Morris leads pb extravaganza

THERE were no fewer than 22 personal bests on the weekend the road-racing season got into full swing at the club’s flagship occasion, Bramley.

Pride of place went to Brendan Morris, our second finisher in the 10-miler behind the returning Keith Russell, with a time of 58mins 11secs.

Brendan was 11th overall, just ahead of another Irishman, Dave McCoy, who also dipped under the hour. Our trio also picked up the silver medals in the team event.

The big pb in the 20-miler was bagged by Seb Briggs, fourth overall in 1:56.40. Seb cleaned up at the prize-giving, taking the MV40 category prize with more than 10 minutes to spare and then carrying off the second-place team award with Alex Warner and Lance Nortcliff.

New international Caroline Hoskins started the season as she means to carry on, slashing a minute off the 12-year-old course record for 20 miles in a new pb time of 2:14.22.

Carrie, who will wear an England vest for the first time in May, finished fifth lady overall and took the FV50 age group award with more than 12 minutes to spare.

Our first lady home at 10 miles was Jane Davies in 1:11.01, a time comfortably good enough to capture the FV50 prize.

Jane also led Helen Pool and new member Katherine Foley to third prize in the ladies team award for the shorter distance.

Hopefully this is a definitive list of the PB’s from the 20-miler, in the order of finishing: Briggs, Paddy Hayes, Katherine Sargeant, our top man’s wife Loretta Briggs, the superstar’s daughter Sophie Hoskins, David Walkley, Dave Brown, Paloma Crayford and Sarah Richmond-De’voy.

Missing altogether from the results submitted to the club newsletter was Peter Manning, who finished 305th in a time of 2:45.52.

In the 10-miler the new best marks were set by Morris, Gareth Goodall, Vince Williams, Sam Whalley, Nicola Gee, Chloe Lloyd, Maria Norville, Zoe De La Pascua, Jenny Boxwell, Helen Dixon and Sarah Walters.

Sadly, your correspondent scored a notable double of a personal best followed by a personal worst at the weekend.

The best (usual corny joke coming up) was in the Bramley 20, for the very good reason that it was my first time over the distance.

The worst was in presenting the results for the club newsletter straight after the event.

New editor Peter Reilly was anxious to make a good fist of his first edition, giving a very good impression of Tom Hanks playing the boss of the Washington Post, so copy deadlines were tight.

And he wanted a couple of reports on the race, plus a write-up of the club’s Hampshire League success, on the final whistle.

A lot to do… and I’m afraid I made a bit of a pig’s ear of the stats.

This data is always provisional for some considerable time afterwards, but that’s no excuse to my sins of omissions. Apologies if the newsletter listings appeared with some members missing altogether and several personal bests not acknowledged.

I knew things were going badly when I saw David Ferguson post on Facebook that he had achieved a pb. I’m afraid he wasn’t in the original results at all and, consulting the bible that is Power Of 10, he’s still not!

Then I saw a picture on a Flickr album of Claire Woodhouse crossing the line, but I knew I hadn’t spotted a time for her, either.

For the record, Claire’s time for 10 miles was 1:23.14 for 257th place and I think I also missed Martin Douglas, 288th in 1:24.25. A time for June Bilsby, a late swapper between the two distances, must remain one of the great imponderables.

As ever, your best chance of getting your name up in lights is to mail your race details to results@readingrunners.org as soon as possible after races. Simple as that.

You can also post in on the club’s Facebook page, send it to my personal email account, text me, tweet it or send it by pigeon. But results@readingroadrunners.org gets the job done.

There was also a pb at the weekend for Kerry Eastwood at the Worthing Half Marathon. Tip for recognition, Kerry: Enter your races as a Roadrunner!

 

Pictures kindly supplied by Barry Cornelius.

Dinner Dance 2018

Please note: Final payment must be made by Wed 21 Feb so we can confirm numbers with the venue and place the food order with them.

Black tie for dress code (or smart lounge suit and tie)

Carriages at midnight

We are now taking bookings for the 2018 annual Dinner Dance at Sonning Golf Club..Full details below:

DinnerDancePoster2018

 

Maraton del Meridiano 2018

Report by Ashley Middlewick

The Maraton del Meridiano – an eventful experience to say the least!!!

Left my Airbnb place at 8.40 expecting a 45 min walk to get to the start. 5 minutes after setting off I was offered a lift by a passing camper van (the driver was also running) and I got to sit on the bed in the back accompanied by two yappy little dogs :). So I get to the start nice and early. Good atmosphere and there’s a DJ playing some good uplifting music. Then reunite with fellow Brits Paul and Agnes who I met in the queue for the bib collection yesterday afternoon. I then drop my main bag off (opted for running with the Camelbak with orange jacket in in case it got cold higher up).

