Race Report January to March 2018

Walton Wobble

Report by Chris Elsley

Fifteen year old Stafford Harrier George Hodkinson emerged as one of the stars of the Walton Wobble last week.
The 10k road race, which was being run for just the second time, began in Walton on the Hill and took in nearby Brocton and Cannock Chase before returning to the finish in the grounds of Walton High School.
George Hodkinson was competing in his first ever race over the distance and finished in a superb 3rd place, finishing in a time of 39m 28secs.
Spencer Holland was the second Harrier, finishing 12th overall (43m 10s) while George’s dad Ian finished some four and a half minutes behind his son in 44:06 (16th overall) and just ahead of Liam Duggan 17th in 44:12 and Alex Langford (18th – 44:16).
Nia Nokes was the leading Harriette, taking 32nd overall in a time of 46:27 (5th lady).

The Harrier times were:

Name Time Place
George Hodkinson 39:28 3rd
Spencer Holland 43:10 12th
Ian Hodkinson 44:06 16th
Liam Duggan 44:12 17th
Alex Langford 44:16 18th
Nia Nokes 46:27 32nd
Gareth Hudson 47:22 43rd
Alan Griffin 48:08 48th
Chris Skellern 50:14 63rd
Kerry Hall 50:21 65th
Helen Richardson 51:41 72nd
Ed Smith 54:55 95th
Ruth Edwards 57:15 123rd
Stella Dennis 57:16 124th
Sally Liggins 57:32 125th
Joanne Oliver 57:42 128th
Saffron Latham 59:23 139th
Shirley Smith 64:12 172nd
Liz Shillito 65:20 185th
Lorraine Flory 69:05 207th
Val Stuart 81:00 255th

The race was won by local runner Craig Pilsbury in 36m 25 secs with reigning Stafford Half Marathon champion Rebecca Harrison taking the ladies race in a new course record time of 42:30.

261 runners completed the course.

New ZeAland Masters Games

Report  from Joe and Rosemary Connolly (members 2001 to 2008)

The NZ Masters Games are held in Dunedin every two years. There are a variety of running events and the most testing is the 7.5km hill run, starting not far off sea level and running through native forest, onto exposed moorland of tussocks following trails up to the 666m summit, the highest local peak over 6.6km followed by a 900m steep decent to the finish line. Rosemary’s no longer running so Joe entered and did the run.

We often think of the Harriers and whenever I run I think of Kate Burge and Clare Newton and the inspiration for this run was a tribute to both of those young ladies that are no longer with us. We wanted to make it to Kate’s Run in the Isle of Man a couple of years ago and didn’t make it over. So belatedly this was our tribute to dear friends no longer with us.

I sought out my old vest to wear and went off at a pace that was far too fast, inspired by thinking of Kate and Clare. Gradually the field spread out and I was on my own in the bush with a couple of voices pushing me on. I am not sure that it was my legs that carried me over the finish line winning Gold in my age class, but that was the official result.

At the end I stood next to Rosemary and told my race story about two young ladies from Stafford that carried me over the course. Here’s to you Kate and Clare XX. Best wishes to any Harriers that remember us.

Press Report

4th February 2018

Report by Chris Elsley

Alsager 5

There was a good turnout from Stafford Harriers at the Alsager 5 road race last Sunday with 20 members from the local club competing amongst more than 900 runners in this extremely popular race.

A relatively flat course around the roads of the south Cheshire town encourages some fast times in a race which is the first in the 2018 season for the North Staffs Road Runners Association.

For the Harriers, Phil Hilsdon came home in 29 mins 6 secs which secured him 60th place. Ian Wood (177th 33m 19s) and Ian Hodkinson (193rd – 33m 46s) also recorded top 200 finishes.

