PB FOR ASHELY * BUSOLINI’S ACT OF ATTRITION
Spartan YUKO GORDON broke the British road 5 kilometres age record for women on Friday. Running at the Last Friday of the Month Serpentine 5K in Hyde Park she finished in 21 minutes 53 seconds beating the previous record for women aged 70 plus of 22:08 set by Angela Copson by 15 seconds. It was also a race record. While many runners would be happy with an age related score around 70% Yuko achieved 96.5%!
There was also a good run by new Spartan ASHLEY JOHNSON who won her category and got a new personal best (PB) of 21 minutes 5 seconds.
Completely outshone by the two Spartan women JIM BROWN was nevertheless pleased to get under 28 minutes for the first time in what seemed like ages. In fact with a dash for the line he beat 27 minutes with 26:58.
The Serpentine 5K is a long established running club event. Great to enjoy on a Friday lunchtime or if you are after a personal best or even a record it’s accurately measured and properly timed.
It was a good day to run – mild, dry and with a modest breeze. The next Serpentine 5K will be on Friday 25th February.
Adrian’s Arc of Attrition
Spartan ADRIAN BUSOLINI completed the 100 miles Cornish Coastal Path “Arc of Attrition” ultra marathon in 28 hours 12 minutes 31 seconds.
Here’s his story:
“I didn’t even know what the Arc was when I added my name to its waiting list sometime last year; it was just “some legendary race” that I should probably run at some point. So it wasn’t until I was offered a place in November, that I read the website and learned the basics. January, 100 mile, Cornwall, coast path. I’d already run part of the route in the 70k Classic Quarter back in May. I rated that as one of the toughest runs I’d done, and for some reason I assumed I’d likely experienced the worst bits of the coastal path.
I learned a bit more about it in the weeks preceding the race; notably the infamous Pendeen-St Ives section, and consequently bought an awful lot of new kit. Also, only having 4 aid stations, and 1 drop bag, presented some real challenges for an uncrewed runner like me. The most kit I’d carried before was during the CCC; but even there, I hadn’t needed to carry 5kg of supplies in a 12l pack. Water resupply was an open question.
The weather conditions were described as unusually favourable, and we joked about course PBs on the start line, before the drums rang out and the blue smoke was deployed to signal the start of the Arc.
The Arc is a bit of a beast. The section through Lizard to Marazion is technical, tough coastal running. In May, when I ran the Classic Quarter, it was slippery. In January, it’s more slippery. And it’s pretty relentless up-and-down stuff. The downs in particular are awkward; you can’t easily use them to regenerate, as their awkwardness means you’re usually having to break, and thus pummel your quads, which you know you’ll pay for later.
Marazion to Mousehole (via Penzance) is flat and easy, a nice period to recover & pile on the miles. But Mousehole to Land’s End is extremely technical. It’s only runnable in very short bursts. It was tough in the Classic Quarter, and it’s tougher in the Arc when it’s at night. In places, one’s foot and entire lower leg disappear into mud. When the shining lights of Land’s End Hotel rise like the sun over the crest of the hills, they act like a beacon of hope in the loneliness of the mizzley night. At this point, my shoes were full of water, mud, sand, and stones; so my drop bag, and fresh pair of shoes and socks, at Land’s End made the world of difference.
Pendeen to St Ives is a borderline ridiculous race section. There’s about 20km of night-time rock-hopping, mud-wading, clambering, scrambling, slipping and sliding. In places, my knees were swallowed up by the mud. Progress was painfully slow. Meanwhile, time ticks away.
Arriving into St Ives was a huge relief, where I did my best to dust the worst of the debris from my socks (a lost cause), before getting back to the job of polishing off the last 35km. An easier section; initially road, then back to the coastal path, interrupted by the infamous “Dunes of Doom”, before I finally focussed back on my finishing time and place, and began to rein in those ahead of me. I must have gained 5-10 places in the final 10km.
The finish through Porthtowan, ending with a brilliant hill climb up to the Eco Park, was a thoroughly enjoyable end to what was an extremely tough race. I got a gold buckle for a sub-30 hour finish, which I’ll take with pleasure. It was a race I was simply happy to finish uninjured. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my two pairs of socks: I fear they are both ‘beyond economical repair’.
I finished in 28:12:31, putting me around 31st place.”
Parkrun Highlights 29th January.
Late January and it was amazingly mild and sunny for the 227th Stevenage parkrun. Many runners were in shorts and running vests without the extra layers that might be expected at this time of the year. 326 finishers this time including 24 Spartans.
Altogether thirty-nine Fairlands Valley Spartans ran at Parkrun events around England.
PB times were recorded at the Westmill course for Danny SCANLON. Danny completed the event in 21 minutes and 36 seconds, finishing sixth overall.
Also hitting milestones were both MATT CLARKE and TONY RANDFIELD who ran in Stevenage. Here they completed their 80th and 90th Parkruns respectively, in times of 26 minutes and 47 seconds and 21 minutes and 6 seconds. MIKE REYNOLDS also hit 80 runs with a time of 26 minutes and 8 seconds at the Panshanger event.
GRANT RAMSAY was fourth overall in Stevenage in a time of 19 minutes and 15 seconds.
The next stripy Saturday will be this Saturday 5th February.
Spartans at parkruns Saturday 29th January
|Stevenage (24 Spartans)||4||4||Grant RAMSAY||00:19:15|
|Kingdom (Penshurst)||82||55||Michael O’KEEFE||00:50:52|
|Henlow Bridge||14||11||John NELMS||00:22:32|