Tadley Runner qualifies for Ironman 2015 World Championship in Hawaii

On Sunday 14th September Tadley Runner Matthew Blagg came second in his age group to win qualification to the 2015 Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.


Matt Blagg Kona Qualifier 2014

Ironman Wales, held in Tenby, is regarded by many as the toughest course in the world with steep hills on both the cycle and running courses.


Sunday’s weather appeared favourable, but after the 7.00am start for the 2.4 mile swim the sea became very choppy resulting in many swimmers swallowing too much sea water. Normal drop-out rates for this race are 5-7%, but it is thought that the sea conditions caused a record 12% of the 2,000+ entrants to abandon the race at some stage. After the event, the Race Director commented that “there can now be no doubt this is the world’s toughest Ironman with this year’s introduction of uphill swimming”.


Matthew, in his second Ironman, completed the swim in 1hour 13 minutes – 10 minutes slower than last year. At this point he was 288th overall, but he appeared to have survived the swim much better than most and he overtook many athletes on the steep 1km run to transition for the cycle ride. With the third fastest time in his group (5hr 43min), the 112 mile ride saw Matthew improve his overall position to 51st and his age-group position from 41st to 6th, but a six minute penalty for drafting meant Matthew started the 26.2 mile marathon in 7th.


Running was considered his strongest event (before this year’s cycle ride!), and Matthew overtook 24 runners to finish in 3hrs 17 min, 2nd in his group, and 27th overall. His total time was 10:29:14.


Ironman races are held throughout the world, and open to entry by anyone over 18. However, entry to the Ironman World Championships is by qualification only and limited to athletes who perform well in their age group in each Ironman race. Ironman Wales had just 50 qualifiers out of 2,085 entrants. Ironman races were started in 1978 when just 15 competitors accepted a challenge to combine three toughest endurance races in Hawaii into one race in an attempt to discover who the toughest athletes were: swimmers, bikers, or runners.

10K Race Report July 2014

Weather conditions a little on the warm side but not far from ideal for running greeted the 250 athletes who contested the 20th running of our Summer 10K through the quiet, pretty country lanes on the Hampshire/Berkshire borders.


The men’s race resulted in a convincing win for Gareth Watkins of Hillingdon AC in 34.00. Second place went to Jolyon Reburn of Oxford University Club Harriers in 36.18 whilst third place was taken by local runner Mat Shaylor of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC in 36.33.


For the second year running the Men’s Vet positions were somewhat ‘upside down’, the M60 winner Tim Hughes of White Horse Harriers finishing 50 seconds ahead of M50 winner Russell Burton of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC– 36.47 vs 37.37. The M40 prize went to local unattached runner Neville Welsh-Smyth in 38.58. Another special mention goes to Tim Hughes who finished 4th overall and claimed his 23rd trophy at our events over the years.


The ladies race was won by a similarly comfortable margin unattached runner Laura Woodley in 37.35 ahead of Angela Goodwin of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC in 40.55. In third place was Joanna Payne of Woking AC in 41.15.


The lady Vet prizes were taken by unattached runner Clare Quin (F35) in 43.38, Sue van Huyssteen (F45) of Newbury AC in 44.50 and Nicola Dale (F55) Unattached in 51.58.


Please see Runners World Feedback for positive comments about this event organised by runners for runners. .We look forward to welcoming you all to our 10 Mile on 19 Oct 2014 and XC on 7 Dec 2014.


We extend our thanks to our sponsors Alton Sports, Ffyfes, NSG and Rainbow Windows for their generous support of this event.



10K Results


Fun Run Results

10K Race Report for 7th July 2013

Bright blue skies, brilliant sunshine and the usual scorching temperatures greeted the 19th running of the Tadley Runners Summer 10K. This did not deter the 244 hardy souls who set off on this tour of the pleasant, pretty country lanes on the Hampshire/Berkshire borders.


The men’s race resulted in a convincing win, for the second year in a row, for Toby Lambert of Winchester & District AC in 33.21. Congratulations to Toby on another victory and many thanks to his company, Alton Sports, for their generous sponsorship of our event. Second place went to local runner David Meacock of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC in 34.44 whilst third place was taken by Gareth Anderson of Cambridge University Hare & Hounds in 36.09.


The Men’s Vet positions were somewhat ‘upside down’, the M60 winner Tim Hughes of White Horse Harriers just getting the better of the M50 winner Tom Munt of Team Kennet by 1 second – 37.14 vs 37.15. The M40 prize went to another local runner, John Bigg of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC in 38.26. A great performance by the male Vets, all 3 finishing in the first 8 overall. A special mention goes to Tim Hughes who yesterday claimed his 20th trophy at our events over the years.


The ladies race was won by a similarly comfortable margin as the men’s by Becky Crisp of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC in 43.35 ahead of club mate Gemma Bigg in 45.27. In third place was Marie Shone of Winchester & District AC in 47.46.


