It is with regret that Track Friday is now postponed until further notice.
Further details on our Track Friday page here
It is with regret that Track Friday is now postponed until further notice.
Further details on our Track Friday page here
Following the second club championship event of the year, ladies captain SAM WHALLEY again does the honours with this report from the front line after competing herself…
With Fleet Half Marathon cancelled and marathon training plans out of the window, there were a few on-the-day entries for the undulating local race, and competition in the club championship* hotted up.
*Quick reminder that you have to be in it (your RR kit) to win it. There are no fewer than 41 RRs on the results, and no way were they all in green (shaking head, sad face).
First home in the senior men’s category, and first man overall, was Marcus Fletcher. You may be surprised that he was not first across the line; this accolade went to in-form Jessica Gibbon, of Reading AC, who has completely smashed the XC season.
For the MV40s, there was a close battle between Fergal Donnelly and Tony Page, with Fergal just winning.
The MV50s was the most populated category of the race, and only David Caswell was required to complete the set. With Brian Kirsopp pulling up with hamstring pain at 3k, it was Tony Streams who took the 50 points.
Eddie Thorpe missed out on the Grandmasters prize by two minutes, but was the only contender in the club’s MV75 category, while Stephen Wing was happy to pick up 50 points in the MV65s.
There were no senior women, but Sarah Dooley picked up 50 points the FV40s, along with the vets prize overall (third female).
Katherine Sargeant was second female overall, first FV50 for the club, and declared the Supervet! Whose idea were these names?!
Jane Davies, unsurprisingly, was first FV60, and the Masters winner, with Heather Bowley claiming 50 points for the FV65s.
And here’s my report from the Saturn Running-organised Lost Runs event at Thames Valley Park, where there was also a good turn-out of Roadrunners.
I thought it would be a perfect warm-up for Paris (er, perhaps not) and then Brighton (oops!) Oh dear, this is getting expensive.
With little incentive for the longer stuff I ran a half-decent half marathon (with negative split) and fled early, leaving the proper long-distance runners — like Martin Bush and Jo Sollesse — to continue racking up the miles.
We had been dreaming of racing over the Verrezano Bridge in NYC while having to make do with the Horseshoe bridge over the Kennet, which became increasingly difficult to cross as East Reading’s finest returned from Tesco laden down with the fruits of their stockpiling raids.
As a tribute to my unlucky club colleague Liz Jones, I wore my (totally redundant) England vest for this event.
This disappointment followed a week in which she had battled to recover from a fractured thumb and cracked ribs after a cycling accident.
Liz was determined to make the most of her big day however, and wore the coveted strip on an off-road run, proudly displayed it to her horse, Kazan (left) and then a field of goats, as well as the statues in Trafalgar Square, buskers in Covent Garden… and finally she slept in it (below). Coming soon will be a montage of images of Liz’s vest’s day in the sun… set to music!
Elsewhere, Ryan Faulkner was the only Roadrunner competing at the somewhat controversially-staged Bath Half Marathon, where he ran 1:18.22, while Emily Brett was also a solo half-marathoner. She ran Hampton Court in 2:13.00.
For the second consecutive event, Ashley Middlewick was on a podium. He picked up another runners-up prize with a time of 37.45 in the Mad March Hare 10k at Woldingham.
The Milton Keynes 10k was a family affair for Roadrunners. Andy Atkinson was second MV65 and his wife Liz third in the same age category. Mark Andrew was up in 23rd in that event with a time of 41.20 and his wife Veronica finished with Liz Atkinson.
Goring results: https://www.chiptiming.co.uk/events/goring-10k-2020/
Pictures: Eddie Thorpe, Phil Reay, Katherine Sargeant.
Bramley Cancelled. Entries will be deferred to 2021.
We can confirm all entries for 2020 will now be deferred to 2021.
Our Bramley 20/10 race on 16/02/2020 had to be cancelled due to bad weather.
Please visit our Bramley page for updated details.
