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2017 keep on running!


Hay Hotfooters Captain’s Report - Herefordshire Summer Off Road League 2017
Link to photos click here

This Summer 12 men and 9 ladies registered to run for our Club team out of which 9 men and 6 ladies actually took part, including our new star Junior Aderyn. Particular thanks to Martin, John Warburton, Brian and Ange who were able to run in all 4 of this season’s races. It was also lovely to welcome new runners John Warburton, John Jaspers, Sue Richards, Sue Bamford and Aderyn this OR season. They all seemed to enjoy the races so let’s hope that they will also turn out to run in the XCs this Winter.

The Club had enough runners to make up the mixed team of 6 required (including at least 4 men) for each of the races and for two teams at Westhope. This is a fantastic achievement for a club as small as Hay Hotfooters, as was our team’s final position of 10th.

As always the atmosphere at each race was very friendly and their organisation, including producing the results, managed very efficiently by Mike Blenkinsop. Shaun also supported the club again by helping on the finish line and for this was thanked by Mike at the end of season’s Presentation.

Huge congratulations to Martin who most deservedly was awarded a medal in his age category at last!. Also to another member of the Carter dynasty Aderyn who will soon be overtaking us all and won the female Junior race category. I was also very pleased to achieve third in my age category again.

A massive thanks to everyone who took part and so for representing and supporting our club. I hope that you will all also be available for this Winter’s XC races.

Tina Lavelle (Summer OR Captain)


Rob Lally Fun Run Llanigon Show Posted by Martin the younger
Photos click here
If you want to be a winner you can train really hard, watch what you eat and get lots of sleep. Alternatively, you can specifically target races in their first year of being organised before good runners find out about them! This is a strategy that has served the Brilley Boyz well in such races as the Huntington Chase and the Dorstone Dawdle.
And so it was that Martin and Aderyn Carter rocked up for the 2.5 mile Rob Lally Run which formed part of the Llanigon Show on Saturday 12th August.
In many ways it is very similar to the Llanthony Fell Race. It starts from the show ground and goes up, more up, up again and then finally gets to the top of the neighbouring hill. It then has a fantastic descent which can be seen from the show before finishing in the arena to the applause of the crowd.

Martin was the winner (obviously his destiny as his race number was 1) and Aderyn was the first female finishing 4th overall. A great atmosphere combined with medals and a chocolate bar for all finishers. What more could you want?
In the afternoon you can even join in the family friendly sports day. It was here that Aderyn took revenge on her dad, utterly thrashing him in both the sack race and the
3-legged race. An additional bonus is that you can run with your dog and then enter the dog show later in the day.
It's always good to support your local races and this one could be a contender for our club championship next year.

Blackdown Beauty
photos click here

Whilst the Brilley Boys and JJ were having a leisurely run up Snowden (ha ha) some of us were racing from pub to pub in Devon and managing a cream tea as well.
The excursion was organised by Tina and Alan N. Alans old club Honiton oraganised the event (not a race) and he was the originator of the idea including planning the course. Sue Tina Alan and I ran the full 19 miles whilst Claire and Jim walked the shorter option. The idea is to stop at the designated pubs on route for a drink, approximately every 3.5 miles. Second to last stop was a fantastic cream tea. I loved the run beautiful rolling countryside, great pubs, good company. It was amazing to think we'd run 19 miles and had a drink at every stop. Will definitely be going back. The event raises money for Macmillans.
Thank you Alan.

