Not quite a monthly round-up this time, but with so much race action between the Easter hols and the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, and such good running from so many Westbury Harriers in the cool Spring sunshine, we need to get it all down before it’s forgotten. So, not necessarily in chronological order, where to start?
London Marathon 28/4/19
[London laughs: Robin and Tom at the start line; Sarah in full stride; Erik high fiving]
How about with what runners refer to simply as “London”? With conditions cooler than last year, a good sized Westbury contingent of 20, including lucky ballot winners and several ‘good for age’-rs, set off for the big smoke and the chance to be on the telly; bump into Sir Mo, Paula Radcliffe or at least Gabby Logan; and generally revel in the biggest “big-race-atmosphere” in the country.
Every runner did themselves and the club proud, whether their goal was sub-3, 4 or 5, or just getting round. There were some particularly eye-catching runs. First Westbury athlete home was Tom Gange, going one better than last year’s Boston sub-3 with a hugely impressive PB of 2:47:35. He was just ahead of Alan Uren, with another fine PB in 2:48:24, and Ed Gould completed the sub-3 trio in a superb 2:54:40. Top Westbury woman was Lizzie Smith in a flying 3:07:04 to be 223rd woman overall.
Well done, however, to all those who took part, with special mention to the inspiring Anneke Bull. Full results (in alphabetical order):-
Andrews, Sarah: 03:50:25; Attwood, Clive: 03:51:43; Bower, Michelle: 04:00:53; Bull, Anneke: 05:15:57; Bull, Caroline: 05:25:20; Cameron, Ewan: 05:29:32; Gange, Tom : 02:47:35; Gould, Edward: 02:54:40; Hopkins, Mike: 03:53:06; Johnson, Colin (as VI guide runner for Teresa) 4:48:35; Lithander, Erik : 03:30:04; Masters, Sandy: 04:11:57 (71st VW60-64); Phillips, Linda: 04:43:56; Phillips, Robin: 03:08:32; Rudd, Tony: 04:54:03; Sawyer, Helen: 03:47:41; Smith, Lizzie: 03:07:04; Stevenson, Jeni: 03:30:41 (57th VW50); Uren, Alan: 02:48:24; Williams, Sandra: 03:43:40.
Horton Bull Run and Frenchay 10K, 28/4/19
[Horton Bull Run: the horse; prizewinners Rhiannon, Anthony and Tom; Westbury finishers]
If you couldn’t be in London running up the Mall, it was almost as much fun either to run precisely 4.2 miles around Cotswold country lanes, or an undulating 10K around Snuff Mills and Frenchay. Several Westbury Harriers did one or the other.
The Horton Bull Run wasn’t just eccentric in its distance, and slightly erratic timekeeping. While no actual bulls featured, Pamplona-style, this year’s edition was graced by the presence of a stray horse on the course. The young quadruped held its form well to finish respectably in the middle of the pack, winning a category prize as well as a sugar lump. Local worthy Mike Mewse suggested that we should have slipped a Westbury vest on to it. There was, however, no need for such chicanery, as Westbury athletes dominated the race and swept most of the category prizes. Anthony Glover won the race, by nearly 1 m 40s. That was, however, not good enough to earn him the actual big trophy, which went to the rather sheepish runner-up by virtue of his being under 40, with Anthony given the vet 40 prize instead. Rhiannon Paton was likewise first lady home (and 20th overall), but was instead awarded the girls 12-16 prize. Very well done also to young Tom Reed, 7th overall and winner of the boys 12-16 title, and even younger Henry Watson who won the U11 prize.
Full Westbury runners and riders:
1st : Anthony Glover – 23:07; 5th: Ewan Paton – 25:18; 7th : Tom Reed – 26:04; 14th Ken Ham – 27:24; 19th Mike Mewse – 28:33; 20th Rhiannon Paton – 28:44; 21st David George – 28:53; 28th Trevor Fitsall – 30:04; 30th Henry Watson – 30:30; 36th Ian Derrick – 31:32
(42nd A N Horse – later disqualified for non-payment of entry fee)
44th Judy Knights – 33:57; 57th Tracey Watson – 37:06; 63rd Nicola Derrick – 38:56; 114th Louise Pretty – 55:20
Meanwhile, over at the Frenchay 10K, seven other Harriers went up, down and around on a challenging semi-rural course with a challenging climb to the finish.
