Tribute to parkrunner who died on Saturday 21 October 2017

Tributes have been paid to a runner who collapsed and died while taking part in a 5km (3 mile) race in Edinburgh.

Ron Connelly collapsed after becoming ill at the Edinburgh Parkrun on Saturday. He later died.

His brother Mike Connolly said he would be “sadly missed”.

An Edinburgh Parkrun spokesman said: “On behalf of the parkrun community, we have expressed our sincere condolences to Ron’s family.” A minute’s silence will be held at Saturday’s event.

Mr Connolly said: “It’s with deep sadness and regret to report that my brother Ron Connelly who fell ill at yesterday’s parkrun unfortunately passed away later that day.

“On behalf of the family I’d like to thank everyone who cared for him including the medics, parkrun volunteers, cafe personnel and fellow runners who acted immediately and provided great care for him in what must have been incredibly difficult circumstances for all concerned.

“The family would like to pass on their sincere gratitude to everyone. Ron was a seasoned runner and loved parkrun, he will be sadly missed.”

Mother Jessica Bruce ‘sets double buggy marathon record

A mother-of-two is claiming a new world record for running a marathon while pushing a double buggy.

Jessica Bruce, who lives in Bristol, ran the Abingdon Marathon with her two children in a double pushchair in three hours, 22 minutes and five seconds.

Guinness World Records set her a minimum of four hours 30 minutes in the race for pushing a double pram (female) as there is no current record holder.

Ms Bruce already has the record for the fastest marathon with a single pram.

A Guinness World Records spokeswoman said they were “looking forward to receiving evidence from Jessica”, following the race on Sunday.

Two years ago, Ms Bruce from Hambrook set a world record for running the same race pushing her then seven-month-old son Daniel in a Pram.

Since then she has had a second child Emilia, and has now tackled the course with both children in a “very specific running buggy”.

“It’s huge with really big wheels and full-on suspension and with the two of them in the buggy I’m pushing about 30kgs,” Ms Bruce said.

“Hills are particularly difficult, downs are a bit easier and we tend to go faster there but flats and any kind of incline really hurt.”

Image copyright


Image caption

Image copyright


Image caption

Ms Bruce said her two young children had been “perfect” with no emergency stops for nappy changes or bottle feeds

Despite the wind being against runners, the family managed to come in 272nd out of 751 runners finishing the course.

“It was like pushing this huge machine into a headwind but we managed to keep going,” she said.

“The last few hours really hurt but I was fairly confident we would be able to do about three hours 45 minutes so it was better then I thought.”

‘Long time in seat’

As for Daniel and six-month-old Emilia, Ms Bruce said they had been “perfect” with no emergency stops for nappy changes or bottle feeds.

“It’s a long time in the seat [for the children] but there’s so much going on and they absolutely love it,” she said.

“We got them up at five o’clock and poor Daniel was sleeping before the race even started, so they slept for the majority of it.

Wiggle Forest Ranger Cycling Sportive Staffordshire : Sunday October 2017

…………….I only fell off once.

This Sunday was cycling again and my husband Andy said he would cycle with me today. Andy woke me at 7.45 saying “everything’s in the car, tea’s downstairs, you just have to get dressed.” He had a new cycle, but a very cheap one since making the decision after getting home from last week’s Sportive mechanical and crash problems that it was time for a new cycle. The cheap cycle would do until his new good one arrived. I think we were last off the start at 9.30am but as we were only doing the Short Route of 44 miles so it didn’t matter. It was windy and what I call hilly, but I think cyclists would call it bumpy. Food stop was lovely, there were cakes, salty crackers, sweets but lovely hot tea, coffee and chocolate. We set off again with only my bum hurting as always so all was good, until we needed to stop at an intersection and all the cyclists stopped except one that falls flat sideways on the road, ouch, it does hurt. I will have to have more practice with the cleats. Once I rested for a bit Andy explained you get out of the cleat before the intersection and then if you need to stop you put your foot down. He taught me as we went on. Finally we finished and got socks, a buff and a medal at the finish. We took almost 4 hours!! On the way home Andy said our friend Dan Robinson could run it quicker than that, and he can too.

Race Report: Hardmoors 26.2 Series – Osmotherley Half Marathon Sunday 22 October 2017.

By Sam Blease.

