SCVAC Track & Field

SCVAC Track & Field League Starts with a Bang! – Fiona Ross

‘On your marks, get set……..’ and with the gun shot echoing round Horspath Stadium, Oxford, on 30 April 2018, the Vet 35A men stormed down the 100m track, including Reading Roadrunner David Ferris, in an impressive opening event!  David Fiddes and Nigel Hoult followed close on his heels, each giving a very strong performance in the Vet 50 100m and Vet 60 100m respectively.  They did not stop there, David Fiddes also gave a sterling performance in the Vet 50 3000 steeplechase as did David Ferris, together with Ian Giggs, in the Vet 35 400m events.  Simon Denton then beat Reading AC at their own game in the Vet 50 400m event!

When talking about the events in which he participated, Nigel highlighted what many Roadrunners feel, i.e. sprinting is “something most of us don’t do in competition”.  However, the atmosphere at the SCVAC Track & Field is fun and friendly.  Indeed, Nigel recounted that there was “a bit of humour when the starting pistol didn’t go off for one of the races!”  Furthermore, there is a sense of achievement in competing against clubs who focus more on athletics than road-running.  Nigel was rightly pleased which his 100m time of 17.8 seconds, and that he scored 4 points for the club. Furthermore, although Nigel had little time to prepare for his 400m race, because he had been co-ordinating our team and watching the steeplechase, his time was nevertheless impressive!

When it came to the 1500m events, Reading Roadrunners certainly came into their own.  Ian Giggs was a strong contender and Mark Worringham and Pete Jewell were second in the Vet 35 and Vet 50 age categories respectively. Fergal Donnelly flew round the track in just 5 minutes flat! As a non-scorer, he ran with the Vet 50 runners and said modestly afterwards, “I learned how to finally win a race – run in an older age category!”  However, I am sure Fergal would have given our competitors in the younger age category a run for their money!

The Reading Roadrunner ladies team also gave it their all.  Our very own ladies’ captain, Sam Whalley, certainly did. “I am by no means a sprinter”, she told me, “but as ladies’ captain, I feel I should set an example and participate. I was pretty confident I would come last in my 100m and 400m races. Nevertheless, I was cheered on by members of our club and others, and the other competitors, who I assume had excelled at sprinting in their younger years, all said ‘well done’ when I had finished. Once I saw the results, I was delighted to see that I had come within a second of my PB at both distances. With it being the first meet of the league, I can even claim them as season’s bests!”

Like Sam, I was really pleased with my 100m and 400m achievements too, especially since this was my first ever track & field event, but I agree with her that the team spirit of the Reading Roadrunners and our competitors (shown in the individual and relay races) makes these events even more enjoyable!  I would like to thank Sam and Roger Pritchard for encouraging me to take part, Tony Canning for the coaching for the sprint events and for his patience (I did not even have the spikes screwed into my sprinting shoes when I first started training!) and Glynne Jones for his advice.  With   their support and that of Nigel and our team, I had the courage to take part and enjoyed it!

Adele Graham was just half a second behind her Reading AC competitor in the Vet 50 100m race and Tracey Lasan finished ahead of her Reading AC competitor in the Vet 60 100m and ahead of Oxford in the Vet 50 400m race!  Helen Pool and Claire Seymour did us proud in the Vet 35 1500m race too.  The Reading Roadrunners have talent, even when not roadrunning!

Furthermore, it was not just on the track that Reading Roadrunners showed their prowess!  Ian showed his long-jump skills and Andy Atkinson and Simon Denton skilfully ‘put shots’ or ‘threw the hammer’, scoring points for the Reading Roadrunner team! These achievements were all the more impressive, since these are not events in which Reading Roadrunners normally participate at all.  Indeed, Andy recounted his experiences:

“Not since 1966 had I tried to put the shot.  Some of the other competitors seemed to be capable of throwing (not the right word as you will see) the shot a remarkably long way! I stepped up in the ring, after sagging under the weight of the shot, and took Glynne’s advice not to stand back, twirl or stagger. I grunted and hefted and the shot hit the sand at what appeared to be not far beyond my toes, but actually was 5 metres in! “No put!” was the referee’s response. Apparently, I had let the shot part from my cheek on launch and had effectively “thrown” it, which is not allowed. On the second round I did the same – about 5 metres in, but a “no put”. There were audible sighs of relief, when it was deemed on the third round that the put was good and the 5 or so metres stood.

The hammer is a heavy ball of iron on the end of a steel string! The first time I forgot to swing the ball over my head and went straight into the rotation, got dizzy and threw the hammer beyond the left side boundary – “no throw”. The second time, I remembered the swing, limited the rotation to one turn, but in my elation at getting the hammer beyond the tarmac area, stepped out of the magic circle – foul! The third throw, at 11 metres, was good and the fourth at 11.5 metres, better. I was delighted even though some competitors had put the shot further than my hammer throw! I got two points this time.”

