Race Report October to December 2017

Wheaton Aston 10k

27 December 2017

Report Chris Elsley

19 members of Stafford Harriers were among a field of almost 500 runners who took to the roads around Wheaton Aston on Wednesday for the village’s traditional 10k race, organised by Newport & District Running Club.

The Harriers were:

Position Name Time PB
34th Kev Darby 40:45
65th Michelle Rushton-Fox 44:19
77th Ben Deakin 45:12
126th Alan Jones 48:06
153rd Chris Skellern 50:05
156th Dean Smith 50:07
157th Chris Elsley 50:08
188th Mel Deakin 52:06
218th Richard Davies 53:07
226th Simon Groom 53:37
229th John Finney 53:52
299th Karen Murray 57:23
314th Rachel Smith 58:40
357th Shirley Smith 01:01:12 PB
362nd Liz Shillito 01:01:48 PB
389th Charlotte Ward 01:04:34
425th Helen Begg 01:09:10
460th Sarah Gray 01:14:29
472nd Alison Martland 01:17:34 PB

Race winner was Lloyd Biddell (Mercia Fell Runners) in 33:15, more than two minutes ahead of second placed Ben Skelton with Lindsay Browning of the host club Newport, the leading lady in 39:44 (19th overall).

Christmas Handicap

17th December 2017

Pos Name Time Handicap NetTime
1 Ryan Nokes 38:46 13:3 25:16
2 Darren Mattocks 39:25 8 31:25
3 George Hodkinson 39:56 13 26:56
4 Ian Heath 41:56 12:45 29:11
5 Ian Hodkinson 42:25 12:45 29:4
6 Chris Elsley 43:46 10 33:46
7 Matthew Hilsdon 44:07 7 37:07
8 Chris Skellern 44:15 6 37:45
9 Jack Heath 44:35 10 34:35
10 Richard Booth 44:05 6:3 38:35
11 Mark Burrows 45:35 7:3 38:05
12 Julie Nokes 46:47 2:3 44:17
13 Jason Littlewood 51:19 12:45 38:34
14 Mark Bentley 54:32 7:3 47:02


Apedale Dash

3rd December 2017


Race report Chris Elsley

Several members of Stafford Harriers headed up to the Potteries on Sunday for the Apedale Dash, a race that is anything but a dash!

Setting out from the Heritage Centre just north of Newcastle, the cross country 10k event takes runners on an undulating and very muddy course and more than one runner was known to have lost their footing in very tricky conditions.

Spencer Holland lead the field of Harriers, finishing in 40th overall in a time of 45:49 with Robert Mottram Jones (46m 50s) and Jason Littlewood (47:42) not too far behind, taking 46th and 50th places respectively.

Nia Nokes was the first Harrier lady taking 67th overall in 49:14 while Ben Deakin was the leading U15 male runner in 49:46 (74th).

Harriers taking part among the 242 finishers were :



Position Name Time PB
40th Spencer Holland 45:49
46th Robert Mottram-Jones 46:50
50th Jason Littlewood 47:42
67th Nia Nokes 49:14
74th Ben Deakin 49:46
106th Dave Marsden 52:28
123rd Alan Jones 54:08
126th Peter Williams 54:33
136th Steve Turner 55:31
142nd Debbie McDermott 56:00
149th Chris Skellern 56:44
153rd Chris Elsley 57:03
160th Mel Deakin 58:16
165th Eddie Smith 58:48
189th Karen Murray 01:03:48
206th Julie Nokes 01:08:09
209th Russ Horsley 01:09:01
223rd Alison Conaghan 01:14:09


Race winner was Felix McGrath of host club Newcastle (Staffs) AC in a time of 35:56 with Lucy Smith of Vale Royal the leading lady in 43:30.


Nottingham Festive Day of Running

Meanwhile five Harriers headed over to Holme Pierrepoint in Nottingham for the Nottingham Christmas Festive Day of Running with events ranging from a Fun Run, 5k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon on offer.

Nick Beckett was brave enough to take on the full 26.2 mile distance, taking just under 9 laps of the lake at the National Water Sports Centre and finished 77th in a field of 218 in a time of 3hrs 43 mins 30 secs. Jonathan Kettle (North Wales Road Runners) was first man home in 2:44:11, a couple of seconds ahead of Horwich RMIs Richard Howarth. Beeston’s Sonka Reimers won the ladies race in 3 hrs 03mins 02secs.

