All races are tough. Whether it’s a parkrun, a 10k, a marathon… we all push ourselves to do our best. But then there is “The Escape from Meriden!” In the centre of England, in the small town of Meriden, is a stone cross, which has stood there for 500 years. At midnight on the 17th November the “prisoners” were released with the objective to escape Meriden and get as far away as they can (as the crow flies) within 24 hours using whatever route they want. Medals are awarded for the different distances, silver for 30+ miles, gold for 60+ and black for over 90.
This year Jane Wren, running with Ron Bell, took part in this amazing event. As has been the case recently, the rain fell from the heavens for most of the race. They couldn’t see with glasses because they steamed up, they couldn’t navigate without glasses!! A couple of miles in the pair, who were dressed in bright orange boiler suites, which are provided by the organisers, got stopped by the police. After explaining they were Escaping from Meriden they were sent on their way!! At one point the pair got badly lost for about an hour, and a mile of trying to find where they had gone wrong, whilst the paper map got wetter and wetter and ended up in the bin! (Rookie mistake, but they will know better next time!) It was so windy and Jane and Ron had to navigate through country lanes, A-roads and village streets, keeping safe, moving forward and adding up the miles until they completed 38.4 miles and 32.34 as the crow flies, which is the furthest Jane has ever run and they were rewarded with a silver medal.
On Sunday FRAC runners competed in a wide range of races. In Marden, Josh Pine completed the half marathon in 1:22:06, a PB bringing him in 5th place overall. Also running was Anthony Scott, who completed the course in 1:56:08
On the coast, in Ramsgate, 2 FRAC runners completed the undulating 10 mile Coastbuster race. Sarah Nunn completed the race in 1:25:33 and Dave Bowerman achieved a PB of 1:23:08.
In the quiet, rural setting of Kings Wood just outside Ashford, on the way to Faversham, the annual Ashford Tri Club 666 Trail race took place. This tough, demanding race was made even more testing with mud and puddles left by the weeks of rain that we have had recently. Trevor DeVooght was the first FRAC runner back in fifth place overall with a time of 51:13, with Linaea Stockall the first FRAC female back in a time of 59:33, closely followed by Philip Heathfield in 59:53. Also completing the challenging course were Vicky Scott 1:03:18, Phil Maul 1:05:25, Neil Sutcliffe-Adams 1:14:19, Diane Parsons, Philip Bridges and Rachel Smith in 1:22:26, 1:22:28 and 1:22:32. Catherine Clipstone, Collette Windsor and Marie Brazier crossed the line together in a time of 1:31:13 and Lisa Smith and Autumn Richardson ran together in a time of 1:36:25.
This weeks parkruns
Diane Parsons 27:50
Jacob Henwood 23:53
Fulham Palace parkrun
Martin Salmon 23:42
Lucy Weekes 27:44
Kevin Whitby 25:50
Alan Randall 25:49, Sonia Markwell 29:33
Mote Park parkrun
Caroline Curtis 25:34, Brent Parker 37:23
Dover Waterfront parkrun
FRAC runners were the second male and female finishers with Elliot Chapman-Jones the second male in 19:02 and Deborah Jeffery the second female in 21:55, also runner were Daniel Voller 23:10, Jamie Fox 27:16
In Folketone Prakash Gurung was the first runner back in a time of 17:15, with Simon Ramsay finishing in third place in a time of 18:47. Also running were Phil Hoyland 19:27, Ian Merrick 19:28, Trevor Devooght 19:48, Torben Jessen 20:36, Rob Collier 20:48, James Springett 22:00, Darren Philip 22:43, Simon Coffey 23:09, Ian Vousden 23:11, Andrew Hadlow 24:16, Anthony Scott 24:32, David Botting 25:31, Phil Haines 26:17, Aldous Hosking 26:19, Liam Cumber 27:02, Joe Finnigan 27:30, Rachel Smith 27:59, Amy Owen 29:21, Simon Burvill 30:58, Collette Windsor 31:08, Kayleigh Cumber 42:54.