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Weekly Run Down – 13th – 19th May

Club Announcements

SJ Pairs Relay – This Tuesday sees the return of the popular Pairs Relay, an event in which pairs complete 5 x 1km laps around the Sandhurst Memorial Park, making up a distance of 10km and a very fun run! Info is as follows:

Please be at Sandhurst Memorial Park by 6.30pm at the latest.

On the night:
– Meet at 6.30pm at the very latest – please sign in and find your race partner
– 6.45pm – we will run a practice lap together as a group, so everyone knows the route!
– 7.00pm RACE START

The event should finish at around 8pm; bring a few pennies if you wish to cool down with a cold drink afterwards in the bar.

It promises to be a fantastic night, and so far we have 86 runners signed up for the event, across a range of abilities, so there’s something for everyone! A big thank you (in advance) must go to those who have volunteered for the evening, so far we have the following names:

Dave Breslin
Nikki Fallowfield-Smith
Alison Jones
Graham Bolton
Kate Parker
Jane Bannister
Ann and Rob Hewison
Sarah Davies
Ned Gates
AJ Bassett

If you would like to volunteer then please don’t hesitate to come along on Tuesday and we will certainly be able to find you something to do!

SJ Parkrun Explorers Collective Visits Bushy Park: On Saturday 25th May (next Saturday), Sandhurst Joggers Explorers Collective shall be paying a visit to the home of parkrun, Bushy Park. A single lap course through the beautiful park, with up to 1500 other runners!

It’s approximately 45 minutes drive from Sandhurst, and worth getting to early as the main car park fills up pretty quickly. The meeting point will be the Pheasantry Cafe at 8:25am. Don’t forget your barcode, and hopefully we’ll have a good SJ turnout!

Onto the weekend running and starting with parkrun…

Bracknell – 10 SJs headed over to Bracknell for their parkrun fix. Martin Steadman charged around in a great time of 22:15. Charlotte St Aubyn was the first female member round, coming through the finishing funnel in a time of 30:17. Special mention goes to Rob Cooper, who set a PB by over a minute for Bracknell, great effort!

Rushmoor – 6 SJs headed over to Queens Avenue for the notoriously flat Rushmoor parkrun. First member round was Jon Payne, coming through in a great time of 20:48. Alurie Maye Dutton put a great run in, to come through in a time of 35:41. Well done to those members at Rushmoor!

California Country Park – 4 members headed to the ever popular California County Park parkrun. Headed up by Nick Metcalfe who ran a time of 26:43 in his first run at the venue. Meanwhile, Theresa Milroy as not too far behind, coming round in a great time of 29:00 (good pacing). Colin Carpenter and Michelle Reardon also joined Nick and Theresa in running at California for the first time.

Tourism – With no Frimley parkrun this week, there was plenty of tourism going on this Saturday! Results were as follows:

Alice Holt Dave O’Toole got his first taste of the hills of Alice Holt, and came through first in age category with a stonking time of 25:22.
Chester Robert Jerrett came in 32nd overall with a time of 22:35, and set a course PB in the process, good work!
Crane Park John Tovell as back at Crane, and put in a great run to come 2nd in age category with a time of 23:04.
Dinton PasturesStuart Mayes ran a superb time of 22:37 to come in 2nd in age category in his first run at Dinton.
Hay LodgeSimon and Anne Whillis ran at Hay Lodge for the first time, doing great times of 26:48 and 49:59 respectively.
Hogmoor Inclosure Craig Bowles and Wayne Boardman must have had extra Weetabix for breakfast, as they flew round Hogmoor, both setting PBs in the process. Craig came in 10th overall, and 3rd in age category with a time of 20:59. Meanwhile, Wayne came in 27th overall, and 5th in age category with a time of 24:23. Cracking effort gentlemen!
Houghton Hall Andy Summerskill ran a great time of 29:25 at Houghton.
Luton Wardown – In her 85th run at the venue, Yvette Glacken did a time of 42:19.
MaidenheadRichard Boese completed parkrun 435, but number 1 at Maidenhead, doing a good time of 24:46!
Poole Dave Bartlett clearly had some of Craig and Wayne’s Weetabix for breakfast too, as he bolted round Poole in a time of 22:51. The bar has been set…
Queen Elizabeth Kate Parker and Lara Winter ran at Queen Elizabeth for the first time, doing good times of 29:15 and 35:19, respectively.
ReadingLisa Humphries ran a great time of 33:50, setting a course PB by over 2 minutes! Martin Gould ran a good time of 34:36 in his first run at the venue.
South OxheyJane Ralls ran a cracking time of 31:01 in her first run at South Oxhey.
Upton Court Sarah and Paul Alexander ran at Upton Court for the first time. Sarah took the bragging rights, coming through in a time of 24:19 and 2nd in age category, whilst Paul did a great time of 24:28. Well done both!
Woking Jim Haffey completed Woking in 58:57 on his first visit.
Woodley Richard McCready and Jane Crawford gave Woodley a go for the first time, doing great times of 26:06 and 26:12 respectively.

Some great tourism this week, well done everyone!

Before we go on to the weekend events, well done to Jackie Kent who completed the Basingstoke Run 10k on Wednesday 15th May in a great time of 54:31. Well done Jackie!

Other Saturday Events…

Green Belt Relay

I’m pretty sure it was the Green Belt Relay this weekend? Not sure what gives me that impression, just got a hunch. Anyway, after seeing approx 500 photos posted on Facebook, it turns out that suspicion was true….

What looks like a fantastic event was held this weekend, organised by The Stragglers running club, a 22-stage relay race which works it’s way around the Green Belt of London, in stages of varying distances. We’ll hear more about it later on in the week, but for now, let’s have a look at a pick of some of the photos….

Before….
….and after

Saturn Running Mark Neve, Michelle Wilson and Susan Plumb completed the Saturn Running ‘A Hard Days Run’ event in Reading on Saturday. Billed as A Hard Days Run, they both did excellent, which just goes to show that if you come together, you can get by with a little help from your friends. The medal looks fantastic!

A bit congratulations also must got to Mark, for completing his 26 in 12, 26 marathons in 12 months, incredible effort!

Phoenix Excalibur 5 Marathon – Another weekend, another marathon for the Phoenix Phenom, Nigel Evans. Another great effort, running a time of 5:03:20. Now a week for him to recover until the next one, is there any stopping him?!

Virgin Sport Hackney 5k – Big congratulations to Lou Turnor for running this free 5k event in Hackney. Lou did a great time of 42:58, and decided to run straight to Wetherspoons, for what looks like strawberry water, a sensible move, post-race hydration is vital….

Sunday events…

Binfield 10k – Sam Goodall ran the 4th Binfield 10k, one that she described as ‘quite hilly’ but as very well organised, perhaps one to add to the list?

Bognor Prom 10k – Graham Bolton ran the Bognor Prom 10k, in weather conditions described as ‘hot and humid’, could you send some of the hot weather to Sandhurst please Graham?

Royal Berkshire 10k – There was a good SJ turnout at the Royal Berkshire 10k in Reading. The finishing times were as follows –

Dave Bartlett – 49:46
Lyn Davis – 51:21
Lesley Buckland – 57:29
Michelle Wilson – 1:06:33
Monica Burbidge – 1:08:27
Sarah Jones – 1:20:50

Well done to those members who ran!

Chester Half Marathon – A cracking run by Robert Jerrett, fresh from his Chester parkrun, getting round in 1:25:47! Well done Robert.

Plymouth Half MarathonJess Metcalfe and Jim Laidlaw ran Plymouth, billed as Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon. They completed the course in 2:11:42 and 2:12:25, respectively. Well done both, great running!

Hook 10 Mile Road RaceJim Haffey ran a time of 1:33:31 at the Hook 10 miler, well done Jim!

Hook 10k – Meanwhile, running the 10k event, Ian Bromley and Chris Szabo-Hemmings ran times of 49:11 and 53:42 respectively. Well done to both, two great times there.

