By Paul Nicholls
The journey up to Manchester on Saturday afternoon was pretty uneventful. Well it was for us, not so for Freddie Burns of Bath in the European Cup match against Tolouse, that will teach him to celebrate before he has scored. Talking of rugby, we had booked into the Premier Inn at Old Trafford, very handy for the race. Even handier it turned out, for the Rugby League Cup Final between Wigan and Warrington. The hotel bar was heaving with "proper" Northerners, although I didn't actually see any clogs or whippets. We did, however, see a group of butchers chasing a pig. Seems fancy dress isn't just for the cricket.
Last minute kit check, pin on race numbers, lay out kit for the "apparently" traditional post on Facebook.
It was then a traditional early night before race day. Following tradition, Sarah was too nervous to sleep much.
Race day dawned wet. Very wet! Luckily we had come prepared. The start was only a couple of minutes stroll from the hotel, but we set off early to allow Sarah to soak up the pre-race buzz. All she managed to soak up though was gallons of Manchester's finest rain.
We found our start pen (G), right outside the Hotel Football. I swear you could actually see our hotel room from where we stood waiting patiently in the rain. The pen filled up, 9am came and went. We shuffled forward a few times, but no sign of the start. It was cold. Sarah was getting more nervous by the minute, we really wanted to just crack on with it. After what seemed like hours, we finally approached the start line. Off with the bin liners and fleeces. The race clock read 9.33 as we crossed the line, still wearing our matching red "Santa's little helpers" hats.
The first mile was typical of a big city race, people sprinting past on both sides, someone walking after half a mile, nervous chatter, running far too fast! We made a conscious effort to slow it down, but the mile 2 marker came up too quick as well. By now we had plenty of room to run in, space to find our own rhythm. I was really surprised how many people were walking, I know we had set a very conservative target, but we intended to try and run it all.
Back past the start at 3 miles, discarding the hats in flamboyant style (well, me anyway). We settled into a nice steady slosh up the road to Salford. The crowds were very vocal, a lot sparser than I remember from the marathon, but it was properly chucking it down. Water stations on route dispensed bottles, and also provided bins a bit further down the road with big targets on. I missed every single one!
As we approached the M60 bridge, we started to see the fast runners heading for home on the opposite carriage way. We managed to see Steve Haskard just in front of the 1:30 pacer and I bellowed encouragement. Lots of encouragement was coming our way from the faster runners, but once we passed the Majestic wine shop in Sale, the route took us through a very sparsely supported stretch. For the first time it started to seem like hard work. At 7 miles the puddles seemed more numerous and deeper. Sarah went quiet.
A left turn, followed a couple of hundred yard later by another, meant we had turned for home. The crowds started to re-appear, the mood was lifted. During our longer training runs, Sarah had started to run/walk at around 8 miles, but no such nonsense on race day. She ploughed relentlessly on, slightly slower, slightly more sweary, but on and on. We climbed up the cemetery hill at Sale, with the P.A guy giving us a big shout out at the top. Because I was running just in front of her, and had ny name on my vest, I was getting loads of shouts of "come on Paul". Sarah wasn't getting anything like the same, so every time someone shouted my name, I started running backwards and pointing at the "Sarah's Pacemaker" sign on my back. It worked a treat, suddenly Sarah was the centre of attention, and rightly so.
Mile 10 came and went, and we threw in a little walk break to eat jelly babies. I was expecting it to be hard to get her running again, but she took the initiative and we ran back onto the main drag and could almost smell the finish. Under the M60 bridge, we saw lots of blue lights as police and an ambulance tended to a fallen runner. We walked a little bit more after the 11 mile marker, as Sarah put it "so I have something left to run at the end". We walked hand in hand, something picked up on by the marshalls, who were amazing, supportive and witty all the way round.
