WHEATON ASTON 10K
On a surprisingly warm winters morning 30 harriers still full of Christmas cheer laced up their trainers for probably their last race of 2011.
This was the first time I have done this race and i will definitely run it again. The course is basically flat, taking your around the country lanes of Wheaton Aston. The course i was told had PB potential and with this in mind i decided to start off faster than normal. By the time i reached the 3 mile mark i was starting to think i had started off too quickly, however at around the 4 mile mark i got my second wind and managed to dig deep and achieve a PB! The event itself was organised pretty well and the facilities were good. There were a good amount of mashalls along the route and a water station at the 3 mile point. The support around the course was good considering the rural location, especially at the end where it’s normally needed!
This is a good run to burn off the Christmas turkey and i will definitely run this race again.
There were 478 runners and the race was won by Martin Williams (Tipton Harriers) in 30.55. The first Harrier home was Nathan Sabin with an very quick time of 38.42.
Well done too all those who took part and a Very Happy 2012.
SNEYD CHRISTMAS PUDDING RUN
Only 4 Harriers took part in this years race. The 10 mile race started at 10am just out side Sneyd School and was 2 relatively flat laps. Mile 3-4 and 8-9 had a gentle incline that just seem to go on forever, with the wind this made it tougher. A gentle down hill section for the final mile of each lap was very welcome.
For me, this was my first race since injury. I was eager to race again and this was the confidence booster I needed. Half way in 29.35 with screaming lungs I felt like I was about to blow up. Luckily I found my second wind and worked with a guy from BRATs to keep the pace going. I eventually finished with a PB of 59.33 and my first time under the hour. Well happy 🙂
8- Matt Woodman- 58.05
15- Steve Vaughan- 59.33
136- Alan Griffin- 1.13.47
372- John Hateley- 1.39.34
The race was won by Martin Mathews- 54.04- BRATs and the first lady was Caroline Harlon Marks- 1.05.37- Bournville Harriers
On a planned weekend away in Shropshire for a friends birthday I found a nice little fell race to blow the cobwebs away from the Saturday night. The Cardington Cracker is a 9 mile fell race with climbs of 2600ft (described in the race summary as hell and they were) and the conditions played there part with wind, rain, cold, mud. I decided to use this as a training run and try to enjoy the race, which I managed to do. Fell racing is a bit like Marmite for me in that I love it and hate it, but both these feelings manifest themselves during the race.
My time, 1hr 30ish but who was counting.
My position 30ish, 40ish, not sure, I just enjoyed the run in the Shorpshire hills.
(This is me giving the thumbs up that I am OK after sliding halfway down the hill on my backside)
The Kiwi Harrier – Pete Sarson
Over the year since we arrived in New Zealand my running has continued on the usual inconsistent level of more recent years in the UK. Although I’d hoped to run a lot more, I find I’m too busy or too lazy. And there’s certainly not the competitive programme of events there is in the UK to act as incentive. However, I have managed more races since early September:
11 Sept – Dunedin Half Marathon – 1:30:28 – mostly flat road course, but with a strong headwind and a couple of hills in the last 10km.
1 Oct – Riverrun Trail Half – 1:31:22 – mild undulations all the way out and back alongside a river, with great scenery.
23 Oct – Cromwell Half – 1:26:46 – a very flat road course overall, though with a couple of short hill climbs and some long stretches mildly downhill. But my GPS watch said it was 400m short, so should have been more like 1:28:10.
6 Nov – Taieri Mouth Half – 1:48:00 – the first 1km along a sandy beach, then 1km flat road before 8km of steady steep grind up a gravelly road, followed by 4km good downhill field run, a steep winding 1km road run then back onto difficult pocked fields and beach runs. I got misdirected and ran an extra 1km.
13 Nov – The Southland Marathon – 3:06:57 – only 50 runners with me finishing 6th overall. Run on the main roads from Riverton to Invercargill; long straights and mild undulations. I started at easy pace so that I’d have other runners to chase – which worked out OK until around 17mls, then the next guy in front moved away until I couldn’t see him. But I caught him at 24mls and finished a minute ahead at the finish. Weather almost perfect.
Here are some photos we took today at the Santa Dash. What a hoot! Surreal but hilarious.
The race was won by Santa and the first Harrier home was er…Santa!
Not sure how many Harriers you will recognise but hope you can put some of the photos on the website for a bit of Santa Harrier spotting!
Report from Liz Stanyer
It was a damp, misty, cold morning but a good healthy turn out of hardy Harriers decided to turn up at Baggeridge Park for not only a tough six mile off road run, but to have a little swim as well. Perfect weather for it!
