Tag Archives: road racing
Team Accelerate Runner and local legend Dot Kesterton traveled up to Grangemouth for the British Masters 10km Road Championships. Spoiler Alert, Dot smashed the out of the water. Find out how she got on below!
Grangemouth, 16th April 2023.
Named after Jim Dingwall (1949-2005), one of the finest Scottish runners of his generation*, the Round the Houses 10k road race in Grangemouth was the setting for the British Masters Championships for the second successive year.
A weekend in Edinburgh in glorious spring sunshine, a walk up Calton Hill and a tour of the Botanic Gardens provided a splendid preparation for the BMAF 10k road race. A short journey up the Firth of Forth towards Falkirk on Sunday morning brought us to Grangemouth for a lunchtime race organised by the redoubtable Falkirk Victoria Harriers. Everything you might hope for in a race, a stadium start and finish, large sports hall for meeting organisers and friends and a fast, flat course round the houses to enjoy in pursuit of a good finishing time, nice T shirt, chocolate egg and if at all possible a British Masters medal.
Margo Duncan, Sheffield Tri Club and I, the Sheffield contingent, met athletes from all parts of Scotland and the north of England to catch up on news of achievements, injury and illness and then, with our age group printed on card and pinned to our backs so we could view our competition on the line, tipped out onto the track for a warm up lap or three in mild Spring conditions.
The race took us round and out of the stadium and directly onto the road for an anti clockwise circuit round a housing estate finishing with a run through an adjoining park before re entering the stadium for an 80 metre dash on the track to the finish.
The usual jitters about pre race nutrition and hydration were played out. Too little and you’d be gasping; too much and you’d have the lead stomach to contend with. In the event I relied on a jam sandwich and water an hour before the lunchtime race. It seemed to do the trick. I started with a steady pace resisting the temptation to chase Margo who was way ahead almost immediately. One by one I focused on runners with similar pace to try and pick them off. Eventually I saw Margo ahead so put all my energy into levelling up and even briefly overtaking her at 8k. She urged me on but clearly saw the chance to chase me down in the final stages and came haring past at 9k as we returned for the final push to the finish. It’s great to have a friend to race against. We used each other for motivation and finished the race with Margo, V50, slightly ahead on the line in 47.14. I kept the elastic as short as I could to finish in 47.20. That gave me first V70 by a good five minutes and BMAF V70 Champion 2023. That chocolate egg tasted very good once I’d recovered from the post race nausea.
The race was won by Daniel Bradford, Shettleston Harriers in 31:03.
First woman was Jennifer Wetton, Central AC in 35:48.
Dot Kesterton was first V70 in 47:20 chip.
*Jim Dingwall achievements: 5000m -13:48. 1975.10,000m- 28.45. 1978.10 miles- 48:05. 1985. Marathon- 2:11:44. 1983.
Team Accelerate Athlete Dot Kesterton has had a rollercoaster of a 2022 with plenty of ups and downs throughout the year. Keep reading to find out how she got on and what challenges she’s faced throughout the year.
Climber Karen Darke, lying on her back in hospital having broken her back in a climbing accident, watched the 2008 Olympics on TV, saw the recumbent cycling and decided she would give it a go. she opened a blank page on the computer and wrote ‘London Olympics, 2012.’ Karen went on to be a silver medalist in London and champion Olympic paracyclist in Rio 2016.
Karen’s determination has inspired me throughout my running career. Her absolute refusal to give up on a challenge gave me the confidence to run my first marathon in 2012, run for GB Masters in Europe in 2019 and this year to go to Finland to pit myself against the fastest women in my age in the World Athletics Championships 2022.
After a pretty awful couple of years without much competition I, like Karen, mentally opened a new page in my imaginary computer at the beginning of this year and wrote, ‘World Masters Athletics, Finland, 2022.’ The act of committing that to paper, virtually or otherwise is a huge step towards realising and achieving the goal. I would be at the very start of a new age group giving me an advantage over other athletes of my age and I was running well in both Cross Country and road races.
Every training session, parkrun and race in the run up to Finland had to count towards the competition. I planned fewer races but made 100% effort in those I entered which helped me build mentally and physically during the spring and into the summer. Among the highlights were Endcliffe Parkrun at the end of May with a time of 22.08, 100.6% age grading and Rotherham 10k again in May in 46.22 with 96.98% AG. It was the boost I needed to take me to Finland.
