Stafford Harriers Press report
23rd June 2013
By Bill Whitworth
Stone St Michaels 10k race attracted another high level of entries from Stafford Harriers who fielded 66 runners in this event on a very wet and windy summer’s day.However, it was the Junior Harriers who stole the show with their fantastic win in the relay event. Jack Hodkinson, Emma Underwood, Ellie Baxter, Amy Oliver and George Hodkinson, who have come through the Harrier’s junior training scheme, showed real promise and commitment in the adverse conditions to achieve first place overall.
Tipton Harriers put their mark on the main race with Michael Aspinall (00:30:34), Ben Gamble (00:31:16) and Martin Williams (00:31:36) taking the first three places while the ladies race was won by Louise Gardner of Lancaster and Morecambe AC in a time of 00:35:09 – over two minutes ahead of 2nd lady Jocelyn Payne of Leeds University AC 00:37:14.
First Harrier home was Philip Hilsdon 00:36:24, narrowly beating teammate Jonathan Weavell, 00:36:25. Paul Douglas 00:40:05 won the M60 age group and Chris Skellern 00:40:09 achieved first yet again for the F50.Michelle Rushton Fox led the Harrier ladies with her time of 00:42:37 only seconds ahead of Kara Bateman 00:42:49.
|Chris Skellern||00:40:09||PB F50|
|Michelle Rushton Fox||00:42:37|
|Karen D Murray||00:51:05||PB|
Wales trail marathon
22 June 2013
Report by Chris Owen
while most of you did a 10k on a flat road course ,on saturday i had a little ramble around coed y brenin forest in snowdownia. meaning it’s in snowdonia it wasn’t a flat course,but undulating with very large undulations (3908 ft of elevation gain). this is the second year of this race,last year they had to quickly re-route due to water logged course(1.5 laps of half marathon),this year it was a one lap.starting at coed y brenin forest centre ,with a few steep switch backs to warm your muscles up,before heading up onto the moors,where the views would have been spectacular except for low clouds,on one part we were actually through clouds.at about 16m we came back into the forest . the route was a nice mixture of of forest roads and bike/rambler tracks . there was about 4 steep climbs where you had no choice but to walk. i really felt strong in this run,at the moment i am not running quick but i am running stronger and recovering faster(just been for a 60mile cycle ride,training for an event next month,well out of my comfort zone), on the uphill sections i was taking places,flat i was keeping up but i was losing it on the downhills,some of these were steep on shaley paths.this is definitely not a race for a beginner.the team who came up with the course did a fantastic job
male winner andrew siggers keniworth runner 3.06.40 who was 8min in front on 2nd place
female mary spalton 3.47.35
myself 4.21.48 (71th 16th m40)
something surprising about results is the top runners were senior males not m40 like usual ( me thinks trail/fell running is for young agile people)
19th June 2013
Well done for everyone taking part.
Awaiting any race reports.
Results are on the FRSystems web site. Results
Photo’s of the race are on Bryan Dale site Click here
View from the Car Park
Shugborough Relays 19th June 2013
Report by Jean Whitworth.
As Shugborough day visitors began to leave on a warm sunny evening, a trickle of cars began to arrive on the car park, discharging individuals and groups in the pre-race garb of seasoned runners. Within a short period the trickle became a steady flow, and the car parking team swung into action.
Things seemed to be going well with drivers directed from the main drive into the overflow parking where Sue Johnson expertly packed them in ably assisted by Sandra Elcock and Michelle Buckley who later received additional assistance from Mark Bentley – although according to Michelle, Mark did not seem to understand her directional requests. Standing by the Ticket Office, John Finney filtered the cars that needed to go to the Race Start line, disabled parking and the carriers of club tents from those who needed to park and Eddie Smith, Leon and myself ensured they parked well to get as many vehicles accommodated as quickly as possible. The arrival of a coach carrying children from a school was unexpected, but luckily a suitable space was still available – NOTE FOR FUTURE expect the unexpected!
From our vantage point we could see vehicles beginning to queue on the main Drive which is about one and a half miles long and, fast as they were working on overflow, word percolated through that traffic in Milford was beginning to ‘back-up’! Things were further complicated by the ‘free grazing’ cattle on the parkland who, being curious animals, tended to congregate by the gateways and created a virtual roadblock for drivers who were unused to this hazard until someone drove them out of the way.
Runners and spectators flowed steadily across the car park, making their way to the race start and still the cars were streaming in from both entrances to the estate. As the time moved inexorably towards the published start time of 7.30pm, both the car park and overflow were reaching capacity and the decision was taken with Ruth Stanway of Shugborough to open a further parking area on the main estate field. This enabled traffic to flow faster on the main drive, but still the end of the queue remained stubbornly out of sight and runners were still arriving! At quarter past seven, Bill attempted to contact the Race Director to advise that traffic continued to arrive – in case the start needed to be delayed, but communication at that stage was difficult.
