STONE St MICHAEL’S 10K
by Bill Whitworth.
On Sunday the Stone St Michael’s 10k took place – a family event which includes a children’s relay – which was won by Stafford Harriers’ juniors- and the school fayre, making it a great day out for the whole family and it is now firmly established as one of the area’s top races. Money raised from the race is split among local organisations – half to the school and half to the Guides. The Guides, P.T.A. and Stone Master Marathoners all helped in making the event a success. The course record of 29.46 is still held by local runner Mark Roberts
This year’s race was won by Ben Gamble of Tipton Harriers who completed the course in 32:22
Race report by Jane Bisiker.
This race was the last in the formidable series and I thought I would do the last one as it’s local and it’s good to keep trying new races. It’s a multi terrain race with a few undulations and even a bit of a water feature due to a flooded road. The marshalling was excellent and the course scenic. If the other races in the series are like this one it would be a rival to the spring treble and perhaps the Gnosall race could be considered for the challange next year. The race was won byRobin Seaman-Smith in 37.38
Harriers in the race were
Stafford Harriers Press Report
8th June 2014
by Bill Whitworth
The Potters ‘Arf Marathon attracted over 2000 runners and on a sunny day the event took place through the streets of Stoke on Trent and its renowned hills. Running in preparation for his participation in the Commonwealth Games representing Sri Lanka, Anuradha Cooray of the Vale of Aylesbury won the race in a time of 1:09:18 after a fiercely fought battle with local favourite, Ben Gamble of Tipton who came second in 1:10:24. The ladies title was taken by Sophie Carter of Woodstock Harriers who finished 23rd overall with a time of 1:24:58.
Stafford Harriers were represented in the event by 12 hardy runners and were led home by Ian Wood, 1:33:30.
Harriuers times were
Elsewhere, Michael Dobson ran the Aldridge 10K event and finished in a time of 40:07 in 31st place. Birchfield Harrier Yousef Al lathaa won the race with his time of 34:01.
Stafford Harriers Press Report
Sunday 1st June 2014
by Bill Whitworth.
A flat, 5 mile course, road and path some of which is along the canal towpath offers a competitive event for the runners who participated in the Westbridge 5 event in Stone. Organised by the North Staffs Road Runners’ Association in aid of the Neo-natal Unit of University Hospital of North Staffordshire, it was fitting that the winner was Ben Gamble of Tipton Harriers whose daughter received excellent care in the unit following her birth in 2013 and money raised from this event will go towards the purchase of a special cooling mattress for the unit. He finished in a time of 26:21 and the leading lady runner was Michelle Buckle of Newcastle Staffs AC who completed the course in 32:52.
Twenty Eight Stafford Harriers participated and Phil Hilsdon led them home in 29:59.
|57||Michelle Rushton Fox||35:02|
On Saturday, 31st May nine intrepid Harriers travelled to Macclesfield area to take part in the Wincle Trout Run – a demanding 9km fell run in the picturesque Dane Valley, crossing woodlands, river (weather and water levels permitting) and high moorland (950ft of climb). It’s a case of running for your supper as every senior finisher receives a fresh Dane Valley Trout!
Julian Goodwin of Boalloy RC won the event in 42:12 and Catherine O’dwyer (Bolton Utd Harriers and AC) led the ladies to the finish with her time of 49:28. Ian Talbot was first Harrier to finish in a creditable time of 49:56. Harriers times were as follows,
Some pictures from the Hanging Stone.
Liverpool Rock N Roll Marathon
Sunday 25th May 2014
If your wanting a Marathon that is not massive in participants, see the sights of Liverpool whilst enjoying a scenic run, that isn’t flat and has great support then this could be a marathon for you.
Having trained for almost what felt like forever, the day seemed to come round quickly. The Eve of race day wasn’t what i had imagined it to be. Mark had a stomach bug which hit him hard on the saturday and instead of visiting the local sites of Liverpool, we visited numerous public conveniences along the way!!!!. Mark was unsure whether he would be well enough to run on race day, so we stocked up with plenty of water and pasta pots from the local Tesco and headed to our accommodation, with fingers and toes crossed.
I don’t know about anyone else who has ran a marathon but the night before i get so nervous, so this time i was determined to try and relax and not use up so much energy worrying whether i’d wake up when my alarm goes off, if the transport would turn up, whether i’d feel fit and well, whether my legs would remember how to run from the tapering down!!!!!! (sound familiar anyone???) I tried so hard to take on board what Chris and Gill Ross had told me a few weeks before……….”you’ve done the training, relax and enjoy it”.
Well, we did wake up on time, i did feel fit and well (and so did Mark, hurray!!!!) the taxi did turn up on time and off we went to the start line at the Echo Centre by the Docks, which the day before was deserted, was now bursting with runners all excited, nervous and itching to get running!!!!
It was well organised, plenty of room to move about prior to the race, a massive baggage store inside the Echo Centre and best of all………plenty of loos inside the Echo and outside by the waters edge. My advice would be to use the toilets inside the Echo centre as a lot of people didn’t realise there were any inside, as the toilets outside were rammed!!!!
The Parking in Liverpool wasn’t too bad, there are plenty of places to park for 24 hours and then a walk to the Echo Centre which is around 15 minutes walking distance from nearby city parking. The cost of parking ranging from £12-£15 for 24 hours. Taxi’s from outside the City from £15.
Having done all the race rituals, it was time to get into the race pens. These were spaced out in bib numbers. Mark obviously being a lower number than me, we ascertained where we would meet up after (by the Cobra Beer Tent!!!) wished each other good luck and parted to await the count down.
