James Spray Running 26.2 miles over 10 consecutive days

In these unusual times one of our SRC members took on a challenge in aid of the Rainbows Hospice for Children Young People to enable them to continue the amazing support they give to over 450 families impacted by life-limiting conditions.

The challenge was a grullling 10 marathons over 10 consecutive days from Friday the 16th of October 2020 to Sunday the 25th of October 2020.

Some amazing support by friends, family, SRC and other running clubs enabled James to complete his mission with £4712 raised (and still climbing).

Quite an inspirational achievemnt by James in terms of the money raised and with each marathon in less than 4hrs 30 incuding the last marathon in an amazing time of 3hrs 48.

Hats off to you Spray 🙂

Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

Sinfin Running Club Cheque Presentation 24/07/2019

Sinfin Running Club presented a cheque to a representative from the Air Ambulance Service on Wednesday the 24th of July 2019.

This amount was from funds raised from our Sinfin Classic 10K race. We have chosen to present this to the Air Ambulance Service as our charity of choice. We do this as the Air Ambulance do not receive any government funding and rely purely on donations to fund their activities.

For more information about the Air Ambulance please see the below link




Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

On Snowdonia Trail Marathon Report.

Below is a rather interesting report form James Spray following his completion of the Snowdonia Trail Marathon

This is a ‘tough’, to say the least, race.

The website explains.

This is one of the UK’s most challenging trail races. The On Snowdonia Trail Marathon is a challenge in every sense of the word. Ascending 1,685 metres over 26 miles of iconic and spectacular trails, this epic race will circumnavigate and eventually climb Wales’ highest peak – Snowdon. The incredible route explores the trails, gorgeous panoramic views and tough climbs that make Snowdonia National Park such a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Visiting Rhyd Ddu, Beddgelert, Nant Gwynant, Pen y Pass and Snowdon, there surely can’t be a more striking trail marathon route in the UK!

Winging it in Wales.

Snowdonia trail marathon.

When I booked this race a year ago I was fit, lean and injury free. Fast forward 365 days I’m the total opposite.
Although I’ve ran 3 marathons this year, none of these were with any conviction.
After beating Achilles tendinitis, I’m now living with a very niggly groin.

I picked up the boys on Saturday lunch time and Brendan came out of his house with 3 huge bags. Thought he was moving out. He certainly comes prepared.

After about 3 hours we arrived at Llanfairpwllgwyngyll (I know, what a mouth full. Nicknamed it piggy wiggle for short)
Our hotel looked very inviting from the outside……then we went inside…………….
It was very dated. The rooms just made me laugh out loud how old fashioned they were but we weren’t bothered.
After a quick pint we drove to zipworld where Deano, Fordy and I had booked to ride Europe’s fastest and longest zip slide.
This didn’t disappoint. What an experience. The colour of adrenaline is without question brown!!

Back to faulty towers for a few more beers and some tea. The food was actually very nice but the Barman could not pour a pint of Guinness for toffee!

Called it a night about 10 and after an horrendous nights sleep in an awful bed it was race day.
Dean and I devoured a full English brekky and we headed off to the race village to pick up our numbers.
We found the car park but frustratingly there were large queues for the paying machines and a lot of confused faces.
It wouldn’t except notes, kept saying ‘void’ for contactless and chip and pin.
We eventually paid over the phone taking to a robot. What ever happened to a pensioner in a cabin with a newspaper to pay?
Anyway, we made the race brief and picked up numbers with 10 mins to spare.

