19th March 2017
Race report by Ruth Edwards
Sunday morning dawned dry, cool and windy, in fact so windy that the Council had abandoned all attempts at pitching their tents in the Market Square so when queuing to collect our t-shirts and medals before the race (must be the only race in the world that does this!!) we were met with the sights of semi-naked people having their pre-race massages exposed to the world and his wife.
Made our way back to the County club and promptly missed the club photo due to being stuck in a long queue for the toilets (pre-race nerves kicking in again). Oh well, Kelly kindly obliged and took one of the stragglers left in the women’s changing room with the odour of Deep Heat hanging over us. I think the race started on time but we got stuck in Market Square trying to cross over to the other side – think the Council had forgotten how many people the race had been opened to this time. Eventually got going through the noisy town centre, great support from so many people, and wended our way up the Newport Road like a very long colourful snake. Played chase the Harrier for a while until we got into our stride, then it was slow down, we are going too fast and cant keep this up. Radford Bank proved a doddle this time (first time ever), the wind was behind us and up we flew. Loud support at the top and all down Baswich Lane with quite a few Harrier non-runners out supporting us, cant think why they weren’t interested in entering??
Through the lanes to Kingston Hill, looking forward to Craig’s wine, but alas it had either all gone by the time I got there or I missed seeing it (first time ever) – I am reliably informed he managed to get rid of 160 glasses of beer and wine but only one Harrier took him up on the offer ….. that will get you all guessing who it was, great support around the Morris man pub then the joys of Beaconside beckoned and I can honestly say it was the hardest run I have ever had along there, brief respite from thinking about the task ahead from the radio van and a bit of welcome music. The wind was really strong on the section past Sandon Road, runners Tourettes made an appearance and the plod continued. Great to see Holly and Rich supporting past the Common Road, very welcome at that point as some of us had almost slowed down to a walk. Turned the corner and onto Stone Road and a downhill section for quite a way and managed to pick up a bit of speed again. Onto the Isabel trail and entertained by a male runner (I’m sure he was from a Welsh male voice choir) singing the whole of A little respect by Erasure which again distracted me. Finally reached the last leg and the town park, again brilliant support and the very welcome only 800 metres to go sign!!! Braced ourselves for turning the corner after Superdrug to pass the County club and the fantastic Harriers posse, hard not to feel emotional at this point with the wall of noise and try to focus on a last minute spurt, but its hard with not much gas left in the legs, reach the 200 metres sign and a final push to get round the corner and onto the main street again and that’s it all over for another year. No PB for me this year but hey I pushed myself as much as I could so happy with my time.
Its on days like this that I feel proud to be a Harrier, amazing support from everyone and great post race celebrations, perhaps a little too much!
|Bib||first Name||surname||Gender||Gender Pos||Class Gender||Class Pos||Chip Time||Chip Pos|
Sunday 12 March
Press release from Chris Elsley
The sun was shining as more than 300 runners embarked on the gruelling Knighton 20 last Sunday.
The race begins and ends at the Knighton Family Social Club and incorporates three 6.6 mile loops around the surrounding country lanes, heading back in Knighton via Shebdon and Adbaston.
The race was won by Tipton’s Ben Gamble in 1:47:33 who finished a minute ahead of Stockport’s Patrick Martin. These two were well ahead of the rest of the field with 3rd placed runner Oliver Harradence of Royal Sutton Coldfield a further seven minutes back.
The leading lady was Welsh International Hannah Jarvis of Dorking and Mole Valley AC who finished 10th in 2:08:40.
Phil Hilsdon was the first of 15 Stafford Harriers to complete the challenge, finishing 15th overall in a time of 2.11.23 with Mark Birkett less than a minute further back in 2.12.04 (17th)
Other Harrier times were:
|Robert Mottram Jones||2.21.43||48th|
Elsewhere, seven Harriers took on the Fradley 10K near Lichfield and it was two of their younger members who took the club honours with 15 year old Ben Deakin the first Harrier home in 45:31 (144th) while another 15 year old, Lizzie Jasper was next home, finishing 244th) in 49:46.
Almost 900 runners finished the event with the remaining Harriers coming home as follows:
The race was won by Ashley Hurdman of Hatton Darts in 33.40 with Derby AC’s Veleska Wills finishing as the leading lady in 36.15 (9th overall).
