I am a Cleobury Runner
Out running in the rain
Some think I am a hero
Some think I am insane
After long days in the office
Hours on the motorway
I know that there is something
To finish off my day
I grab my grubby trainers
In ice and snow and gale
Stick on my trusty headtorch
And head out on the trail
My feet soon find a rhythm
The road drops up and down
I leave my worries and my troubles
On the pavements around town
There are evenings when I falter
When my run plan makes me curse
There are evenings where i'm better
And many where I'm worse
But I am a Cleobury Runner
And when I want to quit
I lift my feet up higher
And I mutter "Don't be Shit"
By Sian Powell, Mar 2018
Wrexham Half Marathon by Rachel Shields - 25/02/2018
As with all great days putting them into words can be difficult and Wrexham half marathon was a truly great day!
For me it wasn’t about getting a PB, it was running with my caring, funny, simply amazing friend ¬¬– formally known as Wonder Woman now known as Princess P. Sian has trained her socks off and embraced it all with a smile, often putting in a 5k before I have even realised that it’s a new day, she gives everything during a club session even though she has only just stepped through the door from a 10 hour work day and she’s even been social running on a Thursday evening when the hills Ian threw in were anything but ‘social’.
It paid off and Sian and I flew over the finish line with 15 minutes being knocked off her personal best with Chris, Sarah and Andrea cheering us on in true CMRC style. Chris looked a little cold after having been stood around for nearly an hour after finishing his 1hr 35min half marathon. Amazing!
Our day started with laughter and most certainly ended with it, plus a few tears mainly from me. Whilst on our way to Wrexham I was desperate for a wee so on telegraph pole lane I figured no one else would be around at this ungodly hour, boy was I wrong. Whilst crouching, thinking my car was hiding my rather large posterior, I heard a car approach, surely it won’t be anyone I know I thought as they drove past beeping. Whilst in fits of laughter Sian, Lisa and I got back on the road only to find Chris and Sarah Taylor pulled over a little in front, in the car that had zoomed past ‘beeping’. Sarah explained how she’d commented on ‘who could possibly need a wee that badly they’d squat there’ then on closer examination seeing a CMRC top with ‘RACH’ sprawled on the back all had become clear to her, knowing me and my pea sized bladder as she does.
We hit Wrexham, a good half an hour before start time, to a queue - a very big queue, which led to nowhere except marshals explaining there was no where left to park. Horror ensued and hopelessness until Wonder Woman, as she was still known at this point, exited the car and leapt into a workshop with what can only be described as a ‘tits’ first approach. The owner of said workshop being around 90 had the happiest look on his face, whilst Lisa and I watched as Sian politely asked if we could abandon my car here for ‘a while’.
The race was finally underway, the temperature gradually began to rise, or so it felt, the sun was shining, we were 3 friends running, chatting and laughing away. Mile 7 hit and I had to find a ditch to yet again squat in and then a real sparkle was needed to catch up to my running buddies who by this time had lost all respect for me and my bladder. As we continued to reach our 13.1 goal and our energy levels dipped we reminded ourselves of a small boy who never moaned or grimaced even with his little frail legs in casts, he smiled. With that smile in our hearts we carried on. At mile 12, balloons were deflating and marbles had been spilt along the way, so we straightened our tiara’s and sparkled towards the finish. ‘Come on Sian you’ve got this - let’s just finish strong’ I said. ‘I am putting my heart and soul into it Rach’ was her reply. To this, I believe, my words were ‘never mind your heart and soul, lift those bloody feet’ and as harsh as this may sound, at that point in a half marathon, fear not I made sure I was out of arms reach!
I pushed my beautiful friend as hard as I could plus a little extra but over that finish line she went, proud of her achievement and grateful, I think, that I pushed that little bit extra.
They are just a few things that I will treasure from my first half marathon experience with friends, PB’s are amazing but I found out that watching people you really care for get theirs is even better.
Thank you for my award for Overcoming Adversity, and as Joanne and Andie said, ‘smiling through it’.
We all struggle at times, and running with this group helps us in many different ways, sometimes making those pains and difficulties more manageable. Moreover, pushing ourselves, making those first steps that become miles, change the way we feel. For some the most significant step is joining a new group of strangers, for others entering their first race. For me, just turning up for training has been a challenge.
The past year has been a struggle with so much sadness and grief, yet there have also been moments of joy. As some of you know, in April we lost our dad to cancer, and then in September our brother suddenly died after suffering from a rare auto-immune disease. Our mother was diagnosed with cancer in August, and is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment. She is one of the strongest and determined people I know, but a Christmas cold has really knocked her back and put a hold on treatment. We hope she can overcome this setback and enjoy her life for a while longer.
