In January this year, we sadly lost a dear friend and founding member of Newent Runners, Mandy Whittington, after a short illness. Mandy was very generous with her time and dedicated many hours to our club and local parkrun, so we would like to use this opportunity to fund-raise for a cause that she supported.
Our team of runners includes:
Andrew Callard, Yvonne Featherstone, Ruth Hayden-Cox, Clive Jones, Jonathan Miles and Emily Trenwith tackling the marathon (first one for the three ladies!)
Chris Barber, Liza Barber, Katie Cook, Dermot Kelly, Helen Kelly, Lynn Latham, and Maggie Pettit all running the 10k event.
We all have mental health – just like your physical health, you probably only notice it if something is not right. Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem, and Mind believe no-one should have to face that alone. They will listen, give you support and advice, and fight your corner.
Please donate whatever you can to this very worthwhile cause, it will be greatly appreciated.
It is rare for Newent Runners to dip a toe into the world of Fell Races, but this weekend saw two members have a go. Simon Barker and James Griffiths took part in the Hatterall Hammer, one in a series of races in South Wales, organised by Hereford Couriers Running Club. This event, though only a little over four miles in length, is tough. An out and back course, taking in over 1000 feet of climbing, with a breakneck descent to contend with on the way back, not to mention an earth Tremor ! Simon finished in 32nd place, and was runner up in his age category, recording a time of 37.40. Close behind him, in 40th position was James, coming in with a time of 39.07.
The club also has an Ultra Marathon specialist, Frances Evans. Frances excels in these events, and also enjoys Canicross races, with her dog, Charlie. Recently Frances took part in The Thames Trot, a fifty mile event along the Thames Path. Despite cold and sometimes wet weather Frances ran with her usual infectious smile and enthusiasm, finishing with a time of 10 hours 10 minutes and 32 seconds, for 139th position and 29th woman of 44.
At the latest Newent Parkrun, new member David Sanderson achieved a top ten finish, and a new PB time of 22.43. Luke Delaney also gained a new PB of 21.19, and a third place for his efforts.
Your correspondent’s efforts last week made a glaring omission, namely the Team Tango’ers who took part in the final event of The Rogue Run night race series, in Chepstow. My sincere apologies for that. Here are those who took part and their finishing places and times:
James Griffiths – 63rd – 47.25
Ruth Credland – 120th – 58.44
Howard Lowe – 122nd – 59.02
Maggie Pettit – 151st – 1.04.09
Jon Miles – 179th – 1.07.45
Russ Dyer – 180th – 1.07.45
Helen Knowles – 212th – 1.21.25
Emma Blewitt – 213th – 1.21.50
Emily Trenwith – 214th – 1.24.17
Katie Cook – 215th – 1.24.49
This weekend’s Sunday Social was the ever popular Costa run. It’s a road trip to The Costa at the site of the former Gloucester cattle market, St Oswalds Road. From there the route follows the new builds and the former site of Spartans Rugby Club, before following a set of paths to the Gloucester Docks, and then picking up the towpath of the Gloucester To Sharpness Canal. From there a choice of distances is taken up according to choice and training requirements. Then it’s back to The Costa for Coffee and cake. Today’s longest distance was 14 miles. Those enjoying the social were; Helen and Dermot Kelly, Lisa and Mike Mansfield, Vikki Hughes and Tim, Jo White, Karen Apted, Vonn and John Featherstone, Russ Dyer, Steve McAteer, Mark Cryer, Helen Knowles, Emma Blewitt, Andrew Callard and Duncan Creswell. They were accompanied by four guests from Ledbury Harriers (I don’t know how they moved the piano!)
There were alternative Sunday Socials also. Taking a trip into the Forest of Dean and trying out sections of the upcoming Forest Half Marathon, were Sally Taylor, Howard Lowe, Maggie Pettit, Katie Cook and Lynn Latham with her dog Pepper. Eight and a half miles were covered.
Chris and Liza Barber took part in their first virtual medal event. Staying local they covered the Redmarley Road / Brand Green loop for a distance of 10k. They are both looking forward to receiving a Steampunk design medal.
Ruth Hayden Cox continued her fast paced marathon training. Ruth runs on Sunday afternoons with others who like to push the pace along a bit. This Sunday saw her group cover 26.5 kilometres in 2.21.22, impressive for what all agreed was a tough route.
