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Eyam Weekender 2015

posted 23 May 2015, 12:17 by Jon Beverley   [ updated 30 May 2015, 13:18 by Jon Beverley ]
Binks bits and bobs from the weekend.

Where to start?
Thanks to Jenni E who galvanised everyone into action and sorted the accommodation and sustenance. Most of us stayed in a some cottages somewhere I can't recall but they were really lovely? All I wish was that the journey times we took to reach there, from Norwich, bore any relationship to the results of the weekend - Leona and I would have been champs and Eddie, Jess and Rob at the back of the pack. Rob wasn't at all bored in the back of their car fidgeting from Kings Lynn asking if they were nearly there. Eddie reportedly has an organic approach to navigation arriving some 5 hours later! Just saying what was reported……

Leona and I (aka Brenda) arrived whilst 'the boys' including Nick B, Nick C (aka Derek), Shaun, Eddie and Rob did some 'mountain goat' like run up a fell like May Queens. Oh no sorry, that was the name of the race ....

Meanwhile Jess, Jo, Steve, Tracey, Jean and Jenni were as far down a box of Rose as the chaps were up a fell. Olaf was on Max walking duty. Incidentally, Max is a dog. We did have to do some 'Rob' walking too this weekend. Incidentally, Rob is not a dog., he is a sheep worrier.

Anyway, we had a lovely evening of BBQ and chat but everyone keen to get off to snoozeville before the big runs of the weekend.

On Saturday, after Leona and I had been scolded by Father Nick for being late (telling off No 1) most of us headed off to support him, Derek (aka Nick C), Shaun, Leigh (of injured foot) and Leona in the 5 mile fell run aptly named Mount Famine. It was described as 'crawling, walking and clambering' and looked as 
easy as reverse abseiling to me. They all did a terrific job despite the terrain. The detail of order of places somewhat alludes me but I recall Derek (aka Nick C) doing a cracking finish to come 29th and graciously apologising to those he overtook; some of us may be wondering why this level of courtesy is not applied during training sessions as he runs past hurling insults. He was followed by Shaun W, then Nick B, Leigh and Leona doing us proud as the only female representing the mighty Reepham Runners. Her enjoyment was exemplified by her cursing it was 'the worst thing she'd ever done' as she ran strongly down the closing flat stretch.

The results were posted on sticky labels in the local village hall. If one stands too near the invisible boundary around the results whilst they are being posted, you get told off quite badly I discovered (telling off No 2!) 

May Queen Run   Mount Famine Run
Nick Bowden 36/81 – 27.14   52/115 – 1:00.0 (last year 1:07:00)
Nick Caley 20/81 – 24:59 29/115 – 55:56 (last year 59.13)
Shaun Webb 26/81 – 26:08 48/115 – 59.35 (last year 1:03:10)
Eddie Alford 22/81 – 25:16
Bob Groves 34/81 – 27:07
Leigh Nobes   98/115 – 1:16:27 (last year 1:12:34)
Leona Broughton   106/115 – 1:23:52

Needless to say it was essential that rehydration took place in the local pub. We met Phil Cooper for the beginning of his truly dreadful weekend. There was much Wi-Fi ing and checking the Norwich score; Jess, Ed and 'Rob the not dog' had gone off in search of the many Derbyshire pubs that were bound to be showing the game. Apparently they watched it with the sound down with cheesy music in the background.

Saturday afternoon was spent relaxing, snoozing, shopping or walking the Rob. For the triplets, Leigh, Derek and Shaun mad biking was required because they clearly hadn't tried hard enough that morning or the previous evening.

Rob particularly enjoyed frolicking through the meadow with the 'old geezers' as he fondly called us even though he wasn't successful in catching his woolly namesakes (see photo above). He was able to recognise a cow and climb stiles successfully. 

Saturday night was spent in the local pub which was really well organised. A hideaway came down to meet us from his loft apartment and Leigh found three stowaways in the back of the minicab Leona and I had booked.

Sunday Morning arrived with everyone up bright and early ready to run a charming little 13.1 mile trot in the Derbyshire Village of Eyam. It’s is renowned for being The Plague village. There were a mixture of experienced Eyam runners and naive novices (that’d be Rob and I). Rob looked ill with anticipation and I had resigned myself to a couple of hours plus of serious toil. The runners were Nick B and Nick C, Shaun W, Eddie the Whizz, Phil (still having the most dreary of weekends), Chris, Olaf, Jenni and I. The weather was chilly for standing around in but not at all bad for running as the wind had dropped a tad from the previous afternoon.

Needless to say, the last I saw of our runners was at the start line. Jenni’s red cap soon disappeared out of sight. There were 419 runners, so though it was a little cosy at the start, it all spread out very quickly. As I recall it the course was as a 3.5 mile climb around and out of the village. It was lovely to see Leigh, Leona, Jo and Steve cheering us on up the climb. I was smiling at that point! Once that initial climb was out of the way, there was a flattish few miles followed by a few more down hill sections. I took Jenni’s advice on these and tried to ‘bank’ some ground on these bits knowing that I’d lose time on the uphills. This part was glorious with spectacular views. And then there it was.... the 9 mile marker. The next stretch was so hard it actually made me laugh. My fast walking was faster than my slow running so did a mixture of both for what seemed an age. I think the climbing stopped just before 12 miles and then there was the legging it down the last mile. I liked that bit. I was particularly impressed with the speed of the partially sighted guided runner just ahead of me. His poor guide was having serious trouble keeping up. I had know idea what time I’d taken and was hoping that the all the other runners weren’t too bored hanging around, so as I rounded the last corner it was so funny to hear a chorus of ‘Go Brenda’ to encourage me to the end. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.

Position Time Name
41 93:38 Eddie Alford
63 96:53 Shaun Webb
80 99:03 Nick Caley
119 1:41:59 Robert Groves
121 1:42:17 Nick Bowden
132 1:43:58 Philip Cooper
311 2:02:28 Olaf Eulenstein
330 2:06:31 Jenni Egmore
377 2:18:09 Binks Neate-Evans

Unfortunately I was too far behind to see all the other higher performing runners come in but by all accounts everyone seemed pretty pleased with their times. I think there were a few bods that had improved from last year for instance Father Nick knocked 5 mins off his previous time and had close run with Phil (who was still having a very trying weekend) and Bob the sheep worrier. 

I'm sure I've missed out loads of critical detail, but for me it is as much about the camaraderie as it is the race. It goes without saying that some individuals (I think they are human) chose to run all three runs and managed to do really well in each. Intra club competition banter prevailed in a very good hearted way. All the weekend runners and those accompanying offered great encouragement to me and others. It was a privilege to be included in such a lovely weekend, and yes it was a blooming hard halfer, according to Steve one of the hardest in the country, but would I do it again, yes most definitely. Was it preferable to a marathon, again most definitely. Sorry again if I've missed out some critical running information. Oh and my space for next year!

More photos from Jo are available on Flikr here