Victory Sprint Triathlon – North Walsham

A lovely morning in N Walsham today, slightly overcast with a breeze.  Perfect for spectating!

It may have been different if I’d been taking part, like Amanda, Ant, Cat, Hayley W, Libby, Lynne, Mat and Paul (with added Seb*).

It was a very well organised event and everyone did brilliantly.

Awards went to Amanda for 3rd placed Female and Seb for best in class.

Official Times:
Ant – 49:48
Mat – 53:16
Amanda – 56:51 – 3rd placed female
Paul – 1:03:08
Cat – 1:03:42
Seb – 1:04:34* – 1st in class
Libby – 1:07:12
Hayley W – 1:15:43
Lynne – 1:22:40


Couch to 5k 2018

Well done to the fantastic and awesome gang who completed their 8 week Couch to 5k course today, crowning it off with the Holkham parkrun.

During this last 8 weeks, we’ve seen you all improve immensely.  Some of you coming from not being able to run for 1 minute, to today, completing a 5k parkrun.

You have all achieved something awesome and you should be very proud of yourselves.  I know that we are proud of you.

A shout out too to all the RntS who came along and supported Kevin and Evette during the sessions and provided the support and enthusiasm which makes this club great.

Hopefully this won’t be the last we’ll see of some of you C25K’rs.  Why not come along to club night on a Monday and give it a go.  A few of you have mentioned you’ve enjoyed the running, so don’t stop now!  If you want any more information, or have any questions, just get in touch.

Houghton Race For Life 2018

It looks like a lovely evening was had by all who attended the Race For Life this year.

The good weather and very worthwhile cause meant a number of the RntS ran the 5k then enjoyed each others company with a picnic afterwards.

A big shout out to Amberley who was the first runner home.



Race To The Stones

A tremendous shout out is due to Kerrie who took part in the Race To The Stones last weekend.

Unfortunately she had to pull out due to being poorly, but to do 26.95 miles on some very hilly terrain before she succumbed is brilliant.

Nice one Kerrie.

British 10k

A hot day sitting in the sunshine of Wimbledon wasn’t the best preparation for an even hotter Sunday and what is now called the British 10k – it was just the London 10k when we first ran it in 2007, my last race before ten years of not running. Meanwhile, it was 30 degrees and promising to get hotter.

And it’s a far cry from the races we are used to in Norfolk, with approaching 15,000 runners in all, with eight starting pens and a staggered start. In other words, you queue up to start with about 2,000 other runners, many of whom are running for charities and are not quite sure what they’ve let themselves in for! Louis Vuitton supporting UNICEF were next to us.

So in the morning, we were dropped off in Covent Garden and walked down to Trafalgar Square and then to the starting pens in St James Place  – we had to be there for about 9.00 Once there, it was music and warmups. The race itself started at 9.30 but but the time our pen got to the start line it was 10.10 although, thankfully the waiting was in the shade!

And then it was off up Piccadilly and a slightly uphill start before turning left up Regent Street and then down again the other sunnier and therefore much hotter side. Then around Piccadilly Circus, along Lower Regent Street and out and back along Pall Mall. The out and back sections were like the part of Kings Lynn Parkrun where you have to go round the lamppost. The first water station was on Pall Mall and that meant that the next couple of hundred metres were an obstacle course of discarded plastic water bottles under foot.

After that, it was up to Trafalgar Square, up and down Charing Cross Road, and then down along the Strand and the second water station obstacle course. Then it was a short run east along the Embankment to Temple where fellow Runner-next-the-Sea Adam Tomkinson was waiting to cheer us on.

At Temple we turned back down the Embankment in the other direction towards Westminster with the Thames on our left. Just before Westminster Bridge came the third water bottle obstacle course and when we got to the bridge we knew we were nearly there. Past Big Ben still in its scaffolding, past Parliament, past Westminster Abbey, along Victoria Street and finally up Whitehall to finish somewhere around Downing Street.

Then it was back to Trafalgar Square to meet other family members before the walk home to Bloomsbury.

On Strava, I described it as hot and horrible – and it was. What made it horrible for me was not the heat so much as the number of people. It was impossible to get into any kind of running rhythm because so many people kept stopping in front of you to walk, sometimes two or three abreast. But worst of all was the people crossing the road in front of you, sometimes with suitcases, forcing you to brake sharply. Indeed, Ceri was heard to utter a few sharp words on more than one occasion – Ceri tells me that Lucy Harrison and Lynne know what! So our race tactics were quite simple – don’t go too fast, don’t fall over, just keep going, smile and run all the way. Which we did!

But the real positive of the day was that our brother-in-law did it as his first run in about 4 years. He’s asked Ceri to book him on another – but not for six months!