We started to run again well before the 12 mile marker, and could soon actually see the finish line in the distance. Sarah kept telling me to slow down, which when we checked the Garmins after the race, was a very accurate assessment, the 13th mile split was the only one in the whole race that was anywhere near target pace! Past the first rank of photographers, more backwards running for me, into the finishing straight. We ran hand in hand for a while, before I sling-shotted Sarah towards the line, I completed a couple of heel clicks and a bit more backwards running for the cameras. We crossed the line in 3:05:55, 10 minutes ahead of our target time. She'd only gone and done it!
A shivery walk back to the hotel, beaming smiles and achey legs. A hot shower and into the bar for Guinness. Sarah saved the biggest surprise until the second pint..... "I enjoyed that, wouldn't mind doing another one"
So Sarah's road to Manchester ended with a stonking race. Beating her target time by 10 minutes and actually enjoying the experience. Well done Sarah, you were amazing, but then again, I did tell you that you would be!
By Claire Minoprio
On Friday 22nd September I packed up my car with camping equipment full of trepidation and excitement for the weekend ahead but at that point I had no idea I was about to enjoy my best running experience to date. I was going to be part of a team of eight participating in Equinox 24 a twenty-four hour race comprising of 10km laps held in the grounds of Belvoir castle, Leicestershire.
It had all started almost a year earlier when I’d been inspired by tales of people pushing their limits and camaraderie and, if I’m honest, a weekend away with beer and food. Our team was made up of a collection of runners from Notts Women Runners- Selston Superstars, Kimberley and District Striders and other friends and family members. We were all Equinox virgins with variety of running experiences and all with different running goals. A vague plan had been developed prior to the weekend as to how many laps’ people were hoping for and when we would run but as the weather forecast began to filter through it soon became apparent that we would need to be flexible.
Communication from the race organisers had been excellent there was an Equinox 24 Facebook group which proved invaluable at answering questions, giving tips for newbies and featured regular Facebook live updates, there was a website, regular email updates and about a week before the event an App was launched which gave all the information you were likely to need about the event, exhibitors, links to social media and once the event had started a live results feed.
Camping at the event was free you could bring caravans, campers or tents and there was the option to hire glamping tents to accommodate the team. The site opened for campers at Noon on the Friday but as a result of the windy weather pitching tents was tricky, but all the runners and supporters worked together to help each other pitch. Already there was a real sense of community and with only a few broken tent poles between us we were soon ready to register.
There was a wide variety of tasty food stalls many of which were open throughout the Saturday night so that runners could refuel. The food was good quality, reasonably priced and all diets were catered for so whilst we had brought food to cook ourselves there was no need which was a bit of a blessing. There was also a bar bus open throughout the weekend! There was a good variety of exhibitors on site and all very willing to help or offer advice. Although I could have done with someone selling wellies!
On the Friday night there was a Beer run which involved running a lap of the camping field, approximately 1km after having a drink from the bar. There had been much discussion about whether or not to participate in this within our team however when the time came it was cold, wet and miserable so we elected to stay where we were and play games.
It became apparent on Saturday morning that myself and another team member weren’t very well. I was pretty gutted as I’d been hoping for four laps but only one lap had to be completed by each team member to qualify. I reluctantly dipped out of my first lap in the hope that by the time my second lap came round I would feel a little better. My fellow team members were really supportive and happy to be flexible there was no pressure for anyone to run especially as there didn’t need to be a team member on the course at all times. Fortunately I did pick up in time for my later lap and went on to complete three laps in total.
There were lots of children on site and there was a kids fun run at 11:00 on the Saturday which was a 1km lap of the camping field sponsored by Virtual Runner. There were medals for all children entered and trophies for the winners.
There was also a daytime 10km that started at Noon with the 24hr run and a night time 10km which started at 20:00 on the Saturday. There were lots of people who had elected to do the 10km race and spend the rest of the weekend supporting friends, family or other club members.