Andy recommends that these events are something worth trying and can be done by anyone with minimal training.  He feels it does require some practice to gain technique, but strength and balance rather than speed are key to success. A discipline different from just running and well worth a go!

Adele Graham took third position in the Vet 50 Hammer event for the ladies and represented us in the Vet 50 long-jump too and javelin events too!  Helen Grieves and Liz Atkinson, following her superb performance in the London Marathon, also scored well earned points for the Reading Roadrunner ladies in the Vet 35 and Vet 60 Javelin events!

 

The SCVAC Track & Field League Starts has certainly started with a bang!

The Reading Roadrunners team would be top of the leader board, if points were also scored for team spirit and we went home with something as important as any award, a great sense of achievement!

On behalf of us all, a big thank you to Nigel Hoult for organising the Reading Roadrunner team, to Tony Canning and Glynne Jones for the coaching sessions provided for these events and to Sam Whalley and all those involved.  Fergal Donnelly spoke for us all when he said it was “a great evening, expertly organised by Nigel & team”.

We would like to encourage other Reading Roadrunners to take part in this Track and Field League because it is a great opportunity to try something new, support your fellow Reading Roadrunners, get to know other club members, who were friendly and supportive, and an opportunity to have some fun! Sam Whalley recommends “if you are 35 or over, and haven’t yet given these events a go, be brave, and try it!”

The next fixtures are on 14 May, 4 June and 2 July 2018.  Nigel Hoult has published the details. Come and join us!

Runners on The Road

Runners on The Road

Come and join us for International Events!!

Often throughout the year many of us Roadrunners organise our own trips abroad. Someone will come up with an idea and we'll then eventually post it on Facebook.

These events are usually marathons but many incorporate half marathons & 10Ks also. We also have members who travel to international parkruns.  Often many may just come to support, so it's ideal if you just want a holiday.

The problem is many people can feel left out or new members may not have noticed old posts on Facebook.

If you have a trip planned in next year or so, or have a great idea then please contact me or email your idea and rough details to runnersontheroad@readingroadrunners.org or just tag me in (Paul Monaghan) and mention details on Facebook. Note you're not obliged to do this and it's totally understandable that you just may want to arrange your own trip with friends. But come on we all love a good holiday.

 

Upcoming Trips:sible text


 

Seville, Spain 2020

Distances  Marathon
parkruns? None in Spain at Present
Date  23-Feb-2020
Contact  Paul Monaghan & Caroline Jackson
Details One of the best cities in Spain. Famous for it's cathedral & tapas bars. The race starts in the centre and through the streets of Seville. At one point passes the stunning Plaza de España. Race is mainly flat. About ten of us from the club are travelling to this. Entry & details on website here

 


 

Paphos and Limassol Marathons

Distances  Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & 5K
parkruns?  None in Cyprus
Date  15-March and 22-March 2020
Contact  Paul Monaghan & Caroline Jackson
Details Cyprus the island that has approx 320 days of sun a year!  A great place to get some late winter sun.  The Paphos marathon starts at the wonderful Aphrodite’s Birthplace and starts at 7.30am.  There are free coaches for all runners to the start from the Harbour in Paphos.  Free Unlimited Beer at the finish and a fantastic award ceremony overlooking the Mediterrean.  There is also a wine 5k run on the Tuesday which includes transport there and back to the winery, lunch, visit to the museum and winery,  and bottle of wine for all finishers.  Link here for the Paphos event https://logicomcyprusmarathon.com/

Limassol marathon takes place on Sunday 22 March. On the same day there is also a 10k, 5K , and Half Marathon.    https://www.limassolmarathon.com/

There is a great after party at Limassol too at the new marina.

Please contact us if you need any advice on where to stay and flights etc.  We have done these races before and have lots of knowledge on both Paphos and Limassol.

Check out this article I wrote last time we ran them in 2019

 


 

Marseille Marathon 2020

Distances  Marathon, Half Marathon, 6K & 10K or Relay
parkruns?  None nearby
Date  12 April 2020
Contact  Paul Monaghan & Caroline Jackson
Details Giving this one a go also a good opportunity to get away over Easter.   We are flying out on the Good Friday and back on Monday.
Marseille, a port city in Southern France and located on the Mediterranean Coast.
We are staying at the Ibis by Vieux Port.

Website: https://www.timeto.com/en-GB/sports/running/run-in-marseille-by-harmonie-mutuelle-2020

 


 

Rhodes Marathon 2020

Distances  Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K
parkruns?  None in Greece
Date  3-May 2020
Contact  Paul Monaghan & Caroline Jackson
Details We have ran this one before and can recommend it.  It’s a beautiful run in the on this great Greek island.  The run starts early mainly to avoid the heat but its still a scorcher.

The pasta party the night before the event is amazing.   Further details

https://www.rhodesmarathon.gr/en/

 


 

Trains, Towels & Pole Dancing

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)