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Run the Claydons - Sunday 22nd April 2018

Report by: Julian Chronicle (AKA: King Julian)
Distance: 7-miles (give or take)
Location: East Claydon

Before the race: Doing our bit for the environment and lift sharing, the BDRC contingent went in just 2-cars, with most of us crammed into the Brackley Bus! Key point of discussion on way over was who was going to beat last year’s times – we all got very depressed when Pete worked out what pace we would need to run to achieve this. Some scratching off heads as to how we even achieved these times – of which more later!

Meeting up with Bish Bash and Mini-Max in the muddy car park (wise choice to take the Land Rover KJ) we all picked up numbers and random time generators errr I mean timing chips. Was then the usual mixture of warm-ups and walk to the start – which for no obvious reason is down a very narrow path? Why they can’t start the race on the road and move the finish to the Village Hall we will never know.

Who ran:
Running from Brackley were:
Kevin, Pete, Bish, Julian, Claire, Sarah and Natasha. Maxine in attendance as support crew and photographer.

Once all runners were on the start line, the Race Director gave out last minute instructions and advice. What these were we have no idea as the megaphone was worse than useless!

Nevertheless we all set off, as noted a very narrow path which meant you were running at the pace of the person in front or risked a fight with the nettles and brambles. Once clear of the path the race headed through Bidulph Claydon and out into fields and then farm tracks. The overnight rain made many people’s decision to wear trail shoes the correct one, as the going was slippy.

A run through the woods before emerging onto surfaced (albeit it badly) farm tracks and the much needed water at half-way. There was a long road section into the hill in Steeple Claydon (can you see why it’s called Run the Claydons?) before turning off onto the last climb back towards East Claydon. Rather scarily the first part of this was through a graveyard – I was so hot at this point I was worried I’d just end up there! Cornish was going so fast he didn’t notice the graves.

Back onto the roads in East Claydon it was a short sprint to the finish.

A brilliant run by Cornish saw him finish 3rd overall - thankfully upholding the honour of having Matthew’s number. Although to be honest, after a long (and I mean long) wait for him to receive his prize, most of us were wishing he’d finished 4th ;) Only joking – no need to feel too guilty!

BDRC Results:
The official results are below, however we all reckoned that the timing was a good 2-minutes out in our favour. Certainly my Strava time was more like 1:02. Maybe there was a similar issue last year and this explains our times then!!!

Kevin Tustain 0:41:44
Pete Faulkner 00:49:37
Michael Bishop 00:53:56
Julian Chronicle 00:59:54
Claire Frogley 01:00:18
Sarah Scott 01:01:42
Natasha Berry 01:04:21

Funny Moments:
Apparently Mark Palser breathed an audible sigh of relief when Kevin told him Matthew wasn’t running.

The increasingly loud comments from Pete regarding the organisation of the prize giving – we were all thinking it!!!

Bish’s surprised face when we pulled up next to him in the parking field

Would you recommend? Sort of! It’s a lovely course and generally well organised, however it is pricey (£18) for what it is. As a fun run it is excellent, as a serious event it isn’t quite there.

Wright Hassall Regency 10km - Sunday 15th April 2018

Report by: Micahel Bishop (AKA: BBB)
Distance: 10km
Location:Royal Leamington Spa
Web link: www.regency10k.co.uk

Event Details: The course starts just off Newbold Terrace, joining a golf course where the runners go anti-clockwise before they then join Newbold Terrace East. Finally the runners enter the gardens for a run alongside the river.

Before the race:We had difficulty finding the registration tent for the event. The finish line area was busy and it seemed that most of the organisers were congregated there. After a few enquiries we were directed towards the start line and found registration just next to the start line. There were over 2000 runners at the event and we were set off in waves to prevent a blockage at one of the early narrow parts of the course.

Who ran:
Josephine Lissner, Julian Chronicle, Michael Bishop, Richard McMahon, Stuart Coomber

The Race: The start was downhill before entering the golf course which I am reliably informed is part of the Park Run course. The golf course was uphill and quite muddy (win - I’m wearing trail shoes!!). The course peaked at about 2.5 miles in before a sharp drop and onto a more solid surface. Once outside the golf course there was a gradual downhill section on a main road where there was plenty of support before going back into another couple of parks for a scenic finish alongside the river.

BDRC Results:
Stuart Coomber - 43:45 154/2075
Josephine Lißner - 45:05 195/2075
Michael Bishop - 45:36 215/2075
Julian Chronicle - 52:15 629/2075
Richard McMahon - 54:08 773/2075

Funny Moments:
Trying to find the registration tent at the start of the race. The chaos as the Local Scout group tried to locate our baggage after the race (to be fair they did a good job) and the sprint finishes of some of the competitors who absolutely tanked it at the end.

