Club Night Tuesday 5th May
Club Night comes round quicker than you might think, and as we shift our focus from XC & marathons to KH – type short distance speed work, this Tuesday (5th of May) Club Night is appropriately a short event special. In the relaxed surroundings of the summer evening clubhouse bar we have a discussion of Track & Field events with Ric, Carrie, and others, and an opportunity for Q&A and general reflection on the benefits and impact of speed work. Bernie ‘it’s all about the finish’ Shannon will be in the chair, so it will be (appropriately) short, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the bar and one another’s company. Come and find out more about what your amazing club can offer you. Newcomers are particularly welcome, bar open from 8pm this Tuesday.
Kevin Henry after race get together
I have warned the Red Lion in Histon to expect a load of sweaty C&Cers to descend upon them this Thursday evening after the race.
European Standard Distance Duathlon Champs
Multi-sport news; a superb result from Nick Mansley at the Europeans in Spain at the weekend - fifth in category! Nice one Nick. See Nick's report below - sounds like an eventful day.
Boston Marathon 2016
Anybody interested? I've got qualifying time this year (and last year) and, as I'm older than many of you, my window of time for participating in Boston is narrower than yours.... So maybe 2016 is the year??
Probably the rarest thing in marathon running is perfection. You keep trying, and something always takes the shine off your day, whether it's a niggle, an inconveniently-timed bug or just a misjudged mile. So you come back again and again, unable to incinerate the battered, stinky trainers until you get it just exactly right. It never happens.
Still, there was something about the 2015 London Marathon, just a suggestion that everything may, for one moment in our otherwise cosmically-unblessed lifetimes, come together. The planets were perceptibly aligning. For us at C&C, it was the summit of a training season which seemed to marry club spirit with a foolproof scientific master-plan. It was the year that road running's returning heroine would sweep aside the injuries for a last farewell among the rest of us. And, joy of joys, it was the year that a cold, grey blanket of cloud would slip in off the sea to chill the spectators for a few hours. Ten degrees at the start, ten degrees at the finish. There would never be a better opportunity for forty-three thousand runs of a lifetime. Everything was right. Perfection.
Well, that was the idea.
Of course, the universe hates perfection. Ask our first finisher, Stacy Wheat; a fine start, but day over at sixteen miles with an angry ITB. You may even ask this year's C&C superstar Victoria Knight, who ran what is quite simply the finest marathon performance by a female from our club that I can recall; she shadowed Paula most of the way until the pain got too much and the seconds started wriggling away on the Embankment. An imperfect but utterly magnificent 2:45:06 (2:44:58 chip), 15th female mass-starter. No better illustration that a painful positive split usually follows a brave commitment, and there's no question that Matt Slater's 2:48 fits that description, as does Dan Hurst's agonising 3:00:47, while Mike Salt (3:16) paid again for refusing, ever, to play safe. But others amongst the quicks almost nailed it: Charlie Wartnaby gave a master-class in marathoning once again; a few stray seconds cost him a sub-2:40, but he still earned the coveted first-C&C crown by a comfortable margin. Of the usual sub-3 gang, Al Pritchard (2:53), Neil White (2:58) and Andrew Shields (2:59) are good enough to be able to spare the odd minute and still stroll under the mark, though John Ferguson (3:06) couldn't quite make it this time. Agonisingly close was Jon Anderson, just 31 seconds the wrong side of a first two-something. England's Katie Samuelson flirted with sub-3 as well, and pulled off an ourtstanding 3:02 to finish second C&C female, 107th overall. The margin was just too tight for Mike Salter, but 3:04 was a fine reward.
There were other superb performances with the tiniest of gnats in the ointment, and smiles should still be on faces for Mark Williams (3:27), Ben Chamberlain (3:27 PB), Chris Hurcomb (3:32 PB), Chris Poole (3:36) and Julian Hardyman (3:39 PB). Clare Garvey had a tough one, but fought through it for 3:48. Mary Jennings, in her element, impressed again with a 4:09, as did Iona Graham Hagg with 4:13. Julia Decesare's race-day perfection was ruined by injury a while back, so a 4:10 in the circumstances was a joy. Ed Hall (4:26) and Graham Handley (4:56) ran fine races, Becky Wilburn's even-paced 4:45 PB was super-strong, and the splits show Dan Bayles (5:58) caned it round St James's Park for a deserved sub-6.