Strava

Some big totals on Strava this week as marathon season continues. Andy Yates claimed the top spot with a superb total of 51.5 miles. To take part in this just create a free Strava account and link it to the club in your profile. Here’s the top 10 from last week:

Club Events for the week ahead…

Monday: Patrick Wadsworth will be leading the Monday night chatfest from Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm. The route will cover approx. 6 miles and is heading off road with the longer days, but it’s still advisable to bring your head torches and high viz. This is one of the most sociable runs of the week and a great opportunity to catch up with friends or discuss the preceding weekend.

Tuesday: The normal club run is being replaced by the Pairs Relay, details of which are at the top of this article. Meet at the Memorial Park at 6:30 latest.

Tuesday Intervals: Later the interval sessions will meet at The Tythings in Yateley at 8pm. The session will be a ‘pyramid session’, consisting of efforts from 3 – 5 minutes in length, with 1 minute recovery between each interval. The run will be at Blackbush for those who would prefer to meet the group at the run location, please meet at 8:10. Hard work, but you’ll feel amazing afterwards! You can read more about the Tuesday night intervals HERE

Wednesday: Variety is the spice of life and the Wednesday crew have some surprises for you this week with a mixture of great routes and some fartlek style efforts. Join them at Sandhurst Memorial Park at 7pm. There will also be run options for those that graduated from the 10k and 10 mile courses to ease you into the regular run.

Thursday: Erol continues his impressive record of not losing any runners since taking over as Thursday night run lead. Meet at Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm. The run is a great way to improve fitness by running as a group at a slightly harder intensity. There is a shorter route available and a sweeper so nobody gets left behind.

Friday: Track is still free and the coaches have some great sessions planned for all abilities to improve fitness and technique. This is a great way to improve your running form and fitness, get faster and help prevent injury. If you’ve never ran on a track before give it a try, it’s a lot of fun and you are never more than 200m away from the start.

Saturday: Lots of members will be enjoying their weekly Parkrun fix at 9am on Saturday morning. Don’t forget next Saturday is the SJ Bushy Parkrun Trip, details at the top of the article! Wherever you are parkrunning – Don’t forget your barcode!

Sunday: Come along and give the The Sunday Lookout run a try. They say its the best run of the week but might be a bit biased. It’s a flexible run leaving from The Lookout at 9am with different groups to suit a wide range of abilities. The three ‘Cs’ of Coffee, cake and chat are enjoyed in the cafe post-run.

A fantastic week of running from all members. And don’t worry, we will be taking a more detailed look at the Green Belt Relay later on in the week, although it looked more like a pub crawl based on the Facebook posts…! I hope everyone rests up who has run various events this weekend, and that everyone has a good week of running this week coming. Until next Monday!

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Bracknell Half Marathon – SJ Members Highlights

Last weekend saw one of the local half marathons take place, with several SJ members heading over to Bracknell for what is a very popular event on the circuit. Starting and finishing at the Lexicon, heading out to Chavey Down, Whitegrove, then through Easthampstead and ultimately back to the Lexicon. Let’s see what members thought of it, shall we…

Michelle Wilson: “This was my first time running the Bracknell Half. I had heard that it was a good one! The race course was really nice. There were bits on the road, bits off the road, bits through housing estates, bits through parks…all ending in the Lexicon, with a lot of crowd support on the final push. There were plenty of water stations along the route and plenty of jelly babies on offer. BUT…my word it was up and down! Underpass crazy and definitely hard on the legs. I did enjoy the race though and would consider doing it again – after some serious hill training over the next year! Highlight? meeting Chewy.”

Harvey Young: “This was my second year running Bracknell half, and it’s probably of my favourite half marathons, a great course, nice scenery, good support and plenty of water stations. Oh, and a Wookie! I wasn’t as prepared as I perhaps should have been this year so took it easy and used it as a chatfest with other runners. Overall, definitely one I’d recommend!”

Martin Steadman: “Bracknell half isn’t going to win any scenic awards, but it’s not that bad really. Yes there are a lot of subways and London Road is a bit grim. But the sun has always shone for me and there are plenty of sections that almost feel like you are in the countryside. Plus the support is good, especially at the finish. This year I encountered the mobile supporter: our very own Phil Turner on his bike and the family of some Jim in their Mini! I didn’t feel I had done enough distance work this year, so despite some good recent parkrun times I was just hoping to get round in one piece.

At the start line I came across Steve from my office who had made a last minute entry. He soon shot off into the distance, but after the crowds thinned out a bit, I seemed to make good progress. In fact I was worried I would soon blow up, but the 5 mile water station came up in around 35 minutes and I felt OK still. The choir and Wookie at the sports centre made me smile! Some underpass wiggles and the hill up to the Hilton caused a slight dent in my pace, but then I was able to pass a few people on the long descent back to the Hungry Horse roundabout. Some more serious effort was required getting back up to the town centre, then the final dash for the line through the cheers. Wow, a PB in a shade under 1 hour 36. A great morning’s run!”

Colin Carpenter: “I always enjoy Bracknell Half (now Lexicon) for two reasons. 1 it’s nice and local and 2 because it’s very well organised and the marshals are always fantastic. I got to Bracknell town at 8.20am and because you receive your number and chip well in advance I was ready to go. The weather was warm and the sun was shining. I felt my training had gone well and I was ready to go. I was aiming for between 2hrs 10 and 2hrs 15. I met Harvey and Michelle at the start and a couple of other Sandhurst Joggers and the race began. I ran through the first half feeling strong and keeping with the 2hr 10 pacers.

When I got to 9 miles I made a decision to slow down because of the dreaded hill at 9.5 miles. By the time I got to 11 miles I started to feel it but I was still within my target time. I finished the race strong pushed along by the fantastic support from the crowd along the last 100 metres. I was happy with my time of 2hrs 10 mins and 28secs. Even though the Lexicon Half is a fantastic race and I prefer the new course. I would still prefer to start and finish at South Hill Park. Anyone thinking of running a half marathon this is definitely one for your diary next year.”

Caroline Stuart: “Wasn’t sure how the legs would feel after the last few weeks but was looking forward to a nice sunny run. That it definitely didn’t disappoint!! Was great to see Dave and Royston on the start line. I was heading nearer the back as we started lining up but Dave was definitely right about starting as high up that starting line on the hill as possible! To begin with there were a few tight corners through a few underpasses, then came the hills. The sun was beating down and I have to say the hills just felt relentless the whole way. The supporters along the route were great and the yellow sponges were a very welcome godsend. I think as well as the hills, the hardest part was the constant sharp turns to go back on yourself through and up the underpasses.

The band and dancers at the leisure centre were a great distraction, I really started to flag after 12 miles and I’d had enough by then, then realised one more underpass and that was it. A great finish (but still up hill!) and great support. Was pleased to get my second ever under the 1.50 mark, especially after having put the legs through a little more than usual recently! I’m not sure I’ll return (I may need a while to forget those small inclines!) but I thought the organisation was great, the sun was shining and it was an enjoyable day! Well done to everyone who tackles and conquered those hills in that heat!”

Royston Crandley: “When some one asks me’what’s your favourite race ?’, and I answer Bracknell, people look at me in bemusement and always mention the copious amount of underpaths that the route takes. For me it’s not just about the under paths that take you safely around the scenic sights of Bracknell. It’s more the chance to run through a town that I grew up in until I moved away to explore the world. Last year they switched the course in line with the new sponsors wishes, so instead of the grand start outside South Hill Park, it’s new home is now The Lexicon, the new shopping centre. 