Come and join us for International Events
Our Runners on The Road page has now been updated with our latest events we will be travelling to in 2020 and beyond.
Check out our Runners on The Road page here for dates and more details.
FOR the third year in a row, Reading Roadrunners have won the men’s veterans title in the fiercely competitive Hampshire League. Men’s captain JAMIE SMITH here pays tribute to Mark Worringham and his brilliant squad…
There was no sign of the mud that we have had to get used to over the course of the season and this was certainly very much appreciated after the recent mudfest at Parliament Hill for the Southern XC Championships.
We finish the cross-country season as veteran Hampshire League winners. The confirmation came with another first place finish for the team on the day.
This meant that we are the champions with a perfect score of just four points (for four wins!)… an amazing achievement in a very competitive league. The mightily strong Aldershot, Farnham and District squad trailed in second.
With such a strong veterans’ team performance it’s no surprise that we also had runners finish in the top ten overall for the season.
Mark Worringham was our highest placed runner in fourth place, just missing a podium spot by one point. Lance Nortcliff finished the season in equal seventh place and Andrew Smith ninth.
On the day itself 13 green vests lined up to race and were led home by another of the club’s veteran runners, Ben Paviour, in a fine 19th place overall. He was also second vet home. Hopefully we can persuade Ben to run a few more Hampshire League races next season.
Second home for the club was Mark Apsey in a season’s best performance in 25th place.
Also running were Andrew Smith (65th), Jamie Smith (77th), Ben Ashby (87th), Tony Page (89th), Chris Buley (116th), Pete Jewell (120th), Jon Green (215th), and Nick Adley (237th). Excellent running all round — well done everyone!
Indeed, fifth place was also the same position where we finished in the 2019/20 league table. An excellent effort, showing the real strength in depth that now exists within the club.
It’s been a fantastic cross-country season with two out of three league titles won.
Well done to everyone who has turned out throughout the season. We’ll be back for some more mud when the new season starts in October.
Now here’s SAM WHALLEY’S report on a great finish to the season by our ladies…
Sun, wind and a distinct lack of mud faced the ten female Reading Roadrunners in Popham, for the fifth and final Hampshire League fixture of the season.
With the SEAA XC champion on the start line, it was no surprise that Reading AC’s Jess Gibbon was again the race winner.
Hannah Green followed in 26th, with Helen Pool hot on her heels in 28th (second vet and fifth vet overall for the season). The women’s team was sixth on the day and sixth overall on aggregate, which is an impressive result.
Sarah Dooley was next, in 40th (seventh vet and seventh vet overall for the season), with Chloe Lloyd in 54th. Completing the vet’s team was Emma Paton, in 63rd (20th vet), giving the vet women’s team their best finishing position of second and third on aggregate.
This was a fantastic result, and a brilliant end to the season. If it were up to me, I would be rewarding team podium finishes, and top-ten finishes in the overall and vets’ competitions. But it’s not.
Other non-scorers on the day were Sam Whalley (93rd, 39th vet), Alex Bennell (106th, 50th vet), Claire Seymour (110th, 52nd vet), and Cecilia Csemiczky (141st, 71st vet, and second V70).
I am really grateful to the all the women who have turned out for the club this season, and proud of what we have achieved as a team. Well done!
Action picture: Gemma Buley.
Below is a list of team races for 2020 as supplied by our ladies captain Sam
TWENTY-FOUR brave Roadrunners gave their all on London’s iconic Parliament Hill Fields course today. As ever, our captains are proud to quickly spread the news. Here’s JAMIE SMITH’S report on our men’s performances…
ROADRUNNER David Clay summed it up perfectly when he said: “Well, that was brutal!”
He was one of 15 men in green vests who took to the start line for this year’s South of England Cross-Country Championships at the bottom of the first of many daunting hills.
On the coach up from Palmer Park, there was a mixture of nervousness and excitement. As we arrived one of the younger age group races was just starting and everyone was eager to see how these youngsters tackled the first big hill.
