COVID-19 Important Information – 16 March 2020

Following the government’s statement this afternoon, Corsham Running Club are announcing the immediate suspension of all club sessions until further notice.

Due to the advice of limiting social gatherings, please do not use the club Facebook Group to promote or organise group runs.

Please do keep in touch with those that you run with at club, as for many it is their social link.

This is not a situation any of us want, look out for further updates and we will be back as soon as we can.

Everyone’s health must come first.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 28th June

It’s relay true, our members have been out and about this week.

We’ve done 1,864 miles and 342 activities this week. Great efforts everybody.

The virtual Hilly Helmet in aid of Brain Tumour Support was run by 4 of our members this week as Richard Biggs, Lois Norcott, Jane Tunnicliffe and Charlie Berry travelled to the actual course with their helmets on Saturday morning. Richard says ‘Managed to stay pretty much dry despite my reservations on Jane T timing of the run.’

If you’d like to join them on the Entry List, run 4 miles jn a helmet and support the work of Brain Tumour Support then entries are still available HERE

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed the pun in the opening line, this is because last week and this week sees the virtual Avon Valley Relay. Corsham have a record 8 teams of 4 people, running a leg each of 2.5K, 5K, 7.5K or 10K.

Some of our runners have completed their leg in week 1, perhaps most impressively of all has been the 5K runner in the CRC Virtual Relayality team. Annika Davidson had to go out at 4:15am, wearing gloves and a mask in 35 degrees as she is deployed in the middle east currently.

CRC Virtual Relayality also created a baton handover video over zoom while wearing military (or military style) uniform to celebrate Armed Forces Day and enter the Best socially distanced team photo or the Best picture running in fancy dress category!

The Avon Valley Relay is free to enter this year but the organiser, Holly Newman is encouraging people to donate to Shelter. Charities are being especially hard hit by Covid-19 so if you’ve been lucky to be unaffected financially then any donation would be appreciated and the link can be found HERE

It’s fair to say that Annika really appreciated being able to be part of a team for the relay and having a video chat with her team. And while we are edging closer to running together again, it’s important to remember to reach out to friends if you’re struggling no matter how near or far they are.

Throughout June, Mavis Rose from our 3 mile group has been running and walking 100K for Rosie’s rainbow virtual challenge, raising money for Springboard. If you’d like to make a donation then please see HERE

BMAF 5K Race Report by Vicky Henderson

As I’m a 2nd claim member of a couple of running clubs in London, I’ve been quite spoilt by running challenges during lockdown. One of my clubs’ offers a weekly 5K TT challenge and that’s given me some focus other than just running aimlessly (although that’s still been enjoyable). When Stuart mentioned the BMAF virtual race, I thought this could be quite interesting, because it’s for us oldies and it gives us the chance to benchmark ourselves against others in the country that we’re not aware of – and stops us feeling too smug about our own running, in case anyone thinks they’re fast!!

Stuart & I decided that our weekly 5K route would be suitable for the BMAF champs as it does not have too much downhill to warrant it being outside of the rules. We invited Laura to join us too; I felt this would be mutually beneficial as I knew I would be chasing Laura, trying to keep her in my sights (5Ks are not my forte). For Laura, she knew I’d be chasing as hard as I could so good for her too; plus of course, she could make keeping Stuart in sight, her focus.

We explained the route and where there were slight undulations, where the “fast parts” were and potential wind tunnels. So, after our 2-mile warm up, we were ready to go. We were starting from the other side of the railway bridge at Thingley, near the travelers site, where the route would be the third left, to the end, turning left into the main Corsham Road, then at the crossroads, turning left again, over the small railway bridge, to the end, left once again to finish at the crossroads with the road leading to Chippenham.