Now, this was a good sign, so I thought, it means we no longer have to run 2 miles up Harvest ride, oh this was a nice feeling. Down hill, so that old saying, what goes up must come down, well that goes the other way as well. The evil course designers added a few more hills into the new course. A sharp incline up Long Hill very early on in the race is a clue as to what will follow in the coming miles. Having run last year, I knew all to well, the hell that was to come. Once we complete the undulating section of Harvest Ride, which turns out wasn’t all up hill, its a real mix. We clear Jocks Lane and head into the industrial area of town, and yes, up hill sharply, as we enter the miriad of underpaths, it’s here that we then flatten out, slightly heading to the pond, and a good level of support to push you through. Now I know what’s around the corner. Up again, sharply, into Wildridings, this is my home, my old school, my childhood stomping ground. High fived my best mate at the water stop at the top, I grabbed a sponge and water and pushed on, feeling energised. 

The course rolls from here, I take in the scenery and enjoy taking the trip down memory lane. The route continues along my old school route, past the lamp post I walked into, the many letter boxes I used to, well, you can guess. As we passed the 10 miles mark, a Wookie, a chorus of singers, I felt the legs starting to wine but otherwise I’m feeling good. The last 3 miles start to click by, just a parkrun is pinging through my thoughts. The last stretch up towards the college, I’m competing against the mind. I drop into the last of the under paths, a short climb into town, a quick check of the watch, 1:49:12. OK, lets go, I dropped the gears, and ran hard, it was either a puke, or I go sub 1:50 for that course, sprinting hard up hill. Yes, even at the end they squeeze a hill in. Cross the line and the good news is I didn’t puke, I didn’t check the watch for a while, then I looked.

That’s why Bracknell is my favourite race, see you again next year.”

Dave Bartlett: “Arriving at Bracknell an hour before the run, I had no race plan or expectations as the course had changed somewhat since my last running of it. Talking with Royston and Jackie, apprehension began to build. “Let’s just say it’s undulating”, “Harvest Ride maybe down hill but Long Hill is a bit of a climb”. I was beginning to wish I’d kept myself in total isolation! The race detail concluded a race start of 09:00 sharp, and true to their word they stuck to it. Through the early stages I found myself accompanied by Royston, and despite a lack of plan this clearly helped.

Through the first 6.5 miles I was feeling good and hoping I could keep it going. With fellow club members popping up all over the place as supporters and the cheers of the Marshals and public I found myself becoming more and more motivated to push on. Leaving the last of many subways (who would believe one town could have so many) the noise levels began to rise as we entered the Lexicon. Wow, how can any runner not feel inspired to push on through the last 500 metres. Easily one of the best finishes I’ve ever experienced at a half marathon.”

Jackie Kent: “Being a Bracknell resident, I like to support the Bracknell half marathon if I can. In previous years it started and finished about 500m from my front door which made it even more appealing! These days however, sponsorship from the Lexicon (shopping centre) has brought a move of the start/finish venue to the town centre and despite the inconvenience to me personally, I do like it.

Having said that, Bracknell is probably my least favourite half marathon route, mainly due to the relentless hills and sharp turns in and out of the underpasses. The organisers had listened to feedback from last year (which was the first time on the current route) and roads which were not closed last year and which caused congestion issues by forcing too many runners to stay on the pavement, had been closed this year allowing runners to spread out across the road. I started with the 1:55 pacer having done Reading in 1:54, but quickly realised that the pacers were going too fast. To be fair to them, it’s a difficult course to pace due to the constant hills, you’re always either going up or down so setting a pace and sticking to it is tricky.

My race plan is my own responsibility and I should have dropped back from the pacers when I realised that they’d gone for the ‘start fast and slow down later’ option which I know from experience doesn’t suit me. However, I didn’t and so by mile six I was struggling. It was also a warm day and I had forgotten my sunscreen and that Bracknell uses cups for water – I hate cups when I’m running!! So I didn’t drink enough either as I prefer to carry a bottle for a while and drink little and often as I run for a mile or so before discarding it.

The end result was a very hot, slightly sunburnt, dehydrated and annoyed-with-myself runner crossing the line in a time that I was still happy with, but with a race that could have gone a lot more comfortably if I had just stuck to my own plan! The finish in the town centre was lovely though, with the roof amplifying the cheers of the substantial crowd. We raced through the centre of town to finish just outside Bill’s, who were giving free soft drinks and fruit to runners, which was very much appreciated!

After the race I met up with a few others in my favourite coffee shop (Brown Bag) for a mug of the best hot chocolate in town – trust me, I’ve tried them all and theirs is the best!”

Sounds like a brilliant event, and well done to all members who ran it. A good advertisement for local running events. Maybe one to consider entering next year?

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SJ Club Challenge – April Results

**DRUMROLL PLEASE**

The club challenge results are in for April! Well done to the 23 people who participated this month.

Our top points scorers for this month are:

Alison Jones
Lisa Harrold
Dave Bartlett
Debra Harris
Monica Burbidge

Great work Ladies and Gents!! Again…it seems to be those run leaders who are collecting all the points, so if you want to boost your points total then PLEASE PLEASE volunteer to lead or sweep on an evening.
 
Our Top scorers for the total competition are as follows with scores ranging from 75 to 15. Great work everyone!!

Alison Jones
Lisa Harrold
Richard Boese
Simon Whillis
Dave Bartlett
Debra Harris
Monica Burbidge
Alurie Dutton
Craig Bowles

Milestones:

PointsMilestone Names (am sure we can come up with a better name)
10Paper
25Iron
50Bronze
100Silver
150Gold
200Platinum

Congratulations to our PAPER people – These are people who have managed to get between 10 and 24 points so far in the competition:

Lisa Harrold, Richard Boese, Susan Plumb, Blanche Barnes, Debra Harris, Monica Burbidge, Alurie Dutton, Martin Steadman, Craig Bowles

Congratulations to our IRON people, who have managed to achieve between 25 and 49 points – well done everyone! As follows:

Simon Whillis, Dave Bartlett

And finally a massive congratulations to Alison Jones who has already reached 75 points and is already reached our BRONZE milestone.  I think we need to start thinking about new milestone names just for Alison.

Please remember a few club events coming up which will all gain you points: 
 
Green Belt Relay (5 points)
Club Relay on 21st (5 points for participating and 5 points for helping)
Runnymeade (5 points)
Yateley 10km Volunteering ONLY (5 points)
Yateley 10km running (1 point)
 
Enjoy your running in May and remember to keep tally of all those points!!

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Weekly Run Down – 6th – 12th May

Club Announcements

PUB RUNS!! Chief Alcohol Advisor, Nikki Fallowfield-Smith, has organised the summer series of pub run. The dates and routes are as follows, by the day of the run:

Monday run: 17th June – Swan, Ash Vale
Tuesday run: 13th August – Golden Retriever, Bracknell
Wednesday run: 4th September – Crown and Cushion, Minley
Thursday run: 23rd May – The Bird in Hand, Sandhurst
Sunday run: 21st July – Pub TBC, Odiham

And the all day-er will be held on Saturday 1st June, with a tour of 7 pubs and one fish and chip shop. Meeting at the Memorial Park in Sandhurst. Details have been emailed, and events have been put on Facebook, so get those dates booked in the diary!

Intraclub Pairs Relay – 21st May

We’re thrilled to advise the intraclub pairs relay is back for 2019!  This is a great opportunity to challenge yourself by entering this fun and friendly event taking place at Sandhurst Memorial Park on Tuesday 21st May.

We arrange pairs teams and set a km lap around Sandhurst Memorial Park. One runner in each team will run the first lap, and then hand over to their partner. They will then alternate like this until they have run the full 10km distance, so in total each runner will run 5km.

The event caters for all abilities from pure beginner to experienced runners – run your socks off for 1km, have a nice 5-minutes or so rest and recovery period, then run another 1km at your best pace. The event offers a great introduction for those who haven’t raced before, and a challenge for the experienced runner.

To ensure everyone has a fair chance of performing well, we will use your 5km time to create teams that have a similar predicted finishing time. This means all runners have a good chance of finishing in a top 3 position, which adds to the excitement on the evening.

