“It’s going to a be a hot one! Dig out those ultra-light race vests and shorty race shorts, and remember to hydrate properly!” Sound advice for June 2018, but sadly inappropriate for 2019’s disappointing sequel. Maybe Westbury’s young star international aquathlete Ben Rawlins (below) has the right idea, and we should all just have done with it and run in swimming gear. Still, it’s been good weather for those young members doing neverending exams, and actually not at all bad for running and racing.
As in previous round-ups, there’s i) lots of news of stunning Harriers successes – male and female, young and ‘veteran’ ii) some fabulous solo runs in far flung places and iii) almost too much to cram in, but here goes…
ITU World Multisports Championships, Pontevedra, Spain 30th May – 4th June 2019
Congratulations to Ben Rawlins (18), who followed up a successful cross country season with the club by representing GB in the World Aquathlon Age-group championships in northern Spain. Ben was 4th in the 16 – 19 age group race – a 1k swim and 5k run. The swim (in a cold, fast flowing river) was extremely tough and was followed by a two lap 5K run. With the 2nd fastest run of the day Ben made a superb effort but just missed a medal.
Berkeley 10k Road Race 13/5/19
Just two Westbury runners in this popular two lap race, in the scenic surroundings of Berkeley. A full entry of 400 runners had a warm and sunny evening in which to race and the pace was fast from the start. In a good class field,Oli Beale tracked the lead group, going through 5k in 16.51 before surging through on the second lap for an excellent 3rd place overall (and 1st MV40) in 33.36. Mike Mewse worked hard to record a new PB of 42.15 (79th / 3rd MV60), spurred on by lone supporter Nick Smart (who had cycled out and stopped conveniently by the pub to encourage his clubmates).
18th May – Sutton Park British Masters Relays
Westbury Harriers sent several men’s and women’s teams up to Sutton Coldfield, the home of road relays. Everyone ran well, but it’s fair to say that the women deserve top billing in this one. Team manager Tamsin:-
“Thrilling day at the National Masters Road Relays. Our V45 A ladies got a silver medal ???? woohoo! Such a super achievement. Huge congratulations Katie Hughes, Emma Woodworth and Jayne Pemble. Katie also bagged another medal ???? for 2nd fastest V45 time of the day.
Our V45 B team did brilliantly finishing in 8th place out of 20 teams. Well done Maria Eriksson Hobbs, Lisa Marshall and Helen Sawyer
Our V35s had a nail biting race. With the A team pushing all the way for a medal, finishing a fantastic 4th place. With some super runs well done Vicky Tester, Sophie Voller, Lizzy Smith And Robyn Esther Ellis. The B team was 23rd Jennifer Stevenson, Alison Rogers, Mel Lowe and Caroline Scapens.
The V55s did really well finishing in 10th place. Well done Kay Ridgwell, Eithne Noonan and Sandy Masters.
A huge well done to those that had not run this before who all ran brilliantly and finishing smiling! Some super impressive times. A very notable performance from Sandy on last leg of the V55s who flew round and Vicky who got 6th fastest V35 time of the time. Thanks to Jeni for being our reserve and a special thanks to Caroline for stepping in at the last minute and running so strongly.
Wishing the people that couldn’t make it but I know would have liked to have been there best wishes and there is always next year!”
The men couldn’t quite match those medals and achievements, but manager, main man and maestro Mike Mewse managed (that’s a lot of ‘m’s) to get two full teams out, sneaking himself in as the anchor man for the U35s. You’re only as old as you feel.
The highlight for the men was another top class run from Oli Beale (V40), recording an excellent 16.29 for a 7th place on the first of six legs for the V35 team.
In the V45 team Rich Noble’s hard training paid off as he recorded a fast 18.46 on the hilly course.
V35 Team – Oli Beale (V40) 16.29 , Chris Palmer (V40) 18.28, Tim Clothier 19.41, Ian Gawinowski (V40) 20.20, Matt Lavis 23.45, Mike Mewse (V60) 21.53; 29th out of 41 teams.
V45 Team – Richard Noble 18.46, Ewan Paton 20.25, Andy Marshall (V50) 22.36, Ian Derrick (V50) 23.19; 29th out of 46 teams.
