Race Report January to March 2010

Prague Half


There were so many local races on this weekend but a party of 19 Harriers went off for a weekend of culture to the Czech Republic to take on the Prague Half Marathon. The publicity says, “Run the Prague Half Marathon and discover the undiscovered Prague! Skip the souvenir shops and run through the different neighbourhoods alongside the Vltava River. “ The race starts and finishes in the City’s historical centre, right next to the famous Jewish Quarter. The party were greeted with glorious warm spring weather. On race day it started cool with a breeze blowing along the river. The race didn’t start till 12 noon by which time it had warmed up. It is a figure of eight course along the river crossing the many bridges that are over the historic river. However the cobbled roads in many places did make the going tough at times. Not for the winner. Joel Kimurer of Kenya sprinted round the course in 1hour and 9 seconds. In fact the first 6 all finished in under 1 hour 2 minutes. Of the Harriers 10 runners Chris Ross was our first home just a little further back in 1:36:08 with our first lady runner Jill Ross in 1:53:27. There were 6127 finishers. Others Harrier times were as follows; .

Ten Harriers ready for the off. Chris and Dave looking fresh at 6k

Someone calling Frank a poseur (sign).

Forest of Dean Half (M/T)


This race is run on way marked paths within the forest of dean, so it was virtually all off road. It had numerous fast down hill stretches which meant it had gradients to go up as well ,so it wasn’t a pb coarse but it was enjoyable with great crowd support. Most of the route was decent solid forest tracks except for the last mile or so which became a bit muddy due to recent rain and wild boar damage. Luckily didn’t see any, because they can run pretty fast. I was slightly disappointed with my time of 1.42.44 until i saw the results . 1st male Julian Hatcher 1.15.30 MOTI(club/team?) and 1st female Vicky Plume 1.22.40 Westbury Harriers. 2245 ran. Weather was pleasant. Report from Chris Owen

March Hair Raiser 5.6 miles


This race is one of those ‘one off’ distances that you don’t seem to run anywhere else but 14 Harriers made the trip to just up the road from RAF Cosford for this run round the fields and lanes of Kingswood. This is a fairly flatish course with some long ‘inclines’ that shouldn’t trouble anyone and on a cool and sunny day it was a nice run. The race was won by Craig Walker of Telford RC in 30:51 followed by 4 of his colleagues. First female was Denise Sanders in 37:23 also of Telford RC. First Harrier home and first F45 was Chris Skellern. Craig Baxter knocked 4 minutes off his previous time and that was after saying he wasn’t going to run as he has a cold. This was a good run for those in the challenge this year as there were plenty of points to be grabbed. There were 186 runners. Thanks to Sara for this report. . Feeling really lousy after a heavy cold this weekend and with a lack of sleep I dragged my backside out of bed to find only a disappointing fourteen Harriers, although on the challenge, turn out for what I believe to be a really nice testing off road race. Based around a local farm the terrain changes often from farm paths to grass and slight inclines so you can never really settle into a comfortable pace. All the Harriers that took part seemed to enjoy the run and seemed mystified that more Harriers do not attempt this race. Chris Skellern was first the first Harrier home as well as first F40, followed by myself, (not F40), not very often I can say that. Mike Moore took the M70 prize, well done to him. It was good to see Nige Addison running with Jenny and Julie, especially after all his injury problems, welcome back Nige. Come on Harriers lets see some more enter this race next year. Thanks to Craig Baxter

Wilmslow Half


This year’s race, as for last year, incorporated the England Athletics Half Marathon Championships. It doesn’t appear from the list of competitor clubs that this attracted many athletes from south of the Midlands. But it is a fairly large field with 3691 finishers and it is a fairly fast course with quite a few undulations but nothing too strong. The race was won by Andi Jones of Salford Harriers in 1:04:45 and the 1st lady home was Rebecca Robinson of Kendal AC in 1:13:17 Two Harriers competed. Peter Sarson finished 198th in 1:26:12 (3rd MV60) and Nicky Bowman finished in 3266 position in 2:16:54. Well done on finishing your first half marathon Nicky! Nicky said: I came in at 2.16:54. I’m pretty chuffed with that. I got to the end and said to myself “never again” but I’m already considering the Aviemore half

Milford 21


Only 4 Harriers had enough in them to run this challenging course on Cannock Chase – and only 105 in total. The race was won in 2:18:16 by Chris Nicholl of Derby Tri Club. Report from Karen: Four Harriers only tackled Milford 21 – where was everyone!? Conditions were fair – some bits of the course were cold and windy, with some warm spells partway through. A lot of mud and peaty puddles on parts of the course – oh yes, and the odd hill!! And in case anyone was wondering – 21 miles NOT km!! My time was PB by 14mins.

