHED 4TH ! 400 was even more disappointing as I was 2 seconds slower than 2 years ago (63s this time) . Legs were weary from the 1500 but then they were last time as well. The javelin was good fun but I was nowhere near the top - but didn't injure myself or anyone else so glad I did it as it also gives you something to do between races. As we then had ~1 1/2 hours before the next event 3/4 of our relay team went for a snack - which turned into a full plate of pasta at a nearby Italian - we were just about sensible enough to stay of the Peroni! Returning for the relay seemed like the wrong thing to do but we were actually well placed after the second leg (thanks to Matt - the 1/4 who didn't go to the restaurant). I then managed to blow away all his good work before handing over to Rupert "I only do marathon pace" Holden to run the last 400m. Needless to say we didn't get a medal. All in all a really good night.
Keith Skilling
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19-06-15
Well done Keith, despite you looking very tired in the 400m you still ran 63 secs. When I picked my number up for the 1500m Christine, the organiser, informed me that the start would be delayed because the school children were still using the track. Unfortunately this message did not go out to all runners or the starter, so I was not on the start line when your 1500m started. Luckily there were four us who had received the same message so they ran a second race and put the times of both races together. My time was well down on recent 1500m, don’t know why, but at least I had a race even though I got beat by two guys on the last lap.
Mick Bridgeland
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19-06-15
Yes, 18.50 or thereabouts for me. Bit disappointed with that as I ran 18.28 on the track 2 weeks ago. Bit hot and muggy for me and spent most of the time running on my own in the middle of the pack. They're my excuses anyway.
Steve Stanley
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19-06-15
I am in a similar position to Steve. Not a great run and was over a minute down on my 5k track time last time out. Ran the 800m as well and an equally disappointing time 4 seconds slower than my previous efforts followed. Am chalking it all up to experience and if nothing else a chance to get out and run a bit more on the track.
Chris Tuck
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19-06-15
Ran the inaugural Dino Dash in CP Park last night. Very well organised too by the Crystal Palace fun runners. It was a relay event - 5k for each lap and teams made up of 3. I ran with the Bromley Vets and was 3rd off. There was a big contingent from Striders of Croydon who won it (saw young Serena there too) . Beckenham and Dulwich well represented too along with a few from Kent. It was a one lap 5k race starting at the top of the park , running to the lake at the bottom and back up again. I did the first 2 k in 7m 10 and was much much slower for the uphill 2, finishing by my watch in 19m 22 secs. Great to be racing again, even though the old legs were still feeling the effects of Sundays high elms 10k!
Steve Glackin
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16-06-15
Along with some other Ravens, I ran the Southend half marathon. Pretty good conditions, although the last 30 minutes was quite warm. Came 24th out of 2000 in 82.36, second V50 to a good Chelmsford runner called Dave Tullett who was 50 years and 4 weeks old. Did all the right training and taper, but missed a PB by 30 seconds which I was disappointed with. My problem was indigestion which I had from 2 miles. I ate the same food at the same time before the race which I always have, but since I started eating an extra cereal with fruit and nuts every day at work for the last 9 months, I have generally not been as hungry. I had slight indigestion at the Manchester marathon, but running 25 seconds a mile slower meant it was not as bad. So for the next morning races, I will have to experiment with slightly less food and eat slightly earlier until I get it right. I did lose 2 lots of 10 seconds during the race, one lot from lapping people, there were many people on the second of 2 laps who on occasions blocked the road, the guy I was running with most of the time got very angry, especially when we could not pass them at a roundabout.
Also for some stupid reason there was a car doing the race on the seafront road which I met at the 180o turnaround point, I could not get round it, and lost 10 seconds there. I had just had an energy gel before I was stuck behind the car, I was looking for a bin to throw the wrapper in, but was so annoyed by the car, I threw it inside the passenger window.
Simon LeMare
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16-06-15
Ran the Southend Half Marathon yesterday. Thought the conditions were perfect but as Simon said it did get quite warm during the race. Lined up with Jason at the start and we went merrily along at 7.15 miling up until about 8/9 miles when my will deserted me and Jason loped off into the distance. Managed to recover at about 11 miles and as usual sprinted (or as near to a sprint as I can muster) to the finish line. Enjoyed the race but I do need to sign up for a few more of the longer runs that you guys go on during the week. Next time someone says they are leaving at 12.30 for a longer one count me in….. That is until I think of some suitable excuse as to why I can’t make it! Anyway, on a good note I finished 188th out of 2053 runners and 10th out of 109 runners in the M50 category and next year I will be an M55.
  
See attached for photos of all the ravens in the finishing straight and one of myself and Jason looking like we are out for a very gentle morning jog. Thanks to Ian George, Wes and Dave M for the encouragement along the way. I ended up doing 1.36.30 and Jason 1.34 something.

Phil Priest
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16-06-15
Orpington / High Elms 10k Sunday 14th

Ran this yesterday along with Marcus and Andy, making a trio of the Kent mafia Dons. This is a tough 10k, as my aches and pains this morning will testify, but knowing the course makes a big difference. Having done this last year, I remember only too well how testing this run is, particularly the hills at 7 and 8k. This time I felt much better throughout and really enjoyed the race. I knew what to expect, and though the one at 8k is especially tough going , once you get to the top its all downhill to the finish. I was running alongside a youngster (i.e.anyone under 40) up this last hill, and fully expected him to go with me on the last K, but he didn’t and I kicked on and after a few hundred yards I couldn’t hear him behind me at all. I finished in 43.17 and thought I had beaten last years time : however I was wrong (no idea why I thought I had done 43.30, but when I checked I had clocked 42.40 last year). So I was a bit slower this time round but thoroughly enjoyed it.
Steve Glackin
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16-06-15
A busy weekend of racing for me started on Friday evening with the SCVAC Kent Division 1 meeting at Norman Park where I ran the 200m and, my main race (standing in for an absent Mr Glackin), the 1500m. In the latter race, I managed a new PB by about 3 seconds (5:26), but found the experience fairly unsatisfactory. I don't really get track running and cannot fathom (yet) why I cannot run on it as well as I do on road/trail. People who I beat comfortably on road/trail always seem to beat me on the track. I don't know why. The next day back at Norman Park for the parkrun, I took over Tucks' 20 minute pacer vest, as he was Run Director (a fine job as always). I managed to help a couple of people to new PBs, so job done there. Sunday was the main race day and, as reported already by Steve, this was the Orpington High Elms 10k, gleefully advertised by the organisers as the 'hardest 10k in the South East'. Not quite sure how they verify this, but it is all done in a good fun spirit and it really is a very challenging trail course with some tough hills and sharp declines where you cannot really open your stride for fear to taking a bad fall. Which of course I did once, as now seems to be a minimum standard for me on any trail/XC run! Notwithstanding the early fall, I felt strong going round and after keeping pace with 6 or 7 local runners I know well, I was able to pull away from all but one at the end and was very pleased with a 21st placed position (in a field of 330), 3rd in my age group in a time of 44:34 which was nearly 2 minutes faster than my time last year. Andy T was 10th and Steve G 11th, 3rd and 1st in their respective age groups. Well done chaps. Only the top 3 runners were under 40 minutes. The winner was Andy's namesake Peter Tucker of B&B in 38:11.
Marcus Elwes
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16-06-15
I think Marcus and Steve have summed this one up quite nicely. The race is held by one of our local clubs, brilliantly organised over a route which is very familiar to me. Add in that I know a lot of those taking part and you have a race that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a tough hilly cross country course but conditions were good and I had a good run. As mentioned, I finished in 10th in 42.48. Pleased to be out racing ‘proper’ distances again. Must pick up my training as I have a little sharpening to do.
Andy Tucker
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16-06-15
Staplehurst 10K
I ran the Staplehurst 10KM which is a conventional mostly flat fast course with a modest field of under 300. I've been doing a lot of ultra training recently in prep for a summer of long races which has left me feeling very flat and heavy legged. Having had a disappointing run at the recent Battersea AL, I went into yesterday's race hoping for the best since I have been neglecting my speedwork for a while now. Anyway, I set out steadily with the aim of holding position and pace and actually had a good first 5km (18:30ish) before I began to tire and my pace began to tail away. I finished in 39:41 and was pleased to be under 40 mins. Note to self (don't neglect speedwork).
Mike McGeown
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16-06-15
City of London Mile
Yesterday I ran the City of London Mile. A great race, well organised and good fun. I was texted my chip time as soon as I had crossed the finish line, 5:07.12, unfortunately as it was a road race this gets rounded up to the nearest second, so my official time was 5:08. I saw Rob at the start of my wave, but that was the last I saw of him as he sped off to 4:40. I also saw Vicky run 6:21 in wave 3. I will definitely be back next year as I really enjoyed it
Mick Bridgeland
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16-06-15
As per Mick's mail I also did the City of London Mile race yesterday. I did it last year and it was a much bigger event this year. It started raining just before the race so the surface was a bit slippery. As is customary I got a bit excited at the start and found myself in the lead for the first 400m or so before a few of the big guns started to pass me. I managed to find a bit of a kick with about 300m to go and dug in to the finish line holding off one of my triathlete rivals. I came about 9th in the wave in 4:39 which I was very pleased with. Then jogged home, picked up the wife and kids and did it all again in the family wave. Great event and all for free. Much better value than Ironman Stafford !!
Rob Osborne
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16-06-15
Also ran the City of London mile yesterday. I was aiming for sub 5.30. Bit of a congested start in wave 2 but managed 5.29.51 which was rudely rounded up to 5.30. Really good event though.
Steve Stanley
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16-06-15
I managed a half marathon yesterday plodding around the 3 lap course at 7mm pace, with the added bonus of lapping a tired looking Gordon Ramsay as I neared the end. The run had the bonus of a nasty little drag for about half a mile on each lap. Btw – this was done after a pleasant early morning swim and tough 56 mile bike around Staffordshire for Stafford Ironman 70.3. End time was 5:09, 22nd in my age group of over 300, happy with performance. (aside - not quite so happy with many of the organisational aspects of the weekend, not quite living up to the Ironman branding as far as I am concerned – just because over 2000 coughed up a lot of cash and it sold out very quick does not quite justify treating folk like cattle – I have participated in a lot of events for both run and tri and this was one of the poorest that I have ever done. I believe it was franchised and many others said how good Ironman branded events normally were but definitely a general feeling of disappointment/anger/frustration. RANT OVER!!!)
Rupert Holden
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8-06-15
EVAC - Southend - 1500m (3.6.15)
Mick and I represented Chelmsford last night for the 1500 and the relay (for the point). Although Southend won the night at their home event, they did not really challenge for this event. Main contender for me was Scott Rice who has been running some very handy 16:40ish 5ks on the track (which made him the favourite in my head). I used to train with Scott up here and know that although he seems to run quite effortlessly and can finish fast, I have normally been able to pull off a marginally faster finish on the 1k reps which we used to do. He started as he meant to go on and we ran a steady couple of laps which Mick kept with us for (apparently 75 ish secs). Scott then sped up gradually before giving it his all on the final lap. I stuck with him til 150 to go and managed to edge ahead to finish 1st in 4:33.5.
Scott 2nd in 4:34.5 and Mick 10 secs behind.
Lee Martin
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8-06-15
Orion 5M forest trail race
This is the second time I have run this “trail” race and once again I did enjoy it. I didn't feel as though I was running as fast as I have been recently (and for the first 3 miles I wasn't) due to Thursday’s race (trashed legs). I started out fairly steadily and saw the usual D88 suspects dash off into the distance. However, it wasn't long before I reeled them in, overtook and left them. Dave Duigurda from Eton Manor overtook me with another Manorite, however I decided to do my best to stay with them. Poor old Dave had to contend with me for the rest of the race, on his shoulder breathing heavy. His mate tried to pull away, but Dave stuck with him, so I stuck with Dave! It was great running downhill through the wooded bit, we flew down there! Desperately tried to stick with Dave, I was pushing him (I think). We came upon another group towards the end and I got caught up in a little bit of traffic at the end where you descend the hill so was just held up slightly. I ran as much as my very tired legs would allow, finishing by my Garmin in 35:09. Mile splits were 7.09, 7.07, 7.21, 6.49, 6.44, giving me an average of 7.03. Guess the hill was at mile 3!! So I finished in 35.09 and last year I finished in 36.32. My race goal for the foreseeable future is to try to keep each mile under 7 minutes. I finished 5th lady and 2nd in my age category.
Vicky Cooper
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8-06-15
White Oak Triathlon
Just on the race Phil was marshalling at yesterday (on 3 hours sleep I might add) - I did this as part of my Ironman build up (Ironman UK on 19th July). This is a well organised race with a good atmosphere. Setting the alarm for 4:30am hurt a bit, but what was more annoying was to find the Blackwall Tunnel closed on the way, meaning that although I thought I had plenty of time to get there I actually rocked up at poolside just 20 seconds before my start time! The swim was 800m in a 33m pool (33.3m I guess for those who like decimal points), then out onto a 2.0 lap bike course. Just one “stop” junction, otherwise pretty good for getting some speed up. The opposite on the run though – 4 laps round a twisty-turny park and an extra hill thrown in at the end for good measure! In terms of my performance I had loaded some mileage into my legs over the course of the week The intention was to start with some fatigue but try and hold a faster than Ironman race pace. With this sort of race, i.e. competitors setting off individually, you don’t of course know how you’ve done until the results are consolidated – it was a pleasant surprise then to see on the results page today that I came 7th and won my age group! I can recommend this race to anyone that fancies having a go at this sort of thing. For you pure runners out there, think of it as a run with an extended warm-up… Thanks Phil for the recommendation and double thanks for manning the worst marshalling point on such little sleep. I bet you're glad to get back to work for a rest!
Dave Meller
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8-06-15
The Assembly League 5K in Battersea Park on 4 June 2015
Hot and dusty are not my ideal running conditions but it was a good evening nevertheless. Lots of Ravens out and my plan had been to hang on to the back of the 18:45 guys (Marcus, Steve S etc.) and try and dip below 19 mins. We did the first 2k at ~3:30 pace (apparently - I didn't have a watch) and I think that did me in. I was running ahead of M & S until about 2 1/2k - the last thing I remember before they left me for dead was Phil shouting that we should work together. They obviously didn't listen ;-) Managed to pick up quite a bit over the last k and with Phil's encouragement dipped on the line to beat a 12 year old ! Maybe I should enter more junior races, I might stand a chance then. Anyway, I have no idea what time I did but prob. round about 19:15 - which is 30s faster than my last park run so I shouldn't complain (although I always say that Bedford PR is about 30s slower than flat courses so maybe it wasn't that much better). Well done to the others - good that PBs are still coming thick and fast; shows its all worthwhile.
Keith Skilling
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So, this is actually the first time I have done a Battersea 5k and, in fact, probably only the 5th or so proper road 5k I have ever done (on top of the nearing 200 parkruns), so I was keen to see whether I could take my recent parkrun form into a 'proper' race of the same distance. It was great to see another big turnout of Ravens for this race, including Kevin, Lyndon and Damien, making their first appearances of the season. Good to see Phil there in a managerial/support role, having apparently educated a few cyclists en route to the venue about their road etiquette (or lack of it)! Anyway, to the race, I had no real plans, so tried to go out relatively hard and see what happened. I soon found myself behind Keith, Steve G, Mike and Damien and could also see Dev a little further forward. Steve S came past fairly early, but I stayed with him and in fact we ran in tandem, swopping lead duties between each other more or less for the whole race . Having gone out hard (5:52 for the first mile), my pace did drop, but I managed to keep my position fairly well and was keeping with the same runners, including Steve and overtaking a few in addition. It was tough going as, with any flat course, there is no respite and it was hot. Steve and I then managed to pass Keith toward the end and Dev came into view. I was able to overtake him about 500m out but to his credit he came back strongly as did Steve S, both of whom pipped me at the end. We did pass Mike as well, who was clearly struggling.
I was very happy with a time of 18:50 (unofficial), which is 40 seconds better than my previous 'proper' 5k PB (and only 3 seconds off my parkrun PB, set on Saturday). I do not know where I was placed but I was very pleased with the company I was keeping. None of my local rivals that I am often up against were anywhere to be seen during the race, which was a good sign, although to be fair, some of them were not actually there!
Marcus Elwes
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Turning out for my 2nd AL I was determined to go out a bit harder than last time and not leave anything out on the course. Certainly managed to do that tracking Tim, Tom, Mick & Lee for the first 1k. Luckily I don’t wear a watch so I don’t couldn’t stress about how quick it was but it felt quite fast. Managed to relax into it and held on well until 4k where my legs began to give up and was pleased to bring it home without completely falling apart. The fast start seemed worth it though as I they think they called me through at 17:25, which is a big chunk of my best.
Paul Lucas
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For me it was just hard from beginning to end – but I guess it’s supposed to be! I still don’t have a clear idea in these AL races where I am in the pack (who I should place myself near at the front) so still learning. I went off too fast as I always do with these AL races because the field is so quick. However, the end result was worth it. Splits were 6.25, 6.39 & 6.56 with .37 to finish. I wasn’t sure if I’d completed the full 5K due to the queue when I finished and I know they’re not 100% accurate but my Garmin does show 3.10M with a finish time of 20.37. A new PB for me, my previous being 20.54 set last September.
Vicky Cooper
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My first AL race this season and I was a bit worried about how the injury would hold up. It was sore since running about 12 miles (very slowly) on Sunday.
As it happened it didn’t hurt at all, so gives me hope that I can start pushing myself some more. Ran the whole thing very steadily at about 3.45 per K and finished by my watch on 18m 43. Saw Damian up ahead but couldn’t make up the ground. Great to see so many Ravens so a big thanks to Phil for continually promoting these races.
Steve Glackin
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As for the race having reminded Tim that he has never beaten one of my PB’s I saw why. He started off running as thou he was on a stroll through the local park. Eventually he worked his way to the front. Half of racing is bottle Tim get at the front and do what Lee does take the better runners on. You finished in a high position but can do better. Lee and Mick fresh from the previous nights 1500’s swapped places and Mick ran very well Lee suffered late on and fell away. Both had great runs Steve, Marcus, Derv , Keith Mike were all quite close and seemed to be having private battles. Mike looked the most relaxed and Marcus was just seen behind some beanpole – The Toff has lost a lot of weight and is gleaning the rewards he ran well again. I think Mike suffered a little towards the end but plodded in a happy bunny (but needs a holiday his white legs were more blinding than the sun!). Damien seemed to be in ‘no man’s land’ but is clearly a good runner and looked comfortable and finished well up in his new Ravens vest . Our Irish Alfie Tupper Steve also looked strong and looks really gutsy I am sure a few tweaks to his running training will see him quantum leap his times. Despite his years I think Steve has a lot of potential!. (he did call me a ‘GREAT MAN’....)
Closer to the front was Tom and Paul . I never realised Tom ran with such a grimace but he is good very good and ran well again. If he were only a runner rather than a cyclist as well!. Paul had a great run and admitted joining the group has pushed him to a new level. Paul carries a lot more weight (big frame not fat) than most of the others and is a big lad . His run last night was superb and there is loads more to come. He has taken over a minute off his 5K time since joining us in January and is now at 17 25 – watch out Tim!. Then we had Kevin Cockram and Dave Miller somewhere in the field . Both seem very happy with their runs Dave still has the marathon in his legs and Kev has raced a lot but both were happy with their runs. Dave has come a long way in the last six years it does not seem a few months ago I was hanging around waiting for him on the Canary Wharf runs. Now he would leave me for dead. As for Kev he got really excited in the car when he spotted a stunning blonde running along the Embankment. We saw her again at the Westminster crossing but she was now with her fella who was holding her a$$e – he was gutted as if he had a chance!. That leads me onto Vicky – our only lady. New PB she goes from strength to strength . Another true grit runner who took it on from the start and was up there. She seemed to find it hard late on but these races are not meant to be easy. She was chuffed at the finish another PB. The new ‘Slim Line’ Lyndon was there and he seemed to enjoy his first AL race and now has a target to move forward. Appreciate they are not in order but I hope I have not missed anyone. Those who miss these races are really missing a great atmosphere and great nights. The jam at the finish is a little disappointing but the League has survived 40 years and that says a lot about Tom Everitt the founder. Lets get another great turn out for the next one in July. Well run everyone. If I had to pick a run of the night I would give it to Paul Lucas followed by Mick and Vicky. The could do betters – Tim....The will do better – Lyndon (now he is training regularly)
Forgot to mention the ‘Team Scouser’ strolled up in his sunglasses and trackie bottoms (typical look in Liverpool) and started the race .. At the end of the race some poor little 3 foot 12 year old had to experience one of Liverpool’s best sprint finishes.. the stamping of Keiths size 12’s scared the living daylights out of the poor mite and Keith managed to push in front of him on the finish line ....I did see the poor kid being comforted by some teammates who appeared to be telling him the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ but he was obviously very distressed ....
Phil Hernon
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My 3rd AL for me and throught it could get easier but I was so wrong! Felt ok for the 1st Mile but then had real trouble breathing due to the fact had a bad cold and cough. Anyway managed to continue and crossed in line in just over 20 mins! Thanks to Phil for the lift to the start and back to the city afterwards.
Dave Miller
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Report from ‘The Slim’ !
Well my very first AL race was also the first stage in my 3 point plan …
1. Get the AL points to get ahead of Meadows in Grand Prix Standings..
2. Get a BMI of under 25. The scales this morning said 24.95 So no longer an American Style fridge but now a nice Slim Hotpoint !
3. Finish in 21:45 in or 4:45 behind Sir Michael Bridgeland
I claim a moral victory as Mick sent me to the toilets in the farthest corner of the park (2km there and back) instead of the ones 200 metres away to run the energy out of me … he must have been feeling the pressure so I claim a certain responsibility for his time. Did the race in 21:57, as Phil says was a bit of a jam at the end so I ran to the finish stopped my watch and then went back to the queue Really enjoyed it and lining up the next one !
Slim Bubb
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As those that were there will testify, last night saw me finally make my Assembly League debut for the Ravens. With doorstep delivery courtesy of Mr Hernon, there really was no excuse for non-attendance so Dave Miller and myself duly took up Phil's kind offer. Cocooned in somewhat plush upholstery, the drive over London was everything two elite athletes at the top of their game could have asked for - friendly advice was offered to the local cycling community, compliments were made to the locals on their summer attire and in a flash gentlemanly conduct, Harriet Harman was given right of passage as she left Westminster to head home for her tea. All of this ensured that Dave and I were duly delivered to the start line primed and ready to roll. I was quite impressed with what I saw of Battersea Park, although granted we were seeing it on a very pleasant summer's evening. As to the race itself, there appeared to be a lot of lively, lithe looking runners, so I opted for a mid-table start to see how things panned out. A 6.08 (fast for me) first mile was a little unexpected and the next two were duly slower. There was a degree of congestion at a couple of places where the course narrowed but overall I was generally able to push on unhindered. Felt the effort in what seemed a horribly long finishing straight and eventually crossed the line with my watch showing 19.53 (race time not the actual time of day!). How that will equate to the actual results is anyone's guess as I'm not sure that I started my watch in line with the gun and then in the general mêlée of the finishing funnel, it all got a little confusing and I'm not convinced everyone stayed in their finishing order. That said, it was an enjoyable race in a pleasant environment, so what's a few seconds and places between friends? Might be a PB, might not - I'm sure there will be other opportunities. Good to see everyone in the famous black and white and thanks once again for the lift Phil - a somewhat more refined experience than that offered by my 15 year old Defender - it was a novel experience to arrive at my destination with dry feet!
Kevin Cockram
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Well done Slim Bubb – beating Chris Meadows here is just a start – you will soon have him on a head to head! I started too fast and led the Ravens out for a couple of KM before blowing up (& out). Managed to hang in there for a 17:14. Nice turn out and awesome conditions.
Lee Martin
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Great night and really good to race with/against/for other Ravens. I went out like the clappers following Lee hoping to get sub 17 but it came back to bite and was overtaken the whole way from about 2km (hence the grimace!) - although did manage a kick at the end to snag a couple of Dulwich chaps. Well and truly chicked as well. Came in somewhere around 17.15. Phil - cheers for organising. I was amused that you and Mick completely ignored me as I rode past you on my way out - despite the big shout and wave! On hols now on the Isle of Wight so hopefully get some good training in and get sub 17 on the Battersea track at the insurance champs in a couple of weeks.
Tom Robertson
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2-06-15
Won my age group at the Southern Vets 5,000m track at Ashford yesterday in 19:28.9. Mind you I was pretty much hot favourite to win when I toed the line as only M60 entered ! Lol. Gave it a good go in fairly windy conditions and had a good battle with and beat a few of the M50's.
Andy Catton
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2-06-15
Nottingham Sprint Triathlon - Worlds/Euros Qualifier - 30th May
I did the Nottingham Tri on Saturday morning – this was the last qualifier for the worlds/euros so had to really go for it. There were 240 people in my starting wave – so you can imagine how busy it was! Swim went well although it was very cold – I swam a minute quicker than the week before – I had some confidence back and kept the pace high – maybe because it was cold I wanted to be out the water faster!! The bike was fast and flat but windy – worked very hard on the bike again as it seemed to pay off last week. Starting the run I felt ok but had quite heavy legs after working so hard on the bike. There were also 3 nasty little short sharp very steep hills which really slowed you right down and trashed your rhythm – basically like running up big sea walls. I overtook loads of people on the run again and finished with a run time of 18:20 – only 1 person overtook me (actually only 2 people overtook me on the run in all 3 qualifying events which is pleasing). I ran as hard as I could and was really very tired at the end and couldn’t quite sprint fast enough to catch two last people in the last few metres. If the race had been an extra 10 metres I’d have caught them.

