Weekly News Saturday 12th February

Saturday 12th February

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editors Piece

The club is always in need of volunteers because without their work and commitment the club would not function.  Next month (3rd April) we have the AGM so I would ask members, whether old or new to consider taking up a role. There are many opportunities to become involved, such as through becoming a run leader, joining the committee or helping to organise an event, such as the Blaise Blazer, Westbury Wipeout, XC races or helper for the Academy/Junior groups. Nearer to the AGM there will be details of all the roles available.

As I’m talking about volunteering next Saturday is the clubs very own Gwent League XC at Blaise and we need lots of helpers. Please do consider supporting this prestigious event, more details below.

Volunteers for Gwent Cross-Country

We are after lots of volunteers for next weekends Gwent Cross Country League at Blaise Castle. Volunteers can be club members, friends, family, or neighbours, the more the merrier! To avoid complicated marshal handovers Kay is looking to have non-runners to do some marshal points and the later carpark duties. 

Kay also needs at least 6 people for course set up from 8am and another 6 to help clear up (runners or non runners suitable).

Current timings with sufficient volunteers are:

  • Set up 8.00am to 10.30am.
  • Early carpark 9.30am to 11.30am
  • Late car park 11.30am to around 2.00pm (non runners)
  • Early marshal 11.00am to 2.00pm (non runners)
  • Late marshal 2.00pm to around 4.00pm (non runners)
  • Pack up from 4.00pm

Please could all volunteers provide their mobile phone number, whether they are running or not and preferred role, if any.  Many thanks, hope this is not too complicated!

If you could inform Kay Ridgwell (kay.ridgwell@btinternet.com) of your interest to volunteer (with mobile number), that would be very helpful.

Yate Track Session

Nicola’s gone ‘flipping’ crazy again as we see another Tuesday Track Session flip, starting with the longer intervals first. It’s the usual walking dynamic stretches and 3 social laps before commencing the intervals.

3 x 800m (200m recovery), a 400m float and then 6  x 400m (100m recovery). 

Ending with 2 cool down laps and some stretches.

South West Vets AC Cross Country Championships, Sidmouth, Devon. Sunday 6th February.

After the schools and universities cross country competitions it was the turn of the “more mature” athletes at the South West Vets Cross Country race. After heavy rain the skies cleared and the sun came out for the masters athletes aged from 35+ in a single 6K race for men and women of all ages.

On a flat but boggy course Oliver White (V35 Exmouth Harriers) dominated the race for an overall win in 20.30 .

New Westbury Harriers recruit Jerry Musselwhite (pictured right), wearing the blue and white for the first time, had an excellent race with 5th overall (23.24) and 1st place in the V60 category. Team mate Mike Mewse (pictured left)(25.24) couldn’t match the outstanding V65 John Shapland of Bideford and had to settle for 2nd place in the category.

Several other runners who train with us at Yate track were successful on the day with a good sprinkling of top masters athletes.

Race report and photos by Mike Mewse

South West Schools Cross Country Championships, Sheldon School, Chippenham, Saturday 5th February.

A big weekend of cross country for our Westbury youngsters as they raced for their schools and their county schools associations.

It was a windy but dry day with high class racing from the youngsters of Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset and Gloucestershire.

The highlight was the Senior Boys race with seven Westbury runners in action. Seamus Robinson was again in great form and was 3rd in the race ahead of Artie Savage-Swaine and Finn Goodhew. Laura Chance ran an excellent race for 6th place in the Intermediate Girls with Akira Bees (Inter Boys) and Estelle Lowe (Jun Girls) again producing battling performances.

Most Westbury runners were wearing the light blue vest of Avon Schools with others wearing the yellow and maroon of Gloucestershire Schools.

Race report by Mike Mewse.

British Universities Cross Country Championships, Horsenden Hill, Middlesex, 5th February 

Whilst our school age youngsters were enjoying the dry conditions of Chippenham some of our “older” youngsters were racing in the Middlesex mud at the British Universities Cross Country Championships.

Floren Scrafton had a good run for 24th place in the 8K race (Oxford, 33.16) whilst in-form athlete Rosie Hamilton-James led her Birmingham University team mates home in a superb a 4th place in the 6K race (24.02) with Ellie Hobbs having a good run in 27.51.

