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Dot Kesterton England Masters Athletics Home International Bristol 10k road race

Team Accelerate runner and Steel City Strider Dot Kesterton has recently raced in the Bristol 10K road race organised by the England Masters Athletic Keep reading to hear how she got on.

Stuck out on Higgar, can’t get back in time.

Forgot to fill in the entry form.

I didn’t tell the family I’d be away.

It’s the hour before the alarm goes off and all the anxiety half dreams are swirling crazily around. A dozen reasons why I won’t make the start line. With emerging consciousness comes a breath of relief. I’m in the right place at the right time with the right kit, well prepared and have done my homework as thoroughly as I can. Despite the nerves I’m looking forward to it.

Bristol, a bit hilly like home and made rich on the back of slavery sits in late summer sunshine with a breeze off the sea as I walk to the start. I do wish the ‘England’ on my vest sat as comfortably as the ‘Wales’ on the other home international athletes, proud of their heritage. There are times when I’m simply ashamed to belong to a small island nation with small, minded leaders.

The race was organised by England Masters Athletics. The qualifier was Leeds Abbey Dash last October so here I am 11 months later in my new V70 age group to pound city centre streets in search of a new title. The route, snake like in the route map, winds around the Avon, through a small park, over unfriendly cobbles and finishes in Millennium Square, a large pedestrian area overlooking Spike Island and the river. Around 240 England Masters 35+ years old were at the head of a large group of runners looking forward to the Great Bristol 10k.

Tim Rafferty, fellow Sheffielder warming up for the half marathon after the 10k calls a greeting. it’s so good to see a familiar face among a sea of strangers.

My race goes well in that I find my pace in the early stages and settle to around 4.40mins per k. That should bring me in among the leaders without blowing up. Breathing is manageable and my legs are strong. Through the 5k point at 23.22 minutes so if I can hold onto it, I’ll be in around 47 minutes. It would be good to magic up a sprint finish but that eludes me, so I stumble in breathing hard in 47.30 chip time. At that stage I don’t know if I’m leading the age group or not, so it comes as a great relief to learn that I’ve led the group from the outset. Friend and rival, Anne Dockery, a formidable duathlete is next in around 50 minutes with the remaining V70’s a little after.

We relax and chat over the post-race presentations as people from far and near celebrate their achievements. The Masters winner was Matthew Rees, M35 in 31.33. First woman was Helen Gaunt, W40 in 35.41. Full results can be found at Here>>

Dot Kesterton, W70

Experiencing Running Past 50

Running Past 50 is fast approaching it’s 4th birthday. It has gone from strength to strength, not just with numbers attending either.  During the recent lockdowns the regulars stayed in touch with each other and even began to meet for a regular runs together.  Friendships have been forged and a real sense of community prevails.
The regular Friday morning session takes place at the Olympic Legacy Park, 10:30am and is led by Accelerate Community Coaches Sarah and Simon.

We caught up with a number of the regulars to gather their thoughts on their love of this amazing group.

 

How did you find out about Running Past 50?

‘I began jogging just after the start of the first 2020 lockdown, initially for health reasons beginning with C25k, and for the first time, I managed to keep at it.

Just before the November 2020 lockdown, I went to Accelerate to get new shoes and Harvey told me about the group and encouraged me to give it a try.  I explained I was very slow and poorly coordinated which is why I jogged alone. He said that wouldn’t matter as all abilities were catered for.’ – Karen

Why did you start going to Running Past 50?

‘To improve my running overall, and keep in training for as many races as I can. I did well last year which I’m sure was due in part to the regular Friday sessions’ – Jane

In your opinion, what’s your favourite aspect of Running Past 50?

‘Keeping fit, learning drills and skills to improve technique, and then reinforcing them regularly is great, and so is the social side.’ – Kerrie

What’s your favourite/ funniest memory at Running past 50?

‘My abiding memory is when Sarah persuaded me to run my first 10k at Longshaw. To my delight and surprise, most of the RP50 group came to support me and cheer me over the finishing line.

Humour is present in every session but Simon’s impression of goose stepping or should it be CanCan is straight out of the Ministry of Funny Walks and takes the prize.

It is due to the effort and infectious enthusiasm of Stuart, Sarah and Simon that RP50 is such a success.’ – Harry

Other great responses about RP50:

‘These sessions are very therapeutic in all sorts of ways and I’m very glad to be part of RP50 and very grateful to Stu for setting it up and for Sarah and Simon for all their hard work and good humour.

