Run Fest: The Series.  On Friday 31st January 2020 (18:45-22:00) we have Run Fest celebrating its second birthday. The line up includes Keith Brackstone who will be telling us how he was able to continue running after heart surgery. Rob Beazley is the owner of The Running Bible and he will be sharing his running journey. Danny Smith is the Pomphrey Hill parkrun director and he will share his love of the parkrun phenomenon. Finally we have VI Runners Teresa Cryer and Tracey Paling (joined by VI Guide Colin Johnson) telling us about the challenges of running with a visual impairment. 

The event takes place in Shirehampton Public Hall and tickets can be purchased from the eventbrite website. Link provided. Run Fest Link

Towpath Series. Great Western Runners have tweaked the Tow Path Series for next year. The Mob Match will be held at the beginning of the series, rather than at the end. So some dates for next years diary:
Mob Match: Friday 22nd May
Race 1: Friday 12th June
Race 2: Friday 10th July
Race 3: Friday 31st July
Race 4: Friday 14th August (5K)

Thursdays Efforts with Mike Hopkins. It’s funny really, but sometimes you can really go off somebody. Normally I get on with Mike Hopkins very well but come Thursday evenings I take a real dislike to him. I think it must have something to do with the fact that every Thursday I associate Mike with pain!

But to be serious for just a moment I would like to say an enormous thank you to Mike who has been leading the efforts session for over 10 years. Admittedly, the sessions can be tough at times, especially if involving hills, but no pain means no gain. I’m sure everybody will agree that although the sessions are brief they are extremely productive as demonstrated by improvements in our performance.

Mike will now be taking a well deserved break from leading these sessions. He will still be around to help, but on a more informal ad-hoc basis.

Perhaps as a gift for all Mike’s hard work we buy him a new stop watch? I’m sure his current  watch is faulty as it seems to be running fast, especially during the recovery period. 1 minute recovery he cries, then it must only be 40 seconds later and he’s blowing his whistle to signal next interval!!!

If you have feedback from Thursdays then please send suggestions to Also note that during the winter months Sandra Bailey-Gard will occasionally lead a group 6 run as an alternative to efforts based training.

Mike below, as he crosses across the finish line at the Severn Bridge Half Marathon, 2016

South West XC Championships. A scenic race comprising flat sections, as well as a few proper hills. The location is Aldon Hill, Yeovil on Sunday 5th January 2020. But it is important to note that entries must be submitted by the Monday 23rd December! Athletes enter themselves but entrance fees can be claimed back through he club using our expenses system. 

The club has targeted this event over the Midland XC in recent years and has been well supported by juniors and seniors. Not far to go, great course and runs off Christmas! For adults as a guide this event is more suitable for groups 1-3/4, although numbers are growing each year which means the field is starting to increase. Please let relevant team managers know you have entered. Tamsin Elson Chick, Neil Miller, Jayne Pemble, Jason Michael, Scott Campbell, Mike Mewse

Brailsford Lights. It only seems like five minutes ago that we were all running to see the Christmas Lights at Brailsford. Well, on Monday evening we’ll be doing it again and all gate money will be donated to the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal which supports Bristol’s Children’s Hospital. Additional contributions most welcome.

Club Supper. It’s curry night!!! Will it be a Madras, Jalfrezi, or a Korma? I’ve no idea. But whatever it is, I’m sure it will be good. See you all (well, those that have booked and paid) tonight.

The combination of running and stopping off at 6 pubs on route is quite a challenge, one that  some Westbury Harriers were very much up for. Saturday was the annual Christmas run starting from the Water Tower, followed by a number of pub stops. This was a very relaxed social run, one of the few events where everybody’s a winner.

The festive runners below.

Interesting Running Fact of the Week. The treadmill was originally designed for English prisons as a tool for punishment. Source: Factretriever website.

Diary Dates
Monday 16th December. Brailsford Christmas Lights run

Monday 16th December. Pub supper in the Black Swan (aka Mucky Duck). On the menu we have curry (veggie and meat options).

Thursday 19th December. Last day of club training.

Sunday 5th January 2020 South West Cross Country Championships, Aldon Hill Yeovil (juniors/seniors) England Athletics SW CX Link

Monday 6th January. Club training recommences after Christmas break.

Saturday 25th January 2020 Midland Cross Country Championships (the club has in the last few years focused on the South West XC, rather than the Midlands)

Friday 31st January 2020. Run Fest: The Series  18:45-22:00, Shirehampton Public Hall.

Saturday 22nd February English National Cross Country Championships, Nottingham (juniors/seniors)

Saturday 21st March 2020 Midland 6/12 Stage Road Relays– Sutton Park

Saturday 4th April 20202 National 6/12 Stage, Sutton Park

Saturday 16th May 2020- Masters Road Relays, Sutton Park (Over 35’s)


Club Championship Events
Thursday 19th December. Western Prom. A 5 mile race, up and down the promenade front. Affiliated only £6. A post race Christmas meal is organised as well, check above for details.Weston Prom Link

Thursday 26th December Clevedon Boxing Day Race. I can tell you it’s a 4 mile race and a good excuse to burn off those excess calories from Christmas day lunch. Last year the first three Westbury finishers were Joe Conners, Ben Rawlins and Robin Phillips.

Sunday 29th December The Wye Wander, starting from Chepstow Leisure Centre.  Wye Wander Link (replaces Hangover 10k)

Sunday 12th January 2020. The Riverbank Rollick, by Thornbury Running Club. The course offers different terrains, different places, different views… and is probably different to anything you’ve tried before. Challenging too, but very rewarding. Just under 10 miles in length. Riverbank Rollick Link RACE FULL – check for waiting list

Saturday 8th February 2020. Gwent League Event: Chepstow Race Course

Sunday 23rd February. River Avon Trail 10k A stunning off-road, multi terrain course which will incorporate thrilling trails, open countryside and woodlands. River Avon 10k Link

Sunday 1st March 2020 Gwent League Event: Singleton Park, Swansea

Sunday 15th March San Domenico 20 miler.