Race Report April to June 2011





report from Mark Bridgwood



On a hot Sunday morning 39 Harriers made the small journey to stone for the St Michael’s 10k.

This is a flat 2 lap course around stone with P.B potential (if it wasn’t so hot!) which starts on the main road just outside St Michael’s school and finishes in the school grounds. It’s a good race which is only let down slightly by the use of plastic cups at the one water station and on a day as hot as it was in my opinion wasn’t enough. Nathan Sabin was the first Harrier home with another good performance with Paul Douglas not far behind to finish 1st m55. Kirsty Stephenson was the 3rd female under 35 and Chris Skellern was the 1st F45 so well done to them on a day when not many P.B’s will have been broken.

Just a quick mention for Russell Barron who was having a great race and was in 7th place until injury forced him to retire but I’m sure he’ll be back soon.



Harriers results are:-


27th – Nathan Sabin – 39:36

49th – Paul Douglas – 41:45 (1st M55)

51st – Mark Bridgwood – 42:04

56th – Chris Owen – 42:24

57th – Kirsty Stephenson – 42:27 (3rd female under 35)

61st – Graham Young – 42:43

70th – Chris Skellern – 43:30 (1st F45)

74th – Mark Bentley – 43:42

83rd – Neil Martin – 43:58

92nd – Richard Caley – 44:39

113rd – Tracey Gee – 45:38

120th – Steven Cooper – 46:01

126th – Dave Marsden – 46:15

144th – Ed Smith – 47:17

145th – John Richardson – 47:28

147th – Dave Payling – 47:32

160th – Darren Mattocks – 48:16

167th – Mark Oliver – 48:36

181st – Ralph Wedlock – 49:14

195th – James Thorpe – 50:04

236th – Esther Hughes – 52:25

242nd – Jeff Martin – 52:45

243rd – Brian Langston – 52:45 (2nd M65)

246th – Amanda Clay – 53:04

252nd – Helen Richardson – 53:21

258th – Liz Stanyer – 53:48

281st – Michael Jones – 53:09 (3rd M65)

285th – Karen Murphy – 55:43

294th- Karen Sabin – 56:39

303rd – Bill Whitworth – 57:18

304th – Tony Baker – 57:29

313th – Simon Stanyer – 58:25

314th – Sally Liggings – 58:33

325th – Sara Broome – 59:35

372nd – Joanne Carson – 1:03:59

384th – Joanne Oliver – 1:06:13

394th – Frank Grant – 1:07:54

416th – Louise Notley – 1:12:14

417th – Judith Colman – 1:12:18


The race was won by Ben Gamble from Tipton Harriers in 32:37

Sara Johnson from Trentham running club was the 1st female home in 35:58





British Masters Track Championships Birmingham

25th June 2011


Three Harriers undertook the Championships in sweltering heat in Birmingham. There was success for Sally Gray and Chris Hollinshead who won silver medals in their 5,000 metre races. Sally competed in the W35 category and ran a time of 18.31 minutes whereas Chris ran 16.44 in the M45 category. The third Harrier Emma Hurcombe (recently joined the Harriers) who was delighted with her performance having competed in her first track race in both the W35 200 and 400 minutes in times of 31.09 and 72.01 seconds respectively.


Chris Hollinshead




report from Mike Jones

A very successful Shugborough relay, with a record 284 finishing, which means financially we made plenty of money.

A big thank you to all those that helped, without you, it just wouldn’t take place, we had 20 teams running, and some Harriers running works teams etc, below is a list of teams and how they faired, also I thought it would be interesting to put in order your running time, and as you can see the youngsters did us proud beating the seniors in many cases.

If the times don’t make sense, please contact me when I get back from holiday, and I will check it out.


