Join the Harriers....see the world

The Club usually arranges at least one overseas running party each year - each visit incorporating marathon / half / 10k races.  In recent years members have visited Paris, Cyprus, Vancouver, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Dublin, Cuba, Vietnam, Amsterdam, Lanzarote & Benidorm.

In 2008 one group of members re-visited the Dublin marathon and another group travelled all the way to Cuba for that country's major marathon race.

In 2009 Pete Sarson ran the Hong Kong marathon in early February and Pete Burns took a small contingent to Prague in March for the Half Marathon. In October Pete Sarson & Graham Williams travelled into deepest Scotland to run the Aviemore Half marathon.


In 2010 Harriers travelled to Prague, Vietnam, Aviemore in Scotland


In 2011 Harriers went to the Berlin Half Marathon in April.


In 2012 there were trips to Madrid and Aviemore.


In 2013 The Harriers went to Lisbon and Aviemore.


In 2014 its Cyprus and Aviemore.


In 2015 Prague, Croatia, Kate Burge (Isle of Man) and Aviemore


In 2016 Barcelona and Aviemore


In 2017 Florence Half


Florence Half Marathon




We are still hoping that in the next couple of weeks to have some details on a possible trip to Florence, Italy for our next venture. We are still waiting for details of flights to be released. Watch this space.


17/08/16 Still awaiting airlines releasing flight details. Only up to March at the moment.


We do now have a date for the race which is Sunday 9th April 2017. We will be looking to go out ont the Thursday or Friday  returning either the Monday or the Tuesday. This depends on available flights.


Kate's Race



We have received the following email from Sean regarding this years Kate's Race to be held on the Isle of Man in Memory of our much loved Kate Burge who was tragically killed in a road accident last year.


Hi Pete,


I would like to draw your attention (and via you, the Stafford Harriers) of the imminent 2nd Kate's Race. 


It's a unique event; touching a hand in the sea at Laxey, before winding your way up to the finish on the summit of Snaefell. 6 miles, 3000ft of ascent. There will then be a tram ride from the summit back to Laxey (included in the entrance fee) for tea and cake (and beer!). 


This is on the 15th October; Kate's Birthday. It's also a Saturday instead of a Sunday as I thought this would be more convenient for people coming across from the UK. I'm organising an evening 'Do' for runners and partners with a ceili and other live music, so it should be a real celebration.


Last year was very well received. I think this year will be even better.


More information and entry forms on www.katesrace.co.uk


Best wishes,




Barcelona Half Marathon 2016


Harriers International have planned for a long weekend in Barcelona, to take part in the 2016 Barcelona Half Marathon. The trip has now been booked and the details below are the prices we have paid.


It works out as follows


11th February 2016

Birmingham – Barcelona (Monarch Airlines)

0650                     1010

15th February 2016

Barcelona – Birmingham (Monarch Airlines)

2025                      2145


Grupotel Gravina Hotel – Bed & Breakfast

Double/Twin £292.00 per person

Single £352.00

Extras -

20kgs hold bag £40.00 per bag

Airport Transfer to be calculated on numbers.


Deposit would be £206.00 plus fee for any bags





Aviemore 2016


This years Aviemore trip is now ready for booking. It leaves Stafford on Friday 14th October and returns on Monday 17th October. The cost is £174.50 and has a £20 single room supplement. Below is are the full details plus a booking form.



Aviemore 2016.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [709.4 KB]

Kate's Race




There has been a lot of interest shown by Harriers to attend this race on the Isle of Man next October. We are at the moment costing the various ways of getting a large group across there. Looking at flights, ferries and hotels. (9th until 12th)


I have been in touch with Sean about the race and the number of runners allocated to the race. He says that numbers will not be a problem and that any Harrier that wants to run will be able to. He is hoping to arrange extra trams to get folks down off the mountain after the race. He will forward the entry form when it is completed.


In order to judge how many folks are likely to go on this trip we could do with knowing if you are interested. We are not asking for you to commit at the moment but we would like to know numbers fully interested. Not just those running but those going to support as well.


There will be a sheet down at the club or contact me (Pete Burns), Graham Williams or us through the club website.


