Reports 2019 - Ravens Runners London

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Race Reports
Race Reports for 2019
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9-01-19
Regents Park 10km
After having a rather unsatisfying run in the December run in the Mornington Chasers 10km series I lined up for my first race of 2019 hoping for a better result. The course as ever is fairly uninspiring with 3 laps around one area of the park. With quite a lot of club vests lining up on the start line I was hopeful that there might be someone at a similar pace to me to help with keeping the pace high. This was all going nicely to plan after the first lap when a group of 3 of us were pacing each other through. Unfortunately at the end of the first lap a speedy Belgrave Harrier came past and one of our group went with him and I didn’t have the speed to go with the move. The next 2.5 miles the remaining 2 of us ran together but just before the 8km mark he dropped out entirely. I felt like I was still running well and just had to push on to the finish. Due to the 3 lap course by the middle to end of the final lap there is a lot of traffic to pass which can be awkward. I came over the line in 36:26 which is a 35 second pb, so pretty pleased and gives a good base from which to start marathon training from. Pretty even splits and managed to quicker 3rd lap than second which was pleasing.
Tim Harman
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9-01-19
Tadworth 10 mile (or who ate all the mince pies)
This is my 4th year of entering this race, it’s early date meaning it’s a good indicator of the level of damage caused by Christmas mince pie misdemeanours. It also used to score highly in the rubbish memento category, I once received two left hand gloves although this year there was a medal. The race HQ is the Grandstand on Epsom Downs race course which means proper toilets and with a 11.30 am start it’s one of the most civilised races around. The start is on the exposed downs, where everyone huddles together like penguins to try to keep warm, although I’m sure penguins don’t have to avoid deep heat woman and BO man. The start was a slow affair up a steady incline and across the actual course itself, the next part of the race goes down a relatively steep hill on a stony path with those wishing to overtake running on the grass alongside the path. I’ve never experienced race rage before but I got quite agitated at a man on the overtaking grass, going at the slow path speed, however we soon started on another uphill where he left me behind. I was already starting to struggle and decided to distract myself observing the other runners and taking bets about which ones would thank the marshals, I usually manage a nod or a thumbs up at best so I’m in awe of runners who have the breath to thank every marshal. I was also quite pleased to spot a mobile cloakroom as I needed to loose my long sleeve top but it turned out just to be a lady with too many layers tied round her. Thankfully we were now on a long downhill part of the course and I was able to claw back some places, carefully avoiding the pothole that took me out last year, then the route flattens out and goes through the village, past the pond on a relatively narrow path where I encountered a couple running side by side effectively blocking the path, I resisted the temptation to push them in the pond and briefly skipped into the road. The next part of the run is through the woods and up yet another hill onto a sandy path which I found almost impossible to run on, at the end of the sandy track is the start of the second lap and I again struggled up the hill. I was running in my Raven’s vest (of course) and a fellow runner remarked that he at first thought I was a misplaced jockey, in response I gasped that I wished I had a horse, we turned the next corner and no word of a lie there were a row of horses on the path, astounded by my luck I wished openly and loudly for a million pounds but sadly not even a dropped pond coin appeared. I was getting steadily slower as my lack of fitness showed and the last up hill nearly defeated me but I was determined not to walk, as I came down the last hill I received a shout of “sprint finish raven”, I’m not sure if it was someone with excellent eyesight who read my top or someone who knew me, so apologies if  I ignored someone! I eventually finished a minute slower than last year in 1.35 so in summary I should have eaten a couple (of boxes) less mince pies. See everyone out there soon.
Donna Henry
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9-01-19
Well done Donna! I was the one who cheered you on down the final hill as I spotted the Ravens vest. Good race for me as I come back from about 6 months out last year trying to resolve achilles troubles. Set off very easy at the start and let myself build into the race. The course is incredibly undulating - there's not more than few hundred metres I'd guess where you're running on the flat. Started out in about 12th place. Worked up to 6th over the first 2-3 miles. Had 5th place dangling in sight for another 2 miles until just after halfway where I threw myself down the stupidly steep hill and past him. 4th place was in sight and coming back. I know the runner pretty well considering we were each others best man. Got the gap down to about 100m when my wife yelled out "Go on Bryn" which promptly let him know I was chasing so he picked it up! Closed the gap a bit by the end but couldn't quite get close enough. Nice little sprint at the end to come in at just under 60 minutes with a 30 second negative split. Really enjoyable little race and very well organised.
Bryn Reynolds
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9-01-19
Essex XC champs
Great pleasure to present Mick's son Zach with his county bronze (U17) on Saturday at Writtle. The old man was 105 in the senior race. Battle of the Ravens was won by John Crawley placing an excellent 95th, Mick 40 seconds back in 105th very closely followed by Scott Darney 2 sec back in 106th. I had a decent "training" jog round to finish 174th over the new short 10k county champs distance. Surprisingly stiff doing my 50 mins in forest today but should be there for first "fartlek" of the new year tomorrow.
Andy Catton
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9-01-19
70th in Kent for me. Feels better than 164th in the last surrey league.
Arif Merali
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