At 7.25pm the cars were finally parked, and spot on 7.30pm the race started. A few vehicles still trickled in, mostly spectators. The majority of the car parkers then converted quickly to Race Marshalls, but for Bill, Leon and I, work was not over yet either. A report of an escaped lamb meant it had to be caught as, once the race finished, it would certainly be at risk of injury as vehicles left the estate. Do not be fooled by a lamb’s appearance! They can run at an amazing turn of speed, are slippery to get a hold of and this one would have challenged the fastest time for the event! Thirty minutes of ‘fun’ and spectator sport as we attempted to corner/catch this pesky animal ensued before it became tired enough for us to finally grab hold of it and carry it to be temporarily penned up till Charlotte, Shugborough Livestock manager, arrived to ensure it was returned safely to its flock.
As runners began to return to their vehicles, we reversed the flow on the main Drive as well as directing vehicles out of the usual exit and with Bill driving the cattle out of the way yet again, I marshalled the main gates to prevent traffic entering as the deluge of cars began to leave the estate. I was pleased by the response of the majority of drivers who gave the ‘thumbs-up’ or even took the time to wind down their car windows to express their appreciation for the whole event.
One unfortunate driver had a breakdown halfway up the main drive and the AA were summoned, but at 10pm had not yet arrived. The Shugborough Caretaker, Wayne, brought the driver a cup of tea and stayed on site to direct the rescue vehicle which finally turned up about 10.30pm.
At 9:55pm, I finally got into the car and headed home for a welcome glass of wine. On a lovely summer evening, great cooperation from Shugborough staff and great teamwork on the car parks contributed to a very successful and popular event.
As I have a personal interest in the reputation of both the Harriers and Shugborough, I returned to the site early on Thursday morning and walked the field and the car parks to check for litter before sheep were returned to the overflow car park and was very pleased to find only one tissue! The worst litter was caused by crows that had penetrated the bagged rubbish, but this is an occupational hazard at Shugborough and was dealt with by the caretaking staff. Well done to all who attended!
15th June 2013
On a multi-terrain course with some road sections, but quite a lot of off-road sections which took in the disused railway line, forest tracks, open fields farm tracks and lots of stiles, 125 runners completed the new event, the Gnosall 10K Rave. Stafford Harriers fielded 11 of the 125 runners who completed the course.
Luke Boulton (Unattached) won the event in 36:59, with Harrier Chris Hollinshead 2nd in 37:13 (1st M45). The Ladies’ race was won by on form Harrier, Michelle Rushton-Fox in 46:20 (33rd overall and 1st F35).
The remaining results for the Harriers were as follows
11th Paul Bosson 41:41 2nd M50
17th Jonathan Weavell 43:19 2nd M35
46th Mark Bentley 49:32
74th Emma Hollinshead 54:21
79th Ralph Wedlock 56:11
82nd Stephen Woodcock 57:47
86th Caryl Gibson 58:45
87th Joe Atherton 58:46
98th Charlotte Ward 60:49
15 June 13
Sixty Three Harriers took part in this years games at Rowley Park making it the most successful games we have had. There was also a large crowd of spectators and many others organising the events. The weather was kind to us if a little cool for those standing around.
The BBQ that followed was also a great success with Craig having to send out for more food and charcoal as around 100 turned up.
To find out who did what or check your times the results are below thanks to Mike Jones.
Report from Westbridge 5
8th June 2013
Report by Sally Liggins
17 Harriers took part in the Westbridge 5 on 8th June, the low numbers due to the Wincle Trout fell run, a Harriers challenge race, taking place the afternoon before. It was a warm bright day and 204 runners set off from Westbridge Park, doing a loop of the field, then heading down the canal for the first couple of miles, along a country lane, down the A34, before joining the canal for the last mile to the finish. Ben Gamble completed the course in 25:36; the first Harrier home was Phillip Hilsdon in 30:16 and first female Harrier, Tracey Jones in 36:52. Goody bags were given out to all runners, along with the unexpected bonus of a bottle of Stone Master Marathoners beer – well deserved!
Man vs Horse
8th June 2013
The annual Man versus Horse marathon in Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys took place on Saturday 8th June. The event, which is in its 34th year, attracted a record number of entrants who took on the grueling 24 plus mile-route made up of hills, forests, moorland and open countryside.
Horse-rider Beti Gordon took the title this year, finishing the course in an impressive two hours 18 minutes – 28 minutes ahead of the closest runner, Hugh Aggleton (Mynyddwyr de Cymru) who crossed the finish line in 2 hours 46 minutes. First lady home was Anna Bartlett in 3 hours 19 minutes and 55 seconds.
In 2004, marathon runner Huw Lobb became the first human winner of the race, beating the nearest horse by two minutes and this has only been repeated once.
This year’s course was nearly three miles longer than previous routes due to forestry operations – bringing it up to nearly the full marathon distance. Set in the most amazing scenery, this is a brilliant event, though with searing heat and lots and lots of hills, participants were elated to reach the last river crossing and the finish line!!! Three Harriers took on the challenge this year:
Karen Davies 4 hours 41 minutes
Ian Spencer 4 hours 56 minutes
Jo Atherton 5 hours 45 minutes
Report from Karen Davies
73rdPete Hodgetts Handicap
23 May 2013
Report Liz & Simon Stanyer your handicappers
It was an unseasonably cold and damp May evening for the handicap, but support crew was plentiful for Liz and Simon’s first handicap in charge, after being shown the ropes by Mick Jones. A total of 29 Harriers ran the course with one Junior Jack Hodkinson having a great first handicap run.
