NtCCC Highlights by Jon Morrell

I Really enjoyed NtCCC – it was a welcome distraction at a time when there has been scant else to do. I completed all but one of the challenges, but these were my favourites – or at least the ones I put most thought/effort into.

5K Handicap

Stewart Unsworth will be proud of me – I studied the rules in detail and I think I found an exploitable loophole to beat the handicapper. There is nothing that explicitly says you have to run the same route twice – just don’t cheat because Father Christmas and the cabal know. To maximise the % increase between the 1st and 2nd runs while giving 100% in both, I needed to make the 1st one harder and the 2nd one easier.

For the 1st 5K I picked an undulating local 5K loop that I have run hundreds of time, only there was poor visibility, freezing fog, icy pavements, slippy leaves, I ran on tired legs and had low energy due to consuming less than 2k calories per day on a crash diet during the month of November.
Nov 26th run #1: 20m 42s

For the 2nd 5K I tried to reverse all the factors of the 1st. I jogged up to the flattest route I know in Corsham (along the ridge in Neston), the weather was cool, dry and calm, and my coach and best friend, Luke, joined me on his bike to shout encouragement and prevent me from slowing down in the 2nd half. I was very pleased with the improvement and my 2nd fastest legal* 5K ever.
Jan 16th run #2: 18m 56s

  • That’s right folks, Heddington doesn’t actually count.

100M Vertical Dash

I spent quite a while surveying local hills for this part of the challenge – I needed something steep, on road, and 100m of elevation. Naish, down in Lacock, was a candidate, as was the hill out of Slaughterford up to Thickwood. But ultimately Tutton Hill up to Colerne was my favourite. It ticked all the boxes, and I used to own the CR, so there was added motivation to try and win it back! However, in the end I did some maths and calculated that I would be able to run up and down my stairs for a total of 100m faster than any outdoor activity.

So that’s what we did – 19 flights x 5.30 meters (it’s a town house). I sent coach Luke off first and he recorded a very respectable time of 5m 26s. This was a great marker but I was determined not to be beaten by an 8-year old. I double-stepped every ascent, then hobbled back down at half the speed on my fragile knees.
Final time 5m 16s…but I only just noticed this one wasn’t actually a competition 🙁

Slaughterford Prediction Run

SF9 is my favourite race of the year and I am gutted it’s cancelled. I figured the best way to predict my time was to go hard. I initially planned to aim for 1h10m, but on the start line I had a crisis of confidence and down-graded to 1h13m. The course was in perfect condition – not too muddy, not too hard – and my friend Andy gave me something to chase up the hills. I didn’t push as hard as I would’ve done in a race, but it was definitely an uncomfortable effort.
Predicted: 1h 13m
Actual: 1h 11m 6s

Notable Mentions

The Castle Combe run on Christmas Eve was in no way a chore – fantastic morning with some friends, and the same goes for the New Year’s run!
I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy Andrew’s strength session – I hate strength work!
It was also a nice surprise to bump into Max and Mike on the Christmas Lights run!

I really enjoyed the NtCCC. Many thanks to the organisers.

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.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 3rd May

We’ve had 6 weeks of lockdown now but the members of CRC are still going.

We’re slightly down on miles this week but we’re up on activities and again we had 7 people managing a daily activity and some not-parkruns.

I would assume one of the main reasons the activity numbers are up is to do with the children of many of our members. The One Mile Club are attempting to run 1,000 miles cumulatively over 40 days and raise some money for NHS Charities, currently at £855.

As at Sunday lunchtime, the children had achieved 265 miles, which on a journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End would have them just past Pitlochry (The Gateway to the Highlands).

While some are continuing to run, others are using the time to enjoy some recuperation until we can meet again.

Consistency is key at the moment so the Thursday evening strengthening session with Jane C (and Milly) is proving ever popular and always followed by the gathering at the virtual Scoop Inn for a catch up chat and a drink of choice (BYOB)

And we have had a race this week (technically) as Gary Young completed the Virtual Great Bristol 10K. It looks like he’ll be pushing for the 50 minutes when regularly scheduled racing returns.

And finally, whether you are out running every day, or staying home and enjoying some down time, please look after yourselves, look after each other and reach out if you need some help. Keep sensible and keep healthy and we’ll all be back together again soon.

A Tale of Freedom Under Lockdown by Chris Nutt

Leaving the deceptive calm at the heart of the small South Cotswold village of Biddestone, warm with Bath Stone cottages and the sunshine of an April morning, I ran west along a lane lined with the gardens of Spring, simmering in the fresh, liquid light and quiet of another day. The world holding its collective breath, suspended as under intensive care or isolation. The houses and their plots an idyll of an England that exists only in the nostalgia of our culture or the writings of Laurie Lee.

