Runners brave the heat at this year's Ware Festival of Running.
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Kevin Francis scoops the prizes
Club colours awards
Race to the King
Following 12 months of the most gruelling training in sub-zero temperatures and torrential rain, often for up to eight hours at a time the ‘Magnificent Seven’ stood on the start line of the world’s toughest ‘Ironman’ course in Lanzarote’s beautiful Puerto Del Carmen.
With a 4am start on race day to allow time to prepare equipment, the race began at 7am from the Playa Grande in Puerto del Carmen, the main tourist spot on the island. Having swum like fighting fish, across the 2.4 mile two-lap swim course, they swiftly transitioned to the 112-mile bike course, which is well known for its challenging 20mph headwinds and amazing views. With the 36-degree temperatures, desert-like conditions and an ascent of over 2,551 metres it is easy to see why this course is known as the toughest in the world.
The full marathon distance running section took competitors along the thankfully flat sea front of Puerto del Carmen before leading up to Arrecife and back and then to Matagorda and back. This aspect of the race has the impressive support of thousands of spectators lining the streets as competitors pass beautiful views of the ocean under the intense Lanzarote sun.
Many of the Ware Joggers who participated said that the experience was both absolutely gruelling as well as highly challenging and emotional. All have commented on the comradeship and support from one another throughout their training and the absolute delight of being at the start line together.
Jack Whitelegg said “It really was so much more than a marathon or any other event I've trained for. In many ways it was life changing and I still haven’t quite taken it all in.”
Mike Holliday added “What an amazing experience! Simply brilliant, loved every minute of the day and it made all the blood, sweat and tears of training worth it.’
Keith Williams talked of their journey “The last 12 months with these incredible guys has been the best journey and to be all together at the start line of the toughest Ironman out there was just the best.... and seeing them out on the course going through their ‘moments’ with their families cheering them to the finish line was just one of those life experiences you won’t forget”
Mark Cyl summed up the experience with “Together we have created a lifelong memory that I can cherish with joy, forever.”
All the Ware Joggers Ironmen expressed massive thanks and love to their families for their immeasurable support and commitment throughout the days and weeks of training and during the event.
Lanzarote's Ironman, was brought to the island from Hawaii by Danish legend Kenneth Gasque in 1992 (pictured with the Ware Jogger Ironmen). The race continues to be one of the most fabled events in the Ironman calendar and Kenneth Gasque has shaken the hand of every finisher since the introduction of the race. Ware Joggers Magnificent Seven Ironmen results are as follows - Mark Cyl 14:39:05, Andrew Tait 12:00:19, Martin Blacker 16:36:03, Jack Whitelegg 13:35:06, Keith Williams 12:38:18, Mike Holliday 13:42:16, Howard Roden 12:39:47. An amazing achievement.
37 Ware Joggers joined almost 300 other runners for the High Easter 10k Race this weekend. The sunny blue skies and beautiful scenery around the village of High Easter provided a perfect setting for the penultimate race of the Joggers’ championship season. The fast and predominantly flat course, took runners out in in a loop around the outskirts of the pretty rural village through Stagden Cross and Bishop’s Green. The final part of the race brought runners back into the village past the Grade One listed 11th century church of St Mary The Virgin, which the proceeds from the race are used to help maintain. Despite the heat, Ware Joggers pulled it out of the bag once again, with several members bringing home the silverware! Harriet Kealy, for whom this was her first 10k, was third female in a time of 43:07, Garth Morris won the VM50 category in a time of 39:04 and Carol Hayward won the VW55 category in a time of 55:27. Garth Morris, Neil Bull, and Oscar Bell were the first men’s team home, and Harriet Kealy, Sharon Threlfall and Carol Hayward were the second women’s team home. Teams from Ware Joggers were out at parkruns this weekend, promoting the Ware Festival of Running which takes place on 8th July. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Festival and places for both the 10k and 10 mile events are selling fast. All finishers will be awarded a fantastic commemorative medal and hi tech t shirt. For more information visit www.ware10s.co.uk.
As the Spring marathon season neared its close, 23 Ware Joggers took on the challenge of participating in one of the most famous running events in the world. With temperatures rising steadily from 9am to make this the hottest London Marathon on record, Joggers took their places at the start lines in Blackheath. Although the organisers had warned against the dangers of wearing fancy dress due to the heat, Ware Joggers found themselves surrounded by the usual collection of rhinos, fairies and superheroes. Once over the start line, with the inevitable adrenaline finally unleashed, Joggers followed the route with over 40,000 other runners through Greenwich to Tower Bridge and on to The Isle of Dogs where they were cheered on by over 50 of their fellow Ware Joggers who were marshalling this part of the route. As temperatures soared above 24 degrees, many runners struggled but all Ware Joggers managed to finish the course with decent times. Michael Waddington achieved a superb time of 2:50:15; Kevin Francis 2:58:26; Nick Kenyon-Muir 3:05:19; Charlotte Dadd 3:42:27; Jo Gladding 4:03:41 and, despite stopping for several hugs, Garth Morris broke the club record in the VM55 category with a time of 3:17:15. So far this season, over 60 Joggers have completed marathons in Barcelona, Manchester, Paris, Blackpool, Cambridge, Brighton and of course London and would like to express their thanks to Jan Stock who composes bespoke training plans and provides insightful advice on nutrition and technique to help club members prepare for their events. Jan herself, recently completed the 100K Ultra Tour of Arran.