Jo Oliver and Lindsey Foster ran the half marathon distance together in a time of 2hrs 12mins 44secs to finish 439th & 440th in a field of 679. Making it a double success for the North Wales Road Runners was Martin Green in a time of 1hr 14 mins 06 secs. Emily Foran of Sleaford Striders was first lady in 1hr 27m 10 secs.

Meanwhile Jake Oliver and Val Stuart ran the 5k with U15 runner Jake finishing 19th out of 200 runners in a time of 21:24. While Jake was one of the youngest in the race, his grandmother Val was one of just two over 70’s to compete and she finished in an excellent time of 37:26 to take 153rd.


Pictures: Jake Oliver and Val Stuart

Cheddleton 10k Christmas Pudding Run.

Saturday 25th November 2017


Report Dave Marsden

A cold, raw, grey afternoon in Cheddleton for this 3 lap race. We shivered before the start and were sprayed by intermittent hail showers during the race.

From the start there is a short flat section before the hill climb which we have to ascend 3 times during the race. The Moorland’s bag piper greeted us at the top on the first and second ascents but had gone when I came up for the third and final time. I can’t blame him as it must have been unpleasant being stood on a hill top playing bag pipes and wearing a kilt in those weather conditions.

After the climb the course is reasonably level until a sharp descent before the start of the next lap and finally into the finish.

It’s a well organised event in support of a good cause, Cancer Research. All finishers receive a Christmas pudding.

Simon Myatt of Trentham RC was first home in 33:59. The first lady was Jennifer Rich of Steel City Striders RC in 39:35.

For Stafford Harriers:-

84th Dean Hibbert 46:37

100th Dave Marsden 47:33

There were 271 finishers.

Suicide Six

26th November

Race report Chris Elsley

Seven members of Stafford Harriers headed over to Baggeridge Country Park on Sunday for a race with a bit of a difference.

Known as the Suicide Six, the course is most definitely off road with steep rugged climbs, wet clay tracks, slippy downhills and a three foot deep cold muddy brook among the challenges facing the 600 competitors. Certainly not one for the feint hearted!

Conditions on the day were as good as could be hoped for and Jason Littlewood came home as the leading Harrier in 47m 18s to take 105th place. Simon Bromley was around a minute behind (48:27), taking 123rd with Debbie McDermott the first of the three ladies, coming home in 54:44 (238th)

Chris Elsley (58:00 – 302nd), Chris Skellern (59:10 – 326th), Jane Bisiker (64:43 – 428th) and Brian Langston (80:17 – 579th) made up the rest of the Harriers contingent.

The race was won by Tipton Harriers’ Martin Williams in 36:15 with Lilly Higgins of Halesowen Athletic Club the first lady in 41:37.


Magnificent Seven: Debbie McDermott, Chris Skellern, Chris Elsley, Jane Bisiker, Jason Littlewood, Simon Bromley, Brian Langston




San Antonio Food Bank Turkey Trot 5K

23rd November 2017


Report by Graham Williams
While visiting our daughter Caroline and the family, we decided to run/walk the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving day (Nov 23rd). We arose early at 6.30, left the house an hour later, and arrived at the Commander’s House – I am not sure whether it was to do with the army or police. There were plenty of mobile toilets and free coffee and water.
Before the race started the American National Anthem was sung and most runners stood to attention which was quite moving. Although we were on chip times, I made the mistake of leaving it late to join the race queue. It was 40F and I felt a bit self conscious standing there wearing my Harriers top and short, almost everyone else seemed to be wearing long shorts and tops, hats and gloves! Obviously it felt cold to them as the weather can be over 100F for several months of the year.
It took me over 16 minutes to cross the start line as they were sending us out in waves to prevent overcrowding. The first mile was on a wide main road and it was quite easy to run round slow runners and avoid buggies and dogs. However we then joined the River Walk which although scenic was more crowded. After approximately half a mile we crossed the river and ran down the other side, which was equally congested. The final part of the race was back on a wide main road returning to the Commander’s House. Here we were rewarded with a goodie bag containing a tee shirt, a medal and several samples. We could also pick up energy drinks and bars, water and fruit.
The race was unusual in that every age group had three awards, and I received a pretty medal for coming 2nd over 70. I have run races all over the world with the Harriers, but this was my first American one and I was impressed with the organisation. By the time we left the temperature was in the 70s and we went back to Caroline’s for a turkey roast to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas including pecan pie and Christmas crackers!
Over 3000 people took part with the winner Hunter Hawkins in 16.14 and first female Dane Mecke in 16.54.
My time was 27.48
Shane and Reuben 40.37
Caroline and Gabriel 42.31
Sue did not run but was the official coat, hat, scarves and gloves carrier!


