Stone St Michael’s 10k
25th June 2017
No Race Report.
14th June 2017
Potters ‘Arf Marathon
11th June 2017
Report by Chris Elsley
Just under 1,300 runners completed the Potters ‘Arf Marathon last Sunday with 14 members of Stafford Harriers among the athletes who completed the testing course.
The race was won for a record 6th time by Ben Gamble (Tipton Harriers) in 1:10:53 with Kristina Defries (Trentham) taking the ladies prize in 1:27:21.
Meanwhile a team of Harriers took part in the relay and finished 5th out of 36. The four, named as ‘3 Beauties and a Beast’ were Piers Vine, Kelly McHugh, Gemma Gray and Nia Nokes.
St Albans Half Marathon
11th June 2017
Report by Chris Elsley
Elsewhere, Ryan Nokes ran the St Albans half and finished 49th in a time of 1:27:44. More than 2,500 runners took part.
Man v Horse
11th June 2017
Report by Chris Elsley
One of the most bizarre races on the calendar took place at Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys where it’s 2 legs v 4 legs as Man races Horse over a 22 mile course. In 37 years previously, only twice have the two legs won and this year’s event went to form with Iola Evans winning on her mount Rheidol Petra. The first runner was some 20 minutes behind.
Ed Smith, Debs McDermott and Gina Brown all ran, coming home in 5 hours 41 mins. Ed was unable to get an individual place in the event but found a relay team where all the runners had dropped out. He is listed in the results with the apt name of ‘Bristol Babes’
4th June 2017
Report by Chris Elsley
The big race last weekend was the Westbridge 5 run from the local sports centre in Stone.
226 runners finished the 5 mile course which involves a mile loop in the vicinity of the Leisure Centre, another mile along the canal towpath, a 2 mile loop around nearby Aston before a return to the towpath and back to Westbridge Park.
Ryan Nokes was the first of 30 Stafford Harriers to complete the circuit, finishing in a time of 31m 10s to claim 18th place, ahead of Robert Mottram Jones (23rd – 31m 50s) and Spencer Holland (42nd – 33m 59s)
The race was won by Carl Moulton (Boalloy) in 26.46 with Kristina Deffries (Trentham) finishing as the leading lady in 30.38 (12th overall)
Bushey Park Park Run
Report by Graham Williams
While visiting my son and his family we decided to do the local park run which they had done several times before.
Bushey Park is the second largest of the Royal parks after Richmond measuring 1100 acres. It was used as the base for Eisenhower to plan the D Day landing and is next to Hampton Court home to Henry Eight and is the home of the first park run.
We arrived some thirty minutes early to park and while visiting the toilet were amazed to see so many people wearing 100, 150, 200 and even 250 park run T-shirts indicating how many runs they had completed. In view of the numbers running the start was some 30/40 yards wide. The Race director welcomed us and stated this was the 682 running of the race, we were introduced to someone from Australia and told there was also someone from Aberdeen but no mention of Stafford.
I was running with my seven year old grandson Luke and Richard my son was running with my granddaughter Zoe aged nine. Although there was a path most people ran on the grass due to the congestion. The course was completely flat with lots of mature trees and you could see the forward runners a long way ahead.
Luke ran at a steady pace and I was impressed that he thanked all the marshalls. There were lots of dogs and racing pushchairs, one man carried his dog because it was too slow. As the field thinned we were able to run on tracks. At about 2.5 miles we caught up with Richard and Zoe when the two children started to race each other.
The scanning was quite slow due to the number of runners but everyone was very friendly and chatty. Zoe finished in 30.53, Richard 30.54, Luke 31.06 and me 31.08. Luke’s PB was 29.28 and mine 19.22 but he had run in his school sports the day before.
There were 1141 runners and the winner Andrius Jacksevicius of Belgrave Harriers in 16.36 who had run 153 times. First lady was Tanith Maxwell unattached in 18.16 in her first park run.
Overall a lovely race which I am sure I will do again.
