It's with some irony that the race that came closest to being called off this year was the one where the club returned to the urban environs of Kenilworth, rather than something further afield. Messages early in the day from Dave Ramus and Jon Mettyear had alerted the race organiser to the waist-high flooding at the Ford, which was meant to be a key part of the route. Sadly, this road closure resulted in a no-show from Jon: with his only known route to the race start closed, he was left lost and wandering Kenilworth for the rest of the day. He was last heard of attending a Christmas Fayre in Ashow, where he stood in as a last-minute replacement for one of Santa's missing elves.
At the race start, the plan was changed so that the figure of 8 course became a double loop. Thoughts of renaming the event as the 'Old Town Zero' were thought to send out the wrong message, and so with a hasty suggestion from Mr.Chairman, the 'Old Town Double Doughnut' was born. For the second time this year, Mr.Chairman extended the definition of 'fashionably late' to it's limits, and should now be well practised in the art of pinning a number to his vest within the first 100m of a race.
The shorter course came out at 3.76 miles, and there were many who benefited by posting improvements on their predicted time: Warren Bell took top place, posting 7.31% - one of the highest improvement scores this year, and Neil Smith wasn't too far behind with a very impressive 5.40%. Claire Goult, Gary Dilnot, Nathan Stratton, Martin Broomfield, Richard Steel and the man with undoubtedly the best shaped eyebrows in the Club, Stephen Payne*, all managed improvements.
Following a year in which several people had led the overall standings; Richard Steel, Glyn Clarke, Sally Hicks, Mike Crust, and going into the race, Dave Ramus, picking a winner was always going to be difficult. As it turned out, Gary Dilnot's continuing improvement through the year culminated in him taking top spot for 2012.
Congratulations to him and all the others who have led at some point in the year.
After a thoroughly enjoyable year, with many successes, here is a 2012 Roll of Honour, listing just some of the achievements:
Thanks to everyone for their attendance and support.
* Mr.Payne appears courtesy of the House of Beauty, Station Road, Kenilworth
The latest and penultimate Club League Race provided yet more evidence of the growing strength of the club as 34 club members, 2 very welcome Warwick Wasps guests, and 6 marshals braved a cold and wet November morning to run the latest new route featuring for the first time as part of the 2012 Club League. Strength in terms of numbers attending, personal resolve and performance on the day were all in evidence.
Facial hair was very a feature for the male contingent, with some presumably supporting the nationwide ‘Movember’ initiative, others doing their best to guard against the cold and the rest just being plain lazy on the day.
Notable efforts were made by the Race organiser himself and Stephen Chalkley, but Chris Simkiss took the hirsuteness honours on the day with a few race spectators in the village of Barston even expressing their surprise that the Club was lucky enough to count Brian Blessed as one of it’s members these days, and commenting on how well he was looking.
Despite the weather, and a less than straightforward 10k course, ten entrants beat their predicted time. A couple of people also mentioned that they beat their 10k pb (Whilst the course was pretty accurately measured, it obviously doesn’t class as a certificated 10k, so I’d suggest to anyone who managed a time anywhere near their pb that now might be a good time for them to enter a 10k event to make the most of their current good form).
Samantha Moffatt took the race day victory, beating her predicted time by a massive 4 mins 24 – an improvement of over 7%. Sheela Kennedy followed up her win at the Hatton Locks time trial with 2nd place here. Ivan Wilson benefited from switching to start with the B group and took 3rd place. Anton Raath was close behind, with an improvement of just short of 3%.
Paul Buchan judged his form well, adding 92 points to his tally by playing his joker on the day he managed his best race position so far this year. Whilst Beth Keell didn’t quite match Paul’s performance, this was her second best score of the year and her score was doubled up to a handy 58 points. The wet conditions were always going to suit Dave ‘Mitch’ Ramus, who knew as soon as he fell out of his hammock, donned his red trunks, looked out of his beach house window and saw that the surf was up, that the time had come to play his too: His 86 point tally has had a major bearing on the league tables.
Dave now heads the Club League standings with only one race left. His performance at Barston might well have secured him the overall title.
