Category Archives: Latest News

New Forest 10

Eight lovely Roadrunners took the trip over the Solent to the beautiful New Forest on what turned out to be a very warm and muggy morning. A family friendly event, the runners had to avoid the temptations of the ice cream van and the bouncy castle as they made their way over to collect their numbers. 

10 sweaty miles faced the 7 girls and club legend Mr.Kevin Fry as they lined up at New Park in the heart of the picturesque National Park, just outside Brockenhurst.

Relatively flat, the course meanders through the enclosures amidst the wild horses and gorgeous scenery, to its conclusion back at New Park.

They all came in with huge smiles on their faces,(if somewhat a little hot and sweaty) to collect their unusual horse brass medals.

Kev Fry – 1.34.29

Carolyn Littleton – 1.36.44

Sue Meredith – 1.39.32

Gillian Shaw – 1.55.29

Debbie Radestock – 1.56.38

Eloise Radestock- 2.02.03

Penny Downer – 2.21.56

Jo Randall – 2.21.58

Maverick X-Series -Peak District

A glorious weekend in a national park….. you’ll love it they said…..It’ll be fun they said….

The Peak District. Ok so the name suggests hills, that was obvious…. it suggests peaks … that’s a big hill right? That’s doable… we live on the Isle of Wight… hills are our friends…..  right? And they are! Despite by my own admission, (and my accomplice in this escapade Michael Coultrup), of not being anywhere near our fittest, it should be a challenge but not impossible, so we signed up for the marathonish distance (46k) hoping for a bit of a sightseeing jolly to take in the views along the way.

Arriving early, at Hope Valley Sports Centre we collected our numbers and milled about watching the ultra runners go off. It wasn’t long before our safety briefing was called and we were set off en masse with the 16k and 26k runners. Unfortunately the first mile was fraught with obstacles as a local farmer had locked all his gates and parked his spikey farm machinery (a thrasher? I think) on the narrow footpath to hinder the race. But after a couple of sizeable bottle necks we got going. 

Straight into business as the Win Hill loomed in front, reducing us to walking pace already. But once negotiated the view was stunning and a nice descent though the woods and skirting the Ladybower Reservoir. The relief didn’t last long though as Snake Road literally slithered up and up and up. 

It was at this point that I realised that the sightseeing jolly was over. Upon reaching the first cut off point, I was informed by the timekeeper that I’d only just scraped under by a couple of minutes. That was it! My head didn’t just wobble, there was a palpable seismic shift! The tears came and the dummy was spat out. We carried on for a couple of miles before I tipped the Pram over and decided to pull out. Micheal went on as I turned on my heel in a monumental strop to stomp back to the check point. 

After about a mile I stood amidst the sheep questioning my life choices when  I found my dummy, gathered all my toys and decided to stop being such a baby and get on with the job in hand. 

Without a soul in sight I turned round and returned to the course. Thick bogs, Rocky streams (I hate water) and steep, stoney, treacherous tracks…was going to be a lonely journey home. 

After spending a very only hour or so without seeing any sign of human life other runners appeared from behind 

“YES!! I’m not last!!” I said inwardly

Sadly they were ultra runners but as they passed by they made conversation and helped the upward miles tick by. 

The course turned a corner and the way was suddenly heavily populated with hikers and walkers negotiating Kinder Scout. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that there was a race afoot and that it might be a bit handy if (IF!) on the precariously wet stony downhill single track path that they could just kind of interrupt their walk for a nanosecond to let those wearing race numbers take the safer route… I began to realise that the safety of others was not as reassuring as I’d hoped as I slipped and wobbled my way down to the bottom. 

On and on and on. Up hill and down dale. Watch battery long dead. I had no idea how far I’d come, or more importantly how much further I had to go. Happy is not been pulled out at a check point I kept chugging away. Mostly walking, but still moving. 

The last aid station emerged like an oasis. I gulped down the flat coke, leaving the pizza slices for the ultra gang. 

Can’t be much further …. surely. 

