Every year, RSE supports the Hope Trail Festival in Plympton, where proceeds go towards the Dartmoor Search & Rescue team. This fantastic event involves relay teams or solo runners completing laps of a 5 mile (hilly) course over a 24 hour period – from 12 noon Saturday to 12 noon Sunday. There’s also a mini run for kids, which covers 2.4km. Hope 24 have announced that they will be going ahead in July 2021, virtually and on site! For information on their roadmap for 2021, click here.
Since the event’s formation in 2014, RSE has entered some competitive… and some less serious runners! The goal is always to have fun, no matter what your motivation is.
The solo event is always a highlight, with previous club members Laura Butler and Jackie Day completing the challenge, and current club members, Caroline Terry, Gareth Roberts (2nd in the men’s solo event) and Richard “Ryo” Taylor reaching incredible mileage! When the event went virtual in 2020, Elaine Chapman, Gareth Roberts, Nadine Brown, Ellie Taylor and David Witnall also challenged themselves to run the miles around Cirencester!
Elaine and Ben Chapman have competed in the event, one way or another, every year since it’s beginning:
Hope 24 is one of the highlights of my running year. We just love it as a family, and when we arrive at the campsite, we get a feeling of home. There is just something about it – a warm, friendly, supportive atmosphere, everyone there is happy to be there. I’ll always remember our first Hope – rocking up in the dark and the rain with a 5 year old and a 2 year old, we must have been mad 😂. I had never run an event like this before, but we took to it quickly and soon loved it. Preparing for my first night run, I remember being a bit terrified, but also exhilarated. My first thought was that my mum would go mad if she knew what I was about to do. It’s such a wonderful event, brings together all types of runners and there is something for everyone.
Elaine Chapman, Club Captain
It’s safe to say that RSE members who have run at Hope 24 always return with lots of anecdotes – who could forget the competitive 5 person men’s team, which finished with only 1 runner (Animal) and a hopping Dave Witnall… or Sallie Clatworthy breaking records for how many photos could be taken in a 5 mile run… or the RSE members who had a little too much to drink before a 24 hour running event!
If you would like to join the RSE team in 2021, contact Elaine Chapman for more information.
Caroline Joynes-Creed smashed her 5k PB this week after setting a personal challenge to herself at the start of the year. The target was a PB and possibly sub 30 minutes – Caroline’s finishing time was 29:48! 1 minute and 2 seconds quicker than her previous PB.
By my side all the way, as always, was my running inspiration, Kev. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have started running. The belief he has in me is amazing. He pushes me to do things I never would have thought about doing.
Ultra X Co Dawn2Dusk
Reaching incredible targets was a theme this week, as Sarah Reynolds, Carol Sworn and Vicki Mason took on the Ultra X Co Dawn2Dusk event. The challenge was to see how many kms the team could run/ walk in 12 hours (6am to 6pm).
We each hoped to cover a marathon and each of us smashed that target! Vicki’s girls kept a tally of our miles and calculated that we totalled 159.09km!
Carol, Vicki and Sarah each covered over 50km in distance, a fantastic amount of running within 12 hours! Well done, team RSE!
Club members have been hard at work completing pledges made as part of ‘The March Back to Club’!
All pledges on track – I did have to make a few extra trips up and down the stairs one evening to make sure I hit 10,000 steps though.
Really helpful to have made the commitment to do this as I wouldn’t have done the efforts otherwise. Thanks for organising it!
Keep up the hard work everyone! Only a few more weeks until we are back at club…
Get To Know the Club – Runner Profile
Ted and Kirsty Pitts
When did you start running and why? Ted – I first started running to lose weight and in 1986 I joined the “Enemy” Ciren A.C. They had not long been formed and I had seen a bunch of old boys running around town, I thought I could beat them… not so! Kirsty – I started running properly again in 2011 to get fit, lose weight and also do something for me.
When did you join RSE? We both joined RSE at the same time in 2012.
