Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wellington Monument Race

Not really a race report - what can you say about a road 10k that's 3 miles out (mostly uphill) and 3 miles back (mostly downhill)?

Just wanted to broadcast Martin's excellent performance (at the race!!). He managed to knock a minute and a half off his previous PB for the course to storm home in 15th position overall and to take the 1st male vet 50 prize. What a star! I put it all down to my influence (naturally) - I knew the minimal training, maximum alcohol approach would pay dividends eventually.

Richard also completed the course in a PB and was 5th MV50 in a strong field, finishing in 43.17 and Lesley trotted effortlessly over the line in 54.28 having run up all the hills for the first time.

The prize giving was an interesting exercise and I still haven't worked it out. They gave the trophy for first lady to the girl who came second, then they gave the runners up prize to the girl who came 4th (that was me by the way), then they gave the girl who came first the 1st Vet 35 prize and the girl who came 3rd 1st Vet 45. I'm sure there was a logical explanation. Answers on a post card please.........

If you want to look at the fascinating results in full here's the link.

Happy Christmas to you all and remember if you want to achieve maximum performance in the New Year, eat lots of mince pies, drink lots of beer and go for a run tomorrow.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Future Events

Events in January

As we were rather late putting links to events onto the blog for December races, I thought I’d be super efficient for January and give you plenty of time for forward planning (or to think up a good excuse!)

So here’s a selection, some of which Martin and I will be doing:-

14th January 2007

Oh My Obelisk – starting at 11am at Dawlish Leisure Centre.. We hadn’t even heard of this one beforehand but it sounds like our sort of race!:- “This 10.8 mile all terrain race includes plenty of mud and spectacular views with a few hills too” Entry form can be obtained by clicking on the following link to Dawlish Coasters website.

Rough’n’Tumble – unfortunately this on the same day, also at 11am, and I really want to do them both. If you check out the website the pictures of the course will probably make you want to do it too. I suspect the picture of the post race cakes may clinch it for Martin, but it’s going to be a tough decision. This is billed as a “tough multi terrain event over 10.4 miles” and it starts at Milton Lilbourne in “the heart of Wiltshire”. Phil, this would be a good one for you – they have a map of the course on their website so you can study it in advance!

Milborne 10 What is it with the 14th January? I haven’t done this “9.97 mile hilly road race” before, but I know Martin has and probably Phil and Dave too. It’s the local option for this date but no contest against 10 miles of mud and track as far as I’m concerned. The link below takes you to Runners World events page where you can find the details and a link to a universal entry form.

28th January 2006

Broadclyst Bimble – This one is definitely on our calendar for 2007. We last ran it in 2004 but for various reasons have not been able to do it again since. It’s a “tough, hilly, muddy, multi terrain half marathon” organised by Richard’s first claim club, South West Road Runners. Last year a marshal mis-directed the runners and they ended up back on the course but going in the wrong direction, so I’m not sure you should consider this one Phil. If that doesn’t put you off Martin and I could give you a lift and that surely will! The entry form isn’t available yet but once it is it will be at the following link.

I’m particularly disappointed to learn that the Axmouth Challenge isn’t being held next year. It was a low key event organised by the village which followed a 10 mile course of beach, golf course, lanes and tracks and which I would have thoroughly recommended. Never mind, it would probably have been on the 14th anyway!

If this is helpful or inspiring please let us know and we will try to get something on the blog well in advance for each month. So many races are filling up way ahead of the date now that you need to be fairly well organised if there is a particular race that you want to do.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bicton Blister

