The Shropshire Shuffler AW20

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Contents Organising Running in a Pandemic


Trail Runs for Muscular Dystrophy


Contributors John Short Alan Morris

Still Running at 75+


Shrewsbury NWRR


London Marathon


Mark Leahy Graham Evans Pete McGuinness Lucy Bridges Pam O’Carroll Thomas Vaughan

Virtual Runner


Priteni Horning



Caro Dalton

Virtual Challenge Reports


Colin Lancaster

Trail Running / Shuffling


Who’s who?


Running with Music


Debbie Armstrong Richard Bishop (cover image)

Editors Caro Dalton Mark Leahy

Staying Safe Online


The Power of Recovery


Alternative Running Tips


Magazine available online at:

Desmond Lee

Debbie Armstrong Graham Evans Design:

CHAT FROM THE CHAIR Welcome to the Autumn 2020 edition of the Shuffler Magazine. My thanks go, as ever, to the editorial team for putting all this together so well. I’d particularly like to mention Helen Grime who has stood down after many years of helping Graham Evans with the magazine’s production. I’d like at this point in time to be describing the wonderful summer of running we’ve just enjoyed: to be reminiscing about recovering from a club trail run with a pint in one hand and some buffet food in the other. However, we’ve been denied those opportunities this summer because of Covid-19. I do feel for all those of you who had planned to take part in big events this year, perhaps running your first race ever or trying to push to a distance you once believed was beyond you. We are, though, seeing the green shoots of recovery and we’ve been able to restart some club sessions. The track sessions have been working well and have been popular. As I write this, we have just started to offer road running groups too. I sincerely hope that, by the time you read this, our club activities and lives generally have not been affected by further restrictions. Everyone’s health is, of course, paramount, but I know first-hand how important group running is to many. As most of us consider 2020 to be a write-off, and some of us might be pretending 2020 never happened, we can look forward to 2021. Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the Shropshire Shufflers and we mean to celebrate that in lots of ways. We intend to hold a social event to mark the occasion, but it also seems fitting that we look back at the history of the club, from its very beginning as the realisation of an idea between friends. If you have anything you’d like to share, pictures, stories or notable events, we’ll be asking for submissions in the near future. Thank you for being a part of our club. Whether you race or if you just want a social way to get a bit fitter, the Shropshire Shufflers aims to be a great and welcoming running club. So if you’d like to contact me about club matters – positive comments or suggestions for improvements - you can do so through the website or via Facebook. Happy running and take care of yourselves! Nick Pollock Chairman

Organising Running in a Pandemic In the first few days and weeks of lockdown it was very hard to think of organised running as we all feared for the worst and worried about keeping our friends and families safe. However, with the emphasis on daily exercise, it soon became clear that we should start to look at virtual ways to help the Shuffler community stay motivated and share their experiences of running. At the monthly on-line Committee meetings a number of ideas were discussed, and over the past few months Kelly, Thomas and Jan have organised a number of virtual running challenges, encouraging members to celebrate their runs and keeping runners informed of progress through Facebook posts. Throughout the Spring we kept a very close eye on the Government’s, English Athletic’s’ (EA) and related sports body guidelines. These were initially clear that running in groups wouldn’t be taking place for some time; however the update on the 3rd July 2020 enabled small groups of up to six to start running with appropriate social distancing and risk assessments, and greater numbers permissible in ‘COVID Secure Environments’. At this stage the Committee took the view that the priority should be a return to track running, as this could be made ‘COVID Secure’ in a way that running on potentially busy town paths and streets couldn’t. We were highly conscious of maintaining safety for members and particularly for the wider public. Hence, Jan Cook and myself were appointed the Club’s COVID Coordinators (as required by EA), and as soon as the London Road Track reopened, we were prepared with our approved risk assessments and guidance. We were able to offer a trial Thursday night session on the very first week that the track was available. Particular thanks goes to Thomas Vaughan for his amazing work in setting up a brand new bespoke booking system in super quick time. Thursday night track sessions have now been running successfully since 30th July. If you haven’t been able


to get to these sessions they are really fun but we make great efforts to maintain social distancing and encouraging feedback on how we can make these even safer. With our track numbers limited to 30 to ensure safety we still had a strong desire to offer more running opportunities for our members; however it was clear that we couldn’t have large groups starting in the Quarry where the environment cannot be made adequately safe for runners and the general public. However, by considering alternative start locations, small groups, potentially staggered start times and carefully chosen wide routes with few pedestrians and good sightlines, we have developed a new model for club road running. We are delighted to announce a trial of the first small group sessions on Monday evenings and Thursday day times starting in mid September. Thorough risk assessments have been undertaken and these will be further informed by the trial. We hope that we can expand to offer safely more sessions and routes as soon as possible. In the meantime we are also trialling a further track night on a Tuesday due to the popularity of the current sessions. We have seen families and communities respond so very differently to the pandemic and our runners have been no different - many have continued running and set up small informal networks. At the same time many have found it really hard to keep their motivation and running going when faced with the challenges that lockdown has brought. We are really conscious of this and keen to get the Shufflers out running again but will only do this when it is safe to do so and with careful measures in place. Do let us know what else we can do to help you as we try to meet these challenges. John Short on behalf of the Shufflers Committee