The lane I chose heads West climbing gently to reach a fork, one tine of which points South to the busy Bath Road. The other, “less travelled by” curves West through open fields of winter barley and spring wheat climbing gradually into the sky to look down from the Cotswold plateau onto the valley where Brunel forged his line to Bristol through rocks and woods to carve the great tunnel at Box. This part of the run is light and open, more sky than earth with views that gaze out to the gentle beauty of Bath basking in a soft, blue horizon and surrounded by the ancient countryside of Wiltshire and Somerset, a landscape far removed from the urban frenzy and crisis shaking our city hospitals and their weary staff.

The track soon descends, falling more steeply now into darkening woods and undergrowth, broken by the weight of farm machinery carving the wet winter ground into scars that pain the unwary and twist the ankles as you struggle for grip. Here the woods climb steeply on either side of a lonely trail. Birdsong dazzles like crystal, piercing the undergrowth, shattering the silent calm of a world waking to this new reality. It is as though nature has sensed the great change and the warm green of wild garlic and deeper colours of early bluebells consume a fresher air made free of fumes and fuels burnt in a world before the great virus stopped us in our tracks and made us think. The land to the South opens onto a grass covered meadow clinging to the valley sides and pierced by an ancient spring that bursts above open ground like a fresh wound and soaks into the bound and bandaged soil of the pasture, thirsty from weeks of dry skies even after the wet of winter.

The track climbs now steeply, though still wooded and bordered on either side by hazel, ash and oak. Trees still light and grey but showing the first signs of new life as though a signal of a younger time to come and the resilience of a world we lost sight of. We are as Hockney tells us part of nature and no more able to control it than to control the seasons that these trees root themselves in. The run here is hard, the severity of the path and roughness of the ground taking a toll on tired limbs, but it has a quality that only off road running and open, unspoilt places can bring. Clay and darkened woodland soils give way to limestone and sand where the trail turns part back upon itself and eases open through a gate to a meadow to the North and a gentle curve of ground with moss green and velvet grass covered fields above the Bye Brook, a brighter, cleaner arm of the River Avon as it rolls through lower lands on its journey to Bath, Bristol and beyond.

Here the run gets easier and as I begin to enjoy the extra air and energy that these gentle fields share, a pair of Little Egrets dance up into the light, lifting themselves in waves like paper on the breeze to settle and perch in the branches of an ancient oak. These exotic creatures are blown to us on the airs of climate change. Once foreign visitors they now frequent the creeks and rivers of the South, feeding in the margins of lakes and streams where once only herons held command. Their sword like bills stab at prey in the shallows and shadows of the wetlands and now in April they pair and plan the spread of their kind North into the wider lands of England and the West.

Running is special to all of us who, obsessed or trapped by its rhythms seek out the isolation and the special spaces to enjoy its sense of freedom, of accomplishment and above all in these strangest of times the health and vigour it endows upon the routine of our crowded lives. It is for me the ultimate in mindful escape. High intensity training demands an unlikely concentration but leaves space to think, to observe, to live in the moments when only the steady breathing deep within our core and the sounds and sights of the world around us invade our inner selves. It is a privilege and not, especially in these times, a right which health and happiness grant us. At this stage on the route I begin to think about this contrast and the freedom under lockdown I am gifted to enjoy in this serene and silent corner of the world. Stories of bigotry and envy fill the media as I recall reports of runners having things thrown at them or uncompromising ‘ordinary, decent people’ berate the panting and the sweating of runners who they say have no thought for their passing safety. I know many runners. Although as every class of person is drawn from and reflects the wider communities in which we live, they are by and large generous, open-minded people who value freedom, believe in a community of purpose and respect the world we live in.
Yet prejudice is a light sleeper, especially in this brittle Britain with its divisive politics and the toxic nature of its social media. But we do not run to dwell on the problems of the world, rather to navigate, and to gain respite from them.

Forced back into the challenge before me I take the right-hand track which splits here where a deserted farmhouse rests quietly in the flood plain of the river. Home only to barn owls and the scuttling of mice, its roof long gone but its stone walls and pillars reminding us of a time when the wool trade thrived and the wealth and plenty of an older England shaped the beauty of the Cotswold Hills and the farms and houses that rest within its generous arms. The route is pressed now on either side between thick hedges of blackthorn and elder, like a gorge in miniature no way out on either side as the path once more lifts and winds its way back North to the old Weavern Lane, a drovers track long since given over to hikers or the soft feet of roe deer out before the boots and dogs of walkers shatter the silence of their secretive world. These quiet creatures one of the few large mammals left in our woods, share our countryside moving in when our eyes are closed or our backs turned to stalk softly between the dusk and dawn of each working day.

Led up onto the tarmac of the road on which I started I can move more freely now and pick up the pace to push myself back along the final miles of the route and on entering the house once more reflect on the great pandemic. Whilst breathing hard in recovery, like Hardy I watch “morning harden upon the wall.” My thoughts go to my wife a key worker, tackling her essential role in the fabric of our struggling society and the daily salvo of risks she and thousands of NHS staff march towards, day in day out. Oblivious to the personal dangers they are all that stand between us, pain and an enemy we know little about and less of how to control.

