FRC round up #14: Sports day, Windlesham relay, NDW50, Second Sunday 5 and Lymington and Staines 10ks

Racing this weekend was not limited to running, with a hotly contested egg and spoon race making for some excellent entertainment!

(photo: Richard Morris)

We’re half way through May and the FRC calendar is as jam-packed and fun-filled as ever, with the club represented at no less than five events this weekend – as well as our own sports day also taking place!

So let’s take a look at how you all got on…

Windlesham Pairs Relay 10k

Kicking us off early this week with some mid-week fun, Thursday night saw Alex and Carolyn taking part in the Windlesham Relays – with Oscar in tow as their FRC super cheer squad in his bespoke FRC kit! ​

The race is for teams of two, with each team member taking turns to complete a one kilometer lap until each has run 5 laps, and Team Zimmerman came in 32nd out of 125 teams which is a great result! Well done both!

Alex, Carolyn and Oscar all in club kit (photo: Stephanie Muzzell)

North Downs Way 50

On to the weekend and the bulk of our races. First up is the North Downs Way 50; a 50 mile race from Farnham in Surrey to Knockholt in Kent along the beautiful National Trail.

Lining up at the start line at 8am in a spot of drizzle were Dudley, Henri, Frank and myself. I had opted to stick with a friend from Clapham Chasers, as I expected to run a similar pace to her. Henri was also with us and looking to head off conservatively but somehow we’d ended much further towards the front than intended! But there was no time to worry as we were soon off, gently trotting along the trail, past incredible seas of bluebells and wild garlic which were in full bloom.

Frank and Dudley pass through Reigate Hill aid station (photos: Stephane Muzzell)

It was a long day, filled with ups and downs (figuratively and literally) for all involved, but one thing that made everything easier was tremendous support along the way. 23 miles in and after winding our way down through Denbie’s vineyard we were treated to the familiar sound of cowbells ringing in the distance. A bit further along and soon we realised the bells belonged to Bob, Tomoko, Daphne, Diane, Lorraine and Luke who had set up shop by the A24 waving Fulham vests and shouting and cheering us on — a welcome sight for a fatigued runner indeed! A couple of miles (and 275 stairs up Box Hill) later, and Andy Han and Chris Cooper were posted to also give us some good old fashioned Fulham encouragement.

Strangely the stairs at Box Hill were not as terrifying as I’d expected, and actually quite a welcome relief as they resulted in a walk break.
High Fives from the FRC cheer squad #1 (photos: Tomoko Kikuchi)

At Reigate aid station I was told that Dudley had dropped at around 33 miles with hamstring trouble. It was a sensible move but it must have been a difficult call as he was sitting in an incredible 6th place at that point. It was also here that I heard that Henri had dropped with back pain at Box Hill just after I last saw him. But on the positive side, Amy and Stephanie were there volunteering at the Reigate aid station with hugs and words of encouragement which lifted my spirits no end.

Hugs as sustenance (photo: Amy Capper)

Around 37 miles, as the knowledge that I still had over a half marathon to go was trying hard to creep into the back of my mind and make me feel a little despondent, Phil made a surprise appearance along the route with some well timed words of encouragement and the offer of a KitKat to spur me on again! After seeing my family and friends at 41 miles I started to believe that I was actually going to do this and it was then just a case of telling myself to ‘Just Keep Swimming’ and keeping the momentum ticking over until I made it to the end.

Reaching the finish line was truly one of the most amazing moments of my life. As I crossed the line, I was in a bit of a daze as I was given my medal by a lady who then prompted me that I knew her and that she was ‘Julia from the club, the cheerleader from The London Marathon!’ — the best news I’d heard all day as at that point I just wanted to hug someone.

The next person I saw was our very own Centurion hero Ilsuk. Now my first ever trail running experience a few years back was when Ilsuk drove a few of us out to Box Hill and promised us a ten mile run — the furthest I’d ever done at that point. At Reigate Hill (seven miles in) he proceeded to tell me we were actually on an out-and-back route and needed to run another seven miles back again!