Trail Runs for Muscular Dystrophy In February, at the AGM, I was honoured to be elected to be your President which has given me the opportunity to raise awareness of Muscular Dystrophy. In February, at the AGM, I was honoured to be elected to be your President which has given me the opportunity to raise awareness of Muscular Dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy is one of the hereditary diseases that everyone has heard of but few know much about. I didn’t until one of my grandsons was diagnosed with it about three years ago. It is a muscle-wasting disease which only affects boys but, as it progresses, it will eventually cause all his muscles to fail, including those essential to life. So, to raise money for research, I proposed to lead some trail runs using my intimate knowledge of the local paths and tracks. I was planning to commence in March but, as we all know, everything was stopped by Coronavirus. As lockdown started to ease I was anxious to get started as soon as possible. I approached the committee and, whilst they were supportive their priority was, quite rightly, to get the club activities restarted; so It was agreed that I would take responsibility myself. To ensure that I am acting within the covid regulations, I am taking guidance direct from government website and the risk assessment from The Ramblers Association whose group walks are directly comparable. They are currently taking groups of up to thirty, whereas I am restricting numbers to single figures to provide a safer and better experience. I finally got going in August as lockdown eased. I now plan to run them regularly. Each one will be entirely different and from a different starting point. Ruairi is now six and attends normal school and rides his bike (only on the flat and gets tired easily) but when he first started to try to walk, he was different;

he never crawled but always wanted someone to hold him up as he staggered about. When he was about 20 months he slipped at the swimming pool and broke his femur and spent nearly three weeks in traction. There then followed numerous trips to Birmingham and Manchester as well as to Oswestry and the local hospitals for tests to find what was wrong. Often we were told everything is looking good, BUT, there was always a ‘but’. Then, when he was three, he was diagnosed with Duchenne, the most common but also the most serious type of MD. He has just taken part in a drug trial through Manchester University and we are currently awaiting results. This unfortunately will not provide a cure, only less side effects. How much Ruairi realises about his condition we don’t know but as he gets older he will obviously become more aware. At his recent birthday party I overheard him say to his older cousin “HOW DO YOU JUMP FRANK”. Something we all take for granted. So difficult!!

To get full details and to join one of my trail runs you will need to get in contact with me, e-mail If there is a demand, I am quite happy to lead a group specifically for slower runners. I am looking for a donation of £10 per run to MD. Also if you maybe aren’t able to come on the trail runs and you would like to make a donation please go to the link: Alan Morris 5

Still Running at 75+ Those of us of a certain vintage may recall, albeit fleetingly, the 1967 film ‘The Dirty Dozen’, starring such Hollywood luminaries as Lee Marvin, Telly Savalas, Charles Bronson and Donald Sutherland. This group of military sociopaths earned their moniker when, as a result of persistent insubordination, all of their washing and shaving kits were withheld. They eventually went on to complete their pre-D-Day mission with only one survivor. Fast forward to the present where the Shropshire Shufflers has its very own ‘Slightly Scruffy Dozen’ (SSD). There are no known sociopaths in the group and all seem to have access to modern-day washing facilities! The SSD are united by two factors viz a love of running and a 75+ year profile. As part of my research for this article I invited each of them to complete a simple questionnaire along the lines of ‘How long have you been running’ and ‘What advice would you give your younger self?’. Analysis of the replies showed that the vast majority of the SSD have been running for at least 35 years. As someone who is in the early stages of my fifth year, I was very impressed. The range of runs and venues was equally eye-opening: Marathons in London, Manchester, Paris and New York with ½ Marathons (San Francisco) and 10Ks sprinkled over the globe. All of the above begs the question – why keep running? You won’t be surprised to learn that enjoyment and camaraderie feature heavily, with a 6

