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Weekly Review – Week Ending 19th July

We’re into our 2nd week back with sessions and there are plenty of chances for everyone to get running from returning to running if the last few months have been difficult to get out, up to the usual beasting with group A.We’ve been out for 320 runs, doing 1,612 miles and Paul Scotford ran the quiz at the Scoop Inn, with a round on cow breeds and another on cartoon dogs.Last weekend, 5 of our members took part in the virtual Masters 5K, where our ladies team of Laura Midwinter, Vicky Henderson and Alison Collins came 34th of 120 teams from across the country. Susan Mackie and Stuart Henderson were our other runners with Stuart going under 18 minutes.

Many of our members are continuing to support the Hilly Helmet Challenge and a group went out on Sunday (including two 11 year olds) and did the actual route, but as long as you do 4.25 miles and preferably with a hill then you can do it anywhere and it’s all for a good cause.

AVR Virtual Relay 10K Race Report by Vicky Henderson

And so here we are again, warming up for another virtual race. However, this one is as part of a team, so I really do need to put my best foot forward and not bugger it up. I decided the best approach for the 10K was to pace it, rather than race it hard out from the start. Yes, I’ve been training, but not for the longer stuff, mainly the 5Ks.

In order to try to obtain the best result, I engaged the services of my husband to pace me and I had chosen a suitable route, part of the Chippenham HM (yes again). I was extremely lucky; it had been raining for most of the morning, but now there were signs of blue sky amongst the white clouds. I silently thanked the gods, hoping the rain would stay off, but preparing to race regardless. The wind could become a problem… The two-mile warm up was complete and the necessary pre-race wee was had.

After a couple of hard training sessions, this week, I really had no idea how my legs were going to react; time to find out. My Garmin watch was ready, countdown from three and we were off; sub 7-minute miling was the instruction to Stuart. Of course, we set off too fast, 6.38 pace. Like any good pacer, he advised me to slow, which I did until we hit 6.50. It felt good, almost easy, but I knew it wouldn’t feel like that for the whole 6.21 miles.

Apart from a Chippenham runner in the opposite direction (Frank), I don’t recall seeing any one else out running in that first mile (and it remained like that throughout), despite it being a popular route.

Mile 2 continued in much the same vein, a relatively easy pace to keep at this early stage. Mile three seemed even easier and my pace increased slightly; Stuart did remind me of the pace, but it felt good; so good, I really did want to push on at this point but held back (am I a coward?) going for safety over speed. The views are amazing on this course if you keep your eye out, it’s nice to have the opportunity to have something to take your mind off the pace, stop you wondering if you can keep it going, if you’re strong enough, or if you’ll falter.

My hearing is impeccable, so much so I was able to ensure Stuart moved inside, either in front of behind me when a car approached. Mile 4 is the start of my least favourite mile of this run and toward the end of this section, the cracks are just beginning to show. Comfortably hard, I kept telling myself, that’s how it should feel.

We’re now on mile 5, the terrain has started to deteriorate, the road winds and the wind has picked up, you simply cannot avoid it. However, I just managed to pull a sub-7 out of the bag. Comfortably hard, I remind myself. It might have been physcological or it might have been genuine, but my legs have seriously started to tire. I hate running in the wind, trying to fight it, but I have no ammunition against it, I have nothing to offer. I know I only have 1.21 miles to go but that’s still a long way to go to maintain sub-7.

We are at a point now, where if we had stuck to the main HM route, we would have turned right; however, the decision was made to head back towards Chippenham, hence making a loop and turning left then immediately right. Unfortunately, as soon as the right-hand turn was made, I knew it was a mistake. The wind was as bad as the previous mile and a half and in a split second I made a decision to turn back around. From this point, I really should have then made a left turn to get back onto the HM route and out of the wind, but of course I wasn’t thinking straight and I turned right. I lost terrible seconds here and it will come back to haunt me.

Whilst it wasn’t as windy, there was still a side wind. There was also a slight incline; it’s surprising where you can find inclines on a relatively flat course when you’re running at your absolute peak. Cursing, I tried to pump my arms to get my legs turning over, to no avail; I could feel my legs slowing down and could hear Stuart’s encouraging words, trying to get me to pick my pace up. I knew it had dropped, a quick peak at my watch, but it was just so hard, I really just needed to get to the height of the incline, then I could get going again.

