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End of Week 13 AND the end of Smiletastic 2016

Who would have believed we’d ever get to the end of week 13 with the final result on such a knife edge? Well actually, no one who has looked at the results over the last three months could ever have doubted the result.

SMILETASTIC 2016 has been won fair and square by FIGHTING FEATHERS! A well-deserved result for a team who worked together throughout, supported each other, ruffled a few other feathers, but showed the determination and spirit of true champions! Well done to you all!!

There were just 2 sub-zero claims but 17 pre7am/post8pm claims continue to show what new hours you’re all finding in your running day.

Elevation reached its highest point this week with Charlotte climbing nearly 2000ft in just under 5 miles which even beat Abigail’s attempt to find, and run up, every hill in the Peak District in one run… it seemed!

25 Smiletastics took part in 15 different timed events, with Bronwen racing an unbelievable 3 events in one weekend! 6 Smiletastics earned PBs and 2 new best age grading.

As the end drew near, most effort was put into the segments with PBs being set every few minutes it seemed! The final individual table will be published along with the other individual winners after our Thursday evening presentation, but once again, Fighting Feathers turned it into a military operation and rocketed down those segments making sure of their place at the top of the table for both percentage improvement AND the percentage of those that started on the table who ran a PB during the last three weeks.

Clucky Ducks were the only team where 100% of their team achieved a PB – that was on the Millhouses segment, and also earned top spot on this measure for two other segments. Millhouses also gave them the biggest percentage improvement of all teams.

It shouldn’t be thought that the Old Birds, Squawky Chicks and Rowdy Roosters came far behind and the percentage improvement and percentage of each team achieving a better time was a credit to everyone.

Just to send a chill down your feathered spines…. next year (Yes! NEXT YEAR!) we’ll start the March Segments at the place where we’ve finished this year, so I think we’ll be talking in seconds of improvement rather than minutes… now that WILL make you feel sick.

I’ve attached the weekly results as usual along with the table of weekly Smiletastic Stars.

Shortly, I’ll publish on FB (and later on the website) a brief summary of the Smiletastic overall statistics – it makes WONDERFUL reading –so much running! so many feet of ascent! so many miles!

You should also receive an email from me shortly with your individual record and some admin-y type stuff…

Thank you all for making January, February and March 2016 such memorable months! Please come along on Thursday at 8:00pm to the car park at the Beauchief end of Millhouses Park for a short presentation to individual winners and to congratulate the Fighting Feathers. See you there!


End of Week 12 Report

The end is in sight, but with a stack of points up for grabs for the segments, it is JUST possible that there could still be a change at the top…. OK, all of the Fighting Feathers would have to go down with swine flu and then possibly get themselves stewed in a nice bottle of red… but you never know. Once again, FFs are winners for the week, March so far and overall.

Clucky Ducks continue to fight hard and aren’t that far behind on the monthly score and were the only team to complete 100% of their pledged runs this week and the highest score for their longest runs. Injury, illness, skiing and general holiday issues have caused havoc with the longest run pledges with 4 Smiletastics going more than 10% over their pledge and 21 more than 10% under their pledge.

I thought we’d have no more sub-zero claims as Spring bursts out around us but there were a couple. Early/late points proliferated (remember it has always been only ONE of these per person per week!) and Smiletastics are continuing to bound out of bed to enjoy the light mornings. I think that many of you have really enjoyed this alternative time slot for your runs.

Elevation has gone up a smidgen, but not back to those February heights. Squawky Chicks are back up there at the top of this table.

26 Smiletastics took part in timed runs in 12 different venues with 9 claiming PB’s and 2 new best age gradings. The number of PBs and best age gradings inevitably had to slow down, but even so, this is an amazing number!

There were so many Smiletastics on 21 points that I ran out of space, so decided to limit the table to 22 and above – hopefully I’ve interpreted everything correctly this week!

Mad March Hare Strava Segment running is keeping you all occupied and the tables change almost hourly! Bless the youngsters – they are currently second in the overall segment table (although points will be awarded to teams on each segment separately) and are chirping happily to each other in the spring sunshine! I’ve added another statistic to the summary tables; the percentage of each team who have actually improved on their time – again a fantastic number. If these segments are used again next year, it’s going to be quite demanding to improve on the times some Smiletastics have achieved…. But that’ll make 2017 EVEN BETTER!!

