10 Mile Race Report – 14th October 2012

Bright blue skies and brilliant Autumn sunshine greeted the seventh running of this race over a classic British road racing distance on the quiet, pretty country lanes on the Hampshire/Berkshire borders. The weather made for ideal conditions for the 161 athletes, a mix of club members and unattached runners, who took part.

The mens’ race was won by a margin of a full 3 minutes by the apparently unbeatable Matthew King, an unattached runner from Winchester, in 55:42. Congratulations to Matthew on winning this event for the 6th consecutive year. There was a close tussle for 2nd and 3rd places, Andrew Griggs IUnattached) just getting the better of James Craggs (Newbury AC) by 4 seconds. The Vets prizes were won by Robert Storey (Eynsham RR, M40, 62.01), Michael Hickey (Unattached, M50, 69.22) and Trevor Hooker (M60, Unattached, 70.27).

The ladies’ race was closer than it might have been as the winner, Elizabeth Smith of Westbury Harriers, went off course just after 8 miles and ran about half a mile over the distance! Nevertheless, she got back on track to pip Jackie Perrin of Reading Roadrunners by 2 places and 7 seconds in 65.22 – a great performance. The 3rd lady, also of Reading Roadrunners, was Lesley Whiley in 68.35. The ladies’ Vet prizes were won by Denise Bridges (Eynsham RR, F35, 71.02), Kay Trinder (Woking AC, F45, 68.57) and Kate Williamson (Eynsham RR, F55, 75.26).

The team event was comfortably won by local club Reading Roadrunners, their team of Andy Blenkinsop, Alex Harris and Jackie Perrin finishing 7th, 9th, and 13th for a total score of 29.

The event was generously sponsored by Alton Sports who provided goody-bags, winners’ prizes and spot prizes, Griffins Business Advisers, who provided race entry forms, and Fyffes, who donated bananas to go in the goody-bags. Alton Sports also set up a stall selling sports goods – we hope they did some business. We guess they did as they expressed their intent to sponsor our next event – the Xmas XC on 2 Dec 2012. Excellent on-site catering was provided by Tim Shaw of Cafe2U.

We have had lots of positive feedback praising the organisation, venue, facilities, course, marshalling etc so we hope that many (or all) of this year’s participants will be back. We also hope that reading this report will encourage others to try out this friendly local event organised by runners for runners.

Summer Handicap

After 6 months the Tadley Runners Summer Handicap series winner was decided on Monday 3rd September. Congratulations to Susannne on winning in a close finish with Madeleine. Paul Courtney claimed third place.

Details of the winter series will be available shortly.

Medoc Marathon report

Medoc Marathon September 8th, 2012

Report by Ian Blagg (Tadley Runners)

Tadley Runners introduced me to the Medoc Marathon in 2007, when three of us ran it. Then, like most marathon runners, I went to this Bordeaux event more concerned about my running time than anything else. That year it was warm (25c) and whilst I ran in fancy dress (a caveman outfit), and sampled a few wines I completely missed what Medoc is all about.

This year I’d learnt from my mistakes.

My three adult children, all wine drinkers, entered with me, and with our friends we assembled a team of 9 runners, including 4 new to the marathon – but not red wine.

Photo: Ian and Natalie with some other runners at one of the chateaux.

Photo: Ian and Natalie with some other runners at one of the chateaux.

This year it was a bit warmer – well quite a bit warmer at 33c. Still, our fancy dress (sort of mandatory for Medoc) wasn’t too bad – Roman togas in line with our team name – Silchester Sippers (drinkers with a running problem).

We arrived at about 9.00 ready for the 9.30 start – just in time to see an English castle being rolled towards the start guarded by English Soldiers who were obviously protecting the Holy Grail (the Medoc theme was running through the ages).

At 9.15 the entertainment started (a dome suspended from a crane supported various acrobats, and there were a number of fly-pasts from French military jets).

The run started on time, and the first wine stop was within a few hundred yards. And so it continued for the next 25 miles. There at least 26 wine stops and my daughter and I didn’t miss a single one. Due to a knee injury the furthest she’d run prior to Medoc was 13 miles, but due to sponsorship in support of a colleague (http://www.justgiving.com/user/27206462) she was determined to finish. We adopted a run 2 min/walk 1 min strategy, but due to frequent wine stops our pace was a bit slower than planned. The pain in her knee started at about 11 miles, but we managed to reach 13 miles in 2:30 which gave us enough time, if necessary, to walk the rest and get to the finish before the 6:30 cut-off.

The route wound its way through over 30 vineyards and chateaux, including producers of the world’s most exclusive (and expensive) wines. Some Chateaux offered their wine in plastic cups, but it was obvious some vineyards (including Chateau-Lafite Rothschild) wouldn’t allow their wine to be served in such a way and fine glasses were used. The wine and fantastic entertainment at the Chateaux provided some distraction from the heat, but it was very warm, and after half-way more were walking than running. The last few km ensured we were well fed, with oysters (my son managed 4), steak, cheese, and ice cream, and my group (5 –friends caught us at about 18 miles) crossed the line just under 6 hours. As well as the medal, the ladies were presented with a red rose, and we all received a bottle of fine St. Estephe Medoc wine.

No doubt about it –the Medoc Marathon is unique in its “fun” approach. They even provide a 10k “recovery walk” the following day through a few more vineyards where even more wine is on offer.

If you only ever do one marathon make it Medoc.

Photo: Ian and Natalie with some other runners at one of the chateaux.

