Clive Golledge Memorial Relays – 22/07/14

Report by Lisa Taylor

The Race Clive Golledge Memorial Relays
Overall Score 24
Please score the following categories out of 5  
PB Potential 1 – A big up & a big down, so probably not likely to run your fastest 2.2 miles ever
Atmosphere 5 – A good turn out from the local clubs. Relaxed & friendly
Organisation 3 – Well organised, although a few people commented on feeling a little unclear of the route at times
Scenery 3 – Not the most scenic ever but not too bad
Value for Money 4 – short race but good supper J
Beginner Friendliness 3 – Easy enough under foot & the hill shouldn’t really be too much bother for a Bounder J
Club Support & Social 5 – Great turnout of Bounders with 6 teams of 3 & support crew.
Tell us more…  
In Short Fast & hilly with pie
 

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I’ve never run a club relay event before, so was looking forward to seeing what it’s all about. However, following a good few hours in the mountains over the weekend, my legs seemed slightly less enthusiastic than I was.

The race started at the Peases running track in Crook and Lesley & I arrived in good time to meet up and chat with the other Bounders. There were lots of shocked faces when we saw the extent of Sarah’s bike accident injuries which led to a last minute re-shuffling of teams.

Following a short delay the relays started at 7pm. The route starts around the track, then leads out onto the road, onto a grassy field, then onto a long-ish climb. A few twists & turns then a frantic descent back down to the track. It was a decent enough little route although working out which direction you were going in next was a bit confusing at times.

Having not done such a short race before I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not but I thoroughly enjoyed it & I’ll definitely try to do more relays in the future. It was good to see there weren’t just the speedy ones there but there were runners of all levels.

Relays over, it was over to the pub for pie & peas, or a vast choice of sandwich option for non-meat eaters amongst us. We didn’t manage to retain the shield but our first team finished a fabulous 3rd place. Well done speedy ones J

A huge well done goes out to Sarah who despite a swollen hand, inability to move her arm/shoulder & too many cuts & bruises to mention still managed to put in a superb performance. True commitment.

We took 3rd place this year full results to follow.

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Northumberland Coastal Run – Sunday 20th July, 2014

 Group

 Report submitted by Justin Chilton

The Race Northumberland Coastal Run (14 miles)
Overall Score 24
   
PB Potential 2
Atmosphere 5
Organisation 5
Scenery 5
Value for Money  I cant remember entry price but given you only get a t-shirt it mustn’t have been much so rate accordingly.
Beginner Friendliness 2
Club Support & Social 5
   
In Short  
In Full: Having been told, or hoodwinked, one of the two, by David Goodfellow, that it was a 14K race when I submitted my entry, it was with some trepidation that I turned up for the bus to the start line at Beadnell now knowing it was miles not kilometres. Having only been training this year over 6 mile runs and Stewy’s track sessions, I feared I’d struggle to make the finish.

There was a straightforward ride up on the bus with shots being passed around – though I didn’t partake in drinking them. Upon leaving Consett the weather was overcast – ideal running weather. It remained that way until disembarking the bus in Beadnell, where the sun was out in full force. It was like stepping off the plane on holiday. I immediately turned around and took the factor 50 out of my bag, and copious amounts were shared out amongst fellow bounders.

Registration was pretty straightforward, numbers and chips were fitted and off to the beach we all went. After half an hour of chatter word went around that the start was delayed by 15 minutes. By now the sun was blazing and it was generally agreed this was going to make it a hard one hydration wise. Eventually the start line was put in place. We assembled across the sand and off we went.

First obstacle, not a hundred yards in, was lots of slippery seaweed covered rocks to navigate. After that, it was then roughly a mile and half across water laden sand, instantly putting on around half a kilo in weight on each foot. I thought the pace was fast and when I checked my Garmin after half a mile or so I was right. I pulled back a bit and also out to the right where the sand was firm but not so wet.

 By the time the first section on the sand was ending, it was a welcoming sight to see a single file track with people having to slow to a walk to get through. Just the right amount of time to get your breath back and take in the situation. On to harder ground now, and no seawater, which made the next section a lot easier and allowed me to steady into a comfortable pace. I kept a few fellow bounders in front in my sights, and used them as markers to gauge my pace against. I was still struggling at this point with my shins and calves feeling really tight, but I know now from experience it takes me roughly 4-5 miles sometimes to loosen them up and run comfortably.

