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West Wight Triathlon

Perfect conditions prevailed as our fab five embarked on their triple trials in West Wight on Sunday.

Darren Cole, Dean Pike, Julie Salter, Matt Fletcher and Nick Scott-Denness all congregated at West Wight Sports Centre to kick off their event with the swim.

All our roadrunners were competing solo with the exception of Dean, who competed as one third of his team “Punk Rock Academy” with old school mates Ian Pacey and Stuart Waite. It was Matt and Nicks first triathlon event, Matt having only learnt to swim earlier this year and Nick only ever swam 1 length of a pool at a time – this was 600 metres – that’s 24 lengths!

Darren got off to a cracking start coming in 7th overall in the swim. Nick was next to complete, with Julie next, then Matt.

“The swim was always going to be hard for me. I was nervous about it all week!” said Matt

Transition onto their bikes saw all of our roadrunners set off well on their 35k journey from Freshwater, out to Brighstone and back.

Darren was in contention amongst the top of the table, when another contender had a crash on his bike at around 9 miles. Darren in true roadrunner spirit got off his bike and directed traffic until the ambulance arrived.

“I feel a bit conflicted about it as obviously it would have been a good result for me had I not stopped, but also it could easily have been me on the deck”

Darren stayed with the injured cyclist for what seemed like forever before he got back on his bike to continue his quest. He made up as much ground as he could before transitioning to the run. Nick, Matt and Julie all completed their cycle legs without incident and finished within 5 minutes of each other.

Luckily for Darren, the run is his strongest element. With him smashing the flat 4 and a half mile out and back route along the old train track.
He stormed through it in just under 29 minutes giving him 3rd position in the run. Matt also ran a blinder finishing 8th in this leg, with Julie coming in next, then Nick.

Meanwhile in the team competition, Dean embarked on his leg of the event after his team mates rocketed through the swim and bike in just over 65 minutes combined! The baton handed over as it were, Dean knew he had to run well to keep the team highly placed. He didn’t disappoint! Running the 6 mile course in 28.35 secured the team a triumphant 2nd place overall.

Darren Cole – 2.11.26 S-12.09 B-1.30.19 R-28.58
Matt Fletcher – 2.22.49 S-27.47 B-1.22.42 R-32.20
Nick Scott-Denness – 2.22.55 S-22.22 B- 1.21.28 R-39.04
Julie Salter – 2.24.50 S-19.22 B-1.26.38 R-38.50

Punk Rock Academy Tri Team – 1.35.02 S-10.34 B-55.53 R-28.35


Dartmoor Volcano

10.25 miles in total.
3 river crossings
1 Clapper Bridge
2 Bogs
1 Volcano ascent
1 long uphill start
1 long downhill finish

Welcome to the Dartmoor Volcano. 500m of ascent, (that’s twice the size of St Boniface Down as a comparison for you), and most of it in one enormous climb from the get go.

“It’s all runnable” one of the organisers is quoted as saying on the races website.

Hmmm not so sure that’s entirely true….

Beginning at Scorriton, on the edge of Dartmoor. The course takes in Pupers Hill, Snowdon and South Devon’s highest point, Ryder’s Hill.

“I loved it!” said our Ian Dyer, with a huge post run grin on his face “It was the slowest, hardest 10 miles I’ve ever run. 6 miles of bogs and rocks. It was difficult to pick a route through the moor”

But he made it all the way to the peak of the Volcano and successfully negotiated the huge descent and back to the start in 2 hours and 58 seconds.

Isle of Wight Fell Series

Ventnor. Famous for its crabs, micro climate and hills. … big hills…. lots of big hills.

Fiercely competitive and famously challenging, these races are tough. The Ryde Harriers annual Fell series takes no prisoners. With ascent totalling 1165m over the 3 races, (that’s 3822 feet in old money), the tired legs of competitors will have climbed the equivalent of Mount Snowdon and then some by lunchtime on Sunday. To run one of the events is an achievement of grit, sweat and determination, but to run all three is deific.

Kicking off at 11am on Saturday morning, the first race is short and sweet. Well, it’s short at least! Just 2 and a half miles. However it is from sea level up the highest point on the Island and back. It’s beyond tough. So steep in fact it’s hard to run down, let alone run up.

