Race report – Brecon Ultra

Brecon Ultra – Might Contain Nuts

This race is special to a number of St Austell runners as it was one of Dave Rowe’s favourites, writes Doug Alsop.

It starts and finishes in Talybont on Usk and runs around the Brecon’s national park. This year Dave Speake and I made the journey and had a great day out.

We lined up for the pre-start briefing at 7.20am but missed parts of it which we came to rue later.

The start was a bit of a sprint as the first five miles are along the canal tow path and quite unrepresentative of the rest of the route.

Leaving the canal and through a small wood, “Tor y Foel” the first of the many inclines appeared. 

It disappeared into the clouds and as we entered the mist we could see that what we thought was the top was only the first of two more false summits.

 As we started the descent and dropped out of the mist we were treated to beautiful views of the wooded valleys and reservoirs and the rolling hills to the south.

The route continued with good running through forest trails but care was needed on the icy paths. After the second checkpoint we started the accent up to Bwlch y Fan.

The path was a steady incline and was runable if you were fit enough, which sadly I wasn’t. So by employing run/walk we made it to the third checkpoint.

From here we were sent up a steep climb and once more into the mist. We could see the drop to our right as we made our way along the ridge to the trig point on Cribyn but unfortunately the mist obscured the wider view.

I didn’t enjoy the drop off from Cribyn; the path was laid with loads of medium sized flat rocks, sloping down and none big enough to land your whole foot on. I’m sure they would be a great help when coming up but I’m struggling for confidence on the descents.

After the small drop we started to work our way up Pen y Fan again in the mist so it was only when we couldn’t see any more ground above us that we realised we had reached the top. The wind was much stronger here and called for us to don our waterproof tops. The descent off Pen y Fan was good going and we ran all the way down towards the Storey Arms. As we dropped out of the mist we could see the road (the first we’d seen for 20 miles) and the Burger Van. Dave and I had been discussing the bacon rolls here for about a month previously so two large bacon rolls and two cups of tea set us up for the next phase.

Whilst we were enjoying our break the Welsh girl overtook us. As this was a new route I had looked at the map on the website and seen that we had to do 5 ½ mile loop at this point but I hadn’t looked at the contours and wrongly assumed it was flat.

After checkpoint four we were directed up the opposite side of the valley. This was a small winding path contouring up the hill with not much chance of running. We climbed until again we disappeared into the mist. The course is very well marked but here the mist was a bit denser and we had difficulty in seeing from one mark to the next. There was no path, just slogging over the moor and our confidence had just about ebbed away when we picked up another marker. Looming up through the mist we saw the trig point on top of Fan Frynych but no-one there. We had picked up from the start address that we needed to go there but hadn’t picked up that it was unmanned. So we continued over the top expecting to see someone sheltering but found no-one. We consulted the map and came to the conclusion that was it. We checked the trig point but there was nowhere to dib in so we headed back down. The route then dropped into a steep sided Coombe this was another tough descent and as we came out of the mist I could see that we were going even lower than the Storey Arms and realised that we would have to recover that height.

After checkpoint five we were trudging up the path back towards the Story Arms when the Welsh girl caught us up. She had got lost on the top and hadn’t found the trig point. At Checkpoint six Geraldine was there to see we were ok and wish us well. As we set off up towards Corn Du we could see the Welsh girl ahead of us heading into the mist again. Knowing that at last we had turned for home we seemed to storm up Corn Du turning left and following the ridge at the top the Welsh Girl again appeared behind us. She said: “I’m going to stick with you guys I’m fed up of getting lost in the mist.”

So we stayed together down through checkpoint seven and on our way to the final checkpoint. However the extra climbing in the middle of the course had slowed us down and darkness came on us when we were still a good 10 miles from the finish. This part of the course is not mountainous it threads its way along lanes, paths and fields and only has slight undulations. With darkness now enveloping us we had our head torches on and passing through a series of stiles and gates we ended up walking into a large field it so happened that the Welsh girl was in front.

