Kirsteen Smashes The Chippenham Half Marathon
The Chippenham Half Marathon was selected as the event for the SW Inter Counties Road Championships. There were teams from all over the South West in attendance all there with the opportunity of winning team medals writes Hamish Spence.
This half marathon took pace along a fast and pancake flat route and is known for competitors achieving personal best times, as Kirsteen Welch was to find out. The event which is organised by Chippenham Harriers, started by heading through the town centre of Chippenham and out into the rural roads passing through the villages of Stanley The Tythertons, Avon, Kellaways, Langley Burrell and back into the town to finish at the Chippenham Sports Club.
This was a good opportunity for Kirsteen to pit herself against some top county road runners. Her coach, Norman Wilson gave the advice for her to “Go out with the top women, hang on in there and see how you do”. This is exactly what happened.
Annabel Granger representing Bristol went out fast right from the start (a sub 6min/ mile pace). Kirsteen followed her immediately, fully expecting to blow up halfway around. But that never happened. Sticking with Annabel, Kirsteen felt strong and comfortable with the pace. Mile eight passed, both ladies were still averaging a six and a bit min/miles until mile 9 when Kirsteen started to tire. She had dropped back by about 5metres! Giving herself a good talking too, digging deep and embracing the pain, Kirsteen picked up the pace and managed to close the gap. At around mile twelve, Kirsteen took the lead. She manage to hold on to that lead and even extended it all the way to the finish line. With the crowd cheering her on, she took 1st place for the ladies in what was to be a PB time of 1h20m16s. Her previous PB of 1:24:18 which she set back in February this year when taking part in the Gloucester half marathon. She has bittersweet memories of that event as she got injured not long afterwards.
Both Devon teams had a fantastic day, the Ladies taking gold and the Men’s team the silver with Tom Merson also being 1st man across the finish line.
City To Sea Again For Jo
Jo Earlam took part in the City To Sea Marathon on the 7th of September for the second year in succession. This is a very challenging event which starts from the Exeter Riverside and follows the coast path to Babbacombe Downs in Torquay. This event lulls the runner into a very false sense of ease with around twenty miles of relatively flat running along the River Exe, the canal and down the Exe Estuary passing Starcross and Dawlish Warren. It is only after you leave Shaldon and re-join the South West Coastal Path, that the real challenge actually begins.
Jo was keeping up a steady 12 min/mile pace until halfway, then slowed to a jog/walk pace for the next six miles. After Shaldon, for the hilly section which she knew was coming u
p, her pace dropped to a mostly walk pace. Even though she had slowed dramatically for the last six miles, Jo was still passing other competitors. This was Jo’s first run of more than six miles since spraining her ankle back in July. More importantly this was her 71st Marathon to date.
Mighty Green on Holiday
Emma Grainger in Biarritz, France.
Mighty Green on Holiday
John in Liverpool with wings outside the Liver Building.
Park Run Round-up
Back in January this year, Jessica Daer signed up to the 2019 beginner programme, but hasn’t been running with the club since the programme ended. She found that the runs were getting a bit quick for her in her pregnant state. However, she did continue to take part in the Park Run events until she was 30 weeks pregnant. Today, her baby got to the 7 weeks of age point, so it was time. Out came the running shoes for the first time in a few months, an eviction order was given to the moths who had taken up residence in her running kit and off to Exmouth she went.
Wearing her Mighty Green shirt with pride, a start-to-finish, slightly slower than normal, but non-stop Exmouth Park Run was completed. On completion, Jessica remarked that “Its thanks to the Sidmouth Running Club and the beginners programme, which really helped keep me fit and healthy throughout the pregnancy,” adding that, “Once I can keep up with you lot again, I’ll be back”! …we have been warned and look forward to seeing her again soon.
Meanwhile, David Skinner continues his Welsh tour picking a pancake flat route in Pond y Bala
and The Farnham Sisters, Ann Cole and a yellow clad Emma Grainger hit the track around Killerton Park.
Sun, sand, stones and sea seekers at Seaton Park Run included Alexa Baker, Dee Lawrence and Sarah Powell. They all found the stones and enjoyed the sun, no one had a swim and the sand alluded them!
The Mudnificent Seven Obstacle Course Race
On Saturday the 17th of August, Adrian Horne took part in The Mudnificent Seven Obstacle Course Race, a physically exhausting multi terrain race with natural and man made obstacles to navigate. Seven different obstacle course race organisers had set up an obstacle zone each over the whole route. There were in and out of water areas, carrying sand bags and logs, water slides, big A frame climbs, monkey bars, lots of cargo nets to get under and finally jumping a fire pit at the end.
Adrian ran as part of an obstacle course team called The Sons of Mudarchy, one of the largest obstacle course teams, with about 200 members in total, they raise a-lot of money for many different charities. The Sons of Mudarchy had their own team waive start time, with about 80 members running in this event. Adrian finished the event soaked and caked in mud, exhausted, but jubilant, in a time of 3h00m07s with an extremely tiring average running speed of 33:22min/miles.
David Skinner at South Park, Darlington Parkrun.