Reports 2019

31st December 2019

Two members of DK Running Club ran off their Christmas dinner and more on Friday 27th December.

Claire Hancox and Samantha Hemming took on the mammoth Sunrise to Sunset Challenge at the Shrewsbury Cycle Track with participants running as far as they can between the hours of sunrise (8.20am) and sunset (4.01pm). 

Music, food and drinks were provided to keep the runners going as they pounded out the laps around a purpose built one kilometre cycle track.

120 runners lined up to test their fitness in the annual challenge with some donning Santa suits and hats.

About 50 runners took on an ultra marathon, including DK’s Claire Hancox who completed her first ultra marathon running 50 kilometres (32.5 miles) in seven hours three minutes.

Other runners completed a 10k, half marathon or marathon. Samantha Hemming ran the marathon distance which was her 12th marathon in twelve months. 

On Christmas Day ten DK members ran the Walsall Parkrun before tucking into turkey, with many wearing Santa hats around the 5k Walsall Arboretum route.

Finishing the festive runs, Farrah Hunter-Coley and Vanessa Harris took part in the Lower Penn 5k handicap, run by Stourbridge Harriers, on Sunday 29th December. 

Both Farrah and Vanessa ran ten miles before the race to round it up to the half marathon distance of 13 miles and achieving their target of each running a thousand miles in 2019.

15th December 2019

Paula, Sam and Leanne at the Turkey Trot.

Seven runners from DK Running Club took part in a Turkey Trot in Wolverhampton on Sunday 15th December.

The five-mile race started and finished on the track at Aldersley Leisure Village and also took runners round nearby housing estates.

There was an unusual treat in store for all finishers: a four and a half kilo frozen turkey.

Mark Garrett was first back for the Hoops in 35 minutes 30 seconds, closely followed by Adam Crowle in 35 minutes 40 seconds and Alex Pearce in 39 minutes 49 seconds. 

Paula Alder was the first female Hoop to finish and came top in her age category in an impressive 41 minutes 15 seconds.

Leanne Fogarty wore a Father Christmas hat for the whole race and finished in 47 minutes three seconds with Samantha Hemming close behind in 47 minutes 25 seconds.

Phil Morris completed the DK Turkey Trot turnout in one hour six minutes 50 seconds. 

In total, 397 runners finished the five-mile festive event.

9th December 2019

The second race of the 2019/20 season, run by the Birmingham & District Invitation Cross-Country League and Midland Women’s Cross Country League saw a strong turnout by members of DK Running Club at Betley Court Farm, Crewe on Saturday 7 December.

In the men’s race Jonathan Pearce was the first DK runner to finish in 40.29. Mark Gatenby, David Hickman, Adam Crowle, Rory Campbell, Richard Jones, Alex Pearce and Ray Selwood also finished strongly for the Hoops.

In the women’s race Jane Campbell was the fastest Hoop in 36.02 with Paula Alder, Hannah Pearce and Kelly Idoine hot on Jane’s heels.

On Sunday 8 December fourteen Hoops took part in the Telford 10k with Gary Davies the fastest male finisher in 38.19 and Jane Campbell the first woman back for DK in 50.58. 

Gary Bonner, Dan Davey, Sam Gordon, Rory Campbell, Sam Muflahi, Tony Noke, Tim Rowe and Jonathan Hawkins were the other DK male runners in Telford while Paula Alder, Maxine Barker, Helen Noke and Amy Nelson ran for the female Hoops.

A dozen DK runners took part in the Sneyd Pudding Run on Sunday, hosted by Sneyd Striders Running Club. Dave Hickman was the fastest male for the Hoops, finishing in 1:13.43. 

Paul Baker, Mark Garrett, Nigel Enoch, Ray Selwood, Dirk Baynham, Matt Queen and Pete Stephens were the other male Hoops that ran the ten-miler in Staffordshire. For the women, Becky Withers was the first DKer to finish in 1:35.08 with Jennie Fletcher, Kelly Idoine and Kathryn Purslow not far behind.