Mam Tor followed shortly after which went up, then up, then up. The marathon distance came and went along the ridge upon the top before hitting the stairway to hell. 

At last downhill… grassy downhill too! I could run without fear of breaking a limb. Hope Valley began to feel closer as the 2 mile descent trickled by and the ground began to feel level again. The finish arch appeared and I was cheered in …. exhausted, sunburnt and emotionally broken. 30 miles done. 

“That was harder the Glencoe” Michael admitted, whilst laughing his head of at the state of his counterpart “But I’m so proud of you for not giving up” 

Moral of the story ….. do some race research – do some training 

Michael Coultrup – 7.24.15

Sarah Holmes – 8.48.30

Unicorn Frolic

Our emperor of endurance was back out in Dorset to tackle another lapped event, this time the very spritely named Unicorn Frolic.

Set in the Morton Equestrian Estate near Dorchester, this 12 hour event was a challenge to run as many 4.4 mile laps as you could, (or indeed wanted to)

Despite suffering from tummy ache all night, Dan still set off for the 8am start not really knowing how the day would pan out and how many laps he’d manage, bearing in mind he’s won several of these events in the past.

The course was slightly undulating but the major challenge was the terrain. Twisty, turny, single file tracks and rough underfoot, it made for a technical run and lots of concentration to avoid a fall. 

A few laps in and Dan managed to faceplant himself into the dirt, (and it had nothing to do with the pop-up Gin bar that appeared from nowhere for a few laps). This wasn’t his biggest issue however, as his tummy cramp returned, plaguing him for the rest of the race. 

“I decided to call it a day after 8 laps. I was hoping my body would mysteriously reset itself on route but it didn’t. I wasn’t willing to carry on in pain and the course was so energy sapping”

He still got an amazing result though as he finished 4th overall and 2nd Male completing a fantastic 43 miles in 8 hours 19 minutes. 

Snowdonia Trail Races

With a selection of distances on offer this year IWRR had a bijoux team to represent the diamond Isle in this years events.

Steve Bennett, Steve Apsey and Ian Russell made the journey to Wales to take on the half, the marathon and ultra respectively. 

No fewer than 5528 ft of ascent faced Steve in the marathon and a colossal 7200 ft for Ian in the 60k ultra. Voted the best marathon in the UK not once, but twice by Runners World magazine, this race was established in 1982 as a polar opposite alternative to the concrete carnivals the major cities were offering. If that was the objective, then it is mission accomplished. You couldn’t get any more different. Not a flat road or a high rise in sight, this course circumnavigates then finally ascends Snowdon, Wales’ largest peak. It’s not a peak let’s face it, it’s a full on mountain! 

Starting in Llanberis at the wonderfully named Electric Mountain, Ian set out first on his epic journey. Just like the marathon that he’s completed the year before,  this beast of a course also started with a hill. 

“The Ultra had another mini mountain after the whopper at the start! It was brutal!” he described on his strava profile “You could see Snowdonia and all the other mountains at the summit. I did have a bit of a “It’s great to be alive moment” up there”

Taking in the picturesque Cwm Tresgl and Cwm Pennant before rejoining the marathon route. 

“I lost a shoe in knee deep mud early on…. I’m just glad I found it!” chirps pocket rocket Ian.

A couple of hours later the Steve Apsey set off on the marathon route with the rocky 3 mile trail of 1500ft ascent to tackle first. Of course what goes up must come down and a steep descent followed toward the woodland area at Beddgelert where the course levels out for a bit of relief from the elevation if not from the rocky terrain.

Shortly after Stevie Bennett was off in the half marathon accompanied by a familiar face in Mr.Keith Ruth. They took in many of the sights of the marathon course before beginning their ascent of the main attraction (ie that flipping great big mountain) via the Ranger Route.

