In a change to usual blogging procedures Johnny has been usurped by an up and coming blogging superstar, thanks very much to Harriet Cameron (age 13) for giving us the low down and last weekend’s Scarecrow Fun Run
The 2017 5k Scarecrow fun run/walk was full of hills and challenging terrains, including a long run up Tan House lane. At the starting line there were 88 runners and 47 were under 16 years old, many were Junior Pumas. I was able start the race and when I blew the whistle the front runners dashed off and everybody else followed.
They’re Off
The race began with a steady incline up the main road and then quickly turned off through a path filled with nettles. Unfortunately for the people with shorts on they had to be careful not to get stung! The Marshals were very helpful and told us where to go whilst giving us encouragement before we tackled Tan house lane.
It was a long hill but when we got to the top we had some downhill through a track,which had overhanging trees above us. After we turned out of the trees we were happy to see a long downhill that led up along Upper lane.
The Cameron 3 sprinting to the finish line
We got to see a few scarecrows along the way too! At this point we were almost back,we only needed to run down towards 22 the square and along a narrow path that led into a field near the finish. The last bit was across one of the Cricket fields and then we were at the finish.
Willow all smiles at the finish

 

Mum & daughter finishing together
It was an exciting run and thank you to the marshals, registration team and the scarecrow committee, especially Ian for organising the 3rd scarecrow fun run/walk.
Elizabeth & Elise sprinting for the finish
They raised £176 that will go towards funding for community projects e.g the defibrillator sited at the library.
Rosette presentation to u16’s

 While our very own gossip girl blogger Johnny has a week off, here’s Simon to tell you about our recent parkrun takeover in Brighouse over the Halloween weekend.

What else could be more scary than a group of zombies, witches, vampires, skeletons and pumpkins all arriving at Wellholme Park in Brighouse at 8am on a Saturday morning? 3 months ago it might have been a different kind of event, but on Saturday 29 October 2016, it was time for the first Brighouse parkrun Halloween event – run by the Northowram Pumas.

As always, Team Puma turned out in force to get involved and we’d have been lost without them. As part of our takeover and proving popular when we’ve done it before, we had pacers ranging from 20mins through to 34mins to help people round.

Spooky pacers ready to go
Spooky pacers ready to go

When reading so often about people wanting to beat a personal best (PB) but struggling to break the ‘glass ceiling’ on their own,I’ve always been a fan of running with others to get better. Well done to everyone that ran and thanks to our pacers. It was great to see so many Junior Pumas running but more importantly smashing their PBs!

We also had some amazing support around the course and on the finish line as well as creepy things hanging from trees, pumpkins marking the way on the bridge, spiders that dropped on your head (just for Matt Newton!) and an amazing array of cakes, buns, biscuits and sweets.

Here’s a run down of the runners and riders

Tim Brook was first Puma home with a new PB (19:50)

Tim - #FPH and a new PB
Tim – #FPH and a new PB

followed by Luke Cranfield (pacing 20mins) who as well as being complete with meat cleaver, was a little bit ahead of time and so was spotted hanging around for a while before crossing the finishing line at exactly 20:00.

Luke - meat clever and devil mask and still managed to pace 20mins (sort of)
Luke – meat cleaver and devil mask and still managed to pace 20mins (sort of)

Next in was Andrew Tudor (linking Luke’s pacing to his new PB of 20:52). Junior Pumas George Eastwood was first Junior Puma home at 21:36 followed by Adam Standeven (pacing 22mins) and Richard Baker (22:47). The next two were Juniors Ryan Moore (23:24 – first timer) and Jude Kenny (23:37) beating last week’s PB. Matt Newton pacing at 24mins breezed in next along with his new running friend who was delighted she’d got under 24minutes.

Adam and Jude
Adam and Jude

Paula Snee (24:04) and Rachael Helliwell (24:06) came in effortlessly next, closely followed by another PB – this time from Junior Noah Lumb (24:43). Shaun Casey (25:28) arrived next with Junior Reuben Bartkiw one second later (25:29) making his debut parkrun appearance with Dad Antony (25:48) who might have hinted he got the running bug again! Another first timer Junior Puma was Sam Bell with an impressive debut time (23:43). Neil Coupe with his orange pumpkin trousers, brown wig and mask (he says it was a mask) paced in just under his 26min time followed by Juniors Freddie Baker (26:44), Finley Canning (26:58), Jessica Cameron (27:13) and Amelie Baker (27:22) closely followed by Joe Baker (26:45) and Elizabeth Cameron (27:31).

