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Weekend review: July 18 & 19, 2015

by Editor
Monday 20th July 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Clyde Stride Ultra marathon

Clyde Stride Ultra marathon

Photos courtesy of Suse Hutchison, Chen Chee Kong and Lee Maclean

The Clyde Stride ultra-marathon returned to its traditional slot in the ultra-race calendar following last year’s re-scheduled September meeting due to the hugely successful Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

As the 96 full-race starters and 17 relay runners congregated outside Partick train station the weather was a little less Mediterranean than in previous years. This was reflected in the preponderance of rain jackets and leggings but didn’t discourage the collective from actively engaging in the pre-race ‘selfie’ competition which was one of a number of new additions for 2015. Mingled among the competitors were some of Lee Maclean’s 50 strong volunteer team sporting this year’s hoodies in purple- the chosen annual colour having been much debated and anticipated by the members of the Clyde Stride Facebook group.

After the Race Director’s briefing the athletes decamped to the underpass and the race was started at 09:00 by Stride veteran and two-time winner of the West Highland Way Race, Rosie Bell.

Robert Turner of the Edinburgh Running Club led the field out of the city toward the first checkpoint at Cambuslang arriving in a shade over an hour. He was followed closely by Greg Beveridge who was just a minute behind and further by a small group of front end runners which included third time entrant, James Stewart.

The first female athlete to cross Cambuslang Bridge was Fiona Ramsay of Cani-Fit in 1:10. This was her first race over 26.2 miles and although some thought the early fast pace might spell disaster, race sponsor and perennial supporter Gavin Harvie had identified her as someone worth watching; he wasn’t wrong. Four minutes later Shona Young passed through checkpoint 1 in second female place with Caroline Hall hot on her heels in 1:12.

The relay race was a fiercely contested affair with some very impressive athletes among the 17 teams. Race sponsor Sweatshop Glasgow were first to pass the baton after ten miles with fellow sponsor Jordanhill Garden Supplies chasing them down.

The off-road sections of the route from Cambuslang to Strathclyde Park proved something of an adventure having seen perfect growing weather in the weeks preceding the event. However, each runner made their way safely through the South Lanarkshire flora that had been tempered slightly by the Race Director and her team on the Thursday before the race.

Strathclyde Park marks the half way point of the Clyde Stride and historically an indicator of who’s in the running for a podium position. The sharp end male field had changed with James Stewart now occupying pole position and

Robert Turner chasing but only seconds behind. The enigmatic William Robertson was storming through the field to challenge Kelvin Dickinson of the Wirral AC for third place only to withdraw moments later. In the female race the second and third places had changed hands but Fiona Ramsay continued to lead the women. Jordanhill Garden Supplies’ second relay runner had forged his way to the front and led the relay race as the baton changed hands for the third section.      

At Mauldslie Bridge it became apparent that something pretty special was on the cards. James Stewart was averaging 6:52 minute miles and was well on course to beat Paul Raistrick’s record that was established four years earlier. However, he was entering the most challenging section of the route and was free from any immediate challenge by Kelvin Dickinson who was now 12 minutes away in second place. The forecast podium positions in the women’s race remained unchanged with Fiona Ramsay running strongly and consistently. Meanwhile the team from Jordanhill Garden Supplies remained dominant in the relay with Je Suis Charlie close behind.

By now the finish area had been set up to welcome the first runners home and a buzz was going around about a possible new course record. Things hadn’t been plain sailing in New Lanark, the former mill town having been subject to strong winds that had carried away one of the finish-line gazebos. But with everything else lashed down and soup, bread, tablet and beer awaiting the intrepid athletes, all that was needed was the sun to make an appearance to set the scene for another cracking end to a fine race. And the sun didn’t let the Clyde Stride down.

Four hours, 39 minutes and 40 seconds after leaving Partick some 40 miles away, James Stewart stormed across the finish line of the Clyde Stride ultra-marathon to record a new course record, bettering the former by almost five minutes. The Race Director was as jubilant as the new champion and he received the traditional finisher’s hug along with his medal. Kelvin Dickinson and Richard Cooper shared the podium with James Stewart in times of 4:57 and 5:28 respectively.

Caroline Hall of the Wirral AC challenged Fiona Ramsay for top spot over the final 10 miles and succeeded in bettering the ultra-newbie by eight minutes to win the women’s race in 5:45:19. Shona Young, who ran consistently throughout the 40 miles, took third place in 6:11:16.

Jordanhill Garden Supplies led the relay teams into New Lanark to win the four-stage race in a time of 4:24:09 with Je Suis Charlie second and Tinto Hill Runners third.

The athletes continued to arrive in the atmospheric former mill town for the next six hours amid scenes of space-hopper, sack, egg n’ spoon and three-legged races being contested by the beer and tablet fuelled crowd.