First through and Handicap winner was Dominic Mattocks putting a huge effort in all the way through the line, closely followed by a beaming Sally Liggins, with Jack coming in 3rd.
As this was our first handicap we would like to thank Mick for all the years of work he has put into this, taking it over has shown us just how much work is involved. This race will only be able to go ahead with the volunteers who do the timing, number recording and marshalling. Thank you to all those who helped out last night and if we ask for help for future handicaps, please don’t be shy! Oh and no moaning at anytime, ever about any aspect of your handicap times. Thank you!
|Name||Time||Handicap||Net time||New Handicap|
Godalming Race Series
18 May 2013
Report by Graham Williams
While some Harriers spent Saturday evening shouting at dumb animals running round in circles chasing a stuffed rabbit I was preparing myself for an important race. My longest race was 56k at the Two Oceans, this was going to be my shortest, the Godalming 1k fun run with my four year old grandson Gabriel. My daughter Caroline did the 4k with some friends. There was a 10k which was yet another race I was going to do before my knee went on strike. Registration was at the Wilfrid Noyce Centre who was part of the team that climbed Everest in 1953 but was unfortunately killed in a climbing accident shortly after opening the centre in 1962. As we lined up at the start I was given final race instructions by my daughter to be patient with Gabriel and not to shout as I had apparently done with her. The race started promptly at 10.30 but we were stopped after 30 yards as some of the youngsters were a bit hasty. We returned to the start waiting for the Mayor to start the race but unfortunately the PA system broke down so he had to use a loud hailer. The race started alongside the park with Gabriel sprinting away and forgetting to wave to his grandma, mother and two year old brother Reuben. We then took a sharp turn left and ran alongside the river where Gabriel decided he needed the toilet but I persuaded him to keep going, we then ran over some tree roots where there were a couple of tearful casualties. Next we went past The Jack Phillips memorial garden who was a resident of nearby Farncombe and was the Chief Wireless Telegraphist on RMS Titanic and remained at his post as the ship sank. We then ran past the bandstand where the local band was playing their version of Chariots of Fire which always brings a lump to my throat, then up a hill past the allotments to the finish. Gabriel finished in 5.56 a pb, I did 6.04 also a pb. The fun run results have not been published. In the 4k Caroline finished in 26.56 also a pb. The race was won by Ian Beeton of Waverley Harriers in 15.25, the lady winner was Victoria Robinson unattached in 16.49. In the 10k the winner was Nick Morgan of Waverley Harriers in 37.36, lady winner was Katie Wills of Phoenix Triathlon in 44.08. After Gabriel collected his medal and certificate from the Mayor we watched Caroline finish and then went off for a family BBQ on what was a lovely sunny afternoon.
Stafford Harriers Press Report
19th May 2013
by Bill Whitworth
Last Wednesday evening the Clayton 10k race was held over a tough, hilly, 2-laps, taking runners over part of the old Potteries Marathon course. This event is the 8th in the North Staffs Road Runners’ Association series and as such is very popular with local runners.
The winner of the mens’ race was Ben Gamble of Tipton Harriers in a time of 31:24 while Mandy Vernon of Trentham RC won for the ladies in 37:44.
First Harrier was Philip Hilsdon, 10th overall in 37:07 and Chris Skellern was again first Harrier lady as well as 1st in the Category L50, hotly pursued by Tracey Jones who finished in 45:28.
Other times recorded were:
Place Name Time
25th Mark Bridgwood 38:55
58th Alan Griffin 41:40 PB
74th Joe Atherton 43:10
125th Eddie Smith 47:09
164th Bill Chidlow 50:58
196th Michael Jones 55:21
224th George Singh 63:48
On Sunday, Chris Owen continued his personal challenge of completing a marathon a month by taking part in an event known as the Leadenboot Challenge. This was a marathon length challenge event that took in the rolling countryside of the area surrounding Alstonefield in the White Peak and included an associated 5300’+ of climb.
Chris adopted the strategy of not trying to run up the hills, rather just running where he could so that he did not expel too much energy and with the winning time for the event being 4hrs 22m, Chris did a very creditable 5hr 14m and appreciated the hot meal dished up to runners at the finish and has already committed himself to taking part again in 2014!
Stafford Harriers Press report
12th May 2013
by Bill Whitworth
With a slight changed route the very popular Market Drayton 10k promised a slightly faster course for the runners and with a field of over 1400 runners some good times were clearly being targeted.
A total of 75 Stafford Harriers made the journey to compete and of that number 39 achieved personal best times over the distance. The race was won overall by Chris Davies of Telford AC who completed in a time of 00:30:39 while the first lady home was Kim Fawke of Telford AC 00:35:32. Matt Woodman finished in 8th place in 00:35:03 with team mate Steve Vaughan getting his personal best time of 00:35:38 to achieve 20th place overall. Paul Douglas won the M60 category while Paul Bosson came 2nd in the M50.
First Harrier lady was Michelle Rushton Fox, 15th female runner and 4th in the L35 category. Chris Skellern achieved first L50. Among the runners were several Harriers taking part in their first ever road race and all declared themselves very happy with their achievements, but special mention must be given to Julie Petrek who chose her birthday for her first event.
MARKET DRAYTON 10K
Seventy Five Harriers took part in this race so hopefully we will get a report from one of them.