It was the turn of the Bicton Blister to be descended on by Team Maiden Newton this weekend, and the numbers swelled to 5 runners, 2 of whom were actually first claim! Phil unwisely chose to travel to the race with Martin and I, but having experienced the bickering over navigational problems and Martin's highly erratic driving, probably won't make that mistake again.
It was a lovely sunny day, despite the threatening clouds as we approached Bicton and the heavy over night rain and gales, and Bicton College makes a fine venue for a race. The race begins with a loop of the park and a detour through the equine water jump before heading across fields, along a short stretch of road and then into the woods. By this stage, Maiden Newton's elite had disappeared from my view as I struggled uphill through the mud. Even though I had done this race beforehand a few years ago I had very little recollection of the course. It was definitely flat when I ran it before, but now they've inserted lots of hills. I do remember the steep water-filled dips with eager photographers waiting to catch you at your worst (I very nearly obliged by doing a nose dive in the first one - that water was way deeper than I was expecting!)
The course comprises a stretch out, two loops and then the same stretch back - mostly woodland and common with undulations rather than hills and is advertised as 10 miles although Martin and I both measured it over on the GPS (not that you can place any reliance on mine which is apt to add in detours to Weymouth and back if it feels like it).
As I approached the final 200 yards Martin jogged back to meet me, issuing instructions about sprinting for the finish or some such nonsense , which I chose to ignore. Imagine my amazement when having got my breath back and gulped some revitalising water, first Phil and then Richard crossed the finish line behind me. What a gift for Martin, the butt of many cruel jokes in the past about going the wrong way - a group of runners led by Maiden Newton's own Phil England had taken a wrong turning and added about an extra mile to the route! How much mileage are we going to get out of that one! Richard had also managed a very impressive fall and had to succumb to the eager first aiders for attention.
We repaired to race HQ for refreshments and to check out the results - Martin picked up 2nd MV50 and thanks to Phil leading half the field astray, I was awarded 3rd FV40 although I did feel a bit of a fraud accepting it. As we had no non runners to nominate as photographer no action shots I'm afraid but I think we have managed to capture the flavour of the day.........................................................

Pre race preparations

Post race injuries, mud and refreshments...........................

Where did Phil go wrong? Lesley wins the chip eating contest! Undeserved prize

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rogues Gallery

As it's at least 5 minutes or so since I last created a post thought I'd have a bit of fun with a picture gallery. I apologise for most of them featuring Martin and I but our supply of photographic evidence that other Maiden Newton Runners do run is a bit thin on the ground. Hopefully we'll be able to remedy this in the next few months. Meanwhile here is a selection of deeply unflattering pictures - and yes Phil there is one of you!

Below: Midsummer Dream 2006. The theme (in case you're puzzled) "Pirates in Men's Pants."

Above: Midsummer Dream 2004. I know it's a photograph of a load of strangers for most of you (strange being the operative word) but it's just to demonstrate that all you need is some sunshine, a silly costume, lots of beer and some like minded (?equally daft?) companions and you can have a load of fun.

Any one up for the Grizzly? It's an experience rather than a race. (Note the runner from the previous year in the background who never made it out of the bog..........)

He'll kill me for this one! London 2004 with fat legs, silly expression and a deeply unflattering hat! Far removed from the lean mean running machine we see these days........

Not sure Phil will thank me either. What was he doing?! Again from London 2004.

Dave doing a creditable imitation of someone running up a hill! Parrett Trail relay 2006.

Drowned rats heading for the finishing line of Race the Train in August 2006. Where was the train, you may well ask? Way ahead of us that was for sure!

Lesley at the Stoke Stampede, Boxing Day 2005 - on her way to what was then (I think) a PB....but she has improved so much this year it'll be a walk in the park in 2006.

Hopefully we'll be adding to the Rogue's Gallery in the coming months, starting with some shots of Maiden Newton runners in action at the Colyton 10k next Sunday...

Update 19th November, by Martin (Lin told me to make it clear in case anybody thought that she had written any of the following rubbish).

Left: First picture of the elusive Dave C in his new disguise.

Right: Sprinting to finish the race in 41:54. That isn't his best at Colyton, but they have lengthened the course by about 300 metres since the last time.