What motivates you to run? Kirsty – Ted is always encouraging and is very passionate about running, which really helps me. But also the people from the club have motivated me in so many ways. I would never have run the distances that I’ve run, or raced in the places I’ve raced, if it wasn’t for the amazing people from RSE. The coaches are incredible and always give encouragement no matter what you’re doing. I especially love the Saturday morning chatty runs, the routes we run along are stunning and running with your friends always make those miles slip away a lot quicker! Plus knowing that you’re going for breakfast in Somewhere Else is a massive motivation! Ted – Motivation comes from being competitive. I want to run as fast as I can and finish as far up the field as possible. I still feel I can get faster, so for now I’ll keep going.
Proudest running achievement? Ted – My proudest moment came on my first 10k on the track, Tommy Taylor’s Lane, Cheltenham, when I won the Glos. County 10k Championship under floodlights. I did most of the work that night and managed to just hang on. Kirsty – Probably the London Marathon 2015 – loved every minute of it – the crowds, the music, the cheers, the excitement. The weather was perfect, everything just went to plan on the day. I just felt good all the way and finished with a massive smile on my face in 4hrs 15 mins.
Favourite RSE moment (social/ race etc)? Kirsty – There are so many to choose from… Christmas do’s, 10 year anniversary party, Summer BBQ’s, races here and abroad, the list goes on. One of my favourite moment’s was the RSE club trip to Budapest, such a beautiful city! There we had a choice of a Marathon, 18 mile, and a relay race. Most of us were running in the relay, in teams of 4. Fantastic team work and the support from everyone was incredible. And of course there was a little bit of alcohol too 🤪, it was so much fun! Ted – I have lots of favourite moments with the club but the one that stands out the most was at cross country – the one with the BIG MUDDY puddle. I had the RSE women’s team cheering me on… “Run through the middle it’s easier,” they said… and I did. Was it easier? No, put my foot in hole went almost head over heels! I’m sure they knew that hole was there.😅
Extra question for Team Pitts – running together or running against each other? 😆 Ted – love running with Kirsty – she is just as competitive. I tend to run half a stride behind because if I get along side her she gets faster. Kirsty – We do a bit of both really… In the old days Ted was always super fast, so I had absolutely no chance! But over the past few years we are now around the same speed so we do enjoy running together occasionally. In 2019 though, our competitive streaks took over and we raced against each other in 10 races throughout the year, with the final of… Kirsty 6, Ted 4 😁 And I’ve got the T-shirt to prove it, thanks to RSE!
In Loving Memory
A year after much-loved RSE member, Rochelle “Tosh” Ravenscroft sadly passed away, we remember some of her fantastic achievements.
These include running Country to Capital Ultra Marathon, a 45 mile run finishing in Little Venice, and Brecon to Cardiff Ultra Marathon, a 70k ultra in the Brecon Beacons National Park. 45 miles was not enough, as Rochelle also completed the 24h Conti Thunder Run, running a staggering 13 laps of the 10k circuit, making a total distance covered of 130km or 80.778 miles!
Tosh was certainly inspirational, competing in many of the club’s championship races and coming first out of the RSE ladies at the Two Tunnels Half marathon! At the 2019 RSE awards ceremony, she won second place in the Endurance category and came third in the Overall Championship! Rochelle also won the Runner’s Runner award, voted for by RSE club members, and in 2020 it was renamed The Rochelle Ravenscroft Memorial Award in her memory.
Rochelle is sorely missed from club sessions, as a fellow club runner and a coach.
We asked club members to send in suggestions of runners that inspire them – this could have been an athlete, someone they follow on social media or someone they know.
Iron Cowboy James – nominated by Sarah Reynolds, this incredible runner aims to complete 100 iron mans in 100 consecutive days. James Lawrence has broken several Guinness World Records and is repeatedly mocked for choosing goals that are so big! This includes his record breaking challenge to complete 50 long distance triathlons, in 50 consecutive days, through all 50 US States! If you are interested in learning more about the Iron Cowboy, check out his website.