The course itself was a mainly trail; it started in the camping field and you were quickly led out of the field along a short tarmacked path into a farmers field were you ran the perimeter for approximately 1.5km, this was a tricky part of the course. While the earlier runners found it very uneven under foot and difficult to judge their foot placement, for the later laps the ground was less rutted but very muddy. The course then followed another tarmac path back towards the camping field for approximately another 1.5km, turning right before and heading down towards a bridge over the lake at the bottom of the camping field. Here you started a steady climb (about 50m elevation) past the second marshall point up to the water station just after 5km. From here there was the most amazing view over to the castle and down on to the campsite. I was fortunate enough to get the dusk lap and watching the sun setting behind the castle was fabulous. This was followed by a sharp grassy descent which was also quite hard to negotiate due to the terrain but was great fun. You were then faced with the hill referred to as, amongst other things, “That Hill”. This was a virtually vertical grassy incline with an elevation of 40m which by the end of the 24hrs was more like a mud slide. New for this year’s event was the king and queen of the mountain award for the fastest male and female up the hill in the various categories. Timing strips had been placed at the bottom and top of the hill and prizes were awarded for the winners. Once at the top of that hill there was a lovely meandering grassy descent back to the bridge and along the tarmac path to the camping field. The final kilometre was through the camping field where clubs and teams were cheering people in and offering encouragement, many had music and signs and kids were out with Haribo. There was a presence in the camping field throughout the night with supporters sat around fires and even at 03:00 were offering words of encouragement.
In order to coordinate the handovers we had a rough idea of individual pace and there was a strong team presence around the start line during the day. Throughout the night we used a messenger group to communicate handovers and look out for each other whilst out on the course many teams had supporters and runners taking turns to stay up and coordinate the handovers.
The nature of the course meant that there were lots of points where the runners passed each other going in opposite directions. The support and encouragement for one another at these points was great and I had quite a few shouts of “Go Kimberley”. There were three marshall points that were continually manned throughout the 24 hours. The enthusiasm of the marshalls was infectious and very impressive given the inclement temperatures. There was an ongoing party throughout the event at the drinks station with water, isotonic drinks and a variety of sweets available. Lots of people also had supporters that would arrive for a few hours at various points throughout the weekend to bring supplies and encouragement.
The course was decorated with glow sticks come dusk and the use of a head torch was compulsory after 19:00. Running at night was wonderfully liberating and seeing all the head torches bobbing along in the darkness was magical.
One of the things I most appreciated was that when you were out on the course no one knew if it was your first lap or tenth lap and I felt that this freed me of any sense of pressure. There was no pressure from fellow team members either, it was accepted that we were all pushing our individual limits and we worked together to support one another to do that. We had a team member who did one lap and others who completed 2, 3, 4 and 5 laps some producing very impressive times even in later laps.
On a more basic level the portaloos were regularly cleaned and topped up with toilet paper although there could perhaps have been a few more. The showers were really warm and effective and the queues weren’t too long.
Now I love a relay and I think the reason for that is the team work but prior to the event I hadn’t even thought of it as a relay race. I had no idea how much I would enjoy it and how much of a sense of community there would be at the event with all the participants and supporters working together not just your team mates. It was an amazing experience and an absolute privilege to be part of such and enthusiastic, supportive and inclusive team. Being our first time we were pretty relaxed about the entire experience but still came a respectable 35th out of 101 teams and had a riot along the way.
Now, entries for 2019 open TODAY (Mon 1/10/18) and we have already filled a small team choosing to raise the bar for next year and aim for 5 laps each.
I would urge anyone who’s tempted to give it a go be it as part of a large team, small team, pair or even solo. When I started running three years ago I never would have dreamt that I would been capable of something like this.
This year, two of our KADS ladies took on the NoMad Ultra event. Although our ladies captain Nic is a seasoned NoMad and ultra-distance runner, for route master Rachelle, this was her first ultra-distance race. Here is her report on the local event...
The Nomad Ultra is an event organised by Long Eaton Running Club following a multi-terrain route around Derbyshire, starting and finishing in Breaston. It has a 50k, 50 mile and a team relay option, and the entry fee is reasonable, especially if you get in the Early Bird price – just £34 for EA members! I entered the 50k event, which follows part of the Derby Nomad Trail (a circular hiking route around Derby) for the first part, cutting up through Derby City Centre and re-joining the trail at for the final part.