Below: "Team Maiden Newton". The photo was taken at arm's length into the sun, I thought it came out better than expected, although the "team" members are still partly visible.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Present: Phil (chair), Dave, Dave, Dan (late, see below), Charles, Eric, Martin, Lin, John

Apologies: Guy ‘too much to do, you can cope’, Di (‘doing the Guide run‘, an event I forgot to mention under ’future events’ last month), Richard and Lesley (decorating)

Mysterious absence: Stanley (Wilfy believes Stanley and Guy may have eloped) or could Guy’s absence really be connected to the upcoming libel battle (see below)?

Although Dan attended, he arrived late and then interrupted the meeting to register his excitement about an obscure musician, unknown outside of the Cantrell household, who is apparently booked to play a gig at The Chalk.

Minutes are now being received by all members, though none of them are any the wiser

Herald - It seems that Guy’s latest offering in the parish organ, a series of pen portraits of club members, otherwise known as character assassinations, may have gone one step too far. Charles advised the meeting that he is instructing a solicitor in respect of the disparaging comments made by our Chair, something to do with a ‘pantomime dame’. Charles would not disclose the other phrases that have so wounded him, and sadly Wilfy had no copy of the Herald to hand, not wanting to be held liable for circulating inflammatory or defamatory material.

Whilst I was asking Wilf for a copy of the offensive samizdat, my notes were hijacked as follows: ‘Dave unwisely left the table and was immediately replaced by a proper secretary…’ Happily I soon regained control of the secretarial pen and the unreliability of these minutes was re-established.

NewTen - there will now be no t-shirts for the race helpers, as they cannot be retrieved form the psychiatric ward in Plymouth where they were sent by Runners Imp, in an understandable mix-up about the true nature of our happy band. When Phil questioned Runners Imp he got an earful about problems in the family. The loss of the t-shirts does provide an extra £58 for club funds, which was immediately earmarked for the fighting fund to combat the Le Vay libel case. The mention of money prompted the treasurer to get out his advanced financial gadgetry (the back of an envelope) to calculate the current balance - approx £352.

Past Events - readers of the club blog will already have marvelled at the efforts of our doughty team in the Parrett Trail relay. We took 45 minutes off last year’s time, and 27 minutes off last year’s winning time for the mixed category, but unfortunately everyone else got quicker too and we finished 3rd. It was a good day though, with a good finish at the Wynyard’s Gap. We are now eyeing up the Wessex Ridgeway relay next May. I shall now indulge in a spot of informal tabulation: (Ed's note: The Blog doesn't like informal tabulation so we've had to indulge in some formal untabulation (?) (Lin's note: Who the hell is Ed?)

Martin: Stagger 2.16.35; Stickler 1.17.27; Drogo 10 1.15.58; Street 5K 20.31
Lin: Stagger 2.31.23; Stickler 1.24.57; Drogo 10 1.20.55 ; Street 5K 20.31
Richard: Stagger 2.29.44; Stickler 1.22.31; Drogo 10 1.20.04; Dartmoor Vale Marathon 3.47.14
Lesley: Stickler 1.50.18; Drogo 10 1.46.29; Dartmoor Vale Marathon ret’d (knee)
Richard’s Dartmoor Vale time includes the now traditional delayed start, as he burst out of the toilets 2 minutes after the race began, like Superman out of a phone box.
Charles has done the Alton Downland Challenge, a multi-terrain 10K aimed at sapping the strength of the toughest Gurkha. Charles slipped from 1st to 2nd place in the Le Vay brothers annual grudge match.
Phil and Dave C did the Ilminster 10K, Phil in a PB of 40.35, Dave in 41.27.

Future Events - Colyton 10K on 19 Nov, Bicton Blister on 26th, Full Monty on 3 Dec, Street 5K on 13 Dec.

Drink Break - this month Lin and Martin had enough money for them each to have a drink, so the meeting was suspended whilst they recharged their glasses.