I look at my Garmin and consider how the miles compare and split times stack up. Real speed endurance is something I left behind in younger, fitter days and now an older hopefully wiser runner I look back on those times of energy and ease and like Housman’s “land of lost content, I see it shining plain. The happy highways where I went and shall not come again.”

Nevertheless I like many struggling to find time and space under lockdown enjoy my running. I relish the places it takes me to, figuratively and literally and reflect on its joys. We will run through this crisis of that I am sure. But like any hard and exhausting session we will need time to recover and the good sense not to set out on the same route until we know we are fit enough to do so.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 26th April

It’s a sad time at CRC as it should have been the Corsham 10K this weekend and obviously it didn’t take place. Luckily it’s been rescheduled for September 27th so Corsham 10K 2020 will hopefully still happen.

In total our members had another record breaking week on Strava, again we had exactly 100 members (I’m starting to think that Strava only shows the top 100), doing 1,948 miles in 349 activities (both records) and again we had 7 members doing at least 7 activities.

Some people did run the 10K route though as it was a glorious day again as we’re usually fortunate with the weather, even when the race doesn’t happen.

This weekend should also have seen the London marathon, which Stuart Henderson didn’t want to miss out on, so he did a loop from home. One bonus of not doing an official race was that he was able to stop and enjoy the scenery and take some pictures.

It did mean that Stuart didn’t do his weekly back garden parkrun. However Richard Biggs kept up his streak with Gastard parkrun #5.

Thursday evening again saw the exercise session with Jane Clarke (and Milly) and then all round to the virtual pub, The Scoop Inn, where we were joined by some chicks courtesy of Charlie Berry.

Jane Clarke has not only been promoting our well being on a Thursday evening, she has also been promoting CRC on Radio Wiltshire, talking about all of the great things we’ve been doing while our regular activities have been cancelled. Fast forward to around 1:46 to hear Jane’s interview on BBC Wiltshire (only available until 25th May)

There are many children of CRC members who are members of the One Mile Club and Humphry has rallied them to raise money for NHS charities. The idea is for 50 children to run 20 miles over 40 days, either as a single mile every other day, a half mile every day or any combination really that gets you to 20 miles.

Hopefully this will mean that overall the club will run 1,000 miles in the 40 days. If you’d like to sponsor them then please go to the LINK HERE

AGM Captain’s Report (Review of 2019) and Awards

This is the Captain’s Report from the AGM last week and our award nominations. Although be warned, I was timed at 28.5 minutes to read it out.

Opening Remarks

Whoever got the longest time in the sweepstake for how long I’ll talk, I fancy your chances. For those for whom this is their first AGM, you’re in for a treat and you’re about to find out why I was called ‘Statto’ when I was at school. Hopefully, it isn’t as bad as it sounds!

We’ll start with an interactive part, every year I say I’ll start researching this earlier and make notes throughout the year rather than leaving it all until the last minute so by a show of hands, who thinks I started this straight after the last AGM – At some point last year – I’ve definitely been working on this since the start of 2020 – The bulk of the work was done Monday to Wednesday this week. I am both upset that you had so little faith in me and also impressed that so many of you got it right!

So, since Monday I’ve been trawling through Facebook and reading the excellent Weekly Reviews which were a Godsend although I’ve noticed some shocking use of grammar and even an incorrect form of their at one point! The Editor’s job is available.
We’ve had around 1,000 racers in 253 different Events, ranging from 1.5m to 145M and from 15 minutes to 35 hours! We’ve been up and down hills, we’ve run flat and fast, we’ve run around an athletics track for 24 hours, we’ve done obstacle courses and triathlons, we’ve done night races and we’ve run in cold races and extremely hot races. We’ve come 1st, we’ve come 32,586th, We’ve run in Santa costumes, tutus, snazzy pink gloves, penguin costumes and various helmets but most of all we’ve run for the love of running.


Notable Performances

I’ll start with our Beginners who seemed to be record breakers, taking on Biggsy Hill in only week 4 and many completed a 5K long before week 10 including some doing the River Run.

We had a couple more Bryan Clinton sessions and we now have 3 coaches of our own.
We again had a transition month encouraging runners to try the next group up and making the sessions a little friendlier, it’s great to see so many people give it a go and to stick with it even after October.

We ran a 45- or 50-minute training group for 10K, most of them achieved their target or got extremely close at Spring Calne Clock Change with 13 people getting a PB.

In November we had our Anniversary Waltz – Dave Mackie organised it superbly and he counted 54 different people across the day and I suspect One Mile Club provided similar numbers for the final mile through Corsham Court. 7 people did all 22.6 miles of which 6 also did the OMC mile. Luke Davies had previously only run 18 miles and Katharine Burrett had only done 14 miles before. It was a terrific sight in Biddestone when we came round the corner and saw the massed hordes of CRC. There was also some poignancy to the day as Dave read a piece of poetry at each of the war memorials written by a soldier during the 1st World War or the Boer War

Stewart impressed at the Grim Reaper, a race to do 10 laps of 10 miles in 25 hours, having done a lapped race myself, I know it has some advantages and disadvantages. He knew after 5 loops that he wouldn’t have the time to finish the other 5 but he carried on regardless because he wanted to top the CRC Strava leaderboard for the week and Jon Morrell had bet a pint that he wouldn’t do more than 7 laps. It’s amazing what a northerner will do for a pint.

