Race Report July to September 2013

North Staffs Cross Country League

Race 1 – Winsford, Cheshire


Report by Tracey Jones

The cross country season got off to a promising start for Stafford Harriers, with 17 ladies and 21 men competing in the first fixture, hosted by Vale Royal AC. It was great to welcome new members to both squads including Nathan Sabin and Lauren Gee who have moved up from the junior ranks.

Slight changes to the course for this year, which meant the ladies ran further (3.92 miles) and the men got off a bit lighter than previous years (6.52 miles)

Both teams are in division one this season, currently the ladies are 4th of 8 teams and the men are 7th of 10 teams.


Results as follows:

19 Michelle Fox W35 27.46
21 Tracey Jones W40 27.52
23 Joanna Thompson SW 28.06
30 Chris Skellern W50 28.24
60 Shelley Burns SW 30.45
76 Julie Addison JW 31.50
84 Gill Hodkinson W40 32.29
95 Angela Brookes W35 33.25
98 Liz Stanyer W40 33.43
101 Sandra Smith W45 34.04
104 Jane Bisiker W50 34.42
107 Lauren Gee JW 35.10
125 Chelsie Cook SW 36.53
127 Joanne Oliver W40 36.55
131 Caryl Gibson W50 38.20
148 Rachel Marsden W35 41.56
156 Sara Broome W45 46.14

160 finished.


38 Nathan Sabin JM 40.19
48 Steve Vaughan SM 41.16
54 Mark Bridgwood SM 41.41
65 Alan Griffin M40 42.20
73 Ian Talbot M40 42.53
106 Chris Ross M45 45.15
112 Adam Morris SM 45.31
126 Ian Hodkinson M40 46.34
138 Mark White M40 47.23
140 Richard Caley SM 47.29
154 Alan Cook M45 48.34
156 Joe Atherton M55 48.46
158 Jim Smith M45 48.58
173 Darren Mattocks SM 50.35
188 Eddie Smith M60 52.28
190 Mark Oliver M40 52.36
208 Craig Baxter M40 56.04
219 Nigel Addison M45 58.04
237 Michael Jones M70 64.40
238 Bryan Dale M70 66.21
240 Mike Moore M70 72.04

242 finished.


Next race is 26th October 2013 at Stafford Common see the North Staffs Cross Country League website for further information.

St. Thomas’ 7 mile Road Race

Sunday 22/10/13


Fourteen Harriers took part in this year’s St. Thomas’ 7. First home for the Stafford Harriers was Chris Ross in 49-51. First Harrier lady was Michelle Rushton-Fox in 52-07, which earned her the 2nd prize in the L35 category. Chris Skellern was 2nd in the L50 category.


47th Chris Ross 49-51
54th Darren Pyatt 50-35
57th Paul Douglas 51-07
65th Michelle Rushton-Fox 52-07 2nd L35
72nd Chris Skellern 53-34 2nd L50
74th Tracey Jones 53-38
94th Eddie Smith 56-09
121st Caroline Nicol 60-08
122nd Craig Baxter 60-11
126th Jill Ross 60-50
162nd George Singh 67-54
165th Bill Whitworth 68-30
180th Mike Jones 70-50
192nd John Hateley 74-24



Midland 4 & 6 Stage Relays Sutton Park



This was a perfect day for running and Sutton Park was full with runners from all over the Midlands. Stafford Harriers had four teams competing in the Annual Road Race relays at Sutton Park. The men’s race was about 5K per lap and the ladies race was just over 3K per lap. Fastest leg run by a Harrier in the men’s race was run by Russell Barron in 20:30 and the fastest Lady was Steph Clayton in 17:53


41st Stafford Harriers Mens Open 2:12:29

1 Steve Vaughan (60) 21:45 2 Russell Barron (46) 20:39

3 Mark Bridgwood (46) 22:04 4 Adam Morris (51) 24:14

5 Paul Bosson (48) 21:56 6 Ryan Noakes (41) 21:51


19th Stafford Harriers Masters 2:34:28

1 Dave Payling (20) 24:46 2 Joe Atherton (21) 25:35

3 Alan Griffin (20) 22:48 4 D Mattocks (20) 26:36

5 Edwin Smith (21) 28:27 6 Neil Martin (19) 26:16


Ladies Race


46th Stafford Harriers ‘B’ 1:20:54

1 Steph Clayton (37) 17:53 2 Julie Addison (45) 20:26

3 Caryl Gibson (55) 23:50 4 Tracey Jones (46) 18:45


48th Stafford Harriers ‘A’ 1:22:13

1 C Skellern (47) 18:43 2 Jo Thompson (38) 18:21

3 Lauren Gee (50) 23:26 4 E Stanyer (48) 21:43

Birmingham Canal Canter 26m


Report from Chris Owen

i was looking for a marathon for december and came across this ( in know it isn’t dec and yes i did find one)

it is organised by the ldwa so i knew it would be good value with well stocked checkpoints. it takes in the stratford and avon,birmingham and worcester, fazeley and grand union canel..unlike most ldwa challeges there were no styles and hills. joking aside the first 5m was mixed terrain with a fair bit of self navigation .i was running with a group at the front taking it turn to navigate until i stopped to look at directions because we wern’t sure and they carried on blindly,until we made our way onto our first canel towpath. from then navigation was very easy,keep running until you came to canel junction. it was easy going until the other side of brindly place at about 16m where i came across a series of locks ,11 in all,luckily down hill but it disrupted you pace as the ground was uneven and also there were the short sharp bridges.like ususal the checkpoints were frienly and well stocked,for walkers anyway.you had to surply your own mug for refreshments,luckily i carried a bottle which i could top up.

basically it was like doing the black country trice

my time was 4hrs 3m,winners time was 3hrs,33m



Stafford Harriers Press Report

Sunday 15th September 2013


report by Bill Whitworth

The dire weather forecast for the weekend did not deter Stafford Harrier Members from travelling far and wide to take part in some iconic events on Sunday.