Finishing on a festive note, Vanessa Harris represented DK at the Mary Stevens Hospice Santa Jog round Mary Stevens Park in Stourbridge raising money for a very worthwhile charity.

24th November 2019

Over fifty members of DK Running Club travelled to the home of British motor racing today (24th November) to take part in a range of races round the Formula 1 circuit.

The Hoops set off from their Wall Heath HQ at 6:30am on Sunday and fielded runners in the half marathon, 10k and 5k races at the Run Silverstone event.

Twenty-one DK runners took part in the half marathon. The fastest finisher for the men was Gary Davies in one hour 27 minutes 51 seconds with Gary coming a strong ninth in his age category. For the women, Helen Tromans was first back in one hour 44 minutes 47 seconds, finishing an impressive fourth in her age category.

Twenty-eight DKers completed the 10k race with Lucy Elwell first back for the Hoops in 48 minutes 23 seconds, closely followed by Richard Jones in 48 minutes 24 seconds.

Three members ran the 5k with Lynda Wise the fastest Hoop in 35 minutes 57 seconds. Jan Burbie and Malcolm Beddall, both recovering from long term injuries, made up the trio of DK runners in the 5k.

Jan deserves particular credit for organising the Silverstone trip with free coach travel for all club members.

After leaving Silverstone, the DK contingent stopped for well earned refreshments at a nearby pub before arriving back in Wall Heath at 6pm.

10th November 2019

The start of the cross country running season saw a strong performance by Dudley Kingswinford (DK) Running Club at Coundon Hall Park, Coventry on Saturday 9th November.

The Hoops fielded several men’s and women’s teams with all club members running well in difficult wet, muddy and cold conditions.

Paula Alder, Helen Bingham, Claire Hancox, Kelly Idoine and Hannah Pearce made their DK cross country debuts. The fastest DK lady to finish, in a time of 31 minutes 42 seconds, was Helen Tromans. Jane Campbell, Jacqui Elson-Whittaker, Lucy Elwell, Vanessa Harris, Samantha Hemming and Lyn Willetts Sprague completed the DK line-up for the women.

It was a similarly impressive display by the men in Coventry with Gary Davies first back for DK followed by Jonathan Pearce, Mark Gatenby, Sergei Ljubownikow, Dave Hickman, Ray Selwood, Richard Jones, Dirk Baynham and Matt Queen.

Further afield, Ingrid Cain and Paula Pallant ran the Elan Valley 10 mile race in mid Wales, organised by Rhayader running club, along with non-DK member but marathon training buddy Abi Thomas. The race had several steep climbs.

Ingrid said:
“We couldn’t catch our breath running up the hills but the views, waterfalls and autumn colours were a welcome distraction.”

One week earlier, on 2nd November, DK member Samantha Hemming completed a remarkable feat of running two marathons in a day.

Organised by How Hard Can It Be Events, Samantha first ran the Pumpkin Marathon in the morning. She then had just one hour to refuel with food and drink and get changed before starting off again in the Spooky Marathon. Both marathons were held on the same, mostly off-road, 32 lap course in Lightmoor, Telford.

Samantha said:
“It was a hard course with two hills on each lap and many pot-holes. It became even more difficult running in the dark but this just added to the challenge.

“I love Halloween and have always wanted to do both races so, rather than decide between them, thought I’d challenge myself and have a go at both.”

3rd November 2019

Photo courtesy of Matt Noke

The streets of Kingswinford were invaded by some athletic ghouls on Halloween night.

In what has become an annual tradition, members of DK Running Club donned some seriously spooky fancy dress as they set off on their five-mile training run.

Skeletons, werewolves, ghosts, witches and Freddy Krueger pounded the pavements before returning to the running club’s base at Dudley Kingswinford rugby club for fish and chips.

On Saturday 2nd November several DK runners showed their support for Armed Forces veterans by taking part in Royal British Legion Poppy Runs across the West Midlands, including at Sutton Park.

