Race Report April to June 2015


Gnosall Carnival 10k

– part of the Fourmidables multi-terrain race series
Saturday 20th June 2015

Report by Mel Deakin

The last race in the Fourmidables series of four races took us to Gnosall. The race was also part of the Harriers challenge and there were 24 Harriers running in a field of 179.

If you want to run a race that has a lot in it, then this one is for you. The course started at the cricket club and over the next 10k we ran over wood decking, track, trail, field, path and road. Up and down a few hills. Up and down some steps – a first for me in a race. Stiles, mud, and one particular section was so wet it was like a bog. We started in the middle of a heavy shower, but by the end it was bright sunshine. We finished at the school playing field where the carnival was taking place, ie a different place to the start – another first for me. All I can say it was quite an experience. I am glad I did it but I was extremely pleased to see the finish line. And even more pleased to have completed my first race series with fellow harriers, Michelle, Sara and Ralph.

Michelle Fox was first lady home in a time of 45:47.

Robin Sedman-Smith from Newport running club was first home in a time of 38:13.

Other Harriers:

Name Time
Kev Darby 42:50
Steve Copnall 43:26
Jim Smith 45:24
Spencer Holland 45:46
Michelle Fox 45:47
Ian Hodkinson 45:54
Darren Mattocks 49:04
Mark Oliver 49:35
Chris Skellern 53:15
Ralph Wedlock 53:34
Mark Bentley 54:47
Dave Mantle 56:14
Anne Coghlan 57:20
Shelley Burns 57:27
Eamon Dennis 57:39
Jane Bisiker 58:48
Melonie Deakin 59:12
Debbie McDermott 60:01
Caryl Gibson 62:19
Joseph Atheron 62:20
Joanne Oliver 64:25
Tina Darby 64:56
Julie Nokes 66:37
Sara Broome 82:34


Fourmidables Series results – Stafford Harriers:

Top female finishers:

1st. Michelle Fox 400 points

Female vet 35-39

1st. Michelle Fox 400 points

Female vet 45-49

1st. Melonie Deakin 400 points

3rd. Sara Broome 388 points

Male vet 55-59

2nd. Ralph Wedlock 391 points.


Stone St Michaels 10K


Mark Bridgwood was the first Harrier home in the Stone St Michaels 10k which took place in Stone last Sunday morning.

Mark finished 28th overall, coming home in 38:05. He was closely followed by Richard Rea (38:37) in what must have been a relaxing morning out for him following his performance in the Ironman a week earlier.

Tracey Jones was the first Harrier lady to finish in a time of 42:19 while Chris Skellern (46:41) took her age group prize.

The race was won by Ben Gamble of Tipton Harriers in 32:33 with Katie Parry (Leeds City AC) taking the ladies race in 37:19.

Other Harrier times (provisional) were:

Ian Wood (41:17),

Billy Liggins (45:07),

Darren Mattocks (45:29),

Tracy Ridings (45:36),

Jack Hodkinson (46:04),

Kev Darby (46:21),

Ian Dale (46:21),

Paul Morris (47:56),

Alan Jones (48:10),

Nia Nokes (48:42),

Caitlin Gomersall (48:55),

John Gomersall (48:56),

Paul Dunlavey (49:23),

Zoe Marklew (50:50),

Georgina Collins (50:53),

Karen Murray (51:54),

Bill Chidlow (51:55),

Richard Davies (52:57),

Gael Earp (55:05),

Wendy Sears (55:42),

Joanne Watson (56:14),

Bill Whitworth (59:05),

Julie Nokes (60:11),

Annabel Evans (65:15),

Karen Jones (67:02), T

ina Payne (72:00),

Sarah Humphreys (75:11)


Newport Carnival 10k

part of the Fourmidables multi terrain race series

Saturday 13th June 2015


Report Mel Deakin
Race three out of four in this series took us just over the Staffordshire Shropshire border to Newport. This race starts and finishes on the edge of the town at the playing fields of Adams Grammar School. My prerace worries about it possibly being too hot were unfounded as on the day it was cool and pouring with rain.
The fun run was a lap of the playing fields, just under a mile. Both Ben Deakin and Thomas Deakin were representing the Harriers. Ben won the race running well in the conditions, particularly at the end when sprinting up the home straight to finish first in a time of 5:01. Thomas finished mid field and was pleased with his time.
The main race started at 11:45. The rain was still pouring down and whilst it wasn’t cold, the rain looked set in but nothing I could do about it or about choice of clothes and shoes now! At first we ran a lap of the playing field, before joining the road towards the centre of Newport, and then ran along the high street where some of the carnival was being held. We then hit a long steady climb, a bit like the Monday night training runs through Burton Manor/Coppenhall. First water station, then we went off road and followed some track then went into a potato field. Here is where the fun with the mud started! I have been told this part of the course is usually dry and you can keep up a good pace, but today it was muddy and slippy in places, trail shoes rather than racing shoes would have been fab at this point. To add insult to injury for me, aside from being soaked to the skin and splattered in mud, my Garmin watch which is my comfort blanket locked up so I had no idea of my pace. Another water station, then back on the tarmac road to Longford, and a lap of the playing fields to finish.
Well done to all the Harriers that took part. It was great to talk to everyone at the end and to see Michelle collect her prize for third place.
This was a well organised and marshalled race. I think the course is good, and the easiest of the three in the series so far, it was just made a bit more challenging due to the heavy rain. I know I looked like a miserable drowned rat at the end of this race and I didn’t run the time I wanted to, but I did learn a lot from it and would like to run it again next year when hopefully it won’t be as wet – maybe it will be just as challenging if it is hot! One thing is for sure I will be investing in some waterproof mascara!


The race was won by Chris Davies from Telford AC in a time of 33:43. First lady home was Claire Martin from Telford AC in a time of 36:23.


Harriers results:

35th Harry Perkins 40:17
46th Spencer Holland 41:47
55th and 3rd Lady Michelle Fox 42:58
86th Graham Young 46:36
97th Chris Skellern 48:16
104th Ralph Wedlock 49:08
120th Anne Coghlan 51:13 PB
130th Melonie Deakin 53:10
187th Sara Broome 72:20

Westbridge 5


Report Chris Elsley

A little more local, last Sunday saw 19 Harriers compete in the Westbridge 5 organised by Stone Master Marathoners.

Beginning at Stone’s Westbridge Park Leisure Centre, the course takes runners along the canal towpath into Aston, a short section along the A34 before runners return to Westbridge via the canal path once more.

Harriers times were:

Steve Vaughan (23rd 31:13)

Andrew Locke (46th 34:00)

Ian Wood (47th 34:06)

Jim Smith 58th (35:03)

Tracey Jones (60th 35:18)

Darren Mattocks (67th 36:20)

Mark Bentley (81st 37:30)

Liz Stanyer (84th 37:48)

Chris Skellern (87th 37:57)

Tracey Ridings (94th 38:32)

Alan Jones (109th 41:08)

Karen Murray (114th 42:35)

Melonie Deakin (115th 42:42)

Ed Smith (117th 43:03)

Fred Chidlow (119th 43:05)

Angela Brookes (136th 45:03)

Gael Earp (142nd 45:55)

Bill Whitworth (160th 49:42)

Julie Nokes (164th 50:23)


The race was won by Trentham’s Simon Myatt (27:35) while another Trentham runner, Mandy Vernon (30:25) was the first lady back.



