Saturday 30 July 2011

Harrock Hill Race Report And Photos

Spectacular scenery, remarkable people, one amazing journey!
Warm humid air pressed down on the runners, sweat dripped down foreheads stinging eyes with sweat, calf muscles twitched, quads bulged with adrenaline filled anticipation!
Down here in the cauldron at the bottom of the quarry road hopes and dreams could be made or shattered in 5.3 miles of challenging climbs and descending, yes it was Harrock Hill Race time again!
There ain't nothing more nerve racking than starting a race from the bottom of a very steep track that winds it's way up into the horizon, it's going to hurt for sure!
3, 2, 1- for a brief moment the world seems to STOP, like in one of those Matrix style films the camera zooms out and takes in the 'bigger picture' before zooming back into the starter who says -GO!!!
The runners around me surge forward, sending up a trail of dust into the atmosphere, I'm looking for Tracey 'queen mad dog' who I plan to pace round, as this is my first race back after a torn calf muscle last month.
Trace passes me and for a dreadful moment I feel like I might get dropped but thankfully I get my second wind and cruise up to her shoulder.
Up ahead Rob Ashworth is making good progress and moves into 3rd place over the top of the first climb.
Onto the descent and I pull over to wait for Trace. Stevie Lewis, Simon Tobin, Andy Hudson and Paul Talbot pull on passed like a blue and yellow train!
Come on Trace lets get moving!
Next Gary Kenny, Paul Cain and a new slim line Neil Silcock [ seems the seaweed and green pea diet is working a treat] overtake us.
Next the climb up Narrow Lane and up to Parbold Hill, Tracey is suffering complaining of only 5 hours sleep in 4 days, so I shout at her more, move those legs, push it, MOVE!
After 10 mins of climbing we reach the top road and head for Harrock Hill and the windmill, Tracey gets a stitch and screams in pain, as the nice person that I am a tell her to ignore it and buckle down and push harder!
A final downhill, a turn and the sprint for the line.
I let Trace take it on the line as the gentleman that I am!
And it's all over until next month.
There were lots of good performances with Rob finishing 3rd overal, Stevie Lewis, Paul Talbot, Neil Silcock, Sue Stewart, Carol Wright, Jane Blacklin, and Elaine Sutton all setting new P.B.s and the girls cleaned up in the prizes too!
Oh and Tracey finished 4th lady and I finish without any problems :0]
If I missed anyone or anything of importance I apologize for my normal incompetence!

Results Harrock Hill Race (3/4), Bispham, nr. Parbold, Lancashire
Thanks to Keith Lunt for photos

Friday 29 July 2011

Highlights of the 36th International Snowdon Mountain Race

It's a 10 mile challenge from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon and back. This mountain race is regarded as one of Europe's toughest with extreme terrain and conditions presenting the ultimate endurance test.

Available to U.K. viewers only!
English subtitles available click 'S' on video
Thanks to Eddie for link
This is a epic race I've run twice, but never well!
Watch Here

Tuesday 26 July 2011

From Injuried To Ready To Race!

Yesterday I visited sports physio Sarah Hall for a final check up before my first race back!
The calf now seems fully healed up and the training has been going really well.
We decided to treat the Harrock Hill Race as a progression run, starting off below full effort and building up speed as the race goes on.
This should be fun, letting runners pull away from me on the first climb before overtaking as many runners as possible to the finish.
Highest top speed for 10 years!
After a easy run round the Velvet Trail I did a set of 6 x 20 second strides on grass, hitting my highest top speed for many years 15.5 MPH!
Which goes to show the Marius Bakken 5K training is going pretty dam good!
Tess Injured!
On Sunday Tess was the one to get injured limping on her rear right leg towards the end of the run with Rob, thankfully she seems to recover faster than me and was back to 4 wheel drive by today after a days rest!
Easy Velvet Trail with Tess plus 6 x 20 sec strides Max speed 15.5 MPH
= 48 mins
Club run from Dunes, sandhills trail easy =1 hour 19 mins
Sandhill 6 with Rob and Tess 41 mins, plus run down and back = 1 hour 20 mins
Long run with Tess 2 x sandhill 6 loop, 44 mins and 40 mins, plus run down and back = 1 hour 45 mins
Weights core training
Hill sprints x 6
= 50 mins
25 min tempo run on sandhill 4 route plus 10 x 1 min, getting faster on each effort, final effort 5.04 pace. = 1 hour 20 mins
Sandhill run easy = 52 mins
30 x 20 sec, 20 sec rest on grass, plus club run over sandhills = 1 hour 40 mins