We must point out that this race is the same weekend as the Aviemore Half Marathon.



An update on the trip below. George Singh has secured a hotel on the Isle of Man for the weekend. It is the only one available. The cost of the trip will be in the region of £300 pp on a half board basis travel from Stafford by coach and includes Ferry Crossings. This price is based on 30 persons going so we need to know who is really interested.

Here is a description of the race


'In memory of Kate Burge; athlete, comic, poet....vibrant, fun, unique. Start with a hand in the sea, finish on the highest point on the Isle of Man. Why? - because it's a journey and it's hard!
Toilets at start. No dogs. Trams may be available for return to Laxey, but participants should be prepared to run 8km back to Laxey or organize their own transport from the Bungalow.'

For those of you with an OS map of the Isle of Man here is the route.


Kate Burge Sea to Summit Fell Race Route


START               SC439 834 Laxey Promenade
Check Point 1    SC436 879 Summit Slieau Lhean
Check Point 2    SC414 883 Gully below Clagh Ouyr, where footpath crosses
Check Point 3    SC414 889 Summit of Clagh Ouyr
Road Crossing    SC405 885 Black Hut
FINISH               SC397 880 Summit of Snaefell


Aviemore 2015



“The details are now available for the Aviemore Half Marathon and 10K event next October 9th – 12th.  Early applications are welcome and once 30 deposits have been received the tour is guaranteed to run.  More than that and we hope we can add a  ‘Billy Bonus’!”


Aviemore Flyer 2015.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [531.7 KB]
Harriers International 2002 to 2008
Harriers International 2.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [4.1 MB]



“The details are now available for the Aviemore Half Marathon and 10K event next October 10th – 13th and the application to join the tour is on the Harriers International page.  Early applications are welcome and once 30 deposits have been received the tour is guaranteed to run.  More than that and we hope to add a ‘Billy Bonus’!”

Aviemore details .PDF
aviemore 2014 (1).pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [490.5 KB]



Join the Harriers for a week in the sun in Cyprus for the Phapos Marathon and Half Marathon. The tour leaves on Wednesday 5th March and comes back on the 12th. The tour is booked but there is still chance to get a place. Contact us throught the website for more details or open the pdf below.



Harriers Cyprus Trip pdf.
Adobe Acrobat document [939.5 KB]


22 -26 March 2013


The Harriers are visiting Lisbon for their annual spring half marathon trip. They will be flying from Manchester on the Friday Morning, 22nd of March and returning to Heathrow on Tuesday evening, 26th March. Thirty Three Harriers have signed up for the trip but there is still room for more.


Anyone interested the contact us via the website or ring Pete Burns. 




Friday 11th October  – Monday 14th October 2013
Stafford Harriers and Happy Days Coaches have made arrangements for a 4 day/3night visit to the Highlands of Scotland, which will include the Aviemore Highland Half Marathon and 10k races.

PRICE PER PERSON £159  ~ which includes 3 nights dinner,  bed and breakfast; excursions as listed; Highland Entertainment; Single room supplement £30  - Children (in 3or 4 bed rooms) £114.  

If you wish to join this tour, or require more details, or ring Bill Whitworth on 01785 602239 for more information.


Or download this booking form.

Aviemore 2013
Adobe Acrobat document [619.1 KB]



Still awaiting report and full results. There appears to have been a lot of photos on facebook but for some reason they all appeared to be about activities other than running. Just to let you know that there was some running done there are photos on the race reports page. Not all the runners were seen in the 13,000 that took part but here they all are before the start.



and here they are after the finish.





Below are the details for this years trip to Aviemore. Contact Bill Whitworth for full details.

Aviemore 2012
Adobe Acrobat document [498.9 KB]







Berlin Half Marathon 3rd April 2011




Sunday 3rd April saw a party of 15 Harriers in Berlin for the 31st Berlin Half Marathon. It is said to be the fastest half marathon in the world and it is certainly the flatest. This is probably why 28,000 runners started on the day. On a very warm and sunny morning our seven Harriers made their way to the line. A new training method had been tried by a couple of them. The idea is to break a bone before running. Dave Preece managed on a Chase run to trip and do a double somersault with pike and break a rib. Meanwhile Chris Ross broke his little toe in a bedroom related accident which we won't go into. This along with the bionic man Frank Evans they were never going to trouble the leaders.


