The Shropshire Shuffler SS2018

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Contents Stories Parkrun Tourists


Iron Man Epic Run


Beginners Group 2017


The Longest Marathon 40 by 40 Challenge

Contributors Nick Pollock

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Dave Webb John Milner Marc Perez Ben Norris

Who’s who?


Club Championship Awards


Annabel’s Award


London Brighton 87


Chris Clarke

Four Old Chairs


Martin Ottey

Junior Parkrun


Liz Hird

Laura Birch Niki Wilkinson Heather Fras Rick Garcia Annabel Hodgson Chris Davies Colin Williamson Darren Hall Emma Sheekey


Joe Brocklehurst Tony Welsby

Running Gear: New Season


Richard Bishop (cover image)

Running Technique



Coaches Corner


Graham Evans Helen Grime Lucy Grime

Magazine available online at:


CHAT FROM THE CHAIR Welcome to the new edition of the Shuffler Magazine and let me start by thanking the editorial team who have spent so much time putting it together. I’m sure you’ll find something to inspire you. The AGM in February marked the end of my second year as chair of our club, but it was also the point at which Chris Purcell and Linda Black stepped down from the committee. Both have given a great deal in support of the Shufflers, and I thank them for their services. Also raised at the AGM was the possibility of the club forming a junior section. It was agreed that the club would look into this, and the necessary research and planning is taking place. There is quite a bit of work to be done and, if it is to happen, we would need more people to step forward to support it. The coaches we currently have are fully occupied leading the adult runs. If you are interested in helping with any junior section we set-up, please do contact me. After the winter seems to have spoilt so many events, I for one am looking forward to a bumper summer of running. We’ve had more events cancelled this winter than I can remember for a long time, but many of them have been postponed until the summer so the event and race calendar will be bursting with choices. I know many club members will be looking forward to the Shrewsbury 10k when it eventually takes place in July. If that one doesn’t take your fancy, there are a myriad of others to choose from; long or short, road or trail. Of course, the most important event in the running calendar is in May, when the club’s own relays take place at Attingham. It’s always a sellout but if you can’t run, we need lots of marshals to help Liz and her team keep the event as successful as it’s always been. One winter event which survived the weather was the Shropshire Cross Country Championships – and it was hardly even muddy! The championships turned out very successfully for the club. More club members than ever before took part and we collected a lot of medals. With so many runners, we had both muster competitions pretty much sewn up from the start, but the senior men’s team collecting Bronze was really pleasing. The senior ladies and veteran men went even better, both winning their events. The lady’s trophy hasn’t made its way to us (misplaced by a previous winner), but the Shuffler name will be appearing on the senior men’s trophy for the first time. It was a fantastic achievement by all who took part. 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 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 Chairman

Parkrun Tourists

Dave Webb and John Milner The 5km timed event that takes place in The Quarry on Saturday mornings is a great way to start the weekend. However, some of you may not know that you can go and take part in a parkrun in other places too. What started off in 2004 with 13 people in a park in London has grown over the last 15 years and now takes place in over 500 locations within the UK and a further 700+ locations in 15 other countries. And what name is given to a parkrunner who has completed a parkrun in multiple locations…a tourist! Over the last couple of years we have spent some of our Saturday mornings travelling to different towns and cities to take part at parkrun events across the U.K.. It is a great way to explore the country, a great workout in some beautiful locations, and also has a large social aspect to it too.

have also been on the road at a very early hour on numerous occasions which has meant that we have seen the sun come up. Always a welcome sight! There are currently only three parkrun events in Shropshire and in comparison, there are more than 50 parkrun events in Greater London, 28 in Wales, and 43 in Yorkshire and the Humber. This means that to keep going to different ones we have had to get up extra early to make it to the start line for 9am! However, one of the great things about the parkrun barcode system is that it doesn’t matter which parkrun you do; your results page shows all of your runs including the completed date, your finishing position and the time it took to complete the course. Also, competing in other parkruns all count in the quest to reach your milestone t-shirts! It also doesn’t matter how long it takes to complete the course either, I walked an event last year when I had

We have met some other tourists on our travels who have been at the same place as us on more than one occasion... what are the chances!? At Wilmslow recently the volunteers and Council staff cleared the snow and a fallen tree from the course on the Friday so that the event could go ahead. They let us have some logs for Dave’s log burner as a souvenir! We

Crewe: Dave is wearing his ‘Cow Cowl’ around his neck. An unofficial item of clothing to show that you have completed 20+ locations.

Wilmslow: The volunteers and Council staff did a great job to clear the course!