3rd June 2017
Report Jane Bisiker
Another great weekend in the lakes filled with sunshine, wine, good food, good company and a little race or two. The great thing about the race is the options for distance, and since most of us were injured, we all still had a great time. It was the first time for most of us doing the 17 k which took us along Grasmere and rydall water, and then up and up to loughrigg tarn, before coming back along the shores of Grasmere. The views were stunning, but it was difficult to take it all in as the footing was often stoney and one or two other people did fall. After the race it was back to the hotel for birthday cake ( happy birthday Gina and Alan) and wine. The celebrations continued for the rest of the night with a pre meal drinks party and a great meal. It went on that late that Ed got locked out of his hotel and spent the night on the settee with a right dog- the four legged variety called George.?. Sunday morning recovery walk was up to Alcock tarn with great views out over 5 lakes. To recover from the recovery walk we then had to go back to the beer garden and sit out in the sun with Richard serenading on the classical guitar again. Bookings are now been taken for next year.
3rd Adam lightfoot 25.19
84th Jan Bisiker 42.47
100th Annie Bisiker 45.37
113th Archie Bisiker 52.32
119th Rachel Darbey 1.0.02
120th Sue Williams 1.0.52
122nd Julie steed 1.01.22
125th Anne Coghlan 1.05.52
126th Ian Coghlan 1.05.26
127th Ceiran Coghlan 1. 05.52
38th Alan griffiths 49.43
304th Gary steed 1.27.33
305th Rich Bisiker 1.27.33
84th Ed Smith 1.44.20
85th Debs McDermot 1.44.22
93rd Jane Bisiker 1.46.38
112th Paul Bisiker 1.51.01
116th Jill Ross 1.51.44
120th Graham Williams 1.54.25
143rd Carol Downing 2.0.17
144th Gina Brown 2.0.14
147th Brian Langston 2.01.04
Gran Union Canal 145 Mile Race
Report by Chris Elsley
Stafford Harrier Chris Ross was among 66 hardy souls who completed the Grand Union Canal 145 Mile Race at the end of May.
Ross, completed the incredible 145 miles journey in a time of 40 hours 34 mins to finish 48th overall. 41 other runners who set off were forced to retire from the event.
Britain’s longest annual race commenced at Gas Street Basin, Birmingham on Saturday morning, following along the way-marked Grand Union Canal Towpath to Little Venice, London.
The race winner was Sergey Ionov who finished in an astonishing 24 hours 54 mins while Cat Simpson (3rd) claimed a new ladies record of 27 hours 26 mins.
Ross’s achievements made the efforts participants in the Flying Fox Marathon seem like a walk in the park.
83 runners completed the 26.2 mile course which was run along the surrounding country lanes taking in the village of High Offley and through to Cop Mere before heading over to Cheswardine and a return to the finish in Knightley.
Six members of Stafford Harriers were among the runners to complete the course with Robert Mottram Jones claiming an excellent 10th place in a time of 3:12:47.
Ian Wood came in 25th in a time of 3:34:08, two places ahead of Spencer Holland (3:36:36).
The other three finishers were Ed Smith (64th – 4:37:55), Georgina Coggins (66th – 4:44:27) and Craig Baxter (67th – 4:44:28).
The race was won by Paul Swan from host club Stone Master Marathoners in a time of 2:53:27 while Trentham’s Debbie Thomas was the leading lady in a time of 3:10:07.
Castlefields 5K Time Trial
31 May 2017
NB 14/09/16 course was 3.64K due to railway track being closed
Trail Attack 2017 24hr
Report by Stuart Fowlie
Trail Attack new for 2016 made a return for 2017 and is elegantly simple in its near transcendental concept; joining the likes of Thunder Run 24 and Equinox this off-roader delivers 24hours of looped trail open to solo runners, pairs and teams. So, Trail Attack takes place in deepest Warwickshire at the Heart of England Forest, an estate with an ambitious and commendable project to create a new broadleaf forest accessible to all. Today it is bucolically tranquil, in 50 years’ time it will be stunning. But to the race itself…
A small and sensibly manageable group of gnarly ultra-dirt-baggers had assembled for the start, a mix of solo heroes, pair runners and larger teams of 4-6. Whilst I was set to take my first 10km loop my biggest supporter Gaynor Fowlie was busying herself finalising our tent-based home-from-home, lashing things together, as only an ultra-running Widow can.
