History of Crewkerne Running Club 1988

Martin Denman starts a club news letter . Also I believe the club changed venue, instead of meeting in the middle of south street car park the club moved to Leos car park. This was a vast improvement because there was less risk of being run over by the youngster of Crewkerne tarring around the car park. There was some shelter from rain and wind and a wall to lean against after a hard run.

This was the second event in the cross country series (Chard being the first). Although only Richard Stenner entered this one, I watched it and couldn't believe how Knackered everyone seemed after only running to Brancombe and Back from Beer (5 miles).

This was the year of the marine - Ken Priest first home in 3 h 10 mins a P.B. Following him home were Clive Harwood, Richard Charlton, Derek Boles, Kaye Buck and a couple of cripples Bob Webb and Martyn Buck. Bob had dislocated his collar bone some weeks before but still managed to do the training with his arm in plaster . On the day he ran with one arm immobilised hanging at his side. Martyn somehow hurt his knee some where in the Isle of Dogs. However Kaye came to his rescue sacrificing her own run to help him through the last 7 miles.

Rhondda After the previous years outing being at very hot day with the local fire brigade spraying competitors it was decided to revisit again this year. The weather this time was completely different - heavy rain. However this didn't put off the crowds from coming out to support the runners. This year we didn't take a coach but every body drove up in cars.
Clive and the Harwood clan, Tony Gordon and Family and Richard Stenner and myself decided to make a weekend of it. We set off for Wales on the Friday evening and assembled our tents in the dark . Later Tony arrived in his Caravan. By this time it had begun to rain so we all drove to the nearest chippy for our supper. Once inside we looked at each other and all burst into fits of laughter because we were all covered in red blotches, the midges at the camp site had been hungry as well. After a couple of nights under canvas and interesting walks across a muddy field in total darkness to the loos we weren't exactly read for the run but once underway we did enjoy the day.

Steve Wilby had a P.B. of 64 mins for this event despite the weather.

Summer Activities
The weather during the summer wasn't particularly good so only the one Barbecue took place. This again was after the Charmouth Challenge, where beer, food and cricket were enjoyed by all. Big Bob damaged his Knee while trying his best to fall off the cliff path.

After this the next event was the Salisbury Triathlon (400m swim, 22 miles bike ride and 5 mile run). This event was originally to be undertaken by Steve Wilby and Ken Priest. Chris Wills helped out with the cycle training and soon realised that he could beat Wilby on the bike. At this point Steve laid down the challenge to take Chris up to the pool and teach him to swim . After several weeks of coaching, splashing and swallowing of water he was convinced that he could manage 400m without his rubber ring.

While this was going on crafty old Martin Denman had been taking stock and was obviously fed up with all the T.R. hype. I had seen him cycling to work (at Yeovil) but had not thought much of it until one day Chris was swimming at dinner time when he was passed by Martin doing an impression of a motor boat. Martin could certainly show them a thing or two about T.R.

Everyone left for Salisbury at 4:30 ably support by Bob and Mal and after a very tiring day all had complete the event in about 2 hours.
Snowdon Again several runners took part in the run, this was to be my first. I nearly didn't make it though.

3 weeks before I had my shortest Wednesday night training run ever. I had run into town from home (3/4 mile) and met up with the club at Leos. It was decided to cut through to east street via the lane which comes out by Ramus House the trouble was it was dark and I had forgot about the bollard which I hit at full speed after only 30 yds.
Luckily Big Bob was behind and helped me into his Lada and took me home. I then spent the next 3 weeks hobbling/cycling around Crewkerne. I am glad that I am tall as I dread to think what would happened if I was Anne Wills' height.

The Snowdon weekend will stick in my mined for a long time.
The day before the run we all met up at the Victoria Hotel, Kaye and Martyn Buck had stayed up in Wales the week before and were acting as support crew, as was Richard Stenner. Anyway Kaye and Martyn had bought a book of walks from Llanberis and decided that us competitors needed a 'loosener' before the marathon. After much persuading we agreed on the 2-3 miles that they had worked out. So we set off at 3.30 in the afternoon up the side of a slate mine. we climbed for what seemed an age and came out on a road at the top . Martyn then dropped the bomb shell that we were lost and it was getting dark. After many curt words and arguments to which was the quickest way home we finally got back to the Hotel after about 6 miles of hard slog in the pitch black.

The morning of the run was very crisp and sunny with a hard frost but the scenery was fantastic. I set off with camera in hand with Steve Wilby and Dave Read and Took Photos of us as we climbed the pass. Down the other side Steve and Dave pulled away as I had to stop to do my shoe up (twice) and put some Vaseline on parts of me that were chaffing.

By Beddgelert I had caught Steve and we ran together and Caught Dave at 19 miles who was having stomach troubles. We stayed together until the Welsh wall (Waunfawr) at 21 miles. Steve then disappear up the hill while Dave stopped for a pit stop. At this point I saw Mal up in front Walking with support crew of Kaye Buck.
For the next 2 miles of up hill I tried to catch them, I could run for a short distance and gain on them only to walk and see them pull away again walking at twice the speed of myself. However once at the top I caught and overtook Mal. Going down the other side I got up a good speed the trouble was that when I got to the bottom Both my legs seized up and had to finish running with straight legs and cramp in both legs.

We had a good evening afterwards with Mal and Steve providing the cabaret, ending with the traditional club photo. The next day we all jogged and hobbled to the start and back before breakfast (this was Mals' idea not mine). After Breakfast everybody except Richard Stenner and myself left for home.

Because it was so Clear again we decided to walk up the Llanberis path to the top of Snowdon. After trying to drive part way up to a lay-by we had to abandon the car because of sheet ice across the road and walked to the summit. The views were fantastic I'm sure we saw Ireland, the Isle of Man and Cumbria that day. The decent was harder than the climb because my legs were shot by this stage. Richard by the end was suffering more than me as his knee injury was playing up.

Colyton Children in need run
This event despite a very cold day was well supported by the club with speed merchants, joggers, walkers even our skeleton! Steve Wilby looked very fetching with his bones with Max Wall tights with the crotch down to his knees. We had a big winner in the spot prize stakes - Derek Boles won a magnificent 1lb bag of grass seed.

This handicap was won from the front by Mark Wills with Robin Boles 2nd and Richard Charlton 3rd. 25 people took part a finishing spread of 9:26. This was very good handicapping for although Mark was almost 4 mins in front of Robin everybody else finished within 5 mins of each other.

Wyvern Christmas Cracker
At this run the club attracted major press coverage for it team entry of the Fastest Nativity in the West. Mark Shepherd was the Bethlehem Star, Steve Wilby as the baby Jesus, Kaye Buck as Mary and Steve Hole as Joseph, Martyn Buck, Martin Denman and Mal Higgins as the Wise men and Cathy Pape as a Shepherd complete with Sheep. The club even had a few serious runners entering as 'athletes'.


To see all the photos from this year click here