Husband and wife team John and Yvonne Featherstone continued their off road adventures at The Wye Valley Runners event, The Muddy Woody. This coming one week after they had put in good performances at their local event, The May Hill Massacre.
Negotiating glutinous mud, steep hills and water crossings, John placed 24th in a time of 50:50. Yvonne’s recent hard work, doing long runs and speed sessions, as well as triathlon training, seems to have paid dividends as she was able to smash 11 minutes off last year’s time, coming in 206th place with a 1:15:46.
The latest Newent Parkrun saw two top drawer performances from club members. Luke Delaney capped a third place finish and a PB time of 21.50. Ruth Hayden Cox achieved yet another top ten placing, and was the first female finisher. Saturday’s run was one of the toughest, course changes and heavy rain making parts of the circuit treacherous. Well done to all who braved the elements, especially the volunteers.
The Sunday social road run was well supported this week. Led by Russ Barbie Dyer, standing in for Clive Jones (who was recovering from watching yet another gallant Welsh rugby defeat at Twickenham) distances varied from 10k to almost half marathon. Members present were : Helen Knowles, Katie Cook, Jill Barker, Lynn Latham, Liza Barber, Emily Trenwith, Maggie Pettit, Karen Apted, Lisa Mansfield, Claire Price, Helen Kelly, Dermot Kelly, Andrew Callard, Mark Cryer and Jonathan Miles. Everyone seemed to enjoy the route, which included some steep climbs.
The off road group stayed local this week. Chris Barber and Simon Barker circuited the lake, and the paths at the back of it, emerging onto Cleeve Mill. They then picked up the footpath that skirts the industrial estate, and then onto the fields at the back of the new builds. Where a skylark could be heard, and was then spotted. The trail was muddy but not ridiculously so. The route took in the bottom of Southend Lane, the Moat Farm yard and orchards and then the stiff climb up Stallion Hill. The speed increased as the route flattened and then lowered towards the Community School, picking up the Scraggs Bank path and then the alleyways, until the town centre was reached and the finish at The Lake car park, where the road group was joined.
Seven members of team tango took on this years event. Nine miles of mud and hills.
The start saw sunshine tempered by a high wind hill factor, and most of the 250+ entrants were keen to get going. It wasn’t long before the path headed upwards, and over half of the field were reduced to walking.
Before the top of the hill was reached there was a fair bit of trudging through ankle deep mud,and audible curses from those who wished they had pulled their laces a little tighter. Once the trees at the top were reached it was a fast, and, in places, tricky, descent down towards Newent. There then followed a stumble through what can only be described as a primordial swamp, before a bridleway was reached.
Another bit of mud plugging ensued, before the runners emerged onto the road near the Glasshouse pub. Then it was back onto muddy footpaths upwards again. The route then passed May Hill village hall, before more woodland trails brought the runners back to the finish at Huntley, where a protein shake and can of isotonic lager ( not as bad as it sounds) was waiting.
John Featherstone was the first Newent Runner home, just missing out on a top twenty place, with a time of 1:18:44. Next in was Adrian Fishpool, representing his first claim club, Gloucester AC, who finished in 1:39:19. Followed by Duncan Cresswell, who recorded a 1:44:00.
Howard Lowe was next home, with a 1:50:30, followed by the only NR female entrant Yvonne Featherstone, who put in a highly creditable performance to come in with a 1:53:29. Steve Howe was the sixth Newent Runner over the line, achieving a time of 1:55:17.
Dragging up at the rear was Chris Barber, struggling with stomach cramps, which necessitated some alfresco bathroom gymnastics, determined to finish he came home in 2 hours exactly.
Everyone enjoyed the event, and will probably be back for more of the same come February 2019.
Outside of the mucky adventures described above, Clive Jones led a Sunday Social road run. As is usually the case, it was well supported. Distances varied according to what people were preparing for, or the time they had available, but a fair few got into double figures. A special mention to James Griffiths who invited everyone into his home for a mid run coffee break, and to his wife for coping with the friendly invasion.
Duncan Cresswell was the only Newent Runner in race action this weekend. He made the trip to The Wyre Forest National Nature Reserve, for the Dirt Run Wyre Wizzard trail half marathon.
Over thirteen miles of farm tracks and Muddy trails, and over 1500 feet of climbing awaited. Duncan struggled through the early miles, not helped by debris from weather damaged trees littering the trail. Despite all of this, he managed to settle into a rhythm and enjoy the scenic surroundings. Picking himself up from a mid-distance fall, he wisely decided to walk up some of the steeper trails, where it was difficult to find a grip. With nothing else to give at the end of the event, he got across the finish line to a handful of Haribo and an attractive marble trophy.