Other Harriers were:

First Name Last Name Position Time
Phil Hilsdon 60th 29:06
Ian Wood 177th 33:19
Ian Hodkinson 193rd 33:46
Dave Marsden 256th 35:46
Alan Jones 313th 37:14
Peter Williams 358th 38:06
Darren Mattocks 368th 38:21
Chris Skellern 386th 38:51
Chris Elsley 398th 39:17
Richard Booth 447th 40:13
Debbie McDermott 465th 40:41
John Finney 496th 41:22
Caroline Nichol 501st 41:26
Karen Murray 584th 43:56
Graham Williams 595th 44:22
Jo Oliver 606th 44:31
Julie Nokes 650th 46:05
Mark Bentley 791st 53:14
Sarah Gray 800th 53:26
Val Stuart 875th 63:08


For the second year running, the race was won by Jack Martin of Stockport Harriers in 24:19 while Lauren Howarth of Sale Harriers was the leading lady (26m 56s).

Stourbridge Stagger

Elsewhere, John Scott and Sally Haycock took part in the Stourbridge Stagger – an unforgiving multi terrain race run over a 10 mile course climbing over stiles and through muddy gully’s.

Scott finished in an excellent 45th position in a time of 68:47 while Haycock came home in 229th in a time of 99:27.

The race was won by Matthew Harrold of Warley Woods Pacers in 64:15

There were 394 runners who finished.

Open 2 the Elements Gnosall 5K and 10K

Sunday 21st January 2018

Race Report by Dave Marsden

Wintry conditions accompanied us on the drive to Gnosall and we sat in the Royal Oak pub, adjacent to the race HQ and start, watching the snow fall and wondering if there were more pleasant ways of spending a Sunday morning.

The course for both events is an out-and-back route along the disused railway track towards Newport, with turn-around points at 2.5K and 5K. Both races started at 11:00 and fortunately the snow stopped as we assembled for the start. There wasn’t much snow lying on the ground but it was very wet and muddy in places. Despite the conditions, the organisation was very good with chip timing for both events.

5K results – chip times and positions

Pos Name Time
3rd Ben Deakin 21:11
5th Melonie Deakin 24:36
26th David Kumar 41:59

10K results – chip times and positions

Pos Name Time
20th Dave Marsden 46:42
76th Russell Horsley 1:00:05
110th Charlotte Ward 1:06:59
133rd Stacey Terry 1:12:29

Sneyd Striders Pudding Run

Sunday 14th January 2018

A rescheduled run from 10th December.

10 Mile Race


Position Name Time Gender Category PB
96 Steve Turner 01:21:22 M V55
135 Craig Baxter 01:28:02 M V45

5 Mile Race

Position Name Time Gender Category PB
3 Simon Cope 30:17 M TOP3
5 Adam Lightfoot 32:32 M MSEN PB





Sunday 14th January 2018

Report By Ian Wood

I had a problem this year as I was supposed to do the rearranged Sneyd 10, however the lure of the Chase was just too much. Which was why I found myself collecting my dibber and number at Milford Hall Cricket Club along with several other Harriers some were not running but were helping out on the trig points and the water station at Moors Gorse.

We started filtering out heading towards the start at Milford Common before the start of the race after standing in a tray of disinfectant as we enter the start pen and reset the dibber as we enter.

The start is weird as everybody heads off on their own route towards the first trig point it’s a bit like a starburst as the runners pick the route which suits them the best. The shortest route is not always the best the long route may not be the worst. At the first trig point by the Shooting Butts runners seem to come from all directions before splitting up again to head to Marquis Drive. The run down Kit Bag Hill to the railway check point is not my favourite bit but it cannot be avoided.

At the Moors Gorse we have time allowed to cross the road and grab a drink (Thanks Brian and Jane) using the dibber on either side of the A460 road and drinks station.

The time taken is removed up to a maximum of two minutes each crossing when you finish. On the climb up to Castle Ring we start to split up again I had run with Ian and Dean up to this point when I started to follow a different route which avoids Castle Ring hill by using a track that brings me out 50 metres from the trig.  After waving at John Clements it was now time to head down Castle Ring hill passing Debs, Ed and Karen as I started climbing up towards Stile Cop car park trig point. The first time I ran the trig race I had trouble finding the trig point here as it is hidden at the back of the car park.

