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SJ Weekly Run Down – March 18th to 24th

Another week in the running world has gone by. Many steps have been taken, runs completed, achievements accomplished. Let’s sit back, relax and take a comparatively gentle stroll through the weeks events. But first….

SJ March Handicap

The latest SJ Handicap run took place on the 13th March, with 23 SJs taking part. First through the posts was Gerry Mepham, for the first time in over 100 runs, so big congratulations to Gerry! Jane Bannister won the run, with a cracking time of 1:45 quicker than her previous best. March results and subsequently updated table are below:

Club Announcements

Its not too late to get your tickets for the Sandhurst Joggers Annual Ball which will take place at Easthampstead Conference Park, Off Peacock Lane, Wokingham, RG40 3DF on Friday 29th March 2019 at 7.30pm.  The cost of the tickets will be £35.00 per person. SJ Social Secretary Lisa Harrold has sent all the details by email. Please respond to secure your tickets ASAP. When they’re gone, they’re gone!

Onto the weekend running and starting with parkrun…

Bracknell: It was a SJ invasion on Saturday morning, with 20 members running at Bracknell! Notable finishes from Krzysztof Zielinski, coming in 4th overall, and Sarah Hyatt coming in 2nd overall female. Was Sarah happy to settle for that? No chance! She went and bagged a course PB, along with fellow SJ Jane Pond, who dipped below the 34 minute mark for a great time.

Frimley: 5 SJs took on Frimley Lodge, with Max Woods coming in 15th overall with a great time of 20:08. Meanwhile, Graham Bolton pipped Neil Praine to the line by 4 seconds to take home the bragging rights.

Rushmoor: 5 SJs took on the roadworks at Queens Avenue and made it to the start for the latest Rushmoor event. Elin Loftesnes was first SJ through the finishing funnel with a time of 27:52.

California Country Park: 9 SJs took to California for what is becoming an increasingly popular event. And it was a PB party! Craig Bowles was first SJ through with a great time of 20:36. Jane Crawford was first female SJ through with a PB of her own with a great time of 25:27. Other SJs in the PB party were Mark Pattrick, Paul Alexander, Wayne Boardman and Richard McCready. A great effort by all SJs in California!

Tourism: As always, plenty of SJs were out and about exploring the many parkruns on offer, close to home and further afield!

Lisa Hale had quite the morning over at Brooklands. in her 250th parkrun, Lisa came 1st female overall, in her first visit to the event! Brooklands didn’t know what hit them, well done Lisa! Stuart Overhill came through 9 seconds in front of Lisa setting a PB himself in the process. Jim Haffey also enjoyed his first run at Brooklands, with a great time of 27:14.

Elsewhere, Alurie Maye Dutton ran at Hogmoor Inclosure, Sharon Conquer was in Northampton, John Tovell ran at Crane Park, and Mo Willcox was 10th female through at Citypark, Craigavon. Further north, Simon Whillis set a PB at Rising Sun with a time of 27:03 and Kate Parker tried out Armley for the first time.

Finally, down south, Nick Metcalfe ran the 599th Brighton and Hove parkrun, the feeling of excitement for next weeks 600th event was palpable!

Other Saturday events…

Despicable Run 7 Hour Timed Event: SJs did the club proud in perfect running weather on Saturday, taking on the latest Saturn running event. Nigel Evans hit the 50km ultra marathon distance, big congratulations on such an achievement!

Limassol Half Marathon: Claire Rowse and Kirsty Darcy soaked up the sun and ran great runs in Cyprus, hard life! We’ll hopefully be hearing more from them later this week.

Sunday events…

London Landmarks Half Marathon: A herd of SJs took the capital streets in force on Sunday to take part in the Landmarks Half Marathon. Glorious weather, and a range of attire, made for a great morning of running! You’ll be hearing more from those members involved later in the week.

SJ Canal Run: Several SJs took to Frimley Lodge to take part in annual canal run, taking on a range of distances from 10 – 20 miles. Well done to Dave Breslin for organising such a well run event, and big thanks to those who came out to man the aid stations, which was very much appreciated by all runners, including chairman Richard Boese on his birthday, commitment!

Strava

Some big totals on Strava this week as Marathon training continues, and weekend events pushed the numbers up. Kath Shaw claimed the top spot once again with a superb total of 53 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/has already led the Monday night chatfest from Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm. The route will cover approx. 6 miles and is back on the road so don’t forget 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 will as always offer multiple groups to cater for all abilities from beginners through 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 regular start at Sandhurst Memorial Park.

Tuesday Intervals: Later the interval sessions will meet at The Tythings in Yateley at 8pm. The session will be on School Lane and will consist of 2 x 5 minutes, 2 x 4 minutes, 2 x 3 minutes, all with 45 second recoveries. 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: This week the threshold/improvers run will be on the Ellis Road route. Meet at Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm and don’t forget lights and high vis clothing. 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. Wherever you are parkrunning – Don’t forget your barcode! Woodley parkrun is out of action for 4-6 weeks as they resurface the path around the pond. The re-start date is still to be confirmed but won’t be until late March. And if you haven’t already done so make sure to add ‘Sandhurst Joggers’ as you club in your parkrun profile. there are detailed instructions on how to do this HERE

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.

Another great week of running. Well done to all of those who set parkrun PBs, ran London, ran the canal or just ran at all! Keep your eyes peeled, there will be plenty of content going up for you to feast on this week. Until next time!

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SJ Members Race Reports – Fleet, Reading and Richmond

Another busy weekend of running for the SJs culminated in a trio of events on Saturday and Sunday. We start with Sarah Jones, who took part in the Richmond Riverside 10k on Saturday, as she recalls….

Richmond Riverside 10k – Sarah Jones: “The course was a small, local event along the Thames Riverside which was well ran and organised (with supportive marshals!) The run itself was on both woodland track and tarmac going down one side towards Kingston and then back towards Richmond and then finally the finish. Overall, the course was nice and scenic, a good flat 10k to do and a smart medal afterwards!”

