Race Report October to December 2014





As most of you already know I recently completed a charity challenge of ’70 miles for 70 years’ to raise funds for the Williams syndrome foundation.

My aim was to run 7 races totalling approximately 70 miles, and as I started with the Wheaton Aston 10 k in December 2013 I wanted to finish with the same race in 2014.


The race is always on 27th December and I woke up feeling very excited as I knew many many Harriers were running with me.

However, on looking out of the window, my first thought was ‘Oh Dear’ will it still be on because it was very icy and recent snow was still on the ground. I checked facebook to confirm it was still going ahead, and I totally understood when a few people messaged me to say they didn’t want to risk it. My hubby and I made our way over there and luckily the main roads were fine and there was less snow in Wheaton Aston.

We parked up in the village and made our way over to the school, but on the way noticed a man spreading salt and fixing notices so I asked him if he was shortening the race and he replied that he was just making it safer for the runners.


I picked up my number and joined up with other Harriers including Joanne, Mark, Amy and Jake ( who was disappointed that the fun run had been cancelled), and noticed they were wearing ‘Team Val’ posters on the back of their vests, which many of the other Harriers had also done.

As we made our way to the start the sun came out for us, and as we progressed round the course much of the ice had melted and it wasn’t too bad. It’s such a lovely route and we passed a field with Llamas which you don’t see on other runs.


I could not believe how many Harriers gave up their PB’s to stay with me for the whole race and more joined in and cheered us over the finishing line. It must have been amazing for the spectators to see this charge of yellow and black running in shouting and cheering.


What a great day and perfect finish to my challenge, what a family of Harriers and what a great club.


I want to do it all over again, but only the Wheaton Aston 10k.


Harriers are my friends for life.


Val Stuart

DownloadWheaton Aston 10K 2014



40 Harriers and plenty of volunteers turned up for the Christmas Handicap, which was also the final challenge race.

The weather felt ok initially but soon felt chilly and a bit blustery when down at the start.

So the winner of the Christmas handicap was Ian Dale who over took me in the valley and kept pushing on, leaving me to take second, with Ian Talbot a great 3rd being as he was the very last runner to be set off.

There were a few first timers which was great to see, and times were affected slightly by the massive amount of mud and sodden ground to tackle. It was like cross country all over again!

It was great to see so many back at the cricket club for the prize giving, hot food, and mince pies all wearing a fantastic array of Christmas jumpers.

Prizes were awarded to the first 3 and then our special Christmas prizes as follows

Fastest lady on the day – Tracey Jones ( we were going to also do fastest male but that was Ian Talbot and he isn’t allowed 2 prizes)

Biggest moaner about their handicap time – Chris Ross

Biggest pain on the start line for pestering the time keepers – Jim Smith (nominated by and voted for by Simon)

The stopping and having a chat with a Marshall just because you haven’t seen them in a while award – Steve Turner.

100% record for completing her 79th consecutive handicap race (according to Mick Jones) – Chris Skellern

Prize awarded to all the juniors for taking part in a tough event, some of them for the 1st time.

And a special prize awarded to Alan Jones now titled the ‘you shouldn’t wear new trainers for the winter handicap should you?’ award.

I know it’s been said but we really would like to thank all those that have helped out throughout the year with time keeping (a job no one likes to do) marshalling and supporting this event as it makes a huge difference to how well it is organised and greatly eases our stress levels.

Merry Christmas!

See you all in 2015.



Results from the race.