A lovely calm start, no pushing, no minding peoples heels, lots of space to move and see where you were going. The crowds were amazing, they were evenly spread out across the course, all the way up to the North of Liverpool (Bootle). Along the way the local bands were fantastic, keeping your spirits high and distraction from the psychological battle that goes on with your head when you hit those high miles!!!!!! There was a brilliant steel band around 10 miles which was perfectly placed half way up that drummed us up this long, steady hill. (whoever you were we both thank you all for getting us up it). Tents with dance music, tents with singers, a beautiful park, an amazing view of Liverpool at the top of a another steep incline around the half way mark (but worth the view at the top, you can see for miles). Mile 22/23 (which i was pleased to know) was down hill, although my legs didn’t think that at the time. You run down along the Dock front to the finish, in front of the Echo Centre where the crowds were in full force, cheering and encouraging you to the finishing line (my goodness did that 500 metre sign seem ages to the finish) but we both finished with huge smiles on our faces, a sense of relief and overwhelmed with the massive achievement. Mark successfully completed his first ever marathon in 03:29:55 (stomach bug and all) and I got a PB of 04:07:23, knocking 14 minutes of my Chester Marathon in 2012 (I’m still determined to get that 4 hours before i retire from marathon running though!!!!)
The goodie bag was a technical T.shirt, a rock n roll medal (which is fantastic but very heavy!!) a bottle of water, energy drink, protein bars, crisps and best of all a pint of cold Cobra beer!! Topped off with a band put on in the Finishing Village outside the Echo Centre. I would recommend that you stay for this as the atmosphere is buzzing with runners, of all abilities celebrating a great city marathon.
So, if you fancy a few hills, live music, great views of Liverpool and a cold beer at the end, this is the marathon to do.
A big thank you to all of you on the Sunday morning runs (including Mark) who really helped with my training. Its hard to run the longs miles on your own and running half with the harriers and then half on my own really helped with my motivation and commitment so i would definitely recommend doing your big miles with the club runners when training for a marathon. Sharing a marathon with a loved one, friend, family member or running mate is the icing on the cake for me and i’m sure if you’ve ran a marathon you’d agree.
The hardest thing for me now is the resting period after all the training and long miles but i’m going to listen to the experienced runners amongst us and take a couple of weeks off from running and racing and hit the pool and gym instead for recovery time. (i’ve asked for my trainers to be hidden from me for 2 weeks so they don’t temp me!!). Mark is fully recovered from his bug now and is looking for his next Marathon………..(and he told me that he would only do one) We all know that when you’ve done one marathon you want to do another,don’t we??
Ange Brookes & Mark Orchard.
Flying Fox Marathon
25th May 2014
This being a one off return of this marathon to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of it last being ran in 1994. The course was undulating around country lanes.
As the rain finally give in just prior to the start, it left perfect conditions for marathon running.
A few club members made the trip to support fellow club mates, some took the safe option of travelling by car, a couple were more energetic and cycled. However it may be safer for one of them to stick to running where his feet are in more contact with the ground!
Anyway I digress!
7 Harriers decided to take on the challenge and didn’t they do well! There were some great performances and several of them achieved personal goals, between them they scooped 4 Staffordshire Marathon County Championships awards.
The winner was Nicholas Hackett of South Cheshire Harriers in 2:44:55, first lady was Katie Samuelson from Cambridge and Coleridge AC 3:17:58.
5th Ryan Nokes 3:02:49 PB 1st senior male Staffs County Championships
7th Adam Morris 3:10:51 3rd senior male Staffs County Championships
11th Ian Wood 3:14:01 2nd M50 Staffs County Championships
50th Chris Owen 3:48:44
77th Eddie Smith 3:57:59 1st M60 Staffs County Championships
117th Graham Williams 4:28:39 Qualified for London marathon (Good for age)
120th Sally Dean 4:31:59 Debut marathon
This was a special race to celebrate twenty years since the last race. I ran that and still have the large mug we were given for finishing. I never intended to compete this time my last marathon was Edinburgh in 2010. The London marathon next year takes place on my 70 the birthday so I duly entered the ballot at along with 125,000 other people and would worry about getting a place in October.
Some three weeks ago Bill Whitworth who had heard from Sara Broome, who’s 50th is on the same day about my own birthday. Bill said that if I could run a marathon in under five hours, which is the qualifying time for 70 and over, before the middle of June I could use that as a qualifying time for next year. Big, big, decision. Having entered my marathon preparation was the Uttoxeter half marathon followed by twelve miles from Burton manor followed by nine miles on the chase. The race was one lap from Knighton village hall. Following heavy rain overnight there was quite a bit of water and some mud but it did not really affect your running
The course was mainly on country lanes and minor roads. I started very steadily and upped the pace after a toilet stop. There were plenty of marshals and the water stations were well run. In the early stages there was quite a bit of chatter but this stopped as we progressed. At about seventeen miles I thought there must be easier ways of getting ten points chasing Gill Hodkinson in the Harriers challenge. Apart from the water stations I did not walk which must be a first for me. I was delighted to finish in 4.28.34 and qualify for London.
I should like to thank Liz and Tracy for there support around the course. Liz was her usual demure, reserved self which was great, also Bill for his advice and Ed for looking after me at the finish.
Seven Harriers competed and did very well as detailed in the report from Tracy. This was a local race organised by a local club and was in the Nsrra and the Harriers challenge and I thought there might have been more Harriers. It was Undulating but was very well organised and was a credit to Stone Master Marathoners.
Report by Graham Williams.
BUPA GREATER MANCHESTER RUN
Sunday 18th May
I arrived in Manchester on Saturday lunchtime to stay over and to watch the Athletes , Greg Rutherford, Christine Ohuruogu and Yohan Blake compete in the Great City Games.
Sunday morning I made my way to the start for Europe’s biggest 10k – I was in the white wave which was massive , the sun shining and already very warm, the nerves starting to kick in . The Elite men and women had started already, our wave to go next , Amir Khan started the race off and I was heading out of the city centre amongst the sheer volume of runners – I reached the 3k in 17 mins and by now feeling the heat although there was a pleasant breeze. The crowds were amazing, shouting your name, encouraging you and the bands along the route playing kept me going – as I ran past the Man united football ground , the much needed water station was ahead. My next water would be at the finish apart from the shower tents to run through on the route again much needed. As I crossed the 8K in 49mins the Hilton hotel was now in view and knew I was nearly at the finish. From 800m mark, the crowds now massive , as I rounded the bend from 200m I could see the finish ahead my legs tired gave a final sprint and crossed it in 1hr 02 mins .