Behind all great runners is a dedicated support team. Therefore, on Saturday 15th July, Martin and John J took part in the Snowdon Race safe in the knowledge that the Whippet, his daughter Jess and his potential son-in-law Matt would dedicate their whole weekend to ensure every chance of success.
The omens were extremely good when the caravan that Martin's wife had booked for them turned out to be a palace fit for a king. As you would expect from such professional athletes, Martin and John J registered on the Friday night before, collecting their race t-shirts with the slogan.....
"Go hard or go home". This could become the new motto for the Hay Hotfooters and rumour has it that the Whippet will table this motion at the club AGM.
Saturday morning started well with everyone apart from John J taking part in the Penhryn Castle Park Run. Martin saw it as a warm up for the main event but the cunning John J was saving his energy for the summit to come.
The Whippet and the two youngsters had to force march to the predetermined rendezvous point. In the caravan concerns had been raised about the fitness levels of youngsters today but Jess and Matt loved the demanding pace set by the Whippet to the top of Snowdon as they both felt it would help them become better people.
In the build up to the race the rain started and the mist came down.John J's strategy paid off and he thrashed Martin in the race to the summit. It was a magnificent, well executed plan that would have psychologically crushed lesser mortals.
However, Martin followed the Whippet's advice to run as if being chased by the hounds of hell. From the jaws of defeat he snatched victory by just over a minute.
Sadly this approach came at a price. Martin is made of flesh and bone whilst the mountain is made of rock. After he crossed the line, Martin was ushered into the first aid tent by Steve from Presteigne Pacers. Although Steve's behaviour could be
viewed as being helpful the truth is that he enjoyed Martin grimacing as the very nice doctor picked the grit out of his wounds and bandaged him up.
Another fun packed weekend with a recent customer survey showing 100% satisfaction for those people who have shared a caravan with the Brilley Boyz. Book early to avoid disappointment next year.

Man v Horse Posted by Jo

I know we quite often start these reports with I've never known be that hard...but it was.
It was wet and extremely muddy (which I like) but after spending more than 5 hours wading through mud and being soaked to the skin, it was very very tiring. The course route had been changed and certainly the changes in the first 18 miles I liked. We had a good turnout of Hotfooters, Rachel, myself, Will, Paul, John (the whippet) and Marty, Harriet was part of a relay team and Susanah on her horse.
The horses came through quite early on
and the above picture is of our very own Susanah, negotiating the runners and the mud. I didn't see as many horses as usual which at times made it feel like a very grueling fell race, however John asures me he saw plenty (must be faster next year)
Yes you read it right, I will be back and aiming to see more horses, classic case of pain denial. The final few miles had an extra climb up through the forestry which went on and on. It was nearly the straw that broke the proverbial camels back but that was saved for the last little climb, ouch!
Great finish though, downhill to the new finishline. Shame the weather didn't want to make you stay. 3 of the ladies who belong to my running group were also there to cheer me in and provide jam and cheese sandwiches as I colapsed on a litter bin. Thank you.
Well done to everyone that took part an very testing race and one which continues to lure me back.

The Anniversary Waltz and other stories Posted by Marty and Jo Photos walks click here Race click here
I will start and finish this post in between is Martys version. Just for the record it has been vetted by all present and passed with a clear conscience that all is true (well sort of). It was a fabulous weekend and one which I would highly recommend company second to none...the race how ever that is another story. Anyway over to Marty.
On Friday 21st April the " car of truth" headed up to the Lake District for the Anniversary Waltz with Johnny Whippet, Marty and Jo. There are sadly many cynics who have questioned the value of Johnny and Marty's life coaching but it was given a hugely positive endorsement by Jo as preparation for her comeback race.
The secret of fell racing is in the preparation, especially the evening before. Lily and Chris had booked a luxurious caravan (that Donald Trump would have been happy in) and cooked a bonanza pasta feast. Apparently  carb loading is old school and protein is the way forward but everyone was too polite to mention this.
The Hay Hotfooters were joined by celebrity runner Jezza (Wye Valley Runners) and the current love of his life. With his unique physique Jezza defies all physiological logic but at least the counselling has helped him come to terms with his crushing defeat by Marty and Lily in Man vs Horse.
The evening was full of high brow conversation sprinkled with moral dilemmas. There was even a rumour that Johnny would do the washing up but sadly this proved not to be the case.

On the morning of the race Johnny insisted on getting there several hours early. However, his chirpy mood dissipated with the £5 parking charge combined with the steward's remarks " have you washed this car in the last 10 years?"
Acknowledging that Jezza was by far the best runner the Hotfooters decided that the best strategy was to attack him psychologically. Someone commented that he might look like a runner from the front but that from the side he had clearly eaten too many pies. Unfortunately this was unsuccessful as he still finished miles in front.

Lily was distracted in her support role by flirting with the legendary Joss and Jo ran an excellent race. The dramatic climax of the day was that instead of charging downhill to the finish Johnny had a near death experience. His life was saved by Lily and the heroic Jezza whilst Chris and Marty debated over who might have to phone his wife.
A great race with fantastic scenery and just a few climbs to contend with. The lovely weekend ended with Johnny hosting a traditional game of find the "rat."

