Since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, Acorns have been busy out and running making the most of the opportunities within the official guidance.
Early on some inventive souls came up with different photo or Strava art challenges for us to complete whilst out running and exploring our local areas. Topics included the most unusual red item, the most pointless sign, a new route from home and even the finest garden gnome!
In the last couple of months, many Acorns have participated in the various distance races organised by the fantastic York Virtual Running Club, which have provided much needed motivation and competition.
Last weekend was the Cleveland Way Relay, but not as we know it! Unfortunately, the normal format of a relay race along the Cleveland Way could not go ahead, however a substitute race where the same length legs were run from home was run by teams representing several running clubs in York. For some extra intra-club rivalry, 2 Acorn teams battled it out as a relay with virtual WhatsApp handovers and finished only 1 minute apart!
We are now taking some cautious but positive steps back towards group training with small bubbles of up to 6 runners meeting at various locations across the city to run together. We have had to adapt to the difficulties of socially distanced running and have found focused sessions such as hill reps or intervals are often well suited as spacing out is easier.
Easter without a race is a bit like Easter without ,well, eggs.
So when on April 1st I saw a Facebook advert for the Run NW Lucky Dip challenge I was in. Well it’s for Charity so not too hard to justify.
A few days later a package arrived with a t-shirt from the 2019 Alderley Park Trail 10K and a medal from the Southport Seaside 2019 10K.
Since there’s not much seaside in Cawood ; even if there is still plenty of sand in sandbags, and I was a regular visitor to Alderley Park in the 1990’s * I decided the Easter Monday Alderley Park 2019 10K Trail would take place in Cawood.
(*There is photographic evidence somewhere of me in a jacket that was unacceptable even in the 90’s resembling a tailored version of some of my leggings – but I’ll spare you that.)
The race started at a civilised 10:23 from the backdoor picking up the local Wolsey Way across fields to a road. A short road stretch before hitting the river bank just after 3K.
I tucked in behind the lead runner (aka Neil) as we followed the winding river bank for around 5K. Back onto road at the Church before crossing rejoining the Wolsey way across the common land at the back of Cawood Castle , across the playing field and then back to road for the final sprint finish to be the first lady home.
Series entries are open until 31st May – https://run-northwest.niftyentries.com/Lucky-Dip-virtual-run-for-charity-2020?fbclid=IwAR2JjgBd8A3YwJWTTaL7cbuNKHAFiXDB111Dh0EHcpCltFeP7lNB2sgOpPM
It was a couple of weeks ago now that I ran the Cambridge Half and with all the events that have since been cancelled I feel very lucky to have been able to do it.
Cambridge was only my second half marathon and I knew it wasn’t going to be a PB so I set out to run a negative split, which I managed! Very pleased with that as in the few races I’ve done I’ve always set off too quickly.
It was a lovely day for it, especially considering the storms we’d had every weekend leading up to it! Sunny but not too hot and a bit of a breeze.
The route went round some of the colleges and then out to Grantchester, where the TV show of the same name is filmed. A great mix of town and country.
The support from the crowd was amazing with some even making an effort to shout out names from race numbers.
Februay 29th – a bonus day that you only get every 4 years and despite having a heavy cold what better way to spend it than with a run ( or 2) in Yorkshire.
After a gentle and wet Bowling Park parkrun I headed over to Saltaire for the “Sir Titus Trot” organised by the Its Grim up North crowd.
The race started at 12 and by this time the sun had come out. The 10K was an out and back along the canal from Saltaire to just past the 5 locks at Bingley. The going along the tow path was surprisingly firm – but there were lots of puddles to splash through.
This was my second GRIM run. They mainly organise trail races , usually with the choice of several distances from 5K to Ultra with all abilities joining in. Low key and friendly there is always cake, chocolate and a bottle of beer to refuel with at the end.
A lovely 11km race starting from Goathland this morning. Acorns were represented by myself and Dave – who finished some way ahead of me!
Beautiful weather to start with soon gave way to sideways freezing rain! I don’t think I was hobbling – more sinking into mud – but it was great fun nonetheless! I really love the FRA approach, especially the option of entering on the day. A friendly bunch – some super-fast runners as well as many sliding around at the back with me!
I’m definitely planning to enter more of these races – a fab morning out.
This morning, bright and early (thanks to the new start time), several Acorns headed over to Pocklington for the Snake Lane 10 mile race. The weather was kind to those of us running: chilly but for the most part dry.
A total of 1132 runners wound their way along the twisty, scenic route today with the winner, Lewis Gamble-Thompson of New Marske Harriers completing the race in a time of 52 minutes and 4 seconds.
Not far behind, in a time of 56 minutes 58 seconds was first Acorn home Chris Poulton who finished 9th overall and second in his age category.
The next Acorn runner over the line was David Muckersie in 01:08:07 which placed him 4th in his age category. Liz Gilley was the first Acorn lady finisher according to the Sports Entry Solution results filter with a finish time of 01:15:46. Emma Moore though also ran for Acorn today in a time of 01:10:45 but does not show when you filter the results for Acorn runners due to a mix up with the race number.