Race time came round for us in no time at all and, having just seen our women’s team run so strongly, we wanted to do ourselves and the club proud.
Away up the hill, a swarm of runners were all looking to get a good start and find the right line for the first bend, which is known for being a bottleneck. After topping that first hill, the men had three full laps to complete to make up the 15km distance.
We were soon to find that this was not going to an easy day, with deep, heavy mud throughout the entire lap, each corner getting more perilous with each lap as the 1,172 runners trudged through.
Interestingly, the people who look after that part of Hampstead Heath use shire horses to help bring the ground back to good condition.
There has been a big debate around the distance of the men’s race and for me the battle to get round and beat the conditions makes it one my favourite races of each year.
The race was won by Great Britain runner Adam Hickey in a staggering 47 minutes 21 seconds. Perhaps being at the front meant he had easier conditions!
We were led home by Jack Gregory in 116th, despite his having been unsure all week if he would run because of a heavy cold.
Our scoring six was completed by Matthew Richards (125th), Sibrand Rinzema (296th), Callum Pratt (312th), Lance Nortcliff (356th) and David McCoy (385th).
Everyone should be incredibly proud of their run today.
And here’s SAM WHALLEY’S report on our ladies’ efforts…
Nine Roadrunners’ women lined up in pens 46 and 47 at the bottom of Parliament Hill, with a few having withdrawn through injury.
There was a mixture of nerves and excitement among those who were there, with some knowing what was in store, and others going on the hearsay of ‘it’s epic’, ‘you’ll love it’, and ‘it’s an amazing downhill finish’. We all knew it was going to be undulating, tough, and given recent weather conditions, very, very muddy. It was definitely a day for the 15mm spikes.
Experienced XC runner, and the club’s FV40 XC championship winner, Sarah Alsford, was next, in 304th, with Chloe Lloyd, another Parliament Hill newbie, completing the scoring team in 313rd. The team was 41st out of 70 complete teams, which is a great result.
Following them in were Sam Whalley (426th), ‘try anything once’ Alex Bennell, only one second behind in 427th, first-timer Swinda Falkena in 455th, Liz Johnson, giving her new spikes the ultimate test, in 495th, and Claire Seymour, in 593rd, with all women finishing the tough 7.6km course in under 50 minutes.
Well done to everyone who ran for us… and to the first lady home, Reading AC’s Jess Gibbon.
Our next visit to Parliament Hill should be for the National XC Championships in February next year. Who’s in?
Pictures: Gemma Buley, Pete Morris
CLIMBING was the theme of this weekend’s racing for Reading Roadrunners. The dreaded ascent up to the mansion house in Prospect Park was the big feature of Saturday’s Hampshire Cross Country League fixture and that was followed today by the killer 3k drag up to the finish of the Woodcote 10k and the iconic remake of The 39 Steps at the Cliveden 10k. Club captains SAM WHALLEY and JAMIE SMITH have again filed accounts of the cross-country action and their reports follow my own missive from Woodcote…
Step forward please… Ed Dodwell.
As Ed climbed the podium to collect his customary M60 prize after the Woodcote 10k he said: “I’ve been very lucky. In the last 19 races I’ve entered I have had two second places and 17 wins.”
That’s not luck, Ed… that’s good running!
Roadrunners would have cleaned up at Woodcote but for four little problems…
1 There was no team prize. Had there been one, our four guys in the top 18 — Chris Lucas third, Brian Kirsopp ninth, Fergal Donnelly 17th and Tony Page 18th — would have walked away with it. No other club had more than one athlete in the top 20.
3 No prize for Sarah Dooley for winning the W40 group… they handed it to someone else by mistake! Was coach Sarah miffed? Just a bit!
4 And no M70 prize for yours truly. There wasn’t one! Pity, the day had been going OK right up until the time I head-butted the pavement.
