Sunday, 19 February 2017

Is it Summer?

Sunday Runs

Linda took a group to Yeovilton this morning for their long run and posted:

Great 15.5 mile this morning. Sorry, I had to pull out at the 3-mile point but the leg was just too painful. Got home and got the bike out and rejoined them. Great cycling and bike ride with Katie. Nice and flat.

Marathon Mike

The “Magic City” Marathon

Had planned to run this one last year but didn’t go due to heavy cold and cough. Entered well in advance this year to get cheaper race entry and flights, booked a hotel near start/finish, and what happened…….contracted virus 2 weeks before, heavy cold, cough and chest infection. Housebound for a while and no running for 3 weeks it all looked doubtful again. Past the worst by marathon weekend but still congested and generally wiped out but off we went. An 80-minute flight to Chattanooga Tennessee, and then a 2-hour drive in our rented “muscle car” (cheap at $60 for 4 days), saw us arrive in Birmingham, Alabama for the Mercedes Marathon. It’s sad to see while driving around on these trips just how much poverty exists in this “rich” country, not just in the inner city ghettos, but also in the outlying rural areas, there still exists a massive gap between the haves and have-nots.

Birmingham lies about the centre of Alabama in the Deep South, in the tail end of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and was named in honour of the English city, although no-one over here calls it Brum (it’s spoken Birming Ham, two words). Founded in 1871 during the post-civil war reconstruction era it grew rapidly around the production of iron and steel. It still is the only known area in the world where the 3 major raw materials, iron ore, limestone and coal can be found together, the soil everywhere around is a rusty colour. It rapidly became the major industrial city of the “New South”; cheap labour was plentiful following the abolition of slavery and the decline of the sugar and cotton plantations whence many jobless blacks moved into the city from rural areas (and became slaves of another sort). Thus, iron was much cheaper to produce here than in the established unionised northern cities, and the rapid population expansion that followed with resultant increasing wealth earned it the nickname “The Magic City”. It also became a large railroad centre and transportation hub, manufacturing rail track and waggons, and distributing freight all over the South. Many whites moved out to the suburbs to escape the poor air quality and today the city is about 70% African-American. The blast furnaces are no longer, but a steel industry and coal mines still exist in the area and rail transportation still prospers. The iron furnaces have been replaced in recent years with modern businesses and it is now a major centre in the South for banking, telecoms, healthcare, insurance and education, and of course not forgetting the marathon sponsor, Mercedes Benz who manufacture vehicles here for worldwide distribution. The city is clean and boasts fine parks, art galleries theatres, restaurants and museums.

Birmingham figured highly in the Civil Rights Movement protests in 1950’s and 60’s, Martin Luther King was jailed there during demonstrations in 1963. A Civil Rights Institute was established in the city which tells the story of the Civil Rights Movement and hosts many visitors every year.

We sauntered round running gear stalls at the expo and picked up race packets on Saturday morning then in the afternoon made a visit and tour of Sloss Furnaces. Iron was produced here for about 100 years; it ceased production in 1971, and has been turned into a National Historic Landmark and museum, a mechanical engineer’s wet dream! It actually contained 2 massive air blowers that were made in Birmingham, England, and installed in the 1890’s. Local artists still cast various metals on a small scale, lectures and classes are held, some people even get married here!

The after-race party was in the Boutwell Auditorium with 4 piece rock band (didn’t do much dancing), barbequed meal, (barbeque is a way of life in Alabama, always pork with a huge variety of sauces and different kinds of wood-smoke), with free beer……well, Miller Light which masquerades as beer over here but after 26 miles we weren’t too fussy. Following a short afternoon sleep and dinner, hillbilly music on the banjo and fiddle, and a drop of local moonshine completed the day. We took a walk around Red Mountain Park the day after to the old mine works where the iron ore was first discovered to loosen up those tired legs and this completed another interesting weekend adventure. Have a trail run next, promise no history lesson!

Jaw Dropper Challenge

Paul Allen and I travelled to London for a run along theThames on Saturday morning. This was 8 laps running just pass Walton Bridge and then back again. The medal was different as you can see. Next up is a double next weekend in Dover with Paul Allen and Meadows, Pete Jakeman and Lynn with support from the award winning photographer Jane. This was going to be Pauls 250th marathon but might be a few more by then.  