Yuki Kawauchi – if you mention famous athletes to Dave Witnall, there’s no doubt who he will tell you about! Nicknamed the “Citizens runner”, Yuki completed a full time job while training for marathons in his spare time, without any sponsorship. Through his own perseverance, Yuki now has the Guinness World Record for running 100 marathons in under 2 hours and 20 minutes (76 of those by the age of 30!) He’s also known for having run marathons dressed in a suit and dressed as a panda! For a full list of reasons to love Yuki, check out this article from the Guardian.
Kevin Joynes-Creed’s Inspiration:
I am probably going to be greedy in that I would like to highlight three people who have massively inspired my running. Back in 2012 I was overweight, did little to no physical activity and always said the only thing I would ever run would be a hot bath. That was until my brother-in-law, and fellow club member, Roger Woolford managed to get a place in the 2013 London Marathon. As I watched him get stuck into his training, I noticed how the effort was having a positive effect on him, both physically and mentally. He seemed more focused, more energetic and I could see him getting stronger week on week. As he went further into his training, I started to join him on his long runs on my bike which started having the same effect on me. By April of 2013 when Roger ran the Marathon, I had committed to running the Swindon Half Marathon with him in the October (I did it in front to an audience so there was no getting out of it). He spent the next 6 months sacrificing many of his own runs to run with me and encouraging me to keep going when all I wanted to do was stop. He even finished in last place at my first ever 10k as he wouldn’t leave me and made me cross the line in front of him.
My second inspiration is of course Caroline, who inspires me with both her belief in me and her own achievements. Watching her improve, get stronger and become more confident as a runner is far more rewarding than anything. Without her belief in me, I would probably have stopped running years ago.
For my last inspiration, I can pinpoint the exact moment this person had a profound effect on both me and my running and still continues to inspire me today… It was the evening of Sunday 25th August 2019 at the Phoenix Festival in The Abbey Grounds. That had been a scorching hot day and I had run the Severn Bridge Half Marathon in the morning. The same day Rochelle Ravenscroft had completed the epic Ridgeway Challenge 86 mile ultra. Caroline and I were enjoying a relaxed evening and were shocked when on a return journey from the bar we saw Tosh walking towards us. Her first words to me were, “How was your half?” – it was typical of her to put other people’s efforts ahead of her own. After 10 mins or so discussing how hot it had been and that there was no way on earth I could ever imagine attempting an Ultra let alone doing something as daft as 86 miles, she stopped, looked me straight in the eye and, as a wry smile broke onto her face, said, “If I can do it, so can you.” I’m not sure if she knew it would have the effect it did, but following a number of chats over the coming weeks she managed to give me the belief that perhaps I could run an Ultra. In December of 2019 I did just that, when I completed the Winter Cross Ultra, a race that means an awful lot to me as we ran the full 50k together. This year I intend to repay her words “If I can do it, so can you” as I have entered The Ridgeway Challenge 86 and intend to run not only in her memory but in her footsteps…
Joining RSE/ Club Renewal
April 1st is renewal time for membership and also a great time to join a fantastic, friendly running club!
Well done to Gareth Roberts who has spent the weekend completing a 48 hour running challenge, cheered on by some of our RSE members. Taking to routes around Latton and Cricklade, Gareth’s 48 hour feat will end at midnight tonight, in which he plans to have completed 48 miles! Fantastic running by one of our ultra-veterans!
Social Quiz Night
Club members tested their knowledge at a Zoom quiz hosted by Kevin and Caroline Joynes-Creed. 3 teams competed in knowledge challenges based on rounds of Question of Sport and House of Cards – members were asked to name famous runners, guess who from blurred images of RSE club members, and guess the sentence when only the 1st letter was shown. Well done to team 2, who won by only 1 point!