At the start we saw a fellow Sinfin runner in Duncan Cowie. Bren, Dunc and I agreed to get round together. Duncs has a niggly injury also. Plan was to enjoy it and finish in one piece.
The klaxon went off at 9am and we began our journey through a small village, Llanberis with many supporters were cheering and clapping.
Half a mile in we came to out first hill. Half a mile in, we were walking. The sun was shining and I was sweating.
This is gunna be a long day I thought. About 4 miles in it started to get a bit technical.
One minute you were running on a huge pyramid made of slate, the next rolling country side with stray rocks and boggy areas.
Gunna be a long day alright.
We ran through picture postcard village and round beautiful lakes.
We chatted about sport, music and work and the early hours flew by.
I knew this race was going to get very difficult, very soon.
We went through woodland and the rocks were getting more and more present. You have to keep your wits about you with every footstep.
Mile 18 came and I took a deep breath. Here she is. The pyg (pig) track. We’re going UP!!!!
The ascent was something else. It was relentless. Kept going and going. We were faced with jagged rocks that you had to get on all fours on and climb. It was very scary in places. Every footstep had to be right. It would of tested Spider-Man.
The track was very busy with walkers out in large numbers.
It’s so different to other races. If you want to pull out, you can’t without climbing all the way back.
I looked at my watch, a mile bleeped on my Garmin. 30 minutes.
It took me 90 minutes to climb 3 miles…
And I still wasn’t at the top.
Finally made it up and was I relieved. Quick photo at the top and a drink then I thought wow I’ve got to go down now!
The descent was tricky on very tired legs but we walked most it. I was still tripping over rocks and losing concentration.
One minute I nearly went flying. How I stayed up was a miracle. I could of done some serious damage.
When we finally made it off the rock and slate path we got to road which felt vertical. More descent.
Quads and calf’s in the hurt locker now.

We could see the race village and hear the mc. Not far now, I’d already clocked 27 miles on my watch.
We reached the bottom of the hill and the Marshall said ‘you’ve not finished yet’ another mile was to be ran through more woods.
We finished together, collected medals and high fived.
That was brutal.
I walked more than I ran and I climbed more than I walked.
Yesterday I was a mountain goat and the groins no worse.

Dean and Ian flew round. Massive kudos there.

I respect anyone who’s ran a marathon (in any time)
Have slightly more for anyone who’s been round that!

Did I enjoy it? yes!

Would i do it again? Doubt it

Would I recommend it? For sure.

Toughest, most technical marathon I’ve ever done.

We returned to the car, showered at the ritz and went out for a night in Menei Bridge. A quaint little village a few miles away. We ate like kings and drank like vikings and giggled all night.

Wales you were special.

Until the next one.

Great memories.










Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

Cross Country Update Jan 19 to the 3rd of February 2019

Our The Cross Country League consists of the following Fixtures for 2019

05/01/2019 – Derbyshire XC Championships – Wollaton Park
06/01/2018 – East Midlands – Bramcote
12/01/2019 – North Midlands – Wollaton Park
13/01/2019 – East Midlands – Holme Pierrepont
03/02/2019 – East Midlands – Colwick Woods
17/02/2019 – East Midlands – West Park
23/02/2019 – National XC Championship – Leeds
TBC – Easter 10K – Wollaton Park (was 02/04/2018)
TBC – Duffield 5 – (was 25/06/2018)
TBC – Little Eaton 5 – (was 01/07/2018)
03/11/2019 – Dovedale Dash
The North Midlands races will resume in Sept/Oct 2019 – details will follow once the dates are released

These are the results from those races 05/01 to 03/02

05/01/2019 – Derbyshire XC Championships – Wollaton Park


Name Distance Time
Yakoub Mohammed 10K 33.55
James Spray 10K 39.11
Jason Ball 10K 39.48
Chris Morrison 10K 40.07
Zak Mohammed 10K 42.07
Fiona Hawkins 8K 31.44
Helen Ripley 8K 38.02
Jules Heithus 8K 38.30
Andrea Talbot 8K 40.07







06/01/2018 – East Midlands – Bramcote


Name Distance Time
Jason Ball 4.5M 42.58
Steve Cresswell 4.5M 49.39
Simon Bray 4.5M 52.31
Richard Record 4.5M 55.01
James Spray 4.5M 55.01
Paul Stevenson 4.5M 58.12
Caroline Scott 2.25M 23.49
Jules Heithus 2.25M 27.43
Helen Ripley 2.25M 28.14
Andrea Talbot 2.25M 28.54