Also on Saturday, Dirk Baynham, Lucy Elwell, Richard Jones and Kathryn Purslow ran a very wet and muddy Winter Wolf 10k at Lutterworth in Leicestershire while Rory Campbell ran the Flying Fox ten-miler around the lanes of north Staffordshire in a time of one hour, 19 minutes and 45 seconds.

27th October 2019

Three women from DK Running Club took on one of the UK’s most formidable marathons on Saturday 26th October.

Samantha Hemming, Vanessa Harris and Farrah Hunter-Coley travelled to north Wales to represent the Hoops at the Snowdonia Marathon.

As icy rain lashed down, the three Black Country athletes set off with over 2,000 other runners on the tough but spectacular 26 mile course that encircles Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.

Samantha battled through the atrocious conditions to finish in five hours 45 minutes. She said:

“It was horrendous at the start, I was soaked through before the race had even begun. I just wanted to get in my car and drive home but thankfully I didn’t.”

Vanessa and Farrah crossed the finish line together in five hours 55 minutes. Vanessa said:

“After 18 miles I saw a runner in a DK club top ahead of me. I ran faster to catch up and to my amazement it was my best friend Farrah. We hugged and laughed and this changed the race for both of us. We decided to finish the race together and to enjoy the last eight miles with no time pressure and to take in the amazing views.”

Elsewhere, DK runners Jane Campbell, Rory Campbell, Kevin Herbert and Tim Rowe took part in the first ever 10K run at Comer Woods near Bridgnorth on Sunday (27th October). The event, which is untimed and free to enter, will now take place on the last Sunday of every month on the National Trust’s Dudmaston estate.

Still in Shropshire and also on Sunday, DK athlete Daniel Davey enjoyed the hilly Bridgnorth 10k, finishing in 46 minutes 21 seconds.

20th October 2019

Twenty-eight DK Running Club athletes finished strongly in the Almost 8k race in Stourport on 20 October scooping both the Men’s and Women’s fastest team prizes.

Jacqui Elson-Whittaker was the fastest finisher in the 50 plus age group on a challenging route while Jane Campbell came top in the 60 plus age group. Gary Davies was the third quickest finisher overall.

On Saturday 19 October ten DK runners competed in the annual Midland cross country relays that started and finished at Aldersley Stadium, Wolverhampton. The Hoops fielded one men’s team and two ladies’ teams on a scenic 6k course with Vanessa Harris and Tori Bryant making their cross country debuts for DK.

Helen Tromans came first in the 50 plus age group category of the Brockhampton 10k near Bromyard, part of the DirtRun Winter Warrior Series, and finished third female overall on a tough and muddy course.

Facing much drier, but still tough, conditions was Bob Jones who ran the Salgados 10k in Portugal which included two miles on sand in the heat.

13th October 2019

It was a bitter-sweet experience for DK Running Club members who took part in the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday (13 October).

As the rain lashed down in the city centre, 11,000 runners were deflated to learn, just minutes before the start, that the 13.1 mile half marathon distance would be cut short by a mile due to the wet weather. 

However, hours after the race finished, organisers admitted the run was reduced by two miles because of police concerns about a suspect car along the planned route. The vehicle was subsequently declared safe.

The drama detracted from what should have been a proudly memorable day for first-time half marathon runners Karen Flint, Leanne Fogarty, Sandeep Kaur and Lizzie Vesty.

Susan Barley, Adam Crowle, Farrah Hunter-Coley, Andrea Marshall, Ray Selwood and Helen Voke also ran in the blue and white DK Hoops in Birmingham. Adam flew past the 11-mile finish line in one hour hour and 23 minutes but was cruelly robbed of a half marathon personal best time due to the shortened distance.

However, Ray Selwood was determined to run the full 13 miles so, in true Forrest Gump fashion, just kept going and going at the finish line to complete another couple of miles. Ray’s unofficial half marathon time was one hour 54 minutes and 28 seconds.