We set off on time at 10.00am (I had a flight to catch at 5.35pm so it was a race within a race with part 1 being get around the 42km and part 2 being find a taxi and get to the airport on time). 0.67 miles in everyone stopped and there was a significant delay of maybe 10 minutes before we got going again. Not sure what the delay was about but was just happy to get going again. Anyway it wasn’t long before the severe climbing started and everyone was reduced to a walk. All I could do was run/overtake where possible and hope that the waking wouldn’t last too long.

After about 4 miles we progressed onto a slightly downhill smooth trail and the pace was brisk. Then at the first timing mat I was called back – looked down and realized I’d lost my timing chip that was attached to my shoe with a bit of string that must have come undone. Thankfully the guy at the chip mat waved me on. After a slow technical descent down to the second timing checkpoint (9-10 miles in) in the small town of Sabinosa I stopped to explain to the officials about my chip situation. They radioed around to the other checkpoints letting them know my predicament and waved me on explaining that I didn’t need to stop again. After Sabinosa there was a lot of slow climbing with a considerable amount of walking involved. There were snippets of awesome views looking down at the sea far below. It was predominantly (or at least very significantly) up all the way to about mile 20. It seemed never ending especially with the strong winds and drizzle higher up (the abyss springs to mind). The descent when it eventually came was a welcome relief and the end seemed within reach. There were a few occasions when I had to stop and shake out the little bits of volcanic grit that had made their way into my shoes. Maybe 3 miles from the end I could start to hear the noise from the finish down below but there was a very techn

 

ical single-track forest descent to negotiate – time to stay composed. Eventually the path led us back into Frontera (the main town where the race started/ended) and there was one last steep down before a final right turn down the main Street/finishing straight.

The support was fantastic and I managed a decent finish. After crossing the line I immediately found a race official and asked him about me getting an official time despite losing my chip. He took me over to the timing guys and they showed me on the laptop that I had an official time – 4.59.18 :). It was about 3.15pm so I went to enquire about getting a taxi to the airport. I asked a guy in a MDM jacket – turns out he was a taxi driver and said he could get me to the airport for 4 euros and for me to come back at 4.00pm. Just enough time for a beer and to cheer some other runners across the line before jumping in the taxi with another runner and making our way to the airport. We arrived with an hour to spare – mission accomplished :).

Would 100% recommend the MDM event. Tough but stunning course with constantly changing weather on the beautiful little island of El Hierro where the people are friendly and atmosphere good. The course was superbly marked and feed stations well stocked. The pasta party the night before was brilliant and the food at the end wasn’t bad either. May well do this again next year.

Committee Positions

Reading Roadrunners Season 2018-19
Nomination For Election To The Committee

committee

Reading Roadrunners will soon be holding it’s AGM on 6th March 18. As part of the AGM we will be electing members to our committee.

Members are actively encouraged to forward themselves for election to a position.  It’s your chance to have your say and to contribute to our club.

Committee positions are:

  • Chairman 
  • Treasurer
  • General Secretary
  • Membership Secretary
  • Social Secretary
  • Coaching Liaison Officer
  • Social networks/Webmaster
  • 3 × Ex-Officio

All positions are voluntary. Please speak to a member of the committee if you are unsure of any of the roles and duties. Committee members are expected to attend our meetings once per month.

Anyone wishing to be elected for a position can download a nomination form from here. Completed forms must have been received no later than 27 Feb 18 to be included in the election.

England call for Caroline

ROADRUNNERS’ superstar vets Caroline Hoskins and Mark Worringham have both qualified to represent England. The pair returned stunning times in the south of England championships at Chichester to earn international places in May.

Carrie will now line up in an England Masters vest in the Great Birmingham 10k… but Mark is sadly unavailable for the big day. The former Roadrunners captain finished 12th overall in the fiercely-competitive Chichester Priory 10k and was the winner of the MV40 age group in 32mins 57secs.

Like Mark, Carrie just missed a personal best, but her time of 38mins 44secs was good enough for third place in the FV50 section and 18th lady overall.

The first three Masters in each age group will line up in England colours against another international team yet to be announced. And they will have pride of place in an advanced starting pen just behind the elite group.

Now the Henley grandmother faces an anxious wait for official confirmation of her call-up. A thrilled Carrie said:  “It was a hard race and very windy, but a great event.

“I presume I will hear soon from England Athletics but I have no idea when so I will celebrate when the email comes through. Fingers crossed.