Sunday 24 July 2011

Record Breakers & Canine Cappers at Ricks Rubbish 5k

(Report By Trace Peters)

Well the rain clouds managed to stay at bay to provide practically perfect conditions for the 6th Grand Prix race and 2nd Rubbish 5k of the series with a record breaking number of SWAC members turning up for the event (perhaps a fixture worth considering for GP competitions of the future?) This astonishing number of GP competitors was to be one of many records broken that day making it one for the SWAC history books indeed!

Unlike last months race my punctuality had improved somewhat as I arrived with time to spare rather than a mad dash to the starting line (I live so close yet that only makes it easier to be late!) After a hard session in torrential rain at Greenbank just two days previously my legs felt rather leaden and totally not up for the challenge of sub-20. My arch nemesis, Paul Talbot agreed as we started to line-up feeling rather pessimistic towards the final outcome!

Rubbish brain-child, Rick Bowker counted us down…3-2-1 and off we went. Ben Johnson zoomed off into oblivion – never to be seen again! Paul Talbot also shot off like a speeding bullet and through past experience I thought this would eventually be his downfall. So the plan was to stay behind him and slowly watch him disintegrate before my very eyes so I could shoot pass him at the opportune moment and claim my way to victory (boy was I mistaken!) Coming up toward the bridge on the first lap I noticed I was still running alongside Fell King Brian Davies, a pro at sub-20’s on this course, therefore if I could just stay with him then my goal would definitely be within my grasp. A game of cat and mouse ensued with me doing my impression of a drunken crab whenever I took the lead (sorry Brian). Eventually Brian managed to squeeze past me along with a conservative Dr. Tobin complaining about my pointy elbows as they sped off. It was at this point that gravity really started to take hold however I tried not to let it beat me and instead thought hard, fighting through the pain!

Further up the field, Ben Johnson was still just a tiny spec far out into the distance – nobody was going to catch him today. Steve Lewis had no one to play with but was still holding onto 2nd place with Neil Adshead not too far behind. This was pretty much the order of the day with Ben Johnson winning the race and totally smashing the course record in a lightning speed time of 16:45! Steve proved he’s better running in the dark by pretty much equalling his Torchlight 5k time in 18.34 and Neil took the bronze in 18.48. The Johnson’s proved that quick times ‘run’ in the family with Ben’s dad Rob completing the course in 18.59.

Meanwhile I was struggling through the second lap this time doing my drunken crab impression in front of a patient Neil Silcock. However just after crossing the bridge for the final time the path widened and Neil saw his chance and took it! I ploughed on through the trail path hoping to gain some momentum but my legs were having none of it. With a sharp turn left and down towards the home straight I realised that this time Paul Cain was hot on my heels and if I wasn’t careful would be overtaking me any second also. So I gritted my teeth and went for it with the notion that sub-20 was still on the cards. But towards the last 100 metres my Garmin ticked past 20 minutes and I knew the dream was over – NNNOOOOO!!!! 20:07 which at least was 55 seconds improvement on June’s race. Meanwhile my nemesis Paul Talbot was living the dream with a mega PB of 19:46.

Next lady in was newcomer Jen Boothby with a fabulous finish of 21:10. This was very close to my time last month therefore I could have some strong competition on my hands for 1st lady very soon! Coming up in 3rd place was race regular Rachel Thomas completing the course in a rather impressive 23.11 and a whooping 57 seconds faster than the previous race! Two other record breakers of the night included little Mathew Tobin who smashed the junior course record in 20.59 and running legend Steve James who at over 70 finished the race in an amazing 22:03 – utterly remarkable!

Just towards the end of the event there was one final surprise in store when a canine competitor decided to race Jon Singleton to the finish. It was a very exciting battle with Jon just edging it over the racing dog (my money was on the dog too!). And as we all stood about in friendly chatter and reliving our tales of the race, the dog decided to jump up at me several times to show its appreciation of my support!

As ever a big thanks to helpers Dave, Brian, Rob, Ben and Norm for their valued assistance and co-operation. Full race results can be found at with updated GP table below.