Elsewhere on Sunday (13 October), three DK athletes ran a much less eventful half marathon in Manchester. Leading the way for the Hoops was Stuart King who crossed the finish line in one hour 46 minutes and 50 seconds while Russell Fox and Kathryn Purslow finished in one hour 53 minutes and two hours 23 minutes respectively.

6th October 2019

Walsall Arboretum was swamped by a sea of blue and white hoops on Saturday (5 October) as 21 members representing DK Running Club took part in the Walsall Parkrun.

It was a marital clean sweep for Jonathan and Hannah Pearce who finished first in the Hoops’ male and female categories in 19 minutes 58 seconds and 25 minutes 38 seconds respectively.

DK runners were also out in force on Sunday (6 October) at the Sheepwalks Shocker 10k that started and finished at Enville Hall, Stourbridge. Fifteen club members competed in the tough, multi-terrain race, with particular credit going to veteran Dirk Baynham who knocked two minutes off his 10k personal best time. 

Paula Alder, Mark Bailey, Maxine Barker, Daniel Davey, Jacqui Elson-Whittaker, Karen Flint, Mark Garrett, Claire Hancox, Jonathan Hawkins, Samantha Hemming, Amy Nelson, Hannah and Jonathan Pearce, Matt Queen and Ray Selwood also completed the Sheepwalks Shocker.

Jennie Fletcher and Justine Hammond ran the Alcester 10k with Jennie finishing in a nippy 53 minutes 7 seconds; Rebecca Withers ran the Midland Mencap 10K at Sutton Park and Ian Harris successfully finished the tough Brown Clee Burn 11k over the South Shropshire Hills.

Kathryn Purslow and Alison Thorneycroft ran the furthest competitive distance for the Hoops at the weekend in the Chester metric marathon. Kathryn finished the 16.3 mile course in three hours and seven minutes while Alison was close behind in three hours and ten minutes.   

One of the UK’s most popular half marathons, Cardiff, saw two DK members, Kevin Herbert and Aimee Pugh, proudly wearing the Hoops with Kevin finishing in an impressive one hour 39 minutes and 34 seconds.

Last, but not least, Sandeep Kaur achieved a personal best at the Wolverhampton Parkrun finishing in 29 minutes 43 seconds. 

29th September 2019

Five members from Dudley Kingswinford (DK) Running Club were part of a coach-load of club runners from the Midlands that travelled to London on Saturday (28 September) for a Parkrun that marked the fifteenth anniversary of the event.

The coach picked up the DK contingent at 4am to ensure the runners were at the starting line in Bushy Park, London, famed for its roaming herds of deer and where the free, weekly 5km timed runs first started in 2004. 

The Saturday morning runs, which take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and are open to people of all abilities, have since taken off in towns and cities throughout the UK and across the world. 

Kelly Idoine, Kathryn Purslow, Jayne Robinson Morris, Ray Selwood and Tim Rowe represented the Hoops at the milestone Parkrun event in the capital along with over 1,300 other runners.

On Sunday (29 September) seven DK members took on the testing Much Wenlock Race on the Edge. Paula Alder, Dirk Baynham, Daniel Davey, Kelly Idoine, Jacqui Louise, Sergej Lyubovnikov and Ray Selwood completed the 9-mile trail run with Daniel first home for the Hoops in one hour 20 minutes.

Elsewhere in Shropshire, Mark Garrett ran the Apley Estate Autumn Challenge 10k in Shifnal in 52 minutes 51 seconds; Amy Nelson, Hannah Pearce and Jonathan Pearce finished the Wem 10k while Claire Hancox ran the Guardians of the CODRC half marathon in and around Telford on Saturday (28 September). 

Salah Muflahi completed the Robin Hood half marathon in Nottingham on Sunday (29 September).

But the prize for longest distance run by DK members this week was jointly shared by Vanessa Harris and Farrah Hunter-Coley who finished the 34-mile Bridge to Bridge ultra run along the River Severn and Staffs and Worcestershire Canal. 

