All posts by Stephen Hammond

Mel’s Chester A to Z

Mel's AZ

Tuesday and Thursday nights are normally running nights at Tattenhall Runners. In the current climate, running cannot be done in the usual groups, so the club runners have had to be more inventive in the way they train and the challenges they undertake.

An example of this is the ‘A to Z ‘street name challenge’ in Chester. There is no X or Z, but 24 other letters are out there to have a go at, in alphabetical order. It is as much a geography and map planning exercise, as a run. The current record stands at 8.4 miles, though there could be room for improvement! Mel completed the challenge and took a photo at every street sign as proof.



The Bishop Sandstone Round

Bishop 1   Bishop 2

Tattenhall Runners is a very sociable running club, and at this time of year we would normally be meeting twice a week for training on the Sandstone Ridge, as races and other events. The club has a strong interest in fell running, an aspect of which is supporting club members attempting long-distance rounds, such as the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District and the Paddy Buckley Round in Snowdonia. Runners attempt to complete this routes non-stop, and there is often a time limit for completion to be considered successful. The Bob Graham Round is approximately 66 miles with 26 900 feet of ascent (that’s not far off ascending the height of Everest from sea level), so to complete that non-stop within 24 hours is certainly a challenge. The format for attempts is that the round is broken up into legs, and the runner attempting the round elicits the assistance of others for individual legs, who will carry their food and other supplies, navigate, and do their best to keep their spirits up. These events are a lot of fun, with a great sense of camaraderie.

Now as much fun as long-distance rounds are, they are an impossibility from the flatlands of Cheshire, or so we thought! During the lockdown club members have been exploring routes from home, making good use of our daily designated exercise, and have been finding little know paths and coming up with lots of variants on routes. That led to the realisation that there are two long-distance trails in the area that pretty much join up with each other at a couple of points. The Sandstone Trail is well-known and popular with walkers, and there is also the Bishop Bennett Way, which crosses the Sandstone Trail at Grindley Brook and comes pretty close at Beeston, so if you join the loop together it makes a 45 mile round, the Bishop Sandstone Round!

We decided to attempt the round as a virtual relay for Tattenhall Runners. We mapped where everyone who was interested lived, and split the round up into 10 legs, and assigned people to run the leg closest to their house, so no-one needed to travel. Over a weekend we had 48 hours to complete the round, with people allowed to run their legs at any point during that time, to hopefully accommodate all household circumstances. Through the weekend everyone posted uploaded photos of their runs onto Facebook, and recorded their runs, and we successfully completed the virtual relay in 5 hours and 52 minutes, with 18 club members taking part.

The event was a lot of fun, and it definitely generated the same team spirit as previous weekends away, though many of us are still pining for the hills of Wales!


Wrexham Borders League

wrexham BL





A few of us braved the cold and ran in what later transpired to possibly be the last Borders League of the season.  It was a tough run around the Wrexham industrial estate with various smells to endure throughout.  A most pleasant after race cafe stop made up for any disappointing runs.

Clumber Park Duathlon

Two Tattenhall Runners joined 800 duathletes for the penultimate ITU Age Group 2020 World Championship qualifying race at Clumber Park at the weekend for their annual Duathlon.  The Standard race comprising a 10km run followed by a 40km bike section and finishing off with a 5km run took place within the park and on the roads around it.
James Jenkin and Martin Durrant made the trip to the race near Worksop hoping to qualify for the prestigious 2020 World Championships.  The weather was fine and dry and the sun even made an appearance.  Though some of the roads within the park were badly rutted making the cycling leg difficult, the quality of the field was high with the winner completing the race in a time of 1:45:19.  The rather more mature Tattenhall Runners, competing in the 60-64 age category took a little longer but James completed the course, coming 3rd in his age group (98th overall), in a time of 2:11:20 with Martin crossing the line in 2:21:46 and in 7th place in the age category.
A tough but enjoyable event well worth the visit.  With both athletes participating in the 2019 Age Group Duathlon World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain at the end of April, this was excellent pre-competition preparation and sets the scene for the the 2020 World Championships next year.

Beginners Course

In contrast with recent years, please note that the club will not be organising a Beginners Course for the summer of 2019.  Instead we are encouraging any keen but inexperienced runners to try a few free sessions with our Novices Group, comprising the Beginners from last summer, and then to join the club.