Gary Dilnot is now Pauline’s main challenger for the A group prize, and still has his joker to play. With only 2 points in it, Gary will be looking for a good performance at the final race. Joan Mason is the next closest challenger but will do to make up 12 points on Gary and 14 on Pauline.
Mike Crust and Sally Hicks look set to battle for the B team prize, Mike heads Sally by 3 points.
Richard Steel looks almost unbeatable for the C group crown, although Mick Williams and Jon Mettyear could snatch his prize with a good performance in the last race.
Here are the finish times as originally published, in finish order over the line. Please advise me of any discrepancies at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Richard Broadbent||42.47||Warwick Wasps|
|Marc Curtis||41.16||Warwick Wasps|
On a balmy, late summer's evening, 50 runners took part in the first running of the Hatton Locks Time Trial, a 2 mile ascent of the famous 21-lock flight.
Standout performances on the night came from Sheela Kennedy and Mairead Murphy, who both improved on their target times by over 3%. Sheela took the win, courtesy of a slightly higher %age improvement. On an almost exclusively uphill course, any improvement on target time represents a good performance, and there was a small and exclusive group who achieved this feat along with Sheela and Mairead: Nathan Stratton, Warren Bell and Ivan Wilson.
Jim Sawle will go down as the first Course record-holder, with a stunning time of 11.24 putting him well ahead of the only other sub-12 minute finisher, Pete Bryan (11.59).
In the latest battle between the Ramus brothers, Steve and Dave, Dave will be left wondering whether he could have found a couple of extra seconds from somewhere, with Steve edging him out by just 2 seconds. One of the other battles on the night was almost as close: Richard Steel was followed in the starting order by Mick Williams, and managed to pull away by a further 10 seconds by the end of the race. Mick was close to making history on the night - his starting line antics nearly earning him the Club League's first ever disciplinary-related points deduction.
Jon 'you can call me John' Mettyear used his famously smooth technique on the slopes to take 11th place and enhance his burgeoning reputation as the 'King of the ascent'. Playing his joker meant that he doubled his tally to a healthy 80 points. Richard Miller and Joan Mason viewed the relatively short course as a good time to play their jokers, but were perhaps unfortunate that the size of the field pushed them down the rankings, scoring 52 and 42 points respectively.
Full results are here:
Rich Steel returned to first place in the overall standings and has 327 points, with Sally Hicks still close behind on 321. Dave Ramus lurks within striking distance on 296 and continues to leave us all guessing on when he'll play his joker. Sally and Dave also head the B Group competition.
Having used her joker this time around, Joan Mason is now in contention for the A Group prize. It remains too close to call at the top of the Group, with Aidan Keher (289) and Liz Hegan (288) already heading the list. Pauline Dable isn't far behind and still has her joker to play.
Like the guest you can't remember inviting to your party, Jon Mettyear has appeared out of nowhere to take the lead in the C group standings. Pete Bryan, Mick Williams and Pete Matthews are all close at hand with jokers to be played.
Latest league standings are here:
Times in finishing order, including guests (and new members who haven't made it onto the Club League entry sheet yet) were as follows:
Kenilworth Runners took a bunch of jokers to the Leamington Parkrun for the 10th Club League Race of 2012. On this occasion, this isn't a reference to the presence of famed Kenilworth wit, Steven Payne or sought-after raconteur, Jon Mettyear. Nor was Barry Elkington in attendance, so his comedy leggings (last known to be a colour that could genuinely be classed as fluorescent in c.1994) didn’t make a showing either.
No, the time, the ‘bunch’ refers to the no fewer than 8 club league attendees who chose to play their joker on this short, and to some, relatively familiar course.
There were many outstanding performances on the day, but the clear Club League winner was Simon Mottershead, who stormed to victory with an improvement on his target time of nearly 7%. Continuing on his dramatic upward trajectory since joining the club, Steve Ramus took 2nd place, heading a group of 3 people with an improvement of over 3%: joker-player Ivan Wilson will feel he made a wise choice and bagged 3rd place overall, taking 96 points as a result, and Steve Chalkley finished 4th best on the day.