love of competition not far behind. One particular reply caught my attention; ‘Nobody told me to stop’. There was also a high degree of commonality in the advice given to the younger self viz ‘If you haven’t already started, get some running shoes and go!’. Oh how I wish I had listened all those years ago! This got me thinking about the main character in one of my favourite novels ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ – a World War 1 tale of the German soldier, Peter Baumer who, towards the end of the novel, is killed by a sniper. The sniper angle linked me to a poem written by very young army officer, Charles Hamilton Sorley, when he was 19. The poem is called ‘The Song of the Ungirt Runner’. Like the fictional Peter Baumer, Sorley was killed by sniper fire in 1915 when he was 20. For me the concluding lines of his poem sum up why we do what we do ‘and we run because we like it Through the broad bright land’ My particular thanks go to Alan Morris, Brian Morris, Iain Day, Ian Prior, Des Lee and Patrick Lewis for their insightful contributions. As the old saying goes ’I couldn’t have done it without you’. Mark Leahy

Shrewsbury NWRR (North West Relief Run) Since moving to Shrewsbury in the early 90s, one of my regular runs has been Shelton Rough going out to Bicton or Montford Bridge. It’s a great route, as very quickly you are out of the town and in the Shropshire countryside. I’m publishing this route now as it’s about to be changed by the coming of the North West Relief Road. A downside is that the part of route on Shelton Rough by the Water Tower will be under a road. An upside is that, when doing a longer run eg Leaton to Montford Bridge, it will be a lot safer, provided the promised cycle and footpaths happen.

The start is just past the petrol station on the Mount, but you can run off road from the Quarry. There are numerous short cuts (Spring Coppice) or extensions (muddy path to Montford Bridge) that you can make to this glorious run. My favourite time to do it is on a frosty winter’s morning. Graham Evans

London Marathon: To be, or not to be… Like thousands of others this year I have been on an emotional rollercoaster that is commonly known as The London Marathon. I have tried for several years to get into the marathon via the usual open ballot but singularly failed to do so. I was starting to take it personally!! The upside though is that I’ve accumulated some pretty decent training gear as a result. So not all bad. This year I decided to try a different route and enter running for a charity that is important to me (Brain Research UK). Miraculously, I managed to secure a place and when I heard the news that they wanted me to run for them, I was totally elated. Happy days – as the young folk say. Then reality sank in. What have I done? How the heck am I going to raise the amount of money I pledged? Am I being too ambitious? What if I find I can’t physically do it? What if I let the people down?


I’ll be honest and there were times early on when I woke up in the dead of night with that terrifying cold sweat. An amplified sense of responsibility and massive fear of failure. After a while though I managed to get most of the panic under control. This was mainly due to being part of such a wonderful running community here at Shufflers where there are people who’ve experienced all this uncertainly and so willing to help, guide and support. So, then comes along a massive spanner in the works. COVID19. Training for me was a bit erratic but generally I was on course to be ticking off the longer runs and our fickle weather seemed to be settling down. As the full nature of the virus was hitting home and lockdowns were imposed, it was becoming fairly obvious that mass participation events just weren’t going to happen. All of the 10k and Half races that I had lined up were cancelled and eventually the

decision came through that London wouldn’t take place in April. Disappointing obviously but totally necessary. So now what?

Now that the organisers have made a clear decision and laid out details of subsequent events, the light is definitely on at the end of the tunnel.

For me, all motivation flew out of the window. With no social running to be had and essentially being confined to barracks, apart from maybe a daily short run, any thoughts of the marathon evaporated.

My situation now is that Brain Research UK have transferred my entry to Oct 2021 so, as the X Factor winner Shayne Ward might say, “That’s My Goal” (would you believe that was 15 years ago!)

Gradually though, with some easing of restrictions and being able to have at least some limited social running, I started to sense that we are “game on” again!

…now where did I put that training schedule? Pete McGuinness

“When I found out the Virgin London Marathon 2020 was postponed/cancelled, my heart sank. After devoting so much of my time and effort, for it to be suddenly taken away was devastating to me. I wanted to prove not only to myself but to my children that if you put your mind to something you can achieve anything. I was that determined, I even trained in the storms and flooding. I spent an awful a lot of time away from my children for about a month, this I when I needed to do my longest runs which were set in miles, not time. I must admit, I do feel frustrated when this announcement came, as I’m going to have to go through all this training again, when I was only a few weeks away from tapering”. Lucy Bridges

‘Lucy successfully completed the virtual London Marathon on Sunday October 4. Great job Lucy.’


I’m a Virtual Runner! Towards the end of 2014 I used to regularly walk around Attingham Park, trying to get faster each time. I couldn’t run 100 metres then, but soon found that the only way to beat my previous time was to jog a little. The jogging seemed to happen more and more and at one point I thought I’m virtually a runner! That was the start of my running journey. Soon afterwards I ran the 5k Race for Life. I could hardly believe it!

