Month: May 2016

Stone Master Marathoners. If Carlsberg made running Clubs..

In his book “Don’t Stop Me Now” Vassos Alexander @VassosA  talks about the moment when running became enjoyable. Now Im not sure if from that moment they stayed “Joyful” but I definitely had one such moment tonight, and it came when I least expected but like Vas it was raining.

I didn’t fancy tonights run, Id been out on Monday and struggled big time to run my usual five  miles,  wishing Id never started  and even walking with a friend I met after two miles,  before struggling on for another two and bit miles, I wasn’t looking forward to the Clubs 8 or 9 miles on local trails with a few hill thrown in.

Work didn’t help, boring and frustrating upgrades to store web sites that I was struggling to get working. Oh yeah and then it started to rain.

If it wasn’t a club run I wouldn’t have run. No questions Id have gone home and just not bothered. But for all those reasons you read of in running mags and web pages I went.

I ran towards the middle on my own pretty much for the first mile (about 8.40 pace) before running up Bury bank and chatting to fellow club runner about a bike service he was pleased to of got at one of Dr bikes for the local council. Two miles down Pace prob 9 -9.30 mins.

Next was the most beautiful single track trail across open fields before skirting woodland and open moorland. I mostly ran at the back chatting to fellow runners about the Brownlee brothers and the recent BBC doc. Pace probably 10 mins max and three miles down. Feeling pretty good.

Now heres the thing in this group there are some pretty fast boys and girls, (I’m not one) one chap is running the UTMB, other complete full marathons in the time it takes ne to do the Tesco shop,as well as some beginners who are working towards their first 10k. But everyone chats to everyone and its just one moving happy group of people from all walks with different goals and abilities who happen to run together while having a good time.

The group splits here with those doing the shorter run heading back to the Tennis Club,  while the others carried on. I should of headed back ( i had dad taxi duties to complete) but I knew this next bit of trail and the bit after that as Id Mountain biked it many times before, but never ran it. I knew it was brilliant and so I carried on through the gate and back onto the single track heading
off up the hill first ( before being caught and overtaken by previously mentioned UTMB runner) leaving work and Mondays run way behind now. And it was at his point and the next four miles that I started to really enjoy the run. It was bliss and piddling down with rain but there I was miles from were I started running out in the wilds ( just outside Stoke on Trent) feeling pretty blooming marvellous.

And if wasn’t for the Stone Master Marathoners or the Bats as they are known I wouldn’t of been there.

Now I m pretty sure if not on my next run then the one after Ill still feel crap and struggle, and I’m also sure that as I get up in the morning to fetch my sons bottle that the stairs will hurt till my achilles frees it self up ( need to see sports Physic SOON), but Im sure that more runs will be more enjoyable and that many of them will include rain. So if your not already doing so read







Clubs and the unknown rituals

So Im a month into running with my first running club (Stone Master Marathoners) and Im slowly getting used to their rituals and customs.

Whilst they are super friendly and always happy to help there are just a few things I suppose all clubs take for granted, the unspoken rules.

You see Im not sure after a month Im not sure wether I am allowed to use showers at the tennis club or even if Im allowed to wander further than the room we meet in. I know we probably are I just haven’t built the confidence to do it yet.

The same can probably be said for our own cycling club, if not more so with its rotating formations, funny hand signals and coffee shop etiquette (what  is acceptable to order and not) and thats with out even starting on the difference between Mountain bike coffee stops (after the ride, but hip flasks and sweets are acceptable at any point on a night ride) and road cycling coffee stops (half way through).

SO it is with this in mind that Im going to make 2 efforts. Firstly to find out whats in the other rooms, and secondly to spend more time with new members at either club.

Coffee anyone ?





The Velo Store Zipp Summer Comp

During April, May, June or July if you buy any set of Zipp s carbon wheels either at our online store or in store with us in Stone,  we will automatically enter you into a draw to win a set of the fantastic Zipp SL-70 Aero handlebars worth £300 rrp. Plus don’t forget we will be keeping our price match offer open as well.





Product of the Week Airshot TTI

If your running tubeless (and you really should be) then you definately should have one of these. So easy to use and once bought there is no need to pre abandon rides or nut to run tubeless. And whats more for May 2016 but one online or in Store and we will give a free bottle of Stans NoTubes (59ML) tire sealant for your top ups.


Meet Simon

Velo is pleased to announce that Simon Hodgkinson will be the first of our VELO sponsored athletes for 2016-2017.

A local boy and a regular on the #VeloTnr, Simon will be representing Velo at a number of TimeTrials and Triathlons as well as taking part in few other rides.

Here he agrees to take part in a Q&A session about himself, his training and cold water rescue ?

1. Name: Simon Hodgkinson
2: Age: 33
3. Profession: Tunnel Design Technician
4. Family: My Wife Sam and my two Sons Cody and Luca aged 3 and 1
5. When & what was your 1st triathlon: Wilmslow Sprint Triathlon, May 2009
6. Most interesting story: I was a torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games in Hopwas near Tamworth, and in 2011 I cycled from Paris to Stoke-on-Trent in aid of the Douglas Macmillan Hospice at Trentham.
7. Fondest Memory: Getting married to Sam then going on a rescue horse driven carriage ride from the Church at Leigh to our wedding venue in the sunshine, it was just the most magical moment of my life to date. Closely followed if not jointly topped by travelling around Europe for our Honeymoon in our campervan with Cody who was only 9 months old at the time.
8. Worst memory: My Mum losing her battle with cancer in 2004, and losing my Dad suddenly in 2012.
9. Training schedule: Sunday: Rest/Race or Evening MTB Ride with my Velo-M buddies . Monday: Lunchtime Run. Tuesday: Velo Tuesday Night MTB Ride. Wednesday: Lunchtime run and/or evening Club TT. Thursday: Gym/Swimming. Friday: Rest/Beer/Wine. Saturday: Club/Open TT’s or out with Sam and the kids in the bike trailer.
10. If you were treading water in the middle of a very long cold open water swim who would you most like to be rescued by: My Wife Samantha of course, she’d bring me round with her excellent home-made cakes.
11. What do you hate the most in life: Wind, rain & wasps (Did it say 3 things?)
12. What item could you not do without: My Bike(s)
13. Radio1,2,3 or 4 or Signal Radio: Radio 2
14. What colour trisuit would you not be seen dead in: Grey
15. Best sporting performance: 2nd in the Egg & Spoon race at Primary School (No proof of that) & Competing in the 2013 World Age Group Triathlon Final in London.
16. Most interesting fact about you: I am a distant relation of Nigel Mansell, which most probably gave me my love of speed!
17. Target/goal for 2016: To ride my bike more; having our second child last year meant I ran more miles than I cycled in 2015, as it is easier and more time efficient to fit in a decent run especially as I am fortunate enough to be able to run in my lunch hour. I have come to love my running though, especially off-road, like my cycling.
I am looking forward to competing in triathlon for The Velo Store and hope to improve my performance as the season progresses. My main target for the year is the Trentham Triathlon, where I’m aiming for a top 10 finish.
I will compete in other local road races (both cycling and running), triathlons and Time Trials during the year in preparation for this, along with my regular Velo-M club rides.


We all wish you well for the year ahead Simon and if your a friend of the Store & interested in representing Velo as either a Cat 1 or 2 rider next year, then get in touch and see what we can offer.