Watches ready, feet poised; the countdown, three, two, one, go and we were off; unsurprisingly Stuart was first off in the lead, then me, then Laura. Within 50 metres, Laura had taken me and the chase was on. Thankfully, there was little wind but goodness me, was it hot. Still, haven’t got time to worry about the temperature, we had work to do. Because I’ve done this route so many times, I know exactly where the mile splits are (yes I’m old fashioned and still work in Miles, not Ks). The first mile is round the corner, just before the big tree; this can vary in time for me, anything from about 6.55 to 7.07. Imagine my shock when my first mile showed 6.37!! I tired to stay calm and not worry about going so fast that I’d blow up. You see the secret is, I usually get quicker, because the Corsham Road is ever so slightly downhill. So, it was a case of “keep calm and carry on” (I love this so much, I have it on a mug and a t-shirt).

In mile 2 there is a downhill section followed immediately afterwards by a short uphill – time to get the arms pumping to keep the legs turning over in an effort not to lose too much momentum. From there, it’s a short run to the end and left into Corsham Road – which is usually where I’m able to pick up the pace. By this time, Stuart is but a dot in the distance and Laura has certainly put a good space in between us. But I keep chasing; I know this route, I know I can pick up speed. I’m coming to the sharp corner and just beyond is the tree signaling the second mile; the watch beeps and it’s showing 6.37 – again. Still not shabby, by this time although I’m usually a good few seconds faster by now, it’s still a fast second mile, so no need to panic.

And so, just to hold on now. I approach the left turn, which I need to pick up the pace a little, because there is a railway bridge that needs to be navigated with as little decrease in pace as possible, but at least the other side is downhill, so that will help me gather speed again. And this bit of road does wind, so it’s a case of keep looking forward and focusing on Laura. I know once I get to the end of this lane, it’s about a quarter of a mile to the finish. My legs are burning, I’m beginning to get that sick feeling in my stomach, but I haven’t got time to undo all my good work. I turn left now, onto the last leg – and always the hardest. The main aim now is to keep the legs turning and get that white signpost to keep getting closer. My watch beeps for the third mile but I really don’t have time to check, I need to finish now (it was 6.32). Breathing is hard, Stuart is cheering me on, and Laura has finished. A last bit of a sprint (6.34 pace) and I’m done!

I stop the watch, 3.11 so a bit over but better that because Strava sometimes has a nasty habit of changing it down. The time was a season’s best of 20:32. Thrilled was not the word, beaming would more accurately describe me. It was tough, there’s no doubt about it; I was still breathing hard and could not speak but walked slowly towards Laura who was also still catching her breath. 20.14 for her and again, she was thrilled. A personal best of all time. And racing with Laura and I hadn’t done Stuart any harm either – with a fantastically executed 18.38.

It’s fair to say there were three exhausted but high on adrenaline Corsham Running Club runners jogging back to Lacock last Tuesday. (Sorry, we don’t have a photo of Stuart, he had to rush straight back to his work).

Weekly Review – Week Ending 21st June

It’s 1,713 miles and 295 runs this week. We had our regular Thursday evening session and a pub quiz hosted by Jane Tunnicliffe.

At the British Masters Virtual 5K, the Corsham 45-54 Ladies Team of Laura, Vicky and Susan put in a fantastic time of 1:07:36. Well done all.

And Laura and Vicky also managed to do another 3 virtual races in 1 run. The ISORUNCLUB 10miler, the Stampede Sports 20KM and the Midsummer Virtual Half Marathon.

Rebecca Edwards was also virtually racing, at the Longest Day Virtual 10K in 53:16.

She said – Ran through a bizarre mixture of weather: started out under dark clouds and a shower of rain with a stiff breeze then battled with heat and humidity towards the end. Not a bad run but it doesn’t feel like a race on your own and I missed the company of all the other runners. ☹️

While we can’t all be together we did have a socially distant Summer Solstice Sunrise run and Zoom call. David Mackie suggested going to a local hill for sunrise (4:52) and 8 people chose the regular hill at Little Solsbury Hill on the outskirts of Bath. They were treated to a lovely sunrise for a 3rd consecutive year.

