The Shropshire Shuffler AW16

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SH UF F L E R AW 2016 Issue

FEATURES: Shrewsbury Half Marathon

The Shrewsbury Half Marathon was once again a real red, white and blue Shuffler take over ..................... page 8

The Shawshank Shuffler

A Hollywood bump-in in New York’s Central Park .............................. page 11

Duathlon World Championship

Find out which Shuffler qualified and represented GB in the Duathlon World Championships in Spain this year .................................... page 14

Club Championship Q&A

An easy-to-understand Q&A about your Club Championships, explained by Rick Garcia ............................... page 20


The Attingham Park Relays 2016 read all about it on page 5 Attingham Park

Lakeland Trails 55km Ultra Marathon Ian, Jason, Ian and Chris head up to the Lake District Article on page 10 The Lake D istrict

Duathlon World e 14 Championship pag Aviles, Spain

Alan heads over to Spain to represent GB in the Duathlon World Champs

Friday 25th

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The Annual Dinner, Dance and Presentation Evening at The Lord Hill

Chat from the chair... Hello and welcome to the new edition of the Shuffler magazine and the first one for which I’ve been chairman of our wonderful club. For those of you who don’t know me, I have been a member of the club’s committee for around seven years now, having joined the club nearly 10 years ago, when my wife, Hazel, and I moved to Shrewsbury. It’s a real privilege to take over the chair and to help take the club onwards from celebrating our 35th birthday earlier in the summer. I’d first like to thank Liz Hird for all her work in chairing the club for the last 5 years. She, ably supported by a super committee, has led the club fantastically through a number of changes. The biggest challenge, though the best one to have, has been the continued growth in membership and it’s great that the club has over 500 members. We’ve also seen the club’s ‘alternative runs’ go from strength to strength. This summer all of the runs have been brilliantly attended and lots of fun. There seems to be an increased interest in running again in the wider community, especially in Shropshire. I’ve no doubt that parkrun has had a big impact here and the Shufflers are seeing lots of new members who made their first tentative runs at parkrun. Perhaps that includes some of our beginners? It was brilliant to watch many of you complete the club 10k a few weeks ago. I’m sure many of you thought that you couldn’t possibly run that far in the spring when you started, I hope you stay with the club for many years to come. It will be interesting to see how many more people are inspired by Team GB’s excellent showing at the Rio Olympics to take up running. And so, as my tenure as Chair begins, I’d like to welcome you all to this edition of The Shuffler magazine and to offer my assurance that I will do all I can to ensure the club remains as strong as it has always been. We’re in the process of redesigning the club championships, which recognises the achievements of runners who take part in races. We’d like more people to be able to join in, whatever their favourite distance is. You’ll probably have noticed already that Rick Garcia is providing frequent updates so you can check how you’re doing more easily. If you’d like to contact me about club matters – positive comments or suggestions for improvements you can find me at training most Monday nights or you can contact me via Facebook. I hope to see you at training or a race soon. Happy running!

Nick Pollock 3

Facebook Update  You may be aware that the club has made some changes to the way they use Facebook. Facebook is a fantastic resource for the Shuffler community and our page is viewed, posted and commented on frequently by members. It’s great to see it used as a hub for all members to discuss races, fitness (and, sadly injuries) and to congratulate each other’s successes. We try to keep spam posts to a minimum and a small group of moderators work hard to ensure posts are only related to running and fitness. However, with such a large and active community the club felt that a separate page was needed for formal club notices. Members were simply finding it harder and harder to find information about club events as the posts were disappearing from the bottom of the page too quickly! If you haven’t done so already, I would urge you to join our new page – “Shropshire Shufflers – News” page on Facebook to ensure you don’t miss out on any club information about alternative runs, races, coaching, etc. We’re keeping the old page as well; that’s the place for general chat and discussion. Any page member can post on the original page so things will continue as normal here. Only a few people can post onto the new page, so posts will stay nearer the top for longer. You’ll be able to comment on any posts here to respond to anything you need to, but not add your own. Please let a committee member know if you think we could be managing the club’s Facebook pages better.

Chat with a coach Our Shropshire Shuffler coaching team are all super enthusiastic volunteers, I asked John Milner why he chose to become a Shropshire Shuffler coach... I remember one Thursday night at track running alongside Liz Hird and asking the question, “What do you have to do to become a coach?!” She then proceeded to tell me that it involved going on a one day course and a few sessions, where they would take a group and then be mentored by an existing coach. After the conversation I didn’t think any more of it, until a couple of weeks later when Tony Welsby approached me and said “‘I hear that you want to be a coach!” Following this, I went along to the course at the Alexandra Stadium with Bill and Annabel. We learned a lot and enjoyed the theory and physical work that was covered. Soon after, Tony threw me in at the deep end by asking me to take a Monday night session. I had a


mentor in the group who let me get on with it and gave me some tips at the end. The runners were very patient and showed their support at the end. I completed two other sessions with a mentor and then was left to take a group on my own! Since becoming a coach nearly 18 months ago, I have taken lots of sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. I have really enjoyed giving something back to the club that I love being a member of; helping other runners, encouraging people to push themselves and get out of their comfort zone and organising routes across Shrewsbury. I would encourage anyone to become a coach, it’s very rewarding. Although it may seem a daunting thing to do, it is good to be challenged every now and then! The other coaches and runners have been very supportive and hearing of runners improving makes it very rewarding. Emma Humphreys