Park Run Tourist 

Joanna Henley: Penrose parkrun results for event #99. Your time was 00:24:13.
Congratulations on completing your 47th parkrun and your 8th at Penrose parkrun today. You finished in 60th place and were the 13th female out of a field of 252 parkrunners and you came 1st in your age category. 

From Louise:
Cleethorpes Park Run saw a record turnout of 220 yesterday. 1st place went to a lady. Fez came 8th and amazingly got an overall PB of 19.51 despite being sent flying by one of 3 women who were taking part as walkers and taking up the whole path! I was 84th in 26.39, 30 secs. faster than last time here and Jade in her first Park Run was 98th in 27.02. A very enjoyable 3 loops around the lakes.

Hampton Court Half

From Kevin Stenner:

Early 830am start today at the Hampton Court Half marathon.
Hampton Half is ran over a fast, flat course that borders the river - side grounds of Hampton Palace.
PB course, but unfortunately way of the pace today 1 33 45.
Have decided to give my old bones a good rest for two weeks, so one Free Eastbourne Half marathon entry going if anyone would like to run on the 5th March.

Dark Knights

From Nathan:
Fancy trying something new and joining the regular night runners from the running club? The last race in the Wild Night Running Race series is in Bristol next Saturday. There's a 5 and 10k option and it's the ideal one to try as a first experience of night racing.
From the race website: "Both races will start at Leigh Woods, a popular spot for night running in Bristol. You’ll be starting just as it gets dark so a head torch is essential. The running surface is generally fairly smooth so ideal for beginners and fast runners alike. And we’ve booked the Anchor Ham Green pub for the Prize Presentation after the race."
We usually travel to the race as a group and find a pub to all go back to at the end to make a night of it. 

Marks Runs

We split into at least four groups tonight running from Podimore. JC led a fastish run of about 7.5 miles. We passed the other groups at various stages on the way round. From the pub, we ran through the village, turned left and ran past the camp. We continued and turned into Urgashay (still in England), and continued onto West Camel. I'm pretty sure one of the houses had a full-size tractor sat on a bank as a garden ornament. We crossed over and did a loop. The sky was light and clear, even though I could not find the moon anywhere. In the distance was the glow of orange and red lights from the camp. The hedges were neatly trimmed. Later we passed Bridgehampton and Stockwitch cross. The last leg was anti-clockwise along the Podi loop back to the pub. Thanks, JC and all.


Thanks to Linda and all for the long training run this morning. Starting from the Camp at 9 o clock, the full option was one loop of the marathon course followed by a Podimore Loop making it about 15.5 miles. Conditions were grey but dry with a cool breeze at times. We passed the Goldenstones running group just outside West Mudford. Thankyou all for the sweets, and the real coffee from Katie's support cycle. I found the second run round Podimore needed some force, as it was not easy. More training needed.

Club Events

1. Tuesday Club Night is at  YTFC 6:15 pm 21st Feb.

2. Thursday Pub run is at The George Inn Donyatt at 6:30 pm 26th Feb

3.  Track night on Friday at 6:15 pm  

4.  The Sunday Run will be Goldenstones 26th Feb 9:00 am

5. The next Championship race is  Sun 26th 7.5 ml Babcary (SS) 11.00 am

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Its a Humdinger at Lychett


No report from the Dark Nights or Marks Sunday run  but I had a great day out at the Exeter Chiefs V Wasps and can't remember a lot but the score was 35-35. Thanks for those that emailed me the Race reports as it helps a lot and please can more Club members do the same.


The Hurdle

From Steve Lye:
A group of Yeovil town runners braved the cold and ran the hurtle this morning with one running the half marathon.  It felt strange "only" running the 5 mile (about 4.6 miles actually) when there was a half up for grabs but I'm after a hat this year and the 5 mile races are limited, plus I was away on business this week (4 countries in 5 days) so I was a little tired this morning!