The Masters Athletics Championships were a great success. Finland with 954 athletes came first followed by Germany and USA. GB took fourth place overall, a good result given that the team was represented by fewer than 300 athletes. I came home with a gold in Cross Country team event along with Anne Dockery and Ros Tabor; individual gold in the 10k road race (see separate race report) and a surprise silver in the 4x100m track relay when I replaced an injured runner.
Within days of my return home, I succumbed to Covid 19 which sadly meant I was unable to run as torch bearer in the Commonwealth Games Torch Relay. With my goals for the year achieved I was able to rest and recover over the summer and take first V70 in the England Masters 10k road race in Bristol in September. Disappointingly a minor knee injury prevented me taking up a place in the Home International Cross-Country Championships in Dublin in November but I was able to end the year with a ninth win over four age categories at Percy Pud in December.
Results in 2022
||Alsager Road race
||93.07%AG. 8thV65 UK rankings.
16th F of 165.
||YVAA XC champs, Norfolk Park.
||Windmill 6, Huddersfield
||BMAF Road Champs, Grangemouth
Anne White 1st.
||BMAF road relays, Sutton Park.
||1st V65 individual and team
||Lakeland Trails, Staveley
||Rotherham road race.
||WMA XC, Tampere, Finland
|GB V70 team Gold.
||WMA road champs, Tampere, Finland
||V70 World Champion
||EMA representation race, Bristol
||EMA XC selection race, Derby.
||Yuko Gordon 1st.
||Percy Pud road race, Sheffield
||93.21% AG. 9th win at PP over 4 age groups.
Running Stats for 2022:
Runs – 268
Distance – 1990k
Time – 239 hours
Elevation – 36,168m
Uk ranked 2nd V70 F 10k road.
UK ranked 2nd V70 F Parkrun
UK ranked 2nd V70 Overall.
World Masters Athletics V70 World Champion, 10k road.
Coach: John Rothwell
Strength and conditioning support: Accelerate Running Company
Physio/Running Rehab: Sally Fawcett.
Club: Steel City Striders, Smiley Paces, Northern Masters.
Team Accelerate’s resident marathoner Andy Shelton has had the chance to test out the newest in the On Running lineup, the Cloudgo. Andy admits to being a big On fan and has had “possibly every running shoe they have released since the brand started.” Keep reading to hear his thoughts on their latest creation and if its a thumbs up from him.
The On brand has continued to grow and develop its range of running, hiking, and lifestyle shoes over time. I am constantly surprised at the innovation that they have been putting into their new shoes. Each year On Running manages to design a running shoe that exceeds expectations and consequently shuffles my ranking of On best shoes.
So far this year, On has already overdelivered with 2 new running shoes that have wildly stood out. These stand-out On running shoes include the Cloudmonster (for running long and comfortable), and now the CloudGo (for easy training and longer runs)
So here is what is going on with On’s latest addition….
It’s most certainly an understated running shoe from On. When I opened the box I didn’t really expect much from it just by judging the exterior of the shoe.
Well after using them, I was wrong!!! OK, I was partly right in my judgment because the Cloudgo really doesn’t have one stand-out feature or unique selling points that target it to a specific type of runner. Surprisingly, this is exactly what makes the Cloudgo one of those shoes that, put simply, does everything well without trying to be too much.
The Cloudgo is a neutral, medium-width shoe, and the toe box feels airy – so if your midfoot, and toes are average width then the Cloudgo should feel great in the toe box. It’s a similar feel to the Cloudsurfer.
It has a medium arch that sits ever so slightly more towards the front of the shoe than I’m used to with On running shoes but they feel extremely comfortable right out the box like On shoes generally do. If you’ve worn On’s before and enjoy the feel, then the Cloudgo won’t disappoint, it will likely impress because On has made some great improvements to the cushioning around the heel, and tongue area.
The Cloudgo feels similar to the earlier updated Cloudstratus, in terms of padded cushioning and comfort in the upper, and also the cushioning underfoot to some degree.
That’s a good thing by the way because in both these shoes I enjoy running long distances on concrete and asphalt. The outsole used for the On Cloudgo is quite unassuming but the multi-directional micro-tread patterns mean they can hold their own in wet conditions very well, trust me as they offer plenty of grip, when the conditions aren’t good. The Cloudgo works well on mixed terrain too, including gravel, hard-packed dirt, and very light trails.
