All posts by Sarah Holmes

Isle of Wight Off Road Duathlon

The IOW Mountain Bike Centre at Cheverton Farm in Shorwell was the venue for this double test of speed and endurance.
Entrants had 2 races to select from. The Sprint which comprised of a 3k trail run, 10k off road cycle followed by a second 3k run. The Epic was a 5k trail run, 20k cycle followed by another 5k run. Each course took the competitors running over downland, through copses and over ancient pathways. The mountain bike section was raced over purpose built bike trails.

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A tremendous trio of Roadrunners took on the dual. With fantastic success from all 3.

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Dean Pike and Andy MacArthur took on the sprint race. Dean led the first run and the Bike leg with Andy coming in 3rd. However in the final leg, (the second run), Andy’s wealth of off road experience kicked in to bring him home in a cracking 2nd overall with Dean snapping at his heels in 3rd.

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In the Epic, Darren Cole was joint leader in the first. The bike leg saw him drop back into 3rd place, but Darren rallied for one last push to claw back into 2nd overall.

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Great performance fellas.

West Wight Three Hills

There is something about us modern humans….. we love free stuff. We are never happier than when we’ve found something the sale or got a great 3 for 2 deal or find a buy one get one free offer.
To keep modern runner types happy, the Ryde Harriers have carefully crafted us a race. You get free stuff. “You do?” I hear you all cry… I’m not talking a medal, a mug or a coaster, (and certainly not an ashtray! #Bramley).
Nooooo…. this clever ploy promises 3 but actually gives you 5… sounds like a good deal right?
Well it would be if the item in question wasn’t in the shape of a hill. The West Wight 3 Hills race, promises 3 but actually delivers you 5. What a total misnomer! And it’s not 5 slopes either. It’s 5 brutal, unadulterated climbs of 900ft over the 8 mile distance.

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Held every Easter Monday since the early 80s this challenging course was the brainchild of the Harriers’ current Chairman’s father. It was originally marshalled by local Boy Scouts. And what a fantastic idea it was to hold a race of this length on Easter Monday. It weirdly will burn off almost the exact amount of calories contained in an average size Easter Egg. WIN! No wonder 143 runners signed up to face the challenge.

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Beautiful patches of Spring sunshine bathed the eager runners on the startline at the West Wight Sports Centre in Freshwater. Great turnout from not just the local clubs, but plenty of mainland runners too. Obviously making the most of an Easter jaunt to the sunny Isle of Wight.

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Starting at the Sports Centre the course went straight into the 1st little hill through to Norton and then back down into Freshwater. Then off up to Golden a Hill Fort and continuing up, (Yes! still going up!) to Headon Warren. A little bit of downhill relief as they made their way along to Alum Bay, bracing themselves for the hill that no-one can run all the way up …. Highdown.

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By this time, the poor runners are heavy legged and they still have the longest climb to go. But up they went! All the way up to the glorious Tennyson Monument to be rewarded with a whole mile of downhill to pick up their pace and get themselves back to the finish at the Sports Centre.

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First back was Simon Randall in a speedy 55.23 giving him an overall position of 9th. Hot on his heels was Andy MacArthur, only 12 seconds behind him, to finish in 11th. Matt Fletcher ran another consistent race to cross the line next in 59.26
First Lady home was Rosie Sexton in a spritely 1.01.02. Superb performance from her, especially after her brilliant run on Saturday in the Newport to Ryde race. A flurry of IWRR girls then crossed the line with Judy McCabe in 4th, Sharon McNally in 5th, Hayley Baxter in 7th and Julie Dixon in 8th. Making it obvious that the girls in white, red and blue vests had taken the team competition top spots.

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No fewer than 10 Roadrunners secured a top 3 position in their age categories. Particular well done to Rosie Sexton, Sharon McNally and Judy McCabe for coming numero uno in theirs.

Also pats on the back For Ian Russell, Hayley Baxter, Julie Dixon, Calvin Wright, Julie Rasmussen, Adam Morris, George Butler, Dan Williams and Rachel Dempsey who all ran the course quicker than they had previously.

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Despite the difficulty of the course, it was smiles all round at the finish line as runners were presented with their congratulatory bottle of local ale to hydrate.

