Sunday, October 13, 2013

Spikes or No Spikes, that is the Question!

After 3 years at Eden Runners, and 3 successful / clarty xc seasons, I wondered what I could give back to the club. So, on a miserable, clarty, muddy run around the bustling metropolis known as Bitts Park, it dawned on me 'hmm XC Ladies Captain', quickly followed by another thought of 'I fancy a new pair of trainers', then 'I think I just swallowed a bluebottle'...

And so it was, at last week's AGM, somewhere between 'the chips are ready' and 'where the hell are my car keys', I was sworn in, ready to take on the challenge of inspiring Eden's womanhood into venturing off the hallowed tarmac of Penrith and into Cumbria's deepest, darkest fields. I had my work cut out, as first race was only days away – Maryport XC. As I hadn't run it before I had no knowledge of the course, but with a good dose of 'you'll all enjoy it' attitude I plugged away on a propaganda campaign the world hasn't seen the likes of since a short moustached Austrian man decided that Germany could do with acquiring a few new countries in the late 1930s...

Task number 1 - how to convince people to go to Maryport. Well, erm, its near Allonby so you can get a decent ice cream, it's got some nice chip shops, and it's handy for Flimby's New Balance shop in case you fancy a new shiny piece of running kit. Then I had to remember, getting to Maryport wasn't the aim of this task, it was to get people there, to glide / huff and puff / swear their way round Netherhall's finest sports fields. It was going to be difficult, not only had those people behind the Lowther 10k decided to stage a much more appealing / friendly / less chance of breaking an ankle type of race the day after Maryport, but also the people behind the National Road Relays put their 'rival' event on on the same day! OK, not going to be a record turnout I thought, but at least its a base to build on.

So, the day of the race came, a late course inspection by the legend of all badly attended Cumbrian Races, the one and only (no Chesney Hawkes sing-a-long required) Noel Hakeman, led us to be informed that the usual course had been abandoned due to some bits being impassable. Ah, a nice flat outing then around the playing fields then. By the time we had registered for the seniors race, the junior races were well under way, Eden vests gallantly doing battle with the other clubs, and doing rather a fab job of it too. Great, no pressure on the seniors to repeat the spectacle then hehehe. In no time, we were ushered to the start line by Noel, exclaiming “is tha ready then eh? Go!”

5 and a bit laps of the course stood before us, the view from the first pack (Eden's contingent had opted to go for the 'hares' pack – the 'bloodhound' group looked way too fast!) was a nice one. As usual, I tried to hold myself back a little, reminding myself 'theres another 4 and a bit laps to go', when out of nowhere, Pigeon Pete came bearing down on me. My first thought 'oh bugger those marathons have knackered up my pace!' so I floored it away. It turned out later on he did it on purpose to keep me on my toes hehehe – nice one Pete! As the laps came and went, John Andrewartha was putting in a stellar performance, streaking off ahead with the signature big grin on his face. Chris Bunker and myself fought it out near the front for a couple of laps, I finally started to pull away and he proclaimed “well done Eck”, I was wheezing like a knackered accordion but managed to splutter out a “well done” in reply. As I rounded the final corner, I spotted the finish in sight, and shuffled my way to the line. Job done, the Eden Three all home and all still smiling. Smiling not because we knew the pain of xc running was over, but because there was cake waiting for us in Herman the Tea (VW) Caddy.

Over at the Eden Tea Caddy, we were greeted by Chris's lovely Eden Runners Cake, complete with green and blue icing. As we merrily stuffed our faces, showing Herman with crumbs, we noticed a couple of CFR and Derwent AC runners who looked rather hungry and ushered them over. Their faces lit up, as thoughts of racing weight and strict diets were abandoned in the blink of an eye. Then, out of nowhere, the Border Reivers, aka Pete and the kids, descended to seize the remains! They have requested for the next race we make a Harriers coloured cake for them – I will have to check with UK Athletics on the procedure for second claim club cakes, as I would hate to breach one of Lord Coe's rulings – heaven forbid! With runners fed and watered, everyone smiling, and the leftover icing packed off with Pete's kids, all that was left to do was to trundle home and plan our next xc outing – Burnley XC on 26th October. Be there, or be square!

