Club Kit. Intensive research has gone into investigating a new source of club kit alongside independent scientific analysis to assess its performance enhancing capabilities. The results are in and I can confirm it will make you run faster!  So, if you’re looking to set some PB’s in 2019 ensure you are wearing Westbury Harrier kit.  We are looking to stock vests, crop tops, long/short sleeved tops, spike bags, neck buffs and hoodies. We are waiting on samples and there will be some lead time in manufacturing so it is unlikely we will have a kit sales as soon as late November. I’ll keep you posted on the specific kit sale date but hopefully this will be some time this year. Thanks to Katie Hughes organising.

Socks. If you run off road it is worth investing in a pair of waterproof socks. I recently purchased a pair of Dexshell ultra thin bamboo socks and can recommend them, they keep your feet dry and being thin fit easily into a pair of running shoes. They are currently offering  a 20% discount, use code BLACKFRIDAY20

Yate Track. Training is now possible again at Yate track (tarmac only). Apparently there is even a nice warm clubhouse which can be used as a waiting area. 

Efforts Session. The Coombe Dingle front field continues to remain relatively firm underfoot, so keep your fingers crossed that the rain holds off. Obviously be prepared to run on the local roads should it become too soft for grass based effort sessions. This Thursday it’s a 6 x Steady Session consisting of six 3 minute efforts with 60 second recoveries (alternate direction and start from where we stopped).

Run Fest – The Series. Do you have a marathon story to share? Run Fest are looking for inspirational, funny or down right crazy stories to help them celebrate their 1st birthday on 1st February 2019. Message Michele Hurst via Facebook if you would like to be part of the event.

Race Review- Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half Marathon

I’d not tried an off-road half marathon before so when I spotted the Forest of Dean event advertised for mid March I thought I should give it a try.  The event is organised by the Rotary Club of the Royal Forest of Dean and starts from a large field opposite Speech House.

I was all psyched up, ready to race and then came along ‘The Beast from the East’. Massive amounts of snow meant the organisers, in all wisdom, had to cancel the event. So it was deferred for a few weeks and fortunately this time no snow. 

I was joined at the start line by fellow Harrier, Emma Dalton.  We had a brief chat and she assured me that although the route was off road it was entirely on forest tracks . I was a little concerned as I was wearing road shoes but it turned out these were perfect for the terrain which is hard packed, being constructed for forest cyclists. She also told me she was massively hungover so was going to take it easy.

The starters gun was fired (I was momentarily deafened as I happened to be standing next to the official) and off we all charged. I’m running along, no sign of Emma in front but I recognise a Southville runner so keep pace with him. It can be a little disorientating running through the woods past endless trees but fortunately the route is well marked and marshalled and with almost a 1000’s runners you’ll never find yourself alone.

The key to this event, where you can easily loose your bearings, is keep a steady pace. Not in my case as at the half way point I can feel myself flagging but Emma passes me, with a word of encouragement that helps me dig in. I have no chance of holding Emma’s tempo put with the help of some performance enhancing drugs (a double strength caffeine gel) I make it to the end.

If you need the encouragement of cheering crowds lining the route then this is not the event for you. If, on the other hand, you like to escape into the wilderness and race along forest trials with the only sounds being that of your fellow runners then sign up.  The front runners may even be lucky enough to catch sight of deer or wild boar roaming in the woods. The route is undulating, so no need to worry about any big hills and it’s a single loop that twists and turns through the Forest. This year the event takes place on Sunday 24th March 2019 (assuming the Beast from the East doesn’t return).

P.S. By the way, Emma won the F35 category. Next time I’ll try a few beers myself the night before a race and may achieve a PB!

Dates

Saturday 24th November Women’s Wellbeing Workshop on Eating and Strengthening for an Active Lifestyle

Saturday 24th November.  Using Poles. Learn how to effectively use poles to run faster, stronger and longer.  FULLY BOOKED.  

21st and 28th November. Night Running starts 7pm. For details of this event and information relating to other courses check dansummersrunning.co.uk

Wednesday 26th December. Clevedon AC Boxing Day Race. 4 mile road race 

Saturday 12th January and Sunday 13th January. Bath skyline 10km mixed terrain event. Night run on the Saturday and day time run on the Sunday. See relishrunningraces.com for details.

Sunday 24th March 2019 Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half Marathon. https://www.forestofdean-halfmarathon.co.uk/spring_trails/index.php

Up coming club championships

Sunday 25th November AVR Wiltshire Half Marathon

Sunday 2nd December Gwent League Bryn Bach Park

Thursday 13th December Race 4 Weston Prom Series

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