After a sparkling, brief, and relaxed race briefing from the Course Director, it was time to hit the trail and hit it, for loop 1 at least. That age old adage of not going off too fast? Forget it. Plenty of competitive jostling marked out the first kilometre or two as we zigzagged our way down open fields, but this was balanced by equal amounts of friendly banter, previous race anecdotes and pre-emptive injury excuses. Frankly it was good to get this all out in the open on the first lap because, as time and distance ticked by for the next 24hours, the field inevitably spread itself so thin that long(ish) periods would pass without seeing another sole. Thankfully we had roving Marshalls walking jogging in the opposite direction, so nice to see a friendly face every now and again.
Here, then is a rough breakdown of the 10km loop. The first three four kilometres proved relatively undulating with the route following numerous switchbacks and what would take on Eiger-like proportions by the 5th, 6th, 7th… loop. The fields crossed were rarely more than a straight country mile from the start/finish transition area and campsite. Support came though at the halfway point with a welcome CP delivering water and jelly sweets (the joy of which diminished slightly by 60km) before runners climbed further into a deliciously dappled copse for more arduous undulation.
The final 3km of each loop was another succession of open fields with numerous switchbacks rarely more than 300m each in length, but collectively sapping even in the early stages. The noise of the generators at 9km was always a welcome sound firstly, as it signalled the approaching end of a lap, but also as it provided a bit of a tease as you could see our home (tent) and almost touch it but you had to tackle that final switchback. It’s one of those small insanities of ultra-running that keep you sane.
The course was impeccably marked out with orange stakes at mere 10-15metre intervals and white stakes at each kilometre point, although in honesty the mind-melting effort of the trail meant that I never actually worked out the white stakes’ significance. I’d just assumed organisers had sporadically run out of orange ones… The route had been mown, making it easier to follow (particularly through the night with eyes downcast) but there was no denying that it was frequently rutted and peppered with ankle-rolling-potential holes. Personally, I had no problem with the conditions under foot, but there were small pockets of runners making their feelings known about the unsuitability for running. That’s trail running and any overt attempt to tamper with flattening out a course just isn’t true to the sports nature. Better to manage runners’ expectations than to manage the terrain.
Now to the outcome, results: So, the Solo Winner “Male” was Matt Wadkin completing 170km, the Ladies Solo winner was Monika Lampart completing 130km
And the first and only Harrier Home Placing 3rd Male Soloist and 5th Overall Solo runner completing a total of 100km in a time of 17:47:38 was Yours Truly.
Roll on the August Bank Holiday Insomnia is returning for 2017
21st May 2017
Report by Chris Elsley
Stafford Harriers’ runner Ian Hodkinson produced a time of 3 hours 28 mins 26 seconds to secure 49th place in the Windermere Marathon last Sunday.
The race is described as one of the UKs most scenic marathons and finishes in the grounds of Brathay Hall which overlooks the lake.
Hodkinson who is the Harriers Head Coach, used the event as part of his training for the forthcoming Ironman.
The race was won by Julian Goudge of Horwich Harriers in 2:47:48 with Sally Ford (100 Marathon Club) the leading lade in 3:15:41
Elsewhere, Michael Bamber and Linzi Jones took part in the White Peak Trail Run in Ashbourne. The course was around 10.5k long and took runners up the Tissington Trail before they headed over fields and stiles taking in the hilly delights of the Derbyshire countryside before a return back to Ashbourne along the Tissington Trail.
In a field of 98, Jones finished 67th in 1:17:28 with Bamber following four seconds behind.
Report by Ian Hodkinson
The 11th Windermere Marathon event at Brathay was another inspirational day for everyone. Thank you to all our sponsors for helping us to build on the success of our first 10 years. Promoted for the first time as the ASICS Windermere Marathon, and incorporating Go Active at Brathay, the event is in a strong position to take us into the next 10 years.
We cheered 657 runners across the start line, who then set off to the uplifting sound of Boomdang! After a cool and damp start, the day cleared to be bright and warm. Runners enjoyed fantastic support from our volunteer marshals and spectators around the challenging 26.2 miles, finishing in the festival atmosphere on the lawn at Brathay Hall.
Having led for most of the way, Julian Goudge won the race in 2.47.48! We were all delighted to cheer Sally Ford across the finish line as first woman home in 3.15.44. Sally is a member of the Brathay 10in10 Club, having completed the challenge in 2012. She was also a member of ‘Team Camera Dude’ for the day – a group of family and close friends running in memory of Martin Campbell – our great friend and event cameraman who sadly died last summer. In a beautiful twist, the ‘Martin Campbell Memorial Trophy’ for first local runner was won by Martin’s son, Matthew Campbell, in a fantastic time of 3.03.14.
