The Great Cumbrian Run

What's occurring peeps? image

Less than two weeks before the Great Cumbrian Run and the honour of starting the thread has fallen to me!

Being a four time veteran of this race, I remember some active and well contributed forums for this race -which have been in full flow for some months beforehand - but clearly this has not been the case this year?

I truly hope that the lack of contributions to the forum for this event is not a reflection on the level of interest for the race itself, because from my experience it has always been a good event, well organised, good facilities and with a decent amount of support.

Despite not having been able to run this race since 2008, I'm hopeful that my abiding impressions will still be the case and that the fact that a forum has not been started until now has no bearing on the event?

What say you??



  • Doing this - did first one in 1982 when I was 13 - still my best time 1:35 - trying to beat it this year though 30 years later! Was in April back then so actually 30.5 years later.

    Was 2008 on the new course out to Cumwhinton or was it still out to Crosby Lodge - I've done this new route once but was running with my daughter so a nice stroll - done it a few times in training and miles two to four are quite hard work but miles 6 to 8 are great to run - nice and flat and slightly downhill. Would think on race day that miles 2 to 4 will zip by in the early buzz of the race (hopefullyimage).

    It is a great race and always lots of support in the villages - this will be my 8th time in all - 3 back in the 80's (when route was from Brampton to Carlisle) and rest in the noughties.

    I'm hoping a good turnout too because it is 30th Anniversary, and the start in the Castle is really special - just love crossing the dual carriageway and the drivers having to stop and let us cross - and finish on track at Sheepmount stadium is always good. Just worried they have brought it too close to GNR as numbers were down a little last year too.

    Cheers, Skinny

  • Greetings Skinny - it's nice to know there's someone else out there - let's hope there are many others too (who perhaps just enjoy being quiet??) image

    Wow - when I said I was a 4 times veteran of this race, my endeavours only reach back into the relatively recent past (2005 - 2008) - you go all the way back to the very start and so have a far better idea of the rich history of this event!

    I can't remember if the route of the course changed in 2007 or 2008. I know that I ran the new route at least once (and possibly twice) but I have to say that I much preferred the course in 2005 and 2006 which was more of an out and back route (and quite flat) image before the change to the more circular course (with more hills!) image

    You might already be getting an idea of my preference for a course!!

    I'm sure Millster will put me right on this point whenever he joins in (having emerged from his hibernation) image

  • i'm in, did it last year and year before image

  • Got my race number yesterday so I'm deffo in, which will be my first. As a newbie, a question for you vets please...what is the situ with the timing chips? Do I need to collect beforehand or can I race without? I am a little confused from previous yrs threads when I've read the info..thanks! Training going well I think but on the countdown now and need to make sure I have everything in check! image

  • Kylie - these are picked up at Sands centre on the Saturday between 2pm and 7pm or can be picked up early on the Sunday morning between 7.30am (ouch) and 9.15am - you need to take your race number with you to pick up your chip - although I have been focussing on this event for nearly 12 months I only got round to entering last week so still not got my number and any info that comes with it but info above is on the booklet that I got my entry form out of.

    Good luck on the day - hoping weather is decent and the strong winds have died down.

    Any other veterans out there I have a query - I have run this race 8 times over 3 different routes - in 80's Brampton to Carlise, mid noughties out to Crosby Lodge and back and late noughties out to Cumwhinton and round the villages. However I have a gap in my history between 85 and early noughties. My recollection is that the race moved as the popularity dropped then plummetted and it finished up either starting or going round Carlisle Race course? Does anyone know all the routes it has been run over?

    It regained popularity when Sands Centre/Carlisle Leisure starting pushing it again and then changed back to the Crosby Lodge route which was a great PB course.

  • Skinny - sounds like good advice you've given there to Kylie about the chip timing collection. Although I've missed the last 3 GCR's, I do seem to recollect that this was the process I followed last time round - although knowing me it would have been a Sat evening collection (not at my best early on a Sunday morning!!)

