The Civil Service Sports Council are our biggest financial sponsor, contributing most of the money (£1,500-£2,000) we need each year to keep OS Runners running and do all the various activities we undertake such as Sports Day, Club Champs awards, kit subsidies etc.
The Annual 10k race (which is actually a bit more like 10.2k) round the former Olympic Park in East London is probably their biggest running event and OS always have a great turnout – this year 16 of us took part, making up ~ 9% of the field – not bad for a relatively small organisation in Southampton.
Having come away with quite a few medals last year, we were hopeful of achieving a similar level of success this year, but I don’t think anyone anticipated what transpired …
The Road Relays is a pretty simple concept, 4 in a team, each person running 2 laps of Finsbury Park (~ 2.8 miles) before handing over to their team mate and collapsing in a heap
With each lap being only 2.8 miles there is very little pacing or common sense involved, go out really hard, just try and hang on up the hill, stretch your legs out and push on the down hill, then onto the finish straight (every one is watching can’t slow down now), then do it all again. If you were hurting on the first lap the second will feel like agony. If you weren’t hurting on the first lap you probably weren’t going fast enough!
Baz and Alan didn’t know any of this, as they were first timers to the Road Relays, but all the rest of us have run multiple times so were more accustomed to the pain-train.
Teams were established before we left OS, James C, Mark A, Mark S and Tony K in one team and Baz, Matt, James N and Alan in the other. What was discussed in more detail was the running order. Theoretically there is a fastest order (usually fastest last as it is better to be chasing down than be chased), but there is also a certain amount of horse trading as to who would like to run when. After negotiations were complete the order was Mark A, Tony K, Mark S, James C and Baz, Matt, James N, Alan.
At about 5 past 2, the race started, with Mark and Baz both running strong legs, with Mark handing over in 3rd place and Baz just a couple of minutes behind the first place B team. Tony K lost one place (but crucially stayed in clear sight of 3rd), while Matt gained a place. James N ran almost 2 1/2 minutes quicker than last year, but was unable to hold off the National Crime Agency (who had their fastest runner in 3rd position), while Mark regained 3rd overall. Over to James C, who was being chased down by George Dollner (HASSRA) a previous ‘fastest lap’ winner, while James N handed to Alan, who managed to maintain the gap to NCA. James crossed the line in 3rd place overall (with George just 13 seconds behind him), with Alan bringing the B team home in a commendable 87:20 (for 11.2 miles)
A few performances to particularly draw out
James C ran the fourth fastest leg overall (15:46)
Tony K ran 1:18 faster than last year
James Norris ran 2:25 faster than last year
Now for the running pictures, thank you to Baz for being compos mentis enough to take pictures after he’d run
They say all bad things come in threes and in this case, it was three laps round what can only be described as a very challenging course, as the male runners found out. Perhaps I speak for myself when I say thankfully it was only two laps for the women. Continue reading →
The Civil Service 10km Championships is a highlight of the year for many of us runners at the Ordnance Survey. The OS may have lost its official Civil Service status a couple of years as we became a Gov Co, but we are still eligible to compete against other governmental departments. These include runners from departments like the HMRC, MOD, DEFRA etc. To take part individuals must be members of the Civil Service Sports Council (see here for info: http://osrunners.uk/about/cssc-civil-service-sports-council/)
There was excited chatter on the minibus as we departed from OSHQ. It felt like we were on a school trip out and there was expectation of the day ahead. We were off to the City, to run, to drink beer & eat burgers!
The course is a convoluted 2.5km loop around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (so 4 laps in total). It has a couple of tight turns and may be slightly long, so isn’t conducive to quick times or PBs. It was also a windy day, so all talk turned to the main goal of the day and that was team success. After a Bronze men’s team medal last year and a very close 4th place for the women’s team, we knew we could challenge for medals again. Karen fired up the girls in a team huddle before the start. The key message for everyone was to race person to person, if you could catch and overtake one more person then it could help the team.
The mass of OS runners formed at the start. Everyone took their place, eyed up the competition and whispered last minute motivational messages. How could we do? … We were off! The leaders sped ahead, and everyone settled into their own rhythms and pace for the day. The first part of the lap is an out and back and this allowed everyone to cheer everyone on as we ran past each other. We could also follow the progress of the race and count back the positions. Shaun. Jon. James. Mark, Paul and Harry running together. Dean. Nicole leading. Karen. Rach. It was looking good!
There were some amazing individual performances, some great debuts competing at the Civil Service Champs, a few podium finishers (see below) and several PBs. Wednesday was a record turnout of 31 OS runners and our large group and the distinct club vests meant we stood out. The goal of the day was to run and race together as a team. This was clearly evident throughout the day, small OS groups running together (working together in the wind), loud shouts of support throughout the course and a large team huddle forming on the final bend to cheer everyone in. We gathered for the prize giving as a group, knowing we’d secured a few medals but with a few pleasant surprises! Notably unexpected, were the Vets individual and team medals (including a medal birthday present for club stalwart Matt P). We then retired to a local brewery for a celebratory drink and some food.
There were 4 men and 3 women to score for each team and it’s not a cliché to say that everyone helped the team’s performance. The strength and depth of our runners helped both teams to win. DWP had strong runners at the front and could have won, but we had more runners packing the top of the field.
Well done to everyone that ran! A big thank you to Naomi for organising us all and arranging the transport and social after, not the easiest of tasks!
2nd woman – Nicole Frith
3rd Man – Shaun Brown
1st M35 – Jon Sharkey
1st F35 – Karen Connell
1st M70 – Mick Anglim
1st Men’s Team – Shaun Brown, Jon Sharkey, James Clarke, Harry Odell
1st Women’s Team – Nicole Frith, Karen Connell, Rachael Evans
1st Men’s 35-49 Team – Jon Sharkey, Paul Ashley, Matt Pillinger
Full results here: http://www.sportsystems.co.uk/ss/results/Capital%20Challenge/3698
‘If you’ve got great teammates, anything is possible’
The CSSC Road Relays are a relay (no s*** Sherlock) event, held annually at Finsbury Park, London. Each participants runs 2 laps on the undulating park road, totalling about 2.8 miles. Men’s teams consist of 4 runners, with 3 in each women’s team.