SOUTH CHESHIRE 10K
Easter Sunday 31st March 2013 saw the South Cheshire Harriers’ popular 10K race take place on a course that is reckoned to be the fastest for a road race in Cheshire. With minimal elevation, the majority of the route follows wide pathways making it safe for experienced and inexperienced runners alike and the event finished on the Crewe Campus of Manchester Metropolitan University.
Representing Stafford Harriers, Matt Woodman took 8th place overall in a time of 0:35:00 and Alan Griffin finished a creditable 77th in 0:41:16 while Darren Taylor completed the course in 1:03:40. The event was won by Staffs Moorlands AC’s Ryan Holroyd in a time of 0:31:44 while first lady was Mandy Vernon of Trentham Running Club – 0:36:40
IRONBRIDGE HALF MARATHON
After heavy snowfall had forced a postponement from the original date a week earlier, the rearranged 24th Ironbridge Half Marathon finally took place on Easter Sunday. Unsurprisingly, there was a much reduced field from last year with only 280 runners – about half of the 2012 turn out.
The race starts in Telford Town Park, just down from the Ice Rink and heads through some park footpaths before hitting a disused railway line which takes you through Blists Hill.
Having crossed the River Severn at Coalport (5 miles), runners double back up on the other side of the river where the tracks became a little muddy in places.
At 7 miles you get your first sight of the world famous bridge, with the route taking runners underneath the bridge for a mile loop before you eventually get to cross back over the river. Naturally this is where the biggest crowds gather to encourage runners.
Up to now, the course has been relatively flat, if not a little down hill, but a few hundred yards after crossing Ironbridge lies the killer hill up into Coalbrook dale.
This climb is just short of half a mile long and competes with Milton Bank (Potter’s), Buttermilk Hill (Uttoxeter) and the climb out of Dovedale (Ashbourne) for difficulty.
The route continued along a combination of tracks and a short section across a particularly muddy field before eventually returning to the disused railway line and back into Telford Town Park for the finish.
My run went ok, finishing 102nd. I was a little disappointed in my (chipped) time of 1h 45m 23s – a couple of minutes outside of last year – but the old hamstrings began playing up at 3 miles so I was pleased to get through without serious injury.
The race was won by Tom Bailey of Notts AC in 1h 16m 8s in what must have been an exciting finish as he pipped Telford’s Paul Ward by just one second. Winner of the ladies race was Anna Bartlett (unatt) in 1h 27m 26s.
This was my third running of Ironbridge and one thing that has struck me is the lack of Harriers competing in this local race. I think I was the only one involved on Sunday although a couple of others had entered for the original (you can defer your entry to next year if you let them know before 5 April).
LISBON HALF MARATHON 2013
After all the talk of threatened strikes by Portuguese Airlines, Harriers International finally made it to Lisbon. Four Harriers had already spent three days there on a scouting mission to find the best places to visit (bars). This, by looking at the state of them, they had done very successfully. The new arrivals soon fitted into the fold well and set off to final registration. The registration area gave us the first view of the iconic bridge that we would be crossing in two days time.
After registration it was felt we needed to start the pre-race hydration, this continued for most of the weekend (as many of you have seen from the photos flying around the social network world). The talk in the bars was of a potential PB course with it being flat and the forecast was looking favourable for this as well. As a veteran of the International tours I knew this may have been pre-race bravado. A few of us felt the need to keep hydrating long into the night, (Saturday morning actually). It was at this point I could see the confidence and colour draining away as the reality that drinking, late nights and running really don’t mix, dawned on my fellow runners. So we did what needed to be done, drink. I am actually shocked and a little saddened to report that we all had early nights in preparation for the morning’s half marathon.
Sunday morning soon came around and Chris Ross took control and guided us all onto the metro and train to get us to the start line (I won’t mention that we nearly got off at the wrong stop). On arrival at the station nearest the start line, we suddenly realised how big this event was. With so many runners, the scrap to the toilets started. Not known for their shyness a few Harrier ladies decided to use the gents with a gallant male Harrier as door monitor. The wander up to the start line was an amazing experience. We made it to the start line and the first site of the bridge. Then the race begins.