Rick, strong contender for best Puma costume of the day
Rick, strong contender for best Puma costume of the day

Well done to Freddie, Fin (who must have got his 30min pacing calculations wrong!) and Jessica who all smashed their PBs. Next in was our very own blogger Johnny Meynell who beat the 28min pacer (himself) by 15seconds. Just pipping the 30m time was Amelia Jackson and Ian Marshall followed by Ally Canning arriving bang on time (pacing at 30m) followed by Mike Hartley and Lady (the dog complete with her very own bat wings) and another parkrun debut appearance, this time from Jeremy Bartkiw (32:27) accompanied by Mum Charlotte (32:38).

Jeremy and Charlotte crossing the finish line
Jeremy and Charlotte crossing the finish line

Cathy Heptinstall arrived at (34:59) doing some great pacing in her scary cheerleader outfit. Next Puma in was Eileen O’Brien at 36:50, followed by some more first timers in Junior Pumas Miles and Elise Williams (38:14), Lana Brook (38:25), Elise Brook (38:50) with Mum Simone (38:54). Wendy Hewitt had the most important job and made sure everyone got home safe and sound – thanks Wendy!

For full results please see: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/brighouse/results/latestresults/

Pacing to success

We also had lots of great comments after the event about our pacers: “Helen asked to thank Ally and Ian for pacing her to her first ever sub 30 parkrun” and “Having the pacers meant I slashed my PB by 25secs – thanks Pumas” – great comments to receive!

Remembered to bring your barcode?

We also couldn’t have done it without the fantastic Pumas who took the opportunity to leave their running shoes at home for one Saturday morning and help with the finish line tasks so that everyone got their results – Carine ‘skeleton’ Baker and Sarah ‘witchy’ Haigh doing the very important job of keeping everyone in line to get their finishing position token and Paul ‘vampire’ Bottomley and Jo Allen for the most important job of scanning. Our Puma support out on the course was fantastic – Gabby and Orlagh Kenny with their cow bell which could be heard in Northowram, Julie, Rob and Hollie Bowman, Melissa ‘jilted bride’ Hall and team, Alison ‘witchy’ Pearce and family as well as Nicola ‘sporty’ Pennington.

Scary Pumas cheering the runners round
Scary Pumas cheering the runners round

Cakes, cakes and more glorious cakes!

And whats the most important thing a runner wants after a run (after uploading Strava and checking their time!) – yes, cake! And our spooktacular cakes certainly didn’t disappoint – from scary brownies to pumpkin krispies, these were definitely the best bloodtinglying treats around.

Devilishly good cakes
Devilishly good cakes

Thank you to Ally Canning, Ally’s sister, Victoria Owen, Nicola Hartley, Louise Lumb, Katie Lumb, Ian (and Mrs Marshall!), Charlotte Bartkiw and family, Carine Baker and family, Julie and Hollie, Elizabeth Cameron plus anyone who else who brought sweet treats and carved some amazing pumpkins for the bridge. Although there was no competition, the Northowram Pumas logo on pumpkin from the Bartkiw residence and the Junior pum(a)pkin from family Baker were definitely high contenders for the top spot!

A huge thank you…

As always these events don’t just happen and so there are a few special thank you’s we need to make – to Jude and the team at Brighouse parkrun for letting us ‘takeover’, Nick Windsor for taking some amazing photos for us, Neil Coupe for helping out with transport and a massive thanks and well done to Ally Canning and Victoria Owen for organising the takeover, buying props and coordinating cakes!

So what are you waiting for?

If you haven’t yet been to a parkrun, why not join in the fun? Just get yourself registered for free, print your barcode off and decide which of our local free, weekly, timed events you’ll go to next – you’re bound to spot a Puma there and it wont be the last time you go!

Team Spooktacular team
Team Spooktacular team

If you don’t fancy running, or want a change of scenery one Saturday morning, your local parkrun relies on volunteers to be able to do what they do. As part of our takeover at Brighouse and the amazing number of volunteers we brought along, some of the core team were able to run the course for the first time since the event has started – so thank you from them for ensuring that parkrun continues week in, week out!