A good course and a "nice" (?) hill around the 2 mile mark just to get the heart pumping to keep warm (Paul's 2 ascents of forest hill on Tuesday night runs may have helped!).

The Full Results can be seen here.

From Emma Machen:
We did it! First race of the year and I got my first medal! ðŸ˜„🎖🎉

Lychett 10

From Kev Doherty:

10 YTRRC members braved the cold and travelled to the Lytchett 10 this morning.
I think for several of us this was our first time at this event – it was advertised
as hilly so no suprise ..  it was hilly ... and cold .. but we soon warmed up.
decent support through couple points in high street etc.
First Yeovil runner home was Paul Card in 26 place ( P.B i think he said ).
Jon Crane was 71st with a very good time ( if he was a gentleman he would run around with Joanne ).
Me and Barnaby had a great race today – both set off too fast !! he would leave me on up hills and I catch up on down hills 2 seconds separated us at the end – Jo was not as quick as last year !! She drank too much last night!! excuses !!
Good to see Helen Nesbitt back at some races after several months of reduced running due to injury ( Paul was gonna make her walk home if she did sub 1:30 !! ) She might still be walking now !
Linda , Joanne , Lindsay and Alan also completed the run. well done to all.
No medal .... Boo ...  but a little bag to put my false teeth into when I’m older.

The Full Results can be seen here.

Oxford Park Run

Another Saturday morning, another Oxford parkrun. With a light dusting of snow on the ground I headed off in my beloved YTRRC vest. Upon arriving at the car park a variety of runners and outfits assembled in the park. (Some were more suitably dressed for St. Moritz not a 5k on a Saturday!) Nevertheless, I jumped out the car in just my shorts, t-shirt, vest and gloves thinking it’s actually warmer than I thought. A change of the normal course with just three very flat laps to complete, meaning it was slightly easier to pace. A finish time of 22:21 which isn’t my best of the year to date but another enjoyable morning run representing YTRRC. From your Cotswold Correspondent, James! :-)

Great Western 

Great Western 10k - Sunday 12th March

Only four weeks to go so time to get your entry forms in - don't forget it's a Club Championship race. We also need a few helpers namely:

Saturday 9am at Leweston School to set up the course. Last year it worked really well by having enough helpers to split into 3 groups which meant the setting up was done fairly quickly. If we could do the same this year that would be great.

Phil usually likes to run the course early (time TBC but by 8am at a guess) making sure everything is in order on the course so if anyone would like to join him I'm sure he'd like your company

1 sweeper to assist Lynne 

2 people on the computer to input on-the-day entries and input results

A few people to help generally beforehand, mainly to give out numbers to pre-entered runners and to take on-the-day entries (these people will also be available to run)

A few people to help after the race clearing up, making sure all markers/flags are back, packing up and helping re-load the trailer (these people are also available to run first).

The Rotary Club provide all the marshals which enables us to have loads of runners, so please get your entry forms in to support one of our own races as well as supporting the Rotary's charity.

Entries to me or pass on to Helen on a Tuesday club run. Entry forms can be found on

Please let me know if you can help and in what capacity ( or FB message)

Many thanks


Marks Runs

Tonight we passed the church and headed towards Marston Magna, but took the left turn and ran through Rimpton. We passed Heaven's Door and got to the cross roads at the white post. Next was Adber where we went left and ran up the hill. The icey cold wind was at it's strongest here and It was cool. Crossing over at the top we then descended back down to Sandford Orcas, where the church bells were ringing. Thanks Phil for the 5.6 mile run. Nice pub, and good food as well. The 4 mile drive back afterwards was sublime. Very wild and yet so close to Sherborne.

Club Events

1. Tuesday Club Night is at  GOLDENSTONES 6:15 pm 14th Feb.

2. Thursday Pub run is at The Podymore Inn Podymore at 6:30pm 16th Feb

3.  Track night on Friday at 6:15pm  

4.  The Sunday Run will be Goldenstone 12th Feb 9:00 am

5. The next Championship race is  Sun 26th 7.5 ml Babcary (SS) 11.00 am

Sunday, 5 February 2017

A Good Day's Racing

Blackmore Vale Half

We had a few runners at the Blackmore Vale half.