The start seems to me to be at the bottom of a bomb crater and as we start, there is only one way to get out! A prompt 11 am start and we are off, scrambling up the steep side to then charge downhill to a small gap in the hedge. Get to it quick as it soon builds up to a congested mass and this congestion continues on the winding path until the steep uphills (which come rather quickly) sort everyone out. There is a bit of a ‘big dipper’ up and down until you head off for a downhill section and then you can hear lots of cheers and a sort of squelching, sucking sound, but with no idea why. Oh that will be the lovely clay! Up hill….. For ages. Think ice skating up hill with thick sticky sliding mud and lumps of clay being flicked around off fellow runners shoes. Nice!
Then with your running shoes weighing about 2 stone each you have some lovely long stretches of wooded trail paths. Around a lake ( or pond? Wasn’t really looking ), where,if you were like me and a slower runner, you got to cheer on the Harrier Speedies coming back the other way, all looking a little damp. I wonder why that was Nathan? A cheer and a wave to Russell, Nathan, Mark, Keith and Ian then I was off on the long steep uphill. The downhill is tricky with an adverse camber, tree roots, low branches, and pot holes everywhere, but great fun to negotiate whilst trying to overtake.Then the biggest cheers of the race can be heard as you approach ‘the water’. A damned up, slippy river crossing. Big crowds all chanting at you to jump in ( thanks Ellie and Lauren). So jump I did, and it nearly came up to my waist! It is a real shock, and getting out the other side is a challenge, but what on earth happens to your legs when you try to start running again? They refuse to move the way you want them to (it is really a very strange experience!) and I had minutes of a sort of sluggish, dragging type movement before I stopped wobbling and could actually feel my legs again.
There is about another mile and half to go before the finish with more wooded trails and hills to negotiate. Then, because you haven’t suffered enough, you are faced with a sheer cliff and the only way up are steps. Lots and lots of slimey, uneven, steep steps. And then some more. Steps. Cue the return of the jelly legs, but what a wonderful finish. All downhill and you can just let yourself go all the way.
A Tshirt, a banana and a foil blanket for your efforts. Top tip, yes everyone laughed at me wrapped in my cooking foil, but with no changing facilities I was able to get changed underneath my silver tent and spare a little dignity.
Then off to The Beacon Hotel, which is the quirkiest pub I have ever been in, for drinks and a race debrief with fellow Harriers. A top way to round off what is a brilliant race day. This is a race which can’t be raced. It forces you to just get round the best way you can, and with that comes a huge lot of fun and a great big atmosphere for all who take part and spectate. It should be on all Harriers ‘to do’ list.
and here are the results.
This was my fourth consecutive Dunnerdale and probably the best weather yet. The first time I did this race there was an 80mph gale on the tops of the fells so Saturday’s warm autumn sunshine and lack of any wind at all made it really enjoyable, but tough nonetheless.
It’s a course of around five-and-a-half miles over 1,800ft with four checkpoints, the highest being Stickle Pike. There’s a long climb to the first checkpoint before you get to any section where you can properly run, though by this stage I was already pretty knackered. Descending I was certainly losing a fair few places to those more fearless than me, but it was good fun anyway. The start and finish is at the village hall in Broughton Mills where a welcome cup of tea and pie were served afterwards (all included in the £5 entry fee).
This is one of the most popular short fell races and saw 266 finishers this time. I finished in 56th in 50 minutes. The winner was Helm Hill’s (Kendal) Tom Addison in 39.18 with Lauren Jeska of Todmorden first lady in 46.15.
I’d certainly recommend it, even to those with little experience on the fells and hope to be back again next year, whatever the weather.
Photo: Me on the descent from Great Stickle.
52nd DERWENTWATER TEN
This race sounded a great way to get back to Cumbria, so I motored north as the sole Harrier representative in this 10 mile circumnavigation of Derwentwater. The course, descibed as undulating, lived up to the billing…the road and track going up and down like a bride’s nightie. Starting in the centre of Keswick, it was largely downhill for the first half and er, uphill on the return, with a tough mile long pull up on to the side of the fell between 5.5 and 6.5. before some sharp descents and a final flatish stretch (at last) back to Keswick.
With a cloudless sky and the fells in their autumn glory, the scenery was beautiful, and great views of Catbells on the back half made the effort worthwhile (almost). I managed to squeeze out a pb (just!) at 75.36, finishing 201st out of 455. The winner clocked a new course record of 49.03 (maybe next year!!), and the first woman came in 41st in 61.52.
