Race Report January to March 2016


Uttoxeter Half Marathon



Sunday saw the Uttoxeter Festival of Running with the familiar Half Marathon and Junior Race along with a new 10k race which incorporated the opening section of the half marathon route.

The Uttoxeter Half is one of the toughest on the local scene with plenty of climbs and undulating surfaces and very little on the flat. Most challenging of the climbs comes at 7 miles up Buttermilk Hill while there is another long drag between 10-12 miles.

The reward comes at the end with a fast downhill section back to the finish at Uttoxeter Racecourse.

Stafford Harriers had two runners finishing in the top ten with Phil Hilsdon 7th in a time of 1hr 18m 9 secs. Matt Woodman was a couple of places (9th) behind finishing in 1:19:28.


Other Harriers to run were:

Steve Vaughan 27th – 1:24:42

Ian Wood 66th – 1:34:32

Spencer Holland 73rd – 1:35:32

Chris Elsley 102nd – 1:41:38

Ryan Nokes 107th – 1:42:29

Nia Nokes 128th – 1:44:52

Natalie Godfrey 140th – 1:45:48

Chris Skellern 155th – 1:48:29

Craig Baxter 156th – 1:48:34

Tracy Ridings 181st – 1:52:46

Shelley Burns 184th – 1:53:08

Steve Turner 193rd – 1:54:42

Alan Cook 198th – 1:55:34

Liz Cook 201st – 1:55:38

Julie Nokes 243rd – 2:13:28


Carl Moulton (Boalloy) was the race winner in 1:12:09 with Michelle Buckle of Newcastle taking the ladies prize in 1:29:35.

The Harriers Ladies finished 2nd in the team contest while the men finished 3rd.


Entry numbers in the 10k were a little disappointing but Gael Earp didn’t mind as she managed to pick up 1st place in her category in the Ladies Section.


There was success for two Harriers in the Junior Race as Ben Deakin (8m 34s – U15) and Matthew Hilsdon (U13 – 9m 33s) won their respective age categories. Ben finished 3rd overall and Matthew 8th out of a field of 54 runners.




Lichfield Half Marathon




Elsewhere, three Harriers competed in the Lichfield Half Marathon with James Found (1.26.09 – 31st) leading the way home ahead of John Finney (1.52.48 – 384th) and Edwina Gould (2.15.25 – 734th) in an overall field of 903 finishers.


Stuart Hawkes (Tipton Harriers) won the event in 1h 12m 35 secs while the leading lady was Nichola Jackson (1h 26m 43s) of Preston Harriers.


Barlaston Ups and Downs


Local runners managed to evade a thunderstorm ahead of the final leg of the Spring Treble which took place at Barlaston Downs last Thursday.

Fortunately, the weather had cleared by the time the race began from Oulton Cricket Club and runners sprinted off along the road to the Downs with the faster ones fancying their chances in the fastest mile competition.

Conditions were surprisingly good along the course which proceeded alongside a stream before climbing up to the trig point at the top of Downs Banks and back down the other side. Another lap is encountered before the climb back up to the finish at Oulton CC.

There was another good turn out of Stafford Harriers, Richard Rea once again leading the team home in a time of 33.04.


Other finishers were :



Robert Mottram Jones 36.24

Chris Ross 36.49

Ian Hodkinson 37.04

Jim Smith 37.32

Spencer Holland 37.35

Alan Griffin 37.59

Darren Mattocks 38.34

Adam Morris 39.30

Ian Wood 39.40

Mark Oliver 39.55

Jason Littlewood 40.49

Chris Elsley 40.58

Steve McHugh 46.01

Mick Jones 62.02



Nia Nokes 40:45

Chris Skellern 43:52

Tracy Ridings 45:30

Melonie Deakin 46:25

Jane Bisiker 47:16

Karen Murray 49:47

Joanne Oliver 50:10

Karen D Murray 50:42

Julie Nokes 53:04

Amanda Pearce 53:29

Michelle Walker 55:52


The Mens Series was won by Matthew Connelly Smith of Stafford Tri while Deborah Thomas (Trentham) took the Ladies Series


Air Products South Cheshire 10K



Six Harriers headed north to Crewe for the Air Products South Cheshire 10k – a popular race due to its flat course which enables fast times to be recorded.


Ian Wood was the first Harrier in a field of 320 finishing in 42:13 (87th) ahead of Craig Baxter (47:30 – 171st).

Other Harriers were:

Chris Skellern (49:20 – 199th)

Julie Nokes (59:29 – 293rd)

Gael Earp (59:59 – 296th)

Michael Jones (66:47 – 311th).


The race was won by James Skelton (Wolves & Bilston) in 32:42 with Louise Rudd taking the Ladies prize 9in 36:41 (18th overall).



Chasewater Easter Egg 10K, 5K and Childrens dash.


Back to Chasewater, this time to run for Easter Eggs rather than Christmas puddings! I am really pleased to report that there was a small adjustment to the course from last time taking out the loop around the visitor centre at the start and putting in a short ‘up and down‘section about half way around which was much better. Also, Ben’s Garmin measured the 5k as exactly 5k rather than 5.25k on the last two times he has run here. The weather was very windy which was a bit of a challenge on the exposed parts of the course. Other than that, the event was reassuringly familiar, great course, chip timed, good facilities and one I will go back to again.
Five Harriers ran at the event, two juniors in the 5k and three seniors in the 10k. Matt and Ben made it two Harriers in the top 6 out of 114 runners in the 5k, special well done to Matt who narrowly missed out on 1st overall, but got first junior. 237 ran in the 10k, Spencer claiming the crown of first Harrier home.
1st Mark Slade Hatton Darts RC 19:53
1st Female Libby Dunne Cannock and Stafford AC 22:45
2nd Matthew Bonney Stafford Harriers 20:05 1st Junior
6th Ben Deakin Stafford Harriers 22:08 (PB) 3rd Junior
1st Aaron Brown Tipton Harriers 34:25
1st Female Naomi Warr Hatton Darts RC 42:02
40th Spencer Holland Stafford Harriers 45:51
87th Melonie Deakin Stafford Harriers 52:59
230th Sarah Humphreys Stafford Harriers 77:00



Stafford Half Marathon




Here are the results of Stafford Harriers in the Stafford Half.