Three stalwarts made the long journey to compete in the Great North Run, rubbing shoulders with elite athletes, celebrities and thousands of club runners. Out of a field of over 41,000 runners, the race was won by Kenenise Bekele in a time of 1:00:09 and the ladies event was won by Priscah Jeptoo who completed the course in 1:05:45. Running a personal best in the trying conditions, Alan Griffin finished in a time of 1:25:09 – just 25 minutes after the winner!


Tim Hough completed his race in 1:40:34 and the sole female Harrier in the event, Tracey Kenny, finished in 2:01:33.


Meanwhile, over the Welsh Border the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon attracted the attention of five more Harriers. This event began as a local fundraiser for a local Church in 1988 and grew in popularity and esteem over the years. The course has probably the most beautiful half marathon in the UK, taking in views of the lake and the small waterfalls dropping into it as runners begin with a small steady incline up to the dam in the first mile and continues over roads lined by trees on the first half so totally shaded, a little more exposed on the second half.

The event was won by Ben Fish, Blackburn Harriers – 1:08:05 and winning lady was Clare Martin Telford AC – 1:19:33.


Leading Harrier was 18year old Nathan Sabin who took 50th position overall with his time of 1:22:47. First lady Harrier home was Sandra Smith 2:00:01. Other results were


Sally Liggins 2:01:14

Karen Sabin 2:06:52

Helen Morris 2:09:06


see below for the details of the South Cheshire 20.


15th September 2013


Congratulations to the Harriers ladies team for winning the team trophy in this race. Counters were Tracey Jones, Jo Thompson and Shelley Burns ably assisted by Angela Brookes and Karen Murray.

Harriers times as follows.



18 Russell Barron 2-15-18
49 Ian Hodkinson 2-28-28
55 Ryan Noakes 2-30-04
86 Tracey Jones 2-40-11 1st L40
95 Jo Thompson 2-44-42
97 Martin Moore 2-44-48
125 Eddie Smith 2-53-58
136 Shelley Burns 2-56-26
150 Angela Brookes 3-00-25
178 Karen Murray 3-19-41
213 Mike Moore 4-28-23

report from Shelley Burns


So Sunday 15th September was to be my longest race to date, more to the point it was to be my longest run EVER, as prior to this I have only ever managed 17miles!

The nerves set in at 06:30 when I was wide awake and nervous as hell. I was collected nice and early by my chauffeur and chief supporter, Pete Burns. We arrived nice and early to collect my race number and was feeling slightly apprehensive due to the rain and wind that had greeted us. What had I let myself in for???


It wasn’t long before the few Harrier’s that had decided to run began to congregate, not the strength in numbers that I was used to but never the less there were 9 of us that were crazy enough to take on the hills of Cheshire!

By the time that we headed out to the start, the rain had stopped and the wind had retreated…… AND WE WERE OFF.

The first 3 miles seemed to fly passed, even though I had forced myself not to get caught up in the moment and race off “a la Burns” as normal. I had planned for a consistent 9 minute mile pace to see me round the course to get me to the 3 hour finish.

It was lovely to see Julie Nokes at the 5 mile mark, and I even managed to tell her about the few nasty hills that I had already encountered, next to cheer me on was Pete around the 6.5 mile mark, where I managed to tell him that so far was so good, and yes I was ENJOYING myself.

This was temporary as at the 9 mile mark came the most nastiest of hills. But true to my game plan I soldiered on and DID NOT walk. Once again it was nice to see Pete’s friendly face at the 10.5 mile mark, and yes I was STILL enjoying myself. The sun had even put in an appearance.

By the half marathon mark I was under 2 hours but thinking “if I had entered the GNR I would be done now,” but instead I had another 7 miles to go. miles 14,15 and 16 seemed to come and go. At mile 17 I found myself in unknown territory, running the unknown. I was glad to see the 18 mile marker as I found that my legs were beginning to protest. Bless the small boy who was standing with his bowl of jelly babies. Having run nearly the entire race on water alone. I thought that now might be the time for a little boost. Not completely sure that jelly baby power got me through, but the 19 mile mark came and went.

Finally I could see the leisure centre and the FINISH. A quick glance at my Garmin and yes there was still 5 minutes to go before the 3 hour mark. One last push to the finish saw me home at 02:56:26. To say that I was pleased doesn’t even come close. Having doubted that I could even finish the course I did so in a respectable time, helping also to bring the Harrier Ladies home in 1st place along with Tracey Jones and Jo Thompson.I can honestly say that I absolutely LOVED this race and will definitely be

running again next year. The course was hard with some nasty hills but the countryside was beautiful and the support from the marshals all around the 20 miles was amazing!

Who knows, maybe a PB next year?……….