Edinburgh Marathon 26/5/19
Three “sub-4” ladies: well done to Sandra Sforza (3:56:48) Jane Goodwin (3:49:23) and Rebecca Taylor (3:54:29) for tackling the notoriously windy Edinburgh Marathon so well!
Vitality London Westminster Mile 26/5/19 – Harriers on the Telly – Ellie, Abdi and Nigel star in prestigious Mile races
[pictured: Abdi and Ellie hit the front! Courtesy of BBC TV. Please don’t sue us for using screenshots.]
Well done to Ellie Leather and Abdi Hasan for their superb runs in (respectively) the women’s U20 and men’s under 18 mile races, broadcast in full on the BBC, with race commentators singing their praises and mentioning our little club a lot (“..the famous Westbury Harriers vest..a great Harrier tradition there in the West Country”).
Not to be outdone by the young(er) ones, Nigel Gates won the Male V65 title in a stunning 5.20, adding to his many achievements this year (and in this round-up alone).
Vitality London 10K 27/5/19
The day after the mile races, 11 Westbury athletes made the trip to London for the Vitality 10000 road race. First in was Tim Clothier (MV35) in a good time of 40.12 with team mate Alastair Blackwood matching him stride for stride in an identical time. Mark Andrews again showed good form to record a season’s best 43.21. The men were followed by Clare Eskell (43.21) and Sarah Andrews (44.01) who both made the top 20 in their Ladies V50 age group.
Hogweed Trot 10K, incorporating Avon County Championships, 27/5/19 – Westbury Wipe the Floor to Hog the Medals
No fewer than 22 Harriers turned out for this enjoyable country road 10K, which doubles as the Avon County Championships. The attractions of London, and it being a Bank Holiday Monday, may have put off some runners, but Westbury Harriers always support it strongly, which was demonstrated in the results.
At the head of the field there was a fantastic Westbury 1-2, with Oli Beale continuing his superb form to edge out last year’s winner Anthony Glover. Mike Mewse (VM60) and Kay Ridgwell (VW60) [pictured] scooped category wins and gold medals, while there were also category places for Jeni Stevenson (2nd VW50) and Aidan Noble (2nd senior, 7th overall). Great runs also from Robin Phillips, coming very shortly after completing the Cape Wrath Half Marathon, and Geraint Torrington, racing for the first time in a while.
1 Oli BEALE 33:36.9; 2 Anthony GLOVER 34:25.4; 7 Aidan NOBLE 36:44.2; 11 Robin PHILLIPS 37:27.5; 17 Richard NOBLE 38:09.1; 20 Brian MCCARTHY 39:09.9; 23 Ewan PATON 39:49.930 Ian GAWINOWSKI 40:21.0 (a PB!); 31 Thomas REED 40:47.7 (another PB); 38 Jack DERRICK 41:14.2; 53 Mike MEWSE 42:28.0; 96 Clive ATTWOOD 44:59.0; 98 Jennifer STEVENSON 45:07.7; 108 Trevor FITSALL 45:45.2; 109 Ian DERRICK 45:43.5; 118 Abi HALL 46:18.1; 134 Geraint TORRINGTON 47:10.1; 151 Judy KNIGHTS 48:34.4; 185 Tim CARR 50:45.6; 312 Kay RIDGWELL 1:00:26.5; 318 Caroline SCAPENS 1:00:55.1; 320 David BABER 1:00:55.5
Pomphrey 5K Series – 28/5/19
The Aztec West Fast 5K Series is no more, and last year’s “Filton Flyer 5K” around the MoD site never seemed to generate the same interest. Bristol & West have therefore re-launched a series of fast 5K races at Pomphrey. Father and son combo Richard and Aidan Noble flew the Westbury flag at the first one on 30/4/19, running well (35th in 18:23, and 17th in 17:07) in a field of flyers, with the 1st placed finisher crossing the tape in 15:01!
There was a slightly larger Westbury turn out for the second one on 28/5/19. Alex Hamblin was first Harrier home in a very impressive 16.49, 12th place overall and a well deserved PB. There was an equally impressive run from Chris Palmer, back under 18mins with a season’s best 17.45. Rich and Aidan Noble ran 18:04 and 17:53 respectively, the night after both running in the Hogweed Trot.