Around this point a few bounders came past me, Mark Berry, Terri Cartmell and Mrs P! So again I used them as a gauge and hung on in behind them. Around this stage also was a welcoming water point – a few in the mouth, and the rest over body to cool down did the trick. We were joined by David Goodfellow at this point also. Back on to the beach for the next session, and after a mile or so I’d separated from fellow bounders and spotted Stoo Gordon up ahead. I eventually caught up with him just as you leave the sand again up by the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, where I took a picture of him with it the background. I ran with Stoo for a few miles, until round about when we came out on to the road section, this stretch I covered by myself and by now was starting to feel the lack of distance training so out came the isogel which seemed to assist. Around this time Mark berry came past again, but I had to let him go as I was struggling.

The next bit was a bit of a blur, but I know somewhere along the line it was a welcoming cup of water and a “go on Juss” from Ian Young that perked me up. It was then back on to some grassed area where I hooked up with a guy who ran out of Start Fitness. We had a bit craic and a few miles until I realised he was holding me back a bit and I set off again after consuming another gel.

Back on to what I can only describe as a farmers track and I passed Mark Berry around what I think would have been roughly the 9-10 mile mark. By now in my head I’m thinking along the lines of “worst case scenario its 30-35 more minutes of running Juss, and that’s it that’s it. Knuckle down, only you can beat yourself now”

After coming off the farmers track it was down a slight hill, across the little bridge and the most welcoming sight, an incline on a single track which everyone was walking up… great another mini rest! Needless to say I took it

Juss

A few more miles of running and it’s a sharp left and down on to the beach, this is it, final bit! So off I go. I’m struggling, but looking back as I round the first bay there’s no one behind me. so I thought “I can have a small walk here and I won’t lose any positions” but just as I slowed to a walk with my head down, I hear “howay Juss, we’re taking pictures! Come on, not far now, you’re doing great!” I look up to see Stacy, Amanda and a load of other Bounders. More importantly I can see the finish line now, so I picked up my game again and ran off with cheers all around me from fellow Bounders. I’m already buzzing like mad, but then from nowhere a Sea King helicopter came flying past really low. I looked up and the crew were waving. There was no-one else around me, they were waving at me! I felt the adrenalin rushing up the back of my neck and I’m actually thinking (I’ll leave the expletives out ) “I FLIPPING LOVE THIS! COME ON!” or words to that effect! The Sea King circled around from the finish line and headed back up towards me, the crew again waving. I threw them a salute, and looked up to see that I was a few hundred yards from the finish line. There were 3 people in front of me; I reckoned I could catch 2 easily. I kicked out and passed them. I was just about to give up on the third, but somehow I found another gear and took him out too. I passed the finish line, totally knackered with legs like jelly. I need fluids but I’ve finished thank God!

I checked my Garmin and I’d done sub 2 hours, I remember at the start people said 2 hours was good for this. I was well happy. I collected my t-shirt and saw one of our guys, I think it was Tony Skeen, who told me he thinks I was 3rd Bounder in! WOW! Amazed wasn’t the word.

After initially getting on the wrong bus I found out ours was at the other end of the golf course. I had to take my trainers off to walk to it as my toes were curling under with cramps. I got to the bus, and David Walker said he also thought I’d come in third out of the Bounders – I’m ecstatic.

After taking on fluids in the form of a recovery and protein drink. I sneaked behind the bus to get changed, and finally started to feel ok about it all. I was stiff and sore but I’d done it, and I was happy I did it.

After a while of stretching and just sitting around chatting to fellow bounders, we were informed there was a group photo taking place on the beach. So we head off for said photo. It’s then everyone heads back to the bus and we are on our way home… The shots are out again, this time I took one, I’d earned this one.

This certainly isn’t a PB course and it certainly isn’t easy. but at times you look up and take it in, and what a beautiful race! You’ll struggle to find a more scenic run. The support was great by both Bounders and the locals. In reality I couldn’t fault it; it was a good, but truly testing race. I just hadn’t prepared for it as well as I should have done. Maybe next year, but then again maybe not.

