The sunny month of May saw the road running season in full swing. There were more races than you could shake a stick at (and the stick as well), on weekends and the increasingly light and bright weekday evenings. The unfamiliar fiery glowing ball in the sky made for challenging conditions in some races, but Westbury Harriers were in action all across the region, and beyond, with great success.
Bristol 10K 13th May 2018
No fewer than 64 Westbury Harriers, aged from U17 to V65, took their place amongst nearly 11,000 runners on the familiar Portway and Harbourside route. Many other Harriers lined the route to shout encouragement, by name or with a generic “Come on Westbury!”, both of which were greatly appreciated. There were many great runs and PBs, everyone finished, and there are too many to list here (see the Facebook post for the full results), but the following deserve special mentions:
– Oli Beale, 1st Westbury man home with a new PB of 33:41 for 23rd place
– Joe Connors, 1st M U20 (29th overall)
– Katie Hughes, 1st Westbury woman and 1st FV40, 15th woman overall
– Ken Ham, 1st VM55
– Colin Johnson and the other guide runners for the great publicity generated for visually impaired runners.
Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence 2 miles 15th May 2018
Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) was an Indian-American mystic who promoted inner peace and meditation through distance running – in races such as the 3100 mile ultramarathon in New York, or (luckily for us) a swift but hilly couple of miles around Eastville Park. This being the second Club Championship race of the season, there was a decent Westbury Harriers turnout on a warm night, and some good runs and medals all round. Particularly well done to:
Mary Fullerton : 1st VM50 (in 14:54, top Westbury woman and 6th woman overall)
Judy Knights: 2nd VM50 (15:51)
Eithne Noonan: 1st VF 60 (18:10)
Rhiannon Paton in the junior 1 mile race, where she was 1st girl (and the tallest competitor by some way…) in a time of 5:51.
Other results: Robin Phillips – 5th place overall (11:31), Ewan Paton – 6th – (11:34), Jullian Bailey-Gard – 10th (12:04), Trevor Fitsall – 16th (14:10), Carol Fee – 29th – (17:13), Kay Ridgwell – 30th – (17:37)
Tyntesfield 10K 16th May 2018
By all accounts this was a hugely enjoyable, but extremely tough, trail race around the grounds of the beautiful National Trust property. The undulating course means that 10k road times are irrelevant, and the aim is to get round and stay on your feet while enjoying the scenery. There was another large Westbury entry, and all performed well. They included:
Iain Large 32nd 46:28, Iain MacFarlane 52nd 48:30, Joshua Bishop 63rd 49:17, Trevor Fitsall 92nd 50:47, Alison Osborne 105th 51:53, Jane Goodwin 113 52:24, Elizabeth Sergeant 118 52:51, Richard Hughes 131 53:18, Julian Bailey-Gard senior 136 53:51, Anneke Bull 144 54:44, Linda Phillips 167 57:49, Roger Hornby & Helen Hornby, 171 172, both 58:13, Sandra Sforza 179 58:45, Ken Lovell 182 58:49, Ruth Ruck 226 1:03.47, Rosalind White 279 1:15.58
Hogweed 10K, incorporating Avon County Championships 28th May 2018
A warm and sticky night in the countryside around Yate Town Football Club saw a record entry of nearly 500 for this popular country road 10K. As another Club Champs event, and with shiny County medals on offer as well, there were once again very many Westbury Harriers in action. It is fair to say that if any one club dominated the evening, it was Westbury. It was not a PB course, on account of the high temperature and the long gradual uphill drag from Rangeworthy, but there were multiple honours and good runs all round. In the words (and pictures) of local reporter and unofficial race photographer Mike Mewse:
“Anthony Glover repeated last year’s success, running a well- paced race to win outright and also retain his Avon County 10K title in a time of 35.31. Alex Hamblin had a great race in 3rd place (35.45). Robin Phillips also ran well to win the V40 category and also retain his Avon County V40 title in 37.21.
Great to see Aidan Noble pick up the Under 18 title, and Eithne Noonan was delighted to win the FV60 category and the Avon County FV60 title.