25th September 2019

A member of Dudley Kingswinford Running Club has reached the end of a long road: running 40 marathons in a year to mark her fortieth birthday and to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Susan Barley of Wollaston, Stourbridge, kicked off her marathon quest at the Rutland Marathon in September 2018. Over the next 12 months Susan travelled across the UK to fit marathons around her demanding job as head of medical physics for Oncology Systems, a Shrewsbury-based company that supplies radiotherapy equipment to the NHS.

At the outset, Susan was determined to raise as much money as possible for two charities close to her heart: CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) and Wigan and Leigh Hospice where her father was cared for before passing away from cancer five years previously. 

Susan decided to run for CALM after a close friend of her husband, Nick, tragically took his own life.

In April this year, Susan ran her 100th marathon in Barrow, Suffolk while her toughest test came in the Peak District where she completed the tortuous, very hilly trek in 11 and a half hours. This feat came just one day after she had run a 50 kilometre race.

Susan’s best finishing time came in Boston, Lincolnshire where the relatively flat course saw her home in four hours 59 minutes.

Susan finally completed the 40 Marathons milestone on 31 August this year at the Conquest of Avalon ultra-run at Glastonbury Tor. Unknown to her, Nick had arranged for friends to be stationed at every single checkpoint along the 30-mile course, cheering her on to the very end.

Susan celebrated her 40th birthday on 5th September and said:

“This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it’s been worth it to raise money for two charities that mean so much to me and Nick. 

“I’ve made many friends at marathons all over the UK and it was lovely that three of these new faces ran with me every step of the way in the final marathon at Glastonbury. 

“I’m now looking forward to taking it a little easier as far as marathons go but won’t be putting my running shoes away. I love training with DK Running Club every week.”

Susan has so far raised over £3,000 pounds out of her £4,000 target. Her fund-raising page can be found at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?pageId=960206

22nd September 2019

DK entered three teams in the tough West Midlands road relays at Sutton Park on Saturday (21 September) with Paula Alder, Mark Bailey, Maxine Barker, Tori Bryant, Gary Davies, Claire Hancox, Helen Noke and Ray Selwood proudly wearing the hoops.

Daniel Davey and Kathryn Purslow took part in the Brewood 10k Woggle, staged by the Brewood scout group, finishing in 46 minutes and 64 minutes respectively. 

Being on holiday in Florida did not deter DK Running Club member Andrea Marshall from getting her running fix. Andrea took part in the Disney 10k at dawn with her daughter, Elizabeth, along with thousands of other tourists visiting the theme park. 

Kathryn swapped her running shoes for horse riding boots on Saturday (21 September) when she competed in a dressage competition at Allenshill, Pershore, finishing in second place.

Jennie Fletcher finished the Stafford 10k in 52 minutes 28 seconds, while Claire Hancox and Karen Flint crossed the finish line together in a time of one hour three minutes.

Rounding off an action-packed week for the Hoops, Tori Bryant ran the Mark Perry memorial 5k race at Clent.

15th September 2019

Dudley Kingswinford Running Club members were out in force in Worcester on 15 September with five runners competing in the city’s Half Marathon and another ten taking part in the Worcester 10K. 

First home for the hoops in the half marathon was Kelly Iodine in two hours four minutes. This was Kelly’s first ever attempt at the distance.

Tim Rowe finished in two hours, nine minutes 52 seconds; Matt Queen in two hours thirteen minutes six seconds and Kathryn Purslow in two hours 19 minutes, the same time as her pacesetter Bob Jones. Kathryn’s time equalled her personal best, achieved at the Lake Vyrnwy half marathon the previous week.

In the Worcester 10K Jonathan Pearce finished in a speedy 42 minutes 48 seconds while Tony Noke finished in 55 minutes 20 seconds. Peter Stevens, Sarah-Jane Stevens, Hannah Pearce, Salah Muflahi, Jennie Fletcher, Lynsey Jane and Dave Ede also finished the 10K.

