Race Report October to December 2016

Wheaton Aston 10K

27 December 2016




Athlete Name
Chip Time
Michelle FOX
Alan Jones
William Gray
Melonie DEAKIN
00:49:28 PB
Debbie McDermott
Natalie Boswell
00:51:47 PB
Mike Evans
Sarah Whyte
00:52:36 PB
Liz Simcox
Charlotte WARD
Austin WHYTE
Marie Evans
Michael JONES
karen jones
Sarah Gray

Turkey Trot



Report from Mel Deakin.

Alan Jones, John Hateley and I ran at the Turkey Trot, a festive five mile race from Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton where rather than a medal or t-shirt you get a turkey pack when you finish. Starting on the running track, the course goes out onto the roads and pavements of the surrounding area before returning to the track where, if you have any energy left you can do a sprint finish in front of the spectators in stadium.

There aren’t many five mile races about, I enjoyed running this distance for a change and I thought the course was good too. Both Alan and I got new PB’s which was the icing on the cake.


1st Harry Halford Wolves and Bilston 25:32

1st Lady Emily Lagomarsino San Dominico RC/Cardiff Uni 30:34


Stafford Harriers:

74th Alan Jones 36:04 PB

96th Melonie Deakin 39:26 PB

184th John Hateley 48:27

240 runners finished

Telford 10K

11December 16





Net Time
Cat Pos
Alan Griffin
MV 40
Alan Jones
MV 50
Will Gray
Melonie Deakin
Karen Jones
FV 50
Sarah Gray
FV 55

Newcastle Dales Dash



Stafford Harriers runners Robert Mottram-Jones and Anthony Haycock were both among the award winners at last Sunday’s Newcastle Dales Dash.

Mottram-Jones was the first Harrier home, finishing in exactly 43.00 mins to take 29th place overall which was good enough to give him the Male Over 50 award while Haycock was the first Male Over 60 to finish the course in a time of 46:26 (57th overall).

Kerry Hall was the first female Harrier home taking 98th place in a time of 49:31.

The race is an off road 10k which begins at the Apedale Heritage Centre and incorporates a number challenging climbs with some fast downhill sections. Freezing overnight temperatures left a few sections of the course with icy patches but there was little to trouble runners in otherwise ideal conditions.

The full list of Harrier finishers was:

Robert Mottram-Jones
Anthony Haycock
Spencer Holland
Ian Hodkinson
Kerry Hall
Alan Jones
Chris Elsley
Tracy Ridings
Melonie Deakin
Chris Skellern
Jane Bisiker
Ed Smith
Debbie McDermott
Craig Baxter
Bill Chidlow


The race winner was Simon Myatt of Trentham in 35:41 while Catherine Howard of Knowsley Harriers took the ladies race in 42:58 (28th overall)


Suicide Six

27 Nov 16


report from Chris Elsley


Conditions were remarkably good for this year’s running of the Suicide 6, an off- road event of just under 6 miles in distance which takes place at Baggeridge Country Park near Wolverhampton.

But, as the race name implies, this is no country stroll. From the gun, runners face a short sharp climb up a grass bank and then have to tackle a steep climb up Lydiate Hill, trudge through 50 meters of wet clay, cross a waist deep stream and climb Jacob’s Ladder which comprises around 120 steps before they can complete the course.

Harriers Times

Alan Griffin
Alan Jones
Chris Elsley
Jane Bisiker
Chris Skellern
Not recorded
Approx 60.30
Gina Brown
Karen Murray
Brian Langston


The race was won by Chris Ashford (BRAT) in 37.18 with Tipton’s Susannah Davies the first lady in 43.31 (28th)


Pictured Alan Griffin (photo by Tim Gardner)

Suicide Six – a more personal report!


report from Chris Elsley

Conditions were remarkably good for this year’s running of the Suicide 6, an off- road event of just under 6 miles in distance which takes place at Baggeridge Country Park near Wolverhampton.