I wouldn’t recommend wearing them on technical trails as the tread just doesn’t have the lugs to support uneven terrain., but they have even changed the depth of the lugs underneath, so they aren’t stone grabbers anymore.
This isn’t the bounciest, most fun ride of all the On Running shoes, however, that title still belongs to the On Cloudmonster. Check out the previous review I did here if you really want to turn up the fun while running.
The Cloudtec pods in the Cloudgo are large and as supportive as the Cloudstratus , although the Cloudgo is a lighter shoe with a bit less cushioning in the midsole, and a lot like the Cloudsurfer in terms of how they feel underfoot.
This understated performance makes it tricky for me to put a finger on what actually makes this shoe so good. The only thing I can really say is that they just work well, without trying to be anything ground-breaking. On have gone back to basics and have ultimately created a relatively simple yet effective running shoe that JUST WORKS WELL!
On a personal note, I love the design. As I said earlier though, there’s nothing all that flashy about them, they are comfortable and perform extremely well.
On Cloudgo upper is made with sustainable recycled materials. I really like the little details on these running shoes, from the streak of white lines that run all around them, to the almost camo pattern in the mixed weave/stitching pattern that you can see in the orange parts of the upper. The mesh material used for the On Cloudgo upper is quite thick, comforting, and surprisingly breathable. The shoe is made with 30% recycled materials while the upper is made with 90% recycled polyester. The material used for the interior is very soft on the top of your feet which is so important if you’re planning longer runs in these.
There are areas in the upper that have been protected with strips of ‘no-sew foil’ which will firmly hold fabrics together without the possibility of materials fraying. Everyone will appreciate every move the On brand makes to help improve sustainability in the manufacturing process.
My final conclusions are these, how do I describe the feeling of the Cloudgo: unassuming, reliable, and comfortable!
This is one of those running shoes that you can rely on, is unassuming, yet performs to very high standards.
It’s a workhorse you can rely on which allows you to get in plenty of training miles in total comfort.
- Very comfortable out the box.
- One of those shoes that JUST WORKS. I like how they haven’t been over-engineered.
- Unassuming yet a high performance shoe – I find myself running faster than usual.
- Medium cushioning gives them comfort and responsiveness – this makes them great for half marathon and even marathon running.
- Very reasonably priced for such a workhorse of a shoe that just does it all well!
- The design looks a bit unassuming – some will love that; others may prefer something else.
- I’d like to see more daring colourways. But this is a personal thing.
Get here pair today you can find the Men’s here and the Women’s here
My name is Will and I have been running with the Accelerate team for around 4 years now. I enjoy all types of running but am currently studying in Manchester, so do a lot of my training on tarmac and in parks and will be reviewing the Scott Pursuit. Keep on reading to find out my thoughts!
Straight out of the box
Straight out of the box the shoes felt plush and cushioned. The soft tongue and laces made it easy to get a good lace lockdown in the shoe, stopping my feet from slipping around. The 30mm stack height and rocker shape of the shoe did feel unique, especially after running in more minimal shoes like the Saucony Kinvara before, but I quickly got used to this and liked it. I run in a UK size 10 and have found the Pursuits fit true to size. I also like the different colourways (grey-black-lime green, blue-orange and dark green in men’s sizes, and navy-yellow, green-red and purple in women’s sizes) which is always a bonus!
First run thoughts
For my first run in the shoes, I did an easy 6-mile loop from my house. The soft midsole of the shoe was really comfortable running on a mixture of tarmac and dirt trail. Despite the cushioned feel of the shoe, they felt snappy and responsive. The rocker shape of the shoe helped me to promote an efficient midfoot strike and by the end of the run, I had no aches or pains which I sometimes suffer from with inefficient foot placement. The shoes felt snug and secure throughout the run. They were stable and grippy on slightly wet tarmac and soft trail but wouldn’t be appropriate for a muddier trail. The shoe is designed primarily for road running but can handle dry, non-technical trails.
Despite running less than 50 miles in the shoes so far, I have done lots of easy runs, an 11-mile long run, a fast Parkrun and a 12 x 400m session in them. The shoe is not designed as a racer but it has nevertheless felt comfortable and fast for all the types of running I have thrown at it. The shoes were also quick to break in, any initial stiffness alleviated after two runs in the shoe.