I stuck to the road instead of taking a short cut through the trees as there is no proper track to follow as part of the original track is off limits now. I managed to catch up the places I lost on the drop down to Moors Gorse, running with Ian Hodkinson again who had now lost Dean. Using part of the two minutes allowed to cross the A460 it was now my favourite bit the climb up Kit Bag Hill I managed to pull away from Ian on the climb and catching up with Simon as we went past the Visitor Centre on Marquis Drive. We headed to the White House car park then dropped into the Sherbrook Valley heading towards the final trig point by the Glacial Boulder. I had seen Michelle just ahead of me at the first three trig points but managed to overtake her when the group she was running with missed a turning and got to the next trig point first. Chris Skellern must have been cold at the final trig as she was hugging the trig point when I passed!

The last few miles down the old railway cutting into Milford Common were great running with Michelle and two guys down the German cutting to finish just ahead of them at Milford. The results show I finished behind Michelle by 12 seconds due to the Moors Gorse stop.

I am glad the race went well due to the problems putting the race on this year. We were lucky with the weather if the race had been a week later the Chase was covered with snow or two weeks earlier Castle Ring hill was completely iced over. We returned to the cricket club to change and while waiting for the results we helped ourselves to the free hot drinks and food laid on by the organisers – worth the entry fee alone.

My only slight issue is the start time. Over the years the Chase has become very busy with bikes and people walking dogs around Marquis Drive and although you do not have to rush over the A460 because of the two minutes there were lots of traffic on a very fast road maybe starting the race at 9.30 might help. That said I will be at the next trig race whatever the start time.



Robert Little  – Dark Peak           1-44-48

Laura  Palmer  – Chase Harriers   2-13-59

Stafford Harriers

Pos Name Time
21 Spencer Holland 2:13:05
32 Michelle Rushton Fox 2:20:33
33 Ian Wood 2:20:45
37 Simon Bromley 2:24:26
54 Ian Hodkinson 2:30:04
81 Nick Beckett 2:40:34
91 Debbie McDermott 2:48:20
100 Stella Dennis 2:52:10
101 Eddie Smith 2:52:37
110 Dean Hibbitt 3:02:06
115 Karen Murray 3:12:38

118 Runners completed the race


Press Release

21st January 2018

Report by Chris Elsley

Open to the Elements 10k

A handful of hardcore members of Stafford Harriers braved wintry conditions on Sunday morning to take part in a couple of local races. Dave Marsden was the leading Harrier in the ‘Open To The Elements’ 10k, which runs along the disused railway from Gnosall.

Marsden’s time of 46:45 was enough to give him 20th place while Russell Horsley (60:34 – 75th), Charlotte Ward (67:14 – 109th) and Stacey Terry (73:03 – 134th) made up the rest of the Harriers contingent.

Opting for the shorter 5k distance were Dave Kumar, Ben and Mel Deakin.

Ben finished in an excellent 4th place in a time of 21:39 one place but almost three minutes ahead of mother Mel while Dave Kumar finished 25th in 42:04.

Kidsgrove 10K

Meanwhile, Alan Jones was the club’s sole representative in the Kidsgrove 10k, finishing in 50:25 (107th).

Alan Jones (photo by Bryan Dale)

Staffordshire Cross Country Championships

6th January 2018

Report by Chris Elsley
Sandwell Park Farm was the setting for the Staffordshire Cross Country Championships on Saturday

Stafford Harriers’ Men finished 8th with Justin Green finishing as the leading runner for the town club. Meanwhile Nia Nokes finished in 22nd place as the Ladies came 10th.

Also running were (Men) Michael Dobson (70th), Spencer Holland (74th), Ian Wood (83rd), Anthony Haycock (97th) and Roy Clay (108th). For the women, the Harriers team also included: Kerry Hall (40th), Kelly Collins (53rd), Mel Deakin (54th), Chris Skellern (55th), Lisa Fraser (58th) and Julie Nokes (76th).

Running in the Junior events were: Ben Green (33rd – U13 Boys), Ben Cook (11th – U15 Boys), Kian Arnott (17th – U17 Boys) and Saffron Latham (17th – U17 Girls).

Limp Wrist

1st January 2018

Report by Chris Elsley
A cold, wet and blustery start to the New Year did not deter 82 hardy runners who took part in Stafford Harriers’ annual Limp Wrist Race on Monday morning.