Lake Vrynwy Half Marathon, Wales

15th September 2013


By Sandra Smith:

Invited by my Sister’s Club, Dudley & Kings winford, on a wet and windy Sunday morning we met at DK club to board the coach for the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon. Spirits were high as we steeled ourselves to the fact we were going to get very wet. We arrived at around 11am to dark clouds and heavy rain, it never stopped. The closer it got to the 1pm Start Time the worse the weather got! The route started just up from the town hall. Everyone was trying to find what little shelter was available until the start. The start was a little chaotic, as all races are, with weaving in and out to get a position where you can run a steady pace. The first section is a hill climb and then you run along the moat towards the lake circular. If we thought we’d get protection under the trees we were mistaken, with blustery winds it felt like someone holding a hose at you at times but we dug deep and kept running. I’d been assured that this was a flat course, PB potential, but found after crossing the bridge you had a steady climb up to about the 11 mile mark. It did flatten out at times but not enough before you were slowly going up again. There were mile markers along the course and the water stations, at every 3 miles, were well organised. Some brave souls were scattered around the course urging us on and it helped. The downhill side of the course started at around 12 miles which was extremely welcoming only for it then to climb again slightly before the downhill bit came again all the way to the finish. This last bit of a hill finished off my tired legs and I jogged over the finish line 2 secs short of a sub 2hrs – gutted but it still was a PB for me. The route to the finish line was a mass of soggy and cold spectators who through their support got everyone home

The toilets, showers and changing rooms were as soaked as outside but you can see the village really get into the whole event with homemade cakes and hot drinks for sale. As soon as we started heading home the sunshine decided to come out, you would have never thought we just run for 2+ hours in pouring rain and gusty winds.


Waterfalls, views of the lake and beautiful countryside make this run pleasing to the eye even in the extreme weather conditions. Would I do it again, definitely and I will get that sub 2hrs. Only 5 Harriers braved the Welsh countryside, Nathan paved the way for us ladies and have listed both Gun and Chip Times below. The race was won by Ben Fish of Blackburn Harriers in a time of 1hr 8mins. Well done to all who took part and hope that you’ve all now dried out.


Nathan Sabin Gun Time: 01:23:05

Chip Time:


Sally Liggins Gun Time: 02:01:38

Chip Time:


Sandra Smith Gun Time: 02:02:04

Chip Time:


Karen Sabin Gun Time: 02:08:55

Chip Time:


Helen Morris Gun Time: 02:09:30

Chip Time:



Stafford Harriers Press Report

8th September 2013


report by Bill Whitworth

On Thursday 5th September, the third Harriers Handicap race was held on Cannock Chase and was the start of a busy running weekend. Overall winner was Caroline Nichol with Mark Orchard coming in next. In the places up to 10th were

Nathan Sabin

Angela Brookes

Charlotte Ward

Sara Broome

Jim Smith

Alan Griffin

Ian Hodkinson

Mark Bridgwood


15 members of Stafford Harriers made the scenic journey to Ipstones for the challenging 5 mile Road Race – part of the Carnival which is centred around the local Fire Station. With the race starting outside the station, there is a tough uphill mile that takes runners onto the moors, where some gentle descents are then followed by a steep uphill climb before the final half mile return to Ipstones.

The race was won by Carl Moulton of Boalloy RC in 28:02, while Michelle Buckle of Newcastle AC continued her winning ways to be first lady in 32:57. First Harrier was Mark Bridgwood in 32:37 while Chris Skellern’s 39:39 earned her a Gold Medal in the Staffordshire Championships.


Other Harrier times were:


Paul Douglas36:51

Mark Bentley 37:48

Tracey Jones38:24

Ed Smith 40:36

Craig Baxter 42:03

Liz Stanyer 44:50

Tracey Ridings45:21

Darren Taylor 46:33

Karen Murray 46:35

Bill Whitworth48:18

Gael Earp 50:04

Julie Nokes50:17

George Singh 48:18


On Sunday, 44 Harriers headed to Lichfield for the 10k race which is now in its 18th year and regularly attracts over 1,000 runners. Run over mainly quiet, undulating country lanes, it does have some hilly challenges. The race winner in a time of 0:33:17 was Matt Adcock of Armitage Harriers and Vicky Callaway ran 39:10 to take the ladies race. Paul Bosson was the first Harrier in his time of 0:37:48 and Michelle Fox was the first Harrier lady in her time of 0:44:26.


Paul Bosson0:37:48 (2nd V45)

Alan Griffin0:38:36 (pb)

Mark Bridgwood 0:39:05

Mark Orchard0:41:32

Ian Hodkinson 0:42:03

Mark White 0:42:38

Dave Payling 0:42:58

Joe Smith 0:43:04

Neil Martin 0:43:21

Jim Smith 0:43:27

Richard Caley0:43:13

Michelle Fox 0:44:26 (2nd L35)

Chris Skellern 0:46:30

Leon Stringer 0:49:09

Richard Draper 0:49:26

Mark Oliver 0:49:49

Craig Baxter0:49:53

Gill Hodkinson 0:50:33

Angela Brookes0:50:44

Esther Batho 0:50:49

Dave Mantle 0:50:23

John Finney 0:51:38

Sandra Smith 0:51:36

Graham Williams 0:52:39

Anne Coghlan0:52:45

Juli Crocombe0:52:59

Marie-Claire D’arcy-Barron0:53:09

Liz Cook 0:53:55

Joanne Oliver 0:56:25

Julie Mogey 0:56:26

Charlotte Ward 0:58:16

Becki Hollins0:58:18

Julie Nokes 0:58:29

John Hateley 0:58:16

Stuart Fowlie 1:00:37

Ruth Edwards1:01:08

Mike Moore1:03:25

Karen Murray 1:05:48

Rhiannon Jones 1:07:00

Alex Hill 1:07:15

Sara Broome 1:07:09

Valerie Stuart 1:08:01 (3rd L65)

Lindsay Ashforth 1:09:10

Andrew Carter 1:10:48





75th Pete Hodgetts Handicap 6.9.13

Report Liz & Simon Stanyer your handicapper


A great turn out of 40 Harriers (due to it being in the challenge??) for this sunny autumn evening handicap. It was great to see some returning faces as well as the hardcore handicappers (Chris Skellern continuing her unbroken record), and a good smattering of first timers.

