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British Masters 5K Road Champs, Horwich, Sunday 16/06/19.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Masters Athletics Federation 5K Road Championships,

Horwich, Sunday 16th June 2019.

Thanks to the phenomenon of Parkrun, my Saturday morning fix, I have become adept over the last six or seven years at plodding round Sheffield parks for twenty something minutes a time over a measured 5K distance. So it seemed a natural step to apply all that preparation and experience and enter The BMAF 5K Road Championships in Horwich, Bolton last Sunday.

Horwich, a pleasant town just off the M61 hosts an annual running, race walking and cycling festival. The event organisation is efficient; there is a spacious new leisure centre as a base, plenty of additional toilets and the town centre, traffic free course is flattish, just 153’ ascent overall.

The festival incorporates the British Masters race as part of the event. This is for athletes over 35 years old and is set in 5 year age categories from 35+ with no upper age limit. It also serves as a qualifying race for the England Athletics Celtic Nations International Masters Cross Country race in mid November, this year to be held in Southport.

As an FV65 I checked the start list looking for my adversaries. Yes, a few familiar names popped up.

The real talent in the line up was Angela Copson, now FV70 but a formidable World Champion across a range of events, track, road and Cross Country, I have yet to beat. I noted that men in the race outnumbered women by around 2-1.

After collecting my number, a thorough warm up and several ‘just in case’ toilet stops, I lined up with the cream of British older athletes for an 11:00 start. Children’s cycle races preceded the race, a joy to watch as big and little kids on an assortment of bikes pedalled their hearts out on the course.

For all my aforementioned experience at Parkrun I still leapt off at the claxon like the proverbial startled ferret and recorded a 6:35 first mile, ridiculous at my age (67) and with two miles and no puff to go. Forced to slow down by the horrible rasping sounds coming from deep inside my throat I tried to gulp more air and look as if I knew what I was doing for the remaining two laps. Angela was clearly having a rest day, being the only FV70 in the race, but I had business to attend to and a medal to claim.

I finished, wrecked, in 22:02minutes, a 2019 PB by 12 seconds. Angela was right behind me, looking infuriatingly serene, but I had managed to beat her, just. This gave me a gold medal and a 92%AG and top UK ranking for my age, so perhaps gasping all the way round was worth it after all.

I know that the race calendar is full at this time of year but I do recommend this event as a fast and flat road race. To run as a British Master you have to join a regional club like Northern Masters AC as second claim club but then options of regional, national and even international competition become possible. I went to Horwich as the only Sheffield competitor. It would be great to have a few familiar faces with me next year.

The race was won by Mick Hill M40, Leeds City AC in 15:36 and by Kelly Edwards F40 Leamington Cycling and AC in 17:43.

Dot Kesterton, Steel City Striders.

19th June 2019.

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Gritstone Fixtures: Round Four – Hope Fell Race

 

Coming up in the Gritstone Series next week, Wednesday 26th June, 7:30pm – is the Hope Fell Race.

AKA ‘Hope Wakes Fell Race’ because it traditionally takes place within the ‘Hope Wakes’ festival.  What’s that?  Well,

According to their official Facebook page:

“Hope Wakes week is filled with fun, sports activities and events ending with a carnival day not to be missed. Lots of fun for all! June 24th – July 2nd”.

Festival details here

So fell racing….

Hope Fell Race in a nutshell:

  • Date & time: Wed 27th Jun 2018 at 19:30
  • Country: England
  • Region: Peak District
  • Category: BS GPS:
  • Website: www.hopefellrace.co.uk
  • Distance: 9.5km / 5.9m
  • Climb: 451m / 1480ft
  • Venue: Hope Sportsfield, Castleton Rd, Hope, S33 6RD.
  • Grid ref: SK165836
  • Skills & experience: PM
  • Minimum age: 16

The race takes place in the evening.  Nice to get a chance to race in the PM, as so many races demand that you drag yourself from a warm bed/house/car and launch yourself into freezing cold wind and rain.  7:30pm is far more civilised.

The pavilion used is a perfect spot to leave kit, adjust race outfit, pit-stop at the toilets and ready yourself/exchange post race stories with fellow competitors.  Comfy as these things go.

That said, this is still a very demanding race, with a 5.9 mile hill repeat over Win Hill.

What’s Win Hill you say?

Well,

Good old Wikipedia say:

“Win Hill lies north west of Bamford in the Derbyshire Peak District of England. At 462 m, it is almost surrounded by the River Derwent to the east, the River Noe to the south west and Ladybower Reservoir to the north, but a ridge running north west links it to Kinder Scout”.

But if that doesn’t do it for you…… it looks like this!

image courtesy of Deskgram

So erm, ‘foreboding’ if you will.

What’s more, you get to scale it twice!  Here, take a look at the route map.