Time Handicap Net time
Ian Dale 00:43:16 00:15:00 00:28:16
Liz Stanyer 00:43:59 00:13:30 00:30:29
Debbie McDermott 00:44:18 00:08:00 00:36:18 1st time
Ian Williams 00:44:28 00:15:00 00:29:28 1st time
Ian Talbot 00:44:34 00:19:30 00:25:04
Tracey Jones 00:44:41 00:15:30 00:29:11
Chris Ross 00:44:52 00:17:00 00:27:52
Chris Elsley 00:44:54 00:15:00 00:29:54
Eddie Smith 00:44:59 00:13:30 00:31:29
Jack Hodkinson 00:45:00 00:19:00 00:26:00
Jim Smith 00:45:12 00:17:00 00:28:12
Alan Jones 00:45:19 00:12:30 00:32:49
Nigel Addison 00:45:21 00:11:00 00:34:21
Steve Jackson 00:45:22 00:16:00 00:29:22 1st time
George Hodkinson 00:45:23 00:17:00 00:28:23 1st time
Ian Hodkinson 00:45:27 00:17:00 00:28:27
Ewan Jackson 00:45:31 00:16:00 00:29:31 1st time
Hannah Talbot 00:45:34 00:15:30 00:30:04
Jill Ross 00:45:40 00:10:30 00:35:10
Louise Morgan 00:45:40 00:03:00 00:42:40
Amanda Clay 00:45:47 00:11:00 00:34:47
Jane Bisiker 00:46:04 00:10:30 00:35:34
Darren Mattocks 00:46:17 00:15:45 00:30:32
Keith Skelton 00:46:35 00:17:00 00:29:35
Chris Skellern 00:46:41 00:14:30 00:32:11
Graham Williams 00:47:07 00:10:00 00:37:07
Caryl Gibson 00:47:11 00:11:00 00:36:11
Mark Bentley 00:47:15 00:14:30 00:32:45
Craig Baxter 00:47:22 00:10:30 00:36:52
Dave Mantle 00:47:52 00:13:00 00:34:52
Julie Nokes 00:47:56 00:05:00 00:42:56
Rachel Marsden 00:48:18 00:03:30 00:44:48
Chris Owen 00:48:26 00:17:00 00:31:26
Amanda Pearce 00:48:27 00:04:15 00:44:12
Jake Oliver 00:48:32 00:16:00 00:32:32 1st time
Mark Oliver 00:48:33 00:16:00 00:32:33
Angela Charlesworth 00:48:59 00:03:00 00:45:59 1st time
Mick Jones 00:49:45 00:06:00 00:43:45
Sara Broome 00:51:46 00:03:00 00:48:46
Steve Turner 00:52:15 00:08:00 00:44:15



North Staffs Cross Country League

Race 3 – Park Hall
Another good turn out for Stafford Harriers, with 16 ladies and 19 men competing for the club.

The course was mixture of hard track and some wet and muddy patches.

The ladies race consisted of 2 laps totalling 3.37 miles, whilst the men tackled 3 larger laps at 6.34 miles.

The ladies team packed well to gain another 5th place, they now hold joint 4th place overall in Division One.

The men came 2nd place, and still lead Division Two, now by 100 points, after the three races.


Results as follows:

21 Michelle Fox W35 24.31
26 Tracey Jones W40 25.01
37 Liz Stanyer W40 26.15
53 Chris Skellern W50 26.58
54 Julie Addison JW 27.02
71 Gill Hodkinson W40 28.04
84 Shelley Burns SW 28.36
99 Justine Hall W40 29.15
113 Angela Brookes W35 30.36
115 Jane Bisiker W50 30.51
118 Jill Ross W45 31.03
120 Caryl Gibson W50 31.08
143 Karen Sabin W40 33.29
157 Lauren Gee JW 34.57
167 Rachel Marsden W35 36.58
182 Sara Broome W45 40.26

186 finished.


41 Nathan Sabin JM 40.18
48 Steve Vaughan SM 40.35
64 Phil Hilsdon SM 41.49
70 Mark Bridgwood SM 42.19
85 Michael Dobson M45 43.19
135 Ian Hodkinson M40 46.07
152 Jim Smith M45 47.03
163 Dave Payling M45 48.07
168 Darren Mattocks M40 48.28
175 Dave Marsden M60 49.07
179 Chris Ross M50 49.25
220 Joe Atherton M50 52.10
226 Eddie Smith M60 52.48
250 Mark Bentley M50 55.14
252 Roy Clay M55 55.47
256 Dave Mantle M60 57.13
260 David Taylor M45 58.11
272 Graham Williams M65 61.00
276 Craig Baxter M40 62.38
DNF Stuart Fowlie M50 injured

285 finished.


