Author Archives: Marian Lowther

June 2022: Gate Gallop

On June 26th, LRC runners were once again in action, this time at the Gate Gallop 10k, an event (brilliantly) organised by Peel Road Runners in support of St Giles Hospice.

The 10k off road course, starting and finishing at the Anker Valley Sports Ground, provided various challenges to the 200+ participants, including very narrow woodland paths, open fields, undulations and several stiles. It’s not called the Gate Gallop for nothing! (And it’s definitely not a PB course!) Despite the warm and windy conditions, our members put in some excellent performances.

In a highly competitive field, the first club member home was Konrad Wainaina, in 23rd position (42:22); after battling all the way to the line, he finished one second ahead of the first female runner. Following just behind and in quick succession were Gareth Stubbs (43: 03 – 27th) and Owen Davis (44:01 – 33rd); then came Tim Nicholls (46:58 – 51st), Nick Parkes (48:15 – 65th) and Stephen Howard (49:28 – 71st).

First club female was Beckie Head-Stubbs, on her return to racing (58:57 – 123rd). Helen King was next across the line (59:55 – 127th); then Marian Lowther (1:06:26 – 166th) Maria Andritsou (1:12:41 – 187th), Claire Wheat (1:13:12 – 189th) and Ann Schwarzenbach (1:15:11 – 198th) brought the team home.

Sadly the team didn’t take any silverware home this time, but it was great to have so many members out competing and supporting St Giles in the process. We’ll be back next year


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June 2022: Derby Ramathon

On Sunday 19th June, seven LRC runners took their places among the 1046 entrants in the Derby Ramathon half marathon. The weather conditions were fantastic considering the heat of Friday and the rain on Saturday, so everything was set for a great race. The route was expected to be a fast one as it is relatively flat, however a large stretch of gravel paths put paid to more than a couple of PB attempts.

Leading the team home was Dan Turner with a new PB (beating his Dad’s Half Marathon PB in the process!) Next was Matt Orford who paced Ryan Simms round the course; Ryan managed another amazing time, just short of his sub 80 minute PB. Next was Joe Goodwin, who managed to knock another 10 seconds off his PB! These four runners all finished within 70 seconds of each other.

After a few more minutes had passed, Dave Sanders crossed the line in a 2022 best time, a little slower than he had hoped, but still an improvement over the previous two half marathons this year. Next to cross the line was Konrad Wainaina, who despite forgetting to bring his watch, managed to run just 2 seconds slower than his previous half marathon time. Bringing the team home was James Coombes, on his continuing journey back to full fitness.

Below are the times and placing in full.

Dan Turner 1:20:35 (14th and 4th in category) PB, Matt Orford 1:20:45 (16th and 11th in category), Ryan Simms 1:20:46 (17th and 12th in category), Joe Goodwin 1:21:44 (20th and 2nd in category), PB Dave Sanders 1:26:03 (46th and 8th in category),Konrad Wainaina 1:27:46 (62nd and 42nd in category), James Coombes 1:28:21 (72nd and 45th in category).

Well done to all Lichfield runners on an amazing set of team results!Ramathon 1 Ramathon 2 Ramathon

June 2022: Aldridge 10k

Sunday 12th June saw the 6th Grand Prix event of the season at Aldridge: an undulating 10k which tempted 6 LRC runners for GP points. The event, as always, was really well organised – with a fun run, a 5k and a 10k all taking place – billed as a ‘Festival of Running’. For those who have run Aldridge before, disappointingly, the hill for the last mile has survived the pandemic!

Phil Sutcliffe celebrated his return to the country with a 1st place finish in the V55 category Other LRC members who enjoyed the event were John Doyle (36:36), Morgan Bradley (38:53 PB), Stephen Howard (46:49), Alexandria Evans (51:02) and Martin Shortall (55:52). Also congratulations to Dan Floyd (2nd claim member) on his excellent 3rd place finish.

The next Grand Prix is the Burton 10k – 14th August- hope to see lots of members there.

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May 2022: Uttoxeter Half Marathon

On Sunday 1st May the Uttoxeter Half Marathon, the third race in the BDSL, took place. A small team of three represented LRC for the event, which started and finished at the race course. The course itself took in the surrounding countryside to Marchington and back. The route was a mixture of undulating and very hilly; this included a 14% gradient hill at the halfway mark! Thankfully what goes up must come down, which meant that the final mile of the race was downhill.