116 Stafford Harriers have so far been found in the 2734 finishers.


I have been able to change some of the names that I am aware of that ran with someone else’s place. If there are more than let us know.


I do realise that with the “rip off’ price of £15 that was being charged to change a name on the day there should be a lot more.


Please note that the finish times/ places are in Gun Time order. Photo’s below from Colin.


Pos Name Gun Time Chip Time Cat PB
8 Phillip Hilsdon 01:16:16 01:16:16 PB
57 Robert Mottram Jones 01:23:19 01:23:19
100 Kev Darby 01:26:37 01:26:33
118 Paul Higginson 01:27:38 01:27:32 PB
120 Andrew Locke 01:27:46 01:27:43 PB
137 Ian Hodkinson 01:29:08 01:29:00
149 Harry Perkins 01:29:40 01:29:36
207 Michelle Rushton-Fox 01:31:52 01:31:35 3rd F40 PB
221 Darren Pyatt 01:32:32 01:32:16
265 Christopher Ross 01:34:23 01:34:13
268 Richard Quine 01:34:36 01:34:13
286 Russell Barron 01:35:22 01:35:22
309 Liam Duggan 01:36:05 01:35:44
330 Robert Proctor 01:36:38 01:36:29 PB
338 Mark Oliver 01:36:46 01:35:58
352 Spencer Holland 01:37:08 01:37:00
367 Alan Griffin 01:37:30 01:37:09
378 Darren Mattocks 01:38:02 01:37:40
390 Simon Cope 01:38:25 01:38:17
425 Simon Groom 01:39:20 01:38:05
432 John Gomersal 01:39:44 01:39:22
443 Tim Hough 01:39:58 01:39:49
464 David Marsden 01:40:35 01:39:43 3rd M60
465 Paul Morris 01:40:35 01:39:21
474 Ben Nash 01:40:45 01:39:54
488 Neil Martin 01:40:59 01:39:55
508 Ryan Nokes 01:41:25 01:40:41
509 Nia Rose Nokes 01:41:26 01:40:41 PB
515 Jim Smith 01:41:36 01:40:48 PB
537 Chris Elsley 01:42:14 01:41:41
615 Alan Cook 01:44:02 01:39:57
650 Mark Bentley 01:44:54 01:44:01
678 Natalie Godfrey 01:45:38 01:44:05 PB
705 Chris Skellern 01:46:05 01:45:42 2nd L50
747 Ian Williams 01:46:59 01:46:33
761 Kelly McHugh 01:47:16 01:46:02
798 Alan Jones 01:48:00 01:45:16
821 Nigel Smith 01:48:15 01:46:29 PB
823 Lisa Fraser 01:48:16 01:45:37
832 Mark Withington 01:48:28 01:47:39
847 Michael Evans 01:48:57 01:46:14 PB
871 Craig Baxter 01:49:18 01:47:54
891 John Richardson 01:49:42 01:48:06
937 Nicol Goddard 01:50:47 01:49:14
958 Angela Brookes 01:51:05 01:49:33
1000 Shelley Burns 01:51:49 01:50:26
1001 Stella Dennis 01:51:49 01:50:04
1040 Mark White 01:52:45 01:51:21
1112 Eddie Smith 01:54:02 01:53:09
1133 Liz Cook 01:54:17 01:50:11
1154 Shaun Holt 01:54:37 01:53:24 PB
1166 Ian Dale 01:54:46 01:54:01
1171 Tracy Ridings 01:54:50 01:53:18
1187 Liz Simcox 01:55:01 01:52:18
1201 Emma Withington 01:55:14 01:54:24 PB
1215 Simon Pestel 01:55:31 01:53:03
1240 Melonie Deakin 01:56:01 01:54:31 PB
1262 Mark Preston 01:56:23 01:54:03
1303 Jane Bisiker 01:57:03 01:53:44
1336 Georgina Coggins 01:57:43 01:55:07
1378 Steven McHugh 01:58:33 01:55:24
1380 Anne Coghlan 01:58:36 01:54:33
1384 Richard Davies 01:58:38 01:57:07
1390 Alice Holly 01:58:46 01:56:01
1405 Karen Murray 01:59:03 01:57:32
1407 Dave Cook 01:59:04 01:58:19
1430 Ralph Wedlock 01:59:25 01:54:53
1439 Allen Aukim 01:59:38 01:58:44
1622 Ruth Edwards 02:03:48 01:59:45 PB
1763 Karen D Murray 02:07:15 02:04:06
1840 Rachel Darbey 02:08:53 02:04:52
1866 Tina Darby 02:09:37 02:05:01
1891 Sally Liggins 02:10:19 02:06:18
1928 Christopher Carroll 02:11:09 02:06:15
1965 Becki Hollins 02:12:13 02:08:11
1966 Amanda Franklin 02:12:14 02:08:11
1976 Natalie Boswell 02:12:25 02:09:45
2076 Helen Underwood 02:15:13 02:12:38
2137 Heather Bennet 02:17:03 02:12:14
2182 Cathy Behan 02:18:21 02:15:46
2217 Julie Nokes 02:19:11 02:14:16
2242 Rachel Marsden 02:20:04 02:16:01
2267 Bill Whitworth 02:20:54 02:20:48 2nd M70
2291 Lin Bradshaw 02:21:26 02:18:51
2321 Diane Faulkner 02:22:32 02:16:34
2348 David Plant 02:23:47 02:21:12
2367 Charlotte Ward 02:24:29 02:20:02
2368 Tracy Burrows 02:24:33 02:20:29 PB
2376 Alex` Hill 02:25:13 02:20:37
2382 Marie Evans 02:25:39 02:20:24
2400 Wendy Sears 02:26:42 02:21:24
2429 Michael Bamber 02:28:12 02:23:36
2440 John Hateley 02:28:56 02:26:33 3rd M70
2444 Angela Charlesworth 02:29:20 02:25:15
2471 Michael Jones 02:31:03 02:30:01
2505 Amanda Pearce 02:33:06 02:27:20
2531 Lindsay Ashforth 02:35:14 02:29:59
2563 Karen Hilsdon 02:37:00 02:31:22
2613 Frank Evans 02:41:24 02:39:40
2621 Cheryl Metcalfe 02:42:14 02:36:32
2638 Andrew Carter 02:44:07 02:38:13
2694 Sarah Gray 02:56:30 02:51:15