Some people find running easier than others so it’s great to see so many people joining Brian and Wendy regularly in our 3 mile group, it’s great to have this group that is just about the running and Mavis Rose is a regular and ran her first 10k this year at Race For Life and ran it all.

It is a little depressing going back through the summer photos from our excellent away run calendar including some new routes. I mentioned last year that Dave Mackie was probably a weather God and the evidence is stacking up again as we enjoyed an almost perfect summer and full moon calendar. For instance Bowood was sandwiched between 2 of the wettest August days on record. While Dave organises most of our away runs we should also thank Chris Hutton for introducing us to Yatton Keynell, Stewart Unsworth brought us Bremhill where 4 people took on his extra hill challenge at the end and looking at Strava I equalled Simon Nott’s best time and John Hible and Dave Mackie were far ahead of me. Natalie Inman organised the For Fox Sake, making sure we had the hall and enough prosecco and cake for us and our friends from other clubs.
We also ran the Summer Solstice again in perfect conditions and we had 26+4 dogs for the 4:30am start to Little Solsbury Hill and 12+1 dog for the sunset from Oliver’s Castle above Heddington. And despite the better time the Winter Morning Solstice was a slightly smaller group of 7+Teddy the super dog.

The summer also brings a variety of team events. We again had 3 teams at Endure 24, including a couple of outsiders and I tried to balance the teams up to give us a bit of inter club competition. I did a good job as we all completed 32 laps and finished together as 18 runners (+3 kids) with little waiting around and we came in the top 5th of large mixed teams. One new addition to the event this year was a large screen so you could see the runners approaching down the final straight to transition area and it would also flash up their name from the ankle tag crossing a mat. It worked great but during the night, you had to keep your eye out for the name as for most people you couldn’t tell who it was. I however was quite lucky as I was following Wendy Scotford and anyone who’s run with her knows she has bright yellow socks and they really showed up on the screen.

We had 7 teams at the Avon Valley Relay in oppressive temperatures, our ladies team of Laura, Marie, Michaela and Annika came 2nd and were the fastest ever Corsham ladies team. All teams were named after films and I’m sure nobody got their favourite film. Thanks to Sue Mackie for organising the teams.

We had 3 teams at CWR and could easily have had 4 again as we had so many volunteers. It was the 2nd year in a row battling 30c temperatures and thankfully we heeded the advice on water and slowing down, in fact Dan was the only person to get a top 10 Corsham time and he did leg 1 before it got too hot. Unfortunately now everyone was as sensible and Tammy and Jane helped a runner at the end of leg 10 and he also stole the Morrell children’s sweets. It was great to see Lauren was given a time credit for assisting a runner who had taken a tumble. We had 2 runners born in the 1950s and there were 2 others left on the reserve list and we also had our first CWR runner born in a year beginning with 2!

We had a clean sweep at the Mob Match – Laura Midwinter was first lady, Chris Hutton was first man, and Christine Bott was very excited to pick up our team trophy which has basically been ours since 2013 except for the men of 2015 letting us down when it went to Chippenham.

It’s great to inspire other runners and Natalie shared the words of her son Dexter who did the children’s event at the River Run – I love being part of the running club because people were cheering and cheering and cheering me in and I could hear them shouting my name and it made me feel part of a big family as I finished the race.

While training can help you get faster, just wearing a CRC vest can do it too and Jane’s vest has been helping Laura to some excellent times and my vest has definitely assisted John Wilmott, if only we could go as quick when wearing them ourselves. It’s also worth noting that Stuart Henderson had his fastest time at Bromham Pudding Run since 2014, obviously returning to CRC was the key.

Laura took Marie to her homeland of Barrow for the Abbey Ascent. A lapped race of around 5k, both had the desire to complete a first ultra which would be 9 laps. They ended up with 10 laps for 31.5 miles and a Corsham 1-2 as they left all of the other ladies behind in a strong field as 4 of first 6 places were ladies.

Chris Hunt at the Gloucester 24-hour track race. Yes, that is as bad as it sounds, 24 hours around a 400-metre track and in Gloucester! The track has history though as in 1982, it was the home of the 24-hour world record and what is still the current British record of 170.974 miles (274.48 km). Chris wasn’t aiming for a record though, his plan was to get to 100 miles, something he’s tried previously but not quite achieved. 100 miles would be 402.25 laps and Chris’ tactic was to just keep moving and never to sit down. After 23 hours and 6 minutes, Chris decided not to go any further having managed 405 laps! An extra 2.75 laps just to make sure and an official distance of 100.66 miles/162km.

A lot of planning goes into our schedule but sometimes you just have to do things at the last minute so we were all massively impressed when the rain put paid to laying a hash trail for our Christmas Lights run and instead Jane Clarke organised an extensive Treasure Hunt around Corsham. It was a great event and hopefully something she’ll consider again.

