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.
Entries open for Skipton Triathlon soon and British triathlete Emma Taylor is encouraging people to take the plunge and have a go.
Emma, who won her age category and was fourth overall in the Duathlon World Championships earlier this year, and won the Wasdale Half Ironman last year, is looking forward to starting next year’s season with Skipton Triathlon on April 9th, 2017.
She says the sprint distance triathlon, which starts at Craven Swimming Pool & Fitness Centre, is the perfect way to get started in the sport – whatever your age or ability.
“Lots of different abilities will be taking part from all walks of life, some trying it for the first time, which is brilliant,” said Emma, who is a health promotion officer for Craven General Practices, made up of Dyneley House Surgery, Fisher Medical Centre and Cross Hills Group Practice.
“I got into triathlon as I was coming out of university, I liked running, and I love the social element of cycling and I was a keen swimmer as well. I got started with a local event, similar to Skipton. You can get a true feel of the sport with a local event like this. It’s at the start of the season as well so it’s a really good race to dip your toes in.”
Emma is hoping to use the Skipton Triathlon as a springboard to another successful season. She’s hoping to go to Canada to compete again in the Duathlon World Championships, subject to funding, and then there is the IRONMAN 70.3 in Weymouth, following on from last year’s third place in her age category at IRONMAN Bolton.
“Once you’re started, you’re hooked,” she said. “And you don’t have to be good at it to enjoy it. It’s a brilliant sport for anyone of any ability.”
Councillor Linda Brockbank, Craven District Council’s lead member for Working with Communities, said: “I’m delighted that we’re running this fantastic event next year and would encourage people to sign up. I have huge admiration for anyone who gives this sport a go, whether they are elite athletes or novices; they should be very proud of themselves.”
Skipton Triathlon consists of a 400m pool swim, a 22km bike ride and a 5km run.
Hello, my name’s Matt Boyles, I’m a Personal Trainer based in South West London – I’m also proud to be a Sundried Ambassador. In addition to this, I run the Male FitWear Style Blog, Xythlete (www.instagram.com/XYthlete) but today I’m going to talk about my other company, Wireless Fitness.
You might not know the name, but you’ve probably come across the concept in the last couple of years: silent disco fitness. You might even have seen us on Dragon’s Den 18 months ago…!
With my business partner Dom, we realised that fitness instructors needed to be able to run their music-based classes in the park, however, council noise restrictions mean you can’t just play music out loud via a speaker. So we took the best parts of silent discos (lots of people hearing the same music through wireless headphones), and made it better by adding a microphone to the transmitter, meaning that with our Wireless Fitness kit, instructors can now speak to their class and transmit music at the same time, in crystal clarity, without disturbing anyone nearby.
We sell the equipment to fitness instructors and boot camp owners who want to add a major USP to their classes in a cluttered market. We also sell lots of kits to Spin studios and gyms (often in residential areas) who have had, or are nervous about receiving noise complaints – once they use the equipment, it reduces the risk of being shut down by the council to 0. Our third main customers are instructors who are tired of paying £60 to hire a studio every time they want to teach: grab our kit, head outside and away you go – better still, they never have to turn away anyone from a full studio!
As I’m a Personal Trainer and I love music – I really love music – it made sense for me to start running my own class with the kit as well… So I did!
I curate amazing, themed playlists each week, covering musical themes such as animals, Easter, one-name musical icons (e.g. Cher, Coolio (!) Prince, Lorde, Rihanna, Madonna) and most recently, summer (and amazingly it didn’t rain during that class).
As a nice extra benefit to attending the class, I send out the playlist each week, so the members can re-live it in their kitchens the next day!
What I love about running the class is the energy I get back from the attendees. The class itself is a high energy mix of strength training, HIIT and a bit of endurance, so it really works you hard all over, however everyone always says the headphones distract you from the exhaustion, while simultaneously helping you work a bit harder – it’s win-win.
We’ve got a great group of regulars now; it’s a really friendly bunch with no attitude, just supportive people enjoying getting fit in the sun with amazing music and my terrible puns.
However, there is always space for a few more, if you would like to come down and try it out, it’s just £10 for the best hour of exercise in the UK – email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to know more beforehand.