Summer is nearly here and the race season has well and truly started.
Biddulph Running Club members have been out and about at various races over the last few weeks and have taken home great results including some personal bests.
There has been quite a choice of road races this spring and club members have been training hard all winter using the club’s evening training runs to supplement their own training plans (writes Gillian Horne).
March 20th brought the Wilmslow half marathon and 10k races. The courses are renowned for producing fast times and participants are taken along some beautiful traffic-free country lanes in and around the town.
Rebecca Stringer represented Biddulph in the half marathon and came home with a triumphant personal best (1:47:22). Steve Jones, Helen Clayton and Mark Payne entered the 10k race and achieved times of 42:57, 52:32 and 56:09 respectively. Payne also gained his 10k pb that day.
The Stafford half marathon took place that same day (20th March). Peter Sherratt and Mark Parker had signed up for this one. The race, which incorporated two steady climbs en route, started and finished in Stafford town centre. Sherratt finished in 1:38:20 and Mark Parker in 2:00:35.
New club member Russell Ellis chose Manchester marathon (3rd April) for his first outing in a Biddulph vest. He finished the race in 3:58:53.
Darren Mottram represented Biddulph at the Uttoxeter Half (1st May) and Market Drayton 10k (8th May) races. He crossed the lines in very fast times of 1:30:12 and 39:33 respectively.
Mark Parker, Karen Murphy, Ruth Shepherd-Cole, Rachel Platt and Claire Shufflebotham chose the Alderley Edge by-pass 10k for their morning outing on 1st May.
The road was closed for this race which has become a firm fixture in the club calendar. They had an enjoyable run and finished close together in 50:22 (pb), 52:13, 57:26, 57:27 and 57:50 respectively.
The off-road trail-running aficionados haven’t been forgotten this spring and there have been a lot of venues for them to choose from.
Closest to home has been the club’s very good neighbours, Congleton Harriers’ own Cloud9 Hill race on 6th March. Taking runners from Congleton along the Biddulph Valley Way and up to the stunning summit of Bosley Cloud, this race always attracts interest from the Biddulph trail crowd.
This year there were seven BRC runners and a group of supporters at this event and it was a lovely morning. The club runners finished in the following times: Katie Trace 1:24:29, David Bailey 1:26:50, Jeremy Brookes 1:37:51, Karen Murphy 1:40:44, Penny Graham 1:40:44, James Trace 1:47:53 and Karen Macintosh 1:48:01.
Cannock Chase half marathon, a challenging 13-mile route around the hills and tracks of the Chase, took place on one of the first warm days of the season (26th March). Four brave Biddulph souls made it to the finish. All enjoyed the beautiful setting and all found the race tough and technical.
Katie Trace finished in 2:10:35 with David Bailey, James Trace and Joanne Bailey not far behind in 2:32:48, 2:53:21 and 3:10:03 respectively.
Julie Bradshaw travelled all the way down to Devon on 24th April for the Bodmin Beacon Beast marathon. This challenging multi-terrain adventure was run on a figure of eight loop incorporating some spectacular scenery and Bradshaw finished this in an amazing 5:04:32.
On 4th May, David and Joanne Bailey ran the Quarry Bank Trail race (39:02 and 49:24) while Simon Hodgkiss, Katie Trace and Jeremy Bookes opted for the Rainow5 fell run (43:13, 47:17 and 52:31 respectively).
Both of these races fulfilled the criteria for the Biddulph trail runners’ enjoyment – mud, rough tracks and plenty of hills!
A few members travelled up to the lakes for the first of the Lakeland Trails series of events; the Hawkshead and Staveley trail runs. As usual the routes didn’t disappoint and the spectacular views were well worth the hard climbs.
Karen Mackintosh and Gill Horne chose the 10k at Hawkshead (9th April) while Katie and James Trace opted for the 16k run. Their race times were 1:24:00, 1:36:56, 1:42:38 and 2:28:08. The Staveley runners (7th May) were David Bailey, Karen Macintosh, Joanne Bailey and Gill Horne. They finished the 18k trail challenge in 1:53:59, 2:14:53, 2:19:31 and 2:40:29 respectively.
Club members are now making up for the lull in events over covid lockdowns and there will be many more results to come over the summer months – good luck to all.
Biddulph Running Club continues to meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Biddulph Valley Leisure Centre for training runs. Multi-terrain routes are usually scheduled at this time of year and there is often a shorter route offered when required.
New members are always welcome and the club’s contact details can be found online at biddulphrunningclub.co.uk.