When: 24 September 2016

Where: Northowram Community Sports and Activity Club

This awesome round up of events was captured by Olivia Culpan, age 13. Thanks Olivia!

Week 2 of the Saturday Tokyo 2020 kicked off with a fun and energetic game of scarecrow-tig. The game involved two teams: The Chasers and The Scarecrows. The Chasers’ job was to turn the opposing team into scarecrows by catching them and saying ‘tig’. Once caught, it was up to your own team members to set you free. What a great way to get us all warmed-up for the next challenge!

Ever popular scarecrow tig
Ever popular scarecrow tig

After the warm up

Afterwards, Ian split us up into three teams for a relay race. Every team member had to take it in turns to run as quickly as possible (with their batons) through the two slalom poles, round a hula hoop and back to their team to pass on the baton. It was great to see every team cheering on their team members and it definitely brought out the competitive side in some!

Awesome running techniques on show
Awesome running techniques on show

To get our muscles nicely stretched, Gabriella and Paula kindly led some exercises, including the plank, jogging on the spot and mountain climbers. Everyone joined in, even the little ones were keen to take part.

Obstacles

Next up was the Obstacle Run. This included a hula hoop (phew, no demonstration from Ian this week, ha ha!) some hurdles and step ladders. Once wiggling your hips on the hula hoops, tackling the sneaky hurdles and tip-toeing along the step ladders, we all did five speedy star-jumps and whizzed back off to our teams. Both teams were top-notch, each winning at least a round each.

Phew…after all that running it was definitely time for a drink!

To finish the morning off nicely, we enjoyed a game of Shark Attack! The scary sharks ran after the frightened fish. Each finned-friend was only safe at the three islands… but you couldn’t hang around too long!

We all enjoyed a fun and active morning that definitely started our day off nicely. Luckily, the weather was being equally as pleasant with the sun shining and a bright blue sky- a great day to take a team photo!

Great to see a variety of ages and wonderful team spirit! Thanks to Ian for organising this family event. We look forward to Week 3!

Northowram Pumas were founded in 2014, and each ensuing year will bring its own anniversary. This week, the club celebrated its second ‘birthday’ and on Wednesday 14 September, we hosted our Second Anniversary Run. Lots and lots of Pumas turned up and everyone seemed really excited.

Thanks to Johnny Meynell for his awesome account of the evening! Even if he looks slightly less impressed in the last photo (keep reading to check it out!!) – maybe he’s just reminiscing about his old university days.

Inviting some friends round

And of course, with it being a special occasion, what better than to invite a few friends round? Happy to take up our invitation were the fledgling Sowerby Bridge Snails, who arrived en masse.

Snails and Pumas - an unusual but winning combination
Snails and Pumas – an unusual but winning combination

Mm, Snails. It rather gives the impression that these are folk who move perhaps just a tad faster than walking pace, but don’t be fooled, they are Snails in name only. I have it on good authority that one attendee last night has run six parkruns, each time a personal best, with his last outing recording a time of 20:37. And he has a friend, another Snail, who’s even faster than him!
The Sowerby Bridge Snails can’t have failed but to be impressed at how organised we were pre-run time. With so many extra runners, it was decided it’d be best to assemble on the cricket field with poles to indicate the different groups. What a splendid idea.

An ingenious cone and pole system to sort out running groups
An ingenious cone and pole system to sort out running groups

The plan worked, and how simple it must have been for Simon Wilkinson to take the customary group photos when everyone was ready at their stations.

Customary Group Photos

The plan was to set off prompt at 6.45, so right on cue the respective leaders Luke Cranfield and Adam Standeven (Group One)

Group one - with Adam and Luke
Group one – with Adam and Luke

Andy Haslam (group two)

Andy's group two
Andy’s group two

Phil Turner and Nicola Pennington (group three)

Phil and Nicola taking the reigns with group 3
Phil and Nicola taking the reigns with group 3

Ian Marshall and Paul Hopkinson (group four)

Group 4 with Ian and Paul
Group 4 with Ian and Paul

and Ally Canning, Wendy Hewitt and Sarah Rushforth (group five)

Group five with Ally, Wendy and Sarah - Ally has also forbidden Simon from taking any more photos
Group five with Ally, Wendy and Sarah (Ally has also forbidden Simon from taking any more photos after the worlds worst pose was captured)

led off their troops.