Swim: 11:11 (58th of 538)
Bike: 31:06 (167th of 538)
Run: 18:20 (44th of 538) – Fastest Run 16:21 I think
Overall: 1:02:39
10th in Age Group (of 50)
65th Male (of 538)
Need a bit of a rest now after 3 Tri’s in 4 weekends – feeling a bit tired even today.
George Wakefield
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2-06-15
Well done at Nottingham George. A lot of my club mates did the Outlaw Half on the Sunday and I suspect you were a lot more fortunate with the weather! Anyway I competed in the Hanningfield Sprint Triathlon on Saturday. This was just a small local race but as it was my first triathlon in nearly a year I decided to keep it low key. In addition because of my injury I have not been doing any bike/run sessions so I was not really sure how it would all go. Anyway I managed to finish second overall and first vet. I have to say I found the run extremely tough especially the first five minutes or so, however the good news is that I had no injury reoccurrence so all should be good for the Windsor Triathlon in two weeks where I shall be taking on the Olympic distance.
Ian George
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2-06-15
I also did a sprint triathlon yesterday - did the Open Sprint race in Hyde park just before the Elites took the stage. Horrible weather but I had a good race like Ian coming 2nd overall and first vet out of about 300. I was beaten by 10s the 'fish' who came 2nd overall in George's race in Notts the day before.
Rob Osborne
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2-06-15
Less impressive but still a PB for me at parkrun on Saturday of 18:47, my 3rd consecutive sub 19 run. Hoping to take that form into Thursday's AL at Battersea.
Marcus Elwes
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27-05-15
Wednesday 20th May
So last night I took part in our clubs monthly 5k (ish) handicap. Following winning the event last month due to a rather generous handicap I found myself starting over a minute later. This subsequently meant I had a lot more chasing to do before I started to overtake people around the second mile. Not sure where I came but only managed to catch about 4 people and the one person who started 15 secs behind caught me after the first mile. Finished in a time of 18:04 which was 4 secs slower than last month. Relatively happy with the time considering the races I’ve done this week. Hoping to get some recovery in before Mondays Bupa 10k, so might not complete a full set of reps but will see how I feel when I get down there.
Chris Tuck
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27-05-15
So yesterday I took part in the Bupa London 10K. Was a lovely day and pretty much perfect for running. This was my first mass participation 10k race and I duly suffered the usual problems of people’s expectations seeing them start at the front to only then run at a very pedestrian pace. The start saw waves setting off based on expected finish time with the elite and British championships (sub 32 min qualification) at the front. I was in the first wave following this but due to a last minute call of nature found myself at the back of the group. This saw my usual (too) fast start hindered by weaving and not really settling in to a pace. With the first mile covered in just over 6 mins. The race itself heads up the Strand around the bank of England and then back along the Strand, past Westminster and down bird cage walk to finish in front of Buckingham palace. Due to my slower start by about 4k I felt remarkably better than usual and tried to push on, in reality this only saw me maintain pace. Coming back along the Strand the crowds really increased and there was a very positive atmosphere as a lot of the mass runners were going out past the 2k mark as we passed the 7k mark. My legs by 8k were feeling a bit heavy but unusually for me I was still passing people. Once we got to 9k, just passed Downing Street I realised that sub 36.30 was out of reach but decided to do what I could to remain under 37 mins. Did my best to stride out for the last 800 or so and managed to catch a good number of people. Finished in 36.57 not as quick as Larkfield a couple of weeks ago but a more consistent race in terms of mile pacing. 308th Overall. 273rd male, 224 in age group.
Race was won comfortably by Andy Vernon in 28.38. All in all it was a good event with a good atmosphere and I would definitely do it again. Now on to find a 10k later in the summer to get sub 36.30.
Chris Tuck
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27-05-15
Did the Bromley Park run on Saturday and managed 18m 31. It felt good and the injury I estimate is 95% clear. More importantly we had over 500 runners again, and there is talk of trying to start up another run locally. Marcus ran an impressive 18m 55 - which is superb since this week the course was slightly long. I hope he doesn’t mind me reporting this! Mr Tucker paced 20 mins again, and was as usual spot on.
Steve Glackin
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27-05-15
For my part, I ran the Hatfield Broad Oak 10K for the third consecutive year, same course but start and finish different. I set out to try and stick to sub 7 min mile; after the first mile I felt really good so surged forward on the second then got a bit panicky and reigned it in on the third. I realised I was running close to a girl from Great Bentley so decided to try and stick with her. We continued to run together – at one point she picked up the pace but then simply said “stay with me” – so I did! I really felt as though I was flying, really putting the effort in. We stuck together, then when we saw the 9K sign, we both upped it. I really tried to pull away from her as we rounded the corner to the finish mats. I thought I had and was giving it everything I had. She popped her foot on the mat as I did and we were both given a gun time of 42.31. I checked the results later and she got me on chip time – I came in at 42.20 which I’m absolutely thrilled with at as it’s a PB by quite some margin. The course is in the country and quite undulating. It was lovely to see Andy Catton there too – he had a good race, going through half way in 20 minutes dead and finishing in just over 40 minutes.
VICKY COOPER
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27-05-15
Eton Dorney ITU/ETU Sprint Triathlon Qualifier 23rd May
I did the 2nd ITU/ETU qualifier this weekend at Eton Dorney (which is a really nice place to do your first Tri if anyone is interested)! I nearly didn’t make it to the start line as I locked my bike into the car the night before and didn’t bring my bike lock key with me to the race! Massive schoolboy error – luckily they had bolt cutters and I just about made it to the start line although didn’t get a warm up! Swam pretty well and cycled as hard as possible as this is where I have been losing time. I knew I might be slightly slower on the run because of this but the gains (av. speed >23mph) on the bike outweighed any potential losses on the run. Did the 5km run in 18:05 mins which I was a little disappointed with as nice to dip sub 18, but I did work really hard on the bike so was as expected. I felt pretty good on the run although had jelly/bike legs for longer than normal. Judging by my face in the photo’s I was having to work hard specially at the finish where I kicked with 100m to go to overtake one last person – nobody overtook me and I overtook lots and lots of people over the two dead straight laps alongside the rowing lake.
Overall 50th position out of 285 males
Age Group Position: 10th of 28
Run Position: 22nd out of 285 (fastest run 16:12!!)
One more qualifier to go this Saturday – will give it everything I’ve got and then cross my fingers.
George Wakefield
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20-05-15
North Downs Way 50
Saturday I ran the North Downs Way 50. Well part of it anyway. Went into the race feeling good although not as well prepared as I should be but, armed with my experiences from the South Downs Way 50, I felt I knew what I needed to do. The race started early (8am in Farnham) so I didn’t eat much before the race which was to be part of my downfall. The day started overcast but warm and proceeded to get sunny and very hot. The course follows some beautiful countryside along the North Downs Way which is mostly off road. The views are stunning but the course very demanding. I had a good first half getting to the half way mark in just under 4 hours which was slightly ahead of schedule (by about 10 minutes). I had tried to take on food at the checkpoints but my stomach wouldn’t take it - with the warm weather I took on a lot of water and gels as sustenance. At the halfway checkpoint I forced myself to take on food but my body rejected it and I was fairly ill from mile 25 to the checkpoint at 31 miles – it took me 2 hours to cover 6 miles. At that checkpoint I stopped to take on some food and water and promptly fell asleep for an hour. The course, the heat and my stomach beat me and I withdrew at that point. The sleep was most welcome though. A disappointing day (makes a change from hearing about PB’s though doesn’t it). It’s such a beautiful if tough course, I would like to do it properly next year.
Andy Tucker
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20-05-15
Great Baddow 10 Mile
I did the Great Baddow 10 Miles on Sunday ( sorry Lee didn’t see your email to late on Friday) so this is my second race in 2 months. A new racing record for me !
Was a bit warm and hilly and I thought I spotted a raven at about 5 miles about 300m meters ahead so I bust a gut to catch them only to find not a raven. I finished in 1:14:25 (131st place ) which I think is a PB by almost 6 minutes ….. So Raven’s do improve !
Lyndon Bubb
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20-05-15
I am being threatened by the Kent Mafia, as I was not going to report this one, as I do not think its legit. Anyway I ran 18:50 at parkrun on Saturday, which is now an official PB but there has been a lot of discussion amongst the regulars that the course may have been short (or possibly not as long as it usually is). This was almost certainly because the person who normally lays out the cones was slogging his guts round the North Downs! Anyway its in the record books now and I guess I will just have to make sure I beat it, to make certain.
Marcus Elwes
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20-05-15
I too managed a PB on Saturday at the Hockley Woods Park run coming home in 2nd place in 19.41. This is a 40 second improvement over my last run at Hockley so it seems that my fitness is beginning to return.
Ian George
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20-05-15
On a much less noteworthy point, I ran for only the second time this year, on Sat, at Banstead Woods parkrun. My time was average (22:17) but my foot isn't feeling too bad and I was VERY happy with that as a first push. Still have to take it slowly but would be very grateful for any tips / old programs that I might follow, so that I go from doing nothing to being able to "train" again without causing a relapse or further injury.
Serena Stracey
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20-05-15
Horsham 10k
Well done Lyndon, Marcus and all other Park Running Ravens. Andy, sorry to hear about your exploits in excess of 31 miles - I admire anyone who even contemplates beyond a marathon, which is quite far enough for me thank you very much! May is a busy month in the calendar of the Sussex Grand Prix, so yesterday I found myself back over in West Sussex and a couple of miles from where I used to live. The Horsham 10k is a two lap road course which starts with a circuit round Horsham Rugby Club's playing fields before heading out on to the surrounding roads and a short section of bridleway. Unfortunately I'd picked up a bit of a cold during the week and there was perhaps an argument to sit this one out, however I'd deliberately backed off running since last Tuesday and feeling ok when I woke up, decided the arguments to run outweighed those not too - obviously this decision had nothing to do with the fact we were due to visit our old neighbours for a post race slap-up Sunday lunch! A relatively uneventful and straightforward race found me trading places with a few runners at various stages, with my main tussle involving a member of Arunners RC who came past me on the final decent of the second loop. Whilst not overly looking to contest a place with him, as we started the ascent towards the finish, my training runs around the lumpiness that is Wadhurst began to come into its own and I was able to close the gap and then pass him. To give him his due, he came back at me but I was pleased to still have enough left for the finishing line and was able to hold him off by a couple of seconds to finish in a time of 42.23 which got me 57th out of 434 finishers and a course PB by 1 minute 26 seconds. Next week is The Rye 10 mile, then things quieten down for a time as we prepare for THE event of the racing year (well alongside my annual shot at gold at The Barns Green HM!) - The Bewl 15 on Sunday July 5th - see you all there!
Kevin Cockram
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20-05-15
I decided to do a bit of Park run tourism so I pitched up at Hilly Fields on Saturday morning. Got round in 19m 21 without any significant groin / thigh pain.
It’s a quite a tough run so I was fairly pleased with that. Managing to get running a bit more so I will hopefully be back racing again soon, as long as the injuries don’t flare up again.
Steve Glackin
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20-05-15
Monday Night Racing
So a brief race report from me this morning as last night I ran in our clubs open meeting. Mostly out of curiosity as I wanted to see what sort of times I could do over middle distances. (having not done so since I was 15) Duly entered the 800m and 1500m.
First up was the 800m. Needless to say I was totally shocked by the initial pace and my legs were shocked to be being made to run that fast. The race was won by one of our under 15 runners who equalled the club record of that age group in a time of 1:59:27. Possibly one of the quickest times in the country this year for that age group too. No such worries for me though finishing much further back in a time of 2:20:00. A little disappointed with this but as I have done no specific training for such a race and my warm up was relaxed to say the least, it was still good to have a blow out.
About an hour later and with the majority of people having gone home it was time for the 1500m. Slightly better warm up but with a bit of a tight hamstring from the 800m, I lined up again. This race went of at a pace that my body was a bit happier with but still didn’t feel fantastic and was really missing the sort of flat out speed that is required over this distance. Race was won by one of our under 17 athletes in 4:07 something. The aim before the race had been to go sub 5 mins and I did manage to achieve finishing in 4:50.
So in summary enjoyed the races and the short nature of them but really struggled with top end speed and do feel that if I am to tackle them again at all this season will do so with a bit more preparation. Next is the club 5k handicap on Wednesday for the BUPA London 10k next Monday.
Chris Tuck
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16-05-15
These will be my last race reports for a short while, as I plan to take the good advice of Phil and others to take a bit of a break. I am certainly feeling race fatigue at the moment and both performances this week reflected that, albeit that I did manage two more (small) PBs. Monday I did T&F in the SCVAC Kent Div 1 at Sutcliffe Park. My main event was the 1500m and, after the exploits of the previous day, I was running on empty and was not at all happy with my performance and time of 5:28:9, albeit that this was a PB by a couple of seconds. Had I been fresh, I think I could have done a lot better. I also ran a leg of the 4x100m relay and chucked a heavy round metal ball far enough to get a point for my club.
Yesterday was the Beckenham relays, which Chris T was also at. This is one of my favourite events, run the by the Beckenham RC and which was also sold out for the first time ever on a lovely evening for racing. A great turn out from a lot of local clubs, including the likes of Dulwich, B&B and Tunbridge Wells.I ran the 3rd leg for my team, which included two runners slower than me, so I had the rare pleasure of spending the whole leg picking off other runners, taking our placing up by probably 10-15 notches. My time of 16:42 for the 2.6 mile hilly course (a lot of the same course as the Assembly League race there, including the two tough hills) was a PB by 4 seconds but, again, I think I could have done better on fresh legs. Chris did the first leg for his team in 15.25 - well done. Full results attached if anyone is interested - lots of familiar teams and faces from both AL and parkrun.
Marcus Elwes
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16-05-15
As Marcus advises I also ran the Beckenham 3 stage relay last night. The guys from B&B were running it with a view to having 6 teams all handicapped to be as evenly matched with ourselves as possible and despite my usual scepticism for handicapping 3 of the teams did all end up coming up the hill together. I really enjoyed the event and enjoy the team atmosphere of the relays. The actual run I was less pleased with as I felt rather tired in my legs and was lacking anything to push on at the end. I think Tuesdays fartlek might have left me a little empty ( 2 beers at lunch might not have helped either). Regardless of that and being disappointed not to keep chase with some people I usually consider within reach I was surprised at the time, based on how I felt during the run. Hopefully this is a sign of improving fitness. About half way round I was debating with myself why I was not at the curry.
Chris Tuck
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13-05-15
Two race reports from this weekend from me:
Bewl Marathon - SATURDAY - I entered this as a training run for ultras I'm doing later this year and having just moved out of London it happened to take place behind my new home. Bewl is a large reservoir between Kent and East Sussex and is 13 mile in circumference and so the race was two laps. It is trail run with some very long and steep hills. I set off at a steady pace and let the racers disappear ahead of me but by half way I was feeling quite strong and pressed on and began to gain ground on those ahead of me and finished strongly in 5th place and a time of 03:31:19 which I am really happy with considering how tough the course is. A mate of mine ran it with me and wouldn't talk to me for two hours after he finished as apparently I'd told him it was flat! He cheered up in the pub later.
Hastings 5M - SUNDAY - despite the marathon the day before and hangover, I went to Hasting to run my first race for my new club Wadhurst Runners and met up with Kevin Cockram. I wasn't sure how I'd perform given the previous days efforts and I hadn't run a 5 mile race before. The race is very fast and very flat comprising an out and back along Hastings seafront. I did a mile warm up to give the legs a shake and found that I was in reasonable working order. I ran as well as I could on the day and managed to overtake people throughout and only flagged a little in the last mile. I finished in 33rd place in a time of 31:27 mins.
Mike McGeown
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13-05-15
Larkfield 10k
I entered this race fairly late in the day, on the recommendation of a couple of mates who said it was a fairly fast course, thinking I might be able to take a pop at getting sub 40 mins for the first time. On the day, however, I was really not confident, as my legs still felt quite heavy from the Assembly League and Ted Pepper in the lead up and I had been out the night before, as well as getting a pretty bad night's sleep. As you can see pre-race I was lining up my excuses in true Tucker style.
Anyway on the day, it was perfect conditions, if a little windy and one of my local parkrun mates said he was going to try for sub-40mins and, as he always goes out hard at the start, I decided to try and keep him in touch and see how things went. The course is a 5k loop around East Malling Institute with the first 2kms (and consequently the 6th and 7th kms) being nice downhills, whilst the next two are inclines. So a quick start was straightforward enough and I maintained a reasonable pace on the uphill bits, to come through halfway in around 19 and a half mins. I had passed my mate at about 4kms who had sadly blown up after his quick get off, but had crucially helped me to the fast start I needed.
The second 5k was, of course, much tougher and whilst I kept pace during the 6th and 7th km, I knew the next two were going to be the tough ones, and so it proved, as my average pace began to drift dangerously toward 4mins per km. However, as we re-entered the grounds of the Institute, I checked my watch to see 36 mins exactly, as I passed the 9km marker. I knew if I could get a sub 4min km in, I was there. Easier said than done, as I was now running on completely empty and feeling quite despondent, as I was sure I was going to miss out, but somehow I dragged myself on and through the finishing line before the clock turned to 40 mins. I collapsed on the ground afterward completely spent, only the second time that has ever happened to me. My watch said 39.51 (my official time was 39.47) and I was chuffed to bits.
Great to see Chris Tuck there as well, who continued his fine recent form with a 21st place finish in a time of 36:43. I was placed 50th, 6th in the M50 category. My splits: 3:46 3:45 3:59 4:08 4:02 3:58 3:52 4:16 4:10 3:52
My aim at the beginning of this year was to break 19 mins for the 5k, 40 mins for the 10k and 90mins for the half, so very pleased indeed to have got there in May.
Marcus Elwes
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13-05-15
This Sunday I took part in the Larkfield 10km race. It is 2 x 5K laps of a mostly flat race (dependent on your definition of flat). Having not done any running since Thursdays night assembly league I felt fairly fresh and was pleased to see a nice morning on Sunday with only a bit of wind. My initial plan had been to try and avoid my usual starting to fast and maintain 6 min mile pace for the first 5K then kick on in the second lap to get as near to 36 mins as possible, however my usual 1st mile excitement saw me go through the first mile in about 5.30 pace. Deciding I felt ok at this pace and being in a small group I decided just to carry on and see how I felt. I ran with a couple of guys for about the first 4k (slowing to about 6.13) until one of them pushed. Managed to claw him back and pass the first lady around 8k but loose the other guy I had been battling with. Felt it in my legs from 8k to the finish most likely due to a lack of long runs. Official time 36.43. 21st Overall.
Saw Marcus pre race (becoming a regular thing at these Sunday morning events), but did not catch up with him after. I can however verify whichever excuse he decides to use, should he need to as he gave me a list prior to the start.
Chris Tuck
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13-05-15