From Kate Hayden:

Thanks to all those track sessions I managed a 1.45 ish time at the Blackmore vale half today. Best vegan chocolate cake at the end too Catherine Thompson Hansford . (other meat eating cakes are also available) 

Portland Half and Full

Today saw the Portland Coastal Marathon  and Half with a one lap for the half and two for the full but in reverse on the way back. WIth Jon Crane first place for the club and JC and Richard not far behind. I was down to do it but after one lap decided to stop as my leg was hurting and I couldn't be arsed with another lap. The full results can be seen here.

The Half had one Yeovil runner and it was me. Full results can be seen here.

Montacute House 

Sunday runs were from Montacute today, a good turn out for the Half / Marathon training. 


Two Bays Tough Ten

From Georgina:

Wahoo, Two Bays Tough Ten Done In 1:43 Which Is A New Course PB By 6 Minutes. Tough Course With Sand, Hills, Steps And Lots Of Mud. But Was Great Fun and Loved Every Minute Of It

Longleat 10k

From Matt:

Longleat 10k done...I've never done it before, so when the queue for parking started at nine I was a little worried😩 Massive queues for the toilets, but a little exploration found a baby changing room which was unoccupied...always thinking outside of the box!😊 Lined up for the stat and off we went...straight uphill! Then down, and along, then came lap two. The hill had been made steeper and longer this time😠 Lastly, the "iconic" finish down the drive at the front of the house, but at 2 degrees, the fog wasn't going anywhere ðŸ˜  Decent time for me, but behind Kevin Stenner (one of Peter Jakeman 's disciples). Kevin Doherty was third Yeovil male. Joanna Henley was pipped by a matter of millimetres by Kirsty Norman ...and then I got cold and left, apologies to other YTRRC runners. There were no lions at Longleat, but I did see a lovely Kat 

The Full Results can be seen here.

There was a delay with the start due to some idiot parking on the course. Name to Wiltshire Police please.

Somerset Series 2017

The Somerset Series can be seen here with dates and links.

Marks Runs

I didn't make it out to Montacute today. Instead I ran alone from Sherborne. Leaving at noon, I ran up to Dancing Hill and took the right turn, taking the lane to Thornford. The footpath west of the village was a welcome change to the road. I carried on to Clifton Maybank and ran past Bradford Abbas and up to the top junction. Then it was right and back along Bradford road past the big houses into Sherborne. The time (running non-stop) was 1:32, but I have not yet measured the distance. I imagine it is around 10 or 11 miles. Ankle is a lot better and my training is back on track.

Tonight's pub run was very atmospheric at times. Gusty, with water and mud on the roads, and a crescent moon dulled by thin clouds. We took the lane along Clifton Maybank to the bridge which was flooded earlier in the day. A left turn took us into Bradford Abbas, and we took the first right. At the top we went left and headed towards Babylon Hill but took the third on the left instead. We went anti-clockwise past Manor farm, under the railway, past the chuch and pub. The return journey was back the same way. Fields on the right were flooded. The moonlight giving this the appearance of a lake. The last leg was downhill towards the lights of Stoford. A nice run of 6 miles. Thanks Adam.

From Lesley:

We're only a month away from the Rotary Great Western 10k, which is taking place at Leweston School on Sunday 12th March so time to get those entry forms in. You can find details and entry forms at
. It's a friendly race and the proceeds go to charity, so please come along and support. Hope to see lots of you there.

Club Events

1. Tuesday Club Night is at  YTFC  6:15 pm 7th Feb.

2. Thursday Pub run is at Mitre Inn Sandford Orcas at 6:30pm 9nd Feb

3.  Track night on Friday at 6:15pm  

4.  The Sunday Run will be Goldenstone 12th Feb 9:00 am

5. The next Championship race is  Sun 12th5 mll The Hurtle 11.10 am and  10 ml  Lytchett Manor  Full 10.30 am 

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Black Knights Do It Again

From Linda:

Thank you everyone that ran my 14ish mile route today. Ok I'll accept the abuse about Stone Lane!! ðŸ˜¬ðŸ˜¬. Marathon training can be such a struggle and it's great that as a group we can encourage, support or be entertaining whilst we run through the miles. It's always a struggle on your own so why don't you join us next week? It will be 16 miles but I will try to do a shorter cut off points, as well. Route to be confirmed later in the week. From Goldenstones at 08.45hrs next Sunday. Hopefully we can have a faster group and a slower group but it will be continuous. See you there.

