Inter District XC Champs Selection

Massive congratulations to the following MRR athletes on their selection to represent the North at the Inter District XC Champs in Edinburgh on Sat 13th Jan 2018.

Zara Gill, Beth Urquhart, Nicole Taylor
Ellyn Smith, Niamh Whelan, Grace Whelan Sophia Green, Louise Cartmell, Iona Craft, Kirstie Rogan, Michelle Slater

Roy Taylor, Bruce Newlands, Blair Milne
Joshua Milne, Morgan Lewis, Cameron Main
Kenny Wilson, James Wilson, Robbie Paterson
Paul Taylor
(Reserves – Gareth Jenkins, Paul Rogan)

My 11 marathons in 11 days challenge

As part of my ongoing commitment to run 100 official marathons to coincide with the RAF100 centenary, thus joining the 100 marathon club in the process.  I set myself the challenge to run 11 marathons in a 11 days to help stay on schedule.

Day 1:  It all started on the 23rd November at the Timelord on Thames challenge.  Already weary from running a double marathon the weekend before, this race was probably the biggest challenge knowing what I had instore for myself.  I finished the race in 3:27:27 which was a good start towards a sub 3:30 average that I wanted.
Day 2:  The next day was the start of the SVN 10 in 10.  Starting off in Samphire Hoe in Kent.  This race didn’t go as well as expected,  I felt really lethargic and mentally I didn’t feel strong, I finished in just over 3:38.  I was thinking to myself I’ve still got 9 to go, it was going to be an uphill battle all the way.
Day 3:  Was on same course but called the Fudgathon challenge , a totally different  story to the previous day.  I somehow felt rejuvenated and I finished in 3:14, 1st place.
Day 4:  Was the Saxon shore challenge in Deal.  After the previous day, despite the legs feeling sore, mentally I felt energetic.  I took that energy into the race with me, although I didn’t win, I finished in just over 3:15.
Day 5:  The Hugin challenge at the Pagwell nature reserve.  6 loops near the seafront with a hill thrown in.  There were a few people with fresh legs running.  I set off at a fast pace and led from start to finish.  Completing the race in 3:19 and another 1st place.
Day 6:  The relativity run along the Margate seafront.  The course was longer than a marathon, it worked out to be about 27 mile.  This was 4 out and backs.  I started off out in front but on the 2nd lap I felt a bit lethargic and two runners ended up being some distance away from me by half way.  However, on the 3rd lap I got my 2nd wind and really picked up pace.  The leaders gradually slowed their pace down and by the end of the 3rd lap I had overtaken them and finished strong finishing in 3:19, 1st place and 10 mins ahead of the person in second.
Day 7:  Back at Margate seafront, same course as the day before for the Soul cake challenge.  The wind was an absolute killer that day.  It felt like I was running into it most of the time.  It was a lonely race too, I had no competition to give me that extra push.  I finished in 3:34, 1st place and about 25 mins ahead of 2nd place.
Day 8:  This was at Ramsgate seafront, it was a strange course with two prominent hills.  This was the St Andrews day challenge.  I saw fit to wear a fancy dress kilt for the occasion.  Despite going the wrong way on the course to start, I still had a really good run.  I like it when I have the odd hill to contend with, it allows me to use the strength in my legs to power up them.  I ended up finishing in 3:21, again another 1st place finish.
Day 9:  The advent challenge, again back at Ramsgate.  I had a sports massage the night before.  That had seemed to do the job.  My 9th of running and I felt really strong.  I went through half marathon running at just over sub 3hr pace.  I faded towards the end but finished in 3:08 which was the 2nd fastest time I had ever run a marathon and of course it secured 1st place.
Day 10:  The Fowlmead challenge at Betteshanger park.  The original course had to be changed last moment as part of the track was impassable.  So ended up having to do 12 Laps of a quite flat trail track which probably played in my favour as the original track was quite hilly.  I was in 2nd until the last 2 laps where I caught up with the leader.  He had slowed his pace right down and I was able to pull away from him.  I ended up finishing about a mile in front of him in the end, coming in at 3:22 and another 1st place finish.
Day 11:  The final day of what had been an epic challenge and some of my best running.  It was back at Betteshanger park but on the original course this time.  This was the Fowlmead lucky dip challenge basically you got to select what medal you wanted which were left over from previous events.  I was hoping to finish on a win for the last one.  Unfortunately there was a guy there with fresh legs that on a good day could run sub 3:20.  This was it for me, my legs were definitely feeling it now.  I couldn’t keep up with the leader and previously where I’d usually finish strong towards the end, this time I had nothing.  I still finished in a credible time in 3:25, 2nd place.
I had originally had a target of a sub 3:30 average for all 11. I totally exceeded my expectations finishing on an average of 3:22.
The 11 in 11 challenge brought an end to a very successful marathon running year.  I have completed 52 marathons in 48 weeks including 2 x 11 in 11, 1 x 7 in 7, 1 x 4 in 4 and also a PB of 3:01:53.  It also brings my total to 95 official marathons leaving me 5 to go in my RAF100 marathon challenge.
I hope people reading my story and following me, can take inspiration in what I’m doing.  Through making sacrifices and always giving a 100%, I’ve reach a level in running which I never thought was possible.  Yet, the journey is only just beginning for me.  I’m only going to get better especially now that I’ve joined the Moray road runners ☺
Report by:  Jon Ward