All our plucky runners, negotiated the monolithic mount and returned safely to the finish line at the race HQ of St Catherine’s School in Grove Road.

Race 1 – The Boniface Fell
Harry Rann – 20.52
Andy MacArthur – 23.39
Dan Williams – 24.06
Hayley Baxter – 25.52
Jodie Wilmott – 27.16
George Butler – 27.46
Clare Mucklow – 28.54
Tarnia Eldridge – 31.10

A couple of hours recovery and the magnificent 7 were back down on the seafront for round two.

This time 7.5 miles and 443m (1453ft) of elevation lay before them. Once again they set off on the extreme uphill start as the first 2 and a half miles took them back to St Boniface Down, but this time up the other side and onto Down Lane.

Over toward Wroxall they went before some welcome flat ground heading along the cycle path to the the outskirts of Shanklin before they turned for home and back onto the downland and finally back to the school.

10 miles combined done.. 13 left in the morning….

Race 2 – The Ventnor Horseshoe
Harry Rann – 1.03.47
Andy MacArthur – 1.09.10
Dan Williams – 1.14.11
Hayley Baxter – 1.15.55
Jodie Wilmott – 1.18.35
George Butler – 1.22.14
Tarnia Eldridge – 1.32.53

Day 2 and most of yesterday’s competitors were joined by a few more club runners, taking on the longest and last of the events on its own.
The runners once again congregated at the paddling pool on Ventnor Seafront for the 10.30 start.

A more gentle start this time as the runners ran along the seafront and cliff path through the temperate Botanic Gardens before beginning the ascent through St Lawrence, passing the football ground at Watcombe Bottom before continuing upto Stenbury Down.

The runners then continued through the countryside skirting Wroxall and Godshill before passing through the Donkey Sanctuary. A welcome flat section along the old railway line was soon alighted as they then ascended what are lovingly referred to as “The Steps of Doom” returning them back onto St Boniface Down and the final descent to the welcome sight of the School for that last uphill push. Tired but triumphant.

Race 3 – The Wroxall Round
Michael Coultrup – 1.44.46
Tim Howell – 1.45.59
Dan Williams – 1.46.28
Andy MacArthur – 1.46.54
Harry Rann – 1.49.56
Hayley Baxter – 1.58.29
Lou Howell – 1.59.04
George Butler – 2.23.06
Tarnia Eldridge – 2.33.55

As is usual with this weekend of racing, most of the top prizes were swept away by the overwhelming presence of some very high class, experienced Fell runners from clubs such as Victoria Park, Serpentine and Clapham Chasers. However a particular mention must go to Hayley Baxter whose consistency all weekend earns her 16th lady overall and a top 3 Vet prize.

Prizes and overall positions

Hayley Baxter – 16th lady and 3rd v40
Tarnia Eldridge – 38th lady and 10th v40

Harry Rann – 34th male and 23rd SM
Andy MacArthur – 46th male and 15th v40
Dan Williams – 55th male and 17th v40
George Butler – 97th male and 46th SM

Canmore Half Marathon

Our Fay Tosdevin took time out from her holiday in Canada to squeeze in a race. So in between hiking and bear spotting, Fay took part in the Canmore Half Marathon.

“I’ve never felt so under prepared and nervous for a race” fretted Fay the day before the event.

Set in the Rocky Mountains this beautiful course ran through the city of Canmore, before meandering its way through woodland, along the Bow River before ascending the winding mountain paths. Recent forest fires had caused a hazy mist, but it cleared to to reveal some wonderful vistas at the top of the mountain.

“We’d done so much hiking, I decided to take it easy and just enjoy the views”

And what views they were.

She set herself a target of 2hrs 30mins, but Fay smashed it, coming in in 2hrs 23.

Great North Run

The worlds biggest half marathon. 54 000 people all following the same path, taking the same steps, sharing the same experience.

Started in 1981 by Athletics legend and commentator Brendan Foster, the run was inspired by the Round the Bays race in New Zealand. He devised a point to point race from Newcastle to Sunderland, his home town.

3 of our roadrunners were lucky enough to win places in the ballot. Keith Ruth, Glen Jones and Steve Hunt all made the journey right upto the north of the country.

“What a monster of an event!” beams Glen “I thought it would be like the Great South Run, but 43 000 people made it very different”

It kicked off at 10.40am from Claremont Drive in Newcastle with Sir Mo Farah leading them out at the front of the pack. The route took the field through the city centre and across the Tyne Bridge.