Knighton 20




The sun was shining for the inaugural Knighton 20 road race which took place on Sunday. The event, which consisted of three laps around the roads from Knighton Sports and Social Club replaced the Stafford 20 which for many years has been run from Staffordshire University on Beaconside.

18 Stafford Harriers took part with Phil Hilsdon the first to complete the course in 2 hrs 14 mins and 17 secs to finish 34th overall. Just over a minute behind was Robert Mottram Jones (2:15:35 – 40th) while Ian Wood came home in 2:26:58 (82nd).

Michelle Fox was the first lady Harrier home (2:31:26 – 107th) with Ian Hodkinson not far back (2:32:03 – 112th).

The remainder of the Harriers among the 410 finishers were:

Michael Dobson (2:34:29 – 127 th)

Mark Oliver (2:44:39 – 174 th)

Chris Elsley (2:46:41 – 187 th)

Natalie Godfrey (2:46:50 – 188 th) PB

Alan Jones (2:56:47 – 235 th)

Anne Coghlan (3:02:57 – 267 th) PB

Eddie Smith (3:05:05 – 280 th)

Tracy Ridings (3:05:37 – 284 th)

Debbie McDermott (3:05:49 – 287 th)

Liz Simcox (3:07:58 – 296 th)

Richard Davies (3:12:25 – 317 th)

Angela Brookes (3:12:25 – 318 th)

Alice Holly (3:27:15 – 357 th)

The race was won by Andy Nixon of Stockport Harriers in 1:51:57 with Blackburn Harriers runner Rachel Wood taking the ladies prize in 2:13:56.


Report from Chris Elsley.


Ian and Michelle enjoying the sunshine.



Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon

13th March 2016

report from Leon Stringer;


To Liverpool for the 23rd Vitality Half Marathon, a real city course with the start/finish line on the waterfront under the Three Graces. There was a 10 mile option too for 10K runners looking for an interim step to the 13.1 mile distance. About 6,000 runners took part in pleasant spring weather: hazy sunshine and barely a breeze. The course is billed as flat and the early incline with the magnificent Anglican cathedral on the left is barely a hill. From there on it’s around two pleasant parks – Sefton and Otterspool – the former having a replica of Piccadilly Circus’ Eros, a surprising thing to pass 200 miles from London! From there it’s along the waterfront for the final 4 miles, very scenic on a Sunday morning although some of the cobbles and the street furniture celebrating the city’s maritime heritage required a bit of care. All-in-all a very enjoyable experience, the only downside being city centre accommodation made a good night’s sleep out of the question.


1st man: Dejene Gezimu (Liverpool Harriers AC) 01:06:58 (chip)

2st lady: Michelle Nolan (Gateshead Harriers AC) 01:20:19 (chip)


Leon Stringer 01:44:12 (chip), gun pos: 1,122, chip pos: 1,157 PB


Fradley 10K and 2K

13th March


Report from Mel Deakin.

Nearly 900 runners turned out for the Fradley 10k and 2K on an almost perfect day for running. The 2k fun run went off first at 10am and over to Ben to report on that.

I was very surprised there was a lead car with a timer on the top. I found it good as it was something to try and catch because I was at the front. The course was good because it was essentially straight along the road. It was also very flat. I was trying to win but I knew someone was behind me. I managed to stay in front and won which I was very pleased about especially as I got £5 prize money.

The 10k started at 10:30am, the course was two laps around Fradley, and was virtually flat. The race started in the village on the road, we then ran through the village and out down tarmac lanes which led us back to the village centre. I enjoyed the race, although there were nearly 900 running I had plenty of space to run, and the laps worked well for me. Well organised, plenty of parking and chip timing too. Definitely one I will consider running again next year.




1st Jamie Fletcher Notts Athletic Club 34:32

1st lady Rachel Olivant 37:51

Stafford Harriers:

Dave Payling 42:25

Alaln Grifin 42:48

Mel Deakin 51:13

Karen Jones 68:42



1st Ben Deakin 7:06

1st girl Maddy Hammond 7:22


March Hair Raiser



There was a good turn out from Stafford Harriers for this year’s March Hair Raiser.

Organised by Wolverhampton & Bilston AC, the race is approximately six miles in distance, run off road and starting from Kingswood Park Business Centre near Albrighton.

Just under 200 runners completed the course with 18 Harriers among them, many of them eager to pick up points in the club’s 2016 Challenge.

First home for the Harriers was Chris Ross who finished an excellent 11th place overall, in a time of 43.08. Following not far behind and picking up maximum points in Group 1 was Robert Mottram-Jones (17th – 44:30) while Jim Smith finished 23rd in 46:07.

Other Harriers to finish were:

Dave Payling 27th 46:34;

Mark White 33rd 47:53;

Natalie Godfrey 57th 50:04;

Alan Jones 72nd 52:10

Chris Skellern 88th 53:48

Shelley Burns 99th 55:25

Melonie Deakin 112th 56:33

Jane Bisiker 121st 58:03

Steve Turner 123rd 58:27

Jill Ross 127th 59:03

Brian Langston 145th 61:32

Amanda Clay 163rd 66:26

Amanda Pearce 172nd 69:31

Michael Jones 188th 77:45

John Hateley 190th 79:49

The race was won by unattached runner David Milne in 36:34 with Telford’s Lucie Tait-Harris the first lady home in 44:22.




