- Boston Half-Marathon
- Ox Races 2021
- Ilmington 10k – Race 5
- The Emergency Marathon
- Peterborough Marathon
- North Downs Way 50
- Dorney Lake 10k
- Leicesterhire Chase the Sun 5k
- Leicesterhire Chase the Sun 10k
- Birmingham Running Festival Trail 10k
- Worcester Half-Marathon
- Shires & Spires Ultra
- Shires & Spires Trail Half-Marathon
- Reunion 5k
- Enigma Quadzilla 4 Trail Marathons in 4 Days
- Woodpecker Challenge
- May the Fourth Be With You Half-Marathon
- Prestwold Hall 5k
- Ilmington 10k – Race 4
- Newbury Racecourse 10k
Boston Half-Marathon – 31 May HM
A hot day but there were lots of water stations.
Ox Races 2021, Rushmore Estate, Wiltshire 21 – 23 May ?
Ox Half Trail Half-Marathon – 23 May HM
|172||Chris Archer||3:24:35||2nd V60|
Light Ox Trail 10k – 23 May 10K
|31||Caroline Parkinson||1:08:56||2nd FV35|
The Ox 50 Trail 50-Miler – 22 May OTH
|33||Claudie Combelas||11:39:47||2nd FV55|
Dark Ox Trail Night 10k – 21 May 10K
|52||Caroline Parkinson||1:10:07||3rd FV35|
|108||Chris Archer||1:25:13||3rd MV60|
Ox of Two-Halfs Trail Marathon – 21 May M
As our postponed weekend approached the weather worsened from a forecast of a light breeze with a spot of rain to 60+mph winds and horizontal rain, but we were not put off. Armed with the Northbrook finest equipment we arrived to secure a start/finish track-side position. A perfect position, but being on top of a hill meant we felt the full force of the wind gusts. Getting the gazebo and one tent up first meant we could try to protect with the van. The 2nd tent was not going up, the wind ensured it was going to stay flat. A weekend of sleeping in the van began. Thursday night saw us all wearing every piece of clothing we had, patio heater on full blast and it was still cold, but the spirits kept us going.
Friday morning dawned and the excesses of Thursday night were still leaving me reeling, As the only representative in the Marathon distance it was time to step up. Short shorts and vest (yes I was the only one showing flesh). I knew it was an out and back course of 2 different topographies. The first quarter being sheltered from the elements in the woods flew by, the false sense of security boosting my spirits. Then the 2nd quarter began, to the top of the hills and full exposure to the 60+mph gusts. With the glasses held in place by a mask and a cape for added protection I believed this would give me the power. A quick stumble before the last climb (this one was definitely a hands and knees climb) meant half-way was in touch. The watch read 15 miles at half-way; I knew it was going to be long but the fear of 30+ miles was draining my spirits. The Northbrook cheer squad turned me round and sent me back out with their usual shouts of abuse and encouragement. What else could I do?
The winds were still blowing but had they changed direction? They were still knocking me sideways. My only positives were that every step got me closer to the drop to the valleys and the forest. The wind sounding like a freight train made the silence of the valley and the woods a luxury. Back to the woods and all of a sudden I realised the outward journey had mostly been down hill. Time to dig deep. As the love station approached, and the watch neared 27 miles the jolly organiser stating it was under 3 miles to go nearly got his head bitten off, but the beer and schnapps cheered me up. At this point, every mile was a struggle, stopping and having a serious word with myself as I pushed more and more fuel into me. I relied on the sunburst to get me to the finish straight. Our now legendary cheer squad was there with a sail banner for me to carry to the finish. Ox of 2 Halfs done, I could rest, get out of the winds and warm up.
Step up our Dark Ox’s. Three out for us tackling the woods in near pitch black, the grins said it all on their return, though no-one knows just why they were sprinting up the start straight, bravado was in full sight. Not even the deer crossing the paths could stop the sunburst. Their return meant the partying could carry on late into the night.
