I wish I had taken a picture of the orange moon. Ten shivering Coltishall Jaguars stood in Whitlingham car park at 7:45pm on a rapidly darkening late summer evening. I had just cycled from Langley to Whitlingham, it hadn’t felt far, but standing waiting for the start, I felt like I was going on a polar expedition. I had spent the best part of an hour putting on various vest and top combinations, like goldilocks. When my lovely team mates pitched up, it became clear, no one knew what to wear. Except perhaps Thomas, he was lit up like a very nice Christmas tree. We spent most of our time shivering and comparing lighting equipment, I forget who had the airplane landing lights, but they were cool. Having previously run a stretch of the route, Nicola and James provided some insight into what lay ahead. I heard the words field, mud and water, if only that had been all. I am pretty sure the route was on the Wherryman’s way, which runs alongside the river Yare (please don’t write your travel book based on this information, I’m not totally sure where we went). After more shivering, and way too soon, it was five minutes to go. I feel like I’m about to do this write up an injustice because, in the pitch black, it was hard enough to see five metres in front of me let alone know what other people were doing. I know I missed most of the Jaguars who were helping at various water stations, thanks though! It was so dark, for the first five miles I was looking at James’ back, it was not until he held a kissing gate for me (gent) that I realised it was him. I repaid the favour when he went the wrong way, twice. Most of the first part of the run was a battle of ‘am I running the right pace’ I think this might have been a universal problem because of the dark and the surface under our feet was always iffy. I think the man I saw fall into a bush would agree. But from speaking to people at the end of the race, I believe we all agreed running at night added something special, the cheers from all the people sitting outside pubs, the total silence running along the river, the sense of being in it together felt somehow bigger. The route was about thirty percent road, the rest of the route was along single track grass sections, off camber decking, many kissing gates and what we all now affectionately refer to as ‘nettle mile’. I enjoyed nettle mile, weird, the illuminous medal was nice but nettle mile really was something else, medicinal and stimulating. I’m sure other entrants could add limitless other heroic stories, the event was just an exceptional experience and although it was right on our doorstep, the sense of adventure was tangible. We had some great results too, Nicola Lambert was 2nd lady and 12th overall, James Lambert was 2nd overall and I was a bit shocked with 3rd overall and obviously a half marathon PB as it was my first. Thomas Lincoln-Kemp was 1st in age category and 8th overall. Paul Rogers had a great run and came in under two hours for 33rd. Clive Cartner and Angela Gallen-Bell ran together (through nettle mile) for 89th and 90th and Claire hicks, Owen Barber and Paul Gerber made a great team coming in 107th, 108th and 110th respectively. Post-race I began frantically Googling night time 12 hour races for the Jags to take a team too, the results are nice, but more than that and the reason why I joined a running club, I felt part of something, that is what running really does for me. Oh and I really wish I had taken a photo of that orange moon.
|BEN LETZER||8TH |
2ND IN AGE CATEGORY
1ST IN AGE CATEGORY
Taking a break from running to a particular pace, time or distance, the idea was to create a social run that anyone can take part in an enjoy. This involved meeting at the Britannia Cafe, Mousehold, Norwich where we would take our first group picture with the Kett’s Oak Moon gazing hare before beginning our three hour run to all the other 50 City Trail Hares. In typically club fashion, the temptation for a group photo was never passed up, along with many more selfies.
This popular race was renamed to commemorate the end of World War 1, with a trumpet solo playing The Last Post and a minute’s silence prior to the race in honour of the many brave soldiers who lost their lives.
After the unusually warm summer weather it was a relief, for the 32 Jags competing, that this Sunday morning was a little cooler. The course was 2 laps around the town centre, with a tricky hare-pin bend in the market place, both well-supported and well marshalled, promising a fast, flat PB course.
And we were not disappointed. Emma Blake continued to impress with a new age group record and first diamond standard, coming 2nd in her age group, Ken Bowman was also 2nd in his age group achieving platinum standard and Dee Neal, who has been doing so well this year, achieved 3rd in her age group.
Hatty Swain, Julie Jardine and Samatha Beales were amongst the 7 Jags achieving pbs, while Rachel Kirkham and Nick Richards completed their first 5k race. There were also diamond standards for Mel Porter and Nick Eley and at last a first diamond as a Jag for Keith Brighty!