First home was Joe Goodwin, who claimed 17th place overall and 1st in his age category, with a chip time of 1:24:30. Next home was Dave Sanders in 25th place, with a chip time of 1:27:05 and completing the LRC team, was Gareth Stubbs in 81st place with a chip time of 1:40:32. Fantastic results all round on a very challenging, but enjoyable hilly course. Well done to Joe, Dave and Gareth!


April 2022: Cathedral to Castle 10 Mile

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Barely seven months after the postponed 2020 race, which finally took place in September 2021, the Cathedral to Castle 10 Mile Multi Terrain Run (or ‘Cathedral to Castle’ as it is affectionately known) returned on Sunday 3rd April, an unusually cold spring day. Organised by the local Rotary Clubs, and always popular, the race is a major fundraiser for their charities. As it forms part of the Burton and District Summer League competition, there was good representation from local clubs, including our own LRC.

After local charity fundraiser, ‘Blind Dave’ Healey, started the main race at 8.30, runners completed a circuit of the football pitches, before looping round the Cathedral, exiting Lichfield and heading off towards Whittington. After an off-road section through Hopwas Woods, the final part of the race took runners through the streets of Tamworth to the finish line in the castle grounds.

Our runners pushed hard throughout, recording several PBs over the distance. In a fantastic performance, Ryan Simms came in under an hour, 4th overall, in a time of 59:45, followed by a resurgent Dave Sanders (1:06:17 – 23rd) and rising star Konrad Wainaina (1:06:33 – 26th). James Coombes (1:10:59 -52nd) completed the men’s quartet, who picked up third prize in the team competition for their efforts.

In quick succession followed: Keith Lowther (1:16:21 -109th – PB), Gareth Stubbs (1:17:28 – 121st), Ian Buckner (1:18:29 -146th), Stephen Hughes (1:18:46 (149th) and Paul Keighley (1:20:45 -185th).

Next came first club lady, Alexandria Evans (1:26:23 -283rd), Jo Turrell (1:27:10 -300th), Alan Miles (1:28:44 – 326th), Phil Gillingham (1:31:56 – 381st), Louise Gillingham (1:35:15 (451st), Marian Lowther (1:35:23 – 454th – PB) and Kieren Brown (1:51:13 – 725th).

March 2022: Stafford Half Marathon

275932612_701053797912659_4943346071198038224_n275978295_707429053590916_208678515962540036_nThere were near perfect running conditions for Stafford Half Marathon on Sunday 27th March, with spring sunshine and clear skies. As usual the race was well organised, with the start and finish in the city centre and a route taking in some of the local hills and estates, as well as the canal and park. A glance at the array of club vests on show indicated that some of the 2000 or so competitors


had travelled from far afield to take part; all were cheered on by the enthusiastic crowd, lining the route from start to finish.

19 LRC members tackled the course and several excellent PBs were recorded. First home for the club was Joe Goodwin in 39th place with a time of 1:22:47. Duncan Cooper finished 55th (1:24:16), followed by Ed Foster (69th – 1:25:07), Jimmy Pickering (83rd – 1:26:13) and Dave Sanders (84th – 1:26:14), with Jimmy acting as a pacer for Dave, and Sean Keeley (113th – 1:27:47 – PB). Tim Nicholls (267th – 1:37:00) and Ed Coppinger (268th – 1:36:58) were hard to separate, crossing the line just ahead of Phil Sutcliffe who finished in 283rd in 1:37:37, only a week after running a 50 mile ultra race. James Coombes (continuing his return from injury and looking very relaxed) finished in 308th place in1:38:33.

First LRC lady was Ute Baird (322nd – 1:39:04). John Hutchison (352nd – 1:40:02) and Keith Lowther (431st- 1:43:04 – PB) followed; then Lauren Foulds (910th – 1:55:49), Kim Leary (998th – 1:57:55 – PB), Radhika McCathie (1314th) and Hazel Moore (1315th), with an identical time of 2:07:47. Marian Lowther (1450th – 2:11:21 – PB) and Ann Schwarzenbach (1563rd – 2:15:20) completed the field.

Well done to all our runners; great performances all round!

March 2022: Cross Country Event 5

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A beautiful early spring morning greeted the runners for the final event of the XC series at Sinai Park in Burton on 13th March: although there was a bit of wind it stayed dry and pleasant in the sunshine.