Of the 35 runners, 23 had run the course before, and an amazing 14 of these managed personal bests on the day. The remainder of the joker-players experienced mixed fortunes. Mike Crust was next best after Ivan in 9th place, with Pete Matthews and Gary Morgan 14th and 16th respectively.
My performance of the day goes to those people who ran to the course from Kenilworth, including Joan Mason, who ran a time within striking distance of her target.
The league tables have changed dramatically thanks to one key joker that was played on the day, and some excellent runs. Mike Crust has shown himself to be the ultimate dark horse by launching himself into first place overall. This will no doubt raise a few eyebrows when his only previous Club League award so far this year resulted from his ability to adhere to mud. Anyone heading the table at this point of the season is clearly there on merit and Mike will no doubt be determined to make the most of the remaining races.
Group A is nothing short of fascinating. Long-term combatant Aidan Keher is now a few places behind Liz Hegan and Pauline Dable, who jointly hold top spot. Gary Dilnot is the closest runner yet to play his joker.
Sally Hicks and Dave Ramus have now been joined in the B group top 3 by Ros Matthews, thanks to her fine run on the day.
With Richard Steel off top spot in the overall standings, he reverts back to the C group lead and knocks Jon Mettyear into 2nd. Highest place runner with their joker still to play is Mick Williams, but even Mick will do well to catch up the 65 point deficit to the lead position. Pete Matthews lurks in 3rd place and, whilst he’s used his joker, he has yet to run his 7th scoring race, so very much represents a threat.
Well it doesn’t get much better than that. A lovely summer’s evening in one of the most beautiful parts of Warwickshire, topped off with fantastic post-race cakes. Thanks again to Helen and Matt for their hospitality, which allowed 39 runners and 6 marshals to share a real highlight of this season’s Club Race calendar.
A flattish profile was interrupted only by twin hump-backed bridges at around the 3 mile mark (manned diligently by twin straight-backed marshals, Mike Crust and Stephen Chalkley) and the significant slog uphill as runners neared the finish. Thanks again to the bridge-minders and the other marshals at the turns: Joan Mason, John Woodrow and Aidan Keher.
It’s not usually easy to tell from the order over the line who’s performed well against their predicted times. However there were 2 clear standout performances this time which were obvious from the moment Dave Brown was first to appear around the corner. He and Gary Dilnot were first and second across the line and in the league results. With both of them finishing strongly, there’s clearly more to come in the remaining races.
A long list of names appear in the list of those improving on their expected times: picking a few out of the list: Jim Sawle, Pete Matthews and Nardia Poole took chunks out of their C-group targets, Pauline Dable improved on her time over the whole course by a healthy 45 seconds, and Liz Hegan by over a minute.
Newer members Chris Simkiss and Gary Morgan both appear high up the list of times and look good for a strong finish to the season.
Joker-players Nick Benbow, Matt Elkington and Roger Homes were all rewarded with positive times and doubled their scores of 43, 40 and 31 respectively.
We welcomed 6 guests/possible new members to the race: we hope they enjoyed the race and hope to see them again soon:
The full results are here:
Things are definitely hotting up in the overall and B group league standings: Sally Hicks retains her overall lead on 316 points, but serious competition, in the shape of Dave ‘Mitch’ Ramus, looms large close behind on 291 points. Having not played his joker yet, Dave must be thinking that the only thing stopping him from having a say in the final standings is his work keeping the bathers of Los Angeles County safe. Dave will be hoping the only slow-motion running he does for the rest of the season is on the beach.
Despite a no-show this time out, Rich Steel still heads up the C group, and although he’s used his joker, Rich still has one scoring race left to up his tally of 289 points. Rich Simkiss (216) and Pete Bryan (209) reduced Rich’s lead this time out, with Pete still to use his joker.
The A group is heading for a fascinating finish, with any number of possibilities over the remaining races. Aidan Keher (289) holds the lead currently, with previous leader Liz Hegan (279) just behind. Both have played their joker, and both have missed only one race, so they’ll be trying to improve on scores already posted for the rest of the season. However, sneaking quietly up on them both, and with her joker yet to play, is Pauling Dable on 242 points. This one is too close to call.
Current league standings are here: