Leicestershire Half Marathon Results & Report by Stuart Jones

Race Date: 18/02/19

Leicestershire Half Marathon

Average Runners’ Rating (for the whole event day): 4.6 (out of 6) on a poll of 48 Striders

This is what my teaching mentor, the wonderful Sybil Cartwright, likened to a ’vinegar trip’ – a great day out, as much to do with the peripheral fun as it is with the stated purpose of the trip.

When you first introduce a pupil to the use of simile, perhaps through Rihanna’s ‘shine bright, like a diamond’, they are prone to run away with the idea and their compositions read like a current bun of idea expansion. So, like a novice writer…

As the sun rose over Tibshelf seventy plus Steel City Striders, feasting on early morning flasks and handy-pots of instant porridge, and rubbing their eyes against the early morning as if they were all allergic to travelling out of county, went off to the first fixture in the 2019 Road Race Championship. A combination of ideas and planning by a slightly naïve, but highly regarded, team of organisers put us on two coaches to Prestwold Hall (midway between Leek and Uttoxeter if you aren’t sure and can be hoodwinked) with discounted entry to the race.

The race itself was a little boring and dull for many (or possibly most). The route was as flat as a Staffordshire Oatcake (thanks TH) or VB herself, and Tom Brookes suggested it was, ‘greyer and more repetitive than those ghastly ’50 Shades’ books’. The Strava trace is akin to a plate of spaghetti, tbh. The elevation gain is measured in feet rather than metres because the change is so little. Some see this as a good thing of course.

There was a dearth of spectators, unsurprisingly, as neither of the villages we ran through (Wymeswold and Hoton) has more than 150 residents. Those spectators there were on the course were able to see runners multiple times as the route double, treble and quadruple backed on itself. It made for easy photo opportunities, though the over-keen lad who kept getting in the way of our own nominated Club photographer for the day, Laura Greaves (How she also got a race time I do not know!) was acting like a beach bather with a modesty towel flapping in the wind.

The surface was not as good or as consistent as the speed kings and queens would like; it was described by Regan as ‘like running on Portsmouth beach’. There was tarmac, concrete slabs, dust, pebbles (God – the pebbles!), a few weeds, a farmer’s track, pot holes (so frequent they brought back memories of Sheffield streets of old), cracks, gravel and loose bits. Not needing trail shoes exactly but not what you might expect on a road race.

There are races on race tracks – Donnington has one, and we had a race report recently from Daytona. You can start and race and finish on a go-kart track in Wombwell and run a 10k on the raceway at Croft. But this has 12 km on runways and taxi-ways. Imagine swinging round a bend onto a wide-open six-lane highway with a fair breeze blowing into your face. What do you do? Where do you shelter? What racing line do you take?

Race conditions were good, despite the breeze building from ‘light to moderate’ as they say on the Shipping Forecast. The sun was out, and the temperature as mild as Britain’s favourite, a Chicken Korma. So favourable, in fact, that that fashion mistake, the arm warmer, was discarded after just 400 metres by one Strider. No-one else seemed as cold as Nicola Ross on the coach home – she’d emptied the flask too soon.

Lots of effort was put in, with some running like kids spilling out of school at the end of term. At least twenty Striders achieved new distance personal bests ‘of all time’ according to their Power of Ten histories. These successes ranged from a slender 16 seconds to an enormous 14 minutes!

Readers might wonder how the event scored so highly on the Runners’ Rating. Here’s how:

  • The Rock Choir were great – they sang all morning and did it with smiles. This is how to warm up.
  • The Medal is a keeper – and colour-matched the shirt perfectly.
  • The T-shirt is quality – like something you’d pick up in House of Fraser.
  • Marshalls were cheerful all the way round – and they were up early on a Sunday for students (from Loughborough, we think)
  • The Tambourine Men and Women beat out a decent running pace (but must have bruised hands and hips this morning)
  • The Saxophonist (unbelievably unnoticed by some of our runners) earned lots of ticks – freestyle jazz but not inaccessible. Nice jacket, too.
  • The water, banana, flapjack and sachet of peanut butter all went down well – and we applaud the decision not to issue a plastic carrier to hold the goodies.
  • The trip back was, on Coach 2, like an extra, deleted scenes, ‘Coach Trip To Prestwold’ episode, or Naked Attraction (but without the kitchen sink or the rabbit). Or so I’m told.

We had a de-brief in a ‘Spoons once back in the Steel City. Those who had said ‘never again’ were already coming round to the idea of organising another coach trip to a later round of the Road Race Championship, proving it has really taken off well; VTOL in places.

Alex Green will be updating his charts, graphs and spreadsheets. Arif and Frances will be working out how their chips didn’t register a finish. Poppy will wonder how hers did.

The race results seem rather immaterial, because that turned out not to be the point for most of us. A terrific day out.