Dave’s Tourism Recommendation: Delamere, Wyre Forest, Crosby

Wilmslow: Some fellow tourists with logs for the fire!

an ankle injury and I also briefly stopped running at Preston to help a girl having an asthma attack before continuing again once she was receiving care. Every parkrun is different; some have hills, others are run on a flat course. Some consist of multiple laps while others are on grass and some on tarmac. We recently ran at Kettering and part of their course was on a floating wooden pontoon bridge! At Cheadle Hulme I was a little surprised when all of the volunteers were wearing wellington boots and some of the other runners had running spikes on. That remains the muddiest event that I have done!

John’s Tourism Recommendation: Eden Project, Fountains AbbeyPenrhyn To find out where parkrun events take place go to: We met Olympian Tom Bosworth. He walked Cannon Hill parkrun in Birmingham quicker than we ran it!

However what remains the same at each event is that the course is 5km long and only goes ahead because of the runners taking part and the volunteers who give up their time. We are very grateful of this! In addition to running at Shrewsbury parkrun 25 times, Dave has completed events ranging from Inverness in Scotland to Bois de Boulogne in Paris. All of the events that John has run have been within England and Wales. These included 16 in the North West, 6 in Wales, 2 in the South West and 42 at Shrewsbury. The question ‘Where we are going next Saturday?” has become a common phrase last year and will continue to do so as we aim to pursue our parkrun tourism journey! If anybody would like to join us one week then get in touch.


Iron Man Epic Run Crossing the bridge over the Seine and spying the Eiffel tower in the distance, despite the pouring rain, was incredible. Cycling solo from London to Paris last September was the culmination of a great deal of planning and training. Completing the 350-mile trip in just over three days added to the accomplishment. Carrying all my kit on my bike had meant 15 hour days in the saddle; stop, eat, sleep (hidden in woods by the roads) and carry on the next day. There, rather than turn around and head straight back as I had originally planned, I decided to treat myself to a hotel for two nights – luxury – hot running water and all you can eat breakfasts. This meant I could spend some time being a tourist (though a lycra-clad one). Jogging along the banks of the Seine, between Notre Dame and the Tower, it was easy to be swept up in the romance of the city. Maybe one day I could come back and complete the Paris Marathon and arrive via a slightly more conventional method. You may ask why this is in a runner’s magazine? Simple - without running, I would never have made this journey. At school, I was always one of the last picked in games. I was never a natural athlete and this carried on into my adult life. It was only in my mid-thirties that I discovered the pleasure of exercise, starting with short runs from the pool to Greyfriar’s Bridge while my daughter had swimming lessons. Only when I could finish that without needing CPR did I venture to a local running club. Shufflers gave me a routine, originally with Wednesday runs from 16

road race. My philosophy has changed from “I can’t” to “why not?”. When I read about the route following Hadrian’s Wall, I thought “why not?” And before too long I found myself jogging from east to west, camping near Sycamore Gap, meeting people spending a week walking it.

the Shirehall after work, and inspiring new people who encouraged me to push myself. And so the addiction began. 5k runs extended to 10, to half marathons and mud runs, obstacle races and marathons, to ultra runs across the South Downs. And even taking the Running Leadership course to be able to lead out groups. A few years before I would never have had the confidence in my abilities to even consider a short

The route from London to Paris started the same way; a mention on a website leading to finding an amazing adventure on two wheels. It has led me to paddling down the Severn, camping in a secret spot and listening to otters play in the dark; waking in a London Park with (somewhat surprised) badgers a few feet from my head and a buzzard eyeing me up when I emerged from a frost covered tent on a Welsh hillside last November. Running even set me on course to chase a cheese down a Gloucester hillside and snorkel through a chilly Welsh bog. Those first wheezing runs can lead to amazing places if you let them, meeting great people along the way and opening up incredible opportunities to see the world in a new way. Marc Perez

