Friday, 30 July 2010

Wolds results and last nights fartlek

Photos from Yorkshire Wolds courtesy of Francesca.
I have just found full results for Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon The main results and times are:
1st Matt Moorhouse, Salford H, 72.33
2nd Phil Taylor, Bridlington H, 73.33
3rd Dave Norman, Altringham, 77.41
1st M40 Nigel Thompson, Lytham St Annes, 78.57
1st M50 Sean McDermott, Knavesmire, 88.34
1st Lady Becky Penty, York Acorn, 80.11 - 7th overall
Last night was an 8 mile fartlek session with long and uphill efforts, predominantly off road, it was a hard but enjoyable session. Starting at Swalwell we headed around Shipdon Pond into Blaydon dropping onto the river path along the Tyne, up Blaydon Burn and then a climb through the fields to Winlaton. Over the fields and through Thornley Woods before dropping down onto the Derwent Walk and back through Derwent Haugh Park.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Blaydon v Barcelona

It was decision time - do I do a quick run from home and get back in time to watch the European 10,000 on TV or do I go down to the track for the planned session?

We now know that Mo Farah won in Barcelona with Chris Thompson in second for a GB 1-2, and a great start to the championships for Team GB.

While Farah was taking the lead with 5 laps to go, and dropping the Spaniard Ayad Lamdassem with 300m left, and Chris Thompson moving through to grab second in the final straight. I was facing a stiff breeze on the Blaydon track.

The session was 10 x 200 with 200m jog recovery with the aim to get steadily faster as the session progressed.

And the result was a set of 200's in:

36, 37, 36, 36, 35, 35, 34, 35, 34, 33

I must admit I am quite pleased with the way the session went, especially since for some inexplicable reason we did the session into the wind.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Sunday morning run

As the majority of my runs this year have featured some section or other of the Derwent Walk, it was felt that this Sunday's long run needed a change of scenery. So a group of us set out for a run along the Tyne Valley.
John and Alan wanted to do 18 miles, while most of the others were looking for about 10. As I am still struggling I was non-committal and decided just to see how it went.

We set off from Stella, along the riverside path to Newburn Bridge, which we crossed onto the north side of the river, watching the rowers do their stuff below us. Rowing used to be massive in this area in days gone by, and now seems to be undergoing some sort of revival.

The weather was warm and sunny with a stiff westerly breeze. This meant a headwind on the way out. But at least the wind would be behind us on our return.

We headed along the river bank past Close House Golf Course and the birthplace of George
Stephenson and into Wylam. At this point those doing 10 miles crossed back over the river and headed back down the other side. While the rest of us continued upstream.

Just past Wylam the footpath ends and we took to the road as we headed to Ovingham where we crossed back across the river and into Prudhoe.

We then headed back east through Prudhoe Country Park, taking a detour around the back of Haggs Bank before arriving back into Wylam.

We then continued to follow the river path taking small detours at Clara Vale Golf Course and then climbing up into Ryton village, ensuring that we got at least one hill in for the day, before dropping down to do a loop of Ryton Willows and heading back to our starting point at Stella.

John and Alan added another 3 miles on, to take it up to 18. But, I was stuggling a little and was satisfied with 15 for the day.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Club Night

As I have picked up a cold and am feeling a little under the weather, last nights session was not as strenuous as had planned. A group of us ran an 8 mile loop with three sustained efforts. For map of route see The first two efforts were of three quarter of a mile uphill, 237ft of climb for the first hill and 170 ft of climb for the second. The third effort was 2.8 miles and gently downhill along the Derwent Walk. All in all it was an enjoyable run and particularly satisfying as I still managed to drop everyone on the efforts. Easy run today and tomorrow and a long run Sunday should see the week off quite nicely and hopefully see the end of this cold.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon

photos courtesy of Francesca

Saturday saw a warm blustery day for the Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon. The original field of 274 was bolstered by a large entry on the day and as the starters horn sounded we were off to a brisk start as Matt Moorhead (Salford Harriers) Phil Taylor (Bridlington Harriers) and Tom Danby (Pocklington Runners) set the pace.

I settled into a steady rhythm with a view to hopefully being able to move up through the field when we hit the first hill between 3 and 6 miles, and this was the case, as I climbed from 21st to 16th. The problem was they all came back past me as we dropped back down.

I managed to keep things steady until the last hill between 11 and 12 miles from where I struggled onto the finish (but not as badly as in recent weeks) dropping a further two places, and once again, frustratingly being passed by another M50 relegating me to second over 50 and 24th overall in a time of 88.51.