The Attingham Relays May 2016 saw the third year of the increasingly popular Shropshire Shuffler event: the Attingham Park relays. The sellout event saw a record 396 runners take part in teams of three; each running the two mile multi-terrain course. I was marshalling along with my young son Joseph. The weather on the day had been wet, so full wet weather gear was our attire for the evening, although it thankfully turned out to be unnecessary as the rain stopped in plenty of time. Joseph and I had a marshal position on the small bridge just down from the start/finish, and when I say on the bridge, I do literally mean ON the bridge, right in the middle of it! When the ‘A’ runners started it was certainly a sight to behold seeing a pack of runners charging towards you at speed; it never ceases to amaze me just how fast some runners are! I had to stand on said bridge to ensure all the runners kept to the left so there were no runners catapulted into the stream below, and no one squishing me! (Joseph was told to keep to side and not to dare get in the way!) But what a brilliant position we had! We saw the fresh faced runners just starting off; so we were shouting ‘have fun’, ‘good luck’, ‘enjoy’ and of course ‘COME ON SHUFFLER!’ Joseph loved the shouting to Shufflers, and when he acquired a shiny SYtri cow-bell from Rob Kerr; well Joseph became undoubtedly the noisiest and most enthusiastic marshal of the evening! The evening was a sea of Shufflers in their red, white and blue finery, and seeing the array of other local clubs taking part in the event was lovely; friendly rivalry at its best. There were done amazing times run by Shufflers; you did us proud! A huge thank you needs to go to Liz Hird whose tireless work in the months before each event enables these events to take place, and grow each year. Thanks also to Attingham Park, all marshals and also to Colin Williamson for his super photography. Emma Humphreys


LONDON MARATHON 2017 The late Chris Brasher (founder of the London Marathon) described the event as the ‘Suburban Everest’ - something everyone can aspire to do and over the years, an increasing number of people have done just that including many Shufflers. At the first London Marathon in 1981 (founding year of the Shufflers) there were 7,000 runners, in 2016 there were in the region of 37,000 runners!! However, the demand for places vastly outstrips the supply and it seems around 17,000 places will be available to the public, via a ballot again this year. A staggering 247,069 people registered for last year’s event, with magazines going to successful applicants (around 7%). If you have applied for a place via the ballot and gain that place - WELL DONE. If you are not so lucky, all is not lost, as the club will have a couple of places available. To be eligible to enter the draw you must enter the marathon as a Shropshire Shufflers runner and be affiliated to UKA (therefore have a race license). If you receive a rejection, you must keep it and pass to Liz who will put your name in the draw, which takes place at the club awards evening in November.

Last 3 years stats (aprox): Year 2014 2015 2016 Ballot places 75,000 17,000 17,000 Entries available




Probability of success 14.3% 13.6% 6.9% Number of places and number of entries for the public ballot of the London Marathon 2014-2016

My Running Life “the life and times of a serial plodder” Prior to running the Birmingham half marathon in October of last year, I last ran seriously in sixth form back in the 1970’s, when many younger Shufflers were just a twinkle in their parent’s eyes! I used to do a fair bit of athletics back then, but missed out on an English Schools Championship as a holiday in Gloucestershire was deemed more important by my parents. We had a world record-holder for his age at school, and we used to set a stop watch going and leave in a tobacco tin, as we then all pelted off to do our Cross Country route. Little did he know that the rest of us cut off the last corner and came in just after him, much to his chagrin! I’m sure it spurred him on to even more world records - but apologies for the Tom-foolery nevertheless, Adrian Murphy wherever you are! Sadly, Strava would prevent that today. I jogged a bit over the last 5 years and did the odd Mad Jacks at Attingham, but needed a challenge to raise money for Macmillan last year with my three sons. The eldest had just done the Hamburg marathon which really inspired me, so I thought to myself, “Come on Glenn, you can do a Half at least!” And so, a Plodding Legend was born. Anyone wanting to find that elusive mojo and enthusiasm for running should spend a few nights in the Reeperbahn in Hamburg evading the local inhabitants - that’ll get your running shoes on. Or then again, maybe it won’t. Training for the Brum’ half was boring on my own, but I competed it and the lads and I raised over £3k for the charity. I vowed to keep running and a few mates told me I should join the Shuffler’s to find running partners and not run alone. I reviewed the local clubs and approached Tony Welsby re. joining the Shuffler’s. Tony is still wary of me to this day. But rather than just find a running club, I found something else. What can I say about the Shuffler’s that hasn’t already been said? It is a Shrewsbury

