Sunday, 4 December 2016

Nearly Christmas

Full Monty

Today saw the Full Monty at Ham Hill and a few YTRRC runners were there.

Dark Nights

A chill wind blew as 10 brave Yeovil runners mounted their motor carriages and set off for the deepest darkest depths of Dartmoor (actually we briefly came out the other side of Dartmoor but if you closed your eyes for that spell before you drove back in again it’s like it’s so much bigger).
The trek down was arduous, not many could of made that journey but fortunately all 10 survived. I can’t say how many aid stations the front runners needed as we were a bit late.
The stark, desolate bleakness of Dartmoor set the tone as the sheer scale of the task facing them dawned on these brave intrepid runners. Was that sirens that could be heard in the distance from the grim walls of Dartmoor prison as we drove through Princetown? We hoped not.
The breaks of the motor carriages strained as they made the steep descent down to the Burrator reservoir. I wondered what mysteries from beyond the dawn of time were concealed in those dark waters before being reminded to #watchthefingroad.*
The race HQ was a ruined barn built from the grey granite of Dartmoor (totally not the nice visitor centre with nice toilets as advertised). There was no shelter from the fierce chill wind that cut to the bone as your brave runners changed and prepared themselves for the task at hand. Interesting note much easier to find a quiet patch in the woods for a discrete … at a night race….. not that I or anyone else in the club did this.....
Numbers pinned to well various places. Layers of technical fabric added. Hats, gloves, emergency blankets, emergency whistles, waterproof trousers. Spare hats, and gloves, tops and emergency nutrition. Obligatory photograph in front of the stone arch the race was to finish at. The ten milers were ready – oh, yes we needed head torches to! That’s important at night….

And the ten-mile race was off. It was a narrow track through the woods around the reservoir as runners jostled for position through the trees, past the bemused hikers wondering wtf was coming towards them. I’m sure they fought it was wood spirits from the hundreds of lights approaching them until those first runners went past. Some runners fell, I saw not what happened to them. They might have tumbled into the icey waters below. (don’t worry they said something along the lines of yeah I’m alright mate). Out of the forest, up, and up they climbed, there was no relenting as the path twisted and turned up treacherous paths that few had ever braved before. After two miles of climbing we past the frozen remains of a brave marshal from the year before. But still we went higher, on for another mile or was it two. It seemed like an eternity of stumbling through stones and bogs. Where was the peak? I knew not, I could see not, maybe the darkness concealing the heights we had to scale made it more manageable. Just one more step upwards, then another and another. Just keep going, chase those dancing lights through the night.
Then, suddenly, came the downhill. For those that dared test themselves it was exhilarating, place after place could be gained by flinging yourself down those slopes. The lights of your Yeovil runners hurtled down from the peak of Eylesbarrow, after the downhill of the Moor we had to work again. This time up ancient tarmac farm track before then descending into the woods where many a brave runner made slight navigational errors that totally would not of mattered if they’d of just kept going straight another 20 metres. Their hearts sank as they spotted the reservoir and realised they had to descend yet further. All the way down until they met the waters of the icey river below. They waded in not realising how deep they would go. It was a struggle to keep their heads above the water, gasping for breath as they pushed onwards and eventually throuygh ^

Chilled to bone, their energy sapped and shivering they began the final ascent back to the ruined barn used as the race HQ. First a maze where many a runner missed an arrow or two. Then field then, then lane then wood again until the sweet relief of spotting the reservoir again. The marshals urged us onwards warning of those despicable foes behind snapping at our heels! The final half mile felt like an eternity before the cheers of the admiring crowds welcomed us through that hallowed stone arch! The names of Jean Paul Humphries, Richard Howes, Rob Jones, moustachioed wonder Matt Driver and Nathan Gardiner who survived this epic test of courage and endurance should long be celebrated.

I didn’t witness the 10k, I heard it was tough with South West Running Mercenaries heading the field and the start began with those words you do not want to hear when stripped off for a 10k as icey winds blow across the dark water of the reservoir cutting you to the bone. “We’ll just wait 9 minutes till we begin”. It was a fast course but I’m told the hill you had to run over twice took it’s toll and the tarmac road was perilous with sheer drops too icey oblivion on either side. Anita Rufus, Elizabeth Diamond and Richard “all the races” Dodge did your club proud. I’m told they were led home by Steph Breary and Pippa Howarth who finished together and were the clubs top placed runners being joint 7th female overall.

