For a complete listing visit the Results Index
- Advance Performance NYE Trail 10k
- Phoenix Riverside Marathon
- Phoenix Riverside Half-Marathon
- Ilmington 10k
- Enigma Christmas Diehard Marathon
- Wolves and Bilston Winter Warmer
- Active Training World Waterside 10 Miles
- Gaddesby Gallop
- Battersea Park Under the Lights 5 Mile
- Leicester 5k Winter Series
- Telford 10k
- Milton Keynes Winter Half-Marathon
- Draycote Water 10k
- Sneyd 5 Mile Pudding Run
- Sneyd 10 Mile Pudding Run
- Enigma Tie Fighters Trail Marathon 2
- Enigma Tie Fighters Trail Marathon 1
- Enigma Deja Vu Trail Marathon 1
- Running Grand Prix Marathon
- Running Grand Prix 20 Miles
- White Peak Trail Run
- Perivale 5
- Birmingham & District Invitation Cross-Country League Race 2
- Midland Women’s Cross-Country League Race 2
Advance Performance NYE Trail 10k, Peterborough – 31 December 10K
It was the most confusing start to a race ever, not helped by the fact that I couldn’t find my fellow Northbrooking buddies. Apparently we were starting in waves (I really should have read the email), but with some people staying at the start line and everyone else walking back to the race “village” for some reason, I was left in the middle all by myself. Some guy on a tannoy had been saying stuff, but never near enough for me to actually hear him. No marshalls/helpers seemed to be able to tell me when each wave was starting. Suddenly, tannoy man told the 40+ minute runners to go and then, about five seconds (literally) later he told the 45+ minute runners to go. I shrugged my shoulders like a stroppy teenager and headed off.
I’m nowhere near my fittest at the moment, but just in case a diet of chocolate, mince pies and alcohol for a couple of weeks is actually the unproven best race prep, I headed off at pb pace knowing that a pb could get me on the podium for my age group in the Northbrook race league. However, within less than a mile, everyone that I had run past overtook me again as I slowed up more and more. I felt like an overenthusiastic newbie at a Parkrun. I finished in the worst time that I can ever remember doing (apart from cross country).
Nevertheless, it was a nice route (if a little muddy) and the generous goodie bag plus medal and T-shirt made up for everything. Definitely worth doing again next year – Paul
Phoenix Riverside Year End Marathon and Half Marathon – 28 December
Phoenix Riverside Year End Marathon – M
Phoenix Riverside Year End Half-Marathon – 28 DecemberHM
In my final event for 2022 and a last-ditch effort for the MV45 age group title, I knew there was no option but to have a go at a Marathon. Mike Wheeler was well poised to pip me at the post with a fast 10k & I couldn’t improve on my time at that distance as I’d been far too friendly with the biscuit tin since my June 10k.
I kept my intent quiet on the club training sessions as I’d done no distance training to speak of and the internet wasn’t awash with 1 week marathon training plans. Consequently, there was a high likelihood of the slightly mad plan backfiring. So, it was a hastily arranged trip with Tom Miller to Walton-on-Thames, armed with blind hope and mild nausea, for the Phoenix Running Riverside Year End Marathon and Half-Marathon comprising back and forth laps alongside the Thames.
On the day, the good news was that the temperatures had returned to autumnal levels and this relatively low-key event was incredibly well organised; the bad news was that a month’s rainfall had occurred the preceding day, with the riverside path resembling a flat cross-country course mainly comprising mud and big puddles. We set off early as chip timing allowed a 1-hour start window between 7:30 and 8:30am with 4 or 8 laps of the 5.3km out and back route for the half and full marathon. This was motivating as it meant there were always people around from the 130 participants to offer mutual support.
I was on a mission, so it was a case of ploughing straight through all the minor obstacles that people were navigating around as I could see this otherwise turning into a 30+ mile event.
The race went well initially and the half-way point soon passed, with Tom completing the half-marathon distance in difficult terrain in a good time. I continued on, feeling great at 18 miles, ok at 19, and rubbish at 20 as the lack of distance training surfaced. The last two laps (6.2 miles) were a run/walk affair, and I watched my initial target time of sub 3:23, based on the Northbrook race league posted times, fade away. I wasn’t allowing the next time of 3:28 to pass, so was timing it to the second. I nearly came unstuck but was saved by Tom’s guidance which he’d learned to his cost 90 mins earlier, as there was a small section of around 150 metres after what I thought was the finish line to run to the lap turning point cone and then run back over the timing mats in the opposite direction to complete the full distance. I made the 2nd target of Tommy Dempsey’s 3:28:16 marathon time with a grand margin of 8 seconds to spare. Sorry Tommy.