institution, and as with most institutions, out-with the formalities, it’s body, soul and character are determined by its membership. And boy, what a membership! The Running Bug isn’t discriminatory on who it attacks and the diversity of people from all walks of life is a major strength of the club. I’ve been privileged to witness relationships that have spanned many years, many initially instigated by peoples’ love of running, and even more privileged to develop some. The pre- and postrace banter is uncontrollably hilarious, and there are some friendships that could make a serious go in stand-up. You know who you are. The nights out are becoming events of legend, and planned outings involving “The Core Team” (The Wrestler, Joker, AWAC, Biffo, Porno, Radar et al) are building on this tradition. Pursuance of Bling is all. But there’s a serious side too. The Clubs officials and coaches give of themselves tirelessly, and the wealth of experience and expertise in all matters running is a huge depository. I’d urge any newbie, or for that matter experienced runner to access Tony and the coaches for any running advice. The Club is also keen to nurture enthusiasm, and I hope to join the band of run-leaders soon. In a time when issues like obesity and diabetes are threatening our health service provision, the joy of just being able to get up and run in even a cheap pair of sneakers is something everyone can access. Parkrun is built on this premise and I know all Shuffler’s are ambassadors for fitness and well-being wherever they go. So, thank you Shufflers for letting me into your fold, for the friendships you have bestowed, for helping me achieve a half marathon a month and for letting me share my running life with you. Glenn F 7

Mark Perez: “This sums up the day for me. Feeling hot in a onesie but Fordy looking hot in a tutu!”

T HE SHR E WSBURY HALF Well it looks like it was fourth time lucky for the Shrewsbury half marathon! With UKRunChat taking over the running of the event this year, we were all hoping the shenanigans of the previous three years would not be repeated. We needn’t have worried; the event started on time AND was the correct distance! What hadn’t changed though were the hills of Shrewsbury! What with Wyle Cop, Kingsland Bank, and Ellesmere Road all with rather noticeable inclines, it felt like a battle that would never end for some! But hey, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!? The event was once again a real red, white and blue Shuffler take over which was a fabulous sight. Seeing groups of Shufflers running together, supporting each other, makes you proud to be part of this club. I had to work on the day, but as I was walking over Kingsland I saw dozens of Shufflers, which certainly made my day! There were some amazing times ran by Shufflers, but each and every one of you were amazing. 8

Annabel Hodgson: “After running a lonely 12 miles it was nice to be joined by some friendly faces.”

Nikki Parker: “My time was irrelevant! My thoughts? Never again!”

I really enjoyed the run and Selina was very well behaved only asking to get out to run once when we were going up Ellesmere Road around the time Mandy Baxter chased us up the road to give Selina a banana she kept asking for from the shop! (Mandy was my saviour!)

Steven Edwards: “Excellent well organised event, great route.” TIME: 1:56:20

Francesca Hutcheson: “2:25 in my tutu and a fabulous £75 in my bucket for Lingen Davies Cancer Fund”

Rick Gracia, “Tremendous team spirit” TIME: 1:53:00

The event was once again a real red, white & blue Shuffler take over...

Iain Day, Simon Meredith and Gary Marsh take on some water in St. Mary’s Street

The usual suspects almost manage a MOBoT!


Lakeland Trails 55km Ultra Marathon When four guys turn up in a white van you normally expect to see some serious work being done, but when four Shropshire Shufflers clamber out of the vehicle you can guess that a running adventure is about to take place. Such was the case, when Jason (Jacko) Wright, Ian Ford, Chris Purcell, and myself arrived at the Ambleside FC campsite in the Lake District in early July, to compete in the Lakeland Trails 55km Ultra Marathon. We were never quite able to ascertain who had the bright idea for this adventure, but it would seem that it was cooked up over coffee after a Saturday Parkrun. Fun was had erecting our tents, mine had no instructions and Jacko’s was a child’s pop up play tent. Add to this several heavy showers, an evening in the pub, and a poor night’s sleep and we could honestly say we were not ready to race 55km. We did look the part however, with ultra vests stuffed with essential kit, watches primed, Vaseline applied, and nervous grins. The start was at 10.30am, from the park in Ambleside, and ascended through the town to the cheers and applause of spectators lining the route. We had decided in advance to walk all but the slightest inclines, then run the level ground and the descents, and so we progressed on our first climb over the Kirkstone Pass and then down to Patterdale. The further we went, the more it rained, turning paths into streams, and streams into torrents. After the second checkpoint and food station we found out what ultra-mountain marathon running is all about, as we tackled the climb to Grisedale tarn in driving rain and cold wind. Grins had now turned to grimaces as we began to realise that this was a serious undertaking, and that fast times would have to be sacrificed to survival and completion. Food stations became more and more important as we burned up the calories. The food and drink on offer would have looked great at a child’s birthday party, peanuts, flapjacks, jelly babies, flat cola, and 10

cheap coffee, but it tasted like a banquet under the circumstances. After running through Grasmere we headed out for a loop of the Langdale Pikes. My legs started to cramp and I thought I might not finish. Ian said I was crying but this is not true, but my race was saved by his paracetamol and litres of rehydration fluid. Never have I been so grateful to see a finish line in my life, it had been an epic journey for all four of us, we were battered but not beaten and spent the rest of the weekend sporting our race shirts and medals with pride. Would we do it again? I hear you ask. Well, it was 48 hours before the subject was broached by any of us, but, yes of course we would, we are already planning, but next time we will train harder and stay in a hotel, not a tent in a wet field!! Ian Richards

When I joined the beginner’s group in May this year I didn’t ever picture myself chasing an Academy Award winner in the course of doing hill efforts in New York’s Central Park. In fact, I didn’t picture myself doing hill efforts at all.

last one she picked was a 6’5” tall man who was quite fast. I had real trouble catching him. He must have heard me panting as he turned around a couple of times. I managed to beat him at the top and we both stopped.