“I was lucky enough to have been on the Tyne Bridge when the Red Arrows did their flyover. It was a real highlight” said Glen

The runners then headed toward Gateshead and finally to the last mile on the seafront at South Shields.

Our terrific trio all ran well, with Glen and Steve both running themselves to a PB, and Keith being just outside his.

“Yes it was great. I started off well then slowed a bit near the end when the hill started. I got a pb and knocked 21 minutes off last years time. I was worried about my knee holding out but it was ok.  It was a fantastic weekend. I can’t wait for the Great South Run!” said Steve

“I am chuffed, I set myself a target and stuck to it” said Keith, a great result as he has been dogged by injury this year.

Glen Jones – 1.47.28
Keith Ruth – 1.52.33
Steve Hunt – 2.08.36

Bad Cow 12 Hour Frolic

Our ultra king Dan Williams was back out competing this weekend, just 2 weeks after coming 4th at the East Farm event with a triumphant 53 miles under his belt.
But after a successful recovery from the cramps that plagued him there, he was back, confidence restored and ready to rumble.

This time his race plan was just to run to feel and not get drawn into racing early on in the 12 hour event. To trust that his endurance ability would see off the competitors in the later stages of the race. Based at Burnbake Campsite at Corfe Castle, Wareham the course was 4.4 miles of undulating sandy, energy sapping footpaths and trail.

Dan started really well, sticking to his race plan and keeping a steady pace. He completed his first marathon in 3hrs 54mins and felt really good still. One and a half laps later though, he started to get Tummy cramp, but he soldiered on and managed to run it off.

Then the rain came.

“It washed all the sand away and the paths became muddy. Whilst it was raining my aches subsided and I felt as good as I did at 20miles again”

He ploughed on during this time, refreshed and renewed. He really took advantage of this purple patch and cracked on to 50 miles in 8hrs 35mins, 7 minutes quicker than he he’d run 50 miles before.

After 12 laps Dan was told he was leading.

“I was told that I was in the lead and had been leading for at least 2 hours! This put a little pressure on me. I had a lead of just over 10mins, but I knew how easy it would be to throw that away. So off out i went, trying to keep disciplined by walking every ‘up’, keeping in control and not be forced into a death march. By the end of lap 14 (61miles) the lead was 26mins so I knew I could set out to enjoy and walk this final lap, even having a good natter with the Love Station volunteers”

He’d done it! He’d only gone and won it! 15 laps – 66 miles – 11hrs 58mins 18 seconds.

“The Bad Cow has to be up there with my most enjoyed races, not just because of the win, (obviously I am chuffed to bits), but because I felt my overall physical management and how I approached it was better before. It’s a shame the next 12hour race is 8months away!”

Fantastic running Dan, a hard earnt and well deserved win!

New Forest Marathon Festival

The annual away day.
A coach load of sleepy roadrunners piling onto an obscenely early ferry. All blagging the free hot water on the ferry to chomp on their porridge, fuelling up for the day ahead.

A change of venue for this year’s little jaunt. Decided by the runners themselves via a Facebook poll, the New Forest Festival of Running became the chosen destination. With 4 distances on offer, there was instant take up for this day out, with the coach full up, and others travelling independently. 5k, 10k, a half marathon and full were on offer to attempt.

A beautiful sunrise gradually wiped the sleep from the runners eyes during their ferry journey across the water.

A short drive from Lymington into the forest, the runners arrived with an hour to spare for the marathoners to collect their numbers and perform their last minute preparations.

9am and the marathoners were off on their journeys. Our team of 10 set out into the forest, with a fantastic wave off from the rest of the roadrunners. Forest paths, wet under foot stretched out before them, interspersed with country roads and muddy track.

It wasn’t long before the half runners, were doing the same. All 30 of them followed the same course as the marathon for 9 miles before turning back for home,

The 10k went next for the off following a parts of the same routes as the others, all on forest track, as they ran from enclosure to enclosure.

Last but not least Sara Truckel and son Stanley set off on the 5k route, whilst they awaited daddy Steve Rumsey’s return from the marathon.