Cloud 9



Meanwhile, a couple of Harriers headed north to Congleton for the more challenging Cloud 9, a race which invites runners to tackle the rugged climb up to the top of The Cloud on the outskirts of the town. Michelle Rushton-Fox was the first of the two Harriers home in 78:54; finishing 116th overall while Ian Hodkinson was just over a minute behind, finishing in 80:18 (126th).

Race winner Carl Moulton of Boalloy (2014 Stafford Half Marathon winner) was the only runner to get home in under an hour, finishing in 56:55 while Olivia Walwyn (Macclesfield Harriers) was the leading lady in 67:01.


Annual Awards Evening


On Friday evening the annual awards evening was held at the White Eagle Club on Riverway.



Amongst the awards given out on the night were the awards that you the members voted for on line.

This was again very successful and the voting was as close as we have ever had. However the winners in the three Catagories that you voted for were


Male Runner of the Year Richard Rea

Lady Runner of the Year Michelle Rushton-Fox

Veteran Runner of the Year Chris Skellern


Other awards were as follows


Male newcomer Spencer Holland

Lady newcomer Mel Deakin

Most Improved Karen Murray

Manager’s Award Ian Hodkinson


Club Person of the Year Craig Baxter

Champagne Moment Holly Wright

Special Recognition Joe Atherton



2015 Challenge Group winners.


Group 1st 2nd 3rd
1 Ian Hodkinson Michelle Fox Phil Hilson
2 Jim Smith Darren Mattocks Chris Skellern
3 Chris Elsley Mark Oliver Graham Williams
4 Tracy Ridings Natalie Godfrey Dave Mantle
5 Jo Oliver Julie Nokes Debbie McDermott
6 Frank Evans Bill Whitworth Amanda Pearce

Great North West Half


Great Northwest Half (21/02) & Heartbreaker Half (28/02) – 2 weeks, 2 Halves, 2 opposite ends of the Spectrum!
I believe I was the only Stafford Harrier to run these 2 but correct me if I’m wrong J


Great Northwest Half (Blackpool)
The start was a bit chaotic as no one seemed to know where the start was, (it was hidden)
We than ran up the pier, did a loop, did the loop again, ran back down the pier to do a loop and to repeat that loop again too…. not the most inspiring course I’ve every ran!
The only real benefit of this course was the continued support as you were running in a relatively small area.
When telling people I was going to be doing a half in Blackpool everyone warned me about the wind. Despite this I was still shocked by the sheer strength of the wind! (I’ve read somewhere it was 50mph headwind when we were running on the top heading in the direction of the finish/tower) Safe to say the race pics with wind tunnel face will not be being saved anywhere!
The course was really flat though so when the wind allowed you could speed up quite nicely.
I crossed the finish line with a gun time of 1.47.48 which I was really happy with.

Heartbreaker Half


Heartbreaker Half (New Forest)
As part of the Marathon Talk Runcamp weekend I went on we were offered discounted entry to do the Heartbreaker Half for only £12.
The race started at the bottom of a really steep hill – I usually find it hard not to go off to quickly at the start of races, however this helped massively!
The course was ‘undulating’ to put it politely! Although no really steep downhills which I had been stressing about. The scenery was lovely and looking out for the New Forest Ponies roaming around kept me entertained.
There’s a mile on the road towards the finish which helped me overtake a few people that had gone past me on the last downhill.
I crossed the finish line in 1.52.23 and went straight for the soup and bread rolls that were on offer .

One final one – as part of the Runcamp we also did Moors Valley Parkrun, it was only their 16th event. It was a lovely off road 1 lap course and the breakfast in café afterwards was spot on. If anyone’s down that way on a Saturday morning it’s well worth a visit!
Report from Natalie Godfrey


Action Heart 5 Miles


On Sunday, 12 Harriers completed the Action Heart 5 which, as the name suggests, is a five mile road race in aid of the Action Heart Charity based at Dudley’s Russells Hall Hospital.



Richard Rea was the first home in 29:21, finishing 8th overall, followed by Ian Hodkinson in 34:42, (42nd place overall). He was closely followed by Keith Skelton (35:25 – 46th), Jim Smith (35:55 – 52nd) and Jack Hodkinson (36:50 — 63rd). Chris Elsley (39:16 – 107th), Craig Baxter (40:27 – 125th), Chris Skellern (40:32 – 130th), Gill Hodkinson (41:35 – 146th), Charlotte Ward (49.30 – 269th), John Hateley (50:09 – 277th) and Mick Jones (61:15 – 355th) completed the Harriers turn out among the 380 finishers.


The race was won by Jake Wightman of Loughborough in 25:10, some two minutes ahead of his nearest rival, Tipton’s Jonathan Carter. Another Tipton runner – Lynne Hill, was the first lady home in 31:52.



Chris Elsley’s view


I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wished they had considered the race start time before entering the Action Heart 5.

With the race starting at 9.30am at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, it meant a 7.30am meet for us at Rising Brook. Temperatures were just above zero and there was an icy wind blowing. Enthusiasm wasn’t top of the list.

I was feeling the effects of a cold and my parental duties as a late night taxi driver (I got in at about 1.45am) while others had the National Cross Country still in their legs from the day before. These were our pre-race excuses nicely lined up but I was told I was sounding very much like one of my fellow club members and competitors who shall remain nameless!


The race starts in the hospital grounds and inside the first half mile, runners have a short sharp climb out on to the main road. Sadly, as we were later to find out, Karen Murray had already had to withdraw at this stage with a reoccurrence of a knee injury.