I am the kind of person who needs to maintain motivation. If I lose too many weeks training, I tend to lose all impetus. This was one of the main reasons I joined the Shufflers in the first place. The beginners group has been great as the coaches, and all the other runners have been so supportive of each other. It was just what I needed to keep me wanting to run.

When he looked at me quizzically I felt I should explain. I pointed down the hill and said that my coach had asked me to chase him to the crest of the hill. He said nothing but raised his eyebrows in consternation. I babbled on assuring him that she chose him from the hundreds of runners because he had such good form. He was clearly flattered and we started chatting. He was charming, but Charlotte was waiting. As I excused myself to go back down the hill to meet her, he asked if I’d see him the park tomorrow. I told him that was very unlikely as I was flying back home that afternoon and we went our separate ways.

With an extended break planned for July and August, I knew I was going to miss three or possibly four Mondays. With such a long break I was worried I might stop running altogether. My first trip was five days in New York. I’d heard about doing running tours in NYC. But when I googled them, I felt the distance and speed was a bit beyond me. However, I did come across a coach who offered 1:1 coaching in Central Park. On the spur of the moment I booked two early morning sessions. Charlotte was a veteran marathon runner and very enthusiastic fitness fanatic. She was great actually. Bossy, but great. At 7 in the morning Central Park was full of runners and it felt good to be out with them too. During the first session Charlotte analysed my gait and breathing and we had a fantastic run through the park. On the second session she wanted to concentrate on hills. Who knew Central Park had so many. Towards the end of the session she was choosing unsuspecting random runners, letting them have a head start and asking me to catch them up. I had to fall in line behind them half way up the hill and then overtake to beat them to the top. I’d chased about five people and could really feel it in my legs and my breathing. The

I got back to Charlotte who was very keen to hear what the tall runner had to say. When I told her she just laughed and asked if I know who he was. I had no idea. It was the actor Tim Robbins - star of the Shawshank Redemption and Mystic River. I wouldn’t have recognized him - he’d gone quite grey since I last saw him in a film. Still, grey or not, this Shuffler turned down a chance to run with Tim Robbins. It made me smile all the way back to the hotel in any case. Jayne

Marathon International du Beaujolais

I BLAME... Firstly, shuffler Richard Chamberlain who has been urging me over several years that I should sort out my swimming, so that I could easily qualify for GB Age Group in triathlon. Secondly, Louise Minchin of Breakfast TV, whom I saw, one morning, complete the World Age Group triathlon in Chicago. I thought, “I could do that”, and so the seed was sown. Looking at the Triathlon Website to sort what had to be done I came across Duathlon- and the British Champs was at Windsor Great Park which could qualify me for the World Champs in Spain.

Two weeks later, I got the e-mail to say I had qualified to represent GB age group in the 2016 World Champs in Spain, not only that but as British Champion I also qualified for next year’s World and European Champs. I checked out the details of the trip which was pricey, no member of my family was available to come and I didn’t feel very qualified having not beaten anybody, so I decided that I wouldn’t bother to go. However, on the morning of the last day to decide Dave Humphreys (a regular running companion) said “Are you going?” “No I don’t think so.” “Well I think you should, you’re better than you think you are, I will come with you and pay my own travel.” I couldn’t refuse.

So being easily diverted and with the requirement to build a new kitchen, swimming had to go.

Hastily, I booked flights and accommodation, and signed on with about half an hour to spare.

Duathlon is Run, Bike, Run and standard distance is 10k run, 40k bike, 5k run.

With about four weeks to go I thought I had better get in some training but a flu type bug and sinus soon put paid to that.

The Windsor event is largely remembered for: 1) MUD (Car park, registration and transition were all deep in the stuff) 2) Briefing, where we were advised that we may have to stop on the bike if the Queen was on her way to chapel 3) Winning, well not so much winning as being the only one there in my age group, the other two either didn’t turn up or didn’t finish. Still I was pleased to win, stand on the rostrum, and got the medal to prove it but I was disappointed with my performance, having not beaten any in the age group below.