And kudos to Vicky Tester – the first of several in this report! – for being the first lady home in 18.32, edging her Bristol & West rival by 4 seconds.
No photos for this one, I’m afraid…
GWR Towpath Series Races 1 and 2 – 31/5/19 and 13/6/19
Speaking of flyers, the excellent form of Alex Hamblin allows the reports of these to be economically compressed into one. He won them both, by some distance from the field, as this picture proves…
Well done also to Robyn Ellis, 2nd female finisher in each race so far. It looks like a Westbury series prize double could be on.
Race 3 is on 5th July, with a team “Mob Match” to follow later that month.
Blaise Blazer 3/6/19
[Vicky T at the Blazer; Ian G and Alistair B in pursuit]
There have already been plenty of reports of this, as well as approximately 2000 photographs, but well done again to everyone who helped organise another successful and enjoyable event, and to all Harriers who took part. It was Westbury domination on the night, with the home club taking 10 of the first 20 places. Oli Beale stormed round in a quick 21:45 to take 1st place by a minute from Alex Hamblin, with fell and hill specialist Dan Summers close behind in 3rd. Congratulations also to Vicky Tester for yet another 1st female finish, once again edging a Bristol & West rival by a few seconds to continue her excellent racing form. And we won the team prize (of course). Very many Harriers ran, and ran well – too many to mention here – in a sold out field of 158 racers, with the best cakes and big inflatable finishing line of any Bristol running event.
Man v. Horse 9/6/19, Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid-Wales
[pictured: Robin, Ian and Tim outside the Neuadd Arms; Golden girls Evita, Vicky and Robyn on the podium]
Quite, quite mad. And brutal hills. But a lot of fun, by the sounds of it, and yet more Westbury glory. Runners and riders from non-equestrian competitor Ian G:
“Well, the news is a horse won again! Mark Adams, riding Herbie, completed the 22 mile course, over hills, bogs, forests and water crossings in 2:18:51.
Had the conditions not been so boggy under foot, then Jack Wood, from Ilkley Harriers, may have had a chance of winning as he was only 5 minutes behind Herbie in 2:23:39. First woman to cross the finishing line was Faye Johnson in 3:05:01.
There was also a huge turnout of Westbury Harriers among the 650 plus runners, competing as either solo runners, or in a three person relay.
Vicky Tester, Evita Gonzalez-Szamocki and Robyn Esther Ellis (Robyn ran the first leg, and decided to carry on until the end!) were the first women’s relay team, ‘Team Westbury Warriors’ in a total time of 3:09:40. A very impressive result.
We also had a mixed relay team made up of WHs Richard Hughes and Clive Attwood plus Jane Roscoe (from Portishead, who also ran the whole thing). Their finish time was 3:32:22, 9th in the mixed category relay teams.
Some Westbury Harriers were fool hardy enough to run the whole thing! Robin Phillips flying along in 70th (11th in cat), 3:12:14, Sophie Voller, 157th (5th in cat), 3:35:33, Ian Gawinowski 181st, 3:40:48, Jane Goodwin, 382nd, 4:10:11, Sandra Sforza 443rd, 4:16:38 and Tim Carr, 662nd, 5:02:33. Anneke Bull was also running solo, but unfortunately cramp forced her to withdraw at the second checkpoint. Congratulations still on completing the bulk of the course.”
Chew Valley 10K 9/6/19
Meanwhile, away from the horses in Wales, three Harriers excelled at a more local 10K race. Very well done to Rosie Hamilton-James (1st U20, second female overall) 40:30.3, Catherine Treble. (1st FV35, third female overall) 40:35.4 and Anthony Ballance (1st MV55) 42:14.3.
Cheddar Gorge 10K and Half Challenge 16/6/19
Well done to all Westbury Harriers who raced in these events at Cheddar, apparently in “rain, wind and mud”. Oli Beale won the 10K challenge by a mere 5m 33 from his nearest rival, and there were excellent runs also from young Finn Goodhew (10th overall, 1st MU20), Laura Pankhurst (12th overall, 2nd female, 1st F20-35) and Trevor Fitsall (31st and kept his vest on). Tom Gange ran the trail half marathon and finished an impressive 5th overall.