On the night:
Meet at 6.30pm – please sign in and find your race partner
– 6.45pm – we will run a practice lap together as a group, so everyone knows the route!
– 7.00pm RACE START

The event should finish at around 8pm, and hopefully we will then go for a nice cool drink in the local.

What you need to do now!

Put the date in your diary (Tuesday 21 May)
Email me your current 5km 

The first list of entrants has been published (emailed Sunday 12th), the next list will be published on Sunday 19th May, please can you not chase for confirmation that you’re in until after these dates.

It really is a great event, so hit the reply button now and let me know your in!

If you can’t run but would like to help marshal or time keep, please let me know, you’re help will be appreciated.

Onto the weekend running and starting with parkrun…

Bracknell – 16 SJs headed over to Bracknell this week, and we had some speedy runners this time round! Jon Payne was first member through, third in age category and 13th overall with a time of 21:57. Meanwhile, Gabrielle Bassett was first female SJ through, and second in age category with a great time of 27:04 in her 75th parkrun.

There were three members of the PB club at Bracknell this week, with Jon Payne, Martin Steadman and Susan Plumb all posting course PBs with times of 21:57, 22:03 and 32:44 respectively. Well done everyone!

Frimley – 9 SJs headed to Frimley Lodge for the 483rd parkrun at the venue. They were led around by Dave O’Toole, finishing in a good time of 23:14. Not far behind was the first SJ female, Beki Christian, who came in with a great time of 24:23.

With her time of 24:23, Beki joined Martin Gould as the members of the Frimley PB club, with his time of 24:34. Well done to all SJs who ran at Frimley.

California Country Park – California is fast becoming the home of the quick parkrunners, as 12 SJs lined up for the 12th event, 4 of whom finished within the top 15! James Ratcliffe went sub-20 with a great time of 19:50 to ensure he was the first SJ through the finishing funnel on his first visit to the venue. Meanwhile, Sarah Hyatt was not only the first female SJ through, but first female overall with a cracking birthday run of 22:31!

The PB club this week welcomed Sarah Hyatt (22:31), Sarah Alexander (25:32), Chris Cole (28:40) and Jenny Cave (36:31). Meanwhile, James Ratcliffe, Lisa Hale, Mo Willcox, Elin Loftesnes and Janet Ford all ran the venue for the first time. Well done all!

Tourism – The usual smattering of out-and-abouts this weekend saw SJs running at the following parkruns….

Brooklands – A pair of first timers, in the shape of Jon Green and George Green ran Brooklands in times of 24:06 and 24:14, respectively.
Bushy ParkJohn King visited parkrun Mecca, and posted a great time of 26:55.
Crane ParkJohn Tovell set a good time at Crane, running 23:24 in his 201st run at the event.
Exeter Riverside Alurie Maye Dutton visited Exeter Riverside for the first time, presumably not just for the parkrun, and did a great time of 35:46.
Guildford – A trio of SJs headed over to Stoke Park for the Guildford run, all completing their first run at the event. Mark Pattrick was first through in a great time of 20:24, followed by Kate Parker and Lara Winter, with times of 35:19 and 35:20 respectively (photo finish, stewards enquiry?).
Reading Mark Neve went sub-28 in his first visit to Reading, completing the course in 27:57.
Sutton Park Wayne Boardman ran a time of 24:36 in his first run at Sutton.
Woodley – Another trio of SJs headed over to Woodley, led around by Jim Haffey, with a course PB of 26:09, followed by Andy Hazell, also with a course PB of 34:40, and Louise Turnor, with a time of 39:34 in her first run at Woodley!

Well done to all our tourist parkrunners, some really good runs there! Time to put your passports away for another week…

Other Saturday Events…

Ox 50 Mile UltraJonathan Taylor and Charles St Aubyn took on the 50 mile ultra marathon at the Rushmoor Estate (nutters). Jonathan then headed out for the Ox light on Sunday morning, just a ‘little’ 6.6 mile loop! Elsewhere, Andrea Hadfield and Richard Boese took part in the ‘frolic’. Well done to all!

British Airways Gatwick RunSarah Jones headed over to Southgate Park to take part in the 5k element of the Gatwick Run. Looked like a great run, and Sarah ran really well to set a 5k PB of 33 minutes!

Dulux London Revolution TrailsAndy Yates hit the trails for an event that allows runners to ‘escape the city and explore the great British countryside with hundreds of other trail goers’, the events words, not mine! An incredible effort however, completing 32.4 miles in 5:10:30. And he even got to meet the Dulux dog, well done Andy!

Bracknell Half Marathon – There was a strong presence of SJs at this local half marathon. The results were as follows:

Robert Jerrett – 1:26:04
Martin Powell – 1:34:32
Martin Steadman – 1:35:57
Kathryn Shaw – 1:40:25
Charley Bryant – 1:46:59
Dave Bartlett – 1:48:46
Caroline Stuart – 1:49:24
Royston Crandley – 1:49:46
Sandra Pankhurst – 1:51:29
Jackie Kent – 1:58:23
Dave Metcalfe – 1:58:53
Louisa Enriquez – 2:06:58
Colin Carpenter – 2:10:24
Patricia Marshall – 2:26:05
Harvey Young – 2:43:52
Michelle Wilson – 2:43:52

We’ll be hearing more about that later on in the week…..

Staines 10k – The machine that is Lisa Hale smashed out a time of 43:24 at the Staines 10k. Well done Lisa!

Loseley House Breakfast Run – An early start for Chris Cole and Beki Christian at Loseley House, for this oddly-lengthed 7.1 mile (11.4km) event. Good times were recorded though, with Chris running in 1:02:48 and Beki finishing in 1:02:51, do you reckon they ran together…? Well done to both!

Strava

Some big totals on Strava this week as marathon season continues. Jonathan Taylor claimed the top spot this week with a monster total of 70.3 miles, after his ultra marathon adventures. To take part in this just create a free Strava account and link it to the club in your profile. Here’s the top 10 from last week:

Club Events for the week ahead…

Monday: Patrick Wadsworth will be leading the Monday night chatfest from Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm. The route will cover approx. 6 miles and is heading off road with the longer days, but it’s still advisable to bring your head torches and high viz. This is one of the most sociable runs of the week and a great opportunity to catch up with friends or discuss the preceding weekend.

Tuesday Club Run: The biggest club run of the week caters for all abilities with multiple groups that cover beginners to faster and more experienced runners. It’s perfect for novices and those coming back from injury or a long lay-off because you can start with an easy group and work your way upwards. The start time is 6:30pm as always, this week from the Sandhurst Memorial Park.

Tuesday Intervals: Later the interval sessions will meet at The Tythings in Yateley at 8pm. The session will be a ‘pyramid session’, consisting of efforts from 3 – 5 minutes in length, with 1 minute recovery between each interval. The run will be at Blackbush for those who would prefer to meet the group at the run location, please meet at 8:10. Hard work, but you’ll feel amazing afterwards! You can read more about the Tuesday night intervals HERE

Wednesday: Variety is the spice of life and the Wednesday crew have some surprises for you this week with a mixture of great routes and some fartlek style efforts. Join them at Sandhurst Memorial Park at 7pm. There will also be run options for those that graduated from the 10k and 10 mile courses to ease you into the regular run.

Thursday: Erol continues his impressive record of not losing any runners since taking over as Thursday night run lead. Meet at Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm. The run is a great way to improve fitness by running as a group at a slightly harder intensity. There is a shorter route available and a sweeper so nobody gets left behind.

Friday: Track is still free and the coaches have some great sessions planned for all abilities to improve fitness and technique. This is a great way to improve your running form and fitness, get faster and help prevent injury. If you’ve never ran on a track before give it a try, it’s a lot of fun and you are never more than 200m away from the start.

Saturday: Lots of members will be enjoying their weekly Parkrun fix at 9am on Saturday morning. Don’t forget next Saturday is the SJ Bushy Parkrun Trip, details at the top of the article! Wherever you are parkrunning – Don’t forget your barcode!

