June 2023: We’ve been putting on races since early 2018……so we’ve decided it’s now time to put our feet up (not really, we’ll probably just kick start our own running etc!) and step back from organising races.
…..and John and Lorraine will see you around: alongside you on a race start line somewhere, helping at a checkpoint somewhere, more likely in a pub somewhere! It’s been a blast, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it; we’ve seen runners turn from the tarmac to the trails which was always our intended aim-to show those who didn’t already know how glorious it is running off-road in the wonderful picturesque countryside we are so lucky to be surrounded by in Essex and Suffolk.
Finish Line Fund www.finishlinefund.org have awarded us a grant which covers the costs of our recent outdoor first aid training course we completed with Peritia Training. This course will enable us to continue to provide first aid cover at our smaller running events. Being continually first aid trained means we can provide safe and enjoyable races.
We would like to thank Finish Line Fund for their ongoing enthusiastic support for our endeavours to keep our participants safely on the the trails!
For those that keep asking, we get our permits through the Trail Running Association. They in turn follow England Athletics rules (thus we get insurance through them) and they all follow UK government covid guidelines.
For our races to go ahead we have to be allowed to by govt guidance. To gain our permit, we submit a covid event plan, a risk assessment, a lost/injured runners procedure to the TRA. You can view our permit summary details on the TRA website (we will show a permit number on each race webpage). Thus you can be assured that all our races are covid-secure.
If a race cannot go ahead due to covid, we will initially hope to hold the race later in the year, although a back up calendar has yet tbc. Else we will roll entries over to 2022. (Surely we’ll be racing more normally by then?!) Should you prefer a refund, we will deduct a £4 admin fee (it’s costing us to process these refunds)
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with an appropriate subject header ie refund required and we will endeavour to process your email as soon as possible.
Please bear with us if you need a reply- it won’t always be immediate-we all work in other full-time jobs. As I know you’ll appreciate, we are in an ever changing environment, thus guidance is constantly changing, thus our race plans change. Which is leading to lots work/admin for us.
……and crossing fingers. We’d never have thought we would only hold one race in 2020. But let’s not look back, let’s look forward.
It’s Christmas 2020 as I type, we are writing our covid-event plans and are still hopeful thgat restrictions permitting we will be able to go ahead with the Stour Valley Marathon and Half marathon in June 2021. If we can we’ll slot in some other smaller races too.
RUNNERS converged on a beautiful country pub on the Essex and Suffolk borders for the second running of the Lamarsh Lionheart five-mile trail race on Sunday, February 9th.
The race was made particularly challenging as it took place just as Storm Ciara was starting to sweep across the UK – a scenario that had led the organisers Company of Runners to take additional steps to ensure competitor safety.
Run Director John Stoneman explained: “We were aware that the forecast was for strong winds on Sunday morning and so had been preparing for it all week.
“We consulted with weather agencies to acquire a very specific local forecast for the area around the Lamarsh Lion pub which suggested to us that there would be a weather window up until midday during which the wind would be classified as a “strong breeze” rather than a “high wind” on the Beaufort scale.
“We also consulted with other race organisers and the Trail Running Association to ensure that we made a fully informed decision on going ahead with the event, and we arrived on site two hours before the start to complete a full recce of the route and to make sure that driving conditions to and from the event were acceptable.
“We had informed participants of this course of action and were fully prepared to postpone the event if we thought that competitor safety would be compromised – however it was clear when we were on site that although the wind would add to the challenge, it was perfectly safe to proceed.”
One runner who made light of the efforts of Storm Ciara to impede her progress was eventual race winner Jackie Stretton who set a new course record of 38:55 for the near five-mile course. Having headed the rest of the field home she promptly set out on a second lap as she was on a “long run” day and actually clocked an even faster unofficial time for her second stint.
The course takes in the rolling hills and beautiful woodland around the villages of Lamarsh and Alphamstone and in its second year of existence is the first of the eight races that Company of Runners will be organising in 2020.
The format of the event allows runners to leave at any time in a start window of 30 minutes – at which point their individual clock starts – and then self navigate around the predominantly trail course.
Second placed runner Malcolm Statham was also second back in a time of 41:04 while the third placed runner Doug O’Neil was actually one of the last to set off on the course, eventually completing in a time of 42:36.
Stoneman added: “Everyone commented on how beautiful the route was and how pleased they were that we were able to complete the event despite the weather conditions.
“It was great to see some familiar faces who are regulars at our races, but also nice to meet some new competitors, particularly people who were brand new to self-navigation trail races. We had runners from as far afield as Brentwood, Ipswich and Newmarket all travel to take part.
The race is becoming a firm favourite with competitors as it takes in local landmarks like Clees Hall, and the impressive Holy Innocents Church which is Grade 1 listed by English Heritage.
It starts and finished at the Lamarsh Lion pub which in itself is something of a local landmark as it was frequented by celebrated painters Thomas Gainsborough and John Wainwright.
Stoneman said: “We would like to thank the landlord and staff for being such amazing hosts on Sunday morning – ensuring our comeptitors and the hardy spectators that turned out to support them were kept well supplied in hot drinks, cake and biscuits.”
Next up for Company of Runners is the ever-popular Chilly Chappel Chase – a five-mile navigation trail race which starts and ends at the Chappel Winter Beer Festival on Saturday February 29th.
Race entry includes free entry into the beer festival and a complimentary beer glass. Showers and toilets are available for use after the race-so competitors can change and enjoy the festival.