Newsletter July 2016



Anyone fancy a swim or a cycle?

imageThe big news this month was the introduction of  new member to the Spitfire family. The Itchen Spitfires Triathlon Club has now been officially unveiled so now Spitfires can add swimming and cycling to their repertoire. Anyone who’s interested can check out the  Facebook group and sign up to join. Experienced Triathletes and beginners are welcome and Colin Francis will be organising distance group rides and time trials. The club is registered with Eastleigh Lake and benefits from swimming discounts. Maybe it’s time to book those swimming lessons and dust off the pushbike! How hard can it be?

Summer Social


The weather was very kind for the Summer Social on 3 July and there was a great turn out of Spitfire’s and their families at the Royal Victoria Country Park to enjoy the afternoon. For those who were feeling energetic there were games of frisbee, football, rounders and several hard fought tugs of war. Gill kept the children entertained with water baloon races while familes enjoyed their picnics and the odd beverage.



There was also a raffle, with some great donated prizes, to raise funds for Radio Lillipop.

£60- Alternative pain relief-Tasha Ault- (Gillam McClure)
£60- Alternative pain relief-Tasha Ault- (Andrea Sommerville-Hewitt)
Free entry- Staunton country park- (Sarah and Paul Shave)
Family ticket- Longdown activity farm-( Meeje Brett)
Active nation family swimming voucher-(Sharon Stewart)
Active nation family swimming voucher-(Sam Grant)
Active nation 30 day health and fitness class voucher-( Paula Lovell)
Active nation free exercise class- (Paul Leeming )
£25 Ed’s diner voucher- (Dave Keates)
Cupcake voucher Catherine Crocker-(Ann Surtees)
2x tickets to Paultons park- (Paul Leeming )
Let’s rock winner- (Chris Walker)

Costco, also made a donation directly to Radio Lillipop.

As the afternoon wore on a few people fell asleep. Consumption of alcohol could have played a part in this but some of us had come straight from the Race For Life 10k so had an excuse.

RR10 Marwell 


Thirty one Spitfires ran the 7th RR10 at Marwell on 6 July. It was a hot, dry evening and as the runners burst out of the car park at the start of the race they were surrounded by a cloud of dust reminiscent of a stampede on the Serengeti. It wasn’t all firm, dry and dusty though, after days of rain the wooded parts were positively boggy and there were plenty of hills to contend with. Luckily the course did not involve running through any animal enclosures, although a few leopards, tigers, cheetahs, or even the odd rhino might have made for some spectacular PB’s. As usual there were lots of non running Spitfires to offer support and, with a loop around the car park and back to the finish, there was a double chance to cheer at the end, along with some fairly spectacular sprints to the line. The only down side to the evening was not being able to stand around chatting and watching the sunset because the car park closed at 9.15.

Rhinos at MarwellFrom byElaine Morgan
Rhinos at Marwell From by Elaine Morgan

Wyvern 10K


The next Club Championship event was the Wyvern 10K on Sunday 10 July. The wet, humid morning didn’t deter the Spitfires from turning out in force though. In fact, one in ten runners at the event were Spitfires. The place was positively teaming with them. Considering the conditions some heroic efforts were made, not just from the speedy boys and girls at the front, but from everyone who got round the course. It was especially good to see the final two ladies run to the finish line together, arms spread wide like two Spitfires flying in formation and the crowd of teammates cheering the final man over the line. Team work at its best!

RR10 Whiteley


Just three days after the Wyvern 10K, an accident on the motorway and a ten minute walk to the start line was no obstacle to the thirty two intrepid runners at the Whiteley RR10. Space was at a real premium though and cramped conditions meant there was nowhere to take a team photo. Emma returned to the collecting team along with baby Ellie, the newest member of the Spitfire family, who was suitably dressed for the occasion. Sadly, when it came to actually collecting tokens, baby Ellie decided mum was needed elsewhere but, luckily, Michelle was there to step into the breach and join Kylie.

The two lap race gave spectators double the chance to cheer and the runners double the chance to get covered in mud. The pre race warnings that trail shoes were needed turned out to be a slight understatement. Wellies might have been more useful. Amongst the crowd of runners at the finish there were lots of muddy legs and a few muddy bottoms. Not everyone stayed on their feet but everyone did finish.


So you think you know running shoes?

Running shoes are probably the most important and expensive piece of kit any runner owns. Most runners spend a lot of time researching the merits of different brands, have their personal favourites and are expert running shoe spotters. Do you really know running shoes as well as you think you do though? Can you identify the brand of shoe just from looking at these four pictures of soles? Answers next month…


Anyone still wondering about the legs from last month they were 1) Rob Kelly, 2) Dave Keates, 3) Jo Wetton and 4) Teresa Robson. Own up, how many of you worked it out by trainer spotting?


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. If anyone knows of any I’ve missed please let me know so I can add them next time.