On that run Ilsuk spoke about the North Downs Way races and I remember clearly expressing my disbelief that anyone could take on Box Hill after already running a marathon. Ilsuk’s response was simply to tell me I would do it one day.

Well on Saturday I did, and it was an honour and delight to be able to hug the person who always knew I would as soon as I finished. So thank you Ilsuk. You are an inspiration to many of us in the club and a committed race pusher who many of us can thank for helping us realise we can do more than we ever imagined. :)

Enough of my sentimental ramblings! So in conclusion, although it wasn’t to be for Dudley and Henri this time round, two FRC runners made the finish line with our first runner Frank coming an amazing 56th out of 251 overall in a time of 9:27. I was delighted with my time of 10.50 and especially pleased to note I’d managed 20th lady (of 51 who finished). I loved every minute of Saturday and would do it all again in a heartbeat!

  • Frank Womelsdorf — 09:27:43
  • Sydnee Watlow — 10:50:41


Sports Day

The below report is courtesy of Chief Sports Day organiser, John Devoy:

The Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. The Weltklasse in Zurich. The Bislett Games in Oslo. The Fulham Running Club Sports Day in Barn Elms. Spot the odd one out? That’s right, it’s the FRC Sports Day — because it’s the only one which features a track covered in goose poo…
That said, there is something rather nice about having the spectator numbers bolstered by some very vocal geese (and, at this time of year, a supporting cast of fluffy goslings). Thankfully the day passed off without any goose-related incidents (despite Ted Morris’ best efforts), and the stars of the show were the FRC participants.
Sunshine replaced the deluge of 2016, and it brought out some dazzling performances: Jacob Miller turned from track to field to win the shot put, repeating his victory at school sports day a decade ago just along the river; Richard Gayton proved you don’t need spikes or starting blocks to blast out a sub-13s 100m, before showing what looked suspiciously like actual technique in winning the long jump; Nick Thomas rocked up on a motorbike and cleaned up in the 200m, 400m and 800m like he was still on it; Charlie Craven mixed it with the youngsters over one lap; and Amy Tayler showed ruthless track-racing craft. The future looks bright, too, as the next generation of Morris, Craven and Riddell-Webster athletes all showed a fleet turn of foot.
In the all-important tug-of-war, England’s heft proved too much for the Rest of the World; Captain Han arrived from the NDW50 just in time to win the Egg and Spoon race; and Nick Thomas pipped John Wray as the last men standing in the elimination race (a brilliant suggestion of an event from Charlie which closed the proceedings — last runner in the pack at each 100m segment of the track is pulled out, resulting in some frenetic mid-race sprinting!).
Nonchelance personified
The wonderful community spirit which is in evidence at every single FRC event was on display in abundance on Saturday, with everyone taking turns to time, measure, record and officiate; it was especially nice to see injured FRCers like Andy Stringer, Henri Placek and Richard Morris still prepared to give up their time to help out. And the whole afternoon was fuelled by Alice Riddell-Webster’s fantastic cake — which was both extremely tasty and WADA compliant ;-)
I leave you with some stats from the day…
34 — cubic metres of goose poo brushed from track before first event
4 — leeks which nobly gave up their lives for use as relay batons
62 — seconds it took Nick Thomas to run Lap 1 of the 800m, before somehow running Lap 2
1 — functioning hamstrings possessed by Richard Morris after 50m of the first event
0 — seconds Ted “Man’s Best Friend” Morris delayed his sprint to the line after above injury
17 — approx. duration in minutes of Bob Empson’s victory dance after Heat 1 of Egg and Spoon
10 — approx. distance in cm by which Richard Gayton knocked Leo Gebbie out of the elimination race
1,726 — times Leo Gebbie has replayed in his mind, since Saturday, being eliminated by Richard Gayton
1 — leeks/relay batons awarded to Leo Gebbie in light of over-casual approach to elimination race
1 — leeks/relay batons which made it into Leo Gebbie’s dinner that night (there is a photo…)

Full results are available from the Facebook group but the main results to note from the day are the happy faces — massive thanks to John Devoy for organising such a great and inclusive day and here’s hoping he does another for when those of us who had other plans can attend :)

Lymington 10k

Moving on to Sunday now and Stewart MacAndie was racing in Lymington in the Lifeboat 10k. He finished in a stellar 6th position (in a time of 35:26) and was also first in the V40 category! Only 15 seconds off of a new PB, Stewart was pretty happy with this result — especially as it was on gravelly trails and grass compared to Battersea where he set his previous fastest time.