Dave Mackie turned his sunrise run into a Dan Booth Round. A run taking in the 9 trig pillars surrounding Bath and involving going up and down lots of hills. Good effort Dave.

One person (your author) decided to mix it up and get properly socially distant for the Sunrise, heading to Cherhill and was treated to some spectacular views, shown below!

Weekly Review – Week Ending 14th June

It’s week 12 of lockdown and the club shows no signs of slowing down. We’ve managed 1,890 miles and 349 runs so around our usual numbers.

I didn’t find any virtual runs this week, but it looks like a couple of people continued their notparkrun streak. We also had our regularly scheduled class with Jane Clarke and the latest Scoop Inn quiz was hosted by Charlie Berry where he imparted his knowledge of chickens to the participants. Next week Jane Tunnicliffe is hosting the quiz, any guesses what her specialist subject will be?

This weekend would have been Endure 24 and in the next couple of weeks we’d have been due The Mob Match, Avon Valley Relay* and Cotswold Way Relay, all of which we’re missing. We’re also missing away runs and just training in the countryside on regular club nights.

While most of us are getting out on our own or in small sensible groups, I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the day when we can reconvene fully and meet everyone again. Rest assured that the committee are keeping in contact with England Athletics and as soon as it’s safe to do so, we’ll be back together.

*You should have received an email on Sunday night about the virtual AVR.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 7th June

After achieving 2,000 miles last week on Strava we were unlikely to manage it this week as Chris Hunt and John Wilmott both let us down only doing 70 miles between them instead of 207. We still managed to do 1,932 as a club which means that throughout this whole lockdown so far we’ve kept our averages up. Well done everyone, although there’s nothing wrong with taking some time off.

Humphry has confirmed the final total achieved by the One Mile Club. The 46 children ran 1,069.59 miles over the 40 days.

Some races have switched to a virtual version and this week Gary Young did the Poole Festival of Running Virtual 10K in 50:49. He’s still searching for that elusive sub-50 but it isn’t too far away now surely and it bodes well that he is so close when on his own.

Marie Vinolo-Young became our first member (as far as I’m aware) to complete the Virtual Hilly Helmet. 4 miles wearing a helmet to support the Brain Tumour Support Charity. Entries are still Open

And if you’d like to do a virtual event yourself as part of a Corsham Running Club team then keep an eye out for an email shortly from Susan Mackie with details of the Virtual Avon Valley Relay and looking for entrants.

This week Jane Clarke didn’t just do our strength and conditioning session on Thursday night as she also hosted the Scoop Inn Pub Quiz with her family. Round 1 was a True or False (set by William), round 2 was a picture round (set by Matt) and round 3 was Pot Luck (set by Jane).

The final question saw things get interesting as Jane asked for ‘Your best exercise for strengthening glutes’. There were no wrong answers but there were 5 bonus points for demonstrating your chosen move.

After all the displays, scores were totted up and for the third time, it was a couple who won, with the Mackies getting an impressive 28 out of a possible 30.

The quiz this week is being set by Charlie Berry and he has warned there may be a round on chickens so start swotting and join us at 8:05 on Zoom. Don’t forget to bring your partner if you want to win!

Weekly Review – Week Ending 31st May

There have been some phenomenal achievements this week.

First up, it’s a new record Strava mileage for the club as we got to 2,004 miles. Special thanks to Becky Townsend as when I first wrote this, we were at 1,997.

A large portion of the distance was due to Chris Hunt and John Wilmott. They were both taking part in the Centurion Running One Community virtual event.

Centurion Running asked people to sign up to run a certain distance across the week in one run or as many as you liked, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, 50K, 50M or 100 Miles. John and Chris were both signed up for the 100 Miles. Both achieved it on the Saturday and still went out for a short run on the Sunday with Chris doing 104.2 miles (including 56 treadmill) and John 103.9.