It had to be the best 10k I have ran for the atmosphere, the crowds almost on the same scale as the London Marathon and a nice medal and T-shirt ! Hopefully be back to do it again next year. Great weekend, one I won’t forget.
Monmoor Green Canter
Not really a race report but a Harrier report to important to hide away.
Dixie’s Rocket was the name. Race 14, the very last race of the night, trap 4.
We waited on the Monmore Green track steps nervously waiting for the first showing of Dixie’s Rocket, the chosen one. The Harrier Dog. Would he live up to our expectations, would he buckle under the pressure?
The cashier, she had laughed at me, laughed at me putting £24 of a Harrier collection on trap 4. “Why are you laughing” I asked? She just shook her head.
Ian had suggested a Harrier collection to put it all on one dog in the final race, Mark bravely chose the dog, all the Harriers came out to watch the grand final.
And the hare came flying around and they were off, Dixie’s Rocket got a fantastic start and was leading! The cheer of the Harriers spurring him on. Still leading into the final bend. “Come on number 4!!” The rest of Monmore Green silenced by the collective Harrier noise. Then, unbelievably, Dixie’s Rocket surged again and won the race by a huge margin. Oh how we roared and cheered!!! To see the Harriers jumping up and down celebrating you’d think we had won a million!
Who’s laughing now cashier?
And Mark breathed a huge sigh of relief!
The odds were not in our favour but it was still a fabulous feeling to collect £66 in winnings and we agreed unanimously to Simons suggestion of donating it to a Harrier charity.
We had a great night, despite some people not backing a winner all night, hey Tracey? And others not being able to even see the dogs on the track because they had lost their glasses, hey Ian?
Chris Ross and I twice backed dogs which had to be picked up and carried in to their traps, which meant the dog would be winning for half of the race, then sort of give up and look for their trainer to pick them up again and actually carry them to the finish.
Ed managed to win, celebrating in style only to find his winnings a grand total of £1.25, while Paul Bosson did his entire betting in one go from the off, putting all his money on trap 2 to win, on all 14 races, to end the evening with a winning total of 25p.
Michelle finally understood all the betting rules on the coach on the way home, and Frank was on repeat telling everyone about reverse triple forecasts.
Finish the night off back at The Sun, recalling everyone’s fortunes and losses, and there goes another great Harrier night at the dogs.
( Might have to book two coaches next year) PB
Wednesday 14th May 2014
Report by Graham Williams
Following the record turnout of seventy six at Market Drayton some might say an unlucky thirteen competed in the Clayton 10k.This was the sixth race in the NSRRA series over a testing two lap course on a beautiful warm sunny evening. For the first time in memory the race was full before the race.First home was Ben Gamble of Tipton Harriers in 32.01 some two minutes ahead of Carl Moulton of Boalloy. First lady was Mandy Vernon of Trentham in 37.16. Leading harrier was Phil Hilsdon followed by new member Ian Wood. First lady harrier was Tracey Jones.Harrier times.
|81||Tracey Jones||43.51||3rd F40|
|107||Chris Skellern||45.48||1st F50|
|154||Graham Williams||49.16||2nd M65. 2nd Group F|
|167||Tracey Riddings||50.40||1st Group X|
|189||Karen Murray||53.18||3rd Group W|
|211||Mick Jones||56.55||1st M70.2nd Group G|
MARKET DRAYTON 10K
By Bill Whitworth
A showery cold Sunday saw 76 or more Stafford Harriers invade the Shropshire town of Market Drayton to compete in one of the county’s biggest sporting events the Market Drayton 10K, on its 10th anniversary. Featuring superheroes such as Captain America, Iron Man and Spiderman to name but a few this event is a popular event on the race Calendar and has been voted best 10k race by Runner’s World Magazine in 2012 and 2013, and who knows what 2014 will bring?
Sadly, a malfunction affected the exact production of all the results but there was no doubt of the winner, Tom Roberts of Meirionnydd Running Club in a time of 32:31 while Kim Fawke-Williams, Centurion Running Club was first lady with her time of 35:13. Leading Harrier in 35th Place was Phil Hilsdon, 37:02 with other available results as follows.
Please check these results and let us know of any problems with them.
The race organisers have now recovered most of the chip times. If they weren’t able to do so they have used the gun time.
Report by Liz Stanyer
Whilst a big Harrier turnout of challenge chasers went to Uttoxeter for their double points, I took myself off to the Sheriffhales Shuffle, a 7 mile ( ish as I clocked 7.26) off road race. This race is part of a four race series organised by Newport Running Club.
The registration was at the Church Hall then 3 steps to the right was the start. So I left Simon at the BBQ at 10.59 for the race start at 11.00! The route takes you around fields and dirt tracks to the areas surrounding Newport, Sheriffhales and Lilleshall. The first mile is a real watch your step time as the deep ruts in the fields made it a bit of an ankle turner. After that things are easier under foot and the tracks open out.
We hit the Tarmac to go through the Lilleshall sports campus, wow what a place, just like Rowley Park, ha ha! Then the most tremendous downhill section for about a mile, it stretched on forever, but I knew that could only mean one thing.
However, although I was told miles 3-6 were predominantly uphill it didn’t feel it. Yes it was definitely undulating but the hills were runnable and none of them too long before you had a bit of downhill recovery ready for the next one. Mile 5-6 is road and quite a reasonable uphill drag (I was congratulated by another runner at this point on my successful hill running! Me? Hills? That made me smile.)
Then what a beauty! 6 miles to the 7 mile finish is one big fat downhill. Loved it!
A medal and a slate coaster for my efforts and a hot dog and a slab of cake for recovery purposes. This was a cracking little race, very much like The Bells of Pattingham, with stunning views and a low key friendly vibe. Tough but enjoyable.
I finished in 90th place, 20th lady with a time of 63.36.
