Sunday 25th November
|Oxfordshire Grand Prix Series|
|Lady’s Winner||Lindsey Smith|
|Lady’s Small Team Winner||Witney Road Runners|
|Men’s Small Team Winner||Witney Road Runners|
|Tegs Jones||33.45||County Champion & 1st MV40|
Saturday 24th November
|Kirsty Lockwood||21.31||1st Lady|
|Graham Le Good||23.52|
|Regina Lally||28.46||50th Parkrun|
|Judith Le Good||29.22|
Somerdale Pavilion Parkrun
Sunday 18th November
Saturday 17th November
Wendover Woods 50 miles
5 x 10mile loops on forest trails with very challenging “hills”
On Saturday 17th November, I took part in the final race of Centurion Running’s series of ultramarathons – the Wendover Woods 50 mile race. The event takes place entirely in a tiny section of woodland in the Buckinghamshire Chilterns and is made up of five 10 mile loops which snake through the woods.
I arrived in plenty of time, feeling happy with the year’s training and with a target of completing the course in 12 hours – a target which would leave plenty of leeway ahead of the 15 hour cutoff should I start to slow down in the latter stages of the race.
At 8am we set off on our first lap, just as the sun was starting to break through the clouds to take the chill out of the morning air. I was immediately at ease on the course having done many laps of the woods in training and settled into a slow, easy rhythm – quite content to watch lots other runners overtake me. I promised myself that I would be seeing them again before the day was done.
The laps ticked by, each one following a similar pattern: run the downhills and the flats, walk the uphills and clamber up each of the 5 named climbs on the lap. Before long my watch ticked over to 30 miles and I was in uncharted territory – each step I took would be contributing to a new personal distance (and time) PB. With this came the nagging doubt that I would be up to the challenge, especially on a looped course which would provide such a tempting place to stop and call it a day at the 40 mile point.
I entered the start/finish section ready for the final lap just as the last natural light had dissipated, donned a headtorch and set off into the night with 3 hours to spare to complete the final lap in order to meet my goal time. Running at night is a totally different proposition to running during the day, especially so on uneven, rutted woodland paths whilst trying to follow the course markings. On the final lap I was able to exact my revenge on a number of runners who had set off too quickly earlier in the day and came across the finish line in 81st place with a time of 11:30:04.
Without a doubt it was the hardest race I’ve ever taken part in but also such a fantastic experience – I can’t stress enough how friendly and supportive the ultrarunning community are. Everyone involved in the race (runners, volunteers, family members) is willing each and every participant to succeed and I feel very lucky to have been a part of that community yesterday.
Wendover Woods 50 in numbers:
5 laps, 50 miles, 10,620 feet of elevation gain, 30% average gradient of steepest climb and 810g carbohydrate consumed
British & Irish Masters Cross Country International
Wales v Northern Ireland v Scotland v England
Wales taking the silver medal for the M40 team
|Tegs Jones||27.21||14th MV40|
|Graham Le Good||22.05|
Gloucester North Parkrun
Saturday 10th November
Cairns – Australia
Keswick Parkrun – Wedding day run for Sam
|Tilly Westbrook||22.12||1st Lady|
|Darlene Burkett||31.47||50th Parkrun|
Seven Bridge Parkrun
|Simon Le Good||19.35||1st|
|Sarah Green||21.21||1st Lady|
|Graham Le Good||21.25|
|Judith Le Good||26.55|
What an amazing thing Parkrun is. It’s not only a Saturday event, it is an excuse for family occasions, cakes and celebrations. This last week Darlene was too busy to cycle Friday as she had to bake cakes to celebrate her 50th Parkrun. Toby, Bertie and Tony are busy planning their 50th Parkrun party and we were invited to Wales to celebrate our son Simon’s partner Elly’s 100th Parkrun. We know Parkrun brings families together, children run with their parents and grandparents, so we are a normal Parkrun family if a little spread out! Simon and Elly live in London, Sarah, Duncan and baby Freya live in Thame and we were all driving through atrocious weather condition on Friday evening to a remote Welsh village on the edge of the Brecon Beacons to Elly’s parents home as she had chosen to run her 100th Parkrun at Cwmbran. Were we all mad?
Parkrun day dawned, the torrential rain had stopped and the Welsh hills looked beautiful. We drove to Cwmbran, which is not a very inspiring town but the park is lovely. The Parkrun participants gathered and got themselves ready for the event.
Today was not just any normal Parkrun challenge, Simon was out to be first over the line pushing a running buggy. So for 10 month old granddaughter Freya it was a big day. The other runners were Freya’s mum and dad Sarah and Duncan, Elly’s brother Will , grandpa Graham and nana Judith and of course Elly with her 100 balloon attached. Elly’s mum Jo had elected to marshal and see all the proceedings at the finish line and Elly’s dad was our family photographer.
So 9.00am came and the usual formalities of Parkrun over, Freya tightly strapped into the buggy with rain cover in place. Would the rain cover slow Simon down? I had failed to mention that Simon had never run with a buggy but no worries he was ready for this challenge and got the buggy on to the start line, in fact the wheels were over the line! He was off and no stopping the boy. The buggy did not seem to slow him at all.
For those of you who remember a year ago this buggy was found on the WRR Oxford to Witney river run abandoned by the banks of the Thames. One year later it flew around the Cwmbran Parkrun and no one could catch it. First over the line was Freya with uncle Simon, in 19mins 35secs
Next in was Freya’s dad Duncan 5th place in 20.42, Will was in 7th place in 21.42 Sarah was 8th and First Lady home in 21.21 shortly followed by grandpa Graham in 9th position in 21.25. Elly and I following.
The Parkrun was a one lap fast flat loop on tarmac along a river and round a lake, it was a very pleasant Parkrun.
Returning to Pandy for the the late morning Parkrun analysis, how happy we all were to find we had nearly all got 1st in our age categories, only Will had to be satisfied with second. Wahoo! What a successful family occasion. Our crazy family love Parkruns.
Sunday 4th November
Marlow Half Marathon
Oxford Mail XC League – Round 1 Newbury
|Graham Le Good||42.08|
|Harriet Rose Noons||36.08|
|Judith Le Good||36.45|
Saturday 3rd November
Ballina Coast Parkrun Australia
|Graham Le Good||22.37|
|Judith Le Good||29.05|
Ballbuster Duathlon Boxhill Surrey
Run 1: 8 miles Bike: 24 miles Run 2: 8 miles
(59:08, 1:27:06, 1:08:28)