Now knowing that she had propensity for getting lost, we really shouldn’t have followed her – but we did. It was a large field full of sheep whose yellow eyes were reflecting our torch beams as they watched us cross their field. We picked up no direction signs and when we reached the fence at the other side again no signs. Dave and the Welsh girl went anti-clockwise round the perimeter of the field whilst I went clockwise looking for signs. I eventually I got back to the gate we had come in checked the arrow which did seem to point straight across the field however, I continued going round the perimeter clockwise and about 20 metres from where we came in found a sign on a gate taking us out of the field. I managed to locate Dave and the girl and we set off once more happy to be back on route but that was the last time we let the Welsh girl lead.

After the final checkpoint it was just a slog, the mud in the fields was quite gloopy and clogged the treads in the bottom of our shoes so they felt like deep sea divers boots but as we clicked off the miles to the finish we were in good spirits. Dave and I started to plan our liquid menu for when we got to the pub. As we dropped down to the canal towpath again we knew we were nearly home and we made in back into the HQ at 8.30pm

A quick turn around and down to the pub for a few pints of Butty Bach and some chips. There has to be some benefit for doing these nutty things.

13 hours, 42 miles, 2702 metres of Accent

A great event and a great day out we just need to do it again without the mist so we can appreciate the views. Roll on next year.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Race report – Fordh Sen Mighal 11

Fordh Sen Mighal 11

So, I promised Dawn that I would do this race with her whilst under the influence of a few to many vinos, but not one to go back on my word I went ahead and registered, writes Alison Loosley.

I had absolutely no idea what kind of race it was only that it was just over the twelve miles and I thought that will be fine because I have a few half marathons under my belt now!!

That was back in October and I kind of forgot about it until a few days before, as you do.

The race takes place along the UK’s only European designated route of culture and follows the Saints Way between Lelant and St Michaels Mount and this was its second year.

Anyway, we started our day the at Badger Pub with a very amusing race brief given by one of the organisers.

I was very tempted at this point to have a pre-race steady my nerves glass of wine, as everyone around me looked like what I would call, ‘proper runners’, they were all wearing their bandannas and back packs and I had a few jelly babies stuffed in my pockets and was wearing a bobble hat. Anyway, I decided not to do that.

The race started by the Lelant Salting’s a little after 10am and we were on our way. After a trot up a not too bad hill we hit the coastal path between Lelant and Carbis Bay and the views were absolutely stunning, the sea was like a mill pond and I thought actually I’m really loving this.

We then went through the grounds of the Carbis Bay Hotel and then promptly bumped into Tris who had gone the wrong way!!

I would say that the next part of the race took a very steep, more rural turn and I remember arriving at a monument at the top of a very steep elevation.

Here we could see the sea on both sides of the peninsular so it was pretty spectacular and the perfect selfie moment which Dawn and I took full advantage of.

We then moved on to a very muddy path where Dawn and I were slipping and sliding all over the place and of course was hilarious.

We then made our way up hills, down dales, through farmland, through people’s gardens, through woodlands, by the churchyard at Ludgven. Then over more fields, a railway crossing and then the marshlands just before Marazion.

The finish was through the dunes, on the beach and then lastly cycle path. It truly was multi terrain!! We arrived at the finish to receive the most amazing medal.

All of the marshalls were so nice to us but my particular favourite was Larry, a very encouraging fellow at the top of a really steep bit!

There were two very well stocked food stations on route that catered for those that required gluten free food. Also at the end of the race free massages were offered, buckets and sponges for cleaning off. Also, there was chilli and mince pies.

I think this race has to be my favourite adventure with St Austell Running Club. I would NEVER have contemplated doing anything like this before I joined.

I put myself completely out of my comfort zone but now cannot wait to do more trail events. I would certainly encourage everyone to do this one next year.

However, bear in mind the logistics because you do need to have a car at the start and finish due to transport not provided between the start and finish.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Newsletter – December 2017

St Austell RC newsletter – December 2017

Posted in Newsletter | Leave a comment

Runners presented with trophies after Mob Match

Runners receive trophies after Mob Match

Tim Adams receives his trophy for 133 consecutive GP races

THE 2017 running season drew to a close with the highly-popular Mob Match being the warm-up for the Cornwall Glass and Glazing Grand Prix series presentations.

