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I’m pleased to announce the official charity we will be representing this year is 1st Charvil Scouts Group
Charity Coordinator Vroni would like to thank all who nominated them
Further details on our charity page here.
Post-lockdown racing resumed over the Easter weekend — and immediately there was plenty of success for Reading Roadrunners.
Although neither of the usual Easter favourites, the Maidenhead 10 and Beaconsfield 5, took place there was a new-look Mortimer 10k over a multi-terrain course which finished with victory for Mark Apsey.
Mark survived a near-miss with a swerving car near the finish before pipping Reading Joggers’ star Alex Whearity in the last few metres to win in 36mins 48secs.
A delighted Mark said: “What with being overworked and a mix of aches and pains, I have not trained much in the last month. I didn’t expect anything under 38 or 39 minutes so I was pleased to run the time I did on a gruelling woodland trail route that included plenty of dog-lead dodging and, on the second lap, runner congestion.”
PBs there, too, for Paul Morrissey and Lorna McLeod and a V60 third-place for Alan Freer, while Ben Fasham improved his half-marathon PB at Kempton Park.
Some of the south’s best 5k runners were out in force in Sussex on Easter Monday for the Ardingly PB5k and Alex Harris duly obliged by taking four seconds off his best and improving his club V50 age group record to 17.33.
To give you some idea of the quality of the fields at this graded meeting, Jack Gregory ran 15.14 in the elite race where you had to run sub-16 to finish in the top 100.
Despite the cancellation of this year’s Shinfield 10k there will soon b e plenty of other local races taking place soon, although for the next couple of months they will still all be staged under Covid restrictions (see Roadmap, below).
Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap expires on April 12th and the club plans to restart track sessions at Palmer Park from Wednesday, April 14th.
Below is a new-look calendar of events for the rest of the year. It doesn’t claim to be comprehensive but should cover most of the races which have proved popular with our members over the last few years.
Some of them have been postponed from their traditional spring dates to later in the year, making the autumn particularly busy. There should be a big race round here for everyone in October, but that won’t stop Roadrunners rocking up mob-handed at the Boston Marathon.
One of the anomalies thrown up by the modified schedule is the Farnborough Winter Half Marathon taking place on July 4th. Hopefully there won’t be a blizzard during the race this year!
There are more reasons to be cheerful in May, particularly with the return of the Barnes Fitness Summer Series. Events run by Ellie and Ian Gosling (left) always have a great vibe and this year the Dinton runfest comes with a virtual option (barnesfitness.co.uk).
May 16th sees the staging of the RunReading Half Marathon (racesolutions.co.uk) round the Caversham/Mapledurham loop as well as a full marathon and 50k ultra through the Goring Gap.
These two longer races are already sold out and the start lists include plenty of Roadrunners, as well as a certain Bradley Cooper. Not the Bradley Cooper, surely?
“The problem for organisers is that we require enough notice to make arrangements for the races,” he said. “So it’s one thing being told potentially that all restrictions will be lifted by June 21st and that some events can take place from March 29th but, without having certainty about this, booking the various services and paying for them is a big risk.
“If we do this and they then say we cannot go ahead then we potentially lose tens of thousands of pounds.”
That was why Chris set a stand-by date of the weekend beginning July 23rd for the southern version of Endure 24 and was able to accommodate a late switch from June and a move from Wasing Park to Henley.
Another huge event from the Racesolutions stable is the Wokingham Half Marathon, which has transported from its traditional February slot to September 19th. This version promises a new route through the town centre.
Before that comes the putative return of parkrun on June 5th. Good luck to the volunteers trying to keep that socially distanced!
I’m sure Roadrunners will be entering some strong squads for the British Masters Road Relays at Sutton Coldfield in September, although there’s no news yet on the 12 and 6-stage Road Relays.