Winners on the day were Paul Douglas 1st M60, Chris Skellern 1st L50, Paul Bosson 2nd M50 and Mike Jones 2nd M70. So far we have found 37 pb’s.
Here are the times for the Harriers. Please note the results are in Chip Time order for the Challenge so the actual positions do not follow exactly.
|Pos||First Name||Last Name||Chip Time||Gun Time|
|48||Paul||Bosson||00:37:33 2nd V50||00:37:35|
|82||Paul||Douglas||00:39:14 1st V60||00:39:17|
|262||Chris||Skellern||00:44:25 1st L50||00:44:34|
|698||Michael||Jones||00:52:54 2nd M70||00:53:09|
Stafford Harriers Press Report
5th May 2013
by Bill Whitworth
The Dudley Kingswinford 10K is a Gold standard race and is run on the first Wednesday in May through well marshalled picturesque country lanes and in a great friendly atmosphere. This race, started in 1986 by Dr. Dick Blackburn, has grown in popularity over the years and is now one of the biggest midweek 10K Road race in the Midlands with a capacity of 1100 runners. Twenty Harriers decided to take part in the event and it proved a successful outing with 9 of them achieving personal bests and 2 others taking second place in their respective age groups.
The overall winner was Anthony Ridley, Colchester Harriers, in a time of 32:14 while Tessa Parkinson, 35:58 won the ladies event. First Stafford man home was Ian Hodkinson in a personal best time of 41:09. Clubmate Michelle Fox took 2nd place L35 with her time of 44:26 and Chris Skellern’s 46:55 gave her 2nd in the L50 category.
Other results were as follows
|Marie-Claire D’arcy- Barron||51.24||pb|
With two Half Marathons to choose from on Sunday, in Uttoxeter and in Lichfield, 34 Senior Harriers were up for the challenge! The Lichfield Half Marathon is very popular and places fill very quickly. The route follows an undulating point-to-point course starting at King Edwards VI School in Lichfield through the town and into the nearby countryside before reaching the finishat Stowe Fields near the city centre. Nine Harriers opted to compete in this event and all were pleased with their achievements. Emma Waldron led them home in a time of 1:52:26 and Helen Underwood achieved 2:10:55 in her first ever race. Full times were:
Gina Brown 1:58:29
Fay Ridgwell 2:05:56 pb
Amy Wilshaw 2:16:43
Jazz Mahil 2:24:07 pb
David Kumar 2:30:56
Bobbie Phillips 2:35:33
Joanne Kumar 2:35:39
Meanwhile, in Uttoxeter, not only did the remaining Seniors compete, but 4 junior members participated in the Junior Race which took place within the grounds of the Racecourse. Jack Hodkinson was second overall in this event and also took 1st place U15 completing the event in 7:47 while younger brother George came home in 6th place overall, but 1st U11 with his time of 8:24. Jake and Amy Oliver completed the event in 9:31 jointly and Amy was first L11 making this a truly excellent performance for the youngsters.
In the Senior event which started and finished at the Racecourse, but took runners out into the surrounding town and countryside, Matt Woodman finished 4th overall and 1st V35 in his time of 1:18:24, the race having been won by Carl Moulton of Boalloy RC who completed in 1:14:53.
First lady home was Michelle Buckle of Newcastle Staffs AC in 1:30:45.
Harriers’ Ladies Tracey Jones, Chris Skellern, Shelley Burns and Gill Hodkinson combined to come 2nd in the Ladies Team event and individually Tracey (1:45:12) was 3rd L40, while Chris(1:46:03) was 1st L50.
Harriers results were:
Matt Woodman 1:18:24
Paul Douglas 1:29:47
Mark Bridgwood 1:30:18
Ian Hodkinson 1:33:53
Alan Cook 1:35:36
Chris Owen 1:39:02
Joe Atherton 1:42:46
Darren Mattocks 1:43:08
Tracey Jones 1:45:12
Chris Skellern 1:46:03
Steve Turner 1:49:38
Eddie Smith 1:50:38
Mark Oliver 1:52:29
Wayne Vaughan 1:52:43
Bill Chidlow 1:55:55
Shelley Burns 1:55:56
Gill Hodkinson 1:56:44
Liz Stanyer 2:00:18
Bill Whitworth 2:08:58
Joanne Oliver 2:09:25
Michael Jones 2:11:08
Julie Nokes 2:13:05
Lindsey Foster 2:15:12
Val Stuart 2:51:26
Thanks to Bryan Dale for the following.
Awaiting report but here are the times.
|157||Michelle Fox||44.26||2nd L35|
|229||Chris Skellern||46.55||2nd L50|
|416||Marie-Claire D’arcy- Barron||51.24||pb|
Greater Manchester Marathon
by Mark Bentley
Manchester was where it all began for me marathon-wise, nearly 13 years ago when I ran the old marathon course with ex-Harrier Dave Constance back in October 2000. That course started at Heaton Park and took you through the city centre and places like Longsight and Belle Vue before finishing in Wythenshawe Park.