Ironbridge Half Marathon
Justin Green was the sole Harrier representative at the Ironbridge Half Marathon. He finished in an excellent 43rd position in a time of 1.30.59. Tipton’s Martin Williams was first across the line in 1:14:48 with Bridgnorth runner Lauren Draper the first lady in 1:28:34.
Report from Mel Deakin
Good weather, dare I say almost tropical compared to weather of late, met us at Fradley on Sunday for the 10k. This is a two lap race, flat and all on road. Great for spectators too as they see the start, then less than 20 minutes to wait before the lead runners pass by to start their second lap.
Juniors Ben and Lizzie both put in PB performances being first Harriers home. Evie Whyte had a fantastic start and was on track for a PB but unfortunately had to pull out around half way with an injury. That left the adults to bring the Harrier team home, well done everyone, great running.
1st Ashley Hurdman unattached 33:40
1st female Veleska Wills Derby AC 36:15
144th Ben Deakin 45:31 PB
244th Lizzie Jasper 49:46 PB
266th Mel Deakin 50:08
319th Sarah Whyte 52:15 PB
558th Austin Whyte 59:09
606th Tessa Jasper 61:30 PB
648th Lizzie Pellowe 61:53
5 March 17
Report by Jason Littlewood
I wasn’t looking forward to this race at all, having found myself slightly fed up with running the past couple of weeks. But boy did that change once the race started. A fantastic 9 mile race in Congleton which includes a climb of over 1000 ft to the top of The Cloud – the hill which this race takes its name from. The day started with heavy rain further adding to my pre-race misery, which luckily subsided to just a drizzle when the race started. The race starts along some old railway tracks before crossing some fields and then hitting the intimidating climb to the top of The Cloud. From the top of the hill it’s a quick descent, followed by more field crossings and road running before finishing about a 100 metres away from the start. I started off at a nice slow pace, due to not being in the mood beforehand. This however worked to my benefit when I got to the hill climb as I was able to run all the way to the top without walking, which definitely surprised me. More surprise came from how easily I overtook one of our best runners Robert Mottram-Jones just after the start of the climb (try wearing the correct footwear next time Rob!). From the top of the hill it is roughly 6 miles to the finish and with my good pacing up the hill I was able to fly down to the finish. I must have overtaken about 30 people to finish in a great time. The Race was won by Simon Bailey of Mercia Fell Runners in 56.37 and first lady was Carla Brown of Cambridge & Coleridge AC in 1.10.35. First Harrier home was Spencer Holland in 1.15.19, second was myself in 1.18.11, with Dave Payling coming in as third Harrier in a time of 1.21.14. This is an incredible race that is tough, muddy and hilly, which I thoroughly enjoyed and reminded me why I love running. I recommend it to all for next year.
Complete list of Harrier times are:
Press release from Chris Elsley
It was a busy day on the race calendar last Sunday as members of Stafford Harriers ventured north, south and east and west in search of events to occupy their time.
Heading north were 9 runners who took part in the Cloud 9 event in Congleton. This is a challenging but enjoyable race that takes runners to the top of the Cloud – a local hill before returning back to the town.
Spencer Holland lead the local contingent home with a 56th place finish in a time of 75:19. Next in was Jason Littlewood (74th – 78:11) while Simon Bromley finished in 82:00 to take 106th.
The rest of the Harriers team was:
Jim Smith 165th 88:15
Robert Mottram Jones 182nd 92:43
Alan Jones 197th 95:53
Steve Turner 204th 97:19
Eddie Smith 213th 98:33
Sandra Smith 222nd 100:26
Travelling South was Mel Deakin who ran the Cambridge Half Marathon in a time of 1:50:35 finishing 2,358th in a field of almost 7,000 finishers.
Also travelling south, though not as far, were Chris Elsley and Chris Skellern who ran the much shorter distance in the Action Heart 5 from Dudley’s Russell’s Hall Hospital. Elsley finished in 39:43 (91st) with Skellern 116th in 41:07. 350 runners took part.
Michelle Fox headed out to Ashbourne for a new event – the Ashbourne 10 miler – and finished 1st lady (16th overall) in 72:52 – more than four minutes ahead of the next lady.
Millennium Way Ultra
But those performances are somewhat outdone by the efforts of nine Harriers who took on the Millennium Way Ultra – a 41 mile race running across the county from Newport to Burton in the worst conditions ever seen.
