Dorset Invader Half Marathon – Sunday 29th July 2017
When in Rome… This is a race I’d been looking forward to. White Star Running have a reputation for putting on a great event with a fun vibe, this event had the atmosphere of a Parkrun, which I really liked. This event included the Lovestation, but more on that in a minute.
The race has a Roman theme, something to do with some stuff that happened near there a long time ago, before TV was invented. The race is started by a centurion on a horse (this one was about 6yo and on a pony) and the drop of his sword. Off into fields and track you go and emerge later knackered, possibly muddy and maybe half cut.
Rain had ensured the course was muddy this year (yay! cross country in July!) so times were pretty slow with only 23 runners out of 476 completing the course in under 2hours, not that it mattered. The previous day’s marathon runners made sure the course was cut up nicely for us too. At 14 miles they throw in a particularly steep hill… oh yes and they throw in a bonus mile and bit, which makes it excellent value for money!
So what’s a Lovestation? It like a feed station, only it has disco tunes and you’re offered a choice of alcoholic beverages, a wide selection of sweet and savory snacks and it’s highly likely you’ll leave with lipstick on your face… this happens at about mile 10.
Giant’s Head Marathon next year with Paul Taylor is being talked about… watch this space.
Benidorm Half Marathon and 10K – Sunday 27 November 2016
The 3 amigos headed to Benidorm for a weekend of running tapas and Sangria. The course for both the 10 k, run by Vanessa and Annette and the half marathon, run by Caroline, took in both bays of Benidorm and the old town. What a great place to run.
Carolyn Gerber – Half Marathon – 2.14.57
Annette Yeomanson – 10k – 1.05.12 and a new PB!!
Vanessa Clements – 10K – 1.09.55
Trail Run – North East France – Sunday 13 November 2016
On Sunday 13th November I had the opportunity to take part in my first ever trail run in the Champagne area of North East France, near Reims, around the vineyards of the town of Epernay. There are three distances in the Sparnatrail: 56 K, 31 K and 15 K. There were over 500 starters for the short run alone, and the finish was in the sports hall in town. The experience is best described as doing Gas Hill many times over in sticky, slithery clay, running through boggy woodland on the hill tops and hurtling down the descents as safely as you can.
There were many fallers … It was damp and misty, unfortunately, as otherwise the views of the hillsides covered with vines would have been spectacular.I was pleased with a time of 1:51:28, and was 30 seconds behind the
winner in my age group. I definitely liked the idea of a bottle of champagne as a prize (and didn’t spray it over the assembled crowd)! If you go to the Jogging Club Epernay web page you can appreciate some of the amazing times the elite athletes put in over such a challenging course. I think the 56 K was won in around 4 hours 20 minutes!!
Holmfirth 15 mile – Sunday 30 October 2016
Back in 2010 when I was fairly new to running, this was the furthest I had ever run so thought it would be good to return to see if I was any better or not.
Holmfirth is set in a valley and is the location of Last of the Summer Wine, so there were quite a few hills, a long one of about a mile and a couple of shorter lung busters. The course is two laps and a loop. The weather was perfect a little mist but otherwise cool, not cold with no wind.
The 10k started at 9.30 and the 15 miler five minutes later. Most opted for the 10k with just 77 doing the longer distance.
I was delighted to finish in 28th place with a new pb and Diamond standard time of 1.49.46 and 3rd in my age group. This was almost 10 minutes quicker than in 2010.
Furthermore I was pleased to post a new club record for this distance.
Leicester Marathon and Half Marathon – Sunday 23 October 2016
The Leicester full and half marathon was the latest Jags tour outside of Norfolk. Both full and half runners left at the same time of 9.15 from Victoria Park and on this occasion there were some 3000 runners.
The jags group consisted of Paul and Carolyn Gerber, Annette Yeomanson, Vee Clements, Hilda Mears, Clare Hicks, Ben Letzer and Rodney Bye who were all running and Sarah Letzer and Jenny Welsh as our loyal supporters.