This race is a rarity in that anyone can win. The reason for this is that the winner is not the first across the line but the one who most accurately can predict their finishing time. The catch is that no watches or other time keeping devices are permitted to be worn by competitors – hence the ‘Limp Wrist’ name given to the race.

The event starts on Martin Drive, Castlefields and comprises of a loop around the nearby pool before heading off up the disused railway towards Derrington before doubling back down the line back to Castlefields, another loop around the pool then the finish by the small car park at the end of Martin Drive.

This year’s event produce joint winners as Hilary Rees and Harriers’ chairman Darren Mattocks both finished within two seconds of their predicted finishing time while Lee Edgington of Rising Brook Runners finished in 3rd place, just 3 seconds off. Rees’ victory came despite the fact that she was the 80th runner to cross the finish line.

Fastest runner on the day was Bret Bassett but his time of 32:16 for the five mile course was 44 seconds quicker than predicted and only good enough for 20th place.




For additional photos go to Bryan Dales Race Photos


Pos No Fname Sname Club Pre time Act Time Diff
1 434 Hilary Rees Unattached 0:55:00 0:54:58 00:02
1 248 Darren Mattocks Stafford Harriers 0:39:30 0:39:28 00:02
3 266 Lee Edgington Rising Brook Runners 0:40:15 0:40:12 00:03
4 421 Claire McHugh Unattached 0:51:21 0:51:27 00:06
5 181 Liz Shillito Stafford Harriers 0:50:00 0:50:07 00:07
5 273 Tom Johnson Stone Master Marthoners 0:40:20 0:40:27 00:07
7 163 Amy Gamble Stone Master Marthoners 0:36:16 0:36:07 00:09
7 423 Jo Yendale Stone Master Marthoners 0:50:07 0:50:16 00:09
9 43 Simon Bromley Stafford Harriers 0:40:00 0:40:10 00:10
9 200 Bill Stevenson Michelin A C 0:41:59 0:41:49 00:10
9 182 Robert Wilson Unattached 0:40:00 0:39:50 00:10
12 18 Chris Skellern Stafford Harriers 0:39:57 0:40:08 00:11
13 197 Ian Wood Stafford Harriers 0:34:50 0:34:37 00:13
14 425 Ruth Edwards Stafford Harriers 0:46:21 0:46:42 00:21
15 430 Richard Lowndes Stafford Tri 0:37:00 0:37:38 00:38
16 337 Stu Turner Stafford Harriers 0:38:00 0:38:39 00:39
17 311 Chris Elsley Stafford Harriers 0:39:20 0:38:40 00:40
18 435 David Marshall Unattached 0:41:40 0:40:58 00:42
19 436 Brian Rawlins Stafford Harriers 0:39:41 0:38:58 00:43
20 431 Bret Bassett Unattached 0:33:00 0:32:16 00:44
21 206 Pam Davies Stone Master Marthoners 0:45:00 0:44:15 00:45
22 330 Eddie Smith Stafford Harriers 0:45:10 0:44:24 00:46
23 439 Belinda Riley Newcastle Staffs A.C. 0:55:10 0:54:22 00:48
23 318 Ian Welding Unattached 0:36:30 0:37:18 00:48
25 317 Spencer Holland Stafford Harriers 0:34:00 0:33:07 00:53
25 166 Lisa Ashton Stone Master Marthoners 0:45:08 0:44:15 00:53
25 172 Jo Handy Stone Master Marthoners 0:45:08 0:44:15 00:53
28 426 Kirsty Stephenson Stone Master Marthoners 0:36:36 0:35:41 00:55
29 271 Clare Holdcroft Mow Cop Runners 0:41:09 0:40:13 00:56
30 424 Alan Jeavans Unattached 0:38:53 0:37:54 00:59