Wincle Trout



Report by Sara Broone


14 Harriers made the trip to Danebridge near Wincle for the annual Wincle Trout Fell race. This race starts and finishes at three different places and having done the other two starts, I can confirm that this one is by far the hardest. The main part of the race is the same every year and includes a river crossing and a long climb up to a hanging rock. Styles and muddy climbs and desents also make up a part of this race. You might be asking what makes this one the hardest…it was the hill in the field that we could see at the start of the race and has to be tackled twice, after about half a mile and then again at the end. What you don’t really see from the start side is how far down it goes on the other side, the lady Belle Vue ru nner behind me took one look at it and dropped out of the race! It was the first time in a race when I have had to stand back to let a herd of stampeding cows and sheep pass me on one section of the course. Slightly scarey as three of them headed straight for me.

Race was won by Karl Darcy of Bolton United Harriers in 39:52
First lady Helen Murray of Knutsford Tri in 48:44



Report Chris Elsley

The popular Wincle Trout run took place recently with 14 Stafford Harriers literally running for their dinner!

The course includes some steep and rough ground along with a few slippery paths … and a river crossing!

The 9km fell run in the Dane Valley near Macclesfield forms part of the Wincle Fete and begins with a nice downhill section.

There’s a couple of short climbs before another descent to the River Dane crossing before runners take to an undulating track to Gradbach. A climb up through the woods and on to Hanging Stone before a downhill section across fields and through the wood to Danebridge, before another river crossing (this time on a bridge). With a downhill start then it’s almost inevitable that you get an uphill finish and that’s what greeted the runners before they were able to claim their dinner – a fresh trout!



Harriers finishing times

25 Mark Bridgewood 47:05
48 Jim Smith 50:08
73 Michelle Fox 52:24
78 Alan Griffin 52:49
92 Tracey Jones 54:15 1st LV40
100 Darren Mattocks 55:29
142 Dave Mantle 60:10
150 Liz Stanyer 60:40
185 Mark White 64:56
196 Jane Bisiker 66:16
197 Sandra Smith 66:49
248 Caryl Gibson 74:21
249 Joe Atherton 74:21
285 Sara Broome 97:52


Prizes were presented by Ann Packer – Gold medal winning Olympian


One junior was brave enough to tackle the junior race.

8th Hannah T albot 19:39 1st Female



The Red Rose LDWA 100

23 to 25 May 2015


Report Jill Ross.
Just over 11 years ago Chris my hubby was browsing the computer and mentioned an organisation called the Long Distance Walkers Association whose flagship event was a 100 mile walk held on May Bank holiday weekend every year.
We decided to have a go, after all I had run a few marathons by then and considered myself fit , and it would be easier to walk and a weekend away. A week after the event I managed to put shoes on again and could only hobble to the local shop.
Here we were though about to try and complete our 10th hundred on the start line in Rivington Lancashire , as each year the event is held in different parts of the country and I had by chance spoken to a man after completing our 1st hundred who had shown me a little cloth badge he had been awarded on completion of his 10th, my mind was set that I was going to earn one of those badges! As the events require navigation I suggested to Chris that he would be required as I find it is generally a man thing to be able to read maps and take compass bearings so it would probably be best if he did the events also, needless to say he was thrilled.
Most of the events are circular, just over a 100 miles in distance and can be run, walked and jogged with 48 hours to complete with route descriptions and maps to guide you to allocated checkpoints run by various LDWA groups. So off we set 10am on the Saturday morning with our rucksacks containing the compulsory kit required and yes there is a check on route and disqualifications are carried out.
The weather was good and we set off towards a completion by being clipped at 14 checkpoints and 4 self clips strategically placed on route to ensure the full distance is covered. I soon found out that Lancashire is hillier than I thought covering 12,162 FT of ascent during the weekend and clambering over the rumoured 200+ styles became difficult as more distance had been covered.
The main climb of the event was Pendle Hill at about 30 miles in at 1,827FT and luckily we descended whilst still light as the path was rocky and wet, a familiar format which seemed to be the Lancashire tracks. We had a good night section as it had been sunny in the afternoon so visability was good using the headtorch and Dawn broke before 5am. We then had a few hours of heavy rain so full body waterproofs were required and wet feet were inevitable as going over Longridge Fell on the southern edge of the Forest of Bowland was extremely boggy. In the afternoon the weather brightened and on Sunday at 5pm we arrived at the Staffordshire checkpoint at a distance of 89.8 miles. Oatcakes with cheese were on offer, how could they be refused and we set off on our last 10 miles.
I have to mention all the LDWA members at the various checkpoints for as time goes by people start getting in a mess. They deal with everything from blisters, sickness, tiredness and the sinking low feeling that comes at the realisation of the toughness of the event. They offer food, advice, painkillers and do their best to help folks complete as most have been in the situation themselves. So as the Rivington Reservoir came into view and light was fading I knew I was going to complete my 10th hundred. I was in pain, my feet were blistered (this had only happened on my 1st hundred & thanks to Brian Langstons advice on foot care it hadn’t been a problem since), the terrain had been very hard however & I had the pain of blisters & was bone weary.
On entering the headquarters are tallies were taken & checked and there was the usual round of applause and congratulatory comments. The icing on the cake however was to be awarded my 10th completion badge – I had covered 1000 miles on foot in parts of the country from Scotland to Cornwall and I had earned my very own 10th hundred completer badge!
A few statistics on the event
503 started ranging from 18 years to 82 years
369 completed with 1st at a time of 23Hrs 40 mins and the last finisher with a time of 47Hrs 25mins
Chris & I finished together with a time of 34Hrs 52mins in position 110th.


Godalming 10k

17 May 2015



Report by Graham Williams

For the second week running I raced in the sun, though at 16 degrees this was some 10 degrees cooler than Dubrovnik. As a warm up I did the 1k with my four year old grandson Reuben while his six year old brother Gabriel ran with his father Shane while Sue and their mother Caroline watched. The start was a bit chaotic with children parents and grandparents milling about and then we had to listen to Lady Mayor. Once the race started Reuben was not really interested in running preferring to watch everybody else while his brother raced off. Because of the congestion and uneven surface there were a few casualties with some tears and sore knees. The course was a loop round the local park. Once he saw his mother Reuben decided to run and was rewarded with a medal, bottle of water and banana.

The 5/10k started together at 11.00 when it was beginning to get quite warm. Once the race started we stopped after some fifty yards due to congestion getting out of the park and stopped several times before we ran along a narrow sandy path next to the river which was very pretty but also very slow resulting in the first mile taking me nearly twelve minutes.

The route then took us up a steep hill to Charterhouse school where we did a couple of circuits of the playing fields before entering the woods. This was where I did the Charterhouse Challenge last year and consisted of endless undulations with many tree roots which had been marked in yellow. A short road section followed and then another off-road section before we followed the river back towards the start. Then when you could hear the finishing loud speaker we did a loop which included a cruel hill where lots of people were walking. The finish was across a small field back to the local park.