Several members of St Austell Running Club finished placed after the 15-race series.

Iain Walker claimed a first place finish in his category, while Simon Williams was second, Tim Adams and Malcolm Roberts third and Jess Buscombe and Jane Thomas fifth.

Iain Walker receives his category prize

There were seven runners who competed the whole series including James Cutlan, Tim Adams, Andrew Budge, Pat Haynes, Andy Chase, Debbie Marshall and Jacqui Martin.

There were also a number of runners who completed at least eight of the races and they were, men: Simon Williams, Iain Walker, Paul Johnson, Malcolm Roberts, Dan Bray, Stuart Richards, Mark Owen, Jiri Kempny, Barry Russell, Ross Lawry, Martin Trethewey and Andrew Mclean.

Ladies: Jessica Buscombe, Hannah Cutlan, Mel Rowe, Helen Stuthridge, Fiona Thomas, Gemma Pateman, Sue Floyd-Norris, Gennara Iaconianni, Michelle Dudley, Nadia Jay, Sam Ewart, Hannah Adams, Alison Loosley,

Christine Todd, Bev Talbot, Sharon Webber, Mandy Blight, Liz Wyatt, Jane Thomas and Nicola Slateford.

Simon Williams and Jacqui Martin were both voted as the second-best most improvers runners of the year and the club also had the largest number of entries for the GP.

Two special awards were also presented to Tim Adams, inset, who completed 133 consecutive races and Debbie Marshall, who has completed two Grand Prixs in a row.

The presentation followed the Falmouth Mob Match which was greatly attended by club members.

Posted in Race Report | Leave a comment

Duchy Athletics Network builds track racing numbers

A series of events in the South West has been used to see a rising number of people taking part in endurance races on the track.

The Duchy Athletics Network was formed in 2009 when four of the largest running and athletics clubs in Cornwall, supported by the Cornwall Sports Partnership, bid for funding to ‘provide a forum for promoting athletics in Cornwall; to engender partnership and participation in the sport and to increase capacity and professionalism of clubs, volunteers and officials’.

Over the 8 years which followed the DAN committee have helped to fund coaching bursaries and attendance at conferences and workshops, supported regional team competition and – perhaps most successfully – have organised annual races to encourage participation in running at all levels, from beginners to elite. They now run as a self-sustaining committee, generating income from races, subscriptions and sponsorship.

The inaugural ‘DAN 5k Series’ was launched in 2011 with five 5k evening races, held during the Summer months on off-road courses across the county. The aim was to provide short distance races, which would help introduce beginners to competing, in a low key way, and yet also provide vital speed work for seasoned runners. It was hugely successful, with 97 participants completing at least 3 of the 5 races.

In a review of the series in 2013, the DAN committee realised that although road and multi-terrain running was at an all-time high in Cornwall, track races had very few participants, despite being hugely beneficial to athletes’ progression.  In response to this, DAN trialled a series of four 5k track races during the Summer. The aim was to breakdown the intimidation of track racing, for those who had never tried it, and to encourage beginners to take part, while providing a good level of competition for more experienced runners too. Once again the series proved very popular; 94 men and 33 ladies did at least one of the races, with 46 runners in total doing at least 3.

Gaining momentum and the experience of hosting track races with each year, the DAN committee looked to take the series even further. They noticed that the County Championship races had been attracting low numbers over recent years (In 2009 only 8 runners entered the 5,000m and 8 in the 3,000m. In 2010, only 5 runners took part in the 5,000m and 3,000m championship races).  In light of this, in 2014, the DAN committee began to organise the County Championship races at 5,000m, 10,000m distances, along with graded races for other abilities. Numbers soared!

  • 2014: 28 runners took part in the 10,000m champs and graded races and 57 in the 5,000m races
  • 2015: 47 runners took part in the 10,000m champs and graded races and 49 in the 5,000m
  • 2016: 45 runners took part in the 10,000m and 66 in the 5,000m. The 3,000m county champs was also brought under the DAN umbrella and with further graded races also attracted 50 runners in all.
  • 2017: 25 runners in all took part in the 10,000m champs and graded races, 57 at 5,000m and 47 at the 3,000m distances.

