Next event Sep 22nd (Date TBC)
ROB CORNEY came within an ace of rewriting the Roadrunners’ record books in the Maidenhead 10… but he wasn’t happy!
Corney, who smashed the club record for the half marathon six weeks previously, finished third and led home a long list of Roadrunners county championship medallists.
The club’s only representatives at the prize-giving were Caroline Hoskins, after another outstanding performance in the FV50 category, and Tom Harrison, who vanquished his sole opponent at MV80 by the small margin of 34 minutes.
Meanwhile Corney was left to rue what might have been. After a delayed start to the sell-out race he forced the pace and went through 5k very close to Mark Worringham’s club record time of 15mins 38secs.
And although he soon lost the lead to the eventual winner, Dan Wallis of Belgrave Harriers, his next personal best time quickly followed as he clocked a personal best 31:47 for 10k, just outside the club record of 31:38.
“After that it started to unravel a bit,” he said. “An old hamstring injury I struggled with at some of the XC races flared up.”
Rob was passed by the Kent runner Chris Greenwood and eventually finished in a time of 52:48, only 23 seconds outside Howard Grubb’s longstanding club record.
“I was not at all pleased as I was on for about a 52:10, which I had to abandon,” he said. “But I will live and learn and at the next flat-road 10 miler I will claim another club record.”
Corney’s final thoughts were for the Roadrunners supporters. “They did the club so much credit again,” he said. “It’s great to get so many shouts of support and it must be tough for the guys from other clubs who get nothing like the same cheers.”
The club’s first lady finisher, Carrie Hoskins, led a long list of personal bests with a sensational time of 1:03.42. She had more than seven minutes to spare over the second FV50, our own Jane Davies.
Both our girls earned age gradings of over 88 per cent for their performances… practically international-class running.
And Carrie’s wasn’t even the best pb in her family… daughter Sophie, the Henley Hockey Club star, improved by over four minutes.
Another notable new mark was set by our top MV50, Alex Harris (1:01.13), now clearly back close to top form leading up to the London Marathon, having been lucky to survive a horror crash while cycling in Lanzarote last year.
The usual suspects in our pb list, Chris and Gemma Buley, were at it yet again, Mrs B returning a new mark over six minutes quicker.
There were also huge improvements for Judith Ritchie (10 minutes) and Stewart Wing (eight). Other men on pb form were Chris Manton, sharpening up for next weekend’s Paris Marathon, Nelesh Kotecha and Tony Long, while firefighter Vince Williams was on red hot form and pilot Dan Brock was really flying.
Captain Sam Whalley spearheaded a bunch of super performances from her women’s section, including pbs by Paloma Crayford (again!), Liz Ganpatsingh, Sarah Richmond-De’voy, Vroni Royle, Cathrin Westerwelle, Rachel Allaway, Sian Deller and Hannah McPhee.
Towards the back of the field my wife, Jill, finishing after the weather had turned from threatening to Noah’s Ark conditions, improved by over three minutes from her time at Bramley, enough to earn her congratulations from the Prime Minister.
Roadrunners’ own leading lady, Carrie Hoskins, is the only competitor of the fairer sex to have 100 points after two rounds of the club championship. Among the men there are perfect scores for Corney, Freer, Harrison and myself.
Looking ahead, ladies of a certain age looking for a bit of success at the Woodley 10k should be warned that Mrs Hoskins will be in the field and won’t let the fact that it is only seven days before the VLM slow her down.
Likewise Corney has targeted that race and isn’t planning to finish second. He has also entered the Marlow 5, leaving those chasing points in the senior men’s section of the club championship to battle it out for the minor placings.
Link to the revised results: here
Link to Peter Cook’s Flickr album here
Link to Chris Drew’s Flickr album here
Link to Sev Konieczny’s Flickr album here
ROADRUNNERS Mark Worringham and Helen Pool both won trophies at the Reading Sports Personality of the Year awards.
Former men’s captain Mark took the prize for the veteran achiever and Helen picked up the award for the best local improver during the year.
For Mark it was a reward for his success during a year when he represented England at the Masters Cross-Country international in Ireland and led his Roadrunners squad to the veterans’ title in the Hampshire Cross Country League.
And for Helen it marked a year in which she ran big personal bests at every distance on the way to clinching the club championship and culminated in being selected to represent Berkshire at the Inter-Counties Championship.
Our heroes received their awards at a glittering ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Reading.
With his usual dry wit Mark commented that the “goodwill in the room seemed to dissipate when it was mentioned I was a Reading Borough Council town planning officer.”
