News - Endurance
This Section posts news relative to the Endurance section such as information regarding up and coming training weekends, reports road races and what the section does socially.
Over the Summer a number of special handicap races were staged from Crossford Bridge in Sale. The course went from outside the track along country lanes and tracks to Jacksons Boat Bridge and back along the River Mersey. Handicap times were based on recent 5k performance or previous handicap times and runners were set of at intervals with the fastest runners setting off last and having to 'reel in' the rest of the field. The distance was 4.6 miles and the times ranged from under 26minutes to nearly 50 minutes.
Many thanks to all those who turned up to race. Special thanks to Mike Wharton for organising the runs and providing results, and also to the many volunteers for their valuable help on the night.
Results can be seen here.
Posted 17/09/2012 09:39
Please click here to view the results of the first club handicap race.
Posted 17/09/2012 08:22
LEADVILLE '100' .....by RICHARD BROWN
In early 2012, three of us agreed to run one of the big 3 American ultras - Leadville, Western States or Hardrock. All are 100 mile races with fearsome reputations. Come March, the decision was made - we were entered into the Leadville 100.......that was the easy part done…
Nicknamed 'The Race across the Sky', and made famous by the book Born to Run, the Leadville 100 is an out and back race through the Colorado Rockies, starting and finishing in central Leadville, with 16,000 ft of vertical climb and run between 9,200 and 12,600 ft above sea level.
I arrived in Denver on Wednesday 15th, spent the night in one of the local airport hotels, met Jose on the morning of 16th and drove to Leadville. Our advanced party, Ross and Rich, were already making themselves comfortable in a fantastic coffee shop on the main street.
We registered for the race on the Friday afternoon, got weighed (they weigh you before the start and en route to ensure you're taking on sufficient fluids - if you're too light, you're stopped, fed and re-weighed), sorted our drop bags and headed back to our rented house in readiness for a 2:30am wake up call the following morning.
At 4am on August 18th the gun sounds and we're off. A fairly gentle run down the main street and onto a dirt road. A shortish climb, across the tarmac and onto the trail around Turquoise Lake. The field had settled and, after a steady 2 hours, we hit the first checkpoint, May Queen, at 13 miles. The checkpoint was like a party - it was 6am and packed with everyone cheering and high fiving as you run through.
After filling up my water bottles and grabbing a few handfuls of food, we cut through a car park and straight onto a forest trail. By this time the sun was nearly up and, as we broke onto a wide forest track, the views across the valleys were fantastic. We continued to climb then started the long descent to the road and the second checkpoint. It was still early days but I was feeling good and the support was fantastic. The next few checkpoints came and went then the hard work started. As I left the main checkpoint before the big ascent, we crossed a river then, after a few hundred metres, cut onto a forest trail which signalled the start of the biggest climb of the race - 1,200 vertical mtrs to the highest point on the course, Hope Pass. As we climbed, you could feel the effect of the altitude, having to work harder and harder as we neared the peak. It took just over 2 hours to summit then a steep descent into the valley to the half way point. As I sat re-fuelling at the half way point, the enormity of what lay ahead when we turned around started to loom - the relentless climb, fatigue and altitude. It was made worse by a female runner sat in front of me crying her eyes out whilst her husband tried to get he back onto the trail.
From the half way point, I really struggled to get myself back into gear. I walked the first mile from the checkpoint then trotted the flats and the down before hitting the ascent to Hope Pass. The ascent was relentless but, as we neared the summit, I felt much stronger knowing there was a feed station just over the top and I could claw back some of the time on the descent.
When I finally reached the checkpoint at the very bottom, Bruce, a friend of Jose's, greeted me like an old friend, grabbed my water bottles and plied me with food - he really couldn't do enough.
The sun was starting to set and, as I started the climb at mile 62, I really felt like I had the race cracked -it was just a matter of head down and grinding out the last 40 miles…..easier said than done.