Round 3 is on Wednesday 17th August 2011, be there or miss out!!!

Saturday 23 July 2011

Cadel Evans Set To Win Tour And Beat The Ugly Sisters!

Now I guess if you live outside the UK you may not understand the concept of the Pantomime ,
But it seems to me like the Schleck brothers
are like the ugly sisters in Cinderella and Cadel is the under dog Buttons!
So it was with great pleasure that today I witnessed Cadel annihilate the
brothers {sisters] grime in the ti
me trial!
If you look at all the years Cadel has been working towards a Tour De France win, all his set backs-injury-illness, well you have to say what a wonderful lesson to us all; Never give up!
Keep pushing, Keep trying and in in the end the nice guy will win out!
Congrats Candel Evans, what a brilliant triumph over adversary!
Figgin Amazing!
Figgin Awesome!
Figgin Yeah!

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Rubbish 5K results

WOW! Mind blowing time on this trail 5K course!
1] 16.45 Ben Johnson NEW COURSE RECORD

[2] 18.34 Steve Lewis

[3] 18.48 Neil Adshead

[4] 18.59 Rob Johnson 'Father of Ben'!

[5] 19.26 Matt Nelson

[6] 19.31 Howard Nuttall

[7] 19.34 Keith Lunt

[8] 19.39 Paul Talbot

[9] 19.46 Simon Tobin

[10] 19.53 Brian Davey

[11] 19.54 Neil Silcock

[12] 19.55 Paul Ashby

[13] 20.07 Tracey Peters FIRST LADY Oh La La- So close to sub 20

[14] 20.20 Paul Cain

[15] 20.36 Gareth Williams

[16] 20.59 Matthew Tobin NEW JUNIOR RECORD WOW AMAZING!

[17] 21.05 Reg Black

[18] 21.10 Jen Boothby

[19] 21.33 Jamie Elliot

[20] 21.57 Ed Sherstone

[21] 22.03 Steve James NEW OVER 70's RECORD HOLLY COW!

[22] 22.07 Phil Baxendale

[23] 23.11 Rachel Thomas

[24] 23.51 Paul Newell

[25] 24.09 Carol Wright

[26] 25.04 Christine Cutner

[27] 25.27 Jane Blacklin

[28] 25.30 Donna Spencer

[29] 25.34 Becki Hutt

[30] 25.33 Sue Stewart

[31] 26.01 Steve Parkes

[32] 26.18 Elaine Sutton

[33] 26.20 Brian Grice

[34] 26.46 Josh Nuttall

[35] 26.51 Charlotte Nuttall

[36] 27.17 Jon Singleton

[37] 28.19 Sheila Marshall

Big thanks to Dave, Brian, Rob, Ben and Norm for help!


Monday 18 July 2011


Next Event 20th July CLICK HERE For Details

Rubbish 5K social run
15 June 2011: The summer is here and after the fun of the winter torchlight 5Ks it was back into the daylight ....... Read More

TRAINING; Epic Double Run

I started off with a Marius Bakken session of 30 x 20 secs with 20 sec jog recovery between.

I ran this on the grass oval by Victoria park.
I was feeling pretty good so decided to carry on running and headed over to the Dunes leisure centre and joined the clubs Monday evening run.
Michelle, Jen, Collin and his dog Walter joined me for a very wet run over the sandhills for an hour, despite the rain the run was very enjoyable [Well Walter thought so anyway]!
Total Time 1 hour 40 mins

Sandhill 6 run with Jon,Sarah,Rob and Tess, plus ran down and back = 1 hour 20 mins

Big sandhills with Tess = 1 hour 40 mins

Sunday 17 July 2011

Harrock Hill Social Run and Meal

Friday 15th
The rain was bouncing off the Farmers Arms car park as we arrived, but this did not put a dampener on proceedings with a good group of runners turning out!