31 178 Alan Jones Stafford Harriers 0:37:12 0:38:12 01:00
32 207 Mac McCoig Stone Master Marthoners 0:49:03 0:48:02 01:01
33 203 John Scott Unattached 0:34:53 0:33:44 01:09
33 204 Sally Haycock Unattached 0:43:45 0:42:36 01:09
33 210 Tim Hulse Stone Master Marthoners 0:31:15 0:32:24 01:09
36 341 Craig Baxter Stafford Tri 0:45:04 0:43:52 01:12
37 216 Ryan Nokes Stone Master Marthoners 0:41:40 0:40:21 01:19
38 349 Mark Bentley Stafford Harriers 0:45:30 0:46:55 01:25
39 15 Margaret Shaw Stone Master Marthoners 0:50:21 0:51:48 01:27
39 338 Lou Wisdom Unattached 0:48:00 0:46:33 01:27
41 32 Shelley Burns Stafford Harriers 0:42:36 0:41:02 01:34
42 6 Richard Shaw Stone Master Marthoners 0:42:42 0:41:06 01:36
43 292 Charlotte Ward Stafford Harriers 0:53:23 0:51:46 01:37
43 429 Lottie Lowndes Unattached 0:45:00 0:43:23 01:37
45 22 Ben Bewley Newcastle Staffs A.C. 0:37:14 0:35:34 01:40
46 281 Sally Liggins Stafford Harriers 0:48:32 0:46:45 01:47
47 211 Julie Nokes Stafford Harriers 0:51:25 0:49:35 01:50
48 209 Fay Parker Stone Master Marthoners 0:45:00 0:43:09 01:51
49 29 Ann Jones NSRRA 0:48:31 0:46:39 01:52
50 277 Peter Williams Stafford Harriers 0:43:43 0:41:48 01:55
51 27 Lucinda Stone Staffs Moorlands 0:41:02 0:39:03 01:59
52 433 Andy Cowden Bere Alston Trekkers 0:41:30 0:39:29 02:01
53 5 Kevin Uzzell Stone Master Marthoners 0:40:58 0:38:49 02:09
54 251 Richard Ellis Staffs Tri 0:44:15 0:42:04 02:11
55 401 Emma Ashton Stafford Tri 0:43:15 0:41:03 02:12
56 185 Steve Turner Stafford Harriers 0:38:20 0:40:59 02:39
57 34 Neil Banks Unattached 0:44:32 0:41:50 02:42
58 174 Graham Cartwright Unattached 0:43:28 0:40:43 02:45
59 19 Charles Larsson Newcastle Staffs A.C. 0:45:45 0:48:36 02:51
60 229 Emma Dutton Stone Master Marthoners 0:43:18 0:40:25 02:53
61 267 Paul Hunt Unattached 0:49:25 0:46:25 03:00
62 187 Frank Lain Unattached 0:42:32 0:39:21 03:11
63 331 Sarah Johnson Stafford Harriers 0:50:00 0:46:48 03:12
64 323 Cameron Palmer Unattached 0:45:52 0:42:28 03:24
65 432 Kirsty Pealce Sandbach Striders 0:42:01 0:38:25 03:36
66 422 Nikie Lambert Unattached 0:52:52 0:48:36 04:16
67 437 Simon Warwick Stafford Harriers 0:44:32 0:40:06 04:26
67 438 Liam Duggan Stafford Harriers 0:40:20 0:35:54 04:26
69 324 Scott Palmer Stafford Harriers 0:47:26 0:42:28 04:58
70 263 Paul Turner Rising Brook Runners 0:50:50 0:45:25 05:25
71 224 Chris Barlow Stone Master Marthoners 0:59:00 0:53:21 05:39
72 427 Kate Lowndes Unattached 0:59:00 0:53:18 05:42
73 136 Darren Hunt Buxton A C 0:44:23 0:38:33 05:50
74 403 Steve Weaver Unattached 0:47:47 0:41:56 05:51
75 428 Vicky Lowndes Unattached 0:50:25 0:43:50 06:35
76 362 Anna Hollis Unattached 1:03:00 0:55:31 07:29
77 24 Jane Holt Newcastle Staffs A.C. 0:53:00 0:44:28 08:32
78 371 Ella Pennock Unattached 1:00:00 0:51:27 08:33
79 374 Lukasz Bosascki Unattached 1:10:00 0:55:31 14:29
80 358 Erin Clode Rising Brook Runners 1:10:00 0:54:42 15:18
81 350 Step Holbeck Rising Brook Runners 1:10:06 0:54:42 15:24
82 228 Jason Riley Newcastle Staffs A.C. 0:53:20 0:37:37 15:43