London - FLM have written asking for various pieces of information, which I have supplied. Charles, Lesley and Phil all entered the ballot, so are prime candidates for the club place. NB anyone interested in getting the club’s London entry should attend next month’s meeting, when it will be allocated.

Website - Much admiration for our new blogspot, and some surprise at the alacrity with which Martin turned this from an idea into reality - normally such things take months of aimless discussion before anything happens. More contributors would be good. Eric suggested a link to relevant sites for future events.

Christmas Dinner - no objections have been raised about the date, 20 Jan.

Pub Run - as all members will no doubt have seen on the club blog, Lin is suggesting a pub run from the Saxon Arms. We agreed a date and time of 7pm on weds 29 Nov, all welcome. The route is likely to involve 5 miles of running in the darkness, including a speedy section past a pack of aggressive dogs, and then the chance of a pub meal for those who return.

Correspondence - there has been an ample supply of material for Wilfy’s fire this month, including some glossy and vacuous publications from England Athletics. We have also had a letter explaining the new club affiliation charges, to help them pay for these pointless extravagances. If we have read their obscure and lifeless prose correctly, it seems that clubs will have to pay a flat rate of £50 + £5.00 per ‘competing athlete’. There was some discussion about the definition of a ‘competing athlete’ and a consensus that few of this species are to be found in Maiden Newton Runners. But if we have to pay for each club member, it will be expensive, and if only for those who enter races it could be divisive. Phil and Dave undertook to make more enquiries.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Castle Drogo 10

This was another hilly 10 miler, just like last week’s Stickler, but moved about 50 miles along the A30.
The other main difference was that it had the added benefit of parking at a National Trust beauty spot, rather than an industrial estate.

The race itself was at least as scenic, and just as well organised, by Richard's first claim club South West Road Runners.
Among the about 350 other runners in this popular race were MNRC members Lesley ( first because she was the only one running in MN colours), Richard, Lin and I. The start was half way down the main drive which formed the first quarter mile of the course, before it set off south into the less manicured parts of the castle grounds, and then down a steep path across the face of the Teign Gorge to the Teign itself.

We ran alongside the river for over a mile, and then it was time for the first major bit of up. My legs being well used over the past 2 weeks, I was forced into a walk, not for the last time. The course was mainly up and down through wooded slopes which were almost beautiful enough to distract from the increasing pain I was feeling.
After 8 miles there was my favourite part of the race, a dead-flat section back along the Teign towards Fingle Bridge. My feeling of well-being vanished the instant we turned off this the other side of the bridge up a steep path towards the finish at the Castle. I counted half a dozen people passing me along this stretch, but finally we reached the top and I was just able to pick up the pace enough to pass a couple of runners who I thought were of similar vintage to myself. Doubled over at the finish line, I wondered if it was worth it, especially since I recognised already finished, and well rested by now, the 50 something year old who had obviously won the single age-group prize this week. It turned out the bloke I had bust a gut to beat was only 42. But actually, in a race like this one, the main prize, and the only one really worth winning was available to everybody, the chance to run across some of the most scenic countryside in Devon on probably the brightest day of the autumn. It was well worth the 50 mile drive each way - we'll be back next year.
For the record, Our relative finishing positions in the race were the same as the Stickler, and the times very similar too, although Lin and Richard showed the most improvement. Martin 1:15:58, Richard 1:20:04, Lin 1:20:55, Lesley 1:46:29.

Friday, November 03, 2006


The end of British Summertime gave us a welcome extra hour before setting off for Shillingstone to do the Dorset Doddler’s very popular race, The Stickler, or Three Peaks Challenge. We would have been in plenty of time if Martin hadn’t decided half way there that he had brought the wrong shoes. Hasty U turn and frosty silence in car as we returned to collect his off road shoes (well you would take road shoes to do an off road run with stonking great muddy hills after it had been p****** with rain for about three weeks non stop, wouldn’t you? I just love the male logic at work). OK., OK, I should be fair. We weren’t half way there, but we had left Sydling – almost.

