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Dot to Dot – by Dot Kesterton

Dot Kesterton is no stranger to BUZZ, with plenty of experience, teaching runners half her age how it’s done!

Running for #TeamAccelerate, as well as Sheffield’s Steel City Striders & her local ladies club ‘Smiley Paces’ – she competes within the V60 category (outdoing many in the V50 & V40) and runs like she means it.







Chester 10K road race and England Athletics Masters Association, (EAMA) qualifying race Sunday 10th March 2019.


Chester 10K is described as a fast out and back course, North West from the Northgate Leisure Centre to the village of Millington and back to the town centre. I was concerned at the weather forecast for the UK which showed rain, sleet snow and blustery winds across the country so was pleased to wake to drizzle and a breeze and temperatures around 5’, unlike Sheffield which woke to snow.

After a good warm up I stripped to vest and shorts and shivered at the start line waiting for the off. The start, much like Percy Pud is ranked in five minute intervals. I wandered towards the front, ‘elite’, and discovered few athletes filling the space so decided to fill it for them. It’s a bit unnerving hanging about with young men and women who were going to leave me in the dust at the sound of the claxon but no one seemed unduly bothered so I skipped about and admired my goosepimples.

The first mile was all about trying to find a pace I knew I could sustain for 45 minutes or so. I erred on the conservative side, around 7.5 minute mile pacing and used the time to pin my eyes on the man with Chester Triathlon on his shirt running at around my pace so I could try and hang on to him. The turn, at Millington was a big boost because I was running at my normal parkrun pace, around 22:30 at the 5K mark and feeling OK.

At around 8K the course begins the ascent into the town, again reminiscent of Percy Pud. In fact I think I said aloud, “just passed the dam wall now, dig in,” which would only mean anything to a Sheffield runner.

I thought my finish would be a bit ragged but the crowds were yelling and helping keep up my spirits and before long I could see the welcome ‘Finish’ gantry. I managed to push through the pain to the end and was delighted to see the time: 45:26, gun. That would be enough to earn me an age group pb, a Striders club record and most importantly a place in the EAMA 10K race in Birmingham in May. The Chester triathlete was just ahead so that tactic worked well.

I recommend the Aldi Chester 10K road race as a fast and well organised race in a lovely town even if it is the other side of the Pennines.

Dot Kesterton



Port of Blyth 10K incorporating the British Masters 10K Road Championships, 7th April 2019.

The race is billed as fast and flat, on footpath and cycleway from the quayside to Seaton Sluice and back.

I decided to go to Northumberland not to miss the delights of the Dronfield 10K or even the Manchester marathon, but to defend my 2018 F65 10K title won last year at Trentham, Stoke.

Blyth is a small town north of Newcastle. it is undergoing lots of regeneration in renewable energies so the port was an exciting place to host a race for northern AC’s and this year the British Masters Athletics Federation.

It was cool and still on the quayside at the start of the race. I looked round for any familiar Sheffield shirts, but guessed you all had something more important to do last Sunday, so I did my customary jigging about for a warm up and pressed myself to the front of the pack for a swift getaway.

Running south from the quayside along paths and a cycle track I concentrated on my pace and form. My plan was to go for a consistent 7.30 minute mile pace and try not to fade in the last half mile or so. in the event I ran a little too fast, (first mile in 6.58), completing 5K in 22 minutes and had to draw on all my reserves to hold on for the remaining 5K. The F70 World Champion, Angela Copson overtook me in the home straight giving me the push I needed to sprint for the line.

Thanks to Angela’s appearance I managed to shave a whole second off my chip time from last month’s 10K at Chester to win the F65 title and gold medal in 45:13 gun, 45:09 chip. I’m thrilled to remain at the top of the Run Britain Rankings F65 10K ladder and 13th in the F65 All Time 10K records, at least until the next race which is in Birmingham next month.

The Men’s race was won by Noah Hurton, Milton Keynes in 31:18 and Alyson Dixon, Sunderland Strollers in 33:28. One of the more notable Masters results was Alex Sutherland, M70, Inverness Harriers in 40:49. I congratulated him afterwards on such a brilliant run. He spoke of the importance of positive mental preparation and focus on core training. I found him to be a real inspiration and role model for older athletes.

The next BMAF road championship is the 5K on June 16th at Horwich, Bolton. Check out the website if you’re over 35 years old and fancy having a go.

Dot Kesterton, Steel City Striders RC, Smiley Paces RC and NMAC.

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Thanks Chumbawumba

It’s been over a week now since I hurtled to the trail in the woods courtesy of those blooming tree roots, resulting in one very badly sprained ankle. Thursday 21st March will be etched in my mind for a while yet.

Thursday was a bit of blur: a combination of shock, adrenaline and codeine. Trying to work out how I get coffee from the kitchen to sofa while on crutches is not great on codeine brain. Friday was reality hitting. Ouch. Ankle blooming hurt, swolen like an elephant’s foot and the reality dawning of being unable to run the ultra on 6 April. I confess, I may have had a little cry.