National sprint triathlon champs
I missed assembly league last week as I was saving my legs for the British Sprint triathlon championships held yesterday in St Neots. I've moved up into the 40+ category this year although not 40 until October I still have youth on my side. I had a good swim and exited the bike in the lead and managed to extend the lead on the (very laboured) 5km run to 1 minute. I ended up coming away with the national title and 1st vet overall. Very happy with that ! It now qualifies me for a shot at the world champs in Chicago later on in the year.
Rob Osborne
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13-05-15
Rob - fantastic result and an amazing achievement very, very well done!! Wish I had stuck around for the prize giving to cheer you! I was also at this event and had a terrible time in the swim and the only positive was the run leg - got a kick in the early stages of the swim that broke my goggle seal on the right hand side so couldn't see where I was going properly and had river water sloshing around my eye for the rest of the swim and I was in a proper flap (panic is too strong a word) - couldn’t calm down, settle my breathing down etc! On the bike it took a little while for me to feel better after the swim and I was tired after a ride I did on Thursday with a load of underwriters. BUT - terrible races etc are the best way to learn and also the crap swim etc put me in a bad mood for the run and with lots of adrenaline I ran as fast as possible and set a really good time (5km) - 16:36 - but with that appearing to be super-duper fast it does worry me that the 5km course was slightly short - did you think the same?! Even with a shorter course this would still be a PB unless it was over a minute too short! On to Eton Dorney and Nottingham to have my revenge on the swim and hopefully scrape through in one of the last qualifying spots!!!
George Wakefield
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13-05-15
I managed to knock a full 2 seconds off my parkrun PB this weekend and it was all down to psychology alone. My legs with a bit of V/Park Assembly league in them I didn't plan to push it that hard but on the start line 2 seconds before the off I saw Keith. I was determined that he wouldn't effortlessly sprint past me with 200m to go for the second time in less than 2 days so I set off with the intention of building a big enough lead to leave him a broken man stumbling pathetically in my wake. I then realised that all the sub 18 boys weren't there for some reason and only one person 5 metres in front stood in the way of me and Parkrun glory. Anyway, 5k later I finished (3rd) in 18.50 with my lungs about to explode and all because I knew Keith was waiting to pounce. It turned out that he was pacing his son to 21 minutes but I didn't know that until after I'd finished. Annoyingly it means that I will have to go through it again next week!
Steve Stanley
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13-05-15
I ran Finsbury Park 10K yesterday. Pretty hot because it didn't start until 11am. A start on the grass to a marshal and back, then 4 loops inside the park, one long hill, then a down, then a brutal hill (at least on the fourth ascent anyway) and back down again to complete the loop. It wasn’t a big or strong field however, I’m not going to let that take away from my 1st female position, as I ran the 10K as hard as I could, no matter who else was/wasn’t there. I received a fairly decent trophy and my time was about 43.05 (by my watch), official results awaited. My 10K PB is 42.47 so I’m happy with that time.
Vicky Cooper
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13-05-15
I can’t match any of today’s reports, but I ran my 2nd Park Run this year and dropped from 19.56 to 19.36 – the comeback continues!
Robin McCoy
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13-05-15
Great times over the weekend, I decided at the last min to race at the 1st Rochford 10k, which was run on road, farm track and along a river bank. Along the river bank the wind was in my face which seemed to last an age, knew i was not in pb form so decided to enjoy the race which I did and managed to finish in 42 mins legs felt very heavy following Thursday assembly league. Finished in 14th place, now back to some serious 5k work.
Dave Miller
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13-05-15
My running weekend kicked-off on Friday night with Wadhurst Runners Awards Dinner where I picked up my first race silverware - 2nd & 3rd Team prizes for Mens Vet & Open in the Sussex Grand Prix 2014. Wadhurst also presented me with a cup to recognise my 50 Half Marathons which I thought was a nice touch. Saturday I lounged around the house whilst Mike ran his marathon but then joined him on Sunday for the Hastings 5 mile. Despite his excursions 24 hours earlier, Mike was a bit quick for me out of the blocks but I decided to try and keep him vaguely in sight. Ran a 6.23 first mile (pretty fast for me) and the others were ok although I felt the last mile as we headed back into the wind. Finished in 59th place (419 finishers) with a time of 33.01 which gave me a course PB by a minute and 31 seconds so quite happy with that - the medal was pretty good too!
Kevin Cockram
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13-05-15
Battersea 5k
Mick and I headed down to Battersea for a warm night with a light breeze. I ran the first 3k quite comfortably (10:11) after following a big lump with a strange style. Was hoping to hit the tough 4th k feeling stronger than usual. The lump ahead began to slow which was a shame, given that we were heading into the wind. I popped out in front of him before we got to the band stand and made a v long push for home. Managed a 3:10 last k and overtook another guy with 20 yards to go.
Came about 17th in 16:50 (by my watch). Mick was 17:25 ish and picked up a 2nd place medal for his age group.
Lee Martin
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8-05-15
EVAC race report
Lee, Mick and myself ran at the first round of the EVAC series last night. It was very windy, with a hard breeze hitting you around the second bend. I did not plan to go hard as only 2 1/2 weeks since Manchester. First was the 800m. Planned to run about 2.45 just to get some points. After 100m I was 4th in my age group, so had to run harder. Manage to pass 2 of them and finished according to time keepers in 2.30.6. I thought I was about 5 seconds slower, but still pleased and surprised although my stomach muscles ached a lot afterwards. An hour later the 3,000m. I was the only idiot running the 800 and the 3000. I wanted to get some points and did not want to be lapped by Lee. I let Lee, Mick and the fast guys go off, and I headed group 2. One person annoyingly was 1 yard behind me for the first 3 laps keeping out of the wind, so on lap 4 I slowed before the wind and he overtook me, and I tucked in behind him for the next 3 laps. With 600m to go after the windy corner I put my foot down and pulled away from him. Was 3rd in the age group in 10.55 and most importantly was not lapped. In the relay which was 200m,200, 400, 800m I ran the last leg. Was very pleased as we had our best relay result ever, 2nd last ! Overall Southend AC won the men's event, with a rare win over Chelmsford. The hero of the night was Mick's wife who won the 3000m, and 10 minutes later did a magnificent 800m last leg in the relay to win her race.
Simon LeMare
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8-05-15
3000 was very windy last night - I opted to run with the front group (well... slightly behind - as I said, it was windy!). Thankfully, a Southend guy was more than willing to run this way. This youngster (39) was looking like a strong finisher so I had to stop following and start charging - I whipped past him with 2.5 laps to go and make him hopefully suffer the wind 3 times on his own. He thankfully, didn’t keep up and settled in for 2nd. So pleased with 1st place. But hopefully can find a quicker time on another night - 9:53.8. Mick cruised in 1st V50 in 10:19.4 (too tall to duck in behind anyone!)
Lee Martin
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8-05-15
Wimbledon Trail Series; Race 1
This is was the first of this year’s three races put on by Andy Bickerstaff’s Good Run Guide. Due to train issues I turned up (not changed, or even entered yet) at 6:50 for a 7pm start, but thankfully Andy was good enough to fill out the entry for me, while I popped behind a bush to change! My first race for a while, and apart from a gentle jog with Andy T on Tuesday, my first run for almost a month. The hard rain of the night before made parts of the course very wet and muddy, with the “Rifle Butts” section almost impossible to stand up in, let alone run (especially if like me you stupidly forgot the studs and ran in flats!). The “Toast Rack” seemed as long as ever, but I managed to overtake a couple near the end of it. Basically hung on for the first four undulating muddy miles, but the last mile was flat and gravelly, and I was pleasantly surprised to find an extra gear to take about five people and hold off one of them in a sprint finish. No idea what my time was, as in the panic to get ready, I didn’t put my watch on. It doesn’t matter though as it would have been fairly sedate, but for me was an enjoyable but hard run.
Andy Hayward
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8-05-15
Assembly League – Victoria Park
Thanks to everyone for putting the effort in particular those that had long journeys afterwards. A few notes from the nights ‘Team Manager’ before the guys send their reports in.
Tim- Great run but do not give up on the fast starts. Unless you are with them you will not be able to beat them. Be careful of thinking you can do the same track sessions on a Tuesday as regulars are doing . If you do you will be injured ..build up gradually over a period of weeks.
Paul – Great run.. Paul has a big frame but is very strong .On his debut run he had a blinder everyone around him was about half his size. I understand those disadvantages!
Lee- awesome effort after a track race.
Mick B exactly the same unbelievably consistent – great run.
Mike- continued his improvement another pb..all that training with me and Robin (and listening) is paying off (lol)
Rupert- you did not look happy with your run but looking at those around you and only a couple of weeks after your marathon you should be very happy.
Marcus- be more aggressive and start quicker. Great run in your new skinny look. I think there is loads more to come but you need to be more risky.
Cats- Our ‘Clive Dunn’ was first over 60 and looked very strong coming down the straight.. every time I see him I am amazed how long his stride still is. Mine is about 25% of what it use to be.
Keith- could not produce a storming finish so had clearly given his all ..was not happy afterward but I think he will be surprised who he beat.
Chris- I was very surprised to be told he has only been running for a year. This boy could be a future star its in his genes. Had a great run last night.
Vicky – our only lady. The one thing you can guarantee with Vicky is that she gives it her lot!. I suspect she beat a lot who are normally in front of her. Again, only a couple of weeks after a tough marathon effort- the female Alf Tupper. ..
Derv – Vicky’s team mate had a solid run has improved a lot over the past couple of years ..
Steve- after the stress of redundancy (but lots of training whilst off) pleasing to report Steve is working again. Another massive improver who found the latter part tough. I think from his position he should be well happy with his run.
Dave Miller another who always gives it his best shot. Took the race relatively easy early on but if he is honest gave it his best shot in the end. He is another huge improver who will continue to break pb’s in 2015 because he is training sensibly and saving his best efforts for races.
Finally, Mr Excuse Andy Tucker. He must have a book of them that he reels out before a race .. fresh from organising a great race on Monday he had an excellent run and looked as thou he was enjoying it – even had time to say thank you to the spectators!.
Great night, great turn out probably the biggest field in the 40 year history of the Assembly League.. let’s hope we can get in the 20’s next month – thanks all...
Phil Hernon
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8-05-15
I will keep mine brief as we should have a few and no Simon to consolidate them! Highlight for me was such a great turnout of Ravens. 15 plus our own Big Ron Manager (looking menacing in the team photo). For me, I had no real expectorations of the race, but expected to be faster than last year, which I was by about 30 seconds. Ran behind Catts for the first half before easing past and then had Keith in my sights but could never quite reel him in. Gave him a shout in the last stretch to spur him on, whereupon he took off and passed about 15 runners I reckon, including Steve. Well done Keith. No idea where I finished but was happy with where I was compared to my local rivals. 21:51 (unofficial time).
Marcus Elwes
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8-05-15
As Phil has pointed out, I have been working hard at my excuses and the training has paid off. I was particularly pleased with my ‘not done much speed training’ excuse although the ‘I don’t run well at this time of day’ excuse needs a little more work. Overall a pleasing performance with just a bit more emphasis on age related excuses and I should be where I want to be. As for the run, I enjoyed it although found I started slow and took a while to get into the pace. I had a good run round with Steve Stanley who ran well. I had a fairly good finish chasing, but not quite catching a cruising Rupert. Great to see so many Ravens there – really felt like a great team event for us. Well done all.
Andy Tucker
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8-05-15
I like Andy's excuses and can use the lack of speed training and time of day excuses very well myself! Did not have any great expectations due to the marathons very much still in the legs and the fact that I have been doing a lot of biking rather than running these past few weeks. Started surprisingly quick but soon started suffering. Was very happy for Mike as he eased past me. By last half mile I was suffering but I knew Tucks was right on my tail, this giving me a good extra push and allowed me to just pip him. Happy enough with run, surprised just how much it got my lungs, could feel it for hours after! Great night, fantastic to see so many Ravens out. Well done all.
Rupert Holden
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8-05-15
Very well done to all who turned up last night, I had been feeling great leading up to the race but decided to run as hard as I could. Had a good 1st mile could see Marcus in front of me but the 2nd and 3rd mile was not that great. Managed to find some speed in the final 0.5 mile and managed to pick off a few, crossed the line in 22.45 so really pleased as this only came 2 half weeks after Manchester. On to the next one
Dave Miller
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8-05-15
Really enjoyed last night's run. My strategic goal had been not to be the last Raven (unlike Battersea) and tactical plan at the start had been to try and track Steve Stanley - unfortunately he broke away from me quite early on. I managed to keep him and Tucks just about in my sights but despite knowing there was a nice downhill finish I thought I had left myself too much to do. Luckily, Marcus caught me up after the turn for home and his pantomime-esque shout ("I'm behind you") fired me into a storming finish(*). I managed to just pip Steve to the line so given how well he's been running recently I was well pleased. Don't know official times etc. but I averaged 3:53/k on my watch which is approx 19:25 5k - which is about as quick as I've run this year I think. Well done to the other racers - some great performances.
* - I don't know who Phil was watching but I was flat out over the last 300m.
Keith Skilling
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8-05-15
Thankfully, Andy has left me the “I was tired from last night’s race” excuse so I will use that before Mick gets involved. Report – 1st mile fast (felt like the first mile of a cross country with a bit of barging and carnage). 2nd mile – got passed a bit, but settled in to a solid pace behind some comfortable looking runners. Finishing 0.5 miles – I found the “on” button and stormed ahead of a few. Time 18:55 which is 8 secs faster than 2013 time when it was very windy indeed. Watched and encouraged some very good finishes from Miller and Skilling (among others) – superb efforts.
Lee Martin
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8-05-15
Was great to see and be part of so many Ravens out last night, getting to the start line to see a good bunch of us felt really good. I had been keen to go out hard last night and have a really good race. After covering the first mile in circa 5.30 min/mile pace had a bit of an internal battle with myself during mile 2 and let a number of runners (including Paul) pull away from me when I should have fought to stay with them. Once I got over that and saw on my watch I was in the last mile managed to get it together a bit to pull a number of them back and leave the women on my shoulder behind (following Pauls encouragement before the race of ‘I wonder how many women will beat me’ made me really focus to finish in front of her). Had targeted a sub 20 run so was a little disappointed with 20.04 call as I crossed the line, but for a first outing around that course can’t be too disappointed. Judging by how good I felt on the 1.5 mile run back to the girlfriends afterwards, I probably had more to give. Again well done to everybody, every Raven I saw finishing was going past people on the final sprint.
Chris Tuck
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8-05-15
I had no idea how I would fare in this race, as still have the marathon in my legs and not a great “short” racer. I felt as though the first mile was in slow motion, but obviously it wasn’t! Despite being the last Raven, I was happy with my performance, every mile being under 7 minutes (6.27, 6.48, 6.59. 3.19). Had a bit of a battle with a Kent guy who would speed up to get past me then slow once past me – thankfully I beat him. Towards the end, Phil shouted at me to catch a different Kent guy in front, so I did put a sprint* in at the end and got him. Finished (by my watch) in 23.32. Can’t remember what time I did last year but everyone I spoke to afterwards seemed to have been quicker than last year. Well done to all who raced. Onwards and upwards to the next one in Battersea Park?
(*don’t laugh, I don’t sprint well)
Vicky Cooper
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8-05-15
Having decided to cycle to the park and only leaving the office at 18.45, I was cutting it a bit fine but made it with enough time for a 5-10 minute warm up and some strides. Decided to go out hard at the start (think I was leading for the first 100m before the first right-hander). I let the very front-runners go who I could tell were in a different league and tried to stick in with the chasing pack. There was a pint-sized chap with a bleached blonde barnet who I used to run with at Southampton and who now runs for Kent (Tom Muddiman) a little way in front of me and knew if I could keep him in sight I would be doing well. At the end of the first small lap I took a glance at the Garmin and saw I was just hitting sub-5 minute miling going through the first mile in 5.19 which I knew was a bit “too hot” for 3.5 miles. Wanted to try and stick to 5.30 pace or below though as 5.30 to 5.40 is about my average 10k pace at the moment. Kept hanging in there but some did pass me around the course and didn’t have much left for a sprint finish in the last ½ mile but came through in 18.29 on my watch which was 25 seconds quicker than the 18.54 I managed last year so there has definitely been some improvement (although the margins get ever smaller the quicker you get). Was perfect conditions though which as others have mentioned helped most people to quicker times than last year. I’ve got the Sutton 10K this Sunday so will have to see how that goes and whether there is enough recovery time between now and then. Ran 5 miles easy to work this morning and might do something light tomorrow. Is good that we’re getting a better turn-out this year and long may that continue. Hopefully with the addition of some absentees from last night we can start getting in excess of 20 Ravens at the other events.
Tim Sherman
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8-05-15
Thanks Andy for encouragement on way round - I tried to stay with you in the last km or so but didn't have that extra pace in my legs. Thanks Keith for once again reminding me that my finishing kick needs a bit of work but well done, it's good to see you back in form. Enjoyed this event very much but it surprised me just how much the extra bit of distance hurts when you're pacing for a 5k.
Steve Stanley
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6-05-15
A busy but ultimately very rewarding weekend of racing started on Friday night, when I represented my local club in the SCVAC Kent Division 1 meeting at Norman Park. We were promoted last season, so are now mixing it with the big boys like B&B and Cambridge Harriers, so we (a club of about 60 members, average age probably 60+) are very likely to be on a bit of a hiding to nothing this summer, but at least it is an opportunity to test ourselves against top quality runners. I ran the V35 3000m B string and managed a big PB of 11.20.2 but still came last in my string (though did beat one of the A string). I have only run the 3000m once before, so the PB was nothing special, although it was over 40 seconds better than last time. I also picked up a point for successfully chucking the hammer! Saturday, I was back at Norman Park for parkrun which was returning for the first time in many months to the usual multi terrain course, and managed my second fastest time on that course of 19:15.
After a rest on Sunday, I was back yet again at Norman Park yesterday for the Ted Pepper 10k, organised by the B&B club and expertly directed by Mr A Tucker (of this parish). I really enjoy this race, for a number of reasons, and the weather forecast had promised some rain, which always make the course more interesting/challenging. However, as it was, it was a lovely warm day and conditions underfoot were very firm, ideal for a good hard trail run, starting and finishing on the track. Stevie G was also there sporting his Ravens colours, but sadly no other representatives. Plenty of local runners though.
I was very pleased with my finish in 26th place in 41.09, a PB again on both my Darent 10k time a week or so ago and my Battersea time last summer. As those of you have run it will know, it is not a PB course, so I am especially pleased with my time. Results and photos here: http://www.bandbhac.org.uk/ted%20pepper%204-05-15.html . Only the first 18 runners went under 40 minutes, with the winner (the other Mr Tucker) just over 35 mins. This coming 7 days I have AL on Thursday, Larkfield 10k Sunday and T&F Monday, so another busy one, but feeling good (if a bit knackered!).
Marcus Elwes
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6-05-15
Been struggling with a thigh / groin injury for the last 5 weeks now (since doing the Croydon half marathon). I can run but it feels like if I push it and stretch out too much it will get worse. Did the park run on Saturday and we had the pleasure of seeing Faye Fullerton Run too, though it wasn’t for long as she was so far ahead. She finished in 16.40 but still holds the female course record of 16.24. She makes it look so easy – her running style is very steady and appears very relaxed. I guess that’s the sign of someone in control of their race. Had a rest on Sunday and ran the Ted Pepper on Monday. Great race and very well organised too. Saw Andy at the start and he told me he’d been up since 5 am and had been round the course twice, marking the route and putting flour down. He said he was ‘battered’ but was too knackered to get his own pun! Got round in 40m 40 secs and the injury was hurting quite badly over the last 2 k. Will just have to rest it, as much as I hate doing that.
Well done to all the Ravens runners over the weekend.
Steve Glackin
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6-05-15
Well done all did southend Park run on saturday just to test my legs out after the marathon, was windy as normal but managed to hold on to a pace of around 6.28 and crossed the line in 20.05!
Dave Miller
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6-05-15
Ran the above for the first time on Saturday morning as is my new local race which measured only 0.8 miles from my door. Had been out until quite late the night before so wasn’t expecting too much but managed to pull out a 16.46 and think can go quicker if felt fresher. Is a flat-pan course (garmin registered 0m elevation change). Has a few twists and turns around the lake/gardens but not sharp enough to slow you down significantly and added a bit of variety to the 3 lap course. Was a good atmosphere amongst the relatively small field of about 100 some of whom went the local Whetherspoons afterwards for a reasonably priced breakfast. I got talking to a chap who runs with a female friend of his who works in the City at lunchtimes and I was trying to encourage them to run with the Ravens (especially as we need more ladies). Also bumped into another chap who has recently started joining us for the Tues/Thursday sessions although can’t remember his name!
Tim Sherman
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28-04-15
I just ran the Last Friday 5k in Hyde Park. I did 17:12 ish and my wife did 19:12ish. Nice warm sunny day, bit of a breeze bit nothing too bad – felt really good.
Only unfortunate thing was that I got “chicked”, I got overtaken with 200m to go by this blond young girl with long legs who I had been racing the whole way.
I’ll looking out for the Ravens on Sunday, good luck to everyone
Mick Bridgeland
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28-04-15
Some fantastic London marathon times so well done to everyone that ran it, always a tough day but the atmosphere and crowd are amazing. I usually get up to watch and support people running the London but I had a half marathon, the first Southampton Half for more than 25 years and my hometown. I started in the front pack and was 5th for the first mile but due to some confusion got taken down the wrong road (only about 60 meters in total) but by then we had to chase the people we had been leading, most managed it but I think that it made us use a bit more energy than we might have at that point in the race catching up back to the front. Regardless of that minor issue it was a good race that was well supported and for the first time ever running a half the miles were flying by on a perfect cold but dry day. I had some motivation to get round quickly by the fact that my wife is due anyway and had been getting some early labour signs so I could have been pulled out at 9 miles to go to hospital, thankfully she held on and I came home in 1:23:35 (35th), 1min 30 ish off my PB but that was in a flat Brighton and this was a not flat and had regular hills, so along with the slight detour at the beginning of the race I’m pretty happy with my time. I was also glad when I didn’t have another 13 miles to go….
Duncan Anderson
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28-04-15
A short report from me as by comparison to all the runners at the marathon yesterday my weekend race feels somewhat minor. Ran my first ever 5000m in the Southern Athletics League on Saturday. Due to a fair number of our better runners taking part in the Marathon Sunday. Couple guys from Tonbridge went off hard finishing in sub 16 mins leaving the rest of us to race it out. Stuck with the other ‘A’ runners for the entire race until the chap from Basingstoke kicked 800m from home. Closed him down in the last 400 but not enough to catch him finishing 2 secs behind in 17:47:33 but holding off the Stevenage runner behind me. 3rd in the ‘A’ race or 4th overall. Enjoyed my first outing on the track and definitely feel like there was more left to go quicker in future.
Splits as follows:
2015/14/25 (Sat)
Start @ 14:14:45
Lap 1 1:20.05 1:20.05
Lap 2 1:23.34 2:43.38
Lap 3 1:23.08 4:06.46
Lap 4 1:26.18 5:32.64
Lap 5 1:26.42 6:59.06
Lap 6 1:28.35 8:27.40
Lap 7 1:28.50 9:55.90
Lap 8 1:29.43 11:25.33
Lap 9 1:28.19 12:53.52
Lap 10 1:28.59 14:22.11
Lap 11 1:27.01 15:49.11
Lap 12 1:24.47 17:13.59
Lap 13 0:33.76 17:47.35
Stop @ 14:32:32