Sunday: Come along and give the The Sunday Lookout run a try. They say its the best run of the week but might be a bit biased. It’s a flexible run leaving from The Lookout at 9am with different groups to suit a wide range of abilities. The three ‘Cs’ of Coffee, cake and chat are enjoyed in the cafe post-run.

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SJ Handicap – May Results

This Wednesday was the second of the month, which meant it was the monthly handicap! A good turnout of SJs ran the 4 mile route, five of whom were first timers! Well done to Dave Metcalfe, Rob Cooper, Georgina Cassell, Rebecca Perrin and Ellie Watson for giving it a go, I expect to see you there next month as well! The results for the run are as follows:

Congratulations are in order for Colin Carpenter, winner of this months event, with a great improvement of 2 minutes 13 seconds! Colin joins Craig Waters and Roy Bentley in setting a PB on Wednesday, and a final congratulations go to Helen Vizard and Dave O’Toole for setting season’s best efforts on Wednesday.

Wondering how this affects the overall standings for the year? Wonder no more, because here is the full table as it stands…

Want to get your name on the table? Then turn up and run the handicap! It really is simple, second Wednesday of every month, meet at Morgan Rec, for a start of time of 7:30pm. And as the table shows, it is about your own personal improvement, not about racing others (although you can do that too, of course). Well done to all those who ran this month, and for those who haven’t yet given it a go (myself included), perhaps we should go for the June run!

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Weekly Run Down – 29th April – 5th May

Club Announcements

SJ Parkrun Explorers Collective Visits Bushy Park: On Saturday 25th May, Sandhurst Joggers Explorers Collective shall be paying a visit to the home of parkrun, Bushy Park. A single lap course through the beautiful park, with up to 1500 other runners!

It’s approximately 45 minutes drive from Sandhurst, and worth getting to early as the main car park fills up pretty quickly. The meeting point will be the Pheasantry Cafe at 8:25am. Don’t forget your barcode, and hopefully we’ll have a good SJ turnout!

Intraclub Pairs Relay – Tues 21 May – 6.30pm (Sandhurst Memorial Park)

We’re thrilled to advise the intraclub pairs relay is back for 2019! This is a great opportunity to challenge yourself by entering this fun and friendly event taking place at Sandhurst Memorial Park on Tuesday 21st May.

We arrange pairs teams and set a 1km lap around Sandhurst Memorial Park. One runner in each team will run the first 1km lap, and then hand over to their partner. They will then alternate like this until they have run the full 10km distance, so in total each runner will run 5km.

The event caters for all abilities from pure beginner to experienced runners – run your socks off for 1km, have a nice 5-minutes or so rest and recovery period, then run another 1km at your best pace. The event offers a great introduction for those who haven’t raced before, and a challenge for the experienced runner.

To ensure everyone has a fair chance of performing well, we will use your 5km time to create teams that have a similar predicted finishing time. This means all runners have a good chance of finishing in a top 3 position, which adds to the excitement on the evening.

On the night:
– Meet at 6.30pm – please sign in and find your race partner
– 6.45pm – we will run a practice lap together as a group, so everyone knows the route!
– 7.00pm RACE START

The event should finish at around 8pm, and hopefully we will then go for a nice cool drink in the local.

What you need to do now!
Put the date in your diary (Tuesday 21 May)
Email me your current 5km

If you can’t run but would like to help marshal or time keep, please let me know, you’re help will be appreciated.

Vicechairman@sandhurstjoggers.org.uk

SJ Club Challenge

If you would like to compete in the SJ Club Challenge for 2019/2020 then please complete this form (Link below) for the month of April.

The aim of this challenge is to:
– Celebrate the participation of people in races
– Thank people for volunteering at club events and external events
– Encourage people to participate in club events, lead runs, help out at events and compete in relays.

Outlined below is how the club challenge will work as well as how administration of the challenge will take place:

POINTS

One point races:
Every race that you do is worth 1 point.  This is any race that you have entered on your own, for example Woodland 5, Yateley road races, London marathon, parkrun etc.  Any race of any distance counts – a park run is worth the same amount as a 100 miler. 

One point volunteering:
Any race that you volunteer at is also worth 1 point.  If you volunteer at a parkrun rather than run you have gained 1 point.

5 point races: 
Any race that you have entered through the club is a 5 point race.  This is all the relays and cross countries and any other race that goes out via the Event team or Cross Country Secretary.  Please note that Endure will only count if you are doing this through the club rather than your own teams.  Yateley road races will not count as a club race and so will only be worth 1 point (see (1) above). 

5 point volunteering:
If you volunteer at Yateley road race,  our home cross country, lead a club run or help out at a club event (canal run) then you can award yourself 5 points.  This includes if you volunteer first and then race or race and then volunteer.  

ADMINISTRATION:  

In the first couple of days on each month you will be sent a link to a google form.  You will be asked to submit:
– Your total points for the month
– Your total points for the year to date.

It is your responsibility to complete the form as well as ensure that you are being honest in your points total.  You will NOT be asked to prove which races you did at any point and we will be taking your word as gospel! You will be given 1 week to complete the form and then results will be published via facebook and the club blog.  The results will show totals of each month as well as totals for the year to date.  The first month of the challenge will be March.  

Milestones:
The following Milestones will be recognised as you collect points: 

10 = Paper
25 = Iron
50 = Bronze
100 = Silver
150 = Gold
200 = Platinum

At the SJ Ball in March each year certificates will be given out to people for the largest award they have got.  For example, if you have collected 20 points in the year you will be awarded an ‘Iron certificate’ but if you have collected 160 points you will be awarded a ‘Gold certificate’

If you have any questions regarding whether an event is included in the SJ club challenge or how many points can be awarded for it please do not hesitate to email me at jfgray1983@hotmail.com

The link for this month is:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSedRklMDvZRDjOL2Kxj8w7uwlM6rgqAxXsBNabeaqwuf-3Cow/viewform?usp=sf_link

Onto the weekend running and starting with parkrun…

Frimley – 9 SJs headed to Frimley Lodge, with Max Woods coming in 20th overall with a great time of 20:05. Meanwhile, Sacha Kendall-Woods was first female SJ through, and 11th overall with a time of 24:19. It was a 50th parkrun for Anne Whillis, doing a time of 49:50. Well done to Anne, a great achievement!

Bracknell – 14 SJs were present in Bracknell, for a special Star Wars themed parkrun. Ran fast Craig Bowles did, first SJ member through he was, with a time of 21:45. Meanwhile, Sharon Fields used the force to get around in 26:21, coming through as first female SJ member and 7th overall, clocking a course PB in the process! Elsewhere, Kate Turnell also achieved a course PB with a time of 37:03.

Rushmoor – 8 SJs were present at Queens Avenue, and Jon Payne led the SJs round, coming through with a great time of 20:42. Jane Bannister was the first female SJ through, with a time of 26:03.

California Country Park – 7 SJs headed to California, as the new parkrun continues to cement itself as a popular local parkrun. Nigel Bassett was the first member through with a time of 23:39. Meanwhile, Sarah Alexander was first SJ female through, coming through the funnel in a time of 25:41. Paul Alexander, Sarah Alexander and Richard McCready all achieved course PBs, while Gabrielle Bassett ran at California for the first time. Well done to all SJs at California!