 

 

 

Kilburn 7 – Sunday 13th July, 2014

 

 

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Race report submitted by Mike and Caroline Burdon

The Race

Kilburn 7 Road Race

Overall Score (out of a possible 35)

30

PB Potential

2

Atmosphere

5

Organisation

5

Scenery

5

Value for Money

5

Beginner Friendliness

3

Club Support & Social

5

In Short

A great day out

In Full: The Bounders bus trip set off from the sports centre at 9am on a wet morning, and we headed for Thirsk for our first stop of the day. The weather started to brighten up as we arrived and we trouped into Wetherspoons for breakfast (not one for usually praising Wetherspoons, but the eggs benedict was spot on, and you didn’t stick to the tables if you lent on them). We arrived in the village of Kilburn and marked our territory on a big table in the pub beer garden as the stall holders were setting up for the village fete.

The sun was well and truly shining when we lined up for the 2pm start. Off we went, a quick first mile then a mile and a half climb. Chris powered past me, then Kevin came past as we approached the much needed water station at 3 miles. I tried to hang on to Kevin on the climb up to 6 mile, but he kept slowly pulling away and after the 2nd water station he was 100 yards ahead. At that point I thought put the effort in and finish with Kev, so I gave chase and caught him with half a mile to go. Then it was a nice run downhill to the end, going over the line together 1 second over the hour. Once we’d cheered all the other Bounders in we returned to the pub, re-hydrated, then tried to win all the wine on the tombola stall.

The bus left at 5.30 to return us to Consett and The Grey Horse for one last drink. A great day was had by all. It’s a beautiful run (a bit tough on a hot day), and a fantastic day out that should not be missed. Get it in the diary for next year.

Results

Chris Boyd 58:24

Mike Burdon 1:00:01

Kevin Lee 1:00:01

Caroline Burdon 1:02:07

Brian Richardson 1:02:15

Caroline Murray 1:04:03

Alison Hodges 1:10:48

Tricia Collins 1:13:36

Stephen Dalglish 1:16:58

Sara Sarginson 1:17:45

Shelagh Richmond 1:21:05

Michael Rowntree 1:21:05

 

Simonside Fell Race – Thursday 10th July, 2014

Report submitted by Andrew Dick

The Race Beacon Hill Fell Race (Simonside)
Overall Score (out of a possible 35)  30
   
PB Potential 2 no chance of PBs unless you ran it last year
Atmosphere 5
Organisation 5
Scenery 5
Value for Money 5
Beginner Friendliness
Club Support & Social 4 Only one other Bounder there
   
In Short 1337 ft climbing with stunning views
In Full: This was my third fell race and I’m definitely hooked on this style of running. Tonight’s route was up, down, back up, down then finally back up and down the Simonside hills. It was a glorious evening for the run, the threatened rain didn’t happen and consequently carrying of full kit was relaxed. Registration was a very reasonable £4 handed over in Lordenshaw car park to the race organisers where the start and finish point was. Shaun Edwards was the only other Bounder running tonight, he introduced himself and we chewed the cud whilst waiting for the race to start passing on some advice he had heard from an old fell runner “only those who come first and last run up the hills”. A few other people I knew from Heaton Harriers were running in NFR colours so it was a very friendly relaxed atmosphere of only 30 runners competing tonight. Pre race talk was around the previous weekend’s Chevy Chase, a gruelling 20 mile run taking in Hedgehope and Cheviot Hills and how tired legs were feeling.

 The race started at 19:15’ish with the 30 runners setting off straight into a 443ft climb, legs and quads burning as I ignored advice and ran up the hill. Already the front runners were out of reach as I looked up in time to see them disappear round the top of Beacon hill. Shaun was already out of sight but I knew from chatting to him before the race set off, he was after an improvement over last year. The route was marshalled at points and taped in others with the first descent coming not long after Dove Crag as we came down a bit of a rocky scramble onto some softer heather. Eventually getting onto the forestry track along the Northern side of the hill. I had a recurring thought which I must have to get a gum shield for these events, one day I can see myself tripping and face planting a boulder. The route took us back up onto Simonside hill itself, up an unused footpath, overgrown with fern and heather and lots of boggy holes. I took a tumble as my leg went into one of these holes, fellow runners made sure I was ok before carrying on. Then one of them copied me exactly, leg disappearing into a hole sending him sprawling, again he was fine and people stopping to make sure he got to his feet.