  • Stewart MacAndie — 35:26

Full results:

Second Sunday 5

The Second Sunday is always popular and this week 11 of you hot-footed it up to the common for a brisk Sunday morning 5 miles. Nolly made her FRC debut this week, giving John G a run for his money in the process! Alice managed a comfortable First Lady finish and Bob got his t-shirt for his sixth run at the event. All sounds like a pretty successful Sunday morning and if you like the sound of it, look out for next month’s edition!

Nolly chases down John along the Toast Rack (photo: Ben Thornton, Facebook)
  • Alice RW — 34.54–1st lady!
  • Amer Ismail — 35.01
  • Tariq Bugaighis — 36.13
  • Bob Lynam — 40.48
  • Daphne Dadzie — 40.52
  • Amy Taylor — 42.42
  • Francisco Jocquim — 43.22
  • Ben Thornton — 43.56
  • John Grigg — 43.56
  • Lorraine Kelsey — 45.10
  • Bob Empson — 45.10

Full results —

Staines 10k

And finally in this week’s racing Stuart MacDougall won the prestigious Staines 10k this Sunday!

Stuart reports, “Finished in my least favourite position (4th) two years ago… so delighted to win after taking the lead around 7k and hanging on!!!”

Taking home the trophy in FRC stripes! (photo: Stuart MacDougall)
  • Stuart MacDougall — 35.19–1st place!

Parkrun results

Fulham Palace parkrun

A total of 417 runners took part this week. It was Cosmo’s 100th parkrun this week! Hoorah!

Volunteer-wise, Alice RIDDELL-WEBSTER • Amer ISMAIL • Eliza GAFFNEY • Jilly PARKER • Rick CANNON are the names I recognise this week. Thanks to you all as usual :)

Banstead Woods parkrun

According to National Trust, Banstead Woods are described as; “Ancient woodland, thought to once have been owned by Anne Boleyn, and a site of Special Scientific Interest, the woods were a medieval deer park.” Steve didn’t have time to take them in at all, as he was too busy smashing his previous parkrun PB of 20:49 by more than 3o seconds! Stephanie, Ashley and Maddy were also out in Banstead doing a bit of parkrun tourism and enjoying the lovely weather out of town.

Enjoying a bit of rural park running (photo: Facebook)
  • Steven LUCAS — 00:20:17 — PB!
  • Maddy MARRIAGE — 22:02
  • Ashley LUCAS — 22:57
  • Stephanie MUZZELL — 24:08

Brockwell parkrun, Herne Hill

Bury St Edmunds parkrun

Bushy parkrun

This was Natalie’s first run at Bushy, and her 7th overall.

Gunnersbury parkrun

A total of 477 runners took part.

parkrun de Montsouris

It was a husband and wife clean up this week with Stuart and Jennie taking 1st place and second lady!

Peterborough parkrun

Becky reported; “Tourist parkrun in Peterborough today with my mum, who is a major inspiration, finishing first lady and I finished 3rd lady. PB’s for both of us and in the top 40 out of a massive turn out of 589 runners!”

Becky and her Mum — 1st and 3rd ladies at Peterborough parkrun (photo: Becky Lister)

Reigate Priory parkrun

Ahead of cheering duties along the North Downs Way, Bob and his gang took advantage of the trip of get to Reigate for a bit of cheeky tourism this week!

Richmond parkrun

Wimbledon Common parkrun

So there you have it for another week! Well done to everyone who ran, raced, volunteered or cheered. Don’t forget to post up any events you are taking part in over the next week to Facebook so we can all see how you get on! #FRC #runlikeyoustoleit #run.race.cheer

The results for this report were pulled from a combination of the Facebook group, the FRC Strava group and the parkrun consolidated club results. If you, or another runner, competed this weekend in something that I missed and want to be included then get in touch and I can add you in.

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