Captain Eck, signing off.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Holly's Marathon Mental Battle

6am: “What the hell is that noise? Oh it’s my alarm. Oh no. It’s Sunday. Oh no. Feel sick. Yep today is the day. This is really happening. It’s not a dream. Oh crap. Get up. Maybe I’ll just stay in bed and pretend I slept through the alarm. No stop being stupid. Get up”

Get dressed. Number on. Socks on. Shoes on. Easy. Now what? Oh yes go and run.

Breakfast time. Toast please breakfast man. 3 slices. Yes lots of jam. Oh and a yogurt. Oh and maybe a banana. Oh and some tea please. Other marathoners talking about their excitement. How are they all so cheerful? It’s not fair. My feeling is currently of impending doom. Working hard not to bring my toast back up. That would not be pleasant for anyone in this room. Right enough of this. Time to go. Text from Dad, brief respite from the nerves.  Horrible realisation that it’s still happening. Grab the bags. Cram into the lift. Out of the lift. Join the group of cheery runners at the reception desk. Feel a bit angry that they are smiling, happy and chatting. Why do I feel so sick. Right time to go. Charing Cross bound.

Outside. Fresh air. Already warm. Phone call from Rich. The walk to Charing Cross passes quickly with chat and laughs. Not thinking about the task ahead. Even managed to crack a smile. Phone call ends with “Good luck, it’s just a jog. What’s the worst that can happen?” begin to think he’s right and it’ll all be fine. That feeling lasts for approximately 3.4 seconds before I feel sick again. Text from my brother, Jeff. Words of positivity as always. “Good Luck. I don’t have time to attend a funeral this week so if you could finish that would be great”. Oh hell fire. “Mum can we go home now please I don’t want to do this” She thinks I’m joking. I’m not.

On the train. Really do feel sick. Can’t deal with people talking about their past experiences. Headphones in. Hood up. 20 minutes of silence in my own little world. Everyone must think I’m really unsociable. Oh well. I think they’d prefer this than if I threw up on them.

Arrive at Blackheath. Follow the masses. Try and encourage mum to run for me. She’s not having any of it. There it is. The blue start. Oh no. It’s happening. An hour and a half before the gun goes. What am I going to do. Stand in the toilet queue for over half an hour. Great. Only an hour to go. So many people. Some look as nervous as me. That’s a good sign. It’s not just me.  Have another banana. 3 bites and it’s passed to mum. Still feel sick. Pre race photos are taken. Mum has made a banner. “HOLLY CARPE DIEM”. Not a clue what that means. Too nervous to care right now. Time to get myself into the blue start. Good luck and hugs from mum and she quickly disappears into the crowds. All alone. Oh crap.

Find my baggage bus. Mill around with others wasting more time before putting the bag on the bus. Ring dad for some more reassurance. “You’ll be fine. You’ll enjoy it” I believe him because he’s dad and he’s always right. Apart from that time he said those cows wouldn’t chase us. He was definitely wrong then. And the time he claimed dark chocolate was nicer than milk chocolate. What a weirdo. More good lucks from dad. He’ll be tracking me online and trying to spot me on the TV. Right. Bag on bus. 40 minutes to go. Stand in another toilet queue. 15 minutes to go. Time to get in my start zone. About 3 miles from the actual line. More time passes. People are beginning to look nervous. A man behind is talking about his knee injury. He’s making excuses early. People start moving forward. Is this it? I’ve not heard a starting gun. Oh yes. This is it. Oh no. Toward the start line we go.

Oh I can see it. A man next to me starts running 100m before the line. Fool. You’ll regret that later on. Here it is. Over the line. Garmin started. Let’s go.

