PMRC Hero 2014 – Zoe Hitchcock

On Thursday 8th of May, Zoe Hitchcock and her family visited Plymouth Musketeers Running Club.

The Plymouth Musketeers presented a trophy to Zoe as a special award to recognise her spirit and determination completing the Schools’ Challenge at the Plymouth Half Marathon:

“Zoe is not very old, she’s not very big, and she doesn’t look very strong. But if you think that, you are mistaken. She is amazing! Zoe set herself a goal, put a big smile on her face, and tried the hardest she could. Supported by those around her, she achieved it.

She is a shining example of the spirit we aspire to in this club: It’s not about being first, it is about taking part, smiling and helping each other to achieve the best we can.

We are proud to have her as our Hero 2014.

Congratulations Zoe, You’re awesome!”

Read more about Zoe’s achievement in the Plymouth Herald >>>

AGM 2014 – Nominations

This year’s AGM will be taking place on Thursday 22nd May at Kings Tamerton Community Centre (downstairs) starting from 7pm.

At the AGM, the outgoing committee will report on their activities throughout the last year, then the committee for the next year will be formed.

Nominations received for Committee and Club Officer positions are as follows:

Chair: Sharon Adams
Secretary: Mike Saunders*
Treasurer: Mark Pearson
Membership Secretary: Louise King
Marketing/Press Officer: Nicole Balmer
Committee Member: Martin French*
Committee Member: Kris Jones*
Male Club Captain: Guy Boswell
Female Club Captain: Sharon Lang

* These nominees have been members for less than 18 months, which does not fulfill the minimum requirement as per the constitution. Therefore a vote by the membership will be taken at the AGM to accept these nominations.

There will also be a vote to accept a new constitution.

Current Constitution (PDF)

Proposed Constitution (PDF)

Club Trip to Salisbury 9th-11th August 2014

Every year the club organises a trip to Salisbury for the Salisbury 54321 trail races and walks.

This year’s trip will take place from the 9th (Saturday) to the 11th of August (Monday).

The club organises a mini-bus and reserves camping spaces at a campsite near Salisbury, but you can make your own way there, and it’s also up to you whether you want to camp one or two nights (or not at all!)

The general itinerary for the trip is as follows:

Saturday: Drive up to Salisbury and set up camp, go to a nearby pub for dinner.

Sunday: Run or walk your choice of event at the Salisbury 54321, afterwards return to the campsite for a BBQ.

Monday: Pack up camp and drive home.

Various preparation tactics were employed the day before the event…

And they’re off!

Salisbury 54321 – Sun 10th August

You can choose from 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, 30k, Marathon, or 50k Ultra Marathon trail run or walk distances.

Starting and ending at Salisbury Fire Station, the routes follow footpaths and country roads around Salisbury, taking you past 5 rivers, 4 hills, 3 country estates, 2 castles and 1 cathedral along the way (hence the name).

All routes are way-marked and there are many checkpoints with water and food along the way. You will also be given a route description and map at the start.

Entry costs: Runners £17; Walkers £7; +£3 if entering on the day

Entry forms & route maps >>>

Last year we had 5 Musketeers doing the Ultra, 12 the Marathon, 4 the 30k, 4 the Half and 2 people did the 30k walk.

Please let Bryan know if you are coming and how many nights you will be camping, so he can reserve enough camping spaces

*Mini-bus update: There are enough people for one mini-bus already. Bryan may organise another mini-bus if there is enough demand.*

Directions to the camping site >>>

All photos nicked from Mark Willcock’s Facebook – See more of his photos of last year’s trip >>>

Questionnaire of 7th Nov 2013 – Report & Notes

Questionnaire Results Report (PDF) – Summary & Charts

Some notes to common topics mentioned in the questionnaire:

Spending of club funds

The top three things questionnaire respondents wished club funds to be spent on were: subsidised kit, paid courses for leaders/coaches, and more paid-for races.

We are now paying for courses for leaders and coaches, and the first batches of members who had their LIRF courses paid for by the club have qualified. We will be continuing with this scheme to keep a continued supply of LIRFs and CIRFs for our club.

In past years the club have paid for one race entry (the Duckponds 7k). We are now paying for more race entries (cross-country, Tavistock relays) and we have just paid for the Mad March Hare 10k as well.

We have discussed subsidising club kit at previous committee meetings, but unfortunately we have been unable to find a way forward with this that would work logistically and be appropriate for both new members as well as members who have already bought their club kit.