You won't be suprised to find out that the winner was a Kenyan. He was Geoffrey Kipsang and he is the World Junior Cross Country Champion. He managed to get round in 1-00-38 beating his fellow countryman Eluid Kiplagat by just 14 seconds. The first ten runners were under 1-02.


Our runners got round at a more sedate pace but all did very well in the heat and crowds of runners that were out there. Here are their times.

Dave Preece
John Finney
Chris Ross 1-58-16
Jill Ross 1-58-16
Brian Langston 1-59-11
Sarah Johnson 2-19-38
Frank Evans 2-19-40

Please note that Sarah and Frank did not run together. In fact one finished half an hour before the other but because they started half an hour later the chip times put them together. I am not allowed to say which was which.

The Magnificant Seven

Aviemore Half Marathon 2011

Below is a card received from Bill Crystal following the recent Avimore trip



Read Bill Whitworths report on the escapades in Benidorm by opening the PDF below.

Benidorm - A Wimps report.
Adobe Acrobat document [360.7 KB]

Vietnam 2010


            So October 2010 saw the Harriers go on their fifth long haul running holiday. The only difference with this one over the others was the fact that after the holiday was booked the race date was changed. This meant that they just had to go and enjoy a holiday without the hassle of a marathon or half marathon. What a shame.

            As it happened on arrival in Siagon there were adverts for the 11th Annual Siagon fun run. So without fully knowing the details it was agreed that on the Sunday morning at 6.45am they would all run the big race. It was a big race. Over 7000 people each paid 100,000 Dong to run 4K. That was £3.30. The start was of London Marathon proportions. Thousands of folks lining up in the City Zoo to set off round the streets of Siagon.

            We were not expecting a lot as the main organiser was wearing a Stoke City shirt but as it happened everything went smoothly. Chris Ross was the first Harrier home and as he finished some runners were just starting. Even Frank Evans and Pete Burns came in the top third of the race. Then there were drinks, cakes, curries, fruit in fact anything you needed was there. We all got back to the hotel before 8am for breakfast.

            Vietnam is a fascinating country and for the next two weeks the group toured around seeing the sights. From Siagon they toured the Meekon Delta and visited the Chu Chi Tunnels and the war museums. Then on to Na Trang for the beach and swimming in the South China Sea. Then the World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay one of natures wonders of the world. Finally Hanoi an amazing city with 8 million people and 5 million motor scooters. I am sure we saw them all.



Harriers Team sponsored by Tiger Beer


3 October 2010


It should have been a Half Marathon, but the organisers changed the date of that race after we'd booked the trip !!


After a 25 hour journey and two flights we arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. We found a 4k fun run on the next day Sunday.
Getting up at 5.15 we walked to the start which was at the local zoo starting at 6.45. Entry fee was 100,000 Dong, just over £3. There was a live stage with music and dancers and a warm up routine. There were a lot of freebies including iced coffee, curry and noodles. The race started on time with seven thousand runners and walkers. We had to negotiate prams and pushchairs and lots of small children. The course was a loop on main streets and we had to stop several times to let hordes of scooters through. It was very humid and we were wet before we started. As we reached the finishing straight people were still walking from the start.
First home was Chris Ross followed by Dave Preece, Graham Williams, Jill Ross, Tony Baker, Frank Evans and Pete Burns. There were lots of free drinks and food at the end and we stocked up on rolls for lunch. Although we were all tired from the journey everybody enjoyed it and the ladies came to support us. It was the 11th race organised by the British Business Group Vietnam.
We are resting today and doing the Mekong Delta tomorrow followed by the tunnels and City Tour the next day.