Chris Tuck
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21-04-15
Manchester marathon
Dave and I travelled up together and had a trial trip to the start to make sure we knew where it was. We were amazed by how nice and helpful the people were and how many groups of females and males were there for the weekend. There were lots of good looking females in our age group but decided to save the energy for the run and not try to chat them up. Had a good pasta, but was shocked by the number of fat, ugly, smoking, heavily tattooed females in the vicinity. Only woken up 3 times during the night, once by some girls, once by some blokes and once from Dave's snoring. Aimed for 2.54, and as Rupert knows, I had pre planned the whole race, what speed to do when, when to have gells, when to have energy drinks. Decided to run the first mile at marathon pace less 10 seconds, but was nearly caught up in the sub 3 pack with the pacer, so had to go faster. The energy drinks at mile 7.5 appeared at 9.5 so had to re plan the energy intake. Analysed the bottle contents (you could not buy them or test them prior to the race !), saw they only had the intake of half a gel, so completely ripped up the plan and played it by ear. Was fine up to 18 miles, then felt a bit tired, lost a bit between 20 and 22, and ran as hard as my tired stiff legs would take me from 24. The 25 mile marker was at 25.5 miles, so the end came surprising quickly. Managed 2.53.47 a PB buy just over 5 minutes. After crossing the line I nearly collapsed as the body decided to stop. Had 2 recovery drinks. Chatted to Rupert congratulating him, but I was still wobbling quite bit. We went for a massage (not from one of the Manchester fat tattoed ladies). I was asked to sit on a chair and wait, but could not move my legs to sit down, so stood up and waited. Legs a bit better after the massage. Good journey back except we had to run for a train !
Simon LeMare
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21-04-15

Toe'd the start line at Manchester knowing conditions were perfect and that from training I had the best chance of a good race - 3rd marathon this year, but this had real potential and training good. Started fast but controlled, but into the 8th mile did not fell amazing,and felt that I was really slogging out the second hour, but at least keeping consistent pace. However, by the 20 mile mark at 2:08 I felt remarkably strong and gave it my all, finding good pace again and enjoying the catching and passing aspect as others faltered.
10k: 39 mins
Halfway: 1:23;
20 miles 2:08
Finish: 2:48:55
Fastest mile 6:06 (mile 2)
Slowest mile 6:49 (mile 23, but gps a bit awol)
Last mile 6:30

PB by 2.5 mins

(and no, I am NOT running Edinburgh in 6 weeks, despite strong desire - will have to wait until next year)
Rupert Holden
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21-04-15
Here is my report from yesterday, nice cool start with little wind so knew a good time was no if i did not go out to fast! 1st 8 miles were run at 7.30 pace, then picked up the pace went through half way in 1 hour 37 mins, carried on picking up pace hit 20 miles in 2 hours 26, felt ok but knew the last 6 were going to be hard!! Managed to keep the pace around 7.17, but last mile 7.44, crossed line in time of 3.11.24, pb by over 3 mins and good for age so well pleased!! If anyone thinking of a spring marathon Give this one a go, Manchester made me feel very welcome!!
Dave Miller
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21-04-15
Two race reports and 2 new PBS (well 1 and a half anyway)
It's always difficult reporting races during marathon season in comparison with the Herculean efforts of runners in this group at that distance, but I had a good weekend of running (for me), so thought I would let you know how I got on, especially given the Ravens' connection on the first one.
Saturday - parkrun
Having got within a whisker of sub 19 minutes last Saturday, I was quietly pondering at the start of this week's run whether to go for it again this week, when Tucks turned up wearing the 19 minute pacer's jacket and announced that he was doing it especially for me! No pressure then. As always, I was I was mentally trying to convince myself I was in the right shape for a go, but nonetheless went off hard at the start to get clear of the field (the winter course is very congested at the start and you can quickly get boxed in, if you're not careful), before settling down to a pace I hoped I could hold. Tucks and Glacks duly passed me a short way in, but I knew if I kept Andy vaguely in touch I had a chance. Easier said than done, however, as my legs felt heavy and the gap began to widen. However, somehow, I held on and, as we turned into the last bend with about 300 meters to go, Andy was counting down the times as I sprinted after him, mining a well of effort I have genuinely never been to before. I just caught him on the line and checked my watch - 18:59! I had done it - just. Very happy and all thanks to Andy for his help. Steve was a little way ahead, setting the standard for the over 50's as always. It was also great to see Serena who managed to get round the full 5k, so hopefully she is on the road to recovery (again!). Fingers crossed for her. Getting a sub 19 min 5k was one of my three 2015 targets, along with a sub 90 minute half and a sub 40 min 10k, so I am very pleased to have got 2 of the 3 by April.
Sunday - Darent Valley 10k
There was no chance of going under 40 minutes for this 10k, as it is a reasonably tricky undulating/hilly course, mainly on road, but some trail as well. Chris Tuck ran it as well - as always good to see him. Lots of local runners, as the race is part of a few Clubs' GP's. I had no pre-conceived ideas about what time I could do but my official PB for 10k has some fat in it (42 mins dead), so I thought with a fair wind and a bit of luck, I might better that. It is a lovely picturesque 10k through the Kent countryside around Eynsford (near Brands Hatch), really one of the nicest races I have run, but with some tough hills but equally some good downhill sections too. Would definitely recommend it. Nicely organised and friendly as well. I ran much stronger than I thought I would, given the previous day's exertions and managed to finish in 66th place (10th in age category - Tony Tuohy was first) in 41:46. Whilst this is an official 10k PB, I did run the Insurance 10k at Battersea last year in a fraction quicker, but that was never recoded on Power of 10. Very happy with the weekend's work. Hope to be out a the some stage this week.
Marcus Elwes
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21-04-15
Flitwick 10k race report
Firstly I have to say I'm in awe of anyone who has the determination and talent to run those sort of marathon times - well done chaps! Anyway, back to less impressive running goals. The Flitwick 10k is my local club's race and the one I've been targeting for a PB as it's fast and on a course where I'm familiar with every twist and turn.
Perfect conditions on Sunday morning and my build up over the previous few weeks had gone very well with some hard track sessions and hill training mixed with plenty of easy recovery runs at no more than jogging pace. As an extra incentive I intended to reward a PB with a whole shoulder of lamb to myself for Sunday lunch. Failure meant I would be eating Mrs S's chicken stew. As much as I love her, I would not wish her chicken stew on any man! I got to 5k in 19.23, just 3 seconds slower than my planned 5k split and felt able to kick on for the more challenging second half. Knowing how far the hills go on for makes a big psychological difference and I found myself passing a number of other runners who had earlier been getting away from me. Big big push on the last flat 1k and finished in 38.50, a PB by 38 seconds. 26th overall out of about 750 so more than happy and stopped off on the way home to buy some mint sauce. I'm now focused on running sub 38 in a track 10,000 m in Lyon in August so any tips on how to lose the other 50 seconds would be much appreciated.
Steve Stanley
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14-04-15
A toast to the Goudhurst 10k!
Having moved into our current house in December 2013, I was doing the washing up one Sunday in April last year, when I looked up and saw in the distance a load of runners in what appeared to be some sort of race. Once I'd completed my household chores, I duly got on the internet and found that within a mile of my house was the start of the Goudhurst 5k & 10k annual races and therefore I made a mental note to investigate for 2015. On to today and with only two weeks to go until the London Marathon, I wasn't convinced I should really be doing this sort of race, but with it being so close to my house, I decided to give it a whirl and ran my scheduled "long" run (12 miles) on Friday to free up Sunday. The 10k race was two laps of country and private lanes out towards Finchcocks House with a small section of field work. It was a glorious spring day, warm sun but a relatively stiff breeze to run into on the outwards section of each lap. Whilst enjoying the novelty of seeing glimpses of my house from a race route, I tried to take things relatively seriously and concentrate on the race and other competitors around me; although in the back of my mind was 26 miles in two weeks time! With 1km to go, I had three runners within my sights, two of which I managed to pass, however the third, a (young!) lady remained just out of reach, and being a gentleman with a marathon on his mind, I decided that that was the way things should stay and duly crossed the line three seconds behind her. Although a smallish, relatively low key event, this race will be memorable for a number of reasons; well organised, great location and route, however, the main one is that in finishing with a gun time of 43.18, I came 13th (out of 175 finishers) and in so doing, won myself a bottle of wine for being first VM45! Into the bargain, Wadhurst Runners picked up the male team prize so I got another bottle of wine - my first ever prizes from a running event!!
Kevin Cockram
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14-04-15
Brighton Marathon
My race is a race which oddly despite being a victory felt like a defeat. I did not have the best of long run preparation I think I sould have run a few more 20 mile training runs in the build up and perhaps not raced so close to the marathon itself. However, Having run two 2:20 20 mile races this year I felt confident of getting that far before the wheels fell off. The weather yesterday was supposed to be overcast and cool. It was not. It was clear and skies and pretty hot. However, as a sub '3:15' runner I had the benefit of starting at a separate Elite start area (I know embarressing!). I saw Tom Payne and the runfast guys and a few other guys I recognised from track at mile end. At the start I set off at sub 7 minute miling and once I felt good I settled in behind the two sub 3.00 pacers and I was very comfortable for the first 10 miles and was enjoying the very beautiful views along the coast. It was around 10 miles that I began to notice how hot it was and started taking on a lot of water. My splits had been 40 mins per 10km and I went through half way at 1:29 and was concerned about my fluid intake which I tried to redress at the next water stations however I think I may have overcooked it as the water wasn't mixing well with my gels in my stomach. Anyway things were going to plan until just after 16 miles when I hit a wall which was way earlier than the 20 miles that I expected to find it at. What followed were 10 horrific miles in which I slogged out and I slowed down at times to 8.50 min miling. Having been running so well it was humbling to have to suddenly find the will from somewhere to keep moving and I must admit in those last 10 miles I walked 4 or 5 times. At some point I rediscovered gatorade and this seemed to make a difference and to get me back to some semblence of running and I managed to mentally break the last six miles down in to two 5km segments and run at a 7:50ish pace at times. It was nice to get a big 'Ravens' shout from Serena in the last mile, thank you. Amazingly, I ran a pb of 3:11:20, which I really don't think I deserved. As a final word I would encourge anyone thinking of a spring marathon next year to consider Brighton. It is fantastic and well organised and has the feel of a big city marathon. Entries are already open!
Mike McGeown
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14-04-15
Maldon Parkrun & World Duathlon Champs Qualification
My report is quite simple and nothing of the magnitude of your efforts but I won the Maldon Prom Parkrun on Saturday morning in 18:28. Lead from start to finish so didn’t have the benefit of someone to chase to run faster and it was very windy along the river. Wish they would do parkruns in the afternoon – as I definitely am not a Saturday morning person and I am still half asleep at the start! Then Saturday got better because over lunch I checked my emails and had the good news that I had qualified for my Age Group for the World Duathlon Championships in Adelaide in October!! So a good weekend even without a Grand National winner!
George Wakefield
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14-04-15
For my part, I managed a new PB at parkrun on Saturday of 19:02 with the help of both Stevie G (trying to hang off the back of him) and Tucks (pacing 20 behind me, general bellowing and encouragement). My previous official PB of 19:05 was a rogue result, as the course was short that day, so it was good to get a 'proper' one again. Now I just need to find those 3 seconds to duck in under 19 mins for the first time.
Marcus Elwes
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14-04-15
Clapham 15K
Since coming along to the Ravens last June time it’s taken me this long to actually run an official race (and like buses I have another one in two weeks). Some very good runs at the weekend and from the Assembly League looking at the results. Mike I feel the pain I’m sure a lot of people have been there before , last year the Dusseldorf marathon and London the year before, both times bang on for sub 3 both times the heat or other issue go to much and I went to pot towards the last third. For this weekend I decided at the last minute to head over to Clapham to undertake a 15K run round Clapham common. It’s a multi-terrain course with regular 90/180 degree corners at regular intervals and enough undulation to make it an unusually tough race, throw in the hot temperatures and I was glad it was over at the end. However tempting it was to join the kids 2K race and in all likely hood, storm to victory I held myself back and waited for my race (the 10 year old winner won in 8:45). There was a 5K, 10K and 15K (5K Laps) race set off at 2 minute intervals. Being in the last wave I headed to the front at the start as was confident I was at least quick enough to justify starting towards the front, after the gun went off and about 10 meters had gone by someone came flying by and headed off so quickly I lost sight of him after 300 meters, there was one other person that went off fast but I kept to my own goal and pace rather than being sucked into starting to quickly. I settled into 3rd knowing that 4th was relatively close and in my head thinking I need to keep in front of this person, that was a mistake… not only did I keep in front of this person I was also running sub 5:45 a mile and was on for a 5K pb on the first lap at which point I knew that If I didn’t slow by 15/20 seconds a mile I would blow up. I applied the brakes slightly and sure enough 4th after a short time came past me and kicked on to leave me on my own. I went through 5K in 18:40. The next two laps were as I thought, hard as I was already tired from pushing the first lap but my goal was to run under an hour I went through 10K in about 38 minutes. I knew who had won the last 15K race as the starter kindly pointed him out at the start and at this stage of the race I had a good 400 meter lead over him so this was motivation enough to kick on and keep ahead as he had previously won it in 57 minutes. I managed to keep this gap and even open it up a bit and was very pleased to have crossed the line in 59:39. The only controversy is the results show me as 5th because someone had a faster chip time.. there is no way I was 5th as the bloke would have had to start over a minute and a half behind me and with probably 80 people running it doesn’t take that long to cross the start line, I’m going with the fact he must have cut a corner or something. The bloke who won did it in 51:38. Needless to say it was a really good training exercise for my half in two weeks and I have hopefully picked up a few pointers as to what I should do differently in the build-up and the race itself. The wife was pleased but no rest, straight back to reality of sanding painting, taking the radiator off and rewiring the lights (we have a baby due in 3 to 4 weeks)… but to be fair she did let me out to run so I have to be grateful for that J
Duncan Anderson
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14-04-15
The ONER ultra – 80 miles, +10,000ft of climbing.
Follows the Coastal Path - starts at Charmouth, lap round Portland then on to finish at Studland Bay. A friend persuaded me to do this race about a month ago – so with a solid base of a few weeks 5km training we set off at midday on Saturday. Seriously hilly from the off but we stayed ahead our planned 21hr schedule (there’s a 24hr cut-off). A few navigation errors at night added a bit onto the official distance/elevation – including a rather unpleasant steep drop and resulting climb round the Lulworth ranges. At about 60miles my left calf and knee packed up so we had to drop to walking/hobbling pace. The last 4km is along the beach at Studland – an emotional way to round off an emotional 22hrs 17mins (27th/84 starters (about 30 DNFs)).
Tom Robertson
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14-04-15
Paris Marathon: almost...
Yesterday I ran the Paris marathon. That was my 2nd marathon ever. My preparation until March (from Jan) was good (Tuesday and Thursday sessions + the ones on my one) then I had to travel a lot for work making it harder to train. Anyway as people say “the training was done before so the energy/strength must be somewhere, hopefully you will find it while running” I am sure Arif you remember saying that J . So I kept repeating that to myself to feel good. As for Brighton, the weather was also amazing, clear blue sky and hot so hydratation was key. 1st half was fine, ran it in 1.29mins. Tryed to drink every 2.5k and had my 1st gel at km 8 (then every 7 kms). I really tried to focus on each km with in mind that I had to keep some energy left km 30 till the end. I felt fine up Km 32 although my legs were starting to be a bit stiff. Checking my time now, I was already 2to3 secs slower then although I did not hit the wall the last 10 kms were tough. My legs were really stiff. I was slower running each km in 4.25sec VS the 1st 2/3. At the end, thanks to the cheers of the crowd, I could finish it in 3h02mins30sec. that s a PB for me (8mins faster than last year). The sub-3h was not far but probably missed some strength in the legs, 1 or 2 other long runs would have probably helped.
Stephen Jullien
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14-04-15
Hampshire Road Relays
My race was on the shorter end of the scale at an approximate distance of 6.5k as part of a 3-man senior relay team at the above event which was resurrected after many years' absence. The course consisted of 2 laps of the IBM car park and surrounding lakeside at Hilsea just north of Portsmouth. Whilst it was a very bright day, unlike at Brighton and the inland locations there was quite a stiff westerly wind which helped keep the temperature down but wasn't great to run into. Fortunately the course ran clockwise and the wind was either behind you or you were sheltered from it for about 3/4s of the lap. Was quite a small turnout in all and we finished 4th in seniors but the U17 men won overall and our various vet categories (V40, V50, V60) all got top 3 finishes. The quickest leg was sub 20 by our young Mo Mohamed who won the U17 at Parliament Hill and is destined for great things on the European stage.
Tim Sherman
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10-04-15
Assembly League Beckenham
It was a lovely spring evening in leafy Beckenham for the first race of the series, 250 runners with a good turnout of a dozen Ravens - and there were some really fantastic performances! We also had the benefit of support en route from Serena on her bike. All times unofficial since the results probably won't be out till next week.
As usual, Dennis started the race without warning and we were off - Rob Osborne was certainly not caught napping as he raced off into the lead, not a bad start considering he only got home from Tenerife at 4am!
Steve Stanley and I were a little disappointed with our performances. Steve possibly paid for too quick a start, finishing in a good time of 18:36 but had been hoping for nearer to 18 after some good races recently. Conversely, I possibly paid for not having an especially quick start and didn't feel like I mentally got into top gear - but the truth is I'm probably just not as fit as I hoped - finishing in 17:48, 40 seconds slower than last April.
I don't have times for Dave Miller or Vicky, Dave wasn't racing flat-out on his AL debut, enjoyed the race and picked off plenty of runners in the latter stages. Vicky couldn't work out how to use her watch, which at least meant she could 'just run' and had plenty of battles with other ladies, really enjoyed the race a lot and was buzzing at the end (even more so than usual!). By hook or by crook, we need to try to get some more girls to help Vicky put out a ladies team in future.
Back to Rob, who maintained his lead till the the first hill, where he settled his pace and was in 5th place at the start of the finishing hill where one guy passed him and Tim was breathing down his neck. Tim had tracked Rob for much of the race, losing ground on the downhill, but reeling him in along the flat until Rob put in a super finishing sprint up the hill to get back into 5th place and a storming time of 15:55, which undoubtedly would have translated into a 5k pb. Tim also claimed a top 10 place and a great time of 16:03.
Like many, Lee was a little caught out by the sudden start but soon got into a really good pace for the hill and flat mid-section, surrounded by Dulwich runners who are always strong in these races. The final hill was no problem for Lee as he finished very strongly to equal his course PB from a couple of years ago, a very satisfying time of 16:29.
In the next group, and also surrounded by Dulwich runners, were Rob Laing (running for Kent) and Mick. Rob made it a great night for Robs, with a storming time of 16:38 (trying desperately to catch Lee) - coming off the back of smashing his half marathon pb last month, it's already turning into a great year for him. To top it off Rob had his wife and baby waiting at the finish. Mick was next across the line in 16:40, another really good, satisfying time and completing a great Ravens top 4, which will see us with a good team position - let's hope we can keep that going.
Not too far behind Rob and Mick was Alex, making his AL debut and finishing strongly to put down a fantastic time of 17:05, proving he's in great shape for a sub 3:05 attempt at London in a couple of weeks. And yet another strong debut performance came from Chris Tuck, keeping pace with Alex for much of the race, finishing in 17:28, hopefully keeping enough in reserve for the national road relays on the weekend.
Simon Phillips
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10-04-15
Assembly League Beckenham
A great turn out from the Ravens last night on what was a perfect evening for racing.
My race went really well and I ended up with about 16:40 for what was approx. a 3 mile race, which I was very pleased with.
I ran/raced the whole race with a group of Dulwich runners which kept me going, I could also see Lee just ahead of my group.
I thought the performance of the night came from Rob Osborne who sprinted off at the beginning and despite me thinking that he would blow up he carried on going, coming home first Raven in a sub 16 time.
Another contender for performance of the night was Chris's B&B team mate Andy Tucker who somehow managed to run 18:42 just four days after his little jaunt in the hills. I know I wouldn't be able to walk let alone put in such a good race. Very impressive.
Thanks to all who made it, especially Rob having only just returned from hols, Tucks who should probably be resting, Tim who had a journey back to Southampton and Serena for her support. Hopefully we have a good base to build on for the remaining races, with some coming back from injury etc., maybe we can get an even bigger turnout at Victoria Park next month - flat 3.5 miles - and hopefully another good team performance.
Mick Bridgeland
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8-04-15
MY COMEBACK RACE REPORT
I am on hols in the IOW. The Newport Park Run is 10 miles from where we are staying, so early to bed last night and even drove to dinner last night to ensure I was in tip top race condition. Woke up early and had 30 minutes of stretching and foam roller. Arrived at Newport with plenty of time. Met about 40 other tourists and discovered that the run been moved to Ryde. Hope the locals enjoyed their run. Yes, it was mentioned in “news”, but I would have thought they might have changed the home page, or even the name of the run! Anyway, warmed up for 2 miles and ran 20.36 for 5K by myself. First real timed run in 12 months. The comeback starts here.
Robin McCoy
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8-04-15
South Downs Way 50
On Saturday I ran my first ultra – the South Downs Way 50 miler. The route is a mostly off road course across the beautiful countryside along the south coast from Worthing to Eastbourne. It’s extremely hilly and on the day quite muddy. Along the top of the downs (an oxymoron if ever there was one) it was very windy and, at times, both very cold and quite bleak. But, as the day wore on the sun came out and treated the runners to some breath-taking views of British countryside and landscapes at their most beautiful. As my first ultra I took the race at a sensible pace with the aim of enjoying the race as much as possible. The constant stream of hills (5700 ft of climb including Ditchling Beacon) were very tough. I would say this is probably the hardest race I have run – a lot harder than the Beachy Head marathon. As the race went on it was a battle to stay warm and hydrated. The event was excellently organised by Centurion running (Stuart did their Thames Path race last year) and I enjoyed the event immensely. My time wasn’t great – 9 hours 22 minutes by my watch – but I learned a lot and succeeded in my two main aims – finishing and enjoying the event.
Andy Tucker
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8-04-15
Folkestone 10 miler
I run the above race on Good Friday morning it was a very overcast day with winds rather lighter than the previous Sunday, the course itself is run along the seafront from Hythe to Folkestone with one hill at about 5 miles. I managed to hold the pace between 6.45 and 7 min miling for all the race, and finished the last mile very strong, crossed the line in 1.08.49 which was not a pb but pleased with my run. 2 week taper now leading up to Greater Manchester a week on Sunday.
Dave Miller
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1-04-15
Paddock Wood Half Marathon

