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.