Weekly News – Monday 6th April 2020


Just a reminder that although we are permitted one form of exercise a day that should be kept local and to use an open spaces near your home. Although no mention is given to how long you can exercise it has been interpreted as your normal exercise regime.
We do need to follow the government guidelines and stay at home as much as possible. If we don’t then even exercise from home could potentially be banned.
Stay safe.

Club Championships

I’m pleased to announce the new Club Champions for the 2019/2020 season. A massive round of applause for Kay and Ewan who both topped the score board with an identical 323 points each.

Kay had an impressive season achieving high places in a number of events demonstrating that consistency is the key to becoming a club champion. Kay commenced the championship programme with a third place championship win in the Hanham Horror, a trail event of about 10K. All finishers also take home the best designed race medal I’ve ever seen, so an event worth doing.
The Tintern Trot was held in July, taking in the Wye Valley and Tintern Abbey and is probably the most scenic trail event in the calendar. In this event Kay had a solid performance on a challenging course to achieve second place points.
Towards the end of the season Kay achieved another high scoring second place win, this time in the Riverbank Rollick. Without any hesitation I can say this is toughest event in the Club Championship because every runner has to battle with wind, mud and very technical terrain.

Ewan also had a solid season. In the past Ewan has specialised in road and cross country but based on this years results, trail events can be added to his CV. Ewan had quite a number of first place Championship wins scoring maximum points. These included the Horton Bull Run, Crook Peak Cake Race, The Ross 5K (he also won the event), Nightingale Nightmare (another outright win), Wye Wander and the Portishead Coast Path.
In the road events Ewan had some very impressive finishing times. The Bitton 5K is an out and back along a section of the Bristol-Bath cycle path and Ewan was the third Westbury to finish in a time of 18:40. The Bristol Half Marathon is always part of the Club Championship and Ewan was third Westbury again in a fast time of 1:25:46.

For the women we had Eithne in second place and in third, our previous Club Champion, Judy. Eithne was first Westbury lady in the Rowberrow Romp, a 10k trail event held in June. Judy scorned consistently through the Gwent League and also was first Westbury lady home in December’s Weston Prom.

For the gents we have Trevor in second place, unfortunately losing his Club Championship status (also meaning I no longer have to bow in deference to the Champ, phew, that is a relief!). Highlights of Trevor’s season include first Westbury in the GWR Towpath 5k. Ian was only a couple of points behind in third place. One of his highlights include almost breaking the 40 minute barrier at the Hogweed Trot 10k in 40:21.

Well done to everybody that competed this year and I hope you enjoyed all the events. Also a big thank you to Judy who has worked tirelessly updating the leaderboard.
Pictured below, (at the Ross 5K) From L to R, Eithne, Kay, Ewan and Tim

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 this years season has been put on hold and a decision will be made at a later date.

Results, placings and scores mentioned above were taken from the Westbury Harrier website.

Final Results: Club Championship 19/20



















































Club Person Profile: Judy. Role: Treasurer

Q. My first question for you Judy, what made you decide to join Westbury Harriers?
A. I tried out Westbury Harriers with some other women from my gym. We had all started running recently and were looking to do a bit more. One of the first sessions I went to was efforts up the zig-zag path in Blaise – a baptism of fire! That was many years ago. I remained a member, though at times I was very busy at work and had less time to train with the club.

Q. Why did you take on a committee post?
A. When I stopped work I had more time for other activities and so being treasurer of Westbury Harriers is one of the new things I do. And Shirley was looking to pass on the role to someone after several years of sterling service! I used to work in Finance, though not as an accountant.
As well as being treasurer, I am involved in running the Club Championship.

Judy, at the Lacock Half

Q. What does the treasurer role involve?
A. Basically looking after the club’s finances. I have to pay fees and bills and reimburse members’ expenses, and bank money coming in. I am required to keep records of all incomings and outgoings and prepare accounts annually so that the members of Westbury Harriers can see where money is being spent. I liaise with local accountants over the production of CIC accounts and keep the committee up to date. I also purchase the member of the month and Club Championship vouchers.

Q. Why do you keep running with the club?
A. I enjoy the efforts training sessions. Even if I’m not always that keen beforehand I inevitably feel good afterwards. In recent years I have entered a lot more races – I enjoy the social side and it is nice to feel part of the Westbury Harriers team.

Q. What is your favourite discipline and distance?
A. I prefer longer distances and I have achieved my best results in half-marathons. I have completed a couple of full marathons but don’t fancy doing all that training again for a long while! I do more road running than off-road stuff. Full marks to Tamsin for persuading me to do another season of cross country – I don’t like muddy conditions and may have been less than cheerful after certain races in the past! But this year I actually enjoyed all the events.

Q. And your favourite event?
A. Probably the Forest of Dean half marathon – my favourite distance, good paths and nice scenery.

Judy, celebrating after the Bristol 10K with a large gin and tonic.


Details of the AGM will be released shortly. In the meantime we do have a number of posts that need filling so please have a think about volunteering. Coaching, Web Site Manager and Membership Officer are to name just a few of the vacancies.

2010 Year of the Personal Best by Geraint

I had two goals for 2010, the year I turned 40, the first being to break 40 minutes for 10K. I’d come close in some previous races, 40.18 at Castle Combe, 40.12 in the flat Swansea 10K, but just couldn’t get those final few seconds off my time.