Shortly after setting out on the main road, we arrive at a roundabout. The approach is lined with safety railings. I remember when I first ran this a couple of years ago, Chris Skellern telling me it was best to go one side of the barrier but I couldn’t remember which. Thankfully, Chris was just ahead of me so I followed her to the road side. Most other runners – Craig Baxter included – kept to the footpath and were forced round to the crossing point, adding an extra few yards to their race and giving me the opportunity to pass Craig. I heard him mutter something as he realised his mistake. I’m not quite sure what he said but it probably wasn’t printable.


Most of the first couple of miles involve climbing. Nothing too severe but nothing downhill either!

Eventually you are welcomed with a nice downhill stretch but the surveyors amongst the runners will have realised that we go further down hill than we have just run up hill. The result is that at some point you will be faced with another climb.

That comes with a long drag up from about four miles back to the finish.

I managed to keep up a steady pace, sufficient to keep me inside 40 mins which I was satisfied with. The biggest smile of the day must go to Charlotte Ward whose grin went from ear to ear as she realised she would break 50 mins. Full Harrier results are above.

Last year we collected a club award for the number of runners we entered but with only 12 finishers, we were well down on that this year. The race isn’t the most scenic on the calendar by any means (it is Dudley after all) but it’s only five miles and would be a great one for some of our beginners / improvers to take part in as an introduction to racing.

It was also the latest race in this year’s challenge but it although there was a reasonable turn out from Groups 1 and 2, there were some cheap points on offer for the others.

And finally – it’s for charity. As the organisers stated at the end of the race, over £100,000 has been raced for the Action Heart Charity over the years.

Hopefully, we will get a few more back in Dudley in 12 months time.



Coventry Half Marathon




Racing over the Half Marathon distance in Coventry were Harriers, Alan Jones who ran a PB of 1:43.00 to finish 1145th and Debbie McDermott (1:51.44 to finish 1724th. The race starts and finishes in Coventry city centre heading out into the countryside through Radley and Allesley before runners return to where they started from at the Coventry Transport Museum. Over 4,000 runners completed the event.




Cambridge Half Marathon



report by Mel Deakin
This was by far the largest event I have taken part in with a field of 7000 and was only my third half marathon having run Stafford half in 2014 and 2015. I much prefer shorter distances – 10k is just enough – so you may wonder why I was running a half so far from home. My sister lives near Cambridge so I planned to run with her but it wasn’t to be as she picked up an injury and couldn’t take part. So, she transferred to the Cambridge branch of the Stafford Harriers supporters which meant I was honoured and grateful to have five people backing me on the day.The race starts in the city centre at Midsummer Common. The route heads out towards the shopping area, then quickly onto the road, over the river bridge, past Kings College and the Fitzwilliam museum. Miles 4 to 8 goes out towards Trumpington and the War Memorial then onto Grantchester which is more rural. The course then turns back to the city and by mile 10 you are back at Kings College, then through the city back to Midsummer Common and the finish.I had planned for an early start as we were asked to be there for 8:30am, but I had not planned for it to be so cold. There was frost on the ground and I was absolutely frozen. I took my mind off my perished feet by trying to take in the scale of the event and everything that was going on. It seemed really well organised, marshals everywhere and I am sure this helped ensuring we got away on time at 9:30.I know I am a total novice at running such large events, but when we started running, I was overwhelmed, all I could see in front of me was runners, it was like a scene you see on the television of the London Marathon, a sea of heads bobbing up and down. I got quite frustrated as for the first 5k all I was doing was dodging around other runners and because there were so many it was very difficult to get past and I wasn’t keeping to the pace I had hoped for. At one point when the road narrowed, we virtually stopped, and I realised I should have been smarter and got myself towards the front of my pen, but nothing I could do now. Thankfully, once I got to Grantchester, it was much better and my pace started to pick up. The part of the course through Grantchester was lovely, another runner said Jeffrey Archer lives there, I didn’t see him cheering us on but plenty of other people were. Back into Cambridge, lots of beautiful buildings to look at and lots of supporters shouting cheering and yelling.There were four drinks stations along the route with water and gels. After forgetting my jelly beans at the practice Stafford half last week, I was very disciplined in making sure I refuelled. Whether it was that or a combination of events on the day and the course being relatively flat, my legs didn’t start to scream until mile 11. Less than a Parkrun to the finish! I kept the pace up, due to the slow start my last mile was faster than my first, and was really pleased to finish with a new PB. Amazing medal and huge goody bag (with three gluten free items especially pleased about those), but if you wanted a t-shirt you had to buy one.I am writing this race report with a fistful of emotions. I enjoyed the race and learnt a lot, my family enjoyed watching too, I had an amazing day. Excellent organisation, my time was texted to me within minutes of me finishing. I got talking to a lady before the event who was aiming for about the same time as me, we spoke passing Fitzwilliam museum and at the end. Whilst running through Grantchester a Newmarket runner saw my vest and said he has entered Stafford Half, I will look out for him! And on the bus back to the car I was talking to a Cambridge runner who did Stafford 20 a few years ago and remembers the hills! Isn’t running amazing!But this is all tinged with sadness with the news that two runners who finished a few minutes after me went into cardiac arrest at the event and are critically ill. From the bottom of my heart I wish them well.1st Aaron Scott unattached 1:06:471st lady Hayley Mumm Winchester and District AC 1:16:161st and only Stafford Harrier Melonie Deakin 1:55:49 PB



English National Cross Country Championships


Donington Park




Saturday’s Cross Country event took place at Donington Park and there were over 8500 entrants in the 10 events. Pete Burns is on the organising committee for these Championships and was there from Wednesday helping construct the course. He reported that although it was muddy in places on the day, it would have been very interesting had it have been on the Wednesday when numerous vehicles got stuck in the mud.


In the Men’s event, Richard Rea finished in 598th place, ahead of Chris Ross (1017th) and Ian Wood (1254th). Ian Hodkinson (1269th), Mark Oliver (1300th), Adam Morris (1325th) also counted to secure the Harriers 112th in the team placings while other finishers were Darren Mattocks (1342nd), Anthony Haycock (1468th), Craig Baxter (1611th), Roy Clay (1632nd) and Ed Smith (1697th).