One of the good things has been the way the group stayed together during lockdown – mainly due to Harry with his weekly bulletins and then later with his running sessions on the green edges of the city in the Peak District – RP50 grew to become more than it started out to be.’ – Christine

‘The funniest part for me is every week watching the intense concentration on everyone’s faces while trying to move more than one limb at the same time. Really grateful to Sarah and Simon for giving up their time every week and persevering with us lame ducks.’ – Paddy

‘We were a bit concerned that we were too old to fit in, but we were treated to Stuart’s full attention whether we wanted it or not. He always treated us as if we had some potential in spite of the evidence against it, and now Sarah and Simon have carried on making Fridays challenging and fun. The group has grown into much more than expected providing support and friendship to us all.’ – Margaret

If you want to find out more about Running Past 50, click here or give us a call on 0114 242 2569.

Running Past 50 will be at the Big Running Weekend!! This is a great opportunity to try the session to get a feel of what its like. Click here to find the timetable for the weekend and click here to purchase a Big Running Weekend ticket.

See you there!

 

Coaching Running Past 50

Meet Sarah and Simon.
They have been part of the Accelerate Community for many years now. Both started by attending Accelerate’s Woodrun group, which then developed into both of them completing the Leadership in Running Fitness Course (LiRF). This then lead them into leading their own group on a Friday morning. We’ve asked Sarah and Simon a few questions about their coaching Journey, so carry on reading to find out how they got involved.

Sarah and Simon

How did you get involved with the Accelerate community?

Sarah – About 10 years ago I used to go to Accelerate’ s breakfast run which used to be held on Thursday mornings from the shop. It was fab- a run followed by croissants and coffee and a chinwag after!! That sort of came to a natural end when wood run began on Thursday mornings in Ecclesall woods. I went to the first wood run probably around 2014/15 and religiously went every week ever since (until Covid struck!!). Everything really progressed from those mornings in the woods!!

Simon – I was looking for something different to do after I’d been running for a few years and came across a group on Facebook organising a run up a hill in The Park District. I went along, enjoyed myself and they were very friendly so when they mentioned a running group that had just started on a Thursday morning in Ecclesall Woods, I thought I’d go along. That was the start of WoodRun and I’ve been with the Accelerate community ever since.

How did you start with RP50?

Sarah – RP 50 was Stu’s idea, I think. I was sat in the shop one Friday morning after S&C and he said he wanted to start a group for more mature people(!) who were new to running or were getting back in to running or have always run but wanted a group of similarly aged people who weren’t going to leave them for dust. The OLP had just been developed with the 100m track there and it seemed like the perfect spot. So it was born in June 2018.

Simon – During lockdown, whilst WoodRun was shut down, I moved house from west Sheffield across to north Rotherham. Once things began to open up again, the trek across to WoodRun wasn’t really going to be practical but I wanted to commit to running regularly again. I knew Sarah was doing RP50 this side of Sheffield and as we’d ‘grown up’ together at WoodRun, it seemed like a good fit for me to join the coaching team with her. Thankfully Sarah felt the same way!

How did you get into coaching?

Sarah – As for coaching…there was a handful of us that always went to woodrun and a few years into it, Stu asked us regulars if we wanted to do the Lirf run leader course so off we all went and completed that.

Simon – There were a core group of about half a dozen of us at WoodRun who’d been going along for a few years. Stu wanted to try and make WoodRun a bit more self-sustaining, so he asked if we’d consider training up to lead/coach the bigger group. We went off and did the LiRF and then Stu mentored us over the following months until we were able to manage on our own. It’s all Stu’s fault really… isn’t it always!!!

Why did you get into coaching?

Sarah – As for why I got into it, I just thought it would be fun and would be another string to my bow. I loved running and was excited to learn more about it and if I could pass what I learnt on to other people then that’s a bonus.

Simon – As I said above, I got into it because I wanted to make sure WoodRun continued… selfish really! Why do I keep coaching… well that’s the next answer!

 

What’s your favourite aspect of coaching?

Sarah – The best thing about coaching RP50 is seeing the progress that they all make. It really is remarkable how far a lot of them have come. If we can encourage them to keep moving and ward off injuries and ailments for as long as possible then I hope they will all still be coming when they are 100!!! Not only do we see their physical fitness improve but their confidence does too! They really are a lovely bunch who are game for anything myself and Simon throw at them.

Simon – I just get a kick out of helping people achieve something. There are plenty of voices in this world telling us what we can’t do, what we aren’t good enough at, what we shouldn’t even attempt… and sometimes, sadly, that voice is in our own head. To be a different voice, one which says, it isn’t silly to take a chance or to have a go at something new, and that offers help and support and encouragement… that is a real privilege.

What’s your favourite drill to coach and why?

Sarah – We tend to concentrate on different aspects of the running cycle each week with a focus on the drills that tie in with that specific part. I quite like reminding them of cadence and the different fast feet drills that help with that. They can move their feet rather fast when they are reminded!!!