Tracey Jones, Sue Williams and Rachel Davis Proctor experienced life on the other side of the watch and set everyone off smoothly according to handicap times.

It was brilliant to see so many runners along the length of the valley and this also gave the faster ones plenty of runners to catch. There was lots of friendly banter as club mates overtook and words of encouragement given to get up that hilly valley.

Mark Oliver and Simon recording finishing numbers saw Caroline Nichol come through strongly to take 1st place just over a minute ahead of Mark Orchard placed 2nd once again. A fantastic run by Nathan (ever nearer to the course record) saw him coming in 3rd.

As mentioned before, superb marshalling from Chris Elsley, Stuart Fowlie and Mike Harris helped to make this club run a fun, friendly and successful event, whilst remaining a challenging run to add strong off road training to all who took part. Thank you to all.

Simon and Liz


Time Handicap Net time
Nathan Sabin 00:42:21 00:19:45 00:22:36
Tom Sandy 00:43:40 00:20:30 00:23:10
Mark Bridgwood 00:43:13 00:19:15 00:23:58
Alan Griffin 00:43:06 00:18:30 00:24:36
Jack Hodkinson 00:44:32 00:18:30 00:26:02
Mark Orchard 00:42:06 00:16:00 00:26:06
Ian Hodkinson 00:43:11 00:16:30 00:26:41
Richard Caley 00:43:41 00:17:00 00:26:41
Alan Cook 00:44:21 00:17:30 00:26:51
Steph Clayton 00:43:44 00:16:45 00:26:59
Dave Payling 00:43:27 00:16:15 00:27:12
Jim Smith 00:42:57 00:15:00 00:27:57
Tom Exton 00:44:52 00:16:45 00:28:07
Joe Atherton 00:44:55 00:16:45 00:28:10
Chris Skellern 00:44:38 00:15:15 00:29:23
Mark Bentley 00:44:15 00:14:45 00:29:30
Eddie Smith 00:44:24 00:14:00 00:30:24
Caroline Nichol 00:41:02 00:09:15 00:31:47
Craig Baxter 00:44:26 00:12:30 00:31:56
Leon Stringer 00:44:27 00:12:30 00:31:57
Angela Brookes 00:42:25 00:10:15 00:32:10
Sandra Smith 00:43:52 00:11:30 00:32:22
Gill Hodkinson 00:43:23 00:10:45 00:32:38
Esther Batho 00:44:32 00:11:30 00:33:02
Liz Stanyer 00:45:16 00:11:45 00:33:31
Marie-Claire Darcy-Barron 00:43:26 00:09:15 00:34:11
Amy Wilshaw 00:46:47 00:12:30 00:34:17
Graham Williams 00:46:56 00:11:45 00:35:11
Lauren Gee 00:45:57 00:09:45 00:36:12
Liz Cook 00:44:46 00:08:30 00:36:16
Charlotte Ward 00:42:37 00:06:00 00:36:37
Joanne Oliver 00:45:57 00:08:30 00:37:27
Chelsie Cook 00:43:28 00:06:00 00:37:28
Michael Bamber 00:43:33 00:05:45 00:37:48
Karen Sabin 00:47:06 00:09:00 00:38:06
Julie Noakes 00:44:08 00:06:00 00:38:08
Rachel Marsden 00:46:51 00:05:45 00:41:06
Mike Moore 00:46:37 00:05:15 00:41:22
Sara Broome 00:42:45 00:00:00 00:42:45
Val Stuart 00:48:08 00:03:45 00:44:23

Wolverhampton marathon

1st September 2013


by Chris Owen

i wished the alarm hadn’t gone off and i had missed the start i might have posted a better time.this is a list of excuses i have come up with,wrong footwear,odd socks,garmin was dead so had to use old fashioned stop watch,when put on fuel belt 2 of my gels were leaking if i think of any more i will let you know.the first few miles were fine,until 2nd fuel stop,where my left calf started stiffening up and also my Achilles tendinitis was flaring up,i was about to turn around to find quickest way back to the start.i always thought the course was flat but i felt every hill. and the miles seamed long. i was so glad when i started the 2nd lap where i turned my music on.

i was so happy to see 3 fellow harriers but they wimped out and only did the half

there times were

ian talbot 1.31.41

dave payling 1.32.46

ian hogkinson


my time for full 3.56.09 over 45min slower than last year


Stafford Harriers Press Report

August 18 2013


by Bill Whitworth

On Wednesday, 14 August, Stafford Harriers promoted their annual Staffs Knot 5 Mile Race at Marquis Drive on Cannock Chase, an off road course made up of tarmac and forest tracks, with a nasty little hill towards the end of the course which tests the runners. There was also a 2 mile event for junior runners and for those who might consider 5 miles was a step too far!

The fun run produced some good times with unattached runner Bradley Haycock winning the event in 11:58 ahead of junior Harrier Jack Hodkinson 12:06. Amelia Samuels of Wolverhampton and Bilston was first lady U21 home in a time of 12:08.


Other Harrier juniors were:

William Sammons 12:17

George Hodkinson 13:01

Luke Collier 13:46

Jamie Leigh Taylor 15:57

Owen Bradley 16:35

Cieran Coghlan 17:32

Sophia Bridgwood 18:49

Reece Bridgwood 30:46

Nicola Bridgwood 31:36


In the senior event, Alex Benfield of Burton AC finished in a time of 27:50 and first lady was Michelle Buckle of Newcastle AC in a time of 32:13 while first Stafford Harrier, in a time of 30:31 was Steve Vaughan while Steph Clayton led the Harriers Ladies in her time of 34:51.