“I was 24 seconds off my 10k pb but happy with that in the conditions… very, very cold and very windy for the last 4K.”

To complete a great day of family success Carrie’s daughter Sophie improved her pb by over two and a half minutes with a time of 42:02.

Unfortunately Mark, who has already represented his country this winter as a cross-country international, won’t be able to join Carrie in Birmingham.

“I will be away that weekend with the boys’ rugby club,” he said, “so I never put myself forward for consideration. I was entered for Chichester before they announced it was a qualification race.”

He was disappointed, too, not to manage a pb. “My best time is 32:05 on the track and 32:22 on the road,” he said. “In fact, I think I’ve run quicker than today about six or seven times.” But Mark has plenty of big targets for the running year ahead, starting with a tilt at a sub 2hrs 30mins in the Brighton Marathon in April.

And he also has the Masters World Track and Field Championships to look forward to in Malaga in September. Along the way he will be seeking that elusive sub-32mins 10k.

Carrie, meanwhile, also has plenty of big targets in the next few weeks… Bramley, the Wokingham and Reading Half Marathons and then London, where she will be aiming to finish in under three hours again. 

Both the Roadrunners’ experienced stars have been nominated by the club in the ‘veteran achiever’ category in the Reading sports personality of the year award next month.

Middle-distance runner Helen Pool was also nominated for a local SPOTY prize in the ‘improver’ category.

 

Meet the new editor

IT will be business as usual next month for the Roadrunners newsletter following the appointment of a new editor.

Club stalwart Peter Reilly is taking over from Chris Cutting, who has quit after a brilliant four-year stint in the hot seat.

Peter said: “They are big shoes to fill but I am happy to give it a whirl. I am a firm believer in ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, so no huge changes should be anticipated.

“Having said that I do not have the design skills or the software to emulate Chris, so there will be changes to format if nothing else.

“I am keen to complement rather than compete with the club website so I do not plan to repeat everything that has been on the website in the newsletter. There is room for both mediums to co-exist quite happily.

“One change you will see is that I am keen to email the newsletter to all members in addition to making it available on the website and in hard copy for those who don’t have computers.

“The reports from the chairman and team captains are vital to pass on information. However, I hope to be able to draw stories and articles from the membership that are both relevant and interesting.

“I’ve got plenty of ideas of my own but I would be really interested in hearing from the membership what they want to read about.”

The new boss threw in a couple of topics to get the ball rolling. “How about ‘I have  a knee/calf/hamstring injury, what can I do to repair/recover?’ or ‘I run like an overloaded wheelbarrow but I want to run like Fergal, what do I need to do?’

“Hopefully suitably qualified club mates or even outsiders can answer these types of questions.

“In the absence of contributions from the membership there may well be thoughts from me… now there’s an incentive to get writing.”

Scotsman Peter has been with the club for six years after meeting many of our members through his involvement with the core volunteer team at Reading parkrun.

He has also been responsible for the start-finish area at the Bramley 10/20 event and will be in charge again in a couple of weeks.

A brilliant photographer at our events, Peter has recently produced a big improvement with his racing form, coinciding with his favourite running genre, cross-country.

His predecessor, Chris, leaves at the end of a year in which he delivered a monumental body of work as production editor of our multi-award-winning book “30 Years Of Reading Roadrunners” as well as continuing to edit the newsletter single-handed.

 

Apsey wins Tadley

ROADRUNNER Mark Apsey stormed to victory in the Thames Valley Cross Country League fixture at Tadley… but he was not the real hero of the hour.

That honour fell to his 11-month-old daughter Tilly, who for once allowed him a full night’s sleep before the race.

“That meant I was able to go into it feeling fresh,” said Mark, “as well as quietly confident after a fourth-place finish in our home fixture.

“So, following a trademark David McCoy fast start, I took the lead after about 500m and managed to hold on to it for the rest of the race.

“For the first lap I knew there was a group just behind me but each time they came up to my shoulder I was able to hold them off. On lap two the group had dropped back but I still felt strong and did all I could to take it out for the win.”

Along with the failure of home club Tadley to field any runners to contest their own event, the atrocious weather and conditions were the big talking-point of the day for runners, team officials and spectators.

But Apsey said: “The course was great. Perfect cross country… mud, water, ducks and leaps. The mud was different from our home fixture. This was slippery mud and although I felt my feet sliding around, my spikes just about kept me vertical the whole way round.

“It was nice to take the win. I’ve had a few in the green vest over the years but this was definitely up there with the best.”

Our winner got great support from McCoy, who finished 11th, one place in front of another Irishman, the vastly-improved Fergal Donnelly, with Andrew Smith, Andy Blenkinsopp and Ian Giggs also scoring to bring us home in third place.