There were just two Harriers in the Senior Women’s event with Chris Skellern finishing 474th and Tracy Ridings 516th

In the U17 mens event, Kieran Mogey finished 243rd while in the U15 Boys George Hodkinson (252nd) finished ahead of Matt Bonney (295th) and Ben Deakin (335th).


Taygen Pike led the U15 girls home in 311th place followed by Chloe Burows (339th), Ellie Withington (351st), Olivia Black (352nd) and Evie Whyte (353rd) to give the team 33rd place overall.


The U13 boys event saw two Harriers competing, Jake Oliver (368th) and Ben Cook (379th).


It proved to be an enjoyable day out for all competitors. The Harriers Juniors performed well and learned alot from their experience, running against some of the top junior athletes in the country.




Here are a couple of photos from Mel Deakin.

Stafford Half Practice Run

21 Feb 2016


Today’s practice went well, 40 runners took part. The front page banner has now been changed.

Some additional photos of the day below.


Barcelona Half Marathon



Before the run. Notice the smiles. We don’t have an after photo. Perhaps it’s as well.

A party of 21 Stafford Harriers went on this trip and really super weekend was had by all. Good weather, a great hotel very close to the centre of everything To cap it ten of the party went to the Nou Camp with 75,570 others to watch, what some sports commentators declared, the best football match ever to be seen there.


We are awaiting reports of the run, but Mark Bentley has be on the ball and managed to get everyones times. Not easy on the Barcelona Half Marathon website.


Here they are


2064th Chris Ross 1:34:10
4139th Mark Bentley 1:41:58
7559th John Finney 1:52:46
7936th Ed Smith 1:54:02
8416th Debbie McDermott 1:55:41
8922nd Jill Ross 1:57:21
9456th Jane Bisiker 1:59:04
10360th Rachel Darby 2:02:27 PB
10379th Gina Brown 2:02:32
11771st Brian Langston 2:10:22
13801st Frank Evans 2:51:33



Men’s winner was Vincent Kipruto of Kenya in 1:02:54
Ladies’ winner was Florence Kiplagat of Kenya in 1:09:19


There were 17,569 finishers.



Here is the Harriers view of that Messi penalty.




Stourbridge Stagger

Sunday 7th Feb


Five Harriers headed south to the Black Country for the 25th running of the Stourbridge Stagger.
The course is mainly off road and always consists of plenty of mud and water but this year’s event provided the most difficult conditions for several years with even the flatter bits being slippy.

Ian Hodkinson 1:23:57 (89th)
Keith Skelton 1:25:47 (102nd)
Chris Elsley 1:34:43 (166th)
Caryl Gibson 2:03:18 (356th)
Joe Atherton 2:03:39 (357th)


Leading runner of the 395 finishers was Matthew Harrold of Warley Woods Pacers in an excellent 1:04:22 while Daisy Wilson (unattached) was the first female home in 1:16:51 (40th).




Alsager 5

7th Feb 16


Some seventeen Harriers travelled to Alsager for the first race of twenty in the NSRRA. This is a high class race with over nine hundred running. The first home was Johnny Taylor of Morpeth in a time of 24.10, first lady was Elle Vernon of Stockport Harriers in 27.19. Ian Wood was the first Harrier home in 34.19


Full Harrier results

Ian Wood 34.19 2nd M50
Darren Mattocks 36.05
Craig Baxter 37.14
Nia Nokes 37.26 2nd Group M PB
Tracy Riding 37.54
Chris Skellern 38.00 1st F50
Mark Bentley 38.11 3rd M50
Alan Jones 38.28
Melonie Deakin 42.17
Karen Murray 42.55
Natalie Boswell 44.05
Julie Nokes 47.34 3rd F55
Bill Whitworth 50.11
John Hateley 50.40
Mick Jones 54.28
George Singh 65.22


Midland Cross Country Championships




Despite the late change in venue, there was still a good turn out of Stafford Harriers when the Midland Cross Country Championships took place at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough on Saturday.


The course was laid out on the beautiful parkland area in front of an imposing old hall and although the sun was shining, there was lots of sticky mud for runners to tackle and – in some cases – lose acquaintance with their shoes!


Harrier’s members featured in six races, with team results achieved in both the men’s and women’s senior races as well as the U15 boys.


Tony Haycock was the Harriers ‘ leading male runner as the men finished in 31st place overall. Haycock was followed in by Ian Wood, Ian Hodkinson, Mark Oliver, Craig Baxter and Roy Clay.


The women finished in 17th place. Natalie Godfrey led the team home in 82nd with Chris Skellern, Tracy Ridings and Melonie Deakin also counting.


Amy Oliver (47th) was the sole Harrier in the Girls U17 race while it was a similar story for brother Jake (81st) in the Boys U13 event.


The U15 girls had Taygen Pike, Chloe Burrows and Olivia Black featuring but lacked the fourth runner needed to achieve a team position.


The U15 boys managed to field enough runners, the team of George Hodkinson, Robbie Gorman, Matt Bonney, Ben Deakin and Kian Arnott finishing 7th in their category.



NSRRA Presentations

15th January 2016

Report by Karen Murray


On Friday 15th February nine harriers and their families headed north for the North Staffs Road Runners Association (NSRRA) presentation evening. There are 20 races organised including 5 miles, 10K, 7 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, Half Marathon, 20 miles and Marathon distances. There are many running clubs involved in the league and races include runners of all shapes, sizes and abilities. The 20 races are organised between February and November and your best 12 races count.
It is a great experience and provides the opportunity to try new races with the challenge of competing with runners in your age and ability group. You also compete for the team prize representing Stafford Harriers.
It was a great night and our table was loaded with trophies, so much so that Graham felt the legs needed to be reinforced.
I would encourage other Stafford Harriers to join NSRRA. It costs £10 for the year membership and provides a great opportunity to network with other running clubs. Michael jones encouraged me to join a few years ago and it has certainly helped continue my enjoyment of running and I have come away with a few prizes over the years to add to the enjoyment.