The main awards for the local sportsman and sportswoman of the year went to Jenine Hutchison (taekwondo) and Dan John (swimming).
Here’s the link to full details of the awards ceremony… https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/reading-sport-personality-awards-2017/
Castellon, Spain Marathon 2018 By Paul Monaghan
This marathon on paper looked a good one. Was easy we thought. Fly to Valencia and then catch a train to Castellon to check into hotel and visit expo on the first day. Course seemed flat and weather was looking good for that weekend.
Of course when you travelling with Pete Morris, Martin (Bushy) Bush, Dean Allaway, Caroline Jackson & Caroline Hargreaves well things don’t always go to plan and truth be known I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do enjoy a bit of chaos but sometimes it does have its limits.
All seemed to be going smoothly until we got on the flight at Gatwick. A text and then a phone call came through from Dean saying he’d lost his passport. This happened somewhere between bag security and passport control. He eventually found it but he was too late for the flight and decided he would go home. We were one man down which was a shame.
Eventually we arrived in Valencia and decided it was a quick drink at 100 Montaditos (they’re everywhere in Spain) and Pete & Bushy ran over to Hard Rock Café to sneak one in there also and grab a few blurred photos. Weather was hotter than expected so was nice to eat & drink alfresco and not listen to people moan about the weather for a change
Time was tight as we’d booked the tickets. Now was just a simple case of grabbing the train to Castellon. Did I say simple? Wrong!! We got the right train OK but Caroline J thought Castello de la Plana train station said something else so we quickly dived back on the train. It was still moving and poor Bushy was running after it and eventually jumped on. Magnets and tacky souvenirs where strewn over the track, but luckily Bushy was in one piece. But wait, we were at the right stop and now ended up 8 miles away at next station called Benicassim. What the hell we thought and grabbed a few photos did a #TeamJackMon video and caught next train back to Castello de la Plana. We’d not even got to the expo yet.
We did eventually get to our hotel and soon after made our way to the expo. It was at Ribalta Park where we would finish the race. I was immediately impressed and couldn’t wait to start the race. If you’ve ever been to a race expo you’ll know that all kinds of foreign races are advertised so we tend to spend a bit of time at them. The guy from the Porto marathon stand was giving out free port so he tended to be our best friend for the day (Yes Caroline & I are now doing that marathon). A few photo shoots holding up our numbers and passports (Sorry Dean but it had to be done J ) and it was time to get back to hotel.
Sandy Sheppard and Brian Kirsopp would arrive later so we picked up their bags in advance.
Race morning came and what a great morning it was. Sandy & Brian’s hotel was right next to the start so we joined them for coffee before a mass RR photoshoot near a bull statue.
I absolutely buzz at marathon starts and still get goose pimples at the start of every race. When I first started doing marathons I used to get so nervous but now I just soak up the atmosphere. Truth be known I’m more nervous at parkruns, 10Ks & halves for some reason. The marathon is my stage and I relish it, though I feel the best parts are still the beginning & end and I can’t wait to get them over with as quickly as possible. Caroline & I only ever run together on XC marathons were we make a point of not looking at our watches and enjoy. Road ones are different so there’s a bit of competition. (One each up to now this year)
Fireworks & music blasted at the start which gave it a party feel. This was a good course and well supported, I recommend it to anyone. €35 and they even threw in a tech t-shirt. We find these races cheaper all around than the UK all in all and we get a holiday out of it.
I did struggle on this one as Caroline & I hadn’t ran a marathon for 7 weeks so I did feel rusty even though I’d be training hard for this. I crossed the line at 3:43 were Caroline was waiting for me (she did 3:37) We received a towel and tons of food including pizza at the end. Maureen Sweeney kindly came along to support us adding to the great atmosphere later on in the park at the end of the race.
We now waited for the rest. Brian was already in and Sandy was doing the 10k . To our surprise Bushy pulled off a 4:10 his fastest in 6 years. Did he sniff a free souvenir? He told us he didn’t want to miss out on the towel hence his time. Joking aside he’d only done a double marathon the week before and it was about his 11th of the year making it even more impressive. He’d go on to run a 4:06 the following week in Malta.We have so many friends from 100 marathon club etc that it’s like a running family. Much like Roadrunners but an international version. So we all met up near the finish for a few beers in the Spanish sun. Brian got the best time, Pete got the most photos, and Bushy got the most freebies. I can’t recommend this race enough.