But there were still trophies for Dodwell, Jane Davies (F60 prize in her second tough race in less than 24 hours) and Lucas, a winner of this race in 2018 but a bronze-medallist this time after being run out of it in the last 400 metres.
Amazingly, three Roadrunners chalked up PBs on this tough course. On his comeback from injury, Tony Page managed an improvement of 28 seconds, George Nyamie progressed by 25 seconds and new member Julie Sugden (right), donning a green vest for the first time, found it made her over a minute quicker.
Brian Kirsopp, a winner last year, had to settle for second place in the V50s but my spies tell me that the man who beat him, David Parton, may soon be racing in a green vest.
There were 29 Roadrunners contesting the Woodcote event and 22 competing at Cliveden, where Ian Giggs was our first finisher and Elizabeth Ganpatsingh our first lady home.
Here’s SAM WHALLEY’S report on the Hampshire League fixture…
The course, though, felt markedly different. I heard the mud described as soft, sticky, claggy… it was certainly deeper in places, especially on the hills and through the woods, and the boggy end of the field was indeed boggy. The course was, as usual, short, at 5k, and we continue to be baffled as to why we don’t run an extra loop that the men run, to increase the distance to nearer the advertised 6k.
Regular TVXC winner Freya Martin was once again first for the team, in an impressive 13th, followed by Hannah Green, making her debut for the club, in an excellent 37th. Helen Pool completed the team, in 44th (8th vet), and the team placed a fantastic fifth.
Mel Shaw, not really feeling the love for this league after a few years away from it, was hot on Helen’s heels in 46th, while Jane Davies did battle with a Reading AC rival for 52nd (11th vet, first V60), during what she called her warm-up for the Woodcote 10k.
Chloe Lloyd continued her great run of form not far behind in 62nd, and our other Hampshire League debutante, Emma Paton, completed the vets’ scoring team in 73rd (24th vet). The vets team was a brilliant third.
Also having strong non-scoring runs on the day were Sam Whalley (that’s me!), Alex Bennell, Claire Seymour and Cecilia Csemiczky, with Cecilia just being pipped by her arch-rival from the Victory running club.
With one fixture to go, the women’s team overall is sixth on aggregate, while the vets are third, just one point ahead of Stubbington Green. We had a team of 11 at this race; It would be great to have an even bigger turn-out for the finale at Popham Airfield on February 8th. If you’re free, join us!
And here’s JAMIE SMITH’S report on the men’s race at Prospect Park:
A fantastic turn-out of 19 Roadrunners lined up for the penultimate Hampshire League fixture. It was great to see 11 runners making either the debut this season or turning out at the Hampshire League for the very first time.
Having run the same course in December at the BBO, everyone was well aware of all of the hills and, indeed, once again the mud that was to come.
Speaking with lots of the new faces, there was a mixture of excitement and nervousness pre-race. The Hampshire League is seen to be a step up in class from the TVXC, and one that really should not be there. This was best summed up after the race by first-timer Daniel Rickett: “Really enjoyed that” he said. “If I can do it anyone can!”
Unfortunately, having picked up a few niggles in the recent TVXC event and with the depth to the team these days I had the chance to watch the race from the sidelines. It was thoroughly impressive to see the commitment and enthusiasm from all who wore the green vest yesterday.
At the front of the race there were plenty of top-level runners, including recent TVXC winner Jack Gregory, who led the team home with his highest-ever finish of tenth. Jack has set himself a number of goals for this year and a top-10 finish in the Hampshire was one of those. One down, three to go!
Finishing in a fine 23rd was Ben Paviour, who was making his debut this season. Ben was second vet40 to finish after a run that was nearly perfect apart from an unfortunate stumble on one of the downhills.
Behind our leading pair the scoring team was made up by Mark Worringham in 33rd (fifth vet), Mark Apsey in 37th and this season’s cross-country ever-present Chris Burt in 57th.
This led to the senior team finishing in a fine sixth place, cementing our current sixth place in Division One for this season.