Have not seen the full results yet but the finishing positions and time I know are:

1st Matt Moorhouse - Salford Harriers
2nd Phil Taylor - Bridlington Harriers
3rd Tom Dandy - Pocklington Runners

1st M50 - Sean Mc Dermott - Knavesmire Harriers 88.34

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

An old favourite

A scenic and challenging course through the picturesque Yorkshire Wolds, held in conjunction with The Bishop Wilton Show, is the description given to this Saturdays race - The Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon.

This is definitely one of my favourite races, I first ran this race in 1987 (6th in 71.31) and have ran every year since 1990. I have won the race on two occasions 1992 (71.40) and 1997 (73.18). The course record is held by Jimmy Ashworth (Keighley RR) at 68.49 in 1987 and he is the only person to ever break 70 mins for the course. My winning time of 1997 is still the over 40 course record but to date I have missed out on the over 45 record of 78.09 (J Sullivan, York Street Panthers in 1997) and the over 50 record of 78.20 (S Wild, Hallamshire Harriers in 1984). Unfortunately my current form is unlikely to threaten either of these marks, but I can but try.

The course is basically flat for the first 3 miles, followed by a 3 mile climb up to 6 miles before hitting an off road section where you drop back down, hitting the valley floor just after 7 miles, run along the valley before getting back onto the roads at about 8 miles. There is then a short, sharp,steep, climb before dropping back down to the 11 mile mark where you then climb back up to about 12.5 miles, then drop down to the finish on the 'show field'. for map of course see

Another plus point to this race is that as the finish is on the show field there is a beer tent about 30 yards from the finish line. Not the recommended warm down, but..........

Friday, 9 July 2010

4 x 1 mile

It was back to the track last night for 4 x 1 mile with 3 mins recovery. Thankfully the strong winds of the previous few day had dropped and although warm and humid there was just a light breeze to take the edge of things. Having struggled over the last few weeks I approached the session with some trepidation, but things went ok with miles in 5.50, 5.47, 5.45, 5.47.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Scientific research v common sense

I like to run because:
1 I just enjoy the act of running.
2 I enjoy competing. Competing against others and competing against myself.
Most of the runners I know run for similar reasons. There are others I know though, who do not like competing and just enjoy going out for a run with no specific goals in sight. There are also a few people I know who use running as part of a weight / body shape management programme.
Those that I know in the latter group are all intelligent, sensible people who are aware that running (or any other exercise) is only a part of what they need to do to loose/maintain weight and or body shape and maintain their general fitness.
Yet, today saw the report in the 'news' ( of a recent study under the headlines of "Exercise won't cure child obesity". The article goes on to say that "Scientists have questioned the assumption that a lack of exercise causes fatness in children." The article then follows with "Researchers said the findings indicate that nutrition, rather than exercise, is the best way of tackling childhood obesity".
Surely it is common sense that obesity, childhood or otherwise, comes from other contributing factors such as poor nutrition and not just lack of exercise. Exercise and nutrition are only a part of a holistic process.
Otherwise I would be eating 10 Big Macs and drinking 10 pints of beer a night - safe in the knowledge that I would sweat it all back out during my run the next morning.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Leeds 10km

It was a lot cooler than earlier in the week and although the wind was picking up it was not that significant. So it was a good morning for racing. As the hooter signaled the start I found myself struggling to get anywhere near the pace and estimated that I went through the first km in about 40th place. However, as I settled into it I started feeling quite comfortable and was working my way through the field.

As we approached the half way point where the route doubles back on itself I was able to count back and confirmed that I was now in 20th place. Still feeling ok I thought that I would be able to push on and pull back another couple of places. However, the approaching euphoria was short lived as by 8km I was once again struggling, dropping 8 places in the final 2km. Final position 28th, although 1st M50, in a time of 39.39 (yet another personal worst!).

The race was won in 33.04 by David Colishaw and congratulations to Catherine for her 55.20 (a minute quicker than last year).

Terry Lonergan in his blog, Running on Empty, has made recent posts about ageing runners finding it hard to accept the inevitable slower times and I must admit, although I was never a top class runner, I am finding it increasingly frustrating the slower I go.

Terry suggests 'by way of consolation' using the age adjusted chart to calculate what your current times relate to against your times as a 24 - 34 year old. So if I use the chart (see Terry's blog) then yesterdays performance equates to 34.23 which would have been good enough for 4th place!

I admit you do feel a little consolation when you first calculate the result - BUT I would still rather be running that actual time