Start slow. Get slower. Yeh I’ll do that. Dodge around people. 1 mile down. That was quick. Glance at the watch. Oh no that wasn’t quick. Need to speed up. Joined by the masses from the Green start. Dodge some more people. Keep moving. Slow down. Don’t get excited you still have a long way to go.

Mile 2. Starting to feel warm. A woman is walking. Oh dear. Manoeuvre round more people. Running alongside the people from the red start now. The jeers have begun. Makes me think of the Poly vs Posh chants back at Uni. Not appropriate to start shouting “Your dad works for my dad” here though. I’ll just keep quiet. Downhill now. Stretch out the legs. Don’t get carried away.

Mile 3. 26.40. Not bad. On track. Keep moving.

Mile 4. Lucozade being handed out. No thanks. Feet sticking to the floor. Lovely.

Mile 7. Way past Cutty Sark before I have even seen it. How did I miss that? One of the big points on the course and I ran round it without realising. What an idiot. Oh well. No time to dwell. Onward.

Mile 9. Towards the docks. Gel wrestled out of its holder round my waist. Tastes horrific. Always does. Force it down. Yes a water station. That’ll wash it down. Little and often that’s what dad said. He knows best.

Mile 10. Why is it so hot? This is stupid. There has to be some shade soon. Going to burn. Should have worn suncream. Why did I not think of that? I wonder where mum is? I wonder if I’ve been on tv yet? I’m so hot. Why am I doing this? Can I go home yet? That woman in front is wearing some awful shoes. Shut up brain. Just run.

Mile 12. Right time to look out for the support crew. On to the bridge. Eden Runners vest on a stick they said. Move over to the left of the road. Keep looking. There it is. Sticking out onto the bridge flying high. See Jeff. Spot a banner “Go Hollers”. Classic Jeff. Cheers mate. Anna and Louie. Screaming. “GO HOLLY GO”. This is great. Massive smile. High 5’s all round. I’ll see them at the finish. Overwhelmed. Feel the need to cry. Get a grip woman. You’re nearly at half way. Come on. Get moving.

Mile 13.1. Half way. The countdown has begun. Just another 13.1 to go. Easy. Simple. Feeling good. The fast men are coming back on the other side of the road. I wish I was up to that point. They are running really fast. I am not. Oh well. Keep moving.

Mile 14. Oh no. I need a wee. This is not good. I drank little and often. Dad said that would work. This was not in the plan. Oh good some toilets. Cut some people up and get across to them. Big queue. Not hanging around. Bladder will have to wait. Just forget about it. Oh look we’re heading towards the docklands. Yes lets have another gel. Feel a bit tired. This will help.

Mile 16. More toilets. Yes no queue. Jump in. 30 seconds lost. Don’t panic. Still 10 miles to go. Don’t get excited. Calm down.

Mile 18. Only 8 to go. Towards Canary Wharf. Twisty streets. Slowing down. Bit of shade. I’m definitely burning. I’m going to have so many freckles. Oh just too hot. Slow down a bit more. Take on more water. Don’t listen to the legs screaming.

Mile 20. 6 to go. Everything hurts. Just walk a bit. No get running. Maybe this is the wall? I think it is. Oh god. Everything really does hurt. My knee hurts. But so does everything else. COME ON. Get moving. It’s 6 miles that’s easy. Remember what Jeff said last time “Only 10k to go, like a walk in the park”. Exactly only 6 miles. Come on. Move. Yes I can do this.

Mile 20.5. I can’t do this. It hurts. It’s too far. I’m too slow. Maybe i’ll just walk. I can do it under 5 hours if I walk the rest of the way. NO get running. Come on its not that bad.

Mile 22. Keep plodding. Come on 4 left. Oh there’s Iwan Thomas off of the TV. He’s walking. I’m running. He was really fast once and I’ve overtaken him. I’m amazing.