Highly recommended, though warnings of past inclement weather came from local runners, who seemed to be describing scenes from the end of the world during previous years events…aah, the Lakes!
Sorry no race report.
Chris Owen reports
When I entered this race I paid the fee then decided to look at the profile,ah silly mistake. The day eventually came when I started quote”one of the hardest marathons in the uk” the weather was awful fine rain but it coming horizontally due to the wind. Nice first mile ,but the next 3 was a steady climb followed by a 2 mile downhill section. Until 14m it was undulating where there was a .5 sharpish decent. The brutal part of the race started at 22m where a climb continued to just over 24 and with the wind I was forced to walk and so a lot of other people as well. It then went off road with hellish decent back on the road at 25m to the finish.The profile doesn’t do the race justice, as it was no where near as bad as I thought it was going to be and I completed in 3.28.25 which I was very happy with.This race should be going in diary next year.This is a race which you have to enter early. 2097 actually entered but only 1400 started,with 24dnf as they have a strict cutoff point at 17m with a broom wagon.
PASSING CLOUDS 9 – Fell Race
Two hardy Harriers made the trip to complete the Passing Clouds 9 fell race just outside Leek. This is a 9 mile fell race with 1800 ft of ascents and a good challenging course to complete. It was perfect weather for fell racing, bit overcast, not too warm and a good wind on some of the tops. There were 184 finishes, The mens race was won in 72.38 by J Brown of Salford, The womens in 88.47 by L Batt of Dark Peak.
|16||Russell Barron||Stafford H||80.38||M|
|141||Dave Marsden||Stafford H||109.32||MV55|
BUPA GREAT BIRMINHAM RUN
A number of Stafford Harriers took the opportunity on Sunday to take on the great Haile Gebrselassie in the Bupa Half Marathon in Birmingham. He finished first in 1-01-29. First Harrier home in the race was Sally Gray in 1-30-34. I have not had a report yet but here are the Harriers times that I have found.
On a bright warm sunny day 26 runners took part in the annual Trackless Ten which is run along the old disused railway line from Castlefields to Gnosall.
Winner of this years race was Kevin Uzzell from Stone Master marathoners and the first lady home was Tracey Gee
|1:12:57||2||Stephen||Borrowes||M||M45||Trentham A C|
|1:15:44||5||Charles||Larsson||M||M40||Newcastle A C|
|1:24:36||13||Jane||Holt||F||F40||Newcastle A C|
BELLS OF PATTINGHAM
Whilst many members of the Harriers were running round the Highlands of Scotland seventeen Harriers tackled the Bells of Pattingham on a very warm Sunday morning. A good turnout considering it is south of the A5. Coming back to form was Russ Barron who finished fifth and first lady home for the Harriers was Michelle Fox. All times and positions are below.
The race was won by Ross Jones of Tipton in 37-30 and first lady was Tess Parkinson of Wolverhampton and Bilston in 47-18. There were 531 finishers.
Mention should also be made of Nathan and Tom Sabin who were first and second in a very competitive Junior Bells race. See the young athletes section.
AVIEMORE MARATHON AND 10K
Report from Mike Jones
Twenty seven Harriers travelled all the way up to the highlands, to run this very different half marathon, on a good day for running with a dry day with some sunshine, and temperature of 12 degrees, with only one significant hill, and plenty of down hill in the last 8 miles, so it is definitely a PB course.
Two Harriers obtained PB’S Chris Owen first Harrier in a time of 1-28-19 and Andrew Carter improving his time to 2-24-59, 2nd Harrier in was Tracey Gee with her best time for years of 1-35-37.
In the 10K, 5 Harriers took part, with Dave Chittem was first in with a time of 46-38.
Well done to all those that took part, and thank goodness the races wasn’t the next day, because it was a lot colder raining very hard and blowing a gale.
37th Chris Owen 1-28-19 PB 382nd Jane Bisiker 1-52-49
113th Tracey Gee 1-35-37 406th Brian Langston 1-54-12
123rd Joe Atherton 1-36-28 462nd Graham Williams 1-56-57
151st Mark Bentley 1-39-04 474th Robert Simpson 1-57-12
165th Eddie Smith 1-39-32 593rd Mike Jones 2-03-02
227th Richard Caley 1-44-27 597th Sarah Johnson 2-03-11
266th Dave Preece 1-46-01 655th George Singh 2-07-03
294th John Finney 1-47-34 821st SimonStanyer 2-23-59
306th Liz Stanyer 1-48-02 822nd Andrew Carter 2-24-59 PB
372nd Tracy Ridings 1-52-08 828th Frank Evans 2-25-32
373rd Lisa Percox 1-52-08 835th Amanda Pearce 2-27-10
74th Dave Chittem 46-38 336th Richard Bisiker 1-11-37
135th Bill Whitworth 50-53 347th Rita Adams 1-16-56
303rd Mark Percox 1-02-18 382 finished.