The race was well organised and people were very friendly and the three races attracted over six hundred entrants and I enjoyed running with the family though frustrated with the early congestion, though I have since learned that next year they will do an initial loop of the park to spread the field.

Macgregor Cox Aldershot Farnham and District 36.41 First Male

Katie Wills Sevenoaks Athletics Club 45.16 First Lady

Shane Waverley Harriers 42.36 19th 3rd 30-39

Me 58.17 204th First 70-79 First Stafford Harrier !!!

Caroline Waverley Harriers 1.05.17




apocalypse 50/100

16/17 May 2015


Report by Chris Owen

this is my first outing at doing a 100m. i was originally going to the 50 and save the 100 till next year but i had been recceing the course with some fellow runners who convinced i was fit enough to give it a bashit is based in carding mill valley church stretton and consists of 4 10m one off loops each with a different characteristics based on the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse of conquest,famine,war,death. it returns back to hq for end of 50 where you start your next section for the 100. it takes in corden hill,earls hill,stiperstones all of the wenlock edge and the long myn with over 4300m of elevation gain.started of very well first 50m went to plan in just 11hr, had a bowl of porridge which i couldn’t stomach, sorted out my ipod( which i discovered was flat),made sure spare batteries were assessable for head torch and gps units and headed of into unknown territory for my next 50,got to 60m checkpoint to a nice supprise i was 9th. next 18m were fine until my thighs started aching and having foot problems. at the death checkpoint the wheels started falling off. had no choice there was no running involved and also i was getting chaffing on my backside, getting over styles was getting worse, this was a part of the course i hadn’t recced and was having difficultly following the gpx route. eventually arrived back to the checkpoint where i was about to give up ,medics sorted my feet out and gave me some cream and members of my social running club (dirty daps muddy tracks) were manning the checkpoint and gave me good talking to. had a caffeine drink and set off for the last section. next 7m i was setting a fast walking pace until the caffeine started wearing off. the last 2m dropping off the long myn back to carding mill was pure agony this took me over 2 hour’s. so i did 80m in 18 hrs and last 20m took me over 10 hrs
winning time was 20 hrs 15mmine was 27hrs 48m 19th overallout of 58 starters 19dnf


Dubrovnik Half Marathon

10th May 2015


Report from Chris Ross

A Harrier party of twelve made the gruelling journey to Croatia for the inaugural Dubrovnik half marathon and after enduring a couple of harrowing days of good food, fine wines and relaxation, five of the group lined up outside torture central (The Hotel Croatia) for the traditional pre-race photo’s.
A swift Taxi journey took the intrepid five to the old town of Dubrovnik arriving about an hour and a half before the 10 o’clock start time, in good old Blighty this would have meant we could have enjoyed standing around in a nice damp field playing the trying to stay warm game or crowded into a school hall for a game of somewhere to sit with those adorable little chairs from primary school, sadly in Dubrovnik we had to make do with people watching from the warm Town hall steps, occasionally I was forced from my perch to take photographs for groups of excited young ladies and to pose for the local paparazzi, team vests attract attention in Croatia.

A few trips to the toilet later (two men’s and two women’s for a race aiming to attract 1000 runners made us grateful for our early arrival) followed by a quick warm up and we were lining up for the start. The pre-race weather prediction ( Weather conditions in May are ideal for running – with temperatures from 11 ° C to 16 ° C with a light breeze coming from the sea.) missed the mark by about + ten degrees and in the old city where there was no wind it felt extremely hot. The race started with a few twists and turns through the old streets and then we were outside the old town walls and facing a climb that lasted for about half 0.5 k ,the good thing was the sea breeze turned up and shade could be found. After about 2.5k a long downhill stretch led down to the new harbour where the cruise liners tie up and after 5k or so we went under a new looking suspension bridge to start a 12k out and back section up along a sea inlet. The “sea breeze” became hard work in places light cloud saved the worst of the sun but it still felt tough as the turnaround point approached. It was good to see the leaders on their way back the guy out front looked to be working hard whereas the guy in second looked like he was out for his morning jog .The turnaround came and went it was good to see the wife and the rest of the contingent looking ok. Jane Bisiker shouted across that I was in 35th spot and I was grateful for the encouragement I’d not thought to count myself.

Things changed on the way back to the city the cloud cleared and the shade diminished and as I went back under the bridge with about 5k to go I knew it was going to be a tough finish. I usually like a good hill but in these conditions I was dreading what I knew to be ahead and I think it was as bad as I imagined from about 18 to 19k we went up and up and up no shade no breeze just heat and hill. I slowed down then down again and waited for people to start passing me but no one did at the top it was just about finishing one foot in front of the other the finish when it did come was fantastic a long downhill with the old town wall in sight and at the bottom the Harriers supporters club were waiting to cheer us home into the city via a nice ramp through the gate and right up the centre of the main street .
I must admit to being a bit worried about the rest of the Harrier team as they can get a bit competitive and the way weather worked out meant the earlier finishers had the best of the conditions.
I’m glad to report everyone made it back safely and with some good performances on the day. Excellent water stations more marshals than runners, closed roads, drummers and a choir on the course beer and ice cream to round off the day.

Race winner Zdravko Misovic 1.22.36 pos 1 (morning jog)
First lady Ljubica Tonković 1.33.20 pos 15

Harrier Results
030 Chris Ross 1.40.02 (3rd male 50-54)
141 Jillian Ross 2.03.06
146 Jane Bisiker 2.03.37
162 Graham Williams 2.06.25 (1st male 70-74)
195 Brian Langston 2.15.41 (2nd male 70-74)
322 finished within 3.00.00 cut off




Market Drayton 10k

10 May 2015


Report by Chris Elsley

Around 60 members of Stafford Harriers among the 2,100 runners who completed the popular Market Drayton 10k race last Sunday.

The event, which was sold out more than three months ago, starts at The Grove School before winding its way through nearby housing estates and through the town centre. Runners head briefly out of town before making their way back to the school.


Several Harriers recorded personal bests on an ideal day for running.


Val Stuart picked up the Ladies over 70 prize after completing the course in 67 m 28 secs. First Harrier home was Phil Hilsdon (25th overall) in 35m 42s while Mark Bridgwood also got a top 100 place and broke 40 mins, coming home in 37m 49s.


