Track Friday 2023
– Team 6km: Run Alternate 1km Laps. Coming soon
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There was more success for the green vests at Goring, with trophies for Katherine Streams — the first lady — and the men’s and mixed team trophies.
This week I exchanged my running vest for a camera to watch the closing stages positioning myself at the top of the big hill and when I saw the leader in a green vest, I hoped for the best. Alas, it was a Harwell runner.
I needn’t have worried about the women’s race; our own Katherine Streams (right) took the first lady’s winner’s shield, in a time of 40.06, bettering her SuperVet (F50) course record and completing a clean sweep of wins in all the events she has contested this year.
Nikki Gray (40.42, left) was the second lady home and won the trophy for firstt senior woman with Florence Ledger (42.31, right), fresh from a PB at the Wokingham half, in fifth place. We would also have won the women’s team prize but missed out only because on-the-day entries were not counted.
Our top three men picked up a mixed team prize, with Dan Moore (35.51), in fourth place, Chris Lucas, (36.16) in sixth Callum Evans (37.24, in eighth) taking the trophy together with Katherine, Nikki and Flo.
We also took the men’s team prize with Chris Ryder (15th), Terry Dowling (16th) and Chris Webber (17th) all in under 40 minutes.
Dave Parton, pictured with Chris Webber (below) collecting the team prize, finished 11th and was first SuperVet with a time of 38.15. But Dave was disappointed not to break the SuperVet course record set by our men’s captain last year.
There were a number of other PB’s on the day, including Sarah Richmond-Devoy (59.03), who didn’t get the hump when passed by the camel and said that she only kept going up the hill so as not to miss a photo-opportunity at the top.
Well done to Jacob Atwal who was Roadrunners’ sole representative, placed 46th and part of the team winning a silver medal in the Under 20s. It was a shame none of our senior men could attend this year.
* The next big event is Reading Half Marathon on April 2nd and we can also look forward to seeing lots of green vests in round three of the club championship, the Maidenhead Easter 10 on Good Friday, April 7th.
* Goring results can be found at https://chiptiming.co.uk/events/goring-10k-2023/
Club chair SAM WHALLEY has once again been busy on her keyboard and has filed this report on a special day for Reading Roadrunners…
What a great weekend of running it has been! After three years of cancellations, due to flooding, coronavirus and storm damage, it was a relief and a joy to see the club’s flagship event, the Bramley 20/10 road race, finally take place.
Ryan O’Brien was first RR home in the 10 miles, fifth overall, with a PB of 56.03, with Dimi Gospodinov making his debut in 1.01.45, albeit hampered by a stitch late on in the race. Terry Dowling was third V50, in a PB of 1.03.59. In his last race in a green vest, Brian Kirsopp took first V60, with 1.05.41.
Katherine Streams (left) was first female RR to finish, also fifth overall, with a PB of 1.04.42, smashing the V50 course record set by Lesley Whiley in 2012. Nikki Gray was sixth, in 1.04.50, with Sarah McDade seventh, in 1.05.34.
There wasn’t much between the first RRs in the 20 miles either, with debuts for Callum Evans in 2.15.05, Matt Davies just behind in 2.15.09, and Chris Webber with a PB in 2.19.39.
The 20 winner, Ronnie Richmond from Bideford (right), took a massive eight minutes off the course record for V40s.
Well done to everyone who ran, and a huge thank-you to the race committee and volunteers who made the event happen.
Some of our members had got their race fix on Saturday in the penultimate event of the Hampshire League, at Popham Airfield, where conditions were dry and rather mild, a huge improvement on last year’s wind and rain.
With one race to go, it was imperative that the men had a good turn-out to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.
The scoring team of Mark Worringham (38th, fifth vet, left), Chris Burt (42nd), Lance Nortcliff (46th, 10th vet, 1st V50), Pete Jewell (93rd, 38th vet, third V60) and Tony Page (98th, 42nd vet, 10th V50) was seventh, moving up to eighth on aggregate, with the vets team (Mark, Lance and Pete) in 4th. Jamie Smith, Mike Worsfold and Gary Clarke also ran, with Gary making his debut in this league.
Scoring for the women’s team were Helen Pool (33rd, 7th vet), Sam Whalley (82nd, 35th vet, 11th V50), and Katie Rennie (86th), placing 13th. Claire Seymour (101st, 50th vet) completed the vets team, which was sixth. Kerri French also ran for the women, improving on her debut performance at Prospect Park last month.
With the final fixture of the season on March 4th in Bournemouth, and the last chance for some XC for most of us, it would be great to finish on a high. Details here: https://www.hampshireathletics.org.uk/events/hxcl_bournemouth.html and on our Facebook event page.
New Bespoke Club Hoodies Available to Pre-order
Quick drying, moisture wicking fabric made by Scimitar.