 From Simonside hill we descended again down an uneven heathery path into Simonside Forsest, which was fairly rocky in places and took some concentration (for a newbie) to stop falling over. The forest trails took us through to the edge of Tosson Hill where the views down the Coquet flood plains were spectacular. The route at this point was heading back towards the Western side of Simonside hill to the climb I had been dreading. Legs were very tired and the poor cushioning of my trail shoes were killing my feet but it was the last big climb. Actually, as it turned out, the climb back up wasn’t too bad, at 300ft the stepped rocks were manageable, maybe because I knew it was the final stretch of the race. The race was now all along the flag stoned path running along the top of Simonside to Beacon Hill, with a marshal telling me it’s all downhill from here. She was half right, there were a few ascents but nothing compared to what we had already done. I had settled into a steady pace with a couple of other runners as company as by now the field was very strung out.   Eventually the car park came into sight and the fast descent to the finish. I ran down as carefully as possible as my foot was giving me quite a bit of pain from the impacts running on the flagstone path. Yeah, I know, I’m a wuss…

 Crossing the finish line I found Shaun and we watched a very close and tight finish from a trio from NFR, I wouldn’t have liked to have called it but Nina Cameron of Heaton and NFR was given the nod. There were a few people sporting bandages and dressings as their bumps and scrapes were treated by the local paramedic, but nothing serious. The prizegiving followed as a RAF tornado flew overhead at low level giving a special finish to a fantastic run. To my surprise, I had my name read out as a prize winner. I have no idea what for as I was 23/30 but it has something to do with my age. At long last being over 40 has its benefits! I headed home with a giant bar of chocolate and a feeling of accomplishment. The chocolate was demolished by my kids as I applied ice packs to a now swollen foot and searched the net for the next fell race to enter in my black and gold vest.

 Full results

 http://www.northumberlandfellrunners.co.uk/html/raceresults/2014/BeaconHillResults2014.pdf

 

Reminder – No 7pm Session from Belle View Tomorrow Night

1-Lord-Crewe-Arms-Blanchland-Inn-Hotel-Restaurant-NorthumberlandThe next Pub Run is tomorrow night in Blanchland, so there will be no session going out from Belle Vue at 7pm.

Starting at 7, from the top car park in Blanchland (just past the tearooms) this will be a 5 mile off-road route, ran at a steady pace – a perfect introduction to off-road running for those who haven’t tried it. Then afterwards, back to the Lord Crewe Arms for refreshments.

Trail shoes, or old road shoes are recommended, and it would be a good idea to fetch a light windproof/showerproof jacket with you just in case it’s needed.

Angel View Run – 10th July, 2014

Group Angel

Report submitted by Lisa Taylor

The Race Angel View Run
Overall Score (out of a possible 35) 28
   
PB Potential 3 – unusual distance & a few hills
Atmosphere 5 – a friendly, relaxed race with great support from all marshals
Organisation 5 – All great
Scenery 3 – Extra points for the Angel but minus points for the underpass repeats
Value for Money 5 – cheap n cheerful
Beginner Friendliness 3 – Maybe a little hilly?
Club Support & Social 4 – Not many of us Bounders but a great atmosphere
Tell us more…  
In Short Girly prizes galore
In Full: Having had a difficult time in my last three races, I was having thoughts of packing in running and becoming a full time cyclist. So, a lot was riding on this race in terms of recovering that illusive mojo. 

We caught up with Peter and Caroline at the start and had arrived in time to watch the superb girl Bounders Brooke & Faye winning a fabulous 1st & 2nd in their age categories. We made jokes that the ladies should attempt to replicate the success of the Juniors. Caroline & I decided we’d aim for 1st & 2nd lady Bounders  Expecting a 5m run, I was told by Peter it was actually more like 5.5, then on the start line it appeared to have extended to just under 6. A few words from the organisers & we were off.

The course was an interesting one with a little bit of everything – some hills, some track, some road & some offroad. It was laps which aren’t for everyone but I like because I know what’s coming. Apart from numerous trips under the underpass, I really enjoyed it and it was lovely to run past the Angel. It was also a great course for supporters as they could get to a good few points on the course to cheer us on.

LT Angel

 I crossed the line happy that I’d finally run a race that I felt comfortable in. We didn’t hang around for presentations but they took place in the Angel View pub. Later that evening we got a message on facebook to say Caroline & I had won prizes. I’ve never won a prize before – so was over the moon and half expected they’d put me in the wrong age category – maybe over 70s ;-) But when I picked them up the next day, mine was for 1st lady V40 & Caroline was 2nd lady V45. So we had continued on the junior girls winning streak afterall.

 So, all in all, a fabulous race. Hopefully more Bounders will give it a go next year.