Tourism – The bank holiday weekend led to several SJs heading out and about to experience some different parkruns. They were as follows:


Alice HoltJohn King ran a super time at the hilliest parkrun in Bordon, with a time of 28:26.
Bedfont LakesStuart Overhill came in 6th overall with a course PB in his 38th run at Bedfont. Superb effort!
Dinton Pastures George Green ran a great time of 24:08 in his 11th run at Dinton.
Hanworth John Tovell and Andrea Hadfield ran Hanworth for the first time, coming through the funnel in 23:33 and 29:02 respectively.
Higginson Lisa Hale continued to show she’s an absolute machine, running a superb time of 22:21 in her first run at Higginson.
Hogmoor Inclosure Kate Parker did a time of 52:43, in her first run at Hogmoor.
Kingston Jim Haffey tried Kingston for the first time, and did a great time of 26:19.
Luton WardownYvette Glacken ran her 220th parkrun, coming round in 39:19 at Luton.
NorthamptonSharon Conquer was back at Northampton, finishing in 58:21.
PooleWayne Boardman had a cracking run in his 3rd at Poole, getting a course PB and overall parkrun PB with a great time of 23:31. Well done Wayne!
Wilmslow Patrick Wadsworth ran a spot on time of 22:00 in his 10th run at Wilmslow.
Woking Stuart Mayes ran at Woking for the first time, running a great time of 22:27.
Woodley Jon Green clocked a big overall parkrun PB, taking over a minute off his previous best, also at Woodley, with a time of 22:45.

Other Saturday Events…

Saturn Darkside Strikes BackNigel Evans, Liz Evans, Richard Boese, Michelle Wilson, Gareth Hopkins and Mark Neve headed out to Sonning to complete the Star Wars themed Saturn event, on what looked like a lovely day for running!

Southampton MarathonNeil Praine and Erol Ali completed a very tough Southampton Marathon, in fantastic times of 3:22 and 3:58 respectively. Well done to both, more to come from that later in the week.

Three Forts MarathonLisa Hale put in a great run to finish the Three Forts Marathon in 4:16:34.

Return of the Light Side: Angela and Mark Foker headed to Thames Valley Park for the latest Saturn event, this was Mark’s first half marathon distance! Well done to both!

Frimley Park 10k – There was a fantastic turnout at the Frimley Park 10k on Sunday morning, with 16 members running! The results were as follows:

Jim Laidlaw – 40:48
Sharon Burfield – 47:29
Ian Bromley – 48:55
John Bartlett – 49:15
Alison Jones – 52:53
Chris Greatorex – 53:43
Lucy Hale – 55:34
Harvey Young – 59:51
Ros Cosgreave – 1:02:09
Susan Plumb – 1:02:10
Georgina Hogben-Stephenson – 1:02:28
Tina Acock – 1:04:36
Andrea Barber – 1:05:24
Monica Burbidge – 1:11:30
Sally Kent – 1:12:31
Sarah Jones – 1:14:54
Louise Turnor – 1:26:50

Shinfield 10k – There was another great turnout at the Shinfield 10k on Bank Holiday Monday, with 8 members running this well organised event. Results are as follows:

Andrew Brooks – 44:49
Jon Green – 49:08
Tony Brackstone – 50:36
Alison Jones – 52:38
Fredric Frennessen – 55:15
Julie Fowler – 55:26
Vicki Frennessen – 59:49
Sarah Jones – 1:16:18

Strava

Some big totals on Strava this week as marathon season continues. Andy Yates claimed the top spot with a superb total of 51.5 miles. To take part in this just create a free Strava account and link it to the club in your profile. Here’s the top 10 from last week:

Club Events for the week ahead…

Monday: Patrick Wadsworth will be leading the Monday night chatfest from Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm. The route will cover approx. 6 miles and is heading off road with the longer days, but it’s still advisable to bring your head torches and high viz. This is one of the most sociable runs of the week and a great opportunity to catch up with friends or discuss the preceding weekend.

Tuesday Club Run: The biggest club run of the week caters for all abilities with multiple groups that cover beginners to faster and more experienced runners. It’s perfect for novices and those coming back from injury or a long lay-off because you can start with an easy group and work your way upwards. The start time is 6:30pm as always, this week from Morgan Recreational Ground in Crowthorne.

Tuesday Intervals: Later the interval sessions will meet at The Tythings in Yateley at 8pm. The session will be a ‘pyramid session’, consisting of efforts from 3 – 5 minutes in length, with 1 minute recovery between each interval. The run will be at Blackbush for those who would prefer to meet the group at the run location, please meet at 8:10. Hard work, but you’ll feel amazing afterwards! You can read more about the Tuesday night intervals HERE

Wednesday: Variety is the spice of life and the Wednesday crew have some surprises for you this week with a mixture of great routes and some fartlek style efforts. Join them at Sandhurst Memorial Park at 7pm. There will also be run options for those that graduated from the 10k and 10 mile courses to ease you into the regular run.

Wednesday:  It’s the second Wednesday of the month so time for the Handicap. This four mile run over a two lap course around Crowthorne is ideal for all abilities and starts from the Morgan Rec in Crowthorne at 7:30pm. Don’t forget the post run curry at The Raj in Sandhurst

Thursday: Erol continues his impressive record of not losing any runners since taking over as Thursday night run lead. Meet at Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm. The run is a great way to improve fitness by running as a group at a slightly harder intensity. There is a shorter route available and a sweeper so nobody gets left behind.

Friday: Track is still free and the coaches have some great sessions planned for all abilities to improve fitness and technique. This is a great way to improve your running form and fitness, get faster and help prevent injury. If you’ve never ran on a track before give it a try, it’s a lot of fun and you are never more than 200m away from the start.

Saturday: Lots of members will be enjoying their weekly Parkrun fix at 9am on Saturday morning. Don’t forget next Saturday is the SJ Bushy Parkrun Trip, details at the top of the article! Wherever you are parkrunning – Don’t forget your barcode!

Sunday: Come along and give the The Sunday Lookout run a try. They say its the best run of the week but might be a bit biased. It’s a flexible run leaving from The Lookout at 9am with different groups to suit a wide range of abilities. The three ‘Cs’ of Coffee, cake and chat are enjoyed in the cafe post-run.

Some fantastic bank holiday running by all, although the weather may not have been perfect for sunbathing, it was perfect for running….

Hope everyone has a good week, in and out of running, and see you all next week for the latest Run Down!

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London Marathon 2019 – Meet the Marshals!

42,000 runners didn’t just turn up and run on Sunday, they needed help and guidance along the way (especially in the latter miles…). Thankfully, several SJs were on hand, across a range of tasks, to help make sure the day went smoothly for all involved. In case you were wondering what they got up to, wonder no more, because here are the reviews from the various members who marshalled this historic event.

Blanche Barnes“Marshalling at London- all the fun without the run! I was allocated a “hustling” role at the finish line, encouraging runners to keep moving towards the medals, & offering physical support (or even just a hug). John & I (together with another lovely lady Sue), also worked a rota in the St John triage area, giving medals to those who were leaving in wheelchairs or stretchers – yes there were quite a few! Our snicket route to this area was also used by some of the celebs – between us we got a close up view of Richard Branson, Amelie Mauresmo, Sophie Rayworth & a couple of the Eastenders cast. Woo-hoo.

For me, it was much more exciting to see some of our own SJ luminaries finishing: I managed to catch Sarah, Sharon, Jaqs, Holly & Chris.

It was a welcome relief to not be running after my own first marathon in Manchester 3 weeks ago, although that experience really helped me empathise with the range of emotions coming over that finish line: everything from pure joy to hysterical tears, screaming, collapses, singing & even some ground-kisses!
If you’re considering volunteering next year, these are my top tips:

– Be on holiday at the marshals briefing (2 weeks before) at your peril! If you’re not there to collect your kit in person, you could end up with “interesting” sizes!
– Psych yourself up to see more sick than you possibly ever have in your entire life, especially after the kids’ mini marathon.
– Expect to be regularly harangued for medals by non-runners, including other support staff (not SJs obviously), and self-appointed VIPs! It beats me why anyone would want a medal for a run they hadn’t completed, but apparently they were being sold on eBay even before the mass race had started!
– Be prepared for a long day on your feet – we left at 6am and didn’t get home until 8pm but so well worth it, an amazing & intense experience.”