1st place was Robin Sedman-Smith from Newport in 41.10
1st lady was Rachel Coupe from Telford AC in 51.47
UTTOXETER HALF MARATHON
Report by Graham Williams
On a warm sunny day twenty nine Harriers ran this “undulating” challenging half marathon with many of them eager to gain double points in the Harriers Challenge. It was lovely to see so many Lady Harriers participating in this race for the first time on a very tough course. First man was Ben Gamble of Tipton Harriers in 1.11.09 and first lady Naomi Warr of Hatton Darts in 1.28.17.
First home for the Harriers was Matt Woodman in 1.18.16 and first lady Michelle Rushton Fox in 1.37.00. Michelle has currently been missed by NSRRA so I do not know how she did in her group.
The Harriers men were the second team consisting of Matt Woodman, Steve Vaughan, Phil Hilsdon and Mark Bridgwood. Lady Harriers were third consisting of Michelle Rushton Fox, Chris Skellern, Angela Brookes and Rachel Davis.
Eddie Smith was first over 60 despite moaning to me all the way home about what a poor race he had run. The ever reliable Chris Skellern was first lady over 50. From a personal point of view I was joined at three miles by Rachel Davis who then stuck to me like super glue for the next 8/9 miles stating that she had not done the race before and I would be a good pacer. Well I hope I helped her as her consistent pace certainly helped me when I was flagging. Thank you Rachel.
|Michelle Rushton Fox||1.37.00|
|Chris Skellern||1.43.04||1st L50|
|Eddie Smith||1.49.02||1st V60|
|Angela Brookes||1.53.48||3rd Group M|
|Graham Williams||1.54.24||1st Group F|
|Tracy Riding||1.58.03||1st Group X|
|Marie Claire D’Arcy Barron||2.10.09|
Hell in the Middle – Belvoir Castle
Report by Caryl Gibson
Awesome! Not a word I usually use to describe a race (as anyone who has asked me how I found a race can testify) but ‘Hell in the Middle’ was a truly ‘awesome’ race!
The race consisted of ten plus miles of hilly, muddy, swampy, boggy terrain. Not only did ‘Hellrunners’ have to run, but at times were forced to walk, crawl, climb over tree trunks, scramble up practically vertical surfaces, scramble down equally challenging inclines and wade, if you can call it that, through the thickest, stickiest mud I have ever encountered.
The scenery was stunning. Belvoir Castle stands in impressive grounds with impeccable lawns and ornate gardens and is surrounded by green and yellow fields, woods with bluebells and rhododendrons, many amazing trees, a quarry and lots of rather less ornate water features!
In order to get to the finish we had to conquer the ‘Hills of Hell’ (yes that was hills plural!) and the ‘Bog of Doom’ which lay a quarter of a mile from the finish, aimed, I think, at finishing anyone off who still had energy to spare! The camaraderie of those taking part ensured that those of us who got stuck in the mud (and I got stuck twice) were pulled out!
Despite setting off 4 minutes after everyone else (well I was with Joe Atherton- lol) we managed to pass 167 people and I finished 214th just ahead of Joe (224th)who I left behind in the Bog of Doom!
If anyone had told me I would suggest taking a dip in the grey, cold-looking lake which spread out in front of us when we arrived, I would have said they were mad but that is exactly what we did straight after the race! A great way to cool down after a hard race and the only way to get the mud off!
Anyone interested in taking part in the next ‘Hellrunner’ – it is ‘Hell in the North’ and takes place on the 1st November in Delamere Forest. Check out www.hellrunner.co.uk for details! We’ll definitely be there!
The Happy Couple
Air Products 10K
Report by Mark Bentley
What could be more ironic than a trip to the Holy Land on Easter Sunday? (Crewe being the ‘Holy Land’ for trainspotters.) This race has been in existence for some time, but this is its first year of inclusion in the NSRRA programme.
After making my way through the deserted streets, I found my way to the race HQ, a teacher training college in the centre of town. Here I bumped into a small band of fellow Harriers and we chatted away for a short while, before being led to the start in an industrial estate across the road by the Air Products factory.
The heavens opened about 5 minutes before the start, and once underway we were sent down to the end of the road before doubling back on ourselves, heading briefly out onto the main road, through the estate again, and back out along the main road.
At the end of the road, a roundabout was reached and a left turn taken leading to a long drag with a slight hill at the end by the Duke of Gloucester pub (named after a steam loco, naturally). After the pub, a left turn was taken, followed shortly by another to head past the start for the second lap. It continued to rain until around halfway around the second lap, and it was here that I passed Chris Skellern around the 6k mark.
Steve Vaughan led the Harriers home in fine style in 35.32, followed by Phil Hilsdon in 35.57.
Chris Skellern got 1st L50 prize
Harriers results are given below:
Men’s winner was Stuart Doyle of Vale Royal AC in 32:53; Ladies Winner (and 1st L40) was Mandy Vernon of Trentham RC in 36:38.
This course is a fast, flat 2-lapper with PB potential, but the lack of changing facilities, showers and refreshments, considering this was in the sports section of the college, left something to be desired. If the organisers could sort these out for next year, they might be onto something.
Pete Hodgett’s Memorial Spring Handicap
Report by Liz Stanyer
A great turn out of 33 Harriers for the spring handicap. This was Simons first time in charge of the times and didn’t I know it! He settled down once he successfully sent everyone off and fortunately in the right order.
Out on the course the muddy wooded area just before half way had been cleared of the trees on the right side which meant you could see everyone in front of you on the curve. Depending on how you’re feeling this means you can see who you’re catching or on the flip side how far behind everyone you are! The valley was quite a sight. I’ve never seen so many of us together at that point but it’s still a never ending stretch of hill until you finally see Pete, (who I swear makes the hill longer each time).
Well done to Alan Jones, a first timer, who crossed the line first, but as we all know first timers can’t actually win it. So it’s Congratulations to Rachel Davis for a great win (another pb?), closely followed by Mark Oliver, neither showing signs of post marathon dead leg syndrome. Then Sara Broome taking over three minutes off her previous time, coming a well deserved 3rd after many handicaps as our hare.