The lady Vet prizes were taken by Caroline Partner (F35) of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC in 49.59, Felicity Edwards (F45) of Chineham Park RC in 49.36 and Sally Waterman (F55) Unattached in 50.21


We have had lots of positive feedback from runners about this event and look forward to welcoming you all to our 10 Mile on 20 Oct 2013 and XC on 1 Dec 2013.


10Km Results

10Km Prizewinners

Fun Run Results

Endure 24 Race Report – Sun, Smiles & Sore legs

It was a foregone conclusion that Tadley Runners would be taking part in Endure 24 in 2013 when Teresa mentioned putting together a team late last year. With the mix of off-road, teamwork and an event right on our doorstep it was just too hard to resist.


Main Event Area

For those of you who are not familiar with the event which is only in its second year, the appropriately named Endure 24 is a 24 hour endurance event with a mix of solo runners (the crazy ones) and teams of sizes from 2 to 8. Teams run a 5 mile (8Km) loop through the woods at Wasing Park with the final mile snaking its way around the camping field. Tadley Runners

entered two mixed teams of 7 (in the category of 6-8 runners) with team captains Mike Grinsted and Paul Courtney to lead us into the event.


Tadley Runners – Are we there yet?

In Mikes’ team (named ‘Are we there yet?’) was Karen, Pete Godfrey (AKA Pete Go), Pete Grigiolet (AKA Pete Grr), Teresa, Bruce and Genna. Unfortunately Genna picked up a shoulder injury just before the event so was unable to compete, leaving the team down to 6 members. As luck would have it, a few club members came down to support teams Tadley and Gary was kind enough to step forward and run in place of Genna to ease the load on the team. Thank goodness for Gary, but more on that later.


Tadley Runners – How much further?

In Paul’s team (named ‘How much further?’) were Sharon, Tracey, Duncan, Doug, Christine and Jan. No dropouts in this team thanks to Paul’s military style management!


Although the race itself took place from midday Saturday to midday Sunday the campsite opened on Friday. So keen were the team to get going that about half arrived on Friday lunchtime to mark out territory and pitch our tents. The spot we selected proved to be just perfect with a view of part of the course allowing us to support our fellow team heroes on their last mile to the line. It was on the Friday it materialised who were the hardy campers and those who perhaps hadn’t done so since camping was more basic. Tents ranged from one-man micro tents to Doug’s massive 12-man palace like affair. With the addition of the club gazebo at the heart of the camp and the club flag we were all set to go into battle with the other Endure 24 teams.


Friday evening saw a dinner in the event catering tent (pretty damn fine and value for money it was too) and a live band, followed by a few bevvies being consumed around Pete Go’s firepit for some warmth and some team strategy planning. All finally retiring to our tents for around 11pm.


Pre-race briefing

The next morning we woke much earlier than most of us had expected with the sun beaming through the tents turning them into little saunas enticing you to wake-up and embrace the morning. Kettle brewed and carbs loaded the members who didn’t sleep over on the Friday night all arrived ready for their challenge. Last to arrive was Bruce, cutting it fine, but arriving just in time for the pre-race briefing.


Up on the first leg of the 24 hour spectacle was Pete Grr for ‘Are we there yet?’ and Sharon for ‘How much further?’ right on 12pm they were off. Not the usual speedy affair you normally experience at a start line, with 24 hours to ‘endure’ a moderate pace was in order. It wasn’t until this start we realised just how many people were taking part and supporting the event. Around 750 competitors in all with estimated around 500 spectators it was absolutely going to be an occasion to remember.


Sharon’s first lap

First of our Tadley crew back into the field was Pete Grr looking like he meant business, with a time which backed this up. No too far behind was Sharon looking relaxed and pleased with her run. Picking up from Pete was Mike (clearly a initial speed strategy was on the cards for team ‘Are we there yet?’) and Paul taking the baton from Sharon and with less than 45 mins both teams out on their second lap.


As the afternoon went on the sun continued to challenge us with the heat rising, which was just perfect for our support crew, but just a little hot for the runners.


One by one we completed smooth transitions without a hitch until all team members had completed a lap and then the rotation started over again, with both teams sticking to their team orders. That was until Teresa announced she had double booked herself and had to leave or a few hours to go to the races. So much for the dedication of the organiser!


With team Mike down to only 5 members in came Gary for what he thought was just a little support. No sooner had he arrived he was being coerced into helping out. Gary went home, got changed and came back to put in a lap for the team. He thought it would be just one…but Mike had other ideas!


Throughout the teams were well supported by family and Tadley Runners, but Doug’s wife Charlie did the team proud by supplying a well-needed Chilli and Rice meal, followed by homemade cake for all on Saturday evening. Later on again saw the return of Pete Go’s firepit and some marshmallows from Sharon to keep the camping feel alive. This along with gels, energy bars and jelly sweets the team were re-fuelled for the second half of the race. All tucked up in bed by midnight, all except Paul that is who just couldn’t sleep for the excitement of it all. Teresa returned looking fresh ready for a midnight loop.


