Superhero Fun Run May 2015

Superhero Fun Run May 2015

So why did we choose the Redway Runners Heroes for the Superhero Fun Run? – by Rachel and Matthew Harmon

Pretty much written by 7 year old Matthew:

The Redway Runners bring lots of people together in a big family.
They help people learn to run and help them get fitter and healthier.
They are always calling your name when you run. They encourage and support you to be really good. They want you to be the best you can be for you.
They are strong.
They have fun.
They sound like heroes to me.

On another note:
They are led by people who are the true Redway Runner Heroes. They give their time, experience and energy to everyone.

Chris Erridge

A Tale of Two Marathons by Chris Erridge (May 2015)

I ran my first marathon here in MK in 2014. I ran as an unaffiliated runner that day, coming in at 4:00:51. I know that that’s a pretty decent time for a first marathon, but I was still faintly disappointed. I’d missed a sub 4 time by just under a minute, which I was sure I could have found somewhere out on the course.

Yet perhaps the greater disappointment was the fact that I didn’t really enjoy it very much.

It had taken months of build-up and training to get me to that race, and as an experience, it just didn’t seem to validate that. I went out too fast, because I was ill disciplined, and got over excited, blowing up at somewhere around mile 13, and as a result, dragging myself through the second half of the marathon. I’ll never forget the place I went to in my mind those last few miles, where my entire personality had evaporated and I was just a moving bag of barely held together limbs, counting to eight in my head, again and again, just to get through it.

It was a thoroughly miserable experience on reflection. My family popped up at certain points to cheer me on; I remember how sad I was, because I was a shuffling, pained mess, and they deserved better than that. The finish was bittersweet. I was glad it was over, and couldn’t envision myself doing so again.

This year, I ran the Milton Keynes Marathon for the second time, same course. Same experience?

Night. And. Day.

Why? Two words, four syllables: Redway Runners.

This year, I ran as a member of Milton Keynes’ (in my eyes) pre-eminent running club, and boy, did that make a difference. The club met up for a group photo beforehand, with much joshing and backslapping, good-lucking. I immediately felt like I was part of something.

I crossed the start line with a smile, taking in all the other green shirts I could see around me. As I ran along, I saw club mates marshalling or green shirts on the sidelines calling out “Come on Chris! Go Redway! You can do it!” This was a marked contrast to the previous year; unless my family were there, I was mostly making my way accompanied by muted golf claps.

The club ran aid stations throughout the course, and at each one cheers, whoops, hollers and hi fives awaited me. My pace would leap up by thirty seconds per mile whenever I was near one, buoyed by the shouts of encouragement. On the ground, chalk messages were scrawled – GO REDWAY RUNNERS! YOU CAN DO IT!

On the course, I saw any number of club mates running too; we waved, smiled and cheered – even the ones I didn’t know, we saluted and supported each other, bound through the cord of communion that was our club colours.

This transformed my marathon experience. It made it the most tremendous fun. I had a huge smile on my face for much of the race. I was egging on the crowds as I ran through cheering points, playing it up, enjoying the occasion. Last year it was all I could do to keep moving forward.

Most importantly whenever my family, who were amazing in dotting themselves around the course, saw me this year they saw me running strong, with head held high. It was great.

The last few miles got a little tough, but the support never wavered. As I made my approach to the stadium, some RRs who had finished their races were gathered, medals round their necks, sat by the path to cheer on those coming in. They had finished – they would have been perfectly entitled to go home, enjoy some well earned R&R – but instead they were out clapping, seeing in other runners. An act of selflessness entirely reflective of the spirit of the club.

I made my way into the stadium, tired but importantly with high spirits. I crossed the line in 3:29:17, a huge PB of over half an hour, and did so with arms outstretched and a big smile on my face, the crowd cheering all the way.

On the day, being a part of Redway Runners made a huge difference; that much is beyond doubt. But I want to be clear; being part of the club had been helping me long before I lined up at the start line.

I was a leaner, faster, fitter, more strategic runner than May 2014, the result of innumerable evening runs, running along with runners more seasoned than I, and gaining valuable insight into the art of pacing and goal setting.

It was the result of seeing my club mates’ runs and stories popping up all over the Facebook page, or on my Strava account, giving me that inspiration to be a part of all the fun

It was the result of my newfound obsession with parkrun, which I’d only heard of from a club mate for the first time in August, and which has led to me driving hard to improve my 5K PB, week after week, with knock on effects for my pace over longer distances. Each week meeting and chatting with a sea of green shirts on the start area, new friends helping pace me in to rapidly improving times, helping me set the bar and push myself – something I would never, ever have done whilst running solo.