There were a couple of big half marathon events on Sunday, which attracted a lot of SJs looking for marathon training, a PB, or just an excuse to miss Sunday Brunch on Channel 4. We start with Fleet, with various members reviewing the event….

Charley Bryant – “Fleet is my favourite half marathon. The support and marshals are always amazing, it’s well organised, local and a very civilised 1030 start! I wasn’t chasing a time as I’d done my first full marathon in four years just 8 days before, so I just soaked up the atmosphere and remembered all the things I love about running – a brilliant day!”

Mark Pattrick “I had been given my place at Fleet half by an injured friend at the end of January. Due to injuries that have lasted over a year, I cycled over to Fleet with no expectations, little training and no thought for the course. The start was very busy, a few thousand people and I’d started about 6 rows behind the 1:40 pacer. Surprisingly this was one of the most pleasant, friendly and well run half marathons in which I have participated. Good crowds, excellent marshaling from Fleet and Church Crookham, well drilled water stations, and once you leave the town some idyllic spots interspersed with bridges over the M3.

Other than a congested start I cannot fault it. From mile 2 onwards, providing you hadn’t started too far behind where you thought you might finish there was plenty of overtaking space. ONE NOTE: whilst this isn’t a steep course it isn’t exactly pan flat and can be very deceptive. Many of the country lanes are undulating and whilst you shouldn’t rule out a PB Half here, it would be a big ask. Great running village set up at the start and finish if you have time to go afterwards. The Asics stand looked interesting and the smell of bacon from the breakfast tent was something else entirely.”

Jim Haffey – “Unlike last years unfortunate situation with the weather, this time around as we waited in Calthorpe Park the wind had dropped off a bit and the sun was making a great attempt to stay out for us so the weather gods were on our side. There were plenty of facilities in the park and the organisation was Fleet’s usual smooth self so off we went to the start. Pacers with large flags made it easy to place yourself within the starting groups and was nicer than some of the pens I have been in, it did not take long to get the runners sorted out and off we went. The route went in and around the main town centre with plenty of miles through more rural roads and lanes which was my preference as I do prefer woodlands to the town centres; there were some undulating sections but nothing to really bother us hill wise.

Lots of water stations and jelly baby/sweets handouts on the way around but what was really lovely was the amount and level of enthusiasm of the marshals and the people of Fleet who were on the roadsides, in their gardens or leaning out of windows cheering people on. There were also plenty of kids after high-fives as well and they could not be left hanging so there was a great community feel to it as the parents with them made sure you got a good shout-out.

I had tried to trade my place the week before as a combination of man-flu and a couple of silly injuries had limited me to a longest run of 4 miles for the 8 weeks prior to this so I was fairly under-prepared and just went to enjoy it. Eventually finished 20 mins slower than the Wokingham Half from 2018 although I even managed what was for me a sprint over the last 100 metres or so spurred on by hearing the run commentator calling out my name. There were a healthy contingent of SJs there judging by the results sheet I saw and I highly recommend it to those that have not tried!”

Meanwhile, at 10:30, one of the bigger half marathons around was about to get started. Reading is also a popular pre-London training race, a reasonably flat course with plenty of support all the way round. Let’s see what the SJs who ran it felt….

Natalie Pollard – “With my Sandhurst Joggers top on, and my trusty trainers what more did I need to complete my first half marathon? Well, I had 12 weeks of training under my belt, my amazing friend and running partner by my side and great ‘unpredictable’ weather. So, after a last minute ‘comfort break’ Kate and I literally found ourselves at the very back of 15,000 runners. We sprinted to the start line and we were off! Slowly picking off a shark, a unicorn and other friendly runners, we settled into our pace and started chatting about who our fantasy date would be, best restaurant, favourite holiday etc. This distraction was great and got us to 6 miles or so with not too many worries.

The course was lovely with lots of support and well-wishers calling our names. We weaved through the university, listening to gospel choirs, bands and singers. Drinks stations were plentiful, and I loved the new water packets…well until I almost choked on one at mile 10!!! (those of you that have used them will know what I mean). Being offered a beer and a cup of tea whilst running was also quite a novelty, but I reluctantly declined both. On the last stretch I started to fatigue… I became quiet and really had to dig deep to find the energy for the last mile. My back was aching, but I generally still felt good, just exhausted.

Our families had come to watch. We’d seen them in town and were hoping they’d made it to the stadium. I was worried though, that as our time was 15 minutes quicker than predicted they might not be there yet, should I slow down? No, not on your nelly! On entering the stadium, I raised my arms and took in the moment. I got a lump in my throat and misty eyes. Through the tears I spotted my family. I blew them a kiss then Kate grabbed my hand and we sprinted to the finish line together. Wow what an experience!! I’d loved it. What a day!! It was amazing, and I would thoroughly recommend it. Especially for a first half marathon. It’s got the magic.”

Stuart Holbrook – “It was a good day and well organised. As always, the people of Reading did themselves proud with a lot of support for all the runners. They had changed the course making the university part a little longer and shortening the end of the course somewhat which made it slightly better in my opinion. Great day and they seem to have learnt lesson from previous years.”

Jon Green – “A few people asked me why I wasn’t running Wokingham in February which would have made sense as I live there, however  I decided to enter Reading as my first half marathon purely due to it being a massive event with great support and it didn’t disappoint so I feel I made the right choice. My friend from Tilehurst was also keen on doing it for his 8th time so I signed up when he did in December.

After a bit of stress getting there with the bus having to take a scenic route round Lower Earley due to the road closures, we lined up on the start line. 10 minutes after the starting gun fired we crossed the timing mat and were off! My main tactic for the race was not to go off too quickly and this went well with my first mile being a little bit quick but far from stupidly so at 8:15. After that I settled into a steady 8:35-8:45 minute/mile pace. The support through Whitely with residents coming out of their houses to line the roads with portable speakers and signs was brilliant and really made the atmosphere. The bits around the university campus and town centre were equally as well supported and the bottles of Lucozade given out were gratefully received.


