November 2015





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Featured events this month:

Coombe 8 Multi-Terrain - 29 November

62 Damian Pharoah   1:02:40  
63 Darron Handley   1:02:44  
79 Martin Seeley-Davies   1:04:33  
81 Spencer Davies   1:04:44 PB
94 Jo Brown   1:06:30  
101 Jill Pittard   1:06:46  
102 Lyn McDonald   1:06:59  
104 Cath Fenn   1:07:05  
109 Tony Mackness   1:07:41  
117 Rachel Meredith   1:09:25  
118 Amy Burdis   1:09:25  
138 Vicky Whitlock   1:11:52  
142 Mark Dalton   1:12:17  
165 Brian Hewetson   1:15:55  
167 Claudie Combelas   1:16:02  
185 Martin Gavin   1:17:40  
207 Linda Richards   1:20:51 PB
231 Julie Cozens   1:26:31  

This was a very windy 8 mile race that includes "hurdling" the wooden fences around the paths, some great off road routes, a river crossing and the traversing of the "bomb" craters. 18 Northbrookers found themselves lining up at the start and we soon all found our own space to soon be cheered on by the very vocal Triple T who made his way out to support/abuse/cajole us. Not sure who would have been colder in the end, the runners who were crazy enough to get out there and finish, or the supporters. What did not help was the wind in the last 2.5 miles, which made running on the spot seem to be more like what we were attempting in places. For me encouraging signs of a PB came to realisation and there were a few "virgin" Coombe 8 runners who were induced into the ranks. Overall this is a great event in a great location run by a friendly local club - Spencer

Broadmeadow November Marathon - 28 November

  Tony Bowe   5:35:26
  Tara Lambert   5:43:37
  Amy Burdis   5:43:37

Ilmington Winter Series 10k (and a bit) - 22 November

  Spencer Davies   48:35  
  Tony Hughes   49:23 1st in age group
  Cath Fenn   49:36 1st in age group
  Sarah McNaney   50:09 1st in age group
  Amy Burdis   51:02  
  Craig McNaney   51:04  
  Claudie Combelas   53:45  
  Martin Gavin   55:14  
  Allison Smith   56:04  
  Anne Hughes   63:47  
  Helen Hodge   70:14  

Race number 2 in the series of 5 taking in the scenery around Ilmington and that hill (mountain).  This month's race was done in a clockwise direction to keep us on our toes. (Each month they alternate the direction of the race).  I have to say that I think this way round was the more difficult, although some runners seemed to make short work of running up the sharp incline that runs through the village, Spencer to name but one.
Good turn out from us Northbrookers despite some of our runners having given their all at cross-country the day before.  I am also pleased to say that although we didn't win the race, we definitely showed that experience triumphed over age, as three of us picked up (cash) prizes for coming first in our age categories.  At least we will all be able to buy some chips on the way home to go with the sausages that are given as you cross the finish line.
Although it's billed as a 10k race it is slightly longer, and as it's not flat (anywhere) it's not a PB course.  However, it's well run, friendly, scenic and not too expensive.  Much recommended - Sarah

Brooks Cross-Country Championships - 21 November

Ladies, 5 Mile Race - (1st 4 to count)

26 Jill Pittard   37:36
35 Sally Eason   39:04
38 Cath Fenn   39:29
43 Amy Burdis   39:48
72 Claudie Combelas   44:41
81 Linda Richards   47:14
92 Julie Cozens   49:15

Men, 7 Mile Race - (1st 6 to count)

63 Rob Barry   47:43
101 Damian Pharoah   52:24
116 Rob Cox   54:35
124 Spencer Davies   57:53
138 Rich Cawley   65:52

Twelve brave Northbrookers set out to compete in this Brooks event at the familiar and fantastic venue of Aldersley Stadium, Wolverhampton. We battled through ice on the farthest reaches of the course, steep embankments, long sweeps on the field and a biting freezing wind which reduced the temperatures to below freezing. With the offer of cake after finishing strong performances were put in by everyone, with some fantastic results gained. Big plus for me was the support that each of us showed every runner. Of course the Northbrookers got the biggest cheers and we were all cheered/heckled home, also other Coventry clubs were encouraged throughout. Definitely one for the diaries next year, especially as it is perfect Coombe 8 training - Spencer

"How Hard Can It Be" Sunset to Sunrise Challenge - 15 November

  Amy Burdis   8:22:40

At the weekend I took part in the "How Hard Can It Be" Sunset to Sunrise challenge. This was along the same out and back 9-mile route that I ran earlier this year for the Railway Ultra, no chance of getting lost at least.  We started running as soon as the sun went down and could keep running until sunrise or until we got fed up.  3 laps counts as a marathon.