After putting down a good time at hilly Tunbridge Wells half last month, I had high hopes for this race, at the time I thought I could take 2-3 minutes off that. Disrupted training since meant I moderated my hopes but I still expected a pretty decent pb. It's quite a big race, not as flat a course as I expected, over 2000 finishers including lots from Dulwich and Blackheath. A slower than target-pace first mile was my first clue that I was being unrealistic, tired calves by the halfway point was another. Being wise, I would have taken a leaf out of Jon's book, and eased up a little for the second half, but I didn't and tried my best still. Weather not as bad as forecast, although the wind seemed to pick up noticeably in the last 10k, but no excuses. I finished in 1:23:24, a minute behind Clare Elms, four behind Tony Tuohy, way off a pb and actually 30s slower than TW. The time is fine but it didn't work out as I'd hoped and in retrospect I should have focussed last week (and next) on making up much needed lost ground in marathon training. At least there was chocolate in the goody bag. Saw Marcus, Kevin & Vicky at the end and somebody did get just rewards for good training recently with an excellent pb ….
Simon Phillips
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1-04-15
I felt under a certain amount of pressure in the lead up to this race, as a lot of people had been telling me I should easily get under 90 minutes for the first time and certainly my current form suggested the same. However the forecast weather conditions were pretty bad and I was not so confident in the immediately preceding days.
On the day, it was pretty overcast and wet but not as bad as forecast. The wind however was potentially an issue, probably later in the race according to the person I travelled down with who had studied the course map in wind direction in advance (fine preparatory work I must say). I saw Simon and Vicky immediately before the race which was excellent. We had a huge turnout of local runners too, 21 from our own club and about 100 Bromley parkrunners, so the race had a great friendly feel.
On chatting with one parkrunner the day before, I decided at the last minute that my tactic would be to try and maintain a 6:45 pace for the first 10 miles, as there are some hilly bits towards the end, which can slow you down. As it was, this was the perfect advice, not just because of the hills. Anyway soon after the start of the race, I passed Dave and Kevin running in close proximity, checked on how they were and moved on. Dave had hold me his plan was to start at 7:00 pace so I didn't hang around. I must admit I found the first 8 miles relatively easy and maintained a little under my planned pace with relative ease. 8-10 were a bit more tricky as the wind began to play a part but I recorded just over 68 minutes for 10 miles (a PB), so was on course. All I needed (I told myself) was a 21 minute parkrun to finish and I was there. However, that last 3 and a bit miles was really tough, as the wind was straight in our faces and maintaining any pace at all was ridiculously hard. I genuinely thought I had blown it, as a struggled along with my watch showing my pace at times dropping as low as 7:30. However, with less than a mile to go, I saw that my average pace was still 6:52, the magic number and I knew if I could just keep at that pace or a bit below I could still do it. This co-incided with turning back into the town and out of the head wind and head down I went for it, finishing in 1:29:38. First time under 90 minutes and over 4 minutes off my previous PB (Barns Green last September). I was chuffed to bits, to say the least.
My splits
1) 1m - 6:47(6:47/m) 136cal
2) 1m - 6:41(6:41/m) 139cal
3) 1m - 6:39(6:39/m) 139cal
4) 1m - 6:50(6:50/m) 139cal
5) 1m - 6:37(6:37/m) 139cal
6) 1m - 6:52(6:52/m) 139cal
7) 1m - 6:48(6:48/m) 140cal
8) 1m - 6:53(6:53/m) 139cal
9) 1m - 7:04(7:04/m) 138cal
10) 1m - 7:00(7:00/m) 140cal
11) 1m - 7:04(7:04/m) 138cal
12) 1m - 7:10(7:10/m) 141cal
13) 1m - 6:54(6:54/m) 139cal
14) 0.06m - 22(6:30/m) 8cal
Marcus Elwes
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1-04-15
The last of my usual round of Spring Half Marathons saw me nip up the road to Paddock Wood. Bumped into Dave Miller on the start line and as we were looking for similar times he suggested we run together - however a big puddle about 400 metres into the race split us as everyone tried to avoid soaking wet feet early on and I ended up in a crowd of runners a little behind Dave. About half a mile in and a very relaxed looking Marcus passed by working his way through the field like a hot knife through butter! Unfortunately the same could not be said of me and a little like Simon, my first mile was an indicator that I was not going to be repeating my heroics of 2012 / 13, so I just sat in there and tried to keep a steady pace going. I had been pleasantly surprised that the wind didn't seem too grim, however that changed for the second half of the race and there were certainly a couple of places where things got a little lively. About a mile from the end I saw there were three runners between me and Mr Miller and so I decided to see if I could end up in the place behind him. Got the first two relatively easily, the third was a little more tricky but going into the finishing straight l managed to whip round the outside and hold the position to finish a couple of seconds immediately behind Dave in a time of 1.33.14 - a little quicker than last year but not what I'd hoped for. Still it was good to have a chat with Simon, Dave, Vicky and the "Man of the Moment" Marcus (congratulations on your HM pb) and I thought the medal was pretty swanky - oast houses, so seemed appropriate to go home for a beer - Cheers!
Kevin Cockram
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1-04-15
My race was not the best to tell you the truth, 1st mile was around 7 min miling, then for the next 5 managed to keep to apace of around 6.52 - 6.55, then after this I found the wind brutal to tell you the truth the latter miles were around 7.20 - 7.25. Was glad to cross the line in 1.33.12 which was not a pw which I am happy to report on, Folkestone 10 miler this friday if my legs will let me.
Dave Miller
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1-04-15
It was great to see other Ravens at this race and I was also nicely surprised by a couple of my parkrunners too. A few from my first claim club were there but not as many as expected. At the outset I told myself I would be happy with anything from 1.35 to 1.40 but (as Simon so rightly told me last week), I shouldn’t set the bar so low when I’m capable of more. However, I haven’t done the speedwork that I should have done recently as I’ve been concentrating on marathon training and the long runs (the lazy person in me says this is so much easier), so I guess my confidence in myself wasn’t there. I didn’t have a good start due to the sheer volume of runners and when I got to the top of the railway bridge was stunned at the actual size of the field; I had seriously underestimated it. I should have pushed harder, if only a few seconds quicker per mile, I had it in me and hate regretting that I didn’t. I have this irrational fear that I’ll run out of energy before the end, and end up really slowing down or (god forbid) having to walk. Having said all of that, it was a good feeling working my way through the field when everyone else was dropping off and I held steady, basically looking for the next female and then using them as a target to pick off, as I came to them. Anyway, I went through half way in 48.01 and finished in 1.35.34 – nowhere near my best of 1.33.03. My avg pace was 7.17 and I know I could have gone harder as my last mile was 7.19. I saw another running mate and went on to do a 2 mile warm down with her. I (think) I’ve learnt a valuable lesson, do more than you think you can, because usually you can.
Vicky Cooper
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1-04-15
Hampton Court Half
Having been pleased 2 weeks ago with my time in a hilly North London half, I was targeting this flat half for a much faster time and so disappointed to finish one minute slower in 1:41 ! I know it's an excuse but the problem was the wind - it was fierce especially in very exposed parkland and I didn't seem to have the energy to handle it, I found it harder than hills. Met Juliette there and she finished one minute ahead of me after going past me about half way in her first half so well done to her.
Frustrating race but a very nice Henry VIII medal !
Steve Dewey
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1-04-15
Croydon Half
Did this one again for the 3rd time, and this was my slowest half in 3 years, getting round in 1.27 and 15 secs – more than 4 mins slower than when I ran this 2 yrs ago.
The weather was awful especially in the 2nd half and I don’t remember it being this hilly in the past! Truth is, I’m not as fit and don’t have the mileage in my legs.
It’s a testing run indeed, and the last mile is mostly uphill – the first lady was just ahead of me and I was gradually closing on her, but she finished with some good speed. I will look for a flat ish half over the next few weeks and hopefully knock some time off that.
Steve Glackin
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1-04-15
I did the southerns 12 stage relays in milton keynes for the kent ac b team. The race is a 7k/ 5k alternate relay and usually has some pretty tasty runners - last year chris thompson/ scott overall/ paul pollock got the 3 best times. And top 30 teams ish go through to the nations in 2 weeks time. I came into it with a bit of an injury (classic 'pain in the ass') but have been stretching and did a pilates on the sat. The race was hard/ windy and i haven't been doing much speedwork recently and did a par 18.33 which is ok (slightly over 5k so approximately the equivalent of 18m). the injury was fine during the race but unfortunately struggled to walk after the race and needed quite a lot of paracetamol/ alcohol to get home.
Arif Merali
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1-04-15
It was my first multisport event of the year yesterday at the Basildon Aquathlon. The race consisted of a 400m swim and then a 5k run around Gloucester Park. The first part of the run was great as it was on foot paths, however for the second part of the run they routed us up and over the big hill in Gloucester Park three times. The problem was that I decided to do the run in racing flats as I did last year. Unfortunately thorugh this year it was horrendously muddy so trying to stay on my feet was the biggest challenge especially going down hill! I managed 12thplace in all which was about two minutes slower than last year. Given my lack of running fitness and the conditions this was a pretty solid performance. Lets hope I can eventually get some of that speed back I had prior to my injury!
Ian George
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1-04-15
Following Ian's report I confess to also doing a multi sport event yesterday similar. I did the London fields aquathlon 400m swim and 5km run. Not great conditions as most people experienced yesterday but I ended up with just over 18mins on the run after a 5:10 swim and took the overall win. Off on hols to Tenerife today back next Thursday in time for the assembly league if I can arrange a pass !
Rob
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1-04-15
My race report – I marshalled the Orion 15 – our big race of the year and over 50 years old. The course has eased over the years with forest paths and a change of route which took out the most testing hills alongside the M25 and parts of the muddiest terrain. It was won by 6 mins by little Harold Whyber (who has ran with us a few times) in the very good time of 1 28. A great run.. a historic race that only asks for donations but unwise to use as a marathon training run – simply too tough.
Phil Hernon
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1-04-15
Berlin Half Marathon
On Sunday I have run Berlin half and closed in 1:53. Considering that this is the first time that I go under 2 hours and the twisted unkle that forced me to give up training for 3 weeks, I am quite happy with it although I hope next time I run an 1/2 I can train properly so that I can push it hard and set a new PB. The atmosphere at the race was really nice, with people supporting the runners all the way though the 13 miles. The race passes some of the nicest and historical places so it has been also a touristic run for my first time in Berlin. Especially touching for me has been the passage under the last Kremlin flag just before the checkpoint Charlie, thinking that only 25 years ago things there were so different.
Ciao,
Francesco Calvino
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24-03-15
I have run races of differing distances the last three consecutive weekends and I'm very pleased to report 3 PBs!
Clapham Chasers Thames River 20 Miler (08.03.15)
I ran this as a sub 7 min mile training run following a pacer. Arif was there too and I listened to him having a jolly chat to the pacer most of the way round and I don't think he was out of breath once. I had to concentrate in the last 4 miles and finished along side a jogging Arif in a time of 02:19:17 shaving a minute off my previous PB set in February.

