few years ago I just thought running was running, I would see people on the street and just think they were out for a nice run. I had no idea there was so much more to it!
7 April 2018 I joined my Dad at Eaton parkrun to see what the fuss was all about. I completed my first parkrun in 38.43, stopped 6 times and genuinely thought I was having a heart attack....it was horrible! However, after crossing the finish line and realised people were clapping little ol' me, I got a sense of achievement and a proper buzz! It was then I realised what people were going on about! I was already looking forward to coming back the following week. 14 April 2018 I finished in 37.17. Each week the seconds and sometimes minutes were flying off....this was great! My parkrun PB is now 26.56 (Sloughbottom) and my 5k PB is 25.53 (Wroxham 5k race 1) so my aim is to get sub 25 by the end of the year!
It was in June 2018 I decided to join Norwich Road Runners and it was the best decision! I thought I preferred running on my own but since joining the club, I think I can count the times I have trained on my own in the last year on one hand. The support and encouragement the club has given me has been amazing. There will always be someone who will stop to check I am ok or stay with me and keep me going and if it wasn't for these people, I may have given up!
Since joining I have taken part in 26 races, 2 of them being half marathons and have many more booked!....I actually think they are a drug and I am slightly addicted!
Next year I am taking on my ultimate challenge and what has been a dream of mine for years.....The 2020 Virgin London Marathon! I know it will be mentally and physically challenging but I know I have a lot of people around me to help me train, support me, cheer me on and pass me a beer at the end.....which will be needed!
As cliche as it sounds, running has changed my life. Not only have I improved so much over the last year and half, I have made some amazing friends, taken part in some fantastic races and earned some solid bling out of it! It is true what they say, once you catch the running bug its hard to get away from it!
I am looking forward to seeing how far I can push myself in the coming years, as Eliud Kipchoge says "No human is limited" BRING IT ON!
It is always satisfying to see the positive results of ones idea and I had that satisfaction when I saw eight runners receive their medals for finishing the Dereham 5K race in race times they would be proud of.
As a member of Norwich Road Runners I had completed a Leadership in Running Fitness (LIRF) and had been involved in helping at the clubs Monday night sessions. These sessions are designed for new runners ,and those returning from injury. I found I really enjoyed helping beginners at the club and I had a real desire to encourage complete beginners to come to the club to start running. However it is not always easy for a novice to know where to start never mind going to a running club! Then ,when on a run, I had the idea of approaching the club committee to allow me to run the clubs own C25K. The C25K ( Couch to 5K) is a course designed, as the name implies, to take a complete running novice and get them to running 5K’s ,safely and without injury, in about 10 weeks. The committee was enthusiastic.
By the this time the Club had moved to new premises and I was running the Monday night sessions and had experience in planning routes and taking sessions.So with a group of club volunteers we began the process of setting up the course, planning sessions and advertising the course on social media and other platforms. On the first day of the course we were delighted and surprised that 65 novice runners turned up for first session! For the next 10 weeks my team encouraged, cajoled and trained these lovely people in the art of running, from stretching through to style and endurance. The target I offered the runners was a medal at the end of the course together with a chance to run in a UKA officially certified run-The Dereham 5K.
And so my summer ended-with 8 first time road racers, 15 new club members and 65 people who had tried something new. The Norwich Road Runners c25K course.
Thanks to the volunteers:
Sue Carver ,Clare Gooch , Rachel Miller, Sam Wall ,Jenny Sparkes ,Paul Corder, Joe Woodley ,Dawn Cook, Mark Downes ,Rachael Pizey and Anna Wright
6th October 2019
Just popping this up here as 'early bird' entries for 2020 are already open (£54).
A point to point race. You'll want to stay in Inverness as this is where you register, finish, and where the coaches will pick you up and take you to the start line. There's plenty of b&b's etc here but you'd probably want to sort this at the same time as your entry. An open return by train was about £168, I kept an eye on prices but there was never any variation from this.