Following the news from England Athletics that we can commence club activities again from 29th March, this week we launched ‘The March Back to Club’, made up of a series of pledges for members to commit to throughout the four weeks of March.
The pledges vary from committing to a number of walks/runs per week, to completing a set distance to achieve it – the NHS recommended 10,000 steps per day.
Below is a breakdown of the pledges made by our members:
In addition to the pledges above, we also have a number of members who have made pledges but want to keep them under the radar.
Over the next few weeks we’ll update on each member’s progress, so watch this space…
RSE March History – Gloucester 20!
Our club championship may be on pause, but the achievements our club members have attained during the club races are not forgotten! For the past few years, March has been a chance for members to compete in the longest race in the championship, Gloucester 20! This race is perfect for those training for Spring marathons, and has also been a chance for some members to do back-to-back 20 mile races alongside Fission 20 (Kevin Joynes-Creed and David Whitlow!).
The 2020 wet and windy event saw current members David Witnall, Istvan Vegh and Liz Farooq achieving PBs, some members completing their first ever 20-miler, and Sharon Smith setting the all time fastest time in the V70 female category for 20 miles in the UK Rankings!
There’s something about the Gloucester 20… club race, club support, club atmosphere. Great scenic 3-loop race, nice little hill in each, perfect for pacing and knowing what you need to do, good mindset run – works for me every time!
Emma Thomas, who has completed the race 2 times, from 2018-2019.
New Route Suggestions
Libby Butler has been hard at work creating some fantastic trail routes around the Woodmancote/ Colesbourne/ Cirencester area. Here’s a selection of some of the routes:
The full set of routes Libby has created range from 5 miles to marathon distance. If you are a friend of Libby’s on Strava, you can access the routes via her profile, where Strava gives GPS directional guidance (similar to a Sat Nav!). Make sure you check the elevation before setting off, some of the routes are hilly!
After another month of lockdown, the sun is finally shining, the daffodils are blooming and there are blue skies!
But as runners, we are out no matter the weather! As some of our club members have shown with their fantastic achievements over the last month.
Well done to Zoe Markham-Lee, who completed 100 miles over February! Not an easy feat given the short month and cold winds.
It was hard going when it was cold, but going out with Emma and Amanda (on separate runs) helped, or I wouldn’t have made it!
Linda Edwards and Cathy Steer have also passed their personal goals of reaching 4 miles following illness and injury! Using the NHS coach to 5k, Cathy and Linda inspired each other to keep going.
It was great because we could run the same step on the programme without running together all the the time. It was gradual, which helped. We are both glad to get to the point where we could join in a park run or club night when they resume.
Returning after a period away from running can be tough, both mentally and physically – congratulations to both Linda and Cathy!
New Route Suggestion
I know where I am, I just don’t know where I’m going…
Trying to recreate a route shown to her by Carol Sworn, Nadine Brown took on the task of navigator for her and Ellie Taylor, discovering a beautiful trail and road route, perfect for a spring morning. Checkout the video above for the 15 mile route starting and ending in Cirencester. Ellie completed 13.1 miles, cutting out the beginning part around Cirencester farm.
When there are no races, our runners set themselves new, and sometimes creative, challenges.
Well done to Cheri Edwards, who has set herself the task of creating a new Strava picture per month – in December she drew an angel, and January was a mermaid tail. This month:
Cathy Steer has also ‘accidentally’ been creating masterpieces:
In the words of Bob Ross, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
England Athletic Announcement
In case you missed it… Earlier this week England Athletics confirmed the news we have all been waiting for releasing the following statement:
“We are pleased to confirm that clubs, groups, coaching and competition can return outdoors from 29 March for both adults and children, in line with the UK Government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions announced on 22 February.”
Tomorrow (1st March) your coaching team will be launching ‘The March back to club’ consisting of four weeks worth of pledges to get you active and ready for the big return at the end of March…
Watch this space over the next few days/weeks for more information!