Category Archives: Fernblogger

Fernblogger-Blog for Brandon Fernhoppers Running Club

Lakenheath Library Quiz Night

Fernhoppers were out in force to support the Lakenheath Library Quiz Night on Friday evening.
Ten club members turned up to represent the club and support Jean who is a trustee of the library; so eleven Fernhoppers in total! We formed two teams, ‘The Wibblers’ and ‘The Wobblers’, naturally!
The Wibblers came out on top by a margin of one point, quite remarkably close over ten rounds of ten questions each.
Both teams did the club proud however finishing second and third respectively in a field of ten teams.
As Lyn(1) observed the outcome was of course inevitable “as the ‘wibbles’ always come before the ‘wobbles’!
Did I mention that our hen Squeak was named British Hen Welfare Trust hen of the month yesterday? You can see her in the banner on their homepage here. An egg-cellent day all round!:)

Club 5k Handicap

Well Ken has certainly found a good route between Mundford and West Tofts. It’s not entirely traffic free but it’s quiet and very scenic.
It has a bit of a hill but nothing to worry about, and it’s fairly straight with line of sight for at least half a mile, if not more. The next 5K is in four weeks, so try and make it if you can.
Don’t forget that the club 5k’s are now a club competition in their own right, with a trophy for the winner at the end of the year! See details here!

5K Time Trial Thursday 21st May

Please note that this weeks 5k handicap time trial will not be in either of the usual places but will instead be just outside Mundford.

View Larger Map

Coming from Brandon, take the 3rd exit from the Mundford roundabout, towards Thetford then turn IMMEDIATELY left towards West Tofts.

Coming from Thetford, turn right into the West Tofts road just before the Mundford roundabout (if lots of traffic go completely round the roundabout and follow directions above).

Coming down the Lynn Road, take the 2nd exit from the Mundford roundabout, towards Thetford then turn IMMEDIATELY left towards West Tofts.

Go about 400m passing the two houses on the left. This is the start.

Drive another 400m to forestry fire road 38 on the right and park in the wide entrance – not blocking access please.

Warm up on the way back to the start.

First, slowest, runner away at 6:30pm

Lynn’s London Marathon

Lynn Gilyatt at London Marathon 2015
Lynn Gilyatt at London Marathon 2015

Massive congratulations to Lynn Gilyatt who completed the London Marathon for the Fernhoppers on Sunday 26th in a time of 6:27:18!

She  really epitomised the spirit of the club with a tenacious approach to her training and the race itself.  In short she short did us proud!

More pics of our day out supporting her when I get some time later in the week.

Globehopping in the USA

In the same way your local pub football team dreams of playing at Wembley or the ladies at the village tennis club would jump at the chance of playing at Wimbledon us runners have iconic places that we would run. There’s the big ones like London and New York and then there’s the places that just appeal and we run just because they are there.

Paul on Golden Gate Bridge
Paul runs across the Golden gate Bridge in San Francisco

I recently went to America and took my running kit as usual. First stop San Francisco provided me with my first challenge. Everybody has seen the Golden Gate Bridge on the TV and when I found out there was a footpath the length of it I knew I wanted to run over it. So kit on and family in tow we grabbed a cab to the visitor centre. We walked up to the start of the path, I set my watch and was off. It was crowded literally hundreds of people taking selfies and just wandering along. Surprisingly there were also dozens of other runners all doing the same as me, The stretch over water is about 1.3 miles so I ran from the south to the north and back again. A total of just under 3 miles.

My next choice of run could not be more different. A place very isolated, a place where you are advised to register if you leave the safety of the hotel, a place that holds the record for the highest ever temperature any where on earth. Average rainfall is less than 2″ a year. The thermometer often rises above 120f but on the day of my visit it was a”cool” 80 degrees at 9.00 AM. Located at almost 300ft below sea level very little grows, water holes and lakes are just salt flats. The place I chose for my second run was in the desert, in fact it was in Death Valley.

We stayed in a town called Furnace Creek, with a population made up of 16 Native Americans and 8 others. It really is remote but because of a spring it has a golf course, a petrol station and a visitor centre.

Paul runs in Death Valley
Paul in Death Valley

At home running at 80 degrees does not pose a real problem, however I heeded the advice of the locals in the hotel that the very warm wind dries you as quick as you sweat and that you quickly become dehydrated. I set off ensuring someone knew where I was going and just ran along the road for half a mile, turned around and ran back. It didn’t seem too hot and I felt I had done the mile with ease. In fact I felt a bit of a slacker really when you consider every July a few select runners compete in the 135 mile Badwater Ultra that starts nearby. Upon reflection as I sit in my “I ran Death Valley” T-shirt I am pleased with my run, yes I only ran the mile and it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. I could have gone further, but more importantly I didn’t cause a major incident by biting off more that I can chew.

AGM 2015

Fernhoppers logoFor those members who weren’t able to get to the recent AGM you may be unaware that a number of our officers stood down after giving several years sterling service.

It seems wrong to single anybody out, but it is hard not to give special mention to our outgoing chair Martin. He offered himself as chair and race director for the Wibbly Wobbly simultaneously a few years ago when, I think it would be fair to say, morale was pretty low and serious thought was given to ceasing to be a club at all, and letting the races fold with it. Martin saw the folly of this, and stepped into the breach, and with his plan to relocate the Wibbly Wobbly to High Lodge has given an already great event a new lease of life. The club owes him much thanks and I’m delighted that whilst no longer chair, he will still be a crucial part of the Wibbly Wobbly. Paul Meader steps up from vice-chair into the role of Chair.

Sandra Cooper also stood down as Treasurer, having taken over when club stalwarts Sally & Roger Dormer left for pastures new a few years ago. Treasurer is one of those thankless jobs which goes largely unnoticed until it goes wrong, or someone doesn’t want to do it any more. Sandra has been competence and efficiency personified and has also answered my stupid questions at the AGM with good humour. I’m sure we’re all very grateful to her for all the work she has done. Helene Grandison has agreed to take over.

Ken Rooke stood down as club captain after three years in the role. Ken took on the running of the club championship (which Steve Morley had done so much to establish), and has always tried to refresh the championship each year and keep us all interested and keen to enter races. Ken is one of those club members whom I know will continue to make the same contribution regardless of whether he is captain in name or not, and there can be no better testimony than it has taken, not one, but three people to replace him!

Lyn Goodwin, Martin and Kevin are taking on the running of the championship.

Fortunately Tracey has agreed to remain as secretary handling club affiliations and the London marathon place, whilst Lynn Gilyatt will take some of the load by handling memberships. Our thanks to Tracey for all her work and to Lynn for offering to come in and support on memberships.

Thanks to all our officers and committee members whose hard work make our club what it is!

“Perspiring Dreams”!

Steve Neal
Steve Neale steels himself for a final push to the line.

Three Fernhoppers travelled to Cambridge on the 8th March for the annual half marathon around the ‘city of perspiring dreams’!

Some fantastic times were achieved with each one of them achieving a personal best time.

The results were as follows:

  • Steve Neale 1:37:36
  • Lyn Goodwin 1:54:36
  • Kate Pollard 1:55:14

Congratulations to all three!