I entered another challenge honouring the NHS. I had to set myself a target, any target, and claim the medal when it was achieved. I entered, committing to do PE with Joe Wicks every day. I didn’t realise he was going to continue well into July! But I did it, and got the medal. Again it was fun, but I learned to ‘dig deep’ and do the work even if I didn’t feel like it.

I’m not fast but I love races. I love the excitement of waking up on a Sunday morning knowing I have a race to go to. I love the pre-race atmosphere and the chat with other runners as we line up for the start. I enjoy the run (mostly) and I love that moment when the finish line is in sight. Possibly best of all, I love the medal. It makes me feel I actually am a runner. This year I had entered many races, including two international half marathons, but then they were all postponed. I missed the exercise but perhaps even more I missed the buzz and the bling. I started entering virtual races…

I entered the Dominic Cummings challenge to run 30 miles in two weeks. The reward was a medal that looked like an eye test! It was a fun challenge to enter and it got me running regularly. Since then I’ve got a medal for taking 3.5 million steps, and for walking a half marathon. I’ve nearly walked virtually from Lands End to John O’Groats and I’ve entered the virtual London Marathon among other races. I’m also building up my collection of bling!

The first, in support of the NHS, had to be run in your own garden, so I did 50 laps of mine. To make it memorable, I searched through all my running t-shirts putting together a rainbow of colours, changing my top every 7 laps. It was fun and I felt I was doing something to help.


So, why do it? Entering a race motivates me and I love it when the medal arrives. I prefer real challenges; an easily obtained medal doesn’t mean as much. I enjoy races that have a fun element as well as real meaning. Completing virtual challenges is difficult because there’s no atmosphere, no other runners to chat to and no finish line. But they’re helping me to keep fit both physically and mentally and, instead of thinking I’m virtually a runner, I can now say I’m a virtual runner! Pam O’Carroll

Where there’s a runner there’s hope

Hope Hope Hope Hope

runs runs runs runs

in the light in the dark through the fields through the park

Hope turns its eyes To the trees and the sky And wonders at nature With a gleam in its eye

Hope plans a route Hope checks the clock Hope ties-up its trainers And pulls up its socks

Hope keeps its head up And follows the path Hope makes way for others Safely to pass

Hope straps on its watch And pulls on its vest Hope sets its sights On a personal best

Hope stops to chat Take care, see you soon Hope checks the mileage Then hits ‘Resume’

Hope goes out strong Settles into its stride Hope wears its race shirt With obvious pride

Hope thinks of all the races It has run in the past And those in the future That it hopes to run fast

Hope runs through the outskirts Hope runs through the town Across and over Around and down

Hope keeps on running Like an endless stream That feeds the belief And keeps the dream

Hope runs through the alley And up the lane Hope feels a twinge Hope runs through the pain

Alive in our hearts That the wondrous day When the wait will be over Is not far away

Hope checks the distance The cadence and pace Hope tries to tell itself That it’s not a race

Hope trains hard Whatever the weather Knowing that someday We’ll be back together

Hope makes a plan And just as soon forgets Hope runs too far But never regrets

Running in five, ten Fifteen and twenty Until we’re all out Running on empty

Hope sprints up a hill Ignoring the rain Hope catches its breath Then turns and goes again

Can we but hope? No, we can do more Because there is one thing Of which we can be sure

Hope greets the friends It’s sure to meet Every time it goes out And runs down the street

Where there is life There is hope, so they say And we will run together again One day

Hope waves through a windscreen A smile to brighten the day Hope turns the corner And then pulls away



COMPETITION! It is not just racing and training sessions which have fallen foul of the ‘Covid Cancel’ in 2020, the annual Dinner Dance is another which has been added to the long list of events postponed until 2021. In the spirit of the festive season, we thought we’d run a competition to help keep your training on track. Up and Running in Mardol, Shrewsbury, have very kindly offered a £30 voucher to be spent in their wonderful, well-stocked premises. Simply answer the following question to be in with a chance of winning the voucher. What is the world record for running a half marathon backwards? A. 2hrs 9 minutes B. 1hr 40 minutes C. 3hrs 2 minutes Please email your answer to: with ‘Shufflers Competition’ in the email subject. The correct answer will be picked at random after 1st December 2020 and the winner notified by email. No further club discount will be offered. The voucher is only available for use on full price items, not sale purchases. 12