Poems by Ben Norris

Beginners Group 2017 “All runners, at one time or another, are beginners.” And so we began, one evening in May, some of us had run before and were returning to it, some of us had never run a mile before, all of us felt as though 10K was impossible but we were reassured that we’d all get there. We were introduced to hills, both the up and down bits (pretty handy in this town), steps, sprints, squats, power walks and the all-important stretches. It felt hard but each week we were rewarded with that feeling of achievement on the way home, the feeling that only comes when you take on something new and get through it, even when it feels so difficult you’re not sure you can keep going. The coaches, the brilliant coaches Graham, Martin, Chris and Carol, brought all their vast experience and just kept quietly encouraging and motivating even when we were at our most stubborn! We were definitely, at times, vocal with our complaints but I like to think we all still worked really hard every week. And over time we started getting a bit faster, and going a bit further, some of us developed a healthy competitive streak! We tried out track, we went on alternative runs (did someone mention chips and cake?!) we went along to the Wednesday Shirehall sessions and we started to make appearances at Park Run. We set up a Facebook group and got to know each other a little better, sharing tips and helping one another to keep going. And then the date for the 10K drew nearer and we started to feel a little anxious, we were worried about getting lost, or falling behind, or just not being able to make it, and still the coaches kept calmly 8

encouraging and reassuring. On the day, of course, we all did it! I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite so elated! Our smiles on the finish line showed we were all feeling the same, despite the aches and pains, it was a truly amazing feeling. A huge thank you to all the other Shufflers who turned up on the night and encouraged us along too, it really made all the difference. Are we real runners yet? All the motivational quotes say that if you’re running then you’re a real runner and of course you are but I still feel a bit new, a bit frustrated at times, there’s still a way to go and that’s not a bad thing, we all need goals. In my mind, being in a group is the perfect way to work on some of those goals, to make those improvements that I don’t think I’d ever manage on my own. I definitely felt unsure about joining a running club and I’m sure lots of people felt the same way, but I’m so glad that I went along and gave it a go. Our little Beginners (now New Improvers!) group has been amazing, we’re a top bunch and we’ve really helped each other along. We’re all looking forward to being future Improvers and to maybe getting involved in some races and bagging some more medals. Thank you to Graham, Martin, Chris and Carol who really bring along vast amounts of knowledge and experience to the Beginners group and put so much in to each session, we’re all massively grateful. Laura Birch


SHIZO KANAKURI - 1891 TO 1983 Here’s a story to make you think about your training regime, nutrition, sun cream, negative splits and perseverance. In 1967 a Japanese Olympian finished a marathon he had started over half a century earlier. In 1912 he ran the Olympic marathon in Stockholm along with 68 other runners. Due to the unexpectedly high temperatures, over half the runners failed to finish, most suffering from hyperthermia. Shizo collapsed at 30k was taken in by friendly Swedes, he woke up 24 hours later. It was another 4 days before he could start the arduous journey home. He was so embarrassed by his failure to finish that he didn’t tell the race officials. The officials reported him as missing to the police, this also became his official finishing classification. Shizo was still officially a ‘missing person’ when a Swedish reporter tracked him down in 1962. As a publicity stunt to raise money for the Swedish Olympic team for Mexico 1968, Swedish TV gave him the chance to finish the race in 1967. At the age of 76, he sprinted down the home straight to rapturous applause finishing in the astounding time of: 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes and 20.3 seconds On being awarded the world record for the slowest marathon ever, he said: ‘It was a long trip. Along the way, I got married, had six children and 10 grandchildren.’ Some facts: Name - Shizo Kanakuri​​AKA – ‘The master of the footrace’ Where - Sweden 1912 – 1967. ​Age when started – 21 finished at 76 Race preparation: Nutrition – No liquids except small doses of strychnine. Training - A run around the boat and a jog around the station at every stop during the 18 day journey from Japan to Sweden on boat and the Trans-Siberian express. Average pace for finish - 0, 00009 kilometres per hour. Other records held - 1911 - World 25 mile at 2 hours 32 minutes 45 seconds Other achievements: Shizo and sprinter Yahiko Mishima became the first Japanese Olympians. Shizo was also chosen for 1916 (cancelled), 1920(16th) and 1924(DNF) Olympics. He established the Hakone Ekiden relay marathon in 1920. The top prize was renamed in his honour in 2004. Shizo fared better than Portuguese runner Francisco Lázaro who died from the heat. He had covered his body in wax to stop sun burn. The next time you worry about your 6 or 7-hour marathon, just remember you’re quicker than an Olympian.



40 by 40 Challenge An update on our 40 by 40 challenge we set ourselves last year. Since the Autumn/Winter Shufflers magazine, we’ve completed three more half marathons. In September 2017 we ran the Great North Run. We never intended to race it but just enjoy the atmosphere of the world’s largest half marathon, which we did! We loved being part of this event and would love to run it again in the future. We ran it together and both came in at 1:52:19. Not too shabby considering the volume of people. Our last half marathon of 2017 was the Great Scottish Run in a very wet Glasgow. Despite the rain, there was lots of support and a good course. No late check out at our hotel meant changing in the stairwell afterwards much to the shock of the other guests! The rain and soggy underwear were soon forgotten after celebrating with a bottle of prosecco on the train home. We were both really pleased with our times (Niki – 1:45:41), Heather even came away with a PB of 1:40:48 which was amazing! One of the benefits of this challenge is discovering new places. Places we’ve never heard of or been to before.