But, as the race name implies, this is no country stroll. You will get wet and you will get muddy, but if you like that sort of thing it’s a great race.

From the gun, runners face a short sharp climb up a grassy bank which immediately sends the quicker runners ahead of the pack. Some tight twists and narrow paths follow as competitors climb up Lydiates Hill before a rapid, slippy descent on the other side.

The next challenge is around 50 meters of wet clay. Once that is negotiated, the course becomes relatively straightforward for a time, along some woodland paths and a small stretch of tarmac where you meet the quicker runners already heading back. It’s also on this section you hear the cheers of the crowd ahead. The cheers were like those of the crowd watching a bull fight! For those without knowledge of the course, it must get the mind thinking. For others, it’s a reminder of what is to come.

Crossing the shallow stream and up into the woods, the path gets steep. Last year it was too muddy to run it. This year, I just didn’t have the drive!

Running through the woods, taking care to watch where you put your feet as rocks, bricks and tree roots were all potential hazards.

Then came the chilling sight of what makes this race so enjoyable – for the spectators at least! The second crossing of the stream but at this point the water is somewhat deeper. For runners of my height, it shrivels your timbers!!! For some smaller runners, it goes much higher. The crowds are waiting for fallers. Thankfully this year, I managed to avoid entertaining them but it was still cold as I scrambled up the bank on the opposite side.

With around two miles still left to run it was back along the tarmac and woodland paths before heading up a steady uphill drag. At the top was another downhill – you know by now the worst is over but you still have Jacob’s Ladder to negotiate – a set of 100 plus wooden steps (Chris Skellern will tell you exactly how many) – before heading back through the muddy field to the finish.

Once we had all completed, it was a quick wash down with some warm water (supplied by yours truly – a little planning goes a long way) then we set about the real reason we run – a pint at the wonderful Beacon Hotel in Sedgley. Thought about bringing a pint of Snowflake back for Ian Coghlan but I’m not sure he has got over last year’s yet.

Harriers Times

Alan Griffin
Alan Jones
Chris Elsley
Jane Bisiker
Chris Skellern
Not recorded
Approx 60.30
Gina Brown
Karen Murray
Brian Langston


Also in the field was a guy called Joe Atherton who some of you may know. He came home in a time of 57.58 (249th)

The race was won by Chris Ashford (BRAT) in 37.18 with Tipton’s Susannah Davies the first lady in 43.31 (28th)

Chasewater Christmas Pudding 5k and 10k




Amazing results from Stafford Harriers across both the 5k and 10k at the Chasewater Christmas pudding run. In the 10k Michael Dobson stormed home to finish in under 40 minutes to take 5th place. Michelle Fox wasn’t far behind in 21st place and was the 4th female. Overall, Stafford Harriers won 1st female team, 3 age category prizes and got at least 5 PB’s (apologies if I have missed any, I did try and check them all). Great running everyone!



5k results (chip times) :

1st Steve Blakemore Aldridge Running Club 18:51

1st female Ceri Card Lawley Running Club 22:26


Stafford Harriers:

4th Ben Deakin 20:29 PB

52nd Liz Shillito 30:03

203 finished.

10k results (chip times) :


1st Aaron Brown Tipton Harriers 35:10

1st female Cathy Russell unattached 41:14

1st male team Lawley Running Club

1st female team Stafford Harriers (Michelle, Kelly and Mel)


Stafford Harriers:

5th Michael Dobson 39:44 1st MV50 PB

21st (and 4th female) Michelle Fox 42:47 1st FV40

44th Alan Jones 46:36

64th Kelly Collins 48:41

69th Melonie Deakin 49:30 PB

104th Georgina Sumner 53:03 PB

111th Russell Horsley 53:22

114th Lizzie Jasper 53:28 1st FJ PB

166th Sarah Whyte 56:34

167th Evie Whyte 56:34 PB

177th Austin Whyte 57:20 PB

271st Tessa Jasper 63:07


363 finished.