The start was a free for all, no timing zones, so walkers were mixing with runners which caused a massive bottle neck and a very slow start. So it was at this point that you really had chance to take in your surroundings and the breath taking view from the bridge. This slow pace continued for most of the race, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. It was a very flat course with quite a few twists and turns, but that gave the chance to watch the African race leader sprinting down the road in the opposite direction to where I was going, what a sight. What was great about the course was the chance to see fellow Harriers going the other way and give them a shout. Yet again, it doesn’t matter where you go the travelling support was amazing. Everywhere on the course there seemed to be a friendly face, thank you for the support again.
The finish to the race was a two mile stretch that seemed to go on forever, but the finishing memento was probably the most welcome one I’ve ever had, a Magnum Ice Cream (Ken Rushton take note). As suspected my time was slow but was comforted to see that most of my fellow Harriers had the same problems and just decided to try and enjoy the race atmosphere. It’s probably not the best race I’ve run but for atmosphere its right near the top.
As is customary we decided the best way to discuss the day’s race we needed to find a bar. Traditionally after the race all of the group go and eat together then go onto a few bars. It was probably one of my highlights of the weekend. The newcomers mixing with the older Harriers, it was lovely to see. So the rehydrating continued, with lots of funny sun glasses being purchased and lots of incriminating photo evidence being produced, (may I add, not just the youngsters). I think there may have been a few tired wobbly legs this night, so tiring that one decided to have a little nap.
The next day a dozen were booked on a city bike tour, sadly two never made it (Wright and Caley). This tour gave, if we could award it already, a champagne moment. Whilst the tour leader was giving a talk about a historic square we were in, I glanced to my right to see a Harrier falling over his bike and getting tangled up in it. It has to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen, which Jane, Jill and Steph will all agree on, watching me cry with laughter. Further on in the tour it was pointed out to me that the guilty faller needed ET putting in his basket to complete the look. Towards the end of the bike tour the wind had really whipped up and we were told not to stand the bikes on their stands or they will fall over, so we laid our bikes down, or did we. CLATTER, one person hadn’t listened and the wind knocked the bike over. Yes you’ve guessed it, it was our faller again. Brilliant.
All I can say about this tour and the previous one, if you are ever in doubt just how good our club is, please attend one of the Harrier International trips, friends for life. Please try and go, you won’t regret it.
A massive thank you to Pete Burns for his patience and the girls at Regent Travel for their persistence in making this tour happen.
Following their efforts in the Stafford Half Marathon, 17 Stafford Harriers and accompanying supporters escaped Britain’s wintry shores to take part in the Lisbon Half Marathon on Sunday. While local races were cancelled due to the arctic conditions, these Harriers basked in sunshine before heading to what one competitor labelled ‘a bonkers start’ with almost 37,000 half marathon and mini-marathon contenders crossing the magnificent Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge and taking in tremendous views all round the course.
The race was won by Kenyan Runner Bernard Koech in a time of 0:59:54, and winner of the ladies’ event was Edna Kiplagat who came in a time of 1:08:46. In this truly International field, Paul Bosson led the male Harriers’ challenge with a time of 1:29:15 and first lady was Steph Clayton in 1:44:24. Steph commented later about the race – “Too hot and too many people for pb’s but what a gorgeous view the whole race”.
Other times achieved were:
Mark Orchard 1:36:41
Chris Ross 1:37:02
Joe Atherton 1:44:10
Richard Caley 1:44:35
Mark Bentley 1:50:47
Jill Ross 1:55:29
Craig Baxter 1:55:43
Graham Williams 1:56:42
Jane Bisiker 1:57:55
Angela Brookes 2:00:34
Mark Oliver 2:01:23
Brian Langston 2:03:24
Michael Jones 2:10:02
Tony Baker 2:15:10
Holly Wright 2:27:04
Mark looking pleased with his run.
Who ran in the 10K for the Harriers?
Was it chef Richard Corrigan or Richard Bisiker?