2018 started with Farnborough half in late January. We both found it too early in the season to get sufficient training in, so we took it steady. Heather wasn’t feeling very well on the day so with a bit of gentle encouragement from Niki, we both crossed the finish line in one piece (Niki 1:53:06, Heather 1:53:10). The course was good, but it snowed near enough the entire race, brrrrr! We were grateful to be able to have a nice warm shower afterwards in our lovely hotel before treating ourselves to chips (seems to be becoming a bit of a post-race tradition!) The rest of the year is already planned…on writing our update we have Ironbridge half in a couple of weeks and then Uttoxeter half in May. Niki is doing Shrewsbury half for the first time in June, whereas Heather is having a break from Shrewsbury half having completed it three times before. Instead, Heather has signed up for Eastridge trail half for a bit of a change. The original plan was to complete Abersoch half together in September, but due to Niki’s summer holiday, Heather is running it on her own. Niki has signed up for Manchester half in October instead. The year will end with both of us completing the Vale of Clwyd half in December – could be another chilly one! We’re already looking ahead to our races for 2019… Niki Wilkinson & Heather Fras

WHO’S WHO? In the last Shropshire Shuffler Amy Doyle nominated David Webb for this issue’s ‘Who’s Who?’! David will then in turn nominate another shuffler and carry on the chain…

What made you join the Shufflers? I was originally a member at a local gym, but I was getting fed up with the constant change of class instructors and felt I wasn’t getting what I needed out of the exercise classes. I was talking to a guy who had heard about a group in Shrewsbury who went out on certain nights running in different ability groups and he advised me to give it a try. What’s your favourite run or race ever? There’s two for me, the first is the Great North Run where it’s just total spectator support the whole distance, with bands playing music situated on virtually every roundabout of the route. And the second has to be market Drayton 10k, again great support and the muchloved goodie bag with all those yoghurts. What’s your biggest achievement in running? Well I can honestly say if someone would have said to me that you will start running in your forties, I would have thought they had serious issues. But I turned up and made friends with a group of people who helped and coached me. I even managed to achieve something I would never have thought possible, and that was to run a marathon - that being the first Shrewsbury marathon in June 2013. Great thanks for this would have to go to Sarah Williams who was a coach with the Shufflers at that time. What are your future goals and aspirations? To carry on enjoying my running. I don’t really set myself targets as my school report always used to say, ‘Could do better’. Favourite running song? Has to be Insomnia by Faithless. Best bit of kit or equipment? The group of people I run with and my Garmin watch. Favourite post run food or drink? Drink is For Goodness Shakes recovery drink in ‘Superberry’ flavour, and a few Walkers liquorice toffees to follow. If you could race anywhere in the world where would you go? Has to be one for the future and it’s got to be the New York marathon.

Name: David Webb

If you could run alongside anyone dead or alive who would you choose?

Age: 58

This would have to be David Bedford, trouble is I would need a taxi to keep up with him.

Occupation: Plumber / Central Heating Engineer

Nominate the next Shuffler to be interviewed and your reason why:

Let’s keep it in the coach’s corner and I will nominate Ian Richards. 11

Club Championship Awards It seems like a long time ago now, but last November the prizes for the club championships were awarded. - Barrett Cup (Most Improved) Presented by Tony Welsby to Sarah Et - Dave Sutcliffe Shield (Beginners) Presented by Chris Wood to Caroline Rees - Ron Morgan Trophy (Senior Award) Presented by Ed Morris to Thomas Vaughn - Terry Campion Award (Vets) Presented by John Milner to Iain Day - Coaches Awards: - Presented by Nick Pollock to Ed Morris - Presented by Dave Webb / Amy Doyle to Louise Coss - Presented by Tony Welsby to Matthew Walley - Tudor Trophy (Most Outstanding Performance) Presented by Tony Welsby to Anna Iley, Ian Richards and Iain Day - Members Award (runner’s runner) Presented by Nick Pollock to Ian Ford - Keith Ivison Shield (Services to the Club) Presented by Chris Davis to Liz Hird - 2017 Club Championship Winners Presented by Rick Garcia: - Female Winner – Annabel Hodgson - Male Winner – Keith Silvester


New Club Record A new club record of 02:41:19 was set by Joe Phillips at the Manchester Marathon on 8th April 2018. Great running Joe.