Ben and Rodney were tackling the full Marathon with the others all doing the half. Weather on the day was perfect, cloudy and cool with some very mild but welcome drizzle. The route itself was both interesting and picturesque, it takes you through the city centre but also through Watermeade Park, the National Space Centre and Abbey Park which were very tranquil and lovely to see the lakes. Support was good at the gathering points and the water stations and marshalling was very efficient.
Sarah Letzer, Jenny Welsh and Michael Peyrebrune done a sterling job cheering us along and had the happy jag banner flying and Netty’s family were also out to wave us on. The support was much needed on the last uphill mile on New Road which was tough!
Both Ben and Rodney completed the Marathon in fab times. First in on the half marathoners was Paul Gerber followed by Carolyn and Clare and Carolyn taking a massive 8 mins off her previous half marathon race. Hilda then followed in, then Annette and Vee.
So three PBs in the bag for Carolyn, Hilda and Vanessa, a lovely t shirt, goody bag and great medal at the end sealed a great run.
All in all it was a fabulous day with many of us saying it was the best half marathon we had run. The whole weekend was a treat with some great Jags for company. Roll on the next one!
full results to follow..
Amsterdam Half Marathon – Sunday 16th October 2016
The race was due to start at 1.20pm but was delayed by about 20mins, fortunately the weather was dry , in fact it was rather on the warm side at 20 degrees so we chose to wait in the shade. By the time the race started we both needed a wee!! It took us about 3 miles to find a loo as most of them were locked.
Our objective was to have an enjoyable run and take in the scenery and not go for a PB as we had done a half the week before at Peterborough .
The whole race was incredibly well supported with steel bands, drums and DJ’s at every half mile which really kept us going, also there was plenty of water stops offering water, sponges, energy gels and bars which were very welcoming in the warm weather .
The crowd support was also amazing .There was approx 45,000 runners in total doing the full and the half which did make running at your normal pace quite challenging as it was hard to get past people . The last few miles of the race took us through a really lovely park which then led us into the stadium for the last few hundred metres where the atmosphere was electric .
We came over the finish line holding hands at just over 2 hrs .
We would defiantly recommend this race , loved every minute!
Sonya and Emma
Baxters Loch Ness Marathon – Sunday 25 September 2016For some strange reason I was drawn back to Loch Ness this year, due I suppose to unfinished business after last years hazy recollections of the last miles.It was a good day for running and all was going well, but after a few hills which sorted me out the main one at 18 miles really had it in for me. My legs and body had enough and it was just survival after that, but I wanted to finish this one off once and for all.
I crawled over the finish line in 3.28.26 which was over 6 minutes quicker than last year gaining a gold standard and finishing in 242nd place out of 2500.Jeremy
The Bournemouth Marathon Festival
This event occurs over two days with junior races, a 10k and a 5k night run taking place on the Saturday and the Half and Full Marathons on the Sunday. Those who ran the Edinburgh Marathon Festival last year will be familiar with the setup as the same company organises both events.
Natalie and Scott Shrubsall were taking part in the Half and Full Marathons respectively. Both routes start close to the Football stadium in Boscombe and follow a seaside finishing by Bournemouth pier, the route offers some wonderful views of the surrounding coastline and with fantastic support and marshalls on route this is a brilliant event. The route follows the seafront and cliff lines quite a bit but this is far from a boring course and throws a couple of tough hills at you. The unique feature of this race is running out to sea along both Boscombe and Bournemouth piers.
Natalie had the earlier start with the half marathon setting off at 8am, it was a little bit chilly at this time but the sun was out and the atmosphere around the start was building nicely. There would be about 5000 runners on the sunday with the half marathon having the bigger field of entrants. This was Natalie’s first run at this distance but despite this she was very relaxed about it. The run got underway and very soon all the competitors had filed through the start gate and were on their way. For the first 6 miles or so Natalie ran well and was enjoying herself, despite having to walk a bit after that and wanting to cry near the end she did wonderfully to finish in 2hrs 25mins, spurred on no doubt by the colourful banner the children at Coltishall Pre-School had made for the occasion.Shortly before Natalie had finished Scott had set off on the Marathon route. The Marathon was started by Mr 401, Ben Smith who was also taking part and despite having to wait for all the other runners to start still managed to pass Scott by mile 20 (respect! well, he’s a bit of practice!). Scott himself was looking good for a PB until towards the end when the heat and probably lack of training took it’s toll. Crossing the line just under the 4hr mark was still a good result.At the time of writing around £200 has been raised in sponsorship to help get the local preschool a new dedicated garden space… donations can still be made at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/natsbournemouthbash/350452?currentPage=2&update=new#donationsList until the end of October.