Chris also got his daughter Sophia involved doing the 10K, which she did non-stop in 56:38, 9 minutes off her previous time and it was also a great help for the One Mile Club 1,000 mile target.

And of course, that’s the other great achievement this week. We’re still waiting on the final total but on Monday the One Mile Club achieved their 1,000 mile target running from John O’Groats to Land’s End and raising £1,680 for NHS Charities Together. It isn’t too late to SPONSOR THEM.

While the initial plan was for 50 children to run 20 miles each, we had 46 children, many of whom ran much further than that.

Laura Midwinter has been racing in Barrow again (virtually), doing the Tidal Triple Series 2020 Half Marathon in 1:46. A very warm morning for it.

Our regular Thursday evening activities continue without fail. Jane Clarke led us in our regular stretches and then at the second Scoop Inn Pub Quiz, her and husband Matt took top spot with 18 points. It was good that one couple was in sync as someone else forget that their partner was the answer to one of the questions.

Andrew Wood hosted the quiz and very kindly posted a LINK to the questions. I understand that the top score is now 22, although that only counts for pride as you can’t replicate the pressure of a live quiz.

And finally, you may have noticed that Chris Hunt was wearing one of our new Corsham tops that Vicky Henderson has been delivering this week. Reviews are in and people seem to be impressed. There are some spares so please speak to Vicky on if you’d like to see if we have any available.

Staveley Stay at Home Race by Susan Mackie (and Nicky Slinks)

Intro by Sue Mackie

A few virtual races have popped up since lockdown, but none have appealed, mostly because I was down to run the actual version and a virtual one didn’t appeal. This offering by INOV8 was different. We had entered the race with my in-laws and our assorted off-spring some years ago to mark Dave’s 40th, it almost felt like a return ‘home’ and involved a voluntary donation to some local (to my mum) charities. We decided on a virtual 18km distance and printed off our Race Numbers – no chip timing here, so like a proper fell-race.

The INOV8 ambassadors for the actual event were scheduled to have been local boy Damian Hall and ultra running queen Nicky Spinks. There was a fancy dress element so we decided on the alter-egos Damian Fall and Nicky Slinks. The RD had mapped a lumpy course which appeared to be devoid of any flat, and after a bit more time faffing I left the house around 10 as my alter-ego, Nicky Slinks, who I had developed an entire back-story for and who will take over the narration from this point….

Nicky Slinks:
Damian Fall has kindly invited me to have a crack at some of the hills in this gentle rolling Wiltshire countryside, to be honest I wasn’t expecting weather quite this warm – but he has given me a head-start and pointers as to where the nav may be a bit tricky. I’m also on the hunt for some cows.

The start is straight forwards and I’m enjoying running in the outdoors, more than I have for a while and feel good. Flattest part to start and a lovely downhill to get the legs working, then into a delightful wooded trail up and down into the sunshine and first spot of some cows. No good for me though as they are definitely dairy. [If you can give me locations of where all the cows are and their individual names there may be a Prize on offer – (you can tek a girl out from Yorkshire….)]

I continued up the next rise along a trod lined with Ramsoms and at the top of the hill along the road to Euridge ‘farm’ which also appeared to be short on the livestock in the barn, and yapping terrier on the back of the quadbike.

Not sure as it would pass as a farm in Yorkshire, but it were Reet Gradely (Editor – Gert Lush in proper language). Along the ridge from Euridge Manor and a sign there may be some cows. Downhill and there was a herd of beef cattle, which appeared to be playing hide and seek, in the way that a toddler believes if they can’t see you then you can’t see them.

At this point the RD’s warnings about unknown paths sprang to mind, so I stopped clarting about with the cows and started to concentrate. A track up on the right, that I’d never been along before had a gate, but the snicket was rusted shut so I spent time trying to rattle it open and then realised that it had a stile adjacent! I came out into a field that was steeper (and warmer) than I expected, which led me onto a side road through Colerne.

Colerne felt like an RD headquarters – there was bunting strung all around it and even an event ambulance.

