Winchester half

24 September 2017

Feeling rather unwelcome in the churchyard, I took a few random photos and left. Back out on the road with the race parading by me I stood in front of a rather ornate wooden bus stop and watched the runners stream past the Hursley chimneys. The road had been partly closed for the race and an unfortunate marshal had the job of holding up a stop go board to let cars trickle through when there was a safe gap between runners. It wasn’t a job I envied. Some of the drivers were less than patient despite the road closures being widely publicised weeks in advance of the race. Continue reading Winchester half

Winchester VIP’s and time on my hands

24 September 2017

At the beginning of the month I stood in the rain in Abbey Gardens looking at Winchester Guildhall and wishing I was in the VIP pacer’s changing room with free coffee and biscuits. Today I was looking wistfully out of the window of said changing room at the sun coming up over Abbey Gardens, half wishing I was out there walking. It had the makings of a nice day and wandering around exploring seemed far more fun than tail walking the Winchester Half Marathon.  Continue reading Winchester VIP’s and time on my hands

Behind the scenes at the first CC6

17 September 2017

The barista in the Costa Coffee on Passfield Avenue looked a little bemused when a hoard of runners descended on his cafe just before eight o’clock on a Sunday morning. Mid September, people in brightly coloured running gear heading for a muddy field filled with flags could only mean one thing, the first CC6 of the season. We were some of the first Spitfires to arrive but soon the fields behind Fleming Park were brimming with Spitfire hoodies. Even so, there would be no Itchen Spitfires running today because they were the event organisers. Continue reading Behind the scenes at the first CC6

The last RR10

23 August 2017

The final RR10 of the season was organised by Eastleigh running club. The original plan had been to hold it at Marwell, just like last year, but there was an issue with the venue and it ended up being postponed. In the end tonight’s race was held at a completely new venue, the University Sports Ground on Wide Lane. This is a place I’ve walked past many, many times, on my way to Winchester, Eastleigh, or just Lakeside which is actually the next set of fields along the road. Because it’s not open to the public though, I’ve never been inside. Continue reading The last RR10

The rain continues at Itchen Valley

2 August 2017

After a day spent painting my living room ceiling while the rain teemed down outside I can’t say I was much looking forward to the RR10 at Itchen valley Country Park tonight. For one, I was tired. Painting ceilings is surprisingly hard work and this one looked as if it might still need another coat. On top of this I’d been struggling with a trapped nerve in my leg. Apparently this is due to my stupidly high arches, at least according to my GP it is. Who’d have thought having high arches could cause so much pain all of a sudden? There was a great temptation to stay at home, take some painkillers and go to bed, especially as it was still raining.  Continue reading The rain continues at Itchen Valley

Wet, muddy and probably hallucinating

23 July 2017

The rain just kept on falling. There were a few slight lulls when Commando prepared for his first night lap. Each time he pinned on his race number, checked out his head torch and pulled on his trainers it pelted down again though. Rob went out with Kim on her evening lap because he was so worried about the conditions and two torches are better than one. The gloom, the rain and most of all the mud meant it took a ridiculously long time. The woods were especially bad, tree roots hidden under water and slippery mud. After a conflab everyone agreed it was just too dangerous, not worth the risk of a broken ankle or worse.  Continue reading Wet, muddy and probably hallucinating

Rain and the Thunder Run

22 July 2017

The rain didn’t stop. In fact it got worse and worse as the evening wore on. There was a brief interlude of almost dryness, just long enough for Pete the Meat to cook burgers and sausages on a couple of reluctant portable barbecues under the awning of Rob and Kim’s tent then it got so bad everyone retired to their respective shelters. We slept on our new air bed inside our new sleeping bags with the sound of rain pounding on canvas as a lullaby. It was a sleep broken by worries about floods washing us away. The name Trent is Celtic for strongly flooding and the river is renowned for it.  Continue reading Rain and the Thunder Run

Sweltering in the sun at Wyvern

9 July 2017

This turned out to be a real running weekend. After the celebrations of Southampton parkrun’s fifth birthday came the last of the Itchen Spitfire Championship 10k races, the Wyvern 10k. Commando’s illness and that fact he’s in the same age category as speedy Gerry, meant he had little chance of winning anything but he was still running the race. From the outset it was clear it was going to be a hot one.  Continue reading Sweltering in the sun at Wyvern

Parkrun tourism Fareham

17 June 2017

Typically, just as Commando is getting back to parkrunning, Southampton parkrun is cancelled. Luckily it’s only for one week while an event called Gung Ho is being held.  As far as I can tell, it involves lots of giant inflatable obstacles. While I’m pretty sure running round the Common and climbing over glorified bouncy castles is great fun, the serious runners have all been looking at other local parkruns. Southampton, with  between seven hundred and one thousand runners most weeks, is one of the largest parkruns in the country.  Obviously, if everyone turned up at the next nearest venue, Netley or Eastleigh, who both average less than two hundred runners, there would be mayhem.  Continue reading Parkrun tourism Fareham

Quacky races

21 April 2017

In our house early starts usually mean races and it was certainly early when CJ and I left the house. We were heading for Mansbridge and a race but any similarity to a normal race day ended with the early hour. For one Commando was still at home in bed sleeping off the night shift. There were no trainers, no race kit and there would be no medals at the end. My camera was in my bag though. We’d been reliably informed there would be a whole lot of ducklings to see and I didn’t want to miss them.  Continue reading Quacky races