Despite the occasional downpour (and the now-customary cancellation of the Bristol Schools XC when the BGS playing fields get a sprinkling of rain) October and November saw Westbury Harriers in frequent race action, mostly on Autumn sunshine-dappled roads and trails. There were, as usual, several great runs and achievements, and a good few medals and prizes.
There are almost too many to mention, but here goes…
7th October 2018: Keynsham 10K
This race returned after a three year absence, now organised by Bitton Road Runners and attracting a large entry of 470. Starting and finishing at the Somerdale Pavilion, it was a surprisingly hilly road 10K, with a long 5K climb out of Keynsham followed by a bombing downhill return section on country roads. Several Westbury Harriers took part to pick up Club Championship points, as well as individual and team prizes, and there were a remarkable 7 among the top 22 finishers.
Particularly well done to Judy Knights, Sophie Voller and Robyn Ellis (pictured) who picked up the Ladies Team Trophy, with Sophie and Robyn also 1st and 2nd females overall. Anthony Ballance finished 1st MV50, and young Jack Derrick was first Harrier home with a fine 9th place finish.
9th Jack Derrick 39:18; 10th Ewan Paton (2nd V40) 39:25; 13th Anthony Ballance (1st V50) 40:26; 14th Richard Noble 40:38; 18th Sophie Voller (1st F) 41:02; 20th Ian Gawinowski 41:06; 22nd Robyn Ellis (2nd F) 41:09; 58th Mike Mewse (2nd V60) 45:20; 111th Judy Knights 49:16; 232nd Wendy O’Brien 55:37
14th October 2018: Mendip Muddle
This is a notoriously gruelling off-road trail event of just over 20k. A few Westbury Harriers were brave enough to tackle it this year, including intrepid correspondent Ian Gawinowski:
“What makes me smile though is the route description on the Weston AC website which reads, ‘can get a little boggy in places’. Boggy is a massive understatement, most of the paths had turned into rivers and the mud, just don’t get me started on the mud! I’ll be taking my waterproof socks next time.”
Ian finished 30th in a time of 1:43:22, closely followed by Lucy Richens (36th, 1:45:03), then then Jane Goodwin 117th 2:07:30 (pictured in action) and Alison Osborne 161st 2:23:46
One (or two) is fun….
21st October 2018: Stroud Half Marathon
21st October 2018: Water of Life Half Marathon
28th October 2018: Gloucester 10K
10th November 2018: Endurance Life Gower Trail Marathon
4th November 2018: New York Marathon (!)
(from left to right: Tom G on the Gower; Jeni’s NY medal; Nicola & Jade at the Water of Life)
As we often say, it’s still an official Westbury Harriers result even if just one or two members ran. So well done to Tom Gange and Nick Marshall for running so well in the Stroud Half in a strong field of 1700. Correspondent Mike Mewse:
“Tom Gange followed up his strong run in the Cardiff Gwent League with a 1.23.20 clocking for 42nd place overall (26th in 30 -39 category). Nick Marshall (V55) was in good form and improved by 4 minutes on his Bristol Half Marathon time to record a 1.37.28 (41st in V50 category 263 overall).”
A few weeks later Tom carried on where he left off, in the Endurance Life Gower Trail Marathon, running superbly on the beautiful but brutal peninsula course for the bronze medal and podium finish. It was a decent excuse for missing the Gwent League fixture just across the water at Pembrey. At one stage he had seriously considered doing both, until sanity prevailed.
Well done also to mother and daughter Nicola (2:22:20) and Jade Derrick (1:58:40) for what sounds like an enjoyable and scenic Thames towpath outing at the Water of Life Half Marathon at Bisham Abbey.
Mike Mewse himself, far too modest to promote his own gradual return to impressive racing form after a long spell of injury, was the sole Westbury Harrier in the Gloucester 10K, finishing 4th MV60 in a quick 43.08.
And massive kudos to Jeni Stevenson for flying the Westbury flag in the Big Apple, for the New York Marathon on 4th November. In her words:
“I ran through all five boroughs of New York City to the iconic Central Park finish. It’s not flat, really not a flat course, but what a really awesome experience.”
