“KEEP CALM love Black and Gold”

Author: Betty Gash

The Wolds Veteran Runners is a small club based in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds supporting master’s athletes of all abilities – formed in1988. 

There was obvious disappointment for members not able to take part in the usual local midweek road races between April and September, due to Coronavirus, so it was most welcomed for the chance to participate in virtual runs.  These organised locally by the club and race organisers plus nationally including the BMAF 5k virtual relays 14-20 June 2020. 

The members had their first taste of a virtual 5k the weekend 1/2/3 May by submitting a predicted time and trying to run near to that time or faster on any route! It was very successful, so the committee decided to organise virtual monthly events until actual races are up and running again.

The weekend 22/23/24th May, held the 1000-mile challenge charity event for ‘a Platform to Talk’ during Mental Health Awareness week.  Members were placed into teams of 10 and asked to run a 10 mile each over the long weekend.  Many exceeded the distance, and some ran over 2 days and even half marathons raising a fantastic amount of money and easily surpassing the 1000 mile challenge.   

The club has always supported the Master’s Relays event in Birmingham so encouraged members to give it a go with the BMAF 5k virtual relays!  Although for many the shorter distance is ‘way out of their comfort zone’ it was another challenge and to try and beat the 5k time set in May!  

51 Wolds Veteran Runners Club member entries for the BMAF 5k virtual relays.  From the 51 there were 39 who ran the May virtual 5k of which 24 achieved a faster time and some including a PB!  There were Facebook exchange conversations including enquiring which the best route is and advised to consider the weather conditions as it is known for the heavy breeze along the North Sea coastline! Unfortunately, some members could not take part due to injury and others times were down after a return from injury and one member having had a major operation in 2019.

Things were getting exciting but equally tense! There were varying routes chosen from a circular, out and back, round the block and the Cleethorpes AC 5k Promenade winter series route.  But must admit one member did run a ‘Point to Point’ route but to her credit her 2nd attempt was quicker and another failed to submit her time having struggled with the technology – the W45-54 A and B teams would certainly have been higher placed! There were between 1 and 3 attempts of the virtual 5k by dedicated members with a finishing time range from 17.50 to 36.31.

In all there were 13 complete teams and 3 individual runners.

M35-44, M45-54 A and B, M55-64, M65-74.

W35-44 A and B, W45-54 A, B and C, W55-64 A and B, W65-74.

It was tough, hard work, exhausting mentally and physically but everyone was so supportive of each other and the enthusiasm for taking part in the event shone through!  All members should be proud of their individual and team achievements. 

Wolds Veteran Runners Club may not currently have members at the elite end of master’s running but have had great success in the past with England selection and competing for Great Britain.  The club also has a member Lynne Higgins W65 who is UK ranked ‘All time’ at 5k set in 2019 – 20.02.  Lynne also holds W65 UK Number 1 spot at 10k.  2019 – 42.04 and 2020 – 42.40.

A selection of Facebook Quotes:

Bev Evison – W60.  The first member to run the virtual 5k on:

Bev (Above) “Bit the bullet”. (23.43)

Mike Benton –  M60     “Happy with that given the tendency to plod along these days.  Over a minute faster than the last Wolds Vets virtual 5k”. (26.48)

Mike (Above) Was over a minute faster than the last Wolds Vets virtual 5k. (26.48)

Rachel Portlock – W45.  “Still that elusive sub 21 evades me.  This is my first and last attempt for the F45 team ladies as I couldn’t put myself through the pain again!” (21.08).

Stephen Dring –  M50     “Had another go 18.17 happy with that”. 

Diane Pegg –  W50         Virtual 5k,  So no speed work for many months, then you suddenly find yourself trying to be faster along the prom …..that was hard work”.  (24.28)

Diane (above)“ BMAF virtual 5k 1st attempt (and maybe the last)”

Graham Colbeck –  M40       “Set out to try and do sub 23.00.  Well I did it; or at least it did me. 

Buzzing, new 5k PB of 22.35 too!”

Sarah Heinzman – W50      “First attempt at Virtual 5k relay F45 team done. Quite pleased with that I achieved my second fastest 5k. Will try again later in the week”.

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