Track Friday supremo Fergal Donnelly tells me that he and Tony Canning are confident of staging some of their popular 5k events after the summer holidays period. Here’s the list of selected races:
25: Goodwood Festival of Running
1: Newbury Racecourse 5k, 10k, HM
2: Henley Trail 10k and HM
9: Oxford Town & Gown 10k
9: Jigsaw 10k
13: Dinton Summer Series (race 1)
16: Reading Riverside HM, Goring Gap 26.2m & 50k
5: Return of parkrun
10: Dinton Summer Series (race 2)
20: Hampshire Hoppit HM & marathon
4: Farnborough Winter HM
4: Sonning 5k, 10k
7: Yateley 10k (race 1)
8: Dinton Summer Series (race 3)
10: Race to the Stones
21: Yateley 10k (race 2)
23: Endure 24
25: Down Tow Up Flow HM
31: Round Reading Ultra
4: Yateley 10k (race 3)
12: Dinton Summer Series (race 4)
15: Burnham Beeches HM & 10k
29: Englefield 10k
5: Maidenhead HM
12: Brighton Marathon
12: Great North Run
18: British Masters Road Relays
19: Wokingham HM
25: Windsor Women’s 10k
26: Windsor HM
26: Berlin Marathon
3: London Marathon
3: Basingstoke HM
10: Henley 10k & HM
10: Chicago Marathon
11: Boston Marathon
17: Great South Run
17: Oxford HM
17: Paris Marathon
24: Abingdon Marathon
24: Water of Life HM
7: Reading HM
7: Marlow 7 & HM
7: Rivermead 10k
28: Mapledurham 10k & HM
- I have kept December clear for a full programme of Hampshire League and TVXC fixtures. In 2022, why not pencil in the Woodcote 10k on January 9th? It’s a great warm-up for the big one — Bramley 10/20 — on February 20th.
- Yesterday’s action picture: Peter Cook
In the competition for those aged 35 or over, M75 Eddie finished fourth in the 75-84 age category, with a 77 per cent age-graded time of 7 minutes and 19 seconds.
A 4:40-miler back in the 80s, Eddie was still pretty pleased with his time, having shielded for many months, and not having done any speed work since the track first closed a year ago, maintaining his fitness initially with many miles on a Wattbike.
He waited with bated breath though, to find out if he would make the top three, with the top runner also listed as an M65, for team purposes.
The event attracted over 1200 masters athletes from around the country, and 24 Roadrunners, who were led home by M40 Mark Worringham in a speedy 4:50 (83% age grade).
W60 Jane Davies achieved the top age grade, though, with 87% for her time of 6:42, followed by M55 Brian Kirsopp (81% for 5:38), and W45 Helen Pool, who was paced to a PB of 5:57 (her first sub-six, 80%) by Tony Page, who had already logged 5:20 for himself before knocking ten seconds off in another attempt.
Well done to everyone who took part.
Here are the team scores:
M35-44 (46th): 36: Mark Worringham (4:50), 633: Ben Fasham (6:15), 869: Chris James (6:56).
M45-54 (37th): 177: Tony Page (5:20), 769: Chris Manton (6:38), 878: Art Atwal (6:57).
M55-64 (14th): 314: Brian Kirsopp (5:38), 698: David Caswell (6:24), 964: Peter Reilly (7:19).
W35-44 (21st): 398: Jane Copland Pavlovich (5:48), 845: Caroline Jackson (6:50), 1099: Nicola Gillard (8:04).
W45-54 (21st): 490: Helen Pool (5:57), 969: Elizabeth Ganpatsingh (7:20), 1063: Saba Reeves (7:48).
Here’s all the Roadrunners’ positions:
Jane was the winner of her V60 age group in a fiercely competitive national round, returning a time of 37 minutes and seven seconds for the five miles. That was despite being forced to change her planned route at the last minute due to local flooding and having to run a more undulating course.
Nevertheless the England masters marathon star achieved the astonishing age grading of 87.84 per cent… while Mark did even better with 87.96 per cent!
Mark was the fastest Roadrunner in the event with a stunning time of 25:53. It won’t be recognised as a personal best but it eclipsed the 26:03 he ran five years ago when smashing the course record at the Headington 5.
The former club men’s captain is a modest guy who lets his times do the talking for him. So here’s his splits… 5:10, 5:11, 5:10, 5:14, 5:07.
The time-frame for the competition had been extended due to poor weather and Roadrunners saved their best until last, the speedy council planning officer racing just a few hours before the final deadline.
Current club men’s captain, Jamie Smith, hailed his predecessor by saying: “That’s a fine performance by Mark, beating his time in the previous qualifying round by 17 seconds.”
Jamie added: “It was a superb team effort and it was great to see new names taking part and giving it a go.
“A note of thanks to Rob Corney, who went out of his way — having been injured recently — to meet up with one of our youngest club members, Jacob Atwal, and pace him for his five-mile effort round Green Park. What a tremendous show of team spirit!”