Our U20 men were running in the Men’s 8K race with Greg Hayward (Bath) our top performer in 65th place (30.47) with Josh Morland (Warwick) and Tom Reed (Exeter) finishing close together in 32.28 and 32.47 respectively.

Race Report by Mike Mewse, photo credit thanks to Floren Villanueva Scrafton. Picture left to right, Floren, Ellie Hobbs and sister Hannah.

Blast from the Past

Peter Keogan has provided me with another “blast from the past” for this week’s newsletter. I’m told John Parker was the first Westbury Harrier to win an English National Cross-country title. Peter goes on to say it would be great if Rosie Hamilton-James (pictured at the Midlands XC) could become the fourth this year.

Pictured below (photo credit E D Lacey) John Parker breaks the tape in the youth race, March 1956.

Saturday Water Tower Runners

Feeling ‘blue’ with a splash of ‘yellow’ sunshine in the form of Liz the runners headed out from the Downs Water Tower on a relaxed and informal run.

Older, Wiser and Faster!

Recently, Ewan Paton spends more of his time in London but still proudly wears the Westbury Vest at every opportunity. His running stats are also very impressive and below he tells us about his personal bests, giving us all hope that as we become older we can still put in some quick times.

Ewan says, ‘In the space of 5 days (22nd and 26th January) I ran lifetime PBs for both 5k and 10k. The 5k was my first ever sub-18 (just), 17.59 at the Gunnersbury parkrun. The 10k was 36:24 for 17th place/2nd MV50 in an evening race, the RunThrough Chase the Moon Battersea Park 10k.

Since I am now a mature but ripe 51,I hope this encourages others that they too can keep improving into their 50’s and beyond. I put it down to staying healthy, regular track and hill training, and maybe my new magic shoes!’

Below, one of the few photos in which he was not grimacing.

He passes on his best wishes and hopes to see as all soon, hopefully at Blaise for the Gwent.

Blaise Gwent League Runtogether

Tamsin tells me that she already has over 30 women signed up for the Gwent League at Blaise next Saturday but only 8 men! She says it would be great to see everyone who has been training to come along and support the club and their team. 

It is suitable for all ages and abilities. Whatever group you run with the club you will be fine at the Gwent League. You will need to wear your Westbury vest and spikes/trail shoes are advisable.

And the best bit, no more scrabbling around, raiding the kids money boxes or down the sofa to try and find £4. To sign up and pay for the race please do so via RunTogether. https://groups.runtogether.co.uk/WestburyHarriersRunningClub

Cotswold Way Relay – Saturday 2nd July

The Cotswold Way Relay is a 10 stage, 103 mile off-road relay though the Cotswolds from Chipping Campden to Bath. The race date is Saturday 2nd July and applications are now open for teams, with the closing date being Tuesday 5th April. I’ll pass on your details to Eithne who will collate the entry on behalf of the club.

To the (VO2) Max and Beyond!

Many of you will know Catherine Treble from her impressive cross country results and particularly fast run at the Speedway 10k.  Well, she has also offered up her services as a human guinea pig for a study at the University of Bath looking at fatigue and running form. I know from finish line photos my own running form is a disaster at the end of the race but this study takes a more scientific approach to how the two are linked. 

Catherine says, ‘knowing your lactate threshold and VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen your body uses during exercise) can be useful when planning your training, and looking at how to improve your performance. However, frustratingly, they’re not the most accessible of benchmarks for the average runner: to get as accurate a measurement as possible typically requires a lot of specialist equipment, usually in a physiology laboratory.

But that’s exactly where I found myself a couple of weeks ago – running four-minute intervals (each rep faster than the last) on a treadmill, covered in motion sensors (to see how my technique changed as fatigue set in) and wearing a gas canister (to measure the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide I breathed in and out). After each interval, I had blood taken from my finger, and was asked how hard I found the effort – the goal being to keep churning out intervals for as long as I could until I reached maximum exertion.

I’d volunteered to take part in a research study at the University of Bath – a PhD study looking at the relationship between fatigue and running technique. The study involved attending two sessions – the first being those four-minute intervals, and the second, running for as long as I could at a pre-determined pace slightly higher than my lactate threshold.