    Kylie - the other part to your question was can you race without? I would think that the short answer would probably be yes....I think the race number is the only "must have" to take part in the race....but given that your timing chip will have been one of the things that you have paid for in your race fee.....and given that this will give you an accurate finish time (and possibly even split times too??) and will avoid the need to have to stop your watch as you cross the finishing might as well take advantage of it! From memory the collection point at The Sands Centre is not all that far from the race start at Carlisle Castle so a short detour will give you the assurance of having a "blob on" time recorded!

    Sorry Skinny, can't help you with your question, clearly I was one of those who was picked up under the Carlisle Leisure push for popularity!! I'm sure some kindly soul will be along soon and be able to help you out.

  • Hey Iam doing the GCR for the 3rd year running this year, my experience of the race is very positive and I hope to go under my last best time of 1:52, Training going reasonably well between giving up smoking n I only hope its not gonna be raining on the day! 

  • Kylie - got my race number today and a letter. re Chips - picked up at Sands on Saturday as stated above but on Sunday picked up from Castle (where start is).

  • Ah Mr Boycs, we've been expecting you! I did wonder if this thread would ever get off the ground but you were certainly one of the chief suspects to start it off. Another year, another GCR - I should at least make the start this year. Honestly cannot remember how many times I've run this but the first few were Brampton to Carlisle. I've also done Rickerby Park to Sheepmount, Sheepmount to Sheepmount, the Tennis Courts to Sheepmount (must have been after the floods in 2005) and the Castle to Sheepmount. Never did the Racecourse but I think I've done all the other courses. I agree about the chip. No problem running without but definitely worth picking it up if you can. One word of advice for any visitors to Carlisle- use one of the nearby car parks but make sure you pay and display. GCR day is party time for local traffic wardens.
  • I knew you'd surface eventually Millster - once you get the faintest whiff of a GCR thread there's just no holding you back! image

    Welcome aboard matey - glad you've been able to join the small but select band of contributors - at least you've not had several pages of posts to plough through to catch up!!

    I've just been for my first run tonight since completing the GNR some 11 days ago - I managed an enjoyable 7 miles at my usual super slow pace! It certainly appears to be a truism for me in saying that I'm getting slower with age - which is quite worrying really because I was slow when I was younger as well image

    But you know, I'm really not at all fussed about times, I'm just pleased to be running again after 4 years of not having done so! The GNR was my first HM - indeed my first event of any description since the GCR in 2008 - so times are completely immaterial to me - it's the taking part that counts! (hmmm - seem to have heard that last part before - best check in case I get done for plaigarism!!)

  • I take it we won't be seeing you next weekend Boycs? This is becoming a bad habit for you. Pleased to hear you're still running, and don't worry about slowing down - It's happening to us all.
  • What makes you say that my little Cumbrian correspondent? Are you making that fatal mistake again of employing a common sense approach and applying logic, reason and established runners training regimes to your assumption....because as you well know, I tend to steer clear of any such trivialities and stick to my tried and tested way of doing things....i.e. winging it....usually much to my cost, it must be said!!

    Are you over analysing me and thinking "he's just done a HM 2 weeks ago and has only done one run since...therefore he won't even be thinking of doing GCR 2012"

    Unlike me, who will probably decide on Fri night after work whether I feel up to it or not, and if so try to book a b&b for Sat night and sort out my race entry on the morning of the event!

    You musn't get the impression that I'm disorganised - heaven forbid - I just prefer to think of myself as being "spontaneous" image

    Let's see what the coming week brings......