Men’s Open

Fleet of Feet 4th 44-04

Ready Steady Go 33rd 54-14

Marsden and Co 42nd 1-04-23

Ladies Open

Craig’s Cripples 4th 1-29-55

Mixed Open

21 and Up 4th 56-14

Ace Age 5th 57-59

Random Four 19th 1-07-18

Addo Aces 25th 1-30-08

Mixed Vets 160years

Dynamic Duo’s 7th 1-00-37

Ladies and Gentleman 13th 1-03-41

Men’s Vets 160 years

At Their Peak 10th 49-50

Ladies Vets 160 years

Prime Time 3rd 56-58

Men’s Ultra Vets 200

Over the Hill 5th 55-36

Ultra Vets 240 years

No Zimmer’s Allowed 6th 1-04-02

The Pace Makers 9th 1-19-52

Mixed team under 64

8 Legs R Beta Than 2 6th 57-26

Bright but Spooky 10th 1-06-48

Boy’s under 52 years

Weird Fish 15th 1-21-12

Girl’s under 52 years

Girls R Loud 3rd 56-27

Wacky Racers 8th 1-04-53

Individual Times

Russell Barron 10-46 Yasmin Chokri 15-08

Nathan Sabin 10-59 Isabella Kelly 15-20

Tom Hobbins 11-06 Sophie Cartmail 15-20

Steve Vaughan 11-13 Jake Oliver 15-20

Chris Hollinshead 11-28 Amanda Clay 15-25

Mark Bridgwood 11-40 Liz Stanyer 15-33

Sally Gray 11-56 Lauren Gee 15-36

Nigel Addison 11-57 Laura Taylor 15-38

Ian Talbot 12-15 Callum Price 15-39

Keith Skelton 12-16 Michelle Fox 15-55

Tom Sabin 12-45 Jane Bisiker 16-03

Mike Down 13-03 Esther Hughes 16-06

Chris Owen 13-12 Andy Marsden 16-09

Richard Caley 13-13 Karen Sabin 16-26

Darren Mattocks 13-15 Brian Langston 16-38

Chris Skellern 13-16 Amy Oliver 16-39

Paul Bosson 13-17 Simon Stanyer 16-41

Tom Exton 13-20 Emma Underwood 16-49

Mark Bentley 13-22 John Marsden 16-49

Dave Marsden 13-30 Sandra Smith 16-59

Tracey Gee 13-39 Millie Stanyer 17-11

Alan Derry 13-39 Ellie Stanyer 17-18

Mark Oliver 13-41 Les Smith 17-17

Dave Mantle 13-52 Amie Stephens 17-38

Julie Addison 13-55 Allison Kelly 17-49

Jane Statie 13-55 Amanda Pearce 17-49

Ellie Baxter 14-02 Mark Bourne 17-55

Jenny Addison 14-06 Rebecca Bostock 17-57

James Thorpe 14-05 Jacko Greatholder 18-28

Ruth Umerah 14-08 Mike Moore 18-53

Joe Smith 14-08 George Singh 19-07

Sara Holiday 35-47 Chris Howe 20-25

Eddie Smith 14-18 Tracey Robb 20-43

Kayleigh Derry 14-19 Frank Grant 21-27

Michael Pearce 14-23 Becky Humphries 22-09

Will Sammons 14-26 Emma Withington 22-17

Ralph Wedlock 14-33 Ellen Law 22-32

Jeff Martin 14-39 Claire Taylor 22-44

Andy Bourne 14-42 Andy Cooke 22-53

Robyn Vlok 14-47 Michelle Buckey 22-57

Hanna Talbot 14-41 Paul Anderson 23-48

John Finney 15-04

Check out Bryan Dales Photos…..Click Here





This was a race that Bryan Dale was recommending for a beginner as it was short (just over 5m) and not climbing. The race was not far from waterhouses between leek and ashbourne started with about 400m on road, which I thought this was going to be easy until we went of road. Next 2 mile was minor ascents on footpaths and sheep tracks. At 2 mile a more major ascent which I had to walk near the top, then came the killer hill, which everybody had to walk, the last 30m it so steep I was actually on my hand and knees, ran along the ridge for a bit then down the same hill which was slightly tricky in places due to the steepness. Next mile same as before ,with the last mile a nice fast descent down descent footpaths. i did it in a relative slow tine of just over 44m,but i realy enjoyed it and wish there were more local races like this, up north

Chris Owen





Saturday saw 49 Harriers turn out at Rowley Park for our annual Harrier games. As usual it was the junior Harriers who stole the show as all but two of the groups were won by a junior.


They day ended with a very competitive relay that included both juniors and seniors before all adjourned to Burton Manor Sports & Social Club where Craig Baxter donned the apron to cook a BBQ. The juniors however rubbed salt into the wounds by continuing to run around with several games of rounders. Weary seniors sat around clutching their drinks.

A big thank you to all who helped out with the organising on the day and we look forward to the next.

Here are the results and times.




Pete Sarson


Hi All,

Am keeping an eye on you all through the website – most seem to be running well.

We are now well settled in NZ and ready to receive visitors. We can accommodate up to 6. Free bedrooms and guided walking/running/cycling routes, but you pay for your food & drink. You can cover most of the southern half of the South Island – from Lake Tekapo to Bluff, including Mitre Sound, Mount Cook and Dunedin – in day trips from Alexandra or have the odd night away. Contact us.

I am now member, Treasurer and web-master of Alexandra Harrier and Walking Club. Around 60 of the club membership meet every Saturday at 1pm from early April to mid-October. Usually there’s a 10 – 40 minute bus trip to a location then different groups of walkers and runners go off for a walk or run of around 90mins. I’m getting to know quite a few new areas and paths that I wouldn’t otherwise be aware of. Most runs are over quite hilly terrain and I’m beginning to get used to it after 2+ months worth.
I’m still only running 3 or 4 days a week most weeks, due to being very busy with house and garden jobs and generally being lazy, though have been trying to increase frequency and distance in last few weeks. There is very little road/trail racing within 90mins travelling time of Alex. The Alex Harriers do organise a 10k road race in August which is used as the “County” Championships for Otago District.

I ran a “double” this weekend, with a “tough” trail marathon on Saturday and an “easy” half-marathon on Sunday. The marathon was staged at a nearby historic gold-mining centre as an 8 lap run/walk with teams of 1, 2 or 4. I was one of only 4 individuals (incl. 2 females). There were 7 teams of 2 and 26 teams of 4.
Each lap had two quite tough hills in, one at 1km and the other at about 3.5km. I finished 3rd individual and 19th overall in 4hrs 24min after suffering cramping over the last 8km. Tried not to run too hard to save something for Sunday. The half marathon was 2hrs 15min drive away at Balclutha and a fairly low key affair with only 72 finishers. Fortunately the first 20km was mainly downhill (with a few small bumps), so I could start at an easy pace and make more effort when the legs began to feel more like it. The last 1km is up a good hill like at the end of the Leek half, but I knew about that and had saved a little effort in the previous 5km. Managed to overtake 3 others on that hill, not realising that 2 of them were in same age group as me. I finished 14th overall and 1st in MV50+ age group in time of 1:31.50 – the 2nd in the group was 7secs behind and the 3rd was 13secs behind!
We are into winter here now, but it’s been quite mild so far – with afternoon temperatures in 10c – 20c range and only a few nights down to below 5c. A little bit of snow on top of the surrounding hills, but only above 1200mtrs. Most days are sunny and very little rain. It’s great!