Lindsays North District Cross Country Championships – 09/12/2017

MRR/Gordonstoun hosted this year’s North District XC Champs with excellent on-course conditions producing some outstanding races throughout the day. Unfortunately, some athletes were unable to make the race due to weather conditions elsewhere but well done to those that persevered, especially those from the Islands and Caithness.

There were fine performances from MRR across all age categories – not only in terms of those that medalled but also in terms of the number of yellow vests on the start line. Of note were the following:

GOLD

Sophia Green (U20)

Senior Ladies (Louise Cartmell, Kirstie Rogan, Michelle Slater, Justine Blaszk)

Masters Men’s (Gareth Jenkins, Paul Rogan, Colin Green)

SILVER

Kenny Wilson (SM)

Ellyn Smith (U15)

Gareth Jenkins (Masters 40)

Senior Men (Kenny Wilson, James Wilson, Robbie Paterson, Paul Taylor, Gareth Jenkins, Paul Rogan)

U13G Team (Zara Gill, Beth Urquhart, Nicole Taylor)

U15G Team (Ellyn Smith, Niamh Whelan, Grace Jenkins)

BRONZE

Blair Milne (U15B)

Paul Rogan (Masters 40)

A huge thank you to everyone who helped make the day a great success, particularly Ross Cairns, Steve Murdoch and all the officials; Gordonstoun staff for the excellent facilities; Elgin ATC for car parking/marshalling duties, and finally, to all the MRR helpers for their efforts before, during and after the races.

Full results:  HERE

Report by:  Gareth Jenkins

Foxtrail Nocturnal Ultra Marathon – 02/12/2017

Technical terrain. Undulating course. Icy rain. Pitch dark. Scotland in December. Mind numbing loops.  How hard could it be?

I decided to enter the Nocturnal Ultra as training for a race I’m planning next year and because it was conveniently located for me to be able to tie it in with a visit to family.  The race consists of running for 6 hours round a 5k off-road loop in, as the name suggests, in the pitch dark.  The loop consisted of a real mix of terrains – mud, tree roots, sand, loose stones and a tiny section of road.  There were 2 hills which, unsurprisingly, seemed to get longer and steeper with each loop.

In the middle of the loop was a “party barn” which runners ran through.  This had a resident DJ and was a very welcome distraction.  The best visit was when the DJ was playing Madness.  Found myself singing along way after I could hear the music, apologies to anyone who heard.

