Author Archive: Mark Bower

Robin Hood 100 – September 2019, Adi Tuplin

For all the great and successful races we do there are also the ones that don’t go so well, I think we all need to hear about those and learn from them – hence this report.
Failure is a massive learning aid, I think we learn more from that than success – but it all depends what we do with that knowledge that counts x

I’ll start this report several weeks before the race when I woke up with a start one morning in realisation that my biggest race ever was just over a month away and apart from the usual club runs etc I’d done very little to prepare for the ‘hundy’, no worries I thought – I’ll just do what I normally do and wing it. Now I’ve got away with that for other distances but little did I know how much this one was going to hurt.
I’d been a bit blasé in the days leading up to the race as you can probably tell but I’ll be honest on the morning of the race I was very nervous, Tracy will tell you when I get nervous I clam up and go I to my own little space, don’t want to interact with people and am basically not very good company. That was me on Saturday morning.

The race brief was excellent as ever by Ronnie and apart from a few little tweaks to the route explained we were good to go. The weather was pretty perfect so nobody to blame but myself. Once I was off I relaxed a bit and the first 15 to 20 miles passed by quite easily, apart from being a bit bobbly in places the going was pretty good and I was even pacing myself against the narrow boats on the canal. Ronnie had explained that if we kept up a constant 3mph we’d be guaranteed to finish under the cut off. I was passing the boats, which travel at approx 3mph so happy days, or so I thought, and seeing Mick at 2 of the cp’s also kept my spirits up – cheers Mick.

My original tack of only looking to the next checkpoint worked OK til cp6 at 30 miles, I actually had my best mile of the race up til then and was greeted by lots of friendly Trotter faces, was given lots of advice from Gary who is a 100 veteran so does know what he’s talking about – – but that’s where it all started to unravel.
From cp6 there is the longest section between cp’s, the next one is also cp6 as you do a long 10 mile loop though the beautiful Sherwood forest and I kid you not I’m sure it’s all uphill, it was a killer and by the time I returned to cp6 I was pretty washed out. I’ve no idea why but that section pretty much finished me off. Gary and Kath force fed me with baby food and Haribo due to me not eating – it tastes revolting but is high in calories apparently (I told you knows his onions) and I soldiered on.

Next CP was 7 miles away and if I’m honest I must have walked half of it at least – the warning signs were huge by then and as I pulled into cp7 I saw Katy stood next to the Hutchy bus, the amazing Lynn and Katy had driven over to meet me. Now I’m not 100% sure I was very good company at that point and was struggling hide hide my emotions in the face of all the kindness and support but after being looked after by fellow Harrier Adam who was manning the cp and lots of inspiring words from Lynn, and a big hug which was very special because I know she doesn’t normally do hugs I cracked onto cp4 which was 5 miles away. I knew Lynn had messaged Tracy and I was worried that she would be worried so after running the first section from the CP and getting out of sight I had to stop and walk again – this was becoming more regular than running by now and even that wasn’t easy with painful blisters, aching legs and a really aching lower back which may or may not have been my kidneys complaining about by now my lack of eating or drinking, who knows. But like I say i knew Tracy would be worried so I rang her, it seemed she was and was already on her way to meet me at cp4 and although I never confirmed it I think we both knew my race was nearly at an end.

The slog to meet her was my worst section yet and was more walking than running at this point, but weirdly I nearly ran past Tracy in the run up to the checkpoint – but no I’d not got a 2nd wind, I just didn’t want to be seen walking into a checkpoint – stupid pride I know !! As soon as Tracy caught up with me she realised I was done, neither of us had to say anything we just knew. I handed my tracker and number over to the amazing marshal’s – as they all were by the way, and the even more amazing Tracy took me home, after dropping my fellow dnf’er and Polish kind of running partner off at the finish line to pick his car up (we’d been crossing over for most of the last 40 miles, and without having run together as such or even really spoken had shared the experience, and the pain).