Regards to all

Pete Sarson

Potter’s ‘Arf



Report from Mark Bentley


Thirteen hardy Harriers were among the 1235 brave souls who completed this year’s Potter’s ‘Arf in truly atrocious conditions. The much-heralded wind and rain arrived at around 9:30am in Hanley town centre, instead of mid-afternoon as forecast. Paul Douglas and I were joined by Chris Owen, Craig Baxter, George Fox and Lynn Geoghegan outside the Potteries Shopping Centre, waiting for the race to start. Craig was vowing to avenge the’ terrible’ time he’d done on this course in hot conditions four years ago.

In due course we were marshalled out onto the Ring Road to the start. The wind and rain showed no signs of abating as we went through the town centre and downhill to the Joiner’s Square roundabout before taking the long drag uphill through Fenton. At the top of the hill, we turned left for another long drag down through Longton. After the 4-mile marker we took a sharp left then encountered the first major hill of the course before heading through Bentilee towards the Dividy Road and another steep hill encountered just after a roundabout. The course then undulated through housing estates for several miles before reaching the final big hill just after 11 miles. By this time, the wind and rain had intensified and looked set in for the day.

Once the last major hill had been negotiated, it was downhill through Hanley Town Gate, with Hanley Park visible to the right at 12 miles. One last small(er) climb was encountered before the finish back at the Potteries Shopping Centre hove into view. A sharp right at the end of Hanley High Street and it was all over (thank God!). At least we all got a T-shirt, a plate, and a pen for our pains, and Craig managed to better his time. After that it was back indoors to get dried and changed before heading home for a nice long bath.

Mark Willliams of Tipton Harriers in 1:10:17, whilst the first lady home was Mandy Vernon of Trentham RC in 1:24:51 (24th overall).

Paul Douglas was first Harrier home and also 1st M55 in 1:29:14.

Full harriers chip times and positions are given below:


Paul Douglas
Chris Owen
Mark Bentley
John Richardson
George Fox
Dave Cook
Keith Faint
Craig Baxter
Stuart Rowley
Steve Woodcock
Tom Rogers
Lynn Geoghegan
Denise Rogers




12/6/11 report from Karen Davies


This is a traditional favourite of slightly crazier Harriers. It is a 22 mile course across Welsh mountains and several rivers. It is centred in Llanwrtyd Wells, red kite country (I spotted over a dozen, was really pleased to see so many!).

Three Harriers (the Three Peaks clan) ventured through the rain to run against 50 horses and nearly 500 humans. The course includes around 3000 ft of ascent plus this year consisted of largely mud, bog, swollen rivers, more mud, very slippy paths and holes in the peat, one of which John says he fell in up to his waist! Funny how everyone looks clean at the end after the river crossing. There was rain, then there was sun and a very humid half hour. There were stunning mountain views and forests and so many steep bits (no, not bits). Then there was the slashing freezing torrential rain for about 4 miles and the final river crossing before the cruel bank up to the finish line (and a pint of guinness for Ralph).

Horse: Next in Line Grangeway in 2 hours 8
Man: Charlie Pearson in 2 hours 25
Lady:Louise Barker in 3hours 4

John Greatholder ran a storming 3 hours 45, a PB for him, Karen Davies ran 3 hours 52 (deciding to have a go despite not running since Windermere – mmm, the legs complained) and Ralph Wedlock zoomed in at 3 hours 59, 25 minutes up on his time in last year’s race.

This really is a super race, tough work, very rewarding; the more times you do it the more rewarding it is, as you get to know the course and all the challenges it offers.




report from Mark Bridgewood.

Just 6 Harriers made the short trip for the Newport Carnival 10k on saturday 11th June. This was a race that I first did last year and really enjoyed it so i thought i’d give it another go as i got a P.B last time around.
The race starts by running around the grounds in front of Longford Hall and then you move onto a country lane heading into the town centre of Newport. This part is great as they stop the carnival for the race so the high street is lined by spectators all cheering and clapping you on, then you head out of the town along quiet country lanes. Just as you think that you’re heading further away from the town you turn right into a field and run through paths cut into the crops leading you to a fairly small grassy hill. Once you’ve reached the top it’s pretty much down hill on paths and more country lanes until you find yourself back at the entrance to Longford Hall with only 1k to go. This last 1k however is back around the grounds of Longford Hall but it’s all on a steady up hill which seems to take forever to complete before crossing the finish line.

All in all i really like this race and i’m surprised that more Harriers don’t do it as in my opinion it has a bit of everything and barring bad weather also has P.B potential. (which i managed to achieve again this year!).

The newport 6 were:-

15th – Mark Bridgwood 39:39 (P.B)
38th – Chris Skellern 43:20 (3rd lady overall and 1st v45 lady!!)
61st – Martin Moore 45:26
88th – John Finney 48:18
116th – Brian Langston 52:27
138th – Mike Jones 54:16

1st male was Mark Dalkins of Telford A.C in 32:34
1st female was Jessica Harvey of Telford Harriers in 40:46

196 runners completed the race.


5th June 2011

report from Craig Baxter

Twenty three Harriers took part in the latest NSRRA race. A very flat run around Westbridge Park and towpaths in Stone. Great running conditions should have meant fast times but many of the Harriers had hardily run the Wincle Trout Run the day before, great commitment from them. First Harrier home was Matthew Woodman in 7thplace and with two more Harriers in the top twenty, Steve Vaughan and Nathan Sabin, this shows the depth of quality runners now in the club. Paul Douglas took the first M55 and Chris Skellern took the first F45, well done them. It was great to see Kirsty Stephenson back in her first race since the Stafford Half, she ran a PB but most importantly is now injury free, welcome back Kirsty.