STAFFORD HALF MARATHON
After all the predictions of rain, snow and a plague of frogs the weather was perfect for this years running of the Stafford Half Marathon. Chris Hollinshead was first Harrier home in 7th place in 1.15.45 and this gave him the 1st old bloke, sorry 1st V45 prize. First Harrier lady was Sally Gray in 1.27.29 which won her the 1st L35 prize. Also in the prizes was Paul Doulglas 1st V60 in 1.28.00.
So far we have found 107 Harriers who ran and we have found 24 pb’s. Please let us know if you are missing from the results or your pb isn’t there.
Here are the Harriers times :-
|7||Chris Hollinshead||1.15.45||1st M45|
|116||Sally Gray||1.27.29||1st L35|
|118||Paul Douglas||1.28.00||1st M60|
|1263||Marie Claire D’Arcy-Barron||1.58.22|
Craig -“You too can have a body like this”
Richard – “If your not careful”
3rd March 2013
Report by Caroline Nichol
I was the only Harrier to venture off to the Cheadle 5 this year. Cheadle 5 is a small (178 finishers this year) friendly 5 mile race run through the small town of Cheadle and over undulating quiet country roads. It has been 3 years since I last ran this race and I had forgotten how hilly it was. It’s a great little challenging race which I enjoyed just as much as I did the first time. I finished in a time of 40.09 and feel like, at last, I am making progress.
I would like to have a little rant however…on the pre-race info it said no MP3 players. There were quite a few people using MP3 players and I can’t tell you how annoying it was. I could hear their music and one woman was even singing along to hers. It was very distracting! So to all you MP3 users, please first of all obey the race rules and if you want to break those rules please do it quietly and NO SINGING! Rant over!
Report by Liz
The start to this years Cloud Nine race was delayed by 15 minutes making it a late start of 11.15 but waiting at the start was made easier by us all basking in the glorious sunshine. I have never done this race before (much to Anne Jones and Bryan Dales amusement pre race, seems my legendary hatred of mud and hills stretches beyond the Harriers!) and I had received many differing pieces of advice on how to run it, or rephrased, get through it.
So we were off and sorry Mick, I didn’t heed your advice to go off hard in the first mile, self preservation kind of kicked in. I found the first 2 miles the hardest, a huge amount of stopping and starting and enforced walking as the pathways narrow with gates and fences to negotiate. A long gradual uphill through slippy fields and all I kept thinking, with dread, was that I shouldn’t be this tired yet, I haven’t even hit the climb to ‘The Cloud’!
And what a climb! However, I had worked myself up for it that much that I actually didn’t find it that bad. Again there are narrow pathways where you can only go as fast as the runner in front and if they are walking, so are you. Lots of boulders and uneven terrain to negotiate whilst experiencing burning lungs and shredded calf muscles. The views from the top are truly awesome and as it was a perfect day you really could see for miles. There was great support at the summit (yes I am likening it to a mountain) and then the fun of the downhill begins. Only way is to just go for it and I did overtake lots of more cautious runners here, but I am a mountain goat and I do not fear the steep descent or the tree roots, rocks and obstacles in my way.
The uphills haven’t quite finished when you think they have and a particularly unpleasant sandy hill took me by surprise. Then it is country lanes, trail paths and fields more or less downhill all the way home. Back onto the track you started on was a welcome sight as I recognised and knew my end was in sight. But no, we get taken off the track for more country lanes and to turn a corner in the last 400 metres to be greeted by an absolute monster of a concrete hill! Oh how cruel!
Home made soup and a roll, gingerbread men (how many did you have again Chris??) and unlimited drinks all complimentary for the runners.
This was a fantastic race which I am so glad I decided to do. The scenery is stunning, its a varied course through woodland, farmland and along trail tracks, there were so many marshalls all the way around who were brilliant and all vocal and encouraging, and its a great feeling of satisfaction at the end. Well done to all the other Harriers who all seemed to have enjoyed themselves once the altitude sickness had worn off.