The Dig Deep Ultra – Saturday 20 August 2016
‘The Dig Deep Intro Ultra’ is a 30 mile trail race in the Peak District with stunning views on a very challenging route. The weekend also hosts a 60 mile race Saturday and finishes off Sunday with a 12.2 mile and a 10k race (spoilt for choice) plus on site camping. The weather had gone from heatwave to rainy, windy, humid, hot and cold. Typical British Summertime!
The 60 mile race started at 6am and we left for our mere 30 miles at 8.00am after having our backpacks checked for the mandatory kit – compass, whistle, route map, spare food, water and a windproof jacket. Serious stuff! A gentle enough start though fields and over styles, through woodland then climbing up to Stanage edge and running with a sheer drop to my left for a couple of miles then a long downhill on good tracks and a single track road, then it got serious with Win Hill! It took me 20 minutes to complete that mile! Next we went round Hope Valley Cement Works and quarry an we were about halfway! 6 electronic check points completed 6 to go. A feed station at Hathersage, another steep climb across moorland then a mostly downhill and picturesque run beside the river. Onto more tough moorland, good tracks and into woodland for the last mile when a young lady past me and asked if I was ok? I gasped “yeah just about” she beamed back “I’m 6th or 7th lady I’m buzzing” fantastic! That made my day.
I finally finished in 6 hours 9 minutes exhausted but it was probably the most well organised, friendliest and enjoyable race I’ve ever done. I’ll be back next year for sure and hopefully a few club members will join me?!
Clacton Half Marathon – 21st August 2016.
A new course for 2016, all on tarmac paths along the promenade around Clacton on Sea.
Potentially a pb course but due to the strength of the wind was never going to be on the day. Plenty to look at on the way round, and very well organised by Nice-Work and their team.
Managed to keep it together and had to tuck in behind others and vica verca on the exposed sections ( its amazing how runners help one another ) Struggled in the last 1/2 mile but ran with a young lady and helped one another to the finish.
Finished with a diamond standard time of 1.35.47 and 21st out of 226.
Even more amazing was to come, first in my age category and to be present for the awards, missed 2 this year for different reasons!!
Would do again, and hope for a calm day.
Romney Marsh 10k – 24 July 2016
Fast and flat with pb potential, wasn’t going to run it 10 minutes before due to a niggling back problem. But decided to just gently jog round. Ok, so I got carried away, something to do with a small competitive streak.
Quite happy on the day with a diamond standard 41.36 finishing 13th out of 170. Even more gutted to once again miss out on an age group prize of a bottle of wine by seconds.
Newmarket 10k – 3 July 2016
A hilly course and a warm day, ideal to challenge yourself, with an uphill finish. Off the pace today but finished 23rd out of 217. Still a diamond standard of 41.57. Gutted to miss out by a few seconds on the age group prize of a pound of sausages, provided by the race sponsors.
Marham 10k – 26 June 2016
Really like doing this one, its very low key and the summer 10k follows on with a family fun day.
A warm day but pretty much perfect running conditions unlike last year when it rained all the way round.
Very happy to achieve a new diamond pb of 40.46 knocking over a minute off my previous time, and finishing 7th out of 80.
Would recommend running this one.
Folkestone 10k, Sunday 29th May 2016.
What do you do on a Bank Holiday ? Go to the seaside and don’t forget to pack your trainers of course.
Jeremy decided to combine visiting Grandchildren with a quick detour to the Kent coast, as you do.
The Folkestone 10k is an out and back along the coastal cycle path, under the cliffs which provided a little shelter from the strong offshore wind. Other sections were more exposed but the temperature was good as the sun broke through.
It was an excellent running surface with good support along the way, and sea views all the way. I would imagine with an onshore wind it could be very uncomfortable.
