I would like to start this edition of LUUCCC race report with a response to a question that was left unanswered in the previous edition. It has now been officially confirmed that the soreness in Alex Bellews bum from the Yorkshire fell championships was actually from the race, not from any other reason.
This weekend proved to be a successful one, in what has proved to be a fruitful season so far for LUUCCC. A sunny saturday afternoon marked the Braids Hill fell race in Edinburgh which consisted of a 3 mile loop which involved running up to a summit via testing climbs and then back down the other side of the hill in a series of tricky descents. The women’s race was to complete one of these laps while the men’s was to complete two.
The women’s race started at 2.00 sharp with some great talent from the Doss on show. The race was won by Clare Ward of Edinburgh University in a stunning 18 minutes 34 seconds however Edinburgh weren’t going to have it all there own way with Dosser Emma Raven close behind in 3rd (18.53). Mary Ferrier also impressed in her first race of the year to finish a great 17th (20.12). Caroline Ford also demonstrated her form with a great follow up from her heroics in the Manchester relays finishing 29th (20.55). Next to count was Rebecca Jameson (22.09), followed by Lucy Gemmel 58th (23.04). Coincidentally Gemmel had many highlights this weekend including taking a pedalo (yes you heard correctly, a pedalo) with men’s race captain Elliot Jackson, and also going slightly mental in Starbucks after sighting someone from ‘Made in Chelsea’. There was also a highly intense battle for 62nd spot between Frances Carney and Amicia Lee who came in 62nd and 63rdrespectively. During the race many spectators thought Lee would win the fight as Carney looked tired from the excess weight of carrying her passport. The team was made up by Fiona Wiles who finished in 67th (24.14), Jessica White 71st (24.34), Hannah Gornall 189th (24.40), Beth Ferrier 81st (25.05) just ahead of Laura Severinsen 82nd (25.06) and Beth Martin 99th (27.49)
The men’s race commenced at 2.30, with high expectations on the Doss after some stunning individual performances this year so far including Freddie Slemeck’s international debut in Slovenia (Yes that’s correct he did actually run for England, those shorts aren’t just stolen from a regular international), with 4 people to count per team. The race up to the summit for the first time showed some stunning ascending from Elliot Jackson and Matt Lockyer who both leading the race closely followed by Slemeck (in his signature shorts) and Alex Bellew. The overall winner was Niall Sheehan of Lasswade AC with 32 minutes 35 seconds, with the main challenge from the Doss coming from Alex Bellew in 4th (33.35). Allegedly Bellew only ran faster so he could get in the showers straight away and hence would have to wait less time to strip off, one of Bellews favourite pastimes. Next from Doss was Freddie Slemeck in 5th a solid 23 seconds behind Bellew with a run in which he said “I couldn’t have done any more” which involoved a superb sprint finish at the end. The team was made up by Matt Lockyer who gave another usefull run in 13th (34.31) despite massive wind resistance on his newly formed facial hair and Elliot Jackson who’s self confessed lack of endurance caused him to fade to finish 18th (35.35). This caused the team to finish a brilliant 2nd place overall just behind Edinburgh University. There was also great runs from James Raven in 22nd (35.53), man-mountain Jack Wood in 27th (36.22) who was my individual athlete of the weekend, and Luke Buswell in 42nd (37.04) who expertly disguised the fact he was on steroids by running a little bit slower than normal. Tom Heawood finished a respectable 58th (38.06), whilst listening to remixes of Jingle Bells and the Mariah Carey classic “All I want for Christmas is you” in-between getting into fights and losing piercings from his ear. Other runs worth a mention were Dave Burtles 78th (39.34), , Alex Jeffreys 102nd (41.05) who closely contested with Shane Adams who came 107th (41.16), John Derrick 139th (43.00), Thomas Canaway in 180th (46.52) and Adam Kirk 203rd (53.03). Despite their being several bets on Tom Powell to reach the summit first he unfortunately ran like a little girl due to injury and had to drop out. His luck however improved throughout the day as he impressed on the dance floor when Flo Riders “Low” was played. He was also saved from being Dick of the day by Rowan Temple who unbelievably dropped out and actually brought his passport on the same day – what a dick/day!
It is also worth noting that if an athlete would have finished in the same time it takes Rob Johnson to down a pint they would have finished in 82nd place in a time of 40 minutes 15 seconds.
When asked to comment about the race Men’s race captain Elliot Jackson had to say “people whose surname is Toblerone should always take along an empty ‘Toblerone’ chocolate box when attending interviews for office jobs. This would save your potential employer the expense of having to make a name plaque for your desk, and therefore increase your chances of getting the job”. It his highly advised that freshers take note of this advice if they wish to progress as an athlete.