Mile 23. Lots of music here. A man shouts from a party truck that i’ve only got 3 miles left. He may be right but it still hurts. HELP. 3 miles. Come on. That’s easy. Have another gel that’s a good idea. That’ll help. Gel in mouth. This one is tasty. Spot an Eden Runners vest on a stick. What? I must be dreaming? Am I genuinely going delirious from the heat? Oh no wait that’s Anna and Jeff. I’m not dreaming. Quick. Shouts of “HOLLY! KEEP GOING!”. “Help me i’m really dying”. Reassuring words from Anna “No you’re not you’re fine. 3 miles to go”. Quick hug. And i’m off. I’m amazing. Keep running. Speed up 3 miles to go.

Mile 24. No don’t do that. That was an error. Slow down again. More Lucozade. Need more energy. Through the tunnel. Eminem is blasting out of speakers. “You’ve only got one shot do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime” Cheers Eminem mate I needed that boost.

Mile 25. 1 mile to go. Come on you can do this. Not far now. 10 minutes of running left max. Thousands of people screaming. That’s big Ben. Finally managed to locate a landmark after missing all the rest. Come on keep going. Nearly there.

800m to go. Come on this is easy now. That’s only twice round the track on a Monday night. Simple. Power on.

600m to go. Erm what? I’ve ran further than 200m since the last sign. That must be at least a mile.

400m to go. These signs are crap. I have ran about 3 miles since the 800m sign. Can see the palace. It’s getting closer. Come on keep moving. Can’t walk now there are thousands of people watching. Why am I not there yet? HURRY UP.

200m to go. Turn this last corner. Yes there it is. The finish. I’m nearly there. Come on lets sprint. Funny Joke. Just get to the line without crawling. Come on.

That’s it. It’s over. I’ve done it. I’ve really done it. Why am I crying? I have no idea why i’m crying. So is the woman next to me. It’s okay i’m not a complete weirdo. I’ve done it. All that training and pain is over. I’ve just ran a marathon. I am the most amazing person in the world. Keep walking. Don’t sit down you’ll never get back up. Goody bag. Too knackered to look in it. Grab a bottle of lucozade out of it. Carry on shuffling forward. Baggage bus. Naturally about 700 miles away from where I am now. Keep shuffling.

Can I have my bag please Mr bag bus man. Thanks. Right find mum. Pull my phone out the bag. Message from Dad. He’s the proudest man in the world. “You make me so proud whatever time you finish”. More tears. Everyone here is smiling. I’ve got tears running down my face. What is wrong with me. Text from Rich. Cue more tears. Overwhelmed by happiness and dare I say sadness that it’s all over. No don’t be silly I’m glad it’s over.

There she is. Right where she said she would be. My mum. Possibly the greatest woman in the world. Lots of hugs. More tears. She’s telling me to smile. I still can’t stop crying. A few more hugs. It’s time to sit down before my legs give way. This kerb just here looks comfy. Let me sit down. Help me please mum. Stop taking photos. Yes I know I’m burnt. No i’m not hungry yet. Just let me sit and stop crying. Oh here’s Jeff and Anna. More congratulations. More hugs. They are eating. Mum I’m hungry now. Spotted the M&S bag in her hand. Massive bag of crisps. What a brilliant woman. What would I do without her. Let’s just sit here for a while and have a rest. Watch the world go by. Runners being reunited with their families around me. This is amazing. Everyone is so happy. I’m so happy. Hands down the best experience of my life. Right mum lets go. I need more food. Jeff pull me up. Oh my god what is this pain. Is this some kind of joke? I can’t walk. Still beaming from ear to ear. Clutching my medal. Let’s go home now mum. I’m exhausted. Happy. But exhausted. Best day of my life yet. It will take a lot to top this.