Chris Price finished the race in 01:16:56 and I (Amy Bailiss) crossed the mat with 01:27:01 on the clock. Drew Green, running with Claire Green, finished in 01:40:51.
Upon completion, runners were generously rewarded with a T-shirt, medal, buff and shopping bag along with the usual bottle of water and cereal bar based snack.
Back at the Rugby club bacon sandwiches, teas, coffees and cakes were all on sale which left Chris, Liz and I regretting the fact that we’d not thought to carry cash on us! But, hey ho, we’ll know for next time.
Yet again, Pocklington Runners put on a great event. It is easy to see why this race sells out fast every year!
Several Acorns have been trying out the sport of orienteering with our friends at Eborienteers for their Winter Lamp-O series. This involves running around (slightly manically in my case) looking for specific lampposts on a map, and noting down their number, basically a simplified score orienteering event – the winner visiting the most (correct) lampposts in 45 minutes. It’s great fun and great sprint training!
Richard Gover took the overall series lead, and Laura Bennett & Sam Dredge took the fastest pairs prize. Pretty good trophies too!
There is a summer Lamp-O series planned, and several “standard” local orienteering events coming up in the Spring – more info here
This morning, I road-tested the new Acorn T-shirt. I wore it for a 4 mile run and here is my verdict:
The fit The T-shirt sample that the club was given was a ladies medium (size 12) so a little ‘roomy’ on me as you can see from the picture. I would opt for a couple of sizes smaller if I were purchasing one for myself which means I would be opting for my usual size. Therefore, I think the sizing is accurate according to typical UK ladies clothes sizes which is a good start! Also, the T-shirt is shaped to be a little more flattering on a female runner which gives it a clear advantage over my current unisex Acorn vest that just hangs straight down from the armpits and creates a ‘box’ effect. (As you may be able to tell I have a complicated relationship with my current club vest!)
The material The material seems to do a good job of ‘wicking’ away sweat. There was a small sliver of sun when I set out earlier but it is February so it could be argued that a more comprehensive test in summer conditions would provide more reliable proof in this department. On the inside, the material has a silky and smooth feel to it which is comfortable next to your skin. I also think that this stops the garment from riding up or bunching as you run which is a problem I have had with other running tops but did not experience with this one. I know some people looking at this sample were concerned that the seems inside are raised and may chafe: there was no discomfort to me from any of the seems that made contact with my skin during this run. Whether or not this could be an issue over a longer distance is unclear but there was no indication that this would happen.
The look The colour is the typical strong Acorn red that we are all used to finished with black trims to neck, arms and side panels. I like the club name front and back as it will prevent us from being mistook for Selby Striders from a distance in a race. In addition, I think I would choose the option of personalising it by adding my name to the back too as it gets you supported a bit more by spectators during races!
Overall The shirt looks good. It is a more flattering fit than a lot of the current Acorn vests we wear and it felt comfortable to run in. With the announcement from Graham at the AGM last night that the club will subsidise each new top by £4 for those entered in the Summer league this year too, it shouldn’t break the bank to get one!
Back in May Ian Smallwood completed the Joss Naylor Challenge. Sometimes referred to as the old folks Bob Graham, it is an incredibly tough day out on the Lakeland Fells, nearly 50 miles from Pooley Bridge to Wasdale across the tops. You have to be 50 to record an attempt though the cut off gets a little longer the older you are when you try.
Ian made short work of the route and we finished in time to chat to Joss himself. Ian has written up his adventure for all to read:
Last week end three Acorns completed the Hardwolds 80 mile race. It started in Hessle and finished in Filey following the Wolds Way through the yorkshire wolds. It was wet wet, wet. The first third was deceptively fast and by Millington I was dreaming of a pre midnight (16 hour finish). Leaving the warmth of Millington village hall the mud started immediately, sending me flying and draining all speed. The mud never let up for the next 48 miles to Filey and my estimates for finishing kept pushing back.
Andrew Goddard led for a lot of the race, eventually finishing in 3rd place (16 hours 14 mins). Mark Webster finished in 10th place (18 hours 25 mins). Sorry, no finish photo for Mark. I completed our trio, crossing the line with good friend David Betteridge to finish in joint 14th place (19 hours 13 seconds). Those 13 seconds would not have happened if either of us had a working watch by that time.
Nikki Gover put in a sterling shift on the first checkpoint and then supporting me and David (when he caught up): I’d pushed on earlier but after a brief detour and tiring legs I was pleased to run with someone who had recced the route.
It was good to run new paths as I’d not previously done much of the Wolds Way. It would have been better to have seen some of it: rain and fog during the day and then a little under half in the dark. Brilliant support as usual from Hardmoors marshals, some of whom were putting in overnight shifts in muddy laybys tending to the physically and emotionally fragile runners.