As I started on the dreaded hill up Russell Street at mile 8 I overtook a girl from Reading Road Runners. As a bit of amusement I shouted “Come on Reading!” to her which made her smile. Just before the 10th mile I saw her ahead of me again and caught up with her. “Just a Parkrun to go she commented”. I chatted to her for the last 3 miles which helped take my mind off the long, wide, open and boring A33 section. As we crossed the line I felt a sense of elation, first one in the bag. I finished it in 1:54:00. Not quite the 1:53 I had aimed for the night before the race but not far off and I was happy I finished comfortably and without issue.”

Jackie Brighton – “I loved Reading, it was my first time running it as it was cancelled last year because of the snow. There was so much support, pretty much all the way round the course. We were lucky with the weather. I had a good run. I was a bit tentative as I was having some knee issues. My knee started to hurt again mile 11 but I was determined to finish and I did.”

Jackie Kent – “Another year, another Reading half marathon! With Facebook reminding me that Reading was the first half I ever did six years ago, I wasn’t really sure what to expect this year. Having had a rough Wokingham half marathon three weeks previously I was feeling a little apprehensive about doing another one quite so soon. However, I’m not one to waste an entry fee so I got up, got ready and set off.

This was the first year that I relied on public transport to get there and I’ll be honest, it was really easy. The train was on time and there were no queues for the bus as I’d gone early. The bus took about 10 mins and dropped us off right outside the Madejski Stadium.

I crossed the start line 7 minutes after the gun which isn’t too bad. The route has only changed slightly over the six years that I’ve been running it. It’s a mix of residential areas, university grounds and the town centre. It is exceptionally well supported for a half with people out cheering almost all the way around. There are lots of bands and music to keep your spirits up and of course my favourite bit, the drums under the IDR. There is also even a pub handing out free beer to runners en route! There are also three big hills which I’ll just gloss over…

My race went well. I was able to keep a steady pace and finished in 1:54:14 which is a decent time for me. My second favourite bit of Reading is the stadium finish. There is just something about running into and around the stadium to the finish line that feels really special. As I headed outside I heard my name being called and turned to find Jon Green behind me. He’d had a good race too so we compared race notes for a bit and then I went to collect my bag. The bus ride back to the station took a long time due to the traffic caused by the race road closures. However we got there eventually and after a spot of lunch I headed home, feeling pleased with myself and having had another good Reading half.”

Nick Metcalfe – “I was quite nervous going into the race, as I had been nursing a knee injury for the two weeks prior to the run. Nonetheless, I was determined to just enjoy the day and soak up what I hoped would be a great atmosphere.

Sure enough, there were people watching and cheering everyone from mile 1 through to 13. I saw my boss at the start line, who said it was ‘quite a flat course’, well it certainly didn’t feel like that at points! A few hills, but nothing that the music and support couldn’t help with. Plenty of people were out watching in the town centre, and although it was quiet and a bit of a push to get to the Madjeski Stadium, finishing up there was pretty fantastic.


A great event, and definitely one I will be looking to do again. I managed 1:42.21, but this was on a pretty dodgy knee, so definitely hoping to get back and go sub 1:40 next year!

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SJ Weekly Run Down – March 11th to 17th

Another week in the running world has gone by, time now to recap over the last 7 days and look ahead to what’s just around the corner…

Club Announcements

Canal Run – The annual Canal Run shall be held this Sunday (24th). All groups shall be leaving from Frimley Lodge Park, heading out and turning back after 5, 7.5 or 10 miles. The distance groups shall be 10 miles, 15 miles and 20 miles, and groups will be leaving at the following times:

9:30am – 20 miles
10:00am – 15 miles
10:30am – 10 miles

Afterwards everyone will be heading to the Kings Head pub for a well earned recovery drink (or 7). Please let Dave know if you can make the run, email address is events@sandhurstjoggers.org.uk

London Marathon Bus – All aboard Ian’s bus! There are some spare seats going on the bus up to London, which are now available for external runners or supporters. The bus shall be leaving the Sandhurst Library at 06:30 to get to Greenwich, and will be heading home from Pall Mall at 16:30.

It’s £20 for a return journey, and you’re bound to have great company on the way there and back! Seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis so please email Ian Watson with names of those who would like to have a seat, on his email address iwatson2009@hotmail.co.uk

SJ Annual Ball 2019 – Get on your dancing shoes! The last few tickets are still available for the SJ Ball, this year being held on Friday 29th March at Easthampstead Park Conference Centre. Dress to impress, it should be a great night! Tickets are £35, so please email Lisa Harold (social@sandhurstjoggers.org.uk) to book your place.

Onto the weekend running and starting with parkrun…

Plenty of pre-half marathon parkruns this weekend, starting with the locals…

Bracknell: 7 SJs took on Bracknell, with Martin Steadman heading up the list with a good time of 23:02 and a 17th place overall finish to go along with it. Jane Bannister was the first female SJ and 14th overall, as well as first in her age category with her time of 27:30.

Frimley: With the highest SJ turnout of the weekend, Frimley saw Clive Rolfe come 8th overall with a great time of 19:37, leading the SJs in. Janet Venables was the first female SJ down the finishing tunnel with a time of 27:53. Meanwhile, with a time of 31:00, Jonathon Taylor took almost 5 minutes off his previous Frimley PB, so big congratulations are in order!

Rushmoor: Those seeking a flatter start to their Saturday headed to Queens Avenue. Lisa Hale came through as the 6th overall female and was the first SJ to come home, with a good time of 24:27. Graham Bolton was the first male SJ in, with a time of 26:58.

Meanwhile, Dave Bartlett was kept on a short lead at all times, as per Parkrun rules, by Lina Johnson and Nigel Evans, with the three SJs coming in at the 31:47 mark. Rumour has it he kept trying to pick up sticks with his mouth on the way around, then rolled in a puddle to cool off afterwards! A great run by Dave, all to raise awareness for his London Landmarks Half Marathon, taking place next Sunday. Well done Dave!