A group of 8 Ware Joggers flew the club colours at the Paris marathon. Having completed most of their training in sub zero temperatures throughout the winter months arriving in Paris to find a spring heatwave was a bit of a shock! The day of the race dawned bright and sunny and as Joggers gathered at the start near the Arc de Triomphe it was clear that the heatwave was not going to disappear. The event has almost 50,000 participants who followed the route through one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Beginning in the city centre and going out through the Bois de Vincennes, passing many famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Place de Concorde, The Louvre and Notre Dame before going through the Bois de Boulogne and finishing amid the cheering crowds on Avenue Foch. For Ware Joggers Gemma Charville, (4:44) Neil Merritt (3:57) and Carol Hayward (4:51) this was their first marathon and despite the high temperatures all three finished in under their predicted times. Adam Guest (4:06) and Emily Kenworthy (5:12) both achieved PBs. Ware Joggers Anthea and Kevin Frances, Liz Coates, Paul Martin, Janet Readitt, Barry O'Connor, Clare Halfpenny, Caroline Stephens and Leanne Dring all completed the Manchester Marathon on the same day with, with Liz Coates, Janet Readitt and Anthea Francis all achieving GFA times. The Spring marathon season continues for Ware Joggers with the many participating in the London marathon this weekend, and many others working as marshals at the event.
The fast flat course, which started at the famous Lee Valley White Water Centre, provided the opportunity for a number of Ware Joggers to win prizes in the recent Lee Valley RunFest. With a day that presented perfect temperatures for running, the 10k and half marathon races took runners through a winding route in the beautiful setting of the River Lee Country Park. The 10k race which was part of this year’s club championship afforded all 43 participating Ware Joggers a chance to perform at their best. Oscar Bell scooped first prize with a time of 35:27, 2nd prize went to Kevin Francis 35:40 and 1st lady was Lindsay Russell-Smith who finished in 41:01. Kevin Francis also gained 1st in his age category M40, with his wife Anthea Francis gaining 1st place in her W40 age category. Garth Morris came 2nd in the M50 and Carol Hayward 2nd in the W50. Anne Ramsden took first prize in the W60, Terry Nichols in the M70, Margaret Waddingham 1st in the W70 with Vibeke Rowe 2nd in the same category. As the season begins to draw to an end the competition for first and second places in the respective championship leagues is becoming fierce and final results could hinge on the last few races which take place in May.
A total of 17 Ware Joggers were able to escape the chilly winter weather as they headed off to the sunnier climes of Barcelona for the marathon last weekend. The day of the race produced beautiful spring-like conditions with just a few clouds in the sky. The slightly undulating circular route took in some of the amazing sites of the city including the Casa Mila, Casa Batlo camp Nou, Sagrada Famila and the Olympic Village. The support of the crowds was fantastic with their shouts of ‘Venga Venga’ willing runners towards the finish at the Placa De Espana with the beautiful Montjuic Fountain in the background. A number of Ware Joggers achieved personal bests including Michelle Cross, Barry O’Connor, Lisa Roberts, Lorraine Oakley and Jo Gladding, who finished in a time of 3:53:38 knocking 28 mins off her previous marathon time. Also pictured centre front is Paul Brennan who ran the Chester Ultra in a time of 12 hrs and 58mins. The 52 mile ultra, fused together some of the best trails in the area including Delamere Forest, The River Dee and Sandstone Trail. Numerous Ware Joggers are currently completing their training for both the Paris and London marathons which take place in the next few weeks.
Twenty five Ware Joggers took on the challenging Baldock Beast Half Marathon. The course which begins on the outskirts of the town of Baldock took runners out into the hilly terrain of the Hertfordshire countryside. Battling against chilling winds and sub zero temperatures Ware Joggers joined 400 other runners and followed the route up through the villages of Wallington, Sandon and Roe Green before hearing back into Baldock, thankful for some descending gradients in the last few miles. All Ware Joggers managed to ‘tame the beast’ with Kevin Francis taking fifth place overall in the race and coming first in the Men’s V40 age group while Garth Morris came third in the V50 age group. A team of Ware Joggers are currently in the process of organising their own running event in the form of the Ware Festival of Running which is celebrating its 10th year in July.
When a group of (male) Joggers have a post run shower there is inevitably some humming (and hawing) which in turn leads to singing, yes really. And so it was that the Ware Joggers Choir was formed 5 years ago.
Requests (pleas) for singers generated a motley band some of whom (not all, you understand) can actually sing. The rest, as they say, is history. The choir meets weekly at Anne Ramsden's house on Monday evenings and is bravely and very skilfully led by multi instrumentalists Bill Gristwood and his wife Julia. We also have several singers who play instruments.
We sing because we all enjoy it and because there is always cake - usually made by Anne. We have performed in public a few times - mainly for the residents at Willowthorpe Residential Home, but also at club events. For the last couple of years we have sung carols around the area raising money for local charities.
We are always looking for new members……