You don’t get to be as good as our junior endurance runners’ are without being as dedicated as they are.
In appalling conditions last Sunday morning and despite a storm of biblical proportions, some 30 of this committed group of young athletes turned up for their weekly training session on the Welcombe Hills.
It was wet, it was very wet and it was muddy but they really did all have smiles on their faces.
Well most of them anyway.
Needless to say the sun shone as they all were finishing.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about their superb performance in the first WMYACCL XC fixture for 18 months, when they finished 2nd out of 21 teams competing, only losing out to the host club. This is why they did so well.
Sunday morning saw a group of our dedicated junior endurance runners training on the Welcombe Hills in atrocious conditions – see above.
Also this week, Camilla Cresswell, Kim Lee and Vicky Sharpe thought they’d go out for a cycle ride – just the 104.22km and 2244m of elevation! Hmmm.
Club legends that they are, the Kate’s Sergent and Wright ran the Coventry Half, also in atrocious conditions, with both of them excelling, as they do.
Not to be outdone by his wife Kim, Joe Lee, along with fellow club member Sam Wignell ran the Swansea Trail Half Marathon.
Don’t the Lee’s ever have a week off ?
Camilla Cresswell, Kim Lee and Vicky Sharpe.
Looks tricky to me.
The CFC Baker’s Dozen Hill Challenge
Report – Kim Lee
Why do 1 hill, when you can do 13?!
A couple of years ago Cyclists Fighting Cancer (CFC) created a local cycling hill challenge – the Baker’s Dozen. A ridiculously challenging 100km involving cycling up and down 13 hills on the edge of the North Cotswold Hills.
When I first heard about the challenge, I was quick to announce it was definitely not for me and I’d never do it . . .
Fast forward to October 2021 and I’m meeting up with Vicky Sharpe and Camilla Cresswell at the CFC Bike Shop in Alderminster at 8am prompt, about to embark on an epic day of cycling.
Setting off along the quiet lanes towards Ilmington, we had no idea what we’d let ourselves in for.
Up Campden Hill to the top; turning around and heading straight back down, then up Larkstoke, turning at the top and heading straight back down. Who would undertake such madness?!
2 down, 11 to go!
Unfortunately on the notoriously slippy road from Ilmington to Mickleton, Vicky’s bike slid from under her on a sharp bend. Road rash on her hip, legs and hands. Quick check on the bike and we were straight off. It didn’t even occur to her that she could have stopped. What a tough cookie!
This was a timely reminder of the drizzly conditions that hadn’t cleared and we all vowed to take it easy on the descents.
We soon got back into our groove, ticking off the next few hills . . . Baker’s, Aston Bank, Dover’s and Saintbury.
Almost half way and rewarded with a sausage sarnie, courtesy of our support crew, Joe Lee.
Who knew that these hills would just be a ‘warm-up’ for the next 4. . . The super-steep Willersey, the busy Fish Hill, the stunning Snowshill climb, and the Slow n Steady Stanway.
And then onto the grande final – the torturous trio: Salters Lane, Stancombe Lane and Corndean.
You know it’s a ‘great’ climb when the gradient on the bike computer shows a number above 20 . . . So it gets turned off because no one needs to see a number that high.
A seriously epic challenge, but we loved it!
Kate Sergent’s medal. She tells me it was raining too hard for a proper photo!
Coventry Half Marathon
A Couple of Kates – The Sequel.
Report – Kate Sergent
On Sunday 31 st October Kate Wright and myself went to Coventry to run in their “Festival of Running “ Half Marathon.
There was also a 5k event going on and altogether 4500 runners gathered in the pouring rain.
Our start was at 8.30 so it was a very early start from Stratford.
We weren’t quite sure wether to laugh or cry as we drove up the A46 in torrential rain and dark.
Kate had researched the carpark nearest to the start and after getting ourselves into our bin bags we made our way to line up with thousands of others looking equally cold and wet. ( we so wish now we had taken a photo esp as Kate Wright had a designer disposable shocking yellow cape with hood she had been given at one of her international events! )
The course was much better than I had expected, starting at Jordan Well by the University and heading off through the city centre and towards the flooded lanes of Allesley, coming back through Keresley and Radford and finishing on Priory Street by the magnificent Cathedral.
I have never run in such heavy rain and wind. It even surpassed the infamous Stratford Half marathon where they had to cancel the full marathon due to the weather
Kate finished in an amazing time of 1.27.49 which now ranks her 2nd in her age group in the UK for a half marathon. She was first in her age group (no one came close! ) and I think in better conditions she would have got her desired time of 1.25 but Kate doesn’t like cold wet conditions!!!
She was wrapped up warm in the car in a full set of dry clothes by the time I finished in 2.11.53!!
I was very pleased with my run which is my fastest in nearly 4 years. I felt good and strong despite the heavy rain and wind.
Altogether a good job done. Now whats next??
Sam and Joe
Joe Lee in the CFC top.
Tough Runner Swansea Trail Half Marathon
Saturday 30th October
Joe Lee and Sam Wignell
The warm Welsh accent beamed out from the lady doing the race briefing. “Look at this glorious Welsh sunshine” . . . It immediately started to rain. We were officially in Wales.
Soon after, a rainbow appeared in the sky, with the sun shining down over Oxwich Bay on the Gower near Swansea.
10 minutes before the start, the briefing lady braved some more announcements with no further mention of the weather.
“The first 2 mile run along the beach will feel like 200” . . .
“The 500m of elevation gain will feel like more” . . .
“This is a trail half marathon so anything goes, you’ll probably run further” . . .
“It’s rained all week, it will be muddy, you will lose your trainers” . .
And we were off!
Beach, streams, sand dunes, mud, woods, hills, technical trails, stepping stones and the most amazing coastal scenery. This run had it all. Brutal, but incredibly rewarding.
Joe finished in 2hours, putting him 36th out of a field of 1,125 runners. Sam soon after in 2hr 23 mins.
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