Rob’s weekly blog and training update w/c 13/01/20

REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR 2020 MEMBERSHIP FORMS.  See either myself or Trish

 Ideally bring the form back and then please pay by BACS to: Natwest Acc 556137 06224598


“Liv weekly blog” – see below

Also, FULL LIST of Championship fixtures for 2020


Briefing at 7pm, Thirsk School Thirsk School Gym. Clean shoes please. Rolling core work inside

Outdoors. Ken and Duncan are taking an outside group.

2 mins effort / 30 secs rest / 2mins effort / 1min rest;

4 mins effort / 1 min rest / 4mins effort / 1min rest;

2 mins effort / 30 secs rest / 2mins effort / 1min rest;

4 mins effort / 1 min rest / 4mins effort / 1min rest;

Total 30mins

Also 7pm Swimming pool. Molly continues the walking and talking group. 

TUESDAY 14TH JANUARY (social run*)

Social run from Thirsk and Sowerby leisure centre at 7pm (meet in foyer) on well-lit paths and pavements. Suitable for all abilities; there will be several stops to run back/regroup, no-one runs by themselves or gets left behind. New and returning Tuesday night runners always welcome.

Route to be decided on the night, around 5 miles. Please wear high vis.


6.45pm School sports hall.  This week there will be an increase from 35 to 40 seconds because it makes it easier for Nigel doing the time keeping. However, Nigel would like to take part so if there is anyone a little bit on the injury side, then we have a job just for you. ( being injured is not an excuse for not being fit, it just means you may not be able to run!)  

Outside group.  8 x 2 mins @ 10k pace / 30 secs recovery. This one will shock you if you don’t get your pace right. 

Inside : Lung busters with Paul.

THURSDAY 16TH JANUARY (social run*)

7pm sharp, Starting from Sutton Bank visitors centre.

Bring a clean t-shirt and some beer tokens for refreshments afterwards.


CHAMPIONSHIP RACE  – NYSD Cross Country (Separate email already sent)

Ormesby Hall, Church Lane, Ormesby, Middlesbrough, TS7 9AS

Please use the Church Lane entrance to the Hall NOT the main gate entrance from Ladgate Lane.

Message from the head-coach:

It is now almost the middle of January and for some this will be week three into a new training program. This week should be a strong, productive, roll your sleeves up week. You start off steady and build up gradually, it’s time to stop talking and go out and do. Good luck with your training and show me your progress at training next week. Rob



Harriers, Lakes weekend, Glaramara Hotel in Seatoller, Borrowdale.  A fantastic weekend in the Lakes to enjoy, running, walking and relaxing amongst friends.  Rooms still available and can be booked directly with the hotel on 017687 77222.  If you would like to know more about the weekend, please speak to Helen.

When booking ensure you say you are from Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers.


Trail Series  – starting at 10 am, enter on the day

Race 4 – 26th January – The Acorn 5k Trail

Acorn Sports Centre, Heythrop Dr, Acklam, Middlesbrough TS5 8QB

Race 5 – 23rd February – Holme House Prison 5k Trail (All the money for this event goes to charity)

Holme House Rd, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 2QU

Series Presentation Race 6: 22nd March – Saltburn 5k Trail (TBC)

Fell Races (check necessary kit list)

Feb 2nd – Glaisdale Rigg, Glaisdale pub (start 10:30am)

Feb 23rd – Heartbeat Hobble, Goathland village hall (start 11:00am)


Club Championship fixtures

Jan 19th – XC Ormesby Hall – Can be muddy.  Challenging – Sun am

Feb 23rd – Holme House Prison, Stockton, 5k Trail – Sun am enter on the day

Mar 1st – XC Croft

Mar 29th – Hartlepool Marina 5- entries open now

Apr 29th – Spring Coast Road 5k -Wed evening, 7.15.  Flat! Entries open Jan 1st

May 6th – Gribdale Growler Fell Race (Wed evening)

May 19th – HDSRL Nidd Valley (Tues evening)

May 31st – Ripon 10

June 18th – HDSRL Ilkley (Prov) Thursday evening)

June 25th – HDSRL Skipton (Thursday evening)

July 12th – Kilburn 7 (Sun pm)

July 26th – James Herriot 14k (Fell) – Entries open

Aug 9th – Darlington 10k

Aug 19th – Sessay Swift 6k (Wed evening)

Sept 13th – Tholthorpe 10k Entries open

Sept 27th – Redcar Half Marathon

Oct 25th – Whixley 10k

Nov 1st – Guy Fawkes 10 – Entries open

Nov/Dec – XC to be arranged

Other Races

Feb 9th – Muddy Boots 10k, Ripon.  Speaks for itself.  11am

May 24th – Melmerby 10k start 11:30am

Liv weekly blog

The desire to run is in the genes

My Dad (Tom) is my number 1 supporter at all my running races. Before each race he’ll smile a wicked smile and say, “it’s in the genes kid!”

People run to get fitter. People run to win races. People run to lose weight. People run to raise money for charity. People run to increase wellbeing. People run to show depression who’s boss. People run to make friends. People run to be alone. People run to think. People run to not think.