The race starts in Breaston and heads through Draycott along a fairly flat route as it joins the canal at Shardlow. The first checkpoint at 10 miles is a bit surreal because although it’s the first checkpoint, it’s actually the longest portion of the route between checkpoints, so it’s serves to “break the back” of the race in a sense. You are greeted with flapjacks, banana and smiles to keep you going and it’s lovely to be feel like you can stop and have a mini break, with no pressure to run and keep drinking, like you would in a “normal” road race. I think that pretty much sums up the whole race atmosphere – very low key and friendly vibe. There are three more checkpoints after this one, each with an equally friendly reception, which was much needed on such a hot day. After heading through Derby, the route follows footpaths through the Derbyshire country side, through fields and long grass and over SO MANY STILES! It definitely becomes much more challenging and you realise how the canal towpaths were a breeze… Despite the challenge, the views are amazing and although the hills are pretty demanding (both the up and the down) all in all it really is a wonderful experience.
A lot of you will know the training I’ve been putting in since the New Year really took its toll on me sometimes, but I can honestly say it was worth it and I cannot wait to do it again. I would encourage you all to check out the race for next year, consider the 50km or the 50 mile option, but almost certainly I’m keen that we enter a team relay – the 50 mile route can be split into 6 legs; it’s a relatively underrepresented aspect of the event and I think it would be great to support a local race and a local club.
*photo credits to John Oleshko:
Race 1 of this seasons Booths League road series took place at Teversal Trails on Tuesday, 10th of April. On a what might reasonably described as wet and murky evening, 35 KADS athletes proudly flew the club colours under our new club flag. The race distance of 4.6 miles was run over well surfaced paths, which despite the incessant rain of the previous few days, held up well for all the 400 plus runners involved.
1st KADS athlete home was Kev Copestake in an excellent 51st place, with Kev Johnson and Steve Haskard knocking on the door of the top 100 finishers.
All remaining KADS athletes put in sterling performances as always, and it was fantastic to see so many runners making their debut for the club, so a very special mention to the following.
Kev Johnson, Rebecca Richardson, Jason Buckley, Katie Newton and Julie Buckley. Well done folks and welcome to the wonderful world of league racing!
Many other runners from other clubs passed comment to myself and several of our members on how well the club supported our fellow teammates, this is, of course, the KADS way, but it is great to hear nonetheless. The finish straight lined with Maroon and Silver, cheering home our very own Andy Haskard was absolutely fantastic!
Round 2 of the series takes place at Ilkeston Stute on the 8th of May, race start 19:30.
Race results can be found on the excellent www.leaguetracker.co.uk
Super-KAD Lee Cutforth shares his view and race report from his recent Marathon attempt
THE EVENT REVIEW:
On the 8/4/2018 myself and a group of friends took on the Greater Manchester Marathon.
The course is a fast and flat route starting and finishing at Emirates Old Trafford. My goal was to run under 3:05 and achieve a good for age place in London 2019. The weather on the on the day was overcast, mild, dry without any wind (perfect conditions for me). The support and atmosphere around the 26.2 mile route was fantastic with live music, jelly babies and 1000's of people cheering and occasionally making reference to either my club or name (which is printed on the race number)
MY 16 WEEK TRAINING PLAN.
So training for the marathon started to take shape after the new year and the good thing I find with this training start date is firstly will help shift any excess weight from Xmas and New Year, and also keep you focused on training threw the colder months.
This is a brief description of the sort of training I did:
SUNDAY: 1.5m w/up & 1.5m c/down/ 4 x 0.45m hill reps (running up fast and recover back down) = 6.6m.
TUESDAY: Min 1m w/up & 1m c/down/ 4 x 0.9m reps with 90s rec (flat ground running hard) = 5.6m
WEDNESDAY: 4-6m easy run.
THURSDAY: Long run. At the start of the plan we started at 10m then adding 1m each week.
I found with the long run it’s important to run some miles at Marathon pace.
e:g 5m @ 7:30 and the last 5 @ Marathon pace (for me 7:00)
FRIDAY: Rest or easy run 4-6m.