The Anniversary Waltz Jos version

The car of truth what can I say. What is revealed in The car of truth stays in the car of truth. 4 hours worth, that is a lot of truth and trust. I survived to tell or not to tell the tale. John announced as we were heading towards the Lakes we were stopping for an amble. This I feared involved one of his 60 trig point collections. It did and a cave. Unfortunately we only found the cave (that was hard enough). A good warm up for the race though.


Accommodation was second to none. Lily and Chris had set up home and were busy making our pre race meal. We were joined by Jezza who with stood the Briley Boys phsycological battering trying to unsettle his race plan.
So to the race. I am not race fit but needed to jump back on the horse. This was a biggy, tough tough tough. I actually cried twice and John and Marty were held to account on making me do it (several times during steep ascents and vertical descents).I finished sprinting to the end and felt absolutely fine! It was hot, stunningly beautiful, painful and wierdly fun. I will do this again just to prove to myself I can and hopefully keep the tears at bay next time.

We had a lovely meal out to celebrate Johns birthday and a cracking days walk the next day to bag a Trig point, complete with Prosecco. The car of truth was strangely quiet on the way home.
Come and join us for the 2018 road trip. Who will join me in the car of truth?





Hay Hotfooters Team Captain's Report - Herefordshire XCL League 2016/17

To see photos click here

This season 11 lady Hotfooters  and 15 men Hotfooters were registered  and allocated a number to run for our club. Of these 9 of the ladies and 12 men actually took part. Some were only able to run in one race but this  meant that the men had a team at each of the 5 XCs, although the ladies only had a team for 3 of the races. However it was really great to have 2 teams in each category for the final XC race of the season at Presteigne.

The routes of most of the five races include a lot of hills and mud although Rotherwas was a wearing almost flat three laps. The weather was good for all the races again so at least there were no icy conditions and even the rain mostly held off. It was positively Spring like at Presteigne!. As always the atmosphere at each race was very friendly and their organisation, including the working out of results, by Mike Blenkinsop extremely efficient. Shaun again provided invaluable support for Mike at the finish as well as jacket minding, support and transport for us runners.

A big thanks to everyone who took part and hope that you will also be available for this Summer’s XC races. Our final team positions were ladies 19th out of 25 and men 16th & 19th out of 32 which I am sure we all agree is a fantastic achievement for such a small club. Congratulations as well to Jeff Kay who in his first year as a club member was awarded  second in his age category. I too was also very pleased to achieve second in my age category.
Tina Lavelle (Winter XC Captain)

Exploring a new social run Posted by Jo

It's always good to find new places to run and this is no exception. Some Hotfooters had already walked this area while the rest of us were getting lost on route to Crickhowell last year. Jim guided myself Tina and Claire on a 7 mile loop of Craig y Cilau. an amazing limestone escarpment above Llangattock. This area is a wonderful mix of 18 century industrialisation and stunning natural countryside, blending together to make something almost otherworldly. There is a 20 mile cave system beneath the rocks an old tramway track, all grass now, snaking its way up the escarpment.
Look out for this as a Sunday social run with dinner of course after.
Click here to see photos

New Years Day 10k Posted by Alan H
New Years Day 2017 was a wet and miserable one, however, this did not deter 5 keen and enthusiastic Hay Hotfooters who turned up at the rowing club in Hereford for the annual 10k road race.  The event is organised by Wye Valley Runners and their president, Harry Franklin was there to welcome everyone.

The start of the race is on the old railway bridge with 197 runners lining up, Martin, Will and Jeff ensured that they were well to the front whilst Tina and Alan H were a little further back, the course itself is not an easy one as it soon leaves the city and follows the rural roads around Breinton in a large loop and could be described as undulating, it is a good run and it is very well signed and marshalled by cheerful and enthusiastic marshals, the finish is the same place as the start with the last Km a fast downhill.

Martin was the first Hotfooter home in a time of 44.22, Will was not far behind in 46.54 and Jeff was third in 48.28 Tina was the next Hotfooter to finish and came in at a very creditable 57.28 and Alan H living up to his status as the slowest runner in the club came in at 60.04, readers may be interested to hear that one of our former members, Gary, came in just before Tina at 56.42, Gary now wears a Wye Valley Runners vest.

All in all it was a great start the the New Year, I look forward to 2018 when perhaps a few more Hotfooters will take part. Finally I would like to point out that the winners time was 33.24 and Alan H had just passed the half way marker!!