With the sun shining, the buds blooming and the winter snows a distant memory, April saw the racing season in full swing, with Westbury Harriers athletes competing in everything from 10ks, half marathons, trail races, the final few 2017-18 Club Championship races, and even something called the “London Marathon”. Thanks to all for Facebook postings and photos, some of which are reproduced here with thanks.
In roughly chronological order….
1st April (Easter Sunday): Hanham Horror 10K
This was an exceptionally muddy and wet 10k path and trails race, featuring a flooded river footpath (pictured), a brutal climb through the woods, and according to Scott (Campbell) “the 100 odd steps and rope climb at the end only added to the fun!”
Great Westbury runs all round, with Scott himself a very impressive 2nd behind prolific race winner Chris McMillan from Weston, and Sophie Voller an equally impressive 2nd female.
Scott Campbell 2nd 37:51
Chris Palmer 6th 39:20
Sophie Voller 2nd Female 43:29
Jullian Bailey-Gard 30th 44:30
Evita Gonzalez Szamocki 4th Female 44:53
Kim Ingleby 12th Female 50:37
8th April– Half marathons at last: Taunton and Forest of Dean
After the succession of snowy postponements and cancellations in March, Westbury athletes who had trained for a Half finally got to test their legs over 13.1 miles.
To the north, six members tackled the trails and undulations of the Forest of Dean Half Marathon, a field of 832 runners starting and finishing near the Speech House at Beechenhurst. Very well done and congratulations to Emma Dalton, who finished as first female overall in an impressive 1:28:41. Great credit also to Colin Johnson, two of whose visually impaired female running group ran their first half, one of them (Diane Bentham) led home by Colin in just over 2 hours 10 minutes.
Emma Dalton (29th overall, 1st female) 1:28:41
Ian Gawinowski (69th) 1:33:37
Ewan Kilgour (113th) 1:38:28
Vicky Waters (121st) 1:38:59
Jane Goodwin (288th) 1:51:17
To the south, other Harriers took on the surprisingly undulating Taunton Half Marathon, on scenic country roads taking in some pretty villages and hamlets before ascending back into the town.
Particularly well done to Nick Faye (although not officially running as Westbury), 4th overall and 1st MV50, and Sophie Voller in yet another impressive race outing, 1st F40 and bettering her Cardiff HM time. There were also big PBs for Ewan Paton and Michael O’Connell (in Michael’s case by 6 minutes!).
Nick Faye : 4th (1st MV50) : 1:19:11
Ewan Paton: 31st: (4th MV45) : 1:24:37
Sophie Voller 53rd (1st F40): 1:27:45
Michael O’Connell 89th: 1:31.55
Wendy O’Brien: 1:57:43
Rebecca Taylor: 1:56:44
15th April: Frenchay fun
There was a big Westbury turnout for one of the first ‘local’ road 10ks of the season, the long established Frenchay 10K. It started from the UWE campus, continuing through Oldbury Court, then Frenchay Common and Park, before finishing back in the UWE grounds. In the words of Ian G: “I’m not sure whose idea it was, with just 1k to go, to finish with a killer hill! Anyway, all the Westbury Harriers made it up that final climb.”
There were prizes and medals galore for Westbury athletes. Young James Harrod, only 15 (pictured), came an amazing 8th overall in 37:38, ahead of many experienced and quick adult runners (including female winner Nicola Brookland from Bristol & West), just edging the junior male prize by a cool 15 minutes. Silverware and shields also for the evergreen Ken Ham (1st SVM), Emma Dalton (3rd F overall, 2nd VF) and Katie Hughes (4th F, 3rd VF). Emma and Katie also achieved the interesting distinction of finishing alongside (and just pipping on chip times!) the former TV quiz “Eggheads” star CJ de Mooi…
Good running from all, and a special mention for Alex Hamblin for 5th overall and a 10K personal best.
