Wednesday, 30 November 2011

December update

Pub Night. Next Tuesday (6th December) is pub night at the Running Hare. As usual 8 pm onwards after training. We will make the draw for the London Marathon place.

Next Border League will be at Tattenhall on Sunday 11th. Hope we can have another good turn-out. As car parking is tight at all the venues it would be really great if you can car-share.

Cross-country. Next NW CC League event is at Lilleshall (TF10 9LQ) on Saturday 14th January. Ladies had an excellent turn-out at Northop and did very well. The men were struggling for a team, and even I counted for the team (I was last in the race!). We need to do better.

The North Wales CC Championships will be on Saturday 24th January 2012 at Rhug near Corwen.

Posted by Rob

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Pen Fell Race Sat 19th Nov 2011

The Penmaenmawr Fell Race is another classic, well established race usually attracting around 250 runners each year. It was a bit down this year perhaps because of the Conwy Half the day after 194 runners, 190 finishers.

In theory, it is a mile of climbing up the Fairy Glen out of Capelulo, nine miles of fairly flat and a mile back down. Last year they reversed the route and changed the finish, it is a mile of steep climb, followed by 4 miles along the North Wales Way to the first check point. Excellent running, stunning views over out to sea and up the coast, but mostly uphill. Then a drop down into "the bog", drier this year than usual but still heavy on the legs especially climbing up out of it. About a mile of road then back onto the track for the run back towards Conwy with stunning views over the Conwy Valley and towards the Orme. The last bit is a steep drop down a narrow track to the finish.

Only 3 Buckley Runners plus Sue, cunningly disguised as a Clwydian Range Runner. Others npo doubt attracted to do the half or up in Lancashire on other races or resting for international duties the next weekend.

Very competitive race with some excellent runners at the front. Good to see Paul D back on the hills with a good run; 78th in 1.38.19. John in good form in 90th in 1.41.21 and Rob 167th in 2.03.35. Sue was 171st in 2.05.40.

The reward for your effort? A really enjoyable race in fine weather (it can be nasty), good company and a bottle of Conwy Brewery specially-made beer "Pen Fell Ale 2011"

Posted by Rob

Monday, 21 November 2011

Tour of Pendle fell race

An end of season 'away day' for Jez and Simon R at the classic Tour of Pendle fell race in Lancashire. It's been going a long time as a race, taking what seems to be a contrived route (it isn't though!) around every inch of the compact range of hills made famous by the witch trials several centuries ago. Just shy of 17 miles, 4500ft of climbing - reminiscent of Shropshire's Long Mynd Valleys race in that it's very runnable at first but finishes with three ultra-steep climbs. A really excellent event. We were both struck by the contrast with our local Welsh mountain races, namely a huge and very strong field of 400 runners. Simon R 44th, Jez 52nd - both taking almost 3 hours.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Clwydian 10 Sunday 6th November

While many club members were at Abergele enjoying the the sunshire at the Five-mile Championships a small but exclusive band of Buckleyites were taking on the the Clwydians in this classic "Toughie". The two events always seem to clash.

This event was organised by John Morris and his colleagues for many years before being taken over by NEWSAR (North East Wales Search and Rescue) as a fundraiser and to increase awareness of the work they do. They may not have the high profile of the Ogwen Valley Rescue, but they are highly trained and always ready to go out in the hills to save people who have got into trouble.

About 100 runners including Pete Roberts, Steve Bellis, John Morris and Rob Mackey completed the course (not seen the results yet). The challenging 10 mile route starts and finishes near the Pump House at Cilcain. There is no fixed route but runners are required to navigate between check points using OS Grid References. The route is generally clear on existing tracks but in places is across open heather and runners have to pick there own route; some local experts finding ways to shave a few yards off here and there. Whichever way you go there are four big climbs, the last one, eight miles into the race, is the notorious "Gully" right up to the summit of Moel Famau, followed by a glorious run down to Cilcain.

This is a brilliant event and on an unusually fine November morning was a delight to run after having to contend with snow, rain, wind and low cloud in recent years. But can I ask that anyone who complained about the "hills" at Abergele should come to Cilcain instead next year. Then you can experince real hills.

On a dissapointing (worrying) note a number of runners seemed to have no idea of the route and went astray even in ideal conditions and good visibility. It shows they were not prepared for the hills, lacked navigation skills and put themselves and others at risk. Mountain Rescue is close at hand, but there is no reason to test it.

Posted by Rob

London Marathon 2012

The club has one number available for the Marathon. The process for allocating the number will be the same as in previous years, except that the process has to be a bit earlier.

The number will be offered to a member of Buckley Runners who was fully paid up on 1st October. They must have entered the marathon through the normal entry process and been rejected. If there is more than one person eligible it will be decided by a lottery. As the entry has to be submitted by early January we will allocate the place during the next “Pub night” at the Running Hare on Tuesday 6th December. We will need to see the rejection notice. If you cannot be there please pass your rejection notice to Jane or Rob before that day.

Thank you. Posted by Rob

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Abergele 5m

A huge turnout from Buckley for the 25th running of the Abergele 5m race. Perfect conditions and a resurfaced road, although most of the hills still seem to be there. Loads of category prizes/wins in the race, and lots of North Wales Championship medals too.