Liverpool Half


As I left entering the Stafford Half till it was too late, we decided to travel up to Liverpool to run in their half marathon. We had travelled up the night before and stayed just outside Liverpool. Getting into the city an hour and a half before the race we thought we would have plenty of time however the roads were chaos. Eventually we got parked just 5 minutes before the race was due to start. The race was delayed nearly 15 minutes due to the fact that everyone was still stuck in the heavy traffic. Once the race started it was really good, several miles around parkland and the final 3 miles along the bank of the River Mersey. Both finished in 2:04:21. Really pleased. The winner was Paul Sankey in 01.13.25 Will do this race again, however will get a train next time and stop in a hotel near the start to avoid the chaos Natalie Mountford and Anthony Simkins Over 4500 runners took part and Natalie & Anthony finished 3069th / 3070th

Coniston 14+


The usual 14mile course had to be extended to 16.7mls this year due to a bridge on the usual course having collapsed. Only three Harriers competed this year – one of those in the name of his first-claim club Black Combe Runners. Tom Hobbins finished 66th overall in 1:56:43 (chip time), followed by Mike Saint-Dunn 812th in 2:36:54, then Toms father Dave (BCR) who finished 997th in 2:47:19. The race was won in 1:33:48 by John Herbert (unattached), the 1st female being Eleanor Greenfield of Nuneaton Harriers in 1:53:33. Isn’t that Lydia just behind ? Not in results list?

Ironbridge Half

When I got round to thinking about Stafford, the entries were full and I found myself heading across the border for the Ironbridge Half! What a superb race! Almost entirely off road, wooded tracks, historic sites and industrial archaeology, riverside running and up and over the Ironbridge itself. Some challenging gradients, with lots of dips and twists and turns meant the course was ‘full of character’. It was well organised and very friendly. I also ran my second fastest half marathon ever at 1hr 39 min 53 (161/699 overall, 15th lady, and 2nd in age group) – so pretty happy! John Greatholder was the other Stafford Harrier running and nipped across the line in 1hr 53 mins. Karen Davies

Stafford Half


Full Results are available on www.chiptiming.co.uk – or download a PDF Results sheet from www.racephotos.org.uk (Bryan Dale) A new record number of Harriers running in the same race at 96. Nina Skilton, Chris. Skellern, Chris. Hollinshead, Paul Douglas and Pete Sarson were all first in their respective age groups. Ben Gamble won the race in 1:08:52, more than 2mins ahead of 2nd place runner Ross Jones of Woves & Bilston The first Lady runner home was Elizabeth Stavreski from Thames Hare & Hounds in 42nd overall place with a time of 1:24:33 – with 2nd Lady place going to young Sarah Johnson of ~Trentham Running Club only 26secs behind her. The race enjoyed sunny crisp weather – apparently with a little breeze somewhere, though I didn’t notice it. Harriers listing – well done to everyone, especially the HALF VIRGINS : Runners marked with a pink square have not raced in Club colours before (so they are PB’s by default). CLUB NAME NOT SHOWN ON ALL RUNNERS. ANYONE MISSING ?? LET US KNOW IF SO. Some great race photo’s on Bryan Dale and Brian Smith’s websites. The official race photos are on http://www.sportcam.net/ just enter your number or name. Well, after joining the Harriers in Oct/Nov last year, this was my first competitive outing, and one that I felt I’d been preparing for (both physically and mentally) for ages. Race day soon came around, and it was a dry and bright morning – I certainly couldn’t have wished for better weather. After making my way into town, I was soon bumping into some familiar Harrier faces, all of whom had some much needed words of encouragement. Once the race was underway, the nerves disappeared, and my main focus was not getting carried away with the event, but trying to make a steady start to the course. Among the crowd down the Lichfield Road was my wife and daughter cheering me on, which certainly gave an extra spring in my step. In fact, it seemed like there were people cheering you on and clapping all the way round, which was most welcome. All in all a very enjoyable first race. I didn’t set any specific times to aim for, as I was more than content just to complete the course. My ‘Chip Time’ was around 2hrs 15 mins, which I was very happy with, and now gives me something to aim for on my next Half Marathon. I can see me doing the Stafford Half every year from now on… Thanks, Lee Denton (Half Marathon ‘Virgin’) (Race #715) Terrific turnout by the “Harriers”. Well done by SBC for organising but can the Mill Bank section not be changed, it’s an accident waiting ……………. don’t know about you Pete but also very nearly ended up in the Sow on entering Vicky Park ! Could have been a major tsunami !! Thanks, Allen Aukim