California Country Park: The charm of California bought 6 SJs in for its 4th event, 4 of whom were giving it their first run. Craig Bowles was the first SJ and 12th overall with a time of 21:10, whilst Louise Gubb was 6th overall female with a time of 24:18.

Tourism: As usual, plenty of SJs ventured out to some different parkruns this weekend. Teresa Milroy and Colin Carpenter fancied a hilly one at Alice Holt, although it was their first time so we’ll see if they will be back for more! Royston Crandley, George Green, Sam Weller and Elin Loftesnes took to the lakes of Dinton Pastures, Monica Burbidge was in Guildford, John Wright gave Winchester a go for the first time, and the St Aubyn duo of Charlie and Charlotte tried Maidenhead for the first time.

Slightly further from home, Sharon Conquer took on Northampton, the two Stuarts (Overhill and Mayes) headed to Brooklands, Andy Sumerskill was at Houghton Hall and Yvette Glacken went well at Luton Wardown. Finally, we had some great efforts in the Parkrun tourist department, as John Tovell took on Crane Park for a pre St Patrick’s Day Parkrun (personally I’d be expecting a free Guinness at the end), whilst Kate Parker continued her tour of Singapore parkruns, coming through as 8th female at Bishan!

Other Saturday events…

Richmond Spring Riverside 10kAlison Jones and Sarah Jones were out running what looked like a pleasant event along the Thames on Saturday!

Saturn Running’s Doh’Nut Run at Thames Valley Park, Reading – Michelle Wilson took on the latest Saturn event, and hopefully treated herself to a doughnut or two afterwards!

Well done to those SJs out running Saturday events this weekend!

Sunday events…

Reading Half Marathon: A good number of SJs set off from Green Park on Sunday for the Reading half. Finishing off at the Madjeski, in a much better atmosphere than a Reading matchday, Robert Jerrett charged round in a great time of 1:26:55 (chip time). Tracy Robinson was the first female SJ in, with a superb time of 1:46:10!

Fleet Half Marathon: Another popular event with SJs, Mark Pattrick led home with a time of 1:34:02, with Kirsty Kent taking the first female SJ finish with a time of 1:45:52.

Well done to all SJs in running Reading and Fleet, we’ll have a more detailed round-up of each event later on in the week….

Strava

Fleet and Reading half marathons led to some big totals on this weeks Strava leaderboard. Phillip Turner claimed the top spot with a total of 49.1 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/has already led the Monday night chatfest from Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm. The route will cover approx. 6 miles and is back on the road so don’t forget 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 will as always offer multiple groups to cater for all abilities from beginners through 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 regular start at Sandhurst Memorial Park.

Tuesday Intervals: Tuesday intervals will be starting as usual at 7:55pm. 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 looks to continue his fine record of going 2 straight weeks without losing anyone as newly appointed run leader on the threshold/improvers run. Meet at Sandhurst Sports Centre at 7:30pm and don’t forget lights and high vis clothing. 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. Wherever you are parkrunning – Don’t forget your barcode! Woodley parkrun is out of action for 4-6 weeks as they resurface the path around the pond. The re-start date is still to be confirmed but won’t be until late March. And if you haven’t already done so make sure to add ‘Sandhurst Joggers’ as you club in your parkrun profile. there are detailed instructions on how to do this HERE

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.

That’s a wrap for this weeks run down! This is my first run down, so please bear with me as I learn the ropes, any feedback is always appreciated! All that’s left for me to say is have a great week, and in the (amended for effect) words of Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly, keep running!

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Meet the Member – Jon Green completes 50 parkruns

Q) For members who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself? 

A) Born up north in County Durham but spent most of my life in the Wokingham area. I have been employed by BT for the last 3 years as a power engineer which means a lot of time on the road maintaining the electrical systems within the telephone exchanges mostly along the M4 corridor between Hungerford and Slough. I am also a big car enthusiast and have had some slightly ‘unique’ cars in my 10 years of driving.

Q) How and when did you get into running? 

A) I got into running in 2017 being realistically only capable of 5k properly. I started running more regularly after joining Sandhurst with the aim in mind of wanting to improve my Parkrun times and it just snowballed as I got sucked into the competitive side of racing. 

Q) What do you enjoy most about being a member of Sandhurst Joggers? 

A) The variety of the club runs that cater from more experienced stronger runners down to people who are just starting out and wanting to improve their ability. It is quite good that you can move up through the paced groups on a Tuesday and then onto more intense sessions to keep improving such as Mondays and then subsequently onto Thursdays. The number of different sessions a week put on by the club is really excellent from standard club runs like Mondays to intervals/hills on a Tuesday to a tempo run on a Thursday to Friday Track and an off road Lookout run on Sundays. There really is something for everyone regardless of your goals and ability. The social element of the club is also really good, my favourite being the monthly ‘curry club’ night after the handicap. There is nothing better than discussing the preceding run with friends over a cold beer and curry.

Q) On which of the weekly runs are we most likely to bump into you? 

A) My preferred run of the week is still Monday as its well led with varying routes throughout the year. It is also a very sociable run and I know nearly all the Monday regulars very well. However I do often make appearances at Mike’s hill intervals on a Tuesday and the Thursday tempo run.

Q) You’ve ran most of your parkruns at Woodley, tell us what you like about that event?

A) I like Woodley because it was a parkrun I got into long before I joined Sandhurst as it was the most local one to me for many years due to there being far fewer in the area than there are now. When other Parkruns opened up in the area I realised that Woodley was the easiest course for me to attain a PB due to liking the 1 mile per lap format, the tarmac paths and not as much congestion as some other Parkruns. The volunteer team there are also always excellent and it’s got a great competitive camaraderie among its participants.

Q) Of the 12 other parkruns you’ve run, which was your favourite and why?

A) My favourite Parkrun at the moment is still Salisbury as I loved the varied course around a beautiful leafy park made even better by running it in the autumn. I also liked that it was a mixture of tarmac paths and grass just like Woodley which I feel can really aid a quick time.