Harriers times:


Pos Num Forename Surname Cat Perf ChipTime
25 1943 Phillip Hilsdon M35 76.34 00:35:42 PB
64 1946 Mark Bridgwood M40 73.60 00:37:49
129 1548 Paul Higginson M40 69.70 00:40:09 PB
131 2227 Keith Skelton M45 73.89 00:40:13
143 1046 Ian Hodkinson M40 69.90 00:40:37
185 1193 Jim Smith M45 71.58 00:41:28 PB
191 2260 Liam Duggan MS 64.66 00:41:26
195 1398 Dave Payling M45 71.38 00:41:32
196 94 Michelle Fox F35 74.15 00:41:33 PB
216 495 Alan Griffin M40 67.02 00:42:01
264 1048 Jack Hodkinson MJ 62.58 00:42:39
274 383 Ian Williams M45 67.41 00:42:55
288 1016 Mark Oliver M45 67.13 00:43:04 PB
313 849 David Panton M50 70.14 00:43:42
314 1032 Chris Elsley M45 66.85 00:43:42 PB
329 2371 Adam Morris MS 61.09 00:43:59
336 959 Ian Dale M40 62.81 00:44:03
425 2168 William Gray MS 58.24 00:45:44 PB
449 1409 Chris Skellern F50 74.19 00:46:30
476 1051 Kieran Mogey MJ 57.08 00:46:47
562 1047 Gill Hodkinson F40 66.05 00:47:55 PB
604 1753 Mike Evans M50 61.25 00:48:22
632 596 Liz Cook M45 59.78 00:48:02
647 916 Angela Brookes F35 62.36 00:49:08
659 1459 John Gomersall M40 56.81 00:48:34
660 1012 Alan Jones M45 59.40 00:49:14
661 1192 Sandra Smith F45 67.73 00:49:15
665 275 Alan Cook M45 59.38 00:48:52
666 2257 Chelsie Cook F55 71.68 00:48:52 PB
675 717 Paul Dunlavey M50 60.63 00:49:17 PB
708 2080 Shelley Burns FS 59.29 00:49:54
736 1017 Karen Murray F50 66.67 00:50:38 PB
786 896 Melonie Deakin F45 62.56 00:51:04
811 910 Sarah Johnson F40 60.50 00:51:31 PB
832 210 Sarah A Johnson F45 63.33 00:52:07
853 1154 Debbie McDermott F45 61.95 00:51:58
948 829 Karen D Murray F50 65.16 00:53:51
987 1015 Joanne Oliver F40 58.99 00:53:41
1076 2259 Becki Hollins F35 55.09 00:54:44 PB
1170 1924 Ruth Cragg FS 52.36 00:54:39
1182 271 Mark Guest M40 49.71 00:56:03
1213 1984 Rachel Darbey F45 57.00 00:56:32
1305 1050 Julie Mogey F35 51.97 00:57:59
1379 Rachel Marsden 00:58:32
1394 1057 Lindsey Foster F50 57.01 00:58:14
1511 1215 Stuart Fowlie M50 49.35 00:59:30
1513 320 Annabel Evans F45 54.93 00:59:56
1554 267 Alex Hill MS 43.40 01:00:23
1563 1058 Paul Foster M50 49.44 01:00:48
1587 1944 Karen Hilsdon F45 52.80 01:01:34 PB
1599 1240 Michael Jones M70+ 59.39 01:01:42
1619 1752 Marie Evans F45 51.74 01:02:01 PB
1642 857 Jo Probyn F40 48.84 01:01:51
1680 1299 Bill Whitworth M70+ 58.62 01:04:06
1693 1004 Hannah Lloyd F35 47.22 01:04:05
1703 1161 Gemma Gray FS 45.79 01:03:16 PB
1708 1383 Lindsay Ashforth F40 49.35 01:03:57
1826 2197 Karen Jones F50 50.05 01:06:23
1844 1018 Valerie Stuart F70+ 62.21 01:07:28
1845 612 Deborah Garcia F45 47.98 01:06:25 PB
1948 597 Sarah Gray F55 50.86 01:09:38
1962 311 Michael Bamber M50 42.44 01:10:04
1973 172 Sara Broome F50 47.11 01:10:12


Uttoxeter Half



No race report

The Harriers were first Lady team (14 Tracy Ridings 16 Chris Skellern 21 Gill Hodkinson 22 Angela Brookes) and eighth Man team.


Pos Num Name Time
34 181 Ian Hodkinson 1:32:54
39 198 Michael Dobson 1:33:25
52 227 Ian Wood 1:35:35
68 265 Christopher Ross 1:38:39
86 252 Chris Elsley 1:42:20
94 224 Spencer Holland 1:43:59
106 79 Darren Mattocks 1:45:52
108 117 Mark Bentley 1:46:10
125 113 Tracy Ridings 1:48:25
131 146 Chris Skellern 1:49:30
156 182 Gill Hodkinson 1:52:59
157 44 Angela Brookes 1:53:09
159 234 Craig Baxter 1:53:22
177 293 Natalie Godfrey 1:56:17
181 107 Eddie Smith 1:57:22
188 166 Karen Murray 1:58:59
189 216 Jillian Ross 1:59:16
193 17 Nigel Smith 2:01:28
211 54 Sarah Johnson 2:04:25
238 254 Sharon Orton 2:15:29
247 71 William Whitworth 2:20:53
264 50 Michael Jones 2:37:27
267 139 Frank Evans 3:05:14



Wednesday 6 May


Report by Chris Elsley

There were just two Harriers who ran this year’s DK10K, myself and Alan Jones. For me it was a first ever entry but, after having to fight my way through Wolverhampton’s rush hour traffic, I’m not sure whether I’ll do it again.

That’s not to say it wasn’t a good event. The organisation was good, from car parking at the start to collecting the goody bag at the end.

The race had (I am told) a new start as we were led out to the ‘Mile Flat’ some five mins walk from the Rugby Club HQ.

It was chip timed so no need for anyone to push to the front and I began at a steady pace, knowing that there was an incline early on in the race (there is a video of the route on You Tube).

I made good progress and was soon picking off runners ahead of me. I kept pushing on, down the country lanes along what is a relatively flat course. It’s got its bumps and dips but nothing too testing. The loop eventually brings you back to the Mile Flat and the home run back to the Rugby Club and finish line.

I chipped at exactly 45.00 finishing 126/645 with Alan coming home 234th in 48.57. The race was won by Phil Nicholls of Wolves & Bilston (30.40) with Catherine Holden (Tipton Harriers) first lady in 40.15




Lichfield Half



No race report




Name Cat Club Chip Time Finish Time
Stephen JACKSON M 40-44 STAFFORD HARRIERS 01:39:38 01:39:43
Ian WILLIAMS M 45-49 STAFFORD HARRIERS 01:47:59 01:48:05
David TAYLOR M 45-49 STAFFORD HARRIERS 01:54:34 01:55:02
Chris LAKIN M 40-44 STAFFORD HARRIERS 01:58:36 01:59:06
Lynn GEOGHEGAN F 50-54 STAFFORD 02:07:36 02:08:06
Shaun HOLT M 45-49 STAFFORD HARRIERS 02:10:57 02:11:39
Amanda TAYLOR F 35-39 STAFFORD HARRIERS 02:13:43 02:14:46



2015 Conti Lightening Run 12hour



Report Stuart Fowlie

The runners did assemble at the Conti Lightening 12hr off road race, touting for the greatest 12 hour challenge Catton Park had ever seen.

Some 570 runners had met up Made friendships, old and new. There was comradeship and banter and lots of encouragement, too.

It was a crisp and damp May morning as we prepared to do our run it didn’t matter who’d be best. The point was to have fun.

Our abilities may differ (Some were fast and some were not) But there was no lack of effort Cos we’re a dedicated and crazy lot.

So to the race, the rain came down and stayed for half the day, but 7 laps of sweat and effort 7 laps of ‘eyeballs out’ 7 laps of dedication of that there was no doubt.

As one by one we crossed the line our joy was not surpassed the cheers rang out to welcome home Each Runner, first to last.

Cos even though Jack, he was first we’re all winners, in a way Runners had come together: That was the spirit of the day.