Shropshire Shufflers During Lockdown


Virtual Challenge Reports Summer 2020 Virtual National Road Relays Forty-two Shufflers took part in the inaugural Virtual National Road Relay Championships, held between Saturday 4th and Wednesday 8th April. They were among 3,700 athletes around the country running a 5km course local to them, whilst using GPS tracking to record their times. Shufflers achieved a respectable 111th place in the men’s 12-stage event, with a cumulative time of 4 hours, 1 minute and 9 seconds. In the women’s 6-stage event, Shropshire Shufflers ‘A’ stormed to an impressive 70th place in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 7 seconds, beating many established athletics clubs. The ‘B’ team clocked a time of 2 hours, 38 minutes and 10 seconds, as they came home in 126th place. A women’s 12-stage competition was also scored for the first time. Demonstrating the club’s strength in depth, the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams combined to achieve an excellent 25th place overall. The innovative event was free to enter, but raised over £7,500 for NHS charities through voluntary donations.

Stuart Smith: Triathlon Polska 2020 14

Wendy Holm: 200k in 2 Days

Virtual Challenges Shufflers have been keeping active during lockdown by taking on a series of virtual running challenges. The first challenge took place between Monday 13th and Sunday 19th April. A team of 124 Shufflers covered more than 2,000 miles during the week as we smashed our target of travelling the 874 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The biggest contribution came from Wendy Holm, who ran an amazing 74 miles as a continuous 24-hour treadmill challenge! The plucky Shufflers continued to excel in the next challenge viz to ascend the 29,000 feet of Mount Everest. Taking inspiration from Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, we were invited to head for the hills and virtually climb the world’s highest peak. Around 70 club members took part in the challenge between Monday 4th and Sunday 10th May. Our cumulative elevation gain over the seven days was 60,560 feet (18,459 metres) which is more than Everest and K2 put together! Individual accolades went to Martin Streeter (gained 1,127m / 3,698ft) and Helen Crook (gained 878m / 2,879ft), but above all it was a fantastic team effort. The next challenge was extended to two weeks, as Shufflers ran coast to coast across the USA. Starting in New York on Monday 25th May, we aimed to reach our destination of Los Angeles by Sunday 7th June. At the end of day 12, we were a little behind our target pace with over 700 miles still to go. However, a magnificent final push saw us reach and exceed our target of 3,107 miles. Club members recorded more than 570 individual activities towards the final total of 3,495 miles. On Sunday 2nd August we embarked on our biggest and most ambitious challenge yet; a circumnavigation of the globe inspired by Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. We are emulating the route used by Mark Beaumont, the Scottish cyclist who holds the record for the fastest trip around the world by bicycle. He completed the 18,032 mile cycle ride in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes in 2017. Beaumont’s route started and finished in Paris, and

passed through Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US. As of Sunday 13th September we had covered a total of 4,695 miles or 7,512km and had nearly completed our long run through Siberia. Luckily we were running through this area in September when the average temperature is 8 degrees Celsius; in January it is minus 21 degrees! Finally, the Attingham Park Relays have gone virtual for 2020. Teams consist of three participants, each completing a two mile run, jog or walk over any terrain or course. Entrants have until 30th September to complete the distance and upload their times online. Each finisher receives a bespoke medal, and all profits go to the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund. As of early September, 85 teams and more than 250 runners had entered the competition. Results for each category can be downloaded from the Attingham Park Relays Facebook page. Thank you to the committee members involved in organising these challenges, and well done to everyone who took part.

Race Reports Well done to the following Shufflers who have competed in races since the return to competition in August. Stuart Smith completed the Triathlon Polska, finishing 16th in a time of 10 hours 28 minutes. In the final leg Stu ran an excellent marathon time of 3 hours 39 minutes, made even more impressive by having swum 3.8km and cycled 180km immediately beforehand! Philip Jones ran in the Mid-Cheshire 5k, finishing 15th in the Over 40 age category. Congratulations Phil on a new VM40 club record of 16 minutes 31 seconds. Wayne Millard took part in the Severn Bridge 10k Time Trial. He finished 10th in the Over 55 age group, with a time of 46 minutes 11 seconds. Thomas Vaughan


Trail Running / Shuffling Last year I decided to mark a birthday that is generally considered a milestone, with a challenge I wouldn’t forget!