And now the aches and pains have disappeared I am ready for the next challenge.
What’s next? I don’t know. Life starts outside of your comfort zone.....
Until next time.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Day Trip to Blackpool

"Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.." although I’ve never been in Blackpool at 8.15 on a Sunday morning in my life! The first shock was the 6.30 alarm – if the weather had been anything other than sunny and still I may have rethought my little jaunt to the coast. The second shock was the extortionate car park fee which I was totally unprepared for. I managed to scrape together the £5 then found out the machine didn’t take £2 coins! A kindly soul in the queue whom I got chatting to helped me out with that little quandary thereby contributing to keeping me out of full flight panic mode.

A short jog to the football ground (a good warm-up) to collect my number, then a mad dash to the loo before that queue hit Disneyworld proportions and I was all ready with half an hour to spare. I spent it wisely. A few minutes stretching, but more time spent chatting to the couple that had a 9 month old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever… I know now I have to go to Norfolk if I want one… So the morning was educational as well as athletic..

I managed to get a "shout out" from the commentator with the microphone at the start for being an Eden Runner (see – doing my bit to promote the club!), then we were all set for the off. It’s the first time I’ve been to a race that had a 10 minute delay at the start due to a late running train.. One for the "experiences" list…

Down a couple of side streets where a few hardy souls had gotten up to cheer all the runners on (or were just getting back to their B+Bs from last night) and out onto the front. Two and a half miles along the road was the first U-turn, just prior to which I saw the welcome face of Mr Dave Peacock, just when I thought I was the only Eden Runner, so that made me feel less lonely! Past the North Pier and onto the Prom where the job of over-taking people began in earnest… (honest!)… The sea was flat calm and there was not much breeze to stir the still cool air. At about Mile 5 I fell in behind a "Portsmouth Jogger" although whether it was his posterior I was transfixed by or the sheer number of energy gel packets he had on his belt bouncing up and down I’m not too sure. Far too many for one man… he could have shared… The other energy gel bar packet of note was the one that the gentleman at Mile 6 stomped on in front of me – showering me with the stuff. I did ask if those gels worked by osmosis too and if I’d get any energy from that… who knows… Could be a whole new line of scientific research there.

I think the final u-turn was about Mile 8 which was a psychological relief, knowing that the countdown was on and that you were at least heading back in the right direction for the end. Going past the Marathon mile markers was a bit disconcerting though, thinking that half of the poor souls on the course would still have to do another loop. Seeing the string of people stretching out along the promenade and the road was impressive though and with about 3 miles to go and heading back into town the vocal support and the clapping members of the public began to increase, just when my resolve was starting to flag a little. Got past my bogey point of 11 ½ miles (The Dent Debacle) and oddly enough felt as though there were some reserves left to be had. My Portsmouth Jogger chaperone I think had peeled off to do the marathon route (so I’ll forgive him for his cornucopia of gel bars) and that almost gave me the incentive to push a bit harder. Why is it though, always the way, that when you think you’re approaching the finish you’re not?? You have that split second moment of thinking "I can see the start / finish line" before its replaced with the galling realisation that you’ve got another 600m to go in the other direction to suffer the humiliation of a "grandstand" finish behind the goalposts in front of an enthusiastic crowd? I resisted the temptation to wave at them… didn’t take much resisting… I think some of them had come to see the football in error…

I reached the table which was devoid of medals "There’s some more of the way!" said the slightly panicked marshall as the queue of folk waiting started to bunch up behind me – there was no way I was leaving that stadium without one – I needed the physical proof of my slog! The goodie bag was quite good too, containing choc-chip cookies, mini malt loaf AND a Mars bar, bottle of water and another plastic water bottle (to add to the growing collection!)

The bonus of the early start was getting home by 1pm to get showered and to get into the sunny back garden to write this. The weather was perfect for running, not too cold and not too hot – indeed it’s the first time this year any leg of mine above the knee has been exposed to the sunlight – the skin is that white I think the sunlight was just reflecting back off it! There was minimal breeze and minimal undulations in the route – I reckon I might even try that one again!