Would you recommend? Absolutely, it was a challenging course but there were plenty of attractions on the way round. Very glad this isn’t in the handicap championship though . Great decision YT!!

Gloucester 20 - Sunday 25th March 2018

Report by: Mark Torrington (AKA: El torro)
Distance: 20 miles
Location: Gloucester
Web link: www.gloucesterac.co.uk

Event Details: For over thirty years Gloucester Athletics Club has staged a 20 mile road race at the end of March. It is a traditional style race, organised by runners for runners, and is popular with those training for a spring marathon. The event has a maximum field of 600 runners and sells out very quickly every year.

Before the race: Race numbers are not sent out in advance and must be collected from the Robin Greaves Sports Hall on the Waterwells industrial estate in Gloucester. This is an excellent facility with changing rooms, toilets and hot refreshments being served. There were also secure baggage drop arrangements on site. There was free parking at a park & ride nearby meaning a hassle-free preparation for the event.

Who ran:
El Torro (supported, as ever, by Chezza!)

The Race: The race comprises of three loops of a 6.67 mile circuit which at first I was unsure about but in practice worked out really well. The majority of the course is on quiet country lanes, and while they were open to the traffic there were very few cars so it didn’t cause any problems. If I had any criticism about the course it would be about one section where the runners were directed along a very narrow lane for about half a mile only to reach a point where they had to turn around and run back again. I realise that the organisers had to make up the distance but it meant a very tight turn which ruined any rhythm you had gained. Apart from that it was a lovely course, well supported and marshalled. There were three water stations handing out water in plastic cups. There were a couple of small undulations but the overall race profile was fairly flat.

BDRC Results:
El Torro: 2:32:52 (a four minute PB for the distance)

Funny Moments:
Funny moments? This was a serious road race, no humour allowed! :-)

Would you recommend? I would recommend this event without hesitation. Gloucester AC have years of experience staging this event and it shows. Perfect for those wanting a longish run in preparation for a spring marathon in race conditions.

10km - Sunday 11th March 2018

Report by: Mark Poulton (AKA: Del Boy)
Distance: 10km
Location: Milton Keynes
Web link: www.mkrun.co.uk

Event Details: 3rd event in a 4 race programme starting at MK's Xscape city centre venue.

Before the race: For me personally it was another excellent opportunity to get to meet more Brackley runners, and although the event was busy with a fantastic team presence it was easy to pick out the BDRC shirts amongst the crowds. Having everyone around encouraging each other sharing helpful tips, with a bit of banter, together with good running conditions, it led to what was a most enjoyable morning. The event was well marshalled, ample parking, with no problems getting to and away from the venue.

Who ran:
13 BDRC club runners took part in the 10k: Kev, Greg, Ade, Graham, Nicola, Mark, Emily, Richard, Maxine, Sarah, Nichola, Julie & Nikki.

The Race: The race: The start line was crowded (over 1300 runners) which led to a slow start for some, but with the wide road the field soon became more stretched, and together with a slight descent for the first 1k the pace picked up. After 2k the race took us off the roads and through Eaglestone, then after 3k we were out in the more rural Woughton-on-the-Green. A well organised drinks station was set up just after 5k before the race took us round the side of Willen Lake. The course was relatively flat throughout with just a few sharp descents and inclines as you ran through the underpasses. That was until the last 1500 metres, where after a steady incline we were faced with a steep and challenging hill through Campbell Park. However all efforts were worthwhile, as we were met at the finish by a large enthusiastic crowd, and got to share the experience with other BDRC runners. All in all it was a most enjoyable and well organised event.

BDRC Results:
Kev: 38:05
Greg: 40:39
Ade: 44:43
Graham: 45:54
Nicola: 46:46
Mark: 53:50
Richard: 54:14
Emily: 54:28
Maxine: 55:49
Sarah: 56:00
Nichola: 59:14
Julie: 01:00:19
Nikki: 01:06:43

Funny Moments:
Noz towering above the rest of the field at the start of the 5k, (kid's race), picking his way through the younger runners to finish with a creditable 19:24.

Would you recommend? Would recommend this well organised and well supported event, and will return in 2019.

Photos by Cheryl Torrington Photography

» Click here to view more images of Milton Keynes by Cheryl Torrington.