Bramcote XC 06 01 19





12/01/2019 – North Midlands – Wollaton Park


Name Distance Time
Jason Ball 10K 46.15
Chris Morrison 10K 47.00
Steve Cresswell 10K 52.21
Ian Carson 10K 1.01.39
Paul Stevenson 10K 1.03.25
Caroline Scott 6K 27.25
Helen Ripley 6K 32.33
Jules Heithus 6K 32.53
Alyson Woodcock 6K 33.54
Andrea Talbot 6K 33.58


Ladies at Wollaton 12 01 19





13/01/2019 – East Midlands – Holme Pierrepont

No Participants in this one – it’s was the day after our Sinfin Awards Night.
Of course – if I had been fit enough to run I would of run it (feel ashamed boys and girls…feel ashamed….)

03/02/2019 – East Midlands – Colwick Woods


Name Distance Time
Jason Ball 4.85M 40.45
Richard Record 4.85M 440.28


Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

The Arc of Attrition – Friday 01/02/2019 – 100 Mile Ultra (36hr Cut off)

This is an Event that Simon, from our Club, took part in and this post contains Simon’s blog from the event in the bottom section of this post which is quite interesting reading especially if you are considering participating in an Ultra.

To explain the details of the race I’ve copied in the details from the event holders website below.

The Arc of Attrition : 100mile Winter Coastpath Ultra.

The “RaidLight” Arc of Attrition : Become a legend by completing the South West’s toughest footrace.

The Arc is a point-to-point extreme coastal race from Coverack to Porthtowan taking in 100miles of stunning and dramatic Cornish Coastpath with competitors running in challenging winter conditions. Runners will complete an Arc around the entire south west foot of Cornwall.  The race has a strict 36 hour cut-off with additional checkpoint and safety cut-offs on route. With checkpoints approximately 20 miles apart, competitors will need the ability to be self-sufficient for long periods of time.

The event carries 5 points towards qualification to the UTMB.

As safety is our primary concern, competitors will need to carry mandatory kit at all times and will be subject to random kit checks throughout the event. We would strongly recommend and advise the use of your own support crew.  The cost of entry includes the hire of a compulsory GPS tracking device which allows race HQ (and your friends and family) to track your progress online throughout the event.

The race starts at 12.00 noon on Friday and competitors will be bussed to the start area at Coverack from the race HQ at the EcoPark Porthtowan.

Although it follows a way-marked route, this is a self-navigation event and ONLY suitable for experienced ultrarunners. There is an entry requirement of at least a 100km finish and considerable experience of night time running. We reserve the right to refuse an entry if we believe you do not have the right level of experience to compete in this event safely. If this is the case we will refund any monies paid in full.

All competitors will receive an event hoodie at registration and all finishers will be awarded an exclusive and much coveted MudCrew 100mile buckle.

The Arc of Attrition by MudCrew. Become a Legend !






Click on the picture to see the route of the course

Before the race started the conditions were as per the below picture






The prospects of doing the race must have seem quote daunting even then!!!

Anyway – onto Simon Blog and his reflection of the race (ohh,  importantly I do need to point out first that he didn’t manage to finish the race………)


So, as I reflect on my first DNF here’s another not-blog on my foray into the Arc of Attrition south west coast winter 100 mile ultra. I’ve had a drink and no sleep so this might be a bit long winded. Actually, it is.

After learning about the race and it’s 54% DNF rate a couple of years ago it was always on my wish list of the race i liked the look of but I’d never actually be able to do. After finishing my first (and only) centurion at TP100 laid on the floor surrounded by paramedics I also said I’d never do another 100. Two years later here I am having broken both promises. They do say if you don’t DNF you’re not trying hard enough, or some other nonsense, and I’m telling myself now it’s true.

Pretty much all my ultras I finish in the last few percent (except at CTS north York moors where I was third in cat, thought I’d throw that one in there) so I was in no way expectant of finishing the Arc but I had to have a go to truly test my mental and physical strength. The last 2 years had been preparing for this with races chosen to test extreme terrain, navigation and winter conditions, with many of those races pushing me to new limits, but all generally with generous cut offs; this is where the Arc differs.