Winner – Simon Bailey – Mercia fell Runners 54.54
1st lady – Kerry Marchant – SMAC 1.06.50
Alan Griffin 1.14.18
Dave Payling 1.15.25
Adam Morris 1.15.42
Michelle Rushton-Fox 1.18.32
Mark White 1.21.05
Joe Atherton 1.22.20
Eddie Smith 1.22.49
Chris Skellern 1.23.30
Liz Stanyer 1.31.18
Steve Turner 1.32.52
Michael Jones 1.45.48
Michael Moore 2.03.51
photo by Mark Sherman
NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
We only had two Harriers taking part up in Sunderland for the English Championships, and that was Ian Hodkinson and his son Jack. The photo above is of the start of the mens race. Anyone spot Ian? With heavy snow up to an hour or so before the start the conditions were not unlike those we had at Stafford Common for the Midland Championships, but with nearly three times the numbers, it made for tough conditions.
Jack was first up in the under 15 boys and he had a great run in the conditions to finish 193rd in 19:38. The Ian was part of the 1085 men who ran the final race of the day. Ian covered the 12K course in 64:33 to finish a very muddy 858th. The race was won by the defending champion Keith Gerrard in 41:21 after a epic battle with Steve Vernon who had led up until the last 250 meters.
On the Park and Ride on the way to the course Jack said he had sat close to the defending champion Gemma Steel who had her trophy with her. Unfortunately for Gemma she was unable to defend the title with Louise Damen winning by exactly one minute from Sonia Samuels with Gemma third.
A very interesting fact popped up in the results of the ladies race. Lily Partridge
(9th) was 2 places in front of Emily Pidgeon (11th) who was followed in by Claire
Duck (12th). Not far behind was Clare Martin and a bit further back was Jo Finch. Not sure if they all ran so well because there was an Aiveen Fox in the field.
For spectators there were some other top races to enjoy with many Internationals running. Among those spectators were Brendon Foster and Steve Cram.
Stafford Harriers Half Marathon preview run
Sunday was the day that the sun shone, spring seemed to be awakening and, for the Stafford Harriers Club Coaches, it was the day that the hard work put in by them and the many running beginners on the various training runs was put to the test. With only a month to the Stafford Half Marathon, 69 Harriers gathered at the St Leonard’s Sports and Social club to do a preview run on the half marathon course, ably supported by club members providing outriding support and water stations.
The ‘newbies’, of all ages, did fantastically well and all completed the course receiving and giving mutual support and now have the confidence for the event next month.
and from the Chairman.
If any proof was needed, the Stafford Half practice run, just went to show what the Stafford Harriers are all about.
It was great to see a wonderful mix of abilities encouraging each other around the route. The weather this year was on our side, which made the whole run very special. With well over 60 runners, it took a big effort from group leaders, back markers, traffic enforcement officer and drinks marshal.
I want to thank everyone involved in the day and to say how proud I am to be the Chairman of such a wonderful club.
Thank you all.
BIRMINGAM LEAGUE FINAL FIXTURE
The final event of the 2nd Division of the Birmingham and District Cross Country League took place at Coundon Park, Coventry on Saturday over a very flat, decidedly muddy course amid melting snow. Six Stafford Harriers competed and while finishing 14th Team on the day, secured 13th position in the league for the season.
First Harrier home in 75th position overall was Chris Ross with fellow team mates coming in at 78th – Darren Mattocks
102 – Alan Griffin
159 – Eddie Smith
160 – Roy Clay
167 – Bill Chidlow
The winning runner, who runs for the League winning team of Nuneaton Harriers, was Matt Amos.
Taking second team place in the league was Northbrook AC with Massey Ferguson RC finishing third.
Four Harriers were among a field of just under 400 who tackled this year’s Stourbridge Stagger.
The challenging course was made a little trickier than usual with many pathways being ankle deep in mud, threatening to take the shoes off your feet if you weren’t careful. It has also convinced me that I feel more secure with traditional laces than the elasticated ones.
The 10.5 mile course involves a wonderful combination of off road paths and tracks, steep hills and gullies, stiles and gates through scenic Worcestershire. In some areas the route is almost too narrow to pass (or be passed). Slop Gully (the name should give you an idea of what is in store) lived up to expectations while I’m not sure who gains any pleasure from the climb up Joan’s Delight. But these obstacles are all just part of the fun!