Next race is 13th December 2014 at Westwood High School, Leek, see the North Staffs Cross Country League website for further information.

If you would like to join the teams, please let Tracey Jones have your name and date of birth.

We need as many out as possible for this last race to ensure the men win the Second Division and to give the ladies an opportunity to get a third spot in the 1st Division.





2nd November 2014


Report by Bill Whitworth
The Flying Fox 10 mile road race organised by Stone Master Marathoners traditionally brings the curtain down on the North Staffs Road Racing Association Calendar and is renowned for its muddy, flooded course which challenges the runners in the November chill. However, this year the weather in the lead up had been warm and un-seasonally dry so participants were not require to wade ankle deep through mud and puddles for a change.
The event was won by

Stafford Harrier Matt Woodman

in a time of 58:09, while the leading lady was Newcastle AC’s Michelle Buckle who completed the course in 68:29.

County Gold Medal Winner Matt Woodman

1st Matt Woodman 58:09
7th Phil Hilsdon 61:48
8th Robert Mottram-Jones 62:21
18th Mark Bridgwood 64:34
30th Ian Wood 68:28
32nd Ian Talbot 68:37
38th Paul Higginson 68:55
41st Ian Hodkinson 70:17
50th Keith Skelton 71:54
56th Michelle Fox 72:13
61st Jim Smith 73:08
65th Ian Williams 74:13
66th Tracey Jones 74:13
81st Liz Stanyer 76:33
83rd Chris Elsley 76:51
92nd Mark Bentley 77:34
100th Chris Skellern 78:27
107th Eddie Smith 79:19
114th Gill Hodkinson 80:08
127th Shelley Burns 82:24
158th Graham Williams 89:51
164th Kate Waterhouse 90:45
173rd Karen Murray 93:44
181st Michael Jones 98:01
191st Craig Baxter 100:25
193rd Stuart Fowlie 102:31


The last of twenty races in the NSRRA attracted twenty-seven Harriers, which was also the last road race in the NSRRA Challenge. Organised by Stone Master Marathoners it was described on the application form as, a challenging scenic one-lap course on quiet country roads, challenging meaning it was hilly. The race was won by our own Matt Woodman who took the County Gold Medal in a time of 58.09. With Phil Hilsdon and Robert Mottram -Jones the Harriers had three runners in the top ten. First lady was Michelle Buckle in 68.20.



Final Placing’s in NSRRA were as follows

Michelle Rushton Fox 2nd L35
Tracy Jones 2nd L40
Karen Murray 3rd L45
Chris Skellern 1st L50
Tracy Riding 1st Group X
Robert Mottram Jones 2nd M50
Eddie Smith 3rd M60
Graham Williams 2nd M65 3rd Group F
Michael Jones 2nd M70 2nd Group G



North Staffs Cross Country League

Race 2 – Stafford Common

The home fixture for Stafford Harriers, with 16 ladies and 22 men competing for the club.

The course was surprisingly dry. The ladies race consisted of 2 laps totalling 3.3 miles, whilst the men tackled 3 larger laps at 6.4 miles.

The ladies team packed well to gain another 5th place, they now hold 4th place overall in division one.

The men had a bit more competition from other teams this time and came 4th place, however they still lead division two by 64 points after the two races.


