RIOT Round UP: March 2023

The month of march was filled with many RIOT members putting in the miles and training for their April events, other members achieving goals at events, some were focussed on putting in the miles for the recent club challenge, whilst others just got out there rain or shine to keep running.

RIOT Couch to 5k!

On a sunny morning at the end of March at the Great Field parkrun, 19 RIOT Couch to 5k runners completed their graduation 5km supported by RIOTers. They might have had a sunny day for this achievement, but they have been building up to this through January-March, running through cold, dark, wintery months encouraged by Kerri Oliver, Mark Stockman and other RIOT supporters. This is a huge milestone in their running journey and as a club we congratulate them and look forward to seeing them regularly on RIOT club runs.

Our amazing Couch to 5km Graduates
Mud, mud, glorious mud

March 2023 has been the wettest March in 40 years, so it is no surprise the terrain on many trail events has been extra challenging. This meant there has been plenty of energy-zapping mud to add to the hills, bogs, pebbles and technical terrain. That didn’t stop March being a month crammed full of trail events for RIOT members.

March started off with the Grizzly and Cub, these races are notorious, not only for the quirky things to distract you en route (wishing tree, beer and crisp bar, random people in fancy dress, shoe piles and the bands) but also for the bogs, and miles of pebbles incorporated into their 10 and 20 mile routes. Well done to all that took part, whether you did 10 miles, 20 miles or rounded up to 26, these races are tough no matter the distance, congratulations to Louise Curtis who achieved her longest distance run of 20 miles.

Your Grizzly and Cub runners

Next up was the White Star Running Larmer series! Though these races don’t have the grizzly pebbles, they do have plenty of ups, downs and mud. At the Larmer 7 we had Eden de Leon and Stephen Collins, well done to Stephen for his course PB. Jasmin Evans took on the Larmer 10, her first race since injury, she had an incredibly strong run, resulting in 2nd lady showing her patience in her return to running has paid off. Tamsin Horsler achieved the hilly half marathon, and was joined by a blister for the last 3 miles – ouch!

That was just Saturday, the results from Larmer don’t stop there… on Sunday a strong group of RIOT ladies took on the 20 mile route with Virginie Morris placing 5th and Karen Mitchell, Eleanor Rollett and Rebecca Bradly, all deep into their marathon training, sharing 6th place. Last but not least, well done to Andy Mutter and Rob Scott who completed the marathon, in prep for big April events!

RIOT Ladies at Larmer 20

Speaking of marathons, one in a weekend is enough for most people, but not for Andy Mutter who took on the Jurassic Coast Challenge which consists of 26+ miles on three consecutive days along the Jurassic Coast. He finished strong and took 2nd place overall. Not only that but he carried a sausage from his full breakfast along the way, providing an entertaining variation of “Where’s Wally” through a series of event photos.  Virginie Morris and Paul Burrows also took on an ultra with the Long Distance Walkers Association Cerne Giant 50k, congratulations to Virginie for achieving her longest ever run. 

Elsewhere this month, David Ryder achieved a course PB at the Studland 10k and Lucy Putt completed the Up and Downs 10k!

The month of the mad March half marathon 

RIOTers were out in force at half marathons, both locally and further afield. Many were using these events as part of their training for other upcoming events such as Manchester and London marathons, testing pacing and fueling strategies, whilst others were aiming for PBs or just enjoying being out at a local running event.

First up was Cambridge Half marathon. Sometimes you have those runs, where you push so hard that it makes you feel a bit sick at the end. Despite the training not going exactly to plan, William Loates finished the half marathon not only with 30 seconds of dry heaving, but a very impressive 9 minute half marathon PB and a speedy time of 1:21:37. We look forward to seeing what you achieve next!

Next up was Weymouth Half marathon, this half always gets a big turn out from the club and 2023 was no different! A sunny morning, running along Weymouth seafront supported by lots of RIOT marshals is the perfect setting for a good morning out and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves. Well done to all that took part in the event or volunteered. Special mentions to Esther Ward for her impressive run, Claire Lane, Emily Coplestone, Michelle Hunt and Gemma Allner who achieved 10 mile or half marathon PBs.  Wendy Britton, who once tail ran the race dressed as a parrot for charity, for her half marathon PB, this time she was in running attire and the bright leggings she is known for! Lastly, congratulations to Anne Woodruff, Anne has really been putting in the miles and effort into her training, determined to go back and take on the course for a second time and put that half marathon PB she deserved to bed, well… all that training certainly paid off!

Lastly, Yeovil Half marathon. The clocks have gone back, you’ve had one hour less sleep and it is drizzling… that didn’t stop RIOT runners at this half marathon race. Great efforts by all who ran but special mentions to Shannon McCabe for running her first half marathon and furthest distance and Terry Sneller for achieving his half marathon PB. We hope you all enjoyed the downhill finish! 

Scattered throughout the month were other events, with Reni McPhail at the trail New Forest half marathon, Cendrina at the Grand Canal Canter and Sally Miller for her speedy half marathon PB at the Bath Two Tunnels. It has not just been about the half marathon distance, a shout out to Dee Lewis who achieved the 10km distance at the Bath Two Tunnels and Toby Alford for his 10km PB at Weymouth Bay 10k, extra impressive given he had achieved a 5km parkrun PB just the day before!

Well done to everyone that has been out running this month, sorry if we have missed anyone. If you would like to highlight anything for future blogs, or get involved with writing them then please get in touch with us. Good luck to everyone racing in April, we have another big month coming up with RIOTers to shout about at the Oner events (currently underway as I type), the Dorset Oooser, Manchester Marathon, London Marathon and the Marnhull 12k!