Full results can be found here

 

Cross Bay Challenge, Morecambe – 6th July 2014

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Report by Stoo Gordon

The Race Cross Bay Challenge, Morecambe
Overall Score (out of a possible 35) 24
   
PB Potential 0
Atmosphere 4
Organisation 4 – Lack of clean running water at finish
Scenery 5
Value for Money 3 – £29 + £10 for t-shirt (optional)
Beginner Friendliness 3
Club Support & Social 5 – Thanks to Nigel Cook
   
In Short Great experience, Very Scenic, Great Fun
In Full  The first time Nigel Cook mentioned the Morecambe Bay, Cross Bay Challenge, I immediately thought of the cockle pickers that got caught by the tide and thought, that could be tricky. I then read several reviews from people like Nigel, who had previously, ran this race. All said the same thing, that it was fun, friendly and scenic. Not a mention of Scary anywhere. So the Gordon posse set off on Sunday morning (passing the Matalan crew just setting off on their jaunt) on the 2 hr drive to join the 400 people on the Beach at Hest Bank.Now if you went the way Nigel did, being on his own, you had to travel to Flookburgh to leave your car at the finish and get one of the buses at 09:30, back to the start (45min). Which meant a lot of hanging around at the start, as the race began at 12:30. That aside I was looking forward to giving this a go and was glad Nigel was there for company and a bit of guidance along with the experienced guides on quad bikes of course.2

The weather was really quite good : breezy with plenty sunshine. The views from the start were stunning and as far as the eye could see, was the Bay stretching out in front of us. You could see the opposite side of the Bay and to be honest it didn’t look that far, not 13.1Miles. But then you don’t go directly across do you? When you look at the route you go a long way inland first, before you cross. There is a reason for that. It’s to cross the River Kent.

3

We set off after a small briefing, reminding us to stay within the marked zones or you might end up in the quicksand. Gulp! The initial few miles were on very wet, wrinkled sand, not the most comfortable conditions, but that was soon forgotten when we approached the first water crossing. The racing part of the challenge ground to a halt. Splash!, in we go, woohoo what a laugh and actually quite heavy on the legs trying to wade across about 30-40ft wide thigh deep lukewarm water.

4

That was the first of many water crossings of varying depths, most notably the bit where we crossed the River Kent. Now by this time I was quite used to getting wet but this was different. The under currents in this crossing would have swept a small child out to the Irish sea in no time! Not being much bigger than said small child, I somehow managed to make it to the other side. There is a marshal posted here (probably to let the coastguard know if you fell over) so that was alright, I felt it was safe. It was slow going but strangely enjoyable and cooling as the sun was now beating down constantly. Another crossing achieved we plodded on with soggy sand filled shoes. At this point I remembered Nigel telling me to run in my oldest running shoes as I was not going to be taking them or my socks home.

(Those of you who know my bright yellow, self cleaning, trail shoes, will be happy to know they are safe and well. One of my 3 pair of Asics had to go.) There was a point about ¾ of the way through that we came across a huge expanse of flat sand with nothing to see except sand in the distance. But if you look to your right at this point, It is then your eyes are treated to the magnificent view of the lush green coastline. Stunning hills in the background, a feast for sore eyes. It was around here Nigel spotted the finishing Marquee like a mirage in the distance. It took a long time in getting any closer. Final water station at 10 Miles then onto the finish in just under 2hr 30m.

Water stations were at 4M, 7M, and 10M. Finish line facilities included Sports massage for a small donation to Cancer Care, other merchandise including your t-shirt could be purchased here and there were a variety of refreshments on sale. Portaloo toilets are available at the end but no showers or running water.

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The Gordon Posse went back to the start point to watch the tide cover our tracks, and of course to have fish and chips.

It was a really good day out. I Would certainly recommend this to anyone thinking of doing it. I personally am looking forward to doing it again.

 

Bridges of the Tyne 5 Mile Road Race – 8th July 2014

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Report submitted by Stuart Smith

The Race Bridges of the Tyne 5 Mile Road Race
Overall Score (out of a possible 35) 30
   
PB Potential 5+ Very flat course
Atmosphere 3.5 – Not many spectators
Organisation 5.0 – Superb Organisation
Scenery 4.0 – Iconic Bridges across the Tyne
Value for Money 4.0 – £14.75 – Nice Tee-Shirt
Beginner Friendliness 5.0 – Easy course for beginners
Club Support & Social 4.0 – Excellent support from the few Bounders racing
   
In Short Fast and flat
In Full: Yet another new run to add to the growing list, I was told that this was a cracker of a club race and so it turned out. The route is a flat out and back starting from the Pitcher & Piano heading west along the footpath on the quayside then loops back at the Business park on Scotswood Rd. The route then follows the same footpath back all the way along to where the Ouseburn meets the river near the Tyne Bar pub which was race HQ. This is the 3rd year that Tyne Bridge Harriers have hosted this highly popular race and after taking part I can see why it’s a firm favorite with runners.