I was quite looking forward to seeing how far I could run until dawn, but unfortunately the odds were stacked against me on this one; something gave me a stomach ache which wouldn't go away and made it very difficult to keep running. I completed four laps (38 miles) in the end, thanks to the support of my friends from Warwick Uni.  This was the same distance as the Railway Ultra, but a much slower time.  At least finishing early meant I got to have some sleep before the XC relays.  

Perhaps I may have been overdoing it lately!

Coventry 10k - 15 November

  David Walsh   46:31
  Martin Gavin   55:40

Broadway Off-Road Marathon - 15 November

  Corinna O'Connor   5:25:10

Rockingham 10 Mile - 15 November

25 Richard Hodge   1:07:45  
46 Mike Wheeler   1:14:50  
53 Clare Rowntree   1:16:07 2nd FV30

Rockingham 10k - 15 November

4 Steve Turvey   39:50  

Another race to try and rack up some much needed points as the year draws to a close. James Joyce and Mike Wheeler had found this race nestled away and I didn't need much encouragement to join in the fun. On the face of it, everything seemed to fit: 10 miles, well organised and well sheltered. However, strong winds on the day put paid to a serious assault on fast times and miles 4, 7 and 10 were basically into a block headwind. I'm sure on a better day this has the opportunity to elicit fast times but today was not one of them!
By my reckoning I've managed to gain back some points off those around me in the 40-49 category but with Sneyd 10 looming on the horizon, I'm sure others will be hatching their plans.

Steve also rocked up on the day and ran the 10k race which started 10mins earlier than the 10-miler. A strong start saw him right up the field and some great running saw him improve on his best 10k time this season to get under 40mins but, more importantly, to finish 4th overall on the day - Richard

Warwick University Relays - 15 November

Ladies' Team 1
1st - total time 41:41

  Jo Brown   13:08
  Lyn McDonald   14:36
  Jill Pittard   13:57


Ladies' Team 2
8th - total time 48:38

  Claudie Combelas   15:36
  Julie Cozens   18:00
  Amy Burdis   15:02


Men's Team
12th - total time 54:54

  Damian Pharoah   13:15
  Simon Jones   13:48
  Mark Baker   13:48
  Spencer Davies   14:03


Mixed Team
6th - total time 56:23

  Oliver Jones*   11:49
  Cath Fenn   14:11
  Claudie Combelas   15:58
  Simon Jones   14:25


Northbrook fielded 4 teams at this fun but very competitive and well organised event - 2 ladies’ teams, 1 men’s team and a mixed team. The course is 3.3 km (about 2 miles) over tarmac, wood chippings and various fields. Compared to last year it was a lot muddier so there was a debate between a few of us as to whether to wear trail shoes or spikes. I ended up doing it in trail shoes due to some of it being on tarmac. I must say on a few sections of it I had to really concentrate on staying on my feet. This was my second year running in this event and I have to say I will definitely be running again next year (I think I have to, as we ladies need to defend our title – training has already started in preparation for this!!). 

I’m very happy to say that I was part of the ladies’ team that won “GOLD” along with Jo Brown and Lynnie Mcdonald. I must say that Jo ran a fantastic first leg handing over to Lynnie in second position behind Warwick University (a very young side compared to us!!). Lynnie then ran a great leg to overtake them into first position (using all her experience). This gave me a great lead on the last leg and made my job a lot easier as all I had to do was maintain the lead even though I knew I was being chased down. So a massive thanks and congratulations must go to both Jo and Lynnie for a great team effort.

Well done to all the teams, they all ran superbly and did the club proud. The support and team spirit by everyone on the day was excellent - Jill

Dirt Half-Marathon - 14 November

  Martin Gavin   2:02

Autumn Shakespeare Marathon - 14 November

  Tony Bowe   4:15:31

Autumn Shakespeare 5K - 14 November

  Jill Pittard   21:16 3rd lady, 2nd FV35
  Lyn McDonald   21:38 3rd FV35

Druids' Challenge - 6/8 November

A multi-day event over the length of The Ridgeway.