I love running at night. You concentrate on a small pool of light in front of you and that becomes your reference point for hours on end. The miles started to disappear and, although my feet were sore from the distance and getting them wet at the river crossing, I was making good time. The nice easy descents on the way out turned into endless ascents but I kept my head down knowing the finish line was getting closer and closer with every step.
As I left the penultimate checkpoint, an American approached me and asked if I fancied some company to the finish. The Americans have a tradition of allowing pacers from the half way point. Up to then, it had been just me, my head torch and my ipod. I was quite glad of the company and we chatted as we walked through the night.
The last 26 miles was a war of attrition - before sunrise it got very cold but, as a new day dawned, the realisation that I'd completed the race became stronger and stronger. We rounded Turquoise Lake and crossed the road I'd crossed 26 hours earlier. As we started on the final 6 miles, I chatted to Mik about the why's and wherefor's of ultra distance running.
We both agreed it was a privilege to run such a long way through such beautiful scenery. Running abroad can get quite expensive but Leadville was worth every penny. The banter before the race, the ribbing on the start line then the camaraderie and support throughout just reinforced my belief that I've found a sport I truly love.
People ask why we choose to run such long distances, why we're happy to run through a night or two nights, suffering sleep deprivation & battered feet. My answer is simple - because I can and because the others who line up on the start line next to you share the same desire to push to the limit.
I crossed the finish line at 8:44 am, nearly 29 hours after the start of the race.
Rich, Jose and Bruce were there to welcome me.. I'd triumphed in the Leadville 100!
Posted 11/09/2012 10:25
Last weekend, Olivier Gaillemin embarked on the inaugural ultra stage race The Ring'o'Fire, circumnavigating Anglesey along the coastal path. Setting off Friday afternoon, this 131 mile (32 miles Friday, 65 Saturday and 35 miles Sunday), 13,500ft vertical ascent stage race was memorable for the splendid scenery, the excellent running to be had as well as the moments of doubt and discomfort and sheer terror (being charged by a herd of 50 bullocks 60 miles in to the long day and having to find a Usain Bolt-like turn of speed late in the day). All manner of surfaces were run on, from long flat stretches along beaches, to the rolling grassed paths along cliff tops, to the dunes and pebbles and rocks of Holyhead Mountain - with an estuary to wade through for good measure. The feet suffered and on the last count I shall need to re-grow precisely 5 toenails.
Camaraderie is key on these events, with the race pack bunking down in village halls for a fitful 4 hours sleep between stages (those who made the cut-offs) having sluiced down in a bucket (1 small sink, 1 toilet and 2 urinal for 60+ runners are not luxurious facilities).
Day 3 was marred a tad as a painful right ankle jarred with every step but the beauty of coming over Holyhead Mountain in bright sunshine to see the finish and be welcomed in and presented with the obligatory slate medal made it all worthwhile. Only 28 competitors finished the race and I was delighted with my 10th position.
There is a deal on the price of entry until 30th September for those who are interested in running this beautiful race next year...
Posted 11/09/2012 10:22
As the club T & F athletes are busy with their weekly T & F regional and national leagues, the club has a similarly busy endurance section who fly the flag on the region's road, fells and trails. Unfortunately, not all use their club website to promote their success and inform running colleagues. However, well done to those who do so and we have the following noteworthy recent events to report on.......
A few hardy Sale Harriers took on the challenging Millbrook Monster 10 km, tough but rewarding multi-terrain 10 km race in the hills above Stalybridge. Paul Green (M40) had a fine run to finish 2nd, with Mike Hatch (5th) and Phil Scowcroft also running well. Jerry Smith was 1st M55 and very pleased to be over 2 minutes quicker than last year. Lauren Davies was the sole female from the club and also had a good run. All finishers were rewarded with a well-earned free hot dog!
