The Wissey Half Marathon is an undulating rural course, in the west of the county, starting and finishing next to the National Trust’s Oxborough Hall.
Just three Jags took part this year, as with chip timing being in place for the first time, the race sold out well in advance. It was near perfect weather conditions for running, and Lee Emmett ran a great first time race, finishing in 1:40:53 for a bronze standard. Scott Shrubsall was hard on his heels with a time of 1:45:29 and I finally managed to get under 2 hours (1:59:07) PB Silver. In fact I almost caught up with Second Claim Jag Keith Brighty (Norwich Road Runner) who limped home with a nasty blister in 1:52:04!
For those who had worked up a thirst there was real ale waiting on tap at the finish (Scott!), though I must admit an ice cream went down really well!
I have never been to Bedford before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was surprised it only took 1 ½ hours to arrive from Norwich. The start was in a gorgeous park called Priory Park. It reminded me a bit of Whitlingham in Trowse. It was surrounded by woods and lakes. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful morning. 3000 entries started the course, it was all off road taking in a couple of laps of the woods before looping back to the park. It was flat too!
This was Bedford’s first half marathon so I was expecting them to have a few teething problems. On the contrary, it was so well organised and thought out. We received a really great t-shirt and medal plus goodie bag. It has got to be one of my favourite half marathons now and I have already signed up for 2018 which will take place on 2nd September. I can highly recommend this course.
Nearly a score of Jaguars signed up for the Dereham Town 5K on 20th August, as the target race for their 5K Improvers Course, which they had been following for the previous couple of months under Ken’s leadership.
It was a bright, breezy but not too warm day for the run, which is a double loop of the town centre. There were plenty of supporters around the course to encourage us. There are some interesting twists and turns to negotiate around the market place, but that made it quite interesting. Almost everyone achieved a PB, some spectacularly, and the Jaguars took five of the age category awards: Ken Bowman was third, as was Rosemary Jackson (by a tenth of a second!), Dee Neal was thrilled to be second and gain her first trophy, Vicky Tovell was also second, and Nick Holden won her age category!
It was a really successful culmination to the Improvers Course, and we are so grateful to Ken and his team for helping us along the way.
After booking a long weekend t’ut North to see my Dad in Carnforth, Howard and I were looking for things to do. We saw that there was an Airshow at Blackpool that weekend and on studying the schedule, we also saw that there was a 10k race and we all love a bit of parkrun/race tourism don’t we?
We arrived early at Bispham race HQ; first time I’ve picked up a race number in a Fire Station! Disappointingly, no hunky firemen but I did see a runner who was the spitting image of an actor from the TV series “Shameless”.
As we walked in to the Fire Station, someone said “Coltishall Jaguars? You’ve come a long way!” It turned out this particular runner had once supplied the Jags race vests! Small world!
The race was really cheap at £6 Affiliated so we were not expecting a medal; as it turned out there was no chip timing either! Two painted white lines marked start and finish with a stopwatch at the end. The bibs were recycled from previous race leftovers so the numbers were random with the names of the previous races cut off the bottom. If you want to put on a cheap 10k, this is how!
The start of the race was down a slope away from Blackpool and I had to slow down as I got a bit carried away! After turning on to the lower promenade I settled into a comfortable 4:50 km/min and had a brief chat with a friendly runner. The run towards Blackpool tower was pleasant; warm with a nice breeze and a lovely view out to low tide. I then saw that I had to run up a steep slope back to the upper promenade; luckily I’ve done my hill training because I didn’t want the Northern runners to think I was a soft Southerner from flat East Anglia so I ran up it!
The run back to Bispham was up a few unexpected slopes but I took my mind off it by looking at the Blackpool illuminations and I was soon running downhill to the finish picking up speed. I achieved a new 10k PB and came fourth in my age category at 48:24! Howard finished at 44:17 and won a spot prize of a packet of cookies! The post-race goodies consisted of helping ourselves to crisps, chocolate biscuits and fizzy pop 🙂
After a quick spruce-up in the Fire Station, we headed back to Blackpool Tower to watch the airshow and the Red Arrows did not disappoint! All in all a nice, friendly little race and a great day out. Oh and after looking at the results and race photos, I found out that Ciaran Griffiths who played Mickey in “Shameless” had run part of the race right beside me. Doh!