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Our members took part in events the length of the United Kingdom this weekend! On the South Coast, Tim Ingham, who was a non-runner in 2015 took on by far the most challenging ultra that he has ever attempted to challenge his body and mind and began his quest to take on the Jurassic Coast 100 at lunch time on Saturday. After some meticulous planning and training, Tim enjoyed a buoyant start with some scenic views on this beautiful coastline and he was relieved that cooler weather conditions prevailed. Despite the very hilly terrain and hitting a bad tarmac stage at around 4pm in Weymouth followed by cramp at Portland, Tim enjoyed running through the night on the shingle beach with the added challenge of navigation being of paramount importance! At 10.19 pm Tim reported that he had completed 40 miles and going well. He was ably supported from afar (some in North Wales) by a WhatsApp group of family and friends who all offered enormous support even throughout the night. Unfortunately, wet feet and the inevitable blisters became a big problem and Tim was forced to retire having completed 70 miles in under 23 hrs. In those conditions and such very tough terrain Tim’s achievement is something to be extremely proud of. I will be back Tim has told us!

In Scotland Rupert and Liza found their first road race way up in Shetland where they started in bright but characteristically cool sunshine. The Simmer Dim (Mid Summer) Half Marathon is Shetland’s only measured and licensed race and was beautifully organised. With a population of only 23,000 (similar to Ciren) scattered over all the many islands it was hardly surprising that all 70 odd runners knew each other but they could not have been more welcoming or supportive. The route followed the main road as it swoops northwards to finish in Lerwick. There were very few (no) level sections amongst the endless long, steady inclines before it careered down into the town’s super smart Athletics track. With over 700’ of climbing it was never going to be a PB event but with Rupert in loyal support every step of the way, Liza was pleased with her time of 2:13:48. Official results were not available at the time of writing, but it is possible Liza was the first (and only) LV70.

Closer to home Holly Willis took on the Race to the King South Down Way ultra-marathon with 53 miles of trail running. From the well-known Goodwood Racecourse, the route winds along the spectacular South Downs Way, ending on the steps of Winchester Cathedral, one of the most historically significant buildings in Britain and claimed burial ground of twelve English kings, making it England's first-ever Royal Mausoleum. Holly’s time of 10.03.59 (9.49.51), in 70th place is hugely impressive with 891 finishers.

In Shropshire James Thomas took part in the Pontesbury fell race over a distance of 4.9km on an easy to navigate straight up and down course and achieved a superb 7th place. James was very pleased with is result in this tough field with lots of crazy fast descenders, although James made up on his favoured climbs and flats rather than the downs. The photographs show James in full flight!

Martin Croucher has very kindly scribed the following to record the achievements of another 3 club stalwarts!

Unfortunately, no results are up for our event, but here are some words anyway.

Phoenix P24 - The Longest Day

On Saturday 19th June, myself, Paul and Rachel Barrow embarked upon another 24 hour virtual event. The premise was simple. Run at least 1 mile, every hour for 24 hours, starting at 8am and thus ending at 7am the following morning. Having all completed the Longest Night 24 hour challenge just before Christmas, we were all intrigued as to how this one might go, this time, having significantly more daylight to run in.

So at 8am, the three of us set off, in different places due to COVID, and the adventure began. I think Paul and Rachel had decided to run slightly more each hour to cover a marathon distance over 24 hours. For me, I had decided to run more to help practice for some longer races later in the year. So with hope, enthusiasm and the excitement of running an event again, we all set off. The first few hours, passed without too much difficulty. There is always a balancing act to be had between running too quick and potentially tiring yourself out but having longer to rest each hour or run slower and have less time to do stuff when you get back home. You needed to have a plan in your mind as to what you would do. Have a shower, make some food, even something as simple as a cup of tea proved interesting as it seemed to take ages for it to cool down as the time kept ticking away!!

During the run however, I had it easy. Rachel and Paul has agreed to dogsit, so now, throw that into the mix each hour and things become even more fun. I would be so interested to know what Teddy (dog) thought of the situation. From the excitement of turning up and going for the first walk, the first sniffs of a new neighbourhood and then hey, that walk is a bit short. Ok then, I can relax now. Oh, we are off out again....and again....

So onto the early evening and 12 hours of going out each hour. The runs are getting a bit similar now, the same route each hour. Oh well, hopefully a pizza will perk me up a bit!!! Our hopes when we entered the Longest Day event was that the weather would be lovely and sunny and the night time would be nice and warm so hopefully just t shirt and shorts weather, How wrong were we. The day was probably perfect for running, cool and overcast but when the night time came, so did the rain. Great. So for the first 3-4 hours of darkness we had rain to contend with, so copius amounts of running clothes would be used. It also plays with your mind. Shall I run a bit shorter this time to get back quicker?

I guess that is the whole essence of the event. To push yourself further than you would never normally go and stay strong during the down moments. Thankfully our little whatsapp group proved invaluable for such times. For me, it gave me more insight into what running through the night does to your body and the mind and the mental toughness to stay strong and continue to move forward.

When we look back, I'm sure we all had a good time, even though those last few hours seemed to go on forever!!!! I am so pleased that within our lovely running club, we have people - no, good friends, who are willing to enter such stupid challenges with you, when you mention what you are planning. That is what makes running so great and inclusive. The encouragement to go outside of your comfort zone and feel elated when you achieve something amazing. Thank you Paul and Rachel for another amazing event and creating some lasting memories. You both did great things and should be proud of your achievements. (Even if our legs aren't that happy with us today!!!)

Until the next time.....well OK then, maybe not!!!


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