Southwark Park Park Run (14.03.15)
After a week of recovery I had a go at this local park run as a speed session as I'd missed them during the week. My previous PB on this course had been 19:12 and no where near my 5km Pb. I decided to run hard and found myself in second place within the first 200m (not a well attended park run) and held my pace and place throughout. I was surprised by my overall time as it even beat my previous Ravens 5km pb by 14 seconds. My finish time was 18:29.

Fleet Half Marathon (Today)
Today's race for me was the icing on the cake. I was hoping that my recent form would translate in to a good race and thankfully it did. At 10 miles I picked up my pace and started to overtake those ahead of me and even at the end I felt I could have run faster. My time was 01:25:38 a pb by over 3 minutes.
I just hope this form continues!
Mike McGeown
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24-03-15
Hastings Half Marathon - 50 not out!
Firstly - well done Mike - 3 superb results! Secondly, many thanks for all your pre-race kind words re. Hastings and my 50th Half Marathon - I really appreciated them.
As to the race, well I made it round, although the curse of Paddock Wood 2012 / 2013 returned to haunt me with my timing chip appearing to fail. However, having just looked again, I now feature in the official race results in 202nd place out of 2,995 finishers with a chip time of 1.32.21 which, somewhat remarkably, is exactly the time recorded by my own Garmin......wonder how they worked that out?!! My time was around 4 minutes quicker than my previous two half marathons and was also within 33 seconds of my course PB set in 2012, so I'm hoping that with a bit more speed work, things will continue to move in the right direction for another shot at Gold at Barns Green in September!! The event itself lived up to its usual high standards - well organised, plenty of support, live music, great atmosphere etc etc and for once there wasn't an horrendous headwind to contend with! One of the highlights for me was running down the old town high street and onto the seafront as one of four Wadhurst Runners with the cheering crowds reacting to four club shirts together - really makes you appreciate the benefit of running for a club - how lucky that most of us get to run for two!! Anyway, Paddock Wood next week and on to my 51st HM - hopefully I'll still have something left in the tank. Phil will then be pleased to know that I will leave Half Marathons alone for a while and concentrate on some shorter stuff - bar the small matter of the London Marathon on 26/04 - trying not to think about that one though!
Kevin Cockram
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24-03-15
Eastleigh 10k
I ran the above well attended race of over 2,000 yesterday on a cold but dry morning with some spring sunshine breaking through in time for the 9am start. Was my first 10k and proper road race of the year not taking into account the Ravens 5k and a few parkruns as have been mostly running cross country. I didn't therefore have particularly high expectations before the race but felt good after the warm up and felt fairly confident in my endurance after some good fartlek and k rep sessions recently. There were a good number of very decent runners to follow at the start and soon settled into a strangely comfortable 5.30 pace. Was one of those rare days where everything felt smooth and fluid. I pushed up the only significant hill at about 3k and felt good on the long gradual downhill drag afterwards with the north easterly wind behind. Went through 5k in 17.06 and felt good so kept pushing on aiming to catch up with each group in front of me. At 7k it started getting a lot harder as turned into a head wind for just over a k before the last 1500 effort to the finish. Unfortunately had run out of gas for a significant extra couple of gears in the last 400m to the line, otherwise may have dipped under 34 but in the end crossed the line in 34.11 which is a 10 second PB from my time on the same course 2 years ago.
Was pleased with how I paced the race but need to get some more speed/track work in to improve on the sprint finish. I now hope that a sub-34 is achievable if I keep training well and get the right course and conditions. I did think of Phil at certain points shouting out "**it times" which spurred me on in addition to a lot of crowd support.
Tim Sherman
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24-03-15
For me it was just another go at my local park run at Hockey Woods. One of the good things about conning back from a long lay off is that you do start to see some fairly quick improvements. Anyway I managed to knock 53 seconds off my time from 2 weeks ago finishing bang on 20 minutes. In fact I very nearly won. I was only just out sprinted by one of my club mates who is about 30 years younger than me! I am not quite running the 5k times I was before my injury but I am about 95% there. Given the fact that I didn’t run for six months I thought my running fitness would take a turn for the worst but in reality I really didn’t have anything to worry about.
Ian George
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24-03-15
Reading Half
Reading Half just didn’t work out for me. Whether it was the 4:30am get up or getting cold for an hour at the start, I don’t know. Quite possibly, I need to do a few more halfs / longer races!? I do know that the training has been good though. I saw Jon Fairs there who looks in terrific shape for VLM! I managed 1:19:57 (down around 3 minutes from where I was hoping)
Lee Martin
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24-03-15
Good to see you yday Lee, it's a good time but understand the disappointment. My race was harder than planned too. I was hoping marathon training might yield a half PB but too much mileage in my legs so once I was 30 seconds off the pace at 10miles I decided to stop pushing and protect myself and the ability to get back into training this week which wouldn’t have happened if I kept up the same pace, so 55.55 at 10miles, but 1.14.58 finish. Fine for yesterday, not fine for April 26th!
Jon Fairs
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24-03-15
Season's best parkrun for me on Saturday 19:20. Still short of where I want to be by the end of the summer.
Marcus Elwes
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24-03-15I ran my annual Brentwood half. Thought I should be able to achieve 6.30 miles. Lack of any distance over 9 miles in training showed in the last miles and pace dropped off finished 1.26.20. Agree with Mike lack of training but long Tuesday sessions helped.
Pat Young
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24-03-15
I also ran the Brentwood Half yesterday, sorry I didn’t see you Pat. I managed the first 9 miles in exactly 60 minutes so was hoping for a PB but unfortunately the inclines towards the end put pay to that and I finished in 1:29.06. I was still very pleased though as I took 27 seconds off my time from last year.
Wesley Absolom
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24-03-15
Age UK 10K
Ran this yesterday at Crystal Palace park. Know the course very well as it encompasses the park run route. Got round in 38.07 , so very pleased with that given that its certainly not flat. Really well organised too, starting and finishing at the track. Plenty of support along the way, but there were a few people with ‘wayward’ dogs to contend with. One dog walker in particular, with two Staffies, one of which had was carrying a very wide branch in its mouth which runners had to jump over.
It wasn’t advertised as a steeple chase.
Steve Glackin
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24-03-15
I ran our club closing 5 handicap on Saturday on a new and improved course. Nothing to shout about other than that I enjoyed it and didn’t cause too much damage. Trying to stay in one piece for the South Downs Way 50 which is Saturday week.
Andy Tucker
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24-03-15
Thought I would give my first race report. Contrary to the physio’s advice I decided to run the Selsdon Half on Saturday. My leg felt fine before I went to the physio about two weeks back, so I took the judgement call that he was being overly conservative and I was absolutely fine to run. My leg was fine during the run and it still seems okay. It is a very small race and clearly doesn’t attract a huge pool of talent as the course record was 1.23.10 prior to this year’s race. The race itself is rather undulating to say the least and involves running up and down residential roads in and around Croydon. In addition there are a number of crossings of busy roads which don’t make for a particularly smooth run. The winner this year, Kevin Quinn (who rain a 14.43 for the 5k at the Armagh International Road Race), smashed the previous course record in a time of 1.12.28. The last time I saw him was at the start line. I was in the second group of runners, which consisted of myself and two other guys. We ran together the entire way and ended racing right up the finish line with a seconds between us. I came 3rd in a time of 1.22.47 and broke my previous PB by just under 4 minutes. Hoping on a flat course I can take some more time off.
Robert Laing
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24-03-15
Leighton Buzzard 10k
It sounds like this weekend was a PB bonanza for many - well done to all concerned. Unfortunately I didn't catch the bug and ran a disappointing Leighton Buzzard 10k in 40.10. I was aiming for just sub 40 before I go hell for leather for a PB at my local club's 10k in a couple of weeks. There were some painful uphill bits and added to the effects of Saturday night's Mexican meal - I didn't feel at my sharpest wind-free best. However, my daughter informed me that I was 19th overall and DEFINATELY first V50. We duly hung around in the school hall for an hour awaiting the prize giving. I could even see the gold envelope on the table with "1st V50" written on the front containing a £10 shopping voucher to go with the comb I was awarded at the St Alban's 10k last year for being "1st Bald Bloke". I took up my position on the bench next to the overall winner who pipped me at the post by a hair's breadth - 7 minutes to be precise. The big moment arrived and the race director made the announcement - "and first V50, a big hand please for..........Mark Sweeney!" The worse thing was I had already started to stand up to embrace the adulation of the crowd. Fortunately Mark Sweeney (whoever he is) hadn't hung around like the sad git I am. That would have made it even more embarrassing. My daughter tells me that she was sure there was nobody who looked over 50 in front of me - although it may have been "the man in the bandana and sunglasses"
I've learnt some salutary lessons - 1) don't count your chickens and 2) wear a brightly coloured head-scarf! (or just run a bit faster next time)
Steven Stanley
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24-03-15
Wymondham 20m
Did the above yesterday, not racing as such but looking for even pacing in race conditions over the distance and to finish feeling I could continue without problems from my right leg. Aimed for 7:30 pace, went off quicker, and slowed as I usually do but averaged a little under 7:30's, I was okay in the first half but struggled to get the pace back after the hills on the second lap. I finished about 2:29.18, 9 seconds off a PB feeling okay.
Chris Meadows
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24-03-15
British Sprint Duathlon Championships - Clumber Park
This weekend I took part in the British Sprint Duathlon (Run/Bike/Run) Championships at Clumber Park near Sherwood Forest. Having not realised until after I’d entered that it was the British Championships I was very nervous, but I’m glad I tested myself against the big boys and actually I’m very pleased with my result too. I was 67th out of c. 300 Males and 9th out of 30 in my Age Group. The run course was very busy for the first 2km, with 160 people in my wave on narrow paths to begin with, and in common with the bike course it was undulating so very hard to get into any kind of rhythm but I was picking off other runners right up to first transition. Getting on the bike I lost a lot of time because someone in front made a mess of getting on their bike on the narrow path so I had to stop – taking my feet back out of my bike shoes and having to fight to sort those out before getting going again – lost maybe 5-10 places and nearly a minute. The bike course itself was tough, always up or down, never flat and it was very windy. Some of the best guys in the 2nd wave caught me on the bike, they were incredible (av. Speeds of 24/5mph). The final run was really tough, way harder than in a triathlon much more jelly legged. Not my best race or run times but picked off more people in the final run to finish cold and knackered, but happy. There were quite a few people in their Team GB Age Group Tri-suits that I overtook and beat which was a brilliant feeling and bodes well for my triathlon season ahead.
George Wakefield
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18-03-15
North London Half
This was the first North London half and I only chose it because everything else was booked up ! It was an out and back stadium to stadium run starting at Allianz Park (home of Saracens), running through Wembley stadium around half way which was a good twist. The problem was the rest of the route seemed to consist of a lot of industrial estates and back streets as apparently closing the North Circular was not an option ! It was cold and the course had a lot of hills, short and long drags which I hadn't expected. I got round in 1:40 and 15 seconds averaging 7:33 per mile which I was pleased with as I've been labouring with my long training runs at 8:10 pace. First race for a long while as getting back from series of niggling injuries in 2014 and really enjoyed it. Didn't enjoy the entry price which was a massive £42 but could hardly carry all the drinks, food and other rubbish handed out at the end, I suppose they have to try and justify the price somehow.
Steve Dewey
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18-03-15
As part of my wife's marathon training I too lined up at the start of the North London half yesterday. As per Steve every other race was already booked. The course, described as undulating, did have some long hills in it which I too was not expecting. Really enjoyed running through Wembley stadium at half way although this coincided with me beginning to find it quite tough. Had gone through 4 miles in 27.30 which was probably a bit too quick for me and the shape Im in at present. Slowed down somewhat after that and found the last few miles through the industrial estates and back streets really hard and was glad to get back to Allianz park for a nice finish in the stadium to pick up, water, medal, goody bag, t shirt etc and then wait for Mrs Priest. Second race in a few weeks and might well have a period of non-racing now for some years! Got round in 1.35.15 for 342nd place out of 4713 finishers and 10th in the M50 category.
Philip Priest
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18-03-15
Essex 20
I run this race yesterday as my build up to my marathon in 5 weeks, run it as a hard LSR. Very overcast day a bit cold and a bit windy in paces, got in a good group with 8 of us, the race really went well keep to a good pace, then over the 4 miles push the pace to around 7 min miling legs felt good and managed to cross the line in 2.29 which was a pb of 5 mins so a good day at the office.
Dave Miller
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18-03-15
Silverstone 1/2 Race Report
Oh dear, another disappointing race to report on - though looking on the bright side I did finish this one! Ran 1:32:09 which was about 4-5 mins slower than what I'd been taeting. First 4-5 miles was exactly on plan without feeling under any strain, then all started to go wrong and was a struggle to finish. I'm blaming too many dumplings last week and a 10 1/2 hour flight on Friday ;-(
Keith Skilling
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18-03-15
On Saturday I ran the BMAF xc Champs in Ruthin, North Wales. I came 3rd M55 to get a bronze medal. It was one of those rare races where everything went right. The course was undulating, a little bit of mud and water, a stoney path and some concrete track through a farmyard but overall a fast course. It was about 5.5 miles and I averaged just under 6min/mile. The most important result was the fact that I beat three of my rivals from last year, two of whom were in last year’s England team. The winner was a Welshman so I was second Englishman. The two top M55s were not there so along with the second place guy, who was a new M55, I am currently in the running for four man team for the International in November.
Mick Bridgeland
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18-03-15
I ran the Mile end park run on Saturday. It's a 2 lap course which starts outside the track at mile end and each lap consists of couple of drags over the High St. A few fast guys from Highgate harriers turned up so the pace was fast. I probably went out a bit too hard but ended up hanging on for 16:55 - the last of of 7 runners to go under 17mins a PB for that course so heading in the right direction !.
Robert Osborne
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9-03-15
 
Stuart Fraser and I were in Houston for this one. Significant fears that that a week’s worth of boozing, lunching and dining were going to give us both a P.W. – going out with brokers to a tex-mex for mojitos and BBQ the night before was not going to help.
Relying on non-existent taxis to get us to the start meant that we didn’t arrive until 5 minutes beforehand – so quite literally zero minutes warm up or stretching.
The gun went and off I went like the proverbial headless chicken. Miles 1 and 2 in 5:25, 5:35. Went through 5 miles in 28:08. There was no-one to run with, a head wind and a few up hills as we came up the underpasses so mile 6 was my slowest.
Ended up 3rd Vet 40-44
12th overall
Time 35:17 (17:18 and 17:59 split)