Graham Williams




A number of Harriers nervously waiting with 7000 others for the start of the big race



‘ A spectacular scenic course on road and excellent forest tracks set in the shadow of the Cairngorm Mountains, around breathtaking Loch Morlich, through stunning Glenmore Forest Park and Rothiemurchus Estate, across the River Spey and finishing in the new Aviemore Highland Resort ’
And it's downhill,  not uphill !
Nearly 1000 runners took part in the 5th running of this event, under pleasant conditions and on a scenic course that was mainly downhill but featuring a steady climb from the 3.5 miles to 4.5 miles points.
Peter Sarson was the first Harrier home in a time of 1:29:06 - also the 1st "Vintage" (MV60+) class runner and setting the age group course record (since it was the first time this course had ben run).
Twenty-three runners from Stafford Harriers and other local clubs who had joined the coach trip - organised by Bill Whitworth and driven by George Singh - ran in the Half and two others ran in the associated 10k race.

Gun Pos Name Category Club Gun Time Chip Time Chip Pos
8 Darren Washington M VET City of Stoke 01:16:25 01:16:25 8
48 Peter Sarson M VINTAGE Stafford Harriers 01:29:06 01:29:02 50
68 Deborah Thomas F SENIOR Trentham AC 01:32:25 01:32:20 70
101 Kenneth Bloor M SUPERVET Trentham AC 01:35:57 01:35:28 97
115 Mark Bentley M VET Stafford Harriers 01:37:45 01:37:40 117
125 Chris Owen M SENIOR Stafford Harriers 01:38:32 01:38:28 132
178 Robert Simpson M VET Stafford Harriers 01:41:52 01:41:33 180
183 Rosemary Wilson F SUPERVET Trentham AC 01:42:04 01:41:58 194
187 Tracey Gee F VET Stafford Harriers 01:42:11 01:41:41 190
196 Eddie Smith M SUPERVET Stafford Harriers 01:42:27 01:41:59 195
277 Clive Baggaley M VINTAGE Uttoxeter RR 01:47:24 01:46:56 281
278 Guy Collins M SENIOR Uttoxeter RR 01:47:24 01:47:04 284
285 Jill Phillips F VET Stafford Harriers 01:47:48 01:47:36 294
314 Colin Earp M VINTAGE South Cheshire Harriers 01:49:42 01:49:15 317
336 John Finney M VINTAGE Stafford Harriers 01:50:58 01:50:39 347
410 Colin Pheasant M SUPERVET Cannock Chase Harriers 01:54:34 01:54:32 438
450 Sarah Johnson F VET Stafford Harriers 01:56:28 01:55:24 452
470 Darren Taylor M VET Cannock Chase Harriers 01:57:00 01:56:32 479
532 George Singh M VINTAGE Stafford Harriers 01:59:27 01:58:24 536
551 Bill Whitworth M VINTAGE Stafford Harriers 02:00:04 01:59:00 555
579 Brian Langston M VINTAGE Stafford Harriers 02:00:56 01:59:53 580
589 Michael Jones M VINTAGE Stafford Harriers 02:01:27 02:01:05 605
866 Amanda Pearce F SUPERVET Stafford Harriers 02:18:22 02:17:07 853

Gael Earp of South Cheshire Harriers ran the 10k race, finishing in 258th position in 59mins and Andrew Carter of Stafford Harriers finished in 324th position in 64mins 59secs

 Stafford Harriers and Happy Days Coaches made the arrangements for a four day visit to the Highlands of Scotland to allow us to run the races.
It was a really enjoyable trip and great value at only £144 each (which included 3 nights dinner bed and breakfast, excursions on Saturday and Sunday, Highland entertainment on Friday and Sunday nights, packed lunch on Sunday and a special memento mug). On the journey north we visited Gretna Green (where we could only dream "what might have been") and on Saturday we visited Inverness and a local mill before a quick visit to Culloden Moor Battlefield, then on to race registration.