S.Randall – 55.23
A.MacArthur – 55.35
M.Fletcher – 59.26
D.Williams – 1.00.40
N.Kenney – 1.00.48
G.Mucklow – 1.01.00
R.Sexton – 1.01.02
P.Sexton – 1.01.03
I.Russell – 1.02.04
J.McCabe – 1.02.34
S.Bennett – 1.02.34
S.McNally – 1.03.20
M.Kimber – 1.04.32
J.Doughty – 1.04.36
H.Baxter – 1.05.55
C.Wright – 1.06.30
J.Dixon – 1.07.13
A.Morris – 1.08.38
G.Butler – 1.08.37
K.Rann – 1.08.37
K.Ruth – 1.09.32
J.Dewing – 1.11.35
M.Coultrup – 1.11.35
T.Eldridge – 1.13.13
L.Upstell – 1.13.30
C.Williams – 1.13.32
L.Dover – 1.14.03
I.Dyer – 1.14.08
T.Martin – 1.15.46
P.Butcher – 1.16.03
A.Batchelor – 1.18.14
S.Hickman – 1.18.45
P. Dixon – 1.20.00
J.Rasmussen – 1.20.13
J.Ray – 1.20.23
M. Hetherington – 1.20.34
S.Sharp – 1.20.46
R.Dempsey – 1.23.51
I.Williams – 1.25.05
B.Keyte – 1.32.03
L.Deville – 1.32.58
D.Pointer – 1.36.45
B.Rockall – 1.36.45
S.Brennen – 1.37.51

Mens Teams

1st S.Randall, A.MacArthur, M.Fletcher
4th D.Williams, N.Kenney, G.Mucklow
6th P.Sexton, I.Russell, S.Bennett
8th M.Kimber, C.Wright, A.Morris
11th G.Butler, K.Rann, K.Ruth
12th M.Coultrup, I.Dyer, T.Martin
14th P.Butcher, S.Hickman, P.Dixon

Ladies Teams

1st R.Sexton, J.McCabe, S.McNally
2nd H.Baxter, J.Dixon, J.Dewing
4th T.Eldridge, L.Upstell, C.Williams
6th L.Dover, A.Batchelor, J.Rasmussen
7th J.Ray, M.Hetherington, S.Sharp
9th R.Dempsey, B.Keyte, L.Deville
10th D.Pointer, B.Rockall, S.Brennen

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Newport to Ryde

It was Clash of the Titans on Saturday as the big guns turned out on the startline to make their eagerly anticipated return to racing. Paul Cameron and Joe Wade lined up with the 172 other runners outside County Hall in Newport to embark upon the historic Newport to Ryde race. Both runners had been nursing injuries for quite some time, so it was of some surprise to see them turn up simultaneously for the same race. It was Joe’s first race since February and Paul’s in over a year.

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“It’s fantastic to be back” said Paul. The IWRR legend was in great spirits and was visibly bouncing with excitement as the start was held.

First run in 1933, this race used to go by road from the Town Hall in Newport to the Town Hall in Ryde. The course however, has changed several times over the years to maintain runners safety and now takes a more multi terrain route through Barton, New Fairlee Farm, Belmont Woods, Lakeside, Firestone Copse and finishing for the first time this year at Ryde School.

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“It felt great to get out and run fast again” said Joe Wade, running for his 2nd claim club IOW Athletics “Island races make it much more fun for me”

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And run fast and they did! Joe was first home in a stonking 40.52, just 5 seconds outside the course record.

“I had a rough idea of the record, but I wasn’t really aiming for it. A bit frustrating being so close”

Our Paul Cameron was a triumphant 2nd place.

“I am over the moon! I can’t have hoped to have placed higher. I am very happy with the result”

Birthday boy Bill Goozee came in 4th and newbie Simon Pilcher made a magnificent club debut to romp home in 5th place.

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The Ladies team had equal success. Rosie Sexton blasted into second place behind the formidable Charlie Metcalf of Ryde Harriers, (who incidentally, did break the ladies course record by a massive 3 minutes!) Hayley Baxter’s return to form continued as she stormed home to take 3rd place and bagged herself a 2 minute PB in the process.

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More PBs were achieved by Michael Coultrup, who took 6 mins off his previous time, Dan Williams who shaved 5 minutes off his and Julie Salter who took 2 minutes off hers.

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A fantastic 17 Roadrunners managed to finish in the top 3 of their age categories. Particular congratulations to Peter Sexton, Claire Howard, Paul Cameron, Hayley Baxter, Rosie Sexton and Katie Mackenzie who all finished in the top spot in theirs.