Stuart was 2nd Vet 45-49
13th overall
Time 35:21 (17:41 and 17:40 split)
Lee Martin
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9-03-15
Back in the medals today (been a while !) Taking advantage of a congested weekend calendar of races I ran the Sidcup 10 miles this morning incorporating the BMAF and SCVAC champs. Came away with M60 gold in the Southern champs, bronze in the national champs plus an Ilford team silver in the BMAF.
First race of 10 miles for two and a half so was not sure what to expect - hoping for a least something under 70 mins. Thought I 
went off easy but at 2 miles in 12.40 realised I needed to throttle back. With the two leading M60's disappearing off in to the distance and the morning temperature rising steadily went through half way in a still reasonable 33.20. Averaged 7 minute miles thereafter on ever tiring and sore legs to finish in 68.18. On to the BMAF xc champs next Saturday - if legs recover !
Away in Germany on biz from tomorrow (not ideal preparation for xc) so not around for Ravens training this week.
Andy Catton
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9-03-15
Wrexham Marathon.
Having long harboured the desire to run 2 marathons in close proximity, I lined up yesterday for the Wrexham marathon, a new event from the Run Wales group.
Light misty drizzle and mild temperatures at the start, where a small group of about 200 assembled. First few miles downhill, a flat middle section doing loops around the industrial estate, and then climbs from 17 to 21 and for the last couple of miles gave the course a challenging profile in places. Also challenging was the weather, which by midway had descended into heavy rain with a bit of sleet. I got considerably cold, unable to feel my arms or hands by about mile 20.
Managed a fast start and joined up with a Walsall runner and we managed to encourage each other to go too quick for the first 16 miles but we got a good pace and ran well together and nice to have company. Suffered badly on the hill section but got a second wind for the last 5 miles and ran comfortably, although very very cold through to finish in 2:53:19 in 11th place. Very happy with time given conditions and the course, it was less that 30 seconds slower than Marrakech 6 weeks ago. Enjoyable event, good atmosphere amongst the small field, with a half marathon starting 90 mins later, so having their leaders pass in the later miles.
Rupert Holden
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9-03-15
It was the Hockley Woods Parkrun again for me on Saturday. I managed to go about 2 minutes quicker than last time coming home in 20.53. Even when I was fully fit I probably would have done well to go under 19 minutes on this course so considering I had six months of no ruining I don't think I have lost that much fitness!
Ian George
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9-03-15
BVAC Open 5 mile XC - Sparrows Den, West Wickham
Yesterday, I ran in my own Club's open 5 mile cross country, a fairly low key local event run on more or less the same, fairly challenging, course as the Kent Masters XC in December. This event can sometimes be very prone to bad weather, but we had a lovely day yesterday and record numbers (83!), whilst the course was some way more conducive to XC than the nightmare of Parliament Hill two weeks back, with most of the mud having dried out well with the recent milder weather. I wanted to put on a good show for my home team, so went hard at the start for a change (normally I start XC slow and try and pick people off). I soon found myself handily placed in 4th but was not able to keep up the pace and was passed by a couple of other runners during the race, but managed to hold off a further chaser to cling on for 6th, which I was very happy with. I didn't manage to pick up any prizes mind you, as somewhat ludicrously, 5 of the first 6 runners home were over 50! I was however, first of my club home. The winner was from Redway Runners in Milton Keynes, who had sought out the race as training for the British Masters XC next weekend. He said it was the only open XC race he could find that day!
Marcus Elwes
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9-03-15
After a 21m training run on Saturday, I ran our last XC yesterday at Hadleigh. Thankfully it was only 3.8 miles as I felt like death warmed up. I started off steady, had an “ill” moment early on then just got stuck in. Picked off loads of my running club guys and tried to pick up the pace where possible. One guy refused to be overtaken on the last hill though and I finished 8th female and probably would have done better had I felt well. Runners complained it was hard; they should have done the Hadleigh 10K then they’d have known the meaning of the words “ hard and hilly”.
Vicky Cooper
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9-03-15
I did the Lydd 20 miler on a sunny day but one with strong bitter winds whipping across the marsh. My plan was 7 min miling first 10 then pick it up to marathon pace for the second half. First half was bang on sevens, however try as I might I had nothing left in my legs to push the pace further, they just felt too heavy, I did at least manage to pick of a few people struggling in the headwind for the last two miles, finishing in 2:20:06 pretty much bang on sevens again. After standing around for ten minutes at the end I got a bad case of the shivers, developed a cold in the afternoon and have been limping with a bad knee since getting home (hopefully due to bashing in it in a tumble on Friday rather than anything sinister). Limping and feeling like crap today, time for a few days rest.
Simon Phillips
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9-03-15
I ran the half marathon of Paris yesterday. Amazing conditions, the weather was just unbelievable, almost too hot actually. This year they inversed the route, back to how it was 4 years ago. Although I was quite annoyed with that, it turned out to be quite good. I found it easier.
It was my 1st official race this year after difficult Q3 / Q4 last year made up with a combination of injuries. I was properly back to training since Jan this year with the Tuesday fartlek & Thursday reps which have helped a lot + things on my own. It worked well as I could finish in 1h23min30sec, 1 min faster than last year. I am very happy about it. Things are only starting now as in 1 month I ve got a marathon waiting for me, Paris again... (not surprising for a French)
Stephen Jullien
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9-03-15
I ran my first ever 10km running race on Sat at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park so it was nice to feel fresh at the start having not just got off a bike. It was an enjoyable race at a great location but I am not sure I would run this race again as it is a three lap course around the Olympic Park and the final lap is quite difficult as you start to catch up some large groups of runners (some with headphones on!). I was happy with my run as I managed 38.25 and came 12th but I need to work on my pacing as the first mile was my fastest! I also ran the Berkhamsted half marathon the weekend before and I think this is a great race through beautiful countryside. I managed to beat my time from the year before to finish 37th in 87.44.
Alex Hardy
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9-03-15
Yesterday I won the BMAF Champs M55 Indoor 3000m for the third year in a row. I ran 9:48.97, my fastest time for a couple of years. I basically ran the race on my own and ended up winning by 20secs with rough 1k splits of 3:14,3:18 and 3:15 ish. I could hear the commentator saying how far ahead I was and there was extra motivation as I started to lap runners. I have got to enjoy winning while I can as Guy Bracken who turns 55 in a couple of years won the M50 race in under 9mins.
Mick Bridgeland
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9-03-15
Realising I've been a bit quiet on the group for a while I thought I'd let you know I ran the Finchley 20 yesterday. Like Alex, I did the Berkhamsted Half a week yesterday but, unlike him, I had a mare of a race! Things were fine until I got to any sort of incline (of which there were more than a few) at which point my legs seemed to disobey the orders my brain was sending to them! I managed 1:33 which I of course recognise some people would be very happy with, but I knew something was wrong so went to see a physio last Monday. According to his protractor angles (and the look of disbelief on his face) the issue thankfully was nothing serious - pure tightness. Something that he said would resolve with a "proper" stretching routine. So after a week of stretching, I felt a bit better and set off in Finchley to try and hit marathon 3-hour pace. Part luck, part judgement, I did it bang on - 2:17 for the 20 miles so I'm feeling I'm getting "back in the game". The moral of this one - remember those stretches guys n gals! As for the Finchley 20 I can recommend it. It's 4 x 5 mile laps which may not be everyone's "cup of tea" but it does make for even pacing. And as the UKs longest running 20 mile road race they know what they are doing. Changing rooms are "primitive" but other than that I can't fault it.
David Meller
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2-03-15
Eastbourne Half Marathon - 49 and counting!
Knowing I won't be able to write this later this morning, a quick report from the Eastbourne Half Marathon and my first race of the 2015 Sussex Grand Prix. After not the best preparation (late night, early start) I pitched up at a relatively breezy Eastbourne for a 10am start. Heading west towards Beachy Head, the first two miles were straight into a relatively strong headwind which didn't make for the easiest of running conditions. However, I've known worse at this race so just tried to run sensibly, aware of what was coming up. At around 2.5 miles, relief was gained from the headwind as we cut inland, but it is unfortunately at this point that the route goes vertical and starts heading into the foothills of Beachy Head. This is the toughest part of the route but if you can cope with the potential altitude sickness, you are rewarded with a bit of a breather as you zigzag back down to the seafront. The next four miles back towards the pier and Sovereign Harbour were bordering on pleasant; warm sunshine and no headwind. A few twists and turns around Sovereign Harbour and then back into the headwind for the last two two miles before finishing back at the start in Princes Park. A gun time of 1.36.22 (chip 1.36.16) got me 119th out of 1,354 finishers, which I was quite happy with as my main target was once again to ensure I got round safely; this being my 49th half marathon and therefore keeping me on track to one of my main aims for 2015; the completion of my 50th half marathon at Hastings in three weeks time. Eastbourne HM was also notable this year for Wadhurst Runners as we had three ladies completing their first half marathon. Being a relatively small club, it is sometimes difficult for us to meet the required numbers of female runners for the Sussex Grand Prix, so it was great to see them complete the first of the two "longer" runs that are necessary for them to score points for us and knowing that quicker times for all are no doubt ahead! Celebrated with fish & chips on the seafront and then ran another six miles as my marathon schedule had me down for 19 - great fun with a battered bit of cod lying in your stomach as you can imagine!
Kevin Cockram
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2-03-15
I competed in the Regents Park 10K yesterday. I’m not really in racing form at the moment, so was simply hoping for a sub-45 – came in at 44.16. Didn’t particularly like the three lap course but the organisation was fine. It was very windy in one particular part and then an uphill and a corner all in one. I was 7th female overall and first in my age category so won a bottle of wine.
VICKY COOPER
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2-03-15
I went along to a more low key event at Whitstable in Kent and was joined by fellow Raven Robert Whittaker. It was an overcast morning with quite a strong westerly head wind on the out and back course. I eased into the lead after the first 50m or so and kept pushing on the first half with the wind behind me in the knowledge that it would be a lot slower on the way back. The race was fine until the half way point where we were diverted onto a gravel track followed by a muddy bog before turning back along the promenade. Unfortunately I was unprepared for this and wearing flats had no grip whatsoever when I hit the boggy patch and proceeded to fall on one side getting caked on that side and caked palms in the process. I had a reasonable lead by this point so got up and kept going. I managed to stay ahead by the finish but was a bit frustrated as would have been better if they could have kept the whole course on the promenade but that would have meant two-way traffic on quite a narrow section so can understand why they have chosen the course they have.
Tim Sherman
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25-02-15
Tunbridge Wells
After a couple of long marathon training runs the previous weekend I rested well during the week to also run tunbridge wells half on sunday. With the confidence of coming 4th in Tonbridge half I started strong and kept with the lead group through my home village of Bidborough. The pace then picked up and I decided to drop back to the second group. However on the steep downhill into Penshurst one of the group pushed hard and I felt my calf stiffen. I made it to half way still feeling strong knowing that of the other 4 runners I was with 2 had done the nationals the day before. However the fast pace, recent heavy mileage and perhaps too much rest during the week took its toll and I felt a sudden pain in my calf which I had experienced a number of times over the years and immediately knew my race was over. Being close to home i managed to ice it quickly and kept icing it every hour for the rest of the day.I started taking Naproxin for the swelling and coupled with some ultra sound, compression and strength work I hope to be back in time for paddock wood half…
Andrew Mercer
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24-02-15
Lee Valley indoor meeting – 18.2.15
Ran the 1500m tonight. Was aiming for 4.45 but had no idea how I would do. The first lap was fine, but lots of bunching on the second lap which took 3 seconds longer than planned. Overtook a couple on the next bend and another 2 a couple of laps later, but was always behind schedule. Ran the last lap really hard and finished second in 4.45.5 annoyingly 0.2seconds outside my 1500 PB, but 5 seconds faster than my indoor PB. So happyish.
Simon LeMare
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24-02-15
The Bridgeland family did the same indoor open meeting as Simon. I paced my son but unfortunately he just missed out on a sub 5, but it was an indoor PB (he has never raced 1500m indoors before) 5:00.88 (I ran 4:59.96). I found it a fantastic experience racing with my son, my wife also enjoyed watching the two of us race together in matching Chelmsford kit. My wife also ran an indoor PB of 5:07.35
Mick Bridgeland
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24-02-15
National XC, Parliament Hill 21st February 2015
How hard can it be? People said it would be tough. Yes, well I've done tough XC courses. Muddy. Yup, done that too. Crowded, check. Hilly, don't kid me, I love hills. Some of best XC runners in the country, well you have to test yourself from time to time, don't you? I said all this to myself. Seriously, how hard could it be? Holy crap, that was so so hard! Those of you who have been there and done it will no doubt be sagely nodding your heads at this point. Those who haven't, beware. Its hard! Yes really really hard (have I mentioned that?). Maybe a teeny weeny bit fun as well, but mainly brutally, unflinchingly, uniquely and horribly hard. A cross probably between Agincourt and one of Dante's levels of Hell I think. The men's race started at 3pm, after all the other categories had finished so, needless to say, a no doubt already pretty muddy heath had been turned into a complete quagmire. I didn't know there were so many different types of different types of mud - gloopy, slippy, boggy, wet (diarrhea coloured!), dry heavy etc. All very appealing. Conditions overhead however were fine, cold but not freezing. The start is just a procession, with no ability to actually run once you hit the first hill. The whole thing comes to an almost complete halt, as thousands of runners try and scramble up the incline. Thereafter, the pattern is much the same for the first 2/3 kilometers, as your pace is entirely dictated by the runners in front of you, who frequently grind to a complete halt, due to the sheer numbers. By the 3rd kilometre, you can begin to open your legs a bit but, unfortunately I fell for the first time when someone in front of me went down and I couldn't avoid being caught. Ironically this was only one of the few bits of the course where the terrain was path/trail and I banged my knee quite sharply as I went down. No matter, I was up and back in my rhythm fairly quickly. However, on a long very muddy downhill bit around halfway, I went down again, this time entirely of my own making. This was a proper pratful and I ended up caked in thick mud, which immediately made me cold and heavy feeling, sapping a lot of my energy. Now completely out of whatever rhythm I had, the impetus went out of my run at this stage, as I tried to simply plough on (almost literally given the underfoot conditions). I then noticed that the leg I had banged was now stinging and looked down to notice quite a lot of blood mingled into the mud on my leg and realised I must have spiked myself when I went down the second time, with my bright shiny pointy new 15mm spikes (oh yes, everyone said you'd need those too!). I briefly wondered whether I ought to stop and get it seen too, but (obvs) decided to keep going. The wind had gone from my sails, however, as the runners I had targeted during the race disappeared into the horizon and ones I had really hoped not to see joined me, I knew I was in a bit of a mental battle now. I was also really beginning to feel the cold, no doubt not helped by the amount of mud attached to me at that point. On it went, seemingly endlessly, as the legs complained furiously about the constant motion of being pulled out of the thick mud each step whilst tying desperately to move forward.I had no idea how I was doing or where I was (other than some kind of racing hell). Speed of any variety seemed totally impossible (although the elites running in the opposite direction seemed to be managing ok), it was just a case of trying to get through it now. I waved wanly to my brother and sister in law, who had come along to support and encourage - what a pathetic sight I must have been! It did give me a boost though and, eventually, down a long slippy hill (the same one we had been up at the start), the finish came into sight. I tried to pick up the speed, as huge numbers of reinvigorated runners hurtled past me, but could not get any sort of footing in the heavy mud of the finishing straight and, eventually, I staggered home, having been pipped on the line by someone I really didn't want to end up behind. So all in all, a really tough day out. The leg was a bit of a mess but I self-diagnosed it as not too serious. I eschewed first aid, to get home as quickly as I could, desperate for a warm shower, really hating the feeling of the mud still clinging and slowly drying into me. The only marginal consolation was that I managed to sneak in under an hour for the 'race' - by 2 seconds. I saw Chris Tuck beforehand in the Blackheath tent (they kindly let me use it, as I was the only one from my club there), but did not see Tim, Luke or Arif. Look forward to hearing their accounts. Never again (probably).
Marcus Elwes
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24-02-15
I think Marcus has summed it up pretty well. Personally whilst it was a very tough race, pace wise it was slow due to the heavy congestion for most of the first lap and the horrendously thick mud. Therefore found it not as hard as the Southerns at Brighton which was 15k, had steeper hills and was a much faster average pace as little in the way of thick mud. Was satisfied with my race and finished roughly where I expected in relation to other guys from Southampton and other guys there I know from other clubs. Most of first lap was very congested and just sat in there getting used to the mud before picking people off once we got into the woods at the top of the course onto some drier ground. The only other Raven I saw during the race itself was Stu Fraser who I passed on the first lap but who was still quite close behind me by the end. Attempting to sprint to the line was interesting when sliding all over the place! A sure indication of the conditions was evidenced by many applying roles of duct tape to their spikes before the start to keep them on. Somehow about half of my 15mms had been sliced off/disappeared by the end. The after race was shower was another experience altogether with almost as much mud on the floor as on the course. The water was so cold that I just beared it to get the worst of the mud off my legs before heading to the pub and a posh burger in Camden before heading home in the evening.
Here are some of the Ravens results:
Joe Clark - 269th - 46.24
Phil Sanders? - 327th - 47.17
Tim Sherman - 436th - 48.34
Stu Fraser - 489th - 49.07
Luke Armitage - 667th - 51.13
Arif Meraili - 818th - 52.42
Chris Tuck - 837th - 52.55
Marcus Elwes - 1433th - 59.58

There were 2005 senior/vet men finishes in all with winner being Charlie Hulson of Sale Manchester Harriers in 39.12! Our promising youngster who has potential to make it internationally Mahamed Mahamed won the U17 men's race comfortably. Not to forget to mention Tom Payne who finished 66th in 42.35 - class.
Tim Sherman
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24-02-15
I think Marcus and Tim’s comments summed it up. it’s such a sapping race. there’s no nice bits. think you need 3 years to erase from your memory before you consider doing it again. looking back at the results, I’m happy with my run but at the time I thought I was having a shocker. I just couldn’t get any rhythm and found the whole thing a massive struggle but guess so did the other 2000 runners.
Stuart Fraser
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24-02-15
God, I had an awful race (far too many of these recently) - I decided to have an outdoor lunch at st katherine's docks on Friday and picked up a minor cold which i thought wouldn't be an issue. I stupidly started quite far back and spent the first lap getting back to a par position and i thought i could then sit in and kick on really out of nowhere I just felt terrible (dizzy/ light headed) and had to stop for 30 seconds. (I know massively soft) At that point my race was over so i jogged in but I personally felt it was significantly harder than this years southerns and was muddier than last years longer 15k version. bloody weird race - i ruined 2 pairs of trainers just getting to the club tent & it had a car wash service...queue for random chap with jetwash who was hosing runners down at the end. ps. Luke was injured so his place was used by someone else.
@Tim i know its a cliche with non english sounding/ looking people - but they say Mahamed is 35!
Arif Merali
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24-02-15
In a race that was almost the complete antithesis of what Marcus describes below I ran the Test Track 10 yesterday, a 10 mile race involving two laps of the Ford Test Track at Dunton in aid of a local hospice. My wife is running London this year so I went along for the ride (run) and entered this race with her this year. Therefore on a bitterly cold Sunday morning I found myself on a windy test track ready to run at 09:30, instead of in bed reading the sports pages. Started off conservatively and went through 5 miles in 35:30 and felt reasonably good so decided to see if I could up the pace. Overtook a few during the second lap and ended up with 70:33, a negative split! Should have gone faster over the first 5. A couple of people after the race thought the course slightly long but I was chuffed with the time (after my usual reasonably relaxed training regime) and chuffed with my finishing position (35th out of 330 finishers). I believe the race was won in 55:00 ish so lively at the front. Enjoyed it though and I may yet do another race in a few years!
Philip Priest
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24-02-15
TW Half Marathon race report
I joined 2,000 runners at 9am for the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon, a lovely route and a crisp, sunny morning - though there were a few icy bits to be wary of, and it's a challenging course to hill-averse runner such as myself. I tried to make the most of the downhill in the first half of the race, 6 minute/miling the first five miles. At halfway the biggest up-hill kicks in, over a mile long, I did a 7:36 mile enabling the leading lady (and a couple of others) to pass me and build a good gap. I've recently joined Tunbridge Wells Harriers and she was also now the leading Harrier so I had two reasons to catch her, but I didn't make much headway until the last mile by which time it was too late. A guy I thought I'd dropped a couple of miles back sprinted past me with 100yds to go but I sprinted back at him for a photo-finish and time of 1:22:59 (28th). Jogged 6miles home, to make it a record 138miles for the fortnight. A very enjoyable race and I'm pleased with my time, better than last year's two efforts and 1m13s from my pb, which I intend to bring down next month. Well done to Phil P. for yet another great race. Congratulations too to Simon, Mick & families and to all the nutters a Parliament Hill - rather you than me.
PS picked up my new vest last minute, pinned the number on it, put it on over a T-shirt and ran 13.1 miles in it until someone told me it was back to front!
Simon Phillips
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24-02-15
A late report from me as I too joined Simon for the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon on Sunday. The conditions were pretty good, although as Simon commented in his report, there was a reasonable amount of ice on the course that needed to be treated with caution. Although I wanted to try and run this well, I wasn't looking to go mad as I have two more HM's coming up which I want to ensure I'm in a suitable state of health to run. I therefore ran relatively comfortably and found myself at the top of the notorious Fordcombe Hill in fairly good shape. Knowing the hills were pretty much over, I upped my effort a little more and started to overtake a few runners. My final mile was my best (6.35) and as I went into the finishing funnel, I had two runners in my sights. Passed the first one (one of your new found TW Harrier colleagues Mr Phillips!) and then pushed for the line. I had read Mick's comments last week about his son learning a valuable lesson and running through the finish line and not stopping. Well (aged 46!) I took on board Mr Bridgeland's fatherly advice and did exactly that - result was 236th & 237th were both awarded a gun time of 1.36.31 but I got the better place - cheers Mick!! As Mr Hernon pointed out at lunchtime, my time was nothing overly special (although it did give me a course PB!) but it also gave me a good bench mark for the other HM's I have coming up; the first of which is Eastbourne this Sunday and my first Sussex Grand Prix race of the 2015 season.
Kevin Cockram
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24-02-15
Due the fact that none of the fast guys turned up I won the Chelmsford Parkrun on Saturday in 17:37. The course was a bit muddier than usual, but obviously nothing like Parliament Hill
Mick Bridgeland
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24-02-15
Brockenhurst Parkrun
A low key race report from me. The family and I were away this weekend visiting my parents and this meant my boys missed their usual Saturday morning football training and I was relieved of the normal dad-taxi duties, so I decided to head out for the local parkrun. I have only run one other parkrun and that was on Southend's flat seafront, by contrast this second outing at Brockenhurst in the beautiful New Forest was over woodland paths and included a couple of serious climbs.
I ran in trail shoes and gave it some serious effort albeit aggravating the trapped nerve problem I have in my right leg. I finished 10th in 19m21s, 2nd in my age group (happy days) and it was such a lovely place to run as soon as I had had my barcode scanned I turned round and ran it again, but at a much more leisurely pace.
Stuart Cable
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24-02-15
Brighton Half
Ran this yesterday – my first race since Oct 2014. Really well organised and a good route too, though we had to run into a strong headwind for about 6 miles. Felt good throughout, and didn’t want to push it as I was unsure how much I’d have left in the tank for the last 3 miles as I hadn’t run that distance in quite a while. Each k I was clocking at just under 4 mins 10 and decided to keep that going as it felt comfortable. Did the last 5k in just under 20mins and felt strong at the finish. Was cheered on by Serena at the end which was nice. Saw Claire Elms at the start and near the end – she got round in 1 .20. I ran in the name Chris Neumayer.
Steve Glackin
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17-02-15
I ran my usual parkrun on Saturday AM, of note only because of the debut as Run Director of Andy T, who carried out his role with the expected assurance of a seasoned race director. I managed a decent finish of 12th in 19:45, but was still only the 4th fastest in my age group! And there was I thinking moving up to the 50+ age group would make it easier, for some reason.....
Sunday I guested at the B&B/Ranelagh mob match which I am sure one of the Andies will report on in full. Great fun, but what a sadistic course!
Marcus Elwes
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17-02-15
A tough but classic English cross country course, with mud, hills, stiles, mud, hills....etc. My own race was good fun but nothing special, so I reprint the report from our captain below. Great to see Andy T having a good run despite achilles and knee issues, and Marcus – our own “Toff of the Track” completing his first mob as a guest for the Heathens. For those interested there is some good history regarding the mob. Our captain had targeted the mobs this year (starting with Orion which we hadn’t won away for thirty years) as we typically win only one (of four) a year on average, so it was astonishing to get the grand slam – never achieved before in our long history (founded in 1881). For those not interested, stop reading now!