The racers all sought their sheep skins blankets and flasks of mead while waiting for all the runners to finish.
After the race we trekked to a local tavern one of our number had had the foresight to send a raven to the previous week. Fortunately, the raven had found its mark and the kitchen was waiting for us. Much mead was quaffed and hearty fair consumed as stories of our adventures reverberated around the taverns walls before your brave runners began the long march home. Pledging to renew their battle with the Moor, the spirits of Eylesbarrow and the watcher in the depths of Burrator reservoir again next year. We were also challenged to spend a night in the taverns haunted lodgings next time we passed that way. Are we brave enough?

This was a weekend that should long be celebrated in song and tapestry.

The triumphant expedition to Dartmoor was followed by 11 or 12 brave souls (one’s confusing) taking on the challenge of the Monty. And even more spectacularly one of your runners conquered all before him and proudly wore the green and white to victory. Well done that man Richard Bateson, that’s an amazing achievement. No less an achievement, the club was done proud by:
SHEEN, Darrell
GREEN, Leyton
LEGG, James
KEMP, Brian
FROST, Hannah
DODGE, Richard
BROWN, Graeme

In all seriousness, it’s a great adventure and trip. The ten miler is technical if you want to push yourself and a fun challenge if you just want to beat it. The 10k is around country lanes and a great intro to night running. I really feel a part of a team and a group when I do these races and I would encourage anyone to come along and say you’re coming as part of the fun is the journey down with friends. The races are really friendly, it’s just awesome. There's plenty more of them to come.
*It’s a reservoir, it’s quite recent, some bits may be embellished for dramatic effect.
^The water was to short height and I used the stepping stones to the side, don’t know what the nutters in front of me were thinking!

PS this seemed a good idea at the time, sorry...


Greetings from Payne's Bay, Barbados where we have just completed a 1 mile fun run, 5km race & finally a half marathon during the past 36 hours.

Having survived the one mile stampede on Friday evening with all limbs intact the highlight of the weekend was the 5km on Saturday where Nikki was 1st lady in a field of over 1000 entries. Disappointment that there was no cash prize on offer (unlike the 10km) but still a press interview and photo in the Sunday Sun (Barbados national paper) as a memory. Even I managed 2nd place in my age category!

Half marathon at 5 a.m. this morning was tough and it soon became very warm despite running first 10km in the dark. Nikki managed 1hr 49 mins with me 8 mins+ behind but both so relieved that we had only opted for the half as it was 35 degrees by 10 a.m.

I can thoroughly recommend Barbados to anyone, fantastic hospitality with everyone so friendly and with the cost of eating out there is no danger of putting on the pounds!

Running over, now for the holiday.

Cheers Simon & Nikki

Lanzarote Marathon

There will be no Blog next week due to Peter, Tim Hawkins and I running the marathon out there. Normally Pete, Paul and I have gone to Malaga which was supposed to be today but was cancelled due to the floods and rain. 

How lucky are we in the UK to have -1 and lovely winter mornings to run.

Mile 24 in Malaga

Santa Dash

This years Santa Dash is next Sunday and there is more information and entry form here.

Marks Pub Run


Exactly 4 miles from my house is the Mitre Inn at Sandford Orcas. It was a bit of a cyberman run tonight. Cold, damp, poor visability, and slippery. We set off upwards and left along Penmore road finding it very slippery in places, but reached the Marston road. A decision was made to continue across and run down towards Trent. The conditions were not good, so we turned and headed back. Church bells were ringing in the distance, and an owl was out hooting. In all, we did four miles which felt good afterwards. It was sensible not to push our luck too much, and it was certainly a memorable pub run. Thanks Phil.

I was silly to forget my gloves this morning, and even sillier not to take my camera. We ran in the cold crisp air and brilliant blue sky sunshine out to Stoke, and Norton. We went right and ran to Turnpike Cross and over along the lane past Creedy Bridge. We took the right turn past Drayton up to the turning for the Fosse way. This is where the Romans walked a few years ago. It was then Yeabridge, Lower Stratton, and Wigborough. Further along it was like being in France with no hedges on both sides of the lane. This is where my camera was needed most. We did 11 miles in all, including the return journey through Little Norton, Tinkers Bubble, Ham Hill, and the road or path (optional) at Hollow Lane. My hands are still numb now, but I did get some vitamin D.