Beckbury Trail Race

19th November 2017 11.00am.


Report by Debbie McDermott


I left Home on a frosty Sunday morning at 9.00am and headed for Beckbury, way out west on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border.


It took a full hour drive through beautiful Staffordshire countryside before arriving in the tiny village of Beckbury. Just 3.5 miles from Cosford, and the weather had improved dramatically!


Organised by Lawley Running Club, with military precision, ( they had the local ATC directing and parking cars), it was very well organised!


HQ was in the village hall where the runners collected their numbers, and where able to enjoy hot food and drinks. The start of the race was a short walk through the village, past the church and hall ( once the infamous home to Duran Duran boys), then out into the fields.

Good facilities at the start. Music, toilets, medics etc. Excellent speculating! Very clear instructions given to the runners prior to a prompt start at 11.00am.

226 runners set off on a sun kissed, grassy field. I was the only Harrier amongst the field and took a mid position at the start, 500 meters over the undulating field before turning right and down into the woods on a single file track. The field slowed down, but soon picked up the pace as the course widened in the woods.

For 3 miles the undulating course passed field and wood before opening out in front of Potters Hill. This was steep, very tough! A style greeted me at the top, tougher still!


Over the style and out in open fields before a short road section of 300 meters. We turned left and back into the woods before rejoining the outbound course for half a mile. The final section was briefly through more fields before emerging through a small wood and back into the start/finish field. 400 meters to the finish line, and all down hill was the opportunity to pick off any stragglers!

A fantastic medal and goody bag was to hand at the finish line, before a slow walk back to the village hall for the race results.


Well done Lawley Runners! A tremendously well organised event, great medal and goody bag. This race is already in the diary for next year. It is accessible for the Harriers, come and support it!


1st Place

Christian Evans 33.37. Telford Ac

2nd Place

Adam Allison 34.12

3rd Place

Andrew McQue 35.57 Vale Royal Ac

1st Lady

Lucie-tait-Harris 41.39 Telford Ac

2nd Lady

Tracie Trueman Lawley Running club

3rd Lady

Lynsey Kelly 43.04 Wolverhampton

& Bilston


95th place

Debbie Mcdermott 51.54

13 lady home, 5th in FV40



Race report Chris Elsley

The previous week, Debbie McDermott travelled out to Beckbury, located between Wolverhampton and Telford for the Beckbury Trail race, organised by Lawley Running Club.

226 runners set off on an undulating grassy field before the pace briefly slowed down with a single file track way before the course widened as runners entered into the woods. For 3 miles the undulating course passed field and wood before opening out in front of Potters Hill – a steep and tough climb.

A short road section followed at the top before it was back into the woods and through more fields before a welcome downhill to the finish line.

McDermott finished 95th in a time of 51:54.

Telford ACs Christian Evans came home in 1st in 33:37 with Lucie Tait-Harris (also Telford) the leading lady in 41:39.

The Rotary Club of Cannock 10K

19th November 2017


Race Report by Ian wood


After picking up Matt Woodman up we arrived at marquis drive to find the rotary club set up with food and drinks plus this year a post race massage was available right next to the finishing funnel.

We did the usual pre race routine of picking up numbers pop to the loo then go for a warm up.

I had ice on my windscreen when I set out but when the race started at 11.00 conditions were ideal.

The start is on the crossroads between the Whitehouse and marquis drive we were held on a piece of grass untill the road was safe.

From the start to the swinnerton cycles is a bit like a roller-coaster with Matt leading us away on the first downhill section after the swinnerton we started to climb steadily past the Whitehouse and the drinks station it was now that Ben Skelton managed to take the lead from Matt as we climbed to the German cemetery crossroads. I was having a battle with a couple of lad’s from chase harriers but somehow I managed to get a good enough gap before turning left past the post office tower. The next left takes us past a water tower and finally we stop climbing this does not last. I was expecting one of the Chase harriers to catch me on this downhill section but there was too big a gap as we headed back to the start and a nasty climb before turning right at the crossroads to finish in marquis drive.

Only 133 ran this year which is a shame because it is a well organised local race although it is definitely not a flat course.