Half Marathon - Sunday 11th March 2018

Report by: Julian Chronicle (AKA: King Julian)
Distance: Half Marathon
Location: Milton Keynes
Web link: www.mkrun.co.uk

Event Details: Part of the MK Festival of Running

Before the race: A very busy race village with thousands of runners getting ready for 5k, 10k, Half or 20-miles. As usual, the BDRC runners managed to find each other to offer support and insults in equal measure.

With the races going off at intervals, those of running the Half were able to cheer on the BDRC runners taking part in the 10k and Nozza running in the Kids Event ;)

My one moan - is the start area was a long way from the loos!

Who ran:
Brilliant turnout from BDRC across all events.
Taking part in the Half were: Josefine, Stuart, Heidi, Allyson, ET, Meadster, King Julian

The Race: With close to 1500 people on the start line there was a great atmosphere at the start. Thankfully, the first mile was run on MK’s wide roads, which meant there was plenty of space for runners to spread out and find their pace.

The race then moved onto the numerous footpaths and looped down towards Willen Lake, a slight pinch-point at the 2-mile mark when the 20-mile runners were filtering back onto the course, after their first lap, before the path widened up to the first drinks station and some fantastic support from various MK running clubs.

The course then took a winding circuit around Willen Lake, before retracing our steps back along the lake front and the turn back towards the Xscape. The final few KM’s were, I think, universally disliked as the route went up through Cambell Park with a very steep section to the very top.

The finish line was then in sight. There was fantastic support from the spectators cheering all runners up to the finish line.

BDRC Results:
Josefine Lißner 01:39:28
Stuart Coomber 01:39:49
Heidi Lewis 01:44:05
Allyson Anstee 01:50:17
Eoin Tweeddale 01:52:40
Gareth Meade 01:53:29
Julian Chronicle 01:55:34

Funny Moments:
Watching the local Territorial Army and various cadet groups trying to set-up for (I assume) a parade and getting frustrated that there were several thousand runners warming up in front of their VIP seating!

A personal one, but an immense feeling of pride when I managed to overtake Mr Potato Head!

Would you recommend? Yes – it was an exceptionally well-organised event, well marshalled and with plenty of water stops along the way. Although some areas were quiet, in many places along the route people had come out of their houses to cheer all runners on as well as offering sweets and oranges. A nice touch was printing names on the numbers as it meant lots of people calling your name to encourage you as well.

Photos by Cheryl Torrington Photography

» Click here to view more images of Milton Keynes by Cheryl Torrington.

Winslow 10K Run - Sunday 25th February 2018

Report by: Karine Peter
Distance: 10km
Location: Winslow, Buckinghamshire
Web link: winslowlions.org.uk/10k-run.html

Event Details: A 10K run around the rural Ancient Market Town of Winslow in Buckinghamshire. The course is on the quiet public roads and is undulating, but there is a sharp climb back in to the town about 1Km from the finish.

Before the race: The car was parked about 10 minutes away from Furze Down School, the race HQ. We didn’t know that we could get changed into the sport hall and leave our bag, so Serge and I had to go back to the car before the start, therefore we missed the warm up and the group picture.

Despite a sunny morning, it was frosty and windy. It wasn’t easy to guess what layers to put on…..undecided, I finally made the right choice to wear only a t-shirt!

Who ran:
Kevin Tustain, Christopher Noble, Serge Daval, Mark Torrington, Adrian Crookes, Nicola Crookes, Heidi Lewis, Karine Peter, Mark Poulton, Marcin Kozula, Emily Cowing, Nikki Jenkins, Claire Frogley

The Race: Having looked at the race profile, it seemed less hilly than the previous race at Gayton. However, a sharp climb was announced at about 1 km from the end...

I started on a good pace and I managed to keep it even in the slightly climbing part after 4 km up to East Claydon. I steadily caught up 2 ladies whom I did most of the race with. After East Claydon, we turned left which made us face the wind. I got passed by a small group when I stopped for a drink at km7. But I got back on them quite quickly. A bit later, one of the 2 ladies dropped so I finished with the other one. In my opinion, the sharp climb hasn’t been that difficult. I overtook my race fellow midway through whilst encouraging her, so that we finished together. I felt really well that day. The good feelings turned into a new PB by a good 2 minutes.

BDRC Results:
Kevin Tustain (39:12)
Christopher Noble (39:46)
Serge Daval (44:15) PB
Mark Torrington (44:19)
Adrian Crookes (44:24) PB
Nicola Crookes (45:42)
Heidi Lewis (45:58)
Karine Peter (48:05) PB
Mark Poulton (51:38) PB
Marcin Kozula (53:59)
Emily Cowing (55:11) PB
Nikki Jenkins (63:05) PB
Claire Frogley DNF (a weird pain in her calf made her stop and turn back shortly after the start)

344 people finished the race.

