A Tail Runner’s Story

Sunday the 11th June 2017, a date in our diaries that we had been preparing for and looking forward to for many weeks. It was the day of the 2nd Northowram Burner – a 2.5k, 10k and summer fayre hosted by Northowram Primary School and Northowram Pumas Running Club. Following the success of the 2016 Northowram Burner, it was anticipated that this year’s event would be even bigger and even better. The 10k race with 200 places had sold out just a few days before and the 2.5k race had sold an unbelievable 500 places with more signing up on the day.

Walking to the school for the Marshal’s briefing at 9am there was a real buzz in the air, a feeling of excitement around the village as children, parents and friends eagerly swarmed to the school in their running gear.

Simon Wilkinson was busy delivering the briefing to a full room of tired but happy volunteers. With his professional and forever calm approach the marshal’s positions were quickly allocated and ready to go.

The Pumas racing the burner

At 10.30am it was time for the 10k to start. The 200 runners lined up by the arch on the school field ready to count down and run. Victoria Owen and I were tail runners for the race. We took our positions at the back of the group and steadily set off around the field. The support and cheers from the crowds as we ran through the school and onto Northowram Green was amazing and quite overwhelming.

As we approached the first challenging part of the course – Tan House Lane (mega hill), the main pack of runners disappeared into the distance. A group of runners from the newly formed running club Sowerby Snails were proudly holding up the rear of the race. The group had entered the 10k not to race and win but to take part and enjoy themselves. Vicky and I supported the group of Snails as we went through the first set of muddy tracks, over styles, through a field and up the long journey towards Queensbury.

Some of the Snails were struggling and found the course tough, but the unconditional support from their team members kept them going and we made it to the woods by Shibden Brook – where the running ended and the fun began!

Being at the back of the race we were met by very trampled and muddy, sloping tracks. Parts were pretty impossible to get down without a few screams and muddy bums. It was great to have encouragement from The Mountain Rescue Team and the marshals as we went through the woods. Everyone was smiling and laughing as a human chain of Snails was formed. Vicky showed no fear of the mud and dug in deep to support the group down the hills.

We then made it up Whiskers Lane and stopped for some selfies and some pictures of the beautiful views of the Shibden Valley.

Wendy at the top of Whiskers

Further on we were pleasantly met by some other Snail members that had either completed the race or had dropped out due to injury but had returned to support their fellow team mates through the final part of the course. Momentum increased as we reached the school. The group of Snails held hands in unison as they proudly crossed the finishing line.

The 10k Burner route was successfully completed by runners of all abilities, all with their own personal goals and reasons for completing the course. Well done to everyone that completed the course and thank you to all of the brilliant volunteers that helped to make the event a successful and inspirational day.

Thanks to Wendy Hewitt for her tail running and blogging!

Northowram burner 2.5k run 2017

The 2.5k run started at Northowram primary school.

Around 625 people took part in this event including adults, teenagers, dogs, buggies, people with young children and children from age 5 to 12.  Personally I really enjoyed the run and I would love to do it again. Northowram Primary school hosted the burner last year and I also took part in that. This year I found it easier because I have joined the Northowram Pumas running club and I have really improved.

The start of the 2.5k

The run started with a countdown from 10 and then the horn was blown. We all set off quite quickly, but soon people slowed down as they approached the short but steep hill up Baxter lane.

When we got to Upper Lane we began to spread out from each other. A while later we reached a steady downhill, which was closely followed by another small incline and downhill. Then there was a long flat run back to the school. As we approached the school there were many spectators clapping and cheering as we arrived back.

Jessica crossing the finish line

Afterwards we were given a goody bag and a medal. The annual school summer Fayre

was full of runners who had completed the race. The Fayre and Burner was organised by a group of Calderdale Primary school’s Parents,Teachers and friends association (PTFA). The stalls are shared out between the schools that take part. Originally the burner was set up by Bolton Brow primary school in 2014 to raise money for schools involved. The preparation for this event started in September 2016 and monthly meetings have taken place place to ensure that the day went smoothly.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed into making the Northowram Burner and School Fayre a enjoyable and interesting day.

By Jessica Cameron (age 10)

My First 10k

Charlotte Reason tells us about her first 10k

Northowram Burner My first 10k ….. off road and everyone kept saying all those hills. What am I doing?

The day has arrived I’m stood on the start line surrounded by other runners lots more experienced than me. I have butterflies in my stomach but I have on my puma top and I’m surrounded by friends and as the race started I knew I could do it. Having not recce’d the route I had no idea where I was going or what expect.

When we came up towards tan house I thought oh no I hope we aren’t going to the top luckily I spotted the marshal turning everyone off onto the first off road section. There were a few tough sections and a lot of mud. I enjoyed the woods section in the shade and downhill to the river crossing. I had a drink just before then and ended up with more down me than in my mouth maybe this is the part of running I need to master.

At whiskers I thought that I would never reach the top but eventually I saw Luke and he said I was nearly back so I picked up the speed as I headed back towards Northowram school.

Charlotte at the top of Whiskers Lane

When I eventually got back there was a great welcome as I could see fellow puma members stood outside the school gates and eventually see my fellow club runners at the finish line. With a great big grin on my face I crossed the finish line – I felt great. Overall I really enjoyed taking part in this race and I thought the support from all the marshalls and the public was phenomenal it really gave you the boost you needed to get round the course. For my first 10k I thought it was brilliant and would definitely do it again.

A Steel City runner

Jeni Harvey also competed in this years Burner, you can read about what she though on her ace running blog.