The Running

I went in Group Two, which was a cosy run up through Coley, Shelf, all the way up Giles Hill Lane to Brighouse/Denholmegate Road, down Syke Lane to Green Lane, then home via Blake Hill End and Upper Lane.

A lovely stretch of quiet backroad
A lovely stretch of quiet backroad

It was a warm evening which made the going even tougher than already expected, and we hope that the Sowerby Bridge Snails appreciate the terrain we have to negotiate on a weekly basis, the general rule being that you either start up a hill or finish on one.

We love a good hill do us Pumas
We love a good hill do us Pumas
Group 5 looking pretty happy mid run
Group 5 looking pretty happy mid run

The general feedback on the routes undertaken by our guests in the various groups seems to be that they enjoyed it. The exact figure of how many Snails were actually in attendance cannot be verified, but in the words of the late BBC news reporter Brian Hanrahan, “I counted them all out, and I counted them all back.” Later, it was put to me that there were forty orders from the Snails for meat pies, and one veggie pie, which in anyone’s book would be roughly forty-one.

And some more hills for our Snail friends
And some more hills for our Snail friends

Whilst the Snails came through largely unscathed, sadly the same cannot be said of the Northowram Pumas. If Strava is to be believed, then Group One (Luke’s!) ran a distance of anywhere between 6.3 and 7 miles.

Luke's group - before losing half this contingent.
Luke’s group – before losing half this contingent.

Not only that, but a contingent also managed to get lost! Still, nobody was hurt in this group, unlike in Group Four, where Joanne Davison’s unscheduled route took in the A&E after she fell shortly into her run. Accompanied at hospital by Jane Henley, it turned out Joanne was none too seriously injured, and escaped with bruises on her knees and legs.

Time for Pie

For the rest, it was a run to the finish back at the club, and runners sprinted/ran/ jogged/staggered* (*delete as appropriate) over the line, happy in the knowledge that the BAR was open. Yes, it is a measure of how the Northowram Pumas have grown that we now have fully trained bartenders, and happily after each run, we can now socialise with a bevvy.

Back to the club for pie and drinks
Back to the club for pie and drinks

The runners piled into the bar, where they were served by the Three Amigos, namely Simon Wilkinson, Matt Newton and Tom O’Reilly. Ally Canning was also seen serving so waiting time was kept to a minimum – great service. I’ve never been served so quickly since I ventured into the Long Chimney circa 1988 (though in their case they poured me a drink before I changed my mind). And as it was a special occasion, food was also being served; the aforementioned meat and veggie pies. I chose the Cornish slice, which evoked memories of a holiday in St Austell some twenty years ago! Here, thanks must be given to those who helped prepare and serve the food, and we are most grateful for the behind the scenes work done by Tracey (who made sure the pies arrived on time), Holly, Andrea and Ian Marshall. And let us not forget those who took time to bake cakes, etc which topped off suppertime.

Thanks to Tracey, who gave up her evening run, to make sure we ate all the pies
Thanks to Tracey, who gave up her evening run, to make sure we ate all the pies

Most of us stopped for well over an hour, giving Nicola enough time to present Jessica Edwards with her Uni Survival Kit in front of a packed house. Jess, who’s been with the Pumas since the formative days, has helped in various capacities and now leaves for University with our good wishes.

Saying a really sad farewell to our awesome committee member Jess as she goes away to get drunk - sorry to go to uni
Saying a really sad farewell to our awesome committee member Jess as she goes away to get drunk – sorry to go to uni

All-in-all, it was a pleasant evening and thanks must be given to those who made it possible, as well as to all the Pumas and Sowerby Bridge Snails who turned out in force to make the event such a success. Dare I say it, here’s to the next one….

As part of the West Yorkshire Sport drive to get people involved in sporting activities the Northorwram Pumas Running Club hosted our very own Olympic games. There was a variety of different events for all ages that both young and old could join in –here is a roundup of the days events!