Jon Morrell came 4th at Lacock Relay Handicap. Dave Mackie was actually faster but finished 44th, although both finished higher than their starting position. It’s great to have a handicap race as you try to keep the faster people behind you and catch the others ahead of you.

We had 3 runners at Bath Half who all finished under 1:20 and came in the top 1% of all runners Damian Hall, Jamie McBrien and Craig Rumble. As well as them we had 21 of our runners set a PB there and Matt Wills ran as a Minion in under 10 m/m!

The last 2 races mentioned Jon Morrell and Craig Rumble and they’re both getting another mention for going under 3 hours at Manchester Marathon.

Sometimes if you want to win a race, you just need to find the right event and for some that was the Bath Beat – Officially a walking event that allows runners and has various distances. Richard Biggs won the 12M, Becky Townsend Helen Ashworth and John Ashworth won the 17.5M and Chris Hunt broke 2 ribs, but he still continued to run/walk including a 44:43 at Steeple Ashton 5 days later and a half marathon a week after that.

I hear numerous stories of pacers not doing their job properly so we should be proud that at the Corsham 10K every single pacer came in under their allotted time, 6 within 8 seconds and the other was 22 seconds fast. I slow down for last K and when I looked at the results I counted about 50 people overtake me so it’s good to know that we provide a target and that we can be trusted. Also the 10K and 2K won an award from Corsham Town Council ‘For their dedication in organising an event which is a credit to Corsham and a positive contribution to the community.’

We topped and tailed the Ham and Lyme 50K with David Warren (who gets a mention as he was representing us in this race) coming joint first and Julian Thornhill coming joint 199th although he ran the last 27 miles or nearly 90% of the entire race on a twisted ankle.

And a few little things to finish up the notable performances-
Jo Gill did 3 marathons across 4 weekends in April, all within 8 minutes of each other and all under 4 hours.

Marie has done two obstacle courses this year including a mammoth 20 mile one with 200 obstacles, one every 161 metres.

Caroline Cozier did a whole 4 day running festival in Cape Wrath, north west Scotland. Definitely something she recommends.

Jane Tunnicliffe did her first half marathon for 4 years at Forest of Dean.

At the Run with no Witty Name it was a First Ultra for Becky Townsend, Helen Ashworth and John Ashworth and it was horrendous running conditions.

The Corsham Cycling Club which has a crossover with a number of our runners battered the dragon by cycling 184 miles across Wales from Caernarfon to Chepstow.

And David Mackie ran 50 races in 2019, I suspect that Susan wasn’t far behind him on number of races either.



We had 32 winners from 18 different people in a mix of overall, ladies and age category and a further 37 podium spots, of which 11 were different so a total 29 different people on podiums.

Laura Midwinter led the way with 8 wins and 5 more podium places, including a 3 race weekend at Tri Island Summer Saunter. The summer part was a misnomer as it was wet and windy all 3 days but she came first lady on the Friday, second lady on the Saturday and first overall on the Sunday.

On 13th October she won AVR Half, week after she was 1st at Abbey Ascent, week after that she was 1st age category Calne Clock Change, another week after that she was 1st Age Category Over the Hills, and then in the 5th week she was 1st lady at Dark River 5M. We had to get her to organise the Anniversary Waltz party to give her mantelpiece a rest.

CRC had 3 Trophies at Avebury 8 for M40 Craig Rumble, F50 Debra Kearsey and M60 Stephen Hible.

We had the First Ladies Team (Laura, Vicky and Marie) at Bromham.

The Mackies both won age category at Conkwell 8, which includes the old Conkwell Killer hill from the Dundas Aqueduct on the canal.

I won’t read our winners list tonight but it will be posted on our website at some point.
Winners – Helen Ashworth, John Ashworth, Richard Biggs, Jo Gill, Alison Graham, Damian Hall, Vicky Henderson, John Hible, Stephen Hible, Ade Hurren, Debra Kearsey, David Mackie, Susan Mackie, Laura Midwinter, Craig Rumble, Becky Townsend, Marie Vinolo-Young, David Warren

Podium – Peter Allen, Mark Cortaville, Annika Davidson, Tom Frost, Dan Harman, Chris Hutton, Craig Rumble, Christopher Sapiano, Dave Townsend, Jane Tunnicliffe, John Wilmott


Big Numbers

We had 30 at Slaughterford 9, 35 at Bath Half, 26 at Spring Clock Change, 64 of the Corsham 2K were from OMC or are children of members including the winner, an 11 year old running 5:45 pace, 49 of Corsham 10K were us (including 7 pacers), 31 at Mob Match, 30 at CWR, 28 at AVR, 48 at Chippenham River Run, 31 for Chippenham parkrun beginner’s graduation, 20 at Hilly Helmet.



We had 75 people setting 161 PBs in 2019, some by as little as 4 seconds, some by as much as 4 hours! Bath Half was our most prolific with 20 PBs. At the Wiltshire 10, 14 of our 16 runners set a PB and I have suspicions about the other 2 as well.