Not the most glamorous or feelgood report I know but its truthful and warts and all, and hopefully I can learn from my mistakes and move on. The truth is that I know I can do better than this but something just didn’t click on this one. I’ve done a few 50 milers now but have never felt as washed out as I did on this one and the thought of doing it all again honestly filled me with dread. As tough as these things are I think if the enjoyment has gone then it’s difficult to get back, and the enjoyment had gone 20 miles back for me, as well as my legs. Cheers folks xx


Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Many of our intrepid Harriers are racing this weekend at the little known event “The Great North Run”, and there’s a group of members staying a little more local at the Bawtry Forest Trail 10k. So if you have the time to spare on Sunday why not turn on the TV and do a bit of Harrier spotting or head over to Bawtry and cheer in person!

KMR # 8 – Stan’s Toffee Run, August 2019 – Ben Hales

Horsing around in Elsecar

Sometimes slow and steady wins the race, but not always how you expect.

Five Harriers ran in the eighth of this year’s KMR races. This one is dedicated to the much-loved late Rotherham runner Stan Bagshaw, who would always hand out toffees after races.

Series stalwart Michael Plant was there of course, and Andrew Finch who came with me and Dave Langford, perturbed at Simon Rayner for turning up, as it meant he’d have to run hard. I wanted to save myself for the Supermile the next day so thought I’d take it easy. Maybe I’d just keep behind Finch and see how it went.

The start was an old railway line. Two furlongs along and we turned onto a road and started climbing. Plant was just in sight, and Finch had also pulled away from me. I stayed disciplined, saving energy.

The road up the hill was long. Then, an urgent shout from behind. Something wrong? No, probably just someone cheering.

Seconds later, the lead runners came hurtling back down. They’d gone the wrong way, and weren’t happy:

“There should have been a marshall!”

“For flip’s sake!”

“What’s the point now?”

Quite a lot of point for me! I’d gone from back Danum marker to leader. Time to get a move on!

I had no right to be there, running with the leaders back down the road and into the woods, where we should have turned before.

People previously far behind had also turned, getting in the way on the narrow trail. I pretended to be a fast runner and overtook whoever I could in the woodland mêlée.

I felt like Foinavon in the Grand National 1967, catapulted into the lead as nearly all horses fell and unseated their riders at the 23rd fence. In fact, loose horses would feature in this race too, but luckily again I missed any of that hindrance.

I leapfrogged a few steady-paced runners just before a stile. That was bound to slow more fasties down as they battled to get past.

Then, a long slog up a steep field with more stiles and a turnaround at the top.

I put in some effort, and near the top the leaders came charging back down. After I turned back I expected the likes of Langford, Rayner and Plant to be on my heels. But no, I was able to run down toward a fence and duck under it, with ascending runners queuing to climb over the stile, and then past the other Harriers coming up, about to spook some horses.

The rest of the race I just ran swiftly. A few runners passed me. I was just happy to be among the top twenty or so. Another wrong turn by some people in front of me meant I caught up more places.

Then the finish was in sight, and I finished the four-and-a-bit mile race as first Harrier with an amazing 35:30. We were all rewarded with a bag of toffees!

Askern 10 Mile (Club Championship Race 7), Aug 2019 – Mick Plant

A lovely day for a run is my description for the day with 15 Harriers turning up creating a bit of a Blue and Yellow wave with the 3 Syds bringing their much appreciated support. This was the 3rd race of the Askern RC calendar and definitely the toughest to follow Norton 9 and Askern 10k. £11 with a tee-shirt thrown in represents great value and the races really are a must in my opinion.