I originally signed up for this race during the spring – the weather was warming up, I had started to develop a passion for trail running, and someone had told me that the Yorkshire Moors was a beautiful place to run. Fast-forward to a wet, windy, wild and chilly October weekend and suddenly an off road run in a rather exposed and hilly environment didn’t seem quite so appealing!

After an incredibly early start to get to the event, and having passed the kit inspection (waterproofs, hat, gloves, route description, 500ml minimum fluid, emergency food – check…) and picked up our race numbers, we saw the hardy marathoners set off & awaited our starting time of 10am with a little trepidation. At least storm Brian had mostly disappeared overnight and the winds and rain had abated a little bit. The half marathon race briefing gleefully announced to us that it was a little bit breezy at the trig point just before half way, the stones on parts of the course were wet and slippery, there was quite a bit of mud on the course due to the recent rainfall, and oh… we did mention that the half marathon route is about 16.5 miles long, right?

Just before our starting time we trekked up the hill from Osmotherley village hall and assembled in the start area. At exactly 10am on the dot, the race commenced! It was everything I thought it would be – challenging terrain, difficult weather – being blown sideways at the top of a mountain is certainly interesting – but absolutely stunning views (“I can see the sea from here!”), wonderful friendly marshals, the checkpoints were well stocked with jaffa cakes, sweets, salted nuts, water & pepsi, and the other runners were chatty, supportive and thoroughly enjoying themselves – this was an adventure, not a race!

At just after 11 miles, I started suffering quite badly with a foot injury that had been niggling away for a couple of weeks beforehand and had somewhat hampered my training. I struggled on for a couple more miles (I had actually run a half marathon by this point) but the pain was just getting worse. I thought I would get to the next checkpoint and maybe that would be race over for me. However, a group of ladies caught up with me and stopped to check I was ok. After offering me painkillers, to get a marshal for me, or to walk with me the last mile or two with me – less than a parkrun to go now!! – I managed to pull myself together, grit my teeth and plough on. Fortunately the last part of the race was not too technical or overly hilly so I did manage to hobble my way to the end where my hard earned t-shirt, medal and a veritable banquet of food awaited.

So in summary, this is an excellently organised race in a stunning location & I would recommend anyone who enjoys trail running to give it a go, but… don’t try this with an injury – it’s tough, that’s why it’s called “Hardmoors”, don’t expect the weather to be perfect, enjoy the scenery on the way round and, most importantly, relish the bonus free mileage that a Hardmoors race invariably gives you. Oh, and don’t worry about how long it takes you, the cut off for the half marathon was 5 hours & I managed to do it in 3 hours and 50 minutes – which apparently is perfectly acceptable and I was a long way from being last. A really memorable experience and I’m sure I’ll be back next year!

Great Birmingham Marathon 15th October 2017: A first time Marathoner’s Experience

by Helen Brookes

I’d like to run a marathon……’