And so the night passed without fault, delay or a missed lap. The team organisation of waking the next runner went like clockwork. Only Christine finding her tent hard, so taking to a deckchair for some well earned sleep.


The morning came and running continued. Not such a warm day, which was welcomed when running, but not so welcome when waiting with tired limbs and a few sleeping bags came out for warmth. The cold was forgotten as bacons sandwiches were lovingly prepared by Charlie, just what we all needed.


Then, the ‘Knight in shining armour’ appeared again, it was Gary at the crack of dawn to put in another lap for team Mike. By 10am the team strategy was starting to hot up. The rules say if you can put a runner out for another lap up until 12pm on Sunday, and that lap still counts, timing was going to be everything as another lap could mean a better placing.


Bruce looking cool

Calculations were made and teams dug deep for some fast final laps to make sure a runner could be put out just before 12pm. For team Mike, Pete Grr put in a storming lap at around 10:00am leaving nothing left in his tank, The hero Gary put in a second lap of the morning to relieve Mike who as nursing some muscle strains followed by Teresa who handed over to Karen at around 11:40am.


Meanwhile in team Paul, Jan went out for her last lap, only to take a tumble and cut her hand. After picking herself up, she ran a further 3 miles bleeding but ok (now that’s dedication), thanks to the medical team who patched her up.


Picking up from Jan was Duncan who took the stained baton and put in a good time to hand over to super Sharon who again pulled out all the stops to handover to Paul to get round before 12pm


Paul caught Teresa and overtook her on this lap, putting in a good time to handover to Tracey on the last lap.


With some prior planning, Tracey started her last lap about 5 mins before Karen and the plan was for Karen to catch Tracey and come in together. It worked a treat, with Tracey and Karen taking the ‘glory lap’ in some style.


Both teams cross the finish line together

Both teams joined in for the last 50m to celebrate over the finish line together.


There were 55 teams in our category (mixed teams of 6-8 members) and ‘Are we there yet?’ finished in 16th place, and team ‘How much further?’ finished 29th. With team members running between 3 and 6 laps each (15 to 30 miles), running a total of 325 miles between the two teams. Not a bad weekend we think!


It’s an understatement to say that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the weekend! The organisation was second to none, with reasonably priced food, clean toilets and hot showers available throughout. However the star of the show (other than our great performances) was the team spirit, not only amongst Teams Tadley Runners, but also the event as a whole. Solo runners being encouraged by all runners and vice versa.


The team spirit has to be summed up by Bruce’s gesture later in the day. He spotting some familiar faces with back-packs near the Hinds Head on Sunday afternoon. He stopped to ask if they needed a lift anywhere, it turns out they were solo runners with finishing positions 1, 5, and 6 stacking up 330 miles between them trying to get to the station but unable to find a taxi so attempting the 2 mile walk with luggage. Bruce to the rescue!


Congratulations to everyone who took part and see you all next year?


*photos thanks to Tadley Runners and Colin Brassington


Xmas XC Race Report- 2nd December 2012

A cold, crisp and bright winter morning greeted the 23rd running of the Tadley Runners’ Xmas XC. A field of 176 athletes, a mix of club and unattached runners, pitted themselves against the challenges presented by the course on the Wasing Estate  – fields, forest trails, ditches, hills, this XC course has it all!

The winner of the men’s race for the past 4 years was finally dethroned, Mark Greenwood of Aldershot, Farnham & District finishing in 30.52 ahead of Matthew King in 31,54. Still, congratulations to Matthew – 4 1sts and a 2nd in 5 years can’t be bad. The 3rd place in the men’s race was taken by Mike Wilson of the 11th Signals Regiment in 34.32. The Male Vet places were taken by Ian Newell (M40, Marlborough AC, 34.37), Brian Kirsopp (M50, Reading Joggers, 37.31) and Peter Crozier (M60, Unattached, 40.45).

There was a really close contest in the ladies race, Andover-based Sarah Costin, representing Notts AC, piping Elaine Laver of Reading Roadrunners by the narrowest of margins of 1 second – 38.06 and 38.07 respectively. Third place in the ladies race was taken by Tracey Corker in 39.02. The ladies Vet prizes were taken by Marie Coultas (F35, Newbury AC, 40.40), Lesley Whiley (F45, Reading Roadrunners, 39.30) and Lorraine Kirby (F55, Unattached, 48,55)

The team event was won by a trio of Reading Roadrunners running under the endearing team name of Elaine’s Angels. The team consisted of Toby Laver, Edward Dodwell and Elaine Laver.

Tadley Runners thank all those who supported our event, hope you enjoyed it and look forward to welcoming you to our events in 2013 – 10K in July, 10M in October and XC in December.

Full results can be found here.