Results as follows:

30 Michelle Fox W35 22.56
35 Tracey Jones W40 23.11
44 Liz Stanyer W40 24.15
52 Chris Skellern W50 24.43
57 Julie Addison JW 24.54
67 Gill Hodkinson W40 25.21
79 Shelley Burns SW 25.42
101 Caryl Gibson W50 27.03
102 Sandra Smith W45 27.05
106 Justine Hall W40 27.18
114 Jane Bisiker W50 28.30
120 Amanda Clay W40 28.54
122 Jill Ross W45 28.56
157 Lauren Gee JW 31.36
158 Karen Sabin W40 31.37
175 Sara Broome W45 36.05

184 finished.


41 Phil Hilsdon SM 39.22
47 Mark Bridgwood SM 39.40
68 Russell Barron SM 40.51
82 Michael Dobson M45 41.36
88 Ian Talbot M40 41.49
97 Nathan Sabin JM 42.12
138 Steve Jackson M40 44.05
142 Jim Smith M45 44.14
156 Glyn Wade M45 45.05
162 Dave Payling M45 45.33
172 Keith Skelton M45 45.54
178 Darren Mattocks M40 46.28
192 Dave Marsden M60 47.37
232 Joe Atherton M50 49.52
237 Mark Bentley M50 50.23
244 Eddie Smith M60 51.07
260 David Taylor M45 52.43
276 Roy Clay M55 55.05
280 Dave Mantle M60 55.18
289 Graham Williams M65 59.23
297 Stuart Fowlie M50 66.05
298 Michael Jones M70 67.09

301 finished.


Next race is 15th November 2014 at Park Hall, see the North Staffs Cross Country League website for further information.

If you would like to join the teams, please let Tracey Jones have your name and date of birth.




Charterhouse 1km Fun Run, 5/10km Trail Run


As a break from painting my daughter Caroline’s house in Godalming, Sue and I together with Gabriel aged 6 and Reuben aged 3 decided to stretch our legs at the Charterhouse school.

1km Fun run

Having entered on the day at additional cost my pre-race preparations were somewhat disturbed by a lost trainer and changing a smelly nappy. However we made the start line on time and listened intently to the instructions which basically were keep the red flags on your right while running round the field. On the start hooter Gabriel raced off leaving Sue and I to run with Reuben. After fifty yards he was only interested in picking up feathers. This frustrated Sue who ran off leaving me to cajole him round the field. We were not quite last as a pram came in behind us. After being presented with a medal and bottle of water I fell in love with a young lady who interviewed me on my thoughts on the race and whether I was enjoying the day with the family.

5/10k Trail Run

Caroline did the 5km, one circuit and I did the 10km, two circuits. This involved a small section of field before we entered the woods. Here there were endless roots painted yellow. Following overnight rain there was also quite a bit of mud. The narrow cambered track reminded me of the return journey at Race the Train. Each circuit had three steep climbs and I must confess to walking a couple. There were numerous young marshals the majority of which directed you correctly. Although I enjoyed running a different race and the family involvement I found the race hard with many twists and undulations however the sun did shine and it was warm. I was proud to wear my new T-Shirt which I have paid for !!!.

After a quick shower we met my son Richard and his family and had a lovely noisy Sunday lunch at The Stag on the river at Milford.

The winner of the 10k was James Adams in 50.20, first lady was Tania Oko in 56.54. My time was 64.46 and I was 33rd out of 66.

In the 5k race the winner was Simon Flatau in 21.01, first lady Isobel Russell in 26.57. Caroline’s time was 35.20. There were no running club details mentioned or age awards.


Report by Graham Williams



Stafford Harriers Press Report Sunday

19th October 2014
By Bill Whitworth

A hardy group of Harriers ventured up to the Highlands of Scotland to take part in the Aviemore Half Marathon and 10K races, the fifth time they have supported this event.
Starting up in the Cairngorms, the races travels through woodland paths and road ways to descend to the town of Aviemore and several runners reported having been occasionally distracted by the magnificent scenery, but it did not prevent several achieving personal best times for the distance.

