Archive for January, 2014

Sunday 26th January – Run Sunday

Nick Hodgkinson and Pange Srivastava flew the flag for the Black & Whites finishing 17th in 30:46 and 25th in 36:01 respectively.

The winner was Neil Armitage in 17:57 to set a new MV40 course record. The first female in eighth place overall was Carol Gatehouse in 24:32.


Saturday and Sunday 25th/26th January – Marmot Dark Mountains

After last year’s unsettling experience on this event it was with some trepidation that Kate Boobyer and I lined up for this again on Saturday night in Glossop, in the High Peak, particularly with some pretty wild weather around.

Still, in for a penny in for a pound and we entered the long score course. Dark Mountains is a typical mountain marathon event with four linear (elite a,b and c) courses each in turn with slightly decreased distance, height gain and navigational difficulty.

Score classes are run on a time format and you have 10 (long) or 8 hours (short) to find as many points as you can (with the general rule of thumb being the further away, biggest hills and most navigationally challenging ones being the highest scoring controls).

The key difference is, of course, there is no overnight camp and the two days are rolled together into one long night! You still have to carry all the usual clobber, and more, as it can turn pretty serious pretty quickly as we found out last year.

As it was it wasn’t a repeat of last year (phew!), yes it was dark so that makes everything navigationally challenging in my book but we enjoyed some relatively benign weather. A cold wind at times on the tops and some patchy fog but not the wild weather that was lurking for early this morning!

What the race lacked in weather it made up for in mud; hell it was a mud bath up there which made going pretty slow! The courses started in Glossop and we headed first up to Bleaklow where we picked off a few pretty hard controls running constantly on a bearing across some desperate terrain of enormous peat hags; I’m amazed we hit each control without too much drama (although I have discovered a new sport of peat hag surfing!).

This boosted our confidence and we headed out on a pretty ambitious loop eventually encircling Kinder to pick up some of the higher scoring checkpoints. The underfoot conditions were horrific (I had several thigh deep swims) and the, sometimes, featureless terrain made this a race that favoured the strong navigators (and good bog snorklers!) over the strong runners, although the elite winner Steve Birkenshaw is certainly both, and thus played to our advantage.

We stuffed up one control near the end through lack of concentration, following the wrong stream, and had to abandon attempts to find it kicking ourselves for not paying attention (but hey, it was 5am and I like my sleep!). After that little drama and much swearing we were 20 points down on what we set out to do and now had a long desperate race against the clock (you rapidly lose points if you are late) back over Bleaklow down to Glossop.

We finished with 2 minutes to spare and no light left in the torch, relief! So, pleased to discover we were first ladies (not totally unexpected since there were only two ladies teams in the long score) and totally gobsmacked to see we were second overall which earned us a small trophy (hoorah!).

Yes only 15 teams started the long score but I’m dead chuffed we beat 13 of them! Absolutely fantastic event, well organised and very friendly if you are a good navigator I heartily recommend giving this a go.

Long score winners Ben Stansfield and Pat Bartlett with 345 points. Kate and I were second with 265 points.


Saturday 26th January – Northern Cross Country – Knowsley Safari Park

Report from the Hon. Handicapper
Mud, mud glorious mud… With a few traffic problems en-route we arrived at the park with a little less than 15 mins to go to the start.  For a big event like this it was going to be touch an go whether we’d make it to the start line in time.  Luckily we did, lining up next favourites for the team race, Leeds City.

The race was a 12k, 3 lap affair with no respite from the mud apart from a 20m section on the finishing straight, so not really a course for the track or road runners.  I was pleased with a top 200 finish  in 193rd 51:40 a few places ahead on Jon Greenwell 238th 52:58.  The star of the show for the Black and Whites and rolling back the years was Ian (the King) Fisher, with a brilliant run finishing 27th 43:42.  It is worth noting the standard of the race that a certain Olympic bronze medalist finished one place outside the top 20.

Our post race analysis of our the race preparation, was that it proved to be quite useful on this occasion, with absolutely zero hanging around in the cold and mud..

The race was won by Dan Garbutt, Durham City in 41:17.  Full results here.  Report and links to pictures here and interview with the winner here.


Saturday 25th January – parkrun 5k races

Leeds parkrun:

Christian Hosker 34th in 20:20. The winner was Michael Keedy (St Theresa’s) in 17:13 and the first lady was Zoe Rayner in 20:54.

Pontefract parkrun:

Tom Potter 9th in 19:32. The winner was James Capon (Pontefract) in 17:20 and the first lady was Helen Singleton (Wakefield Harriers) in 18:09.