It all started when I was scaling the heights of Pen Y Fan, in snowy January. On our way we noticed a number of people passing us with race bibs. We soon found out what the event was, when we were applauded off the mountain along with the race contestants. It happened to be their finish line too and was the annual civilian Fan Dance. After curtsying and bowing our way across the finish line ;), I caught sight of a branded van that read Brutal Events. Now I don’t know if anyone else has ever read those words and thought SIGN ME UP, but for some reason on that day I did. A quick Google search later and my partner and I were booked on to the Midnight Mountain Marathon Brutal Bergen Race (don’t worry I did tell him before the event took place). I had only competed in two other trail events at the time, but I had loved every minute of them. I adored running through the surrounding natural beauty, testing myself against the elements, and honing the focus needed to navigate the terrain and stay on the trail. I worried less about timings and thought more about the satisfaction of making it over the finish line. This somehow led me to brave a trail half-marathon with weight. I turned up on the day with my ever-supportive parents and partner, a pack that weighed in at 12kg and the mind-set that I would 16

13 Miles + 12 Kilograms = 25 Years of Life give those 13 miles my best effort, and ultimately make my 25th birthday one to remember. No doubt it was, as never have I before wanted to turn back in a race. I felt so utterly drained in the first couple of miles that I couldn’t think of anything else (not even the dislodged weight in my spine). Just over half way I managed to battle my self-doubt into submission, no thanks to my partner who had taken to having non-breathless conversations with people running past in the un-weighted race. I managed to find my reserve, when another weighted runner appeared on the horizon, two miles from the finish line. I gave chase (shuffled after him) until a hill appeared. At this point a woman with a backpack passed me and I tried to re-pick up the pace but had nothing left. I crossed the finish line as third woman in (I think there were only 4 of us crazy enough to do it), and felt better when I saw that the guy I had been chasing was the first man in and the woman that passed me was second. While I am in no hurry to do a weighted run again, the exhilaration and sense of awe I feel, for both the landscape and my own body, (after) a trail run means I would recommend it to anyone: so who’s in? Priteni Horning

Poetry in (very slow) Motion Come for a run, it’ll be lots of fun. Were the words that my grandson spoke. It’s down by St Chad’s, with other grandads, you’ll all have a laugh and a joke With little to lose, I just had to choose what to wear on my feet and my top. An old pair of shoes with some mis-matching trews I found at our Charity Shop. So suitably attired, I was ready and fired to run faster than some two-legged mice. Imagine my dismay, the run was 5K, with a hill I had to climb twice! With Marshalls galore and a Race Director We ran down the slope past the Pool. Along by the river, one’s legs all a quiver I staggered along like a fool. Bearing left up the hill, I did try to fill my lungs with much needed air. There was none to be had, so I was extra glad for two Marshalls who cheered as a pair. Uplifted by cheers and a promise of beers(?), past Hercules so naked and proud. On towards the bridge, with its low-hanging ridge. which if hit, causes swearing aloud. Round the doc’s Column, wheezing like Gollum, being passed by runners galore. Most on their last lap, deserving a clap whilst we others set off for yet more. The rest was a blur, other grandads concur it was worth all the effort and strain. So thanks to our Joe, I had dipped my toe into something for which I now train! Mark Leahy


WHO’S WHO? In the last Shropshire Shuffle Bob Turner nominated Des Lee for this issue’s ‘Who’s Who?’! Des will then in turn nominate another shuffler and carry on the chain…

What made you join the Shufflers? My son Simon convinced me to give it a try and I became addicted. What’s your favourite run or race ever? I haven’t really got a favourite race; I just take it as it comes. What’s your biggest achievement in running? Finishing a run without tripping over counts as an achievement for me. I’ve taken to carrying bandages with me - joking. What are your future goals and aspirations? I am hoping to run on my 90th birthday; maybe I will be able, maybe not. Favourite running song? My favourite running song is Coldplay Viva la Vida (aka Death and all his friends) -live in Buenos Aires; the energy from the arena is very infectious. Best bit of kit or equipment? My favourite bit of kit is my new running shoes. They cost me the price of a small house and far too good to actually wear. Favourite post run food or drink? My favourite food is porridge, I eat mostly raw spinach and rocket for breakfast. If you could race anywhere in the world where would you go? They attract a huge number of runners to the park run in Durban Point in South Africa, so running there would be an interesting experience. If you could run alongside anyone dead or alive who would you choose?

Name: Desmond Lee Age: 82 Occupation: Retired


Rosie Swale Pope is a woman of immense courage who ran around the world over five years. She encountered many hardships; too many to list here. It would be an honour to meet her. Perhaps a little of her zest for life might rub off on me. Nominate the next Shuffler to be interviewed and your reason why: I nominate Kate Bentham; she is a run leader I run with and I would like to have her take.

Running with Music Solo running has become the norm for many over the past six months. Some people are happy to be accompanied by their own thoughts whilst they clock up the miles; others however are keen for an audible distraction.

Shuffler Recommendations

There are pros and cons to filling one’s lugholes whilst exercising.

Titanium by Sia – makes you feel invincible.