  • I'm doing the GCR! It's my first time for it and also my first half. I started running about a month ago so I'm really looking forward to this one. Come to think of it, it's also my first road race - my first ever race was a very steep fell race. With it being my first, I'm aiming for under 2 hours but hoping for 1:45.
  • Don't forget your alarm clock Boycs! I may be getting slower but my memory hasn't gone just yet.........
  • Hello everybody. Registered for this last night. The feedback from last year mentions some off road does anyone know how much? Thanks
  • Hardly any! Are you local?
  • Thanks i'm coming up from Bradford, yorks, using it as a training run for Luton marathon in November.
  • Seamus - it is laughable that someone even mentioned the 'off road' bit!

    It is about 200 yards along a path which gets you from one road to a tarmacced path through the park. The path is a hard surface a bit like a farm track but is absolutely no problem to run on.

    You will enjoy it provided weather is bearable - start in Castle is great, route is fast after miles 2 to 4 which are okay, and finish through two parks and then round athletics track is excellent.image

  • You beat me to it. Off-road? You could also have mentioned that the route offers the opportunity for runners to run past a fine traditional football stadium. Anyone from Bradford may welcome this opportunity more than most.
  • Sounds great thanks!
  • According to BBC weather website, it looks as if the elements might just be kind to competitors, organisers and spectators alike!! image

    Forecast for Carlisle for this Sunday is for a cool start to the day. 10:00hrs - white cloud - 7 degrees - wind 7mph (ESE). 13:00 - white cloud - 11 degrees - wind 7mph (ESE). Locals will have to advise whether an ESE wind will be favourable or in your face? Wind is supposed to get stronger late afternoon and rain coming in during the evening - so with a bit of luck, the race might take place in fairly decent conditions and everyone get home before the rubbish weather rears itself!! One can only hope....image

    Likelihood of me making the journey north is touch and go at best I'm afraid! Or to put it another way...greetings from the sick house! image The lurgy is doing the rounds at the moment - my daughter was poorly and off from school last week, my son has been poorly and off from school this week, my wife has been under the weather for the past couple of days, and I'm currently feeling "a bit peculiar" if I'm trying to fend something off!!

    For once, being a "spontaneous" person is working to my advantage - because I can hedge my bets for a while longer before deciding whether or not it'll be a go-er. I'd really like to take part, particularly in view of having missed the GCR for the past 3 years and especially with this being the 30th anniversary of the race, but I shall just have to wait and see how things pan out!

  • BTW - meant to say Millster - there's nowt much wrong with your memory is there?

    It was all the way back in 2008 when I overslept image on the morning of the race and had to get a taxi from my b&b to as close as possible - then I had to run like hell to the Sheepmount and then run back to the Castle - just in time to take my place at the back of the field as everyone exited the castle - a position in which I proceeded to remain for the rest of the race!! After all my pre-race dashing about, I was k.n.ackered before I began!! Probably not one of my proudest days image

    And this is the exact flip side of being a "spontaneous" person - it actually gets you into more scrapes than is good for you - but at least life is rarely dull image

    Trust you to remember that Millster.......

  • Boycs - thanks for forecast - at 7mph don't think it really matters which direction it is in - just relieved its going to be dry and not blowwing a gale.

    I've been battling a sore throat last couple of days too but this morning after a couple of glasses of red last night it has miraculously disappeared - worth a try even if it doesn't work!image

    I've always thought that entering on day for a 10am start not in your own town/city is well dodgy timescale wise - you've just confirmed it!

    Hope you make it and good luck to everyone running on Sunday.

    Cheers, Skinny

  • Thank you for the advice on the main question really was do I defo need it and although it seems not as you say I might as well and also to get the accurate time etc.

    Good Luck to you all running, looks like the weather will be on our side image


  • Skinny - the fortunate part of my oversleeping tale was that this was when I used to be relatively better organised - so I had pre-entered the race and I was staying at a Premier Inn only about a mile from the start - which was just as well really! I later found out that where I had stayed the night was actually on the course of the run -as I passed the scene of my oversleeping on the way back into town before we got to Carlisle Utd FC.