Q) What other events are on your programme for 2019?

A) The main event on my programme for 2019 is the Reading Half Marathon on Sunday 17th March which will be my first half marathon so feeling nervous but excited about that. Aside from Reading the only two races I have pencilled in are the Woodley 10k in April and the first race of the Yateley 10k series in June. I would also be inclined to do the Cabbage Patch 10 again as it was a great race last year and I am pleased they are running it again after all the uncertainty.

Jon ran his first Parkrun on 12th June 2010 at Frimley Lodge, here’s some more achievements for the statos taken from the ‘Parkrun Challenges’ Chrome Extension:-

50 x Parkruns in Total

22 of those at Woodley

18 x Personal Bests (fastest ever is 23:27 set at Woodley in January 2019 )

13 x Different venues

Most parkruns in a single year is 29 in 2018

35/60 scored in Stopwatch Bingo

2 x Christmas Day parkruns completed in 2017 and 2018

2 x volunteering in 2 different roles

Jon has completed the All Weather Runner (complete at least one parkrun in each month of the year) once and his most active months are January and December.

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Tales from the Trails – SJ Members Grizzly Highlights

Sunday 10th March 2019 saw 21 hardened Sandhurst Joggers’ take to the coast of Devon for the renowned ‘Grizzly’ event, along with its little sister the ‘Cub’. Strong winds proved a test and led to a slight course alteration, but that didn’t stop the positive reviews from flowing in. Members relive their experiences below, starting with Jess Metcalfe discussing her experience of the Cub…

Jess Metcalfe: Having only run on road prior to the Cub, I had no idea what to expect. Even up until I arrived, I was just thinking ‘Only 9 miles, how challenging could it be?!’. I had covered a reasonable distance and started taking on the Plymouth hills every day as training (if you can call it that!), but just had no idea what to expect. Being on placement in Axminster during January, my educator drove me round bits of the course where possible, and the whole department openly called me crazy – but that’s why we do it!

Nice and early departure from Plymouth, the excitement was setting in. The wind was furious, slightly heavier than usual in the South West. Grizzly HQ was buzzing, Seaton was covered in Grizzly related signs and excitement. I met some of the SJs in HQ and then was immersed into Grizzly excitement. We all approached the start line like penguins with the long road ahead.

And wow! What a race! The hardest first mile I’ve ever done – not a fan of pebble beaches now. Beer road lived up to what everyone said, how anyone can run up hills like that is unbelievable. But that didn’t matter, being surrounded by people who are just happy to be there and knowing everyone’s in this together, you can’t help but forget about the wind, hills and mud and just smile! And I’m definitely not a fan of the stairs leading up the cliff face! Mud, mud, glorious mud!

Crossing the finish line, I was over the moon. I have never had a run where I have felt amazing all the way through, maybe it was down to all the jelly babies! Words honestly can’t describe the experience and the feeling I had, and still have now. Looking to next year and I may have been persuaded to step it up a notch and complete the full 20 miles. Either way, I will be back!”

And now we have the various reviews of the ‘Grizzly’, starting off with Patrick Wadsworth…

Patrick Wadsworth: The Grizzly is a permanent fixture in my calendar. It is a great event and usually run in sunshine, showing off the Devon countryside in all its glory. This year was no exception. I picked up my fellow day travelers and we had left by 7 for the drive down. We parked easily and wandered onto the seafront for bacon butties, tea and chat with other SJs who were down for the weekend. Bag dropped eventually at the town hall and I tried to squeeze into the start to hear the Town Crier’s humorous welcome. Then we were off. Along the front and back along the beach before passing the start again and heading out to Beer and Branscombe. A mix of raid running, open fields and muddy paths followed and a wade through the river. More hills and muddy paths, muddy knee-deep bogs and vertiginous ascents. A beach run and a stairway to heaven up the cliffs followed by a run to the finish. Throughout there are superb marshals encouraging you and plenty of water and nibble stations. If the going gets tough just look around you at the scenery or start a conversation with someone next to you. It’s not a race but a collective event. Time does not matter, it’s about getting around, enjoying Devon and being part of something big. If you haven’t done it before give it a try.”

Vicky Rice: This was to be my 4th Grizzly – I realised that I haven’t returned to any race for a 4th time – what was it about the Grizzly?! We headed to Seaton on Saturday early evening to be greeted with rain and high winds confirming that the course would be muddy and tough as always. The weather Sunday morning was really mixed – 1 minute it was raining and cold, the next it was sunny with clear blue skies but very windy – more layers, less layers, sunnies, hat? The usual dithering about what to wear! We headed to the seafront to meet the rest of the Sandhurst gang – there is always such a great atmosphere with everyone excited and/or apprehensive about what awaits. The sun was out so I ditched a layer and the hat and opted for sunnies!

I headed to the pen with Darren and Sarah H – we listened to the usual address from the Town Crier which is always entertaining and then we were off. First mile over the pebbles, round the sailing club and up out of Seaton. Me and Sarah H had planned to run together but heading out over the first hill Sarah was like a coiled spring and I didn’t want to hold her back so told her to crack on and chase Darren down! It was so warm so I was glad I’d ditched some layers already. So, there I was at mile 2 and the realisation that I was running solo for the next 18 miles! I’m not great at running solo and I didn’t have my usual wingman (aka Jane) with me. But it allowed me to run at my own pace and I wanted to see what mental strength I had. I knew the course and I knew which hills I could run and which I had to walk. Over the headland at miles 3-5 there was a massive headwind which made it feel like we weren’t moving – I tried to tuck into a pack to take shelter but we were really battling the wind. We headed down to the beach and through the water, said goodbye to the cubbers and then headed inland.

