A word from the Chairman...
This month we are likely to see our 100th member join Ramsbottom Running Club, a remarkable achievement in such a short space of time.
One of my personal aims for this club from the outset was to make sure that we built a reputation and become known for being friendly and welcoming to everyone. So it was really pleasing to see the results of our recent members survey which revealed that 100% of people felt welcomed when running with us for the first time, 91% of people said that they had made new friends since joining the club and 100% of people would recommend the club to others!
(A summary of some of the findings from the members survey is included in this edition of The Ramble)
It's really important, as the club continues to grow and more and more people become members, that we remain true to this original ethos.
As a Committee we will always listen to the views of our members and so we invite you to feedback to us if you ever have suggestions of how we can continue to provide the best experience possible, and not just when we carry out a survey to specifically ask.
I can't wait to welcome RRC100 to the club very soon, whoever that lucky person may be!
Kent meets London
If you ever get the chance to run the London Marathon you have to grab it with both hands. One of the “big six” marathon majors, you’ll never regret doing it - though I did come pretty close to on the day. This was my 4th London experience and I was off from the small green start.
Back in January when I was planning my training I was aiming for a sub-3 hour time and everything was on track - I even bagged a PB at Heaton parkrun and then suddenly, mid-training plan, everything went awry. So I turned up to the start thinking I would be pretty happy with 3:30.
It started well, the course wasn’t too crowded and the weather was playing along nicely - not being too hot and just the right side of sunny.
Everything up to mile 6 was just a blur then suddenly I arrived in Greenwich, running past the Royal Naval College and onto The Cutty Sark. This is the first place when you truly hear the noise and energy of the crowd and also appreciate having your name on your top! I knew from here that it was a pretty boring slog to Tower Bridge. I used the sight of the Shard in the distance to help.
The noise as you approach Tower Bridge is immense. It still makes me break into a smile now. Thousands of people on either side just cheering on strangers. It is pretty special. I was feeling good at this point and approached half way, going through in 1:36. Everything was looking good for my target. Then suddenly near mile 15 I could feel a stitch coming and the negative thoughts became stronger.
Then I stopped. I was knackered but there was no way that I wouldn’t get around the course. I would finish! The crowd then came into their own.
Every time I stopped for a breather they would shout out at me to get running and when I broke into a trot they would go wild. If it hadn’t been for all the support my time would have probably been over 5 hours.
It was a long way back from the Docklands and the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. The trains of the DLR certainly looked very tempting!
I was glad as I arrived at the Tower of London for the second time. My pace had slowed and the sub 3:15, 3:30 and 3:45 pacers and groups had long ran past me. I was left to cheer on the fancy dress participants. Darth Vader, numerous Batmen, Supermen, Wonderwomen had all very impressively ran past me and then there was the Archbishop flanked by a nun and monk.
Finally I arrived at the Palace of Westminster and I knew the end was just around the corner. Could I do sub-4 at this point? I knew I would have to run as fast I had at the start and I gave it my best shot but my legs had nothing, it just wasn’t my day.
I saw Buckingham Palace and then could see the finish, a final burst for the line. 4:03:56. A long way from my January dreams, but sometimes you need a really difficult run to spur you on to better things.
I know I gave it my best shot on the day and could not have given more. I will do London again but first of all I am going to put my feet up!
Tristan Kent (RRC053)
Club Championship update...
Five races in to the Club Championship and the club continues to be well represented and looking uber stylish wherever we go!
Bolton parkrun on 1st April saw 33 members and a further 9 second claim members looking resplendent in their brand new club kit! It was also the first outing of the #ramouflage topped gazebo which certainly drew lots of admiring glances!
Tristan Kent was the first male home on the day in 20.37 and Lindsey Oldroyd was the first female finisher in 24.38.
Lindsey also scored the highest age-grade for the females (62.11%) while Nigel Hartley scored the highest out of the 22 male finishers (68.89%).
There was a major achievement for the club at the Radcliffe 10K Trail Race on Sunday 9th April as we were the best represented club on the day with 21 members completing the race.
On a boiling hot day, Gary Bradley was the first male finisher home in 46.10 and Rachel Webster lead the females home in 54.48. The same two achieved the highest age graded scores too (61.44% and 59.22% respectively).
The Bolton 10K on Sunday 23rd April saw 11 members in attendance.
Matt Smith was the first RRC male across the line (and 12th overall) in a stunning 38.27 and Marissa McPhillips was the first female home in personal best time of 58.10.
Nigel Hartley continued his run of scoring minimum points in the age-graded league by achieving an impressive 70.04%. Marissa also scored the highest age-grade for the females on the day with a 55.79%.
The view from the back...
I started running 20 years ago at the age of 40, mainly for health reasons - at the time I was an overweight, fag-smoking, hard-drinking detective sergeant in the CID at Salford.
I decided to make a lifestyle change and stopped smoking, stopped drinking (for a year!) and began eating healthier meals. I also started trying to run.
To start with it was hard work, as I couldn't run more than 50 yards without stopping; I stuck at it, though, and looked for a group to run with, as it was too easy for me to stop and go home if I was on my own. I needed to be motivated by a group. I soon got the bug and have run ever since.
Over the years I've entered many races of all kinds and even found myself at the front on one occasion, at the Wilmslow Half Marathon. I had forgotten to move the clock forward and as I ran down the hill towards the start line, I could see the mass of runners facing me and ready to run up the hill. Before I could reach the line, the starter’s gun went off and I had no choice but to turn and start running back up the hill as fast as I could before being swamped by the international athletes at the front of the field, followed by hundreds of other runners.
Having qualified as a Leader in Running Fitness about two years ago, I was looking forward to helping others get into running when I suffered a bad injury. The PE department at Turton School, where I now work as a teaching assistant, were challenged to a game of rounders by the sixth form students. Turning out for the PE team, I slipped and tore my quad during the game. It was so badly damaged that the hospital debated cutting my leg open to stop the muscle from dying. Luckily it mended itself without the gory operation, but the injury put me out of action for months. I told everyone at the time it was a cage fighting injury.
As soon as I heard about the formation of Ramsbottom Running Club I wanted to get involved and volunteered my services as a run leader. Having experienced some difficulties while exercising recently - which the doctors are still trying to work out - I have regularly been involved as a tailrunner on the five kilometre routes on Tuesday evenings, allowing me to stay involved and use my training, while often running with Ann Butler and Christine Pendlebury, who both do a great job of keeping an eye on me, and keeping me out of trouble.
For me, Ramsbottom Running Club is what running is all about; I like to have fun, help others and get fit at the same time - and in turn be helped by others, like Anne and Christine.
I love encouraging and cajoling from the rear, as well as badgering lone runners we see as we run around Rammy, encouraging them to join us and get involved in the fun. I’ve met some lovely folk doing so and it’s great to see them progress and improve - or they could just be running faster to get away from me!
Running is like a family, supporting and encouraging and that's what I like about RRC. It is great to see the club grow and welcome more people, as I enjoy the view from the back.
John Hall (RRC002)