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Depending on the number of pre-orders this is the pricing below:
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The more people that place an order the cheaper it will be for everyone.
Please note hoodies will be ordered annually so this is your only chance to get one this year. The next order won’t be placed until Sept 2023.
Pre-orders will be taken from Monday 24th – 31st October.
The order will be placed with Scimitar on Tuesday 1st November – Hoodies will be made and distributed approx 4 – 6 weeks later.
The hoodies can be collected from Dean Allaway at a Weds Track sessions Palmer Park once they arrive, or you can arrange to collect them from him at home.
Payment on delivery either by cash or card once we know how much they will be.
Dean can also be contacted on : email@example.com
After some interesting internal politics involving the South of England AA and their member clubs, Reading Roadrunners found themselves contesting a new-look road relays event on Saturday. Men’s captain TONY PAGE reports…
Roadrunners had a super turn-out, with eight teams competing. And we had some great results, with top-three finishes for the men’s vet 55 team (right) and women’s vets team.
As a southern qualifier for the men’s national road relays, the day’s racing attracted 80 men’s teams and 25 vets as well as 55 ladies squads and 14 vets. Throw in all the junior events at under 13, under 15 and under 17 levels and that made it a total of over 450 teams representing more than 1700 runners.
There were some very high-qualify fields, including the Diamond League runner Jack Rowe (who ran the fastest leg of 17:30) and Ellis Cross — renowned for beating Mo Farah over 10K — running for Aldershot Farnham & District. Not surprisingly, the home team won, ahead of Tonbridge and Cambridge & Coleridge.
The women’s race was also won by AFD, with Bracknell AC in second. The fastest women were Amelia Quirk (Bracknell), Steph Twell (AFD) and Jess Gibbon (Reading AC), all with times under 20 minutes.
There was an amazing third place for our women’s vets team (left) of Katherine Streams (22:49) , Helen Pool (25:18) and Sarah Dooley (24:43). Katherine put us in third place after an excellent first leg — fourth fastest in the vets race — and that was held by Helen and Sarah, who brought the team home in 1:12.50.
Our second vet ladies team of Wendy Davies (33:36), Toni McQueen (33:54) and Sam Whalley (29:33) finished in eighth place.
Our senior ladies team of Hannah Green (24:32), Ann Rostern (26:20), Liz Johnson (27:56) and Pip White (25.29) came home in 35th place.
The closest finish of the day was in the men’s vet 55 race, where our team were just pipped for the victory. The team of Gavin Rennie (23:51), Pete Jewell (23:21) and Chris Webber (23:36) — all from the winning team at Ridgeway Relay this summer — were joined by Terry Dowling (23:39).
Pete took us in to the lead with the fastest second leg, gaining three places after Gavin was fourth fastest on the very competitive first leg. Chris was second fastest on his leg, before handing over to Terry, who was passed in the final 100 metres by Brighton Phoenix, whose final runner ran an amazing 22.03. This was a great achievement for us… well done team!
Our senior men’s team finished in 2:08.59 for 51st place. We welcomed back Ryan O’Brien (right), who recently re-joined RR and whose time of 20:37 was 37th fastest on the fifth leg, gaining 12 places. The other members of the team were Matthew Sarjent (21:26), Ollie Watts, (22:25), Jacob Atwal (21:25), Matthew Davies (22:00), and Mark Worringham (21:03).
Our second fastest runner on the day was Brendan Morris, with a time of 20.41, gaining ten places for our B team, who finished 59th. Other members of the team were Sean Hancox (23:00), Chris Burt (22:23), Jamie Smith (23:36), Dimi Gospodinov (22:36) and Chris Moseley (22:04).
We also entered two teams in the men’s 40s category. The first team of Fergal Donnelly (22:17 for 12th place), Tony Page (23:08) and Lance Nortcliff (23:06, gaining two places) was brought home by Dave Parton (21:50), the sixth fastest on leg four. That gave us a creditable tenth-place finish.
Our second vets 40 team of Tony Streams (26:49), Paul Bandy (27:24), Colin Cottell (26:28) and Jon Kew (24:20) finished in 17th.
Thanks to everyone who took part and stayed to the end to support all our runners and see the presentation ceremony for our men’s V55 team.
Here’s your link to the results on an Excel spreadsheet…. https://www.afd.org.uk/aldershot-road-relays/
What do we do in our spare time?
Following the cancellation of the National Road Relays, Reading Roadrunners have been competing in the inaugural ‘virtual’ competition which replaced them… with stunning results! Here’s the inside story of our success, told by ladies captain SAM WHALLEY and the fastest Roadrunner in the event, JACK GREGORY. First here’s Sam’s report…
With race calendars empty, 20 female Roadrunners jumped at the chance to pull on their green vests and represent the club in the Virtual National Road Relays. The wearing of club kit was not even a requirement for this race, but it just felt right, and certainly helped get the adrenalin flowing for what was essentially a 5k time-trial.