by Alan Morris

We left Shrewsbury at 1:00am and finally arrived at our hotel at about 3:00pm after a three hour transfer, by bus, from Bilbao, inevitably we were last to be dropped off. Our hotel was on the coast in a nice little fishing village, but no one was there. A notice board with nothing on it was displayed in the foyer. In the basement were the Aussies and the Kiwi’s busy assembling their bikes but not a Brit in sight. We were assured that the Brits had 15 rooms taken. Ah well! There was nothing for it but to go and sample the

local cuisine, we settled for the local bean stew which had plenty of beans in it and also some rather globular lumps of something animal. It tasted fine and seemed preferable to the item termed “just pig”. The following morning a few Brits were at breakfast and a bus picked us up and took us to the main team hotel for a briefing, from which left most of us more confused than when we arrived. I teamed up with a few others, one of whom seemed to know where to go, and cycled down to the race venue where he tried, without success, to explain the course. Once there, I registered by showing my Passport and Tri license and put the bike in transition, but not before I had the bike, helmet and official tri suit inspected. Not sure what they would make of Ed Davies, a local fell runner, who often takes his shirt off in races! It was then back to the hotel, we gave the bean stew a miss opting for a pasta dish and steak and chips in the hotel, certainly not Cordon Bleu, but it contained right stuff.

stuck in my stinky tri suit in a smart hotel for 90 mins until a mini bus took us back. Later in the evening, we were bussed back to the medal ceremony. The rostrum was quite far away and high on the outdoor stage in a blaze of floodlights so we decided that Dave’s little camera wouldn’t be a lot of good to take a picture. The medalists were assembled at the back of the stage in order with the sprint race first, so needless to say the 75-80 age group in the standard race was last up. Each group of three were lined up-Bronze-Gold-Silver and led by a young lady with the medals on a tray. Finally my moment in the spotlight came, but I think the presenters were getting a bit weary and the audience was running low on clap. As soon as I was off the stage I found Dave and we jogged, with me clutching my medal, half a mile just in time to catch the bus and we watched the start of the fireworks through the bus window. We spent the next morning relaxing, sight-seeing and a bit of shopping before we were picked up for the three hour transfer to Bilbao, which was late again. We arrived at the airport just in the nick of time but no time to get a meal. Back at Stansted, our bags took over an hour to come off the carousel so it was past midnight before we set off. We arrived home around 4:00am pretty tired having missed two nights sleep in five. It is said that if you don’t win gold, bronze is second best. If you win silver you are disappointed you didn’t win but if you win bronze you are grateful that you have, at least, won something.

Next morning, race day, and with one bus scheduled to pick us up at 6:00am in time for the sprint race which preceded ours, meant that we would have to hang around for the standard race till 11:45. After a few heated exchanges a second bus was put on for 9:00am, this arrived at 10:00am only just in time for us to check the bike and add bottles etc. before they closed the transition. I headed for the start in front of the main stage, where rock music was blasting out, to assemble in my start wave of everybody over 60. I spotted two of my adversaries so I started near the front but just behind them. As we headed out on the run they were gradually pulling away from me, but by end of the run they were still in sight. From then on I never saw them again so I knew that unless the American or the other Brit passed me I was running for third and a bronze medal. They never did.

Biggest disappointment is that despite contacting several officials including our team captain and the event organiser, I have been unable to find a photo of me receiving my medal. There are hundreds of photos of the event on various websites, Facebook, etc. but not a one of the prize giving. I have suggested they remedy this or I will have to buy Dave a better camera. Overall, I was glad that I went, it certainly was an experience. But would I do it again? Maybe! Special thanks are due to Dave, without his support I wouldn’t have gone and his companionship for the weekend was invaluable. Also thanks to Shufflers who sponsored my entry fee and GBR race tri-suit. Alan Morris

A bus had been put on to take us back to the hotel at 3:00pm, I knew this was tight for time as I expected to take about 3 hours. By the time I had got through the finish formalities it was nearly 3:00 so Dave went to hold the bus until I was there. However, it took me quite some time to get my bag and even longer to get my bike through security and out of transition. By the time I got to the pickup point the bus had long gone despite Dave standing in front of it until he had made other arrangements with the tour operators. We managed to get to the main team hotel where we were plied with complimentary tea and coffee to keep us sweet, trouble was that knowing I would be tight for time I hadn’t taken any spare clothing so I was


Who’s who?

We talk to Emma Humphreys Time with the Shufflers... Over five years in total; started mid 2006 until injury took me out at end of 2007, did three halves in early 2008 but stopped running completely until April 2013! Reason for joining... I had always been relatively fit with walking my dogs for miles and I used to do a lot of cycling, so when I saw ‘RACE FOR LIFE’ advertised on TV, I thought I would enter it. I did it, loved the running and a couple of weeks later joined my dad’s old club - Shropshire Shufflers. Group you run with... I have always run with a faster intermediate group, although at end of 2014 I did hang on at the end of the fast group for a few weeks, until I got a chest infection which meant I couldn’t run properly for a few weeks. When I went back I resumed with the intermediate groups where I am today (when I get to a training night!). I have also had many a ‘fun’ track training session in Richard’s group. Favourite race... I have three! Liverpool ‘Rock n Roll’ marathon, Myddle fun run and Coniston ‘14’. Favourite running weather... A very bright but cold day (no ice!) which I call a ‘good to be alive day’, or a beautiful autumn day; I love to run in the sunshine, but not the heat! Shoes... I have been running in the Asics Nimbus shoes for well over two years having started with the Nimbus 14, then 15 now I’m on my second pair of 17’s. I also run with an orthotic in my shoes. If I do any off-road I will run in my Adidas Kanadia shoes, but I always fall over when I wear them! Favourite distance... Longer, slower races! It takes me a while to get into a comfortable stride, which means a 5k is probably my least favourite and most maligned distance (ask anyone who has witnessed me doing a parkrun!) Do you cross train... Yes! I am a ‘Les Mills’ exercise class fan! I do body pump, which is strength training and body combat and attack which are cardio and strength...and great fun! Coffee or tea... Both! Can’t beat a nice cup of tea, but I like a good coffee. Sweet or savoury... Depends on when and where, but I would rather a muffin than a sausage roll with a coffee! But I do like a nice Melton Mowbray pork pie! 16