Tadley Runners at London Marathon 2012

Below is Ian’s race report after winning this year’s club place. He can be sponsored online at https://www.justgiving.com/Ian-Blagg

I left home just after 6 am, and parked the car near my son’s flat in Farringdon.  After a quick toilet break I strolled to Bank to get the DLR to Greenwich at about 8:20.  At Greenwich I walked up through the park (via Sainsbury’s to try and get some sun screen – I didn’t and the sky was clear blue) and arrived at the start at about 9:10.  By the time I’d taken off my warm clothing and deposited my bag it was about 9:30, so the timing was perfect for a 9:45 start from my pen (5).


My plan was follow the Runner’s World 9 min pace maker (4 hour marathon) and I was only about 10 yards behind him at the start.  It only took 4 minutes to get to the start, but by then the pace maker was 30 yards ahead, and I just couldn’t get near him – too many runners, and I wasn’t prepared to push my way through.


My watch showed an average pace of 9 minute miles for the first 8 or 9 miles, but after that I just got slower and slower.  I went through the half pretty much on 2 hours – even pacing you’d have thought but I was feeling a little tired and I knew I was in for an uncomfortable second half.  I chatted to a few runners which was to pay dividends later on.  One guy just in front of me at about 8 was wearing a red Alzheimer’s vest, but on the back he’d obviously written a tribute last night or this morning to a friend who’d died on Saturday.  I commented on this to him and we chatted for a few minutes before I decided to push ahead.  Similar chats ensued with other runners (based mainly on “where am I”/Alzheimer’s theme).  The organisation was superb with no problems at drinks/gel stations, but by about 15 I had slowed to 9:30 pace and I was now working out what I needed to do to get within 4hrs 30m.


I was struggling at 18 (11 min pace) with tired legs, people running past me, and at about 21 I decided to run walk (5mins run/1 min walk).  This seemed to work and I was now doing 12 min miles.  At 24 miles I was walking and wondering if I could make 4hrs 30 when there was a tap on the shoulder and the guy in the red vest from earlier said “come-on mate”.  We exchanged a bit of banter and then I started to run again and made it non-stop to the finish in 4:28:38.


At the finish organisation was again brilliant with no real congestion from medal collection to bag collection and meeting point.  It’s all designed to keep you moving to aid recovery.  I met up with family and friends (some of whom I heard cheering me on round the course) and then we adjourned to the Alzheimer’s hotel for a massage and a bite to eat.


In the hotel my elder daughter was looking up results, and I was asking for the times of all the other Tadley Runners.  Now, this has to be confirmed, but I worked out that I was the Tadley Runners 2012 London Marathon Club Champion!


Bramley Results

On a cold Sunday morning a number of club members took part in the 10 or 20 mile races at Bramley. The official race photos are available here.

10 Mile
Steve Fleck 01:03:13
Sharon Riley 01:24:14
Mark Deakin 01:24:14
Janet Manners 01:33:55
Amanda Thomas 01:37:53

20 Mile
Stephen Mcavoy 03:07:41
Douglas Vaughan 03:32:17

Local Parkruns

Below is my review of the local parkrun 5km’s from the runs that I have done there. Others are being added throughout the country and worldwide, so check their listing if you are elsewhere on a Saturday morning.

For the latest information about news, course changes or cancellations check that events web site.


This is most members local parkrun and is a 2 ½ lap course (unless on the alternative route). This has a mixture of tarmac pathways, gravel pathways and grass. With 3 inclines per lap, the first is a slight incline on gravel pathway, the next is a slightly longer incline on grass and the third incline is a longer a steeper incline on tarmac pathway behind the tennis courts about 3/4 round the lap. The finish line is about 50m after leaving the wooded area.

Car parking is limited and is getting very busy. There are toilets that are available to 100m from the finish area. There is NO cafe at the park.


This parkrun course is just over 2 laps on mostly on grass but with some on footpaths. There are only two very short inclines per lap, the first is up a grass embankment which can be slippery, the other is another short incline up a grassy slope at the far end of the course but is generally a flat course. The finish is about 200m (around a football pitch) after going past the start position for the second time.

There is some car parking available nearby at the athletics track and toilets there which are sometimes open to parkrunners. There is a cafe at the park which is half way round the lap.


This parkrun course is a single lap in a q shape which is mostly on gravel pathways with a short amount across a disused runway twice. This is only one slight incline which is about 1 mile from the end along the long finishing straight.

There is two car parks which did full up quickly, the additional car park is 1km from the start but is opposite the cafe. There are toilets available for parkrunners which is in a different building near the entrance to the business estate, which is about 1 mile from the start.


This parkrun is two laps which is mostly on gravel pathways and grass with some bits over a miniature train track. This route you have to watch out for hazards such as fishing polls (a lake is fishing lake) and miniature trains. There is only three inclines on the lap, the first is a short steep incline after the fishing lakes, the next is a slightly longer incline up to a top of grass punchbowl, the last incline is after the miniature train station on gravel.

The winter route is multiple laps on grass around some football pitches next to the normal venue. I have not run this route.

There is parking at the country park, with some toilets on site and a cafe.


This course is two laps of a P shape course where the loop is ran twice before handing back along the straight. The course is a mixture of grass and gravel and tarmac paths. Most of this route is a river bank and therefore can get wet and muddy if there has been a lot rain. There is only one incline on the course which is at the far end of the course which a short incline in the woodland section.

Parking is limited and fills up fast along the road in the business park, there is some toilets available the venue. There is no cafe.