All posts by Sarah Holmes

Isle of Wight Cross Country Championship

Just 13 Roadrunners lined up on the start line of Sundays open Cross Country Competition at Smallbrook Stadium. 

The runners were blessed with some pretty perfect running conditions and were once again spared the additional “fun” aspect of too much mud around the course. For the first time, in the open competition both the men and ladies ran the same course and distance totalling just over 10km breaking the previous tradition of women running 5 miles and the men 7. 

Over the fields and down the footpaths toward Nunwell they went, hopping over a few stiles along the way.

Ross Wilkes stormed his way around the course, annihilating the hills to a podium finish as he took third overall. Michael Douglas was hot on his heels to take 4th. Sean Williams continued his upward trajectory to take 5th overall and 1st in his V40 category and sealing the deal for the top spot in the team competition. Simon Riley, (2nd V40), Harry Rann and Nick Kenney also ran a blinder giving them the bronze position in the team table.

For the ladies it was Julie Rasmussen that made it home first with Sally Trotman not too far behind her bringing the team home with her usual smiley manner.

Ross Wilkes – 42.51

Michael Douglas – 42.55

Sean Williams – 43.57

Simon Riley – 44.23

Harry Rann – 47.16

Nick Kenney – 48.56

Matt Fletcher – 51.47

Garry Sharp – 52.36

Kevin Rann – 55.31

Mike Kimber – 57.46

Richard Whittington – 59.14

Julie Rasmussen – 1.05.56

Sally Trotman – 1.12.04

Bramley 10/20

Popular as always, this brilliantly organised race is a picturesque course of 1 or  2 loops through the picturesque country lanes and forest tracks of the beautiful village of Bramley, near Reading. With a choice of 10 or 20 miles this relatively flat and fast course is great for testing race pace or getting in a good measure of your endurance levels in preparation for the fast approaching Spring marathon season, especially over the longer distance.

A car full of Roadrunners made the trip to the top of the county. Trish Train, still buzzing from her England Masters selection, was there to tackle the 10 miler accompanied James Shoulder, Micheal Coultrup and the double trouble duo of Julie and Peter Dixon all doing the 20. 

The conditions were dry but chilly as they set out from the local primary school. A clear blue sky prevailed over the chocolate box cottages and leafy tracks they would pass along the way. 

Trish smashed her single lap by completing it in just over 70 minutes bagging herself the pole position in her age category and a tidy 10th female overall. 

“I was surprised to come 10th!” She tells me “It felt like I was getting overtaken a lot in the last mile so I’m really chuffed with my position” 

In the 20 miler, Julie and Michael were home first having run the whole thing together. Mick, surprisingly fresh after his marathon only 48 hours before, decided to support Julie on her longest run for months 

“I was not looking forward to that at all. I have been really doubting myself and my current ability” she said “ The last mile was tough but I managed the rest in good spirits thanks to Michael. I certainly wasn’t expecting to get the time that I did! I’m so pleased!”

“She worked so hard” said Mick “she smashed that” 

Speaking of smashing it, husband Peter continued his recent good form by securing himself yet another PB this year by taking nearly 3 minutes off last years time. 

James completed team IWRRs bidding with a brilliant time and his usual 100% effort. 

“I enjoyed the first half…. not so much the second half!”

Well done team

Trish Train – 1.10.18

Michael Coultrup – 2.53.22

Julie Dixon – 2.53.23

Peter Dixon – 3.00.06

James Shoulder – 3.15.07

Worthing Half Marathon

The father and son competition continued last weekend as Steve Hunt took on the half marathon on offer at the Worthing Running Festival with his son George. Currently with the scores standing at 3-0 to George, Steve was relying on his experience over the longer distance as it was George’s debut over the half marathon, get himself a point back.

One of the fastest courses in the South, this is a flat and scenic closed road Circuit.

As they lined up on the startline on Marine Drive it was as per the forecast …. soggy and cold. But as they made their way along the rain soon stopped, but leaving a nasty headwind as they wear for much of the first half of the race.

“We decided to run together” said Steve “There had been the usual friendly rivalry in the lead upto the race. I knew I had the experience as George had only ever run 8 miles before, but he’s obviously younger and fitter than me. We kept it steady for the first 6 miles or so”

Despite the headwind the pair felt good and decided to pick up the pace a bit as they headed out to the most Westerly point looping the barren lands before heading back East with the wind on their backs. 