Harriers taking part in the Half Marathon were


Name Place Time
Mark Bridgewood 16 1:22:05 pb
Ian Hodkinson 48 1:29:51
Tracey Jones 104 1:35:22
Ian Talbot 129 1:37:26
Chris Ross 170 1:39:42
Liz Stanyer 158 1:39:19 pb
Mark Oliver 199 1:41:30 pb
Mark Orchard 206 1:42:04
Gill Hodkinson 211 1:42:35
Eddie Smith 251 1:44:41
Tracy Ridings 271 1:46:23 pb
Sandra Smith 333 1:49:28 pb
Graham Williams 408 1:53:16
Jill Ross 476 1:56:11
Jo Oliver 532 1:58:50
Lindsey Foster 591 2:02:34
Brian Langston 662 2:06:35
Craig Baxter 663 2:06:38
Holly Wright 854 2:27:20



While in the 10K race, Harrier runners were.
George Singh 1:01:01
Bill Whitworth 1:03:55

On Sunday 19th October, the venue was Birmingham for the Great Birmingham Run, Half Marathon and 31 Harriers competed in this event in a field of approximately 20,000 competitors which started in Centenary Square, before following the city centre streets to finish in Broad Street and provided a colourful spectacle in the autumn sunshine.

Harrier Times were:


Name Time
Richard Rea 1:29:21
Paul Higginson 1:31:29
John Peach 1:33:30
John Gommersall 1:37:16
Simon Groom 1:37:16
Ian Williams 1:39:44
Philip Jones 1:42:16
Joanna Thompson 1:44:26
Rachel Davis 1:48:56
Leon Stringer 1:50:13
Graham Squires 1:50:24
Alan Jones 1:51:35
Joe Atherton 1:52:53
Caryl Gibson 1:52:53
Richard Davies 2:01:23
Ruth Cragg 2:02:28
Kev Darby 2:03:15
Ruth Edwards 2:07:59
Becki Hollins 2:07:59
Paul Stubbs 2:30:57
Marie Evans 2:15:06
Sally Dean 2:16:31
Charlotte Ward 2:17:11
Tracey Burrows 2:23:08
Rachel Darby 2:23:08
Faye Ridgewell 2:30:57
Hannah Lloyd 2:34:04
Julie Petrek 2:37:59
Lindsay Ashforth 2:39:26
Tina Darby 2:46:24
Maria Davies 2:46:24


Congleton Half Marathon

5th October 2014


Report by Karen Murray
On Sunday, 6 Harriers travelled north to run the Congleton Half Marathon. The race was part of the NSRRA challenge. It was a beautiful crisp morning. The sun was shining and it seemed much better than the forecast I had heard the day before. I shared a lift with Mark Bentley and as nobody else arrived at the club, we set off about 7.45. The motorway was clear and the journey was good and we arrived at about 8.30 giving us a good hour to get numbers & chips and to get changed. Parking was well organised and in the school grounds. We met Liz, Tracy & her Mum in the hall and managed a quick hello to Ian & Phil. After a few visits to the loo we were ushered outside. It was a cool & breezy whilst waiting but we all kept to running vests and shorts as the temperature was still rising. The countdown was over and the race was started. Tracy and I looked back and realised we were right near the back. No pressure really as we were chipped. It was a beautiful sunny morning, just perfect for a run through the Cheshire countryside.
The race starts at the school, through a housing area and up through the town and once past the Tesco store a steep climb up a hill before turning off left and running along undulating country lanes. I have done the race 3 times and find this part of the race most enjoyable, especially on a lovely sunny morning. The temperature was good and there was a light breeze. The race was well marshalled and the drink stations were well manned and well positioned. At the school, through the town and along the final mile there is good support but there is little support along the country lanes if you enjoy the encouragement.
At mile 11.5 there is a hill called the sting in the tail. It hurts a little bit owing to the number of miles completed but it is quickly over. (Runners walking up the hill almost reached the top as quickly as I ran it!). The final mile is flat and you know you are near the finish. There is support on the roadside and finishers run back to spur on their running colleagues. Lots of cheering and encouragement as you turn the corner to the finish line and see the clock for your sprint finish. Tags removed, a bottle of water, a goody bag and a banana immediately at the finish line, excellent. A short walk back to the school to collect your T-shirt (a nice pale blue). Unfortunately there were no showering facilities for the ladies. We met some of the others at the end and we were all pleased with our efforts, especially Liz who got a fantastic PB. I would encourage you all to have a go at this race as it is an enjoyable Half Marathon or a Quarter Marathon if you prefer
The winner was Ben Gamble (Tipton) in 1:20:35 and first female Rebecca Harrison (Cheadle Running Club) in 1:21:49.