“It was really muddy the whole way” said Sara “Stanley just ploughed through the puddles”

Despite this they both ran brilliantly, with young Stanley taking after his speedy parents in a fantastic time of 37.24, just pipping his mum on the line!

The 10k finishers were also just starting to come across the line. With Micheal Douglas, fresh from his success in Andover last week coming over the line in a superb 6th place and under 40 minutes. Matt Fletcher was the next Roadrunner home in just over 43 minutes and 24th overall and Ashleigh Douglas finishing next in 23rd Female in were Julia, Julie R and Bridget, followed by Lucy and Tanya. Lucy bagging 5th V60 to boot.

The half marathoners were next to trickle across the line, the weather still holding out for the most part. Pete Wilmott was the first club member home and an amazing 28th overall and 2nd in his age category. Next in was Nick Kenney closely followed by Donnacha Deasy with a tidy PB and both making the top 20 in their age categories. Trish Train was next home in a fantastic 7th Female and 1st v50 follwed by Sharon McNally a few minutes later to take 2nd V50 and 17th Female.

In they came one by one, all having enjoyed the course and it’s beautiful views across the heathland with the wild ponies wandering about. Some ran in pairs for company, others going it alone. PBs were showered around like fairy dust with Steve Webb, James Shoulder, Nick Scott-Denness, Harry Vernon, Margaret Niland-Murphy (also 7th in her age category) Jenny Dewing, Bel Rockall, Alison Butcher and Sue Meredith all running out of their skins and achieving more than they ever had before.

But the best was yet to come….

The marathon was approaching the business end of the race with only the final miles left to negotiate.

“There was 2 of us up front for the entire race” said our little speed king Bill Goozee “I was feeling comfortable the whole way. There way a bit of downhill from about mile 20 onward, so I really opened up and pulled away”

And that is where he stayed, in front, Yes he did it again! He only went and won the damn thing! 2hours and 47 minutes and 44 seconds that’s all it took him! And in a PB too!

Next under the archway came Stanleys dad Steve claiming 18th place overall and 7th in his V40 category. With Andy MacArthur next in a massive 27 minute PB of 3.17.43, not bad considering he didn’t wear his watch! Kieron Snow was next home in under 3.20 (again a pb!) as was Michael Coultrup taking 7 minutes off his and finally gaining himself a good for age qualifying time.

Young Harry Rann came in next. Despite being only his second marathon, he ran a massive PB of 34 minutes. The was first of the girls not too far behind. Sarah Holmes stormed in as the 19th Female overall, 5th V40 and also getting herself a good for age time and a Pb.

“I am speechless”, unusual for her, “I really didn’t think that would happen today. I thought I’d start out at a reasonable pace and wait for the wheels to fall off… they stayed on! Can’t believe it!”

Tim, Paul (Pb for him too!) and Julie followed across the line.

All home. All safe. All happy. Time to celebrate!

Stanley Rumsey – 37.24
Sara Truckel – 37.28

Michael Douglas-39.08
Matt Fletcher-43.09
Ashleigh Douglas-51.29
Julia Parker-57.44
Julie Rasmussen-58.02
Bridget Keyte-1.04.52
Lucy Deville-1.05.43
Tanya Clifford-1.09.14

1/2 Marathon
Peter Wilmott-1.25.33
Nick Kenney-1.31.25
Donnacha Deasy-1.31.30
Trish Train-1.32.35
Sharon McNally-1.37.22
Gordon Mucklow-1.37.45
Steve Webb-1.44.00
Garry Sharp-1.44.54
Jodie Wilmott-1.46.17
Tim Keyte-1.46.17
James Shoulder-1.46.58
Nick Scott-Denness-1.47.18
Harry Vernon-1.48.12
Margaret Niland Murphy-1.50.39
Jenny Dewing-1.51.39
Zoe Sherwin-1.55.41
Charlotte Williams-1.56.26
Martin Keyworth-1.59.27
Stephen Hickman-2.01.10
George Butler-2.04.44
Tarnia Eldridge-2.04.45
Sarah Sharp-2.07.38
Bel Rockall-2.07.38
Kim Hulacka-2.07.38
Jess Hill-2.07.45
Alison Butcher-2.09.55
Sue Meredith-2.10.03
Callie Hatcher-2.14.03
Ian Williams-2.23.36
Lyn Snow-2.57.50

Bill Goozee-2.47.44
Steve Rumsey-3.10.56
Andrew MacArthur-3.17.43
Kieron Snow-3.19.24
Michael Coultrup-3.19.58
Harry Rann-3.37.13
Sarah Holmes-3.46.51
Tim Cordery-3.48.13
Paul Butcher-4.12.47
Julie Salter-4.23.27

Bayside 5k

Sharon McNally was the only Roadrunner make the midweek journey across the water to take part in the last of the Lakeside 5k series.