Second fastest Roadrunner was Brendan Morris, whose time of 26:34 improved his best — run in the previous round — by over a minute. Tony Page (28:52) and Matthew Davies (29:14) were our other scorers, just ahead of new member Adam Lewis, who ran 30:18 on debut.
Leading our ladies home was Jane Copland (33:26 despite being just back from injury), followed by Sarah Dooley (33:36) and Helen Pool (34:04), with Jane Davies completing the scorers. That’s Jane Copland pictured with son Sam, a potential future Roadrunner.
Proud women’s captain Sam Whalley said: “It was great to see so many different people turn out for this round. Jane Copland managed a great time following some calf issues and Jane Davies proved to be the fastest F60 in the land.
“Sarah Dooley and Helen Pool performed at their usual excellent standard, while Sara Lopez continued her recent run of form with a superb time.
“Thanks to Katie Gumbrell and Alex Bennell for uploading their efforts and well done to Gill Manton, who recorded an unofficial PB.”
Roadrunners were today confirmed as finishing 45th overall, an improvement of two places from the qualifying round. Wirral AC were the overall champions and will represent England in next month’s international final.
SOME fantastic performances in round one of the England Athletics Virtual Road Relays meant Reading Roadrunners have clinched a place in next month’s National Round, writes Sam Whalley.
The competition, which required entrants to run a five-mile road leg, was initially scheduled to take place from Boxing Day to January 10th but was extended to January 13th to allow more time for those clubs whose local areas had been affected by adverse weather conditions to participate.
Club members aged 15 and over were invited to enter, and asked to run either out-and-back courses or lapped courses of no less than 1km per lap. Track laps were not permitted, and competitors were reminded to comply fully with government guidelines regarding exercise.
Team numbers were uncapped, and scoring teams were made up of the fastest four men and four women from each club, with the top 50 teams to progress to round two. With a total time of 4hrs 5mins and 51secs our eight scorers bagged a provisional 47th place in a competition which attracted 128 teams.
As usual the standard was exceptionally high, with the fastest times overall being 23:57 for the men and 27:36 for the women.
21 Roadrunners – 12 men and 9 women – rose to the challenge during the competition period.
Scoring for the men were Jack Gregory (26:01 – 54th overall), Mark Worringham (26:10 – third MV40), Brendan Morris (28:26) and Tony Page (28:49). Mark’s time was over a minute faster than the club MV40 record of 27:25, set by Lance Nortcliff at Overton in 2016, while Tony’s was a PB by more than four minutes.
Counting for the women’s score were Katherine Sargeant (fourth FV50) 31:51), Sarah Dooley (33:53), Mel Shaw (34:41) and Liz Johnson (36:00). Katherine’s time was almost two minutes faster than the club FV50 record of 33:45, which was set by Lesley Whiley at Peasemore, and has stood since 2011.
Other notable performances were recorded by Rob Cannings (31:19) — a brave competitive comeback after he was hospitalised during the first wave of Covid — and Jane Davies (36:13), who was third FV60. Jane, Katherine and Mark all achieved an age grading of 87 per cent for their performances.
Here’s confirmation of the results, which means we can now prepare for the National Round, which will take place between and February 10th and 15th:
Aimed at getting masters athletes (those aged 35 or over) back into action after Christmas, the challenge required entrants to run one or more circular or out-and-back road loops totalling 10k, or a full 25 laps of a track.
The standard was predictably high, with the fastest man running 30:59, and the fastest woman 37:26.
Also triumphant in their five-year age categories were Brian Kirsopp (MV55) with 38:06, and Eddie Thorpe (MV75) with 52:52. Eddie is pictured, right, enjoying a well-deserved pint.
Jane Davies was third FV60 with 46:45, while David Parton was fifth MV50 with 36:49 and Helen Pool was fifth FV45 with 42:36.
There were reports of (unofficial) PBs across the club, including Becky Mellor running her first 10k, and Andrew Small beating his previous MV70 time by seven minutes, so well done and thank you to all of those who took part.
Full results are here: https://data.opentrack.run/en-gb/x/2020/GBR/bmaf-virtual-10k/event/1/1/1/
For those aged 15 and over, EA is currently hosting a virtual five-mile road relay, with four men and four women to score for each team. The deadline is January 10th, and full details are here: https://data.opentrack.run/en-gb/x/2020/GBR/earr/