The winner on the day was, Mark Dalkins from Telford in a time of 26.09 and first female runner was Ali Lavender of Oswestry in a time of 29.55.



4th June

report from Stuart Fowlie

Following the successful trip the seaside (Llandudno) 28 brave Harriers made the trip to the heights of the village Wincle. With the beer flowing from the beer tent the Harrier supporters were making sure the old voice box was well lubricated (Fred) to cheer us on our way. With the weather conditions near perfect we were sent on our way, with a lap round the car park field and off into the valley, to follow a revised course. The river crossing was between ankle and knee deep. Making our way up the valley and steadily climbing all with the field slowly getting stretched out. Once up on the ridge and out of the trees, for those of us who had time the view was brilliant and in the distance you could see the finish. As we all made are way back the sting in the tail was yet to come with the finish at the top of the hill. All the Harriers I spoke to enjoyed the race with all looking to come back and have another go, even if the odd person had a little sense of humour failure part way round, but enjoyed beat someone by two seconds at the finish line?

First harrier home was Russ Baron (10th) and first lady Chris Skellern. Harriers were 5th of 13 teams.


The overall winner was Simon Bailey from Mercia in a time of 37:06 first lady was Joanne Moore unattached in a time of 51:54.


First name
Lasr name




Staveley, Cumbria, Saturday June 4

report from Tom Hobbins



This was the second of the Puma Lakeland Trails series we ve taken part in this year having completed the Hawkshead race in May.

A slightly longer 17k route with around 1,500 ft climb proved quite tough in very warm conditions (which I m not a fan of). After an uphill road section of around a mile and a half, we hit the trails which were a mixture of stony and grass paths and short tarmac sections. At around 15k there was a fairly sharp ascent before heading back down into the village.

It was a great event with live music/food etc in the start/finish field and helped by the good weather.

I finished 15th in 1.21.51 with 261 finishers. The race was won by Russell Adams of Keswick AC in 1.10.02.

Lydia opted for the 10k race which followed the beginning and end of the longer route, finishing 51st from 97 runners in 1.23.15.




22nd May 2011

report from Julia Crick

This was my first marathon and had been picked deliberately as an ‘easy’ course – although being fairly new to running I can’t say any marathon distance is easy. The morning started off grey and damp and we were hoping that the rain would not make an appearance – but it did! Despite the fact that it chucked it down 30 minutes before the start we began in relatively dry conditions. There are 2 starts and the more elite runners started 10 minutes before we headed off towards the coast following their trail. By mile 4 we had sight of the sea and our first shower en route; luckily the sun came out along with a few gusts of wind and before I knew I was dry again! This seemed to form the pattern for the rest of the race until I got to the 19 mile point where we come back along past the power station to the finish near the racecourse. Here we endured 7 miles with headwinds of up to 60mph and the change in pace was certainly noticeable. Despite that I vowed not to let it beat me and to enjoy the experience. I ran with Superman for the last 4 miles encouraging him to keep going as he was suffering with his ankles and was a bit taken aback when he sprinted off for the last 200 yards! With the chip timing though I wasn’t risking getting an injury after all this time so crossed the line gracefully a short distance behind him.


I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and might even consider doing another marathon at some point in the future. Couldn’t have done it without the support and advice from the other Harriers and was proud to wear my Stafford Harriers top. Just under 15,000 people took part, I came 8491st in a time of 5:11:33.



22nd May

report from Karen Davies.

Sunday May 22nd

For an alternative marathon this is a real treat – fabulous scenery, a lovely start and finish at Brathay Hall overlooking the Lake, very well organised and a really friendly event. The evening before sent heavy, cold rain and hail. The morning threw down a few cold and threatening sheets too. But as the race began the rain stopped and the sun came out – though the wind was really cold and strong and gusty for a good deal of the course. The course itself was incredibly hilly – with an ascent of around 2500 feet according to other runners’ GPS systems – not a PB course, indeed a little toughy! So, the 10 in 10 runners, who did the course ten days on the trot for charity really deserved their medals. Winners were Steven Littler (Weshema Road Runners)in 2 hours 32 08 and Nicola Shaw Unattached in 3 hours 11 55. John wanted a sub 4.30 for this one – we raced to the line with rather a narrow margin! Chip time 4-29-13. 677 ran.


report from Keith Skelton
While the 51 hardy travellers were resting up for the long coach trip to foreign shores on sunday, I popped north to Derbyshire to have my first go at the White Peak Marathon. A fairly low key event along the White Peak and Tissington Trails. These are old railway lines which are primarily used now by walkers mountain bikers and the odd horsey person. The race is based at Cromford Mill but the runners are taken to the start at Tissington by coach.The terrain is all well compacted gravel and ideal for road shoes, with only slight inclines on the up a pretty quick course too. There are however two steep descents at approx 21 and 24 miles for approx quarter of a mile each. The course affords some marvelous views of rolling countryside for mile after mile if you can lift your head up but where it is a little exposed the wind does tend to make life difficult with little or no cover. The winner however seemed not to be bothered finishing in 2.57. I came in 13th in 3.21 so not too disappointed. The interesting event of the day occured at about 22 miles where myself and a couple of other runners were forced to take evasive action to avoid being kicked by a rather large horse which had become a little spooked by the runners, so in to some stinging nettles we went but soon found some dock leaves to kill the pain. If you like low key quiet and mostly flat marathons that are within an hours drive would recommend this one.



report from Pete Burns

So off we went 51 on the coach for a day at the seaside. We have always been in November before and although it was not November cold it was not hot.
The wind blew a gale the like of which we had never seen in the winter race. In fact the wind was so bad, that with all the runners lined up on the start line they delayed it for 25 minutes. This was in order to put barriers back up around the course. Elf’n’safety.