RR10 Janesmoor Pond


The RR10 at Janesmoor Pond on July 20 was a scorcher but twenty eight Spitfires braved the heat. A few probably wished they hadn’t when they saw the hill they had to run up to get to the finish line. As a spectator, just walking back from the start over rough, rutted ground up that gravelly incline was tough going in the heat. Along with the mud, it made for an interesting race, especially for Julien, who lost his shoe and had to dig it out at one point! This was, by all accounts, the toughest RR10 yet and tested the runners to their limits. As always, there we’re plenty of cheering spectators to encourage every last person up the final hill and on to the finish.


5 Mile Spitfire Championship Races


Coming hot on the heels of the Wyvern 10K and the RR10 at Janesmoor Pond, the two five mile championship races tested runners mettle to the limits. Despite sore muscles and muggy weather there were plenty of people willing to run the five mile route from Weston Shore, through Victoria Country Park and back to the feather in Woolston. Run Leaders kindly volunteered to marshal the first race and make sure everyone went the right way. The second race was marshalled by those who’d run the first, injured runners and even one newsletter writer. Everyone did brilliantly to get round the course, whatever their time was.

Magic Mile

This month’s Magic Mile event was a sea of  Spitfires, possibly because it is one of the Club Championship events. In fact more than a third of the 81 runners who took part were Itchen Spitfires! Out of 48 runners in the first wave 21 were Spitfires and 10 out of the 33 in the second wave. There were also plenty of non running club members there to cheer everyone on. There were some impressively strong and speedy finishes and also a couple of very familiar faces on the tail end bikes in wave two!


Interview with a Spitfire 

imageThe winner of the first ever Spitfire of the Month is a familiar face to everyone who’s taken part in the RR10’s. Her smile and her clipboard have been at every single race collecting finishing tokens and cheering runners over the finish line even though an injury means she hasn’t been able to run herself. She was even responsible for the wonderful multicoloured tent we had at one race. Born in South Africa, she moved to Australia when she was seventeen and is the proud owner of an Aussie passport. Luckily for us she now lives in Southampton. So now it’s time to find out a little more about her…

How does it feel to be the first Spitfire of the month and do you have any tips for aspiring future Spitfires of the month?

It is really weird as I don’t think that I have done very much more than anyone else in the club! I am extremely honoured to be the first to receive the award and would not have spent my time whilst injured in any other way than spurring my fellow spitfires on! As to tips?? Like I said – I don’t think I did anything special – not more so than anyone else… but if I had to give a tip – it would be keep doing what we do best – encourage everyone to do the best they can!

When did you take up running and why?

As many know… I used to work at sea. I went for a year, ended up staying 8 and a half – and became very overweight (that is putting it nicely) – even more so than when I started – whilst working on ships. It is very easy to get into a habit of going to work, going to the mess, eating quickly, returning to work, going to the wardroom for copious amounts of alcohol and then going to your cabin – only to repeat it all the very next day. And all of this moving from one place to another is done in the space of around 200 meters!! So there is no exercise really! I decided when I came into the office on a project that this was my chance to change the habits of a lifetime… I started eating properly and I started walking to and from work. But I dislike walking – I just don’t see the point of using your feet to get from point A to B so I had to do something else… I did personal training – but that was expensive… I had a gym membership but only used it for swimming – so I had to do something different… a friend said – take up running!! I used to do Cross Country at school and remembered that I actually enjoyed it… so we went out for a couple of jogs (if you can call what I did in the beginning jogging) and the next thing I knew I was signed up for a race and had to train to do it…

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

C25K was my friend for a while and then I joined the Sunday Run Club which was formed for those in training the first Southampton Half Marathon event. It was here that I met Rachel and John. I had always maintained that I am no runner – that I do this because I don’t want to go back to what I used to be like… Rachel was the one that made me see that I am a runner – I run just as far as anyone else doing the same distance… They were talking about starting a running club and I was very interested… It took me year to sign up with them – I should have done it sooner but I used to take forever to make a decision for my personal wellbeing… As to what made me want to join?? The friendliness, the camaraderie (which is what I had been missing from working at sea) and the general all round supportiveness!!

How have you coped with being injured and not able to run and do you have any tips for other injured runners?

If I am really honest – I would have to say – not too well!! I don’t do what I am told at the best of times and this is no different. I knew I was injured and I still went on to do a couple of races – and this is why I am still injured!! My best advice to anyone injured is to take the advice that is given to you – rest it and don’t risk further injury by being stubborn!

What was your most memorable running moment?

I have to answer two occasions on this one… the first was running my first half marathon in Southampton and finishing it by saying – that is it… no more and definitely nothing longer! The second would have to be running over Tower Bridge in the London Marathon this year (so the no more and definitely nothing longer was out the window). The atmosphere was amazing and the encouragement and congratulatory messages I received before and after were phenomenal. None more so than those from a club I had only been a part of for less than a month when I ran! To have people on a facebook site posting about the fact that they have not only found your running number on the marathon site, but that they are going to track you whilst you run and then to actually do that and congratulate you at the end… amazing!! Also – my mum was over from Australia and at the finish line to welcome me home… that was emotional!

