Weekly News – Saturday 9th December

Saturday 9th December 

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editors Piece

They say if your run is not on Strava then it never happened. Well, for the last few months none of my runs existed because since buying a new phone runs would refuse to download, whatever I tried.

I’d actually given up trying and was looking forward to buying a new and very fancy watch as an early Christmas present. After much research I’d found something with mapping, built-in heart rate monitor, blood oxygen analysis, music, running power, fitness monitoring and recovery feedback, it would even recommend what to have for breakfast in the morning!

Anyway, I was having a chat with one of our club members, explaining my faulty watch and if he could recommend a replacement. He took a look at my watch and phone, fiddled with a few buttons and minutes later had the thing working again! Not sure if I’m pleased or annoyed!

Tuesday Running Session at Yate Track and Thursday Intervals

Tuesday session at Yate Track will be advertised on facebook nearer the time.

For Thursday we’re on the Coombe Dingle field (weather dependent, of course) for 5 sets of 1 minutes (30 seconds recovery) then 3 minutes (90 seconds recovery) 

Running on the iPlayer

There are a few running related programmes on the BBC iplayer worth watching. Two short programmes on Eilish McColgan and Mo Farah that may be on interest to you. On Sunday (tomorrow) there’s also the European Cross Country Championships taking place in Belgium and you can watch live from 11:25, or on catch-up. Do watch out for the clubs very own Seamus Robinson, representing Ireland in the under 20’s race.

New Club President

Since the passing of Dave Perkins the club has been without a male president for some time. It was therefore time to select a new candidate at the Special General Meeting, held last Thursday in the Coombe Dingle Cricket Pavilion.

I’m very pleased to report that Mike Mewse was elected into the post. Obviously Mike will never be able to replace Dave, but Mike does have many of Dave’s traits which also make him a great choice for President.

Mike has a genuine interest in all our members, and will often take time to offer guidance and suggestions that may help an individual’s running performance. He shares his knowledge equally within the club to all abilities, whether you happen to represent England or just enjoy competing in local races. He keenly follows all our results and wants the best for everyone.

In local and national races Mike will often be there representing the club and supporting club members. Plus providing advice, shouting encouragement from the sidelines and taking plenty of photo’s with his telephoto lens. He also regularly provides insightful race reports, included in the weekly news and on facebook.

I certainly look forward to seeing Mike, along with the Lady Club President, Pat Gallagher, at a few races and the upcoming club centenary events. 

Mike pictured below in the blue Westbury T-shirt, supporting Westbury athletes at the Midland Relays last year.

Blaise Castle Gwent League Cross Country Race Reports, by Geraint and Tamsin

What a day! It was cold, very cold, but the men’s team performance was nothing short of scorching hot. We may have lost the Westbury men v women battle but we got 28 men out who used their local knowledge to make light of the course.

After two fixtures the men were bottom of Division 1 needing to make up 650 points to lift them out of the relegation zone (bottom two teams go down). On home turf the Westbury big guns showed up and with Will Massey (16th), Oli Beale (18th & 3rd masters 35), Ben Rawlins (23rd), Greg Hayward (24th) and Anthony Glover (51st & 3rd masters 45) the team amassed 1924 points. This was the second-best Division 1 haul on the day and was enough to lift the team to 10th in the table, out of the relegation zone and to build up a 599 cushion on 11th place. Let’s build on this fantastic result and take it forward to the remaining two fixtures.

The B team amassed 1572 points (3rd best B Division of the day) and moved up three positions from 13th to 10th. The B team were Daniel Ewing (85th), Robert Poole (86th), Josh Daly (96th), Elliott Chard (109th) and Alec Sampson (113th).

Due to the number of runners we had, we also had a C, D, E and F team which was great to see.

We welcomed back Alan Uren (134th) who wasn’t used to putting a Gwent League number, but the results team sorted that! We had two debutants on the day, Harry Waugh (140th) and Martin Fielding (183rd), welcome both and I hope you enjoyed your Gwent League outing.

After stalking George Pickering on the final lap, gradually closing the gap I was poised to make a stealth move on the last long left-hand bend but Heidi Andrews who was marshalling yelled “go George, Geraint’s catching you!” which ruined 2km of running, the element of surprise blown, and George again used youth to blast away in the finishing straight!