This event was all about the team, as the individual places had been sorted for the season. The ladies completed a team, thanks to the late intervention of Laura Allen who ensured we had the requisite numbers. Sadly we didn’t have quite enough men to finish a team.

First home was Konrad Wainaina in a fantastic 10th, closely followed by Owen Davies in 12th. Nick Parkes (31st), Stephen Howard (40th) and David Gould (46th) completed the men’s representation. The ladies were led home by Helen King (22nd) closely followed by Anna Sanders (24th), Marian Lowther (33rd) and the aforementioned Laura completing the team in 37th.

Team manager, Chris, would like to thank all those who have taken part and the results show that consistently turning out gets rewards. It’s been a difficult season with the Covid aftermath (potentially putting a few off), bad weather, cancellations and fixture clashes throwing some doubt on events but we got there in the end!! It is a team event and it’s always good to see the Lichfield vests out there and giving their best.

Until next season, stay safe, and enjoy the sun because the mud and hills will still be there next time!

March 2022: Fradley 10k

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March 13th saw the return of a popular local event, the Fradley 10k. This flat and fast two lap race was the second event of the Grand Prix competition; 11 LRC members took part in typical March weather, eager to gain points. Ryan Simms was the first man home for the club, finishing in 32rd position, in a time of 36:13, followed by Tom Hodgson (50th – 37:55) and Rob Jones (208th – 49:12). First female was Lauren Foulds (251st – 51:14); then came Jo Turrell (283rd – 53:06), Phil Gillingham (284th – 53:13), Kim Leary (298th – 54:01 – PB), Pippa Pinches (368th – 57:56), Mandy Georgiou (408th – 59:56), Ann Schwarzenbach (425th – 1:00:48) and, returning from injury, Claire Wheat (488th – 1:06:21).


February 2022: Rugeley 10 Mile

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The Rugeley 10 miler, postponed in 2020 (flooding) and again in 2021 (Covid-19) made a welcome return yesterday, February 20th. Despite the long delay and challenging conditions produced by the tail-end of Storm Eunice, there was a good turnout of LRC members, all keen to put in a good performance in the first Grand Prix event of the season. For many, it marked a return to racing after the pandemic and/or injury, so there was some nervous anticipation at the start line!

The race was tightly fought, with Joe Goodwin and Hermione Green vying to be the first LRC runner home. Only a second separated them at the finish, with Hermione placing as 3rd female in 1:09:11 (34th) and Joe finishing in 1:09:12 (35th). They were closely followed in by Owen Davies (1:11:14 – 44th), Gareth Stubbs (1:14:09 – 58th), Tim Nicholls (1:16:32 -68th), Phil Sutcliffe (1:17:03 -70th/ 1st in age group), and John Hutchison (1:19:43 -91st); then came Abi Kanabar (1:34:40 – 177th), Alan Miles (1:40:01 – 193rd), Alexandria Evans (1:42:30 – 206th) and Marian Lowther (1:47:41 -218th)

Thanks should go to Rugeley Runners, for staging such a well organised event. The well-signposted route was staffed by an army of volunteers who remained cheerful despite the conditions, and the organisation of the race HQ was excellent in every way.

What a great way to restart the local racing calendar! The next GP event is the Fradley 10k, on March 13th. Let’s hope for kinder conditions for that one!


February 2022: Cross Country Event 4

OmlfQI-xAn-neEVLPJHJExAE8-IPlPLRvhJeKCNuilk-2048x1536Sunday 6th February saw event 4 of 6 of the Derby Runner XC league at Boothorpe. A lovely sunny (but a bit breezy) morning greeted the runners as the 13 club members anticipated what was to come. The answer came shortly after the race started and it was simple: hills and mud! All the good thing cross country is known for. The weather held out (for the most part) with a short dampening of spirits late on in the event just to finish things off.

John led the team home in a superb 7th, with good packing from Owen (21st), Gareth (24th and first xc in 10 years!) and new member Konrad (a fantastic 26th on his debut). Nick was next in in 48th, Steven (67th), Chris (75th) and Phil saw the team home in 91st.

The ladies continued with their fine form with the team led home by Sarah in 13th (despite going down the wrong finishing funnel!) Anna was next home in 43rd followed by Helen in 46th. A big welcome to Beckie (also returning to racing after a long break) in a fine 50th and the ladies were brought home by Marian in 60th.

There was of course the obligatory cake to refuel and then the obligatory rain shower as we were taking the club gazebo down!!