More recently, on September 1st, Zoe Gmerek, Jenny Miles and Jerry Smith headed off to the seaside for the Blackpool Hilton 10 km for what was advertised as a fast, flat 10 km along the promenade. Unfortunately a strong headwind for most of the race made for tough conditions, but that didn't stop Zoe from running well to finish as 3rd female and 1st F35 (with some pacing help from Jerry), or Jenny Miles from recording a PB and winning her age category. After picking up their prizes the runners made the most of a day out in Blackpool with fish and chips and a trip to the pier. A fine and successful trip!
Posted 06/09/2012 08:36
The fourth and final Sizzler' was undoubtedly the best ever! With a record five hundred finishers; incorporating the Northern Athletics 5k Road Championships; countless PB's; a massive twenty-four breaking sixteen minutes; eight Olympians in attendance spanning ten Olympic Games; the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation leading a special mass warm-up; an entertaining Mo-Jo from the masses showing appreciation to sponsors Ronhill whilst lined-up and the race started by new club Olympic Starter, chairman David Brown CBE with his wife and club secretary Carol the new Olympic official in the finish zone, Wythenshawe Park was understandably buzzing!
This annual club promotion, launched in 2002 by race director Fechin Mc Cormick as a legacy to the Manchester Commonwealth Games, has always had two objectives, apart from raising club funds. They are to encourage community health and fitness regardless of ability and to promote excellence at the sharp end. Just four days after the Olympics ended, with the nation still thrilling over 'Super Saturday' the club hosted its own 'Magic Thursday'.
A record sixty club members strained every sinew on the 'big occasion' and many recorded lifetime best performances. Special congratulations to Callum Greenwood (15.17) who broke club-mate Simon Mills long-standing junior record by one second that had stood from 2005 and to Louise Robbins and Jackie Cordingley who won the L35 and L50 categories. Full results are available on www.race-results.co.uk
It's time to say 'Thank-You'. The series would not be possible without the formidable team of helpers as reliant as ever. Brian Goulden for leading the team of marshals from his hospital bed and John Smith who deputized for him on-site; Dave Rodgers for his expertise in helping set up the course; the highly skilled and hard-pressed 'entries' team; Tony Reilly as race referee and David & Carol Brown for ensuring adequate officials; George Tivvy for his indispensible role on the public address; Paul Thompson for his stalwart backroom work in obtaining the race permits, ensuring the risk assessments are up to date and promptly sending returns to England Athletics and to club newcomer Marie O'Connor who so willingly volunteered her professional skills to help promote the event through the media.
Putting on this series is a massive task! Fourteen thousand promotional leaflets were distributed and it has continually engaged me since last February. Thank you to all who've contributed to this promotion though there's room for improvement in the level of commitment from many. There undoubted untapped potential here for the future.
Finally, thank you to the sponsors! Ronhill Sports were
admirable sponsors who again invested heavily and deserve every
credit and thanks for their commitment again this year. They
further facilitated support from the Sweatshop in Hyde, Shotz
Energy Gells and Mornflakes Oates. Thanks to Kelloggs whose bars
have been the basis of the goody bags and thanks to two of
the region's large Social Housing providers Yours Housing
Association and Adactus Housing Association who invest heavily in
communities and supported the community health elements of this
Posted 23/08/2012 09:45
With 370 finishers; three under fifteen minutes, countless PB's on a fast course, fifty Sale Harrier participants, a team of very committed marshals and a lovely evening, ensured the third Ronhill Sale 4 x 5k Sizzlers was another unbounded success. One only has to witness the stretch of striding runners to the shuffling joggers that winds its colourful way from the Wythenshawe track onto the scenic Wythenshawe course to see how popular this annual club promotion is. However, we've not achieved the magical number of five hundred finishers, a primary objective of this year's series.
However, working together on Thursday August 16th we can finally achieve the target! If we achieve five hundred finishers then, this year's series will become the most successful since they began after the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Game...and there's every reason to hope for a really big one!