It then dawned on me that the course looked very familiar but we were going the other way – so those that know it – we ran up through the zig-zag woods and round the farm in reverse – the hill in the middle of the farm you usually come down was a killer going up! My glute niggle started to hurt about 8 miles which was affecting my stability in the mud – I was slipping, sliding and tripping over everything – it was a miracle I didn’t completely stack it! The next good few miles were really tough – so much mud, the downs were getting really painful worse than the ups. But I kept ticking off the miles and it helped I knew what was coming next. Through the bog and water delights at 13 miles – which they had extended and went on forever, then up the steep bank – I couldn’t get near the rope so used the footprints to crawl my way up. I was really feeling it by this point so the Triathlon club food station was a very welcome site – I loaded up with flapjack and told a guy with an Ironman France jacket on – give me Ironman any day!! Next milestone was the pub which you run straight through the middle of – everyone cheered and I was on my own so I had my moment of glory! Back up through the woods and I caught up with John T. We both knew the pebble beach was nearing! I pushed on and caught up with some Honiton Runners who I would play cat and mouse with over the next few miles. My legs were working a bit better now and I was feeling mentally strong.

On to the beach and having had a dark moment here before I was in a good place and knew I could run the whole length of the beach to the stairway to Heaven. Mission accomplished and I overtook my Honiton runners to climb the Stairway. Half way up the stairway I saw an SJ vest…Darren!!!! I was surprised to see him, but was glad to hear he’d had a good first half before the usual cramp had set in. Not bad effort on 1 training run last Thursday! He suggested we run the last 3 miles together but when I got to the top he wasn’t with me, just a Park Run to go and I knew this would be a strong bit for me. I pushed on knowing the end was in sight. One guy got a bit grumpy with me as I wanted to push on but he was walking – I heard him say, it’s not a race! Well…actually it is again my own personal time! A strong finish and down the home straight….and then the Honiton runners came past me – ‘Guys, how could you?!!’ Fair play to them! Another Grizzly done! Definitely the toughest race in the calendar for me!

Dave Bartlett: “Grizzly, well having waited in excess of 18 months having been successful in the 2018 ballot, 2019 never disappointed. A little apprehensive at the start following my desire for a portion of chips on West Bay (Broadchurch) beech with my travel and weekend companions, Nigel & Liz Ujszaszi Evans. Why you may ask, well the chips were lovely and the seagulls friendly. Unfortunately, my knee never took a liking to the shingle and I honestly believed I’d be lucky to run more than a mile or two. In defensive mode we got into town early and ensured parking close to the start, started our recce of the promenade, beech and hill that led out of town to the west and finished asking ourselves why. Suddenly surrounded by a good number of Sandhurst Joggers we took on advice from the seasoned runners around us and headed to the start. Run walk is definitely the philosophy and taking it just as easy going down as we did going up paid dividends. Roads, trails, hills, valleys, streams, swamps, forests, cliff faces, shingle beaches and 50mph winds what more could you ask for. By far the best event I’ve ever entered, fantastic organisation, fantastic aid stations, fantastic marshals and amazing support throughout I’ll be in the 2020 ballot the day it opens (if it does?). Huge thanks for all the encouragement from this amazing club that travelled in strength, Richard for his words of wisdom through the first 6 miles and my pilot, Nigel (top gun) Evans for sticking to the plan. If you’re looking for a pressure free challenge this is one you simply have to do, see you on the Jurassic Coast in 2020!”

Sharon Burfield: “The grizzly was good fun, with great company and scenery! I enjoyed the hills, the sea and even the pebble beach, but I really did not like the cold water!! Even the ‘bog of doom’ was better than the freezing cold water!! I’m glad I’ve done it the once, but not sure I will do it again!”

Wayne Boardman: “I first ran The Grizzly in 2017 and loved it so much I decided it had to become an annual event. I returned in 2018, and as I’d arrived before the weather turned, I was one of the lucky few who ran a unique shortened version of this great race. This year’s race was all part of my spring marathon training, and although running The Grizzly is never about times, but more about the experience, I still wanted to achieve a better time than my previous (4.23), and was really hoping for a sub-4. Race day arrived, the sun was shining and a dry day was forecast, all we had to worry about was the gale blowing through Seaton. After the obligatory SJ coffee shop photo, and with the gloomy tones of the Town Crier, we were off. My 18-year-old nephew was running the event for the first time, and I’d joked with him that he wouldn’t be able to beat this old man, but I lost him on the beach as he went off like a rocket; I assumed that race was over.

The first few miles through the Seaton and Beer went smoothly, and it was only when we popped our heads above the caravan park that we realised the true strength of the wind – it was strong for sure! After that the race is quite simply a relentless obstacle course of hills, mud, ice cold streams, bogs, slurry, more mud, more hills, pebbles, even more hills, oh, and more mud. Alongside all of this is some remarkably stunning coastal scenery, generous local residents offering home baked goods, and quite simply the best marshals you’ll ever have the pleasure of running with. I had a great race on Sunday, there were tough moments when the inclines were getting too much and cramp wanted to set up, but generally I felt strong and was encouraged to keep moving forward by all my club mates I saw on the course.

I finished around 45-mins quicker than in 2017, and was surprised to find my nephew was on the finish line at the same time. It turned out he beat me by just 24-seconds, about the time it took me to drink the free beer (yes that’s right!), at mile 18. If only I hadn’t been so weak. For anyone who’s never done The Grizzly, please do, it’s just the best race, and my favourite of the year. See you there next year?”

Richard Boese: The Grizzly is a 20 mile very hilly, very muddy mostly trail event the starts in Seaton, Devon and heads over to the villages of Beer and Branscombe before looping out into the countryside to the north and returning to the coast at Branscombe and back to Seaton by a different route. 

I got a lift with chauffeur Patrick and Paul and Sarah from the club, pick up at 7am, so almost a lie in. I thought this was quite a relaxed start and I had everything sorted for the run, but just on to the M3 realised I had left my race number at home! Shit. 

I got my wife to send me a picture of my number, checked the race instructions and it seemed I would be able to get a new number quite easily. My only worry was what time were would get there as Patrick’s sat nav was saying 9:20. I assumed it was a 10:00 start, so when we got to Seaton, I left my bag with Paul and ran to race HQ a mile away. 