The final finisher to complete the 40 mile distance was Francesca Watt of the Lothian Running Club. A special mention has to be made of the indefatigable Ray McCurdy who completed the distance in 9:40:47 to achieve his 180th ultra-marathon: respect.

The Clyde Stride started off as the brainchild of Murdo McDonald in 2010 and was established and developed by the Race Director, Lee Maclean. In the beginning it was a component part of the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series but now exists in its own right as a legitimate, competitive ultra-marathon, as a welcoming, all-inclusive family affair and as a whole lot of fun. 

Clyde Stride Ultra marathon

Photos courtesy of Suse Hutchison, Chen Chee Kong and Lee Maclean

Men's results

1 James Stewart   4:39:40
2 Kelvin Dickinson Wirral AC 4:57:14
3 Richard Cooper   5:28:10


Women's results

1 Caroline Hall Wirral AC 5:45:19
2 Fiona Ramsay Cani-Fit 5:59:30
3 Shona Young   6:11:16


Click here for full results



Very Amazing Pink Ribbon Race

Very Amazing Pink Ribbon Race

Photos (l-r): Walking Wounded with Stephen Phillips. Laurence Byrne from the charity Breast Cancer Now, and event organiser Sue Stannard. The Gleeson Family team

The first ever Very Amazing Pink Ribbon Race in aid of Breast Cancer Now, the charity newly formed from the merger of Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer,started at the Caythorpe Playing Fields, and produced some extraordinary sights!

The MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, Stephen Phillips QC, who came along to help start things off, was in for a bit of a surprise because he hadn’t been warned that, as part of a selfie challenge, participants needed to try and get a photo with him, preferably on a spacehopper. He certainly entered into the spirit of things, and is shown above with team Walking Wounded, when we think he may be exercising parliamentary privilege.

This was most certainly not a race in the conventional sense and times were not recorded, although a small group of serious runners did take part and found the over 10 mile cross country route tough enough for them but also very enjoyable. Most participants walked or cycled, and many of those were in fancy dress.

The event started with a spacehopper bounce which proved more challenging than it looked but was immense fun. So much so that after the participants had set off it proved rather difficult to persuade local children who were just enjoying the fun to give them back! Weather for the day was perfect, and with the council having undertaken some essential clearance on footpaths along the route, those who were running or walking were able to enjoy some beautiful Lincolnshire countryside without being stung by nettles.  

The route took in a number of stops where participants undertook fun challenges – such as having to pick a specified weight of strawberries without scales, counting lots of tiny fish, solving anagrams and more.

The event will have raised about £5,000 for Breast Cancer Now, which will go towards vital research in support of their aim that no-one need die from this disease by 2050.   Charity representative Laurence Byrne came along to help out, and is seen with local event organiser and fundraiser Sue Stannard, who came up with the concept for this unique event.

Local businesses lent their support to the challenges, and National Trust owned Belton House gave permission for participants to go through their grounds. Plans for bigger and better are afoot for 2016.



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mic Morris Torfaen 10K

This year the organisers of the annual Mic Morris Torfaen 10K, hoped to beat a target of 500 runners after being just one runner shy last year.

This year they smashed it with a total of 577 entries that has raised over £6,000 for the Mic Morris Sporting Trust.

Ben Jeffries, of Torfaen Sports Development that organises the event, said they have set a target of 1,000 entries by 2017, so this could be possible is numbers continue to rise.

He said: “Hopefully word of how exciting and fast the race is will spread far and wide. This year was the first time we’ve gone international with the Netherlands being represented so it would be amazing to have a true international flavour in the coming years.”

This year the first male across the finish line was Pontypool runner Chris Carpanini, who runs for Swansea Harriers, and finished in 29min 50sec. He also took first place last year, finishing in 30min 15sec, so this year proved a personal best.

The first female was Natasha Cockram of Cwmbran Harriers, who finished in 34min 22sec.

Men's results

1 Chris Carpanini Swansea Harriers 00:29:50
2 Phillip Matthews Swansea Harriers 00:30:45
3 Daniel Bodman Aberdare VAAC 00:30:59


Women's results

1 Natasha Cockram Cwmbran Harriers 00:34:22
2 Emma Wookey Lliswerry Runners 00:34:37
3 Louise Howells Lliswerry Runners 00:36:58


Click here for full results



Morrisons Great Newham London Run

The first running of the Morrisons Great Newham London Run was supported by about 15,000 enthusiastic competitors and many times that number of spectators. Gathered in the ‘shadow’ of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London, a mass warm-up was followed by a staggered start with ten minute intervals between the four well organised pens. The weather was warm/hot and sunny with just enough of a breeze to make for good running conditions.