Funny Moments:
The group warm up looked funny with all BDRC fellows doing the high jump exercise in the field next to the sport hall. But I took it from the pictures because I missed it.

Would you recommend? Yes definitely. It’s nice and flat-ish race, well marshalled and organized. We had to choose between a t-shirt or a sport bottle at the end which was great, but we would have enjoyed some solid food too.

Photos by Cheryl Torrington Photography

» Click here to view more images of Winslow by Cheryl Torrington.

Stamford Striders Valentines 30k - Sunday 11th February 2018

Report by: Christopher Noble (AKA Noz). With a little help from Torro & Choochi!
Distance: 30km
Location: Welland Academy, Stamford, Lincs.
Web link: stamfordstriders.org/Pages/St-Valentines-30k

Event Details: This was the events 25th year. HQ, race start and finish was at Welland Academy. Race goes through Little Casterton, Tolethorpe, Ryhall, Careby, Pickworth and Great Casterton on a challenging rural undulating route. It’s a very popular race and attracts a quality field. It’s 9th in the Runners World list of 100 Top UK Races and always reaches its race entry limit of 750 runners, therefore no entries on the day.

I’d sold this to Choochi and El Torro as a race that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Preparation for El Torro and myself had been hampered by illness, I had just got over flu, El Torro was still suffering from it. Choochi had not run more than 13 miles since injury in September. Due to this, we all planned to treat it as a training run, although I had sussed out that I needed a 2:21:02 to get a platinum WAVA score and would go for it if I was feeling good towards the end.

Thanks to Chezza doing the driving, myself and Choochi got a lift with the Torro’s and arrived about an hour before the start. This gave us ample time to collect our race numbers, event shirt and love hearts sweets from the HQ sports hall and also to prepare/warm up etc. Was good to see the CRJ joggers before the start.

Who ran:
Choochi, El Torro & Nozzer
Photography & Transport: Chezza

The Race:
The three of us started together and I had some bants with a few random runners, but after a few miles we had got into our different rhythms and didn’t see each other again till the finish. I had done this race twice before (1997 & 2008) and was coping well with the hills and feeling comfortable, but had obviously been enjoying the views and race a bit too much coz with 3 or 4 miles to go all the hills and undulations took their effect. It’s a tough run into the finish and on the final big hill I was cramping up so tried to power walk. Decided it was better to stop and stretch the legs out, which worked a treat as coped a lot better with the last few miles. As I came into the field finish there was the welcome sight of Chezza, so tried to muster up a smile for her camera. The final turn into the finish line was met with a massive head wind making it feel like you were treading through mud, but crossed the finish line, got a well-deserved medal and went into the sports hall to recover with the free supplies of biscuits, banana’s and water. Chatted to some others and did some stretches (ouch!), but too knackered to do a proper warm down jog. El Torro did a remarkable time in spite of his flu. Choochi smashed it and found out I wasn’t lying when I said it’s a brill but hard race. I missed WAVA platinum by 9 seconds (0.07%). Think we were all knackered, but had that ‘achieved’ feeling.

El Torro
The day of the race was very cold and as the runners gathered for the start in the entrance to the school we were pleased to be able to get going. For the first mile, as the route wound its way through the estate on the edge of Stamford, all the runners were bunched together but once on the country lanes we all spread out. The route then followed a scenic loop around small villages on the border of Leicestershire and Rutland. There were plenty of hills, some of which were quite prolonged, but none were very steep and a steady rhythm could be maintained throughout. There was one section of the race, at the furthest point from the start, where the runners dropped down in to a valley but had to run into a bitingly cold headwind. It has to be said this was my least favourite part but once we turned out of the wind it was soon forgotten. There was plenty of support around the course and more than enough drinks stations. The event was extremely well organised and marshalled which created a fun atmosphere in a challenging environment.

Set off with Nozzle & Torro but at around 2.5 miles had to stop at the bottom of a huge hill to take off the long sleeved race shirt I had decided to wear due to the freezing wind at the start. When I set off again they were both in the distance. I tried to keep Torro in my sight, but not for long. The race was very up and down, although there seemed to be more up than down. I was determined not to walk up any hills and succeeded, although I did have to make another stop at 9 miles. The last few miles seemed to be even hillier but I pushed on, finally getting back to the race HQ where we had to run around a school field straight into what felt like a gale force wind, not nice! I saw Chezza which spurred me on for the last 400m. It was great to get inside the school hall and escape the wind (and rain storm that was just starting)! Once inside, I was given food, (which unfortnately I couldn’t eat as I felt sick!). I did, however, stock up on love hearts & chocolate hearts for the kids!

