UTC At The Races w/e 30th March

This week saw lots of UTC’ers out and about racing, with one club member even managing an international appearance.

Simon Thompson set himself the challenge of running the 80km in the Ecotrail de Paris. Sounds like the race preparations went well with a facebook comment of ‘I’m currently red wine loading’, and I think there may have been some mention of cheese and bread, but my French was never any good (Fromage avec les oeufs, les pain et les croissants ce matin)  Simon had a great race on a course that he described as Hillier than a French hilly thing, and came home in a very impressive time of 8 hours 6 mins 28 seconds. Tres bon Simon

We had a few members taking on the Coniston 14 – a tough undulating run around Coniston Water. Conditions were near perfect and some great performances were put in. Tom took great pride in setting a PB at the ripe old age of 30 (still young from where I am sitting), and apart from Darren loosing the feeling in his feet for a couple of miles and Cormac feeling ‘like a 74 year old’, everybody got round in one piece.

iain darren tom euan

Tom Southward 1:40:02 102nd, Iain Smith-Ward1:48:40 212nd, Euan Mckinnon 1:51:10 259th, Chris Clinch 1:57:59, Paul Managh 1:58:07 391st, Lee Beckett 2:01:33 470th, Darren Eccles 2:01:44 473rd, Cormac Murray 2:52:11 1019th. Nice to see some of the guys sporting the new ‘club colours’, and hopefully a bit of free advertising for the club to boot.


Iain Smith-Ward decided to back up the Coniston 14 run with the Wheelbase Spring Classic Cyclo Sportive the following day, which saw him cycling 52 miles from Staveley to Kirkby Lonsdale, Dent, Sedbergh and back (plus a couple of hills…) Iain came home in a very respectable time of 4hrs, and I thought it only fair not to mention the extra second that cost him a sub 4 hr ride………ooops!

Steve Mason, Paul McKenny and I competed in the Cumbrian Commotion Adventure Race in Grizedale Forest. The race is billed as ‘an action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled adventure journey for teams of three, where your group of weekend warriors will be challenged to complete an off-road, multi-terrain odyssey including trail running, mountain biking and kayak canoeing’. A bit of poetic license from the organisers I reckon, as it felt more like ‘a long hard hilly muddy slog round a bloody forest’

The team were under strict race strategy instructions from myself, as we sprinted from the gun for the first few hundred meters ‘to beat the crowd’ into the first bottle neck. Unfortunately we all spent the next 30 minutes or so trying to recover as the ‘the crowd’ came pouring past. Note to self – Ironmen can’t (and shouldn’t) sprint at any point during a race!!!No sooner had we settled into a decent rhythm and started to work our way through the field, Mase unfortunately got a puncture which cost us a few minutes. We soon got moving again, and again started working well and attacked a long technical downhill section with big smiles on our faces. Unfortunately the long technical downhill section wasn’t actually on the bloody bike route, as we had followed the run course signs in a blind downhill frenzy. The next 15 minutes were spent slowly pushing the bikes back up the hill we had just expertly raced down. The jury is still out on who took the wrong turn first, although Paul “not my fault” McKenny is currently taking no responsibility.We carried on regardless, and slowly but surely reeled in plenty of teams during the run section, but the less said about the kayak the better. Coming home in a well earned 3:01:50 for 29th place, we finished with smiles on our faces and are already planning team tactics for a top 10 place next year.


Paul Dewar amazingly didn’t compete this weekend, but was still out and about cycling and supporting at the C14 and Grizedale events. He has however got 4 marathons and the Keswick to Barrow lined up in the next couple of months………NUTTER!

Let us know what you are up to via facebook, website comments or email paddyhopkirk69@gmail.com

If anyone wants to send through race reports etc please do and I will endeavour to post some up



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