Around 4,300 runners took part in the Worcester City Half Marathon, 10K and Young Athletes Run cheered on by big crowds who lined the streets in the sunshine. 

It was a particularly successful weekend for Ray Selwood who, as well as completing the Worcester 10K, achieved a personal best time of 22 minutes 24 seconds in the Walsall Parkrun on Saturday (14 September).

Elsewhere on Saturday, Claire Hancox took on the Birchfield Harriers 10K Trail Poppy Run while Amy Nelson completed the Cardiff Parkrun.

8th September 2019

In varied action, DK Running Club competed far and wide this weekend.

Kathryn Purslow ran for the hoops at the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon in Wales. The 13 mile course takes in 1 full lap around the perimeter of the lake.

In other action around 15 people from DK competed in the Sexarathon. The 6 part mini series of approx. 5-7k midweek races around the Telford area has been held over the last 5 months, culminating in the last one last week at Harper Adams College in Newport.

Ray Selwood battled the tough Autumn Wolf Run in Leamington Spa, along with Jennie Fletcher taking part in the Stratford Big 10km around the picturesque Warwickshire town.

Finally in a local event held at the Dell Stadium in Brierley Hill called the Magic Mile, some 40+ DK athletes take part in a field of over 150+ to see how fast they could run 4 laps of the track, in order to do a mile in the fastest possible time.

1st September 2019

Dan Davey competed fantastically in the Joust 24hr Ultra 24 Hour Race, where he ran a very impressive 90 miles in the allotted time.

Jane and Rory Campbell competed in the Sprint Triathlon in Wombourne, in addition, Jacqui Elson-Whittaker represented the hoops at the tough Cotswolds Trail Half Marathon.

Also in action was Paula Alder, John Andrews, Sue & David Ashworth, Amanda Finn and Anna Marie Limb in Wolverhampton at the Carver 10k, along with Kat Purslow and Claire Hancox at the Malmesbury Flying Monk 10k in Wilstshire.

A large contingent of some 25 runners ran at RAF Cosford 10k in the Spitfire 10k.

25th August 2019

DK Runners Dirk Baynham and Dave Hickman competed in the Severn Bridge Half Marathon this weekend. The event starts in Wales, crosses the bridge over the Severn Estuary and into England for a short distance before going back over into Wales.

Ray Selwood and Dave Garbutt also represented the club in Pershore at their annual running of the Pershore Plum 10k

18th August 2019

DK athletes were in action further afield this weekend.

Samantha Hemming was in Somerset, to compete in the 2 tunnels marathon in Bath.

Tim Rowe competed in Race the Train held in Tywyn, Wales. Competitors run 14 miles of hills, tough terrain and mud in an attempt to beat a train up and back on the Tal y lynn Railway, which runs the 7 miles from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn and back again.

Jennie Fletcher was in Blackpool to compete in the Run the Lights 10k for the hoops.

11th August 2019

Claire Hancox competed in the Rocky Horror Picture Show Tribute Marathon in Shrewsbury this weekend for the hoops.

Wearing full Rocky Horror gear apart from the running shoes, she even completed the first and last laps of the event in heels!!!

4th August 2019

Around 15 members of DK Running Club competed in the Cannock Chase 10k this weekend. The very undulating but beautiful 6 mile course is all run on the paths and trails around the Chase.

First male home for DK was Mark Garrett, with Sergej Lyubownikow and Daniel Davey 2nd and 3rd respectively. First home for the ladies was Jane Campbell, followed by Kelly Idoine and Helen Kelly.

28th July 2019

DK’s Chris Lewis represented the hoops in the “Ultra Tour of the Lake District” this weekend. Set around the Lake District in Cumbria, the race which has a cut off time of 40 hours, started this Friday (26/7) at 1800hrs. The extremely challenging course is 105 miles long and compromising of a staggering 6300 metres of elevation, is one of the toughest ultra races around.

Chris finished the race in a fantastic 16th place in a time of 25 hours 27 minutes.  A truly  fantastic achievement.