Yes it was raining stair rods but at least it was warm, so after dragging a few people out of their cars we were on our way.
In fact it was good fun splashing through the puddles on the way to the first climb.
little Trace attacked the first hill with a vengeance, opening up a gap which despite my best efforts I had trouble closing.
I felt under pressure as Neil breathed down my back, so I tried to force the pace a little more.
I only managed to claw my way back up to Trace once we reached the really steep single track section, I was really happy when we caught up to the runners ahead and were forced to slow down due to the narrowness of the trail.!
It later transpired that trace had been to a works party and had been drinking glasses of wine in the afternoon, now for most people that would be a recipe for feeling sluggish but not Trace, the alcohol turns her hyperactive!
We regrouped at the top of the climb then headed down through the cow fields to Parbold, with regular stops along the way for everyone to catch up and have a chat.
Some of us had run this race route many times in both racing and in training for others it was there first time tackling the challenging hills of Parbold.
Onto the second climb [The Escalator ] and once again Tracey blasted off, I caught her up with about 100m to go before we hit the top road, with her elbows sticking out she pushed me into the hedge in a Tour De France sprinters style! I just about managed to squeeze past to claim the King of the mountains sprint, but hell that wine really seems to be working for her as I've never seen her run so fast before!
We regrouped again before making our way up towards the ruined windmill at Harrock Hill.

A final suicide downhill then the short uphill sprint into the finish.
I think everyone really enjoyed the evening run over scenic countryside and even the rain stopped before the end of the run!
Exterior Now it was time for a wonderful meal and a great pint of beer in THE FARMERS ARMS with fantastic company-priceless!

Next Event 20th July CLICK HERE For Details

Saturday 16 July 2011

Can Thomas Voeckler Win The Tour De France?

Thomas Voeckler
The guy proved he is a force to be reckoned with, showing great defiance to hold onto the yellow jersey, but can he win the Tour?

The Science of Sport

Friday 15 July 2011

Size Zero

This girl is awesome!

Check out the acoustic sessions coming out of a sleepy 'garden shed' in the heart of the English countryside! CLICK HERE

Statistics show Mo Farah's new route to Olympic gold

Blue Skies Running!

Things are improving fast, the darks clouds are blowing away and the sun is shining down once more.
My 2nd visit to the physio went well, she seemed impressed with my recovery so far and has suggested that I might be able to race again in 2 weeks!!!
The moral of my story is if in doubt about how to treat an injury seek professional help as soon as possible.
Under instructions from Sarah Hall I been doing all my fast stuff on grass and keeping off road for my steady runs, this really works well, allowing the injured calf muscle to get stronger without the pounding of the road!
Also as instructed I been stretching the muscle out after each run as well as during the day at regular intervals.
Now this poses an interesting point, over the last few years static stretching has become almost a 'dirty word' yet time and again it does seem to be a very important part of recovery from many injuries!
I have now started back on Marius Bakken's brilliant training plan, the first week called for a session of
7 x [ 60-45-30-15 sec] with 15 sec recovery, with effort level starting at MP-1/2 MP and gradually building up to 10k pace in the later sets.
The second session was 20 x 45 sec with 15 sec recoveries gradually increasing pace on each effort starting at 1/2 MP and building to 10K pace.
Things have gone well so far and the cycle training I did while injured seems to have helped me keep in reasonable shape, maybe the break from running will do me good in the long run, well it pays to be positive right?

dave marsdin (dim)

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Sciatic Relief For Runners!

I have come across many runners including myself who suffer from sciatic problems [ pains in the butt that radiate down the leg, sometimes even into the foot] which can really take the pleasure out of running.
I recommend you try the following stretches and immobilization exercises, I've had some good results myself!

Sunday 10 July 2011

Tour De France Riders Hit By Car resulting In A Gruesome Accident!

Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) extracts himself from the barbed wire fence he landed on after being taken out by a French television car.

Thanks to Stevie Lewis for Link
Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) extracts himself from the barbed wire fence he landed on after being taken out by a French television car.
Holly Shit That Looks So F**king Painful!!!
Should there be a limit on the number of cars following the Tour and should the drivers have more instruction on 'Good' driving before they are allowed to be part of the Race?

Saturday 9 July 2011

The God of Thunder holds off the Mountain Men, Epic Day In The Tour De France!

Tour de France, Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd, Stage 6CLICK ON PHOTO to watch video
You can just imagine each time Thor finishes a stage in yellow a hundred virgins in white throw themselves across his feet!
Not quite like when I finish a race, only to see tumble down weed blowing past!
The balance in the universe is changing, Hell I'm even starting to like

Kylie Minogue

Love the way Kylie comes down the stairs, just like me after drinking too much on a night out!
Yes Kylie is Hot But those robotic men in the video are totally naff- your have to agree?