At time of writing, these are the top 5 men and women in the championships in alphabetical order: - Claire Sproston - Heather Fras - Susan Bowes - Susan Vuli - Wendy Holm - Keith Silvester - Phil Jones - Richard Pepper - Stuart Smith - Thomas Vaughan Reading Anabelle’s comments about her surprise and delight at getting her award has certainly inspired me to look again at training methods and how to improve. Who knows, it could be you collecting an award this year at the dinner dance on Friday 23rd November 2018. Rick Garcia


Annabel’s Award When I was asked to write a few words about my recent award I wasn’t sure where to begin. It initially came as somewhat of a surprise when I was told that I’d won; I never thought of myself in the same league as recent recipients. Look at Nicola Davies, winner in 2014 with a mighty impressive parkrun of 18:31. She handed the award to Claire McCarthy, we all know how she runs! And what a lady our Gail was who won in 2016 – the current Club record holder over 5 miles in the 55 age group category. Hard acts to follow. I never set out to win the award, but I had intended to try my best to get a PB in as many distances as I could. When I joined the Shufflers eight years ago I ran with one of the improvers groups, only braving a move up into the intermediates after a few years. I never thought I could run particularly well and I was quite comfortable staying in the middle of the group. I haven’t changed the way I run over the years, but I have changed the way I train. Structured training with a mixture of track sessions and gentle slower running (sometimes six days a week) has helped me enormously. Many runners, as I previously did, head out of the door and go as hard as they can with little or no variation in pace. Short runs are good for recovery, slower paced runs of over 45 minutes will help build strength. And something in excess of 90 minutes will teach your body to improve glycogen storage. For me, running slowly today makes it more comfortable and enjoyable. And tomorrow, when I have to go out again it doesn’t seem such a chore.


Rick Garcia presenting Annabel with her Club Championship Winners Award

The Shropshire Cross Country Championships at Attingham last year was the first race which gave me my initial championship points. I managed a 5K PB at The Phoenix Flyer (the 2nd Sexarathon race), which added to my championship points total. The other two races which pushed me to the top were the Worcester City 10k, a nice fast and flat (albeit twisty in places) race through the city centre and Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon, which even in monsoon conditions endured last year topped up my points tally. There are other ladies in the Club who ran as well as me, or quicker than I did last year, but to my advantage our Club Championships takes into account the WAVA ratings. The World Association of Veteran Athletes (now known as World Masters Athletics) is the governing body for athletes over the age of 35 and uses a system called WAVA ratings to record your performance in any distance, which considers your age or gender. The higher the percentage given, the better the result. And so, to this year’s Championships. I might not be able to knock that lady off her podium, but I will continue to enjoy climbing as high as I can. Safe in the knowledge that when my next birthday comes, my target of 80% may get a bit closer. Who knows if I can hold on. Annabel Hodgson

London Brighton 87 In my 40’s, a friend and I foolishly entered The 53 mile long London to Brighton Run. So, on October 2nd 1987, we stood in the dark at 7.a.m. under Big Ben waiting to start running across Westminster Bridge. We thought that we could cope with the course but underestimated what it’s like to run across the South Downs as the profile did not look that intimidating on paper! Eventually, after what seemed a lifetime, we neared Brighton. We were the last two runners still going, as about 20 had dropped out along the way. We were even being followed by the broom wagon, which was full of runners who just wanted to go home, which put more pressure on us. Ron Hill, who was president of the London to Brighton Society, would join us for a couple of miles from time to time giving us much needed encouragement. Finally, we arrived at the Brighton Prom to be greeted by the site of people dismantling the finish line, as we were 12 minutes over the allowed time of 9 hours. We were told to go to the Brighton Pavilion where the awards were being given out and where we could have a shower after the run. On arrival at the Pavilion, we went to the changing rooms and stood under the showers. After a few minutes, we were amazed to see lots of fit looking naked people walking about, clearly oblivious of us under the shower. It turned out to be the Brighton Naturist’s club night in the swimming pool.

The picture shows us finishing the North Wales Marathon - I’m the good looking one on the left. Unfortunately, the photographer had cleared off by the time we got to Brighton, so no pictorial record exists. The moral of the story is obvious, “Make sure you finish on time!”, to avoid disappointment and an inferiority complex. Chris Clarke

Our embarrassment was compounded by an attack of marathon runners droop (a well-known technical term) when compared to the many club members in plain sight. Needless to say, we covered the shortfall with our towels and beat a hasty retreat.