Running helps me keep moving forward especially when my mind is stuck going round and round. You guys encourage me, take me away from my world for a while, listen to my sadness and help me look forward. During the summer I found it so hard when I couldn’t run due to injury. Running helps me process my thoughts and importantly connects me to the members of our club. I need that connection.
Thank you for thinking of me and giving me this award sponsored by Chrissie Woodhouse, mother of Jack Edwards who died at such a young age. I am inspired by her courage to keep moving forward and doing what she can for others. Although the next year is not going to be easy, I too am moving forward and feeling ready for new challenges ahead. CMRC thank you!
The stream of traffic travelling along B4202 and the red hoodies stood waiting for a lift along the way showed that CMRC meant business at Worcester.
It was a dry day, no clouds on the horizon for the red army.
Lisa G & I were there in a support role, which involved holding numerous articles of clothing, plenty of clapping/ cheering and a lovely cup of coffee from Maccies.
What a fantastic turn out from the club with a mixture of runners in both the 10k & half marathon, some running these distances for the first time.
There were some amazing performances and loads of fantastic photos along the way.
My two most memorable parts of the day would have to be Ann arriving on the bridge in her own innovative style to complete her first half marathon. Followed closely by the Steve Cram selfie with Jo photo bombing.
I think that as a club we showed a tremendous team spirit which was commented on by several people that I spoke to that day. The welcoming committee on the bridge and cheering the last runners over the line is a true testament to what a lovely club we are.
Before I joined the CMRC, I would participate in one or two races a year by myself. With a goal ahead of me, I would run at least once a week – but often not more. I like a challenge, but I used to run within my comfort zone – which used to be a half-marathon once a year.
This regime would stop me getting lazy, help maintain my aerobic fitness and usually keep me sane. I tend to think, process, and put my own world to rights while running. As a member of a team for dragon boat racing and outrigger canoeing, I didn’t need any more schedules and commitments. Therefore, I enjoyed the freedom that running gave me and invariably went out alone. However, for racing that is not so much fun.
Since joining the club, racing has become a whole different animal. Not only do I train, I have improved my technique, received lots of encouragement and made great new friends. I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of chatting while training and racing.
I joined the club after meeting some of the members at the Wyre Forest Park Run – you seemed a friendly bunch. And after living overseas for 25 years was eager to make new friends with similar interests.
You guys like to race, improve, challenge yourselves and race some more.
And I am hooked.
In October 2016 I did my first UK race, a hilly 10K with Donna. We were both nervous; it was Donna’s first race and we did not know what to expect from the Sheepswalk Shocker. The course undulated up and down some narrow lanes and and across fields. We walked a bit, probably more than we needed, saving ourselves for the ‘shock’. But I think we were surprised when we came close to the end - it hadn’t killed us, and we could have gone harder. It was good running together; at times we both found it hard, but quietly kept going, not wanting to let the other down. I loved the experience and the medal is my favourite so far.
In the following months I continued training once a week on Tuesdays in Cleobury with the club, and sometimes would join the 5km Park Run at the Wyre Forest. I like a challenge, and this is tough terrain. I am surprised how different you can feel on different days running over the same course. I am not a fast runner, but at some point, I would like to do this Park Run under 30 minutes. I think the closest I have been is 30:10. However, often I am closer to 31 or 32. One thing I have noticed is that the hills have got easier, well not exactly easier, but I can run up them with more vigor! Training with the club really does help.
How Hard Can It Be Events is an apt name for the organizers of the Sunrise to Sunset Challenge. I was a very late entry for the post Christmas event which takes place at the Shrewsbury Cycle Track. It’s an unusal race in that each runner decides for themselves how far to run. Each lap is a kilometre and you have a card punched on every lap. Then you ring a bell when you have run your race and your time is recorded. I hadn’t trained for a long run, and the furthest I had run in the previous year was only 11k. However, as you can take your time and we had all day I thought I might run 21 – a half marathon. The day started with a heavy frost and it was still dark when we arrived. We quickly set up our table with drinks and a variety of Christmas snacks. Some of the team were hoping for long distances, others less, but several pushing themselves to run the furthest they ever had. Once I got going, I settled into a steady rhythm. I was able to chat with some our group as well as many of the other participants. My main problem was the cold especially in my fingers. Even with borrowed gloves it took hours for them to thaw. Luckily feet were ok. As I got close to the 20k mark, I thought maybe I could go further. I had never run more than 21k before and was tempted to try. This race is a really good oportunity to challenge yourself without any pressure. After 30k I quietly thought to myself that I would like to run a marathon. I had always admired my friends who had faced and conquered that particular challenge. I never believed I, or my legs, would manage it, but on that day, I did. It felt good - really good. So good after a quick photo, I kept on running to make it to a round 50. (Although later I relised I had 51 hole punches on my card!) I don’t remember my time, but I will never forget the exhilaration of completing my first marathon, and ultra.
Sallie Shaw (member since August 2016)