Seeing Red …..

May 13, 2014

Saturday 3rd May:
The Bank Holiday weekend saw a lot of racing action for Harrogate Harriers, kicking off on Saturday 3rd May with the Coniston Fell Race: a tough course with 3,500ft of climb over 8.7 miles.  Harrogate Harrier Ben Grant – fresh from his excellent result at the Anniversary Waltz fell race the previous weekend –  had a sensational race at Coniston too. Again, he won the MV65 category with ease and finished in a very good 160th in 1:30:23. He was followed quite closely by fellow Harrier, Stephen Fry who also had an excellent race, finishing 234th in 1:39:19. Results

A very different race took place on the same day and it was quite local:  This was the one-off “Fells & Bells” race, organised by the Keighley & Craven A.C. to celebrate the marriage of two of their members, Stef and Andrew.  Inter-club friendships meant that various Harriers went along to take part in this 8.5km fell race and it was a superb outing, the route itself was a typical frying-pan shape, starting  from St Peter’s Church in Addingham to Beamsley Beacon and back, the fancy dress theme was bridesmaids and pageboys with those dressed as bridesmaids (not all girls as it turned out!) running clockwise and pageboys running anti-clockwise.  There were some good results for the club with Ian Rowbotham snagging third place in 37:52; Nick Andralojc, 18th, in 43:50; Martyn Price, 23rd in 45:43 (nice outfit Martyn); Helen Price, 24th in 45:54 and third lady; Andrew Souter, 44th in 53:32; Helen Souter, 49th in 55:03; Jane Rowbotham, 61st in 1:03:30. Results

Sunday 4th May:
The Kirkby Moorside 10K has become increasingly popular in recent years and there was a large number of Harrogate Harriers flying the flag and spreading the club’s good name. The hilliest part of the course is at the beginning, so once that’s in the bag there is some lovely countryside to pass through before heading back downhill to the finish in the market square and a great atmosphere, cheering crowds and a brass band no less!  Barry McGuire and John Young had excellent runs, with just 9 seconds between them they came in 4th and 5th place in 35:49 and 35:58 respectively. Similarly close in time with just 5 seconds between them were Michael Gill 36th overall in 41:18 and Harry Brook-Dobson 39th overall, in 41:23.  They were followed closely by Adam Prentis in 42:16 for 53rd place.  Sarah Gill was the first of the Harriers’ ladies with a mightily impressive 8th lady overall and 101st position in a time of 45:07.  Results

The Reeth 20K also took place on this day  and there was a good showing of Harriers all keen to battle against the hilly course and the extremely blustery conditions.  By all accounts this was a very tough race,albeit in a superb setting with stunning views throughout and really well organised.  First Harrier over the line, and 30th overall, was Stephen Kirk in 1:46:30. He was followed by Nick Andralojc who was 33rd in another great time of 1:47:17; Dan Simmons was 52nd, comfortably under 2 hours in 1:56:58. Gillian Macfarlane was first Harrier lady, and 79th overall, in 2:09:05 followed by Sue Moul, 89th overall in 2:14:46 and Allison Griffiths, 98th overall in 2:17:53.  Results

The aptly-named Bluebell 10 mile trail race in Halifax was another Sunday fixture.  The route is multi-terrain through woodland, canal towpaths, tracks, trails, cobbled streets and, of course, beautiful bluebell woods as well as a unique river crossing at the end.  There are some very steep and long climbs for the runners, but they are rewarded with stunning views from the top.  Sally Houghton was the only Harrier to take part in the well-organised race, and highly recommends it for next year.  She was delighted to come first in her age category of F45 with a time of 1:33:27.  Results

Monday May 5th:
The holiday weekend saw Darren West embarking on his tiring schedule of two half-marathons, both ran in rather warm conditions. First on the list was the Worcester Half which he completed in 1:38:28, earning 5th Mv50 and 77th place overall in a field of 729., however on the Monday joined some fellow Harriers in Milton Keynes. For Darren it was of course the half-marathon which he was happy to complete in 1:41:37, 10th MV50 from 101 and 176th in a field of 1607. 52Blog

Nathan Smith and John Dalby were Darren’s cohorts in Milton Keynes, both had opted for the full marathon. The three Harriers ran quite close together for the first 10 miles  before Darren split off to run back to the stadium with the other runners on the half-marathon route. Nathan and John carried on along the well-supported and relatively flat course to complete the full 26.2 miles. Conditions were rather warm, but the drink and gel stations along the route were plentiful and there were lots of spectators armed with jelly babies to buoy up flagging runners. The race finishes with a lap is a lap within the local stadium with all the supporters cheering runners across the finish line, a wonderful moment.  Nathan was delighted to chop 48 minutes off the time he achieved last year in the same race, comfortably bagging his sub 3:30 goal with 3:26:11, 196th out of 2105. John also had a fantastic race, earning 270th spot and an excellent time of 3:31:36.  Results

Wednesday 7th May:
The John Carr 5k series got underway with Harry Brook-Dobson, Mark Jordan and Ed Beecher taking part. The series of three races are organised by the Saltaire Striders to honour the memory of a former club-member who died too young at 30 years old. It’s a relatively quick course and  Harriers achieved great results with Ed finishing in 16:39 for 1st Junior, Harry in 17:18 for 2nd Junior and Mark in 19:21 for 1st MV55 and 115th overall. Results

Thursday 8th May:
Seventy red vests smashed the steep hills of Ilkley when Harrogate Harriers turned out in force for the first of the Harrogate and District Summer League races. Their enthusiasm was matched with performance as four Harriers were in the top 10 finishers, Andrew Grant taking first place overall with a time of 27:35. Second Harrier home was Jonty Bright in 28:33 earning 4th place and very closely followed by Jonny Johnson in 28:34 for 5thand John Young who claimed 8th place in 28:41.  First Lady Harrier was Wendy Marks in 34:14/89th place, followed by Ros Moore in 35:48/119th, then Sarah Gill in 36:33/133rd place, chased in by Helen Price who was 136th in 36:46. Results

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