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Newport to Ryde

It was a startline full of local running royalty that turned out in front of County Hall in Newport for the first of this years Easter races. Lining up amongst the 163 starters were marathon winners, half marathon victors, Hampshire League champions and Island Games medalists, thus promising an exciting battle for the top spots.

The weather held off as a sea of smiley runners gathered just off Coppins Bridge for the off.

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.

The recent rainy days made for some interesting conditions underfoot as the Runners left the road and embarked through the woods.

“Muddy, muddy, mud!” exclaimed George Butler on Facebook later in the day

But it didn’t deter the warriors in white, blue and red from absolutely smashing it.
New signing, Ben Douglas, (brother of existing member Michael), certainly made an entrance on his club debut as he romped home to take the top spot, fighting off some stiff competition in just under 42 and a half minutes. Next in was Paul Cameron in 5th place continuing his long awaited return from injury to claim 1st V45. Bill Goozee was next home in 8th with Ross Wilkes in 10th.

In the ladies race Holly Newton maintained her good form by storming home in 4th overall with Hayley Baxter in 5th and Jenny Dewing coming over the line in 10th.

There were prize winners galore in the age categories too, with Ben Douglas, Paul Cameron and Tarnia Eldridge emerging victorious in theirs, Harry Rann, Hayley Baxter and Due Hunter grabbing 2nd and newly returned member Stuart Backhouse and Jodie Wilmott taking 3rd in theirs.

Ben Douglas – 42.26
Paul Cameron – 44.24
Bill Goozee – 47.06
Ross Wilkes – 48.01
Dean Pike – 49.42
Stuart Backhouse – 50.11
Harry Rann – 51.32
George Butler – 53.37
Gordon Mucklow – 55.43
Tom Forster – 56.23
Richard Bezer – 56.35
Holly Newton – 56.47
Hayley Baxter – 58.38
Paul Martin – 1.00.03
Jenny Dewing – 1.02.24
Giorgio Marinelli – 1.04.04
Tarnia Eldridge – 1.04.05
Emma Ford – 1.05.40
Keith Ruth – 1.05.47
Jodie Wilmott – 1.07.59
Steve Hickman – 1.08.48
Julie Ray – 1.10.57
Claire Howard – 1.10.57
Ivan Ward – 1.12.25
Sarah Ward – 1.12.26
Julia Parker – 1.14.12
Nick Carter – 1.15.44
Caroline Curliss – 1.18.07
Callie Hatcher – 1.18.57
Bridget Keyte – 1.21.25
Dawn Pointer – 1.23.37
Bel Rockall – 1.23.38
Sue Hunter – 1.23.47

The team competition was dominated by the runners in the red, white and blue vests with 5 full teams both the ladies and men. The Roadrunners took the 1st and 3rd positions in both the ladies and men’s competitions for the second year in a row. What a treasure haul!

Mens Teams

1st B.Douglas, P.Cameron, B.Goozee
3rd R.Wilkes, D.Pike, H.Rann
5th G.Butler, G.Mucklow, T.Forster
8th R.Bezer, P.Martin, K.Ruth
11th S.Hickman, I.Ward, N.Carter

Ladies Teams

1st H.Newton, H.Baxter, J.Dewing
3rd T.Eldridge, E.Ford, J.Wilmott
6th J.Ray, C.Howard, S.Ward
8th J.Parker, C.Hatcher, B.Keyte
9th D.Pointer, B.Rockall, S.Hunter

Great day of running guys – well done


Dave Dellar Memorial 5

The Dave Dellar run always marks the start of Summer. The clocks have just changed, the evenings are lighter 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 tiny little running club has grown into the biggest club on the Island.

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.

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 Street, before turning right at Sainsbury’s Petrol station to make their way back to the Riverside Centre, where the time keepers were frantically scribbling down everyone’s times.

First over the line were…..
For the boys
1st Stuart Backhouse
2nd Ross Wilkes
3rd Darren Cole

And for the ladies….
1st Trish Train
2nd Lizzie Pilcher
3rd Polly Segar

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

1st Garry Sharp – 16 seconds out
2nd Brian Canning/Glen Jones – 24 seconds out
3rd Steve Rumsey/Nick Dover – 30 seconds out

1st Abigail Farwell – 12 seconds out
2nd Bel Rockall – 19 seconds out
3rd Trish Train – 29 seconds out

Well done to all the 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 Dave Wilcock – 226 points
2nd Richard Bezer – 217 points
3rd Steve Bennett – 197points

Massive congratulations to Dave.