Simon – My favourite drill?? The one we’ve just done and the one we are about to do next. I just love helping people, get a bit better so I don’t really care which drill, I love them all (except C skips). Given that’s a bit of a cop out answer, if you really forced me to give a favourite drill it would be hopping up the short, steep slope at the WoodRun triangle, with the original group, on a blustery March morning whilst Stu tries to keep us under control and fails. We had such fun, and my calves became enormous!!

 

If you want to find out more about Running Past 50, click here or give us a call on 0114 242 2569.

Also, Running Past 50 will be at the Big Running Weekend!! This is a great opportunity to try the session to get a feel of what its like. Click here to find the timetable for the weekend and click here to purchase a Big Running Weekend ticket.

See you there!

 

Race to the stones 100k – Virtually

On July 6th 2020 Accelerate community member Simon headed out what can only be described as a monumental challenge both physically and mentally. Keep reading to hear what crazy feat he attempted.

 

The alarm goes off and I rush to silence it because I don’t want to wake my wife up: not at this hour. I creep through to the bathroom where I find my running kit piled in the corner ready for me and then I make my way downstairs to grab a quick bite to eat. I unlock the front door and in the porch I pull on my trail shoes and look out at the weather that awaits me. It’s raining, not enough to need wet weather gear on a normal day… but this isn’t a normal day. I put a rain jacket on and dig out a pair of waterproof trousers that I’ve never even considered running in before. They are far too heavy for the job but the clock is ticking and I need to be on my way. Already, momentum is everything. I quickly add a pair of gloves and a fluorescent beanie hat to complete the look and at 04:54 I push the start button on my Polar watch as I head down the road on my way towards the Redmires reservoirs. I look at the sky and am amazed at how light it is already – despite the gloom of the weather – and I hope it is still light when I finish… whenever that may be. As I begin my journey down the lonely street, I have time to think about how I ended up here.

It was probably about a year before that I signed up to do the 2020 Race to the Castle, a 100km event from Kirkharle to Bamburgh Castle. I’d run a couple of marathons previously and managed

to run/walk the Dig Deeper 50km as the sweeper back in September 2019 but this was a chance to go beyond double figures! I convinced myself, as I often do, that it wasn’t as far as it sounded. ‘It’s only a 10km run done ten times, isn’t it?’, I would say to anyone who asked. I began training in earnest under Stu’s eye at the start of 2020 and everything was on course until Coronavirus hit. It was inevitable that an event involving over 1000 participants would be cancelled and so in early April we changed the plan and settled down to a more ‘routine’ form of training.

 

However, as lockdown continued and I ran my regular route round the reservoirs I kept hearing that voice in my head saying ‘It’s only this 10km run ten times, isn’t it?’ By late June it was no longer a question of IF I was going to try this, it was WHEN… and then Threshold Sports announced their Virtual Race to the Stones. The running stars had aligned and I had to break it to Stu what was going to happen. In fairness he took it well and within the week I was starting my first of what was planned to be ten laps of Redmires.

 

The first lap was uneventful, other than losing a glove on the way round, but I realised that the mix of a head wind, my height and the wet weather gear was going to be a problem… it was like running with a parachute on. On the second lap I decided a fast walk in to the wind was more efficient and used the wind to help me on the way back… I also found my glove! For each lap from then, it was always a fast walk out and as much running as I could manage on the way back… which was very little after about 60km!

My porch served as basecamp between each lap, with a box of provisions placed there the night before. The routine was to write up my time and distance on a backboard, take a photo to send out on social media, plug my watch and phone in to recharge and then eat and drink what I could. Bananas, apple juice and chocolate featured highly and I aimed to get through all this and back on the road in under 20 minutes, which I usually achieved.

 

I was out of the waterproof trousers after lap four (a marathon in those!!) and after lap six I had a change of socks, shoes and top. I also switched to my road shoes which were kinder on my tired feet when I hit the tarmac but I felt every stone through their softer sole on the off road sections of the route… ouch!

As time passed, so did the kilometres and before I knew it I was well beyond my previous experience. I felt worst on lap eight but by then I had a few running friends joining to keep me going and for laps nine and ten I had quite the posse along… all socially distanced of course. In the end lap ten didn’t need to be the full 10km, as each previous lap was actually 4-500m longer than planned leaving me only 6km to do, so I never made it round the reservoirs the tenth time.

I passed the 100km mark just before I got home, making it back at just after 21:30, 16 hours and 44 minutes after I started… and it was still light! I had done it.

Running and walking 100km on limited training may not be easy or even sensible but it isn’t impossible. It’s amazing what we can achieve if we put our minds to it… and have friends helping too. Fancy doing 100km? Want my advice? Go for it… it’s only doing a 10km run ten times after all!

