Race Reports

October to December 2017

Great Birmingham Run

15th October 2017

Report by Chris Elsley



Stafford Harriers were well represented at the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday with 10 members taking part in the Marathon and another five completing the Half Marathon distance.

Leading the way for the Harriers was James Found who finished in a respectable 252nd place out of over 5,200 who completed the course in a time of 3 hours 18 mins 46 secs. He finished just ahead of Ian Wood (3:19:12 – 259th) while Ian Hodkinson was 10 minutes further back coming home in 3:29:32 to take 445th.

Simon Bromley also came home in under four hours with a time of 3:51:48 (1,007th).

The other Harriers who completed the gruelling 26.2 miles were:

Alan Jones (4:08:43 – 1,711th)

Debbie McDermott (4:14:33 – 1,936th)

Jason Littlewood (4:19:55 – 2,138th)

Kerry Robertson (4:28:37 – 2,478th)

Ed Smith (4:34:12 – 2,709th)

Charlotte Ward (5:29:54 – 4,436th)

The marathon was won by Christopher Ashford from BRAT in 2:33:46 with Cambridge & Coleridge’s Sophie Kelly taking the ladies prize in 2:52:08.



First home for the Harriers over the shorter 13.1 mile half marathon was Robert Mottram Jones in a time of 1 hour 30 mins 47 secs to take 198th place.

He was followed in by:

Paul Higginson (1:32:31 – 252nd)

Nia Nokes (1:45:42 – 1,077th)

Liz Shillito (2:31:33 – 6,801st)

Sarah Gray (2:43:23 – 7651st)

Around 8,900 completed the half marathon distance which was won by William Richardson (Birchfield Harriers) in 1:06:38. Chloe Richardson (Birchfield Harriers) was the first lady in a time of 1:21:40

Werrington 10K

15th October 2017


Report by Graham Williams

While many Harriers were in Birmingham for the full and half marathons, four intrepid Harriers travelled to Werrington for the penultimate NSRRA race. This used to be a six mile race but has succumbed to the 10K trend along with Crewe 8 and Trentham 10.

I travelled with Chris Skellern arriving over an hour early so we got a good parking spot. The race started on the school field and headed straight out to the main road where we ran on the pavement which was a little congested. The race continued on good quality country lanes which were well marshalled. There were a few undulations but generally the course was pretty flat in ideal running conditions. We finished on the field where we started.

The winner was Simon Myatt from Trentham in 34.16 and first lady Kristina Defries from Stone Master Marathoners in 38.40.

The Harriers results were:

Spencer Holland



Dave Marsden



Chris Skellern


2nd L50

Graham Williams


2nd M70



Press Report


By Chris Elsley


Katharine House 10k

Stafford Harriers’ Matthew Woodman lead the way to win the Katharine House 10k at Shugborough Hall on Sunday.

Woodman came home in 36:58, just four seconds ahead of Nigel Haycock of Cannock & Stafford.

Another Harrier Liam Duggan, came home in 43:35 (14th), ahead of club mate Jason Littlewood (43:54 – 15th).

Simon Bromley (45:44 – 28th) and Dean Hibbitt (45:59 - 31st) also finished in the top 50 from a field of just under 400.

Chris Skellern was the first of the Harriers ladies to finish, taking 74th place overall in a time of 50:29.

Other Harriers times were:

Mark Withington



Alan Jones



Debbie McDermott



Scott Kelsall



Mike Evans



Claire Jackson



Lizzie Pellowe



Claire Heath



Marie Evans




In the 5k event, Harriers’ Junior Murphy Hamilton came 9th in a time of 17:54, ahead of Jack Heath (33rd – 27:03), Sennan Byrne (48th – 28:55) and Anna Byrne (49th – 28:58).

Also running for the Harriers in a field of just over 200 runners were

Harley Farrant



Jenny Farrant



Freya Haycock-Hall



Eleanor Withington



Keeley Hamilton




Chester Marathon

Meanwhile two Harriers took part in the Chester Marathon – one of the UK’s leading events over the 26.2 mile distance.

Simon Groom finished in a time of 3hrs 53m 44secs to take 1,088th place while Melonie Deakin finished in 4:36:20 to finish 1,956th.