“The last 3 miles were great fun! Instead of the usual struggle at the end we got blown along” 

After making their last mile their fastest they swung a final turn onto the Esplanade for the final 800m. 

“George made a break for it, but the old man found something from somewhere and I didn’t let him get away, we crossed the line together” 

Well done chaps, sounds like an enjoyable run. After this draw, the scores remain on George-3 : Steve-0

Steve and George Hunt – 2.15.54

Martello Marathon

Friday morning… 8.30am and 4 Roadrunners are on the startline of the Martello Marathon. 

Yes you did read that right! Friday!! As a part of their Saxon Shore series, the Martello is the fourth event in 5 days in the area. 

Glen Jones made the journey up to Folkestone in Kent to take part in his second installment of his 12 marathons in 12 months challenge, accompanied at the last minute by Michael Coultrup and Sarah Holmes, who decided to tag along to surprise Steve Hickman, (who lives in the area), on the startline.

After an amusing night in a local hostelry, the 3 made their way along the seafront to the startline at Leas funicular underneath a beautifully clear azure sky. Of course, as Glen was running a marathon, the temperatures had shot up to an unseasonably warm 15c without a breath of wind.

“I knew the hot weather curse would return! It was only snowing 2 weeks ago!”  said Glen

So off they went… 3 8.74 mile laps faced them in this small and friendly race. Each lap and out and back along the seafront to Hythe and the 19th century defence forts known as the Martello Towers, before making the turn back to base. 

Michael has a cracking run, finishing in 5th overall in a little over 3 and a half hours 

“I really enjoyed that” he beams at the finish line “I felt comfortable all the way”

Glen was next to complete the 3 laps with an even bigger smile on his face and deservedly so. He’s only gone and run another sub 4 hour time!

“I’m so chuffed” said the very happy chairman “I felt great all the way.  I found someone to run with from 2 miles onwards which was nice”

Holmsie was next to finish with marathon legend Steve Hickman close behind her.

“I actually enjoyed that!” she said “The weather made it! I was dreading a freezing cold windfest, but it was a glorious Springlike day with lots of people out walking their dogs and enjoying the sunshine”

Michael Coultrup – 3.34.47

Glen Jones – 3.58.56

Sarah Holmes – 4.23.03

Steve Hickman – 4.24.35

Chichester 10k

Trish Train was on the unearthly early 6 am ferry amid sub zero temperatures as she made her way over to the 28th  running of the Chichester 10k. 

Run on 6 miles of undulating country roads with a spectacular finish around the Goodwood Motor Circuit, this is a race with a high class field. The race also acts as the Sussex County 10k Championships and a qualifier for the Athletics National Masters Championships, so it’s easy to see why the V50 champion from last seasons Hampshire Road Race League opted for this startling instead of the league race being held locally in Ryde. 

Over the years it has grown in popularity, seeing the field swell 4 fold to now accommodate a huge 2000 runners. It also nets a huge £18k for the local Rotary Club which they then distribute to many worthy causes in the area. 

Starting at the entrance to the Motor Circuit, the course passes the Rolls Royce factory and takes the runners along the historic Roman Road. They continued through Strettington before making their way back to the motor circuit to complete their lap of the famous venue.

Trish ran brilliantly to finish in 42.12, taking 4th V50 in a national level field. Despite this, she sounded a bit disappointed when I spoke to her later in the day. 

“I have mixed feelings about the race. I thought I was doing the right thing by not getting too near to the front at the start. I didn’t want to get pulled along to quickly in the first couple of miles and end up dying on the lap of the Motor Circuit. But it turned out I was way too far back and got held up in the 1st mile badly. It may have cost me a place at the Masters Championships, but I’ll have to wait and see. It’s a lesson learnt”

Not sure about you, but I think she smashed it! Well done Trish!

Portsmouth Coastal Half

Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon is always “blessed” with challenging conditions, but this week’s snow storms adding a whole new level to the challenge. Despite the snow having melted away, the conditions were beyond freezing as the daring duo of Lyn Snow and Gillian Shaw fearlessly crossed the Solent to brave the polar vortex in Pompey.

The ladies lined up amidst the freezing air at the start at the Pyramid Centre. The multi terrain course is exposed almost all the way around so there would be no respite from the challenging conditions. However, it was clear and sunny so for the first 4 miles of the course our girls were treated to fantastic views across the Solent as they ran along Southsea Seafront and South Parade Pier.