1st Harrier home was
Ian Hodkinson 49th in 03:28:26
(The only other local spotted was John Wood from Michelin who finished in 3.45)
“A fantastic experience, small but certainly not low key event, with atmosphere & views of the wonderful Lake Windermere and surrounding Hills.
I would definitely recommend this Marathon as it made for a great weekend in a wonderful location, but don’t expect a PB as there are some challanging hill climbs, not least Ice Cream hill between 22 & 23 miles up out of Bowness towards Ambleside L
However, I would definitely suggest taking a good support crew – essential for keeping the spirits high (and wine supplies low) !
Big thanks to Gill, Lindsey, Jo, Mark & Paul for the fantastic support and not so great singing J
White Peak Trail Run
21st May 2017
Report by Michael Bamber
Sunday 21st May. It was a lovely cool Sunday morning at Ashbourne Leisure Centre, the start of the trail run. Linzi and myself had booked in at the 10am start time and it was obvious why the race was organised this way, the car park was fairly small and no way it could accommodate the 500+ runners. We had to park on a side road so the first piece of advice is to arrive early; the next is to read the instructions because as a trail run we had to carry water, food and a waterproof top. So after a fast purchase of a bottle of water and a Twix we were ready.
Issued with dibbers to register at the start middle and end of the run, we were away at 10am in a group of 15 up the Tissington track; a disused railway tunnel out of Ashbourne. This lasted for almost 3 miles to the half way point; it was like the railway track at Derrington but steeper and with a nicer view between the trees as the Peak District appeared. The water stop was an orange drink and biscuit stop, quite refreshing and pleasant before a short up hill climb along the road and then we plunged down in height to Thorpe where we went through a small gate, this is where the fun started.
Up and down hills, slippy with the overnight rain and plastered with sheep poo, through numerous gates, styles and muddy tracks it was very hard and to be honest, in parts we walked it was so steep. The second half was definitely more cross country. We rejoined the Tissington Trail after a particularity steep descent that tested our brakes. Then it was back through the tunnel to be dibbed at the Leisure Centre.
Tired but a very enjoyable run in fantastic scenery, well organised and a load of free drinks and cakes afterwards. Our split times were 29 minutes for the first 3 miles uphill on the track, and 48 minutes for the cross country roller coaster making it 1 hour 17 min for the 10.5km race. (Actually Linzi finished 4 seconds ahead of me!).
Linzi and I both agreed it was one to be revised next year, next time we will get trail shoes!
Sunday 14th May 2017
Report by Mel Deakin
Early hop over to Derbyshire to get to Carsington Water for 9:30am for this event. It is an unusual distance – the 7+ in the title is actually 7.76 miles so nearer 8- or to be precise 12.5k (and had a UKA licence). The race started at the visitor centre and was one lap of the reservoir. The course is mainly on cycle track, I had no problem running in my race shoes. At first it was quite flat, then after around half way there are several inclines, some of them quite steep which were hard going but somehow were made easier by being in such nice surroundings. Near the top the views were stunning and the sun was out, I was tempted to stop and take photos but thought better of it, it was a race after all! On to the finish, no medal but a good technical t-shirt which was fine by me. The good thing about the early start was it didn’t get too hot, and I was home for lunchtime. Definitely an event I would run again if I wanted to slot something a bit different and demanding into my race calendar.
1st Josh Hubbard 48:07
1st Female Lindsy James Kimberworth Striders 52:58
Melonie Deakin 69:02
Cheryl Metcalfe 79:15
Russell Horsley 79:15
Katherine Dono 87:21
Emma Metcalfe 87:48
Market Drayton 10k
7th May 2017
Report by Chris Elsley
The big race locally last weekend took place just over the Shropshire border in Market Drayton.
The Market Drayton 10K is one of the most popular races on the running scene with places selling out almost instantly.
More than 2,100 runners took on the challenge on one of the warmest days of the year and among them were 40 Stafford Harriers.
Kev Darby led the local club home with a 55th place finish in a time of 39:14. Next in was Michelle Fox (128th) in a time of 42.34, just ahead of Alan Griffin (161st – 43:40).