The Scott Pursuit is the best all-round running shoe I have used. From fast sessions to long slow runs, this shoe fits the bill. Using the shoe, I have been able to run further and faster with less fatigue the following day.
The men’s can be found here and the women’s can be found here. Or if you are not quite convinced, pop down to the Accelerate Running Store and try a pair out now.
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
Accelerate are pleased to confirm we will be supporting the 2022 Rotherham 10k and 1 Mile Fun Run.
The date has been set for Sunday 15th May, with the event taking place from Clifford Park. The main event starts at 10am giving the runners plenty of time to return to see the 1-mile junior and family fun run starts at midday.
A fully measured and certified course is on offer for those looking for a PB, with previous times that range to those finishing in 90 minutes. So an event for everybody from the seasoned club runner to those running for health and fitness. The event will also be ‘chipped timed’.
The men’s record is 33:11 and the women’s stands at 38:42.
The event was started back in 2018 and like so many events had to be postponed in 2020. That said the virtual event still raised over £10k for the events charity Rotherham Age Concern. It’s good news to see the event back on the calendar for 2022.
Accelerate in supporting the event has contributed to the cost of the race numbers and also prizes. In doing so we have teamed up with Scott Running UK who have also added to the prize and spot prize list. Up for grabs for the winners will be a pair of the Scott Carbon RC Racing shoe, men’s and women’s.
One thing for certain is that the race is growing with entries already rolling in. Competitors can expect plenty of support along the route, plus the opportunity to take part in the pre-race warm up. The One Mile Fun Run is an opportunity for families to run together and speedy youngsters to test themselves. Accurately measured and within the confines of the Park the route mostly uses the footpaths before finishing under the finish arch. The fun run is very much based on the ‘Schools Run A Mile A Day’ challenge with local Running Ambassador Ray Matthews actively promoting this within local schools.
All in all the Rotherham 10k is shaping up nicely to become a major regional event for everyone to enjoy. So why not get your entry sorted and we shall see you there!
Images from the 2018 Pawson Rotherham 10K run, in support of Age UK. Main run/ fun run at the start/finish line in Clifton Park.
Rotherham 10k Race Website Here >>
Time- My Race Entries Here >>
Rotherham 10k and Fun Run Race Information Here >>
With the racing season only being around the corner, some of you maybe be wondering, how do you prepare for races? What do you eat? How hard do you train? How often do you train?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Team Accelerate athlete and Scott Supported runner Harvey gives you a little run down on his race day routine. Well, race week routine as he talks through what he eats and how he trains on the build up to a race.
How do you prepare for a Race?
‘If we use a Sunday race as an example the week really doesn’t change until the Thursday, all I try and do is keep training easy and make life less busy. Attempt to not eat too much rubbish and avoid any oily food.
Thursday rolls round and it’s time to ease up, my first run drops to 20 minutes and the evening session are much shorter. Normally consisting of some faster 200’s and 100’s to make sure everything is firing. After this session I eat a little more than normal focusing on simple carbs this normally ends up being rice and some sort of veggies.
Friday with either be completely off or a very easy 20 minutes just to get moving followed by some mobility work. I always try and get to bed a little earlier and sleep more. Saturday morning is a very short run, mobility, drills and then finished with some faster pick ups.
Now its time to get my feet up as much as possible. My last big meal is normally the Saturday night and yes, you guessed it. Its rice with some veggies and a form of protein. Very simple but I know it works for me.
Sunday morning rolls around I am normally far too excited and wake up way before I need to then it’s a battle of not eating to much but still having enough. I like to try and have my last meal a good 2 hours before I need to start warming up so a 10am race start I try to eat by 7am. Might seem a long time but it works well. Toast with peanut butter is my go-to for this meal at the moment.
Finally, it’s time to warm up, this really varies depending on the length of the race, the longer the race the shorter the warm up. If we take a race of 40 minutes, I tend to jog for 20 minutes before going through my usual mobility then some drills to make sure everything is turned on and working then finish with some strides starting longer and slow then picking up and getting faster.
After the race I try to cool down normally for at least 10 minutes and then of course finishing the day off with an all-important cookie and pizza, you have got to treat yourself after a hard day right!’