Official Times:
Ceri – 1:13:35
Chris – 1:13:35

Run-next-the-Sea – Carnival Fun Run – 03/08/2018

The annual Run-next-the-Sea Fun Run which takes place during Wells-next-the-Sea Carnival Week will be held on the 3rd August at 6pm.

Registration will be from 5:15pm to 5:45pm at the Beach Road Café.

There is a competitive 5 mile run for over 15s which starts at 6:00pm and a 1.3 mile run for anyone else (under 11s need to be accompanied) which starts at 6:05pm.

Any volunteers who can help out for the evening will be greatly appreciated.

Registration Forms and Posters can be downloaded from here.

Marham Flyers RAF 100 Summer Special 10K and Duathlon

A very warm Duathlon and 10k run at RAF Marham this morning.

Paul and Ant took part in the Duathlon and Cat, Libby and Mark took part in the run.

RntS well represented again, topped with trophies for Cat 3rd women in the run and Ant 2nd in the duathlon.

Official Times:
Ant – 74:19 – 2nd place
Paul – 93:25

Cat – 47:27.0 – PB
Mark – 57:08.3
Libby – 59:24.7

Outlaw Half Holkham 2018

On the 1st July 2018, Dene and Amanda took part in the Outlaw Half Holkham.  Well done to you both for your fantastic achievements.

Here is Dene’s report on the day….

What a great day Sunday was.  I think the entire event was extremely well organised and the support given by the volunteers was not only incredible but genuinely helpful.  Holkham is a stunning setting which gives the whole event a great vibe, but I think it’s the people really make it something special.

With the RuNTS taking over feed station 2 it honestly felt like coming home each time I ambled in to be greeted by all manner of consumables and heaps of encouragement (if only you could bottle that).

From a personal view, I’d been training since Xmas for this event.  I learned to freestyle swim from scratch in the local pool and had never cycled more than 5 or 6 miles on a bike before this.  These parts of the challenge were virgin territory for me so I’ll confess to a little trepidation on the days leading up to the event.

When I arrived I was relieved to see a few larger and older athletes, there were so many young, chiselled, sculpted specimens preparing their transitions that I did begin to doubt if my “dad bod “ and little ricketed legs would be up to the task.  I got there early and did some steady warm up jogging before grabbing my wet suit and heading over to the water.  I was surprisingly calm entering the lake, I guess I’d figured that there was little more I could do at this point and that I should just try and enjoy the event, and enjoy it I did.

The Swim.

I was barely in the water 30 seconds before wave two were sent off, I always swim much better in the second half of my swim so I set off with a breast stroke to ease myself into a routine and warm up, soon I was throwing in a few sets of freestyle and gradually transitioning over to freestyle only.  I purposely stayed out of the “churn” and hugged the margins towards the rear of my wave.  Call me a wimp but I didn’t want to have to focus on anything other than my stroke, breathing and pointing in the right direction, which is surprisingly hard might I add.

Before I knew it, I was in my stride and rounding the island at the end of the lake, it only seemed like moments since I’d set off but already I was almost half way.  I felt good so I just carried on doing what I was doing, dragging 20 strokes before a “sighter stroke” to ensure I was on course, a surprising amount of adjustments were needed, I tend to pull to the right for some reason.  It was at this moment I realised I was actually enjoying the dreaded swim and for the first time I felt like a proper triathlete even if it was a slow one.

Although a good way off I had the last buoy in sight and knew that just a sharp left here would have me almost back on the bank, so I knuckled down and just kept working until I was close enough to start thinking about turning.  It was at this point that the faster swimmers from wave 3 Swam past/over me, even with a 12 minute head start I was no match for these guys, I got out of the way and let them past, before rounding the buoy.

I could see the platform in sight and went for it, as much as I enjoyed the swim I wanted to get one of the disciplines “ticked off”.  I was surprised how dizzy I was as the kind volunteer grabbed my hand and towed me in, more volleys undid my wetsuit and I was away, jogging (staggering) to my first ever triathlon transition.  It was good to see a few familiar faces and hear a few shouts of encouragement as I navigated the Harris fencing on my way to my bike.

Time – 48:31, a new PB, not by much.

The Ride.

It was good to hop on the bike and start nibbling away at the 56 mile ride, what struck me early on was how much of an amateur I was, I had an entry level bike and helmet, running shoes instead of cleats and no specialised cycling gear, it didn’t bother me but It did make me wonder how much difference this could make when I saw other athletes not only overtaking me but whizzing past at a considerable speed.  I stuck to the plan which was to ride my own race and before I know It I was out of the south gates of Holkham and orbiting the park, I passed the Vic where I waved at some of my colleagues and headed out west.  At this point I was still getting overtaken quite a bit, I was in the 2 Wave so there were plenty of younger/better participants that started after me that were catching up, this was a trend for most of the cycle until perhaps the last quarter.