Fradley 10k


As far as I can see in the results there was only one Harrier running. Mark Eccleston finished 93rd in 43:04 Ah, but Neil Oldfield was listed anonymously: I ran my first race in well over 18 months at the Fradley 10k yesterday…for some reason they havent listed me as being a Harrier!!! It was a windy day but plenty of people turned out to support the runners through the country lanes. My time was 47.32 which is a course PB for me…but the reason Im particularly chuffed is I was in hospital at the back end of 2009 thanks to my appendix bursting, and so have only been back running for a few weeks!!!!!!!!! Looking forwards to the Stafford half now at the weekend, although due to being wiped out by the appendix going pop, the aim is to get round as opposed to any World Record attempts!!!! Neil

Nottingham to Derny Kilomathon


Worlds first ever Kilomathon 26.2 kilometres ( just over 16 miles ) from Nottingham to Derby. Race start time 9am. Lots of hype surrounding this event which was very well organised. HOWEVER….the queue for the toilets at the beginning was quite staggering, and being as we had to do what a runner has to do, we joined the massive queues. As a result, 35 minutes later, we missed our alloted pen start and they went without us! We had to join the very back of a field of 4200 runners. Once we had crossed the start line it was then a case of weaving in and out of the mass of people to get a decent pace. The course was flat but a little uninspiring and there was not really a huge amount of support. The Marshalls were very enthusiastic and the water/gel/energy stations were plentiful. The finish area was in a park and there was plenty of support there. There was a great goody bag, long sleeved t-shirt, and a huge heavy medal which we likened to the ones from Jim’ll Fix It. We then got asked to have our picture taken for a website called frontrunner.org.uk , asking us to pose in their hooded foil blankets! Photo attached (not looking as foolish as we felt). The winner was Martin Williams from Wolverhampton 1hour 26mins 34 year old Sarah Harris from Long Eaton took the women’s title with a time of 1hr 39mins 19secs, 45 seconds Provisional Harrier times – Liz Stanyer and Caroline Nichol 2hrs 20mins 44 secs with Andy Bourne 2hrs 21mins 56secs. We saw Rebecca Bostock but not sure of her finish time, I hope she will let you know. Report from Liz, Caroline and Andy Official results show Bec Bostock finished in 2hr 46min 36 secs in 3266 position

Stafford 20


There were 291 individual runners and 12 relay teams completing this ever popular race. Race winner was Steve Brookes of Tipton Harriers in 1:58:49 and first Lady runner home was Adela Salt of Trentham AC in 2:15:51. Up to the race start time the sky was overcast and there was a chill wind blowing – with a bit of a worry that the weather might turn to match the atrocious conditions for last year. But very soon after the race had started, the clouds began to break and let the sunshine through. It was still a little breezy but not so cold. The worst of the “in your face” wind was along Within Lane running towards Hopton. The Harriers only fielded one relay team – but that team finished in overall 2nd place in the race and 1st team . Well done Chris, Tom and Sally Twenty-one individual Harriers completed the race: More than half these runners achieved a PB for the distance (see Harrier Best Times page). Well done lads & lasses!