Never forget that your first race at a distance is a PB.

I’m not going to read out the list of 75 people but it will be in the annexes to the AGM and it’s always available on the member’s results on the website. Leading the PB charts – Katharine Burrett, Kathryn Roynon, Chris Hunt – 6, Susan Mackie – 7, Mark Cortaville – 8, Lois Norcott – 9

Neil Andrassy, Angela Aplin, Dave Aplin, Brian Atkins, Sally Ball, Charlie Berry, Richard Biggs, Christine Bott, Lucy Bright, Lynda Brown, Katharine Burrett, Graham Byrne, Mark Cain, Christina Charleston, Jane Clarke, Paula Clarke, Chris Cooke, Mark Cortaville, Caroline Cozier, Jo Crossman, Michaela Curtis, Rachael Dark, Annika Davidson, Luke Davies, Laura Di Pisa, Lauren Edwards, Rebecca Edwards, Heather Farragher, Adrian Finch, Mark Forsyth, Tom Frost, Alison Graham, Hannah Graham, Jake Gregory, Jane Hanson, Dan Harman, Vicky Henderson, John Hible, Chris Hunt, Ade Hurren, Jo Hussey, Natalie Inman, Alison King, Mike Lang, Rachel Lightfoot, David Mackie, Susan Mackie, Simon Marsh, Nick Maryon, Renata McGrath, Laura Midwinter, Richard Moore, Jonathan Morrell, Lois Norcott, Daniel Parker, James Pearson, Katie Rawlings, Kathryn Roynon, Craig Rumble, Laura Rumble, Christopher Sapiano, James Shaw, Oscar Stringer, Darren Thorley, Becky Townsend, David Townsend, Jane Tunnicliffe, Adam Turner, Stewart Unsworth, Marie Vinolo-Young, Timothy Wilen, John Wilmott, Andrew Wood, Carl Zalek, Tammy Zalek


CRC On Tour

Italy, Denmark (for a parkrun on the way home from holiday), China, Greece, France, Isle of Lundy, Isle of Jura, Germany (so Jane could be first in her age category at a tiny parkrun), Spain, Netherlands and New Zealand.

It is always good to wear a Corsham Running Top as at the Purbeck running festival the mayor introduced himself to our runners as he was an ex-resident of Corsham.



I mentioned the Anniversary Waltz earlier and said about Katharine Burrett running nearly 10 miles further than ever before, it still didn’t stop there as she was dancing in heels at the evening’s entertainment, where we also had Dave channelling Biggsy and his trademark bobble hat to read some words from the chairman and also the huge CRC Balloons which may still be in the back of Jane’s car.

A number of our members attended RunFestRun at Bowood. It had a bit of a tricky build-up but the event itself was well received and those that went seemed to think it was great. There was some celebrity spotting going on and Chris Evans, Paula Radcliffe and Vassos Alexander can all count themselves lucky at meeting CRC.

At the Brown’s Folly away run, Group C ran more miles than anyone else as Susan Mackie took then on a Magical Mystery Tour and ended up running 6.5 miles.

Leading isn’t just about knowing the routes and there was a great post by Natalie extolling the benefits of leading and encouraging people to consider it. Sara would definitely appreciate some new leaders after telling Natalie one evening that it was the furthest she’d run in ages and Natalie telling her “Shut up, You Love it!”

After AVR a number of our runners attended the Pig and Jig at the Quarryman’s including Paul Scotford taking Wendy for their Silver Wedding Anniversary! Still, if the pictures at Christmas are anything to go by, a new pair of running shoes are a girl’s best friend!

We also traditionally go out after the CWR to the results evening and to have a few drinks and a Schwartz burger. After announcing the results Jane Tunnicliffe announced that we must have been 4th in every category, I should probably check it. It was good that we moved on to the results evening as being the classy club we are, some of us were stood at the finish line in the centre of Bath, drinking from cans of Stella.

It has been said before that CRC are a food and drink club that likes a spot of running. This would explain why 15 people jumped at the chance to have a short run around Holt followed by a tour of the Box Steam Brewery who support our 10K and Hazelbury Hurrah! events. Organised by David Mackie, the event went down well although not as well as the taster samples.

And while we’re on alcohol, Christopher Siggery had the best goody bag I’ve seen at the Dramathon in Scotland, after 26.2 miles the goody bag contained a small bottle of Whisky from each of the 8 distilleries he ran around.

The Mackies recommend the Seaview 17, it might actually be 21 miles but the food spread was unmatched by any race except maybe the Toby Haynes pork pies at Hazelbury Hurrah!

And it’s worth noting what Danny Parker shared with us A banana is 105 calories, a Prosecco is only 80. It was on a picture on Facebook so I’m choosing to take it as verifiable fact!

I think we’re all pleased that Laura joined us and we’ve been able to bask in her glories, but we’re probably more pleased that she shared her Mint Rocky Road recipe with us.