Very well done to Alex Hamblin, who continued his excellent 2019 race form to finish 2nd overall in 36:09. Regular racing father and son combo Richard and Aidan Noble were next in, with Dad just prevailing (14th, 38:58) over lad (18th, 40:02). Well done also to Erin McFadden (4th female, 44:06), Peter Norman (47:02), Richard Hughes (50:04) and Ann Lovell (1:06:29).
Hanham Horror 21/4/19
[Caroline, Kay and Eithne scale the Hanham heights]
This was the first counting Club Championship event of the season – so of course there was a Westbury mob on Easter Sunday at what the organisers call “a great race of mass suffering. Where runners pit their wits against each other, the muddy water, the hills, the 100 plus steps, and just when you thought you had finished, a steep rope climb…”. Committed racer and horticulturalist Ian G described it thus: “It’s a trail event which takes you through woods and along the tow path. Particularly scenic this time of year with bluebells, wild garlic and celandines carpeting the woodland floor. It does have some especially nasty climbs though which involve a lot of steps or hauling yourself up a rope. The hard-core techno music from the illegal rave did help with motivation on the final climb though!”
Well done (and 30 Club Champs points!) to Sophie Voller, first Westbury runner home and 14th overall in the field of 222, just ahead of Ian Gawinowski in 15th. Good runs and points all round to Ken Ham (22nd), Tamsin Chick (47th), Rachel Harris (87th), Tim Carr (93rd), Eithne Noonan (156th), Kay Ridgwell (176th) and Caroline Scapens (193rd)
Odds and Sods (not meant personally)
Well done to Ian Gawinowski for running the Great Welsh Marathon at Llanelli on 14th April, finishing 83rd overall in an impressive time of 3:29:53.
Very well done also to Paul Gladding and George Hancu for completing the “Bristol Bridges Challenge” on 13th April, completing over 27 miles across (I think) every bridge in Bristol.
And an even bigger well done for a mother and daughter ‘double’ – Olivia and Clare Eskell were, respectively, second female overall and first female V50 in the “Chase the Sun” 5K series race in Brixton on 17th April, in excellent times of 21:13 and 22:42.
Bristol 10K – 5th May 2019
[Nicola and Jayne in Portway action]
A chilly early morning gave way to glorious Spring sunshine as no fewer than 64 Westbury Harriers raced with distinction in the annual Harbourside showpiece. The fine weather brought out big crowds to cheer the runners on, along with the usual musical bands and general razzmatazz. The conditions were conducive to fast running and PBs, and the Westbury contingent did not disappoint.
There were PBs aplenty, 7 Westburies in the top 100 overall, and a number of outstanding category wins.
Congratulations to Katie Hughes on a massive PB, by over a minute, running 37:01 to clinch 1st VW45 and 7th woman overall. Nigel Gates returned to this race to be 1st VM65 by almost 4 minutes in an incredible 36:44. There was also a fantastic 10k debut from Lottie Livesey in 42:45 to be 1st U19 woman.
Alex Hamblin was first Westbury man home, in a speedy 34:44 for 37th place. And Tom Gange, a week after running the London Marathon in 2:47, skipped round in 35:43, then went off at noon to run the Wings for Life World Run of 36k! Please listen to your coaches and don’t try to follow this race schedule yourselves, folks – Tom is clearly either indestructible, or mad, or both.
There were clearly lots of other great runs and PBs, with large cluster of runners young and older around the 40 and 45 minute marks; some taking part for the first time or the first time in a while; and all clearly enjoying one of the running highlights of the year. Well done to all, and thanks also to the many Westbury supporters who turned out to cheer, encourage and photograph.
It’s difficult to fit 64 results in but here goes….