We slapped each other on the back and had to all conclude it was a most successful day as we went off for some food (and a beer or two).

Somewhere in Ethiopia Athletes are training at a-pace In Europe and America They work hard to win a race. In Australia and Kenya they’re going all out for a win when they meet up in the final Next summer, in Rio de Janeiro.

Well they might win the Olympics But d’you know what I don’t care. For none of THEM can ever say “Conti Lightening 12 hour? Yes I was there!”


Solo Men (54 competitors) 1st Jack Blackburn 12 laps in 11hrs 56mins
Sole Women (26 competitors) 1st Laura Appleby 10 laps in 12hrs 14mins
Pairs Male (14 teams) 1st Team Kenyon & the Duck 14 laps in 1hrs 49mins
Pairs Female (8 teams) 1st Team Born to Run 11 laps in
Mixed Pairs (18 teams) 1st Team M&M 14 laps in 12hrs 31mins
Teams 5 Male (15 teams) 1st Team The Choir Boys 17 laps in 12hrs 42mins
Teams 5 Females (14 teams) 1st Team Birchfield Ladies 13 laps in 12hrs 09mins
Teams 5 Mixed (53 teams) 1st Team Whitchurch Whippets 15 laps in 12hrs 01min


Me I finished:


Stuart Fowlie placed 28th with a total of 7 laps 70km/44miles in a time of 11 hours 57mins 34secs


Sheriffhales Shuffle 7 mile race

part of the Fourmidables Multi Terrain Race Series –

3rd May 2015



Report Mel Deakin


Following on from the Lilleshall Monumental, this was the second race out of four in the Fourmidables series. Although I find off road running challenging, and a few months ago I would have thought myself mad for entering a race like this, I found myself looking forward to it….

Ben entered the fun run which started at 10am. It was a flat mile down a bumpy lane with a cattle grid in the middle! It was good to see a mix of runners, from very young to Ben’s age and older. As the race was just one mile, Ben’s tactic was to get to the front and stay there. He ran well and finished second.

The main race started at 11am from the village hall. We almost immediately went off the tarmac road and into fields. It rained heavily the night before which made parts of the course muddy, and the ground was soft which made it hard going. The one stile in the course came quite early on, then across more fields with a few ups and downs along the way. After a while, we ran through the grounds of the Lilleshall National Sports Centre. We were warned we would run past an archery competition, but the claxon still made me jump – and I definitely stuck to the path! The last mile or so of the course joined the road back to Sheriffhales, the latter part being a welcome downhill to the finish.

There is no doubt I found this race tough, my legs felt as if they had left me by the end. But just like Lilleshall, I would do this race again and recommend it to anyone. It was great to see the other Harriers, Michelle, Sara and Ralph all run well and we are doing well in the overall standings for the series. Roll on the third race, Newport on 13th June which I am led to believe is a return to mainly tarmac, my favouriteJ.



First man: Robin Sedman-Smith Newport Running Club 43:51.

First lady: Michelle Fox Stafford Harriers 51:27

Other Harriers:

Ralph Wedlock 63:52

Melonie Deakin 66:40

Sara Broome 96:45


Stafford Harriers series standings:

Top female: 1. Michelle Fox 200 points

Female Vet 35-39: 1. Michelle Fox 200 points

Female Vet 45-49: 1. Melonie Deakin 200 points 5. Sara Broome 193 points

Male Vet 55-59: 2. Ralph Wedlock 195 points



Spring Treble

April 2015.

Mike Jones has formed all the Harrier results from the three races into a single table.



Name Hanchurch 16th April Milford 23rd April Barlaston 30th April points
Chris Ross 21st 35-08 19th 40-31 16th 35-14 56
Andrew Locke 20th 35-04 23rd 41-05 23rd 36-07 66
Ian Hodkinson 17th 34-28 38th 41-55 25th 36-11 80
Jim Smith 24th 35-43 28th 41-26 31st 36-50 83
Alan Griffin 28th 36-00 33rd 41-39 32nd 36-53 94
Adam Morris 22nd 35-14 46th 43-04 45th 38-22 113
Ian Wood 40th 37-00 36th 41-44 46th 38-29 122
Tracey Jones 35th 36-10 47th 43-12 41st 37-57 123 1st L45
Ian Dale 46th 38-32 63rd 45-16 50th 38-51 159
Dave Marsden 43rd 38-08 64th 45-18 55th 39-31 162
Darren Mattocks 49th 38-37 59th 44-45 58th 39-50 166
Chris Elsley 73rd 40-21 79th 46-34 66th 40-42 218
Tracy Ridings 72nd 40-18 86th 47-33 74th 41-45 232
Chris Skellern 79th 41-07 98th 49-11 86th 43-35 263
Gill Hodkinson 94th 42-16 101st 49-50 85th 43-25 280 1st L40
Eddie Smith 98th 42-36 112th 51-30 103rd 44-54 311
Natalie Godfrey 111th 44-17 113th 51-31 98th 44-12 322
Dave Mantle 110th 44-16 115th 51-41 101st 44-34 326
Bill Chidlow 116th 45-12 116th 51-52 107th 45-55 329
Angela Brookes 114th 44-57 135th 55-36 97th 44-07 346
Jane Bisiker 118th 45-23 128th 53-25 109th 46-02 355
Jill Ross 119th 45-27 124th 52-48 111th 46-23 355
Joanne Oliver 133rd 48-13 134th 55-32 114th 47-01 381
Sarah-Ann Johnson 127th 47-07 133rd 55-17 127th 49-12 387
Marie-Clair Darcy-Barron 137th 49-03 145th 58-42 131st 49-50 413
Daniel Johnson 149th 50-57 146th 59-03 137th 53-34 432
Julie Nokes 152nd 52-27 164th 64-55 139th 53-29 455
Mike Jones 165th 58-09 169th 72-52 153rd 57-54 487
Frank Evans 168th 68-05 171st 81-58 156th 66-15 497
Ryan Ashcroft 2nd 30-02
Mark Bridgwood 11th 32-58 12th 38-34
Paul Bosson 33rd 36-05 30th 41-32
Dave Payling 39th 42-02
Michelle Fox 45th 42-50 35th 37-20
Mark Oliver 49th 43-22 39th 37-49
Joe Atherton 87th 47-43
Shelley Burns 99th 42-45
Craig Baxter 102nd 49-52 82nd 42-42
Graham Williams 120th 45-59 126th 49-10
Amanda Clay 124th 48-13
Lynn Geoghegan 143rd 49-51
Amanda Pearce 151st 62-41 138th 52-44
Total number of runners 170 finished 172 finished 159 finished