The Arc has 4 timed checkpoints at 24, 38, 55 and 75 miles, and a 104 finish line cut at 36 hours. I was hoping to at least keep in the race beyond 25 hours, my longest time on feet to-date at UTS50, purely to experience some more sleep deprivation trippy hallucinations if nothing else.

The days preceding the Arc involved strength and conditioning with limited running to try and manage persistent niggles picked up during the summer fell season, plus a healthy dose of visualisation , and almost no booze for 3 weeks (I didn’t quite stick to that rule). On the day as our coach approached the start line it all became very real, time to focus on the first cut, I had to be out of the CP within 7:30, so my pace plan of 17 min/mile allowed 30 mins to refuel and eat a cream tea, seemed doable but I had no idea of what was to come. The terrain was brutal, a mix of churned mud, incessant headwind, rocks and steep technical ascents and descents. I stuck to pace but my work effort was way to high to sustain and I think I knew from the off my race was already all but over. Views were spectacular, huge crashing waves, but no time for any photos, every second was going to count.

First checkpoint I arrived with 45 mins to spare, met by a lovely Arc Angel she jogged with me to the CP to see what I needed and arrange food, a privilege bestowed only on unsupported solo runners. As soon as she mentioned a cream tea the decision was instant, served with tea and a soup, I shovelled it down, sorted water and was out with 30 mins to spare, doing some dead hard mental sums I was sure this meant CP2 was achievable with a pace of 18 min/mile.






The second section started well but it all became rather moister underfoot for a good few miles, I half expected Swamp Thing to rise up from the sodden ground, hmmm if only this was 10 hours later the hallucinations might have provided him. This of course meant cold wet feet for a few hours, nothing worse than I’ve suffered before so forget skirting round the deep puddles and plough on.

Darkness came along with black looking clouds, expectant of a storm, or maybe just because it was night?

The undulations were just as technical as first stage, dropping steeply into coves only to have to slog back up. my heart rate dropped as I’d anticipated but along with it so did my pace, also slowed by negotiating technical terrain in darkness.

I arrived at CP2 greeted by a horde of Arc Angel cheer leaders whooping and shouting as I jogged into Penzance, it was a welcome sight, but obvs not as motivating as the Sinfin Old Birds XC cheerleading crew. One of them joined me the last hundred yards, again taking my food order; annoyingly the food was served upstairs, it was a bit of an effort to drag my sorry ass up there (the stana chairlift was broken, true story).

A fair few runners were dropping out at this point. I was broken and it was serious effort to get back out but with 10 mins to spare I was off, with the words of one of the crew ringing in my ears that even now it would be tight for cut off at lands end.

Off into the dark streets of Penzance and then Mousehole, I was on my own, no torches visible in front or behind.

A totally different experience from the daylight section, you could hear waves crashing all around, like shotgun blasts and breaking glass but looking down over cliff edges was pure black, and the characteristic ocean smell of ozone intensified with the lack of visual stimulation. And I now had to self-navigate – I love my GPS, amazing accuracy and bleeps when I need to turn or head off course, messrs Garmin saved me a fair few errors today.

Then it started to rain, then some hail, a badger, and maybe some snow, hard to tell from the white flashes in the light of the head torch. It soon passed to reveal a cloudless sky and an amazing star-scape but the relentless head wind continued, now turning cold and biting, fingers alternating between mild cold and numbness.

Legs were trashed by now, every step descending was sending shocks through my quads, hamstrings aching and Achilles we’re taking a hammering; I slowed. Maybe 15 hours in by now, I’m not sure, but I was unsteady on my feet, tripping on occasion, saved only by the polish sisters; on single track muddy, rocky cliff edges I knew this dangerous, to the point I slowed to a snail’s pace on exposed sections. Oh, and there was a nice boulder field to negotiate somewhere along the way, having to balance on polished pebbles ranging in size from a poodle to maybe a pig.

At Minack one of the few Marshall’s said it was 5 miles to lands end CP, I had 100 minutes and that would leave no time to sort kit with my halfway drop bag nor take on food. This wasn’t looking good.