…and from Liz Stanyer
Here are a couple of pics to perhaps show on the website, another reputation the Harriers developed whilst in the Highlands of Scotland.
The Stafford Harrier Highland Choir was formed on Sunday night and together we sang a very random choice of songs. So, with a man and his accordian, we gave a glorious rendition of Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond, I Close My Eyes, and You’ll Never Walk Alone. Totally unrehearsed and yet incredibly professional. So professional that apparently some of the elderley hotel guests sharing the hotel with the Harriers wanted to know if we were returning next year. Not because they wanted to hear us sing again, but to make sure they didn’t book the same weekend as us!!
We had better warn Madrid!!!!
9th October 2011
As far as I know four Harriers travelled to Chester for the 2nd running of this city marathon, Mark Eccleston, Kirsty Stephenson, Kellie Lee and Myself
The course started and finished in the fantastic city centre racecourse and the organisation was very good except for the heavy pre race traffic which caused Kirsty to jump from the car and walk to the course, leaving her husband Matt to park the car.
The race started with a lap of the city which was well populated with good support. Once out into the countryside the course was flat and rural. All the runners received lots of support from the large crowds and great encouragement from the volunteers at the drink stations of which there were plenty.
Kirsty and I had decided we were going to do the first half at a decent pace and hope we could hang on for the last few miles to get under 3hrs 25mins. At the halfway point our chip time was 1hr 34.40. We knew we had gone off quite hard but we kept the tempo up and pushed through a couple of little climbs to get to 20 miles in 2hr 28 minutes without any major scares.
I had been saying all along that I was not going to hit the 20 Mile wall and I have to say that was the case, instead I hit the 21 mile wall which came up from the road and knocked me for six. At this point my legs were wrecked and I had lost all my rhythym . Although Kirsty was tiring she still had enough strength to move away from me and as much as she encouraged me to continue alongside her I knew I was falling back.
From this point up to around 24.5 miles I was seriously questioning my sanity I took my final gels in the hope that it would give me a little push for the home run. On an open stretch of road I managed to catch sight of my former running partner and this gave me a lift knowing I was only a couple of minutes behind her. The clock was moving on now and getting under 3hr 25 was still on if I could get going again.
The final run along the path into the racecourse was lined with lots of people giving great support and the sight of the finish line in front of the grandstand was one I was glad to see.
I crossed the line in 3hr 24 mins and 18 seconds and for my first marathon was really pleased after finishing 286th out of over 3000 people. Kirsty crossed the line just over 2 minutes ahead of me in 3hr 22 mins and 10 seconds, to finish 266th and I think 35th lady overall. (Smashing PB by over 15 mins), A fantastic run
Mark also had a fab run especially after overcoming serious tummy problems during the race to finish in just over 4 hours (Also his first marathon). Kellie finished in
5-24-56 minutes another great run for her first marathon.
Another highlight of the day was hearing that my 12 year old daughter had won the one mile Mini Marathon in the course by over 45 seconds. She said there were lots of small children and old people, but she did her mile in under six minutes which can’t be bad. So well done Hannah.
Would recommend people to do this marathon as it was a flat traffic free course with lots of support and plenty of drink and toilets stations.
Will be looking for my next one now, maybe I’ll get lucky in the club ballot for London, and will be running again soon once my legs have come back to the real world again.
CONGLETON HALF MARATHON
Report from Martin Moore
Five Harriers braved the hills of Congleton to bimble around 13.1 miles on a mild Cheshire morning. Other races around and about on the same day probably reduced the potential runners (inc Chester marathon – well done folks!)
Actually, apart from a couple of steepish hills at the beginning and the infamous ‘sting in the tail’ at 12 miles, the course is gently undulating. So, although not flat, not too tough either. A couple of pb’s on a well marshalled, friendly-peopled course was therefore a largely successful morning.
Mark Bridgwood 1:30:05 (pb)
Chris Owen 1:32:00
Martin Moore 1:40:49 (pb)
James Thorpe 1:44:02
Judith Colman 2:27:54
CROSS COUNTRY – WINSFORD
8th October 2011
A very busy weekend for the Harriers with lots of races to attend. A good turnout saw some exceptional performances at the first Cross Country at Winsford. A couple of very special performances by our juniors should be mentioned. Elisha Walker in her first year as an U13 continued her recent good form by taking 2nd place by beating some very notable county standard athletes. Another mention must go out to Nathan Sabin again in his first year as an U17 came 6th against runners a full year older, Nathan even found time to wave and smile at his fan club from the junior section!!!! It was particularly pleasing to see so many first time Cross Country entrants. Well done all.