SATURDAY: 5/6m tempo run. This is a faster paced workout which should be comfortably hard.
In my case I was running this session around the 6:30 mark.
This is a basic training week for me, as the weeks progressed I found I had to be flexible with training as we all have unexpected things pop up.
On the Tuesday night session I was able to train with Notts AC, this was perfect as I finished work at 6pm and there sessions would start at 7pm and always within 10-15mins away from my workplace. To get the best out of this session it’s a good idea to run with someone or a group and keep a track of your time to monitor progress.
I know there is a few KADS who train with Broxtowe Tri Club and I'm sure they will agree on the benefits of such sessions. This is also a good idea for long runs to find a buddy to run with and explore different routes.
Another thing my training partner (Paul Taylor) had suggested was to enter a few races, so we entered Stamford 30k and Belvoir Challenge XC (15m). This helped as its something to look forward to and also if you wish to race to gauge where your fitness level is.
5 weeks pre-race there was a bad weather period of sub 0 temperatures along with snow which put a hold on a weeks planned running, to top this of the week after the bad weather I came down with flu/virus which had me on the sofa for the best part of a week. This didn’t do my confidence much good with training in full flow I had run 15 miles in 2 weeks instead of the planned 90 or so miles!
EVENT LOGISTICS/NUTRITION ON THE DAY
As for the accommodation and travel to Manchester I had been in contact with Leigh Turner who was also running the marathon and planned to get a lift up with him and book into the Premier Inn located in West Didsbury (M21 7QS). My view in order to run at your best on the day is to get the little details right, those 2 days before is time to reflect on your training, relax and go over the method of attack on race day.
We arrived on the Friday around 3pm having travelled through the Peak District to get there, after checking in we decided to take a short trip to the Trafford Centre to pass a little time. After we returned we sat down for a bite to eat, took the 15min walk to the tram stop to check where we was getting on and off on race day, then headed off to our rooms.
Day 2, and after a good night’s sleep I had decided to take a 2m jog , looking on my phone there was a nice wooded area with a large pond located a short distance from the hotel so of I went. Then we had decided to go to the cinema and watch a film, followed up by the last main meal (CARBS).
Race day and we was up nice and early (5:45), my morning schedule was to have my iron supplement (FLORADIX) beetroot shot, pot of porridge with a banana, jump in the shower, apply some vicks vapour rub to my chest and get my race gear on. I had prepared my pre-work drink (caffeine) and as we left the hotel I had another pot of porridge on the way to catch the tram.
We arrived at the race village nice and early, dropped our bags of and were anticipating the start. Come 8am I had a cereal bar and followed up at 8:30 with my caffeine drink (175mg) and took a steady walk to the starting pens.
8:40 and we were at the starting line, I wished Leigh good luck and of I went to warm up.
9:00 and the race had started, my race pace was to stick to 7:00mm, stay calm and relaxed and run my own race.
Attached to my gel belt I had 4 SIS + electrolyte gels, 2 packs of shot-bloks (6 in a pack) and caffeine shot (200mg)
As with the long runs in training I would after 40mins put a shot-blok in the corner of my mouth and let it dissolve and repeat until I had consumed 1 packet just after half way and then start on the second pack.
With the gels I took the first 1 on the hour mark and every 30mins after that.
The caffeine shot was saved for the 20m mark and sure did help me threw the final and most difficult part of a marathon.
Taking in enough fluid was a priority for me as I sweat a lot, I took my time at the water stations to keep hold of the water for a little while and take small but frequent drinks.
The overall race experience was my best in the marathon distance, I had prepared for 16 weeks for this and was confidant I could achieve my target.
I took the race a mile at a time and no more, the atmosphere from the crowds was great and when it got a little quiet in places it was time to just relax and bring in happy and uplifting thoughts.
As I hit the 20m mark sure enough I reached for the CAFFINE! In last year’s marathon at this point I was starting to drop off the pace, had other runners passing me and started to doubt myself.
