Mens Newsletter – June

Welcome to Summer which ended dramatically on 28th June, more of that later at the very end of this newsletter.

I start with a correction, or rather an “I told you so”. I was accused by the Club Treasurer (normally a very nice man but I know now otherwise) of never mentioning him in my newsletter. To be honest, I’d imagine many are glad of this as most mentions end up in verbal abuse of one sort or another. Anyway, I let the tirade of abuse and, quite frankly, shocking language go at the time but thought I would check the detail once I returned home. Lo and behold, here is an extract from my May newsletter….

“Club champions for 2014 (Jamie Neil, Kevin Stevens, Paul Carlisle and John McKay)”

Apology accepted. In all seriousness, I have always said I don’t wish to simply copy and paste Marion’s excellent reports. I apologise for not mentioning as many individuals as I would like but my newsletters are already far too long and Marion’s reports are far better and available on the excellent Club website. You will be delighted to hear that I’m on holiday when next month’s newsletter is due so bear with if you are waiting for something more sensible and relevevant, relief is near for you.

For those still reading, I kick off the report proper with the return of what will probably be a recurring feature – last month’s news today. We have a WORLD CHAMPION in our midst. At the end of May, Michael Sommerlad competed for Great Britain at the ITU World Duathlon championships, in Pontevedra, Spain. If you haven’t already seen it, try and grab a look at the stunning photograph of him on a huge stage with a huge Union flag. A fantastic achievement by a true gentleman, well done Michael.

A great start to the month for Mr May, Joe Alexander who won the Braintree District Triathlon on Sunday 1st June. Far from being a curse, ROM seems to be kicking the worthy recipients on to even better things, long may that trend continue.

The Summer Friday 5 series of races continued into June with some fantastic runs at Kirton on what was a perfect evening for running. This included another gold for Michael Simmons who is closing in on his target of a complete set before he draws his pension in two years’ time. That’s night’s stand out performance coming from Jamie Neil’s son who pasted him in the fun run. This was followed by some more great performances at Bury St Edmunds with Simon Dale moving further up the GBRC all time list to number 8 for 5 miles. The bromance of the Spring was also killed off at Bury with Michael Simmons finally beating Dave Goldsmith.

Early Summer blazed away for the Southend Half marathon. Just to finish was an achievement, but in spite of the heat Martin Owen managed another pb. At some point he will stop getting pbs but honestly, it doesn’t look like any time soon – great stuff Martin.

What must have at the time seemed like perfect Endure 24 preparation took place for many at the Mersea Island random distance round the Island race. This is a very tough multi-terrain race, including beach sections. Well done to Michael James, Tom Fowler and Ben Ficken for getting round and much more on the day. Charlie, Kevin and Jamie decided to take things easy by doing the Hackney half marathon on that day. Perfect conditions if you are a gecko and love to be burnt to bits by hot sun. Again, great effort given ridiculous conditions for a distance race. On the same day, John McKay ran the Essex Championships 5 miler at Great Easton (that’s 2 mentions in 2 months now).

Parkruns continued in June, well done on a pb to Kevin James. More great performances in the Mickey Edwards and a first sub-17 minute 5K for Simon and another leap up the club all time list. As the series has ended, I want to thank Clive Jones for organising and Race Directing the series. He was also assisted by a number of people on each event and these guys also deserve mine and your thanks for giving up their time. I won’t mention names for fear of missing someone out. I selfishly ran every one this year and am extremely grateful to you for enabling me so to do. I also can’t leave the series behind without mentioning young Michael Oates who was the overall series winner. Michael just got quicker and quicker and quicker and still pb’d by a substantial margin on the last leg. It was good to see Chris have to run harder and harder as the series went on!! I think next year the game will be well and truly on. Congratulations to Michael and I’m sure a very proud Dad, Chris.

Welcome to those who have joined us this month, Andy Pennell, Mike Belton and Emmanuel Popoola. I look forward to catching up with you and running with you in the future.

Time now to turn attention to the Runner of the Month for June 2014. This month it goes to someone who trained in a structured and totally focussed way since the start of the year. Then in spite of a pb, felt thoroughly kicked in the teeth by his Edinburgh Marathon performance. After some well-earned recovery, embarked upon the Friday 5 series. His first race at Kirton was just 10 secs off a pb. Got up dusted himself off and turned his sights to Bury when he got that much-wanted new pb, 7th place overall and moved up a position in the club top 10 list. Having found his sweet spot, he then achieved his first sub-17 clocking at Mickey Edwards and another top 10 climb. For dusting himself off, showing determination, sheer mental strength and 2 top 10 performances my Runner of the Month for June is Simon Dale. Oh, and the small matter of 35 very fast miles at Endure 24!