The off road section then took our ladies along Milton Foreshore and up to Portsmouth Watersports Centre, looping down to Milton Common and back along the infamous “Muddy Beach section” 

They then entered the home straight with a nice flat 3 miles back along the seafront to the finish. 

Lyn managed to secure a well earnt PB as she took a whopping 9 minutes off her previous time and a fantastic 18 minutes off her time at this very race last year, demonstrating that her hard work is paying off. Gillian came home just a few seconds later taking an amazing 4th in her age category and earning herself a shiny PB too.

L.Snow – 2.40.18

G.Shaw – 2.40.37

Ryde 10 #HRRL6

Ryde Harriers were the hosts for another sold out Hampshire League race on Sunday. The snowy showers from the previous few days had cleared to leave a chill in the air but a resplendent azure sky across the start area outside the Rowing Club on the seafront. As usual a fantastic turn out of 57 roadrunners was evident on the startline as a sea of white red and blue vests snaked through the crowd as the cream of the county runners joined them in the bitter temperatures. 

Despite the chilly start, conditions were good out on the course, with blue skies and copious sunshine making the more sheltered areas perfect in temperature.

Repeating last year’s route change, the 500 strong field did the usual loop of the boating lake before disappearing up Westhill Road and along past Appley Manor and down past the Wishing Well and along to Nettlestone. They then went down to the Duver at St Helens for a quick blast from the coastal “breeze” before embarking on the steepest, cheekiest climb of the race through Nodes Point Holiday Park.

They continued along to Seaview before a nasty trip up Puckpool Hill at Mile 9 the Runners could then gain pace with a welcome downhill section leading to a tiny route change to give them a sharp hairpin to take them to the finishline.

Paul Cameron showed his incredible return to form with a stonking 8th place overall, 3rd IW Male and 1st V45 having made it back to the finish in a smidgen over an hour. Sean Williams was the next Roadrunner to grace the finishing arch, continuing his amazing progress on the longer distances to take 6th V45. Stuart Backhouse was next home in his usual consistent style to take 8th V45 closely followed by Ross Wilkes completing the first men’s team giving them 5th team overall.

For the ladies it was the fantastic Hayley Baxter that delivered a stellar performance in a PB time to take 1st IW lady, 11th Female overall and 4th V40. 

“I’m really happy with that. I felt really strong all the way around. To come 11th in such a high class field is great and 1st IW lady was such a bonus”

Holly Newton was just seconds behind Hayley to take 2nd IW lady, 12th overall and 4th senior female. Jodie Wilmott completed the ladies team earning the 3 ladies a silver medal each in the team competition.

In they came, one by one, despite the difficulty of the course, all with huge grins on their faces having tackled the course with their business heads and lions hearts.

“I loved that” Lisa Upstell tells me “It turned out to be a lovely, sunny run”

Particular mentions go to Simon Randall for taking the 10th V45, Andy MacArthur for taking 6th V50, Steve Bennett 3rd V60. Zoe Sherwin took 9th V40, Lucy Deville for taking 7th V65 and our second claim member Brian Harris taking 5th V70. In the junior categories Abigail Keyte took the trophy for the girls, whilst Robbie McFarlane took 4th in the junior males.

And of course not forgetting all those that managed to run their socks off to a PB. Congratulations to David Blake, Hayley Baxter, Zoe Sherwin, Pete Dixon, Dave Wilcock and Ian Williams who all managed to shave some time off their previous 10 mile times. 

Well done team.