When I got there everyone was looking very relaxed considering they were 30 mins from the start, but I found HQ and easily got a new race number. I found a few more club mates, who told me race start was actually 10:30, so I could relax for a bit as I was already in my running kit. 

grizzly patrick

At the start on the sea front we were packed in near the front and the start gantry for the briefing and then the traditional start sent on or way by the town crier. 

The stand out moments from the run and what make the Grizzly special are the first half mile run along the shingle beach, the run down into Branscombe with its wading through an icy stream to get into the village, the climb up through the switchback woods with the immense tall pines being thrashed about in the wind, the descent in to and hilarious traverse of the Bog of Doom, climbing the next hill so steep there are ropes to haul yourself up with, running through the beer garden of the pub in Branscombe, wild garlic hill, the Stairway to Heaven climb up Branscombe east cliff, free beer in Beer, the finish in Seaton and getting hosed clean by Seaton fire brigade. 

That is a lot of stand out moments for one race.”

Alison Jones: I entered The Grizzly last year and was treated to a fun run in the snow, so when I was told entries from last year would get priority for this year I bagged my place for 2019.

Sharon Burfield, Jane Bannister and I arrived in Beer and found the POD we would be staying the night in and then set off to find how long it would take us to walk to the start in the morning, after navigating our way up hills and down again we decided we would drive to the start instead, that way we might have enough energy to get around the course.

The morning of the run we met the rest of the mentally unbalanced Sandhurst Joggers in the usual café and after much jollity and photo taking lined up to tackle The Grizzly 2019!

After about 10 minutes I remembered what I hated from the previous year i.e. running along a pebbled beach, not a good start.  Sharon has been having some injury issues and did not want to aggravate these so decided she would take it steady, hence she ran with me, well I say ran, sometimes we even did.

After the beach I thought that’s the worst over, then we encountered the water, which was to become quite a feature in our journey, I won’t even bother mentioning the hills, that’s a given, but I will mention the squinty fields we tried to run across, with an accompanying side wind, all added to the fun.

Having only run a short course last year I was not sure when we would come across the “Bog of Doom” so when I saw a fellow nutter tightening his shoes I though “Oh Ho here we go” and it was indeed a muddy bog, not too bad so I thought this is easier than I anticipated, what a fool I was!

When we finally reached the “Bog of Doom” I was in no doubt where we were, it was a pleasure to get into the heat of the mud, the water was freezing, with just some more hills, squinty fields, streams, beach and the “stairway to heaven” to go the end was in sight and we finally finished The Grizzly 2019.

I can understand the attraction of this run and many people do it year upon year, I do not think I will be one of them since this will no longer be “trails of the unexpected” I know what is coming.”

Jane Bannister: This race was long awaited since it was snowing last year and you were only able to run the Cub event. 

I had agreed beforehand to run with Will Lucas and the plan was to run the flats and walk the hills, take plenty of photographs/selfies along the way and make sure we were well fuelled at the water/food stations. We successfully stuck to this plan 😂

The atmosphere is amazing right from the start by the Mayor and the Town Crier reading his Proclamation to all the marshals and supporters – we even had the Queen walking through the muddy waters encouraging us all along the way.

This iconic race lived up to expectations – lots of hills, amazing scenery along with some muddy trails as well as a chance to get our feet wet. What was there to dislike – nothing!

We still didn’t quite manage to do the full course as it was too windy – we were about 3/4 mile short – perhaps 3rd time lucky to run the whole course?!”

Can’t beat a team photo! All that’s left to say is well done to all SJs who took part in the Grizzly and the Cub, it seems as though it should definitely be on all of our running bucket lists, even if it is just for the free beer!

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Meet the Member – Gareth Hopkins completes 50 parkruns

Q) For members who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself? 

A) Well my name is Gareth, I live in Yateley with my partner Sam and my two daughters Emily and Felicity and our 3 cats!  I am the operations director of a busy video production company. I am a bit of film geek.

Q) How and when did you get into running? 

A) I started running in April 2017.  It was my partner that got me into as she completed the Couch to 5K and suggested I should give it a try.  Before giving it a go I always said I hated run, and my mantra was there was no point in running unless you we being chased or playing football.  As I was rubbish out on the pitch at football,  I played in goal just to minimise my running around time.  I decided to do the Couch to 5K on my own and surprised myself as I really enjoyed.  The first time of running for 1 min killed me! Once I completed the course, I decided to give parkrun a go, and enjoyed that.  So, then I looked for a running club to enjoy to ensure sure I kept the running up on a regular basis and that is when I found Sandhurst Joggers.

Q) What do you enjoy most about being a member of Sandhurst Joggers? 

A) I really enjoy the friendly nature of the club.  No matter what night you run there are always people to chat too.  I also like the wide variety runs that are on offer during the week.

Q) On which of the weekly runs are we most likely to bump into you? 

A) I mostly run on with the Tuesday night group, but have given a Monday night, Thursday night, Track  and the Sunday Look Out run a go. Just a Wednesday night to go to get the full house.

Q) You’ve ran most of your parkruns at Frimley Lodge, tell us what you like about that event?

A) I used to live in Frimley and Frimley Lodge Park was my local park.  I have friends that also run the course so I find it a very social run.  I love the course as I find it quite picturesque course, especially on the chilly winter mornings.

Q) Of the 4 other parkruns you’ve run, which was your favourite and why?

A) I really enjoyed Dinton as I found it to be another picturesque course with nice wide tracks.  I am hoping to increase the number of parkruns I have visited as I want to make a start on the parkrun A-Z

Q) What other events are on your programme for 2019?

A) I am trying for 12 in 12 of half marathons this year so planning on booking a fair few Saturn runs.  My next one is the “To Infinity & Beyond” on the 23rd Mar. Then I have The General in Winchester which is a 12 mile trial run in April. People in the club that know me know that I love a muddy run, so I will be booking in a few more Brutal runs and also maybe the Hell Runner as well. I have also booked Endure 24 and I also looking forward to the Hart4 run. 