And finally it’s tip time….

Having watched rather than run a number of races this year, I’ve been able to observe what people do pre-race. For the most part, a “warm-up” consists of standing around chatting then a semi-jog to the start line. Others run 100m or so, either very slowly or, more bizarrely, sprinting as fast as they can from cold.

I analysed my times when undertaking Endure 24 training and a couple of 5K time trials I did with and without warm-up. Far from very scientific, but I found on average the difference between running from cold and from a warmed up position is as much as 10% per mile in terms of time. This was over 20 or so runs over various distances but the margin was consistent.

Everyone’s warm-ups will be slightly different but it’s important that you do something as that it’s right for you. The exception to warming up are for the longer distances such as 20 miles or a marathon where this advice is actually not to warm up as you will then set off too quickly. Anything up to that is a sliding scale of effort with shorter warm up for longer distances. Personally, and I stress personally, my warm up consists of gentle \ steady jogging, enough to build up a sweat, followed by static stretching. Warming up properly will not tire you out and actually enhance your performance. I typically do 15 – 20 minutes run \ jog before a 5k, reducing that to no less than around 8 – 10 minutes for a half. Everyone is different, so find a warm up that works for you but do something about it and you will reap rewards.

I wanted to say how proud you should all be of your performances at Endure 24. I am stunned by what we did. Very importantly thanking the support team of Sue, Joe, Anita (never again), Marion and Phil – then those who supported and ran!!!! – Paul, Rodger and John (that’s 3 times now). It is a cliché but in this instance, justified. It would not have been possible without you, thanks you all so much. Oh and please please please hope that I’ve not forgotten anyone. Finally, then the inaugural and definitely probably, last Endure 24 (of mud) awards:

  • Biggest post event sleepy head

o   Tom Fowler who fell asleep as we left the car park

  • Surely I have more socks than I could ever need

o   Patrick Reynolds

  • Best whole body slouch \ melt

o   Joe Alexander (preceded by the words “Water Joe”)

  • How the hell did I get away with than comment

o   Rob Thope (“Anita looks like a leopard cow”)

  • Best builder

o   Rodger

  • My favourite one liner

o   Rodger: I used to cycle there when I was younger. Paul: Was that on a PennyFarthing?

  • Best improvised Shar (sic)

o   Paul’s dustbin and watering can combo

  • Biggest tent envy

o   Joe looking at my tent from his condom cabin

  • Smallest feet

o   Chris “the ferret” Warren

  • Biggest feet

o   Michael. Whose feet appear to still be growing

  • Least sleep

o   Mark Crittenden – 1.3 seconds

  • Best Sausage

o   John (5 times) McKay

  • Best pimping of a sleeping area

o   Simons van with laminated floor, carpet and breakfast area.

  • Biggest space cadet

o   Joint award to Simon after his last double and Rodger from about 3am on Sunday and probably still going.

  • Best water carrier

o   Phil (sorry Joe)

  • Slickest relay changeover

o   Malcolm, Nigel, Patrick, Rob and Andy. You can let it go now guys, let the anger subside…

  • How does he get in that tent?

o   Another joint award: Joe’s condom and Ben’s 5 feet high, 5 feet wide and 4 foot long tent.

  • Best performance by a 39 year and 364 day old

o   Shawn

  • Biggest secret girl

o   Chris holding hands with Vicky’s Valiants as they all crossed the line together. The secret is therefore no longer safe…

  • Shiniest shoes

o   Kev and Jamie although the award standard shine has gone shortly afterwards.

  • Inappropriate dress

o   Anohter joint one. Graham for cut offs and a t-shirt while the rest of us sat down in fleeces and multiple layers. Charlie for still being in his jeans and day clothes when his changover colleague was out on his lap.

  • Sid James Look \ sound alike

o   Rodger

  • Health and safety nightmare

o   Paul for using a heater as a stepladder

  • Shortest double act

o   Joe on Rodger’s shoulders (only able to rach as high as a single John McKay (6 mentions is a never to be beaten record).

I’m sorry if you’re not on the list but you are probably quite grateful if that’s the case. Enjoy July, bring on Ekiden where it will be dry…..