9. Simon Roberts, 28.51
14. Jon Bradshaw, 29.42
19. Les Coathup, 31.15
35. Mike Jones, 31.36
40. Simon Quick, 32.21
68. Michael Ludden, 34.21
88. Chris Higgins, 35.16
102. Dawn Urquhart, 36.05
126. Tricia Jones, 38.17
128. Fenella Higgins, 38.27
136. Margaret Ludden, 38.50
153. Samantha Bradshaw, 39.57
173. Hazel Dirksen, 41.43
191. Jack Thomas, 43.02
201. Sue Ridings, 43.30

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Recommended marathons part 1

Following Rob Mackey's invitation to post onto the blog here goes.
On the eve of running my 20th marathon tomorrow I thought it may be useful to add some race comments.
Firstly thanks to Sandbach Striders for tommow's marathon - 105 laps around a track in Crewe. I don't think there'll be a danger of getting lost, the race profile looks reasonably flat, and there are 105 support stations; but the scenery may be well ... other runners.

Recommended marathons in no particular order
1 Chester - do it , it would be rude not to ! Its so close and it comes into Wales. Its our home marathon. Last year i loved it , as i broke my 20year pb for the second time in a few weeks. It was run out & back on the Chester to Deeside greenway. How good is it to run a marathon on the route where i usualy do my long runs.
But with plans of making it a 'Venue/ Desination marathon' this year the route was from the Racecourse, through the city , starting early before the shoppers arrived, then out on the half marathon route- Handbridge, Eccelston, Old Wrexham Road, Pulford, Rossett, then Trevalyn, towards Boras (outer Wrexham) then to Holt across the River Dee to Farndon to Aldford, Huntingdon and back into Chester with a finish in front of the racecourse grandstands. VERY well organised, well marshalled, good support at water stations, and great coming back into the city. Scenic- rural lanes. But - some slight inclines, Farndon, then toward Aldford, and Sandy lane getting into the city in Chester. Emphasis- these are slight compared to real hills, but a little energy sapping after 17 miles etc.
For the organisation, the local quiet lanes, the cameraderie, the grandstand finish, this is centainly a recommended marathon. In fact most of the rate the run feedback on runners world is very positive. for me it was a 4hr 38minute run - i think Berlin 14days earlier was still in my legs!

2 Berlin Marathon
Lovely City, not too expensive. Great variety of accomadation from hostels to hotels. The marathon is busy 35-40,000 people. I've run this in 2010 and 2011. In 2010- i felt a little lost amoungst the crowds trying to find the baggage area, but once that mild panic was over no problem. Very supportive crowds, lots of Brits, Irish and other visitors to Germany, i think the biggest visitor group were the Danes.
The BEST EXPO ever, in aircraft hangars in the old Templehof airport , amsolutely amazing. Did i mention free beer- alkohol free, on some stalls at the expo; AND at the end of the race.
A very flat course, with crowds throughout, good support stations, though a little crowded, they were so big i didnt go at the start in the scrum!
The best things
- the expo
-the flat course
-the supportive crowd
-the supportive other runners
-the free beer after finishing
- the amazing finish, after a few corners in the road then there is a 1kilometre straight to and through Brandenburg gate. My daughter ran her first marathon here this year- and has a great photo near the finish with Brandenburg gate in the background.
Some challenges
-its 26.2 hey its always a long way
-its busy, hey its a capital city marathon
-its busy at the start, only 1 start - London has 3
-its busy in the race, so a bit challenging to go past people, but that can also helpyou not go off to fast.
Weather- as everywhere can be changeable! In 2010 i was rained on until about 16miles. This year it was hot- and i slowed a lot near the end - kept stopping to get water, to pour on my head and in my cap - and a minute or 2 later - hot again.
Summary- great city, great race, busy, very tempting to go back again.

Looking forward to reviews of other races by other members.

oops - quick edit to say this is written by Rob Davies

Sweat Shirts and a busy weekend ahead

Last Tuesday oin the Running Hare Leighton had samples of sweatshirts with him. We liked them and placed orders for them, paying up front. He hopes they will be delivered in time for the Border League next weekend (13th. November)

He will take orders for the next batch (with money) at Birkenhead. They are Royal Blue (same colour as the vests) with Buckley Runners on the back and front (small) + your name. £16.50. Leighton has order forms.

12th/13th is the busy weekend. Cross-country at Northop on Saturday and Borders League at Birkenhead on Sunday. Please try and turn out for at least one. Or be a hero and do both.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

OMM Central Highlands

Huw and Simon R travelled to the Breadalbane area of the Scottish Highlands to compete in this year's Original Mountain Marathon, the longest established of these two-day events. The event HQ was at Cultybraggan PoW Camp, where they put the most incurable Nazis, and was as grim as it sounds (the catering hadn't evolved). But the surrounding mountains were superb and ideal for a mountain marathon - wild with very few paths. Rough conditions, particularly on day one, made it a fine test with the usual fun of tricky navigation, neck-deep river crossings (not an exaggeration - we had to swim!) and general hill craft. Around 3000 competitors - a mix of fell runners, orienteers, climbers and all-rounders - all in teams of two, spread across 7 different courses. We competed in the B class, around 50k/3200m of climbing, and finished 19th overall, 2nd Veteran team. A great event - with Simon discovering that Huw just gets faster the longer an event lasts, and as this lasted for more than 12 hours we finished in a flat-out Usain Bolt style sprint for the line.

Passing Clouds fell race/Coed y brenin duathlon

Late news from the weekend of 24 October. Jez came 4th in the well-known Passing Clouds fell race in Cheshire: a great performance in a strong field. Also that weekend, Steve B and Simon R participated in the Coed y Brenin off-road duathlon (fell/trail run followed by 20k mountain bike ride followed by another short fell run). Smaller field than normal this year, but both won their age categories.