Louise Damen of cites that, whilst music cannot affect your physical performance, it can lift your mental state, distract you from sensations of fatigue and the sensation of effort and encourage a rhythm which leads to more efficiency. On the flip side, listening to music can prevent you from tuning into the sounds of your breathing and foot strike. Whether you’re consciously aware of it or not, these sounds help you to gauge your effort levels. Also many use a run as a distraction from technology, and to unplug oneself from a (phone) screen for an hour is in itself a rare treat.


The Frog Song (We all stand together) by Paul McCartney – a good song to help keep a steady pace and also I think you’ll find it is impossible not to sing along to. Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf – this has a solid beat to get your feet in time to. Ride on Time by Blackbox – one to carry you over the line. Feel it Still by Portugal. The Man – very upbeat. Podcasts

Nowadays we are able to listen to pretty much anything on demand. Music, podcasts and audio books are all at our fingertips now, so curating the perfect playlist has never been easier. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t have your music too loud - for obvious safety reasons if you are running on the roads. Also here is a cautionary tale as to why you should never have your headphones turned up too high in the gym. A friend admitted once that, whilst on the treadmill, he was listening to his music and realised that he needed to, ahem, pass gas. He let out the botty cough and thought that he’d got away with it, before realising that it was only his ears which were filled with the sound of music – all the other gym goers were training in relative silence, and the looks he got suggested that his Trump didn’t go unnoticed!

The Adam Buxton Podcast – sometimes funny, sometimes serious and fantastic guests. Sh**ged. Married. Annoyed by Chris & Rosemary Ramsey Grounded with Louis Theroux – a short series of ten interviews with absolutely fascinating guests. That Peter Crouch Podcast – one of the most popular podcasts in the UK! Caro Dalton


Garmin and Staying Safe Online Thursday 23rd July 2020 was just like any other day this year. My new Covid 19 normal day consisted of working from home, doing an exercise class, and going out for a run. But like many of you, I was potentially stuck with one problem. Garmin was down, and not working. I had a dilemma; if I went for a run and it didn’t sync to Strava via Garmin. How would anyone know?

Does your mobile phone/laptop/tablet/device/ notebook/watch have the latest software updated on it? 1. Companies such as Apple, Samsung and Microsoft tend to release software/firmware updates proactively, whereas Garmin only tend to update the latest software when enough people complain about it (In my opinion). 2. Make sure your device is set to ‘automatically update’. If a company finds a security issue, they tend to release an update as soon as possible; this means your device will automatically download the software/firmware and update it.

I rebooted any device that was connected to these applications in the hope that it would ‘sync’. Alas nothing worked, there was nothing else to do but take to the social media platforms and complain that the thing, now attached to my wrist, was nothing more than a watch. I turned to my running family, who were all getting the same problem. It wasn’t me, it was an issue with Garmin. Garmin Connect updated with the words “Sorry, we’re down for maintenance. Check back shortly”. I work in Cyber Security, and it suddenly dawned on me that this is the standard response most organisations display when they have an issue. Although Garmin have resolved the issue, it got me thinking. This was a ‘Threat Actor’, who had taken advantage of Garmin, and we as users of electronic devices are just as vulnerable. So, I‘ve come up with some tips on how you can look after yourself online.


Garmin Connect Just to let everyone know; if you use a Garmin watch there’s a Shropshire Shufflers Group on Garmin Connect – which you can search for via the Groups tab on the main menu.

Passwords - Is your online banking password the same as your email password? 1. Try to avoid reusing the same password where possible. Threat actors know that people reuse passwords for most of their electronic devices and use electronic tools to spray commonly used passwords against the services we use. So, mix your password up a bit, by using a mixture of special characters and numbers. Avoid anything based on place of residence and birth year eg Shrewsbury80. 2. So how about something like this? Shrewsbury80 then becomes 5hr3w5bur!80

Finally emails and text (‘phishing’ and ‘smishing’), don’t click on the link in an email or text if you aren’t 100% sure about it. 1. This is how Threat Actors will attempt to get your username or password. 2. They will normally push you and say it’s urgent that you must click on the link now. They will play on you being unknowledgeable. Being on the internet doesn’t have to be scary; it’s about the simple steps you can take to protect your data. Debbie Armstrong

I’ve replaced the S with a 5, the e with a 3 and the y with an exclamation mark. Now that’s a lot more difficult to guess, and yet it’s still relevant to the person using it. 3. You could try this with your favourite song, and pick a line from the song. I’ll give you an example. Foo Fighters “Something from nothing” – Opening line is “Give me the flammable life, I’m cold as a match” Take the first letter of each word to make the basis of your password: 1. GMTFLICAAM 2. Make it case sensitive 3. GmTFLICaaM 4. Swap out a few letters for special characters and numbers, and your new password is as follows: 5. 6mT411c@@M

Strava Also we have a group on running Strava (running app & website connecting millions of runners & cyclists worldwide) which you can search for via the Explore menu. So why not join and see where other Shufflers are running. (and how well they are doing too!)