The Harriers (with gun times) were as follows:
The race was won by Telford’s David Webb in 31:33 – some two minutes ahead of Richard Carpenter. The leading lady was Tessa Clarke (Wolves & Bilston) in 37:26.
Lichfield Half Marathon
7th May 2017
Report by Chris Elsley
Elsewhere, six Harriers took on the Lichfield Half Marathon in a race that wasn’t without some disruption after a number of runners were held up at a level crossing following some unforeseen rail diversions and the organisers had to make some adjustments to the times for those affected.
Steve Vaughan came home in an excellent 10th place in a time of 1:23:58 (gun time) with Justin Green also performing well to take 21st place in 1:27:18. Paul Higginson was the third Harrier inside the top 50 (35th – 1:29:26).
Ian Wood finished 61st in 1:33:53, Dave Marsden 184th in 1:49:50 and Sarah Whyte 336th in 1:57:29.
Simon Craddock (Serpentine RC) won a closely fought race by nine seconds ahead of Jack Greenwood with Rachel Burchell taking the ladies prize. 744 runners took part.
Report by Ian Wood
I set out on the short journey to Lichfield to run the half marathon on what was to become a very warm day. We parked on the back of the King Edward VI school and runners started to congregate on the area used for the finish of the Lichfield 10k. Here I bumped into Dave Marsden who like me was doing this race for the first time we both wondered about the railway level crossing mentioned in the pre race notes but decided it would not be a problem as very few trains used it !!!
The start was on the opposite side of the field to the Lichfield 10k start so after using one of the many tardis loos and running into more Harriers and watching a warm up by virgin health I headed to the start with Paul and Justin.
The start down to the road was safer than the downhill charge over speed ramps of the Lichfield 10k. We then followed part of the 10k course for about two miles – a steep one mile downhill over the A38, then a climb past Whittington barracks before m we left the main roads and headed downhill towards Whittington village where there was great support from the locals. We were now heading towards Fisherwick Wood and I had lost sight of both Paul and Justin by now but still felt good.
The railway crossing was a surprise. The last time I saw anything that old was on the Severn Valley Railway. Luckily the wooden gates were open so I kept going this however was not the case for Dave Marsden and around fifty other runners who got stopped when passenger train came through. He said it took 5 minutes before the gates were reopened, although all runners times were adjusted some how to allow for the delay.
The next few miles took us over the A38 again then around Fradley Village which is very flat. At about nine miles we started to climb back up to Lichfield it was after about 10 miles I was starting to suffer. Up to that point I was looking at 1.31 finishing time. At 12 miles we reached Netherstowe by crossing over yet another railway line before running through a pedestrian tunnel the last half mile was downhill finishing by Stowe Pool in the shadow of Lichfield cathedral.
The race was well organised with plenty of water stations on the course finishing in a very scenic spot. A coach was used to transport the runners back to the start which was a good idea as it was about a mile between the two. The goodie bag made me smile as well as containing the usual water and banana was a pamphlet and air fresher from network rail about taking care at level crossing!
Footnote: One female entrant couldn’t run so passed her number to another (male) runner but didn’t notify the organisers. He proceeded to finish 5th but was listed as a female. This resulted in some embarrassment, not only for the organisers but also to the lady who had actually finished first to see in the official results someone higher up the rankings. The male ‘imposter’ was subsequently removed from the records and disqualified! Be warned!
13, 20,27 April
Report Chris Elsley
Last Thursday evening, 158 runners massed at Oulton Cricket Club for the third and final leg of the Spring Treble – an event organised by Stone Master Marathoners.
The first event took place on a new course at Hanchurch Hills a couple of weeks ago followed by the Milford Murder on Cannock Chase before the climax which was run over Barlaston Downs.
Competitors can choose to run one, two or three events, scoring points according to their finishing positions with the series winner being the athlete with the lowest combined score from all three.
37 Stafford Harriers competed in at least one leg and for one of them, Debbie McDermott, there was a surprise in store at the post race awards in the Oulton Cricket Pavilion as she secured the Ladies 45 prize.