“I’m never going to be first over the line in a race, so I am really pleased to win this trophy… I’ve no idea how I did it however haha!” He beams clutching his award

Dave celebrated on the way home with what he described on Facebook as a “dinner of champions”

London Landmarks Half

Sold out in minutes, getting a place in this inaugural half marathon was certainly a case of the fastest fingers first. Luckily for her, her fingers are as as fast as her feet as Sharon McNally made her return to racing after a period of injury over the winter season.

Starting on Pall Mall, (just after the Jail on the monopoly board), 10,000 lucky runners lined up to begin on this sightseeing extravaganza.

Taking in some huge landmarks along the way this route certainly lives upto it’s name. Nelsons Column, St.Pauls Cathedral, The Gherkin, The Tower, The Shard, The London Eye and Big Ben… and that’s not considering all the little quirky ones too! Passing the houses of Guy Fawkes, Dick Whittington and Shakespeare, Harry Potter’s Bank, Britain’s smallest Police Station, the origin of the Great Fire of London and an 11 foot grasshopper to name just a few, the Runners won’t know where to look as they make their  way around the 13.1 mile course

“The whole course was lovely! We passed so many landmarks and they all had signs up pointing them out to you, it was great!”

Finishing in Whitehall, just outside Downing Street, Sharon clocked in in 1.49.07 giving her a cracking 12th V50.

Combe Gibbet to Overton

For the second year in a row super crew, Steve Bennett and Judy McCabe continued their brilliant teamwork by revisiting this point to point race.

Assembling at the finish line at Overton Primary School, Judy and Steve were transported via bus over to the cold and cloudy start area at Combe Gibbet.

On the Berkshire/Hampshire border, the gibbet was erected on the later named Gallows Down in 1676. Despite being replaced several times over the past 342 years, it only ever served its purpose for 2 souls over that time.

Serving only as a local landmark now, Steve and Judy set off on their 16.2 mile journey though the Hampshire hills down to Overton.

Gradual steady undulation was not the only obstacle they had to face along the way. Drifts of frozen snow still remained on the high ground, with deep mud on the low ground where it had thawed elsewhere and trickled down the hillsides.

“It was hard going and sapping at times” says Steve “it was a lovely run once the sun started peeping through”

They ran the whole way together and crossed the line in 2.17.58 giving Judy 1st in her age category and Steve 2nd in his.

The Rog Run 2018

A record number of runners turned out for the fourth running of The Rog Run. Celebrating the life of Isle of Wight Road Runners long time member Roger Walker-Reed and acknowledging his massive contribution to the club.

Following one of Roger’s favourite training routes, the 7ish mile loop started on Ventnor seafront, the runners then made their way past the iconic paddling pool and onto the cliff path before embarking upon the routes only climb.

Starting at Castle Road, then Gills Cliff Road, the runners made their way up all 800 feet of ascent to the crest of the formidable St Boniface Down

But what goes up must come down, and come down they did.

Flying down Cowleaze Hill, down Bonchurch Shute and onto the seafront and back along to the point where they started.

First across the line was Paul Cameron, in a blinding 46.04. His first appearance after quite a period of injury. Great to see you back Paul! First Lady was Ryde Harrier Charlie Metcalfe in a blistering 51.44 and fourth overall.

However speed was not the deciding factor in dishing out the amazing bling! (Roger’s family have kindly donated some of the running legends old running trophies)
Those who can guess most accurately how long it will take them to complete the course, (nomination), are those which emerge victorious. Thus making the race wide open.

1st man: Ian Williams – 2 seconds out
2nd man: Roy Young – 17 seconds out
3rd man: Gordon Bushell – 35 seconds out

1st lady: Jane Andrew – 15 seconds out
2nd lady: Cherry Shannon – 74 seconds out
3rd lady: Charlotte Williams – 86 seconds out

Entrants also made up self titled teams of 4 for the final trophy.
1st team: Manchester Crew – Elaine Parry, Michael Dignan, Ken Beak & Brian Warren
2nd team: Team Dave – Arielle Elton-Walters, Emma Yates, Dave Williams & Gordon Bushell
3rd team: Where is GB – Julie Ray, Elaine Harris, Paul Cameron & Steve Hickman.

Individual times for the 2018 Rog Run can be viewed here:
2018 Results

Most importantly, the event is a fund raiser for 2 charities in Roger’s name. Macmillan and SSAFA (providers of lifelong support for our forces and their families)
In total the runners raised a fantastic £572.

