Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Climbing and Cones

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Emma ClimbingEmma’s had a prolonged birthday this past week. Last weekend was her party with Emma and seven friends from school heading to the climbing wall at St Mary’s Leisure Centre in Southampton. (The traffic getting in to Southampton was a nightmare. We’re not sure whether it was the presence of the world’s largest cruise liner or Peter Andre that was pulling in the crowds!) After the initial briefing Emma scampered up to the top of the wall without too much difficultly. If we’d placed bets on which of the other girls would be slightly more reluctant then we’d have made a healthy profit! The instructor was very good though, encouraging them on but not pushing them if it was clear they just wanted to come back down. Everyone enjoyed the last part spent in the bouldering room.

Emma's Birthday CakeThe shape of the cake was a clue to the second destination for the party: Sprinkles Gelato. Unfortunately we weren’t treated to the same glorious weather we’d had the previous weekend when we’d walked the route but there wasn’t too much complaining about the rain. We had a table booked and eventually managed to get everyone to decide what they wanted to eat. Having seen the size of a two-scoop cone the previous week, we limited them all to a single scoop and toppings  which made it quite a cheap visit! They shop was also very good in helping us navigate the various allergies of one of Emma’s friends so the EpiPen wasn’t needed.

Emma and CakeEmma’s birthday itself came round later in the week. Her school lets pupils wear non-uniform on their birthday which meant Emma could try out one of her new dresses. It’s a nice way to make them feel that extra bit special. One of Emma’s other presents from us will take slightly longer to get any use from us. The crystal growing set suggests using a well ventilated basement room for the experiments! The biggest smile on Emma’s face though was when she came back from gymnastics that evening having passed her badge 2.

British Birthday

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Christine @ Brown Clee British ChampsFor the Bank Holiday weekend we headed to the British Orienteering Champs at Brown Clee in Shropshire. We arrived in glorious sunshine on Saturday morning but this soon turned to hail as we climbed up the hill to the assembly area. We were very grateful that a club mate had already erected the club tent as the hail came and went for most of the afternoon.

I had an early start and it has to be said that I had a pretty poor run in my first year at M40. Although 7th place in the results doesn’t sound too bad, I was over half an hour behind Georgie Best with ten minutes of that loss being attributable to just two controls. (With 27 controls in 9.2k there was plenty of opportunity for losing time!) Christine failed to repeat her W16 win at Brown Clee, faring marginally better than me but still ending up ten minutes down on her course winner. Emma had the best result of the day, coming third on the white course in a time that would have netted her a win on W10B if she had the confidence to go out on her own.

With rain forecast for most of Sunday, Christine and I returned for the relays without the children. I’m glad to say that we both had better runs. Christine returned first on the Women’s Short just as I set out on first leg on the Men’s Short. I ran alone for much of the course being caught just at the end and finishing just a few seconds down in second place. The commentary team had been primed to wish me a Happy Birthday as I came down the run-in! My team finished in fifth place whilst Christine, sadly, did not have a complete team.

On the Monday Emma ran again, completing the hilly 2km at Devauden XC races in 11:16. Christine and I were happy to sit the 10k out this year and watch her Mum run instead!

Active Weekend

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Emma RunningDuncan RunningIt’s been an active weekend in the Currie household. On Saturday morning we made the trek over to Staunton Country Park for the second in SOC’s Solent Summer Series. Buoyed by just receiving the SOC Junior Women’s trophy for 2015 (although she was quick to point out that she didn’t have much competition, Emma was happy to go out on the yellow with Christine and a grumpy Duncan in tow. I went out on the light green which was more than a little muddy in places. Rob Finch managed to turn the tables from Fleming Park pipping me to first place by 14 seconds.

Christine after half marathonFrom there we headed in to Southampton for the ABP Southampton Fun Run. Christine set off on the 1 mile course with both children but Duncan got a stitch and Emma ran off and left them towards the end. The field was smaller than I had expected given the potential catchment area for the race. Christine then ran again in the half marathon on Sunday finishing in a chip time of 1:40:54. Not bad given the lack of training she’s done due to injury.

Start of Summer Series

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Emma finishing at Fleming ParkToday was the start of SOC’s Summer Series of events at Fleming Park. Christine cycled down early to spectate the parkrun (her calf is currently knackered) and then the rest of us joined her.

Duncan declined to start so Emma went round the yellow with Christine in tow. She was really pleased with her second place so will hopefully be a bit more enthusiastic before the next event. I enjoyed my subsequent run round the light green although could have done without the cold showers (it was lovely sunny day when we arrived). I was in first place when I finished although, to be fair, both Rob and Roger had done the parkrun beforehand. Most importantly, there was a great turnout. Let’s hope it continues for the rest of the series.

Back to the Brecons

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

Pen y FanFor the first week of the Easter holidays we returned to the same cottage that we stayed at two years ago for the JK (having decided not to go up to the JK in Yorkshire this year). It was an action packed week with walking, running, cycling, swimming, canoeing and climbing, with a fair amount of dodging showers thrown in for good measure!