The leading Harrier was Ryan Nokes who secured 44 points to finish 11th overall. The event was won by Jason Burgess of Trentham who won all three events while Deborah Thomas, also of Trentham, won the ladies prize after being 1st lady in all three events
Pictured are prize winner Debbie McDermott, followed by Mark Burrows and Lisa Sanzeri
In Pic 2 Harrier Paul Higginson leads the way ahead of Trentham’s Steven Brayford
|name||Hanchurch pos||Hanchurch time||Milford pos||Milford time||Barlaston pos||Barlaston time|
London Marathon 2017
23 April 2017
Rachel Marsden report
After previously running London Marathon in 2013 & 2015 through the general ballot, I was over the moon when I was given another chance to run it this year through the Harrier Ballot.
I started my training October last year , in the January I damaged ligaments in my knee which left me out of action for 10 weeks, after Physio I then had 6 weeks left to train for London (no pressure !!). I finally managed to train up to 17 miles which left me anxious come the day if this was going to be enough.
I travelled down on the Saturday straight to the Excel to collect my number. Here I decided to try the pace bands , previously I had run London in 5.12 & 5.15 so my aim was 5hrs.
On the Sunday Morning, I forced my porridge down and headed for the start and just by chance bumped into fellow Harrier Phil Hilsdon leaving the hotel, come with us he said he knew the quickest route by underground which I was grateful for, by 0830 I was at the Blue start in Greenwich Park, blue skies and sun shining.
The race started at 10am and only took 15 mins to cross the start line Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate cheering us on – started off a slow steady pace till I felt comfortable and managed to stick to my Pace band and enjoying the atmosphere, the music bands and the sights of London. As I approached Tower bridge I was determined to spot my family missing them both times on previous runs, guess what I missed them again but plenty of people spotted me at home on the TV !! – I got through halfway point in 2.24, it was now starting to get really warm. As I ran around Isle of Dogs I was surprisingly still feeling comfortable until Canary Wharf at 19 miles, started to feel the pain, 20 miles had few tears (weird feeling) at 21 miles just knew I had 5 miles to go where I took my final Gel. At 22 miles it was so good to see Harrier Supporter Julie Nokes a friendly face just when I needed it – As you come out of the tunnel at 24 miles its the best sight, Big Ben in front of you and knowing you are nearly there , as I rounded the bend at Big Ben the noise of the crowds is unbelievable and as I ran up Bird cage Walk at last I spotted my family, (more tears) !!! 800m to go and as I turned the corner and saw the finish line you get that weird feeling to sprint how my legs managed it I don’t know. I crossed the line in 5.07 a Personal Best for London by 5 mins and with only 6wks training was chuffed with that.
Once I met my family we headed to the traditional Harrier pub The Chandos for a much needed pint, where we also met Julie Nokes, Ryan Nokes & Mark Bentley.
The final toughest part of the day was the 2hr 30 min standing room only train journey home not what you need after a 26.2 mile run.
Thank you Stafford Harriers for the Ballot place and for the chance to run the London Marathon again. Fab weekend.
Results so far.
|Position||Name||Time||Category||Category Position||Half time||PB|
South Cheshire Air Products 10k
16th April 2017
No race report but results are:-
|301||Gemma Gray||01:00:46||Open Ladies||23|
Harriers 5K Time Trial
12th April 17
Well done to all that ran in the Castlefields 5K Time Trials, held on Wednesday evening, and thanks to all who helped out. The next one will be in June and then September, so you can track your time over the three to see how you are doing.
NB 14/09/16 course was 3.64K due to railway track being closed
9th April 17
Report by Jane Bisiker
By the time the race day had arrived we had already seen many of the splendid sites but we’re ready for them again. The hotel was 2 minutes walk from the start and finish in Santa Croce square. The Kenyans were warming up and at first we thought we would take them on. Then realised it was a 2 lap course so if we went a bit slower they could catch us up and run with us ( well ok past us!!!!). The course truly took in the sites of Florence. We ran past the duomo, past David bearing all, over the ponte vecchio and past the piazza palace. There was good support and we actually looked forward to running down the narrow streets to get a bit of shade as at 24 degrees it was a bit hotter then expected. Not many uk runners which was a shame. The Kenyans glided past me by the ponte vecchio and if you are going to get overtaken by a Kenyan there is no where better.
In true Italian style the results aren’t out yet so these are the unofficial times. Thought I had better do the race report now before the drinking starts.