Harrier times were:

Phil Hilsdon 1:20:35
Ian Wood 1:28:49
Mark Bentley 1:42:08
Liz Stanyer 1:42:27
Tracy Ridings 1:51:08
Karen Murray 1:59:31


Stafford Harriers Press Report

Sunday, 5th October 2014

By Bill Whitworth
The Chester Marathon, which starts and finishes at Chester Racecourse close to Chester city centre, provides a spectacular backdrop for an event that was voted the UK’s Number 1 road marathon in 2013 and the UK’s number 1 marathon in 2012. The route is mainly flat with only a few short hills or gradual climbs which are predominantly in the second half of the course and there is even a short excursion across the border into Wales and the villages of Lavister and Rossett before runners return to Chester and the finish line.
Winning runner was Marius Ionescu of Altrincham and District AC who completed the course in 2:21:23, while Cath Stubbs of Kent AC was first lady with her time of 2:53:25. Eight Stafford Harriers made the journey to compete in this event and first Harrier to finish was John Peach in a time of 3:40:38.

Harrier times were



Name Time
John Peach 3:40:38
Shelley Burns 3:59:49 pb
Anne Coghlan 4:04:14
Edwina Gould 4:22:57
Jon Loft 4:56:57
Charlotte Ward 4:57:19


Meanwhile, back at Shugborough Estate near Stafford, 17 Harriers competed in the Katherine House 10K on a cool, but sunny day on off road paths and trails around this historic Estate bordering Cannock Chase.

First runner to finish was unattached athlete Paul Rochfort 37:45 and Deborah Thomas, also unattached, was the leading lady in the event with her time of 42:06. Third place went to Harrier Mark Bridgwood 38:47, with team mates Richard Rea 39:48 taking 5th place and Jim Smith 10th with his time of 43:57.


Stafford Harriers times were

Name Time
Mark Bridgwood 38:47
Richard Rea 39:48
Jim Smith 43:57
Ian Williams 44:32
Liam Duggan 45:54
Richard Caley 46:50
Chris Skellern 47:48
Chris Elsley 49:12
Michael Evans 49:17
Paul Dunlavey 50:14
Craig Fellows 51:35
Ruth Cragg 54:27
Julie Reeves 56:10
Keith Faint 56:22
Debbie Plant 1:00:54
Michael Bamber 1:04:17
Jane Jackson 1:06:28
Holly Wright 1:07:51
Julie Petrek 1:09:57
Sarah Gray 1:09:50
Julie Petrek 1:09:57
Gemma Gray 1:10:02
Angela Charlesworth 1:11:21

In what was a very busy day for Harriers, 6 members also travelled to Congleton for the ‘Sting in the Tail’ Half Marathon which covers a course that is mildly undulating, with some off road areas and a hilly finish just as the legs are tiring!

Winning runner was Ben Gamble of Tipton Harriers who completed the course in 1:10:11 while Cheadle RC’s Rebecca Harrison led the ladies to the finish with her time of 1:21:53


Stafford Harrier runners in this event were


Name Time
Phil Hilsdon 1:20:35
Ian Wood 1:28:49
Mark Bentley 1:42:08
Liz Stanyer 1:42:27
Tracey Ridings 1:51:08
Karen Murray 1:59:31