This new course is a completely different kettle of fish, though. It is officially Britain’s flattest marathon, with only a slight hill at Altrincham to contend with. The course starts just south of Old Trafford, loops around Salford Quays, and passes Manchester United’s stadium before heading along the Chester Road through Sale and Timperley to Altrincham, where the course doubles back on itself before heading briefly out into the countryside at Carrington. After Carrington, the course heads back inwards via Flixton, Urmston, and Stretford before finishing in the Race Village back at Old Trafford.
So, on to the race. After breakfasting at 6am in my hotel (Premier Inn Old Trafford), I made the short trek to the Race Village in one of the car parks at the Old Trafford football stadium, literally a stone’s-throw away. It was here that I bumped into the Harriers’ own Mancunian, Karen Murray, who was raised in Urmston and knows the Trafford area very well. We chatted for a bit and Karen went over to the Cancer Research tent as she was running for them. Someone took a picture of us in front of the stadium, then it was time to dump our bags and make all the necessary toilet trips before the start. There was a keen wind and this was all the more noticeable as Old Trafford is situated on top of a hill. Deciding to throw caution to the wind, I opted to run in vest and shorts, albeit with gloves on as I get cold hands.
We were then marched the short distance to the start on the A56 Chester Road, congregating under a bridge with the word ‘Trafford’ emblazoned on it in massive capitals. Running legend Ron Hill made a short speech then we had 26 seconds of silence followed by 26 seconds of applause in memory of the Boston Marathon victims. The race director then wound up the Red section of the field by announcing “There’s two football teams in Manchester. City and City Reserves!”. Cue boos from the United fans present (including Karen, presumably!). Then we were off…
Down the Chester Road we went, doubling back on ourselves and soon heading downhill into Salford Quays where we passed the Imperial War Museum North, doubling back on ourselves again before turning a corner and passing my hotel at 4 miles and Old Trafford before heading southwest along the Chester Road towards Sale. It was quite a long drag towards Sale and there was a bit of a headwind along this stretch but once we had passed under the M60 and turned left at 7 miles crowd support picked up rapidly with hundreds lining the route at Sale and continuing towards Timperley. Heading towards Timperley, the crowd support was great. I remember someone shouting “Great running, Big Man!” at me (oh the irony!).
At Timperley, there was a very welcome isotonic drink station (the drink was banana flavour, I think), before we headed towards Altrincham town centre and the aforementioned small hill. Going into Altrincham, I saw Adam Morris coming the other way, leading the Harriers home, so I cheered him on. Leon Stringer was at the top of the hill in the town centre, cheering the Harriers on. At least he didn’t get soaked to the skin like I did last year, watching the race at Altrincham. Shortly after the halfway mark, I was passed by Paul Higginson, and then the isotonic drink station made a welcome reappearance. I saw Karen Murray heading into Timperley just as I was coming out, so we both high-fived each other and encouraged each other on.
Leaving Timperley, we followed the route back as far as Sale, where a sharp left-hand turn was taken through more suburbs until the next isotonic drinks station was reached at 19 miles. Another sharp left shortly afterwards saw us leaving suburbia behind and heading towards open countryside around Carrington. This section was the loneliest part of the course as support was sparse here, and I saw one or two disillusioned souls walking at around the 20 mile mark. Suburbia was reached again at Flixton, and Karen’s family spotted me at the 21 mile mark so I waved back to them. By 22 miles my legs were tiring and the energy gel station at Urmston was most welcome, as we headed under the M60 again towards Stretford. Here I was passed by a Newcastle (Staffs) runner who encouraged me on. He wasn’t the only other Staffordshire runner I saw, because several Trentham RC runners and my old NSRRA friend Rob Mottram-Jones were also competing.
After the final isotonic drinks station at 24 miles, we rounded the corner at Stretford for the final slight climb back up the Chester Road to Old Trafford. At the top of the slope, a sharp left was taken at the Ford dealership into Sir Matt Busby Way for a quick sprint to the finish line at the Race Village. Adam and Paul had led the Harriers home both with PB times, followed by myself, Martin Moore and our only lady Harrier present, Karen Murray. Karen had good reason to be pleased as she got a new PB, taking over 5 minutes off her previous best, whilst for Adam it was his first marathon (I don’t know whether it was Paul’s first marathon or not).
Harriers positions and chip-times were as follows:
|354th||Adam Morris||3:10:46 PB|
|894th||Paul Higginson||3:27:31 PB|
|2764th||Karen Murray||4:03:06 PB|
The men’s winner was Dave Norman (Unattached) in 2:20:19, whilst the ladies’ winner was Issy Menzies (Edinburgh AC) in 2:38:51. There were 4985 finishers (including Ron Hill) out of a field of around 7000. You got a decent sized medal and a nice black Brooks technical t-shirt for finishing.
After wolfing down the banana and cereal bar out of my goody bag, I got changed and headed back to the hotel for a well-deserved bath and a slap-up meal (as part of the ‘Meal Deal’ I ordered when I booked). That evening at the end of the sports section on the local BBC news bulletin, Ron Hill was interviewed and he said he was pleased how the marathon had gone and could see it getting bigger over the coming years. Let’s hope so!
On a personal note, the weekend had gone swimmingly for me as this was the first time I’d run a marathon and made all the travel and accommodation arrangements myself, as opposed to being part of a group. I also know I did the right thing by staying overnight after the marathon, and travelling back on the Monday morning as I felt so much better for having a Full English breakfast after a good night’s sleep. I’ll definitely be back next year, especially as they closed the 2014 London Marathon ballot 2 hours after opening.
