Monthly Review – September 2020

Welcome to the first monthly review for CRC. Hopefully we can get back to weekly reviews shortly but until then, we’ll have a bumper monthly review on the last Monday of each month.

If anyone was going to be doing any races at the moment then you can trust David Mackie and Andrew Wood to find something and they both did the East Devon 8 Trigs. A 34ish mile run taking in 8 trig points in East Devon near Exmouth, so it included a good chunk of the South West Coast Path, which is less than flat. There was also an option to do just 5 trigs but David and Andrew don’t like to take the ‘Easy’ option.

David also managed to do a run nearer the start of September – The Fan Brycheiniog Fell Race. This one, was in the West Brecon Beacons and at a mere 9 miles, but did include 2,247 feet of climb, quite the leg burner.

Also in actual racing news John Wilmott did the Hullavington 5K, where 3 runners were set off at a time in 1 minute intervals. Despite posting a hugely impressive time of 18:47, that was still only good enough for 31st of 81 runners. The field was incredibly stacked with a winning time of 15:10.

We’ve also had a couple of virtual racers. Gary Young completed the virtual Weymouth Half Marathon and the Virtual Great North Run. Managing to dip  under 2 hours for Weymouth. Richard Biggs and Charlie Berry also did the Virtual Weymouth Half Marathon, although it looks like they did the actual race route. They definitely ran around Weymouth at least.

While the virtual Hilly Helmet Challenge was in August, September was when the prizes were announced and it was a victory for Mike Fisher who was voted as having the best male helmet. Congratulations Mike.

Also in Virtual racing, Carl Zalek spent a beautiful sunny Sunday running around the Mendips with a friend in the Virtual Butcombe Ultra 56 miles. Fantastic views all day and still able to run up the short flat inclines at the end of the race. The only bad point was the pub being shut at the finish. Must run quicker next time.

Susan Mackie also took on a long run in September. Not even a virtual race, just for fun (and training), Susan completed a 35 mile run which I believe is her longest ever. 10 hours, starting in Corsham, looping Bath and back to Corsham. Very sensibly, she stopped for coffee and crisps at 13 miles and ice cream and sausage roll at 26. Need to keep fed!

September has also managed to include a couple of away runs with the super routes around Lacock and Castle Combe both taking place on sunny evenings. David always picks sunny evenings.

There was also a group which ran around Cherhill and someone (possibly Carl) stood on a Wasp nest and the next half mile was very quick as we raced to get away. With sting numbers ranging from 1 to 17, we do not recommend it and luckily nobody was allergic (make sure you have your medicine on you if you are!).

Sam Stacey was with us that evening for a trial run and somehow decided we were the right club and has joined us. And Stuart Henderson went back to take the wasps on the morning afterwards as he lost his car key on the run. Luckily he was able to find it. What an eventful run.

Finally a few notes from committee. Firstly, it’s almost certain now that the AGM in January is going to need to be virtual. It will be discussed further at the October committee meeting and hopefully we can start to let members know about the details for the AGM.

We are looking for feedback on the session booking system, so if you have any comments please send them to If you can’t get onto a session, then please let us know as soon as you can so it can be sorted.

Due to limited numbers per group, only one session per week can be booked in advance. If there are spaces still available, 24 hours before a session is due to take place then you can book one extra session on that basis.

And if you do have to cancel a session, it’s great if you can post on our Facebook group that a slot is available so it can be filled, bearing in mind the paragraph above.

I’ll see you in a month for the October review.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 30th August

It’s another week over, lots of miles, lots of runs, lots of club sessions with many members in attendance. We also seemed to have many club members climbing Snowdon during the week (The Hibles, the Morrells and the Zaleks)

There is an actual race this week as Steve Watts did the DBMax Castle Combe Beer & Wine Day 10K. He missed out on a sub-50 by just 4 seconds. Fantastic run Steve.

Regular readers may remember that 5 weeks ago Stewart Unsworth attempted to run 100 miles in one go, doing laps around Cherhill, he stopped at 50 miles and started training for a second attempt.

This weekend was that attempt. He had some support from the Mackies and I visited him too. He was in fine spirits and moving well. He definitely beat his previous attempt but if you want to find out whether or not he got to 100 miles, you’ll have to wait for the report he promised me.

And finally – During lockdown, I have attempted to keep the weekly review going. At the start we had lots of online activities and many people were still doing their miles. Then we had virtual races and we started to get back to club sessions.

However, it has been more and more difficult to find things to go into the weekly review so until things get back to some semblance of normal, I’m going to move to monthly reviews, on the last Monday of each month.

Please continue to let me know of the races and activities you’re up to in the meantime, either by email or posting it on Facebook.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 23rd August

We’re deep into the summer holidays, there are still no races on the calendar and the virtual races seem to be disappearing too.
We’ve still managed to achieve nearly 1,500 miles and club sessions are soon expanding to groups of 8 people which is a positive step.
One advantage of the summer holidays is the opportunity to get out to new running routes. We’ve seen our members running in Wales, the Lake District and on the South West Coast Path this week.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 16th August

The summer holidays are in full swing as the miles are marginally lower than they have been, although I didn’t notice any virtual or actual races this week.