Hill Reps

From Nathan:

Hills are on Monday this week. 6:30pm meeting at the car park near the Great Mead/Lyde Road end of the river walk. Bring shoes that you don't mind getting muddy in as being doing a mix hill work & running around the river which is probably muddy and is also great for strength training.

Park Runs

One very wet park run this morning. But doing the green & whites proud - 3rd female finisher 😊😊 — at Penrose Parkrun.  Lesley completed the Southamton Parkrun as well.

Run Leaders

The course at Westfield Academy on the 8th Dec would be ideal for our members, it's only 2 hours, free and an opportunity to understand what being a run leader involves. Plus those 
members who are already run leaders can pick up some extra tips to support what they do. 18:30 to 20:30

Also of interest:

To All,

I hope this email finds you well.

I wanted to make you aware of RunTogether which is the new platform England Athletics have put together to support group running and has taken over from Run England. RunTogether has been developed to make leading running sessions easier for our qualified leaders/coaches. Through the new website you can promote your runs and provide information about them, set up routes and use dedicated marketing materials. RunTogether also has an App and this can be used for registering participants in/out of sessions, storing emergency contact details and removing the need for carrying physical paper copies of information to your sessions.

For further information about RunTogether please visit the RunTogether website -

In partnership with Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) England Athletics are holding two RunTogether roadshows on Thursday 1st December and Thursday 8th December from 6:30pm – 8:30pm in Somerset. These roadshows are FREE to attend and all qualified leaders/coaches who attend will receive a FREE RunTogether reflective running vest.  The purpose of the workshops are to inform qualified coaches/leaders about RunTogether and give you the information required to set your clubs/groups up on RunTogether. 

To book your place on the workshops please visit the following links:
·        Thursday 1st December - Bridgwater RunTogether Roadshow, Bridgwater YMCA: YMCA Bridgwater (The George Williams Centre), Friarn Avenue, Bridgwater, Somerset.
·        Thursday 8th December - Yeovil RunTogether Roadshow, Westfield Academy, Stiby Road, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 3EP  

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.


Rich Ayling
England Athletics
Club & Coach Support Officer
Wiltshire, Somerset, Avon & Gloucestershire

Awards Night Review

From Anita:

Yeovil Town RRC awards night 2016 

If you attended then please could we have some feedback on the evening. 
What did you think about the venue, the food, timings and any other aspect of the night?
Either comment on here or email the chairman (Email address on the website) as it will be discussed at the December committee meeting. 

Club Events

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

2. Committee Meeting 7th Dec at St John's 6:30pm  

3.  Thursday Pub run is at TBC  at 6:30pm

4.  Track night on Friday at 6:15pm

5. The Sunday Long Run will be at Goldenstones 9:00 am 

5. The first Championship race is Sun 11th 4k Santa Dash 11.00 am

Sunday, 27 November 2016

YTRRC Awards Night 2016

The 2016 Awards Night

Where to start, first of all the thanks to Anita for all her hard work in booking, organising and the hardest thing collecting all the money (there are always a few knobbers that leave it to the last minute). 
The venue was amazing and the staff there did us proud with the decorations and even the odd BBQ on the tables. 

As you walked through the door the Table Plan showed you your table and then there was this Bar thing at the back where you found Red stuff (half a bottle was in my porch this morning). After a few warmers into the butts we sat down for the Meal,  Awards and Speeches followed by some dodgy dancing.

The Chairman gave his speech on the Year's main events and the progress the Club has made this year and the plans for next.