Duncan achieved a time of 2:33:40.
The Sunday social trail run involved a short drive to Dymock, where five members of Team Tango, Claire Swift, Jenny Stinchcombe, Vikki Hughes and run leader Chris Barber, ran poets path one. Shielding eyes from unexpected sunshine, they headed off from St Marys Church and picked up the path from the minor road into Ledbury. It had been a while since Chris had run this route, about ten months, so it was a pleasant surprise to find new signposts and kissing gates and steps, replacing rickety stiles, on much of the path. There was mud, a Barber trail run would not be complete without it ! But it was all manageable.
The first four miles involved a lot of climbing, up to Redmarley, before then heading west toward Ketford. The views were astounding, from May Hill, to The Malverns. The Leadon Valley is indeed a bit of a hidden treasure. The group had the path pretty much all too themselves, and before everyone knew it, Dymock Cricket Club had been reached, and the end of that particular poets path, eight moderately taxing miles in the bag.
The “roadies” headed for Gloucester, and one of the regular Costa runs. The Costa coffee shop in the retail park at St Oswalds Rd, serves as both a meeting place and somewhere for post run refreshments. The route heads through the city and into the docks, and then picks up the towpath along the Gloucester to Sharpness canal, braving stony faced anglers, and then according to what distance people have chosen, a turnaround point is reached and the route retraces its steps.
There were a number of distance options, from 10k to 14 miles. Some members wanting to get miles in the legs in readiness for early season half marathons, especially The Forest Of Dean event. Emma Blewitt, Helen Knowles, Jonathan Miles, Russ Dyer, run leader Clive Jones, Karen Apted, Liza Barber, Lisa and Mike Mansfield, John and Yvonne Featherstone, Mark Cryer, Adrian Fishpool, Lynn Latham, Carol Loade, Sally Taylor, Teddy Barnes , Andrew Callard and Stephen McAteer contributed to a bumper NR turnout, along with some guest runners.
Ten, devoted, muddy shoe fans from Newent Runners faced the starter at the latest Rogue Run night race, held at Beechenhurst in the Forest of Dean.
Head torches charged and ready, pre- race preparations mainly consisted of a face painting session, led by make – up artist in-chief, Katie Cook. As has become the tradition, the majority of team tango participants were female, although the male runner population was increased from two to three this time around. It could have been four, but Chris Barber didn’t think he could make the start time, so played kettlebells instead. Come on guys, give it a go. It’s fun !
The usual “hazards” were encountered by the participants. Tree roots, slippery rocks, mud and deep puddles. This particular event had a sting in the tail christened and signposted as the mud bath. A five metre long primordial swamp of sticky gloop. A few came to grief here, including our very own Carol Loade, who lost both her footing and her shoes. She was rescued by a nearby marshal and a club mate, Emily Trenwith.
Emma “springwatch” Blewitt took time out of the race to go Boar spotting, and Russ “Percy Edwards” Dyer entertained all with his convincing owl impersonations.
Our star of the night was Maggie Pettit, who took home a prize for second place in her age category, in a time of 1:05:46.
First Newent Runner home, in 100th place, was Paul Dowling, who recorded a 50:43. Next in was Duncan Creswell, in a time of 58:14. Ruth Credland was the first lady in, achieving a 59:36.
The rest of the Newent contingent ran and finished in pairs and trios. Lynn Latham and Karen Apted (1:15:03) Russ Dyer and Emma Blewitt (1:26:16) and Katie Cook, Carol Loade and Emily Trenwith who finished with a time of 1:35:18. For more photos of the night, click here.
In other news, Newent Runners took five of the top ten places in the latest round of Newent Parkrun, held on January the 13th. Take a bow; Paul Dowling, Matthew Cole, Simon Barker, John Featherstone (running with his son Elijah) and James Griffiths.
Six Newent Runners were entered into the Seven Sins off road race, taking place deep within the Forest of Dean. It is a demanding event, seven hills over seven miles, and two stream wades, which, after recent snow and heavy rain, were thigh deep in places.
The event was stretched over three days. Thursday the 28th, Friday the 29th and Saturday the 30th. On the Thursday race, Simon Barker finished with a time of 1:11:09 and new member Duncan Creswell recorded 1:31:00.