1st and 2nd October 2011
I first attempted the hike last year and had to retire at 42 miles due to the terrible weather conditions on the Sunday morning – so this year I was determined to finish.
The hike is 50 miles long you can run or walk it (I walk!!) and the event takes in all the biggest hills in the Longmynd/Church Stretton area. It is run over 24 hours you start on the Saturday at 1pm and you have until 1pm on the Sunday to complete the hike. There is no route you self-navigate, there are 17 checkpoints along the journey where you get your hike card clipped. The hike starts in a field at the bottom of Caradoc (big hill in Church Stretton) and finishes at Church Stretton High School where breakfast is waiting for you, if walking 50 miles isn’t bad enough you are also doing about 12000 feet of climbing – you climb, Caradoc, Lawley, Earls Hills, Corndon and Ragleth,
The event itself is brilliantly organized by the scouts, with lots of wonderful people who look after you at checkpoints and give you hot drinks and sweets – if you enjoy long distance walking I would recommend you give this ago.
So the weekend itself – well it was very hot!!!, which I actually didn’t mind, but it did affect a lot of walkers and runners. I walked the event with a couple of chaps who I met last year doing the event (you have to walk in a team of 3 at night). The navigation isn’t that bad as long as you do the preparation, which I had done, the route is now firmly embedded in my brain, and the hike went without problem. My time was 21 hours 45 minutes – walking through the night is always enjoyable. For me the toughest bit was the last 3 miles which includes a hike up Ragleth – but Jelly Babies got us through that bit. The event is challenging but I think preparation is the key – including the feet – which after two weeks of surgical spirit dabbing held up amazingly well.
I plan to go back next year to improve on my time – maybe run the downhill bits!!!
So all in all a great event and I am particularly proud of myself for finishing. And for those of you wondering what the winning time was – A lady won the event this year in 10 hours and 2 minutes.
TWIN PIERS 10 MILER
2nd Oct 2011
The Twin Piers 10 mile race is a point to point road race run from Blackpool North Pier to Fleetwood Pier along the coastal promenade. I have always wanted to do this run, so being as we were heading up to the the Wirral for the weekend, we decided the family Stanyer would nip over to Blackpool, I would run the race, then we would have fish and chips and a day at the seaside after.
The race was really low key, only 192 runners, but it was very friendly and there was a wide range of club runners. Luckily for us runners, the Indian Summer heatwave didn’t occur in Blackpool and it rained from start to finish, something I don’t mind.The start was at Gynn Square where we headed for a mile towards Blackpool North Pier, to then turn back around and head towards Fleetwood.
Now you know I don’t like to moan, but blimey I found this a tough race. It was totally flat, but with that came no variation and impossibly long flat straight stretches. We ran on the lower coastal path so there was nothing except beach one side and a high wall the other, for 10 very long miles. The novelty of the beach view wore off for me pretty quickly and all I could see was how far I had to go. Cue lots of moaning from me.
However, I was saved by a runner called Paul (from the North) who at 2 miles came along side me and said ‘I like your pace’ ( at least I think thats what he said) and asked if he could run with me. Now I’m not one for being sociable in races, and despite my total lack of communication, he stuck with me, calling me ‘Lass’ and offering me jelly beans. We worked very well together and he definitely kept me going at a decent pace, encouraging me all the way, despite him owning up to never having run further than 5 miles in his life!
Paul of The North heard a few choice words from me throughout the very long stretches of nothingness, but none more so than at the finish. What a cruel finish!! You can see it along the promenade. I was exhausted and hurting, hanging on to that sight of the finish, but oh no, they take you off the promenade you have willed your dead legs along for 10 tedious straight miles, to do a little detour around the road, uphill, for ages and ages and ages ( probably only 800 metres, but you know where I am coming from ) to then approach the finish from the other direction.
I got a medal, a banana, a hug from Paul of The North and a feeling of utter relief at finally finishing. Did I enjoy it? No. Would I do it again? Maybe.
I finished 79th, 2nd V40 ( still can’t get used to that) and got a teeny weeny PB out of it.
1st male Clark Daniel Mossley Hill AC 57-37
1st Female Bev Wright Blackpool Wyre & Flyde AC 66-24 L50