Starting at the North Harbour complex between Cosham and Port Solent, this 5k is one of a series of 5 in which participants gain points as they compete for an overall winner at the end.

“I went over as needed to do a race before the half at New Forest next weekend”

This was Sharon’s only race of the series however, so no overall position for her. She did however pull a tidy pb out of the bag! She was 2nd V50 and 24th female overall against some very stiff competition, so well done Sharon.

Andover Trail Races

A soggy start to September racing saw 3 of our team mates, tackle the trails of the Test Valley.

Michael and Ashleigh Douglas unconventionally celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary by running the 10k race and Steve Hickman celebrated his 141st anniversary (of running a marathon) by running, yes you’ve guessed it…… the marathon!

Both races began at Enham Alamein in Andover. The 10k wound its way along to Smannell, through Little London before taking the footpaths and bridleways back to the start.

“It was a good course. My first ever trail run. Not as flat as I thought, but still good fun. I haven’t been running as much lately due to tight hip flexors but I still finished around 53 mins. Not my fastest, but to be honest, I’m just glad I finished!” said Ashleigh

Not as glad as her husband was to finish though. He won! What an amazing anniversary present! His first ever overall win.

“I couldn’t be happier! To get my first win on our first wedding anniversary! It was a great course, a good mixture of terrain” said our champion ” I just felt good from the start. There was a pack of three of us for the first half, but I managed to pull clear and get the win by quite some way by the end”

The first of many wins I suspect for our Dynamo Douglas.

Scores on the doors…

Michael – 40.34
Ashleigh – 53.21

In the marathon, Steve also finished with a smile on his face, despite getting a bit lost at mile 21.

“I loved it! It was a good old fashioned, hard as nails, trail marathon in the pouring rain. It was a great run route”

The course meandered from Enham through Hurstbourne Tarrent, upto Combe and then slowly wound its way back via Vernham Dean and back to the start.

He finished, soaked to the skin, but happy in 5.05.28

Great trail running from our 3 “roadies”

Bayside Duathlon

Our very own track stars Darren Cole and Abigail Farwell were bright eyed and bushy tailed on the 6 am ferry for the the early 8am start of Bayside Tri’s Super Sprint Duathlon. No mean feat considering Abi had been at a music festival the day before and Darren attending a Zombie themed wedding!

“We only had 4 hours sleep” said Abi

But you’d never guess. They were on that startline at Stokes Bay in Gosport on time and ready to go.

The distance was a super sprint, which consists of a 2.5k run, a 10k cycle then a second 2.5k run. It was Abi’s first ever Duathlon. She is a more than competent cyclist and brilliant runner as we know, but doing it with seamless transition under pressure is difficult. For Darren it was less nerve wracking as he has competed in similar events before.

They set off on the first run. Fast and flat (including Gosport’s Golden Mile) along the promenade. Our track teamsters got a fantastic start. Both Darren and Abi pulled ahead of their competitors straight away, despite a unforgiving side wind.

They returned to the car park at the to transition seamlessly onto their bikes. They maintained their leads as they made their way on wheels through Lee-on-Solent on to the turning point at Dadealus Airfield. It was here that Abi was caught by the eventual women’s winnner. But she kept battling away, trying to not lose any more ground.

They then made the last switch back onto their feet. Darren still way out in front and Abi still chasing the leader. The wind wasn’t abating and Abi was feeling the effects.

“It was the weirdest sensation. I felt like I wasn’t moving, like I was in slo-mo” she shared with me the next day

But she was moving, moving at the speed of light, trying to claw back the lead. But the leader was too far ahead and Abi just ran out road. Darren had stormed in for the overall win, in a fantastic 34.42, ahead of a Team GB age group Triathlete!
Abi came over the line 2nd lady and 8th overall in super duper 40.50
What a fantastic duathlon debut from our dynamo duo.