The results have shown that the difference between the first and the last runner was under 7 minutes which makes all our slogging over spreadsheets and times on a Saturday night, aided by wine of course, all worth while.
Special thanks as always to the volunteer time keepers and marshals, although with one of the marshals managing to get himself lost, and very nearly sending runners the wrong way as he was disorientated, maybe our marshal criteria needs reviewing.
77th Harriers Handicap
|Alan Jones||0:42:58||0:09:30||33m 28s||1st Time|
|Rachel Davis||0:43:04||0:10:30||32m 34s|
|Mark Oliver||0:43:24||0:14:30||28m 54s|
|Sara Broome||0:43:40||0:00:00||43m 40s|
|Richard Caley||0:43:43||0:16:00||27m 43s|
|Ian Hodkinson||0:43:45||0:17:00||26m 45s|
|Keeley Gilhooly||0:43:50||0:09:45||34m 5s|
|Tracey Jones||0:43:58||0:15:15||28m 43s|
|Mark Bentley||0:44:01||0:14:15||29m 46s|
|Chris Elsley||0:44:27||0:14:15||30m 12s|
|Marcus Clay||0:44:43||0:13:45||30m 58s|
|Mark Bridgwood||0:44:44||0:20:00||24m 44s|
|Nigel Addision||0:44:45||0:11:15||33m 30s|
|Karen Murray||0:44:52||0:09:30||35m 22s|
|Joe Smith||0:44:54||0:17:15||27m 39s|
|Jane Bisiker||0:44:56||0:10:30||34m 26s|
|Chris Skellern||0:45:06||0:14:15||30m 51s||77th time|
|Dave Mantle||0:45:11||0:12:45||32m 26s|
|Jim Smith||0:45:34||0:16:00||29m 34s|
|Joanne Oliver||0:46:07||0:08:00||38m 7s|
|Tina Darby||0:46:15||0:08:30||37m 45s|
|Richard Davies||0:46:24||0:10:30||35m 54s||1st Time|
|Mick Jones||0:46:28||0:07:00||39m 28s|
|Stuart Fowlie||0:46:34||0:05:00||41m 34s|
|Eddie Smith||0:46:50||0:13:30||33m 20s|
|Liz Stanyer||0:46:52||0:11:30||35m 22s|
|Chris Owen||0:46:56||0:17:15||29m 41s|
|Karen Sabin||0:47:12||0:08:30||38m 42s|
|Amanda Clay||0:47:28||0:13:45||33m 43s|
|Amy Oliver||0:48:28||0:11:15||37m 13s|
|Hannah Lloyd||0:49:02||0:07:00||42m 2s|
|Nathan Sabin||0:49:12||0:21:30||27m 42s|
|Maria Davies||0:49:47||0:07:00||42m 47s||1st time|
Mark, Rachel and Sara
Spring Treble- Barlaston “Up & Downer”
Report by Bill Whitworth
The Stone Master Marathoners’ Spring treble Challenge sees runners take part in three events over three weeks through off road parklands each one covering a distance of 5 miles, accruing points which determine the final outcome of the Series. Their placings across the events are added together to give a points total and the lowest score wins the Series.
The first event on the 9th of April, the Hanchurch Hilly, takes the runners over a mix of winding paths, woodland tracks and hills with a sting in the tail in the form of a steep climb. The Harrier men were led home by Phil Hilsdon in 14th place ahead of Nathan Sabin in 16th,Ian Hodkinson 28th and Dave Payling 32nd. Michele Rushton-Fox led the ladies’ challenge in 35th place, 60th was Chris Skellern, 86th Jenny Addison and Gill Hodkinson 87th.
One week later the athletes headed for Milford to try to improve their placings overall as they competed across the trails of Cannock Chase and Phil again was first Harrier man back, this time in 13th position, and Nathan Sabin held his 16th place, Ian Hodkinson dropped to 29th and Dave Payling to 38th in the field. Michelle Rushton Fox finished this event in 43rd place, Chris Skellern 62nd, Jenny Addison 78th narrowly ahead of Gill Hodkinson in 79th.
Finally on the 23rd April, the event moved to Barlaston for the ‘Ups and Downs’ of the area where Phil Hilsdon – again leading Harriers Man – finished 9th, accruing 36 points which gave him 6th Place across the 3 events, Nathan Sabin held his form finishing again 16th and his points total of 48 saw him finish 9th. The winner of the 3 events was Callum Dillon of City of Stoke who scored 5 points. Michelle Rushton Fox took second place overall with her total of 111 points behind Birchfield Harrier Emma Gould who scored 45 and Chris Skellern took 3rd placed lady with her 178 points.
Report by Graham Williams
The second race in the Spring series attracted thirty four Harriers anxious to gain further points in the Harriers challenge. First man was Callum Dillon City of Stoke in 33.07, First Lady Emma Gould of Birchfield in 37.38.
|Matt Woodman||35.02||2nd M35|
|Phil Hilsdon||37.29||3rd M35|
|Michelle Fox||42.54||2nd lady 1st F35|
|Dave Marsden||44.36||3rd M60|
|Joe Atherton||45.17||3rd M55|
|Chris Skellern||45.42||1st F50 3rd Lady|
|Mark Bentley||46.22||3rd M50|
|Gill Hodkinson||47.45||2nd F40|
|Angela Brooke’s||49.39||3rd F35|
|Sandra Smith||49.54||1st F45|
|Graham Williams||50.24||2nd M65|
|Rachel Davis||50.31||2nd F45|
|Jane Bisiker||53.10||3rd F50|
|Marie-Claire D’Arcy- Barron||56.21|
|Amanda Pearce||60.49||1 st F55|
|Mick Jones||61.34||1st M70|
report from Shelley Burns
My marathon experience started at 06.30am on Saturday 12th April as I couldn’t sleep both from excitement and nerves. I could not believe after the long , cold, Winter months of training, I was about to make my marathon debut, along with my coach buddies Julie Nokes and Kellie Lee. And the weekend was set to be a scorcher.
