Saturday 18th December

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editors Piece

Only 7 days to go!!!! 

Christmas offers us all a break but there will still be a few races on over the holiday period. A few Christmas morning parkruns will be taking place, just check the parkrun site for confirmation. There’s also the Clevedon AC Boxing Day Race, a 4 mile event for seniors and 3km for juniors, a good opportunity to burn off all those excess Christmas calories. 

Tuesday Running at Yate Track and Thursday Intervals

The last Thursday interval session for 2022 will be on the road for a hill session. Wear bright clothing and road shoes.  The running session at Yate track will be on facebook

Club Christmas Meal

It was certainly the biggest Christmas meal in my memory with 45 people spread over 4 tables for a fabulous meal in the Brewers Fayre , Weston-super-Mare. After many of us had dashed up and down the sea front as part of the Weston Prom series we were all ‘Hank Marvin’ for some grub.

A special thanks must go to Sandra Bailey-gard (pictured below) for organising the event and remembering what we all ordered! Also thanks to Paparazzi Mike for talking all the photos.

Club London Marathon Ballot

There were 30 entries into this years club ballot for the TCS London Marathon but with only 3 places up for grabs it proved to be a very exciting draw, streamed live from facebook. So, without further ado congratulations to the following:

  • Jonathan Riley
  • Rachel Liston 
  • Adrian Alamo Sanz

With only 4 months and 4 days to go, let the training commence!

Group 6 Cancellation

The group 6 Monday run is cancelled due to sickness. Please book group 5 instead for this week.

Gloucestershire Cross Country League, Milton End, Arlington. 10th December

A chilly but sunny day for the Gloucestershire League. Some high class fields with a small but determined group of Westbury runners taking on the scenic and undulating course beside the River Severn. 

Our Avon County U11 Girls champion Elizabeth Hutchings had another strong run in icy conditions for 3rd place in the Under 11 girls race in 9.00. Fast improving Layla Gardiner was 3rd in the 3,2K Under 13 Girls race as the course thawed.

Akira Bees (23.07) and Thomas Darton (24.02) were 3rd and 7th in the very competitive Under 17 Boys race.

Anya Erasmus (28.03) returned to action with a good run for 9th place in a very strong field in the 6.2 K U20 Women’s race.

In a fast Senior Men’s (9.2K) race, in sticky and uneven conditions, Alex Hamblin (SM) ran an impressive 34.31 for 23rd place with Paul Gardiner having a great race for 3rd V40 in 35.36 with Elliott Chard 82nd in 39.31 and David Vincent finishing strongly in 40.03.

Race report by Mike Mewse

Weston Prom Race, Thursday 15th December

On a cold and crisp Thursday evening 182 runners lined up the 5 mile/ 8 km Weston Prom series.  The race is a two lap affair and starts from the Tropicana, then heads out towards Weston Grand Pier before doubling back. With temperatures well below freezing it was quite treacherous underfoot, especially on the turns, so may were wise and took it cautiously. 

We still had some very impressive times with Weston AC’s Chris McMillian being the first runner to finish in a time of 25:28. First female was the unstoppable Kelly Dicks in 30:34.

From the club we had just under 30 runners competing, no doubt helped by the fact it was the annual Christmas meal straight afterwards. Photos thanks to Mike Mewse. Full results are in the link below but top 3 club category wins are as follows, in age category order:

  • Ben Rawlins 2nd SM 26:02
  • Chris Palmer 3rd MV40 28:19
  • Katie Hughes 1st FV40 31:36
  • Sarah Andrews 2nd FV50 36:25
  • Kay Ridgwell 33d FV60 48:49

Skirrid Fell Race Saturday 17th December

A few from the club took part in the Skirrid Fell Race, a 5.7km slog up and down the north face of the infamous Skirrid. Ysgyryd Fawr (or Skirrid in English) lies on the easterly range of the Black Mountains and the hill is made up of two peaks, the Skirrid at 486m high and the smaller Little Skirrid/Ysgyryd Fach at 270m.  Legend has it the mountain was split in two by a thunderbolt at the moment Jesus was  crucified, or the more boring version involves some geology and weathering of Devonian sandstone deposits. 

Anyway, you all want to know about the race, not local geology and mythology! Trouble is I’m not really sure where I begin as this was no ordinary day. I’ve competed in a few fell events before and you have the normal lung busting slog to the top, with a perilous leg breaking descent to the bottom, but yesterday’s race was extra specially.

We gathered in a farmers field waiting the starters gun, then it was the normal dash, leaping a few styles, before we reached the steep section of the mountain. On the narrow footpath we were forced into single file, running, jogging and power walking up to the summit trig point. Now it becomes interesting!

We’re all turning to head back down the mountain and finish line. I start my run down the seep slope and before I know it my feet have slipped from underneath me and I’m hurtling down the hill on my bum. Bouncing off other runners (or bum sliders!?) before crashing through a gorse bush! Thankfully the gradient levels and I start running again to the finish point.

At the finish I was asked by Katrina how I found it and I said ‘I’m not really sure’. This was because I was tired, cold, wet and my backside was stinging! Once I got home, and after a shower and a Savlon rub-down I felt a lot better. The wounds will quickly heal but the experience of sliding down a mountain will last a lifetime.

First male was Wyndham Turner (Myndd Du) in 26:35 and first female was Katrina Entwistle (Bristol and West) 29:29. First from the club was Ian Gawinowski in 34:05 (up 21:57, down 12:09). Second from the club (and a first place age category win was Catherine Treble (pictured) 34:51 (up 22:38, down 12:13) and club third was Chris Treble 35:29 (up 24:29, down 11:01).

The organisation by Rogue Runs was very impressive and a great value event. Not only was the route well marshalled and marked but in the Skirrid Mountain Inn (Wales’ oldest pub) we were treated to free beer, chips, mince-pies and chocolate. There were also great category winners prizes and numerous spot prizes.

If you fancy trying a fell race for the first time the Kymin Winter Race (fabian4 website) is a good introduction as it’s fully marked with no chance of getting lost. Please note that there are mandated kits lists and a grippy pair of fell/trail shoes are essential. I’m happy to provide further details if you’re interested. 

Strava Segment of the Week

Well done Audrey Lachevre, back in France for a 11k run in the forest from the town of Barbaste, achieving a 3rd fastest time on Strava segment D109 Climb. Will you be glued to the telly this afternoon? If you are,’ bonne chance!!!

Diary Dates

Thursday 22nd December Last formal training session.

Monday 26th December Clevedon AC 4 mile Boxing Day Race

Thursday 5th January Formal training resumes

Thursday 12th January Night Race 2 Wye Valley and Piercefield Park

Sunday 15th January  Riverbank Rollick (Club Championship event)

Saturday 21st January Kymin Winter Race, see Fabian4 for details.

Sunday 5th February Doynton Hard Half, a horrible cross country hosted by Emersons Green Running Club

Saturday 11th February Margam Park Gwent League (Club Championship event)

Saturday 4th March Pont-y-pŵl Park Gwent League

Sunday 12th March Lisbon Half Marathon, part of the Super Half Series

Saturday 18th March 20 and 1/2 Fission. Road event, good tester for an upcoming marathon

Friday 31st March Severn Bridge Twilight 5 (and Club Championship event)

Sunday 16th April Frenchay 10k, it’s hilly!

Saturday 8th to Sunday 9th July Brecon Fans Race Weekend. Horseshoe 10 miler and Pen y Fan

Saturday 19th August Race the Train, trail event and you chase the choo choo

Editor this Week

Ian Gawinowski is Westbury Harriers Communications Officer and can be contacted via