BY JUDE (age 9) AND ORLAGH KENNY (age 7)

Saturday 10th September 2016 saw the first Northowram Puma Juniors Olympic games!!  

Me and my sister arrived early to “help” set up, this meant that we got to test the bouncy castle! We did this extensively and had around 30 goes just to make sure it would be ok for all the kids that were going to take part!!

1 Hour later……

The Opening Ceremony

All the kids had arrived and were getting ready to walk around the field, waving their flags, following the torch bearer, Tailia Green-Moore. All of the mums and dads, grandmas and granddads, friends and family were all clapping and cheering. Everyone was speed walking because they were all very excited about the upcoming races.

Getting ready to start the opening ceremony
Getting ready to start the opening ceremony

The first race was the obstacle course – Three, two, one….BANG!

The first set of four had started, round the first bend they went, over the hurdles then through the slalom poles towards the ladders. After the ladders they went to the cone jumps, then to the hoola hooping area – we were hoolaing like we were in Rio!!

Tackling the hurdles
Tackling the hurdles

Next we had to run full pelt to the cones then it was best for last…the bouncy castle, you had to take your shoes off as fast as you possibly could then sprint through the holes then round the inflatable cylinders and up the inflatable climbing wall then down the slide. After the bouncy castle you had to grab your shoes and do a sprint to the finish line.

And the best part.....
And the best part…..
...The bouncy castle obstacle course
…The bouncy castle obstacle course

The 100 metres

After about twelve goes on the obstacle course it was time for the relay race. Teams were being sorted out between adults and children. Here are some of my favourite names “The three men and the little lady, Team Fox, Team Puma, Team GB and just to be sneaky, Team Kenny.

Closest race was heat 3 starring Team Fox, Team Kenny and Team Alpha Wolf Squadron. The first people set off and team Alpha Wolf Squadron were leading followed by Team Kenny in second and in last was team Fox. Team Alpha Wolf Squadron had passed the baton as did team Kenny and so did team Fox. It was the last person now, Team Kenny were in last with team Fox in first. Team Kenny had to close the gap but in the end they could not quite manage to. And as they say it’s the taking part that counts! Today we really believed this as it was such good fun with everyone shouting each other on.

Jude perfecting his starting position
Jude perfecting his starting position – Paul and Georgia didn’t stand a chance!
No one was more competitive than the adults!
No one was more competitive than the adults!
On the 100m start line
On the 100m start line
Pure determination
Pure determination

And PULL

Next up was the tug of war. What you had to do was get the other sides blue marked point to the middle which was marked with spraypaint. The final results were 1st Team Fox 2nd Team Flash 3rd Team Alpha Wolf Squadron.

And PULL! the tug of war competition
And PULL! the tug of war competition
Even the adults got involved
Even the adults got involved
Everyone using all their strength
Everyone using all their strength

After the mighty tug of war we had the closing ceremony where all the children that took part walked up the stairs inside of the building which was next to the field. Upstairs you had to go out onto a balcony and you could claim your shiny, gold medals. Photos were taken downstairs and all the parents were loving the medals.

Team Fox with their medals
Team Fox with their medals
Loving their medals
Loving their medals
Proud medal winners
Proud medal winners

When we had claimed our shiny, gold medals, we played on the bouncy castle with our friends. After all our tiring activities we were starving luckily there was a bbq so we had hotdogs and burgers made by John the best burger flipper Marshall!

John 'the burger flipper' Marshal
John ‘the burger flipper’ Marshall

After that lovely day we went home, happy and exhausted!

Thank you

As well as the army of helpers on the day, the Pumas Olympics wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of one man. Ian Marshall.

Ian organised the funding for the event, came up with the activities and worked tirelessly (and nearly drowned everyone in WhatsApp messages) to make sure the event came together.

Thanks to Ian, everyone had a smashing time!

Ian - the man behind the Olympics
Ian – the man behind the Olympics

 

Date: 12 June 2016

Location: Northowram Primary School, Halifax

Distance: 2.5k and 10k

Terrain: Mud and hills!

The Burner is an annual race held every year by a group of schools within Calderdale.

For the past two years the race has been hosted by Bolton Brow school and has negotiated the hills surrounding Sowerby Bridge.

But this year the race moved to the Pumas home turf! So we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get involved and help out.