Cloud 9 Hill Race


383 runners took part in this race, won by Simon Bailey of Mercia Running Club in 52:10. Only 2 Harriers were brave enough to face the Challenge: Rebecca Bostock finished 371st (87th lady) in 1:45:21, followed in by Tony Tompkins, 372nd in 1:46:02. . Bec in a previous race. Thought I would send you a report!!! – Whilst most Harriers were practising the half, two harriers went to Congleton for the Cloud 9 (I didn’t see any other harriers!!) and the other Harrier I met was called Tony (didn’t ask his surname) – I’m good at this aren’t I?. Anyway the weather was perfect clear and sunny and with not much rain lately the fields weren’t nearly as muddy as last year. So the cloud 9, for those who haven’t done it before is a 9 mile race from Congleton up the Cloud and back down the other side – the first 3 miles is approximately 1000 feet of climbing with a couple of hills chucked in after that and just when you think you are done with hills there is a horrible little one in the last 500 meters – this is a link to the profile. http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/player/5079513 The race is well organised with lost of marshalls which is good as otherwise you would get lost – it is virtually entirely off road over trails, fields and tracks. I really enjoy the cloud it is challenging but you feel very proud of yourself at the finish although I do think finishers deserve a medal – but then I love medals!! I had a chat with Tony at the finish he also enjoyed the race and would have beat me – but his trainer came off in a muddy field so he lost time and a sock getting his shoe back on!! But a great race, well organised and with lots of fresh air plus the view from the top is breathtaking – not that you get to look at it!! – and when you get back to the leisure centre there is soup and a roll for all competitors. I will definitely be doing it again next year. Bec

Cheadle 5ml – 07/03/10

Tom Humphries of Cannock & Stafford won this year’s race with 164 finishers in total. Only two Harriers took part (plus 3 Juniors – see their page): Liz Stanyer who was 74th finished in 38:11, closely followed by Caroline Nichol in 38:30 (76th). . Caroline in a different race. Report from Liz: Two Harriers entered the Cheadle 5 mile race. It was a beautiful morning and there was a turnout of approx 164 runners. After a fairly fast downhill start the race settled down and the majority of the route takes you through undulating country lanes with what felt like a gradual uphill slog for the last mile. There wasn’t much support on the way around but plenty of cheers for the last 200 metres. It was well marshalled and you received a medal for your hard work. I would really recommend this race ( think the glorious weather helped ). It was a very enjoyable, but tough run, with Liz Stanyer and Caroline Nichol both being rewarded with PB’s. Winner T.Humphries Cannock and Stafford in 23.47 First lady S.Johnson Trentham RC in 29.57 Harrier times Liz Stanyer – 38.11 Caroline Nichol – 38.30

Apedale 8k Orienteering Run


On Sunday 28th Feb 2010 we, Tom, Bryan Dale, Ann Williams and myself, ran Apedale Country Park 8k Orienteering fun run. The course was mainly off road and primarily followed the main trails and paths within the park. We were given a map, with each of the control stations marked out and a list of which of the control stations we were to visit and record the number recorded on them. I paired up with Ann Williams and Tom with Bryan Dale and were sent off one minute apart either clock wise or anti clock wise round the course, so you could not follow the runners in front. It was a challenging course but great fun, at the end there was a welcome bowl of lobby. How did we do…….well Ann and myself did the course in 1hr 24min, we won first prize in the women’s class (yes before you ask, there were other women running the race) , first time I’ve ever won a race and probably the last! What of Tom and Bryan? They completed the course with two extra control stations recorded that were not on their list in a time of 2hrs 15min. Will we be back next year? You bet. Regards Denise and Tom Rogers

Ennstone 7ml


A crisp morning greeted runners in Telford for the Ennstone 7 – a race around the town park with some deceptive inclines. Around 150 runners took up the challenge with a couple of Harriers present. Not found any official times so far but I clocked 1hr and 4 secs on my watch which I was most chuffed with. The soup and roll at the finish was a definite bonus too. Tony Tompkins

Official results show that the race winner was Ashley Sabin of Notts. AC in 37:28, Tony was 81st in 60:05 and John Hateley was 118th in 70:13. 132 finished.

Stourbridge Stagger


Unfortunately no-one has sent me a report on this race yet, but I see from the website that 6 Harriers took part. The race was won by Ross Jones of Wolverhampton & Bilston in a time of 59:56 It’s a 10 mile multi-terrain race for those who didn’t know.