Roundhay parkrun:
Howard Jeffrey 69th in 23:16. The winner was Jeremy Ladyman (Valley Striders) in 17:30 and the first lady was Myra Jones (Valley Striders) in 20:15.


Sunday 19th January – The Inskip Derby Arms Half Marathon

Report from David Hainsworth: A very gently undulating meander through Wyre/Fylde countryside just to the north of Preston – yes, I know that’s ‘Lancashire’ but at least you can get an entry for this one without ‘jumping through hoops’ and it only takes another 20 minutes longer than York to get to from Otley – and it’s cheaper!

Apart from a couple of hefty puddles to splash through conditions were perfect. There was a hint of uncertainty exactly when to start your watch but the route was well marked with good marshalling and potentially a very fast course.

Quite a smattering of familiar faces but the only one I could put a name to was Terry Lonergan, who I think was second V65.

The winner was Tom Carson of Bolton/Oaklands College in 71.15. First lady was Joasia Zakrzewski of Dumfries in 78.36 and I managed 113.25. No it’s not a pb!


Sunday 19th January – Brass Monkey

Admin duly notes your times below and that the race was won by Matthew Pierson in 70:19, unattached, although so is a certain Matthew John in second place at 70:35. First lady was Jilly Woodthorpe, Barnsley AC, 19th overall in 75:57. Results


Report from Richard Smith:

Set off with Liam this morning to run the Brass Monkey Half Marathon (having had Beastie Boys in my head all week). Despite getting slightly lost en route thanks to my Irish Navigator,’Oy tink its dat turn off, ooh jaysus’, we managed to arrive in good time before the start.

Why such a high demand for the race? Other than two minimal climbs to cross a bridge, the course is absolutely pancake flat, but also very scenic taking in country roads and well supported in sections. Fortunately the conditions picked up to make near perfect conditions for running. Organisation was friendly, flawless and despite a little pre-race pessimism given the entry process and cost of event, I thoroughly enjoyed it and wouldn’t hesitate to enter again. Other OAC members (who I saw) included myself (obviously) (111th, 83.36), Liam (15th, 74.59), Mark Hall (55th 79.56), Tom H (797th, 107.05), Matt John (70:35) and Billy (1020th, 114.46).

Report from Liam Dunne:

Just to add to Richards report, we set off with yesterday morn with no map or sat nav but just a vague idea that the  the race was roughly somewhere near York racecourse. I assumed Richard, being the driver, would have worked out where he was going. On second thoughts, this is the man who couldn’t find his way to the bottom of Roseberry topping without veering off course and more recently left his keys, passport and wallet on a train in Germany!

There were a lot of showers before the start but apart from that conditions for the race were good with little or no wind and cool temperatures, which were just perfect for running.
Being a fast flat course and with training going really well over the past months, I was confident of doing well. I was delighted to finish in a time 74.59 and in the top 15 with a PB of over two and a half minutes.
Matt John had a great run to finish 2nd and not far behind the winner. Richard forgot to mention that he also achieved a PB by approximately 2mins. Mark Hall, who is still suffering from a lung and back injury after falling down the stairs at Christmas done really well to even start the race, but expectedly, finished way down on his usual performance.
Having spoken to Billy and Tom after the race they both seemed happy with their run.


Sunday 19th January – 31st Soreen Stanbury Splash

Report from Sean O Halloran:

A few of us from OAC decided to do the Soreen Stanbury Splash fell race at Penistone Hill Country Park, Howarth. It was a cold but dry sunny morning and ideal for running. Registration completed and Malt Loaf collected we were all ready to go. There was a really good turn out which included some of the best fell runners in the country.

The course was a 7 mile lolly pop shaped route which meant for the not so fast runners negotiating the oncoming faster runners coming the other way, who has right of way????  Conditions under foot ranged from a tarmac road to very boggy mud and everything in-between. The course was very hilly in places (some of the hills were very muddy and sliding down was the sensible option) scrambles and stream crossings to be navigated, but it all added to the enjoyment of the race. Yes, I did say enjoyment!.

Well done to all the OAC folk who turned out for this race, don’t know about the others but I found this race to be very tough. The Woodentops fell races are always well organised and marshalled and this is another one I shall be doing again.

The winner was Tom Adams in a time of 43:50, the first lady home was Helen Glover in a time of 52:46.

OAC results are as follows: Andrew Robertshaw 51:30 (21st), Shane Ewen 55:40 (61st), Jim Sneath 65:28 (197th), Andy Webster 67:02 (213th),  Caron Ralph 72:12 (302nd), Nikki Scott 74:05 (327th), Colin Best 74:59 (334th), Dominic Egan 76:06 (346th), Sean O’Halloran 107:54 (435th). There were a total of 338 finishers and quite a number who scored a DNF. Really sorry if I have missed anyone off; if I have please advise accordingly.