It was the result of a more pronounced and intimate knowledge of the MK redways, which was borne from my club runs, but also from an overall massively increased appetite and confidence to get out and go further, another characteristic endowed by being part of the club. By the time I lined up for the race, I’d run the bulk of the course multiple times, and that “homework” paid off, giving me the intel on when to push, hold, rest.

I could go on. But you get the picture. As a shy solo runner last year, I was doing ok, really. I got myself to the start, and I ran 26.2 miles. I got through it.

This year I had the time of my life. I didn’t endure it – I enjoyed it, and all that is wonderful about running can be found in that difference.

In 2015 a better runner arrived at that start line, and sailed over that finish line. A faster runner. A happier runner.

A Redway Runner.

Help for Heroes Bear by Alan McKinnon

Help for Heroes Bear by Alan McKinnon (May 2015)

Ok why did I do this? It started at last year’s MK Winter Half Marathon when after not getting the time I wanted (1:37 instead of a 1:35) I found after that I was on a real low, most of you that run will understand!

Anyway I made a promise to myself that I will never run another Marathon/half Marathon for me to get a time, instead I will do something different and challenging, as PB’s are history for me, 51st birthday next month.

So the first one was the MK festival 20 mile guiding Louise who is completely blind.

The week after was helping Emma to a PB time of 1:40 at Silverstone Half, taking a massive 4 minutes of her PB.

Then the full Marathon with Abi (Duracell Bunny) as she was doing her 7/7 Days! (I only did one with her)

So to Hero Bear, as I was booking the May half marathon about 6 weeks ago I thought to myself I should ask Mark the H4H (Help for Heroes) rep if there is anything he thinks I can do for the half that would help there charity? With a bit of a chuckle he replied “You can run in the Hero Bear costume?” Without even thinking, I am good at that, I said yes ok. Thinking to myself how hard can it be?

Mark said right I will send a request to HQ for the Bear costume to be here the week before the race, so that’s me I know what I am doing for the Half. At this time I had no idea what I was letting myself in for but with childlike naivety I started to prepare for this challenge by asking a friend Lisa if she wanted to run the half with me? Let me think about it was her reply.

Great start still never the less I just kept doing my running as often as possible out with RR on club runs and some with Lisa and solo runs. Eventually Lisa said yup let’s do it so did Sarah and Kerry. Great I had my team of helpers but still thinking I will just need them for a bit of motivation on the day, but the week before the race I went to collect the costume! OMG two things were apparent the instant I tried it on, first I could not see a thing out of it and second was that it was all so heavy but with no ventilation at all!

At this point and I will and have already said, if it not for Lisa Kerry and Sarah I would not have completed the course on the day.

Marathon day then, we all met at Lisa’s and got our self’s dressed ready (Some had more than other to put on!) But this is when I really started to get concerned about the lack of visibility as many other runners expect you to see them cut across you and presume you will just get out of their way, so I did let the girls know how worried I was about this and how little I could see. Their reply was typical “Don’t worry Mackaroo we will look after you” But said with a smirk.

Now with the Bears head on my head all I could see out of was the nose witch was a black foam mesh that looked down at about 20% so if someone was 5 feet in front of me I could just make out there backside but nothing to the sides up or down just this very hazy view through the nose.

So after all the photos we made our way to the start point with Lisa at the front Kerry to my left and Sarah to the right we set of, the girls were great shouting to other runners to give us room and moving people out the way, at this point I am still thinking, yes I got this no problem as we were moving at 9 min miles by the first mile and I could hear all the support from the crowds so all at this point was good, but then the first drama about mile 2, I had a camel back on with 3ltr of ice and water so thought drink time as by now the sweat was pouring out of me. Tube in my mouth and suck! Got nothing!! Suck some more still nothing! Suck like a Thai hooker on a bonus and still got nothing! Ok bin the camel back it’s now dead weight, so I asked Sarah and Kerry if they can give it to a young lad that comes to one of my clubs that was on the side of the road cheering us on. But unfortunately that was then the last time we saw Sarah and Kerry till very near the end.

Still Lisa was my rock and she just kept up the pace and kept almost every one clear of me but now I was starting to dehydrate and still a long way from the next water point, so she started shouting out as we ran if anyone had any water and luckily two runners handed their bottles to me (Whoever you were I am so grateful) as soon as I got both down me I started to sweat again, we then collected 2 bottles of water at the next water point and I got them inti me as well but by and mile 8 I was in trouble again! 2 things this time first the sun had come out and was shining onto the nose of the bear witch was now wet with sweat and breath so was dazzling me inside so all I could make out was two small pink stripes across Lisa’s arse when she kept to 5 feet in front any further or closer I lost all vision. Second was dehydrating again, thanks to Theresa Sholl Boreham who dived into her bag and gave us her own bottle of water to keep us going.