At the end of the loop was a heated marquee where supporters and relay runners could wait.  Was proud I managed not to spend any time in here.  Was great to see my support of Gareth and my girls though, and they coped very well with my extreme emotions including many tears.

Don’t think I have ever done a race so far removed from my comfort zone.  Hadn’t set myself a mileage target, but with the difficult terrain and darkness was proud to have achieved 10 laps.

Report by:  Elspeth Jenkins

Leeds Abbey Dash – 05/11/2017

Kenny Wilson pulled on the Scotland vest today to run the Leeds Abbey Dash 10km.  This was his first outing representing his country but I am sure it won’t be his last.  His comments on this race are below:

”  Thanks everyone for the messages of support.  Really cool to say I have now ran for Scotland.  30:44 and 28th place.  Hoped for a bit more in the second half of my race, but a couple of lessons learned and just need to keep working hard in training.  Great runs from my teammates Logan in 29:28 for 6th and Lachlan 30:11 for 19th.

A big well to Kenny from all at Moray Road Runners

Report by:  Robert Bruce

Brodie Castle 10km – 05/11/2017

24 MRRs participated in this popular race today.  There were so many of us we need a team bus.

The day was perfect for running, dry, cool with a bit of wind.

This is a lovely race to do as it starts and finishes in the grounds of Brodie Castle.  The roads you run on are very quiet with very little traffic to worry about.

MRRs put in a good performance, with many PBs today and some places in the medals

James Wilson was 3rd Overall

Martin Bain was 1st M40

Steve Reeve was 1st M50

Simon MacDonald was 2nd M50

Barbara Bowie was 1st F60

Well done to all who ran today, got PBs, placed in the medals or who just enjoyed a race. 

Special mention goes to Paul Jamieson, who smashed his 10km PB and finished for the first time under 1hour

Results

Pictures

Report by:  Robert Bruce

Dublin Marathon – 29/10/2017

Now that the DOMS and epic hunger have departed I can finally write up my Dublin marathon race report.

Last Sunday (29th Oct) I lined up with around 16,000 other folk to run my 5th marathon. It only took a few minutes to cross the line and then we were off, winding through central Dublin before heading up to Phoenix Park and through the suburbs. I had started at 7.50m/mile pace but my legs were feeling fresh and I found myself unintentionally running at 7.30 pace. It felt fine so I just decided to go with it and deal with any fallout later!

The route was good and there was lots of support along the way. There were a few gentle inclines between the start and halfway, but nothing major.

I had caught the 3:20 pace group by mile 8 so decided to stick with them for a while, before gradually pulling clear of them. The miles were being ticked off and all was well until somewhere between mile 20-21 when I started with the ‘Stitch of Doom’! It got worse and worse, until I could hardly breathe, so I had no choice but to pull over and stretch it out. After that it abated a bit but kept returning, and forced me to slow considerably. I had to dig deep as I watched the 3:20 group disappear off happily into the horizon. Those last few miles were tough – the legs were willing but the lungs felt like that of an 80-a-day smoker!

Eventually I was down to the last half mile, and I spotted Neil waving and shouting amongst the crowd, so that spurred me on. My finishing time was 3:23.06 – an 11 minute PB despite the wheels coming off a bit at the end. Upon returning to the hotel I discovered my sports bra had been on so tight it had given me a bruise. I suspect this may have contributed to the stitch a bit!

Dublin is a great course and the atmosphere is excellent. The finishers’ medal is probably the best one I have ever got at any race, and the high quality long-sleeved technical top made a fine change from the usual t-shirt. All in all it’s a great event and I would recommend it to anyone that fancies at autumn marathon.

Report by:  Michelle Donaldson-Slater

Glen Ogle 33 – 04/11/2017

The Glen Ogle 33 Ultra is an ultra marathon held every November in Perthshire. The race starts and finishes in Killin and takes in some stunning scenery which sees runners crossing the Glen Ogle viaduct before running down towards Lochearnhead.

First run in 2011, the race has quickly become one of the most popular ultras in Scotland and every year sees a lot of runners deciding to pop their ultra cherry on this one before going on to longer races the year after.

