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Dave Clarke 5 2017

Dave Clarke 5k 2017 Race Report – Alison O’Mara

Hi my fellow “Bats”,

When Emma posted “can you help, we need a race report….. I reacted straight away without hesitation, almost a sense of urgency & said I’d be happy to do one, although I had no real idea of what was expected so I hope this fits the bill. The urgency came from me still feeling on a high from completing the “Dave Clarke 5” race and I felt I wanted to share the positive feeling with, well…. everyone but more so with some of the newer members of the club, in the hope it will encourage them to give a future race a good go.

And this is why:-

After only my 3rd official race with the club I arrived home and walked up my driveway with a very big spring in my step, having dropped Jools (Julie Hargreaves) off after the race, my beautiful friend that got me to do my first race some 15 years ago when I couldn’t run for a bus!!!!

On Thursday evening I had a feeling of happiness, achievement and complete elation, and absolute belief I can deal with anything that gets thrown at me. I kind of know that sounds a bit over the top but you know what it’s so true, so it doesn’t matter does it…???

I don’t want to harp on about issues I’ve had recently and goodness knows folk have much bigger traumas to deal with but life throws some pretty big emotional boulders at us sometimes so we need a coping mechanism. Running has become such a means to me.

I’ve said recently that before I go out on a club run I feel like someone has filled my brain with thick treacle…!!!! Everything is cloudy and weighs heavy. BUT… when I finish a run it’s as if someone has poured the purist spring water through my mind and everything is ok with the world. AND you know what’s even better..!!!! After a race the feeling is even more special.

You put on your club vest, fasten on your race number and become one of the team immediately. At the Dave Clarke 5k race there was a real mix of long-standing fast runners, to intermediate runners and new members that were almost scared stiff of what was ahead, but once you spot another Bat the camaraderie is amazing, old and new mixing together, it doesn’t matter about your speed or your capability, we are all one Team.

The sense of belonging is very powerful.

To all our new members, never fear about entering a race, the moment you make that decision you will experience something very special. You will feel part of a group of like minded people who will want to encourage you and bring out the best in you.

Pop on your SMM running top and start something amazing, run to your best ability, remember it’s the taking part that makes you special, feel that unique buzz as you cross the finish line with other “Bats” screaming your name and words of encouragement, ( it’s never great to finish first anyway because there’ll be no other runners there to cheer you on….lol )  collect your medal and I promise you, you will be signing up for your next race in no time…

I’d like to give a special shout out for Jacqui Bennett who posted about how nervous she was days before the race, only to go out there and absolutely smash it, and Cleo Acraman, Kay Porter and Ellie Holmes…amazing running. Sara Buckley and Sandra both had a fantastic race with their next 10k just around the corner (see it’s infectious)

I’d like to thank each and every one of the club members I run with and those I don’t, I have said on more than one occasion that becoming a Stone Master Marathoner is one of the very best things I’ve done in a long time, I feel very blessed to have made such wonderful new friends.

A special thank you to Bill Clarke for all your time and encouragement, I’m becoming a more accomplished runner because of your coaching and guidance and the absolute ability to make me feel guilty whenever I miss a session…..lol and of course a special mention to Anne Griffiths who was amazing, staying towards the back of the group as a support to runners who are new to racing.

My new racing mantra….” Keep the spring water flowing to melt the treacle”. Ooooh and Jane Weston, “It’s your fault”….. x

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Race For Life (Trentham) – 7th June 2016

Race For Life (Trentham) – 7th June, 2016

Every June Trentham Gardens plays host to Cancer Research’s Race For Life, a 5k race around the Italian gardens and lake that brings together the very finest of racers, enthusiastic runners and relaxed walkers. Open to all, the Bats put together an elite team of RFL athletes and hit the starting line with gusto.

If you’ve never tackled a RFL before, the atmosphere can be both inspirational and somber reading messages of love and support written onto people back plaques; I must admit, I’ve become a little misty eyed on more than one occasion lining up for this race over the years, tonight being no exception as Michelle Miles was running in memory of her Nana, Pauline.

Our strategy was clear from the outset with the majority of the ladies staying as a group apart from a couple of notable (for fab reasons) exceptions: Ann, Jayne Ford and Kirsty Stephenson. The course took in a couple of km around the beautiful Italian Gardens before circling the lake. I’m pleased to report they’ve ditched the last brutal climb at 4km so the mostly flat course is a much friendlier prospect!

The Bat colony swooped steadily around the course, making easy work of the course and chatting to other runners on the women-only run: the atmosphere was bright and positive and the whole gang enjoyed their run. Nearing the finish line we all linked hands and crossed the line together, huge smiles and big congratulations all round! We even heard a few of our fellow Bats (Clare Irving and Carrie Stockley) cheering us on as they’d put in fab performances with workmates and friends!

It was only as we regrouped towards the end we realised the reasons for notable absences; Jayne and Ann had decided to push on in what was Ann’s first ever race! She completed in , a fantastic achievement! And we must all allow Kirsty to take a bow; the tutu’d torpedo not only ran it solo but only went and WON it in an amazing time of 20:30! Superb running all round!

If you’ve got ideas for charity runs the Bats can support, drop us a line. RFL proved if you want to enjoy the camaraderie of running as a team, tackle a personal goal or take on the field, there’s something for everyone!

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