I always expected this blog to be a big one, with the promise of a sea of blue at Lytchett 10 and runners ticking off their Imperial races at Bournemouth 10, but Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara put paid to that. Despite the race cancellations, there have been some amazing running achievements this month, including attendance at a variety of races, distance personal bests, time personal bests and it has been great to see groups of RIOTers running together to support each other through event training and challenge runs.
February kicked off with a chilly run around North Dorset, the Blackmore Vale Half Marathon, this was the second Dorset Road Race League event for the club and a good run for those building up distance with their marathon training. This race had undulations, head winds and a final killer hill (which took every last bit of energy to power up – unless you are our resident hill runner Wendy Britton). The RIOT team had a great event with many getting half marathon PBs, including Kirsty Eveleigh, Rob Kirkpatrick, Chloe Morley and Alanna Wrixon, we also want to give a special mention to Dee Brooks for completing her personal challenge of 24 half marathon events in 24 months and a congratulations to Chris Peck for coming 3rd in the Dorset County Half Marathon Championships and second claim runner Alex Door for coming first lady.
Whilst some were pounding the roads of North Dorset others took on a very different challenge at the Bustinskin Portland Coastal events, including; 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon. Congratulations to Mark Brown, who took an amazing one hour off his 2019 Portland Coastal Marathon time, congratulations also to second claim runners Andy Mutter and Mark Evans for also completing this hard run. Well done to Sam Mercer and Katherine Downton for taking on the muddy half marathon, and to all those who completed the challenging 10k; Josie Warr, Sarah Dunford, Martin Ings (with a very last minute entry), Sofia Carter and Virginie Morris – that first hill up is not to be underestimated!
Variety was the name of the rest of the month as RIOT were at lots of different events across the country. Simon Fowler, Holly and Graham Harris and Claire and Paul Carlin were all in attendance at the Upton Country Park Winter Warmer 5k and 10k (congratulations to Paul for his 10k PB). Paul Carlin then went on to complete a much muddier challenge later in the month at the Avon Tyrrel 10k. Well done to Martyn and Julie Oliver, who, upon hearing about the cancellation of Bournemouth 10, completed their 10-mile virtual run in some stormy conditions along Weymouth seafront lining them up for the next Imperial Series event, the Larmer 10.
Not all RIOT stayed local, they were off around the country at a range of events (giving me lots of races to add to my 2021 “race wish-list”). Martin Mustoe (a rare race in the UK) headed ‘up north’ to Blackpool, for the Great North West Half Marathon. Christopher Peck achieved a sub 75 minute half marathon at Wokingham Half Marathon. Bella Lowis and Matt Ings got in some Grizzly practice wading through bogs at the Terminator, but for Bella, one muddy race wasn’t enough as she then followed this with the Cousin Jack Classic V, an 18 mile run from Cape Cornwall to St Ives. Wanting to add to his medal collection following the 10k event last year, Scott Civil traveled to Dartmoor for the technical run up and down the moors at the Hameldown Hammer Half Marathon. Congratulations to Chris Monteith for his 4th place in the Woodbury Common Wild Night run. Lastly, keen not to waste the opportunity to race on the 29th February, Rosie finished the second event in her twelve month challenge (and smashed some PRs whilst at it) by finishing a mentally and physically tough 10 x 1 mile loop race at the Lee Valley Velo Park 10 miles. Finally, as I write this we are all thinking of Matthew Stear who will be in the midst of his 50 mile ultra, the Chester Ultra 50 mile, we look forward to reporting on this monumental achievement in next months blog.
In other news…
This month consisted of our first club challenge of 2020, the completion, in teams of six of the 400 miles from Munich to Budapest which included running, cycling and swimming. This culminated in a tense race between Team 1 and Team 6 who were aiming not to be the last team to arrive. Thank you to all who took part and supported the challenge, and congratulations to Team 3: Mark Allwood, Rob Scott (III), Katie Smith, Mark White and Darren Grummit who arrived to Budapest with a final blustery run with full team support up to Hardy Monument. So far we’ve traveled 1342 miles from Dorchester to Paris, Paris to Munich then Munich to Budapest… time will only tell where we will end up next year!
It was not really a month for parkrun PBs when the local parkrun is along an exposed seafront, but well done to James Scott, Mark White, Scott Civil and Toby Alford who all achieved Weymouth parkrun PBs this month.
RIOT Tourists of the Month: This was very much a tale of contrast with Mary Godding running in the chilly French Alps and Clive Scammel in the heat of Jordan.
Thank you for reading, if you’ve any achievements you’d like to point out for next month that we’ve missed just get in touch. We are looking forward to a busy month packed with races and with our awards event on Friday 13th March – we hope you’ve booked your tickets and voted for your Man and Woman of Steel.