Cannock Rotary 10K




report from Mel Deakin



Dave Payling, Ian Wood, Ben Deakin and I took part in the seventh running of the Cannock Rotary 10k which starts and finishes at Marquis Drive. Not to be confused with the new parkrun, and the tough 10k which were both on Cannock Chase the day before, this race is a bit different to a “Chase run” in that it is all on the road. The first mile is nearly all downhill to Birches Valley, then left onto Penkridge Bank Road, up the hill to Broadhurst Green then left into Brindley Road and back up to Marquis Drive. Plenty of ups and downs to keep it interesting without being too difficult and very well marshalled. The Stafford Harrier men all finished in the top 30, very close together only 19 seconds between the three of them with Dave narrowly claiming the first Harrier home crown from Ian.

1st Paul Thacker Cannock and Stafford 38:53

1st Lady Louise Booker Aldridge RC 44:26


22nd Dave Payling Stafford Harriers 45:59

25th Ian Wood Stafford Harriers 46:07

26th Ben Deakin Stafford Harriers 46:18

60th Melonie Deakin Stafford Harriers 52:38

137 runners finished.


report from Chris Elsley


Cannock Rotary Club recently held a 10k race around the roads of Cannock Chase, in the vicinity of Marquis Drive.

Four members of Stafford Harriers were in the field. Runners begin with a downhill section but with the course comprising four good climbs it was a tough course that faced the field of just under 150 runners.

Dave Payling was the first Harrier home, finishing in 45.59 to take 24th place, just ahead of Ian Wood (25th – 46.07 and 15 year old Ben Deakin who recorded an excellent 46.18 to finish 26th (and first junior) in his first ever 10k race.

Final Harrier was Mel Deakin finishing 60th in 52.38 to take second place in her age group category.

Overall winner was Paul Thacker (Cannock & Stafford) in 38.53 while the first lady was Louise Booker (Aldridge RC) in 44.26.



Inaugural Cannock Chase Park Run




After almost 6 months of planning, discussing and preparation the first Cannock Chase parkrun launched on Saturday 19th November and what an event it was.
We were supported by nearly 40 volunteers all braving the cold to help out and what a valiant effort they all put in, helping to set up, scan barcodes, timekeeping, marshal and cheer on the runners.
I thought the event would be well attended and was expecting/hoping maybe 300-400 which would test the team and setup but even I never expected we would have 569 finishers!!!!
This presented challenges we’d not considered as the stopwatch only goes to 495 times and to add to that we are only given 447 finishing tokens. (Strange number I know??)
Despite these challenges the team quickly adapted and overcame ensuring that everyone was registered with a finishing time/place.
We were that popular we are in the top 10 for the highest number of participants for the week, a feat never before seen for an inaugural parkrun apparently!
On a club front 38 brave Stafford Harriers came and ran easily putting our club as the top for number of runners.
Some great performances especially from the juniors with Ben Deakin, Alfie Darby, Jack Heath and Matthew Hilsdon all putting in great efforts.
Most notable performances go to Phil Hilsdon following up his 1st place in the first trial run with another 1st place in a time of 17.29 which becomes the course record. How long can Phil hold onto that record.
Mel Deakin, already a parkrun vet was first female Harrier home in 25.21.
Special mention to Sara Broome who recorded her 50th parkrun finish.
Full results are available at https://www.parkrun.org.uk/cannockchase/results/latestresults/

Well done to all that ran, many thanks to those that helped out and hope to see you all soon.


Darren Mattocks


Flying Fox




Report from Mel Deakin.


Double points in the Harriers Challenge and the promise of a PB as I had never run a 10 mile race before got me to Standon near Eccleshall on a cold and windy Sunday morning to take part in the Flying Fox. Plenty of people had warned me it wasn’t flat, descriptions varied and some can’t be repeated but the general theme was it was hilly and challenging. Surely it couldn’t be another Meerbrook….