Alsager 5ml


Forty-one Harriers turned out and gave their all to race around the usual very flat route at Alsager. This is the 1st race in the NSRRA League competition and the 2nd race in the Harriers Challenge for 2010, so the stakes were high for those Harriers competing. And with individual prize money at a reasonable level (£150, £100 and £75 for the first 3 men and ladies) a quality field of non-Harriers were attracted to what is one of the top 5 mile races in the UK. The race was won by former winner and Commonwealth games representative Nick McCormack from Gateshead in 23:33 (course record 22:53 by Glen Tromans). But he only just got it, with Chris Davies of Telford AC only 4 seconds behind and the next 3 within another 9 seconds. The first lady home was Michelle Ross-Cope of City of Stoke who finished 41st overall in 26:53. A total of 949 runners completed the race – which included 11 men and 3 ladies aged 70 or more ! Find your race photo’s at www.racephotos.org.uk and www.mickhall-photos.com Full race reports at : http://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2010/alsager.htm Alsager 5 was my first race since joining the Harriers… I was advised it was fast and flat; it was both. I was told not to get too near the front (a, because i wasn’t a pro! b) because I’d get trampled..and c) because I would be forced into running fast at the start and need to pace myself.) I really didn’t see the start line…??? I placed myself too far at the back and spent the first mile jogging along merrily, which was fine but it was a race after all! All in all, I enjoyed the race, (which was my intention) a friend / harrier, added my name onto the Stafford Half for Christmas and I decided I couldn’t afford to get stressed about a 5 mile run otherwise I may as well cross my name off the 13 mile jaunt!! – I wanted to enjoy it and did). The crowd support was good and the route was very pleasant (no hills!) Alongside which I achieved my aim of a minimum of 10 min miles and reached a 50:38 finish. I now have a PB! Karen Fidgett

Midland Area Cross Country Championships – 30/01/10

The senior ladies race saw a tremendous battle at the front with only 7 seconds covering the first three runners. The winner was the ever-improving Gemma Steele from Charnwood AC (31:35) ahead of Bristol & West runner Claire Hallissey (31:38) and third was Midlands Masters Champion Debbie Walters (31:42) from Birchfield. Our own quartet of runners came a creditable 8th place out of 19 teams beating the likes of Nott’s AC, Wolverhampton & Bilston and Stone MM in the process. Nina Skilton ran a remarkable race. Starting the run with a recently broken arm she battled round only to fall badly in the notorious ditch, injuring her arm even more. She then carried on covered head to foot in mud and finished strongly in 43rd place. Clare Skelton is getting back to form and was happy (if somewhat exhausted) with her run. Chris Skellern ever the battler and Lydia Atkins a cross-country lover completed a really great performance for the ladies.

Nina Skilton
Clare Skelton
Chris Skellern
Lydia Atkins

As in the senior ladies race the senior men were just as close, with again only 7 seconds covering the first three. Jamie Walsh of Leeds City AC triumphed in 40:25 with Robbie Bugden (40:29) of Bristol & West and former winner Billy Farquhason (40:31) of Nott’s AC following him home. The team competition could not have been closer. Coventry Godiva won with 116 points from Nott’s AC on 118 and Tipton on 120. Now that is close. We had nine runners out on the day with Tom Hobbins first home for the club in 160th place. Paul Douglas and Bill Chidlow were our mud larks in this race both believing the Stafford Common mud is good for the complexion. Our six counters came 24th on the day out of 34 teams and 354 runners finished.

Tom Hobbins
George Mafu
Chris Ross
Paul Douglas
Keith Skilton
Dave Marsden
Chris Owen
Eddie Smith
Bill Chidlow

Well done to all our runners and a big thank you again to everyone who contributed to a great Championship.

Here’s Paul. Captions please.

Telford 10K


Report from Chris Owen The day eventually came after 2 postponement. A fast reasonably flat 2 lap course with a long downhill start around Telford Park, a bit tight in places and had to watch out for other park users. Only 3 Harriers ran 114th Chris Owen 42.36, 219th Shane Duggan 49.19 and 308th Tony Tompkins 55.31. First male was Chris Davies 30.21 Telford AC and 1st female Gemma Turtle 32.52(course record) Gloucester AC. The weather was perfect no wind, rain and definitely no snow. 407 runners finished the race.