The beauty of this race, while being pretty tough to run solo, was its convenience, with no choice but to run loops or an out-and-back from your own front door, including warming up and down, of course. Routes were carefully plotted in advance, taking into account the negative elevation limit of 30ft.
We also thought about the most suitable time of day, the number of road crossings, and any potential obstacles — wheelbarrows, toddlers, barriers — to try to ensure our best performance. In hindsight, some might have chosen differently, and some did indeed have another go, before uploading their fastest attempt. I don’t think anyone had bargained for this week’s sub-tropical weather either.
Still on her way back from injury, Gemma Buley led the women’s team home in a great time of 19:21, just ahead of Carrie Hoskins, in 19:39 (fourth FV50). Just missing out on a sub-20 were Nikki Gray, in 20:01, and Katherine Sargeant, in 20:05 (seventh FV50). With Sarah Dooley in 20:16, and Jane Copland in 20:46, this put the women in 31st place in the six-stage competition, with a combined time of 2:00:08. Apart from Gemma, all of these were also FV35 scorers, and just needed Mel Shaw’s 21:18 to achieve an excellent fifth place out of 47 complete vet teams — amazing — with a combined time of 2:02:05.
Making up the remainder of the women’s 12-stage team were Chloe Lloyd, with a huge PB of 21:42, Julie Rainbow, in 21:58 (ninth FV55), Swinda Falkena, in 22:17, Liz Johnson, in 22:45, and Claire Woodhouse, in a post-baby PB of 23:29.
The 12-stage team was an incredible 13th, in a combined time of 4:13:37. Well done!
Once the results were in, an FV50 category was added, with four to score. Had we had one more runner in this age category, I think the club could have won! Our three FV50s ran a combined time of 1:01:42, with the winning team of four coming in at 1:36:25. Someone please check my maths!
Another great thing about this race was that there was no limit to numbers. Just run, and the fastest 12 would be counted.
So, also running like they had stolen something were Caroline Jackson, 23:31, Claire Raynor, 23:33, Claire Seymour, matching her track 5000m PB, in 23:53, Angela Burley, 23:58, Sam Whalley, 24:17, Liz Ganpatsingh, just days after her three-day Paris Marathon, in 24:48, Alex Bennell, 25:44, and Katie Gumbrell, in 27:48.
Well done to everyone who represented the club and put in 100 per cent effort. It was so nice to hear about your experiences, pre-race nerves, and near-vomit finishes. That’s what it’s all about. I hope you enjoyed being part of the virtual team, and, who knows, maybe we will take an actual team to the Nationals next year?
And here’s the in-depth report from hugely enthusiastic speed merchant Jack:
The National 12 and six-stage Road Relays are a staple of the UK racing season, providing a competitive transition from cross-country to marathon/road (and track), while also truly showing which club can boast the most depth of distance talent.
Personally, it is an event I have been trying to compete in for years both in my time with our rivals (Reading AC) and more recently since I made the jump to Reading Roadrunners (more controversial than Spurs to Arsenal).
It does though involve some considerable organisation from team captains and also having 12/6 runners available to help you qualify at the Southerns, and then represent at the National at Sutton Park in Birmingham. This is far easier said than done as it does often clash with popular road races and seems to be a common time to get injured.
Having seen the success of the club in the Southern 6/4 stage in September, Jamie Smith, Mark Worringham and myself on the men’s side, and Sam Whalley on the ladies, had been pushing for our first appearance in the event.
This was sorted, with almost two full teams registered on both sides, ready to head up to Milton Keynes. Unfortunately, as with every other event, it fell victim to Covid-19; leaving us rather disappointed.
Talk had begun a few weeks back on various forums and groups of the organsiation of a virtual event. Fortunately our sport has many great characters and volunteers and the Virtual National Road Relays were created by the small team at Opentrack, who have done an outstanding job at short notice with almost seven times the amount of entries they were expecting.
Jamie and Sam quickly went to work in drumming up interest among the members and the regulars quickly made themselves available. What I have been particularly happy about though is members who maybe don’t always feel “quick” enough or have not competed in club team events before getting involved. It has paid dividends as we have seen a number of “PBs” (very unofficial) from top to bottom.
The brief for the race was very simple: run a 5k as fast as possible, while following all social distancing guidelines, and then upload to Strava and the Opentrack website. This obviously means some will take liberties here and we all know the slight limitations of GPS; but did mean everyone could access safely and close to their homes, while providing a fairly accurate 5k time.