The course was a little different from the one we all remember, this one had lots of twists and turns up and around the town.
It was great for spectators, walk fifity yards and see everyone 3 or 4 times. The runners however never knew which way the wind was going to get them next.

The race was won by Welshman Simon Jones, with a fantastic sprint finsh, in 51-32 from Kenyan Elisha Tarus in 51-34.
The ladies race was won by someone who travelled on the Harriers Coach so we claim some glory. Sarah Johnson from Trentham had a great race to finish in 58-30 just in front of Olivia Walwyn from City of Norwich 58-46.

Three Harriers were running in the green vests of Staffordshire as it was a County Championship Race. All acquitted themselves well.
Chris Hollinshead was first Harrier home in 59-04 (1st V40) with Tom Hobbins next in 61-29. The other Harrier in green was Nina Skilton who finished in 69-11(2nd L40) and she helped the Staffs Ladies to joint 2nd in the Championships. They were relegated to 3rd on countback.

In total we had 27 Harriers taking part in the race and there were a number of pb’s in spite of the conditions.
Congratulations to all who took part in not the easiest 10 miler. In particular all the gang that represented the Monday Night group. Each and everyone of them finished a tough race with a smile on their faces (ok an odd grimace) and showed Wales the Yellow Vests from Stafford.

Must just mention Val Stuart who has progressed from Nigel Addisons starter group to compete in a number of tough races. This probably the toughest.
Always with a smile and never not going to finish. Well done Val, 5th in her age group out of 7 and 22 minutes in front of the last runner. (For some reason she always thinks she will be last).


Here are the Harriers times

Pos Name
19th Chris Hollinshead 59-04 1st V45
35th Tom Hobbins 61-29 pb
81st Mark Bridgewood 67-04 pb
112th Nina Skilton 69-11 2nd L40
143rd Graham Young 70-36
166th Chris Skellern 71-35 2nd L45
177th Chris Owen 72-09
199th Mark Bentley 72-49
234th Tracey Gee 74-18
262nd Eddie Smith 75-23
272nd Martin Moore 75-59
294th Mark Oliver 76-58
301st Rob Eley 77-23 pb
339th Richard Caley 78-40 pb
342nd Craig Baxter 78-54 pb
537th Brian Langston 86-41
592nd Lydia Hobbins 88-37
653rd Lynne Goehegan 91-11
760th Bill Whitworth 97-55
783rd Dave Preece 99-04
784th Kim Preece 99-04
858th Sara Broome 104-58
865th Kellie Lee 105-25 pb
875th Frank Evans 106-42
878th Jo Oliver 107-12
934th Louise Notely 119-27
952th Val Stuart 125-53





report from Steve Vaughan.


While alot of Harriers headed to North Wales for the Llandudno 10, myself and Wayne made the 65 mile journey south for the Tewkesbury half marathon.

The race started at 9.30am outside the Council Offices and takes you through Ashchurch and returning through the countryside around Bredon, finishing on the vineyards playing fields just across the meadows from the famous Abbey. The course is described as gently undulating with the potential for fast times. I found it a bit more of a challenge than expected and and was running 30 seconds a mile slower from 10 miles. Wayne had a great run and managed to knock 3 minutes off his pb, regardless of the windy conditions.

There was some local support along the route and the finish attracted a good crowd. This is the 3rd time I have done this race and probably the last. Although an ok race, im not sure the journey is worthwhile.

Harrier times, [these are gun times, still awaiting chip times]

Steve Vaughan [19th] 1.22.33
Wayne Vaughan [89th] 1.33.26




report from Karen Davies

Last Sunday saw the Market Drayton 10km, a variation on the always popular, flat PB course Muller 10km event.
There were a few surprises – there were still lots (and lots) of yoghurts handed out to participants at the end of the race! But it wasn’t flat – and I remember why I prefer longer distances – I can breathe! The route weaved around the town, never quite getting out into the countryside, and the heat meant some tired runners, particulary with that last, long lap round the playing field to the finish line.

The event was very enyoyable – lots to do for family and friends, with activites for kids, various stalls and refreshments. There was an incredible turnout for the children’s Fun Runs, which was fantastic to see – even though there were so many 5-7’s that Edward ended up in a big pile up, half way down the track!

A really nice and sunny day meant this was a good morning out for 37 or so Harriers!

Tarus Elly, Salford Harriesr, 32.15
Kim Fawke, Telford SC, 35.14

Harriers – very large turnout, as follows;

Nathan Sabin, 39.18
Mark Bridgwood, 40.05
Chris Skellern, 42.44
Chris Owen, 44.16
Ruth Umerah, 44.17
Neil Martin, 44.36
Richard Caley, 42.25
Ben Nash, 45.49
Mark Oliver, 46.18
Steven Cooper, 46.49
Darren Mattocks, 47.11
Karen Davies, 47.41
Ralph Wedlock, 47.50
Craig Baxter, 48.08
Liz Stanyer, 49.24
Esther Hughes, 49.31
Colin Mitchell, 50.05
Jeff Martin,51.03
Lisa Percox, 51.03
Brian Langston, 52.27
Michael Jones, 53.15
John Greatholder, 53.46
Tom Rogers, 53.55
Shaun Holt, 54.07
Sally Higgins, 54.57
James Thorpe, 52.27
Karen Marray, 56.03
Tony Baker, 56.13
George Singh, 58.18
Sara Broome, 59.19
Mick Moore, 1.00 11
Alison Kelly, 1.01 47
Amanda Pearce, 1.02 29
Joanne Oliver, 1.03 01
Denise Rogers, 1.03 26
Frank Grant 1.04 56
Helen Holt 1.07 09


