Middelkerke – Trips on!

There was a little confusion and uncertainty around Middelkerke as the dates of their races moved after initially confirming them with us. The decision has been taken that the regular trip on the regular weekend (week after our 10 mile) is on, despite there being no race that weekend. We will sort something be it, club v club, handicap or simply no running!

Bus is booked, hotel is booked. See Dave Collo for places.

Dates are Saturday 20th August to Tuesday 23rd.

Trips on!

London 2016

Message from Uncle Fez:

Hiya, its that time to arrange the London Marathon trip (sunday 24th April). Typical trip, go down Saturday return Monday evening, staying at the Columbia hotel, Lancaster Gate OR arrange the trip to suite your requirements. The train tickets will be available quite soon , so numbers are required as soon as possible . If interested please put your name on the list in the changing room or contact myself or Phil.

Edwinstowe Christmas 10K Forest Trail Race – 6th Dec 2015

Its that time of year (mid August) when we need to be thinking about Christmas. Edwinstowe is back on again his year, the club will pay both the coach and entry fees (its feeling festive).

We will do a block booking for entries, which if you can send to me I will collate. Likely need DOB and T-Shirt size. Will discuss food at a later date.

Some blurb:

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Manchester Marathon by Tubs Leyland

Manchester Marathon – not so much a secret, more a ‘prevention of people worrying about the fat lad until the very last minute’. Having failed in the club ballot for London, my intention was to concentrate on running miles early in the year and see where I was by Spring. I generally average 100 mile months, although do dip as low as 60/70 where I increase bike and swim. I thought if I could tick over the miles, throw in a long run and see how I felt as the date approached, I could always drop out and nobody would ever know. Having said that, I may be many things, but I’m not really a drop out, it’s not in my nature.

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Bob Graham Stage 1 Recce / Harewood Half Marathon – report

Mad Danj.

Setting off from home at 0600 Saturday morning for the lakes, Hinchcliffe (full of cold), Restell (full of pork pie), Danj (full of enthusiasm) and Leyland (full of sh*t) made the 120 mile journey to Keldwigkingham or somewhere to start a ‘recce’ of stage 1.

Here is an extract from website for those who don’t know:

‘All our members have successfully completed The Bob Graham Round; the 66 mile, 27,000 ft circuit of 42 of the highest peaks in the English Lake District within 24 hours.

First done way back in 1932 by Bob Graham, hotelier of Keswick, Cumberland, at the age of 42, the 42 Peak Round has become a testing ground for the supremely fit. Each summer around 100 of the most highly tuned ultra-distance fell runners will attempt the 27,000 ft of ascent within the allotted 24 hours. Only one in three will return to the Keswick Moot Hall before the clock runs down. Most of the rest will be back again …!’

So, in summary, it’s sheer lunacy.  Because it runs over 24hrs, athletes need to know their route and navigate the course through day and night.  We left the car park a little before 0900, with a Macdonalds breakfast (not a healthy Scottish serving as the name may suggest).  Approaching the first fork in the road, with the path naturally bearing left and a right that had the forbidding ‘no public footpath/no cars’, we of course went right.  This was a minor error, that then saw us climb fences, take a steep incline in thick heavy mud and generally start on an amusing note.  Danj, soon corrected us and we were back on track.  We then started a long climb up Skiddarangoon, or whatever it’s called.  This was a lung buster, I know I’m as fit as I’ve ever been, but this is a different proposition.  I already had doubts I could maintain any sort of pace that wouldn’t slow the others too much.  Hinchcliffe wanted to actually talk deep and meaningful on the way up, the silly plank, I couldn’t breathe, other than to say shut up.  The trail on this section wasn’t too bad, snow either side but plenty of grip, although the higher we got, it was evident snow would play a part.

We reached the summit, what a summit, the views were UNBELIEVABLE! clear blue skies and a snow covered Lake District, we were above the fog and clouds……..

Anyway, mustn’t dawdle, keep moving, down the other side, snow, snow, snow, thigh deep in places made the descent tricky and energy sapping, if not hilarious and fun.  The skinny lads, them three, managed in parts to walk on the frozen snow, but 18 stone me was going knee deep and more with every step, much their amusement and my annoyance……….