Coaching style (“not explained”/”talked down to”/”shouted at”)

Our leaders and coaches have to address a wide audience, and as our club gets bigger, there will be more and more people at varying levels of experience. Therefore it is difficult for coaches to tailor their explanations to the whole group (some people will never have heard the term “fartlek” before, others will have had it explained to them 15 times already). Also, a coaching style that works for one person, may not work for another person (for example, some people like a “military-bootcamp-style” approach to training, whereas others do not).

All our leaders and coaches are volunteers, and are trying their very best to provide information and encourage you in your running. We hope that all our leaders and coaches are approachable and will listen and act on any feedback you give them.

If you have any questions or concerns about any coaching or training topics, please talk to any coach or leader, or indeed any of our members will be happy to help you.

If you questions or concerns about a coach’s/leader’s approach or coaching style please talk to them directly in the first instance. If you do not feel able to talk to them, please talk to the coaching coordinator or any of the other coaches, so they can have a word with the coach/leader on your behalf.

If you have a serious concern please speak to the coaching coordinator, a committee member, or a welfare officer.

Individualised training

A number of you mentioned a wish for more individualised training. As mentioned above our coaches have to cater for a wide audience at varying levels of experience, therefore it is tricky to provide individualised training within the club night setting. However, all our coaches will be very happy to work out a training plan for you – just speak to any of the coaches.

Club night announcements & warm-up (“too long to get going”/”warm-up too long”/”announcements too long”)

We are aware that as the club has grown bigger, the announcements and the warm-up have grown longer.

We feel that announcements are important for keeping everyone in the loop with what’s going on in the club. And we like to keep a personal touch with announcing race results to celebrate our members running achievements.

We also believe that we have an important duty-of-care to you, the club members, to ensure you are suitably warmed-up before you go out running, so as to avoid injury. Some other running clubs may not do a warm-up before they go out running, but we believe a warm-up is just too important to miss – and it is one thing that sets us apart from other running clubs.

But we are aware that that everyone wants to get out running as quickly as possible, and we will always try our best to keep the announcements and warm-up as brief as possible.

Discussions/disagreements (“inappropriate time/place”)

All our members are always invited to attend committee and coaches meetings should they wish to do so.

If you have a question or concern you wish discussed at the committee meeting please contact any of the committee members (or the coaching-coordinator, or any of the coaches or leaders for the coaches meeting), and ask for your topic to be added to the agenda, or raised on your behalf by your chosen committee member. You can attend the committee meeting to observe or participate in the discussion of your raised topic.

Committee meeting dates are published on the website, and reminders will be announced during club night announcements in the preceding weeks.

Ken Kingston does Anglesey

Endurance life Anglesey 18/01/2014

Well that was interesting …thought I was reasonably fit and marathon ready but Anglesey gave me a spanking good and proper. An amazing route over Holyhead mountain heading south along the coast before looping back on itself to face the big lump of rock again. The thing that made it live up to its name as an endurance event however was the conditions … it was a proper mudfest! Those of you familiar with the meadow in Plymvalley Parkrun might be able to put it into context if I say think of the meadow at its muddiest and it was like 15 miles of that … And that was the easy bit!

Setting off today in rain which was a feature of over half the race, my feet were soaking within the first few minutes, a couple of miles of gradual uphill to the foot of Holyhead mountain and then the 500 ft climb which ensued. The first checkpoint was at the other side of the mountain at mile 4. I seriously considered how much of a wuss I would look if I pulled out at that point. Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling the love. And so it continued until about mile 14/15. Legs like lead trying to extricate my feet from the mud which dominated coastal path.

I think at that stage I had a revelation, stop trying to fight it and just go with the flow and enjoy it for what it was. The second half of the race whist certainly no easier, seemed to slip by … a bit of walking and chatting and a bit of running … Happy days, until the slog up and over Holyhead hill faced me again ( treated with some gusto I may add, even managing the equivalent of a sprint up the final section of road/track leading up to the hill). It was then nicely rounded off with a mile and a half of downhill scrambling/running/trying to say upright back to the finish.

The end result 27.2miles in 5hrs41min, suitably tired limbs and a big grin (ish). Plenty of scope to improve on my time, ideally with better conditions underfoot. So would I recommend it to anyone else? … Hell yeah!!!

Looking forward to the next Endurance Life marathon at South Devon already