 I headed down to pick my race number and timing chip up early and filled in a bit of time chatting to Dani, Besty, John and Yvonne and trying to work out where the actual start was, it’s also the first time I’ve been at the Tyne Bar and not had a pint of Guinness !

 After a quick warm up with Besty, and a good bit crack with Shaun, Brian, Nicola, Dani, and Mel on the start line, we were off.

 I’ve never really been a fan of running flat out as fast as you can as it hurts! I much prefer the longer distances, however this is gradually beginning to change and I’m starting to embrace the pain this gives.

 Not much to tell about the run itself as it’s over so quick, but as I watched Brian, Shaun, Dani and Mel disappear into the distance I found myself running most of the race with Nicola who was just behind me, until we went under the Redheugh Bridge at around 3.7 miles when she went past. I could just about keep up with her and there’s nothing like having a Black and Gold vest near to keep you going with a bit of friendly rivalry. After catching and passing her at Edinburgh and just finishing ahead at Newburn there was no way I was catching her this time and I crossed the line around 10 seconds behind, great running Nicola!

 Some things that stick in my mind were the words of encouragement from Besty and Shaun as they passed me on their return, and definitely the kind words of encouragement from what seemed like every Marshal along the route.

 To sum up and as per John Bosson’s Facebook post I also probably achieved my fastest race pace ever, and this slowcoach is slowly getting faster. The only thing to improve on for next time is the travel logistics so I can have a few sherbets at the end of the race and enjoy the BBQ.

 A great evening had by all and I would definitely recommend this race to everyone, it’s a little cracker.

Full results can be found here.

Lakeland Trails Coniston Half Marathon Challenge – 6th July 2014

Coniston Half Marathon

Report submitted by Nicola Gloyne

The Race Coniston Trail Half Marathon Challenge
Overall Score 23
   
PB Potential 1 – I was told by one of the regulars to add 30 mins onto my usual half marathon times.
Atmosphere 5 – Music, food stalls and lots of support at the start/finish.
Organisation 5 – Car parking and registration well organised. Plenty of marshalls with decent water/feeding stations.
Scenery 5 – the most stunning scenery I’ve seen.
Value for Money 3 – not a cheap half at £34, great run but expected a better goody bag.
Beginner Friendliness 2 – not a beginners race but a generous time limit so anyone can give it a go.
Club Support & Social 2 – no other Bounders on this occasion but has great potential!
   
In Short A real toughy but the location more than makes up for it.
In Full

It was an early start, with registration at 9am and the race starting at 10am. I left the house at 6am and picked up Kathryn Sygrove of Elvet Striders en route to Coniston. The drive across was beautiful with barely any traffic and we arrived at Coniston Old Hall at 8.30am. The car park was in a field right on the edge of the lake and was already quite busy with other races setting off before us at 7am and 9am.

We set off to find the registration tent which was conveniently located next to the start/finish and all of the food and trade stands. I said a quick hello to an ex work colleague who was doing the full marathon and then went to find my Stamford Striders friend Helen who was also bravely taking on the whole 26.2 miles.

After cheering our friends off at 9am, we set about preparing ourselves for the start of our own race and also enjoyed taking in the breath taking scenery surrounding us.

We set off promptly at 10am and headed out of the car park and through the grounds of Coniston Old Hall along the gravel path, the pace was slower with people bunching up occasionally at the gateways. From there we ran up through Coniston Village and then up the first small hill and headed right onto a small winding stony track which led down towards Holme Fell and took you through a gateway into the National Trust woodland. The track through here was like a roller coaster and I really enjoyed running up and down through the trees.

Shortly before 3 miles came the first real climb, back out onto tarmac now and I really felt it. It wasn’t long before I joined several others walking and I felt so disappointed in myself. I reached the first water station and had some of my jellies and cup of water and set off up the track which was still climbing steeply upwards. The terrain was here was very stony with mud and tree roots but I eventually made it up to the top and set off running again past Hedge Close Slate Quarry which was quite breath taking.