So if you don’t get into the London Marathon for whatever reason, don’t despair. It’s not the end of the world or the be-all-and-end-all. Give this one a go, it’s a fast flat course with plenty of PB potential. You won’t be disappointed.
|SPRING TREBLE BARLASTON UP AND DOWNS|
|2nd Russell Barron 30-19|
|9th Phil Hilsdon 32-12|
|16th Paul Bosson 33-34|
|21st Alan Griffin 35-32|
|22nd Adam Morris 35-32|
|26th Alan Cook 36-07|
|35th Joe Atherton 37-56|
|40th Michelle Fox 39-02 1st L35|
|42nd Jim Smith 39-20|
|43rd Andy Bourne 39-21|
|45th Mark Oliver 39-49|
|46th Tracey Jones 39-52 1st L40|
|50th Eddie Smith 40-18|
|53rd Chris Elsley 40-47|
|58th Chris Skellern 41-35 1st L50|
|60th Chris Pearce 41-46|
|61st Shelley Burns 41-49|
|62nd Craig Baxter 41-53|
|70th Liz Stanyer 43-09|
|72nd Sandra Smith 43-20 1st L45|
|76th Bill Chidlow 44-24 1st M65|
|79th Steve Turner 44-32|
|81st Jane Bisiker 45-06|
|82nd Esther Batho 45-08|
|94th Joanne Oliver 48-29|
|96th Liz Cook 49-02|
|97th Chelsie Cook 49-18|
|103rd Julie Noakes 49-46|
|111th Mike Jones 52-07|
|116th Amanda Pearce 55-23|
|121st Stuart Fowlie 58-11|
|122nd Mike Moore 61-07|
|124th Sara Broome 62-18|
|Place overall||Name||Finish time|
|196||Hollinshead, Chris||02:40:40 pb|
|874||Vaughan, Steve||02:55:28 pb|
|11426||Baxter, Craig||04:02:09 pb|
|33479||EVANS, FRANK C||06:49:06|
|33510||Law, Ellen Mary||06:50:32|
Our first report from Darren Mattocks.
Having previously shown no intention of ever running a marathon I am glad I paid no attention to myself what so ever. This event has got to be one of the most amazing experiences any runner can go through. The whole set up and organisation was fantastic. Registration was a simple affair and as Julie and I were on the one night County club trip we took time to look around the expo and ended up bumping into and chatting to Tony Audenshaw (Bob from Emmerdale).
I was fairly nervous so sleep for me on the Saturday was virtually none existence. Breakfast was a struggle as my stomach was churning and didn’t start to settle until we arrived at the blue start area where Steve Vaughan and myself met up with Neil Martin. Time seemed to fly here and after getting dressed, dropping off kit back and queuing for the loo it was over to the start where I had been put in pen 6. As I was so far back it was difficult to hear the announcement of the 30 second silence so most around me who were unaware kept chatting. Then we were off, I was pleasantly surprised it only took about 4 minutes to reach the start line and even though I was adamant I was going to stick to my plan of a nice steady pace due to the congestion even this proved difficult. Before I knew it we had come along side the red route and there was some amusing booing on both sides. I caught sight and gave Frank Evans a quick hello before pushing on and a little further up saw the only celebrity in Cheryl Baker (The more younger Harriers will not remember her). The miles seemed to fly by as I was really getting in with the crowds. The support was fantastic and I had great fun high fiving all the kids along the route. Cutty Sark crowds were really uplifting and loud but before I knew it I was going along Tower Bridge. Wow what a sight again fantastic crowds all cheering. Really great to hear people shout your name out or on several occasions for me “Nice Afro , “Go crazy wig guy” Must of been something to do with the yellow wig I was wearing. Got to see some of the elite going away from Canary Wharf as I was going towards Isle of Dogs. Saw and thanks to Andy Bourne for the encouragement here. Isle of Dogs and Canary Wharf seemed to go on for ever but the crowds were very noisy the bands loud and the atmosphere electric. Although I wasn’t struggling I had managed to keep a good consistent pace I knew approaching mile 20 that the hard work was still to come. All my previous niggles had not appeared but the forefoot of my left foot was hurting but somehow you just ignore it and push on.I was amazed by the quantity of people who were walking or at the side of the road receiving treatment, I had managed to run all this way without stopping or walking and wanted to finish that way. It was then my turn to be running away from Isle of Dogs and saw there was still loads of runners going towards it. Then another welcome sight in the crowds from some Harriers who I swiftingly went over and high fived them all. Thanks to Ed, Tracey, Liz and Steph. Sorry if I missed anyone. Now I only had 4 miles to go, this was becoming a struggle so it was now more focus, head down and finish the job. I was starting to really feel the pain towards Embankment but knew that somewhere around mile 25 I would see Julie so started to look into the crowds for her. My word there was thousands here, the noise from the crowd unbelievable but the more I looked and didn’t see Julie the more I struggled until I heard out of all that noise “DARREN!!!!!” looked up and almost falling off Hungerford bridge was Julie waving. This was the last boost I needed so with the end in sight and the thought of a possible sub 4 finish somehow I started to go faster. My Garmin was telling me I was bang on target for the 4 hours finish I was hoping and had planned for. The crowds along Birdcage walk were by now whipping up the runners how they manage to keep shouting I will never know. I was now overtaking people at a phenomenal rate, You got this, You can finish this strong I kept telling myself. I was that much in the zone I didn’t even notice Buckingham Palace. I looked at my Garmin that was now saying 26.1m and as it went to 26.2m the time showed 3.59 but I still had a little was to go. I saw the signs for 800m to go, then 600m to go then the final right turn and the finish line in sight I put all I had left and crossed that finish line arms in the air and a massive sigh of of relief. It took me some time to compose myself and hobble to meet Julie in Trafalgar Square. My time was a very respectable 4.01:21. Somewhere along the route I picked up an extra 0.3 miles. My only tip is once you finish keep moving, don’t stop or sit down as the moment I slumped down for a rest I cramped in several places which was very unpleasant. But having done it and had chance to reflect on the event and the pain would I do it again…… Oh yes I would, pain is temporary and I would love to do this again.