Ladies Team winners
Chris Skellern Tracy Ridings
Julie Nokes Karen Murray
Ladies Group Winners
Group M Tracy Ridings (3rd)
Group W Karen Murray (1st)
Group X Julie Nokes (3rd)
Male Age Group Winners
70-74 Bill Whitworth (2nd) 3rd Michael Jones (3rd)
Female Age Group Winners
40-44 Tracy Ridings (2nd)
45-49 Karen Murray (3rd)
50-54 Chris Skellern (2nd)
55-59 Julie Nokes (2nd)


Congratulations, Julie Nokes, Karen Murray and Tracy Ridings and to Chris Skellern who wasn’t at the presentations.


Trig Race



Still awaitng report and results but here are a couple of photos of the gang at the Trig Race.



Place Name Time
17 Richard Rea 125:03
42 Robert Mottram Jones 138:46
48 Spencer Holland 140:37
52 Amanda Pearce 141:04
57 Dave Payling 141:45
61 Michelle Fox 142:47
63 Ian Hodkinson 145:25
70 Adam Morris 146:47
71 Ian Wood 147:26
72 Nigel Brindley 147:53
73 Chris Ross 147:55
74 Chris Elsley 148:18
92 Jim Smith 153:45
108 Natalie Godfrey 157:15
121 Chris Skellern 163:05
128 Ed Smith 166:41
129 Craig Baxter 166:57
133 Alan Jones 170:09
136 Jane Bisiker 170:56
137 Mark Withington 172:05
142 Debbie McDermott 173:14
143 Dave Mantle 173:25
148 Gill Hodkinson 188:18
149 Joanne Oliver 188:27
153 Sarah Johnson 191:49




Vernon’s Limp Wrist Race



Winner Jack Hodkinson


It was a very cold morning with many bleary eyed runners having to scrape the frost of their cars to get to the Annual Vernon’s Limp Wrist race. As you can see in the end 118 turned up in many varied states of readiness. We had Ben Gamble limbering up when Craig Baxter arrived looking the worse for wear, with 24 cans of beer.

Ben had a great run, way ahead of anyone else, finishing in 26:23 but he was 48 seconds ahead of his prediction so finished in 37th place. Craig Baxter however finished in 39:42 just 12 seconds ahead of his prediction and won money. There has to be a moral there somewhere.


Congratulations to Junior Harrier Jack Hodkinson who was only 1 second out on his prediction of 40.23. It landed him £20 as a late Christmas Present.


A big thank you to all that ran today, also all the frozen folks that helped out and the good news is, that over £500 was raised from the event for Katherine House.



Here is how you all fared.