Much of the behind scenes organising was done by our chairman Andy Haslam, along with the help of the rest of the Burner committee and a number of Pumas who, suffice to say, now know the route like the back of their hand!

The route

The criteria was simple:

Off road. We love our off road running us Pumas. So the route decided by Andy and Ian incorporated some of the best trails and scenery we have to offer. And obviously, it’s June, how treacherous could some off road running be?

And hills! You can’t escape them in Yorkshire, so we thought we’d pick some reet tough ones to run up. I’m certain the route was pretty much 80% uphill!!!

Here’s a map of the route we’d planned:

View route map for Northowram Burner 2016 – 10K on plotaroute.com

On the day

After all the organising, recce runs and more recce runs, the big day finally came around.

The first race of the day was the 2.5k fun run. There were over 450 runners. Most of them youngsters. The atmosphere was fantastic and we had a great warm up by Amanda Tuck.

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After the 2.5k, it was time for the 10k to get underway.

Again Amanda took us through a warm-up, with Puma Johnny taking it VERY seriously:

Johnny beasting the warmup
Johnny beasting the warmup

And then, after Andy’s safety briefing, we were off.

And they're off....not before a final wave to the crowd!
And they’re off… not before a final wave to the crowd!

The first couple of miles were a mixture of road and trail,

Thanks to the great British summer weather it rained pretty much constantly the days leading up to the Burner. This meant that the lovely downhill trail sections of the course started to resemble something from a Tough Mudder event!

The first few miles, although uphill (and including a bit of a slog up towards Queensbury), were mainly on roads so the pace was pretty quick and all the fellow runners seemed pretty happy.

The hill into Queensbury had most people looking a bit tired:

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The fun started on the descent down into the valley, I imagine those at the front of the race had an easier time than those of us towards the middle/back, as by the time we got to trail sections the ground had been thoroughly churned up by the 80 plus runners before us!

But, it’s no fun if there’s no mud! And even though it made it tough it didn’t seem to dampen anyones spirits. As with every race I’ve been to, you could hear all the competitors having a laugh and a joke about it, regardless of club, pace or ability. One of the reasons why running is such a great sport!

Once we’d passed the mud slide, and the mountain rescue man who was manning the stream crossing with a rope in case anyone got swept away, it was pretty much back to solid ground. A nice downhill and flat section gave everyone the chance to make up a bit of time. Before the dreaded Whiskers Lane.

To our Advantage (or possibly, actually, disadvantage, as we’d all spent the whole race dreading it) the Pumas knew what the finale of the race had in store. Whiskers Lane is a rocky, vertical (ok, not vertical, but it feels like it!) climb back up towards Northowram. It is a killer. If you’re ever in the area we’d definitely recommend giving it a go, if you get up it without walking you deserve a medal!

Thankfully after the climb the final stretch was flat-ish (it is Yorkshire after all!) back to the school playing field.

The winner was Joe Sagar with an outstanding time of 39:41

Winner Joe Sagar crossing the finish line
Winner Joe Sagar crossing the finish line

The first male Puma home was Luke Cranfield with a time of 45:14. Although he needs to work on his finish line face…

Luke, first male Puma home
Luke, first male Puma home

And the first female Puma home was Liz McDonnell with a smashing time of 54:31

Liz, first female Puma home
Liz, first female Puma home

Also a massive well done to all the Pumas who took part in the race, it was an amazing team effort!! As with every other event we’ve done the amazing team atmosphere and camaraderie between the Pumas makes me #proudtobeapuma.

Pumas!!
Pumas!!

And finally we’d like to give a massive shout out to:

  • Andy Haslam – Race Director Extraordinaire
  • Ian Marshal – Just for always being there to help out
  • Henry Naylor – For some great race timing skills
  • Simon Wilkinson – for yet again pulling out some first rate organisational skills and co-ordinating the marshalling of both events
  • Sarah Rushforth – For helping to organise the whole event
  • The Burner Committee – for bringing the whole event together
  • All the other helpers and volunteers for working hard to make it a brilliant day!

Event: Scarecrow fun run

Location: Northowram and surrounding trails

Weather: Wet, wet, wet

Date: Monday 2 May 2016

The Northowram Scarecrow Festival takes place every year over the May bank holiday, and as runners, the obvious highlight of the weekend for us Pumas is the Scarecrow fun run/walk.