Harriers 5k Time Trial

Wednesday 29/4/15



First Name Surname 29-Apr
Will Salmons 19.51
Robert Motram Jones 19.52
Jack Hodkinson 20.43
Ewan Jackson 20.48
Liam Duggan 20.57
Adam Morris 21.05
Hannah Talbot 21.08
Mark Oliver 21.12
Jake Oliver 22.36
Chris Elsely 22.41
Gabby Lufton 23.32
Ali Morgan 23.39
Kieran Mogey 23.42
Nigel Smith 23.46
Chris McCrady 23.47
Matthew Hilsdon 23.48
Alan Jones 23.50
Libby Gonsalves 23.58
Craig Baxter 24.02
Steve McHugh 24.08
Ben Deacon 24.18
Harry Dale 24.49
Robert Gray 24.49
Amy Oliver 25.01
Mel Deacon 25.17
Sarah Johnson 26.41
Lucy Payne 27.28
Helen Underwood 29.01
Ellie Smith (Blue) 29.01
Rachel Darby 29.12
David Plant 29.33
Louise Morgan 29.55
Karen Hilsdon 30.26
Cathy Behan 30.39
Amanda Pearce 30.59
Anabel Evans 30.59
Lindsay Ashforth 31.59
Angie Charlesworth 32.01
Chantel Sandford 32.10
Gemma Gray 32.11
Debbie Garcia 32.27
Sarah Gray 32.52





London Marathon

Sunday 26/4/15


Report Chris Elsley


My London Marathon

Pre Race

Having selected a hotel that was nearer to Stafford than the start line, it was an early start to catch the coach at 6.15am. After another pick up in Knightsbridge, we were dropped off at around 7.45am, only a couple of hours to hang around!

It was raining so I made for the Male Changing tent which had become a unisex ‘keeping dry’ tent full of French people playing sardines. I put up with this for about 20 mins by which time it had more or less stopped raining so I ventured outside and wondered about aimlessly.

Time passed and eventually it was time to drop of the kit bags and make my way to the start pen. This is where a runner came to me ‘I know that vest – Craig Baxter is your Chairman isn’t he? I went to school with Craig.’ (Bear in mind Craig is a Lincolnshire lad).

The Race

Getting to the start took just 6 mins – much quicker than I expected and I was off and feeling good.

I honestly can’t tell you much about the first couple of miles, I just went with the flow, minding my step. At around 3 miles, I spotted the birthday boy, Graham Williams, ahead, wishing him ‘Many Happy Returns’ as I went by. A couple of miles later, I passed Shelley Burns.

The next thing I can remember is passing the Cutty Sark. My sister was around here somewhere but I never spotted her.

I kept going and still felt ok and was pleased to see the Harriers Supporter’s Club at around 13 miles. A little further on I saw Jane Bisiker in support. It was around this point I started to feel the first tightening of muscles but nothing too bad ….. yet.

It was about 17 miles when the calf muscles really started twitching. I eased off a little but it didn’t help. By the time I got to the Harriers Supporter’s Club again at 22 miles I was really struggling but kept plodding on and was still on for a time around 3.45.

Just past this point, I saw Holly Wright on the other side of the road, going in the opposite direction. I managed a quick shout of support to her.

By 24 miles, I was hurting big time. I didn’t want to walk but finally gave up at around 25 miles. I stopped and stretched the calf’s. Began to run again but with each step I was getting a shot of cramp. Somewhere near Big Ben, cramp won the battle. My left leg went solid. The crowd were urging me on but I couldn’t move. So close to the end but I seriously doubted whether I could finish. I put my leg on a police parking bollard and rested it for a few minutes before the muscles relaxed enough for me to walk on.

In Birdcage Walk, Ange Brookes went by. I hobbled on past our ancestral home (Buckingham Palace) and finally saw the finish line ahead. I had something like two and a half minutes to get there for a sub four hour time. The seconds ticked over, finally I knew that I was going to have to run in some format to do it. I ran like a man in stirrups and hit the line with five seconds to spare.

Post Race- I retrieved my kit bag and met up with my sister and brother in law before we made our way to the pub.

Typically from the Harriers contingent, there were lots of congratulations but, exhausted, I was suffering from post race blues and words of support weren’t doing a lot to lift my spirits.

On reflection, I think the biggest reason for me feeling down was that I hadn’t been able to enjoy a run down The Mall – something that I had been looking forward to since my name was drawn out of the hat.

Still, I’m glad I did it. It might be the only time I ever get the chance. Would I do it again? Yes. You can’t really refuse a place at London can you?

I now appreciate what all those runners who have done it, and other marathons, before me have been through.

Thanks to everyone who was there in support and for all the good luck messages in advance.




Report by Rachel Marsden

Arrived in London on the Friday afternoon, many other runners already in the city . Saturday morning after breakfast headed for the Excel to register/collect my number.
On the morning of the marathon I was up at 6am feeling very nervous and excited , I managed to just about eat a bowl of porridge before I headed to Waterloo East station where I had arranged to meet Ruth Edwards and Sally Liggins but due to injury really missed having Sally there . We jumped on a very packed train to Blackheath station and the short walk to the blue start where we met Lindsey Foster. That hour of waiting to start went really quick and before we knew it we were at the start , it took only 15 mins to cross the start line where we 3 girls stuck together , soaking up the atmosphere, having a giggle , telling our life stories and Lindsey doing a superb job making sure we stuck to 10-11 min mile . The miles at first seem to go by really quick and before we knew it we were approaching Tower bridge where I frantically looked for my family who were screaming my name but I couldn’t see them 🙁 – as we crossed the half way point the wonderful Harrier support that had turned out was fantastic. Ruth and I even managed to do the moves to YMCA which was blaring out from the speakers as we ran by.
As I hit the 15-16 miles my knees started to ache, Lindsey and Ruth now ahead of me I continued around the isle of dogs and canary wharf which I found the hardest stretch of the marathon – it was great again to see harrier support around the 22 miles to give you that push to get to the finish , this was when my knees were really painful and now thinking how can I run the last 4-5 miles . I have to say the crowds get you through those last tough miles shouting your name pushing you on. As I ran down the embankment and saw Big Ben in front of me I knew I was near the finish – as I joined into birdcage walk I finally spotted my family so stopped briefly for a hug and few tears before I headed to The Mall, bird cage walk seemed to go on forever as I turned and ran passed HRH Queen residence the gantry above saying 375 yds to go, I could now see the finish line , crowds standing and applauding everyone at the side – I had done it and beat my previous time by 4 mins finishing in 5:12:17 – as I stopped to get my medal and have my official photo taken my legs shaking I took what has to be the longest walk to Horse guards parade to meet my family – it was an amazing, emotional, well organised and fantastic weekend and over the months of training made some great harriers friends (Ruth, Sally, Lindsey, Tina, Hannah, Maria, Shelley).


Report by Graham Williams

I joined the Harriers in early 1984 having obtained a place in London with a friend through the ballot. My first race was the Stafford 20 when it started with two laps round the RAF camp where I was lapped by Paul Davies Hale before taking the usual route and finishing where we started. I cannot remember my time except it was not good.

My second race was the first Stafford half when it started and finished at the County Showground with your first mile in under six minutes and the last over nine minutes. I know my time was 1.35 because I still have the photograph of me crossing the finishing line wearing a long sleeved rugby top and long socks which my mother had bought me.

We travelled to the marathon on the train and stopped overnight in a grotty B&B at Mount Pleasant where the walls were so thin you could hear your neighbour breathing. I started behind the gates on the red start and it took ages to get to the start line. I cannot remember much about the race . We finished on Westminster bridge and the meeting place was Jubilee gardens next to County Hall where Ken Livingstone presided where I do remember enjoying burger and chips. My time was 4.14 which included the walk to the start as this was the era before chips and gels. The male winner was Charlie Spedding and the female Ingrid Kristiansen.