I think I was more nervous about collecting my number (well assisting Frank Evans to collect my number) from the Excel, than actually running the race itself, scared that the marathon police were going to arrest me for being a fraud (just call me Dave)!!!! But once I had number in hand I couldn’t keep the grin from my face. Thanks Frank. The Excel centre was amazing and it was great to be able to meet up with the other Harriers – Jo and Mark Oliver, Charlotte, Rachel, Rich, Ian and Jack, The Bridgwood’s and Ian Talbot.
Sunday morning came round only to soon. Having a decent nights sleep and managing to eat and keep down two pieces of toast I felt as ready as I was ever going to be. Back on the coach making our way to Greenwich Park the nerves began to creep back in, especially when we entered the “runners zone,” which soon turned into the “Harriers zone” as who should we bump into but, Mr and Mrs Oliver, Rich Caley, and Mark Bridgwood. The hour and a half waiting time soon passed and before I knew it we were saying our goodbyes and off to our start pens…..
Blue zone pen 3 was to be my starting place (thanks Dave) Soon the chat around me was off sub 3 hour finishes. At this point I was longing to be in pen 5 or 6 (or possibly 9) and decided to keep my 4 hour 10 pacing band out of view of the runners around me in case I was rumbled……..
And we were off. I was actually putting one foot in front of the other in the London Marathon. I gave the crowds a big cheer as I went over the start mat, waving my arms in the air like a lunatic. The first 5 miles flew by, literally as I had set off far to quickly, Pam Davis from Stone Master Marathoners was in the same boat and we had a chuckle about it, when the 3:45 pacer was just in front of us
The crowds were absolutely amazing from the very first mile and I really got into high fiving the kids. Within no time I had ran to the Cutty Shark, which to be fair I nearly missed as I was so absorbed in the moment, but then the sight of a film camera turned me in to a waving loon. (No I didn’t make the BBC.) I was a little pre occupied around the 9 mile mark as I was desperately trying to spot Matt and Phoebe as that was where they had planned to be. Alas they were not there. (They turned up after I had gone through)……..
Onwards I ran. As I hit Tower Bridge in 01.55 the sun was beating down on me and I knew that the too quick first half was going to catch up on me, not before Karen Davies did. She asked me if I was okay but loosing the ability to speak (I’m sure I was running up hill) I could only manage a half grunt/nod. Karen on the other hand looked like she had just started a Monday night run!
The next few miles seemed to hurt. I was a little bit dejected having not spotted anyone supporting me in the crowds but oh how that changed. Not in any order as from mile 14ish everything merged into one, but the supporting Harriers that spurred me on were: The Cooks, Tracy Jones, Ian and Gill (from the other side of the road!), Neil Martin, (yes you did make me jump) Craig the” fog horn” Baxtor (yes I was walking when you saw me sorry) Val and Graham. It has to be said seeing the smiling members of your club screaming at you in support is the BEST feeling ever. So a massive thank you to each and every one of you…….
So at mile 23 or there abouts I actually had to do a slight u-turn. As I was running I heard the scream of my name, turned around and saw Matt screaming at me with Phoebe on his shoulders. I could not miss the opportunity to give them a kiss and a cuddle so back I went. If this didn’t give me the determination to finish then noting would.
By now the miles and hit were taking their toll. So I have to confess there was a bit of walking done. Still on I went. As I closed down the embankment all I could think about was the finish. That was until I saw Big Ben and to be honest turned into a bit of a tourist! Still running I might add. At 25.5 miles I sacrificed a bit more time by helping a fellow runner. A poor man literally buckled in front of me, I couldn’t let him hit the deck so me and another chap scooped him up and took him to the side of the road. That was where my good deed ended as I did leave him with the other bloke…….
800M to go. The line of soldiers shouting my name certainly helped me along this bit of the race! In sight was the next distance marker which I was hoping to be 400m but was in fact only 600…. Then it became 400… then I saw Buckingham Palace….. and…..then…..finailly….. THE FINISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How I managed to find it in me to pick up the pace in that home stretch I don’t know but I did. I had crossed the line, I had finished the London Marathon. It is an experience that I will never forgot.
My official time was 04:12:39, something to try and beat next year
Virgin London Marathon 2014 Race Report
By Joanne and Mark Oliver
Blue skies and sunshine were the order of the day in London on Sunday 13th April as our months of training and early Sunday mornings were due to come to fruition. As we stood together in zone 9 of the blue start, we felt emotional and privileged to be taking part in one of the world’s greatest marathons and more importantly, to be experiencing the adventure together. It took us 15 minutes to cross the start line, we then wished each other good luck, and began the run of our lives:
I had decided I would break my marathon down into manageable miles, 6, 13, 20 and the finish. It was very warm and I knew I didn’t cope that well in the heat so I slowed my pace and drank at virtually every water station, of which there were plenty. I seemed to struggle to get going but then found miles 13 to 20 more comfortable. There are so many things which stick in my mind, the wall of noise as we crossed Tower Bridge, the constant calling of my name urging me to keep strong, the amazing and emotional sight of people we knew that had travelled to support us all. I was trying to remember it all as they would be memories to treasure. At 22 miles I spotted my family, I gave them all a hug and reassured them I was fine. It was the final boost I needed. I started ticking those last few miles off. I could see Big Ben so knew I wasn’t that far, and then the magnificent sight of Buckingham Palace in the sunshine. I turned down The Mall, I could see the finishing clock, and I just put my arms in the air and had the biggest smile on my face. Yes, my knee was aching, my toes were bleeding, but none of it mattered, I’d done it!