After what felt like hours (it probably was) I could see the glowing lights of lands end hotel from a couple of miles away, surely, I was nearly there, and I had 40 minutes – this was almost doable. I regrouped and made a concerted effort, head torches behind closing in whom I soon found out were the sweepers; I was the last runner coming in. The moral boost was short lived, in the blackness I had no idea there were two more coves to drop into between me and lands end, counting down the minutes it was soon 18hrs 30 minutes, the cut. So that was it, I was out, mixed feelings I wanted to stay out but relief I could stop. Knowing I had nothing to save for I picked up the pace and finished ‘strong’, but this time no Arc Angel greeting party, just a lone runner who’d dropped earlier, and the crew bringing out the remnant food for me. Then it rained, torrential, I’d had a lucky escape.

Sitting here now in the finish zone, watching the dots I still wish I was out there with them, experiencing the highs and lows and misery of ultra-running, but I can hardly walk. This race broke me, the terrain is brutal, the weather uncompromising, but the cut offs are ungenerous and that’s what got me; I’ll take whatever mother nature can bring but I was at the mercy of a sadistic race director. This race has a well-earned reputation, long may it continue!

I won’t be back…..maybe?







No finish picture of Simon here….

To make Simon’s weekend even more complete his car broke down on the way home…..





Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

Sinfin Running Club Dinner / Dance / Presentation Evening 12/01/2019

Sinfin Running Club Dinner / Dance / Presentation Evening 12/01/2019

It’s come round again – our Annual Dinner / Dance / Presentation evening.

Come to think of it – it’s never in that order – we cam’t call it the Dinner / Presentation / Dance evening as it don;t sound right – let’s rename it to the Sinfin Running Club Awards Evening instead.

It’s come round again – our Annual Sinfin Running Club Awards evening

This is the time when we celebrate our club members achievements throughout 2018.

This year the venue for the Awards evening was the Folly at the Farmhouse (Near Mackworth).

Pre-drinks begin at 7pm in the bar upstairs but yet and again, by the time I got there, the bar was heaving so it was downstairs to the Folly to get to the bar to get the first drink in.

We were seated by 7.45 with the starters out shortly after that.

Dinner 1

Dinner 2

Dinner 3

Dinner 4

Dinner 5

Dinner 6

Dinner 7

Dinner 8

Dinner 9

Dinner 11

Dinner 12

Dniner 10















After the mains and then puddings came out it was straight onto the presentations.

Male Road Running Champion

  • 1st Brendan Devlin
  • 2nd Rob Lane
  • 3rd Neil Barnes

Regrettably Neil was not there to pick up his trophy – off out gallivanting as always 🙂







Female Road Running Champion

  • 1st Fiona Hakwins
  • 2nd =Alyson Woodcock
  • 2nd =Fiona Finnegan
  • 3rd Becky Barber


FR 2






Male Cross-Country Champion

  • 1st James Spray
  • 2nd Brendan Devlin
  • 3rd Chris Morrison

Brian was 4th and missed out a placing by 1 point despite only only being able to run half of the season








Female Cross-Country Champion

  • 1st Helen Ripley
  • 2nd Andrea Talbot
  • 3rd Jules Heithus








Fell Running Champion

  • 1st Caroline Scott
  • 2nd Trevor Hibbert
  • 3rd Paul Stevenson








Best Female Performance

  • Fiona Hawkins

Well done Fiona – records smashed this year….






Best Male Performance

  • Simon Bray

Recognition for those ultra’s that he continues to bang out.






Club Person of the Year

  • Fiona Hawkins

A new member to the club bringing with it a new dimension – a very valuable asset to the club

FClub (2)




Special notes of thanks to:

Clare, for organising the event as she does tirelessly.

Julie, for taking the presentation photos (i’ll take my camera next time !!)

Okay – awards are over – back to drinking

Bar 1

Bar 2

Bar 3






















and then onto some dancing

Dance 1

Dance 2

Dance 3

Dance 4

DAnce 5

Dance 6

DAnce 7

Dance 8

Dance 9

DAnce 10

Dance 11

DAnce 12

Dance 13

DAnce 14

DAnce 15



















I think I left about 12.30ish but believe that some others went on into town to a couple of venues 🙂

Town 1

Town 2

Town 3

Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

Pre Christmas Drinks – Wednesday 19th of December 2018

Pre Christmas Drinks – Wednesday 19th of December 2018

We usually run on Wednesday evenings but tradition has it that this shall stop on the Wednesday before Christmas.