We hadn’t done this race beforehand as it has always previously clashed with the Exmoor Stagger, so we weren’t prepared for the complications which awaited us. Parking on an industrial estate, race HQ at the school, start half a mile down the road and finish at the old station. I was feeling tired before we reached the start line, thank goodness we had entered in advance. Did I mention that we had to go back to collect Martin’s shoes……………? Maiden Newton Running Club had a great turn out: Lesley. Plus three second claim members, myself, Martin and Richard. Where were Phil and Dave when the going got tough I’d like to know?

A lovely narrow start with much jostling – Martin “I’m really tired after the Stagger” Lascelles disappeared in a puff of smoke, never to be seen again. I ran about the first 200 yards with Richard but as soon as we started to climb the infamous Stickle Path (1 in 3!) he pulled away from me. My legs “you must be joking if I’m running up any more hills” just weren’t interested. I vaguely felt that I should be appreciating the wonderful countryside through which I was running, but the only thought in my head was that I wanted to stop, now, and was that really only the 2 mile marker I just passed? Surely I’ve been running for hours? This was partially explained later when I uploaded the information from my GPS onto the computer – according to it I had run in a straight line to Weymouth and back, a total of some 45 miles. Well no wonder I was tired! Not sure what happened there. I didn’t press any buttons (honestly Martin, I know you think I did) – only the one that has “Start” beside it.

This is a really well organised race – climbing Okeford Beacon, Hod and Hambledon Hills – nearly all off road, and if you are in the mood to appreciate them, taking in some wonderful views. I’m not sure that I would suggest doing it a week after the Stagger, but taken alone I’d recommend it to anyone and we will surely be back to do it next year if we can.

Martin finished in 37th place overall, an excellent time of 1.17.27, but still complaining bitterly that he had been too tired to sprint for the line (my heart bleeds!). Richard had an excellent run, especially considering that not only had he done the Stagger, but he also ran Dartmoor Vale Marathon the weekend before that – finishing in 1.22.31. I staggered over the line in 1.24.57, complaining bitterly that I didn’t even have the energy to complain bitterly about not being able to sprint at the end.. Lesley was nursing her dodgy knee back into action after injury at the Dartmoor Vale, and struggling with a cold, but still managed a fine effort to finish in 1.50.18.

Friday, October 27, 2006

How about a Pub Run?

Following on from the October meeting when Phil mentioned that he had been talking to other non club runners who were looking for company on their winter training runs, Martin and I are keen to try and organise some kind of club night. I don’t think we have the numbers (but I may be wrong!) to make it a weekly event, but how does everyone feel about organising a one-off pub run? If we pick a specific date and canvass as many people as we can to come along, we can see how it goes and, if successful, make it a monthly event.

Now I may not have any experience at organising races, but when it comes to a night at the pub, my expertise is second to none! Martin and I generally host a pub run for Yeovil about once a month and we have great fun working out a route, running it and because we are dedicated to ensuring that everyone has a good time, we also give the pub a test run just to make sure the beer is good and the menu up to scratch. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!!

We have mapped out and tested a route from the Saxon Arms at Stratton – it’s about a 5 mile loop and we have made it as interesting as possible. Purely in the interest of research we had a drink afterwards, and can happily report decent beer (which we tried) and a reasonable menu (which we didn’t).

We are happy to make the arrangements……just so long as some of you turn up and keep us company!

If there are local runners who don’t currently enjoy the benefits of club membership they may well feel more comfortable meeting us on a run than turning up at the pub for an evening with a load of (strange!) strangers.

If there is enough interest we could organise a weekly or fortnightly training run – possibly meeting at different locations and taking turns to plan and lead a run. It’s hard to stay motivated when it’s cold and dark, but running with a group really helps.