Rowenna Norman“Volunteering at the London Marathon was my first experience of marshalling since joining the club last year after being bullied into it by my lovely husband and neighbours! The day was absolutely fantastic and a joy to be a part of. I was originally an unallocated marshal so wasn’t sure what to expect on the day, however the team made it very easy for me to slip into a medal hanging position. It was an honour to present medals to the amazing runners (as well as many sweaty hugs and high fives!). It was also a great opportunity to get to know some of the SJs members better and I’m looking forward to coming along to more runs with you all! I am definitely feeling inspired.”

Mark Norman“Marshalling at the London Marathon was an amazing experience for two reasons. Firstly to see the pure emotion and joy of the mass runners who had put in the hard work and determination that got them to the finish line. This was evident from the look on their faces and by greeting us marshals as if we were family as they completed their goal. The second reason for it being such a great day was being witness to the coordination of those organising the day. Although it seemed a bit chaotic at times with hundreds on runners coming through at the same time, there were very few moments where I felt like it was unorganised. As this was my first time as a ‘hustler’ I had no experience but the organisers and my fellow hustlers quickly rallied round like a well oiled machine. It is certainly a day I will remember, even if I did feel like I had ran a marathon myself by the end of a busy day!”

Helen Vizard“This was my second time as a marshal at the London Marathon, and I got placed in the support team. My first job was holding the finishing tape for the mini marathon. It’s amazing how quick those kids are at 5k, and I really enjoyed watching them crossing the finishing line in such unbelievable times.

Then it was lunch time and I was on security duty in charge of bag watching. The bonus was I got to sit down and eat my lunch. After this I hard the brilliant job of taking the elite runners to the the VIP area. I’ve always had great runners which have been happy to talk about there day out there running. Some pleased with their times other saying they should have done better. Just like us!!

You are also privileged to get to see Mo and the Eliud Kipchoge just after they cross the finishing line. Which is an amazing experience. Once I had finished looking after all the Elite male and female finishers, it was then out to the finishing area to make sure all our volunteers had water and cover them as required. It’s also a chance to try and catch a few Sandhurst joggers as they cross the line and congratulate them on there fantastic achievement. At 6pm we then caught the bus from Pall Mall back to Farnborough. A long day but one which I thoroughly enjoyed!”

Fiona Marshall“So this was my eighth time of having the privilege of being at the finish line in a tasty pair of MC Hammer trousers and a bright coloured eighties style sports kit top.

I have hustled a couple of times before and really enjoy sharing that moment when runners cross the line. There are so many mixed emotions and I sometimes join them in their tears. The job really is about eyeballing them as they come across and then decide whether they need assistance, continued clapping or a hug. You can never get bored of meeting so many hundreds of people covered in sweat, tears, snot and many other bodily fluids.

The highlight this year was meeting Wayne Boardman on the finish line at last achieving his sub 4 time. He looked as fresh as a daisy too. Ever since I’ve known Wayne he has been after this goal. Huge respect to him for chasing it and now achieving it. My second place highlight was high giving Chrissie Wellington and getting a hug from her. I am in the middle of reading her book at the moment. Normally I don’t go all daft over celebs but I did get a bit excited seeing her.

It is such an amazing experience to be there and if you haven’t had a go, put your name down. You won’t regret it. I wasn’t going to hand in the ballot paper for an entry next year but I succumbed to a bit of peer pressure. I’m not sure whether running it or marshalling is better? They are both phenomenal experiences. And (almost) equally as tiring. I haven’t run a stand alone marathon for 7 years so maybe if my name gets drawn out next year I will be facing a different way down The Mall?”

Louise Heginbotham“I was lucky enough to be chosen to be a medal hanger for the marathon which I was very happy about as my friends and fellow Sandhurst Joggers were running it and I was hoping to be able to give them their medals. It was a very early start with catching the coach from Farnborough at 6.45am and straight into London. Once we passed security checks we got into our teams and had a briefing of what our job entailed for the day – all the newbie medal hangers (myself included) were then able to ‘practice’ with handing out the medals to the Mini Marathon runners.

Then came the job of unpacking and sorting all the medals- 40,000 medals to be sorted into groups of 15 and tied to a railing! That was some job but everyone got stuck in and the job was soon done- it was a sea of red ribbons! A quick lunch stop then the hard work began!! After watching the elite runners come through we didn’t have long to wait until the masses came…and then they just didn’t stop!! I knew it would be busy but I had no idea how constant it would be! I was lucky enough to be able to give Lucy Ong her medal first followed by Holly Dunn and Jacqueline Hudson – it was such a privilege to be able to give such fantastic runners their very well deserved medals.

After a few moments pulling myself together after Jaqs made me blub, I carried on handing out the rest of the medals – I will never forget the feeling of people coming towards me and as soon as they see their medal bursting into tears with pure relief and pride, (not forgetting the many sweaty hugs, photos and videos you are in of people capturing their special moment!). We gave out the last of our medals and got the coach for around 6pm and left the people who had offered to stay late to finish the job. After 5 continuous hours of medal hanging and 12 hours without sitting down I have to say it was a relief to sit down on the coach going home but our aches would be nothing compared to all the amazing runners who crossed that finish line! What an amazing experience!”

Debra Harris“I felt very lucky to marshal at this years London marathon and as a few friends were running their first marathon it was even more of a privilege that I might get the chance to give them their hard earned medal. You can’t help but get caught up in the excitement of the day, especially if you get to visit the expo before hand. It is an early start and non stop all day, but so rewarding too. The sweaty hugs, the tears – even from 6 foot blokes, the brief ‘I did this for my late mum, dad etc..’ can get to you.

I did have a few tears with a runner much later in the day (over the 6 and half hours), who had a melt down when she received her medal. Knowing how hard it is to be out there or so long, to be one of the slower runners is one of the reasons why I stayed late, the other was to wait for a friend to come in so I could give her a medal. Seeing her finish after months of hard work was one of the highlights for me. Another was getting to see an old school friend that I’ve not seen for over 16 years ! It was a very long, tiring day, but so so worth it.”

Jim Haffey“What a day! Having never been near the London Marathon before, seeing first hand the behind the scenes organisation was phenomenal and unlike me, it all ran like a well-oiled machine. It was a day where highlight piled upon highlight for so many different reasons.

Within the finish team, myself and fellow SJ Caroline Cutliffe were part of the Approach team with our main area being the last 200 metres before the finish line although for the main run it ended up being the last 50 metres or so. First up was the Junior mini-marathon events and seeing the future athletes giving it their all (plus a trainer that a runner left behind) was a great start to the day. Then it was time for an early lunch before a very busy remainder of the day.

During lunch we found out part of our role was to be at the finish area to escort the elites (outside of the top 3) back to their HQ a couple of hundred metres away. That was an unexpected and very pleasant surprise which provided the opportunity to shake the hand of Eliud Kipchoge, give Sir Mo a pat on the back at the finish and have a nice chat with USA’s Emily Sisson about her debut Marathon run and her Olympic aspirations in 2020 as I escorted her back.

Then it was time for our main role, looking after the runners in the final stretch of their epic run and provide help/support where needed. Fortunately nothing serious occurred and for me it was just a few people getting a shoulder to lean on to get them over the line but mainly it was a good opportunity for plenty of singing and dancing in perhaps the loudest part of the entire course. The crowd were fantastic including a lovely lady who had brought her own megaphone and made the most of it – there was a good reason I lost my voice for most of this week! Pretty sure Caroline covered the full distance too with her dancing.

What has really stuck with me though was the emotional ups and downs on Sunday cheering and spurring on the charity runners. Seeing all the happy, triumphant gestures as they knew they had nailed it was a great thing to share in with them and also to share in the more sadder moments. You could see the emotion and tears on so many faces, then you see the charity they were running for and then the names that made it personal to them; I have to say I had a good few tears of my own but those moments just get you. No need to say anything to those runners, just applaud them as they go by. It was great to be in a position too where we could give people that last little boost especially the late-comers who had been out for many hours. As I stayed late and missed the coach I got the train home where there were plenty of runners and a good few mentioned how the volunteers all around the course made it so special for them.