Happy last week of Smiletastic – let’s make it the best yet!


End of Week 11 Reports

It’s been a week of desperation for many… illnesses, sicky cards, road kill bunnies, holidays…. and even my spreadsheet corrupting on me! (I’m fairly confident I’ve recovered all of your points, bunnies, etc. but I’m sure you’ll let me know if I haven’t)

Fighting Feathers are there at the top of the roost as usual; for the bunnies, for the week’s total, for March and overall…. Is there no way they can be caught? Maybe a concerted effort at those segments? I think we should just let them strut their stuff and the rest of us can fight each other to stay clear of the cold concrete floor of the coop…

Number of runs is causing few problems, but lots of Smiletastics had long runs that didn’t go according to plan. 21 ran more than 10% below (or didn’t do it due to illness/skiing – sicky cards only cover the number of runs), 38 were within 10% and 2 ran over 10%.

Elevation has lowered a little this week as the GG’ers possibly find the comfort of the flat trail after their efforts and the marathon trainees seek out the long level roads. Old Birds hit the top for elevation this week – probably because it’s the first week I’ve not run wink emoticon

Once again there’s been a magnificent turnout for timed runs with 16 PBs with 10 new best Age grades. It’s amazing what everyone is doing! 12 different events were covered with few being doubled. I credit everyone with all of their timed runs so please send me every timed run you do with details.

I think I’ve posted all the bunny art on our Facebook page and I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have! We had a total of 38 in the end… ranging from some superb art to some that could have been anything!! I allowed them all – who am I to judge your artistic interpretation? Well done to everyone who submitted a bunny. Just think of the new skill you can describe on your next job application!!

I’ve attached the updated segment information to the end of the week’s results. Again there are some stunning improvements showing just how fast you can run when you have a reason to do it! I will keep the updates posted through the next two weeks.

If you have any queries – dare I say it – or think I’ve missed something, please let me know.

Happy running


End of Week 10 Report


What an interesting week!  The initial stage of the March Challenge finished and the whopping number of points has given a totally unheard of weekly result – OK Fighting Feathers are in first place (what’s new?) but the Old Birds are in second!!  Unfortunately that has made no difference to their overall performance and they are languishing just a smidgen above bottom place for March and for the whole challenge. No matter – we can glory in the week’s score!


Yes, Fighting Feathers top the week, month and challenge, but the points difference is not massive and with LOADS OF POINTS available from the 5 segments, I think they need to be careful!


Number of runs was closest we’ve been to 100% and longest runs were also better than recently.  Elevation is high this week – I think the Grindleford Gallop added to the normal hilly runs.


It’s been a good week for timed runs with 31 Smiletastics collecting 26 points for their teams.  It’s been the first week we’ve had a Smiletastic doing 3 races in one weekend!  That is totally bonkers – but well done Bronwyn!  (My spreadsheet can’t cope with that but I’ve entered it manually so you get your team and individual points).


I think the biggest success this week has got to be the number of PBs and new best Age grading.  A stunning 16 of you have got a new PB with 11 new best Age Gradings.    (The calculator most used can be found at http://www.runningforfitness.org/calc/racepaces/rp)  It was an absolute pleasure to get so many emails from excited Smiletastics telling me about their achievements.  To everyone who put their success down to Smiletastic, just remember – YOU are the one who had it in you and dug in when it mattered, all Smiletastic has done is given you a reason to run and run faster than normal. Well done to you all and long may it continue!


The March segments are now at the starting line of the Mad March Hare races!  Everyone who uses Strava has got themselves on at least one segment table with 44 on all five.  I gave points for the best average time (Old Birds got that!) and points for the percentage of each team who got themselves on each segment ( a total of 95% of Fighting Feathers are on the five segments).  So now its time to RUN FAST!  Get out there and BLAST those segments.  There’s loads of points on offer for individuals and for improved average team times – and as always, it doesn’t matter if you’re a fast or slower runner – everything counts the same!


I’ll do my best to keep you updated on the progress of teams – you can check your own progress by looking at the Strava table (links from the website).


End of Week 8 report

Who’d have thought we’d get to the end of February and still be talking civilly to each other?  Although after publishing the results of the Royal Flush, that may change.