I’d not really given myself a training plan to try and achieve this, so the Bristol 10K on 9th was the target race. Most training plans were around 10-12 weeks, but I’d found that I tended to peak at 8 weeks so created my own plan. Monday was club night, a nice steady run between 5 and 6 miles, Wednesday was efforts, Friday another steady run and Sunday was an over distance run of 8-9 miles. I was determined to break 40 minutes and was sticking to the plan that I’d mapped out. I ran with a couple of other runners during the dinner break from work and for those 8 weeks I had my plan and that’s what I would do. They said a few times “what about this route today?” and the response was “feel free, I’m doing this session”. Sometimes they joined me, sometimes not and sometimes for some of the of the effort. I didn’t mind, it was my plan.

One of the key sessions I had was on a 1K circuit close to home. All the training plans I was looking at said “run slower that your goal race pace”, but I decided to not follow this advice and went with Emil Zatopek’s philosophy of “Why should I practice running slow? I already know how to run slow. I want to learn to run fast”. Mentally I needed to know that I could run at 3.50 pace, so my sessions were 4-7 1km efforts with 1 minute recovery.
I used the longer runs on Sunday to work on the parts of the 10K where I struggled, 4-7k in the race were tough and where I lost the time, so I made a conscious effort to work on that. I concentrated on form, breathing and most importantly, how I was mentally feeling at that time. I used a mantra “be relentless”. For me, this was a way of focusing my mind and the rest seemed to follow.

So come race day I was as prepared as I thought I could be. I’d had a couple of 5K races and set PBs so knew I was on form. I got to start in plenty of time, found a little space for a warm-up and went into the starting pen. Switch on the Garmin, but nothing! It wasn’t powering up. I’d used my watch all through training and now I wouldn’t have it for the race. Ah well, I’d have to run with how I felt.

Bang, and we’re off. I was pretty close to the front and everybody was there to race, so no faffing about, just get going as quickly as we could and settle into a rhythm. I was feeling good, nice and relaxed. At the 1K marker, a friend made an effort to come alongside (he knew my watch situation) and was yelling “too fast GT, too fast”. It was a 3:43 opening KM. In my mind it was “17 second buffer, nice”, so I just kept going! I had no idea how fast I was going, just listening to my body and maintaining what I felt was good.
I got to the turn on the Portway and was still feeling good though by now I really didn’t know if I was on target or not. There were loads of shouts of either my name or of Westbury; I don’t think I acknowledged many of them as I was too focused. The water station was a quick sip and the rest over my head. I was catching a group who were clearly pacing someone round. As I caught them I asked what time they were aiming for “sub-40” – perfect, but that meant slowing a bit and I felt good, time to press on.
Now was the hard part, along Cumberland Road; “be relentless, be relentless”. Somewhere along here I saw Ian R and he shouted encouragement as he went past – “I’m with Ian, it’s going well”. The 9K marker was just after the Prince Street Bridge and I got a time check from someone (maybe Ian) and I was going to have to fail spectacularly in the last KM to miss out on a sub-40, but no time to slow. That last KM was a long one, down into town and into the loop in front of the Hippodrome took forever, but then it was the final effort, 400M to go, 200M to go and I’m rounding the corner by what was the @Bristol, and the official clock just ticked over 39 minutes! One last effort and I’m over the line just behind Ian. I’d smashed sub-40, the clock was showing around 39.19 and that was all I had to go on with no watch of my own. My official time came through as 39.13.

Over the next few weeks my 5K PB was set at 19.08 and 5 mile PB at 31:29.
I haven’t come close to those times since then and am unlikely to either, but getting a little closer would be nice.

My second goal for 2010? To be a father for the second time and Megan arrived in September well before my 40th birthday.

So 2010 will always be remembered as a good year for me.

Member of the Month

Junior. Congratulations to Kate H. Kate won the nomination this month because of her 53rd place win in the English Schools and a 2nd place overall in the Gwent League. She also did extremely well in the Nationals. Well done
Senior. The senior award goes to a family, so well done the Rawlins family. We all thoroughly enjoyed watching your YouTube video, it added a smile to all our faces.

If any other members are inspired to do something similar, please let us all know and I’ll add a link to the Weekly News. And in case you didn’t get to see it last week, here’s the link again.
Vouchers will be sent in the post to you all.

Virtual National Road Relay Championships

Good luck to everybody taking part in the 5k road relays. Remember, you must complete you leg by Wednesday 8th April and upload it to Opentrack by the Thursday. With luck I’ll be able to provide the results in next week’s news.



Win for Westbury’s Rich in the Pomphrey Fast 5K, who won the V40 age category in the Pomphrey 5K series – just ahead of 2nd placed team mate Alex. Rich produced an impressive series of races including a season’s best of 18.28. He is one of our most prolific and consistent runners. The win is well deserved. Thanks Mike M for the report.
Due to cancellations the series prizes were awarded based on the best 4 performances from the first five races.

Alex below, photographed at a recent XC event.

Strava Results of the Week

Caroline. Well done on a 10th Overall placing on Strava segment ‘Gypsy Lane’, near Portbury, in a time of 9:14
Artie, on an very quick Personal Record on Strava segment ‘Canford Lap Clockwise’ in a time of 2:27 (and third fastest Westbury, just behind Oli)

I was warned not to mention Sarah and her Crown because that’s all she keeps banging on about! But I will, so well done on the Lake Road segment in a time of 3:16. In second place we have Katie in 3:20.
And as Dale Winters would say, ‘you need to be in it to win it’! If you have a GPS watch or even a smart phone it’s easy to record runs and exercise on Strava. Then join the Westbury Harrier club section and you could be mentioned!

Interesting Fact of the Week.

During every run, the midbrain sharpens in function. Because this area is in charge of managing your vision and hearing, you might be able to run without having to wear your glasses!

Diary Dates

Events have been removed until further notice, pending outcome of Coronavirus.