Report from Steven Vaughan
I was so frustrated at missing out on a sub 3 by 12 seconds last Autumn that I was determined to put it right this time. This would be my 4th marathon, but my first time at London. Having put 16 weeks of hard work into my training, I was feeling quite nervous the week leading up to the race. I was pleased to find when I registered at the Expo that I had been placed in pen 1, which would give me the best possible start and hopefully allow me to get up to race pace quickly.
As I was on the County Club trip, we were taken to start by coach and arrived about 8.15. I made my way to the blue start and from then time went very quickly. The race was finally on the way. It had taken only 20 seconds to cross the start line and I was up to pace no problem. Just before the 1 mile marker I felt a tap on the shoulder, Ian Talbot had spotted me 30 yards in front of him and decided to catch me up for a chat. We probably ran together for 5 miles or so. I was feeling good at this stage. I stuck to the my pace through half way (1.25 ish) still feeling good. It wasn’t long after that I heard the screams of Liz and Tracey (I couldn’t here anyone else, although I know Ed and Andy was with them). Always a great boost to see a familiar face. It was approaching 18 miles or so that mentally I started to struggle. I kept my pace going but it was starting to get warm. I went through 20 mile in 2.11 and at this point I thought surely I couldn’t flag that much that I would fall outside 3 hours. Between 21-22 miles I caught the first glimpse of my family, which gave me a great lift (they had seen me earlier apparently) and again the screams of Liz and co. From about 22 miles was a real struggle. I was getting cramping sensations all over the place and had no choice but to slow the pace a little. Gradually the cramping sensations were more frequent until the last mile where my pace had slowed even more, not by choice. The finish line was in sight and I finally crossed it in 2.55.28. All the hard work had paid off.
The support around the course is unbelievable and a race I would recommend to anyone. Now to put my feet up for a few more days
Report by Lisa Percox
I joined the the Stafford Harriers as it promoted itself as catering for runners of all ages and abilities. Little did I expect that it would be home to a male runner coming in the top 1% of finishers in this years Virgin London Marathon. I would like to congratulate Chris Hollinshead on his fantastic performance, finishing 196th out of some 37,000 runners in an incredible time of 2.40.40. I enjoyed watching this years race on the TV and monitoring the progress of many Harriers on my laptop and was proud to see them all finish. Well done to all Harriers who took part, whether it was a pb or not, it is an amazing achievement.
SPRING TREBLE- MILFORD MURDER
Awaiting report but it looks like Ed was enjoying Wolves goal from the day before.
Stafford Harriers Press report
14th April 2013 (from Bill Whitworth)
Thursday 11th April saw the start of The Stone Master Marathoners’ Spring treble Challenge which sees runners take part in three events over three weeks through off road parklands each one covering a distance of 5 miles. The first event was the Hanchurch Hilly, which takes the runners over a mix of winding paths, woodland tracks and hills with a sting in the tail in the form of. A total of 39 Stafford Harriers participated and the men were led home by Phil Hilsden who took 9th place followed by Mark Bridgewood 11th,Chris Ross 19th and Paul Bosson 20th. Michele Rushton-Fox led the ladies’ challenge in 5th place, 6th was Tracey Jones, 8th Chris Skellern and 13th Shelley Burns. On the 18th the action moves to Milford, before the final event in Barlaston on the 25th.
On Sunday 14th a contingent of 44 Harriers travelled to Newcastle under Lyme for the Newcastle 10k event. Although this is the first time the race has been run as a 10K, its predecessor the Newcastle 7 was prominent in the race calendar for 40 total of years. The course has been changed in order to remove the section at Garners Crossroads, making it safer for both competitors and marshals. This popular road race forms part of the North Staffs Road Runners League and is one of the longest running races in the North Staffordshire area.
The event was won by Carl Moulton of the Boalloy Running Club in a time of 00:34:31 and first lady runner was Cheadle AC’s Marie Atkins 00:40:35. First Harrier home was Phillip Hilsdon, 15th runner overall with a time of 00:38:17 and special mention must be made of 15year old Joe Smith competing in his first ever 10K and coming home as 9th placed Harrier, in a very creditable 00:44:29 and taking 92nd place in a total field of 416 starters.
