Racing From January into February
Finishing Up January
At the end of January, our marathon “Wonder Woman”, Lesley Wes Barnard completed not one, but TWO marathons in
two days! The first was in Sawbridgeworth and was marathon number 90! The following day, she took to the streets of London and in her words “only walked” the Ultra Challenge London charity walk. Lesley said this one didn't count towards the 100 challenge, however I’m sure it won’t be long until we report on marathon number 100! I'm sure you have the next 10 all planned out?!
Watford Half - 6th February
Hosted by the Watford Harriers running club and Active Training World, in aid of raising money for Peace Hospice Care; the 40th anniversary of the race.
The 6th of February is a date known for many a reason. American astronaut Alan Shepard was the 1st to hit a golf ball on the moon, the "Monopoly" board game went on sale for the 1st time and not forgetting that it is also Bob Marley’s birthday. But in little ol’ Leighton Buzzard, it will forever be the date when eight LFR rockstars conquered the Watford Half Marathon.
Gathering in the LB train station were Captains Award winner 2021 Adam Carter, Feb ROTM Graham Cooper, VC Andy Stocks and court jester VC Dougie. The conversation grew steady about the state of the weather. It was wet, cold, and windy. Typical conditions for the Watford Half as it has a reputation for being cold and or snowing. Stepping off the train, the heavens opened but fortunately it started easing as they ventured toward the show, when a familiar red, white and black shirt was seen walking through Cassiobury Park. “Paul!” they all yelled in delight as resident Legend, Mr Paul Thomas turned and smiled toward the group. They arrived in the event village, which was very well organised for number collection, information, bag drops and ample portaloo availability! Here, they were welcomed by Team Turner, Annis and Steph, all happy to back out racing again. After several moments of VC Andy complaining about the “hairpin” corner in the race, they began their preparations, rituals of warm-ups, water, gels and traditional last minute bathroom breaks!
On the start line, were a large number of race pacers to support those chasing a time, and here lining behind a flag was Nice Man Dan, Dan Lovelock, completing the LFR team of eight initiative. The sun broke through the clouds, and the timer began.
The course was a lollipop route of 13.1 miles starting and finishing at the scenic Cassiobury park. Starting a backwards parkrun route, towards the residential areas, the closed and quiet country roads behind the famous Grove Hotel. Crossing the bridge over the M1 and up the dreaded Bucks Hill, the course made a U-turn at the Cart & Horses pub. Going through Bottom Lane, and unavoidable ankle-deep lake, the roads veered back to Chandlers Cross and the edge of Whippendell Woods before heading back to the finish.
There was a great collective of Marshalls, local cadet groups assisting at water stations and photographers capturing the joy of it all. Some clearly enjoyed the camera more than other! Despite the hills and water-traps, all the LFR’s enjoyed the race as smiles were broad and wide at the finish line. The team gathered for their shared congratulations and to enjoy freebie sweeties and cheesecake - Big congratulations to Paul who finished 1st in his age group.
Results on the door:
Andy Stocks 1:47
Dan Lovelock 1:46
Paul Thomas 2:08
Steph Turner 2:20
Annis Turner 2:28
Graham Cooper 2:28
Adam Carter 2:01
Devils Punchbowl and some 10ks!
On Sunday 13th February our capital city was again a destination as Lynda Peacock and Matthew Ladds completed the Cancer Research 10k which started and finished around Trafalgar Square. Matt completed the race in an incredible 41:58 and our sources say there wasn’t a can of beer in sight, but I’m sure there would have been one as a recovery drink? Lynda reported that she felt it was the best run she'd had in a longtime, we can agree the pacing looked great! To the west of London, Andy Griggs took part in the Harrow Hill 10k. As the name suggests it wasn’t overly flat, but on the flip side, the post race cake was abundant! Andy wasn't after a time, he was just looking forward to a jolly day out!
Also on Sunday 13th JK, Ian Mulry, Paul Doyle, Glyn Raymen and Rob Laughton took to the South Downs for the Punchbowl. This event covers 30 miles and 2,300ft of elevation, the weather wasn't so delightful, full on wind and rain! Well done everyone, a real challenge in the conditions. This event marked JK's 256th marathon! The Captain had baked him some special flapjacks, which he was grateful for over the last 9 miles!
Away from racing, many LFR’s have been joining up over the past few weekends and putting in a lot of training miles for upcoming spring events. Former Chair Steve Ellerton has led two 10 mile club runs the last 2 Sundays, which have seemed popular. These have taken in the tow path and plenty of trails. Thank you Steve!
Over the fields of Buckinghamshire, expert navigator Paul House took a few hardy souls on a 19 mile mystery tour. The risk assessment didn’t take into account a local clay pigeon shoot, however I’m glad to report all 6 returned safe and sound. Captain Emily has been gradually increasing her mileage and we were all very impressed with how consistent her mile splits were a few weeks ago. Special mentions to Heidi Buck and Megan Francis who have been delivering some impressive training runs, Megan is training for her first marathon, Brighton which is 8 weeks away. Heidi, what's on your race calendar?
We love to hear about how your training is going, so please share your achievements on our Facebook page. Likewise, if you’re looking for a training buddy, feel free to use the group. There’s always someone going somewhere, doing something and a pace that will suit!