Bearbrook Running & Triathlon Club is based in Aylesbury and boasts 300 loyal members. Each year the club hosts the annual Bearbrook 10k running race which starts and finishes at Aylesbury Rugby Football Club near Wendover in the Chilterns region. This was my first race away from my home county so I was excited to see what was on offer.
The course was one of the best I've ever done for a 10k race! It is described as 'fast and fairly flat' but I was in for a treat. My home county of Essex is deathly flat and running can become a bore, so undulating hills are something I enjoy to mix it up. The first 2 miles of the 10k took us runners through beautiful countryside and an idyllic village reminiscent of the Cotswolds. As we took a left turn out of the village, the marshalls uttered the dreaded words "That's right! Up the hill you go!" and I thought okay, time for a challenge. I do like running uphill so I wasn't too worried. The hill was a long, gradual incline which meant it didn't take the wind out of my sails too much and none of the runners were having to walk it. Upon reaching the top there was a short downhill stretch which was a nice reward. However, the next marshall I passed then said something I wasn't ready for: "Great! Just 3 more hills and then the home stretch!" Three more hills! I was up for the challenge. The great thing about the hills was that they weren't too steep and they meant the time flew by. There was always a slight descent after each one so that I could get my breath back a bit before tackling the next one.
After reaching the top of the final hill I felt great, and when a marshall said "That's it! Downhill all the way now!" I looked at my watch and thought, "Really? 2 whole miles all downhill?" and that was absolutely the case! 2 glorious miles powering downhill a gentle decline which meant my joints and muscles were not put under too much pressure but I was able to run at my fastest pace and make up the time I had lost slogging up the hills.
The final 0.2 miles are back inside the Rugby Club grounds and are round the field. It was reminiscent of school cross country which was not pleasant and was on grass so I had to consciously keep pushing round. I could hear the announcer over the speakers from around a mile away from the finish so it was very encouraging to get to the end. The support at the finish was great and it made the perfect end to a perfect race.
I was utterly impressed by how well organised this race was. There was an abundance of marshals which meant every road crossing was safe and I never had to hesitate or slow down my pace. They were all incredibly friendly and supportive and it added a great atmosphere to the race. The announcer at the start line was witty and put the racers at ease before the big race. There were ample toilet, parking, and food facilities on offer meaning everything was taken care of.
Results and Prizes
The winner for 2017 was Matthieu Marshall of Southampton AC in a time of 00:32:42. I thought I might get a PB as the last 3 miles were so fast but I was 1 minute off thanks to taking the hills a little too slow in the first 3 miles. There was a branded mug for every finisher but no medal which I was rather disappointed about! There were free sports drinks, water bottles, and snacks for every finisher too which was a lovely touch.
I was hugely impressed by this race and I thoroughly enjoyed my time here! I would definitely recommend this race to others and I will probably make my way back for next year! Bearbrook Running Club is hosting its inaugural duathlon in September which should also make for a great race.
This winter was dedicated to swim training and running XCountry. In fact I ran so much XC, my senior school PE teacher Mrs Mantell would have laughed her head off if she had still been with us. I used to hate XCountry at school - always got a stitch... I thus dedicate my season to her.
Here my schedule!
- Essex XC Relays - Ladies 3rd Team
- Couple of South Essex XC League races with my old club
- 5 mile Winter XC Handicap - 1st Lady
- Chingford League @ HQ - 5th Lady
- Chingford League at Hog Hill (in the pitch black!!)
- Essex XC League 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - Bronze V45!
- Ranelagh Mob Match which was run for the 90th time!
- Essex Vet XC Champs - 5th
- Chingford League at Ally Pally on my birthday - flaming steep hill!!!
- Olympic Park 10k with PB
- Essex Senior Champs - Bronze Women's Team!
- The Mercury (10 miles) - 6th Lady
- Southern XC Champs at Parliament Hill - enormous race!
- Blackheath Mob Match - Orion won!! - tough run...
- Chingford League Relays - Ladies team won!
- Cambridge Half
- Brentwood Half - new PB of 1.38
- Essex 5 mile road championship - Women's Team Gold and V45 Gold!