Race report Chris Elsley

Last Sunday saw the 8th running of the Cannock Rotary Club 10k along the roads passing through Cannock Chase with 133 taking part.

Starting out at Marquis Drive, the course is undulating from the off – as you would expect on Cannock Chase – and Stafford Harriers’ Matt Woodman led the field as runners headed down towards Birches Valley.

Runners then face a climb back up towards the White House crossroads and it was just past here that local unattached runner Ben Skelton moved past Woodman to take the race lead.

Skelton held onto his lead as the race turned into Broadhurst Green towards Hednesford, past the Post Office tower and into Brindley Road before reaching the finish back at Marquis Drive.

By the end, Skelton, who finished in 35:27, had extended his lead to almost a minute over Woodman, who held on to second place while Charlotte Beddow was first lady home in 45:46.

Stafford Harriers runners:


Position Name Time PB
2nd Matt Woodman 36:23
11th Ian Wood 43:35
53rd Jon Freeman 51:05 PB
98th Saffron Latham 59:58

North Staffs Cross Country

18th November 2017



Race report Chris Elsley

The third race in this season’s North Staffs Cross Country League took place on Stafford Common last Saturday.

In ideal conditions, 10 races took place in various age groups ranging from Under 11 to senior runners.

In the Under 11 Girls race, Stafford Harriers fielded 3 runners with Isla Fraser the first of them to finish in 7:05 followed by Caitlin Saunders and Edie White helping to give the team a 10th place finish.

Rose White was the only Harrier in the U13 girls race, finishing 34th, while Saffron Latham and Chloe Burrows ran the U17 girls, finishing 15th and 16th respectively.

In the U11 boys, Matthew Black led his team to a 7th place finish. Black came 18th in his category followed by Will Gray and Jack Moran.

Matthew Hilsdon was the leading U13 boy for the Harriers, finishing 29th in his race. Jack Heath, Seb Conaghan, Ben Green and Harry Beckett combined to help the team to 10th place.

The U15 boys came home in 6th with Ben Cook finishing 14th, Jake Oliver 34th and Robert Gray 40th while there was an excellent 2nd place for the U17 boys with the team of George Hodkinson (9th), Matt Bonney (10th), Robbie Gorman (17th) and Ben Deakin (29th).

In the senior ladies race, Stafford Harriers finished 8th in Division 2. Nia Nokes was the first Harrier home in 41st in a field of 221 runners. She was followed in by Stella Denniss, Kerry Hall, Debbie McDermott, Chris Skellern, Nicol Hudson, Mel Deakin, Jo Oliver, Karen Murray, Alison Conaghan and Julie Nokes.

The men also had an 8th place finish in their Division 2 match. Phil Hilsdon was the leading Harrier in 49th place, with Justin Green, Michael Dobson, Ian Heath, Spencer Holland, Jason Littlewood, Ian Hodkinson, James Smith, Simon Bromley, Gareth Hudson, Dave Marsden, Darren Mattocks, Steve Turner, Peter Williams, Roy Clay and Ed Smith also running.



Stafford Harriers’ Justin Green in action during the cross country

Matt Bonney and George Hodkinson – part of the U17 boys team who finished 2nd

Flying Fox 10 mile

5th November 2017


Report by Graham Williams

On a cold wet morning thirty Harriers travelled to Standon for the last race in the NSRRA series. However the majority were not interested in NSRRA points, but gaining points in the Harriers’ Challenge. It seemed to rain all the way there and while we registered but did stop before the start. The race started some half a mile from the registration but was delayed which was good as there were quite a few stragglers. There were lots of hills and puddles in the first six miles, but only a couple of small flooded areas. The sun came out and it became a beautiful day for running. After the six miles, we started to descend despite another hill; however the last mile was basically downhill finishing at the school where we registered. The race was well marshalled by Stone Master Marathoners and we received an excellent goody bag. The winner was Simon Myatt of Trentham RC in 54.33; first lady was Kristina Defries of SMM in 1.03. First Harrier home in fifth place with a time of 59.28 was Matt Woodman.