Gemma Buley was again first finisher for our ladies in 17th, well backed up by Alix Eyles, Sarah Alsford and captain Sam Whalley, giving us fifth place and helping the club to fourth overall on the day.

The Thames Valley League roadshow now moves on to the Bracknell club’s home fixture at Lightwater, where there will be all to play for against Windle Valley, Datchet and Sandhurst in the battle for end-of-season podium honours.

The good news is that Mark Apsey will definitely be on the start line for us in that one to close out his cross-country season.

For the rest of the year he has one big goal, and a sub-35mins 10k looks well within his capabilities on last summer’s form.

The only event firmly fixed on his calendar is the Mayfair Tower Race in May, a charity run aimed mainly at the hospitality industry. The 5k round Hyde Park sounds OK, but good luck with the climb of 28 floors to the finish at the top of the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane!

Results link: http://www.tvxc.org.uk/results/detail?race_id=77

Reading TVXV Race Report & Results

Report by David Dibben
Pictures courtesy of Cathrin Westerwelle

SEV KONIECZNY and Rob Corney were the toast of Reading Roadrunners after the club’s inaugural Thames Valley Cross Country League event at Ashenbury Park, Woodley.

Corney convincingly won the race and then led the plaudits for race director Sev.

“Huge credit to Sev, who I know had worked really hard to organise the race,” he said. “The course was superb… proper cross-country.”

 

Rob, who also won our final home TVXC fixture on the old

Crowthorne Woods circuit, stormed home with a massive 94 seconds to spare from Datchet’s James Sansom, with Richard Price, of Wargrave, just denying our own Mark Apsey a place on the podium.

Then Rob revealed one of the big secrets of his success. “I had 15mm spikes on, which definitely gave me an advantage over most of the field,” he said. “Most people were in normal trail shoes.”

For the star of Roger Pritchard’s You Tube home movie, it was the second great performance of the weekend.

He had finished a highly-creditable fourth on his debut in the hugely competitive Hampshire League fixture at Prospect Park the previous day.

Rob said: “I had heard it was a fast league. Mark Worringham mentioned that a top-ten finish would be a good result and I knew a couple of the quick guys who usually run were up in Scotland for the international so I made a solid top ten my target.

“For 9.2km it was bloody tough and I’m not looking forward to Parliament Hill and 12km of that sort of pace.”

Next morning, hardly surprisingly, his legs felt heavy and he didn’t want to run. But, like so many of our good clubmen, he said: “I was down for helping with the course set-up, so I dragged myself out of bed and down to the park.

“Once you get on the start line everything else takes a back seat. It was nice to win the home fixture for RR.”

What made the occasion all the sweeter for Sev, her hard-working committee and Katie Gumbrell’s ‘green army’ of marshals and volunteers was the news the following day that Roadrunners’ men had been declared winners of the event.

After the provisional results had been announced it was spotted that our third man over the line, Seb Briggs, had not been recognised in the veteran category.

Thanks to a superb run by our second ‘vet’, Fergal Donnelly, Roadrunners packed all six scorers in the top 22, pipping the strong Datchet outfit by just three points.

With our ladies, led by Gemma Buley, finishing fifth, that placed the club second overall on the day.

Afterwards there was as much praise for the race director as the race winner.

Social media was hit by a tsunami of acclamation, typically this from Chris Drew: “Lots of love coming your way, Sev. An absolute triumph.”

And this from Ashley Middlewick: “That was a proper RR XC event in every sense… tough, muddy, undulating course, superbly marshalled and supported, with a fantastic turn-out and great food afterwards.”

While the TVXC roadshow moves on to Tadley this week with Roadrunners in second place in the season’s competition, the club are in an even stronger place in the veteran’s division of the Hampshire League.

With only one race remaining at Aldershot on February 10th, our vets… spearheaded by Mark Worringham, Ben Paviour, Andrew Smith and Lance Nortcliff… are top of the league, leading from the mega-strong Aldershot, Farnham and District side.

For the weekend’s champion Corney, however, there are even bigger fish to fry. His season’s targets include a sub-2hrs 30mins finish in the London Marathon and then “maybe a nibble” at Keith Russell’s club marathon record in Berlin in October.

Links for all the results:

Hampshire League & TVXC Combined Results

http://tvxc.org.uk/results/detail?race_id=79

http://www.hampshireathletics.org.uk/results/2018/20180113_hlmen.html

http://www.hampshireathletics.org.uk/results/2018/20180113_hlwomen.html

Roger’s Race Video available here