In total, that is 471 runners over four years, who may never otherwise have attempted a track race.

The popularity and provision of these races also helped to recruit new timekeepers and officials within the county and DAN has welcomed four more running clubs as members.

The DAN series has successfully promoted and improved track racing participation numbers and standards at the 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000m distances and achieved thriving County Championship fields, all through the work of enthusiastic volunteers and teamwork.

Article taken from: https://www.englandathletics.org/england-athletics-news/duchy-athletics-network-builds-track-racing-numbers

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Race report – Cornish Marathon 2017

There were a number of notable performances from members of St Austell Running Club at the Cornish Marathon, the final race of the Cornwall Glass and Glazing Grand Prix.

Once again the men shone in the marathon and the men’s team, pictured below, of Alan Giles, Jamie Masters, Tim Adams and James Cutlan, triumphed winning the overall team prize.

Cornish Marathon 2017

There was also a great performance from Jess Buscombe, who finished as the second lady – congratulations to everyone who competed, it was a great day for the club.

There were a number of impressive performances and marathon debuts, while Doug Alsop also managed to claim a category prize.

Full results of St Austell Running Club runners: Jamie Masters (3.05.09), Tim Adams (3.05.36), Jessica Buscombe (3.19.03), James Cutlan (3.20.27), Alan Giles (3.26.00), Paul Stevens (3.26.01), Dan Nicholls (3.33.46), Alan Wherry (3.44.36), David Speake (3.47.33), Patrick Talen (3.38.43), Paul Johnson (3.50.23), Scott Pateman (4.03.22), Doug Alsop (4.03.45), Claire Todd (4.06.36), Mark Knight (4.11.29), Andy Chase (4.12.26), Hannah Cutlan (4.15.48), Jodie Jarvis (4.18.39), Jiri Kempny (4.25.25), Patrick Haynes (4.29.44), Gemma Pateman (4.30.38), Ann Marie Knight (4.51.31), Debbie Marshall (4.51.31), Steve Tregidgo (4.55.56), Jacqui Martin (4.58.29), Shawn Ferris (4.58.29), Andrew Budge (5.23.59), Lesley Maclaren (5.38.33).

Full results available here.

If anyone is interested in writing a race report – please email: staustellrunningclubpr@gmail.com

Posted in Race Report | Leave a comment

Eden Project parkrun off to a flying start

Eden Project parkrun off to a flying start

The Eden Project’s first-ever weekly parkrun took place on Saturday.

Undeterred by high winds and drizzle, 265 runners turned up at the Eden coach park for the 9am start.

Among the participants were first-time runners, veterans of hundreds of parkruns, a mum with a pushchair and families with young children.

Photograph by Emily Whitfield-Wicks
Park Run, Eden Project.

A family of six travelled down from Chippenham in Wiltshire. They are regular parkrunners who have taken part in more than 20 different parkrun events since 2014.

Julia Maddocks, who is originally from St Austell, and Giles Archer ran with children Rohan (16), Daryl (14), Travis (13), and Selby (nine). The family came down especially for the first Eden run and are staying with Julia’s parents in St Austell.

Before the run Julia said: “We were over the moon to learn that Eden would be holding a parkrun and that we’d be able to run past the Biomes. It’s the perfect location.”

After the family completed the run, she added: “It was a bit hilly and challenging and great fun. All the runners are friendly. Eden should be really proud of its parkrun.”

One man who stood out from the crowd was building surveyor Colin Bell from Bodmin, who had a Shelterbox strapped to his back. Colin takes part in many runs to raise awareness of the disaster relief charity.

Photograph by Emily Whitfield-Wicks
Park Run, Eden Project.

First three over the line were Simon Minting of Exmouth, second was Marc Smerdon of Liskeard and third was James Cutlan of St Austell.

Ben Foster, Eden’s media relations manager who took part in the parkrun, said: “It’s great that so many people turned out to support our first parkrun. Our course has been designed to be fun and accessible and we hope that runners from near and far will join us on Saturdays to come.

“We’re very thankful to the team of dedicated parkrun volunteers who have put so much work into making this a well-organised, fun and safe event.”