Blackheath Mob Match - Ranelagh make it 4 out of 4 mob wins in a season for first time in club's 134 year history

The Blackheath mob match starts with a seemingly innocuous trot round a small field, before a stile is vaulted, and runners embark on a huge lap of the surrounding countryside. At this stile, it was quite frankly looking grim at the front for Ranelagh - Blackheath filling most of the top 15 positions, albeit with Jon Pepper haring off in front of them as if it was a 400m race (he didn't slow down and won by 3 minutes!). But what unfolded in the next 7 miles, with grit, mud, hills, exhaustion, frisky horses and a near castration (these last two totally unrelated) formed the prelude to a stunning away win, better even than Operation Betelgeuse vs Orion last autumn, to give Ranelagh a first ever full house or Grand Slam of mob victories. Ben Shore's photo of Becky and myself, Ranelagh captains holding the cup, has 67 likes only hours after posting. Other clubs are congratulating us on our performance: Orion's captain said "Brilliant effort from everybody at Ranelagh - at least we feel a bit better now knowing you have a very strong team and have beaten all the others. We will definitely be 'plotting' something for next year though". And Blackheath's headline on their website runs: "Ranelagh mob match - we lost. Congratulations to Ranelagh on winning all their mob matches this season." David Wright, our most experienced mob matcher with 160 under his belt after today, proclaimed this his best mob match out of all of them. Talking of history, Ranelagh was formed in 1881 and our first inter-club race with Blackheath was in 1886. The first 'all to score' mob race was a few decades later in 1907 - a 17 to score affair. The heavy and beautiful trophy we lifted today (before it was spirited away for safe keeping) was gifted by E Pelling of Ranelagh and E Ratcliff of Blackheath in 1921, hence its name Pelling-Ratcliff. Today was just the 25th time Ranelagh have won the mob, against 70 for Blackheath. Two years ago, we won the away race for the first time since the early 1970s (fact check?) under Marc Snaith's leadership, so in theory we were due a fightback from the Heathens. They turned out 23 people more than last time, but we more than doubled the size of our mob, to give us a 65-61 people advantage. It seems wrong to talk about individual performances in what is clearly all about the team, but mention must also go to Becky Hall's excellent win of the ladies' race, only a day after a 20 mile marathon training run. Carl Assmundson ran for one of the first times in Ranelagh colours and shot past his captain at an astonishing pace with 3 miles to go, going on to overhaul Blackheath first two runners in a sprint finish. I think (fact check again) he ran in Astroturf shoes. Vice captain Trevor Maguire's Blue Wall concept came into its own again today. Our biggest wall was positions 23-30 - 8 in a row, led home by Mark Herbert. Christopher Camacho led a wall of 6, covering 69-75. We had 7 in the first 10, 4 in the next 10, and then 9 of the third ten. Blackheath never recovered, and the final score was 3032-3523 in our favour, leaving the opposition to nurse their pride, and the state of their relations with local horseriders.
Andy Hayward
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17-02-15
I can't add much more to the fine report above. It was a classic cross country race with all the conditions I like as described by Andy. Great to be competing in such a friendly but competitive race between two teams who were both keen for the win. I struggled with my right Achilles and compensating left knee which complained at every stile. I hadn't realised how many there are on our course. We lost the mob match but I think we were ahead on points on the after race tea and cakes event - I certainly tried my hardest there. Well done to Ranelagh for their historic grand slam of 4 mobs. The cheer when the result was announced could have been heard back at Ranelagh HQ in Richmond. Great also to see our Marcus willingly choose to run our course as a guest. Strange choice to make on a Sunday morning but he seemed to enjoy it and ran well.
Andy Tucker
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17-02-15
A ran an indoor 3000m yesterday at Lee Valley. It was the unofficial South of England Champs (in EVAC, VAC and SCVAC Champs). Not a very good turn out, I was the only M55, but as they ran all age groups together it did not matter, I ended up with several guys to race against. Ended up with 9:52.07 which I was very pleased with as it was slightly quicker than my best time from last year.
Mick Bridgeland
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17-02-15
Bramley 20 Miles
Good weather for running yesterday and I ran the Bramley 20 miler organised by Reading Roadrunners. It was my third run at the event and it comprises of two undulating country 10 mile laps and includes a 10 mile option. After nearly being late I was pleased to be on the start line having bumped into some familiar faces including our own Jon Fairs who recognised my Ravens vest as he was warming up pre race. My race plan was to use it as a training run to see how things have been going and to try to be disciplined and to stick to 7 minute miling. I ran the first two miles socially with my brother who was doing the 10 miler before I settled into the race and felt very good at half way. I went through 13 miles in 1:32 so I was on target and found that for the rest of the race I felt very strong indeed and I held myself back to stay on target. With the hills out the way by mile 19, I opened up for the final mile and managed to clock a sub 6 minute mile. Overall an 8 minute pb. Official results not out yet but my time was around 2:20:30. I am really chuffed with this result. Incidentally I saw Jon Fairs afterwards who mentioned that he hasn't been out much with us Ravens since he now rarely works in London at the moment. He had not intended to race but found himself in a good group and ran sub 2 hours which was better than his frankly excellent result last year. I think he is targetting London. I know he will be reading in copy as he still gets emails so well done John.
Mike McGeown
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17-02-15
Good to see you y’day Mike and well run again, I have just seen the results are out, I officially clocked 1.58.42…one second better than my PB at this race 11 years ago so life in me yet! Hope everyone is ok, and I get to see you for a session when I am in town, I’m building up for London (again) but hope to make the start line for a change.
Jon Fairs
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17-02-15
I ran 7K cross country race at South Weald Country Park yesterday. Best XC course of the series to date as actually had hills and mud. Saw Ricky there too. Better than previous performances, finished 7th female in a time of 34.52. Moreover though I beat a couple of guys from D88 (who I never beat) and another one from Billericay Striders who I’ve never beaten before either. Unfortunately experiencing back issues yesterday afternoon and today (have had before) so will have to see how it pans out this week for my running.
VICKY COOPER
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12-02-15
Indoor Mile Race - 4.2.15
Last night I ran an Indoor Mile race at a Lee Valley Open/BMC meeting. It was a great evening meeting, there were two Open 3000m races, six BMC 800m races followed by four Open Mile races. There was the usual electronic timing, music playing during the races and a commentary to let everyone know what was happening. I ran about 5:07 in my race, which I was very pleased with, and got chicked by less than a sec by Clare Elms who ran a W50 World Record. Clare spoke to me before the race and said she was going for a sub 5:08 to break the record by I wasn’t confident enough of my fitness to offer any help. As it was she went to the front of our race with another guy a couple of meters back and then me behind him by the same distance. With four laps to go I overtook the guy and with two laps to go I was on Clare’s shoulder. Unfortunately I could not get past Clare, she had too much speed in the last 400m, but I like to think I helped push her to the time !!
Mick Bridgeland
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12-02-15
This is my first race report in what seems like a very long time. Anyway it was the inaugural Hockley Woods Park run for me - nothing too glamorous but I have pencilled this in a few weeks ago as my comeback race from injury. This was no easy course, hilly and muddy in places but Malcolm Muir clearly made it look very easy coming home in 17.24. Only 3 or 4 runners from a field of over 220 got below 20 minutes. I really had no idea what to expect as since the beginning of the year I have only managed to run about 6 to 7 miles a week. Prior to that I had not run since the end of June. My daughter was running as well so we started fairly close to the back and I ran with her for about half a mile just to make sure my injury did not flare up. Once all seemed well I then picked up the pace and passed about 100 other runners finishing in 22.54 in 25th place. The first mile was a slow 8.20 followed by 7.05 and 7.06. Given the long lay off and the slow start I am surprised that I have not lost as much running fitness as I thought I would. To be fair I have been cycling and swimming a lot but you never know how much of that fitness will carry over to running.
Ian George
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12-02-15
Yesterday I ran the Tokyo Marathon Festival Imperial Palace 5k. The races were a 5k, 10k and 20k all starting together. I chose the 5k as I knew I would be badly jet lagged having landed the afternoon before and would struggle with the 20k. On the starting line I heard an English voice behind which I recognised and it was Jensen Button. This year he is running the London marathon and hoping to run a PB in about 2.53. His best is 2.58 in Hawaii. He was going to run the 20k at marathon pace. Off went the gun and after 200 m I was in 2nd place with the guy infront running 16.30 pace so I slowed to 17.30 pace. After 1k i caught him up after 2k over took him. For the first time ever I was in the lead of a race. I thought i knew the route but was not positive. There were also about 250 runners on the same route just jogging. The path gets quite narrow and I was often blocked and so had to shout out in my best English "please move over" about 10 times. After the up hill I was about 20 yards in the lead, after 4k and running the downhill part 50 yards in the lead. I ran as hard as I could the last 1k even though I was very tired. Crossed the line in 17.48. My first ever race win! Very chuffed.
Simon LeMare
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12-02-15
Southend Parkrun
Thought I'd have a go at writing my first race report as I always enjoy reading how everyone got on..... Saturday morning I ran Southend park run, mainly because it's the only training/racing I can fit in around my Daddy day-care duties on Saturdays at the moment. The course is a flat 3 lap route along the seafront and when it's not windy (rare on the seafront) it's a very quick course. Conditions were perfect on Saturday with only a very light breeze. Sacrificing all home support by wearing my Ravens vest, I set off stride for stride (looks like we are auditioning for a synchronised running event in the photo attached) with my team mate at Southend AC, Lee. Me and Lee set off hard and were clear of the 150 strong field, with Simon Le Mare's son Dominic not too far behind. After a ding dong battle the whole way round I finished 2nd in 16:59, 3 seconds behind Lee. Only the second time I've been under 17 minutes for 5k and the first time since 2012 so I was very happy (and mostly surprised!!) My mile splits were 5:19, 5:36 and 5:23 which suggests I need to be a bit bolder in the middle of the race, I think the technical term is "grow a pair".
Peter Smale
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12-02-15
Great Bentley 1/2 - 9.2.15
Yesterday I ran the Great Bentley ½ marathon. Ended up with a time of 1:20:53, 29th place and first M55. Overall I was very pleased, having not raced that far since a last year’s race and not having done many long runs I did not know what to expect. The weather was a lot better than last year, sunny and warm with only a slight head wind on certain parts of the course. I decided to run at between 6:00 and 6:10 for as long as I could, I faded to 6:15 from about 8 miles onwards but managed to hold it at that pace covering the last 5k in about 19:24. Now I have got that long road stuff out of the way I can concentrate on some shorter indoor races, I have a 3000m this Sunday.
Mick Bridgeland
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12-02-15
Well done to everyone who raced over the weekend. I also ran the great Great Bentley half yesterday. I was very pleased with my 1st Race of the year, started off running at pace of around 7.20 for the 1st 5 miles, then pushed on the pace through the race finishing off a running the last mile in 6.25 pace. Finished up running the race in 92.13, also had a 20 min warm up and 20 min warm down so in all a good days running.
David Miller
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12-02-15
I had a bad (rugby related) hangover on Saturday morning, so ran a sh*te parkrun on the new go faster 95% path Bromley parkrun. I was marginally, but not significantly, better in Canterbury yesterday, running the final KFL cross country race through and extremely boggy Blean Woods nature reserve. Came 86th in a time of 36.56 for the just over 5 mile undulating course, about 3 minutes faster than last year, when the course was almost completely under water.
Marcus Elwes
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12-02-15
Kent League - Swanley Park
I ran the final Kent league race on Saturday - 9.5K around a muddy Swanley Park. I was in poor shape - getting over heavy jet lag and still suffering from food poisoning - so it's no surprise I had a bad run. Not helped by my Achilles giving me grief on the first corner. I should have warmed up more. I finished way down the field in a slow time with more aches and pains than before I had started. Having to work on my Achilles now. The positives were that our club, B&BHAC, had an excellent set of results - second in the SM with our Scott Overall winning the race - as well as a whole series of team firsts across the ladies and juniors.
Andy Tucker

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27-01-15
Hadleigh 2012 Legacy 10k
I ran the above race today and it was the toughest course I have run. When it wasn't uphill, it was uphill and then occasionally there was a downhill section! My legs were still feeling the effects of last weeks Benfleet 15 but I was soon able to forget the sore muscles and found a comfortable routine driving hard uphill and striding downhill. I loved every minute and I am really enjoying my running at the moment (especially as an excuse to get muddy). Finished 7th in 45:31. I saw Vicky during the race and to chat with after, she was running really well.
Stuart Cable
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27-01-15
South of England AA Championships - Stanmer Park, Brighton
Both Arif and I ran the above on a sunny and crisp Saturday afternoon (I only bumped into Arif after the finish). Was a very tough 15,000m (just under 9 miles) cross country course with a small lap at the beginning followed by 3 large laps each of which consisted of numerous steep hills. I found the hills hard going on the second and third laps and was almost reduced to a walking pace in places but this was made up for the rest of the course (about 70%) which was either flat or on some fast sweeping downhill sections. The open parts of the course on the grass were relatively dry but the hillier sections in the woods were quite treacherous with lots of exposed tree routes and slippery/off camber areas particularly when approaching 90 degree corners at the bottom of long hills! Was therefore a technically challenging and mentally draining course as well as very physical. The winner was Ben Tickner of Brighton Phoenix/Kent in an incredible 50 minutes 21. In a very competitve and high class field I managed 272nd in 61.40. Arif put in a very impressive performance to finish 346th in 64.01. Another Raven in the field was Jack Wilson who finished in 228th in 60.23.
Tim Sherman
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27-01-15
Hard race - all that downhill really hammered the legs and i may be losing a big toenail but much more enjoyable than parly hill - really good course. mildly happy with my performance - but would have liked to have found another 30 secs. Nationals next.
Arif Merali
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27-01-15
Marrakech Marathon

Would love to enthuse about the beauty of this maddest of cities which I have visited several times. I would love to rave about the stunning snow covered Atlas mountains providing a magical backdrop to a scenic race. BUT ... I cannot .... the race was monotonous, mile upon mile of roads looking identical. Lots of long tedious sections where the landscape did not change and sections which seemed to go on forever! (this is not just me whingeing - others I have spoken to since felt exactly the same). No crowds, no mile markers, a water station roughly every 5km. Definitely lacking any atmosphere! After the start and once we had settled in, the runners were very sparse - I ran with a belgian who looking for 2:45 up to mile 12 ... but I knew if I kept to his pace I would blow too soon. So the small group of about 6 of us disbanded at about this point and I find myself unsuprisingly running the last 14 miles totally alone! I had gone out intentionally aggressively, going for a sub 2:50 pace. I slowed after about mile 15/16 but still found myself passing a lot of other runners in the later stages (from the results website I went from 81st at the 2nd checkpoint to 48th at the finish). I kept chugging away at the miles but had forgotten just how brutal those last 5km can be, especially all alone. Slowest mile was mile 25, but kept it just faster than 7 mins. Finish time of 2:52:48, more than happy with given the Christmas illness and the lack of atmosphere / assistance / morale boosters on the day. Still love this city of madness, maybe would not necessarily recommend as first choice of marathon, but really glad to have ticked this one off!
Rupert Holden
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21-01-15
Benfleet 15
I ran the Benfleet 15 yesterday and it was epic. I never thought I would like wading through sticky mud and freezing puddles, slipping and sliding down (and up) hills and so much! Finished 43rd in just under 1h 53m.
Stuart Cable
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21-01-15
I did also run the Benfleet 15 yesterday and it was very muddy again. I also really enjoyed it apart from the last mile and a half which seems to go on for ever and I nearly fell over about 5 times! I managed 1hr 48min 10 sec and came 24th. Good preparation for my first marathon in April.
Alex Hardy
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21-01-15
Currently feeling on top of the world!! Had the best ever race at Benfleet, went out steady as my running has been abysmal recently (I.e. chatted a LOT) for the first 7 miles then decided as I was feeling great, to put a bit of effort in. Saw loads of running mates, got cracked on, got serious and finished in 2.09, a 3 minute PB on last year's performance. The weather was perfect, only 2.5 degrees but no wind, not even whipping across the estuary. Benfleet marshals were superb, very supportive and they were just everywhere, massive thanks to them for standing and encouraging for hours. Loved every minute of it!! I was 14th female today, 169 from 577 finishers.
Vicky Cooper
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21-01-15
I clearly didn’t enjoy it as much as Stuart, Alex or Vicky but managed to get myself round in 2hrs 06 minutes. It took me almost as long to clean my kit afterwards.
Wesley Absolom
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15-01-15
I ran at Arifs local park run – at Hilly Fields, Brockley. Really nice run, quite tough too and as usual very welcoming and friendly. Managed 3rd place in 19m 34 - as Arif had said sub 19 on that course would be great. Going up the hill for the 3rd time is certainly challenging!
Steve Glackin
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15-01-15
I ran a couple of toughish cross countries at the weekend, starting with Lloyd parkrun on Saturday morning, my favoured refuge when Bromley is cancelled. It was very boggy going in parts, as apparently they had held the Southern Vets XC champs the weekend before and it was still pretty cut up, whilst the strong wind, which prevailed everywhere I think, was also something of a leveller. I managed a 5th place finish, equalling my highest ever position, whilst Andy T came in 2nd, in spite of only 'taking it easy' (he ran the 5 miles there and back, plus more!).
On the Sunday, I ran the Blackheath & Bromley open XC 10k, which was the first time I have run one of their cross countries. Great fun, very demanding course, part XC part obstacle course. Quite a few spots where you literally come to a standstill, due to fences, styles, steps etc. Great fun though. I did not race it flat out, not knowing the course, but was happy enough with a 33rd place finish in a strong field (geddit). Andy was 16th. This doubled as a mob match between B&B and Beckenham, the result of which very narrowly went to the latter club. Full results and the usual selection of photos of runners in silly positions here: http://bandbhac.org.uk/10k%2011-01-15.html 
I am also pleased to report that in neither event did I fall over, which I think was a first for me running XC!
Marcus Elwes
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15-01-15
Well done Marcus, you are running very well at the moment. I enjoyed both races immensely and felt strong. Conditions were to my liking and, in the Beckenham Running club mob match, a race against many familiar faces. What running is all about. Note that the race was won by Blackheath, not Beckenham, but, as Marcus says, by the tightest of margins. It really was a case of every runner counting. Marvelous.
Andy Tucker
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15-01-15
Essex XC League
I ran in the Essex XC League on Saturday at Chingford (Epping Forest). This is a course that is muddy even when the weather is dry so you can imagine what it was like on Saturday. I had a solid run and came 40th, it was much more fun than the Essex Champs the week before, despite my left leg going down a hole up to my thigh on the last lap resulting in me be covered in mud from head to toe. Simon and his son had great runs to finish not far behind me, I kept seeing them 50-100m behind when I went round some of the corners. Unfortunately on Saturday night my left foot suddenly started hurting, I was still limping yesterday, but amazingly it all seems ok today ?
Mick Bridgeland
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15-01-15
I felt good and finished 43rd so very pleased. I overtook my son about half way round. Gut feeling is he will have his first win against me next time. Then he will always beat me.
Simon LeMare
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2-01-15
Boxing Day Race report
Yesterday I ran the 60th Anniversary Southend Pier Race. Very high turn out, lots of dignitaries including the original winner, an ex SAC Olympian and the press. It was a handicap race, about 2.2 miles, cold but no ice. After about 1/2 mile, my legs were really cold and realised I should have worn tights and not shorts. I was freezing at the end. Was pleased with my time of 12.39 ish, but finished middle of the pack in the race.
Simon LeMare
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2-01-15
I also run in the Southend pier run yesterday, as never run it before did not know what to expect!! As i was asked a couple of weeks ago for my best time for 10k, and expected to be starting about 4 mins before the 1st guy going of but i was only starting a min behind him, then i throught this is mine to lose!! Then i was off and it was not long before i was out in front which has never happened to me before so pushed on hard doing the 1st mile in 6.25, at the turning point I felt good and upped the pace and it felt very strange not chasing any one, went through 2nd mile in 6.15, and could see finishing line in distance, and went over the line in 13.45ish!! Never ever won anything in my life before so feeling very proud to have won this race in the 60th anniversary, even if i was given a good handicap!!
Dave Miller
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2-01-15
Christmas day – did the Bromley Park run, it was almost ‘the Mob’ match, what with the Kent Mafia vs The Phil Hernon mafia. It was a lovely morning and managed a half decent time. Saturday ; did the park run again and was a minute slower, cold wet and windy. And I was also hungover, but that’s no excuse. Yesterday I ran my first proper race in months , the XC (Kent Fitness league) in Meopham. Just over 5 miles of hills, mud and water. Really well organised race in a lovely setting. Managed a first too, falling over in the mud. Finished in about 36 mins, so happy enough with that. I’m told the next Cross country race in this series is much tougher.
Steve Glackin
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2-01-15
Yes I turned up at Bromley on Christmas morning to try and break up the Kent Mafia’s regular ‘ love in ‘. I had no intention of racing as I am ticking towards 15 stone two stone more than my 865th day. I ran from the back and went past quite a few to finish in 78th in 22 47 it was an enjoyable little jaunt. It was a nice little course boggy in patches.. and the field left me amazed how Park Run has grown. It was huge with a great atmosphere .. I jogged the lap with Tucks pre race and people were turning up at at all angles (ou of bushes in some cases!)..Pleased to say I got out of there alive and the Kent trio were all smiling when I left so I had not upset them too much.
Phil Hernon
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2-01-15
New Year's Day Race Report
Won the Southampton parkrun for the first time yesterday at the 11th attempt. Was quite windy in places but otherwise not bad conditions. Was on the 2 hilled winter route which most say is about 20 seconds slower than the one hilled summer route. Started off for the first km on the heels of one guy who went off like a rocket but passed him going up the first hill and was just following the lead bike after that. I looked round once after the first lap and noticed that 2nd place wasn’t far behind so kept pushing and opened up a nearly 30 second gap by the end. Time was 17.11 and managed 16.45 on the same course last summer when chasing a quicker guy and in better conditions so not too bad all in all.
Tim Sherman