I hope that you’ve found this useful. Any questions about preparation then please email us at info@ acceleraterunningcompany.co.uk and we will be more than happy to answer them for you.
Team Accelerate runner Dot Kesterson has been busy racing and training throughout 2021. Keep reading to find out how she got on and plans to move forward and up her game for 2022.
||Rother Valley relays
||1st F50 team
||Round Sheffield Run
||BMAF North T&F
||12th of 12
1st F65 of 1
||NMAC Preston Road race
||Dig Deep Trail.
|| EA Rep race, Kew Gardens
||1st F65 of 25
||Sheffield Way Relay
||England qualifier. 91.87%AG
||BMAF CC relays,
||1st F65 team
||SYCC league, Penistone
||Derby road race
||1st F65 of 7
3rd UK ranked.
4th UK ranked
||SYCC league, and SYCC Champs, Graves Park
||SYCC F65 Champion.
Annual Review 2021.
This is my last year in the F65 age group. Coach John Rothwell and I agreed it could be a time to enjoy running for its own sake before beginning more focused work for the next age group in 2022.
The first half of the year followed the same pattern as much of 2020 with a solitary run program punctuated with virtual races of different distances and terrains from 1500m to half marathon. I used the time well to increase my long runs as planned. Speed and interval work suffered because of a lack of opportunity to run against others.
The first race with other competitors was the Steel City Striders inspired Rother Valley relays, 23rd June. Teams of 3 runners x 5K. After 15 months since any races with actual people, it was both exciting and daunting. As an F50 competitor with Kate Morris and Kate Scott, the pressure to perform well was as keen as any race. We each ran well to win the category, though it was clear my 5K time at 23:20mins was around a minute slower than before lockdown a year earlier.
Attending the England Athletics Representation 10K race in Kew Gardens gave me a chance to wear my England vest, last worn in Birmingham in May 2019. I had no expectation of winning the age group since I was six months from the end of it but trained and prepared according to my goals and was delighted to win the gold with a relatively slow 47:34mins, 93.03%AG, just four seconds ahead of my nearest rival. An autumn series of 10K races finished with Percy Pud in December. 10K times were regularly around 47-48 minutes so a time of 46:16mins, 95.64%AG was very pleasing.
The South Yorkshire Cross Country league resumed in October, a series of 4 club races in the county, finishing with the SYCC Championships at Graves Park in December. Despite being ill and unable to race at Campsall I won the age group and Championship for the second time, 2019 and 2020. The BMAF Cross Country relays at Long Eaton gave my team of Carol Beattie, Sheila Woodhead and myself victory over the two competing teams in the age group, our second BMAF Cross Country Gold medal.
With the resumption of Parkrun in 2021, I have used the opportunity to work on my 5K and 10K pacing.
Planning for 2022.
My main goal for the year is to attend the World Masters Track and Field Championships in Tampere, Finland in July. The pandemic is still rife with the Omicron variant affecting fixtures but if the WMA fixture goes ahead, I will enter the 10K road race and Cross Country. I will be 70 in April and will compete against a new group of women at an international level. To achieve success at Tampere I will
Train well over the next six months
Prepare well for races
Race smart, pace judgment
Aim for 95%AG in all races.
Raise distance of weekly long run-up to 23K
Raise weekly mileage over the winter up to 50K
Focus on recovery including active recovery
Attend two-speed sessions per week except in recovery weeks.
Revisit Mental Prep modules for stimulus.
Races entered to date.
06th Feb 22: Alsager 5mile race.
07th May 22: Lakeland 10K trail race, Stavely.
There will be an England Home International race in Bristol, but no date had been confirmed yet.
WMA Tampere Website is not yet active.
I will enter other races as the opportunities arise, all as part of my build up to WMA 2022.
Worldwide Virtual 10K Masters Challenge Championship.
The running year started promisingly enough for me with a chilly England qualifying half marathon in Helsby, Chester in January. Being freezing cold I nipped round in 1:43:39 so I could get back to my big coat as soon as my legs would carry me, 1st F65 and qualifier for England International in Fleet in March.
