Running in the hot hot heat
Luton Airport Runway Sunrise 5K, 6 July 2022
By Nolan Johnson
Friday 6 July saw Ann Hopper, Scott Myford, Linda Rotich, Heidi Buck, Lynda Peacock, Wayne Walker, Samantha Evans, Selena Bremmer and myself meeting at Luton Airport at 3.30am to run the Luton Airport Runway Sunrise 5km charity run. The entrance fee was circa £20 and there were approximately 200 runners taking part.
As the gun went off (I'm not sure how they got a gun through airport security!) 200 high-vizzers sprinted off into the sunrise. The distance was more like 4.5km but it didn't matter, it was exactly what it was meant to be – FUN!
You would probably not want to put this run into your calendar yearly due to the silly-o-clock run time! But it’s definitely a unique experience, and we were blessed to have an amazing sunrise. Had it been 4.30am, chucking it down with rain, I'm not sure we would have been so keen!
I highly recommend it for the experience.
Beds AAA 10k, 8 July 2022
By Andy Heale
The annual Beds AAA 10k took place on the warm evening of Friday 8 July in Bedford. Unusually I was the only LFR member running this year -– in the past it has been quite popular with club members. This is a super flat course, with great PB potential and a relatively small number of entrants with only 96 this year.
Race HQ is a the grandly named Bedford International Stadium where numbers were collected and then a short walk to the start; the not so grand car park of Premier Inn in Priory Country Park. The route is basically out along a gravel path, over a footbridge to cross the A421 (this is the only incline), a loop around the woods and back again, with a very welcome water station about halfway. Normally I would not stop for water on a 10k, but it was warm, and I was thirsty, probably not helped by the poor decision to have garlic bread for my tea before rushing out.
I had hoped to test myself and was aiming for an average pace of seven-minute miles, and although I did not quite manage to achieve that, I was pretty pleased with my time, coming in at 44min 40secs, albeit someway behind the winner from Dunstable Lions at 33min 13secs. But that’s what I enjoy about running, it’s not about beating others, it’s about you.
This may not the most glamorous race with no medals, T-shirts, chipped timing or any other paraphernalia, but is a great course and you are running with like-minded people from other clubs on a Friday evening and all for a very reasonable entry fee. I would recommend this to anyone, particularly if you are looking to test yourself on a 10k.
Waddesdon Manor 5K, 20 July 2022
By Heidi Buck
On the evening of 20 July, myself, Megan Francis, Charlie Lawson and Keith Phillips took part in the Waddesdon Manor 5K Road Race.
We were very pleased that there had been a drop in the temperature compared to the previous two days and even more welcome were the rain showers just prior to the start.
Megan and Keith had taken part in the event before and hinted that there could possibly be a little bit of a hill at the start??! It turns out that you do not realise how much of a hill until you are running back down it for the last 2K! The climb up is well worth it though as you then get treated by the fantastic views of the Manor House.
Megan, despite being a very tired teacher, managed to clock another impressive sub-25-minute performance. Watch this space for sub 24 minutes!!
Another tired teacher performance from myself. I was more than happy to watch Megan zoom off during the climb up the hill and disappear into a small red, black, and white blur! It also pays to let the youngsters get ahead and finish early as Megan was then able to capture my flying feet as I headed towards the finish – great photo Megan, thank you.
I have not spent any time in the company of the legend that is Keith Phillips before. Listening to all his achievements whilst we were waiting at the start was very inspiring. Keith put in a very strong performance coming 6th in his age category.
Despite being nervous at the sight of all the ‘serious looking club runners’, Charlie managed to run her best 5K time in a while. She was very tempted to stop as she ran by the Manor House and take pictures but was determined not to stop and kept going.
Not a medal for our efforts, but a nice mug which we were all pleased with. Overall, a great evening; the only disappointment being all the green and purple (Dacorum) and not enough red, black, and white! We are all keen to take part again next year and it would be brilliant to be joined by even more LFRs.
Bearbrook 10k, 7 August 2022
By Kevin Hare
The Bearbrook 10K is a local running club event which is widely popular with other running clubs as it is part of their club championships.
I arrived in time to collect my running number and to get myself sorted. While chatting to one of the marshals, I spotted fellow LFR members Jim Buttleman, Jon Hull and Heidi Buck, who arrived with her family as support crew. As we were called to the start, we wished each other good luck and I took a High 5 gel as they usually kick in three miles later.
I usually situate myself about a quarter of the way in as it is a good place to be – furthest away from the mad rush when the race starts but allows me to start at a pace of my choice.
The horn sounded and off we all went. As we came out of the carpark we turned right and run towards Weston Turnville as I ran along the road to the cheers of the local people who had come out to cheer and the marshals. I turned left onto Worlds End Lane and slowly pushed on threading through other runners, as we run up the road. Then you turn left again on to Aylesbury Road which leads us into Wendover. After another left turn you are onto Tring road which is the three-mile mark and you can see the hill which you have to run up. The hill is on mile four and is a stepped one – you run up the first part, it flattens out and then there is the last climb up the second part.
Once at the top you run past the Halton camp on your right then the old RAF Hunter aircraft. From just past here you can start to push the pace as the finish is not far now. It’s right at the T junction and you are back at the rugby club. You’re not quite done yet though – the final part of the course is on grass and around the field. I did a quick check of my watch to see if I was on target.
You run 2/3 of the way round the field and as I approached the last corner I could hear Jim Buttleman cheering me on. One final push and I could see the clock and knew I was going to get the time I was chasing. I crossed the line, stopped my watch and could see that I had not only beaten the time I was aiming for but by quite a nice time and a new 10k PB.
Jon Hull came in next and shortly after him was Heidi Buck (her first time running the Bearbrook 10k) and we could see her overtaking a couple of runners coming around the field.
I would highly recommend this race as it has potential of a PB, if you are chasing it, or as a normal and local 10k race.
Richmond Park Half Marathon, 14 August 2022
By Adam Carter
I ran the Richmond Park Half Marathon on 14 August. I stayed over in London the night before and had a nose around the park which was massive. I kept thinking it was going to be postponed due to the heat but they said there would be plenty of water stops and asked us to bring our own drinks.
The morning of the race dawned and it was four laps in the park. It was the hardest run I have done for a while.
The heat was draining – I was pleased to complete it. Luckily some of the run was in the shade and had a few uphills and a few down hills.
As a sign of how hard the conditions were, quite a few had to have medical assistance and we even had the air ambulance land.
I completed the run in 2hr 18min which was the best I could have hoped for.
I would recommend the run, but maybe not in the heat!