Alex Hamblin 37th 34:44, Tom Gange 56th 35:43, Nigel Gates 77th 36:44 (1st VM65), Katie Hughes 85th (7th woman, 1st VW45), Aidan Noble 86th 37:01, Robin Phillips 93rd 37:14, Greg Hayward 94th 37:17, Richard Noble 109th 37:39, Gregory Colwell-Hector 221st 39:18, Alastair Blackwood 334th 40:35, Ian Gawinowski 345th 40:39, Emma Taylor 353rd 40:45, Anthony Ballance 355th 40:45 (6th VM55), Robyn Ellis 365th 40:49 (4th VW40), Lucy Richens 460th 41:41 (5th VW40) , Bridget White 512th 42:07, Mike Mewse 554th 42:25 (4th VM60) Lottie Livesey 606th 42:45 (1st U19 W), Jayne Pemble 723rd 43:30 (7th VW45), Andrew Yuill 803rd 43:51, Mark Andrews 817th 43:54, Clare Eskell 820th 43:55 (5th VW50), Peter Norman 956th 44:36, Emma Raven 993rd 44:46, Nick Marshall 1018th 44:55, Fred Stewart 1042nd 45:03, Alex Bicknell 1066th 45:09, Richard Hughes 1093rd 45:17, Lisa Marshall 1096th 45:18, Andy Marshall 1097th 45:18, Trevor Fitsall 1127th 45:27, Michael O’Connell 1211th 45:50, Sarah Andrews 1238th 45:55, Clive Attwood 1261st 46:01, Damien McManus 1461st 46:50, Becky Taylor 1509th 47:01 Judy Knights 1534th 47:07, Varinder Aggarwal 1553rd 47:09 Helen Sawyer 1600th 47:20, Ian Derrick 1609th 47:22, Freddie Livesey 1737th 47:49, Jane Goodwin 1799th 48:01, Matt Lavis 1830th 48:10, Liz Small 1867th 48:17, Elaine Barley 1892nd 48:22, Caroline Price 2284th 49:34, Claire O’Connell 2443rd 50:05, Malcolm White 2673rd 50:50, Sherif Wilson 3198th 52:31, Steven Edwards 3224th 52:36, Maggie Latham 3494th 53:20, Mark Munday 3547th 53:28, Ewan Cameron 4135th 55:01, Helen Kershaw 4244th 55:17, Luke Matthews 4552nd 56:04, Liz Gamble 4579th 56:08, Paul Gladding 4585th 56:08, Mandy Wilson 4613th 56:14, Nicola Derrick 4816th 56:44, Isabelle Saunders 5077th 57:23, Maria Noble 6041st 59:48, Ann Lovell 7130th 1:03:18, Margaret Smith 7723rd 1:05:42, Shona Howard 8417th 1:09:04.
Phew, I think that’s everyone, unless you were running for a charity in fancy dress as a giant water tap or He-Man.
More great achievements in April from Westbury athlete Ellie Leather at university in the USA. Jason reports that:
“..she posted a pair of top-five results and top-10 marks in the Fresno State record book. First, the sophomore placed fourth in the 800 meters at 2:09.19 which was a new personal best by 2 seconds, a mark that ranks her sixth in Fresno uni history. She then ran another pb a few hours later of 4:27.62 in the 1500 meters to place second. The time moved her up to fourth all-time at Fresno State in the event. Her 800m, as well as a new Yate senior record, was also the quickest time ever by any Yate female athlete, breaking Hannah Curnock’s 27 year record.”
Well done to the Westbury athletes who took part for “Team Avon” in the first round of the YDL Premier League (South & West) lower age groups at Swansea on 23rd April. Laura Chance was 1st in the U13 girls 1200m in 4:13.8, and Henry Watson who ran 5:50.7 in the U13 boys 1500m (and also took part in the 4×100 relay and the high jump!)
Finally, a word of praise for young Westbury athletes testing themselves in adult 5k parkruns. Well done to Seamus Robinson, 1st place at Derry City on 20th April in a flying 16:42, and Bryn Davies, 4th at Ashton Court on 4th May in a superb 18:35.
Good running from everyone, and thanks to Mark, Robin, Mike, Nicola, Clare, Sarah, Svetlana, Carol, Lizzie and Bitton Road Runners for photos, used with thanks.