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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

Harrogate Sports Relief at Valley Gardens.  The event is completely free of charge and co-ordinated by Harrogate Borough Council.

There is also the opportunity to assist us with the event and volunteer to be a steward/event marshal. As you can appreciate the event is plenty of fun and is all about people being active!

In order to enter either the 1 mile or 3 mile run we have a sign up page – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sport-relief-mile-harrogate-2018-tickets-43023303860 Tickets are free, but we are asking people to make a donation to Sport Relief.

Andy Grant leads at the Guy Fawkes 10.
(Melissa Peakman Photography)

Andy Grant marked an emphatic end to his 2017 season with a superb win at the recent Guy Fawkes 10, finishing in a new course record time of 56:09 – an outstanding result on a very tough course.  It’s been an incredible year for the Harriers Club Captain and one where his huge training investment has borne fruit:  He has won 9 out of the 21 races in which he’s competed in 2017, but that doesn’t really tell the whole story as his phenomenal performances have pushed him well up the UK’s age-group ranking in several categories, including 3rd at 5,000m track (15:50) and also 3rd at the marathon distance with his most recent PB of 2:32:26 at Jersey.  This is a very diverse range of disciplines and demonstrates – if proof were needed-  what a superb all-rounder he is and how he continues to defy the odds and deliver time after time.

He is typically modest about his achievements and rates being selected to run for Yorkshire at the Inter-County XC Championships as one of the highlights of his year, also finishing in second place on leg 1 of the Calderdale Relay with clubmate Chris Miller, despite a bad fall on the final descent that saw him dislocate his shoulder.  Many runners would have simply retired.

He remains unbeaten in the MV45 category in 2017 and has become the British V45 10-mile champion as a result of his consistent performance at this distance, doing so on courses that are not amenable to PBs.  You have to wonder what 2018 will bring for Andy?

Typically Determined!
(Melissa Peakman Photography)

Of course, running prowess is expected in the Grant family – Andy’s dad Ben Grant is a noted fell-runner and still competing at the highest level, securing the 2017 English MV65 Fell championship and placing 3rd in the 2017 British MV60 Championship, both truly stunning achievements.  Both father and son have done nothing but bring great credit to running in the Harrogate area and it goes without saying that Harrogate Harriers are inordinately proud of them.  Well done both!

2017 Race Wins – Andy Grant

Feb – Muddy Boots 10k
May – Track 5000m and Ripon 10
June – Track 5,000m and Wetherby EL
July  – Track 5,000m and Burton Leonard 10k
Oct – Shaun Lee Johnstone 10
Nov – Guy Fawkes 10

Power of Ten Profile