It was great to hit the first feed station at Fring and continue on to Dersingham and the beautiful Sandringham.

By this point I’d stuck up a little unofficial rivalry with a chap called Darren, I would pass him going uphill and he would whiz past me on the downhill…. he was a rather large chap I hasten to add.  Eventually we hit the A148 and while this is a nice smooth surface with great views, we had a headwind of 12-14 Mph to sap away at our already partially depleted reserves of energy.  This stretch is about 14 Miles long but as with the rest of the course it didn’t seem long before we were turning into to the second feed station just off the Creake road, the whole thing really did fly by.  I stopped the bike for sun cream which was eagerly applied by one of the volunteers, took on more water and headed out for the last long section up the Dry Road.

I’m not sure if I got a second wind or if it was the sudden lack of wind that did it, but I felt good on this section and definitely felt like I was going a little quicker.  Sadly it was somewhere here that my tracker got stuck, leaving my wife to be concerned that I’d pulled out of the race and ultimately delaying her setting of to see me transition.  It felt good to turn into the park, be back on familiar ground, safe in the knowledge that all that remained to do was within those boundaries, this spurred me on to eat away at the last section of road up south drive and into T2.

Time – 3:26:00 a PB by a good 15mins.

The Run.

I proudly donned my RuNTS top over my Trisuit and headed south on my first lap, I’d done a few brick runs so knew this would be a tricky few miles until my legs settled, I must confess I was quite tired by now.  The 1st lap was really tough and I had to walk/run the hills to get around, I was taking on lots of water and a little High 5 at each station, it was never sloshing around in my stomach so I’m sure I was getting this something like right.  As I finished my 1st lap I remember thinking that I might have to walk a good portion of the remainder but told myself Id keep going until that was the only option.  I managed to surprise myself a little here and using my “run/walk the hills tactic” I kept on going.

The second lap seemed much easier, my legs had settled in and I’d gotten to chatting with another virgin Half IM, this helped take my mind away from the aches and pains in my legs, back, shoulders, feet, ears, eyelids and so on.  The end of the second lap felt great psychologically as I knew I only had to get round one more time and then I was done.  I had no awareness of the time of this point, as I was only there as a “finisher” I really didn’t care, although I had harboured hopes of a sub 7.

The hill up to the obelisk on the last lap was tough, I kept reminding myself what I’d learned at running club “manage your form, pockets to sockets, back straight, lean forward”, and shouts of “keep going mate” and “don’t stop” from the other participants pulled me up the hill, I crested at the obelisk and let the welcome pull of gravity take me down the other side, this next section was by far the toughest on the course.

At this point you are still recovering a little from the hill climb and you have a long straight with a subtle but noteworthy climb to deal with, also there wasn’t breath of wind here.  Getting to the aid station wasn’t only welcome because my friends were there but also because you had that horrible stretch behind you.  After the aid station, another hill which paradoxically wasn’t as tough for some reason and when you reached the top you knew it was pretty much all downhill from then onwards.  I plodded on just thinking about getting to the great barn, then adjusting my target to the “woods” and then to the aid station, this works for me when I’m running on fumes…. or jogging on fumes.

There is a very welcoming sign just before the final aid station that tells you the distance you have covered depending on which lap you are on….”LAP 3… 12 Miles” was a very welcoming sight, I walked through the aid station taking on just water and continued to plod down American drive, I had a little walk in the shade to cool down before heading out into the baked but breezy east paddock.  I promised myself I’d run the entire track before I stopped again at the cattle grid….I proudly managed this and after a short 20 second walk I decided that I was going to run the rest regardless, I was tired but not exhausted, I could have probably done a further lap at a push but was very glad I didn’t have to.  Marie kindly joined me and ran in toward the red carpet with me where I was greeted by more of the RuNTS team who shouted me on as I had a cheeky little “sprint….sort of” down across the line.

Run – 2:25 – Slowest Ever Half Marathon.

Total Including Transitions 6:52:17.  Very happy with that.

At the risk of sounding cheesy and trite, I genuinely enjoyed the entire journey including the training, from cycling in January (brrrr) to learning to swim freestyle, learning that a lot of my limits were self-imposed, I enjoyed the mixture of disciplines and the flexibility and freshness that this affords.

It was only about 10 minutes after I finished before I was asked “so, are you going to do a full one then?”

I’d never say never, but for now, I’m going to chill a little, work on my 10k for the Wells relay and just enjoy being a free spirit again for a while.

If you ever have a chance to challenge yourself like this….you must take it, there’s something hugely rewarding about biting off slightly more than you think you can chew and getting it done!

Love to you all.