On the men’s side, notables include Marc Scott for Cambridge, a Nike professional who recently broke Mo Farah’s European Indoor 5000 record in 13.08. He was only third fastest (although the athlete in first has a slightly suspect time), in 13.43. To get into the top 50 times you had to run 14:43, 15 flat would get you 97th, 16 minutes 394th and 17 dead 798th!
At the front end of the men’s race there was an epic battle with the lead changing hands regularly over the last 48 hours as each of Tonbridge, Leeds, Bedford and Cambridge added rapid times to their fastest 12. It was eventually Leeds, who crept ahead of Cambridge in second with Tonbridge taking bronze. Bedford were fourth. I mention four teams as they all went under three hours total. It does not take a maths graduate to work out that these teams therefore averaged under 15 minutes per leg, Leeds getting exceptionally close to 14:45.
The Roadrunners were not put off by the competition, rising to the challenge of the top athletic distance clubs in the country. Friendly rivalry between the guys meant many ran ‘PBs’ in their efforts. As results were compiled together, the men finished a highly respectable 41st out of 118 complete A teams in a total time of 3:21:05 (for comparison, Leeds were 2:57), averaging 16:45 per leg.
Scoring legs were: Jack Gregory (15.34), Mark Worringham (15:52), Stephen Ridley (15:59), Chris Burt (16:41), Mark Apsey (16:51), Ryan Faulkner (16:52), Matthew Davies (16:53), Sibrand Rinzema (17:13), David Parton (17:16), Brendan Morris (17:16), Callum Pratt (17:19) and David McCoy (17:19)
A key feature of the team was the excellent depth. All 12 of our scorers were in the top 1000 finishers, something not common in many teams outside of the top 20. Motivation is there to bring all of those times down by just 30 seconds and suddenly we would move up 10-15 places.
Special mentions in the scoring team must go to Stephen Ridley, who dipped under 16 minutes for the first time. He should probably scrap that triathlon stuff! Also, I believe there were ‘PBs’ for Chris Burt, Matthew Davies and Callum Pratt, while also excellent efforts from Sibrand Rinzema and Brendan Morris, both coming off injury but delivering solid runs. While part of the challenge of a 12-stage relay is to get your 12 strongest runners out, it is worth noting RR were missing Rob Corney, Matt Richards and Seb Briggs, all of whom would likely have scored.
As mentioned, RR’s depth is certainly a strength and this was shown by an excellent showing by the B team, finishing ninth among B teams in 3:51:36. Lots of the guys here were knocking on the door of the A team, with sub-18 performances from Jamie Cole (17.22), Jamie Smith (17.28) and Tony Page (17.47).
Backing them up were Alex Harris (18:18), Brooke Johnson (18:51), David Clay (18:53) and Pete Jewell (18:56), who was the first Roadrunner to complete a leg, early on Saturday morning. Next up were Stuart Hyslop (18:59), Rob Thompson (20:21), David Caswell (21:13), Chris James (21:40) and finally Ben Fasham (21:48).
And if these 24 runners were not enough, there were outstanding efforts many more men. A shout-out must go to our youngest runner, Under 17 Jacob Atwal who ran an excellent 17:49 but due to age restrictions could not be slotted into our B team. Further top efforts came from Peter Cave (22:07), Clinton Montague (22:14), Chris Barkus (22:28), Alan Williamson (22:59), Stuart Wylie (23:31), Roger Ganpatsingh (24:11), Paul Monaghan (25:30) and Peter Reilly (25:41).
As well as the 12-stage race, there were the veteran six-stage competitions, categories that RR tend to perform particularly well in. This was no different with the vet men (V40 and above) 13th, counters being Worringham, Parton, Cole, Page, Harris and Jewell. The V50s were also an outstanding fifth with David Caswell adding to Parton, Harris and Jewell.
Thank you as usual to our team captains Jamie and Sam for drumming up interest and continued encouragement to get more and more RR out of their comfort zone and competing for the club. We continue to grow and improve and this can be seen in our results.
It’s great to see over 50 runners coming together during this difficult time and has been a welcome distraction alongside the many other excellent initiatives and activities going on (virtually) at the club. Well done and thank you all
Finally, following on from my above point on our continued improvement, I thought this would be a good way to sign off. There was an overall 12 stage competition including men and women based on age grading. I won’t go into details, as most will be familiar with parkrun, however I feel this is an excellent way of bringing together the overall performance standard at a club.
We averaged an exceptional 83.06 per cent across our top 12, finishing 31st out of 148 clubs. This included beating local rivals Reading AC, Windsor and Newbury and national powerhouses Belgrave and Serpentine. An incredible achievement! Below are the scorers (ordered by highest age-grade score):
Mark Worringham, David Parton, Carrie Hoskins, Jamie Cole, Jack Gregory, Pete Jewell, Stephen Ridley, Katherine Sargeant, Alex Harris, Tony Page, Julie Rainbow and Chris Burt.