So that’s my lot for 2021 and if I’m beaten for the MV45 title, the only “what if” I’m left with is what if I’d eaten fewer biscuits over the last 8 months. It’s been a good positive competition between Mike and me in the past 5 weeks, where we have pushed each other along and attended a host of events we’d never have otherwise considered. 2022 should be fun – Terry
Ilmington 10k, Tempo Winter Series Race 3 – 27 December 10K
|85||Victoria Boyle||0:50:15||1st FSEN|
|107||Cath Fenn||0:52:18||3rd FV45|
After the excesses of Christmas I had no intention of racing, instead deciding to take on a mini challenge of running up the hill without walking. I managed this although barely at a pace faster than a fast walk. Achilles on fire at the top of the hill, I thought that the next 4 miles would be a tough slow slog but as the course got easier my legs recovered and I was able to get some quick miles in coming down the hill back into the village.
I realised that I could push for a quick time at mile 5 and dug in for a long and uncomfortable last 1.3 miles for a 10K season PB – Cliff
Enigma Christmas Diehard Marathon – 24 December M
Last one for the year.
Wolves and Bilston Winter Warmer – 19 December 5M
Sunday morning saw the Wolves Winter Warmer 5 mile and Paul and me as the only Northbrook entrants, both looking for points for 3rd place in the Northbrook Race Championships competition behind the battling Terry and Mike.
Neither of us were in great shape, Paul having had to COVID isolate for a 3rd time and my legs tired from the previous day’s gallop.
This race starts and finishes on a track and the start was faster than I wanted. I was glad to get out on the roads and the slow climb to the 4th mile where we started to drop towards the finish. Biding my time and conserving my efforts I knew I could pick up places on the downhill section.
I was pleased to finally see Paul as he was heading round the track as I approached the entrance. We both finished with not the fastest of times, but valuable points earned for Paul in the Championship and another race to count towards the tally for me Spencer
Active Training World Waterside 10 Miles, Grafham Water – 19 December 10M
I was feeling unwell, so today took the opportunity to pace Tom around for a few miles and then follow him round. The fog prevented any decent view of Grafham Water that we circled around. The end couldn’t come soon enough but I thought it would never arrive. Tom achieved target time which was a great outcome. If you enjoy light trail, a venue worth considering – Terry
Gaddesby Gallop – 18 December 5M
The gallop returned this year and lived up to its reputation from our previous visit. 3 Northbrookers and 1 cheerleader dared the sheep, the mud, the drainage tunnel, the pond (I’m sure they filled it with extra sileage this time), the ploughed fields and the stream for the 5 miles. This is a great event, organised by the community for the community using their greatest assets (their footpaths) in their locality.
Matt’s knee settled after a mile and he reverted to his normal speedy pace over this sort of terrain and disappeared from view. Tori on her first gallop settled about a field ahead of me and held her space. I settled at my own pace. Starting fast we avoided most of the queuing for the first 3 stiles. After this came the pond. Watching, as I approached, the footing looked good and not too deep, though you could smell the pond from a field away. The guy 2 steps ahead of me showed firm footing on his 1st 2 steps, but the 3rd looked like his feet went, I followed but could not adjust for him as I went down on top of him pushing him further into the slurry. Both of us covered in the sort of stuff that smells from a distance.
As we ran the next field trying to shake it off, I put a bit of distance between us (I though it was best in case he started to take grievance about a big bloke falling on him). Next, after a few rises and some sticky gloopy sucking mud on the ploughed fields was the drainage tunnel, which had water in it this time (at least it cleared the slurry out of my shoes). Stooping in the dark you had to take it easy, but afterwards I could pick it back up and keep Tori within sight.
Then came the next batch of ploughed fields, with their sticking, sloppy, gloopy mud, sapping the energy out of the legs. I arrived at the stream to find it not as deep as last time, but deep enough to wash the stinking and sticky mud off and at the same time ice bath the legs. One last mile and the mud was still sticky, but at least me being the last Northbrooker home I got cheered in by my three colleagues.
A great little event that’s more fun than run, but more draining than cross country – Spencer
Battersea Park Under the Lights 5 Mile – 17 December 5M
Well, tonight was an experience. I headed to Battersea Park to do a 5 mile race as I battle it out with Mike Wheeler for the male vet MV45 age group title at Northbrook AC. I realised the chap in the queue behind me, Mahamed Mahamed, was an Ethiopian International and most of the field were national or international class and young enough to be my children. Oops. So Sunday League meets Premier League.
I realised after mile 1 that I wouldn’t get my target time (I concede to Mike on the the short distance stuff), so I eased back and enjoyed it. I revised my race aims to not being lapped on the 3.5 lap course and not being last. I just about achieved those two! AIso, I felt coming 100 out of 103 was quite appropriate as I was at least 100 years older than most of the other runners and, if the event were a race to pick up the race number and chip, I beat Mahamed too. However, in contrast, I doubt he’s talking about me on his Facebook feed this evening though. He just pipped me at the line with his sub 24 -minute stroll vs my 32:21 effort.
Overall, this could have made a decent scene in Mr. Bean. All costs considered, what better way to spend £100 to make no impact whatsoever to my road race league points tally.