Chip Times:

Matt Woodman 59.28
Robert Mottram Jones 1.07.26
Paul Higginson 1.09.26
Ian Hodkinson 1.10.41
Spencer Holland 1.11.18
Ian Wood 1.12.24
Simon Bromley 1.15.08
Stella Denniss 1.18.53
Nia Nokes 1.19.17
Jason Littlewood 1.19.18
Steve Turner 1.20.18
Alan Jones 1.21.14
Tracy Ridings 1.22.51
Chris Skellern 1.23.08
Shelley Burns 1.23.30
Debbie McDermott 1.25.28
Eddie Smith 1.26.21
Melonie Deakin 1.26.38
Mark Burrows 1.29.34
Graham Williams 1.32.30
Karen Murray 1.34.32
Joanne Oliver 1.37.52
Lindsey Foster 1.37.52
Mark Bentley 1.38.30
Alison Conaghan 1.39.07
Julie Nokes 1.41.38
Rachel Marsden 1.45.35
Keeley Gilhooly 1.45.35
Tina Darby 1.45.37
Charlotte Ward 1.51.01


The final NSRRA places were as follows:

Robert Mottram Jones 1st M55
Graham Williams 3rd M70
Chris Skellern 2nd F50
Karen Murray 3rd F50



Press Release


By Chris Elsley


Flying Fox 10

Thirty members of Stafford Harriers took to the country roads around Standon, Cotes Heath and Stableford for the Flying Fox 10 last Sunday (5th November).

Breaking the hour mark and taking the honour of first Harrier home was Matt Woodman who finished 5th in a strong field, completing the distance in 59m 28secs.

Robert Mottram-Jones was also inside the top 30 finishers, coming home 27th in a time of 67m 26secs.

The race was won by Simon Myatt (Trentham RC) in 54m 33s, just ahead of Carl Moulton (Boalloy RC). Leading lady was Kristina Defries (Stone Master Marathoners) in 63m 50s.

The full list of Harriers who ran was:


Position Name Time PB
5th Matt Woodman 59:28
27th Robert Mottram-Jones 01:07:26
41st Paul Higginson 01:09:26
48th Ian Hodkinson 01:10:41
50th Spencer Holland 01:11:18
60th Ian Wood 01:12:24
87th Simon Bromley 01:15:08 PB
115th Stella Dennis 01:18:53
119th Nia Nokes 01:19:17
120th Jason Littlewood 01:19:18
127th Steve Turner 01:20:15
135th Alan Jones 01:21:14 PB
146th Tracy Ridings 01:22:51 PB
149th Chris Skellern 01:23:08
152nd Shelly Burns 01:23:30
170th Debbie McDermott 01:25:28 PB
172nd Eddie Smith 01:26:21
174th Mel Deakin 01:26:38
184th Mark Burrows 01:29:34
200th Graham Williams 01:32:30
210th Karen Murray 01:34:32
220th Jo Oliver 01:37:52
221st Lindsey Foster 01:37:52 PB
223rd Mark Bentley 01:38:30
228th Alison Conaghan 01:39:07
237th Julie Nokes 01:41:38
243rd Rachel Marsden 01:45:35
246th Tina Darby 01:45:35
253rd Charlotte Ward 01:51:01


Langley 7

On the previous day, Dave Marsden ran the Langley 7 road race.

Langley is a small village just south of Macclesfield and the race is staged by Macclesfield Harriers on the first Saturday in November. It is started by the launching of a firework rocket.

The race numbers are personalised to include the runner’s name, prefixed by a rhyming adjective, selected by the race organisers. So Dave’s race number bore the name ‘Dynamic David Marsden’ a name that he would not have selected for himself and, by his own admission, wasn’t appropriate by the time he had ascended the hill climb.

The first mile is flat and then the climb starts, continuing with varying degrees of intensity until the 4 mile mark, at which point you’ve climbed 730 feet. After that it’s a 3 mile descent to the finish which is pleasant if you’ve not overdone it on the climb.

At the finish runners were presented with a mini malt loaf and a bottle of beer!

There were 285 finishers, the winner Martin Dawson from North Derbyshire RC in 40:02 and first lady was Diane McVey Wilmslow RC in 44:22. I was 130th in a time of 57:28.


