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Road Races
Royal Leamington Spa Half Marathon, Sunday 1st July 2018. Print

This was the inaugural event for this race, starting and finishing in the very heart of Royal Leamington Spa. The scenic route took in a number of the nearby and pretty Warwickshire villages before a final mile and a half within the towns parks. Unfortunately on the day the start had to be delayed for about 40 minutes due to traffic management issues on the closed roads which had the knock on effect of ramping up the heat by a few degrees. Due to the weather additional drinks stations had been installed and a number of kind people turned on sprinklers for the runners to cool down in.

The route contained a few hills, although nothing particularly severe, with the bonus of the last three miles being either on the level or downhill. My strategy on the day was based upon exploiting this for a fast finish, however having reached the top of the final hill around 10 miles, had little strength left in the legs to accelerate with. Perhaps this was the heat taking it toll, and was overtaken during this  final section by a very brave runner sporting a full alligator costume!
Lots of support around the course, provided great encouragement when it was most needed, with quite a crowd at the finish in the town centre.

Please be aware the results below show chip times (gun times in brackets)

 Andrew Wadsworth  
 99.10 (1:39:59)   
 179 Andrew Hussey 99:12 (1:41:37)

1609 runners completed the event, full results can be found  here.

Timberhonger 10K, Saturday 14th July 2018. Print

The wonderfully named Timberhonger race takes place on the Saturday evening of the Bromsgrove carnival, and is named after the road on which the predominant part of the race is run. Officially described as undulating or perhaps even hilly, the prolonged climb is from approximately the 7km to the 8km mark, however with the current heat wave ongoing, the temperature also provided a significant challenge with the race starting at 18:00.

A good mixture of club and fun runners, the winner from Birchfield covering the distance in under 35 minutes, with good representation from Bournville, BRAT & Aldridge, as well as the local clubs Bromsgrove & Redditch and Black Pear Joggers. Closed roads and well manned water stations provided a safe and well managed environment, and the anticipated hills tested the legs!

The final approx 400m saw the route diverted away from the road and back into the park across the grass where a vocal crowd welcomed the runners home, a medal and a bottle of beer being presented to each finisher.
An enjoyable event, very popular (it sold out again this year) plus a challenging course with the additional bonus of being run on a Saturday evening for those not wanting Sunday morning races!
Two entrants from Sparkhill, and after our chat afterwards both really enjoyed the event, I can certainly recommend it for 2019.

Please be aware the results below show chip times (gun times in brackets)

 Andrew Wadsworth 
 43:19 (43:26) 
 David Pearson 44:42 (44:51)

508 runners completed the event, full results can be found  here

Two Castles Run, Sunday 10th June 2018 (corrected) Print

The grounds of Warwick Castle were busy between eight and nine o'clock this Sunday morning, but not with the usual tourists, but nearly 4000 runners awaiting the start of the 2018 10km race between Warwick and Kenilworth Castles. For me the highlights of this race are the start and finish points, Warwick castle in all its historic splendour, warmly welcomes the athletes at the start, and Kenilworth castle where spectators always seem to turn out in large numbers and enthusiastically cheer the runners over the final 200m or so. This is the fourth event in the Warwickshire Road race league for 2018, and to support this the organisers helpfully filter club runners to the front of the field at the line up for the start, ensuring the best possible potential of a good time. Whilst the majority of the club runners were from local clubs, some travelled much further the first lady representing Oxford City, and the first man appears still to be registered with Barrow in Furness in Cumbria.
Great conditions for a run, dry but not too warm, well organised and marshalled as ever by the team. As it is a point to point event, coaches are provided to transport the runners back to Warwick afterwards
Yes it is one of the larger events in the Midlands, and I suppose will always attract large crowds, and therefore it can be challenging to get a place, but I would recommend everyone to try this event at least once.

(Note, position is based on gun time whilst time reported below is chip time)

 Pos Name Chip Time 
 Andrew Wadsworth 
 Andrew  Manning  
 Robert  Mills 00:45.48 
 Andrew Hussey 
 1403 Jenny Price 
 Leanne Neal 

Full results can be found  here, there were 3881 who finished the race.
Sphinx AC 5 Mile, Memorial Park, Coventry, Wednesday 13th June 2018 Print

A very well attended race in the WRRL at memorial park. Sphinx always host a good race which included a medal and cake for all finishers.As usual there were masses of Warwickshire based clubs like Leamington, Kenilworth and Spa Striders. For our part, 5 Sparkhill Harriers were present - Andy Wadsworth, Andy Manning, Barry Crowley, Barry O'Neill and Emma Donnelly (rumours of Emma's defection to Stratford proving unfounded). Conditions were near perfect with a light breeze taking a bit of heat out.

Well done to Andy W who came away with a PB over 5 miles so congratulations - his current training form demanding no less.

 98 Andy Wadsworth    33.25
 134 Barry O'Neill
 179 Andy Manning
 248 Emma Donnelly
 Barry Crowley

455 runners completed the race.

Full results can be found here .

As always, many thanks to Sphinx AC, all the officials, marshal and helpers, for a great race.


Ryton Pools 5, Ryton Pools Country Park, Coventry, Thursday 24th May 2018. Print

Nice warm evening for this 5 mile, 3 lap, mid -week journey around Ryton Pools Country Park. The scenery was splendid, the course mostly flat and the marshals plentiful and encouraging. Being a WRRL event nearly everyone there was in a club vest with masses of Leamington, Kenilworth, Spa Striders, Sphinx, K&D and Massey Fergusson etc. More moderate numbers represented Sparkhill with Andy Manning, Andy Wadsworth, Barry O'Neill and Andy Hussey making the trip. The general feeling was that it was well worth it and we would recommend this for next year. Many thanks to Spa Striders hosting an excellent event.

 105 Andrew Hussey 
 Andy Wadsworth 
 144 Barry O'Neill
 151 Andy Manning

339 runners completed the race.

Full results are currently available here .
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