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

Hot in the city

April 24, 2018

It’s often said that you should run a marathon in the same kit you used for training. It would have been a terrible mistake to run this year’s London Marathon in the three layers and a bobble hat we were all wearing until about a week ago. It was the hottest running of the race on record and anecdotally felt even warmer than the official reading of 24C. It soon became clear that this wasn’t a day to be gunning for a fast time. Thirteen Harriers started the race and we’re glad to say all arrived safe and relatively sound at the Mall.

Tom Borrowdale, Sarah Gill, Theresa Oldroyd, Shamiso Sisimayi, Wendy Marks, Gareth Somerville

Tom Borrowdale and Gareth Somerville may not have known it, but they we vying for the minor honour of being first Harrier home. They didn’t start together but somehow finished with a chip time separated by only five seconds. Tom took the honours but both broke three hours and scored PBs so they’re both winners. The first two women home were similarly close and even more impressive. Sarah Gill and Shamiso Sisimayi arrived either side of the 3:20 mark. Their split times show both women slowing hardly at all in the last few miles. They must have overtaken hundreds of faltering  runners. For Sarah it proved a remarkable result as she finished 2nd in her age category – an amazing achievement in one of the World Marathon Majors.

Adam Newton does his best to look cool on telly.

We had great stories all the way down the field. Kirstie Laughlan finished her first marathon. She had some real injury problems in preparation, but adjusted her strategy and completed. It goes to prove distance running isn’t just a physical sport – it requires good sense and mental toughness. She says this’ll also be her last but, well, we all say that. Wendy Marks said that and she’s just finished her 48th marathon.

It isn’t all about the running number either. Adam Newton has used this marathon as a way to raise money for Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity in memory of his son Ricky. It’s a great cause for which he’s already raised nearly £1000. It isn’t too late to help him break that barrier by sponsoring him here.

Full results for Harrogate Harriers: Tom Borrowdale 2:58:03, Gareth Somerville 2:58:08, Simon Watson 3:15:14, Sarah Gill 3:19:38, Shamiso Sisimayi 3:20:04, Theresa Oldroyd 3:45:20, Wendy Marks 3:55:18, Jodie Peary 4:10:19, Adam Newton 4:13:50, Nathaniel Southworth 4:30:13, Jeff Paris 4:42:09, James Hawkins 4:42:16, Kirstie Laughlan 6:22:38

In weather like this you really want to be beside the seaside. That’s where Sue Moul was. The Blackpool marathon runs up and down the seafront. That means a lovely onshore breeze to cool you down in the latter stages. Or maybe a strong headwind just when you don’t need one, as was the case for Sue. Nevertheless she powered through for a PB of 3:54:41.

Spring finally arrived this week and Harrogate Harriers were taking full advantage, with around 30 of us racing at five different locations.

Greater Manchester Marathon

The conditions at Greater Manchester Marathon were unexpectedly good given recent events and local support was characteristically described as ‘amazing’. Three Harriers ventured over this year, each

hoping to make the most of a great race atmosphere and a flat course. John Young put in a blistering performance finished for 2:43:27, which was enough to bring him home in 69th place. Rob Athey finished in 4:26:31, making him a five-time marathon finisher. Patricia Jones-Davies became our first debut marathoner of the year, completing at her first attempt 5:54:48. She says she really enjoyed the experience – Perhaps we have a new multiple-marathoner in the making.

Patricia Jones-Davies celebrates her first marathon medal

John Young contemplates the pain of running 2:43 (or possibly the fact that his number spells Boob)

The Off-road BBC – Blubberhouses, Baildon & Coledale

Blubberhouses 25 – First two ladies for Harriers
Harriers at the Blubberhouses 25

Harrogate Harriers at the Blubberhouses 25 (Martyn Price, Allison Palmer, Aimee Bellwood, Helen Price, Caroline Oldfield & Liz Sandell)

The Blubberhouses 25 trail race follows a long distance walking route and takes in 860m of climbing over moorland in its 25 miles. Walkers familiar with the route will be surprised by how quickly some of our local runners can complete it. Helen Price was of Harrogate Harriers finished 12th overall and first lady in 3:54. Caroline Oldfield made it a Harriers double, coming in 2nd 18 minutes later.  Martyn Price, Aimee Bellwood, Liz Sandell, Charles Casey & Allison Palmer also completed in some style. Worth noting that this race only costs £7 to enter. If that whets your appetite then keep an eye out for updates from our off-road captains as there are plenty more bargain challenges where this one came from.

Baildon Boundary Way

The Baildon Boundary Way is a well established fixture in the spring calendar perennial favourite trail race. It follows another walking trail, this one with an approximate half-marathon distance. Highlight of this race is the big hill at the nine-mile mark, just when you don’t necessarily need one. This year we had five runners taking part. Richard Willis (57th in 1:52:16), Brian Miller (89th in 1:57:14), Time Broomfield (99th in 1:59:40), Sue Moul (184th  in 2:14:08) & Aidy Murfitt (218th in 2:20:52)

Coledale Horseshoe Fell Race

If you wanted something easier then you might have opted for a little 8-miler on Saturday. If that option was Coledale Horseshoe Fell Race then you’d have been disappointed to find it included 1100m of ascent. To put that in context, it’s the equivalent of running up and down the Castle Ings in Knaresborough 37 times except that it would be twice as steep. Thankfully Jason Millward, David Oldfield & Ben Grant knew exactly what they were letting themselves in for. They had a lovely time, finishing 24th, 66th & 142nd respectively.

Thirsky Work

The Thirsk 10M had to be postponed from its original date due to snow and finally took place this weekend. Shuffling schedules meant a slightly different set of Harriers made it up to the start. This time the event was blessed with perfect conditions, leading to some good results and few PBs. Chris Miller stepped away from his usual trail preference to score an overall 7th place. In a notoriously strong field, there were also excellent category results for Shamiso Sisimayi as 2nd F35 and Simon Watson, 5th M55.

Some of the Harriers at the Thirsk 10M

Full results

7th Chris Miller (56:36)  ,  29th Josh Fuller (61:41)  ,  75th (5th M55) Simon Watson (66:15)  ,  110th (2nd F35) Shamiso Sisimayi (68:50)  ,  117th Simon Moffatt (69:07)  ,  139th Adam Couldwell (70:52)  ,  155th Geoff Hirst (72:28)  ,  175th Kevin-Malachy Murphy (73:04)  ,  177th Martin Shaw (73:08)  ,  225th Alex Green (76:43)  ,  228th Stephen Kirk (76:54)  ,  298th Roger Duckworth (81:18)  ,  422nd Alan Couldwell (88:50)