At the time of going to press the toenails are still with me….stubborn devils…

Race Review By Nicola Gaskell

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The French Invasion of Lancaster

Against a low tide the French steamed up the River Lune unbeknown to most of the local inhabitants on a calm, quiet and sunny Sunday morning. The French then proceeded to destroy the Lune’s bridges before turning back downstream to reap the bountiful rewards…
Or something like that…
Six Eden Runners ventured out into God’s Own County Palatine of Lancashire to the Lancaster Three Bridges race, and it turned out to be one doozy of a day with an impressive clutch of five (possibly 6 when we get in touch with Larry again!) personal bests, wrested from this flat and fast course!
It is well sited and utilises a lot of cycle-ways and riverside footpaths that afford a slightly scenic setting along with plenty shade – I wasn’t expecting it to be so sunny – so those trees came in handy!
Paul had kindly driven Tanya, Wade and myself down the M6 and the in-flight chatter was such that the journey passed in a jiffy. We met up with Larry Horne (new ER member) and the man of the moment Johnny French before the start, which nearly ended in a hokey-cokey or Auld Lang’s Syne type scenario as we all tried to shake hands at the same time, then after the countdown the green and blue and black sock-ed  blur set off and the rest of the pack followed, as they did for the remainder of the whole 10k – INCLUDING at one point the official race route finder who Johnny passed as he carried his bike up the steps at the bridge – so not only race leader but trail blazer too!
Whether it was the flat course or the sparse pack I did manage to keep the shirts of Wade, Paul and Tanya in view – so that feels like an improvement on my part!
The steps up the bridge were a unique experience for me, and they slowed most of the competitors to a crawl, but fortunately I didn’t heed Wades pre-race ‘advice’ of “because there were trips and falls in the race last year the organisers have requested that everyone does the steps backwards…”
Think of the date folks……
The course was well signed and marshalled throughout, which is just as well as it was on public highways and by-ways there were quite a few cyclists, walkers and Sunday morning anglers to be dodged!  If the low point (well, hardest point, not low) was the steps at the bridge then the hallelujah moment came when two marshalls at the 6 mile point helpfully shouted out the times on their stop watches. It was just the spur that a flagging-pb hunting runner required before the end – the gap through the trees to the Salt Aire running track allowed me to realise that there was not going to be the final 400m dash lap – but that it was barely a 100m sprint to the finish which necessitated dredging up the reserves to get under the post under the 48 minute mark! After I was handed a medal by a slightly confused young lass (child labour? Get Wade on the case!) it was only then when we all swapped notes that it dawned that the day really belonged to Eden. With Johnny storming home at 34.15 – a clear 43 seconds of the next man, Larry at 44.20, Wade at 45.27, Paul 46.31, Tanya 46.47 (10th lady overall and first female Vet 35 –I have her pink cava in my possession to prove it!) and me bringing up the rear (least said soonest mended..) at 47.57 it is suffice to say we were all a fair bit chuffed with ourselves and made it known by being the chief rabble rousers at the awards ceremony! Johnny and Tanya got to exercise their skills in nonchalance when picking up their loot (too cool by far!) while we cheered and applauded, then apologised to the poor woman we nearly deafened with our exuberance!
Will I be back next year? Course I will… if only to ensure that next time I bound up those flippin steps rather than dragging myself up them cursing.. Everyone needs a nemesis to beat!....
Next (official) stop – Langdale, see you there! :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The start of things to come?