“It was thick mist and cold at the top” Mr.Bennett tells me later in the day

No such luck for the other 2 runners tho, as they began their ascent via the Pyg Pass. 3406 feet of ascent still lay before them, a huge challenge had it been on a steep and stoney mountain trail. But no, it was far worse! It was rocks, boulders and massive monoliths of Jurassic lava to clamber over. There was no path, the boulders were the path! Luckily for them both, they happened to meet up at this point and tackled this formidable path together 

“It was great getting to “run” with Ian for a bit” said Steve 

It was worth the effort as at 1085m above sea level, (that’s 3559ft), the views at the summit are second to none. No time to hang around and enjoy them though as the boys all embarked on the tricky and technical descent back to Llanberis.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done” admitted Stevie B “but the scenery was stunning and the camaraderie was great”

“I loved it” said Steve Apsey “Hitting that summit was amazing”

“I’ll be back next year” said Ian

Ian Russell – 7.53.28

Steve Apsey – 5.11.08

Steve Bennett- 3.23.06

North Downs Way 30k

Hosted by Istead and Ifield Harriers the 36th North Downs Way saw Steve Hickman back out on the startline of what has been described in Runners World Magazine as ‘one of the most iconic trailraces in Europe’. Not only that but it incorporates the British Masters Trail Championships.

Starting at Cascades Leisure Centre, in Gravesend, the course follows the country lanes, footpaths and tracks across Shorne farmland before winding its way through Cobham Park and the Cuxton Valley before embarking on the North Downs Way and the Weald Way. Challenging underfoot and full of ascent this is never a walk in the park.

“It bites me every year” Steve said with an eyeroll “I managed to trip and fall before halfway. Ended up with a swollen knee and elbow…. at least I didn’t get run over by the event ambulance…. that actually happened one year haha”

Despite stacking it, Steve carried on and made to the top of the notorious Holly Hill with all of its 180m of elevation to enjoy the beautiful vistas before dropping back down to the Leisure Centre to complete the challenge in 3.42.47

HRRL League Summary

As we waved farewell to another successful Hampshire Road Race League Season last weekend. 102 different Roadrunners took part in the league across the 12 races. 4 of our ladies and 4 of our men participating in the minimum of 7 races to give themselves a final league position in a highly competitive field.

Men

Ross Wilkes 14th

David Blake 55th

Garry Sharp 81st

Kev Rann 103rd

Ladies 

Jodie Wilmott 11th 

Zoe Sherwin 25th

Sarah Sharp 76th

Bridget Keyte 93rd

We also had an unprecedented 3 members complete all 12 events. Only 10 women and 20 men in the entire county achieved this this year so huge congratulations to Ross Wilkes, Kev Rann and Bridget Keyte on their grit, determination and commitment.

Thank you and congratulations to every single club member that has competed in any of the races over the course of the season. Your blood, sweat, tears and early morning alarm calls score points for our wonderful club every time you cross that finish line -so well done to you all #teamIWRR

Team positions 

Ladies A – 8th 1st Division 

Men’s A – 10th 1st Division 

Ladies B – 14th 1st Division 

Men’s B – 5th 2nd Division 

Challenge the Wight

If you’ve  ever done Walk the Wight over the years, you will know first hand how challenging the course is in places. It’s famous “undulations” are a test of mind over matter. But as if that wasn’t challenge enough, a few. of our amazing Roadrunners decided to do it in reverse, in the dark and run… nuts!

27 miles, (or 14 if you were doing the first “half”), using mostly off road trails and footpaths, cutting down the centre of our Wight Isle. The terrain is pretty brutal…. add in the humidity remaining in the July air from one of the hottest days of the year.

Starting at 9pm from The Needles our tenacious (and slightly bonkers), team all set out in an Easterly direction with their headtorches, the light already sinking into the sunset behind them . They all went off at their varying paces… running solo or in twos and threes. 

Over Freshwater Golf Course, Mottistone Down and through Brighstone Forest they ran before finding themselves on the Tennyson Trail then dropping down to Carisbrooke.

It was here that Dave Cass and Tim Cordery collected their medals, having signed up for the first half only. 

