34 Spartans made the difficult early evening journey to Chingford for the third in the series of Mid Week League road races.
This was on a tough six mile course in Epping Forest. SIMON JACKSON was third veteran and 12th overall in 34 minutes 58 seconds; PETE SMITH first man 60 plus in 43:52 and TONY RANDFIELD third in 44:42.
This time MICHELLE REEVES was the fastest woman for FVS with 44:24 and MARIE COLUCCI second with 47:51. ABBIE PEZ was third woman under 20 with 54:08.
CAROLYN LINSELL was second woman 65 plus with 62:24 and CATHY CRAIG third with 66:50.
There were 15 Spartan women and 19 men. The fourth and final counting race in the 2022 Mid Week Road Race series will be in Trent Park, north London at 7.45p.m. on Thursday 30th June
(For all 34 Spartan times and positions please see the table near the end of this release)
Hot and Hilly in St Albans
It was hot and hilly for the St Albans Half Marathon.
Spartan JOHN HARRIS was second man 60 plus and 130th out of the 1,600 finishers in 1 hour 34 minutes 16 seconds.
MATT CLARKE came in at 1:43:27 and FIONA CLARKE 2:07:12.
CHLOE CHAPMAN said it was a really well organised event, although there were some big hills the route was beautiful. The ice lolly at the end was much needed. She finished in 2:14:19.
JIM BROWN was taken ill during the race but did eventually finish in 2 hours 35 minutes exactly.
JANE WADEY ran the 5K at St Albans. She came in with 33:53. She said she found it a bit hard, as it was very hilly which she hadn’t anticipated and also hot but it was the first actual chip-timed race she has done.
ROGER BIGGS completed the 5K in 49:29.
Adrian Busolini – Grand Trail du Saint Jacques (GTSJ)
ADRIAN BUSOLINI raced the 74 kilometres Grand Trail du Saint Jacques in France. One of the UTMB (Ultra Trail) World Series events there were 3.2 kilometres of climbing. He was 23rd in 9 hours 34 minutes 55 second. Here’s his story:
The first half of the race wends its way up and down the hillsides rising from the Allier river, which are plastered with dense forest: a vibrant, dark green carpet so uncommon in England, which has been almost entirely deforested. Frequently steep, dry and slippery, poles are highly recommended on these trails.
Starting right at the back of the first wave after getting confused by the (lack of) instructions in Monistrol, within minutes I was stuck in queues at the base of the first single track ascent. It was painfully apparent I had a gargantuan challenge on my hands to try to forge a path through, and the narrow trails in the first half of GTSJ make it a very tough course to do that. After some 30-40 or so km I had managed to clear the slower part of the field, just as the temperature rose to around 30C – but now I had to push on, and start making up time, as opposed to just places.
50K is where the course peaks, and it’s mostly a gradual downhill thereafter, with the hilly, forested landscape making way for sweeping plains and fields. I was starting to run low on food and water, and was rationing supplies, daring not to stop at any of the public water spots alongside my fellow runners so as not to lose any more time (having been joined by marathon and 32K competitors at this point, the course was, again, fairly crowded).
As I dehydrated and cooked out in the unshaded plains, passing runner after runner stationary and bent double over their poles, I kept my eye out for the iconic symbols of Le Puy en Velay, where the race concluded: the chapel of St Michael perched incredibly atop its own extinct volcano, and the imposing terracotta statue of Mary and child similarly overlooking the city. I did not spot them until I descended into the streets of the city itself, when I cranked into another gear and pushed on through a surprisingly good crowd up the final climb to the cathedral, a stunning location for the finish.
An important lesson for future trail races: don’t hang around in reception venues waiting for instructions, or presume where the start is. Get yourself to that start line early. Recovering from a back of the pack start can be non-trivial.
That said, 23rd place in a “by UTMB” race – I’ll happily take that.
Over the Sea to Skye
STEVE DOBNER and DAVID PATTMAN completed the Isle of Skye half in 2:01.59.
The weather was against them – 50mph wind, sideways rain and hail. With an elevation gain of 368 metres, it’s definitely a challenging course but also an amazing experience.
British Masters Steeplechase Silver
It was SILVER for GRANT RAMSAY in the British Masters Steeplechase Championship in Derby.
Over 3,000 metres he was second man 50 plus with 12 minutes 50 seconds.
Tony in the Forest
Spartan TONY RANDFIELD won the men over 60 (MV60) award at the Marston Forest 5K on Friday. He finished in 20 minutes 46 seconds and was 62nd out of the 341 finishers.
TONY RANDFIELD and ROB WRIGHT ran the Hampshire Hoppit trail marathon. They kept together to finish in a moving time of 4 hours 45 minutes 10 seconds.
Parkrun Highlights Saturday 11th June
Eighteen Fairlands Valley Spartans ran in Parkrun events on Saturday morning.
Mark GOODWIN ran a PB time of 22 minutes and 54 seconds on the Stevenage course. Alongside Stuart ARCHER who finished the course 3rd overall in 19 minutes and 36 seconds and Jim BROWN who won his age category in 26 minutes and 55 seconds.
Visits to new courses were completed by, Michael O’KEEFE on the Armley course in 30:17, and Tracy HAYGARTH at Fell Foot, Newby Bridge in 34:40.
Midweek Road Race League Division 1 – Race 3 – Chingford 6 miles – Wednesday 8th June
|12||12||3||3||Simon||Jackson||34:58||V 40||M||3rd Vet|
|121||103||1||56||Pete||Smith||43:52||V 60||M||1st MV60|
|140||119||3||71||Tony||Randfield||44:42||V 60||M||3rd Vet 60|
|281||80||3||Abbie||Pez||54:08||U 20||F||3rd FU20|
|331||112||2||88||Carolyn||Linsell||62:24||V 65||F||2nd FV65|
|346||124||4||100||Cathy||Craig||66:50||V 65||F||4th FV65|
15 women. 19 men.
Spartans at parkruns 11th June
|Wimpole Estate||264||108||Mo WARRILLOW||00:38:34|
|Fell Foot, Newby Bridge||183||74||Tracy HAYGARTH||00:34:40|