Four Old Chairs

Chris Davies, Martin Ottey, Colin Williamson and Liz Hird

Noooo not that sort...

these ones!

It came to mind that the club has been going for some 37 years now, and has changed and grown over the years. The club has always been led by a variety Chair Persons and a committee since the beginnings in 1981. We realised that some of these chairs are still around and very active in the club so we decided to get together to have a reminisce about our time as Chair of the club, and how things had progressed over the years. Martin Ottey, one of the longest-serving members of the club at 32 years, a level three coach and a committee member for 18 years, took the Chair between 2000 and 2007. Up until about 10 years ago, during the winter months, the club met at Shrewsbury School Gym, where Martin would take circuit training for those who wanted to do some alternative training. Martin was also responsible for club kit – selling vests out of the back of his car on Mondays and Wednesdays, until very recently handing over this job. He has taken the beginners group since the 16

early days and goodness knows how many of these have passed the test of the club 10k in August every year. He also takes a group at the track since 2006. When asked what sort of Chair he would describe himself as he came up with ‘Electric Chair’. This was because during his tenure he had constant battles with the then BAF – going to meetings and trying to make things better for clubs like the Shufflers. Sometimes the meetings would become a bit fraught and the tension could become, well electrifying. The old British Athletics Federation was very much ‘Athletics’ minded and endurance/fun running clubs like the Shufflers were just not catered for in terms of a coaching qualification. Martin, along with coaches from other clubs, was very instrumental in getting the coaching qualification ‘Leader in Running and Walking’ off the ground, which is a far more suitable qualification for the type of club we are. At this point there were no emails, so the wheels moved very slowly. Martin very patiently kept badgering and making phone calls until this new qualification came out (first known as LIRF – Leader in Running Fitness). He promptly took a course and became a tutor to deliver the course himself. We have to say he is a great leader who has done so much for the club. Chris Davies is also a long-serving member of 28 years at the club and 17 years on the committee. Chris took the Chair between 1997 and 2000 and has been a coach for 26 years and is also a level 3 coach. Because of his love of cycling, as well as running, described himself as a ‘Wheel(s) Chair!’. Chris recalled his time on the committee and Chair as a time when the club was obviously much smaller. Everyone knew each other and the club’s members were always going off to races together. Coaches would go off to the Four Villages half marathon, Lake Vrnwy half, Llandudno 10 miles to name a few. Some of the very first ‘alternative’ runs were set up and Chris was very involved with some of the ‘mystery’ runs, where a coach would pick us up from the Shirehall and drop

us off at a point and we had to ‘find the pub’. One excellent run organised by Chris was along a canal path from somewhere near Oswestry, finishing at a pub in Llanymynech. It was also quite exciting as you never knew where you were going to end up. Chris still coaches most weeks, though currently injured, and is a very popular and experienced coach having led all groups from fast to kids! Chris was a brilliant Chair and meetings were always full of good banter because of his wicked sense of humour! The baton was passed on for a short while to Ron Ball (he was a high chair – very tall), before coming to Colin Williamson. Colin in his mind sees himself as a ‘Designer Plastic Chair’, slim-line and lightweight. However, in reality he thinks of himself as a reclining armchair! Colin was Chair between 2008 and 2011 and took a fell running coaching award to encourage more off-road and fell running in the club. He regularly took Monday night sessions throughout the year in Church Stretton and beyond, including winter runs. Colin brought a list for us with some interesting dates which had all of us stating, “Really that long ago?” It was in June 2004 that Colin set up the club website. In December 2005 we had 14 regular coaches and by February 2010 we had 35. In January 2006 there were 279 members (over 500 now) and in November 2006 the track sessions started at London Road. In May 2007 the Haughmond Handicap, organised by Alan Morris, had its first run. And in 2007 the very popular Walk/Jog group was created. Colin was also responsible for setting up the club championships and has only recently handed over that role. Club members may remember we also had chip butty nights from the Boathouse pub once a month after club on a Monday, a great opportunity for people to socialise. However, this ceased when the pub changed hands. Colin is still actively involved as the official photographer for Park Run and the Attingham Park Relays.