Check out the photos on Bryan Dale and Brian Smith’s website.






report from Jane Bisiker


While the majority headed for Market Drayton with the promise of yogurts a few of us headed for the lake district in search of Kendal mint cake. This race is a series of 8 throughout the year and this is the second one I have done. They are well organised, family days out with food stalls, live bands and singers with a bar and spot prizes at the end. In true lake district style it started raining 5 minutes before the start. This made the course slippy in places, particularly on the stony downhill sections. I have yet to master the quick downhill technique – I manage to pass people on the way up the hills for the same people to pass me on the downhill sections. For anyone wanting to try a different race I would recommend any of the Lakeland trail series. In fact Coniston next year will be on my 50th Birthday so there will be champagne at the end and a meal and party afterwards at a bistro in Ambleside if you want to join us.


Tom Hobbins 1 hour 19.19 21st place

Jane Bisiker 1 hour 47.13

Lydia Hobbins 1 hour 54.11

Richard Bisiker 2 hours 43.20






report from Martin Moore

Lichfield Half Marathon 1st May 2011

A small happy band of Harriers made the short trip across to Lichfield for their inaugural half marathon on the same day as Uttoxeter (maybe the thought of those hills influenced the hope of a potentially easier 13.1 a few miles away!) The weather was the same odd mix of cloudless sky and warm sun together with a nippy wind that seemed to be constantly in our faces, although logic would suggest otherwise.
Although described as ‘flat’ there were a fair few undulations, which seemed to lead to a consensus that it was ‘about as difficult as Stafford’. There was fair support through some of the villages we passed through, and kids with water pistols provided a bit of cooling relief at stages. The finish was well supported, and was close enough to the cathedral to be able to gauge the distance to go as we approached the end.
An alternative to Uttoxeter then, although being so close geographically it seemed a bit of a shame that it fell on the same day, as they probably took entries from each other, but hey-ho, maybe it will be planned a little more sympathetically next year….anyway, results….

64th – Chris Owen (1:33:09)

167th – Martin Moore (1:41:29)

680th – Shaun Holt (2:05:45)

724th – Lynn Geoghegan (2:08:00)

815th – Sally Burns (2:11:46)




This is never the easiest Half marathon of the year. This year the wind that was blowing made even more difficult. It was blowing head on for most of the race. Now how does that happen?? Everyones times were down, this year even the winner Ben Gamble could only manage 61 mins.

As far as the Harriers were concerned it was a good day. Our new signing Matthew Woodman finished in 3rd place in 1-18-55 and took the bronze medal in the Staffs Championships. We also took the first team prize with Russell Barron, Steve Vaughan and Paul Douglas in the counters but many more pushing other teams back to help our cause.

Other Staffordshire Championship awards were, Paul Douglas Silver V55, Chris Skellern Gold L45, Ruth Umerah Gold L40. The Ladies (Chris, Ruth, Karen D and Sara) also came 5th in the team event. Well done all who ran.


Here are all the times for the Harriers.

Matt Woodman
Russell Barron
Steve Vaughan
Paul Douglas
2nd V55
Ian Talbot
Keith Skelton
Mark Bentley
Chris Skellern
1st L45
Mark Eccleston
Mark Bridgewood
Wayne Vaughan
Ruth Umerah
1st L40
Eddie Smith
Bernard Wilkes
Rob Eley
Dave Preece
Mike Jones
3rd V65
Jeff Martin
Karen D Murray
Richard Caley
Tom Rodgers
George Singh
Bill Whitworth
Sara Broome
Denise Rodgers
Frank Grant
Judith Colman


Here is Matt Woodman and Paul Douglas with the Mayor of Uttoxeter collecting the Mens First Team prizes.


Here are a few of the harriers during the race.



Report from Karen Davies

Saturday 30th April saw the 57th year of one of the most iconic mountain races in the world. The Three Peaks race is one of those races that is on a fell runner’s ‘must do’ list, and represents a true fell running classic.

The Race involves three separate climbs to above 2,000 feet (610m) over the Yorkshire mountains of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough over a distance of more than 23 miles. It is a race of three races – you have to get to two checkpoints within given times – or you are ‘timed out’. Nearly a hundred of those who started were timed out and that despite stringent entry requirements for all runners in the first place.

To this race went a small merry band of Harriers, comprising Ralph Wedlock, John Greatholder and myself. Some of us had trained well and hard since our decision to enter the race in January; for some of us it had been touch and go as to whether we would be on the start line. Three of the original four were there, primed and tense.

The fields for the mens and womens races were ‘absolutely stacked with fell and mountain running talent’. The max entry limit of 999 was reached several months before the race – though those that made it to the start-line numbered 766 – and of those just 677 finished the course.

The requirement to carry full body waterproof cover, map, compass, whistle, map and fluids/food, plus a last minute address system call requiring all competitors to carry hats and gloves – or woolly socks on your hands – meant we felt like pack ponies before the start. Conditions were bright, sunny, very very windy and cold – and that was down in the valley. Yet soon after the start of the race we warmed up, who wouldn’t with climbs totalling around 5279 feet!

The race was won by Tom Owens (Shettleston) in 2.53.34 and the first lady home was Anna Frost (Unattached) in 40th overall (3.30.00).