For this years race I stopped overnight at my son Richard’s house in Esher. At 6.00 am I got up made a cup of tea chatted to Zoe my seven year old grand daughter and had a shower. Sue asked me why I had got up so early as I was catching the 8.00 am train when I thought it was the7.00 so I went back to bed.

Richard decided that at seventy I was incapable of looking after myself so took me on the train from Esher to Waterloo to London Bridge where I made my own way to Maze Hill on a very crowded underground. At the green start I changed in a tent next to a huge Dinosaur which I read next day was made of paper mache and weighed six stone which somebody carried all the way round the course. When the guy next to me saw my shirt with Graham 70 today he insisted on taking a selfie with me.

As there was only 2,500 at the start I probably went off a bit fast as it did not get congested until we merged with the blue and red starts. The only Harrier I saw was a very cheery Chris Elsley who passed me quite early on. Because of my running top endless people wished me happy birthday with some even singing it so I spent a lot of time thanking them though I did have a few kisses from some young ladies but did not have pen and paper to take their phone numbers. At eight miles if there had been a bus I would have caught it as I was struggling but improved later on. I saw lots of noisy Harriers and tried to wave to them all and apologise if I missed anyone. At 23 miles my family were waiting and I stopped to greet them and high five my grandchildren.

I finished in 4.36 having planned for 4.30 so was not too unhappy. It was only when I got to the Chandos that I realised all my family were wearing T-shirts with a picture of me and the words 70 Today and still running. Once inside I met several Harriers who serenaded me with Happy Birthday.

It was then back to Esher for champagne and cake and a few more drinks. Ultimately I had a wonderful birthday despite being very nervous early on. I should like to thank my family for organising me and their support, the Harriers for their tremendous noisy support which stopped me from walking on a couple of occasions and the juniors for the lovely multi-signed birthday card.


Race Results found so far.


Place overall Name Runner no Category HALF FINISH
905 Ryan Nokes 30443 18-39 01:26:12 02:51:48 PB
1486 Matt Woodman 1203 18-39 01:27:58 02:57:47
1616 Phil Hilson 22114 18-39 01:23:32 02:58:36
3046 Ian Wood 31762 50-54 01:33:21 03:10:51 PB
3273 Michael Dobson 31272 50-54 01:33:32 03:12:29
3295 Kevin Darby 21919 40-44 01:30:57 03:12:36
3831 Ian Hodkinson 8023 40-44 01:34:51 03:16:05 PB
3933 Steve Copnall 42022 18-39 01:30:55 03:16:57
4468 John Gomersall 22083 40-44 01:38:14 03:20:48
Angela Brookes 03:55:56 PB
13972 Chris Elsley 22050 45-49 01:50:16 03:59:55
14727 Chris Owen 28329 40-44 01:58:33 04:02:54
16140 Shelley Burns 5052 18-39 01:54:19 04:08:53
19444 Karen Davies 28810 50-54 01:56:59 04:21:35
22410 Richard Davies 1499 40-44 02:08:55 04:32:24
23408 Graham Williams 29071 70+ 02:14:42 04:36:27
27504 Tina Darby 17642 40-44 02:28:49 04:54:23 PB
27866 Lindsey Foster 46754 50-54 02:21:18 04:56:00
28449 Ruth Edwards 2048 55-59 02:21:18 04:58:45
30645 Rachel Marsden 4982 40-44 02:21:17 05:12:17 PB
34963 Holly Wright 41627 18-39 02:34:25 05:54:01
35827 Maria Davies 46750 40-44 02:49:57 06:09:52
36061 Frank Evans 7606 70+ 02:54:27 06:16:11



Pictures (before,during and afterwards).


Greater Manchester Marathon

Sunday 19/4/15.


Report Mark Bentley

Ten Harriers completed the fourth running of the new Greater Manchester Marathon course, the course being the flattest in the UK. The field has now grown to almost 8000, and the race has been voted Britain’s Friendliest Marathon for two years running in online polls.
Conditions were perfect for running-cool, dry, overcast with a slight breeze, ideal for PBs, which five Harriers managed.
Things were going swimmingly for me on this, my 30th marathon, until about mile 23 in Urmston when I started to flag. Being passed by three of my (younger) clubmates over the last three miles did take the shine off the occasion slightly (I won’t mention names, but I’d been leading them all until then), but hey, I finished, and finished faster than on the two previous occasions. And that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?
Keith Skelton lead the Harriers home in 3:18:55, followed by Ros Bould in 3:27:19, and Adam Morris in 3:30:18.
PBs were had by Liz Stanyer, Mark Oliver
The race winner was Paul Martelletti of Run Fast in 2:17:46, the Ladies Winner being Georgie Bruinvels of Aldershot, Farnham & District AC in 2:37:16
7847 finished.
Full Harrier times and positions below:

pos name time
1422nd Keith Skelton 3:18:55
1751st Ros Bould 3:27:19
2286th Adam Morris 3:30:18
2414th Liz Stanyer 3:36:22PB
2452nd Mark Oliver 3:37:29PB
2481st Mark Bentley 3:38:02
4481st Natalie Godfrey 4:03:09
4856th Karen Murray 4:09:10
6131st Wendy Sears 4:26:51
7140th Alex Hill 4:56:01