So off into the estate we went and there was over 500 runners getting ready for the start and before I had even got in position, we were away! It was a nice start off out into the countryside with the 1st 2.5 miles or so being quite flat through Campsall Village and a bit of Norton. Then the 1st bit of bumpyness which lasted about 1.5 miles with at a very steep bump which drained your legs up Norton and Kirk Smeaton Rd. It was then a long run down Green gate road for another mile or so. It was then along Woodfield Rd/Bone Lane (where I think Ben Hales was and nearly lost his Camera). Chris Ramsey was out and supporting at various points around the course. It was then a right turn onto Burghwallis Rd with another bit of steep climbing before turning back and heading back into Sutton Village which took us roughly to the 8 mile marker. I was suffering at this point but I couldn’t see any blue and yellow in front or behind so ended up in a little battle with a Ackworth Runner (not sure he knew but I did!). It was then the familiar last 2 miles from the Askern 10k out onto the A19 at the Owston Pub and a run to the finish. On turning into the WMC field, The Syds could be heard so I managed a sprint past the aforementioned Ackworth Runner (he didn’t show it but I know he was gutted!). And the welcome bleep of chip timing sounded and it was allover! I went straight for my Tee-shirt and a needed drink of orange squash. I saw Jim and Dave were back and I was able to shout home everyone else. Another great day to be a Harrier and a great race and run by everyone.

Hope to see you all at the next CC at Pontefract!

Askern 10 Mile Results // 11 Aug 2019 // 10 miles Road

Name Category Time Pace (mile) Pos.
1 Jim Holloway Male  40-44 42
2 David Langford Male  50-54 51
3 Michael Plant Male  35-39 71
4 Cezary Swiatkowski Male  Senior 95
5 Nathaniel Redcliffe Male  Senior 98
6 Jonathan Jones Male  45-49 132
7 Lynn Hutchinson Female  45-49 184
8 Colin Anderson Male  55-59 191
9 Shaun Coe Male  55-59 200
10 Amanda Lane Female  55-59 209
11 Nick Hutchinson Male  45-49 254
12 Nicky Cosgrove Female  40-44 363
13 Joanne Waugh Female  50-54 364
14 Nikki Speck Female  Senior 375
15 Beverley Harland Female  40-44 376

Go Tri Thrybergh Aquathlon, July 2019 – Ben Hales

Race report: Go Tri Thrybergh Aquathlon – 31 July

If you’ve ever fancied taking part in a mini multisport race, Go Tri have some excellent events to get involved in.

It’s run by British Triathlon and funded by Sport England. The idea is to get people into triathlon and multisports and races are held all over the country.

I did my first at Scunthorpe a few months ago (an Aquathlon, so swim then run) and one here with Sarah Sutherland in June. I also did a Duathlon (run, bike, run) at Cantley Park with Daniel Hart a few weeks ago. Never mind that I won that one – these things are all about having fun and challenging yourself!

Last night’s event was a swim-run-swim at Thrybergh Country Park. With torrential rain all afternoon it looked like it might be a wash-out. However, the downfall stopped just before the start and we were into the water and away for the first 300-metre dip.

The water wasn’t that cold. I was swimming okay, but all over the place trying to maintain a straight line towards each buoy. Then it was out of the water into transition for a lap of the lake. Once we were running I started to pass people. I thought there was a good chance I was near the front as I couldn’t see many people in the distance. Certainly no sign of Laura Sydney. I assumed she must be behind me.

We came back to the water and into the final transition. A lady who I’d worked hard to catch up to and pass ploughed straight into the water in front of me. She had running shoes that you could also swim in. Bit cheeky, I thought. I did my best to stay with her, but she was a strong swimmer. Another 200 metres and then a barefoot shimmy to the finish line.

After getting my breath back for a couple of minutes I spotted Laura lounging by the water. Had she just finished? No – she’d finished ages ago, in third place, and the fastest lady! I, on the other hand had to make do with the ‘skins award’.

Tempted? There’s an Aquathlon in Scunthorpe this Sunday (August 4) and a Duathlon in Leeds next Wednesday (August 7). Closer to home there’s a Triathlon and Aquabike at Askern on 8 September. I plan to make that my first Triathlon!