On this day there is only one thing to do.

Congregate in Derby town centre and drink looking as foolish as possible in our Christmas Jumpers or anything else Christmassy (think my outfit is overdue a change for next year…..)

This is a very popular social event with most of the club turning up. Not sure why – are we a running club or drinking club? – it is hard to tell sometimes ?

We initially meet at the Standing Order at 7.30pm (again that is the traditional spot to start from). The drinks start to flow until someone eventually decides we should move on to find a place where there will be music and the opportunity to maybe get on the dance floor (depending on how drunk one gets)

So we moved onto the Slug and Lettuce (!). After a couple in there time to move on again.

So off to Revolution (as far as I can remember). #I always find it’s good to choose another venue where the toilets are a million miles away again. :O

The final stop is the evening was ‘Fever’ – don’t think we even had to pay to get in – could be wrong of course.

Me and Rob bailed out about 12.30ish to get a taxi whilst some of the more hardcore runners stayed out longer.

Rob did manage to nearly get into a fight with a young lady at the taxi rank but luckily I calmed the situation down…

Overall a great evening was had by all. Big shout out to Scopey – good to see you out with us.

Below are the photo’s

Not many this year – there are not many on social media and we didn’t even manage to get a group photo. We’ll have to assign an official photographer next year – mind you will that mean that they won’t be drinking :O





Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

The Montane Cheviot Goat Winter Ultra Race – by Simon Bray

“Welcome to Hell”
This is how a Mountain Rescue safety marshal described the race so I knew I was in for a real treat!

This was the third year of this race, but the rise in entries from 18, ~100 to 250 this year suggest its already becoming an infamous classic, sold as one of the most isolated and tough 55 mile races in England.

I’ve still not decided why i entered, I’d no experience of a solo, self-sufficient ultra, but it seemed like a good challenge to push myself as training for the Arc of Attrition next February, plus I’d completed the inaugural UTS50 in May with twice the elevation, so how hard could this be? Just a bit colder and soft underfoot?

I was very, very wrong.

