Marathon Mania!

April 9, 2014

Sunday April 6th:
The beginning of April heralded the start of Spring marathon season for many Harriers, and there were a few great races to choose from. A good number of Harriers’ ladies plumped for the most local race, the Greater Manchester Marathon, which took place on Sunday. Ros Moore was first over the line in 3:43:39, followed by Tim Pocock in 3:57:06, Angela Barker Charleton in 4:02:26, then Jillie Townend in 4:22:06 and Tracy Iles in 4:44:31.

Travelling further afield were Victoria Tremlin and Sue Moul who opted for the music-filled, sunny streets of Paris. Running past such iconic sights as the Eiffel Towel and the Arc de Triomphe the pair were spurred on by cheers of ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ. Sue, racing her third marathon in six months, finished in 4:18:47. Victoria managed to shave 20 minutes off her marathon time since joining the Harrogate Harriers last year, finishing in 3:35:59.

Even further still was Wendy Marks who travelled to Greece for the Alexander the Great marathon. For her a strong headwind for the first 7 miles was energy-sapping and resulted in a real feeling of exhaustion by about 15 miles. Wendy hung on though and shaved 6 minutes off last year’s time at the same marathon, crossing the line in 3:23:08 and 8th lady overall.

Closer to home Richard Willis celebrated his return to running form with an excellent outing around the Blubberhouses 25. Taking in Bolton Abbey, Beamsley Beacon and Round Hill the route was inordinately boggy and apparently great fun. Richard finished in exactly 4 hours.

Another off-road race, this time half marathon distance, was the Baildon Boundary Way and the Harriers had a great turn-out there with eight club members pitting themselves against the muddy and boggy terrain. The race offers a bit of everything, challenging climbs, thrilling descents, woodland and canal paths so was great fun for all. Chris Miller came in 3rd, an excellent result, in a time of 1:24:10, followed closely by John Young who was 7th overall finishing in 1:27:30. Brian Miller was next, 62nd overall, in 1:47:13, with John McNerney not far behind in 1:47:20 for 63rd overall. Other results were: Tim Broomfield, 79th, in 1:49:55; Pat Brew, 118th, 1:57:13; Dan Simmons, 129th, 1:58:42; Alan Couldwell, 275th, 2:22:19.

Two harriers, on a jaunt to the seaside, went to run the Blackpool Half and were delighted to finish in the top 100 of 984 runners. Stephen Kirk ran an excellent time and a PB in 1:34:55 coming in 46th place overall. Darren West in his 14th half marathon this year, all raising funds for Martin House, came in 71st with a time of 1:38:45. Conditions were dry but the headwind in the last 3 and a half miles made the going tough for all competitors.

Also at the weekend was the Harewood 10k, renowned for a couple of beastly hills, and this time also very slippery with mud and potholes it was an enjoyable but challenging event. A number of Harriers took part and raced very well indeed. Steve Trudgeon was first Harrier and 17th overall in 41:10, followed by Kevin-Malachy Murphy who was 198th overall in 51:15. Anne Scaife was 43rd lady in 53:49, with Jackie Flynn not far behind in 59:54. Sean Somers was next in 1:02:28; Dianne Addison in 1:02:43; Emma Thackwray in 1:03:24.

Sunday 30th March:
The weekend before, with results too late for the report, six Harriers took part in the second race of the Yorkshire Vets series at Honley. This was a very tough, hilly course which included a 300m ascent, combined with freshly-ploughed fields and a number of annoyed llamas to contend with. Finishing places were: Paul Render 17th, Brian Miller 20th, Stephen Kirk 29th, Steve Nesbitt 38th, Dave Askew 54th and John Blacker 119th.

Mountain Mists!

April 9, 2014

Saturday 29th March:
On an important weekend in the fell running world, the first British Championship race of 2014 took place on Saturday in Northern Ireland. The route is 10k with nearly 900m of ascent, climbing both Millstone mountain and Slieve Donard, the highest mountain in Northern Ireland, before descending all the way to the finish in Donard Park at sea level. Harriers’ own Ben Grant made the trip and flew the flag for Harrogate. The difficult terrain, both the climbs and descents, was always going to make for a challenging race, but the weather compounded that. The fog was so heavy that even in the lowlands navigation was extremely tricky, never mind when competitors were higher up. The locals, familiar with the terrain, did well, as did the bad weather experts. Not counting himself as one of those Ben found this to be a real challenge of a race, and came in 7th V60, which is, as he says himself, his worst result for a decade. Nonetheless he acquitted himself very well, coming in 131st position in 1:39:02.

A little closer to home, three hardy Harrogate Harriers travelled over to Heptonstall  on Saturday for their 15-mile fell race, organised excellently by an informal group of runners from in and around the village known as the Heptonstall Hurriers. The race was started by the village’s priest following a short start-line sermon, and then they were off, following a fantastic route with some challenging climbs. Some excellent times from the Harriers: Ian Rowbotham finished 32nd in 2:22:24, Jake Turnbull, 41st in 2:25:03 and Nick Andralojc, 125th, in 2:50:17. Much enjoyed after the trials and tribulations of the course was the free soup, bread and flapjack, all provided in plentiful supply at the local pub.

