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English Champs 2015

image 266x285 English Champs 2015Race Report: Stretton Six Summits, Shropshire

It was the 2nd of the English Champs races today, the Strettons Summits race. A medium race but with lots of steep sided hills I understand.  I was unable to race for health reasons but I understand the ladies had another win in the open category with a great win from Annie Conway and third place for Sarah McCormack. Hazel completed the winning trio with a 13th place (4th vet). Lou was 16th and 7th vet and Steph was 23rd.  Unfortunately we did not have a vets team at this race due to me not being able to race.  Tommy did very well winning the male  U23’s and  in the Senior mens race Todd was 52nd, Jamie 59th, Neil 78th and Karl 90th. Apologies if I have missed anybody.  Well done all!

Astrid Gibbs

Ladies Captain


Race Report: Flower Scar, Todmorden

Ian ‘The Committee’ Barnes pre-race sound-byte:

“I’m psyched out of my tiny little mind for tomorrow’s race.”

Okay, so I wasn’t on the booze-bus down to deepest, darkest Todmorden, therefore I shouldn’t really be writing the race report. Obviously all the juicy gossip and inside information will have been downloaded during the post-race bus journey, pizza and beer…

But here goes.

Having driven down with Britta and got the time of the ladies race start wrong I had to dash back to the car for Britta’s Mudclaws. Perhaps she could have done the race in Hokkas, but it was a slippery course. So, at the stroke of 11 o’clock, and with 150 women penned up and ready to let fly, I find myself running like a wally down the start field towards the head of the pack, frantically waving two shoes in my hands. It could have been worse; I ran from the car park with another fella who’s missus had left her shoes in the car. She was standing in the start pen in ugg boots!

So, back to the ladies race – I went up to the woods with Paul Tierney for a warm-up and to watch the women come through. It was a truly great moment to see Annie Conway come flying down in first place, through the woods with clear air behind her.

Annie Conway 1st lady at Flower Scar 570x383 English Champs 2015
Annie Conway 1st Lady at Flower Scar

Next over the horizon was team-mate Sarah McCormack, charging down to the finish to take second place.

Sarah McCormack 2nd Lady at Flower Scar 570x383 English Champs 2015 Sarah McCormack 2nd Lady at Flower Scar

The girls blasted round the course in 44 minutes and 46 minutes respectively to all but seal the ladies team prize. Just to highlight how strong a run those two had, the next placed runner – and previous British Champion – Victoria Wilkinson was another minute and a half behind!

Astrid Gibbs rounded off the top 20 women in 53 minutes with Hazel Robinson (24th) less than a minute behind. Lou Roberts (31st) rounded off the trio of V40 women – and 5th Ambleside lady – coming in a minute behind Hazel. Ladies V40 winners too?

Good work from all the ladies flying the green and blue flag: Steph Jones (40th), Michelle Foxwell (50th), Eleanor Knowles (95th), Samantha Noble (96th) and Britta Sendlhofer (117th).

And then to the men. To be honest, I didn’t know much about the start. I was kind of left behind a bit, running down the outside flank with my mind on other things – I’d found a cockerel wandering around the garden the previous night and was wondering how he was getting on at home. I told him I’d be back late, but he wasn’t listening. I’d fed him some bird seed and he seemed happy enough. But can a cockerel live a solitary life, or would he be lonely?

When I came round to the task in hand it was a bottle-neck on the first climb and I was running a little too far down the field. Never mind, I caught up with new AAC arrival Josh Hubbard as we climbed through the woods – welcome to the Club Josh. Out onto the open fell I reeled in Club marathon-whippet James Turner and then set my sights on Paul Tierney.

It wasn’t until the final traverse along the hill before myself and Paul came together, and then just ahead was Gary Greenhow, having a storming run. And so it came to the final descent, and yes perhaps I got carried away with an Ambleside call-to-arms, hollering at the boys in green and blue to push harder and run faster! But hey, I think it annoyed Jim Davies of Borrowdale enough to possibly secure us 5th rather than 6th mens team over Borrowdale(to be confirmed). Paul finished 26th, Gary 27th and myself 28th all within three seconds of each other in around 42 minutes.

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The Men at Flower Scar

James Turner came in a minute behind myself (45th), with power-pack Chris Lightburn (61st) and more importantly for him 4th U23 – great result. Other results from the fellas, many of whom are Category Old Boy*: Captain Oates (65th), Jon Deegan* (72nd), Josh Hubbard (81st), Simon Stainer* (100th), Tony Smith* (103rd), John Brown* (110th) and Neil Ashcroft* (111th)…

Can I point out that there is probably no coincidence that Mssrs. Smith and Ashcroft arrived at the finish within seconds of other fellow Amblesiders. I would deduce from this that they probably just chatted to Stainer and Brown respectively for the entire route.

…Mark Ruscoe (125th), Barnes (177th), Duxbury* (214th), Adam Baird* (248th) and Mike Troup* (282nd).

Ian ‘The Committee’ Barnes’ post-race sound-byte:

“Men of Ambleside: If like me, your hamstrings are a bit tight after that short cross country dash we just did down south, then despair not. How we respond from being panned in the recent Todmorden park run will define whether we rise as champions or fade slowly out into oblivion.

Saturday 30th of May denotes our time to shine. When the Moorland [men of a dubious nature] enter our realm, and at the Duddon fell race we need to tear each and every one of those [men of a dubious nature] a new [orrifice].”

Postscript: When I got home ‘cock’ the cockerel was waiting for me and I was very happy. I gave him some bread and showed him where the bird table was so he can help himself to birdseed in the future.

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Ben Abdelnoor

Ambleside Chairman