To end appropriately, we need to keep in mind that perfection is not an impossible dream, not even in the uncontrolled chaos of the London marathon, because I think two of our band can claim to have achieved it, so they get to star in the report finale. Score one for the scientists; Christof Schwiening ran a race so perfect, and so fast, that it needs to be analysed, and perhaps written up as a paper by someone. 2:51, a small negative split and a big PB. And Neil Tween ran a 3:13, also a PB and also quicker coming home than going out. Neither will be forced to run the distance ever again. You are both immaculate.
But in the end, the astral conjunctions diverged. Radcliffe signed off with a personal worst on a dodgy achilles and a crumbly foot, and Victoria's spectacular run, to be treasured and remembered, will be tinged with the tiniest hint of 'what if?'. Perfection was not obtained. But I think we're getting there, and I feel in my waters that the omens are good for next year. We just need to stick to Christof's plan.
Katie gets England call up
Billy Bland 2nd Recce Weekend
Another great recce weekend for the C&C Billy Bland team! The weather was a bit more of a mixed bag than last time - clear blue skies on Friday and Saturday, but then some more classic Lakeland conditions today with high gusty winds, low cloud, and a bit of rain. A short-ish play around on Loughrigg on Friday evening was followed by a big day yesterday taking in half of BGR leg 3 plus a little warm up and warm down getting to and from the route. Then another great effort today along the whole of leg 2. Total for the weekend was 44.6 miles with 16,700 feet of ascent - a decent bit of hill training by any standards.
Bosworth Half - 10th May
On the 10th of May there is the Bosworth Half Marathon and a few C&Cers are heading up to edge of Leicestershire and Warwickshire to take a crack at it. Ian Richardson and Karen have a special occasion to celebrate. The ever-speedie Charlie Ritchie is joining us and Kevin is out to prove that he can run faster than me. We will see! It will be especially emotional for me since I will be attempting to break a 31 year old PB (my last half marathon was in Nov 1983: 1:49:11 shortly after which I stopped running for nearly 25 years). If anyone else would like to join us, it should be a great day out. The course has hills but it is the ideal place and time for a historic battle!
European Long Distance Duathlon Championships, Horst, NL - Bronze for Ben
Benvenuto Baldelli stormed around the c10k run - c60k bike - c10k run course in 2:43 with some mighty fast running and speedy biking to get a bronze medal (3/24) in the 45-49 group and 1st Brit (out of 7). Nick Mansley managed a very respectable 2:59 coming 7th in the 50-54 category (out of 17) and 2nd Brit (out of 6).
I haven't done the otherwise-excellent Sandy 10 in years because age hasn't yet dimmed my recollection of the vertical hill after the mile post. Presumably none of our five-strong squad worry about such things, because all ran rather well. Gerald Meah (1:15) and Anne Schumann (1:29) were our quickest male and female, with Glyn Smith and Alex Downie renewing their rivalry (both 1:18) and Andrew Unsworth (1:34) in pursuit. Maybe next year.
Five out of Five!
You're such a modest lot - or possibly just too knackered to reach the keyboard.
Anyway, the marathon news from the weekend is just about as epic as it could possibly be without hearing the actual tales of suffering (reports welcome, please!). In summary, all five of our adventurers who set forth on the 26.2 came back with PBs. Firstly, news from Paris, where Kevin O'Holleran cracked the magic three-hour barrier with a superb 2:59:00, and Isabelle Lemasson blasted a fine 3:49:23. Thence back across the channel - just - to Brighton, and the news of another sub-3, from Ian Richardson (2:59:55), Chris Newell's 3:28:16 and Bernie Shannon's 3:40:00. Many of us have been following these guys' huge training efforts, and watching them get faster and faster, and I know we're all delighted. Congratulations to all five.
Cambridge Cambourne 10K
No clubs given in the results of this one, so I've gone number-crunching crazy and tried to cross-reference everyone against my list of present and past members. Preliminary results are posted, but before I do anything else I'd appreciate some editing if you see problems, and add yourself if I've missed you.
On to the race itself, and it was a pretty gorgeous day if you had a stout defence against the stiff breeze, and it seems to have been another roaring success organisationally - well done Neil, Lesley and the team. There was unfortunately a medical event near the Harry-Potter-themed lakes on the far side - wishing the runner a full and speedy recovery, and thanks to those who aided. It was pretty successful competitively too, with our squad making up nearly one-in-fifteen of the field and achieving even better than that. As is customary, I'll refer you to the many results linked below, and pick out the particular highlights. No lights were higher than those of Jonathan Escalante-Phillips, who won the race brilliantly in 34:13, ahead of eighth-placed Al Pritchard, who blasted a 36:45 and won the MV40 category. Fine racing both, but especially Jonathan, a magnificent victory just a day after being generally rapid in the national road relays. However, despite missing out on the ultimate prize, our females packed the top places even better than the chaps, with Mary Twitchett outstanding in taking both first Vet 45 and second overall in 41:43. Amy Goymour took third (and second FV35), just seconds (four chip, seven gun, if you get me) behind Mary, and Ellen Leggate was fourth in 42:30 and third FV35. Top ten too for Nicky McBride, 44:04, seventh and second FV45. Awesome.