The study still needs more female volunteers (sorry chaps) so although both sessions were tough going (physically and psychologically), if you’re remotely interested in finding out more about your current level of fitness, I’d highly recommend signing up.

It was an absolutely fascinating experience, and as a thank you for my time, I’ve been sent an enormous table of data and camera footage which I’m sure will help me train more smartly in the months to come (as if I wasn’t enough of a stats nerd already…).

I’d also be very happy to share more detail of the experience if you’re interested – please feel free to drop me a line at catherinesianlee@googlemail.com if so.

How to take part If you’re a female regular runner aged 18-50, who can run 10K in less than 57:20, and who can spare the time to attend two separate sessions (a week apart) at the University of Bath, please email Adrian Rodriguez Rivadulla at arr43@bath.ac.uk.

 Strava Segment of the Week

Well done to Chris Driscoll on his Saturday morning Clevedon Parkrun. A massive 17 Strava achievements on his 5km run which included PR’s on Strava segment 600m sprint w-e in 1:49 and Boxing Day race final sprint in 13s.

Diary Dates

Saturday 19th February Gwent League Cross Country, Blaise Castle.

Sunday 20th February Castle Coombe Chilly 10k and Chilly Spring Duathlon. DB Max Events.

Sunday 20th February Ironwood Challenge 2022 Off road 10k trail race.  https://tinyurl.com/2p8atcez

Saturday 26th February. Cross Country Nationals Parliament Hill, London

Saturday 19th March Gwent League Cross Country, Singleton Park, Swansea

Saturday 19th March 20 & 1/2 Fission ,fast flat 20 miler starting at Berkeley Power Station. Half marathon option too. Now in its 7th year, this event has sold out every year. 

Sunday 20th March Forest of Dean Spring Half Marathon. https://www.rotary-rfod.org.uk/events.php

Sunday 3rd April at 6:45pm Annual General Meeting via Zoom

Saturday 9th April Family festival of running.  Active soul are holding at Pomphrey hill- It would be awesome to see some members of the club and their families at this event. https://wishy.org.uk/runforfun

Saturday 23rd April Bristol Track Club 5k Odd Down Cycle Circuit, Bath

Sunday 24th April Frenchay 10k. This race starts and finishes on the UWE Glenside Campus (Top left photo), Blackberry Hill, Fishponds, Bristol

The course is scenic and undulating and comprises of a circuit of the grounds followed by the exit onto Blackberry Hill. http://frenchay10k.co.uk/index.htm

Saturday 7th May. Provisional date for Annual Awards Night. Venue TBC

Friday 20th May Race 1 Towpath Series (including Mob Match)

Sunday 29th May Bath Half Marathon 

Monday 30th May Hogweed Trot 10k 19:00 Yate. https://tinyurl.com/yckkn3wu

Saturday and Sunday 11 and 12 June. Cheddar Challenge by Relish Running

Friday 17th June Race 2 Towpath Series

Sunday 26th June. Lacock Road Races, Half and 10k by Relish Running.

Saturday 2nd July Cotswold Way relay. 10 stage trail relay event.

Thursday 7th July Tintern Trot, 10k trail run along the Wye Valley. Group discount if we have more than 10 interested.

Friday 22nd July Race 3 Towpath Series

Saturday 30th July Magor 10K, fast, flat and furious.

Friday 19th August Race 4 (5K) Towpath Series

Saturday 17th September Relish Running Cheddar Gorge Downhill 10K. https://tinyurl.com/2p9yrsvk

Saturday 24th September, Uphill to Wells Relay. An off-road relay race starting at Uphill beach and finishing at Wells Cathedral. The route is 90% off-road and follows the West Mendip Way along footpaths and bridleways. The race is a ‘hand-over’ relay, run without marshals, water stations or other assistance. Teams are responsible for their own safety and for researching the route although their progress will be monitored at check-points at the end of every leg. https://www.uphilltowells.com/default.aspx

Sunday 25th September Great Bristol Run 10k and Half. https://www.greatrun.org/events/great-bristol-run/

Sunday 25th September Forest of Dean Autumn Half Marathon. https://www.rotary-rfod.org.uk/events.php

Editor this Week

Ian Gawinowski is Westbury Harriers Communications Officer and can be contacted via communication@westburyharriers.co.uk