Eden is the latest venue to become part of the global parkrun community, joining hundreds of locations around the UK and in 14 other countries to host runs. The parkruns are always free and are open to runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities, from beginners to Olympians.

Eden’s parkrun is designed to be easier than some others as it takes place entirely on tarmac, unlike those which have off-road elements. The course begins in the coach park at the top of the site before entering the main garden and taking a scenic route around the paths in front of the world-famous Biomes.

Like all parkrun events, the Eden Project parkrun is a personal challenge and not a race. Participants set their own targets and will receive their times by text, email and through the parkrun website (www.parkrun.org.uk).

It’s entirely organised by local volunteers with support from the Eden team. The events are inclusive and friendly, encouraging physical activity within a supportive community. After crossing the finish line, parkrunners, volunteers and supporters can gather in the Eden Kitchen where refreshments will be available.

Eden’s parkrun is a free event that will take place every Saturday morning at 9am. Participants and volunteers are required to register through the parkrun website (www.parkrun.org.uk) and print a barcode in order to receive a time. Friends and family of runners will be allowed free entry to Eden for the morning of each parkrun.

The parkrun is the latest addition to Eden’s growing portfolio of sporting events and activities. The ninth annual Eden Project Marathon and Half-Marathon happens on Sunday October 14, 2018 and the fourth annual Eden Classic cycle sportive will be taking place on Sunday May 13, 2018.

A video showcasing the course of the Eden parkrun is available at https://youtu.be/ZQxh3syK42E

Posted in Race Report | Leave a comment

Eden parkrun

Eden gets set to host UK’s newest parkrun

Photograph by Emily Whitfield-Wicks
Park run. 5k weekly run. Eden Project.

The Eden Project is limbering up for its newest, most accessible sporting event with the announcement that it will host five-kilometre parkruns every Saturday morning, starting on November 11.

Established in 2004, parkruns take place in outdoor locations around the UK and in 14 other countries.  They are always free and are open to runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities, from beginners to Olympians.

Eden’s parkrun is designed to be easier than some others as it takes place entirely on tarmac, unlike those which have off-road elements. The course begins in the coach park at the top of the site before entering the main garden and taking a scenic route around the paths in front of the world-famous Biomes.

Like all parkrun events, the Eden Project parkrun is a personal challenge and not a race. Participants set their own targets and will receive their times by text, email and through the parkrun website (www.parkrun.org.uk).

It’s entirely organised by local volunteers with support from the Eden team. The events are inclusive and friendly, encouraging physical activity within a supportive community. After crossing the finish line, parkrunners, volunteers and supporters can gather in the Eden Kitchen where refreshments will be available.

Announcing the new event today, Eden Chief Executive and experienced parkrun participant Gordon Seabright said: “The Eden parkrun has been designed to be an accessible and fun morning run for everyone.

“Our aim is to build up a real community spirit as the event establishes itself. We hope to encourage more people to get out running or walking, improve their fitness and meet new people at the same time.

“This will be a great event for beginners, who may be entering their first organised event, as well as for seasoned athletes who should have a good chance of setting a new personal best on our course.”

Wendy Poole, event director for the Eden Project parkrun, added: “We are really excited about bringing parkrun to Eden and offering a different type of running and walking experience in its unique location.

“We have a great team of Run Directors, who have worked hard to bring this together and welcome new volunteers to participate in the various roles that make parkrun the great event it is.”

Eden’s parkrun is a free event that will take place every Saturday morning at 9am, starting on November 11. Participants and volunteers are required to register through the parkrun website (www.parkrun.org.uk) and print off a barcode in order to receive a time. Friends and family of runners will be allowed free entry to Eden for the morning.

The parkrun is the latest addition to Eden’s growing portfolio of sporting events and activities. The ninth annual Eden Project Marathon and Half-Marathon happens on Sunday October 14, 2018 and the fourth annual Eden Classic cycle sportive will be taking place on Sunday May 13, 2018.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Newsletter – October 2017

St Austell RC newsletter – October 2017

Posted in Newsletter | Leave a comment

Newsletter – August 2017

St Austell RC newsletter – August

Posted in Newsletter | Leave a comment