I steadied back into a gentle run and just enjoyed the route as we went up and down and wound through woodland. Picking my way through the rocks and ruts and tree roots, going slower down hill and making sure I was careful where I put my feet. Somewhere along the way there was another drinks station but at this one there was flat coke, water, jelly babies and flap jacks as at this point we were still on the same route as the full marathon. Shortly after this, another steep climb where I started moaning to a fellow ‘walker’ that I’m not usually one for walking during a race. He advised me it was pretty much the norm for this sort of run which made me feel a bit happier and with that I trotted off and left him and headed for Tarn Hows.

Once you reach this point you have to do a lap of Tarn Hows which at first left me feeling a bit disheartened. It was very hot and I wanted to take the path off to the left which would take me above the lake and eventually back into the woods which headed back down to Coniston. The lap was well worth the effort though as the path rolled along and we took in yet more stunning scenery and another drinks station, then back to the left handed track and up to a vantage point with the most fabulous view I’ve ever seen on a run.

The next mile or so from here, down through the woods was awesome! Other runners were taking their time as it was steep and stony with more tree roots. I threw caution to the wind, tipped myself forward, stuck my arms out to the side and went as fast as I could. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Back at the bottom, with about 3 miles to go, the gravel path ran along side of the road and eventually took us back into the grounds of Coniston Old Hall. We took in one lap of the car park and eventually came past the huge inflatable trainer and under the finish sign.

I collected my t-shirt and went to meet Kathryn who’d finished about 3 minutes ahead of me.

We were worn out but immediately said we would be back next year and would love to try some of the other Lakeland Trail runs. Hopefully I can persuade some more Bounders to join in…….

 Full results can be found here

 

Saltwell Fell Race – Stanhope

Stanhope Fell Race

Report submitted by Louise Priestley

The Race Stanhope Fell Race
Overall Score (out of a possible 35)  31
   
PB Potential 1 – A really hard course, not sure PB’s would ever be possible!!
Atmosphere 5 – A great laugh, good banter along the way
Organisation 5 – Not much to it, very simple but effective
Scenery 5 – Outstandingly beautiful
Value for Money 5 – £5 bargain
Beginner Friendliness 5 – Lots of first time bounders
Club Support & Social 5 – A few from the club were there to support along the way. Presentation after the event at the Smelters
   
In Short Tough but brilliant. I’ll definitely be back!
In Full: I’m not feeling particularly fit at the moment but I decided to give this a go for the experience. Loving cross countries as much as I do, I’ve been keen to try out a fell race and I liked the fact this was a local event.

The weather was beautiful and the views across the fells were outstanding. A few of us headed over and as usual all were in good spirits. We registered at the side of the road – I loved the simplicity of this event, along with the fact that it was a bargain at £5.

As we stood around people discussed the overall distance as being 5miles – on completion I can add this was NOT CORRECT!! I clocked it as about 6.2mile and that extra 1.2 miles & on an uphill finish made ALL the difference J

The course was pointed out by fellow bounders and previous years experiences discussed. I switched off after a while and decided on a ‘let’s just take it as it comes’ approach.

I did however, take on board the 4 key facts i.e. you climb up, you drop down, you jump in a river & you climb up to the finish line.

These 4 factors proved to be pretty accurate.

Starting & stopping throughout the event was pretty inevitable due to the terrain. The ground was uneven & that along with rocks & scrambles, bracken, fern & peat bogs led to numerous twists of my ankles. The extremely steep descent down to the river made it pretty impossible to run (for an inexperienced fell-runner anyway!) Sitting on my ‘bot’ or sliding down on my hunkers seemed the most sensible way to get down.

The river at the bottom with the strategically placed stampers ensured runners got as far in as possible was HILARIOUS. You basically jumped in, punched your number to prove you hadn’t avoided the challenge, before clambering back out & continuing with your run.   The hills seemed never ending as we finally approached the final one, leading up to the finish line. With gritted teeth and a gurn or two, I mustered up some energy & made it up to & across the finish line.

(I did think I was going to throw up at the end, sorry Mark Fish for my inability to speak to you!)

It was a great course, tough but brilliant & definitely highly recommended. I loved the fells and can’t wait for the next one.

 Thanks as always to everyone for your invaluable support & banter along the way.

 Full results can be found here