Storm Dennis put paid to my February BMAF 10K Championship in Poole. Then, in March, came the Covid-19 lockdown. The England representation half marathon in Fleet was canceled and so, month on month was every other race I had planned to do, even the Home Nations Cross Country race in Dublin, the one I was particularly excited about as I learned after Brexit I can claim my Irish passport, thanks to my lovely Irish mother.
With no particular goal to aim for I turned my attention to the offers of virtual races. Lockdown was going to go on for some time. I would need a challenge to get me up and out, running, training, and aspiring throughout the spring and summer.
The European Masters Athletics (EMA), posted a series of 6 virtual challenges, from 1500m to half marathon aptly named ‘The Road to Madeira’ as preparation for the EMA Road and Trail competition in Funchal in October. At 3 Euros per event, with a whole month to complete each one and little prospect of any real races at home or further afield I registered along with other Masters’ European hopefuls.
Preparation for each race was the same. I put my GB vest and shorts on to remind myself this was a competitive event, I was representing my home nation and I was going to give it everything, whether at Rother Valley or Madeira. A recce of the route and a warm-up session of jogging, strides, and drills helped calm the nerves and get me ready.
It was my job to start and finish the watch accurately and submit the correct time on the website. That was tough for a non-technical person. I had already run 40m short in the BMAF 5K road relays in May so was constantly checking the watch in the final stages of each event.
Six races of varying lengths and six months to train for, prepare, race and record. I had considered 5K and 10K to be my optimum race distances and looked forward to the familiar build up. I have to say that whilst track running is daunting, and not a little boring for a trail enthusiast, I did enjoy the thrill of the two shorter events at the end of the series.
Figure 1EMA 10K, Rother Valley.
The hardest race mentally without a doubt was the half marathon. I hadn’t really trained for the mileage and almost two hours of consistent running, alone and without others to pit myself against, in stark contrast to the actual half I’d done in January was grueling. Added to that I ran it on the TPT Rother Valley to Hollingwood and back on flat shale which was a test for the feet. In the last three miles, I’d gladly have bailed and nursed my burning feet. Thank goodness John Rothwell, coach, popped up at intervals to offer tips and words of encouragement.
The final two events were on track. Now I understand that Sheffield prides itself on being the City of Sport, so I didn’t expect it to be too difficult to find a 400m track. Alas, Woodbourn Road was padlocked, empty, and strewn with litter, a sad shadow of the former more imposing athletics facilities in the Lower Don Valley. I tagged onto the Accelerate coached sessions at Mt. St. Mary’s excellent track at Spinkhill which at least meant there was company if at an appropriate distance. Now how did Mt St Mary’s get such opulent stadia for their (private) school whilst the whole of Sheffield has so little?
As the rest of Europe began to emerge from their respective lockdowns the number of participants at each event reduced. From 429 competitors from half a dozen nations at the first 5K race in May the numbers have reduced gradually as national teams have gone back to their normal competition. The final 1500m event in October drew only 56 competitors.
Table of results.
||EMA virtual race
||EMA virtual race
||EMA virtual race
||EMA virtual race
||EMA virtual race
||EMA virtual race
This series has been very helpful to me. I have continued training and race preparation
through a lovely summer period with often empty trails and lanes. I guess the virtual scene will continue throughout the winter as we endure a second or continuing wave of the virus. There is sadly no chance to go to Madeira at the end of October to collect my award. Perhaps 2021 will bring new opportunities.
Worldwide Virtual Masters Challenge
In the middle of the EMA challenge, I sneaked in a World Masters 10K challenge. The event should have taken place in Toronto, Canada so I saved shed loads of cash by running it at Rother Valley.
||WMA Virtual Challenge
||1st F65 of 6
For those who have not yet considered Masters’ Athletics, this is an opportunity for athletes 35 and over to compete at a national and international level in the traditional 5-year age bands. Age Graded scores give the athlete an idea of how their performance compares with World Records to encourage participation. Go to bmaf.org.uk for more information.
My appreciation and thanks go to John Rothwell, coach, who has encouraged, coached, and supported me throughout the series; Andrew Deery who legged it and round Rother Valley with me in the 10K; Joel Kesterton with son Jacob in the buggy who have plodded around and offered company and encouraging comments; Malcolm Kesterton for being the early morning driver, bag holder, and general dogsbody; Stuart Hale who facilitated the track events and offered help with drills and preparation and Mick Wall for virtual technical assistance, advice, and encouragement.