Other Harrier times were:

Mark Bridgwood 31:25

Alan Griffin 32:15

Darren Pyatt 33:45

John Guest 35:10

Paul Higginson 36:03

Tom Exton 36:06

Robert Proctor 36:13

Chris Skellern 37:18

Tim Hough 37:48

Wayne Vaughan 38:12

Shelley Burns 39:20

Andy Bourne 39:32

Dave Mantle 40:41

Esther Batho 41:55

Roy Clay 42:23

Caroline Nichol 42:24

Karen D Murray 42:54

Sally Burns 46:20

Gael Earp 47:13

Michael Bamber 47:58

Julie Nokes 48:34

Bill Whitworth 49:12

Michael Jones 49:45

Les Smith 51:46

Katy Sigley 53:01


On Sunday, 18 August, the 27 Leek Half Marathon returned after a year’s gap starting in the lovely surroundings of Leek’s Brough Park before heading out past the remnants of Dieulacres Abbey at Abbey Green and onto the village of Meerbrook. Once over the bridge and Tittesworth Reservoir a slight uphill to the Three Horseshoes Inn at Blackshaw Moor sees the course take a left hand turn on the main Leek-Buxton road. From Upperhulme, the toughest part of the race occurs, but fabulous views of the Staffordshire Moorlands countryside helps to distract from this. At Roache Grange, a fast descent brings the runners back to Meerbrook and on to Brough Park via Abbey Green. Most of the route is on quiet country lanes with markers every mile. Only four Harriers participated in this year’s event.


Paul Bosson (first V50) 1:26:19

Mark Bentley 1:48:39

Eddie Smith (first V60 ) 1:52:49

Michael Jones 2:24:08


The event was won overall by Carl Moulton, Boalloy RC 1:19:37 with the first lady being Gemma Barnett Vale Royal AC in 1:31:02.



Stourbridge Stumble

10th August 2013


By Jane Bisiker

Yet another perfect night for a run through fields, up and down hills, muddy gullies and sand dunes (well may be a slight exaggeration but it feels like it as you hit the sand towards the end of the race). The harrier men were obviously not up to it, so it was left to the women to fly the harrier flag. If you like off road running the stumble and stagger are well organised races, with routes that take you through some great countryside with a few challenges to make it a bit more interesting. Good training for suicide 6 later in the year. The race was won by Matt Bond of Sale in 32.59.

Michelle Rushton Fox 46.17 – 43rd – 1st lady 35

Chris Skellern 48.17 – 61st

Jane Bisiker 56.04 – 157th

Dovedale Dipper

4th August 2013

Report Chris Owen

this was very simular to the leaded boot challenge,in the same part of the country,peak district but gratefully not as many ascents.with it being a challenge there are walkers and a route description.about 5m in it started raining and it was about this point we caught up with the walkers ,who had set of ealier.they must have thourgt we were mad,as they had all the clobber ,coats,hats,rucksacks with full firstaid kit ,enough food for 2 days ect and us shorts,vest trainers and maybe a fuel belt,but it felt good as i knew dehydration shouldn’t be a problem unlike my other marathon.for the first 4 checkpoints is was able to navigate by following other people in the distance,but but by no 5 we had passed all the walkers and i ran with someone who was more experinenced on these type of runs,but at the last checkpoint he had a long rest ,so i had to navigate myself to the finesh.full course info can be found on my strava page www.strava.com

i was slightly dissapointed that there were no harriers there,as its in the diary. there is still time to enter wolverhampton marathon which is back in nsrra

my time was 4hrs 42m, this was compared with first male 3.25 and female 4.22

chris owen

Total Warrior, The Lakes,

4th August 2013

By Joe Atherton

I was roped in to this fantastic race at the last minute when my Niece’s partner dropped out with injury, so the ‘team’ was me and Sharon. Her Mum and Dad John and Delia provided the support and lots of great pics.


It had been raining most of the night, but cleared up long before our appointed start time of 10:30. The course was billed as being very muddy anyway so the rain would have ensured that we were not disappointed’.


The course is over 10 miles (there was a 10k version the day before) which is downright hilly. There is one part of the race at 3 miles which took us out on the Cumbrian hills and it just seemed to go up forever. However the descent back down the other side was gentle enough that we could go at sprint pace, allowing us to zip past dozens of somewhat more cautious runners. The route took us up muddy banks, through quagmires, rivers that were out of our depth, rocky paths, and grass fields. But of course the terrain was irrelevant compared with the…


There were a total of 30 military-training-style obstacles that had to be negotiated, and amazingly I managed all of them! There were vertical walls up to 7’ high, where someone would give me a puddy up without even needing to be asked. Amongst the most awesome were:

  • the barbed-wire pit that required that we squirmed through elbow-deep mud, flat on our bellies for 20 yards,
  • crawling uphill under cargo nets pushing sections of tree trunk,
  • running up and down hill with tree trunk under arm, not once but twice!,
  • weaving through a ‘spider’s web’ tunnel getting snarled up in twine criss-crossing in all directions,
  • scrambling up a 100’ near-vertical muddy bank with only a cargo net to cling on to,
  • up and down muddy ‘trenches’ under (you’ve guessed it) a cargo net,
  • the near-vertical tower with ropes dangling to about 8’ from the bottom. The only way to negotiate this was to take a big run at it
  • and grab the rope before starting to slide back down. I managed this after three attempts, and then Sharon (8 stone soaking wet, which she was by now) managed to haul me up by the rope!
  • the water slide (we threw ourselves down this holding hands head-first on our bellies; think of the fastest log flume you’ve ever been on…),
  • the electric tunnel that gave out 10,000 volt zaps. Aaaargh!,
  • the 10’ vertical wall. This required someone underneath and someone above me. Again Sharon (what DOES she eat for breakfast?) hauled me up and over.
  • And many more horribly fantastically disgustingly fun obstacles.