The overall winner was Nick Samuels of Sales Harriers & Loughborough Students in 01:11:54, with first female Samantha Harrison of Notts AC in 01:21:14. Striders’ results as follows:

299James Broomhead01:41:23V50No Record

Pos Name Time Cat Previous PB
7 Thomas Halloway 01:17:08 Male 01:15:28
17 James Rose 01:20:44 V40 01:17:24
20 Hal Roberts 01:21:13 Male 01:22:31
35 David Forrest 01:25:19 Male 01:27:02
45 Malcolm Baggaley 01:26:26 V35 01:31:28
47 John Lea-Wilson 01:26:47 Male 01:42:09
50 Tim Holt 01:27:10 V40 01:24:03
55 James Smith 01:27:47 V35 01:31:34
67 Frances Roberts 01:28:37 Female 01:37:54
85 Alex Green 01:30:30 Male 01:32:23
98 Ben Sanderson 01:32:01 Male No record!
110 Seth Kirby 01:33:08 Male first timer
112 Ben Elmore 01:33:28 Male No record!
130 Charlie Field 01:33:45 V40 01:34:52
118 Katie Morris 01:34:06 Female first timer
122 Adrian Fisher 01:34:06 V45 01:25:44
124 Abbie Pearse 01:34:19 Female 01:43:43
131 James Boreman 01:34:38 Male No Record
142 Jonathan Legon 01:34:59 V55 first timer
144 Daniel Driscoll 01:35:14 Male NRY
152 Neil Schofield 01:35:33 V45 01:37:31
204 Stuart Jones 01:36:31 V55 01:36:12
176 Rob Betts 01:37:22 V50 01:37:06
190 Helen Burgess 01:37:50 Female 01:38:55
218 Pete Keats 01:38:22 Male 01:33:56
211 Dominic Sleath 01:38:40 V50 01:43:22
221 Charlotte Roper 01:38:55 Female No record!
214 Phil Howson 01:39:06 Male 01:33:05
223 Kimberley Bateman 01:39:33 Female 01:39:49
238 Poppy Tovey 01:39:36 Female first timer
262 Nicola Ross 01:40:21 V35 01:37:13
271 Neil Booth 01:40:40 V45 first timer
270 Fran Allen 01:40:49 V35 first timer
288 John Maples 01:41:21 V55 01:35:34
299 James Broomhead 01:41:23 V35 No record!
287 Chris Hodson 01:41:35 V50 01:40:06
308 Gareth Pert 01:41:40 V45 first timer
315 Tony Bilsborough 01:42:00 V55 Unknown
321 James Rees 01:41:42 V40 No record!
328 Regan Hanson 01:42:52 V35 first timer
311 Mark Gray 01:43:12 V45 01:17:05
370 Scott Liddle 01:44:15 V45 01:45:10
342 Phil Dooley 01:44:19 V40 01:46:40
? Tom Brooks 01:44:44 Male 01:35:08
366 Alan Dalton 01:45:21 V45 01:55:03
368 Richard Pegg 01:45:36 V55 01:36:28
373 Matt Gibson 01:45:57 V40 01:42:16
392 Shane Porteous 01:46:31 V45 first timer
443 Sam Keen 01:46:56 Male 01:55:36
410 Cara Hanson 01:47:18 V35 01:54:43
415 Loz Harvey 01:47:25 V40 01:45:24
430 Andrew Glaves 01:47:59 V50 first timer
444 Jo Carnie 01:48:44 V50 01:32:48
454 Helen Jones 01:48:52 Female 02:00:20
486 James Mason 01:49:53 V45 01:50:27
522 Gillian Burgon 01:51:23 V35 01:45:55
? Arif Ali 01:51:53 V35 01:39:45
575 Ryan Talley 01:53:43 V50 01:57:55
613 Richard Adams 01:55:10 Male 01:52:33
670 Michelle Vermeulen 01:55:13 Female 02:05:33
607 Charlotte Civico 01:55:19 Female 01:52:01
653 Letitia Hancock 01:57:22 Female 01:42:57
658 Leisha Shiner 01:57:45 Female 01:38:03
655 Lucy Woodward 01:57:49 V35 01:57:42
707 Clive Downing 01:59:12 Male 01:33:21
747 Tony Lyell 02:01:03 V45 02:01:45
769 Naomi Rabin 02:01:05 Female 01:57:06
743 Stephen Marren 02:01:08 V50 01:59:42
775 Sophie Reale 02:01:16 Female 02:04:46
819 Steve Shaw 02:01:27 Male No record!
773 Lindsey Motaleb 02:02:52 Female first timer
792 Nancy Stuart 02:02:55 V35 01:56:43
821 Becky Chapman 02:04:09 V40 No record!
834 Rosie Smith 02:04:48 Female 02:03:09
833 Jay Stocks 02:05:01 Male No record!
888 David Rooney 02:07:43 Male No record!
902 Simon Gleadhall 02:08:57 V50 02:03:59
914 Helen Smith 02:09:30 V40 02:17:04
972 Lucy Cowell 02:10:33 V45 No record!
999 Adrian Good 02:15:31 V35 first timer
1045 Rachel Rea 02:17:39 V35 02:13:15
1063 Sandie Farrow 02:19:51 V35 02:05:55
1117 Sarah Schofield 02:25:05 V40 02:29:20
1152 Eleanor Bull 02:27:00 first timer

Full results can be found here.

James Rose and Hal Roberts chase the lead female, about 2 kilometres in, just after the passing the random, mysterious, Saxophonist for the first time.

Striders – Assemble! (Hanging from trees and everything)

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