Sunday October 29th
Clock Change Challenge 10k
Saturday October 28th
As Mr Hopkins is still wandering around the hills of Snowdonia, I’ve stepped in with a brief report on the weekends Welsh Shenanigans, before the longer effort that Steve will no doubt offer for next week’s newsletter. And whilst we’re talking about the Hopkins, many thanks from us all who were up in Snowdon for all the effort you put into organising such a brilliant weekend to ensure that racers and spectators alike have great memories to come back to The Shire with.
We had 8 WRRs (one we didn’t realise until I spotted your ‘Morning Run’ route on Strava – sorry Rebecca!) taking on the ‘Three Big Hills’ on Saturday morning. Spectators split, Team Hopkins heading on a walk from Llanberis up to Pen-Y-Pas (the summit of the first ‘Big HIll’ at Mile 5) and Team McCormac headed to Penrhyn parkrun for a bit of tourism. John McCormac, Bertie Field, John Green, Dave Johnys and I ran two big laps and two little laps (all half down, then half up), cheered on by Tony Beardsley to get our weekly parkrun fix. Set in the beautiful grounds of Penrhyn Castle (apparently not a real castle…!) on a lovely autumn sunny morning, we took the chance to promote the Cotswold Classic sporting our most recent, striking Blue and Yellow long sleeve shirts… except someone didn’t get the memo and rocked up in the black one! (No prizes for guessing who!). To be fair, I think Team Field/Holland chose the best option with a leisurely breakfast after a lie-in!
We then set our sights on supporting our runners on the last ‘BIG Hill’ – which really is a killer. Honestly, there’s nothing that can prepare you for it – and even walking it on fresh legs had me muttering away about hills again! Positioned just after Mile 23, we started WRR-spotting so we could give them that much needed cheer and encouragement up the hill, even enough to get them breaking into a run when it seems impossible at that point on that hill. Cow-bells, jelly-babies, loud voices and zoom lens – a great afternoon cheering on all you fantastic Snowdoneers. Congratulations to you all, genuinely a fantastic achievement. Gareth Petts retained the Male Snowdon Trophy (fastest Male WRR at Marathon Eyri) and Darlene Burkett etched her name onto the Female Snowdon Trophy for the first time (fastest Female WRR at Marathon Eyri).
I’ll leave Steve to the wider celebrations in the evening and his perspective on hopping from start to finish, but I’ll finish on an open invite to join a fantastic weekend away. The club have been going for around 30 odd years, and next year is the 40th running of the event. As is always the way with our club, the more the merrier and you never know… you might just be tempted to run it! Especially if you spend any time with one of the Hopkins.
(PS – Ballot opens on the 1st December 2023, with one week to get your name in the hat)
Sunday October 22nd
Yeti Marathon Nepal
After returning to Kathmandu, I can now sit and reflect on the incredible adventure of the last two weeks which has seen me complete the Yeti Marathon and although we didn’t quite reach the summit of Pisang Peak, it was amazing to get so close.
This was my first time to Nepal so seeing the sights of the Annapurna circuit whilst trekking and walking to Pisang and beyond was amazing. The run from Betsesahar was such a great feeling to shake off the legs after a couple of days of flying so I couldn’t help but jump into the waterfall at the end.
I have never had to trek from the finish line of a race to the start line before so this was an experience in itself. The sights were stunning as we trekked from Pisang to Manang, always looking up to the Annapurnas along the way. After a rest day to acclimatise in Manang, we finished the short trek to Khangssar and started to prepare for the marathon after a walk up to the monastery which would start the race in the morning. This was exciting.
The race went very well, starting at 06:30 I span the prayer wheels at Khangssar and began climbing steeply to the Sri Karka monastery before quickly descending. It was a great feeling from there to run through picturesque villages and past crowds of locals. The scenery was especially stunning as I entered Manang through the morning incense. It was like a film set.
As the sun rose and the miles ticked by, it became warmer and I felt great as I passed lower Pisang and rapidly descended to the turnaround at the bridge.
Climbing back uphill was less comfortable but I knew I had a lead and I was close to the finish so I just had to keep my legs moving. And what a feeling it was at the finish line as I lifted the Union Jack flag and crossed the line to be greeted by a monk hanging my medal over my head. I had finished first in a time of 05:15:14 which I was very happy with.
We set off the next day to begin climbing Pisang Peak but in the end it was a quick descent two days later. I wasn’t disappointed though. This had been quite a journey and although early in my marathon career, I wanted to race more.
So, where next?…
|Matt Lock||2.32.57||3rd PB|
|Lucy Harris||49.51||1st VL50|
Battersea Half Marathon
|James Hackney||1.49.37||1.50 pacer|
Saturday October 21st
Ironman Portugal Cascais
Weekend October 14th & 15th
Centurion Autumn 100 Miles
|Rachel Stanley-Evans||19.37.17||3rd Female|
Sunday October 15th
|Mark Crosby||4.10.38||First marathon|
Oxford Half Marathon
|James Hackney||1.55.08||1.55 pacer|
|Karen Bisp||2.02.52||First Half|
|Megan Hill||2.20.47||13 min PB|
|Anna Flory||2.21.41||First Half|
Bath Half Marathon
Manchester Half Marathon
Yorkshire 10 Mile
Sunday October 8th
Notgrove Estate Duathlon
|Lisa Kay||2nd in Age Cat|
Cricklade Half Marathon
|Matt Lock||1.16.15||1st male|
|Anna Scrivens||1.26.35||1st female|
|Isabel Stubbs||1.27.33||3rd female|
Sunday October 1st
Warwickshire Sprint Triathlon
|Suzanne Bartington||1.06.06||1st in Age Cat|