P.Cameron – 45.08
B.Goozee – 46.00
S.Pilcher – 46.08
P.Sexton – 49.28
D.Pike – 50.49
A.MacArthur – 51.08
G.Mucklow – 52.12
R.Sexton – 53.11
M.Coultrup – 53.24
D.Williams – 54.22
G.Sharp – 54.47
D.Andrew – 56.04
T.Keyte – 56.35
M.Kimber – 57.08
H.Baxter – 57.38
J.Doughty – 58.30
K.Mackenzie – 1.01.39
I.Dyer – 1.01.39
H.Vernon – 1.02.28
S.Truckel – 1.05.46
A.Batchelor – 1.06.02
C.Howard – 1.06.03
C.Williams – 1.06.07
J.Salter – 1.07.40
J.Andrew – 1.08.17
L.Holme – 1.09.43
K.Buck – 1.10.03
F.Attwood – 1.10.30
C.Hatcher – 1.10.48
P.Butcher – 1.10.50
M.Hetherington – 1.13.10
I.Williams – 1.13.10
N.Stilwell – 1.14.44
B.Keyte – 1.18.27
S.Sharp – 1.18.27
A.Butcher – 1.20.30
S.Harris – 1.27.02
S.Hunter – 1.27.04
C.Leach – 1.39.27
L.Snow – 1.40.49

The team competition was dominated by the IWRR in the red, white and blue vests with 6 men’s teams and 7 women’s teams (that’s just over half the finishing table) The Roadrunners took the 1st and 3rd positions in both the ladies and men’s competitions. What a treasure haul!

Mens Teams

1st P.Cameron, B.Goozee, S.Pilcher.
3rd P.Sexton, D.Pike, A.MacArthur
5th G.Mucklow, M.Coultrup, D.Williams
8th G.Sharp, T.Keyte, M.Kimber
10th J.Doughty, I.Dyer, H.Vernon
13th P.Butcher, I.Williams, N.Stilwell

Ladies Teams

1st R.Sexton, H.Baxter, K.Mackenzie
3rd S.Truckel, A.Batchelor, C.Howard
4th C.Williams, J.Salter, J.Andrew
6th L.Holme, K.Buck, F.Attwood
7th C.Hatcher, M.Hetherington, B.Keyte
9th S.Sharp, A.Butcher, S.Harris
12th S.Hunter, C.Leach, L.Snow

HRRL #9 – Salisbury 10 Mile

The sun drenched banks of the River Avon were the backdrop of the ninth Hampshire Road Race League race. Starting in the City of Salisbury Athletics track, some 20 Roadrunners made trip across the Solent to compete in the 10 mile race.

Winding North from the city, the runners battled the surprisingly hot temperatures, as they made their way along the undulating course to the Woodford Valley and then returning with the Cathedral spires in view to finish back on the track.

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Peter Sexton was the first roadrunner home in a cracking 64.32 placing him 6th in the MV50 category.
Despite the warm weather, 3 of our runners managed to surpass their previous personal best times. Ever improving super duo Darren Cole and Abigail Farwell again acheived the double, by both running PBs. These 2 are certainly on an upward trajectory this season as they continue to improve race on race. Kelly Forster also ran her heart out today, knocking a fantastic 2 minutes off her previous record to come home in 85.55.

P.Sexton – 1.04.32
D.Cole – 1.06.30
S.Riley – 1.09.24
G.Sharp – 1.12.01
D.Pike – 1.12.19
A.Farwell – 1.15.14
T.Keyte – 1.19.37
K.Phillips – 1.24.13
K.Ruth – 1.24.18
C.Howard – 1.25.40
K.Forster – 1.25.55
J.Ray – 1.29.23
J.Andrew – 1.29.41
J.Parker – 1.31.43
J.Rasmussen – 1.33.02
S.Sharp – 1.36.45
B.Keyte – 1.42.36
T.Clifford – 1.44.23
L.Deville – 1.45.33
L.Snow – 2.20.09

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Rough Runner – Petersfield

The Picturesque Bereleigh Estate in Hampshire was the setting for Tom Martin’s first Rough Runner race.
Along with colleagues Steve and Dan, Tom set off on the 15k (9ish mile) course through scenic paths of woodland and open plains with stunning vistas of the beautiful South Downs. Sounds like a lovely Sunday afternoon trot doesn’t it? And so it would have been, but for the 20 or so game show inspired obstacles dotted around the course.

