It was with great excitement that we finally got back racing on April 11th. This was the second running of the Swainby Sweep, which was one of the first races to fall victim to COVID restrictions last year and one of the first post-lockdown events of 2021. Race organisers Carol and Dave Murray left no stone unturned in making sure that that we all complied with governments guidelines while still having a fabulous racing experience.
Four Swaledale runners tackled the long course, which was reduced from the planned 16-mile route to about 13.2 miles, because of heavy snow on the upper reaches of the course. Runners were set off in small groups at one-minute intervals, so no one knew exactly how they had done until the results were published later that day. Jess Young, on form as ever, was 3rd lady overall, in a time of 1.51.33. Helen Nicholson was 15th lady overall and 1st FV 50 in 2.19.24. Not far behind were Roger Brisley in 2.24.01 and Julia Spittle, 2nd FV60, in 2.33.39. Liz Sowter completed the 6.6-mile short course in 1.10.15, making her first FV60.
Races like this couldn’t happen without the volunteers and club members Simon Hewitt, Stuart Clarkson, Ros Blackmore and Neil Bowmer were all in action round the course. Thank you to them, to Carol and Dave Murray and to everyone who made this event such a success.
Club members have been taking advantage of the gradual easing of lockdown to run from places further afield than their own front door. In the Dales and North York Moors, in Teesdale and the Lake District, runners have been exploring new paths and getting reacquainted with old favourites.
For some these runs are preparation for big events later in the year, including the Lakeland 50, the Lady Anne’s Way 100 and a Bob Graham Round. This requires practising navigational skills, building up endurance and learning to move well on rough ground. What could be a better excuse for a grand day out!
We had an amazing turn out for the first session of our latest Swaledale Shufflers C25km group. Fantastic job team - it was lovely to meet you all and we’re really looking forward to next week!
Get in touch with us if you are keen to get started with running or return to running after a break. We welcome all runners and have a session that will be right for you.
Club runs have now started up again on Tuesdays and Thursdays – hooray! We are of course following government and England Athletics guidelines to keep ourselves safe, so the clubhouse remains closed. For now we are concentrating on social runs in groups to suit people’s pace.
During the latest lockdown members of Swaledale Runners have kept on running in all weathers. Many have taken part in virtual challenges, with a ‘complete not compete’ theme to keep everyone motivated. Some have been concentrating on the ‘Big Mountain Challenge’, with several runners reaching the top of Everest and beyond. We have tackled more unusual challenges and discovered that running backwards is a lot harder than it looks! There has been an alphabet challenge and a treasure hunt as well as plogging (jogging and litter picking) and a photo competition. Information about our virtual challenges, as well as the latest results, can be found under competitions above. As we gradually return to racing we will still be keeping some virtual competitions going: watch this space!
Running from home has been tough, but this did not hold back Jess Young who completed an incredible 100K run from her home in under 10 hours, raising over £1200 for the Captain Tom Foundation. You can read a report of Jess’s amazing achievement here.
While we have not been able to hold club nights in the usual way over recent months, club members have been out and about taking part in all kinds of challenges.
Massive congratulations to Ian Oldham who completed the Classic Bob Graham Lakeland Fell challenge on 24/25 July traversing 42 fells, 66 miles, 26900 feet of ascent in in a time of 23.13. Great achievement, well done to him and all his team.
Well done also to Jess Young (20.26.52), Ros Blackmore (26.23.02) & Simon Hewitt (24.07.08) who all completed the Virtual Montane Lakeland 100 challenge and to Grace Gilpin who completed the 50 mile challenge in 9.54.25.
Swaledale Runners continue to impress in the Greener Miles Virtual Running challenges throughout June. The weekly events have a variety of races each week. These include "The Boomerang" - 10 x 4 miles Race - 30th May. "Points mean Prizes" - 6th June. The last three events have seen the Swaledale Runners come 9th each time out of roughly 40 teams. "National Three Peaks Hill Climbing Team Challenge" - climb the 3 highest peaks in the UK in the shortest time - 13th June. "The Even Bigger One - 24 Hour Challenge" - 24 members had to complete as many miles as they could in 24 hours they clocked up an impressive 548.61 miles. - 19th June. "The Pentathlon" - Five events - 27th June.
Martha McBarron and Andrew Fletcher showed a great trn of speed to come 4th and 5th in the NE Project 5k Dream Team Event.
On Tuesday July 21st Swaledale Runners met as a group for the first time since lock down for a social distancing run amd litter pick around Richmond.
20/10 - Yorkshire Marathon - well done to Carrie Morrell - 5.15.35 & Catriona Riley - 5.56.16. Also on this date Jess Young had a great run at the Yorkshire 10 mile - 18th Female, 3rd in age - 1.10.47.