There were two distances to choose from. A steady 3.5 mile route or a more challenging 4.2 mile route both starting and finishing at The Northowram Sports and Activity Club at 11.00am.

Both routes were a mixture of trail and road and took the runners/walkers around some of the beautiful sights around Northowram village. There were also the chance to catch a glimpse of some of the many amazing scarecrows that were scattered around the course (a fleeting glance of course….people were going pretty fast!).

Even the, at points torrential, rain didn’t dampen anyones spirits, with an amazing 108 people turning up for the event. This also included quite a few children and some of our new junior Puma members.

Everybody that took part successfully completed the run/walk and all the children received a finishers rosette.

Matt Newton was the first person back to the club after completing the 4.2 miles, despite getting lost and taking wrong turns along the way!

Thank you!

Northowram Pumas would like to thank everybody that turned up and joined in with the fun run.

It was the second successful fun run/walk hosted by the club and £210 was raised for the Scarecrow fund.

We’d also like to give a HUGE thank you to:

  • Julie and Holly for the fantastic work in registering everybody
  • and all of our amazing marshals: Paul, Jenny, Rob, Dale, Andy (also the on-course photographer!), Andrea, Elaine, Steve, Tracey, Councillor’s Baines & Taylor, Dave, Jess and John who battled some wet conditions to make sure everybody (including Matt who clearly didn’t read his route map as well as he should have!) stayed safe on route.

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Literally, since I started running, every time I go on holiday I dutifully pack my running clobber and tell myself that I will, at least once, go out for a run while I’m away.

And I suspect like many people, I never actually do. I drag all my stuff there and it sits in the bottom of my suitcase (hidden under other things so I’m not reminded about it) completely untouched until I get home again.

Total holiday running fail!

But, I recently went to Brussels and I discovered something that will change my lack of holiday exercise forever. SIGHT JOGGING!

This is amazing.

I think the name pretty much gives it away, but basically it’s a sight-seeing tour that’s based around running.

In Brussels, we booked our tour through Brussels Sight Jogging. We booked our tour before we went. It cost us €64 for 2 people and as the tour lasted upwards for 2 hours I think this was pretty good value.

The website gave information on a number of different routes you could do, we plumped for the ‘Old Brussels’ tour as this covered the main highlights of the city centre.

Our sight jogging guide, Alexandre, met us outside our Air BNB (another awesome holiday must!) accommodation and off we went.

Alex was happy to run at a pace that was comfortable for us, which was good. And over the next 2 hours we covered about 7 miles in and around the centre of Brussels.

With one of the many sights
With one of the many sights

It sounds like quite a long time to be running, but we had a lot of stops at different places of interest where Alex would give us a bit of history or story about a particular building or monument.

By doing the sight jogging we got quite a good idea of the layout of the city centre, which made the rest of our weekend a bit easier as we weren’t spending it getting lost!

We also saw a lot of things that I don’t think we’d have ever come across or known about if we hadn’t done the guided run, as your guide is a local they know all about the interesting parts of Brussels and the history behind them. It’s much more interesting than just reading it out of a guide book.

Alex was also happy to give us recommendations about where to eat and drink and also where to avoid!

Plus, it burnt off enough calories to cancel out all the beer and waffles (ha, it totally didn’t but that’s what I’m telling myself)!

2 hours sight jogging = lots of beer
2 hours sight jogging = lots of beer

If you’re off on holiday and want:

  • To do a bit of running
  • Learn about the place your staying
  • Meet a nice like-minded local

I would whole heartedly recommended sight jogging. Most major cities seem to have companies that offer it. And it is a great way to get a different view of the place you’re staying in.

We’ve already got one booked in for our summer holiday in Slovenia! Roll on sight jogging Ljubljana

 

 

 

 

 

Northowram Pumas Running Club got 2016 off to a healthy start with a 2,016m family fun run, raising more than £1,000 for charity.

Some of the fun runners at the start of the New Year's Day event
Some of the fun runners at the start of the New Year’s Day event

The friendly local club hosted the New Year’s Day event to boost the London Marathon fundraising efforts of four regular members.