The first marathon went well, I was actually enjoying it with the summer’s niggles not really bothering me (no more than I’d had before). Fuelled by pork pie and cheesy puffs, nav was easy on the unmarked course, only ever needing the map with good visibility making the compass and GPS unnecessary.
The course was nicely undulating with plenty of peat bogs and impeding barbed wire fences but still runnable sections to make good progress.
The only real issue was sore and ice cold, numb feet; I’d chosen to start in zero-cushioned Inov8’s, chosen for grip rather than comfort, and non-waterproof socks because I’d expected the bogs to come over the top and end up sloshing around. This was all tolerable, I knew I had waterproof socks and comfier shoes stashed in the drop bag waiting at the only aid station at the half-way.
So, 7:30 hrs and I was half-way, looking forward to warming up with a cuppa – this was the only proper aid station, otherwise there was a safety marshal approx every 5 miles, and water every 10.
The pit stop was in a remote farmhouse; and it was chaotic, bodies and kit everywhere, squeezing through the tiny kitchen area where volunteers were trying to dish out soup to us bedraggled runners. I was lucky and arrived in time to find one of the few sofa seats become available. I could hear lots of conversations from people dropping out and staff arranging transport. At the briefing the RD said this was the last spot for vehicle transport back, if you leave the farm you’re running, walking or crawling to the finish with no more access for 4X4’s onto the course.
I stuffed down a southern fried chicken wrap washed down with a large tea and some soup, so with changed socks and shoes, and the cheat sticks making their first appearance I headed back out fairly quickly – that was the end of the beginning.
It started to rain – a lot; visibility started to drop, I saw less and less competitors, and I’d heard the rumours about how much harder the second half would be – this was to be the start of the test i came here for!
I can’t remember much specific of the next few hours, apart for almost continuous sodden peat bogs, reed beds and grassy hills, it was a case of get my head down and make as much progress in daylight as I could. One of the marshal points had a fire pit, but a glaringly sad absence of sausages.
With reducing visibility the GPS became invaluable, saving significant time over map and compass.Mentally working out how much daylight was probably left in fast fading conditions I was hoping to make the only hut out on course so i could sort night-time kit out sheltered from the weather. As darkness descended this hope was fading, but just as i was preparing for a brief stop i could see the blinking beacon from the hut, hard to tell the distance in the drizzle and mist i pressed on and made it with just the last vestiges of twilight to light the way.
A quick set up of the headtorch, spare torch, batteries and powerpack moved to easier access I headed back out.
This was the start of the 3-yard stare, just the ground at my feet illuminated through the gloom.
The next few hours passed slowly in complete darkness and isolation – the sporadic glimpses of a feint glow from other lone runners giving some slight sense of security.
The route followed the pennine way for much of the night, with the benefit of mostly submerged flag stones – at least underfoot was firmer but the stones were slippy and at night a 12 min/mile jog was the best i could muster with any confidence of not tripping or slipping into the obsidium blackness of the bogs on both sides.
After a couple of wrong turns, quickly corrected with my new best friend the Garmin GPS64s, I ended up in a leap-frog contest with a fellow competitor (Russ) – he’d beat me uphill, I’d take him on the flat and down. At least now we could share navigation and check each others errors; and he was a veteran of the 108 mile, 60 hour Spine Challenger, recounting that the Goat was harder!
Next stop – the highest point of the route up the Cheviot; the first section of climb was steep, technical, and rather moist!
The rain had eased but with increasing elevation and dropping temperatures a return to a flagged path became much slippier so this became mostly a walk. I was tiring, weakened, and started to get dizzy spells from tiredness and reduced frequency of eating from being to engrossed in the technical terrain – this is a lesson I’ll take to the Arc, the priority is food over maintaining pace.
Russ pressed well ahead as I took on the cheesy puffs and snack bars, I quickly recovered and caught him after the decent to the next safety marshal where he was taking a brief rest.
The marshal advised we buddy up, indicating the next section was going to be hard going and difficult to navigate – can it really be that bad, harder than what we’d completed? yes, it was.
Somewhat indescribable, the next 10 miles of night-time hills were almost entirely flooded peat bogs, with zig-zag route finding becoming mentally tiring, scrambling up and down 6 foot trenches, traversing along fences, holding on to avoid falling into the unknown depths of the black water below. I’d avoided submerging deeper than knee height, but I’d had enough, this was the hell i’d read and heard tale of!
Taking it in turns with Russ to find the easiest route, with much backtracking this section took an age to complete even with the absence of rain pace was down to 30-45 mins/mile, it makes Bleaklow look like a sunday afternoon stroll.
With no choice but to grind out the miles finally the bogs subsided, transitioning into some technical rocky descents and the joy of runnable wet fields; it was all downhill mud from now on (apart from some minor bits of up, negotiating electric and barbed wire fences and some more bits of bog).
So that was it, the last section was on road before a short woodland trail; carrying the polish sisters it was a slow jog to the finish to be met by the RD shaking the hand of every finisher (he had a long day) and welcomed by a brief round of applause from the few competitors still recovering in the cafe at 1 a.m. and some soup.
Another life memory in the bag and a visit to a new part of the UK. Was it the hardest race I’ve done – yes; not the furthest, or the longest time on feet, but the mental battle with underfoot conditions puts it up there in my top 3 ultras along with TP100 and UTS50.

Next up is Arc of Attrition, with a 50% drop-out rate, I hope the Goat has been good enough training to avoid becoming another statistic; but I’ll see what happens…. watch this space! ?