Finally the baby Chair – that’s me, Liz Hird. I didn’t tell them that’s what I was calling myself but I am much, much younger than them all, haha! I took over the Chair from Colin in February 2011 until February 2016. I joined Shufflers 25 years ago this year and became a club coach in 1997, taking all groups from the kid’s group which ran until 2010, up to the fast group. We realised between the four of us we have around 70 years coaching experience. I joined the committee and did club secretary for a while, then coaching co-ordinator and eventually Chair. My highlights are that I am very proud to have been the first ever lady Chair of the club and hope a few more will follow. I had a great committee to work with and we moved things on further with the club. A Facebook page for Shufflers – though I know not everyone’s taste it has become an important information tool. The club kit was revamped, and new vests introduced and of course, the Attingham Park Relays were started in 2014. This has been an incredible success and every year has been sold out so far, so I’m also very proud of that. My most memorable committee meeting was when someone suggested having a new club logo and getting rid of the club’s hairy feet and the words ‘fun running and jogging club’. I saw Martin’s face turn a shade of white, grey then red and he uttered the words “Over my dead body.” The subject was never mentioned again, and I hope it never will be. The hairy feet and fun running is what the club is all about and what we have nurtured and loved all these years. Let’s hope for the future the younger members coming through will continue with the success of the club and the legacy that previous Chairs and committees have built up over the years. Happy Shuffling everyone. Chris Davies, Martin Ottey, Colin Williamson and Liz Hird


Junior Parkrun

I watched and waited, and as Emily strode toward me, beaming smile and running effortlessly. How children manage to make it look so easy I will never understand. I cheered her over the finish line in what was her 3rd junior parkrun. She’d run it alone, for herself and for me. That was the moment. …If only… I looked around at all the parents, grandparents, children and volunteers. Everyone was smiling, laughing and high-fiving. What an amazing moment to witness. People from many differing backgrounds all coming together to have a fun time. Brilliant! …surely… These children, some as young as four, were able to complete the route unaccompanied thanks to the parents and friends of children making sure that they were all safe. It wasn’t a race, it was just a run for fun. Not just any run, but the baby sibling of the already successful parkrun. …could I… Telford, on that day, had given something to Shrewsbury. A gift that would blossom almost two years later on the 23rd February 2017. It hadn’t even 18

been born yet and I was already protective of it. Less than a week later, I was hot on the tails of Paul Bowes, who was responsible for the Shrewsbury parkrun. Who better to ask for advice than him? He mentioned that Nick and Hazel Pollock were also interested, but not much more had happened. I was keen to get things going and over the next couple of days, I found myself becoming responsible for something I’d never done before. Event Director sounds very impressive until you realise the work required to get an event like this off the ground. I needed a crack team of sporty, organised, passionate parents who wanted children to have the opportunity to run for themselves. Where could I look? Where else but the Shufflers. I press-ganged Nick, Hazel, Andrew, Kathryn and John. This was the CORE team and, after what seemed an eternity, we managed to move things along. Sourcing £3,000 of funding (thank you too for the donation, Shufflers), missing copies of paperwork and other such nonsense, we finally met with our ambassador to confirm the date for launch. On the day I gave my announcements in my usual over-the-top manner and watched with joy as the first bundle of children set off on the 2k course. There it was again…that moment Darren Hall

Over the past year, we have had 1,119children running at 47 events, giving a total of 11,638 km or 266 marathons. 174 volunteers made this possible by carrying out 1329 different roles.

Thanks to shufflers including Darren BEALE Scarlett BEALE

Visit for more information and how to donate to keep the event running.



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.


Running Gear The New Season With winter finally behind us, the longer days are here, now is the perfect time to breakout the new bright, light and bold running gear and stride into summer like the true athlete you are! From the top end of the shops right down to the lower end I have found three very popular suppliers to suit all budgets.

Asos - Running in raspberry with the new ASOS 4505 cropped jacket with hood. £42.00 Ref:1189537 Teamed up with the ASOS 4505 run legging with breathable mesh panel in red pink not to be missed! £28.00 Ref:1179087

Asos - If you are not in to your bright colours then ASOS also have these beautiful subtle leggings with compression panels which help improve performance and muscle alignment. £38.00 Ref:1194740


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.