Here’s a quick run down of the week:
Friday: Arrived early evening having spent rather too much of a beautifully sunny day sat on the M4!
Saturday: Managed a quick walk down to the canal before the rain arrived. Headed to Brecon to stock up on supplies.
Sunday:pen-y-fan-2016-2.jpg Made the most of all the rain by going to visit the waterfalls above the Talybont Reservoir. Made it back from our walk just as the hail descended. I managed to time my run in the evening for the return of the sunshine.
Monday: We returned to the scene of the JK relays (Pwll Du) for the Rogue Runs ‘Gilwern Grunt’ race. The children were marshalling with their grandparents which meant both Christine and I could run. The hail ceased just in time for the start. Running through the mine workings was fun although my progress on the ascents/descents was pretty poor. Christine bagged a prize for third lady. We headed to Big Pit afterwards although sadly they weren’t running underground tours that day.
Tuesday: Gerry and Sue took the children climbing at Llangorse and Christine and I headed out on our bikes. We took the Taff Trail up to the top of Talybont Forest and then had a quick walk up Craif y Fan Ddu before heading for the tea shop. It began to snow heavily whilst we were sat there which wasn’t so much of a problem as the freezing cold rain it became as dropped altitude on our way back to the cottage.
Wednesday:pen-y-fan-2016-7.jpg The weather finally took a turn for the better and we spent a fun few hours paddling along the canal from Brecon (trying to catch the electric hire boats!).
Thursday: With a clear day forecast we finally took to the hills, climbing Pen y Fan and Cribyn via the Corn Du ridge. The snow on the way up certainly added to the excitement for the children. Most memorable for the adults was the orderly queue to take your photo at the summit of Pen y Fan!
Friday: Time to pack our bags and make our way back to Southampton via a night in Monmouth.

Classic Burley

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Yesterday was the first Sunday of November which can only mean one thing: the November Classic. We were down to help on the start. Christine was down to run first and I was on duty calling out names (always an embarrassing job when you can’t remember the names of people you’ve known for decades!). As is usually the case with SOC, the start was well staffed and the children weren’t needed so they sat in their folding chairs and read (something that Duncan wouldn’t have been able to do a year ago). The mist took a while to burn off but it was otherwise dry and the autumn colours were lovely.

I didn’t get off to a great start on my run wasting about 3 minutes on the second control which shows up well on RouteGadget. (Christine tells me the path I should have set off down was not obvious but no excuse really as the angle was totally wrong.) Next wobble was at 18 where I must have been stood on top of the control before running away and then coming back again. In my haste to get away I then veered off to the left on the next leg but didn’t lose much time correcting myself.

When we eventually made it to the assembly field to download I was going to complain that I seemed to have an extra four minutes on my time but then remembered I had auto-pause enabled on my Garmin. Shows just how much standing around I must have been doing! The time was good enough to win the Brown course though even if all the action was on the Black. Mostly I was just pleased that, other than when climbing through the odd fence, my back hadn’t given me any problems on the way round (and doesn’t appear to be any the worse for it today).

Visiting the Cornish Cousins

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Canoe, Loe BeachSea Otter ChristineIt’s half term this week and things got off to a flying start with a trip to see the Cornish cousins. Our arrival was timed perfectly weather-wise. Having stopped in Exeter on Friday night we arrived around lunchtime on Saturday, just as the skies began to clear and the afternoon was spent paddling around on the river in the sunshine. We could just about squeeze the eight of us in to Ian and Sarah’s open canoe and a friend’s kayak. We didn’t get very far but everyone enjoyed themselves. The kids particularly liked picking rubbish out of the water! Christine also made the most of having squeezed herself in to a wetsuit and went for a dip in the water afterwards. She struggled a bit with keeping her feet underwater though!

Sunday was packed with more activities. We started out with a scoot round the boating lake at Helston, taking in the playground and skate park. We then relocated just down the road to the National Trust’s Penrose Estate where it was apple day. There wasn’t a huge amount laid on but the children thoroughly enjoyed mashing up the apples and then pressing the juice out of them.

BeforeDuringAfter

Emma bodyboardingDuncan sat in the surfNext stop we the beach at Hayle. Having stopped at the surf shop on the way Emma and Duncan were suitably kitted out in wetsuits and had a whale of a time bodyboarding and just generally messing about in the surf. My back was starting to play up again at this point so I settled for just enjoying the autumnal sunshine.

Lost Gardens of HeliganMonday was our last day and sadly the weather was set to take a turn for the worse. We managed to spend most of the morning at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, taking in their Halloween trail, craft activities and story telling, before the rain really set in and we were glad to de-camp to the cafe for lunch. Then it was all too soon time to wave goodbye to the cousins and wend our way back home to Hampshire.

Last minute half

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Clarendon 2015Christine had entered the Clarendon Half Marathon this year but, as the day approached, her achilles was still playing up and, with a week to go, she transferred her entry to me. Stood on the start line I was in something of a quandry as how to tackle the race: I had done no preparation this time but last time I had run I had won! On top of this, the first 1km is the flattest of the course so you can’t waste it easing yourself in. As it was, I set off somewhere near the back of the top 10 and at a pace which didn’t feel excessively fast.

I had been undecided over footwear too as my off-road shoes are disintegrating. I’d eventually gone with road shoes which was the right choice as the conditions under foot were the best I’ve known them. Indeed, it was a glorious day with lots of blue sky and a nice cool breeze.

When we reached the climb up to Farley Mount at 7 miles I can’t claim to have been feeling particularly strong but there was the incentive of a steady stream of marathon runners to pick off. Although you’re only just over half way when you reach the top, mentally it feels like you’ve broken the back of the race. I overtook a couple of my fellow half-marathon runners as I descended to where my fan-club was waiting to cheer me on and this gave me sufficient impetus to continue pushing to the end, despite the nasty undulations in the last 5k.

I eventually finished in just over 1:28 which was only half a minute slower than my previous winning time. Even that wouldn’t have been nearly good enough this year with the winner taking an impressive 1:20. I was more than satisfied with my 5th place though and I’ve only been hobbling slightly today!