Four days after the Olympics end and incorporating the North of England 5k championships, ex-Olympians spanning the last fifty years and ten Olympic Games will grace the event. Ex Olympians Ron Hill, Geoff Norman, Michelle Scutt, Susan Crehan, Diane Modahl and Ann Griffith who span Olympic Games from Tokyo ('64) to Munich ('72), Montreal ('76), Moscow ('80), Los Angeles ('84), Soeul ('88), Barcelona ('92), Atlanta ('96) and Sydney ('00) could make it the largest Olympic re-union in Britain outside London 2012.
The Diane Modahl Sports Foundation, on schedule to raise £1000 from donations through the four events, will also lead a mass warm-up from 7pm.
It's an evening not to be missed and hopefully every member will promote it in every pub and club and among friends, neighbours and running colleagues everywhere.
An appraisal of individual performances will be published following the final event.
Posted 10/08/2012 08:32
Last weekend, Gerry Smith and Jenny Miles ran the Meerbrook 15 km, a tough, hilly road race on scenic country lanes near Leek. Jerry was 2nd M55 and despite the hills both really enjoyed the race.
Simon Jackson was the sole Harrier in the Stockport 10k. He was happy to start his first race in the 40-45 age group and 7th race in 10 weeks by finishing 7th and knocking 5 seconds off his PB with 36.45.
This month's Lifetime Achievement Award (more cherished even than an Olympic Gold on a magic Saturday) goes to Chris & Philippa Heys on the birth of their baby girl last week. All three are great, and adjusting well to parenthood, late nights, early mornings...and a thirty year commitment.
Twice each year (Spring & Autumn), the endurance section organises a very enjoyable, relaxed and popular training weekend away, that's a mix of hard work, adventure and a lot of fun. The next weekend will be in Ingleton, North Yorkshire from 5th- 8th October. It is a great weekend in stunning scenery. If you're interested, get in touch now with Paul Barrett on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted 10/08/2012 08:31
On Wednesday 25th July Jerry Smith, Zoe Gmerek, Rob Flannery, Dave Marsh and Jenny Miles took on the Black Knight Charge near Hyde. It was organised by East Cheshire and was a 6 mile trail race. Wrote Jenny Miles, "Conditions were tough as it was extremely humid and hot as well as it being a very hilly off-road course." Despite this some people did well. Zoe was first L35, Jerry was first M55 and Rob came 5th overall.
Three days later, a number did the hilly Great Warford 10, organised by Wilmslow RC. Steven Townley was 17th with a time of 1:00:30; Jan Nicholls was first lady (she's making a habit of this!) 1:04:17; Tim Kennedy (who paced Jan) same time; Zoe Gmerek 1:12:52 and Jerry Smith 1:12:53 (they ran this as a training run); Sian Holland 1:15:05; Lauren Davies 1:21:27. Jenny Miles was first L60 with a two minute PB in 1:33:58 (the first one set on her 60th birthday on a totally flat course,). Sale Ladies (Jan, Zoe and Sian) were second to Wilmslow RC by a small margin.
Posted 31/07/2012 12:08
Two weekend ago, Richard Potter a keen cyclist and runner, completed the classic Land's End to John O'Groats cycle ride to raise money for the Macmillan Cancer Care. Because of limited time, he decided to cycle the 900 miles in a continuous relay on the same bike with his three cousins. They set off from Land's End at midday on Friday and amazingly reached John O'Groats just after 4pm on Sunday an exhausting 52 hours later. The total distance was just over 932 miles with 12,000 ft of climbing. Richard rode every other hour the first night from 9pm - 5am. The whole objective of the mammoth challenge was to raise money for Macmillan so any sponsorship that anyone can offer would be very much appreciated by them - it really is a great cause. If you can, please visit www.justgiving.com/ena-shaw-lejog
CARL CARRIES REAL RELAY TORCH
THE WIZARD 5
Posted 18/07/2012 08:41