The race was well attended with nearly 500 runners. Jeremy was more than happy to achieve a diamond standard pb of 41.35.
finishing 33rd.After a superb Sunday roast cooked by his daughter ( the roasties were phenomenal ) a game of hide and seek finished the day off !
Brighton Marathon – Sunday 17 April 2016
Three Jaguars took to the streets of Brighton for the 7th running of the “Britain’s Number 2 Marathon”. Excitement and nerves were evident at the start, especially for Vicky Tovell who was making her debut on the marathon scene and running in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. She was accompanied by Gavin McKee and Scott Shrubsa
Having run the first mile as a group of three, what followed was a game of cat and mouse. Scott’s adrenaline perhaps getting the better of him as he went haring (relatively speaking) off at 8:20-8:30 pace, while Vicky and Gav stuck to their race plan explicitly. Due to the nature of the course, that is almost a series of out and backs, our runners passed each other a few times, once on the drag to Ovingdean, again at about mile 15/16 and finally in the industrial area around mile 22. This was always a pleasant surprise.
As the temperature rose Scott’s pace declined having been on target for a 3:45 for about 20 miles the dreaded Paul Evan’s quote “20 miles is half way” must have started ringing in his ears as his pace dropped of significantly. Behind him Gav and Vicky were growing stronger it seemed and started speeding up. By the finish there was little to separate the trio. Scott just managing to hold it together enough to cross the line about a minute ahead of Vicky, and not long after Gav crossed the timing beam just another minute behind.
Reunited at the finish, a dip in the sea and a couple of hard earned beers were the order of the day. One final well done to Vicky Tovell for running a Silver standard time!!
Scott Shrubsall – 3h 52m 24s
Vicky Tovell – 3h 53m 34s (Silver Standard)
Gavin McKee – 3h 54m 35s
Manchester Marathon – Sunday 10 April 2016
The day dawned on Manchester bringing with it a frosty but sunny morning . It was marathon day for Sonya Wragg & Emma Jordan but with the absence of Sue Allen & James Fuller, who had to pull out due to ill health.
It was Sonya’s 3rd marathon but it was touch and go as to whether she was even able to run it . She had been harbouring a stress fracture on her toe and for the last 5 weeks had been doing all her training on the cross trainer, but a little thing like that wasn’t going to stop her. Emma on the other hand was embarking on her first marathon and with both ladies feeling incredibly nervous for different reasons started their run at 9am from Old Trafford in perfect weather conditions.
The route was a flat course, ideal for PB’s and marathon virgins . The route took the runners out to areas such as Altrincham, Urmston and Brooklands. The course was extremely well supported which really helped in those latter miles . With both runners struggling at the later stages, Sonya with her foot injury and Emma with the onset of cramp, they still managed to finish with pretty impressive times . Sonya with sheer grit and determination managed to knock off 11 minutes and gain a PB of 4.00.22 and Emma with a first marathon time of 4.03.01.
A great race run by both ladies !!
Paris Marathon – Sunday 3 April 2016
A lovely sunny morning greeted us as we awoke for Paris Marathon. Scott headed off early as was starting at 9am and I was starting in the last pen at 10.15am. The start was walkable from our hotel and good to see all the runners which had set off on route already as I walked to the start. The baggage tent was a long walk to and from to the start and ended up clocking up nearly 4 miles before the start of the marathon which I had not envisaged, so something to think about if we ever did it again.
The route was flat through the city of Paris, starting at the Arc De Triumph. This took you through the city and out through a big park and to the outskirts of Paris in a loop. About 25k into the run was good coming back through Notre Dame along by the river. This took you through the various tunnels and under bridges along the route. The only downside was the small inclines as you came out the other side. The route took you past various famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and La Louvre. 33k into the run took you through another park with a long straight road to the finish at the Arc De Triumph. I saw lots of casualties in this final stretch of the race with ambulances with flashing lights heading back and forth. I was just grateful I was not in one of them.
The temperature in the shade that day was 21 degrees celsius. The sun and heat took its toll on both Scott and I. We both quickly realised a pb would be difficult to achieve and felt we just had to try and get to the finish.