Congratulations to those who have scored and made this league win possible. Beating the Aldershot team is no mean feat.
In the men’s vets individual competition, we have an exciting conclusion to the season with mud-lover Mark Worringham currently in fourth place only one point away from third ahead of the final race at Popham airfield on February 8th.
Thanks to everyone who turned out on a cold and very windy day. Let’s be seeing some more of you, either at Popham or next season!
Hampshire League ladies: https://www.hampshireathletics.org.uk/results/2020/20200111_hlwomen.html
Hampshire League men: https://www.hampshireathletics.org.uk/results/2020/20200111_hlmen.html
Woodcote results: https://www.woodcote10k.org.uk/copy-of-results-2019
Cliveden results: http://onyourmarksevents.org/results-2020-cliveden-10k.html
Pictures: Pete Jewell, Jeanette Allcock, Nigel Hoult, Eddie Thorpe, Matt Davies, Chris Drew.
FIVE green vests in the top 20 meant a great finish to the Sunday XC season. Men’s captain JAMIE SMITH reports on Roadrunners’ challenge for the title…
THERE was a fantastic turn-out of Roadrunners at today’s final Thames Valley Cross Country League fixture of the season. What a way to start the New Year, with a distinct difference from the wet and muddy conditions we have had to endure so far this season.
All of this would suggest an easier day, but in reality Bracknell Forest Runners laid out a truly testing course.
Taking place on the heathland around Lightwater Country Park, with gorse that seemed to reach out and grab at you, there were plenty of bloodied arms showing afterwards.
With a fair amount of dry conditions underfoot this allowed for a faster pace than we have had to get used to when ploughing through the mud.
I would probably describe the course as never actually being flat, and none more so then on the long hill we had to run twice.
How would we rank the hills from this season? Sandhurst, Handy Cross or today’s… which was hardest?
But there were — as should be included on all cross-country courses — a few technical muddy sections that allowed all of us to get a good covering of mud over our legs.
With the results still currently provisional, it looks as though our men were overall joint first on the day, with Windle Valley.
I’d like to thank everyone who has turned out for us this season. Everyone who runs plays a part in any team success — so well done all!
This brought the front of the field to a virtual standstill, only resolved when Bracknell’s Neil Kevern , the eventual winner, took the initiative to find the correct course. A potential disaster was averted but Jack had to work his way back past about 20 runners.
That’s Neil in our picture, battling it out with Tom Harrison and Kerri French.
Following Jack home in the scoring team was Chris Burt in sixth, Mark Apsey seventh, Lance Nortcliff 12th, myself 17th, and Brian Kirsopp 32nd.
Special thanks to Lance and Brian for turning out for this fixture after a last minute call to arms on Friday evening! Their performances were crucial in clinching top spot for the men’s team on the day and for the season.
So that’s the end of the TVXC for this season, but don’t worry there is still plenty of mud to be found if you feel you need some more.
Next Saturday we have the penultimate Hampshire League fixture and following that Popham Airfield stages the last races on February 8th.
Here’s SAM WHALLEY’S report on the Roadrunners’ ladies’ efforts at Lightwater…
With last year’s race having been cancelled due to snow, and some of us not having run it many times, there seemed to be various memories of the course, but commonly mentioned were hills, bottlenecks, a ditch, and a lack of desire to run the second lap. Yep, they were all still there.
We have really missed Chantal Percival (right) this year, but work commitments have not always been able to fit in with the race schedule. What a surprise to see her today, and maybe less of a surprise to see her lead home the women’s team in fifth.
Laura Peatey was next, in 11th, with Mel Shaw hot on her heels in 12th. There followed a couple more seniors — Chloe Lloyd in 26th, and Renée Whalley in 29th — but it was our first vet, Claire Marks, who would complete the scoring team, in 30th.
Their efforts gave us second place on the day, and this seemed to me to be a fantastic end to the TVXC season. Well done to everyone who ran, especially those who were new to the club or to XC this year, and have embraced the mud.