The hardy lot – with their times and finishing positions – were:
Nick Beckett 27th 7:56:21
Chris Ross 31st 8:07:32
Shelley Burns 79th 9:27:23
Georgina Coggins 80th 9:27:23
Alan Griffin 107th 10:39:14
Rachel Darbey 108th 10:39:14
Tina Darby 120th 10:51:44
Debbie McDermott 121st 10:51:44
Gina Brown 122nd 10:51:44
145 competitors finished
Cambridge Half Marathon
5th March 2017
Report from Mel Deakin
This was my second year running at this event. Same course, flat with PB potential. Entries increased to 9000 but this year for the first time a wave start. The weather was, to be polite, awful – cold, wet and windy. At the start I did question why I was there, all I wanted to do was get warm and dry. But once I started running I felt better, plenty to see and lots of hardy spectators out to support. The course took us through the city past the colleges and museums then headed out to Grantchester which is a bit more rural before heading back towards the city centre then the finish at Midsummer Common. I amazed myself and finished just under 1:50 although the last three miles were tough. The experience of running in the cross country events and other challenging runs in wet clothes and soggy shoes and bad conditions certainly helped get me to the finish. Amazing medal and packed goodie bag were very welcome. Great organisation too, the event ran like clockwork. I keep threatening to hang up my half marathon shoes and just do shorter events, but this is one half I love and who knows, I may be back again next year.
1st Aaron Scott Lincoln Wellington AC/Nene Vall 1:07:58
1st female Tracy Barlow Thames Valley 1:16:23
2358th Mel Deakin Stafford Harriers 1:49:52 PB
Stafford Half Practice
60 people took part on our practice Half run.
National Cross Country Championships
25th February 1917
A coach load of Harriers went to the “Nationals” at Woolaton Park Nottingham and took part in what was one of the most sucsseful Chapionships ever.
Report by Ben Deakin
I was looking forward to going to this event – it was the Nationals! I went to the Nationals last year at Donnington and that was good but really hilly so I was expecting a difficult course again this year.
As we got there we saw a big hill and I thought oh no, we may have to run up it! We got off the bus, we walked into the park and there was a sea of club tents everywhere. Our coaches sorted out our numbers and we got ready. I didn’t have much time to get nervous or think too much because my age group was one of the first to go. I heard some people talking about running through a river but I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like and wondered if they were exaggerating.
At the start we were in pens and before we knew it we had the three minute warning, then we moved onto the line, then the starting gun went off. I was with three other boys from my club as we made up a team, but as soon as we started running I lost sight of them as there were so many other people running. We ran up a hill to start, which was wasn’t too difficult, then downhill then a flat section. It wasn’t that muddy and I thought this isn’t going to be too hard. And then, all of a sudden, as we went around a corner I saw a dip which was very muddy and wet. It wasn’t really a river, more like running through a ford but my feet and legs were covered in mud and got wet. Later in the course there was another hill that was steep but short, and also another bit which was very boggy! Soon after that I could see the final straight to the finish. It had been a hard run but I was glad I did it. All four of my team got around so we got a team result.
The good thing about being one of the first to go is after I could relax and enjoy watching everyone else. The bad thing for some of my team mates was they forgot to bring any spare socks so had wet feet for the rest of the day. Overall I had a really good day, I was really pleased with how I had run, and had a good day out with Stafford Harriers.
Read a report from one of the National Newspapers about the event and ‘proper running’.
Friday 17th Feb
Challenge Group Winners
Group 3rd 2nd 1st
6 Amanda Pearce Bill Whitworth Mick Jones
5 Amy Oliver Steve Turner Julie Nokes
4 Debbie McDermott Jane Bisiker Mel Deakin
3 Nia Nokes Craig Baxter Tracy Ridings
2 Mark Oliver Chris Skellern Chris Elsley
1 Ian Hodkinson Spencer Holland Robert Mottram-Jones
Newcomer – Male – Nick Beckett
Newcomer – Female – Jenni Beckett
Most Improved – Nia Nokes
Team Managers Award – Ian Hodkinson
Club Person of the Year – Colin Mitchell
Champagne Moment – Craig Baxter
Runner of the Year – Male – Phil Hilsdon & Ian Hodkinson
Runner of the Year – Female – Mel Deakin
Runner of the Year – Veteran – Robert Mottram-Jones
Additional photos of the night
19th February 2017
Report Chris Elsley
Last Sunday morning saw more than 25 runners taking part in the Rugeley 10, a gruelling 10 mile race run around the country lanes of Brereton and Longdon before heading into Cannock Chase and back down to race HQ at Redbrook Hayes School.
The course incorporated a number of steep climbs and welcome downhills which gave runners a severe test.