In the second, ‘white’ group, the first two kilometres were a little congested, probably enough to prevent a ‘PB’ and something for the organisers to chew on, especially as they aim to increase numbers to 60,000+ in the coming years. After that it was mostly plain sailing with a chance to see ‘Copper Box’ and Lee Valley Velo Park en route. The water station at 6k was well organised and the misting shower shortly after was welcomed by most runners.

Unsurprisingly, spectators were thin on the ground in many parts of the route. The organisers had thoughtfully provided two spectator entrance tickets to the stadium for each competitor and this is where the action would be.

As runners entered the stadium they first passed for some distance through the utility tunnels underneath the banked seating. Sounds boring? Not a bit of it, rousing Vangelis ‘Chariots of Fire’ and spectator applause were piped into the tunnels; the runners pace noticeably quickened. Then on into the arena itself. A wall of sound from the gathered families and supporters gave even more impetus for the final half circuit of the arena track to the finish. I guess that, for most runners, the last half kilometre was probably the fastest they had run all day!

The run is certainly iconic. Everyone, be it first timers or regulars, was overwhelmed by the venue and in particular the finish which was more akin to the end of a major marathon than a 10km race. How else can most people compete in the Olympic stadium?

With Paula Radcliffe and Brendan Foster involved and with backing from the Mayor of Newham the event is sure to go from strength to strength. Can they reach their 60,000 target to surpass the Great North Run?

In the afternoon, there was a marathon relay and a family run, ideal for 8+ year olds looking for a great experience.

Men's results

1 John Beattie Newham & Essex Beagles AC 31:44
2 Peter Hawkings Highgate Harriers AC 33:18
3 Gus Upton Belgrave Harriers 33:24


Women's results

1 Fiona Thompson Thames Valley Harriers 36:50
2 Rosamund Ponder West 4 Harriers 37:12
3 Fiona Walker Leigh on Sea Striders 37:29


Click here for full results



No Ego 'Conquer the forest' Challenge - Dalby Forest

The mighty Dalby Forest was the setting for our final forest challenge of the series this year.

After days of dry sunny weather we were greeted with winds and rain as runners warmed up ready for the off. This was the biggest field of the series with 470 runners taking part in the 1 mile blast, 10k and half marathon.

With one of the best venues in the country the routes were unchanged from last year, and from post race conversations they won't be altered.

Both runs set off for three miles on a mixture of single tracks and fire breaks. This race took on everything Dalby has to offer, gravel logging roads, muddy down hill trails, knee high heather fire breaks and everything in between.

The times were outstanding considering the elevation, decent and really tough terrain involved. There are no loops on either route as the forest is so vast. It was great to see the age differences ranging from 16 years old to 68 years young in the field. 

The organisers are planning to expand the trail series to new locations in 2016, but Dalby will probably take some beating. The next trail events from the organiser will be the Winter night trailrunner series in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Durham.

"We hope you can join us. We don't do boring!'' Keep an eye on new locations and events on their web site  www.noegochallenge.com or Facebook page.

Men's 10km results

1 Darran Bilton 43:31
2 Emil Fuco 44:08
3 Adam Wiles 49:46


Women's 10km results

1 Natalie Curgenven 54:28
2 Ruth Davies 56:45
3 Vicky Godliman 56:57


Click here for full results


Men's half marathon results

1 Nicholas Riggs 1:42:59
2 Chris Duck 1:43:01
3 Anthoney Craig 1:43:06


Women's half marathon results

1 Imogen Verret 2:03:48
2 Rachel Ogle 2:15:33
3 Charlotte Kershaw 2:16:03


Click here for full results




North Downs Way Marathon & Half

The light drizzle early in the morning meant that it was cool at the start, although the temperature ramped up later and conditions became much warmer with a high of 24 deg C.

The winning times were fantastic considering the terrain. The honour in the men's  marathon and course record went to Edward Catmur (Thames Hare & Hounds) who set a blistering pace and finished the race in 3.16.29. Fastest woman was Carla Molinaro (Bellahouston Road Runners), who stormed to victory in a time of 3.49.57 setting the ladies course record. 

The half marathon men's winner was Rob Patterson (South London Orienteers) who had a cracking run completing the race in a course record time of 1.33.29.The winning lady in the half marathon was Mandy Regenass (Lingfield RC) who set the ladies course record, posting a great time of 1.45.39. 

Ther next event from the organisers will be the Thames Meander Marathon & Half which takes place on the 29th August, the half marathon is already full with limited spaces left for the full marathon.

Men's half marathon results

1 ROB PATTERSON South London Orienteers 01:33:29
2 MARTYN MILLARD Unattached 01:42:22
3 JULIUS ADORF Unattached 01:43:33


Women's half marathon results

2 JANE BLANCE Unattached 01:46:33
3 LENA THOMPSON Unattached 01:49:05


Click here for full results


Men's marathon results

2 KRISTIAN MORGAN Unattached 03:28:38


Women's marathon results



Click here for full results



St Ives 10k

St Ives 10k

A windy, sunny day with 510 runners finishing the 10k on a challenging course.