I can certainly circle a few of the above as to why, like many others, I found running. I’m one of many, you see.

That’s why I’m not going to tell my story, but tell you my Dad’s story. He discovered running because he wanted to get home.

Imagine the sound of a gunshot. No visuals. Just that noise. A deafening gunshot. One shot. Fired with purpose.

Let me take you to Aden. 1967

The sun beats down. Two men are running towards us. They are in combat, carrying guns. The skinny man is considerably faster although both are struggling, both are panicked, running for their lives. The small, faster man, no taller than 5’7 is Tom.

The sound of an explosion.

Both men crash down onto the sandy ground. Tom is trembling. His face dirty, sweaty and bloody. Dave, breathing heavily, crawls over to Tom.

“Y’alright mate?” asks Dave.

Tom replies. Just. “What the f*** are we doing.”

In Aden, days in the desert merge into weeks, which merge into months. There is thick fencing and barbed wire that surrounds the camp. No man or beast could climb it. Rows upon rows of olive drab tents sit inside the 3km perimeter of fencing. 

Explosion. Gunshot. Love letters. Explosion. Gunshot. Dirt. Sweat. Blood. Gunshot.

Tom dreamt of Home.

Inside the tent, tanned faces appear through smoky air. Men are sat smoking and drinking. Even without music, the atmosphere is buzzing.  A short, fat man with red cheeks, dressed in formal uniform appears. He proudly wears his maroon beret although looking at him, you would never guess that he was in the Parachute Regiment. This is Commanding Officer: a Lieutenant Colonel, who affectionately goes by the nickname, Piggy. As Tom puts it, “his face looks like a well slapped arse” and “he speaks dead proper.”

The tent suddenly falls silent as Piggy projects: “The first battalion, the Parachute Regiment, are going to win the army Cross-country championships. The selection process will be in 4 weeks time. Those selected will go home 6 weeks early –“

He has Tom’s full attention.

“ – you will have the best drink, best food, all the kit. You will basically become professional sportsmen for the next 6 months. The first 10 in the cross country race will be selected. If you are selected there will be no further guard duties and you will wear a Para Reg. tracksuit full-time.”

Tom puts down his drink and cigarette.

Outside the tent, the pitch black sky is speckled with stars. Pretending to be sober, Tom lunges twice. He tries to touch is toes but is a long way off. He cracks his neck from side to side. He begins to sprint. He runs around the inside of the fence for about 15 seconds, then stops, breathing heavily. He jogs a few strides and then throws up his beer.

The next morning, Bert Gordon (the best runner in the regiment) hands Tom a book titled: ‘NO BUGLES, NO DRUMS: EMIL ZATOPEK.’ Tom opens a page at random and it reads: “An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.” Tom swiftly closes the book and pops it under his armpit. “Cheers for this Bert. I’ll get reading. And running, of course.”

That very afternoon, Tom is running around the inside of the fence. He sidesteps around the place that he was sick last night.

 ‘Running never gets any easier, you just get faster.’

For those 4 weeks before the race, day in, day out, Tom would practice running faster. Running made him feel a concoction of emotions – frustrated, determined, elated. Running made him feel lonely but also made him feel part of something. Running gave him purpose.

Other side of the fence: Race Day

60 or so men are waiting to start. We see Tom. His heart seems to beat louder than the noise of the crowd.

On your marks. Get set.

The sound of a gun shot.

The competitors sprint off from the start. Tom propels forward with all of this might. His breathing is louder than the athletic stampede. His eyes glare a hungry desire. Bert Gordon makes it look effortless, and he strides past Tom.

 ‘He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.’

Tom, without welcome, experiences a flashback. He sees himself on the ground, trembling. His face is dirty, sweaty and bloody.

Back to the present moment, Tom touches his side and grits his teeth. His arms, although small, look powerful.

Tom did not win the race, but he did make the team. His efforts had been worth it, or so he thought. 

That evening, the 10 runners that made the team surround Piggy.

 “Dead legs I expect but it really was a great race, great race. Now, are you all aware what is expected of you over the coming months?”

 “Yes Sir.”

 “The first battalion, the Parachute Regiment, will win.”

 “Yes Sir.”

 “Of course, you must acclimatise…. It has been up to 40 degrees here. You can’t go straight back to England after training in that. You will do the first half of your training in Bahrain, 10 to 15 degrees cooler. You will then head back 12 weeks later, on October 16th, arriving in England 5 weeks later than originally planned. Do I make myself clear?”

The men pause, then reluctantly reply. “Yes Sir.”

 “Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes Sir.”

Back to the present day, I ask my Dad if he was angry? Angry that after all his efforts to come back home to safety and back to his family were for nothing? He shook his head.

He had found running. The strict routine of training gave him purpose and determination. Not just a determined attitude to become faster at running, but an attitude towards life – an ability to be grateful. Embracing the fact that you only have one life and whatever the task may be, we should always strive to give it our all. Understanding that life is precious.

He (knowingly or not) passed this attitude onto his daughter (myself). I run to feel alive.

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