Four Villages Half Marathon


Report from Graham Williams. On a sunny and fresh morning I drove Mick Jones Chris Owen,Chris Skellern and Karen D Murray on a quiet and peaceful run up to Helsby. Arriving early we were able to park next to the club where we relaxed and relieved before the race. Conditions were fine and it was not really necessary to wear a helly although many did. I wore skins for the first time which must have helped as I broke 1.50 for the first time in several years. The finishers goody bag contained bottles of beer and water a medal and mars bar. I was very impressed that within fifteen minutes of finishing we received a personal text giving our gun and chip time and finishing position. The male winner was David Webb of Leeds City AC in 1.04.54 very near the course record of 1.04.36. Lady winner was Michelle Ross-Cope of City of Stoke AC in 1.15.02 who was the guest speaker at the NSRRA presentation night last friday. There were 1435 finishers. Harrier chip times were as follows.

Chris Owen
position 401
Chris Skellern
500 13th F45
Graham Williams
681 7th M60
Jackie Allen
PB 819
Mick Jones
871 6th M65
Karen Sabin
PB 1034
Tracey Mackay
1089 First Half Marathon
Carl Spears
Karen D. Murray
Ann Button
Dave Banner

Trig Race


The big question was is it on or not. Bob Dredge the organiser spent a few sleepless nights over the decision and on Saturday Morning it was a yes. As long as the weather did not get any worse then it was going ahead. The 144 that turned up on the morning showed that it was worth it. A cold but pleasant morning saw the runners off over a shortened course, taking out the treacherous climb to Castle Ring. The winner Peter Vale of Mercia Fell Runners proved that the course was really very easy!!!. Finishing in 1:19:19 over 9 minutes ahead of the next runner he showed the class that has bought him many wins in Fell Races all over the country. Twenty four Harriers ran and the first Harrier home in 16th spot in a creditable 1:34:54 was Russell Barron. Second Harrier was non other than our Trig Race expert Serica Atherton in 1:49:04 which was 1st L40. Other prizes to the Harriers were, Karen Davies 2nd L45, Brian Langston 2nd V65, a very surprised Sarah Johnson 3rd L40 and Mick Jones 3rd V65. Well done to all the Harriers who completed the course. Tick that one off on your running cv. Russell and Serica finishing the Trig. Check out the photos from Alastair Tye from www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk/ All the Harriers times are below.

Russell Barron
Sereca Atherton
1:49:04 1st L40
Deon Vlok
Mark Bentley
Stuart Turner
Ed Smith
Chris Owen
Karen Davies
1:58:30 2nd L45
John Greatholder
Graham Williams
Caroline Nichol
Liz Stanyer
Jackie Allen
Andy Bourne
Brian Langston
2:11:55 2nd V65
Jane Bisiker
Craig Baxter
Sarah Johnson
2:18:00 3rd L40
Esther Hughes
Stuart Fowlie
Rebecca Bostock
Michael Jones
2:36:40 3rd V65
Karen D Murray
Sally Burns

Vernon’s Stupid Heroes Limp Wrist Race – 01/01/10

What a great way to welcome in the new decade. A fine bright sunny morning saw 87 intrepid “Stupid Heroes” run the five mile race on New Years Morning. For the uninitiated you predict your time over five miles , run the race without a watch and the winner is the person who gets closest to their predicted time. Simples! The race is organised by Mike Jones, the programme that works out the results is by Mike Jones and the winner this year, getting the time right to the second, was of course Mike Jones. Sue Olivant and Pete Burns were helping him to do the results and neither of them saw how he managed it. More importantly neither did he. He was convinced he was way out. The race itself was won by Gareth Briggs of Staffs Moorlands in 28:39 and he was also in the prizes as he was only 9 seconds out on his prediction. First Lady home was Stafford Harrier Clare Skelton in 34:23 almost four minutes faster than she had predicted. Looks like she is getting back to form after her happy event. First Harrier home was Russell Barron in 29:00. Here is Russell Barron chasing unattached runner Matthew Woodman. Hope he caught him and gave him a membership form. Here are all the times.

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