The nominations for the Awards and Phil's speech:

Best Newcomer Nominations were Denise Byrd, Natalie Robbins, and Trevor Stow with Denise Taking the honours

Most Improved Male nominations, Paul Wilson-White, Luke Hicks and Bryn Phillips where Luke Hicks got the award

Most Improved Female Francis Swatridge, Jo Henley & Nicky Guiver were all nominated with Jo Henley getting her hands on the trophy

Female Veteran Award won by Mel Denham with Linda Membury and Louise Ward just missing out

Male Veteran Runner was contested by Paul Card, Fez Parker & Paul Walford with the award going to Fez Parker

Performance of the year contenders, Guy Williams, Lynne Thumpston and Linda Membury were all happy to see Guy Williams lift the trophy for the second year in succession

The Club Person of the Year was won by Brian Mountjoy-Row who snatched it from Adam Hawkins and Anita Rufus

Unsung Club Heroes were Simon Rowbottom, Nathan Gardiner & Catherine Hansford where Nathan Gardiner was the winner

Our Fun Award “The Cake Plate” was collected by Linda Membury cooking her way ahead of Mel Dodge, Denise Byrd & Catherine Hansford

Points Queen Sally Walford

Points King Richard Dodge

Female Champion Mel Denham

Male Champion Paul Card

Chairman’s Female Award Anita Rufus

Chairman’s Male Award Sean Gaffney 
The reasons for the nominations can be found here.

It was a great night, great food and even better company, I think is showed YTRRC at its best with a year of great running, PB's and some great achievements. Once again Pete and Phil did a lot of work in the background and performed well on the night.

Once again on behalf of all the Club we would like to thank Anita so a well deserved prize from the Chairman

LIRF Courses

From Pete:

There is an opportunity to attend a one day course in LEADERSHIP IN RUNNING FITNESS, this will take place at Strode College in Street on 10th December 2016, 0900 – 1700.  The cost is £140.00 which will be reimbursed by the club on successful completion.  If there are club members who might be interested in attending can they contact me in the first instance.

Downton Half

From Kevin Doherty:

Headed down to Downton Half today ( near Salisbury ).
weather was pretty good, dry and not to cold, in it’s 14th year I believe, well organised quite roads/lanes advertised as undulating a few hills but not too demanding .  well ..  I thought it was more than a few and they were all demanding...anyway should be pleased 5th half marathon PB on the bounce this year ( 1:42:57 ). new club member Gema was there and had a great run sneaking under 2 hours in 1:59:56 which was fantastic and she credit’s the Friday night speed sessions as a great help   ( She needs to get her husband to join he did a not to shabby 1:36:58  unattached ).

Lynne Does 3 or Will it be Four

Today saw Lynne complete her first triple Marathon down in Kent hence why Lynne was not at the awards night. An outstanding effort so far and only one more to go tomorrow. Lynne should come back with a nice Suntan due to the heat wave in Kent. 

 From Lynne:

Day 3...... I mainly felt like the poor fella on the right ( no pulse) today but hey head down (through more strong wind) get it done. Thanks to Traviss and Rachel, and all those lovely people on the aid stations standing about getting wet and cold. And all the other runners who are always so encouraging.

From Paul Allen:

Lynne won't say anything because she is too modest but, if you will forgive me, I will on her behalf......3 marathons in 3 days in tough, windy and cold more to crack tomorrow.......all for charity so dig deep please......this is very hard going day after day.

Brent Knoll

From Katie:
Playing with the big boys 
YTRRC at The Brent Knoll race & last somerset series.
A race not one for the faint hearted, mud phobic or someone who gets vertigo.
Richard first ytrrc man and ME first lady (don't say that often ;-) ) hehehe. Felt i ran well considering im still a tad injured. No results as yet.

Bicton Blister 10 miler

From Lesley:

Four YTRRC runners participated in their first race for the new racing year and secured a 10 miler for next year's hat. Louise Ward, Richard Dodge, Leyton Green and myself. It was a challenging race with lots of hills. A varied terrain, starting and finishing on road rising to quite a height off road running over a common, through woods, through a little stream if you were like me and followed like a sheep rather than running over the bridge at the side! Well done to Louise who ran a PB for that course. I managed to get 1st FV65, so a good start to the new racing year. Definitely a race to repeat with the bonus of getting a 10 miler out of the way early! Let's see if we can get some teams up for it next year. The full results can be found here

.From Louise:

Enjoyed the varied terrain at the Bicton Blister this morning. 6 minutes faster than last year so happy with that 😊 and good to already have a 10 miler in for next year's hat. Only 4 of us, would be good if more next year, lots of prizes on offer. 1st 3 in every 5 years age categories plus team and vet team first 3. Well done to Lesley Nesbitt on 1st in her age category 

Club Events

1. Tuesday Club Night is at YTFC 6:15 pm 29th Nov

2.  Thursday Pub run is at Sandford Orcas at 6:30pm

3.  Track night on Friday at 6:15pm

4. The Sunday Long Run will be at Montacute 9:00 am 

5. The first Championship race is Sun 11th 4k Santa Dash 11.00 am

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Haselbury Mill Here we come..