A massive thank you to everyone who ran and volunteered to make this run happen.

Sussex Coastal Half Marathon

Shouldering Seaford and Eastbourne, this figure of eight course lies East of the South Downs National Park. Taking in the iconic white chalky cliffs of Beachy Head, these events are challenging.

Continuing their training for the London Marathon in April, super team Nick Kenney and Julie Rasmussen both selected the half marathon distance on Saturday, along side Nick’s brother Alex.

“I wish I’d looked at the course profile before I signed up!” Julie quips before the race.

But the rolling hills of the Sussex Coast weren’t the only thing they had to contend with on race day. The Beast from the East had sent in it’s little brother for a flying visit as strong winds brought with them snow showers and freezing conditions.

“Even standing in the start line the wind was beating against us” Julie said “All my extremities were numb”

But undeterred, they set off from the event HQ in Birling Gap, one of the few access points to the coastal path. Straight into a headwind, they headed out along Beachy Head Road and up Seven Sisters before turning toward Friston and East Dean.

A quick return back through Birling before they set off on the second and toughest loop of the course up Beachy Head along the exposed cliff path at the mercy of the elements before the turn at Holywell and the welcome return leg to the finish line.

“The route was as tough as I anticipated with numerous steep ascents. There was to be no shelter anywhere on the course. It really was a true test of sheer grit and determination to keep going in such testing conditions. I can only compare it to running up and down to Tennyson monument continuously for 13 miles”

Nick came over the line in 2.16.32, unfortunately for him, his legendary rivalry with his brother didn’t go his way this time as despite running the race together, Alex pipped Nick on chip time by 1 vital second.
Julie finished in 2.37.11, tired but triumphant

“That was my slowest half but most definitely the most difficult one I’ve ever tackled”

Well done Julie and Nick (and Alex.. sorry Nick!)

Lydd 20

Fast and flat, this 20 miler is perfect to test your marathon race pace if training for Spring races.
That’s exactly what marathon man Steve Hickman was doing this Sunday. It wasn’t his own pace he was testing though, he was pacing round a member of his second claim club Ashford and District.

Starting outside the Banks Sports Club, the course took in the wide pancake flat lanes surrounding the town of Lydd. Heading north, this out and back route flicks out into a little loop toward the town of Brookland before returning along the same roads back to the Sports Centre.

Steve finished in 3.37.19 bringing his friend home on target for her marathon in a few weeks.

Frankfurt Half Marathon

A seamlessly organised event greeted Roadrunners Harry Vernon and Margaret Niland-Murphy as they took on the Frankfurt Half Marathon on Sunday.

Hosted by Frankfurt’s Spiridon Running Club, this is Germany’s largest amateur organised event.

“It was first class. The day went smoothly and was relaxing and enjoyable” said Harry

Fast and flat the 13.1 mile journey began outside the iconic Eintracht Football Stadium, the Commerzbank Arena. It then followed the course of the River Main before progressing through some woodland area to the west of the city before returning to the 50000 capacity stadium for a glory finish.

Margaret was first back to the stadium in a speedy 1.47.50 coming 15th in her V50 age category and was the first British lady home. Harry was not too far behind in 1.56.48. A relief for him as the race was his first long run since tearing his calf at New Year.

“I feel like I’m back on it now” he said

No medals were on offer for the finishers, but there was free beer given out to our thirsty runners – Gut Laufen Harry and Mags! Prost!

Larmer Tree Races -Day 2

Even muddier than the day before, (of course it was! 1013 Runners and 34 dogs over 4 races had lovingly churned it up for them!), the next 14 victims…l mean Roadrunners….had made the journey over to deepest Dorset to tackle the Larmer Tree hillfest.

First to set off were the awesome foursome in the marathon. 2400 feet of elevation lay before them. Last minute changes to the route due to heavy snowdrifts remaining on some of the high ground, were of concern to our intrepid 4 as White Star events can be famously over distance. But concerns proved to be unfounded as they stormed in measuring 26 miles as planned.

Unsurprisingly off road mileage maestro Dan Williams was the first home in a staggering 3.43.48 claiming 12th overall and 3rd V40.

“Mud, hills, all the usual. I’m still not feeling 100% after having the flu so I am well chuffed… Happy days!”

And chuffed he should be! Despite not feeling fully fit he managed to knock 2minutes off last years time.