Is this truly spring now? Only a few weeks ago I was wearing my thermals and handing out ice cold water to equally ice old runners on the Haweswater half, todays foray into the world meant 18 degree temperatures and not a cloud in the sky, short shorts and vests were de rigeur for the inaugural Lorton 10k.
On our arrival the first thing to greet us was the fantastic surrounding views with a stunning blue sky backdrop. Eden shirts kept appearing in ones and twos until there was a nice cohesive little group of us 8 strong  at the start (Christine felt the need to add extra pressure to her day by arriving late and running to and through the start line!).  As this run was an unknown quantity being a new addition to the calendar there were a few uncertainties and discrepancies in each persons understanding of how “undulating” it was going to be. In hindsight I would ban “undulating” from the vocabulary list and just go for honest and simple “bloody hilly”..  Hands were shaken and ‘good lucks’ proffered before the school bell rang (I had to resist the urge to “get in line” at the sound of that), then off we set into our first hill. Well it felt that way anyway. Friendly smiling (amused?) faces of the local residents lined the way and as the huddle thinned out I started to realise that there was little shade in which to hide from the strong sun, coupled with a minimal breeze it became apparent that a PB was not going to be achieved this day! Better then to enjoy the scenery, the roadside flowers, the hills, the lambs in the field, the hills, the blue sky, the hills….. I swear they all went upwards, I thought at one point we were going to just strike out onto the fells above!! Perhaps I exaggerate – perhaps it was the shock of the blessedly good weather and the fact that our winter training thus far has been in the dark, so basically you couldn’t always see what was ahead. In Lorton you could. It was another hill. Ok – maybe I’ve gone over the top with the hill thing (although after the bridge at the turnaround point when faced with yet another beast I did wonder if “over the top” was ever going to be achieved! ….  Right you are – I’ll desist pressing that point…
Reasonably quiet roads meant that there were not too many distractions from traffic and most of the run was unhindered, but the heat was a novelty that soon wore off and at the 7k mark I’ll admit to my resolve wavering just a little, and I struggled to find the reserves for a sprint finish, as the gravel area we crossed prior to the grass field ending almost took me off my feet, but a good crowd at the post spurring people on (I could hear Paul and Wade shouting) helped me to push on – and there was never a sweeter sugary drink passed by a Lorton schoolchild given!
Everyone finished without injury which is always good and after the well needed cups of water the breakdown was as follows. Ruth (who by the way had a great run to finish as second lady overall!) headed off with her clutch of children, Christine likewise wither family, Gill and Shaun had ideas to go shopping in Keswick, while Stuart and Kevin headed out to do the course again!! (gluttons for punishment), Wade eagerly made his way for cake and jacket potato (I still believe he has hollow legs!) while Paul and I hung around in the (vain) hope of a spot prize. Paul did manage to acquire a voucher for some socks – you have to make the most of life’s opportunities!
It was nice for Eden to gain a mention in the thank you speeches (alongside Derwent and Keswick) for adding this race to our championship list and it is a good challenging course, although I reckon next year it will be under snow! Which makes me think, the last blog I wrote was while watching a snow shower prior to Christmas, but today I’m basking on the patio, eating my ice cream, listening to the birds and admiring the emerging  garden, with its new starts, new life and new energy – a good maxim perhaps for the now underway summer championship season – so whichever race you’ve got lined up next  – Go Eden! J (Then write about it afterwards!)

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Well, as the song goes: "ooh what a night"! Last night at the ER's Christmas party at the Roundthorn Mr Wade Tidbury was elected ( browbeaten) as our Pantomime dame for the night. The Heaviside girls (with a bit of help) quickly transformed him from a, lets be honest, reasonable looking sort of bloke, into what I can only call the SEXIEST PANTOMIME WIDOW TWANKEY THAT I HAVE EVER SET EYES ON!

You may think I'm exaggerating, but you would know if you had been there. Fromthe pout of his 'rosebud' lips to the tips of his sprout sized nipples ( we know this to be true, as they really were sprouts sellotaped onto his giant boobies (balloons)), he became a real head turner. When he sat on my knee, I was almost overcome with desire( desire for him to get off me actually as hes a heavier lad, sorry lass, than he looks!)

I hope somewhere there will be pictures of this vision of beauty. Forget Botox, nips and tucks, all you need ladies ( and, sadly, gentlemen) is two balloons, some vegetables, bits of decorations, a belt or two! A bit of makeup and lippy and a few willing helpers, to transform you into the 'woman you never kne you were'! It worked for Wade..........

