March 2016





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Featured events this month:

Massey Easter 5 - 27 March

4 Stuart Lumsden   29:42 3rd SM
18 John Wilson   31:32  
29 Graham Dodd   31:58  
44 Andrew McConville   33:26  
58 Tony Forde   34:45  
64 Pete Fellows   34:54 1st MV55
87 Spencer Davies   36:20  
102 Tony Bowe   37:04  
105 Rob Cox   37:34  
106 Darron Handley   37:36  
  Clare Rowntree   38:05  
126 Sally Eason   38:28  
138 Kevin Erne   39:17  
147 Richard Hands   39:57  
150 Claudie Combelas   40:13  
175 Joanne Stacey   42:32  
196 Nick Sadler   45:46  
245 John Ralph   52:57  

A good spattering of sunbursts throughout the field as Northbrookers turned up for the 1st race in the Warwickshire Road Race League, hosted by Massey Ferguson Running Club at the War Memorial Park. Masseys coped really well as arrival at the park was met by travellers camped in the car park meaning a route change. It did mean this was 3 laps and slightly longer than 5 miles, but good conditions, a strong field and fantastic support from fellow Northbrookers kept us all lapping the park. Special mention to Pete Fellows for winning his age category and Stu Lumsden for coming 3rd in his age category - Spencer

Inaugural L2M Ultra - 26 March

24 Amy Burdis   8:14:00 2nd lady
101 Tara Lambert   10:56:00  

47 miles along the Trans-Pennine Trail from Liverpool to Manchester.

Easter Around the Reservoir Marathon - 26 March

  Tony Bowe   3:51:04

6 laps around a reservoir in Northampton, part tarmac, part grass. Nice goody bag, full of chocolate!

Lakeland Trails Series - Race 1, Cartmel Trail Race - 20 March

15 John Wilson   1:20:38

After a very successful XC season for the men I decided to hang on to some lingering form and do some of the longer Lakeland Trail Races, the first being an 18km race starting and ending in the lovely village of Cartmel. Although hilly (about 150m maximum climb) it is probably the least hilly of the series and the fantastic weather made the going underfoot ‘good to firm’. There were just over 200 runners in the 18km Race (there were over 1500 in total doing either this race, the 10km Race or 18km ‘Fun’ challenge) and so I optimistically located myself somewhere near the front of the field for the start of the race. it was an amazing course with some stunning views. I had a little ‘wobble’ after about 4 miles when the relentless uphill section was just too much and so walked for 10 seconds or so. I got my act together though and had a second wind after about 7 miles, and finished quite strongly in a time of 1h20m38s for the 11.1 mile race. I was 15th overall and 5th ‘pensioner’ which was a great result, way better than I could have imagined.
Hawkshead next month, with the hills being twice as long as Cartmel!

Draycote Water 10 Mile - 20 March

  Tony Mackness   1:21:44

An undulating two and a bit laps round Draycote Water. My first 10 mile race since 2008!

Clevewold 14 - 20 March

53 Spencer Davies   2:17:31

I have done this race annually now and I can say it is one that is always booked into my calendar every year. I might have been a solitary Northbrook vest but our colours were well known and encouraged by marshalls, fellow runners and supporters alike. There are no flat bits, and the hills are hills and the distance is not an accurate 14 miles (long), but the scenery takes away what ever breath you have left after the climbs. Views of Welsh mountains, the Malverns, Cheltenham racecourse, the steam railway and a river crossing all make it a magical run/race. For me nearly 17 minutes quicker than before, which gives me hope for next year.

Ashby 20 - 20 March

29 Martin Winch   2:10:09  
112 Scott Shepherd   2:20:29  
297 Darron Handley   2:36:09  
307 Sarah Booker   2:37:06  
338 Amy Burdis   2:39:22 PB
358 Paul Robbins   2:40:29  
361 Rachel Meredith   2:40:52  
364 Clare Rowntree   2:41:06  
519 Liz Pharoah   2:49:48 PB
555 Claudie Combelas   2:52:05 PB
752 Allison Smith   3:04:09  
753 Craig McNaney   3:04:09  
775 Joanne Stacey   3:06:01 PB
1079 Simon Sweeney   3:35:56  

I'd heard a lot about the Ashby 20 ahead of entering and it did not disappoint. It's a well organised race with enthusiastic local support. It was rumoured to be a hilly course, but it seemed relatively flat compared to Clive's hilly training routes through the north Warwickshire mountains! Yet again there were a few PB's for the Northbrookers who competed. Of particular note was Martin Winch's time of 2:10:09 and Jo Stacey who achieved a massive PB of nearly 30 minutes.
Roll on marathon season - Clare

Enigma Week at the Knees Marathon, Caldecote Lake - 19 & 20 March

Tony Bowe

  19 March   3:46:59
  20 March   3:53:46

Fissons 20/20 - 19 March

  Guy Bicknell   2:32:08 PB
  Clive Horton   2:37:20  
  Tommy Dempsey   2:38:00 PB
  Sarah McNaney   2:38:58 PB, 1st in age category
  Joe Kelly   2:41:55  
  Corinna O'Connor   2:46:50 PB