The full results are on the Gwent League site but positions summarised here:

Will Massey(16th), Oli Beale (18th & 3rd masters 35), Ben Rawlins (23rd), Greg Hayward (24th), Anthony Glover (51st& 3rd masters 45), Daniel Ewing (85th), Robert Poole (86th), Josh Daly Daly (96th), Elliott Chard (109th), Alec Sampson (113th), Alan Uren (134th), Harry Waugh (140th), Scott Campbell (142nd), Jack Derrick (152nd), Adam Busby (168th), Martin Fielding (183rd), Chris Trebble (209th), Ian Gawinowski (242nd), Tim Clothier (292nd), George Griffiths 299th), Paul Turner (304th), Paul Stuart (310th), Ewan Kilgour (324th), George Pickering (339th), Geraint Torrington (342nd), Mark Andrews (357th), Harro Veldman (365th), Richard Hughes (370th).

Thank you all for taking part as I know some of you really aren’t fans of cross country (Richard Hughes) but still turn out for the club which helps us get more points.

Apologies for not meeting many of you on the day, but it was tricky doing the announcing and trying to get over and see you, but I could see you all congregating and picking up the numbers – apart from Alan!

A fabulous turnout of our ladies’ squad for the 3rd Gwent League fixture at a very cold and misty Blaise. A hugely impressive 41 ladies came to take part. Apologies with this many people it then takes me a bit of time to write up the results, as I get distracted looking through how everyone did. Well done ladies we won the men vs ladies trophy again, although the men’s team gave us a good run for our money this year and it was great to see so many of them out racing.

The course was in good condition, although you couldn’t see too far ahead of you. The course had some slight tweaks, which worked well. New cones and flags to mark the way, which was needed as the pictures show how gloomy it was. Thank-you to all those marshals who stood out in the cold and encouraged people round.

Hannah had a fantastic run to finish inside the top ten for the first time this season in a very strong field of 323 finishers. Catherine, Katie.H and Steph all improved on their positions from Cardiff and meant our A team has moved up overall into 3rd.

We welcomed Lucie, Sophie.D. Anne, Heather.B, Kath, Julia and Jane.N to the Gwent team for the first time. Well run all. Thank-you so much for running and hope you enjoyed it.

Thank-you to those who came and ran who I know for one reason or another from illness and life going’s on simply turned up to support the team. Lovely to see smiles on people’s faces at the end, it is one of the great things about the Gwents, the atmosphere, being amongst friends and team comradery. For others who are not XC lovers it is their one outing of the year and nice to hear Sandra.W say she actually enjoyed it (have seen photographic evidence of this!). It was lovely to see Evita back after a long time off injured, who had no expectation except to finish. She surprised herself and ran a cracking race.

A team (Hannah Large SL 9th, Catherine Treble V35 19th, Katie Hughes V45 23rd, Steph Cummins SL 51st, Tamsin Chick V45 56). B team (Becky Lee V35 61st, Olivia Zeltner SL 91st, Emma Woodworth V45 104th, Debbie Cleary 109th, Evita Gonzalex 111th) C team (Rosie Quigely 112th, Sarah Andrews V45 121st, Jayne Pemble V45 127th, Elaine Hughes V35 128th, Yvette Casallas V35 129th). D team (Kate Hoffen V55 139th, Antonia Gooder V55 144th, Katie Ramsden U23 147th, Lorna Miller SL 149th, Sandy Masters V65 155), E team (Alison Rogers V45 165th, Sandra Williams V45 181st, Heidi Andrews V45 188th, Lucie McNair V35 197th, Helen Sawyer V55 201st). F team (Sandra Sforza V55 206th, Sophie Daguenet V35 227th, Debbie Hunt V45 231st, Jennifer Hall V35 241st, Anne Dockery V75 244th). G team (Heather Bird V35 249th, Felicity Russell V65 254th, Sarah Gould V45 265th, Julia Hoskins V65 285th, Sharon Sayle V55 286th). H team (Kath Rothwell SL 288th, Eithne Noonan V65 290th, Lindsay Hall V55 302nd, Jane Nash V55 303rd, Viv Harrison V55 305th). I team (Roberta Johnson V55 319th).

Senior team 8th on the day, B Team 14th, C team 21st, D team 23rd, E team 34th, F team 44th, G team 54th, H team 72nd, I team 83rd (only club to have an H and I team) 85 teams in total on the day.

The A team have moved up from 4th to 3rd overall.

Reserve Division – B team have improved on their 3rd position and moved up to 2nd. C team improved from 10th to 7th, D team improved from 19th to 11th, E team improved from 23rd to 17th, F team is 28th, G team is 34th, H team 29th and I team 38th

Current Age groups team standings

  • U23 – 11th (moving up from 13th)
  • V35 – 1st (staying the same, 47 point lead)
  • V45 – 2nd (staying the same, only 16 points from the leaders)
  • V55 – 2nd (moving up from 3rd and only 1 point off the lead team)
  • V65 – 1st (staying the same, 29 point lead)

Individual standings after 3 fixtures

V35s – Catherine 3rd, Tamsin 6th, Becky Lee 11th, V45s – Emma Woodworth 12th, Jayne Pemble 14th, V55s – Kate 3rd, Helen 6th, Sandra 11th, V65s – Eithne 2nd, Fliss 4th

Congratulations to Becky, Sandy, Sarah, Hannah, Katie.H, Catherine and Tamsin who were in top the 10% of their age groups (see the * next to your name in the results). Don’t forget to pick up your complimentary T-Shirt at the next Gwent, only 1 per season.