Slemeck and Bellew dominate Yorkshire fell championships
This Saturday marked the Yorkshire fell championships which consisted of a strong field of well over two hundred runners. The race was an epic 5 miler in Great Whernside which involved insanely steep climbs and descents, leaving as much to the runners guts as their athletic prowess. In previous years the race has heavily featured Leeds University triathlon star Johnathan Brownlee, he however decided to miss this race after his coach (for those of you who don’t know him it’s me (the skinny guy with no hair from training)) advised him against it after a hard week of training. With Brownlees absence Slemeck looked to insert his authority from the start, while Bellew executed another of his infamous slow starts, not getting carried away with the pace of the field. After a mile or so Slemeck and Bellew found themselves together in a cat and mouse game with ameteur athlete and professional nutcase, the dosser Matt Lockyer who once famously asked a girl from Middlesborough if her parents were brother and sister, with all three running in top 10 positions. With the last few hundred metres approaching there was very little to separate the three athletes however Slemeck managed to sneak ahead of Bellew by a mere four seconds with Lockyer a further seven seconds behind. It is worth noting that the three athletes crossed the line in order of their number of parkrun victories (2 to Slemeck, 1 to Bellew and as far as I know 0 to Lockyer as yet), which proves that the Hyde Park time trial is the base to any runners success. The three finished in 7th, 8th and 9th respectively, with Slemeck taking the Junior prize. Allegedly Bellew was caught saying after the race “it’s because he’s a lanky bugger so he was able to leap over the bogs better than me”. Bellew also commented on the soreness of his bum however it has not been confirmed whether this was from the race or not. The overall winner of the race was Carl Bell from Howgill Harriers with the time of 31 mins 32 seconds, finishing over a minute ahead of his nearest challenger Ian Holmes who ousted out Chris Birchill for second place.
As well as the Yorkshire fell championships, there was also the West Yorkshire Cross Country League. This was held on a very blustery Saturday morning around a very open York race course which provided little protection from the wind. Fortunately LUUCCC had been watching Sky Sports News in the morning and knew the conditions would be ‘good to firm’ which provided them information to prepare their vital race plans. The women’s race commenced at 1.45 with a small but strong field with just under 100 runners completing the 6.5 km cross country. The race was won by Laura Kirk of Skyrac (24 minutes 53 seconds) broke away from the field with Clare Duck of Leeds City (25.15) and Katie Walshaw of Holmfirth (25.20) after about 3 k which provided the spectators with a fantastic race. Leeds Universities Women team put in three consistently strong performances led by Jessica White in 62nd (31.41) followed by Hannah Gornall 67th (32.05) and Fiona Wiles 79th (33.00). Jessica White, ever the optimist, seemed unphased by the conditions that slowed down many of her competitor said in a post race interview on facebook they were “really nice conditions but a bit of a headwind at times”
In the men’s race the university entered another strong but small team in a much larger field of two hundred athletes. The race was held over the same course but with an extension to the women’s race making it a full 10k. The race was won by Leeds City’s Simon Deakin who (after some late night power of 10 stalking) has been ranked in the top 10 in the UK for 10k in the past few years. Deakin completed the course in a stunning 32minutes 42 seconds. Leeds Universities team was missing their two men in form Freddie Slemeck and Alex Bellew due to their presence at the pre-mentioned championships. Fresh off his victory an aloof Slemeck was caught saying “As an international athlete I only compete in major competitions a local league meeting means nothing to an athlete of my calibre”. Leeds Universities team was brought home by Matt Crehan who ran a very brave race from the gun challenging the leaders of the racebut unfortunately faded throughout the race to finish a respectable 32nd (37.03). The second counter for the uni was Chris Smith (Mr Alzheimers) who showed promise for the forthcoming season with steady improvements from week to week, giving Crehan a run for his money to finish 35th (37.13). At the end of the race Smith had only to say “I ran round a field in York”, valuable information which I felt could add to the quality of this article. In his first cross country race for a while Luke Buswell finished 28th (37.32), to finish 3rd counter, a run which Buswell was bitterly disappointed with having hoped to challenge for the top 10. Some say his race was like one big car crash. Fourth and final counter was Tom Hearward in 46th (38.00) who ran a very impressive race considering his self confessed lack of training in the last year and proved if he could hit form in the right time he could carry out his dream of making BUCS A team.
Overall it was an outstanding weekend for the team with Slemeck and Bellew providing a masterclass of running while the teams participation at the West Yorkshire league showed two small but strong teams of both men and women despite the absence of star athlete Tom Powell.