Results and photos


Sunday 19th January – Run Sunday

From Paul Shack: Of course it’s sunny now while I’m writing the report!!

Hi everyone,

What can only be described as dreich weather welcomed 40 slightly soggy runners and even wetter marshals and spectators but damp squibs you were not!  You all went off like rockets!

Firstly a huge debt of gratitude to our tail runner  Katherine Robertshaw and our  course marshals who were  Anna Murtough (with Kaidyn and Zak Quinlan), Janice Slater (and Dexter), Kat Shepherdson, Michelle Smith and Paul Robson. A huge tin of sweets was provided by Anna Murtough.

Our enforced change of finish line and subsequent short funnel created all sorts of fun and games for Michelle and me but despite an air of organised chaos I think we pulled it off thanks to all of your cooperation.

The proper slippy kind of mud, bad air quality and car wash spray rain did not deter our first lady, Leah Forey who breasted the tape in a swift 24:12 and was fourth overall. Second for the ladies was Sarah Tomlinson in 26:59 and Helen Forey finished twelve seconds later in 27:11.  Those positions could have been different but for the fourth lady’s companion, Dylan who decided to have a “pit stop” and slowed Emma Payne down in the process.

Our first male finisher was Matthew Kirkham who, on his first time out despite the conditions, crossed the line in 20:31.  Following for the men was Neil Jones in 22:35 and Gordon Slater in 23:03.

As always great running from everyone!

In the Doggie Derby first was Dora in 25:37 with James Knox, second was the aforementioned Dylan in 27:25 with Emma Payne and third was Puppy with Michelle Mangeolles in 27:52 (t/a).  Our canine marshal today was Dexter (with Janice Slater).

Three junior records fell today!

The first went to Archie Budding who knocked 30 seonds off the MJ7 category and finished sixth overall. Edward Robson has set the standard for the MJ5 category and perhaps the biggest winner today was Emma Wilkinson who signed up only this morning and thought briefly about doing only one lap but then with her mum, Bev, completed the course and got herself a Run Sunday category record.  Well done the Wilkinsons and everyone else for defying the oppressive greyness earlier and brightening up the Chevin if only for an hour or so.

Thanks to Gordon and Janice for the lift home.

Wherever life takes you this week I hope you enjoy it and come out on top.  Michelle and I look forward to seeing you all again soon!

(Fuzzy finishing photos on facebook)

All the best and Good Running, Paul Shack

Full results 

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Saturday 18th January – Park Runs

Results for Bradford parkrun, event number 191:

The first male to finish was Ayana GIRMA (M) in a time of 00:17:39. The first lady completing the course was Claire COOPER (F) (Keighley & Craven AC) in a time of 00:21:00

12th Tom POTTER 00:19:58

Results for Brueton parkrun, event number 182:

The first male to finish was Ed BANKS (M) (Birmingham Running Athletics and Triathlon Club) in a time of 00:16:03. The first lady completing the course was Amanda O’LEARY (F) (Knowle and Dorridge Running Club) in a time of 00:19:43

34th Richard A CLARKE 00:21:17

Results for Darley parkrun, event number 40: 

The first male to finish was Kenneth MALTON (M) (Shelton Striders) in a time of 00:18:47. The first lady completing the course was Caroline SCOTT (F) (Sinfin RC) in a time of 00:23:21

10th Christian HOSKER 00:22:33

Results for Fritton Lake parkrun, event number 89:

The first male to finish was Kyle ELLA (M) (Great Yarmouth & District AC) in a time of 00:18:58. The first lady completing the course was Flora Elizabeth Alice DELL (F) (Great Yarmouth & District AC) in a time of 00:24:24

12th John COWAN 00:24:33

26th Laura HIND 00:28:12

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Runner of the Month for December

runofmonthJointly awarded to Caron Ralph and Shane Ewen, with a special mention for Graham Lake.

Caron had a busy December sneaking in under the hour in the Chevin Chase, and then five days late running the Auld Lang Syne in 67:35. Earlier in the December she came fourth in the Ken Dixon Handicap to claim third spot in the Eric Smith Handicap Trophy,  as well as completing the Really Wild Boar Fell Race in 67:18.

Shane started the month with the Mytholmroyd Fell Race, finishing 27th in 58.44, then completed the Stoop Fell Race in 39:03 to claim 56th spot and then finishing the year masquerading as Mr Strong in the Auld Lang Syne race to come 107th in 56:10.

Well done to everyone!