New member Doug Barber managed to drop his keys at the start of the race, and had to avoid being trampled to retrieve them, but still managed to gain a gold standard and pb! He also very kindly brought along lemon drizzle cake for us all to enjoy at the end of the race. There was also a childrens’ race with some great running from Junior Jags Georgie and Rosie.
As for the finishers medal, I think it is probably one of the best I have ever received, a fitting tribute to those brave soldiers 100 years ago.
|Emma Blake||19.43||YES & New Age group Record &2nd In Age Group||DIAMOND|
|Ken Bowman||20.32||2nd In Age Group||PLATINUM|
|Dee Neal||25.05||3rd In Age Group||GOLD|
Friday 10th August saw Angela, I and another three Jags – Rod, Jackie, & Nicola – head to the inaugural Wortwell 5 Mile Summer Sizzler organised by the Bungay Black Dogs. After a short 5 minute walk from the Race HQ at the Community Centre, the race got underway just outside the centre of the village on a quiet country lane. The first mile is flat and picturesque, running almost parallel with the River Waveney until the route crosses a bridge over the river and in the small village of Mendham. Once through the village the course becomes a little more challenging where we found several small hills and left and right turns, until we reached the small village of Mendham. Once through the village the course becomes a little more challenging where we found several small hills and left and right turns, until we reached the most difficult part of the course, the aptly named ‘Target Hill’, a very steep gradient with a bend half way up, lasting a good 200-300metres. Upon reaching the top we were rewarded with a well placed water station and a flat road, giving great views of the valley. As we all know ‘what goes up, must come down’ and as we headed towards mile three, the route takes in a long sweeping down hill section towards Homersfield Lake, where you can really recapture any time lost climbing up the hill. Heading towards the last mile we crossed the River Waveney again near the Black Swan Pub, and were lucky to be cheered on by a small group of customers. After avoiding the temptation to join them we were into the last mile, back to the centre of Wortwell, where the road is flat – ideal after the undulating previous couple of miles. After re-entering the grounds of the Community Centre, heading around it and diagonally across the playing field behind, we found the finish and a lovely, colourful well earned medal awaiting our arrival. In addition to the medal for her efforts, Angela achieved Bronze standard, whilst also chopping a massive 1m 20secs off her PB too, on a tough course! A really enjoyable event which will hopefully continue next year. Nicola Lambert-John was first Jag home and second in age Group, Rod Bye was next and gained 3rd in age group, then Jackie Bye who got 2nd in age group so plenty of trophies to take home too.
|Nicola Lambert-John||34.21||New Age Group Record & 2nd in Age||GOLD|
|Rod Bye||36.01||3rd in Age Group||GOLD|
|Jackie Bye||41.50||2nd In Age Group||DIAMOND|
Giant’s Head Marathon 2018
How could you honestly not want to do a race when the medal not only features the Cern Abbas Giant but his ‘appendage’ spins round? Scott Shrubsall and I made the trip to Dorset to find out if the race could live up to the bling!
Beautiful scenery, never ending hills, free beer and shots in the (in)famous White Star Running Lovestation at mile 20, race instructions which stated that no changing facilities were available so random nudity was acceptable and a race director who may take your car for a spin around the car park but only if it’s cool enough all featured in this race of 26.2(ish) miles through the Dorset countryside.
It was incredibly hot, neither of us had trained properly due to a combination of injury and illness plus, coming from Norfolk, even looking at the course profile was enough to make your legs ache.
As well as being the slowest race I have ever done, this was, however, one of the best most enjoyable and fun races we have ever taken part in, there was a fabulous camaraderie between the runners with lots of people in fancy dress and a number offering themed snacks to all and sundry, I was offered more jelly willies than is really sensible!
Yes they ran out of hot food but there was plenty of cake and beer to go around after the finish and we finished off with a delicious pub meal and a pint (or two) of Dorest Knob bitter.
Things we learned
1.Train properly for any marathon and get some decent hot weather acclimatisation in if you can
2.Most places are a fair bit hillier than Norfolk but Dorset especially so
3.If you are running with me and need to drag me, almost bodily, through the last 10 miles of a race, I may still try to outsprint you when I see the finish line and the red mist decends (Sorry Scott, I don’t know what came over me….. but I was first over the line)
4.Buffs/Muffs, race T-shirts and medals all look much better with a willy on, especially if it spins around
5.Yes we are still rather infantile and big kids at heart.
6.People who play Jimmy Shand at full volume in your campsite after 10pm are the worst. Paul T ..