I have said this to Pete several times during our marriage. The idea of completing one, knowing that he has completed 7, seemed a reasonable wish. His (perfectly reasonable) reply was always to point out the commitment of training and how it becomes all consuming. With a family and work I guess he was thinking that it was probably not practical. Three years ago we joined KHRC and that was to be the turning point. After last years half marathon where I knocked 20 minutes off my PB I knew that I could consider entering the Birmingham International Marathon. I continued with my usual training/running/races up until May and then joined Greg’s LSR (Long Sunday Runs) These runs gave me such a massive boost of confidence. Running with the group was just fantastic and such fun as well as teaching me so many things. I learnt about rehydrating and refuelling. I bought a Camelbak and learnt to run with it. After a few weeks I did my long runs on my own. My reasoning was that on the day I probably would be on my own. I needed to know that I could spend 5 plus hours with myself and my thoughts. I needed to know that I could fight those demons.I trained up to 20 miles. The last month of training was dogged by illness and a horrible virus the week before.Sunday October 15th loomed large and I was very nervous.This is the background to what happened over the next 12 hours.
4:30am Alarm. Snooze until 4:45am
4:45am Breakfast. Porridge.Banana. Bagal. Coffee.
6:10am Get ready and leave home at to drive Joss to the 7am shuttle bus.
7:30am Found a portaloo.#1 toilet trip.My bus was at 8am. Got to shuttle bus and it left at 7:35! I was on my way sitting next to a lovely lady from Devon called Sam. We had a lovely chat.
8am Arrived at Alexander Stadium. Met up with other KHRC peeps and we made our way towards the baggage points.
8:30am Cheered Joss out of the stadium as he started his race. Went to queue for the toilet. #2 toilet trip. Then went down to the track to start the long wait.
9:00am Sat with a chap in the stands….we both looked as if we were about to go to the gallows. I was shaking so much.
9:15am Met up with lots of KHRC folk.Lined up with Liz and Trudie. Enjoyed some photos and realised I need to improve my wearing of lipstick to look even half as glamorous as Trudie. I also felt a little under dressed in the hair department compared to Liz!! We waved and called to other KHRC folk as they made their way to their particular time section. Hugs and best wishes all round.
9:30am We were off.
I settled into a steady pace. Pete had drilled me about not going off too fast and paying for it later on.
I felt good all the way into Digbeth and out to Cannon Hill. It felt comfortable. No problems. The refuelling went well. The Camelbak was working well too. Thankfully the hot weather did not really materialise during those early miles. Cannon Hill was amazing. Seeing friends and family and the cheer station. Just incredible. I bounced out of the park and found the next section equally fine. Seeing friends and family at Maryvale, Linden Rd and Bournville. A huge lift. But I felt really good. And then back out for the loop. Still feeling fine. A gel every hour as well as a small Mars and some Malt Loaf. Cannon Hill the second time. Lovely to run with Alison and to see my family again and KHRC cheerers. At 18.5 I started to feel a little tired. Nothing major but I knew that I was approaching the 20 mile point where my training had stopped. Seeing Jenni and Kevin on Maryvale was very emotional. They were brilliant and ran with me until the corner of Linden. I turned into the hill and saw Sarah and Benn I I actually heard Benn first!) The emotion overcame me again and we had a hug. I couldn’t really say very much. Halfway down Bournville Lane my right leg started to cause some discomfort. The area behind my knee was so painful and I couldn’t relieve the pain. From there until 22 miles I started to struggle. I had my final gel. Made myself eat some malt loaf. Rebecca ran with for a bit. But my moment of darkness was very close. At about 22.5 miles my body just seemed to stop. I tried every strategy…thinking of Pete and the boys…my charities…..all the people who had sponsored me….but nothing seemed to make my legs do anything differently. In the end I had to say out loud ‘one step, one step’ over and over again. It was at this point that Trudie and Sam (?) arrived behind me. Quite simply they were my marathon angels. They would not let me stop…they talked to me and tried to distract me. I urged them to continue without me but they wouldn’t leave me. Sam produced some Ibruprofen Gel and I applied it to my leg. We continued to try to keep the pace. Trudie shouted out miles 24 and 25 and then we were into the finish. The crowds were amazing. We crossed the finish line hands held – 3 lionesses together. 5 hours 49mins.Despite the dark 4 miles I loved every minute of my first marathon. I have learnt alot about myself . the challenge is definitely more mental than physical.But most importantly the love that I felt from my supporters will stay with me forever. Thank you to you all. Helen Brooke’s
The photo at the top of the page is Helen Brooke’s with her two friends.

Sunday 15 October: Evan’s Cannock Sportive

Great Event. I was so pleased with finishing this Sportive. Cycling is fairly new to me. Well I say new, but I did do triathlons over 20 years ago and I was very slow anyway. Since taking up cycling again I’ve done three training rides and two Cycling Sportives. I got lost and fell off my cycle in both of them. Anyway, we woke up at 7am, late because our 2 Ragdoll Cat alarm clocks slept in. We arrive at Cannock Forest collected our numbers and had Cycled off by 8.30am. Parking was good, there were plenty of Portaloo’s and the organisers were very efficient. The course was great and best of all they has loads and loads of pink signs so no one could get lost. There was a lovely variety of cakes, nuts, drinks etc., at the feed station. It was great. I then went through the finish line and did fall over because I couldn’t get my foot out of the cleat in time. Meanwhile as I was drinking my Cappuccino and eating my toasted sandwich, I get a phone call from my husband who was doing the 82 mile course. He had crash and the cycle was unridable, grumpily he said he would be hour but the maintenance van picked him up quite quickly and he was back about half an hour later. A fantastic event. Highly Recommended.