The entire thing is community driven, efficiently organised and always very friendly.  The official race category (PM – Partially Marked) isn’t too elitist either, so for a race with so much up/down and exposure, it offers people of all abilities chance to test themselves against a proper ‘Fell’ race and come out in one piece.

Do though, make sure that you possess the required waterproof top/bottoms, spare layers, hat/gloves and route map/compass, since changes in weather can determine last minute alterations to the kit list given out ahead of the start.  Just a thought, with the bum year we’ve had so far.

‘Character Building’

Hope is a relatively recent addition to the Gritstone Series, but has fast become a firm favourite, largely due to its down to earth feel and ‘have a go’ atmosphere.  Sure there are some very impressive runners up front, chasing the records… (see below)

  • Male: S Bond – 00:41:47 – 2014
  • Female: O Walwyn – 00:51:06 – 2014

But for the mere mortals, there’s the experience of tackling a very prominent local feature, (hopefully) enjoying some well earned views, then buzzing as you exploit the very well earned downhill back to HQ.

 

Along the way, highlights include the ridge which joins Win Hill to the mighty Kinder Scout (tallest peak in Derbyshire), which you cross on your way to the first descent.  The wooded trail on the backside of the hill offers some muddy sections and winding trails, which are just beautiful.  The jewel in the crown has to be the uphill section through the Pines, as you fight to summit the hill for a second time.  The single-track path with roots, rocks and broken walls to one side, woods to the other, seems eerily atmospheric and is over all too soon.  Once you’ve crested that summit, passing the trig point and remembering to thank the marshalls (the new gods) along the way, you can relax* and let gravity meet you halfway until you reach the Edale road.

Then it’s into the pavilion for banter and a few laughs….

*Not to be confused with collapse.

And as ever, while this race is a pre-existing and time honoured event – we include it in our Gritstone Series as a ‘Short’ Race, which counts toward the overall score we create for those participating in a number of similar races throughout the year.  As the series requires that you complete at least 4 of the ‘Short’ Races (as well as 1 of the ‘Long’ events in October), this is the last chance for anyone yet to get started.  Otherwise, you can simply take part regardless.

And that’s Hope.  There will be another of these in time for Round 5 at Great Hucklow, so keep an eye for more in due course.

The Gritstone Series is supported as ever by inov-8 All Terrain Running and Accelerate.

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July Arrivals

The second half of the year always sees a number of new shoes and updates to existing models land on the shelves.  As ever some are better than others and as is always the case, the proof is in the running.
Last month saw the arrival of the Scott Kinabalu 2.0 RC and a real marmite shoe that has proven to be. A classic case of if the fit works then you will probably love the shoe and certainly the feedback from the Team Accelerate Scott runners proved something most of us now realise, you have gotta try the shoe on and check you are happy before heading out the door for a run.
You can read a review of the culmination of the testing for this shoe here >>

So for the second half of 2019 I have picked three shoes which I believe fit the bill for many a runner and in the case of the Saucony Mad River, a shoe that offers amazing levels of versatility.  And I suspect it will fill the gap that exists for those who swim-run.  With that said let’s start on the roads…

Saucony Ride IS0 2
The Ride has been a staple of the Saucony stable for many years. The shoe has evolved over the years yet continues to be a cracking everyday shoe for those running around 25-30 miles a week looking for just the one shoe. Higher mileage runners will use this as their longer run-day shoe to back up their faster feeling responsive shoes for those mid week sessions.
The New Ride ISO 2 has the same levels of cushioning as in the previous model. Traction will not change a great deal either.
The key to the update is the upper.  The ISO fit has been updated to provide greater fit and comfort around the foot. The addition of FORMFIT technologies help the shoe to mould and adapt to the shape of the runner’s foot, even during the run.  Certainly, having tried the shoe on, it is definitely more plush and the fit does feel good.
If you are on the lookout for a mid to high mileage comfortable shoe, then this should be on your try on list.  Oh yes, it’s a touch lighter too.

Key Update: “Updated ISOFIT and all new FORMFIT technologies adapt to the shape and motion of the runner’s foot”.

VJ Sport MAXx Trail Shoe
Well, if there is one thing we keep hearing from customers about the current VJ range is grip! Especially on rock.
With the same outsole compound being used in the all new MAXx we reckon that as far as trail shoes go then this could be hard to beat for grip and traction. You have to remember that it is not an off-trail shoe, it is built with trails in mind in all but the worst conditions. The square lugs are well spaced for mud clearance, flat topped so that they grip better in the wet and onto rock.
The upper is what you would expect, a sandwiched mesh for breathability and to be quick drying.

New Shoe: Well worth checking out if you are looking for grip on trails and mountains.