Saturday saw both the standard seven mile distance, and the fourteen mile immortal event, which is two laps of the course. John Featherstone was the first Newent Runner to finish the fourteen miler, with a time of 2:23:24. He was followed home by Henry Willis (2:26:09) and Heather Roberts (3:15:03) Taking part in the seven mile race was Yvonne Featherstone, who came in with 1:38:02.
John and Yvonne Featherstone had clearly enjoyed muddy trails and water crossings, as, the very next day, they took part in the Wye Valley Wander, a hilly five mile race, taking place in woods and hills around Chepstow. They clearly suffered no ill effects from the previous day’s exertions as John finished with a time of 41:13 and Yvonne recording a 1:03:12.
Other Newent Runners taking part were Paul Dowling who came in with a 46:43, Julie Willis also came in under the hour with 49:50. Chris Barber (1:00:34) was next home, followed by Maggie Pettit (1:03:23) Helen Kelly (1:10:42) and Liza Barber (1:10:43). For more pictures from the Wye Valley Wander, see here: https://www.facebook.com/rogueruns/posts/1050183328457567
Fifteen Newent Runners made the short trip to Mallards Pike, in the Forest of Dean, for the second race in the Rogue Run series.
This was to present a very different challenge from last month’s relatively flat course across the older Severn Bridge. This version offered steep climbs, tree roots and rocks, slippery descents and a knee deep stream wade, all in the dark.
Despite the freezing temperatures and threat of snow, over two hundred and fifty runners took the start, head torches at the ready, about to embark on a challenging, but fun, five and a half mile excursion. It was certainly a sight to behold as hundreds of bobbing lights lit up the lake and surrounding woods. For more photos from the night, please click here and here
First Newent Runner home was Emma Poole, with a time of 55 minutes 54 seconds. Then came Ruth Credland, who managed to get below the hour with a time of 59.03. She was closely followed by Steve Howe, who achieved 1 hour 20 seconds.
Maggie Pettit, who was pleased to not have gone off route this year, came in with 1:05:16, ahead of the person who got lost with her in 2016, Chris Barber, who had a time of 1:09:05.
The other Newent finishers were:
Nikki Hughes (1:11:44)
Tim Ruck (1:11:44)
Lynn Latham (1:12:17)
Liza Barber (1;13:52)
Karen Apted (1:13:54)
Emily Trenwith (1:22:14)
Emma Blewitt (1:22:18)
Helen Knowles (1:22:20)
Katie Cook (1:22:23) and Carol Loade, who finished with a time of 1:40:38.
Emily Trenwith achieved a ten minute improvement on her time from last year’s event. Emma, Helen, Katie and Carol are all recent graduates of the clubs couch to 5k programme, and the follow on 5-10k improvers course. They now take part in varied events and distances from 5k to half marathon, both on and off road.
Newent Runners are an affiliated running club, who have social runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and a structured training session on Wednesday evenings. There are also two social runs on Sunday mornings. For more information please visit the clubs website or Facebook page.
Cost is £20 per person to include coffee on arrival, 18 holes of golf, and ham, egg and chips afterwards. (Please let Kerry Cawkwell know any dietary requirements.) If you have your own clubs please feel free to take them, if not they will lend you some for free. However you must let us know in advance if you need some.
£10 deposit is required to secure your place and the balance is to be paid on the day. Deposits and dietary/club requirements to be given to Liza Barber, Chris Barber (who will be your contact on the day), Lynn Latham or Kerry Cawkwell.
Because of the number of people interested in this we are keeping it as a members only activity, but please do not fret, we have lots of exciting things planned that partners and kids can attend. Watch this space!!
July is a good month to get some miles in for longer races in the autumn, so we are going to base our Sunday road runs at Costa for July. We will aim for 8 am starts to get the miles in, but also loop back to collect others that will do at least 30 minutes less (there is the option to do/miss out more distance at the end of the run as well) and pick up shift 2 that start later at 8.30 am.
9th July – 8 am starters 100 minutes, 8.30am crew 70min
16th July – 120 minutes, 8.30 crew do 80 minutes
23rd July – 8 am starters 140 minutes, 8.30am crew do 90 minutes
30th July – 8 am starters 150 minutes, 8.30am crew do 100 minutes
The Costa route is flat to allow progression and adding on more distance for training for half marathons etc. All sessions are non-coached but fab company! [Clive’s words 😉 ]
All abilities welcome, we will look after everyone.