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Road Races
Dudley Kingswinford 10K, Wednesday 3rd May 2017 Print

Andrew Wadsworth writes >

This was one midlands race I had never done yet had heard great things about, the course description says it is ‘a Gold standard race and was started in 1986. The race has grown in popularity over the years and with a capacity of 1100 runners is now one of the biggest midweek 10K Road race in the Midlands. Enjoy a great race in picturesque country lanes, well marshalled and a great friendly atmosphere.’

I did wonder whether that was just positive marketing, still only one way to find out was to enter and try it!

The event is based at Dudley Kingswinford rugby club right at the edge of the built up area of the West Midlands, it’s a large facility with plenty of parking, which was well stewarded. The rugby club also provided lots of changing rooms, as well as a bar and food afterwards. Chip timing packs were sent out well in advance of the race, and the runners were escorted out to a closed road for the start. The quality of runners is clear from the results, first home being Martin Williams of Tipton who ran in the 2010 Commonwealth games for Scotland. Lots of club vests, the Black Country and Shropshire clubs well represented, although I also spotted a few BRAT and Bournville vests.

The course itself having left behind the rugby club crosses the river Stour adjacent to a lovely country pub, where the locals were outside in force supporting the runners, and into some beautiful narrow country lanes in the low spring sunshine. Picturesque was very accurate, super colours, with open fields, woodlands and a river. The course is undulating however not severely and at all junctions plenty of encouraging marshalls.

I felt reasonably pleased with my result, which thanks to the technology I was able to see on a screen within minutes of finishing.

 Andrew Wadsworth 

748 runners this year certainly makes it the largest midweek evening race I have taken part in, so I have to conclude a very accurate description by the DK club and one to highly recommend to all for your racing diaries next year.

Full results can be found here

London Marathon, Sunday 23rd April 2017 Print

Paul Webster writes >

Training had gone well for my latest attempt to conquer the streets of London so I was feeling optimistic despite some early morning nerves. The course itself was literallty lined all the way along by thousands of people that has come out to enjoy the warmer than expected weather. This made conditions tough, and by mile 10 I was starting to feel the strain and by mile 16 my target time of sub 3:30 was beginning to face away.

In the end I crossed the line in total agony in 3:42:12 but pleased to have got round in one piece and vowing never to run a marathon again...



 Jane Bartholomew  
 8718 Paul Webster
 Simon Sheppard

39432  runners completed the race.

Full results can be found here .


Midland vets road relays, Moira, Sunday 23rd April 2017 Print

Four Sparkhill teams had a successful morning in the Midland vets road relays on Sunday 23rd April at Moira. On a 4.4km course the M65 team of Mick Edwards, Barry Crowley and Martin Millicheap defended their title to again win their category. The M55 team (Patrick Finnegan, Andy Wadsworth, Tahir Ahktar) finished second as did the M45 team (Nick Stringer, Grahame Hygate, Darren Riley, Rob Mills). The W45 team of Manisha Parmar and Gil Millicheap were leading however had an incomplete team on the day.

Individual leg teams on the day were:
M65: M.Edwards 19.36, B.Crowley 21.52, M.Millicheap 21.51
M55: P.Finnegan 17.15, A.Wadsworth 17.28, T.Akhtar 18.11
M45: N.Stringer 15.58, G.Hygate 18.31, D.Riley 16.32, R.Mills 18.28
W45: M.Parmar 24.41, G.Millicheap 27.17  
Great runs by all who took part.

Full results can be found here .

Paris Marathon, Sunday 9th April 2017 Print

Clare Bovill writes >

Preparation in the week before had been affected by my father’s sudden illness and subsequent unexpected death, so it was with mixed feelings that I headed to France.

On a very hot day - 25 degrees - I was pleased with my time of 3:50:01.  I had been on track to get a 3:40 time but I pulled a calf muscle at 18 miles and had to slow down and reduce my cadence.

I finished in the top 25% overall and the top 9% of women.

Please thank those club members who offered messages of support and condolence at a very difficult time, they were really valued. 

 Clare Bovill 

42483 runners completed the race.

Full results can be found here .

Massey Ferguson Tractor 10k, Stoneleigh, Sunday 16th April 2017 Print

Andrew Wadsworth writes>

Easter Sunday and the inaugural race in the Warwickshire Road Race League for 2017, this year the event moved from the War Memorial Park to the site previously used by the Royal Showground, which meant among other things plenty of parking as well as good pre and post facilities for the runners.

The course was almost flat, a couple of gentle inclines per lap, two and three quarter laps in total, with an additional small lap to start, plus a 200m final sprint to the finish away from the main route. Perhaps slightly more turns than one would expect in a typical road race, and the occasional speed bump to be aware of, however it had the great advantage of being completely traffic free

Four representatives from Sparkhill Harriers, all completing the course in respectable times


  Andrew Wadsworth 



  Andy Manning



  Emma Donnelly 



  Mick Edwards


As always the organisation by the Massey club was excellent, prize-winners receiving trophies and Easter Eggs. Despite it being Easter Sunday the results were published that evening, with the promise of photos to come later.

It was advertised as a PB course, and as I managed that, who am I to disagree.

365 runners participated in the event, mainly club runners.

Full results can be found here

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