Not long then another ascent, it didn’t look as bad as Skiddarangoon, but it was.  Knee deep snow with no defined trail to follow meant full effort needed to get up Great Steep Thing, or whatever it was called.  Again, lungs working hard, thighs burning, sweat dripping……….get to the top, have a rest and sandwich? No, keep moving, bloody hell Danj !  The snow was even deeper, making it even harder, funnier and more fun getting down.  The ‘Skinnies’ bum sliding large sections, the ‘Fatty’ trying but sinking in every 5 metres, looking back up the hill, you see a perfect cast of my arse on each, sinking episode, in contrast to the lovely etchings of the ‘skinnies’.

We then considered the last climb of Hetty Wainthrope or go round, the snow made us take the latter route, making it a longer course, but less elevation.  It was the sensible option in the deep snow and the ‘go round’ was still hard work in the snow and a few uphill drags.

Getting back to the car was a huge relief for me, I was done.  The course was 15 miles, we were out five and half hours.  A fair effort by any standards.  Now pitch that one stage against the whole challenge, 66-72 miles, 42 peaks, 26,000ft of elevation (Everest)…………..

Harewood Half Marathon

This was the first running of this half, organised by British Heart Foundation, £23 entry and option to donate raise sponsorship.  I was dubious about how hard it would be.  I’m not now.

Starting behind the house, the course winds off through the fields and onto a road to the rear, it’s approx. 2 miles of steady downhill, give or take, then it became a winding, snaking, rollercoaster of a course, mainly on muddy trail paths and grass.  I was amazed and upset at parts with how many hills there were, although the day before had ‘toughened’ me up I think.

The scenery and views, where it was possible to look up were great, long views of the house and the surrounding hills, some lovely woodland and rolling fields……..hard going across the grass but some comfort knowing that regardless of time, it was a good session.  Three drink stations spread through course, well marshalled, although some athletes cut some corners (I didn’t and got some odd looks).  The mile markers were a out by about .2 and I was worried it would be short, marker 12 showed at 11.5 ! But the course came out at 13.5 on my watch and many others.  A long course in the end, with a brutal finish.  It took you up the hill in front of house, similar to Cusworth, then back down and up again round back.  It found a few out as many walked sections of course.  I ran every step (very slowly in parts).

Overall, a good race that I think will grow, about 1000 took part.  I will be doing it again, but hopefully not on the back of a day in Lakes and a lanced toenail to drain blood so I could get my trainer on………….