Sunday 30th March:
Darren West, in his 52 half-marathons challenge, took part in the 32nd annual Belvoir half-marathon in Nottinghamshire which took place in its regular slot two weeks before the London Marathon. Such a time slot in the racing calendar attracts a good standard of runners, particularly as the course itself offers a flat and fast route. Despite his son’s 21st birthday celebrations the night before Darren had an excellent race shaving nearly 2.5 minutes off his PB to finish in 1:32:55, and come in 83rd in a field 411, 11th MV50 of 62. The running conditions were fabulous with, unusually of late, no wind, along with a little mist and some outbreaks of sunshine here and there.

Another great fell race was also available at the weekend, the Rivock Edge fell race, attracting Harrier Pete Turner. Weather conditions were very good with a small amount of hill top mist. At just under 11km, the sub 50 minute record time has yet to be achieved but was very nearly reached with a good time of 50:54 by Jack Ross from Staffordshire Moorlands AC. Minor problems with a small number of marker / direction signs being removed did not dampen what all the runner said was a good race. Peter had a good race, finishing in 1:14:06, 33rd overall.

PB Running!

March 26, 2014

Saturday 22nd March:
Jon Steele’s “Hardmoors” series of races are increasing in popularity among the North’s ultra-distance community and the Hardmoors 55 was the first “Big ‘Un” of the year, this is a tough trail event that winds its way – surprise – along 55 miles of the Cleveland Way (from Helmsley to Guisborough), taking in some 9,000ft of ascent.  Helen Price and Pete Edwards represented the club in conditions that can only be described as “changeable” – bright sunshine, strong winds and hail and snow all made an appearance.  Helen ran with friend and noted ultra-distance runner Emma David from Nidd Valley, the pair put in a fantastic performance to finish joint 4th ladies and 36th overall in a time of 10 hours 13 minutes.  Considering that both girls ran the Haworth Hobble ultra only the previous weekend (32 miles/4,400ft) , this was a truly exceptional result and means that Helen is currently leading the UK RunFurther ultra series from last year’s winner Karen Nash with Emma in third place.  This was Pete Edwards’ first Hardmoors race and he certainly didn’t let the side down, finishing in 12 hours and 30 minutes and well up the finishing order.  Well done to both.   Results

Sunday 23rd March:
The most popular race of the day was the Thirsk 10, this flat and fast course presents a great opportunity to get a PB time and is used by many as an essential “sharpener” in their Spring marathon campaign. Barry McGuire continued his great form, crossing the line as first Harrier over a minute faster than last year’s in a superb 58:16, earning 24th place overall.  Next Harrier was Jamie Dilasser in and excellent new PB of 1:03:57 and 103rd place, while Mark Jordan took third position for the club in 1:07:37 and 164th overall. Paula Eastaugh swooped in for first Harrier lady in a superb 1:17:06, followed very closely by Angela Peace - back on form after injury – with an excellent  1:17:12.  Results

Adam Prentis went further afield (all the way to Italy) to take part in the impossibly beautiful Rome marathon.  The route itself was challenging at times, going over rough cobbles and turning a phenomenal amount of corners, 77 in total!  Add to this the weather on the day, which was mainly heavy rain coupled with high humidity and you have quite a challenge.  Despite all this Adam had a sensational run, cleaving 7 minutes off his former PB to finish in 3:11:41, a time he is quite rightly thrilled with. He comments that the moment when he turned into St Peters Square at the 11-mile mark was like nothing he had ever experienced, “gobsmackingly incredible”.  Can’t argue with that can you?  Results

Wendy Marks chose to travel to Milton Keynes (a bit different from Rome!) to take part in a segment of the Enigma Running Week at the Knees Marathon. The event comprises seven marathons in seven days with runners able to select to run all seven or any number from one to seven. Wendy really enjoyed the race, sticking to her race plan of running 20 miles at marathon training pace and then a steady final 6.2 to save herself for her main marathon in a couple of weeks, so she was very happy to finish in 3:35:48, 1st lady & third overall. Results

Darren West continued his 52 half-marathon challenge by completing the Liverpool half-marathon.  He reports that the wind was very strong and miles nine to thirteen were straight into the headwind along the Mersey, making it a bit of a slog.  Darren dug deep, despite not enjoying the last two miles and finished in 1:38:50, 823rd overall and 60th MV50. 52Half Blog

Finally, Rob Athey made the trip to Cheshire to take part in the hugely popular Wilmslow half-marathon.  The route headed straight out into the Cheshire countryside, lined with plenty of locals who had come to support the event and many drink stations which were, of course, very welcome.  The first half was pleasantly flat before giving way to a rather hilly second half, but timing mats at 10k and 10 miles kept runners focused and on pace. Rob finished in the top quarter of the field in a great time of 1:43:30, well done to him!  Results

Running Far and Wide!

