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Road Races
Warwick Half Marathon, Sunday 3 April 2016 Print
Rob Mills writes >>

Last Sunday saw three Sparkhill Harriers up bright and early to compete in the BHF Warwick Half-Marathon. 

It was a great morning for running with only a very light breeze and perfect temperatures.  The course starts and finishes at Warwick Racecourse and consists of a resonably flat tour of the surrounding countryside and villages on traffic-free roads and paths.  My only gripe was the 9am start which I feel is a little uncivilised for a Sunday morning.

Anyway, results were as follows:

 85 (6th MV50) 
 Patrick Finnegan 
 1.31.47 
 98 Mark Williams
 1.32.53
 153 (2nd MV55) 
 Rob Mills
 1.36.28

 

1,539 runners completed the race.

Overall it was a well-organised and easy-to-get-to event which I would recommend to others.  With the right training it definitely has some PB potential.

Rob Mills

Full results can be found here .
 
Stafford Half Marathon, Sunday 20th March 2016 Print
Vicki Bone writes >>
 
I always like doing Stafford Half Marathon and have done it a few times now. It’s a fair course as, although it isn’t flat, the hills aren’t too brutal and fewer people take part compared to the bigger Great Run events so you don’t get boxed in the whole way round. It might not be the most scenic of runs apart from a nice bit out in the countryside but it’s always well organized and the free parking is a bonus too. The weather was ideal for us with a nice chilly start but not too cold for the spectators cheering us on. I was very impressed to see one spectator was offering up free bottles of wine to the runners and another man’s sign simply said “Don’t do this – your lives are worth more!” (By 10 miles I was starting to agree with him).
 
I was really pleased to get a new half marathon PB despite my lingering cold/cough and met up with my friends afterwards for a celebratory scone with jam at the M&S café which brought me back to life again. Special mention has to go to Jane who did a very impressive time and also came first in her age category – all those cross country runs and the marathon training have certainly paid off! We both agreed it was a great day and would recommend it to anyone looking to do a good time or just use it as additional training. The only niggle would be getting out of Stafford afterwards can be tricky as the run takes over the town but that’s only a slight moan really. I’ll still do it next year so maybe see you there.
 
Name Overall position Race number Gun time Chip time Chip position Gender position Position in age category
Jane Bartholomew 131 2539 1.28.51 1.28.42 134 3 1
Vicki Bone 310 879 1.36.08 1.35.37 318 20 5
 
Full results can be found here .
 
Vicki and Jane
 
Knighton 20, Sunday 13 March 2016 Print
Well done to Clare who ran the Knighton 20 Race as part of her spring marathon prep. It was the first running of the race replacing the Stafford 20. The running conditions were superb but the 3 lap course was tough.
 251 
 Clare Bovill 
 2.59.38 

410 runners completed the race.

Full results can be found here .

 
Droitwich Half-Marathon, 6 March 2016 Print
Last Sunday saw Patrick and I set off for a cold but sunny Droitwich to run the annual half-marathon organised by Droitwich Running Club.
 
I had originally been drawn to this event as it had been described to me as "flat with good PB potential"... Perfect, I thought, just right for the end of the cross-country season.
 
In fact (following a dispute with the local golf course allegedly) this year's race was held on a new course which was anything but flat: challenging and undulating would be a better description.
 
Anyway, it was  a lovely rural course virtually traffic free.  The marshalling was excellent and very friendly with overall organisation very good.  Based at the School/Leisure Centre we all know well from the X/C fixture, the race started at a very civilised 11.00am so we didn't have to get up too early to eat our porridge.  An unusual feature of the course is the hilly figure-of-eight section between miles 6 and 9 where runners have to collect a wristband from the marshal to enable them to "escape" for the final section towards the finish!  Nice technical tee-shirt too.
 
The field was small with 229 runners finishing the race, most of whom were sporting vests of local clubs.
 
Patrick finished 51st in 1.34.39 (chip) (1.34.43 gun).
 
Having watched him zoom off on the start line I was happy to finish in 63rd position in 1.38.43 (chip) (1.38.47 gun).
 
We were 7th and 9th respectively in the M50 category.
 
I would recommend the race but not if you are seeking a PB.
 
Full results can be found here .
 
Rob Mills
 
 
Stourbridge Stagger, Sun 7th February 2016 Print
This year was the 25th year of this run organized by Stourbridge RC. 10.3 miles of very mixed terrain, roads, footpaths, bridleways, steps, stiles and kissing gates, plus some very attractive countryside. The organisers add to the intrigue by naming some of the features, Dinosaur Beach, Horsetail Bank, Joan's Delight, Slop Gully & Step Hill  and each present their own challenges. Add to this sunshine in parts made for an enjoyable event. Underfoot the conditions were also very varied, plenty of mud in parts as expected, some large puddles, but other areas were quite firm, the official line from Stourbridge RC went along these lines 'It was a tad muddy out there & tough conditions this year' which summed it up quite well.
 
Sparkhill colours were represented by a team of three who finished as below.

 100 
 Tahir Ahktar
 1:25:38
 147 
 Andrew Wadsworth   
 1:32:18  
 316 Margaret Ehrenberg 
 1:51:44

397 intrepid runners completed the event, all presented with a notable memento of a bright red hand towel embroidered with the words 25th Stourbridge Stagger !

81 entered the ladies only 7K race, both races going off in a mass start and diverging after just about 3km marker

Full results can be found here .

Plenty of photos taken on the day, lots of smiling runners enjoying the challenge can be found here .

 
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