    Amy Burdis   Jo Steele
    Time Position   Time Position
Day 1 29 miles 06:13:02 75   08:06:29 133
Day 2 27 miles 05:29:37 64   08:13:00 127
Day 3 28 miles 05:25:25 52   08:23:17 124
Overall 84 Miles 17:08:04 62   24:42:46 112

This was the first time either of us had done a multi-day event. We were both nervous and didn't know what to expect. To add to this, Jo had to battle against injury but is incredibly determined and resilient and made it through, despite the treacherous terrain and challenging weather. It was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone.
 I met several people taking part in all three days as their first ever ultra, so it is very accessible, and XNRG really look after you.  
We met some wonderful people and saw some amazing countryside (when the weather allowed), and I certainly want to have another go next year - Amy

Midland Ladies Cross-Country League Race 1 at Newbold Comyn, Leamington Spa - 7 November

Ladies Overall 16th, 251 points (40, 89, 122)

40 Amanda Deavy   27:03
89 Jo Brown   29:04
122 Jill Pittard   30:31
136 Sally Eason   31:13
140 Cath Fenn   31:20
146 Clare Rowntree   31:31
154 Lyn McDonald   31:51
161 Rachel Meredith   32:03
260 Liz Pharoah   36:18
274 Jo Arden   36:48
314 Linda Richards   38:52
334 Julie Cozens   40:06

Birmingham Cross-Country League Race 1 at Newbold Comyn, Leamington Spa - 7 November

Men's A Team 2nd, 132 points (5, 9, 16, 22, 32, 48)

Men's B Team 2nd, 426 points (50, 56, 69, 73, 80, 98)

5 Stuart Lumsden   40:53
9 Martin Winch   41:38
16 Graham Dodd   43:00
22 Rob Barry   44:00
32 John Wilson   44:44
48 Andrew McConville   46:23
50 Richard French   46:37
56 Richard Hodge   46:53
69 Pete Fellows   48:00
73 Joe Kelly   48:10
80 Tom Miller   49:00
98 Damian Pharoah   49:54
102 Spencer Davies   50:30
123 Rob Cox   51:50
126 Simon Davies   52:10
133 Kevin Coughlan   52:43
156 Kevin Erne   55:52
159 Tom Jordan   56:30
172 Andy Houston   59:11

Full results on Bham League web site

Centurion Grand Prix 5 Mile - 1 November

25 Damian Pharoah   33:24 PB
37 Spencer Davies   35:48  
52 Tony Mackness   37:49  
74 Richard Hands   39:41  
79 Rich Cawley   40:39  
112 Julie Cozens   47:46  
113 Bernard Blundell   47:46  

The first of the six races in the Centurion Grand Prix series took place on this perfectly still, Autumnal Sunday morning. This series is an all-round great package.  It's superbly well organised, has a nice mid-morning start, great location, showers and a free raffle all for the super prices of £25 for the series. And all just 15 minutes away down the A45 at John Henry Newman Catholic College, which acts as race HQ.
We headed out to the mostly tarmacked park for the 1 short and 2 long laps making up the 5 mile course. Standing at the finish, cheering in all our runners, I was unknowingly being eaten alive by mozzies. After showering in the lovely clean changing rooms we headed for the school canteen for coffee, cake and the prize giving. No winners for Northbrook this time, although Tracey Cox (leader of the legendary Cox/Davies Junior Northbrook Cheer Crew) did manage to bag a prize in the free draw. Unfortunately for Tracey is was not the wine, as that had already been won, but a triathlon book - of all things.
We shall return, only next time with anti-mozzie eau de cologne - Damian

Conductive Education 10k - 1 November

17 Richard Hodge   39:49

Having had yet more injuries this summer, I needed a half decent time for the Road Race Championship after suffering stitches during the Regency 10k earlier this year. I found a relatively local 10k based at Cannon Hill that was celebrating its 10th anniversary and it fitted a rare gap in the Hodge Kitchen Calendar, so the plan was hatched.

The course was 2 x laps inside the park which featured very uneven surfaces in places, sharp 90° turns on wet leaves and a unique dead stop around a bollard at the far end of the course every lap. With only 165 starters it wasn't the biggest race I've ever done but, although low-key it was well organised, marshalled and ticked the boxes I needed (UKA certificate, etc.).

Flying Fox 10 - 1 November

  Joe Kelly   1:11:58 PB
  Sally Eason   1:16:23 1st in age group
  Sarah McNaney   1:17:59 1st in age group
  Craig McNaney   1:25:25  
  Claudie Combelas   1:25:25  
  Martin Gavin   1:28:23 PB





This is a very hilly 10 miler starting in the small village of Standon in Staffordshire.  I'm sure that it must be a very pretty, scenic course as it winds round some very hilly lanes in the countryside.  However, due to dense fog throughout the morning, the views were not to be admired!  Maybe just as well as concentrating on getting to the top of all the hills was taxing enough.  That said, it was a good race and although I would not expect it to be a PB course, Joe Kelly managed a very respectable time! Thanks have to be passed on to Rob Cox who came to support and managed to cycle all round the hilly course whilst shouting words of encouragement to us all - Sarah