Edinburgh Marathon 2010
23 May 2010

Report from Bec Bostock
So the question is what do you do when the weather is 26 degrees? Do you a) sit in the garden chilling with a nice cold drink, b) sit in the garden chilling with a nice cold drink or c) run 26.2 miles along the coast in Edinburgh!! and myself and a few other mad harriers choose c!!!!.  On the morning of the marathon we woke up to light drizzle and overcast which is what the weatherman forecasted, at the start of the marathon it was overcast – within 10 minutes of starting the weather changed completely and the sun burnt through and it was hot.  I think most runners where happy till about 18 miles and then the heat and conditions really hit.  The last 6 miles for me was a run/walk as by then it was about 2pm and it was so hot, added to the heat you run along the coast so I felt the heat intensified due to the reflection of the sea – and there was no sea breeze.  There were lots of poorly folk on the side of the road all looking in a very bad way, the marathon organiser put on extra water stations and the people of Prestonpans spent the day soaking runners with their garden hoses, which was very welcome.  My time was way out due to the heat but I finished and am in one piece today which is all that counts for me.  I had a great weekend in Edinburgh with Jackie Allen, Sally Burns and Sarah Johnson and Sarah and Jackie popped their marathon cherry. I would always recommend Edinburgh as it is a great marathon course - but maybe not when the weather is 26 degrees!
Can’t find the full results at the moment for everyone who ran but from the back it looked like Ed and Graham were running strong – didn’t see anyone else out on the course.
Report from Liz Stanyer

On the hottest weekend of the year, 12 ( I think ) Harriers travelled north of the border to Edinburgh for the marathon. Saturday was a blisteringly hot day and we got quite worked up about how we were going to cope running 26 miles in those conditions when we had struggled to walk up the bank from the train station!
Sunday morning was grey, overcast, cool and slightly drizzly. We got quite excited at what seemed to be perfect conditions. However about 10mins before the 10am start the clouds started to disappear and then the sun broke through and remained blazing for the entire race. There is absolutely no shade to be found around the whole course, which takes you downhill out of Edinburgh and out to the coast for a long section along the promenade. The sea wasn't even kind enough to give off a breeze. We then headed out to Mussleborough along coastal lanes and to the section where you meet the elite/faster runners heading back towards the finish. There were two sections where you beared left for a long loop off the main coastal road. I found this the hardest part of all, as mentally, I wanted to just keep going straight on and these sections appeared to go on forever. The second loop took you slightly uphill around dusty farmland and the heat at this point was quite savage.We then hit 18 miles where you turn around and you finally feel like you are heading home! Back along the coastal route passing many casualties as a result of the weather and two mad men who were pulling tractor tyres.
The finish was at Mussleborough race course where the support from the crowds was deafening.
The course was really flat, lots of variety and some of the scenery along the coast was lovely. It was just too hot! The local support was fantastic with families dishing out a much needed soaking with hosepipes and water pistols. The staff at a garage even used a jet wash on the runners, but it was a little fierce on the face! The water and lucozade stations were plentiful and the overall organisation was excellent. Our only grumble was the painful hour long walk ( or shuffle in our case ) to the shuttle buses that took you back to the city.
For a few of us this was our first marathon experience,and it was a shame to tackle such an event in such unforgiving temperatures.
However I would definitely recommend this as a marathon weekend to anyone, as Edinburgh is a fantastic city, and it really is a flat course.
Did I mention that it was hot?!!
1st male finisher was Steve Littler in 02:26:30
1st female finisher was Sarah Gee in 02:38:14 (I have rechecked that result as seems quite incredible)
1st Harrier home was Kirsty Stephenson in 3hrs 38:21 - finishing in 1203rd place from the 9459 finishers.

Report from Craig Baxter
Wow, what a first marathon.  Promised by the weatherman to be an overcast day, Sunday looked like being perfect conditions.  This was so when I first woke up and even on the start line, then within ten minutes of starting the clouds completely vanished and suddenly we were left with very uncomfortable running conditions.
The half way mark was just as I had planned, around the two hour mark with no problems.  Just after this my arm was starting to burn so I had to spend a few minutes in the first aid shelter to receive treatment on a badly sunburned arm.  I never really settled into a decent pace after this and my biggest fear started to happen, my troublesome heel, that stopped me from training in the previous four weeks, was starting to become unbearable.  I carry on to the end, trying my best to run but this was almost impossible, but I managed to put on a spurt for the finishing straight ,on the race course, finishing with a disappointing time of 4.51, but this has made me more determined to extend my marathon career.
I would highly recommend the Edinburgh Marathon and a special mention goes out to the supporters around the course and in particular the villagers of Prestonpans, who with hosepipes in hand kept us cool on a very trying day.  What a great experience and exceptional weekend with great company and the odd pint of Deuchars IPA.