Author Archives: Sam

Mixing with the Big Boys and Girls

The SEAA 12 and 6 Stage Road relays.

24th March 2019

The SEAA Men’s 12-stage and the Women’s 6-stage Road Relays returned to Stantonbury in Milton Keynes  on Sunday 24 March and it was great to see two teams from LBAC mixing it up with the best in the south of England.

Both the men’s and women’s races are a mix of short and long legs, with the short being just a few metres more than 5k and the long being approximately 7.7k.

After a lot of chopping and changing with people unable to run due to injuries, it was an achievement in itself that we managed to have the full compliment of 18 runners. read more

parkrun Geekery!

parkrun, fun, statistics and a challenge.

Surely there isn’t something that combines all 4 of these things effortlessly?

Well, there is! Running Challenges have created an add-on to Firefox and Chrome web browsers to allow you to play around and have a little fun with your parkrun statistics.

It’s not all just a boring list of numbers, but instead, some nice colourful badges to collect for completing certain challenges. More information on how to get this on your browser can be found at and really it’s up to you how involved you get. read more

Chairman’s Review – 2018

Andy Inchley, Chairman of LBAC gave a review of the year at the AGM on Wednesday 6 February. We’ve added a rough transcript for you to enjoy. Please note that this is not a complete record of all LBAC’s achievements in 2018 as there were so many!

Cross Country

We punch way above our weight by regularly finishing mid-table in the CCCL and this is something I need to remember. Every year I have frustrations that I know we can win prizes if we can get close to our best team out at each fixture, and we have proved this recently, but as soon as we lose a few runners we don’t quite have the strength to challenge. read more

Personal Bests in Purple Vests

Wolverton 5 Mile Club Championships

(Willen Lake Milton Keynes)

by Nick Clay


Personal bests in purple vests were in abundance during the Clubs 5 mile road race championships around Willen Lake. Held on a perfect morning for running, comments all-around of where’s the wind and out on the course expecting to turn and be hit by a headwind but nothing to write home about for once! The conditions and a fast flat course made for great running and a good days work by the 15 club members out on the day.


Not quite in the class of the Burgin siblings from Bedford and County that took the honors in their respective gender race. But a fantastic 3rd place, and the first female purple and goldd vest and personal best by Jo Sharples (30.56). Do we still give 2nd and 3rd club places? if so then (watch less) Laura Brine and Ruth Mitchell (PB) took those places in the championship.

The Men were led home by Chris George who self-confessed in a purple vest before the rest that a personal best in his second 5 mile test was inevitable, (28.24 Tick) 2nd and 3rd were taken impressively by Stuart Read (PB) and James Bell. (PB)


But the best of the rest personal bests in purple vests were those of Alison Bell, Mandy Clay and Susan Johnson, showing that the Tuesday night’s beginners and improvers group running is paying off. Having smashed couch to 5 km some time ago they are now venturing into longer distance events and smashing previous times taking minutes not seconds of their last runs of this distance… Running with Mandy on this occasion it was nice to start nearer the back and hear all the chat and excitement before the race reminding me that running is and should be fun.


For beginners joining us over the next couple of months we will get to 5 km by the summer and improvers already training on Tuesdays;  the Wolverton 5 mile is a fantastic step up event with its normally wind assisted (somewhere) flat course, it is an event to add to your race calendar as you improve next year.

Well done everyone great effort all round. #PurpleAndGold

Not so Dirty, Dirt Half

Dirt Half Challenge 2018

by Neil Green


I’d been meaning to do a half marathon again for a while, I ran one in Milton Keynes about a decade ago (1:59:something) but since getting back into running a couple of years ago I have rarely run further than 5 miles. In fact with the warm up and running home afterwards the Monday night ‘Speed’ sessions are often also my longest run of the week.

I’d heard about the Dirt Half from those that ran it in previous years and it appealed for a number of reasons;

  1. Excuse to buy some trail shoes
  2. Motivation to do some longer training runs
  3. Great route – hardly any roads, lots of trails, hills, mud to keep things interesting
  4. So local I can walk there and back and still be home before the kids are out of their PJ’s
  5. I surely must be fitter than I was 10 years ago so a PB is almost guaranteed despite the hills

Perfect, booked a place, bought some trail shoes and…… mainly carried on with the same training runs I always do!  Actually I did manage to fit in a few 10 milers in the weeks leading up to the event which I struggled with but at least gave me the confidence that id be able to do the distance.

I arrived at Cedars on race day pleased that the weather was fairly warm. With those in the know saying that the course was pretty much mud free and dry, I decided to ditch my new trail shoes in favour of my normal road shoes (little bit disappointed!).

I started near the back of a pack of almost 1000 runners which wasn’t ideal and meant the loop around the playing field was spent speeding up to overtake people and try and get in a better position for the long stretch down the canal. Looking across the field it was good to see a group of purple and gold way ahead at the sharp end of the race.

The stretch to the Three Locks passed quickly and without incident, just before mile 6 we left the canal and headed up the first (and only significant hill), a 1.5 mile grind up through Great Brickhill and into Rushmere. I slowed down a lot but felt that I was still making good progress. The next few miles were great, proper trails through the woods with short ups and down, and hardly any mud. The route the followed the Greensand Ridge Walkway and joined back up with the canal at The Globe. By this time though my pace was gone and I seemingly only had one speed in my legs (slow) However the support from spectators was fantastic and I did find myself attempting to speed up when people were shouting for LBAC.

As I came past the final drink station at The Globe someone shouted that there was just 5K left. I was acutely aware that this was now unchartered territory for me in terms of distance, but how hard can a flat 5k be?

Turns out it was harder than expected! I got slower and slower and the people passing me looked like they were sprinting in comparison. However I was comfortably ahead of my time from the MK half 10 years ago and enjoyed the last loop around Tiddenfoot Quarry before arriving at the finish in 1:53:03.

For LBAC it was a good day. It turns out that the Purple and Gold I had seen amongst the front pack during the loop of Cedars managed to run good races with 3 top tens. 1st in was Peter Mackrell in 1:18:54 (4th overall) followed by Andy Inchley (6th overall) and Chris George (7th 0verall). Adam Haylock outsprinted Mike Furness to 21st and 22nd places respectively which comfortably gave LBAC the Team prize. Laura Brine was first lady home for the club in 1:36:36 with all 4 of the ladies finishing easily in the top 20. The full list of LBAC finishers is below.

In summary, Great route, well organised, well supported by spectators and marshals and would recommend it to anyone looking to do a local long distance trail run.


Gender Position Name Time
4 Pete Mackrell 1:18:54
6 Andy Inchley 1:24:03
7 Chris George 1:24:21
20 Adam Haylock 1:28:38
21 Michael Furness 1:28:41
40 Warren Rose 1:33:17
4 Laura Brine 1:36:36
77 Nick Clay 1:38:55
9 Ruth Mitchell 1:40:37
14 Amy Farnfield 1:44:07
15 Coralie Anderson 1:44:58
221 Neil Green 1:52:03


1 2 3 26