Nozzer - 2:21:11 (Overall: 132, gender place: 115, Cat place: 11)
El Torro - 2:28:34 (Overall: 191, gender place: 155, Cat place: 20)
Choochi - 2:36:38 (Overall: 249, gender place: 54, Cat place: 13)
Total finishers: 609 (267 ladies)

Funny Moments:
Noz - Loads of bants travelling there and back.
Choochi - asking El Torro if my hair was fine for Chezza’s post-race group picture. He said yes, but he was lying! Chezza’s comment, ‘you asked a man… who has no hair!!!
El Torro - The BDRC members attempting to do a ‘Clip Clop’ style jump for the photographer!

Would you recommend?
Noz - Yes, definitely. A perfect tester for marathon training. Everything is very well organised, from parking, getting numbers, marshals to the set up in the sports hall at the end. Such a great friendly event, you can see why their motto is Love Running, Love the 30k.
El Torro - I would most definitely recommend this race. It is a brilliant event in its own right but is especially good as an early fitness test for those training for a spring marathon.
Choochi - Yes - it was so well organised and a good early season confidence booster! Maybe without the wind next time though!

Photos by Cheryl Torrington Photography

» Click here to view more images of Valentine's Race by Cheryl Torrington.

Gayton – Sunday 28th January 2018

Report by: Kevin Tustain (AKA: Cornish)
Distance: 5km & 10km
Location: Gayton, Northants
Web link: onyourmarksevents.org/events1/running-events/gayton-10k-5k-run.html

Event Details: The Northamptonshire village of Gayton sits on top of a hill, overlooking Northampton. The 5k run is a fairly flat route, taking runners through the village of Gayton on quiet, mostly single track roads. The 10k event takes runners from Gayton down single track roads over the Grand Union Canal and railway bridge, with breathtaking views of Northampton. The sting in this run is the Gayton Hill to climb back into the village to join the 5k route back to the finish line.

Before the race: It was quite a long walk from the car parking at Blisworth Primary School to the race HQ at Wakelin Farm, which seemed to be a lot colder than anywhere else that morning and was very windy. There was a very enthusiastic guy on a microphone who was doing a good job of building the excitement, as well as keeping everybody well informed.

Who ran:
10km - Kevin(Cornish), Toby, Power Serge, Karine, Claire (Froggles), Richard (Macca), Mark, Maxine and R Kelly
5km - Sam, Nicola (Choochi), Chris (Nozzle) and Nikki (Tucker).

The Race: The 5k was described as “lumpy” by Sam! The 10k can also be described as lumpy but with a giant lump right in the middle!

The 10k set off first at 11am and at the start I went straight off into the lead. I was very worried that I’d perhaps gone off too quick but soon realised that I was going to spend most of the race on my own. The wind was pretty relentless and it felt like it was continuously blowing towards us until the last mile.

To win the race was a superb feeling, a very tough course and not sure that the standard was that high but a wins a win right??

Some great performances from all BDRC members, but a big shoutout to Maxine and Kelly for getting 10k PB’s on such a difficult course, how much quicker could they be on a flat one???

The 5k set off a little bit further up the road about 5 minutes after the 10k.
Sam led this from start to finish too and won by just under a minute!! Nozzle finished in 5th with Choochi in 6th (First Lady).

BDRC Results:
Kevin Tustain (39:34, PB) 1st
Toby Cartwright (44:40)
Serge Daval (46:18)
Karine Peter (50:18)
Claire Frogley (52:53)
Richard McMahon (53:53)
Mark Poulton (54:13)
Maxine Sutton (56:50, PB)
Kelly Llewelyn (59:41, PB)

Sam Dix (18:18, PB) 1st
Chris Noble (20:46)
Nichola Crookes (22:16, PB) BDRC VL45 record. 1st lady
Nikki Jenkins (30:14)

Funny Moments:
Froggles layering up before the race because it was freezing then running in just a vest (bet it was cold then).
Nozzle looking like death warmed up on arrival - not sure I’d have been able to run a 20 min 5k if I was that ill!

Would you recommend? Would definitely recommend. It was a very well organised event with refreshments, shirts and coffee all for sale and most importantly plenty of Marshalls and a medic (just in case).

Photos by Cheryl Torrington Photography

» Click here to view more images of Gayton by Cheryl Torrington.