And while talking about Laura’s glories it’s not surprising that Dave Townsend isn’t here tonight after telling Laura at Great Chalfield that he thought she must have won the v40 prize as the other ladies in front all looked younger.

Talking of looking younger, we often see young people at the skate park or in the bus shelter around the back of Springfield but during the magic mile, we had the most troublesome youth of all as Richard Biggs sat on the bench to keep an eye on proceedings. Hopefully he kept his abuse to a minimum.

The Marshfield Mudlark is a great event but this year it was slightly overshadowed by the promotional video Dave Bethune makes a great effort of being one of Bert and Ernie.

We’re proud to support the Hilly Helmet event, where we had repurposed cycle helmets, Viking hats, roman centurion helmets and the race raised an estimated £4,000 for Brain Tumour Support. It’s a race where shopping for the gear is more fun than the race.

It’s always worth reading race instructions and their website to ensure you don’t miss details like needing a helmet, or as I had a Canary! And we had a member miss out on a race as they didn’t take card transactions, I won’t embarrass her, but it was great that she ran with Caroline Cozier anyway who had entered previously. You also want to make sure you know your race number as Pete Allen had his on upside down at CWR, he was team 110, not 011.

And while we’re on the Cotswold Way, Dan Harman put in a phenomenal effort at the Cotswold Way Century, completing 70 miles but running and walking on one leg for the last 35 miles and only the medics stopped him in the end. And Stewart didn’t even feel guilty that he wouldn’t give him a lift at Dursley and forced him to move on. I was able to repay the favour of giving him a bacon sandwich at Tormarton as he’d done for me the year previously.

Mike Lang made it to Bath though and set a v50 record in the process. Current Score CRC 6, CWC 4. Can we keep ahead this year?

It looks like Lee Davis hopped round Over the Hills as Jane T pointed out that in all photos he was on his right foot with left leg raised, he hops faster than most of us run.

Steve Hible loves an Avebury 8 mug and will do anything for one, including continuing running on a purple tennis ball after an early trip. The week afterwards Stewart Unsworth tore up his knee tripping at the Full Monty Cute 10 mile. Thankfully, the competition for worst injury stopped there.

Considering that time and distances are technically arbitrary man-made measurements, we still get annoyed when we don’t quite do the distance in quite the right time. John Wilmott did 30:01 at Hilly Helmet, Dan Harman did 53 seconds over 3 hours at London Marathon although on the other hand Craig Gingell did 3:59:46 – perfect. Dave Mackie hit 20 minutes dead at first Heddington of the summer, but got 19:45 at the second one. Nick Maryon 4:00:20 at Abingdon.

Some numbers have more meaning than others, Jim Pearson did the London Landmarks Half Marathon and in the M50 category finished in place 666!

Race numbers can be dealt with in many different ways and some races like to give the first handful of numbers to the people who finished high the year before, so often number 1 was the previous winner. You can imagine that there was a lot of unnecessary pressure on Natalie Inman, Lois Norcott, Katharine Burrett, Laura Di Pisa and Jill Murphy at the River Run as they got numbers 1,2,3,4 and 6.

I mentioned earlier that the 10K had received a community award from Corsham Town Council and it is good to see when we do things outside of running, in the past some people have done litter picks and this year a group of runners and children helped with the gardening at Ladbrook Lane Cemetery.

I mentioned earlier that I was known as Statto and I’m sure you’ve seen by now why, but that didn’t stop Richard Biggs trying to claim a half marathon PB at Poole, but I told him my records had him going faster previously, you don’t get anything past me.

At the Giant’s Head Marathon from White Star Running, Dan Harman was only 2 minutes off an age category run. White Star are one of those great companies that don’t take running too seriously so it was hilly, it was longer than a marathon and most impressively, as the race takes in the Cerne Abbas giant the medal had a spinning willy.

Darren Thorley has done the last 3 Great South Runs, 1:15 in 2017, 1:14 in 2018, 1:13 in 2019. He should win the race in around 2047.

For a while we had to assume that John Wilmott may be a vampire as he never managed to be in photos. We did finally manage to squash that rumour at Over the Hills.

Also at Over the Hills the route got redirected over the bridge rather than through the river crossing at the bottom of Iford Manor, which Lois was particularly pleased about as she was worried it would be over her head.

If it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen is a well-known saying so it stands to reason that if it is on Strava it did happen and at Westonbirt 10K Lois did 10 times as much elevation as everyone else which is a shame as I think she would have won otherwise.


Closing Remarks – Jane T

Captain’s Awards and Nominations – Ladies

Annika Davidson – 18 races and 3 PBs but one of those PBs was at the Green Man Ultra, where she went from a longest ever run of 17 miles to doing 45 miles, in 30c heat and assisting the 11 hour pacer who had been unable to stand the heat. She was also a part of our successful Mob Match Team and our super speedy ladies team at AVR. She missed out on the Cotswold Way Relay due to being the only person drawn out after me!