24 members of Stafford Harriers were among the field with Robert Mottram Jones – named as the club’s Veteran Runner of the Year at the annual awards on Friday night –maintaining his good form with a 16th place finish (1st male over 55) in 67:13.
Adam Lightfoot – a newcomer to the club – also performed well, finishing as the second Harrier (22nd overall) in a time of 69:28 while another relative newcomer, Justin Green, was a further two places back in 69:56.
Other Harrier (gun) times were:
The race was won by Matthew Missen of Birchfield Harriers in 56:46 with Kristina Deffries of Trentham finishing as the leading lady in 64:35 (8th overall)
|Chris Skellern||94th||83.19 (1st lady over 50)|
12th February 2017
A field of 261 runners completed the first ever Walton Wobble on Sunday.
The 10k race began in the village at Walton on the Hill and took runners out along the Brocton Road then up over Chase Road and Camp Road before meeting up with the A34 for the return back to the grounds of Walton High School for the finish.
There was a cold icy wind to great runners at the start and it never relented to made conditions just that bit tougher.
More than 50 members of Stafford Harriers took part with Matt Woodman taking 3rd place overall (37:18) ahead of Harry Perkins (4th – 37:56). Kev Darby (40:42) and Robert Mottram-Jones (41:00) also finished inside the top 10 finishing in 9th and 10th respectively. There was also an impressive performance from junior member Matt Bonney who finished 16th in a time of 43:17.
The race was won by Paul Richards from Telford in 36:32, just ahead of local runner Craig Spilsbury. There was a close finish among the leading ladies as Laura Sandy beat fellow Staffordian Charlotte Beddow by just 5 seconds with Uttoxeter’s Chloe Hawkins a further seven seconds back. The leading lady from Staffdord Harriers was Michelle Fox who finished in 29th in 45:15
The full list of Harriers finishers was:
|Robert Mottram Jones||40.44||10th|
5th February 2017
Report Chris Elsley
The big race on the local running scene last weekend was the Alsager 5 – a fast race with pb’s on offer and one that attracts a high class field.
Robert Mottram Jones was the first of 17 Stafford Harriers to finish, coming home in 31:20 to take 121st place, ahead of Spencer Holland who finished 165th in a time of 33:06.
Richard Quine (178th – 33:10) just pipped club mate Ian Wood (179th – 33:11 PB) to the line while Jason Littlewood scraped inside the top 200 with 33:46 to finish 197th. PB
The Harriers in the field of 954 finishers were:
|Robert Mottram Jones||121st||31:20|
|Ian Wood||179th||33:11 PB|
|Jason Littlewood||197th||33:46 PB|
The race was won by Jack Martin of Stockport Harriers in 23:44 with Lauren Howarth (Leigh Harriers) the leading lady in 27:23.
5th February 2017
Report Chris Elsley
Elsewhere, Michelle Fox and Chris Elsley tackled the Stourbridge Stagger – a notoriously muddy race run over approximately 10 miles.
It was ladies first over a slightly shortened course with Michelle finishing 82nd in a time of 76:13 while Chris finished 161st in 84:51. The overall winner was Chris Ashford of Birmingham Running& Tri in 58:59 with club mate Daisy Wilson the first lady to finish in 73:30.
A cold wind and temperatures touching zero welcomed around 120 runners who tackled Mercia Fell Runners’ 2017 Trig Race on Cannock Chase on Sunday.
Starting from near to Sister Dora’s, runners have to go to four trig points in order before returning to the start venue, but the course they take is entirely up to them, so from the off you find participants heading in different directions before their paths merge again later in the event.
The first target is the Trig at the Rifle Range, followed by a check in and check out at Morse Gorse, near to the Marquis Drive Visitors Centre. Runners take the steep climb to the Castle Ring trig followed by Stile Cop, before returning to Morse Gorse and the dreaded climb back up Kitbag Hill to Marquis Drive. With much of the climbing behind them, runners head for the Glacial Boulder before a welcome downhill stretch back to the finish.
Twenty-one members of Stafford Harriers were among the field of competitors. Spencer Holland was the first of the local club to complete the challenge, finishing 24th overall in a time of 2 hr 10m 55 secs. He finished just ahead of team mate Robert Mottram Jones (2:11:28). Ian Hodkinson completed the Harriers top three in a time of 2:18:56 (40th).
