Everyone welcome, runners and joggers!

After many comedic responses to the recent facebook posting by an as yet unknown member of Portsmouth Joggers, relating to our ‘lazily’ named Hundred Acres Summer XC, I wanted to set the record straight once and for all.

In 2012, I joined Portsmouth Joggers, having just begun running. I have to say, that they were welcoming, friendly, and inclusive, with running groups for every type and level of runner.

The club was going through a change, with an almost ‘mass’ resignation of the committee, with a new committee taking over. I wanted to make a contribution so joined the new committee.

If I had known then, what I know now, I would have opted just to continue enjoying my running and not become involved with committee’s and petty politics. Committees are a fundamental part of the club network, but committee members have to be volunteering to be so for the right reason, and not just to boost their ego’s.

My biggest mistake was to let personalities dictate what I felt about the club, and that, with hindsight, was a grave error! I left PJC, with very fond memories and some great friendships, that continue to this day. PJC got me running and for that I will always grateful.

At around this time, I started to organise a few local runs, primarily to assist the local Guide Dogs Fundraising and Support Group, with whom my wife was involved. I arranged the Twixmas 10k on the 27th December,  and was accused of going head to head with PJC’s Pub to Pub on the 28th. The P2P was a road race, and Twixmas was off road, and 350 runners made their own choice and ran Twixmas, with some making their own choice to run both races.

Over the years, Rural Running has been accused of copying race formats, and copying race names, as well as organising races on the same dates as PJC races.

I can state categorically, that when we organise a race, we have to consider a number of issues. Locaton, Distance, Type of Race, Terrain, and other local events.

It will always be the case that there are not enough weeks in the year to not have clashes, and there is always going to be the inevitable head to head. Most race organisers are polite, courteous and are able to request either a name change, or date change, and those requests are met!

PJC on the other hand, take the alternative course of action, by attacking! The recent FB thread included a statement from the original author of the post, saying that they had contacted me personally to request a name change. I challenge them to provide evidence of this! because they didn’t!

All our races, bar none, are supported by all the local clubs, with the exception of PJC, whose absence from our start lines, stand out like a sore thumb, with the exception of the few who continue to support us.

I would like to extend an offer to ANY member of PJC to run in any of our races, they are low key, friendly, and always well supported, with friendly, supportive marshals, and great medals.

Not only will ANY PJC member be made welcome, they can get discounted entry using the code pjc2018 when they enter via the www.ruralrunningevents.com website.

PJC will always hold a special place, regardless of who might or might not be running the club, and it is sad to let petty rivalries spoil the memories I have of being a member of their great club.

As I posted recently, only one person can tell you what races you should enter, and that is you!


It was Harry’s day!

First launched onto the diary a year ago, as the Fareham Creek 10k, the race was renamed as a salute to very brave young man, and a very supportive family.

The Harry St Ledger 10k, named after Harry, whose story has been the feature of many news items over the past months, proved to be a winner on a number of fronts. The race was a sell out, with 200 entrants, who turned out in their numbers, some dressed a superheroes, as a tribute to Spiderman loving Harry.

The race, run on the now well established Twixmas 10k course, along the Fareham Creek Trail, out to Cams Hall and back, was more challenging than usual, as temperatures rose towards the 22 degree mark, before the start at 10am.

Harry did us the honour of starting the race with his ‘air horn’ and remained at the finish line to cheer the runners home. The 5k race was won in 19:53 by Ross Wayne, a regular at Rural Running events, followed closely behind by Harry Sage, winner of the recent Ditcham Park 5k. First lady home in the 5k was Hayley Parker in 28:02.

In the 10k, first man home in a time of 37:16 was James Dean, with Portsmouth Jogger Catherine Metcalf taking the ladies title in 48:29. There was a great finish line atmosphere as all runners remained behind to cheer home the rest of the field.

Before the race, Andrea Maynard, of Portsmouth Joggers, and ever present at Rural Running events, was presented with a trophy for conquering the Rural Running ‘Everest Challenge’, climbing accumulated ascents of over 8000 metres in just 5 months.

The Fareham Creek 10k, in its third year, has become a favourite for local runners of all abilities and is always a sell out, despite its date clashing with the Purbrook Ladies 5 just going to prove that rather than argue about whose race was published first, its better to celebrate the fact that runners of all ages, and abilities, across the region have lots to chose from.

Next up on the calendar, is the Portchester Castle 10k on the 8th July, which once again, for the 3rd year is a sell out.

Future events include the Wickham Twilight 10k on the 20th July, the Wickham 10k on the 19th August, the Meon Valley Trail Half/10k/5k on the 16th September, the Wickham Torchlight 10k on the 12th October, the Bacon Roll Run on the 14th October, Remembrance 10k/5k on the 10th November, and the Twixmas 10k on the 30th December. More information on all these races can be found on www.ruralrunningevents.com

It was ‘Bonjour’ then ‘Au Revoir’

The idea of a group jaunt across the channel to run around rural France, was conceived about 5 minutes after Michelle and I arrived for a short break over 12 months ago. Forest View, in very rural Lower Normandy offered the ideal site at which to base ourselves and take in some of the beautiful scenery.

And so it proved! With 5 pre-erected, 4 man tents, and our 4 berth caravan, with a rather large awning, waiting for our guests, there was space for one very large tent, erected in record time by Tilli Brown, her husband Mark, and the kids Connor & Sasha. Our group was very soon bonding over a cold beer, and then an eye-opening 5k+, up into the forest and across some of the local trails and paths, taking in some stunning scenery. Bethany Adaway was awarded our runner of the day award for her grit and determination on the ‘undulating’ hills!

That evening, we all (26 of us) were treated to a 2 course ‘plat-du-jour- meal in the converted 300 year old barn now serving as a licensed restaurant, by our hosts Sarah & Peter Wilson, owners of Forest View. The overwhelming consensus was that the food, drink and atmosphere were great.

Saturday morning we all headed off to a local village called Mogan, to take part in our own little ‘pop up’ parkrun, in fact 6k, around a picturesque lake. Whilst we were running, some the full two laps, and others just the one, Michelle prepared a ‘continental breakfast’ feast of croissants, baguettes and pain aux chocolate, with coffee and fruit juice. It was the perfect setting and was very welcome! Chase was first home and was duly awarded the runner of the day award for Saturday.

The weather was changeable, to say the least, with some long spells of very hot sunshine and clear blue skies, interspersed with the most spectacular thunder storms with amazing lightning shows!

Our Sunday run was a 5k out to the local village of Dorceau, where the runners met up wit their families, apart from the missing men!, for a group picnic, by the riverside. Most, if not all the kids took advantage of the clean, shallow waters and took a paddle, with Sasha showing us all how to swallow dive into 10″ of water! A couple of brave runners, ran the 5k back, not wanting to miss out on the uninterrupted views, quiet country lanes, and marked out footpaths and trails.

That night, we all all met up for BBQ, again hosted by Sarah & Peter, with not a morsel left to be had! It was then games time, so starting with the shot putt, we moved swiftly on to  few rounds of welly wanging, with the main event being a spot of ‘husband and wife’ piggy back racing!! All great fun, and a spectacle for any locals that might have been passing.

The weekend was a great success, due in no small part to the people who joined us, and of course our hosts.

Our 2019 trip is already filling up. The dates are the 27th to 31st May for the family trip, and from the 20th to the 24th for the adults trip.

Michelle and I would like to thank everyone, adults and kids, who made the weekend so enjoyable.