Can we make it an agenda item at the next meeting?….meanwhile if anyone wants a taste of how much fun pub runs can be Martin and I will be hosting one for Yeovil at Halstock Golf Club on the 2nd November and another at the White Hart in Crewkerne on the 23rd November, both starting at 6.30pm, all welcome, just turn up and bring a torch! (And don’t wear shoes that you want to keep clean!!!).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

October Minutes


Present: Phil (chair), Stanley, Dave C, Derek, Richard, Lesley, Martin, Lin, Dave W, Pete, John, Dan, Eric,

Apologies: Guy (had something better to do), Charles, Jackie (after last month’s frosty welcome, she knows when she’s not wanted)

Minutes: it appears that the pearls of wit and wisdom, encapsulated in these monthly minutes, have been eluding a number of members. Back copies can be found in the British Library.

NewTen: still some life left in this topic. Runners Imp claim to have been thwarted in their attempt to deliver the T-shirts for our race helpers to a location in Plymouth. They then suggested that all 20 t-shirts have been safely despatched to an unspecified hospital. No doubt an entire psychiatric ward is now smartly kitted out.

Past Events. We had 8 members in the Sydling 5K, Martin (1st male), Lin (1st female), Phil, Ian, Di, Dan, Jackie, and Dave C. Dave W did the New Forest Marathon in 3.19 (came 7th in the Dorset County Marathon Championships). Dan did a 10K at an unspecified location in Oxfordshire. Eric moved house. Dave C has been spotted training with Crewkerne. Richard and Lesley have been busy as usual. They did the Isle of Wight Fell Running Weekend , which involves a 3 mile race on Saturday a.m., 7 miles on Sat p.m., and then 13 miles on Sunday a.m. Richard did them in 22.56 (1st MV50, £15 boots voucher), 1.08.48, and 1.48.28 (2nd MV50, £10 voucher). Lesley did them in 31.02, 1.35.54 and 2.32.52 - she came 2nd FV50 every time, getting a £10 voucher each time. Richard also won the overall MV50 category but did not get a medal as we are not affiliated to the Fell Running Association. Dave W to investigate cost of joining. They also did the Musbury castle 7.3 mile multi-terrain in 1.01.30 and 1.20.44, and Richard did the Honiton 12K in 51.12. Martin and Lin both did the New Forest half in 1.34.10 (Lin was 2nd female, Martin 3rd MV50), they did the Clarendon Way Marathon in 3.45.46 (a one-way route from Salisbury to Winchester), and they did the Street 5K in 21.11. Martin did the King Alfred’s Torment in 50.30, and Phil did it in 54.05. I make that a combined total of 27 events in the last month - Stanley never had this much to cope with when he was secretary!

Future Events. Next up is the Parrett Trail Relay on 14 Oct, with our team of Phil, Di, Ian, Lin, Martin and Dave W. The next day Richard and Lesley are doing the Dartmoor Vale Marathon, Lesley’s 1st marathon. The Gillingham Hilly and the Exmoor Stagger are on 22 Oct, the Studland Stampede and the Stickler are on 29 Oct, the Ilminster 10K and the Drogo 10 are on 5 November.

Drinks Break. Martin and Lin scraped together enough change to buy a pint, then we continued…

London. Martin has a good for age entry, Lesley and Phil have entered the ballot.

Members: Dave W asked about the club’s views on people joining if they are unlikely to attend meetings, so as to get cheaper race entry. We agreed that this is OK, though we would appreciate help on club events like the NewTen, we would ask for the annual fee for next year to be paid now, and we would continue to give preference over the London entry to regular meeting attenders. Phil has also heard of possible new members.

Website: Martin has set up a blog ( on which members can post items of interest or disrepute or both, eg embarrassing photos of Phil, details of coming training runs etc. Richard was worryingly keen to know if material would be censored in any way - Martin pointed out that this would be the window through which the world looked upon us.
Meeting closed at 8.52 pm.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Parrett Trail Relay Report

Maiden Newton’s second attempt at the Parrett Trail relay saw Phil get the team off to a great start. His excellent time of 1.12.49 over the 10 mile leg from Steart to Bridgwater gave him 5th place and knocked 5 minutes off the team’s 2005 leg time.