26/10 - Liz Sowter continued her post retirement resurgence and competed in the Grim Up North 20 mile event - Leeds to Shipley and back again along canal paths. She was 1st lady & 4th overall in a time of 3.16.51
26/10 - Ros Blackmore and her partner Mandy Goth were once gain victorious at the OMM Long score event. 1/4 Vet Ladies, 5/17 Ladies, 10/47 Vets & 64/168 overall.
27/10 - Stuart Clarkson competed in the Nav4 Ullswater 24 mile Challenge. Just happy to get round in 7.30 (ish).
02/11 - Jim Coldwell competed in one of his favourite fell races Dunnerdale, these are his thoughts:
OK, so the Black Combe race means the most to me; the Three Shires lives long in the memory; but…the best fell race? For me it’s Dunnerdale all the way. Less than 2,000 feet and at only about 5 miles it sounds like a simple up and down AS – but in reality it’s a mini Lakeland classic. With experience I now know that the closest is probably the Three Shires miniaturised by 50% - same hard climbs, tough descents, road crossing in the middle…or maybe it’s just me? I’ve had fairly fast times here, I’ve run with the local club (Black Combe Runners) over the route a number of times (including in the middle of the night) and it was my first real fell race. This year has been my most difficult since I had a real issue 11 years ago (another story that’s been told) and I’ve struggled with injury and then motivation. But…I loved the Dunnerdale today. Quicker than I thought I’d be (but not that quick), and as usual I bumped into a few folk I know from home (alongside the best fell runners in the country – see the results if you don’t believe me). Dunnerdale wins again for me. I’ll share, though, my conversation with my beautiful wife as I came in to the finish (alongside my two boys and greyhound Gem). ‘Did you get a pic of me coming in?’ – ‘Your days are over. Got some nice pictures of the dog though’. Fair enough actually!
03/11 - Tim Greenwood had another excellent Fell race at the Lockerton Limping where he was 3rd, Mike Keavney also had a great run.
Also on 03/11 Emily continued to run well at the Craggside Winter Half Marathon, 9th lady overall, 2nd in her age in a time of 1.49.32
Well done to Martin Randall who was 74th at the Derwentwater 10 mile - 1.11.25, Lucy Tulloch finished in 1.38.06.
It's been a busy few weeks for Swaledale Runners with some brilliant results and lots of varied races.
On 13/10 was the clubs annual Richmond Castle 10k race which they organise. Despite the rain the day was great success with a capacity entry of 500 filled and 432 finishers.
We were honoured to have newly crowned women's record holder of the John O' Groats to Lands End challenge - Sharon Gayter starting the race. A massive thank you to all the marshals & volunteers who helped with the race, it couldn't be done with out you. Special mentions to Claire Hewitt, Helen Lucas- Gardner, John Elliot, Geoff Kensett, Simon Hewitt and Robbie Kelly for all their hard work.
The race was won by Andrew Wiles from New Marske Harriers in an impressive time of 33.55. Swaledale Runners were led home by Rebecca Simpson - 8th female, 2nd F40 - 45.16, Jim Coldwell - 51.20, Peter Devlin - 53.24, Helen Nicholson - 56.45, Mel May - 1.00.53, Carrie Morrell - 1.06.33, Catriona Riley - 1.09.08.
13/10 - Kielder Marathon - Martin Randall - 101st - 3.45.14, Lucy Tulloch - 424th - 4.42.33, Grace Gilpin - 530th - 5.04.18, Niall Cheynne - 638th - 5.34.02
12/10 - Ripon 35 Mile Ultra. A fantastic course with perfect weather conditions and lots and lots of mud. A great day was had with Robbie Kelly winning his age group, Simon Hewitt running his first ultra marathon, along with Tony Taylor they did the course in under 7 hours. Stuart Clarkson was happy with 7.23, followed by Vicki Howe.
12/10 - Langdale Horseshoe - Tim Grimwood had a great run to finish in 2.37.20 - 48th out of 377 finishers.
On 6/10 was the Grewelthorpe Trail Race well done to Emily Abbey who was 3rd lady and 29th out of 143, overall in a time of 68.48. Liz Sowter was 91st in 84.58.
Also on 6/10 was the Dave Parry Winter Series - Saltergate Gallows fell race, Tony Taylor was first home for the club 23rd / 81 - 113.55, followed by Mike Keavney - 34th - 123.33, Caroline Graham - 51st - 138.15
On 30/09 - Martha McBarron - competed in the Durham Coast & County Half Marathon - which with a route change ending up being 15 miles but she had a great run in horrible conditions.
Also on 30/09 - Emily was once again 3rd Lady at the Winterhill 10k Mast Blast - 1.07, a very tough, muddy race which she enjoyed.
On 29/09 - Annelie Whitfield ran the Redcar Half Marathon in wet and windy conditions in a great time of 1.50.30 - 3rd in age group.