“Hurray! Were in a Team! Not just any team but the Ultra Runner Store Trail Team. I am absolutely over the moon to be a part of this along with Kim England, David Beech, Steph Scott, Sheli Gordon and of course Tony Holland, all really great people and dedicated athletes. Check out everyone’s Bio`s on the website. It looks like it will be mainly Montane and Hoka equipment supporting the team which is certainly not new to me, both brands having a great product range so looking forward to seeing the new logo`d kit! See what the team are up to on Facebook here.
Having met Tony through the support he gives to the Hardmoors races, I have always been impressed with his dedication and enthusiasm for running along with knowledge of the kit we use for it. His very honest approach is great, the brands he carries are not only leading the way in development and science of the sport but are also closely matched with the types of events I enjoy doing.
Last year Tony took the plunge and expanded his commitment to the cause by opening his own store in Cramlington, further complimenting his excellent web service and regular presence at several races such as the Hardmoors race series, V3K and Trail Outlaws events, if this was not enough he even organises some local races too, including the Northumberlandi 5k trail race.
Some more icing on the cake this weekend at Glaisdale fell race. I love this route, having raced and won it for the last two years I really wanted to be a part of it again this year, though was cautious as have not really done much off road or long runs since my steady return in January. I had a initial plan of feeling my way back into it by starting off slowly and picking things up later, this went out of the window in the first climb out of the village. I was shocked to find myself upfront and feeling quite comfortable running with Chris Roberts, Ian MacGrath and Paul Butler. I was not sure if I had the miles in my legs to maintain this but wanted to give it a good go anyway.
Chris and I had a great race running side by side for the first 4 or so miles, with Paul and Ian not far behind. I only managed to put some distance into Chris on the second climb just after half way, I pressed on and made the most of this. Even though things were hurting now I was still very surprised and a little giddy at the pace I was keeping pleased that my legs had not completely blown. Even into the final descent Chris was still pushing hard, though I was cautious not to repeat last years fall and end the day in A&E for more stitches in my knee! I managed to hold my own finishing feeling really strong and extremely happy with first place and Chris only 23 seconds behind. Kim also had a strong run, after putting some hard miles in her legs over the last few weeks in preparation for the Hardmoors 55, she still had some good speed to finish second lady and into her best ever fell race position!
I am really look forward to being part of the Trail team and developing things along the way, I just need to get through a couple more months of training so that I can get out there and do it all justice! but things are looking up already. The continued support I am receiving from Clare Davidson at Pocklington Physio has been a huge help getting me in good shape for what I hope to be a interesting year.