The start was a five minute jog from race HQ and was halfway up a hill which as predicted was the first of many. We started and ran up to the top of the hill then around in a big loop so we went past where we had parked. This was about three miles in, which is a nice distance for Sunday morning run so at this point I was quite tempted to run to my car and drive home. Fortunately, I daren’t as I could see Chris Skellern a bit further up the road who wasn’t running but had braved the elements to support us all, thank you Chris. We then ran adjacent to the railway line, lack of hill was replaced by a bitter wind. That pattern of up and down hill and being blown about repeated itself for the next few miles. One hill was particularly long about mile six or so and seemed to go on forever, but I clung onto what I had been told that once this was out of the way the worst was over. I got to the magic 10k then completed mile 7 which meant less than a Parkrun to go. I could see Debs and Tracy in the distance ahead of me and for the rest of the race focussed on trying to catch them up. It didn’t seem long until the marshals were saying all downhill from here, then passed Chris again, and then Ian H appeared shouting only a quarter of a mile to go, then around the corner and I could see the finish line, hooray!

For me, this race was a challenge but not as much as I had feared and I was so glad I did it. Fantastic Harrier support and company as always helped so much, thank you all.


Results (provisional):

1st Ben Gamble Tipton Harriers 53:52

1st Lady Kristina Defries Trentham Running Club 68:14


Stafford Harriers:

5th Matthew Woodman 58:52

6th Phillip Hilsdon 58:57 PB

26th Robert Mottram-Jones 64:47

54th Spencer Holland 70:13

68th Ian Hodkinson 71:16

70th Ian Wood 71:33

102nd Ryan Nokes 76:39

150th Chris Elsley 83:18

161st Tracy Ridings 85:31

162nd Debbie McDermott 85:31 PB

167th Melonie Deakin 86:26

169th Jane Bisiker 86:51

198th Richard Davies 92:13

209th Karen Murray 96:31

213th Gina Brown 98:03

215th Tina Darby 98:38

217th Julie Nokes 99:18

231st Mark Bentley 105:53

233rd Charlotte Ward 107:14


Aviemore Half Marathon

Sunday 17.10.16


Report by Ruth Edwards

Bill’s annual Aviemore trip set off bright and early on Friday 14th October with approximately 23 Stafford Harriers travelling up for the Aviemore half marathon and 10k races. Usual eventful trip up with small amount of alcohol consumption (after all we are a drinking club with a running problem), stop at Gretna Green followed by sounds of the 80’s by the Harriers singing club – not ready to audition for the X Factor just yet. Arrived at our destination in village of Newtonmore at approx. 5 pm. After a fairly late night up early the next morning for the hours or so trip to Inverness. Ed, Ian, Craig and Michael had an earlier start with a run in the dark following the infamous wild cat trail (don’t ask) and managed to traverse a broken bridge not reading the sign until they were all across. Due to the inclement weather conditions, the ladies headed for the shopping centre and men to the ……. nearest Wetherspoons followed by trip back to Aviemore to collect race numbers. Thereby followed plans to sabotage Ed’s race the following day by plying him with the free tots of whisky on top of numerous pints during the day and to ensure Gill would beat him the next day in a long-standing rivalry. Plans worked extremely well and lost count of the amount of tots he managed to consume. Back to hotel for a fairly quiet evening by some of the more serious athletes!

Sunday morning dawned dry and crisp with temperature of 4 degrees, made our way to Aviemore on the coach followed by a further coach trip up to the Badaguish adventure centre holding on to our hoodies and sweatshirts until the last minute due to the cold. Warmed up slightly by the mass warm up in the outdoor shed which swiftly turned into a dance session by Mark. Holly and Rich’s friend Craig managed to leave his bag in the outdoor shed, he was finally reunited with it the next morning after a lovely old lady drove to the hotel to drop it off.