Friday 8 July 2011

How Running Off Road Can Help You Overcome Injury Problems!

Since switching to running off road [ grass -sand] I've been able to run four days in a row and felt my calf muscle get stronger with each run.

Amazingly running on the very springy grass oval at the side of Victoria park I've found I can run really fast without any problems, getting down to 5.13 pace for a 400m loop!
I've been starting my runs with a 3/4 mile warm up walk down to the park, followed by an easy run round the velvet trail. finishing off with some strides [30 sec run-30 walk] on the grass oval and also gradually adding some 400m loops at a good pace.
On my run home on the road I've followed Sarah Halls advice and run really slowly with a shortened stride to avoid the impact from the road.
As soon I finish my runs I make sure to stretch out the calf muscles which should help the new muscle fibers from shortening and becoming injured again!
1/2 mile walk followed by run to Busters lagoon and back, then 4 x 400m and strides [max 14.2 mph] on grass oval = 1 hour 16 mins
3/4 mile walk followed by run round the Velvet Trail then 3x 400m and strides on grass
=45 mins
Visit to Sarah Hall for treatment on calf.
3/4 mile walk followed by very easy run round the Velvet Trail then strides on grass oval
= 40 mins
Ran to park but calf started to lock up after only 3/4 mile on road!
Walked for a bit then did some easy strides on grass oval.
Calf very sore after run :0[
Bike ride with 5 x 1 mile hill loops pushed very hard.
= 42 mins

Is barefoot running on Tarmac Natural for the body?
If you look at Kenyan runners who ran barefoot from an early age you will find that they did this on soft dirt roads and not unforgiving hard surfaces such as Tarmac or concrete!
Based on my own findings using the Saucony Hattori I think I'll keep them for fast sessions on the grass only, I think my body needs more padding when road running!
Wish List


Wednesday 6 July 2011

How Much Power Does It Take To Ride The Tour De France?

The Team Time Trial is the closest thing your find to the Gladiator V the Lion in our modern culture, so sit back and enjoy the video!
I set my P.B's over 10 miles- 22.18 and 57.38 for 25 miles using a Mavic disc rear wheel!
An intriguing insight into the fitness of the Tour rider.

The Tour de France: Power outputs from the outside in

Tour de France: Stage 4 power output analysis

Sweet 16 for Cavendish

Tour de France 2011, stage five: Mark Cavendish claims dramatic sprint victory as blood shed across brutal stage

Today I visited Local Sports physio Recommended Physio for treatment on my injured calf.
I've been getting quite frustrated with how long the injury has taken to heel.
After a full investigation by Sarah it seem the the muscle fibers have not knitted back correctly due to my lack of stretching after runs!
She did some very painful friction massage [ I made the mistake of telling her that I had a very high pain threshold, silly me!] to break down the scar tissue and instructed a course of stretching for the calf muscles.
Full recovery may take up to 4 weeks, oh well plenty of time to watch the Tour De France then :0]

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Songs From The Garden Shed! The River Song

Songs From The Shed
Putting Music Back Into Nature And Taking Simon The Cowell Out Of It!
Check out the acoustic sessions coming out of a sleepy 'garden shed' in the heart of the English countryside!

Sunday 3 July 2011

Cycing and jogging, on the long road to recovery!

Today was the first time I've run in a while where I was able to finish without pain in my calf muscle, it was a very slow run but hopefully a step in the right direction.
Wed and Fri I ran on the road, but found the hard surface aggravated the injury.
After talking to mate Paul (who has had a similar injury in the past] I have decided to stick to off road running for a bit.
Running today with Sarah and Jon on the sandhill 6 went really well, the sand and grass reducing the impact to the calf.
On Saturday I went for a 22 mile steady bike ride to Clieves hill on a beautiful summers day.

To try and keep some fitness going I did out of the saddle hill sprints on Monday and Thursday and did a steady ride on Tuesday.
Along with this I have done core training and weight every day along with regular massage on the calf.
Next week I plan to introduce some easy striding on a grass Rugby pitch and carry on alternating between easy running and hard cycle sessions.
After 4 calf muscles pulls in two weeks I need to be very patient and cautious!

Ride hard to RUN better;

Alex Hutchinson