Loftus Poultry Run - 22/12/13
Best get the Turkey for Christmas
New Marske’s Russ Best stuffed the opposition on a far from roasting day in the 30th running of the Loftus Poultry Run. A heavy hailstorm just before the race cleared to provide a blue sky, but gail force winds provided tough conditions for the 492 competitors.
Russ and Middlesbrough and Cleveland Harriers Greg Jayasuriya set the early pace building a clear lead on the field. Having stayed together for the first six miles Russ showed his road prowess following his 67 minute half marathon in Paris to pull away from Greg in the final 2 miles for an 18 second victory finishing in 42:32. New Marske athletes completed the top six with Tristan Learoyd 3rd, Shaun O’Grady 4th, James Bulman 5th and Charlie Pasco 6th bringing them the team prize.
In the ladies race Middlesbrough AC’s Kirsty Legg set the early pace closely followed by Sweden based British International Orienteer and Cleveland Orienteering Klub member Cat Taylor in her first road race. Kirsty managed to hold on to a 30 second lead to claim victory from Cat in 49:03 with New Marske’s V45 Kay Neesam coming home 3rd. New Marske ladies, Kay, Sharon Bulman & Shelli Gordon also won the ladies team prize. As is traditional many of the competitors sported fancy dress outfits and all the prizes are poultry based.
Thanks also to Graham & Diane Hall for standing out in the cold recording the results.
Kielder Marathon - 06/10/13
Report by Paul Cleasby (picture - Paul invading the winning Lady's TV Interview!)
Given the tag line ‘Britain’s Most Beautiful Marathon’ this one had some high expectations to fulfil. It was the 5th year this event has been staged and is organised by Steve Cram. The marathon will be forever famous for the bus catcher who cheated his way to a 3rd place finish in 2011.
For me this was a no pressure run. It’s billed as a tough course and pb hunting is out of the question so the road racing shoes were left in the cupboard for sturdier pair of road runners. Although the setting is stunning the terrain is generally hard pressed trail so road shoes were the order of the day.
Because the location is so remote there was a park and ride system in operation. As a paranoid runner who can’t be doing with the fuss I was somewhat apprehensive about this complication but I have to say it was immaculately efficient and should not put anyone off doing the event. The race village was friendly and well equipped with sufficient facilities to mean queuing was minimal. Pre race drinks were available and there was plenty of catering and home baking stalls to get that final bit of carb loading done.
As for the race itself as is customary I started too fast but quickly realised the error of my ways, reining it in, to a more sensible pace. It was great not to be a slave to the Garmin and just run at a pace that felt comfortable. Even as the miles went on and the hills went on and on it was an entirely relaxing and enjoyable run. The scenery was lovely, some may have appreciated some sun but with the temperatures being very mild I was not complaining too loudly about the persistent drizzle. With the course being permanently undulating there was never any danger of terminal boredom setting in as sometimes happens in the big city marathons (see Berlin for example!)
As the race wore on the hills began to take their toll with an especially cruel one at mile 22, not enough to reduce me to a walk (on this occasion) but enough to zap any remaining zip out of your legs and it was a disciplined and determined effort to focus on getting to the finish. I thought given the course a 3:30 finish would be respectable so a sub 3:25 and 37th place was very welcome indeed. At the finish line there was much celebration amongst the crowd who were enthusiastic in their support for the runners and the atmosphere was very convivial indeed.
Hardmoors 60 - 21/09/13
In preparation for the Hardmoors 160 ‘Ring of Steele’ Shelli Gordon came equal 1st lady in what must be a walk in the park, 60 mile warm up. This was despite picking up a knee injury in a fall at Boulby that would probably have stopped most people!
Also running, but maybe not doing the 160! was Martin Murray. Not sure if it was his first Ultra or not, but after coming 4th out of 91 finishers as 1st vet, may be not his last!
Well done to them both.
Photos courtesy Dennis Atherton
Durham Coast Trail Half Marathon - 09/06/13
Report by Paul Cleasby
Durham Coast Half Marathon Done. I was not sure what to expect when I turned up to this one this morning. It was organised by the National Trust and the build up was low key. As soon as I arrived I recognised some familiar faces and could tell there was a quality front of field, confirmed when Jim and Sharon Bulman arrived. The race started at 10:00am and frankly I set off like a loon, 6:18 for the first mile, 10k road race pace. Stupid thing to do as I had no idea about the route or the profile. I soon found out! Narrow trails, grass paths, four or five steep climbs including some serious cliff steps (300 reported elsewhere). I was passed by Sharon in Mile 2, kept pace with her for about a mile but she was running very well indeed and was far too strong steadily increasing her lead over me. She finished as first lady by what must have been a massive margin, finishing in around 1:31 I guess. I finished in 1:33:37 although I suspect the course was a little short (12.8). Not as short as some of the front runners found it though as they hit the 4 mile mark having only done 2! OOPs. All in all it was hard but fun and something a bit different to the norm. Lessons learnt? Don't start like an idiot. Respect the distance. Get used to varying pace and practice more on the hills.
Tees Trail Race - Preston Park - 25/04/13
New Marske Ladies were out in force for the first race in the series. Kay Neesam came home 1st Lady, Kath Aspin 2nd, Erin Pearson 5th and Shelli Gordon 6th. New Marske also won the junior boys race, with Thomas Aspin coming 5th. Rebecca Aspin was 2nd in the junior girls race. A record number of 212 entered the senior race in what it proving to be a popular summer series.