Harriers time were:
|Chris Ross||2:23:42||54th =|
The Race Winner was Kim Collison of Borrowdale in 1:09:59 with Cannock & Stafford’s Nina Skilton taking the ladies prize in 2:07:54 (16th overall)
Gnosall – Open to the Elements
Sunday also saw the first running of a new 5 & 10k events in Gnosall. The Open to the Elements 10k attracted 134 runners and incorporated the Stafford to Newport Greenway, beginning at the Royal Oak pub.
Michelle Fox was the first Harrier home (16th overall & 2nd lady) finishing in 43:22 with Kerry Hall next in a time of 45:19 (23rd).
Clare Mantle (40th – 49:17), Wendy Sears (89th – 58:03) and Dawn Gibbons (131st – 69:26) were the other Harriers taking part in a race won by James Jennings (Stafford Tri) in 35:29 with Birchfield’s Frances Vickers the leading lady (42:17)
A smaller field of 35 runners was attracted to the 5k event, which saw Harriers junior runner Ben Deakin finished two places in front of his mother Melonie to take the family honours. Ben’s time of 22:17 gave him 6th place while Melonie claimed a time of 24:24. The race was won by Zach Parton (Stafford Tri) in 18:39.
XC at Aldersley
Photo of the Ladies XC at Aldersley by Mel Deakin
Vernon’s Limp Wrist race
First run of the New year is the Traditional “Limp Wrist” race. Run in memory of Vernon Olivant. The race is a 5 mile time trial where the runners predict their times and the winner is the runner that gets the clostest to their predictions.
It was a pretty miserable day for running and the state of some of the runners at the start did lead to some concerns. However 93 hardy souls started and 91 finished.
First over the line was Ben Gamble in 26:08 but that only secured him 8th place as he was 22 seconds quicker than he predicted.
The winner was Alan Jeavons who was only 2 seconds outside his prediction.
Here are the results in prediction order.
The real winners were Katherine House Hospice who will receive over £400 from the entries.
Check out Bryan Dales photos. Race Photos
|Pos||No||Club||Pre time||Act Time||Diff|
|3||105||Richard||Shaw||Stone Master Marthoners||0:43:25||0:43:32||00:07|
|11||260||Julie||Boulton||Stone Master Marthoners||0:45:03||0:44:35||00:28|
|15||157||Bill||Mac||Stone Master Marthoners||0:37:30||0:38:06||00:36|
|20||380||Bill||Stevenson||Michelin A C||0:41:41||0:42:27||00:46|
|27||276||Tim||Hulse||Stone Master Marthoners||0:31:10||0:32:04||00:54|
|28||408||Jo||Yendole||Stone Master Marthoners||0:54:02||0:53:07||00:55|
|29||125||Arif||Merali||Kent A C||0:31:40||0:32:36||00:56|
|32||19||Kevin||Uzzell||Stone Master Marthoners||0:38:10||0:37:10||01:00|
|32||317||Jayne||Ford||Stone Master Marthoners||0:38:46||0:39:46||01:00|
|36||331||Bill||Clarke||Stone Master Marthoners||0:46:20||0:47:22||01:02|
|38||346||Victoria||Hughes||Stone Master Marthoners||0:37:37||0:36:32||01:05|
|40||332||Amy||Gamble||Stone Master Marthoners||0:38:00||0:36:53||01:07|
|53||283||Chris||Barlow||Stone Master Marthoners||0:51:00||0:49:34||01:26|
|56||108||Maragret||Shaw||Stone Master Marthoners||0:51:40||0:50:05||01:35|
|57||39||Ann-Marie||Mountford||Stone Master Marthoners||0:41:26||0:43:08||01:42|
|60||393||Andy||Cowden||Bere Alston Trekkers||0:41:15||0:39:22||01:53|
|66||347||Grahame||Cope||Uttoxeter rod runners||0:40:08||0:37:45||02:23|
|68||267||Claire||Valentine-Gibson||Stone Master Marthoners||0:50:00||0:47:22||02:38|
|73||391||Angelo||Apa||Bere Alston Trekkers||0:48:01||0:44:56||03:05|
|75||407||Lisa||Ashton||Stone Master Marthoners||0:42:52||0:39:44||03:08|
|80||392||Sara||Apa||Bere Alston Trekkers||0:54:37||0:50:48||03:49|
|83||234||Nick||Boulton||Stone Master Marthoners||0:42:24||0:38:21||04:03|
|86||377||Sally||Griddings||Wolves and Bilstom||0:41:50||0:36:03||05:47|