Dark Knights back in Devon

From Matt:

With THIRTEEN Dark Knights out to play, it looked ominous from the start that things might go awry. A small matter of getting everyone to share lifts (very much like trying to herd cats once again) was organised days in advance. We roll with the punches, so things changed on the day, but we set off in high spirits.
With a certain someone going wrong on the course last year, we were determined that everyone was to get it right this time – “Don’t go wrong” was the phrase of the day!
Closed roads were to be avoided, but the SatNav proved perfect and only slight detours made the trip down interesting. Totnes was achieved and we parked just metres from the door of race HQ. Coffee and cake in a local café and Matt realised he was missing vital clothing for the trip home, so a quick tour of menswear shops was organised…but no-one got lost in town.
With the race looming, various loos and loo-paper was hunted down although Steph had volunteered to “shake”, and then came the obligatory race briefing where clear and non-confusing routes were clearly explained with lots of winks and nods in Matt’s direction, and the speech was finished with a rousing “Don’t go wrong!”
Popping outside we were met by a spitter spatter of rain, but this proved to be a little annoyance as we walked through the town to the start…but no-one got lost here either.
Three, two one, GO! And we set off up the murderous path out of Totnes. It’s a real steep scramble with lung busting gradients that wind and climb tortuously, and we’d already been warned that there was up to five hills like this depending on which distance you were planning to do…6.5K, 10K or the half marathon.
Finally the hill eased as we reached the peak and the path joined a road dropping gradually from the top. A marshall stood guard for the 6.5K cut-off point which, first Pippa Howarth, and then Katie Brooks, took for the dash back to Totnes through Sharpham Estate. Pippa took a great first place, with Katie fourth in her age-group. No-one had gone wrong…yet.
Charging on, the road wound steeper and steeper down until, turning right onto a rocky path down to the hamlet of Bow. Before the junction were two bright yellow signs with arrows directing runners to either the 10K or half-marathon, while in the junction were another two bright yellow signs with arrows directing runners to either the 10K or half-marathon. Rob Jones and Richard Howes decided this would be an ideal place to go wrong!
Kirsty Norman had already sprinted across Bow bridge and charged through Ashsprington to head for home. Kirsty was third in her age-group, with Steph fourth in hers. Rich H and Rob J hung their heads as they crossed, gentlemanly, just behind Steph, while Richard Dodge finished 5th age-group, and Anita Rufus 8th in hers.

Meanwhile, actually leading the race (!), Richard Bateson had turned right at Bow and, after running along the river for a while, met the slopes of Postbox Hill. Notorious for it’s incessant gradient, it is a hill to be endured, only to be outdone in it’s unpleasantness, by the knee deep ford which soaks and freezes your feet! Mud and gravel oozing out of their trainers, first, Nathan Gardiner was in hot pursuit followed by Tim Howes. Matt was struggling with the slippy terrain and getting tired with trying to maintain balance, but was determined that John-Paul Humphreys would not catch him.
More hills, more mud and then a wood with little route marking. Just one extra sign would have been comforting, but a good sense of direction kept everyone sweet. The final slog back to Totnes was daunting and saw calamity hit Richard…going the wrong side of a stile meant first place was lost never to be re-gained, but second overall on his Wild Night Run debut was an excellent result! I am sure we will see him back to redeem that error.
Team second place was achieved through Richard, and great runs from Nathan (13th overall, 5th age-group), and Tim Howes (26th and 7th). An exhausted Matt crawled home 34th, but still 3rd in his age-group so could still be hanging in there for a race series triumph, while J-P, also exhausted, was similarly pleased to see the lights of Totnes and managed 39th (12th age-group).