Paul Cameron – 1.00.13

Sean Williams – 1.04.21

Stuart Backhouse – 1.05.38

Ross Wilkes – 1.05.53

Steve Holloway – 1.06.24

Simon Randall – 1.07.14

Dean Pike- 1.07.18

Andrew MacArthur – 1.08.03

David Blake- 1.09.38

Steve Bennett – 1.12.16

Harry Rann – 1.13.51

Hayley Baxter – 1.14.07

Holly Newton- 1.14.24

Michael Coultrup- 1.15.18

Stewart Barbour 1.15.41

Garry Sharp – 1.15.47

Nick Kenney – 1.16.07

Kevin Rann – 1.17.42

Peter Wilmott – 1.18.11

Jodie Wilmott – 1.18.12

Richard Bezer- 1.18.57

Gordon Mucklow- 1.19.28

Zoe Sherwin – 1.19.41

Simon Paul – 1.20.16

Tim Keyte- 1.21.23

Lou Howell – 1.21.24

James Shoulder – 1.22.28

Peter Dixon – 1.23.15

Jenny Dewing- 1.24.30

Dave Wilcock – 1.24.30

Matt Fletcher – 1.26.03

Abigail Keyte – 1.26.26

Julie Dixon – 1.26.32

Charlotte Williams – 1.28.56

Lisa Upstell – 1.29.59

Steve Hickman – 1.30.02

Robbie McFarlane – 1.30.06

Gary McFarlane – 1.30.06

Jess Hill – 1.30.18

Nick Carter – 1.31.18

Julie Ray- 1.32.47

Kim Hulacka – 1.32.59

Karen Phillips- 1.33.22

Julie Rasmussen – 1.33.32

Sue Meredith – 1.35.19

Sarah Sharp – 1.35.25

Ian Williams- 1.35.32

Laura Holme – 1.38.34

Callie Wareham – 1.40.04

Gemma Fletcher – 1.40.05

Alexandra Pugh – 1.40.26

Fiona Attwood – 1.44.39

Bridget Keyte- 1.46.54

Caroline Curliss – 1.48.02

Matthew Wade – 1.50.31

Lucy Deville- 1.55.13

Brian Harris – 1.56.30

Excalibur 1

Having claimed he’d retired from running marathons last year, (and not for the first time I might add! In fact I’m pretty sure he retired twice last year and twice the year before! haha!) Anyway however how many times it is, our chairman Glen Jones has taken himself off the bench once more. Not for “Just one more marathon” as his blog is aptly aimed, but for one more marathon every month for a whole year. 

“I wanted to do something for charity and as I’ve run a few marathons now I didn’t feel that running just one was enough to ask people to part with sponsorship money. So I thought I’d up the anti, and really challenge myself” he tells me. “As many of you know, myself and my wife Ruth have been involved in fostering kids for many years, so I have chosen to raise money for the NSPCC. It seemed like the perfect fit for me”

So on Sunday he found himself on the startline of “just one more marathon” up in Sawbridgeworth in Essex. 

Organised by Phoenix Running, the Excalibur Series is a brand new sequence of races offering upto 12 “conquests” throughout 2019. The perfect start to Glens own 12 in 12 challenge. 

A slightly different format for this marathon. Similar to the Frolic format of loops  of a short course, this one is taylor made for a marathon specific distance with 8 laps of the 3.28 mile course perfectly works out at the golden 26.2 miles. However with 6 hours to complete it in, the runners can run more or less laps as they do choose collecting a different coloured wristband on each return to the race HQ before ringing the antique 1920s school bell to announce their retirement and collecting their medal.

Glen arrived in plenty of time the day before to do a little recce of the course, and it was a good job he did. 

“I originally thought it would be quite a fast run as it was up and down the flat towpaths. The venue had hosted a similar event the day before so much of the course was pretty churned up. Add to that a full night of rain and by race day it had gone from quite muddy to very muddy”

Unperturbed Glen set off from the Whoosh Canoe Club and out through the metal gates and onto the towpath with the River Stort on his right. Covered with  deep puddles, the freezing water added to the cold and blustery conditions.

“The other side of the loop was trail and was treacherous underfoot”

Glen slipped and struggled to maintain an upright position as he made his way around the course. He knew immediately that he would have to readjust his pace to allow for the conditions. 

“I decided to take it easy, as it was so energy sapping. So I took advantage of the excellent hospitality at the race HQ area and kept plodding out the laps chatting to people as I went”

He managed to reach his target distance in a tidy 4.55.23 and a fantastic 23rd place overall. 

“That was hard on the legs, but the organisation was great! I’ve signed up for Excalibur 3 on the back of this. I’m pretty sure that one won’t be muddy… it’s on a track” 

Brilliant start to an epic challenge from the chairman. 

Next stop …. Martello Marathon on February 15th with none other than the master of marathons Mr.Stephen Hickman.

You can keep up with Glens journey at

Ryde Harriers Cross Country Championship

The first in a series of three races, the Roadrunners were on the startline of this race despite only being able to run as guests and therefore not being eligible  to place in the Harriers in house cross country championship. They were blessed with blue skies chasing away the chilly temperatures as they lined up for the 11 o’clock off.

For the first time, both the men and ladies ran the same course and distance totalling just over 10km breaking the previous tradition of women running 5 miles and the men 7. 

