Thame Runners

2 days ago

Thame Runners

Thame Runners Welsh Adventure
Race the Train - Tywyn
Saturday 17th August 2019

A wasp sting, broken car, the full Aberdyfi breakfast, sunny skies, gale force winds, bogs, broken bones, a steam train, G&Ts, room without a view, room with sea views, age group winner, screaming sea gulls and lots of laughter all combined to make a fantastic weekend in Tywyn, West Wales, to compete in the 36th Anniversary of the Race the Train 10k and 14 miler. Both over a gruelling XC course and a favourite race of a more senior former member of Thame Runners, Ron Rumens.

Whilst the majority of us drove to Wales on Friday in adverse weather conditions, Berwyn kicked his day off with an early start and a 14 mile gander up Cadair Idris in heavy rain and gale force winds with only sheep and the odd 'wondering cow' for company.

With most arriving later the same day to find their Airbnb's (some having sea view rooms and others without a view), an evening meal and pre-race hydration in the pub were required, with the discussions focused on Ollie and his broken down car in Southampton and his devoted girlfriend, Felicity, driving to collect him and get him to the race start with 25 minutes to spare!

On the Saturday, with weather restored to sunny skies but keeping strong winds, Thame Runners segregated into two groups: those running the morning 10km and the others for the afternoon 14 miler. Mathew made sure he was well fueled with means of the Full Aberdyfi cooked Welsh breakfast before making his way together with Sue, Steph and Sandra (Steph's sister) to catch the steam train to the start for 11am for their Quarry Man 10km, which covered tougher 2nd half of the 14 miler.

The Rotary 14 miler started at 2pm with Ollie arriving just in time and Berwyn experiencing a wasp sting on his lip 5 minutes before race start. Too late for medical attention, Berwyn, Faye, Emma, Charlie, Ollie and Mark set off to the sound of the steam train whistle, with the intention to run the out and back course before the train returned to the station.

For those Thame Runners who have experienced this race before, you will know that this is not an easy task to achieve. 20 years ago, Neil Richards managed to do so and on this occasion Ollie did as well. With the start and finish on road, the rest of the course was running parallel either side of the train tracks, across private fields and farm tracks. The return route was, for some distance, at an awkward angle to the hillside on a narrow track, mainly formed by previous runners. We all witnessed runners that had completely run out of energy, either sat with heads between the legs or leaning on the bank in a trance. Emma witnessed one competitor with a severely broken ankle.... not pleasant!

So deep was the concentration on the course, both Steph, Sandra and Mark all missed the large waterfall in full torrent as they passed by within metres! However, no-one could miss a section of bog, as many ended up face down!

With the possible exception of Ollie and Faye, all other 14 milers found the last two miles body sapping, as a result of the tough course, the head wind and witnessing the steam train pass them by! Not surprisingly due to his Cadair Idris Adventure the previous day, Berwyn finished especially white as a ghost, until he had eaten and shared some of his wife's homemade brownies and consumed a cold pint of beer!
Once again, 20 years on, a fantastic event rediscovered by newer members of Thame Runners. An event that has grown in popularity, as Rod Lavers predicted, and for those who know Ron Rumens, all criteria were ticked with the exception of missing the stinging nettles!

Saturday evening concluded with post race discussions, lots of laughter, consuming gin, and some runners being kept awake by screaming sea gulls who were obviously unable to roost with fear of low flying aggressive wasps!

The sequel:
2019 how did Thame do?
Rotary 14 miler
Oliver Newell 1.40.51
Charlie Pughe 1.49.02
Faye Baddeley 1.51.23 (1st F35)
Mark Emmett 2.02.36
Emma Pughe 2.06.31
Berwyn P. Jones 2.23.05

Quarry Man 10km
Steph Cooke 59.14 (3rd Vet F55)
Matthew Baddeley 59.46
Sandra Preston 1.06.50
Sue Fallon 1.08.46

The Original Cast
1999 how did Thame do?
Neil Richards 1.44.21
Graham Turner 1.48.52
Mark Emmett 1.50.01
Steve Benjamin 1.58.07
Nikki Hayward 2.05.46
Ron Rumens 2.21.00
Olive Patchett 2.24.58
Jan Laver 2.25.39
Andy Patchett 2.35.32

Race Report by Mark Emmett

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5 days ago

Thame Runners

Thame Runners entries in the Top 10 for the Cotswold Classic. Looking forward to a great race with a free beer afterwards! ...

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3 weeks ago

Mike Shires

Hi folks, just to let you know that Thames Valley Orienteering Club is organising another Thame Urban Race 2019, on Sunday 1st September. It's an urban orienteering-style race, with seven courses from 2.5k to 8.5k. There's obviously no set route, as you have to choose your own route between a series of checkpoints around the course, using a map!

The courses will be different to last year's race, at which around 400 people took part. Race HQ is at Thame Town Hall. You can pre-enter a course via the event page, or enter on the day (pre-entering is slightly cheaper). All the course info is over on the event page at

Hope to see lots of Thame Runners there! 🙂

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2 months ago

Becca Bullock

Thank you to everyone who sponsored us for our quadathlon this weekend..12hrs 30 later we finished 7th in the mixed pairs and I squeezed into the top 10females..we’re both knackered now and can confirm Wednesdays swet run will not be a quick one!! Thank you! ...

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