Next day saw our Ox 50 representative step up, who else but Claudie to tackle this one. Laps (8 in total) and she just churned them out. We were her feed station and support station, and as the day rolled on the drinking started and the support for everyone got more raucous. Claudie just kept going, the last 2 laps supported by one of each of us for mental strength worked. Sub 12 hours and a grin that matched it. Claudie was fantastic. The partying continued.
The following day 3 of us set of to tackle the Light Ox, Damien out to pace/support us. Caroline first out became our pigeon as we chased her down. The 3 guys were pushing the pace. Marathon legs were put to one side, the screaming quads burnt and screamed, Damien all the time keeping me going, Mark just behind waiting for any sign of weakness. Then the finish came and I pushed and Damien floated away. 56ish mins and an 8th timed place for me as I led the guy in who won Friday’s marathon. Mark, head to the side captured 9th timed place, Caroline with her hunting face on, we defeated the Light Ox.
The baton was passed on to our Half Ox’s. Step back up Caroline, Chris and Catherine with Tracey and Kelly. They had all trained hard for this but not for the weather. We cheered them off hurling abuse as they went. They were doing well. We got to half-way to discover Caroline had pushed on and left Chris – we missed her. Chris was leading the girls all looking super strong at half-way. More encouragement and they set off again. We believe there may have been a spot of conga, dancing and a lot of partying at the love station but our girls kept going. They even started taking the field and hunting Chris down. Chris got on the finish straight just before them, he was passed the sail banner for the finish he pushed on, Catherine showing her strength and hunting him down the straight. He lost the flag half way down and ever being the gentleman he let Catherine finish first. Kelly and Tracey finishing together beaming.
All home, all safe, no fuss and loads of cheers. We came, we conquered the Ox we partied hard and let our running do the talking. We will be back, this time armed with course knowledge.
Roll on The Ox 2022- Spencer
Ilmington 10k, Tempo Winter Series Race 5 – 23 May 10K
Finally made it to the end of the Winter Series. New hoodie day. More cake eating.
The Emergency Marathon – 23 May M
Body still aching from the Quadzilla, but at least the weather held.
Peterborough Marathon – 23 May M
When I entered this race a few months ago, I was worried about a May heatwave! Conditions were actually very good on the day, apart from some wind gusts by the river. It was a road race, but there were some grassy and muddy sections to negotiate. There were also a few tricky bridge crossings, countryside parks and canal towpaths.
There were separate starts for each runner due to Covid restrictions, and I started about a minute before Tommy. By 7 miles, Tommy had caught up, but was worried about starting too fast. He dropped back until halfway, then pushed on strongly and was soon out of sight. I must have made up some ground later, as I was surprised to see that Tommy had finished just before me.
We both had good runs under 3.30. For me, it took a big final effort to make sure I got the time. It was significant for me, as I hope to be selected for Wales in the Masters Marathon in October. Wales have not yet published their criteria, but England require a sub 3.30 run for MV55 qualification. I hope this effort will be good enough to be part of the Wales team in York – Mark
North Downs Way 50-Mile – 22 May OTH
A 50-mile trail route from Farnham to Knockholt Pound.
Dorney Lake 10k – 22 May 10K
First proper race for me since Feb 2020. Weather kind and happy with time. Flat course around Eton College Rowing Lake. Staggered starts worked well but missed the buzz of setting off with the pack. Good parking & facilities.
Leicestershire Chase the Sun 5k, Prestwold Hall – 20 May 5K
Horrible conditions – torrential rain and wind.
Leicestershire Chase the Sun 10k, Prestwold Hall – 20 May 10K
First proper race in a while. Prestwold Hall in torrential wind and rain.