Di followed him in her repeat run of leg 2. She put in so much effort that she was completely unable to respond to the heckling from me as she neared the end of her run at Burrowbridge. She did rally to attack me with her water bottle when I commented that it was the first time I’d ever known her to be speechless – which just goes to show that she could have put a little bit more effort into her running!
Ian took over for the ascent up to Burrow Mump and also finished in an excellent time, some 6 minutes faster than Martin ran this leg last year. However, we all know why Martin took so long..........good job that Ian has better navigational skills!! (Should I mention that Martin had recce’d the leg but Ian hadn’t?).

And then it was my turn from Oath Lock to Gawbridge, and I’m pleased to say that not only did I not get lost, but I also prevented an Exmouth Harrier from going in totally the wrong direction at Midelney. We ran most of the rest of the leg together until nearing the end he very unwisely commented that since I’d stopped him from getting lost he would “wait” for me. I therefore took enormous pleasure in sprinting past him on the final stretch to the bridge to finish in 5th place and a time of 106.11!

In between legs I’d been doing a bit of research so I knew that there was no chance of the Yeovil mixed team beating us, but I also discovered that Trull Troggers mixed team had won leg 1 and been third on leg 2 and not only that they had a very strong “ringer” running leg 4 for them. Hopes of winning the glory for Maiden Newton began to fade into a possible 2nd place.

The Maiden Newton convoy, which by now consisted of Phil, Ian, Di, myself plus various family members, next gathered at Lower Stratton to send Dave on his way and then to anxiously (on my part at least) await Martin at the end of leg 5. I knew well the pitfalls of this tricky leg having got lost on Ham Hill myself , running for Yeovil in the 2004 event. However Martin came through with flying colours, finishing very strongly in 6th place on a very competitive leg and being the only runner in our team to go under the hour with a time of 59.19. He wasn’t allowed any time to bask in the glory – I bundled him straight in the car as we made a mad dash to North Perrott where we just had time to get a pint at the Manor Arms before cheering Dave past at around the half way mark on the final leg.

With our usual excellent timing we also managed to arrive at Winyard’s Gap and get another pint in before Dave finished. I’m not sure if that says something about how long it took Dave to run up the hill or if it reflects on our amazing turn of speed if there’s a drink involved!! In reality Dave had a great run, knocking over 2 minutes off Phil’s time on this leg last year and bringing the team home in a total time of 6 hours 46 minutes and 22 seconds, a huge improvement on 2005.

We all put at least as much enthusiasm into the post race refreshments as we had into the event itself, whilst waiting with bated breath to hear the results.
As expected Trull Troggers were the first mixed team home having beaten us by 16 and a half minutes and we were just pipped at the post by the improbably named “Goldie Locks & the 5 Bears” who finished a mere 2 minutes and 32 seconds ahead of us. We’ll beat them next year!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Parrett Trail Relay Tomorrow

Its organised by Crewkerne Running Club
Starts at the mouth of the Parrett, near Steart.
Order of legs run by the mighty Maiden Newton Mixed Team:

1. Phil
2. Di
3. Ian
4. Lin
5. Martin
6. Dave

Our goal is to beat last year's time, and not have anybody get lost.
And most importantly enjoy the whole experience ( even if we get lost( which we won't) ).

Hopefully the weather will be better than for the last relay Phil got talked into.
And Lin is hoping she won't need her woolly mittens this time.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Better than nothing!

This Blog is intended to fill the gap between the defunct old website and the wonderful new one that I am going to create when I ever find the time to get around to it.