I would highly recommend anyone doing this marathon. It was brilliantly organised with fantastic support most of the way around. There were various bands playing music on route, as well as drummers and performers. There were lots of food and drinks stations on route and received great medal, bag and t-shirt, so felt it was well worth the money. It is one we would both like to do again. 12% of Brits make up this race and even found myself running alongside 3 Great Yarmouth Road Runners at one point. It was a great weekend too and there were various pubs which welcomed marathon runners after the event.
Scott managed to run a time of 3 hours, 34 minutes and finished position 6095 out of 41,783 runners and I ran 5 hours, 13 minutes and was in position 36,236. Scott even had time to go back to the hotel, have a shower and come back and meet me when I finished, shows how slow I am ha ha!
The Gainsborough & Morton 10k Road Race 2016 – 20 March 2016
This race took part in just about perfect conditions for a run with cool temperatures, no wind and bright sunshine after the cold wet and windy weather the day before. This race has been voted one of the best in the UK by readers of Runners World and takes place on a PB friendly, fast and completely flat course. The race starts in Morton, on the outskirts of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, and follows a single anti clockwise loop through the villages of East Stockwith and Walkerith. It’s a very well organised event with lots of marshals and spectators on the course and really was a lovely run, even if I missed the normal encouragement the Jags colours attract locally.
Having chosen to miss a long run and rest my legs on the Saturday, it was time to see if all of the Jags efforts sessions were having any effect on my running and go for my first ever sub 45 minute 10k. Well, something must be working as I ran hard from the start and despite slowing slightly in the second half, still managed to achieve a huge new 10k PB of 43:46, taking 2:49 off of my previous best time and over a minute better than my goal.
Milton Keynes Festival of Running – 6 March 2016
A cold but sunny morning with light winds provided near perfect conditions for this event. Four races were taking place on the day – 5k, 10k, half marathon and a 20 miler. In preparation for Wymondham 20, James Lambert and Nicola John decided to give it a go.
The route starts in the centre of Milton Keynes and ventures out towards the neighbouring suburbs and park lands. The start of the route was a gentle downhill which headed out of town and allowed the 812 runners to disperse on the closed roads as it narrowed into smaller pathways. The course consisted of two laps around Willen Lakes and Middleton; finishing with a big hill on mile 19 which proved to be a bit of a challenge on very tired legs.
All in all the route was good with a decent medal at the end. However, there were no goody bags/bananas/chocolate bars at the finish, only a bottle of water which really didn’t help after burning off well over 2,000 calories!
James Lambert chip time of 2:39:17, chip position 232
Nicola John chip time of 3:03:21, chip position 467
Barcelona Half Marathon – Sunday 14 February 2016
The Jags on Tour ladies were off on another adventure. For two of the ladies, Annette Yeomanson and Vanessa Clements – it was third time lucky in the beautiful city of Barcelona, second time around for Clare Hicks and first time around for Sarah Letzer, Hilda Mears and Carolyn Gerber.
The weather was glorious, reaching 23 degrees on the day before the race. Cooler weather was promised for the day of the race and rain but unfortunately this did not materialise! So the intrepid group headed out for a quite gruelling 13.1 miles in the sunshine. First back for the Jags was Clare Hicks (that was a first!), managing a pb! Second in was Carolyn Gerber, completing her very first half marathon! Next in was Hilda Mears, knocking 7 minutes off her pb!! Annette Yeomanson was next in followed by Vanessa Clements who also managed a pb! Sarah Letzer completed the group, who were all very relieved that it was all over and proceeded back to their hotel for a refreshing glass of something nice to celebrate!!
|Vanessa Clements ||2.36.50||Yes||
Autumn Shakespeare Raceways Marathon – Saturday 14th November 2015.
Always looking for a different challenge, out of town, Jeremy decided to have a quiet short break in Stratford upon Avon.
The fact that there was an opportunity to do a marathon came as no great surprise to his wife.
This event took place at Long Marston, former airfield and now a drag racing strip. The race incorporates a 5k, half and full marathon.
The marathon is run over 81/2 laps, all off road on tarmac and is billed as a potential pb course.