North Staffordshire Cross Country League Race 2 Results Parkhall

28th October2017


U11 Girls
43 Caitlin Saunders Stafford Harriers U11G 10.41
U17 Women
17 Saffron Latham Stafford Harriers U17W 14.12
18 Taygen Pike Stafford Harriers U17W 14.50
19 Chloe Burrows Stafford Harriers U17W 14.55
U11 Boys
37 William Gray Stafford Harriers U11B 10.50
U13 Boys
47 Matthew Hilsdon Stafford Harriers U13B 11.23
57 Ben Green Stafford Harriers U13B 12.41
58 Jack Heath Stafford Harriers U13B 12.45
U15 Boys
14 Ben Cook Stafford Harriers U15B 10.09
32 Jake Oliver Stafford Harriers U15B 12.04
35 Robert Gray Stafford Harriers U15B 13.09
U17 Men
11 George Hodkinson Stafford Harriers U17M 21.13
15 Robbie Gorman Stafford Harriers U17M 21.57
25 Ben Deakin Stafford Harriers U17M 25.02
Senior Women
46 Nia Nokes Stafford Harriers SW 25.57
62 Kerry Hall Stafford Harriers W35 26.46
66 Stella Denniss Stafford Harriers W40 26.57
125 Chris Skellern Stafford Harriers W55 29.43
130 Debbie McDermott Stafford Harriers W45 29.51
139 Mel Deakin Stafford Harriers W45 30.22
186 Joanne Oliver Stafford Harriers W45 34.08
200 Julie Nokes Stafford Harriers W55 35.30
Senior Men
49 Phillip Hilsdon Stafford Harriers SM 26.42
98 Justin Green Stafford Harriers M45 28.45
105 Ian Heath Stafford Harriers M45 29.09
151 Michael Dobson Stafford Harriers M50 30.39
172 Ian Hodkinson Stafford Harriers M45 31.13
173 Jason Littlewood Stafford Harriers SM 31.13
208 Spencer Holland Stafford Harriers M45 32.52
214 Jim Smith Stafford Harriers M50 33.12
216 Anthony Haycock Stafford Harriers M60 33.16
251 Darren Mattocks Stafford Harriers M40 35.27
252 Roy Clay Stafford Harriers M60 35.29
292 Edwin Smith Stafford Harriers M60 38.52

Great Birmingham Run

15th October 2017

Report by Chris Elsley



Stafford Harriers were well represented at the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday with 10 members taking part in the Marathon and another five completing the Half Marathon distance.

Leading the way for the Harriers was James Found who finished in a respectable 252nd place out of over 5,200 who completed the course in a time of 3 hours 18 mins 46 secs. He finished just ahead of Ian Wood (3:19:12 – 259th) while Ian Hodkinson was 10 minutes further back coming home in 3:29:32 to take 445th.

Simon Bromley also came home in under four hours with a time of 3:51:48 (1,007th).

Harriers who completed the gruelling 26.2 miles were:


Position Name Time PB
252nd James Found 03:18:46
259th Ian Wood 03:19:12
445th Ian Hodkinson 03:29:32
1007th Simon Bromley 03:51:48
1711th Alan Jones 04:08:43
1936th Debbie McDermott 04:14:33
2138th Jason Littlewood 04:19:55
2478th Kerry Robertson 04:28:37
2709th Eddie Smith 04:34:12
4436th Charlotte Ward 05:29:54

The marathon was won by Christopher Ashford from BRAT in 2:33:46 with Cambridge & Coleridge’s Sophie Kelly taking the ladies prize in 2:52:08.




Position Name Time PB
198th Robert Mottram-Jones 01:30:47
252nd Paul Higginson 01:32:31
1077th Nia Nokes 01:45:42
6801st Liz Shillito 02:31:33 PB
7651st Sarah Gray 02:43:23

Around 8,900 completed the half marathon distance which was won by William Richardson (Birchfield Harriers) in 1:06:38. Chloe Richardson (Birchfield Harriers) was the first lady in a time of 1:21:40



Report from Ian Wood

I was nervous doing this race due to the many unknowns and pre race niggles. The first task was to try to park at the Alexandria stadium only to find the road blocked I parked outside the local Chinese just across the road from the stadium after following the diversion for miles only to find

myself back at the start.

The starting area was well organised with a info tent next to loads of toilets with the baggage drop nearby. I dropped my bag off having the bus number written on my hand this made picking up easy and secure at the end.

It was a bit weird standing on the running track knowing that the world’s best runners have raced here. I bumped into James found as we started to assemble for the start with the celebrities getting interviewed this was followed by a good warm up by two lads on a scissor lift now it was time to go.

We started on the running track but we’re soon heading down the A34 towards Birmingham past Perry barr railway station the first few miles were like a roller coaster with the flyovers. I found the next few miles were very twisty not my favourite bit of the race. It was here I caught up with Simon

bromley before we started heading to cannon hill park via moor street to start the first of two loops.