For more information – DO IT!


Despite what the results say (I lost my chip) we just snuck in under the two hours at 1:59:54.


We were joint 230th out of 4,200 runners (!) Sharon was 14th female finisher overall, and I was 7th in the 50+ category.

To sum up…

I have never found any event so exhilarating whilst being exhaustingly energy-sapping – ever! Triathlons come close-ish and I have had some great moments in the hundreds of races that I have done over the last

20 years. However words cannot adequately express how I felt when I completed obstacles that looked totally insanely impossible, to cheers and whoops from the crowds and runners and officials! The 10 hilly miles ordinarily would have been tough enough on their own, but throw in the climbing, scrambling, squirming, swimming, crawling as well and you’re looking at a much tougher race altogether.

If by now you are thinking that it would be totally bonkers to even consider it then think again. If I can do it, enybodycan!!!




The Meerbrook 15k is one of those events which runners make the effort to return to each year. Taking place just outside Leek, the course is a unique combination of road and hill running, including two ascents of the notorious Gunn Hill which tests seasoned runners while at the same time provides them with wonderful views over the Moorlands countryside.+


The event this year was won by Salford Harrier, Tarus Elly, 0:53:22, over 4 minutes ahead of David Bettely of South Cheshire Harriers. The ladies’ event was won by Olivia Walwyn of City of Norwich AC who completed the course in 0:59:03.

First Stafford Harrier was Paul Bosson, 16th overall finisher in a time of 1:03:44 while leading Harrier lady was again Chris Skellern 01:15:21, who also won the F50 category.




Paul Bosson 01:03:44
Mark Bridgewood 01:08:25
Alan Cook 01:14:45
Chris Skellern 1st F50 01:15:21
Mark Bentley 01:18:01
Eddie Smith 01:20:51
Tracy Jones 01:21:15
Craig Baxter 01:29:08
Graham Williams 01:33:02
Karen D Murray 01:34:45
Julie Noakes 01:44:04
Helen Morris 01:46:01
Michael Jones 01:54:56



21st July 2013

On Sunday, 21st July in much cooler conditions, the Trentham 10 – formerly the John Oultram – one of the oldest and most popular races in the area celebrated its 40th year. The race starts in the village of Tittensor, over a 2 lap hilly course which follows the road past Beech Caves, then joins the main road for a short time before turning back towards Tittensor. Although challenging in places it regularly attracts 300 runners.


Ben Gamble again won the event in 52:36 and first lady runner to cross the finish line was unattached athlete Jaqui Slack 63:22. First Stafford Harrier was Matt Woodman 58:23 who took 4th place overall and Chris Skellern was yet again first lady Harrier in 76:16. Eddie Smith was among the prize winners in the M60 , taking first place with his time of 81:46.


Harrier finishers were

Matt Woodman 58:23
Paul Bosson 63:32
Steve Vaughan 63:48
Philip Hilsden 64:04
Mark Bridgwood 66:49
Robert Procter 72:51
Chris Skellern 76:16
Mark Bentley 77:37
Tracey Jones 78:19
Tim Hough 79:06
Ed Smith 81:46
Karen Murray 90:43
Bill Whitworth 99:32
John Hateley 100:49
George Singh 104:24




On Thursday evening, 18th July, in challenging conditions due to the prolonged hot weather, the JCB 5 mile race went ahead. The JCB Lakeside Five and Fun run which takes in a scenic course around JCB’s World Headquarters, Rocester, has gained in popularity every year and has become a real date on the calendar for local running clubs, JCB employees and families as well. Now in its landmark 30th anniversary it continues to attract a bumper field of competitors – as well as plenty of spectators.


Pre Race favourite Ben Gamble won the event in a time of 25:41, with first female runner home being Dannii Johnson from Birchfield Harriers, 33:33.


39 Harriers times below,



8 0:30:00 Tom Sandy M U40 0:30:00
11 0:30:32 Paul Bosson M V50 0:30:29
16 0:31:39 Mark Bridgwood M U40 0:31:36
45 0:34:37 Mark Orchard M V40 0:34:31
49 0:34:49 Alan Cook M V40 0:34:44
51 0:34:53 Ian Hodkinson M V40 0:34:41
54 0:35:07 Stephanie Clayton F U40 0:35:02
55 0:35:10 Robert Proctor M V40 0:35:05
62 0:35:42 Joe Atherton M V50 0:35:35
65 0:35:47 Richard Caley M U40 0:35:34
68 0:35:49 Dave Payling M V40 0:35:43
73 0:36:17 Michelle Fox F U40 0:36:11
75 0:36:24 Joe Smith M U40 0:36:19
76 0:36:27 Laura Sandy F U40 0:36:22
85 0:36:51 Jim Smith M V40 0:36:46
93 0:37:28 Tim Hough M V40 0:37:24
98 0:37:36 Chris Skellern F V50 0:37:32
132 0:39:48 Mark Oliver M V40 0:39:36
137 0:40:20 Shelley Burns F U40 0:40:13
157 0:41:20 Craig Baxter M V40 0:41:14
161 0:41:37 Gill Hodkinson F V40 0:41:30
170 0:42:19 Graham Williams M V60 0:42:13
182 0:42:54 Angela Brookes F U40 0:42:48
190 0:43:30 Anne Coghlan F V40 0:43:22
205 0:44:30 Karen Murray F V40 0:44:22
219 0:45:33 Juli Crocombe F V40 0:45:27
225 0:45:58 Liz Cook F V40 0:45:49
246 0:47:54 Chelsie Cook F U40 0:47:46
250 0:48:10 Joanne Oliver F V40 0:48:02
256 0:48:38 Stuart Fowlie M V50 0:48:25
264 0:49:18 Julie Nokes F V50 0:49:10
265 0:49:30 Helen Underwood F V40 0:49:21
288 0:51:39 Julie Mogey F U40 0:51:31
299 0:53:31 Mike Moore M V60 0:53:25
311 0:55:06 Rachel Marsden F U40 0:54:58
312 0:55:15 Michael Jones M V60 0:55:00
313 0:55:17 Tracy Burrows F V40 0:55:04
316 0:57:12 Valerie Stuart F V60 0:57:04
325 1:05:05 Sara Broome F V40 1:04:47


Joe and the JCB 5


A message from Joe Atherton.