Report – Mark Oliver

After running my first marathon in London last year in a time of 4 hours and 18 minutes, I had often pondered on the thought of running another one with the sole goal of achieving a sub-four hour time. A few people in the Club had said to me that Manchester was quite different in that it offered a far less crowded environment in which to run, allowing you to find your own pace and was supposed to be the flattest marathon course in the UK, which could contribute to a PB. I happened to mention this to Jo on one occasion over Christmas (probably after a few alcoholic beverages) and thought nothing more of it until she slipped in to the conversation, immediately after having ran the gruelling 17 mile Trig Race, that she had entered me in to Greater Manchester Marathon! “No going back then”, I thought…
On the day of the race, after an early departure from our hotel, and feeling somewhat nervous, Jo and I headed towards the Race Village, which was located next to Man UTD football stadium. We got there at around 07:30am and soon started to see some friendly Stafford Harrier faces. The time soon went by and after saying goodbye to Jo the Harriers that were there de-robed and handed in our bags before a final toilet stop, heading over towards the start line, which was a 10 minute walk away. As I took my fist gel the nerves were starting to kick in big time, but I was also looking forward to the race and what lay ahead. The weather was thankfully perfect for running, clouded skies, a slight easterly wind and a temperature of around 8 degrees centigrade or so.
After what seemed like an eternity, the race was finally underway and we slowly headed towards the start line, picking up speed as we got nearer. As we approached the start line, surrounded by sounds of beeps from the timing equipment, I bizarrely thought to myself “This is it, here we go, only 26.2 miles to run”, I started my Garmin and we were off. The first four miles of the course take you out and back along the Chester Road and then along Wharfside, where the Coronation Street studios are located, and I used this to find my pace, which I had decided should be around 8min35sec/mile which would get me a time of 3hrs, 45mins. Soon in to the race I was greeted with the cheering words “Hi Mark, have a good race”, only to see Liz Stanyer coming past me, and I wished her well as she disappeared in to the crowds of runners ahead of me. At mile four I saw Ian Talbot in the crowds, who was offering words of encouragement and by mile six, and still on the Chester Road, I was feeling relaxed but the indicated pace on my Garmin was gradually creeping up towards 8min20sec/mile, so I decided to back off a little, in fear of going too fast and burning out too soon.
By the 7.5mile mark I found myself running through the area of Sale and was greeted by a band playing uplifting music and people shouting out a friendly “Welcome to Sale, have a great run”, which was good to hear. As I carried on along my marathon journey I started to look forward to seeing Jo and the children who were at Brooklands, the 9 mile mark, and as I headed down Brooklands Road I could see a yellow Stafford Harriers banner being madly waved above the crowds. As I got nearer I could see my family Jo, Amy and Jake, Val and Ron, and also Lindsey and Paul Foster, as well as Anne Coghlan, which gave me a massive boost. As I went past I grabbed a gel from Jo and feeling lifted, I carried on determined to maintain my pace, which was now 8min17sec/mile, according to my Garmin. As I continued down Brooklands Road towards Altrincham, the lead runners were coming back in the opposite direction, at speed I could only ever dream about running at. Mark Bridgwood and Tracey Jones were also on Brookland Road, and they too gave me a great lift.
As I continued on through the village of Timperley I was still feeling relaxed and composed, and carried on towards Altrincham which was the half way mark. At Altrincham I was greeted by bands playing music, and a school choir singing “Always look on the bright side of life” and then Ian Talbot, Andy Bourne and Caroline Nichols shouting “Come on Mate, great running”, which gave me a massive boost. I went through the half marathon mark, in a time of 1hr48mins and continued my marathon journey, heading now back through Timperley and towards Brooklands.
As I made my way back up Brooklands Road I was looking forward to seeing my family once again, this time at mile 16 and used the opportunity to grab another gel from Jo, to help me along my way. My Garmin was still indicating a pace a little ahead of where I should be but I was feeling OK, so decided to continue on and assess towards mile 20 or so. The next few miles seemed to clock up fairly quickly as the course took me out towards Ashton upon Mersey, and then out in to the countryside, which made a welcome change. As I got to mile 20 I was still feeling ok and thought to myself “just six miles left, that’s a 10K!”, but was very mindful they could be a very long six. As I took my last gel at mile 21, and starting to tire, I settled in to the last five miles and began to count them off, during which time Adam Morris came past me, who was looking in good form. At around the mile 22 mark, out of the blue, I suddenly found myself having to dart around the person just in front of me, narrowly avoiding a collision, who had decided to stop, presumably to tie up their shoe lace. I quickly realised that at this stage in the race people’s minds are focussed elsewhere and not on the welfare of others.
As I turned back on to the Chester Road for the final time, which was probably around mile 25, I was greeted by the cheers of Ian Talbot, Mark Bridgwood and Tracey Jones, which gave me a massive lift, and I could hear Ian shouting to me I could actually achieve a sub-3hr40min time. Feeling somewhat bemused by his comment I glanced at my Garmin which indicated 3hrs31mins, and quickly realised I was only one mile away from the finish line and he actually had a point! The last mile I somehow managed to pick up my pace, my Garmin still refusing to budge from an indicated average pace of 8mins19sec, and then I saw the white girders of the Man UTD ground ahead of me, and I knew I was not far from the finish line. The last mile seemed to go on for an absolute eternity, and was uphill which didn’t help matters. As I finally turned left in to Sir Matt Busby Way, the finish line was there, and I managed somehow to give it my all for the last 100m or so. Once over the line, I remember thinking it was all over and my training had paid off. My official chip time was 3hrs, 37mins, 29sec, which I was very pleased with. Within a few minutes Jo and the family came to find me and the celebrations started!
A massive thanks to all the Harriers who travelled up to support us, Andy Bourne and Caroline Nichols, Ian Talbot, who seemed to be on every corner of the course, Mark Bridgwood, Tracey Jones, Paul and Lindsey Foster, Anne Coghlan, Val and Ron Stuart, my kids, Amy and Jake, and of course Jo. Apologies if I have missed anyone out. Your support made such a difference! Thank you!

The Chasewater Easter Egg 10k, 5k and Children’s Easter Dash

5th April 2015

Mel Deakin reports:


This event was held at Chasewater Reservoir and Country Park which is just the other side of Cannock. The race was described as a multi terrain race on paths and trails surrounding the reservoir. One lap for the 5k, two laps for the 10k. I entered the 10k, and Ben (age 13) entered the 5k which was his first ever timed race.

We arrived at the park early and collected our numbers and chips. Everything was set up and there were lots of marshals about to help. The park has great facilities; plenty of free parking, the cafe was open, lots of toilets, children’s play area and waterskiing for those brave enough!

First off was the children’s dash, and it was great to see two junior girls (who neither Ben nor I know, sorry!) in Stafford Harriers vests at the front. Immediately after the dash had finished, we were called to the start. Both the 10k and 5k start together, both are chip timed. The course consisted of a short loop around the visitor centre at the start (which we were told was necessary to make up the distance), then one or two laps around the reservoir. Most is on tarmac or hard paths, but some is on dirt or grass tracks which were muddy and you either dodged the puddles or got wet feet. There were a couple of sharp inclines but it was mainly flat.

I managed to keep up with Ben for about 500m before he sprinted away! By half way for me and the finish for him, he was about a minute ahead of me and I waved to him as I started my second lap which seemed much easier as I knew what terrain was coming. Despite this, I couldn’t quite manage to get a new PB and finished in 54:03. Overall, I liked the course and would run it again. My husband Mark who was watching said it was a good race for spectators as they could see the runners most of the way around the reservoir. It was also good to have the option of 10k or 5k.

My only reservation is the accuracy of the distance of the 5k race. My Garmin watch stopped bang on 10k so I can’t complain. However, Ben’s watch said 5.25k which he was a bit miffed about. I did try and persuade him he had run around too many puddles, but even allowing for that I think the 5k was a bit more than it should have been. In the scope of things it doesn’t really matter and won’t dwell on it. Ben and I are really pleased with what he achieved.


Ben Deakin reports:


My mum suggested I should do this as my first 5k race. The course was mainly flat but there were a couple of hills that weren’t that bad. It was easier at the start, but got more difficult towards the end and I was tired. The muddy parts were easy to avoid by running around them. I thought it was well marshalled and well set out. The only bad thing was I think it was more than 5k as my garmin watch said 5.23k at the end. I was pleased with my time but want to get under 25 minutes next time.



10k: The winner of the race was Aaron Brown from Cannock and Stafford AC in a time of 33:56. First lady was Elly Willoughby from Lawley Running Club in a time of 43:52.

Stafford Harriers times:

David Taylor 52:35

Melonie Deakin 54:03

Amanda Taylor 61:14

John Hately 63:07


5k: The winner of the race was Iain Lewis, unattached in a time of 18:36. First lady was Rachel Gibson from Wolverhampton and Bilston in a time of 22:46.

Stafford Harriers times:

Ben Deakin 26:18 (2nd junior)


No results issued for the children’s dash.