British Masters 5K National Championships, Horwich (not Norwich), nr. Bolton – 16/6/19
With thanks to roving correspondent and photographer Mike Mewse:
“Two new British Masters Champions for Westbury Harriers!
Many thanks to doughty competitor Katie Hughes for this report:
“A handful of Harriers braved the wind and rain to run the Clevedon 10k. My main concern when entering this fast and flat trot through country lanes was that it would be too hot – nothing could have been further from the truth……
Although the rain had temporarily relaxed to drizzle as we lined up it was a chilly start. The country lanes also had Portway like qualities in that the wind seemed to be a permanent head wind despite several changes in direction. On a positive note – no danger of overheating and it was a great event – well marshalled and supported and very flat!! I think Richard Hughes clocked a new PB [editor’s note: he did indeed – he is flying!] and I netted 4th lady so worth turning out.
Katie Hughes 37.41, Lizzy Smith 42.17, Richard Hughes 42.24, Trevor Fitsall 45.43, George Hancu 49.45
Well run all.”
ii) Rowberrow Romp 20/6/19
[pictured: Eithne scoops some wine; Ian crests the hill]
Thanks to Ian G for the report. He’s clearly gunning for Club Champs points, and has made an impressive start….
“The Rowberrow Romp, a 10k trail race, organised by Town and Country Harriers (TaC) is a brute! It starts off pleasantly enough, all at a frenetic pace, but with manageable climbs. Then, at about the half way point things become series. It may only be a short hill but blimey it’s steep. Did anybody even attempt to run it? If so they deserve a special award!
Once runners reach the trig point then it really becomes fun. The next half of the course is all down hill, running through moorland, then through conifer plantations until reaching the valley bottom. You do need to concentrate as it would be easy to twist an ankle on the rocky descent. From the valley you follow the river all the way to the finish. Any race that starts and finishes at a pub scores top points from me. This was a well organised event by TaC, with plenty of parking, supportive marshals and even spot prizes for some random finishers.
Results: We had two female category winners. Impressive running by Sandra Williams and Eithne Noonan who both took home bottles of wine, well done. We were also third in the ladies team rankings and 4th in the gents. 22nd Ian Gawinowski 49:38, 47th Richard Hughes 53:45, 56th Trevor Fitsall 55:38, 60th Rosie Scott 56:23, 66th Clive Attwood 57:10, 73rd Sandra Williams 58:47, 78th Jane Goodwin 59:39, 85th David Martin 61:33, 90th Hayley Furze Johnson 62:22, 96th George Hancu 64:17, 110th Eithne Noonan 76:51.
Well done all.”
Nailsea Beer and Banger 10K 21/6/19
Thanks to Mark Andrews:
“A lovely sunny evening and the lack of club championship points on offer didn’t stop lots of Westbury Runners from running and enjoying a beer and hotdog (or two) afterwards!
Not seen the results yet but race win for Matt Ellis [pictured, right] and after a little bit of controversy an age category win for Clare Eskell very closely followed by Sarah Andrews!”
Junior News – Avon Schools and others
[pictured: Kate on the podium, Elen Tri-ing hard]
Last but certainly not least, Westbury Harriers could claim no fewer than seven Avon Schools champions on 8th June 2019: (Girls) Laura Chance 800m (Junior) Amelia Honor 800m (Inter) Kate Howard 800m, Dalis Jones 1500m and Rosie Hamilton-James in the 3000m (senior). Abdi Hasan (Senior Boys 800m) and Seamus Robinson (1500m) also came out on top.
Not everyone could then make the South West Schools Championships in Exeter on 15/6/19, what with exams and other stuff, but congratulations to two silver medallists from Westbury Harriers – Abdi Hasan in the Senior Boys (in a stunning 1:58.80 – pipped on the line by 0.27s!) and Kate Howard in the Inter Girls (in a PB of 2:19.95).
Well done also to Elen Ruck for her continuing impressive achievements in triathlon, coming 3rd in each of the first two rounds of the South West Tri Championships (pictured).
Right, that’s your lot for this month. Fewer races over the rest of the summer, please. Now that the hot weather’s finally coming, surely it’s time for a rest? We shall see…
Thanks to all Facebook correspondents and photographers for all reports, photos and news – reproduced, plagiarized and edited with gratitude. Keep them coming.