I started off fairly near to the back with Lindsey, Jo and Sarah which was our race strategy so as to hopefully do a bit of overtaking along the way. Traditional Scottish piper started the race off (should have brought my ear plugs!). Nice flattish downhill stretch for the first 2 miles, then a bit of a bottleneck at the bridge with a fair bit of mud along the way due to the previous days’ rain. Lovely scenic route through the woods similar to Cannock Chase then cross over the main road at 4 miles to hit the killer hill and a lot of swearing to get up it. Race meandered around the loch (fair bit of discussion as to what’s the difference between a loch and a lake). Quote of the day for me was Sarah ‘I think we’re pegging it too fast’ around the loch, understatement when I looked at my watch ‘er yes I think we are’. Good support along the way with some great banners ‘Run like Donald Trump is behind you’ being my personal favourite as well as ‘You’re my favourite runner’. Reached the main road again and 6 miles downhill or so we thought, not all entirely downhill, think my memory has erased the bad bits from last year. Kept thinking we’d peaked too soon, but managed to keep up the steady pace and played chase the next runner in front, was meant to be chase the harrier but we had no chance as all the faster runners were way ahead of us. Overtook the man in the kilt and resisted the usual question! Last mile was a killer, but kept going, had a massive lift when we heard the war cry ‘come on Harriers’ and there were our faithful supporters who had already finished or who had done the 10k race – which incidentally turned out to be the 8k race due to marshall error but that’s another story. Sarah and I crossed the line at 1.59.17, a pb for me (by 27 seconds) with huge congratulations to Sarah on her amazing time in her first half marathon. I said at the end its only taken you a year to get to his stage, its taken me as a super vet nearly 5 years! Not looking forward to reaching the vintage category – still not sure what age you have to be but figured out its old!

Some memorable hilarious moments from the whole weekend included the entertainment on Sunday night at the hotel from the Killiecrankies which proved to be a bit too much for some of the party, Mrs. Crankie’s diagnosis of Tracy’s injury, dancing to the slosh, birdie song and the annual stomp round the dance floor to I will walk 500 miles, Mr and Mrs. Foster’s daily cold showers and disabled facilities, the nocturnal activities, creaky floorboards and clanking pipes, the missing Mark Bentley, Bill’s strict timetable for boarding the coach without which the whole trip wouldn’t have run so smoothly, the misbehaving men who couldn’t adhere to this, the loooong journey home, Michael googling the history of road painting and laybys to pass the time as well as his Cannock Market carrier bag lined up alongside the more expensive sports bags, the funicular railway trip – not sure who put the fun in funicular but think it would have been more memorable on a clear day, the only views we had were of 2 JCB’s waiting to clear the inevitable snow, luckily there was mulled wine and beer at the top to numb the cold. Arrived back on terra firma and the sun came out through the clouds with a rainbow – typical!

Results as follows:


Ian Hodkinson 1.32.40

Mark Orchard 1.35.02

Gill Hodkinson 1.49.41

Angela Brookes 1.50.36

Ed Smith 1.52.13

Craig Baxter 1.58.38

Sarah Whyte 1.59.17

Ruth Edwards 1.59.17 PB

Lindsey Foster 2.01.13 PB

Alan Griffin 2.01.53

Rachel Darbey 2.01.53 PB

Joanne Oliver 2.02.13

Tracy Burrows 2.27.02

Michael Bamber 2.27.03

Andrew Carter 2.42.12

10k, but it wasn’t a 10k

Richard Caley 40.35

Gael Earp 44.37

Austin Whyte 47.35

Paul Foster 49.07

Mark Oliver 49.07

Joanne Carson 48.54

Liz Shillito 49.03

Holly Wright 1.21.21

Bells of Pattingham Run

9th October 2016

Leon Stringer
To rural South Staffordshire for the Bells of Pattingham. This 7-mile race starts on the edge of the village (about a mile from race HQ) in the corner of a field. There are two areas behind the start line which follow slightly different tracks before merging at the far end of the field. The race then crosses fields and farm tracks, directed by many friendly marshals, with some wooded areas which were a cool relief on a surprisingly warm and sunny day. The route undulates almost continually with very few level sections. The paths along field edges are uneven and narrow making passing difficult so you need to make good use of the areas where you can overtake. The last mile seemed to drag on, but you eventually get over the final hill and hear the bells of St Chad’s church ringing a peal guiding you to the finish: up a short, sharp bank and across the finish line for some free coffee and cake!
There’s no chip timing, just a mass start and bar code scanning at the end (and a bit of a wait for results). 474 runners took part.

