March results round-up: ‘Snow go’ for some, but sunshine and success for others…

Much to the frustration of Westbury Harriers and many other runners, the month of March saw a series of race cancellations, as Britain was once again astonished and paralysed by the falling of a mysterious white substance from the sky. The first victim, sadly, was the final round of the Gwent League at Blaise on 3rd March, wisely cancelled just as the first front approached from Siberia. Since there will be no re-scheduled race, the league standings remain as they were after four rounds. That means congratulations, and some Gwent League porcelain, are due to the Women’s V35, V55 and V65 teams, the Girls U15 team, and the Boys U17 team, all of whom won their respective competitions. The Senior Women’s team finished 2nd overall, while the Senior Men retained their Division 1 status by finishing 6th. In many other categories there were high team placings, together with a number of high individual senior and junior places, for which plates shall be dished out at our glittering awards ceremony on 28th April…

Spanish sojourn: World Half Marathon Championships 24th March 2018


The Valencia 7

The snow upset the winter/spring half marathon plans of many, with cancellations at Bath (4th March), then Weston and Forest of Dean (18th). No such problems, however, for the intrepid band of seven Westbury Harriers who made the arduous (?) trip to Valencia, via Madrid, for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships on 24th March. Fuelled by what looked (from their Facebook posts) like a rigorous last minute training regime of cycling, coffee, cocktails, sightseeing and sunbathing, the youthful party of veteran runners performed superbly in an evening race through a beautiful city. Results (and photo) courtesy of Richard Hughes:

Rob Williams 1:40:30

Richard Hughes 1:41:04

Clare Eskell 1:42:32

Clive Attwood 1:49:33

Trish Robson 1:49:32

Anneke Bull 1:49:59

Sandra Sforza 1:51:38

Rodway Easy Runner 10K (Emersons Green, 11th March 2018)


Clare, Sarah, Trevor and Caroline (plus photo bomber) at Emersons Green

This was another Club Championships race with a strong Westbury turnout on a very muddy course. Very well done to all, particularly Chris Palmer for finishing 3rd overall, Ken Ham 8th overall and 1st MV50, Clare Eskell 2nd FV50 and Sarah Thorne 3rd SW. Full results:-

3 Chris Palmer 39:55.8

8 Ken Ham 42:06.7

14 Julian Bailey-Gard (jr.) 42:55.5

42 Trevor Fitsall 49:47.6

44 Sarah Thorne 49:58.9

62 Clare Eskell 52:39.4

125 Caroline Scapens 1:05:08.2


Eventually the snow went away, Spring appeared to have sprung, and road racing resumed. There were some very good local(-ish) runs and results on Sunday 25th March 2018 – thanks to Scott for collating these:-

Cardiff Bay 10k

Chris O’Donovan 36:32 (a 1 minute PB!)

Mike Hopkins 48:42


Yeovil half marathon:

Richard Noble 1:28:32


Gloucester 20 [miles, that is..]

Robin Phillips 2:07:23

Stef Louvain Pasco 2:38:32

Helen Sawyer 2:45:50

Jane Goodwin 2:51:46

Tim Synge 2:54:08

Linda Phillips 3:02:34


Filton Flyer 5K (formerly Aztec West Fast 5K) – 27th March 2018

Closer to home, 27th March saw the first running of Bristol & West AC’s new 5K event, the replacement for the former Aztec West series, after two previous test runs. It takes place in and around the MoD at Filton Abbey Wood. At present there are 3 more rounds scheduled, with the next one on 24th April. The course weaves around the roads and cycle paths of the site, and is not wholly flat – both laps involve a gradual straight ascent followed by a faster downhill section on the cycle path. It is, as was the Aztec West, impeccably organised by Bristol & West, with a race HQ at DW Fitness, plenty of marshals and electronic chip timing. The turnout of 80, of whom 10% (i.e. 8) were Westbury Harriers, was perhaps surprisingly low compared to Aztecs past, but this is likely to pick up as the series progresses. Well done in particular to young Ben Rawlins for a top 10 finish. Full results:-

9th – Ben Rawlins 16:48

17th – Tom Gange 17:52

27th – Ewan Paton 18:36

37th – Ken Ham 19:22

45th – Iain Macfarlane 19:48

46th – Paul Stuart 19:49
50th – Rosie Allen – 20.18

74th – Helen Sawyer 24:27

Junior Cross Country: Loughborough and Leeds


U15 girls (including Kate, Dalis, Rhiannon and Rosie) at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough, UK Inter-Counties XC


In between the two big snow falls, several junior Westbury Harriers ploughed on (almost literally, given the conditions) with cross country races, representing their county and school districts.

Several Westbury athletes represented the combined Avon and Somerset team at an exceptionally muddy Prestwold Hall near Loughborough on Saturday 10th March 2018, at the UK Inter Counties Championships. Four out of the six U15 girls’ team were Westbury Harriers – Dalis, Rosie, Kate and Rhiannon (pictured), and they all ran well in extremely difficult conditions, as did Phoebe Gould (U17 Girls), Aidan Noble and Ben Rawlins (U17 Boys).

Oli Beale also performed well in the brutal 12k senior men’s race.

The following weekend (17th March) saw the English Schools Cross Country Championships held in freezing temperatures and mud in Leeds. It may have been grim up North, but again several Westbury Harriers represented their district – this time Avon Schools – with great credit in yet more tough conditions, in large and extremely strong fields. Well done to:

Seamus Robinson, Artie Savage-Swain (Junior Boys)

Abdi Hasan, Justin Davies, Bryn Davies (Intermediate Boys)
Ben Rawlins, Aidan Noble (Senior Boys)
Dalis Jones, Kate Howard (Junior Girls)
Ellie Hobbs, Rhiannon Paton, Emily Whitaker, Lottie Livesey (Intermediate Girls)

Hannah Hobbs, Steph Cummins, Phoebe Gould (Senior Girls)


Pat’s 2 European medals!

Finally, although already mentioned in a previous post, congratulations again to the magnificent Pat Gallagher, for her 3rd place and bronze medals in both the VW70 800m and 1500m at European Masters Indoors Championships in Madrid on 22nd-23rd March


Well done to all, and best of luck to all those racing in the coming weeks. Don’t be shy or modest – let us know of all results via Facebook or by email to If you have photos too, even better!