The rest continued, some of them being greeted by some very familiar “Marshalls” on the way 

“It was great!” said Jane Andrew “Briony and Richard popped up 9 times along the route”

They all made it to the finish at Yaverland in good spirits, (one or two falls on the way however) They enjoyed a complementary bacon sandwich and welcome cup of tea at the end. No times, no prizes…. just a great experience had by all.

Lordshill 10k

The final race of this seasons Hampshire Road Race League took place on Sunday. From September to the end of June the league Races cover all corners of the county and some 104 competitive miles between them.

Team IWRR crossed The Solent for the early 8.30 start outside the Ordinance Survey Building, just north of Southampton to complete their bidding for the year. 3 of those having taken part in every single one of the 12 events.

A single lap course of mainly road saw our Roadrunners rocket around the Industrial Estate before heading up toward Lee Manor Farm and back through Nursling before heading back to where they started. 

First home was Ross Wilkes in yes! you’ve guessed it, YET ANOTHER PB! Hugely chuffed to finish in 17th place overall, Ross has completed his season in the league as he started… with maximum effort as part of #team12

Next in was David Blake in a speedy 40 minutes, despite having time to give us one of his legendary photo poses.

Garry Sharp completed the first men’s team, with #team12 member Kev Rann not far behind him. James Shoulder had a great run to finish in just over 50 mins with the 2 George’s finishing together.

The girls came in next with Abigail Keyte leading them home making it across the line in just under 52 minutes and Sarah Sharp in just over 55. The final member (and only female) of #team12, Bridget Keyte completed her season next with Tracey Houdoire completing the batting for the 2019 season.

Ross Wilkes – 35.51 17th

David Blake – 40.32

Garry Sharp – 43.37

Kevin Rann – 46.16

James Shoulder – 50.08

Giorgio Marinelli – 50.50

George  Butler – 50.51

Abigail Keyte – 51.50

Sarah Sharp – 55.09

Bridget Keyte – 1.01.23

Tracey Houdoire – 1.14.22

Brading 10k

A surprise soggy start soaked team IWRR as they stood on the startline at Smallbrook Stadium. Gone were the scorching temperatures of the past few days as a second break in the weather gave way to a cool morning. 

With a new course this year the runners left the Stadium knowing they wouldn’t have to take on the dreaded Beaper Shute this year. 

Simon Pilcher showed his metal amongst some stiff competition to cross the line in 5th. Stu Backhouse was the next home taking 9th and 1st V40 with Sean Williams snapping at his heels taking 10th and 2nd V40. 

For the ladies it was Jodie Wilmott that ran herself a PB to take the ladies crown. Haley Baxter also exceeded herself to a PB taking 3rd overall and 2nd V35. Polly Segar completed the ladies team in 6th and 3rd V35, ensuring that the top team placing was theirs.

Special mention also goes to Richard Harvey who took 3rd V40, Steve Rumsey taking 3rd V50, Steve Bennett 2nd V60, Sue Hunter 3rd V55, Lucy Deville for taking the champions spot in the V65 and Simon Paul for running himself a shiny new PB.

Great running everyone

Simon Pilcher – 35.43

Stuart Backhouse – 38.15

Sean Williams – 38.27

Richard Harvey – 39.31

Steve Rumsey – 39.58

Steve Apsey – 41.49

Jodie Wilmott – 42.33

Scott Bradley – 43.08

Steve Bennett – 43.26

Guy Mattinson – 44.11

Hayley Baxter – 44.27

Harry Vernon – 45.06

Polly Segar – 46.06

Simon Paul – 46.26

James Shoulder – 49.14

Darren Dollery – 51.44

Emily Scott – 53.15

Briony Andrew – 55.26

Louise Clark – 55.48

Charlotte Dollery – 55.59

Sue Hunter – 56.18

Jane Andrew – 57.29

Lucy Deville – 62.43

Team competition 

Men’s

2nd Pilcher, Backhouse, Williams

5th Harvey, Rumsey, Apsey

7th Bradley, Bennett, Mattinson

9th Vernon, Paul, Shoulder

Ladies

1st Wilmott, Baxter, Segar

5th Scott, Andrew, Clark

7th Dollery, Hunter, Andrew 

Isle of Wight Road Runners 10k Championship

The annual club 10k championship was blessed with its usual glorious sunshine, as one would expect for a late June evening. Two sets of prizes on offer for this race, the standard 1st, 2nd, 3rd past the post winning trophies and, to make things more interesting, the 3 people to guess their time most accurately winning cash pound notes.