Results (provisional):

1st M: David Smith (Wolverhampton & Bilston A.C.) 00:42:10

1st F: Deborah Walters (Birchfield Harriers) 00:47:06


150th Leon Stringer 01:00:08

Katharine House 10k

9th October 2016

Chris Elsley

Three Stafford Harriers featured in the top 20 finishers of Sunday’s Katharine House 10k held at Shugborough Hall.

First of the bunch was Richard Rea who finished 6th overall in a time of 40.08. He was followed by Simon Cope (13th – 42.33) and Spencer Holland (16th – 43.33).

Jim Smith finished 26th in 45.50 ahead of Liam Duggan (36th – 47.06).


The remaining Harriers were:

Jason Littlewood (51st – 48.13)

Paul Stanbridge (55th – 48.07)

Andrew Locke (58th – 48.33)

Darren Pyatt (62nd – 48.51)

Alan Jones (70th – 50.10)

Melonie Deakin (89th – 52.27)

Chris Skellern (103rd – 53.28)

Russ Horsley (142nd – 56.09)

Scott Kelsall (144th – 56.35) PB

Lizzie Jasper (164th – 57.47)

Emma Withington (218th – 62.17)

Ellie Withington (219th – 62.17)

Lizzie Walker (224th – 62.20)

Rebecca Martin (235th – 63.24)

Gemma Clewlow (236th – 63.24)

Michael Bamber (246th – 65.03)

Karen Jones (247th – 65.10)

Liz Shillito (250th – 65.19)

Claire Heath (266th – 66.09)

Kayleigh Bromley (309th – 69.34)

Lindsay Lillico (368th – 77.30)


Chris Skellern (F50-54) and Lizzie Jasper (F14-15) both lead their respective categories.


Race winner was Jonathan Weavell (Stafford Tri) in 37.02 while Louise Southwell took the ladies honours in 45.04). There were 405 finishers.

Congleton Half Marathon

2nd October 2016


Chris Elsley

Meanwhile, Ian Wood settled for a half marathon as he tackled the shorter distance at Congleton. He was the only Harrier in the race and finished 72nd of 399 runners in a time of 1:32:29.

Stuart Doyle (Vale Royal AC) was the race winner in 1:14:39 with Newcastle’s Michelle Buckle the leading lady in 1:28:16.


Ian Wood’s Congleton report:

I headed up to Congleton early on Sunday morning for the 9.30 start of the half marathon. The weather was ideal if a bit cool when I warmed up before the start. the race started on time and I felt good over the first few miles then I went past Jodrell Bank dish at seven miles having a duel with Terry Wall of Trentham who pulled away from me until the hill at ten miles but I just could not catch him before the finish. I did manage to catch a couple of nsrra group c runners when trying to catch terry. I finished in 72nd place 1-32-36 which was better than I hoped.

Chester Marathon

2nd October 2016

Chris Elsley
There were seven Stafford Harriers among the 2,155 who completed the Chester Marathon on Sunday.

Leading the way for the Harriers was Ian Hodkinson who finished in 3:19:38, less than a minute ahead of Spencer Holland (3:20:31) who was running the 26.2 miles for the first time.

Ryan Nokes came home in 3:49:10 with Simon Groom following soon after in 3:50:39 while new joiner Neil Eisenhauer finished in 4:15:36.

Karen D Murray pipped her namesake to the honour of being first Harrier lady finishing in 4:34:20 with Karen (Scouse) Murray coming home in 4:36:26.

The race was won by Ben Fish of Blackburn in 2:24:03 with Katie Jones (Fife AC) winning the ladies race in 2:53:34.

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