Chris Ross 1.37.33
Debs McDermot 1.53.28
Jane Bisiker 1.57.28
Jill Ross. 2.05.24
Brian Langston 2.18.15
Rich Bisiker did the 8 k on a last minute whim in about an hour but did keep stopping to film himself running round all the sites.
6th April 2017
Great weather — cool and fine, under foot dry and dry !.
Full results to follow but the winners were:-
1st Jack Heath
2nd Ryan Nikes
3rd Matthew Hilsdon
2 April 2017
Report Michael Bamber
It seemed to take ages moving into the runners pen, maybe because ours was group G which was the last one and furthest from the start line, or possibility because the ladies insisted in stopping at every portaloo just in case. Last night I had listened to all the marathon horror stories, the support crew drinking beers and the runners drinking iced water, (except Ian drinking Guinness), but now I was a bit uneasy as the weatherman had got it wrong. It wasn’t chilly it was already warm and getting hotter. Some bloke on a loudspeaker was jeeing up the runners and there was a buzz of anticipation. I was already a bit tired as the hotel had a wedding disco until 2am and my cold had returned, but this dropped away as we moved forward.
As we edged to the start line we could see the first runners already ahead on the dual carriage way. The number of runners was massive and I had already lost touch with the other harriers, Ian Hodkinson and Shelly Burns in one of the faster Groups ahead, but somewhere closer Lindsey Foster, Gill Hodkinson, Joanne Olivier and Scott Kelsall. Their advice, “Don’t run too fast”, as if!
We snaked across the start line and ran along a dual carriage way in the opposite direction to the runners we had seen from the start, we then looped round a housing estate, after about 3 miles rejoining the dual carriage way. It was here that some runners were already walking but I was surprised that I did the first 6 miles in 1 hour 10 min, which is near my fastest 6 mile time. Maybe I was going too fast? Then a man with a skipping rope ran past and left my standing!
We started to hit the drinks stations and but the water didn’t seem to quench my thirst, at 8 miles I found the harrier supporters which was much appreciated, you could hear them over the noise of the crowds then the course was out to Altrincham. This was the half way point and it was a sharp uphill section but I did it is 2hours 29 min which is my third fastest half marathon time, but it was around 14 miles that I started to feel the pain in my feet, it was like having sandpaper in my shoes. It was here that I saw Ironman give his water bottle to a homeless person, surely the kindest thing I have ever seen.
The water and gell stations started to come thick and fast, everyone manned by cheering volunteers and as the field thinned out they started to call me by my name, they had a long time to read my name off the bib. I meet the harrier supporters again around 18 mile mark having just done the last 6 miles in 1 hour 14min, faster than the previous 6 miles despite the aching soles of my feet. A pleasure to see them, then again they were gone. On the other side of the road I saw a runner running backwards and a man in a wheel chair heading out towards Altrincham. Brave or what!
At about 20 miles I started to run walk then started to walk for longer distances, just couldn’t get started. It seemed to take far longer than the 2 hours that the Garmin suggested but the Running Angels appeared to offer support and painfully mile by mile I edged closer to the end.
I saw Spencer Holland at the end, he shouted encouragement and I could see the finish line, so close yet so far. He was very pleased with his time of 3 hours 11 minutes. Later I calculated that he had finished when I was at 16 miles, this should get him into the London Marathon as a ‘reasonable runner’. Ian Hodkinson finished 15 min later at 3 hours 26min beating his target of 3 1/2 hours. With about 2 miles to go my girlfriend Linzi joined me and walked me in, then again the harrier supporters and my daughters were there near the end so reluctantly I jogged slowly to the end.
It was a long walk round the Cricket Club grounds to collect my medal and t-shirt (later found to be the wrong size) and then out to meet the harriers again. They had all found the nearest bar and where enjoying a pint or two.
Shelly had managed 4 hours 19 min just a few weeks after doing her Ultra 41 mile run, barking mad of course, then Joanne, Gill and Lindsey had crossed together at 4 hours 30 min and Scott just 14 min later at 4 hours 44min. One person that I didn’t see was Wendy Sears, she was just practicing for the London Marathon in a couple of weeks, running with an injury she only managed 4 hours 54 minutes. Mad.
The organisation was fantastic, the harrier supports vocal and much appreciated, the crowds large and cheering so if anyone wants to run a marathon I can recommend Manchester. I have done my marathon now so will look forward to the next shorter race.