- St. Clare's Hospice 10k - 2nd overall
So a lot of running. Managed to win the Women's Division 2 at my running club and promotion to Division 1, which is the candy for all that effort! The other big project was some swim training with Cedric Lassonde (French Ironman) x6 in order to sort my swimming stroke out. Definitely seems more efficient. Let's see what it is like in the open water in a few weeks! I have also joined a new club that is nearer to me, so I can actually get to some club training, namely East London Triathletes. A very friendly club of like-minded people. I get to swim on Tuesday evenings at 20.00 which works much better for me and I enjoy the challenge of swimming with others, trying to lead the lane as much as I can. The trainers are from Swim4Tri so we are getting great coaching. Just need to try and get a new trisuit to represent them in the upcoming season!
Racing this much is hard on the body. I have had to work really hard at my muscles during strength training. Wonking glute meds have plagued me a bit, but I have come out the other side with some great rewards. Time in the gym is critical, folks, and you have to keep working at it. Rock on 2017 season!
On the 1st of April 2017, Joe Edmonds and his dedicated team of personal training clients completed a 10k race in Richmond Park, their first team event together.
Paul, Lis, Dave, Richard, Chris, Charlene, Michaela and Tom all donned their Sundried apparel to take them to the finish line. The men stayed cool and comfortable in their Sundried Ortler Tees while the ladies enjoyed the comfort of the Sundried Tour Noir Tank.
The team have been training hard for 3 months and complemented their usual personal training sessions with extra running training in order to be ready to smash the race. The entire team did their PT proud by improving drastically in both speed and distance achieved.
For their PT Joe, it was rewarding and heart-warming to see his committed team achieve such a fantastic goal. Having an event like a 10k to work towards meant they trained harder than ever in their personal training sessions and they all achieved faster times than they had expected on the day. For some in the group, it was the first time they had even run 10k so that was an achievement in itself.
Joe is now hoping that the team can accomplish an even bigger goal, such as a half marathon or a triathlon, so watch this space!
Parkrun is an increasingly popular weekly event wherein hundreds of runners will descend on their local park to run a timed 5k with other local residents.
Parkrun organises 850 runs in 12 countries and its ethos is for the event to be free and open to everyone. The UK is currently experiencing an epidemic of inactivity, with government figures showing the cost of physical inactivity to the UK taxpayer as £7.4 billion a year, with 48% of women and 37% of men failing to achieve the UK Chief Medical Officer's' recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
However, Stoke Gifford Parish Council said it was "unfair" to expect non-running residents to pay for path maintenance and have suggested the runners pay for their park usage. The parish council said in a statement it: "cannot and will not stop people from using the parks for exercise and running but when it comes to an organisation with paid directors, fundraisers and sponsors it would be unfair to expect the residents to pay."
Within hours of the news being released, the parish council faced oppression from celebrities such as world record holder Paula Radcliffe, double gold medalist Kelly Holmes, former tennis star and television presenter Sue Barker, the sports minister and the mayor of Bristol, as well as tens of thousands of the general public.
Despite the outrage, the parish council stood by its statement, suggesting that Parkrun has become a victim of its own success. The chairman of the parish council, Ernest Brown, conceded it was not possible to evaluate the cost of the runners’ impact on the park, but said: “Three hundred feet pounding the paths every Saturday morning does cause extra wear.”
"The parish council has only recently paid out £55,000 from public funds for resurfacing the car park and with the additional 300-plus runners per week, will shortly need to replace/repair the path at an estimated cost of £60,000, so as Parkrun are significant users of the path on a regular basis they should contribute towards the upkeep," they said.
Tom Williams, Chief Operating Officer for Parkrun, said: “Parkrun has successfully moved nearly 60,000 previously inactive people into regular healthy activity. The key to this success has been a focus on removing barriers to event delivery as much as barriers to participation."
In their latest statement Parkrun claim: “Following on from last night’s decision by Stoke Gifford Parish Council to impose a charge at Little Stoke Parkrun, we intend to appeal the decision and are investigating whether there is a legal basis to do so.”
New Balance has introduced a new season of lifestyle and performance wear for men for A/W15.
Introducing new styles and colourways, the new season marks the introduction of the Fresh Foam Zante sweat-shirt which reworks the 2015 performance shoe into a new lifestyle favourite. The 574 sweat-shirt reinvents the cult classic with new textures and colours, while the CT300 introduces the original court shoe in fresh new colourways.
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