27th October 2018: Nightingale Nightmare 10K
Very well done to:
a) anyone who secured a place in this mega-popular event, which sold out quicker than Massive Attack tickets
b) all those who entered into its ghoulish spirit and ran in full Halloween horror garb; and
c) a Westbury overall winner and runner-up – Alex Hamblin and Chris Palmer. Hurrah!
d) 1st female finisher Rhona Benyon (pictured above), 1st FV50 Clare Eskell and 1st FV60 Shirley Hume
For those who have never run in or heard of it, it involves a near vertical climb from the Avon towpath up the suitably gruesome Nightingale path, with a descent back down through the woods, while dressed as a vampire or ghost, then eating loads of cakes afterwards. Thanks to Ian, Shirley and Judy for their entertaining Facebook report and photos.
36:00 Alex Hamblin; 2. 39:24 Chris Palmer; 6. 40:51 Robin Phillips; 10. 43:12 Ian Gawinowski; 14 44:13 Rhona Beynon, 1st Woman; 35. 50:27 Sandra Williams; 36. 50:34 Jane Goodwin; 39. 51.10 Clare Eskell 1st W50; 42 51:32 Shirley Hume 1st W60; 56. 53:42 Judy Knights ; 58. 53:59 Heidi Andrews; 63. 54:39 Trudi Johnson; 143. 01:07:08 Carol Fee; 144. 01:07:09 Eithne Noonan.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL VETERAN SUCCESS!
i) British Masters Cross Country Relays, Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire, 26th October 2018
A huge well done to three women who should be an inspiration to all members, young and old: Marilyn Palmer, Pat Gallagher and Shirley Hume, British VW65 Cross Country Relay gold medallists, winning by 4 minutes from Worcester AC, smashing the course record by 5 minutes and with Shirley running the second fastest VW65 leg of the day.
ii) British and Irish Masters Cross Country International Swansea, Saturday 17th November
In the words of Mike Mewse:
“Congratulations to our two vet men from Westbury harriers who ran in the Masters international on Saturday.
Nigel Gates, running for England and making his season’s cross country debut, had a great run at the front of the race. His 2nd place finish (22.49) behind Welshman Alan Davies (1st in 22.35) helped the England team to a convincing win alongside team mates David Butler (3rd – ), Stanley Owen (4th) and Paul Whelpton (5th).
MV40 Anthony Glover was the second top finisher for Northern Ireland, behind team mate Neil Weir, in another race where England dominated the team competition.
Well done to both of them – running at this level takes real dedication and commitment. Inspirational stuff for all us veteran athletes!”
SODBURY SLOG SUCCESS : 11th November 2018
(above: Sophie and Ben, Slogging their way to 2nd female and 1st overall)
In the words of the organisers Bitton Road Runners this 10 mile country slog is “…quite simply not for the faint-hearted! Forget roads, this is a lung-busting, trainer-ruining, hill-climbing, multi-terrain challenge held over and through some of South Gloucestershire’s most stunning countryside.”
Awkwardly scheduled on the day after the Gwent League round at Pembrey (see other report), it nevertheless attracted a strong Westbury entry, including some brave (mad?) souls who had actually run at Pembrey the previous day. Those ‘repeat athletes’ included young Ben Rawlins, who only went and won the whole thing! Anthony Glover was not far behind in 4th (1st MV40), and with another excellent race Sophie Voller was 2nd female overall.
Full results: 1st Ben Rawlins 1:03:38; 4th Anthony Glover (1st MV40) 1:04:xx; 25th Nick Bennett 1:14:33; 31st Sophie Voller 1:15:09; 91st Terry Jewell-Davies 1:23:54; 259 Helen Sawyer 1:36:09; 344 Ellie Bourdeaux 1:42:42; 366 Ian Derrick 1:43:51; 469 Tim Carr 1:51:37; 613 Carol Fee 2:04:16; 617 Thomas Pawley 2:03:52; 804 Nicola Derrick 2:19:53.