Upon repairing to the pub, Kirsty was serenaded with Happy Birthday and presented cake to everyone, and then the long trip home was started. Matt was particularly comfy but felt a little chilli in his nether regions! Rob and Rich were left rueing their directional inadequacies, although this is nothing compared to “runner’s willy” apparently!
Next race is a ten mile/five mile option across Dartmoor – the most crazily exciting thing you may ever do! But if you want to experience all the thrills a little closer, the last race of the series is in Bristol…links follow.

The full results can be seen here and the next Races here.

St Margaret's Hospice

Another reason to be proud of Yeovil Town RRC as they present a cheque for £3445 to St Margarets Hospice the proceeds of last December's Santa Dash. A really well done who all those who helped, ran or contributed in any way including Mike Shead's family who provided most of the marshals, and not forgetting our newest Race Director Lindsay.
Well Done all.

Marathon Mike

Manatee 5-mile River Run

My club over here, Bradenton Runners Club, organise several races each year in the area, the MRR being one, and although it’s only a short 5 mile dash we usually run or volunteer as it’s just a few minutes down the road. The race is in a wildlife refuge called Emerson Preserve which is located on a short peninsula on Snead Island bordered on one side by south Tampa Bay and the other by the mouth of the Manatee River. The preserve is frequented by many shorebirds including pelicans, ibis, herons, osprey, egrets and cranes. Snakes, raccoons, lizards, and tortoises are also abundant. The river gets its name from the Manatees which inhabit the shallow, marshy coastal areas and rivers of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico; they are commonly called sea cows and in my view look quite sad.

A Manatee 

Snead Island
The course consists of a couple of miles on a narrow trail of crushed clam shells which meanders through giant ferns, palms and banyan trees, and occasionally crosses the park road. There follows an out-and-back along an asphalt road to Emerson Point. The race had a late start this year, 8:00a.m., so we were lucky to be in the middle of a 2-day cold snap with 12 degree temps; but it did warm up later in time for the after race party. After the national anthem, sung solo and unaccompanied by a local, we were off. There was a bit of jostling during the first couple of miles as 400 runners vied for position on the twisty shell trail.

But it soon thinned out and before long we were out of tree cover and onto the asphalt, bordered on both sides by mangroves, ancient Live Oaks and tropical hardwood hammocks. About half way along this stretch we started to pass the faster runners coming back, this could have been a bit dis-heartening, there certainly seemed a lot of them before the turn-around was reached. Markers were placed at each mile and there were also a few interesting road signs to observe:

The turn-around was at the beach at Emerson Point which offered panoramic views across the bay, west to Egmont Key, and north to St. Petersburg. The last mile and half was back along the asphalt road to the finish and it was pleasing to see just how many runners were still on their way out. The last road crossing was strategically placed by another interesting road sign, especially for the over 60’s.

Not so keen on these short dashes as there’s no opportunity to slack off a bit, but did manage to hang in there, finish in the top half and win my age group. Then there was the after race party…………..pasta, barbequed pulled pork sandwiches, salad and CAKES, but no tea (or beer this time!).

Marks Runs


Another cold clear crisp night for pub running. Simon's run took us south over a cross roads towards Chillington. At the top of the hill we turned right and ran past this village. The lane took us to the edge of Dowlish Wake. We then ran past Ludney and down a muddy lane or track into Allowenshay. The stars were again very clear. The hedges were neatly trimmed. A steep hill took us up to Furzy Knaps. The last bit was clockwise back to the pub. Unfortunately for me, a few hundred yards from the pub, I tripped on a pot-hole, fell, and sprained my ankle. Never-the-less it was a great pub run. Thanks Simon and all.

Can you see the swelling?

Club Events

1. Tuesday Club Night is at  Goldenstones 6:15 pm 31th Jan.

2. Committee Meeting this Wednesday 1st Feb

3. Thursday Pub run is at 
Royal Oak Stowford at 6:30pm 2nd Feb

4.  Track night on Friday at 6:15pm  

5.  The Sunday Run will be Montacute 5th Feb 9:00 am

6. The next Championship race is  Sun 5th Feb 10k Longleat 10.00 am