Mile 6 beeped on my watch, a disappointing 7.06. It would have been so easy to give up here, but this is where I rallied. I needed a fast pace now, more than ever to get my average back down to improve my overall pace. Push, push I kept telling myself, only .21 left to go. I glanced at my watch. 6.07, not time to stop yet, keep going; 6.18, OMG, how much further, is this ever going to end!!! This is always the most difficult part of any race/run – that last push when you just want to be over the finish line, it’s in your sights but you’re not there yet!! Stuart pushed ahead and made a line on the road, I ran, checked my watched, saw it at 6.21, stopped the watch and stopped running.

I’d done it, finished, pulling back that last .21 of a mile at 6.39 pace, giving me a watch time of 42.49. Of course, I should have been happy with a 6.54 average, but I’m a runner. Instead of focussing on the positives, the consistency, I focussed on that last mile and was mildly annoyed, to say the least. Asking myself, if I had pushed on when I felt fabulous at the start of my race, would I have achieved a better time, or would I have tired sooner, got a slower last mile and an overall slower time? But we’ll never know the answers to these questions, unless of course there is such a thing as a parallel universe.

Now, to jog the 4 miles back to the car and that’s what we did, JOG!! Special thanks to my lovely hubby, Stuart Henderson for pacing me the day before attempting his own 10K (then he went and actually ran it properly the following week!).

Weekly Review – Week Ending 12th July

There is only one place to start this week – WE’RE BACK! It is groups of 6 (including the leader), it is slightly different to what we’re used to and it’s probably a while still before we’re back to normal but we have started to meet again.

We are running a booking system and we are hoping to display and open sessions on a rolling programme to give people more time to plan and book sessions. Please bear with us whilst we engage your leaders and embed it into the booking system.

We also had the results of the Virtual Avon Valley Relay and Holly who organised it is looking at doing a winter version so please let her know if you would like to do it again.

Lockdown Lords came 5th overall, 4th male team and only 10 seconds off of a podium spot.

Ladies of Lockdown came 15th overall and came 2nd female team, just 24 seconds behind the winners.

Our other 6 teams were 29th, 33rd, 35th, 41st, 44th and 60th out of 71. A bid congratulations to everyone that took part.

In individual placings John Wilmott came 2nd AND 3rd in the 2.5K as he did it twice, once for us and once with some friends. His time for us was 10 seconds slower than his friend’s team. And don’t forget that 10 seconds was the time that Lockdown Lords missed out on a podium spot by. Oh dear John!

In the 5K we had 3rd place male and 3rd place female with Craig Rumble and Marie Vinolo-Young. Laura Midwinter was 2nd female in the 7.5K leg.

We didn’t have any placings in the 10K. Our best placings were an 8th place in both male and female for Stuart Henderson and Vicky Henderson.

As well as the running there was also a photo competition and a names competition. We didn’t win either but there were some great photos in which we had 5 entries. And while they didn’t win, Holly picked 3 of our names for an honourable mention – Lockdown Lords, Pandemic Peacock Pals, Virtual Relayality.

Thank you to Susan Mackie for organising our teams and getting us all involved.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 5th July

So this week the total miles are 1,819 with 330 activities. As usual, we’ve had Jane’s exercise class, notparkruns, Scoop Inn quiz hosted by Alex Fogwill and lots of people going out to do their own things.This week was the second week of the Avon Valley Relay and many of our members have been out and about doing their legs. Some people have been smashing PBs during their legs including Craig Rumble going 17:46 for his 5K and Richard Moore with 22:24. The teams have also been getting creative to do their socially distanced photo. Looking forward to seeing the results when they’re released. With races being called off all over, Carl Zalek took it as an opportunity to do a dream run and ran 102 miles solo on the Cotswold Way from Bath to Chipping Campden taking just over 31 hours. The things he’ll do for something to put in the weekly review.

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 kit@corshamrunningclub.co.uk if you’d like to see if we have any available.