Mile 9 we collected more water and kept up the pace and by this time we were starting to overtake other runners and getting lots of encouragement from everywhere even other runners were cheering us on however I was starting to struggle a bit and feeling wobbly on my feet and thinking I can’t keep this pace so called to Lisa slow a little and she did well for about 100m lol but it was only because we had been climbing the hill towards mile 10 and I had no idea of any elevation on the whole run. Next thing was then coming into the lake area and that was just a nightmare as the path was so uneven and with not being able to see we had to stop so I could get even more water in me but then Sarah caught us back up. She asked if all ok and got a nod so of we went again but the bridges and that path were tough but we got out the lake area relatively unscathed, but I was now so exhausted it was only the constant encouragement from people cheering and Lisa keeping me going that I managed to keep running, as we came down past the KFC in the carpark my legs actually started to give way not helped by the speed bumps that I could not see but somehow I managed to keep them under me and just kept focusing on the two little pink stripes running in front of me, as we entered the stadium all I heard was this roar from the crowed, I thought I better put some effort in for them so started to sprint for the line or so I thought! My head was happy to do that at the end but my legs were having none of it! Still we got over the line in 2 hours and 1 second. Or should I say stumbled and collapsed over the line.

I don’t think I have ever been so exhausted or had to put so much into a run as I did on Monday. But it was so worth it remembering who for and why I was doing it!

I must say thanks to the 3 girls Kerry Sarah and especially Lisa thank you so much.

Redway Runners – I did not see many of you but I sure heard you all.

And to the race marshals and organisers, fantastic day thank you.

Sgt Mack.

Zero to Hero Programme 2015/16

Redway Runners are proud to announce the start of a new club initiative. The aim is to help “novice” runners become marathon runners. This will be a simple and flexible programme that will make the most of existing resources within the club. The project will be led by Doug Yabsley. Doug will be supported by Redway Runner coaches, run leads and, most importantly, the many club members that have trodden the same path over the years.

So, have the recent marathons whetted your appetite to pull on those running shoes and work your way up to a marathon? Are you excited by the idea that “it could be you” but not really sure where to start? Is there a special charity in your life that you would love to support through running a marathon? Well, if so, we can help and we want to help!

Everyone has busy lives. However, although this plan will be carefully structured to deliver you to the start line of the MK Marathon in May 2016, it will be flexible enough to fit into your own lifestyle. The Training Schedule will follow these stages:

To prepare you for a successful marathon race day, the plan will include a number of races:

We are now looking for people to join the programme in early June. There is no charge for joining. However, participants will be expected to pay for their own equipment (such as trainers, running gear and a GPS watch). There will also be race entry fees – we envisage at least 1 x 10K, 1 x Half Marathon, 1 x 20 mile & of course the “Graduation Marathon”.

We’re trying to keep things as simple as possible, and we’re keen to receive a wide range of applications, so we have kept the application criteria to a minimum:

• You must be available between June 2015 & next years MK Marathon which will be held in May 2016.
• You must be a “novice” runner. Applications are welcome from inexperienced Redway Runner members or non-members who are prepared to join the Redway Runners (RR).
• You must be local and available to train regularly as part of the RR club activities.
• You must be medically fit.
• You must be happy to be involved in RR and MK Marathon Public Relations & always ready to represent RR favourably.
• You must be happy to attend progress meetings, happy to interact with other members of your group and of course your mentors.
• Qualities that we need from you will include:
Facebook user; and
A sense of humour!

If you are interested in applying please send an e-mail to by Wednesday 25th May 2015 telling us in a couple of paragraphs why you would like to take part in this exciting project. If you have any questions please contact Douglas Yabsley directly either via Facebook or email to the aforementioned –

OU Relay 2015

We had 48 Redway Runners taking part as 12 teams of 4 in this year’s OU Relay on Wednesday 29 April. In total, 74 teams finished.

Thanks to some excellent running we managed to win all the age groups we had teams entered in.

Team Amsterdam came 2nd overall and won the 120-159 age group (Stuart Sullivan, Natasha Baker. Andrew Kirschner and Paul Clifford-Jones),
Team Berlin won the 160-199 age group (Simon Kirschner-Heavens, Gareth Snelson, Paul Coe and Sarah Lambert),
Team Palma won the 200-239 age group (Doug Yabsley, Jane Ritchie, Kevin Orchard and Maurice O’Connell) and
Team Budapest won the 240-279 age group (John Morle, Annie Hulley, Terry Down and Ian Stevens).

Well done to all who took part and hopefully everyone had a good time? A special thank you to Laura Dickinson and Rachel Harmon for stepping in as reserves at the last minute.

Thanks to Kevin Orchard for organising for the club.

OU Relay Apr 2015