Thanks for the memories lovergirl XX

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Windmills and Pies – or – “Wade’s grand adventure”.

Penrith Rugby Club, 8am wet and windy on a Sunday morning, what better way to end the weekend than a trip down south to sunny Ulverston? Well, it would have been an 8am start if Wade had not had to endure the worst the weather could have thrown at Kirkoswald not an hour before and skating vehicles sans driver…Enough to prepare anyone’s heart rate for a 10k run.

So those of us with nothing better to do on a Sunday morning in December (like putting up decorations, buying trees or replacing tiny light bulbs) piled into the new “team bus” (Mike B, Paul S and myself) and discussed what comes naturally – our desired times from the days excursion. Wade had other things on his mind – namely new team colours (I think hot pink was the favourite) combined with a local sponsor.. All suggestions were food orientated, from Cranstons to Greggs and finishing with Town Head Chippy “We eat chips and we’re still in front of you” a good motivator for every other club runner if ever there was one… Even the sights of the wind turbines in full flow alongside the motorway couldn’t distract him from his creative leanings. I think the poor lad is hungry..

Arriving in Ulverston, after a slight detour or two to locate the sports centre, and fabulously early, we met Kevin W, who had taken a more scenic route through the Lakes and was not hampered by the snow.

The wind was always going to be a factor on this flat, almost coastal route – well, after the Krypton Factor experience Paul had in attempting (3 attempts) to get his vest on correctly prior to starting.. yet amazingly the rain held off for the duration of the run. 50m after the start I waved goodbye to Mike’s, Paul’s and Wade’s disappearing backs and attempted to settle into a rhythm while aiming to pick off some of the competition. The competition obviously had other ideas, namely being to finish quicker than me!

Well marshalled through the temporary road works and even into Ulverston Priory grounds (where a glimpse of the Buddhist temple could be had), the route threw up no real surprises or difficult areas and in slightly better weather conditions is definitely a route for PB claiming.

Things were not going too badly until mile 5 when a stitch hit, which I blame for eventually being 12 seconds over my aimed for time, not even a sprint finish (no elbows) could redeem it! Shouted in by Mike, Paul and Wade helped though, and I barely had time to pick up my free xmas pud and turn around before we all then cheered Kevin into the finish, a decent effort by all involved, especially by Mike who had just done 10 miles the previous day (his idea of a good warm up for a 10k?). Charlie Lowther left us all standing, being far too efficient in the scheme of things, but putting an Eden Runner in the top 20.

Some good soup from the Hoad Hill supporters and pudding to take home made a worthwhile trip, home and showered now, and as I write this it’s starting to snow… Lovely… Here’s to Christmas!

Words by Nicola G

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BHF Quiz Night - WOW!!!

The much awaited BHF Quiz organised by the Paris Bike Ride team took place last Friday at PRUFC and what a night it turned out to be:

Nearly 100 people and 18 teams took part;
Over £460 was raised which hopefully will be fully matched by our sponsors Barclays Bank;
Over £100 was raised from the raffle alone.

Thanks to everyone who bought tickets and purchased raffle tickets and a special thank you to those people who contributed some fantastic cakes, pottery and booze!

The night started with a mjor headache 'how do we fit everyone in?' the answer was with great difficulty, but we managed - just!

Tony was a first rate quizmaster with endless patience and it finished with 2 eden runner-based teams taking 1st and 2nd (who said runners are thick, certainly not me).

There was some controversy when the answer to what is the French for bicycle was given as le velo rather than bicyclette; this raised the comment from one of the 'Friday Night Girls' "that it was bicyclette when I was at school" which provoked a response from the Saagermeister that "that was a long time ago", which provoked an equally cutting response of "have you looked in the mirrow lately" - all good fun and thanks again.

Dave P