Harriers home were … just me, in a time of 5 hours 7mins, with two disappointed team mates who, amongst many others were ‘timed out’, and are already planning their Ribblesdale Revenge ……

The race was incredibly beautiful and the spectacular scenery completely breathtaking.

You might like to look at the video footage to see that this T shirt is really worthwhile! http://www.threepeaksrace.org.uk


10:10 25/4/11
Report from Denise Rodgers

Training this year has not been going to well and with Uttoxeter half next week I thought that by entering a 10 mile race the distance would be covered, if I went out on my own I would not get the miles done. So we entered this race, we’ve not done it before so it should be fun and did not expect to see any Stafford Harriers there but were surprised to meet up with Michelle Rushton-Fox and Ruth Umerah.

This was a chip timed out and back course that was entirely off road along a disused railway line, the first 5 mile seemed to continually go up hill, so I was looking forward to the 5 mile back but not sure what happened it seemed that we were going uphill again! With the start time of 9.05 to 9.40am I did not expect to encounter so many recreational runners, walkers, cyclists and a horse to be out at that time on a Bank Holiday Monday morning.

Only 71 runners took part in the 10 mile race,
1st male home was Mark Hadley – Halesowen in 55min 19sec
1st lady home was Sarah Conway – Unattached in 1hr 09min 57sec.

Ruth Umerah came 3rd over lady home and 1st FVet in 1hr 15min 32sec
Michelle Rushton-Fox came home in 1hr 17min 12sec
Tom Rogers came home in 1hr 29min 49sec
And what about me, well I got last place again, 1hr 44min 45sec, never mind at least the distance was covered, roll on next Sunday, Uttoxeter here we come!





Report from Liz Stanyer

At 5:30am I forced a large bowl of porridge down, sitting with all the other runners at breakfast. Some were more nervous than others judging by what breakfasts were eaten. Mick insisted his wasn’t a fry up, but it looked mighty like it to me.

Then off on the coach to the start, where we were so early there wasn’t a single queue for the porta loos. Not often you can say that. We sat around chatting, relaxing then with half an hour to go, it was all systems go. Queue to put your baggage on, massive queue for the porta loos, even a massive queue for the ‘ladies urinals’!! No thanks!

Then, due to some ingenious engineering on the coach journey to the start by a certain Harrier, myself, Dave Preece, Dave Chittem, Mick Jones, Rob Proctor, and Frank Evans waltzed into pen 2 to give ourselves a good start. What we didn’t account for was pen 2 was full and we were actually ushered into pen 1 which was the mens elite pen. So there we all were, me, the only woman, Frank Evans with a bright blue curly wig on and the rest of the Harrier brigade, mixing with the South African national team, several Kenyans and a mass of super fit, very serious, competitive young men. We didn’t stand out at all, not even when we were discussing the effects of immodium, urinating into a sponge whilst running, and how we should position ourselves to get on the telly. Good job we didn’t notice the dirty looks, it could have put us off our race.

It took us just about 30 seconds from the gun to cross the start line. Job done!

The start was a bit fast and frantic for me, I wonder why! However it did mean we could get get straight into our running, as we all split up and set off for our own 26 miles.

I loved the marathon. Yes it was hot and yes it was very congested at times, but with that comes an atmosphere I can’t quite describe. The miles just tick away as there is always something to see and hear and there were sights that made me laugh out loud. The hardest part for me was Canary Wharf as it was very hot and there are lots of twists and turns, and its just about the 20 miles when you feel you are flagging a bit.

The crowd support is well documented but it really is awesome, and very loud. Well done to all the spectating Harriers and families of Harriers who made it along several parts of the course to cheer us on. It really gave me such a boost to see you all. Running along Embankment Big Ben seemed forever in the distance, but the crowds are willing you on. I saw so many people get the jelly legs and just keel over along Embankment, which I thought was awful as they were so close.

Running down The Mall to the finish line was something special and will be replayed in my mind for a long time. I was very emotional crossing the line, (must have been the immodium), and a bit delirious as I waved, gave the thumbs up and a demented smile to a bemused James Cracknell, who I think thought I was a little mad. Still, Richard Branson thinks another Harrier is a bit mad, doesn’t he Dave?

Well done to Mick on finishing his 100th marathon, driven on by his desire to get to the Stoke match. We were all kindly reminded of the score on several occasions over the weekend.

A top weekend, great company and a wonderful marathon experience.


Here are the Harriers times.


Interesting story from Chris Hollinshead. You may be aware that he has had a foot injury for a while and at 17 miles he decided to call it a day. He found the tube station but couldn’t get on the tube so thought “blow it I’ll carry on”. So thats what he did.


Chris Hollinshead
Chris Owen
Mark Bentley
Rob Proctor
Lisa Percox
Liz Stanyer
Kieth Faint
Karen D Murray
Bernard Wilkes
Steve Woodcock
Steve Babb
Mike Jones
100th Marathon
Bill Whitworth
Frank Evans
151st Marathon
Dave Chittem
Kim Preece
Dave Preece


Here are a few photos supplied by George Nichol (Watch out Bryan Dale)

Chris Hollinshead going well early on.

Chris Owen having a good run.

Lisa Percox feeling the heat.

Liz Stanyer enjoying herself but the competition is to guess the two Harriers cheering her on. Sorry about the reflection.

Our 100th Marathon man looking happy even before he got to Wembley.


Did you guess who the two supporters were?