The event is well supported and excellently marshalled – particularly at road crossings – while four drinks stations ensure you shouldn’t run dry.
First Harrier home was Rich Caley (102/384) in 1:23:43, followed soon after by Michelle Rushton-Fox (116/384) 1:24:59.
I just managed to sneak inside the top 200, finishing 199th in 1:33:44 and Jane Bisiker finished 274th in 1:42:25.
Winner overall was James Baird of Halesowen AC (1:02:00) while first lady – 26th overall – was Sophie Ward (BRAT) in 1:13:24.
If you fancy a race with something a little different, this should be one on your calendar.
There is also a Ladies Only 7k race that begins at the same time as the Stagger with participants diverting off the main course at around 2 miles.
On Sunday 39 Stafford Harriers travelled the short distance to take part in the season’s first North Staffs Road Runners’ event, the Alsager 5 mile race in good, but fresh conditions. Matt Woodman was the first Harrier home in a personal best time for the distance of 0:27:08, one of 19 Stafford Harriers to achieve personal bests on the day.
Among the prizewinners were Paul Douglas, 2nd male in the 60 years category and Chris Skellern, 2nd female in the 50years category.
Congratulations to the Ladies who ran for the Harriers. The team finished in third spot out of 41 teams that completed. They were only beaten by Charnwood AC (who had Gemma Steele and Juliet Doyle in their team) and Trenham AC.
The Ladies vets team also came third out of 32 teams.
|Runner||Position in Race||Chip Time|
|Chris Skellern||301||0:36:14||2nd L50|
MIDLAND CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Well done too everyone from the Harriers who made the Championships on Saturday so successful.
The conditions were not great and problems were encountered on the parking area but it is a great testament to the team work shown by you all that it went off so smoothly.
We had thanks and congratulations from the officials and also a lot of team managers expressed their thanks on a very professional job. We have also had emails to this website thanking us. Here is just one from Graham Heeley Chief Official and Stewart Barnes Treasurer of MCCA
On behalf of Stewart Barnes and myself many thanks to Stafford Harriers for putting on the MCCA Championships at Stafford Common yesterday.
Under all the circumstances I thought that all went exceedingly well and a majority of this was through the team effort of all the lads & lasses from your club.
Please pass on our thanks to all your team for a job well done.
Well done and thanks again.
Graham H & Stewart,
On a visit to the course on Sunday morning the area around where the finish was, a lot of the finishing loop and where the Marquees were, was a large lake. The car park was clear though.
We got away with it. Again thank you all.
Results are on the Midland Cross Country page.
Bryan Dales photo’s are here
Report from Graham Williams.
On a clear still morning, perfect for running, some twenty one Harriers started the Trig race comprising a distance of approx seventeen miles with 1500ft of ascent. They all finished on a course which was a little drier than the precious week collecting some seven age awards for which they were rewarded with either a bottle of barley wine or beer. There were 130 finishers with Robert Little of Dark Peak first home in a time of 1.43.53, first lady was Tracy Dean unattached in 2.08.20.Harrier times and places were as follows.
|52||Chris Skellern||2.23.44||3rd over 50|
|67||Tracy Gee||2.29.04||2nd over 40|
|71||Eddie Smith||2.29.49||3rd over 60|
|88||Karen Davies||2.36.55||1st over 45|
|98||Graham Williams||2.41.57||2nd over 65|
|100||Vicky Lowndes||2.43.34||2nd over 45|
|104||Ester Batho||2.45.06||3rd over 40|
Vernon’s Limp Wrist Race
One hundred and Twenty Three runners turned up for the annual ‘Limp’ wrist race that starts our running year. Some were even sober.
The first ten were within 10 seconds of their predicted time. There were three runners that tied for second place just 2 seconds out. Stafford Harriers Shelley Burns, John Cooke from Stone MM and Kevin McCourt from Michelin AC.
The winner however was Liz Stevenson from Potters Trotters who came within 1 second of her predicted time.