“Hi lovely Harriers. The best bunch of friends anyone could ask for. Thank you all for your messages of goodwill – I read many of them from a hospital bed in the middle of the night, which was a tonic in itself.


What happened? I thought I could run at my normal pace in this heat, and of course I didn’t take extra precautions because I’m far too clever for that! (I should mention the fab gel that Alan Griffin gave me to get the better of Stephanie Clayton, and it very nearly worked :-). All joking aside, I was bloody stupid and should have taken precautions for running in that kind of heat, especially considering the recent news stories along a similar vein.


What happened? Heat exhaustion is a scary thing. I remember feeling quite poorly and knocking it back around the 4 mile mark. I started feeling a bit wobbly at the turnaround point in the finishing field, then the next memory is of sitting in a chair, vomiting and feeling very hot and ill. I seemed to recover and I can vaguely remember having a bit of banter with some of you dudes, but then WOW! I’m lying on my side in the field unable to concentrate or open my eyes. I do remember opening them eventually to see Craig (well, two of him he was that close, or did I imagine that?) and laughing. I was given a saline drip and oxygen and things started looking up. Ang was immense in her support and encouragement, never leaving my side for a second. Thanks to Juli the resident Harriers GP who I’m sure kept the paras on the right track, and her assurances were good to hear. Steph Craig and Mark – I couldn’t even move I was so weak yet you had me belly-laughing at your banter (and no Mark, I don’t remember you loaning me £50 :-)). Thanks to Richard for doing the runaround and making the necessary phone calls and arrangements. Thanks to Alan Cook for your support and getting my car back to base. Thanks all of you that hung around, fanned me, cooled me down, hauled my sorry ass around, and most of all for being YOU. It will forever be one of the most memorable days of my life (apart from the bits I don’t remember of course). It was one of the worst yet paradoxically one of the most uplifting days of my life.


I’d like to give a special mention to Mark Oliver – Mark, I will never take the pish out of your Litchfield 10k performance last year ever again. Now that I’ve been on the dark side too I will only ever talk of that in hushed reverent tones :-).


A special thank you to the hospital staff at North Staffs. You are fantastic. In the short time that I was in there you dealt with three obnoxious blokes, all drunk, and two of which were escorted by the police. You take that foul sewage that is spat at you, answer politely in retort, then come over to me all smiles and ask if there’s anything that I need. I love the NHS and the wonderful benevolent professional front-line staff that it engenders.


Most of all – a BIIIG up to the Stafford Harriers! Cheers and I love you all x x”



Long Course weekend

12th to 14th July 2013


report by Chris Owen

this weekend i paid a visit to tenby for a short cycle ride on the saturday then a gentle run on sunday.

the actual weekend is organised by ironman wales as a taster to a full ironman. on fri is a 2.4mile swim,sat 112mile cycle ride then on sun a full marathon,there is also half iron man distances as well 1.2m,72m then half marathon. the events can be entered individually or as complete. as i cannot swim i did just the 112m cycle and marathon.

my digs for weekend were about 6m from tenby so decided to cycle on fri to pick race packs for my events,this is discovered a major problem with my bike,every time i change to my granny gear on front crank the chain was snagging and getting thrown of,.and also it was making such racket.this little journey took me well over an hour.luckily at registration they still had the cycle mechanics there,seems i had a bent tooth on large chain ring which they manage to straighten

the cycle route comprised of 70m lap returning to tenby then 40m lap taking in the last segment of the first lap. it was mixture of country lanes and decent a roads. at the major road junctions marshalls were stopping traffic,which they are not supposed to do,i suppose that was safer then us taking risks.i really surprised how flat the course was except for 2 major climbs ,one being 14% near the end of each lap.the water/fuel stations where such a relief as i was consuming over 1ltr of liquid every 30m.the only time i started to struggle was about 95m where my feet started hurting,my legs and posterior were fine.weather conditions weren’t that bad,yes high temperatures ,computer said 33c but there was no wind

the marathon section is a completely differenrent story,it took in a 2mile lap of tenby before heading towards penbroke castle via country lanes,which were fully closed,inc the lap of tenby. i thought meaning the cycle route was pretty flat so would the marathon course,how wrong was i. at 4 m there was 16% hill, with another hill at 7m. just over 10m i started walking, deciding at penbroke i would pull out,as hopefully there would be a broom wagon back to tenby as this is where the half marathon was starting from.then someone passed me who was doing the 3 events and he was taking short steps so i fell in with him.was really surprised how a change in running style also changed my out luck for the race,thought about the logistics of pulling out and also if i pullout of this race i won’t have motivation to finish a harder run so i continued.upon reaching penbroke the half marathoners were being led to the start ,this was quiet a nice touch ,if you was a 3.5/4hr marathoner the half would start when you halfway round so you would have motivation due to people you could chase.the return leg was no easier,but it was such a relief at 16m, as only 10m to go.from this point there was alot of walking and not just myself,virtually every hill everyone was walking,not just the full runners and also the half.where possible people had rigged up hose pipes as the temp would have been in the high 20s,not as warm as sat ,as there was some cloud.like usual there was sting just before the finish,at 25m another hill so more walking

the whole weekend was very well organised,on marathon section extra water stations were placed,my only gripe the run should have started at 9 instead on of 10 also sponges should have been provided,water wasn’t a problem as bowsers were used on the cycle course

here are the figures cycle 7hrs 40m,marathon 4.20.21

that night i thought never again,but when i got home monday i had changed my mind,if it had been in the high teens it would have been much nicer so good chance i will be there next year as these type of events are hard to pin down


