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Winter - Don't you love it.......

This latest update starts with a bit of an apology as I missed Claudia and Scott's results from the Severn Sins. Particularly remiss as Claudia finished in 1:05 to claim the first lady spot with Scott in 1:08. Excellent results after running through snow, ice, mud and water!

Caroline made sure that her and Helen's efforts didn't go unnoticed by providing a write up of their recent visit to Stourbridge.

You want to be running a race every week if you can. Anything 5 miles and upwards. Road is good, off road is better. That’s the advice I've been trying to work from as I try and get my legs used to running 13 miles after getting off a 56 mile bike ride. There’s just over 13 weeks to go until Mallorca 70.3 and I’m starting to do as I'm told. So on a freezing cold Sunday morning in February, my running buddy Helen Milner and I are 40 miles up the M5 in Stourbridge contemplating whether 10 miles of mud and hills is a good idea or should we just sneak into the ladies only 7k going off at the same time.

The route was a bit familiar as this was our second trip to this part of the West Midlands. Back in August we ran the 6-mile Stourbridge Stumble with fellow weekend warrior PJ. However, then it was dry and it was a beautiful summer’s evening. There was an ice cream van at the finish, this time there was just ice. Aptly named the Stourbridge Stagger, the course was a mixture of roads and paths as we wound our way out of the town. Once up into the countryside the sun came out and, when you are surrounded by a glorious expanse of fields, you realise you've made the right choice. A Sunday lie in is so over rated.

OK maybe a couple of doubts crept in. Ten miles is a bloody long way and when I passed a sign telling us we were in Staffordshire, I realised I how far north I had travelled! But a couple of gels later, and after passing a couple of lads slipping and sliding around in their road shoes, I was back in the zone and counting down the miles.

Helen was way out in front, picking off runners as she went. She finished in a speedy 1:42 and I took an extra leisurely 16 minutes to complete the race in 1:58. Elated at the end, albeit with aching buttocks and burning thighs, we were both agreed it was a great run and it made the pit stop at the M&S up the road taste even better. Sandwiches AND CRISPS! That’s what you get when you run 10 miles off road. Bliss

While Caroline and Helen wer eating their post run sandwich crisps I hope they spared a thought for Russ. He completed the Brecon to Cardiff ultra 70k. Definitely a day of hills and snow showers. He managed a finishing time of 8:26 which given the lack of enough training he was very pleased with.

Finally there was there was Aquathlon 4. Although the sun was out there was a biting wind on the run course which thankfully was not too muddy. There were four TTC finishers in the field of around thirty entries. Wayne led the Club entrants home in 32:03 followed by Elaine (34:50), Ali (37:49) and Claire iin just over the hour mark. Hopefully the next event in March willl show signs of the weather warming up!

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