Excitement was building as the Roadrunners congregated to collect their numbers. Their nominated times had been submitted the previous week, largely by guesswork as although the route had been revealed, the direction upon which the route would be engaged had not. 

The rowdy rabble in white blue and red assembled on the makeshift startline outside The Riverside Centre, their watches taped up or dumped in their bags so no-one can have a sneaky look along the way.  Chairman Kev Winchcombe gave the off as they set off on this test of their metal. 

First they had to negotiate a lap of the famous IWRR “mile rep” loop before they sailed back past the Riverside Centre, swinging a left up Little London and snuck up the little path around the back of the Bargemans. Crossing Riverway they made their way along the side of the college before dipping under the subway and emerging on Forest Road. The dreaded turn onto Standen Avenue gave them their first hefty climb of the race. They were rewarded with the lovely downhill Clissold Road and the welcome sight of the water station manned by our very own Simon and Jo Randall, giving everyone plenty of encouragement as they went past. Relief shortlived, the runners then huffed and puffed their way up Horsebridge Hill before being ushered down Stag Lane for a flat finish along the cycle track and a warm reception reception back at the Riverside

Ross Wilkes was the first runner back having played cat and mouse with Simon Pilcher for the entire race.

“I’m so chuffed to take the top spot” beams Ross “when Simon and I run together we always push each other on”

Pipped by just 6 seconds Simon took a well deserved 2nd place with Stu Backhouse in 3rd.

It was the next runner home however, that stole the show. Rosanna Sexton stormed her way around to finish 4th overall and 1st Female, displaying she is in great shape for the upcoming Island Games in a few weeks.

Jodie Wilmott took 2nd place in the ladies race with Polly Segar taking 3rd, (echoing the exact race results from 201🎉)

Everyone made it home to their cheer on the finishline as they came in one by one having given it their all.

But the real winners of the night were those who guessed their times the most accurately. The runners all got themselves a congratulatory chip butty and a drink from the bar as they gathered around for the grand reveal.

In joint third place were Paul Muffet and Jodie Wilmott who were 17 seconds outside their estimated time. Alison Butcher was 13 seconds out to take second with the winner of the night was Pete Sexton who was just 11 seconds out from his predicted time. As the winner, he got to choose where this year’s charity donation went, (£1 from each entry). He opted to donate the kitty to Kissypuppy.

Ross Wilkes – 34.58

Simon Pilcher – 35.04

Stuart Backhouse – 38.24

Rosanna Sexton – 39.25

Richard Harvey – 39.30

Nick Kenney – 40.10

David Blake – 40.30

Pete Sexton – 42.11

Paul Muffett – 42.17

Jodie Wilmott – 43.01

Garry Sharp – 44.24

Simon Riley – 45.44

Polly Segar – 46.07

James Shoulder – 49.11

Sarah Ward – 49.22

Lou Howell – 49.23

Abigail Keyte – 50.45

Chani Jones – 51.08

Margaret Niland-Murphy – 51.13

Charlotte Williams – 51.40

Lisa Upstell – 53.09

Julia Parker – 53.59

Sue Hunter – 55.29

Carolyn Littleton – 55.32

Sarah Sharp – 55.55

Charlotte Dollery – 56.33

Ian Williams – 57.27

Claire Howard – 58.22

Jane Andrew – 58.22

Louise Clarke – 58.22

Briony Andrew – 58.22

Alison Butcher – 58.32

Kenny Harrison – 59.04

Emma Muffet – 59.53

Bridget Keyte – 1.01.08

Lucy Deville – 1.03.55

David Shoulder – 1.04.38

Eloise Radestock – 1.06.22

Debbie Radestock – 1.06.31