Ewan Paton 3rd V40 (38.32) and Richard Noble 5th V40 (38.59) had another good battle in their age category.
Judy Knights (50.16) had a strong run for 2nd FV50 and Sandra Williams (47.55) was 5th FV40.
Other Westbury Harriers results : Ken Ham 39.57 (2nd V50), Ian Gawinowski 41.39 Jack Derrick 42.25 Julian Bailey-Gard 42.54 Trevor Fitsall 44.24 Ian Derrick 49.47 Elaine Barley 51.12 Linda Phillips 52.19 Kay Ridgwell 57.25 David Baber 59. 33.”
[pictured: Anthony defends his title – Eithne on way to VW65 title – Aidan with U18 and County prizes]
Vitality London 10K (incorporating UK Championships): also 28th May 2018
OK, it’s not as glamorous as Yate, but seven Westbury Harriers chose London instead, running with someone called Mo Farah and thousands of others, finishing outside Buckingham Palace on another warm sunny day. Very well done to those who made the trip. Top finisher was Brendan Moroney (438th in 37:05, which gives some idea of the quality and size of the field). Very well done also to Jeni Stevenson (42:09 and 9th VW45), Clare Eskell and Alison Rogers for strong sub-45 runs (44:50 and 44:52), Becca Huckett (not far behind in 46:04), and a fine marital tandem effort from Sarah and Mark Andrews (51:24 and 51:25).
Filton Flyer 5K #3 29th May 2018
This was the third of four races in this new series held by Bristol & West AC around the MoD Abbey Wood site. While it has not been as well publicised or supported as its predecessor the Aztec West 5K, the course is a decent midweek test, if not entirely flat and possibly measuring a fraction over 5K.
There was a very welcome return to race activity, after a long injury layoff, for Nick Smart, who finished an impressive 6th overall and 1st MV45 in 18:09. Ewan Paton (10th, 18:39) and Ken Ham (12th, 19:21, 1st MV55) look to have tied up the series prizes for MV45 and MV55, while there were also good runs by Brian McCarthy (18th, 19:48) and Helen Sawyer (24:12, 1st FV45)
Juniors: County Championship and League track success
12th May saw the County Track and Field Championships for both Avon and Gloucestershire There were young Westbury athletes in action at both, with great running (and in one case jumping) all round, and several medals to boot.
At the Avon event held at Yate, there was gold for Rosie Hamilton-James in the U17s 3000m and for Dalis Jones in the U15 1500m. Rhiannon Paton took on the challenge of both the U17 800m in the morning and the 1500m in the afternoon, and won silver in each. Laura Chance and Clemmie Lee ran superbly in the U13 1500m, with Laura taking silver and Clemmie finishing fourth by 6/100 of a second. Multi-tasker of the day was Emily Whitaker, who followed gold in the morning’s Triple Jump with a stirring sprint finish to grab bronze in the U17 1500m. Well done also to Amelia Honor (6th in the U15 1500m) and Ruby Saunders (5th in a U15 200m race where less than a second separated the first six).
There were also great performances from the boys. Pride of place goes to George Peacock for a magnificent run from the front to take gold in the U13 1500m, in 5:04, smashing his PB by 10 seconds.
In an extremely strong and large U15 1500m field, Seamus Robinson also ran strongly to take bronze in a very swift 4:33. Then with a lightning sprint finish in the U17 1500m, Greg Hayward grabbed an excellent silver medal (in 4:24) on the line, by 14/100 of a second from bronze. James Harrod took a well-earned bronze in the U17s 3000m race (in 9:46).
Across the county line in Gloucester, two other Westbury Harriers were in action, Bryn Davies finishing 2nd in the combined U15/U17 3000m (in 9:49), while Henry Watson finished 6th in the U11 80m sprint (in 13.2).
Well done also to all those Westbury Harriers boys and girls who have run on the track for Yate or the combined “Team Avon” in the YDL (Youth Development League) and Midland League so far this season, at Swansea and Cardiff, in events ranging from the 300m to 3000m, including the steeplechase. The team organisers greatly appreciate the commitment, and significant points contribution, of the Westbury athletes, which has helped the teams to high positions in their respective divisions.