It's about an hour's drive to the start (the coach transfer is included in your entry fee) probably the most 'middle of nowhere' point that I've ever started a race.!There will be portaloos , teas and coffees but nothing else (other than the baggage trucks). It's strictly runners only at the start, if you're taking supporters then they'll have to wait for you in Inverness asI think it would be very very difficult for them to try and see you at any other point on the course accessed by an alternative route.
Pipes and drums will see you off. The roads are closed completely for the first 18/19 miles and then 'your' side for the remainder, although there was virtually nothing ever coming the 'other way'.
Drinks/gel stations are frequent enough and I was pleased that the water was bottled (330ml) up until around the 21/22 mile point ,at which it was in paper cups.
Right, the course itself? Beautiful. A lot of it Loch-side, mostly tree lined. If the sun did shine then I suspect you'd still be able to find decent shade. It's a very natural setting with only the last 3 miles being an urban run back into Inverness.
Overall it's downhill with pretty much all of the downhill being in the first half. However, it has several cheeky climbs along with one particular 'when is this going to end' at around 19/20 miles.
The roads generally have a decent surface and although they have 'passing places' they're wider than 'single lane'.
It is all in one direction that you'll be running, North-East The loch will be on your left, the landscape will rise to your right. The road that you run on is generally quite sheltered, they'd be far worse places to be on a windy day even if it looked as if it was a headwind.
Although there are only supporters at occasional points (mostly locals(?)) there were always plenty of other runners around me (I was just under 4hr pace).
The capacity for 2019 was, I think 4,700. I haven't yet seen how many finished. In 2018 there were about 2,800 finishers (though I don't know what the capacity was for that year).
Good crowds for the last 3 miles and at the finish itself.
This is my mara number 21, run at 19 different locations and would be in my top 3 (or 4).
Get in there!
Sprowston Manor has been booked for Saturday 21st December 2019 for our annual Christmas Party. The price per person is £35.00 (subsidised by the club) which includes a three course Christmas dinner, hire of the marquee, crackers and novelties and of course the disco!
Meal choices include:
Winter Roasted Vegetable Soup
Pressed Ham Hock Terrine.
Traditional Christmas Dinner (with pigs in blankets and chestnut and sage stuffing)
Roast Beetroot and Brie Tart
(Both served with seasonal vegetables)
Christmas Pudding (with Brandy sauce)
Chocolate and Black Forest Marquise
Freshly brewed coffee and mints served after.
There will be a free raffle again this year with lots of lovely prizes to be won.
The Awards Ceremony will also be held after the buffet.
Arrival is 7pm, sitting down at 8pm for dinner. Carriages is at 1am.
Please let Tanya Nelson know if you have any dietary requirements and we will accommodate these.
Dress code: Smart
Places are limited to 200 (first come first served. We need to inform Sprowston Manor by 28th October 2019).
Please book your place using the link below:
Entries are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Thanks all - The social Team x
It feels like ages ago that I found out I had a ballot place for this huge event, with 57,000 entries apparently sold this year. After the initial thrill, I was brought back down to earth with the realisation that the hotel companies are well aware of what's going on (£260 for 2 nights in a Premier Inn) and that trains (£360 for 2 return) were only slightly more economical than flying via Amsterdam (£370). The long slog up the A1 it is then.
Other key preparations I undertook included finding a good Italian restaurant on TripAdvisor, where I booked our table around 3 months in advance, and a parking space booking. Just Park (Airbnb for your car) did the trick here, and our host must have forgotten to put his rates up. Result!
My training was rudely interrupted by a minor op a month before, which led to me not running for 10 days. Not ideal, but not much to be done about it. I then crammed in some miles with the longest run beforehand being a Thursday evening NRR session, plus running to club and back, making up 10 miles or so for the night.
Now, to race weekend. After the drive up and checking in at our hotel on Newcastle's Quayside, right under the Tyne bridge, we had a little nose around Newcastle and watched some junior races. We even saw a young NRR girl and cheered her on! The aforementioned Italian was lovely and I got an early night.