If you’re looking for a different marathon experience to the big city, large-scale events of London, Edinburgh, Paris etc, then this small-scale event in Llanelli might just be the event for you. With only 400-500 entrants in its second running this year (itself an increase of around 50%), overcrowding was not a problem. Indeed, this marathon was very well-organised and, at just £27, offered excellent value against some other races that seem to be getting very expensive these days.

The course comprised a double figure-of-eight course running mainly along the Millenium Coastal Pathway. Beautiful scenery all around with lots of sea views and tarmac surface almost the entire way (a couple of short trail sections weren’t too much of a nuisance). The path was almost entirely flat but a few little rises and falls tested the runners’ stamina, particularly the final one a quarter of a mile from the end (more about that later). As the day was hot (temperature pushed up past 20 degrees), water stations were crucial and this is the one slight criticism I had of the day. With only 7 stations on the course, some runners found themselves overheating. A couple of extra stations along the course would have been welcome. In addition to this, no energy products were provided so it was very much a case of ‘bring your own’.

A year ago, I wrote about my disappointing marathon experience at Brighton. Thankfully, it seems I learned some lessons from that day and enjoyed this race a lot more. Despite the last 6 miles hurting (can anyone out there say they’ve raced a marathon and not found this?!), I achieved everything I wanted from the race, both in terms of performance and time. I was the only Harrier home so no ‘first home’ bragging rights for me but I can console myself with my first marathon inside the 4 hour mark (just!) With a quarter of a mile to go, having crawled to the top of the last small rise, I looked down at my watch to see 3:57 on the clock. Determined not to miss out, I started the sprint for the line (thanks to Craig’s Wednesday night speed sessions!) and was delighted to cross the line in a time of 3:59:18. Close, but I’ll take it.

This is definitely a race I will consider again, particularly given the value and the friendly support of the locals. As a ‘no-frills’ event, the organisers excelled themselves in pretty much every area. They also gave us one of the best mementos I’ve ever received: In addition to the usual t-shirt and ‘goody’ bag, we were all supplied with a replica statuette of a golden running shoe with a small plaque with the name and date of the race pre-engraved. It looks great on the bedside table when I wake up in the morning and think back to the day I finally got things right in a marathon!

James Thorpe



While many of the club were in the potteries again, with the odd exception of those coasting around Brighton, Chris Owen and myself fancied a more varied challenge of a duathlon in the historic village of Market Bosworth. It was, as you are all no doubt aware an absolutely fantastic day for a jolly. So we both took part in the no frills race based at a boating lake just on the outskirts of town within ear and gunshot of the famous battle fields. The race consisted of 5k/21k/5k run/bike/run. The run was two half laps of the boating lake on gravel paths and grass while the bike leg was a large anti clockwise tour of the village and scenic surrounding villages . For the £14 entry it was a fantastic event that was less than an hours drive away. The winner with a 16.58/36.34/17.04 split won in 1.10.36 . while I ambled home 26th in 1.20.52 with a split of 19.12/41.34/20.09 and Chris finished just a few places behind in 1.24.21 with asplit of 19.48/43.23/21.10 . I would highly recommend the race for those who fancy a slightly different challenge from just road running, and there was even a goodie bag thrown in. p.s. good luck to all dodging the 35000 others in the smoke on Sunday
Keith Skelton


Coniston 14+ (16.7 miles)

Report from Martin Moore.

Three Harriers made the journey to the Lake District to run this circuit of Coniston Water. The race is rightly known for the cracking scenery, and is in a beautiful location with warm, friendly support. As last year, due to bridge repairs, the race was extended by approximately 2.5 miles to a total distance of 16.7 miles. The weather was unseasonably warm, and the race was run under cloudless skies in bright sunshine. Good crowds at the start and finish in Coniston village supported about 1100 runners, with vests from all over the country including many of our neighbouring clubs from around the midlands. The priority for many was taking on enough liquid, and the marshals did a top job trying to keep all hydrated at the water stations.
The initial climb out of Coniston for about a mile was followed by 3-4 miles of sharp undulations prior to the descent to the far end of the lake. The turnaround point allowed some respite, as 4-5 miles of fairly flat road enabled a bit of recovery before the undulations started again, but a series of climbs at 14-15 miles provided a sting in the tail prior to a final sharp descent towards the village, and the finish.
The weather probably took it’s toll on times a little, but running beneath mountains in great weather provided for a top day.

195th Martin Moore 2:17:12

283rd Joe Atherton 2:22:28

562nd Dave Mantle 2:37:38




Sunday 3rd April saw a party of 15 Harriers in Berlin for the 31st Berlin Half Marathon. It is said to be the fastest half marathon in the world and it is certainly the flatest. This is probably why 28,000 runners started on the day. On a very warm and sunny morning our seven Harriers made their way to the line. A new training method had been tried by a couple of them. The idea is to break a bone before running. Dave Preece managed on a Chase run to trip and do a double somersault with pike and break a rib. Meanwhile Chris Ross broke his little toe in a bedroom related accident which we won’t go into. This along with the bionic man Frank Evans they were never going to trouble the leaders.

You won’t be suprised to find out that the winner was a Kenyan. He was Geoffrey Kipsang and he is the World Junior Cross Country Champion.
He managed to get round in 1-00-38 beating his fellow countryman Eluid Kiplagat by just 14 seconds. The first ten runners were under 1-02.

Our runners got round at a more sedate pace but all did very well in the heat and crowds of runners that were out there. Here are their times.

Dave Preece
John Finney
Chris Ross
Jill Ross
Brian Langston
Sarah Johnson
Frank Evans


Please note that Sarah and Frank did not run together. In fact one finished half an hour before the other but because they started half an hour later the chip times put them together. I am not allowed to say which was which.

The Magnificant Seven

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