Some final stats for those that like that sort of thing:
– pork pies 1 (family size) : gels 0
– entries 250 : starters 180 : finishers 154
– number 2’s = 0
– number 1’s = lost count
– shoes 2
– socks 4
– wrong directions 5
– cow attacks 0
– hallucinations 3 (big balls of moss looking like sheep rolling toward me, why haven’t they got any legs?!)
– winner 9:30 hrs (it’s easier in daylight if you’re quick enough)
– my time 18:30 hrs, 112 out of 140 men (better than my target of 20 hrs ? )


















Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

Noth Midlands XC – Markeaton – Saturday 13/10/2018

North Midlands XC – Markeaton – 13/10/2018

After the summer break our Cross-Country Championship races return with the first race being at Markeaton in the highly competitive North Midlands League.

As a relatively small club we do struggle with getting members interested in Cross County but luckily the weather had been good to us so we managed to persuade a few new faces to give it a try. Regrettably I was not able to participate due to injury but as the reigning Male Cross Country Champion I would have liked to have been in it so took the opportunity to take some photos instead.

The course is, of course, quite tough and very different for those used to road running. Cross Country is not everyone’s cup of tea but everyone should give it a go to see how tough it can be and also how rewarding it feels at the end 🙂

The weather on the day was perfect and the ground firm but, honestly, it is much more fun when it is muddy – having the right footwear and picking off people in muddy conditions makes you feel really good 🙂

So the course is 2 laps for the ladies (6k) and 3 laps for the gents (10K) (booooooo…). As it is such a competitive league, for the men, managing to not get lapped before the end of your 2nd lap is quite an achievement :O

Overall, brilliant day and a great Turnout for the club with 8 gents and 3 ladies. Regrettably Chris H only managed 2 laps before having to pull out at the start of the third – still got photos of you tho Chris H :O

Of course, after getting changed the day has to finish off with a trip to the Jonty Farmer for a celebratory drink (True SRC style)


Spray 41.26
Chris M 43.25
Jason 43.58
George 44.43
Zak 45.17
Brendan 49.09
Steve C 50.29
Chris H DNF
Fiona H 32.15
Jules 37.47
Alyson 39.15


Plenty taken and hopefully I’ve posted the best (apart from the blurry finish one of George!)

























25-M7 (2)Revised










Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment

RR Harriers Piggs Trophy 10K Wednesday 01/08/2018

The Piggs trophy race is run on the 1st Wednesday of August every year.

Wednesdays are our club night so this is an opportunity for club members to use the time to get involved in a race and explore some other parts of Derby rather than running one of our normal summer routes. This means that we do get quite a club presence at a race which is very good and we do include the race on the Road Racing Championship.

So 16 club members running, Me taking photos (as injured) and George, Brendan and Trev H spectating.

The course started in a slightly different place this year, I did hope to get a group photo before the start but this was not possible as I realised too late. The reason for the change of the start was due to stop the route from being too short, road changes which have been put in place meant that the first bend made the route shorter, hence, the change of the start position.

This is a nice country lane route apart from at 6K when you turn onto the cycle path back to Mickleover which is very slightly uphill and a long, long, long drag to the finish. For once I was glad not to do this as I hate the section from 6K….

Anyway, saw them all start, took a couple of photos, went to the pub for a pint and then got back to the finish just in time to see everyone finishing – happy days.


Name Position Time
Dean 11 39.00
Jason 24 41:31
Matt O 37 42.55
Rob 41 43.37
Caroline 68 46.40
Simon 87 47:40
Matt H 92 48.16
Fiona H 93 48.18
Chris M 94 48.19
Fiona F 98 48.49
Becky 103 49.36
Rich S 106 49.42
Paul S 116 50.41
Chris H 147 56.40
Julie M 160 1.00.11
Andrea 161 1.00.12

Noticeably it was quite interesting after the race. We were all waiting around for the results but there was a distinct lack of support from most of the other clubs!

Big ‘heads up’ to Dean who got a prize for the 2nd MV40 place and Caroline who got a prize for the 2nd FV40 place.







8 Deano

9 Jas

10 Matt O

11 Rob L

12 Caz

13 Simon B

14 F H, CM + M H

15 Fiona F

16 Beccy + R Sims

17 Paul S

18 Jo

19 Chris

20 Andrea and Julie M

Posted in Latest News | Leave a comment