If you’d like to sponsor one of our intrepid marathon runners follow the links below:

  • To sponsor Deke and Andrew who are raising money for Sense visit Virgin Money or text ATDB69 £5 to 70070
  • To sponsor Shaun or Adam you can visit their just giving pages. Click here for Shaun or here for Adam. Shaun and Adam are both raising money for The Children’s Trust.

A total of 124 people of all ages took part by running or walking 2,016 metres (about 1.3 miles) or a more challenging 5k route.

The support from the local community was overwhelming and ensured it was a huge success. It is an impressive achievement, being the first attempt at a charity extravaganza for the relatively young club, founded in September 2014.

As well as being a fast cat, Pumas are great leapers – which made the club’s mascot particularly apt for runners welcoming this leap year in style.

The younger entrants proved their potential as prospective Pumas by leaping for joy as they crossed the finishing line.

All 47 children who completed the run were awarded with a finisher’s medal.

Daniel Standeven, 7, and Lucy Thornton, 9, proudly show off their medals
Daniel Standeven, 7, and Lucy Thornton, 9, proudly show off their medals

The most challenging part of the 5k route was the slog up Score Hill, although most people looked to be enjoying it:

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Committee member Ian Marshall, who helped set up the Pumas, said: “It was a dream of mine to see the event take off. I am a proud Puma. I’ve had loads of positive feedback and people asking if we will do it next year. The kitchen team and volunteers were amazing.”

Finish line in sight! Marshal Ian Marshall encourages budding Pumas Daniel and Lucy
Finish line in sight! Marshal Ian Marshall encourages budding Pumas Daniel and Lucy

Following the recent flooding the local area had suffered over Christmas, the organisers were relieved there was no sign of any rain to dampen the spirits of the enthusiastic crowd.

The frosty weather, which would have made a Puma feel at home in its freezing mountainous surroundings, did not deter the runners, and only made their hot pie and peas lunchtime reception even more tasty.

Many family members joined participants to create a buzzing atmosphere at Northowram’s Community Sports and Activity Club, and enjoyed the hot food and a selection of homemade cakes kindly donated by friends of the club.

And we’re off! Puma Shaun Casey gets the fun run under way
And we’re off! Puma Shaun Casey gets the fun run under way

Local businesses rallied around to support the event, meaning there were some fantastic prizes up for grabs in a raffle, including a HD ready TV and DVD player, FatBoy beanbag, £50 golf vouchers and £50 worth of natural bees wax candles.

These star prizes were kindly donated by local businesses Benjamin James Flooring, Aerial Waves, Stromberg Golf and Root Candles.

Local building firm Red House Construction sponsored the event, meaning 100% of funds raised will go to Sense and The Children’s Trust (the charities that Puma runners Deke Banks, Shaun Casey, Adam Standeven and Andrew Tudor are representing in the London Marathon).

Ludbrooks estate agents have offered a free house sale which is being put up for silent auction on behalf of both charities. Any interested parties are asked to contact shaun@wearenorthlight.co.uk to find out more.

Mr Marshall added: “We have created an event that will hopefully live long after my legs give up on me.”

Members of the surrounding community are invited to hold the date for next year’s challenge of starting 2017 with a 2,017m fun run.

Rose, 4, leaps to the finish line with mum Kate
Rose, 4, leaps to the finish line with mum Kate

The Pumas meet every Wednesday at Northowram Community Sports & Activity Club to begin running at 6:30pm. We welcome runners of all ages and abilities, with qualified run leaders. Further information can be found on our training page here.

Matt Newton and Melissa Hall put their best hoof’s forward in the Reindeer Stampede organised by Epilepsy Action on Sunday 6 December at Roberts Park in Saltaire.

The 5k fun run started at 10am and saw Matt and Melissa battle with some very fetching reindeer antlers. Giving the windy conditions on Sunday morning getting the antlers to stay put was somewhat of a challenge!

The track was multi terrain and slightly flooded in places, which made it a bit more challenging. But thankfully at the finish line there were volunteers on hand to give out medals, water and more importantly a good old mince pie.

Matt and Melissa agreed with event was really well organised and very enjoyable (as the pictures below show!).

 

Rocking the reindeer antlers
Rocking the reindeer antlers
Enjoying a cheeky mince pie
Enjoying a cheeky mince pie