Emma Louise Humphreys Age:



Retail Supervisor Which of these is false? I have ‘nodded-off’ on the back of a moving 1000cc motorbike. I have a fear of spiral staircases and heights; but I still want to go up Lord Hill column. I once pulled a muscle in my mouth by eating a huge cheese sandwich. I have passed my full motorbike test. I have a qualification specialising in Diamonds.

The Accidental Runner

does the Coastal Canter ...and enjoys it! So it turns out I know about 500 songs, but only four lines from each. My medley began with “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger….stand a little taller….. something something something when I’m with you”, it was meant to be inspirational, let me back track to; a blustery afternoon in Anglesey and on about mile 16 of a 19.5 mile run, my other female companions were staring to flag, so I was attempting to use songs to jolly them on. But hang on what’s this strange phenomenon, I’m the one with beans, I’m encouraging others, I’m still going strong(ish)! Blimey, that’s not right for the accidental runner, I’m not even asking how far we’ve come or how much further we have to go. What’s happened to me? I think I might have some stamina and just a little bit of backbone. So to back up a bit further, we are on Allan’s world famous coastal canter which offers a range of distances along the Anglesey coastline, culminating in a hot meal and a coach journey back. It’s all very clever, you get up at the “crack of bleeding dawn” and head down to Abbey Forgate Carpark for 7 o’clock Saturday morning; yes that’s 7 o’clock! The nice man from Boultins turns up with his special wipe clean coach designed for smelly, muddy runners. The cool girls grab the backseat (you know who you are!), the rest of us pair off and attempt to stash bags and bags of different varieties of clothing; trainers, snacks, drinks, waterproofs, thermal blankets, small rucksacks, larger rucksacks, after run clothes, during run clothes, pre run clothes and sun cream (ha ha ha). A mere two hours later we have a quick wee and coffee stop, at what has to be the most run down service station ever. We triple their takings for the day and use the month’s allocated toilet paper supply. Then, half an hour on, we get ready to jump ship. The ’22 milers’ go first, they are fast and slender and don’t mess around… ever! Then, us ‘19s’ get ready, it feels a bit like sitting on a light airplane waiting for a freefall flight.


“Rucksacks ready! Off road trainers on! Drinks ready! Maps ready! Go, go, go!” We’re off! We check out our crew, not bad; an Allan, three speedy gals, two big boys and us three jolly girls and two minutes later we’ve started. Five minutes later we’ve stopped for a wee in possibly the darkest loos ever. Then it’s proper running, (sort of), but we walk in the really steep bits, my rule is if you can see Allan Morris walking then you can walk. The view is lovely and pretty constant, you get basking seals, light houses, numerous coves, even two RSPB men with big cameras! Constant snacking is essential, this year a pork pie was a big hit, banana hairbos less so. We tried to drink lots, it’s best to be like Allan, don’t splash out on an expensive drinks system, an old fairy liquid bottle does fine! The real benefit of the coastal path is the joy of looking back and going, “Wow, we ran all that!” Which you never really get on an inland route. Of course, there are more than two distances you could do 15 or 12, even as little as a nice four mile walk if you like, sometimes the cool girls have even stopped at a pub on route because they have the time and they are cool. We are pretty much always last in, it’s a bit of a tradition now, but there’s always food left, even cake (sometimes custard too!) The coach on the way home always smells, but we don’t notice, lots of people doze off in humorous positions. We arrive back at eightish, tired, smelly, happy, achy and ready for beer/tea/ wine. It’s always a good day out, often with a different bit of coastline to see, it beats running on the roads, it beats having to cook your own tea on a Saturday night and it justifies a fabulous lazy Sunday the following day! Helen Grime

Shropshire Shufflers has over 400 members. It provides coaching, organises races and social events. Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, scores of Shufflers can be seen pounding the streets of Shrewsbury. At weekends the red, white and blue can be seen all over the world. Does this all happen by magic? Afraid not! It takes some key people working behind the scenes. These individuals are your committee. They work with Nick Pollock (your chairman) to make Shufflers the success that it is. We need some new committee members to help Nick run your club in the way that you want. If you would like to help forge the future of the Shropshire shufflers and can give up a couple of hours a month, please contact Nick through the club Facebook page.

Telford AC’s Sexarathon Race Series Having thoroughly enjoyed all of the 2015 club alternative runs, the next logical step would be to try Telford AC’s Sexarathon Race Series- a series of six summer short distance races on various Wednesday evenings between April and August. Curiously named races such as the ‘Phoenix Flyer’ and the ‘Harper Scarper’, with distances between three and five miles, at some lovely Telford locations. It sounded like a fun new challenge, so I signed up for the 2016 series, with my running buddy, Lindy Bailey.