Oh yeah and Chris Evans went out of his way to high five me! Thank-you Sandhurst Joggers for giving me the opportunity to be there!”

Jonathan Taylor“It was an early start for everyone. A bus had been laid on by the marathon organisers, taking us from Farnborough station right up to the Mall, picking us up at 6.45am.  On arrival we cleared security, had our bag searched and then a quick briefing from our team leader. We were all decked out in a uniform supplied by the VLM, of rather fetching white trousers, white cap and a turquoise rainproof jacket. My wife jokingly said I looked like the love child of Ali G and Papa Smurf.

There were various roles allocated, including medal hanging, restocking, security and ‘hustling’. My role was medal restocking. Work started almost straight away, as the wheel chair competitors of the mini marathon came through the finish line shortly after 9am, followed by the mini marathoners themselves. This was the creme de la creme of the younger runners. A group of us also unpacked the medals from their boxes and hung them up in bunches, ready for later. With 40,000 odd medals to unpack this tool a long time! The clink-clink sound of medals for hours on end will definitely stay with me.

When the excitement of the mini marathon was over, we were allowed a quick lunch break (which was provided by the VLM). We then made our way right by the finish line to watch the elite women and men finish, this was a big unexpected highlight of the day.  First of all came in the elite ladies, with Bridid Kosgei winning. Then the elite men, I saw Kipchoge finish. I toyed with the idea of shouting over “what kept you” but thought better of it.  I also saw Sir Mo finish (who was not a happy bunny!)  They were soon whisked off the finish line and to an elite finishers area.

Soon after the fun and games started, as the rest of the elite then the fast club runners then the masses came through. My job was to restock the ladies who were hanging the medals. At it’s peak, they could not hang the medals fast enough and each of the 20 finish lanes had a long queue of punters eagerly awaiting their hard earned medal. I went from the medal racks with a big bundle of medals, and slid them over their arm. Such was the pace of runners finishing, I was back and forth non-stop for hours and hours on end.  In the odd moment or two of downtime, it was great to be able to congratulate so many people. The sheer raw emotion was something else too, everything from ecstatic whooping of joy to uncontrolled sobbing! That included plenty of the guys too.

One highlight for me was seeing several Sandhurst Joggers and other of my running friends finish, and having the chance to hang their medal personally. The look of sheer delight and relief on their faces at seeing a familiar face was just brilliant, and it was lovely to share their special moment at finishing the London Marathon. This alone was worth all the hard work of the day.

Eventually things calmed down a bit and finally at 5.30pm we were stood down, although a smaller group stayed on to continue hanging medals. We were given a little memento (a pin) to say thank you. We also entered a medal hangers ballot, around 30 places for the 2020 VLM with 140 of us entering. Much better odds than the public ballot! The bus back to Farnborough left Pall Mall about 6pm and were back by 7pm.  I was really tired at the end of the day with very sore arms and shoulders from those medals, but I’d had a fantastic time. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

Patrick Wadsworth“I have volunteered several times at London and it is always a great day out. This year I was on general  support. This meant that I had several roles during the day. I had a period guarding the volunteers baggage container then handing out lunches. Later I escorted elite athletes from the finish to the VIP area. The rest of my team were paired up and spent the afternoon re-supplying volunteers with water, but as we had an odd number I was asked to float between the medal resupply groups to ensure that medals were available during the big rush of finishers between three and four hours.

I checked several times but the allocated volunteers were coping so I ended up taking photos of finishers using their cameras.  I can now find the camera app on most popular brands of phone in multiple languages. This freedom also allowed me to see most of the SJ finishers. It’s a long but rewarding day and very enjoyable.”

Sam Goodall “Having done London last year I decided I wanted to give back this year, so volunteered as a medal hanger. It’s an early start and we were on site by 8am, but it was fascinating seeing it all setting up and deserted until the elites came in, which we were able to watch from just behind the finish line. At 12.15 I was given my first 15 medals and I didn’t really stop until 5.15. Many sweaty, teary cuddles, lots of pain and elation seen and many photos taken of me but overall it was an amazing day. Roll on next year!”

Jackie Kent“It’s always an early start and this year was no different. As a proper night owl, my biggest fear is always over sleeping when I have to get up early and missing the bus. Unfortunately as a night owl, it’s practically impossible to get an early night as I just can’t get to sleep early, so my 5am alarm went off after only 4 hours sleep. Luckily my child-like excitement is always enough to carry me through the day. Despite my fears, I was early for the bus and the traffic into London was well behaved. We picked up some more marshals at Stains and carried on into London. Once there, we went through the usual security checks, progressed into the primary finish area and assembled for our 8:15am briefing.

My job this year was a hustler. I’ve done this before and love it!! We are stationed right on the finish line and our job is to keep people moving as they cross the finish. Instinctively, people want to stop as they cross the line but it’s the equivalent of stopping at the bottom of a crowded escalator and can cause carnage!! We also need to look out for those who genuinely have pushed themselves to their absolute limit. Some just need a shoulder to lean on for a minute but some are in need of medical attention. We try and catch them before they fall down and keep them moving as this often does the trick, but some people just hit the deck. In this situation our job is to stand in front of them and direct runners around them, to keep them safe while the St Johns Ambulance staff attend to them. Without going into too much detail you do have to dodge the vomit at times too…

The first events of the day are the kids ‘mini marathon’ races. These are 5k in distance and are run in various age groups. Each age group finished through a different finish tunnel so we had to be in position, ready and waiting. There are also para-races for both ambulant and wheelchair competitors.

After the kids races we had a short lunch break. This was about 10.30am but would be the only break of the day. After lunch we got behind our barriers to see the elite wheelchair racers finish. We’re not needed for the elite races but we can’t get too close to the finish as the press get ‘pole position’.

It wasn’t long before the club runners started coming through, then it was all hands on deck and we were in business! Compared to last year which was exceptionally hot, we had far fewer collapses although there were enough to keep us and the medical staff busy. I also thought that there were fewer fancy dress runners too, maybe also as a result of last year’s weather. My favourites from this year were a giant wooden spoon, the Eiffel Tower and of course, Jesus who I’ve seen at all the London marathons I’ve been to.

I clapped, cheered, caught, half-carried, hugged and celebrated with runners non-stop from 12:30pm until around 5:30pm. At that point I took a 10 minute break to grab something to eat as I had volunteered to stay for the late finish and wouldn’t get another chance once the majority of volunteers had left. They all left at 6pm so there were just a few of us left to wait for the final runners. I love the late finish. You get to see people who have been out on the course for seven hours or more. The finish is being taken down around us so to have people still there, still clapping, cheering and congratulating their achievement is really important.

At around 7.15pm there were only 2 or 3 people known to be left on the course so we were no longer needed. We decided to walk back to Waterloo which was great as I love London and love just walking around there. We arrived at Waterloo with enough time to get a hot chocolate before catching the train back to Farnborough. And that was it, over for another year. I’m already planning to be there next year, I just have to wait and see whether that’s as a runner, marshal or spectator!”

Martin Steadman“I was on “security” duty at the back of the finish area, before the goody bags. The intention was to stop people sneaking back to claim a second medal. It’s happened before apparently… I didn’t come across anyone behaving so badly. In fact I spent most of my time being handed phones and doing some unofficial photography. Although the St John’s guy near me did a much better line in chat and arranging poses. He must have had practice. It was a long day, but well run and I enjoyed being part of such an amazing event. I’m not so sure about this year’s Smurf outfits though! I would also recommend a job closer to the actual finish line if you want to see more of the action!”


Thank you to everyone who helped out at the London Marathon. You did the club proud, and provided runners with a friendly face upon crossing the line, something that I can testify was very much appreciated! I hope you enjoyed reading through all these recaps, until next year!