Let’s start with the Royal Flush.  The order of results is Old Birds 1st, Fighting Feathers 2nd, Clucky Ducks 3rd, Rowdy Roosters 4th and Squawky Chicks 5th .  I’ve published a separate report that explains these results to those of you keen enough to want to know WHY!!  I allocated points in the same way as for the Hearts and Monkey Run – ie 10 for 1st, 8 for 2nd etc.   These points are added to the Week 8 results (though sadly don’t seem to make much difference – except possibly to the moral in the Old Birds team who haven’t won anything before!)


So, looking at the week’s results, it’s been another success from the Fighting Feathers who have also romped their way to win the overall February Smiletastic Challenge by a measly 10 points from the determined Clucky Ducks.  I have a feeling that March will see all-out war between these two teams!  Fluffy fights at dawn on the segments!  Overall, Fighting Feathers go into March just 48 points ahead of the Clucky Ducks with the other three teams fluffing up their plumage from their lowly positions and preparing to SOAR into the March Challenge!


Running the number of runs pledged is becoming old hat now but getting the longest run within 10% of what is planned is causing more problems (including going out with a sick-bucket close to hand!).  There were 9 longest runs under by more than 10%, 7 over by more than 10% and 45 within 10% of pledged distance (and one sicky).


What was particularly impressive this week was that 39 separate Smiletastics raced at least once this week, with 7 stars runners doing TWO races in a weekend.  I felt like a couch potato as the email claims for timed runs flooded in!  Amazing achievement!  It’s a pity no one could race fast in case they got an early PB! (Hee hee!)


Elevation has some very remarkable achievements even knowing that those two Clucky Ducks had to come down off Kinder as part of their mammoth 30 mile run which diluted their elevation a tad – what a run!  Sub-zero points were easily come by this week but early/late points have decreased slightly.


So into March ! I think everyone has some idea of what the March challenges consist of and I’m throwing a massive numbers of points at the team challenges!  I think everyone is going to really surprise themselves at how much they have improved during January and February – it’s just a case of going out there and proving it… but NOT YET!!


Please email me with any specific queries or Facebook general questions.


Happy running

Sue x



End of week 7 report


I’m really scared of the results this week – it’s SO tight.


Maybe as a result of losing one of their tribe, the Fighting Feathers have been pipped to the top of the roost this week by the Clucky Ducks by a teeny weeny margin of just 0.2 points for the week.  Clucky Ducks also hold onto the top spot for February by a margin of 12 points reducing the overall Smiletastic lead for Fighting Feathers by 26 points.


It’s been a strange week with each team having minor crises amongst their ranks – I think work is really getting in the way of lots of Smiletastics – my advice is to throw in the day job and take up Smiletastic as a full time occupation!


No team have managed 100% of either pledged runs or longest runs this week.  I did make allowances for anyone who went on the Sunday run and “over-ran” their longest distance but I could only do it for those who told me that it had happened to them (I DID ask on FB!), so sorry if you didn’t – remember, it’s only a game!!!!


Bonus point claims continued for the few cold days this week and that looks to continue into week 8, but it’s definitely getting easier to get those early morning runs in!  It’s almost LIGHT at 7:00am!


Elevation continues to amuse me.  It’s just bonkers the way some Smiletastics spend all their time running up hills whereas there’s a few more “normal” ones, who look for the flat routes. Maybe there should be a bonus point for us sensible Smiletastics who get the lowest feet per mile each week!


The Strava Art Heart challenge bought in loads of last minute entries – you competitive lot! I can just see you all saying “Oh no, I shan’t bother doing that”…. Then the end draws nears and off you go….with a massive smile on your face!!  I’ve been publishing some of the more “interesting” ones as they’ve arrived including the invisible one (go to FB to “see” it!).  The percentage of people doing it was wide spread with – as usual – the Clucky Ducks and Fighting Feathers vying for the highest score. I know someone is going to notice that each of those top teams only missed ONE heart run each but I’ve said from the beginning that points are allocated on the percentage doing it…. So I can’t change that now. Sorry Fighting Feathers!  It’s only a game…. Really….!!


Individual tables are beginning to show a pattern with a top spot seeming to require TWO timed runs (only one counts towards the team each week though) but it’s good to see so many achieving near enough maximum points each week.  Individual elevation… some of these Smiletastics are just NUTS!!  Let’s hope they settle nearer sea level once the Grindleford Gallop is over!