Sweaty Betty - Primark - available in stores Sweat in style with these coordinated items and at this price you can afford that extra outfit! Vest £5, Crop-top £5, Leggings £8

I love this post run sweatshirt and judging by the last Shufflers Christmas do I think there are a lot of our fellow club runners who would too!! No pain no champagne sweatshirt £85.00 Ref: SB4181 Also love these muted union jack leggings too which would go perfectly with the champagne sweatshirt. £95.00 Ref: SB2135

Sweaty Betty - Practice for spring in pastel shades and sweat-wicking leggings in, pink and green or they do them in a zingy orange and blue for those wanting to be bold! Leggings £75.00 Ref SB1383B, Infinity Workout Bra £50.00 (medium support) Ref SB4085, Fast Track jacket in Iris £95.00 Ref SB4027

Emma Sheekey

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 Importance of Running Technique I’m going to start by asking you a question, when training for a marathon is high mileage or running technique more important? I would say they are just as important as each other, but most of us spend very little or no time at all practising running technique. I’m going to explain the importance of good running technique, hopefully this will help give you a better understanding of it’s impact. One thing to mention before I go on, there are plenty of good runners out there who don’t have the best technique. If you’ve run for years and picked up a few bad habits along the way, you’ll find your body has adapted to this. But even for these runners, by working on technique they’ll be able to run more efficiently, making them more economical runners.

Upper Body

Stance Phase Swing Phase



 Keep your elbows bent  Bring your hand to chin level  Keep your body straight

 Let your elbow straighten  Cross your arms  Keep your arms low  Over-rotate your body

 Keep your pelvis/body upright  Keep your hips level  Land under your body

 Lean forward  Let your opposite hip drop  Over stride

 Lift your heels above knee height  Keep your ankle dorsiflexed

 Focus on stepping forward  Reaching forward with your foot

One of the biggest things that makes us run more efficiently is spending less time on the ground. The longer your foot is in contact with the ground the more drag you get, this will be increased further if you land with your foot ahead of you. This can be improved by increasing your leg speed (cadence) and heel lift, and improving your landing technique. Cadence can be increased by developing and speeding up your arm action, this is because your arm movements are directly linked to your leg movements. Heel lift can be developed by working on specific exercises which improve glute and hamstring activation, and landing technique can be developed by using footwork and low plyometric exercises. When we relate running technique to injuries there is a very close link between the two. Over striding and landing with a heel strike is linked with anterior knee pain, ITB syndrome, and shin splints. Landing with a pointed foot will increase the load on the achilles tendon, which may lead to a tendonopathy. Too much hip drop in stance phase is linked to medial knee pain and tibial stress syndrome. I could go on but I think you get the point! Here’s the good news, by spending a bit of time developing your running technique you are less likely to get injured. So next time you lace up your trainers for a run, stop before you hit the road, spend a few minutes warming-up. Make sure your warm-up includes some technique drills, such as high heels, fast feet, and running arms, to help reinforce a good running technique. A really great way to start developing your running technique is to have a Gait Analysis. A Gait Analysis involves running on a treadmill whilst being recorded from multiple angles. We replay and analyse the recording in slow motion whilst freezing frames at specific points of interest. Your gait will be analysed throughout the session, highlighting any corrections that need to be made. This gives you a unique opportunity to see yourself in action. We support you in the process of transforming and optimising your gait to improve your performance and reduce injuries.

Joe Brocklehurst Sports Therapist BSc | | 01743 292 622 22

Special Special runner Special cake maker Special fund raiser Special woman Special friend We miss you Gail

Coaches Corner Running is very much a forward motion, however even though it is just a simple motion, we, as runners need to do a range of exercises to improve our running ability. Swimming, circuit training, cycling or spinning just to name a few. We can develop strength, that is muscular strength which is the ability of the body to exert force. Strength endurance is important to all events if it is functional strength. What I mean is that we don’t need to utilise strength training, such as powerlifters, as we don’t need to build muscle mass. As runners, we need strength endurance, which is the ability of the muscles to continue to exert force in the face of increasing fatigue, where a movement is repeated over a long period of time. So we need to improve strength endurance whether we run 5K, 10K, half marathons or marathons. Weight and resistant training will both develop strength. Without using gym machine weights, we can use free weights at home or dumbbells and kettle weights to improve upper body strength. We can also use our own body weight to improve strength; press ups, triceps dips using a chair, sit-ups, leg raise, chinnies, squats and squat jumps. You can make squat jumps harder by using one stair step and then build up then use two steps and so on. We can all do this at home in four to five minutes. Choose the exercises you want to use, then using 20 second bursts with 10 seconds recovery, then the next 20 second effort with 10 seconds recovery and so on for four to five minutes. This is a form of High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT. You may ask, what benefit do I get from strength training? If you strengthen your legs, core and upper body, you will get a longer stride, if your strike rate remains the same you will run quicker. Sounds simple. And it really is if you put in regular sessions, progressively making sessions each time a little harder. But it will not happen overnight, it takes time. Of course, you will need to keep your running going as well, preferably at least three times a week, and then you will really see progress. Tony Welsby 23