After wishing Jo good luck as we went over the start line, I started to soak up the electric atmosphere of the crowd and the shear volume of runners around me. This was it, I was actually running the London Marathon! My plan was to run a 9min/mile, to get me over the finish line in just under 4 hours, just like I had done on my previous training runs and on the Stafford 20, but I very quickly realised starting towards the back of the race, I was having to pass a lot of people, weaving in and around the masses, and try as I might, I was unable to achieve my target pace. Having faced the reality of having to run slower I settled down to enjoy the race and not chase a time, but then only after 2 miles I needed a pit stop at the loos, which cost me a further 2 minutes! After rejoining the race, I settled in to the best pace I could achieve given the mass of runners and headed for home. The miles started to pass me by, along with the pubs blaring out live music, and the crowds of people cheering me on, which was so lifting. By the time I got over the far side of Tower Bridge, half way, I spotted my family in the crowd, which gave me a massive lift, then more Harriers, all shouting out for me. Miles 14 to 22 seemed a long way and the heat was taking its toll, but determined not to walk, I battled on, and then again seeing my family at mile 23, gave me a boost. As I headed towards the Embankment the crowds seemed to get louder and I knew I wasn’t that far from the finish line, and then once at mile 25 and Big Ben visible, I started to dig in. After what seemed like ages I could see the Palace, and this gave me a huge lift, and once there I turned in to the Mall, which was a wonderful sight. I gave everything I had for the last few hundred metres and finally went over the finish line – quite an emotional moment, that I will treasure always.
We finally rejoined each other in the meet and greet area and after a few tears of relief and wonderment at our amazing achievement, we limped our way across Trafalgar Square to the pub where we were meeting fellow runners and supporters. What an amazing feeling to walk in to cheers of congratulations and for us to be able to congratulate others and celebrate with so many friends and family. The people that shared in the journey with us made it an experience to treasure. There is too many to name individually but you know who you are and we thank you so much.
Report from Julie Nokes
Having missed out on a ballot place I was delighted to be drawn as first reserve with a club place. John Greatholder withdrew due to a foot operation. I was able to meet him for the first time and thank him on the coach going down to London.
In December my knee started to cause me one or two problems. I went to see a Physio and my GP knowing I had to make a decision before 16.1.14 to enable another Harrier to run in my place if necessary. Both advised rest and strengthening and to slowly build up again. I so desperately wanted to take part in the London Marathon I trained to minimise the injury getting worse. Following advice from Sam Murphy on runners world ( to an ASICS 262 finalist who had an injury ) I tried a run walk approach. I only did one long run of 17 miles. I went with 4/1 (run 4 mins / walk 1 min) which I did throughout the Marathon other than on 2 occasions where I did a 5/1 and a 3/1 as I didn’t hear the bleep of my watch and during the final mile I ran as much as possible with a very short walk.
This was my first marathon and having done minimal mileage in training I hadn’t really decided upon a plan, my aim was to finish with a smile, but knew I wanted to be about 2.30 for my first half. My first miles were a little too quick and I kept telling myself to slow down. I felt very emotional crossing the start line and when I thought about the day ahead. Seeing all those people cheering and clapping was such an amazing feeling. I High fived the children and took in my surroundings.
I was fairly quickly passed by Rachel Davis and Mark Oliver, followed by Jo Oliver and Charlotte Ward.
It was difficult in those early stages stopping to walk. I made sure I looked behind, pulled in to the side and put my arm up…..not sure if anyone knew what I was doing but I seemed to avoid any disaster.
After just a few miles I felt a niggle in my right calf and had a little panic.
I had hoped to see my daughter and other family members at around the 5-6 mile mark. I scanned the crowds but they were not to be seen. A little upset that I may have missed them. Somewhere around this time I took my first Sis gel. At 8 miles I decided to take 2 paracetamol for that niggle in my calf that I had in my belt. At this stage I really was beginning to doubt I could actually do it!
Then I heard this massive shout from my niece and then my daughter….I turned and ran back to give my daughter a hug. My nephew managed to take a couple of photos of the moment. It gave me a real boost. All self doubt and the niggle in my calf went, maybe due to the painkillers but I was back in the game!
I’d only gone 2 more miles to hear my daughter shout again, my grin was getting bigger. I was then running along the Highway expecting to see my youngest son and members of my running club anytime soon, when who should I see but my oldest son running on the opposite side of the Highway nearing the end of his run (3.15) we had a cheery wave.
Further along the highway I saw Ian and Jack Hodkinson, then saw my youngest son and members of Stafford harriers. I gave him a big hug and off I went. My confidence high. Think I did half way in 2.29. I took another gel somewhere around the next few miles. Gels have sometimes upset my tummy so I had decided to try and not take too many.
I drank Lucozade at every station, ran through every shower to try and cool me, I ate jelly babies, cake and a Jaffa cake handed out by the spectators. Not sure that’s a normal marathon approach but it worked!
I then caught up with Jo and I tried to give her some encouragement and stuck with her for a while before I lost her in the crowds.
At mile 20 ish I met up with Charlotte and we ran/ walked together for a little while. At this point I took a Sis gel with caffeine to give me a final boost, whilst being aware I may hit the wall!!!
Back along the highway Stafford Harriers were there cheering us on again! Just a few more yards then Anne Coghlan and Julie Mogey dashed across the road to us. This gave us a massive boost coming in to the final miles.
Another mile or so and there was my daughter again yelling at me! I also heard a massive shout of JULIE NOKES…..I couldn’t spot who it was. Since discovered it was Val Stuart.
At this point I felt so good, I was running well and my confidence high. I had been prepared to change my ratios but as all was going so well I stuck with the plan 4/1.
I could feel my legs starting to cramp and when I took a bottle of water in the final mile I thought I was going to have to stop but I managed to keep going.
Crossing that line in 5.05.37 was very emotional. Tina and Keely came in seconds later and we had a few photos. I wasn’t sure I would say this but it really does work this run/ walk. It got me round in a respectable time with no further injury and still smiling!
I already have a place in Berlin. Before London I wasn’t sure if I would do it but yes I will and can’t wait after a well deserved rest. I want a sub 5 hours now!
A massive thank you to all that came to support us, it was very much appreciated. You all helped on my journey round those 26.2 miles ( 27 in reality! )
report from Bill Whitworth.
