Weekly News Sunday 10th January

Sunday 9th January

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editor’s Piece

Unfortunately it’s back to another lock-down. Will it ever end? I’m sure after the Christmas and New Year break you were all looking forward to getting in some group runs and interval sessions. When you can only run solo or with one other person staying motivated is very difficult. 

We do have a few things coming up that will hopefully keep the motivation levels high. Vicky will continue to suggest interval sessions and these will be published here and on facebook. Tamsin also has some ideas for running relating challenges, such as the England Athletics Weekly 30 challenge (I’ve just done mine) so watch this space for more challenges to come. Perhaps we will even have another Treasure Hunt? We also have some guest speakers talking about running related themes. 

I’m working from home again but my resolution this year is to try and break up the working day with a lunch break run. It helps clear the head and adds a little variety to the working day, and enjoy what little daylight we have this time of year. Last week I went for a run with a friend from the club, although I must admit I could have done with a little sleep afterwards, not an afternoon of Skype calls!

I’m going to finish with a safety tip which relates to Covid. When out running try and stick to areas with fewer people and plenty of open space, for example the Downs or Blaise. If you are running on the pavements try and run so you’re facing the traffic. If you then need to step out of the way of an oncoming pedestrian you can do so without getting run over. Remember, if it’s not safe to pass then just stop and wait until it is.

Guest Speaker – Mark Vile

Pat Gallagher has arranged for an ex Westbury runner and coach, Mark Vile to give the junior girls and boys a talk on motivation and how to keep focused/set goals in this third lockdown.  Mark has a depth of experience in the running world, having won the National Cross Country Championships at the age of 16, closely followed by a bronze medal at the World Cross Country Championships a year later. Mark went on to achieve continued success at national level, running for England.  Mark is currently the lead coach at Cambridge & Coleridge Athletics Club and coaches (mainly) middle distance athletes of all ages and abilities. Some of the athletes under his coaching have achieved league, national and international success, including 1500m Women’s British Indoor Champion and 3000m Men’s Under 18 European Champion. Mark is also co-founder of the National Junior Training Squad UK.  That said, his talk will be aimed at all levels and abilities, and all levels of goals.

We are very lucky to have the benefit of Mark’s advice at this time, and we would encourage you all to join the online talk (let’s try and get a full house), as I think we could all benefit from a bit of motivation!

The junior session will be held on Friday 15th January at 7pm. All attendees must be on camera and if possible include parents or have them nearby.

The senior session will be on Friday 29th January at 7pm. Mark will also be the guest speaker, although the subject matter for the seniors will be confirmed at a later date.

Details of how to connect will also be provided nearer the time.

Member of the Month Winners

This month our senior winner is Carol Fee.  Carol was nominated for completing a number of virtual challenges, including a Green Man and the Run Across Tennessee. Well done Carol, hopefully you have some more virtual challenges in the pipeline.

Carol picture below, with running buddy Linda in the background.

Our junior winner is Henry Watson. Henry won the nomination this month for his impressive running in the DB Max Christmas Day Virtual 5k Race. In fact both Henry and his mum were running, Henry representing Team Turkey and mum Tracey representing Team Sprout. It was no surprise that Henry was the winner in the Watson household, but he also took home 1st place male youth overall. 

Below, photographs of Henry and some very impressive DB Max medals.

Well done to you both, Up and Running vouchers will be on there way to you soon.

England Athletics Weekly30 Run Challenge

Do you need a new reason to get running each week? Are you keen to represent your club and your sport in a new virtual competition?  If so, our Weekly30 Run Challenge is just for you!

With group running and mass participation events currently restricted, the Weekly30 Run Challenge gives individuals a perfect incentive to run on a weekly basis whilst also proudly representing their club.  You’ll be competing against an online community of other runners from across the country – the competition will be fierce and the pride of your club is at stake!

Participants are challenged to run as far as they can in 30 minutes on Saturday or Sunday each week (following government guidelines while running). Runners simply register free via the dedicated Weekly30 Run Challenge section of the OpenTrack virtual running platform (users only need to sign-up once) – adding details including their club and their sport.

The Team Code for Westbury Harriers is WESTH. If enough of us do it we might win the team competition, so enter now, and it won’t cost you a penny! All you need to do is just run for 30 minutes, it’s that simple. https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/england-competitions/virtual-competitions/weekly30-run-challenge/

Keep on Running

Unfortunately, we’re no longer able to run in groups. We’re still able to run on our own, or with one person from another household in the local area. England Athletics have published further guidance, the link is below. A selfie from Laura, who’s taking advantage on being able to run with a friend.


BMAF Masters 10K

In total 604 master athletes entered the competition and 438 endured some challenging weather conditions to complete their virtual 10k race and submit their results. I had to abort my own first attempt due to icy pavements, only to get soaked to the skin on my second attempt.

The links to the summary results and a certificate for each competitor completing the race are given on the BMAF website results page here

The full individual results and age-graded team scores are available in OpenTrack  here

Our very own roving race reporter, Ewan Paton, produced a report on facebook and with his kind permission I have repeated it here. 

Well done to all those Westbury Harriers who shook off their “Twixtmas” and New Year sluggishness, put on their brand new running gear Christmas presents (mostly thermal gloves or leggings, or both) and braved occasionally icy conditions to record times in the British Masters Virtual 10K Challenge between 27th December and 3rd January. Since the vast majority of senior runners in the club are “Masters” (anyone over the positively ancient age of 35), we thought we might see a few more members having a go, but they are obviously keeping their powder dry and building an endurance base in preparation for the resumption of real racing in 2021.