On the Saturday morning, I was on front of house duty at Accelerate’s Big Running weekend, with the propped and elevated (and lots of fuss, thanks for caring guys).  Weirdly it was awesome being involved and even though I wasnt running, it was infectious being around all the positive vibes. People take the **** out of us runners, but we rock. Positive, energetic, eager to learn and happy.

With this setback (small understatement), it would be really easy to get down in the dumps. The times I’ve heard, “you must be gutted, all that training…”. Yep!

This is where I give thanks to Chumbawumba. “I get knocked down, but I get up again, ain’t nothing gonna keep me down”. This keeps swirling through my head.

As I see it, nothing is wasted. The training was going great and my fitness was ace. It can be again. This obviously wasnt my moment to shine, but there will be other opportunities. I’ve thought about it a lot. It’s time to be positive. Take the mental strength I’ve developed through that training and put 100% effort into rehab and getting back, to focusing on new goals.

So, I’ve joined a gym…argh! Only a month pass, I can handle that, especially knowing its building strength, building cardio and keeping my mind happy I’m training. I even went on the dreaded rowing machine!

I’m absolutely chuffed to report I’m doing great. My ankle is repairing like some sort of bionic woman. I did parkrun Saturday 30th, 9 days after.  Admittedly 36.31, but I blinking well ran/ walked it. I listed to my ankle and took it steady. The tough bit now is control. Important not to race off, get carried away and hinder the recovery.

Watch this space. She’s coming back!

Ralph the much loved moggy helping the recovery process


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Argh. It was all going so well!

Sunday 17th March, my last long run of training complete! 25 steady miles bagged. Now, let the taper begin!

I treated myself to a deep tissue massage Wednesday night. On Thursday morning’s easy run I’m feeling good, listening to birds singing. I headed down to the wood trail towards the river, then out of nowhere, I’d slid on a gnarly and muddy tree root. A crunch. Ouch. I was on the floor.

You know when you do the quick check? Body scan…is everything ok?

I sat for a minute on a tree stump, then decided to be sensible. Steady run home. Race day soon. Trouble was, when started to move, it hurt  Really hurt. Limping home, uphill, I pondered.

After the longest mile walk ever, I was happy to be home, then alarmed to see a huge lump forming on my ankle! An hour or so passed and 2 ibuprofen and paracetamol later, I was in agony still and called a taxi to get checked out.

Turns out it’s a nasty sprain. Given crutches to support my walking and for the next few days rest (hate that word!), ice and elevate. No running.

24 hours later and it’s hit me. I’ve had a couple of weepy moments today  Sometimes no matter how well you prepare…Gutted.

Then I realised. Mental resilience isn’t just about what happens on your long runs. Mental resilience is now too.

Rest, recover, get stronger.

Watch this space. It’s time for a new plan.

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We might be crazy…

Running is a weird old thing. My family and non-running friends think I’m nuts half the time. Often ask me why I bother, why don’t I just enjoy chilled Sundays…sound familiar?

I set myself a challenge last year and with 3 other crazies, entered to run the four inns 65km race. as a team of 4. It’s an epic route, literally up hill and down dale, starting in Holmbridge and finishing in Buxton. The response from my sister is the best so far, “Really? Do you know how far that is?”. Sure. Its a half marathon with a half marathon on the end!
So why do we do it? The four inns is a massive challenge. I’ve never ran anything further than a marathon. Its gonna be tough. My feet undoubtedly will not be great by the end. Sure, its intimidating. Yes. There will be amazing runners competing, and not just my team mates. I’m pretty sure a few times I’ll convince myself I’m not good enough and daunted by what’s ahead.

BUT, I’m doing it! I want to run it. I want the challenge. This is going to be an amazing experience, a great race, a test of my physical ability and fun! I’m scared and excited, both emotions swirling like a washing machine. I’m really proud of myself for doing it.
So why share this with you? I guess the message is it doesn’t matter what your personal challenge is. If you’re running a 5k, your first trail race, a marathon or just running, were all part of this amazing community. Were in it together and achieving.
My best advice and thing I’ve learned is don’t be worried by ‘what if?’ What if I fail?…. It’s about giving it a go. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. That’s the failure.
So grab those trainers. Embrace the hills, the mud, the pavement. Whatever your thing, just do it – sorry Nike 😉

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On Saturday I turned 50. Okay, a parkrun birthday and not actually 50, but still a great milestone. I celebrated with lovely running chums at Bakewell parkrun and it was fab.
Not so long ago, parkrun for me was a race, only to be done to smash it and get a PB or close to it. No wonder I found them tough going and didn’t really enjoy them. Somewhere along the line I had a word with myself.
Parkrun is about soooo much more. Sometimes I race hard. Others I rock up for a leisurely plod, catch up with friends and just enjoy it. Generally its lovely people, coffee and sometimes ace cake too.
This change in attitude and how I approach running is really important. Do what works for you. Running for most of us is what we do for fun. We challenge ourselves. We achieve great things and push our boundaries. What makes it amazing is when we find what works for us as individuals. That’s when the magic happens. Whatever your run distance, whether you run like phoebe or with the gazelle- like style of Mo Farrah, be bold, be brave, be you.

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