Tough Guy 2015 – Report

Tough Guy, an event that prides itself on number of dropouts and medical professionals required to to be in attendance, as well as providing competitors with a promise of providing a challenge that tests all fears, electric, fire, height, confined space and electricity.  This is blended with a challenging cross country course that saps energy with every step.  Ideal for a cold winter morning then.
With temperatures hovering just above freezing it was the the ‘perfect’ setting to test the mind and body, an alternative to the Dewsbury 10km.
The start is on top of a hill, Union Jack blowing in the wind, held long enough for doubt to creep in about the challenge ahead, until the gun sounds and smoke grenades are thrown, a roar goes up and a Braveheart style ‘charge’ ensues.  I was fortunate enough to get a good start position as a previous entrant who signed up early, I was 30 seconds behind the ‘Front Squad’, Duncan was a little less fortunate and started amongst ‘wobblemuckers’ and ‘dickheads’, a bit of a hindrance to his time aspirations of sub 2hrs.  In essence Duncan had 1000 people between himself and Front Squad, a difficulty added to when you consider the early obstacles and ‘bottle neck’ effect.
The first section of course takes you through some mud trenches and then out into the fields and woodland, with a constant boggy quagmire of mud, cargo net to go under and log to climb of over, interspersed with some steeper gradients, slalom style (up and down, not side to side).  This is hard going on the legs.  You then come back towards the ‘Battlefields’ via a water trench slalom, basically dropping down into ice water and climbing out the other side, gaining little more than 2m at a time for about 2 of a mile, hardwork for arms and legs, let me tell you.  It’s then into the woodland running in shallow muddy trenches, over log fences and under cargo nets.  This takes place over approx 6 mile and is sufficient to take you to the obstacles and last 3 miles feeling like cramp would set in at anytime.
After more water and tranches it’s towards the Tiger, a huges wooden structure covered with cargo net and rope, making it a challenge to climb, hard on arms and legs, there is a lower option for the faint hearted but pride shouldn’t let you even look at it.  It’s then more waist high mud trenches and water, before moving into a ‘world of pain’.
There are tyre tunnels, I can’t explain how hard it is to crawl through a length of rubber tyres, tight space, hard rubber with little to pull along, and a face first drop into freezing muddy water……
There are high rope crossings, wobbly with multiple people making the crossing at same time, more cargo net climbs with high drops into hay bales, barb wire crawl with about 2 foot of space and at least 50 yards of stony, muddy, abrasive earth to crawl through, piles of tyres to run over.
The ‘Vietcong’ tunnels come next with a dark entry crawling on knees, wooden sticks dangling in your face scattered with powerful electric shocks, shrieks a plenty as they stun people to fall flat on their face, a drop into mud and a lengthy crawl up a dark sewage pipe, a short drop into mud then into another length of pipe that is about half size of first, barely enough room to drag yourself through.  This is a challenge for me as not great at 18 stone in confined space !
Over another high climb and then down towards the water submerge……….I cannot do justice to the water temperature, other than to say you have to go under 4 equally spaced logs before climbing back onto land.  Many passed out, I almost fainted with pain in my head, many decided to go round.
Another climb and then it was ‘walk the plank’ time, and a 6foot drop into a pond, too deep to walk, too cold to swim with any coordination, it’s unbelievable, left many hardly able to walk.  Duncan felt the height of the plank wasn’t enough so actually jumped up, to come down, with immediate regret, body temperature was already low, so the jump meant he was fully submerged again, fool.
From here it’s the hard yards to finish, more mud and tyres and climbs, up another hill towards another pond and a water crossing to a steep hill climb and the finish line.
Blanket on, medal round neck, many then received medical treatment.
Was going to try and make this a witty and humorous account, but when my own toils were confirmed by a 5 x Ironman Duncan saying ‘that’s one of worst things I’ve ever done, if not THE worst’ I felt vindicated in my respect of an arduous test of mind and body.  It seemed to turn Duncan into some sort of Mrs Brown’s Boys offspring with the word ‘feck’ being uttered repeatedly.
Some quotes from Duncan:
‘ So fecking cold I could not feel any part of me. Got my crotch snagged on the top of a log and had to take a few seconds at the bottom to check I hadn’t left my goolies still attached up there!’
‘What the feck was that obstacle about 2 storeys up and a piddly rope to climb down? I think only I tried it, then fell off half way down into the water and had to swim 20m to the bank. Other feckers ran around it! Even where I was there were feckers missing some off the steeples.’
‘I have never been so fecking cold ever! The underwater thing I went for it and did the last two logs in one, fecking couldn’t breath when I got out, feck!’
Rarely do you run alongside people crying, but at Tough Guy you do.
For that reason, we have both signed up for 2016 and implore ADRC members to join us on this ‘and now for something completely different’………………….
The below link is a clip of 3rd place finisher, talking about his experience, this lad has won it previously and finished 3rd, just shows wherever you finish, it ruins you:
The below clip is a guy who ran for charity ‘Always with a Smile’ a great song and great way to see most of the course:

Tough Guy 2015

We’re a diverse bunch us ADRCers. We have our ‘elite’ road runners, we have our cross country stalwarts, we even have Collo and his love of Shabby Chic. We also have our nutters. The Danj’s who like the isolation of sitting in the mountains drinking condensation with nipple clamps on…….we have the makings of a Tri team scattered in and amongst. We have our obstacle runners…….This is why I write today.

Sunday 32nd January is Tough Guy 2015 , so tough it has it’s own date. Duncan and I will be travelling to Wolverhampton to take on the ultimate in obstacle running. The toughest, coldest challenge there is. I’m now a veteran of Tough Mudder, Total Warrior, Spartan, Yorkshire Warrior, Pain Barrier. Duncan is a veteran of many things, he is an Ironman, 140.6 mile in one go across 3 disciplines. Whilst I would never compare Tough Guy to Ironman, I will say it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done and I include Marathon running in that.
The drop out rate is huge, people can’t finish the course for various reasons, injury and hypothermia being two.  The course is a  gruelling 9 miler of knee deep mud, steep, hands on the floor, inclines.  It is also a course that has water round every corner, some knee deep, some that submerges you completely, icy, glassy, so cold it burns, water.  It’s the cold that does most damage, to the mind and the body, I have run alongside people crying, I have watched people drop out.  I have watched people finish and it’s for this reason any of us do what we do.  Pain is temporary, pride is forever.

This Sunday promises to rank among one of the tougher events because of the harsh winter weather we’ve seen……

Spare a thought for us while you’re out hitting the road or in hitting the Sunday roast, whatever we do, we’re linked by running, there are times we hate it, times we love it, but rarely do we finish a run and not feel a sense of pride that whilst it would be easier to sit and do nothing, running cleanses the body and strengthens the mind, allegedly……….