In the meantime, solo blasts along the Portway (Robin, Rick, Tim, Helen, Ian and me on different days), in pairs on the Ashton Vale ‘out and back’ (Richard and Sandra), Sodbury Common (Mike) or closer to home were a good taster for what we all hope will be a golden late Spring and Summer 2021 of joyful Covid-free mass events.

Most ran under the Westbury banner, although some saved the £1 entry fee (to increase the size of their donation to the nominated charity Teenage Cancer Trust, of course) by entering as representatives of their area Vets/Masters club – so Mike Mewse ran for South West Vets AC, while I ran as the Westbury branch of the Scottish Veteran Harriers Club, although not wearing their 1974 football World Cup-style long sleeved top with the word “Scotland” in big white letters on the back.

Some took advantage of the weather-extended time submission dates to have a couple of goes at it. A particular well done to Valerie Hughes, who first ran an excellent 58:15 on a hilly route including the climb up Falcondale Road, then ‘smashed it’ by a further 4 minutes running 54:05 at Ashton Vale to finish 6th W60 nationally (that’s the whole of the UK). Sandra Williams did the same – not content with her initial Bedminster riverside effort of 48:22, described by her on Strava as “Slow but it’ll do”, she lopped an impressive 2 minutes off that just 6 days later to finish in 46:25 as top Westbury woman and 14th W45 nationally.

There was good running all round – every runner was well under 60 minutes. Without sparing his blushes, the standout run was Mike Mewse’s “Not Such a Sodbury Slog”, a superb 43:54 over the Common to be the 3rd placed M65 runner nationally. Mike was a positively sprightly young member of the South West Vets contingent, two of whom placed 1st nationally in their age categories: evergreen W70 runner and triathlete Anne Dockery (also of Bristol and West), and Tony Berry from Truro, who was 1st M85 in 67:19. So by that token, Westbury team M35 ‘baby’ Rick Watts has at least 50 years of Masters running to look forward to….

Well done to all, and here’s to some great racing (some virtual, but hopefully some real) in 2021.

Full Westbury (including South West and Scottish Vets) results: Ewan PATON M50 38:53 (15th M50), Ian GAWINOWSKI M40 40:46, Robin PHILLIPS M45 40:50, Mike MEWSE M65 43:54 (3rd M60), Rick WATTS M35 44:00,  Alex MILLER M45 46:03.00,  Sandra WILLIAMS W45 46:25.00 (14th W45),  Tim CARR M50 49:30.00,  Helen SAWYER W55 50:29.00 (12th W55),  Richard HUGHES M55 50:43.00, Valerie HUGHES W60 54:05.00 (6th W60)

Mike Mewse 3rd M60, pictured to the right alongside another high performing Westbury athlete, Nigel Gates (taken during pre-Covid times).

Up and Running Collection Service

Up and Running are still running a collection service so if there is anything you need give us a call (0117 9739092), send us a Facebook message or send us an email (bristol@upandrunning.co.uk) and we can have it ready for you to collect or we can post it out to you. Stay safe, stay healthy and keep running. Thanks, Rick and Abi. . . . and from Big Bernard in the window who is hoping for some snow.

Club Intervals- Gentle Hills!

Vicky’s interval suggestion this week is a little bit different, hills with a twist! Find a hill that’s not too steep so can get up to a decent speed for at least a 1min and do the following hills intervals – 20secs, 40secs, 60secs, 40secs, 20secs repeat 4 times. Jog back recovery after each interval. Have a minute recovery between sets. Works out as 12minutes in total of running up hill and focus on technique and running quickly especially on the 20sec interval. Hope that all makes sense! Don’t forget to do a warm up, warm down and some stretching.

Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF)

Well done to Louise Hadley and Laura Pankhurst today for completing the practical assessment for their Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF) qualification on a slightly chilly part of the Downs. They did a fabulous job. Complete naturals and ran a great session. We look forward to having them on board the leaders team. 

Thanks to Alex Smith for filming and for the participants Mark Andrews and Sarah Andrews.  Lou (L) and Laura (R) pictured below.

Strava Results of the Week

Well done to Liz Lovelock on an afternoon run that apparently was fuelled by tea and jelly beans. Not sure if that’s recommended in the training handbook. On a short run, just over 5km but with plenty of cups on route. Liz took 5th place overall on Strava segment ‘Bishopston Hill’ (34s) and ‘shops to lights’, 4th overall (2:16). I’ve fust taken a further look at the run and there are even more cups to mention but I’m not going to list those, otherwise Liz’s head will become enormous!

Diary Dates

Friday 15th January 7pm Guest Speaker Mark Vile Junior Presentation

Friday 29th January 7pm Guest Speaker Mark Vile Senior Presentation

January 2021 DB Max Escape Lockdown 5k series. A weekly 5k series to help running motivation during lock down, and it’s free!  https://race-nation.co.uk/register/db-max/escape-lockdown-5k

January 2021 England Athletics Weekly 30 Run challenge. Run for 30 minutes over the weekend, it’s that simple. https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/england-competitions/virtual-competitions/weekly30-run-challenge/

January 2021 – Virtual Rollick Although we are disappointed not to be holding our typical Riverbank Rollick in January 2021, Thornbury Running Club are delighted to be holding the inaugural ‘Virtual Rollick’. To make sure that the spirit of the infamous ‘Rollick’ is not lost, we expect at least half of your run to be off-road and to involve an acceptable level of mud wind and water.

To enter please go to Race Nation:  https://race-nation.co.uk/register/thornbury-running-club/virtual-rollick-2021

Sunday 18th April Virtual AGM 6:30pm A virtual club AGM using Zoom, joining details will be provided nearer the time.

Editor this Week

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