Picture special: The Technicolour Dreambed

Knaresborough Bed Race is a real highlight of the local calendar and Harrogate Harriers were proud to be a part of it again this year. Our team  of six were Andy Laverick, Simon Watson, Theresa Oldroyd, Ian Rowbotham, Nick Andralojc and Chris Gibbins, with Chris’ daughter Elizabeth as the brave passenger.


On parade

No ordinary Joe

With the ugly sisters of Pullman

There are two parts to the Bed Race and the team gave a great account of themselves in each. Before the actual race there’s a parade through the town, with all 90 beds dressed up in a common theme. This year the theme was ‘A Night at the Theatre’ and some of the elaborate bed designs were truly incredible. Harriers could hold their heads high with a bed build by Andy Laverick in tribute to Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat. A larger-than-life Joseph – in Harriers vest with a multicolour cape flanked by pharaohs – got a great reception from the huge crowds as it made it’s way through the market square and down to the waterside. Joseph eventually found himself taking centre stage on a boat in the river – pointing mysteriously at a swan.

Pharaoh-row-row your boat…

When it came time to race, the team took their place as 33rd bed of the 90 starting at intervals of 10 seconds. It soon became clear that our team was much faster than this ranking would suggest and found themselves with many beds to overtake. Picking off other teams as they stormed up the Castle Ings, they were slowed by the traffic through the chicanes of Market Square. Chris sustained a cut leg in one overtaking maneuver. The whole thing was a bit of a blur as the bed accelerated down to the river. Whereupon, needless to say, it was thrown into the water. The final stretch involved dragging the bed (and soggy passenger) across and up the bank to the finish line.  The team are a mix of some of our fastest runners alongside some from our improvers group, but they all worked really well as a team and finished together. By the time the Nidd had been wrung from the weary pharaohs, the timings had been processed and it emerged that they’d managed to get the bed home in 15th place in a very respectable time of 16:20.

HH marathoners around the world

Two Harriers made the journey to Boston to take part in the grandaddy of modern marathons. Kevin-Malachy Murphy and Craig Barstow have both achieved breakthrough marathon times in recent years to meet the race qualification criteria. They both set out to make the most of the experience and certainly got plenty of that. With a strong headwind and torrential rain breaking the spirits of many runners, both did well to finish strongly, Kevin in 3:41:45 and Craig in 4:08:01. It looks to have been an epic adventure.

Jillie Townend enjoys the experience of Paris Marathon

Better conditions greeted Jillie Townend for the Paris marathon. With music and a great atmosphere she was given the full Parisian treatment, well earned in a difficult build-up. She enjoyed almost every minute, finishing in 5:15

Caroline springs to action

Out on the trails, Caroline Oldfield completed he second LDWA event in as many weeks. This time it was the Spring in Lakeland event –  24 miles from starting from Ambleside and inevitably taking in plenty of hills. She finished it as first female finisher in  4 hrs 47

No Vale of Tears

We had a number of runners at the Vale of York 10M, a flat and fast affair starting from the York Gliding Centre. Sharon Barlow will have been breaking their gliding club rules as she was really motoring. She broke the hour and finished 12th overall, 1st F40. There were great times recorded by everyone on a course that gets a little harder than the profile suggests.

Coralin Harrison continues her tour of Yorkshire’s airfields

Here’s the full HH finisher list.

Sharon Barlow 59:30

Paul Richardson  1:05:23

Charlotte Evans  1:13:14

Paul Cowham  1:15:35

Jillie Townend  1:29:32

Rebecca Tunnicliff  1:31:23

Coralin Harrison  1:52:29


The weather this year hasn’t been kind to those building up to the spring marathon season. Having trained undaunted by the snow, upwards of twenty Harrogate Harriers are making the final preparations before tackling the distance in coming weeks.  We have twelve runners competing at London, but it isn’t all about the capital. Plenty of other events in the UK and overseas will feature the red vest of Harrogate this year.

Some of the Harrogate Harriers preparing for a marathon this spring. (L-R Tom Borrowdale, Gareth Somerville, Kevin-Malachy Murphy, John Dalby, Simon Watson)

Here is a full list of the runners to look out for:

  • Manchester (Apr 8th): Rob Athey, John Young
  • Paris (Apr 8th): Jillie Townend
  • Boston (Apr 16th): Kevin-Malachy Murphy, Craig Barstow
  • Blackpool (Apr 22nd): Sue Moul
  • London (Apr 22nd): Adam Newton, Sarah Gill, Wendy Marks, Simon Watson, Theresa Oldroyd, Kirstie Laughlan, James Hawkins, Jodie Peary, Nathaniel Southworth, Tom Borrowdale, Shamiso Sisimayi, Gareth Somerville
  • Milton Keynes (May 7th): John Dalby
  • Edinburgh (May 27th): David Harrison, Simon Childs, Shamiso Sisimayi, Josh Fuller