Unfortunately in the days prior the weather decided to throw in the first bad storm of the Autumn so it was always going to be a case of to pb or not pb. The Saturday started off dry with a light breeze, but come the start it got colder and more windy. On the upside it was good to run with 5k ers and halfers as you could not only get pulled along but could do a fair bit of overtaking as well. However the wind gradually picked up and with it the rain came down at times nearly horizontally, there was a little respite when the wind was behind but this was negated by the fact that there were multiple laps to do, so psychologically it was tough. You would probably need to think very hard before doing a multiple lap marathon, or just try and switch off completely.
All said and done it was a long way to come and not put some effort in, and Jeremy was very happy to achieve a new pb of 3.24.12 finishing 17th and coming first in his age group !
Leicester Marathon and Half Marathon – Sunday 25 October 2015
Paul Groves and Hilda Mears headed off to Leicester for these two races respectively. Paul completing the marathon in 4.18.15 and Hilda, completing her first half marathon, finishing in 2.31.07!! Well done to you both!
Brooks Snowdonia Marathon – Saturday 24 October 2015
A fantastic well done to Scott Chadwick for completing what must have been a tough but picturesque race!! Scott finished in a time of 4.14.38.
Amsterdam Marathon and Half Marathon – 18 October 2015
James Lambert and Nicola John travelled to Holland to represent the Jags in this years Amsterdam marathon/half marathon. Conditions for the day were near perfect with little wind, light drizzle and a nice cool temperature. Atmosphere for the marathon was excellent, there was lots of music around the route and great support from the crowds. Both the marathon and half marathon finished in the Olympic Stadium.
Nicola ran the half marathon finishing in an impressive 5519th position out of 14015 in a time of 1:55:05 runners whilst suffering with a stomach ache. The half marathon followed a similar route to the full marathon and was nice and flat.
James ran the full marathon in a time of 3:44:10, finishing 4485th out of 12357 and knocking exactly six minutes off his time set in Edinburgh back in May.
This is an odd one, apart from knowing it would be 26.2 miles in amazing scenery, nothing could prepare me for what was to come.
For a smallish marathon it certainly delivered on the things you would expect from a large city marathon. There was an expo in the race village with plenty of food/drink stalls. Baxters (there are other brands available) provided the pasta and soup party throughout the weekend. Racewear, watches, shoes were available from the leading manufacturers.
The race village was in Bught Park right on the edge of Inverness on the banks of the River Ness a really beautiful setting.
Race day started with cool weather and a light breeze with warmer temperatures promised for later in the day. Contrary to some perceptions you do not run all the way around the Loch! There is a fleet of coaches which leave in convoy at 7.15 ish, so that’s a tricky one to start with deciding when and what to eat.
Arriving at the drop off point is totally odd, it is in the middle of nowhere, you have the stunning backdrop of hills ( more of those later ) pine trees, and acres of heather. Plonked down in the middle of this is 100 portaloos, 2 baggage lorries and a large sound system, together with 3500 runners, waiting.
The race started on time with the first couple of miles being downhill so the tendency is to go way too fast, I guess I should have figured if you have downhills, you are surely going to have uphills later. Up to about halfway there are no people spectating, there have been a few short uphills, and glimpses of the Loch and plenty of scenery, nothing too daunting apart from some steepish downhills after a short climb. Now I found the downhills really hard, I don’t know how you can train for these in Norfolk, having just got burning calves and quads going up, suddenly your toes are out the front of your trainers and the brakes are coming on to stop toppling over.
Mile 18. Doesn’t look too bad on the course profile, if I just relax it will be alright. Then there’s the sign at the bottom ” The Monster” that’s all I’ve got to say about that11!! There are a few spectators now from 20 to the finish, there are also more undulations until you enter Inverness. So its been challenging and despite this my time is looking pretty good. I then decide to lay down for a rest in the road at 25 miles. Ouch!! Five minutes later I decide to go again but the legs say no!! Briefly I walked, then staggered the last mile in 16 minutes, but did run over the line. The crowds were awesome and really helped, Red Cross were brilliant, went to A & E for a checkover in the afternoon, just dents and bruises.
I would probably do this one again knowing what I do now I would probably keep refuelling well into the last mile !
Still a pb of 3.34.01 and finish place of 316 in a field of 3600.