We were in Castellon a couple more days so had the delight of us all celebrating visiting the various tapas bars. Pete even managed to eat mussels & snails. There’s just so many of these great little local places in Castellon with a distinct lack of tourist traps. We also kind of like it when the menus are in Spanish and they don’t speak much English.
Did I mention there’s a beach at Castellon? We took a bus and about a thousand Spaniards followed us on. I was crushed against a pole which looked like I was pole dancing in the photos. The journey worn me out more than the marathon, and not one person stuffed a €10 note in my stocking.
Always a pleasure travelling to do marathons with my lady Caroline and the rest of the Roadrunners. You know where we are if you ever want to join us. It’s not all about running, though it does help 🙂
Brian Kirsopp 3:20:37
Caroline Jackson 3:37:33
Paul Monaghan 3:43:33
Martin Bush 4:10:03
Pete Morris 4:42:27
Caroline Heagreaves 4:56:25
Sandy Sheppard 1:00:55 (10K)
Our Spring Do takes place on Sat 28th April 2018. Please see Hannah McPhee for tickets.
Our club charity for this year is No5 counselling. Webpage now up and running.
Entry forms now available to enter this year’s Dinton Pastures Relays.
ROADRUNNERS’ ladies captain Sam Whalley was abused and threatened as she ran through Whitley on Sunday morning after the cancellation of the Reading Half Marathon.
Sam and her friend Nicky Chadwick were on the climb of Whitley Wood Lane when a car deliberately swerved towards them.
Sam said: “We thought they had skidded but then they shouted ‘F… off you slags’, laughed hysterically and then drove manically almost 180 degrees on to the pavement.
“Then, luckily, they seemed to notice my husband Ben and Jamie Cole were waiting for us nearby and drove back the way they came, in a crazy fashion.
“The whole thing was quite frightening.”
Mrs Whalley took the car’s registration number and reported the matter to the police.
Her scare was the worst part of a bad day for our members which went downhill from the moment the big race was called off less than four hours before the scheduled start.
Most people thought the decision could have been made the previous evening following the scrapping of the kids’ 3k event, the Green Park Challenge.
But in true Roadrunners’ spirit our members proved that the perfect antidote to the problem of having no Reading Half Marathon to run was……. to run the Reading Half Marathon anyway!
I was one of several who decided to see for myself whether or not the course was fit for purpose.
First to answer the question was triathlete Steve Ridley, who made an early start and ran the course before the scheduled time for the hooter.
“I wasn’t going to let a little bit of snow beat me,” he said, “but I think they were right to cancel. Parts of the course were really treacherous.”
Back in the real world of those of us who can only dream of finishing in a time like that in perfect conditions, I joined near the seven-mile marker and ran ‘backwards’ against the normal flow.
I soon got a cheer from Sylvia, the widow of the late Pete Darnell, ready to spectate and encourage from what I understand is her customary spot near the Abbey Gateway.
Then I encountered a string of our quicker runners, starting with Chris and Gemma Buley, fitting the course into their 20-miler as part of their training for next month’s Brighton Marathon.
Gemma’s verdict: “I would have been happy to have run the race but I could see why they cancelled it.
“It may not have been straightforward if you’re not used to running in those conditions as some of the sections were quite slushy.”
Another Roadrunner training for a spring marathon, Brian Grieves, was also encountered pounding out the miles. I had been hoping that, as one of the official pacemakers, he would be helping me to beat the 1hr 40 marker, but it wouldn’t have happened in those conditions.
Following Brian down Kendrick Hill was the Whalley group, enjoying their run before things were to turn sour for them later.
Running through the University, I was surprised to see that the clearest roads of all were on the campus.
The efforts there compared very favourably to the situation round the Madejski Stadium. It was extremely icy just outside the ground itself and the whole of the tented village area where runners congregate before the start was a sea of frozen ankle-deep slush.
The finish area in the football ground was a depressing sight, being deserted apart from one groundsman preparing the pitch for next season’s campaign in League One.
Several more Roadrunners would be along later to liven the place up and post their selfies on Facebook. What seemed like most of the rest of the club got their Sunday race ‘fix’ at Dinton
With a biting wind in my face all the way back to Caversham, I was disappointed to discover I had run only 16 miles rather than the 20 my marathon training programme stipulated.
It was a day for the toughest and the best, as evidenced by a brief chat with Caroline Hoskins at the stadium later. “Did you manage to get a run this morning?” I asked. “19.6,” was the reply.
Cancellation? What cancellation?
Report by Sam Whalley.
Every three years, the National XC Champs are held at Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath.