Newsletter November 2017


The running Advent Calendar  

December is coming and it can be a tough month when it comes to finding time to run. Short days, bad weather and the dreaded Christmas shopping are just some of the excuses we use to avoid getting out and getting moving. Add in all the extra seasonal food and you have a recipe for disaster come New Year.

With this in mind, I thought I’d create an advent calendar of inspirational quotes to help you get out there and get moving between now and Christmas. There are no chocolate treats but, every day between 1 and 24 December, I’ll be opening one door and posting the quote on the ISRC Facebook page and on Twitter for those of you who don’t do Facebook.  Hopefully they’ll inspire you to get out and move every single day, no matter what the weather is doing and no matter how busy you are. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far, even a walk is better than sitting on the couch and the prize is how good you’ll feel at the end.

Muddy fun at Dibden Inclosure

The first event of November was the CC6 at Dibden Inclosure and, once again, the Spitfires were out in force for some muddy fun. Luckily the bright winter sun didn’t dry up all the mud and puddles on the challenging course. There was plenty of slippery stuff, some steep hills and even a stream to cross. All in all 35 Spitfires battled their way round including a few making their first CC6 appearances.

Two new volunteers, David and Helen L’Enfant, did a wonderful job of collecting finish tokens and qualified to run the next races. The cheering team included Teresa and Mitch Robson, Amanda Chalk with Buddie wearing his best jumper and Charlotte New and Ed Tavner who stepped in to take photos. There may not have been medals but the fun ended with some wonderful apple cake.

A special parkrun milestone

The first parkrun of the month was a very special event for a certain Mr John Grant. It may have been a wet and dismal day but sixty two Spitfires turned out to run with him and even more came along to cheer him around his 250th parkrun. John is event director at Southampton Parkrun so it’s no surprise to learn he has run 185 of those 250 runs on Southampton Common.

The sun may not have come out to play but the wonderful Ukulele Jam more than made up for it by playng and singing throughout the whole run. Luckily they had a gazebo to keep the rain off them, unlike the rest of us who got rather soggy. The morning ended with splashing in puddles and celebratory drinks in the Hawthrons Cafe. Sadly, no alcohol was involved but a warm cup of hot chocolate was more then welcome.

Charity begins at parkrun

On 11 November Southampton Parkrun RD, Kate Budd, took delivery of a brand new laptop from Spitfires Club Secretary Amelia Walker. The laptop, bought using club funds, should make the job of downloading parkrun results a lot quicker and easier from now on. What a great idea!

Winter running tips

When you’re running in the cold and wet keeping your toes warm and dry is top priority. Wet cold feet are a winning combination when it comes to blisters and chilblains. Shoes with Gore-Tex uppers are great for keeping the wetness out, as long as the water doesn’t come over the tops of course. If you can’t afford new winter shoes, duct tape wrapped over the mesh parts can also keep the wet and cold out, although it may get you some strange looks. If it’s really wet slipping plastic bags over your socks is another cheap and cheerful way to keep the water out. Socks that wick away wetness are also a useful addition to your winter running kit. If those shoes do get wet take out the insoles and put them somewhere warm to dry out then tightly pack the shoes with newspaper overnight. The paper will absorb the moisture ready for your next run.

Warming up doesn’t have to start out in the cold. In fact, in winter, it’s far better to warm up before you go outside. A short aerobic workout like running up and down the stairs a few times, some jumping on the spot, or a fast walk on a treadmill can get the blood flowing so you’re warm before you start. At the end of your run your core temperature can drop quickly on a cold winter day. Having some dry clothes to change into as soon as possible can help you avoid chills. A nice warm drink also helps warm you from the inside so a thermos of your favourite beverage can be a useful addition to your kit bag at this time of year.

Being prepared for anything is half the battle in the cold weather. An emergency bag in the car containing spare trainers and clothes, towels, a plastic bag to put wet muddy things in and reflective gear or a head torch in case things get darker than expected can make the difference between a great run and a disaster. If all else fails, maybe it’s time to book a holiday somewhere warm.

Upcoming events 


Click on the links below if you are interested in any of these events

This is not a complete list of all races. Check out the club calendar for updates.

Gosport and the last championship race  

On 19 November the streets of Woolston were unusually quiet. Conversely, Gosport was filled to the brim with Spitfires getting ready for the last championship race of the year, the Gosport Half Marathon.  For once the weather was playing nicely. It was a cold but bright morning with very little wind, which could only be a bonus on a course that runs along the seafront. The weather, combined with a mostly flat course was perfect for PB’s.

Pre race nerves were probably not helped by a long delay at the start but, once the race got going,  there were a few surprises in store. Several small cheer teams had positioned themselves at intervals along the course and their enthusiastic encouragement helped put smiles back on faces and boost tired legs. There was no shortage of encouragement on the course either. In true Spitfire spirit runners worked together to spur each other on to the finish line and several runners gave up the chance of their own PB’s to pace others to theirs.

As always the finishers joined the cheerers to make sure every last Spitfire had a warm welcome as they crossed the line. Now all that’s left is for Gill to go through all the results and total up the championship points in time for the End of Year Award Ceremony.

Interview with a Spitfire 

The last Spitfire of the month for 2017 is also the youngest so far. Cameron Somerville-Hewitt is only fifteen but he’s probably one of the nicest young men you could meet. This year he’s worked really hard to reduce his parkrun time and his efforts have taken him from 28 minutes to under 20, an incredible achievement. This month he also ran his first 10k, proudly wearing club colours, and finished in an amazing 43.16!

As he now runs in the fastest group you may only know him as a blur going past, so  let’s find out a little more about him.

When did you take up running and why? 

I started with the 2K junior park run in June 2015. During this time I was a member of a football team called Sarisbury Sparks. Every week as part of the training we would have to do 3 laps around a the pitch, unfortunately I would always find myself at the back of the group coming last most weeks. Therefore my mum introduced me to the junior park runs to improve my fitness. After going for a few weeks I could see a small improvement and gradually became hooked on running!

How did you first hear about Itchen Spitfires and what made you want to join?

My mum works with Rachel Grant and was a member of the Spitfires from the beginning. After many years of football I decided to leave and pursue running as my new sport. To extend my running further mum recommended joining the Spitfires to improve and focus my running. I have been a member for just over a year now and really appreciate the support I receive as a junior from the other members of the club. I have felt encouragement and support since day one and one of my proudest moments was representing the club in my first 10k race.

Do you have any running ambitions or goals?

My main ambitions are to compete in the club championships once I am old enough! Also to run in the RR10 & CC6 races.

What do you do when you’re not running?

When I’m not running I do what you would expect most 15 year olds to do, such as gaming, TV, school work, walking our new puppy and going out with mates. I have also a membership for indoor go karting and throughly enjoy it.

Do you have any running heroes, if so who and why?

Due to being new to the sport I don’t really have a particular running hero as such but would like to give a mention to Ian Howard for numerous 5k park run pacing eventually getting me to a much anticipated sub 20!

What advice would you give to other young runners?

My advice to any young runners would be always have a goal to work towards and no matter how hard it may seem never stop until you achieve it. As I’ve learnt so far with my running, patience is key.

If you could have any super power what would you choose?

My chosen super power would be to be able to read people’s minds, this sounds a pretty cool thing to do!

November PB’s 


This month’s PB list was given a big boost by the last championship race at Gosport. Well done to everyone who braved the cold and wet to make the November list and thanks, as always, to Dave Keates for combing through all the parkrun results to make sure no one got missed out.



Jennifer Fradgley 23.14
Alana Jane William 27.23
Gemma Waughman 29.26
Nick Myers 23.17
Cameron Somerville-Hewitt 19.37
Gareth Evans 19.53
Hannah Park 28.44
Kim Kelly 31.05
Tracey Penny 32.49
Trudie Green 32.55
Jackie De L’isle 29.4
Mathew Simmons 24.25
Greg Wells 25.58
Ratchel Sutch 26.25
Emily Akerman 27.59
Paddy Connors 18.04
Lindsay Bowers 31
Vicky Lodge 31.11

10 K

Andy Ward 46 02
Cameron Sommerville-Hewitt 43 16

10 Mile

Andy Ward 1:14:39

Half Marathon

Rossie Phillips 1:33:03
Paddy Connors 1:23:05
Gareth Evans 1:36:21
Leah Tavner 1:46:33
Elizabeth Smith 2:27:03
Abigail Hamilton 1:47:42
Darren Palmer 1:37:34
Sue Haig 2:31:00
Tori Collinson 2:01:08
Mark Stanmore 1:50:34
Andy Ward 1:38:20
Taylor Alexis Cooper 2:13:22
Helen Arwen Bonaer 1:40:25
Joanna Dormon 1:59:58
Mitchel Robson 2:19:09
Hannah Lawless 1:53:09
Louise Pead 2:28:46
Maria Bowers 2:14:05
Gerry Robson 1:23:46
Teresa Robson 2:01:08
Emily Akerman 2:15:49
Helen L’Enfant 2:17:26
Alana Jane Williams 2:13:52
Jonathon Barnard 1:40:27
Massimiliano Squaletti 1:16:52
Neil Glasspool 1:44:36
David Chalk 1:44:42
Glen Medcalf 1:50:34
Greg Wells 1:53:38
Charlotte Rennie 1:48:36
Ian Hart 1:33:07

Where in Woolston? 

This month I’m testing your powers of observation with a few close up shots of local Woolston landmarks. Can you work out where they all are?

Did you work out the mixed up run leaders last month? Here they are looking relatively normal.


ISRC jacket now available

The ISRC Waterproof Jacket is now available at the bargain price of £30.00. The jacket features taped seams, a foldaway hood, reflective piping, adjustable shockcord hem, Velcro adjustable cuffs and zipped pockets. It would make a great Christmas present for the Spitfire in your life and comes in sizes S, M, L, XL and  2XL to fit chest 38,  41,  44,  47 and  50 inches. Currently not shown on the kit page, it can be purchased as follows.

1. Payment to be made to Itchen Spitfires Running Club
Bank Acc No. 45206775 Sort Code 60-20-45
2. Please use your name as payee reference, this will make
it easier for us to identify your payment through the bank
3. Once your payment has been made, please send an email
to with the following details:
1. your name
2. quantity
3. total amount paid
If you have any queries please email kit fairy Julie, or have a chat with her at club.

Don’t forget to get your raffle tickets

There are some truly amazing prizes in this year’s end of year raffle so don’t forget to get your raffle tickets. If you didn’t get round to buying them from Amanda, Amelia or Sue on Club night never fear, you can still get some on the night. You have to be in it to win it!

Christmas social run

We will be having a Christmas run on the 21st December when we will visit a few local establishments as well as the  Christmas market. This will be a social run when everyone can dress up in festive gear. Please come and join the fun and see how many heads we can turn this year!

Important – Data Sharing Update from England Athletics

A change in government legislation regarding data protection called The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be in place from 25th May 2018.

When a club member joins or renews his/her membership and provides their details to an EA affiliated club, the member is also registered by the club with EA, which means that the club passes the member’s personal data to EA. It is therefore vital that you are aware of this  when you join or renew your membership.

England Athletics will use your personal information to enable  you to access to an online portal called myAthletics. They will contact you to invite you to sign into and update your MyAthletics portal (which, amongst other things, allows you to set and amend your privacy settings). If you have any questions about the continuing privacy of your personal data when it is shared with England Athletics, please contact

And finally… 

Congratulations to Jan Bray for her 25th parkrun, Run on the same day as John Grant ran his 250th and celebrated in style with music and rain.




Well done to Gillam McClure for completing his 100th official parkrun this month.






#GoSpitfires #TogetherAsOne