First up was the Lilleshall five Mile on 13th April, a run around the grounds of the National Sports Centre. It hadn’t occurred to me to do any extra training (as were short distances) so to see Shropshire’s finest elite runners from various clubs all lined up pensively on the start, un-nerved me slightly. I needn’t have worried, I didn’t come last! We completed the five miles, ‘undulating’ was an understatement, as it was uphill ALOT, especially the last 2 miles (but where’s the fun if it is all flat?). I was glad to cross the finish line, and hearing Rick Garcia bellowing my name in encouragement was much appreciated, as was the post race pint in the clubhouse afterwards! Disaster struck before race two, as I fractured my ankle and was unable to compete in the Phoenix Flyer, a 5k round the streets of Dawley. Lindy told me that it was easier than the first one. Races three and four were The Shropshire 4 Mile (laps around the woodland paths at Muxton Golf Club) and The Ironbridge 4 Mile (on the paths and roads around the beautiful Ironbridge Gorge) were both fairly similar, and again a little bit challenging (although the faster runners made it look very easy!) By now we were getting used to the routine; a road trip in Lindy’s little Mini trying not to get lost and we were always pleased to see the now, familiar merry band of Shufflers lined up at the start for a pre-race selfie.

Shropshire Summer Fell Series by Jenny Minshall On a typical British summer evening, many runners are laced up, out the door and enjoying pootling about the streets. However, in the heart of the Shropshire Hills something quite different is happening. About 50 of us are scrambling on our hands and knees, clenching on bits of heather trying to lure ourselves to the top of a hill. It’s a short but challenging 3 mile race, technical under foot with steep descents in parts. There is no time to zone out, and ponder about our day at work or contemplate what to cook for tea when we get home; not when the low, heavy clouds are preventing us from seeing the guy in front. We are only just about keeping ourselves from slipping and falling, trying to follow the safest path and ensuring we stick to the guide ropes which have been carefully dotted about by the marshalls. Early this year I combined my love of hiking and keen interest in running, and competed my first fell race in the Summer Fell Series. Although the weather conditions can dramatically change throughout the race, for anyone with a sense of adventure this shouldn’t put you off. Being out in fells is all about the thrill of being alone, the beauty of the hills and refusing to make running into a repetitive chore. You run until you walk, then you walk until you can run again.

The Sexarathon series is points based, with prizes awarded to the winners of each race, and a cumulative ‘ranking’ for the series. Runners would eagerly scan the standings lists at the start of each race to see how they are progressing. I’m not overly competitive and unlikely to feature at the top of any league tables, but I was pleased for my fellow Shufflers who were doing really well in the standings.

camaraderie between us and the sense of belonging to a team. I finished in the second half of every race, but I had plenty of encouragement from the Shufflers at the finish, as well as Shufflers who had come purely to spectate.

Races five and six were fast 5k’s, the Vic Musgrave being from Telford Rugby Club, a fast run round the Town Park similar to their parkrun and 10k). The last race of the series was the Harper Scarper at the Harper Adams College at Newport on August 31st. Again, another lovely sunny evening with a slightly undulating run. We stayed for a beer and the presentations. Massive well done to Jason Wright, Annabel Hodson, Clare Cotterill and Gail Clayton for winning prizes in their age categories.


And so we had done it! Our prize being a much coveted ‘Joy of Six’ t-shirt. I have enjoyed the series, the weather was kind to us (my favourite race was the Ironbridge one) and would urge any Shufflers, of all abilities, to sign up for 2017. It’s a great way of representing the club. I’m not going to lie and say it was easy, because it was challenging at times (more training next year!!). We saw some lovely scenery and it was great to run somewhere different. What I loved was the

Once again, I felt proud to be in my Shufflers vest, and would say whether you are super speedy or a plodder (like me!) go for it -you’ll love it!

YOUR CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS EXPLAINED BY Q&A Q - Who is eligible? A - Every club member is eligible and entered. Shortly after 01 Feb each year (the cut off for renewing club memberships) an updated club members list is provided to the Championships Coordinator and used to enter all members as entered into the Club Championships. Q – What if I joined the club after 01 Feb or was late with my subscription renewal? A - Anyone joining after 01 Feb or was late to renew their subscription will need to inform the Championships Coordinator by email,, and provide their Full Name and DOB to get added to the list. Q – What is the Club Championships year? A – The Club Championships is held annually over the running season starting 01 November and ending on the following 31 October with prizes for the Best Male and Female awarded at the Club Awards Evening held towards the end of the year. You can look up the results going back as far as 2008 from the Shropshire Shufflers Web Page under the top line “HOME” menu option select the sub option “Championships”. Q – What events make up the Club Championships? A – Events that make up the Championships have slightly varied in the past; currently there are 5 race categories that count towards the Club Championships - they are any Official Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K timed races to count; with the Little Stretton to Stiperstones Time Trial race (which was held in Nov 2015) making up the 5th race category. Q – What gets recorded? A – We want your best efforts to count so we use your recorded Chip or Net time for the Club Championships. Parkruns do count for 5K but note that this will only give you a Gun time to count. You can run each race category as many times as you want but it’s your best time for each race category that gets recorded to count on the Club Championships List. Q – How does it get worked out? A – Race category times are given a score with the best 3 scores out of the possible 5 race categories counted towards the Club Championships which are then awarded to the highest scoring Male and Female Club Member.