The Power of Recovery Every time you go running or do any other form of exercise that involves working towards a goal, we can call it training. Running goals are numerous and varied; they could include simply wanting to lose weight, run faster over 5km, be able to complete a half marathon or marathon or, at the other end of the scale, wanting to win an Olympic medal! It doesn’t matter what the goal is or what the standard of the athlete is, the training principles are exactly the same. If you want to reach your goal then knowing something about how training works will be an enormous help. If you do the same things week after week your body will soon get used to that level of activity and your fitness will stay the same. Sounds obvious but many people do the same couple of runs week after week and expect to become fitter and faster. What you need to do is build up what you do very gradually, give your body time to recover and adapt, and you will improve. It’s all in the recovery! Your body is amazing; if you exercise it will give you back more than you put in. Most of the adaptations that make you fitter and faster happen when you run gently or chatty, talking comfortably in full sentences. These adaptations actually take place, not during your run, but afterwards. As you sit enjoying your post run cup of tea and piece of cake after a slightly longer run than usual, your body is working to make sure that it is stronger and better prepared for the next time you run that distance. But your body will only make the adaptations if you give it enough time to rest and recover. Improving your running then is very simple. Do more, then rest and recover and your amazing body will adapt and become stronger. The physiologists call this supercompensation. You just need to know by how much to increase your training and how long it will take to recover, so that your body can adapt. This varies from person to person and, the longer you have been running, the quicker your recovery will be. 22

For an experienced athlete a gentle shorter run should take less than a day to recover from. A long run of two hours or more will take one day, as long as it is gentle enough. However, a hard and fast session on the track may take up to three days. For someone just starting out as a runner, a group run of an hour may take several days from which to recover. Many runners try to force improvement rather than allowing the correct recovery and giving themselves time to improve. If you increase your training too quickly and do not allow adequate recovery, you will start your next run in a tired state. You will find that when you do the same run with the same level of effort, it will feel harder. If again you do not allow enough recovery, your performance will drop again. Your fitness will drop even though you are training harder. When runners find that they are having to put more effort in on their runs and it all feels like hard work, they think they are losing fitness. They then think they need to train more. But actually, the opposite is true. They are losing fitness because they have not allowed their body to recover. Giving their body more recovery time would allow their fitness to soar. So how do you know when you are recovered and ready to run? Here is a little guide. You will be recovered and ready to run if you can answer yes to the following questions. Do you feel fresh and enthusiastic as you prepare to step out of the door to run? Does your body feel good with no muscle aches or twinges anywhere? Do you feel healthy and happy with life? Is your resting heart rate at its normal level for you? Did you get a good night’s sleep last night? As you run can you still answer yes to all the questions above? If not make the run that day an easy chatty one, or put your feet up and have a rest. Be patient knowing that the key to progress is all in the correct recovery time. For more information on how to improve as a runner contact Colin Lancaster

Alternative Running Tips When it comes to Race Day, Parkrun or even preparations for a Monday night Shuffle, everyone has their own tips and tricks for getting ready. Being far from qualified in dishing out any forms of advice, I turned to Dr Google and here are some of the more ‘alternative’ pieces of advice out there.

1. Wear darker, tighter clothing. This isn’t suitable for the dark winter months; however you don’t want to be the runner caught in the rain wearing a white t-shirt. It’s all sorts of see-through.. I’ll just leave that there. If you wear tighter clothing, it pulls sweat away from your body which prevents chaffing, blisters and issues with body temperature regulation.

2. Tie your key into your laces. If you don’t have any pockets in your short or leggings, then tie your house key into your shoe laces (a couple of loops down from the top perhaps)

3. Sports Bras are not storage spaces. You may not feel like wearing a fuel belt or something with pockets, but beware of storing things in your sports bra. You’d be surprised how quickly a gel can become a deadly weapon cutting you up and of course there are the race photos where you look like you are smuggling a weapon.

4. Do you struggle with motivation? Then sleep in your running clothes. ED: I am not sure about this one, but I am sure it would work for some….

5. Run naked. No, thankfully this doesn’t mean head out with all the jiggly bits on show. At least once a week go out without any technology. Focus on your pace and your breathing, instead of the numbers. Caro Dalton