The route though cannon hill park to Edgbaston cricket ground was great with nice wide footpaths we start to see the leading runners as we head for the bourneville loop with a steep sapping climb up to Cadbury world then downhill heading back towards the cricket ground and take a left up a nasty little hill up to Selly Park then down again. We now pass the cricket ground heading towards Birmingham we filter to the right and head back to cannon hill park to start the second lap.

The second lap was interesting as the blue start runners were filtering in and I started to relax a bit and enjoy the atmosphere more.

The climb up to Cadbury world and Selly Park were killers on the second lap cheers Jason Alan and deb’s you looked great thanks for the shouts. I was now starting to struggle the climb up to snow hill was a tough one. The climb between the bull ring and moor street railway station to the finish was just cruel. I almost stopped but thanks to Jim and Sandra Smith shouting I kept going to finish behind Steve Edwards who had done his 800th marathon in under 3.20 and I just finished a head of chap dressed as a viola.

When I finished I ran into James found who had finished just ahead of me and Robert Mottram Jones who was about to start the half marathon.

I got back to my car by catching a train from New street to Perry barr and walked a mile or so back to the Alexandria stadium which helped my legs.

I would definitely do this race again I think having the half marathon as well created a brilliant atmosphere especially at the finish but it is a tough one.

Marathon winner’s

Chris Ashford 2-33-46 Birmingham running athletic and triathlon club

Sophie Kelly 2-52-08 Cambridge & Coleridge a/c

Thank you for Tony Audenshaw (Bob Hope emmerdale) for the shout. I think some of the harriers shared a hotel with him when running in Ireland, I think he recognised the harriers top.



Werrington 10K

15th October 2017


Report by Graham Williams

While many Harriers were in Birmingham for the full and half marathons, four intrepid Harriers travelled to Werrington for the penultimate NSRRA race. This used to be a six mile race but has succumbed to the 10K trend along with Crewe 8 and Trentham 10.

I travelled with Chris Skellern arriving over an hour early so we got a good parking spot. The race started on the school field and headed straight out to the main road where we ran on the pavement which was a little congested. The race continued on good quality country lanes which were well marshalled. There were a few undulations but generally the course was pretty flat in ideal running conditions. We finished on the field where we started.

The winner was Simon Myatt from Trentham in 34.16 and first lady Kristina Defries from Stone Master Marathoners in 38.40.

The Harriers results were:


Position Name Time Cat PB
Spencer Holland 44:10
Dave Marsden 47:20
Chris Skellern 51:41 2nd L50
Graham Williams 53:10 2nd M70



Press Report


By Chris Elsley


Katharine House 10k

Stafford Harriers’ Matthew Woodman lead the way to win the Katharine House 10k at Shugborough Hall on Sunday.

Woodman came home in 36:58, just four seconds ahead of Nigel Haycock of Cannock & Stafford.

Another Harrier Liam Duggan, came home in 43:35 (14th), ahead of club mate Jason Littlewood (43:54 – 15th).

Simon Bromley (45:44 – 28th) and Dean Hibbitt (45:59 – 31st) also finished in the top 50 from a field of just under 400.

Chris Skellern was the first of the Harriers ladies to finish, taking 74th place overall in a time of 50:29.

Harriers times were:


Position Name Time PB
1st Matt Woodman 36:58
14th Liam Duggan 43:35
15th Jason Littlewood 43:54
28th Simon Bromley 45:44
31st Dean Hibbitt 45:59
74th Chris Skellern 50:29
77th Mark Withington 50:45 PB
84th Alan Jones 51:05
105th Debbie McDermott 52:40
111th Scott Kelsall 53:34 PB
123rd Michael Evans 54:19
161st Claire Jackson 57:33
279th Lizzie Pellowe 01:05:54
284th Claire Heath 01:06:12
314th Marie Evans 01:08:28


In the 5k event, Harriers’ Junior Murphy Hamilton came 9th in a time of 17:54, ahead of Jack Heath (33rd – 27:03), Sennan Byrne (48th – 28:55) and Anna Byrne (49th – 28:58).

Also running for the Harriers in a field of just over 200 runners were

Harley Farrant 53rd 29:05
Jenny Farrant 55th 29:13
Freya Haycock-Hall 70th 30:41
Eleanor Withington 91st 32:15
Keeley Hamilton 116th 34:21


Chester Marathon

Meanwhile two Harriers took part in the Chester Marathon – one of the UK’s leading events over the 26.2 mile distance.