Club meetings have now resumed sessions which is great to see as some form of normality returns. If you’re booked onto a session and can no longer make it, please ensure that you cancel your place.

With it being holidays though, we’ve got some people on tour, running in new and interesting locations. It’s always good to see the sights.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 9th August

We have had a race! This is not a drill, we’ve had a race (of sorts). We had 2 racers and I’m sure if I gave you 3 guesses you’d probably get the 2, David Mackie and Andrew Wood.

The race was the Four Fans Fell Time Trial. The organisers used an app to time when people start and hit the four checkpoints, one on each of the Four Fans – Fan Frynych, Fan Nedd, Fan Llia, Fan Fawr. It was a hot day for both of our competitors, especially as it was 11 miles of up and down, 3,900ft, but David did enjoy the opportunity to dip his feet in the streams.

One of the benefits of summer running with CRC is our away run programme and we had our first one this week as 2 groups ran from Monkton Farleigh. The 10 spaces were booked up very quickly and they had a fantastic evening for it.

The whole club is enjoying the sunshine as we did 1,617 miles this week.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 2nd August

Week 4 of Return to Running has passed so we’ll be starting to have training sessions included, but don’t worry, there are still plenty of opportunities to have a regular run too.

This week we managed 1,667 miles. I did my notice that some people are managing a huge number of runs each week. Vicky and Stuart Henderson each averaged at least 2 runs a day. Laura Midwinter and Chris Hunt were into double figures.

Due to the Garmin outage our miles I published last Monday were not reflective of what we did and I’d been hoping we’d do over 2,000 miles for only the second time. Well Garmin is fixed (and Damian postdd his run) so I looked at the numbers from last week and pleased to report that we managed 2,079 miles, a record for CRC.

Weekly Review – Week Ending 26th July

I was hoping that we might get over 2,000 miles in club this week but unfortunately we fell short by quite a way. Obviously it’s because Garmin has been down for a number of days and someone who went for a long run (on Suunto) hasn’t uploaded it to Strava yet.

We’re about to start our 4th week of led runs and hopefully most people are managing to get out whether with us or on their own. If you have any feedback on the booking system or anything else about the led runs then please let your run leader or a committee member know.

Sue and Dave Mackie have been taking part in the Sagarmatha Challenge with Crooked Tracks while on holiday in Cornwall – The aim being to reach the height of Everest (also known as Sagarmatha) between them – 8,848m. Scores on the doors… Sue Mackie Total 4,502m over 96.32KM, Dave Mackie Total 4,734m over 105.27KM. Combined Total 9,236m over 201.59KM.

This week, we’ve had 2 people attempting really long runs.

First up was Stewart Unsworth who was aiming to do 14 laps around Cherhill totalling 100 miles completely solo. His legs gave up on him unfortunately, but not before he had achieved an excellent 50 miles in just over 13 hours.

Our second long run (not yet on Strava) was Damian Hall attempting to break the FKT (Fastest Known Time) record for the Pennine Way National Trail.

Mike Hartley set a record in July 1989 of 65:20 running south. This stood for 31 years until last week when John Kelly went north in 64:46. Damian was running south with a schedule to run in 64:04 so very little leeway.

He was crewed by Nicki Lygo, who’d also crewed John Kelly (and provided the header photo) and he was supported by 11 teams of pacers and they picked up litter along the way as Damian’s attempt was to be carbon neutral. He also had a go faster mohican!

He started off at 6am on Wednesday and was soon chopping into his schedule and at one point was around 4 hours up. Day 2 was interspersed with a few nap breaks and by the time he’d been running for 48 hours, his margin was down to around 2 hours.

However, his schedule was reasonably generous for the 3rd day and it become apparent by lunchtime that as long as he kept moving forward and didn’t do anything silly he would break the record. He also had Nicky Spinks pacing to ensure he wasn’t slacking.

Luckily he didn’t do anything silly and he arrived in Edale in 61:34 taking over 3 hours off of John Kelly’s time. Such is the support in the ultra community that both John and Mike Hartley were at the finish to congratulate Damian on his achievement.

Damian has literally written a book on the Pennine Way, he’s run the Spine Race twice and is still heavily involved with the race each year, often as their social media guru so he is well versed on the Pennine Way.

So where next for Damian? I think he has 3 options

  • He also holds the FKT for the South West Coast Path so he has 13 National Trails left to get!
  • John Kelly is a Barkley marathon* finisher so Damian could attempt to replicate that.
  • Or he could try and come to a running club session at CRC!

*If you don’t know of the Barkley marathon, I’d seriously suggest googling it. It is probably the world’s toughest race.

Thank you to John Bamber for permission to use one of his photos of Damian during his record attempt.

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