Craig Holgate of Ely Runners was the winner in 34:12. In second place was Chris Darling of Cambridge Triathlon Club with Michael Taylor of Riverside Runners third in 35:03.

In the women's race, the winner was Holly Archer of West Suffolk AC in 38:06. In second place, in a time of 38:31, was Victoria Kenny of Hadleigh Hares and in third Lisa Marriott of Ramsey Road Runners in 42:06.

Men's results

1 Craig Holgate Ely Runners 34:12
2 Chris Darling Cambridge Triathlon Club 34:33
3 Michael Taylor Riverside Runners 35:03


Women's results

1 Holly Archer West Suffolk AC 38:06
2 Victoria Kenny Hadleigh Hares 38:31
3 Lisa Marriott Ramsey Road Runners 42:06


Click here for full results



Tunnel 2 Towers London 5k

There had been 500 entries and 366 runners completed the race on the day.

Jim Heal was the winner of the Tunnel 2 Towers London 5k Run . Jim completed the course under the River Thames to Canary Wharf in 16:16. In second place was Jordan Ginty in 17:52 and Matthew Jackson was third in 18:04.

Clare Apps was the first female in 21:04, Julie Calvert was second in 23:17and Amanda Hilliard third in 23:58.

The winning team was Team London Fire Brigade Athletics Club (51 points), with Carl Magnus-Hannaford, Damien Magee and Alfonso Fons. Second was Team Stapleford Flight Centre (59 points) with Luke Leggett, Sam Leighton and Archie Leighton.

 Karl Sadil was the first assisted runner, completing the race in 25:58.

The first male U16 was Maxim Khovansky, finishing in 21:19 and the fasyest female U16 was Mikaela Monica in 31:31.

Find out more about the race at: www.tunnel2towersrun.org

Men's results

1 Jim Heal 16:16
2 Jordan Ginty 17:52
3 Matthew Jackson 18:04


Women's results

1 Clare Apps 21:04
2 Julie Calvert 23:17
3 Amanda Hilliard 23:58


Click here for full results



Worcester Pitchcroft 10K & Fun Run

After an early morning shower had passed through, the event enjoyed blustery, but fine sunny conditions.

The 10K race was preceded by the Fun Run at 10.30am and a small but fast field of runners was led home by George Beardmore of Worcester AC in a time of 9:47. The first girl Ruby Taylor, also of Worcester AC was just a minute behind George finishing in 10:47.

Traditionally the 10K race does not get underway until the last Fun Runner finishes and this year there was only a slight delay as the waiting field parted and graciously applauded our regular entrant - 84 year old Charles Morley - as he made his way to the finish.

Just over 200 runners were then sent on their way for the 3 laps of Pitchcroft Racecourse. The race attracts experienced and novice runners alike, but it was the club runners who set up the early pace with Adam Peacock of Bromsgrove & Redditch AC leading the pack. Adam relinquished his lead during the second lap to 2014 winner Stuart Hawkes of Kidderminster based club Amazing Feet, who then pressed on to defend his title and finish in a time of 32:31 – the fourth fastest time on this course!   Adam Peacock held on to 2nd place and was followed home by Tom Stock 3rd (JM) and unattached runner James Richards (M40) in 4th.

The female race was led from start to finish by Shona Crombie-Hicks of Bourton Road Runners who crossed the line in 32nd place in a time of 39:05. Marie Voice of Kenilworth Runners - 2nd and Lynne Hill of Tipton Harriers - 3rd had maintained their positions throughout the race with strong even-paced running.

All finishers received a specially minted medal, and a Western Power Distribution sports bottle.

This was the 20th running of this event organised by Worcester Athletic Club and the awards presentation (see below) was made by Derek Cowdrey – WAC Club Chair – when prize winners and Masters Category winners were awarded engraved salvers and bottles.

Men's 10k results

1 Stuart Hawkes Amazing Feet RC 32:31
2 Adam Peacock  Bromsgrove & Redditch AC 34:19
3 Tom Stock  Worcester AC 34:31

First men's team: Hereford Couriers - Charlie Jones 37:17 - Richard Hughes 37:20 - Russell James 37:46


Women's 10k results

1 Shona Crombie-Hicks Bourton RR 39:05
2 Marie Voice Kenilworth Runners 39:50
3 Lynne Hill Tipton Harriers 39:58


First women's team: Kenilworth Runners - Marie Voice 39:50 - Louise Andrews - 43:00 - Rachel Miller 43:47

Click here for full results


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