Alex Hamblin: 5th (4th SM): 36:51
James Harrod: 8th (1st JM): 37:38
Ken Ham: 22nd (1st SVM): 40:08
Emma Dalton: 27th (2nd VF) 40:47
Katie Hughes: 29th (3rd VF) 40:51
Paul Harrod: 42:15
Ian Gawinowski: 43:17
Michael O’Connell 43:28
Alison Rogers 46:02
Steph Pasco 47:32
Richard Hughes 51:17
Linda Phillips 56:01
Hannah Carr 58:42
16th April: Tom’s Boston blast
We even had a Westbury Harrier running in the Boston Marathon (Massachusetts, USA; not Lincolnshire..). In driving winds and freezing rain, creating conditions so brutal that many runners dropped out, some with hypothermia, Tom Gange powered home in an impressive “sub 3” run of 2:51:55, commenting afterwards: “The wet and windy winter hills of Westbury prepared me well!” (that’s a lot of ‘W’s…)
22nd April: More marathon-ers and a load of Bull
The day had finally arrived, after months of training and tapering. Race organisers had warned of soaring temperatures, and there were plenty of marshals and water stations at the ready. Yes, the Horton Bull Run might only be 4.2 miles on country roads, mostly downhill, but it’s still a tough one. The village hall even ran out of brownies and tiffin not long after the race finished. Meanwhile, 120 miles to the east, some other Westbury Harriers were running a little further…
[Mike and Helen in London Marathon action, and happy finishers Mark, Margaret, Helen and Sarah]
This weekend of racing came at the end of an unseasonably hot spell, so those braving “London” braced themselves for a hot one, and adjusted target times accordingly. A huge well done to all those in the Westbury vest, all of whom finished. Thanks to Mark Andrews and Shaun Howie for reports and photos from the day. We think these were all the runners and riders:-
Jeni Stevenson 3:24:48 (352nd female)
Mark Andrews 3:47:35
Margaret Goodwin 3:53:13
Sarah Andrews 3:54:46
Helen Sawyer 4:03:38
Joanne Seddon-Porteous 4:11:34
Graham Clark 4:16:57
Sandy Masters 4:21:10 (30th place FV60)
Neil Metcalfe 4:43:34
Mike Howie 5:20:35
Fantastic efforts all round.
Meanwhile, in a lovely spot on the edge of the Cotswolds near Chipping Sodbury, an even larger number of Westbury Harriers took part in the Horton Bull Run, the final counting Club Championship race of the 2017-18 season. The race website suggested that the route was mostly downhill, but as runners know, what goes down must come up again, and there were several ‘switchbacks’ before the final gradual climb back to Horton Village Hall. With local resident Mike Mewse in attendance as semi-official snapper, it was Westbury domination all round.
Ben Rawlins (in the main 17-40 category – just!) ran away from the field to win the race overall, by some 40s. Rhiannon Paton (15) was in fact the first female finisher overall, but was awarded the Girls 12-16 cup and medal. Silverware also for the inevitable Ken Ham (1st VM55+) and Clare Eskell (1st VF 41-54), and many other excellent runs and placings from others.
(pictured: Westbury winners Ben, Clare and Rhiannon)
There were very many blue and white vests to count, but we think they were:
1st Ben Rawlins 24:35
4th Ewan Paton 25:50 (2nd VM41-54)
6th Ken Ham 26:34 (1st VM 55+)
7th Jullian Bailey-Gard 26:39 (3rd VM 41-54)
10th Adam Shrewsbury 27:44 (2nd Boy 12-16)
12th Rhiannon Paton 28:37 (1st Female; 1st Girl 12-16)
13th David George 28:59 (2nd VM55+)
21st Trevor Fitsall 31:05
25th Clare Eskell 32:00 (1st VF 41-54)
28th Ian Derrick 32:22
36th Judy Knights 33:56 (3rd VF 41-54)
56th Carol Fee 37:33
57th Nicola Derrick 37:36
68th Carol Shrewsbury 39:17
71st Eithne Noonan 39:31
76th Kay Ridgewell 40:23
Well done to all who ran anywhere this month, and keep the results (and photos) coming to Facebook and firstname.lastname@example.org