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.

With three races this weekend counting toward our various club championships, there was plenty of reasons to get Harriers out there racing – from the highways of Leeds to the byways of Ripon and the trails of lakeland.

The biggest contingent were the 21 red vests who trooped south to the Leeds Half Marathon. It’s a mass start event following major roads and front-loaded with climbing. It isn’t easy to measure your effort for a good time in a race like that,  but quite a few of our competitors pulled out a good result. Gareth Somerville continued his strong recent run of results with a 1:22:41 to finish 49th overall. Paul Richardson surprised himself with a 1:27:09, with Adam Prentis and Stephen Trudgeon also dipping just under the 1:30 mark.

Some of the Harriers at Leeds Half Marathon

Shamiso Sisimayi was the 6th overall female, clocking 1:31:30. Sarah Gill’s time of 1:34:01 was enough to earn her 2nd place in her F55 category. The best category result of the day was Kevin-Malachy Murphy taking 1st place in the V60s in 1:36:26. There were plenty of other good results and  PBs amongst the Harriers present. Melanie Rice, for instance, beat her target well with a time of 1:51:58. r

The full results list can be found here

Ripon it up

Mark Jordan is first V60 at Ripon 10M

Andrew Dobby coming in 3rd at Ripon 10M

Meanwhile 17 Harriers travelled north to take part in the Ripon 10 Miler. This is a challenging course with much uphill and some sections of trail, but with running environment and atmosphere that attracts quality club runners from all over the district. Andrew Dobby was the first Harrier home in 1:01:47, taking third place overall. Next came Simon Watson in 1:13:03 and Mark Jordan in 1:15:42. Mark won the V60 category prize in the process. The first female Harrier over the line was Wendy Marks in 1:23:46, giving her third place in the F50 category.

It would feel weird not to mention that Andy Grant won the race. It was his first run in Leeds colours, but he’s still our mate and it was good to see him.

Harriers at Ripon 10M

Here’s a link to the full results

Meanwhile in a Fair Field…

Fairfield Horseshoe fell race is the first time our off-road championships has strayed outside the county and was supported by 11 runners making the short trip west. They were rewarded with some stunning views in conditions that had lakeland looking at its very best.

Jason Millward was the runner who gave the scenery the least respect, affording it only 1 hour 34 minutes of his time. David Oldfield hurried home seven minutes later, with others taking more time to appreciate their surrounds. The full details of those can be found here.

This is one of the off-road races rated as ‘long’ and certainly proved taxing. Martin and Helen organised a recce visit a few weeks beforehand, which certainly helps to de-mystify the event. There will be similar long trail events later in the summer, with associated recces. Keep an eye out for news on our weekly updates.

Harriers at Fairfield Horseshoe fell race

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