Heroes In Hoops

Heroes In Hoops (June 2016)

June started with a whimper as there was very little to for athletes to get their teeth into in the early part of the month, those looking for competition were forced to travel a little further afield, try something a little more low key or something completely different if they wanted to race. Sarah Cox travelled south to Portsmouth to take part in the D Day 10k, a race now in its 20th year and run to commemorate the Allied landings in northern France during the Second World War. Although the voices in her head were constantly telling her to stop he resisted the temptation to finish in 381st place in a time of 54.39 placing 11th in her age group. Roger Beddard and Lee Avery stayed a little closer to home by taking part in the Sutton Fun Run, an 8.5 mile “race” in Sutton Coldfield. Although results were hard to find both ran well in hot conditions despite failing to record any personal best times. And Samantha Hemming and Meg Dowen took part in Adrenaline Rush 2016, a muddy obstacle course race boasting ring grappling, slides, climbs, airbags and more.

As the month progressed it appeared that races were like buses, you can wait for weeks and then 3 or 4 turn up at once. A group travelled to Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales for the annual Man versus Horse race. With options of running as individuals or in relay teams of three only one club member took the individual option, Andy Sprague, coming home in 3.49.55 to finish 36th in his age group and 212th out of 672 competitors, horses included. There were two male teams and one female team pulling on the hoops with Craig Brown, Dave Norman and Matt Biggs finishing 5th in 2.59.45 and Mick Quane, James Wright and Andy Morrison coming 7th in 3.13.54 behind two teams made up of Royal Marines. The ladies team finished in the best position of all, the team of Lynn Sprague, Helen Tromans and Jane Pugh running under the name of Three Damn Fine Fillies were 4th in 3.44.31.


Twenty four hours later DK were back on tarmac as Mark Homer was rewarded with a first prize in his age group at the tough Potters Arf, a half marathon raced around the towns of Stoke on Trent, finishing in 72nd position in a course best time of 1.31.17.


Closer to home Graham Wildgoose took part in the Aldridge 10k finishing in a course best time of 43.22. He was joined by Russell Fox who claimed 123rd place in 47.44, Sally McConville was 187th in 52.29, Lisa Kendrick 208th in 53.50, Keith Whitehouse 225th in 55.21, Alison Whitehouse 229th in 55.51 and Nicola Wilkinson came 342nd out of 353 runners in a time of 1.12.44.


Telford ACs Sexarathon continued with the Shropshire 4 where DK were again among the prizes, Simon Hughes was first home in 33rd in 24.25, Craig Brown was 43rd in 24.49, Simon Blizzard misjudged the finish and ran past the line to do an additional lap and had to retace his steps to finish 53rd in 25.41, Mark Homer was 58th in 25.57, Dave Norman was 60th in 26.03, Pete Hood 63rd in 26.07, Mark Judge 66th in 26.11, Gary Bonner 68th in 26.21, Richard Tonks 93rd in 27.52, Sergej Ljubovnikov 94th in 27.58, Steve Parr 99th in 28.10, Roger Beddard 119th in 29.24, John Andrews 123rd in 29.41, Rory Campbell 156th in 31.31, Sally McConville 181st in 32.44, Jane Campbell finished in 34.15, Liz Comley in 36.46 and John Glover and Meg Down both finished in 36.58.



A handful of runners took part in the inaugural Severn Valley Trail 10k Karen Doy was 50th in 57.34, Liz Hettle finished in 1.08.19 to take 95th place and Natalie Litchfield was 100th in 1.09.25


June also saw the culmination of the beginners’ course wit its conclusion at the Gavin Tipper 5k. On an evening that threatened torrential rain and thunderstorms for the athletes toeing the line they were lucky to miss the worst of the weather. With localised flooding reported throughout the area it appears someone was looking down on the field as the worst they experienced was a light drizzle making the course, mostly on grass, a little slippery on the corners. Simon Blizzard was first home for the hosts in 17.46 however this was more a night for the clubs beginners rather than its established runners with most pulling on the yellow marshals bib rather than the blue hooped vest. The stand out beginners’ performance on the night came from Tom Porter who finished in a time of 20.30 to take 42nd place.


With the beginners event out of the way there was time for the more established runners to take on one of the toughest half marathons on the race calendar as a group travelled to west for the Trail Marathon Wales Half. Mark Homer continued to impress with another good time finishing in 40th place overall and 5th in his age group in 1.48.52, Phil Sayers was 327th in 2.35.15, Pete Krivosic was 357th in 2.39.17 and Sarah Krivosic finished in 3.11.14 to take 476th place.

The following weekend started on the Friday night with the Blakedown Bolt, a tough off road 10k race with the course making full use of trails and tracks across fields and through woods before finishing within stumbling distance of the bar. Mick Quane was the first hoop home taking 23rd place in 44.49, Daren Thompson was 31st in 46.09, John Andrews finished in 52.14 to take 79th place and Samantha Hemming was 212nd in 1.05.50. Andy Fraser took part in the inaugural Great Donington Run at the Donington Motor Racing Circuit in the East Midlands finishing the 10 mile race in 1.45.39 to take 382nd place.

And after a year’s absence the Shifnal Half Marathon returned to the calendar and was graced with the presence of a handful of blue hoops. Dave Norman came home in 13th place in 1.30.49, Graham Wildgoose finished in 1.40.48 to take 30th place, Meg Dowen was 108th in 2.17.17, Sam Hemming completed her second race of the weekend to finish in 117th in 2.20.06 and Preston Grundy claimed the 1st MV70 prize coming home in 2.25.57 to take 120th position.

The month finished with the annual blast around Baggeridge in the Action Heart 5k with Simon Blizzard coming home first for the hoops in 7th place in 21.07, Rich Bate despite making plenty of excuses before hand was 13th in 21.53, Dave Norman was 17th in 22.20, John Andrews was 46th in 26.02, Rory Campbell was 49th 26.16, Andy Litchfield was 51st 26.25, Karen Doy finished in 5th in 27.06, Dave Garbutt in 27.40, Sally McConville in 28.42, Natalie Litchfield in 31.22, Sam Hemming in 31.39, John Sixsmith in 31.46 and Meg Down in 32.02.