Stafford Harriers Press Report

14th July 2013

by Bill Whitworth

On Thursday 11th July, the second Harriers Handicap race took place over the Chase, near Brocton in warm sunshine. Runners are given a handicap allowance based on ability and previous times recorded. Winner on the night was Joanne Oliver, with second runner home being Mark Orchard, and a well deserved 3rd place was taken by junior runner Ellie Baxter.

In the weekend which was officially designated a heatwave, Sunday saw the 30th anniversary of the Cheadle Carnival 4 mile race which started and finished in the Recreation Park. On a course which starts with a mile of gently downhill running, the next one and a half miles saw the runners make a steady climb before they descend again to the finish line. The event was won by International Runner Chris Davies of Telford Harriers in 20:17 with Michelle Buckle of Newcastle AC leading the ladies home in 25:54.

Twelve Stafford Harriers travelled to participate in the race and leading light was Mark Bridgwood who achieved 24:52 while Chris Skellern was first lady Harrier 29:22, marginally ahead of team mate Tracey Jones 29:27.


Full results for the event are below.


Mark Bridgwood 24.52
Paul Douglas 27.20 1st MV60
Tom Exton 28.44
Chris Skellern 29.22 2nd LV50
Tracey Jones 29.27 3rd LV40
Eddie Smith 31.37 2nd MV60
Craig Baxter 32.17
Graham Williams 33.52
Karen Murray 34.48
Bill Whitworth 37.53 3rd MV70
Julie Nokes 38.08 3rd LV50
George Singh 40.33

Black Country Half Marathon

(Harriers Charity Run)

6 July 2013

Well done to everyone taking part on a very hot day.


Twenty-four Harriers, (or 30 or 31 or 32 when we sorted the results out), ran in this year’s Birmingham and Black Country Half Marathon race on Saturday 6th July 2013, raising funds in support of the Oak Tree Farm Project. In complete contrast to Tuesday night’s race, conditions were hot and sunny and the race was 0.5 mile longer than usual due to a diversion at Coseley caused by repairs to the canal tunnel.

The Harriers scored some notable age-group successes: Paul Bosson (1st M50, also first Harrier home), Steph Clayton (2nd F30), Tracey Jones (2nd F40) and Eddie Smith (3rd M60).

Male race winner was Ross Jones (Wolverhampton & Bilston) in 1:19:59, female race winner was Eloise Lee (Unattached) in 1:38:31 .

Full Harriers times given below:


We have found them. Not sure if these are correct but its the closest we can find at the moment. If you find anything wrong with them let us know.



17 Paul Bosson 1-32-39 1st V50
48 Mark Bridgwood 1.39.32
56 Simon Groom 1.40.33
61 Dave Payling 1.40.57
67 Mike St. Dunn 1.42.05
76 Mark Orchard 1.43.24
79 Chris Owen 1.43.32
68 Alan Griffin 1.42.10
81 Alan Cook 1.43.43
100 Joe Atherton 1.45.15
128 Steph Clayton 1.47.47
184 Mark Bentley 1.53.10
187 Tracey Jones 1.53.15
199 Richard Caley 1.54.08
235 Eddie Smith 1.56.57
300 Gill Hodkinson 2.01.26
323 Shelly Burns 2.02.39
361 Dave Mantle 2.05.40
373 Jane Bisiker 2.06.29
385 Mark Oliver 2.07.20
Anne Coglan 2.17.48
528 Lindsay Foster 2.17.50
567 Who Knows? 2.21.22
596 Helen Underwood 2.23.12
615 Angela Brookes 2.25.14
639 Tracey Ridings 2.27.57
641 Jo Oliver 2.28.00
645 George Singh 2.28.05
669 Tony Baker 2.30.58 2nd claim
Sara Broome 2.54.44
804 Holly Wright 2.56.19
819 Val Stuart 3.06.45





On a very windy Tuesday night with a chill in the air, 6 Stafford Harriers decided to undertake the Berryhill 10k. Berryhill Fields is 68 hectares of grassland in the heart of Stoke on Trent, between the housing estates of Bentilee, Berryhill and close the town of Fenton. Formerly the subject of a £2Million regeneration project for the Millennium when new pathways were created to facilitate access for people with disabilities, a number of art features appeared, and a series of archaeological excavations on the site of a 13th century moated manor house were undertaken near Lawn Farm Manor this facility has provided an ideal location for this kind of event.

On a three lap undulating course, all off road, but with a few paths it did prove to be a challenge, but Ben Gamble from Tipton Harriers romped home in a time of 32:36, with the ladies’ event being won by Michelle Buckle, City of Stoke AC in 40:46. In 17th place, Mark Bridgwood was the first Stafford Harrier to complete the course 23rd runner overall in a time of 41:04 while yet again Chris Skellern was the first Harrier lady to finish in 46:10, also taking first place as first L50.

Other times were



135 Graham Williams 54:58
149 Julie Nokes 59:04
151 Bill Whitworth 1:00:23
153 George Singh 1:01:17