Arty Running

Urban or Street Art is appearing in most cities. I’m not just talking graffiti.
In Sheffield we are blessed with the likes of Pete McKee and Phlegm, among others, who have taken the opportunity to redecorate our streets.  Love it or hate it, Sheffield is getting a real reputation for the quality of street art and in around the City; there is plenty to be found.

During Lock-down what better time than now to go discover the street art that the City has to offer.

The process is fairly straightforward and it all starts with finding out where to look and then to plot a route. There’s plenty of art to be found on the canal, just down from Victoria Quays, Kelham Island and then the City itself along main pedestrian areas to the back streets. It just needs hunting out.
Running, following our predetermined route-map was good fun. Navigation on the hoof is always enjoyable and then stopping at each arty check point for a picture makes for a different and refreshing run. Pace is your own, taking time to admire (or otherwise) the art work you find an inspiration to find the next. Some are fun, others more surreal and there are those referencing distant planets and lifeforms.

#UrbanArt : That's The Spirit

Inspired by the most recent #RunSolo Photo Competition this idea was born. So we have teamed up with Saucony for the next lock down photo competition. We think it’s a good idea and fun way to explore, not just Sheffield, any City.  So why not give it a go and see what you can discover.
It can be graffiti, a Rainbow, chalk art, a carving, a sculpture or as we saw last year stone towers in the River Don – imagination can be a key representative of what we call art, so anything goes. Well mostly!
Swipe to the bottom of this Blog for a few useful links.

Details of the Accelerate and Saucony #UrbanArt #RunSolo Competition Here >>
Visit Sheffield: Street Art and a list of artists to discover Here >>
The official Street Art Sheffield website Here >>

 

So why do I run? A personal perspective from Harry Smith.

Harry Smith is an Accelerate Community member and a regular at Running past 50, he shares his reason behind getting out the door for a run and its positive effect on his mental and physical health.

‘Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional ‘The words of Haruki Murakami when talking about running.
I started to run just 2 months short of my 72nd birthday. Dragooned into accompanying my 7-yearold Granddaughter on a park run As a fairly fit twice a week Derbyshire fell walker and numerous long-distance paths completed, i.e. Pennine Way and Coast to Coast, the thought of a 5-kilometre stroll in beautiful Devonian park land sounded appealing. Little did I know this was the start of an addiction. Dressed in old tennis shorts an aertex vest and non pc trainers I was surprised that among the fit, and to my mind young lycra clad who stretch and tried to push trees over, that I did not feel out of place. Walk and jogged. Experiencing euphoria ( or was I hyperventilating) as I was encouraged by other runners and clapped by marshalls as I plodded on. What a triumph not to finish last in a field of 90. Coffee and abacon buttie to follow. So, it all began.

Starting to get hooked

Home to Sheffield and Saturday Park Runs became the norm. I stormed past 50 runs and proudly wear the red T shirt. Sub 30 became the target rain shine and even snow.
Then Accelerate in June 2018 started Running for the Over Fifties, affectionately known as The Wrinklies. The nucleus of the group quickly gelled thanks to coaches Sarah and Stuart. A whole new vocabulary with accompanying action had to be learnt. High Knees, Flamingos in Hot water, Fast feet, Cadence, the dreaded Hill reps and my nemesis Hopscotch. Harry take a breath! When Stuart’s elite young athletes train with us they seem amazed at our stamina and ability to do most of the exercises and drills almost correctly.

Training with the youngsters

All this has a price with strained shoulders, hamstrings and lateral ligaments. Trips to Physio Pete soon put one straight as his fingers prob and manipulate tendons and muscles putting joints into positions mine have not been into in years. Still have to find a use for the black elasticated rubber strap he supplied!
I progressed and with the Wrinklies support entered the Longshaw 10k. My Everest. The Canal Canter had me winning my first and only running medal.

The finish line of Longshaw 10k with the whole of the Running past 50 group

I feel have become part of the running fraternity now ensconced in Patagonia tops, silky shorts, skintight leggings, socks with L and R stamped on them and of course high-end running shoes from Inov-8. Move over Superman.
Back to the original question why I endure this self-inflicted physical torture?
Firstly- the problems of the world disappear as aches, breathlessness and sweat take over one’s life. Keep head up, stay upright, swing arms and place feet underneath become the mantra.
Secondly- To find that after running 5k, although well down the field, you have a respectable time and often first in age group is a boost to one’s ego. Amazed I could complete a 10k.
Thirdly and most important the camaraderie of runners, especially the Wrinklies. Humour is always in the air when we meet.
Finally, one feels fitter, weight is controlled, joints more flexible and muscles relaxed. The mind is clearer.
I long for my next fix as a true running junkie.

So farewell friends, I hope to see you soon

A massive thank you to Harry for putting this together, we look Forward to seeing you out running again soon.

Accelerate Lifestyle Limited

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