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Inspired by shows such as Total Wipeout, Takeshi’s Castle and Gladiators, each test of endurance battered and hindered the runners.

“The worst one for me was having to pull myself up a 20ft rope, then trying to mount the platform at the top” said Tom.

In true Gladiators style the race ended with “The Travellator” to propel contenders into glory. Tom and his team finished in just under 3 hours with good fun had by all.

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Pewsey Downsaround

Wiltshire Long Distance Walkers Association are the hosts for this self navigated tour of the Vale of Pewsey and the Marlborough Downs.

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Intrepid ultra Runner Dan Williams was the only club member taking on the challenge, having competed at this event last year. From the 4 distances on offer, Dan selected the 35 mile circular route. Armed with a sheet of directions, he sent off along the footpaths and bridleways to find all 4 checkpoints and taking in some historic sights, such as the Avebury Stone Circle, The Sanctuary and a Windmill Hill along the way.

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“It was very hilly and rough” explained Dan, “it was hot with very little breeze. It was physically tough. I think I was a bit complacent with my water intake, but my navigation was spot on”

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Despite suffering from cramps from 19 miles onward, Duracell Dan battled on to place a superb 6th overall in 6 hours 37 minutes, improving on last years time by a cracking 12 minutes.

Brighton Marathon

Growing in numbers year on year, the relatively new Brighton Marathon is fast becoming a “must do” on the running calendar. This years was only the eighth running of the event, but already its grown to a whopping 12,000 competitors.
The backdrop of glistening seas and its reputation as the 2nd fastest course in the country are clearly big draws for runners from all over the country.

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Our fantastic five were a juxtaposition of experience this year. The seasoned marathon trio of Steve Rumsey, Phil Mannall and Steve Hickman, who have racked up an astonishing 195 marathons between them alongside Steve Morris and Belinda Rockall, our only girl in the race this year, tackling her first. But that is a part of the beauty of marathon running – the David and Goliath of it, but that you are all in some way, “in it together” battling the same battle, fighting the same fight…..to just….keep…. moving…..

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Starting at a Preston Park, the course snakes its way through the city, before heading out to Ovingdean. The runners then made their way back towards the pier and along the seafront into Hove. They then emerge back onto the seafront and out to the dreaded power station at Southwick. Then the welcome sight of Hove lawns take the runners back along the Kingsway with the mirage of the never approaching Pier (and the finish line) dangling in front of them like a carrot.

“It was horrid out there today” said Steve H “runners were dropping like flies, conditions were definitely hindered. But support on the route was, as always, brilliant.”

And he would know, he’s run every single Brighton marathon to date (along with 128 others!)

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“It was a tad warm” said Steve R “after half way I decided not to push it. Hopefully I am now fine tuned for London in 2 weeks”

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Phil Mannall however, rose to the occasion. Despite the 23c heat in the final stages of the race he maintained his fast pace from the first 20 miles to romp home to a new PB of 3.13.46, placing him 11th in his age category.

It was Bel, however that had us all shouting at our iPads and screaming in to our phones as we tracked her progress around the 26.2 miles. the road runners did what they do best, and cheered her on as she battled her way around the course in the steering heat. Having had to defer her place last year after 18 months of injury, Bel had really embraced the challenge.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done” “It was so hot, the water stations were running out of water”
“I had to dig really deep, it was so hard” “I am so tired I don’t know what to do with myself!”

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But the harder the battle, the sweeter the reward. The road back from injury has been a long and hard one, but she did it, and she did it with a smile on her face and a lion in her heart.

S.Rumsey – 3.06.05
P. Mannall – 3.13.46
S.Morris – 4.34.47
S. Hickman – 4.39.44
B. Rockall – 5.51.05

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Paris Marathon

Considering the sudden climbing temperatures, a mercifully early start was welcomed by some 57,000 runners as they set off from the Champs-Elysees for the 41st Paris Marathon. Very much an International meeting, some 144 countries are represented on the start line. With 6,934 Brits making the crossing across the channel, 1 of those was our newcomer Bill Goozee.

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A quarter of a million spectators line the route down the Seine. Runners pass the Louvre as they make their way out to the Chateau de Vincennes, around the adjoining park and back up the riverbank to pass the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Grand Palais and the Eiffel Tower. They then complete the last 10k through the Bois de Bologne before finishing in front of the iconic Arc de Triomphe.