Saucony Mad River TR
Ok, so the name caught my attention… “What’s this?”  Is this the most versatile trail shoe yet made?
Possibly the first thing you’ll notice is that there are numerous lace holes. Simply, so that you can customise the fit to ensure a better fitting shoe.  There may appear to be less under your foot compared to say the Saucony Peregrine, yet the early reports suggest the midsole blends great cushioning with reasonable ground feel.
Now here’s the thing… especially if you are into your DIY, on the outsole of the shoe you will see a series of marked circles that are numbered. You can open up some of these for drainage so making the shoe an option for those that swim-run in the great outdoors.  The other option with these numbered circles is that they will take a screw in stud or spike for deep mud or snowy winter conditions.
Grip wise, out of the box, they are a definite trail shoe (mountain or valley) and if the Peregrine is anything to go by, they shouldn’t be too bad on wet rock either.

New Shoe: Versatile, great if you love DIY 😉 and definitely worth checking out for anyone who swim-runs or is looking for a lower profile and responsive trail shoe.

So there you have it…July is going to be interesting and personally I just have to get my feet into a pair of the Mad River, if nothing else, for the name alone!  Oh yes, I like a spot of DIY too!

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Great Birmingham 10K incorporating England vs Celtic Nations Masters Int. – 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Birmingham 10K road race

incorporating England vs Celtic Nations Masters International.

26th May 2019.

Just a week after the British Open Masters road relays, (Team silver, individual gold) in Sutton Park I headed back to my home town of Birmingham for the England vs Celtic Nations Masters 10K road race and Great Birmingham Run.

I recovered well from the very enjoyable 5K road relays and was excited about running in my second England vest. As an FV65 I had the World Champion, Penny Forse and former olympian Yuko Gordon to target if I was to achieve anything so the stakes were high. I had a 45:10 result in the qualifying race in Chester in March and had won gold at the BMAF 10K championships in Blyth in April with 45:09 so I knew I was in with a chance.

The course was not as fast and flat as I had expected and combined with cool, drizzly weather and a head wind for the return of the out and back course I struggled to keep a consistent pace. From the Cathedral on Colmore Row the route followed an unlovely A34 dual carriageway for 5K before turning and heading back to Aston University Campus, much improved since I last passed it in in 1970’s. When Yuko sped past me in the first half mile I knew I was up against a giant of Masters athletics. At the age of 68 she ran effortlessly whilst I, a mere 67, panted and pushed my heart rate to its highest in a race this year, around 180bpm. Yuko disappeared so then I had to hold off Penny, a veteran of the Montreal Olympic Games 1976. I could hear people shouting our names and willing us on but as ever, in my running bubble, much of the support was lost as I pressed on and dreamed of being able to breathe without pain at the finish.

Happily the finish gantry emerged and I’d like to think I shot through at pace, just not the pace I needed to close in on Yuko who claimed the gold in 44:22. With a time of 46:19, 35 seconds ahead of Penny I came in as runner-up to collect my finishers medal, T shirt and assorted snacks and drinks. Yvonne Twelvetree from Totley RC came in in 5th place in 49:13. There were seven women representing England FV65 but sadly a very poor turnout of Celtic Nations at the event meant that the event was not scored. It was good to see some familiar faces, Strider, Stephen Schubler ? and Dark Peaker Paul Fauset, 35:13

The race was won by Douglas Musson, Notts AC in 30:22 and Chloe Richardson, Birchfield Harriers in 34:56. Jo Pavey ran it in 36:50.

I had a special reason to go to Birmingham other than the race. My father, Frank Lane was born to Edith May and John Wells Lane in Handsworth, close to the city centre on 27th May 1919 the last of eleven children. Dad survived the unbelievable blitz on Malta between 1940 and 1943 as a Corporal in the Fleet Air Arm. He would have been very proud to see his eldest daughter compete for England and I had the honour of retracing some of his steps around the jewellery quarter where he was apprenticed as a silversmith around 1935. I occasionally wear the silver wedding ring he made for me in 1975. Happy posthumous 100th birthday dad and thank you for all your encouragement when I was a fledgling athlete at the All Birmingham Cross Country Championships in 1967….but that’s another story.

Dot Kesterton, FV65.

29th May 2019.

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Smashing Hathersage Hurtle through PMA & focused rehab

Today, Saturday 18 May, was a pretty epic day all in all. Just 7 weeks ago, I sprained my ankle. It looked like an elephant club foot, so attractive! Having to pull out of the four inns ultra was crap. Facing weeks without being able to run wasn’t any better.

Those of you who know me well will be well aware I’m determined and ‘strong willed’ (polite way of saying stubborn). I’ve used this as a positive over the last few weeks, with the hathersage hurtle as my immediate goal for rehab and oh my God, have I worked hard on rehab . Swimming, core, strength, cycling and easing back to running . It’s been hard to ignore the inner panic voice, but I have! Staying focused, taking rest and resisting the urge to enter the midweek races have all been part of this. Keeping my eyes on the prize: Brecon Beacons marathon 29 June.

Well chuffed with today. I walked the steep climbs and ran my own steady race. Finished in 3:14 and felt strong at the finish. Awesome.

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