So, one week left of February and I think we’ll be seeing a last ditch effort by those Clucky Ducks!  Will the Fighting Feathers be able to hold them off??


Please remember, I need the BEST Royal Flush from each team asap and by 29 Feb at the latest (it would help with getting results out for you if you could get them to me well before the deadline).  Once I’ve got them all, I will bribe my grown up running sons to assess them for quality and award points to each team accordingly!  This could be the make or break for February!!


March challenges will be published as soon as I’ve finished this week’s stuff.  I hope they give a last push to your spring fitness regime and help to prove beyond doubt that you are all better runners for taking part in Smiletastic.  I’ll email all of you with instructions and pledge requirements soon.


Happy running

Sue x





Week 5 Results


So, February hasn’t bought about the change we’d all hoped for and those noisy Fighting Feathers have topped the first week’s table – as well as holding their place in Smiletastic 2016 overall.  Rowdy Roosters haven’t really got themselves going in February and are sitting on their perches having taken the position at the bottom allowing the Old Birds to move up to 3rd place for the week.


Running the pledged number of runs continues to be successful for the vast majority, but now only count for half of the basic weekly individual points.  58 out of 65 Smiletastics ran at least the number of runs they’d pledged – but with over half of the Fighting Feathers sandbagging!!  


The Longest Run points account for the other half of the basic points and  49 Smiletastics ran between 90% to 110% of the pledged distance.  However, there were a number who didn’t get within these boundaries with 10 running more than 10% further than pledged and 4 running 10% less than pledged.  Ski trippers can’t get long run points unless they actually run!


(Please note that you can email to change the longest distance pledged up to MIDNIGHT on the Sunday before the week starts.  I think that should help those who are a bit less certain about what they want to do each week.)


Elevation points have been interesting – Fighting Feathers are at the top (as usual!) I think someone needs to stalk them and see that they actually run downhill and don’t just stop their watches at the top of every hill and get on a bus to go down!  Squawky Chicks are doing well here – the least number of miles and feet of elevation, yet not bottom of the elevation table, where the efforts of the Old Birds continue to be hampered by my long flat miles.


There were a few sub-zero/hottie point claims – as always, if you claim, then you get it.  I trust you all, especially as I had nothing resembling snow or ice in Sherwood forest…. just trees… and more trees.   The photos from Wednesday suggested that it had been a pretty nasty day – so well done to everyone who ventured out.


Pre-7am/post-8pm points were rampant this week! – mainly due to the antics of certain teams who made monkeys of themselves late at night in the Greystones area.  I think that has started a trend…. Watch out for next week!!  What’s happened to the Rowdy Roosters? Only ONE early or late run claim?? Are you all too tired to get off your perches? Or saving yourselves for next week?


I think the timed runs have been affected by the start of half-term with fewer Smiletastics doing one than usual and no one doing two this week.  However, we still managed to get to 7 different events – though none outside the UK.


From the responses I received last week, you liked the individual tables, so I’ve included a snapshot of those teetering at the top of the  trees.  Well done to Fiona Jeffries and Isabel Pound for topping the “running” challenges and to Lianna Bell who seems to do nothing but run uphill!!  As I’m lurking near the bottom of each table, you needn’t worry about these extending into a complete set of results!  I spent enough time as a child being the last to be picked for a team – mind you the Old Birds may throw me out yet if I keep sabotaging their elevation!


Strava Art Heart runs have started arriving – and what a success they are!  Please don’t make me have to zoom in so far that I can see individual blades of grass – that’s just not good enough!!    If you are going to tell me about your Heart run, please can you put the word “Heart” in the subject of the email to make sure I don’t miss it?  Remember you’ve got up to 22 February for this challenge.


However, you don’t need to tell me when you’ve done the Fire Monkey run – unless you want to!!  I’ll take the names from the Leaderboard on Strava at the end of week 6.  The deadline for this is zooming… Midnight on 14 Feb!!


Is anyone trying the Royal Flush Run?  I’ve not seen anything yet…..  Remember, all you have to do is run at a faster pace each mile for as many miles as you can….. easy!! (or not!).  Only ONE submission per team so you’ll have to have some discussions about that!


So, we are nearly half way through and you should be feeling the benefit of all that winter training!  I hope you’re all getting as much fun out of this as I am.


Happy running!

Sue x




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