Simon Groom finished in a time of 3hrs 53m 44secs to take 1,088th place while Melonie Deakin finished in 4:36:20 to finish 1,956th.

The race was won by Lloyd Biddell of Mercia Fell Runners in 2:26:11 with Sarah Lowery of Sheffield RC coming home as first lady in 2:44:24 (43rd overall).

There were 2,644 finishers.

The weekend also incorporates a Metric Marathon (26.2km) and a Mini Marathon run over a one mile distance.


Aberystwyth Twin Peaks Race

Dave Marsden headed out to west Wales for the Aberystwyth Twin Peaks – a run of just over 7 miles which starts out near to the harbour of the Welsh town. The first of the peaks that give the race its name is the ascent of Pen Dinas. Runners then return to the town, and past the start point before heading up Consitution Hill.

86 runners completed the gruelling race with Marsden finishing in 68mins 29 secs, 21 minutes behind race winner Ken Caulkett from Sarn Helen. The first lady – Dee Jolly – was also from Sarn Helen in a time of 56:54

Aberystwyth Twin Peaks Race.

Sunday 8th October 2017.

Report by Dave Marsden.

It was a bright, sunny, warm autumn day for this race which is organised by Aberystwyth AC. The race headquarters, the start and finish areas are situated by the bandstand on the sea front promenade. From the start we headed south down the promenade passed the old university buildings to the harbour. After a loop round the harbour, we left the town and soon started to ascend the first “Peak”, which is Pen Dinas. The organisers claim the ascent to be approximately 450 feet to the monument which sits on top of this hill. From there we descend back to the town and retrace our steps round the harbour and back along the promenade. We pass the start/finish area and continue to the north end of the promenade, where we start the ascent of the second “Peak”, up Constitution Hill. This is also claimed to be another 450 feet of climbing which crosses the cliff railway. At the top there’s a flat stretch along the top before a steep descent back to the promenade and along to the finish.

It’s a tough but enjoyable race of about 7.25 Miles. It’s well organised and the “Goody Bag” comprised a shoe bag, massage ball, bottle of water, banana and cereal bars.

The race winner was Ken Caulkett from Sarn Helen in 47:10. The first lady was Dee Jolly also from Sarn Helen in 56:54. My time was 1:08:29. There were 86 finishers.

Chester Marathon

Sunday 8th October 2017

Report Mel Deakin

I only entered this event 6 weeks and 3 days before race day which is slightly mad especially for someone who rarely runs over 10k. The week before the race I knew I hadn’t done enough 10+ mile runs and the latter part of the marathon would hurt, but convinced myself to run, I would run/walk if it got too difficult and get this marathon thing ticked off my bucket list. My sister was also running and we agreed to run together, at least for part of the race. She had been far more sensible and had been following a training plan for months!

The first 13 miles were good. It was great running with my sister as we kept an eye on our pace and stopped each other from going off to fast. Mile 14 and 15 weren’t too bad although I could feel my legs getting tired and my toes were sore as they were starting to blister. My mind was taken off this somewhat by the people around, the surroundings and also the four SMM bats, who were taking it in turns to run in a pantomime horse costume – no I was not hallucinating. I am sure there was a point to this and there may be a race report on their website in due course!

Miles 16 to the end were very tough. I did tell my sister to run on without me but she refused. I don’t know at what point it started to rain, but by the end we were soaked through. Out of all the races I have done I have never been so pleased to see the finish line. Being wet though was a good excuse to splash out on a Chester Marathon hoody!

I would recommend Chester marathon to anyone who is looking to run a marathon, or perhaps the shorter metric marathon (26.2k) which is run on the same day. It is very well organised, there were feed stations every 5k with gels, Lucozade and water and toilets. The dreaded question, would I run a marathon again? Now I am home, warm, fed and watered…….I have no plans to run one anytime soon and would never run one again without doing more long distance training in advance. Never say never, but for now, I am looking forward to a few days off then getting back to parkrun and cross country.


1st Lloyd Biddell Mercia Fell Runners 2:26:12

1st female Sarah Lowery Sheffield RC 2:44:27

Stafford Harriers – chip


Position Name Time PB
1087th Simon Groom 03:53:44
1956th Mel Deakin 04:36:20

2587 finished.