Below is the results list with the winning times.
If you want to see the results in time order open the pdf below.
|2||175||Kevin||McCourt||Michelin A C||48:39||0:48:41||00:02|
|2||216||John||Cooke||Stone M M||34:15||0:34:17||00:02|
|6||297||Bill||Clarke||Stone M M||43:00||0:43:06||00:06|
|9||232||Mick||Beardmore||Cheadle R C||34:56||0:35:05||00:09|
|12||111||Stephen||Burrows||Trentham R C||35:10||0:35:24||00:14|
|14||298||Rosemary||Wilson||Trentham R C||42:50||0:43:05||00:15|
|15||294||Mac||McCoig||Stone M M||47:23||0:47:07||00:16|
|16||54||Kathy||Ling||Wrekin R R||01:08:03||1:08:20||00:17|
|17||202||Sue||Davies||South Cheshire Harriers||49:45||0:49:27||00:18|
|17||215||Linda||Cooke||Stone M M||38:21||0:38:03||00:18|
|23||170||John||Guest||Trentham R C||34:30||0:34:52||00:22|
|23||383||Mike||Cultler||South Cheshire Harriers||41:45||0:41:23||00:22|
|25||278||Philip||Cooke||Stone M M||41:15||0:41:39||00:24|
|31||174||Bridget||McCourt||Michelin A C||48:10||0:48:40||00:30|
|35||172||Jackie||Evans||Michelin A C||48:15||0:47:33||00:42|
|39||396||Richard||Fain||Stone M M||38:00||0:38:51||00:51|
|40||196||Carl||Astley||Cheadle R C||33:10||0:32:18||00:52|
|41||168||Margaret||Shaw||Stone M M||48:10||0:47:17||00:53|
|42||392||Salley||Kenny||Cheadle R C||37:02||0:37:56||00:54|
|43||198||Bill||Stevenson||Michelin A C||39:09||0:40:04||00:55|
|46||391||Adrian||Reeves/Jones||Cheadle R C||37:10||0:38:06||00:56|
|47||250||Gareth||Briggs||Staffs Moorlands A C||28:50||0:29:47||00:57|
|54||149||Richard||Shaw||Stone M M||39:10||0:40:22||01:12|
|56||119||Kevin||Uzzell||Stone M M||34:56||0:36:13||01:17|
|60||195||Rebecca||Harrison||Cheadle R C||32:20||0:33:43||01:23|
|62||386||Stuart||Turner||Stafford Tri Club||36:00||0:34:35||01:25|
|69||302||Jayne||Ford||Stone M M||42:24||0:40:48||01:36|
|73||148||Colin||Earp||South Cheshire Harriers||44:30||0:46:17||01:47|
|76||173||John||Cotton||Michelin A C||49:00||0:47:11||01:49|
|81||295||Pam||Davies||Stone M M||43:43||0:41:45||01:58|
|86||384||Simon||Walker||South Cheshire Harriers||37:42||0:39:48||02:06|
|88||151||Richard||Loundes||Stafford Tri Club||36:00||0:33:38||02:22|
|92||231||Suzanne||Potts||Newport & District||50:00||0:47:22||02:38|
|93||171||Andrea||McCutcheen||Michelin A C||49:50||0:47:09||02:41|
|93||191||Colin||Bourne||Michelin A C||49:50||0:47:09||02:41|
|95||230||John||Coombes||Newport & District||50:00||0:47:18||02:42|
|96||387||Mal||Moore||Tri Club Bournemouth||40:00||0:37:14||02:46|
|99||300||Ryan||Downes||Stafford Tri Club||38:00||0:34:53||03:07|
|104||194||Jen||Seager||Stafford Tri Club||42:36||0:38:55||03:41|
|107||255||Russell||Williams||Cheadle R C||36:30||0:40:47||04:17|
|116||264||Chris||Barlow||Stone M M||47:20||0:52:57||05:37|
|121||83||Rod||Campbell||Staffs Moorlands A C||50:00||0:41:41||08:19|
|122||88||Sue||Taylor||Cheadle R C||57:34||0:48:36||08:58|