Q – How does my time get recorded in the Club Championships List? A – Members are mainly responsible for submitting their best race category times to the Championships Coordinator by email and provide their name along with their Race Date, Time and Event Name (for verification reasons); also sending a link or screenshot image of the Official Posted Time is useful for providing as supporting evidence. On larger events the Championships Coordinator will download the race results and filter those recorded as “Shufflers” to bulk update Club Championships list with members’ best times. Q – How does my time get scored? A – Your recorded time is adjusted according to your age using a WAVA Table which is then given a percentage score according to a set comparative race time for that race category. Q – What is WAVA? A - WAVA stands for World Association of Veterans Athletics (it is now known as the World Masters Athletics (WMA)). This is a table that has been worked out by Boffins to make a comparison measure of an athlete’s performance across any given age thus allowing a 60 year old to compete with a 30 year old. The older you are the greater the percentage your time is reduced by. i.e. a 44 year old Male time is reduced by 4.76% and a Female by 4.87% and a 70 year old Male time is reduced by 24.39% and a Female by 32.65%. WAVA does not adjust a time for anyone aged 32 or under. Q – Where do you get a comparative race time from? A – A comparative race time is taken as an average time from the first ten placed runners from a selected event within each selected race category. Q – Where can I check the latest Club Championship Listings? A – A running results list is regularly published on the Shufflers Facebook “News” page; this is a closed group that Shufflers are advised to join. Also the list is refreshed towards the end of each month in the Shropshire Shufflers Championships Web Page. Q – Will it be the same next year? A – On suggestion the Club Committee are considering making some changes for next seasons Club Championships (from 01 Nov 16) which are yet to be formally notified; but informally we can say they are likely to include: • Using the end of last season’s Male and Female Club Records as the comparative race time for each championship race category. • Increase it to be the best 4 scores out of the possible 5 race categories to count towards the Club Championships. • The 5th race category will change to another distance discipline, yet to be decided, that will offer more than the one chance to attempt (unlike the current Time Trial at present). • Updating the WAVA table to a more recent WMA table for each race category that more accurately reflects recent performance data held by WMA Boffins.


Lead coach Tony Welsby talks: minor injuries hydration



This year has been notable for the numbers of Shufflers entering races, both close to home and far away. Over 50 shufflers entered the Market Drayton 10k and our runners have been successful in a number of races, too many to mention in this article. In addition, we have seen a number of beginners complete their first 10k, it was great to see them all passing the finish line. However, I would like to mention Alan Morris for winning a bronze medal for his age group in the world duathlon in Spain earlier in June, a fantastic achievement. I am afraid that the more races you enter, the more likely you are to suffer from minor muscle injuries. Minor injuries to soft tissue can be dealt with at home using the simple but effective term RICE. Rest the injury. Ice the injury, that means putting ice or even a bag of frozen peas on the injury, but not directly onto the skin, (wrap the ice in something such as a tea towel), leave on the injury for 15 minutes twice a day for three days, no heat over this time. Compress the injury lightly to hold the ice in place. Elevate the injury during the 15 mins you are icing. If the injury persists you must seek medical advice. Over the last few weeks we have experienced some really warm weather, it’s important to make sure you are fully hydrated before training or racing and although you may feel really warm during this period, it’s still necessary to warm up your muscles fully before running in order to prevent some of the injuries I have mentioned above. Finally, I am sure some of you who have entered London and other marathons next year will be thinking about training, if you have concerns about your training for these longer runs, (half and full marathons), any of our coaches will be able to help you with advice. We also have some of our coaches organising longer runs at the weekends, I am sure you have seen some of them referred to on the shufflers Facebook page, some of our coaches run marathons and half marathons, so take advantage, there is a great amount of knowledge within this club. Tony

GRUMPY OLD MAN Watching the Olympics; I can’t help thinking, whatever happened to the British team and where has all this “TEAM GB” come from? Why do we have a new design of track suit tops for our athletes? This year’s ‘creation’ looks more like a cheap shell suit from TK Maxx. Can we not have a nice classic design? It seems sometimes we are concentrating more on style than substance. Why do the BBC insist on interviewing athletes immediately after they have finished? In particular asking Jess Ennis about retiring, whenever I have finished an event it is always “Never again.” Having said all that, we do seem to be doing rather well.

The Grumpy Old Man

Members might like to know about a new feature that is available for the Club Calendar. Teamup now have an Android & Apple App, which you may find useful. All you need to do is just download the app and put the following code in, and the Shufflers calendar will be available on your phone!


ks85c78c69777f6366 It is much easier than trying to use it through a web browser on your phone.


If you currently have an EA Competition Licence to enable you to enter races with the affiliated club discount, please note the fee for the licence will be increasing to £14 annually from January 2017.