Gareth ran his first Parkrun on 8th July 2017 at Frimley Lodge, here’s some more achievements for the statos taken from the ‘Parkrun Challenges’ Chrome Extension:-

50 x Parkruns in Total

42 of those at Frimley Lodge

16 x Personal Bests (fastest ever is 25:34 set at Frimley Lodge in September 2018 )

5 x Different venues

Most parkruns in a single year is 26 in 2018

New Year’s Day Double completed in 2018 at Rushmoor and Frimley Lodge

35/60 scored in Stopwatch Bingo

3 x volunteering as a marshal

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Hillingdon Half – Jon Taylor reports back from this event based out of Brunel University

Twenty five years ago I studied at Brunel University in Uxbridge, in the borough of Hillingdon, West London. I am another one of those crazy serial marathon runners and quite fancied doing a half “for a change”. This race appealed to me as it would take me back to my old stomping ground and Hillingdon is only about half an hours drive from where I live in Fleet.  I entered with only a few days left before race day, the entry fee was only £20 which I though was good value. As well as half marathon, a 10k was also on at the same time which started half an hour later. The half is a two lap course and the 10k a single lap.

So early morning on Sunday 24th Feb, I took the short drive back to Hillingdon.  The race was due to start at 9.30am and I arrived at 8.30 so it wasn’t too early a start.  The parking was free on campus and marshals directed us to the large car park, there were no issues here.

I made my way across campus to the start area. I was surprised at how much it had all changed since I was last here in 1994 – lots of new buildings and some of the older buildings had changed a lot.  We were directed into a giant sports hall to collect our bib number and timing chip.  The place was heaving with people, with the half and 10k runners mingling around.  The bib was quickly pinned on, and the chip was one of those disposable strips of paper you put through your running shoes. There was also a bag drop here, and I left a small bag with a jumper in it as the day had started cold. The queues were already horrendous for the loos inside the hall, but I noticed a number of portaloos outside for which there was no queue at all – result.

I had a little wander round to take some pictures before the call went out to attend the race briefing.  The race director stood up and started talking but the noise in the hall meant I could hardly hear anything.

The start and finish area was just outside the sports hall on the campus ring road. The race director attempted to line us up in order of finish time. Hilariously he started by invited runners who could finish ‘in sub 60 minutes’… no sign of Mo Farah. I know my place and shuffled off to the back.

Before I knew it, there was a quick countdown and we were off. The crowd surged underneath the start gantry and over the timing mat to the usual sound of loud beeping.

We started with a loop of the ring road around the campus, past the halls of residence, the pond at the front and past the lecture centre and towers.  It was great to see the university and how it had changed since the early 1990s.

Just before reaching the start area again, we took a path out of the campus along Kingston Road, before heading out to the busy Cowley Road. This was a bit of a grim section running along the pavement of a dual carriageway.

The pavements were a little narrow in places and had I been trying to overtake, it would have been difficult without stepping into the road. The field didn’t really start to thin out until the third mile, and I was able to find my own pace and just run normally.

After reaching three miles was the first water station. By now the heat was really starting to set in. Off came the gloves and headban, and I was started to feel properly hot – very unusual for a February!

Finally we reached a large crossroads and took a left into Falling Lane, this was much quieter. This part of the course was really pancake flat and the course was now spread out so it felt quite good to get some speed up.

We came off the footpath and about a mile was along a trail, this was my favourite part of the race. We emerged near the Hospital and had to cross the busy Pield Heath Road. It was very well marshalled and a lady kept walking out in the zebra crossing when runners approached to make sure the traffic stopped and we could cross the road safely.

We were directed along a short footpath before rejoining a back road. So much for the course being ‘flat and fast’; there was now a mile uphill. It was a really quiet road so good to get off the pavement. I was still sticking to 10 minute miles and happy with the progress I was making.  At the top of the hill we reached another water station and the busy Uxbridge Road, and a nice half a mile downhill which I could get my speed up a bit.  Finally there was another left turn back into Kingston Lane, opposite the University campus and the start/finish area.  A very enthusiastic marshal was shouting at us when it was safe to cross this busy road.  You had to have your wits about you though.

As I ran into the university we retraced our steps back to the start area. I went through over the timing mat again, another reassuring beep, and now I was on my way within lap two.  We ran out to the front of the university before joining the Cowley Road again. Here was the third water station where I downed as much as I could as I was so hot. I was still keeping my pace and was hoping to cling on as long as I could.

On I went, ticking those miles off…  9… 10.. 11… Kaboom. I suddenly felt very tired and realised I was running much faster than I was used to.  This coincided with the start of the hill near the hospital so I decided to take a sneaky walk break and tried power walking up the hill.  In the heat and now feeling tired, it was a bit of a slog but I just dug in and got the job done.  I reached the top, downed my last lot of water and legged it down the hill.  Now I was coming into the campus again, however there was a little sting in the tail… we had to do another lap of the campus in the opposite direction from that first mile.  I got chatting to a couple of fellow runners, having ended up having to take another sneaky walk break.  Finally I could hear the finish area and the finish gantry came into sight.  I tried to go as fast as I could, and finally crossed the timing for the last time.  Three ladies dressed up as ‘Where’s Wally’ shook their pom poms at me and said ‘congratulations’.

I wasn’t sure where to go to collect my medal and t-shirt, before it dawned on me there was a lengthy queue who were patiently waiting and shuffling forward.  After 10 mins of waiting I was handed a plastic cup of water, a banana, a tshirt and a medal.  The organisers later apologised, saying runners had stopped to take extra water on board and so held everyone up.  I didn’t mind – It was great to chat to other runners who had just finished and it was a really nice atmosphere. I had a quick shuffle back inside the sports hall to collect my bag, I noticed that they were offering sports massages for a small donation to the local hospital.

Would I do this race again – definitely! It was mostly flat, it was friendly, well organised and inexpensive.  The medal and t-shirt were good quality, and with Hillingdon being so close to us, it was a great day out.