It was an early start for this race, 9am which isn't too bad but it's a 90 minute drive away.  However, the weather gods were kind to us and, although cloudy, it wasn't cold - perfect running weather.
Never having done this 20 miler before, I was unsure of what to expect.  Luckily there were no suprises lurking round the corners of this very pleasant, scenic run that twisted and turned around a few very pretty, sleepy villages.  The hill that was mentioned was a mere pimple to what we are used to round here so I can only really describe course as flat, fast and definite PB potential.  It's a small field of runners so there are times that you feel almost on your own, but that means there is no jostling for space on the roads.
Four of us Northbrookers were rewarded with PB's, along with the obligatory T-shirt and medal for all of us.  But the nicest gesture was the array of cakes to dive into and the free large cup of hot coffee.  Almost the best bit of the morning out!! On the whole, a great race that was well run by all of the Northbrookers and Cov Tri friends that ran it with us. Bring on the marathons now - Sarah

Knighton 20 - 13 March

147 Mark Baker   2:38:18
266 Claudie Combelas   3:02:51


This is a new 20 mile event, replacing the popular Stafford 20 mile race nearby. The course is very rural and undulating, consisting of three identical laps, which was very tough on an unexpectedly warm day - Mark

Grindleford Gallop - 12 March

  Claudie Combelas   4:17:36


Covering approximately 21 miles and 3000ft of ascent the course takes in the villages of Grindleford, Froggatt, Eyam, Great Longstone, Edensor and Baslow linking them together with paths, tracks and open moorland of the White Peak.

Covering approximately 21 miles and 3000ft of ascent the course takes in the villages of Grindleford, Froggatt, Eyam, Great Longstone, Edensor and Baslow linking them together with paths, tracks and open moorland of the White Peak. Famous landmarks on the way round include the Riley Graves, Longstone Moor, the Monsal Trail and of course the stunning Chatsworth Park estate. The final high-level section along Baslow and Frogatt Edges offers breath-taking views of the surrounding Peak District.

Enigma Week at the Knees Marathon, Caldecote Lake - 17 March

  Amy Burdis   4:47:31
  Tara Lambert   5:11:17

Silverstone Half-Marathon - 13 March

  Martin Winch   1:21:43 PB
  Graham Dodd   1:27:23 PB
  Sarah Booker   1:34:21  
  Tony Bowe   1:39:02  

Good conditions and a well-organised event, with not a plastic cup in sight - Graham

Gloucester 20 - 13 March

234 Kevin Coughlan   2:49:48 PB
415 Linda Richards   3:23:06 PB
463 Chris Perkins   3:40:12 PB




Kevin Coughlan

Glorious in Gloucester this morning, and 20 miles successfully completed on a 3 lap course with three of us enjoying the sunny loops around Haresfield and Colthrop.  I was happy with a 2hr 49m - about 8 mins quicker than my first attempt at a 20m in Ashby last year, not so many hills but a little longer!
Also, it was PB's all round - Kevin

Spring Shakespeare 5Km - 12 March

  Jill Pittard   20:51 1st lady
  Lyn McDonald   21:36 2nd lady

Droitwich Half-Marathon - 6 March

  Tony Hughes   1:42:02 2nd MV60
  Vicky Whitlock   1:47:28  

A tough course, lots of ups and downs, tight bends and mud on the road, plus a slightly confusing figure of eight section meaning you got to run down the same hill twice! - Tony

Centurion Grand Prix 5 Mile Race 5 - 6 March

21 Spencer Davies   34:41 PB
36 Tony Mackness   36:45  
95 Bernard Blundell   49:14  

Due to injuries and other events taking place there were just three of us that made our way over this month. It was a cold morning but dry and no headwind, and a reduced number of competitors made for a good race - Spencer

Wrexham Marathon - 6 March

  Tony Bowe   3:34:38

Milton Keynes Half-Marathon - 6 March

  Rachel Meredith   1:36:57 PB

Course very uninspiring and a nasty hill at 12.5 miles, but great conditions and very well organised.

Green man Ultra - 5 March

  Amy Burdis   10:32:53


On Saturday, I completed the Green Man Ultra around Bristol - 45 muddy and hilly miles. I finished as 23rd Lady out of 50 finishers. I know I was in the top 150 overall of 307 entrants, but not sure the exact place, I'd guess 138.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10k Winter Series - 5 March

24 Richard Hodge   39:41 3rd MV40
  Helen Hodge   69:40  


Helen and I were down in London to watch the Track Worlds at the Olympic Velodrome on the Friday night and managed to squeeze this race in on the Saturday morning before coming home.

Very low key but well organised with chip timing, lead bike, an enthusiastic race organiser and a nice goody bag for afters. The course was a mind-numbing 3 laps of a very tight circuit and whilst still not fully recovered from the infection which ruined Wokingham half-marathon two weeks ago, it was pleasing to dip under 40mins. Helen's race didn't go to plan as the combination of lingering effects of her own viral infection, a late night and inadequate pre-race fuelling left her with a sub-par result - Richard

This is a new 20 mile event, replacing the popular Stafford 20 mile race nearby. The course is very rural and undulating, consisting of three identical laps, which was very tough on an unexpectedly warm day - Mark