New Year’s Eve: 34th San Silvestre Race Cartegena

1st and 3rd
Team Cole win again!

This is a great race and attracts lots (2000 last year) of runners, many in fancy dress. Lesley and I ran it for the first time last year and we both came second in our age categories. The course is advertised as 5.2km, all I can say is that it’s over 5K and it depends on where you start, how much over.

We were both blocked by fun runners at the start but we managed to finish on the podium again for the second year running. (Pun intended).

Congleton half marathon

IMG_0056A perfect day for racing, cool air but blue skies breaking out from behind the clouds. Neil picked me up early and dropped off Jeanette who was going for a long run with Lesley (they ran over 10 miles!). We arrived at Congleton High School (HQ) in plenty of time and as Neil wasn’t running he was able to indulge in a bacon butty while I made do with a coffee (thanks Neil).

It was great to catch up with many old friends and also meet some of our newer members. The chat as always was about understating expectations for the race, but everyone seemed in good cheer. I was definitely looking forward to it; I know that my running is okay at the moment and I shouldn’t have any problems getting round, but I haven’t done much speed/race work nor have I done any long runs.

This year was a new route, no longer running on the main roads of Congleton, it stays completely in the lanes, a much better and more interesting course in my view, but still challenging and finishes with it’s famous sting in the tail.

I had an okay run, finishing in 1:32:09 and second in my age group to Tom McGaff, so no complaints there. As a club we had 36 runners, Matt Smith led the men home in 1:16:09 and Katie Latham the women in 1:29:37, a pb and the first time under 90 minutes! We had 15 runners finish in under 90 minutes. My time also gave me over 80% in the club championships, unfortunately I won’t run enough races for it to matter. Results

NSCCL – Winsford

11230045_10207276654850335_8762560698344428998_oThe first of the four North Staffs cross country races, and it was a beautiful day. The women’s races were just over 5k and the men’s about 10.4k. Although not as challenging as some cross country courses, it’s a race and so it’s pretty tough. The woman did brilliantly finishing first in division 2. I was very pleased to find out that I was the first vet 60 in a time that was several minutes quicker than last year.

Photos courtesy of Mick Hall and Bryan Dale




Ipstones 5, 2015

Always a tough race but has become something of a classic. Having been run for many years in conjunction with the Ipstones Carnival. This year the start and finish were at the village hall and not at the fire station as previously. Once on the road though the course was the same. A long uphill start that goes on for over a mile before dropping down. Again from just before 4 miles there’s another big hill before finishing. This was my first race since coming home from Greece, I was able to meet many of my friends from different clubs, including my rivals over many years, Mick Beardmore and Stan Winterton.

I last ran the race in 2013 and this year I was pleased to finish first in my age group, especially as the prize was in the form of chocolate.


South Cheshire Harriers – off road group

I joined the off road group tonight to run from the Forest Hills Hotel, Frodsham. A nostalgic evening for me as I used to work at Frodsham High School for 10 years so the journey across and the run itself brought back many memories. The run back was quite dark, especially in the wooded areas and it made me realise how poor my head torch was. Most of the runners had modern LED lights which were very impressive.

Unfortunately I forgot my phone, so no pictures and I had to get Amy to send me a copy of the run for Strava.

It was great to catch up with some of the runners I hadn’t seen for a while and especially Dave Rowlands as we recounted old tales in the Belle Mont hotel.

Racing in Spain

IMG_5799Lesley and I have enjoyed our races in Spain. We have run five races in all with distances as unusual as 5.2k and 14k to the more usual 10k and two half marathons. We did quite well in our age groups with 2 first places and 5 second places. Prizes are given for the first three in each category but they do sometimes cap the upper age group. Two of the races capped the vets’ categories at 50! Races cost between 10 and 18 euros with great goody bags, often with two technical T-shirts. All the races were well organised and had chip timing, they don’t bother with finishing funnels. Post race time is important. We always had music, usually live, and free food and drink (including beer), for the runners and their family and friends. We would highly recommend races here if you get the chance.

Los Dolores 10K

Trophy ShotProbably the last of our Spanish races for this trip resulted in a win for Lesley in the FV50 age category. This was the first time this race had been run and we felt uncertain about how well organised it would be or how big, especially as they capped the vet categories at V50. We needn’t have worried however. There were over 300 runners entered, as usual the race was chipped. The goody back contained a long sleeve tech running vest and plenty of goodies. Lots of supporters and loud music added to the festive atmosphere.

The race followed a two lap flat course, which kept us near the centre of the town and the spectators. At its ends the runners doubled back on themselves allowing you to see the runners in front and of course Lesley and I were able to see how each other were doing. I could see that Lesley was having a good race and that there was a good chance of her winning a prize. I enjoyed the race (even though I had a sore chest) and finished in 43 minutes, nowhere near the contenders in the over 50 group. Lesley stayed strong and ran a fast time of 52 minutes and was first FV50 runner. The only problem was that the cup a really just a little bit too big for our motorhome trophy shelf, but I’m sure we’ll fit on somehow. All in all a good day at the races. To celebrate, we went to Paddy Singh’s restaurant for Sunday lunch. Lovely.

Website for race, details and results.