What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you on a run?

I have had kids throw eggs at me…. if they hadn’t broken on impact, I would have picked them up and thrown them back!!

What do you do when you’re not running?

I am a Project Manager with Carnival UK – and I am currently working on a project where we are installing a new HR Management software system across the organisation. I am responsible to putting that system onboard our fleet of 11 ships… so plenty of ship visits being done at the moment – it is good – it keeps me in touch with what I did for all those years!! Fitness related – I swim and have recently re-taken to biking. I really want to do a triathlon so am ‘training’ for that. I am doing more swimming and biking whilst injured but I am enjoying it so might incorporate it more into my routine!

Where is your favourite place to run and why?

So I see this question as 2-fold – what is my current favourite place to run and what is the most favourite place I have run in… My current favourite place to run is around Ocean Village. I love the marina area – it reminds me of home in Australia and where I used to live. It is flat and peaceful! My favourite place that I have run – I would have to say in the North Pole – at Alta in February this year… under the Northern Lights – cannot be beaten!! I believe they do a midnight marathon to the pole?? Next challenge?

Running injuries and issues you hope you never get

imageMost runners get an injury at some point in their life. From the irritation of the humble blister to a full blown fracture, they can stop you running for days, weeks, even months. There are a few injuries and issues you really hope you never have to deal with though, mostly because you wouldn’t want to tell anyone you had them.

Dead Butt Syndrome, or gluteus medius tendinosis is, quite literally, a pain in the bum. It happens when the tendons in your rear become inflamed, often from overtraining. Luckily it only usually lasts a week or so and can be helped by rest and a judiciously placed ice pack.

Joggers Nipple is, oddly, more of a problem for men than women, mostly because women usually run in supportive sports bras. Caused by friction against fabric, and more common in winter, it is painful and can lead to embarrassing bleeding. Nipple tape or judicious use of Vaseline can help but it’s also worth looking at what you wear. Loose fitting t shirts are the worse culprits, especially if they’re made of coarse material.

With Overactive Bladder the name isn’t really the issue, but needing to stop for a pee every few miles can be an embarrassment, not to mention playing havoc with your finish time. Although the need to go may be very real and can be caused by your body’s systems speeding up, it might also be a sign that you’re dehydrated. Oddly, the sensation caused by concentrated urine in your bladder can feel like the need to go. Limiting water intake may actually make it worse.

Finally there’s the infamous Runner’s Trots. We’ve all seen the finish line photos and prayed it never happens to us. The key to avoiding a finish photo you really don’t want on your wall is working out fueling issues long before the event. Never try a new gel or pre race meal on race day and experiment with what to eat and when during your training runs.

Anyone suffering with a more conventional injury might want to check out Barry Chaplin Fisher’s video post about how he dealt with his injury on the Facebook Page.


Anyone who didn’t fill out a disclaimer when they signed up needs to print one off, sign it and get it to Rachel ASAP. This also applies to junior runners whose forms must be signed by a parent or guardian. If in any doubt the forms can be printed off from the website.

July PB’s

Despite the heat, humidity and storms, there were some fantastic PB’s again this month. Hopefully no one has been missed but, if you have, let me know and I’ll add you.

If you would like your personal best in the next newsletter please message me the details on this link, or message Dave Keates who spends hours going through parkrun websites to find most of these.


Sara Min 32.59
Shaun Holloway 22.30
Gerry Robson 18.18
Darren Palmer 22.19
Thomas Shaw 23.05
Daniel Baker 18.25
Chris Harney 26.43
Theresa Robson 26.45
Jamie Foster 20.12
Teresa Mitchell 22.06
Gareth Evans 23.12
Kali Banda 20.14


Andy Herman 37.11
Darren Palmer  47.18
Paula Lovell 50.14
Jamie Foster  43.39
Lucy Ashton 57.36
Paul Leeming  59.2
Theresa Robson  56.52
James Edge 45.15
Tracy Woolhouse 1.14.53
Samantha Brownsea 43.52
Abigail Hamilton 51.39


imageLorna Banda hit the big 50 this month. Fifty Parkruns completed that is! Well done Lorna. That’s almost a whole year of Saturday mornings! No doubt she will soon be seen at a parkrun near you wearing her red 50th parkrun shirt.



imageAmanda Harris has joined  the exclusive 100 club, completing her hundredth parkrun on July 30, just in time to sneak into the newsletter and win herself a snazzy black 100 parkrun shirt. What a great job!



And finally…

Congratulations to Laura Andrews, now Laura Durham who got married to James on 22nd July. Didn’t she look lovely!



#GoSpitfires #TogetherAsOne