March 19, 2014

Ros Moore still smiling at the Haworth Hobble! (Courtesy of SportSunday Event Photography)

Ros Moore still smiling at the Haworth Hobble!
(Courtesy of SportSunday Event Photography) (click to enlarge)

Saturday 15th March:
It was a grand day out for Harrogate Harriers when for the first time we fielded teams in the Northern Road Relays, this year taking place at Manchester’s Heaton Park.  With lots of famous runners present (including the National Cross Country champion and even an Olympian or two) the quality of the field  was extremely high. Both the ladies and the mens team finished in the top half of the table, which is an excellent result:  The ladies team placed 21st in the 6-stage race, with the men coming in 39th in the 12-stage, great efforts on a hilly course that was made even more difficult by strong winds and the occasional stray pedestrian!   The ladies’ team comprised: Emma Robinson, Jenny Hutcheson, Nicola Smith, Jude Muir, Isabelle Rowe and Cathy Wright. The men’s team:  Chris Miller, Ashley Brook, John Young, Paul Moses, Jonny Johnson, Brian Miller, Jake Turnbull, Stephen Nesbitt, Jamie Dilasser, John McNerney, Chris Gibbins and  Timothy Richards.   Results (Mens)  |  Results (Ladies)

Meanwhile and at quite the opposite end of the running spectrum, five Harriers travelled to Calderdale and Bronte country to compete in this year’s Haworth Hobble, the infamous “Wuthering Hike”.  This is a 32-mile off-road event over tough gritstone country with a cumulative ascent of 4,400ft, definitely not one for the faint-hearted or those that didn’t train over winter!   Conditions were very good for fell-running, although a strong headwind in the first half of the race made it hard going in places.  First back for the club was Martyn Price in a PB time of 5:50:04 with wife Helen not far behind in 5:50:33,  also claiming a new PB and first LV40 spot in the process.  Next home was Mark Robinson who put in a strong run on his third consecutive Hobble to finish in a PB time of 6.23:58, while David Fountain made a last-minute decision to run the race and was rewarded with a 6.33:24 finish.  Star performer of the day was Ros Moore who – having never tackled a race of this distance or severity – did brilliantly to finish in 6:51:43.  Results

Elsewhere, Wendy Marks and new Harrier Jillie Townend travelled to Stafford to compete in the town’s half-marathon. The first 3 miles were steadily uphill and rather chilly, but then the bright sunshine, gusty winds and more serious hills began, making the rest of the race was a bit of a battle – we’re told the goody bag and free massage at the end make it all worthwhile though!  Wendy achieved a course PB by 3.5 minutes and finished 14th lady, 1st FV45, in 1:33:03.  Jillie Townend had a great race, recording a PB of 1:58:00 and securing herself 3rd FV55 prize.  Results

Sunday 16th March:
The day after the Harriers’ team successes at Heaton Park, Jamie Dilasser headed over to Lancaster to take part in the Trimpell 20, an important race in his Spring marathon build-up. Treating it as more of a training run than a race, Jamie ran well, finishing in 2:21:02/72nd place  Results

Darren West completed the 11th of the 52 half-marathons he is doing in 2014, a heroic effort to raise money for Martin House.  This race was at Kirkley Hall in Northumberland, where he enjoyed a sunny, windy and undulating run to achieve an excellent 1:36:02.  52 Halfs Blog

The Lightwater Valley 10K tempted a few Harriers to make the short journey over to Ripon, largely due to the great course on a combination of track and road and of course the rather surreal novelty of running around a deserted theme park!  Barry McGuire was 4th over the line in a mightily impressive 35:26., while Alex Green was the next Harrier in a solid 43:50, earning 47th position. Sally Houghton came next for the club, 79th out of a field of 294 and an excellent 8th lady in 46:43.  Results

The Bradford 10K is a new addition to our Club Championship, but despite the numerous other races and the Northern Relays we had five Harriers taking part.  Once again, it was a windy one but with the added benefit of a relatively flat course (lovely!) and some excellent results were achieved.  Adam Prentis was first Harrier over the line, thrilled to break the magical 40-minute barrier and take away a new PB of 39:34 and 80th position overall.  Cathy Wright wasn’t very far behind in 40:52 which earned her 1st in the FV50 category and 101st position overall. Other results were: James Lennon, 329th overall, in 46:55; Toby Eastaugh, 530th, in 49:33; and Georgina Lennon, 1086th, in 59:32.  Results

Stephen Kirk also stayed in Yorkshire (why wouldn’t you?), but went a bit further afield to Sheffield for the South Yorkshire Half-Marathon.   He reports that it was a very enjoyable 2-lap course but as was the theme this weekend, the hills and wind made a quick time a difficult prospect  . Steve was very happy with a time of 1:38:30 which earned him a superb finishing position of 49th.  Results