You have earned our ladies a final League position of fourth for the season.
If you’re wondering what you can do with yourself now, we still have two Hampshire League fixtures to go, in Reading (Prospect Park), on Saturday, and at Popham Airfield near Basingstoke on February 8th.
You can also take a look at the email you should have received this week, with details of upcoming road relays. Let’s keep this team spirit up!
Final positions: http://tvxc.org.uk/content/league-tables
Pictures: Peter Reilly
After Roadrunners hosted a fantastically successful Thames Valley Cross Country League fixture, ladies’ stand-in skipper MELANIE SHAW has filed this report on what she has dubbed ‘Ar-mud-geddon’. Supplementary reporting by men’s captain JAMIE SMITH after his six-and-a-half-hours shift from set-up to leading the team and unpacking the vans..
FOLLOWING last weekend’s Berkshire Cross Country Championships and seven days of rain of biblical proportions at Ashenbury Park, the mud and water levels on the Woodley course had increased significantly, reducing it to a sea of treacle. Just what we wanted!
Somehow between them Sam Whalley and Peter Reilly managed to find two very different courses, both very enjoyable.
The latest leg-sapping course welcomed a fantastic 416 runners — including 77 Roadrunners — to celebrate the final Thames Valley XC League run of 2019, and surely the beginning of the festive season.
There were Christmas hats aplenty and the lovely Eddie Thorpe even donned his fabulous festive running gear. (Fear not, he ran in the required club vest for the race).
The mood was buoyant — and needed to be given the conditions — and everyone seemed to enjoy the atmosphere of a great event.
Jack Gregory and Rob Corney — back after eight weeks out with an Achilles injury — led the field out and the spray from the runners was akin to travelling under a waterfall. The race was gruelling, and it was more effort pulling your foot out of the mud than placing it in front of the other one. We suffered two tough laps (of 4km each) before the final placings were decided.
Despite it being his first appearance of the season, our second-claimer Ben Paviour (left) was the first vet home in fourth place, just ahead of Sibrand Rinzema, whose impressive sprint finish gave Roadrunners four out of the first five places.
If that wasn’t enough, we proudly welcomed Mark Apsey in ninth and another vet, Tony Page, in 20th, giving the club’s men a massive winning margin. With Chris Burt 13th and Jamie Smith 14th, we had nine finishers in the top 20.
I had the honour of leading our ladies team — with Laura Peatey, Jane Davies and Chloe Lloyd our other scorers — into third place. This gave the club joint first place overall, along with Datchet, after one of the Dashers’ scorers was disqualified for wearing headphones.
Sam Whalley was really pleased with the team result and wanted to give a shout-out to several other members… “Sarah Dooley was our fifth woman home, in the middle of her 14 mile long run — good going! Shweta Saikumar, who, having said just last week that she would not be back, was indeed back, and had a great run. She really will feel the benefit in the spring. Swinda Falkena’s big smile was back at Ashenbury for the second time, with Swinda claiming to have enjoyed the race much more, with the benefit of last week’s experience.
“It was great to see Annette Russell racing, after a difficult year, and Helen Wing, who had sworn never to do XC again, was a true professional in her XC spikes. Katie Rennie was back in green for this league only (at least for this year!), which was lovely to see.”
So, a big thank-you to Sam, Peter Reilly and all the wonderful volunteers who made this possible — from the course set up, the catering, photographers, results takers and the well-wishers. You really made our club proud!
Finally, congratulations to all the runners who managed to navigate themselves around the course. This event was a real show of club depth, with so many Reading Roadrunners running and/or volunteering.
The next XC event is the TVXC fixture at Lightwater Country Park on January 5th. Let’s start the New Year with another mass green vest race takeover!
That will be followed by the Hampshire League fixture at Prospect Park, Reading, on January 11th.
Have a wonderful Christmas all.
Pictures: Chris Drew, Sev Konieczny, Peter Cook.