This year was the opposite, 5m to go and I had noticed a had a fresh spring in my step and started to overtake others who seemed to be in the same position I was in last year. I was on target for my goal and just had to keep up the pace.
Before I knew it there was 2 and a bit miles to go, the next mile I had slipped of the pace a little and it was clear that the last mile and a bit had to be a lot quicker to reach the sub 3:05.
I hadn't come this far in the race to let it slip away now, the crowds had started to build back up as I closed in on the finish and that was enough to get my legs moving at a required speed to hit my target.
Then before I knew it I had crossed the finish line in 3:04:41. It was a great feeling to have finished the race and stay in control, rather than the race take control of me.
First of I would like to thank Paul Taylor for taking me to some beautiful places for our long runs, Leigh Turner for making the final two days before the marathon run smooth and hassle free. It’s been a very different experience in the leading up to this year’s marathon with weather, work, illness and having to juggle life’s demands.
But with these experiences they have taught me great things and will only make me stronger for the future.
This is the first race report I have wrote and I hope it will give inspiration to anyone out there who is thinking of taking on the marathon or any other distance.
"Willing is not enough, we must do"
"Knowing is not enough, we must apply"
Last Wednesday saw Race 1 of the Notts AAA league.
A pleasant summers evening saw many KADS proudly wearing our team vest.
Well done to first time runners Seb (who was the first man home) and to Katherine who was one of our couch to 5k runners.
Good strong performance by all, lets keep this going throughout the summer...........
See you all next time on 10th May at Holme Pierrepont
Tuesday the 11th of April 2017 saw the opening round of this years BDL summer league take place at Teversal country park. A total of 32 athletes donned the Maroon and Silver on a cool but sunny evening at this picturesque venue. The course was one lap of 4.6 miles on well surfaced, tree lined paths. Conditions were very dry and dusty and with 454 runners taking part, the start was something of an every man for themselves cavalry charge!
All our athletes put in great performances, with our very own KADS superstar Bruce Raeside coming home in a fantastic 6th place overall. There were excellent performances throughout the team, with plenty of strong finishes showing our runners have been working hard over the winter and bringing good form into the new road season. As always, there was also strong support from our team of supporters, so a huge thank you to Caty, Leigh ,Paul T, Glen, Callum and Malcolm for your support and encouragement.
Post race many of the team adjourned to The Red Lion in Bagthorpe for rehydration and tales of daring doo!
I will post the full official result as soon as it becomes available.
Yours in running
SHIPLEY COUNTRY PARK
The Winter season kicked off in fine style with 24 of our members enjoying a lovely morning competing around a 'tricky' 5 mile course at the very scenic Shipley Park. The weather was only bettered by the excellent team spirit on display and the way we supported and encouraged each other was impressive!
Mat R mixed it up with some of Notts and Derbyshire's finest runners to come home in an impressive 14th place, with Carl also right up there in 26th, all whilst nursing a sore Achilles!
Glen then showed that age is no barrier to running fast and worked well with Andrew to secure high finishes. I was next, with Dan putting last week's disappointment behind to have a storming 2nd lap and finish well inside the top 100. Our Marathon hero (Dave S) has recovered well with a solid run, just in front of Darren, showing improved form and a fast finish.
Helen was our first lady home, with Leigh, another improver coming in ahead of Steve and Ash. David D continues to run well and led home a bunch of KADS; Jason, Matt W and Matt T all having good runs.
We then had 3 of our ladies come in, with Michelle running strongly, Eve, finishing fast and Caty battling all the way to the line against a couple of rivals. Paul N, Kirstie and Andy all finished close together with solid runs and our team was made up of debutante's Melissa and Mel, finishing well in front of the Ilkeston 'legend' Dougie.
On the day the men finished 10th and the ladies 12th. With support from some of our members unable to run this time, we could easily be competing for a top 6 finish in future races.
Full results attached, but Kimberley runners:
Thanks to Paul, Sue (the photo's came out brilliant), Chandy and our man Mickey for your support on the day.
Huge thanks to all that ran.