Junior News: National Road Relays, Sutton Park, Birmingham; 6th October 2018
Young Westbury Harriers teams performed well at this prestigious national event at the ‘home of relays’.
“Well done to the Westbury Harrier Juniors who travelled up to Sutton Park for the National Road Relays.
We had three complete teams. In the U15 boys Ceredig Jones, Benedict Bradwell and Finn Goodhew finished 65th. In the U15 girls Dalis Jones, Amelia Honor and Kate Howard finished 13th out of 59 teams. In the U17 girls Ellie Hobbs, Rhiannon Paton and Rosie Hamilton-James came in 14th place out of 41 teams. There was also an incomplete U17 Boys team with Abdi Hassan and Johan Hobbs who was the first incomplete team in. Well done everyone. There was some great PBs run… Good effort from everyone on a miserable wet day!”
Girls’ coach Jason:
“Individually the girls ran very well. Dalis ran a PB and the 5th fastest time of the day for u15s in a field of 206. Amelia should have had a quicker time than her 15.50 by 20 sec or more due to the mess up at the start when our team wasn’t called forward. Kate ran a PB and finished just outside top 50 in u15s. Rosie a 50 plus second PB and 28th fastest of day from a field of 138 in u17s, Ellie 31st fastest time of day in u17s, Rhiannon 67th fastest. U17s team time would have been good enough for gold at the Midlands, but we couldn’t get a team that day!”
Gloucestershire Cross Country League: Malmesbury, 3rd November 2018
(Elen, Josh and Jack at Malmesbury)
The Gwent League is our home, but the Glos League provides good opportunities for racing practice in a slightly smaller but equally competitive field. And it’s also a bit closer to our actual home…..(see Pembrey report).
Well done to the several younger juniors who took part in this event at Charlton Park near Malmesbury. There was a great performance from the U11 boys team, who finished 3rd out of 13 teams in a field of 54 runners, with strong runs from Tom Howard (6th), Tom Woodworth (9th) and Henry Watson (21st). The U13 girls were likewise 3rd overall, with Elen Ruck (14th) Zoe Bradbrook (17th) and Corinne Jones (18th) representing the club very well. In other races, there was an impressive turnout from the U11 girls (5th out of 11 teams: Erin Davis 11th, Lilia Killhourey 23rd, Aoife Joyce 26th, Maddie Hester 52nd, Miranda Rogers 53rd). There was also good experience for individual runners in incomplete teams, with Amelia Honor 6th and Grace Horswill 17th in the U15 girls, and Theo Hester 33rd as the sole U13 boy.
Josh Morland and Jack Derrick (pictured) ran very well in the men’s U17/U20 race, with Josh 8th U17 and Jack 4th U20.
There were even a few more mature runners flying the flag for the seniors in a very strong and competitive field. Well done to Alex Hamblin 37th SM 35.20, Anthony Glover 46th / 5th MV40 36.09, and 230th Ian Derrick 48.34
And finally…..18th November 2018, Castle Combe Chilly 10k
Some love to run on Britain’s scenic trails, towpaths and mountains. Others prefer the glamour and razzmatazz of a city marathon.
Or you could just run three times around a motor racing circuit.
Motoring correspondent Ian G, again:
“Well done to all the Harriers who fought for a position on the starting grid and took the racing line and completed three laps of Castle Combe Race Circuit in the Chilly 10K. I’m pleased to report no blow outs or engine failures, although there was some aggressive overtaking that may deserve a red flag. Anyway enough racing puns, now the results.
26. Tom Gange 37:16; 55. Anthony Ballance 40:07 (4th in category); 68. Ian Gawinowski 40:25; 94. Jack Derrick 41:49 (2nd in category); 107. Chris McCabe 42:11; 160. Alastair Blackwood 44:02; 441.Nicola Derrrick 54:35”
Well done to everyone who raced far and wide. If we’ve missed anyone out let us know. As ever, don’t be shy about telling us of your racing adventures, and feel free to supply photos too.
Thanks to all members for all photos re-used above (and to Bryan Dale Race Photos and Endurance Life).