On race morning I woke up feeling good, with light legs ready for a run. I thought I'd try to stick with the 1:50 pacer for a chance of a PB. The walk to the start was just over a mile and this was the first time I hit the crowd. After dropping my bag on the bus I went down to the motorway to sit down and soak up the start atmosphere. The sun had made an appearance and I was without protection, resigning myself to getting a bit burnt.
Around 10:15 I made my way to my pen (D) only to find a stationery queue. This wasn't looking good! I was with a Norfolk Gazelle when the entrance to our pen was closed and we were sent to the very back. I followed the lead of most others in this situation and climbed under the fence (grazing my shoulder in the process, sore today!) into the next pen back, where there was plenty of space near the front. I would never see the 1:50 pacer but knew I needed 8:18 miles.
Eventually, we were off! The start is downhill and with the energy of the crowd everyone had gone off fast. I tried to hold back on dodging left and right to get past slower runners as much as possible, before the road split with my left side going through a tunnel and the right side going over. Tunnels and underpasses were full of the traditional Oggie chants and everyone was having a great time!
About a mile and a half in we hit the Tyne Bridge. I made my way over to the very right to run past my girlfriend, who almost missed me but seeing her added more to my buzz. I gave the camera on the end a big wave and then made the climb off the bridge and now the run was properly under way. Paces settled down and I was right on target.
Every time we went over a rise, be it a hill or an overpass, all that could be seen in front was a mass of people normally seen only at the beginning of other races I've ran, but spread over the entire motorway. This would never change and for claustrophobic runners I imagine this wouldn't be ideal, especially after the course narrows to just using the left side of the road, never to widen again.
I cheered on a running Elvis, booed a running Donald Trump and soon was at halfway. Never before had I got halfway in so little perceived time, it had truly flown by. And I felt good! But knew the second half was harder. Due to the heat I'd taken water at every stop, having little sips and dumping the rest over my head.
And then suddenly, at around 8 miles, my legs had had enough. They felt heavy, lethargic and I knew the target was doomed. Running 270 degrees around roundabouts in a crowd will really bring that home to you. I gave in and had my first little walk at 9.5 miles, with more at 10.5, 11.5 and some (lots of) slow shuffling between. The lack of training had got me. I even took a cup of beer from some friendly spectators - the time was gone anyway, may as well soak up some more goodwill!
As we crested the final hill and saw the sea, recognition came that it was almost over. I found a different Gazelle having a walking break, gave him some encouragement and we started running together at a pace I hadn't done for well over an hour. Sadly he couldn't maintain it but I continued on into the finish, picked up my medal and goodie bag. I even got interviewed by YouTube's "the running channel" so keep an eye out there for tired (but elated) me.
I found my girlfriend at our prearranged meeting point and hobbled to South Shields metro station. The queue was roughly half a mile long but after about half an hour we were on the train back. It was then a simple hot bath and stretch before heading to Newcastle's finest purveyors of unhealthy food and alcoholic beverages. I rounded off the weekend with a good long sleep and a couple of recovery miles on the Quayside, before making the long trip home.
A lovely view of the Tyne Bridge the night before. Calmly and serenely awaiting the crowds
The Start? Yes its up there somewhere! Don't try and duck under the fence, you will - Too late!
Who knew runners could get upper body wounds from doing the Great North Run. And sunburn for that matter!
Getting serious now and race targets are in the mind
What do you get for all those miles on the road? A medal of course! Plus a goodie bag and bragging rights
A long run can make you feel, um, burgered. So best have one !
Mondays - Sessions for new runners, or those looking to have an easy recovery run after a hard weekend of running.
Tuesday - Interval Training sessions, developing speed, endurance and hill running.-Juniors and Adults
Thursdays - runs on routes of up to eight miles, in different pace groups.
Saturday Mornings Juniors 10:30 to 12:30 and NRR Boot camp 09:30 to 10:30
Sprowston Community High School, Cannerby Lane, Norwich, England NR7 8NE United Kingdom
If you are visiting our club for the first time please make yourself known to someone when you arrive and we will introduce you and show the ropes