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His 6th marathon, he ran a hugely consistent pace to storm home to a triumphant PB of 2.50.18, knocking 6 minutes off his previous best. Bill came in at a fantastic 409th place overall and gained himself a coveted good for age place which he hopes to use for New York in the near future.

“I gave that everything today” he said. “I am loving being a member of Roadrunners. I feel like I am coming on in leaps and bounds”

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An absolutely blinding performance from a very welcome new edition to the club.

Greater Manchester Marathon

The allure of the flattest, friendliest course in the UK tempted 3 Roadrunners into entering the Greater Manchester Marathon on Sunday. Just 180ft of elevation across the course makes this a perfect opportunity to run a PB.

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Glen Jones, Mike Berry and Sarah Holmes somewhat unexpectedly kicked off the Roadrunners marathon season. After claiming he’d retired from marathon running, sneaky Glen had been stealth training for months. Having talked cohort Holmes into accompanying him on his secret mission, they flew up to the northern city.

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Beautiful blue skies prevailed as they nervously lined up with 12500 others outside the hallowed grounds of Old Trafford for the early 9am start. Started by running legend Ron Hill, the 41st marathon kicked off in perfect conditions.

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Winding through leafy Sale, Timperly, Altrincham and Carrington, the course was well supported and well marshalled, with plenty of entertainment on route. From blues bands to choirs, the local community really get behind his fantastically organised event.

“I would say it’s the one to do if you are trying for a PB” said Glen “It has that big race feel, but without feeling crowded”

And PB they did! Sarah stormed through her goal time of going sub 4 hours in a nifty 3.50.19. Knocking 17 minutes off her previous best time and taking her official marathon tally upto number 5.

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“I am so glad Glen talked me into this race” said the diminutive Holmes “I have way exceeded my own expectation. I dared to dream – it paid off!”

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Glen also had a stonking day at the office, despite his concerns about the sun becoming too warm. He took a whopping 34 minutes off his PB to cross the line in 4.03.23. A phenomenal improvement by any measure!

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S.Holmes – 3.50.19
G.Jones – 4.03.23
M.Berry – 5.00.16

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Great Manchester,  Great Marathon, Great Run. Think the Roadrunners will be back without a doubt.

Dave Dellar Memorial 5 – Winter Series Winners

Always a pleasure, the Dave Dellar run marks the start of Summer. The clocks have just changed and we celebrate the end of the Winter series.
Dave Dellar and his wife Iris were founding members of the Isle of Wight Road Runners back in 1988 when there was only a handful of members. He has sadly passed away, but would be beaming with pride if he could see how his little club has grown.

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So as a nominated race, speed is not the essence to winning the coveted trophies for this race. Runners must accurately guess how long they think it will take them to complete the 5 mile course. This leaves the competition wide open to every single entrant and an exciting reveal during the presentation.

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Runners started out from the Riverside Centre and made their way out to Blackwater along the cycle path. They then came back along Marvel Lane and up the cheeky hill in Watergate Road to bring them into Shide. Straight through to St James St, swung a right and made their way back to the Riverside Centre, where the time keepers were frantically scribbling down everyone’s times.

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First over the line were…..
For the boys
1st Billy Goozee
2nd Steve Rumsey
3rd Pete Sexton

And for the ladies….
1st Polly Segar & Lou Dover
2nd Elaine Harris
3rd Charlotte Williams

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But as already mentioned, the bling winners were not those out in front, but those that paced themselves accurately.

Male Winners
1st Adam Morris – 10 seconds out
2nd Ian Williams – 20 seconds out
3rd Rich Whittington – 24 seconds out

Female Winners
1st Bel Rockall – 3 seconds out
2nd Sharon Cass – 5 seconds out
3rd Elaine Harris – 20 seconds out

Well done to all xxx

Winter Series Winners

Last but by no means least the winners of the Winter Series were announced. This is a calendar of 12 nominated races (again, runners guessing their times most accurately) spanning 4 to 7 miles. Each week, each nomination will score points correlating with the runners estimated time.
This years winners are….

1st Shelley Harris – 317 points
2nd Steve Bennett – 310 points
3rd Julie Ray – 290 points

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Massive congratulations to Shelley, especially as she has been battling back from injury this season. You deserve this trophy for staying strong and never giving up.