NEW MARSKE HARRIERS AWAY TRIP
Report by Paul Cleasby
In about 2014, a group of New Marske Harriers began training together for a Spring marathon, perhaps inspired by my incessant raving about the attraction of the marathon or perhaps inspired by the thoughts of, ‘If he can do it [Sub 3] anyone can,’ Whatever the drive, the group developed.
Conscientious training for the first year led to some spectacular results that have, on the whole, been improved year by year. From the training group, 5 out of 7 achieved that club runner’s holy grail of the sub 3 hour marathon.
Meet the Amsterdam Striders:
Neil ‘Wagner’ Walker
The elder statesman of the group – supreme focus for his debut marathon at Manchester in 2015 led to a 2:57 finish only to be robbed by a short course measurement scandal. Had someone bothered to add the extra bit onto the course, Neil would still have finished well under the 3-hour mark.
A revisit to the same marathon in subsequent years, adopting a more relaxed approach to training and pre-marathon build up, led to less speedier marathons and his entry being recorded as Neil Wagner –an error he was happy to live with as the wheels fell off well before 20 miles. From the debris of that marathon the ‘Wagner Striders’ relay team name was born.
Allan ‘Lucky’ Wilson
The most enthusiastic member of the group, Allan is always in possession of a training plan he then ritually ignores by smashing out every session faster than he needs to. When it comes to racing though, luck deserts him. Arriving late for York 2016 resulted in a DNS (did not start) forcing a late entry to a cobbled together Morpeth to Newcastle Marathon 2016 (now defunct). Training for Amsterdam had been less problematic but contracting shingles two weeks before the run put paid to yet another genuine race attempt.
Mike ‘The Face’ Smith
If we were the A–team – Mike’s good looks would certainly have him cast as ‘The Face’. Mike had completed one marathon previously and remained scarred by a four hour plus finish at Chicago in 2005, back in the dark ages before training for a marathon was believed to be a good idea. Mike decided never to do another marathon again. He was happy to do the training with the group but resisted the peer pressure to have another crack. Thus all his training runs were run with a relaxed and smooth style giving him the title of “The white Kipchoge”
Glenn ‘Guns’ Farrell
Glenn’s job takes him off shore and to the envy of those of us with puny arms – Glenn has the motivation and self discipline to keep himself in tip top physical shape, even to the extent of doing his long runs in isolation on an oil rig treadmill. A debut Marathon in 2015 of 3:02 on the Manchester short course was quickly put to bed smashing a speedier 2:55 in London in 2016, which he further improved in 2017 with a 2:54.
Michael ‘The Critic’ Lyth
Another novice marathoner in the group, Michael has a background in cycling and possesses calves that have no right being seen on any human distance runner, being much more suited to hill climbing cyclists. Michael did his debut marathon in 2016 at a trail event in Ambleside. Underwhelmed by his performance in that hilly race, he struck lucky in the London ballot for 2017 and smashed a debut road marathon time of 2:59. Rather than doing summersaults with his time he described it as ‘alright’- a harsh critic!
James ‘Speedster’ Allinson
James is the fastest marathoner of the group. Debuting in Manchester 2015 with a 2:59 on the short course, he bettered that the following year at London running 2:55 and the last 6 miles with a pulled calf muscle. Still feeling he’d not done his talent justice, he improved yet again in 2017 running a comfortable 2:50 with room still for more to come. The only thing James does faster than running is drinking.
Stephen ‘The Ringer’ Hepples
Married to our very own Cheryl Hepples, Stephen was the least experienced marathoner in his family having run zero previous marathons compared to Cheryl’s running total of three! For those of you who don’t know Stephen, he has a very specialist set of skills. A member of Newham and Essex Beagles, Stephen has a 1500m pb of 3mins 46 seconds, a 5km pb of 14:37 and a half marathon pb of 64 minutes. He is currently enjoying a break/retirement (delete as appropriate Ste!) from competitive racing. When asked about his current level of fitness Stephen always responds with – ‘just ticking over’ (a bit like a Rolls Royce engine!)
My marathon debut was at Edinburgh 2010, finishing with a time of 3:49, followed by multiple marathons nearly every year thereafter, culminating in a pb at Berlin 2016 of 2:55. A veteran of many a foreign marathon, Amsterdam was marathon number 21 for me.
NYSD Acklam XC - 16/10/17
Report by Dave Aspin
435 runners attended the first event of the season in the popular North Yorkshire and South Durham Cross Country League at Acklam School in Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough & Cleveland’s Greg Jayasuirya carried on where he left off last season easing to victory in the senior men’s race with the ever improving Michael Joyeux of Quakers 2nd and Adam Mitchell, Darlington 3rd. First three home for New Marske were Paul Brown 13th (2nd V40), Andrew Pearson 15th and Simon Clements 25th.
In the senior ladies race, Josephine Stone of Middlesbrough Mandale came home 1st, Darlington Harriers U17 India Pentland 2nd followed by the winning New Marske ladies team of Elicia Smith 3rd (2nd U17), Eli Barnbrook 4th (1stU20), Sharon Bulman 5th (1st V40) and Kath Aspin 6th(1st V50).
Pick of the New Marske performances went to U17 Daniel Gunn, pulling away on the final lap to win his debut U17 race.
Thanks to all the New Marske members, parents, supporters and officials who supported the event yesterday, 70 runners compared to 46 in the first event last year and 39 the year before.
Session Days & Times