I then got an inkling of why the RD had made the route go up here and enjoyed a spectacular view back down the valley into Box. At least I think that’s why I am grinning like a Cheshire Cat, that or heat exhaustion.

A km or so along the ridge running parallel to Bybrook Valley saw tremendous views and then turned left and started a lovely trot downhill. Partway down the ‘the obvious path turns left, but you need to go straight on’ advice caught me up and I stopped to check the map. ‘Bugger’ that lovely downhill stretch had to be repeated back up, or else I would miss a large loop off the course. I checked the map, but it was the quickest way to correct my error. As I reached the apex I saw Damian Fall hove into view. We swiftly exchanged pleasantries and I followed him, which was fortunate, as this next section involved trods across grassy slopes, numerous twists and turns, in short a tactical decision to follow! I stopped taking photos at this point to try and keep in view of Damo Fall and managed for a couple of km or so, then a steep up, sharp right and descent through scrubby woodland saw me catch a last glimpse of him shooting up a hill.

It was odd in that in most fell-races I start with the pack and rapidly lose them (as they are of fleeter foot) and have to rely on my own navigation, this time for the tricky ‘middle section’ I had company for it. I followed the farm track round and realised I’d made the mistake that I often do if I have been following someone and not checking the map at an obvious point. Backtrack. I needed to concentrate for the last few km.

The RD in his wisdom had chosen a stream rather than an actual path to follow, It looked a bit like a path, but not enough. I decided the road was a better option.

I trod through and across some nondescript fields that seemed to have dead crows tied around posts as footpath markers saw me glance up to the right at what looked at first like a pack of labradoodles with ridiculously long necks, and I realised they were llama/alpaca type things. I got a wave from up the hill and continued round onto more familiar territory, along Bybrook valley through the outskirts of Box – the flattest part of the course.

I was doing the maths, it had to be about 2km to the end, with ‘additions’ I didn’t need to do the extra out and back to Saltbox farm, I could just head straight up the hill. A quick check of my Garmin and the map and by my calculation I’d be just over 18km. Result. Taking a fell racers approach, I’d covered the checkpoint, distance and elevation, I could do a direct route straight up Hall’s hill to the end. Quick stop for a final Selfie at the bottom of ‘Halls Hill’ for my favourite, an ‘Uphill Finish.’

Damo Fall was sat waiting for me, beer primed.

Footnote: That was my second fastest time up Hall’s Hill. I currently hold top lady, of 8. I think the first time I may have been running away from some frisky young Fresian bullocks – but don’t let that put you off.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 24th May

As we reach 2 months of lockdown and closer to our rejoining together, our runners continue to keep running solo or in socially distant pairings. We’re up to 1,884 miles this week, 356 runs and 8 runners going out at least once a day on average, and Chris Hunt managed 22 runs!Dave Townsend is the king of virtual racing and this weekend did the 10 mile twister. In his words – Another event similar to the 10K I ran earlier this month – every 25m height gained take 1 min off the finishing time. This proved beneficial as 389m of climbing translates as 15 min off which gave me a lightning fast adjusted time of 66 1/2 mins! Unlikely to be repeated in the ‘real ‘ world but this is a virtual race after all. And a great morale booster for these uncertain times. After Jane Clarke’s weekly session, the Scoop Inn hosted its first quiz night as Jake Gregory led us in a Family Fortunes quiz with 15 questions 5 answers each.Jake was assisted by Ben Gregory using a frankly terrifying Countdown Clock as we rushed to write 5 answers in the 30 seconds.Scoring was two points for getting the top answer and one point for any other so 6 points available on each question.
It was a great quiz enjoyed by all (especially Jane Clarke who was happy not to be bottom) with some good laughter flying around at questions such as ‘Name something you can get dirty?’ and ‘Name something you can spread?’. And we’re all left wondering what Richard Biggs would like to keep in his bathroom.
There was a tie at the top between Jan & Mark Forsyth and Wendy & Graham Byrne. A final question set by Charlie Berry (as the lowest scorer) was how many chickens were in his back garden. The Forsyths guessed 42 and the Byrnes went for 16 and with the actual answer being 48, the Forsyths were the champions.