Thank-you to all the ladies who helped out on the day as well, it is much appreciated and not easy when it is so cold to race as well. Well done to Westbury all round who hosted another successful fixture.

Last 2 fixtures Saturday 10th February 2023, Margam Park, Port Talbot and Saturday 2nd March 2023 Pontypool, so make sure you have these dates down.

Important Christmas and New Year Dates

Please note these key dates for your diary. Monday 11th December is the last academy session. Monday 18th December  Brailsford Christmas light run (seniors),  then Thursday 21st December no interval training for seniors as Weston prom race and Christmas meal. Thursday 28th December, senior social trail run from Blaise 10am for all groups. Book on via RunTogether. (If anyone is available to be in charge of tea and biscuits afterwards please let me know). 

Finally we have Senior & junior training resuming from Thursday 4th January 2024 and the Academy restarts on Monday 8th January.

Club Championship Races

The remaining Club Championship races for the year are as follows:

Wyedean (Chepstow) Trail Night Race is on Thursday 11th January and it’s a great event running in the dark close to Chepstow Race Course. Just don’t forget to bring your running light or head torch!

This event is followed by the Chepstow Racecourse 10K on Sunday 28th January. I think it may have been a club championship event before in the past but possible was the half marathon option. 

Dursley Dozen, a 12-mile running race across demanding terrain including hills, woodland, open country, mud, roads, more mud, more hills, and rocky sections! It takes place on Sunday 18th February.

Finally, and your last chance to score some important  club championship points is the Gwent Cross Country League fixture at Pont-y-Pwl on Saturday 2nd March.

Remember that Up and Running vouchers are awarded to the ten highest placed men and women and there are additional prizes for those who are top in their age category.

Strava Segment of the Week

Well done to Audrey Lachevre who become the local legend of Strava Segment Mills 1 on her 10k loop near Avonmouth today.

Diary Dates

Friday 8th December Mallards Park Night Race, Fabian4 for details

Saturday 9th December Tri Counties Cross Country Championships. Further info TBC

Sunday 10th December Christmas Cracker and Club Championship

Monday 11th December Last Academy training session

Saturday 16th December Skirrid Hill Race Fabian4

Monday 18th December Seniors Brailsford Christmas Lights Run

Tuesday 26th December Boxing Day Race 4 miler, Clevedon AC

Thursday 28th December Senior Social Trail Run, from 10am at Blaise.

Thursday 4th January 2024 Senior and Junior Training Resumes

Sunday 7th January 2024 South West Cross Country Championships -at RNAS Merryfield, near Taunton,

Monday 8th January Academy Training Resumes

Friday 11th January Wye Valley and Piercefield Park Night Race, Fabian 4

Sunday 14th January Riverbank Rollick Trail, Thornbury AC. https://tinyurl.com/48ksbcan

Sunday 28th January Speedway 10k Near Chepstow, via Fabian4

Sunday 4th February The Doynton Hard Half Marathon, trail race.

Saturday 10th February 2024 Gwent Cross Country League Margam Park

Sunday 25th February 2024 Bath Two Tunnels Railway Race

Saturday 2nd or 3rd March 2024 – 5th Gwent League date and venue not finalised (possibly Saturday at Pontypool again).

Sunday 3rd March Newport Half Marathon fullonsport

Saturday 16th March 2024 – Masters Open Cross Country Championships. Corwen, Wales. (Men/Women masters V35, V45, V55, V65 plus)

Saturday 27th April Butcombe Trail Ultra Marathon 50 or 56 mile options

Club Centenary Events

Thursday 8th February 2024 club supper -White Lion in Westbury-on-Trym

Saturday 23rd March 2024 Awards evening, venue TBC

Thursday 25th April 2024, AGM after training at Coombe Dingle

Saturday 18th May 2024, formal centenary celebration, venue TBC

Saturday 22nd June 2024, all club event. Activities for juniors and seniors followed by a BBQ/Hog Roast/some sort of food. Likely to be at Blaise Castle.

Editor this Week

Ian Gawinowski is Westbury Harriers Communications Officer and can be contacted via communication@westburyharriers.co.uk