This was the weekend which 23 Harriers had dreamt of, dreaded and trained for as they made their way around the Streets of London in front of record crowds in the Spring sunshine to compete in and complete the 34th Virgin London Marathon. Rubbing shoulders with elite runners, celebrities and the masses of club and charity runners they made their way from Greenwich to the Mall and each one achieved their own personal goal to finish.
Wilson Kipsang won the men’s event shaving 11 seconds off the previous record to come home in 2:04:29, while at her 3rd attempt in London, Edna Kiplagat won the ladies’ race in a sprint finish 2:20:21 – just 3 seconds ahead of Florence Kiplagat – no relation!
Leading Harriers were, for the men – Chris Hollinshead 2:48:58 and for the ladies, Karen Davies 3:59:39. Rachel Davis finished in a personal best time of 4:16:24 – 6 minutes improvement on her previous marathon time and promptly announced her retirement from marathon running!
Harriers times as follows
Some 29 Harriers started the first of three races in The Spring Series. Due to fallen trees the race was reduced to two small laps. The winner was Simon Myatt of Trentham in 25.55, First Lady Emma Gould of Birchfield in 29.27.
|Michelle Fox||32.58||1st F35|
|Dave Marsden||34.47||3rd M60|
|Chris Skellern||35.24||1st F50|
|Gill Hodkinson||38.28||2nd F40|
|Angela Brooke’s||38.28||3rd F35|
|Graham Williams||39.08||2nd M65|
|Sandra Smith||39.17||2nd F45|
|Michael Jones||47.26||1st M70|
GREATER MANCHESTER MARATHON
Report from Tracey Jones.
Eight Harriers took part in this years Greater Manchester Marathon.
Now having ran in it two years ago and all but suffered hyperthermia due to the extremely cold, wet and windy conditions, I was quite concerned about what this day would hold, but I need not have worried as Sunday brought near perfect running conditions.
Having ran 3:30:56 in my first marathon in 2004 I always though there must be a sub 3.30 in me somewhere, but although I ran another 3 fairly consistent times within 7 minutes or less of that, they had all been over it.
Would it be 5th time lucky? Lets just say that some of my fellow Harriers had more faith in me than I did!
9am soon came and we were off, cheered out of Old Trafford by Mrs Hodkinson and Mr Coghlan. I settled into a steady pace and the miles went by reasonably quickly.
Some changes to the course since I last ran it now give you three occasions where you double back along the course. This gives you a great opportunity to play spot your club mates, give them a cheer and it distracts you from a mile or two of running in the process.
At around 9 miles I was greeted by a surprise family support crew consisting of my mum, sister and her family, so this sent me off towards Altrincham in good spirits. Just down the road I then had to participate in the new sport of “spot the spectators” as the Oliver’s and friends were looking everywhere except in my direction, so a quick yell to Mark soon sorted that! At 12ish miles Liz Stanyer and her merry men (Ian Talbot, Mark Bridgwood, Craig Baxter and Rich Caley, (bit like a 60’s pop group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich; I’ll let you decide))! were all lining the route and ALL looking past me!! This time it took jumping up and down, waving my arms in the air and shouting to get some attention!
To be fair they more than made up for it on the way back out a mile later, making so much noise that other spectators gave them a wide berth. Having passed the supporters all again on the way back from Altrincham over 16 miles had now ticked by. Out into the countryside at Carrington 20 miles done and the hard work began.
By 23 miles my mind was beginning to wander with all kinds of incoherent thoughts then a vision of black and yellow up ahead caught my eye, a fabulous Stafford Harriers banner was being waved around by Karen Murray and daughter Emily, that was such a boost when the body was beginning to tire.
From just before 25 miles the rest of the aforementioned Harriers and my family were at various points right through to the finish. Amazing!! A huge thanks to all our supporters, it really does give you a boost and help you round.
For anyone who wants an alternative spring marathon or cannot get into London, I would recommend this one. It is a good course run on wide roads to give you plenty of running space, the route is very well supported by locals and it is close enough for club mates and family to travel up and give you that extra special encouragement, in more than one place.
Congratulations to my fellow runners, I believe newcomer Michael Dobson discovered what being part of such a great club is all about when he was vigorously cheered on his way. I believe a PB was achieved by Mike Saint-Dunn, Wayne Vaughan on completing yet another long distance race this year and Anne Coghlan for making her marathon debut in fine style.
Me, oh yeah, 10 years later, 10 years older I ran sub 3.30.
The course records were broken by both the men’s and ladies winners; Andi Jones, of Stockport Harriers finished in 2:17, Emily Wicks of Aldershot, Farnham & District 2:38.
Stafford Harriers times were:
|181||Mike Saint-Dunn||2:58:57 PB|
|957||Tracey Jones||3:25:08 PB|
IRONBRIDGE HALF MARATHON
Report by Chris Elsley
I took part in the 25th Ironbridge Half Marathon on Sunday (although yet again I’m not listed as a Harrier in the results).
Conditions were good as we gathered for the start in Telford Town Park. I found myself close to the front of the pack for the start and immediately got carried away with the pace and did my first 2 miles in less than 15 mins – frighteningly quick for me for this distance.
Much of the first 8 miles is downhill and it was easy to maintain a quick pace without feeling it too much (6 miles in about 45 mins), but all the time I knew that the big climb out of Coalbrookdale was waiting.
The run is almost 100% off road, taking in disused railway lines, parklands and public footpaths to take you to the iconic Ironbridge where most of the crowds gather. It’s just after then that you face the tough 1/3 mile climb out of the Gorge.
By now I was feeling the energy levels dropping like a stone and found the return to Telford a long drag, my times slowing by the step, finally coming home 171 / 672 in 1:46:41.
Other Harriers listed were Andy Bourne (though I didn’t see him and would have expected a better time so maybe he gave his number away) 574th in 2:16:17 and Karen Davies 611th 2:27:10
The race is well marshalled throughout the course and a much improved souvenir technical t-shirt & medal awaited in the goody bag, not to mention the Boost bar – almost worth doing it all again!