Due to the time of year and its location, the route isn’t overly technical which means we can run it safely and runners don’t need to worry about being able to navigate or going for long stretches without seeing any other runners or marshals.

On the Saturday night after the race there will be a ceilidh and prize giving held in the Killin village hall.

We had 2 MRRs competing in this race.  Steven Morrison and Alan Swadel.  Also running was Shirley Feaks from Forres Harriers.  As Ultra runners they all took the training very seriously, making sure their diet and hydration was at it’s optimum prior to the race, so they could put in a good effort and complete this route I’m sure I will get a report from someone to add to this, so people can read about how it feels to run this event.

The start was just after 0800 (increased entry from last year meant registration was slower than usual).

From the start you run through the village of Killin over the bridge.

Then taking a left up an incline out of the village on forestry tracks (there was some walking went on from some in miles 2/3), then a steep down hill to a road crossing and the first check point at mile 6. The route then followed a hard compact route along an old railway line, adjacent to the A85 past Lochearnhead to Balquidder station. The views over loch tay were breathtaking at this point. The route then was a little undulating following a path to check point 2 – 10 miles befAuchtubh and Balquidder. The road carried on the Strathyre (around 18 miles in), where we we met with the 2nd road crossing and had to ‘dib’ in. The route then ascended steeply in places for quite a way. This is where the first ‘down pour’ caught me, but the views made it all worth while and it was quite refreshing.

It was still rather cold, so the waterproof jacket was worn. The incline seemed never ending but there was a nice downhill at the other side. The route carried on until Kingshouse on the forestry tracks where we picked the outgoing route back up towards check point 3 (23 miles). I needed a good feed at this point. The run along the old railway line was a long incline for about 3 miles, a lot of people were jog/walking at this point. On the viaduct this is where I got my photo taken (mile 26). Check point 4 (27 miles was welcoming as it had started sleet/snowing here. I had someones flat coke at this point as was feeling weary after the long ascent. We crossed the road and this is where I thought we had to run up the steep hill (we ran down), but they veered us off to the left (which I was very relieved at), oh and we had to run past a burger van – how tempting the smell was. Around 3.5 miles to go, it was all downhill from here, I seemed to managed to pick up the pace here. We ran back into Killin and then ran round a path in the park to the finish.

The whole event was well organised, sign posted well and the checkpoint support were fabulous. I thoroughly enjoyed this event and highly recommend this for a first ultra. The route isn’t overly technical which means we can run it safely and runners don’t need to worry about being able to navigate or going for long stretches without seeing any other runners or marshals.

On the Saturday night after the race there is a a ceilidh and prize giving held in the Killin village hall. Unfortunately we all had to come back up the road. Steven was the first MRR in 4:30 hrs, next was Alan Swadel in 5:20 hrs, followed closely by me nearly 40 seconds later.

Some pictures below to show the dedication of our athletes to their craft. Results can be found 

Results

Report by:  Robert Bruce & Shirley Feaks

Knockfarrel Hill Race – 04/11/2017

Clean at the start

There were 3 MRRs racing at this race with all runners getting placed

1st lady and North district champion was Kirstie Rogan

2nd V40 for her dad Paul Rogan and 2nd senior male in the districts for Robbie Paterson.

Great results and congratulations to all who ran today.

Pictures

Report by:  Robert Bruce

Monumental Challenge – 29/10/2917

A good turnout of MRRs for this enjoyable race.  There were a total of 33 runners and of those runners 11 were MRR, so we took up a third of the field.

There were good results for MRR in this race with 5 Top 10 finishes.

Grace Whelan was 1st Lady

Lawrence Ramsay was 1st Male

Martin Bain was 1st Male Vet

Karen Norvell was 1st Female Vet

This is a very enjoyable but tough race with a decent amount of climbing up to the Monument.  I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a nice challenging run.

Results         Pictures     

Report by:  Robert Bruce