Club Championship 2016-17

We are only a week away from starting a new Racing Year so see attached updated Championship Rules with a list of races for 2017. Lots of the races' dates are TBC as not all the running clubs have published their 2017 dates. I have left the Somerset Series races as they were last year as I'm sure a lot of them will be the same but keep an eye on the Somerset Series website for their 2017 list on It would be good to see more YTRRC runners taking part in this. There were only 2 or 3 who qualified with enough races this year. Of course as soon as the Awards evening is over you can start earning your hat for 2017 too.

Well done to all of you who have taken part in races this year

Castle Combe 10k 

Castle Combe 10km this morning, a nice fast course of 3 laps around the race circuit. The weather held off whilst I ran and I think I got a PB with a time of 58:24 so very happy with that and the nice finisher's medal.

Wimborne 10m

The full results can be seen here.
From Linsey:
So several us took the chance, after the awful weather last night, and trundled down to Wimborne to run 10 miles. For some this was because there is a certain awards night coming up and we had one more race to do to be able to achieve our special hats!! Yeovil runners were myself, jo Henley, Sarah House, Stacey Black, Denise Byrd, Mel Dodge, Katie, malcolm maxted, Terry byrne and nick Brooke.

Most of us beat our PBS, some by a little and some by a surprising amount. Luke was 1st Yeovil Somerset man in with a super (unofficial) time of 1.16.40 and Jo Henley was 1st Yeovil lady in with around (unofficial) time of 1.20.12. Super times.

I think we all liked the course and glad the rain stayed away. Super running everyone :-)

From Catherine:
Didn't get any photos at the Wimborne 10 but some of the others may have. Luke PB'd AGAIN with 1:16-ish first Yeovil male and Jo did 1:20 and first Yeovil Lady. Also Terry, Malcolm, Lindsay, Mel Dodge, Denise Byrd, Sarah House (I think) and me. I think that there may have been a few more I didn't see. Results not yet published. Kev from WSR took some pics.

Cornish Marathon

Today saw the Cornish Marathon, a hilly one with a cold start but lucky for us the wind and downpour went through the night just leaving a flood on the road to run through at mile 6 and again at mile 22. There was Paul Allen, Paul Meadows and I running this and for £24 you get a medal, Cornish Pasty and a Hoodie. A great marathon and well worth the travel down to Sunny Cornwall. 

Awards Night

Yeovil Town RRC Annual Awards Night 
Friday 25th November 2016   7pm - 1am
Haselbury Mill, Haselbury Plucknett

If you have given any money or your menu choice to some-one in the last few weeks (while I was away) please let me know asap.
I intend to give the final numbers and menu choice to the HM on Weds. 
If I do not have your money ... NO place. 
If I have your money but no menu choice ... I will put you down for a default menu of - Soup, Roast Turkey & Xmas Pud.

Please remember to arrange your own transport to & from the venue.

Marks Pub Run


We were in Dorset tonight. For the past few weeks we have been in Somerset. The two counties are very similar. They both have a lot of tractors. The Dorset tractors tend to be smaller though and covered in rust and mud.

I enjoyed the run. We kept the pace up tonight and there was a good turnout. We did lanes round the outside of the town, and a little bit of off-road as well but only because I went the wrong way. I meant to go down another lane. We also did a few of the older streets, and some newer ones on the western side of the town. Sherborne is a nice place to run round that is for sure. Thanks to Louise for organising the pub.

From Matt:

Mark Larcombe led the pub run around Sherborne tonight. From The Teddy Rowe (Skippers). A light shower didn't dampen spirits as we went down Horsecastles, round Castle Road and then found a muddy path to end up at the top by the Griffin School. Down to Oxley for a split back to the pub or a lap of the Lenthay area. Clear starry skies saw the end of the run and the rain had been forgotten... A nice run 

Club Events

1. Tuesday Club Night is at Goldenstones 6:15 pm 22nd Nov

2.  Thursday Pub run cancelled due to the Awards Night

3.  Awards Night 

4. The Sunday Long Run will be at Goldenstones 9:00 am