    The latest on my participation in 2012 is that sadly - and I do mean sadly - I'm a non-participant! image I'm afraid that Mrs Boycs isn't feeling so clever so I'm in charge of the Boycs Jr's this weekend. In all honesty, it's probably no bad thing because I've been consuming copious amounts of vitamin c and popping lem sip max capsules for the past few days in an attempt to fend off the lurgy! Whilst this appears to have had some success in that to date I've not succumbed to it, in reality I'm probably a few degrees below par and not in the kind of rude health that you would ideally like to be in for such a stern test as running 13.1 miles presents!

    So it is with more than a tinge of sadness and envy that I bid you all bon chance as you take your places for the 30th running of the GCR - I wish I was there with you but I'm afraid it's family first!!

    Skinny - the strange thing is that the thing I did before I sat down to compose this message was to pour a large glass of red, which I'm about half way through! I'll know by morning whether or not it brings about miracle cures!!

    I seem to recall that at the 25th running of the GCR, instead of receiving another medal at the end of the race, we received a rather nice engraved glass paper weight instead - it'd be nice to know if they do similar again for the 30th running.

    I wish all of you a good run in fair conditions and hope there are plenty of PB's and positive anecdotes to peruse in the post race aftermath!

    Millster - don't worry - I think there's a few oxygen tents at strategic places on route!


  • Well, the weather was good. A bit cool to start with but not surprisingly it seemed to get warmer the further I ran. No pb for me. I think that those days are gone and as I found out today you cannot hide from Achilles Tendonitis over the full 13 miles. I thought it would hit me at some point but six miles in was a bit early. The look on my face as I limped over the line in 1.54 probably told its own story. A sensible person would not have started but having failed last year I wasn't keen to do the same again. No worries, plenty nurofen and no running will have me sorted soon. Despite my own issues I think the event was a great success again. Good course, plenty support. I know I'm biased because I live here but I would be interested in others views.
  • Well i was walking from the sands centre looking a bit confused after exiting the subway and someone kindly pointed me in the right direction, not particularly unusual except out of 1200 + runners it happened to be skinny fetish now that is spooky! I thought it was a fantastic event especially starting from the castle the course was great all round, lovely places although i don't share the enthusiasm for passing the football stadium it was the worst part and that boggy bit afterwards approaching the bridge and the climb up to the main road was a strength sapper. Finishing on the track was a nice feeling. Anyway knocked three and a half minutes of my pb finished 1:24:28 so all smiles from me will definitely come back
  • Delighted that you enjoyed the experience Seamus. The recent heavy rain made the path from the golf club a bit difficult. Good job that was the extent of the 'off-road'. The hill out of the park and the short one soon afterwards can catch out those who haven't been here before but at least you'll know what to expect next year. And if you do come back I'll tell you a better route from the Sands to the Castle. Even without my injury I wouldn't have got anywhere near your 1.24. Excellent effort on a course which isn't exactly flat. Thanks for coming to Carlisle. Here's to next year.
  • Seamus - just come on to post our ridiculous coincidental meeting but see you've already beaten me to it!

    Great time - you were looking for sub 1:30 so you smashed it - I'd just looked at results and spotted your Club so guessed that was you. Did you ever find your mate? I think I ran past him in the second mile and he was asking someone if you were ahead of him.

    I beat my time too with a 1:29 so as I was looking for sub 1:35 similarly well chuffed!

    Still think you're all making a lot of the 200 yards of path - sure there were al ot of puddles this year but out of 13 miles it wasn't very significant.

    Finally I ran the 25th too and the glass paperweight is the only one of all my running mementoes that is displayed in the house - was hoping for something similar but just a grotty medal!

    Cheers all and look forward to next year!!image

  • To answer Skinny's question. 1993 race started at Black Lion, Durdar (by Peter Beardsley) went out round Calthwaite & finished at Race Course.

    Since then start/finish reverted to Sheepmount/Bitt's Park area

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