Pos Fname Sname Club Pre time Act Time Diff
1 Jack Hodkinson Stafford Harriers 40:23 0:40:22 00:01
2 David Griffiths Stone M M 48:50 0:48:52 00:02
3 Pam Davies Stone M M 42:42 0:42:38 00:04
3 Tim Hulse Stone M M 32:48 0:32:52 00:04
5 Richard Rea Stafford Harriers 30:30 0:30:24 00:06
6 Craig Baxter Stafford Harriers 39:54 0:39:42 00:12
7 Bill Clarke Stone M M 46:50 0:46:35 00:15
7 Ian Hodkinson Stafford Harriers 33:55 0:33:40 00:15
7 Amanda Pearce Stafford Harriers 49:40 0:49:55 00:15
10 Claire McHugh Unattached 52:09 0:51:53 00:16
10 Stu Turner Stafford Tri 34:30 0:34:46 00:16
12 Robert Mottram-Jones Stafford Harriers 34:40 0:34:22 00:18
13 John Guest Trentham R C 35:30 0:35:49 00:19
13 Dave Marshall Unattached 42:55 0:43:14 00:19
15 Chris Elsley Stafford Harriers 36:10 0:36:30 00:20
16 Eddie Smith Stafford Harriers 43:20 0:42:59 00:21
17 Nick Boulton Stone M M 45:56 0:45:32 00:24
17 Frank Lain Unattached 37:47 0:37:23 00:24
19 Allison Haycox Wrekin road Runners 44:56 0:44:31 00:25
19 Grahame Cope Uttoxeter Road Runners 37:57 0:37:32 00:25
19 Simon Hodgkinson Cheadle running club 51:00 0:50:35 00:25
22 Hilary Rees Unattached 54:30 0:54:04 00:26
22 Sam Hodgkinson Stone M M 51:01 0:50:35 00:26
22 Charlotte Ward Stafford Harriers 53:45 0:53:19 00:26
25 Lynne Callaghan Trentham R C 36:25 0:35:57 00:28
26 Michael Jones Stafford Harriers 53:46 0:54:16 00:30
27 Kevin Uzzell Stone M M 38:10 0:37:38 00:32
28 Russell Barron Stafford Harriers 30:41 0:31:14 00:33
28 Leonara Wilson-Weaver Unattached 45:00 0:45:33 00:33
30 Ange Charlesworth Stafford Harriers 53:25 0:53:59 00:34
30 Amanda Lysons Wrekin road Runners 45:15 0:44:41 00:34
30 Diana Wilson-Patrick Unattached 45:00 0:45:34 00:34
33 Julie Boulton Stone M M 46:57 0:46:21 00:36
34 Steve Emmas Unattached 45:50 0:45:08 00:42
35 Jake Oliver Stafford Harriers 38:41 0:39:24 00:43
36 Bill Stevenson Michelin A C 40:47 0:41:33 00:46
37 Ben Gamble Tipton Harriers 27:31 0:26:43 00:48
38 Taygen Pike Stafford Harriers 42:00 0:42:50 00:50
39 Chris Skellern Stafford Harriers 38:43 0:39:35 00:52
39 Georgina Coggins Stafford Harriers 42:42 0:41:50 00:52
41 Margaret Shaw Stone M M 48:10 0:49:04 00:54
41 Ian Talbot Stafford Harriers 42:07 0:41:13 00:54
43 Alan Jones Stafford Harriers 37:15 0:38:10 00:55
44 Anne Griffiths Stone M M 49:57 0:50:54 00:57
45 Ben Deakin Stafford Harriers 37:50 0:38:48 00:58
46 Liz Stanyer Stafford Harriers 42:18 0:43:18 01:00
46 Keith Skelton Stafford Harriers 35:45 0:36:45 01:00
46 Spencer Holland Stafford Harriers 34:29 0:33:29 01:00
49 Lindsey Foster Stafford Harriers 49:23 0:50:24 01:01
50 Toby Hart Unattached 32:00 0:30:57 01:03
51 Sean Burke Unattached 48:54 0:47:43 01:11
51 Chris Deakin Biddulph R C 39:17 0:38:06 01:11
53 Martin Kaine Stoke Fit 38:53 0:40:07 01:14
54 Cynthia Lewis Telford Harriers 10:25 1:11:40 01:15
54 Melonie Deakin Stafford Harriers 40:00 0:41:15 01:15
56 Joyce Edwards Stone M M 47:50 0:49:07 01:17
57 David Hall Unattached 32:00 0:30:39 01:21
57 Stuart Ellis Unattached 48:00 0:49:21 01:21
59 Mark Oliver Stafford Harriers 38:02 0:39:24 01:22
60 Richard Shaw Stone M M 42:25 0:41:01 01:24
61 George Singh Stafford Harriers 02:00 1:00:35 01:25
62 Tom Johnson Stone M M 40:30 0:41:56 01:26
63 John Gomersall Stafford Harriers 39:20 0:37:53 01:27
64 Liz Stevenson Potters Trotters 52:13 0:53:42 01:29
64 Mark Bentley Stafford Harriers 37:30 0:38:59 01:29
66 Sally-Ann Emmas Unattached 47:00 0:48:32 01:32
67 Ian Wood Stafford Harriers 34:10 0:35:45 01:35
68 Robert Wilson Unattached 38:00 0:39:38 01:38
68 Stella Denniss Stafford Harriers 42:00 0:40:22 01:38
70 George Hodkinson Stafford Harriers 33:58 0:35:39 01:41
71 Paul Dibble Stafford Tri 42:30 0:40:47 01:43
72 Adrian Reeves-Jones Cheadle running club 37:50 0:36:04 01:46
73 Ian Beattie Telford A C 45:00 0:46:47 01:47
73 Kim Parsons Unattached 49:30 0:47:43 01:47
75 Amanda Clay Stafford Harriers 44:39 0:46:27 01:48
75 Andy Cowden Bere Alston 42:38 0:40:50 01:48
77 Sally Liggins Stafford Harriers 51:25 0:49:35 01:50
78 Laura Heath Stone M M 49:00 0:50:54 01:54
78 Julie Nokes Stafford Harriers 51:15 0:53:09 01:54
80 Bobbie Hickman Trentham R C 47:15 0:45:13 02:02
80 Annabel Evans Stafford Harriers 53:07 0:51:05 02:02
82 Ruth Smith Unattached 48:15 0:46:11 02:04
82 Sally Kenny Cheadle running club 42:38 0:40:34 02:04
84 Ruth Edwards Stafford Harriers 51:45 0:49:35 02:10
85 Stephen Weaver Unattached 44:10 0:41:57 02:13
86 Angela Brookes Stafford Harriers 47:55 0:45:41 02:14
87 Richard Lowndes Stafford Tri 35:00 0:37:16 02:16
88 Amy Gamble Stone M M 38:24 0:36:06 02:18
89 Wendy Proctor Newcastle Tri 50:00 0:47:37 02:23
90 Julie Gomersall Stafford Harriers 56:00 0:53:32 02:28
91 Karen D Murray Stafford Harriers 44:30 0:47:00 02:30
92 Sarah Johnson Stafford Harriers 46:53 0:44:21 02:32
92 Ryan Downes Stafford Tri 38:00 0:35:28 02:32
94 Jenny Gibbs Unattached 45:00 0:42:26 02:34
95 Liam Duggan Stafford Harriers 39:40 0:37:01 02:39
96 Ann Jones NSRRA 56:43 0:54:01 02:42
97 Mark Deakin Stafford Harriers 38:27 0:41:20 02:53
98 Mark Burrows Unattached 49:40 0:46:44 02:56
99 Grant Palmer Stone M M 39:30 0:42:32 03:02
100 Alfred Slater NSRRA 58:16 0:55:10 03:06
101 James Hall Unattached 40:00 0:36:47 03:13
102 Paul Foster Stafford Harriers 50:30 0:53:47 03:17
103 Steven McHugh Stafford Harriers 47:50 0:44:15 03:35
104 Mac McCoig Stone M M 44:10 0:47:51 03:41
105 Graham Brookes Unattached 50:00 0:53:46 03:46
106 Colin Pheasant Chase Harriers 49:24 0:45:36 03:48
107 Hannah Talbot Stafford Harriers 42:21 0:46:15 03:54
108 Chloe Burrows Stafford Harriers 51:00 0:46:42 04:18
109 Ann-Marie Mountford Stone M M 48:27 0:43:53 04:34
110 Steph Holbeck Unattached 48:26 0:43:50 04:36
111 Tracy Ridings Stafford Harriers 45:00 0:40:22 04:38
112 Marcus Clay Stafford Harriers 44:29 0:39:41 04:48
113 Glyn Peers Burntwood Tri 64:29 0:58:57 05:32
114 Jim Smith Stafford Harriers 44:00 0:38:06 05:54
115 Chris Barlow Stone M M 55:10 0:48:50 06:20
116 Lottie Lowndes Stafford Tri 40:00 0:46:31 06:31
117 Alan Hodgkiss Telford A C 49:05 0:58:54 09:49
118 Yvonne Peers Burntwood Tri 62:49 0:49:03 13:46