Lauren Edwards – 11 races and 4 PBs including nearly breaking 100 minutes at Swindon Half Marathon where she was 19th lady out of 728. She was part of our teams at CWR and the Mob Match and she had an excellent block of marathon training and she was on course to absolutely smash Abingdon marathon before serious injury struck. Undeterred she signed up for Gloucester marathon and while technically it was in 2020 it’s worth saying that she did absolutely smash it and her time of 3:41:03 was our fastest ladies marathon in 19 months.

Laura Midwinter – With 27 races and 5 PBs it’s hard to believe that Laura didn’t join us until April last year. We’ve all been basking in her glow with 8 wins and 5 further podium places including an outright win, beating all the men too. She is also a team player being part of our teams at Endure 24 as a late replacement, the Mob Match, CWR, AVR and she organised the party for the Anniversary Waltz. Her Mint Rocky Road has also been hugely popular.

Lois Norcott – It’s 25 races and 9 PBs for Lois. She set a time at the Swindon Half Marathon which was exactly the same as the time she’d done at the Wiltshire 10-mile race about 18 months previously. She has got her Half Marathon time under 2 hours and I don’t think it will be too long before a sub-50 10K and sub-25 5K. She’s pushed herself out of her comfort zone joining us on Full Moon runs and when she did the Dark River 5 Miles as part of the club championship, it was her 16th club championship race of the year which is a club record.

Kathryn Roynon – 14 races and 6 PBs for Kathryn, she was part of our AVR and Mob Match teams and Kathryn in another person who feels like they’re very close to a sub-2 half marathon and a sub-25 5K. She is our link to Corsham Regis school and gets masses of them together for our Corsham 2K, including her 2 children. She had the most interesting parkrun in our August club championship events when she did one in Denmark on her way home from holiday.

Winner is Lois Norcott


Captain’s Awards and Nominations – Men

Charlie Berry – Only joined us in the summer but did 9 Races, set 3 PBs most impressively at Malmesbury 10K, smashed previous PB of 1:03 by finishing in just under 55 minutes and it’s now under 50 minutes with a 48:49 at Westonbirt, quarter of an hour off. Did his first Half Marathon at Swindon in under 2 hours and the Poor guy has to run with Biggs so often.

Mark Cortaville – 22 races and 8 PBs including at Reading Half Marathon where he was 42 minutes quicker than he had been in 2016 and he beat it again at Bristol. He got a 19:35 5K at Heddington, a sub 4 hour marathon. It feels like only a matter of time before he gets that sub-40 10K and sub-1:30 Half Marathon.

Jake Gregory – Another one that only joined us in the summer but he has been absolutely committed to his training and at the Autumn Calne Clock Change he was aiming to finish in under 55 minutes and he was nearly 2 minutes faster than that. He has now stepped up to become a leader and he has been injured which he hates so no doubting his running credentials there.

Andrew Wood – Did 21 races, set 2 PBs including a 19:55 5K. Often to be found either doing something involving mountains or obstacles. He was part of the team which led the 45/50 minute 10K group early in the year. He is a dedicated leader in group A always happy to try new things whether leading or running. He is consistent in his training and consistent in improving.

Winner is Andrew Wood

AGM Awards 2020

Tonight (24th Jan) saw us have our AGM. We did some serious business had some reports and then gave out the awards followed by a quiz hosted by Sara and Steve.

Our awards went to:-

Ladies Race Club Championship

3rd – Lois Norcott

2nd – Jane Tunnicliffe

1st – Laura Midwinter

Mens Race Club Championship

3rd – Tom Frost

2nd – David Mackie

1st – John Wilmott

Ladies Age-Graded Club Championship

3rd – Lois Norcott

2nd – Jane Tunnicliffe

1st – Laura Midwinter

Mens Age-Graded Club Championship

3rd – Tom Frost

2nd – Chris Hunt

1st – David Mackie

Ladies Captain’s Award – Lois Norcott

Honorable mentions to Annika Davidson, Lauren Edwards, Laura Midwinter and Kathryn Roynon

Mens Captain’s Award – Andrew Wood

Honorable mentions to Charlie Berry, Mark Cortaville and Jake Gregory

Chairman’s/President’s Shield – Carl Zalek

Individual Recognition Award- Julian Thornhill

Griff Award (as voted by our members) – David Mackie

Unsung Hero – Susan Mackie

Congratulations to all of our winners and well done to all of our members for a fantastic year

Weekly Review – Week Ending 19th January

I should enjoy these quiet weeks while I can, I expect it will get busier soon, especially with the Slaughterford 9 next weekend.

I’m going to start this week by going to the Gloucester Marathon. After the disappointment of missing Abingdon Marathon due to injury after a solid training block, Lauren Edwards didn’t want to wait too long to get a marathon done and it was definitely worth it, a 9 minute PB at 3:41:03 and the fastest CRC lady at a marathon in 19 months. Fantastic Lauren.

The only other race this week was the Doynton Hard Half Marathon which saw the Mackies in attendance. Dave referred to it as a superbly organised event that is full of character. It is organised by ex-CRC member Neil Newman and the new club he set up at Emerson’s Green so we taught him everything he knows.