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September 2015

Ely Monster Run Fest 2015
As this was my ultra-debut I thought it made sense to write a short report, and it was great to see that C&C was represented in all 3 races that constituted the 'Ely Monster Run Fest'.

The events kicked off on a gloriously crisp & sunny morning with Ely cathedral towering above the start/finish line. The events were well-staggered, with the ultra starting at 8am, followed by the marathon at 9am and half-marathon at 10am.

First up credit must go to lightning-fast Sam Lewsey, not only managing to shake off a 'stinking cold' and complete the marathon, but she also won the women's event - a remarkable achievement which must have taken real guts. Sam finished in 3:39 and was ably assisted by pacemaker extraordinaire Ian Richardson.

In the half-marathon event Rodrigo Santos managed an impressive 3rd place overall with a time of 1:29. His achievement was only bettered by what can only be described as the best finish line photo ever!

In the ultra event, a daunting 68k (approx 42 miles) lay before me, my longest ever race to date. The course mostly followed bike route 11 all the way to Cambridge and back, with large sections going along the river and the fens. The conditions were perfect for running, with a cloudless sunny sky but a nice gentle breeze so it never felt too hot. I made a strong start that was mostly fuelled by instinct - all ideas of pacing seemed to go out the window & I seemed to just run as long as I felt comfortable. This refusal to see common sense and a rapidly rising heart-rate led to a hellish last 12 miles - not helped by tight hamstrings & stomach cramps - but mostly due to gung-ho pacing that backfired horribly! Nonetheless I managed to reach the finish just beyond my sub-6hrs target and can reflect on an enjoyable, low-key first foray into the world of ultra-running.

Monster Racing yet again delivered an excellent series of events which was well marshalled and supported throughout. I'm not sure if I'll do another ultra again, but I've certainly learnt another hard lesson about pacing!
Ely Monster Marathon 2015:  Results (4)  Report: Nick O
[Nick O, Tue 29/09/15] [comments (2)]

Round Norfolk Relay
Another successful year for C&C at the Round Norfolk Relay! The CACa team won the Club class, and came 4th overall (54 teams in total). The CACb team came 7th in the Open class and 17th overall.
The race website states that the RNR is "The ultimate club challenge and a unique experience." So you don't win the Club category trophy just by putting out a few quick runners. The support and timekeepers are vital in keeping the whole operation going throughout the day and night and just one runner not at their start can invalidate all the great efforts before them, so it takes everybody to pull it off!
This was also our first year marshalling a changeover point at Wissington.
Above all it is immense crazy fun! Race report to follow.
The Birketts Round Norfolk Relay:  Results (34)
[Kris, Tue 22/09/15] [comments (3)]

Harvest Trail
Ha! We laugh at your national-class relay wins and your days and nights scaling mountainous terrain at impossible speeds. What separates a true runner from the wannabes is the challenge of Royston Heath, and specifically the feared Harvest Trail. Boasting options of a frightening quarter-marathon and an unimaginably-far half-marathon, this one covers horrendously pretty rolling hills of vertiginous nature, some over 100m high, and sickeningly rural and idyllic country trails. It is quite hard, honest. Jon Anderson may not be a convert, but he translated his road form pretty well, snaffling seventh in the half, whilst Adam Poole, Dave Mail, Paul Jones and I did our best to keep up. Alex Downie starred in the quarter with an impressive eighth place, challenged hard by Carol Stanier and Diana Braverman. I really needed the cake at the end, is all I'm saying. Relays and lakeland ultras? Kids' stuff.
Follow the link for Dave's excellent report for a real taste of an excellent race.
The Harvest Trail:  Results (8)  Report: Dave Mail
[Andy I, Tue 22/09/15] [comments (1)]

Miraculous feet at Aldershot
Can I draw your attention (before you see it in Athletics Weekly) to our awesome Women? At the South of England Road Relays they performed the near miraculous feat of beating the whole of the South of England including Aldershot, Farnham & District and Bedford & County to win a trophy that dwarfs the RNR Club cup. I was jogging around Norfolk at the time, but may be Mark or Rich could fill in the gaps?
South of England Athletics Association Road Relays:  Results (10)
[Christof Schwiening, Mon 21/09/15] [comments (4)]

Lakeland 100 (a rather belated update!)
Yet another lake district race report! We should relocate Cambridge 250 miles north west...

Back at the end of July Katie and I continued our 7 year obsession with the Lakeland 100. Having blasted around the 50 for the last two years Katie was ready for another crack at the 100 (despite having been cursing for the previous 12 months after I convinced her to have another go!). I was hoping to build on last year with a time I was happy with.

To cut a long story short (Katie has blogged a *very* long story on her Fetcheveryone account) Katie completed her first 100 miler, and almost certainly the hardest 100 in the UK, in 37:40:19. Job well done :-)

I managed a run I was reasonably happy with to bring it home in 32:56:??. Neither the sub 30 stretch target or the sub 32 target I was hoping for, but still a PB by over five hours, and I doubt I'll ever get to say that again!

After 7 years at the event we're not running it in 2016 but supporting instead. The itch is already starting to need scratching though, so I wouldn't be surprised if we are back in 2017. I still want that sub 30!
[flanker, Wed 16/09/15] [comments (3)]

Lakes Sky Ultra
Another epic mountain adventure! See attached race report for the Lakes Sky Ultra, finishing time 10hrs 43 min.
Lakes Sky Ultra:  Results (1)  Report: Scott
[Scott, Sun 13/09/15] [comments (3)]

Rab Mini Mountain Marathon
After a thorough baptism of fire (thanks Scott) into the joys and challenges of fellrunning I decided to challenge my legs and my brain with a navigational race. I chose the Rab Mini Mountain Marathon, round three of four (there is one more at the end of November in the Peaks - www.minimountainmarathon.co.uk
... to see more of Katie's report, follow the link!
Rab Mini Mountain Marathon:  Results (0)  Report: godders
[godders, Tue 08/09/15] [comments (2)]
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