Spring is in the air and PB’s are being smashed!

So after the snow of a few weeks back, we are now basking in the first (maybe only) heatwave of 2019. T shirt and shorts are fine, and there’s barely a muddy patch to be found…ok so that’s a bit of a lie, but the ground is great right now for some fab hill running. (Depending how you like it! if you prefer wet and muddy, well just a wait a few days and sure you’ll get your wish…). And if that wasn’t enough, for us 9 to 5ers you can even get a head torch free run in after work – just! Summer is on its way!

The unseasonably fine weather coincided for some races with fair PB potential, and the GDH contingent did not waste any time putting it to good use. So read on to hear how everyone got on. *ok so perhaps not everyone – thanks Strava for a fairly epic Sunday fail – sure we will have missed something so apologies. But perhaps that’s a good reminder – if you want a mention, please send us an email to gdhweeklyreports@gmail.com, that way it’ll get included!

Parbold Hill Race

Saturday saw Matt Crompton heading West for the Parbold Hill Race and for another great result. He sent in this report:

“Parbold Hill Race is a classic trail race that has been going for 49y in west Lancs. Run over 11km of road and trail, it heads up Parbold Hill twice. This was my third time running it; I can really recommend it. I was the one GDH representative, finishing in 53:09, 87th from 461 runners.”

Great running Matt – sounds a decent race – one for next years road/trail champs maybe?! We could have a good GDH turnout for it’s 50th year…?? And as Matt didn’t mention it, we will – he got a PB by 4min 30secs on this race – errrrr wow!

Wrexham Half Marathon

Will Mather, Jim Talbot and Alex Critcher were over in Wrexham for 13 of Wrexham’s “finest” miles.  Alex sent in this report (with some other bits as I’d already written this when the report arrived J!)

Quick update from the Wrexham half, flat, windy, farmlandy. Will flew round the course in a super impressive 1h 29min 34s for his first sub 90 min half marathon – massive PB. (Choose Manchester next time Will – there isn’t even 78m elevation in that one!). Alex also got a massive PB in a speedy 1h 43min 15. Jim T unfortunately was finding that Wrexham was windy in more ways than one, and after visiting both toilet stops he arrived in in 1h 52min 40 for a massive PW but he did get 2 lots of cake.

1h 52 is pretty good going for 2 toilet stops! Waiting to find out if the 2 lots of cake were before or after the race, which could explain a thing or 2.

Here are the happy campers celebrating and commiserating their PBs and PWs.

Guess who got the PBs…

Stockport Trail Half Marathon

Not to be outdone by the Wrexham PBers, Sunday also saw a handful of GDHers enjoy the quiet Sunday A57 drive over to Marple for the Stockport Trail Half – definitely nicer than it sounds! Once he’d got back and put his feet up for a well-earned rest, Ian Crutchley sent in this report.

This race is a fairly flat, out and back on the Middlewood Way from Marple, with a section of canal towpath in the middle.  So not the most inspiring route you’ll ever run, but most of us were not here to enjoy the most exciting half marathon out there.  By and large, we were here to PB.

As for how the race went I can only speak from my own experience, this being the first flattish half marathon I’ve done, and I was struck by the fast running, and literally nowhere to hide from it.  Luke Holme was off like a rocket, and after a few miles was out of sight.  I didn’t see him again until 500 metres from the finish, where I just managed to edge past, much to his annoyance.  To be fair Luke had a great race, just returning from injury, and if he wasn’t in my sights that last couple of miles, I probably wouldn’t have got the time I did.  As for the rest, I’ll let the results do the talking, but suffice to say some impressive PB action!  Well done everyone!

62           Ian Crutchley                                    1.35.53 (PB)

63           Luke Holme                                       1.36.00 (PB)

97           Lance Hamilton-Griffiths                1.40.37 (PB)

136        Joe Gavin                                           1.46.42 (PB)

227        Kate Bowden                                    1.55.23 (PB)       

146        Wendy McMahon                            1.57.17 (not quite a PB, but good training for that Marathon!)

332        Rebecca Coward                             2.08.00 (not sure if PB, sorry Rebecca)

There were a couple of GDHers which seemed masquerading for different clubs, so I omitted them (sorry)!

GDH came 5th in the men’s team category.

Thanks for the report Ian, and some mighty quick running by all! (PS: Luke – surprised you didn’t stick your foot out when you heard him coming 😉

Happy PB faces…mostly!

Cross Country – SECCL

Big up to David C-L who is putting Jeroen’s Tuesday sessions to good use and has been putting in some great performances at the XC races this season.

On Saturday he was over at Chorley Yarrow Valley for a no doubt bizarrely dry XC race, and he stormed round the 9km-ish course in a little over 43 mins. Well run David!

And how could we forget Jo Brack – who after casually arriving at Jeroen’s session on Tuesday just in the nick of time, figured she had her timing down to a fine art. So relaxed is her pre-race routine, that she actually prefers not to stand in the ladies toilet queue that tends to still be 10 deep by the time the race starts at 1.40pm…no, Jo prefers to drive up at 1.39pm, ditch the car with a screech of tyres and a spray of mud over the spectators, and jog towards the start line to hear the gun go off, and see the backs of a hundred or so XC ladies disappear from view. Isn’t that the adrenaline rush everyone needs to make a good race?! Clearly works for Jo – she shot round the 6.5km course in a rapid 34 min. (Note to the wise, if you prefer to arrive an hour and a half early to a race so you can stand in the toilet queue 20 times, tie and re-tie your laces 6 times, have a cuppa tea, go to the loo again, and then have an extensive stretching routine with other runners whilst the smell of Deep Heat gets up your nostrils…don’t accept a lift from Jo ;)!)


As always there were a host of runners all over Greater Manchester enjoying the best of Hyde, Stretford, Glossop and Woodbank parks to name just a few.

This report swung its way over from Ian – Melissa and Ian Crutchley were joined by Luke Holme and Will Mather at Stretford Parkrun.  Whilst Luke and Will breezed this flat course in sub 21, allegedly brawling and scrapping with each other (*That’s Stretford for you) Melissa strolled around in a 5K PB time of about 26:55.  I say about, because the sheer number of runners that turned out (697) meant for a shambolic finish funnel, where we queued for around 1 minute to actually cross the line.  Still, it was some fantastic running!  A great fast course, and we will be back! (*Stick with Glossop – no such chaos at the finish line here!)

Joe Travis got a 5km PB in South Manc in a super impressive 18.21.

And if parkrunning in England isn’t enough, Wyatt Barlow was over in Aberystwyth for his second go at the course – clearly worked out well, he ran in for an alltime Parkrun PB of 26min 22! Parents gonna have to pretend they let him win in future eh 😉

Consolidated club report can be found here: http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1491

Melissa storming in only to have to queue at the finish line…

In other news

So PBs don’t come without a lot of effort and some good training – and we’re pretty sure that the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions must be paying off for you regulars! A massive thanks from everyone to Chris Webb for the mid week XC training sessions which ended this week. As Elanor Swan said, these have been brilliant (defo type 2 fun) and have been well attended by lots of crazy people from the club. Don’t panic, they’ll be back next year! (well i have no idea, but it’s in writing now so he’s kinda held to it). Tuesday sessions continue to well attended and provide great variety, with a nice competitive element thrown in for those who like it – don’t worry if you don’t, it’s all about turning up and having fun! Thanks as always Jeroen!


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