The race was won by Lloyd Biddell of Mercia Fell Runners in 2:26:11 with Sarah Lowery of Sheffield RC coming home as first lady in 2:44:24 (43rd overall).

There were 2,644 finishers.

The weekend also incorporates a Metric Marathon (26.2km) and a Mini Marathon run over a one mile distance.


Aberystwyth Twin Peaks Race

Dave Marsden headed out to west Wales for the Aberystwyth Twin Peaks – a run of just over 7 miles which starts out near to the harbour of the Welsh town. The first of the peaks that give the race its name is the ascent of Pen Dinas. Runners then return to the town, and past the start point before heading up Consitution Hill.

86 runners completed the gruelling race with Marsden finishing in 68mins 29 secs, 21 minutes behind race winner Ken Caulkett from Sarn Helen. The first lady – Dee Jolly - was also from Sarn Helen in a time of 56:54

Aberystwyth Twin Peaks Race.

Sunday 8th October 2017.

Report by Dave Marsden.

It was a bright, sunny, warm autumn day for this race which is organised by Aberystwyth AC. The race headquarters, the start and finish areas are situated by the bandstand on the sea front promenade. From the start we headed south down the promenade passed the old university buildings to the harbour. After a loop round the harbour, we left the town and soon started to ascend the first “Peak”, which is Pen Dinas. The organisers claim the ascent to be approximately 450 feet to the monument which sits on top of this hill. From there we descend back to the town and retrace our steps round the harbour and back along the promenade. We pass the start/finish area and continue to the north end of the promenade, where we start the ascent of the second “Peak”, up Constitution Hill. This is also claimed to be another 450 feet of climbing which crosses the cliff railway. At the top there’s a flat stretch along the top before a steep descent back to the promenade and along to the finish.

It’s a tough but enjoyable race of about 7.25 Miles. It’s well organised and the “Goody Bag” comprised a shoe bag, massage ball, bottle of water, banana and cereal bars.

The race winner was Ken Caulkett from Sarn Helen in 47:10. The first lady was Dee Jolly also from Sarn Helen in 56:54. My time was 1:08:29. There were 86 finishers.

Chester Marathon

Sunday 8th October 2017

Report Mel Deakin

I only entered this event 6 weeks and 3 days before race day which is slightly mad especially for someone who rarely runs over 10k. The week before the race I knew I hadn’t done enough 10+ mile runs and the latter part of the marathon would hurt, but convinced myself to run, I would run/walk if it got too difficult and get this marathon thing ticked off my bucket list. My sister was also running and we agreed to run together, at least for part of the race. She had been far more sensible and had been following a training plan for months!

The first 13 miles were good. It was great running with my sister as we kept an eye on our pace and stopped each other from going off to fast. Mile 14 and 15 weren’t too bad although I could feel my legs getting tired and my toes were sore as they were starting to blister. My mind was taken off this somewhat by the people around, the surroundings and also the four SMM bats, who were taking it in turns to run in a pantomime horse costume – no I was not hallucinating. I am sure there was a point to this and there may be a race report on their website in due course!

Miles 16 to the end were very tough. I did tell my sister to run on without me but she refused. I don’t know at what point it started to rain, but by the end we were soaked through. Out of all the races I have done I have never been so pleased to see the finish line. Being wet though was a good excuse to splash out on a Chester Marathon hoody!

I would recommend Chester marathon to anyone who is looking to run a marathon, or perhaps the shorter metric marathon (26.2k) which is run on the same day. It is very well organised, there were feed stations every 5k with gels, Lucozade and water and toilets. The dreaded question, would I run a marathon again? Now I am home, warm, fed and watered…….I have no plans to run one anytime soon and would never run one again without doing more long distance training in advance. Never say never, but for now, I am looking forward to a few days off then getting back to parkrun and cross country.


1st Lloyd Biddell Mercia Fell Runners 2:26:12

1st female Sarah Lowery Sheffield RC 2:44:27

Stafford Harriers - chip

1087th Simon Groom 3:53:44

1956th  Melonie Deakin 4:36:20

2587 finished.