Leicester 5k Winter Series – 16 December 5K
|35||Spencer Davies||0:24:27||3rd MV45|
|50||Chris Archer||0:30:12||2nd MV60|
Three Northbrookers headed to Leicester for the 2nd in this race series, 5k round Victoria Park in the dark. It’s fairly well lit apart from 400 mtrs of one section but that gives you a chance to ease onto the back of someone who has a head torch before going again.
As usual the start of the race was fast and furious, the 1st 100 mtrs or so feeling like an all out sprint. I was not going to get involved with this and left them to it. My pace is still off due to the flu but fitness is recovering. It’s something to improve on next time round – Spencer
Telford 10k – 12 December 10K
Milton Keynes Winter Half-Marathon – 12 December HM
Draycote Water 10k – 12 December 10K
Sneyd 5 Mile Pudding Run – 12 December 5M
|10||Amanda Deavy||0:31:55||1st female|
|12||Steve Turvey||0:32:14||1st MV40|
|47||Debbie Campbell||0:38:57||1st FV55|
|56||Kirstie Murray||0:39:30||3rd FV35|
|62||Lisa Bragg||0:40:14||1st FV50|
|76||Allison Smith||0:42:06||2nd FV55|
Really buzzing from being 1st in age category – Debbie
Sneyd 10 Mile Pudding Run – 12 December 10M
Enigma Tie Fighters Trail Marathon 2 – 12 December M
Enigma Tie Fighters Trail Marathon 1 – 11 December M
Enigma Deja Vu Trail Marathon – 10 December M
Runthrough Events Running Grand Prix Marathon – 5 December M
An extremely windy day out.
Runthrough Events Running Grand Prix 20 Miles – 5 December 20M
In the latest instalment of the Northbrook Race Champs MV45 category slugfest between Mike Wheeler and me, it was a trip down to the South coast for the last 20 mile road race event of the year in the UK, and the final opportunity to try and capture a few more points in rankings at this distance. This was a serious business as it meant soft drinks were the order of the day at the Northbrook Christmas meal the preceding evening.
On a positive note, the weather was warmer than the sub-zero temperatures of the preceding week’s efforts, but as I travelled to Goodwood Motor Circuit, just outside Chichester, a sense of foreboding arose as the car was buffeted by the wind. Unfortunately, I wasn’t imagining it as I parked up and walked towards the race track with a stiff wind blowing in off the Atlantic and toppling the cones over the 2.4 mile circuit.
Our race was held alongside 5 other distances and it was little surprise that this distance had attracted a small field of 18 – amongst hundreds of runners in the other distances – most likely targeting their own clubs’ race leagues. We set off into the wind and I knew this was going to be 2 to 3 hours of hanging in there on the 8.3 lap course. The Goodwood course is incredibly flat, and there’s great PB potential in calmer conditions.
I was happy with my overall pace for the first 6.5 laps, although despite the flat profile, it felt as though one half of the circuit was downhill when being blown along and the second half a nasty uphill struggling through the wind. On the penultimate lap, my lack of training for the distance became quite evident and energy levels simply evaporated. It was a case of remembering the time leading the race champs 20 mile distance (2:34) and calculating whether I’d be able to better it as I walked/ran the last miles.
I was pleased to be able just pip it as I staggered over the line in 2:30 for 3rd place and being both first and last position in the MV50 event category!
Lessons learned included: 1). next time, train for the distance rather than relying on blind hope; 2). do the event in Spring/Autumn, not in winter gales; 3). do not book an event for the morning after the Northbrook Christmas party.
After finishing, I saw on Strava that Tom Mitchell was there too and he only went and bagged himself a marathon PB. Impressive!
White Peak Trail Run, Ashbourne, Derbyshire – 5 December OTH
|133||Claudie Combelas||3:01:48||1st FV60|
I don’t think either of us enjoyed the early start on a Sunday (Claudie picked me up at 6:30am!) but I’d say this race was definitely worth it. The route was a 16 mile trail loop in a figure of 8 based around the river Dove and the Tissington Trail and was incredibly varied, with some steep sections, both up and down, stone steps, boardwalks and some fast, flat sections where you can get your legs moving for a while. Very welcoming atmosphere from organisers and runners.
Usually run in May, this is definitely one that I’ll look out for in the future – Matthew
Perivale 5 – 5 December 5M
Birmingham & District Invitation Cross-Country League Div 3 Race 2 at Plock Court, Gloucester – 4 December OTH
Midland Women’s Cross-Country League Race 2 at Abington Park, Nottingham – 4 December OTH
Great to have 10 women wearing the sunburst to brighten up a grey Northampton sky in the second cross country league race.
A little lap,followed by two big laps, it wasn’t too bad underfoot but there were some long inclines which were draining. Shouts of supporter encouragement were peppered around the course from Yvonne, Rob, Liam and myself. Great running all round, with Tori Boyle leading the team home just ahead of Cath Fenn.
Two down, two to go. If any Northbrook women haven’t got their spikes dirty yet this season, there is still time – Sally Eason