First lady Harrier was Chris Skellern 00:46:41 hotly pursued by teammate Tracey Jones 00:46:44. This was also a welcome back to road racing for Sara Broome 01:11:38 after a broken leg forced her to a lay-off of 18months.
REPORT BY Mike Jones.
On the first mild Sunday of the year, but a bit windy, which made running a little harder, with the grind of the hill from 1 mile to 3 miles not a course for pb’s, but six Harriers achieved this excellent achievement.
First home for the Harriers was Phil Hilsdon, a minute ahead of Mark Bridgwood and Nathan Sabin, the only Harriers to break forty minutes, two Harriers were in the prizes, Paul Douglas 1st M60 and Chris Skellern 1st L50, the Harriers that got pb’s are Ian Hodkinson 41-31, Mark White 44-30, Adam Morris 45-24, Shelley Burns 49-59, Chelsie Cook 57-27 and Julie Nokes 57-45.
15th Phil Hilsdon 38-17 243rd Gill Hodkinson 51-58
28th Mark Bridgwood39-11 245th Angela Brooks 52-01
29th Nathan Sabin 39-18 264th Liz Stanyer 53-19
49th Paul Douglas 41-21 1st M60 270th Marie-Claire Darcy-Barron 53-37
51st IanHodkinson 41-31 PB 271st Jane Bisiker 53-39
67th Alan Griffin 42-54 288th Karen Murray 55-07
68th Neil Martin 42-55 291st Karen Sabin 55-26
73rd Alan Cook 43-19 298th Joanne Oliver 56-01
92nd Joe Smith 44-29 303rd Mike Jones 56-22
93rd Mark White 44-30 PB 311th Darren Taylor 56-45
115th Allan Griffin 45-24 PB 316th Gael Earp 57-12
134th Mark Bentley 46-23 317th Liz Cook 57-24
138th Chris Skellern 46-41 1st L50318th Chelsie Cook 57-27PB
139th Tracey Jones 46-44 323rd Julie Nokes 57-45 PB
161st Jim Smith 47-32 344th Karen DMurray 58-57
164th Chris Elsley 47-36 358th John Hateley 60-47
168th Craig Baxter 47-48 360th Bill Whitworth 60-51
179th Eddie Smith 48-27 368th Charlotte Wark 61-28
189th Mark Oliver 48-54 380th Stuart Fowlie 63-16
206th Shelley Burns 49-59 PB 390th Suzanne 0’Farrell 64-18
221st Bill Chidlow 51-00 391st Rachel Marsden64-50
229th Steve Turner 51-16 397th George Singh 65-45
231st Charlotte Vernon51-26 408th Mike Moore 69-08
237th Esther Batho 51-47 411th Sara Broome 71-38
1st SPRING TREBLE
Awaiting report but here are the times.
Philip Hilsdon 32.48
Mark Bridgwood 33.02
Chris Ross 34.08
Paul Bosson 34.06
Alan Griffin 35.04
Alan Cook 35.38
Ian Hodgkinson 36.14
Joe Atherton 38.04
Michell Fox 38.39
Tracy Jones 38.49
Jim Smith 38.50
Mark Oliver 39.09
Chris Pearce 39.34
Mark Bentley 39.39
Andy Bourne 39.45
Eddie Smith 40.03
Chris Skellern 40.09
Craig Baxter 40.36
Chris Elsley 41.17
Shelley Burns 42.04
Steve Turner 43.13
Adam Morris 43.15
Fred Chidlow 43.15
Liz Stanyer 43.31
Gill Hodgkinson 43.43
Sandra Smith 43.47
Angela Brookes 44.29
Esther Batho 44.49
Jane Bisiker 45.06
Graham Williams 46.26
Liz Cook 48.22
Joe Oliver 49.00
Chelsie Cook 49.01
Karen Murray 49.16
Julie Nokes 50.03
Mick Jones 50.26
Stuart Fowlie 53.36
Rachel Marsden 53.41
Amanda Pearce 55.47
Mick Moore 56.29
Sara Broome 60.23
Bobbie Phillips 60.34
A TALE OF TWO CITIES
The 26.2 mile course for the 37th Paris Marathon is almost a loop, starting and finishing near the iconic Arc de Triomphe, on the Champs-Elysées and the first mile of the race passes along the wide avenue, giving the thousands of runners plenty of room to maneuver. Passing countless Paris landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral, the route also follows the River Seine for part of the race, providing calming scenery for all of the runners. Lone Harrier, Rachel Davis made the journey to take part in this event and recorded a time of 04:33:02. Overall winner of the event was Kenyan runner Peter Some in 02:05:37, a personal best over the distance while winner of the ladies’ event was Ethiopian Boru Tadese, 02:21:05.
Meanwhile in the shadow of another Tower, this time in Blackpool, fellow Harrier Chris Owen found the scenery of the Blackpool Marathon less exciting as he ran the mostly flat course for this event. Over two laps, starting and finishing at Blackpool FC, Chris had been hoping for a personal best time, but in the end clocked 03:12:42 which he attributed to running mostly on the unforgiving concrete and tarmac surfaces. Tipton Harriers runner Steve Brookes won this event in a time of 02:37:16 almost 6 minutes ahead of second place runner, Simon Brace. First lady home in this event was Carla Jenkins of Bedford Harriers in a time of 03:21:50.