Tim Keyte ran his debut off road marathon to come across the line next in just under 4hr 25, with the ever amazing Tarnia Eldridge flying the solo flag for the ladies crossing the line with partner George Butler bagging themselves 5th and 2nd respectively in their age categories.

“That was only 2 and a half minutes away from my pb! I’m really happy with that considering the hills and the mud” said George on Facebook shortly after the race.

Great performances by all of 4 of them.

Dan Williams – 3.43.48
Tim Keyte – 4.24.38
Tarnia Eldridge – 4.43.21
George Butler – 4.43.21

An hour later, the remaining 10 Roadrunners embarked on the tough “20” Despite the mud and the huge elevation, (the equivalent of running up Culver Down 5 and a half times), it was an enjoyable race for all. Maybe it was due to the free cider they were giving out at the “Lovestation” waterstop at 17 miles but who knows? (We do like to work hard, play hard at Roadrunners!)

Many of today’s team opted to run in pairs or small groups with only Mick and Garry going it alone. On long runs such as this, especially over such gruelling terrain, the power of friendship and teamwork can really push each other through.

Unlike the marathoners, “team 20” were treated to an free mile, (aren’t they lucky!) but the extra effort was worth it as they pushed up the final hill to the finish line to collect their beautiful peacock medals and a hot lunch courtesy of the organisers, White Star Running.

Mud lover Michael Coultrup was unsurprisingly the first to cross the line in just under 3hrs 14 and 2nd V50. A fantastic performance considering he has been nursing a niggly knee.

“I took it real steady and enjoyed it” he tells me later

Garry Sharp was next home in just under 3hrs25, proving his London marathon training is right on target. Inseparable running team Judy McCabe and Steve Bennett were next across the finishing line giving Steve a fantastic 2nd place V60 and Judy 8th in hers. The gigglers were in next Lisa Upstell just nipping ahead in the final stages but having run the majority of the race with troublesome trio Julie Ray, Julie Rasmussen and Sarah Sharp.

“That was a tough run but I was determined to not let it beat me. It was made easier with the encouragement of the two Julies and Lisa who were all awesome” our Vicechair Sarah Sharp tells me.

A few minutes later Kevin Winchcombe and Gill Bushell came in completing the Roadrunners team with big smiles on their faces.

Michael Coultrup – 3.13.28
Garry Sharp – 3.24.46
Judy McCabe – 3.36.42
Steve Bennett – 3.36.42
Lisa Upstell – 4.13.41
Julie Rasmussen – 4.14.51
Julie Ray – 4.14.51
Sarah Sharp – 4.14.51
Kev Winchcombe – 4.26.48
Gill Bushell – 4.26.48

Larmer Tree Races -Day 1

Set in the beautiful countryside of the Larmer Tree Gardens and the  Rushmore estate on the Dorset & Wiltshire border, a total of 7 Road Runners set off for the first 2 races of the weekends events.

The recent rainfall had made this famously hilly course all the more difficult.
The undulation on all these races at Larmer is relentless. And with an absolute whopper of a 841 footer chucked in the middle (Ventnor’s St.Boniface Down is 702ft as a comparison for you).

An early kick off of 8.30am saw just 2 Roadrunners embark on the 10 mile course. Despite being the shortest distance on offer over the weekend of running, it was by no means an easy option.

Misha Hetherington and Rachel Dempsey embraced the challenge knocking 14 minutes each off their times from last year, earning themselves their beautiful peacock medals and enjoyed a free breakfast courtesy of the organisers, White Star Running.

Mischa Hetherington – 2.17.39
Rachel Dempsey – 2.18.51

An hour later the half marathon got underway. Following largely the same course as the 10 milers, but with a couple more hills and even a bit of the Beast from the East still hanging around on the high ground.

First home was Nick Kenney in a marvellous 19th overall and 3rd V45 in just under 2 hours. Holly Newton wasn’t too far behind to claim 29th overall and 6th place in the ladies race, winning the Senior Female category.

Next in were the triumphant trio of Jane Andrew, Claire Howard and Alison Batchelor, or team JAC as they are fondly known as. They came across the line, as always together. Supporting each other as they conquered more than just the hills out there.

“Mud, hills, rain, snow and fog. I loved it!” Said Jane

Jane also bagged herself 3rd V55 along the way, whilst Claire and Ali took 6th & 7th V50 respectively

Nick Kenney- 1.59.51
Holly Newton- 2.06.24
Jane Andrew- 2.55.41
Claire Howard- 2.55.41
Alison Batchelor- 2.55.43