Sean Williams was the first IWRR home. He was very narrowly pipped into 4th place, with only 4 seconds separating 2nd, 3rd and 4th places. He did take the 1st V40 spot though, with Simon Randall taking 2nd in the category and 10th overall. For the ladies, it was Hayley Baxter that was the first roadrunner home in a fantastic 2nd place, (25th overall), and 2nd place vet.

“It was hillier than I was expecting but I loved the new course!” She tells me “It was fun!”

Everyone made it back to the stadium to the cheers of the spectators, slightly less muddy than they may have expected….. but there’s plenty of time for rain before the next race of the series….. 

Sean Williams – 43.12 

Simon Randall – 45.42 

Nick Kenney – 46.59

Harry Rann – 48.17

Hayley Baxter – 50.52 

Mike Kimber – 52.41 

Matt Fletcher – 54.16

Kev Rann – 55.06

Nick Carter – 1.00.38

Julie Rasmussen – 1.05.01

Julie Salter – 1.08.58

Alison Butcher – 1.09.05

Claire Harvey – 1.09.09

Stubbington 10k

An early start greeted a large team of roadrunners as racing calendar for 2019 kicked off on Sunday. A short journey faced the bleary eyed runners as they made their way to the south coast village of Stubbington, just outside of Fareham.

A fast and flat course coupled with the favourable conditions promised some good performances from the team as they lined up on the startline for the 10am start. 

Beginning in the heart of the village, the looped course took in quiet country lanes through the local copses before emerging onto a stretch of the coastline of Portsmouth Harbour before returning back to the centre of the village for the finish.

Simon Pilcher was the first Roadrunner to return to the village and under the blue arch of the finish, dipping under 37 minutes for the first time, giving himself a shiny new PB. Darren Cole was home and dry 30 seconds later, also shaving a few seconds off his PB and dipping under 37 minutes. Ross Wilkes continued his fantastic form to finish next, with Stuart Backhouse just pipping Richard Nembhard on chip time to complete the first men’s team.

For the ladies Trish Train put in a stellar performance despite suffering from a bad chest and a sore foot, to take the 3rd V50 spot. Jodie Wilmott was next home, shaking off her niggly knee to take 11th Senior Female. Polly Segar took 18th in her first race for quite some time, completing the First Ladies team.

The rest of the gang came in thick and fast, taking advantage of the favourable  conditions. Enjoying the crowd of cheering locals, family and fellow club members. A welcoming finish to top off a brilliantly organised race. Congratulations to Andy MacArthur, Pete Sexton and Steve Bennett who all attained 8th positions in their age categories and Abigail Keyte who took 4th Junior. Also particular mention to Richard Nembhard and Callie Wareham for completing their club debuts and James Shoulder, Giorgio Marinelli, David Blake, Sally Trotman, Peter Dixon, Zoe Sherwin and Gemma Fletcher for getting themselves a lovely new PB each. A fabulous start to the Roadrunners 2019 year of running.

Simon Pilcher – 36.23

Darren Cole – 36.55

Ross Wilkes – 37.59

Stuart Backhouse – 38.58

Richard Nembhard – 39.00

Simon Randall – 39.04

Andy MacArthur – 39.24

Peter Wilmott – 39.47

David Blake – 39.55

Pete Sexton – 41.42

Steve Bennett – 42.07

Trish Train – 42.35

Sean Williams – 43.03

Guy Mattinson – 43.55

Jodie Wilmott – 45.35

Glen Jones – 45.42

Michael Coultrup – 45.48

Giorgio Marinelli – 46.12

Kev Rann – 46.20

Polly Segar – 46.26

Julie Dixon – 46.42

Peter Dixon – 47.09

James Shoulder – 47.22

Zoe Sherwin – 47.41

Tim Keyte – 49.42

Sarah Holmes – 50.21

Abigail Farwell – 52.09

Abigail Keyte – 52.32

Karen Phillips – 53.20

Julie Salter – 53.25

Kevin Fry – 53.43

Gemma Fletcher – 54.24

Kevin Winchcombe – 54.49

Gill Bushell – 55.22

Jane Andrew – 55.38

Sarah Sharp – 55.44

Julie Ray – 56.16

Sally Trotman – 56.30

Callie Wareham – 57.53

George Butler – 58.04

Tarnia Butler – 58.09

Caroline Curliss – 59.01

Bridget Keyte – 59.25

Tanya Clifford – 59.34