On to the other categories, and it will come as no surprise to learn that our new European Champ Margaret Phillips made it double gold for the household by taking the FV55s in 46:36, with an 86.24% age grade, and John Ferguson was justified as everyone's pre-race favourite for the MV50s, with 38:23 and 80.63%. Congratulations to both of them. Other podium category places were earned by the excellent Jon Anderson (39:38, second MV50) and Bart Hommels (38:24, third MV40).
Finally, Max Godfrey takes a round of applause for winning the Fun Run, one mile in 5:56. Which is seriously shifting.
Well done everyone who ran, and all of the many organisers and helpers, on the day and before. You can be very proud.
National 12 and 6 Stage Relays
Sutton Park. 12 and 6 stage National Road Relays. It doesn’t get much bigger than this. Over 1000 runners, including much of the top talent in the UK, take part, racing round the brutally hilly course for the duration of 4 to 5 hours alternating between short (5.1km) and long (8.9km) legs. C&C did proud, with two of their best performances at the event for a long while. The women, flush with 3rd place from the Southerns, placed a remarkable 11th out of the 40 teams despite there being a misunderstanding at the handover, which is always a bit of a mess, and losing at least 30s. Who knows what they’ll be able to achieve next year. The men did not disappoint either (thanks to epic coordination from team manager Ric Park), finishing 27th out of 60 teams which is a 15 place improvement from last year. Special mention has to go to Kieran Wood, our superstar, who ran the 6th fastest short leg of the day (i.e. out of 378). The team is getting stronger year on year so we expect even bigger and better things for 2016! Make a special date in your diary for next year. The qualifiers will be the Southerns. End of March. Be there, or be……
Kevin Henry Race 1 ........ it's nearly here!
Now the sun has come out (at last!) it is that time of year, the time of year for us to defend our title at the Kevin Henry 5k Series. Those of you new to the club, it is a 6 club team series of 6 races this year, as Ely are layng on a race. The courses vary in terrain, but are all 5k. The races are on the fixtures page and are all on a Thursday evening, starting at 7:30. (except the last one which is 7:00) The first 6 men and 4 ladies score for us and then every other club runner scores a point. So all of you are important scorers for the team. All you need is your club vest and turn up and run.
The first event is laid on by Cambridge Triathlon Club in Impington at 7:30 on Thursday 30th April - a great day for London Marathon runners to get the lactic out their legs! If anyone can help with scoring, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org I have attached the details to this news item. See you there......
Isle of Man Running Festival
George and Katy Hedgethorne have been flying the C&C flag on the Isle of Man at the Easter Running Festival. The weekend consisted of three races; a 10K road race in rather blustery conditions, then the following day a Hill Race and then a day after a 5km road race. There is a video showing the Hill Climb rather well - tough stuff.
SEAA Road Relays
For most of the year, road running is a lonely sport, and the bread and butter of our finest athletes is the pursuit of individual glory in races around the region and further afield; the club gains some esteem by association. The Road Relay championships are all about the opportunity to bring the best individuals together as a team and proving the club's credentials on the national stage. Making the team is our greatest honour - if you didn't run at Milton Keynes last weekend, the chances are you aren't as elite as you thought, and you need to work harder. Probably a lot harder. Our coaches are developing a winning formula for blending our established stars with our prodigiously talented youngsters, and both squads turned on the class to take us through to the Nationals at Sutton Park next month (the female team at least, can someone confirm the chaps too?).
The women's team did particularly well, finishing third amongst a stack of nationally-renowned clubs (get the full results off the event website and be amazed). All six recorded stage times in the top sixty-odd overall, with quickest C&C Katy Hedgethorne getting us off to a flyer and Claire Somerton, Natalie Griffiths, Beatrice Fitzsimons, Zoe MacDonald and Carrie Bedingfield finishing the job. And though it's hard to compete with that, the men pulled out something pretty special too, taking fourteenth place and some impressive scalps along the way. Hats off to all twelve, particularly Kieran Wood and Jonathan Escalante-Phillips on the longer legs and Ross Tennant and Tim Cobden on the shorter.
Nationals here we come!
(Hopefully someone not reliant on results spreadsheet, imagination and general idleness will provide a report...?)