Here are September's Minutes. I am going to find a better way of adding them to the blog than posting them, but here goes:

Guy, Stanley, Charles, John, Eric, Martin, Lin, Phil, Dan, Dave C, Dave W, Jackie, Derek

Charlie, Richard and Lesley, Di and Ian

Jackie was attending her 1st meeting, but was steadfastly ignored by the Chair who did not want to sully the club’s unfriendly image by offering any words of welcome.
We engaged in a spot of post-race analysis. The verdict: an unqualified success. All runners appeared to have enjoyed it, the organisation went well, and we have had good feedback, including on the Runners World website. Crewkerne did query both the Newness and the Madness of the race, but they only sent one runner so their views are to be ignored. We had a total of 152 entries, 70 of them on the night, and 142 finishers. Last year’s winning time, of 37.15, was smashed by nearly a minute, for a time of 36.19. There was an incident of one competitor smoking a fag as he ran up the hill back from Wraxall, blowing smoke in the faces of those behind. There was also a dubious incident involving a competitor of mature years from Yeovil, who either experienced a shorts malfunction or was getting carried away with the cucumber theme. Money-wise, we had £292.29 surplus after costs, we agreed to pocket £52.29 for club funds, and to give out the remaining £240 to 4 charities: Playgroup, Friends of Greenford, Joseph Weld and the Scouts. There were some suggestions of having a bar and barbecue after the race - agreed this would be something to be run by other people, eg Wilf or the school Friends. The prize-giving went smoothly, with the lardy cakes and cucumbers going down (or up) well. The meeting gave big thanks to Phil and Dave and their partners for all their excellent work.

Past Events.
9 club members did the NewTen: Nigel in 41.13, Lin and Martin in 45.40, Ian in 46.32, Richard and Lesley in 54.04 and 54.05, Charlie in 58.41, Jackie in 61.23 and Eric in 65.43. Lin and Martin also did the Race the Train in 2.02.34 (the train won), the Beast in 1.36.23 and 1.47.27, the Ash Excellent 8 in 57.01 and 62.06, and Yeovilton in 20.37 each. Phil did Yeovilton in 19.09. Lesley emailed to say that she and Richard had done the Where’s Tarka (c 9 miles) in 1.19.56 and 1.51.11, the Race the Train in 1.59.24 and 2.37.07, the Beast in 1.43.59 and 2.24.24, and the Seaton Half in 1.37.57 and 1.56.01. Lesley added some notes about Richard’s erratic behaviour - in the NewTen he spent much of the race running backwards, so that he fell over, cutting his hand and bruising his shoulder. At mile 9 of Race the Train he took his shorts off and ran with them in his hand - his story was that they were wet and wouldn’t stay up, but others think he was trying to distract the driver, or something worse. During the Tarka he insisted on running in dark glasses, including through the low tunnels, so that he cut his head on the roof then fell onto his bruised shoulder. Lesley, meanwhile, saw a severed head in the water….

Future Events.
New Forest Marathon and Half on 17/9, King Alfred’s Torment on 24/9 (cakes for finishers, unburnt), Autumn Downland Challenge 1 Oct for Charles and his Gurkhas, Sydling Fun Run on 8 Oct, Parrett Trail Relay on 14 Oct. Our team for the Parrett Trail is Phil, Ian, Di, Martin, Lin, Dave W. Richard and Lesley are planning to do the Isle of Wight Fell Running Weekend (an area renowned for its daunting and dangerous mountains) and the Musbury Castle.

London Entry.
Dave W has written off for the club entry application form, no reply so far. We agreed that anyone interested in taking the club place should also try to enter via the ballot. Correspondence. Dave read out a letter asking if we would be interested in contributing to a weekend to commemorate the second World War. The meeting was bemused.Stanley. As well as updating us on Arscott’s latest exploits, off to Spain on a quad-biking trip with Rees, Stanley received a series of texts from his daughter in Cheltenham, relaying questions from her pub quiz, including ‘Name the actor who plays Ron Weasly’, by which she meant, obviously, ‘Name the actress who plays Ron’s mother’.
Christmas Do set for 20 January, same format as last year. Vests - Di and Jackie interested.