The One Mile Club have reached Plymouth on their 1,000 mile trek from John O’Groats to Land’s End. That’s 884 miles, so only need to do 116 miles in the final week. They’ve also raised £1,530. Eleven children have done 30 miles or more and Sophia Hunt has done 45 miles. Another 14 have done 20 miles or more.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 17th May

As lockdown has been eased slightly, we seem to have run marginally less this week, although there are a good number of home parkruns. We also had our regularly scheduled session with Jane and the Scoop Inn. It’s good to keep in contact whatever way we can.

I must apologise to Tom Frost as I missed an incredible achievement from him last week but it’s never too late to be included.

Tom and his former soldier friend Adam Commons spent 12 hours running around Swindon’s Great Western Hospital finishing their 50 mile run (100 laps) to coincide with the 8PM clap and raising thousands of pounds for the hospital.

The full story can be found on Swindon Advertiser

The kids of One Mile Club have reached Cambridge soon to be heading West to Land’s End on 618.75 miles as of Friday afternoon and the fundraising efforts have reached the target as they sit at £1,360. Many of the children have reached 20 miles (and are continuing to do more) including the Boore children who were on BBC Radio Wiltshire on Wednesday morning at about 3:45 on the link after Humphry had been on an hour earlier. The story has also been featured in the Bath and Wiltshire Parent.

Hilly Helmet Update

Please see below the message from Race Director Robin.

We would still love to support this event so we encourage you to enter and get working on your helmets.

I’m very sad I’ve had to make the difficult decision to cancel Hilly Helmet as a mass participation event this year due to the Covid-19 situation.
With 40 sign ups ready and looking forward to this years’ event and to give us a good chance to continue to make a good donation to Brain Tumour Support, the charity benefitting from the annual event, we have converted to a virtual event for this year only.
So far the response to this is really encouraging and I’m writing to let you know in the hope you may also join in this year and maybe get the whole family involved.
The format is simple. Decide on how you want your helmet to look then get designing! Enter our virtual event and then run a 4.25 mile route in your neighbourhood, around the distance of Hilly Helmet and wear your helmet while doing so. If you can find a hill to incorporate even better, but we recognise you may not be able to so depending on where you live. When you’re done, please send us your proof you’ve done it, a photo of your watch or fitness app will be great and also send us pics of you doing your workout in your helmet.
This year there will be 4, yes FOUR prizes for the best helmet, one for each category, male, female, junior male and junior female, so we look forward to seeing who can stretch their imagination to impress us.
We’ve priced the event entry as follows with EVERY PENNY of your entry fee going to Brain Tumour Support as usual.
Adults £12
Juniors £5
Family ticket £30 (2 adults and 2 juniors)
To ensure everybody stays safe, please follow government advice with regard to social distancing and your daily exercise quota. Please also ensure any juniors you sign up are accompanied where appropriate and capable of taking part without over exerting themselves. Everyone can walk or run, it’s your choice, it’s not a race just a fun event the whole family can do together or a run you may usually do that you can now do and help a charity at the same time.
All entrants will receive one of our legendary pottery mementos with artwork to reflect the unusual nature of this years’ event and the first 200 entries will also receive a drinks bottle courtesy of Wessex Water.
Remember, once you’ve entered you’re good to go and do your run any time up until 12th August 2020. Please let us know when you’ve completed it by emailing your pics and proof to
As mementos are ordered for a delivery in August, it’s likely it’ll be around the same time we receive them this year but we’ll do what we can to get them earlier. As soon as we do, we’ll arrange distribution to get yours to you as soon as we can.
We hope you do choose to join in and we look forward to seeing your entries and pictures on completion of Hilly Helmet – The Lock Down!