Birmingham Running Festival Trail 10k, Sutton Park – 16 May 10K
First race in about 15 months and it was so good, great atmosphere and very well organised. Apart from the one mountain we had to run twice it was very good
Worcester Half-Marathon – 16 May HM
This was run in time trial format with groups of 6 leaving every few minutes between 9.30am and 11.30am. Quite a nice way to do it – turn up 20 mins before your allotted time and no queues for toilets.
Reasonably undulating course, so good training for Hilly 100.
Shires & Spires Ultra – 16 May OTH
|Claudie Combelas||7:01:02||3rd FV50|
31.25 hill and muddy miles but the rain mostly held off and the views were stunning.
Shires & Spires Trail Half-Marathon, Naseby – 16 May HM
My second visit to Nottinghamshire in 5 days; the weather was kind and I had a lovely time going round. Very pleased with the time too.
Reunion 5k, Kempton Park – 15 May 5K
This event was put on at fairly short notice as a test event to try and help bring mass participation events back to the UK. All athletes had to take a lateral flow test and PCR test prior to the event and show that the negative test matched up to the runner name on the number. We will all take another PCR test on Thursday.
The route was based inside the racecourse but luckily, we got to bypass the hurdles the horses usually jump and we stuck to tarmac paths. Runners started in pairs like a formula 1 grid with lights turning green for each pair to go. A nice flat course and just the 1 lap.
A long way to go for a 5k but it represents more than just a run and will hopefully lead to big races starting up again soon – Sean
Enigma Quadzilla 4 Trail Marathons in 4 Days, Milton Keynes – 13 to 16 May M
Day 1 – A hard run today, ache in hip and then everything cramped up at mile 20. Time will do though. Hopefully better tomorrow.
Day 2 – Tight quads so had to hold back and push through. I think the times will be longer tomorrow & Sunday.
Day 3 – Slow and steady, same again tomorrow.
Day 4 – A long day and a totally different experience of running a marathon (sandwiches & beer). My friend really struggled today, the 3 days before had taken it out of him, but we got to the end before the cut off.
Woodpecker Challenge – 12 May OTH
|8 laps||Chris Archer||6:12:04|
It was a lovely day at Brixworth Country Park doing the six hour Woodpecker Challenge trail run. The challenge is to run as many 3.2 mile laps as you can start in the 6 hour time limit. I had no idea how far I was going to get; some encouragment from fellow runners kept my spirits up and I was delighted to achieve my first marathon distance, completing 8 laps and 26.4 miles.
May the Fourth Be With You Half-Marathon – 4 May HM
What better way to celebrate Star Wars Day than the May the Fourth Be With You trail half?
Incorporating “The Bump”, a cheeky vertical 120m hill 7.5 miles in but rewarded with beautiful views over Shropshire. Superb medal too!
Prestwold Hall 5k – 2 May 5K
Following a half-marathon in mid-April, I headed back to Prestwold Hall for a 5km event rescheduled from last year. The day was dedicated to a series of 5km events, with the early ones in which I took part, being open events for all abilities. The later races were dedicated to seriously fast club runners and elite athletes.
It was a small field of only 25 club runners for my 5km race and despite being for all abilities, the pace was keen as we set off along the WWII RAF Wymeswold airfield runway and then looped around an encircling race track. I finished middle of the pack and after reinserting my lungs was pleased with a sub-19 minute performance.
Ilmington 10k, Tempo Winter Series Race 4 – 2 May 10K
|18||Natasha White||0:43:02||3rd Female, 1st FV35|
|96||Fern Kenny||0:59:55||3rd FV35|
Larkstoke Hill beckoned once again for 15 stalwart Northbrookers in the fine Warwickshire sunshine. The coveted series hoodies were sized prior to the off.
Natasha White and Fern Kenny dominated the FV35 category with first and third respectively. Last in the series is in three weeks’ time with a new Tempo Ilmington event being promised for the summer – Chris
Newbury Racecourse 10k – 1 May 10K
|42||Mark Baker||42:32||1st MV55|